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Salamileg wrote:
In an attempt to take the conversation somewhere new, what new fears are you guys hoping to see for these classes? One big hope for me is fighter-style fears for the Magus with a distinct magical edge. For instance, a feat that allows you to teleport to the opposite side of an adjacent enemy and make a strike they're flat-footed against. Or transmute your arms into noodle arms for a round to increase your reach.

an extra focus point regen feat would be nice.

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KrispyXIV wrote:
Temperans wrote:
Eidolons were defined by their evolution point/slots.

No, they were (and are) defined by being a bonded creature/companion called by a Summoner, with unique mechanics to reflect that bond.

Evolution points were just a mechanic.

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.

Blue_frog wrote:

There are whole threads agreeing on the fact that wizards are bland and need a change in their focus spells/feats.

But I also disagree on the fact that they're less powerful than other spellcasters.

Here's a repost from another thread:

f I were to play a wizard, I would probably abuse spell blending. He's the only class to get that option and boy does it look good on paper.

I mean, a 8 level specialist wizard has:
2 lvl 1 spells
2 lvl 2 spells
5 lvl 3 spells
6 lvl 4 spells

How's that for staying power ? Twice as many high level slots as a bard or a druid, half as much as a sorcerer.

In a game where heightened spells are incredibly useful and low level spell tend to lose steam, being able to unload on average two big hitters per fight could be worth way more than a focus spell.

At said level 8, you're a druid using the much-loved tempest surge for 4d12 single target ? Well let me use enervation or heightened fireball or even confusion.

I agree, it's just theorycrafting, but most people discussing the wizard seem to disregard spell blending, either dismissing thesis altogether or assuming a wizard would take spell substitution or improved familiar.

Hell no. If I were to make a wizard, I'd fling more spells than you can count, baby. And the higher level I get, the bigger an advantage it becomes.

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.

Salamileg wrote:
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.

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I mean, it’s not a huge change for wizards, but hard to say that going from
“Worst class at level 1-4, but best caster at 19-20”
“Worst class at levels 1-4 and 19-20”
as the general class summary is an insignificant change. I think i remember exactly one poster from those ~1000 post wizard threads who was happy with the class for reasons other than ‘more highest level slots’. He had an MC champion build, and was feeling effective enough combining Hand of the Apprentice with a Shifting staff.

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(1) Low level issues. Currently, Any other class’s damage > wizard spamming Electric Arc damage > wizard using slotted spells damage for levels 1-4.
(2) Specialties. Issues with spell options at certain levels (e.g., transmutation), issues with terrible focus spells (e.g., transmutation). Lack of good spell options for specialties at certain levels should go away on its own over time, but there should be focus on getting at least one combat useful spell for each specialty at each level in the near term.
(3) Attack spells are essentially broken. They are usable with True Strike and/or targeting a weakness, but for the most part any time you are using your highest slot to achieve less damage than a martial averages, you get pretty depressed.
(4) Summoning is bad.

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.

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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.

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Martialmasters wrote:

Our level 19 capstone feature seems bad to the point where I'd ask the GM for it to not exist at all for my character potentially and just have no 19 feature at all.

It's basically weaker striking spell, but degree of success is worse. The problem is some save spells have *negative effects on critical fail*

So this is one of the only high level features I've seen where you can get a power decrease from.

Beyond that the ability itself, disregarding this wrinkle. Is so weak, I wouldn't even take it as a level 1 feat.

dont really understand this. What is the scenario where this isnt a straight up improvement on base Striking Spell?

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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.

Magus thoughts:

Level 1-3: Magic Weapon
Level 4: Sudden Bolt/True Strike
Level 5(6): Haste/Sudden Bolt(/True Strike)
Level 7-8: Fireball/Haste/??
Level 9/10: Fireball/Phantasmal Killer/Haste
Level 11+: Chain Lightning/etc

That’s where i’m at right now at least.

Martialmasters wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
Kalaam wrote:
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.

Well you start with 16int at best so that's 1 behind out of the gate. Then as their proficiency outpace yours that fall fluctuates been 2-3 behind. 4 at level 20.

maybe i’m wrong,

But i see:
Behind by 1 point from ability score at level 1-4, 10-14, and 20 (plus Apex)
Behind 2 points from proficiency: level 7-10, 15-20

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.

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Kalaam wrote:
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.

Kalaam wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I would like the focus of the class to pivot away from striking spell- a magus should be viable without making spell attacks.

Something like the "I cast spells to boost my own defenses, then wade into melee" should 100% be a viable way to play a magus. But too much of the class's budget seems to be dedicated to "you attempt a striking spell."

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.
But that's just a Fighter MCD Wizard...

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’.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I would like the focus of the class to pivot away from striking spell- a magus should be viable without making spell attacks.

Something like the "I cast spells to boost my own defenses, then wade into melee" should 100% be a viable way to play a magus. But too much of the class's budget seems to be dedicated to "you attempt a striking spell."

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.

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(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

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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.

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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.

graystone wrote:
Unicore wrote:
My experience with striker's scroll is that it is awesome.
Can't say I'm a fan of a 'throw money at it' feat. Between that and the odd 'wrapping' the scroll around the weapon thing, it just turned me off.

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.

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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.

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Kaboogy wrote:

- True strike synergises well with spell strike crit fishing (2 round routine: cast into weapon, stride, true strike, strike)

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.

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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.

Unicore wrote:

Well a magus wielding a two handed weapon attacking 3 probably should out damage a single attack and a cantrip. We really cannot expect a cantrip to keep up with two 2 handed weapon attacks without also skewing the math on the overall caster martial balance.

Remember, without striking spell, that 2 handed magus is leaving themselves open to a monster round of counter attacks with no defense at all, as is a ranger. Both of them are probably better off spending one action protecting themselves in some fashion than attacking 3 times, unless they are relatively certain 3 attacks will kill the enemy, and even then, your odds of missing on that individual last strike make it more difficult a decision than just trying to keep up with raw DPR data that says attacking 3 times equals and extra 3.5 points of damage per combat round. .

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.

Xethik wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
Xethik, how would your numbers shift if Ranger and Magus both had consistent flanking?


51.5 DPR with spell
33.6 DPR with cantrip
33.0 DPR with 3x Strike
38.4 DPR for Flurry Ranger

EDIT: I mistakenly gave the Ranger 1d8 shortswords for my calculations but that should not significantly alter the results, especially if you gave both characters flaming runes.

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.

Xethik, how would your numbers shift if Ranger and Magus both had consistent flanking?

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Xethik wrote:

So I think there are a few flaws here. One of which was mentioned above, which is that saving throw spells are just superior to spell attack spells. I really think that spell attacks need to be readjusted across the board, but especially with Striking Spell, where you may suffer MAP when following up on Turn 2.

Secondly, if the Ranger is picking up feats to improve damage, it feels only fair for the Magus to be doing the same. Yes, Ranger feats are critical for certain weapon styles, but giving the Magus something like Bespell Weapon to accommodate an expenditure of class feats certainly helps.

Lastly, and most importantly, when comparing highest level saving throw spells + Striking Spell vs Flurry Ranger, I am calculating the Magus as having a substantial advantage over the Flurry Ranger at most levels.

For example, at level 10, my calculations show the Ranger at ~32 DPR, which matches your graph. Three strike Greatsword Magus is at 25 DPR, which also matches. Everything seems good thus far. However, highest spell slot used on Sudden Bolt I have as ~43 DPR, and Electric Arc (single target) DPR at ~28. This has the Magus as slightly below the Ranger when not using any resources, and fairly sizably above when using a spell slot.

I've been seeing a lot of people state that even when using their high level spell, Magus DPR pales to Rangers but this just seems untrue. I tried picking a level where the damage difference was significant between the two classes and without being at such a high level, I would have to adjust the math for things like Second Chance Strike or Double Spell Strike. I have saved a version of my spreadsheet with these calculations here.

You can say the Magus isn't getting enough extra damage from the spell, or that Striking Spell does not increase damage by enough to make it more interesting than just casting + striking normally. But to say that the Magus deals...

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
(1) flanking is hard for Shooting Star Magus, so they need extra help
(2) i would suggest Cantrip Striking should break even with Ranger assuming flanking, ahead using slots. Even there they’ll struggle when they cant get flanking and vs above CR enemies, and will be less reliable even in favorable scenarios, but at least then they have a potential payoff (being able to do the same damage as another class under ideal circumstances is not a payoff)

Unicore wrote:

It might be fair to compare a shortbow wielding flurry ranger making 3 attacks (simulating picking a new target) to a shortbow wielding Magus making a striking spell telekinetic projectile attack, but then one of the things you want to also check is how much of an attack bonus does the magus need to tip the scales in their favor?

Personally, if the magus using a cantrip can outpace a flurry ranger making 3 strikes with an attack bonus of +3 to +4, I'd say the class is in pretty strong shape damage-wise.

The vast majority of other martial characters will not have nearly the reliability of action economy to keep up with more than 2 strikes a round, and that really should be the basis of all melee combat math, which the Magus will be close on with no bonus and rise above with as little as flanking.

It seems like a massive mistake to balance in the magus at better than non-spell casting martials, with a cantrip, with as little as flanking.

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.

Midnightoker wrote:
Lelomenia wrote:
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.

Let me put it to you this way, if we assume that neither are next to their target at the start of the round, and the target always moves on their turn, can you guess whose DPR is affected more?

The Magus. By a lot.

Even shooting star requires they be within 30 feet, which if we assume the enemy can return fire at a further distance (or attack someone else) still puts them in the same spot.

Also I think "Sustaining Steel always has Haste after level 5" is a pretty ridiculous assumption for a variety of reasons.

If you want to make that classification for Magus, you might as well make the same stand for Ranger. You can't give one Class a permanent buff and not the other just to prove your point.

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:
Slide Caster: effective when you assume movement is required every turn or two; suboptimal in extended toe-to-toe
Sustaining Steel: effective in extended toe-to-toe, struggles when you assume movement required every round or two unless they use built-in Haste access
Shooting Star: effective outside of 1 on 1 kiting scenarios

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.

Squiggit wrote:

Hunt Prey is one action once per enemy. Striking Spell is two actions every round or every other round, depending on how successful your strikes are.

You're right about the numbers being abstracted a bit, but acting like the two are equivalent expenditures clearly isn't right either.

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.
The Spell is only 'suped-up' if the strike itself crits. Definitely not something you can rely on happening as you're suggesting.

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.

Midnightoker wrote:

I think the major difference is that a Ranger doesn't require a lot of setup. A Ranger can begin with Hunt Prey if they were tracking the target, which lasts...

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.

CrypticSplicer wrote:
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.

vagrant-poet wrote:

Two, very obvious ones:
1) No MAP for attack spells.
2) Get sythesis abiltiy, a free move from slide magus lets you actually get into melee to spell and strike n the first place.

I also check what would happen if the Strike's success gave circumstance bonuses to hit to the spell attack roll (if there is one) and the math is decent but not over-powering there too.

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
For ranger, round 1 starts with Hunters Mark and a move action, then do whatever from there.

Angel Hunter D wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
tytalan wrote:
1) if you hit with you melee attack and the spell does not hit it doesn’t discharge instead it stays in your weapon until the spell hits or the end of the next round. This gives you 4 attacks to attempt to hit with the spell.
This is currently an 18th level feat called "Second Chance Strike".
Which is both overly punitive and overvalued. Should be a much lower level or base functionality.

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.

Caster archetypes generally give nothing except the cantrips and maybe a skill proficiency, so i expect no Striking Spell there, probably that will be a 6th level feat.

The Dedication may also want you to pick a synthesis, which you will count as having but not benefit from.

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Produce Flame + Strike (no striking spell) is bad compared to essentially anything, because MAP. Not really a useful comparison.

Unicore wrote:

But the losing your spell without it doing anything is a separate issue that could be addressed without adjusting the accuracy of the class.

What if you could get a feat that made it so that the spell was only discharged if it actually did damage to the target, otherwise it lasted until the end of turn after it was cast? That would really help with people being afraid of losing their spell slot spells, but not radically change the math on the probability of critting with the spell.

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.

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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.

Unicore wrote:

DO ranged magus really want the slide synthesis built in and the crit rider as a choice that has to compete with being able to spell strike at range?

Also no math I have seen shows that electric arc is better than telekinetic strike for spell strike. In play, I think some people like the security of doing damage on the miss, but by the numbers the overall damage output is lower. Produce flame is also pretty awesome if you can get flanking on your weapon attack.

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:
Lelomenia wrote:
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).
But only when your round 1 damage is 0, so you'll still fall behind overall except for a few situations.

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).

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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.

One of the things i’ve always wanted was a ranged character that could teleport around the battlefield. With slide and shooting as separate syntheses, that’s seeming unlikely here tho.

Unicore wrote:

Looking only at how the spell striking feature interacts with cantrips is a big mistake because, by level 13 all casters should have access to items that can make sure that they have better things to do, at least once or twice a big combat, than cast a cantrip spell against a higher threat encounter. There is long going discussions about the mistake that many players make with casters in thinking that cantrips are a better option than using consumable resources to get more active spell slots per encounter. The 4 spells a day thing highlights this, but...

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.

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All of the calculations i’ve seen so far have assumed that nothing ever dies when you critical hit them with a weapon.

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If nothing else, PF2 Magus being defined by a 1st level spell a player might not realize they have consistent access to is a nice callback to the PF1 Magus being defined by attacking with a cantrip that wasnt supposed to be an attack spell.

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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:
(1) if you hit with a striking spell, you roll twice for the triggered spell attack (no help for DC spells)
(2) if you crit with the original weapon attack, the spell is Heightened +1 level if applicable.

Right now, too swingy on crits and too inaccurate on non crits and spell attacks just aren’t usable

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