Magic and Economics: Please pick either supply or demand


Magic Items


Now that my groups have finally passed the midpoint of the playtest I can say that I've got some serious opinions. Here's the short version. Paizo wanted to make magic items more diverse and push players to make tough choices about how they wanted to use their slots.

The problem, as I see it, is that Paizo moved all the factors and ended up with a real mess.

Resonance was supposed to limit slots, but Paizo applied it to consumables. So only healing items were practical. Instead of fixing resonance to only apply to permanent items, Paizo has dropped it. So that's the end of resonance.

But the other half of the issue is that most of the items are rubbish. How is it possible that staffs are less useful than wands????

(Minimum fix on staffs, allow wielder to cast spells in the staff at any level they have [hightened] slots for.)

All this effort, and the only items that anyone really wants for their characters are the ability boosts and the weapons and armour. There's a few other items that are usually useful, but in the end all we're left with is the same situation with radically less powerful items. (I'll not rant about the shocking lack of wild Druid's items ATM)

With the proficiency system making tiny bonuses into huge advantages (though that is being partially corrected in the final version) there is little hope that we won't have exactly the same spread of magic items in this edition as we had in the last.

The last part is the control system of rarity.... In a thousand years of history the only certainty is that the best ideas get popular. So claiming that great magic items, spells or formulae are simply rare is just silly. If it's useful, it will be used. If it's popular it will be mass produced. If it hard to produce, it will be expensive.....

Economics never lie. Please Paizo, give this some real thought.


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I'm torn.

On one side, you are ranting about mandatory items, and that is printed in bright colours on my battle flag. Honour demands I join.

On the other side, every single item on your complaint list (resonance, staves, wands, weapons, armours, skill boosters) have been pointed out as things that will be altered and addressed before the final version, so there's little point in ranting over them.

As for the rarity bit... not everyone shares. Sometimes it's hard to figure out how to reproduce something, even if you have it handy. That's not that weird.


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Economics is in the title, but I don't see it in Turkeycubes' discussion except the unconnected statement, "Economics never lie." Nevertheless, we can talk economics of magic.

Let's compare magic items across editions.

1st Edition Staff of Divination
Aura strong divination; CL 13th; Slot none; Price 82,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
DESCRIPTION
Made from a supple length of willow carefully selected to have a crooked, forked tip, a staff of divination allows use of the following spells:
Detect secret doors (1 charge)
Locate object (1 charge)
Tongues (1 charge)
Locate creature (2 charges)
Prying eyes (2 charges)
True seeing (3 charges)
A 1st Edition staff holds 10 charges and recharging 1 charge requires forgoing one prepared spell of a level equal to the highest-level spell cast by the staff. True seeing is usually a 6th level spell.

2nd Edition Playtest Greater Staff of Divination
Divination, Invested, Magical, Staff
Method of Use held, 1 hand; Bulk 1
Activation Cast a Spell (1 RP)
Numerous semi-precious gemstones emerge, seemingly at random, from the surface of this gnarled wooden staff. Gazing into their interior planes and marveling at their inspiring inclusions grants you uncanny divinatory insight. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to checks to identify divination magic.
Type greater; Level 13; Price 3,000 gp; Maximum Charges 9
• sending (level 5)
• prying eye (level 5)
• telepathy (level 6)
• true seeing (level 6)
The number of charges required to cast a spell equals the spell's level. Hence, the True seeing on the 2nd edition staff consumes twice as many changes as the true seeing on the 1st edition staff. But recharging is automatic during daily preparations, costs only one resonance point, and gives as many charges as half the caster's level. See page 379 in the Playtest Rulebook.

The 3,000 gp cost in 2nd edition converts to 30,000 gp in 1st Edition gold pieces, but that is still only 37% of the cost as the 1st Edition staff. Since the 1st Edition staff can cast true seeing 3 times per day and the 2nd Edition staff can cast three seeing once per day, that seems the proper price ratio. With prices comparable, the 2nd Edition staff has an advantage of recharging daily for only one resonance, instead of recharging in several days probably limited to downtime due to the spell loss, and has a disadvantage costing charges to switch to another staff.

That's the economics. Turkeycubes asked, "How is it possible that staffs are less useful than wands????" The answer is that 2nd edition staves are cheaper and less powerful in proportion to their reduced price.

I see a mathematical flaw with the 2nd Edition Greater Staff of Divination, however. It holds at most 9 charges, but its cheapest spell, sending, costs 5 charges. Therefore, it can cast only one spell a day via charges, and it often ends up with 3 or 4 charges and no way to use them, except to pay the cost of investing a second staff. Thus, a sensible sorcerer would with a desperate need for true seeing would buy two Greater Staves of Divination, invest one, spend 6 charges to cast true seeing, spend 6 charges as 3 from each staff to invest the second staff, and spend the last 6 charges in the second staff to cast true seeing a second time. It works, though it is annoyingly awkward.

Turkeycubes wrote:
The last part is the control system of rarity.... In a thousand years of history the only certainty is that the best ideas get popular. So claiming that great magic items, spells or formulae are simply rare is just silly. If it's useful, it will be used. If it's popular it will be mass produced. If it hard to produce, it will be expensive.....

Was this supposed to be the economics? That is the adoption of innovations. Let's consider gunpowder, Timeline of the gunpowder age, as a historical example. It is first found mentioned in a Chinese text from 142 AD and gunpowder-propelled fire arrows were used in China in 969 AD and gunpowder bombs in 1126 AD. Europe acquires the gunpowder formula in 1280 AD, so it took over 100 years for this warafare idea to spread. About this time, the Mongols started using small cannons, so let's see how long that took to spread. In 1307 AD, the Armenian monk Hetoum writes about a powerful weapon having been invented in China, and we see the first description of a cannon in European writing in 1326 AD. In 1330 AD and 1338 AD we have two instances of cannons made and used in Europe. The European word "cannon" was developed in 1339 AD. Cannons ceased to be rare in Europe in 1350 AD. India, in contrast, is still using only rockets rather than cannons or firearms. They get firearms 16 years later in 1366 AD. Thus, we had 86 years from handheld cannons in Mongolia in 1280 AD to firearms in India in 1366 AD. Firearms in the Americas took until 1492 AD with Christopher Columbus, and those were not in the hands of the inhabitants.

I estimate that on Golarion we could have a period of about 100 years when a spell could be common in one region and rare in another region that had trade with the first. When we thrown in the mythology of lost knowlege sometimes used in fantasy stories, we could draw it out even longer by having it rare in a few places, then lost and rediscovered regularly to remain rare. The people in fantasy stories are terrible at cooperating to advance discovery, unlike us people in the real world.

As a GM, I like when the PCs share their knowledge with the friendly townsfolk, and I reward them by making the recipients curious and helpful. If everyone shared like the PCs, then knowledge would spread quickly, mere decades to cross the continent.


Actually, 80’000 gp in pf1 convert to about 53’300 sp in pathfinder playtest.
30’000sp in Pathfinder Playtest would equal about 46’154 gp from pf1.

This is based on wealth by level comparisons.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There is also the fact that producing many of these items requires a powerful person to them. Mundane technologies can spread and be reproduced without needing someone capable of punching an elephant to death. That isn't the case here so it makes sense that rarity persists for longer. Those powerful people have better things to do, a rare themselves within the world. have a vested interest in keeping things to themselves and are more capable of protecting their interests.


Malk_Content wrote:
There is also the fact that producing many of these items requires a powerful person to them. Mundane technologies can spread and be reproduced without needing someone capable of punching an elephant to death. That isn't the case here so it makes sense that rarity persists for longer. Those powerful people have better things to do, a rare themselves within the world. have a vested interest in keeping things to themselves and are more capable of protecting their interests.

The problem is that this line of thinking opens the massive can of worms that is why there are any common rarity higher level things at all.


Snowblind wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
There is also the fact that producing many of these items requires a powerful person to them. Mundane technologies can spread and be reproduced without needing someone capable of punching an elephant to death. That isn't the case here so it makes sense that rarity persists for longer. Those powerful people have better things to do, a rare themselves within the world. have a vested interest in keeping things to themselves and are more capable of protecting their interests.
The problem is that this line of thinking opens the massive can of worms that is why there are any common rarity higher level things at all.

NPCs don’t necessarily follow PC rules. Experts might be horrible with weapons or saves or even skill ranks, but be able to create items higher than their level. It’s not that difficult to imagine.

I have a low level npc in the AP I’m running which apparently creates the most beautiful tapestries in Taldor - sounds like someone can reach Legendary quality at level 5.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Snowblind wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
There is also the fact that producing many of these items requires a powerful person to them. Mundane technologies can spread and be reproduced without needing someone capable of punching an elephant to death. That isn't the case here so it makes sense that rarity persists for longer. Those powerful people have better things to do, a rare themselves within the world. have a vested interest in keeping things to themselves and are more capable of protecting their interests.
The problem is that this line of thinking opens the massive can of worms that is why there are any common rarity higher level things at all.

Well just like the real world some things get out and somethings don't and not necessarily by predictable rules.


Mathmuse wrote:

Economics is in the title, but I don't see it in Turkeycubes' discussion except the unconnected statement, "Economics never lie." Nevertheless, we can talk economics of magic.

I understand your confusion, but economics is the study of interactions in social systems, not just money.

Here's the nutshell. Limiting slots for magic items is fine, but if you want players to make more unusual selections for what they fill those slots with you have to provide more good options.

Glad for the feedback.


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Ediwir wrote:

Actually, 80’000 gp in pf1 convert to about 53’300 sp in pathfinder playtest.

30’000sp in Pathfinder Playtest would equal about 46’154 gp from pf1.

This is based on wealth by level comparisons.

I had performed a crude calculation of Pathfinder Playtest wealth by level back on August 25, 2018, and learned that it increases faster than Pathfinder 1st Edition wealth by level, so comparing the wealth by level of the two editions won't give a consistent conversion between the monetary systems.

However, wealth by level is Pathfinder economics and a good topic for this tread, so let me do an accurate estimate of Pathfinder Playtest wealth by level.

The Playtest Rulebook does not give a Wealth by Level table like the one found in the Pathfinder 1st Edition Core Rulebook. Instead, Table 11–2: CHARACTER WEALTH on page 348 assigns magic items and some cash to a newly created high-level character, such as a 7th-level character receives one 6th-level item, two 5th-level items, one 4th-level item, two 3rd-level items, and 125 gp cash.

We can convert Table 11-2 into a Wealth by Level table by assign a value to the magic items. Those are found on tables on pages 349 through 353. Different items at the same level have different prices; for example, among 8th-level items, a candle of truth costs 50 gp and a +2 magic weapon costs 500 gp. In general, consumable items are a lot cheaper than permanent items of the same level, and table 11-2 says permanent items, so I will ignore the consumable prices. The prices for armor, weapons, handwraps, and staves are the maximum value for each level and consistent among themselves, so let me simply pick the maximum price at each level. Then I sum those prices to find the wealth of a newly-created character at that level.

1st level gives 5 gp magic items and 15 gp wealth.
2nd level gives 35 gp magic items and 20 gp wealth.
3rd level gives 60 gp magic items and 80 gp wealth.
4th level gives 100 gp magic items and 165 gp wealth.
5th level gives 160 gp magic items and 315 gp wealth.
6th level gives 250 gp magic items and 570 gp wealth.
7th level gives 360 gp magic items and 915 gp wealth.
8th level gives 500 gp magic items and 1,400 gp wealth.
9th level gives 700 gp magic items and 2,040 gp wealth.
10th level gives 1,000 gp magic items and 2,910 gp wealth.
11th level gives 1,400 gp magic items and 4,120 gp wealth.
12th level gives 2,000 gp magic items and 6,500 gp wealth.
13th level gives 3,000 gp magic items and 8,200 gp wealth.
14th level gives 4,500 gp magic items and 11,900 gp wealth.
15th level gives 6,500 gp magic items and 17,550 gp wealth.
16th level gives 10,000 gp magic items and 25,750 gp wealth.
17th level gives 15,000 gp magic items and 38,500 gp wealth.
18th level gives 24,000 gp magic items and 58,000 gp wealth.
19th level gives 40,000 gp magic items and 89,000 gp wealth.
20th level gives 70,000 gp magic items and 143,000 gp wealth.

The wealth by level in Pathfinder 1st Edition goes:
105gp, 1,000gp, 3,000gp, 6,000gp, 10,500gp, 16,000gp, 23,500gp, 33,000gp, 46,000gp, 62,00gp, 82,000gp, 108,000gp, ...
It mostly follows the offset exponential formula (5000×1.3^n - 8000)gp with some rounding:
negative, 450gp, 2,985gp, 6,280gp, 10,565gp, 16,134gp, 23,374gp, 32,787gp, 45,022gp, 60,929gp, 81,608gp, 108,490gp, ...

The best formula I can find for the Pathfinder Playtest wealth is (58×1.4678^n)gp, where 1.4678 stands for the sixth root of 10:
1st level 85gp, 2nd level 125gp, 3rd level 183gp, 4th level 269gp, 5th level 395gp, 6th level 580gp, 7th level 851gp, 8th level 1,250gp, 9th level 1,834gp, 10th level 2,692gp, 11th level 3,951gp, 12th level 5,800gp, 13th level 8,513gp, 14th level 12,496gp, 15th level 18,341gp, 16th level 26,921gp, 17th level 39,515gp, 18th level 58,000gp, 19th level 85,132gp, 20th level 124,957gp.
The smooth formula varies a great deal from actual numbers. This is unexpected. The Pathfinder Playtest math for wealth by level is a lot less tight than the Pathfinder 1st Edition math.

As for cash conversion between Pathfinder 1st Edition and Pathfinder 2nd Edition Playtest:
At 5th level, 1st Edition offers 10,500 gp and 2nd Edition offers 315 gp. 1 2e gp equals 33 1e gp.
At 10th level, 1st Edition offers 62,000 gp and 2nd Edition offers 2,910 gp. 1 2e gp equals 21 1e gp.
At 15th level, 1st Edition offers 240,000 gp and 2nd Edition offers 17,550 gp. 1 2e gp equals 14 1e gp.
At 20th level, 1st Edition offers 880,000 gp and 2nd Edition offers 143,000 gp. 1 2e gp equals 6 1e gp.

In conclusion, the two editions have different magic-item economies, and the magic-items-by-level, which is the true basis of wealth-by-level, don't match. However, I was wrong to use the simple conversion that 1 2e gp equals 10 1e gp. That ratio occurs only around 17th level. Ediwir used to ratio of 1 2e gp to 15 1e gp, which occurs around 15th level.


Mathmuse wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Actually, 80’000 gp in pf1 convert to about 53’300 sp in pathfinder playtest.

30’000sp in Pathfinder Playtest would equal about 46’154 gp from pf1.

This is based on wealth by level comparisons.

I had performed a crude calculation of Pathfinder Playtest wealth by level back on August 25, 2018, and learned that it increases faster than Pathfinder 1st Edition wealth by level, so comparing the wealth by level of the two editions won't give a consistent conversion between the monetary systems.

I never said it was a consistent conversion with a plain, linear ratio. i did some homework too (without the explanation part however. Someone asked me to share my notes a while back)


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Turkeycubes wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Economics is in the title, but I don't see it in Turkeycubes' discussion except the unconnected statement, "Economics never lie." Nevertheless, we can talk economics of magic.

I understand your confusion, but economics is the study of interactions in social systems, not just money.

Here's the nutshell. Limiting slots for magic items is fine, but if you want players to make more unusual selections for what they fill those slots with you have to provide more good options.

Glad for the feedback.

Despite our disagreement over the meaning of "economics," we appear to be in agreement how economics affects the magic items in Pathfinder 2nd Edition. Paizo designers simplified the economics of magic items and tried to reduce a character's dependencies, but the result stripped some of the glamor off of magic items.

Let's use armor as an example. Imagine a PC who wants to spend less that 1/3 of his or her wealth on as good of AC as possible.

In Pathfinder 1st Edition, that involves buying several magic items and uprading each individually:
4th level, buy +1 leather armor for 1,310 gp. AC 13+Dex for 22% of wealth by level.
5th level, buy +1 ring of protection for 2,000 gp. AC 14+Dex for 32% of wealth by level.
6th level, buy +1 amulet of natural armor for 2,000 gp. AC 15+Dex for 33% of wealth by level.
8th level, upgrade leather armor's enchantment to +2 for 3,000 gp. AC 16+Dex for 25% of wealth by level.

In Pathfinder 2nd Edition, magic items for AC are focused down to a single magic item.
4th level, buy +1 magic leather armor for 60 gp. AC 16+Dex for 36% of wealth by level.
8th level, upgrade to +2 magic armor for 300 more gp. AC 21+Dex for 26% of wealth by level.

I set the costs between the two editions to be close. Pathfinder 1st Edition offers a +3 to AC between 4th and 8th level. Despite fewer upgrades Pathfinder 2nd Edition offers +5 to AC between 4th and 8th level, due to the +4 to armor proficiency bonus from 4 levels. By raw numbers, Paizo reduced the dependency on the magic items.

But the meaning of the raw numbers shifted. In Pathfinder 1st Edition AC was weak. Some builds tried to keep AC in step with level, but the cost was extreme. Most builds let AC rise at +1 every two levels and the players accepted that they would get hit more often. In Pathfinder 2nd Edition +1 to AC at every level is given via proficiency without a gold piece cost. This balanced against a +1 per level to hit from proficiency, too, a break-even treadmill. The +1 item bonus from enchanted armor on top of that is likewise balanced by the +1 item bonus from an enemy's enchanted weapon.

Pathfinder 1st Edition was a struggle to keep AC relevant. Pathfinder 2nd Edition keeps it relevant. A battle where no-one can hit or everyone hits has no fun, but giving bonuses and then canceling them through balance has no glory. Making magic items feel magical involves giving them mechanics that create narrative magic, and that is an art rather than a science. I don't think that "balance" is the right narrative. "Struggle" was closer.


Ediwir wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
There is also the fact that producing many of these items requires a powerful person to them. Mundane technologies can spread and be reproduced without needing someone capable of punching an elephant to death. That isn't the case here so it makes sense that rarity persists for longer. Those powerful people have better things to do, a rare themselves within the world. have a vested interest in keeping things to themselves and are more capable of protecting their interests.
The problem is that this line of thinking opens the massive can of worms that is why there are any common rarity higher level things at all.

NPCs don’t necessarily follow PC rules. Experts might be horrible with weapons or saves or even skill ranks, but be able to create items higher than their level. It’s not that difficult to imagine.

I have a low level npc in the AP I’m running which apparently creates the most beautiful tapestries in Taldor - sounds like someone can reach Legendary quality at level 5.

They could at least give us maybe guidelines on advancing crafters or something.

For PF1, I made up a psudo Crafter Class. It was Expert, but with Fighter Feat progression. But the feats could only be used on Crafting feats. Along with removal of Skill Rank = HD so they could advance faster(Up to a point).

Now that's a very fast and loose rule but I think Paizo could cook up something more believible for NPCs as a sort of starting point.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
There is also the fact that producing many of these items requires a powerful person to them. Mundane technologies can spread and be reproduced without needing someone capable of punching an elephant to death. That isn't the case here so it makes sense that rarity persists for longer. Those powerful people have better things to do, a rare themselves within the world. have a vested interest in keeping things to themselves and are more capable of protecting their interests.
The problem is that this line of thinking opens the massive can of worms that is why there are any common rarity higher level things at all.

NPCs don’t necessarily follow PC rules. Experts might be horrible with weapons or saves or even skill ranks, but be able to create items higher than their level. It’s not that difficult to imagine.

I have a low level npc in the AP I’m running which apparently creates the most beautiful tapestries in Taldor - sounds like someone can reach Legendary quality at level 5.

They could at least give us maybe guidelines on advancing crafters or something.

For PF1, I made up a psudo Crafter Class. It was Expert, but with Fighter Feat progression. But the feats could only be used on Crafting feats. Along with removal of Skill Rank = HD so they could advance faster(Up to a point).

Now that's a very fast and loose rule but I think Paizo could cook up something more believible for NPCs as a sort of starting point.

This sort of thing will likely be part of the GMG for PF2E


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think that kind of "custom NPC class with special abilities" is more feasible in 2e because players can't just dip a level of it for the shiny toys like they could in 1e.

That said, I'm not sure that "class that exists only to explain or formalize handwavium" is something I think Paizo should be spending valuable wordcount on. If my players ever make complaints along the lines of "why does that NPC have a higher bonus at making tapestries than me, my tapestry-making bonus is as high as possible at this level!" my response is typically "Has your character spent 20 years of their life dedicating 12 hours a day to mastering the art of tapestries, with no meaningful diversions?" and/or "which class features would you like to trade out for a higher tapestry-making bonus?"


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I feel like no real economic theory is useful to account for how almost all items past a certain point are either made on commission (by craftspeople whose skills are rare hence their time is valuable) or pulled out of some ruin somewhere.

Like most turnip farmers or inkeepers or farriers will never have the funds together at one time to buy a +3 potency rune, let alone two.

As for NPC craftspeople I am content with "their statblock has a sufficiently high number" as an explanation for how someone can craft something. If the system isn't going to assume the NPCs we fight have to follow the same rules as the PCs, we can extend that to NPCs. I see no issue with an NPC who has 30 HP and no weapon proficiency being a legendary smith. Having "NPCs have to have a lot of HP, higher saves, BAB, etc. in order to be good at their jobs" never made any sense in PF1 anyway.


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MaxAstro wrote:

I think that kind of "custom NPC class with special abilities" is more feasible in 2e because players can't just dip a level of it for the shiny toys like they could in 1e.

That said, I'm not sure that "class that exists only to explain or formalize handwavium" is something I think Paizo should be spending valuable wordcount on. If my players ever make complaints along the lines of "why does that NPC have a higher bonus at making tapestries than me, my tapestry-making bonus is as high as possible at this level!" my response is typically "Has your character spent 20 years of their life dedicating 12 hours a day to mastering the art of tapestries, with no meaningful diversions?" and/or "which class features would you like to trade out for a higher tapestry-making bonus?"

"Class with NPC tag is suggested to be prohibited from PC selection".

I don't see why that wording or something close to it can't work for each edition. Given that in my opinion, several Archetypes seem far better for NPCs than players, it doesn't seem too far a stretch to just slap an NPC tag to something.

But that's usually my explanation in games too. Sure you have a high bonus but they've been doing it for years longer and picked up some tricks/shortcuts. Now if you would like to become their friend and do a quest, maybe they can show you some but unless you want to give up being an adventurer for like 5 years and learn under them, that's probably all you're getting.

Again I just made up some hard and fast rules for myself to explain why, at least in rules, NPCs are better at X.


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Why are "rules which limit what the GM can do with NPCs" even valuable?

Like why is keeping me from writing down a statblock for an outsider who has 50 HP, attacks at +3 for 1d4+1 damage, but has a +30 to craft roll, even a thing worth doing?

Sure, we fear a hypothetical GM making monsters who are unreasonably tough to fight, or GM favorite NPCs who outclass the party since those are things that bad GMs do, but bad GMs are going to do bad stuff without extensive guard rails anyway.

"Monster creation rules" are good for making sure the thing you are going to fight isn't too tough, but if someone's role in the story is not "the party has to fight them" I don't see why we can't just write down arbitrary numbers.


Part of this ties into "Why do items have levels?", and "Why do items have rarities?".

At the end of the day, items should be priced such that there is a meaningful choice between what to get. The example I like using from Pathfinder is the legitimate choice between getting a Staff of Fire compared with increasing your casting stat from +2 to +4.

Unfortunately, with Paizo's claim that they are rewriting the mathematics the system is based on, any discourse about the current state of item pricing is moot.


Mekkis wrote:

Part of this ties into "Why do items have levels?", and "Why do items have rarities?".

At the end of the day, items should be priced such that there is a meaningful choice between what to get. The example I like using from Pathfinder is the legitimate choice between getting a Staff of Fire compared with increasing your casting stat from +2 to +4.

Unfortunately, with Paizo's claim that they are rewriting the mathematics the system is based on, any discourse about the current state of item pricing is moot.

Has anyone ever chosen the Staff of Fire over the Headband?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mekkis wrote:
Part of this ties into "Why do items have levels?"

To make creating a new character easier for people who don't want to/find it difficult to maths out adding together dozens of awkard numbers to see what you can afford.

To make figuring out appropriate rewards easier on GMs who don't have extensive experience on what items do.

To make crafting uniform, rather than having to write out the crafting DC for each thing and home that serves as a game balancing level gate that obvioulsy gets blown out of the water as characters + to crafting potential increases as book options are put out. E.G Giving a race/culture a nice flavourful +4 to crafting skill actually increases combat power in PF1 as they can easilly make things of a higher level, less so in PF2 when it allows them to make more of the stuff at their level but not highter.

Mekkis wrote:
"Why do items have rarities?"

To let them present options in the books that GMs might want to restrict without asking GMs to have an extensive knowledge of every item printed.

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