Ascetic Magus - An Archtype


Homebrew and House Rules


Idea came up in another thread. PEACH, please.

Ascetic Monk
There are monestaries that train monks to take advantage of arcane secrets as they train their bodies for martial combat. These monks combine spell power with their improved physique to great effect. They shun the use of any manufactured weapon or armor, using onthier bodies and spells in combat. Where brothers of other orders may invest in enlightenment, these monks focus on battle and offence.
Weapon Proficiency: An ascetic magus is proficient with unarmed strikes only. He gains the unarmed strikes feat, and does 1d6 base damage with his unarmed strikes.
This increases at 4th level to 1d8, and increases by one step every 4 levels thereafter (8th, 12th, 16th, 20th.) Small ascetic magi start with 1d4 and large with 1d8. This replaces a magus' normal weapon proficiencies.
Ascetic Armor: An ascetic magus shuns anything that limits his mobility or extra protections for his natural grace. He gains an Armor class bonus to his AC equal to his Int (or Wis if you want to keep it a wis caster...which is wierd for arcane) bonus as an insight bonus to his armor class. He loses this bonus if he wears any armor or is medium encumbered, or in any other instance in which he loses his dex bonus to AC.
At 7th level his skin becomes hardened from countless exercises. He gains a +2 natural armor bonus to his armor class, and this increases to +4 at 13th level.
This replaces the normal armor prociciencies, medium armor and heavy armor.
Ki Pool Same as monk, replaces spell recall.
Bonus feats Must choose from item creation, metamagic or monk feats (listed under the monk class). Replaces normal Bonus feats.
Arcane repairation Works as wholeness of body as a monk, except the magus may use either a ki point or an arcane pool point to heal his level in hit points. Replaces Fighter Training.


Ohgod *two* pools to keep track of?


Yeah...a whole 6 or 8 in each!!


How about this then?

Arcana: As normal, but the ascetic magus also adds the following:
Arcane Fleetness: As a swift action, the Magus may spend 1 point to increase his speed by 20 feet for as many rounds as his Intelligence modifier.

Arcane Leap: As a swift action, the Magus may spend 1 point from his arcane pool to add his level to all Acrobatics checks made to jump, both for vertical jumps and horizontal jumps. In addition, he always counts as having a running start when making jump checks using
Acrobatics. This lasts for his intelligence modifier in rounds.

And then:
Martial Focus(Su): The ascetic magus uses his arcane power to go into a state of martial focus, boosting his offense at the cost of his defense. As a swift action, the magus may expend 2 points from his arcane pool to gain a +2 competance bonus to STR and DEX and +1 to Will saves vs. enchantment spells, but is -2 to AC for a number of rounds equal to half his magus level. At 10th level this bonus increases to +4 to STR and DEX, and at 16 to +6 to STR and DEX. This ability counts as rage for the purposes of the Extra rage feat.
This replaces spell recall.


A raging monk magus . . . hmm, that's new


Not raging at all, actually. but I'm probably gonna scrap it anyway. It's too wonky. They gain +2 to dex but are -2 to Ac, next level of it cancels itself out pretty much. Don't have to replace spell recall I guess...

Was trying to go for a kind of 'avatar state' like combat zen form. Closest mechanic I could think of to emulate it was rage from the barb.


Combat Zen huh? Makes me think of an Avatar-type character, kinda.

hmmm . . .

How about 1/2 level + int to attack, damage, and temporary HP. Must make a will save every round equal to 10 + level + number of rounds you've been in combat or you lose control and start attacking everything in sight? You also can apply one metamagic feat you have for free to any spell you cast, but when you leave the zen state your arcane pool is halved and you are fatigued for a number of minutes = round spent in zen form?

Sounds kind of kool now that i think about it. might implement it in a game sometime.

P.S. Ie when you leave the state subtract half your arcane pool total points form the arcane pool. If you cannot you are instead exhausted for 10 minutes per round spent in "Zen-Avatar State"


Wow int + half level is a bit much, but a better framework over all. I shall ponder this a post a counter point. Good thinking :P


The thing to remember is such abilities are made to be the ultimate nova, but with the ultimate consequences if you lose control or push you luck. This is the pinnacle of high-risk high-reward type gameplay, something i think fits the magus nicely. sure you'll be doing massive damage, but you can only keep it up for so long before losing yourself.

BTW insert "you lose control for 1D6 rounds, afterwards you collapse for a number of minutes equal to rounds spent in Zen-Avatar State (A successful Fort save reduces this to Fatigued instead)"

I'll work on it and post what i got in a few minutes or so.


Writer wrote:
I'll work on it and post what i got in a few minutes or so.

After some work and some deep thought, I've decided to wait and quietly observe the feedback such a post generates before posting a revised version. The combined knowledge of the collective will help make the adjustments needed to bring such an ability into line, and hopefully further aid the OP in the creation of his homebrew archaetype.


Yes, but this is not meant to be the pinnacle ability of this archetype. That should still be spell combat, so I didn't want this to overpower that. This is only meant to be an offensive replacement for spell recall, an offensive to replace utility.


Kryzbyn wrote:
Yes, but this is not meant to be the pinnacle ability of this archetype. That should still be spell combat, so I didn't want this to overpower that. This is only meant to be an offensive replacement for spell recall, an offensive to replace utility.

lol fair enough, tell me that next time.


LOL not to wave you off. I still like the idea, just not the scope.


It's fine. I might use this idea should I DM sometime; should provide for some very interesting roleplay opportunities.


Why should an offensive ability replace a utility one?


Why not, if it fits the theme?

Also, while I'm not a fan of adding more things to track, the sorcerer has NINE pools to track.

Kryzbyn, this is looking good. Wis may seem pretty weird, but it fits the monk theme and there's already precedent for a wis-based sorcerer in ultimate magic, because it fits the holy theme of the empyreal sorcerer. I'm not saying it's better, but it's certainly worth considering.


"Why not" is not a valid answer. Part of the design process is being able to defend your reasoning.

I'm fairly certain this violates one of the guidelines for well-designed archetypes as laid out for the RPGSS so I'm curious.


Well, the theme of the class is they are less enlightenment seeking than normal monks/ascetics, so to portray that I thought they should give up spell recall and replace it with something more offensive in nature, but no less handy. Something that's a good trade, with out going overboard.


Mortuum, I'm not a fan of the Wis change. If the idea is to make them a little more MAD like a monk, then I'm a little more ok with it, but to simply switch the prime stat for all of their abilities from one to another doesn't sit well. This isn't a divine class so I'm even more hesitant. If the monk could also cast spells, I'd go with it, but as it stands, they are still an arcane caster that needs to study from a book, so I don't see the need to change it to WIS.


Cheapy what's the RPGSS? You pullin' my leg?


RPG Superstar...lemme find the archetype advice thread...


Avatism (Su): The ascetic magus tradition teaches how to burn arcane energy to fuel a focused fighting state they refer to as Avatism. For a number of round per day equal to half their class level , they can burn their arcane pool to fuel a boost to their combat ability. They gain a +2 competance bonus to STR and CON, and saves v.s. mind affecting spells, but take a -2 penalty to AC. At 10th this ability bonus increases to +4, and 16th increases to +6.
They pay 1 point from their arcane pool for every round spent in avatism, and when it ends gain the fatigued condition as many rounds as they spent in avatism. While in avatism, the ascetic magus may not use any abilities that require arcane pool points, but they still may use other spell casting abilities.
At 20th level they are no longer fatigued after a use of avatism.
This ability replaces spell recall.


One part of the advice.

I do recall a specific post by SKR about trading utility for offensive, but the above one doesn't say that explicitly. It teeters into #6 though, and possibly #2.

This is the post I was thinking of though, I think.

Reading all of the RPG SS 2011 archetype entries and the comments by judges is very enlightening :)

As I mentioned in the last thread, I don't mean to be stand-offish, but rather would like to help and/or challenge your abilities.


Hmmm would replacing the CON bonus with a boost to DC's or caster level be more appropriate?


I know Cheapy, and it is appreciated.


Ok read the threads.
The thing with spell recall, is it could be an offensive ability or utility or defense. It allows them another use of a spell spent.

Ultimate Magic wrote:


Spell Recall (Su): At 4th level, the magus learns to use
his arcane pool to recall spells he has already cast. With
a swift action he can recall any single magus spell that
he has already prepared and cast that day by expending a
number of points from his arcane pool equal to the spell’s
level (minimum 1). The spell is prepared again, just as if it
had not been cast.

This could be an offensive spell, a defensive spell or a utility spell, Magi learn all of these. And it can be done as many times per day as he has arcane points for spell levels.

The ability I'm replacing this with instead gives him all offense.
It burns arcane points per round, instead of points per level of the spell recalled, and can be done as many rounds per day as he has arcane points. He is also restricted now in his use of arcane points for other class abilities, so it's replacing spell recall, and arcana while it's active.

So, now the question is, is this a good trade? Does it reflect the flavor being pursued?


Basically you're burning arcane points to enter a rage. Most magi would rather just spell-strike with an intensified shocking grasp, leaving arcane points for a scaling enhancement bonus to weapons that costs 1 arcane point, last an entire encounter, and applies no penalties afterward.

Personally, if i wanted to rage i'd play a barbarian. If i wanted to rage while spellcasting I'd play a cleric or oracle. This make more sense?

Is it a good trade-off? No. Magi can get the same attack and damage from their enhance weapon ability for ten rounds whilst only losing a single arcane point.

Does it reflect the flavor being pursued? Hmmm, i was wrong about the flavour being pursued before. Tbh I'll leave this one for others to answer.


Spellstrike doesn't require any arcane points to use, nor does spell combat. Avatism doesn't restrict spell casting for the magus in any way. It just boosts their to hit and damage and hit points for a limited duration.
It's meant to be an 'oh sh*t' button, a combat choice. Not a 'use every combat' ability.


I figured as much, which was what i was thinking when i came up with the Zen-Avatar State idea. Heavy bonuses for heavy nova, but very much a 'make you or break you' ability completely dependant on timing. It's the last resort in any fight.

Kryzbyn wrote:

The ability I'm replacing this with instead gives him all offense.

It burns arcane points per round, instead of points per level of the spell recalled, and can be done as many rounds per day as he has arcane points. He is also restricted now in his use of arcane points for other class abilities, so it's replacing spell recall, and arcana while it's active.

Emphasis Mine. Rage isn't treated as an 'oh sh*t' button. it's a class feature. And it's the fact that you cannot use any arcana while in avatarism that makes it unappealing.

Why get a +2 bonus to attack and damage for x rounds for x arcana spent when i can instead enhance my weapon for 1 arcane, get the same +2 bonuses, and it lasts for ten rounds. What's more i don't suffer a penalty to AC. Sure i dont get the will save bonus but hey, my will save is already good. This is the point im trying to get at here; the class has another ability that does most of what avatarism whilst still being easier on the recources and without any other drawbacks. So, why use it?


The scenario I envision would be somewhere along the lines of...you're already in the middle of combat and the fighter has gone down, the enemies you're fighting are starting to overwhelm you. You've already activated your bonuses to hit, but something else is needed, so you reach deep and avatism. It gives you a needed bonus to hit and damage in addition to anything you may have already spent points on, and extra hit points to take it to the enemy.
It may not be much at 4th level, but later when its a +6 bonus it will matter, especially if the ability is needed.

I suppose I could still do Avatism, but make it emulate a paladin's smite? Or a cavalier's challenge? They pick one guy and go off on them?


But you also say you cannot use your arcana while it's active. Which means your enhancement bonuses on your weapon goes away and you're quickly running out of arcana points to get it back up.

Most normal Magi would simply cast monsterous physique on themselves when stuff hits the fan. This will net them not only an increase in Str and Con, but also a slew of AC, natural attacks, and abilities they can use without losing any arcana. Granted they don't get this spell until later, but when they do get it it really begins to open options.


Ahh, very true. Ok scrap the rage mechanic.

Back to the drawing board.

EDIT: I did not originaly intend for it to cancel in use arcana for points already spent, you just couldnt spend any once the avatism started. But the monstrous physique spell was a great point, and i've played a magus so I should have remembered that they do get decent+ buff spells.


You kniw, this character concept makes me think of the ex-grey warden in Dragon Age 2 a bit . . . Anders was it? I dunno, but he hade a bit of an avatar-like mechanic to him. Nothing like Aang and the Avatar state, but seems closer to what you are looking for then that.


Never played any of the dragon age games


Cheapy wrote:
"Why not" is not a valid answer.

Sorry, but I think it is.

I acknowledge that challenging design decisions is important and helpful, but unless the challenge itself can be defended, it's worthless at best.
You gave no reason why swapping utility for offence was a problem, so I was innocently curious to know why, in your opinion, it might be a bad idea.
There's no need to lay down the law, dismiss people's questions, or try to educate them about design without answering. It's rude.


How about replacing Spell Recall with Evasion?


Ok here goes...

Ascetic Monk
There are monestaries that train monks to take advantage of arcane secrets as they train their bodies for martial combat. These monks combine spell power with their improved physique to great effect. They shun the use of any manufactured weapon or armor, using onthier bodies and spells in combat. Where brothers of other orders may invest in enlightenment, these monks focus on battle and offence.
Weapon Proficiency: An ascetic magus is proficient with unarmed strikes only. He gains the unarmed strikes feat, and does 1d6 base damage with his unarmed strikes.
This increases at 4th level to 1d8, and increases by one step every 4 levels thereafter (8th, 12th, 16th, 20th.) Small ascetic magi start with 1d4 and large with 1d8. This replaces a magus' normal weapon proficiencies.
Ascetic Armor: An ascetic magus shuns anything that limits his mobility or extra protections for his natural grace. He gains an Armor class bonus to his AC equal to his Int (or Wis if you want to keep it a wis caster...which is wierd for arcane) bonus as an insight bonus to his armor class. He loses this bonus if he wears any armor or is medium encumbered, or in any other instance in which he loses his dex bonus to AC.
At 7th level his skin becomes hardened from countless exercises. He gains a +2 natural armor bonus to his armor class, and this increases to +4 at 13th level.
This replaces the normal armor prociciencies, medium armor and heavy armor.
Evasion: Same as monk, replaces spell recall.
Bonus feats Must choose from item creation, metamagic or monk feats (listed under the monk class). Replaces normal Bonus feats.
Arcane repairation: Works as wholeness of body as a monk, except the magus may use either a ki point or an arcane pool point to heal his level in hit points. Replaces Fighter Training.

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