Mounted Magus


Rules Questions


As stated above, I'm planning on making a mounted magus. I just wanted to ask a few questions.

Firstly, since the lance counts as a one handed weapon while mounted, would I be able to use it with spell combat while I'm mounted?

Second, since pool strike is a swift action, can I use it on a charge? Also, since spell strike gives a free melee attack, if I were to charge, would I get two attacks?

Lastly, would it be beneficial to multiclass cavalier? I know this isn't a rule question, but I'd like to hear opinions because it sounds good either way.


TheBulletKnight wrote:

As stated above, I'm planning on making a mounted magus. I just wanted to ask a few questions.

Firstly, since the lance counts as a one handed weapon while mounted, would I be able to use it with spell combat while I'm mounted?

Ha, nice! Yeah, you'd be able to I think. You better have a back-up weapon if your mount gets flattened, though.

TheBulletKnight wrote:
Second, since pool strike is a swift action, can I use it on a charge?

Pool strike is a standard action, so not in the same round. But the energy charge lasts for a minute, so if you prepped with it ahead of time you could use it with a charge.

Whether your charged up spell can go beyond double-damage on the charge will be up to your GM. My hunch is no, since even critting with a pick would only give x2 damage on the spell.

TheBulletKnight wrote:
Also, since spell strike gives a free melee attack, if I were to charge, would I get two attacks?

No, since that isn't what spellstrike does. Spellstrike lets you deliver touch spells through your weapon, and lets you immediately make the attack to do so when you cast the spell. However, charging and casting a spell are somewhat incompatible actions.

The best I can think of is either casting your touch spell ahead of time and then charging the next round, or quickening a spell and then deliberately foregoing your spellstrike attack so that you can keep it revved up for the mounted charge.

TheBulletKnight wrote:
Lastly, would it be beneficial to multiclass cavalier? I know this isn't a rule question, but I'd like to hear opinions because it sounds good either way.

A cavalier doesn't get Share Spells with the mount (so no awesome buffs for the mount), and you'd be delaying your magus progression for 4 levels to get at the feat that lets your non-cavalier levels work for the mount.

My honest recommendation would be to just buy fancier and fancier steeds, ultimately taking leadership for a monster cohort (like a griffon) who will hopefully then advance with you.


PRD wrote:

Spell Combat:

To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand.

Lance:
While mounted, you can wield a lance with one hand.

If your DM is super duper focused on the semantics of the writing, you would not be able to use the lance because it says "You can wield a lance with one hand" rather than "You may treat it as a one-handed weapon". However, one could also argue that the lance is now a one handed weapon because you are holding it in one hand and are no longer getting the benefits of a str bonus multiplier.

That being said, I can't see there being anything unbalancing about it. Hell, as a DM I'd rather see this than a normal crit fisher magus because it's a lot more interesting and cool! I might also suggest considering that you save yourself the feat and use a familiar as a mount instead. Familiars get natural armor bonuses, scale with you, get evasion, give you a free feat (Alertness), grant you a once per day scrying ability, get spell resistance, and any other number of cool bonuses.

To use your familiar as a mount, you just need to hire a wizard in a large city to cast polymorph any object on your familiar to turn it into your preferred mount. Since your familiar is almost guaranteed to have a higher Int than the other animal (thanks to how the arcane bond class feature works!), and the fact that you are turning an animal into another animal, you are already getting a +7 for the duration of PaO, so all you need to do is pick a familiar that is close the mount you want (Raven or thrush for griffon or roc, Goat for pegasus, lizard for wyvern, etc). The cost of this service is only 1200 gp (CL 15 * 8th level 8 * 10 gp), and will give you a familiar that will have good defenses vs spells thanks to it's SR and evasion, have a decent amount of survivability, especially if you are using mounted combat feats, plus have a lot of skills (because the familiar shares your own skills) and neat abilities.

Mind you, leadership will probably get you a stronger mount, but a familiar will probably be good enough for your purposes, and will let you use your leadership feat to instead get a supporting cohort to boost you up or give you another feat to spend elsewhere.


alchemicGenius wrote:

However, one could also argue that the lance is now a one handed weapon because you are holding it in one hand and are no longer getting the benefits of a str bonus multiplier.

That argument isn't going to carry much weight because it's not entirely correct.

Zhangar wrote:


The best I can think of is either casting your touch spell ahead of time and then charging the next round, or quickening a spell and then deliberately foregoing your spellstrike attack so that you can keep it revved up for the mounted charge.

Using a quickened spell, followed by a charge, followed by a free spellstrike attack with the quickened spell is allowed. You are not required to take the free touch attack immediately after casting. You can move or take other actions in between. You just have to take it before your turn ends or lose it.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

With my mounted magii, I've actually never bothered with an animal companion, since you can pick up phantom steed with the Spell Blending arcana and it's generally superior and easily renewed. Purchased mounts are usually sufficient during the first 6 levels of play, especially if you remember to buff them.

The one time I did use a companion, it was the one granted by the Magelance archetype, from Abandoned Arts Class Acts: Magus Archetypes.


bbangerter wrote:
That argument isn't going to carry much weight because it's not entirely correct.

Oh, thanks for the info! I know this question came up a LOT in my group and no one really knew an answer for it. Unfortunately for OP, it look like lance charging isn't going to work.


Well, I'll just have to take quickdraw for spell combat, probably a longsword or something. Otherwise, this has been a big help.


The lance is a 2-h weapon and the allowance to wield it "in one hand" doesn't make it a 1-h weapon. As such, it's still a 2-h weapon and would get 1.5x Str to damage because 2-h weapons get 1.5x Str to damage unequivocally; the ability to wield it "in one hand" doesn't alter that. Only abilities that tell you to wield it "one-handed" or "as a one-handed weapon" cause it to no longer deal 1.5x Str and Power Attack. However, this also means that it still uses two hands worth of effort to wield, even if you're only using one actual hand to do the wielding. So you can hold a shield or the reins of a horse while using a lance, but you couldn't, say, TWF while mounted with a Lance and some other weapon because (to keep it simple and avoid complex explanations), you can't TWF with a 2-h weapon as per the FAQ. This is likely the reason for the restriction on 2-h weapons and Spell Combat; just as wielding a 2-h weapon "eats" your off-hand attack, it would similarly "eat" your potential to cast your spell as a "kinda-sorta" off-hand attack.


You can use Spell Strike through a lance, but not Spell Combat.

A handy work around is that any spell you cast with a range of "Touch" can be held indefinitely in your hand (so long as you don't cast any other spells or use that hand to touch anything). So you can cast, say - Shocking Grasp before an encounter, and then spell strike with a charge in combat.

The downside is that you're spending one round just to cast a spell if you want to do it again.


For a mount, you could also pick up Animal Ally and Boon Companion for a horse 'equal' to your character level.


Why get an animal companion when you can buy an Elephant? According to the mounted combat rules when you ride it you threaten all around its size (it's Huge), and it has HP comparable to late mid-game animal companions at lvl2/3 (whenever you can shell out 1k for it).


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Why can't you use spell combat with a lance while mounted? You can free up your off-hand with a skill check, and you're only using one hand on the weapon.

Seems perfectly in line with the intent of the rules to me.


Ravingdork wrote:

Why can't you use spell combat with a lance while mounted? You can free up your off-hand with a skill check, and you're only using one hand on the weapon.

Seems perfectly in line with the intent of the rules to me.

Spell combat requires you be using a light or one handed weapon in your weapon hand. While a lance is able to be held in one hand, it is highly questionable that it counts as a one handed weapon in that scenario (especially given it still gets the 1.5x strength bonus).


It's not just highly questionable, it has been sufficiently addressed in FAQs that only with an ability that uses the term "one-handed" do you count an otherwise two-handed weapon "as" one-handed for rules elements requiring a one-handed weapon. Lance lacks this terminology which is why you still get 1.5x Str and Power Attack still gets the 2-h bonus; because it still counts as a 2-h weapon for rules elements requiring a two-handed weapon and it doesn't count as a 1-h weapon. This also means that any abilities that require the use of a 2-h weapon will still work, even with a lance being wielded "in one hand" while mounted (ie. Shield of Swings, Pushing Assault, Overhand Chop, etc).


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

For all we know, the general rule (and that Power Attack FAQ linked to earlier) is that you use whatever status is most beneficial.


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Personally, I've never liked the idea that "Wielding a weapon in one hand" is different rules-wise than "Wielding as a one-handed weapon." It just seems too unintuitive and overly complicated.


Kazaan wrote:
It's not just highly questionable, it has been sufficiently addressed in FAQs that only with an ability that uses the term "one-handed" do you count an otherwise two-handed weapon "as" one-handed for rules elements requiring a one-handed weapon. Lance lacks this terminology which is why you still get 1.5x Str and Power Attack still gets the 2-h bonus; because it still counts as a 2-h weapon for rules elements requiring a two-handed weapon and it doesn't count as a 1-h weapon. This also means that any abilities that require the use of a 2-h weapon will still work, even with a lance being wielded "in one hand" while mounted (ie. Shield of Swings, Pushing Assault, Overhand Chop, etc).

Citation? Cause the most prominent FAQ (or FAQ) entries that immediately come to my mind suggest otherwise. The only reason I'd call it into question is because you still give the full two-handed damage bonus with the lance.

It should be noted that the FAQ on the lance is in direct contradiction of the other FAQ on the power attack/strength bonus when wielding a two-hander in one hand - suggesting that is a specific rule for the lance only.


No such contradiction exists. Wielded "in one hand" and wielded "as a one-handed weapon" are different because "one-handed" is a category of how much effort it takes to wield weapons just as "light" and "two-handed" are while "in one hand" simply means how many physical hands you must devote to wielding the weapon. For instance, a Boot Blade is a light weapon but it is wielded in no hands but most light weapons will require a hand to wield them.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CommandoDude wrote:
Why get an animal companion when you can buy an Elephant? According to the mounted combat rules when you ride it you threaten all around its size (it's Huge), and it has HP comparable to late mid-game animal companions at lvl2/3 (whenever you can shell out 1k for it).

The problem with an elephant is that it is too large and too high off the ground to use with a lance or pole attack. Which is why you don't have historical accounts of elephants being used that way.


LazarX wrote:
CommandoDude wrote:
Why get an animal companion when you can buy an Elephant? According to the mounted combat rules when you ride it you threaten all around its size (it's Huge), and it has HP comparable to late mid-game animal companions at lvl2/3 (whenever you can shell out 1k for it).
The problem with an elephant is that it is too large and too high off the ground to use with a lance or pole attack. Which is why you don't have historical accounts of elephants being used that way.

Real life, yes.

Pathfinder, no.

In game, you are considered to occupy every square your mount does and your reach is calculated from the most advantageous square. You can ride and elephant and stab a mite with a dagger as you pass in game if you want...


Sorry to ressurrect, but one last question. If I spellstrike with a touch spell or pool strike, does spell damage also get multiplied if I'm charging with a lance?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

TheBulletKnight wrote:
Sorry to ressurrect, but one last question. If I spellstrike with a touch spell or pool strike, does spell damage also get multiplied if I'm charging with a lance?

No. It's a separate ability delivered via the attack, not a part of the attack itself.


Mmk, that's what I assumed, just wanted to be sure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I suspect that the special rules for a lance in one hand (power attack and str as a two-handed weapon) is designed to simulate that a lot of the strength in a mounted lance attack really comes from the mount, not the rider. Having it be a two-handed weapon wielded in one hand simulates this fairly well.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Small sized Lance.

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