Knowledge Pool - Dangerous!


Round 3: Revised Magus Discussion


First of all, super great job on the revisions so far - the magus definitely took a huge leap in terms of having its own unique playstyle and utility. Well done!

That being said, the Knowledge Pool is going to be a nightmare to balance. One of the major balancing factors between arcane casters and divine casters is whether or not they know their entire spell list.

But that's not the major concern here - the biggest problem is that this ability will get more and more powerful with every book that comes out. As soon as a new pack of arcane spells are released, the magus had just taken a huge leap in versatility instantly - no study required. 3.5 had a lot of open-ended abilities like this, which lead to a lot of the nightmarishly cheesy characters and rules fatigue of that edition.

It also doesn't make a lot of sense from a in-world/flavor standpoint - the magus just pulls these spells out of thin air. Where does he learn them from? The source of known spells is established quite well for all the other classes, and it's clear that intelligence-based casters gain new spells by learning and studying them. With this ability, the magus can just prepare spells that he's never even heard of before, as long as the player has a book somewhere with that spell in it. This might allow the magus player to dominate the rest of the party in terms of problem-solving. The magus spell list may be small now, but it's only going to keep growing, which may turn this ability from a neat extra to a game-dominating deus ex machina.

(An example of an open-ended ability like this is the Scout's Skirmish ability from Complete Adventurer. It allowed you to gain extra damage if you moved more than 10 feet in a round - the intention being that you gave up your extra attacks by moving, and got extra damage to compensate. Later books came out that allowed characters to move 10 feet and still full-attack, making the Scout's ability much, much more powerful - because the original designers didn't anticipate there'd be abilities later in the game that negated its primary limiting factor. Not to mention a lot of the ways people moved more than 5 feet were really stupid from a flavor standpoint - like having large size friends grapple them around, or even dropping off high spaces, since falling counts as "movement". A very Pathfinder-y solution was applied to a similar ability in the APG, which spelled out that you only get the benefit for a single attack.)

I'm not sure how I'd fix this issue, and my gut instinct is to remove the ability entirely. If the flavor behind the ability were better clarified, I'd probably feel better about it, but as of right now it appears to be "the magus can prepare spells he doesn't know and may not have ever heard of, just because".

Sorry if this post came across as harsh, but it raised a lot of the sort of red flags I get when looking through poorly-balanced 3.5 material, and this class is interesting and fun looking - I'd hate my DM to automatically veto this class because of real or imagined balance issues.


I totally agree.

See this thread here for an even more concerning issue in addition to what you already bring up:

http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/ultimateMagicPlaytest/round3Discussion/knowledgePoolToGetSpellsToWriteIn Spellbook


Wow. Someone agreed with me on the Internet. That never happens!

Also, I will say I do love the ability the magus has to "spontaneously" cast spells he does know. I am really excited to play the class in the future because of it - prepare myself a lot of fun blasty spells, and still be able to pull out a Knock, Feather Fall, or Identify (or another utility spell cribbed off the wizard spell list) when I really need it? Yes, pelase!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
'Rixx wrote:

First of all, super great job on the revisions so far - the magus definitely took a huge leap in terms of having its own unique playstyle and utility. Well done!

That being said, the Knowledge Pool is going to be a nightmare to balance. One of the major balancing factors between arcane casters and divine casters is whether or not they know their entire spell list.

But that's not the major concern here - the biggest problem is that this ability will get more and more powerful with every book that comes out. As soon as a new pack of arcane spells are released, the magus had just taken a huge leap in versatility instantly - no study required.

A new book of arcane spells isn't a new book of magus spells. Spells outside the magus list can only be obtained by arcana which leaves them out of the knowledge pool consideration. While I'm not speaking for 3rd party companies, I have confidence that Paizo won't be expanding the magus spell list more than it should be.

Again given that the Magus is not spontaneous caster, the utility of knowing every spell on the magus list is going to be somewhat limited especially given spellbook space and weight. So given it's limitations I don't see this becoming a game breaker as long as it's properly moderated.

The Exchange

Quote:
Again given that the Magus is not spontaneous caster...

As soon as they get Pool Spell at level 4 they are spontaneous casters (as well as prepared casters), and very good ones at that (with a whole spellbook 'known' to chose from, and no casting time penalties for adding in metamagic).

Liberty's Edge

It would probably be safer to allow them the ability to cast spells in their books (a la wizard bonded object spontaneity).

The Exchange

Quote:
It would probably be safer to allow them the ability to cast spells in their books (a la wizard bonded object spontaneity).

Which is what Pool Spell does, with a cost in Arcane Pool points equal to the spell level.


This reminds me of a similar problem with the 3.5 Artificer.

I'd also like to add: please do not solve this with a rider that simply says "but you can't use it to add to your spell list." This power is just over the top for the Magus, I think.

The Exchange

I'd have to agree about the 'controlling the spells' issue. Most DMs aren't going to make it too hard for a PC to locate a spell they want for their spellbook... unless they have a good reason to do so. Taking that option away from the DM can't be a good thing.

Liberty's Edge

ProfPotts wrote:
Quote:
It would probably be safer to allow them the ability to cast spells in their books (a la wizard bonded object spontaneity).
Which is what Pool Spell does, with a cost in Arcane Pool points equal to the spell level.

*looks it up* Right. I'm thinking of Greater Pool Spell.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

I am curious as to how often this ability will actually see use in play. We are talking about a fair number of the Magus's rather limited pool of points, just for the ability to use existing spell slots on spells the magus did not decide to pick up. Especially considering the other powers and abilities that draw upon the same pool.

Anyone got any actual play experience with these?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Dark Archive

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I am curious as to how often this ability will actually see use in play. We are talking about a fair number of the Magus's rather limited pool of points, just for the ability to use existing spell slots on spells the magus did not decide to pick up. Especially considering the other powers and abilities that draw upon the same pool.

Anyone got any actual play experience with these?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

The more I think about it, this will not be used a lot. But when used, it'll be because that spell is needed, and there are no other ways to obtain it.

Most of the time, a magus will pick the spells he wants to know. So there is no use for this. But once in a while, the party will get information they can use to prepare for an encounter. Then this will be useful.

However, I still think this ability is overall kinda weak because the spell list for the magus is very small. For myself, I would get all the utility spells, maybe 1 touch damage spell (probably Vampiric Touch or Shocking Grasp). I can't imagine really needing the correct damage dealing spell.

I guess this ability should be reworked to prevent abuse, but I don't think there's that much to be abused by, other than adding more spells for the wizard for their shared spells.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I am curious as to how often this ability will actually see use in play. We are talking about a fair number of the Magus's rather limited pool of points, just for the ability to use existing spell slots on spells the magus did not decide to pick up. Especially considering the other powers and abilities that draw upon the same pool.

Anyone got any actual play experience with these?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Given that picking up a spell is only 1 point and the interaction with Improved Pool Spell at 11th level, the point cost is not that great. An 11th level magus can pickup a spell and cast with pool spell it for 3 points out of 8 (on average). At 16th level, it is 4 points for a 6th level spell (with a possible 13 points). Outside of the weapon enhancments, only a few Magus Arcana use the arcane pool.

It may not see a lot of use and I am not 100% sure the Knowledge Pool is a problem (though I am not in favor of the ability to scribe the spell). Still, it might be worth looking at the possibility of a Magus grabing a spell and going nova with it while still mantaining his preped spells (or just going nova with a prepared spell using Improved Pool Spell).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

I am curious as to how often this ability will actually see use in play. We are talking about a fair number of the Magus's rather limited pool of points, just for the ability to use existing spell slots on spells the magus did not decide to pick up. Especially considering the other powers and abilities that draw upon the same pool.

Anyone got any actual play experience with these?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

In the playtest I ran last night, spell pool was used once and knowledge pool wasn't used at all. The player seemed to have a clear idea of what kind of spells she wanted to have, and they were already in her spell book.


Well, my primary problem with this ability is that it defies the logistics of the world as it exists and has absolutely nothing supporting it from a flavor standpoint. Where do these spells come from? Why can the magus prepare spells he doesn't know and may never have even heard of? WHY? WHHYYY!?

The ability's open-ended nature just exacerbates that. And like I said, this ability isn't terribly useful now, but it will be as more content is released for the magus. I fear that a few years down the line, upon hearing that he's going to a crypt, the magus player will plop down his core rulebook, advanced player's guide, Ultimate Magic, a couple Pathfinder campaign setting books, and spend 45 minutes scanning to prepare every undead-combating spell his character doesn't know.

I don't mind the magus poring over tomes to get spells, but players poring over tomes to get spells so their character doesn't have to is a bit disruptive.

And if such a controversial ability isn't even terribly useful, why even have it there?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
'Rixx wrote:

Well, my primary problem with this ability is that it defies the logistics of the world as it exists and has absolutely nothing supporting it from a flavor standpoint. Where do these spells come from? Why can the magus prepare spells he doesn't know and may never have even heard of? WHY? WHHYYY!?

The ability's open-ended nature just exacerbates that. And like I said, this ability isn't terribly useful now, but it will be as more content is released for the magus. I fear that a few years down the line, upon hearing that he's going to a crypt, the magus player will plop down his core rulebook, advanced player's guide, Ultimate Magic, a couple Pathfinder campaign setting books, and spend 45 minutes scanning to prepare every undead-combating spell his character doesn't know.

I don't mind the magus poring over tomes to get spells, but players poring over tomes to get spells so their character doesn't have to is a bit disruptive.

How does it defy logistics of the world? How does a sorceror get to know his spells? He certainly doesn't study them. He doesnt have to have heard of the spells he learns, or seen them in action. But he has a natural capacity to know any spell a wizard could write down in his book. Its natural talent. The magus' ability is like a short term version of that talent.

If you are worried about future content causing mayhem with your game, then limit it. Its your game, if you dont want players spending 45 minutes looking through 10 books to find a spell, dont let them. Lay down ground rules if things get messy. There is no reason to limit or eliminate what could be an interesting ability because of that MIGHT happen in the future.


Kolokotroni wrote:


How does it defy logistics of the world? How does a sorceror get to know his spells? He certainly doesn't study them. He doesnt have to have heard of the spells he learns, or seen them in action. But he has a natural capacity to know any spell a wizard could write down in his book. Its natural talent.

You just answered your own question! Sorcerers get their spells without studying them because magic is a part of their nature. That's why they're CHA based and not INT based - they're not learning the spells, they're willing the spells into existence from their magical heritage. This is supported by the flavor of the class.

Nothing explains how a magus does this. They aren't said to have magical blood, it doesn't say they use some kind of ritual to divine the magics without studying them, it doesn't say that they have an intrinsic knowledge of all possible spells they could cast - it just says they can prepare spells they don't know, and doesn't bother explaining why or how.

Also, re: limiting content - I'm sometimes the DM in my group, but not always. And sometimes I have to play with the kind of people who will do that sort of thing, and will have no authority to tell them not to.


If a DM knows about the ability from the beginning, it really isn't that hard to control. Limiting what books can be used and/or how common spells from those sources are, and thus how likely it is that the magus would know about them, is easy enough to do as long as its laid down from the very start. Also, most abuse will require the magus to have both time and money, things that are largely under the DM's purview to control. It's really no different than what would have to be done if there was a crafting wizard in the party; common sense measures laid down in advance should have little problem containing 99% of the issues.


'Rixx wrote:

You just answered your own question! Sorcerers get their spells without studying them because magic is a part of their nature. That's why they're CHA based and not INT based - they're not learning the spells, they're willing the spells into existence from their magical heritage. This is supported by the flavor of the class.

Nothing explains how a magus does this. They aren't said to have magical blood, it doesn't say they use some kind of ritual to divine the magics without studying them, it doesn't say that they have an intrinsic knowledge of all possible spells they could cast - it just says they can prepare spells they don't know, and doesn't bother explaining why or how.

+1 QFT

At LEAST add a Knowledge Arcana or Spellcraft check to the ability.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
'Rixx wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:


How does it defy logistics of the world? How does a sorceror get to know his spells? He certainly doesn't study them. He doesnt have to have heard of the spells he learns, or seen them in action. But he has a natural capacity to know any spell a wizard could write down in his book. Its natural talent.

You just answered your own question! Sorcerers get their spells without studying them because magic is a part of their nature. That's why they're CHA based and not INT based - they're not learning the spells, they're willing the spells into existence from their magical heritage. This is supported by the flavor of the class.

Nothing explains how a magus does this. They aren't said to have magical blood, it doesn't say they use some kind of ritual to divine the magics without studying them, it doesn't say that they have an intrinsic knowledge of all possible spells they could cast - it just says they can prepare spells they don't know, and doesn't bother explaining why or how.

So then the flavor is incomplete, that doesnt mean the idea cant fit in the game world. This is after all a playtest document and not the final one. I would imagine the flavor could very easily get an overhaul before the final release. It's the mechanics we are concerned with in a playtest, not the flavor text.

Quote:

Also, re: limiting content - I'm sometimes the DM in my group, but not always. And sometimes I have to play with the kind of people who will do that sort of thing, and will have no authority to tell them not to.

You may not have ultimate authority, but you could have a reasonable conversation as a group if an when a problem arises(or as soon as you decide to use the magus) and come to a conclusion together. When I said 'your game' i meant you and your group. There are plenty of ways to help manage the potential problem without requiring the iron fist of a dm.


Ultimately to me, it comes down the same issues many groups have with high level wizards. Group consensus on things like allowed books, and unbroken way of using in game time and money already come up; this really isn't any harder to deal with than the wizard with all the crafting feats. Requiring a spellcraft or knowledge (arcana) is certainly reasonable to use the knowledge pool. Also, I would tend to say that the magus can only hold the knowledge for one round, just long enough to cast it. Otherwise, the crafting and copying rules already provide ways to handle most every other issue that could come up; time and money are not automatically going to be given to the magus.


One thing I've really liked about all the new classes Paizo has put out is that they're very flavor-focused in concept (as in they start with a fantasy concept and extrapolate the mechanics from there, rather than the other way around), rather than mechanics-focused (which was the name of the game in later 3.5 books), and I'd hate to see that change for the magus.

That being said, I may be persuaded to accept this ability if some flavor reason explaining it is officially added, but I haven't thought of one that isn't at least a little bit silly. (One involves time travel.)


It also reminds me of the ol' Factotum's capstone ability of "I can do anything any past and future class could or will be able to do, ever."


from the way i understand it, when you prepare your spells for the day, your also channeling into your body your arcane points, what i perceive to be raw magical energy. then, just like a sorcerer, when you use knowledge arcana, you use your points to cast a spell using a desired effect (like a sorcerer does when learning his spells) rather than casting the spell using some knowledge about it before hand.

for example, your magus has lightning bolt, but in this case in a fight, the line effect wont help you. you feel that if you were able to channel your arcane points and get the spell to "bounce" from target to target, you will get more out of the spell then throwing down the line. thus you spend the raw energy (arcane points) and TA DA! Chain Lightning.


It kind of has the flavor of a limited level wish spell, ok 1st level wish can duplicate the affects of any other 1st level spell...........

Is it going to break the game?

What if doing this was a full round action to shape the desired spell which can not be subject to meta-magic?

it really seems like a minor ability........ ;)

The Exchange

I think there's some confusion going on between Pool Spell (which allows you to spend Arcane Pool points of equivalent spell level to spontaneously cast any spell you know), and Knowledge Pool (which allows you to spend an Arcane Pool point while you're preparing spells in order to prepare a spell you don't know, don't have written in your book, and may never even have heard of, but which would be ever-so-useful for the upcoming adventure...).

Personally, I've no problem with Pool Spell (apart from the name...) - since you gain 1 point to your Arcane Pool per two levels, and Pool Spells take a level-equivalent amount of points to cast, your spontaneous casting 'power level' is increasing at the same rate as that of a Wizard with a Bonded Object (who's castable spell level increases by 1 every two levels), although Pool Spell allows a lot more versatility than the Bonded Object 1 per day bonus spell (which is fine - the Magus can, after all, have nice things!). Improved Pool Spell makes you a lot better than a Wizard when it comes to spontaneous casting power, but then again, that's not the Wizard's thing... it is the Magus's semi-thing...

Knowledge Pool comes somewhere between pointless and dangerous. If the Magus spell list is so restricted, then what's the point? Besides, they can scribe new spells into their books just like Wizards can, whenever they can find 'em and pay the trival material resources costs. That's always been one of the big advantages of playing a Wizard over playing a spontaneous caster - greater possible selection of spells. The main time the Knowledge Pool is going to see use (IMHO) is when the DM has restricted access to a certain spell, and the player wants a work-around. Even if it turns out you can't use such a spell to add it to your spellbook without the hassle of research, it still lacks a solid fluff explaination, and acts as a demotivator for the player - why bother with all that research stuff? Why get excited about the possibility of finding that spell you've been after? Why not flip the bird to the local spellcaster's guild... who needs 'em when you've got Google-spell in your head?

Grand Lodge

Put me down also as not liking the unexplained and unprecedented access to (at 19th level) any arcane spell that anyone discovers, anywhere, possibly but not explicitly restricted to 6th level wizard. If it's a sort of limited wish, then call the ability Limited Wish. That wouldn't be out of line for its level.

I'd prefer Knowledge Pool to allow the magus to cast any magus spell spontaneously rather than to prepare it, for the reason mentioned in the other thread. It's a small and generic enough spell list (if future designers remain sensible about it) for this to make sense.


Starglim wrote:
Put me down also as not liking the unexplained and unprecedented access to (at 19th level) any arcane spell that anyone discovers, anywhere, possibly but not explicitly restricted to 6th level wizard. If it's a sort of limited wish, then call the ability Limited Wish. That wouldn't be out of line for its level.

The Wizard gets to add any arcane spell that anyone discovers, anywhere to his spell book, for free, twice per level.

Grand Lodge

Quantum Steve wrote:
Starglim wrote:
Put me down also as not liking the unexplained and unprecedented access to (at 19th level) any arcane spell that anyone discovers, anywhere, possibly but not explicitly restricted to 6th level wizard. If it's a sort of limited wish, then call the ability Limited Wish. That wouldn't be out of line for its level.
The Wizard gets to add any arcane spell that anyone discovers, anywhere to his spell book, for free, twice per level.

Two spells, once per level, but I take your point. A great many activities have been rolled into levelling up in 3e that would have taken much time, trouble and GM adjudication in the past.


Implicitly, levels are gained after periods of training and study - you don't just "Ding!" and go up a level. The spells you gain from going up a level are spells you have researched and discovered on your path to becoming a better wizard.


'Rixx wrote:
Implicitly, levels are gained after periods of training and study - you don't just "Ding!" and go up a level. The spells you gain from going up a level are spells you have researched and discovered on your path to becoming a better wizard.

Right, but the objection here is about really obscure spells that the PCs shouldn't be able to learn automatically.

By RAW, these obscure spells are automatically available to the wizard PC when he levels. If you allow the wizard PC to take them automatically in this way, then they're actually quite accessible and not "obscure" at all.
And if you already have a rule in place to prevent learning them automatically due to their "obscurity", then the same rule can apply to Greater Spell Pool without any additional effort.
In fact, it's as simple as saying, "These spells are not considered to be on the Wizard/Sorcerer Spell List; they are only available by custom research and in-game discovery."


My primary concern is that this ability allows the magus to prepare spells he doesn't know and does not explain how.


'Rixx wrote:
My primary concern is that this ability allows the magus to prepare spells he doesn't know and does not explain how.

To me, Knowledge Pool makes a great deal of sense, and here is how I view it.

The Magus is not only adept at the blending of blade and magic, but also of manipulating magical energy to construct spells very rapidly. That's why a Magus can use Pool Spell, they use that knowledge to craft spells on the fly, drawing upon their own wellspring of arcane energy.

When they use the Knowledge Pool ability, essentially the Magus sits down and says "I need a spell that does this, but I don't have that spell." So instead of preparing a spell from their book, they construct a spell that suits their needs. It's more taxing than preparing a spell from their book, but they know enough about constructing spells that they can do it.

In essence, it's a "research in a pinch" ability that complements their "cast in a pinch" ability. This explanation may not work for you, but it's how I see Knowledge Pool. Hopefully it helps.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It would normally cost the magus ~25,000gp to know every magus spell in the playtest by paying viewing AND scribing fees.

With Knowledge Pool, they get that for free.

That's less than a powerful magical item.

Doesn't really break the game.

Though it can break immersion.

Kind of on the fence, but gonna say "feature" for now UNLESS I find that the magus spell list is significantly larger.

EDIT: It takes one hour to scribe a page right? Does your adventuring magus have a 427 hour vacation with which to scribe all those spells for free?


The Magus only saves the cost of viewing the spell. So if it costs ~25,000 to view and scribe every Magus Spell, a Maugs would still have to pay 16,000-17,000 to scribe even if he abused Knowledge Pool.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RavingDork wrote:
With Knowledge Pool, they get that for free.

While I'm fair certain your 25,000+ figure was ballparked somewhat fierce, you're also ignoring the fact that it still costs 100 gp per page to scribe a spell into a spellbook.

And there's no way to avoid that cost (unless you've got a Blessed Book, which is at least a 12,500 gp investment anyway, meaning you've probably paid half the cost of scribing the spells.)

So to say that Knowledge pool lets you scribe scrolls for free is just plain foolishness. It really shouldn't be saving you much money at all.


Archmage_Atrus wrote:
RavingDork wrote:
With Knowledge Pool, they get that for free.
While I'm fair certain your 25,000+ figure was ballparked somewhat fierce, you're also ignoring the fact that it still costs 100 gp per page to scribe a spell into a spellbook.

No, he isn't, because there is no such cost. The cost to scribe a spell into a spellbook is (spell level^2)*10 gold (min 5 gold). Since Magi cap out at 6th level spells, the formula thus caps out at 360 gold per spell, significantly less than the 600 gold the 3.5 method requires.

Also, as far as I'm aware, Knowledge Pool doesn't require scribing anything, so I'm not sure what your point is intended to be.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Archmage_Atrus wrote:
RavingDork wrote:
With Knowledge Pool, they get that for free.

While I'm fair certain your 25,000+ figure was ballparked somewhat fierce, you're also ignoring the fact that it still costs 100 gp per page to scribe a spell into a spellbook.

And there's no way to avoid that cost (unless you've got a Blessed Book, which is at least a 12,500 gp investment anyway, meaning you've probably paid half the cost of scribing the spells.)

So to say that Knowledge pool lets you scribe scrolls for free is just plain foolishness. It really shouldn't be saving you much money at all.

Actually, I did the math and can give you exact numbers. No ballparking here.

I rounded as a matter of keeping things "simple."

I admit I screwed up by saying it's "free" when the magus would still have to pay scribing costs. I attribute it to posting late at night instead of sleeping.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zurai wrote:
Also, as far as I'm aware, Knowledge Pool doesn't require scribing anything, so I'm not sure what your point is intended to be.

My point is that Knowledge Pool isn't as dangerous as people are making it out to be. Useful? Yes. But it has its own built in cost, and if you're attempting the "scribe the spell into your book" method of getting past its initial cost, you're still running up against the material cost of scribing the spell.

So I'm agreeing with RavenDork's logic - just not his mathematics (which he himself agrees with.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
'Rixx wrote:
Nothing explains how a magus does this. They aren't said to have magical blood, it doesn't say they use some kind of ritual to divine the magics without studying them, it doesn't say that they have an intrinsic knowledge of all possible spells they could cast - it just says they can prepare spells they don't know, and doesn't bother explaining why or how.

The magus has a practised a sort "engineer as opposed to phycicist" understanding of how spells work. What is unique to them is that they can improvise known spell formulas by drawing upon arcane energy to fill in the gaps of thier magical knowledge. Think of it as similar to the flavor text of the warmage. Magi are trained in a very broad sense more so than wizards but thier implicit deep spell knowledge is far less. They can improvise these spells, but they can't learn them for normal study and prepararation unless those formulae are part of the magus core spell list, and they need feat investment, time, and resources to pull that off.


I think knowledge pool should be alright. Whenever future products add spells to the Magus list, the existence of knowledge pool is a concern that should naturally be taken into account.

What worries me a little is the greater spell pool. This has the potential to give them access to all spells from future content that are on a list not their own. If the ability remains as is, then publishers have to keep an eye on two classes as opposed to one when designing new wizard spells.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
martinaj wrote:

I think knowledge pool should be alright. Whenever future products add spells to the Magus list, the existence of knowledge pool is a concern that should naturally be taken into account.

What worries me a little is the greater spell pool. This has the potential to give them access to all spells from future content that are on a list not their own. If the ability remains as is, then publishers have to keep an eye on two classes as opposed to one when designing new wizard spells.

Considering it's a level 19 ability, and that I see no evidence they could scribe said wizard spells into their spellbook, and they have to expend their arcane pool points to use it, I don't think the greater spell pool will be any problem at all.


I don't like the idea of Knowledge Pool making spell research obsolete. Further, it's not clear why they would get this and wizards wouldn't.


RJGrady wrote:
I don't like the idea of Knowledge Pool making spell research obsolete. Further, it's not clear why they would get this and wizards wouldn't.

Yeah, this is my problem with it as well. I love the rest of the new magus. I even think spell pool is pretty awesome, and provides a good deal of utility to the magus (although its even better than a wizard's arcane bond since it could be spit between several spells if you have enough points.

Knowledge pool though, bothers me because it takes away the need to do spell research, or even to want a spell that you don't have, and anticipate trying to find said spell. Even if yoou aren't allowed to copy these spells into your spellbook, having a kind of access to them devalues the spellbook as a part of the magus's fluff.

The other part that bothers me is the comparison to the wizard. I do not buy the engineer vs physicist argument. A wizard in a party is there cast arcane magic. He is "in the field" doing "actual testing", not just holed up in a tower writing "theories" of how "it might work". A wizard is BOTH engineer AND physicist.

And then there is his buddy the magus, who has a more limited spell list, but also knows how fighting and how the two interweave. He saves some of his arcane energies every day in reserve and can use them with somewhat more versatility since you never know how a fight is going to go.

But at a certain level he starts to be able to cast all the spells on his list without them being in his spellbook, and its only cost him the same energy as it takes to ensorcel his weapon for a dangerous fight. The fact that it lets a magus be more versatile in the act of preparing spells than either a wizard or sorcerer, regardless of the spell list, upsets my feeling of how these classes compare and interact. Both sorcerers and wizards have established the trade between preparation and versatility. Spell pool lets a magus operate like a sorcerer rather than wizard at a cost, and that's what makes that feel right, comparatively. To me Knowledge Pool doesn't fit with the magus, it fits more as a signature power of another class that mixed arcane and divine spells (a 20 level mystic theurge maybe?).

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