Spell Combat


Round 3: Revised Magus Discussion


Quote:

This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the offhand

weapon is a spell that is being cast.

That line seems problematically vague. What mechanics of 2WF apply here?

1/2 INT to Spell DC`s like 1/2 STR to damage? `Light Weapon´ Spells only?
Does 2 Weapon Rend trigger if the spell is an attack roll spell that hits?

Personally, I think there should be more specific penalties/effects on the Spell Combat ´off-hand` spell vs. a normally Cast spell. Assuming the Magus will ALWAYS be casting using Spell Combat is silly, there´s no reason they can´t be very effective while using Standard Actions to Cast. That goes for assumptions the Magus will NEED to Cast Defensively even if using Spell Combat. 1 Handed Weapons with Reach/Range DO exist, so using a Bladed Whip, Repeating Lt. XBow, etc, is an EASY method for Magus´ to not worry about provoking while using Spell Combat.

I LOVE the fact that Spell Combat itself no longer REQUIRES a Concentration Check for this reason - Because the system now allows player choices to determine whether or not Concentration checks are needed, judgements about how hard they should be don´t have to be based on the idea it is something REQUIRED, but instead that it´s something that is OPTIONAL.

Effects I would like to see for ´off hand´ Spell Combat spells:
* MINIMUM, there needs to be a -2 to attack rolls from any spells which require them (touch, ranged touch). Per the RAW this doesn´t seem to be the case, but clearly SHOULD be if this ability is to MENTION the words ´2WF´ in relation to it.
* I think there should be a penalty to Saving Throws, Concentration, and SR/ Caster Level dependant effects (e.g. Fireballs and Dispel resistance).

The non-attack penalties can be eliminated by Casting Defensively and taking the approprite penalty to attacks, but the current system just seems wonky when there are NO penalties to the ´off-hand´ spell but the Magus just keeps piling on bonuses to Concentration anyways, besides the ability to trade-off attack bonus for more Concentration bonuses. Sure, there are multiple-disrupting effect situations (and Readied Attacks) where uber Concentration is useful, but one quickly gets to the point where normal Casting Defensively is auto-pass, certainly with the Combat Casting Feat.

WHY NOT force the Magus to take a minor penalty to their attacks so their Spells have FULL FORCE DC´s, Caster Level, etc? The current system of ´attack bonus trading for Casting Defensively´ just isn´t going to be used at all once Maguses get to the point where don´t worry about the Casting Defensive DC. Making the attack bonus trade-off matter for more effects seems like a way to make this dynamic/mechanic generally relevant, and not just for the first few levels. Doing this let`s THE MAGUS PLAYER have complete control over deciding whether they want max attack output or max magic output... When they reach auto-pass stage with Concentration, they can stop worrying about that and get un-penalized attacks with possibly weaker spells, or have somewhat weaker attacks with full power spells.


I would remove Greater Spell Combat, it is another ability to remember that isn't going to be that useful.
The worst thing is that it makes the Concentration feat or the Concentrate Magus Arcana a bit worthless at high level. And you prolly want to have one of those at low level.
I would replace it with a brand new ability.


I agree, that´s an aspect I don´t like in general,
there is all these fiddly bonuses, which in many cases become irrelevant,
yet other variants which stack or replace them come into play at different levels.
It just feels like too much crap you´re obligated to track because it`s a class ability that technically may apply to anything, but you´re hardly interested in tracking it because it`s irrelevant so much of the time. Better to fewer abilities/variants which are ALWAYS relevant, and you always WANT to know that the ability just ticked up +1 with your last level.


Spell Combat seems oddly to me if used with non-touch attacks (e.g. Fireball) when compared to a Cleric.

Weird comparison maybe, but in our group our Cleric rarely gets to do anything because she is always healing people (including our Magus) so having a character who can melee attack the front row and Fireball the back row of bad guys seems very powerful when compared to another character who could really use the ability to heal someone and also attack in the same round without the need of a Metamagic Feat that causes Cure Light Wounds to be a 5th level spell.

I much prefer the idea of Spell Combat being a physical and magical strike on the person they are in face to face combat with, then at least they are more in line with two-weapon fighting (1 target per attack) rather than large numbers of targets.

Not saying Magus should always be limited to touch spells, but just during Spell Combat leaving options like Fireball as needing to take a turn off from Spell Combat.

Just my opinion.

Sovereign Court

when would you "not" throw a fireball and instead deliver a touch spell via your sword? am i missing something? is the "deliver whammo through sword" option advantageous in any way? (i.e. does it not allow a save or not require defensive casting or something?)

I agree with the last poster on that one... casting a spell as part of a full attack routine is powerful as is; perhaps mitigation measures vs. area effect spells or incentive for touch spells should be added?


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

when would you "not" throw a fireball and instead deliver a touch spell via your sword? am i missing something? is the "deliver whammo through sword" option advantageous in any way? (i.e. does it not allow a save or not require defensive casting or something?)

I agree with the last poster on that one... casting a spell as part of a full attack routine is powerful as is; perhaps mitigation measures vs. area effect spells or incentive for touch spells should be added?

The "mitigation measures" against area spells is the fact you are going to be right in the middle of it... You are also restricted on your weapon selection, which cuts off the better options.

As far as incentives for touch spells... They don't need any, but they get it anyway. Spellstrike is a lot more important than spell combat any time you can't full attack...and if you can you can still reap benefits from it, namely critting on a better threat range.

Sovereign Court

Well said. In a way Spellstrike is the magus' "Vital Strike," the move and deliver spell + attack in one hit...

Of course, for a Ftr11/Magus3 with the Qadira fighter subclass Spellstrike is almost moot as the Qadira fighting style allows for the full attack weapon routine to be delivered along the path of a move.

So with 3 iterative attacks (+11/+6/+1), the Qadira fighting style requires you to drop the highest (+11), but you can move 10 feet, chop at +6, move 15 feet, chop at +1, then move 5 feet and cast a spell...

niiiiiiice, verrry niiiiiiiiiiiice! :)

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