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The Secrets of the Magus (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

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50% Mage, 50% Warrior, 100% Awesome.

The Secrets of the Magus offers 34 new magus arcana so that the vision you have of your martial mage can easily be obtained an explored. In addition it offers a new archetype the singer of the blades so that your elven warrior wizard can embrace the most ancient and honorable martial art of the earlier eras of play. There are also seven new feats that enhance the existing magus archetypes so that you can find yourself on equal footing with any other core character class and there are new magical items that allow you to potentially assume the powers of other magic weapons so that you never have to feel the need to abandoned your favored weapon. Finally there is a new sword of legacy which could be used by any magus but may be extremely well suited for a Blackblade as its able to advance along with you, give greetings to Mournsky.

Brought to you by the same designer of the critically acclaimed The Secrets of the Luckbringer, The Secrets of the Magus gives you a host of new options to create the type of magus you want to play without breaking the game. This download also includes the data set to use The Secrets of the Magus with the Hero Lab character generator software!

Get yours today!

Author: Steven D. Russell
Cover Artist: Storn A. Cook
Pages: 8 full color

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

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Additional abilities, feats and magic items for the Magus

****( )

First off, I can say this without equivocation; I don’t like the Magus Class. I am an old school player and game master. Mages need melee classes to keep the beasties off of them so that they can cast their spells. They are NOT up-front fighters. Now I do realize that there are many who really like this kind of character, an Elric of Melnibone’, a fantasy jedi, an elf in the tradition of the old basic DnD style fighter-magic user. I also acknowledge that not everyone has a full group to play with and needs a character that plays more than one role. I will attempt to look past my bias and see the material presented on its own merit.

The following is a listing of New Magus Arcana that struck a chord with me:
Animate Weapon – This ability is thematically appropriate and cool for the Magus character. Also I can see this as a fun and interesting link to Asian style martial arts genre.
Athame Knowledge – This is an interesting extension of the Magus’s special relationship to his or her weapon. It fits into an Asian style campaign very well. I particularly like the link to the character becoming an extension of the weapon’s history and is a very cool way to link potential lesser artifact creation.
Athame Surge – Again as in the previous ability, this can be used to turn a weapon into a lesser artifact given time and use should the game master wish to allow this.
Black Blade Repost – This fits in well with the Black Blade Archetype.
Eldritch Athame – Turning one’s weapon into pure energy seems highly appropriate for this class.
Energy Web – An interesting ability that I think is particularly well suited to drow and similar beings.
Necromantic Strike – This disrupts life and unlife and is a pretty cool ability. I put it on my “like” list but it needs a little work. Perhaps in order to harm living beings, this must first require the Magus’s weapon to absorb necromantic energy from undead. This limits the ability and gives it some logic for how it can affect both.
Song of Arcane Triumph (and the other abilities specific to elves and half elves) – A cool flavor ability for a Magus who is also an elf.
Ultimate Eldritch Athame – This is a continuation on the Eldritch Athame ability and taken together with Athame Knowledge and Athame Surge seems most appropriate for the Magus class. Though I would want to allow this only as a capstone ability, level 20, as opposed to the level 15 access given.

The New Magus Arcana that I didn’t like:
Augment Physical Prowess – This is too much like certain the features of the Alchemist class by Paizo. It doesn’t fit my view of a Magus class ability.
Bounding Step – I can see the desire for this one to mimic some of the things seen in certain genre films. But, I think a magus should have to cast the fly spell in order to fly; otherwise it is not interruptible and is overpowering in my view. At the very least raise the level requirement a bit so that the magus has to know and use the spell fly prior to gaining the ability to use a single arcane pool point. Alternatively, raising the pool points required might go a long way to balancing this ability a bit.
Doublefire Wand – No, this is too overpowering. Particularly at 15th level when a Magus would have all kinds of additional abilities and spells. Granted once those are all used up relying on a staff or wand as a last resort means the player (or if done in character, the character) overextended him or herself and must take the consequences.
Nigh Irresistible Strike – Being able to disrupt magical defenses seems to be a cool ability, but there simply isn’t a logical reason for it to work as described. It needs more flavor as to how and why this works. If it is acting as a dispel magic, how is it not canceled out by the Magus’s own natural spell powers. There needs to be a check on this. Perhaps once used, the Magus can’t use points from his Arcane Pool or Magus Arcana for the next round.
Wave of Mutilation – So, how does this work exactly? A single cut of the Magus’s weapon becomes a “scything wave of energy” that sweeps a 30-foot cone of magical force at her enemies. It seems too powerful, too cartoonish and doesn’t make sense to me. How does this work? Why not just use a cone spell instead? Now if the Magus could cause her weapon to be a spell storing type and cast a cone-type spell into it and then unleash it upon his enemies as she cuts a swath through them, then it makes sense. As is? No, it is too overpowering and too cartoony and ridiculous.

Singer of Blades:
The Singer of Blades is a flavorful Magus archetype for elves and half elves. This seems pretty balanced and fun. The abilities are appropriate and the capstone ability, Furious Dance, is interesting. I would like to know if these replica blades are considered to be pure energy, and if so, of which type of energy. Can the Magus determine which energy at the moment he uses this ability? The spell doesn’t specify this as clearly as I would like it to. But I assume this only lasts the round it is used. It can be activated a minimum number of times per day, based upon Intelligence.

New Feats for the Magus:
Maybe I am a mean GM, but I would severely curtail the number of feats a Magus class could take due to the sheer number of class abilities the Magus already receives. That being said, how do these new feats work with the Magus?
The Bladebound Defense feat fits with the Black Blade Archetype and would be appropriate if that archetype is allowed.
Clinging Touch, Crippling Touch … seem to add too much to the already extreme power of the Magus to the extent that they seem to overpower the class even further.
Dance of Ruin and Dance of Death have a large number of prerequisites and thus are balanced out by requiring the character to devote many levels worth of feats. They also add to the defense of the character rather than offense. Of course this allows the Magus to be even more self-reliant, but if the player and game master are already playing this type of campaign it doesn’t seem too overpowering.
Deny the Afflicted seems to be only for a dual Magus and Witch and very niche. But for the player who wants to combine these two highly complex classes and has a GM that allows it, the ability itself doesn’t seem too overpowered.
Improved Reflection improves the Magus’s reflection class ability to allow the Magus to direct where the reflected spell goes. The use is restricted only by the prerequisite of the Magus Arcana reflection ability and the character’s Intelligence bonus and seems a bit overpowered. I’d like to see some sort of level based prerequisite as well.

New Magic Items:
These go from cool and awesome, like Mournsky, the minor artifact/black blade, to the Crystal of Arcane Assimilation which seems to be either missing some text description or was not thought through enough. To be specific with the Crystal; I am not clear on what the gem actually does. If it can be used to transfer magical energies from one magical weapon to another during the lengthy ritual mentioned; then it can be used to take a weapon gained as treasure which no one in the particular party can use and make it useful. I don’t have a particular need for this. If I wish my players to have access to magical weapons their characters can use, then I add them in as treasure. For those who wish to play a character like Elric of Melnibone’ then Mournsky would be a very cool quest objective for that character. I can see that as the reward at culmination of many adventures and many heroic tales.

Conclusion:
On the whole the good, flavorful, and useful abilities, feats and magic items offered in this supplement make this worth picking up. For a campaign in which there are a limited number of players, one or two, the Magus becomes a very fun class to play. The Singer of Blades archetype is a good choice for elven characters. As for the look of this book, it is typical of Rite Publishing’s standards of production and all of the art within is in color. My rating on this is 4 of 5 stars, mainly due to those abilities that were overpowered or needed more tweaking to work well.


A worthy book for Magus fans.

*****

The Secrets of the Magus by Rite Publishing

This product is 13 pages long. It starts with a cover and credits. (2 pages)

New Magus Arcana (4 ½ pages)
There is 34 new arcana in the book. Several of the ones I liked was.
Animate Weapon – makes it into a dancing weapon.
Athame Surge – temporarily enchant a weapon in a variety of ways.
Damage Shield – temporarily gives them DR
Energy Web – creating a elemental style web that damages foes while trapping them.
Necromatic Strike – does bonus dmg and save or take str and con dmg for the living. Does massive dmg to undead.
Nigh Irresistible Strike – allows a magus to bypass DR.

Extra's (3 ½ pages)
There is a new Magus Archetype, Singer of Blades. This archetype replaces several abilities, in place it gains abilities Song of Blades which gives me a AC bonus when wielding a 1h weapon and nothing in the other hand. A bonus to concentration when casting defensively, once a day force a crit even on monsters immune to it and finally can attack everything with in 30ft of them.

There is also 7 new feats and 3 new magic items, including one minor artifact.

It ends with a OGL and ads (3 pages)

Closing thoughts. The artwork is color and so so. Layout and editing are good. Most of the new Arcana are good, a few are very cool, but I was also hoping for some more other option styles. The Singer of blades and some of the song arcana hit on this. Giving it a slight bard feel, which was nice. But I was hoping for a bit more of that. What there is, is good. So don't get me wrong, I was just hoping for some more stuff to add variation to the class. The archetype and magic items and feats where all good. Especially the archetype and minor artifact which was both very very good. Everything seemed well balanced and thought out. So what's my rating? I am going to go with a 4.5. It gives everything it claims it will and does it well, but I couldn't help feeling that it needed just a bit more to push it up to a 5.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Great additional fodder for your Magus

*****

This pdf is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and two pages advertisements, leaving 8 pages of new content for the Magus base-class.

I've long liked Gish and once I get finally reviewing some of my SGG-products, I'll also look at how their takes on the Gish-trope work - for now, though, Paizo has released the lauded arcane knight base class called the Magus in Ultimate Magic, which chances are if you read this review, you'll possess. To cut a long debate short - whether you like it or not, the Magus-class gets some new toys to play with in this supplement: 34 new magus arcana are contained herein, so let's take a look at them for now: To come out with it right away - I didn't have significant problems with any of the new arcana options and liked the additional options they provide for the magus-class. My favorites were "Damage Shield", which gives you a kind of buffer for any damage for one round and "Nigh Irresistible Strike", which can reduce spell and energy resistances as well as damage reductions. Of course, some of the abilities also feature some iconic abilities, like the "Energy Web" that throws a web of deadly energy at opponents and "Charge of the Magi", which propels you with force towards enemies. "Slice through Wardings" had me experience a knee-jerk "no way"-reaction when I first read it: The ability lets you ignore all magical defenses of the foe. However, it takes both 1 point of arcane pool and it only works for a single attack. I guess I can live with this limit. There are also 4 special song-arcanas associated with the elven/half-elven bladesinger-trope and they ROCK. Oh yeah, "Wave of Mutilation" lets you hit enemies in cones, Sauron-style. Nice!
Furthermore, we get the new "Singer of Blades"-archetype, a cool take on the bladesinger with some rather iconic abilities: The capstone creates replicas of the magus' weapon and attacks all foes in 30 ft. and the focus rests on mobility and rapiers/longswords. The 7 new feats are nice, I especially liked the "Deny the Afflicted"-feat, which disables the last attack (lowest BAB) of enemies afflicted by your hex/curses - a great feat not only for the magus, but also for the as of yet somehow underpowered Witch.

Finally, there are 2 new items dealing with enchanting weapons and transferring touch spells into arcane pool and even better, we get a cool legacy weapon sword, Mournsky. I've said it multiple times and I'll say it again - I love well-crafted legacy weapons and this one is no exception.

Conclusion:
Layout adheres to the full-color-two-column standard set by the Pathways e-zine and subsequently is beautiful. Editing is good - while the first version still suffered from some glitches, this review is for V.2.0 of the book which has cleared all the typos I noticed in the first version. (Also the reason it took me so long to review this - I've rewritten my review.) The pdf is also extensively bookmarked and offers a nice value and additional fodder for the Magus. Balance-wise, I didn't notice any ability/feat or other piece of equipment. I'm not a big fan of the cover-art, but that's personal opinion. Usually, a set-up like this would lead to a 5-star-rating, but somehow, I'm loathe to give this one 5 stars - while the book does everything right, I still feel like there's something missing - not rules-wise, but rather with regards to the abilities. You can do awesome things like walking on vertical surfaces etc., but I didn't get the "this blew me away"-vibe from this book, thus, my final verdict for this book will be a good 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform as I think it's closer to 5 than to 4.

Endzeitgeist out.


A cool book with lots of interesting options

****( )

This PDF is 13 pages long, 8 of which contain "crunch". Two pages are ads, one of which is for another company's product. Artwork doesn't matter too much to me rating-wise, but I enjoyed the art in this book. I can't shake the feeling that I've seen the Magus on page 6 before though.

Regardless, here are the Arcana:
Animate Weapon: As the spell says, it allows a Magus to animate a weapon, much like the Dancing weapon property does. If having animated weapons isn't cool enough, on a Disarm attempt the magus can animate an *enemy's* weapon.

Athame Knowledge: Grants one weapon-related feat for a while. Black Blade magi can use their class level as their BAB for purposes of selecting a feat.

Athame Surge: Expend a spell slot to gain an enhancement bonus to your weapon equal to half the level of the spell expended. Can spend this on weapon abilities too.

Augment Physical Prowess: Increase a physical stat by two.

Black Blade Riposte: Anyone who attacks the Magus is counterattacked by the black blade, using the Magi's AoOs.

Born to the Black Blade: Bonuses to initiative and DCs of spell combat spells.

Bounding Step: "Dash" to a location, and be treated as flying for the movement.

Charge of the Magi: Charge an enemy for extra force damage, and knock him prone. While going towards enemy, you are treated as flying.

Damage Shield: Fairly obvious.

Doublefire Wand: Can use two wands or two staves instead of a spell during Spell Combat.

Eldritch Athame: Change the type and size of a weapon, gaining proficiency with it.

Energy Burst: It's like Channel Energy, but with one of the five elements instead.

Energy Web: Enshroud an enemy in a web made of energy that deals damage each round, and gives bonus damage to the attack that places it.

Flattening Strike: Smash your enemies away from you and to the ground! Thor approves.

Force Adept: Gain mage hand at-will, and eventually be able to use Telekinesis. Only spellblades can take this!

Free Step: Run fast and up vertical surfaces!

Malice: Opponents affected by the Hexcrafter's hexes are hurt extra.

Maneuvering Strike: Next CM doesn't provoke.

Necromatic Strike: Either hurt living creatures, or possibly destroy undead.

Nigh Irresistable Strike: Lower SR, Energy Resistance, or DR for a while.

Opportune Strike: Cast a spell on someone if you hit them with an AoO.

Overcome Circumstances: Shrug off or delay conditions.

Searing Shield: If Spell Shield makes an enemy not hit the Magus, the enemy takes fire damage.

Serpent-Eyed Strike: Make a target flat-footed by distracting him with a hypnotic pattern.

Shield Caster: Lets a Magus use a shield, and still be able to do spell combat and magus arcana.

Slice Through Wardings: Ignore magical protections such as Stoneskin and AC bonuses.

Song of Arcane Triumph: Add sonic damage based on your level to your attack.

Song of Death's Herald: The target of this ability takes a penalty to AC and the Magus is treated as having a higher crit range on her weapon, which stacks with Keen-effects.

Song of the Blade Dance: Gain bonuses to hit and AC.

Song of Victory: Inspires the Magi's allies and weakens their foes.

Stalwart: Attacks that provide diminished effects on successful Fort / Will saves instead do nothing. Hexcrafter only.

Ultimate Eldritch Athame: Permanently alter the bonuses and abilities of your weapon as a free action once per round. It must have the same total as before.

Vampiric Thirst: Self-explanatory

Wave of Mutilation: Deal force damage in a cone.

Archetype: Singer of Blades. This is for Elves or Half-Elves only. This archetype gives bonuses while using a longsword or rapier in one hand, and nothing in the other. These include a dodge bonus to AC, and the ability to take 10 on Concentration checks even in combat. They can also treat one hit as a Critical Hit and further do a single melee attack against all foes within 30'. These last two abilities come at level 19 and 20, so they may not see much use.

7 new Feats:

Bladebound Defense: Can't be flanked when holding Black Blade.

Clinging Touch: Pool Strike does damage the round after.

Crippling Touch: Pool Strike deals scaling strength damage.

Dance of Ruin: Use Perform (Dance) to give bonuses to Spring Attack that scale based on your result. Very cool idea!

Dance of Death: Use Perform (Dance) to give bonuses to hit, damage, and AC when using Whirlwind Attack. Even cooler idea!

Deny the Afflicted: Creatures affected by your hexes lose one iterative attack against you.

Improved Reflection: Redirect where the spell you reflected goes.

Magic items: There are three new ones.

Crystal of Arcane Assimilation, Gloves of Arcane Gathering, and a minor artifact sword Mournsky.

Overall, I really enjoy a lot of the options this book offers. The arcana Charge of the Magic and Bounding Step allow for some really cool cinematic-like abilities. Flattening Strike sounds awesome, and could work really well with a Dwarven hammer-using Magus, for thematic reasons alone.

With a more flexible rating system, I'd rate this a 4.5.


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