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Advanced Feats: Might of the Magus (PFRPG) PDF

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Might of the Magus brings you feats of swordsmanship and spellcraft, expanding the range of this already versatile class.

Created by Complete Advanced Feats author Sigfried Trent, this 16-page book includes:

  • An insightful breakdown of the magus class
  • 30 new feats for the Magus including Adrenalin Surge, Dancing Strike, and Spellstrike Multishot
  • 3 Magus character builds: The Fae Blade, Lady of the Lash, and The Rune Fist

Get ready to do it all with Advanced Feats: Might of the Magus today! And check out the rest of the Advanced Feats series for other Pathfinder RPG core classes.

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Good advice and builds for a Magus and some good feats.

***( )( )

Might of the Magus by Open Design

This product is 16 pages long. It starts with a cover, ToC, and credits. (2 pages)

Expanded Options for the Magus (2 pages)
This section starts of examining the all aspects of the Magus.

Feats (7 pages)
This section has 30 new feats for the magus, some can be used by other classes as well. Below is a few examples.
Black blade Spell book – Your black blade replaces your spell book.
Cleaving Spellstrike – may cast a spell with a touch attack and then make a attack as if using Cleaving Strike feat to deliver the spell.
Dancing Strike – May take a 5ft step after every main hand attack.
One Handed Grapple – May grapple with one hand with out the normal penalty.
Parry Defense – While making a full attack, you may forgo one of your attacks to gain a +2 AC.
Spell Drinker – on a crit or death blow with your black blade, you can learn one spell to your spell list that the enemy knew.
Touch of Opportunity – During a AoO may use a touch attack spell.
Whip Mastery – You no longer provoke a AoO and you now threaten all in range.

It ends with a small section of feats from Open Designs Complete Advanced Feats series that would be useful to the Magus.

Character Builds (3 pages)
This section has 3 advice builds for building a themed Magus.
The Fae Blade – This build is focused on doing the maxim amount of damage in combat.
Lady of the Lash – A whip based magus with a focus on using ranged Spellstrike and anti-caster roll.
The Rune Fist – This is a monk/Magus dual class build.

Final bit has a small section on how to play up low charisma characters since the last build is such a character.

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

Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white other than the cover image and just symbols. Editing and layout are well done. While I didn't notice any spelling errors. The three builds I all thought where pretty interesting, though I am partial to concepts that use whips effectively. The beginning section that breaks down the class is well done and should help new people to the class to better understand and effectively use the class. Next we get to the feats. I like most of the feats but there is more than a few I felt where honestly too powerful. I mean part of that is matter of taste and you will always have a few misses but I think to date so far this one misses more than any previous books in the series.

Some of the feats where very good, some was ok and some was I felt just to good. Taken as a whole there is still more good than bad in the feats though. So if you are a fan of the magus I still think you will find it helpful. For GM's you might want to check the feats before allowing some of them. So what's my rating? After a lot of serious thought I am going to give this one a 3 star, worth picking up for fans of the magus but I felt it could have used some more play testing.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Here comes the epic power-creep; Munchkins rejoice!

**( )( )( )

This full-color pdf is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1page SRD, leaving 13 pages of content for the Magus. so let's take a look at it!

As we are used to by now in this series, the pdf kicks off with a discussion on the Magus class, the official gish of PFRPG. Let me state something here - I really like the concept of arcane duellants and subsequently enjoyed both the Archon and the Vanguard by SGG (which I'll be reviewing, too), but the Magus has fast become one of my favorite takes on the trope.

However: The fusion of arcane damage potential and melee capabilities requires careful balancing to keep the Magus fragile or not too damaging to general balance. The discussion acknowledges the Magus as a fragile heavy hitter.

The next section provides 30 new feats for the Magus come with their designer commentaries, but no IC-fluff text and, adhering to my new format, I'll be talking about those that stand out, be it positive or negative. "Arcana Thief" is the first I liked: Capitalizing on the mage-hunter vibe I got from the class, it enables the Magus to regain spent arcane pool points by disrupting spell-casting, be it via attacks, counterspells or dispels.

I'm not a fan of "Cleaving Spellstrike", as it lets make cleave attacks instead of normal touch attacks. Additionally, you cleave with a touch-spell by expending one arcane pool point per attack, essentially getting multiple hits out of one spell - this, in my humble opinion, is severely overpowered, even with the pool point restriction.

Another feat that will never see use in my campaign, is "Hobbyist", which nets you your character level in skill points in a given skill, making skill focus look like an even poorer feat-choice at levels 3+. Once again, over-powered.

"Last-Ditch Effort" on the other hand, rocks: Once per turn, you can make a standard or move action prior to falling unconscious. Ladies and gentlemen, that's the stuff legendary last-second saves and heroics are made of.

"Grasping Strike" and "One-handed Grapple", unfortunately don't strike a chord with me: Grasping Strike lets you essentially initiate a grapple as a free action after succeeding an unarmed attack, duplicating a special quality usually (and rightfully!) reserved to monsters - this feat is far too strong and screams "abuse the hell out of me" to any monks out there.

Combine that with no penalty for grappling one-handed due to the second feat and you're ready for a monkish world of pain, both as a foe and as a DM.

"Parrying Defense" on the other hand, is a cool feat: You can sacrifice attacks for additional AC-bonuses, potentially speeding up play and offering some benefits. Nice!

"Precise Attack" is another winner, offering the chance to sacrifice attacks for better chances to hit the opponents.

"Savage Spellstrike" is even more overpowered/ high on the power-scale than the standard spellstrike ability: It lets you use the weapon's crit multiplier instead of x2. Hello e.g. scythes and you're in for SICKENING amounts of damage. I hate this feat from the bottom of my heart. It is a one-lucky-strike-kill-an-enemy-off-feat and if you as a DM use it, you might kill PCs with a lucky and not too heroic blow. Scoring a crit with a spell is strong enough, we don't need x4 for such an attack. I despise this feat.

"Touch of Opportunity" is the next feat on my op-list - cast a touch spell as an attack of opportunity? Sorry, not in this DM's game.

"Warding Touch Spell" fives you a personal contingency against melee attacks that discharges on the attacker if you get hit. Spells that grant multiple touches remain as a ward until fully discharged. The spell only takes up one spell-level higher.

"Weapon Reliability" is another feat that just does not conform with what I consider a good idea: With this feat, you no longer automatically miss on an attack roll of 1. This one is just a personal preference, though, and I don't have true balance concerns here.

"Wrap Strike", though, is a final feat I abhor: By using chain weapons and having weapon focus for said weapon, you can ignore any opponent's shield bonus to AC, further making shields problematic choices and ignoring a WHOLE CLASS of items and spells that grant this kind of bonus with one feat. I don't know where to start to explain in how many ways I hate this feat.

And don't get me started on "Spellstrike Multishot" and its inherent potential to dual-cast each round...

Finally, we get 3 sample magus builds, the fae blade, the lady of the lash and the rune fist. I mostly enjoyed the ideas behind the builds as well as the sidebar explaining the love for armor spikes and ideas to roleplay characters with cha as dumpstat.

Conclusion:

The one piece of artwork is niece and the full-color layout is beautiful. The pdf could have used another pass at editing and formatting, though: I noticed several upper/lower-case inconsistencies and some other glitches that could have been avoided. While there are some instances of feat-designs I personally didn't like, I've refrained from commenting on the feat-tree for ranged combat Magi, that, while stylish, could upset a campaigns balance.

More importantly, though, there are much more feats than in any other installment of the series that fall prey to power-creep, and not the subtle one, but rather into the hardcore-munchkinism way of power creep. Those of you who follow my reviews on a regular basis know that I'm rather conservative when it comes to power-levels and thus I didn't find much I could scavenge in this pdf. Rather than that, I found several easy ways to break components of a game and impede fun. There are some good feats here and for some groups this pdf might work, but my final verdict will nevertheless be a 1.5 stars, rounded up to 2 due to the saving graces. This installment replaces "Secrets of the Alchemist" as my least favorite book in the series and any DM allowing it should carefully ponder the consequences, not only for Magi, but also for other classes.

Endzeitgeist out.


High quality, as expected

*****

This is the fourth Advanced Feats book I’ve had the pleasure of reading, so I already had a good idea of what to expect. Not just in terms of layout, but also in terms of quality. All of Sigfried Trent’s prior Advanced Feats books have been of extraordinary quality, and this one upholds the tradition. I am very pleased to now have thirty more of his feats in my campaign! (There is no doubt that I will soon be buying the remaining books that I’m missing in the series.)

Following a short three-paragraph introduction, we get an in-depth analysis of the Magus class. There is a surprising amount of insight packed into this one-and-a-half page section. For example, even though I went back and re-read my “Playtest Round 3” pdf of the Magus class as preparation for this review, I failed to notice what was omitted from the Magus spell list. However, the author of Might of the Magus noticed: The spell list lacks holds, charms, divinations, and abjurations. This section has a number of useful observations regarding the Magus class.

Next, on page 4 is a summary table of the thirty new feats, which gives us an at-a-glance review of each feat’s prerequisites and benefits. The in-depth descriptions start on page 5. Curiously, a typo in the Table of Contents lists this page number as 10.

As always in this series, the feats are well thought out and described with a clear, concise, economy of words. You will find no redundancy or ambiguity here. Each feat description includes a commentary from the author, where he lets us in on what he was trying to accomplish and what lead him to make the decisions he made. I find these commentaries to be particularly useful, not only because they give me insight into the individual feats, but also because after reading a few of them it is easier to understand what principles lead to good game design.

Sprinkled through the book are sidebars with short discussions (usually about two paragraphs) of ideas related to the book’s theme. I have always really liked these informative little sidebars tucked into the Advanced Feats series, and Might of the Magus gives us six of them!

As you would expect in a book of feats for the Magus class, a lot of the feats apply only to the Magus. However, there are also a lot that can be used by anyone. (Well, almost anyone…) One of those is Spell Charge. It allows a touch spell to be delivered as part of a charging attack (remember, under the regular rules only melee attacks may be used in conjunction with a charge). This one is absolutely great for any spellcaster who has a really aggressive streak! I think this one is destined to be quite popular in my campaign

Precise Attack was one of my instant favorites. This feat allows a character with multiple attacks to forgo all but their primary attack in exchange for a fairly nice bonus to their attack roll. It appeals to me for two reasons: First, because it matches exactly what the hero often does in movies and books – pause, concentrate, and then make one really effective attack. Second, because of Mr. Trent’s commentary – “With lots of options that grant extra attacks for less accuracy, I wanted something that would drive in the other direction.”

This feat demonstrates exactly why I enjoy Mr. Trent’s work so much. To begin with, so many of his feats provide ways for players to do the dramatic and heroic things that we love in adventure stories. Next, it demonstrates one of his great strengths as a designer: The ability to approach a familiar idea from a new direction, and do something useful with the resulting insight. Last of all, you’ll notice that in the prior paragraph I said “a fairly nice bonus”, not “a really big bonus”. Mr. Trent is an enemy of power creep. His feats add variety, they add flavor, they add options, but they do not unbalance the game. I am not afraid to use any of Sigfried Trent’s feats in my campaign.

Another instant favorite is Warding Touch Spell. This is one of those ideas that is so incredibly obvious, it makes you wonder why no one ever thought if it before. Yet no one did, until now. Oh, by the way... No; I’m not going to describe this one to you. I’ve got to leave something for you to discover when you buy the book!

I do have a nitpick with the name chosen for one of the feats: Adrenalin Surge. To my ears, that is a modern-sounding name. As someone who enjoys a mediaeval feel to my FRPG’s, I would have preferred a more archaic sounding label. Maybe “Rising Choler”, or “Vengeful Anger”, or at least something that isn’t quite so reminiscent of modern verbiage. Still, this is my only point of unhappiness with this excellent book.

I am very pleased to own this book. I think you will be too.


Feats and more for the Magus

****( )

First off, I have to admit my bias. I do not like the Magus class. I am an old school player and game master. Mage classes are supposed to have melee classes protecting them while they cast their spells. However I do recall the old elven fighter/magic user class from the “good old days” that allowed the elf to be a weak fighter and weak caster, but be able to do both. Many like these types of characters and want to build a character based on these extraordinary individuals who possessed great power like Elric of Melnibone’ and the jedi of the Star Wars universe. Given the audience in mind, I will try to look past my personal biases and see the material presented on its own merit.

I particularly appreciate the analysis of the Magus class at the beginning. This is useful for those who think they want to play a Magus but need some hints and guidelines on how to play this class well. For players who are already good at optimizing characters, this is perhaps not as useful. It still makes for interesting reading though. For players who are hopeless at optimization this is an extremely useful tool even for a campaign where optimization isn’t needed.

Following the analysis of the Magus class as a whole is a series of “Advanced Feats”. The summary table with summary and prerequisites is a handy tool. A few feats seemed particularly interesting but others seem too good. The Magus class is overpowered enough at it is, so those feats that allow the Magus to break rules, particularly if done in a metagame fashion, I dislike.

Advanced Feats: Might of the Magus - list

Adrenalin Surge – moral bonuses in combat when at half health
Arcana Thief – gain arcane points for disrupting and dispelling spells
Cleaving Spellstrike – spellstrike when using cleave feat
Clever Maneuvering – use Int instead of Str for calculating CMB
Dancing Strike – take a 5’ step between each attack
Evasive Spell – casting doesn’t provoke AOE
Grasping Strike – initiate grapple after successful unarmed attack
Greatweapon Spell combat – Use spell combat with a two handed weapon
Hobbyist – Gain full ranks in a single skill
Ki Arcana – Intermingle Ki and Arcane pool
Last-Ditch Effort – Perform a standard action before you fall in battle
One Handed Grappling – Not hindered when grappling with only one hand free
Parrying Defense – Sacrifice attacks to increase AC
Precise Attack – Sacrifice attacks for greater accuracy
Ranged Spell Combat – Spell combat with ranged weapons
Reckless Attack – Sacrifice defenses to gain bonus to hit adjacent foes
Savage Spellstrike – Use weapon’s critical multiplier for spell damage on a confirmed nat. 20
Spell Charge – Cast a touch spell as part of a charge
Spelldrinker – a black blade can learn spells from enemy spellcasters
Spellstrike Multishot – Deliver a spell affect with both arrows
Spellstrike Trip – Deliver touch spells while making a trip attack
Touch of Opportunity – Use touch spells as AOE
Unbalancing Parry – When you fight defensively, opponents that miss you suffer AC penalty
Unorthodox Training – Swap a good save for a poor one
Warding Touch Spell – Turn a touch spell into a personal ward
Weapon Reliability – Do not auto miss on a natural 1
Whip Mastery – Overcome whip’s limitations as a combat weapon
Wrap Strike – Swing around opponent’s shield in combat

Discussion of specific feats:

Black Blade Spellbook and Spelldrinker seem particularly well done for the Black Blade archetype.

The multiclass feat Ki Arcana is clearly a niche feat and only those who wish to play the Magus with a class that has a Ki power can even take it.

Spellstrike Multishot is clearly overpowered in my view as it allows a Magus to cast two spells in the same round. Its prerequisite Ranged Spellstrike seems very useful in that it allows touch spells to be delivered at range.

I particularly liked Dancing Strike and its utility is not restricted to the Magus only. I can see some finesse fighter or bard dancing back and forth between opponents like Syrio Forel from The Game of Thrones.

Of the ones I didn’t like, Weapon Reliability tops that list. Under no circumstance will I remove the auto miss feature in the game. There should always be a chance at failure no matter how powerful a character is. It also goes both ways, if the players can take this, why not the game master for his favorite NPC with which he wishes to thrash the PC’s. It is the recipe for potential game group disaster if the players think the GM is cheating.

Next is a discussion on character builds and three individual examples with flavor and story backgrounds. Now these examples don’t have full stat blocks for GM use, but the stats and suggestions for archetype, features, feats and ability increases for each level as well as the suggested spell lists are useful for both GM and player.

The feats provided included some really interesting and useful ones as well as a few that are not good. I really appreciated the analysis of the Magus at the beginning as well as the designer’s discussion of each feat are useful and appreciated. There were also a number of boxed items discussed that are useful for running or building a Magus. These included a discussion on mithral buckler use, a note on magic swords and real world mythology, a discussion on feat balance, notes on weapon crit ranges with regards to the Magus spellstrike ability, uses of armor spikes, and notes on role playing characters with low charisma.

Overall, the feats that I liked outweigh the ones that I didn’t. The additional discussion on building and running a Magus as well as the designer’s notes on the new feats were interesting and useful. However this extra discussion took up space that perhaps could have been filled with actual content. For those that only want additional content and don’t need the extra discussion, this book may not be as useful. Those that were hoping for full stat block treatment for the sample characters will be disappointed. However this is clearly intended to be a player resource not a game master specific one. For new players who want to know the ins and outs of playing a Magus, this is particularly useful. So my rating is a 4 of 5 because I see some use in the design comments and others. Even though I didn’t love all the feats, it was interesting to read the design comments.


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