How do you feel about the Magus?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

151 to 196 of 196 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You can make a 5 Ft step at any point before after or during a full attack action. Spell combat is like two weapon fighting. You get your full set of iterative attacks on a full attack and the spell is free - which if a touch spell grants another attack.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Isn't that what the Blade Adept Arcanist archetype is like?
Well without spell combat, I guess.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rhedyn wrote:

Spell combat is needed for action economy.

Spell strike is only needed for a damage boost. (...)

Unless you move. Then it's needed for action economy as well.

Rhedyn wrote:

Remove spell strike

Move spellcombat to level 2 and remove the -2 to-hit penalty
Replace magus spell list with wizard spell list
If that is still too weak, then change arcane pool from 1/2 level + int to level + int.

That'll actually make the class considerably stronger, considering how much better the Wizard spell list is... But also much less flavorful and iconic. You no longer have the image of a warmage casting enveloping his weapon in magic before striking and you lose cool combat spells such as Bladed Dash.

If you want a balanced Magus but Spell Strike bothers you that much, I suggest simply disallowing it to be used in conjunction with Spell Strike. This way you avoid the Arcane Mark trick and similar shenanigans while still letting the class keep its iconic features.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is also the maneuver Magus. True Strike Trip or True Strike Disarm. There is an Arcana that helps with that build.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

That free attack that seems to be bothering a number of posters can only be done for as long as the magus has spells. Sure you might say well what about spell recall? He has to spend arcana points for that. Almost everything that the magus does is tied to either arcana points or spell slots. His spell list isn't even that bloody good, and unless you are going for an int focused magus your spell save DCs are not going to be that good either so goodbye save or suck spells.

If the magus bothers you that much it tells me that your campaign may be running afoul of one of two things or both.

1. The time spent adventuring is very short or the challenges themselves are trivial, thus not making the magus regret burning all their resources to look badass by killing that one strong monster in record time.

2. The GM is very attached to their monsters and the sight of them taken down too quickly infuriates them. To which I say you are a dungeon master not a pokemon master, I am sorry to break your heart but that epic monster/villain you worked so hard on? Destined to be killed by the party and to add insult to injury probably have its body or head paraded to the quest giver so they'll believe that the deed has been done.

Oh no a 3/4 BAB character can get a "free" attack as part of a full attack and there is a spell attached to it too. You know the biggest weakness about all of that? It still needs to be a full attack, so if your monster is just standing there in front of the magus and not moving away I say it deserved to be demolished, just like it deserved to be demolished from eating a full attack from a great sword wielding fighter, or slayer. Who while may not have the burst damage of the magus can still do the whole thing more consistently.

If this class that is a tier 3 scares you that much, why aren't you showing the same fear towards the tier 1 classes? Have you not had any wizards break your encounters? Or the whole adventure for that matter? What about the druids that have the luxury of being a combat machine and a 9th level caster, while getting a pet? No, no its the class that broke our precious action economy, its the problem. Cause moving, attacking and delivering a touch spell is the most broken thing ever.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

1. No - wands and spell slots mean a magus can keep casting spells till his arms drop off. Close Range arcana dramatically widens the number of spells that can used for spell strike.

2. I am a GM but I have played a magus as a PC twice. I don't want to feel cringeworthy when my intensified shocking grasp deals 20d6 damage because I rolled a 15 to hit, as well as doing weapon damage... Oh yes then I get my full round attacks. Or maybe using lightning leap to damage an opponent, avoid its reach, flank it and then get my full iterative attacks on the same turn! These things don't require chains of feats they are available very very easily.

This is a free attack on top of other free attacks like haste. Base attack 3/4 makes little difference when as a free action you can enhance your blade beyond what the rest of the party has not only making up the BAB difference but adding to damage as well.

I don't subscribe to the tier system and cases like this explain why. Wizards cannot replicate what is being described above and our groups combats are balanced. This is an issue for other players who don't deserve to have the show stolen by a magus that can do 2-3 times as much stuff as they can in a game round.

As I said, I recommend swapping spell strike for an arcana or removing it completely and taking the uses per day limitation off spell critical.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wolfgang Rolf wrote:
That free attack that seems to be bothering a number of posters can only be done for as long as the magus has spells.

I do not care about the extra attack. I care that that ability pigeonholes an entire class into one true build with little variation (Strength vs Dexterity).

I care that that build needs so many resources (traits, feats, spells, arcana) to function at its basic level that it leaves almost no space for customization.

I care that the concept of a "functional spellcasting warrior" has become reduced to "that guy using a scimitar to deliver shocking grasp criticals".

That's bad design.


Lemmy wrote:
You no longer have the image of a warmage casting enveloping his weapon in magic before striking and you lose cool combat spells such as Bladed Dash.

Not that I'm defending Rhedyn's suggested fix (I think it would perform underwhelmingly, since so much of the Magus' efficiency depends on those crits) but that guy would still be "enveloping his weapon in magic" by using the Arcana Pool, Greater Magic Weapon spell and many many others.

Conceptually, the thing that would change is that Spellstrike-less Magus would have to make *gasp* choices on which spell to cast each round. I missed my last attack, should I buff myself more? Maybe an energy resistance spell to protect against the dragon's breath? Or should I capitalize on its fire vulnerability with a scorching ray?


In my experience, the class as-is is not overpowered (in our Wrath of the Righteous campaign it is severely underpowered due to demons and their pesky resistances/immunities/SR) even with Spellstrike.

At mid-high levels they are probably balanced with the rest of the classes due to facing many hurdles to perform their shtick. On the rounds they do manage to crit their shocking grasp they are head-to-head with the pouncing barbarians (provided they don't face energy resistance or fail a concentration or SR check).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rune wrote:
Maybe an energy resistance spell to protect against the dragon's breath?

Just a note: that spell is not on the normal Magus spell list. They would need to take the Spell Blending arcana to get Resist or Protection from Elements.


BretI wrote:
Just a note: that spell is not on the normal Magus spell list. They would need to take the Spell Blending arcana to get Resist or Protection from Elements.

Rhedyn's suggested Magus fix (the one I was commenting on) draws spells from the Wizard's spell list.


Snowlilly wrote:
Gisher wrote:


Unfortunately Spell Blending is useless unless you are a Magus because it specifically adds the spells to the Magus Spell List.
Broad Study is the aracna you want with a VMC into magus. It comes online with your first arcana, at 7th level.

I definitely don't want to take Broad Study as a VMC Magus. You can select it at 7th level, but it is useless until you get Spellstrike at 11th level. But even if it was functional at 7th level it would still be very bad for a VMC Magus.

When using standard multiclassing, the primary reason to take Broad Study is that your non-Magus class gets to use the wonderful action economy that (Spell Combat) or (Spell Combat + Spellstrike) provide. But as a VMC Magus you don't get Spell Combat so you get none of those benefits.

You do get Spellstrike, but the VMC version of Spellstrike already works with your non-Magus spell slots when casting touch spells that are on the Magus list, and honestly that includes most of the good ones. There may be a class that gets some real benefit from this, but I can't think of one right now. And any benefits would be much less than those provided by other Arcana.


It's worth noting that the Magus' typical damage advantage in early levels fades fast when martial characters swinging two-handers for ~25+ damage get a second attack.

Even in those early levels where attack/attack/spell is really potent because most other melee only makes one attack, an Unchained Monk's full attack can be striking twice with two-handed Power Attack for a similar output, as could other creative attack-stacking builds.

Cliche Magus @ 5: (1d6+2) +5DEX = 10.5; x2= ~21. Shocking Grasp: 1d6x5= ~17.5. So spell combat can do ~38.5 damage before criticals. If we say that with a keen scimitar the chance to double damage through a critical is about 20%, overall average spell combat damage would be about 46 if everything works.

2-hand Unchained Monk @ 5: (1d8+1) +7STR +6PAk = ~18.5; x2= ~37. So 2-hand flurry can do ~37 damage before criticals. With a temple sword and no improved critical range criticals are a small bonus; overall average flurry ends up around 40 when everything works. This is ignoring the option of an extra ki attack or style strike...

The only big differences are that a Magus will do considerably more average damage with a standard action, and the Magus' damage will vary wildly with rolls. A good Shocking Grasp roll on a critical is huge, while a Magus in a critical drought with really bad d6's is going to suffer.


Gisher wrote:


You do get Spellstrike, but the VMC version of Spellstrike already works with your non-Magus spell slots when casting touch spells that are on the Magus list, and honestly that includes most of the good ones. There may be a class that gets some real benefit from this, but I can't think of one right now. And any benefits would be much less than those provided by other Arcana.

The only character I've seen VMC into magus was an Oracle. None of the spells he was interested in were on the Magus spell list.


Rune wrote:
BretI wrote:
Just a note: that spell is not on the normal Magus spell list. They would need to take the Spell Blending arcana to get Resist or Protection from Elements.
Rhedyn's suggested Magus fix (the one I was commenting on) draws spells from the Wizard's spell list.

I would point out. I'm suggesting an archetype not a fix.

I feel archetypes should deliver concepts people may want with a class. Like a Magus with little incentive to use shocking grasp.


All the classic fighter/mu I'm aware of don't cast through the sword.

Gandalf just hits things with his staff or sword when they're in reach and uses magic for ranged combat and utility effects. He never channels magic through either his sword or staff to strike a monster in melee. The closest he gets is somatic component: strike bridge with staff. He's very close to being the original fighter/mu.

I'm still working my way through the Chronicles of Amber, but I haven't seen Merlin cast a spell through a weapon yet. He carries a weapon (when he's not being a complacent fool) to use when he runs out of spells. Other sorcerers who aren't viewpoint characters seem to operate similarly.

The AD&D fighter/mu fights like a fighter with some buff access and magic as backup for when elemental or area damage is needed or some noncombat challenge requires a spell.

The Jedi mostly fight with swords and use magic for mobility and utility or in some interpretations for ranged offense. The Sith operate similarly, but most interpretations use magic for ranged offense.

What's the basis for this percussive spellcasting trope that keeps showing up in modern games?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Spell Blade

Mostly games, some anime, a few books.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
GeneMemeScene wrote:
swoosh wrote:

If you're worried about dead levels throw some dumb nothing class feature in at level 2. Pushing their core mechanic back is silly.

The Sword wrote:

It feels to me that action economy really favors magi. Full Attack, plus a spell (that may give an additional attack) + another attack for basted and a slew of swift actions mean that the magi can do multiple things while other characters are still tying their shoe laces.

I love the class, even less optimized builds like the staff magus but I feel guilty even playing that build.

Yeah that's literally the whole concept behind the class. It does the battle mage thing by having action economy so it can cast and fight simultaneously.
Honestly it's because of this that I can never play Eldritch Knights. Yeah they can easily get higher bab and better spells, but then it hardly feels like I'm blending spells and weapons. I'm just buffing myself and full attacking for single enemies or blasting for multiple enemies; I'm a fighter one turn and a wizard the next; it just doesn't do it for me. The Blade Adept Eldritch Knight is somewhat better at this because it at least has spellstrike, but having played a Swashbuckler/Blade Adept gestalt, the lack of spell combat is really noticeable.

I've played eldritch knights and magi and quite frankly I like both of them. I played one with two levels of rogue added to the standard fighter/wizard/ek build to give me a classing fighter/mu/thief style character. It was a campaign where I had magitek armor that let me do fairly hideous melee damage.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Wolfgang Rolf wrote:
That free attack that seems to be bothering a number of posters can only be done for as long as the magus has spells. Sure you might say well what about spell recall? He has to spend arcana points for that. Almost everything that the magus does is tied to either arcana points or spell slots. His spell list isn't even that bloody good, and unless you are going for an int focused magus your spell save DCs are not going to be that good either so goodbye save or suck spells.

Arcane mark keeps that free attack going and going and going. I don't really have a problem with the magus either. It's a very glass cannon type of class. When they're dealing out damage via crit fishing, they're very tough, but when they're on the back foot on the defensive, they can be brought down to earth.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Snowlilly wrote:
Gisher wrote:


Unfortunately Spell Blending is useless unless you are a Magus because it specifically adds the spells to the Magus Spell List.

Broad Study is the aracna you want with a VMC into magus. It comes online with your first arcana, at 7th level.

LuniasM wrote:
So they're supposed to blow pool points every time they full-attack for Arcane Accuracy or Accurate Strike?

No, many of the buffs I listed come online at 10th level, the same point Arcane Pool stops increasing your to-hit chance (at least until 15th level and bane).

Greater Invisibility will easily last a full combat. Monstrous Physique and Elemental Body may last more than one. Heroism, if you take it, can last hours. A rimed Frigid Touch can debuff most opponents long enough to take them out and can be delivered without spellstrike if you are worried about AC.

With the Kensai archetype, Greater Invisibility is your default. The kensai gets Intelligence-to-damage against opponents denied their Dexterity bonus.

Invisibility is easily countered by other spells (see invisibility, echolocation, and invisibility purge to name a few) and soon after this level creatures and enemies start gaining the ability to see invisible stuff, negating the bonus this spell provides. Elemental Body grants +2 to hit at most and won't stack with other polymorph spells - Monstrous Physique II can grant +3 if you're DEX-based and take a small form. Heroism requires you to spend an arcana to acquire and the earliest you can get it is Level 9 at which point you should have up to 4 Level 3 spells a day, which competes with staples like Haste, Fly, Displacement, Force Hook Charge, and Slow (a Will Save that isn't mind-affecting is an amazing tool to have, plus it's a strong debuff). You could always use Spell Recall but that takes a load of points (3 per recall, or 2 once you hit Level 11).

Long Math Explanation:
Let's run through the numbers. We'll even assume you're DEX-based. If you start with an 18 you can have a 24 by level 10 with a +4 belt and level ups. You should have a +2 weapon by that point, +3 if you've got a crafter or something (it's about 1/4 your expected WBL). You took Weapon Focus and Spell Blending (Heroism), of course. You may or may not have a +1 ioun stone, which costs 4k, depending on whether your GM allows them in their game. Let's assume the best conditions - you've got a +3 weapon, Heroism will last all day, you can afford the ioun stone, you spent a point for the +2 and one of the +1 enhancements, and prepared Monstrous Physique II. After buffing your expected attack bonus should be +19/+14 - that's decent. The average monster will have an AC of 24-29 based on how hard the combat is expected to be. Against a decent enemy, we'll call it AC 26 (somewhere between the average for CR 11 and 12), you hit with the first attack on a 7. Oh, you're not using Spell Combat, are you? Shoot. Now you're hitting on a 9 with your best attack - a 40% miss chance on your high BAB isn't exactly a good number. But wait, that's not all! If you're using Power Attack, that's another -2, although that's negated by Furious Focus if you've got the feats to spare on your first hit. Damage suffers without it but it's not the end of the world if you don't.

Despite spending more than half my expected WBL on attack rolls, assuming all the right feats and arcana, allowing Heroism to be prebuffed, and buffing with one of the Magus' highest-level spells they still have trouble hitting the opponent. As for my spells per day, I only get four Level 3s and two Level 4s, so this is more like a nova tactic than your standard bonus. In fact, without these spells online, you've got a +14/+9 before stuff like Spell Combat comes into play. The only redeeming qualities I can see is that you can buff without interfering with your attack routine and you get more full-BAB attacks than most classes. Without a large amount of support from allies you will be missing more often than not.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
LuniasM wrote:
a Long Math Explanation

You should double check your numbers, my friend. With monstrous physique II and heroism up with the other stats you listed, the total attack bonus would be:

7 (BAB) + 9 (Dex) + 5 (weapon) + 1 (Weapon Focus) + 1 (size) + 2 (heroism) + 1 (ioun stone) = +26/+21, or +22/+22/+17 with Spell Combat (for some touch spell) and Power Attack. Assuming the extra +1 bonus went into keen and we're talking about a Fencing Grace or Dervish Dance build, that's a total DPR of 61.29.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
LuniasM wrote:

Invisibility is easily countered by other spells (see invisibility, echolocation, and invisibility purge to name a few) and soon after this level creatures and enemies start gaining the ability to see invisible stuff, negating the bonus this spell provides. Elemental Body grants +2 to hit at most and won't stack with other polymorph spells - Monstrous Physique II can grant +3 if you're DEX-based and take a small form. Heroism requires you to spend an arcana to acquire and the earliest you can get it is Level 9 at which point you should have up to 4 Level 3 spells a day, which competes with staples like Haste, Fly, Displacement, Force Hook Charge, and Slow (a Will Save that isn't mind-affecting is an amazing tool to have, plus it's a strong debuff).

The buffs in question were posted as a means for characters of level 10+ to continue advancing their accuracy. By this point the magus is assumed to have all of his core feats and arcana already in place.

  • See Invisibility, Invisibility Purge, and my personal favorite, Glitterdust have been in play for a long time. But it you are encountering them more than once or twice in an AP the GM is metagaming. At high level a few monsters will have the ability to see you, but again, unless the GM is metagaming to specifically counter you, it will be only a small percentage of encounters.
  • Heroism should be lasting > 3 hours per casting at 10th level. (I assume at level 10+ you've invested in an extend I rod.) Well worth the arcana, especially since you can grab Resist Energy at the same time.
  • If playing a Dex. build, I won't bother with memorizing Fly once I have Elemental Body.

As an aside: if all your opponents can cast See Invisible and Invisibility Purge, Slow is a wasted spell. In the unlikely chance they fail their will save, they can still cast.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
LuniasM wrote:
You could always use Spell Recall but that takes a load of points (3 per recall, or 2 once you hit Level 11).

As far as I know, there isn't any language that modifies the standard 'always round down' rule. So at 11th level, Improved Spell Recall of a level 3 spell takes 1 point.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
_Ozy_ wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
You could always use Spell Recall but that takes a load of points (3 per recall, or 2 once you hit Level 11).
As far as I know, there isn't any language that modifies the standard 'always round down' rule. So at 11th level, Improved Spell Recall of a level 3 spell takes 1 point.

According to the SRD, you generally round down. I learned it as "round to the least beneficial number", which is probably the result of a house rule we never wrote down. Thanks.

Dark Archive

Shisumo wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
a Long Math Explanation

You should double check your numbers, my friend. With monstrous physique II and heroism up with the other stats you listed, the total attack bonus would be:

7 (BAB) + 9 (Dex) + 5 (weapon) + 1 (Weapon Focus) + 1 (size) + 2 (heroism) + 1 (ioun stone) = +26/+21, or +22/+22/+17 with Spell Combat (for some touch spell) and Power Attack. Assuming the extra +1 bonus went into keen and we're talking about a Fencing Grace or Dervish Dance build, that's a total DPR of 61.29.

So one of my errors came from failing to notice that Monstrous Body makes you tiny, which is actually worth a +2 size bonus, bringing that up to a +4. Another was from forgetting to add the Arcane Pool +2. Which brings me to my most glaring error... I forgot to add in BAB. Wow. I should probably not do math late at night. Yeah, I was completely off, thanks for pointing that out.

Which, by the way, means your projected attack bonus is wrong - you should be getting another +1 from size since you're Tiny, not Small. You do have issues with reach though since you'll need to be in the enemy's square to attack them.

As for the Strength build, the bonuses are a bit worse. Monstrous Physique II provides a meager +1 for Large stuff (+4 Strength but a -1 attack roll penalty). That's a -2 to hit over the DEX build with the same spell, but you don't have to spend feats to get it so it's roughly balanced. The issue mostly stems from DEX having better defenses overall between their main stat going into AC and getting further bonuses from size.

My points about the spell slots per day and the WBL stand, but with a more realistic WBL you're only looking at -3 to hit which hardly breaks this. The issue is knowing when to cast Monstrous Physique II since you only get 2/day. Of course, with the attack bonuses that high when buffed you won't need as many points for Arcane Accuracy, so next level you could just Recall it for 2 points. That's actually much better than I thought.

Dark Archive

Snowlilly wrote:
LuniasM wrote:

Invisibility is easily countered by other spells (see invisibility, echolocation, and invisibility purge to name a few) and soon after this level creatures and enemies start gaining the ability to see invisible stuff, negating the bonus this spell provides. Elemental Body grants +2 to hit at most and won't stack with other polymorph spells - Monstrous Physique II can grant +3 if you're DEX-based and take a small form. Heroism requires you to spend an arcana to acquire and the earliest you can get it is Level 9 at which point you should have up to 4 Level 3 spells a day, which competes with staples like Haste, Fly, Displacement, Force Hook Charge, and Slow (a Will Save that isn't mind-affecting is an amazing tool to have, plus it's a strong debuff).

The buffs in question were posted as a means for characters of level 10+ to continue advancing their accuracy. By this point the magus is assumed to have all of his core feats and arcana already in place.

  • See Invisibility, Invisibility Purge, and my personal favorite, Glitterdust have been in play for a long time. But it you are encountering them more than once or twice in an AP the GM is metagaming. At high level a few monsters will have the ability to see you, but again, unless the GM is metagaming to specifically counter you, it will be only a small percentage of encounters.
  • Heroism should be lasting > 3 hours per casting at 10th level. (I assume at level 10+ you've invested in an extend I rod.) Well worth the arcana, especially since you can grab Resist Energy at the same time.
  • If playing a Dex. build, I won't bother with memorizing Fly once I have Elemental Body.

As an aside: if all your opponents can cast See Invisible and Invisibility Purge, Slow is a wasted spell. In the unlikely chance they fail their will save, they can still cast.

I ran a Kingmaker game from levels 1-20 for two full caster players and (eventually) two NPCs, a Battle Herald (they're amazing) and an archer Paladin. When Book 4 started the group's Arcanist had Fly on his spell list and plenty of Level 3 and 4 slots so they could easily cast it on everyone if needed. Turns out that just about every random encounter and Hex encounter consists of groups of incredibly weak monsters or single enemies without flight or ranged attacks. I'll give you one guess why we hand-waved half the book.

Invisibility is another common tactic used by my group and their opponents, and for good reason - a Fly speed eliminates melee threats if they cannot fly but still allows counterplay by ranged abilities, but Greater Invisibility completely negates all threats if the enemy cannot properly answer it. Scent isn't a perfect answer either because the enemy still has a 50% miss chance and a pretty good attack roll bonus from being invisible that doesn't get negated unless you can see them. Up until the end of Book 5 most enemies in the AP didn't have a way to deal with that tactic - should I have just left it the way it was and proceeded to handwave another book just because altering it to properly challenge the party's abilities would be "metagaming"? Do you think my players would have fun if every encounter save for 1-2 could be completely negated by a Level 4 spell? Do you think I would have fun? No. So I altered content, added in consumables, changed spell lists, reworked entire encounters, and added my own challenges to make sure that my players were actually running the encounters instead of skipping nearly a whole book's worth of content. That is definitely not a decision I regret.

While I do agree on the Extend Rod being a great purchase I'd like to point out something glaring that I houseruled - even if you just want a Lesser Rod and took the feat to craft it at Level 9, they still require a CL 17 crafter. Not only is that ridiculous but it prevents nearly every notable allied NPC from making rods, meaning you shouldn't even be able to purchase them normally. We changed the CL to be based on the highest-level spell it works on - I'm pretty sure we did CL 9 for Lesser, CL 13 for Regular, and CL 17 for Greater. I strongly suggest others do the same.

As for Slow, I don't think you're comprehending just how powerful that is. Sure it isn't as useful against spellcasters normally since they still get their Standard and Swift actions, but that Move action is so useful for positioning, drawing consumables and rods, and a variety of other effects (many spells allow you to direct them with a Move action for instance). Plus I never said anything about being able to cast those spells, just having a method to deal with them. In a game where many creatures with low will saves are flat-out immune to mind effecting spells, such as plants, undead, oozes, and vermin, having a spell that reliably shuts down their full attacks and mobility is priceless. It will work on some constructs too, but YMMV due to magic immunity.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Monstrous Physique II: Minutes'/Level so you're better off shelling out for at least the medium rod of extend or this spell isn't lasting more than half of a dungeon at best. And that's assuming all of the encounters for the day are set up in a nice sequential order.

Polymorphing down to tiny is also not a very good idea. You won't be threatening at all and will be eating at least one AoO just to get within striking distance of your enemy. Getting off a full attack while tiny is not going to happen against any enemy that isn't mindless. Significant combat maneuver penalties as well.

Elemental Body: Any magi that drop fly for elemental body are useless magi. Polymorphing into an elemental takes away your ability to cast and melds all your gear with your body. But its ok because in return you get a fly speed and some natural attacks. Good job magi, maybe you can fly over to the nearest town and bring back someone who can actually contribute.

GM meta-gaming: Meta-gaming is part of the GM's job, and it benefits the players and the game as a whole.


LuniasM wrote:
While I do agree on the Extend Rod being a great purchase I'd like to point out something glaring that I houseruled - even if you just want a Lesser Rod and took the feat to craft it at Level 9, they still require a CL 17 crafter. Not only is that ridiculous but it prevents nearly every notable allied NPC from making rods, meaning you shouldn't even be able to purchase them normally. We changed the CL to be based on the highest-level spell it works on - I'm pretty sure we did CL 9 for Lesser, CL 13 for Regular, and CL 17 for Greater. I strongly suggest others do the same.

CL17 is not a requirement for crafting the item.

FAQ wrote:
Though the listed Caster Level for a pearl of power is 17th, that caster level is not part of the Requirements listing for that item. Therefore, the only caster level requirement for a pearl of power is the character has to be able to cast spells of the desired level.

Same applies to the rod. CL is only relevant in that the DC to craft is going to be CL+5.


pipedreamsam wrote:


Elemental Body: Any magi that drop fly for elemental body are useless magi. Polymorphing into an elemental takes away your ability to cast and melds all your gear with your body. But its ok because in return you get a fly speed and some natural attacks. Good job magi, maybe you can fly over to the nearest town and bring back someone who can actually contribute.

Elemental form does not take away the ability to cast. Elementals can speak and are capable of humanoid forms. They are able to meet both the verbal and somatic requirements. Basic preparations (either Eschew Materials or having someone hand you a spare spell component pouch) allow you to meet material requirements.

Nearly all worn magic items, save for armor, continue functioning while melding. I play a Kensai; no armor. The spell is a medium duration buff cast either after I scout the area or in preparation for scouting. I make sure I'm not holding my sword or spell component pouch when I cast Elemental Body II, most everything else continue to work.

pipedreamsam wrote:
GM meta-gaming: Meta-gaming is part of the GM's job, and it benefits the players and the game as a whole.

It must make for an interesting game if the GM Meta-games away all the players abilities:

  • Power attacking barbarian with a great axe: we'll make sure there are plenty of fliers. Flyby Attack works wonders.
  • Fighter is high AC: those flyers all have ranged touch attacks (Kineticist/Gunslinger levels are great for this.)
  • Archer in the group: well shoot, Obscuring Mist has been available since fist level. That flying kineticist can see though fog.
  • Pesky PC's started carrying Fly potions: CL 5 makes them simple to Dispel. After all, if your caster's are memorizing a niche spell like Invisibility Purge, they surely have the more general purpose option available.

The GM can, of course, counter the toys available to any class if he chooses to meta game. It's not a particularly good style of GMing to do so frequently, but the option is there. The meta gaming is best left to selected encounters encouraging PC's not to overly specialize in one trick or allowing a different player to take the lead.

Dark Archive

Snowlilly wrote:
pipedreamsam wrote:


Elemental Body: Any magi that drop fly for elemental body are useless magi. Polymorphing into an elemental takes away your ability to cast and melds all your gear with your body. But its ok because in return you get a fly speed and some natural attacks. Good job magi, maybe you can fly over to the nearest town and bring back someone who can actually contribute.

Elemental form does not take away the ability to cast. Elementals can speak and are capable of humanoid forms. They are able to meet both the verbal and somatic requirements. Basic preparations (either Eschew Materials or having someone hand you a spare spell component pouch) allow you to meet material requirements.

Nearly all worn magic items, save for armor, continue functioning while melding. I play a Kensai; no armor. The spell is a medium duration buff cast either after I scout the area or in preparation for scouting. I make sure I'm not holding my sword or spell component pouch when I cast Elemental Body II, most everything else continue to work.

This man is my GM and I play a flanking-based hunter, please don't give him ideas. And I hope you didn't turn into an elemental that isn't Earth cause the logistics of somehow tying a spell component pouch to a literal walking campfire are baffling. And the fact that you play a Kensai doesn't negate the point that you lose all your armor as any other type of magus, not to mention the poor MAD Strength-based ones. And I'd hardly call 1 minute per level "medium duration". Even scouting won't help for especially long dungeons, magical traps, or multiple encounters spread out over a day as opposed to a single dungeon.


@ BadBird: No, but the CL 17 significantly jacks up the DC of making such a rod. My group did a similar thing to Lunias's for the CL of rods just so that non-int based characters with craft rod could still make them.

As to the OP:

I frickin' love magus.

It's a class I'd wanted to play in a campaign ever since the original playtest, and I finally got the opportunity to a couple years ago. In a mythic campaign, no less. (We're current L14, tier 6.)

One amusing side effect of mythic - lots of enemies have elemental resist and/or sky-high SR, significantly reducing the value of shocking grasp and its kin. I still use intensified shocking grasp because 10d6 damage on demand is nice, but rarely more than twice in one session.

Bladed dash, on the other hand, gets way more use - often every single fight, if not multiple times in one fight. Also, being a bladebound magus in a mythic game was pretty significant; I was beating epic DR well ahead of the rest of the party.


LuniasM wrote:
And I hope you didn't turn into an elemental that isn't Earth cause the logistics of somehow tying a spell component pouch to a literal walking campfire are baffling.

I use air elemental - and if a GM wants to house-rule air elementals to be incorporeal, please do. The magus can add Ghost Touch to his weapon at this level. As is, nothing RAW prevents an elemental of any type from equipping gear or using weapons.

I am well familiar with the logistics of an extended adventuring day and resource management. Between diminished spellcasting and giving up spell recall my kensai places a premium on every spell used. He is also the party scout/trapper, putting him in a position to evaluate the situation before the more combat-happy party members can charge into the fray.

For a strength based magus wearing arming, Monstrous Physique easily the better choice. Elemental Body is more niche, but offers some nice versatility for those not relying on armor.


Snowlilly wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
And I hope you didn't turn into an elemental that isn't Earth cause the logistics of somehow tying a spell component pouch to a literal walking campfire are baffling.
I use air elemental - and if a GM wants to house-rule air elementals to be incorporeal, please do. The magus can add Ghost Touch to his weapon at this level. As is, nothing RAW prevents an elemental of any type from equipping gear or using weapons.

In fact, even if a GM house-ruled than air elementals are incorporeal, it wouldn't matter for Elemental Body. Pathfinder polymorph spells don't completely turn you into something else. They let you take on a creature's "form", which otherwise includes only the things specifically listed in the spell description. "Turning into" an elemental with Elemental Body doesn't even make you immune to bleed until Elemental Body 3.


BadBird wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
And I hope you didn't turn into an elemental that isn't Earth cause the logistics of somehow tying a spell component pouch to a literal walking campfire are baffling.
I use air elemental - and if a GM wants to house-rule air elementals to be incorporeal, please do. The magus can add Ghost Touch to his weapon at this level. As is, nothing RAW prevents an elemental of any type from equipping gear or using weapons.
In fact, even if a GM house-ruled than air elementals are incorporeal, it wouldn't matter for Elemental Body. Pathfinder polymorph spells don't completely turn you into something else. They let you take on a creature's "form", which otherwise includes only the things specifically listed in the spell description.

I agree, but I've seen the argument come up too many times that air elementals cannot carry X, because they are made of air.

Smiling, agreeing, and pointing out said ruling is hugely in my benefit due to spontaneous access to Ghost Touch usually reverses the decision faster than arguing.

Zhangar wrote:
In a mythic campaign, no less. (We're current L14, tier 6.)

That can get insane, especially considering what happens if you pick up Undetectable.

Dark Archive

BadBird wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
While I do agree on the Extend Rod being a great purchase I'd like to point out something glaring that I houseruled - even if you just want a Lesser Rod and took the feat to craft it at Level 9, they still require a CL 17 crafter. Not only is that ridiculous but it prevents nearly every notable allied NPC from making rods, meaning you shouldn't even be able to purchase them normally. We changed the CL to be based on the highest-level spell it works on - I'm pretty sure we did CL 9 for Lesser, CL 13 for Regular, and CL 17 for Greater. I strongly suggest others do the same.

CL17 is not a requirement for crafting the item.

FAQ wrote:
Though the listed Caster Level for a pearl of power is 17th, that caster level is not part of the Requirements listing for that item. Therefore, the only caster level requirement for a pearl of power is the character has to be able to cast spells of the desired level.
Same applies to the rod. CL is only relevant in that the DC to craft is going to be CL+5.

The DC is indeed CL+5 by normal crafting rules, but my tables use the Dynamic Magic Item Creation rules which relies on the CL for most of the skill DCs and saves. Go ahead and try making that DC 32 Craft, Spellcraft, UMD, or Concentration check at Level 9 without any buffs. Shelyn forbid you roll an Energy Overload and have to attempt a DC 37 Craft check, because if you fail that you have to make a DC 37 Fortitude save or have it blow up for 17d6 damage to everyone involved. Hope you didn't hire any NPCs to help, cause they're all dead on an average roll. Good to know the original intent wasn't to make it inaccessible though. Our CL patch fixes the issue and is a fair compromise.


It's also really helpful if you can use things like Bestow Insight for that crafting check at the end.

Dark Archive

Snowlilly wrote:
BadBird wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
And I hope you didn't turn into an elemental that isn't Earth cause the logistics of somehow tying a spell component pouch to a literal walking campfire are baffling.
I use air elemental - and if a GM wants to house-rule air elementals to be incorporeal, please do. The magus can add Ghost Touch to his weapon at this level. As is, nothing RAW prevents an elemental of any type from equipping gear or using weapons.
In fact, even if a GM house-ruled than air elementals are incorporeal, it wouldn't matter for Elemental Body. Pathfinder polymorph spells don't completely turn you into something else. They let you take on a creature's "form", which otherwise includes only the things specifically listed in the spell description.

I agree, but I've seen the argument come up too many times that air elementals cannot carry X, because they are made of air.

Smiling, agreeing, and pointing out said ruling is hugely in my benefit due to spontaneous access to Ghost Touch usually reverses the decision faster than arguing.

I never said it couldn't be done, but if this is the first time your GM has heard of this ruling expect them to look at you as if you're speaking in tongues. I reserve the right to laugh for a few minutes upon seeing it in person.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Snowlilly wrote:
pipedreamsam wrote:
GM meta-gaming: Meta-gaming is part of the GM's job, and it benefits the players and the game as a whole.

It must make for an interesting game if the GM Meta-games away all the players abilities:

  • Power attacking barbarian with a great axe: we'll make sure there are plenty of fliers. Flyby Attack works wonders.
  • Fighter is high AC: those flyers all have ranged touch attacks (Kineticist/Gunslinger levels are great for this.)
  • Archer in the group: well shoot, Obscuring Mist has been available since fist level. That flying kineticist can see though fog.
  • Pesky PC's started carrying Fly potions: CL 5 makes them simple to Dispel. After all, if your caster's are memorizing a niche spell like Invisibility Purge, they surely have the more general purpose option available.

The GM can, of course, counter the toys available to any class if he chooses to meta game. It's not a particularly good style of GMing to do so frequently, but the option is there. The meta gaming is best left to selected encounters encouraging PC's not to overly specialize in one trick or allowing a different player to take the lead.

You keep talking as if he's using his metagame knowledge to shut players down but that's simply not the case - he's my GM so I can vouch for that. As I said before, APs aren't designed with higher levels of optimization in mind and our group is more optimized than what is assumed. When he metagames it's to increase the challenge to a level that is appropriate for our capabilities as players, not to shut us down. In fact I play a flank-based Hunter and the other guy plays a Gunslinger/Rogue, so if we went up against a high-level Rogue or a powerful elemental we'd be in a lot of trouble. However, we have gone up against 2 elemental encounters over the course of 3 books and have yet to fight anything with Uncanny Dodge. There's a significant difference between a GM who only uses fire-immune creatures against his party's pyromancer ("Actually, this caster is a polymorphed Fire Elemental sorcerer and is immune to your fire spells. Why is he here? Whoooooo knoooooows.) and a GM who says "Hey guys, for some reason the encounters in this AP look way too easy for you and I'm worried it'll make the combat boring for all of us, so I'm going to alter it so it's actually a challenge."

Metagaming is a tool that can be used properly to improve the group's experience or abused to make things unnecessarily difficult. It is not inherently good or bad from a GM perspective.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
LuniasM wrote:
Metagaming is a tool that can be used properly to improve the group's experience or abused to make things unnecessarily difficult. It is not inherently good or bad from a GM perspective.

This.

What does a GM do when the AP features an item that has a specific faith requirement that runs antithetical to all of the PC's traits and personalities? Does he just say 'tough break' and have the party sell it for half? What about the powerful artifact that the PCs spent all book hunting down and claiming? When it turns out to be an exotic weapon that nobody can use and does the GM just let it collect dust or does he change that shotel into a weapon that the party Kensai's signature weapon? Does the GM flat out refuse to let a party take a certain course of action simply because the book doesn't say what to do if the players take that route, or does the GM roll with it to accommodate and even reward the players for their ingenuity to create a better game for everyone?

Meta-gaming is just a character using information that they do not have or would not normally have access to but the player does. By the time that characters reach mid level there's a more than good chance that they've developed a bit of a reputation for themselves and people (including antagonists yes) hear about that. It might become known that the sword swinging lightning calling character is fond of transforming into a being of air and flying around slinging spells and slashing honest hard working henchmen. Its far from unreasonable to say that some villains wouldn't prepare for this. The same goes for a PC fond of utilizing invisibility, or casting fireball, or charging in with a greatsword, etc. Enemies that remain ignorant of the world around them and simply wait in a box for murder-hobos to stroll through, slaughter them and take their treasure are static, boring and pointless.

Should only enemies hear about and plan for the PCs in this capacity? No of course not. The characters (and by extension the players) should feel their growing power not just by their steadily increasing numbers, but through the world they inhabit and the people around them. They could go into a tavern and overhear a bard telling a dirty limerick inspired by the actions of the party barbarian two villages over. They could walk into a shop owned by the father of a young girl that the party saved when they took down the tribe of giants that had been terrorizing the village for years and earn a discount for their courage. The party could be invited to a dinner held in their honor by a local lord looking to curry favor with such a powerful group of heroes. A young woman could approach the party wizard and ask to become his apprentice so that she can grow strong enough to challenge her brother's killer. Similarly, villains should publicly humiliate the PCs, challenge them when they are not prepared, strike when their backs are turned and exploit their weaknesses. The lists go on and on but the end result is that the world becomes interconnected and alive, rather than just a collection of nothings waiting for the PCs to come by and interact with them and no personalities, motivations or goals of their own beyond handing out plot hooks and treasure.

The assertion that deviation from an adventure as it is written is poor GMing is ludicrous, and contrary to both the spirit of the hobby and the characteristics that make this medium of storytelling unlike any other.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Starting to go off topic now.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Sword wrote:

1. No - wands and spell slots mean a magus can keep casting spells till his arms drop off. Close Range arcana dramatically widens the number of spells that can used for spell strike.

2. I am a GM but I have played a magus as a PC twice. I don't want to feel cringeworthy when my intensified shocking grasp deals 20d6 damage because I rolled a 15 to hit, as well as doing weapon damage... Oh yes then I get my full round attacks. Or maybe using lightning leap to damage an opponent, avoid its reach, flank it and then get my full iterative attacks on the same turn! These things don't require chains of feats they are available very very easily.

This is a free attack on top of other free attacks like haste. Base attack 3/4 makes little difference when as a free action you can enhance your blade beyond what the rest of the party has not only making up the BAB difference but adding to damage as well.

I don't subscribe to the tier system and cases like this explain why. Wizards cannot replicate what is being described above and our groups combats are balanced. This is an issue for other players who don't deserve to have the show stolen by a magus that can do 2-3 times as much stuff as they can in a game round.

As I said, I recommend swapping spell strike for an arcana or removing it completely and taking the uses per day limitation off spell critical.

1. Arcane Mark, also

2. Average of 60 damage, not really that much by the time you reach level 10. Especially considering how easily countered it is. SR has a chance to negate it, energy resistance/immunity are fairly common at that point, either innately or via spells. And is still less damage potential than the Barbarian or pretty much any Archer can put out.

One of the main problems the Magus has is confirmation bias, that is to say that the times the Magus preforms well tend to stick in peoples memory better than the times that it did average or below average.


I like to use the magus as the base for building my characters. I like to on average toss in about 8 levels of magus into my builds. I am right now working on an unchained monk 4 levels Magus 8 levels, and the last 8 levels Eldritch Knight. I am only giving up 2 BAB, and will only loss 3 CL by level 20.

I have played about 4 magus builds like the one above. I used bastard swords for 3 of them and a great sword on the last. Two used shocking grasp, and the other two used frost bite. Two of the builds where Society play, including the Great sword and frost bite build.

Can the magus nova? Yes, but it is not needed to have a fun build. As for the magus running dry before the day is done? Pearls of Power fixed the problem for me. Also you can uses both chill touch and shocking grasp on the same magus and even have both spells ready to go at the same time. On most fights go frost bite or chill touch, and go two handed for the fight, thus giving you a slow resource burn on those fights.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

60 damage on top of 20-60 weapon damage is a lot when it happens every 5 hits and is one of 4 attacks a round with Int bonus to hit and confirm and only uses the resource of a second level spell and an arcane point.

Rather it is in the games we play. Where as I said we play 2/3 optimisation as an estimate. I.e. We want to enjoy an adventure path without having to completely re-write it!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Sword wrote:
60 damage on top of 20-60 weapon damage is a lot when it happens every 5 hits and is one of 4 attacks a round...

Scoring a critical hit on a Spellstrike will happen maybe once in 5 rounds, not attacks. You don't get to choose the attack that scored a critical hit to be your Spellstrike attack. If the average damage for a level 10 Shocking Grasp is ~35 and the probability to crit is ~20/25%, Shocking Grasp is worth something like ~43 damage per round, which mostly just compensates for needing to make light, one-handed attacks. I wouldn't be surprised if a Sacred Fist of Gorum making 5/6 two-handed greatsword attacks per round with buffs running could handily beat the full attack damage output of a Magus.


The Sword wrote:

60 damage on top of 20-60 weapon damage is a lot when it happens every 5 hits and is one of 4 attacks a round with Int bonus to hit and confirm and only uses the resource of a second level spell and an arcane point.

Rather it is in the games we play. Where as I said we play 2/3 optimisation as an estimate. I.e. We want to enjoy an adventure path without having to completely re-write it!

It's nice damage, but a full BAB class archer, taking only the obvious archery feats (point blank shot, precise shot, rapid shot, manyshot, deadly aim) with a composite longbow outperforms it pretty easily, especially as an archer can pretty much always make a full attack while the Magus will have to move a decent amount. Now, level 10 let's the magus get pounce via Monstrous Physique II, but the Barbarian can have pounce via greater beast totem, can conserve rounds of rage for when he needs them and is two handed power attacking. And again, those are pretty obvious picks for that class, and a fairly minimal resource investment(3 rage powers and a feat).

You're also still neglecting ER, SR, and spells that can grant either. Or summons. By the time a Magus can do what you're talking about, 6th-7th level spells should be in play (a boss or sub-boss 1-3 levels above the party in not an unreasonable expectation). Huge/Greater Air Elementals, Succubi, Vrocks, any one of them is a decent general purpose battle summon, and will ruin a shocking grasp spamming Magus' day.

151 to 196 of 196 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / How do you feel about the Magus? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.