That Mandatory Item Thread


Rules Discussion

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Don't think of it as a specific ritual- think of it as the craftsperson unconsciously applying the same principles that make ritual magic work (whatever those are) based on "learning what gives the best results" via trial and error.

Rituals are just formalization of "doing these things in the correct order makes magic happen."

So. . . Handwave the specifics then?

Well, magic exists in the setting as essentially another branch of physics- it's a way fundamentally to take energy from somewhere otherwise inaccessible and move it around. It's fictional, but people in the diagesis seem to have a handle on how it works. But just like you don't need a formal education in thermodynamics to make an evaporative cooler work (they had them in Persia 3000 years ago), you shouldn't need any particular insight into "how magic works" in order to make magic work.

So just like how a Bard can make time stop by just wailing on the bagpipes (and we do not require a whole unified theory of how bagpipes control space and time), it's not a stretch to think that the song a smith hums to herself when she's working the forge makes the sword especially well balanced. But just like no GM would force a Bard to use bagpipes to cast time stop, since magic is imaginary, we can just leave it to the player to explain how their magic functions. So if you want, treat "what sorts of things do you do to make the sword extra good" as an improv prompt just like you would if "how exactly does your wizard turn bat guano into a fireball" was somehow relevant.

But barring a need for specifics we can just figure out that the expert blacksmith with the magical crafting feat has figured out something they can do during the smithing process to make the swords come out magic. After all "occult magic" is kind of "the stuff we know works, but don't really understand why."

I just want to say this is a really inspired take on how this works and if it ever becomes relevant for my games I'm stealing it.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
I had the same thought. The idea of a +3 coffee cup intrigues me.

Me too. Maybe it'll make coffee not taste so rubbish...

Liberty's Edge

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Edge93 wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I had the same thought. The idea of a +3 coffee cup intrigues me.
Me too. Maybe it'll make coffee not taste so rubbish...

You, my friend, simply haven't had coffee that is properly attuned to your tastes and needs if that's truly how you feel... or perhaps you have a tannin sensitivity.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Don't think of it as a specific ritual- think of it as the craftsperson unconsciously applying the same principles that make ritual magic work (whatever those are) based on "learning what gives the best results" via trial and error.

Rituals are just formalization of "doing these things in the correct order makes magic happen."

So. . . Handwave the specifics then?

Well, magic exists in the setting as essentially another branch of physics- it's a way fundamentally to take energy from somewhere otherwise inaccessible and move it around. It's fictional, but people in the diagesis seem to have a handle on how it works. But just like you don't need a formal education in thermodynamics to make an evaporative cooler work (they had them in Persia 3000 years ago), you shouldn't need any particular insight into "how magic works" in order to make magic work.

So just like how a Bard can make time stop by just wailing on the bagpipes (and we do not require a whole unified theory of how bagpipes control space and time), it's not a stretch to think that the song a smith hums to herself when she's working the forge makes the sword especially well balanced. But just like no GM would force a Bard to use bagpipes to cast time stop, since magic is imaginary, we can just leave it to the player to explain how their magic functions. So if you want, treat "what sorts of things do you do to make the sword extra good" as an improv prompt just like you would if "how exactly does your wizard turn bat guano into a fireball" was somehow relevant.

But barring a need for specifics we can just figure out that the expert blacksmith with the magical crafting feat has figured out something they can do during the smithing process to make the swords come out magic. After all "occult magic" is kind of "the stuff we know works, but don't really understand why."

I just want to say this is a really inspired take on how this works...

I absolutely agree. Cabbage has some very illustrative ideas. The magic house he suggested as well is something i personally subscribe to very very much in a setting with regular magic and casters; i love the concept of Ebberon so much. I personally just wish it didn’t feel the need to be added to explain an otherwise simple mechanical oversight.

In the end the mechanic is what it is and hopefully it won’t clash with people that play PFS and like the non-magical +1/2/3 versions. That’s really where my 2 cents rest.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
I had the same thought. The idea of a +3 coffee cup intrigues me.

So the intelligent magic item version of that would be a +3 Cup of Joe named Joe?


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Tectorman wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I had the same thought. The idea of a +3 coffee cup intrigues me.
So the intelligent magic item version of that would be a +3 Cup of Joe named Joe?

I think that the +3 Cup of Joe would be just a person named Joe polymorphed in a cup, like Beauty and the Beast.


Tectorman wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I had the same thought. The idea of a +3 coffee cup intrigues me.
So the intelligent magic item version of that would be a +3 Cup of Joe named Joe?

Your morning cup of Joe giving you advice before you start your adventuring day.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Do we know this to be true, or it a guess?

I don't recall any mention of tools changing, for instance. With people watching the games played online and such, I'd think magic tools would have caught someone's attention. But, lets assume plus items are all magic, there's all the other crafts that didn't get a plus in anything: why can't they be really well made in the same way to draw out something magical.

Secondly, we were talking about both items and weapons/armor but when Mark posted, he specified weapons and armor. I guess he could be limiting what he said to what was found out but if that's the case, why mention armor?

Thirdly, this all goes back to a post:

Deadmanwalking wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So the difference between "a really well made sword" and "a magic sword" means less than it ever did, I feel.
This really depends on whether people can make magic swords without a specific Skill Feat, IMO. If they can, then yeah, it's purely aesthetic. If they can't, then you need to be able to make all sorts of magic items to make good swords, which seems wrong.

We've been debating the 'what if people can make magic swords without a specific Skill Feat' and the ramifications of that are. We're not even 100% sure you don't need a feat to make +1's.

AnimatedPaper wrote:
learning the rituals to make them magical is part of the formula to craft them.

So when you learn the pattern for a normal sword it included the ritual for making it +1? or do you learn a pattern letter for a +1 sword? And if you learn a +1 sword do you have to learn another pattern to make a +1 axe?

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Well, per the playtest rules if you have expert crafting and magical crafter

Well if they need magic crafter, then I have no issues. My issue would be with every weapon/armor smith getting a version of it for free.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
graystone wrote:


AnimatedPaper wrote:
learning the rituals to make them magical is part of the formula to craft them.

So when you learn the pattern for a normal sword it included the ritual for making it +1? or do you learn a pattern letter for a +1 sword? And if you learn a +1 sword do you have to learn another pattern to make a +1 axe?

The latter is my guess. My reading of of what we know so far is every trained crafter would be able to make a sword. A legendary sword smith would be able to make very very good swords, worth more than a mere apprentice (reflected in the increased money that crafter makes in their production), but as far as game mechanics goes they’re all just swords. At higher training levels, they’d be able to learn enough to make +1, +2, and eventually +3, just like how in the playtest they could make expert level swords and legendary swords or what have you. Whether they’d need additional patterns for those magical levels, I could see it either way. Maybe their understanding of swordsmithing has expanded to the point where they can craft those now, or they go out and learn whole new patterns. I think new patterns is cleaner, myself, but I’ll not insist on it.

In fact, it would be my preference that a “legendary” sword IS a +3 sword, that the item quality and magic potency are now the same thing. It almost sounds like that happened for weapons and armor, and like I said earlier I’d love if it was confirmed for everything else too.

I would also prefer if the Magical Crafting feat just...went away. That is the point where what I would prefer falls apart. I could live with it if it stayed in game, but I’d probably axe it, or make it only refer to stuff like scrolls, wands, and staves. Definitely not arms and armor, in any case, not if quality and power are now entwined.

Oh, and since axes and swords need separate patterns, I would assume +1 axes and +1 swords also need separate ones.


I’m prepared to be 100% wrong on all of this, by the way. That’s just where I’m guessing they headed based on what they said. We’ll know the details soon enough.


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As much as I enjoy arguing with graystone I have to agree with her.

I will probably do quite a bit of house ruleing to let characters make + items with skills. I like the flavor better.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:

As much as I enjoy arguing with graystone I have to agree with her.

I will probably do quite a bit of house ruleing to let characters make + items with skills. I like the flavor better.

*hug* I enjoy our debates too. ;)


Edge93 wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I had the same thought. The idea of a +3 coffee cup intrigues me.
Me too. Maybe it'll make coffee not taste so rubbish...

Somebody's been drinking the wrong coffee.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Desna's Avatar wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I had the same thought. The idea of a +3 coffee cup intrigues me.
Me too. Maybe it'll make coffee not taste so rubbish...
Somebody's been drinking the wrong coffee.

I'm sipping from a cup of coffee that would be fine normally, but I mixed in my creatine supplement, which adds a fair bit of bitterness to it. It's definitely got a -1 penalty to flavor.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Skedge wrote:

I can see it both ways.

"This sword, even though it is of normal quality has a rune etched into it making it easier to swing"

"This sword has been forged by the legendary Dwarf smith Bolthar HammerHand. It's quality and balance are superb making it easier to swing"

I will likely use both methods, at my table as both add some flavor to the game.

Maybe the first sword is owned by a young poor adventurer and the rune was etched by a friend or perhaps a wizard he helped out.

The second sword could have been commissioned by a Dwarf king and be a family heirloom given to the party as a token of thanks for saving the heir to the throne.

In a world full of magic, like the standard Pathfinder setting, the second will be even more likely to get heavily enchanted.

So I hope high crafting proficiency still adds something even if +1 is the province of magic.


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I find the idea of a master smith making magical stuff and quality reflecting magic bonuses is this. Putting magic on an item causes strain, be it heat, internally originating outward force, molecular instability, what have you. A well made sword is durable enough to handle this strain without becoming damaged (thus, only a Legendarily made sword could handle a +3 rune without facing ruin), and I also imagine that with taking the Magical Crafter feat (if it still exists) you must pick up patterns/recipes FOR enhancement magic, which is done as a ritual (you need to know HOW to do a ritual before you can, ya know, >do it<). Now rituals being weird, there’s probably no ONE SINGLE PROPER WAY to make that >fiiiiine< lookin’ sword a +1, as you’re just taking this floating essence that’s in the air, and binding it to the steel, and if the steel can’t take it, it cracks and you start over. I assume Property Rune limits are still a derivative of quality, wether that be the way the item is crafted, or the fundamental runes etched on it I know not. With all that being said, it does make my table quite sad to see the mundane aspect of “my sword was made so well it just chops you super good” go away, but that’s a fluff thing our GM has stated he’s reverting day 0 as a house rule, he’s quite fond of his Anti-Magic Shells, and doesn’t want us to get ****ed because we can’t suddenly wack the BBEG


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RicoTheBold wrote:
snip

Agreed 100%. None of my players give a hoot about weapon quality. There's only normal weapons and magic ones. Simple.


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no good scallywag wrote:
RicoTheBold wrote:
snip
Agreed 100%. None of my players give a hoot about weapon quality. There's only normal weapons and magic ones. Simple.

My players over the ages have been exactly the opposite.


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One thing I have found is that when players get really excited about a specific weapon it's usually when it's a family heirloom or otherwise has historical significance. It's much easier to justify "taking grandma's battleaxe to be enchanted than to get it reforged to be better balanced or w/e.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Desna's Avatar wrote:
no good scallywag wrote:
RicoTheBold wrote:
snip
Agreed 100%. None of my players give a hoot about weapon quality. There's only normal weapons and magic ones. Simple.
My players over the ages have been exactly the opposite.

For PF1, my players cared about masterwork weapons across a few narrow windows: when they don't yet have one, when they haven't yet enchanted it, and when it sells for an extra 150 gold and that's still a relevant amount of money.

I've tended to run a "magic items are (eventually) available if you want to buy them or craft them, because that's how economies work and the magic item economy is the main economy players engage with."

Similarly, because the non-magical item crafting time rules were so brutal, no one ever made their own weapons or armor.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
One thing I have found is that when players get really excited about a specific weapon it's usually when it's a family heirloom or otherwise has historical significance. It's much easier to justify "taking grandma's battleaxe to be enchanted than to get it reforged to be better balanced or w/e.

Those doesn't have to be different things: Masterwork Transformation uses magic for the "reforged to be better balanced". As to justification, I never had any issue with reforging.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
One thing I have found is that when players get really excited about a specific weapon it's usually when it's a family heirloom or otherwise has historical significance. It's much easier to justify "taking grandma's battleaxe to be enchanted than to get it reforged to be better balanced or w/e.

This is dependent on the table and the DM. Three instances in storytelling come to mind for making weapon mantinence/repair an interesting hook.

Rave Master - Early on MC’s Sword breaks and he needs to find a specific smith to repair/reforge his weapon; till then he’s not as powerful.

Lord of the Rings - The sword that was broken and reforged held some real significance.

Berzerk - At one point Guts goes back to the blacksmith that crafted his ‘Dragonslayer’ cause it was getting dull and needed to be resharpened.

I agree that ‘ooh new shiny’ or ‘ooh better shiny’ tends to be more easily appealing, and the annoyance of Masterwork was that in 1e a (+1) weapon did the same thing as Masterwork, and more. This was a good opportunity to separate Masterwork from Enchantment. The icing on top is that the quality and property systems still work separately; it’s just now they both count as magical. :p


PossibleCabbage wrote:
One thing I have found is that when players get really excited about a specific weapon it's usually when it's a family heirloom or otherwise has historical significance. It's much easier to justify "taking grandma's battleaxe to be enchanted than to get it reforged to be better balanced or w/e.

This is a fair point. IMO, The PF2 version at least enables this better than PF1, where a weapon pretty much had to start as masterwork to be carried on. Still, I prefer the flavor of mundane quality even if the reforging playtest concept is a little wonky.


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Desna's Avatar wrote:
no good scallywag wrote:
RicoTheBold wrote:
snip
Agreed 100%. None of my players give a hoot about weapon quality. There's only normal weapons and magic ones. Simple.
My players over the ages have been exactly the opposite.

And this is EXACTLY why both are going to be supported variants. ;P


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AnimatedPaper wrote:


Oh, and since axes and swords need separate patterns, I would assume +1 axes and +1 swords also need separate ones.

I honestly don't think this will be the case. There's indication that +1-3 will be a "fundamental rune" like the Striking runes. If this is so, then you would only need to learn how to make each quality once, since you're learning to make a +1 rune, not a +1 (insert weapon name).


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nick1wasd wrote:
I find the idea of a master smith making magical stuff and quality reflecting magic bonuses is this. Putting magic on an item causes strain, be it heat, internally originating outward force, molecular instability, what have you. A well made sword is durable enough to handle this strain without becoming damaged (thus, only a Legendarily made sword could handle a +3 rune without facing ruin), and I also imagine that with taking the Magical Crafter feat (if it still exists) you must pick up patterns/recipes FOR enhancement magic, which is done as a ritual (you need to know HOW to do a ritual before you can, ya know, >do it<). Now rituals being weird, there’s probably no ONE SINGLE PROPER WAY to make that >fiiiiine< lookin’ sword a +1, as you’re just taking this floating essence that’s in the air, and binding it to the steel, and if the steel can’t take it, it cracks and you start over. I assume Property Rune limits are still a derivative of quality, wether that be the way the item is crafted, or the fundamental runes etched on it I know not. With all that being said, it does make my table quite sad to see the mundane aspect of “my sword was made so well it just chops you super good” go away, but that’s a fluff thing our GM has stated he’s reverting day 0 as a house rule, he’s quite fond of his Anti-Magic Shells, and doesn’t want us to get ****ed because we can’t suddenly wack the BBEG

Okay, I absolutely love this flavor for magical + bonuses. Like honestly, this alone was enough to make me consider keeping + bonus magical, where previously I intended to look open-mindedly at what they have in the final book first (like with all my potential Day 0 house rules) but was likely going to Houserule to the nonmagic variant.

I'm not as sure now. Honestly I think smiths being so good at their craft that their weapons can withstand powerful primal or arcane magics AND the strain of battle may actually be more bada** than smiths forging weapons so well they strike true against their targets more often.


Captain Morgan wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
One thing I have found is that when players get really excited about a specific weapon it's usually when it's a family heirloom or otherwise has historical significance. It's much easier to justify "taking grandma's battleaxe to be enchanted than to get it reforged to be better balanced or w/e.
This is a fair point. IMO, The PF2 version at least enables this better than PF1, where a weapon pretty much had to start as masterwork to be carried on. Still, I prefer the flavor of mundane quality even if the reforging playtest concept is a little wonky.

P1E at least came out with the Masterwork Transformation spell in the APG, which was an enormous improvement over 3.5. I can't tell you how disappointed I was to make my first non-one-shot character, get excited about everything she could do and where she might go, and even draw a few pictures, only to find out that, since her signature weapon didn't start out magic or even masterwork, that it was doomed from day one to fall to the wayside for not being able to maintain relevance as the game would go on.

IMO, that's almost as bad as "Don't bother giving your character a name before level 5".


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I'm late to this thread but this is the first Playtest to PF2 change that I really dislike.

I had hoped when i saw the striking rune that it would be weapon quality to accuracy and magic to damage.

Now to decide if it's worth it to homebrew a fix.


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Bardarok wrote:

I'm late to this thread but this is the first Playtest to PF2 change that I really dislike.

I had hoped when i saw the striking rune that it would be weapon quality to accuracy and magic to damage.

Now to decide if it's worth it to homebrew a fix.

Mark has said the gamemastery book will have something about changing it back so you might want to look at it before you homebrew something.


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graystone wrote:
Bardarok wrote:

I'm late to this thread but this is the first Playtest to PF2 change that I really dislike.

I had hoped when i saw the striking rune that it would be weapon quality to accuracy and magic to damage.

Now to decide if it's worth it to homebrew a fix.

Mark has said the gamemastery book will have something about changing it back so you might want to look at it before you homebrew something.

I will. Pointing to an official variant rule is always easier than implementing your own and I'll certainly do a few one/two session games with vanilla before I start mucking with the rules too much.

I am also hesitant to actually add a homebrew rule because while I prefer the flavor it doesn't make all that much difference in play and each additional house rule is more cognitive load for the players. My Erda world guide is already 38 pages and that's mostly setting info since I don't have final rules to base the mechanics off of.

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