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  • Adaptable Power Modifier

    Can anyone explain to me the rationale behind the recent changes to the Adaptable Caster edge and the Adaptable modifier? It seems quite overpowered to be able to change the trapping of a spell for a mere +1 pp, especially compared to price of an edge.
    Am I missing something here?

  • #2
    Where is this Adaptable modifier? I'm having trouble finding it in the PDF.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's been left out, accidentally I would assume, from the current version of the pdf.

      Comment


      • stadi
        stadi commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, seems like that, the Adaptable Caster edge is still there and the power modifier is missing, not as mentioned in the changelog.

    • #4
      If it will really be changed in the next version, I'm not against this, I actually like it. Most of the time a different trapping doesn't make a lot of difference. I probably wouldn't spend an edge or get them as a new power just for this as it's 99% of the time only cosmetics. On the other hand, cosmetics might be cool, and when you want to do it, or you really need that new trapping, every caster can do it for 1 PP. I like this change.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by stadi View Post
        Most of the time a different trapping doesn't make a lot of difference. I probably wouldn't spend an edge or get them as a new power just for this as it's 99% of the time only cosmetics. On the other hand, cosmetics might be cool, and when you want to do it, or you really need that new trapping, every caster can do it for 1 PP. I like this change.
        But don't trappings also cover types of damage such as fire, cold, acid etc.? That would make such a modifier extremely potent while being also ridiculously cheap.
        Am I wrong?

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by Ace_McJack View Post
          But don't trappings also cover types of damage such as fire, cold, acid etc.? That would make such a modifier extremely potent while being also ridiculously cheap.
          Am I wrong?
          I'm kind of torn on this. On the one hand, if this is a general Modifier anyone can do, it makes it very easy to always be able to adapt damage spells to a creature's vulnerability or overcome it's resistance/immunity.

          On the other hand, given the far more limited number of powers characters know in SW vs PF, building a character's powers around a theme (which is totally reasonable) - all fire trappings for a draconic sorcerer, for example - can leave the character somewhat screwed in a fight against fire resistant/immune opponents. If the ability to switch trappings is locked behind an Edge, it turns that Edge into a "must-have" feature.

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by Ace_McJack View Post
            But don't trappings also cover types of damage such as fire, cold, acid etc.? That would make such a modifier extremely potent while being also ridiculously cheap.
            Am I wrong?
            I don't know what the encounters are like in Pathfinder, but as long as you play "human centric" or use general fantasy tropes like human, goblin, ork etc enemies, those don't have any resistances, so the trappings don't mean anything. For those (I guess) rare monsters that have fire or cold resistances this is an advantage, but it costs an extra PP. I don't think you build characters extra for those situations, so this simply means that the casters won't be completely useless for an extra prive. I'm fine with it.

            Comment


            • stadi
              stadi commented
              Editing a comment
              I like my worlds (fantasy included) to be logical and realistic. That means that magic should be logical as well, and should follow its own rules (good examples are The Wheel of Time or Sanderson's works). I know that D&D and PF worlds are generally not compatible with this idea, but I'm still looking for this all the time.

            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              stadi Apologies, your reply slipped under the radar and I didn't see it until just now.

              If they could create silver, they could probably create gold as well, and that would ruin the economy. They could probably create other material as well, like casting buildings, walls, etc, so we'd end up in a completely different world. Like "The Age of Legends" (golden age) of The Wheel of Time.
              Um, there ARE spells that create buildings and stuff. But in general, I mostly agree with you. It WOULD wreck the economy, and that's why the whole DnD world-building is stupid AF... magic is so ubiquitous, so powerful, yet half the world live like peasants. There's no real logic behind it, but then... there's not supposed to be. It's just a silly, light-hearted game.

              Even if you'd allow it, it would probably be one of the highest level of spells.
              Why? Because the laws of magic somehow care that civilization has arbitrarily based its economy around precious metals?
              Actually...
              **looks at the dozens of powerful spells that require a GP sacrifice**
              ... um, yeah. I guess the laws of magic DO care. LOL

              Again, the world-building is stupid, and the mechanics/rules are based around game balance, not logic. A "silver shard" Trapping is just a cool way to flavor a spell. As Boones101 points out, maybe require a monetary sacrifice of some sort. It'd be like the Coin Toss attack in the Final Fantasy games. And you can always rule that shards are temporary, dissolving back into the aether as the magic fades.

              All the trappings are usually elemental effects and similar non-material things.
              Metal is not "elemental"?
              Would you allow an "iron spikes" Trapping? How is silver any different except for it rarity?

              I don't know if something like this is defined in Pathfinder somewhere. Or if there is simply a "silver bolt". It would probably make sense to define it somewhere what is possible with magic and what is not.
              If a wizard change a power's Trapping in order to exploit a troll's fire weakness, or a magmin's cold weakness, why not a werewolf's silver weakness?

            • stadi
              stadi commented
              Editing a comment
              @Deskepticon

              Why? Because the laws of magic somehow care that civilization has arbitrarily based its economy around precious metals?
              This would again only make sense if the world / magic system was logical, but it isn't. So in a logical world if you could create gold at a low level, gold wouldn't be worth a lot, you would definitely not base your economy around it.

              Metal is not "elemental"?
              I meant "elemental effects" (but you are right, I did not really elaborate), and by that I meant fire creates heat, so firebolt and fire balls could be not actually elemental fire manifested, but it's effects, so in this case heat as strong that it looks / feels like fire. Also ice is not manifested ice but cold that condensates water from the air and freezes that and thus creating pieces of ice. Air would be the movement of air. Well, earth gets more complicated. I don't know what the effects of earth could be other than creating material. Maybe effecting existing material? Of course you'd have to look what the "elements" of the world we are speaking are and if it's normal to manifest those elements (maybe even just temporary) or only their effects.

              So yes, I wouldn't allow spells that create material (at least in lower levels) only ones that effect materials. But that's just me. Golarion and Faerun are not my worlds, so this is just me philosophizing.

          • #8
            Originally posted by Oneiros View Post

            I'm kind of torn on this. On the one hand, if this is a general Modifier anyone can do, it makes it very easy to always be able to adapt damage spells to a creature's vulnerability or overcome it's resistance/immunity.

            On the other hand, given the far more limited number of powers characters know in SW vs PF, building a character's powers around a theme (which is totally reasonable) - all fire trappings for a draconic sorcerer, for example - can leave the character somewhat screwed in a fight against fire resistant/immune opponents. If the ability to switch trappings is locked behind an Edge, it turns that Edge into a "must-have" feature.
            Being torn on that is how I feel, and it's also how I feel about the "Selective" modifier introduced in SWADE. Having selective as a default option means that casters with area-effect attacks/debuffs don't have to worry about friendlies in the blast radius. Just spend an extra PP and everything is all good. I remember back in D&D 3.5, the only way to do this was through the Archmage prestige class. That class had some pretty stringent requirements and you had to be really high level before you could access it. It's obviously useful to be able to cast selective spells, but it also takes away a huge tactical element of the game. It changes the decision from coordinating actions and where to place the point of origin into "can I afford 1 extra PP or not?"

            Comment


            • Donald Schepis
              Donald Schepis commented
              Editing a comment
              I think it's come up twice so far across three books of Rise of the Runelords? Maybe more, but I only remember it coming into play twice.

          • #9
            We talked about the reasoning behind the inclusion of the new power modifier and the design behind the changes to spellcasting in Savage Pathfinder on this week's Design Corner. I don't remember when exactly, I think in the back half of the episode.

            Comment


            • #10
              I've been thinking, can you combine this with Cantrips? So let's say you have firebolt, but want to use a Cantrip to freeze something. You spend 1PP to change the trapping of Bolt to ice and use it as a Cantrip.

              Comment


              • Donald Schepis
                Donald Schepis commented
                Editing a comment
                That's not a bad idea. There might be a more elegant way to bake that into the cantrip rules instead of allowing a single modifier to be used with them.

            • #11
              Starts at 1:02 in the video. I just watched to see what was said, but tbh y'all didn't say much about it. You basically just stated why Trappings matter, but didn't touch on why it was going from an Edge to a Modifier.

              Comment


              • #12
                Originally posted by pkitty View Post

                Starts at 1:02 in the video. I just watched to see what was said, but tbh y'all didn't say much about it. You basically just stated why Trappings matter, but didn't touch on why it was going from an Edge to a Modifier.
                So the argument is "Trappings matter! Anyway it's 1pp to ignore Trappings as soon as they're inconvenient."?

                I've always liked the SWADE Wizard Edge; the ability to swap trappings on the fly seems like something that not everybody should be able to do, and reflects a level of magical understanding that I don't see as the default assumption. If you're, say, a fire mage, that SHOULD be great when you're getting free extra damage on white dragons but suck when you're trying to fight a bunch of salamanders. That's what you signed up to be when you picked fire for all your Power Trappings. If you can stop being a fire mage as soon as it's inconvenient, that choice doesn't matter at all.

                I don't see this benefitting any kind of character concept; it literally seems like a change borne out of minor player inconvenience because there were consequences for their choices. Isn't consequences for their choices the whole point of roleplaying?

                The other way to do that is to have Edges based on Trappings, so if you're a fire mage you take the Pyromancer Edge, and any power you cast with a fire trapping gets some cool bonus like setting people on fire for free or whatever.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Originally posted by pkitty View Post
                  Starts at 1:02 in the video. I just watched to see what was said, but tbh y'all didn't say much about it. You basically just stated why Trappings matter, but didn't touch on why it was going from an Edge to a Modifier.
                  Oh, I swore we talked about the reasoning behind it! It's primarily so that players can use different trappings to mimic a wider range of spells they'd have access to in Pathfinder. For example, it's trivially easy in Pathfinder for a spellcaster to have Magic Missile and Acid Arrow as spells. But in our game, you're basically locked into one and don't get to use the other besides in a narrow set of circumstances. By making it a Power Modifier, folks will be able to get a bigger bang for their buck.

                  And in our Rise of the Runelords playtest, it's come up something like three times across four books. So it doesn't feel like a big power boost to give all of the arcane backgrounds that ability.

                  ​​​​​

                  Originally posted by SteelDraco View Post
                  ...the ability to swap trappings on the fly seems like something that not everybody should be able to do, and reflects a level of magical understanding that I don't see as the default assumption...
                  That's a fair point in SWADE or one of our other settings, but go crack open the spell list on a Pathfinder caster. That level of magical proficiency is the default assumption, which is why we're doing this.

                  Comment


                  • pkitty
                    pkitty commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks for going into the reasoning!

                  • ScowlingDragon
                    ScowlingDragon commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I find spellcasters not being bound by theme is a FAILURE of Pathfinder. Not a strength. I don't think its a benefit to emulate that and make any monster weakness/ resilience a +1 PP speedbump.

                • #14
                  Maybe implement something that if the caster changes the trapping to exploit a weakness, the enemy gets an opposing smarts or spirit roll to cancel the new trapping effect. This would make a larger "speedbump" to overcome. It still costs an additional PP to attempt.

                  Comment


                  • Donald Schepis
                    Donald Schepis commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That doesn't sound like the juice is worth the sqeeze.

                  • Derek L
                    Derek L commented
                    Editing a comment
                    You are probably right. I actually like the idea of being able to change trappings for 1 PP, so I'm not really concerned with adding additional overhead to the action.

                • #15
                  Other idea: Allow changing trapping but instead of making it more expensive (or maybe in addition), give the caster a -2 to the spell casting ability to simulate the fact that the caster is not used to this kind of spell? I know there is no precedent for that, but that way it's not just a speed bump but actually something a caster needs to take into consideration.

                  Comment


                  • rschweik
                    rschweik commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Or maybe a -1.
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