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What Does A Magus NPC Do?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Shadow Lodge

Don't get me wrong, I love the magus, it's my favorite class because I like playing magic knights. However, Magi (and most of their archetypes) seem very geared towards PCs.

However, I wondered why there would be an NPC who has a RP reason, and not just a mechanical reason to be a magus. All of the additional base classes can easily be played by an NPC: cavalier is a courtly knight (or at least someone on a horse), Summoners I have seen done really well with their eidolons, Oracles can have nice srories attachec to their powers, Witches are always fun, Alchemists are crazy scientists, ninjas are ninjas, samurai are samurai, and gunslingers shoot stuff and act tough, and inquisitors are never expected.

But what reason does that magus have not to be an Eldritch Knight, besides being better at fighting?


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

The opening fluff has some ideas. They could be sellswords, or sellspellswords, I guess.

Explorers of ancient runes, looking for lost spells and being good enough with the sword to deal with threats.


Magus would be an order of specialized fighting spellcasters. If you are asking how this differs from Eldritch Knights then it's a matter of flavor and power, not to mention spell selections.

Qadira

I'm not gonna lie, I read the title and thought "Stab people"

Magi:
is a term, used since at least the 4th century BC, to denote followers of Zoroaster, or rather, followers of what the Hellenistic world associated Zoroaster with, which was – in the main – the ability to read the stars, and manipulate the fate that the stars foretold. The meaning prior to the Hellenistic period is uncertain.

That is what a Magi really is.

So, in the spirit of the name of the abilities, you could say they are Wizards of the spellschool of Melee.

In the spirit of the Name of the Class, go with a Soothseer of sorts.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

With a magus, you are looking at someone who is simultaneously training in the arcane and martial arts. An Eldritch Knight has focused on different pursuits at different times before being able to meld both.

Qadira

What can't they do? I don't see this as much of a problem. An NPC magus could be a lord, or a knight, or a criminal mastermind. She could be a hunter of evil mages, using her swordcraft and unconventional use of arcane magic as an edge against her chosen foes. Perhaps he's an explorer, or a guardian of some secret library that only a chosen few can access. Perhaps one has to be a magus in order to be a templar for the god of magic? There are numerous possibilities.


I'm pretty sure they just walk around being bad-ass.

In all seriousness, they'd be great bounty hunters ("I can hunt down anything, sword or spell"), security/bodyguards, elite soldiers-the fantasy equivalent of special forces, guards at a mages college, jack of all trades defender for a small village.

Mine is a multi-class rogue who grew up learning to fight with sword and spell as a Half-Elf in Greengold. Learning to fight from the humans and elves as he defended himself from both and their bullying. Now he looks to prove he can best all of them as he searches for glory and adventure.


I use em as:

Rich second children of noble families.

The lifelong bodyguards of noble families (like Arsenio Hall in coming to America)

The Temple Guards of Nethys (magic god).

The nation of Nex has a school for these guys. They are the Special Forces of Nex.
Cheliax does the same thing, but all younger nobles sworn to house Thrune.
I may put em in Irrisen as well.

Pathfinders, the pathfinders love these guys.

I have a school of them in Kaer Maga. They are an offshoot of The Brotherhood of the Seal.

In my game EKs are pretty much Elves. But that's a generalization. If I were to resurrect the Forgotten Realms as my milieu then the magus would replace the Duskblades there and the EK would be everyone else maybe.


Paladins are knights powered by divine magic, a magus is a knight powered by arcane magic.

Andoran

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I've always pictured them as the gunslingers of the fantasy world.... at least until we got real Gunslingers... hitting that samurai-cowboy spaghetti western feel.

They hunt each other down in the adventurers taverns and toss a potion of heroism in their rival's face. Call him out for a spell-duel at high noon in the street just to see who really is the quickest spell-slinger in these here parts.


They can be the martial arm of some magical circle.

Or you could depict him as someone who crafts magical weapons and in his free time practices fighting with them like Will Turner from pirates of the carribean with magic. More so with the soulforger archetype.

He could be the sworn protector of some wilderness settlement.

With the hexcrafter archetype he can even be a good town healer. He can get the healing hex which might be sub par for adventurers but is just nice for someone who cares for lots of people.
With normal healing spells you can only heal so many people, wich channel it micht be a lot of people und the healing hex could be used to cure (potentially) 1 person per combat turn. So if everyone needing healing being laid out in a row you could heal 10 per minute, 600 per hour...

The magus might even be some kind of judicial champion in a society where guilt is proven by fighting a duell, an ordeal by battle. If the offender wins he wasn't guilty. For such fights courts could have specialized fighters as opponents. And other specialized fighters make a living by fighting in stead of those who paid them.
Envision a magus with mercyful spell metamagic feat, the flaring spell metamagic feat and the magical lineage (shocking grasp) trait in combination with the blade of mercy trait to quickly knock out his opponents without killing them.

In fact that sound like something I could play sometime.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ninjaxenomorph wrote:

Don't get me wrong, I love the magus, it's my favorite class because I like playing magic knights. However, Magi (and most of their archetypes) seem very geared towards PCs.

However, I wondered why there would be an NPC who has a RP reason, and not just a mechanical reason to be a magus.

Turn the question around. Can you think of an RP reason why YOUR character is a magus? If so, you've got one answer to build on right there.

I see this as a perfect path for Elves who blend swordplay and magic as an artform in and of itself.


LazarX wrote:
Ninjaxenomorph wrote:

Don't get me wrong, I love the magus, it's my favorite class because I like playing magic knights. However, Magi (and most of their archetypes) seem very geared towards PCs.

However, I wondered why there would be an NPC who has a RP reason, and not just a mechanical reason to be a magus.

Turn the question around. Can you think of an RP reason why YOUR character is a magus? If so, you've got one answer to build on right there.

I see this as a perfect path for Elves who blend swordplay and magic as an artform in and of itself.

My RP reason is that my Magus knew forms of magic, but became interested in swordplay when she saw her childhood friend use swords (two-weapon fighting ranger) to deal with threats. Probably a poor example considering she's pure Magus, not multiclass.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My homebrew setting has the main Elf city as a very magic-centric city. They have a strict caste system set up on if you can cast spells or not. The elite guard for the city is a group of Magi.

So for me they are an elite fighting force for a magic-centric society.


I think gaurd at a magic school is an important one. Elite strike team members can be one. Also they can be in charge of spellcasters for city guard or help defend things like castle gaurd or even gaurd of city district with a magic school in it to prepare it for defense. They could definitely be rival adventurers or maybe even bandit leaders that know magic.

Grand Lodge

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

For my half-elven magus, she actually learned her craft at an Andoren war academy specifically for the discipline of the War Mage, or Magus as it were.

There are lots of ways you can think of the Magus as RP. Bladesinger, Spellsword, Seeker of the True Art of War. or just plain Battle Caster. Perhaps the sole reason for the growth of the Colleges of Magi are the awareness of all the wizards who've fallen to melee combat. Or war in general.


Switching from playing the Eberron setting to Pathfinder the Magus class struck me as the perfect replacement for the Aundair prestige class for the fighter wizard. I believe it was called a Phantom Knight. Essentially a knightly order that where the special forces of the kingdom.

The Knowledge Pool special ability in particular seems like a reason to play up a shared link between most Magus. Something like- Our order inducts it members once they have reached a sufficient level of knowledge and aptitude so they may commune with the great well of knowledge that holds the secrets to the magic passed down to us from our founding members etc etc.

But really there could be any number of reasons to have a Magus class in the campaign world given there range of abilities.

Shadow Lodge

run the moduel the delsine affair, its a pfs module. i ran it one time, i tpk'd the group of 6 players. basically one hit kills on everyone i hit. it was so stupid lol.

Osirion

I've always pictured them as the Jedi of the fantasy world. I personally think that Magus is the perfect class for NPC elf lords, who have had the time to perfect both their martial and arcane prowess.

Shadow Lodge

TheSideKick wrote:
run the moduel the delsine affair, its a pfs module. i ran it one time, i tpk'd the group of 6 players. basically one hit kills on everyone i hit. it was so stupid lol.

I've played that scenario, and the magus came out of nowhere. It felt like the maker was testing out a new class. The barbarian/rogue smashed his skull in 2-3 turns after we entered the room. No magus duel, sadly.

I like the responses I've been getting, many are similar to the reason I have Magi: magic gaurd, basically.


zagnabbit wrote:

I use em as:

Rich second children of noble families.

Good one. The first-born would be Bards, of course.


"Rich second children of noble families.

The lifelong bodyguards of noble families (like Arsenio Hall in coming to America)

The Temple Guards of Nethys (magic god). "

+1 on those.

Spellbooks cost money so it's not for the poor.
Noble born that have an interest in magic, but have other duties that keep them from being fulltime wizards.
Would you have a wizard command and army? No but the guy with the sword, that uses a bit of magic - as a hobby. He's okay.

Bodyguards - yes sir! I would hire one. He's just a guy with a sword - but he has a few tricks up his sleave.

Temple Guards - sure Nethys have wizard, sorceres, cleric and oracles - so why not have a few magus along (damn what it's called when there's more than one?)

And thats just the basic magus - then you have the Alternate Class Features - some have a diffent "feel" to them.

Hexcrafter - (so much better than the 3.4 hexblade) - more of a warlock - witch child, using his mothers powers.
and so on..

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