Magus in PF2e


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Magus will never be a PF2 base class for a litany of reasons:
A) Magi don't work as primary spellcasters, and secondary casters only exist through Archetypes. Their niche was literally 'a less terrible Fighter/Wizard', and it has been obviated by kinder core mecanics.
B) Magi don't work as primary martial artists, because the mechanics that did define 'magi' are all meaningless without spells, and spell points will be too limited a pool.
C) Magi lack a defining, scaling feature to act as the spine of a character of a non-martial, non-caster. Such as Sneak Attack.

Conversely, every spellcaster would benefit from an archetype that allowed them to blend their tradition of spellcraft with their favored type of weaponry synergistically. Allowing one to easily create a divine-bow magi or an occult-dagger magi with just one supplement, and multiplying the number of potential, viable concepts.


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Cantriped wrote:

Magus will never be a PF2 base class for a litany of reasons:

A) Magi don't work as primary spellcasters, and secondary casters only exist through Archetypes. Their niche was literally 'a less terrible Fighter/Wizard', and it has been obviated by kinder core mecanics.
B) Magi don't work as primary martial artists, because the mechanics that did define 'magi' are all meaningless without spells, and spell points will be too limited a pool.
C) Magi lack a defining, scaling feature to act as the spine of a character of a non-martial, non-caster. Such as Sneak Attack.

Conversely, every spellcaster would benefit from an archetype that allowed them to blend their tradition of spellcraft with their favored type of weaponry synergistically. Allowing one to easily create a divine-bow magi or an occult-dagger magi with just one supplement, and multiplying the number of potential, viable concepts.

Secondary casters don't exist so far. Designers have specifically left the door open for later. I don't see why a secondary caster or a spell point caster couldn't augment their martial abilities. For the lack of the defining feature, so? I'm sure the designers can make one.

I'd like to see something like a universal archetype that could make a magus character out of any spellcaster, like you said. But I see absolutely no reason why a magus can never be a base class. There is plenty of room, both in terms of flavor and mechanics.


Go all out, make it like the sorcerer, and let you choose your list to get classes like the warpriest, mindblade, magus, and by some extension hunter. The class itself only gets spell powers, and you have to multiclass to get spells.


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I have been analyzing substituting a fighter-wizard multi-class for a magus. Acknowledging we only have partial knowledge of multi-class archetypes I can only form a partial opinion. From what I have seen so far the multi-class option will not give enough spell slots to adequately replicate the magus. Only getting 2 spell lots for the lower level spells is not enough.

I will analyze the wizard-fighter multi-class option but my gut feeling is it will not be adequate either but from the combat side.

I think we will need to look at the bard chassis as method of making a good magus.


Saint Bernard wrote:

I have been analyzing substituting a fighter-wizard multi-class for a magus. Acknowledging we only have partial knowledge of multi-class archetypes I can only form a partial opinion. From what I have seen so far the multi-class option will not give enough spell slots to adequately replicate the magus. Only getting 2 spell lots for the lower level spells is not enough.

I will analyze the wizard-fighter multi-class option but my gut feeling is it will not be adequate either but from the combat side.

I think we will need to look at the bard chassis as method of making a good magus.

Maybe a wizard specialization/archetype? Give up your favored school benefit for some combat prowess. I guess we need to see how strong the schools are. It won't be long now.


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Malachandra wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
Magus will never be a PF2 base class...
...But I see absolutely no reason why a magus can never be a base class...

At least read the words you're quoting. I don't appreciate being misrepresented. Sure they could import the Magus as a base class, but it would run contrary to the design conceit they've established with the playtest. So I don't think they will.

It's core identity is based on a niche that is inappropriate for a base-class in this edition. Classes should represent distinct professions or skillsets as much as possible. Mechanically inspired bastard-classes have no place in PF2's base-class list. Conversely PF1 needed a medium-BAB, second tier demi-Wizard because there was no satisfying and mechanically viable way to build one (a la carte multiclassing just didn't function as intended).
Besides, the Eldritch Knight was a core prestige class (and a beloved import from 3rd edition), as well as the Magi's direct proginitor. So if we're talking about keeping things purely for their legacy, we should be keeping Eldritch Knight (as a prestige archetype), not it's splat-book bastard.


I do expect to see an Eldritch Knight Prestige Archetype in the final CRB, and it would not surprise me if it had Spellstrike.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I do expect to see an Eldritch Knight Prestige Archetype in the final CRB, and it would not surprise me if it had Spellstrike.

If it does than it may be a reasonable substitute. I hope you are right.


Saint Bernard wrote:

I have been analyzing substituting a fighter-wizard multi-class for a magus. Acknowledging we only have partial knowledge of multi-class archetypes I can only form a partial opinion. From what I have seen so far the multi-class option will not give enough spell slots to adequately replicate the magus. Only getting 2 spell lots for the lower level spells is not enough.

I will analyze the wizard-fighter multi-class option but my gut feeling is it will not be adequate either but from the combat side.

I think we will need to look at the bard chassis as method of making a good magus.

If the Wizard Archetype's spell-progression is too slow for your Magi your expectations are unreasonable. Recall that Magi have never had a 7th level spell to sling at 16th level before. Plus Cantrips and Powers are where most of your reliably useful magic will come from (unlike in PF1). Further... the Bard has the same number of slots as a Generalist Wizard. You'll need to Specialize (usually in Evocation or Abjuration), or run a Sorcerer to get more base slots.

Regarding Fighting ability, a Wizard/Fighter will have their full caster level, but the PF1 equivalent of 18 BAB (or rather; +21 compared to the classed Fighter's +23). This is slightly better than the best an Eldritch Knight could muster (17 BAB, 18 CL). In addition they have Magi's 7th level ability to cast in heavy armor, from 2nd level on.

EDIT: A final note, not everybody can make an Attack of Opportunity anymore, which affects the viability of all spellcasters in melee.

Silver Crusade

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
So could we structure the PF2 Magus class around something analogous to Druid orders, like "What is your relationship with your weapon" so the choice of having an intelligent black blade, or a weapon you manifest out of pure magic, or a weapon you forged and inscribed the eldritch runes on yourself, etc.?

This sounds promising.


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Cantriped wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
Magus will never be a PF2 base class...
...But I see absolutely no reason why a magus can never be a base class...

At least read the words you're quoting. I don't appreciate being misrepresented. Sure they could import the Magus as a base class, but it would run contrary to the design conceit they've established with the playtest. So I don't think they will.

It's core identity is based on a niche that is inappropriate for a base-class in this edition. Classes should represent distinct professions or skillsets as much as possible. Mechanically inspired bastard-classes have no place in PF2's base-class list. Conversely PF1 needed a medium-BAB, second tier demi-Wizard because there was no satisfying and mechanically viable way to build one (a la carte multiclassing just didn't function as intended).
Besides, the Eldritch Knight was a core prestige class (and a beloved import from 3rd edition), as well as the Magi's direct proginitor. So if we're talking about keeping things purely for their legacy, we should be keeping Eldritch Knight (as a prestige archetype), not it's splat-book bastard.

I did read the words. I disagreed, and continue to do so. The magus can absolutely be a base class. Nothing you have said convinced me otherwise, to the contrary in fact. The magus is more than a bastard class. It's entirely it's own thing, and is an entirely appropriate fantasy trope to have its own base class.


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I will admit that, beyond Spellstrike, there is not a whole lot of reason to port the P1e version of the Magus into P2e because of the nature of multiclassing now, and that the Magus was initially created to support the gish playstyle that was difficult to pull off otherwise.

However, there is still enough of an identity to the Magus itself in the realm of their Arcana and Arcane Pool and, again, Spellstrike that we don't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. All that needs to be done is that we need to expand upon the concept of the Magus, be it by emphasizing pre-existing aspects of it or by introducing new mechanics through it, and then we can fully justify having the Magus in P2e.

There's already been a wide variety of good suggestions in here as to how it can be achieved, so it's less of a matter of "why" but more a matter of "how".


Rysky wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So could we structure the PF2 Magus class around something analogous to Druid orders, like "What is your relationship with your weapon" so the choice of having an intelligent black blade, or a weapon you manifest out of pure magic, or a weapon you forged and inscribed the eldritch runes on yourself, etc.?
This sounds promising.

I feel like the thing that's going to necessitate the inclusion of a Magus or Magus analogue in PF2 is the otherwise unsatisfied desire to play a mystic warrior with a mysterious intelligent weapon bound to your soul, or a weapon you have manifested out of pure will.

So it might be the case that the baseline PF2 Magus is a Black Blade Kensai or a Mindblade.


One reason I doubt a Magus will happen is finding a leak that Quicken Spell now only works once per day to remove a single action from a spell you cast. I can't see basing a whole class around action economy advantage in spell casting. The core rules let you mix spells and weapon attacks as is, that's probably all you're going to get.


We might get a feat removing the 'manipulate' tag from certain spells, allowing them to be cast with the weapon hand.

Also; combining specific actions (like casting and striking) is a lot less abusable than reducing the action cost of a spell.


i personally love magi as a design, and would hate to lose their built-in combo of spell+action that's unique to them despite their weaker casting and narrower list (which are probably that way to both promote using their core feature, and to help their action economy). a plain fighter/wizard has loads of problems doing both mechanically (requiring enough gold/levels for easy access to quickened spells, for example) before high levels, while the magus does it's shtick right out of the box, letting people ACTUALLY experience that fantasy.

especially since the current action system makes casting and attacking VERY hard to do (1-2 actions on casting alone, and then another action to attack, and there's your turn so you'd better hope they're within a move or directly adjacent).

i'd accept them being a multiclass/archetype feat-set as suggested above, or rolling those features into an eldritch knight/arcane trickster-esque PrC set, but them being gone entirely would be a real shame.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I do expect to see an Eldritch Knight Prestige Archetype in the final CRB, and it would not surprise me if it had Spellstrike.

Agreed and if worded correctly the same archetype can cover warpriests too.


I think it could be good for there to be an option to replace a somatic action with a melee weapon strike.

On another front, it could be cool to have a class that could cast a spell on their weapon to give it a bonus specific to that spell, and have the option to expend the spell for a special effect when they attack with it.


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I had a thought when walking the dog-

What if we combined the Magus, Spirtualist, and Summoner into one class?

Specifically, you have a mysterious bond with some kind of outsider, which manifests either as a creature or a weapon, and you are either Arcane or Psychic.

So for Summoners we pick Arcane and Creature, for Spiritualists we pick Psychic and Creature, for a Black Blade/Spellblade Magus we pick Arcane and Weapon, and for a Mindblade/Phantom Blade/Ectoplasmatist we pick Psychic and Weapon. If we expand the class of eligible weapons to be things like bows and staves and whips and dwarven dorn-dergars, we can reproduce a lot of concepts here.


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No need to combine concepts when you can expand them instead.
Creativity is not something the developers lack. I expect the Magus to come back, with a mix of old, renewed and totally new mechanics.


I could see the Summoner/Spiritualist-style of Pokemon Trainer as a base-class chassis (preferably a Caster-type).
Similarly I could see Legacy/Phantom Weapon Wielders and Soul-Knives/Mind-Blades/Solarions, etc as a seperate base-class chassis (preferably a Martial-type with Spell Points; an arcane/occult foil to paladins.)


Cantriped wrote:

I could see the Summoner/Spiritualist-style of Pokemon Trainer as a base-class chassis (preferably a Caster-type).

Similarly I could see Legacy/Phantom Weapon Wielders and Soul-Knives/Mind-Blades/Solarions, etc as a seperate base-class chassis (preferably a Martial-type with Spell Points; an arcane/occult foil to paladins.)

I'd actually prefer if they kept the Summoner as its own distinct class, focusing on extraplanar connections and the relationship between the summoner and the eidolon, and they cast off of spell points for summon spells, rejuvenate eidolon, etc.

As for the Spiritualist, a good way to go about it would be to give them the option at first level to either A.) go the road of the summoner (Path of Possession?) and gain a fighting ghost buddy, but you're restricted to spell points, or B.) go the road of the gish (Path of Death?) and gain an ectoplasmic weapon, as well as increased spellcasting to make up for the comparatively reduced action economy.


The action economy limitations on support creatures (one action to order/maintain an animal companion or summoned creature) may make Summoner/Spiritualist sufficiently unpopular as a concept that they don't bother. We'll have to see how many still want animal companions for their Druids and Rangers.


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Given that the only other 6 level semi caster was reincarnated as a full caster with reduced spell slots, I suspect they will do the same with Magus. It would be nice to think I'm wrong, but assuming I'm right, How would they balance spellstrike?
Well, my first thought would be to limit it to Cantrips. Since they scale with level, presumably cost 1 action and have unlimited uses they would become perfect choices. Much would depend on what cantrips are available on the occult list; if there is no touch attack suitable then this idea would be dead in the water. Also it would mean losing things like vampiric touch at higher levels (both good reasons why a spell-less Magus would actually work better).
Alternatively, using certain levels through spellstrike would only come online at certain levels (say 1st at 1st; 2nd at 4th; 3rd at 7th; 4th at 10th; 5th at 13th and 6th at 16th to keep it in line with the original Magus). A Magus could still cast those spells just as a wizard could, but could only use them via spellstrike if the are of the requisite levels.
All in all, it really feels like trying to put a round peg in a square hole, which is why I think spell-less Magus would work better. Since all their other powers are keyed off Arcane Pool (aka spell points), why not spellstrike?
There would be nothing stopping the Magus Multiclassing into Wizard (or any other caster class, like Bard, Sorcerer, cleric, Druid, etc.), then spending a Feat to get Broad study to be able to cast their spells via spellstrike, or multiclassing into Fighter to improve their combat proficiency and increase the chance of getting those all important crits in spellstrike for those that want it.

I would like to add: To those who keep saying that spellstrike could be used to make Warpriests, the Warpriest has never had anything remotely resembling spellstrike. You may be getting confused with spell combat, which allows a spell and an attack on the same round; but spell combat and fervour function very differently. Spell combat is any spell you can cast, at a -2 to all attacks. Fervour is any spell that only targets you but with no penalty.
Spellstrike by contrast is specifically about touch attacks. It's use is very offensive. Fervour is about buffs. It's use is very defensive.


Cantriped, to be perfectly honest it's looking more and more like you have an outright bias against the Magus class, and are actively trying to come up with any number of reasons it cannot, will not, or should not happen.

I made this thread to remind people that the Magus was more than just a martial class + partial caster, to emphasize what makes the Magus unique and fun in ways that other classes do not and never have been able to replicate throughout Pathfinder's lifespan. Now this thread has blown up like this, it's additionally become a thread with people talking about how they interpret the theme of the Magus and how they think it should or would like to see it implemented, actively trading and discussing both ideas and concepts.

So if you're not going to do anything except be a naysayer putting down ideas or actively discouraging the idea that Magus could be in or deserves a place in PF2e, then I'm going to have to ask you to leave. If you don't like the Magus for whatever reason then you are free to have that opinion, but kindly take it elsewhere if you aren't going to try contributing anything but negativity to the discussion.


Chill Touch was revealed as an Occult cantrip by Mark Seifter on a Know Direction podcast, so that's at least one touch cantrip.


The way I see it, Magus could become the master of spell points, the way that Alchemist is the Master of Resonance.
This would involve getting a large number of Spell powers, both as Class features and class feats, possibly also getting a bonus (scaling bonus?).
This would all go hand-in-hand with the themes mentioned upthread; providing pseudo-spells via spell points should also be a class feature (e.g. pick 1 pseudo spell/ level from a given list). These can include better versions of the base touch attack at appropriate levels; alternative pseudo spells for defense, buff, debuff or utility, etc. based on the Magus' spell list.
So, at 1st level they get the base touch attack, spell combat, Arcane Pool ability to improve weapons and their first pick of pseudo spells.
Spellstrike would probably have to wait until 3rd if we want it to remain a class feature (possibly it could be moved to 1st?) since class features are now received on odd levels.
Class feats would effectively replicate Arcana or give some better combat options like a Fighter.

Seems like this is building up to be a very front loaded character. I think the abilities may have to be spread out a bit, otherwise it becomes the go-to dip class.


Gavmania wrote:
Seems like this is building up to be a very front loaded character. I think the abilities may have to be spread out a bit, otherwise it becomes the go-to dip class.

I think dipping is impossible now, what with how multiclassing is feats.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gavmania wrote:
Seems like this is building up to be a very front loaded character. I think the abilities may have to be spread out a bit, otherwise it becomes the go-to dip class.
I think dipping is impossible now, what with how multiclassing is feats.

Spending just one or two class feats on your multiclass devotion + maybe 1 other feat in that archetype could be considered dipping. Basically any build where you don't ever plan on finishing off the "you must get 2 feats from this archetype before you can get another devotion feat" thing.


I would certainly prefer to see the Magus coming back in a way that would allow ''gish'' characters for any spellcasting tradition. All the flavor coming from the Magus balanced combination of magical and martial prowess always felt limiting to me when attached exclusively to arcane magic and wizardry. PF1 even added a few archetypes to answer this problem, like the Hexcrafter, Eldritch Scion or Puppetmaster. They weren't always balanced, but they showed that the Magus chassis didn't had to be based around wizardry.

I think that not only the mechanics, but also the core flavor of the Magus begs for the class to be reborn into something more versatile and flexible, maybe as a set of Feat or a Prestige Archetype requiring decent weapon proficiency and access to any spellcasting tradition. In fact, I hope this is where the designers are aiming if the Eldritch Knight makes a comeback.

The idea of the Magus as an over achiever, as well as the idea of someone trying to complement a magical or physical weakness with versatility...well...this is in no way limited thematically to arcane magic, and even less to wizardry. I can perfectly picture an Occult dabbler that combines mind tricks and advanced fencing, as well as a weak blooded sorcerer trying to build on her physical training to get the edge her magic can't provide all by itself. That can also work for a primal caster that reject pure magical might and see his body as the weapon provided to him by the nature he reveres.


rooneg wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gavmania wrote:
Seems like this is building up to be a very front loaded character. I think the abilities may have to be spread out a bit, otherwise it becomes the go-to dip class.
I think dipping is impossible now, what with how multiclassing is feats.
Spending just one or two class feats on your multiclass devotion + maybe 1 other feat in that archetype could be considered dipping. Basically any build where you don't ever plan on finishing off the "you must get 2 feats from this archetype before you can get another devotion feat" thing.

But you can just make it so that the dedication feat doesn't give you the whole package then, since the feat says specifically what you do get without making reference to something like "the first level of a class".

But regardless, I think front-loaded classes are a thing of the past.


The question is, what is the minimum acceptable 1st level features? It may well be that the Arcane Spell Pool Weapon enhancement can wait, and maybe the pseudo-spells - So what about a base touch attack power and Spell Combat?

At third, it would be Spellstrike and a couple of pseudo-spells
5th: Weapon Enhancement and 2 pseudo spells
7th: knowledge pool, Spell recall (or is that too late? and how would it work with powers?) and 2 pseudo spells
9th: Medium Armour (again, too late?) and 2 pseudo spells
11th: Improved Spell recall (again, how does this work without spells?) and 2 pseudo spells
13th: Heavyy Armour + 2 pseudo spells
15th: Greater Spell Combat + 2 pseudo spells
17th: Counterstrike +2 pseudo spells
19th: Greater Spell Access(?) + 2 pseudo spells

I would suggest Spell recall, etc. should be replaced with bonus spell points.


One benefit of having Magi be an archetype would be compatibility with different spellcasting classes. It could grant some weapon proficiency and spellstrike/combat. I, for one, wouldn't mind slapping some of these abilities on a Bard.


having magus be able to be appended to other classes (provided it's prereqs aren't too hard) does open several interesting doors for new builds adn character ideas.
though, some of the more exotic ones would depend on how flexible spellstrike/combat is made (fists, ranged weaponry, etc).


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rysky wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So could we structure the PF2 Magus class around something analogous to Druid orders, like "What is your relationship with your weapon" so the choice of having an intelligent black blade, or a weapon you manifest out of pure magic, or a weapon you forged and inscribed the eldritch runes on yourself, etc.?
This sounds promising.

I feel like the thing that's going to necessitate the inclusion of a Magus or Magus analogue in PF2 is the otherwise unsatisfied desire to play a mystic warrior with a mysterious intelligent weapon bound to your soul, or a weapon you have manifested out of pure will.

So it might be the case that the baseline PF2 Magus is a Black Blade Kensai or a Mindblade.

I'd be ok with either.

Oh! & Don't lose Seltyi-- er... the Magus in PF2!
('0')9"

:p


Why bother giving them upgrades to armor as you progress in PF2? ASF no longer exists.


^The Pathfinder 2nd Edition equivalent to Pathfinder 1st Edition Armor Training would be nice . . . .

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