The price of 1 / day permanent items vs consumables


Rules Discussion

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
shroudb wrote:
my own example used the exact same amount of flying time, only better with permanents since you can break this time intervals amonsgst party members and different times in the day.
No it didn’t. You claimed a 4th Level wand was better for 10 minutes of flying (which is by no means reliable as your relying on overcharging) vs a 1 hour potion.

No one mentioned overcharging. The proposition was that you had multiple wands.


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Zapp wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

That's what consumables are good for - being that one-time expenditure that helps to patch holes in a plan.

You still talk in generics instead of actually addressing the specific concern raised.

Nobody has disputed what consumables were meant to do. The question is if the design actually meets this goal.

Ok, fine. Simple example that comes up constantly - twice during the day, a party member is put in danger of going unconscious/dying. You use up your Healer's Gloves the first time (if you even have them).

What do you do the second time?

Do you drink the potion, or do you hope that they won't die?

Does that meet the goal of usage?


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Cyouni wrote:
Zapp wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

That's what consumables are good for - being that one-time expenditure that helps to patch holes in a plan.

You still talk in generics instead of actually addressing the specific concern raised.

Nobody has disputed what consumables were meant to do. The question is if the design actually meets this goal.

Ok, fine. Simple example that comes up constantly - twice during the day, a party member is put in danger of going unconscious/dying. You use up your Healer's Gloves the first time (if you even have them).

What do you do the second time?

Do you drink the potion, or do you hope that they won't die?

Does that meet the goal of usage?

You stabilise him.

If someone falls for a second time, and you have 0 healing left in the party, it's much safer than bringing him back with no way to also somehow heal a good portion of his hp.

P. S.
I don't even feel that bringing dead people back to 1 hit range is a good use of healer gloves, except if said downed character is the healer.

They are much better as a quick "3rd action heal" to keep you/an ally from falling in the first place.

Hence why their 1 action cost and reusability are so much better than a 2 action consumable.

No one is arguing if consumables are usable.

What we're arguing is if they're worth their cost.

And at "1 permanent per 5 consumables" they aren't.


shroudb wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Zapp wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

That's what consumables are good for - being that one-time expenditure that helps to patch holes in a plan.

You still talk in generics instead of actually addressing the specific concern raised.

Nobody has disputed what consumables were meant to do. The question is if the design actually meets this goal.

Ok, fine. Simple example that comes up constantly - twice during the day, a party member is put in danger of going unconscious/dying. You use up your Healer's Gloves the first time (if you even have them).

What do you do the second time?

Do you drink the potion, or do you hope that they won't die?

Does that meet the goal of usage?

You stabilise him.

If someone falls for a second time, and you have 0 healing left in the party, it's much safer than bringing him back with no way to also somehow heal a good portion of his hp.

P. S.
I don't even feel that bringing dead people back to 1 hit range is a good use of healer gloves, except if said downed character is the healer.

They are much better as a quick "3rd action heal" to keep you/an ally from falling in the first place.

Hence why their 1 action cost and reusability are so much better than a 2 action consumable.

No one is arguing if consumables are usable.

What we're arguing is if they're worth their cost.

And at "1 permanent per 5 consumables" they aren't.

Yes, well, if that health keeps a crucial fighter conscious at an important moment, then it's money well spent. Same reason heal spells were sometimes necessary in 1E despite being suboptimal - because sometimes they're needed for you to actually win.


Zapp wrote:
The question is if the design actually meets this goal.

I think they do. If you routinely need 5 minutes of flight for the party (but no more than 5 minutes of flight on any given day), wands are a good solution (so long as you've not used any consumables between level 9-12 and saved the money to spend on your wands).

If you need to overcome an obstacle with flight before level 12 then potions of fly are a good solution.

Strill wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
shroudb wrote:
my own example used the exact same amount of flying time, only better with permanents since you can break this time intervals amonsgst party members and different times in the day.
No it didn’t. You claimed a 4th Level wand was better for 10 minutes of flying (which is by no means reliable as your relying on overcharging) vs a 1 hour potion.
No one mentioned overcharging. The proposition was that you had multiple wands.

Then you need more than 4 wands for a 4-man party which means your going to have to wait even longer than level 12 to get those wands.


Okay, so it’s mostly a difference of opinion cost efficiency i take it.

So for those that like permanent items better, what about crafting consumables for an emergency case, and if you don’t use them before then, sell them for a permanent version?


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Okay, so it’s mostly a difference of opinion cost efficiency i take it.

So for those that like permanent items better, what about crafting consumables for an emergency case, and if you don’t use them before then, sell them for a permanent version?

crafting a batch of consumables costs the same as crafting a permanent more or less.

so why not craft the permanent from the get go?

if you want to get access to an ability for 4 times, chances are you'll benefit far more from having access to said ability 1 time per day forever.


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shroudb wrote:
you can do a comparisson between magical arrows and alchemical bombs vs Horns of blasting that you can have 10 of them if you wished, and there's the issue.

I'm gonna take a look at that and see what I think of that example, and forgot to mention it to you in case you were looking for a response.

Edit to add: I've looked over alchemical bombs, magical arrows (I assumed you meant explosive ammunition in particular), and horns of blasting... and I've found items with similar uses, but different "prime circumstances" that make it so there is not a single option that is better for all characters or in all circumstances.

A horn of blasting is absolutely fantastic... but if, for example, I have a goal to bring down an army laying siege to the city, I'd rather supply the 5 explosive ammunition that price of a horn of blasting could buy to an archer on the wall than give them the horn of blasting.

shroudb wrote:
i really can't understand why so few items are invested when the trait explicitly exists to prevent permanent item spam abuse

Presumably the thought process was that the action requirements needed to "spam" non-worn items would handle making that type of thing impractical.

If you need to spend an action to put your pack down, spend another action to get the item out, and then still spend however many actions it takes to use the item, it might seem unappealing to rely on frequent use of that item.

Same is true, to a clearly lesser extent, if you are just using actions to trade out what is in your hands in the middle of an encounter between all of the stuff on your belt or bandolier.

My experience of players over the years certainly lines up with them feeling like any action that isn't a direct and immediate benefit of the type they are desiring is "wasted" to the degree that I've seen more players get frustrated by having to change weapons to avoid limitations than I've seen not express agitation while taking the necessary actions to prepare a more effective strategy.


shroudb wrote:
crafting a batch of consumables costs the same as crafting a permanent more or less.

That presumes that the consumable item in question and the permanent item that offers similar benefit are of similar level and thus similar pricing.

Invisibility potions are priced at 20 gp. An invisibility rune for armor is priced at 500 gp. A cloak of elvenkind is priced at 360 gp. Both of those cost a lot more than a batch of potions would.


shroudb wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Okay, so it’s mostly a difference of opinion cost efficiency i take it.

So for those that like permanent items better, what about crafting consumables for an emergency case, and if you don’t use them before then, sell them for a permanent version?

crafting a batch of consumables costs the same as crafting a permanent more or less.

so why not craft the permanent from the get go?

if you want to get access to an ability for 4 times, chances are you'll benefit far more from having access to said ability 1 time per day forever.

My original interpretation was that consumables were 4 for the price of 1. With that not necessarily being the case i can see people’s sour taste towards it; and am confused where Paizo wants consumables to sit among the food chain of magic items.

I’ll still prefer consumables over a bag of holding’s worth of 1/day permanent items though.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Okay, so it’s mostly a difference of opinion cost efficiency i take it.

So for those that like permanent items better, what about crafting consumables for an emergency case, and if you don’t use them before then, sell them for a permanent version?

crafting a batch of consumables costs the same as crafting a permanent more or less.

so why not craft the permanent from the get go?

if you want to get access to an ability for 4 times, chances are you'll benefit far more from having access to said ability 1 time per day forever.

My original interpretation was that consumables were 4 for the price of 1. With that not necessarily being the case i can see people’s sour taste towards it; and am confused where Paizo wants consumables to sit among the food chain of magic items.

I’ll still prefer consumables over a bag of holding’s worth of 1/day permanent items though.

exactly that (what you thought) is my proposed errata:

that current pricing is "per batch"


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

Ok, being able to nova and use 4 items in a day, is a flexibility that the consumables would have the advantage.

Being able to use a 1x a day permanent item over once a day certainly has a long term advantage as it could effectively replace may more than four consumables in as little as a week.

At first I didn't understand why some were saying no crafter would ever make a consumable, and if you had to make a whole batch, I can understand why you might see making four of something you didn't think you might have to nova on could be a waste. However, some crafters, those who are crafting to sell, are actually going to have an incentive to make consumables. If they make potions, it means more people can potentially afford one, and if they only need them in emergencies, then you may have a recurring (albeit infrequent) customer. The permanent item means they aren't going to come back to you for further replacement items in the coming years. The neighbor who buys a permanent item may well sell a charge to their neighbor, taking away a consumables customer from the craftsman who also makes consumables. Granted at that expense, it you have a much more limited audience interested in your product.

Probably the most flexible investment would be a single consumable along with a similar permanent item. If you have to nova, You have the emergency consumable you hope not to need to use, but is there for the critical emergency.

It seems like the guidelines for treasure distribution. Characters are expected to encounter one and a half consumables per adventuring level. I'm guessing that means they are expected to likely make use out of only one or so each level then. That definitely seems significantly less frequently than I was prepared to use things in the past. (and I preferred 1/day items back then too) This seems to be an intentional design plan to keep characters from being able to easily nova. That would be a consistent with the prior goal of Resonance. So I'm guessing this is an intentional design consideration for flavor.

Having said, as it is in core may be acceptable for a base, and a specific flavor, which the APs will probably follow. Then consumables (unless you have a class ability to make free-daily versions) are mostly only good for planned situations or expected emergencies. (or other situations if you came across the random consumable, you kept) For economic reasons if that is the case, I would expect most institutions should have more in terms of permanent items than consumables, since at their scale of needs, the permanent items will be far more affordable.

If one wanted to make consumables, more consumable; I really like the simple rule of making the given price be for a full batch of them. It certainly makes the costs seem more like I would have expected them, but it would make party abilities vary a bit more, allowing individual a greater range of nova abilities.

If you want to encourage people to keep consumables that are found, rather than just selling them; you could make it general practice that reliable sources of consumables generally have a whole batch available. As a result, selling individual consumables tends to net you half the normal 50% when selling. Trading/swapping others for similar leveled items may possible in some markets where there are enough potential parties which might be willing to trade for something you want.

I also have to say. I too as was mentioned before, wish that talismans had something like the overcharge mechanism so they didn't always burn up after only one use. Something as simple as first use in a day, roll a flat check DC10. On Critical Success it activates as expected, but doesn't seem s perfectly fine. On a regular success, the item cracks, it activates as expected but the item become intern for a day. Future rolls take a -4 on their flat check. Failures on the flat check, the item activates, but the talisman turns to ash.

If talismans seem too resilient that way, one could just make it a flat DC15 check, and have it inactive for a day after activating and it surviving. It would be rare, but not unheard of them being useful more than once on occasion.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
My original interpretation was that consumables were 4 for the price of 1.

This is actually true in SOME cases and not so true in other cases (see potions of fly vs wands). Ultimately they are vastly different tools which will have different situations where they are ideal. Permanent items, costing 4 times as much, need to be purchased at a higher level if you need the whole party to gain the benefit compared with consumables.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
With that not necessarily being the case i can see people’s sour taste towards it;

Unless you have to game with someone from the internet, I wouldn’t let a few internet posters dissuade you from using something at your table.


Again, healing is a special case - an adventurer is not likely to turn down a healing potion no matter its cost.

Please let's discuss pure utility items, rather than essential survival.

It's easy to argue consumables are fine based on healing, but that really tells us nothing.


And I still am curious what the devs are thinking.

After all, the ratio of 4 consumables to 1 permanent is a CHANGE compared to pretty much every comparable dndish game.

This the onus is, I think, on Paizo to explain why 1:10 or 1:30 or 1:50 was inadequate, and what the benefit of 1:4 is.

Thank you in advance.

Ps. With a 1:4 ratio you need to sell 8 consumables to purchase one permanent. If you prefer us to instead discuss in terms of 1:8 (and 1:60 etc) that's fine.

Scarab Sages

Castilliano wrote:

Side thoughts:

One funny aspect is PF1 PFS play warped how common consumables were.
It was always jarring to shift between an AP & PFS play because my PFS PCs had ridiculous amounts of consumables and my AP PCs had maybe a few found items. In PFS, warriors swig Potions of Fly w/o a second thought while I gasp. But they bought them w/ Prestige Points so they were "free".

In an AP, one guy started guzzling really pricey loot potions that would relieve a condition he had. I'm sorry, you at peak performance actually weren't worth those. You can limp.

Another AP gave out lots of expensive, but really useful consumables in part I. That was frustrating, knowing you want to use them, but they were worth more than all your other gear. And you'd better use them at the right time.

Add to that if you found a potion in a PFS scenario you might as well use it because you'd have to buy it to keep it anyhow.

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