Magus fails at all the things it is supposed to do


Round 1: Magus

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Here are the things it seems to want to do:

Cast Spells and Melee at the same time.
He doesn't get any real ability to avoid the Concentration checks he needs to be avoiding for being in melee, meaning most rounds he is just going to be doing poor melee attacks while wasting spell slots. This problem never goes away.

Cast spells through his weapon
Ok, it is objectively worse to cast a spell through Spellstrike and use Spell Combat on the same round than it is to attack one round and cast a touch spell on another round. You are exchanging the extremely easy Touch Attack of the spell for a weapon attack that is not only against armor of various sorts, but for the vast majority of your career is also going to come with a substantial penalty. Chances are high that you are going to waste the spell AND miss on your melee attacks which is the worst of both worlds.

Use Magus Abilities
He burns spell slots to power abilities equivalent to 1st or 2nd level spells, but he doesn't have a lot of spell slots, so he is going to burn through his spells extremely fast.

This means a lot of players are going to burn through their spells powering puny Magus powers when they could be contributing to the combat by casting their low DC spells (because hey, your Int is just one not one of the three stats you need for melee, so chances are good it's low AND you are using lower level spells than everyone else).

His best Magus stuff is also extremely weak, like the Spell Reflection ability that costs slots, works on less then half the spells that might be cast on you, and might not come up at all if you face something even near your level because a single classed spellcaster has such better spell levels. The things it does work on, you don't care about at level 15.

Melee well as a spellcaster
His spell list doesn't have good spells for melee spellcasting or buffs for melee guys. Single-classed Wizards are going to be able to out-melee this guy, and they also get to be single-classed Wizards with better and more spells that can just be Metamagiced.

I mean, can you at least put Blink on his list?

Melee well as a melee guy
Now, there are a mountain of abilities on the Magus that make you want top stab things with a sword and cast spells, but your real route to power is going to be using a shapechanging spells and attacking that way.... except you lack the support spells to do that effectively like other spellcasters can.

You aren't even expected to use a shield, even though being a single weapon fighter without a shield is terrible. I mean, dual-wielding is awesome for Rogues because they get Sneak damage, and two handed fighting is awesome because you get mountains of damage with all your feats put that way.... but the magic just is bad a hitting people with weapons.

Cast Spells well as a spellcaster
You have a lowish INT because you need STR, Dex, and CON to survive melee combat. Your spells are lower level than what characters of your level are supposed to have, meaning mobs you are supposed to be fighting have high saves against your spells. Your feats are focused on combat stuff and not spellcaster stuff.

So basically the entire swath of your spell list devoted to combat control is wasted because you are really bad at it.

You do get some no saves spells eventually, but it's too little too late and it's easily outclassed by what you are facing at those levels.

Get abilities that mitigate the mixing of melee and spellcasting.
What can I say? After you blow feats on being good at melee, you are bad at spellcasting, and it's the same situation if you reverse your investment. It doesn't even help that you are bad at spellcasting for your level with lagging DCs from using spells which are not level appropriate AND your low-ish INT since you needed to have a decent STR, DEX, and CON to survive in combat.

Be partially freed from Equipment
Arcane Weapon is nice because it is like a free magic weapon added to your character.... except that as a melee guy you also need magic armor, maybe a magic shield, several kinds of stat enhancers and armor enhancers, and spellcaster-focused items like Metamagic rods. Basically you need twice the number of magic items that anyone else in your party needs.

Heck, you even still need a Magic weapon so you can abuse Arcane Weapon.

Not have weird synergies
Anyone else notice that the Arcane Weapon ability is designed so that the Magus can get an extra abilities onto weapons, breaking both the normal limits on max abilities on magic weapons and Wealth by Level?

Have a flavorful capstone ability.
Seriously, what? A +2 and finally getting to do what you've been trying to do at 2nd level but failing at?

Seriously, you could get this at 5th level and no one would notice.

------------------

That being said, he should be doing fine in levels 1-8 when even a Commoner can be a decent melee combatant at those levels using Pathfinder's combat-focused feats and level-appropriate magic equipment. By level 11, he's so far from being what a real spellcaster or fighting guy could be doing that he might as well be your cohort's cohort.

I love the art, though. That artist is awesome.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This should be good. *makes popcorn*


K wrote:

Here are the things it seems to want to do:

Cast Spells and Melee at the same time.
He doesn't get any real ability to avoid the Concentration checks he needs to be avoiding for being in melee, meaning most rounds he is just going to be doing poor melee attacks while wasting spell slots. This problem never goes away.

You had me up until the last sentence. A defensive casting check is laughably trivial by level 20 (d20+20+stat mod vs. highest DC of 27). So somewhere in between level 1 and 20, there must be a place where the concentration checks are not "wasting spell slots" on "most rounds".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

*pops a can, opens TGD in another browser tab and awaits the inevitable "Paizo hates me" thread by K*


hogarth wrote:
K wrote:

Here are the things it seems to want to do:

Cast Spells and Melee at the same time.
He doesn't get any real ability to avoid the Concentration checks he needs to be avoiding for being in melee, meaning most rounds he is just going to be doing poor melee attacks while wasting spell slots. This problem never goes away.

You had me up until the last sentence. A defensive casting check is laughably trivial by level 20 (d20+20+stat mod vs. highest DC of 27). So somewhere in between level 1 and 20, there must be a place where the concentration checks are not "wasting spell slots" on "most rounds".

You assume that the only Concentration check is going to be to Cast Defensively.

The Magus is designed to be in the thick of melee, so he is going to regularly need to make the entire range of Concentration checks from the the one you make for being grappled to the one you need for continuous damage to the one you need for being hit while casting (which is not too common, I'll admit....unless your DM is fond of readied actions or you are facing many enemies).

And your Int is going to be pretty low considering that you are spending stats on STR, DEX, and CON.

Certainly, the problem is lessened at very high levels to almost no problem at all, but it is still a problem.


K wrote:
Here are the things it seems to want to do... Lots of stuff

Any suggestions on amending these issues? Otherwise it doesn't help fix the problems.


Seeker of skybreak wrote:
K wrote:
Here are the things it seems to want to do... Lots of stuff
Any suggestions on amending these issues? Otherwise it doesn't help fix the problems.

Sure it helps. Once you have identified the problems, the designer can fix them (or not, as the case may be).

But I'm not doing design work for free. I mean, people are being paid to do this at Paizo. This is their career.

I mean, I'll give out feedback because I love D20 in it's various incarnations, but for anything more credit and cash are required. :P


K wrote:
Magus fails at all the things it is supposed to do

I don't think so. The magus is supposed to be a flavorful class that is fun to play, of course, and it would be nice if it was properly balanced and not a trap. But the main thing it is supposed to do is sell copies of Ultimate Magic. Even with all the problems K mentioned above, it might still succeed at that :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's also supposed to bait The Frank Trollman Appreciation Society, so they all post in one thread making them easier to manage. Full success at this count as well !


Gorbacz wrote:
It's also supposed to bait The Frank Trollman Appreciation Society, so they all post in one thread making them easier to manage. Full success at this count as well !

The world does not revolve around Frank Trollmann, Gorbacz. I get the feeling you have a tiny fixation problem ;)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It doesn't, but he has a cool name and makes for an easy label for all the people who specialize in non-constructive criticism and stirring up the pot just so they can stroke their e-peens over at the Den. :)


Gorbacz wrote:
It doesn't, but he has a cool name and makes for an easy label for all the people who specialize in non-constructive criticism and stirring up the pot just so they can stroke their e-peens over at the Den. :)

So you think K's post above is non-constructive? Even if the intent is simple and pure trolling (which it might be, who knows), the systematic analysis of why the Magus fails should be quite valuable to the designers...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

K didn't state what he thinks the class should be able to do - you have no idea what his idea of a magus is (caster that fights ? fighter that casts ? something inbetween ?). He just strikes several bullet points, but they don't really tell you that the class "fails", because you have no idea what K thinks it should do. It's not "systematic", because there is no defined system.

And, of course, it's all theorycraft, which might, or might not be relevant depending on how it plays out. And honestly, knowing K's background, I do not expect him to run a Magus. I'm more looking forward to TOZ, ProfCrino or even (there, I said it) MiB coming up with some actual in-game feedback.

To be honest I also don't know what the intent of the class is, and would love me some developer commentary on it. But knowing how Alchemist went from "meh" to "hey, it works" over the course of the playtest, I am confident that there will be changes.


Gorbacz wrote:
And, of course, it's all theorycraft, which might, or might not be relevant depending on how it plays out. And honestly, knowing K's background, I do not expect him to run a Magus. I'm more looking forward to TOZ, ProfCrino or even (there, I said it) MiB coming up with some actual in-game feedback.

Yeah, of course, but many balancing problems can be seen without having to play the char, just from looking at the numbers.

And on the other hand, there are still people happily playing a 3.5 monk, so...

Gorbacz wrote:
To be honest I also don't know what the intent of the class is, and would love me some developer commentary on it. But knowing how Alchemist went from "meh" to "hey, it works" over the course of the playtest, I am confident that there will be changes.

It's supposed to be a duskblade rip-off, at least as far as I understand the class.


+1 to Gorbacz.

At this moment I am tenatively positioning Rogue Eidolon's build in my game in place of an Unfailing bodyguard (prestige class from Hollowfaust, essentially Necromancer's martial support).

Regards,
Ruemere


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I really think people need to stop looking at this as a fighter/wizard and look at it as a rogue/wizard. That actually fills the shoes much better for what it's trying to do. A magical damage dealer who can stand and participate in the melee, but isn't supposed to be the one absorbing damage. This is different from a bard who is essentially a rogue/sorcerer. There are other differences as well.

Differences from bard:
Selfish buffer - Bards have a lot of abilities to help the party out. A magus is more the lone gunman/samurai motif and any buffs will usually be to himself and not the rest of the party.

Prepared spells - While this does lock him into certain spells each day, the selection of spells becomes much larger.

All business - The spells the class focuses on are concerned more with dealing damage than the utilitarian nature of the bard. If it doesn't help him in a fight, it's usually not worth learning.

Things magus still needs:
Touch Attacks - Right now he's got the spells Shocking Grasp and Elemental Touch (kind of?). A touch attack class Sp or Su with limited uses per day would go a long way to bringing this back up.

Spellstrike - It has potential, but not well worded at all and leaves all sorts of questions currently. Also suffers from the lack of touch attacks being the whole point of this ability. Being reinvented as that Su or Sp touch attack feature might be a good idea (other threads have already touched on this concept).

Spell Combat - Should work a bit better with the previous two issues fixed. However, removing some of the penalties might help. I do like the idea of an archer version of this though, but that might be reserved for an actual arcane ranger type class at some point in the future (yes, I know there's the arcane archer prestige).

Stat Focus - Str melee or Dex melee? The one-handed part of the class really makes me lean Dex based for the attacks and letting my spells provide the extra damage.


slicertool wrote:
I really think people need to stop looking at this as a fighter/wizard and look at it as a rogue/wizard. That actually fills the shoes much better for what it's trying to do. A magical damage dealer who can stand and participate in the melee, but isn't supposed to be the one absorbing damage. This is different from a bard who is essentially a rogue/sorcerer. There are other differences as well.

What if Rogues were terrible at making Sneak Attacks?

That is the Magus.


Ok,

If K doesn't wanna post fixes i will.

First make it so the magus doesn't need to make the check at a penalty to attack or the check- it is simply part of a standard action attack. Later it could be part of a full attack. The ability would work on touch spells only.Later targets hit should take a penalty to saves and SR vs the spellstrike (since they are lower level with lower int.)

Also allow the arcane weapon ability to exceed the normal +5 enhancement. People are saying 3/4 attack sucks for the class but adding an additional enchancement that scales as you level (beyond a normal wealth by level weapon) makes up the difference to attack and damage. EG at 20 a FYR has a +5 weapon and 20 bab. A Magus could have a +10 weapon and 15 bab equals same attack.
The mages would be getting +10 from PA and +10 from weapon enhancement. FTR gets 18 from 2hand PA and +5 from his weapon. Pretty similar....

Needs better buffs- good hope would be great but buffing is a bards job.
If he's supposed to be selfish then divine power would be good. Needs early entry form of the giant 1-maybe 4th and form of the giant 2 at 6th.


K wrote:


He doesn't get any real ability to avoid the Concentration checks he needs to be avoiding for being in melee, meaning most rounds he is just going to be doing poor melee attacks while wasting spell slots. This problem never goes away.

Just take the concentration feat or magus arcana ability. And clerics who want to alternate between fighting in melee and casting spells will have to make concentration checks, too. The magus gets to do them both at the same time. So I don't have sympathy for the magus that he has a concentration check penalty to do so.

K wrote:


Cast spells through his weapon
Ok, it is objectively worse to cast a spell through Spellstrike and use Spell Combat on the same round than it is to attack one round and cast a touch spell on another round.

It _shouldn't_ be easy to do all that in the same round, anyway. And at higher levels it will get easier for the magus. The magus doesn't have to do it all in the same round, either. Use spellstrike one round, next round multi-attack and use spell combat. No other class can do this stuff anyway. And a fighter/wizard would certainly not do it nearly as well, considering the magus' ability to wear armor and decent BAB and saves and gain spells and caster level improvement every level.

K wrote:


Use Magus Abilities
He burns spell slots to power abilities equivalent to 1st or 2nd level spells, but he doesn't have a lot of spell slots, so he is going to burn through his spells extremely fast.

Take brew potion or scribe scroll (or buy potions/scrolls or have the party wizard make them for you) and have whatever buffs and offensive spells you need on hand without devoting daily spell slots to them.

K wrote:


Melee well as a spellcaster
His spell list doesn't have good spells for melee spellcasting or buffs for melee guys.

Bull's strength, enlarge person, magic weapon, shield, bear's endurance, mirror image, displacement, haste, stoneskin, etc., are not good buffs for melee?

K wrote:


Single-classed Wizards are going to be able to out-melee this guy

How in the world are single classed wizards going to be better at melee than the magus, who has better BAB, better hit points, martial weapons, and armor, plus their melee buff spells?


Cartigan wrote:
slicertool wrote:
I really think people need to stop looking at this as a fighter/wizard and look at it as a rogue/wizard. That actually fills the shoes much better for what it's trying to do. A magical damage dealer who can stand and participate in the melee, but isn't supposed to be the one absorbing damage. This is different from a bard who is essentially a rogue/sorcerer. There are other differences as well.

What if Rogues were terrible at making Sneak Attacks?

That is the Magus.

No, it is rogue that has spells instead of sneak attack. It is also one that hits considerably more often thanks to arcane weapons, and self buffing. A magus has the most reliable hit chance of any medium BaB class.


Zombieneighbours wrote:


No, it is rogue that has spells instead of sneak attack.

What.. no... that..

I will add it to my collection of stupid statements about the Magus.
The more I hear people talk about it, the more I dislike it - in addition to its currently flawed design.

Zombieneighbours wrote:
A magus has the most reliable hit chance of any medium BaB class.

Cleric. Druid. Inquisitor. Alchemist.


UndeadViking wrote:


Bull's strength, enlarge person, magic weapon, shield, bear's endurance, mirror image, displacement, haste, stoneskin, etc., are...

Magic weapon!!!?

How does that make a good buff?
You'll have magic weapons by 3rd/4th level easily. Sure at level 1 or 2 it might be nice, but weaker than other stuff like Enlarge person.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I agree with Gorbacz with regard to this thread. This thread is all about theorycraft and preening. Yes, most of us that are experienced with d20 derivatives can *look* at the class and get an idea of how it going to play. However, Paizo has very specifically asked for "playtest" data (to the point of explaining what they consider, and don't consider, playtest data) and not theory.

Beyond that, the analysis posed in the OP isn't anything new. All these points have been discussed at least passingly since the class was released on Monday (K's analysis was basically 2 days stale when he posted it). There's nothing here new or groundbreaking, it's just a rehash.

-Skeld


Skeld wrote:

There's nothing here new or groundbreaking, it's just a rehash.

-Skeld

True, but at least now most of it is in one thread. I would like to know what the class is supposed to do. It seems to be a fighter(not the class) that knows how to fight. In that case we don't need teleporting spells. Fighting spells like beastshape would help. If it has beastshape then I overlooked it. I did only skim the spell list.

PS:I am not saying no utility spells are welcome, but I want to hurt things with this class. The bard is the (arcane)caster that knows how to fight so this class should put the fighting first.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What it comes don to for me is, are the differences listed enough to make it stand out from the other three 3/4 bab 6th level spell casters?

He sounds like something halfway between the selfish buffing Alchemist and the group buffing bard.

The class should NOT be able to take the place of both the fighter or the full casting arcanist. That is rightly listed as a completely unreasonable expectation by Paizo. But the only gameplay difference I see between the bard and magus is the magus loses versatility in combat styles (two handed weapon, shield use, ranged weapons) and bardic music for a spell list with a bit more evocation and an attempt to allow casting as part of another action...at great difficulty.

Maybe this is what people are looking for. Maybe I'm crazy for thinking it's yet another minutely different rehash of a very tired concept.

I think the ability to cast and attack at the same time should be a high level ability - and then it should be seamless. When I created my own poor attempt at an arcane martialist, I introduced such a "cast and smack something with a weapon" power at level 6. What I did was allow the character to cast any spell two levels lower than their highest level spell known (at 6th level the character would be limited to cantrips) and make one melee attack as part of a full round action. In this case a five foot step was only allowed before or after both actions - if you wanted to hit someone with a non-reach melee weapon, you would have to cast defensively or provoke an attack of opportunity. You could cast 1st level spells in this manner by 7th level, 2nd level spells by 10th, 3rd by 13th and 4th by 17. The character never got higher than 4th level spells, and never gets more than 4 slots (except for high intelligence granted bonus spells, of course).

If the magus is never going to be an arcane flavored fighter replacement and instead going to stay as yet another 5th wheel class, I would still suggest that a game changing mechanic that breaks action economy be put much later in the class. It should be a high level ability, not the focus of the class. It's too big a system break - the mechanical acrobatics the class has to go through to avoid doing too much violence to the system as a whole are a large hinderance to the cohesiveness of the class.

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.

Random ideas. Maybe some will be useful - even if a fourth 3/4 bab 6 level arcane caster seems like overkill. ^_^


Cartigan wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:


No, it is rogue that has spells instead of sneak attack.

What.. no... that..

I will add it to my collection of stupid statements about the Magus.
The more I hear people talk about it, the more I dislike it - in addition to its currently flawed design.

What is stupid about the statement. Some one anti the Magus made the comparison before it did. The Magus very nicely fits a role similar to that of the rogue.

Cartigan wrote:


Zombieneighbours wrote:
A magus has the most reliable hit chance of any medium BaB class.
Cleric. Druid. Inquisitor. Alchemist.

A 5th level 15 point elven Magus can have a +13(+3 BaB, +4 dex[+6 with cat's grace], +1 weapon focus, +1 Arcane Weapon, +2 magic weapon[saving from not having to buy belt]) Requires 1 turn to get upto speed.

By comparison, a similarly built fighter is about +13 (+5 bab, +4 strength[+5 with belt], +1 weapon focus, +1 weapon training, +1 magic weapon )

Lastly, cleric +12(+3 BaB, +4 str[+6 with cat's grace(to do this however, the cleric must sacrifice spell casting and channel to some degree due to race)], +1 weapon focus, +2 magic weapon[though you compound your spell and channeling issues.] Now this can rise further, but in doing so windup time increases, using action.

So a crippled cleric can almost reach the same +to hit, or can achieve it if he uses up more precious actions.


wraithstrike wrote:
Skeld wrote:

There's nothing here new or groundbreaking, it's just a rehash.

-Skeld

True, but at least now most of it is in one thread. I would like to know what the class is supposed to do. It seems to be a fighter(not the class) that knows how to fight. In that case we don't need teleporting spells. Fighting spells like beastshape would help. If it has beastshape then I overlooked it. I did only skim the spell list.

PS:I am not saying no utility spells are welcome, but I want to hurt things with this class. The bard is the (arcane)caster that knows how to fight so this class should put the fighting first.

I think it's a class for putting down bush fires. The Things like jump, and then later teleport lets the magus move to where the issues are quickly, and tie up the enemy. Ideally, I hope we will see a range of new touch spells which will allow the magus to cripple a foe for a while, so that the fighter or blaster can finish what they are doing then turn their attention to it.


Thanks for the point-by-point analysis. Hopefully we can start discussing how to make the magus a distinctive, viable class.


Jess Door wrote:

even if a fourth 3/4 bab 6 level arcane caster seems like overkill. ^_^

Indeed.If they are going to rip off the Duskblade, it should at least be done properly. It's not like the Duskblade is crazy overpowered or anything...


Zombieneighbours wrote:

What is stupid about the statement. Some one anti the Magus made the comparison before it did. The Magus very nicely fits a role similar to that of the rogue.

Except that the rogue has some use outside of combat, and the Magus spell list doesn't supply the class with hardly any of the spells needed for that sort of versatility at all. Oh, and the rogue can reliably apply it's bonus damage without taking huge penalties to attack.

Zombieneighbours wrote:

A 5th level 15 point elven Magus can have a +13(+3 BaB, +4 dex[+6 with cat's grace], +1 weapon focus, +1 Arcane Weapon, +2 magic weapon[saving from not having to buy belt]) Requires 1 turn to get upto speed.

By comparison, a similarly built fighter is about +13 (+5 bab, +4 strength[+5 with belt], +1 weapon focus, +1 weapon training, +1 magic weapon )

Lastly, cleric +12(+3 BaB, +4 str[+6 with cat's grace(to do this however, the cleric must sacrifice spell casting and channel to some degree due to race)], +1 weapon focus, +2 magic weapon[though you compound your spell and channeling issues.] Now this can rise further, but in doing so windup time increases, using action.

So a crippled cleric can almost reach the same +to hit, or can achieve it if he uses up more precious actions.

Don't forget to add in the -4 for the Magus that is attempting to use it's class feature, for a nice +9...


Moro wrote:


Don't forget to add in the -4 for the Magus that is attempting to use it's class feature, for a nice +9...

yeah -4 for bypassing the action economy. Its rough but not terrible. Is it something you do when facing a an AC 26+? No. But it will come in handy against things like ogres and other low AC, high Damage combatants. Hopefully the Concentration penalties will be adjusted, but really -4 means that its tactical decision instead of an auto-decision.


The fluff for this class is tilted towards using spell combat most of the time. The mechanics of the class are tilted towards nearly never using spell combat, at which point there is no real secondary utility to the class to justify not simply being a full caster instead.

Fluff and mechanics should match up. Spell combat should be the mechanically optimal form of combat against CR to CR+2 opponents the majority of the time.

What should change :

- It either needs to be a full BAB class, or they have to look at the Psychic Warrior to understand what kind of new spells they have to write up for the Magus to make it effective as a 3/4 BAB class.

- channeling a touch spell through a weapon should not take an extra action, nor should it cause any penalties at all.


Cartigan wrote:


What if Rogues were terrible at making Sneak Attacks?
That is the Magus.

Sneak attack is a conditional ability, target must be flanked or flat footed.

A magus' spell combat has a penalty instead of a conditional requirement for use.
Rage is at will and has a penalty.
Smite is conditional.

The penalty is lessened. But if the pentalty is to high stack the odds. Flank, aid other, there are was to make it work.


UndeadViking wrote:


K wrote:


Melee well as a spellcaster
His spell list doesn't have good spells for melee spellcasting or buffs for melee guys.
Bull's strength, enlarge person, magic weapon, shield, bear's endurance, mirror image, displacement, haste, stoneskin, etc., are...

Of that list, only Mirror Image makes the cut as a "good buff," and that's because it delays an enemy for several rounds while protecting the caster, this making it a viable combat action.

Now, any buff is great if you don't spend combat actions on it and are spending slots you wouldn't spend on combat actions. In this way, Enlarge Person is great if you cast it before a combat since it's a small bonus to damage that stacks with other small bonuses to eventually make a big bonus.

But for the business of melee, which involves letting people attack you with melee attacks, surviving that attack, and damaging them in return, the Wizard is still better. He gets various shapechanging spells earlier and so has bigger bonuses at each level, Blink for flat immunity to 50% of all spells and attacks, combat movement spells like Dimension Door earlier, Vampiric Touch for temp HPs and damage and False Life for just temp HPs, more spell slots to put into Spell Storing Weapons and better effects to put into those weapons..... the list goes on and on.

The only thing Magus does better is get sword attacks slightly more often, but a Wizard who goes Eldritch Knight even does that better if he's willing to put up with Magus-like spellcasting with a vastly better spell list.

-------------------

On another point, I think it's a mistake to look at this class as a Rogue. I mean, it can't do spike damage which is the Rogue claim to fame in combat, and it's skill list and skill point are terrible so it has no claim to fame outside of combat.


Mr.Fishy wrote:
The penalty is lessened. But if the penalty is too high stack the odds. Flank, aid other, there are was to make it work.

Mr. Fishy I know a of a few other things that are stacked too high as well, just sayin'.

------------------------------------------

*dumps gasoline on the fire*
Personally, I'd rather just play a BARD.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
This should be good. *makes popcorn*

+5


Anburaid wrote:
Moro wrote:


Don't forget to add in the -4 for the Magus that is attempting to use it's class feature, for a nice +9...

yeah -4 for bypassing the action economy 45% of the time

I fixed it for you.


Anburaid wrote:
Moro wrote:


Don't forget to add in the -4 for the Magus that is attempting to use it's class feature, for a nice +9...

yeah -4 for bypassing the action economy. Its rough but not terrible. Is it something you do when facing a an AC 26+? No. But it will come in handy against things like ogres and other low AC, high Damage combatants. Hopefully the Concentration penalties will be adjusted, but really -4 means that its tactical decision instead of an auto-decision.

What Anburaid said.

It is also useful for making a parting shot before teleporting to safety, or a whole range of other potential tactical options.

It isn't something your going to use every turn, but against the right opponent, or under the right conditions it is great.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
It isn't something your going to use every turn, but against the right opponent, or under the right conditions it is great.

I can promise you, a new player reading the class will not imagine he will have to play it like this. A signature ability which 9 times out of 10 shouldn't be used? How can anyone call that acceptable?


Cartigan wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
Moro wrote:


Don't forget to add in the -4 for the Magus that is attempting to use it's class feature, for a nice +9...

yeah -4 for bypassing the action economy 45% of the time
I fixed it for you.

You seem to be pulling that figure out of somewhere uncomfortable.(Uncomfortable? Like the back of a VW?)

As this analysis shows.


Pinky's Brain wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
It isn't something your going to use every turn, but against the right opponent, or under the right conditions it is great.
I can promise you, a new player reading the class will not imagine he will have to play it like this. A signature ability which 9 times out of 10 shouldn't be used? How can anyone call that acceptable?

Firstly, it isn't the signiture ability. That would be spell strike. Secondly, you cannot possibly know how every new player is going to approach this class. We as a community made up of a vast array of different players, with different style can't agree on what this class is even meant to do within the game. so predicting what all new players will do is ridiculous.

Certainly there will be plays who do see it as something which should be used every turn, but you know what, far more iconic abilities are misunderstood by some new players all the time, from rage to wizard spells.

Personally, I think letting people do what they like, even if it is sub-optimal, is a good thing. The choice is out in the open. You do this, your chances of hitting are lower. You roll your dice and you take your chances.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
That would be spell strike.

Which is not worth using in combat without spell combat because he doesn't get the attack for free.

PS. I think that the most natural way to play a class given the fluff should be a good way to play it.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Anburaid wrote:
Moro wrote:


Don't forget to add in the -4 for the Magus that is attempting to use it's class feature, for a nice +9...

yeah -4 for bypassing the action economy 45% of the time
I fixed it for you.

You seem to be pulling that figure out of somewhere uncomfortable.(Uncomfortable? Like the back of a VW?)

As this analysis shows.

What about This, corrected, analysis


Zombieneighbours wrote:

You seem to be pulling that figure out of somewhere uncomfortable.(Uncomfortable? Like the back of a VW?)
As this analysis shows.

Too much optimization required to make the class okay. One would hope optimizing would make it great instead of just okay.

The average player has no hope of knowing that he needs to optimize or he'll fail 55% of time (what Catigan said).

You need a feat to be decent and minimum according to that data 15 Int.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:

You seem to be pulling that figure out of somewhere uncomfortable.(Uncomfortable? Like the back of a VW?)
As this analysis shows.

Too much optimization required to make the class okay. One would hope optimizing would make it great instead of just okay.

The average player has no hope of knowing that he needs to optimize or he'll fail 55% of time (what Catigan said).

You need a feat to be decent and minimum according to that data 15 Int.

As an arcane caster, a 15 int is low. Very low... Standard array works low... Its not optimized at all. The only thing it needs to do is take 1 feat, which many, many, many people have said needs to be added as a free feat at first level.


The problem is it doesn't make sense to add it as a free feat. Not as the ability is written. As the ability is written, a penalty to casting is designed in. A penalty that becomes a cumulative bonus with Combat Casting thereby making the ability, and its improvements, pointless. Yes, the Magus probably does need Combat Casting as a free feat but Spell Combat needs to be completely overhauled for multiple reasons.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Anburaid wrote:
Moro wrote:


Don't forget to add in the -4 for the Magus that is attempting to use it's class feature, for a nice +9...

yeah -4 for bypassing the action economy.

As opposed to the summoner, who bypasses action economy for free with his eidolon.

The summoner is already a class that bypasses action economy to simultaneously contribute spells and melee attacks. If the magus is supposed to be better at this than anyone else, spell combat needs to be more effective than a summoner and eidolon working in tandem.

At the very least, spell combat should impose no concentration penalty and work like flurry of blows (the magus uses his level as his BAB and takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls).


So K is any of this based on playtest or just fluff.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Epic Meepo wrote:
The summoner is already a class that bypasses action economy to simultaneously contribute spells and melee attacks. If the magus is supposed to be better at this than anyone else, spell combat needs to be more effective than a summoner and eidolon working in tandem.

I have no idea why you think one person should be capable of more actions than two people. There are numerous differences in the way the summoner and the Magus accomplish attack + spell in a round. I seriously think it's silly to think that you'd have more actions than Summoner + Eidolon or Druid + Pet, routinely.

Spell combat could probably use improved, but not because Summoners have Eidolons.


-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?

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