Magus in PF2e


Prerelease Discussion

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So with the reveal of how multiclassing will work and the like, it's obviously a bit hard to see how the Magus will find a place in the future of Pathfinder Second Edition. I mean by and large it's considered the "original" hybrid class, combining spells and swordplay in a way people wish they could via multiclassing Fighter and Wizard. A fantasy that PF2e intends to deliver on with its new multiclassing system, allowing a Fighter to dabble in the arcane arts or a Wizard to pick up a sword and armor. With Fighter/Wizard and vice-versa, the Magus really doesn't seem to have a place in the upcoming second edition, does it?

To be honest, I disagree with that notion.

Arcane Pool. Spell Combat. Spellstrike. Magus Arcana. Spell Recall. Knowledge Pool. Even Counterstrike. All of these are either features unique to the Magus or originated from the Magus class, and all of those are before taking into account the Magus' weapon and armor proficiencies, spells, or its limited access to Fighter feats. The classes previewed have only had a small handful of their base features shown off along with a menagerie of feats to expand on and customize said features; from the list above the Magus has a grand total of seven to call all its own, on top of any features from particularly popular archetypes that could be woven into the base class. Or better yet, the things that could be added to the class to offer further customization for characters.

Moreover, Magi have always had a unique (but not really advertised) way of messing with action economy, namely the aforementioned Spell Combat and Spellstrike. Something that even with the new simplified action system could easily be maintained. Spell Combat is already described as functioning like TWF, so it would be all too easy to go all-in on that concept; striking with your weapon before following up with an off-hand spell, all in one action. Even if it was restricted in some manner (cantrips, unheightened and unmodified spells, etc), you'd essentially be substituting your casting action with a strike action in order to activate your spell. Or hell, expand on the concept further: have a strike action substitute for any of the casting actions required for a spell, then maybe if the strike successfully hits you don't have to worry about defensive casting. Landing a cleaving blow with your sword then blasting the enemy with a point-blank Burning Hands when they can't even react; pretty sure none of the class previews have shown off anything like that.

Spellstrike? Could probably be kept as-is, maybe expanded upon and empowered. Need to hit someone with a spell but can't risk collateral damage? Focus the spell into your weapon, then unleash it on the unfortunate enemy in a single blow.

The Arcane Pool and Knowledge Pool features, already linked together in PF1, are both pretty easily covered as-is by the the new Spell Point feature. The Magus can easily take advantage of and make use of it the same way it used its Arcane Pool. Spend Spell Points in various manners, like enhancing your weaponry with magical abilities, regain spent spells, or on activating Magus Arcana. Given Magi are known for being innovators of magic, maybe they could even spend Spell Points in lieu of Resonance- maybe even being able to do the reverse depending on level, circumstance, and/or feats!

And then the aforementioned Magus Arcana, spending a portion of your innate magic to complement, enhance, or even heavily alter your melee and casting capabilities. One need only look at the list of Magus Arcana to think of the possibilities available. Never mind the potential for new or different Arcana.

Even Counterstrike is unique in ways people don't seem to really acknowledge. The closest anyone else can come to having a similar ability is the Spellbreaker feat, which only works if a caster tries to cast defensively and fails. Counterstrike? Counterstrike means that even when casting defensively enemy casters aren't safe from your fury.

See all of these ideas? These are all the ideas of one man, with only surface level knowledge of Pathfinder and access to the d20pfsrd site. Imagine what a whole team of professional game designers and experienced players can come up with and offer. The ways they can deliver the fantasy of sword and spells dancing between one another flawlessly.

TL;DR: People aren't giving the Magus class nearly enough credit, focusing only on it being an arcane caster that can by default swing a sword and wear armor when the reality is that there is far more to the class. A Fighter/Wizard or Wizard/Fighter who can cast a spell and swing a sword are not the same as a Magus.


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So I never really got around to playing a Magus but I've GMed for a few, and what I don't really understand is "what defines the class, thematically, except for a Gish that is ready to go right out of the box"?

Like of all the popular PF1 classes which won't be in the PF2 core, the Magus seems the one most defined by its mechanics, so if these mechanics are largely replicable with other things, is it necessary? Like the Oracle merits inclusion in PF2 because you can't really otherwise be a divine caster whose powers come unasked from a curse leveled on you from some deity, and the Witch is coming back since none of the other casters have power derived from pact magic, but what, without invoking mechanics, defines the Magus in a way that's not "good with magic, and also weapons and armor"?

Silver Crusade

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So I never really got around to playing a Magus but I've GMed for a few, and what I don't really understand is "what defines the class, thematically, except for a Gish that is ready to go right out of the box"?

Like of all the popular PF1 classes which won't be in the PF2 core, the Magus seems the one most defined by its mechanics, so if these mechanics are largely replicable with other things, is it necessary? Like the Oracle merits inclusion in PF2 because you can't really otherwise be a divine caster whose powers come unasked from a curse leveled on you from some deity, and the Witch is coming back since none of the other casters have power derived from pact magic, but what, without invoking mechanics, defines the Magus in a way that's not "good with magic, and also weapons and armor"?

I don't see how "good at swords and magic" is less of a valid flavorspace than "good with swords" is by himself, which is what the fighter boils down to.


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I think there are enough interesting magus mechanics that it could work as its own class. Or course we would need to see what a wizard/fighter multiclass looks like in play first.

I mentioned something like this on another thread but this one is specifically a magus thread so I will repeat it. I think in the new framework it would be most similar to a bard. Bards are full casters who have one fewer spell slot per level than the other classes but have some special cantrips and extra skill proficiencies to make up for it. I think this could work for the magus, full 10th levl arcane spell caster but some martial proficiencies and spellstrike as a specialized set of cantrips (similar to a bards compositions). Starting off with elemental strike: One verbal action spell and your next melee attack deals +xd6 fire, frost, or lightning damage. And at higher level adding things like ghost strike (your next melee attack targets TAC and can hit incorporeal targets).


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It wouldn't be terrible if the Mystic Bolt ability from Ultimate Intrigue wound up rebalanced and ported over to be a new cantrip or ability of some kind.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So I never really got around to playing a Magus but I've GMed for a few, and what I don't really understand is "what defines the class, thematically, except for a Gish that is ready to go right out of the box"?

Like of all the popular PF1 classes which won't be in the PF2 core, the Magus seems the one most defined by its mechanics, so if these mechanics are largely replicable with other things, is it necessary? Like the Oracle merits inclusion in PF2 because you can't really otherwise be a divine caster whose powers come unasked from a curse leveled on you from some deity, and the Witch is coming back since none of the other casters have power derived from pact magic, but what, without invoking mechanics, defines the Magus in a way that's not "good with magic, and also weapons and armor"?

As the description says:

"There are those who spend their lives poring over ancient tomes and texts, unlocking the power of magic, and there are those who spend their time perfecting the use of individual weapons, becoming masters without equal. The magus is at once a student of both philosophies, blending magical ability and martial prowess into something entirely unique, a discipline in which both spell and steel are used to devastating effect. As he grows in power, the magus unlocks powerful forms of arcana that allow him to merge his talents further, and at the pinnacle of his art, the magus becomes a blur of steel and magic, a force that few foes would dare to stand against.

Role: Magi spend much of their time traveling the world, learning whatever martial or arcane secrets they can find. They might spend months learning a new sword-fighting style from a master warrior, while simultaneously moonlighting in the local library, poring through tomes of ancient lore. Most who take this path dabble in all sorts of lore, picking up anything that might aid them in their search for perfection."

Put more simply, the Magus is something of an overachiever. Whereas a Wizard or a Fighter might dabble in the teachings of the other for one reason or another, a Fighter/Wizard (or the inverse) is still only a Fighter who can cast spells, or a Wizard proficient with weaponry. The Magus however, studies both together and takes them further, unifying them into one art form that becomes distinct all its own.

If a Wizard is a blue circle and a Fighter is a red circle, who each can replace a part of their circle with a part of the other, the Magus stands as an entirely separate purple circle.


Now that you mention it, unless spell-strike becomes a feat, magus is going to be harder than I thought to replicate with base classes. However, like PossibleCabbage said, there's not really too much flavor lorewise with magi as opposed to a classes the like oracle and the witch.

That being said, there's no reason why they can't really make some more lore/flavor for the magus. With a d8 hitdie, being able to cast spells at amazing speeds while utilizing swordplay into the mix (the spell-combat and spell strike feature), and on top of it, being one of the few non-rogue martials that mostly builds dex (granted because of cheesy dervish dance, but still), you could flavor it as a type spellsword class that originated from the elves that were both infamous warriors and deadly skirmishers that overwhelmed enemy forces during the great wars. Or you can flavor it as a result of a newly made runic spell casting system that allows somatic casting through sword play.


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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
I don't see how "good at swords and magic" is less of a valid flavorspace than "good with swords" is by himself, which is what the fighter boils down to.

So lots of classes in PF1 were good at both fightin' and spellin', and assuredly a lot of classes in PF2 will be at well. My question is what, aside from mechanics, defines the magus as different from any of them? Like the difference between an Inquisitor and an Occultist is more than Divine vs. Psychic casting or Judgments vs. Focus Powers, it's that the former is a troubleshooter for a church of deity whereas the latter is someone who knows the secret history of items and can channel their inner power.

I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a Magus, we just might need to come up with something that defines it more than what it's good at. Like "why would someone choose to play a Magus instead of a different gish, other than 'it does the job better.'?" Since we shouldn't be definining one class or combination of options built for a thing should automatically be better at a given thing than a different class or combination at that specific thing, at least not this early in the game.


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Magus ties with Paladin as my favorite class in Pathfinder, not counting Third Party Stuff, so I do certainly agree there's a lot to it that I'd like to see brought over.

I am somewhat conflicted in making it a class just for the sake of it. Fighter/Wizard with some specific feats can cover much of it, but I do like the Magus as a legacy of innovating how magic was used and applied. If it is made a class in the new edition, its a good idea to focus less on "This is a class made because Fighter/Wizard doesn't work that well." and more "The Magus is a class with a unique interpretation and application of Magic."

A Fighter/Wizard or Wizard/Fighter is someone with armor and weapons training who is also a smart cookie studying magic. They are clearly better at one of these things, but they're smart enough to hedge their bets on multiple solutions to problems. I think the Magus could cover a conceptual area of "Magical Maverick", a prodigy taking short-cuts, or just someone that couldn't hack it fully as a swordsman or a mage and put them together to throw others off their guard.

This guy is a better swordsman than you, throw magical sand in his eyes and then stab him while he can't see you. That mage is countering your spells, channel it into your sword so that he doesn't see it coming this time. That guy with the huge hammer is going to smash your skull, fortify your helmet with magic and take out his legs after he swings. That snooty son of a gun Necromancer sure does know a lot more about killing spells than you do, but since you've spent so much time figuring out the magical matrix involved in swiftly enchanting items, you understand magical energy on a fundamental level that he hasn't considered and can dissolve his magical energy. That'll make his skull a lot easier to split in half!

I mean, arguments can be made that some kind of Wizard should be the maverick, but I always play Magi as character who couldn't really cut it as a fighter or wizard, and decided to 'cheat' instead and use magic and weapons in ways the more dedicated types didn't because they don't have to. I guess I tend to think of Magi being to Wizards as Rogues are to Fighters: less capable in a 'fair' fight, but insulted by the idea that they were going to fight 'fair' in the first place.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
I don't see how "good at swords and magic" is less of a valid flavorspace than "good with swords" is by himself, which is what the fighter boils down to.

So lots of classes in PF1 were good at both fightin' and spellin', and assuredly a lot of classes in PF2 will be at well. My question is what, aside from mechanics, defines the magus as different from any of them? Like the difference between an Inquisitor and an Occultist is more than Divine vs. Psychic casting or Judgments vs. Focus Powers, it's that the former is a troubleshooter for a church of deity whereas the latter is someone who knows the secret history of items and can channel their inner power.

I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a Magus, we just might need to come up with something that defines it more than what it's good at. Like "why would someone choose to play a Magus instead of a different gish, other than 'it does the job better.'?" Since we shouldn't be definining one class or combination of options built for a thing should automatically be better at a given thing than a different class or combination at that specific thing, at least not this early in the game.

As I described in my post above, the Magus is unique and different in that it combines the use of spells and weaponry. It doesn't simply have the capability to do both, it unifies and combines them into one. A Magus is an innovator, an overachiever, one hungry for knowledge who doesn't believe that one has to settle for one or the other, or even that at best you can master the former while dabbling in the latter. The Magus learns both and then combines them in ways never seen before. Like a chef who combines different foods into brand new dishes, or a scientist who finds how two different disciplines come together to unlock an entirely new world of information.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a Magus, we just might need to come up with something that defines it more than what it's good at. Like "why would someone choose to play a Magus instead of a different gish, other than 'it does the job better.'?" Since we shouldn't be definining one class or combination of options built for a thing should automatically be better at a given thing than a different class or combination at that specific thing, at least not this early in the game.

*grumbles at the unfairness of being presented with a really good argument*

Just slap an anathema on them and call it done.

*grumbles further*

Alright, alright. More seriously, a Magus isn't just a wizard/fighter. They're closer in flavor to being a wizard/monk by way of martial weaponry and armor (bear with me a moment), in that they don't just fight, they are artists with their weapons. Except instead of learning how to stun with a fist, they learn to make their weapon strikes into magical gestures.

Blade Bound, Escotericists, Staff Magus, Arcane Archer, even Eldritch Knight (to a lesser extent) imply a certain mystical approach to combat. And that's not even counting the archetypes that literally conjure their weapons out of magic, such as the Mindblade and Spellblades. I would also offer up the classic Mage-Smith concept in literature as fitting within this concept, and it isn't one that is currently overlapped with by a core class. Also the various kinds of rune warriors that 3.0 and later games have introduced.

So if I was leading the class lore, that might be where I'd start. Mages that REALLY focus on their weapons as much as their spell books, or that see spells as another form of martial arts.


I don't think a Magus class is necessary. That said, I do think it could be a nice thing to include. It could even be possible to allow the Magus to choose a spell list in a similar way to the Sorcerer.


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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.?


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Meophist wrote:
I don't think a Magus class is necessary. That said, I do think it could be a nice thing to include. It could even be possible to allow the Magus to choose a spell list in a similar way to the Sorcerer.

That was my initial thought as well, but honestly it would probably work just as well to have the magus be a set spell list and let anyone pick it's multiclass dedication if they'd like to have the martial abilities.

Or simply have a magus be an archetype requiring a character with cantrips rather than an all up class on its own.

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.?

That would make the most sense, yes. At least in the way I'm interpreting the class. I wasn't kidding about those anathemas by the way, so that fits neatly. Although I would prefer it if magi had a less structured environment and were more master/student in flavor, like Jedi I suppose (who also fit the Magus flavor).


It's really feeling like my own posts are getting either lost or at least not being acknowledged during this discussion. Though it is interesting to see how other people interpret or view the Magus class thematically, beyond "caster who can use weapons".


I think Mark noted on the Multiclass thread that between an existing wizard class feat, Fighter multiclass and the new action economy, Magus is more or less sorted.

While I like the Magus, I think it will come down to how classes use their spell points. Will it just be on spell 'powers' or will there be more novel uses for the resource than we have seen to date that may make a Magus more achievable.

My preference is for it's own class. I even think you could even do a 'spell-less' version in the same way that Paladin is. Instead of 1 good damage added to attacks, you add 1 elemental damage for instance. Spells were just a resource whose effects could be implemented in other ways. this would truly give Magi a unique identity.


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While I think there can be design space made for a Magus, I don't know that it's necessary. Now I have no horse in this race; I really don't care if the Magus is brought back or not, but I will say, the magus seemed like it was very much a mechanics-first class. And don't get me wrong, I don't mind mechanics first classes, but if we're moving into a new edition, with new mechanics, I think examining the viability of the magus, as a mechanics-first class whose mechanics are designed for a previous edition, is important. And doing so leads me to believe that the magus, as it stands, is best served as a feat (or maybe a couple feats) allowing better integration of spells and melee.

Now, as I said, I think there can be design space for the magus, but since it was originally mechanics-first, either it gains some unique identity, or it becomes another mechanics first creation, this time of 2e. I personally suspect the latter, as I suspect it to be an arcane spell point caster, but I could be wrong.


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It is a really interesting consideration to make. Some classes I can see little place for in the new system, such as the Brawler. Others, like the Investigator or Occultist, fill much more unique of a niche and should probably come back. The Magus really toes the line here.

On one hand, I think some feats for spell combat could he nice, allowing for interesting combinations. On the other, I think that a more broadly cast "spellsword" character could be interesting.

If they expanded the class beyond the narrow fighting style of PF1, such as allowing archery, two-handed combat, or unarmed combat by default,we could have a winner on our hands.


Albatoonoe wrote:

It is a really interesting consideration to make. Some classes I can see little place for in the new system, such as the Brawler. Others, like the Investigator or Occultist, fill much more unique of a niche and should probably come back. The Magus really toes the line here.

On one hand, I think some feats for spell combat could he nice, allowing for interesting combinations. On the other, I think that a more broadly cast "spellsword" character could be interesting.

If they expanded the class beyond the narrow fighting style of PF1, such as allowing archery, two-handed combat, or unarmed combat by default,we could have a winner on our hands.

I like the idea of the magus being a mystical weapon master- maybe they choose one weapon type and that's their signature weapon, and they can only cast through that weapon, but can spend feats to get more signature weapons.


I love the feat based system they've developed so far, and my very sincere hope is that they lean into that system full tilt. If they have the options to create a concept in one of two ways - one is to create a new class for that concept, the other is to expand the options for existing classes to meet the concept's needs, I 100% would prefer the latter. If for no other reason than the more modular it is, the more agency it gives to the player to create the character they want to play.

As an example - if they created a Magus class, it would be one class that would then grant a bunch of 'magus' abilities - spellstrike, arcane pool (well - spell point based powers), spell combat (some sort of timey-whimey action thinggy), etc. To get those abilities, you'd play a magus - and if you play a magus, you'd get those abilities.

But what if I want to be MY gish character, and only really want the spellstrike part. Why does there need to be an entire class for what could be satisfied by a singular class feat that simply required the ability to cast spells? The same could be said for an 'Arcane Pool' series of feats that provided very combat specific spell point powers.


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For instance, if they included these:

examples wrote:

SPELLSTRIKE - FEAT 2

Prerequisites trained in Martial Weapons
You may replace a melee touch attack with a melee weapon attack. The attack is made against the target's normal armor class, and on a successful hit, the effects of the spell are combined with the effects of the weapon attack. A critical success on the weapon attack counts as a critical success for the spell as well.

RANGED SPELLSTRIKE - FEAT 4

Prerequisites SPELLSTRIKE
You may replace a ranged touch attack with a ranged weapon attack. The attack is made against the target's normal armor class, and on a successful hit, the effects of the spell are combined with the effects of the weapon attack. A critical success on the weapon attack counts as a critical success for the spell as well. The ranged spellstrike is only effective up to the maximum range of the spell, even if the range of the weapon is longer.

this would allow any martially trained character that also has spells (this would include powers, as they are spells) to deliver touch effect spells via a weapon. This could work for Paladins, Clerics, and more traditional Fighter/Wizards. This isa lto more toys to play with for the players than being limited to a specific narrowly focused class.


I personally think the Magus has a place as a class in PF2, but the traditional Magus would be one of a few variants. They could have 3-4 "Orders". One being the traditional spellsword, another the arcane archer, a third focusing on magically enhanced armor (Eldritch Knight), and the final directing their power into their shield (Captain America). Another option could be a Sacred Fist type.

Each type could come with a different spell list as well, akin to the Sorcerer. Or it could be a completely separate choice. I almost think they'd work better as a Spell Pool based caster instead of Spell list though.

I think Magus would could easily offer enough choice, flavor, and mechanics to warrant being its own class over being offered via feats. Also I think it'd be easier to balance over having a feat any caster/martial could scoop up.

Edit: The more I've thought about the Eldritch Knight style, the more I like making them into a legitimate magic tank. Taunt style spells that promote swinging at them with penalties for swinging at anyone else. Thorns style buffs or triggered spells to go off upon getting hit.


BluLion wrote:
Now that you mention it, unless spell-strike becomes a feat, magus is going to be harder than I thought to replicate with base classes.

If it was a feat (or more realistically an archetype) it could allow warpriests too. Something like spellstrike and some pool/fervor abilities in exchange for diminished spellcasting (maybe less spells per level).

Once the playtest is released it might be interesting for the community to devise such an archetype.


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I feel like a lot of the classes that aren't going to be in PF2 core, will be added to PF2 in a later book predicated on some developer coming up with an interesting and fun idea for how this class operates (both mechanically and otherwise) which is distinct from how other, existing characters operate.

So new classes are going to come back in the order of "we think of interesting things to do with them" so I would expect things like the Oracle, Witch, and Occultist to come back before the Magus, but that doesn't mean the magus is gone. It might have to be somewhat different from its PF1 incarnation, but I mean the Alchemist doesn't have spell-analogues,the bard is a full caster, and wizards can cast in armor now, so that's not unique.


Three "Magi":

1) Multi-class Fighter-Wizard or Wizard-Fighter. The former higher ST, the latter higher INT.
2) Eldritch Knight, the Prestige Class revised, updated with "Spellstrike" class feats as options.
3) Magus, a new kind of hybrid class parallel to first edition's 6-level casting classes.

I think these are the orders of probability we will see these concepts arise. The first two can work. And yet, I'd be interested to see what the third option could look like. Especially as multi-class characters can get up to 8th level spells by trading class feats (albeit less per level), what baseline spell progression would be given to true hybrid classes that retain all of their class feats?


I think the key to truly porting the Magus into P2e (which I believe is entirely possible and justifiable) is to take what unique features that it has, like spellstrike and their various arcana, and expand upon them so that they form more of the core of the class. While the spell points system already serves as a great basis for their abilities that used to be fueled by their arcana pool, we could really expand on their relationship between might and magic, and being a true combination between the two, as opposed to a wizard who knows how to wear armor and wield a sword, or a fighter who has dabbled in sorcery to gain buffs and attacking options.

Taking a mystic approach to their design, like discussed above, could work, but might wind up feeling too disconnected from the P1e Magus in fluff if care isn't taken to make sure this isn't the default flavor. I feel like putting an emphasis on cantrips and spell-point based abilities, such as elemental buffs to their wielded weapon, would be the ideal route to take, not unlike what is happening with the Bard in the Playtest.

It would be especially good if the Magus was also extremely versatile and you could choose from the get-go whether or not they were similar to a Wizard, Sorcerer, or Witch, further increasing the variability between builds, but I may be asking for too much here.


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I'd rather see the magus abilities ported into wizard class feats, optional for wizards, and be done with the need for classes like the magus.

It's so not unique that they used the same character as the Eldritch Knight from the CRB to be its iconic. It wasn't unique, just more well executed in getting the core idea down.

What unique features of the magus can't be covered by adding a few class feats to the wizard? Not many.

At the very most, I could see a more generic archetype for all spellcasters that gives you cast & fight abilities, but given the only real difference in weapon ability this edition is your level of training in martial weapons, and maybe some hit points, I'm not too sure how necessary that will even be given the fighter multiclassing grants both HP and weapon/armor proficiency.

What else do you actually need?


master_marshmallow wrote:

I'd rather see the magus abilities ported into wizard class feats, optional for wizards, and be done with the need for classes like the magus.

It's so not unique that they used the same character as the Eldritch Knight from the CRB to be its iconic. It wasn't unique, just more well executed in getting the core idea down.

What unique features of the magus can't be covered by adding a few class feats to the wizard? Not many.

At the very most, I could see a more generic archetype for all spellcasters that gives you cast & fight abilities, but given the only real difference in weapon ability this edition is your level of training in martial weapons, and maybe some hit points, I'm not too sure how necessary that will even be given the fighter multiclassing grants both HP and weapon/armor proficiency.

What else do you actually need?

Given the way that multiclassing (at least in the Playtest) is now closely connected to the archetype system and is based off of trading class feats for the class features of other classes, who is to say that the Magus can't be this archetype? Spellstrike is easily the most definitive of class features the Magus gets access to, so I could easily see the Magus being a pretty lucrative multiclass archetype for other caster classes like a Witch or Druid if, instead of giving them access to spellcasting (which isn't necessary) or a lot of weapon and armor proficiency (which would step on the toes of the likes of Paladins and Fighters), it gave them Magus class features so they can get more combat utility out of their spells.


Combining action economy using specific triggers. For example:

Arcane Opening
Reaction Trigger: You score a critical hit using the strike action.
Effect: For the rest of your turn, if you cast a single-target spell targeting that foe, you may treat the triggering critical hit as satisfying the somatic casting of that spell.

Now that I wrote this, this looks more like the Fighter's combos (which we haven't seen yet)...


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It feels like people are really underestimating just what the Magus is capable of, and whether or not it would really be so easy to port it over merely as an archetype rather than a class all its own. Granted, we don't know just how much archetypes change or modify what a character is capable of, but frankly I think the idea "just make it a Wizard archetype" is downright insulting to the uniqueness of a Magus.

Arcane Pool? Covered by Spell Points. Knowledge Pool and Spell Recall? Could make sense for a Wizard or similar casters.

But Spellstrike? That requires a very specific combination of martial weapon proficiency and arcane spellcasting, and that's on top of what multiclassing already requires in terms of feats. Spell Combat? No other class has ever had something that combines magic and martial combat, neither before nor after the Magus. Not even outright hybrid classes such as Bloodrager, Skald, Hunter, or Warpriest. Magus Arcana? Similar to talents and exploits undeniably, but just as undeniably unique in what they offer to the Magus. Counterstrike? So unfairly undersold but probably the single best anti-caster feature available short of employing magical spells/weapons yourself! Who else can make an AoO when a caster attempts to cast defensively, regardless of whether it works or not? Go on, try and find someone.

The Magus is more than "A Fighter who can also cast a spell when they need to", or "A Wizard who can swing a weapon to defend himself". A Magus combines these talents in unique ways neither class is otherwise capable of doing, using magic to empower his weapon attacks with additional devastating effects such as bleed or striking TAC, or alternatively using his mastery of martial prowess to channel and deliver his spells.

I mean c'mon people, a Magus can gain the power to sniff out other spellcasters, breathe underwater, empower his use of magical items such as scrolls and wands, hinder enemy casters, and more. All of these without casting a single actual spell from their spellbook!

My point is I think the Magus and the fantasy it delivers on- not "be able to use a weapon and cast spells", but "truly combine might and magic into an art form"- is something that deserves to stand and be delivered as its own. The unique features of the Magus class have such mechanics and potential that trying to squish all of it into a series of archetype feats would either be a disservice to the class and its fantasy, or downright overpowered.


Spell strike can be covered by a feat. Doesn't need a whole class.

The feat should be generic and available to all casting traditions.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

Spell strike can be covered by a feat. Doesn't need a whole class.

The feat should be generic and available to all casting traditions.

It can be covered by a feat, but should it?

No other class, regardless of how adept they were at both casting spells and fighting in a melee, has had access to spellstrike unless they were either a magus or entirely based off of it (as is the case for one of my favorite archetypes, the Phantom Blade Spiritualist). Being able to channel the force of a spell into a melee weapon, at least in my opinion, seems like the sort of thing that would be impossible to manage unless you have the specific training that would require it, which makes the existence of the magus - a class entirely devoted to mixing magical and martial combat - justifiable by that fact alone.


master_marshmallow wrote:

Spell strike can be covered by a feat. Doesn't need a whole class.

The feat should be generic and available to all casting traditions.

Why? Casters can already get Arcane Strike and the feats that come with it. Easy enough for "can cast spells and swing weapons" wouldn't you say?

But Magi take the concept further. Rather than imbuing the weapon with a fragment of their arcane power, they channel the spell in its full power through their weapon to strike their foes.

For what reason should Spellstrike be a generic feat, when even Wizards who dabble in weaponry focus most of their lives and energy solely on the arcane arts, or Sorcerers spend most of their time understanding the magic coursing through their blood?

Magi are the only ones to truly explore the concept of combining magic and might, not using one or the other as necessary but wielding them together in tandem. So why should Magi give up Spellstrike when thematically, they're the only ones to have learned how to do it?


Would a magus without spell slots (i.e. a point-based caster like the Paladin) be satisfactory? Since with the new rules "how do we handle casters who are less good at casting than a wizard or a druid, but still have a significant amount" is going to be a tricky thing for PF2 what with how the math works now, so I imagine we're either going to be printing "full casters" (oracle, witch, possibly the occultist) or "non casters/point-based casters" in the first several splatbooks.

I'm not sure a Magus works as a 10 level caster, since we're not likely to do custom spell lists for classes, just the basic four, so a 10 level casting Magus would have access to the full wizard list.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Would a magus without spell slots (i.e. a point-based caster like the Paladin) be satisfactory? Since with the new rules "how do we handle casters who are less good at casting than a wizard or a druid, but still have a significant amount" is going to be a tricky thing for PF2 what with how the math works now, so I imagine we're either going to be printing "full casters" (oracle, witch, possibly the occultist) or "non casters/point-based casters" in the first several splatbooks.

I'm not sure a Magus works as a 10 level caster, since we're not likely to do custom spell lists for classes, just the basic four, so a 10 level casting Magus would have access to the full wizard list.

The more that I think about it, the more I actually wouldn't mind a spell-point based Magus - it would still give some room for the Magus to be able to use Spellstrike-like abilities (assuming it's possible for them to get Cantrips), and it would also open up the path for spellcasters to multiclass into Magus to get their spellstrike, enabling a more traditional Magus playstyle.


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Obviously need to find out how the spell point stuff works, but it could be fascinating. I like the notion that a Magus is interested in magical energy at a basic level, and comes up with fascinating uses for that. Like imbuing weapons/armor, creating weapons from nothing, negating magical effects of others. If they can use spell points to create some classic magical effects (elemental damage, be invisible, minor illusions, haste, I don't know) then it could replicate some of the feel of the old class.

While I'm certainly fond of the 'Perfectionist in melding magic and might' angle, being that I love all Gish to pieces, I agree that Magus needs to have a more unique approach to magical theory. If Wizard is high science, pushing the boundaries, and Sorcerers are unbridled bundles of magical energy, ready to burst, then I think Magi could be more interested in magic at its fundamental level. Like it'd be cool if they can dispel magical effects, suck up that energy, and then use it for something else. Less capable of the complicated spells of a Wizard or grand overtures of a Sorcerer, but flexible and innovative in quick fashion, maybe with a slight focus in anti-magic if they can mess with other people's spells on a fundamental level.

Maybe the lore could be that Magi predated the Wizard, which is why there's still more ties to weapons and fighting for them. People following the Magi path are less interested in the absolute limits of what magic is capable of, and more focused on how it interacts with the world and themselves. I freaking love Star Wars and the Jedi, so having Magi be more about attuning themselves to the cosmic flow of energy and having less interest in trying to be its masters would tickle me pink.


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The 'spell point based magus' still wouldn't require a complete class for that - spell point based options are easily added via feats as well - and if you want a group o feats that work together, that's essentially what archetypes are. So you make an archetype that adds some arcane spell powers. the dedication would require being trained in Arcana, and follow-on feats would open up other powers.

The benefit of this feat based approach is aplenty - for example, it would allow you to take it on a ranger to get your 'arcane archer' type feel. Take it on a Fighter to get the traditional Magus/Eldritch Knight feel. Take it on a rogue and you can get the arcane trickster direction. This is all under a single dedication feat to get started.

Of course, I still think that Spellstrike should be seperate from that. The archetype is the ability to harness an arcane pool and create specific effects - but it still makes sense to me to have spellstrike available to any spellcaster that is good with a blade (as the feats I posted earlier). Not to say that spellstrike wouldn't be a perfect fir on a Fighter with the 'Magus-like' archetype, but it doesn't mean the arcane trickster of the same archetype would decide to take it.

Essentially, if a thing CAN be just a feat, that it probably SHOULD be just a feat. I certainly don't see any sort of conflict with it being open to any spellcaster.


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Xerres wrote:

Obviously need to find out how the spell point stuff works, but it could be fascinating. I like the notion that a Magus is interested in magical energy at a basic level, and comes up with fascinating uses for that. Like imbuing weapons/armor, creating weapons from nothing, negating magical effects of others. If they can use spell points to create some classic magical effects (elemental damage, be invisible, minor illusions, haste, I don't know) then it could replicate some of the feel of the old class.

While I'm certainly fond of the 'Perfectionist in melding magic and might' angle, being that I love all Gish to pieces, I agree that Magus needs to have a more unique approach to magical theory. If Wizard is high science, pushing the boundaries, and Sorcerers are unbridled bundles of magical energy, ready to burst, then I think Magi could be more interested in magic at its fundamental level. Like it'd be cool if they can dispel magical effects, suck up that energy, and then use it for something else. Less capable of the complicated spells of a Wizard or grand overtures of a Sorcerer, but flexible and innovative in quick fashion, maybe with a slight focus in anti-magic if they can mess with other people's spells on a fundamental level.

Maybe the lore could be that Magi predated the Wizard, which is why there's still more ties to weapons and fighting for them. People following the Magi path are less interested in the absolute limits of what magic is capable of, and more focused on how it interacts with the world and themselves. I freaking love Star Wars and the Jedi, so having Magi be more about attuning themselves to the cosmic flow of energy and having less interest in trying to be its masters would tickle me pink.

I think you should perhaps detach flavor/lore from the mechanics more than you are doing. No reason the mechanics need to be tied to a specific lore - that just limits player and group agency in needless ways.


rainzax wrote:

Three "Magi":

1) Multi-class Fighter-Wizard or Wizard-Fighter. The former higher ST, the latter higher INT.
2) Eldritch Knight, the Prestige Class revised, updated with "Spellstrike" class feats as options.
3) Magus, a new kind of hybrid class parallel to first edition's 6-level casting classes.

I agree that theese are the 3 options, and i really hope they do the option "3".

I was very disappointed with 9lv spell bards, cause to me that changes them to spellcaster, not "ability characters" wich are to me what i classify all 6th level casters: ones that are defined by class abilities, since they dont fight as pure fighters or cast as pure casters, but are defined by an ability that make the class do its stuff: bardic song, spellcombat+strike+arcana, judgments, and the like. For sure they spells are MUST have, but since their progression is slower they have space to master how they use their spells, instead of getting a broad immense selection. Magus are touch spell masters for melee combat, inquisitors use cleric supportive spells to buff himself and better make use of judgment, cleric spells are the best low level buffs of the game and usually are party-focused(haste, good hope).

Do the whrole game system assuming all caster will be 9 level casters will great diminish the class design later, after some years after release, when some ideia come and will be hard to no be plain better or plain worse than a existing class.


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Meh, Paladins don't need to exist with Cleric/Fighters. Rangers don't need to exist with Rogue/Druids. Bards is just some lute kook Rogue/Wizards. Why does the Alchemist exist if he's just making potions like a Wizard? An Oracle can just be a set of feats that gives Cleric weird curses, a Witch can be a set of feats giving Wizards interesting Curse magic. There is a certain point where that reductionist view must meet a cut-off.

Lore of Magi predating Wizards is unnecessary, but "Uses magic as a fundamental energy instead of structured spells." is about as reasonable as "Bards play the music and the thing happens." Of course others can say "That idea is stupid." and I can't argue anyone into thinking its interesting, but I'd say its about as valid a concept for a class as Ranger (The 'Loves Nature, but not as much as Druid I guess" Class) or Oracle (Cleric, but it was forced on you.)

As to why Magi has flavor redirected to "Uses vague magical energy over traditional spells"? Mostly because of their Arcane Pool. They used it to charge up their swords, charge up themselves, counter magic, breath water or walk on it, change targets of spells, blah blah yap yap drivel drivel drivel.

I think it'd be an interesting concept for a class, to be talented at manipulating magic on a fundamental level, but lacking the more complex applications of it without multi-classing.


If it was to be a whole class package, it'd need to do something not done by other classes, or do something they do but in a unique way.

One thing I've noted in another thread is that as the Alchemist pushes the boundaries on Resonance, perhaps the Magus could too, with regards to weapons and armour (maybe free investment in one item based on your order/circle/college/school). Another unique thing they may do is increase the maximum number of potency/runes permitted on a weapon or armour than it's potency/quality would allow.


I think there is mention of an idea to make Occultist a Resonance focused class. If going with the idea to use Spell Point mechanics for Magus, then I think that could be an interesting path to follow. Perhaps Magus expands what they can do with Spell Points, how many they have, how they can get the points back.

Its why I personally lean toward the 'Interact with Magic on fundamental level." concept. A somewhat bland/non-descript pool of points that they do something interesting with. Wizard throws a Fireball, Magus raises her hand and turns the Fireball into strands of light that then coalesce on her weapon, which she then stabs a person with. Less high-concept use of magic, but still some interesting to do with it. And still going with the concept of a Magical Warrior. Arcane Equivalent to a Paladin. Fighter/Wizard multi-class is a guy in armor that knows spells, but likely can't get the feeling of "Warrior Suffused With Magic" across. A Magus should have "Badass Warrior Person With Mystical Powers" as its fundamental identity, something you can feel in all its mechanics.

I don't think a Fighter/Wizard multi-class will really carry that concept of Mystic Warrior. Monk/Sorcerer could come closer though, some far off day.


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Frankly, I feel like the Magus, if the Spell-Point-focused approach is taken, might be a good opportunity to introduce a non-vancian caster into the game, where they get an extended pool of Spell Points and they cast somewhat similarly as psionics would.

This would work doubly well if they go the Sorcerer route and give them the choice between which spell list they get access to, and maybe even which mental stat their Spell Points are based off of.


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rainzax wrote:

Three "Magi":

1) Multi-class Fighter-Wizard or Wizard-Fighter. The former higher ST, the latter higher INT.
2) Eldritch Knight, the Prestige Class revised, updated with "Spellstrike" class feats as options.
3) Magus, a new kind of hybrid class parallel to first edition's 6-level casting classes.

I think these are the orders of probability we will see these concepts arise. The first two can work. And yet, I'd be interested to see what the third option could look like. Especially as multi-class characters can get up to 8th level spells by trading class feats (albeit less per level), what baseline spell progression would be given to true hybrid classes that retain all of their class feats?

As long as the Three Magi are bringing gifts of Myrrh, Frankincense, and Steel, they're all right by me . . . .


Xerres wrote:
Meh, Paladins don't need to exist with Cleric/Fighters. Rangers don't need to exist with Rogue/Druids. Bards is just some lute kook Rogue/Wizards. Why does the Alchemist exist if he's just making potions like a Wizard? An Oracle can just be a set of feats that gives Cleric weird curses, a Witch can be a set of feats giving Wizards interesting Curse magic. There is a certain point where that reductionist view must meet a cut-off.

Opening up Spellstrike as a feat option for any spellcaster with martial weapon training is not reductionist - it is the exact opposite. It is giving MORE character building options than tying it to a specific class would do.


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I think there is enough design space to make a Magus class in PF2e.
Of course the developers may decide to create feats that make the Magus abilities available to Wizards, but that's true for everything: we would have no more classes than the core ones, and still be able to build the old characters we liked.
I don't think that this is where Paizo is heading, for a lot of reasons.

What I think is that rebuilding those 'hybrid' classes for PF2e will involve giving each of them something unique, so that for Magus you won't just have a class that mirrors a simple Wizard/Fighter multiclass character, but something that feels and plays differently.


While I agree that a totally classless system might be the 'ideal' target for the most character customization, I think you'd find that such a system would lead to a few 'base' configurations that would end up being common - it's those 'common bases' that should be considered for 'class packages'. That's where I think the target should be in a 'modular class system'. I just don't see the Magus as meeting that bar, since a magus is likely to already have everything the base fighter starts with.

I do think they could have gone with just 6 or 7 base classes, but they are also - at least partially - beholden to some legacy demands (as evidenced by the Paladin still being its own thing) - which unfortunately breaks from trying to find that ideal balance of class vs. feat.


It honestly wouldn't surprise me if Spellstrike is just the default way spells with a range of touch which require an attack roll function. Do we know this isn't the case?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
It honestly wouldn't surprise me if Spellstrike is just the default way spells with a range of touch which require an attack roll function. Do we know this isn't the case?

The spells we've seen specifically call out making a 'melee touch attack,' so I'm guessing that it is still the same as pf1e. I think if something like spellstrike was an option by default, they wouldn't call out the touch attack explicitly, and would be 'make a melee spell attack' or some other specific game term.


You want an INT based monk that uses armor and weapons. I don't like how many feats it'll take, but you definitely can do this.

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