Relics are kinda Sad ?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


So... Relics ...

At first glance the idea seems very cool. Looking over the abilities provided some are not bad. The damage of the varies abilities tho are even worse than cantrips.
Ex .. Flare bolt = 1d6 / 2 lvls. So at 10th lvl your doing 5d6 dmg once per round. Why bother ?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
orphias wrote:

So... Relics ...

At first glance the idea seems very cool. Looking over the abilities provided some are not bad. The damage of the varies abilities tho are even worse than cantrips.
Ex .. Flare bolt = 1d6 / 2 lvls. So at 10th lvl your doing 5d6 dmg once per round. Why bother ?

It's a free cantrip level attack, and lets you stop memorizing produce flame/not need an acestry feat to get an elemental cantrip as an occult or divine spellcaster.

The point is not to be better than existing options. Balance and all that.

Especially since it's a minor gift, not a major one.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

So, 5d4+5 for produce flame, vs 5d6 for flare bolt.

Ignoring that by level 10 it should have multiple gifts.

It isn't particularly worse, both have an average of 17.5 damage. The relic isn't a character gen choice and may be on a character that didn't have a cantrip option.

Yeah produce flame isn't amazing either, but it is a good analogue.

The point of relics isn't "power creep options" but magical items that expand options available to a character.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

The other thing to consider is that gift DCs and attacks are based of your Class DC OR Spell DC. For a Fighter this means you could have an elemental ranged attack that fires from your sword without having to use a feat AND you get to rely on your highest stat rather than a secondary or even tertiary stat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
orphias wrote:

So... Relics ...

At first glance the idea seems very cool. Looking over the abilities provided some are not bad. The damage of the varies abilities tho are even worse than cantrips.
Ex .. Flare bolt = 1d6 / 2 lvls. So at 10th lvl your doing 5d6 dmg once per round. Why bother ?

Fighters can't cast cantrips. Having that on a sword is OK.


krobrina wrote:
Fighters can't cast cantrips.

Why can't they? Between ancestry and multiclass feats and class they can get one.


graystone wrote:
krobrina wrote:
Fighters can't cast cantrips.
Why can't they? Between ancestry and multiclass feats and class they can get one.

Yes, but if they have this relic, they can spend that resource somewhere else.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It's basically a really mediocre backup option for characters who don't have a way to fight at ranged normally. Which is a relevant niche to consider. If you're a greatsword barbarian or fighter or whatever it can be pretty expensive to get a decent ranged attack otherwise.

I agree it doesn't make you go "Wow that's a cool power!" but that's the way it goes.


Garretmander wrote:
graystone wrote:
krobrina wrote:
Fighters can't cast cantrips.
Why can't they? Between ancestry and multiclass feats and class they can get one.
Yes, but if they have this relic, they can spend that resource somewhere else.

That wasn't the point at all: they could have both or neither but they have the option. The way it was stated is that it wasn't a possibility and that just wasn't true.


Squiggit wrote:

It's basically a really mediocre backup option for characters who don't have a way to fight at ranged normally. Which is a relevant niche to consider. If you're a greatsword barbarian or fighter or whatever it can be pretty expensive to get a decent ranged attack otherwise.

I agree it doesn't make you go "Wow that's a cool power!" but that's the way it goes.

I would've just made it "X times a day on your turn, you can give a melee strike a reach of 30, and it deals fire damage instead of its normal type"


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Strill wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

It's basically a really mediocre backup option for characters who don't have a way to fight at ranged normally. Which is a relevant niche to consider. If you're a greatsword barbarian or fighter or whatever it can be pretty expensive to get a decent ranged attack otherwise.

I agree it doesn't make you go "Wow that's a cool power!" but that's the way it goes.

I would've just made it "X times a day on your turn, you can give a melee strike a reach of 30, and it deals fire damage instead of its normal type"

Rogue cries at his relic dagger damage as the barbarian casts d12 spells.


Malk_Content wrote:
Strill wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

It's basically a really mediocre backup option for characters who don't have a way to fight at ranged normally. Which is a relevant niche to consider. If you're a greatsword barbarian or fighter or whatever it can be pretty expensive to get a decent ranged attack otherwise.

I agree it doesn't make you go "Wow that's a cool power!" but that's the way it goes.

I would've just made it "X times a day on your turn, you can give a melee strike a reach of 30, and it deals fire damage instead of its normal type"
Rogue cries at his relic dagger damage as the barbarian casts d12 spells.

I'm not following. Why would the rogue be crying?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Strill wrote:
I'm not following. Why would the rogue be crying?

Barbarians will tend to use weapons with larger damage die than rogues, so they'll be hitting harder with such a ranged attack.

It's kind of a weird and reductive criticism though because it's not like short swords don't still do less base damage than a greataxe in melee range too.


Malk_Content wrote:
Rogue cries at his relic dagger damage as the barbarian casts d12 spells.

Barbarian cries as the rogue gets sneak attack at range.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:
Strill wrote:
I'm not following. Why would the rogue be crying?

Barbarians will tend to use weapons with larger damage die than rogues, so they'll be hitting harder with such a ranged attack.

It's kind of a weird and reductive criticism though because it's not like short swords don't still do less base damage than a greataxe in melee range too.

And those character choices already have a rather balanced set of pros and cons, tying relic damage to them increases the pros on one end and increases the cons on the other. This is before we get to the fact that relics are already dealing with one of the cons two handers suffer worse from than one hander light builds, they get to make ranged attacks without messing about with hands a d using their best attribute.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

meanwhile in the backline

The blaster wizard would be playing with dirt as the Barbarian and Rogue hit more often and out damage him.

A relic that improves damage and range better apply to spells otherwise its just messed up.


Temperans wrote:

meanwhile in the backline

The blaster wizard would be playing with dirt as the Barbarian and Rogue hit more often and out damage him.

A relic that improves damage and range better apply to spells otherwise its just messed up.

Blaster wizards do suffer but he can still make people fly, teleport, blast and debuff quite a bit better than the two of them. Even if i do find wizards a bit lacking right now the price for versatility is high.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

Barbarian and Rogue Tears of Joy because it's a Teamwork Game!


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Why are people so focused on using Relics for damage?
To me the cool things about relics are that they can give new utilities and awesome abilities, to someone that normally wouldn't have access to them.
Like Feather Steps. 'You no longer trigger traps that use weight, and take less fall damage + might not go prone'
or Beast senses: ' Grants you an animals senses as long as you wear it.'
And as they write. These are JUST EXAMPLES :D
Gift to me is like the special abilities from Domains. A special treat for special situations. ^^


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jibiikako wrote:

Why are people so focused on using Relics for damage?

To me the cool things about relics are that they can give new utilities and awesome abilities, to someone that normally wouldn't have access to them.
Like Feather Steps. 'You no longer trigger traps that use weight, and take less fall damage + might not go prone'
or Beast senses: ' Grants you an animals senses as long as you wear it.'
And as they write. These are JUST EXAMPLES :D
Gift to me is like the special abilities from Domains. A special treat for special situations. ^^

For some reason people in general on the internet seem to care more about damage than anything else.

Pretty sure it's because if you're theorycrafting instead of playing, it's harder to calculate the "variables" of actual extra options, which in play, feel way better than damage.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ExOichoThrow wrote:
Jibiikako wrote:

Why are people so focused on using Relics for damage?

To me the cool things about relics are that they can give new utilities and awesome abilities, to someone that normally wouldn't have access to them.
Like Feather Steps. 'You no longer trigger traps that use weight, and take less fall damage + might not go prone'
or Beast senses: ' Grants you an animals senses as long as you wear it.'
And as they write. These are JUST EXAMPLES :D
Gift to me is like the special abilities from Domains. A special treat for special situations. ^^

For some reason people in general on the internet seem to care more about damage than anything else.

Pretty sure it's because if you're theorycrafting instead of playing, it's harder to calculate the "variables" of actual extra options, which in play, feel way better than damage.

I think it's also because combat situations are the most common type of encounters, and damage is the most common, quite possibly even the only reliable way to solve combat encounters. Other abilities are great fun and exciting... provided they actually prove useful. Damage is just the one thing that is guaranteed to be useful in every game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree with several other posters - relics are about thematic powers, and their combat powers needed to be distinct. If the damage is a half-notch behind that done by a spellcaster with a similar cantrip, where's the harm? It keeps your party's Thunder Wizard from feeling like she's being upstaged by your Concertina of Chaos (or whatever).

New relic themes and powers are bound to pop up in future PF2 publications, too, so it may be a bit too early to make a general conclusion based on a specific example.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
LBHills wrote:

I agree with several other posters - relics are about thematic powers, and their combat powers needed to be distinct. If the damage is a half-notch behind that done by a spellcaster with a similar cantrip, where's the harm? It keeps your party's Thunder Wizard from feeling like she's being upstaged by your Concertina of Chaos (or whatever).

New relic themes and powers are bound to pop up in future PF2 publications, too, so it may be a bit too early to make a general conclusion based on a specific example.

Emphasis mine

Well, that's not necessarily a given, Paizo doesn't have the best track record on providing support for subsystems. 3pp might publish stuff for it though, if your group allows 3pp.


A valid point.


Shinigami02 wrote:
LBHills wrote:

I agree with several other posters - relics are about thematic powers, and their combat powers needed to be distinct. If the damage is a half-notch behind that done by a spellcaster with a similar cantrip, where's the harm? It keeps your party's Thunder Wizard from feeling like she's being upstaged by your Concertina of Chaos (or whatever).

New relic themes and powers are bound to pop up in future PF2 publications, too, so it may be a bit too early to make a general conclusion based on a specific example.

Emphasis mine

Well, that's not necessarily a given, Paizo doesn't have the best track record on providing support for subsystems. 3pp might publish stuff for it though, if your group allows 3pp.

I think relics will get support. While I wouldn't bet on any systems going forward being well supported I think non core system altering things from the GMG will be.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Shinigami02 wrote:
LBHills wrote:

I agree with several other posters - relics are about thematic powers, and their combat powers needed to be distinct. If the damage is a half-notch behind that done by a spellcaster with a similar cantrip, where's the harm? It keeps your party's Thunder Wizard from feeling like she's being upstaged by your Concertina of Chaos (or whatever).

New relic themes and powers are bound to pop up in future PF2 publications, too, so it may be a bit too early to make a general conclusion based on a specific example.

Emphasis mine

Well, that's not necessarily a given, Paizo doesn't have the best track record on providing support for subsystems. 3pp might publish stuff for it though, if your group allows 3pp.

But Relics aren't marked as a subsystem, but rather as a tool. Same as cursed items, intelligent items, artifacts and afflictions. I'd imagine with all those items in consideration, and with how much effort they put into relics, that they'll likely see more support later down the line.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

We will very likely see those turn up in APs and Adventures.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A little late to the discussion, but IMO Relics work better in conjunction with the Automatic Bonus Progression variant rules. That way they aren't "competing" against standard magical items.

As an additional option, if eliminating property runes as well as fundamental runes, Relics become the only way to gain "magical" armor and/or weapons. Which can be something that a particular group enjoys more than the "Christmas tree effect."


Shinigami02 wrote:
LBHills wrote:

I agree with several other posters - relics are about thematic powers, and their combat powers needed to be distinct. If the damage is a half-notch behind that done by a spellcaster with a similar cantrip, where's the harm? It keeps your party's Thunder Wizard from feeling like she's being upstaged by your Concertina of Chaos (or whatever).

New relic themes and powers are bound to pop up in future PF2 publications, too, so it may be a bit too early to make a general conclusion based on a specific example.

Emphasis mine

Well, that's not necessarily a given, Paizo doesn't have the best track record on providing support for subsystems. 3pp might publish stuff for it though, if your group allows 3pp.

There were several 1e APs that used items which most closely resemble relics. Wrath of the Righteous and Mummy's Mask both did. I wouldn't be surprised to see 2e APs with relics in them as well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragonchess Player wrote:
A little late to the discussion, but IMO Relics work better in conjunction with the Automatic Bonus Progression variant rules. That way they aren't "competing" against standard magical items.

This is what I've been doing in a solo campaign I'm GMing for my wife. I'm converting Tyrant's Grasp and using those variants. So far, it has gone over really well. It has been real fun to be like "oh. that rando set of armor you found in the tomb? It is RELIC ARMOR."


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My primary problem with the Relics that we see in the GMG is that the options for your Relic types with Relics gifts seem to be missing some rather obvious choices.

There is no Cold/Winter Relic gift options which seems like a bizarre oversight. Like, I totally get that not every damage type is represented, because the Relic Gifts aren't meant to represent the different damage types, but rather different themes, but I still feel like a Winter Relic Gift set seems like it should be in the base sets.

I'd somewhat expect Dragon as well, although I imagine you could easily enough create a "Dragon" themed Relic by combining the element of the Dragon in question with a slightly altered Beast gift. It's harder to get something like a Giant gift Relic, although I admit it would be very hard to have one of those at all without stepping on the toes of the Giant Barbarian and also Giants aren't necessarily as necessary as Dragons.

Eventually I'd like to see a Poison/Venom/Toxin Relic Gift set as well, but that isn't quite as important IMO.

Dark Archive

By and large I like the relic system, even if they are largely little underwhelming on the power front.

Many gifts make themselves redundant as you increase in level, with multiple minor gifts being rolled into the major or grand. Air gifts probably being the biggest offender. This is probably just a matter of limited design space in the initial release of relics, but for now it makes some choices a little "Meh".

My group has run into a bit of a balance issue with the earth gift "Raise Ramparts", as unlimited castings of Wall of Stone has allowed my Dwarf fighter a massive level of battlefield control. Honestly, its not so bad, I've just had to adapt the smarter and more knowledgeable enemies tactics to match, and I'm happy to allow the party to mop up lesser encounters with good use of the positioning it affords.

The only issue with it is that, at the level it was accessible, the other relics we've provided aren't as consistently useful.

So far my parties relic make up looks like:

- An Air Relic Spellbook of an ancient Shory Aeromancer
- An Earth Relic greataxe of a forgotten Dwarven king
- A Shadow Relic dagger used to murder an important character in the rogues back story, given to them by a mysterious presence to seek revenge.

My champion and Alchemist haven't decided on theirs yet.


I plan on using Relics in my Fate/ themed world as the Noble Phantasms that the PCs make throughout their lives before becoming Servants, and/or looting them off Servants they kill because GRAIL WAR! SCREW YOU AND EVERYONE AROUND YOU!

Yeah, some of the powers seem lame, but some element combinations can be hilariously broken (death and fire makes for lots of dead bodies), and you can buff a given effect if it seems underwhelming in the game you're playing. Give it more dice or range, increase the + if it boosts a skill but not by enough.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / Relics are kinda Sad ? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.