Weaknesses that aren't weaknesses


Thaumaturge Class


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For better or for worse there are quite a few creatures that instead of having a weakness instead have resistance to all damage that is bypassed by specific thing. For example, ghosts are very resistant to damage unless it is from a ghost touch weapon, force, or positive. I've dealt this annoying distinction as I have GMed for an Oracle who repeatedly used Visions of Weakness on these sorts of creatures and got little helpful information until I decided to let them know what would bypass resistance when appropriate.

I feel like a Thaumaturge should be good at fighting ghosts on the fly as much as they are versus things with weaknesses, and I feel like these wide resistances that are bypassed by specific things are thematically very much a weakness. I don't know if it should be a separate feat or what, but I think this should be covered by the class somewhere.


Applying a weakness is still helpful as long as you bypass the resistance with 1 point of damage, I don’t think it’s much of an issue.


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I had a similar thought with Golems. Golem Antimagic isn't a weakness, but conceptually the harmed by condition represents something the golem is weak against, and Thaumaturge doesn't interact with it unless they have the right wand implement. Mechanically might not be a problem since they add weakness to whatever they fight, but conceptually a bit odd.


I feel a caster style "lower the target's resistance by X" style feat feels appropriate for this


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Alchemic_Genius wrote:
I feel a caster style "lower the target's resistance by X" style feat feels appropriate for this

I agree.

The Immunities, Weaknesses, and Resistances section of the Tools chapter of the Gamemastery Guide has a nice explanation of the roles of weaknesses versus resistances on a creature,

Gamemastery Guide, page 64 wrote:
The combination of more HP and a weakness has a different feel from standard HP with resistances. If the creature being an impervious tank really fits its theme, use a resistance with an exception, such as “physical 5 (except silver).” If, however, it makes more sense for normal hits to get through and the creature to simply have great staying power, use more HP and a weakness. Skeletons and zombies are a good example of the difference between these styles. Skeletons have resistances because they’re bony and hard to hurt. Zombies, on the other hand, have more HP and a weakness to slashing damage—they’re tougher, but their bodies aren’t built to deflect weapon attacks, and slashing attacks can rip them up quickly.

The choice between weaknesses and resistance in creature design is flavor more than outcome. So why leave weaknesses but not resistances and immunities vulnerable to Esoteric Antithesis?

I would love a fight between a red dragon and a thaumaturge that went as follows:
RED DRAGON: You lost your bow and I am above your reach. I shall burn you at my leisure with my breath.
THAUMATURGE: I know magic, you blazing idiot. I have a lovely Esoteric Cantrip. (Imaginary feat that lets him learn a cantrip and apply Esoteric Antithesis to it. His other imaginary feat lets him reduce immunities and resistances via Esoteric Antithesis.)
RED DRAGON: I have seen you cast Produce Flame. That cantrip is useless. I am immune to fire.
THAUMATURGE: Immune to ordinary fire, you mean. Pumice stone can make Produce Flame more than ordinary. Feel the heat of a volcano! (casts esoteric Produce Flame.)
RED DRAGON: It burns!


I had this weirdness in a game. Fought a golem like thing.
Most of the time I still did no damage due to Hardness (I assume the GM meant Resistances) of the creature eating through my normal damage. WHich meant it didn't do enough sometimes to trigger the "forced weakness 2+1/2lv" effect.

Kind of reminded me of my poisoner.

Sort of wish there was clearer verbage in terms of interactions with odd corner cases. Though


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Paradozen wrote:
I had a similar thought with Golems. Golem Antimagic isn't a weakness, but conceptually the harmed by condition represents something the golem is weak against, and Thaumaturge doesn't interact with it unless they have the right wand implement. Mechanically might not be a problem since they add weakness to whatever they fight, but conceptually a bit odd.

It does sort of feel like the thaumaturge should be able to trigger the harmed by, although that's an awful lot of damage to tack onto every strike, especially if you rule they don't need to land a hit but simply target the golem.

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