I had the impression that background lore was developed specifically to support the presence of a ‘customizable pet class’ (Golarion god caller), which isn’t a standard fantasy trope but very much has a market among players desiring that type of mechanical support. And now it seems like we are getting a non-customizable pet class to represent a lore facet that was created to support demand for a customizable pet class. Which seems odd, and i assume i’m off on this somehow but maybe you can see why i’m scratching my head a bit.
there’s definitely a valuable wizard class feature at mid levels with respect to those extra highest level slots: the difference between a 3rd level fireball and a 4th level fireball is 33% damage, pretty huge, and the jump from 2nd level slots to 3rds is even bigger. Through the mid levels from ~7 to ~15, this gives wizards a legitimate role; still one of the lesser classes, but a relevant option.
But at higher levels, the difference of getting to heighten a spell an extra level stops being so dramatic. 7th level chain lightning is an extra d12 over 6th (12% increase), and so on. Spell Blending, which you cite, doesn’t really start doing anything until 5th level, and now it caps at 17th.
i think this is the first time I've seen someone say the occult list is better than the arcane list. I'm not going to say you're wrong, but...
previously i would have assumed inevitable arcane supremacy once we saw an errata published naturally nerfing synesthesia and separately buffing wizards. I am now questioning that assumption.
I mean, it’s not a huge change for wizards, but hard to say that going from
(1) Low level issues. Currently, Any other class’s damage > wizard spamming Electric Arc damage > wizard using slotted spells damage for levels 1-4.
Fixes arent always easy; attack spells need help that doesnt stack with True Strike. Low level Wizards need something to do round after round (how about an effective Control option?) that isn’t a cantrip, or every other class would be able to grab it. Transmutationists need to suffer because clearly someone wants them to.
Lots of other things would be nice, building off of thesis, building off of specialization, etc.
Comment with regard to Int vs Cha is that a primary stat effect that hasnt been mentioned is qualifying for class archetypes (I think the options Cha opens)
Comment about Witch ‘balance’ question would be that prior to APG, this forum was loaded with active threads complaining about how wizards were the worst class and those dried up instantly when the APG came out.
For improvements, too many feats and syntheses are overly specific about hand use and availability. If you want to limit a feat to a specific synthesis, just put the synthesis down as a prereq.
Too many feats triggering off casting spells from a slot for a class largely without slots.
Either make Magi good with attack spells when using Striking Spell or get rid of the mechanical MAP reduction feature that pushes players toward trying to make it work and ending up disappointed.
dont really understand this. What is the scenario where this isnt a straight up improvement on base Striking Spell?
It counts as one attack for MAP if you make one attack (eg, save spell), and counts as two attacks for MAP if you make two attacks (eg Strike + spell attack). It doesnt have language making it explicit how many it counts as because there are no special rules for how many it counts as: it counts for however many MAP-contributing attacks as you make as normal.
maybe i’m wrong,
But i see:
So in general they are either 1 point behind from ability or 2 points behind from proficiency, but almost never both, so bouncing behind -1 and -2 with an average of -1.5.
You can "lit it up" only for about 4 levels until wizard and others get master Spellcasting and still have a slight modifier edge on you. And more spells.
compared to a wizard, DCs will be 1-2 points behind at most levels (0 points behind for 2 levels, 1 point behind for 8, 2 points behind for 8, and 3 behind for 2 levels, although that’s not counting an Apex item).
No, you won’t be as strong in that role as a pure caster (and you fall way behind when they get 10th level spells), but you blow MCD AOE out of the water and you are a fully effective melee the other 90% of the day.
you can’t aoe worth anything from MCD. Magus can light it up, especially with catching up to expert proficiency right at 11 when Chain Lightning becomes a thing.
Altogether, this is exactly how i imagine Eldritch Knight: capable with a weapon, high level spells that go boom, and a clunky mechanic that let’s you blend them together if that’s your thing, but you can just ignore that part of the class and you arent missing out on power level. But not what i think of as ‘Magus’.
Oddly for me my biggest problem is the opposite: it feels like Magus is more viable right now when you just ignore that Striking Spell exists and start combat off with a Haste and then whack at things with a 2-hander, then step back and fireball when there’s a crowd packed together.
(1) Striking Spell should be significantly better than not using Striking Spell on a regular basis. Font of Striking Spell (slots that can only be used with striking spell) or something similar would help with the feelbad problem of preparing Strikable spells over objectively better alternatives for slots, but I’d like cantrip options to be effective as well.
(2) Spell Combat, or a mechanism to more efficiently combine non-attack spells into attacks
(3) Want to be able to buy into a 2nd synthesis
There are a number of archetypes that do this, but eidolons don’t get class levels so that isnt an option.
There’s also some physical augmentations that exist that probably aren’t quite as ‘weapony’ as what you are looking for: fleshcrafting, necrografts, demonic implantations, etc. Permanent physical alterations that implant ‘weapons’ into limbs.
Two options that i think you may find worth looking at are construct modifications. The first, Weapon Modification, won’t be RAW legal for any Eidolon (except arguably an Inevitable, and there the argument is weak), but at least it provides rules/costs etc for how it would work if you want to work with your GM. The other Construct Modification is Construct Limb, which appears to be legal to put on your Eidolon, with the downside that it isn’t a permanent graft. But a Graven Guardian or Animated Greatsword arm seem worth considering.
Whirlwind Spell, as a capstone, isn’t that exciting; hard to get off against more than two creatures unless maybe you are going with whip, and at two enemies hit, Spell Swipe seems more exciting given the potential to, say, get two Disintegrates off.
Whirlwind Spell also is a bit awkward for Shooting Star Magi to use, which leaves them with Supreme Spellstrike, which is a worse form of Haste than they could already have from either Hasted Assault or a (albeit fairly pricy) rune. Make sure you don’t hit anyone with your 3rd action, or you lose your 4th that turn:/
The Spell Parry feat line is pretty neat, but appears to be incompatible with Sustaining Steel and Shooting Star for the most part (and Raise a Tome). And there aren’t really other feats that uniquely support Steel and Star, other than the 10th level trio.
scrolls of Haste are really cheap by the time you lose 3rd level slots, and probably worthwhile given how much this class wants to have a 4th action strike.
Beyond that, while some people don’t like consumables on principal, others assumptively do, and it’s not a bad thing for options to be available to make using consumables compatible with this class (all syntheses). Disapproving of consumable support on principal is to me akin to disapproving of options supporting unarmed/two handed weapon/ ranged.
I would be very happy with the class if that was built into Striking Spell at low level, even if only as a feat.
As an 18th level feat, i would let the spell (possibly only attack roll spells) fire off twice even if the first time was a hit. Yes, that would be good, but you can already get a similar effect from Spell Swipe.
It came up in another thread, but Shooting Star synthesis is oddly bad for ranged combat. As soon as the enemy is more than 30 feet away, Striking Spell turns off for them. That leaves a lot of scenarios where this ranged build doesn’t really feel like it: ranged enemy 100’ away, trading shots, or flying enemies, or if something is backing away each turn. There Slide Caster can often keep up, but Shooting Star has to spend move actions to stay in Striking Spell range, at which point there aren’t actions available to Striking Spell effectively. Shooting Star feels more like a long whip than a ranged weapon.
that sequence seems sub-optimal in general;
Slide caster and Shooting Star aren’t going to need the move action Round 1, which leaves them with an extra action sitting there in Round 1 that could (should) be a 0 MAP Strike. They could do something defensively with it, which is fine but i think holding off until Round 2 for True Strike/Striking Strike will be lower DPR than alternative no-True Strike sequences, at which point viewing True Strike as a design-warping factor seems off.
Sustaining Steel would see value there assuming no Haste and needing to move frequently, but I think it will be a better option for them to avoid unHasted-and-needing-to-move-all-the-time situations. Stride and True Strike would be an important plan B there, which is a bit unfortunate but not a huge design issue.
I do think there is a True Strike problem: i blame Wizards with True Strike for causing every attack spell to be designed to be weak on their own, which leaves Magus as the Single Target Attack Spell class stuck with a selection of bad spells and a bad proficiency for using them.
I’d like to be able to buy into a second synthesis the way a bard can add a second muse or a druid can access a second Order. Maybe you don’t get access to both effects at the same time, and need an action to switch synthesis, but i guess they all currently require different weapons anyway so they couldn’t stack.
More benefits for casting and striking in the same turn when you don’t use Striking Spell would be nice.
This is kind of backwards;
Strikestrikestrike magus can give up one attack with very little DPR impact and take whatever 1-action defense you want. Striking Spell Magus is absolutely crippled if there’s ever a round where he spends an action defensively: he either can’t cast anything that round, or he loses his one 0 MAP strike. All of the ‘missing every swing with Striking Spell active isn’t really that common’ numbers assume you will get a 0 MAP attack off with weapon charged in both rounds.
while the straight numbers there may not be wildly unacceptable,
You are showing a trend where strikestrikestrike is catching up to the Spell Striking Magus as conditions becomes more favorable. That’s not good: i think Spell Striking is also bad under low accuracy situations; if it’s worse with good accuracy and marginal at best in the middle, with worse consistency, that’s ugly.
It’s possible you need to shift to Telekinetic Strike at high accuracy, but i don’t think that should be a dramatic change to the trends.
it sounds like your analysis assumed that combat would last more than 1 round, which in this thread has been a very unpopular view.
So you are saying if both Ranger and Magus have an extra +3, they might be comparable?
I think i can see that perspective, but
you mean an extra +3 to all attacks for the Magus to break even with the Ranger?
That sounds...awful. I’d be looking for Magus with an extra +1 to be even when spamming cantrip spellstrike, and slightly ahead of Ranger when using a slot. Magus is already less durable and less consistent, if they are also dramatically lower on average after accounting for the spikes, that’s pretty sad.
That’s been my main point: I’d like to see Magus compared to Ranger in circumstances that are reasonably favorable to the Magus; if Magus is still behind Ranger there, that’s a huge problem. But comparing Ranger to Magus in comparisons that are unfavorable to the Magus and seeing that in those comparisons Ranger comes out ahead, that means nothing whatsoever.
for that first question, Slide Caster is affected less than Ranger, Shooting Star is affected less until things turn into a 1-on-1 Kiting scenario, and unhasted Sustaining Steel is hurt more.
In general, all the syntheses have strengths and weaknesses:
I’m not sure how it is ‘unfair’ to allow the Magus to cast one of his spells each combat, but I’ll let that go too.
my argument was that two actions to Striking Spell+Slide was equivalent to 2 Ranger actions to Hunt + Stride. If in-combat Hunt Prey isn’t common, then this is a weak argument,
However, even allowing Ranger to operate under that optimal condition, restricting Magus only counting his bad round isn’t fair. If he misses on his round 1 Strike, that Telekinetic Strike doesn’t go away, most of that damage just gets delayed to Round 2.
By “Suped Up” I mean that the expected damage of a Telekinetic Strike triggering from that hit is significantly higher than a 0 MAP Telekinetic Strike cast normally: yes, only because of crit potential, but 77% chance of normal damage and 23% chance of 250% or whatever damage ends up being a 34% damage increase.
most of that argument doesn’t apply to the Shooting Star, Slide Casting, and Sustaining Steel syntheses though. Shooting Star doesnt need to move, Slide gets the movement for free, and Sustaining Steel is going to Haste pretty much every relevant encounter starting at Level 5.
I’d be surprised if most Rangers found that they usually enter combat with Hunt Prey already active, but even then that only works until the first enemy goes down.
But even pretending that rangers start every round adjacent to their enemies with Hunt Prey active doesn’t make it okay to assume Magi start every round without an active Striking Spell.
He's assuming both the Magus and the Ranger are adjacent to their target. I think he also is assuming that the Magus cast Magus Potency last turn, so they've both had the chance to do equal amounts of setup. The Magus in this comparison is using a Greatsword, so he wouldn't benefit from Slide Casting. Since he's just doing these calculations with Telekinetic Projectile it wouldn't really help the Magus to spend get two turns, I expect his damage would be just slightly higher using striking spell and then making four attacks across two rounds than if he had made 6 attacks across two rounds- he's still be way behind the Ranger. The spike the Magus see's from casting something out of a spell slot would go up around 15% though from taking two turns to get the spell off.
Yeah, i think that’s a misleading approach. If you are assuming two handed weapon, your primary Striking Spell benefit is temporary HP, so you can’t compare directly on a DPR basis. Magus Potency is usually not better than just carrying a level appropriate weapon, so that’s not really making a fair trade either.
Turn 2 is where Magus currently makes his money. Starting the turn with a Striking Spell stored, odds are you hit on the first action, and if you do, it triggers a suped-up Telekinetic Strike that is more likely to hit and more likely to crit than a non-Striking Spell Telekinetic. After that, with two actions left and under heavy MAP, you can still fire off a full strength Electric Arc or other save cantrip. Those are very good damage rounds; I’d guess significantly exceeding normal martial damage. They do only occur following 0 damage setup rounds, but that’s my whole point: you need to compare both of these classes including setup round and payoff round. Right now the plot is for Ranger payoff vs Magus setup.
as weak as and unloved as it is, the crit bonus is a net positive even after accounting for the potential to miss on every strike.
The complaint is that even with that net damage increase, using Striking Spell often compares unfavorably to action sequences that don’t use Striking Spell.* Making Striking Spell less effective on average doesn’t help this much.
*Strikes + 2 target Electric Arc > Strikes + 1 target Electric Arc ~= Striking Spell Electric Arc + Strikes ~= Striking Spell Telekinetic Projectile + Strikes > Telekinetic Projectile + Strikes,
With all the ~=‘s going one way or the other depending on assumptions about flanking, AC, level, saves, etc
Is this just for one round?
From my read, you are calculating Ranger damage assuming he is in position and already has Hunter’s Mark, which would be a dramatic artificial increase to their DPR,
and you are counting Magus for just one round, having him spend actions to set up Striking Spell, which would be a dramatic artificial decrease to Magus DPR.
These two classes both are extremely dependent on 2 rounds of combat to get any sense of actual play DPR for those reasons.
I would assume for Magus: round 1 is Striking Spell, slide, 1 attack; round 2 is three strikes
Angel Hunter D wrote:
giving second chance spell effect at least for attack roll spells at low level would pretty much completely fix Striking Spell as far as I’m concerned.
i actually like this a lot,
would make Magus really good with attack spells despite their relatively low Spell Proficiency, which is what i feel like they should be (PF1 bias), helps in low accuracy situations without boosting in high accuracy (where they are already strong), takes away the Feel Bad of using it vs separate striking and spells, i could go on. Yes, this would fix pretty much all my issues, but it might be too strong overall.
Captain Morgan wrote:
I dunno if Spell Strike is mathematically better than a normal caster casting and swinging in the same turn, but it IS different. I'm not sure it needs mathematically superior DPR (especially with its durability advantages) so much as it needs to play differently than other classes without lagging behind them. And it certainly seems to have a unique fighting style. If they are currently lagging (and I dunno if they are) then that can get ironed out in...
Using Striking Spell needs to be mathematically better than not using it for people to want to use it.
I’m enthusiastic for the mechanic intent to encourage tactical play that varies from round to round with Striking Spell being stronger in certain circumstances;
I’m very unenthusiastic about (1) Striking Spell being worse relative to just attacking in strong-enemy/low accuracy situations and (2) the difficulty of calculating whether Striking Spell is a net positive in a given round; it kinda feels like card counting at an 8-deck Vegas blackjack table; if you do it right, yes it should be profitable. But you don’t need a computer under the table to figure out what options are better or worse round to round with Devise a Strategem, for instance.
ranged characters like to move too. Agree it’s not particularly optimal for them, but then neither is the flanking-hungry crit version.
Telekinetic gets more benefit from the Crit rider than Arc, but Arc was usually better without the rider in my numbers. Telekinetic eventually wins out if you get a high enough % of your hits to be crits, but (1) ‘eventually’ was sometimes over 50% crit rider (2) electric arc could switch off with chill touch to attack a lower save and the math is the same (3) Telekinetic becomes a MAP problem if it doesnt fire off in round 1, so even in scenarios where it slightly outdamages Arc with 0 MAP it falls behind in practice.
Ferious Thune wrote:
if spell went off the first round, then they are exactly the same round 2; if it hadnt gone off yet, they will do significantly more damage round 2. ‘Greater than or equal in every single round 2 scenario’. That round 2 is where the Magus earns his paycheck (if and when its mathematically possible).
Honestly, playtest Magus is pretty much exactly the direction the community has indicated it was looking for. ‘Good martial, good caster, that it is built around a class feature that gives special bonuses for Magi when they combine weapon+spell attacks together. With good saves! And different special magic stylestances for combat!’
It’s just that the Striking Spell bonus effect isn’t something a lot of people want (crit fishing spikiness).
Make the slide effect the built-in bonus for Magus Striking Spell and the crit bonus a synthesis and i think 90% of people would be fine with everything.
Oh, and we need a cantrip or focus spell that you don’t Feel Bad for Striking Spell with. Right now all the cantrips are worse than Electric Arc with Striking Spell, and Electric Arc Striking Spell is much worse than two-target Electric Arc.
Yeah counting round 2 is needed; Striking Spell Magus damage is greater than or equal to non-striking in every single round 2 strikestrikestrike scenario (because everything is identical except Striker may have bonus spell damage added).
I do like the generality of the approach; as it currently appears pretty situational, single assumption set solutions arent that helpful for Striking Spell. But id also suggest Round 1 be Spell+(slide)+strike vs 2 strikes, as without striking spell the magus would need to get into position the old fashioned way.
Spell casting accuracy is way more complicated with the magus than it seems. An anecdotal look at 13th level
there’s two comparisons to be made for Striking Spell.
One is Striking Spell with a cantrip, vs cantrip+strike or strikestrike,
And the other is Striking Spell with a slotted spell vs alternative slot uses. Slots have to compete with other things, particularly Haste, but even from a pure damage standpoint, Striking Spell with a slotted spell has to outperform being a boring martial most turns and saving those slots for high-yield fireball/chain lightning opportunities. At level 13, your Chain Lightning is right there with a wizard.
Both of those comparisons have an underwhelming vibe right now.
Weirdly, while i hate the baked-in crit reliance as i generally try to evaluate things assuming that crits will never happen when i want (i dont want to need advanced math to determine if my class’s main feature is ever useful),
If the ‘one step better on a crit’ effect was an independent synthesis i would find it interesting and possibly appealing.
Spell casting accuracy is way more complicated with the magus than it seems. An anecdotal look at 13th level
Also, the only reasons i can see to not give Magi “legendary for spell attacks” are (1) even though every class has been worded to handle spell attack and DC proficiencies separately, they’ve always been the same and (2) they specifically want Magi to be particularly bad with this generally low performing category of spells.
I see those as bad reasons.
Edit: my current suggestion would be:
Right now, too swingy on crits and too inaccurate on non crits and spell attacks just aren’t usable