Item Quality versus Potency Runes


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


Has there any clues on how item quality will work with potency runes. I have trouble with a legendary quality rapier (+8 to hit from the legendary) and having a potency rune 5 (+5 to hit from the potency rune) having a better chance of hitting inside an anti-magic field. I hope, as I voted in the survey, that item quality determines the to hit modifier and the potency runes determines the number of damage dice.

Liberty's Edge

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Well, first, you always use the higher of two bonuses when they're the same type, so if a Legendary Rapier actually gave +8 to hit, that would be the same anywhere (making Potency useful only for damage).

Second, and more importantly, there's no way that Legendary Items give a +8. That would make normal quality items give a +2, something we know is untrue from sample games. As high as +6 is possible, but I think quite unlikely. I'd personally suspect that Item Quality, while it will likely still be rated on a normal to Legendary scale, will no longer give the same bonus as having Proficiency of that level, sticking with the +0 to +3 they had in the playtest.


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I suspect that Deadmanwalking is correct. Items will have a different scale for modifiers than proficiency ranks do. I suspect they will stay +0/+1/+2/+3 although I could go for +0/+1/+2/+4 to make Legendary be just a bit 'more' impressive.

I'm really curious how they are going to deal with the implied solution to 'martial-classes' not being dependent on magically enchanted weapons to be able to do level appropriate damage.

I thought maybe it would be tied to 'weapon proficiency rank' but with fighters, like Valeros start with expert, but we know from the play examle, he only got 2 dice after Kyra used a spell to enchant his sword.

That provides us evidence that potency runes still do add additional dice. But we don't know if character level, or combination of character level and proficiency might also provide an alternative access to damage boosts like magic weapons give you.

We haven't seen if potency runes might now be available again for shields, and what such a rune would do for a shield. [perhaps for instance providing a DR value for attacks hitting it]

To be honest, I'd toyed with the idea of quality also providing a +1 damage for each quality step that wouldn't stack with magic. Note I was saying +1 not +1d. So an expert quality sword would do 1d6+1 damage, while a +1 magic sword would do 2d6 (since +1d is better than +1). But potentially a master sword might be able to be 1d6+2, or with a +1 rune, it might, adjusting for stacking, might be 2d6+1 (the first +1 from expert gets lost due to stacking with the +1d for the potency rune, but the second +1 from Master might stay. [that is a complexity I easily see not having part of the base rules, but would be an interesting optional rule, letting weapon quality be more significant, even on some of the lower magic weapons]


Thank you, those explanations help put my concerns to rest.


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If potency runes go to +3 now instead of +5, then the bonus dice from proficiency could be at Master and Legendary.

Liberty's Edge

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MaxAstro wrote:
If potency runes go to +3 now instead of +5, then the bonus dice from proficiency could be at Master and Legendary.

That has issues with reducing damage if only Fighters get to Legendary, though.

Personally, I suspect that Potency has indeed been reduced to going to only +3 but other damage bonuses come based on something other than Proficiency. I don't know what and it might even vary by Class, but not Proficiency per se.


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might be something like when your proficiency bonus hits +10 and +20 you get an extra die of damage. That way fighters would probably get it 2 to 4 levels sooner, but everyone would eventually be able to get two extra dice by around 18th level. (again, fighters much sooner)

When I went through the Playtest Bestiary, I noted that the majority of monsters wielding manufactured weapons, got an extra die of damage when their + to hit was 10 or higher, and got a second die when they were at least +20 to hit. Note, that would be Proficiency, plus Attribute bonus however, rather than just Proficiency. So a fighter with +4+1 (proficiency) and +4 STR bonus would be at +9. So by the next level they would hit +10 and potentially get a bonus die of damage?

The rule given didn't apply, necessarily for natural attacks however, and of course the weapons that were listed as +5 magical weapons, got +5 dice of damage irrespective of their plus to hit, which would have been less that +50.

If proficiency die bonuses don't stack with magic die bonuses, the number might be smaller. If it were per 6, then with expert weapon proficiency, a fighter would hit the first extra die of damage at 2nd level.


Loreguard wrote:

might be something like when your proficiency bonus hits +10 and +20 you get an extra die of damage. That way fighters would probably get it 2 to 4 levels sooner, but everyone would eventually be able to get two extra dice by around 18th level. (again, fighters much sooner)

When I went through the Playtest Bestiary, I noted that the majority of monsters wielding manufactured weapons, got an extra die of damage when their + to hit was 10 or higher, and got a second die when they were at least +20 to hit. Note, that would be Proficiency, plus Attribute bonus however, rather than just Proficiency. So a fighter with +4+1 (proficiency) and +4 STR bonus would be at +9. So by the next level they would hit +10 and potentially get a bonus die of damage?

The rule given didn't apply, necessarily for natural attacks however, and of course the weapons that were listed as +5 magical weapons, got +5 dice of damage irrespective of their plus to hit, which would have been less that +50.

If proficiency die bonuses don't stack with magic die bonuses, the number might be smaller. If it were per 6, then with expert weapon proficiency, a fighter would hit the first extra die of damage at 2nd level.

I'm hoping that Proficiencies get you extra damage. Expert gets you an extra damage die. Master another. Legend another. So even if you're picking up a terrible dagger, you have 4d4 on it, and if its an awesome one it does 7d4. Sneak attack tossing in a few d6s on that isnt too bad either lol


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
I'm hoping that Proficiencies get you extra damage. Expert gets you an extra damage die. Master another. Legend another. So even if you're picking up a terrible dagger, you have 4d4 on it, and if its an awesome one it does 7d4. Sneak attack tossing in a few d6s on that isnt too bad either lol

The problem with that is you are massively increasing the differences in damage (for martials only oddly) between proficiency levels. +2 accuracy already means more damage (from more hits and crits) and that would be further compounded by extra dice.

This would be damaging to quite a few concepts to tie damage to proficiency like this. Being a muscle wizard is viable right now, but wouldn't be if they are capped at -4 to hit and -2 dice. Even standard stuff we now get a barbarian who is less accurate AND less damaging than the fighter.

This doesn't sound like a big deal when you are talking about D4s, but that isn't the point of reference for most martials. The difference is more apparent at D8 to D12.


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It depends on where the system is balanced, honestly. If the balance point is "encounters assume that the melee character is eventually going to reach Master", then muscle wizards are only 1 die/-2 behind while fighters get the advantage of being 1 die/+2 ahead of the expected curve.

That would be what I would hope to see honestly - classes that get Legendary are ahead of the expected curve, instead of the curve expecting you to get Legendary.


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Loreguard wrote:

might be something like when your proficiency bonus hits +10 and +20 you get an extra die of damage. That way fighters would probably get it 2 to 4 levels sooner, but everyone would eventually be able to get two extra dice by around 18th level. (again, fighters much sooner)

When I went through the Playtest Bestiary, I noted that the majority of monsters wielding manufactured weapons, got an extra die of damage when their + to hit was 10 or higher, and got a second die when they were at least +20 to hit. Note, that would be Proficiency, plus Attribute bonus however, rather than just Proficiency. So a fighter with +4+1 (proficiency) and +4 STR bonus would be at +9. So by the next level they would hit +10 and potentially get a bonus die of damage?

The rule given didn't apply, necessarily for natural attacks however, and of course the weapons that were listed as +5 magical weapons, got +5 dice of damage irrespective of their plus to hit, which would have been less that +50.

If proficiency die bonuses don't stack with magic die bonuses, the number might be smaller. If it were per 6, then with expert weapon proficiency, a fighter would hit the first extra die of damage at 2nd level.

I'm hoping that Proficiencies get you extra damage. Expert gets you an extra damage die. Master another. Legend another. So even if you're picking up a terrible dagger, you have 4d4 on it, and if its an awesome one it does 7d4. Sneak attack tossing in a few d6s on that isnt too bad either lol

We know via the Live Stream at some gaming trade show that Fighters are experts, like they were, because of one of them playing Valeros. However, he only got 1 die of damage, until the weapon was enchanted by Kyra.

So we know Proficiency Rank alone in weapons doesn't provide an extra die of damage. (unless the game designer running the game forgot to update the character sheet, and forgot to apply it in combat) It is worthwhile noting he did correct a mistake on the sheet relating to Valeros's move speed, because he had the STR to over come the loss of move from wearing armor.

As far as wizards using melee weapons, I suspect they would likely be using a magic weapon and/or using some sort of spell to buff their damage they do. So I don't think it is unreasonable for a fighter/martials to get a bit of advantage in damage done via their combat specialization by being their chosen class.

As for impact to being non-proficient, ins 2nd edition, you don't want your high level wizard to use a weapon they aren't proficient in. They won't get their level added to their attack roll if they do, which would be far bigger than -4 at higher levels. At first level it would only be -3 though to use a weapon they aren't proficient in, which might be survivable until they get to second level and took a fighter multi-class feat or something like that to become proficient in what they want to use.


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Martials already get a weapon damage output over non martials. Thats a) what proficiency largely does already as accuracy = damage (more so with crits working how they do) and b) what a whole bunch of their class feats/features do.

I'd much rather it was merely a function of character level as a whole, it closes off fewer concepts and makes it easier to give classes/archetypes appropriate proficiency levels without making them over or under damage dealers. E.G when the Swashbuckler achetype comes about and lets you grab Master with a select set of weapons the designers don't have to worry about how that +2D of damage stacks up with every single other class combo in the game.


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I thought I remember either on a Pathfinder Friday stream or during GAMA question and answer that there was going to be extra damage done but did not elaborate on it. The class feats do have options where extra damage is added vie extra damage dice. Power attack and brutal finish for the fighter I believe. Not sure they were not talking about this. 13th age does it by damage dice and level.


Loreguard wrote:
might be something like when your proficiency bonus hits +10 and +20 you get an extra die of damage. That way fighters would probably get it 2 to 4 levels sooner, but everyone would eventually be able to get two extra dice by around 18th level. (again, fighters much sooner)

That was how I hd it work under P2 ABP, it’s a little tricky but it’s an option. Personally I would prefer if it determined the whole damage, but I’ll wait to see what potency does before pulling out the chopping block.


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Looking back at Pathfinder 1 and the Playtest I believe there was not a mention of the weapon training that gave you a hit and damage bonus. It capped at +4 hit and damage. It started at 5th level. It is not a huge number, but something. It is quite possible that something could be added to damage in addition to class feats as part of the fine tuning of PF2. I am fine with just class feats, but that will lock the character into certain class feats for the damage bonus. Starfinder has something that is based on proficiency in weapon. Once the character has it they get to add their level to damage. This is not the case with PF2 but since Pathfinder 1 and Starfinder have something that had been level based one could guess PF2 would have something.


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Funny story: A friend of mine literally quit Starfinder over that rule. Adding level to damage for some reason completely broke his verisimilitude, and he flat out refused to play any more once he found out about it. Killed a campaign I was running, sadly. XD


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Hmm. Sad to hear that.


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I looked the other day and could not find where they said they were going to do something with damage scaling.

I am curios if they do anything. It could be level based by adding die or a flat number. It could also be through runes. Or could be through class feats which they have already done to some degree.


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I would think it would not be to hard to house rule if they did not. I think would probably go Strarfinder rout and say any one expert with melee or ranged can add level to damage


Yeah, big bonus to damage characters seem to have gone by the wayside in favor of bigger dice pools. My paladin ot level 20 who with smite and a buff or two was adding around 50 to each hit but rolled only a d8. Meant I was reliable in damage. I feel like that's nearly gone on pf2 unless I've missed something


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Yeah, big bonus to damage characters seem to have gone by the wayside in favor of bigger dice pools. My paladin ot level 20 who with smite and a buff or two was adding around 50 to each hit but rolled only a d8. Meant I was reliable in damage. I feel like that's nearly gone on pf2 unless I've missed something

It’s gone, on purpose.


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I believe that potency runes may be the way damage scales along with class feats. For me I think I will do a house rule similar to Starfinder and say anyone trained at Expert or higher get to add level to damage for ranged and melee attacks. This would be in addition to potency runes and class feats.


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Dave2 wrote:
I believe that potency runes may be the way damage scales along with class feats. For me I think I will do a house rule similar to Starfinder and say anyone trained at Expert or higher get to add level to damage for ranged and melee attacks. This would be in addition to potency runes and class feats.

I dunno i feel like weapons should get half-level to damage, with some weapons with smaller dices maybe getting full damage on the first strike of the turn.


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I could see that. Adding level is just simple solution. What you are suggesting certainly works too.


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Dave2 wrote:
I could see that. Adding level is just simple solution. What you are suggesting certainly works too.

I just find it annoying that weapons with smaller dices get so weak later on.

I mean a weapon with an d6 deals 17.5 damage at +4. A d10 weapon deals 27.5. I can understand it needs to have a difference but when that grows with a linear function there should be something to make that gap narrower.


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oholoko wrote:
Dave2 wrote:
I could see that. Adding level is just simple solution. What you are suggesting certainly works too.

I just find it annoying that weapons with smaller dices get so weak later on.

I mean a weapon with an d6 deals 17.5 damage at +4. A d10 weapon deals 27.5. I can understand it needs to have a difference but when that grows with a linear function there should be something to make that gap narrower.

The advantages of a weapon with a smaller dice are level-independent; it makes sense that the percentage of damage you deal with it in regard of what you would do with a bigger weapon also stays the same. You can't balance them with a static difference, or smaller weapons would become the only viable choice when the numbers get bigger.

If a 1d6 weapon does about half the damage (3.5) of a 1d12 one (6.5), it still does half that damage when you are dealing 3d6 (10.5) and 3d12 (19.5).
If the smaller weapon deals an average of 16.5 damage at that point, the 3 points spread you are keeping becomes less meaningful while the weapon qualities of the d6 weapon remain just as good as they were at level 1. In this scenario, using a greataxe past level 10 is a clear suboptimal choice most of the times.

Now, when you consider any bonus to damage you may have (strength as the most common example), things may change a bit.
If you have a static +2 to damage, the ratio between 1d6+2 and 1d12+2 becomes higher (about 65%); when you up the number of dice to 3d6+2 and 3d12+2, the ratio goes down (58%) disfavoring the smaller weapon.
But there are also ways to increase static damage to an extent (raising strength score is quite easy), which should offset the disadvantage.


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Megistone wrote:
oholoko wrote:
Dave2 wrote:
I could see that. Adding level is just simple solution. What you are suggesting certainly works too.

I just find it annoying that weapons with smaller dices get so weak later on.

I mean a weapon with an d6 deals 17.5 damage at +4. A d10 weapon deals 27.5. I can understand it needs to have a difference but when that grows with a linear function there should be something to make that gap narrower.

The advantages of a weapon with a smaller dice are level-independent; it makes sense that the percentage of damage you deal with it in regard of what you would do with a bigger weapon also stays the same. You can't balance them with a static difference, or smaller weapons would become the only viable choice when the numbers get bigger.

If a 1d6 weapon does about half the damage (3.5) of a 1d12 one (6.5), it still does half that damage when you are dealing 3d6 (10.5) and 3d12 (19.5).
If the smaller weapon deals an average of 16.5 damage at that point, the 3 points spread you are keeping becomes less meaningful while the weapon qualities of the d6 weapon remain just as good as they were at level 1. In this scenario, using a greataxe past level 10 is a clear suboptimal choice most of the times.

Now, when you consider any bonus to damage you may have (strength as the most common example), things may change a bit.
If you have a static +2 to damage, the ratio between 1d6+2 and 1d12+2 becomes higher (about 65%); when you up the number of dice to 3d6+2 and 3d12+2, the ratio goes down (58%) disfavoring the smaller weapon.
But there are also ways to increase static damage to an extent (raising strength score is quite easy), which should offset the disadvantage.

Without the 1.5x STR bonus and old Power Attack, this seems fair to keep Large weapons competitive. Remember small ones have other advantages that might be worth more than the extra % of damage.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Megistone wrote:
oholoko wrote:
Dave2 wrote:
I could see that. Adding level is just simple solution. What you are suggesting certainly works too.

I just find it annoying that weapons with smaller dices get so weak later on.

I mean a weapon with an d6 deals 17.5 damage at +4. A d10 weapon deals 27.5. I can understand it needs to have a difference but when that grows with a linear function there should be something to make that gap narrower.

The advantages of a weapon with a smaller dice are level-independent; it makes sense that the percentage of damage you deal with it in regard of what you would do with a bigger weapon also stays the same. You can't balance them with a static difference, or smaller weapons would become the only viable choice when the numbers get bigger.

If a 1d6 weapon does about half the damage (3.5) of a 1d12 one (6.5), it still does half that damage when you are dealing 3d6 (10.5) and 3d12 (19.5).
If the smaller weapon deals an average of 16.5 damage at that point, the 3 points spread you are keeping becomes less meaningful while the weapon qualities of the d6 weapon remain just as good as they were at level 1. In this scenario, using a greataxe past level 10 is a clear suboptimal choice most of the times.

Now, when you consider any bonus to damage you may have (strength as the most common example), things may change a bit.
If you have a static +2 to damage, the ratio between 1d6+2 and 1d12+2 becomes higher (about 65%); when you up the number of dice to 3d6+2 and 3d12+2, the ratio goes down (58%) disfavoring the smaller weapon.
But there are also ways to increase static damage to an extent (raising strength score is quite easy), which should offset the disadvantage.

Without the 1.5x STR bonus and old Power Attack, this seems fair to keep Large weapons competitive. Remember small ones have other advantages that might be worth more than the extra % of damage.

Also, a thief get to add her DEX instead of STR, + sneak (also why sneak can't be added when using bigger weapons). They just need to give "equalizers" like this to every "light" weapons users.

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