Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic (OGL)

3.10/5 (based on 48 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic (OGL)
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Raise your character to the pinnacle of magical might with Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Magic! Within this book, secrets arcane and divine lie ready to burst into life at the hands of all the spellcasting classes in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. In addition to the brand-new magus class—a master of both arcane magic and martial prowess—you'll also find a whole new system for spellcasting, rules for spell duels and other magical specialities, and pages upon pages of new spells, feats, and more. Because when it comes to magic, why settle for less than absolute power?

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Magic is a must-have companion volume to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. This imaginitive tabletop game builds on more than 10 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into the new millennium.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Magic includes:

  • The magus, a new base class combining deadly arcane magic with the skills and weapons of a trained warrior.
  • Words of power, an innovative and flexible new spellcasting system.
  • New options for dedicated casters, such as alchemist discoveries, alternative uses for channeled energy, druid companions, sorcerer bloodlines, eidolon abilities, witch hexes, and oracle mysteries.
  • Additional feats and magical abilities for martially oriented casters, including monk ki tricks, inquisitor archetypes, and ranger traps.
  • New magical conditions called spellblihgts, as well as systems for crafting constructs, binding outsiders, and spell-dueling.
  • More than 100 new spells, plus detailed guidelines for designing your own.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-299-9

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Last Updated - 03/30/2012

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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Average product rating:

3.10/5 (based on 48 ratings)

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Half & Two Thirds

4/5

I bought this book on Friday, I've decided to use it to make things a little different when the Party heads off into The First World. The Magus will be introduced into the campaign as will the Words of Power casting system. Of course, since the Words of Power have to be chosen at character creation the PCs will not have access to it unless they make new toons.

So far the book is useful. I use the PDF versions and miss the links that the Core Book has. But I do like that, unlike the Core Book, the pages automatically size to fit the window.

This is a good product for a GM that is looking to change things up a little.


Some good stuff in here...

4/5

This book appears to have taken a bad rap. I for one quite like this, from the Magus class, through all the options for any class that is even slightly magical. I actually really liked the words of power idea, though I will never use them in any serious way (perhaps a shamanic npc) and I enjoyed the feats and discussion on magic use.

Really gives magic a good feel in the campaign. Mind you, the book is not an essential addition at all. If you want a fully fleshed out magical campaign though it is a great book.


Some good mostly poor to bad

2/5

I thinking the paizo is simply taking the left overs from other books and slapping it to take another bite of the apple. This makes me sad, I hope this doesn't continue.


Haters Will Always Hate. A Surprise?

5/5

It's hard to take reviews seriously on this board. If you're a longtime lurker or poster, you know well that every additional book Paizo has put out for Pathfinder has from its inception been a bright, shiny target seemingly custom made for the hurled monkey poo of a horde of miserable would-be design "experts." These people were prepared to hate from the outset, so should we be surprised when they rain their hate down on the product once it has been released?

Here is a frank and honest review from somebody who actually does make a side living making games and related accessories, and who doesn't have an axe to grind or a big fat ego to polish.

I love this book. I admit, I don't use all of it. I don't care. What I use, I love. What my players use, they love. Nothing here has yet broken the game. Nothing here is out of whack or out of balance. I make great and memorable NPCs from this material, and I have never been so happy doing so.

This book, as with Advanced Character, and Ultimate Combat, continues what Paizo does best. They zero in on what options were missing, or were cluttered, or required five 3.5 books to accomplish, or that were originally poorly conceived by 3rd parties, and they improve on them and put them all in a nice, clear, tidy reference for me to have all the fun I wanted to have, but never did.

In short, the book provides great fun alternatives, and covers a lot of ground, making the work of a 3rd party designer like me, a whole lot of fun, and accommodating a wide variety of imaginative builds.


No gem

2/5

As expected, no real gem there. Its chunk full of tweeks and half chewed class specializations.
Fun for a read. Not much else there.
Sub-par.
Nowhere to go but up, Paizo.


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Gorbacz wrote:


That makes no sense for Paizo. They are interested in new players, and new players should rather be spending $ on Paizo books, instead of scrambling for out-of-print WotC books. So, there will be some overlap.

But it's also counter-productive. Half the reason people are into Pathfinder is because of the ease of 3.5e backwards compatibility, and I believe Pathfinder RPG was partially created to gather the host of people that had a bunch of 3.5e books and didn't want to "start over".


When's the playtest?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Razz wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


That makes no sense for Paizo. They are interested in new players, and new players should rather be spending $ on Paizo books, instead of scrambling for out-of-print WotC books. So, there will be some overlap.

But it's also counter-productive. Half the reason people are into Pathfinder is because of the ease of 3.5e backwards compatibility, and I believe Pathfinder RPG was partially created to gather the host of people that had a bunch of 3.5e books and didn't want to "start over".

And you don't have to buy the books. Jodi won't come over to your house and cleave your 3.x books.

At the same time, Paizo is moving forward, Razz. They have to address new options in their own fashion. So, you can use the old stuff, use Pathinder stuff, or mix and match *shrug*


Razz wrote:

Wow, this is going to be both fun and insane for me.

I had to pour through the APG Spells and Feats to see if WotC had any duplicates. I usually use WotC's as a default, with exceptions (such as using Lunge over Lunging Strike).

I do the same with spells. It bugs me having "duplicate" spells, where a WotC spell and a Pathfinder spell do almost the same thing with a few twists or a change in spell level and I have to scour each one and make a Word file reference which material is stamped "Confirmed" or "Denied" on it, basically. (for example, there's the Tsunami spell in Spell Compendium and Tsunami in the APG; the one in the Spell Compendium is clearly better than the APG, so I ruled the duplicate in APG out my games)

So, my one request to Paizo staff, look at your WotC books, particularly the Spell Compendium, and try not to make duplicates. The same with feats! It's kinda annoying and tiresome :D Be unique!

I have to disagree here. I don't have much 3E stuff and it's not like you can just go out and buy those extra books. While if you do have huge 3E collection of books you can use them with Pathfinder many of us can't so duplicated are more than welcome for me as I don't use any 3E books.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Actually, now that APG is out and UM/UC are on the horizon, I declare a Fresh Start for my games. The Completes, the Tomes, the Heroes, the Funky Sourcebooks are all going for their well deserved holiday, and my PF games will be run only on Paizo PC material. I'll keep some monster books around until the PF Bestiary count goes up, but in general I consider PFRPG to be a great opportunity to slim down my shelves and discourage obsessive dumpster diving in my games. Hence the reset.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Gorbacz wrote:
Actually, now that APG is out and UM/UC are on the horizon, I declare a Fresh Start for my games. The Completes, the Tomes, the Heroes, the Funky Sourcebooks are all going for their well deserved holiday, and my PF games will be run only on Paizo PC material. I'll keep some monster books around until the PF Bestiary count goes up, but in general I consider PFRPG to be a great opportunity to slim down my shelves and discourage obsessive dumpster diving in my games. Hence the reset.

Agreed. I'd point out that the APG is at least two complete books in content, if not more. It also helps that it's our DMs first run at Pathfinder, so we're just using the Core Rules and Bestiary.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:

At the same time, Paizo is moving forward, Razz. They have to address new options in their own fashion. So, you can use the old stuff, use Pathinder stuff, or mix and match *shrug*

+1

Dark Archive

Elorebaen wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

At the same time, Paizo is moving forward, Razz. They have to address new options in their own fashion. So, you can use the old stuff, use Pathinder stuff, or mix and match *shrug*

+1

+1.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Actually, now that APG is out and UM/UC are on the horizon, I declare a Fresh Start for my games. The Completes, the Tomes, the Heroes, the Funky Sourcebooks are all going for their well deserved holiday, and my PF games will be run only on Paizo PC material. I'll keep some monster books around until the PF Bestiary count goes up, but in general I consider PFRPG to be a great opportunity to slim down my shelves and discourage obsessive dumpster diving in my games. Hence the reset.

I did that last week, actually, putting my 3.x books into boxes. It's not that Pathfinder RPG is not as backwards compatible as Paizo promotes it as. It is. It's just that, wih the 4 rulebooks they've published so far, they've shown me that Pathfinder RPG books is all I need to create the characters and games I want. Heck, the Advanced Player's Guide alone contains a ton of options that, to me, are superior to previous game mechanics.

That said, I'm keeping my 3.x book. I am a collector, after all. :D

Dark Archive

Ravenmantle wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Actually, now that APG is out and UM/UC are on the horizon, I declare a Fresh Start for my games. The Completes, the Tomes, the Heroes, the Funky Sourcebooks are all going for their well deserved holiday, and my PF games will be run only on Paizo PC material. I'll keep some monster books around until the PF Bestiary count goes up, but in general I consider PFRPG to be a great opportunity to slim down my shelves and discourage obsessive dumpster diving in my games. Hence the reset.

I did that last week, actually, putting my 3.x books into boxes. It's not that Pathfinder RPG is not as backwards compatible as Paizo promotes it as. It is. It's just that, wih the 4 rulebooks they've published so far, they've shown me that Pathfinder RPG books is all I need to create the characters and games I want. Heck, the Advanced Player's Guide alone contains a ton of options that, to me, are superior to previous game mechanics.

I completely agree, and I did the same already when Beta came out. :)

Liberty's Edge

This looks awesome!
I look forward to the Magus Playtest!


Hoping they will include some means to enhance those familiars and bonded weapons.


voska66 wrote:
Razz wrote:

Wow, this is going to be both fun and insane for me.

I had to pour through the APG Spells and Feats to see if WotC had any duplicates. I usually use WotC's as a default, with exceptions (such as using Lunge over Lunging Strike).

I do the same with spells. It bugs me having "duplicate" spells, where a WotC spell and a Pathfinder spell do almost the same thing with a few twists or a change in spell level and I have to scour each one and make a Word file reference which material is stamped "Confirmed" or "Denied" on it, basically. (for example, there's the Tsunami spell in Spell Compendium and Tsunami in the APG; the one in the Spell Compendium is clearly better than the APG, so I ruled the duplicate in APG out my games)

So, my one request to Paizo staff, look at your WotC books, particularly the Spell Compendium, and try not to make duplicates. The same with feats! It's kinda annoying and tiresome :D Be unique!

I have to disagree here. I don't have much 3E stuff and it's not like you can just go out and buy those extra books. While if you do have huge 3E collection of books you can use them with Pathfinder many of us can't so duplicated are more than welcome for me as I don't use any 3E books.

And even if some of us have the 3E material, we just don't have the time and/or willpower to covert it over to Pathfinder.


Lord Thavian wrote:

This looks awesome!

I look forward to the Magus Playtest!

+1


Eh, not sure about how excited I should get about this product.

I love spellcasters and they are really powerful already from about levels 5+, I just hope none of the rules in here allow players to make broken spellcasters.

However from what I saw in the APG you guys are pretty good at making really balanced alternate class options, Feats, and spells, so I will definitely buy this product and try it out in my games.


This is yet another gaming book I must have!

I can't imagine a gaming library as rich as the Pathfinder collection. Eternal thanks be to Paizo!!

Grand Lodge

Gorbacz wrote:
Actually, now that APG is out and UM/UC are on the horizon, I declare a Fresh Start for my games. The Completes, the Tomes, the Heroes, the Funky Sourcebooks are all going for their well deserved holiday, and my PF games will be run only on Paizo PC material. I'll keep some monster books around until the PF Bestiary count goes up, but in general I consider PFRPG to be a great opportunity to slim down my shelves and discourage obsessive dumpster diving in my games. Hence the reset.

+1

The Exchange

Will there be rules for casting magic like the Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series or L.E. Modesitt, Jr Recluce series. I have been looking for rules to create the feel of these two worlds. Some people have said that the magic of Recluce is lot like psionics.

Also rules for creating Harry Potter magic (i.e. wand) would be cool also.


And here I am echoing (somewhat) Merrickcale's call out!

Any news yet on when we might see a playtest for the Magus and the Words of Power spellcasting system?

Drools uncontrollably...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Yasha wrote:

And here I am echoing (somewhat) Merrickcale's call out!

Any news yet on when we might see a playtest for the Magus and the Words of Power spellcasting system?

Drools uncontrollably...

We're still nailing down details on the playtest... Keep an eye on the Paizo blog.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Yasha wrote:

And here I am echoing (somewhat) Merrickcale's call out!

Any news yet on when we might see a playtest for the Magus and the Words of Power spellcasting system?

Drools uncontrollably...

Yasha wipe that up. :)


Justin Franklin wrote:


Yasha wipe that up. :)

Hey, stop judging me. Aboleth can't help but be somewhat mucous challenged. And who are you to talk? You're slavering worse then I am, Mr. Hound of Tindalos.

Thanks Vic! I really wasn't expecting a response, just tossing that out to let all you folks at Paizo know that I'm interested (as I'm sure others are as well...except Sebastian, we know his opinions don't matter).

Thanks again!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
jim162065 wrote:

Will there be rules for casting magic like the Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series

WOTC put out a D20 wheel of time RPG a few years ago. You can probably find it on ebay or amazon. They also put out one adventure and then nothing else.

Liberty's Edge

I just decided to make a Vermin Druid for our new campaign! Sucks that I'll have to wait 7 months to see how to do it properly...Unless the rules for this are released, say, for subscribers? :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Aveneer wrote:
I just decided to make a Vermin Druid for our new campaign! Sucks that I'll have to wait 7 months to see how to do it properly...Unless the rules for this are released, say, for subscribers? :)

Some of this will be going into an open playtest, but I would be suprised if the vermin druid is in there. However, I'm sure there are a couple of feats in one of the Paizo books about a Vermin companion, although I can't remember where.

Liberty's Edge

Enlight_Bystand wrote:
Aveneer wrote:
I just decided to make a Vermin Druid for our new campaign! Sucks that I'll have to wait 7 months to see how to do it properly...Unless the rules for this are released, say, for subscribers? :)
Some of this will be going into an open playtest, but I would be suprised if the vermin druid is in there. However, I'm sure there are a couple of feats in one of the Paizo books about a Vermin companion, although I can't remember where.

What I need are the statistics of the vermin companions...

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I hope there's more for sorcerers than just bloodlines. After the ones in the APG I'm kind of bored with bloodlines and I'd like to seem some good PrCs that might take the class in weird ways, maybe like a "metasanguinist" class that blends multiple bloodlines together.

Liberty's Edge

Yasha wrote:

And here I am echoing (somewhat) Merrickcale's call out!

Any news yet on when we might see a playtest for the Magus ?

Drools uncontrollably...

I'm very anxious to see what the Magus ends up looking like as well!

Until then, you could always try out the Vanguard class

Just saying :)


As long as I get a decent favored class option for Half-Elven Sorcerers I'll be happy.


The big question for me is what the new alternative spellcasting system is going to be like; is it a variant Vancian system, or something radically new and different?

Dark Archive

In the APG we got a good list of stuff but I think we have enough bloodlines. If new bloodlines come out with every book we'll be flooded with blood lines and each will be static to what is in that book. I think the blood lines, even domains & wizards schools, should have an option in each one where a character can change out something within a blood line for something else, like what was done for Paladins in the APG.

---- Oh yeah, and how do people get in on play testing

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

We will make a big deal of posting the playtest document, which will be free for anyone to download. Then you use the material in your game, put it through its paces, and come back here and share your observations.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
Then you use the material in your game, put it through its paces, and come back here and share your observations.

Whoah, sounds way too involved. I think I'll just sit here and say everything's simultaneously overpowered and underpowered without having to exert myself with playtesting.

Spoiler:
I know for a fact that some of those things really *ARE* going to be simultaneously over/underpowered, especially those pesky SchrödingerCat familiars.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

That cat is dead...


Shem wrote:
That cat is dead...

Long live the cat.


I think it's safe to say since there's no mention of Prestige Classes, then none will be included in the book. As much as I would like to have a Shifter/Master of Many Forms conversion, would it be possible to at least round out the polymorph school, so I can make my own conversion for the time being, specifically adding:

- Vermin Form
- Ooze Form
- Aberration Form
- Fey Form
- Monstrous Humanoid Form

Dark Archive

Playtesting of Ultimate Magic starts next Monday


joela wrote:
Playtesting of Ultimate Magic starts next Monday

Well, ruin my weekend why don't you? Now you have me counting the minutes until Monday... that's just unnatural :)


joela wrote:
Playtesting of Ultimate Magic starts next Monday

HOLY WHAT?!

Dark Archive

Chris Gunter wrote:
joela wrote:
Playtesting of Ultimate Magic starts next Monday
HOLY WHAT?!

Ow! My "ears"!

Anywhoo, yeah. Wes posted the news on the Paizo blog (linked above). Can't wait to try out the Magus and the alternative magic system.

The Exchange

Holy tomato paste, Batman! I can't believe I'm saying this, but I can't wait until Monday!

Dark Archive

w0nkothesane wrote:
Holy tomato paste, Batman! I can't believe I'm saying this, but I can't wait until Monday!

+1.

Dark Archive

The 'words of power alternate magic system' has me all aflutter.

I don't have any idea what it will be, but the possibilities are crazymaking!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Ultimate Magic Playtest starts Monday

<Steeples fingers and in a purring voice>

Yessssss

Lantern Lodge

Just when I thought I could be all "meh" about another book coming up, you toss in more options for the 14 classes.. Now I'm all like "ooh!"

Dark Archive

*sigh* Is it April yet?


Set wrote:

The 'words of power alternate magic system' has me all aflutter.

I don't have any idea what it will be, but the possibilities are crazymaking!

No doubt, I have been a fan of this idea since I got into Paladium Fantasy back in 1985 or so, and I play with my current incarnation of that with my version of the Runemark. It will be nice to see what 25 years of thought have to bring to the table when pulled from the collective minds of Paizo.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

I wonder if: Premade spellbooks suitable for use at all levels of play

Also means premade Cleric spell lists for quick NPC evil clerics


The Magus class...great, something that'll step on the Duskblade's toes...and Eldritch Knight's. And hasn't the whole "be a warrior/spellcaster mix" gish thing been done to death!?

Hold on --- why are we getting a Magus when we have the Eldritch Knight in Pathfinder?

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Because the eldritch knight is a prestige class?

Because we can't use the duskblade?

Because we don't have a 20-level caster/fighter base class?

Because YOU demanded it?

Because we wanted to?

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