RIP magical child archetype


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

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KitsuneWarlock wrote:
Don't forget the extra kick in the pants: In Pathfinder Society you can't take any of the really flavorful or powerful improved familiars without a boon that doesn't apply to the Magical Child because of the way the boon is written.

Specifically? I don't tend to follow the magical child archetype (not my style of character), so I haven't internalized the wording nuances and how they'd not mesh with boons—including ones written before magical child existed.

Scarab Sages

I think it's because the Magical Child doesn't actually take the Improved Familiar feat. Their regular Familiar gains an ability which allows it to change into a creature off the Improved Familiar list while in its Vigilante ID. So a boon that states you can gain a certain type of Familiar when you take the Improved Familiar feat wouldn't work without some additional clarification allowing it to.

(EDIT: John Compton, so you'll know this post pops up if you search)


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Ferious Thune wrote:
I think it's because the Magical Child doesn't actually take the Improved Familiar feat.

Almost seems like that could work the other way too, though. The archetype is legal, so it gets to use any familiar it wants, since it's not using the improved familiar feat.

Scarab Sages

Melkiador wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
I think it's because the Magical Child doesn't actually take the Improved Familiar feat.
Almost seems like that could work the other way too, though. The archetype is legal, so it gets to use any familiar it wants, since it's not using the improved familiar feat.

I'd have to check additional resources, but I'm pretty sure the way things are worded there, the improved familiars are simply made illegal in general, which means for PFS, they aren't on the Improved Familiar list at all, and thus not legal to take.

The only potential issue I can see with saying that the boons add the familiar to the list a Magical Child can choose from is that some of the boons are for unique familiars. Familiars with a name and personality that are encountered in a scenario. It may not make sense for a Magical Child's familiar to be able to assume the identity of an established NPC familiar. You know, without some... maneuvering... that might result in the Vigilante being marked as evil.

Otherwise, I don't really see the harm in allowing it.


The Sideromancer wrote:

Customizability aside,

I like my megas

Sounds good to me :3

Spoiler:
Also yeah the universes started being in lorewise separate in Unova, with the White Tree and Black Tower being in the Exact Same Space. Then with ORAS being shown to be a separate dimension from RSE that meant that X&Y were as well, cuz X&Y were obviously set in the same universe as ORAS.

As for Giratina, it was created WITHIN the Pokemon universe by Arceus, Giratina like Palkia and Dialga is a god. None of them are as powerful as Arceus but still, they are gods.

Also fine, fine I concede on habitability, but I do stand by the belief that all the UB Spaces being Between dimensions.


Welp can't edit my last post anymore, but I just realized I replied to the wrong post >.<


Chosen One is also hit by this.

Rysky wrote:
Granted it technically does match the only consistent portrayals between the Magical Girl genre, and that’s a transformation sequence and cute Animal buddy. Everything else is different depending on which Magical Girl series we’re talking about (compare Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha to Card Captor Sakura).

Problem is Sakura doesn't transform, she puts on clothes that aren't even magical. If you make transformation a defining part to exclude a lot of early ones that are more "girl with magic powers" stuff like Esper Mami (who from what I recall maintains any secrecy solely by avoiding contact with people who know her) and Lalabel (Don't remember her having a secret identity.). A lot of the early ones transformed, but didn't have a sequence and just changed with, at best, simple effects covering them, if not a sound effect and cut.

There's also a large subsection that don't just change clothes, but change physical appearance, many considerably. This actually has some of the big names like PreCure, the various Pierrot girls that became teenagers upon transformation, or even Mary Marvel (who would be a textbook example if she didn't predate the others by 3 decades) which aren't supported. Throwing in a "You may alter details of the appearance of each identity you assume so that you are no longer recognizable as yourself. Your new appearance must be within the norms for your race. This is a polymorph effect." fixes this and also stops Transformation Sequence from being just a worse version of Quick Change (It would add a further +10 disguise and negate various penalties.). The Marvels should be fixed by general rule for Polymorph that allows adding and removing the child template if you can transform into the size (which also helps fix various classes restricted to certain animals).

Oh, and you don't even need an archetype to use Quick Change with Any Guise and pull off "I'm a... Or at othertimes... or I could also be... But my true identity is!".

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The point I was making is that magical girl is a genre with hundreds of series, not one or two.

And Sakura may not transform but she does change outfits, which makes her more of a vigilante theme and acts like a deconstruction/parody of magical girls.


Rysky wrote:
Granted it technically does match the only consistent portrayals between the Magical Girl genre, and that’s a transformation sequence and cute Animal buddy.

Transformation sequence, yes. But while I'm not super familiar with the genre, from my limited experience isn't the animal buddy usually more of a background element or plot device? Often playing a role more like mentor, instructor or observer and sometimes even with ambiguous or even potentially antagonistic goals. I can't think of any example where the animal buddy plays as much of a direct role as a familiar.

Thematically seems more comparable to the outsiders the Insinuator antipaladin invokes or a witch's patron if it were played as a literal being.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

The only build that could still have merit is a construct crafter that takes the Ioun Wyrd, several Clockwork familiar forms and maybe the Homunculus (if you want to also invest in Heal).
Only really viable in a game with plenty of downtime to pump GP into upgrading the familiar's ability scores.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Squiggit wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Granted it technically does match the only consistent portrayals between the Magical Girl genre, and that’s a transformation sequence and cute Animal buddy.

Transformation sequence, yes. But while I'm not super familiar with the genre, from my limited experience isn't the animal buddy usually more of a background element or plot device? Often playing a role more like mentor, instructor or observer and sometimes even with ambiguous or even potentially antagonistic goals. I can't think of any example where the animal buddy plays as much of a direct role as a familiar.

Thematically seems more comparable to the outsiders the Insinuator antipaladin invokes or a witch's patron if it were played as a literal being.

The MC's Familair can still be all those can it not?


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Rysky wrote:
Granted it technically does match the only consistent portrayals between the Magical Girl genre, and that’s a transformation sequence and cute Animal buddy. Everything else is different depending on which Magical Girl series we’re talking about (compare Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha to Card Captor Sakura).

...

I've seen it used to make He-Man and She-Ra.

Seriously, I hold my sword up, then shout, "I HAVE THE POWER!"

Huge bolt of lightning erupts, I get all kinds of glowy, I transform, I make my animal transform into battlecat... It works.

Saw a female Aasimar with the Celestial Companion use it to pull a She-Ra at a convention... She transformed and her animal grew wings... The whole bit...


Squiggit wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Granted it technically does match the only consistent portrayals between the Magical Girl genre, and that’s a transformation sequence and cute Animal buddy.
Transformation sequence, yes. But while I'm not super familiar with the genre, from my limited experience isn't the animal buddy usually more of a background element or plot device? Often playing a role more like mentor, instructor or observer and sometimes even with ambiguous or even potentially antagonistic goals. I can't think of any example where the animal buddy plays as much of a direct role as a familiar.

Which is why I keep saying: 'mon show. (As in Poké- or Digi-.)

But those rarely have secret identities, and improved familiars aren't really big enough.

Cardcaptor Sakura kinda works because her cards are more about buffing, but then, she doesn't have a proper transformation sequence, so a regular vigilante identity switch would be more fitting. Also, Kero has only one alternate form, and Improved Familiar doesn't do it justice.

He-Man and She-Ra (is there an It-Something, too?) aren't spellcasters.

And regular magical girls are blasters (with their familiars having the Emissary or Sage archetypes, and usually no transformations).

Nothing fits perfectly, and the one it was named after possibly fits the worst.


Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Granted it technically does match the only consistent portrayals between the Magical Girl genre, and that’s a transformation sequence and cute Animal buddy.
Transformation sequence, yes. But while I'm not super familiar with the genre, from my limited experience isn't the animal buddy usually more of a background element or plot device? Often playing a role more like mentor, instructor or observer and sometimes even with ambiguous or even potentially antagonistic goals. I can't think of any example where the animal buddy plays as much of a direct role as a familiar.

Which is why I keep saying: 'mon show. (As in Poké- or Digi-.)

But those rarely have secret identities, and improved familiars aren't really big enough.

Cardcaptor Sakura kinda works because her cards are more about buffing, but then, she doesn't have a proper transformation sequence, so a regular vigilante identity switch would be more fitting. Also, Kero has only one alternate form, and Improved Familiar doesn't do it justice.

He-Man and She-Ra (is there an It-Something, too?) aren't spellcasters.

And regular magical girls are blasters (with their familiars having the Emissary or Sage archetypes, and usually no transformations).

Nothing fits perfectly, and the one it was named after possibly fits the worst.

Oh I agree. I just said I've seen it.

When I think Magical Girl, I think Sailor Moon. You can't do Sailor Moon with the Magical Child.

You can with a Vigilante 2/Sorcerer (or Wizard) X though... Post the new Social Talent of course.


Rajnish Umbra, Shadow Caller wrote:
The thing annoying me about Magical Children is that it seems to advertise a Sailor Moon playstyle (Magical Girl, a blaster playstyle, with the familiar as sidekick at best), when in fact it's more of a 'mon show (Pokémon/Digimon, focus on the 'mon with the child acting as support/buffer, because that's what the Summoner spell list does... Except that 'mon show protagonists usually don't have dual identities, and the Magical Child just gets a squishy familiar (improved or not) as combat pet.)

I'd rater go with the Magical 12th Graders playstyle.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
John Compton wrote:
KitsuneWarlock wrote:
Don't forget the extra kick in the pants: In Pathfinder Society you can't take any of the really flavorful or powerful improved familiars without a boon that doesn't apply to the Magical Child because of the way the boon is written.
Specifically? I don't tend to follow the magical child archetype (not my style of character), so I haven't internalized the wording nuances and how they'd not mesh with boons—including ones written before magical child existed.

  • Most of the "Improved Familiar" boons (new and old) are worded in such a way that your familiar is an NPC encountered during the scenario. The Magical Child does not change their Animal Spirit Guide when they improve it. Rather, the Guide "reveals another aspect of its form"
  • Some people also argue that a Magical Child's pet is not a Familiar, but only functions as one.
  • The Magical Child doesn't get the Improved Familiar feat, their Animal Guide just changes into a creature from the Improved Familiar list.
  • There is an old PFS ruling that if your Boon-Familiar dies, you lose it. The Magical Child does not. It always brings back the same familiar, just in a new body.

Now there are ways to fix this with minimal campaign clarification, including:


  • Saying the Magical Child's Animal Guide reveal its nature at the appropriate level match that of any Improved Familiar unlocked on a Chronicle Sheet, but is not that named NPC familiar. This alleviates the problem with the old PFS ruling, and the conditions of some of these familiar boons such as the Doru.
  • Allowing the Magical Child to perform the 8 hour ritual to put its Spirit Guide into the magicall constructed body of an Improved Familiar unlocked with a Chronicle Sheet. Maybe the Doru just let you study it enough that you can build-a-Doru?


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*Looks up the Magical Child variant.*

...

Oh my God, that is amazing. I don't care if it sucks. Just... straight up, "My class is Mahou Shojou."

That is hilarious and awesome and I love it so much. :P


There are two problems with the archetype:
1) The familiar cannot benefit from any of the child's spells, because it's the summoner's list.

2) The spells cannot benefit the child's familiar, because none of them affect familiars.

You have two options:
1) make the animal guide an eidolon, matching a lot of the summoner's spells.

2) change the spell list to the sorcerer/wizard/magus' list, giving the child a few spells that can affect familiars.

Shadow Lodge

That first problem isn't true. There are quite a few buff spells that affect the familiar. It's the handful of eidolon targeting spells that don't work.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
That first problem isn't true. There are quite a few buff spells that affect the familiar. It's the handful of eidolon targeting spells that don't work.

But an eidolon would benefit from the spells that the familiar can get.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Even if you count the familiar as an Eidolan, it's a bad class. Eidolans are giant tank room machines that can be resummojed the next day of destroyed while the summoner continues to use SLA summon monsters in lieu of its giant chicken. Once your familiar dies, you lose the ability to even buff allies with your spells.

I'd argue that even if the familiar could take any familiar archetype, was considered an Eidolan and you could cast as a chained summoner (low level haste and all), it'd be underwhelming compared to most classes.

But it's so flavorful that I'll probably keep mine.


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Omnius wrote:

*Looks up the Magical Child variant.*

...

Oh my God, that is amazing. I don't care if it sucks. Just... straight up, "My class is Mahou Shojou."

That is hilarious and awesome and I love it so much. :P

If it was just a bad class, I would mind less. What bothers me is that that it's a party buffer, not a blaster, which means your Mahou Shojou is stuck in a support position.

The only Mahou Shojou character it truly represents, in my eyes, is the anime version of Tuxedo Mask.

If the fight goes poorly, you burst in (using the "everyone is stunned when you suddenly show up" vigilante talent), and deliver your motivational speech (supported by buffs). The fight then continues, but with your allies winning.

Next comes Card Captor Sakura, because her cards were mostly buffs, too.

Everyone else is better represented by some other archetype (usually warlock with Transformation Sequence social talent).


I'm looking forward to playing a very different magical girl vigilante via transformation sequence. Possibly even in PFS. ^_^


I don't see why contradictions in Ultimate Wilderness would effect how other rules work.

Your base familiar form is Mauler, the rest are improved forms that aren't. The class archetype actually prevents you from removing that familiar archetype upon gaining shapechange. Your forms are only ones you previously had, which includes the Mauler base form. UW "clarification" actually breaks the archetype and causes an error once you get an improved form because you aren't allowed to remove the archetype AND UW says you aren't allowed to have it. Nothing prevents you from taking a familiar archetype initially.

I'm not really surprised that UW's overall lazy writing, and shoddy design breaks the game in attempts to nerf things for PFS. If this is the kind of work we can expect for the future of PF, we might as well say this game is dead already.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Pathfinder is far from dead and we've had troublesome archetypes for years. Heck, even if the worst happened and our dealer stopped supplying new drugs, there is enough content out there both thematically and mechanically to give me PC options for decades.

Abd a masked Maiden vigilante with magical transformation themed as a magical child now sounds really eerie, given the initiations of the gray maidens.


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KitsuneWarlock wrote:
Abd a masked Maiden vigilante with magical transformation themed as a magical child now sounds really eerie, given the initiations of the gray maidens.

Sure does, doesn't it?

Isabelle Lee wrote:
I'm looking forward to playing a very different magical girl vigilante via transformation sequence. Possibly even in PFS. ^_^


Isabelle Lee wrote:
KitsuneWarlock wrote:
Abd a masked Maiden vigilante with magical transformation themed as a magical child now sounds really eerie, given the initiations of the gray maidens.

Sure does, doesn't it?

Isabelle Lee wrote:
I'm looking forward to playing a very different magical girl vigilante via transformation sequence. Possibly even in PFS. ^_^

Keep in mind that the Transformation Sequence social talent requires you to have some magical abilities - either spells or spell-like abilities, from whatever source.


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Way ahead of you. ^_^

That's why she has the Chosen of Iomedae trait - nets her a free masterwork longsword and light as an SLA. (Plus, between that and Scars of the Past, I have a masterwork weapon and full plate armor without spending a single coin.)

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Aaaahn I'm so jealous of such an amazing idea! I played my masked Maiden for the first time this weekend and I love that whole section of that book! (Thank you.)

Mine is the chosen of Besmara but I'm tempted to make her a devotee of Vildeis...

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Incidentally, while I don't recommend it explicitly due to a combination of how boring and how cheesy it is, my magical child build is theoretically "good", albeit niche.

A Tengu with a Parrot. How pirate can you get? Then take Skill Focus (Linguistics) and Intrigue Fest (Orator) at level 1.

But she's become the type of character I don't like playing, so I'll probably rebuild her next Gencon. I get embarrassed when I roll that high on a skill check. Masked Maiden and Warlock were my two other options.

Shadow Lodge

Sounds like my level 3(maybe 5, it's been a while) Halfling bard that had a disguise check that got into the 40s. He was fun.


Sorry for the resurrection, but does the magical child automatically qualify for the Changling Familiar feat at 9th level? It might be cool, since all outsiders have Martial weapons profiency, and use your base attack. Just need to get an outsider familiar with weapon finesse, and I think you are good to go!

It seems like a good fit, even if it's only a few rounds per day.


You don't exactly have the "Familiar class feature" the feat needs, so I'm not 100% sure.
It should be close enough ? I forget what the standard is in such cases.

An interesting idea. Didn't know that feat. Fun.


I guess that would mean that the following feats are also out - Evolved Familiar, Celestial Servant, Spark of the Uncanny, Spirits Gift and Unfettered Familiar.

But, I think we are safe to say that the Magical Child has the Familiar Calls feature.

"Animal Guide (Ex): A magical child starts play with a magical spirit guide in the form of a familiar, using her vigilante level as her effective wizard level. The familiar also has a social identity as a seemingly normal animal, though vigilantes with outlandish familiars might still need to hide the familiar."

Out of curiosity, how do you define "Familiar Class Feature"? The wizards don't get one, they get an Arcane Bond, that can select a familiar. The Witch gets the Witch's Familiar. The Shaman gets the Spirit Guide. Familiar bond feat gives you a familiar, as the wizard arcane bond class feature.


It wasn’t that they don’t count as having a familiar. The issue was that they don’t actually have the improved familiar feat and their version of it uses different language. I guess nothing stops you from taking the feat, like anyone else though. That would just mean your familiar’s default form is the improved familiar


At 9th level, dont all the familiar forms get the shape change universal rule for the Magical Child?

Also, if I take. Robin as my Familiar, does this mean I can literally turn my Robin into Robin, my side kick?

Edit - I see, they only get the shape change ability in it's 4 vigilante forms.

So at 9th level
1st Civilian - regular familiar- no shape change
Vigilante regular familiar - shape change
Vigilante 3rd level improved familiar - shape change
Vigilante 5th level improved familiar - shape change
Vigilante 7th level improved familiar - shape change.

And, if any of your forms are outsiders, I guess they get Simple and Martial weapons proficiencies?
In addition to the damage resistance, and natural armor and improved intelligence that all familiars get?

By the way, if it works off the universal shape change rules, does that mean it retains the same stats as before, except maybe a +2 strength or +2 dexterity? You could have a medium sized Sprite with 5 strength?


Legowarrior wrote:
Sorry for the resurrection, but does the magical child automatically qualify for the Changling Familiar feat at 9th level? It might be cool, since all outsiders have Martial weapons profiency, and use your base attack. Just need to get an outsider familiar with weapon finesse, and I think you are good to go!

Does your GM care about the distinction between a "familiar" class feature and an "animal guide" class feature? As a GM, I'd allow it to work.


I wonder if it's worth it? Im assuming the final familiar form was an outsider, you have a small or medium sized henchmen with +2 dexterity or strength, the ability to use Martial weapons. Is it that much better than the familiars base form?

I guess, if you picked up two levels of Eldritch Fighter, your familiar has access to heavy armor, but than you lose 2 points of damage resistance, and some of the Vigilante stuff you would get later on (that it can use as well) and that is probably the best reason to take a magical child, so that you can surprise opponents twice in combat. And intimidate them twice later on.

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