That Mandatory Item Thread


Rules Discussion

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So I’m guessing some people already expected this. For everyone else, you probably haven’t seen me ranting about mandatory item bonuses for a while as I was waiting on more details, but here we go.

Today on Oblivion Oath, we saw a +1 weapon. It’s a magical weapon that gives +1 to hit.

Now, that is exactly the role Expert weapons had in the playtest, but while I ranted long and hard about mandatory magical bonuses, I left weapon quality alone (and in fact I wanted to expand on armour quality) because I found the idea flavourful and positive. The idea of well-crafted items being better at their job (applied to toolkits as well) was still a very important part of bonuses and modifiers, and could be seen as needlessly mandatory, but it had that interesting component to save it, and so I was happy enough once the overlap was gone - but I was hoping it’d be in favour of the interesting part, not the bleak one.

So, basically, what happened to item quality? Was it a name issue, and couldn’t it be renamed if that was the case?

And, as a side question. With magic weapons being what likely seem to be lv2 items and thus “everyone has magic weapons” being hit that much earlier, is there still such a thing as resistance to nonmagical damage? Does this still screw Alchemists?

I’m a bit bummed. Mark, come tell me it’ll be fine.

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With expert/master/legendary going to +4/+6/+8 respectively, it would probably be confusing to have an expert weapon that only gives +1.

Pure speculation on my part, but I'm betting that +1/+2/+3 is now an item quality thing and not necessarily magic at all (i.e., I bet you can buy +2 thieves' tools and +3 healer's tools as well). Again, that's just speculation from me, though.


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Nope, it’s magical. Oblivion Oath ep.10.

And it could’ve been fine/masterwork/heroic, or dope/sick/dayum for all that it matters.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Here is exactly what Jason says, for everyone's reference:

Jason wrote:

The rapier is a +1 rapier. So that’s going to give you +1 to hit. That’s pretty much all it does. But it is a magic weapon that is +1 to hit.

Unlike in the Playtest that doesn’t add a die of damage. To get the die of damage you now need what’s called the Striking Rune. This weapon does not have that Striking Rune as of yet.

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Welp, a good demonstration of why I prefer not to speculate. :-P


Seems easy enough to house-rule that as quality, though.


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Aw, bummer. FWIW Crafting proficiency will determine the level of the items you can make, so in practice we might still be looking at experts making +1, masters +2, and legends +3. But I really liked the item quality over simple enchantments.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Aw, bummer. FWIW Crafting proficiency will determine the level of the items you can make, so in practice we might still be looking at experts making +1, masters +2, and legends +3. But I really liked the item quality over simple enchantments.

We were close to that being the case, but in the end, having a +1 weapon not be magic was considered a step too far in terms of people joining in and getting confused.

Fobok wrote:
Seems easy enough to house-rule that as quality, though.

We have a bit about that in the Gamemastery Guide, even, to make it easier!


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Mark Seifter wrote:
We were close to that being the case, but in the end, having a +1 weapon not be magic was considered a step too far in terms of people joining in and getting confused.

That's interesting. I'd have marked that about as pretty straight forward/not confusing. *shrug* Luckily, about the only difference will be things like antimagic/dispel magic type effects, so it'll mostly semantic change.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Well... it *is* easier to explain... because, in French, the ultimate explanation in RPGs is always "Ta gueule, c'est magique" (Shut up, it's magic)... ;)

Paizo Employee Designer

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Elfteiroh wrote:
Well... it *is* easier to explain... because, in French, the ultimate explanation in RPGs is always "Ta gueule, c'est magique" (Shut up, it's magic)... ;)

Or in English, "a wizard did it!"


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Mark Seifter wrote:
We were close to that being the case, but in the end, having a +1 weapon not be magic was considered a step too far in terms of people joining in and getting confused.

Since Thieves Tools +1 also give +1 to the d20 roll and are not magical I don't find it confusing at all. It's only confusing because of the term's history.

I find it a bit sad that any quality increase is back to MAGIC. I hope it's a real easy change to flavor it as mundane and that I don't need "Magic Item Crafting" to just craft a good sword.


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Even if it is a very easy reflavour change (expert, master and legendary weapons grant +1/2/3, can’t be dispelled, do not bypass resistance and do not require a feat to be crafted), it’s still one more houserule that I have to explain.

Golarion has a decent nonmagical contribution, with alchemists and gunslingers and such. Just defaulting mechanics to “a wizard made it” feels like robbing the game of what could’ve been a good flavourful mechanic, and one of the ones I was mostly looking forward to as well (ever since that first Glass Cannon playthrough a long while ago).

Paizo Employee Designer

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I've been outspoken in the past for my support of high quality nonmagical weapons/armor/etc, but the preponderence of evidence wasn't on my side this time. I think the GMG having it spelled out as a supported variant will help.


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I've never really treated +1 and +2 weapons as particularly magical, since the effect is not very awe-inspiring tbh. Some +1 weapons are like Elven/Dwarven masterpieces that were just so good they got the bonuses.

So what do high level crafters do with weapons/armor now?


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ChibiNyan wrote:
So what do high level crafters do with weapons/armor now?

Take the feats to make magic items? Or start making tools, as those seem to be able to non-magically be high quality. Maybe your stiletto is also a expert screwdriver...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That's disappointing, it was exciting to have magic weapons(/potency runes) be Really Impressive and Impactful in the playtest, and made all the sense to have modifiers based on quality especially with the new proficiency system in relation to crafting, so having magic weapons return to small to-hit bonuses seems a bit sad (especially since they apparently don't even give a damage bonus like in 1e!)

I understand that it's probably all balanced with the new math and everything after the changes from the playtest, but it does feel a bit like a step backwards.

How common is DR/magic in 2e? i.e., Would it make a big impact on play/combat difficulty if I used the mundane quality explaination from the GMG?


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Ngodrup wrote:

That's disappointing, it was exciting to have magic weapons(/potency runes) be Really Impressive and Impactful in the playtest, and made all the sense to have modifiers based on quality especially with the new proficiency system in relation to crafting, so having magic weapons return to small to-hit bonuses seems a bit sad (especially since they apparently don't even give a damage bonus like in 1e!)

I understand that it's probably all balanced with the new math and everything after the changes from the playtest, but it does feel a bit like a step backwards.

How common is DR/magic in 2e? i.e., Would it make a big impact on play/combat difficulty if I used the mundane quality explaination from the GMG?

To be clear, magic weapons that deal vastly more damage on a hit are still a thing, by way of the 'Striking' rune - it's just that basic +to hit is now also magical, instead of being a part of weapon quality.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
FowlJ wrote:
Ngodrup wrote:
Me rambling about magic weapons
To be clear, magic weapons that deal vastly more damage on a hit are still a thing, by way of the 'Striking' rune - it's just that basic +to hit is now also magical, instead of being a part of weapon quality.

Oh yes I do know this :) and I do think it's better to have reduced the amount of extra damage dice available from the weapons themselves and increased the damage you can get from class abilities etc, I just preferred the flavour of to-hit bonuses being based on item quality. It seems to me that the reversal of that change is based on it being a legacy thing, which is fair enough - I actually like a lot of the legacy things that have stayed around because "it's what people expect from the game", it's just my personal preference that I preferred the playtest change for this particular thing :)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hopefully +1/+2/+3 items will be craftable without needing a specific feat. I'm okay with Expert smiths being able to infuse a bit of magic into their creations and Legendary craftsmen should be doing that at a matter of course.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So about this Game Mastery Guide rule... Mark, reckon we can expect it to work basically the same as the Playtest version, or are there variations? I like my combat fast, and wicked high damage helps move it along. ;)


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This does sound like a bit of a step back from the playtest. I also really liked the combination of item qualities, potency runes and property runes. That was something done pretty well in the playtest. No we seem to have lost non-magical masterwork weapons and armor, which have been around since I think AD&D 2nd ed (I remember them being in the Figther's Handbook). Having Expert, Master and Legendary qualities felt like a nice expansion of that. The reduction of bonuses to 3 from 5 seems to reduce the granularity a bit as well, and the interplay between property and potency runes (if not the names) was cool as well. I do appreciate the idea of moving some of the bonuses from magic to the characters themselves, so having a fancy magic weapon or armor isn't as vital, and a high level character can still be viable with mundane gear. I do wonder how shields are going to be handled now. I thought it was a missed opportunity to have shields only as unique items. While the math doesn't support armor potency runes going onto shields, there could have been a Shield Potency Rune that increased hardness and HP of the shield (basically like the Sturdy Shields from the playtest). This would allow more versitility with shields, in that you can have the bonus you want with the type of material you want as well, and make some of the other types of shields into property runes. Why not allow Sturdy Shields made of Orichalcum, or a floating shield with durability enhancement? The interplay of quality and special materials also had some potential, even though the special materials in the playtest needed some more work. How have special materials been reworked? I haven't heard anything about them.

This might still work fine, but it's a bit jarring considering it was already working pretty well in the playtest.

So I take it these +1, +2 and +3 are probably the Fundemental Runes that were mentioned in another thread. I suppose the plus from the Fundemental rune probably dictates how many other runes you can have, and some runes possibly require a certain plus. Like Vorpal might not work on anything less than a +3. I'd guess Striking would require +1, Greater Striking +2 and Major Striking a +3(I think those were the names). Number of runes allowed might be equal to the plus, so one rune for a +1 and three for a +3, or maybe one or two more than that.


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I am dismayed that now to get fancy +hit is inherently magic as a base line, but am VERY happy it can be undone in the GMG. I do enjoy my rando "a really great normie made this blade and now it can kill gods" type weapons, like Muramasa, Caliburn, or DRAGONSLAYER! I want my "I wandered with this blade, and now because I have slain my foes with it, it is extra BA" (LIKE DRAGONSLAYER!) or "My sword has been trained with my, absorbing the strength of my prey, and now it can shatter worlds!" (LIKE DRAGONSLA-, no, like Stormbringer... that last bit started magical actually, I just wanted to mention it). I also want more weapon traits, but that's for another day and another thread, until, I will leave it with this... LET ME STAB THE DRAGON IN THE SPELLPLAGUE WASTES! I WANNA I WANNA I WANNA!


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As with all of my house rules I'll wait on seeing implementation but that said I think I'll very likely use the non-magical quality flavor.

I'll probably keep the +1/2/3 naming though, to avoid confusion with the bonuses of E/M/L.


Am I the only one here who likes the idea of magical +1's? I see it in 2 ways.

Scenario 1: As loot. Would you rather find an expert quality blade or a blade forged and then magically enchanted to become harder and always sharp? Second one sounds cooler imo

Scenario 2: Realism. Yeah yeah I know it's a fantasy game but a non-magical sword wouldn't retain it's +3 forever as it would slowly dull or weaken due to combat. With magic you can wave your hand and say it never decreases in quality


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

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.


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The interaction between item quality and rune potency was one of the more interesting things in the play test, sorry to see it is gone. The critical from a legendary potency 5 rapier was impressive; 6d6 + 3d8 + strength/dexterity bonus. Ouch!

When the CRB comes out I'll have to see what bad ass weapon I can build.


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This is probably one of those things where the opinions of us hardcore folks aren't represented among the general populace. Anyone who has played D&D but not the playtest is just gonna be like wut.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
I thought it was a missed opportunity to have shields only as unique items. While the math doesn't support armor potency runes going onto shields, there could have been a Shield Potency Rune that increased hardness and HP of the shield (basically like the Sturdy Shields from the playtest). This would allow more versitility with shields, in that you can have the bonus you want with the type of material you want as well, and make some of the other types of shields into property runes. Why not allow Sturdy Shields made of Orichalcum, or a floating shield with durability enhancement? The interplay of quality and special materials also had some potential, even though the special materials in the playtest needed some more work.

Well, we know shields work fairly differently now between dents being gone, how they interact with proficiency, and losing some of the weird flip flopping between heavy and light shield requirements.

And while I generally agreed with you on shields in the playtest, there were some pretty easy tweaks you could make. Using the standard rules to reforge an item to improve its quality and hardness seems to apply. I'm dropping a master Forge Warden for my 12th level party, for example, where a +2 Fire Resistant shield would have been in PF1. It wouldn't be a huge stretch from there to use the rules for materials to make upgraded versions of existing specific shields, like an Adamantine Forge Warden.

I feel like the page count on magic items is one of the biggest places where the playtest not being a full game rears its head, especially in light of Jason's comments on the stream about things they were always going to have in the final but deliberately omitted from the playtest. I think more robust shield mechanics feels like something that might have gotten that axe. (Hammer? Flail? Insert anti shield weapon here.)


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PFSocietyInitiate wrote:

Am I the only one here who likes the idea of magical +1's? I see it in 2 ways.

Scenario 1: As loot. Would you rather find an expert quality blade or a blade forged and then magically enchanted to become harder and always sharp? Second one sounds cooler imo

The flipside is that calling a weapon +1 in fiction doesn't feel very immersive. Calling a weapon expert quality or a true master piece in fiction feels better. A +1 enchantment

Quote:
Scenario 2: Realism. Yeah yeah I know it's a fantasy game but a non-magical sword wouldn't retain it's +3 forever as it would slowly dull or weaken due to combat. With magic you can wave your hand and say it never decreases in quality

With the more robust rules for repairing items in the field, this feels like kind of a non-issue to me. I mean I suppose a sword could eventually break beyond the point of just sharpening it or whatever, but so would bodies, you know? If anything, making a point of maintaining your weapon feels more immersive, even if it is more just handwaving that you sharpen your blade when on watch duty than actually rolling and tracking your sharpness levels.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
PFSocietyInitiate wrote:

Am I the only one here who likes the idea of magical +1's? I see it in 2 ways.

Scenario 1: As loot. Would you rather find an expert quality blade or a blade forged and then magically enchanted to become harder and always sharp? Second one sounds cooler imo

The flipside is that calling a weapon +1 in fiction doesn't feel very immersive. Calling a weapon expert quality or a true master piece in fiction feels better. A +1 enchantment

Quote:
Scenario 2: Realism. Yeah yeah I know it's a fantasy game but a non-magical sword wouldn't retain it's +3 forever as it would slowly dull or weaken due to combat. With magic you can wave your hand and say it never decreases in quality
With the more robust rules for repairing items in the field, this feels like kind of a non-issue to me. I mean I suppose a sword could eventually break beyond the point of just sharpening it or whatever, but so would bodies, you know? If anything, making a point of maintaining your weapon feels more immersive, even if it is more just handwaving that you sharpen your blade when on watch duty than actually rolling and tracking your sharpness levels.

I mean, to this day there are a few heirloom blades and other really old weapons that are still more or less functional, they've been maintained extremely well, and the ones that aren't only need a few hours of work too get them back in working order. It's not so out there that a sword sitting in a dry-ish hole for a few decades can't be put back into working order if it's well made to begin with.


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nick1wasd wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
PFSocietyInitiate wrote:

Am I the only one here who likes the idea of magical +1's? I see it in 2 ways.

Scenario 1: As loot. Would you rather find an expert quality blade or a blade forged and then magically enchanted to become harder and always sharp? Second one sounds cooler imo

The flipside is that calling a weapon +1 in fiction doesn't feel very immersive. Calling a weapon expert quality or a true master piece in fiction feels better. A +1 enchantment

Quote:
Scenario 2: Realism. Yeah yeah I know it's a fantasy game but a non-magical sword wouldn't retain it's +3 forever as it would slowly dull or weaken due to combat. With magic you can wave your hand and say it never decreases in quality
With the more robust rules for repairing items in the field, this feels like kind of a non-issue to me. I mean I suppose a sword could eventually break beyond the point of just sharpening it or whatever, but so would bodies, you know? If anything, making a point of maintaining your weapon feels more immersive, even if it is more just handwaving that you sharpen your blade when on watch duty than actually rolling and tracking your sharpness levels.
I mean, to this day there are a few heirloom blades and other really old weapons that are still more or less functional, they've been maintained extremely well, and the ones that aren't only need a few hours of work too get them back in working order. It's not so out there that a sword sitting in a dry-ish hole for a few decades can't be put back into working order if it's well made to begin with.

Certainly not once you start introducing fictional super materials like adamantine.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Edge93 wrote:

As with all of my house rules I'll wait on seeing implementation but that said I think I'll very likely use the non-magical quality flavor.

I'll probably keep the +1/2/3 naming though, to avoid confusion with the bonuses of E/M/L.

Honestly, I'm inclined to plan on allowing +1/+2/+3 Magical weapons, but I will almost assuredly also allow +1/+2/+3 Masterwork weapons as well.

Honestly, the Masterwork ones may actually be a little more expensive since as mentioned, things like anti-magic or plane-hopping might have less impact on them. [did Pathfinder have the rule that magic weapons moving away from the plane they were enchanted for dropped a +1 for each plane distanced] So a +3 sword on the material plane dropped to +2 on ethereal and astral planes, and +1 to the various outer planes or elemental planes?

Masterwork plus weapons should be create-able by greater crafting skills, and using better materials. Magic ones get their strength and sharpness as mentioned, by magical materials energized into them via the enchantment.

Masterwork weapons wouldn't overcome magic DR (if it exists) but would not lose their plus in anti-magic environments. Might actually be kind of fun to allow Dispel magic, cast in combat to potentially be able to temporarily deactivate a rune or magic ability on a weapon/armor.

I agree the loss of masterwork weapon qualities seem like a significant loss. But as mentioned. If GMG is going to re-introduce it as a potentially even recommended optional rule. From the standpoint of making item plus bonuses always magical is a definite 'simplification' from a rule standpoint.

However, does that mean they also made lockpicks that give you a +1 to pick locks also magical lockpicks. If not, I'm afraid they just added the complexity they were avoiding, but made it inconsistent, rather than consistent, which actually increases the complexity beyond having the option more across the board.


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Loreguard wrote:
Honestly, I'm inclined to plan on allowing +1/+2/+3 Magical weapons, but I will almost assuredly also allow +1/+2/+3 Masterwork weapons as well.

That's an interesting way to do it: that way you can have masterpieces of craftsmanship next to 'some wizard magic'd this branch!' weapons. I guess shoddy weapons need love to. ;)


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One thing to note: if item bonuses are a thing (like for the aforementioned +1 lock pick kit) then we can definitely have epic dwarven smiths who have been smithing for hundreds of years and who come from a long line of epic smiths who were smiths for hundreds of years granting a +1/+2/+3 item bonus that would stack with a +1/+2/+3 magic bonus. I really hope this is a thing...

I do realize that one of the things the devs wanted to do was reduce the number of stackable bonuses. Because having a magic bonus, an item bonus, a conditional bonus, a class bonus, a weapon bonus, a status bonus, an awesome bonus, a bonus bonus, a fractal number bonus and a few untyped bonuses leads to insanity. And you don't even have to add in your unworldly extradimensional Cthulhu bonus!!! O_o


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
R0b0tBadgr wrote:

One thing to note: if item bonuses are a thing (like for the aforementioned +1 lock pick kit) then we can definitely have epic dwarven smiths who have been smithing for hundreds of years and who come from a long line of epic smiths who were smiths for hundreds of years granting a +1/+2/+3 item bonus that would stack with a +1/+2/+3 magic bonus. I really hope this is a thing...

I do realize that one of the things the devs wanted to do was reduce the number of stackable bonuses. Because having a magic bonus, an item bonus, a conditional bonus, a class bonus, a weapon bonus, a status bonus, an awesome bonus, a bonus bonus, a fractal number bonus and a few untyped bonuses leads to insanity. And you don't even have to add in your unworldly extradimensional Cthulhu bonus!!! O_o

Just as a clarification, my plan wouldn't allow them to stack bonuses. Although you could have a +3 magic weapon whose fundamental +3 runes were scribed on a +1 masterwork weapon. You'd normally get the +3 bonus, but if some form of anti-magic affected the weapon it would revert to the highest remaining bonus, namely a +1.

I'm curious about the impact of impact of the potential loss of masterwork items from the perspective of armor and/or shields.


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If bonus to hit is exclusively for magic weapons again, then what effect does item quality have on weapons? Please don't tell me it's like the playtest were it is just a tax to be able to slap more magic on.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
We were close to that being the case, but in the end, having a +1 weapon not be magic was considered a step too far in terms of people joining in and getting confused.

Masterwork weapons in PF1 give a +1 and I don't remember anyone freaking out there.

It's a shame, for a while it really looked like PF2 was going to finally let characters be cool without being entirely dependent on the magic supporting them, but it sounds like someone at Paizo is a really big fan of the christmas tree effect and shooting that down.

Paizo Employee Designer

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swoosh wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
We were close to that being the case, but in the end, having a +1 weapon not be magic was considered a step too far in terms of people joining in and getting confused.

Masterwork weapons in PF1 give a +1 and I don't remember anyone freaking out there.

It's a shame, for a while it really looked like PF2 was going to finally let characters be cool without being entirely dependent on the magic supporting them, but it sounds like someone at Paizo is a really big fan of the christmas tree effect and shooting that down.

Certainly some of us are vocal proponents of something like Automatic Bonus Progression, and I mean, I'm the one who asked to get ABP added to Unchained, as it wasn't initially in the outline, so I hear you. But while many of you did agree with decreasing the magnitude of bonuses to checks from magic items, you guys as a whole were strongly against removing those bonus items, pretty much across all demographics (it wasn't just the old school players). It wasn't even close. That said, in addition to the variant for quality nonmagic bonus gear, we've said before GMG will have you covered if you want to run with no item bonus gear at all.


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I never liked the terminology of "expert" in terms of the weapon- it makes it sound like it's harder to use.

I would prefer Expert/Master/Legendary for weapons would be restricted to the formula for the item, but not the item itself.

Paizo Employee Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I never liked the terminology of "expert" in terms of the weapon- it makes it sound like it's harder to use.

I would prefer Expert/Master/Legendary for weapons would be restricted to the formula for the item, but not the item itself.

That is essentially precisely the case with the +1/+2/+3, they just are also magic.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:
If bonus to hit is exclusively for magic weapons again, then what effect does item quality have on weapons? Please don't tell me it's like the playtest were it is just a tax to be able to slap more magic on.

I think it is just gone. The crafting activity under skills didn't mention quality, just item level. With so much of the math being shifted to proficiency over items, they may have decided you don't need a low level +1 to thieves tools, weapons, etc. An expert in a skill is already +3 over what they had in the playtest. And given their goal of making magic items not needed to improve your chances or success as you level up...


Captain Morgan wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
If bonus to hit is exclusively for magic weapons again, then what effect does item quality have on weapons? Please don't tell me it's like the playtest were it is just a tax to be able to slap more magic on.
I think it is just gone. The crafting activity under skills didn't mention quality, just item level. With so much of the math being shifted to proficiency over items, they may have decided you don't need a low level +1 to thieves tools, weapons, etc. An expert in a skill is already +3 over what they had in the playtest. And given their goal of making magic items not needed to improve your chances or success as you level up...

So a legendary blacksmith and an apprentice blacksmith make the exact same sword as long as they roll high enough on their check?

I guess if that's what the people wanted...


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swoosh wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
If bonus to hit is exclusively for magic weapons again, then what effect does item quality have on weapons? Please don't tell me it's like the playtest were it is just a tax to be able to slap more magic on.
I think it is just gone. The crafting activity under skills didn't mention quality, just item level. With so much of the math being shifted to proficiency over items, they may have decided you don't need a low level +1 to thieves tools, weapons, etc. An expert in a skill is already +3 over what they had in the playtest. And given their goal of making magic items not needed to improve your chances or success as you level up...

So a legendary blacksmith and an apprentice blacksmith make the exact same sword as long as they roll high enough on their check?

I guess if that's what the people wanted...

A wizard did it...


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As Mark has said several times, we will optional rules to make quality a thing again instead. And it seems dirt simple to house rule. It wasn't like PF1 legendary smiths could get past masterwork anyway. A legendary sword has always basically been magic.

I was hoping for something else, but it is way easier to simply reflavor than it is to complain.


Captain Morgan wrote:
I was hoping for something else, but it is way easier to simply reflavor than it is to complain.

Certainly reflavoring and house rules are pretty easy, but we're being told that a lack of input to the contrary is why Paizo decided it was a good idea to make characters even more reliant on magic items in PF2, so I don't think "don't worry or talk about it" is a very good answer either.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Oh, a gap of +1 to +3 can make a big difference, but I assure you, there's no comparison between that and PF1, where I could buy a flat-cost magic improvement to my armor to gain +15 Stealth and the AC difference between magic items and no magic items for my fighter, unless he could beg for spells from a caster, was at least +16 from core alone (+5 ring, +5 amulet, +5 armor, +1 ioun stone; but more likely I'd get even more by increasing Dex with an ioun stone or stat belt, and potentially 5 more if I used a shield). In PF1, at high levels the difference was so vast that if a 5th level fighter had a 20th level fighter's weapon, armor, stat items, and other AC items (leaving aside any utility items that create giant effects), leaving the 20th level fighter with no items, the low level fighter had a very real shot at winning (I think someone on the boards mathed it out with a 1st level fighter and found that the 20th level fighter was very unlikely to hit at all but probably won just due to Hit Point disparity). In PF2, the 20th level fighter with no items will pulverize the 5th level fighter that stole all the 20th level fighter's bonus items because the character's power is much less reliant on their magic items than before.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So... I'm a huge fan of a lot of things in second edition changing from both 1st edition and the playtest version.

It's not about the fact that " you must have magic items". Not entirely I guess. My problem and I'm sure a few others that might have been misunderstood... Quality was perfect, it was fine conceptually. What we have here is exactly the same MECHANICALLY... but the packaging is absolutely ruined.

There's no longer such a thing as "an incredibly high quality but nonmagical weapon" that has benefits over a basic blade. Magic weapons and armor are now functionally ubiquitous. There's no master blacksmith creating fine weapons and armor for the party without the power of "magic". It comes off as cheap and worthless, at least to me. Yes I can always reflavour it, but in the playtest it was the default other than the fact that magic items out scaled quality. I now have to explain this to parties when I GM, and probably get questioning looks of "what's the point" or feel some twinge of disappointment as my future ifrit or dwarf has to call upon the powers of magic for what should have just been a very fancy sword unless the GM decides that they agree with me.


swoosh wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
If bonus to hit is exclusively for magic weapons again, then what effect does item quality have on weapons? Please don't tell me it's like the playtest were it is just a tax to be able to slap more magic on.
I think it is just gone. The crafting activity under skills didn't mention quality, just item level. With so much of the math being shifted to proficiency over items, they may have decided you don't need a low level +1 to thieves tools, weapons, etc. An expert in a skill is already +3 over what they had in the playtest. And given their goal of making magic items not needed to improve your chances or success as you level up...

So a legendary blacksmith and an apprentice blacksmith make the exact same sword as long as they roll high enough on their check?

I guess if that's what the people wanted...

You have to have high enough proficiency to make items beyond certain levels, so it takes an Expert, Master, or Legendary crafter to make +1, 2, and 3 swords respectively.

Not sure how that translates to making the same sword.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I just helped four players get equipment for level 17 characters for the final playtest adventure (slowly but surely, we'll finish before August 1st...and that's with skipping adventures 5&6...).

I think the expert/master/legendary items on top of the +1/+2 runes was confusing and added a great deal of complexity to selecting equipment for very little depth.

I had to look up the maximum number and value of runes for each level of quality almost every time, and even now I'm only like 95% sure on if a +4 or a +5 potency rune can go on a master-quality weapon, and I looked at those rules last night. The costs scaled to arbitrary values, and most of the treasure tables didn't address them in any way, and when they did it often felt incredibly arbitrary. Who would get a legendary weapon and only make it a +1? Why would you even get a legendary weapon until you were ready for a +5 rune, since a +4 rune had a higher to-hit bonus anyway? It was just a weird extra cost to account for that didn't add anything but flavor.

I'm also the kind of person that has had the D&D 3.x weapon/shield cost formula in my head since I was like 15, so I'll learn and do the math, it's just got to be something that can be remembered.

So I'm all for simplifying them.

And, while I liked that +x weapons did both + to hit and + to damage dice, I'm okay keeping them separate, and it makes more sense to have the +x be to hit. From a flavor perspective, I don't care if the +1 is from magic or just a better weapon, and that's the easiest thing in the world to houserule.

I just don't get how people think it makes characters more reliant on magic items than the previous version. It doesn't alter the fiction in my view, because a +1 sword has been better than objectively better than a masterwork sword for 20ish years of 3.x and Pathfinder, even if only by a half step, and that half step of just getting +1 to damage over the masterwork version always felt kind of lame for the 1700 difference in gold cost. And 2000 gold was trivial at medium to high levels, plus there were a ton of damage resistances that essentially required magic weapons, and the math rapidly fell apart for martial characters without magic items...

So even if I wanted a low-magic campaign, it looks like PF2 makes it easier to achieve than PF1. I just don't understand anyone's complaints (except flavor) on this, and "having" to reflavor things but being able to still seems worlds better to me.


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One trend I see in PF2 is "the democratization of magic." Plenty of people can get a cantrip which can become quite powerful from their ancestry, some of the most powerful magic is in the form of rituals which anyone sufficiently skilled can execute, multiclassing to gain spellcasting doesn't really make you a worse fighter, anyone can gain the ability to craft magic items with a level 2 skill feat, etc.

So the difference between "a really well made sword" and "a magic sword" means less than it ever did, I feel.

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