Why no more 6 level casters?


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ErichAD wrote:
Minus the cool half caster abilities that fleshed out the class and made it playable of course.

Well, the 3-action system means spell combat works out of the box so that really isn't needed anymore. Also since you're at full BAB you don't need the arcane pool to enhance your weapon to make up the difference. However, that only takes us halfway through the Magus' 1st level class features, with many more to come.

I'm actually considering running gestalt rules to see how the game plays. With so few class features, doubling up doesn't look like a bad idea.


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ErichAD wrote:
Dasrak wrote:

A 13th level PF2 Wizard has 20 spell slots, and his highest level slots contain such spells as teleport.

A 13th level PF1 Magus typically will have between 22-25 spell slots, and his highest level spell slots contain such spells as... teleport.

I think it's the other way around. The tables may contain 9 spell levels, but they are much closer to PF1 6-level casters in most respects.

Minus the cool half caster abilities that fleshed out the class and made it playable of course.

More accurately, made them outright better than their pure martial counterparts.

Inquisitor would have as much AC, damage, and to-hit as a Fighter, while having better saves, much better skills, and access to a useful spell list. Magi are the same way. Literally every 2/3 spellcaster outranked every martial character because of those features.

The only reason Full Spellcasters were better was because of access to 7-9 level spells. That advantage is gone in PFS, so playing anything other than 2/3 Spellcasters in PFS was setting yourself up for failure.


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Dasrak wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
Minus the cool half caster abilities that fleshed out the class and made it playable of course.

Well, the 3-action system means spell combat works out of the box so that really isn't needed anymore. Also since you're at full BAB you don't need the arcane pool to enhance your weapon to make up the difference. However, that only takes us halfway through the Magus' 1st level class features, with many more to come.

I'm actually considering running gestalt rules to see how the game plays. With so few class features, doubling up doesn't look like a bad idea.

the 3 action system do not let you use spell combat and spell strike.

in 3 action system, you can cast 1 spell and make 1 attack

in PF 1 you can cast 1 spell that can be channeled throw a weapon and makeup to 3 attacks.

so it's not the same at all.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zautos' wrote:

the 3 action system do not let you use spell combat and spell strike.

in 3 action system, you can cast 1 spell and make 1 attack

in PF 1 you can cast 1 spell that can be channeled throw a weapon and makeup to 3 attacks.

so it's not the same at all.

1) I didn't say anything about spellstrike, I was talking about spell combat. They are often used in conjunction, but they are two separate class features.

2) Iteratives work differently in PF2 than in PF1. As a general rule only martials will be making iterative attacks at a penalty, and even then seldom more than one. A spellcaster like a Magus wouldn't even bother and would focus exclusively on his first attack. In that respect this is exactly like spell combat.


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I honestly like that PF2 does away with "using a specific combination of class features, feats, and game mechanics, I can make significantly more attacks than other people can."

So I don't think we're ever going to get the Magus's action economy edge back, any more than the "a hasted level 11 archer puts 6 arrows in the air every round" (while most anybody in the party who wants to fight in melee has to move and then make a single attack.)


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Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Agreed, the 6th-level casters are the best designed classes in Pathfinder, and I feel PF2 is lesser for getting rid of them.

Same.

Most of the hybrid classes (particularly the paizo ones, rather than bard), felt like interesting dedicated themes.

The PF2 classes feel like hollow shells centered around slowly learning stupid weapon tricks with a specific type of weapon or weapons, or in the case of casters, fairly bland chassis for trying to move numbers around, +/- 1 or 2 to a complex array of exceptions (frightened 1, sickened 2, etc).


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I honestly like that PF2 does away with "using a specific combination of class features, feats, and game mechanics, I can make significantly more attacks than other people can."

So I don't think we're ever going to get the Magus's action economy edge back, any more than the "a hasted level 11 archer puts 6 arrows in the air every round" (while most anybody in the party who wants to fight in melee has to move and then make a single attack.)

Pounce. TWF. Haste. Pummeling Charge.

Pretty sure you can dig through and find ways of getting either full attack or more attacks after moving. Or try to find a way to deal more damage with one swing(Vital Strike is a good idea, pratice... eh. Build on that).

Kinda related Side note; I recall seeing like character builds or ideas 'possible' in PF2 that weren't before. And if you tried to do them in PF1, GM would take you aside and go no.

With this talk of Multi hits..., um. What about a character idea both systems seem unable to do. The Sniper. The One Punch. The "I'll only swing once but I'll only NEED one swing" barbarian. No it's all about getting as many swings in as possible. GAH.

Sorry for the tangent, but sometimes I want to roll a crossbow sniper or Archer Assassin. Nope, gotta be a Machine Gun with a bow.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
The Sniper

It's definitely possible to build very effective sniping builds in PF1. I would never recommend actually playing one, though, since they do not play nice with the rest of the party. You basically need the entire party to built for sniping, since it only takes one non-stealthy PC to completely ruin the entire strategy, meaning everyone who isn't built for sniping needs to be left behind whenever the party wants to use this tactics. It's just not amenable to the tabletop RPG format.

MerlinCross wrote:
The "I'll only swing once but I'll only NEED one swing" barbarian.

While pounce is the 'obvious' best choice, barbarians certainly can be quite respectable with just one good hit. Especially since pounce only enters the picture at 10th, that leaves a lot of your career where it's not just working fine, but actually your optimal.


Dasrak wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
The Sniper
It's definitely possible to build very effective sniping builds in PF1. I would never recommend actually playing one, though, since they do not play nice with the rest of the party. You basically need the entire party to built for sniping, since it only takes one non-stealthy PC to completely ruin the entire strategy, meaning everyone who isn't built for sniping needs to be left behind whenever the party wants to use this tactics. It's just not amenable to the tabletop RPG format

Less "Hide in a bush for 4 days and take a perfect shot" and more "I call shot to face". Or the gunslinger show down of needing 1 bullet. Or just 1 arrow in the chest rather than a pincushion.

Point is I'd prefer to have a one shot ranged build than turn enemies into something from Hellraiser just with arrows instead of pins.

Actual "Sniper" builds are probably better off for GM control or you get the right group.

I might take this to PM if you want to continue this is kinda off topic now.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


More accurately, made them outright better than their pure martial counterparts.

Inquisitor would have as much AC, damage, and to-hit as a Fighter, while having better saves, much better skills, and access to a useful spell list. Magi are the same way. Literally every 2/3 spellcaster outranked every martial character because of those features.

The only reason Full Spellcasters were better was because of access to 7-9 level spells. That advantage is gone in PFS, so playing anything other than 2/3 Spellcasters in PFS was setting yourself up for failure.

I never played PFS, why 7-9 level spells are gone in it?


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oholoko wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


More accurately, made them outright better than their pure martial counterparts.

Inquisitor would have as much AC, damage, and to-hit as a Fighter, while having better saves, much better skills, and access to a useful spell list. Magi are the same way. Literally every 2/3 spellcaster outranked every martial character because of those features.

The only reason Full Spellcasters were better was because of access to 7-9 level spells. That advantage is gone in PFS, so playing anything other than 2/3 Spellcasters in PFS was setting yourself up for failure.

I never played PFS, why 7-9 level spells are gone in it?

Because PFS games are set up so that it is very difficult to play past 12th level. That means that you also won't get past 4th level spells for the casters with 6 spell levels, or past 3rd level spells for caster with 4 spell levels.


David knott 242 wrote:
oholoko wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


More accurately, made them outright better than their pure martial counterparts.

Inquisitor would have as much AC, damage, and to-hit as a Fighter, while having better saves, much better skills, and access to a useful spell list. Magi are the same way. Literally every 2/3 spellcaster outranked every martial character because of those features.

The only reason Full Spellcasters were better was because of access to 7-9 level spells. That advantage is gone in PFS, so playing anything other than 2/3 Spellcasters in PFS was setting yourself up for failure.

I never played PFS, why 7-9 level spells are gone in it?

Because PFS games are set up so that it is very difficult to play past 12th level. That means that you also won't get past 4th level spells for the casters with 6 spell levels.

Well but wizards will probably be 1-2 spell slots up the 6 slot casters. Not saying it is better but it's quite an advantage even when they got better spell lists xD


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While some of my favorite classes in PF1 were 6th level casters (after Witch of course), I feel like this is primarily because they just felt like they got more from their class when compared to full martials or full casters.

6th level casters felt like they got both a strong core class ability and access to spellcasting where other classes only got one or the other. Someone like the Barbarian had Rage, but not much else, while Wizards obviously had casting, but forgettable class powers from their arcane school. Meanwhile, someone like the Inquisitor had powerful core abilities in Judgement / Bane and got some casting on top of it.

As such, I'd be okay with 6th level casters getting largely replaced by multiclass dedication and potential archetypes as long as the current classes got a bit more meat on them in the form of notable core abilities (especially spell powers like Bloodlines/Domains/Schools being largely useless as they are now). Other than that, I could see some type of spell point system working for the 4th level casters, and even using it to roll optional spellcasting into some of the martial classes (Barbarian/Bloodrager really don't need to be separate classes).

Not to mention that I think some 6th level casters could really benefit from becoming an archetype. Magus was cool because they blended magic and swordplay together. Having a Magus archetype that could apply to any spellcasting tradition rather than just Arcane would be awesome to see.


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oholoko wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


More accurately, made them outright better than their pure martial counterparts.

Inquisitor would have as much AC, damage, and to-hit as a Fighter, while having better saves, much better skills, and access to a useful spell list. Magi are the same way. Literally every 2/3 spellcaster outranked every martial character because of those features.

The only reason Full Spellcasters were better was because of access to 7-9 level spells. That advantage is gone in PFS, so playing anything other than 2/3 Spellcasters in PFS was setting yourself up for failure.

I never played PFS, why 7-9 level spells are gone in it?

PFS never plays past 12th level. 7th level spells are 13th level on up, meaning spellcasters don't naturally have access to them. You might encounter them in PFS, but they almost are never something a PFS character would have unless they are a scroll of some sort (which is usually pretty bad to have anyway).

Quote:
Well but wizards will probably be 1-2 spell slots up the 6 slot casters. Not saying it is better but it's quite an advantage even when they got better spell lists xD

So they might be able to utilize a couple more buffs or blast spells, big deal. 2/3 Spellcasters have class features and abilities that already do those things for them, and they more often than not stack with the spells they have access to, making them even more terrifying than any given full spellcaster in an encounter. I still remember the Magus encounter we had that nearly caused a TPK, whereas every other Wizard or enemy spellcaster we've faced before was forgettable and largely trivial.

I kid you not, having access to 7-9 level spellcasting is seriously the only benefit (as great of one as it is) that full spellcasters have by comparison. (There's also less reliance on Big 6, but since Big 6 is baked into the system anyway, especially in PFS, that's a non-issue.) With 7-9 level spells being largely non-existent in PFS, any advantage a full spellcaster has is gone in that style of gameplay.

Even then, 7-9 level spellcasting created more problems than solved due to how much gamebreaking stuff there was in there, so would I really want to deal with that stuff, as either a player or GM? No, not really. So why not just settle for a threshold right before the breaking of the game, so I can have my cake and eat it too? That's what happens in PFS, and unless a game is going to 15+, it probably happens in those games too.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:

While some of my favorite classes in PF1 were 6th level casters (after Witch of course), I feel like this is primarily because they just felt like they got more from their class when compared to full martials or full casters.

6th level casters felt like they got both a strong core class ability and access to spellcasting where other classes only got one or the other. Someone like the Barbarian had Rage, but not much else, while Wizards obviously had casting, but forgettable class powers from their arcane school. Meanwhile, someone like the Inquisitor had powerful core abilities in Judgement / Bane and got some casting on top of it.

As such, I'd be okay with 6th level casters getting largely replaced by multiclass dedication and potential archetypes as long as the current classes got a bit more meat on them in the form of notable core abilities (especially spell powers like Bloodlines/Domains/Schools being largely useless as they are now). Other than that, I could see some type of spell point system working for the 4th level casters, and even using it to roll optional spellcasting into some of the martial classes (Barbarian/Bloodrager really don't need to be separate classes).

Not to mention that I think some 6th level casters could really benefit from becoming an archetype. Magus was cool because they blended magic and swordplay together. Having a Magus archetype that could apply to any spellcasting tradition rather than just Arcane would be awesome to see.

I want the magus as a real class, not just a series of feats to enhance wizards who wanna go into melee.

The Magus wasn't just cool because you could cast spells while swinging your sword, it was cool because it wielded arcane power with martial aptitude.

A Magus could phase their sword through their opponent's armour, a magus could backhand spells back at the enemy.

They weren't just a wizard who also did swords or a fighter who also did magic.

They were all these things you can't really replicate with a series of feat chains.

I could see it become an archetype, similarily as I can see the Bard and the Paladin become an archetype. Just not under this pretend system of feat-chains. At the very least it would have to be an iteration where the baseline is that everyone has an archetype.

And honestly, spellcasting isn't even that important for the magus to me. Or at least, it's meaningless without a solid chassis for the abilities that separated the magus from the eldritch knight.


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someone mentioned how bad it will be to balance every new archetype against all the existing classes down the road. I totally agree it will be almost impossible to test because of the combinatorial expansion rate of each new class and archetype.

The base and hybrid classes had a story and theme as someone else mentioned and I for one really appreciate the design that goes into making the strengths of each half compliment and synergize with each other. The playtest is way more bolted on and really doesn’t provide the same satisfaction.


NorthernDruid wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:

While some of my favorite classes in PF1 were 6th level casters (after Witch of course), I feel like this is primarily because they just felt like they got more from their class when compared to full martials or full casters.

6th level casters felt like they got both a strong core class ability and access to spellcasting where other classes only got one or the other. Someone like the Barbarian had Rage, but not much else, while Wizards obviously had casting, but forgettable class powers from their arcane school. Meanwhile, someone like the Inquisitor had powerful core abilities in Judgement / Bane and got some casting on top of it.

As such, I'd be okay with 6th level casters getting largely replaced by multiclass dedication and potential archetypes as long as the current classes got a bit more meat on them in the form of notable core abilities (especially spell powers like Bloodlines/Domains/Schools being largely useless as they are now). Other than that, I could see some type of spell point system working for the 4th level casters, and even using it to roll optional spellcasting into some of the martial classes (Barbarian/Bloodrager really don't need to be separate classes).

Not to mention that I think some 6th level casters could really benefit from becoming an archetype. Magus was cool because they blended magic and swordplay together. Having a Magus archetype that could apply to any spellcasting tradition rather than just Arcane would be awesome to see.

I want the magus as a real class, not just a series of feats to enhance wizards who wanna go into melee.

The Magus wasn't just cool because you could cast spells while swinging your sword, it was cool because it wielded arcane power with martial aptitude.

A Magus could phase their sword through their opponent's armour, a magus could backhand spells back at the enemy.

They weren't just a wizard who also did swords or a fighter who also did magic.

They were all these things you can't...

Except the Magus wasn't nearly as strong in spellcasting compared to the Wizard, meaning a sacrifice still had to be made. The only reason a Magus was better than the likes of a Fighter was because they had features that made them have better bonuses to attack and damage, in which case having them be as strong as (or stronger than) Fighters defeats having a Fighter class.

You could either have the better spellcasting by having Wizard with Fighter multiclass, or you could have the better martial capability by having Fighter with Wizard multiclass. The fact of the matter is that in PF2, there are numerous avenues in building a niche, and when you have classes that fall under multiple niches (such as the Magus), there isn't going to be "one true build."

I don't remember an ability that let Magi uses their melee attacks to "phase through" armor. It might have existed, but it most certainly isn't something unique to the Magus. Backhanding spells back at the enemy took quite a bit of investment to do, and more often than not was a waste of actions due to the limitation on "backhanding spells."

There is a whole other problem with implementing PF1 archetypes into PF2 rules sets, and that is the modular feat choices, and lack of innate class features to switch out with. Seriously, short of Arcane Schools, Spellcasting proficiency, and Cantrips, there's nothing static for the Wizard class to switch out (which was a major problem with Cleric archetyping in PF1). But if it was possible, then it largely defeats the purpose of multiclassing options, and is kind-of why multiclassing in PF1 was stupid; because multiclassing and archetypes (especially in PF2) compete for the same niche, which is giving options to diversify character creation.


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I feel like of all the Base and Hybrid classes that are going to come back in some form, the Magus is fairly low on the list for me. Mostly because it exists to fill a mechanical niche- a gish that does not require system mastery to make functional. If we can build functional gishes in other ways, there's really no need for it.

Less so the Summoner/Spiritualist, the Inquisitor, the Occultist, or the the Medium though. Since "you have an obviously supernatural buddy", "you are a behind the scenes troubleshooter for a deity", "you understand and channel the inherent power in objects of significance", or "you invite spirits into yourself to channel their power" are thematic niches which classes+dedications do not do a good job filling, and filling the thematic niche does not require any particular level of acumen with spellcasting.

It's like how the Abberant blooded Sorcerer does not preclude the Bard, since the Bard is defined by more than "Spontaneous casting from the Occult" list and the Angelic/Demonic Sorcerer does not preclude the Oracle because the Oracle is about more than "Spontaneous casting from the Divine list". A Bard is someone who knows everything about everything, inspires allies, and weaves magic from song. An Oracle is cursed by mysterious forces who give the Oracle a full blast exposure to some aspect of reality mortals are not meant to understand.

If we're gonna get another Magus back, it has to be about something we can't do by putting a fighter dedication on a wizard or vice versa, so it's going to be different from the last time.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I honestly like that PF2 does away with "using a specific combination of class features, feats, and game mechanics, I can make significantly more attacks than other people can."

So I don't think we're ever going to get the Magus's action economy edge back, any more than the "a hasted level 11 archer puts 6 arrows in the air every round" (while most anybody in the party who wants to fight in melee has to move and then make a single attack.)

Which again, is why I shy away from this edition. Losing those capabilities is not fun. Hopefully I will always be able to find a PF1 table.


Well, at the moment, a wizard/fighter is missing Spellstrike. Sure, it can get extra damage on a weapon from casting a spell, but that doesn't allow for the kind of debuffing attacker you could get out of frostbite or chill touch.


sherlock1701 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

I honestly like that PF2 does away with "using a specific combination of class features, feats, and game mechanics, I can make significantly more attacks than other people can."

So I don't think we're ever going to get the Magus's action economy edge back, any more than the "a hasted level 11 archer puts 6 arrows in the air every round" (while most anybody in the party who wants to fight in melee has to move and then make a single attack.)

Which again, is why I shy away from this edition. Losing those capabilities is not fun. Hopefully I will always be able to find a PF1 table.

Erm, please elaborate. Because it sounds like you're saying that if you can't find a way to be mechanically more capable than your other party members, you're not having fun and don't want to play.

---

NorthernDruid wrote:

The Magus wasn't just cool because you could cast spells while swinging your sword, it was cool because it wielded arcane power with martial aptitude.

A Magus could phase their sword through their opponent's armour, a magus could backhand spells back at the enemy.

They weren't just a wizard who also did swords or a fighter who also did magic.

Yeah, which is why I said they "blended" magic and swordplay together (primarily through Spellstrike, but also through some interactions with their Arcane Pool).

I don't think I've ever seen a Magus at my table do those specific things, and they sound like higher level options rather than core parts of the class's identity. Even then, they could easily become higher level feats associated with an archetype.

NorthernDruid wrote:
They were all these things you can't really replicate with a series of feat chains.

Why not? The core part of Magus was really Spell Combat, Spellstrike, Arcane Pool, and Magus Arcana (which primarily gave options to the Arcane Pool). Most of the other things the class gave were just access to stuff the Fighter & Wizard had anyway.

In PF2, Spell Combat isn't necessary due to the new action system and the base weapon enhancements of the Arcane Pool are not needed with everyone having the equivalent of full BAB (& would be problematic as a straight port due to weapons adding dice to damage).

As for the other two core features, Spellstrike could be part of a dedication feat while Magus Arcana became feats that granted abilities used by spending spell points (which have already replaced the various class pools like Arcane Pool).

Plus, again, being an archetype would allow the Magus to used with other spellcasting classes/traditions rather than just Wizard, which would fit perfectly with their theme of, "Most who take this path dabble in all sorts of lore, picking up anything that might aid them in their search for perfection." Who needs an Eldritch Scion or Hexcrafter archetypes when Magus could just be used by the Sorcerer and (eventual) Witch classes directly? Or an Esoteric archetype when a Monk could take the Magus archetype instead of a Fighter? I see the possibility of a Magus archetype being something which would actually benefit the class rather than detract from it.


Guys come on, the core rule book hasn’t even come out and you’re talking about lack of additional classes? There has always been niche overlap in classes and that never stopped the publication of the classes you like (Eldritch Knight and Magus anyone?). I get having a discussion about whether 6th level should come back (I’m cool either way), but I think we can be certain that there will be more classes with unique features in the future.

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