Organized Play Member. 21 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.
Being only in the very lowest of levels thus far, I haven't really experienced many AoOs. But for the sake of pointless internet arguments, let me share my magus' approximate routine in our most recent fight involving an AoO, with the Barbazu in AV:
(The Cleric used Recall Knowledge (Religion) and learnt that it had an AoO.)
Round 1: Adapted Cantrip, the human feat, gave me Divine Lance >> into Arcane Cascade >. While I missed with my low spell attack, it still added +3 Good damage per future Strike.
Round 2: Magic Weapon >> and a Dimensional Assault > into a flanking position. 2d8+4 slashing (-5 DR) and 3 Good (+5 weakness).
Round 3: Divine Lance Spellstrike + Shield (the cantrip is Verbal and doesn't have the Manipulate trait). I took the AoO, because the Cleric had moved forwards to bless, and was wounded within glaive range. This let them survive casting in melee, and then the Fighter finished the devil off.
My playstyle is ordinarily about buffing myself with my levelled spells like Magic Weapon or Blur, and moving in for cantrip Spellstrikes; I prefer stacking odds in my favour to gambling on high level slots. In the future I expect that Haste, Stoneskin etc will make the triggering of AoOs even less disabling of my character.
5 people marked this as a favorite.
I agree that you will get hit and crit'd a lot, but I definitely feel that you can either mitigate those or bend them in your favour. For example, our fighter would easily at level 1 have an effective attack bonus of +13: +1 Inspire Courage, +1 Demoralise and +2 flanking, raising their chance to hit or crit by 20 percentage points. Armour class is more difficult, but when it's necessary we could add +3 AC from his shield, forbidding ward or later inspire defense.
While we still get hit and crit a lot more than in 5E, it's much more enjoyable than playing that; there came a point where every fight involved me, a wizard, winning Initiative (Alert feat), casting Hold Person / Hold Monster / Banishment (upcast to affect multiple people) and then everyone else just mopping up what was left. Which got quite boring.
1 person marked this as a favorite.
I can think of a variety of different characters this minute, each with a different mental key ability, so while I don't think it would happen, I would love to be able to choose between the three.
I also think that wisdom is possibly a better key skill, because their power comes from their connections with the world around them.
Personally, I'd prefer a restricted Trick Magic Item free as part of the wand implement, and then have that expanded as a 4th or 6th level feat (maybe a chain along the lines of Fused Staff?).
1 person marked this as a favorite.
Two hopes and dreams for the thaumaturge which I think could be neat:
The ability to customise your own implement would be great. Instead of a generic lantern of revealing, you could invest class feats to awaken the ancestral powers of an orichalcum lantern recovered from the city of your ancestors, used in countless royal processions. Or an ancestral sword, or handcrafted armour, or...
I also think it would potentially be interesting to have a feat chain where you could cast minor spells from your implements, by convincing the universe that they are enchanted. Alternatively, I think gaining a few staff charges by tricking it into thinking you're a caster could also be cool. I don't know if that would fit the flavour, though.
As a Cavalier, your mount is an AC and therefore gets 2 actions for your 1. Riding your AC does not change this, unless they do not have the mount trait (for example, a Ranger riding their bear).
If you have to ride a non-AC, then you trade 1 for 1 and might have to constantly succeed on Command an Animal checks (unless you have the Ride feat).
I don't see any benefits in not taking Cavalier (or Animal order, or Steed Ally &c, &c) if you want to ride something more than just on occasion, since horses remain horses as levels progress, but ACs scale with you.
Personally, I think that this is a solidly mediocre level 2 feat which allows a Magus a lot more versatility in terms of offensive spells, but doesn't make them much better at using them. It's definitely an improvement as to not having it if you so desire to cast AoE spells, but neither does it overshadow other options.
At the very least, you get some solid action economy AoE damage, much earlier and (in top slots) more damaging than other classes options for AoE. But it isn't so good that my next Magus will take it over the more thematic for her Force Fang.
Dragon Form is, unfortunately, probably the worst battleform to use because it scales wonky.
I know, and that was mostly a joke, but it is the thematically most awesome. And if I am using my own Athletics and unarmed modifiers it should reduce the wonkiness, right?
I am considering the comparatively low cost of +X non-striking runes on some Handwraps of Mighty Blows, the existence of a wide variety of battle forms, such as Dragon Form, some lower level ones I guess, and why wouldn't I use Dragon Form?
I would spend all the money saved on staves and wands, so probably the Twisting Tree hybrid study.
Okay, so I looked at the rules on Nethys and I now have a question.
Unlike other abilities, the Spellstrike text does not say that you combine the damage of your Strike with the damage of the Spell for resistance or weakness, unlike Hunted Shot and other similar abilities.
Does this mean that if I had my Arcane Cascade dealing fire damage (for example) and I Spellstriked with a Produce Flame, an enemy Troll would take their additional damage due to their weakness twice, once for the Strike and once for the Spell?
1 person marked this as a favorite.
If you are Spellstriking it would count as 2 attacks, because it's in the text of the Spellstrike ability, but not if you are just casting Electric Arc (or another save spell) + Strike as summoners or magi Recharging with a conflux spell do.
I've heard of the focus spells and the recharge + recall knowledge. Are there any other Magus feats or abilities which combine other actions with recharging your Spellstrike?
7 people marked this as a favorite.
I don't think traditional Pf1 two-thirds casters would work for the Magus.
Level 6 Shocking Grasp: 7d12 Electricity (average 45.5)
Level 10 Telekinetic Projectile: 10d6+5 B/P/S (average 40)
Having your best spell slot deal only 5.5 more damage than a cantrip is not fun. (Disintegrate does more, but at just +5 Int and Master casting enemies shall save for half quite often). Therefore I think that bounded casting lets you have effective slotted spell strikes while not stepping on the toes of full casters and their mountain of low level slots.
Also, being unable to cast 7/8 spells, which anyone with an archetype can, would be extremely odd and quite unmagical for someone who splits 50% of their focus on combat spells.
3 people marked this as a favorite.
Personally, I feel that for certain classes, wave casting is a really good and thematic option. For a "master of reality" 20th level wizard, having a massive array of low level spells allows you to respond well to every situation. For a magus who has spent their whole career focussing on massive spells which remove half the Tarrasque's HP in one single Spellstrike, four spell slots plus cantrips and Master weapon proficiency seems enough. After all, a wizard out of spells is very different to someone who could, with a little luck, match other martials with just cantrip+spellstrike and maybe Arcane Cascade.
I am also interested in seeing what the best spells for a wave-caster turn out to be... my money is on Haste, Stoneskin, Resist Energy &c edging out Shocking Grasp and other similar spells; I also feel like a divine or occult Summoner might get a lot of mileage out of buffing their eidolon with spells like Heroism. I am of the opinion that buffs which last the whole fight are an exceedingly efficient use of slots anyway, especially when you only have 3-4 slots to spend on 3-4 fights.
In addition, there's nothing stopping you from picking up wands and staves for low level utility spells.
If one is making a personalised staff, can the spells be contributed from multiple sources? For example, could a cleric add Searing Light to a magus' Staff of Attack, in an undead-heavy campaign? (They will of course have the Trick Magic Item feat).
A few questions concerning the Magus:
Can you Spellstrike with attack spells which also require a save, such as Disintegrate?
Does Arcane Cascade require "casting spells, speaking, or using a manipulate action which requires hands"? If not, then I think you can cast a Polymorph spell like Elemental Form and then enter your Arcane Cascade, which could be quite cool / useful.
If I have a wand in one hand, and my sword in the other, is there anything stopping me from Spellstriking with the spell in the wand?
I am getting the impression that ordinarily, you can't use AoEs with your spellstrike, but that if you take a level 2 feat, you can then use AoEs in your spellstrike, gaining the action economy benefits and maybe some others, in exchange for the spell being useless on a miss of the melee strike.
Slow and Blink are pretty great, as is the rest of Twisting Tree, so I think it might be a balancing factor. Sort of similar to how the Draconic Sorcerer gets the useless Claws spell, but then the excellent breath weapon.
No idea why they picked Magic Mouth, it doesn't exactly scream staff-user and at least the Claw spell is extremely draconic.
In my opinion it's more useful to get your +1 or more from spending EP to increase your BAB, because about half the drawbacks are so monumentally crippling in certain situations that you want your EP stuck at 0, which is what I came here to complain about; it doesn't feel the wibbly-wobbly teetery-tottery track we were promised, instead "I need 0EP, I'm being hit by mundane attacks... Oh no, I'm being hit by a Spellcaster, better get 8EP for that 13+ SR!" Whether you like the teeter-totter mechanic is another point entirely, but it isn't executed very well in my opinion.
Also, a question: you make your attacks "as if" your BAB was equal to your level. But it isn't actually equal to your level... Does this mean that Weapon Focus adds +1, or +2?
2 people marked this as a favorite.
I think that a wealth-dependent class isn't a bad option, but there needs to be consideration for the sort of adventure you might be running. In Pf2, you don't need a full-on Uberwaldian laboratory with thunder and lightning to be an Alchemist, and neither should you need a legion of trained surgeons to support your Evolutionist, not least because this feels like something you should be making yourself. In my opinion, one good solution to this would be making it easier to craft your own augmentations, using either your niche's skill, or a caster level check.
Speaking of niches, they are meant to be your transformative journey from Humanoid (Darwinist) to whatever creature types Starfinder, the 130+ species RPG, contains. Instead they feel like a few combat abilities, an useful capstone and an arbitrary declaration of completeness. If I pick Dragon, my Eldritch Evolutionist has only a few of their classic abilities - no Frightful Presence, no wings, no innate spellcasting, just the Adaption which grants a burst or line weapon special. I think that permanent transformations should be a part of your Niche, perhaps more than the generic combat options.
After all, what is an evolutionist without the ability to slowly and permanently adapt themselves to improve their chances of survival?
I also feel that the adaptions should be more permanent. Genetics doesn't do short term combat buffs (it does, but making-adrenaline-etc +1s, not suddenly growing wings). The granting of a fly Speed should be something which happens perhaps as an option for your niche - a Vital evolutionist might pick from flight, climbing, gills, faster land speed etc. when emulating their chosen animal. That also helps differentiate you mechanically from any fool with a set of jet boots.
In conclusion, I think that evolutionists should be able to transform themselves so that they are not merely evolving in-combat, which is odd, unsatisfying and annoying.
I just ran our second ever session of Starfinder, involving a ship combat for the first time. The players' Shuttle was surprisingly able to destroy the two CR1/3 ships via their linked light plasma cannons (by this point they were level 2 with 75BP), although I was intending for it to be an easier encounter to get them acquainted with the starship combat rules.
However, at several points during the combat, and despite the enemies having weapons in two full arcs, our Operative's Piloting check meant that the enemy fighters were unable to fire upon the players & essentially wasted their turn. (They didn't even get through the basic 40 shields).
So what I was wondering is whether you have any tactical tips for running starship combat as a GM, to make it more exciting & dangerous and less repetitive?