Quick question: what does a Magus do when he's not in a brawl?


Round 1: Magus

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It may be worth noting that the Magus requires his weapon in hand in order to cast his spells with ease once he hits 4th level and gains the Arcane Weapon ability. This would probably interfere with casting spells for non-combat situations.


Jikuu wrote:
It may be worth noting that the Magus requires his weapon in hand in order to cast his spells with ease once he hits 4th level and gains the Arcane Weapon ability. This would probably interfere with casting spells for non-combat situations.

Only if you choose to bond with the weapon while preparing your spells. If you're not expecting combat in extended Town play or primarily social settings then just don't bind the weapon, or maybe bind a dagger or some other smaller innocuous weapon... like a gauntlet.

playtest pdf wrote:
When he prepares his spells, he can also spend a portion of this time bonding with a single melee weapon.

You are not required to bond. And if the magus fully preps spells like a wizard, assuming he isn't spending that many spell in the 'social' setting, he may not even need to re-prepare spells every morning and can leave it until later in the day.


Give the magus the wizard spell list, and never have to worry about this question again, since he'd then have a massive number of utility spells in his spellbook.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

see wrote:
Give the magus the wizard spell list, and never have to worry about this question again, since he'd then have a massive number of utility spells in his spellbook.

+1

Liberty's Edge

RJGrady wrote:
Probably something involving myrrh, I imagine.

Heheh

Liberty's Edge

ProfessorCirno wrote:
No class should have 2+int skills.

Clearly the designers and developers of this game (as well as those of a couple of editions of D&D) disagree with you.


Sounds to me that the magus, along with the fighter, the paladin, the cleric and the wizard, don't get much time off. When not fighting for their survival, the fighter trains, the cleric prays and performs religious duties while the wizard studies. The magus and the paladin take turns between training with the fighter and and study/pray with the wizard/cleric. At least that's how I interpret the fact that they don't have a lot of skill points...

That leaves me wondering what the sorcerer does...


Laurefindel wrote:
That leaves me wondering what the sorcerer does...

Try his or her best to keep all that raw arcane energy from discharging in unfortunate or unseemly ways?


ProfessorCirno wrote:


So your two answers are "drop your points in hilariously worthless skills" and "hope the DM takes pity on you"

They're not hilariously worthless if you consider getting into bed with that princess worth something.


stringburka wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:


So your two answers are "drop your points in hilariously worthless skills" and "hope the DM takes pity on you"
They're not hilariously worthless if you consider getting into bed with that princess worth something.

Using the profession skill to do anything - much less some bizarre deus ex machina of getting a princes to fall for you because hey look at this peasant crafting I've done - is like the very definition of "DM Fiat"


Mothman wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
No class should have 2+int skills.
Clearly the designers and developers of this game (as well as those of a couple of editions of D&D) disagree with you.

And quite a few agree. Ever heard about Trailblazer?

IMHO, the limit of 2 points per level is incredibly limiting if one wants to create a flavorful character... "Yeah, I want to put some skill points into my charioteering to reflect my character history, but if I do this, I cannot hope to climb or ride properly..."

For this very reason I have begun to award skill points for creative thinking or good backgrounds.

Regards,
Ruemere

PS. Frankly, this is one thing I have never understood about Pathfinder edition of D20... why overhaul whole skill system, and yet keep this old absurd rule of 2-skill point classes.

PS2. Additionally, if you have problems with Intelligence-based classes overshadowing Rogues and Bards, just rule Intelligence bonus to skillpoint pool to be static, not level based (takes care also of icky issues with advancing Intelligence score).


ruemere wrote:
And quite a few agree. Ever heard about Trailblazer?

I have. Of course, one example doesn't constitute quite a few, and, in any event, this just competing arguments from authority seeking to dress up opinion in more respectable clothes.

ruemere wrote:
PS. Frankly, this is one thing I have never understood about Pathfinder edition of D20... why overhaul whole skill system, and yet keep this old absurd rule of 2-skill point classes.

That's not quite what happened. Any class can get +1 skill point per level with ease. That might not seem like much, but it's more than nothing.

Mark L. Chance | Spes Magna Games


I don't see the problem with 2+Int skill points per level. You can spread those across any number of skills. Once a skill has 5 ranks or so, there is not much need to invest more (with the exception of certain skills that really should be maximized).

If you want more skills, don't min-max your fighter, and give him 12 or 14 int instead. Or buy a headband of int for the skill you really want maxed.

And if you have trouble with your class-skill selection, there's always traits to round off what is available.

...

Regarding the OP: there's plenty for the Magus to do; depending on what the situation calls for. Just like every other class.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SmiloDan wrote:
see wrote:
Give the magus the wizard spell list, and never have to worry about this question again, since he'd then have a massive number of utility spells in his spellbook.
+1

-1 The Magus is supposed to be distinct from the wizard, not replace him.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ruemere wrote:


PS. Frankly, this is one thing I have never understood about Pathfinder edition of D20... why overhaul whole skill system, and yet keep this old absurd rule of 2-skill point classes.

Nothing really absurd about it. Classes that require more intense training and practise leave less room for extracurricular activities. In

Ars Magica, for instance, Magi got the least skills for character types precisely because so much of their time is taken up with the study of magic.

The Magus has to juggle two very intensive and opposing paths. the 2 skill points per level makes sense. They certainly DON'T have more free time than the fighter or the wizard, if anything they have less but a class simply can't be given less than 2 pts per level.

Quite frankly, the Magus in the party is probably the one who spends the most time in honing his skills out of combat, and has the least amount of free time. Not only does he peer over tomes like a mage, he's also keeping in swords practise like a warrior.

One thing that hasn't been addressed is the relationship between the Magus and other characters. I suspect that the Magus is actually least comfortable among wizards who often spend time at length how slow his studies progress compared to their apprentices. Conversely, I expect him to have much better relations with the martial classes who can appreciate his time and dedication.


LazarX wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
see wrote:
Give the magus the wizard spell list, and never have to worry about this question again, since he'd then have a massive number of utility spells in his spellbook.
+1
-1 The Magus is supposed to be distinct from the wizard...

hum, is he? I thought he was supposed to be a mix of the fighter and the wizard...

LazarX wrote:
... not replace him.

With 3/4 spellcasting, no scribe scroll for free at 1st level, no school of specialization, I don't think the Magus would ever replace the wizard even with the same spell-list...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Laurefindel wrote:


hum, is he? I thought he was supposed to be a mix of the fighter and the wizard...

A magus is not the result of an unfortunate collision between a fighter and a wizard on a street corner. What he is something unique a path which combines elements of the two but is distinctly apart. Giving the magus unrestricted access to wizard spells pretty much robs the wizard of his distinctive role, especially at the low levels most campaigns operate.

Liberty's Edge

ruemere wrote:

And quite a few agree. Ever heard about Trailblazer?

No. Could you explain?

Liberty's Edge

LazarX wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:


hum, is he? I thought he was supposed to be a mix of the fighter and the wizard...

A magus is not the result of an unfortunate collision between a fighter and a wizard on a street corner. What he is something unique a path which combines elements of the two but is distinctly apart. Giving the magus unrestricted access to wizard spells pretty much robs the wizard of his distinctive role, especially at the low levels most campaigns operate.

Agreed.

Liberty's Edge

Mothman wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
No class should have 2+int skills.
Clearly the designers and developers of this game (as well as those of a couple of editions of D&D) disagree with you.

Besides, few characters in Pathfinder must settle for 2 + int skill points per level, what with human bonus skill points and / or favoured class bonus skill points. If people really think their class gets the short end of the skill stick then they shouldn’t make intelligence their dump stat. It always amuses me when people complain that their character doesn’t have enough skill points when they have either given their character an intelligence score of 8 and/or they want to be good at EVERYTHING … at first level …


LazarX wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:


hum, is he? I thought he was supposed to be a mix of the fighter and the wizard...

A magus is not the result of an unfortunate collision between a fighter and a wizard on a street corner. What he is something unique a path which combines elements of the two but is distinctly apart.

I too have a higher opinion of the fighter-mage concept than a bum-rushed wizard...

As for the path, this is hardly unique since the combination is available through multi-classing. That being said, the class is more than the sum of a half-wizard and a half-fighter; so I agree that he is unique in that way.

However, while I understand that the Magus' methods are more focused than the wizard's, they are not that "distinctly apart". Both cast spells in the exact same way (or it would if it wasn't for the restricted spell list). Still I concede that point to you; The focus of the Magus is precise while that of a wizard is more flexible. I guess an enchanter is distinctly apart form a conjurer...

LazarX wrote:
Giving the magus unrestricted access to wizard spells pretty much robs the wizard of his distinctive role, especially at the low levels most campaigns operate.

I'm still not convinced of that. The Magus has very few precious slots for its role (as it should, really). Even with a shared spell list, I don't think the magus would have the luxury of making the wizard obsolete, even with wands, even with scrolls...

I know that the reference dates, but 2E bards did not replace the party wizard thourouly, even if the bard could cast fireball.

[edit] but that a different tread


LazarX wrote:
ruemere wrote:


PS. Frankly, this is one thing I have never understood about Pathfinder edition of D20... why overhaul whole skill system, and yet keep this old absurd rule of 2-skill point classes.

Nothing really absurd about it. Classes that require more intense training and practise leave less room for extracurricular activities. In

Ars Magica, for instance, Magi got the least skills for character types precisely because so much of their time is taken up with the study of magic.

Ah, yes, and sorcerers are busy....being lazy? Not spontaneously combusting? Heck, unlike wizards, they DON'T need studies, they should have more skill points, not less(courtesy of casting attribute).

But lets not get THAT discussion warmed up overly much again.
Some people cherish 2+int, others 4+int.

as to the magus: He does whatever he pretty much wants. It's not about getting extra stuff to do, few classes really do. Most casters only have spells, some classes have something situational(ranger, druid, won't help much in a city setting), others also more combat-oriented(fighter, barbarian)...just because he's not a bard doesn't mean he's socially handycapped.


The Magus sits in a corner and cries because no one loves him.


Mr.Fishy wrote:
The Magus sits in a corner and cries because no one loves him.

now you made me want to play an emo magus. -_-

And thats when i just created Janus(Magus) from Chrono Trigger as an NPC, complete with scythe and stuff :P


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Not...exactly.

Rogue: I gather information about the dungeon we're heading for and pick a few pockets
Cleric: I pray to my god for any visions he may give me
Wizard: DIVINATION :D
Druid: I leave the city but make a small scrying pool to see what the lands before us will challenge us with
Bard: I visit the local taverns and see what rumors are being spread, then charm then - nonmagically, thank you, wizard - into getting us rooms.
Fighter: I uh. Well, I guess I climb something? I'm kinda good at swimming too, I could do that.

And this is why I strongly discourage classes who can't influence the plot outside of combat.

Hi Welcome


The poor Magus cries
"Does no one out there love me?"
No. You are emo.


What does a magus do when he's not in a brawl?

I'd imagine he studies spellbooks or practices martial katas...it's in the fluff.

Sovereign Court

Fraust wrote:
Or did the OP not actually look at the class stats?

Of course I did, think of it more as a talking point.

I would like to see a few fun features for the Magus outside of his combat abilities.

Any ideas?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MordredofFairy wrote:


Ah, yes, and sorcerers are busy....being lazy? Not spontaneously combusting?

In essence, yes. Sorcerers are more like spellfire channelers, there is nothing harder to master than powers that rely on inborn talent as opposed to established formulae. I imagine that for every 3 sorcerer who makes it to first level, there may have been one who exploded from within. So yes, mastering that inborn magic does devote much of your free time.

In fact this is the default assumption that Dave Arneson made in Blackmoor which "why" the Wizard's Guilds at least officially claim the reason for bounties on Sorcerers. (Playing a sorcerer in Blackmoor is much like being a mutant in the Marvel Comics universe)


LazarX wrote:
(Playing a sorcerer in Blackmoor is much like being a mutant in the Marvel Comics universe)

It's like being subjected to trite plots filled with characters so uninspired that calling them cardboard would be an insult to good box-making material? :)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
ProfessorCirno wrote:
hey look at this peasant crafting I've done

Uhm, virtually all crafting is peasant crafting. Nobles don't dirty their hands with such things.

Liberty's Edge

If you want to woo your woman like a REAL noble, you just hand over a dowry to her father.
*chuckles*


Spes Magna Mark wrote:
ruemere wrote:
And quite a few agree. Ever heard about Trailblazer?
I have. Of course, one example doesn't constitute quite a few, and, in any event, this just competing arguments from authority seeking to dress up opinion in more respectable clothes.

True20.

Spes Magna Mark wrote:
ruemere wrote:
PS. Frankly, this is one thing I have never understood about Pathfinder edition of D20... why overhaul whole skill system, and yet keep this old absurd rule of 2-skill point classes.
That's not quite what happened. Any class can get +1 skill point per level with ease. That might not seem like much, but it's more than nothing.

It's not nearly enough if you want to learn a craft or profession (or several crafts/professions). Perish the thought of getting a bunch of Perform skills (unless you're a Bard). And if a GM happens to use campaign specific knowledges, well, your average character may find unable to learn them.

Regards,
Ruemere


Mothman wrote:
ruemere wrote:

And quite a few agree. Ever heard about Trailblazer?

No. Could you explain?

Trailblazer by Bad Axe Games.

An interesting take on d20 3.5 system variant. Their rules are strongly supported by reasoning and statistics. While I would not necessarily agree with some of their ideas (giving more options beyond certain limits tends to slow down decision process, enabling everyone to react out of their turn forces GM to take a very granular approach to combat flow, Action Points tend to change the balance of the game), their insight into workings of d20 is enlightening.

Still, my game is mine and does not need to necessarily conform to standards. And my special reward system somewhat breaks d20 basics.

Regards,
Ruemere


ruemere wrote:
True20.

Great game. Still doesn't alter the fact that "2 + Int is too few skill points" is merely a matter of opinion. Consequently, it is neither true nor false, and arguing as if it were is pointless.

It seems to me that the best approach is to deal with the specific class at hand without reference to other classes that are allegedly broken or subpar. IOW, if one has the case that the magus ought to have more skill points than 2 + Int, it requires a bit more effort than just voicing a preference for more points.

That make sense?

Mark L. Chance | Spes Magna Games


slicertool wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
hey look at this peasant crafting I've done
Uhm, virtually all crafting is peasant crafting. Nobles don't dirty their hands with such things.

That's sort of what I mean.


LazarX wrote:
The Magus is supposed to be distinct from the wizard, not replace him.

And yes, the way to avoid the replacement is to make the magus's spell choices narrower. But that can be done by having him select, say, three schools of study. Spells from the other five would require double slots to prepare, just like a specialist wizard's opposition schools. That'll bite less as the magus gets more slots . . . but that's the same time that not having the higher-level spells starts to pinch.

It makes very little sense, in-game, for magus and wizard spellbooks to be fully interchangable but operate off of separate class lists.

Also, "pick three schools" allows a significant degree of magus individuality in spell choice, which a tightly-constricted class list does not.

Scarab Sages

Dorje Sylas wrote:
People really shouldn't discount cantrips as "out of combat" options. A magus who doesn't expect combat can prep Mage Hand, Prestigiration, Open/Close, and others provide an in town magus with a number of things to do.

+1 to this.

Mine took a job with the town Watch, lighting streetlamps (Spark)...

:D

-Uriel

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

see wrote:
LazarX wrote:
The Magus is supposed to be distinct from the wizard, not replace him.

And yes, the way to avoid the replacement is to make the magus's spell choices narrower. But that can be done by having him select, say, three schools of study. Spells from the other five would require double slots to prepare, just like a specialist wizard's opposition schools. That'll bite less as the magus gets more slots . . . but that's the same time that not having the higher-level spells starts to pinch.

It makes very little sense, in-game, for magus and wizard spellbooks to be fully interchangable but operate off of separate class lists.

Also, "pick three schools" allows a significant degree of magus individuality in spell choice, which a tightly-constricted class list does not.

How about, choose a number of schools of magic equal to your Intelligence bonus (minimum 1)? But with access to all wizard spells.


ProfessorCirno wrote:
stringburka wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:


So your two answers are "drop your points in hilariously worthless skills" and "hope the DM takes pity on you"
They're not hilariously worthless if you consider getting into bed with that princess worth something.
Using the profession skill to do anything - much less some bizarre deus ex machina of getting a princes to fall for you because hey look at this peasant crafting I've done - is like the very definition of "DM Fiat"

Yes, and even having a princess in the game is like the very definition of DM fiat, as I don't see any rule that games have princesses. The point is, the whole game is built on what you deem DM Fiat, unless you only roll on encounter tables to see what monster you're killing next.


Spes Magna Mark wrote:
ruemere wrote:
True20.

Great game. Still doesn't alter the fact that "2 + Int is too few skill points" is merely a matter of opinion. Consequently, it is neither true nor false, and arguing as if it were is pointless.

It seems to me that the best approach is to deal with the specific class at hand without reference to other classes that are allegedly broken or subpar. IOW, if one has the case that the magus ought to have more skill points than 2 + Int, it requires a bit more effort than just voicing a preference for more points.

That make sense?

Mark L. Chance | Spes Magna Games

Okies, looks like I need to delve deeper into theorycraft. Mind you, this is all still highly subjective due to my personal experiences across numerous systems... and so I do not expect folks hailing from AD&D 2nd background (or Castles and Crusades, for that matter) to agree with me.

First of all, to me, skill-based approach to character building is important because:
- skills are somewhat final values. Once you calculate them, you can use them directly to influence your dice rolls.
- skills can (and should) reflect character history prior to entering the scene, and should develop along with the character during adventures.
- skills, due to their more definite meaning, are better at defining character qualities (just like a PC with Profession (Blacksmithing) 10 is better fleshed out than a PC with just Str 12, Dex 10 and Con 12).
- while applying modifiers to abilities (i.e. Str, Dex) you need to recalculate dependent properties, while applying modifiers to skills and dice roll, you just use them directly.

Secondly, at the table, when I need to put something together (an NPC) or adjudicate a heretofre undefined aspect, it is faster and easier to use a skills ("this is a commoner with blacksmithing of 10").

And here is the reason for my gripe... when dealing with classes strongly limited with respect to skill points, building a well developed character or putting something ad hoc, one cannot go wild with the skill points... there are too few of them. 4 per level is an absolute minimum to be able to flesh creatures...

The reason is that while Pathfinder system did a great job consolidating skill system, it also made some of the skills essential to creature CR - namely, Perception, Stealth, Knowledges (for certain beings), Spellcraft and so on.
It is possible to cheat or leave the essential skills at minimum level, but you risk getting caught at this.

An example: Pathfinderized Lamia Matriarch (PF SRD fan site) lacks both Perception and Stealth, and thus becomes an easy prey to stealth based attacks. In order to boost her skills, you need to juggle the numbers around. And you can do that, since she is a Monstrous Humanoid (4 skill points per HD) with decent Intelligence. On the other hand, if you wanted to do the same for a Fighter NPC, you are out of luck (or forced to cheat, or need to make a more vulnerable character).

And so I instituted story based awards to make up for these deficiencies and to encourage people to try to learn things in-game. And so my players know that even a Lamia can be a good architect, skilled violinist or lawyer. Just like a Fighter.

Regards,
Ruemere

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SmiloDan wrote:
see wrote:
LazarX wrote:
The Magus is supposed to be distinct from the wizard, not replace him.

And yes, the way to avoid the replacement is to make the magus's spell choices narrower. But that can be done by having him select, say, three schools of study. Spells from the other five would require double slots to prepare, just like a specialist wizard's opposition schools. That'll bite less as the magus gets more slots . . . but that's the same time that not having the higher-level spells starts to pinch.

It makes very little sense, in-game, for magus and wizard spellbooks to be fully interchangable but operate off of separate class lists.

Also, "pick three schools" allows a significant degree of magus individuality in spell choice, which a tightly-constricted class list does not.

How about, choose a number of schools of magic equal to your Intelligence bonus (minimum 1)? But with access to all wizard spells.

That's essentially the same as a specialist wizard. A Magus isnn't supposed to specialise spells by school, he's supposed to specialise spells by his particular theme path.


ruemere wrote:
Okies, looks like I need to delve deeper into theorycraft.

*snipping lots of good stuff*

Your analysis of the importance of skills is good. I can see little to disagree with. Where I diverge from you is here:

ruemere wrote:

Secondly, at the table, when I need to put something together (an NPC) or adjudicate a heretofre undefined aspect, it is faster and easier to use a skills ("this is a commoner with blacksmithing of 10").

And here is the reason for my gripe... when dealing with classes strongly limited with respect to skill points, building a well developed character or putting something ad hoc, one cannot go wild with the skill points... there are too few of them. 4 per level is an absolute minimum to be able to flesh creatures...

The reason is that while Pathfinder system did a great job consolidating skill system, it also made some of the skills essential to creature CR - namely, Perception, Stealth, Knowledges (for certain beings), Spellcraft and so on.
It is possible to cheat or leave the essential skills at minimum level, but you risk getting caught at this.

An example: Pathfinderized Lamia Matriarch (PF SRD fan site) lacks both Perception and Stealth, and thus becomes an easy prey to stealth based attacks. In order to boost her skills, you need to juggle the numbers around. And you can do that, since she is a Monstrous Humanoid (4 skill points per HD) with decent Intelligence. On the other hand, if you wanted to do the same for a Fighter NPC, you are out of luck (or forced to cheat, or need to make a more vulnerable character).

NPCs, obviously, aren't PCs. As a DM, I strongly believe that I cannot cheat when making up an NPC. So, if I want an NPC fighter to have an unusual capacity represented by a certain skill, I can do that. The same with the lamia matriarch. No numbers juggling is necessary.

For me, the rules about class features, skill points, et cetera, exist so that there is something like balance between the classes as used by the players and so that PC abilities are standardized to make encounter design easier.

When wearing my DM hat, balance between character classes isn't relevant. Instead, what is relevant is that the encounters be memorable, challenging, and fun. Thus, if I want that lamia patriarch to have Perception because it fits the story, she gets Perception, and numbers of skill points don't matter to me.

Which brings me back to the magus: As has been pointed out, fighters get 2 + Int, wizards get 2 + Int, and so it seems in keeping with current design standards that the magus -- a fighter/wizard -- follow suit.

ruemere wrote:
And so I instituted story based awards to make up for these deficiencies and to encourage people to try to learn things in-game. And so my players know that even a Lamia can be a good architect, skilled violinist or lawyer. Just like a Fighter.

Good policy. One thing I've considered with my game is allowing traits that make X skill a class skill also provide a bonus skill point for that particular skill. This way, a character with the Fast Talker trait would get a free rank in Bluff, for example.

Mark L. Chance | Spes Magna Games


LazarX wrote:
That's essentially the same as a specialist wizard.

In that his other studies don't leave him time to fully understand all types of arcane magic equally well, yes.

In that he gets no powers or bonus spells for specialization, no. It doesn't reflect special proficiency with three schools; it represents a neglect of full attention in five, in order to have time to learn other magus things.

LazarX wrote:
he's supposed to specialise spells by his particular theme path.

They are?

"Role: Magi spend much of their time traveling the world, learning whatever martial or arcane secret they can find. They might spend months learning a new sword fighting style from one master, while moonlighting in the local library, poring through tomes of ancient lore. Most who take this path dabble in all sorts of lore, picking up anything that might aid them in their search for perfection."

Whatever arcane secret, any lore that might aid them.

Now, here's a few selections from the current spell list: floating disk, unseen servant, spider climb, and daylight. You see any theme path there? Any obvious reason they shouldn't have the equally-utility knock?


Kick's sand in NPC's faces to start another brawl?

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