Hey, this may not be the advice you want, but hear me out: I don't think you're approaching this the right way. You guys need to make sure you're playing the same kind of game, and you're not. You seem to be playing a tactical combat game, and another guy seems to be playing a game that is either serious or silly.
As a group, you ought to sit down and kind of hammer out the "what's our tone/gameplay going to be like?" before you even get started on characters. And you need to compromise.
You might be fine with it, but the "casual" guy sounds like a wee bit of a tool. Why are you making a grown man's character for him? If he knows enough of the game to play an oracle, he knows enough to make one. And, if not, it will be a good chance for him to learn. If he refuses to learn to make his own, I would a fighter, a rogue, and a monk and tell him to pick one, as he's too lazy to explain spell mechanics to.
The other guy's a little bit more complicated. He probably thinks he's being a good roleplayer by making suboptimal characters. This is problematic: Is the guy's concept that he's incompetent at battle? Is it his concept that he has a cool ability he's refusing to use in a life-threatening situation? And if it is, is it within your character's concept to adventure with such a person? Ultimately, it's a communication failure between this guy and your GM. Either the GM needs to tell him it's a combat game and ask him to adapt his character accordingly, or the GM needs to adapt his game to fit the character.
Either way, trying to make a solo character for a teamwork game is a poor solution. If you can't solve the problem any other way, my advice is to go with it. Make an equally crappy character who focuses on equally trivial things. Maybe the tone of the game will be that these people are in over their head. Or it could be a game about finding clever solutions to compensate for weak characters. I bet the problem players will adapt if you aren't solving all of their problems (or the GM will).
Alternately, have you considered finding a new group to play with on those nights? Don't ragequit, just...be busy with that group on those nights.
Good point. As long as you're holding yourself I don't know why it wouldn't. What's the penalty for juggling one-handed?
Dude, your post is ridiculous.
How on earth is the OP supposed to carry themselves?
As a gay guy:
I don't find the term homosexual offensive at all. It's a clinical definition of what I'm attracted to, similar to heterosexual. You know what I find degrading? Being treated like I'm made of glass by white knight liberal arts majors. I feel degraded by eupemism treadmills and political correctness forcing us to constantly reinvent words.
I also don't know what the hell queer means. Sometimes I think it means the LGBTQKSHDLKSD umbrella. Other times, it means effeminate heterosexual men and feminists that want so desperately to belong to a minority group, that they try to latch on to my subculture and my fight for marriage equality.
Is a Rogue “skimming” treasure as he finds it “Role playing” or is he stealing from his adventuring companions?
I'm sorry, but I have to call shenanigans on the "character actions can only be dealt with in character" crowd. Either you let your games fall apart far more easily than I, or (as I suspect) you haven't actually played in a game where party theft was an issue (and "well that's because we wouldn't let it" is a trite excuse for bad advice).
I once played in a game where the rogue pretty much stole every single piece of treasure we found. And it was funny for a little bit. But, as we hit about level 6 or 7, it quickly came to the point where we just didn't have the gear we needed to survive (it was already a pretty item-sparse game and we tended to fight fewer, harder fights). Now, naturally, several characters tried to confront her about it, only to be told by the other players that we weren't letting her play her character (to be fair, those players were incapable of 4-function math and didn't understand the effect she was actually having on the game). The DM refused to intervene. Our fighter finally lost it and decided to kill the rogue's beloved pet. The game broke down from there...
As a DM, your responsibility first and foremost is to keep the game running and the players having fun. Storytelling, acting, and writing all come secondary (and to be fair, even the best games have writing I would tear apart in a film and acting I would tear apart at a high school play; we let these things go because gaming is fun). If your game falls apart because you think you're just a narrator, you're not a very good DM.
So, years later, when I decided to run a sequel to the campaign, I was faced with the issue of how to deal with player and her theft. Fact of the matter is, side plots/secrets/theft from the party is that player's hook. She does something like that in every single game she plays. So, if I want her to be interested in my game (and I do), I should provide that hook in some way. And, to be fair, I normally think party theft is funny, as long as it isn't ruining the game. So it was easy enough to tell her, as DM, that I wouldn't be allowing those kinds of shenanigans to continue. I told her she could steal minor items of value, but that A: She didn't have access to Magic Aura, B: I just wasn't going to allow her to steal the really valuable loot. Every time the party found a major pile of loot, I made sure it included a few lesser jewels or art items that she could try pocketing, and she nearly always succeeded.
The player was happy because she got to steal, and the party was happy because they weren't bankrupt. Did it feel like I was putting bumpers on my game? Yes, of course it did, and ideally I wouldn't have to. But the player had already shown she didn't know when or how much to steal. If that's the problem in the OP's game, he should consider intervening.
I don't think they have rules in any of the 50 states regarding enchantment magic. Besides, cut him some slack, he didn't mention hold person, entangling rope, OR deep slumber!
I can't speak for everybody, but I'm pretty into that. Air balloons are neat, and I'm glad they added some tech without moving into crazy steampunk territory.
Uhhh....YMMV. I've played in that style of group and I still find it very worthwhile to make creatures blind. That two handed barbarian and ranger archer are gonna end up looking like pincushions when the monsters that survive their onslaught counterattack against their sh*tty AC.
Darkvision's certainly decent, but unless you're the only caster in the group, there's likely at least one other person there who can cast it without wasting incredibly limited 'spells known' slots. Glitterdust, on the other hand, is a spell that, even in damage-heavy groups, I would easily want to use multiple times a day, in two different very-common scenarios.
Couple of thoughts:
First of all, you should absolutely let your player do this. One of the things players absolutely love in this kind of game is the ascended extra. Players love the idea that they can pluck a character out of obscurity and, along with them, it can become something cool and awesome (way more than the characters you try to make memorable). Just think about how and why the monkey became a part of the party in the first place. And, to be frank, the idea of a monkey archer is not only funny, but it contributes to the character without hurting anything. Just because it doesn't exist in the rules doesn't mean anything. Rules are suggestions, and any time breaking them makes your game funner or more interesting without making it less fair, you should do so. Do remember that this is a game you're putting on for other people, not a professionally published story. Some consistency can be sacrificed.
Second of all, where do you get the idea that a character who loves get attention and treats can't also shoot and stab things? We have an entire class devoted to both performance and combat. Unless I'm misunderstanding something, your player didn't request he become a cruel coldhearted killing machine, he requested that he use a bow in combat so he can help the character out. Plenty of characters in fiction have remained plucky long after shedding their first blood. Loot at Pippin from LOTR or Jubilee from X-men. Now, if the player wants the monkey to become monkey bandit or monkey torturer, I see your issue, and you're well within your rights to roleplay the monkey refusing to attack certain foes. But, frankly, I believe an intelligent monkey will shoot a bad man hurting his friends.
Thirdly, I'm going to echo some people's sentiment here, by saying you ought to have told your player the monkey wouldn't be a willing combatant when he chose him for an animal companion. My understanding of the situation is that the player was going to get an animal companion and, rather than choosing something badass like a great cat, he chose something that was already part of the game world. Not only does this show development on his part, but it's showing interest and involvement with your game. Then, he came up with a mildly creative way to use the creature as a combatant (which is what the AC is for) without changing the basic nature of the creature. What you should be doing is rewarding him for involvement in your game. I don't think you mean to do this, but when you say "well, tough, he should've thought of that when he picked the monkey" it feels like you're punishing your player. Now, if he took the monkey as some kind of powergaming (which I doubt), that's another issue, and I would take it up with him.
Lastly, some people in this thread have said some out-of-line things like calling you a 'problem dm' or assuming this is a control issue, which I assume isn't true. That said, you're being a little ungracious for somebody asking advice by saying people who don't agree with you "don't get it." I can assure you I get it, I just don't think your stance is the best thing for your game.
Very very cool.
Oh, awesome, another one of these arguments. It's like all RPG-related internet discussions have come full circle. Let's see if we can speed this along.
First he'll say a new option is lame (let's keep in mind that the rogue is already one of the weakest classes in the game and that their real saving grace IS their list of defensive capabilities). Then you'll insist that it's totally fine and should totally be there for players that want to play that kind of character while making a bunch of backhanded comments about how his play style just differs from your (get it? he's one of those 'roll' players who only care about math while you're one of the elite 'role' players). These things already happened.
Then you'll go back and forth a few times, or a lot if you're persistent. Then somebody will quote the Oberoni Fallacy and my soul will die a little bit more (it's at -7 right now). Then he'll say that, if you don't enjoy the 'game' aspect of the game, you should just play make believe. You'll insist (completely without irony) that you enjoy the mechanical challenges of the game, because your opinion is completely incompatible with such a mechanically robust system. but you'll still refuse to back down on this particular issue because, it's an internet argument and no one ever admits that they're wrong. He'll insist that he enjoys the roleplaying aspect of the game AT LEAST as much as the rollplaying aspect (because he never said otherwise) and that a good character concept should also be backed by strong mechanics. Then it'll turn out you two basically have the same gaming style, but just disagree on this one particular archetype. Puppies may be involved.
So let's all just agree to the following:
-Good rp =/= bad mechanics
Now, please stop cluttering up this thread with a repeat of this argument. Some of us are curious about the product. Kthxbye.
I don't know why people don't think they could make a whole book on this. If anything, I think they'd have a hard time limiting it. Between feats, spells, magic items, prestige classes? and archetypes (hopefully few, they're starting to go overboard on these) based on ACs, familiars, and Eidolons, I think they'd have a ton of stuff to cover. not to mention, of course, a plethora of potential rules covering summoned monsters and cohorts.
I can't speak for everyone here, but ACs/Familiars play a huge part in most of my games.
To be fair to the OP, he's partially right. Fireball is actually a pretty decent spell in the right circumstances. Most of the fights in my last campaign started outdoors, from several hundred feet away (I hate it when a horde of ogres randomly appears next to you on a sunny day in the plains. And part of me really enjoys punishing dumb*sses who call themselves professional warriors but only bring a sword with them). I'm also a fan of using groups of mundane enemies instead of a singular uber-monster. So yes, in about 75% of those fights, fireball was pretty decent.
The real problem appears when you get beyond that level. Cone of cold is an unbelievable turd for non-maguses. I'd be easier to just fireball than get within 60 feat of a large enough group of monsters for that spell to not be a waste. Chain lightning isn't too bad, but, really, there are much better uses of a 6th level slot. Polar ray, I believe takes the cake for the worst nuke (perhaps worst in the game). A few of the newer nukes, like polar midnight and cold ice strike, are good, but overall, after 2nd and 3rd level spells, usefullness goes downhill.
And yes, people can argue that you CAN make a decent nuker, but you're going to get less return for more investment than you would get with other spells.
Tactical feats are fine. Even teamworks feats (if they're actually worth using). Right now, it's a bit difficult to make a pet-based character that isn't a summoner.
I forget who I'm quoting here (somebody from this forum) but PRCs are just another tool. Some things should be base classes, some things should be archetypes, and some things should be PRCs. Personally, I'll admit to preferring archetypes (most 3.5 PRCs exist just to swap out class features anyway) but I can think of a few PRCs that I don't think would've made decent archetypes (mostly multiclass based prcs).
Robert Young wrote:
I was saying, perhaps a solution for immediate defense spells would be to take up ones turn. For example, if the opponent won initiative and you used EFS, but then couldn't perform a standard action when your turn came around.
And, before iterative attacks set in (and a lot of games take place at lower levels) haste may as well provide additional actions.
Robert Young wrote:
I was talking about the caster's next turn. As in, you just took your turn early.
Yes, that bypasses the turn events of the game, the same way haste violates the economy of actions or rope trick violates sleeping. Spells give us advantages or our characters wouldn't use them. The question is, is it broken, and I just don't see how using a spell to take your turn a little early is broken.
Either way, I actually don't think the spill is nearly as bad as it's being made out to be, as is.
By that argument, we better get rid of a whole lot of spells. And what it costs them is the ability to affect the enemy while they remain inside. That isn't to say the spell doesn't have elements of overpowered to it, but its brokenness is being hyperbolized. More importantly, I'm not seeing how its immediacy is putting it over the top.
Would people find a spell that took the casters concentration or somehow cost them their next standard action to be equally objectionable?
Yes, and fireball used to be powerful, and we used THACO to calculate attacks. Either way, I'm quite certain a classic concept doesn't have to come from D&D.
To be fair, I don't think there's anything wrong with powerful spells taking all round (or multiple rounds) to cast. Just as I think a couple of spells should have move-action versions, and some should be immediate actions.
Robert Young wrote:
I sure didn't. The brokenness of that spell (which is a good spell, but I think people are exaggerating it a bit) has a lot more to do with its level and its duration than it does with its immediacy. If that spell were higher level and lasted less time (or had less potency) it would be perfect.
The thing is, everyone's concerned about these spells disrupting the flow of gameplay, but that's actually what I think is cool about them. They break up the potential for rocket tag. In my games, I usually houserule counterspelling to be a lot easier for similar reasons. I like the idea of spellcasters neutralizing one another while warriors run around hitting minions.
Also, others have said it, but it bears repeating: if the PCs can do it, the NPCs can do it.
I don't mean to be insulting, but that kind of attitude lead to a lot of what I don't think works about 4e. I'm sorry, but I prefer my games to be freer with more options. This isn't necessarily true of the spell in question, but, as a general rule, I'd rather rely on my players not to abuse things like Eidolons or summon monster spells. If they do, I'd rather be the one to handle it than see a game designed to take out any possible mechanical abuse. Something about that attitude makes it feel like playing with bumpers.
The thing is, I think adding some immediate (and even move) spells to the game adds some new design elements, and keep the game a little bit fresh. I'd honestly like to see more, and I think they can be balanced with less difficulty than we might think.
Robert Young wrote:
What? I call shenanigans on that. You're absolutely abusing the word cheesy. Is the spell a bit overpowered for its level and potentially system abusing? Yes. Is a character throwing up a quick shield of force to deflect an enemy charge or an avalanche actually conceptually cheesy? No, not at all. It's something we see in fantasy and comic books all the time. And I'm not sure why we wouldn't find some way to emulate it. I mean, really, the same wizards who are creating demiplanes and summoning hordes of elementals have never thought to make a spell that lets you parry an attack or throw up a quick obstacle to interrupt an enemy? That's just crap.
So, as part of my upcoming campaign, I'm going to be reflavoring the devils quite a bit (the randomness of the Baatezu race has always bothered me, so they're getting a bit of a japanese cenobite reflavoring). Anyway, as part of this conversion, I was going to simply swap out their immunities to cold and give them cold immunity, rather than fire (while conversely giving demons fire immunity). I figured I would simply switch abilities like fireball into "ball of cold" and such. Can anyone think of any major mechanical repercussions for this? I know fire damage is a bit more common, but I don't think that's going to completely ruin my campaign. Thoughts?
Scott Betts wrote:
Interestingly enough, I don't frequent those forums (except, of course, at my initial excitement towards essentials, which the board quickly quashed). Either way, that really doesn't justify the OP's ranting.
Interesting fact: the spell cold ice blast form the very same book goes directly against this design principle. Functionally, the spell is identical to a quickened cone of cold, in fact it is even better as it has no components whatsoever. And it's outrageously "cheap", being a 6th-level spell only, when the quickened cone of cold would be 9th level. And on top of that, it's available to clerics. For the first time I'm wondering, what were they thinking?
Naw. Cold Ice Strike is decent. Being better than a quickened C o C is like beating Hellen Keller at I-Spy. If you want to compare it to something, compare it to other 6th level spells, and tell us that that piddly point blank damage is better than some of the cool stuff you an do as a standard action at that level. The fact that it's a swift action is the only thing that makes it worth expending such a high level spell slot.
The thing is, I think the people at Paizo aren't concerning themselves with balance so much as they are with trying to make fun characters to tell interesting stories. That doesn't mean every option they come out with is one I like, but it does mean that they exist for a reason.
I'm not saying balance doesn't matter at all. It does, it's just not a huge part of the game for most players.
And, if the OP really hates the company that much, it's simple enough not to frequent their message boards instead of ranting in pointless, inflammatory troll threads.
DEWN MOU'TAIN wrote:
It has happened to me. I usually keep the monster alive for a couple of rounds. Heck, twice I've done that just b/c the BBEG died in 2 or 3 rounds and hadn't gotten off a spell or attack I wanted him/her to.
Some call me Tim wrote:
I don't think you have to. It's easy enough to fluff it as taking off half the monster's face or an arm w/o killing them.
I can't answer for him, but I can answer for me. I use the rules and the dice because I go by what they say 99% of the time. But, as DM, I reserve the right to tweak them to make my game go better. I agree, it is a game, and DMs who fudge everything take the feeling of fairness out of and begin to make actions seem meaningly. But, conversely, Why would I let the dice run my game? If I were going to do that, I'd just play a video game and do some talking as my character. The good thing about DMing is that I can make those calls and change what happens if I feel it ruins the story. And, ultimately, my goal is to tell a good story with my friends.
As for fudging to my players' benefit. I absolutely do that from time to time. In fact, I'm quite sure I've done that at least twice as often as I've done it for BBEGs. I don't change the monster's ac (as my players would figure that out). But those nasty axe crits? Monsters can get them too, and I've same many players from a quick death because I didn't want them to die (esp early in the game).
So, flipping through ultimate magic, I saw Cold Ice Strike and thought "Hey, neat. That spell might actually be worth using!" So, browsing through the messageboards, I see a handful of people actually claiming that the spell is ridiculous, or even broken. Did I miss something? This seems like one of the best-designed (read: Well designed, not uber-powerful) evocation spells I've seen in years.
I'm going to reiterate stuff we all know, but here goes:
Here's where cold ice strike comes in and actually gives us a decent evocation option. It partially mitigates the economy of actions issue of evocation spells, but still takes up a valuable 6th level spell slot. It's not a spell that's so good that I couldn't do without it (unless I was an evoker) but it is good enough that I would seriously consider memorizing it.
So....what's with all the complaining? Frankly, I'd like to see a few more swift evocation spells that are actually worth using. The only gripe that I can see is that the spell appears to be a quickened version of cone of cold at only one level higher but....so? Cone of cold is terrible. It's just terrible. It's not quite as bad as polar ray, but it's close. At the level you get it, you basically get the damage of a fireball (this gets better, but not much), except that it can only be used on monsters that are practically up your butt. Hopefully, by the time they're that close, your melees will have intervened or you're probably going to want to spend your round summoning some help. Actually, given the range, if I was going to waste the time nuking, I'd rather just fireball. Is this really the metric we want to use for 6th level spells? Better yet, would quickening this really be worth a 9th level slot? Is this really too strong to be at the same level of acid fog, or circle of death, or better yet, summon spells?
Rant over. I think Cold Ice Strike represents a good solution to some of the problems the school of evocation has.
Did I ever tell you your posts are my favorite?
I'm afraid you and I differ on this point. I don't think the D&D-iverse can always objectively define one's alignment. If could, there would be 4 alignments and not nine. In fact, some of the worst atrocities committed in the real world or games I've played have been by 'just following orders' lawful neutrals. That includes people willing to sacrifice innocents just to 'win the war.' I definitely agree with you that those are evil acts, but it's overly simplistic to think neutral characters can't commit them (or even good, from time to time). In fact, I'm pretty sure neutral alignments exist for characters who commit a mix of good and evil acts. I'd hate to be a neutral character who only committed neutral acts. And I don't think motivation should be completely separated from the act.
Anyway, I find the alignment system as described in the book pretty open-ended, and I think this is deliberate. It creates all kinds of fringe cases, like the ones we're discussing. This isn't to say alignment is completely subjective, but neither is it completely objective as you'd like it to be.
J. Cayne wrote:
This is why tying game effects to alignment sucks. Every DM will interpret the exact same actions differently, and differently from the player who their ruling will affect. So far in this thread we have had people claim the above actions were neutral on both axis, chaotic, lawful, evil, and good.
Yes, that's why, in my games, those effects typically only work in cases of extreme and obvious examples of alignments (paladins, torturers, outsiders who exemplify their alignment).
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Huh, that's an interesting way of stating it. Ignores the possibility of neutral, but it is a good principle for deciding how good/evil an act is.
Ogrork the Mighty wrote:
Is there a Pathfinder conversion of the Dervish prestige class?
Well, not that I've seen, but, there are guidelines for converting PRCs. It should be easy enough for you to Do. TBH, however, it's borked . There are a handful of fighter archetypes in the APG that can fulfill the same conceptual niche, and there's a feat called Dervish Dance in the Inner Sea World Guide that focuses on using a scimitar in one hand.
Is there a specific element of the class you're looking emulate? Or is it the class itself you like?
You may be abusing the term offensive.
Like it or not, the gaming community sees Pathfinder as another version of D&D. I've never seen any of the Paizo staff comment that they have a problem with this. And why should they? D&D is a great game, and Pathfinder is a good version of it. They should feel honored that people are willing to look at the two games interchangeably. It gives them a level of legitimacy that a lot of D20-compatible companies haven't attained. Besides, trying to separate itself from the D&D label would be elitist and silly. It's like 80% the same game, and they took pains to keep backwards compatibility. Look at the promotional posters. Do they say "D20 thrives?" No, I"m pretty sure they say "3.5 thrives" 3.5 what? That's right, 3.5 D&D.
Anyway, you guys are on a message board for a game where you roll dice and pretend to be Elves swinging magical swords. If you're so serious about it that you're actually OFFENDED by somebody calling it D&D, or worse yet, you feel the need to 'correct' him like you're some kind of internet academician, you may need to take a Prozac and a nap.
To be honest, you guys have a completely different understanding of alignment than I do. I see alignment as nothing more than your character's general goals, viewpoints and preferences, not as a yardstick to measure all of his/her actions. Do I need to worry that my "chaotic" character committed a lawful act by driving the speed limit or that my "Lawful" character committed a chaotic act by J-walking? God no. An alignment change means a fundamental paradigm shift in the way your character approaches the world.
Very few villains are actually Evil, because they don't actively want to inflict pain and cruelty so much as they're willing to if it will help them meet their ultimate ends. Magneto? Not evil. Dr. Doom? Definitely not evil. Even Galactus isn't really that evil by D&D terms so much as he is really really selfish Neutral, I suppose. Hannibal Lecter, the Joker, Deadites, Sauron, THOSE are evil guys.
Even then, evil people are capable of love and compassion in the right circumstances. Hitler was married and apparently very kind to (German) children. Look at the mayor on Buffy. He really did love Faith. conversely, Giles, the very beacon of good on that series, smothered a wounded man to death. Gandalf is quite good, but it doesn't stop him from being a jerkass bully (let's not even get started on Aslan).
Point is, in any game, I want my players to tell me what their alignment means to them and why, so we can agree that their alignment fits. Unless they're playing a Paladin, or a Cleric, or they continuously go way outside the lines of their code of ethics, I'm not going to question the acts they commit. I care more that they're playing out their characters.
No offense meant to the OP, but it kind of sounds like he's trying to squeeze a mechanical benefit from a couple of morally questionable acts that fall well within the spectrum of most CN characters. Unless hes undergone a serious fundamental shift in the way he sees the world, or goes out of his way to inflict pain and suffering, he sounds CN to me.
Sounds more like "magic is crazy and unpredictable," and and that could be a cool plot-twist for his game.
This "rights of the players" crap that leads forumites to chide GMs for doing anything surprising to their players isn't good for the hobby.
ermmm....huh? If memory serves, a bastard sword isn't an exotic weapon when used two handed. It requires EWP to be used one handed, as in special training, which is another meaning of the exotic weapon category.
In other words, you saw the word exotic, and decided to run with it. It is in no way orientalism, and you're being extremely dramatic.
You're putting words into my mouth. Never said they were 'wrong on every mechanic,' but I specifically don't like the phenomena I mentioned. This isn't because I don't like 4e (actually, with essentials, my opinions are mixed) but because I actually happen to think that phenomena is really stupid. Do I mind a wizard having to work on con or wis or something for a secondary stat? Not really. Should there be a class that uses strength as its primary stat to shoot lightning? No, there really shouldn't.
its funny but this is quickly sliding into 4e territory with int to attack/damage
I can see where you're going with that, but I disagree. No, I'm not a fan of the "pick a stat, any stat. Want to shoot fire with strength? Go for it!" mentality, but I actually can see very specifically how this would work well for this specific class in this one instance.
The magus is all about one particular weapon, and how has he mastered that technique? Through study (ie, the flavor text of the class). Fighters are good at hitting things in general, while the magus is so/so because the fighter learned by hitting and swinging in the field of battle while the magus took long hours to figure out exactly the precise angles and motions to make his blade effective. As a warrior-scholar, he likely knows anatomy in a way most fighters will never understand and thus (like holmes) plans his moves ages in advance, knowing where and how to hit for the most damage.
I'm normally not an advocate of this, but I can see how it benefits the magus.
Really? I loved that movie.
Quantum Steve wrote:
I disagree. First of all, unless you really hate players, you don't want to give them something to suck at, even at first level. The magus is about a certain schtick and he should be able to do it. A cleric doesn't suck at healing at level 1, he's just not as good as he will be. A fighter doesn't suck at fighting at any level.
Also comparing this with quicken at lowbie levels is very inaccurate. quicken is good because you can get off a second spell in that round, not an attack. As it stands, at a -4 penalty (which is huge at low levels), you're better off not bothering with this ability, so it's more of a liability than it is an asset.
I don't see how not making the magic checks is gamey. The Magus is trained to intermix spells with casting. That seems like exactly the kind of thing they would learn to do. I think it's stupid to have a caster who is intended to cast from the front lines lose his spell every time an ogre pokes him.
A bonus to checks also doesn't help the fact that making constant concentration checks is a pain in the a$$ at any level. The magus, unlike the wizard, is supposed to get hit, and he's supposed to be casting on the front lines, so, while a normal caster would try to avoid concentration checks, the magus deliberately puts himself in positions to make them. All that rolling is a giant hassle. The player I played with got annoyed in first few combats.
Mage armor just felt appropriate for a magus who wishes to go unarmored.
As for only being 'showy' spells, I feel like that makes the class worthless. Most groups have about 4 slots in them for players(I usually try for 5-6, but then 1-2 people don't show up), which are traditionally for a melee, a skill-based char, a divine caster, and an arcanist. Depending on level, a druid can fill in for a cleric, a host of classes can fill in for fighter, and sorcerers can fill in for wizards, and at least 2 other classes can fill in for a rogue.
Hybrid classes, like the Inquisitor, Bard, and Summoner, all have spell lists that are adjusted to allow them to take the role of a class if necessary. The same can't be said about the Magus, which has no utility spells. Right now, it can't fill in as the party melee, and Jason (and a couple of posters) has been adamant that it's a caster first and a warrior second, which implies that it should be able to act as party arcanist. If it can only buff and nuke, it can't do this, so I don't see it being welcome in a lot of parties.
I'm open to adding different spells, but it must have at least some utility spells to be worth it.
This thread is exactly what it sounds like. It's a list of spells that I think should be on the Magus list. Clearly, there's been some complaint that the list needs tweaking, so I'm listing the spells that I think should've been added.
Note 1: I didn't pick any spells from other class' lists. While it might prove necessary, this class is clearly meant to be a wizard class, and people have a series of mixed opinions on what can and can't be crossed between classes.
Note 2: Yes, several of these spells are at levels the Magus can't currently cast, and yes I'm suggesting these spells be moved down for the magus (several spells already on the list could be moved down as well).
Note 3: I avoided nukes. I'm suggesting spells that can be interchanged with/enhance swordplay. Personally, I think using mirror image before a series of attacks fits the concept a lot better than using an artillery spell. Alternately, some of these spells are just necessary if the class is meant to be a competent arcanist (and I do feel this class should fill in for the wizard to have a place in most groups). Utility spells are a vital part of those kinds of classes.
I really loved the fact that the Arcane Warrior in Dragon Age got to substitute his intelligence for his strength score. I wish to the gods I could figure out a way to balance that for the Magus.
Yes. I mean, TBH, I don't think that class went far enough doing gishy things (looks like Hawke will, however), but I think stat substitution or supplementation needs to be a core part of the class. Mind you, I think using int for both hit AND damage may go too far, which is why I only suggested one of the two.
One of the major problems with any class that tries to do multiple things well (esp both melee and casting) is the dreaded multiple attribute dependence. The way it's set up, I'm afraid the Magus will potentially have the worst MAD of any class yet. It doesn't just require multiple decent attributes, it requires that they be fairly high for him/her to be effective.
A Magus not only needs enough con to survive (and make up for a lower hit die than other melee), they need enough str to fight effectively (making up for a lower BAB than most other melees w/o the buffs to compensate).
However, more than any of the other hybrids, they're going to depend on their casting stat. A ranger is only going to need enough wis to cast spells. Same with an inquisitor, who has judgment. A bards wants charisma, but since most of their good spells and abilities are buffs, they won't need to pump it very high to get their full use out of their class abilities. A paladin wants decent charisma, but he/she won't be ruined by not capping it at a decent level. Monks use wisdom, but it stacks with dexterity for their armor class, so again, it doesn't need to be gigantic.
But a Magus is going to need high enough int to keep up their saving throw DCs (they have a variety of spells that allow saves) AND have enough spell slots to power their arcana.
One other poster has suggested Int to AC (which i don't care for, its kind of a monk thing), but I'm going to suggest something we don't see in D20: Let's let them add int mod to damage. Not only does this compensate for the damage lameness of using a 1-handed weapon, it allows them to focus on multiple stats (str and int) without having to fall too far behind in melee.