I think you should turn this 'older character' into an an npc, and/or simply reward those players with knowledge local with more or frequent info.
You may want to approach the players and ask them for input. Do they want to run a standard adventuring party in this setting? Fight for one of the factions? Or something different, like having established characters already in the city independent of each other and respond to some critical event as they please (said event to be the beginning of upheaval/opportunity in the campaign). Players are often the best resource for ideas at times.
If they are undecided, perhaps craft a scenario to force them to decide...that older character npc could be found being captured by slavers for instance....how do they react?
Why 5th level? Are you wanting to use threats of that level? Or just want the characters to be experienced already? Why not 3rd, or 7th, or whatever? You need to answer that question yourself really.
Im not sure what you mean by the second question, are you talking about the character or the player? Leadership need not come from greater experience (although it often does), and giving a player 2 extra levels over the other players will smack of favortism. In short, dont do it.
You mention this being a city based roleplaying heavy campaign. Then there will be little need for a leader unless you intend the group to function as their own or part of a faction.
So either guide them into that, or allow them to function independently in their owl little world/guild/faction, but have come to rely on each other due to similar interests or beliefs (IE: support/overthrow the local lord, similarily grouped alignment, promotion of a religion, further their own power, put an end to the red cloak gang, etc.)
The more you dig deep and answer your own questions, the more the answers will come to you, if that makes sense.
Im not sure I understand 'which' bonded weapon you are referring to. I'm thinking of a full bonded item like the wizard, ie: it can cast a spell for you.
That clearly doesnt overlap with the arcane pool ability.
I also like sunshadow's ideas of having a bonded weapon reduce pool costs or concentration bonuses. In fact I'd combine the two; casting while your chosen weapon is in hand is a +2 concentration modifier. This chosen weapon can become a bonded weapon ala the wizards bonded item as an arcana later, if you do not choose a familiar.
Helps address the concentration issue, adds some fluff (not just any weapon will do) and leads to an arcana choice later if the player chooses.
Napalm, I get it. Color spray is superior against CR1 threats at lvl1. But at the same time, burning hands is the only AOE direct damage spell we have, and gets better over time. And it affects undead, whereas colorspray, near as I can tell, will not.
I want AOE damage. My choice is basically made for me. Its a shame they didn't overhaul the system more and balance things like this. A simple addition to damage equal to your int mod would make the spell knock out cr1 threats more than likely.
Color spray may be too good...but for the casting in a threatened zone catch22.
Cold Napalm wrote:
Nice strawman argument (nice attitude too while we're at it). Color spray, on its own, at first level is definitely the better spell, no argument there. But it can only get worse, whereas burning hands gets better. Im thinking ahead here, not just one level. And both require a 'dangerous position' so that is a moot point.
And thematically I could care less, im not throwing rainbow sand in people's faces with this charater, I want AOE damage.
Im curious as to what AOE spell you will be using at 5th level instead?
Im seriouslly looking at precocious caster to boost the damage of burning hands....great little trait that immediately doubles the damage of the spell.
2) A feat for +1 average damage ain't worth it.
Cant take the feat anyways, and heirloom weapon is just better. Your point is moot.
3) Humm my PFS rule seemed to have been old...new one lets heirloom in just fine. However the rules for magic weapons isn't that you upgrade your existing one...
Seems like you do just that. No selling your old weapon. Pay the difference, your weapon is better. Sounds like an upgrade to me.
I take it you missed the part where exotic weapon proficiency requires a +1BAB? You dont really need it anyways with the heirloom weapon trait, unless you want to pick up and use other bastard swords.
The final version is not published yet, so you still might see more APG spells.
One can only hope.
The Magus is intended to have attack spells, and to be somewhat short on utility and control. The designers have specifically mentioned that they don't intend to give all of the best combat buffs to the Magus.
I take it that happened on the forums here somewhere? Any link or direction to that? Because the class intro spececifcally states "learning whatever martial or arcane secrets they can find...dabble in all sorts of lore, picking up anything that might aid them....". Sounds like a very generalist approach to me, and then the abilities of the class itself push it towards using might and magic to win combat. So any magic that can aid in combat should be examined closely for inclusion, or open up the full sorceror/wizard list based on the class intro text.
I think either my 3.5 memory is overcoming my limited pfrpg knowledge here in relation to color spray...although granted its not one I've used alot in either game. Burning hands is going to get better though, whereas color spray is not. anh, comes down to preference I guess.
Aware of the bastard sword issues, but the point is that more often than not I expect the magus to be fighting with one weapon and not using spell combat, and bastard sword seems the best way to maximize that one weapon use while still allowing attacks with spell combat rounds.
You can upgrade MW items to magic rather than buy new in PFS games, thats what I was referring to, and adventurer's armory is legal in the current PFS doc, so maybe you are thinking of an older version?
This class just screams out for an arcane bond ability as the wizard, except with their chosen weapon. Perhaps the chosen weapon simply adds 1 to the arcane pool? Or expand the familiar arcana to allow a choice between that or an item bond?
Im looking at APG (and some core) spells, and did the designers just miss these great and thematic spells for a magus?!
and so on....as I see it, the magus spell list should be about combat, buffs thereof, ranged strikes, enemy 'debuffs' and utility to aid those areas. Most spells should have the caster as the target or the enemy(ies). So invisibility and mirror image are fine, but other freestanding illusions are not. Affecting other things like traps, doors, free standing items that are not weapons and armour, undead etc. are not, but affecting weapons and armour, ours or theirs, is.
Look at the list above; break, gravity bow, protection from arros, retrieve item..all stuff about our weapons and armour or theirs. gracelessness and daze monster....enemy debuffs. Darkvision, the lone utility (hard to fight if you cant see your enemy).
lyrax, combat reflexes and defensive training are very situational, the former almost never comes up and the latter will be no different from dodge until 5th level (+1 swing) and by that point, care to wager how many attacks versus combat maneuvers the average character faces?
Toughness is alright, but quick draw is another combat feat with BAB+1 as a requirement. Arcane strike? Id much rather wait until 2nd and take power attack thanks. We get the same thing only better with our arcane pool ability anyways.
Combat casting, absolutely. Thats why I took it.
Honestly, I went through all the combat feats and either I couldnt take it or none really grabbed me, thematically or practically.
And yeah burning hands is weakish at lvl1, but it does something the class cant do otherwise, which is AOE damage. And it gets progressively better...as far as lvl1 purely offensive spells go, next to chill/shocking, I think they are the best.
This isnt a mage after all, where sleep/grease/color spray are king at lvl1. Youre going to be piling on other damage on top of your spell damage to take people down mostly.
True strike is lame. Turn what might hit anyways into a single hit? Not worth the spell slot, sorry. I really wish that spell had been an auto-threat (your roll is a 20) instead. That would be entertaining, you'd still have to roll to confirm (ie:hit) normally. But if wishes were fishes....
Found the most relevant text finally, in the equipment-armor section;
Odd that they wouldnt mention that in the actual armor class section, but there you go.
I think you have this discussion confused with some other discussion on scouts though...
an alternative class IS basically not much different than an archetype... they just swap out more abilities than most archetypes do, and we present them with those abilities already substituted in on the more familiar tables for the main class.
Ignore the naysayers, this is exactly how these should be done imo.
Very keen to see how the ninja comes out as an (hopefully) alternate monk class!
I assume the Magus does not have Mage Armor because he is expected to wear actual armor, being proficient with it and all. Which is actually better than Mage Armor, since the Magus has very limited spells per day and wouldn't want to burn one on Shield AND one on Mage Armor.
He's a fighter and spellcaster. He gets higher BAB and hps in addition to spells as a consequence.
Why then would he not be allowed to stack armour with mage armour spells? Honestly?
Mage armour is pretty darn good with a long duration though, thats the only reason I saw this being a potential issue. Thus my proprosal to turn it into a limited version used with arcane pool points.
So you'd rather spend a feat AND a trait to get +1ac? When dodge does that for the cost of just the feat?
Combat expertise is more of a gateway feat than actually useful feat in PF. If you dont intend on tripping or disarming etc., I would'nt use it.
Im beginning to think that heirloom weapon is the way to go instead of expert duellist. My build right now is only +1 to hit when using spell combat. Heirloom weapon essentialy counters the -2 to hit (at the same time increasing normal chances to hit by +2 all the time!) AND it gives me my bastard sword right now!
In a PFS game, it can be magicked later as well. Bonus.
Just pray it never breaks, because then that trait is lost forever, short of magic mending of some kind I guess.
That +2 to hit is immense though....
I note the glaring distinction of the spell list not having mage armour....for a magus devoted to combat, this seems very odd. Yes he has shield, and later a popup sheild arcana. Given that one needs both offense and defence in mellee, why doesnt he have mage armour? Im guessing the extended duration was an issue. Why not allow a reduced version as an arcana pool ability? +2ac for 1/min/lvl, increased by +1ac every 5levels or what have you.
The other majorly odd thing is that for a character focused on combat/magic, his lack of +1bab at lvl 1 restricts him overly from a ton of combat feats. Exotic weapon? nuhuh. Power attack? no way....and so on.
The cleric has better armour, better spells, and more powers at lvl1. So tell me again why I should be playing a magus?
I'd strongly consider upping this BAB progression to 1/1. Or at the very least, slide the 3/4 progression up a level so the magus starts at +1 (topping out at +16).
On the subject of feats, to do what is arguably the class feature of spell combat, you basically have to take combat casting. Should this not be a class feature then?
I keep wondering what this class is supposed to do???
Its not really that good at fighting (having a bab no better than a rogue/cleric, and lacking the mobility or striking power of the rogue, or the armour and spell/power ability of a cleric). You are not fast enough to avoid other strikers, nor have enough armour, nor can you really put things away with your own striking ability until maybe later levels where your spells start to power up.
You cant really stand back and shoot or blast though either. Again lacking bab or spell slots to do this. Or any kind of spontaneous casting like a sorceror...why isnt his magic cha based anyways?
Another area lacking, controlling. You dont really do anything to control the area or enemy. Grease and obsucring mist? Is that it? No hold or charm effects? Cause fear? Or duelling focused spells like doom?
Im really surprised at the spell list to be honest, youd think something like heat metal would be in there for a start. And some new specialized spells that disarm people, trap weapons, rebound attacks, deflect arrows....there are a whole slew of ideas that could go into war magic here folks!
Anyways, here's my human lvl1 20pt build;
longsword (plan to move to bastard sword and power attack to maximize 2hand damage while being able to easily free a hand for spell combat)
dodge (not sure on this one, but seems like a slamdunk to get a little ac given the lack of other combat options other than expertise, which I have no plan on ever using)
expert duelist(+1ac vs single adj.enemy)
So both feats and traits focused on AC and concentration. I cant see any reason to do anything else, although I would love access to bastard sword/power attack asap....sigh. I know some here are fans of dervish dance, etc. but anh, that does nothing for me.
5 skill points, arguably required to put into the 5 trained only skills (know(arcana,dungeon, planes)spellcraft and UMD).