Magus fails at all the things it is supposed to do


Round 1: Magus

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You can't realistically account for a class that can increase the number of people in the battle on the fly where each new combatant could have a variety of different stats.

The Magus is an entirely straight forward class.


Caineach wrote:

I think you guys miss the point. Statistical annaylsis has its place. It is very good at doing comparisons on some things. I have used a lot fo it the past couple days to look at how frequently the magus can hit, for how much damage, and for how often he can spell combo and am in the process of comparing this to other classes. It is very difficult to to do statisical annaylis on others. It is really good at comparing damage between classes. The problem is that there is not really a good baseline for how much damage needs to be done in order to be effective as a damage dealer. There has been some discussion, but the baselines I have seen have all been based arround user perceptions of what should be acceptable, and thus irregardless of how much number crunching you do playtests may yield different results.

Other things are extremely difficult to predict with statistics but can come out clearly with playtest. For instance, the beta test Summoner has about the same potential to have pets as a druid statisticly, so its number of summons shouldn't be an issue. But the overall feel of the class is different and promotes the use of those summons more, which resulted in summoners spamming summons onto the field more often. This slowed down games, reduced enjoyment, and proved to be more powerful than desired. As a result, the number of pets that the summoner can produce has been reduced. Number crunching would not have told you there was an issue, but playtest did.

Indeed.

The trickiest part of statistical analysis even in damage is the problem of quantisable hit point bundles (also known as--monsters). It's all well and good to know that your Barbarian hits for 15 to 26 damage with a 70% chance, but if the monster the Barbarian is currently facing has 29 health, that 20.5 average damage * .7 to hit is not the whole story (since the second hit will have a lot of damage wasted). If a dodgy but low health enemy with 6 hit points has that same Barbarian hitting for 15 to 26 damage 50% of the time, that's still supposedly 10.25 DPR, but if you looked at the DPR of an accuracy-based Fighter who hits 90% of the time for 7-10 damage and thus has 7.6 DPR, the Fighter would be much better to have around.

Cain--hopefully these examples using math can give you an Aid Another for a +2 to explaining why the averages aren't everything and actual play often reveals things that number crunchers like you and I didn't anticipate.


No one is claiming that playtesting is useless. Some people are claiming that statistical analysis is useless without playtesting.

My reducto ad absurdum example (the CHUCKNORRIS class) shows the fallacy of that way of thinking.


Yes they kind of are.
Why is every one fixated on one aspect of the class? You don't like Spell combat fine. Any ideas on fixing it?

Screaming my horse is dead to a horse that is dead is stupid. Move on or give it CPR.

The Magus has other abilities that are be ignored. Play the class in a party. Then curse that it doesn't work. Play a rogue solo and sneak attack is useless. Play a paladin againist neutral humans of a rival nation and smite sucks.

The Magus is a one trick pony or a viable class. If he needs spell combat to work then yes a rewrite is needed.

Number theory only works in a vacuum. A game with 3-8 people has to many viables to produce reliable numbers in an organic group setting.


Malaclypse wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Malaclypse wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
to prevent statistical anomylises producing outlayers which will squee the results
o.O

Why sample size matters.

I'm afraid you misunderstood what that comment was about.

Then , pray tell, what was it about?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

The horrible spelling?


Malaclypse wrote:
Leafar the Lost wrote:

"K" fails at all things he/she is supposed to do...

What is it that K is supposed to do in your opinion? And why do you think he fails to achieve that goal?
Jason Bulmahn wrote:


Like the playtest of the Core Rulebook and Advanced Player’s Guide, I am looking for feedback concerning the mechanics and flavor of these classes. Since the magus is brand new, however, feedback from actual playtest sessions is of the utmost importance.

Not sure it is a matter of opinion what we are supposed to be doing.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
The horrible spelling?

Congratulations, you noticed i am very heavily dyslexic, and was writing in a hurry at a machine without a browser based spell checker. Even when i do have a spell checker it is of limited use because even now, missing word and word substitution errors are often missed by spell checkers.

Most people on these boards have the class to ignore it, because it doesn't really have anything to do with these discussion, other than the fact i have to work many times harder to bring an argument to the page than most of you do.


The Magus seems like a perfect elven class.

My players are going to a cursed country of elves who have been made undead.

Magus Lich's? Oh yes.

I'll let you know over the next month how that goes.

ALSO: Spell Combat is moot until 8th level, then the ability matters. Until then just add shocking d6's as often as you like. Spellstrike is where it's at. I love this ability!


Zombieneighbours wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The horrible spelling?

Congratulations, you noticed i am very heavily dyslexic, and was writing in a hurry at a machine without a browser based spell checker. Even when i do have a spell checker it is of limited use because even now, missing word and word substitution errors are often missed by spell checkers.

Most people on these boards have the class to ignore it, because it doesn't really have anything to do with these discussion, other than the fact i have to work many times harder to bring an argument to the page than most of you do.

Man I feel your pain, I have the same issues and catch way more hell then you do over it. It is bothersome when folks know what your saying but have to point out you spelled it wrong or used the wrong word. If they understood what ya was saying its just petty.


Zurai wrote:

No one is claiming that playtesting is useless. Some people are claiming that statistical analysis is useless without playtesting.

My reducto ad absurdum example (the CHUCKNORRIS class) shows the fallacy of that way of thinking.

I never claimed that theorycraft provides nothing useful. The chucknorris class breaks all the rules, and you can see that at a glance, just like you can see at a glance that if the aim of the class is for it to be the best user of spells and attacks on the same turn, then the class will need to change, so that it is better at it than the summoner at it.

But what isn't shown by theory craft, is if the class is meant to be the spells and attacks on the same turn. Playing tells you much more, because you can test different approachs to challanges, and see exactly how its spells and abilities interact with a balanced party.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The horrible spelling?

Congratulations, you noticed i am very heavily dyslexic, and was writing in a hurry at a machine without a browser based spell checker. Even when i do have a spell checker it is of limited use because even now, missing word and word substitution errors are often missed by spell checkers.

Most people on these boards have the class to ignore it, because it doesn't really have anything to do with these discussion, other than the fact i have to work many times harder to bring an argument to the page than most of you do.

Man I feel your pain, I have the same issues and catch way more hell then you do over it. It is bothersome when folks know what your saying but have to point out you spelled it wrong or used the wrong word. If they understood what ya was saying its just petty.

I have no issue clarifying any statement if people do not understand what i have said. But just attacking my spelling, says nothing about the rest of the argument.


I have found that is normally the point they can not refute your statement or want to change the topic or they are just being dicks. And gods I am glad I have a built in spellchecker now days. It does make it much easier

Question for ya below

Spoiler:
Do you sometimes place sentences in orders others clam not to be clear but read clear to you?


Cartigan wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Malaclypse wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
to prevent statistical anomylises producing outlayers which will squee the results
o.O

Why sample size matters.

Luckily since D&D is a dice game, we can calculate probabilities without having to pay it 5000 times in reality to tell how things will go statistically.
But doing that does not turn up the variable which actual play presents.

But it does because it is a dice game.

Saying you can't is like saying you can't have any statistics or probabilities classes ever unless you physically perform the actions.

Dice are not the only variables.

Without looking at how the class functions within a balanced, or for that matter unbalanced, party; with real challanges, with real terrain and envriomental effects, you only get about a 3rd of the story.


seekerofshadowlight wrote:

I have found that is normally the point they can not refute your statement or want to change the topic or they are just being dicks. And gods I am glad I have a built in spellchecker now days. It does make it much easier

Question for ya below ** spoiler omitted **

On my home machine, and my other halfs machine i have a browser based spell check. On this machine i do not have that, or a working recent office app.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:

Name some variables that "actual play" brings up that are not the result of DM fiat and thus are not applicable to the game as a whole.

Go for it.

Player build, inter-class interaction/party composition, tactical choices by players, are three examples.
How about you give some examples.

Okay, player build. Later the post, you responded to mr. fishy, saying 'And now you don't do any actual damage with your melee attacks, so why bother?'. But in truth, you actually do-do damage.

Your hit rate is raised, which means that more shocking grasps land along with your sword blows. A fifth level magus, with no stregth bonus does more mean damage(21) than a lvl 5, strength spiked rogue does with sneak attack(18), and it hits more often.

Oh and in real play, the boosted armour class means that the character needs less healing.

ProfessorCirno wrote:


Quote:
And your not talking about the game, your talking about the rules.
The game IS the ruleset. Literally - without the ruleset, you are just playing a more organized version of pretend, and at that point, just play AMBER.

Yes the game has rules, but it has considerations other than just the rules. Such as the fact that the game is built on the assumption of balanced four(if memory serves) member parties, and the fact that real encounters do not happen flat, featureless planes, and that character interact with that enviroment. There is also the fact that real play offers up suprising events, so PCs need to spread their spells and equipment across range of areas, which they don't have to do in theory craft.

ProfessorCirno wrote:


Quote:
The actual game is an emergant property of the interaction between rules, individual player, Dm and setting.

This sentence doesn't actually mean anything.

Yes it does, but if your not conversant in the terms involved, lets try this. The game is larger than the sum of its parts, and its parts are not just the rules.

Quote:
You could run the numbers for a generation and still be no closer to seeing how the class actually functions in game, than you where at the end of day one.
Sure you can! We've done just that!

You will never get more than about a 3rd of the way there because Actual play is different from theory craft


Zombieneighbours wrote:
Most people on these boards have the class to ignore it, because it doesn't really have anything to do with these discussion, other than the fact i have to work many times harder to bring an argument to the page than most of you do.

It was not the horrible spelling alone. It was the horrible spelling in a post that attacked a scientific, math- and statistics-based approach to testing the balance and usefulness to a class. It just seemed so ... fitting.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
You will never get more than about a 3rd of the way there because Actual play is different from theory craft

Why all the hate against thinking things through? Not that blindly trying things out isn't nice too, but...


Malaclypse wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Most people on these boards have the class to ignore it, because it doesn't really have anything to do with these discussion, other than the fact i have to work many times harder to bring an argument to the page than most of you do.
It was not the horrible spelling alone. It was the horrible spelling in a post that attacked a scientific, math- and statistics-based approach to testing the balance and usefulness to a class. It just seemed so ... fitting.

Oh that is utterly laughable. There is nothing scientific in the approach you guys are taking. And while you are I suppose playing with babies first statistics, I have yet to see a statistical tool of any actual utility brought to bare.

No null hypothsis, no statisitical tests, you barely even form hypothsis, and you hardly touch the observation(you know the first step in the scientific method). It's like watching creationists play science.

Malaclypse wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
You will never get more than about a 3rd of the way there because Actual play is different from theory craft
Why all the hate against thinking things through? Not that blindly trying things out isn't nice too, but...

No hatred, it is a useful tool. But it is very limited, all it can ever do is provide you with a list of questions to ask once you get to the play test stage.


I will respond more in depth tomorrow but, for now, regarding playtesting:

I'd love to playtest! However, I find it vaguely difficult to suddenly find/jump into/create a new game within days of the class' release. Until then, number crunching will be doing it.


Zombieneighbours wrote:

Oh that is utterly laughable. There is nothing scientific in the approach you guys are taking. And while you are I suppose playing with babies first statistics, I have yet to see a statistical tool of any actual utility brought to bare.

No null hypothsis, no statisitical tests, you barely even form hypothsis, and you hardly touch the observation(you know the first step in the scientific method). It's like watching creationists play science.

It's funny since you are the guy arguing against controlled conditions.

Also, while your insults are entertaining, you fail to realize that this is not biology. The model is given and synthetic (also known as 'PF game rules'). The playtest should test for different things, namely, fun and balance. Fun testing is easy, but balance testing requires controlled conditions. Therefore, data from your home game is actually less valuable to balance testing than synthetic, repeatable 'theorycraft'. The proper approach is one similar to physics or computer science and not the one used in biology or psychology.

Zombieneighbours wrote:


Malaclypse wrote:
Why all the hate against thinking things through? Not that blindly trying things out isn't nice too, but...
No hatred, it is a useful tool. But it is very limited, all it can ever do is provide you with a list of questions to ask once you get to the play test stage.

This does not make any sense. Thinking things through does not limit you. An anti-intellectual bias is not a good thing.


Malaclypse wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:

Oh that is utterly laughable. There is nothing scientific in the approach you guys are taking. And while you are I suppose playing with babies first statistics, I have yet to see a statistical tool of any actual utility brought to bare.

No null hypothsis, no statisitical tests, you barely even form hypothsis, and you hardly touch the observation(you know the first step in the scientific method). It's like watching creationists play science.

It's funny since you are the guy arguing against controlled conditions.

Also, while your insults are entertaining, you fail to realize that this is not biology. The model is given and synthetic (also known as 'PF game rules'). The playtest should test for different things, namely, fun and balance. Fun testing is easy, but balance testing requires controlled conditions. Therefore, data from your home game is actually less valuable to balance testing than synthetic, repeatable 'theorycraft'. The proper approach is one similar to physics or computer science and not the one used in biology or psychology.

Interesting you should mention biology and psychology, as I studied ethology at University, and would have been starting on a psychology degree in the last few weeks, had my funding stream not collapsed(getting a new job had downsides as well as benefits).

Biological and Psychological approaches deal with the game is a far better way because the game is more than just its rules. Things at are true in the sterile environs of the game lab are not always true in real play. This mean that Theory craft lacks ecological validity. The game doesn't need to balance in the lab, it needs to balance in play.

Oh, and for the records, you don't want the controls in place at the observation stage, you want to see the whole system. It is at the experiment phase that you add controls. But I haven't yet seen an experiment run.

Malaclypse wrote:


Zombieneighbours wrote:


Malaclypse wrote:
Why all the hate against thinking things through? Not that blindly trying things out isn't nice too, but...
No hatred, it is a useful tool. But it is very limited, all it can ever do is provide you with a list of questions to ask once you get to the play test stage.
This does not make any sense. Thinking things through does not limit you. An anti-intellectual bias is not a good thing.

LoL, thank you soooo much. No one has ever accused me of having an anti-intellectual bias before. Its so sweet of you, and it make a lovely change from accusations of intellectual snobbery and elitism. But look, me disagreeing with your methodology and considering it systemically flawed, does not mean I am in anyway anti-intellectual.

I didn't say that 'thinking things through limits you.' but the sterile conditions mean that it will take you only so far.

Since we are on the subject of biology, a good way of describing the problem is that what your trying to do is a little like understand the processes within a cell, trying to model the internal between all the proteans....but only the proteans, forget the cell membrane lipid bilayer, forget the ATP the amino acids, the DNA and RNA, but only look at the Proteans


Zombieneighbours wrote:
Biological and Psychological approaches deal with the game is a far better way because the game is more than just its rules. Things at are true in the sterile environs of the game lab are not always true in real play. This mean that Theory craft lacks ecological validity. The game doesn't need to balance in the lab, it needs to balance in play.

But that's exactly where you are wrong. Nature and human interactions are complex systems where there the set of rules is unknown, and we need the approach you mentioned in order to gain an understanding of them.

The game mechanics of D&D, on the other hand, are a completely different beast. The rules are given, known and what we want to test is how an additional set of rules (the magus class) interact with the rest of the system.

Is this so hard to grasp?


Malaclypse wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Biological and Psychological approaches deal with the game is a far better way because the game is more than just its rules. Things at are true in the sterile environs of the game lab are not always true in real play. This mean that Theory craft lacks ecological validity. The game doesn't need to balance in the lab, it needs to balance in play.

But that's exactly where you are wrong. Nature and human interactions are complex systems where there the set of rules is unknown, and we need the approach you mentioned in order to gain an understanding of them.

The game mechanics of D&D, on the other hand, are a completely different beast. The rules are given, known and what we want to test is how an additional set of rules (the magus class) interact with the rest of the system.

Is this so hard to grasp?

The rules are not a complex system, the game is.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Malaclypse wrote:
Leafar the Lost wrote:

"K" fails at all things he/she is supposed to do...

What is it that K is supposed to do in your opinion? And why do you think he fails to achieve that goal?
Jason Bulmahn wrote:


Like the playtest of the Core Rulebook and Advanced Player’s Guide, I am looking for feedback concerning the mechanics and flavor of these classes. Since the magus is brand new, however, feedback from actual playtest sessions is of the utmost importance.
Not sure it is a matter of opinion what we are supposed to be doing.

You are taking the italicized portion and making it more important than the bolded portion to the point of eliminating the bolded portion. Mr. Bulmahn is asking for feedback on mechanics and flavor of the class. He believes actual playtest sessions are more important in the feedback. The wording indicates, to me, that playtest feedback is much more important to him than raw analysis. It does not indicate that he does not want anything but playtest analysis and feedback. Indeed, feedback on flavor of the class is actually harder to do from playtest data, as every person will have a different background/idea for their magus. That makes flavor harder to quantify.

I suggest that Mr. K is not at all broken. I do think your interpretation of Mr. Bulmahn's words could use a couple of mend or make whole spells cast on it. :)

Note I don't have a pony in this show. I personally find the Magus underwhelming, and don't find it exciting or useless. To me it's about like the duskblade from the old 3.5 stuff. It has some uses, and some major drawbacks, and basically leaves me cold, so I don't really care one way or the other. I've suggested a few arcana, and a couple of capstone abilities, but that's about it.

EDIT: For clarity.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
The rules are not a complex system, the game is.

Both are, actually. But that's not the point. Since you have chosen not to argue the point any further, I guess it was not that hard to grasp after all. Great! :)


Zombieneighbours wrote:


The rules are not a complex system, the game is.

What.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The horrible spelling?

Congratulations, you noticed i am very heavily dyslexic, and was writing in a hurry at a machine without a browser based spell checker. Even when i do have a spell checker it is of limited use because even now, missing word and word substitution errors are often missed by spell checkers.

Most people on these boards have the class to ignore it, because it doesn't really have anything to do with these discussion, other than the fact i have to work many times harder to bring an argument to the page than most of you do.

A number of browsers have plug-ins to help address this issue. I currently use one for Google Chrome. It's not 100% (and nothing ever is), but it does the job like the free champ it is.


Moro wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Moro wrote:
-Anvil- wrote:
So K is any of this based on playtest or just fluff.
You do realize that when it comes to mechanics there is no real reason to actually sit down and roll dice, right?

If you guys where professional statististicians, i might half way agree with you, in so far as full blown statisticial analysis can tell you a lot about certain outcomes under sterile conditions, but actually there is a whole range of infomation that can only be discovered through play, related to novel interactions between classes, interesting side effects of organic multiclass builds, how the characters perform when eviroment, monster selection and play style is an issue.

Theory craft tells you almost nothing about how a character really plays, and is actually rather biased as those who are most interested in it all tend to be of one very specific bent...you know the the munchkinie one ;)

So your set of letters and numbers on paper somehow performs differently than my set of the same letters and numbers on paper?

Actually yes. Staring at numbers in a vacuum will only give you a rough idea of the capabilities. Party dynamics, situational combat, DC's modified by DM's for specific circumstances, Encountering enemy groups with their own dynamics and tactics all influence a class.

You can say"this power will only work x% of the time", but in an adventure the majority of the enemies might have a weakness to said power. Or because of setting the enemies might be stronger. You just don't know. That % can fluctuate wildly in an adventure.


-Anvil- wrote:

Actually yes. Staring at numbers in a vacuum will only give you a rough idea of the capabilities. Party dynamics, situational combat, DC's modified by DM's for specific circumstances, Encountering enemy groups with their own dynamics and tactics all influence a class.

You can say"this power will only work x% of the time", but in an adventure the majority of the enemies might have a weakness to said power. Or because of setting the enemies might be stronger. You just don't know. That % can fluctuate wildly in an adventure.

A fact that is not relevant for a discussion of the Magus' Spell Combat or casting defensively in general.

Also, if your DM is arbitrarily modifying DCs, then your playtest isn't relevant. You have changed the rules of the game and thus how the character runs under the rules as written is no longer verifiable. A class' power in a game where the rules fluctuate based on DM's whimsy is not a fair, impartial, or even sensible judgment of how the class' power generally works.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
The rules are not a complex system, the game is.

And I would point out that the only way to get any kind of timely feedback about a new mechanic's interaction with the "whole game table" would be to build a much more complex computer model. Agent based modeling was created for basically just this reason and was a part of my focus in undergraduate study of geographic information science.

Fortunately Pathfinder combat be quantified spatially (it has a game board) and the rules can be used to from the base of models code (along with additional factors to simulate player and DM behavior), however I don't have a deep interest in putting the time or effort into creating such a modeling system.

Until someone starts putting more advanced modeling tools to work, statistical analysis of random dice results will have to do along sided limited people tests (which we will hopefully see more returns on as we hit the weekend)

(Anyone else know Netlogo?)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed a couple posts of unnecessary sniping.

It would also be great if people could stop arguing over what a playtest is and isn't and instead actually playtest the game. I promise Jason is a grown-up who can decide what is and isn't relevant for himself.

Dark Archive

The problem with the class isn't that it is like the Duskblade-the problem is that it is WORSE than the Duskblade. It needs full BAB, at the very least.

And guys, sometimes people are WRONG. Like, as in, they aren't right. Not everyone is a winner. Sorry Zombie, but I'm referring to you. If the majority of the board is calling you out, you're probably wrong.

Grand Lodge

Jared Ouimette wrote:

The problem with the class isn't that it is like the Duskblade-the problem is that it is WORSE than the Duskblade. It needs full BAB, at the very least.

And guys, sometimes people are WRONG. Like, as in, they aren't right. Not everyone is a winner. Sorry Zombie, but I'm referring to you. If the majority of the board is calling you out, you're probably wrong.

Umm to me, from making NPC at level 6, 8, 12 and 15...after level 8, this class kicks the living snot out of the duskblade. Before level 8 the duskblade wins hands down. I think people are severly underestimating how good getting an extra action actually is. Like it's could easily get broken good. In anycase, I though this class was suppose to not suck at the early levels and quite frankly I would rather play a fighter 1/wizard x then this class in the early stages...and playing the fighter 1/wizard x SUCKED.

Grand Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
The horrible spelling?

There was horrible spelling? Shows you how bad mine is I guess :P . Reading too much old english as taught me to ignore spelling I guess...


Ironic ursine is ironic.

Anyway, the class doesn't necessarily need a full BAB. I have no problem with it having a 3/4 BAB. Pretty much at the root, people just want to see it channel magic through its weapon and have the means of combatant tactics using certain magic spells to its advantage. The rest is gravy.


Urizen wrote:

Ironic ursine is ironic.

Anyway, the class doesn't necessarily need a full BAB. I have no problem with it having a 3/4 BAB. Pretty much at the root, people just want to see it channel magic through its weapon and have the means of combatant tactics using certain magic spells to its advantage. The rest is gravy.

It doesn't need full BAB, no. But it does spend at least two class abilities trying to make up for it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Urizen wrote:
Anyway, the class doesn't necessarily need a full BAB.

I agree that the class doesn't need a full BAB. It can certainly be made to work with a 3/4 BAB, and I can accept it if that's how it's done. On the other hand, it would be nice if each class chassis had decent representation.

Right now, we have the following base classes:

Distribution of base classes:
3 good-BAB non-casters (barbarian, cavalier, fighter)
2 good-BAB half-casters (paladin, ranger)
2 medium-BAB non-casters (monk, rongue)
5 medium-BAB 3/4-casters (alchemist, bard, inquisitor, magus, summoner)
3 medium-BAB full-casters (cleric, druid, oracle)
3 poor-BAB full-casters (sorcerer, witch, wizard)

If you add in the earliest-entry core prestige class builds, you get:

Distribution of base classes and core prestige classes:
4 good-BAB non-casters (as above, plus duelist)
2 good-BAB half-casters (as above, with no new options)
5 medium-BAB non-casters (as above, plus assassin, pathfinder chronicler, shadowdancer)
9 medium-BAB 3/4-casters (as above, plus arcane archer, arcane trickster, dragon disciple, eldritch knight)
3 medium-BAB full-casters (as above, with no new options)
5 poor-BAB full-casters (as above, plus some loremaster, mystic theurge)

That's a lot of ways to make medium-BAB 3/4-caster builds and only two ways to make full-BAB half-caster builds (paladin or ranger). Using core clases, base classes, and core prestige classes, you can't even build a full-BAB half-caster through multiclassing. You can literally only do it with the paladin class and the ranger class.

That doesn't necessarily mean that the magus must use the ranger chassis. But Paizo has no plans to create new base classes in the immediate future. Which means the "paladin/ranger" niche will remain sparse while the "alchemist/bard/inquisitor/magus/summoner/arcane archer/arcane trickster/dragon disciple/eldritch knight" niche will remain very crowded.

(I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Maybe it turns out most players have more fun playing medium-BAB 3/4-casters than do playing full-BAB half-casters. So maybe we don't need a base class to fill that niche. Still, I can't help but feel we're missing a chance to add new options to an underused class chassis.)


The problem is with attack bonus, not base attack bonus.

If it had abilities to increase its combat capabilities, it would be a huge step up.

Right now it has abilities that decrease its combat capabilities.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ProfessorCirno wrote:

How about we ignore who wrote the message, stop challenging him or demanding he roll a billion dice for no given reason, and, in general, stop being douches, and instead focus on the actual post and if it's correct or not.

This is a playtest. It's meant to examine the mechanical chasis of the class and determine if it's balanced, too strong, too weak, what have you. "I had fun" is a meaningless statement. I had fun in my statistics class last semester, but I doubt that inspires all of you to go take the same class.

I agree with K that the Magus needs help, and badly.

The Paizo staff have a different definition of the term "playtest". For some reason they seem to believe the class should be Tested by Playing, rather than endless rounds of theorycraft.


LazarX wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:

How about we ignore who wrote the message, stop challenging him or demanding he roll a billion dice for no given reason, and, in general, stop being douches, and instead focus on the actual post and if it's correct or not.

This is a playtest. It's meant to examine the mechanical chasis of the class and determine if it's balanced, too strong, too weak, what have you. "I had fun" is a meaningless statement. I had fun in my statistics class last semester, but I doubt that inspires all of you to go take the same class.

I agree with K that the Magus needs help, and badly.

The Paizo staff have a different definition of the term "playtest". For some reason they seem to believe the class should be Tested by Playing, rather than endless rounds of theorycraft.

Or maybe they want both.

Whodathunk?


What is a playtest?
I want to play Chuck Norris.
No more tests needed.


Urizen wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
The horrible spelling?

Congratulations, you noticed i am very heavily dyslexic, and was writing in a hurry at a machine without a browser based spell checker. Even when i do have a spell checker it is of limited use because even now, missing word and word substitution errors are often missed by spell checkers.

Most people on these boards have the class to ignore it, because it doesn't really have anything to do with these discussion, other than the fact i have to work many times harder to bring an argument to the page than most of you do.

A number of browsers have plug-ins to help address this issue. I currently use one for Google Chrome. It's not 100% (and nothing ever is), but it does the job like the free champ it is.

Yeah, i have such plug-ins at home. But this is a work computer, and while my time is basically my own at work, the user policies are pretty strict, so i can't fix the issue here.

And frankly, spell checks only do so much.


Dorje Sylas wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
The rules are not a complex system, the game is.

And I would point out that the only way to get any kind of timely feedback about a new mechanic's interaction with the "whole game table" would be to build a much more complex computer model. Agent based modeling was created for basically just this reason and was a part of my focus in undergraduate study of geographic information science.

Fortunately Pathfinder combat be quantified spatially (it has a game board) and the rules can be used to from the base of models code (along with additional factors to simulate player and DM behavior), however I don't have a deep interest in putting the time or effort into creating such a modeling system.

Until someone starts putting more advanced modeling tools to work, statistical analysis of random dice results will have to do along sided limited people tests (which we will hopefully see more returns on as we hit the weekend)

(Anyone else know Netlogo?)

You'll hear no argument from me on that. The point merely was that the closest you can get from without such modeling(which atleast takes into account things like relative importances of AC and movement based powers), it to take samples of real play(i'd argue that even the best such models would likely miss things when it comes to RPGs, but it would atleast catch many more potential problems).

I mean, do you actually see anyone making such a model. I know I certainly couldn't even try, and those few(likely one person on this board) who could won't because its bloody hard work, and they are not going to get paid to be doing it.

I can hardly blame you not wanting to get into it. I will never understand what drives people to become statisticians.

Scarab Sages

Jess Door wrote:
Make the combat arcana the cornerstone of the class. To allow "casting" and fighting at the same time, introduce a spell storing class ability early. The magus, when he memorizes spells, may choose instead to sacrifice spell slots to put spells into the sword - and may release them on a hit as part of an attack. Allowing the magus to choose when to expend a spell would allow the magus to get good efficient use out of fewer spell slots and weaker spells. As he goes up in level give additional abilities such as a weapon delivered spell ignores spell resistance or other such bonuses.

As a prepared caster, allow them to start the day with one of their touch spells embedded in their weapon.

The weapon can hold one such charge at a time (maybe rising with level?).
More charges can be added to replace expended charges via a short ritual (at least full-round?).

During combat, any time a hit is scored, the Magus can attempt a Concentration check (as a swift action? reducing to free action?), which may start at a penalty, or not (penalty reducing at higher level?); if successful, one of the spell-charges is transmitted through the weapon as part of the same hit. But the important distinction is that, if this Concentration check is unsuccessful, the spell-charge is NOT wasted.

Effectively, the weapon becomes a temporary touch-wand, and the Concentration check is not there to 'gather the magical energy in the caster's mind', since the spell has already been cast, thus cannot be disrupted or lost. The Concentration check is rather a caster-level check, to see if the Magus is quick enough to seize the initiative, caused by the opening in the opponent's defences.

Picture it as impaling someone with a bayonet, then quickly changing your grip to pull the trigger of the gun. If you can, then you get a bonus action, but if you can't, the gun does not empty itself; the bullet is still under the hammer, not dissipated into the ether.

That simple change will serve to make the ability more reliable, without making it a guaranteed success. You will get the extra bang for your buck, at some point during the day, but you can't predict when.


Zombieneighbours wrote:

You'll hear no argument from me on that. The point merely was that the closest you can get from without such modeling(which atleast takes into account things like relative importances of AC and movement based powers), it to take samples of real play(i'd argue that even the best such models would likely miss things when it comes to RPGs, but it would atleast catch many more potential problems).

I mean, do you actually see anyone making such a model. I know I certainly couldn't even try, and those few(likely one person on this board) who could won't because its bloody hard work, and they are not going to get paid to be doing it.

I can hardly blame you not wanting to get into it. I will never understand what drives people to become statisticians.

Because politicians like to throw away tons of money toward Zogby polls, making it a cash cow for such business acumen.


Jared Ouimette wrote:

The problem with the class isn't that it is like the Duskblade-the problem is that it is WORSE than the Duskblade. It needs full BAB, at the very least.

And guys, sometimes people are WRONG. Like, as in, they aren't right. Not everyone is a winner. Sorry Zombie, but I'm referring to you. If the majority of the board is calling you out, you're probably wrong.

Why is it that you think it needs Full BaB. More over, where have i said that it doesn't. I have, to my knowledge made no comment on the subject of if the class should be Full BaB.

What i have done is point out that it can, for a large portion of the early game far more damage than the rogue, with a better hit chance and AC to boot. For that matter, it can all but keeps pace with the fighter through a chunk of the early game.

Now, that was all based on really very quick, back of a f!* packet style calculations and it is entirely possible that i have it wrong, but no one has provided specific evidence to show that it is wrong yet.


Urizen wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:

You'll hear no argument from me on that. The point merely was that the closest you can get from without such modeling(which atleast takes into account things like relative importances of AC and movement based powers), it to take samples of real play(i'd argue that even the best such models would likely miss things when it comes to RPGs, but it would atleast catch many more potential problems).

I mean, do you actually see anyone making such a model. I know I certainly couldn't even try, and those few(likely one person on this board) who could won't because its bloody hard work, and they are not going to get paid to be doing it.

I can hardly blame you not wanting to get into it. I will never understand what drives people to become statisticians.

Because politicians like to throw away tons of money toward Zogby polls, making it a cash cow for such business acumen.

Ah, ofcause, i should have known it would be politics fault. ;)


It needs full bab because it's a FIGHTER/mage. All other front line classes have full bab. Fighter, ranger, barbarian, paladin. Without it, he's delegated to 2nd rank warrior status. He doesn't fit here either. Rogues get sneak attack and a ton of skills, bards get buffs and skills, all sorts of perform abilities, clerics and druids 9th level spells, plate armor, wild shape, etc. The magus gets - what, exactly? A bunch of situational abilities with penalties. Super Genius Games Archon is what the magus should be, as is he'll end up a henchman's b~!+$.


Malaclypse wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
The rules are not a complex system, the game is.
Both are, actually. But that's not the point. Since you have chosen not to argue the point any further, I guess it was not that hard to grasp after all. Great! :)

Actually i was cooking a four course meal, and got called away by the kitchen, which led me to post an incomplete throught.

I do not accept that the rules actually represent a complex system.

If you where to run all the rules of the game, on a computer endlessly, you would not get a roleplaying game, you'd just get numeric output. Even if you where to provide random challanges and had a program that resolved the challanges using the rules, you wouldn't have anything other than a challange resolution system, and all of the mechanics are obviously part off.

But add setting, narrative, players and DM, and you suddenly get the game, which is larger than the sum of its parts, in a way that the system alone is not.

While you can look at how the magus works purely as part of the rules,and that does have some utility, it will only tell you part of the story, because what MATTERS is how the class functions in a game. No one is going to just run the character in a computer simulation for the next twenty years, and complain that it is unbalanced in the simulation, but what can happen is that something that appears unbalanced on paper, works well in actual play, and something that looks balanced on paper, can be game breaking in actual play.

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