Magus Playtest


Round 1: Magus

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Dark Archive

Mnemaxa wrote:
Bruno Kristensen wrote:

Generally like what I've seen, but noticed something that to me at least seems like a bad design flaw.

Critical Strike (Su): Whenever a magus with this magus
arcana scores a critical hit with a melee weapon, he may
cast a spell with a range of touch as a swift action, then
make a touch attack against the target of the critical hit
as a free action. The magus can use this ability once per
day. The magus must be at least 12th level before selecting
this arcana.

I assume all Magi will have taken Arcane Strike and will be using it on almost all rounds (unless they specifically know they are going to use that Swift action for something else, such as a Quickened Spell). This Arcana doesn't work if you use Arcane Strike and you can't predict when you will be rolling a crit, so basically, I don't see anyone taking the Arcana. Something that is never picked is, IMO a flaw in design.

Respectfully,
Bruno

Depends on the build. I can easily see a crit-heavy weapon wielder (Rapier, Kukri, et. al.) not using arcane strike consistently and using his swift actions later in the round for defensive Arcane Shields, quickened spells, or immediate actions. It is an option, and I like options a great deal, whether they are optimized or not.

I'm not sure I understand the "consistently" bit. Either you have Arcane Strike and use it every round unless you KNOW you are going to use a Swift action on something else, or you don't have Arcane Strike at all. You cannot predict when you will crit, even if you are using a crit-heavy weapon (at best 15-20, 30% chance of threatening), so basically, if you want to have any chance of using this Arcana, you never apply Arcane Strike. And IMO Arcane Strike was made exactly for this type of class.


I would like to address these points...at least from my view.

DrowVampyre wrote:


1) Thematically, prepared casting of the arcane variety is all about study, meticulous study of books to make sure you get the rituals down perfectly and so on, whereas spontaneous is about naturally having that spark, be it from magic in the blood, pacts with some power, or whatever. Now...who do you think is more likely to have the time to learn fighting alongside magic - the one that has to study for hours on end, every day, for years and years, and make sure to get every bit of a ritual right so that it can be released quickly, or the one that just naturally can do it without all that study?

This is really fixed two different ways....first off Magus doesn't have a large spell list, which from my perspective means he didn't/doesn't have to learn as many basics, or over time, as much as a wizard. Second because he splits his time, he isn't as effective in combat, as his BaB is just medium.

DrowVampyre wrote:


2) Again thematically, for a warrior that's in the middle of fighting up close, thinking about all those rituals, the exact right way to move your hand and so on, is going to be a lot more of a distraction than the warrior that can just will magic into happening naturally...to the extent that someone devoting enough time to learning wizardry almost certainly wouldn't want to get that close.

The Magus shouldn't be effected by distraction if he is just swinging his blade or casting a spell. The above is addressed in the Spell Combat class feature, as he takes -4 to hit and -2 on concentration checks, which is because he is doing both at the same time.

DrowVampyre wrote:


3) Mechanically, it introduces...problems... There are several core assumptions in the system when it comes to magic, from 3e to 3.5 and now PF. One of those is that spontaneous casters get more spells per day than prepared, because that's one of their advantages over the flexibility of having so many more spells known (in practice, specialist wizards end up with just as many spells per day usually because of the earlier access to spell levels...which also makes no sense to me but isn't relevant to this case). Giving a prepared-casting magus the same number of spells per day as the bard is effectively taking that upside away from spontaneous casting, and simultaneous makes no sense when compared to the wizard. The wizard studies constantly, focuses everything they have into magic, and gets a maximum (before bonus spells) of 4/day of each level, 5 if a specialist (but still someone focused solely on magic). The magus, who splits their focus between magic and fighting, who somehow has the time to train in stabbing things, casting spells that don't come naturally to them, and wearing armor while doing this...gets 5/day of each spell level? It matches the bard and inquisitor in spells per day...but both of those are spontaneous casters, and have 1 spell less per day than their respective primary caster classes (sorcerer and oracle). It'd be sort of like if a new variant bard came out that suddenly had 7/day of every level, except even moreso, because the magus' spell list is much closer to (if still not as expansive as) the wizard's than the bard's is to the sorcerer's.

Your mechanical argument sort of goes against you here. As the Magus does get 5/Spell level, but a couple of things merit this. First, he has about half of the wizards spell list for 1st-6th level spells AND he doesn't gain access to 7th-9th spells.

He is right in between Wizard and Sorcerer, he has more spells than a generic wizard (which 99% of players will pick a specialist making this part moot), but less than a Sorcerer. He has less spell selection than Wizard, but more than a Sorcerer, again in the middle, just right for the class.

Second, you mention the Inquisitor's and Bard's spells, you can not make the comparison as they both have a spell selection from the Arcane and Divine spell list, making your point moot. Magus does not.


Bigmancheatle wrote:
This is really fixed two different ways....first off Magus doesn't have a large spell list, which from my perspective means he didn't/doesn't have to learn as many basics, or over time, as much as a wizard. Second because he splits his time, he isn't as effective in combat, as his BaB is just medium.

Except it starts with the same and gains the same per level - the wizard has more choices to pick from, but they both learn them exactly the same, at the same rate...but still has medium BAB, casting in armor, casting while attacking, etc. that apparently it learned form somewhere in that massive amount of downtime such a study-oriented class as the wizard has.

Bigmancheatle wrote:
The Magus shouldn't be effected by distraction if he is just swinging his blade or casting a spell. The above is addressed in the Spell Combat class feature, as he takes -4 to hit and -2 on concentration checks, which is because he is doing both at the same time.

Yeah...I know...I was discussing the thematics, saying that a feature like that makes far more sense for a spontaneous caster, since magic just comes ot them - leaves them a lot more time to learn things like how to cast in combat without getting stabbed in the face. >_> <_<

Bigmancheatle wrote:

Your mechanical argument sort of goes against you here. As the Magus does get 5/Spell level, but a couple of things merit this. First, he has about half of the wizards spell list for 1st-6th level spells AND he doesn't gain access to 7th-9th spells.

He is right in between Wizard and Sorcerer, he has more spells than a generic wizard (which 99% of players will pick a specialist making this part moot), but less than a Sorcerer. He has less spell selection than Wizard, but more than a Sorcerer, again in the middle, just right for the class.

Second, you mention the Inquisitor's and Bard's spells, you can not make the comparison as they both have a spell selection from the Arcane and Divine spell list, making your point moot. Magus does not.

Uh...what?

A) Bards don't get divine spells. They have a few spells, mostly the cures, from the cleric list...but they're still arcane spells. Moreover, arcane spells are generally considered stronger than divine, so having more access to arcane spells should be a plus for magus, not a minus. And on top of that, magus also has a lot more blasty spells (a looooooot more) than either bard or inquisitor...and a mechanic to use them to lay down a whole bunch of extra hurt, which neither of them have. In fact, given the extra fighty stuff magus has compared to them, if anything their casting should be better than its...but it most certainly is not.

B) The magus is not between wizard and sorcerer. Its spells per day are...but then it has 2 goods saves, medium BAB, and a boatload of class features, including fighter feat access. It's between wizard and fighter...but somehow casts more than a wizard for the levels it has. If it was a primary caster with those spells per day, yeah, then it'd be between wizard and sorcerer...but it's not.


If you add Dancing enchament to your weapon bond and then send you weapon off to dance for a few rounds , are you considered seperated from your bonded weapon and thus need to make that high conc check to cast without it ?

in which case what value is there in making your bonded weapon dance ?


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Correct reading folks.. that sentence is there just to say that you do not get a free melee attack with a weapon when you cast a touch spell. You can, however, still take the free touch attack that comes with the casting of such spells.

Spellstrike seems like something of a non-ability, then.

Without spellstrike:

1st round: cast touch spell and make touch attack
2nd round: make melee attack

With spellstrike:

1st round: cast touch spell and hold
2nd round: make melee attack that also delivers the spell

Except for a few borderline cases like fishing for massive damage, the former, normal tactic is better. Spellstrike lets you do something you probably don't ever want to do.

If it were cast + deliver along with a normal attack in a single standard action (instead of cast + deliver with a touch, as normal) it'd be neat, especially since it's still not always a no-brainer (sometimes 5d6 vs. touch might be better than 5d6 + 1d8+5 vs. AC).


DrowVampyre wrote:


Except it starts with the same and gains the same per level - the wizard has more choices to pick from, but they both learn them exactly the same, at the same rate...but still has medium BAB, casting in armor, casting while attacking, etc. that apparently it learned form somewhere in that massive amount of downtime such a study-oriented class as the wizard has.

Alright sure I can see some of your point, although, Wizards can use scrolls and wands from there larger list.

Wizards can also learn many more spells at each level, they both learn there basic two spells per level at the same rate, but wizards have twice as many spell they can learn at each level. This definately makes up for better bab and armor.

The casting while attacking is a class feature, just like the specialist class features.

DrowVampyre wrote:


Yeah...I know...I was discussing the thematics, saying that a feature like that makes far more sense for a spontaneous caster, since magic just comes ot them - leaves them a lot more time to learn things like how to cast in combat without getting stabbed in the face. >_> <_<

Spontaneous and Prepared suffer in the same way though, so I don't get your point. They both have to make the same gestures and think of their spells or they will lose it, in the same way.

DrowVampyre wrote:


Uh...what?

A) Bards don't get divine spells. They have a few spells, mostly the cures, from the cleric list...but they're still arcane spells. Moreover, arcane spells are generally considered stronger than divine, so having more access to arcane spells should be a plus for magus, not a minus. And on top of that, magus also has a lot more blasty spells (a looooooot more) than either bard or inquisitor...and a mechanic to use them to lay down a whole bunch of extra hurt, which neither of them have. In fact, given the extra fighty stuff magus has compared to them, if anything their casting should be better than its...but it most certainly is not.

B) The magus is not between wizard and sorcerer. Its spells per day are...but then it has 2 goods saves, medium BAB, and a boatload of class features, including fighter feat access. It's between wizard and fighter...but somehow casts more than a wizard for the levels it has. If it was a primary caster with those spells per day, yeah, then it'd be between wizard and sorcerer...but it's not.

My mistake, I meant to say that they have spell off of the divine list, I didn't mean to imply that they cast divine or arcane spells respectively.

You can't compare spell selection like that, those classes do two totally different things then the Magus.

The Magus is between Wizard and Sorcerer in casting. Magus gets more spells than wizard, but less than Sorcerer. Magus has a better selection than Sorcerer, but less than a wizard.

You seem to have failed to notice that they don't get 7th-9th level spells and that they take minuses to their main class features until much later in the class.


As far as the Arcane Strike feat and the Critical Strike magus arcana are concerned (this may have been asked, but I failed to notice it if it has):

I am assuming the extra damage from the Arcane Strike feat stacks with the enhancement bonus to attack and damage the Magus grants his chosen weapon with the Arcane Weapon ability?

If it does, then certainly the Arcane Strike feat is much more appealing when compared to the Critical Strike magus arcana.

If it does not, however, problem solved, yes?

One might say that just as the masterwork weapon's enhancement bonus to attack does not stack with the magic weapon's enhancement bonus, the same thing could apply here. Of course, the Arcane Strike feat seems to provide a generic "type-less" bonus to damage, which, if I am not mistaken, means that it stacks with pretty much anything.

Edt: Also, if I understand Spellstrike correctly, you cast the touch spell in round 1 and attack with your touch spell-enhanced weapon in round 2. This could be useful when you cannot deliver the touch attack on the same round as the one you cast the spell, e.g. because of distance or some other relevant factor.

Sovereign Court

Bruno Kristensen wrote:
I'm not sure I understand the "consistently" bit. Either you have Arcane Strike and use it every round unless you KNOW you are going to use a Swift action on something else, or you don't have Arcane Strike at all. You cannot predict when you will crit, even if you are using a crit-heavy weapon (at best 15-20, 30% chance of threatening), so basically, if you want to have any chance of using this Arcana, you never apply Arcane Strike. And IMO Arcane Strike was made exactly for this type of class.

I think the best solution to this would be a Magus Arcana that allowed Arcane Strike as a free action.

Might need a level limit.


I'm not sure I like Arcane Accuracy and Arcane Strike competing for the magus' swift action for the round. Generally speaking, I don't think it's appropriate for a given trick to be less convenient for a class that's thematically specialized for that kind of thing, than it is for others. Specifically, Arcane Strike is more attractive for a bard or a melee oriented sorcerer than for a magus, and I don't think it should be.

Dispelling Strike is fine, because it's a situational trick: against spellcasters, forget attack/damage bonuses, tear up their spells! Hasted Assault is fine, because it has a duration: haste yourself in the first round, and then attack hasted with Arcane Accuracy in the next!

Critical Strike absolutely needs to be a free action, otherwise it'll never get used. Between Arcane Strike, all the swift action magus arcana, and any possible Quickened Spells, I don't think you'll ever see a magus with a swift action to spare.

I'd drop the -2 concentration penalty for Spell Combat. It's small enough that it isn't a big deal, just an annoyance and yet another modifier to keep track of.

I think the 20th-level ability should be better. The ranger and the rogue are save-or-killing people in their favoured situations, the paladin almost doubles his healing, and the magus gets... a +2 bonus?

Broad Study is an interesting idea, but I don't expect it to get much use. By the time you're a 6th-level magus, you have quite a ways to go before a level in, say, sorcerer is giving you anything even remotely comparable to what you'd get simply from another level in magus. And when you're magus 6/sorcerer 6 or something like that... well, a spellcaster/spellcaster multiclass, with weak/medium BAB? 10 years of 3E experience have shown conclusively that this is a big no-no. Unless Broad Study is meant as a lead-in to a yet-unreleased magus/spellcaster prestige class...?

Despite this longish list of complaints, they're mostly minor (ritical Strike is the one in most need of change, and Spellstrike is the one with most impact on play); overall, it's a very neat class!


Bigmancheatle wrote:

Alright sure I can see some of your point, although, Wizards can use scrolls and wands from there larger list.

Wizards can also learn many more spells at each level, they both learn there basic two spells per level at the same rate, but wizards have twice as many spell they can learn at each level. This definately makes up for better bab and armor.

The casting while attacking is a class feature, just like the specialist class features.

It's an extremely strong class feature, though. To the tune of "+4 spell levels on every spell they decide to cast that way." But I wasn't arguing this mechanically here - hence the "thematically" leadoff. ^_- Thematically, it makes far more sense to me that someone who magic comes to naturally has time to learn how to do the attacking while casting thing, and learn how to fight well too, whereas someone studying constantly with the books has much less time to learn other things.

Bigmancheatle wrote:
Spontaneous and Prepared suffer in the same way though, so I don't get your point. They both have to make the same gestures and think of their spells or they will lose it, in the same way.

Again, thematics, not mechanics. Yes, I know how casting defensively works. But one of them is doing those gestures as a fluid talent that they just know how to do - the other has to think about every movement and be super precise because it's the final part of a ritual they set up earlier.

Bigmancheatle wrote:
My mistake, I meant to say that they have spell off of the divine list, I didn't mean to imply that they cast divine or arcane spells respectively.

No worries.

Bigmancheatle wrote:
You can't compare spell selection like that, those classes do two totally different things then the Magus.

They both fill the "fighter mage" role, so it's not totally different things. Moreover, quickly looking at the magus spell list, it's a better fighter and a better caster than either, and it's the only one that can do both at once. Doing both at once is its thing...being better than either at both sides? That shouldn't really be happening.

Bigmancheatle wrote:
The Magus is between Wizard and Sorcerer in casting. Magus gets more spells than wizard, but less than Sorcerer. Magus has a better selection than Sorcerer, but less than a wizard.

Ok...first off, don't you think that a half-caster having a better selection of spells than a full caster is a bad thing?

Secondly...yeah, as a caster, it's between...but the wizard and the sorcerer should be better casters in every way than the magus...because it has things besides casting going for it. And form a common sense standpoint, how does the person trying to split their time between magic and fighting somehow do magic better than the person who learns magic exactly the same, but focuses entirely on it without trying to split their time?

Bigmancheatle wrote:
You seem to have failed to notice that they don't get 7th-9th level spells and that they take minuses to their main class features until much later in the class.

No, you seem to have failed to notice that a prepared caster is casting wizard spells better than a wizard, when it can do a bunch of other things too. That's a Bad Thingtm. You also seem to have failed to notice that a prepared caster getting as many spells per day by its base table as a spontaneous caster breaks the core assumption of prepared vs. spontaneous casting, and basically laughs in the face of every spontaneous caster out there.

I'm not arguing that the magus is a primary caster (with 7-9 lvl spells). I'm arguing that it shouldn't be better than a primary caster at casting its levels of spells - right now, it is. It also shouldn't have as many spells as the bard or inquisitor (or summoner for that matter) because, them being spontaneous casters, the magic system assumes they have more spells per day - it's what they get for knowing only a handful of spells. Now, if it were switched to spontaneous casting, then the spells per day would line up perfectly, it would be right in line where it needs to be, and it'd fit better thematically since, being a caster by virtue of its blood, the magus would have plenty of time not devoted to learning magic to learn fancy sword tricks and, in its case, how to incorporate magic with them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"Weapon Bond" is called "Weapon call" in Table 1-1.
Which one is the correct name?


I'll echo DrowVampyre's general sentiments that it's just odd for a wizard-like casting class with a wizard-like spell list to have more spells (at any given level, even if it doesn't add up to more overall) than a wizard.

However, DV, I think you're missing an important point: preparation casters get less spells per day in exchange for their hugely increased flexiblity, but the magus doesn't have very much of that flexibility. He can learn spells like a wizard, but he's ultimately (very!) limited by his spell list, even if he's not limited by spells known.


I still believe you guys are missing the point. The Duskblade had a huge number of spell slots for th same reason the Magus does. Those extra spell slots will not end up powering spells. They will end up powering class features. Fewer slots will likely take away from the enjoyment of playing the class. I really see this class as a sorta spontaneous caster, because of the nature of powering fixed abilities with spell slots.

Dark Archive

I have no problem with the number of slots the Magus gets, but IF you wanted to fix it, the Magus would need something akin to Bardic Performance rounds/day. E.g. a 1st-level Magus has 4+Int (or another number) uses per day where he can do the thing that currently requires him to drop a spell. By dropping more uses per day, he gets the benefit as if he had dropped a high level spell, e.g. the duration of his "Haste" ability.

Liberty's Edge

Bruno Kristensen wrote:

Generally like what I've seen, but noticed something that to me at least seems like a bad design flaw.

Critical Strike (Su): Whenever a magus with this magus
arcana scores a critical hit with a melee weapon, he may
cast a spell with a range of touch as a swift action, then
make a touch attack against the target of the critical hit
as a free action. The magus can use this ability once per
day. The magus must be at least 12th level before selecting
this arcana.

I assume all Magi will have taken Arcane Strike and will be using it on almost all rounds (unless they specifically know they are going to use that Swift action for something else, such as a Quickened Spell). This Arcana doesn't work if you use Arcane Strike and you can't predict when you will be rolling a crit, so basically, I don't see anyone taking the Arcana. Something that is never picked is, IMO a flaw in design.

Respectfully,
Bruno

Where does it say you can not use this with Arcane Strike? I'm not seeing it.

Graywulfe

The Exchange

DrowVampyre wrote:
1) Thematically, prepared casting of the arcane variety is all about study, meticulous study of books to make sure you get the rituals down perfectly and so on, whereas spontaneous is about naturally having that spark, be it from magic in the blood, pacts with some power, or whatever. Now...who do you think is more likely to have the time to learn fighting alongside magic - the one that has to study for hours on end, every day, for years and years, and make sure to get every bit of a ritual right so that it can be released quickly, or the one that just naturally can do it without all that study?

Actually, I think it makes more sense and is more believable that someone so dedicated to studying spell books would take the time and effort to really study combat techniques. Someone for whom magic, 'comes naturally' would expect fighting skills to be the same.

In other words, a studied spellcaster is used to the hard work required to master a completely different skill set, whereas a spontaneous caster might become frustrated that he couldn't 'just make it happen'.

And besides, if you want a spontaneous casting 3/4 BAB melee character, there is the Bard... or the Inquisitor... or the Oracle. To have that in a studied studied spell caster you can choose, um... Magus?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graywulfe wrote:
Bruno Kristensen wrote:

Generally like what I've seen, but noticed something that to me at least seems like a bad design flaw.

Critical Strike (Su): Whenever a magus with this magus
arcana scores a critical hit with a melee weapon, he may
cast a spell with a range of touch as a swift action, then
make a touch attack against the target of the critical hit
as a free action. The magus can use this ability once per
day. The magus must be at least 12th level before selecting
this arcana.

I assume all Magi will have taken Arcane Strike and will be using it on almost all rounds (unless they specifically know they are going to use that Swift action for something else, such as a Quickened Spell). This Arcana doesn't work if you use Arcane Strike and you can't predict when you will be rolling a crit, so basically, I don't see anyone taking the Arcana. Something that is never picked is, IMO a flaw in design.

Respectfully,
Bruno

Where does it say you can not use this with Arcane Strike? I'm not seeing it.

Graywulfe

Both use a Swift Action. You only get one Swift Action per round.

The Exchange

graywulfe wrote:
Bruno Kristensen wrote:

Generally like what I've seen, but noticed something that to me at least seems like a bad design flaw.

Critical Strike (Su): Whenever a magus with this magus
arcana scores a critical hit with a melee weapon, he may
cast a spell with a range of touch as a swift action, then
make a touch attack against the target of the critical hit
as a free action. The magus can use this ability once per
day. The magus must be at least 12th level before selecting
this arcana.

I assume all Magi will have taken Arcane Strike and will be using it on almost all rounds (unless they specifically know they are going to use that Swift action for something else, such as a Quickened Spell). This Arcana doesn't work if you use Arcane Strike and you can't predict when you will be rolling a crit, so basically, I don't see anyone taking the Arcana. Something that is never picked is, IMO a flaw in design.

Respectfully,
Bruno

Where does it say you can not use this with Arcane Strike? I'm not seeing it.

Graywulfe

Arcane Strike, Critical Strike and all these other abilities being discussed are Swift Actions. You are only allowed one Swift Action per round.


Ok, i was able to test this last night with my group and we ran a few combat scenarios of diffrent level, here are some of my concerns;

Spellstrike (Su): I ran into an issue here because players wondered how long the spell is "stored" in the melee weapon? If until the next attack This makes a great pre-battle buff so to speak. If only until the next round this ability is moot, seeing as you are using two rounds to deliver one attack. This has two fundamental draw backs; 1)you have a higher risk of wasting two rounds. 2) As i found out with my NPC's, at low levels by the time you get this attack off, your more than likely going to be dead.

Spell Combat(Ex):Similar issue here with low levels. great conceptually, and at higher levels useful to a point. The real concern is at 2nd level using 15 point buy, your probably only going to have a +4/5 to hit, which when using spell combat is a +0/1, meaning i need a 15/16 roll on the d20 to hit a goblin.

we came up with two solution to this:
1)To remove Spell Combat and change the way spellstrike works, such as: A number a times per day equal to your int mod+3, as a free action you channel any spell you know with a range of touch though your melee weapon when you hit.

2) If you plan on keeping the spellstrike mechanics the same, change it to be able to channel spells that are not just touch, to make it worth delivering it through a weapon.

A few of the other problems we ran into were with the higher level Magus Arcana such as:

Dispelling Strike: an ability to target dispel at 9th level through a melee attack is a great idea (especially one that holds for a min). The problem with this one is that if you drop your highest level spell(3rd at 9th level) you can only dispel up to a 3rd level spell, at higher levels like 15, this ability becomes obsolete seeing at you only have 4th level spells and any true caster has 7/8th and far surpassed you. Or concerning magical supernatural ability's how can one equate their level vs spell level.

our ideas, make it as the third level dispel(caster lv +d20)and if dropping a higher level spell give the dispel a bonus; +2 4th, +4 5th, +6 6th.

Reflection: this Magus Arcana like the previous comes to late to be useful, lv 15 and by then anything your fighting will be hitting you with its highest level spells. so unless you whittle down the true casters, or anything that has spell like ability this will most likely not be useful unless dealing with something much lower level than you.

Liberty's Edge

Wolfthulhu wrote:
graywulfe wrote:
Bruno Kristensen wrote:

Generally like what I've seen, but noticed something that to me at least seems like a bad design flaw.

Critical Strike (Su): Whenever a magus with this magus
arcana scores a critical hit with a melee weapon, he may
cast a spell with a range of touch as a swift action, then
make a touch attack against the target of the critical hit
as a free action. The magus can use this ability once per
day. The magus must be at least 12th level before selecting
this arcana.

I assume all Magi will have taken Arcane Strike and will be using it on almost all rounds (unless they specifically know they are going to use that Swift action for something else, such as a Quickened Spell). This Arcana doesn't work if you use Arcane Strike and you can't predict when you will be rolling a crit, so basically, I don't see anyone taking the Arcana. Something that is never picked is, IMO a flaw in design.

Respectfully,
Bruno

Where does it say you can not use this with Arcane Strike? I'm not seeing it.

Graywulfe

Arcane Strike, Critical Strike and all these other abilities being discussed are Swift Actions. You are only allowed one Swift Action per round.

I kept seeing the Free action for the attack and missed the Swift action for the actual casting, my bad. Yeah that does kinda suck.

Graywulfe


A thought concerning Spell Combat:

At least in my mind, I think it would make more sense if the penalties were the other way around, i.e. -2 to attack and -4 to concentration. It seems to me that it would be more difficult, while trying to combine melee combat and magic, to cast a spell successfully than to hit something with a weapon.

Not to mention that, mechanically, with a -4 penalty to attacks, it will be very very easy to miss all the time at the lower levels, considering the BAB progression of the class and the fact that the Magus does not have the luxury to invest his points during character creation to increasing, say, Strength or Dexterity to a relatively high score in order to balance out that penalty enough.

E.g., a 2nd level Magus with, say, a Strength of 14 (+2) and a BAB of +1 using a longsword would have an attack modifier of -1 for melee combat when using Spell Combat. Unless he rolls well enough, I see him as missing far more often than hitting.

Edit: Plus, with a -4 to the concentration check instead of the attack roll, if it is decided that the Magus gets Combat Casting for free, then the feat simply cancels out the penalty instead of surpassing it and providing a total +2 modifier to the Spell Combat concentration check (as is in the case of the -2 penalty to concentration checks that the class has now when you factor in the +4 bonus from the Combat Casting feat).


Thank you, Jason.

The class is pretty interesting, I think I can envision the magus playing as a sort of fast responce unit. Moving to trouble spots on the battle field and tying up tough enemies with battle field control, combat and debuffs, until a pure fighter can be brought to bare, or mopping up weak enemies who are out of range thanks to position of movement, but which are harressing the party.


Concerns with spell combat:
You must cast defensively. There are multiple ways getting your full attack in such a way that you are not provoking.
1. you can start 5 feet away, declare your full attack, cast the spell and then 5 ft up. Normally, this would not provoke but now you must cast defensively
2. Your target could be unable to make an AoO against you. Either he has spent it, is flat footted, or is somehow otherwise denied. You would cast normally and provoke from no one. With this, you must succeed a concentration check.

Because of the penalty, and you are sinking lots of effort into it, Combat Casting becomes a feat tax. I recommend giving it to the Magus at first level.


First off Thematically, you keep saying, the Magus doesn't seem right, I totally disagree there, I think it is spot on. Magus is a guy who studies combat and studies arcana, I don't think I could see this as a spontaneous caster.

DrowVampyre wrote:
They both fill the "fighter mage" role, so it's not totally different things. Moreover, quickly looking at the magus spell list, it's a better fighter and a better caster than either, and it's the only one that can do both at once. Doing both at once is its thing...being better than either at both sides? That shouldn't really be happening.

I can see "Fighter Mage" role being maybe Bard, but not Inquisitor, they get very very little spells, and all of them are either buff or healing. They aren't mage like at all. As far as better fighter goes...you are totally wrong there, and I don't mean thematically I mean mechanically, Inquisitors to hit and dmg out put are far above anything this class can put out, unless min/maxed and even then not sure if this class has that ability.

DrowVampyre wrote:

Ok...first off, don't you think that a half-caster having a better selection of spells than a full caster is a bad thing?

Secondly...yeah, as a caster, it's between...but the wizard and the sorcerer should be better casters in every way than the magus...because it has things besides casting going for it. And form a common sense standpoint, how does the person trying to split their time between magic and fighting somehow do magic better than the person who learns magic exactly the same, but focuses entirely on it without trying to split their time?

For some reason I don't think you are getting my point so I am going to spell it out...This guy is a good caster for 1st-6th level spells, yea he splits his time, BUT THE DRAW BACK HERE is that he doesn't learn at the same pace as the above casters, because he splits his time. He doesn't learn 2nd level spells until 4th like Sorcerer, but then he doesn't learn 3rd level spells until 7th, which is extremely slow, etc...

As far as the more spell slots than the wizard is concerned, he needs them for his special abilities, a lot of the Magus abilities have a cost.

DrowVampyre wrote:

No, you seem to have failed to notice that a prepared caster is casting wizard spells better than a wizard, when it can do a bunch of other things too. That's a Bad Thingtm. You also seem to have failed to notice that a prepared caster getting as many spells per day by its base table as a spontaneous caster breaks the core assumption of prepared vs. spontaneous casting, and basically laughs in the face of every spontaneous caster out there.

I'm not arguing that the magus is a primary caster (with 7-9 lvl spells). I'm arguing that it shouldn't be better than a primary caster at casting its levels of spells - right now, it is. It also shouldn't have as many spells as the bard or inquisitor (or summoner for that matter) because, them being spontaneous casters, the magic system assumes they have more spells per day - it's what they get for knowing only a handful of spells. Now, if it were switched to spontaneous casting, then the spells per day would line up perfectly, it would be right in line where it needs to be, and it'd fit better thematically since, being a caster by virtue of its blood, the magus would have plenty of time not devoted to learning magic to learn fancy sword tricks and, in its case, how to incorporate magic with them.

Read my above statement.....He gets spell at a much slower progression, and these special abilities have a cost to use (which are spell slots).

Prepared Vs Spontaneous....just read what I wrote twice.

By the time this guy even gets 6th level spells, the Wizard/Sorcerer already have access to 7th and 8th level spell casting.

Again Thematically I have to disagree with you.

Lantern Lodge

Dazylar wrote:

Okey-doke. Not play-tested, but first impressions nonetheless:

BAB: medium - that's fine
Saves: Fort and Reflex saves should be swapped
Skill Ranks are fine.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency is fine.

Spells is fine in how it is presented.

Spellstrike needs more info. Does a spell cast involve a melee attack, or does the spell need to be cast and then attacked with next round. The latter option is frankly stupid.

Spell Combat looks very cool. The penalties seem adequate but I would hope there are feats that lessen these.

Magus Arcana depends on what is chosen:
Arcane Accuracy is bog standard, and useful in certain circs, but I would like it to last longer.
Broad Study is good, and has the right prereqs.
Concentrate is worth it for Spell Combat, but limited in uses.
Critical Strike seems overly complex and that it is based on a touch attack after a successful melee attack is confusing. The prereqs are ok.
Dispelling Strike is perfect.
Empowered Magic is also perfect.
Familiar is fine.
Hasted Assault is fine, but it would be nice to divide duration between allies.
Maneuver Mastery is fine.
Maximised Magic is fine.
Quickened Magic is fine.
Reflection is perfect.
Silent Magic is fine.
Spell Shield needs to last longer, like Arcane Accuracy.
Still Magic is fine.

Arcane Weapon is perfect.

Bonus feats is fine.

Medium Armour is perfect.

Improved Spell Combat is perfect. It remediates the question I had above.

Fighter Training is fine.

Heavy Armour is perfect.

Greater Spell Combat is perfect.

Counterstrike is fine, but I'd like an attempt (however unlikely) to disrupt that spell.

Weapon Bond is perfect.

True Magus is perfect.

I do not have time to go through the spell list, and I see that others have already made a start so I shall leave it to them.

I am mostly in agreement with Dazylar with a couple of exceptions.

I'm not sure that I understand the reasoning behind yet another specific spell list. I would have thought that there would have been someway to "point-gauge" a character's power level simply by not allowing certain levels of spells and not have to go through yet another lengthy exercise of trying minutely tweek a new base-class with
a special nerfed spell list. It also doesn't appear to make any sense to give him a spellbook and then tell the poor guy/gal... "Oh sorry, you can't learn that." if you are determined to do that. I would suggest switching the magus over to a spontaneous caster and give him/her less spell slots. Hey, look at it this way, If you get rid of the spell list then you just freed up a page for the book. I see that as a win-win scenario.

I like the "fighter training" but it seems to be extremely late in levels. Might I suggest we call it "split training" or something else and put it right at 1st level.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

For those that don't like specific spell lists for the Magus, you could probably, without breaking things too much, just let it ride with wizard/sorcerer spells 1 to 6 and not worry about it. That's an acceptable house rule.

Liberty's Edge

DrowVampyre wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:
Just my opinion, but I don't think a varient could be made very easily either, as for every prepared-spell progression, there's a different (slower) spontaneous progression.
I don't see how you come to this conclusion. Yes, there are slower spontaneous progressions, but the magus is already using a spontaneous progression for access and spells per day - it's exactly the same as the bard and inquisitor use. A variant would be ridiculously easy - to the tune of a single entry somewhere in the class description like there is for deityless paladins and clerics: "Sometimes, a person gifted with magic in the blood is drawn to the path of the magi. In these cases, the magi does not prepare spells ahead of time, but instead may cast them spontaneously from a limited list of spells known. Use the bard's table of spells known on pg. XX of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook for these magi." It could also be put in a sidebar on one of the pages in the magus entry and include the small table, or even be offered as an archetype somewhere else in the book (along with a few other alternate abilities to keep it in line with other archetype offerings).

Sorry, I guess I could have been more clear. Yes, the progression for the Magus looks like a spontaneous progression, but it's IN FACT a prepared progression. My point was that if you made a spontaneous version of this unique prepared-caster progression, you'd have to create another whole new progression that A) gains spell levels even slower and B) gains more spells per day than the Magus spell progression does. Because, that's what spontaneous progressions do, right? We can all agree on that? They gain spell levels slower and gain more spells per day than their prepared counterparts?

If this wasn't the case, then the Sorceror spell progression would be the same as the wizard's, and Jason would have just said "Eh, except it's spontaneous". This is why I'm saying, it's not just as easy as creating a variant that uses the same progression, spell list, and everything else, but just making it spontaneous.


Jeremiziah wrote:


My point was that if you made a spontaneous version of this unique prepared-caster progression, you'd have to create another whole new progression that A) gains spell levels even slower and B) gains more spells per day than the Magus spell progression does. Because, that's what spontaneous progressions do, right? We can all agree on that? They gain spell levels slower and gain more spells per day than their prepared counterparts?

If this wasn't the case, then the Sorceror spell progression would be the same as the wizard's, and Jason would have just said "Eh, except it's spontaneous". This is why I'm saying, it's not just as easy as creating a variant...

+1

Shadow Lodge

Nymor wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:


My point was that if you made a spontaneous version of this unique prepared-caster progression, you'd have to create another whole new progression that A) gains spell levels even slower and B) gains more spells per day than the Magus spell progression does. Because, that's what spontaneous progressions do, right? We can all agree on that? They gain spell levels slower and gain more spells per day than their prepared counterparts?

If this wasn't the case, then the Sorceror spell progression would be the same as the wizard's, and Jason would have just said "Eh, except it's spontaneous". This is why I'm saying, it's not just as easy as creating a variant...

+1

+2


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Nymor wrote:
Jeremiziah wrote:


My point was that if you made a spontaneous version of this unique prepared-caster progression, you'd have to create another whole new progression that A) gains spell levels even slower and B) gains more spells per day than the Magus spell progression does. Because, that's what spontaneous progressions do, right? We can all agree on that? They gain spell levels slower and gain more spells per day than their prepared counterparts?

If this wasn't the case, then the Sorceror spell progression would be the same as the wizard's, and Jason would have just said "Eh, except it's spontaneous". This is why I'm saying, it's not just as easy as creating a variant...

+1
+2

I believe the contention is that the current spell progression should be for a spontaneous version, and a new version made for the prepared. This makes sense to me since the current progression is a hybridization between the two, with a prepared caster gaining the spell progression of a spontaneous caster. To me it would be much more intuitive to not have the magus get a spontaneous caster progression when preparring spells, but to give it to him as a spontaneous caster.


Mdt, i can see your argument, but as posted before we already have 3 medium bab spontaneous caster classes viable for melee combat (Bard, Oracle and quisitor).
Magus is in a niche until now viable only for multiclasses, so it's probably better to keep this unique spot rather than "throwing it between all the other" ^_^

Personally, i'd rather work on balancing/caracterizing the class rather than homogenizing it with all the others.

Ps. sorry if i messed something but english isn't my first language :$


Nymor wrote:

Mdt, i can see your argument, but as posted before we already have 3 medium bab spontaneous caster classes viable for melee combat (Bard, Oracle and quisitor).

Magus is in a niche until now viable only for multiclasses, so it's probably better to keep this unique spot rather than "throwing it between all the other" ^_^

Personally, i'd rather work on balancing/caracterizing the class rather than homogenizing it with all the others.

Ps. sorry if i messed something but english isn't my first language :$

+1

The Magus really needs to stick out- it's roll is easily played by a inquisitor or bard (especially the arcane duelist) we really don't need more spontaneous casters (don't forget the summoner, who could in theory pull of a mêlée build- particularly a mounted one) and there is so much room for another spellbook user. Really there's only the wizard (alchemist is kinda-sorta, but it's sufficiently different, and the witch has a slightly different dynamic, what with it storing spells in a familiar) so I really welcome another arcanist who lugs around a spellbook.

Also-the flavor of him getting all his skills from study and practice- rather than force of personality really works for me. If I want to play a charismatic fighter mage, the arcane duelist works well enough for me.


I think it works best as a prepared caster. This way you get a prepared caster fit for battle with a fairly decent bab and dice. All you need to do is remove the spell list and I think the cantrips per day.

Also on the skillset, I would probably add appraise and linguistics.
If the magus can use magical devices and may take craft feats I think apparise should be there.
And for linguistics, the guy has a spellbook, he studies daily and researches arcane lore and magic, I think that bit qualifies the magus for linguistics.

I agree with the fighter training bieng too late on the progression, a good idea would be to place it probably since the begining or around the time he gets medium armor.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Hey there everyone,

After skimming through this thread, I want to make a few things clear.

The decision was made to make this a prepared caster. We decided that the game could use another one, especially one that worked off the same spellbook as a wizard. This also fits the historical niche of this concept. I highly doubt this will change. Very highly doubt. At this point, its probably best to move on to other topics.

Concerning the spell list. This is not the final version obviously. We have yet to add new spells to the list and we are still working with it thematically. With few exceptions, the general rule for this list was "if I can make it without special effects", its probably not a magus spell. We are still working with that concept, but there is some flexibility. The current list was strategic in its design. I want feedback on how it works in playtest as a mostly "blaster" type. I plan to add more flexibility, but I need a raw power check first.

That is all for now.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

And now I'm somewhat relieved...I was already imagining it as a caster with an orb of energy in one hand and a blade in the other. And shoving the spell into the sword for the purposes of spellstrike. >.>


Jason, can we get an explicit breakdown of how spellstrike works? There remains a great deal of confusion as to what is or is not intended to work with it.

Silver Crusade

As an old school gamer, I welcome the fact that the magus is a prepared spell user. The class is supposed to hearken back to the days of the AD&D multiclass fighter/magic-user and back then there were no spontaneous casters. The use of spellbook keeps that feel. I think a reason that the magus has the amount of spell slots it does is to make up for the fact that it doesn't have a full BAB. It's not as good at fighting as a fighter, but better than a wizard. It's not as good at spellcasting as a wizard either, but it needed something to make it able to compete with it in some way. The spell slots allow it to do so (even without using them to power up other abilities that the class has).

When it comes to classes, I'm more apt to play a martial class than a spellslinger. This class combines both in a way that makes it stand out a little more for me than playing a multi-class fighter/wizard ever did in the 3.0/3.5 days. It still needs some spit and polish to be sure, but I can honestly say that of all the playtests done here, I've paid more attention to this one than any other. And I look forward to following this one every step of the way.


Wolfthulhu wrote:

Actually, I think it makes more sense and is more believable that someone so dedicated to studying spell books would take the time and effort to really study combat techniques. Someone for whom magic, 'comes naturally' would expect fighting skills to be the same.

In other words, a studied spellcaster is used to the hard work required to master a completely different skill set, whereas a spontaneous caster might become frustrated that he couldn't 'just make it happen'.

And besides, if you want a spontaneous casting 3/4 BAB melee character, there is the Bard... or the Inquisitor... or the Oracle. To have that in a studied studied spell caster you can choose, um... Magus?

Agreed, I am glad it is a prepared caster, ya know a fighter/Mage. We have three class that fill the role of a 3/4BAB spontaneous caster.

And on the limited spell list, good it should be. Opening up the whole of the spell list can cause issues you do not see. A spell that is fine for a wizard could be bad for a class that is not a wizard and can do things with spells a wizard can not.

The Magues has the bard progression, not the wizard. So his list can't be the wizards as some spells should come earlier. For exsample a Magues gains level 3 spells when a wizard gains level 4, no reason some spells should not be moved to level 3 for the Magues.

A limited spell list is really the only way to go.

Sovereign Court

I too am glad that the magus is staying as a prepared caster, it is more akin to the fighter/mage of earlier editions... and for those of you who are concerned by the extra spell slot per level compared to other non-spontaneous casters, try thinking of it as a specialist bonus spell for the Magus school.

I do like WhiteTiger's idea of just using the wizard/sorcerer spell list and saving space in the book for other things. Not to mention that the idea of only giving 'flashy' spells to the magus seems contrary to the idea that the class is studious in both martial and arcane styles.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I admit I do have a problem with him being a prepared caster but that is more due to the way some of his abilities work which being a prepared caster hampers somewhat

Sczarni

i never really play casters so this may sound like a dumb question but could some one explain to me how spellstrike works in simple terms.


northbrb wrote:
i never really play casters so this may sound like a dumb question but could some one explain to me how spellstrike works in simple terms.

Cast a touch spell. Instead of taking the free touch attack that turn, or using a touch attack on a later turn, you may instead deliver the spell through your weapon the next time you hit someone with it.

It does not give you an extra attack that turn, which is where the confusing wording comes from. And your not the only one confused by it, which is why Jason has already said in annother thread that rewording it to be clearer is already on the list of things to do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think it would be a good idea to have the class be able to store spells into the bonded weapon, or allow it to be used as a wizard's bonded object.


JMD031 wrote:
I think it would be a good idea to have the class be able to store spells into the bonded weapon, or allow it to be used as a wizard's bonded object.

+1

And have this work from 1st level. I feel like Spellstrike is more hindering than a cool ability.


I should have raw feedback tonight around midnight - 1 AM EST.

I plan on taking one of the three Vampire BBEGs from CoT and turning them into a Magus, I will see how it works out for 6-7th level Magus.


Spell combat idea: Make it a standard at level 2 with a -2 penalty on both attack roll and concentration check. At 8th level you can use it with a full attack.

Since you don't get more than one attack until 8th level I don't think this is a bad idea.


Personally, I believe that fighter training could be changed to Magus Level - 2 (or 4). Even the arcane duelist gets Disrupt and Spellbreaker at 8 and 12 respectively. The Magus won't get these until 12th and 20th. To the same extent, that disqualifies him from being able to take Teleport Tactician (however anyone feels about it). And being an arcane combatant, some of those utility feats kind of garnish that flavor.

This is just my opinion though, and I'm sure there could be arguments made for mechanical imbalances. I don't see any.

Dark Archive

Lachlan_Macquarie wrote:

Personally, I believe that fighter training could be changed to Magus Level - 2 (or 4). Even the arcane duelist gets Disrupt and Spellbreaker at 8 and 12 respectively. The Magus won't get these until 12th and 20th. To the same extent, that disqualifies him from being able to take Teleport Tactician (however anyone feels about it). And being an arcane combatant, some of those utility feats kind of garnish that flavor.

This is just my opinion though, and I'm sure there could be arguments made for mechanical imbalances. I don't see any.

Ya, the more I think about it the more I think that "Half-level" is really far more restrictive than it needs to be.

==
AKA 8one6


Abraham spalding wrote:

Spell combat idea: Make it a standard at level 2 with a -2 penalty on both attack roll and concentration check. At 8th level you can use it with a full attack.

Since you don't get more than one attack until 8th level I don't think this is a bad idea.

in thoery you can get more than 1 attack with e.g. half-orc bite , of course you'd never hit anything but you "could" get more than 1 attack.

Shadow Lodge

I like the ability to charge the weapon with touch spells how ever I don't think it should be spellstrike. Charging the weapon with spells should be a part of the Arcane Weapon ability. It would need to have clear time limits on how long a Magus can hold the spell and it should include ranged touch spells. In this case you are exchanging range for the ability to have multiple attempts to hit the target with the spell.

My biggest concern is the Arcana abilities where you sacrifice spells for temporary buffs. They don't seem to give as much of a benefit for the spells you sacrificed. Hastened Assault as a self only haste buff is fine, but would you really toss a disintigrate for 6 rounds of haste?

I can see myself sacrificing a spell to reflect another spell back at its caster (Especially Feeblemind) I can even see myself sacrificing a spell to counterspell another spell. I can even see myself tossing a spell for a quick short range teleport to suprise opponents. How ever tossing a spell for a + hit bonus or shield bonus or such a short duration haste I'm just not seeing except in the most dire of circumstances. The other problem is it has so many swift actions that clutter up your attacks especially on a class that is tailor made for Quicken spell and Arcane Strike. The Medium and Heavy Armor proficencies really ought to be Arcana.

The spell selection is missing some of the more obvious choices like Foe Hammer, Mage Sword, Lead Blades, vampiric touch and It really is a class that is tailor made for all 3 forms of the dragon starting at 4th level and ending at 6th. I'm not seeing much use for Transformation or Flame Arrows, but I would kill for an Elemental Blade spell.

The Capstone isn't much to look at and honestly the other abilities you get outshine it. I would also kill for the ability to use spell completion items in my off hand while doing spell combat....

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