WTF is... Arcane Mark


Rules Questions

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ja'alur wrote:

So can this be used to reveal a stealthed or invisible character.

I cadt arcane mark on a rogue. The rogue stealths. Can I still see the mark and is there still a miss chance?

1. Someone must have a Detect Magic active in the area where the mark is and Line of Effect cannot be blocked.

2. You see the glowing, but not the exact source.

I'd say you can pinpoint the square, but still get the 50% miss chance. This lets you avoid the 100% miss chance you get when you attack the wrong square.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Drachasor wrote:
ja'alur wrote:

So can this be used to reveal a stealthed or invisible character.

I cadt arcane mark on a rogue. The rogue stealths. Can I still see the mark and is there still a miss chance?

1. Someone must have a Detect Magic active in the area where the mark is and Line of Effect cannot be blocked.

2. You see the glowing, but not the exact source.

I'd say you can pinpoint the square, but still get the 50% miss chance. This lets you avoid the 100% miss chance you get when you attack the wrong square.

If the rogue is hiding it should not negate his stealth attempt. He could be hiding the glow with a piece of cloth, place it so that something cover it from your view and so on.

I would give the rogue a negative modifier to his stealth attempt, but not completely negate it.

The problem is that "glow" is a very imprecise term. Of what kind of glow we are speaking? The glow of a wristwatch with glowing numbers? A wristwatch with a light? A candle?
Glow can go from something barely visible at a few inches in pitch darkness to something that can be seen at hundred of meters by daylight.


Honestly, given that the intent really seems to be for Detect Magic to just reveal an invisible Arcane Mark, I'd hesitate to make it reveal an invisible creature.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
ja'alur wrote:

So can this be used to reveal a stealthed or invisible character.

I cadt arcane mark on a rogue. The rogue stealths. Can I still see the mark and is there still a miss chance?

1. Someone must have a Detect Magic active in the area where the mark is and Line of Effect cannot be blocked.

2. You see the glowing, but not the exact source.

I'd say you can pinpoint the square, but still get the 50% miss chance. This lets you avoid the 100% miss chance you get when you attack the wrong square.

If the rogue is hiding it should not negate his stealth attempt. He could be hiding the glow with a piece of cloth, place it so that something cover it from your view and so on.

I would give the rogue a negative modifier to his stealth attempt, but not completely negate it.

The problem is that "glow" is a very imprecise term. Of what kind of glow we are speaking? The glow of a wristwatch with glowing numbers? A wristwatch with a light? A candle?
Glow can go from something barely visible at a few inches in pitch darkness to something that can be seen at hundred of meters by daylight.

Quite correct. I was still thinking of invisibility and someone being out in the open. "Rogue stealth" flew right by me.

If the stealther hides in the cone for 3 rounds, then he'll be spotted by the detector, including the square. This covers even if he's covering the mark with a cloth.

He'd have to spot the mark glowing or somehow know it was there before blocking it (remember it was invisible before). But the glowing could certainly be covered up. How big of a deal the glowing if not covered is....well, that's up to the DM.

Shadow Lodge

I would think an easy answer to the intensity of the glowing would be that it's roughly equivalent to a black-light stamp or strong glow-paint. Enough that if you walk under a black-light (Detect Magic spell) it starts glowing and is visible within the range of the spell. Alternately, perhaps a common Halloween glow-stick. Bright enough to see, but certainly not terribly intense. But black-light equivalence has always been the impression that I got.

I don't know that covering it up with cloth would make a difference, because A) said cloth would be invisible, and B) that's an easy distance for Detect Magic to penetrate. The Arcane Mark spell specifically says that the mark glows and becomes visible in a DM spell. The problem I have with that is the spell does not say whether it is visible only to the DM user, or if it just glows and becomes visible/legible/potentially readable to all in the immediate area.

If it's the latter, and it's visible to all in the immediate area, I would rule that it allows any given target an automatic pinpoint, but that still leaves a 50% miss chance to hit it.

That said, if they actually try to Stealth, there's a chance that they'll hide behind something that either blocks DM or that blocks LOS.


I think a good DM can make a coice wether or not it was been seen as been said befor you could have covered it up!

that said a magus delivers this spell trough his weapon the target might not even know it is there! would you notice a glow on your forehead?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Borris Livestrom wrote:

I think a good DM can make a coice wether or not it was been seen as been said befor you could have covered it up!

that said a magus delivers this spell trough his weapon the target might not even know it is there! would you notice a glow on your forehead?

Depend on its intensity and the ambient light, but yes, you would generally notice it if it is strong enough to be noticed by others.

You would not notice a glow on your back. But remember, nowhere in the spell description it say that you choose where the mark appear. I would say that it appear where you touched the subject, so, in combat, generally on the target torso, the easiest target.

About the invisible/glowing thing, seeing the original intention of the spell, i.e. putting a a mark stating the property of an object or creature, it its reasonable to assume that it will glow and be readable to all when you use detect magic.
It would be a good way to deter theft: "This is my horse." "Prove it." Detect magic and on the rump of the horse appear your glowing seal.

With the current use of the spell by a magus it become less logic. Like it having no saving throw or spell resistance. Bot appropriate if you are putting the mark on your items or your horse, less appropriate if you are putting the mark on an unwilling enemy.


This whole bit about the arcane mark and detect magic while the person is under an invisibility spell or effect makes me wonder why the "person" using detect magic can't detect the invisibility as magic?

jlighter wrote wrote:
I would think an easy answer to the intensity of the glowing would be that it's roughly equivalent to a black-light stamp...

Alternatively, I believe this to be the most viable option. Even those types of stamps can be covered & hidden from the black-light (detect magic), even when inspection.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Craig Frankum wrote:

This whole bit about the arcane mark and detect magic while the person is under an invisibility spell or effect makes me wonder why the "person" using detect magic can't detect the invisibility as magic?

jlighter wrote wrote:
I would think an easy answer to the intensity of the glowing would be that it's roughly equivalent to a black-light stamp...
Alternatively, I believe this to be the most viable option. Even those types of stamps can be covered & hidden from the black-light (detect magic), even when inspection.

He can, but the glow would pinpoint the marked creature location during the first round of detect magic instead of the third and, if it is visible to everyone, it will pinpoint the marked creature location to other people.

Shadow Lodge

Craig Frankum wrote:
This whole bit about the arcane mark and detect magic while the person is under an invisibility spell or effect makes me wonder why the "person" using detect magic can't detect the invisibility as magic?

Part of the Arcane Mark/Detect Magic thing with invisibility is yes, DM does let you detect the invisibility, but it setting off the glow-property of AM means that you don't have to spend time pinpointing the target or three rounds concentrating. The mark glows on round 1; as long as the target is still within the area of the spell, you know where he is beginning of round 2 when you free-action drop the spell, then attack the square you know he's in. 50% miss chance still, but a lot of time saved, and other characters may be able to take advantage of the same thing.

Craig Frankum wrote:
jlighter wrote wrote:
I would think an easy answer to the intensity of the glowing would be that it's roughly equivalent to a black-light stamp...
Alternatively, I believe this to be the most viable option. Even those types of stamps can be covered & hidden from the black-light (detect magic), even when inspection.

Those kind of stamps can be hidden, yes, but DM can penetrate a lot of materials. Unfortunately, covering a glowing stamp with an invisible hand probably isn't going to do much. Covering it with an invisible bit of lead foil, though, will. As will 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, or 3 feet of wood or dirt. Fabric wouldn't exactly do anything when it's already invisible.


Drachasor wrote:
But let's be honest, the difference between 1d4 and 1d6 is very little. Worst 1d6 damage does is make Shocking Grasp a crappy spell at first level...oh wait, it ALREADY WAS.

Shocking Grasp is a good spell for a magus. Giving the magus a 1d6 touch attack spell is an effective increase in damage with 60% or so for a scimitar-wielding 1st level magus (if they're going from say 1d6+2 to 2d6+2). Shocking Grasp is already a decent spell for a 1st level magus, the only thing that doesn't make it great is that it's a limited number of times per day. It should be remembered that magus is already considered a strong class, especially in the damage department.

I'd be wary of giving them ray of frost, and absolutely not give them anything dealing more damage than that. If one gives them a 1d6 touch attack spell they should probably also give all 1st level fighters flaming swords.


Ilja wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
But let's be honest, the difference between 1d4 and 1d6 is very little. Worst 1d6 damage does is make Shocking Grasp a crappy spell at first level...oh wait, it ALREADY WAS.

Shocking Grasp is a good spell for a magus. Giving the magus a 1d6 touch attack spell is an effective increase in damage with 60% or so for a scimitar-wielding 1st level magus (if they're going from say 1d6+2 to 2d6+2). Shocking Grasp is already a decent spell for a 1st level magus, the only thing that doesn't make it great is that it's a limited number of times per day. It should be remembered that magus is already considered a strong class, especially in the damage department.

I'd be wary of giving them ray of frost, and absolutely not give them anything dealing more damage than that. If one gives them a 1d6 touch attack spell they should probably also give all 1st level fighters flaming swords.

they cant make it anny stronger or it would be totaly broken

I use intensefied shocking grasp at lvl 6 so thats 7d6+10 crit at 15-20X2

Considering its still a lvl 1 spell slot and I got 3 pearls of power lvl1 and 8 points in my arcane pool I can cast it up to 16 times depending if I want to use my points and pearls for something els!


Ilja wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
But let's be honest, the difference between 1d4 and 1d6 is very little. Worst 1d6 damage does is make Shocking Grasp a crappy spell at first level...oh wait, it ALREADY WAS.

Shocking Grasp is a good spell for a magus. Giving the magus a 1d6 touch attack spell is an effective increase in damage with 60% or so for a scimitar-wielding 1st level magus (if they're going from say 1d6+2 to 2d6+2). Shocking Grasp is already a decent spell for a 1st level magus, the only thing that doesn't make it great is that it's a limited number of times per day. It should be remembered that magus is already considered a strong class, especially in the damage department.

I'd be wary of giving them ray of frost, and absolutely not give them anything dealing more damage than that. If one gives them a 1d6 touch attack spell they should probably also give all 1st level fighters flaming swords.

Eh, it's not like Fighters aren't going to be hitting more often and doing more damage at first level. You're making a mountain out of a molehill. A touch attack Cantrip that did 1d4 or 1d6 damage wouldn't upset game balance at all. It would probably make a Magus's first two or three levels a bit easier, but then there's nothing wrong with that. Those levels are when the class is underperforming anyhow.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Remember that if you are in range of the enemy you need to make a concentration check, and it isn't so easy to make it at first level.
That is more a problem for spell combat that for spellstrike, but you can't use sepllstrike at first level, you get it at second level.


Drachasor wrote:
Ilja wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
But let's be honest, the difference between 1d4 and 1d6 is very little. Worst 1d6 damage does is make Shocking Grasp a crappy spell at first level...oh wait, it ALREADY WAS.

Shocking Grasp is a good spell for a magus. Giving the magus a 1d6 touch attack spell is an effective increase in damage with 60% or so for a scimitar-wielding 1st level magus (if they're going from say 1d6+2 to 2d6+2). Shocking Grasp is already a decent spell for a 1st level magus, the only thing that doesn't make it great is that it's a limited number of times per day. It should be remembered that magus is already considered a strong class, especially in the damage department.

I'd be wary of giving them ray of frost, and absolutely not give them anything dealing more damage than that. If one gives them a 1d6 touch attack spell they should probably also give all 1st level fighters flaming swords.

Eh, it's not like Fighters aren't going to be hitting more often and doing more damage at first level. You're making a mountain out of a molehill. A touch attack Cantrip that did 1d4 or 1d6 damage wouldn't upset game balance at all. It would probably make a Magus's first two or three levels a bit easier, but then there's nothing wrong with that. Those levels are when the class is underperforming anyhow.

See, there's a difference with my post. My post gave the context of how the spells are used, what spells and classes are considered strong and some very basic maths on how it would affect the damage output.

Your post was basically "no ur wrong" without showing any support for that conclusion at all.

Are maguses underpowered at 1st level? If they aren't, why increase their damage output by 45-60% or so?


Sort of on topic, I have a reskinned sprite called a Graveborn Sprite that uses Arcane Mark as one of their Spell-like Abilities. They do this to mark a foe, then they proceed to harry them over the course of a month (while the mark lasts). Their attacks get worse and worse as the month wears on. Should the victim survive the month, their "debt" to the creatures is paid.

In such situations, if the PC marked went invisible and the sprites used Detect Magic to make the Arcane Mark glow, would that foil their invisibility or at least reduce the PC's stealth bonus?


Ilja wrote:

See, there's a difference with my post. My post gave the context of how the spells are used, what spells and classes are considered strong and some very basic maths on how it would affect the damage output.

Your post was basically "no ur wrong" without showing any support for that conclusion at all.

Are maguses underpowered at 1st level? If they aren't, why increase their damage output by 45-60% or so?

My apologies, you seemed familiar with the basics of how these classes worked. I didn't think I needed to spell it out explicitly.

Consider a 15 point buy.
Fighter: Str 16(+2), Dex 12, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 7
Magus: Str 14(+2), Dex 12, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 9, Cha 7

The Magus is pretty strapped because he needs a high int to function.

Now if the Fighter uses a Greatsword, he's has an attack of +5 dealing 2d6+6 damage.

The Magus has to use a 1-handed weapon, so with a strength build he's doing 1d8+3 damage and only has a +3 attack. (Note that a Dex-based build would be a bit better to hit, but on average do less damage at level 1).

We're ignoring feats at the moment (which disadvantages the Fighter, since he has two).

The Magus doesn't gain much benefit from spells at this level. He just has 2 first level spells, after all (and cantrips).

A 1 CR creature averages 12 AC (going by the chart).
The Fighter hits on a 7 or better. That's a 70% hit rate or 9 damage.
The Magus hits on a 9 or better, so that's a 60% hit rate or 4.5 damage. So a higher damage Magus build is still just doing about half the damage of the Fighter.

Let's say the Magus does Spell Combat with the current spell list. He'll just have a +1 to hit. But he also gets a 1d3 attack with an acid orb (but only at -1). Let's assume a touch AC of 10. So he needs a 11 or better on both attacks. That's a 50% chance, so it averages 4.75 damage. Not noticeably better than before.

Change the extra attack to a 1d6 touch, and it just becomes 5.5 damage on average. Still much worse than the Fighter. The numbers can be wiggled slightly, but going with a dex build lowers weapon damage, while upping touch to-hit, so it doesn't alter things all that much.

In other words, a 1d6 touch attack cantrip would not notable alter the balance of the game. Heck, a 1d6 ray cantrip wouldn't make a noticeable difference either (except wizards and sorcerers wouldn't bother with crossbows, but that's really not much of a change).

Were you under the impression that somehow the Magus was equal to the Fighter or any other melee class at 1st?


Whether the glow from Arcane Mark when using Detect Magic can be seen by all or just the caster of Detect Magic is an important question. I strongly suspect it's just the caster, but that's just my opinion. Have any of the long time veterans on here seen this addressed before by any developers? How about 3.5 clarifications? If we have neither, I suggest a specific thread about this, something such as "Can only the caster of Detect Magic see the glow of Arcane Mark, or is it visible to all?".


comon man its a mark you place to show to other people you have marked it!

it glows this means evryone can see it otherwize it would be specefied it would only glow to the ownerof the mark or caster of detect magic!


What's with the people going "Punish the Magus for getting an extra attack at a -2 sometimes!"

I agree it can make a good plot hook but you kinda have to weigh the pros and cons of the whole thing.

If the "plot hook" is just "Everyone in Andora hates you now and angry mobs are forming from people you didn't kill because I don't like you using a cantrip" there's no point in it.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
What's with the people going "Punish the Magus for getting an extra attack at a -2 sometimes!"

Becuase it's a cheesey option. It requires no real expenditure of resources (you don't need a feat, no need to spend a spell slot), but end up with the benefit of two-weapon fighting, except with only needing a single weapon. Awesome value at low level where buying a pair of masterwork weapons is probably too expensive to consider.

On top of that, there is generally no good reason to use the combo, EXCEPT to get an extra attack. Sure, there might be rare occasions where it's useful (like keeping track of an enemy you think might hide or run away), but in the majority of instances, the player will simply be metagaming to get an extra attack.


YogoZuno wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
What's with the people going "Punish the Magus for getting an extra attack at a -2 sometimes!"

Becuase it's a cheesey option. It requires no real expenditure of resources (you don't need a feat, no need to spend a spell slot), but end up with the benefit of two-weapon fighting, except with only needing a single weapon. Awesome value at low level where buying a pair of masterwork weapons is probably too expensive to consider.

On top of that, there is generally no good reason to use the combo, EXCEPT to get an extra attack. Sure, there might be rare occasions where it's useful (like keeping track of an enemy you think might hide or run away), but in the majority of instances, the player will simply be metagaming to get an extra attack.

The whole point of the Magus class is "hitting with a weapon while casting a spell in the same round" and "delivering touch spells through a weapon attack." It's their main class feature. Why is using their main class feature cheesy? Synergy is cheesy?


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Anything that doesn't immediately gimp you is power gaming cheese to some people.

Just let it go.

Sczarni

MyTThor wrote:


The whole point of the Magus class is "hitting with a weapon while casting a spell in the same round" and "delivering touch spells through a weapon attack." It's their main class feature. Why is using their main class feature cheesy? Synergy is cheesy?

I think the real cheese comes from the fact that Arcane Mark is a spell designed to place a mark on an item, and the Magi casting it have no actual interest in leaving marks on the thing they're marking, they're just casting Arcane Mark for the sake of casting a cantrip. I've seen it in action, and it's really just Two-Weapon with a concentration check instead of a feat requirement, so it's not overpowered at all-- it just goes against the RAI.

Magus: Taste my sword! And then taste my spell THROUGH my sword!
Orc: What?! You're casting a spell at me too?
Magus: That's right, you bastard! How do you like that?
Orc: Wait, what's this? Runes? Is this a curse?
Magus: Nope! It's my arcane mark!
Orc: What does that do? You find a way to cast spells at your enemies and all you use it to do is write on them? Where's the firestorm? Where's the cursing and stuff?
Magus: That's how I roll! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!


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TWF without offhand iteratives is overpowered?

That said, I've always thought writing on people with your attacks was too awesome not to do when given the chance. I can even make them invisible so when detect magic is cast its all like "FWOOSH! I Was here!"


So now I'm wondering...

If you hit the enemy with an Arcane Mark but he doesn't die from the attack, if he then dies within the next month does the mark still fade?


Silent Saturn wrote:

I think the real cheese comes from the fact that Arcane Mark is a spell designed to place a mark on an item, and the Magi casting it have no actual interest in leaving marks on the thing they're marking, they're just casting Arcane Mark for the sake of casting a cantrip. I've seen it in action, and it's really just Two-Weapon with a concentration check instead of a feat requirement, so it's not overpowered at all-- it just goes against the RAI.

Magus: Taste my sword! And then taste my spell THROUGH my sword!
Orc: What?! You're casting a spell at me too?
Magus: That's right, you bastard! How do you like that?
Orc: Wait, what's this? Runes? Is this a curse?
Magus: Nope! It's my arcane mark!
Orc: What does that do? You find a way to cast spells at your enemies and all you use it to do is write on them? Where's the firestorm? Where's the cursing and stuff?
Magus: That's how I roll! WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!

Well if the Orc doesn't know it's true meaning, then why are you saying it's just a mark? Play on his fears (I don't think anyone likes being cursed), tell him it IS a curse. He'll worry about nothing, and it might make combat easier (subject to a GM by GM basis.)

Although to be honest, it's hardly worth losing sleep over, and after what everyone has said in the thread, it does allow for plot hooks and really doesn't sound as cheesy as it seems. My magus would probably keep the mark active on them, and if she no longer needs them, just wills it away.

Liberty's Edge

YogoZuno wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
What's with the people going "Punish the Magus for getting an extra attack at a -2 sometimes!"
Becuase it's a cheesey option. It requires no real expenditure of resources (you don't need a feat, no need to spend a spell slot), but end up with the benefit of two-weapon fighting, except with only needing a single weapon. Awesome value at low level where buying a pair of masterwork weapons is probably too expensive to consider.

I shudder to think of how you feel about flurry of blows.

Sczarni

The point is that the "Arcane Mark trick" completely defies the intent of Arcane Mark AND Spell Combat/Spellstrike. Spell Combat is "TWF with weapon and spell". Spellstrike is "deliver offensive touch spells with the strike of your sword" Arcane Mark, meanwhile, is a magical rubber stamp that was never intended to see use in combat.

If people were roleplaying about "leaving the Mark of Zorro" on their enemies, or using Bluff checks to convince targets that the mark was a curse, that'd be one thing. But it seems like most people are doing it because it's a cute quirk of the rules that makes them feel like they're squeezing the system. It's not roleplaying or optimizing, it's just people hunting for loopholes.


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Silent Saturn wrote:
The point is that the "Arcane Mark trick" completely defies the intent of Arcane Mark AND Spell Combat/Spellstrike.
Da FAQ wrote:

Magus: Can a magus use spell combat (page 10) with cantrips?

Yes. It is not limited to spells of level 1 or higher.

What is the one Touch Spell Cantrip a Magus gets?

Arcane Mark.

This ain't hard.

Oh, also:

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

So...

No rulings here, but I thought I would bring up a point that is the primary reason I have not gone in an altered this ability, even in light of the arcane mark issue.

Remember that you have to leave one hand open to pull this particular trick off, which in the end, means that this trick is really no better than Two-Weapon Fighting, you are just swapping your off-hand attack for a spell. Well, that was the original intent anyway. So the Arcane Mark bit just lets you take that extra off-hand attack, albeit with your on hand weapon. Handy, sure, but hardly overpowering.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Cruising the boards late night style

Looks like intent to me.

Lantern Lodge

Would it be ok to say that spell combat essentially gave magi TWF? With a nerf?

If your worried about it being cheesy, just house rule a new cantrip just for that purpose. It's really not that OP... -2 to attacks and your casting a spell in melee for 1 extra attack.

Call it a weakened version of haste, or weakened TWF.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:

What is the one Touch Spell Cantrip a Magus gets?

Arcane Mark.

Yeah, because the rule is only catering for current spells, not trying to cover off future developments or anything...Note that it is also possible to obtain other touch cantrips via Magus Arcana (Spell Blending for Touch of Fatiguem, for instance, or Close Range for Ray of Frost).

The point that I (and Silent Saturn) was trying to make was, the use of Arcane Mark is ONLY to generate an extra attack. There is really no purpose to casting the spell with Spell Combat other than generating an extra attack. This is different to a monk's flurry, where the flurry rules are there explicitly to let the monk hit more often, and an important part of the class. Spell Combat is there to let the magus cast a spell and hit something (and Spellstrike is there to combine the two), but with Arcane Mark, it's being used to hit something, and...hit something.

It's not overpowered as such, and it loses attractiveness at later levels, but at lower levels, it is just metagaming to hit more often.

Shadow Lodge

FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

Would it be ok to say that spell combat essentially gave magi TWF? With a nerf?

If your worried about it being cheesy, just house rule a new cantrip just for that purpose. It's really not that OP... -2 to attacks and your casting a spell in melee for 1 extra attack.

Call it a weakened version of haste, or weakened TWF.

This guy gets it. You have to spend a spell slot on a nearly useless cantrip, you potentially provoke an attack of opportunity, and you still have to hit with the bloody thing.

But if the slings and arrows of other players sting that badly, use your first Magus Arcana for Spell Blending to pick up Touch of Fatigue. There, now you've spent a "real" resource on your weaker TWF.


How about the never ending debate and opinion exchange on whether such-and-such Magus ability/tactic is overpowered or not, gets moved to General Discussion where it belongs and we actually talk about rules questions.


YogoZuno wrote:


Yeah, because the rule is only catering for current spells, not trying to cover off future developments or anything

If memory serves the FAQ was created based on a thread asking about Arcane Mark from a while back.

YogoZuno wrote:
The point that I (and Silent Saturn) was trying to make was, the use of Arcane Mark is ONLY to generate an extra attack. There is really no purpose to casting the spell with Spell Combat other than generating an extra attack. This is different to a monk's flurry, where the flurry rules are there explicitly to let the monk hit more often, and an important part of the class. Spell Combat is there to let the magus cast a spell and hit something (and Spellstrike is there to combine the two), but with Arcane Mark, it's being used to hit something, and...hit something.

Yes.

What is the problem with this?

It works by RAW. It works by RAI. It works as a neat option for the Magus player to take to give them a little extra damage at low levels.

Big whoop.

YogoZuno wrote:
It's not overpowered as such, and it loses attractiveness at later levels, but at lower levels, it is just metagaming to hit more often.

If this is what you call metagaming, playing at your tables must be hell.

"I'm going to move 15 feet to this square and.."

"No! Your character wouldn't know there were squares! Metagaming! Bad!"

It's an option the character has. Fluff it however you want, but using the options that come built-in to your character is not metagaming any more than movement is metagaming, or any other class using any other of their class features is metagaming.


if the intention was not for it to be used by the magus in this way it would not have been on their spell list!

Because it is in it's spell list it means they thought about it being used as two-weapon fighting. and it is suposed to be used for that!

Zorro might have set his mark in clothes but consider cutting it in skin!! é voila you got nice synergy as to why it doese damage!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
YogoZuno wrote:
Quote:

What is the one Touch Spell Cantrip a Magus gets?

Arcane Mark.

Yeah, because the rule is only catering for current spells, not trying to cover off future developments or anything...Note that it is also possible to obtain other touch cantrips via Magus Arcana (Spell Blending for Touch of Fatiguem, for instance, or Close Range for Ray of Frost).

The point that I (and Silent Saturn) was trying to make was, the use of Arcane Mark is ONLY to generate an extra attack. There is really no purpose to casting the spell with Spell Combat other than generating an extra attack. This is different to a monk's flurry, where the flurry rules are there explicitly to let the monk hit more often, and an important part of the class. Spell Combat is there to let the magus cast a spell and hit something (and Spellstrike is there to combine the two), but with Arcane Mark, it's being used to hit something, and...hit something.

It's not overpowered as such, and it loses attractiveness at later levels, but at lower levels, it is just metagaming to hit more often.

The point is that is fairly clear that the Developers feel that a extra attack + a rider effect (like what happen when you use shocking grasp or touch of fatigue with spell combat and spellstrike) should cost resources, either a single use spell slot (i.e. level 1+ spell) or a arcana (broad study, close range or spell blending). At the same time they feel that getting a extra attack (that often require a concentration check) taking a -2 to all attacks is a class feature and so allow the use of Arcane strike for that.

I would have preferred the addition of of a specific cantrip for that, call it Guiding hand or something, but probably the developer felt that adding a cantrip that essentially say "this cantrip do nothing, but it allow the use of spell strike to get a weapon attack" was redundant, as we already had Arcane strike, that can be used to do exactly that.
Add that a cantrip like the one mentioned become a spell tax, as you have to use one of your cantrip slots to memorize it. Arcane mark, at least, has some out of combat use.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:
TGMaxMaxer wrote:

You can also spend 1k on a cracked orange ioun stone to get brand, touch cantrip that does 1 point of damage.

I like that more than Arcane mark.

For my magus, it reads "Fail" in celestial.

Interesting, but it count as a "a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list"?

It add it "to his list of spells known or spells prepared.", but even if it is a prepared spell it isn't necessarily on his list.
Confusing.

Be a hexcrafter (and honestly, you were probably going to do that anyway) - brand is automatically added to your list, no ioun stone needed.


Darkflame wrote:

comon man its a mark you place to show to other people you have marked it!

it glows this means evryone can see it otherwize it would be specefied it would only glow to the ownerof the mark or caster of detect magic!

If the caster of Arcane Mark wants everyone to see it they won't be making it invisible. The original writers of Arcane Mark may not have specificed that it doesn't glow to anyone other than the caster of Detect Magic, because detect spells only show things to the person casting them, so it was a built in assumption. It's inconsistent with how detect spells work that it would cause an effect on something visible to anyone other than the caster. Also look at the following sentence in the spell description and how it's worded.

PRD wrote:
See invisibility, true seeing, a gem of seeing, or a robe of eyes likewise allows the user to see an invisible arcane mark.

This implies that like Detect Magic it allows the user to detect Arcane Mark. Also if Detect Magic works like a black light, how does Arcane sight work? Does it not let you see Arcane Mark? Does any Arcane Mark in 120 ft line of sight glow?


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The problem with a larger (1d4+) damage touch cantrip is that it can be used indefinitely via a weapon attack. Essentially you have just vastly increased the damage potential for the class and for what? A cantrip spell slot.

Then you will see all sorts of 'one level dips' and feat combo's to abuse that.

As a DM I would be very wary of opening that can of worms.


YogoZuno wrote:
It's not overpowered as such, and it loses attractiveness at later levels, but at lower levels, it is just metagaming to hit more often.

How is it metagaming?

Would a warrior NOT use every weapon at his disposal to fight? Every technique to give him an edge? Barring ethical concerns, I think not.

If anything, it is metagaming that there's no 0th level touch attack spell in a world with the Magus class. It's a completely artificial limitation; it makes no sense. Using Arcane Mark is just the only option that is given to the Magi in this world, so naturally they'd use it.

Don't throw around "metagaming" lightly. You can't just label anything you don't like with the term.

If there's any problem with the Arcane Mark bit, it is that you can slap on any 6 letters you want.


strayshift wrote:

The problem with a larger (1d4+) damage touch cantrip is that it can be used indefinitely via a weapon attack. Essentially you have just vastly increased the damage potential for the class and for what? A cantrip spell slot.

Then you will see all sorts of 'one level dips' and feat combo's to abuse that.

As a DM I would be very wary of opening that can of worms.

A 1d6 damaging touch attack does not produce a notable change in damage. People forget that a -2 penalty on both attacks is pretty big and does notably change the average damage output compared to not using Spell Combat. At 1st level, it produces essentially no change in damage at all for instance.

And let's be honest, a Magus is not outdamaging the other melee classes in the first several levels, and giving him a 1d6 cantrip doesn't change that.

As a DM you should do some math before you declare something a "can of worms."

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Drachasor wrote:
Gherrick wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
Personally, I think there should just be a weak touch cantrip that can be used. 1d6 damage seems reasonable for a touch attack (two die steps up for needing to be in melee) -- certainly 1d4 can't be argued. NEEDING to use Arcane Mark is silly.
While I agree there needs to be a better cantrip for magus use, all the other damaging cantrips are 1d3 (albeit ranged touch). At best I'd agree with 1d4.

Disrupt Undead is 1d6 ranged touched, limited targets.

But let's be honest, the difference between 1d4 and 1d6 is very little. Worst 1d6 damage does is make Shocking Grasp a crappy spell at first level...oh wait, it ALREADY WAS.

Spell strike don't suffer from the -2, so, from level 2 onward, my magus was capable to cast a touch spell, then move 30' and deliver his weapon attack with the added damage from the spell.

If I do that with shocking grasp I am expending a limited resource to get that benefit, if I have a unlimited use cantrip doing 1d6 damage I have the equivalent of vital strike with my scimitar or rapier for free.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
Gherrick wrote:
Drachasor wrote:
Personally, I think there should just be a weak touch cantrip that can be used. 1d6 damage seems reasonable for a touch attack (two die steps up for needing to be in melee) -- certainly 1d4 can't be argued. NEEDING to use Arcane Mark is silly.
While I agree there needs to be a better cantrip for magus use, all the other damaging cantrips are 1d3 (albeit ranged touch). At best I'd agree with 1d4.

Disrupt Undead is 1d6 ranged touched, limited targets.

But let's be honest, the difference between 1d4 and 1d6 is very little. Worst 1d6 damage does is make Shocking Grasp a crappy spell at first level...oh wait, it ALREADY WAS.

Spell strike don't suffer from the -2, so, from level 2 onward, my magus was capable to cast a touch spell, then move 30' and deliver his weapon attack with the added damage from the spell.

If I do that with shocking grasp I am expending a limited resource to get that benefit, if I have a unlimited use cantrip doing 1d6 damage I have the equivalent of vital strike with my scimitar or rapier for free.

Yes, if you don't use Spell Combat, you could get a +1d6 to your damage with a 1d6 damage cantrip.

Now show me how that actually gives you an advantage over another melee class (besides the Rogue, because they're awful). You have to spend quite a bit of your point buy on Intelligence, which they do not. They'll have better physical stats. They can use two-handed weapons. They can more easily use ranged attacks. All you have is a tiny little thing that lets you do +1d6 damage if you make no other attacks that round. If you use Spell Combat, then you have a -2 Penalty on that one attack.

The math just doesn't add up to you having an advantage. You make it sound like Vital Strike is some great and awesome thing with a non-magical weapon that does 1d6 damage. It is not. Any other melee class is going to be doing more damage than you with your 2d6 attack...for free. Their attacks do more damage. Their attacks have a better chance of hitting.

The simple fact is a 1d6 damage touch cantrip would not remotely unbalance things. Heck, the primary use of it would be to shore the Magus up when it is already weak -- no problems with that.

Liberty's Edge

strayshift wrote:

The problem with a larger (1d4+) damage touch cantrip is that it can be used indefinitely via a weapon attack. Essentially you have just vastly increased the damage potential for the class and for what? A cantrip spell slot.

Then you will see all sorts of 'one level dips' and feat combo's to abuse that.

As a DM I would be very wary of opening that can of worms.

Actually it would require a 2 level dip in a medium base attack bonus class to abuse that. And honestly, a 2 level dip to pick up 3 points of damage on one attack once per combat is a pretty horrible dip.


Just a reminder on the Shocking Grasp discussion: Attacking an enemy with metal armor (or, by extension, large amounts of metal in or on their person) grants a +3 to hit.

Doesn't always apply, but in the majority of combats against humanoid creatures, you're probably going to be negating your -2 to hit from Spell Combat completely.


i almost forgot that now in this part of rotrl we dont realy come across much that has metal armor :-)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
Attacking an enemy with metal armor (or, by extension, large amounts of metal in or on their person) grants a +3 to hit.

I've encountered many GMs who don't allow that portion of the spell to apply to a Grasp channelled via Spellstrike.


YogoZuno wrote:
Quote:
Attacking an enemy with metal armor (or, by extension, large amounts of metal in or on their person) grants a +3 to hit.
I've encountered many GMs who don't allow that portion of the spell to apply to a Grasp channelled via Spellstrike.

Seriously not trying to be snarky, but what might be a house rule at certain tables doesn't really negate a benefit from the spell.

Both SKR (indirectly) and JJ (directly) have stated that the to-hit bonus from Shocking Grasp applies when using Spellstrike (SKR in his statement that Spellstrike does not alter the functionality of touch spells outside of the specific description of the ability, or where [if anywhere] the spell itself states it is modified by Spellstrike; JJ answered it in his "Ask me anything" thread).

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sadly, I was unable to find a reference to that the last time it was ruled on in the middle of a game. Can you provide a link to it?

As to house rules - it's not a house rule, but an interpretation. The spell gives a bonus to hit, based on a touch attack on metal armour. If using Spellstrike to deliver the spell, a touch attack is no longer involved, so the bonus may not apply. After all, it's not like the presence of the Shocking Grasp is making it easier for your sword to penetrate the metal armour.

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