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Everything else aside, it would be nice to have a one-action damaging arcane cantrip. Wouldn't need to do much to fill a useful role, and it would be a decent combo with Striking Spell. We're getting more spells in Secrets of Magic and my preference would be for an actual arcane cantrip, but you could make it a focus cantrip for the magus alone too I suppose.


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Kaboogy wrote:
Both AC debuffs and True Strike will also help just using the spell without spell strike, so going by the trend my calculations show I doubt it'll change much. Also the Magus doesn't have the slots to spam true strike; sure they can do the divination staff shtick, but that's a terrible edge case to balance around.

That's not really right, because the key benefit of Striking Spell in this scenario is the crit benefit, which you don't get by just applying true strike to the spell. Your weapon attack is a few points ahead of your spell attack so you boost up your chance of critting with the weapon, which dramatically improves your chance of critting with the spell. If your chance of critting with the spell starts out low (which will often be the case for the magus), true strike won't improve it much in absolute terms.

I agree that a design where people have to optimize the magus for crit-fishing with true strike in order to do respectable damage doesn't seem that much fun. (Though normal casters who want to use spell attacks will rely on the same tricks, since spell attacks don't have item bonuses or failure effects.) But the fact that some magi will use staffs of divination and spam true strike also has to be taken into account in class balance.


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I think it's likely that Striking Spell damage is balanced around spamming true strike. So if you do your analysis without that, and without accounting for the dramatic improvement that makes to your odds of critting on the Strike (especially when combined with AC debuffs), you won't appreciate how it's supposed to work.

I don't really like this design (I would rather it drop the crit bonus and be more consistent on the low end) but that's where it's coming from. I think.


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One thing I don't think people are appreciating is that both the magus and the summoner run up against PF2E assumptions in a way that wasn't true in PF1E.

For the magus in PF1E, spell combat was a specialized kind of two-weapon fighting, complete with the -2 penalty to attacks, and spellstrike meant you replaced your touch attack (very likely to hit) with your weapon attack (which sometimes could miss, especially since your base attack was behind a full martial and you might be taking a -2 from spell combat). In PF2E, two-weapon fighting no longer lets you get off two attacks at your highest bonus for the price of one, and spells with attack rolls are balanced on the assumption that you are targeting normal AC. Not to mention that now any character can natively get off one Strike and cast a 2-action spell in the same round. So you have to "reinvent the wheel" on spellstrike.

For the summoner in PF1E, you had what amounted to a super-powered animal companion, or a long-term summoned monster. PF2E downgraded the power of animal companions and summons with the minion rules. The summoner intentionally breaks the minion rules, and a lot of the class design reflects an effort to make that work. That wasn't an issue in PF1E.

Likewise spellcasting. Both the magus and the summoner had their own spell list in PF1E, which meant that the power of a spell slot could be precisely calibrated based on the needs of the class. They had 6th-level casting, which doesn't exist in this edition (perhaps in part because spell lists aren't customizable).

That's not to say every aspect of how these came out works. I personally don't like the 4-slot casting; Striking Spell needs to be revised to be less situational or made into a much less central feature of the class; and while I like the basic mechanics of the summoner, I do think it needs some fine-tuning. That's what the playtest is for. But there's going to be a lot of reinvention and substantially different mechanics regardless.


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Does the warpriest get legendary in anything?


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Unicore wrote:

I am not good at crunch all the percentages into a final calculation so i didn't.

When you crit with the weapon attack (something that has a 43% chance of happening), you have a 50% chance of landing a crit with your disintegrate spell.

I'll do it, using your numbers.

Disintegrate base: 5% critical miss, 45% normal miss, 45% hit, 5% crit

Disintegrate when you crit on the weapon attack: 5% miss, 45% normal hit, 50% crit

Disintegrate when you miss on the weapon attack: no effect this round (but maybe you get to try again next round--using another true strike).

Weapon attack probabilities: 6.25% miss, 50%hit, 43.75% crit

Multiply through by the probability of each outcome:

Disintegrate crit: 2.5% + 21.875% = 24.375%
Disintegrate normal hit: 22.5% + 19.6875% = 42.1875%
Disintegrate miss: 22.5% + 2.1875% = 24.6875%
No effect this turn: 6.25%

So all that and you have a roughly ~31% chance of your spell not going off this round. (We're not getting into saving throws yet.)

Now compare true strike + disintegrate, normal unhasted round:
Disintegrate crit: you need a 20, so it's 9.75%
Disintegrate normal hit: you need an 11, so it's 65.25%
Disintegrate miss: anything else, so 25%

Your chance of your spell hitting this round is actually higher. Your chance of your spell outright missing is about the same (very slightly higher). Your chance of critting is a lot lower. You don't get the weapon damage. And you don't spend the action or the focus point on hasted assault. On the whole, the spellstrike sequence seems better, though it requires a lot to make it work.


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I don't understand your math. How do you go from a 50% miss chance to a 5% miss chance on the disintegrate spell attack from a crit you have only a 43% chance of getting?


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
Not really, cantrip damage is on or below weapon damage at most levels. It's basically Double Slice with an elemental aspect done that way.

It's not like Double Slice. You have to hit twice for Double Slice to deal the damage of both weapon attacks and you have to invest in a second weapon, which will either take a -2 penalty to attack or deal less damage. And it may not have the best runes.

The better comparison is power attack, and power attack damage definitely trails cantrips.


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Magic missile is a pretty good combo with Striking Spell. Not only does it not have accuracy issues, but it complements the action economy nicely: you can cast it as one action, get your magus synthesis benefit, and Strike twice, all in one round.


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This is especially true with Slide Casting, since you get what amounts to an extra action.

Maybe one potential solution is to have a three-action ability called Spell Combat: you Stride, Strike, and Cast a 2-action spell in any order. You can make it count as two attacks in case you're quickened.


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This is just a matter of taste but I wouldn't want a magus with just focus spells. I want a high-magic magus who integrates a versatile set of spellcasting options into their combat routine. This is a niche that the present multiclass archetype system doesn't really support, because the fighter with the wizard archetype doesn't have enough spells and the wizard with the fighter archetype is too squishy and too bad at combat to spend much time in melee.

A focus spells magus could work; it would likely be easier to balance too, because you would just have to balance the focus spells against the class abilities and feats that other martials get. But I don't think it would feel to me like a warrior who's also a real wizard, which is what I want.


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Castilliano wrote:
If the Magus & Summoner get the proficiencies (et al) of a martial, they don't need the buffs & utility too. For them to have a martial presence (which represents nearly all PF1 builds) they needed to forego a significant portion of casting. I'd rather it be the tail end (which can easily be made up through items) than the upper tier (which would be cost prohibitive).

I disagree. The buffs and utility are central to what make these classes work right now. The magus and the summoner are both essentially martial classes (the summoner through the eidolon). But they don't get the various boosts the other martials get--their proficiencies are behind the fighter's, they don't get a champion reaction or a hunter's edge, they can't rage, they can't sneak attack, etc.

What compensates for this is access to magic. So the magic needs to be a solid option. It sort of feels like the magus was balanced against the assumption that the four high level slots would be used for the best offensive damaging spells, and maybe that could be workable (though I would worry about nova-ing and unevenness over the course of a day), but as constructed it doesn't work because you don't want to use them with Striking Spell and using them without eats up your actions and is hampered by your lower proficiencies. The summoner isn't going to cast 2-action spells all that much in combat because the eidolon will usually want to take 3 actions, but right now the slots casting feels boring and not very rewarding--it would be nice to have some more options.

Yes, you can supplement with wands and staves, but that takes gold and uses up actions and/or hands. And it's not so fun for a class's casting to feel like it's incomplete without item supplementation.

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Also, we have to remember that Dedications do exist (as do items). If one buffs the Magus by adding slots (so they don't need to take MCD Wizard) that doesn't prevent someone from taking MCD Wizard anyway and going even further. Or from buying up lots of below level consumables.

The trick is determining the sweet spot where an MCD or items won't take it too far, yet the classes can still fulfill their main functions w/o them.

So let's take a look at this.

At 6th level, on my proposal, the spell slots would be 2/1/1. With MCD they would be... 3/2/1. A cleric has 3/3/3(+1+Cha). A sorcerer has 4/4/4. Seems fine.

What about at 12th level? Base would be 2/2/2/2/1/1. With MCD they would be 4/4/3/3/1/1. So with three feats (including a 12th level feat), you have as many spells as a sorcerer or wizard with no MCD--for spell levels 1 and 2. Meanwhile they have four 5th and four 6th slots and you have 1. I don't think this raises any issues. That pattern pretty much continues past 12th level, except at odd levels where the MCD benefit is another spell level behind.

Items are a constant available benefit, and if anything are less useful when you have more spell slots.

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By leaning heavily into the martial aspects, I think Paizo has made the correct choice (contrast w/ Warpriest). And it takes a large portion of one's adventuring career for a martial/MCD caster to accumulate more than 4 non-Cantrip spells, much less top-tier ones backed by Focus Spells, and that's burning most of one's feats for what a Magus gets every level along the journey.

(Note I'm not yet saying the Magus has been balanced well, rather that it's in the right ballpark.)

I agree that it's good to have the magus have martial proficiency, and certainly the spellcasting should be a solid tier below that of a caster-focused class. I'm just saying I'm not sure the approach they took works well or is fun.


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I haven't playtested yet but I've done some character building, and I think I dislike the 2/2 casting more than I initially thought I would.

Here's the basic problem. Both the magus and the summoner will want to use some spell slots for utility and buff casting (especially the summoner, but I think the magus too given Striking Spell issues). These spells sometimes have heightened abilities but they usually come at irregular levels and stop scaling after a point. What a normal caster does is fill low-level slots with these kinds of spells: spells without the offensive capacity of your highest-level spells, but which are useful to necessary over the course of your adventuring day.

But the summoner and the magus can't do this. If you're a 12th level summoner and you want haste, you have to use one of your precious four slots, and it takes up a 5th level spell slot even though it does exactly the same thing it did at 3rd level (OK, it's a bit harder to counteract). If you want standard buffs for your eidolon (haste, freedom of movement, enlarge--fly admittedly is largely superseded by evolution surge once you hit 9th level), they end up taking up a lot of your slots. Gaining a new spell level gets a lot less exciting--you can't take much advantage of your new slots because you're locked in on utility.

I think what might work is to give the magus and summoner only one spell slot at their highest two spell levels, and compensate by giving them two spell slots at each lower spell level. Their spellcasting is still going to be pretty constrained by action economy and by the fact that they have fewer high level spells than everyone else. But it means that you have a more versatile and less frustrating set of spellcasting options. And it means that people won't feel that multiclass archetypes are superior.


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The simplest solution is just to let your eidolon benefit from your skill feats, just like it benefits from your skill proficiencies and item bonuses. It's not game-breaking because you're still sharing an action economy (if anything, the very different roles of a summoner and eidolon makes picking shared skill feats tricky). It diminishes complexity and book-keeping, just like sharing item bonuses. I could well be missing something but this solution feels so natural that I was pretty surprised that I couldn't find a rule so providing, and I still wonder if lack of sharing is RAI.


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Ice Titan wrote:

I imagine a lot of the two-action eidolon moves are going to be first-round moves either way. The Beast eidolon suffers most from this as they want to use their charge to dive in, but then you're not likely to go the full 50+ feet if you don't want your eidolon flanked, surrounded and beaten down. So they're probably in range for the summon on turn 2.

Having an extra body on the field no one has to heal up after the battle is just a good way to soak some damage.

I don't know, I see the point but it leaves you on round 2 with an eidolon that has engaged the enemy but is limited to a single Strike and no moves. And you can't use an action to boost its damage or defenses.


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There's a real issue here because the eidolon can't benefit from skill feats like Titan Wrestler. But the eidolon can still use your skills, so you're still going to invest in Athletics for both its offensive and defensive uses.


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"Invalid Target: If the target you hit wouldn’t be a valid
target for the spell, the spell is still expended but doesn’t
affect the target."


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Actually, since there's so much focus on how this looks at level 20, let's stick with that example and see how it looks at level 8.

Magus at level 8 with Martial Caster: 3 class feats (2, 4, and 8), 5 cantrips, 2 2nd level slots, 2 3rd level slots, 2 4th level slots.

Fighter at level 8 with wizard archetype: 2 class feats (1 and 6), 2 cantrips, 2 1st level slots, 1 2nd level slot, 1 3rd level slot.

I take it no one would claim the magus is the worse caster at this level?

Even looking at raw number of spell slots, with no adjustment for level, the earliest a fighter with a wizard archetype can match the number of slots of a magus with Martial Caster is level 12 (at the cost of another feat). The fighter will still have fewer cantrips. And level 12 is the first level where the fighter has 4th level spells like fly and dimension door--which the magus has already had since level 7.


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Throne wrote:

Not so absurd.

I'd take 2 1st, 2 2nd, 2 3rd, 2 4th, 2 5th, 1 6th, 1 7th over 2 4th, 2 8th, 2 9th any day. It's a trade of a lot of utility, flexibility and versatility for a little raw power.

I would not make this trade. But it's also not the trade, because the first requires five class feats.

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It's not inarguably better, but it's not inarguably worse.

Sure, a Magus can take the Wizard dedication too, but my point is that they really shouldn't have to in order to be an inarguably better caster than a fighter who dabbles.
And that 6-slot Magus still has 9 Magus feats. The 12-slot Fighter still has 8 fighter feats. The opportunity cost doesn't balance it out as much as you seem to think, especially with what the Fighter chassis brings to the table before feats even come into the equation.

It's not just the raw number of feats, but the feat slots they occupy. Martial Caster is a 6th level feat. Master Spellcasting is an 18th level feat. And before combat flexibility comes online, the fighter with the wizard archetype can be pretty feat-starved: if you're maxing it out, you lose your 2nd level feat, your 4th level feat, and your 8th level feat. Combat flexibility also doesn't make up for losing your higher-level feats at any particular level. But it's true that fighters are great and combat flexibility makes multiclassing less painful.


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Throne wrote:


For Slide Caster, maybe.
Shooting Star gives literally nothing, Sustaining Steel is just win-more. If you're taking enough damage it would make a difference, it's probably not going to make the difference.

Slide Casting is clearly the best of the three--this is a real issue with the class. Sustaining Steel effectively gives you fighter hit points, over and over again, which is nice but I appreciate that it makes the action economy tight. Shooting Star is useless from this perspective on Striking Spell.

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Which of the feats do you consider make it worthwhile?

Capture Spell looks decent, but then that neatly sidesteps most of the downside.

Portal Slide makes Slide Casting better. Quickened Spellstrike is great when you appreciate that it triggers your Magus Synthesis, so you get a kind of double-quickened effect: you can cast a 2-action spell (not level-limited, unlike other Quickened Casting feats), Stride, Strike, Strike. (It doesn't stack so you can also be actually quickened when you pull this off, if you have haste or hasted assault up.) Standby Spell lets you hold on to a spell that synergizes well with Striking Spell while still letting you prepare other spells in your few precious slots.

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Earlier mastery, more spells,

At high character levels, someone who invests almost half their class feats in a spellcasting multiclass archetype can get more spells, at lower levels, than a magus who invests zero class feats gets. A magus, meanwhile, has better spells, and can cast 2 each of their highest levels. If you really want the extra low-level spells, you can take the wizard multiclass archetype too.

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even better able to utilise staves since they don't 'grow out' of being able to cast certain level spells.

This is an annoying issue that I expect will get fixed.

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I'm not saying there's no opportunity cost, just that it's a bit off that you're worse at the cornerstones of your class (castin' and fightin') than a fighter with a wizard dedication.

The idea that a fighter with a wizard dedication is better at casting than a magus is absurd.


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Here's how I would play a magus like this.
- I would use the shooting star magus synthesis, which goes from pretty weak to quite strong.
- I would take Martial Casting. I would primarily use these two slots for true strike.
- In my higher slots, I would prepare my best damaging spell attacks. For cantrips I would have some subset of produce flame/acid splash/ray of frost/telekinetic projectile, enough for variety against resistances and weaknesses.
- The goal is to maximize my weapon attack. I max out Dex and my item bonus on my bow, obviously. I try to synergize my ranged attacks with my party's ability to impose debuffs that hamper AC. When I use my best spells and it really counts, I combine Striking Spell with true strike, which gives me a pretty decent chance of critting.

If we're playing with this ability counting as one attack, my "normal" turn is cantrip + Strike + Strike and when I want my attack to really count, it's true strike + spell attack spell from spell slots + Strike. If this ability counts as two attacks, in rounds where I don't use true strike I'm probably going to Stride or cast shield, maybe Strike again if there are some easy targets around.

I think my "normal" DPR is going to be at least competitive and maybe better than a normal archer's--I'm going to have a cantrip buff on all my ranged attacks, in exchange for the loss of one Strike at -5 MAP (or -10 depending on exactly how this rule works). And when I use my slots, my DPR goes through the roof. I have the best spell attack accuracy of anyone except an eldritch archer (for one fewer action than an eldritch archer's signature ability), I have the best spell attack damage of anyone, *and* I can synergize with true strike, which because the ability triggers based on one roll effectively enhances both my weapon attack and my spell attack.

I don't know--I haven't done the math. Maybe this isn't OP. But it gives me concern.


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richienvh wrote:

I get your point, but Magus’s odds of actually landing that Spell Strike are suboptimal as written in the playtest doc. While the design intent does not seem to be granting a free attack, it should by all means encompass being able to actually land the spell.

Having said that and having faced said NPC during my playthrough, I don’t think the ability is as OP as it seems, the point being that you lose the spell slot on a miss and that you only have those feel slots. The slot system seemed to me more like the 5e paladin and less like a fighting Wizard per se.

Striking Spell isn't limited to spell slots. When you don't want to use a spell slot, you just use a damaging cantrip. And then you get a nice damage boost without having to worry about an MAP.

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It may be just an opinion, but Magus should be more of a damage dealer than say a Wizard. The intent (with the 4 slots and etc.) seems to be for them to nova by using the few slots they have. I don’t necessarily think that being able to do so consistently for four turns per day is so off the charts.

I don't know what the intent is, but as presently designed the magus is not a nova class because you can't get off the nova reliably. You're better off using most of the slots for spells that don't require your Striking Spell to go off perfectly. And I think if it were a nova class, it would not be good design, because then you get a situation where the magus can expend their resources to invalidate a fight that's supposed to be challenging but then just suck for the rest of the day. Better to do less damage over more rounds.

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Sure a Wizard gets their spell attacks worse, but they have four times as many spell slots, drain arcane bond and the advantage of not needing to be within melee range.

I'm not saying it would invalidate the wizard. I just think it would mess with DPR.


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Yeah, I was pretty surprised there was nothing to address attacks of opportunity except for Steady Spellcasting, which people generally dislike for good reason.


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I don't think this works. It means that Striking Spell becomes a way to cast spell attacks with more accuracy and better damage. (Recall that you have the highest level spell slots now so you're not behind a full caster in the spell damage you can deal.) I take it that this is what the design is trying to avoid.


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Kalaam wrote:
Then it's just a fighter with a wizard dedication. You get more spells (though no level 9 and only one level 8 and 7), have the same spellcasting proficiency and you are legendary in weapons, master in all armors and more HP.

As a fighter with a wizard dedication, you can cast fly or dimension door at level 12. Once. At the cost of three archetype feats.

As a magus, you can cast fly or dimension door at level 7. Twice. For no class feats.


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Throne wrote:

If you're not using Striking Spell for spell attack spells, what are you using it for?

Buffs aren't eligible. Control and other spells with saves, you're better off just casting than risking missing your strike and not being able to cast.

You're not, because of magus synthesis. (As you get more class feats that play off Striking Spell, this gets even more true.)

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Spell attack spells with Striking Spell are a bad choice, because Striking Spell is bad. There are no better choices.

Master Spellcasting at lvl 19 isn't a 'core class feature', it's bad comedy.
Someone dipping into spellcasting as a side-gig gets it earlier.

One level earlier. At the cost of an 18th level class feat. (Some "side-gig"!) Meanwhile, someone who uses a multiclass archetype is 1-2 spell levels behind you and can only cast one spell in their two top spell levels.


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I don't understand what's wrong, conceptually or thematically, with playing a character who combines magical and martial might but whose highest spell slots don't involve the specific trick of combining a spell and weapon attack, and who often chooses to do other things with their actions.

Doesn't seem boring. (Lots of cool things you can do with those spell slots.) Doesn't seem off-theme. (Still implements the idea of combining magic and might.) Doesn't break any other characters. (You have fewer spells and weaker spellcasting proficiencies than a full caster, you have less accuracy than a fighter, and you don't have the tricks of the other martials.)

Now maybe as implemented it doesn't work. That's what the playtest is for. But I really don't get why it needs to be the case that every part of the class needs to be built around Striking Spell.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
So...don't use your core class feature? Really? And if you are kust using utility spells in your slots like that...wizard archetype does it better.

The "core class feature" of the magus is having a master/master progression for weapon attacks and spells, together with spell slot casting at the highest spell levels of any character of your level. No other class gets that.

You can get master spellcasting as a martial with archetype feats, but that uses up your archetype slot and costs you a minimum of four and likely five class feats to make full use of it. And you're 1-2 spell levels behind a full caster in your highest spell slot the whole time.

The rest of the magus class--Striking Spell and the class feats--is various ways to build out the idea of a character who masters both physical combat and arcane magic. I don't see Striking Spell as the end-all and be-all of the concept. To me, the magus who can enlarge themselves at level 3, haste themselves at level 5, fly and teleport around the battlefield at level 7, prepare a daily failsafe at level 13, and gain a perpetual fortune/misfortune effect enhancing their defenses at level 17 is pretty cool. And it's nice that you can cast spells to boost your melee damage output too.


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Djinn71 wrote:
That's kind of what I'm talking about though, even if that works (although I'm pretty sure DPR-wise you're better off just attacking more often than bothering with the Cantrip)

I've been wondering about this too, and someone should do the math, but I don't think so. You have a -5 penalty to the second attack from MAP and you have no failure effect--you do zero damage if you miss. Conversely, the big Striking Spell detriment is that you don't land the spell if you miss the weapon attack, but your miss chance with that attack is much lower and you can try again the next round. The crit bonus is a nice sweetener when you land it.

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I think some people would be highly disappointed if the optimal way to play Magus is to buff with your limited high level spells and only Spell Strike with save Cantrips because 70%+ of your spells are gonna miss.

You can use the same strategy with non-cantrips if you like--it's actually a little better with magic missile because you can control the action cost and there's no save. I just think the opportunity cost is too high to use too many of your high-level slots.


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Lelomenia wrote:
So far i like Electric Arc, because you won’t miss the attack roll or waste a slot, Vampiric Touch, because it doesnt miss, Harm, because it’s 1 action no miss, and Sudden Bolt, because if you do crit on the weapon attack, it blows up.

These are good picks. Don't leave out chill touch, which has the same advantages as electric arc, and the main disadvantage of which (its touch range) is irrelevant given Striking Spell's limitation to melee. Having two basic save cantrips is nice too because it means you have some flexibility to pick low saves.

How do you expect to get harm--with a multiclass archetype?


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
The thematic promise is from 1e, and the core class feature here - a feature which it is awful at doing. It's so bad at it, that we don't really care about the 2 high level slots because we will on average only be able to deliver 1 of our 4 slotted spells a day.

You get 2 spells of the highest level and 2 spells of the second highest level with an unrestricted arcane spell list. If it doesn't work that well to put them into Striking Spell, don't! There's enlarge, invisibility, haste, fly, freedom of movement, dimension door, contingency, mind blank, foresight. That's what I'm saying. (Along with the point that you don't need spell attack spells with Striking Spell, so the 1/4 number isn't right.)


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Djinn71 wrote:
The math is pretty trivial to calculate and a lot of people (myself included) don't need to have a full holistic picture of how the class plays to know that having Spell Strike probably only landing with one (I think the average is ~1.5/4) of your four big spells a day (assuming you get 4 Strike attempts with all four spells) is a non-starter.

The two critical assumptions here are (1) you use your four spell slots with Striking Spell and (2) the spells you use with Striking Spell require spell attacks. I wouldn't do either. I would use most (say, 3 out of 4) of the spell slot spells for buffs or control spells that don't depend on attacks or saves, and I would use Striking Spell with a basic save cantrip like chill touch or electric arc (picking whichever save seemed weaker). That way you get the damage boost even when the creature saves. And it comes out pretty nicely when you crit with the weapon, with a decent chance of a double crit if you're targeting a low save.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
As quite a few people have said, that "different" style isn't very satisfying. It doesn't really deliver on the thematic promise of the class.

Hardly anyone has playtested and nothing about the "thematic promise of the class" locks in Striking Spell with spell attacks or Striking Spell every round. I think we should see how it plays. I think people aren't appreciating what this magus can do because they want it to do exactly what the PF1E magus did and it can't do that. (The fact that you get 2 high-level spell slots hasn't gotten enough attention, for example.)

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And if Striking Spell is situational, it should be a feat, not a core class feature. Monks Flurry all the time, Champions get shield and reactions all the time, Rangers Hunt - Why aren't Magi supposed to be using Striking Spell?

With a cantrip that requires a basic save and the slide casting Magus Synthesis, Striking Spell most rounds probably still makes sense, as long as you would normally Stride most rounds. Your weapon crits will be really nice and even when your enemy makes the save, you still get a damage bonus. But yeah I actually agree that there's a lot of focus on Striking Spell for an ability that you probably don't want to make as big a focus of your tactics.


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Cordell Kintner wrote:
1. Even if a crit only applies to the spell attack, that gives the attack a huge bonus to crit, thus giving the target a huge chance to fail their save.

True, but that requires (a) crit with weapon attack, (b) success or better with spell attack, (c) no critical success on save. So possible but a lot of things have to go right.

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2. You will literally have 1 less Int than a Wizard of your level. There's no issue here. And if you think it's an issue, then it's an issue for all casters, not just the Magus.

Spell attacks are generally weak without true strike because AC is balanced against item bonuses and spell attacks don't get those. Magi are going to be a little worse because their proficiency doesn't scale as quickly and their Int is 1 behind. This problem is worse at high levels; you get expert at 11 and master at 19, while wizards get expert at 7, master at 15, and legendary at 19.

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3. The action Economy is fine. You usually spend a round getting into position for a flank anyway, so there's no harm in doing so for a Disintegrate. And with Slide Casting that's two Strides to get to where you need to be.

But that means you can't Strike (or attack with a spell) that first round. And it means you use up two of your precious four spell slots. And true strike still only applies to your weapon attack, when the thing that needs boosting is the spell attack. (Yes, you might crit, but most of the time you won't.) It also means that if you don't land a weapon hit that second round, you waste the spell.

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4. This point was ninja'd lol

Finally, bosses are typically one level over the max level of that tier. This gives a 50/50 chance of striking with a weapon. This is before factoring in Flat Footed, and any bonuses or debuffs your teammates might apply before you strike. This is a team game after all, and not factoring in stuff like that is just disingenuous.

The problem isn't your weapon attack. It's your spell attack, which will be 3 points behind at level 11. And remember, you have to hit with both--and then the target also gets a save.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
If you want to talk specifically about playstyle, the Magus interacted with action economy primarily through Spell Combat. This one can't do that.

Yep, this thread is literally about how the playtest magus is a different playstyle. (Just like many other PF2E classes are different playstyles, from the champion to the swashbuckler.)

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As for "standard builds" I don't really believe that one build that resulted from some poor design choices (class features + spell list) should be justification to hobble this Magus.

What I'm saying is that I don't operate on the a priori assumption that the PF2E magus should be built around using Striking Spell with spell attack spells just because the PF1E magus was. It's fine with me if Striking Spell is more situational and if other kinds of spells are better suited for it, assuming the magus remains fun and effective. Your preference may differ (that's part of what the playtest is for).


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Verzen wrote:
Honestly - No.

Why not? With studded leather the eidolon has an AC of 18 at level 1.

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What would fix this problem imo is giving Eidolons the monk progression of unarmored defense and allowing the summoner to wear light armor again. It would allow at level 1 the Eidolon to have 18 AC which is respectable for a front liner. ATM, 16 AC is lower than any other front liner by 2 AC which will inevitably hurt them quite a bit.

You can get 18 AC with light armor. And there's nothing wrong with the summoner's AC as is--the summoner can be squishy, they won't be on the front line.


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Would it be crazy to let eidolons wear armor and give them light armor proficiency? That would meaningfully address this problem, no? (You'd still share the potency and resiliency runes.)


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It's probably one of the worst spells to Spell Strike with:
1. It's ambiguous whether the crit bonus applies to both the saving throw and the spell attack, but I suspect that if this issue is clarified, it will be clarified that it only applies to the spell attack for a spell with both.
2. You're not very good at spell attacks or save DCs as a magus, and disintegrate depends on both.
3. Disintegrate's saving grace is true strike, which is hard to pull off with Striking Spell's action economy, and which will never apply to your spell attack roll in any event since you roll your weapon attack first.
4. If you do pull off the double crit scenario, the two effects don't stack. This has come up before.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
I'll have to say that you're wrong on many levels. Alchemist had spells as items in 1e, and actual items in 2e. It delivers the promise of item/consumable based gameplay with a mad pseudo science bend. Champions are very different, but still deliver the Divine Warrior promise - and the new reactions are both fun and effective. Celestia Sorcerer, the Divine is no longer a pseudo interaction but the full weight of their power, is say it delivers on the concept promise better than 1e.

Now I'm confused. Both in my original post and in my reply to you, I was specifically talking about playstyle. The PF1E magus and the playtest magus are both warriors who wield arcane magic to enhance their combat ability, so on that level they haven't changed either. (Whether they are "fun and effective" remains to be seen.)

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The Magus was much more than just shocking grasp. That build became popular for a few reasons - mostly a bad spell list without a lot of good touch spells for a class that lives off touch spells, how early in the lifecycle it was possible, and the fact that it was fun to play one of them one time. I was a bigger fan of Hexcrafters, Eldritch Archers, Frigid Touch Kensais, and True Strike Wand Wielder Whip magi. All of those blended martial and magical talent in a satisfying way. Shocking Grasp was the meme,not the class.

Sure. There was more than one way to play a magus in PF1E. (There were also 30+ archetypes so many more play options than we're likely to see for the PF2E magus for a long while.) I'm just talking about the standard build.


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I agree but the bad one is Shooting Star. Sustaining Steel is just situational (it's for when you're tanking). And all use of Spell Strike is situational--you only want to do it when you can make good use of the Magus Synthesis ability. Shooting Star is bad because it doesn't really give you anything; almost all of the time, you will be better off casting and then attacking from range.


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Capn Cupcake wrote:
The problem with your first solution is it's literally, in every way, superior to just cast magic missile normally and then whack them in the head. Exact same damage outcome, 0% chance of wasting the magic missile, bonus points you don't have to be adjacent to hit them with the magic missile, AND you can spread the missiles out if need be. If you Spell Strike with Magic Missile now its relegated to melee, you can't spread them out, and if you miss with your attacks due to bad luck or status effects then you've wasted the spell entirely. Spell Strike is just really bad.

You need to go to 2.: the advantage is the Magus Synthesis ability, which you're overlooking in your analysis.

FWIW I don't think you'll be wasting your spells that often--you can get off two or three Strikes in the next round if need be, so you're pretty likely to hit at least once. It's still a big disadvantage to not be sure you'll hit with the spell when you first cast it, which is why Spell Strike remains situational.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
If it can't play similarly to its origins it needs a different name or a change to mechanics. It's not delivering the gameplay to fulfil thtle promise that we hear when they say "Magus"

I don't think this is how PF2E has ever worked. Alchemists now are tied to an item list instead of a spell list. Paladins have a signature ability that didn't exist in PF1E. Your PF1E celestial sorcerer now casts divine spells. All casters have different playstyles (not without a substantial amount of complaining). And the APG classes even more so: swashbucklers and investigators only resemble their PF1E versions in theme, and that pretty loosely.

If what people want is a character who's very good at synergizing shocking grasp spamming with weapon attacks, that may be doable, but it's not what we have. (And frankly I found that model of a magus to be a pretty boring way of implementing a gish, so I appreciate the change.)


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In PF1E, the standard magus tactic was spell combat + spellstrike + spell slots loaded with touch attack spells. A typical combat round might be a full attack together with spellstrike with shocking grasp. What strikes me for this version of the magus is that, even though there is a superficial affinity, this is a suboptimal tactic here.

There are two reasons, which have already been widely noted. The first is action economy: when you use a full round to use Striking Spell and Strike, you only get off one spell (if it's a standard 2-action spell) and one Strike, just as if you were a fighter with the multiclass wizard archetype. The second is that, if your spell has a spell attack roll or a saving throw, you have to roll twice to succeed, both for the weapon attack and the spell. The compensations Striking Spell in itself gives you for these disadvantages are pretty weak. You lose the MAP for the spell attack but with weaker proficiencies and lower Int than the wizard you would never want to cast a spell attack with a MAP anyway. You get one degree of success better with the spell attack or save if you crit with your weapon, but that requires you to crit with your weapon, which isn't reliable enough for a character that isn't a fighter. Your spell isn't wasted if you miss with the weapon attack, but (1) you only get one more round to use it, in which you can't use Striking Spell again and (2) it's still a pretty big issue that you couldn't place the spell in the round you wanted to place it.

Does that mean Striking Spell is useless, or that the playtest magus is bad? No. It will require playtesting to find out for sure, but there are potentially very good ways to get around these disadvantages. They just require breaking from the PF1E way of playing a magus.

1. Don't use spells that require spell attack rolls with Spell Strike. (This was your only option in PF1E.) You want a spell that doesn't require a saving throw or spell attack, or, failing that, requires a saving throw with an effect on a success that you would still find useful. My cantrip of choice would be chill touch. My slots spell of choice would be magic missile--or, at higher levels, maze.

2. Use Striking Spell in circumstances where you can make really good use of the Magus Synthesis ability. In PF1E, the advantage of spellstrike was that you got off a weapon attack for free. If PF2E, the real advantage is the Magus Synthesis ability. You can cast chill touch, magic missile, or maze without using Striking Spell. But with Striking Spell, you can also Step or Stride, or get 2 temporary hit points per level.

3. Use the other tricks the magus class gives you. It's not just about spellstrike/Striking Spell anymore. Use your spell slots, which now match the highest-level spells other casters of your level can cast, for strong self-buffs that will last a whole combat or longer, or battlefield control that doesn't require a save or spell attack. Use Spell Parry/Capture Spell. Use your focus spells (Runic Impression and Hasted Assault seem especially good).


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It's syntactically ambiguous (is it "to [AC] and to [saving throws against spells]" or "[to AC and to saving throws] against spells") but I think based on the description and its similarity to Dueling Parry that it's supposed to give you a general boost to AC and a spells-specific boost to saving throws.


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Ice Titan wrote:

First round:
Three action summon -> Automatic sustain
Eidolon gets a free strike, and the enemy is flat-footed if the summon isn't already in flank
~Summon:
Strikes, Strikes

Any other turns after:
Boost Eidolon
Act Together -- Sustain; Eidolon Strides or Strikes
Eidolon Strikes
~Summon:
Stride/Strike x2

I don't exactly view this as crushing?

"Crushing" was too strong. But the eidolon is generally going to be more useful to you than your summon. And here you are limiting your eidolon to one action in the first round and two actions in subsequent rounds--which also limits the utility of special eidolon abilities that require more than one action. (Also, when I wrote that post I hadn't yet noticed the Distracting Summon feat, so my bad on that.)


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demon321x2 wrote:
The biggest issue I feel with the Eidolon is I don't see that much use coming out of the extra action. It's not useless but an attack at -10 isn't that useful.

Movement! You can Stride and then Strike twice. Also the special actions that every eidolon but the angel gets.


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If they do give this ability, I hope it's a feat and not a base class feature, because I will never want to take it. :)

Seems perfectly reasonable to have a feat that gives you a focus spell letting you summon creatures, maybe starting with things sharing your eidolon's trait and then expanding with more feats. It's not going to be unbalancing because it's not really a good option for the summoner--summons are three-action spells (bad because you can't Act Together) that take an action to Sustain (pressing against your action economy). Either you do nothing on your turn other than Sustain or you turn your eidolon, your real friend, into a mere 2-action minion. And (more importantly, to me) it's not really the kind of story that attracts me to the summoner.

Edit: I just noticed the Distracting Summon Spell feat, which improves your action economy if you do choose to cast summons, though seemingly only on the round when you cast them. And at 16 you can get Effortless Concentration, which I would be unlikely to take for a standard summoner but which is a great feat for a master summoner build. These make summoning a better option if you can do it with focus points instead of those precious high-level spell slots.


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graystone wrote:
My big issue with this is that the summoner isn't doing much summoning as a result. It's more an Eidolon Master class than a Summoner.

Yep, as I've said in other threads, summons aren't really the summoner's thing as presently constructed. It's a companion/pet class.


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Temperans wrote:

The difference is that the Eidolon wants to go near things. But it has to share your actions so when ever the Eidolon is doing something the Summoner is just standing still. This makes it very clear to enemies "hey this guy is easy to kill".

Not only that but if you are in a situation were you are indeed out numbered spliting your actions makes you a hindrance. The Eidolon is being less useful when ever you are doing something. Which means that the enemy has more chances to punish you for it.

The summoner never has to stand still because you're going to use Act Together every round. So you have one action to Stride if you like, just like every spellcaster that's casting two-action spells. You're going to want to use that third action to boost your eidolon much of the time, so sometimes you'll be standing still, sure--just like the bard, which nobody thinks is weak.

For movement, the situation is even better with Tandem Move, which isn't use-limited to once per round, so you can Stride together with your eidolon as much as you like.


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A couple more thoughts:
- This isn't as big a deal for the summoner, who will probably mostly want to cast once-a-combat buffs from slots, and otherwise rely on focus spells and their eidolon. Shared action economy with the eidolon means that you definitely don't want to be casting a two-action spell every round.
- It's a big deal for the magus. I don't think you want play a base magus (without a multiclass archetype) the way you would play a magus in PF1E. You're going to spellstrike a lot less. You're going to want to use those high-level slots for long-duration combat buff spells (enlarge, haste, fly, freedom of movement, true seeing, contingency, foresight) and maybe for utility if you don't have other casters to take that role (teleport, divinations). The big advantage here (compensating a little for the loss of lower level slots) is that you have access to the highest-level spells except at 19 and 20 and you don't have a restricted spell list.
- So what does a magus use for direct damage/Striking Spell? My current tentative thinking is that the right approach is to mostly use cantrips. You use Striking Spell when you want the benefit of your Magus Synthesis and it gives you a substantial damage boost when it goes off right (especially if you crit)--but probably not worth the investment of a high-level slot. Maybe I'd prepare a magic missile in my odd-level slot, which is a nice combo because you can cast it in one action and there's no save or attack roll.

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