New Magus Variant with Arcane Pool and some modified abilities


Round 1: Magus


There are a redesigned magus class, with a arcane pool and a little modified spellstrike and spell combat.

Magus by Bruno Mares:

There are a new magus progression.

Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d8.
Base Attack Bonus: +¾.
Good Saves: Fortitude and Will.
Spell Progression: Prepared, 6 levels.

CLASS SKILLS
The magus’s class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

CLASS FEATURES
All of the following are the class features of the magus.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A magus is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. A magus is also proficient with light armor. A magus can cast magus spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a magus wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass magus still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.
Spells: A magus casts arcane spells drawn from the magus spell list presented on page 6. A magus must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time.
To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the magus must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a magus’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the magus’s Intelligence modifier.
A magus can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table 1–1. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score (see Table 1–3 of the Core Rulebook).
A magus may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying the magus decides which spells to prepare.
Spellbooks: A magus must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook except for read magic, which all magi can prepare from memory. A magus begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level magus spells plus three 1st-level magus spells of his choice. The magus also selects a number of additional 1st-level magus spells equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to his spellbook. At each new magus level, he gains two new magus spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new magus level) for his spellbook. At any time a magus can also add spells found in other spellbooks to his own (see Chapter 9 of the Core Rulebook).
A magus can learn spells from a wizard’s spellbook, just as a wizard can from a magus. The spells learned must be on the magus spell list, as normal. An alchemist (see the Advanced Player’s Guide) can learn formulae from a magus’s spellbook, if the spells are also on the alchemist spell list. A magus cannot learn spells from an alchemist.
Arcane Might (Ex): The magus treats his magus level as his base attack bonus (in addition to any base attack bonus gained from other classes) when qualifying for feats.
Cantrips: A magus can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table 1–1 under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.
Spellstrike (Su): Whenever a magus cast a spell with a range of touch and with a casting time equal or less than a standard action from the magus spell list, he may increase the casting time of this spell to a full-round action, and deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack instead the normal touch attack. If successful, this attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the attack fails, the spell is wasted. This ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Arcane Pool (Su): At 2nd level, a magus gains a pool of arcane points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a magus' arcane pool is equal to 1/2 his magus level + his Intelligence modifier. Alternatively, as a standard action, a magus can sacrifice a prepared spell slot to gain an additional number or arcane pool points equal to the level of sacrificed spell slot. These additional points must be expended in a number of rounds equal to the magus Intelligence modifier or will be lost. The magus cannot sacrifice another spell slot until he spent all this additional points or until they be lost, what happens first.
As long as he has at least 1 point in his arcane pool, he can make a Arcane Strike as if using the feat, but as a free action instead of a swift action. Arcane strike improves with the character's magus level. At 10th level, his attacks are also treated as silver or iron cold weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 16th level, his attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.
By spending 1 point from his arcane pool, a magus can make one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when making a full-attack action or when using the spell combat ability. Also, he can spend 1 point to grant himself an insight bonus on all attack rolls equal to the highest level spell he can cast. In addition, a magus can spend 1 point from his arcane pool to give himself a shield bonus on AC equal to the highest level spell he can cast for a number of rounds equal to his magus level. Finally, a magus can spend a number of points from his arcane pool equal to the level of a spell he has prepared to cast this spell without using up the prepared spell’s slot. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A magus gains additional powers that consume points from his arcane pool as he gains magus arcanas.
The arcane pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest.
Combat Casting (Ex): A magus gains Combat Casting as a bonus feat at 3rd level.
Spell Combat (Ex): At 3rd level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons effectively at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free, while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –4 penalty if wielding a one-handed melee weapon, or with a –2 penalty if wielding a light melee weapon. He can also cast any spell with a casting time of 1 standard action from the magus spell list. He must cast this spell defensively, and he takes a penalty on the concentration check equal the penalty he suffer in his attacks rolls. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still suffer the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks if he has more than one attack. Casting a spell in this manner does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The magus must have one hand free to use this ability, even if the spell being cast does not contain somatic components. This ability cannot be used in the same round the round use the spellstrike ability.
Magus Arcana: As he gains levels, a magus learns arcane secrets tailored to his specific way of blending martial puissance and magical skill. Starting at 4th level, and at every even level thereafter, a magus gains one magus arcana to use with his arcane pool. Unless otherwise noted, all these powers spend 1 point from his arcane pool, is activated as a swift action, and cannot be selected more than once. Magus arcana that affect spells can only be used to modify spells from the magus’s spell list unless otherwise noted.
Bonus Feat: A magus can select a bonus feat instead of a magus arcana. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat, item creation, or metamagic feats. He must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal.
Broad Study (Ex): A magus with this magus arcana must select one other class that grants the ability to cast spells. The magus can use his spellstrike and spell combat abilities while casting or using spells from the spell list of one other class that grants him the ability to cast spells. This does not allow him to cast arcane spells from that class’s spell list without suffering the normal chances of arcane spell failure. The magus must be at least 6th level before selecting this arcana.
Concentrate (Ex): A magus with this magus arcana can reroll any concentration check he has just made with a +4 bonus. He must use this ability after the roll is made, but before it is determined if the roll is a success. The magus must take the second roll, even if it is worse.
Critical Strike (Su): A magus with this magus arcana that scores a critical hit with a melee weapon may cast a spell with a range of touch as a swift action, then make a touch attack against the target of the critical hit as a free action. The magus must be at least 12th level before selecting this arcana.
Dispelling Strike (Su): A magus with this magus arcana can spend a number of points from his arcane pool as a swift action to imbue his weapon with a special aura. If the weapon strikes a creature within the next minute, that creature is the subject of a targeted dispel magic using the magus’s level as the caster level, except that this effect cannot dispel a spell of a level higher than the number of points dispended (treat higher-level spells as if they do not exist and apply the dispel attempt to the remaining spells with the highest caster level). Once the strike is made, the aura dissipates, even if the dispel attempt is unsuccessful. The magus must be at least 10th level before selecting this magus arcana.
Familiar (Ex): A magus with this magus arcana gains a familiar, using his magus level as his effective wizard level. This familiar follows the rules for familiars presented in the arcane bond wizard class feature. This magus arcana does not require the spent of a point from the magus arcane pool, and is always active as long as he has at least 1 point in his arcane pool.
Heavy Armor (Ex): A magus with this magus arcana is proficient with heavy armor. A magus can cast magus spells while wearing heavy armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a magus using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. This magus arcana does not require the spent of a point from the magus arcane pool and, is always active as long as he has at least 1 point in his arcane pool. The magus must have the medium armor magus arcana to select this magus arcana. The magus must be at least 14th level before selecting this arcana.
Magus Metamagic (Su): A magus with this magus arcana can apply anyone metamagic feat he have without increasing the casting time or the level of the spell by spending a number of points from his arcane pool equal to the spell slot level the spell uses up with the feat. When using this ability, the magus can only apply metamagic feats that modify the spell by a number of levels equal to the highest level spell he can cast, and cannot apply more than once metamagic feat by using this ability. The magus must be at least 6th level before selecting this magus arcana.
Maneuver Mastery (Ex): A magus with this magus arcana has mastered one combat maneuver. He selects one maneuver when selecting this arcana. Whenever he is attempting the selected maneuver, he treats his magus level as his base attack bonus (in addition to any base attack bonus gained from other classes). This magus arcana does not require the spent of a point from the magus arcane pool, and is always active as long as he has at least 1 point in his arcane pool. A magus can select this magus arcana more than once. Its effects do not stack. Each time he selects this arcana, he selects another combat maneuver.
Medium Armor (Ex): A magus with this magus arcana is proficient with medium armor. A magus can cast magus spells while wearing medium armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a magus wearing heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. This magus arcana does not require the spent of a point from the magus arcane pool, and is always active as long as he has at least 1 point in his arcane pool. The magus must be at least 8th level before selecting this arcana.
Reflection (Su): A magus with this magus arcana can spend a number of points from his arcane pool as an immediate action to reflect a spell back at its caster. This functions as spell turning, but only if the targeted spell is of a level equal to or less than the number of points dispended by this ability. The magus must be at least 16th level before selecting this magus arcana.
Arcane Weapon (Su): At 5th level, a magus gains the ability to imbue a melee weapon with powerful abilities. When he prepares his spells, he can also spend a portion of this time bonding with a single melee weapon. At 5th level, this grants the weapon a +1 enhancement bonus. For every three levels beyond 5th, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +6 at 20th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5, or they can be used be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, keen, shock, shocking burst, speed, or vorpal. Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s cost (see Table 15–9 of the Core Rulebook). These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the weapon is bonded and cannot be changed until the next time the magus prepares spells. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the magus.
Bonding with a weapon in this way is not without danger. A magus that is bonded to a weapon must have the weapon in hand to cast spells from the magus spell list; otherwise he must make a concentration check to cast such spells. The DC of this check is equal to 20 + the spell’s level.
Quick Spellstrike (Su): At 7th level, the magus can use the spellstrike ability without increasing the casting time of the spell, granting a free attack to the magus which allow him to deliver a touch spell. This does not allow the magus to use spellstrike in the same round which he use the spell combat ability.
Arcane Might Training (Ex): Starting at 9th level, a magus counts 1/2 his total magus level as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If he has levels in fighter, these levels stack.
Improved Spell Combat (Ex): At 11th level, the magus’s ability to cast spells and make melee attacks improves. When using the spell combat ability, the penalty on his attack rolls and concentration check is reduced by 2 (to a –2 penalty if wielding a one-handed melee weapon, or no penalty if wielding a light melee weapon).
Double Arcana (Su): At 13th level, the magus can spend 2 points from his arcane pool with the same swift action.
Greater Spell Combat (Ex): At 15th level, the magus gains the ability to seamlessly cast spells and make melee attacks. Whenever he uses the spell combat ability, he suffer penalty no penalty in his attack rolls and concentration check regardless of the size of the weapon is he using.
Counterstrike (Ex): At 17th level, whenever an enemy within reach of the magus successfully casts a spell defensively, that enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from the magus after the spell is complete. This attack of opportunity cannot disrupt the spell.
Weapon Bond (Su): At 19th level, if the magus is bonded to a weapon through the arcane weapon class feature, he can call that weapon to his hand as a free action once per round. The weapon appears in his hand instantly, even if it is in the possession of another creature or on another plane of existence. This ability does not function in areas that prevent or block teleportation magic or planar travel. Alternatively, the magus can teleport to the nearest open square to his bonded weapon, as if using greater teleport, except that he cannot bring any other creatures with him. In addition, if the weapon is not in his possession, he can scry on it at will and any creature in possession of the item takes a –8 penalty on its saving throw to resist this scrying.
True Magus (Su): At 20th level, the magus becomes a master of spells and combat. Whenever he uses his spell combat ability, he does not need to make a concentration check to cast the spell defensively. Whenever the magus uses spell combat and his spell targets the same creature as his melee attacks, he can choose to either increase the DC to resist the spell by +2, grant himself a +2 circumstance bonus on any checks made to overcome spell resistance, or grant himself a +2 circumstance bonus on all attack rolls made against the target during his turn.

Now, I’ll explain the logic behind my choices and changes.
Arcane Might: This allow the magus to take more feats that improves his combat skills.
Arcane Might Training: The fighter training, but with another name, cause I think all mentions to another base class must be avoided, to give the magus a more personal style. Only put that ability in the 9th level to avoid “dead class levels” (where the magus gains no ability).

Spellstrike: This ability is too useless if the magus need to wait 2 rounds to use it. It makes better cast the spell with a normal touch attack in a round and make a normal attack (or a full-attack) in the next round.
Quick Spellstrike: This ability make the Vital Strike feat useful to the magus and grant new option when he moves in the combat.

Spell Combat: Only to ensure the magus the benefits and some advantage for wielding a light weapon, encouraging the creation of characters who prioritizes Dexterity and better critical threats. Also makes grants the magus a aspect more balanced between the spell and his weapon, since he suffers the same penalty in the concentration checks and attack rolls.
Improved/Greater Spell Combat: Basically, just continuing the progression of the spell combat ability.

Combat Casting: Certainly all the magus’ players will take this feat, so I give it free to grant more options to the magus feats choice.

Arcane Pool: Based on the monk’s ki pool, I created/adapted this ability thinking that the magus cannot sacrifice/waste all your spells, due to the consequences, which in this case would be the lose of his personality, that I guess it's just hang between combat and spell casting. In the case of the amount of points granted by this ability be few, the alternative to sacrifice spells to gain additional points is a good way to solve the case. Also grants freely the Arcane Strike feat, without the need of a swift action, to enlarge de amount of damage caused by the magus, and some improvement to this ability to overcome some damage reductions just as a monk does.
The initial powers I granted to the arcane pool (also similar to the monk) was for the reason they seem indispensable to any warrior (the ability to attack and defend). The only question is regarding the duration of the shield bonus, which I think is appropriate to improve the AC of the magus almost like a shield does, and avoid the use of the shield spell.
Magus Arcana: Put at 4th and every even level, cause removed the bonus feats (which now can be selected instead of magus arcanas) and transformed the Medium Armor and Heavy Armor proficiency in magus’ arcanas.
In the end, the magus will have almost the same amount of abilities that would initially in the playtest, since he got originally in 20 levels, 11 abilities (3 feats + 6 magus arcana + 2 armor abilities), and now has 13 abilities (4 initial abilities + 9 magus arcana).
New Magus Arcana Ideas: Didn't created new magus arcana ideas, but removed arcane accuracy, hasted assault and spell shield cause of the initial arcane pool abilities. Also transformed empowered magic, maximized magic, quickened magic, silent magic and still magic into Magus Metamagic.
Double Arcana: This ability allows the magus to do more in a unique round, but I am afraid that it is overpowered. Need feedback.

Arcane Weapon: As the arcane might training, only put that ability in the 5th level to avoid “dead class levels” (where the magus gains no ability).

Counterstrike, Weapon Bond, True Magus: No change in this powers. Seem appropriate.


Made few changes in the magus arcana and added some new.
Also thinking in remove the Arcane Might, but the Arcane Might Training continues.

New Magus Arcana and changes:

Magus Metamagic (Su): A magus with this magus arcana can apply anyone metamagic feat he have without increasing the casting time or the level of the spell by spending a number of points from his arcane pool equal to the spell slot level the spell uses up with the feat. When using this ability, the magus can only apply metamagic feats that modify the spell by a number of levels equal or less than the highest level spell he can cast, and cannot apply more than one metamagic feat by using this ability at the same time. The magus must have any metamagic feat to select this magus arcana. The magus must be at least 6th level before selecting this magus arcana.

Rapid Spell Sacrifice (Ex): Whenever a magus with this magus arcana sacrifice a prepared spell slot to gain an additional number or arcane pool points, he may use a swift action instead of the a standard action to gain an additional number or arcane pool points equal to half the level of sacrificed spell slot. The duration of this additional points is not changed. The magus must be at least 8th level before selecting this arcana.

Quick Magus Metamagic (Su): A magus with this magus arcana can apply the Quick Spell feat by the use of the magus metamagic ability, as if this activation of this ability use a free action instead of a swift action. The magus must have the magus metamagic and the Quick Spell feat to select this magus arcana. The magus must be at least 14th level before selecting this magus arcana.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I really like your full round action spellstrike. It takes out the cast this round and attack next round fumbling that it was having previously.

I'm not sure how it would scale up with more attacks at higher level, though.


The Quick Spellstrike give to the magus the option to move and deliver the spell trough the weapon, or to make a full-attack and use Spell Combat.


Magus Remake. Have you seen this?


Kibeth wrote:
Magus Remake. Have you seen this?

I had not seen, but is very similar. However, I do not like the idea of putting Intelligence in the AC and damage, and also think there are too many points of arcane pool.

But the levels where the class get the abilities are interesting, I'll think about it. My only concern is to not allow "dead/empty levels"


Bruno Mares wrote:
Kibeth wrote:
Magus Remake. Have you seen this?

I had not seen, but is very similar. However, I do not like the idea of putting Intelligence in the AC and damage, and also think there are too many points of arcane pool.

But the levels where the class get the abilities are interesting, I'll think about it. My only concern is to not allow "dead/empty levels"

Run the numbers on the arcane pool at various levels in various combat encounters. I think you'll find that it's appropriate. Also, there aren't any dead/empty levels. Int to damage gets rid of some MAD issues, and the int to ac instead of wearing armor is a personal flavor thing.


+1, this does seem better. Spellstrike would be a lot more usable and magus would have enough slots to do what it should do every round


I had just suggested this (quoted below) in a different thread:

Drawmij's_Heir wrote:

I have read through most of this thread and didn't see it anywhere, but has anyone considered having the Magus deal extra melee damage like a Rogue's sneak attack (only arcane energy or something)?

Alternatively he could deliver touch spells through his melee weapon as well.

Something like this might put him back on the front-line, and then you could retool his spell-list to a more utility/touch-attack/thing. Ranged spell attacks might be limited in this option as his "sneak-attack" damage could be used on artillery to some affect as well. He could have stuff like grease, and magic missile too, but it could be set up more as a melee spell-striker (slash arcane archer), with a sweet compliment of utilitarian extras (find traps, arcane lock, etc.)...

His Magus Arcana could be used to alter this baseline, or add focus to either his spell-casting side, or his melee side (player's choice).

-

I suggest this after a couple sessions with a Magus in the group, and noticing that integrating his spellcasting and melee was just a touch clumsy, and he kind of seems like he lacks the ability to be outstanding at either of his thangz'.

The "sneak attack" option seems to me less clumsy as he doesn't really have to ever worry about that cast defensively roll (unless he wanted to cast an actual spell in melee), and it sidesteps the fact that the current Magus basically can take an attack (standard action), and use his off-hand attack to cast a spell (usually another, standard action), which seems to violate some fundamental design philosophy to me, (I know this is a full-round action for the Magus, but take into consideration how this will interact with feats like two-weapon fighting, and similar advancements - it's just so precariously balanced that it seems open for abuse).

Anyhoo - just some brainstorming alternatives. Feel free to critique. After all that's what we're here for.

I feel this is a similar idea, but to be honest, I think I like your approach more than my own.

The thing is that being able to be effective in melee AND cast a spell in the same round doesn't work very well in Pathfinder / D&D. Never really has.

Because of this, I feel that in order for the Magus to actually work, he will need to have a spell-list that is used for maybe range / touch / and utility spells (which give him a useful caster side), but in melee he needs to work differently. His attacks need to somehow be augmented by magic. In this manner he can still effectively get in there, but can contribute something new. Either elemental or energy damages, tricky spell-effects that are triggered out of a pool of points like you suggest, or something to that effect.

It's like Bruce Lee said, "a punch in the mouth is a punch in the mouth." The ability to be good at melee works too differently from the ability to be a good combat caster. There has to be a simple way to marry these two ideas (at least thematically) that doesn't require a lot of clumsy exceptions to the standing rules.

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