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Ultimate Magic Playtest

Monday, September 20, 2010

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Welcome to the playtest of the Ultimate Magic, a new sourcebook for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, due to be released early next year.

The playtest begins with a look at the Magus, a brand-new base class that blends the powers of a wizard with the martial prowess of a fighter. You can find this class as a free PDF in your downloads up at the top of this page or at this link. Once you have downloaded the class and used it in your game, check out the messageboards, where you will find a pair of boards dedicated to this playtest.

This playtest cycle will last two weeks, until Monday, October 4th, and it will be followed shortly thereafter by another cycle containing the Words of Power alternate spellcasting system.

So grab the Magus and use him in your game today. We are looking forward to seeing your feedback and comments concerning this new class. See you on the boards.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Elves Iconics Magi Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Playtest Seltyiel Wayne Reynolds

I believed!


I knew stabbing Westly would work!

*goes to read pdf*


Yay!

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

vagrant-poet wrote:
Yay!

Yup, and one of your guesses about the new iconic was right. ^_~


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
vagrant-poet wrote:


EDIT: Or, looking at the bracelet, that the new iconic is Seltyiel rejigged!

Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:


(which also lead me to recognize Seltyel is the only multiclass iconic)

Seesh....

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:


(which also lead me to recognize Seltyel is the only multiclass iconic)

And Beek was right too. Good job super nerds. :P


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
Yay!
Yup, and one of your guesses about the new iconic was right. ^_~

How much of a nerd am I to recognise Seltyiel by his bracer/lets?

Shadow Lodge

Magi can have familars! Yes!!!!!!

*throws the Battle-Toad into the air*

Cheliax

Dragonborn3 wrote:

Magi can have familars! Yes!!!!!!

*throws the Battle-Toad into the air*

*makes croaking sounds*

Cheliax

MAAAAA-GUS!!!

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Tales Subscriber

Housekeeping note: it's odd for the Playtest link at the top of downloads to just go to the product page.

Might not be a better place to bring people's attention to it, but that section is usually reserved for direct file links (which for tracking purposes the playtest docs are not).


this class is much better than what i expected!
Still i had hoped to be able to make a ranged combat magus, and specifying melee attacks makes that impossible, though it does balane the class more, is suppose.

Perhaps there should be a Magus Arcana ability tree to permit spell use coupled with ranged combat?


Just read it and had a GM-gasm. I'm definitely throwing a couple magi at my CotCT group soon.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kadeity wrote:

this class is much better than what i expected!

Still i had hoped to be able to make a ranged combat magus, and specifying melee attacks makes that impossible, though it does balane the class more, is suppose.

Perhaps there should be a Magus Arcana ability tree to permit spell use coupled with ranged combat?

They already "kinda" have a prestige for that. Granted, Arcane Archer and Magus are pretty different, but still, the concept is there.


So... does this replace the original version of Seltyiel, then?

Just out of curiosity?

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Hobo wrote:

So... does this replace the original version of Seltyiel, then?

Just out of curiosity?

What do you mean? The final of this specific piece of art will be showing up in Ultimate Magus, but we don't currently have plans to tinker with anything elsewhere.


Ok then if this is the appropriate place to discuss I shall repost from elsewhere:

I'm disappointed that it isn't full BAB but otherwise it looks like a pretty good start.

TBH it seems a bit weak. Spellstrike doesn't let you make an attack as part of casting the spell, therefore it either takes 2 rounds to do, or the use of the Spell Combat ability. Spell Combat, when you get it, makes you a)cast defensively to cast the spell--DC 15+2*Spell Level or 17 just to get a spell off, likely a 50/50 proposition b)take a -4 to your attack roll which, again, is a SIGNIFICANT penalty making this maneuver altogether unlikely to happen c)use a 1-handed weapon so you only get +Str to damage and not the best use out of Power Attack. Basically not really worth doing, unless the spell you're casting is True Strike :-/

The critical ability is great, and you get it earlier than an EK, but still uses a Swift action, preventing Arcane Strike from being used.

Qadira

So spellstrike looks all awesome - I can use my weapon to deliver the touch spells from the magus spell list? Sweet! Let's go look at the spell list! So, we have shocking grasp and... Hey, wait, where's the rest of the touch spells?

I know! I will whack my enemy and I shall cast Bull's Strength upon him. Wait, that's a terrible idea. Enlarge Person? No. Stoneskin? Not likely.

So, I guess most of the spells with a range of touch are Necromancy, and none of these seem to have made the list. How about Touch of Idiocy or Touch of Gracelessness? Touch of anything?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

First spell I looked for was Vampiric Touch.

I'm not entirely surprised it isn't in there. Combined with displacement and mirror image, all you can do is laugh at the baddies.

Taldor

Estragon al'Godot wrote:

So spellstrike looks all awesome - I can use my weapon to deliver the touch spells from the magus spell list? Sweet! Let's go look at the spell list! So, we have shocking grasp and... Hey, wait, where's the rest of the touch spells?

I know! I will whack my enemy and I shall cast Bull's Strength upon him. Wait, that's a terrible idea. Enlarge Person? No. Stoneskin? Not likely.

So, I guess most of the spells with a range of touch are Necromancy, and none of these seem to have made the list. How about Touch of Idiocy or Touch of Gracelessness? Touch of anything?

As usual for a playtest not everything has been revealed... There are bound to be more touch spells in Ult. Magic.

--Count Vrockula


Estragon al'Godot wrote:

So spellstrike looks all awesome - I can use my weapon to deliver the touch spells from the magus spell list? Sweet! Let's go look at the spell list! So, we have shocking grasp and... Hey, wait, where's the rest of the touch spells?

I know! I will whack my enemy and I shall cast Bull's Strength upon him. Wait, that's a terrible idea. Enlarge Person? No. Stoneskin? Not likely.

So, I guess most of the spells with a range of touch are Necromancy, and none of these seem to have made the list. How about Touch of Idiocy or Touch of Gracelessness? Touch of anything?

Also, isn't spellstrike a bit obsolete once you get spell combat? Casting a touch spell does give you a free touch attack so you can just do the touch spell with your off-hand and attack with your weapon in the other hand (albeit with some penalties).

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Tales Subscriber

Why is Enemy Hammer not on the spell list?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Reptilian wrote:
Also, isn't spellstrike a bit obsolete once you get spell combat? Casting a touch spell does give you a free touch attack so you can just do the touch spell with your off-hand and attack with your weapon in the other hand (albeit with some penalties).

Well, spellstrike is still useful for when you're not full-attacking... but I generally agree that there's some overlap there. And yeah, more touch attack spells are needed on the spell list.

Jeremy Puckett


hida_jiremi wrote:
Reptilian wrote:
Also, isn't spellstrike a bit obsolete once you get spell combat? Casting a touch spell does give you a free touch attack so you can just do the touch spell with your off-hand and attack with your weapon in the other hand (albeit with some penalties).

Well, spellstrike is still useful for when you're not full-attacking... but I generally agree that there's some overlap there. And yeah, more touch attack spells are needed on the spell list.

Jeremy Puckett

Spellstrike doesn't let you MAKE an attack when you cast a touch spell, otherwise it would be USEFUL. It lets you make a touch attack spell through a one handed or light melee weapon, but in order to be able to do this AND make an attack in the same round you need Spell Combat, or quicken spell.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Tales Subscriber

I see the Magus can cast in heavy or medium armor with no penalties at higher levels but I have always had an issue with a mage casting anything relating to lightning in plate mail or chain mail. I just see this one large lighting rod (or ground) at the source of generation.

Answers I expect to see:
Maybe the mail is non-conductive?
Maybe its not "lightning" until it hits the target?
Maybe Mages are protected against their own magic (much like fireball)?

Come to think of it, if a normal mage casts LB at a target, why wouldnt streak to the first ground source anyway (perhaps the big tank in front of the party standing in water?)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

So, I take it Magus will be the only additional core class? My DM was curious if we'd see a Pathfinder version of the Eberron Artificer.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Soliloquies wrote:

I see the Magus can cast in heavy or medium armor with no penalties at higher levels but I have always had an issue with a mage casting anything relating to lightning in plate mail or chain mail. I just see this one large lighting rod (or ground) at the source of generation.

Answers I expect to see:
Maybe the mail is non-conductive?
Maybe its not "lightning" until it hits the target?
Maybe Mages are protected against their own magic (much like fireball)?

Come to think of it, if a normal mage casts LB at a target, why wouldnt streak to the first ground source anyway (perhaps the big tank in front of the party standing in water?)

Because Lightning Bolt is an evocation spell that causes lightning to suddenly exist along the path in question, instead of creating a single large point charge in the caster's hands and having it arc wherever it pleases.


Soliloquies wrote:

Maybe Mages are protected against their own magic (much like fireball)?

Huh? If a mage is in the blast radius of a fireball, you better believe he is taking damage, just like everything else in the blast radius that does not have a way to avoid it.


meatrace wrote:
hida_jiremi wrote:
Reptilian wrote:
Also, isn't spellstrike a bit obsolete once you get spell combat? Casting a touch spell does give you a free touch attack so you can just do the touch spell with your off-hand and attack with your weapon in the other hand (albeit with some penalties).

Well, spellstrike is still useful for when you're not full-attacking... but I generally agree that there's some overlap there. And yeah, more touch attack spells are needed on the spell list.

Jeremy Puckett

Spellstrike doesn't let you MAKE an attack when you cast a touch spell, otherwise it would be USEFUL. It lets you make a touch attack spell through a one handed or light melee weapon, but in order to be able to do this AND make an attack in the same round you need Spell Combat, or quicken spell.

It does mean that you only need one attack roll for both lots of damage, but yeah. Also, it means you can set off the spell as an attack of opportunity.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Tales Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
Spellstrike doesn't let you MAKE an attack when you cast a touch spell, otherwise it would be USEFUL. It lets you make a touch attack spell through a one handed or light melee weapon, but in order to be able to do this AND make an attack in the same round you need Spell Combat, or quicken spell.

I'm not sure on this actually - to me the language isn't quite clear. It could simply be specifying that you don't get a free attack for every spell (such as if you quicken). It seems likely to work like you say though.

Bigger question to me is can you hold the charge if your weapon misses, it only describes what happens upon success (much as another class with this ability from 3.5 does).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Majuba wrote:
meatrace wrote:
Spellstrike doesn't let you MAKE an attack when you cast a touch spell, otherwise it would be USEFUL. It lets you make a touch attack spell through a one handed or light melee weapon, but in order to be able to do this AND make an attack in the same round you need Spell Combat, or quicken spell.

I'm not sure on this actually - to me the language isn't quite clear. It could simply be specifying that you don't get a free attack for every spell (such as if you quicken). It seems likely to work like you say though.

Bigger question to me is can you hold the charge if your weapon misses, it only describes what happens upon success (much as another class with this ability from 3.5 does).

Jason answered this in the Playtest forum. Meatrace is correct.


Okey-doke. Not play-tested, but first impressions nonetheless:

BAB: medium - that's fine
Saves: Fort and Reflex saves should be swapped
Skill Ranks are fine.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency is fine.

Spells is fine in how it is presented.

Spellstrike needs more info. Does a spell cast involve a melee attack, or does the spell need to be cast and then attacked with next round. The latter option is frankly stupid.

Spell Combat looks very cool. The penalties seem adequate but I would hope there are feats that lessen these.

Magus Arcana depends on what is chosen:
Arcane Accuracy is bog standard, and useful in certain circs, but I would like it to last longer.
Broad Study is good, and has the right prereqs.
Concentrate is worth it for Spell Combat, but limited in uses.
Critical Strike seems overly complex and that it is based on a touch attack after a successful melee attack is confusing. The prereqs are ok.
Dispelling Strike is perfect.
Empowered Magic is also perfect.
Familiar is fine.
Hasted Assault is fine, but it would be nice to divide duration between allies.
Maneuver Mastery is fine.
Maximised Magic is fine.
Quickened Magic is fine.
Reflection is perfect.
Silent Magic is fine.
Spell Shield needs to last longer, like Arcane Accuracy.
Still Magic is fine.

Arcane Weapon is perfect.

Bonus feats is fine.

Medium Armour is perfect.

Improved Spell Combat is perfect. It remediates the question I had above.

Fighter Training is fine.

Heavy Armour is perfect.

Greater Spell Combat is perfect.

Counterstrike is fine, but I'd like an attempt (however unlikely) to disrupt that spell.

Weapon Bond is perfect.

True Magus is perfect.

I do not have time to go through the spell list, and I see that others have already made a start so I shall leave it to them.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dazylar wrote:


Magus Arcana depends on what is chosen:
Arcane Accuracy is bog standard, and useful in certain circs, but I would like it to last longer.
Broad Study is good, and has the right prereqs.
Concentrate is worth it for Spell Combat, but limited in uses.
Critical Strike seems overly complex and that it is based on a touch attack after a successful melee attack is confusing. The prereqs are ok.
Dispelling Strike is perfect.
Empowered Magic is also perfect.
Familiar is fine.
Hasted Assault is fine, but it would be nice to divide duration between allies.
Maneuver Mastery is fine.
Maximised Magic is fine.
Quickened Magic is fine.
Reflection is perfect.
Silent Magic is fine.
Spell Shield needs to last longer, like Arcane Accuracy.
Still Magic is fine.

Arcane Weapon is perfect.

Bonus feats is fine.

Medium Armour is perfect.

Improved Spell Combat is perfect. It remediates the question I had above.

Fighter Training is fine.

Heavy Armour is perfect.

Greater Spell Combat is perfect.

Counterstrike is fine, but I'd like an attempt (however unlikely) to disrupt that spell.

Weapon Bond is perfect.

True Magus is perfect.

This block about sums up my initial thoughts. There is just too damn much. I imagine (hope) some of it gets cut in the playtest. This class gets a new gimmick or three pretty much at every level.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Soluzar wrote:
This block about sums up my initial thoughts. There is just too damn much. I imagine (hope) some of it gets cut in the playtest. This class gets a new gimmick or three pretty much at every level.

Actually, after reading through the class a couple times, it's a lot simpler than some of the APG core classes that got added.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

slicertool wrote:
So, I take it Magus will be the only additional core class? My DM was curious if we'd see a Pathfinder version of the Eberron Artificer.

Magus is the only new base class in Ultimate Magic. We don't currently have plans to do an "artificer" base class for Pathfinder, though I suppose anything is possible down the road.


Dazylar wrote:

Okey-doke. Not play-tested, but first impressions nonetheless:

There are a few places where you can just see the confusion at tables occurring.

Spellstrike: as has already been said. It needs to be specified how this works. I don't even know what you intend here. Can the 'charge' be held? What actions are required in order to get this ability off? Is there any spell on their spell list besides shocking grasp that this can apply towards? (Edit: I'm not sure on elemental touch, so perhaps there are two spells)

Spellcombat: What happens to a touch spell here if its a touch attack spell and the touch misses? How can this interact with spellstrike if at all? Can one TWF with this as long as a hand remains free (ie unarmed strikes, armor spikes, etc)?

Arcane weapon: does a dancing weapon count as 'out of hand' when dancing for purposes of casting? If its out of hand and the magus is multiclassed, do spells cast from the other class need to make concentration checks? What if they are also on the magus list rather than being magus spells.

Counterstrike: what happens if a multiround spell is cast defensively?

-James

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Tales Subscriber

could we possibly see the armor training changed to magus arcana abilities instead and add something like evasion or the inquisitor's stalwart abilities instead. also maybe add some more skills to the list, Acrobatics, linguistics, perception, sense motive, or stealth. 4+Int mod of skills would be nice, intellegence may be the primary skill, but strength and dexterity will also be playing a major role.
Other magus arcana abilities that would be usefull would allow the magus other in game bonuses, such as to jump or a weakened type of feather fall without the use of spells or sacrificing a spell, but have a limited use per day.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
james maissen wrote:


Spellstrike: as has already been said. It needs to be specified how this works. I don't even know what you intend here. Can the 'charge' be held? What actions are required in order to get this ability off? Is there any spell on their spell list besides shocking grasp that this can apply towards? (Edit: I'm not sure on elemental touch, so perhaps there are two spells)

As it stands, you're right. There aren't hardly any touch attacks. Shocking Grasp is the only damage dealer, although you could do Darkness, Daylight, Light, or Arcane Mark to annoy your opponent (and party).

Elemental touch gives you a touch attack ability for a period of time. Though this might be helpful.

I'm curious if touch includes ranged touch attacks or if we're getting a whole assortment of touch attack spells in this book.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Tales Subscriber
slicertool wrote:
I'm curious if touch includes ranged touch attacks or if we're getting a whole assortment of touch attack spells in this book.

"Ranged touch" spells are not touch spells, they are effect spells that typically have a range of close, medium, or long, and simply require an attack roll (using ranged attack bonus) to hit the target. Really, the only commonality is that you make an attack roll against a touch AC, and they often do not have saves. If it meant to include them, it would say so specifically.


Erik Mona wrote:
slicertool wrote:
So, I take it Magus will be the only additional core class? My DM was curious if we'd see a Pathfinder version of the Eberron Artificer.
Magus is the only new base class in Ultimate Magic. We don't currently have plans to do an "artificer" base class for Pathfinder, though I suppose anything is possible down the road.

Would be great for that Mana Wastes / Alkenstar source book. *cough*

What?

;-)


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
What do you mean? The final of this specific piece of art will be showing up in Ultimate Magus, but we don't currently have plans to tinker with anything elsewhere.

Actually, I mean the stats. Seltyiel will now belong to this class, and not be a fighter/wizard anymore?

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Hobo wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
What do you mean? The final of this specific piece of art will be showing up in Ultimate Magus, but we don't currently have plans to tinker with anything elsewhere.
Actually, I mean the stats. Seltyiel will now belong to this class, and not be a fighter/wizard anymore?

True story. Though we don't really have much of an outlet for iconic stats anymore.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Hobo wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
What do you mean? The final of this specific piece of art will be showing up in Ultimate Magus, but we don't currently have plans to tinker with anything elsewhere.
Actually, I mean the stats. Seltyiel will now belong to this class, and not be a fighter/wizard anymore?
True story. Though we don't really have much of an outlet for iconic stats anymore.

Unless PFS pregens ever get put together!


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
True story. Though we don't really have much of an outlet for iconic stats anymore.

There's always the blog! :)

Anyway, it's neither here nor there, just idle curiousity.

But while I'm at it, can I just officially register my appreciation for the very interesting, darker, more sword & sorcery non-heroic nature of the recent iconic bios, and put out a request for the rest of them to get posted sooner rather than later? Those are some of my favorite blog posts.


You didn't recognize Seltyiel's Aasimar half brother? :)

Aside from that there is one ability I'd like to see explored - Allowing the magus to AoO against anyone targetiong him with a spell (not area spell tough). Something like the Spiritual Weapon striking the enemy via mystical link created by the casting at short range.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8, Contributor

I agree with Dazylar and share his assessment of the class in my first read through. I think that conceptually, Spellstrike and Spell Combat are right on the money and with a little more clarity in the language they'll be a really enjoyable ability to use in sessions.
One thing that I don't quite get, and was hoping that Erik, Wes--any of the developers, really--might weigh in on is why Use Magic Device is a class skill.
I can see it from a practical standpoint since it's a great skill to expand a limited spell base. With the requisite high intelligence magi might have the skill points to spend, but needing to specialize in both combat and Intelligence-based magic suggests that Charisma will be a dump stat for most magi. Regardless of the ranks they might buy it seems like it will always be tough to make important checks with that skill.
Still, I'm looking forward to playing this class very much.
PROOFREADING NOTES:
Under Hasted Assault: The last sentence reads "THAT magus must be at least 9th level..." All other similar wording reads "THE magus must be at least..." [emphasis mine]
Under Arcane Weapon: 5th sentence down, starting with "These bonuses..." the sentence reads "can be used be used [sic] to add any of the following weapon properties..."
Didn't know if that would help or not.
-QGJ

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