How do you feel about the Magus?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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deuxhero wrote:

Not really. The Paladin is good at fighting undead (actually, unless he takes an archetype, he isn't better at fighting undead than any evil foe), but he is still of little use to the party outside of fighting (like they need to deal with the traps in this ancient tomb full of undead, or get that key hanging far above them)

And the "spell access is under GM control" mean either

a:The GM is giving random, rather than tailored, treasure and you can't sell it to buy something useful
b: Ignoring the WBL rules

Both of which gimp a martial character far FAR more than a caster (unless GM favoritism, then its a win for WBLmancery and not the Fighter). The Wizard will always have those 2 spells a level, but a Fighter with no magic weapons can't hurt anything past level 6 or so.

No class can do everything, but if useless = "can't do anything at all outside of combat" then you are right.

If that is not what you meant then give examples of what a player using a paladin can't do. Why can't a paladin have a potion of fly? All that really matters is that one can or can not make it happen in a game.


A paladin can use a potion of fly, but so can a Commoner or even an innocent (no stats, dies if something tries to harm it) from d20 modern, so it really isn't anything special.


Anburaid wrote:

...the one part of the Magus that irks me: knowledge pool.

Knowledge pool robs the magus of actually needing to look for and study new spells or magic. That's a big drawback for me. Its not an overpowered ability per say, but it glosses over a drawback that prepared casters have by default, which is that you might not have the perfect spell for every situation. That's an important aspect to playing wizards and their ilk (though often overlooked in class comparisons).

All and all, if it didn't have knowledge pool, I would like the class a lot more. Its a good class for "sworcery" with a lot of nifty combat tricks. Prepared spell recalling abilities are where it should have stopped though.

Mighty Squash wrote:

I have to agree completely on this one. Knowledge pool is the one class feature these guys have that actually seems a little broken.

I also feel they have slightly more utility on their spell list than is really justified, as it seems to be raiding the diversity of spells a little more than it needs to and thus raining on the sorcerer/wizard parade. Still the spell list is far less problematic than the Summoner one.

Please forgive my self-promoting, but... Have either of you seen the magus archetype in Wayfinder #7? Along with the other changes, Knowledge Pool is one of the things I purposely reined in. I'm just curious, because I haven't really had any feedback (good, bad, indifferent) on it.


deuxhero wrote:
A paladin can use a potion of fly, but so can a Commoner or even an innocent (no stats, dies if something tries to harm it) from d20 modern, so it really isn't anything special.

That does not mean that I as a paladin could not handle that situation. It just means I need a small amount of gold to do so. There is a difference between can't and do it, and can't do it without using resources which is not a bad thing either.

A paladin can have 3 to 5 skill points reasonably.

Diplomacy, Perception, Sense Motive, spellcraft, knowledge religion.


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I'm playing a Magus right now and I'm on the verge of leveling to 12.

It is a very well designed class and is relatively self-contained. It can't heal itself, and CAN be squishy for a front-liner, but you can totally optimize to alleviate those weaknesses.

As far as straight DPR, I haven't seen the actual numbers, but I suspect in practice it's not much greater than a pouncing barbarian or a somewhat optimized archer fighter.

It's a lot of fun to roleplay as well. I like Gish classes and Magus is definitely one of the best designed ones, if not the best, and I have found it to be well balanced.

I think it's on the weaker side for 3/4 casters, to tell the truth. I don't think it's more powerful than the Bard, at least in adventures/campaigns that revolve around more than combat. Bards are rad. Summoners are also extremely solid as a class and depending on the situation I'd say they're comparable.

I'd still rank every full caster above it though.

tl;dr- Give it a whirl. It's fun.


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deuxhero wrote:
A Paladin can kill things and diplomance, that's it.

and cast spells, heal, debuff (mercies are strong), detect Evil, stand his ground far longer than any other class (best saves, swift self healing, immunities). Yeah, you're right it's almost like nothing.

The Exchange

Turgan wrote:
deuxhero wrote:
A Paladin can kill things and diplomance, that's it.
and cast spells, heal, debuff (mercies are strong), detect Evil, stand his ground far longer than any other class (best saves, swift self healing, immunities). Yeah, you're right it's almost like nothing.

Wouldn't that be de-debuff? using a mercy to remove a debuff is a solid bonus to healing them.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
BYC wrote:
I like the class, but it's focused far too much on doing damage.

It's a war mage, that's the whole point of the class. If you want support casting, you create a Wizard.


heh balance...

base class does not seem to be OP, but when you add in the archtypes thats where it seems to cheese up, 10th lev staff magus with a 15k CL20 staff (shiver) Hexcrafter flying, grappling with hair, throwing slumber (shiver)also I think some magic item combos seem op, get those pearls of wisdom and your biggest drawback isnt much of one anymore.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Midnight_Angel wrote:

Frankly, I am not a fan of the magus. The class is pretty much eingineered to shoehorn most players into the 'shocking scimitar' alley... and if you have seen a straight run of umpteen magi, all with scimitars and Shocking Grasp, things do start to get tedious.

The problem there isn't the magus... it's that one dammed feat that's simply too dammed good. Dervish Dance is a munchkin starter for builds that don't have an ounce of magus within them.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Anburaid wrote:

...the one part of the Magus that irks me: knowledge pool.

Knowledge pool robs the magus of actually needing to look for and study new spells or magic. That's a big drawback for me. Its not an overpowered ability per say, but it glosses over a drawback that prepared casters have by default, which is that you might not have the perfect spell for every situation. That's an important aspect to playing wizards and their ilk (though often overlooked in class comparisons).

All and all, if it didn't have knowledge pool, I would like the class a lot more. Its a good class for "sworcery" with a lot of nifty combat tricks. Prepared spell recalling abilities are where it should have stopped though.

Mighty Squash wrote:

I have to agree completely on this one. Knowledge pool is the one class feature these guys have that actually seems a little broken.

I also feel they have slightly more utility on their spell list than is really justified, as it seems to be raiding the diversity of spells a little more than it needs to and thus raining on the sorcerer/wizard parade. Still the spell list is far less problematic than the Summoner one.

Please forgive my self-promoting, but... Have either of you seen the magus archetype in Wayfinder #7? Along with the other changes, Knowledge Pool is one of the things I purposely reined in. I'm just curious, because I haven't really had any feedback (good, bad, indifferent) on it.

Archetypes that you can't use in PFS have a limit on their appeal.


Looks like I'm late to the discussion, but I came here because I searched "what to do with an overpowered Magus" and just so many of the "overpowered Magus" sentiments here line up with my experience so far.

I'm an old GM. I just started running a homebrew campaign after a hiatus of many years from 3.5. A lot of my players are kind of new to the culture -- and really a lot of them are ROLE players, that is, building characters and not so much war machines. I suspect that the Magus in my group, who has a bit more experience than many of the others, was drawn to the class precisely BECAUSE of his tendency to Power Game.

I did lose my cool with him during one session, after watching him effortlessly explode yet another of my meticulously created (and supposed to be intimidating) NPCs. My lack of cool wasn't a total meltdown, but it stuck with me so much through the week that I felt the need to apologize to the group. Now combats feel like this: everybody stay alive and do what you can until the Magus can explode all of the enemies.

I know he only has so much spells, but he's unbalanced in relation to the rest of the party -- and when I say he's unbalanced, please note that one of my players is a homebrewed Barbarian HALF-TROLL with Barbarian DR and 1 point of Troll Regeneration. I like the Magus character for what he's bringing to the campaign in form of story though, and I won't be showing him the door.

I'm heartened to hear one of the commenters say that the Magus tends to plateau at level 10-11. We're at 5 now. We'll see how it goes.


Being one of the only classes I've gotten to actually play (I'm the GM 95% of the time) I really enjoyed it. I played a Bladebound Magus Archetype and it was really fun the short time I got to play it.


The thing about the typical Magus is that it's forced to use an inferior combat style (single one-handed weapon) in order to use it's melee/casting abilities, and it has to use it's melee/casting abilities to spend spell resources on making up for it's inferior combat style.

Between Precise Strike showing up on some Magi and Precise Strike being clarified to not work on Magi they had a controversial run of seriously heightened damage, but generally the pattern is the same: if you want to compete with a Barbarian easily dishing out huge two-handed hits, you're gonna have to add something substantial to your one-handed scimitar attacks.

I find creatively built Dragon Disciples or Eldritch Knights (or Dragon Disciple Eldritch Knights) are typically a lot more interesting as arcane melee characters - not least because they aren't just pouring their spellcasting side directly into melee. Though there are really powerful ways to combine the two without just grinding Spell Combat...


I really like the class, it seems pretty well designed, sure you see a lot of scimitar dervish dance stuff, but that's just because magus is one of the few classes that can make up for having to use a single one handed weapon, it also provides a way to actually use touch spells consistantly.


Magi are everything good and bad with Pathfinder. On one hand, a beautiful 3/4th BAB 6th caster with good additional mechanics to blend the styles together in a way multiclassing just can't. On the other hand, a horrendous game of buffinder to run the class where only 2-3 build styles are really viable. Better be ready to optimize and crunch numbers!


Eirvit wrote:
I did lose my cool with him during one session, after watching him effortlessly explode yet another of my meticulously created (and supposed to be intimidating) NPCs. My lack of cool wasn't a total meltdown, but it stuck with me so much through the week that I felt the need to apologize to the group. Now combats feel like this: everybody stay alive and do what you can until the Magus can explode all of the enemies.

There are many concepts capable of dominating combat, I'd think a two-handed martial or a blaster sorcerer can achieve the same. Good thing about Pathfinder is: There are counters to pretty much everything.

PC hits hard per strike? Use concealment and mirror images.
PC hits often? Use damage reduction and on-hit revenge (e.g. Static Shield).
PC relies on crits? Throw in foes with fortification or crit immunity.
PC moves fast? Add difficult terrain.
PC uses always the same bonus damage? Use energy resistance.

Don't overdo it though. If he spends a lot of effort and resources to become a damage dealer, he should enjoy some success. In the best case, every few battles he would have to think about alternative tactics - tactics that are actually available for him.

And well, sometimes NPCs die too fast. It happened to me too - and it was frustrating. I try to learn from each desaster and be fair to the players at the same time.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:
Eirvit wrote:
I did lose my cool with him during one session, after watching him effortlessly explode yet another of my meticulously created (and supposed to be intimidating) NPCs. My lack of cool wasn't a total meltdown, but it stuck with me so much through the week that I felt the need to apologize to the group. Now combats feel like this: everybody stay alive and do what you can until the Magus can explode all of the enemies.

There are many concepts capable of dominating combat, I'd think a two-handed martial or a blaster sorcerer can achieve the same. Good thing about Pathfinder is: There are counters to pretty much everything.

PC hits hard per strike? Use concealment and mirror images.
PC hits often? Use damage reduction and on-hit revenge (e.g. Static Shield).
PC relies on crits? Throw in foes with fortification or crit immunity.
PC moves fast? Add difficult terrain.
PC uses always the same bonus damage? Use energy resistance.

Don't overdo it though. If he spends a lot of effort and resources to become a damage dealer, he should enjoy some success. In the best case, every few battles he would have to think about alternative tactics - tactics that are actually available for him.

And well, sometimes NPCs die too fast. It happened to me too - and it was frustrating. I try to learn from each desaster and be fair to the players at the same time.

The best counter of all, don't use a single opponent. Toss a few mooks between your party's damage dealers and the boss.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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I sometimes wonder if the magus is one of those classes that has a tendency to reveal a given GM/group's previously unknown deviations from Pathfinder's baseline expectations.

Grand Lodge

Sean H wrote:

One of my friends asked me about the Magus class today, and how I thought it compares to the other classes. My gut response was that while I love the concept for the class, but I'm not really comfortable with the mechanics themselves. I don't want to say it's broken or overpowered, but I do smell a faint hint of cheese whenever somebody talks about playing one.

I like the magus... unlike just about all of the hybrid classes, it introduces some mechanical complexity without seeming like it's fitting a square peg in a round hole. If the magus has a weakness/pain in the ass mechanic, it's concentration checks. You're stuck either five-foot-stepping a lot (which kind of ruins the immersion of a sword/spell two-weapon fighter) and/or you're losing a lot of spells (even if you've taken Combat Casting and a +2 concentration trait).

I think that the magus suffers from (as most classes do) poorly designed archetypes.

Take the Staff Magus... even if you take Weapon Specialization at 1st level (as the free Quarterstaff Master feat allows you to), you're still always going to be lagging behind a Magus with a longsword both on your damage die and particularly on critical range (not to mention armour). The Staff Magus is good flavour, but seeing as how a quarterstaff is a double weapon, the archetype would have been better to throw in Two-Weapon Fighting for free too, for when you're not using Spell Combat. Basically Staff Magus is a throwaway if you consider it for optimization rather than flavour.

Also consider the Card Caster (which can be combined with the Staff Magus for a ton of flavour). Phenomenally cool idea, but phenomenally broken because the archetype fails to specify that thrown ranged weapons can be used for Spell Combat, which means the default of melee only applies. So you can use Spellstrike with thrown ranged, but you miss out on the second attack... meaning you might as well be a wizard. If you're going to be a magus focused on 1d4 thrown weapons, you don't want to be gimped by losing out on Spell Combat. Not to mention that since cards are ammunition, when using your arcane pool to give the cards something like Flaming, it's going to cost you 2 points, unless you want to spend 2000gp enchanting each Harrow deck. (You can evolve into a thrown returning dagger or somesuch, but you lose some of the essential flavour.)

I was all set to do a Card Caster/Staff Magus Dark Archive character, but lack of Spell Combat with thrown cards kind of killed the idea for me. :-( I was going to be Dex-based with Acrobatics (and Reckless trait) to stay out of melee, and the Staff Magus was going to facilitate that by forcing me to stay with light armour but compensating by giving the quarterstaff AC bonus at 7th level.


Jiggy wrote:
I sometimes wonder if the magus is one of those classes that has a tendency to reveal a given GM/group's previously unknown deviations from Pathfinder's baseline expectations.

I am curious about which baseline expectations you think groups are deviating from without realizing.


how hard a CR fight is supposed to be, wealth per level, Boss fights.
These are common ones I see often.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Snowlilly wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
I sometimes wonder if the magus is one of those classes that has a tendency to reveal a given GM/group's previously unknown deviations from Pathfinder's baseline expectations.
I am curious about which baseline expectations you think groups are deviating from without realizing.

Encounters per day (and the difficulty/structure of those encounters), level of availability of (relevant) magic items, the Heroic NPC stat array and its suggested arrangement by character type... things like that. The game is designed around an assumption that things are in a certain ballpark, but I often encounter people who turn out to run/play their games vastly outside those parameters.

Which is fine, it's just something that has to be noted when discussing the design quality of a class that was written with an assumption of Pathfinder's baselines (rather than an individual group's habits).

With that in mind, the magus tends to play out a certain way, with relatively little variance compared to a lot of other classes. Thus, it's harder for it to "synch up" with significant deviations in a groups dynamics; it'll always fall pretty close to the Pathfinder default. So where a group's fighter, wizard and rogue might all be played in a way that synchs up very well with the group's habits, the magus comes along and fits a different mold, highlighting the difference between "default Pathfinder" and what a given group actually does.

Make sense?


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I never really thought of it that way but you are right Magus is the most mechanically consistent class. Barring crazy deviations most characters will all fall into the same range

Dark Archive

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My first reaction after seeing someone else play a magus was "that seems broken". Spell strike, spell recall, adding elemental damage to your weapon to begin with, all combine to be rather nasty. Actually reading the class for myself though, it doesn't seem anywhere near as broken as my initial reaction said it was.

Then again, my initial reaction was before I had the book, and when playing with someone who has a rather lax view on the need to track expendable resources. As well as either a lack of understanding of what all you can do at any given moment as a magus, or the deliberate misrepresenting of such due to knowing the GM isn't familiar with the class. Someone spending 30+ arcane pool points in one day during a session, often combining acid and lightning elemental imbues at once and constantly using spell recall nearly every single combat round...

Yeah, going to leave a bitter taste in one's mouth when you realize that wasn't actually possible.

If I ever were to play a magus, I'd probably print out the list of what you can do with your arcane pool and the costs to do it. Then use that as a reference guide.


That's what I did when I played one.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think that the magus takes a bit of time to get used to. It feels a lot different than many other melee types and has some limitations that all GMs may not be aware of.

The damage output will be very spikey because they focus on getting critical hits when using Spell Strike. When they manage to get that critical with a good spell, the opponent is going down quickly. If they don't get it, the damage will seem a little light.

They suffer many of the same problems as any other 3/4 BAB class. They tend to go down quick to grappling, feinting (especially if Dex based), require more good attributes (more MAD), and have a smaller hit die than other fighter types. On the other hand they can be more capable of dealing with some opponents than expected. As an example, the Accurate Strike arcana from Ultimate Combat can for a short period allow them to easily hit opponents that depend heavily on natural armor.

I've seen a number of times where someone thought the Magus was vastly overpowered, only to discover they were either running a very short adventuring day (two or less encounters between rests) or didn't understand how some of the mechanics worked.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Magus is my least favorite class because there's little significant difference in builds and the builds run on metamagic reduction. The class is extra work for the GM to balance against, and it's typically the least interesting caster, having more predictable spell use than even spontaneous casters.


The class is pretty well balanced, has some nice out of combat options with magic and its int focus and is kind of fun to play.

If I had any major complaint about the Magus it's that it's kind of a one note class. Shocking Grasp. With a scimitar.

It's really frustrating because the class is conceptually pretty cool, but it's got the most narrow range of options of any class in the game.


My main complaint about the Magus is that there aren't enough interesting and varied Touch spells that are worth using with Spellstrike. Pretty much, the player is stuck with using various versions of meta-magicked Shocking Grasp because not really much of anything else is worth the effort.

I mean, the Magus only has 3 Touch range offensive spells on the 1st level spell list, and frankly the other two don't offer anything more than very situational competition to Shocking Grasp. I mean, Corrosive Touch is useful if you go up against Trolls or something, but is only d4 per level. The damage from Chill Touch doesn't scale by level.

Why can't there be some more interesting options than just damage multiplication with Spellstrike?


We've played around with giving magus 1-6 sorc/wis spells. It's not been bad yet. Adds some versatility, if they want it.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Saldiven wrote:
I mean, the Magus only has 3 Touch range offensive spells on the 1st level spell list, and frankly the other two don't offer anything more than very situational competition to Shocking Grasp. I mean, Corrosive Touch is useful if you go up against Trolls or something, but is only d4 per level. The damage from Chill Touch doesn't scale by level.

My wife's magus used frostbite, which is really solid and pushes you in a different direction than the shocking grasp metamagic builds that everyone seems so tired of. At the cost of a 1st-level spell slot, you get to deal damage comparable to a standard greatsword-wielder for a given number of rounds, while also being simpler to build and play than the super-complicated builds that the magus is famous for.


To some extent the Magus runs afoul of not understanding a simplification in the Forge model of combat: Hammer is not a single role. Archers, swordsmen, and kineticists may be largely interchangeable, but the distinction between sustained hammers and spike hammers is very important.

Most hammers have some balance. Paladins, rangers, cavaliers, and barbarians can fall back on full BAB when their abilities run out or aren't applicable. Clerics as hammers tend to run on one spell per combat from a full casting progression. Inquisitors have their a once per combat judgment ability to make up the slack in their spellcasting progression. And so on.

The fighter and rogue have no on demand damage spike capability and are weak classes. If you're relying on a fighter to fill your hammer role you always have a hammer (provided your arm is able to keep him fighting on your side) but no reserve capacity for particularly difficult fights.

The magus has the opposite problem. They don't make the grade as a sustained hammer with a poor BAB compensator and requiring constant use of spells to make up for one handed damage. They burn slots faster than an inquisitor and don't have many more even using the whole arcane pool on low level spells. At 20th they can pull up five intensified shocking grasps while the inquisitor has an extra first, second, third, and fourth level slot. Blasting sorcerers and wizards are similarly considered nova-ey but have more slots expended at a similar rate. If you're relying on a magus to fill the hammer role you have more hammer than you could ever need for particularly difficult fights if you've rationed your spells, but due either to needing to ration spells or failing to do so and running out you have no effective hammer at all in most fights. Unless you have a short adventuring day.

Since almost all arms and some anvils provide some spike capability a lack of spike hammers isn't an insurmountable problem. More spike reduces the risk in epic encounters, but the fighter/rogue/cleric/wizard group isn't completely devoid of spike damage. The magus/magus/cleric/wizard group, though, is going to have endurance problems and there's very little the cleric and wizard can do to offset the lack of sustained hammering from the magi.

This weakness turns into devastating strength when there are fewer encounters in a day than the designers expected, making magus NPCs who only face one encounter in their entire lives particularly nasty.


I think you're overstating the Magus' swinginess a bit. Yes, shocking grasp routines are pretty brutal and the magus loses a lot when he can't do that, but between arcane pool and arcane mark the magus is certainly not helpless when they can't nova.

And if you're really worried about running out of spells per day there's a couple archetypes that give them better all day abilities.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Seems like another issue that my wife's frostbite routine solved. One (1st-level) spell per combat was enough to keep her at a viable baseline. Then she could use other spells for out-of-combat utility or emergency power or whatever.


Jiggy wrote:
Seems like another issue that my wife's frostbite routine solved. One (1st-level) spell per combat was enough to keep her at a viable baseline. Then she could use other spells for out-of-combat utility or emergency power or whatever.

Your wife doesn't happen to have the Rime Spell metamagic feat, by any chance?


I have returned form the dead to take over the worl- oh, holy craaaaaap! *its head rolls off the side of the screen*


There! Now that that's out of my system, I can get onto the real questions 'round here...

... maybe.

Okay, no, no, I can't.

OP wrote:
How do you feel about the Magus?

HE WAS SO DAGGUM COOL IN CHRONO TRI-... oh. Oh. Oooooooooohhhh.

Wrong "the Magus" - sorry. I'll be better.

OP wrote:
How do you feel about the Magus?

ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING PLOTS IN GARGOYLES THOUGH THE WHOLE TIME TR-...

...

...

... oh. Oh. Oooooooooohhhh.

Oh, you mean the claaaaaaaaassssssssssssss...

Uh. S'cool. I like the concept, but I prefer the raw power of the eldritch knight, myself (which is stronger at higher levels and for most all purposes other than "direct damage"). And I prefer paladins for anything in combat. So, if the option was "Magus and..." or "Paladin and Wizard->Eldritch Knight" I'd take the latter.

But that's just me. :)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Snowblind wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Seems like another issue that my wife's frostbite routine solved. One (1st-level) spell per combat was enough to keep her at a viable baseline. Then she could use other spells for out-of-combat utility or emergency power or whatever.
Your wife doesn't happen to have the Rime Spell metamagic feat, by any chance?

Nope.

It's possible that, had she kept playing, she might have eventually picked it up, but she actually was trying to keep gameplay as simple as possible. Would you believe she eventually decided to just pretend Spell Combat didn't exist?

She just ran around with a rapier, cast frostbite on round 1, and stabbed things for just a little less damage than a typical greatsword meathead.

She also had a way easier time taking prisoners than most magi do, since frostbite only deals nonlethal damage. ;)


Jiggy wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Seems like another issue that my wife's frostbite routine solved. One (1st-level) spell per combat was enough to keep her at a viable baseline. Then she could use other spells for out-of-combat utility or emergency power or whatever.
Your wife doesn't happen to have the Rime Spell metamagic feat, by any chance?

Nope.

It's possible that, had she kept playing, she might have eventually picked it up, but she actually was trying to keep gameplay as simple as possible. Would you believe she eventually decided to just pretend Spell Combat didn't exist?

She just ran around with a rapier, cast frostbite on round 1, and stabbed things for just a little less damage than a typical greatsword meathead.

She also had a way easier time taking prisoners than most magi do, since frostbite only deals nonlethal damage. ;)

Well actually the bludgeoner feat in ultimate combat and a heavy flail will make a good job for taking people prisoner and you can choose lethal or non leathal and get two handed damage each time and power attack and have and half stregth.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jiggy wrote:
She just ran around with a rapier, cast frostbite on round 1, and stabbed things for just a little less damage than a typical greatsword meathead.

This sounds a lot more like the kind of magus I prefer to build, although I don't eschew spell combat - I just link it up to a suitable cantrip and smack things around that way. I feel like there's an entire other kind of magus out there that almost no one talks about, the kind that prefers sustainable, long-term effects to high-density burst damage.

(I need to remember frostbite though. I had forgotten that it has a level-based damage add included...)


My strength magi rarely uses spell combat and never for a damage increase. 2-handed Longswords do better damage than shocking grasp not getting through SR.


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Jiggy wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
I sometimes wonder if the magus is one of those classes that has a tendency to reveal a given GM/group's previously unknown deviations from Pathfinder's baseline expectations.
I am curious about which baseline expectations you think groups are deviating from without realizing.

Encounters per day (and the difficulty/structure of those encounters), level of availability of (relevant) magic items, the Heroic NPC stat array and its suggested arrangement by character type... things like that. The game is designed around an assumption that things are in a certain ballpark, but I often encounter people who turn out to run/play their games vastly outside those parameters.

Which is fine, it's just something that has to be noted when discussing the design quality of a class that was written with an assumption of Pathfinder's baselines (rather than an individual group's habits).

With that in mind, the magus tends to play out a certain way, with relatively little variance compared to a lot of other classes. Thus, it's harder for it to "synch up" with significant deviations in a groups dynamics; it'll always fall pretty close to the Pathfinder default. So where a group's fighter, wizard and rogue might all be played in a way that synchs up very well with the group's habits, the magus comes along and fits a different mold, highlighting the difference between "default Pathfinder" and what a given group actually does.

Make sense?

A well written explanation that I can agree with.

Thank you.


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Shisumo wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
She just ran around with a rapier, cast frostbite on round 1, and stabbed things for just a little less damage than a typical greatsword meathead.

This sounds a lot more like the kind of magus I prefer to build, although I don't eschew spell combat - I just link it up to a suitable cantrip and smack things around that way. I feel like there's an entire other kind of magus out there that almost no one talks about, the kind that prefers sustainable, long-term effects to high-density burst damage.

(I need to remember frostbite though. I had forgotten that it has a level-based damage add included...)

The kind I play.

Nobody talks about them because the numbers look less impressive on paper.


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Yup. Every one goes off about all maguses being Dex based scimatar wielders with intensified shocking grasps. But my favorites are Frostbite and Chilltouch maguses who work just as well with strength and two handing a weapon after setting up a charge per level spell.

Having GM'd for a Shocking Grasp Dex Magus though, throwing three to four encounters per day at the party worked just fine. The mobility of the Spelldancer magus was actually more effective in most battles.


Magus is probably my favorite class despite not being able to play much anymore. I've always tried to make Magi that dont just Shocking Grasp scimitar things to death. For the longest time I was trying to make an unarmed/cestus TWF magus to work. I think the biggest issue with the class is actually the spell list, and its not really that big a deal. It has a bit of this and a bit of that, which isn't really a bad thing, usually, but to me it feels like it keeps the class from specializing a bit. I know people have said that the Magus, for being all about the Spell Combat/Spell Strike, doesn't have a lot ton of touch range spells. That's why I've actually wanted to build a Magus with the Spheres of Power conversion. Because being able to, from level 1, use Spell Combat to shapeshift and then full round, or full round and Destruction Blast, or teleport and full round, makes the character really feel like it blends magic and melee a lot better than the usual "I full round and Shock it." Yes, I know that that isn't every build. But it is the build commonly viewed as the norm.


Torbyne wrote:

Yup. Every one goes off about all maguses being Dex based scimatar wielders with intensified shocking grasps. But my favorites are Frostbite and Chilltouch maguses who work just as well with strength and two handing a weapon after setting up a charge per level spell.

Having GM'd for a Shocking Grasp Dex Magus though, throwing three to four encounters per day at the party worked just fine. The mobility of the Spelldancer magus was actually more effective in most battles.

There still aren't a varied enough selection of touch spells available to the Magus to make the class interesting to me.

Considering it's such a signature feature for the class, you'd have thought that Ultimate Combat might have had one or two new, Magus only touch range spells per level.


Saldiven wrote:
Torbyne wrote:

Yup. Every one goes off about all maguses being Dex based scimatar wielders with intensified shocking grasps. But my favorites are Frostbite and Chilltouch maguses who work just as well with strength and two handing a weapon after setting up a charge per level spell.

Having GM'd for a Shocking Grasp Dex Magus though, throwing three to four encounters per day at the party worked just fine. The mobility of the Spelldancer magus was actually more effective in most battles.

There still aren't a varied enough selection of touch spells available to the Magus to make the class interesting to me.

Considering it's such a signature feature for the class, you'd have thought that Ultimate Combat might have had one or two new, Magus only touch range spells per level.

The magus gets maybe 3 cool spells at each spell level that benefit their melee role better than a traditional wizard's role, over 6 spell levels that is 18 cool things a magus can do in a combat round. even at low levels there is usually a good option for defense, buff/debuff, high damage or utility effect. As fun as it is, not everything has to be a touch spell spell struck. Spell Combat can be awesome on its own.


I'd love to see more interesting spell options that weren't just touch spells delivered through a blade - ideally stuff worth casting with spell combat even though you're not just buffing another weapon strike. The idea of slicing away with one hand while casting things like Hideous Laughter or Command with the other hand is pretty cool, but it feels like there are a ton of issues to get around.


I also would like to see more magus spell options to open up the class to more than shocking grasp/scimitar builds. It seems like it would be in demand by a great number of players.

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