OK, another thread invoking Rarity re: Specialist Wizard spells made me wonder about the given subject. Is anybody aware of Paizo further detailing the direction of these issues since the playtest, or indicating attention to this area?
These were mostly downplayed by forum posters in favor of approval/disapproval of "shock" of generic Rarity mechanic utilized to gate player options (mostly for things that were similarly gated in 1stEd just without generic framework for it, but I digress), but the implementation of it in non-controversial areas was also an open question.
Rarity as concept affecting DC of mostly Knowledge skills (but potentially others) was already present in 1stEd, but exactly how that interfaced with it's new usage wasn't quite clear... In some cases Rarity-As-Option-Gating (e.g. a Rare Feat/Spell that only Abadar Clerics usually can cast, i.e. probably found in most towns) wasn't necessarily tied to extreme world rarity that would justify similar DC increases as Rare creatures have (which in 1stEd needed the creature to be REALLY rare and obscure, like Serpentfolk/Doppelganger/Oni(or something) were only Humanoids I found that were also in 2ndEd Playtest. So there is issue when those different scales of Rarity intersect.
Related is the issue of Languages which may also have Rarity ratings in terms of DCs, but also the specific mechanism of opening "access" to them. The Playtest approach of "Region" only granting access to (one) Human "Ethnic" Language seemed limiting/distorting, so I proposed "Region" opening a mini-list which could include multiple Human and non-Human languages, possibly while reducing size of Universal "Common" Language access list and/or "cheaper"/easier options to learn a language from smaller list (not linked to Region or your own Race/Ancestry).
This is also the sort of thing that is heavily tied into world dynamics, so I expect the Golarion Setting team to be interested in what the mechanics allow/dicate in this area. ...Links? Speculations? Mad Rants?
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Not sure exactly what you're interested in on this topic, but Jason did discuss rarity a decent amount in the January 16th Know Direction interview. I now see that my notes kind of glossed over that part, so you might want to find that passage and give it a listen:
“Giving us permission tools,” kind of like the rarity system. New player doesn’t need to learn everything, just the core knowledge and the specific basket of what’s available to them at lvl 1. Over time, that basket expands.
JB talks a fair amount about the value of permission tools in allowing the GM to craft the game that makes sense for the table. If you aren’t playing a horror adventure, you just don’t have access to the feats in the horror adventure book (all GM’s discretion, of course, but the idea seems to be to make these permissions easier to manage for groups).
EDIT: Looks like that part kicks off with a question about archetypes around 1:04:35. LINK
I would like rarity better if it was somehow tied to region specific or something. Instead of a "uncommon" tag there would be a "Tian Xia" tag which just indicates that all those items/spells/etc. are from Tian Xia and therefore might be unavailable outside that region. That would make it easier to port into different games.
Rare and unique should probably remain as their own tag sine they are rare in all regions but a lot of uncommon just seems like it should be region specific.
Also calling all powers uncommon since they are class locked seems unnecessary.
Thanks Joe (and also for the podcast note-taking which I LOVE!), but unfortunately that is not the part of Rarity which I am was digging at... Rarity as generic meta-structure for access gating is simple enough and more a formalization than anything new (as Jason says in podcast), I was interested in how these categories will be functionally governed and how they otherwise interact with/affect the game (besides mere access), not their existence as such. Obviously the Rarity categories are unusable without their effective Pre-Requisite being conveyed to players, but that is just matter of presentation/formatting.
Geographic Regions (or even super-regions like Inner Sea or Tian Xia) are clearly relevant concepts governing pre-requisities to Rarity tiers re: access and knowledge of languages and other cultural things, but the Playtest version was very inadequate and I was curious if current thinking on that had been stated somewhere. I think one Playtest example was no easy way for normal Halflings to know Orcish even if raised in Belkzen because "Region" only granted single "Ethnic" Human language (and Orcish didn't happen to be on Halfling list, which itself isn't bad but combined with narrow "Region" scope yields the given example).
I had anticipated getting away from that 1:1 correlation, reducing size of "Universal" access lists (which could be explicitly cast as specific to Super-Regions e.g. Inner Sea) in favor of Region governing broader plurality of Rarity access, e.g. Belkzen offering Orcish, Shoanti, Hallit, Skald, Goblin, and Giant. Which could mean some character DON'T have Common access to pick Elven or Orcish as bonus language, depending where they are from (or as easily recognize their language/culture, based on Rarity DC?). Rarity-gated access could facilitate "lower cost" Skill Feat granting 1 language from your existing Rarity access VS Linguist as General Feat granting 2 drawing from wider potential base, from own list or even granting choice of additional Region to determine Rarity (e.g. reflecting either travels, studies, or other familiarity which enabled you to learn the languages).
I also seem to recall hearing at very beginning of Playtest or leading up to it, the idea that any/all abilities would have simple means to identify it (assuming it's not some Invisible effect or such). In other words, "fixing" the problem of 3.x/1stEd: whereby SPELLS and Monster Abilities had specific mechanic to ID them, but Class and Feat abilities were in a no-man's lands whether everybody can always ID them or nobody ever can or something in-between.
That relates to Bardarok's issue, Class Abilities "locked" as Uncommon... Which is to say, being class "locked" is not new, the point is Rarity Tiers also facilitate other mechanics like standard DC increases to recognize/interact with things outside one's own effective Common knowledge based on class (/ancestry/region/religion/etc). AKA not everybody is super familiar with specific Paladin abilities, but it is easier for Paladins, even if they personally don't have the specific ability (although actually having it would make it even easier if not automatic).
I would like rarity better if it was somehow tied to region specific or something.
Uh...it is. Different levels of rarity explicitly vary by region. They don't have 'Region' tags, but instead you'll likely get a 'Region stat-block' of sorts listing what the Rarity changes are for that Region. Which works fine (actually, you'd need to do this for Region tags to work anyway, since proximity is relevant in such cases)..
I definitely agree with the core thrust of this thread that more info on how Rarity winds up working would be very good. It's a good idea, but the playtest left much to be desired in terms of implementation.
Bardarok wrote:I would like rarity better if it was somehow tied to region specific or something.Uh...it is. Different levels of rarity explicitly vary by region. They don't have 'Region' tags, but instead you'll likely get a 'Region stat-block' of sorts listing what the Rarity changes are for that Region. Which works fine (actually, you'd need to do this for Region tags to work anyway, since proximity is relevant in such cases).
I get that is how it is supposed to work but there isn't any specific distinction in how it is displayed. It's all just "uncommon". With a region tag replacing the uncommon tag, instead of having a table of all the things that change from uncommon to common in that region you could just allow everything that has a specific region tag. Ultimately accomplishing the same thing but I think that a region specific tag would make it more user friendly.