Ultimate Options: New Magus Arcana (PFRPG) PDF

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The magus class represents a trope common in fantasy fiction—the warrior-mage able to swing swords and cast spells with equal skill. From classic sword-and-sorcery wielders such as Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné, to the protagonists of more modern fantasy tales such as Garion from David Edding's Belgariad series or Rand al'Thor from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, the warrior-mages are a common archetype often more easily found in fiction than the sage spellcasters with little combat skill. Even Gandalf, perhaps the prototypical adventuring mage, carried the sword Glamdring and knew how to use it to good effect!

Despite this broad popularity, the concept can be difficult to easily implement using only the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. While it's possible to multiclass combat-oriented and arcane-oriented classes, and prestige classes such as the eldritch knight are designed to make such combinations fairly effective, the planning and delayed gratification such character builds require are not satisfying to everyone. With the advent of the magus class from Ultimate Magic, players wishing to create a warrior-mage can do so by choosing a single class that combines fair martial ability with good spellcasting ability and a host of class abilities that allow the magus to combine combat and casting in ways other classes can't.

Of course, the traditions of arcane armsmen require much more support than any single book has room to offer, especially since most game supplements have to appeal to a broad range of interests. Ultimate Magic lacks room to present many alternate magus options, and what few it does present focus solely on the narrow concept of a combat spellcaster with a weapon in one hand and only a prepared spell in the other.

To help in that regard, Ultimate Options: New Magus Arcana presents 30 new magus arcana and three sets of alternate abilities designed to work with the new batch of magus arcana options. With this broad set of new material magi can fight with 2-handed weapons, go sword-and-board with a shield, wield two weapons and still cast spells, or even become a spontaneous spellcaster similar to a sorcerer.

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****( ) (based on 5 ratings)

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Ok addition to the Magus class, but didn't blow me away

***( )( )

This pdf is 7 pages long, 2/3 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 5 1/3 pages of content for more arcane-options for the magus-class, let’s check them out!

The new arcana options (and there are 31 if I didn’t miscount) are interesting: For those of you irked by the Magus being focused on one-handed weapons, the 3 enrune dagger/great weapon/shield arcanas and their greater successors enable you to temporarily carve a rune on said weapons, enabling you to cast spells with somatic components while wielding the respective piece of equipment. This opens up a whole plethora of new fighting styles and options, which is of course, nice. Warding and enduring warding enable the Magus to somewhat lessen his fragile nature and spontaneously grant his armor temporary boosts in AC and armor qualities. There was one arcane I has a problem with, that being Wand Lord: It lets you add +2 to a wand’s caster-level per point of arcane used, up to a maximum of the Magus’ level. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize the potential of this ability to be horribly abused or even impede the fun of The Magus-player: After all, it might be wise to conserve all the arcane for one deadly blast that is almost guaranteed to overcome SR… It’s kind of nice to use arcane to scavenge spells from the bard and the witch, though: These blending arcanas were nice ideas.

The second part of the pdf offers us 4 new archetypes for the Magus: The Arcana Lord can cannibalize spells into arcane pool points. The Cabalist learns spells as a bard and gets access to bloodline powers at higher levels. The Magavan is supposed to be a court-based Magus who can sense surface thoughts by striking foes. I didn’t care for this particular archetype, as the one signature ability is rather bland and offers only surface thoughts. The most interesting one of the archetypes, the Tovenaar, sacrifices the spellcasting of the magus for an access to inquisitions, but unfortunately his signature ability is just plain over-powered: Mystic Combat enables him to make a full attack and use a supernatural or spell-like ability from an inquisition in the same round. This is so wide open for abuse, I don’t even know where to start and another fine example of Magus-related power-creep that should be carefully monitored. Thus, as written, I consider the Tovenaar broken, which is a pity: Replace this plain-op ability with more, but less powerful abilities and we would have been in for a treat. Oh well.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the 3-column full-color SGG standard. There are no bookmarks. While I didn’t have any problems with most of the arcanas, I wasn’t blown out of the water either by any of them. Not once did I yell “Eureka” and while the humble arcanas are nice, they lack the spark of genius. The archetypes are hit and miss: The Arcana Lord and the Cabalist felt balanced and cool to me, but the Magavan is just a very bland archetype and feels like boring filler, offering 1 quite bland ability and selling it as an archetype. The Tovenaar, as I’ve just elaborated upon, will not feature in my game, as full attack+magic is broken in my book and by far too wide open for abuse. Don’t get me wrong, this pdf is not bad per se, but all in all, I was rather underwhelmed and not once was surprised or blown away.

My final verdict due to the subpar 2 archetypes and the rather bland arcanas, 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.


A solid addition to the Magus

****( )

Ultimate Options: New Magus Arcana by Super Genius Games

This product is 7 pages long. It starts with a cover and forward. (1 pages)

New Magus Arcana (3 pages)
This section has new Arcana.
Arcane Critical – gain arcane points on crits.
Arcane Focus – reduces the penalty to attack rolls when casting in combat.
Critical Spell – can make a free melee attack when a spell scores a critical
Elemental Assault – imbues herself with spell of same name.
Enduring Arcane – makes bonuses to weapons last longer
Enduring Warding – makes bonuses to armor last longer
Enruned Dagger – can place a rune on a light weapon that can be used in place of a somatic part of casting.
Enruned Great Weapon – same as dagger but works on two handed weapons.
Enruned Shield – same as enruned dagger.
Force Magic Device – gain bonus to UMD skill.
Greater versions of Enduring Arcane, Warding, Enruned Dagger, Greater Weapon and Shield. Better versions of the same abilities.
Harmonic Blending – can add some bard spells to her list.
Heroic Assault – can get benefits of heroism spell.
Imbue Spell – can in short cast a spell not memorized. It says can cast a spell of equal level or higher level as the one used to imbue. I am guessing that is suppose to equal or lower level.
Invisible Assault – become invis for a bit.
Jinx Blending – can add witch spells to her list.
Mounted Assault – summons a phantom stead and Magus starts mounted... weird but neat.
Piercing Strike – gains a bonus to overcome SR
Protected Assault – as a swift action can gets benefits like from protection from evil etc.
Resistant Assault – can protect herself from one type of energy.
Split Arcana – when using arcane pool to add bonuses can split them between two weapons.
Staff Mastery – can use arcana that help with casting a spell to apply to magic from a staff.
Versatile Combatant – gain access to a feat they don't have.
Wand Lord – can make spells cast from a wand cast at a higher level.
Warding – can as a swift action enchant their armor.
Weapon Diligence – gains concentration checks with a single weapon.

New Archetypes (2 pages)
Arcane Lord – can give up spells for arcana points
Cabalist – gains spells like a bard instead and gets some bloodline powers.
Magavan – uses the bard spell list and gains lore strike.
Tovenaar – blends inquisitor with a magus.

It ends with a OGL and credits. (1 pages)

Closing thoughts. The art work is color and pretty good. Editing and layout was good. I will admit I have not heavily studied the Magus class yet so I am not sure how well the abilities with in stack up balance wise. Most of the abilities make sense and fill in niches. They are well written and seem well done and balanced against each other. But none of them really blew me away either. Most of them was... yeah ok that makes sense, or that’s kinda cool. In short just not up to the normal impressive innovative level I expect from SGG. Good, very good even, just not great. So what's my rating? I am going to settle on a 4 star review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


An RPG Resource Review

****( )

As this product's "blurb" says, the warrior-mage turns up far more often in fantasy fiction than he does at the gaming table. This is partly due to the tendency for most systems to focus on being either a spell-caster or a sword-swinger, with cababilities in one or both having to be sacrified in an attempt to multi-class your way into the sort of character that you want to play. The recent publication of Ultimate Magic in the Pathfinder core line has begun to rectify this with the Magus class, although he's envisaged as being with a sword in one hand and a spell in mind. So, here is a short work jam-packed with ideas for how to make your Magus into your own idea of a warrior-mage, one who will hopefully be the subject of many a bard's song...

Material is presented as two aspects. Firstly there is a collection of new arcana, the arcane secrets that are the specialty of the Magus class. There's a wide variety, enabling all manner of enhancement to weapons including a neat one which allows you to pre-load a spell with a range of 'touch' into a weapon when preparing for the day, and then expend it at will... and use any spell, with certain limitations, each day you choose to use this arcana. Another enables the magus to use any feat for which he qualifies, but does not have, for a set period, another handy little ability.

The second part is a selection of new archetypes, building on all the new arcana. Like those presented in Ultimate Magic, an archetype must be chosen at first level, and it is an all-or-nothing package deal. There are some interesting ideas here. A Cabalist, for example, draws on inherent power rather than study to cast spells, acting more like a sorcerer who can fight than the warrior-wizard most Magus characters are. Those who value the finder side of life might prefer the Magavan, who specialises in social and divination spells and is well-suited to the role of Court Magician or diplomatic service.

If the Magus interests you, there are some interesting additional concepts to consider here. GMs will find material of use, I'm sure an NPC Magavan or two will soon be hanging around seats of power in my games...


Quality

****( )

First off, I'd like to mention that I *love* the cover image. The way the cloak merges with the shadows is extremely awesome. With that said, on to the arcana!

Arcane Critical: Upon a critical, gain a temporary arcana point that must be used within a round.

Arcane Focus: Reduce the penalties from Spell Combat as a swift action. This lasts for 10 rounds.

Critical Spell: If you get a critical with a spell when not delivering it through a weapon, you get a free whack at the enemy with your weapon.

Elemental Spell: Imbue yourself with elemental energy.

Enduring Arcana: Abilities and enhancement bonuses to your weapon last longer.

Enduring Warding: Bonuses and abilities to armor last longer.

Enruned Dagger / Great Weapon / Shield: Lets you use light / two-handed weapons and shields with spell combat, respectively. Dagger and shield let you use TWF.

Force Magic Device: Large bonus to UMD.

Greater Enduring Arcana / Greater Enduring Warding: Lasts longer than the normal versions.

Greater Enrune Dagger / Great Weapon / Shield: These last longer now, and can effectively last all day.

Harmonic Blending: Choose a spell or two from the Bard list!

Heroic Assault: Swift action Heroism that affects only the Magus.

Imbue Spell: Let a Magus use a spell slot one level higher than the level of the spell imbued in a weapon to cast it without preparing it in advance. Except you kinda are.

Invisible Assault: Oh hello there Greater Invisibility.

Jinx Blending: Same idea as Harmonic Blending, but from the Witch spell list. Hello there Divine spells...

Mounted Assault: Summons a Phantom Steed.

Piercing Strike: Bonus to penetrating SR of creatures you hit since the start of your last turn.

Protected Assault: Basically Protection from X.

Resistant Assault: Basically Resist Energy.

Split Arcana: When you use your arcana points to enhance your weapons, you can split it between two weapons.
Staff Mastery: Magus can apply any arcana that apply to spells to apply to his staff. Also gives bonuses to UMD based on feats that add to the Attack Bonus of the staff, and any feat that adds damage to a staff adds the damage to spells as well.

Versatile Combatant: Get temporary usage of a feat.

Wand Lord: Spend 1 or more points of arcana pool to increase CL of wands.

Warding: Grant bonuses / abilities to armor.

Weapon Diligence: Gain bonuses to concentration checks when with a specific weapon.

YuenglingDragon mentions the archetypes, but I must disagree about the Tovenaar. The combination of Inquisitions and Arcana powers lead to a very "Book of Nine Swords" feel for the character. It also allows for great action economy, by allowing you to do a full attack and then things like Hold Monster (from the Imprisonment inquisition) or Feeblemind (from the Oblivion inquisition). Further, they can take the powers from Cleric and/or Druid domains. At level 19, they'll have access to 7 domains or inquisitions, which allow for some very cool combinations. Ferocious Strike from the Ferocity subdomain could be very useful for this kind of character.

All in all, this offers a lot of new ways for a Magus to be played. Want to play a Magus that uses polearms? Enruned Great Weapon lets you do that. A two weapon Arcana Lord with Arcane Critical and focusing on critical hits could be a ton of fun.

I would give this a 4.5 if possible.


Chock full of great options

*****

Like the Magus but feel pinned by the damnable "one hand free whenever you want to do something cool" restriction? This book has solutions! By allowing you to invest your Arcana and Arcane Pool Points into three different trees, you can fight with two weapons, a 2-hander, or a shield. That's exciting just by itself.

But there's more! Lots of really awesome Arcana to let you use your Pool Points to mimic spells or get a skill bonus.

The archetypes are really interesting, too. With the slew of new Arcana, the Arcana Lord is a really attractive option. Arcana Lords sacrifice the spell casting versatility of the Magus for more Arcana and the ability to burn spells for more Pool Points.

The Cabalist shares a casting progression and spontaneous casting with the Bard and get access to a Sorcerer bloodline.

The Magavan replaces spell strike with a crazy but interesting knowledge ability. Learning via stabbing. Sounds like public schools =)

The Tovenaar is the only one I'm kind of not excited about. Instead of spellcasting this archetype gets access to Inquisitions from Ultimate Magic. I'm just not sure there are inquisitions good enough for me to possibly lose casting. But I guess if someone is adamantly opposed to casting, this is a good way to use the Magus.

All in all a great little resource for only $3.


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Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Garion. Rand al’Thor. Elric of Melniboné. Even Gandalf, the prototypical adventuring mage, carried the sword Glamdring to good effect. Throughout fantasy, the warrior mage, able to swing swords and cast spells with equal skill, is one of the genre’s most common tropes—but often not one that’s easy to implement. But with the advent of the magus class in Ultimate Magic, the concept is now easily created within the Pathfinder roleplaying game.
Ultimate Options: New Magus Arcana presents over 30 new abilities for the magus. With this broad set of new material magi can fight with 2-handed weapons, go sword-and-board with a shield, wield two weapons and still cast spells, or even become a spontaneous spellcaster similar to a sorcerer.

Ultimate Options; New Magus Arcana includes 30 new magus arcana and four sets of alternate abilities designed to work with the new batch of magus arcana options. A list of the options (and one preview) is below.

Magus Arcana
Arcane Critical
Arcane Focus
Critical Spell
Elemental Assault
Enduring Arcana
Enduring Warding
Enruned Dagger
Enruned Great Weapon
Enruned Shield (Su): The magus may expend a point from his arcane pool to scribe a rune of power on a shield with which the magus is proficient. While the rune is in place, the magus can use the hand holding that shield to complete somatic components of magus spells he casts, and is considered to have that hand free for purposes of spell combat. The rune lasts 10 minutes per level.
Force Magic Device
Greater Enduring Arcana
Greater Enduring Warding
Greater Enrune Dagger
Greater Enrune Great Weapon
Greater Enrune Shield
Harmonic Blending
Heroic Assault
Imbue Spell
Invisible Assault
Jinx Blending
Mounted Assault
Piercing Strike
Protected Assault
Resistant Assault
Split Arcana
Staff Mastery
Versatile Combatant
Wand Lord
Warding
Weapon Diligence

Advanced Archetypes
With the significant expansion of what magus arcana are available, new alternate builds for the magus become practical. Below are several archetypes that provide alternate powers that work particularly well with one or more of the new arcana defined above. A magus that selects one of these archetypes must take all its alternate powers in place of the normal magus abilities they replace. An archetype of this kind is selected at 1st level, and once that choice has been made it cannot be changed.

Arcana Lord
While most magi work to balance their skill with weapons, spells, and their arcane pool, some come from a tradition that emphasizes one of these skills over the others. Arcana lords are one such tradition, focusing on the one power truly unique to the magus — the arcane pool — and concentrating less about spell ability. T

Cabalist
A cabalist is a magus who gains his arcane powers as a result of inherent power, similar to a sorcerer, rather than through careful study.

Magavan
The magavan is a court magus, trained to operate within a high noble court (often as agent or advisor to an important lord). As a result he focuses more on social magic and divination spells than a typical magus.

Tovenaar
Tovenaar are mystic warriors who can combine magic and combat, but without depending on spells. Instead tovenaar gain a broad range of mystic powers they can use to empower themselves, hinder their foes, augment their allies, and divine the future.

7 pages
$2.99
Designed by Owen K.C. Stephens

Dark Archive

That...was fast.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

joela wrote:
That...was fast.

Well with the magus preview, I've been able to work on this for quite some time. I could even get playtesting in. I just had to polish the final version to match the final Ultimate Magic rules.

Liberty's Edge

joela wrote:
That...was fast.

Hey - Owen isn't just another pretty face!

Dark Archive

The cover art is pretty cool.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark_Mistress wrote:
The cover art is pretty cool.

Thanks! The art is by Storn Cook (as are all the interiors), of whom I am a long-time fan.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Marc Radle wrote:
joela wrote:
That...was fast.
Hey - Owen isn't just another pretty face!

Heck, I'm not even a pretty face!

Dark Archive

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
joela wrote:
That...was fast.
Hey - Owen isn't just another pretty face!
Heck, I'm not even a pretty face!

Personally, I attribute the speed to coffee. (And his face is fine. Ask his wife. He's married, right?)

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

1 person marked this as a favorite.
joela wrote:
Personally, I attribute the speed to coffee.

Black Cherry Diet Mountain Dew, my own creation (and a throwback to the old potion miscibility table), but the idea is the same. :)

joela wrote:
(And his face is fine. Ask his wife. He's married, right?)

I am indeed. And the combination of the amazing quality of my wife, and an honest appraisal of my appearance, makes it clear I'm a fast talker.


I know its only 3$ but im disappointed 3$ = 1/3 a 250 page pdf and the 7 pages that i did read didnt leave me with a strong impression all in all i wish i didnt make this spontaneous buy and spent 3 bucks on a hamburger or something it would have been better than tossing a trio of George Washingtons into a sinkhole .

this is a harsh review but the product left me with a harsh feeling .

the options were generally without merit and uninteresting i promptly deleted this product from my computer.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Stasiscell wrote:
I know its only 3$ but im disappointed

Stasiscell, I'm very sorry you didn't enjoy the product. The pricing is pretty typical of PDFs (which have more production costs as independent products than an equivalent page count of a bigger book). If you'd like to discuss any of the design choices, I'd be happy to do so. Or if you'd like to drop me an email at ostephens (at) aol (dot) com, I'll arrange to get you a refund.

Liberty's Edge

I love this book, personally. I really want to play an arcana lord.


Is now reading this.

Dark Archive

I'll get a review up tomorrow but I'm pretty impressed with my first reading. Good job, Owen.

Two things.

On page 2, the Arcana Elemental Assault references a the spell Elemental Assault from the APG which doesn't seem to exist. Do you mean Elemental Aura?

On page 6, the Tovenaar, the ability Mystic Power is at the end after the capstone ability and doesn't say at what level the power is gained and what, if any, ability it replaces.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Stasiscell wrote:
I know its only 3$ but im disappointed
Stasiscell, I'm very sorry you didn't enjoy the product. The pricing is pretty typical of PDFs (which have more production costs as independent products than an equivalent page count of a bigger book). If you'd like to discuss any of the design choices, I'd be happy to do so. Or if you'd like to drop me an email at ostephens (at) aol (dot) com, I'll arrange to get you a refund.

i understand what its like to be a independent developer , its cool i havent sleep for 3 days so i was a little grumpy to say the least.

but that being said my personal opinion is that while the artwork is nice it would be cool if the emphasis was less on the aesthetic and more on the raw content .

i imagine production costs would decrease if you had to pay a artist less and had more money to spend on publishing raw abilities of the class.

once again i appologize for the severity of my review and theres no need for a refund its in no way a bad product .

just as a gish fan it was less than i expected .

i should have read the page count before i purchased (ill give you credit whoever wrote the product description had me hyped).

i guess my issue is i was putting things up to paizos standard and they have alot more money to throw arround than you so i was using the logic that if they would produce a 250 page book for 10$ than for 3$ there should be 50-70 pages of content.

but all in all id say good job in making this even though i seem disappointed ive read through a few of the abilities (taking back the part where i insulted the creative content and complained about the arcana and archetypes , once again sleepy nerd rage) and i liked the direction you take and id love it if you guys did a part 2 with a longer page count .

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

YuenglingDragon wrote:
I'll get a review up tomorrow but I'm pretty impressed with my first reading. Good job, Owen.

Thanks! Feedback is always welcome, and I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

YuenglingDragon wrote:
On page 2, the Arcana Elemental Assault references a the spell Elemental Assault from the APG which doesn't seem to exist. Do you mean Elemental Aura?

Yep! I'll add that to the errata list.

YuenglingDragon wrote:
On page 6, the Tovenaar, the ability Mystic Power is at the end after the capstone ability and doesn't say at what level the power is gained and what, if any, ability it replaces.

Ah, I see a layout issue has made the explanation hard-to-find.

If you look at the previous paragraph it says "A tovenaar also has access to this magus arcana:" So Mystic Power is a new magus arcana only tovenaar get. But since the previous sentence looks like the end of the capstone, that's not as clear as it should be.

Again, I'll add that to the errata.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Jeremiziah wrote:
I love this book, personally. I really want to play an arcana lord.

Let me know how that works out!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Stasiscell wrote:
but that being said my personal opinion is that while the artwork is nice it would be cool if the emphasis was less on the aesthetic and more on the raw content .

For the record, the artwork is actually a very small part of the production cost. (This book uses clip art, rather than custom art -- we take great pride in finding and using clip art that looks custom, and sometimes we get custom art for cheap, but it's never a major part of the total cost.) This is more a question of the economy of scale. If you look at the PDF market, the roughly $2-$3 PDF that runs 6-12 pages is very common, and for good economic reasons.

We try hard to let people know what they are getting from us, which is why I listed the the number and names of all the abilities in the book and the page count in the teaser. I am sorry if I didn't highlight them enough. If a customer doesn't know what we are offering, that's on us.

Stasiscell wrote:
once again i appologize for the severity of my review and theres no need for a refund its in no way a bad product .

If you're satisfied, I'm satisfied. :)

Stasiscell wrote:
i should have read the page count before i purchased (ill give you credit whoever wrote the product description had me hyped).

That was me. I'm also the writer, lead developer, and producer of this particular product. I suspect you got hyped reading it, because I was hyped writing it. I'm also a huge warrior/wizard fan, and creating this product was genuinely fun for me.

Liberty's Edge

Stasiscell wrote:
just as a gish fan it was less than i expected

You might also want to check out the two full fighter / mage base classes from Super Genius Games then:

The Genius Guide to the Vanguard

and

The Genius Guide to the Archon

Dark Archive

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

Ah, I see a layout issue has made the explanation hard-to-find.

If you look at the previous paragraph it says "A tovenaar also has access to this magus arcana:" So Mystic Power is a new magus arcana only tovenaar get. But since the previous sentence looks like the end of the capstone, that's not as clear as it should be.

Again, I'll add that to the errata.

I get it now. Perhaps if that paragraph were indented or something?

Marc Radle wrote:


You might also want to check out the two full fighter / mage base classes from Super Genius Games then:

The Genius Guide to the Vanguard

and

The Genius Guide to the Archon

I own both of these books and they're a great resource for gish fans.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

YuenglingDragon wrote:
I get it now. Perhaps if that paragraph were indented or something?

Yeah it's our fault it's not clearer. We'll get it fixed. :)

Marc Radle wrote:


You might also want to check out the two full fighter / mage base classes from Super Genius Games then:

The Genius Guide to the Vanguard

and

The Genius Guide to the Archon

I own both of these books and they're a great resource for gish fans.

Thanks for the endorsements, both of you!


Stasiscell wrote:
i guess my issue is i was putting things up to paizos standard and they have alot more money to throw arround than you so i was using the logic that if they would produce a 250 page book for 10$ than for 3$ there should be 50-70 pages of content.

I don't think you can quite do a page of content per $ comparison on products and be fair to those involved in the process.

The bigger an audience you have for a written product the more money you can spend producing it and still get a return on your investment. Many of the 3PP publishers are one man operations or are merely part time endeavors and the return on time invested is pretty low.

Example... Say we spend 100 hour writing a 100 page pdf and sell it for $10 and sell 1K copies. Thats 1/10 dollar to page and 10/1 dollars per hour (minus expenses). If you only expect to sell 500 copies you are down to 5/1 hour which is pretty dismal, probably not worth your time... but if you shorten up the page count to 50 and cut your hours in half you are back to worth your time (at least barely).

So there is not standard page per dollar, its just a question of whether it is worth you buying it and worth their time making it. Fortunately for the 3PP guys there are customers for whom the sub $5 price point is pretty flexible and so long as they get a bit of utility and pleasure from it the cost is pretty negligible. I think what tends to matter is the quality of the work (and that does take time as well).

Paizo and SGG just have different economies of scale at work for them and while you can judge any way you like as a consumer, your displeasure isn't likely to drive costs down or page counts up for 3PP folks because there is simply a base line for how much they can write for the expected sales returns and still justify the time and money spent.

Dark Archive

Yeah when i review products I don't really consider page count to price, it factors in, in a minor way. Like I would balk at a 10 buck , 10 page PDF. For me and my reviews it is quality for price. I would rather pay 3 bucks for a 10 page high quality PDF, then 5 bucks for a 50 page lousy PDF.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Yeah when i review products I don't really consider page count to price, it factors in, in a minor way. Like I would balk at a 10 buck , 10 page PDF. For me and my reviews it is quality for price. I would rather pay 3 bucks for a 10 page high quality PDF, then 5 bucks for a 50 page lousy PDF.

I think it's entirely fair to look at price, but also I think you are right that quality is more important than quantity in that calculation. even so, there are "common" price points in most markets (one reason a 10 page PDF for $10 instinctively feels off but we're have great success selling 1-page PDFs for $1). It just happens that the short-PDF gaming supplement is in a different category than the PDF-version of a longer print game book, despite the similarities.

This is another reason I try to keep SGG products built around very tight premisea. If you have no interest in the subject we cover in one of our PDFs you know you can skip it, and save your money for something you'll actually use. I've had more than one customer tell me they love spending $30 on 10 SGG PDFs, because they get more use out of that 90 (or so) pages than a collection of 640 pages of full-sized books that include a lot of topics they don;t care about.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

YuenglingDragon wrote:
I'll get a review up tomorrow but I'm pretty impressed with my first reading.

Thanks for the review!

Dark Archive

Nice review.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Dark_Mistress wrote:
Nice review.

It really is! But I'm sure it's lonely. If only someone wrote another review to keep it company... :)


Is there a flagging option for flagrant pandering by the previous poster.

:D

Dark Archive

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
Nice review.
It really is! But I'm sure it's lonely. If only someone wrote another review to keep it company... :)

Well for me that will have to wait a couple of weeks. It is in my side cart along with a few other things. But I won't be able to buy them until the second week of June.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Many thanks to Cheapy for our second review!


My magus player is pretty excited about this pdf - he's looking pretty hard at the Arcana Lord.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Just a follow up Owen.

I mentioned on Facebook about the images not showing up in this product when I view it on my iPad. All of the text views correctly (and even skews around white space that is supposed to contain an image). Any ideas why that might be happening?

Also, a query: The landscape format of the SGG products is absolutely perfect for viewing on my computer monitor, but unfortunately is rather sub-par for viewing on my iPad (and as such I only have a handful of SGG .pdfs on there as opposed to dozens from other publishers). How much extra work would it be to get both a landscape and a portrait version of your products?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

flash_cxxi wrote:

Just a follow up Owen.

I mentioned on Facebook about the images not showing up in this product when I view it on my iPad. All of the text views correctly (and even skews around white space that is supposed to contain an image). Any ideas why that might be happening?

No, although some people have had issues with not using updated viewers. What version of what program are you using in each case?

flash_cxxi wrote:
Also, a query: The landscape format of the SGG products is absolutely perfect for viewing on my computer monitor, but unfortunately is rather sub-par for viewing on my iPad (and as such I only have a handful of SGG .pdfs on there as opposed to dozens from other publishers). How much extra work would it be to get both a landscape and a portrait version of your products?

At least double the layout work, and honestly a tad more. Especially when talking about a backstock with nearly 100 products, there's no hint it would make economic sense to create additional versions of our products, unfortunately. If that economic reality changes, we'll certainly take a look at our options.


Not a bad book, but there were some great Archetypes that werent taken advantage of, like a Tank or a ranged.
While there were some gems and the artwork and layout was nice, the rest seemed like bland fluff.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

James Watts wrote:

Not a bad book, but there were some great Archetypes that werent taken advantage of, like a Tank or a ranged.

While there were some gems and the artwork and layout was nice, the rest seemed like bland fluff.

The focus of the book is new arcana, and we only included those archetypes that naturally went with the introduced arcana. It's hard for a magus to tank until they get heavy armor and even then they need more hit points), so the archetype that moves when and how the class can do that needs to focus on a lot more than just new arcana.

A book of magus archetypes could handle those kind of issues, if there was enough interest.


Loved this pdf! I think the archetypes are fantastic, and definately suit the Magus concept! Some really nice options here, and I like seeing a new class get the kind of support that really puts it on par with the other base classes!

The errata is really very minor.

Keep up the good work! (and I'll keep a' buying!)

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

drkfathr1 wrote:
Keep up the good work! (and I'll keep a' buying!)

Thanks! And thanks for the feedback.

So, what else from Ultimate Magic would you like to see get more support?

Sczarni

Some new Bard masterpieces or arcane discoveries would be great ;)

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Frerezar wrote:
Some new Bard masterpieces or arcane discoveries would be great ;)

Both good ideas!

Shadow Lodge

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
So, what else from Ultimate Magic would you like to see get more support?

More words of power.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Kthulhu wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
So, what else from Ultimate Magic would you like to see get more support?
More words of power.

Really? I wondered about that, but I wasn't sure what more people would want to see. Can you give me an idea what you think is missing?


I'll second the request for more Arcane Discoveries and Bard Masterpieces. Those were excellent.

I would love to see more Words of Power as well. I like the system but it's still limited when compared to the full normal spell lists. For example, there's no option to create undead greater than Skeletons or Zombies...

Okay...it does have a lot of possibilities already, and a ton of versatility...and other examples aren't quick to come to mind while I sit here at work without the book...but I know it could be expanded...and would love to see it so!

I'd still like to see someone tackle some Sorcerer archetypes that aren't just new or variant bloodlines.


I was hoping that two-handed weapon magus would be an archetype, but getting it through magus arcana is definitely awesome.

My one nitpick is Cabalist, which gives you spontaneous casting over prepared casting. Does a Cabalist still get Spell Recall/Improved Spell Recall, to spend arcane pool points to restore spell slots instead of prepared spells? And since Cabalist is spontaneous arcane casting, are they now Charisma casters? (As funny as it would be to see spontaneous Intelligence casting, a la 3.5 Duskblade...) It would make sense for them to replace Intelligence with Charisma as their dominant stat for spells, bloodline ability DCs and arcane pool point totals.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Ashram wrote:
I was hoping that two-handed weapon magus would be an archetype, but getting it through magus arcana is definitely awesome.

Of course we could do some new archetypes that built of these arcana...

Ashram wrote:
Does a Cabalist still get Spell Recall/Improved Spell Recall, to spend arcane pool points to restore spell slots instead of prepared spells? And since Cabalist is spontaneous arcane casting, are they now Charisma casters?

As written yes and no, but I may change that.


Yeah, I was confused about the Cabalist as well... I could not tell whether it seems like it still uses INT as its casting stat. Edit: As written, they are still an INT class. It seems like the Magus SHOULD use CHR at that point, which would make it more in line with the Sorcerer.

I did enjoy the book, I think the archtypes were the big draw for me. I was interested in the new arcana, but I don't think they were as exciting as the Cabalist or the Arcana Lord.

The Arcana that I liked the best were:

Arcane Focus
Force Magic Device
Resistant Assault
Versatile Combatant

I thought the two-weapon fighting, 2-handed-sword-use and sword and shield arcana were a little weak... It's not possible to burn that many arcana points to use them all the time until higher level... And you have to take shield proficiency if you wanna use shields.. well, effectively anyways.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Ashram wrote:
I was hoping that two-handed weapon magus would be an archetype, but getting it through magus arcana is definitely awesome.

Of course we could do some new archetypes that built of these arcana...

Ashram wrote:
Does a Cabalist still get Spell Recall/Improved Spell Recall, to spend arcane pool points to restore spell slots instead of prepared spells? And since Cabalist is spontaneous arcane casting, are they now Charisma casters?
As written yes and no, but I may change that.

Yeah, some clarification would be awesome. Make Cabalist and Magavan Charisma casters, and make Tovenaar Wisdom casters, to reflect the magic they use.

And just put somewhere in Cabalist that they still get Spell Recall/Improved Spell Recall, only it replenishes spell slots rather than prepared spells.


Ashram wrote:


Yeah, some clarification would be awesome. Make Cabalist and Magavan Charisma casters, and make Tovenaar Wisdom casters, to reflect the magic they use.

And just put somewhere in Cabalist that they still get Spell Recall/Improved Spell Recall, only it replenishes spell slots rather than prepared spells.

I don't think the Tovenaar are spellcasters at all.


Beckman wrote:
Ashram wrote:


Yeah, some clarification would be awesome. Make Cabalist and Magavan Charisma casters, and make Tovenaar Wisdom casters, to reflect the magic they use.

And just put somewhere in Cabalist that they still get Spell Recall/Improved Spell Recall, only it replenishes spell slots rather than prepared spells.

I don't think the Tovenaar are spellcasters at all.

Well, okay, fair enough. But their inquisition/domain powers occasionally have DCs and they use powers that are granted by Wisdom-based casters. :P

Which reminds me, I was looking through Cabalist some more, and the 7th level ability, Bloodline Power, has you give up Knowledge Pool to gain sorcerer bloodline powers. Awesome, but it doesn't say how many you get. I could see giving up Knowledge Pool to get, say, the 1st and 3rd level sorcerer bloodline powers, but giving up one ability to gain five abilities, including the sorcerer bloodline capstone? That's a tad overpowered. I'd suggest them giving up Knowledge Pool and the Spell Recall line to offset this.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Ashram wrote:
Which reminds me, I was looking through Cabalist some more, and the 7th level ability, Bloodline Power, has you give up Knowledge Pool to gain sorcerer bloodline powers. Awesome, but it doesn't say how many you get.

You use your magus level as your sorcerer level. That means your magus level also determines which bloodline powers you get. So if you are a 15th level magus, you get the bloodline powers a 15th level sorcerer would have.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Many thanks to Megan Robertson for the new review!

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