The magister* is a new base class designed for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. She is a hybrid spellcaster, combining arcane spells drawn from power within herself and the faith needed to also call upon divine spells. A magister may be a church wizard, a priestess of magic who has studied the arcane arts, or a dynamic spiritualist who sees no difference in the two traditional forms of magic. Magisters may be called bruxa, church mages, ecclesiathurges, ovates, spell lords, thaumaturges, white wizards, or other titles that suit the needs of your campaign.
A magister is considered both an arcane and divine spellcaster (and can count as either for purposes of requirements and prerequisites). The magister is similar to a sorcerer in that she draws spell power from within herself, casting a limited list of spells known with no need for advanced preparation. Unlike a sorcerer, a magister can draw from both arcane and divine spell lists when selecting spells known, allowing magisters to be prepared for a broader range of circumstances. This is important as the magisters focus is spells to the exclusion of nearly everything else, even more so than other spellcasting classes. Depending on the mystic bond a magister makes, she may not have powers beyond her spells, but instead she’ll learn new ways to use the spells she knows to maximum benefit.
*When this class was originally released in early 2010 in a product called The Genius Guide to the Magus, the class was presented the magus. Then, more than a year later, the book Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic was released, with an “official” class named the magus—which looked nothing like our class of the same name. Sometimes picking an awesome name means other people will use it too!
To avoid confusion, we’ve decided to rename our magus “the magister.” As we update our backstock of products we’ll make the name change when referencing this class, but you should be aware that process takes time. For anything released in 2013 or later, a reference to the magus means the class from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic, and any reference to the class from this book will use the name “magister.” For books released before that, you’ll need to check context to know if a Super Genius Games book talking about the magus really means a magus—the class from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic—or if it is actually talking about our class, the magister.
So, I’m something of a super Genius Games fanboy. The reason for this was the Magister, back when I accidently downloaded it assuming it was something to do with the Magus, but I soon fell in love with the idea. I’ve always been fond of the Mysitc Theurge prestige class, and this takes the idea of a divine and arcane caster and runs with it.
Now the class has been updated, and it makes me feel all fluffy and gooey inside. Really, this is more about the extras the class now contains with it's official change to Magister, and how it affects the class. Although I'll go over the class basics for the hell of it.
The first thing I’d like to point out is that the updated version has not changed any of the fundamentals of the class. If you have the old version and made a character, you’d be able to make the exact same character using this version - the whole difference is that there are now even more options.
So, how does the Magister work? You are a full none level, spontaneous caster with access to divine and arcane magic. Although you can wear light armour and still cast your arcane spells your weapons selection is even more limited than the wizard - you don’t even get the heavy crossbow option he does!
Next, the Magister choose one of the spell lists of another class that also has full caster levels - witch, wizard/sorcerer, oracle/cleric and druid are the obvious candidates here, although you can go peek at other third party lists if you wish. Which one you choose is important, as you must take half your spells from that list. You can choose the other half from any other spell list, but if they’re not the same type as your primary spell list (arcane or divine) they count as being one level higher, and if they’re from a six or four level caster list they count as even more. On the plus side, you always use the spell in whichever form is most beneficial to you.
Next, is your Mystic Bond. The original three were Divine Heritage (essentially a Cleric Domain...without the bonus spells) Sorcerous Bloodline (a Sorcerer Bloodline...without the bonus spells) or a Metamagic Pool (You gain a certain number of points to apply to Metamagic feats, negating one level it would raise a slot by for each point spent) and are all still present and correct.
The new mystic bonds represent some of the other spellcasters - Arcane Pool gives you some of the Magus’ Arcane Pool tricks, without access to spellstrike and the like. Arcane Specilization gives you a Wizard School powers, but without the bonus spells. Divine Inspiration gives you an Oracle’s Mystery class skills, and allows you to make Revelations as bonus feats. Martial Bond removes one spell slot and spell known from each level, but you gain a Cleric’s base attack bonus and save progressions. And Patron gives you a witches familiar.
It should be noted that if a class feature, such as the Sorcerous Bloodline, would give you bonus spells known you don’t get them automatically, but they are added to your spells known.
You also get a series of Mystic Talents and Advanced Mystic talents, which can do a variety of tricks such as keeping one person safe in an area of effect spell’s blast to granting a second Mystic Bond (in the advanced section, obviously).
You also gain access to some feats that represent other spellcasting abilities, although it always requires you be fifth level, and the version you get is obviously weaker than the standard version (such as the Magister’s Eidolon, which counts as your magister level -2 and permanently lose 2 attacks and 4 evolution points).
So...you can make a Magister do a little something from most spellcasting classes. But it does come at a cost. You will never have as many spells known as other classes unless your burn feats to get them, and unlike other classes you require both wisdom (the level of spell you can cast is affected by this) and charisma (from which you get bonus spells slots and spell DC) which, needless to say, makes getting points for anything other than spellcasting somewhat awkward in points buy character creation.
I probably made it clear at the top, but I love the Magister. Between the way it limits your spell selection (you can potentially take any spell in the game, but you don’t have the spells known for many, and spells from outside your main list can be tough to justify) and the fact you need two stats to be effective, it balances out the potential problems nicely.
My only complaint is some of the new Mystic Bonds are simply not equal. The Patron and Divine Inspiration bonds give you very little compared to the Sorcerer Bloodline or Metamagic Pool. It might have been an idea to give those two an automatic Hex/Revelation at the same time you gain a bonus feat to give them some oomph, and allowed the use of bonus feats to boost the number of Hexes/Revelations known. It’s a shame, as both the witch and the oracle are two of my favorite classes.
All told, it’s a solid class that won’t break a game. It simply doesn’t have the spells available to be a truly lethal battlefield controller or healer. But it’s great for a party lacking other spellcasters, and even better in a party with both a healer and arcane caster, providing back up for both. I know some people were of the opinion that it was a better Sorcerer, especially give you could take a Bloodline and it's a spontaneous caster, but again, those lost spells known and the need for the two stats make it weaker enough to make up for the huge potential array of spells you can grab. It doesn't matter if you can potentially cast Cure Serious Wounds if you have no room for it.
If you’ve ever wanted to play a divine and arcane caster, but the Mystic Theurge isn’t for you, pick this up. It’s well worth it.
this is actually a lot better than i would have expected from a 3rd party.
Just read Magus, and its actually pretty damn good. Turns out supergenius is actually putting good work and thought into their products. I only have one concern about 1 magus ability (they get some spells a level higher which raised the dc, effectively heightening them without the feat, but it is a trade off). Now lets hope more companies can follow your guy's example of how to do 3rd party right. I am impressed. Please keep up the good work.
This is a great alternative to the standard casters, with out being a lot of over powered cheese. If you want to play characters that blur the line between arcane and divine this is the class for you.
This product is 10 pages long with 1 page for OGL.
d6, 4 skills, low BaB, very few weapons and light armor. They can wear light armor and cast all spells with no failure chance. The Magus cast spells like a Sorc, they learn a certain number of spells. First they choose a primary spell list Cleric, Druid or Sorc/Wiz list. At least half of their spells known must be part of that list, the rest can be from any spell list.
1 page with 5 new feats and 1 page with advice on how to use a Magus in your world.
Closing thoughts, if you like combined divine/arcane casters then i think you will like this. This is one of the better and likely best balanced one I have seen. My one big worry is that it in a way kinda replaces the Sorcerer. Since one of the class options allows the Magus to get a Sorc Bloodline with most but not all the benefits of the bloodline. I would need to see it in play to be sure but after a read it is a minor worry, I don't think it would. For the price it is a good buy for those looking for a divine/arcane caster or something new and different.
I picked this up because I am actually becoming quite a fan of the Genius Guides, especially the classes. In many cases, they serve as better versions of 3.5 ideas, well integrated into Pathfinder RPG rules.
These guys carry on the tradition of doing a pretty good job of feeling like they are working within the Pathfinder RPG rules, although they are a little complicated compared to most of the official classes that have come out.
I'm not sure this is a "must have" class niche for the game, and this is coming from a guy that spent a lot of 3rd edition as a player running Mystic Theurges. I guess the divine/arcane spellcaster, to me, almost feels more satisfying to pull off when you have to work at it.
Don't let the above fool you though. This isn't a bad class. Its really an interesting idea, and if you don't mind the slightly more complicated mechanics to juggle the concept, there is nothing game breaking about either the power level or even the "fluff" of the class.
I guess, given that I'm used to having to work a bit harder to make the concept work, and the fact that the Mystic Theurge is part of the Core rules, this one still feels like a "its well designed, but I'm not compelled to use it" class.
Obviously what you want out of your spellcasters in your campaigns is going to influence your opinions on this, and if I ever ran a smaller group with someone wanting to have divine and arcane access from the beginning, I do "trust" this class enough that I'd consider letting someone run one.
I'm just not excited enough to "promote" the class to someone that isn't already looking for something like it.