Esoteric Antithesis - Can we please have something easier to say?


Thaumaturge Class


I usually don't quibble about relatively minor things, but I've found this so hard to grok in my head and use in play.

Attack of Opportunity is already a mouthful, and I wish there were a more elegant way to say it. But at least you can say "I AoO the monster."

But as for Esoteric Antithesis - how do we use it in a sentence? There's nothing natural about it and I get no picture in my head!

"I've studied it! Now I use Esoteric Antithesis!"

"I've now studied the creature's flaws. Now I attach my esoterica to my implement to create an antithesis."

"I make an Antithesis."

"I oppose it with my Esoterica (Antithesis)."

Given the flavor description, I most naturally want to say "I prepare my weapon" or "I attach a charm." Other people can probably think of better words than that. But as it currently stands, I feel a real disconnect with the current terminology.

(By the way, I might have been the first commenter to point out that I had a problem with Circumstance bonus and Conditional bonus starting with the same letter during the PF2 Playtest! I don't know how many headaches and missteps were prevented by changing the latter to Status, but I'm sure it has helped!)


I had the same issue but with remembering the damn name as well.

"Exploit Weakness" Or "Esoteric Exploitation" or "Imbue Esoterica" or something would be possible alternatives.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Es-otter-ic

Ant-ith-esis

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The name is fine.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Esoteric - "intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest."

Antithesis - "a figure of speech in which an opposition or contrast of ideas is expressed by parallelism of words that are the opposites of, or strongly contrasted with, each other, such as “hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins”"


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Verzen wrote:

Es-otter-ic

Ant-ith-esis

I am concerned for your pronunciation of Esoteric.


Verzen wrote:

Esoteric - "intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest."

Antithesis - "a figure of speech in which an opposition or contrast of ideas is expressed by parallelism of words that are the opposites of, or strongly contrasted with, each other, such as “hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins”"

That definition of antithesis makes even less sense to me, given the context. Antipode seems more appropriate, if the idea is that the piece of esoterica is the pole of a dichotomy, the other pole being the target. And it's appropriately "esoteric."

I think even "Esoteric Opposition" would be easier to wrap my mind (and tongue) around. Or "Esoteric Focus."


There is one name they can use that would also likely answer a question as to whether a 1E class is returning - Bane

I guess issue is that this is now a rune

But there is something in this. A new 2e YouTuber did a review of this class and was stumbling over the words.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Golurkcanfly wrote:
Verzen wrote:

Es-otter-ic

Ant-ith-esis

I am concerned for your pronunciation of Esoteric.

Not a hard word to pronounce. What's the issue? Maybe s might sound more like a z?

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lanathar wrote:

There is one name they can use that would also likely answer a question as to whether a 1E class is returning - Bane

I guess issue is that this is now a rune

But there is something in this. A new 2e YouTuber did a review of this class and was stumbling over the words.

Link?


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I their point is that the stresses should be es-OT-e-RIC an-TITH-e-SIS?


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Verzen wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
Verzen wrote:

Es-otter-ic

Ant-ith-esis

I am concerned for your pronunciation of Esoteric.
Not a hard word to pronounce. What's the issue? Maybe s might sound more like a z?

the way you wrote it makes it sound like you pronounce it like the water mammal. When usually it's Es-Oh-Tair(like stair w/o the S)-Ick

At least that would be my guess


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It is, IMO, important to the class fantasy of this class that they have magic technobabble.

It's a class entirely about the obscure, and unusual. And also, it's fun to learn new words through games for many people.

So I'm a big fan of Esoteric Antithesis as a name. More word-salad for me please.


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The Rot Grub wrote:

I usually don't quibble about relatively minor things, but I've found this so hard to grok in my head and use in play.

Attack of Opportunity is already a mouthful, and I wish there were a more elegant way to say it. But at least you can say "I AoO the monster."

But as for Esoteric Antithesis - how do we use it in a sentence? There's nothing natural about it and I get no picture in my head!

"I've studied it! Now I use Esoteric Antithesis!"

"I've now studied the creature's flaws. Now I attach my esoterica to my implement to create an antithesis."

"I make an Antithesis."

"I oppose it with my Esoterica (Antithesis)."

Given the flavor description, I most naturally want to say "I prepare my weapon" or "I attach a charm." Other people can probably think of better words than that. But as it currently stands, I feel a real disconnect with the current terminology.

(By the way, I might have been the first commenter to point out that I had a problem with Circumstance bonus and Conditional bonus starting with the same letter during the PF2 Playtest! I don't know how many headaches and missteps were prevented by changing the latter to Status, but I'm sure it has helped!)

Given the Attack of Opportunity example ( AoO ), wouldn't EA be the most logical solution?


Verzen wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

There is one name they can use that would also likely answer a question as to whether a 1E class is returning - Bane

I guess issue is that this is now a rune

But there is something in this. A new 2e YouTuber did a review of this class and was stumbling over the words.

Link?

https://youtu.be/SXhDGfgavqw


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Now I'm just going to call it ecclesiastic arthritis. And no one can stop me.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I like "esoteric antithesis". It's a 5 dollar word way of saying hidden weakness. Supports the charismatic aspect of the class wanting to come off as an expert even if they might not be. Sort of pseudosciency.


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Lol

Es-oh-TER-ric

An-TITH-esis


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Lanathar wrote:
Verzen wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

There is one name they can use that would also likely answer a question as to whether a 1E class is returning - Bane

I guess issue is that this is now a rune

But there is something in this. A new 2e YouTuber did a review of this class and was stumbling over the words.

Link?
https://youtu.be/SXhDGfgavqw

That is me! =D


vagrant-poet wrote:

It is, IMO, important to the class fantasy of this class that they have magic technobabble.

It's a class entirely about the obscure, and unusual. And also, it's fun to learn new words through games for many people.

So I'm a big fan of Esoteric Antithesis as a name. More word-salad for me please.

From a designer standpoint that makes perfect sense.

But after having experienced it (see my video), this is my playtest feedback as a player. I found that it was a net minus, and I think the goal of using an esoteric term can still be achieved via other words (see my comment above).


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I can see that Esoteric Antithesis could be hard to say (and I suppose there might be some translation difficulties). I can get behind changing it to something shorter. Find Flaws also could have a catchier name. Does need to reflect the weird, occult-parallel, pseudo-scientific vibe though, I think.

I'm a fan of one-word verbs or other words for base features. "Hunt." "Rage." "Flurry." Dunno what they would be here. "Harrow" is a good verb, but it's sort of tied up with something else in Pathfinder. I'm also tickled by the idea that the Thaumaturge is identifying some kind of universal/otherworldly frequency between an object and their foe, and the resonance between those two things is what creates the anathema.

"Resonate" then "Harrow [with X item]."


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Puna'chong wrote:
"Resonate" then "Harrow [with X item]."

Alright, new want. I want “Esoteric Resonance” to be the overall class feature, “Resonance” or “Resonate” to be the initial action (currently Find Flaws), and then “Find Flaws” to be the subordinate action (currently EA) that creates/finds a weakness.


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Antithesis, in addition to its meaning in rhetoric, also means opposition or opposite. However, the Esoterica Antithesis ability is about exploiting a known or extrapolated weakness. The esoterica used will have an opposite theme, but the weakness is innate in the target. Yes, antithesis is the wrong word. Esoteric is just an adjective to emphasize that the thaumaturge uses their esoterica. That is redundant.

I looked through a thesaurus and found a short, dynamic word that fits: Defy. It could be used as, "I defy your tyranny with this chain, broken in a slave's escape to freedom," or "My blessed blade defies your evil, oh demon."

If someone wants more syllables, then Esoteric Defiance is an exotic name that easily lends itself to the verb defy.

Fortunately, in my experience with the PF2 playtests, the Paizo developers are good about replacing complicated names with shorter names. The playtest summoner's focus spells were called conduit spells and the published summoner's focus spells are link spells.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:
"Resonate" then "Harrow [with X item]."
Alright, new want. I want “Esoteric Resonance” to be the overall class feature, “Resonance” or “Resonate” to be the initial action (currently Find Flaws), and then “Find Flaws” to be the subordinate action (currently EA) that creates/finds a weakness.

I have been privately geeking out over the notion that the Thaumaturge might have this bag of odd things that don't quite fit anywhere, and when they see a monster they grab something in their bag or off their tool belt that's sort of humming or pulsing in a way only they pick up on. Then they use that last bit of their own magic to convince the universe, jam the puzzle piece into place, and WHAM!

Like the idea that everything in existence has its sort of opposite pseudonatural resonant frequency, which may not actually exist as an object but that the Thaumaturge can coax into being out of items the universe or Astral Plane considers somewhat similar, is kinda rad to me.

But that's my own thing, and why I like "resonate." Plus the 1e Occultist callback.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:
"Resonate" then "Harrow [with X item]."
Alright, new want. I want “Esoteric Resonance” to be the overall class feature, “Resonance” or “Resonate” to be the initial action (currently Find Flaws), and then “Find Flaws” to be the subordinate action (currently EA) that creates/finds a weakness.

I could get behind this, mostly because in my head canon, the way Esoterica works in some instances is not always because the object is making contact, such as when attaching them to a sword before a strike, but because the objects anithetical nature to that of the opposing creature creates a sort of disruptive resonance between the two, which causes the damage.

I like it.

That said, I also like Esoteric Antithesis. So I'd like it to remain in some context, even if not a base part of the class.

EDIT: I defiently did not read Puna'chong's post before my own. But 100% yes.


Another vote for Ecclesithurgical arthritiatus! Seriiously though I like Esoteric Antithesis as a name. I can see Rot Grub’s point in the OP as to the problems with how to narratively use it, and the verisimilitudinous void of saying “Find Flaws worked… I EA it”.

But I’d rather keep it as is. It totally fits the theme of the class.


It feels *too* much like the Thaum is trying to fake intellectualism instead of either being it or just using raw Charisma. Like, it's a 10/10 on a scale and should be closer to an 8/10.

I also think Esoteric Resonance sounds better. It flows well, sounds cool, and feels more connected to Charisma as a force rather than Charisma trying to pretend to be Intelligence.


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Golurkcanfly wrote:
It feels *too* much like the Thaum is trying to fake intellectualism instead of either being it or just using raw Charisma. Like, it's a 10/10 on a scale and should be closer to an 8/10.

Well that’s not exactly a huge deviation 8/10 vs 10/10. I’m not sure what you mean by “faking intellectualism”?

Golurkcanfly wrote:
I also think Esoteric Resonance sounds better. It flows well, sounds cool, and feels more connected to Charisma as a force rather than Charisma trying to pretend to be Intelligence.

The usefulness of Resonance is that regardless of its connection to Charisma, it connects also to items/trinkets etc (see weird small bag) and moreover is more applicable to a multitude of both penalties to the enemy (in damage etc), but also opens up buffs to the Thaumaturge and/or their allies.

Can’t believe after how hard I argued against Resonance in the playtest I’m saying it could work here…as a name, though. (Not a whole tacked on subsystem for all characters to have to interact with…quick caveat. Whew.)


OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
It feels *too* much like the Thaum is trying to fake intellectualism instead of either being it or just using raw Charisma. Like, it's a 10/10 on a scale and should be closer to an 8/10.

Well that’s not exactly a huge deviation 8/10 vs 10/10. I’m not sure what you mean by “faking intellectualism”?

Golurkcanfly wrote:
I also think Esoteric Resonance sounds better. It flows well, sounds cool, and feels more connected to Charisma as a force rather than Charisma trying to pretend to be Intelligence.

The usefulness of Resonance is that regardless of its connection to Charisma, it connects also to items/trinkets etc (see weird small bag) and moreover is more applicable to a multitude of both penalties to the enemy (in damage etc), but also opens up buffs to the Thaumaturge and/or their allies.

Can’t believe after how hard I argued against Resonance in the playtest I’m saying it could work here…as a name, though. (Not a whole tacked on subsystem for all characters to have to interact with…quick caveat. Whew.)

Esoteric Antithesis sounds like TV-show "fake jargon" that sounds like it's trying too hard to sound smart just by being awkward to say. I think it's the extra syllable and repeating the same phonemes.

While Esoteric Resonance rolls off the tongue better and sounds more like what someone would actually name something in-universe.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think the point is the Charisma is trying to be Intelligence; or Wisdom for that matter, since Religon and Nature rely on that as their Ability. I think it's just a matter of where the source of information is coming from. Intelligence implies learned knowledge, such as through books and education; Wisdom often implies faith and intuition. I think the story they are trying to imply through Charisma is that their knowledge is more through stories and word of mouth. I don't necessarily think there is anything wrong with a Class substituting an Ability for a Skill, especially when it ties to their theme and Key Ability, and it prevents them from having to maintain multiple Ability Scores to enable proper use. I think the Charisma substitute is fine here and makes sense. There are plenty of examples of utilizing alternative Abilities for various things in-game. This isn't any different.

That said, I do feel as if Esoteric Lore needs to be baked into the Class. Still allow for the Skills to be used if you want to make a character who specializes in one or the other, but have Esoteric Lore be broader and maybe unreliable.

But that isn't topical here. Just thought I'd throw it out.


Golurkcanfly wrote:
Esoteric Antithesis sounds like TV-show "fake jargon" that sounds like it's trying too hard to sound smart just by being awkward to say.

Sure. And if the tatterdemalion wizadythurge person wanders into your fleabitten settlement and starts throwing about big words that mean something rather simple…its gonna impress a lot of people. It might turn some people off, but they’ll likely pipe down when the little bag of power with the big name defeated the shrub drake plaguing the town…’s hedges.


I’m still slavering over the apparent interactions of Resonance over Antithesis…


Ly'ualdre wrote:

I don't think the point is the Charisma is trying to be Intelligence; or Wisdom for that matter, since Religon and Nature rely on that as their Ability. I think it's just a matter of where the source of information is coming from. Intelligence implies learned knowledge, such as through books and education; Wisdom often implies faith and intuition. I think the story they are trying to imply through Charisma is that their knowledge is more through stories and word of mouth. I don't necessarily think there is anything wrong with a Class substituting an Ability for a Skill, especially when it ties to their theme and Key Ability, and it prevents them from having to maintain multiple Ability Scores to enable proper use. I think the Charisma substitute is fine here and makes sense. There are plenty of examples of utilizing alternative Abilities for various things in-game. This isn't any different.

That said, I do feel as if Esoteric Lore needs to be baked into the Class. Still allow for the Skills to be used if you want to make a character who specializes in one or the other, but have Esoteric Lore be broader and maybe unreliable.

But that isn't topical here. Just thought I'd throw it out.

More than just Esoteric Lore being built into the class, I think by default it should have an even better "minimum proficiency" when it comes to Recall Knowledge checks with Find Flaws if it is going to remain a Recall Knowledge checks (which, imo, it shouldn't with the current flavor). Esoteric Lore is behind by a lot for a good chunk of the class's lifespan.


OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
I’m still slavering over the apparent interactions of Resonance over Antithesis…

It means you can have more abilities that get better if Resonance is active without it feeling weird.

Like why would simply having the weakness of that Werewolf make your Chalice work better in combat? It doesn't.

But having something that grants overall power to you would make sense to buff the Chalice. Though that flavor itself gets kinda weird if the damage boost remains as creating a weakness rather than adding damage.


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Oh man, stoked other people like Resonance too!

To me it helps explain how the Thaumaturge could have a bag of knicknacks, anywhere from a heel of hardtack from the 5th crusade to the pinkybone of a lich, which they rummage through. It's not that they've researched what the thing is weak to ahead of time, but their Esoteric Lore helps them pick out the items that have some broader resonance that they can then match to their enemies ad hoc.

It also feels to me like it helps place the Thaumaturgist between the traditions. In addition to resonant items I like the idea that they operate between the traditions, in a liminal space where things just don't... quite... fit... into a tradition.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Golurkcanfly wrote:
But having something that grants overall power to you would make sense to buff the Chalice. Though that flavor itself gets kinda weird if the damage boost remains as creating a weakness rather than adding damage.

I still advocate adding more EA type actions with different effects. Heck, tie them directly to your implement, so that each Thaum with a different set has different options to pick from.

Which...hmm. I notice the PF1 inquisitor had 9 options for their Judgment ability. How very convenient.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Golurkcanfly wrote:
But having something that grants overall power to you would make sense to buff the Chalice. Though that flavor itself gets kinda weird if the damage boost remains as creating a weakness rather than adding damage.

I still advocate adding more EA type actions with different effects. Heck, tie them directly to your implement.

Which...hmm. I notice the PF1 inquisitor had 9 options for their Judgment ability. How very convenient.

I do think distinct EA-like actions for each Implement would be too much clutter. Maybe if they just had a small bit that says "When you EA a creature, apply X condition"

What I do think would be a better idea would just be that each Implement has a use without EA, and then gets better while EA is active. So, the current Amulet could give half resistance without EA, but the current resistance with EA. Weapon could give a regular AoO, since the EA benefit would be the extra damage. Wand would just need to apply the EA damage as well. Lantern is weird, but indirectly interacts with EA's current form by giving a boost to your RK roll.

Chalice (and Lantern should Recall Knowledge be dropped from EA) is the one where it could get a little harder to find a good way to do something like that.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

That seems like even more clutter to be honest, but I'm not married to the idea of tying more EA type actions to implements. The description of Esoterica suggests that there are other Flaws you can find besides the ability to apply weakness, but we only get improvements to that one. I would like more. Being able to lower a creature resistance seems like an obvious option. Or disrupt healing. Or using Cha as your attack roll or damage roll modifier.

Though I do agree on the wand benefiting from EA.


AnimatedPaper wrote:

That seems like even more clutter to be honest, but I'm not married to the idea of tying more EA type actions to implements. The description of Esoterica suggests that there are other Flaws you can find besides the ability to apply weakness, but we only get improvements to that one. I would like more. Being able to lower a creature resistance seems like an obvious option. Or disrupt healing. Or using Cha as your attack roll or damage roll modifier.

Though I do agree on the wand benefiting from EA.

If CHA was part of the attack or damage roll, it might be a bit too close to the Investigator's Devise a Stratagem, which is why I think they're a bit worried about it.

I think it'd be cool if they do that though, but just need a smidge more differentiation between it and Devise a Stratagem.

As for Implements benefiting from EA, it's just a small text change for half of the Implements, and is certainly less text than new EA-like abilities outright.

Sovereign Court

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"I use Anti on the critter"

What's so hard to say about that?


Or “I use Antithesis”…


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When I was like 9 years old reading the original Fiend Folio, I learned a whole bunch of words (with weird guesses at how to pronounce them) so I figure pushing the line on obscure words is a good thing in a game like this.

I have the opposite problem reading the Psychic, as there was a point where "Amp" no longer looked like a word.


Haha I failed saying Antithesis a lot.
I ended up going EsoAnti. Or Custom Shot.


I, too, have trouble saying Antithesis. I know it is pronounced Ann Tith Eh Sis.

But my eye wants to break off the Anti prefix into Auntie Thesus, but really the prefix is "an." The etymology of the word describes its origins as built from the Greek words anti + tithenai + sis and first seen in 1529 AD. Tithenai means "to set down, set in place." Adding anti- for "not" means "to not set in place, to oppose." The -sis ending turns the verb "oppose" into the noun "opposition." The anti was shortened to an, the tithenai was shortened to tith-e, and the sis remained sis, so the second syllable of antithesis is tith.


@Mathmuse - I wouldn’t care if you said Auntie-Thesis instead of Ant-Ith-Essiss. That’s a small thing. Where I grew up, everyone said Paladin to rhyme with Aladdin. Puh-Lad-in. Imagine my surprise when I first heard Palad-in. I on purpose spell Sorceror like that because it looks more olde worlde,…


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I would like to call it hypothesizing an antithesis to the creature, however hypothesis implies a lack of certainty that should be tied to a die roll. Thus the hypothesizing should be tied to the action currently called find flaws.

Grand Lodge

When I was a kid, the first time I ever heard the word "Esoterica", was as the name of a cosmetic fade cream for age spots. I'm 59 and it still sticks with me. Ah well.

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