Welcome to the Ultimate Magic Playtest


Announcements and General Discussion

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Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Welcome to the playtest of the Ultimate Magic, an exciting new sourcebook for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, due to hit store shelves in early 2011. This messageboard is for announcements and general discussion concerning the playtest of this book.

The playtest begins with a look at the Magus, a new base class and wraps up with a look at the Words of Power alternate spellcasting system. Although there is significantly more content in the book, these two represent the truly new ground being explored. Each will have its own messageboard for discussing the individual playtest. Note that the flagging and FAQ system should not be used as part of this playtest.

If you have any questions or comments about this process, we would love to hear them. Thank you for participating. Its great to have you on board.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


I am not finding the link to download the playtest PDF. Am I missing it?

Dark Archive

Trojan Dwarf wrote:
I am not finding the link to download the playtest PDF. Am I missing it?

Ditto

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Give it another try.

Sovereign Court

Trojan Dwarf wrote:
I am not finding the link to download the playtest PDF. Am I missing it?

Its in the blog, but its not working properly for me.

Edit: Blog link works now.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Got it! Went up like...30 seconds ago for me.


Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Trojan Dwarf wrote:
I am not finding the link to download the playtest PDF. Am I missing it?

Its in the blog, but its not working properly for me.

Edit: Blog link works now.

Yeah, I had to reload the page a few times myself before it worked.

Sovereign Court

I HAS THE PRECIOUS!


Got it too! Thanks you Paizo guys (and gals)! I appreciate the ability to preview the class and add our $0.02 in!


Round 1: Magus PDF ... how many rounds will there be, may I ask?

Btw, thanks so much for getting this out there!!


The opening post says the only other round will be a Words of Power playtest.


Hmmm... seems that for a full playtest of the Magus class, we would at least need a preview of the spell write-ups for the new spells on the Magus spell list. For the rest of the Magus write up, it looks pretty good... gives some relatively nice abilities but doesn't go overboard. Upon my initial perusal, I liked what I saw but didn't really see anything to get overly excited about either... I only spent a few minutes on them, but the Magus Arcana I saw seem a bit lackluster. Nice but not "Wow!" I admit my time is limited at the moment so I'm curious to know if anyone else saw something in there that got them excited to try a Magus?


Maveric28 wrote:
Hmmm... seems that for a full playtest of the Magus class, we would at least need a preview of the spell write-ups for the new spells on the Magus spell list.

There are new spells? The only ones I saw were from the core book and the APG.


There will be new spells in Ultimate Magic, and it has been stated that many of those will be on the Magus spell list (particularly more touch spells). They are not available now.

Liberty's Edge

Majuba wrote:
There will be new spells in Ultimate Magic, and it has been stated that many of those will be on the Magus spell list (particularly more touch spells). They are not available now.

I saw that too, and I think it's actually a rare case of Paizo dropping the ball on a playtest. When you're posting a class with a fairly integral ability, like the magus with his touch spell/melee combat combo stuff, you really need to see all of the spells that the class gets access to by default to adequately playtest the class. It's not like the waves oracle problem; you could still adequately playtest oracle as a class, even waves as a mystery--you just had to avoid that one optional ability. But the magus' ability to combo touch spells in melee is pretty vital to the class and its viability; don't give us a full list of the spells, and don't you don't get a real view of what the class plays like.

I also think the magus looks a lot more "unfinished" than any of the APG classes did when they first went up for playtest. Between the lack of spells, the rushed feel of the class, and the very confusing wording of several of the abilities (spellstrike in particular), it just doesn't seem all that great so far. As a huge fan of the fighter/caster combo (when I PC, it's my favorite thing), the magus is getting a resounding "meh" from me.

Maybe it'll grow on me in the second playtest version (if there is one), but until and unless a more complete spell list comes up, I won't be playtesting the class. Reading and critiquing? Sure. Allowing in my game, even a pickup game? Nuh-uh.

Again, when I say these things, please keep in mind that I'm a huge fan of fighter/casters and of Paizo in general. I just think this particular playtest could have been done better.

Jeremy Puckett

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

hida_jiremi wrote:
I also think the magus looks a lot more "unfinished" than any of the APG classes did when they first went up for playtest.

That's interesting. I was thinking the magus looked a lot more finished than the other playtest classes. Heck, looking at my copy of the APG, the playtest magus looks more finished than the finished inquisitor and summoner classes.

Dark Archive

Epic Meepo wrote:
hida_jiremi wrote:
I also think the magus looks a lot more "unfinished" than any of the APG classes did when they first went up for playtest.
That's interesting. I was thinking the magus looked a lot more finished than the other playtest classes. Heck, looking at my copy of the APG, the playtest magus looks more finished than the finished inquisitor and summoner classes.

It looks rock solid so far from a design standpoint. Powerwise, it seems like it could fall into the monk/soulknife thing. Although I will miss having a full BAB, this class is suppose to be similar to psychic warrior. I need to review the spells a bit more, but everything else looks pretty solid wording wise.


Overall, I like it. I don't love it, but it's pretty nice. The spell combat thing is a nice idea, and we all knew spellstrike was coming. In the end, I don't really feel that it shines (though it is definitely without polish, as a playtest). The Magus Arcana abilities do seem a little lackluster. The Arcane Weapon ability is nice, I think. I was expecting something comparable to the wizard's Bonded Item. But instead we got something more paladin-esque. Overall, I haven't playtested it yet. But I plan to this coming weekend. Hopefully it does well.

-The Beast


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

okay, I'm an old guy, how do I get to the Blog?

Sovereign Court

Bwang wrote:
Okay, I'm an old guy, how do I get to the Blog?

This is the blog: link.

More generally, when you are on the messageboards you can scroll to the very top. There should be a blue line and a grey line near the top of the screen. CLick on the words 'Paizo Blog' on the grey line.

Also, if you use google to search for Paizo the blog is the third sub-option that you are presented with. Or you can just google Paizo Blog.


What? We don't get to see any of the character options? Shouldn't that get some open playtesting itself?


I stopped reading when I saw the base attack bonus. Try again.


If you're hating the medium BAB for the Magus, how about this option: Monks get to use their Monk level as their BAB when calculating CMB for combat maneuvers. So would it be terribly unbalancing to allow Magi to use their Magus level as BAB to calculate attack bonus when using their Arcane Weapon?

To me, that would give the nod to those Caster/Fighter fans who've been clamoring for full BAB (and aren't going to get it) without dismissing their concerns entirely. What do you think?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What you really need to compare the Magus to is the Eldritch Knight:

Seems I can't format it correctly in this box so the first column is class, then level of that class, BAB, Will, Reflex, Fortitude, Special and finally wizard spells.

Class Level BAB WIL REF FORT Special 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
Fighter 1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Bonus feat
Wizard 1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Arcane bond, arcane school,cantrips, Scribe Scroll 3 1 — — — — — — — —
Wizard 2nd +2 +0 +0 +3 4 2 — — — — — — — —
Wizard 3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 4 2 1 — — — — — — —
Wizard 4th +3 +3 +1 +4 4 3 2 — — — — — — —
Wizard 5th +3 +3 +1 +4 Bonus feat 4 3 2 1 — — — — — —
Eldritch 1st +4 +4 +1 +4 Bonus combat feat, diverse training —
Eldritch 2nd +5 +4 +2 +5 4 3 3 2 — — — — — —
Eldritch 3rd +6/1 +5 +2 +5 4 4 3 2 1 — — — — —
Eldritch 4th +7 /2 +5 +2 +5 4 4 3 3 2 — — — — —
Eldritch 5th +8 /3 +6 +3 +6 Bonus combat feat 4 4 4 3 2 1 — — — —
Eldritch 6th +9 /4 +6 +3 +6 4 4 4 3 3 2 — — — —
Eldritch 7th +10 /5 +7 +3 +6 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 — — —
Eldritch 8th +11/6/1 +7 +4 +7 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 — — —
Eldritch 9th +12/7/2 +8 +4 +7 Bonus combat feat 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 — —
Eldritch 10th +13/8/3 +8 +4 +7 Spell critical 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 —

Looking at this the Eldritch Knight has poorer saves, but higher BAB, all wizard spells (possibly) and higher level spells to cast. The Magus has more "Special" like bonus feats, but a lot of that is armor training and bonus feats that the Eldritch Knight already has.

So are better saves and more "special" of the Magus worth more than the higher BAB, spell level, and more spells of the Eldritch Knight?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also compare the the HD of the two classes.

Fighter = d10
Wizard = d6
Eldritch = d10
Magus = d8

Then compare them at important "cap" levels:

Low level gaming 4th level: Magus max HP = 32hp
Low level gaming 4th level: Eldritch max HP = 28hp (F=10, W=18)

Mid Level gaming 8th level: Magus max HP = 64hp
Mid Level gaming 8th level: Eldritch max HP = 60hp (F=10, W=30, E=20)

Pathfinder Society 12th level cap: Magus max HP = 96hp
Pathfinder Society 12th level cap: Eldritch max HP = 100hp (F=10, W=30, E=60)

Adventure Path 16th level cap: Magus max HP = 128
Adventure Path 16th level cap: Eldritch max HP = 140(F=10, W=30, E=100)

So at low level the Magus only manages a slight edge on the Eldritch Knight, but the Eldritch Knight Pulls away a high level. Though if you go up to 20th level which I don't play... well almost never... then the Magus comes back into the picture.

20th level cap: Magus max HP = 160
20th level cap: Eldritch max HP = 164(F=10, W=54, E=100)

Overall I'd say it's a tie unless your playing in an adventure path then the round would go to the Eldritch Knight.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

OK, how about looking at skills...

Fighter = 2 + Int - Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Wizard = 2 + Int - Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Eldritch = 2 + Int - Climb (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Swim (Str).

Magus = 2 + Int - Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Well it seems the Eldritch has more choices and that is what really matters. Once a class skill always a class skill so you can get the +3 skill any time after the skill becomes a class skill... I think.

The Eldrich Knight has 19 class skills compared to the Magus that has 12. Granted you can't get Sense Motive with the Eldrich Knight until 7th level, but the Mangus never gets that skill as a class skill.

You can be better at some few skills (by one point) with a Magus and get Use Magic Device which the Eldrich Knight dose not get, though I don't think it's that big of a deal. On the other hand Eldrich Knight gets more class skills by far and access to Sense Motive which I do like.

So on the skills challenge I think I would also give that round to the Eldrich Knight. Also lets not forget you can have a Ranger/wizard build and the skills with that build gives you 4 extra skill points to spend and a bunch of extra skills (But we do so like that extra feat of the fighter...).

Ranger 6 + Int modifier.


So i changed my Ftr1/Wiz3 into a Magus4 today for council of thieves

Stats(rolled):
Human
STR:18
CON:15
DEX:15
INT:15
WIS:12
CHA:10

Feats:
(Human) Exotic Proficiency Bastard Sword
(1st) Combat Casting
(3rd) Power Attack
(5th) Arcane Strike*

Skills:2+2+Human+FC
Swim:8
Climb:8
Spellcraft:8
Use Magic Device:8
Craft(Weapons):8
Knowledge(Arcana):8

Prepared Spells:
0Light
0Daze
0Mage Hand
0Open/Close
1Shocking Grasp*
1Shocking Grasp
1Shocking Grasp
1Enlarge Person
1Expeditious Retreat
2Bulls Strength
2Mirror Image
2Elemental Touch*

Equipment:
+1 Cold Iron Bastard Sword(Arcane Bond, Shocking)
MW. Chain Shirt
Pearle of Power 1
Slippers of Spider Climb
4x Scroll Scorching ray
4x Scroll of Mage Armor

*were not used in play test

The stats are not so important except starting with a 15 in str and a 15 in int(+2 Str for human, and +1 str for lvl 4)

Party Consisted of: Magus4, Cleric4, Inquisitor4, Wizard4

Anything i didn't see as a threat i would use my bastard sword as a 2-handed weapon Bab+3+4+1-1 1d8+1d6+6+3+1, with bless from cleric, i missed two times through the entire dungeon.

As far as the concentration check during spell combat, i never failed it. however the -4 to attacks did worry me at times, but as i said, i only missed twice.

During the final fight, i was enlarged, and using spell combat to cast shocking grasp as well as buffed with bulls strength. so my attack rolls were more like this: Concentration: 1d20+4+4+2-2 (needing a 9 for lvl 1 spells, and an 11 for lvl 2) 1Handed Bastard Sword: 1d20+3+6+1-4 for a total dmg of 2d8+1d6+4d6+6+1 per hit, the boss creature (some kind of demon otyugh) went down in 3 rounds of attacks.

It is definitely a fun class, but i really think it would be nice to get Bastard sword as an automatic proficiency, or combat casting as a class feature


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Are we going to start Magus v2.0 next or the Words of Power system?


looks around for the Words of Power playtest...


following carpy dm in case he finds it


Carpy DM wrote:
looks around for the Words of Power playtest...

Maaaybe some words of power inserted into the Magus class.

Liberty's Edge

slicertool wrote:
Are we going to start Magus v2.0 next or the Words of Power system?

Round II is Words of Power, with a Magus update later that same round a strong possibility.


Ryan. Costello wrote:
slicertool wrote:
Are we going to start Magus v2.0 next or the Words of Power system?
Round II is Words of Power, with a Magus update later that same round a strong possibility.

If people would just listen to the know direction podcast they would have known this

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

I should note that we may be a little bit delayed on the start of the next round of playtest for this book. Other pressing issues have gotten in the way. I will update when I know more.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

(although if you want of a taste of what to expect, the Know Direction podcast is a good bet)

Dark Archive

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
...Other pressing issues have gotten in the way. I will update when I know more...

My guess is that this has something to do with aged beef and wine...

Liberty's Edge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
(although if you want of a taste of what to expect, the Know Direction podcast is a good bet)

Available here!


Ryan. Costello wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
(although if you want of a taste of what to expect, the Know Direction podcast is a good bet)
Available here!

TEASE.....Ok, given that I just started running a Magus in a game this very day, I'm glad for the brief spoiler, and will be using the suggested changes to Spell Combat next week when we meet.

I must say, I had very little interest in the "words of power" part of the play-test, as I thought it was just a "truenamer" variant....but now I'm really interested.....

It really sounds like this is exactly what our setting of choice means when they say Sorcery....so I'm interested to see how this system works.


What I really want to see, more than anything, is spontaneous spellcasting progressions as an option for all current prepared spellcasters. Druid, cleric, paladin, ranger, witch, wizard...everyone. Most of my group (myself included) hates prepared spellcasting, and so we tend to ignore a large portion of the classes. I'm pretty sure we're not alone in that.

In short, it would be really nice to see that as an expansion for the current classes in this upcoming book. :)


LadyWurm wrote:

What I really want to see, more than anything, is spontaneous spellcasting progressions as an option for all current prepared spellcasters. Druid, cleric, paladin, ranger, witch, wizard...everyone. Most of my group (myself included) hates prepared spellcasting, and so we tend to ignore a large portion of the classes. I'm pretty sure we're not alone in that.

In short, it would be really nice to see that as an expansion for the current classes in this upcoming book. :)

So... you want a massive change to most of the existing spell casting classes crammed into a magic expansion. That would be more like a re-write / elimination of the whole Vancian magic system. It seems to me what you're asking for would negate the need for a number of other classes as well. For example, why have a Sorceror if the Wizard becomes spontaneous? The other class features just aren't that big a difference... prepared vs. spontaneous casting is the reason for the two classes to exist side by side. It would require re-balancing the classes as well. Well, H3ll, maybe I'm just behind the times, but I like the differences in spell casting between prepared and spontaneous casters...


R_Chance wrote:
So... you want a massive change to most of the existing spell casting classes crammed into a magic expansion. That would be more like a re-write / elimination of the whole Vancian magic system. It seems to me what you're asking for would negate the need for a number of other classes as well. For example, why have a Sorceror if the Wizard becomes spontaneous? The other class features just aren't that big a difference... prepared vs. spontaneous casting is the reason for the two classes to exist side by side. It would require re-balancing the classes as well. Well, H3ll, maybe I'm just behind the times, but I like the differences in spell casting between prepared and spontaneous casters...

Okay, I'll admit that the Sorcerer and Wizard would have some overlap, even though they have become a lot more seperate than in 3.5 thanks to bloodlines and school abilities. Possibly even the Cleric, though that class seems to have an entirely different theme from the Oracle.

However, for classes like the Paladin, Ranger, Druid and Witch...there's no downside, no overlap. It makes those classes playable to people who hate prepared spellcasting, seeing as none of them have an equivalent spontaneous magic class to contend with. Same goes for this new Magus class.

The spontaneous spellcasting system is superior to the Vancian prepared system in the same way that positive AC is better than Thac0...it's a lot more friendly to the casual gamer as opposed to the hardcore game nerd. Spending a half hour or more planning out a spellbook is, quite frankly, boring. I like rules that keep gameplay going, that maintain flow, and spontaneous casting is all about that.

In the end, though, it's a much more simple matter than that. More spontaneous spellcaster options = game is easier to play = more people playing more classes. The more classes people feel they can play, the more people who buy the game. Providing spontaneous spellcasting progressions for existing classes could be done very easily and probably in 5 pages or less. Simply put, it's a tiny bit of effort that takes up very little book space, doesn't hurt the game at all, and will make a lot of people happy.

I really don't see any downside. :)

Dark Archive

Ryan. Costello wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
(although if you want of a taste of what to expect, the Know Direction podcast is a good bet)
Available here!

This is probably the first time I've listened to a whole podcast. Can't wait to see the new, fine-tuned magus, and most of all, the words of power system (a d20 take on the Ars Magica?). Sounds awesome.

THANK YOU JASON.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

golem101 wrote:
Ryan. Costello wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
(although if you want of a taste of what to expect, the Know Direction podcast is a good bet)
Available here!

This is probably the first time I've listened to a whole podcast. Can't wait to see the new, fine-tuned magus, and most of all, the words of power system (a d20 take on the Ars Magica?). Sounds awesome.

THANK YOU JASON.

+1

I like the sound of the proposed change to spell combat. It gives a much clearer idea of what the magus is supposed to do. He doesn't so much attack and cast in the same round as swing his sword menacingly to improve his odds of defensive casting and occasionally hit something as a result. Now he just needs some level-appropriate spells on his list and he'll be a solid caster first, combatant second.

And I think words of power will give me happy flashbacks to the warlock's eldritch blast.


LadyWurm wrote:


Okay, I'll admit that the Sorcerer and Wizard would have some overlap, even though they have become a lot more seperate than in 3.5 thanks to bloodlines and school abilities. Possibly even the Cleric, though that class seems to have an entirely different theme from the Oracle.

However, for classes like the Paladin, Ranger, Druid and Witch...there's no downside, no overlap. It makes those classes playable to people who hate prepared spellcasting, seeing as none of them have an equivalent spontaneous magic class to contend with. Same goes for this new Magus class.

How these classes play is based on preparing spells. The change to spontaneous casting is a major change to the balance and playstyle of the class and might (maybe should?) effect the classes other abilities. Should a class with more flexibility and more spells per day (if not spells known) have the same class abilities etc. as a caster with fewer spells per day, required preparation but strategic flexibility (in what you chose to memorize)? You could just rip out one magic system and replace it with another, but if you consider the function of the whole class it gets more complicated. Or not if you figure that everyone is going to be stuck with it...

As for playing casters, it is always going to be more complicated than non-casters. Just knowing the spells can be daunting. All you're doing is eliminating a choice (and forcing one to be made on the fly later) and reducing a bit of forethought and planning. A high level magic user is still not going to be easy to play. Even a low level one is going to require more effort.

LadyWurm wrote:


The spontaneous spellcasting system is superior to the Vancian prepared system in the same way that positive AC is better than Thac0...it's a lot more friendly to the casual gamer as opposed to the hardcore game nerd. Spending a half hour or more planning out a spellbook is, quite frankly, boring. I like rules that keep gameplay going, that maintain flow, and spontaneous casting is all about that.

And picking your known spells doesn't require knowledge / time? You could spend quite a few hours just doing that - especially if it means a more limited variety of spells (a la Sorceror vs. Wizard). The time spent planning for a Wizard is time well spent as often as not. A spontaneous caster with a more limited spell selection but wider immediate choice will probably burn time thinking over his options anyway when a prepared caster burns off the right spell (if he has it) or runs like H3ll if he doesn't :)

I've been though all the various armor systems D&D has used starting with Chainmail. The current one is simpler. I houserulled a no armor = 0 and rating armor by a number added to a base to hit before AD&D first came out. No big deal. I've tried alternate magic systems (point based etc.) and they always carry considerably more complications with them and deeper changes to the game.

LadyWurm wrote:


In the end, though, it's a much more simple matter than that. More spontaneous spellcaster options = game is easier to play = more people playing more classes. The more classes people feel they can play, the more people who buy the game. Providing spontaneous spellcasting progressions for existing classes could be done very easily and...

D&D 3.5 / Pathfinder while it may be streamlines is never going to be the simplest system for new / casual players to step into. The depth of options and customization ensures that. People who like the concept and breadth of the game will work their way into it. Those who don't are unlikely to be snared by a marginally simpler magic system in an otherwise complicated (if elegant imo) system.


R_Chance wrote:


How these classes play is based on preparing spells. The change to spontaneous casting is a major change to the balance and playstyle of the class and might (maybe should?) effect the classes other abilities. Should a class with more flexibility and more spells per day (if not spells known) have the same class abilities etc. as a caster with fewer spells per day, required preparation but strategic flexibility (in what you chose to memorize)? You could just rip out one magic system and replace it with another, but if you consider the function of the whole class it gets more complicated. Or not if you figure that everyone is going to be stuck with it...

Actually, it's interesting you should bring this up, because there's something I've noticed. There is a very clear message in Pathfinder that spontaneous spellcasting is less powerful than prepared spellcasting. Look at the Sorcerer vs the Wizard, or the Oracle versus the Cleric. Same hit die, attack bonus, etc. The class abilities of the Oracle and Sorcerer (at least from my own observations) are significantly "beefier" than those of the Cleric or Wizard. They get more of them, at more levels, and there's a notable increase in power level.

If this is true, then becoming a spontaneous caster is technically "taking a hit" to your overall power level. If people are willing to do that, the very mechanics of the game tell me there's absolutely no balance issues involved. In fact, you're apparently giving up something for it, though I'm personally more inclined to see the two as simply interchangeable.

However, there's no reason they couldn't toss something in as a compensation, if they felt so inclined. Innate nature abilities, some offensive hexes, another divine aura...whatever.


LadyWurm wrote:


Actually, it's interesting you should bring this up, because there's something I've noticed. There is a very clear message in Pathfinder that spontaneous spellcasting is less powerful than prepared spellcasting. Look at the Sorcerer vs the Wizard, or the Oracle versus the Cleric. Same hit die, attack bonus, etc. The class abilities of the Oracle and Sorcerer (at least from my own observations) are significantly "beefier" than those of the Cleric or Wizard. They get more of them, at more levels, and there's a notable increase in power level.

If this is true, then becoming a spontaneous caster is technically "taking a hit" to your overall power level. If people are willing to do that, the very mechanics of the game tell me there's absolutely no balance issues involved. In fact, you're apparently giving up something for it, though I'm personally more inclined to see the two as simply interchangeable.

Spontaneous casters trade power in for flexibility. As you've noted spontaneous casters usually have other class features to make up for it. Your newly spontaneous classes are going to be at a slight disadvatage against the natively spontaneous classes that exist. It would take considerable tinkering to make up for that. That's why I don't see this as a small section of another book -- combined with the other effects it's more like a book by itself. If you don't mind this imbalance it would be fairly simple to houserule it.

LadyWurm wrote:


However, there's no reason they couldn't toss something in as a compensation, if they felt so inclined. Innate nature abilities, some offensive hexes, another divine aura...whatever.

Let the tinkering commence :)

Other magic systems and alterations to the existing system are fun to work on / try out but there are always unforseen consequences, major or minor.


(wonders if the Oracle's Ju-Ju Mystery [from the Serpent's Skull adventure path] will be included in this book or not)


I have never understood the assertion that spontaneous casters are more "flexable".....

They have greater staying power (due to a higher number of spell slots) but having played both, I just don't see it.

Prepared casters may have to prepare in advance, which means they must give greater thought to what they are doing, but they obviously have much greater flexibility with which to do so.

The very reason I liked the introduction of Bloodline abilities, is that it gives a Sorcerer a greater degree of flexibility.


nighttree wrote:


I have never understood the assertion that spontaneous casters are more "flexable".....

They have greater staying power (due to a higher number of spell slots) but having played both, I just don't see it.

Prepared casters may have to prepare in advance, which means they must give greater thought to what they are doing, but they obviously have much greater flexibility with which to do so.

Personally I's say you're right. But... Spontaneous casters can, on the fly, choose any spell for which they have an unused slot for the day that they know. Their call. That is why they are often referred to as having (tactical) "flexibility". And yes, they generally get more picks. Casters who memorize / prepare ahead of time have to guess and hope they got it right. They're stuck with their picks. On the other hand they usually have more choices in their spellbook than a spontaneous caster has in his knowledge, hence the caster who prepares his spells may be considered to have more strategic flexibility (he can alter his "loadout" by what he expects to encounter / do). It's a trade off. The "flexibility" referred to with spontaneous casters is immediate / battlefield, that of the prepared caster is strategic in nature.

My 2 cp.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Epic Meepo wrote:
I like the sound of the proposed change to spell combat. It gives a much clearer idea of what the magus is supposed to do. He doesn't so much attack and cast in the same round as swing his sword menacingly to improve his odds of defensive casting and occasionally hit something as a result. Now he just needs some level-appropriate spells on his list and he'll be a solid caster first, combatant second.

For those of us that don't have speakers on our computers: could you clarify what you're referring to in mechanical terms? We have a Magus in our home game, and we would like to keep him up to date if possible.

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