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

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3.10/5 (based on 48 ratings)

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Excellent artwork, missed opportunity

1/5

(version 4.0 of this review)
The artwork in this book is gorgeous. The cover and the preview blog art of Alaznist duelling Karzoug are good examples of what this book has to offer in this department.

Sadly this is where I run out of nice things I can find to say about this book. As the large quantity of errata and FAQs either dealt with or still awaiting attention suggest the text of this book is in places highly muddled and/or confusing, besides lacking in clarity.

I have nicknamed my hardcover copy of this book The Necronomicon: The Bulmahn Edition and archived it somewhere deep and dark.


A good book to have for me

4/5

Definitely it's a fun book to have. It has a lot of situational options, but I didn't expect a book full of things that I can use anytime anywhere. After all whether an option will be useful or not should be just as easy to determine as finding out whether a choice of goblinoids as your favoured enemy will be. It does a nice job covering some corner cases and still provides some solid general options. I don't regret investing to a hardcover copy

Archetypes are generally solid, some more suitable for specific theme compaigns, some less. This is an advanced book after all. Nothing oviously overpowering though.

Mastering Magic chapter is a jumble of things and all can come handy... some of them will definitely appear in my compaigns.
Spellblights are nice thing to keep in my sleeve for the occasion when we're playing in a world, where magic is treacherous and dangerous to trifle with.
Spell duels on the other hand would nicely complement an adventure in Nex or Haluraa, where high magic culture is maintained. I'd also like to try the dueling counter as a replacement for regular counterspells in game to make spell battles more interesting.
Outsider binding is another thing that needed more detail and here it comes. Services of hell shouldn't come too cheap after all.
I'm not too excited about constructs (weird for a Battletech design freak), but new familiars and premade spellbooks are lovely. Choosing all spells for higher level wizards can be a pain. Designing new spells is certainly not a thing I plan to do anytime soon, but it could be good to have some basic guidelines. Overall i don't particularly care for this, but it's not a thing to scoff at.

Feats... are feats, I won't pass any judgements here, hopefully the antagonize lapsus will be ammended, but otherwise I'm fine o far.

I plan to try the Words of Power out but as a fan of the Vancian style casting I'll probably stay there. An occasional change could be welcome.

Finally - Some spells caught my eye, but otherwise my general oppinion is about the same as with the feats. I'll have to judge on case by case basis when I see them in action.

It may not reach the APG heights, but it's very good.

*Awaits Ultimate Combat*


Full of fun options -as expected

4/5

I'm the grumpy DM who thinks all new things are unbalanced!!! No wait, I am not. Full of lots options, some interesting and others not. Personally have no interest in Words of Power, but YMMV. Really love archetypes and there's plenty of interesting ones in here. Like the variant channeling. New spells always welcome. Really like the Magus, as a spellsword is always a cool concept in my book.

PAIZO WHY DID YOU FORCE ME TO BUY THIS!!!! wait, you didn't. But I am glad I did. Keep up the good work.

-1 star for a "fair" share of editing issues


Great book with some issues.

4/5

Once more Paizo has shown both creativity and boldness in their offerings. The Magus is a great addition to the number of classes offered in the Core Rulebook and in the APG. It is fun, different and well balanced. Many interesting ideas are introduced, such as the bardic masterpieces and the words of power. Many great new archetypes, spells and feats. There are options pertaining to different parts of the power level spectrum, making the book useful both in high and low-powered games, doubling as a great DM toolset.
The book does have some problems, costing it a star in the rating. The editing seems to be significantly worse than in the APG. Some of the options offered do not seem to have been considered in actual gameplay. The greatest offender is the Antagonize feat which creates some wacky situations when used. Some spell descriptions appear to be wrong.
Despite these problems i consider this a solid buy.


The arms race begins...

1/5

I'm a bit shocked that Paizo would release a product full of imbalanced options. Was there anyone in the office who said these options are not balanced with the rest of the game? Were they ignored? This book makes greatly doubt Paizo was the company I thought they were. It is banned for use at my game table. I don't have the time nor inclination to re-edit a book I paid 40.00 for to make spell levels correct based on their descriptions or figure out what they should be; or to redesign new classes so that they don't overpower others. Very disappointed. I bought this book blindly based on Paizo's reputation. I will be reviewing future crunch books before deciding to purchase from now on. Very disappointed.


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loved FRostburn... it contained my favorite wizard/sorcerer prc

the Frostmage.

I'd love to see a pathfinder form of it.....(as long as it wasnt directly tied to iresin)

cant say much for stomrwrack or sandstorm

but cityscape never did anything for me...


Set wrote:
Razz wrote:

The environmental books were 224+ pages, yet Dungeonscape and Cityscape, two environments that needed at least 224+ pages considering how common those areas are explored, got the shaft!

[tangent] Frostburn and Sandstorm were so darn good, too. Just dripping with useful stuff. Stormwrack was, IMO, still great, but not quite as amazing, and then Cityscape and Dungeonscape just fell flat, for me. They spoiled us with the early stuff. Indeed, that happened quite a bit. Draconomicon and Libris Mortis felt much more densely packed with good stuff, compared to Lords of Madness and Drow of the Underdark. [/tangent]

Likewise. I thought Lords of Madness was pretty good though, but it did lack a "general aberration" kind of chapter, but aberrations aren't as uniform as dragons and undead. Which fits their style, anyway. Covering the big, bad aberrations, and adding a new one, plus a PC chapter, was done pretty well I thought.

As for Drow of the Underdark, I must've groaned angrily loud enough to awaken Cthulu. I was already sick of the drow emphasis WotC did, and to see a whole book dedicated to one elf subrace that had more than enough attention and material devoted to it instead of a much needed "Fey" or "Giant" monster book made me want to kick a kitten almost.

Dark Archive

Razz wrote:
Likewise. I thought Lords of Madness was pretty good though, but it did lack a "general aberration" kind of chapter, but aberrations aren't as uniform as dragons and undead.

There are, IMO, too many types.

Elementals and Fey should be subtypes of Outsider. Giants and Monstrous Humanoids should be subtypes of Humanoid. Vermin should be a subtype of Animal. Getting rid of the 'Beast' type was a nice step from 3.0 to 3.5, and turning the Giant type into the Humanoid (giant) subtype in PF was also a nice step, but, IMO, they were baby steps.

Too many types, and it took too long, again, IMO, to introduce the notion that a creature could have one type, and a different subtype, like making Tieflings into Humanoid (extraplanar) instead of arguing over whether or not they gained all the features of Outsiders, or allowing for an 'amorphous' subtype, so that one could have an undead or aberration or outsider that is also an ooze (or has ooze traits, in addition to those of it's 'other' type).

But I do agree that I would have rather seen a good book on Giants and giant-kin (Ettins, Cyclops, Athach, various other deformed 'fomori' like giant-kin), and on Fey, than on the Drow.

But I won't criticize WotC for selling to their audience. Drizzt is a best-seller. Paul Bunyan and Rumplestiltskin, not so much.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Steelfiredragon wrote:

loved FRostburn... it contained my favorite wizard/sorcerer prc

the Frostmage.

I'd love to see a pathfinder form of it.....(as long as it wasnt directly tied to iresin)

cant say much for stomrwrack or sandstorm

but cityscape never did anything for me...

Look at the Genius Guide to Ice Magic - it's got both a sorcerer bloodline and a wizard specialization that will take the edge off of not having a true Frostmage conversion available.

I just hope there's something for sorcerers that's actually not new bloodlines. Yes, new bloodlines are cool and all, but there's got to be something else or it'll just get boring after a while.


I am going to ask this again, does this book have any magic items? I had heard that it will not, so I wish to confirm this information if it is true or not.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I am going to ask this again, does this book have any magic items? I had heard that it will not, so I wish to confirm this information if it is true or not.

IIRC somebody on the dev team did say that there will be none of very little.


When can we expect previews?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Crud, pushed back to May. I'm sad now.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

No magic items in this one.

This thing is well and truly at the printers, so barring pirates or trouble at sea the release date should not shift any further.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Erik Mona wrote:

No magic items in this one.

This thing is well and truly at the printers, so barring pirates or trouble at sea the release date should not shift any further.

Hopefully it'll stay away from the coast of Africa and avoid both :)


Pre-order in!


May! G&~#**nit!

It and Ultimate Combat are going to be a lot closer together now.

Still wanted to get my hands on it earlier than summer though! Drat!


Pushed back again? The only good thing about this is that my bank account can breathe a sigh of relief. I'm not happy about it, but I've seen enough that I put this on pre-order and I'll wait for it to come out. Now I need some players by that time and if the promise of a reanimator option for alchemists proves as good as I hope it will be...I'll have some fun being EVIL!!!

Dark Archive

If they're pushing it back to perfect it I'm all for that. I really need more USEFUL spells for my paladin’s inventory. And I personally feel that Words of Power needs work, it was announced at neoncon as "a way for wizards to cast on the fly" To me that means spontaneous casting, and since most players I've seen aren't preparing spells and just flip through the core rule book on their turn, "on the fly" rules should be set.


Pushed back to May!? Ugh...what are these, popular PS3 titles now? Well...if it's for improvements, then I guess I'll bare with it.

But now they owe us early previews! :P

Dark Archive

I am not real upset about it being pushed back to may. I was a bit concerned with back to back hardback books and my budget.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Well, they are popular, that's for sure.

Dark Archive

Souphin wrote:
If they're pushing it back to perfect it I'm all for that. I really need more USEFUL spells for my paladin’s inventory. And I personally feel that Words of Power needs work, it was announced at neoncon as "a way for wizards to cast on the fly" To me that means spontaneous casting, and since most players I've seen aren't preparing spells and just flip through the core rule book on their turn, "on the fly" rules should be set.

There are plenty of useful and flavorful paladin spells in APG, I think; and most of them can be cast as a swift action. As a Favored Son of Asmodeus I deeply loathe and despise them, but reading through just a few of those spells made me want to play a paladin. ;)


I'd be stoked to see something akin to the Binder from Tome of Magic, or a Truenamer Done Right (which seems to tie in nicely with the Words of Magic thingie). Binders were just weird enough and creepy enough to (look to) be a blast, but I have never managed to get into a game that let me play one...

Still, to stay a little closer to on-topic, the Magic class that has seemed to get the least amount of "support material" is the Druid. Feats and spells that allow them to augment Wildshaping and Companions would be toit like a toiger.

(Yes, I know that the Bestiaries can be seen as Druid support docs, but not really)


I think its time that we get some spoilerific new infos on Ultimate Magic. It's at the printers. After delays. Our collective and fragile patience is worn thin with gleeful expectations. Just some new goodies from this release, to tide us over.

Please? :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

No magic items in this one.

This thing is well and truly at the printers, so barring pirates or trouble at sea the release date should not shift any further.

Really? That kind of surprises me, I'm no less eager for its content, just head scratchingly surprised. I would have thought of at least a handful of items to augment the magus, as the previews for ultimate combat include things for the gunslinger.

I shall unofficially put this on my shelf under P for penultimate until the complimentary Magic Item Compendium comes out :)


Also, to help us plan characters, will the classic "support" feats also exist for the Magus (specifically "Extra Arcane Pool" and "Additional Major Arcana")?

thanks :)


Why can't I put this in my shopping cart? I can put ultimate combat in my shopping cart, which is further out.

Dark Archive

LoreKeeper wrote:

Also, to help us plan characters, will the classic "support" feats also exist for the Magus (specifically "Extra Arcane Pool" and "Additional Major Arcana")?

thanks :)

On that same note, in the Ultimate Combat there is an "Amateur Gunslinger" feat that allows non-gunslingers to use grit to perform deeds like a gunslinger. Will there be a feat like that but for the magnus to allow non-magni to use an Arcane Pool like a magnus?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Pendagast wrote:
Why can't I put this in my shopping cart? I can put ultimate combat in my shopping cart, which is further out.

Are you saying you don't have an "Add to Cart" button? What do you see below the price?

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Vic Wertz wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
Why can't I put this in my shopping cart? I can put ultimate combat in my shopping cart, which is further out.
Are you saying you don't have an "Add to Cart" button? What do you see below the price?

I see the "Add to Cart" button, and it does add a copy to my cart. No idea what he's seeing. I'm using Firefox 3.6.15 on WindowsXP.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
Why can't I put this in my shopping cart? I can put ultimate combat in my shopping cart, which is further out.
Are you saying you don't have an "Add to Cart" button? What do you see below the price?

Im using google chrome. The add to cart button is there, but no matter how many times i click it, it isnt going into my cart, doesnt matter if i hit update, refresh, nothing, it's not there, but if i hit ultimate combat, poof, it's there.

Paizo Employee Senior Software Developer

Pendagast, I think this was a temporary glitch for your cart only and should be fixed now. If it isn't please email webmaster@paizo.com.

Dark Archive

Gary Teter wrote:
Pendagast, I think this was a temporary glitch for your cart only and should be fixed now. If it isn't please email webmaster@paizo.com.

Paizo staff to the rescue, you guys are awesome!!!


yea it works now, got it in my save for later box... Question, if I select it now, does it charge me now, and send it when I ask for it (according to which button I choose) or does it charge me when it ships?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Pendagast wrote:

yea it works now, got it in my save for later box... Question, if I select it now, does it charge me now, and send it when I ask for it (according to which button I choose) or does it charge me when it ships?

We only ever charge when things ship. (PDFs and other downloads "ship" immediately).


Vic Wertz wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

yea it works now, got it in my save for later box... Question, if I select it now, does it charge me now, and send it when I ask for it (according to which button I choose) or does it charge me when it ships?

We only ever charge when things ship. (PDFs and other downloads "ship" immediately).

So last question, does pre-ordering (seeing as I wont be charged until it ships) help you guys out any?


Pendagast wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

yea it works now, got it in my save for later box... Question, if I select it now, does it charge me now, and send it when I ask for it (according to which button I choose) or does it charge me when it ships?

We only ever charge when things ship. (PDFs and other downloads "ship" immediately).
So last question, does pre-ordering (seeing as I wont be charged until it ships) help you guys out any?

It helps them be sure their print run is big enough.


LoreKeeper wrote:

I think its time that we get some spoilerific new infos on Ultimate Magic. It's at the printers. After delays. Our collective and fragile patience is worn thin with gleeful expectations. Just some new goodies from this release, to tide us over.

Please? :)

+1

Yes, I think previews are in order here :D

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Robert Miller 55 wrote:
Pendagast wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
Pendagast wrote:

yea it works now, got it in my save for later box... Question, if I select it now, does it charge me now, and send it when I ask for it (according to which button I choose) or does it charge me when it ships?

We only ever charge when things ship. (PDFs and other downloads "ship" immediately).
So last question, does pre-ordering (seeing as I wont be charged until it ships) help you guys out any?
It helps them be sure their print run is big enough.

In the case of hardcover RPG books, we're already printing enough that customer preorders don't generally make a difference in the print run.

Honestly, just do whatever makes the most sense for you. (Personally, I'd do the preorder just to ensure that I don't forget to order it later.)


want it and put on preorder, I usually play rangers but the APG gave me something I am intrigued to play, especially in certain games in the alchemist. I like a lot of where that class is going and is this book will give that class some more options, I'm all for it.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Any idea when we might be seeing some previews for the book?

I have a 2nd level Sorceror and am interested in what feats there will be for casters as well as new spells.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hobbun wrote:

Any idea when we might be seeing some previews for the book?

I have a 2nd level Sorceror and am interested in what feats there will be for casters as well as new spells.

Generally, previews are more likely to translate into preorders if they're done fairly close to the release date. So while we occasionally drop hints at stuff that's a few months out, we usually keep the detailed previews for the weeks immediately prior to release.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Ok, thanks Vic.

If I don't see previews by the beginning of May, I'll start bugging again. :)


Is there any chance of seeing a Lycan(thrope) Bloodline for Sorcerers? I mean we have Dragons, Undead (Vampire), Devils, etc. It seems the werewolves need some love too.

What about team Jacob? *cough*

Gaining scent, a bite attack and/or rage/regeneration. Pretty cool.

I understand that complete lycanthropes would be completely uncontrollable, but what about those with traces of tainted blood?

^_^

Scarab Sages

I cannot wait for new Mysteries & new Curses for the Oracle. As well as new hexes for the Witch!! Not to mention bloodlines (I think?) for the sorcerer, spells for everyone.. & I love the cover! May will be so GREAT. Love you Paizo <3


I was also wondering about that ways the channel energy will be changed. since paladins gain Channel energy will there be a way clerics can gain layon hands? lol turnabout being fair play and all. I'd also love to see feats that allow you to channel negative energy without having to be evil, i mean sometimes a cleric needs to mess up a group of bandits even if they arnt an outsider or elemental! i'd love to see it turn into something akin to ranger's favored enemy list. or even provide ways for good clerics to use some negative energy sometimes or vice versa for evil clerics. because currently the best way to get the most bang for your buck is a half vampire anti paladin or evil cleric. "One for me, one for you, healing for me, harm for you."

Also i'd love to see Heirophant for pathfinder along with Archmage. and see them more on the same level instead of heirophant being "ok" and archmage being complete win. there needs to be more full caster progression prestige classes for some divine love. i felt like druid and oracle got all the love with the Adv guide.

Magus is a great step! now we need a divine version! Paladin with better spell progression? lol

cant wait for the next preview! Silly push backs. :(


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Elias Darrowphayne wrote:


Also i'd love to see Heirophant for pathfinder along with Archmage. and see them more on the same level instead of heirophant being "ok" and archmage being complete win. there needs to be more full caster progression prestige classes for some divine love.

While I too would like some spellcasting prestige classes, Paizo won't be doing a heirophant or archmage. Basically, if you want to play an archmage, just become a high level wizard and call yourself one. Same goes for Hierophant. Also, many of the abilities granted by these two PrCs appeared as feats in the Advanced Player's Guide.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I noticed that in the description it says "new oracle curses and revelations" but does not mention new oracle mysteries! Will there be any new mysteries in Ultimate Magic?


I hope there are new Mysteries for the oracle as well as Curses and revelations.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Painted Oryx wrote:
I noticed that in the description it says "new oracle curses and revelations" but does not mention new oracle mysteries! Will there be any new mysteries in Ultimate Magic?

Let's just say that it would be pretty weird to do new revelations but not new mysteries.

AKA: Yes; there are new mysteries in Ultimate Magic.


But are there patron specific hexes? Personally, I think the power that grants the Fireball spell might offer different hexes than the one which offers Phantasmal Killer.


Alchemist and Oracle are the two classes I am most keen on allowing in my own homebrews.


I really hope we get a healing focused witch patron. My witch totally needs some way to heal ability damage/drain before level 14. Oh, and I wouldn't mind getting Breath of Life and/or Raise Daed either.

Please? Pretty please?


im really hoping for some good summoner love. i will keep up the dream of my pocket army

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