Pathfinder Second and Gishes


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I don't understand the problem with magus having 9th level casting either. There already exists the wizard multi classing that lets you get up to 8th level spells. You can already make essentially and eldritch knight by going full fighter and taking all the wizard multi class feats. You can do the same with any casting class actually. So simply adding a feat that lets you deliver a touch attack through a weapon doesn't seem like a big deal when these feats are already freely available. Keeping as a feat means that any class combo can use it with out waiting for a specific archetype to be written for the class. Druid/rogue, Cleric/ranger, and Wizard/monk could all work right out of the gate with one feat.


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Sorry, I thought the discussion was about Magus as its own base class. Spellstrike as a feat is an entirely different beast.

Also, multiclassing costs several feats and still doesn't get you more than a couple spells per level. If you want class feats to be the thing Magus gives up compared to Wizard, that's valid, but I imagine a lot of people would take exception to that.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Also, multiclassing costs several feats and still doesn't get you more than a couple spells per level. If you want class feats to be the thing Magus gives up compared to Wizard, that's valid, but I imagine a lot of people would take exception to that.

Then there are two routes to take, you can primary the spell caster or the martial class. A primary martial class would be more like the kensai and focus on fighting. A primary spell caster with martial multi classing would focus more on spell casting with less martial ability. A singular feat that works for both versions of all classes would allow for the most versatility in gish builds.


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You could give the magus spell progression as if it had wizard dedication feats as a base class feature.

That similar 6th-level casting to me.

Though I prefer the 'prestige' archetype approach that can work with multiple different class combinations.


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I’ve thought about the option of making Spellstrike a free action; weather it was triggered by melee attack or spell cast. It’s not a terrible idea, but the Cleric’s Channel Smite is an ability that does exactly what we’re looking for, so we can just use that as a base and it works fairly well.

As for strong class features, this one is something to watch out for, but i don’t think it’s as much of an issue.


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Garretmander wrote:
Though I prefer the 'prestige' archetype approach that can work with multiple different class combinations.

The last thing I want to see is any former base class emulated with a "the 'prestige' archetype approach" as that means you can expect to go through several levels NOT being your class. Waiting until 6th level for the concept makes it feel more like eldritch knight/arcane trickster/ect than magus IMO.


graystone wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
Though I prefer the 'prestige' archetype approach that can work with multiple different class combinations.
The last think I want to see is any former base class emulated with a "the 'prestige' archetype approach" as that means you can expect to go through several levels NOT being your class. Waiting until 6th level for the concept makes it feel more like eldritch knight/arcane trickster/ect than magus IMO.

I agree that waiting to play your character until 6th level is no fun. And that includes playing an eldritch knight or an arcane trickster. Which is why I really hope that multiclassing feats can now be taken at level one. If so, a magus could take their multiclass feat at one, and then the spell strike feat at level two or three.


Jedi Maester wrote:
graystone wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
Though I prefer the 'prestige' archetype approach that can work with multiple different class combinations.
The last think I want to see is any former base class emulated with a "the 'prestige' archetype approach" as that means you can expect to go through several levels NOT being your class. Waiting until 6th level for the concept makes it feel more like eldritch knight/arcane trickster/ect than magus IMO.
I agree that waiting to play your character until 6th level is no fun. And that includes playing an eldritch knight or an arcane trickster. Which is why I really hope that multiclassing feats can now be taken at level one. If so, a magus could take their multiclass feat at one, and then the spell strike feat at level two or three.

The difference between the traditional prestige classes and base ones is, IMO, is they can be played as journey to get to that title and/or exploring different class aspects to get to that point: IMO prestige means 'importance or respect gained through success or excellence' or something you work towards: I don't equate 'fighter' and 'Arclord of Nex' for instance.


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Purple Duck Games had an interesting approach of converting Pathfinder prestige classes into 20 level base classes, incorporating abilities from the prestige class with the most likely base class levels that would lead up to or follow on from the prestige class into a single smooth progression.

Interestingly, the only Pathfinder character I had that could almost be rebuilt with the Playtest rules was originally built using one of these "prestige archetypes".


What is gish? Is that the asian call girl?


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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
What is gish? Is that the asian call girl?

I thought Gish was a dish with a side of fish that is simply delish.


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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
What is gish?
A character that is skilled in both physical combat and the use of magic.


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Maybe I missed it and outside the play test, not sure what changes have made it through: do you still need a freehand to cast a spell or are they keeping the change that a freehand is not required and even a weapon can be used for touching?

If freehands aren’t required, maybe it could be:

[[[Power - Spellstrike (available as Core Feat lvl. 1 Magus)

Cost one free action.
Trigger: you cast a spell level 7 or lower.
Costs a focus point equal to the level of the spell slot used.

Perform a strike. You channel a spell through your attack and apply your spell. This counts as two attacks for multiple attack penalty.]]]

If I remember from PF1, the benefit of spellstrike was being able to move, attack, and use a touch spell in the same turn. Spellcombat’s benefit was using a spell and attack in the same turn without moving which the 3-action economy allows already.

Though, would that be overpowered if you have a sorcerer or wizard dedication and follow it up with Magical Striker?


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A free hand is required if the spell has the Material component.
A Somatic component simply require you to be able to move unrestrained.


This might be off-topic...

Does that mean Emblazon Symbol has to come back for clerics? I know it was removed in 1.6 due to the changes to somatic casting, but I guess they intend more powerful spells to place your weapon away then?


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Tunu40 wrote:

This might be off-topic...

Does that mean Emblazon Symbol has to come back for clerics? I know it was removed in 1.6 due to the changes to somatic casting, but I guess they intend more powerful spells to place your weapon away then?

Yes, or you could drop your weapon as a free action. It worked fine for me.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Seltyiel was already the most mercurial iconic - he started as an Eldritch Knight, then was retconned to be a Magus. I think if PF2e keeps Magus as a base class (again, I hope it does, spellstrike-the-class sounds awesome to me) he will continue to be a Magus, otherwise he will probably go back to being a Fighter/Wizard multiclass.

I also would like to see a Magus class in 2E.


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HeHateMe wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Seltyiel was already the most mercurial iconic - he started as an Eldritch Knight, then was retconned to be a Magus. I think if PF2e keeps Magus as a base class (again, I hope it does, spellstrike-the-class sounds awesome to me) he will continue to be a Magus, otherwise he will probably go back to being a Fighter/Wizard multiclass.
I also would like to see a Magus class in 2E.

Tbh a Magus as a Wizard/Fighter works fairly well, especially considering Bespell Weapon - and a Fighter/Wizard can make a decent Spellblade. You can also mix and match classes to make the most of the action economy with Wizard and Ranger, or use Rogue to get an Arcane Trickster and Champion to hold the frontline better, as well as changing the spellcasting portion to Cleric or Druid for support or Sorcerer for spell spamming and some good powers.

I mean, we're not starved for options here, and Spellstrike doesn't really feel too mandatory.


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Tunu40 wrote:

If I remember from PF1, the benefit of spellstrike was being able to move, attack, and use a touch spell in the same turn. Spellcombat’s benefit was using a spell and attack in the same turn without moving which the 3-action economy allows already.

Though, would that be overpowered if you have a sorcerer or wizard dedication and follow it up with Magical Striker?

The combined effect of 1e magus was a full attack with multiple touch spell riders (ex: chill touch). Or a full attacks guaranteed to deliver the touch spell (ex: shocking grasp).


Ediwir wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Seltyiel was already the most mercurial iconic - he started as an Eldritch Knight, then was retconned to be a Magus. I think if PF2e keeps Magus as a base class (again, I hope it does, spellstrike-the-class sounds awesome to me) he will continue to be a Magus, otherwise he will probably go back to being a Fighter/Wizard multiclass.
I also would like to see a Magus class in 2E.

Tbh a Magus as a Wizard/Fighter works fairly well, especially considering Bespell Weapon - and a Fighter/Wizard can make a decent Spellblade. You can also mix and match classes to make the most of the action economy with Wizard and Ranger, or use Rogue to get an Arcane Trickster and Champion to hold the frontline better, as well as changing the spellcasting portion to Cleric or Druid for support or Sorcerer for spell spamming and some good powers.

I mean, we're not starved for options here, and Spellstrike doesn't really feel too mandatory.

I don't agree that multiclassing works well for making a gish. It's fine for dabbling in something, but that's all. For true hybrids the need to make a new system like pillars of eternity multiclassing or dnd 4e hybrid classes, or just release new classes for common combinations.

I think it's fare to assume they'll release a magus and other classes like that, they're absolutely necessary. Ignoring spellstrike, multiclassing doesn't scratch that niche.


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Actually Ediwir is pretty accurate in that there’s quite a bit of content in the PT alone to make a number of different Gish builds; and fairly effective ones at that that don’t need Magical Striker or possibly even Bespell Weapon, though they’d undoubtedly be worth picking up. It may not scratch that itch you’re looking for out of it though and that’s understandable.


I suppose it all depends on whether channeling a specific spell through a specific weapon is necessary.
In P1, that was the penalty you took for being allowed to full attack. It was definitely flavourful, but that doesn’t change the fact it was a penalty.
Now? It’d be flavourful, but the penalty aspect is gone, so...


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Maybe making Spellstrike a Wizard Thesis, it would let it come online at level 1 and be a strong competitor to the spend 10 minutes to change a spell slot to another spell thesis.

Just give the thesis a cute name, "Sword and Magic: The relative effectiveness of stabbing someone with a spell".


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Kyrone wrote:

Maybe making Spellstrike a Wizard Thesis, it would let it come online at level 1 and be a strong competitor to the spend 10 minutes to change a spell slot to another spell thesis.

Just give the thesis a cute name, "Sword and Magic: The relative effectiveness of stabbing someone with a spell".

Wizard Thesis: ‘Sword and Scorcery: How to Slice such slippery foes with Stance switching sword skills’


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Ediwir wrote:

I suppose it all depends on whether channeling a specific spell through a specific weapon is necessary.

In P1, that was the penalty you took for being allowed to full attack. It was definitely flavourful, but that doesn’t change the fact it was a penalty.
Now? It’d be flavourful, but the penalty aspect is gone, so...

I think "infusing your sword with a variety of magic powers and hitting people with it" has a long and flavorful history in games and fiction. Combined with the fact that Magus was a fan favorite, I firmly believe it will come back - but redesigned so that the core theme is applying a variety of rider effects to melee strikes, instead of being specifically a gish.

Silver Crusade

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Sworcery


MaxAstro wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

I suppose it all depends on whether channeling a specific spell through a specific weapon is necessary.

In P1, that was the penalty you took for being allowed to full attack. It was definitely flavourful, but that doesn’t change the fact it was a penalty.
Now? It’d be flavourful, but the penalty aspect is gone, so...
I think "infusing your sword with a variety of magic powers and hitting people with it" has a long and flavorful history in games and fiction. Combined with the fact that Magus was a fan favorite, I firmly believe it will come back - but redesigned so that the core theme is applying a variety of rider effects to melee strikes, instead of being specifically a gish.

Fair, but that’s the concept of Bespell Weapon.

Perhaps I’m getting this from the wrong angle - when people want spellstrike specifically, what do they expect exactly? Because if the goal is to gain an extra action each turn and ignoring MAP... well, that one is obvious. But maybe I’m missing a key point.


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Ediwir wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

I suppose it all depends on whether channeling a specific spell through a specific weapon is necessary.

In P1, that was the penalty you took for being allowed to full attack. It was definitely flavourful, but that doesn’t change the fact it was a penalty.
Now? It’d be flavourful, but the penalty aspect is gone, so...
I think "infusing your sword with a variety of magic powers and hitting people with it" has a long and flavorful history in games and fiction. Combined with the fact that Magus was a fan favorite, I firmly believe it will come back - but redesigned so that the core theme is applying a variety of rider effects to melee strikes, instead of being specifically a gish.

Fair, but that’s the concept of Bespell Weapon.

Perhaps I’m getting this from the wrong angle - when people want spellstrike specifically, what do they expect exactly? Because if the goal is to gain an extra action each turn and ignoring MAP... well, that one is obvious. But maybe I’m missing a key point.

I think a couple people have a very similar concept in mind but different implementations. I’d expect the base version to be focused focused on touch spells, and feats can augment it from there.


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Ediwir wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

I suppose it all depends on whether channeling a specific spell through a specific weapon is necessary.

In P1, that was the penalty you took for being allowed to full attack. It was definitely flavourful, but that doesn’t change the fact it was a penalty.
Now? It’d be flavourful, but the penalty aspect is gone, so...
I think "infusing your sword with a variety of magic powers and hitting people with it" has a long and flavorful history in games and fiction. Combined with the fact that Magus was a fan favorite, I firmly believe it will come back - but redesigned so that the core theme is applying a variety of rider effects to melee strikes, instead of being specifically a gish.

Fair, but that’s the concept of Bespell Weapon.

Perhaps I’m getting this from the wrong angle - when people want spellstrike specifically, what do they expect exactly? Because if the goal is to gain an extra action each turn and ignoring MAP... well, that one is obvious. But maybe I’m missing a key point.

I'd like to say that bespell weapon is less channeling various magicks through a blade and more making good efficient use of residual magic.

The concept people have of spellstrike isn't necessarily about the mechanical benefits, though it would be fairly strong mechanically in second edition. Large flashy magical strikes are what I want from a magus like character. Focus based with spells like a wide flaming cleave or a lightning overhead with the same extended attack mechanic as the fire giant did in the playtest. Maybe options focused on various self buffs or curse/debuffs that cling to the opponent hit by the blade. Bespell just feels like a small bonus for using your last action or two to attack a creature in comparison.


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Ediwir wrote:
Perhaps I’m getting this from the wrong angle - when people want spellstrike specifically, what do they expect exactly?

They want to cast a spell, swing a weapon and when that weapon hit have the spell go off. IMO, it could be an ability like the ranger's 2 weapon single action attack, but instead you take the action of the spell to make the spell and weapon attack. I'm not seeing it as any more powerful than 2 weapon attacks for the same action, as it's one hit roll hit or miss for both: if 'power' is a concern, they could always make it something like 'has to be 2 levels lower that your highest level spell'. Heck, even if it didn't save actions and just ignored MAP would be something...


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

MusicAddict 100% nails what I am thinking. Although, to be specific, I don't think it will be of the "cast a spell, then strike as a separate action" variety.

Instead, I expect/hope Magus will have a lot of Focus spells that have language along the lines of "As part of casting this spell, make a Strike with a melee weapon. If it hits..."


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MaxAstro wrote:
Instead, I expect/hope Magus will have a lot of Focus spells that have language along the lines of "As part of casting this spell, make a Strike with a melee weapon. If it hits..."

I don't think that I'd like that as much as a class/archetype with an ability to mix weapons with actual spells: having it be entirely focus based, IMO, will really limit the spells cast and remove the ability to prepare spells with a spellbook as the old magus did. That and you have no option to NOT strike with a weapon if you want as the strike is written into the ability and not an add on you CAN use if you want.


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I'd love to see PF1e style spellstrike, but I don't think it's in the cards; the drawbacks that existed in 1e don't exist anymore. I would be very surprised if Magus comes back as a full caster.

That said, I wouldn't be shocked if, as a nod to original Magus' casting, the Focus spells were instead described as touch attacks and the class had a class feature that said "when you cast a Focus spell with a range of touch, you may use a melee weapon Strike to deliver it".

Might be limited to only Magus focus spells, though, to avoid multiclass shenanigans.

I should also clarify that I definitely want to see a variety of Focus spells that do things other than just straight damage.


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I agree with Max here. Shocking, I know. I think there's room to make regular spells in addition to focus spells that are designed to be used as part of a strike. Stuff like Weapon Storm. Between that and feats like Bespell Weapon there's a lot that can be done.

I'm not sure it actually requires a new class to add any of those options, but they certainly could make one. I'm not sure what a Focus Spell based class actually looks like in the new game. With Refocus it seems very likely to nova like the old Magus but then not ever actually run out of spells for the day. I think I'd almost rather just see something like the Path of War maneuver system at that point. Abilities you can use once an encounter but also have mechanics to reset midencoutner.


If the problem is a penalty, why not just treat the attack as if done with the second attack penalty. But without increasing the next attack penalty to -10.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I agree with Max here. Shocking, I know. I think there's room to make regular spells in addition to focus spells that are designed to be used as part of a strike. Stuff like Weapon Storm. Between that and feats like Bespell Weapon there's a lot that can be done.

IMO, feats for focus spells would lead to frightfully tiny number of powers to use for a magus alone.

Now adding a section of 'normal' weapon focused spells might be enough, much like what Max said but more like 'when you cast this spell, you may use a melee weapon Strike to deliver it'. So I don't think a new magus having focus powers is bad but I think it needs more that just them to function.

As for a "Focus Spell based class", that sounds, IMO, a Kineticist.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I'm not sure what a Focus Spell based class actually looks like in the new game. With Refocus it seems very likely to nova like the old Magus but then not ever actually run out of spells for the day. I think I'd almost rather just see something like the Path of War maneuver system at that point. Abilities you can use once an encounter but also have mechanics to reset midencoutner.

Not disagreeing with your analysis, but we DO know what a focus class would look like, since that’s effectively what the champions and monks are. They’re on the martial side of things, but a magus would be too.


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Temperans wrote:
If the problem is a penalty, why not just treat the attack as if done with the second attack penalty. But without increasing the next attack penalty to -10.

Well then you are talking about drastically increasing the odds of the whole turn/spell slot missing and being a waste. That hardly sounds fun.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I'm not sure what a Focus Spell based class actually looks like in the new game. With Refocus it seems very likely to nova like the old Magus but then not ever actually run out of spells for the day. I think I'd almost rather just see something like the Path of War maneuver system at that point. Abilities you can use once an encounter but also have mechanics to reset midencoutner.
Not disagreeing with your analysis, but we DO know what a focus class would look like, since that’s effectively what the champions and monks are. They’re on the martial side of things, but a magus would be too.

Champions and Monks didn't really have the spell points to make their powers their go-to tool in the playtest, and I'm not sure they will in the final version either. A magus should be casting more often than either of them, IMO.


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Agreed, and that’s what I meant. With refocus, I don’t know if any focus-only class would get enough focus to cast as much as magi should. If you’re meant to be casting every round, or nearly so, at effectively no opportunity cost on a combat to combat basis, wouldn’t cantrips fit that design better?


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graystone wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I agree with Max here. Shocking, I know. I think there's room to make regular spells in addition to focus spells that are designed to be used as part of a strike. Stuff like Weapon Storm. Between that and feats like Bespell Weapon there's a lot that can be done.
IMO, feats for focus spells would lead to frightfully tiny number of powers to use for a magus alone.

I mean, have you seen Shocking Grasp?

:P


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Agreed, and that’s what I meant. With refocus, I don’t know if any focus-only class would get enough focus to cast as much as magi should. If you’re meant to be casting every round, or nearly so, at effectively no opportunity cost on a combat to combat basis, wouldn’t cantrips fit that design better?

Depends; Storm Druid i think could gain the most Spell Points w/o gimmicks which totaled to about a pool of 15 points?(dependent on Wis score and taking all Storm Order Feats) If we’re talking about a Focus-only class, then would their Focus pool scale with level? Champion and Monk are given build path options that aren’t reliant on a pool so their Focus Spells are more like an additive rather than a focal point.

EDIT: Correction, i believe Monk can get up to 19 points with a Wis of 18


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I ain't much of a game designer but if the concern with making the Magus a focus power only class is that they wouldn't be able to use their powers every turn sure to a limited pool of focus points, is it possible to have the Magus just receive more than ordinary?

I think every feat (so far) that unlocks a focus power increases the pool by a number of points equal to the point cost of the power itself. What if the feats the Magus selects gives double the points instead? That way, by default, you can "cast" any given power at least twice.

Just a thought I had but I'm sure there is some angle I'm not considering right now, so feel free to point that out.


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I imagine they will either give Magus and Kineticist (which I also think will come back) larger than usual focus pools, or they will do something gunslinger-esque where there are things you can do to recover Focus mid combat.

If they had a smallish Focus pool combined with well-designed combat recovery that could almost combine to give a Path of War type feel without actually having to call anything an "encounter power", which I know bugs some people's immersion.


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The ability to ‘Re-focus’ with a short rest might be enough of a stop gap as well; and if not a Magus or Kineticist (purely for example purposes) could be given a boost to how much they can ‘Re-focus’ at a time.

Feat wise, what would their non-focus feats look like? Stances and utility based abilities i would assume?


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Sharrakor wrote:

I ain't much of a game designer but if the concern with making the Magus a focus power only class is that they wouldn't be able to use their powers every turn sure to a limited pool of focus points, is it possible to have the Magus just receive more than ordinary?

I think every feat (so far) that unlocks a focus power increases the pool by a number of points equal to the point cost of the power itself. What if the feats the Magus selects gives double the points instead? That way, by default, you can "cast" any given power at least twice.

Just a thought I had but I'm sure there is some angle I'm not considering right now, so feel free to point that out.

MaxAstro wrote:

I imagine they will either give Magus and Kineticist (which I also think will come back) larger than usual focus pools, or they will do something gunslinger-esque where there are things you can do to recover Focus mid combat.

Kind of going to answer both of these at once. I was pressed for time earlier, so I was going to circle back and expand on my earlier post anyways, so don't take it as directly addressing either of you.

There's two ways focus is used in PF2: as the "nova" option for classes without spell slots, and to help fill out a full caster's adventuring day. It can be used to replace casting...but why? What does going full focus, especially if the focus pool becomes so large that it is effectively unlimited, that neither cantrips nor spell slots provide the class?

I'll concede that with the PF1 kineticist, we actually have an example of that: several class abilities key off the amount of burn you take. But Magi won't follow the course set by paladins and monks, with focus as interesting emergency buttons to hit for a basically physical class, if focus will be effectively an unlimited resource, I'm pretty sure Paizo will make something along the lines of burn to slap a hard cap on the amount of focus you use per day or per combat.

Without that limiting factor, I think it would honestly save space to just make the same unique focus powers unique cantrips. Just skip the math entirely and save focus for the same things arcane pool does in PF1.


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I think there is an avenue in PF2E to create a full focus point centered caster. The focus point system would be pretty easy to adapt to a spell point style/Psionics type of casting system.


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MMCJawa wrote:
I think there is an avenue in PF2E to create a full focus point centered caster. The focus point system would be pretty easy to adapt to a spell point style/Psionics type of casting system.

They could, but if the numbers get as high as they do for Psionics then like AnimetedPaper brought out, what would be the point?


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Well magus feats could be things to get some spells, combat abilities (ex range/melee multi attack), force multipliers (say allowing you to spend more focus to get a bigger effect). Stance feats like fighters could also work, using focus spells as part of the combos.

Easy focus recovery would fit the spell recall ability.

Giving the arcane pool standard benefit, possibly with weapon and armor versions being different feats also works. (Arcane Weapon and Arcane Armor?)


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Arguably, we do already have a template for how a less than full caster could look:

Via the dedication feats for caster classes.

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