Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?

GrahamWills

Adventurer
Talismans just make no sense to me in general. I hardly understand why they even have gold prices, because you would have to be completely insane to craft or buy one.
Here's the effect of one talisman: "This knot of copper wire reshapes itself in a new pattern every time its affixed weapon deals damage. When you activate the coil, the damaged creature must succeed at a DC 31 Will save or be stunned 1. If it critically fails, it instead becomes stunned 2"

Seems pretty nice to me. Of course, it's high level, all the low level ones are basically small bonuses, but I guess I don't have a problem with having low-level items that aren't very powerful. I can see a logic that says just only list the higher level items, but honestly, I don't think I've ever expected a starting-level consumable to be terribly useful in any game in any system I've run.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
No, that to me is awful. You're talking about a level 14 item!

The Dazing Coil means the target loses a single action from a single round. That's hardly even perceptible. It's the weakest third of the monster's turn, for a single turn.

And that's not all. It isn't even automatic - the monster gets a save.

And that's not all. It even carries a fiddly restriction in that it only works of the target is flat-footed, as if there was some monumental imbalance if it could work on everything.

And that's not all. You can't even use it on the spur of the moment - you must deliberately spend time choosing this particular talisman to affix to your weapon instead of some other talisman.

And that's not all - it costs 900 gold! So, instead of going through this rigamarole you could just sell it for 450 gold. Or maybe throw it in the trash.

Not only would you then not have to write down and administer and remember to use this incredibly fiddly and minor little trifle, you could also buy every single person in the entire town a beer!

So, no, I would say there's nothing even remotely sane about talismans. Just discussing it as if there was any dimension where someone would actually go through the motions necessary* to maybe shave a third of a turn from a single monster makes me shudder.

*) To find it or buy it. To read up on what it does. To keep it. To spend time between encounters choosing it. To write down that choice! To remember having made the choice!! To do so at an appropriate time!?! To actually feel good about oneself as if it was worth the trouble!!??!! ಠ_ಠ

I would say it is nothing short of nightmare of petty fiddliness that reminds me of 4th edition in the worst possible way, and I really need to wake up now...! But maybe that's just me.
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
So, no, I would say there's nothing even remotely sane about talismans. Just discussing it as if there was any dimension where someone would actually go through the motions necessary* to maybe shave a third of a turn from a single monster makes me shudder.
OK. I'm convinced. I'll ignore talismans! Thanks for the detailed response!
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I agree. Talismans were a good idea, but they were entirely too conservative in the design of individual talismans. Really they should be as good or better than scrolls because you can only have two prepared and must spend 10 minutes preparing each one where you can just pull out a scroll.
 
I haven't really examined enough PF2 to know if this is even still a fair shot... but would that be because scrolls are for casters, perhaps?
 

MockingBird

Explorer
I haven't really examined enough PF2 to know if this is even still a fair shot... but would that be because scrolls are for casters, perhaps?
From my look throught he core rule book, the layout and feat structure has a very 4e feel to it. I cant speak for how it plays though.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Consider this:

Even if Talismans worked for a whole Encounter once activated, I still don't see how they would be more than actually useful. That is, still balanced and not overpowered, even if a Dazing Coil ends up shaving off a dozen enemy actions instead of just one!

If you ask for actual rulesy language, let's shoot from the hip and say that once you affix it, it automatically activates as soon as you use your weapon or armor. Once activated it burns out after one minute, and is then worthless. (You would probably not walk around with it pre-affixed - you would want to keep it for use in a significant fight.)

I haven't playtested it, but it sure seems much closer to something you would actually be excited to find! (Note to magic item designers: create items that make a difference so they're worth the player's time and attention! Items should be an event, not just something that gives a short +1 bonus and then everybody shrugs)

And no, I'm not suggesting any change in price. Yes, that is a massive boost in power. Yes, the point is to put it's current uselessness in perspective.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
From my look throught he core rule book, the layout and feat structure has a very 4e feel to it. I cant speak for how it plays though.
You are definitely asked to make a lot of build choices that ultimately don't matter much as a player, which definitely gives a 4E feel. (That is, I don't consider being able to use my +9 skill instead of my +7 skill to accomplish a particular task meaningfully help me portray my character and its personality. Many if most feats busy themselves with precisely that kind of "small" and mechanical boosts)

Combat and action however, seems fine. Exciting even! Combats feel quick and lethal enough to not suck up play time. (4E combat was very fun. If you upped the difficulty level enough to make your tactics during encounters to actually matter, that is. But that meant combats took so long to resolve there was too little time for story and role-playing in-between combats that it ended up feeling like we played D&D the board game. PF2 combat plays out much more like 3E or 5E, which for our purposes is much more useful)

Still playing at low levels though. (It could be that hit points increase faster than damage, and/or conditions start to hit left and right so fast it makes administering them a real chore... But we'll see if speed of combat resolution bogs down later)
 
Thats not how the activation on talisman's work, I just handed out the bloodseeker beak talisman last night, you affix it to your weapon and then activate it with a free action "evision" (which is the word they chose for 'willing something") and then it applies on trigger. Which means its not the first attack after you affix it, you can keep it on your weapon permanently and never decide to trigger it.
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
Thats not how the activation on talisman's work, I just handed out the bloodbeak talisman last night, you affix it to your weapon and then activate it with a free action "evision" (which is the word they chose for 'willing something") and then it applies on trigger. Which means its not the first attack after you affix it, you can keep it on your weapon permanently and never decide to trigger it.
I believe you are referring to attempts to salvage the official Talisman rules.

Houserules, that is.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Uh... I don’t see how that changes his description? You still have to remember to do it.
I think the intention behind Talismans and how they generally work is a good one. I think the individual effects could do with some buffs.

Basically the intent was to provide some Wizard style fun to players of martial characters. You prepare just the right effect and it helps to turn the tide.

I think if you do not want that sort of operational play just do not use them. I think they should have more of an impact, but the structural design is good.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
There's no way to say this diplomatically so I'll just say it: I think the structural design is horrible.

The game asks you to devote brain power to some of the tiniest, littlest, most circumstantial effects I have ever come across in any game.

I see no reason whatsoever why magic items must be so utterly mundane. The real question is why Talismans weren't designed to be worthwhile and powerful and attractive and fun.

After all, they could just have cost more if there was a concern over balance.

But Talismans as written? You could easily just ignore all of them and not even realize you missed out.

Because, oh boy, you aren't missing out!

Spending time to write down their names and what they do, and then select which one to affix, and remembering to use it at the exact time... For what? The tiniest shittiest pathetic little one-time bonus? With a real risk of frustration over not spotting the perfect time to use it, or finding out you affixed the wrong one and just waited in vain the whole fight, or simply by realizing you JUST missed your shot at getting good use out of the annoying little bonus there was!

No, I am personally offended by the very thought anyone is expected to bother with a single Talisman, at all.

To me the designer is giving me a giant F U sign. I hate the design with every fiber of my being.

Especially since there was no reason to create them in that way, and every reason to not create anything that whiffs of 4th edition! I truly am flabbergasted anyone at Paizo thought the implementation to be a good idea.
 
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Rhianni32

Explorer
As a GM I would love for my players to ignore these tiniest shittiest items that don't deserve the brain power needed to write the name of the item on their character sheet.

There are two economies in the game that talismans fit into.

Long term multiple levels and dozens of battles:
Why would a PC use that level 14 consumable that you could sell it for 450 gold and get a lvl 8 permanent?
They can buy a +1 resilient armor when they should be at +2 greater resilient armor (2 "steps" behind).
Or they could buy a greater staff of fire. Yeah the players got rid of that back at 10th level when they upgraded to the lvl 10 staff of evocation.
They could buy a wand of smoldering fireballs with money and get a truly free fireball that doesnt take recharging... now your 14th level caster can get spend actions to cast 1d6 persistent damage attacks once per day.

Players will be drowning in magic items in PF2.
The 14th level character on average out of a party of 4 will have based on what was given out from page 509...
Permanent Items: 15, 13, 13, 11, 11, 11, 9, 9, 7, 7...
Consumables: 15, 13, 13, 13, 11, 11, 11, 9, 9, 9...
Gold on top of the above to go buy further permanent items: 7,043 not including the other permanent items above that they didn't want.

I'm not seeing the importance of getting that extra 450 gold / 8th lvl permanent item whose power level has been outdated for several levels. If anything I see the reverse happening. In the above scenario sell your outdated staff of fire to buy 4 Grim Trophies or 3 Murderer's Knots and you use them on elites and bosses.

Short Term single combat. You get 3 actions a round. You aren't going to be spending that on low level action items. You need to be as efficient as possible with them and that is what talismans improve upon. They arent intended to be powerful and worthwhile on their own. You might as well complain that non magic daggers aren't powerful.

Now a case could be made that the 31 DC at 14th level is too low. That's different though than a horrible system that offends you that others like it.
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
So, I'm playing a rather difficult video game at the moment, and, for me, all the consumables you pick up I mostly ignore. Because they are small effect and honestly, I'm better practicing deflect + punish to get better at the basics rather than spend the mental effort deciding whether to use a Fistful of Ash on this boss.

But that's just me -- a boss I fight by practicing dodge and taking my time with, another player is blowing snap seeds and long sparks and using them. I don't really have a problem with other people caring about consumables when I usually don't. It's the same for me in role playing games. Talismans seem of minimal use to me, so I'm not excited to use them, but others will have fun getting that last possible bonus. It's not like once I decide not to bother with talismans I have to spend any more effort. I can just happily ignore them.
 

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