Please Rate my Magus Handbook.


Homebrew and House Rules

Silver Crusade

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The Path of Spell and Sword

Ok so after working on this for months I finally finished my magus guide, admittedly this ended up becoming more of a personal reference log then anything else, but even so i hope someone finds some use out of this.

And yes i know its animu as hell....don't judge me.


(Su) abilities are not subject to dispel magic, so you may want to change the lines in here that suggest otherwise.

Silver Crusade

fearcypher wrote:
(Su) abilities are not subject to dispel magic, so you may want to change the lines in here that suggest otherwise.

Oh where did i miss that?


Seems like a decently written guide. I disagree with some of the ratings you've given (Greensting Slayer is green but you don't even mention Hexcrafter? Crazy man) but it's your guide, so you can rate them how you want. I did like that you're trying to take the class away from the crit-fishing.

One thing, the plural of Magus is Magi.

Archetypes wrote:
Base class is fine enough, But sometimes you just wanna spice things up. Thankfully there are enough archetypes that no 2 magus’s are ever exactly the same.

Silver Crusade

MrCharisma wrote:

Seems like a decently written guide. I disagree with some of the ratings you've given (Greensting Slayer is green but you don't even mention Hexcrafter? Crazy man) but it's your guide, so you can rate them how you want. I did like that you're trying to take the class away from the crit-fishing.

One thing, the plural of Magus is Magi.

Archetypes wrote:
Base class is fine enough, But sometimes you just wanna spice things up. Thankfully there are enough archetypes that no 2 magus’s are ever exactly the same.

Oh i knew i was forgetting something. Personally i dont like it cause it gets rid of spell recall, but ill add it in real quick.


The colour choices are a little difficult - blue & royal blue look similar, as do gold & orange. I imagine they're worse for the colour blind.

You talk a bit about dimensional agility, but if that's as far as you plan to go in that feat line - you don't need it. Spell combat has you covered.

You mention celestial healing but not the better, infernal variant?

Due to Aroden's spellsword being something you only have cast when you're expecting trouble, and being a 3rd level spell (magi have free 3rd level spell slots about what, 9th level?), I much prefer actually having metamagic feats. There are a few other things I disagree on but that's the big one.

Silver Crusade

avr wrote:

The colour choices are a little difficult - blue & royal blue look similar, as do gold & orange. I imagine they're worse for the colour blind.

You talk a bit about dimensional agility, but if that's as far as you plan to go in that feat line - you don't need it. Spell combat has you covered.

You mention celestial healing but not the better, infernal variant?

Due to Aroden's spellsword being something you only have cast when you're expecting trouble, and being a 3rd level spell (magi have free 3rd level spell slots about what, 9th level?), I much prefer actually having metamagic feats. There are a few other things I disagree on but that's the big one.

What color choices would you suggest?

I was under the impression you needed dimensional agility to even use it with spell combat.

Not gonna lie, that one is more i just dont like the evil vibe of infernal.

and i get the feat thing but with some builds like i like to do you generally don't have the room. So its a good idea to get some of them in rod form.


I've seen a bright purple used as one of the colours in a guide, or bold black, or stars instead of/in addition to colours. Or you could cut down the number of categories a bit. Six is probably too many.

With dimension door you lose any further actions - but spell combat is one action. You get to complete it without needing dimensional agility. Storm step doesn't even have the clause about losing actions.


I think I agree with avr about the colours. You could probably combine Royal Blue and Gold into one section, and either blue/green or green/orange into one section without drastically changing things.

I also disagree with your assessment of Hexcrafter, but as I said it's your guide so I won't go on about this too much.

Hexcrafter opinions:
The Hexcrafter loses Spell Recall and gets Hexes instead.
Spell Recall basically gives you a longer spell-casting day. If you're planning a debuff Magus then some hexes (Evil Eye/Misfortune/Sleep) can give you an all day debuffs, which is more than worth the Spell Recall you're giving up. Hexes are also balanced around the power of a 9th level caster so the save DCs tend to be higher than your spell DCs.
Alternatively If the hex replaces a spell you'd be casting all the time anyway then it can act as its own Spell-Recall for that spell (The obvious example is flight, which is worth 3 arcane pool points every combat until you get overland flight at 13th level).
Finally there are hexes that give you abilities that a standard magus doesn't have. The Flight hex does this at levels 5 and 6. Personally I'm a big fan of the Healing hex on a magus - since it gives you a non-evil healing option - but I also understand that this isn't the power option most people will pick.

That's my argument in favour of Hexcrafter, don't feel you have to change anything on my account, I'm just throwing in my 2 cents. I won't derail the thread by talking about this any more.


One thing about the wand wielder arcana. A wand of true strike is possible and cheap. True strike + spell combat = +18 to your first attack each round (which will also ignore concealment). Especially recommended for combat maneuvers which can replace attacks, like trip.

Silver Crusade

avr wrote:
One thing about the wand wielder arcana. A wand of true strike is possible and cheap. True strike + spell combat = +18 to your first attack each round (which will also ignore concealment). Especially recommended for combat maneuvers which can replace attacks, like trip.

Oh I agree that is useful, i still would only recommend wand wielder for the staff magus. I simply see very little reason any other type of magus would get wand wielder as it would just become very unwieldy imo. Again far from a bad choice and people are more then welcome to do otherwise.

Also changed situational from orange to purple if that's ok.

And the only reason i made 6 categories was for the must picks, there are very few things that i considered absolutely required so you wouldn't see that color often.


Malik Gyan Daumantas wrote:
avr wrote:
One thing about the wand wielder arcana. A wand of true strike is possible and cheap. True strike + spell combat = +18 to your first attack each round (which will also ignore concealment). Especially recommended for combat maneuvers which can replace attacks, like trip.

Oh I agree that is useful, i still would only recommend wand wielder for the staff magus. I simply see very little reason any other type of magus would get wand wielder as it would just become very unwieldy imo. Again far from a bad choice and people are more then welcome to do otherwise.

Also changed situational from orange to purple if that's ok.

And the only reason i made 6 categories was for the must picks, there are very few things that i considered absolutely required so you wouldn't see that color often.

Wand wielder is a great pick for a Whip Magus, a Bladed Brush Glaive Magus, or a Magus interested in a Disarm weapon or any other combat maneuver. It’s quite versatile, and you can always use a glove of storing to retrieve it quickly and stow it away, or drop it when you want to do different things.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Interesting. I disagree with almost everything you have in the guide.

I think that is probably because you see the best use of the Magus being caster focused, and I see it as combat focused.

Yes, spell recall is pretty cool, but if I want a focused caster it is still going to be a 9th level caster. Even with your spell recall I'll probably have more spells, and I'll buy a few pearls of power if need be. My best spells will have higher DCs than your will as well.

All that said, I think the caster focused magus is an interesting concept, and I think it worth exploring, and it isn't something I really see. If I was you, I would re-write the guide for trying to be a general magus guide to being a guide for the caster-focused magus, how to build then and what tactics you use and all of that. I think that would be more useful to more people.

Silver Crusade

Dave Justus wrote:

Interesting. I disagree with almost everything you have in the guide.

I think that is probably because you see the best use of the Magus being caster focused, and I see it as combat focused.

Yes, spell recall is pretty cool, but if I want a focused caster it is still going to be a 9th level caster. Even with your spell recall I'll probably have more spells, and I'll buy a few pearls of power if need be. My best spells will have higher DCs than your will as well.

All that said, I think the caster focused magus is an interesting concept, and I think it worth exploring, and it isn't something I really see. If I was you, I would re-write the guide for trying to be a general magus guide to being a guide for the caster-focused magus, how to build then and what tactics you use and all of that. I think that would be more useful to more people.

Very good, Didn't think anyone would notice that right away. It's as you say, i think the idea of a caster focused magus is highly underestimated. I am content with how it is at the moment, but you're right i should look back and rewrite it to emphasize my avocation for a caster focused magus.

I also tend to make my characters under the assumption that i wont be able to go to ye old magic mart every time i finish a dungeon or a quest i tried that once and i instantly regretted it.

I can make a few additions talking about the tactics such a character would use however.


Interesting read here, don't see a lot of magus guides with a caster-focus. I'd be interested to see your opinion on the Armored Battlemage magus.

I'd suggest the addition of alchemical grease to the miscellaneous items, mostly because they are already at a CMD disadvantage v. full BAB classes and have a lot shut down by getting grappled. Spell combat is lost (needs 2 hands), spellcasting in general is really difficult (especially at lower levels), escaping normally means dealing with a likely sub-par CMB, etc. Also, a lot of monsters have grab, which makes grapple a fairly common ability.

Silver Crusade

Paradozen wrote:

Interesting read here, don't see a lot of magus guides with a caster-focus. I'd be interested to see your opinion on the Armored Battlemage magus.

I'd suggest the addition of alchemical grease to the miscellaneous items, mostly because they are already at a CMD disadvantage v. full BAB classes and have a lot shut down by getting grappled. Spell combat is lost (needs 2 hands), spellcasting in general is really difficult (especially at lower levels), escaping normally means dealing with a likely sub-par CMB, etc. Also, a lot of monsters have grab, which makes grapple a fairly common ability.

I didn't add Alchemical Grease Mostly because 1. You need to know its coming for it to be useful. And B as late as it is, if you really needed a way out of a grapple you could use dimension door to get out easily.

I can see where you're coming from, but you would still need to know that it can grab you, and you just happen to have some on hand. Basically you would need a lot of pre prep for alchemical grease to be useful.

Silver Crusade

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Alright slight update added a "Tactics" page.


So I just had a read through your "Tactics" page and I have to say I completely disagree with your rundown of the 2 sub-types and their tactics.
You make it seem like the Melee Magus can't use spell-recall and can't
prepare utility spells (and has to go Kensai for some reason).
Conversely you've turned the Caster Magus into a sub-par wizard with some defensive abilities.
I don't quite understand why you're specialising so heavily into one stat and completely ignoring the other stat with both builds. More importantly you seem to be completely ignoring some of the class-features with both builds.


Don't we already have a magus guide that's basically the guideline for magus guides?

Kurald Galain's Magus Guide


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Dark Midian wrote:

Don't we already have a magus guide that's basically the guideline for magus guides?

Kurald Galain's Magus Guide

I get a little nervous around orthodoxy and faith in established experts. As someone with a somewhat different opinion of all things Magus I'd like to think there's room for a million different opinions.

That said, I had some problems with my brief glance through this guide. For one, the strength based Magus seems to be undervalued, which is a bit unfortunate. True, having lower AC, initiative and reflex saves and needing to survive until level 7 for medium armor on a melee character with 8 sided hit die seems suicidal and reckless but at the same time if you survive that climb the view from the mountaintop is glorious.

The real mechanical advantage of the STR Magus (aside from the aesthetic advantage not being the same dancing scimitar wielding clown as every other Magus) is the fact that you save yourself from taking dervish dance and weapon finesse, affording yourself two extra feats which is critical because you're basically a magical fighter with far fewer feats. This allows you to specialize in things like tripping (the Magus is one of the best classes in the game for this) which already involve feat taxes and ongoing investment.

Not to mention, if you actually care about carrying capacity it's good to have a strength score. It often happens that these clever and "optimized" builds would literally struggle to walk with loot.

Silver Crusade

Zolanoteph wrote:
Dark Midian wrote:

Don't we already have a magus guide that's basically the guideline for magus guides?

Kurald Galain's Magus Guide

I get a little nervous around orthodoxy and faith in established experts. As someone with a somewhat different opinion of all things Magus I'd like to think there's room for a million different opinions.

That said, I had some problems with my brief glance through this guide. For one, the strength based Magus seems to be undervalued, which is a bit unfortunate. True, having lower AC, initiative and reflex saves and needing to survive until level 7 for medium armor on a melee character with 8 sided hit die seems suicidal and reckless but at the same time if you survive that climb the view from the mountaintop is glorious.

The real mechanical advantage of the STR Magus (aside from the aesthetic advantage not being the same dancing scimitar wielding clown as every other Magus) is the fact that you save yourself from taking dervish dance and weapon finesse, affording yourself two extra feats which is critical because you're basically a magical fighter with far fewer feats. This allows you to specialize in things like tripping (the Magus is one of the best classes in the game for this) which already involve feat taxes and ongoing investment.

Not to mention, if you actually care about carrying capacity it's good to have a strength score. It often happens that these clever and "optimized" builds would literally struggle to walk with loot.

This is why i also said no matter which route you go with, never have a strength score lower then 12. You will be able to carry anything you need until you get your hands on a handy havarsack.

Also you might enjoy the staff magus as i find you basically have to play it like a STR/INT hybrid to reach its max potential.

And this is why i generally recommend the cutlass over the scimitar, much more RP friendly.

Silver Crusade

MrCharisma wrote:

So I just had a read through your "Tactics" page and I have to say I completely disagree with your rundown of the 2 sub-types and their tactics.

You make it seem like the Melee Magus can't use spell-recall and can't
prepare utility spells (and has to go Kensai for some reason).
Conversely you've turned the Caster Magus into a sub-par wizard with some defensive abilities.
I don't quite understand why you're specialising so heavily into one stat and completely ignoring the other stat with both builds. More importantly you seem to be completely ignoring some of the class-features with both builds.

It's mostly because i wanted to focus on the more important ones Bonus feats, and knowledge pool are nice but imo take a back seat. And I seldom see you using any heavier then light armor in 80% of cases so armor upgrades are kind of a moot point. And fighter training in general is just....meh to me

As for Counterstrike, Greater spell access and True magus, come on when was the last time you ever played a campaign where any of these abilities ended up being a large factor?

This is why I never understood why they put greater spell access so high? If you got it at level 13 or something. It would be amazing, but as it stands now it's pretty much pointless in most campaigns since you will likely never go long enough to get it. In fact I think there's like only 1 adventure path that goes up to level 20 and that's the mystic campaign "wrath of the righteous"

As for the sub-par caster thing......no. Just No. That's assuming The magus would do nothing but stay in the backline and cast spells, when in reality he would play more like aqua from kingdom hearts birth by sleep. Very spell heavy to be sure, but plenty capable of getting in your face.

Besides comparing something to a wizard is a fallacy since you could say why should i play "Insert class here" instead of a wizard and it would work.

This might say a lot about my character, but the only time i would ever play a wizard, is if i want to make everyone else at my table feel useless.


Malik Gyan Daumantas wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:

So I just had a read through your "Tactics" page and I have to say I completely disagree with your rundown of the 2 sub-types and their tactics.

You make it seem like the Melee Magus can't use spell-recall and can't
prepare
utility spells (and has to go Kensai for some reason).
Conversely you've turned the Caster Magus into a sub-par wizard with some defensive abilities.
I don't quite understand why you're specialising so heavily into one stat and completely ignoring the other stat with both builds. More importantly you seem to be completely ignoring some of the class-features with both builds.

It's mostly because i wanted to focus on the more important ones Bonus feats, and knowledge pool are nice but imo take a back seat. And I seldom see you using any heavier then light armor in 80% of cases so armor upgrades are kind of a moot point. And fighter training in general is just....meh to me

As for Counterstrike, Greater spell access and True magus, come on when was the last time you ever played a campaign where any of these abilities ended up being a large factor?
This is why I never understood why they put greater spell access so high? If you got it at level 13 or something. It would be amazing, but as it stands now it's pretty much pointless in most campaigns since you will likely never go long enough to get it. In fact I think there's like only 1 adventure path that goes up to level 20 and that's the mystic campaign "wrath of the righteous"
As for the sub-par caster thing......no. Just No. That's assuming The magus would do nothing but stay in the backline and cast spells, when in reality he would play more like aqua from kingdom hearts birth by sleep. Very spell heavy to be sure, but plenty capable of getting in your face.
Besides comparing something to a wizard is a fallacy since you could say why should i play "Insert class here" instead of a wizard and it would work.
This might say a lot about my character, but the only time i would ever play a wizard, is if i want to make everyone else at my table feel useless.

(That bolded part is some weird formatting that I don't remember adding =P)

So first off, sorry if my previous post sounded like it was attacking you (I don't know if you thought that, but it reads pretty aggressive to me, not intentional I assure you), I was merely trying to understand.

Second, I'm not sure you answered the question I was trying to ask, so let me rephrase it:
Both your main builds tend to focus extremely heavily on some class abilities while either sidelining or completely ignoring others.
The melee magus is focused so hard on being a melee fighter that it ignores or gives up spell-recall, and all-but-dumps INT. If you build that way then yes - you will have less utility in combat.
The caster magus focuses so hard on INT that it nerfs its melee capabilities. It also stands on the back-line where it can't effectively use spell-combat/strike (unless it's an eldritch archer).
If you play a melee magus that doesn't give up spell-recall you can prepare shocking grasp (or your preferred alternative) once and then use spell-recall to re-cast it as necessary. This would give you plenty of other spell-slots to keep some in-combat utility. You could also Keep your INT a little higher, giving you more AP points, spells and higher save DCs etc. To do this you might have to drop your melee stat by 2 points (taking a -1 to hit). This will drop your weapon damage output slightly, but since you only need 1 hit per round to deliver your spellstrike damage it shouldn't make much difference to your overall damage. By taking a less extreme approach to your stats you can have a perfectly functional melee character who's casting stat is still high enough to be effective. As an INT based caster you should also have enough skill points to be useful outside of combat.
The short version is this: The melee focused Magus can still have utility if you don't intentionally give it up.
The INT focused magus can still be combat-capable as long as you actually position yourself in the combat.

As far as comparing the INT-magus to a wizard: I was making that comparison because that's how you described the play-style - Standing on the back line casting support/control spells.

Silver Crusade

@Mr Charisma Well this might be just me personally, but i generally found that You either have to focus on spell recall or Enchant weapon to make your character effective.

Regardless of whether or not you go Dex or Int Magus. If you try to use both you will burn through your Arcane pool points so fast you wont have any left. And that's assuming you DON'T get some of the arcana that also use pool points.


Malik Gyan Daumantas wrote:

@Mr Charisma Well this might be just me personally, but i generally found that You either have to focus on spell recall or Enchant weapon to make your character effective.

Regardless of whether or not you go Dex or Int Magus. If you try to use both you will burn through your Arcane pool points so fast you wont have any left. And that's assuming you DON'T get some of the arcana that also use pool points.

I haven't had that experience, but it will depend on what kind of game you're playing (how long the adventuring day is). Enchanting your weapon should only take 1 AP per combat, so it shouldn't take all that much to fund. If you're having trouble with your AP points, I'd suggest trying something other than Bladebound, and maybe taking the Extra Arcane Pool feat. You could also take a race that gives +1/4 AP for its FCB (Human, Half Elf, Tiefling etc).

If you're really playing longer adventuring days you'd have to come up with some resource-saving tactics. The Magus' main strength is its ability to do everything all at once, but it does use up resources to do so, so in longer days it doesn't do as well.

Silver Crusade

And this is precisely why I advice choosing either enchant weapon or spell recall in the event you have long adventuring days.

I also made this guide under that pretense because shorter days means full casters, can just spam spells with complete abandon

And that causes it's own mess of problems.


Why do people think bladebound has less arcane pool points? Sure, some of them are more restricted in use, but the total of the black blade and its magus' arcane pools are about the same as a normal magus.

Though I guess you are restricted to enchant weapon or spell recall, the black blade can cover some of the uses of the former whichever you choose.

Silver Crusade

avr wrote:

Why do people think bladebound has less arcane pool points? Sure, some of them are more restricted in use, but the total of the black blade and its magus' arcane pools are about the same as a normal magus.

Though I guess you are restricted to enchant weapon or spell recall, the black blade can cover some of the uses of the former whichever you choose.

Its more you have the same amount of Pool points but how you can use the ones in the black blade are much more limiting.

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