Pathfinder Second and Gishes


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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More and more I'm thinking spellstrike and arcane archer stuff should just be wizard feats, with a wizard having a 'magus' thesis/school that limits their bonus school spells and spell proficiency for increased martial proficiency. That thesis should also give spellstrike as a free class feat at level 1 when you select it.

What form spellstrike takes, I'm not sure.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:


I think Cabbage means, ‘can not Cast Fireball through the Sword’. I feel that’s a reasonable assumption; though correct me if i’m wrong.

Personally, I WOULD like the ability to cast area spells through a sword. Or more accurately, through a bow, but hey if you want to blow yourself up as a character concept, I can think of a couple literary precedents.

I see no reason the “Magus” concept, however it gets implemented, can’t also cover the “Arcane Archer” prestige class. There’s already some archetypes in PF1 that wander around it.

Exactly, the Magus is the Martial + Magic class, so if they bundled the AA in to it, that’s be less redundant bloat. I like where the recent happenings of this thread are heading. Now if Paizo happens to glance over here............


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Crit Choice
People have mentioned earlier in the thread about the issues with action economy and damage scaling. I felt choosing one of the two for crit effects and just adding the damage of the other would curb this more evenly for the time being. Otherwise i’m not sure what you mean by ‘crit range’ Nick.

Only Touch Range
This one can be two fold. I’m not sure if there are ‘touch’ spells that target saves over AC atm. Most spells, especially ‘Touch’ range have two actions at most and makes it easier to play around with. A Magus casting Chill Touch and Fireball through their ‘blade’ is slightly tricky thematically, but not an idea i would scrap outright.

Class or Archetype?
I’ve already touched on this earlier only a few posts up

-i also want to add to the Magus ‘Soul Blade’ idea, but the forum ate up my cool sounding edit yesterday *grumbles in goblin* so i’ll Try and throw up a bullet point version of what i was thinking a little later.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Crit Choice

People have mentioned earlier in the thread about the issues with action economy and damage scaling. I felt choosing one of the two for crit effects and just adding the damage of the other would curb this more evenly for the time being. Otherwise i’m not sure what you mean by ‘crit range’ Nick.

Back in base PF, weapons had a “crit range” where if you got X or above on the die, you would “threaten a crit”, where you would roll again, and if you hit, you would deal double damage. All spell attacks at a baseline had a crit range of 20, which means you HAD to get a natural 20 to threaten a crit, Magi who used Spellstrike could use the weapon’s crit range (most common were rapier and scimitar, which had 18+ crit range by default, meaning an 18, 19, or 20 on the die would threaten a crit) for both the weapon’s attack AND the spell’s attack. So a Shocking Grasp cast through a scimitar would threaten a critical hit on a 18+ on the die, thus causing the ever so well known nova effect that makes Seltyiel the most dangerous Iconic, and Magi the go to nuke class before Kineticists were released. So Magi critting with both blade and spell simultaneously is their most well known gimmick

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Personally I could see it being something like a Three Action setup and have it be a feat available to any class that has spells.

Quote:
Spell Strike: Chose *an appropriate style spell* and make an attack with a weapon you are currently wielding, if the weapon attack hits the spell also goes off.

So, full round but you get a single attack (so no multi-attack penalty) that does Weapon Damage + Relevant Stat + Spell Damage + Any additional riders.

That means if you do Crit on your attack, everything goes off all in one go.

Am I missing why this wouldn't work? I could see a Rogue multi-classing Wizard (or the reverse) being super fun with this.

Plus, it would make a "Magus" feel neat as a niche in being about hitting as hard as possible with a single attack while opening it up to not being arcane specific either. You could have Occult, Divine, Arcane...that other list spellswords and whatnot and it would work to make an Arcane (or Divine, etc) Archer too.


nick1wasd wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Crit Choice

Otherwise i’m not sure what you mean by ‘crit range’ Nick.
*proceeds to explain Critical Range*

I have only myself to blame for this misunderstanding. I meant that ‘on a crit’ choose to double either the weapon damage or spell damage. That was poor wording on my part. Thank you for the detailed response though. : )

@NightTrace - there are a couple issues i have with that setup; albeit they are subtle issues. My real issue with a 3 action spellstrike is just how unbalanced it is. By this i mean it takes an entire turn and won’t even allow you to move. Two things come to mind that take three actions; Powerful Spells and Fighter’s Whirlwind Strike. With mobility being such a common and free thing to do, much more so than in 1e, it means this idea takes too long to set up and too little to counter. I have compared spellstrike to the Cleric’s Channel smite a few times and that ability admittedly scales much better than most of the ideas that have been brought up since it grabbed from Channel Energy, and that feat was only two actions. If a Magus can’t move then the 3 action feat had better be battle defining in some way and i by no means exaggerate when i say that.

As for just applying crit to the weapon dice and spell dice there comes an interpretation issue that i need to further look into and double check with the final rules when they come out; and that is Weapon Critical Specializations. There’s a trait called either Lethal or Fatal that converts all your weapon dice to a different, and usually higher, die size. So if a caster were to crit with a shocking grasp on their Glaive, would that turn the spell dice into d12’s as well? If so then there’s a serious balance issue there where spellstrike would spike abnormally high on crits.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Crit Choice

Otherwise i’m not sure what you mean by ‘crit range’ Nick.
*proceeds to explain Critical Range*

I have only myself to blame for this misunderstanding. I meant that ‘on a crit’ choose to double either the weapon damage or spell damage. That was poor wording on my part. Thank you for the detailed response though. : )

As for just applying crit to the weapon dice and spell dice there comes an interpretation issue that i need to further look into and double check with the final rules when they come out; and that is Weapon Critical Specializations. There’s a trait called either Lethal or Fatal that converts all your weapon dice to a different, and usually higher, die size. So if a caster were to crit with a shocking grasp on their Glaive, would that turn the spell dice into d12’s as well? If so then there’s a serious balance issue there where spellstrike would spike abnormally high on crits.

I am nothing if not thorough :) As I stated at the end of my comment, having both effect crit is one of the most well known things a Magus could do, so missing out on that be leave some a bit remiss I would assume (I know I definitely would be), and in PF1, a spell’s critical effects were always tracked separate, if the weapon had a 3x crit multi, the spell would not benefit from that, only the range. Weapon effects that would trigger on a crit (the “burst” family for instance) would also not interact with the spell, and spells that had critical effect (there were few, I believe Chill Touch was one though) would not behave in a strange manner depending on the weapon. Lastly, as more of a joke, Shocking Grasp is already d12, so Fatal would leave the dice untouched in that instance, although I would imagine since Fatal explicitly states “weapon dice” it would leave any spells riding the blade alone


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
@NightTrace - there are a couple issues i have with that setup; albeit they are subtle issues. My real issue with a 3 action spellstrike is just how unbalanced it is. By this i mean it takes an entire turn and won’t even allow you to move. Two things come to mind that take three actions; Powerful Spells and Fighter’s Whirlwind Strike. With mobility being such a common and free thing to do, much more so than in 1e, it means this idea takes too long to set up and too little to counter. I have compared spellstrike to the Cleric’s Channel smite a few times and that ability admittedly scales much better than most of the ideas that have been brought up since it grabbed from Channel Energy, and that feat was only two actions. If a Magus can’t move then the 3 action feat had better be battle defining in some way and i by no means exaggerate when i say that.

At the very least it should be split up into 2 action casting and 1 action attack - which would let you split it up over rounds and add movement as necessary and possibly allow spells to hang their effect until you hit or others to function for multiple hits.


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thejeff wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
@NightTrace - there are a couple issues i have with that setup; albeit they are subtle issues. My real issue with a 3 action spellstrike is just how unbalanced it is. By this i mean it takes an entire turn and won’t even allow you to move. Two things come to mind that take three actions; Powerful Spells and Fighter’s Whirlwind Strike. With mobility being such a common and free thing to do, much more so than in 1e, it means this idea takes too long to set up and too little to counter. I have compared spellstrike to the Cleric’s Channel smite a few times and that ability admittedly scales much better than most of the ideas that have been brought up since it grabbed from Channel Energy, and that feat was only two actions. If a Magus can’t move then the 3 action feat had better be battle defining in some way and i by no means exaggerate when i say that.
At the very least it should be split up into 2 action casting and 1 action attack - which would let you split it up over rounds and add movement as necessary and possibly allow spells to hang their effect until you hit or others to function for multiple hits.

Make it 'if your next action is a strike action'. That'd work.


graystone wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
@NightTrace - there are a couple issues i have with that setup; albeit they are subtle issues. My real issue with a 3 action spellstrike is just how unbalanced it is. By this i mean it takes an entire turn and won’t even allow you to move. Two things come to mind that take three actions; Powerful Spells and Fighter’s Whirlwind Strike. With mobility being such a common and free thing to do, much more so than in 1e, it means this idea takes too long to set up and too little to counter. I have compared spellstrike to the Cleric’s Channel smite a few times and that ability admittedly scales much better than most of the ideas that have been brought up since it grabbed from Channel Energy, and that feat was only two actions. If a Magus can’t move then the 3 action feat had better be battle defining in some way and i by no means exaggerate when i say that.
At the very least it should be split up into 2 action casting and 1 action attack - which would let you split it up over rounds and add movement as necessary and possibly allow spells to hang their effect until you hit or others to function for multiple hits.
Make it 'if your next action is a strike action'. That'd work.

Though it leaves you screwed if your target just steps away.

In PF1 you got either cast and attack as a standard action or cast and make your full attack with a penalty. I'm not sure what the equivalent for that would be now, but it seems better than either a full round cast and attack or a 2 action cast that only works if followed by a single attack.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
As for just applying crit to the weapon dice and spell dice there comes an interpretation issue that i need to further look into and double check with the final rules when they come out; and that is Weapon Critical Specializations. There’s a trait called either Lethal or Fatal that converts all your weapon dice to a different, and usually higher, die size. So if a caster were to crit with a shocking grasp on their Glaive, would that turn the spell dice into d12’s as well? If so then there’s a serious balance issue there where spellstrike would spike abnormally high on crits.

I mean, I'll be honest, I think that isn't an issue because it's a weapon trait that effects weapon damage, which spell damage isn't :).

So, yes spell would crit in my hypothetical but you can't make Weapon Traits effect Spells because yeah, that's not how the rules would work :P


nick1wasd wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Crit Choice

Otherwise i’m not sure what you mean by ‘crit range’ Nick.
*proceeds to explain Critical Range*

I have only myself to blame for this misunderstanding. I meant that ‘on a crit’ choose to double either the weapon damage or spell damage. That was poor wording on my part. Thank you for the detailed response though. : )

As for just applying crit to the weapon dice and spell dice there comes an interpretation issue that i need to further look into and double check with the final rules when they come out; and that is Weapon Critical Specializations. There’s a trait called either Lethal or Fatal that converts all your weapon dice to a different, and usually higher, die size. So if a caster were to crit with a shocking grasp on their Glaive, would that turn the spell dice into d12’s as well? If so then there’s a serious balance issue there where spellstrike would spike abnormally high on crits.

I am nothing if not thorough :) As I stated at the end of my comment, having both effect crit is one of the most well known things a Magus could do, so missing out on that be leave some a bit remiss I would assume (I know I definitely would be), and in PF1, a spell’s critical effects were always tracked separate, if the weapon had a 3x crit multi, the spell would not benefit from that, only the range. Weapon effects that would trigger on a crit (the “burst” family for instance) would also not interact with the spell, and spells that had critical effect (there were few, I believe Chill Touch was one though) would not behave in a strange manner depending on the weapon. Lastly, as more of a joke, Shocking Grasp is already d12, so Fatal would leave the dice untouched in that instance, although I would imagine since Fatal explicitly states “weapon dice” it would leave any spells riding the blade alone

. . . Of course it is. Just my luck ;_;

This is helpful information. I didn’t know some spells could crit in 1e; i knew Eldritch Knight got the Critical Spell ability at 10th level, but aside from that i thought they couldn’t crit. Also the difference with weapon and spell dice is a nice distinction. That’s why i wanted to check and be sure before doomsaying ‘Lethal spell crit OP’. :p

On a more serious note:

I’m failing to understand this absolute adherence to ‘equivalent’ action economy like there’s not examples of exceptions to the 3 action system already. Sudden Charge allows you to stride up to twice your movement and strike at the cost of 2 actions; two weapon flurry and flurry of blows are two seperate attacks for a single action; running reload allows you a reload action with a stride for 1 action; Whirlwind Strike with a reach weapon can allow for up to 8+ seperate strike actions for the cost of 3. I understand not wanting to cheapen the action economy and allow in power creep, but for a class feature a three action whack you with a stick for shocking grasp just sounds useless.

If Magus is suppose to be more martial than a wizard then give spellstrike the Open trait so they can only use it once a turn even if Quickened/Hasted. I understand the concept of power creep, but this is just refusing to allow the Magus a competent identity.


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NightTrace wrote:
Personally I could see it being something like a Three Action setup and have it be a feat available to any class that has spells.

I like the idea of Spellstriking being a feat for spellcasters, it opens a lot of options of gameplay and multiclassing.

And I understand why the caution with a possible spellstrike being 2 actions or less, it's basically quickening casting at will with any touch spell and even cantrips could make it stronger than the fighter power attack.


Cantrips are actually a fair point. What about just excluding them like metamagic and spellstriker do? That way they always cost a spell level as a resource?


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Kyrone wrote:
NightTrace wrote:
Personally I could see it being something like a Three Action setup and have it be a feat available to any class that has spells.

I like the idea of Spellstriking being a feat for spellcasters, it opens a lot of options of gameplay and multiclassing.

And I understand why the caution with a possible spellstrike being 2 actions or less, it's basically quickening casting at will with any touch spell and even cantrips could make it stronger than the fighter power attack.

It's not really quickening casting, since it still wouldn't let you cast twice. Which is the real potential abuse with quickened casting.

Basing it on two-weapon flurry, but with a 2 action cost doesn't seem bad. Takes 2 actions to cast and strike, with a penalty like the flurry. Or you could take a normal 2 actions to cast and attack through the sword with a third - this would allow you to move or do something else in between if needed. Like the old "holding a charge" with a touch attack.
Possibly as two separate abilities, if you really want to emulate the old Magus: "Spell Combat" for the 2 action cast and strike, "Spellstrike" to channel certain spells through your weapon.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I could see 2-action cast and strike working if the strike suffered MAP, but I'm not sure that would be very attractive to most people.

It would also mean that the traditional Magus routine of combining spell combat and spellstrike wouldn't really work, though.

Of course, I still have yet to see anyone give a viable to answer to "what does Spellstrike actually look like in 2e?", since I think we can agree that "adding weapon damage to a spell with no drawback" would be a bit much.


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MaxAstro wrote:

I could see 2-action cast and strike working if the strike suffered MAP, but I'm not sure that would be very attractive to most people.

It would also mean that the traditional Magus routine of combining spell combat and spellstrike wouldn't really work, though.

Of course, I still have yet to see anyone give a viable to answer to "what does Spellstrike actually look like in 2e?", since I think we can agree that "adding weapon damage to a spell with no drawback" would be a bit much.

Why?

Wasn't that essentially the paradigm in PF1?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Not at all. In PF1e you were trading down on accuracy HARD by exchanging an almost-guaranteed-to-hit touch attack for a much less likely weapon attack.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Not at all. In PF1e you were trading down on accuracy HARD by exchanging an almost-guaranteed-to-hit touch attack for a much less likely weapon attack.

Fair. Though as a semi-martial, you likely had a significantly better attack bonus than a wizard or sorcerer trying the same spell - which was most of the balance behind touch spells.

I was kind of looking at it from the other direction: What was the trade off to add spell damage rather than just attacking?


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MaxAstro wrote:
I could see 2-action cast and strike working if the strike suffered MAP, but I'm not sure that would be very attractive to most people.

This actually seems fair. If we compare it to Power Attack it would line up similarly.

MaxAstro wrote:
It would also mean that the traditional Magus routine of combining spell combat and spellstrike wouldn't really work, though.

This is probably for the best and a product of the new system. The Monk and Druid ended up the same way with their core features from 1e being divvied up into seperate build paths, but this also allows for better specialization and defining the features as more than just gimmicks.

MaxAstro wrote:
Of course, I still have yet to see anyone give a viable to answer to "what does Spellstrike actually look like in 2e?", since I think we can agree that "adding weapon damage to a spell with no drawback" would be a bit much.

‘Drawback’ is a bit nebulous, as well as what it’s aiming to accomplish in this instance. Let’s say Spellstrike for this example is a Class Feature. Does Flurry of Blows have a drawback? Champions’ Spirit Ally? The Alchemists’ ability to craft alchemical items for free that would otherwise cost Gold? I agree that there should be limitations so it isn’t easily exploited, with the ideal of it not being exploited at all.

Spellstrike’s Current Limitations:

Open - Like the Fighter’s and Monk’s abilities this dictates that it has to be used with the first strike action on their turn, and can’t be used a second time in the same turn.

Requires Spells - An obvious one but this gives the ability an ‘ammunition’ of sorts. At first level they would only be able to use it twice; and it can’t be used with Cantrips. Also have to use the right spell level. A 1st level shocking grasp when you can cast 5th level spells is useful, but not powerful.

Touch Only - No ranged options at base. I’m not sure what the verbiage for ‘touch’ range spells are going to be in the final rules, but a hostile spell with a range of zero works for the time being, and also limits the pool of spell quite a bit. Maybe adding in single target for good measure.

Two Actions - takes up two thirds of your turn.

Counts as Two Attacks for MAP - So it’ll hit hard but your next attack will be at -10 (-8 for agile).

Class Feature - Magus only; and if allowed via multiclassing it would cost 2-3 feats (i’m including the dedication) for any other class to get.

Bonus - I had typed this up last night but my post got eaten, and it was about the idea of Magus having a Bound Blade. I wouldn’t be against allowing the ability to only be used through the Bound Blade; but i’d have to go into much greater detail about that. For now picture the Bound Blade as a Magus personal weapon with the Shifting property when you make your daily preperations.

These are all of the things i have in mind when i think of this ability. If there are any additional drawbacks you’d like to add or discuss i’d be curious to find out. In my opinion this is as much limit as i can think before pushing it over the edge into unusable.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Spellstrike’s Current Limitations:

Open - Like the Fighter’s and Monk’s abilities this dictates that it has to be used with the first strike action on their turn, and can’t be used a second time in the same turn.

Requires Spells - An obvious one but this gives the ability an ‘ammunition’ of sorts. At first level they would only be able to use it twice; and it can’t be used with Cantrips. Also have to use the right spell level. A 1st level shocking grasp when you can cast 5th level spells is useful, but not powerful.

Touch Only - No ranged options at base. I’m not sure what the verbiage for ‘touch’ range spells are going to be in the final rules, but a hostile spell with a range of zero works for the time being, and also limits the pool of spell quite a bit. Maybe adding in single target for good measure.

Two Actions - takes up two thirds of your turn.

Counts as Two Attacks for MAP - So it’ll hit hard but your next attack will be at -10 (-8 for agile).

Not sure what's meant by "have to use the right spell level"? You've got to be able to cast the spell, but there are no further limits right?

I'd like it to work with Cantrips, but automatically heightened cantrips are too powerful. Another case where making everything standardized works against class design.
Two attacks for MAP works, as long as the strike with the attack isn't penalized.


thejeff wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Spellstrike’s Current Limitations:

Open - Like the Fighter’s and Monk’s abilities this dictates that it has to be used with the first strike action on their turn, and can’t be used a second time in the same turn.

Requires Spells - An obvious one but this gives the ability an ‘ammunition’ of sorts. At first level they would only be able to use it twice; and it can’t be used with Cantrips. Also have to use the right spell level. A 1st level shocking grasp when you can cast 5th level spells is useful, but not powerful.

Touch Only - No ranged options at base. I’m not sure what the verbiage for ‘touch’ range spells are going to be in the final rules, but a hostile spell with a range of zero works for the time being, and also limits the pool of spell quite a bit. Maybe adding in single target for good measure.

Two Actions - takes up two thirds of your turn.

Counts as Two Attacks for MAP - So it’ll hit hard but your next attack will be at -10 (-8 for agile).

Not sure what's meant by "have to use the right spell level"? You've got to be able to cast the spell, but there are no further limits right?

I'd like it to work with Cantrips, but automatically heightened cantrips are too powerful. Another case where making everything standardized works against class design.
Two attacks for MAP works, as long as the strike with the attack isn't penalized.

For cantrips, they were useless before and they’re useful now. You can say ‘standardized works against class design’ but that’s simply not the case since the inverse brings nothing of value. It seems they limited Cantrips’ interaction with Magical Striker so that it couldn’t be exploited for extra damage. I can picture a caster going Cantrip (2 actions) and then Crossbow/Bow (1 action); basically they would constantly be triggering Magical Striker with zero downside and only taking a -5 on the second attack but getting a free extra weapon die for damage.

As for “have to use the right spell level” i already explained, but i’ll go into a little further detail. Only cantrips and focus-spells are auto heightened. This means for the purposes of Spellstrike you apply the spell on top of the melee strike. If a level 10 Magus strikes at a target, using only a 1st level Shocking Grasp for instance, they apply the damage of a 1st level Shocking Grasp. Meaning if the PC uses all the big damage spells in the first few fights the ability will lose steam with each additional fight, and also means they aren’t using their spells for utility; which some players will prefer. On the inverse, if you use all your low level spells for some extra damage it saves your big spells for utility or boss fights but shouldn’t out damage the dedicated Martial Classes.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Spellstrike’s Current Limitations:

Open - Like the Fighter’s and Monk’s abilities this dictates that it has to be used with the first strike action on their turn, and can’t be used a second time in the same turn.

Requires Spells - An obvious one but this gives the ability an ‘ammunition’ of sorts. At first level they would only be able to use it twice; and it can’t be used with Cantrips. Also have to use the right spell level. A 1st level shocking grasp when you can cast 5th level spells is useful, but not powerful.

Touch Only - No ranged options at base. I’m not sure what the verbiage for ‘touch’ range spells are going to be in the final rules, but a hostile spell with a range of zero works for the time being, and also limits the pool of spell quite a bit. Maybe adding in single target for good measure.

Two Actions - takes up two thirds of your turn.

Counts as Two Attacks for MAP - So it’ll hit hard but your next attack will be at -10 (-8 for agile).

Not sure what's meant by "have to use the right spell level"? You've got to be able to cast the spell, but there are no further limits right?

I'd like it to work with Cantrips, but automatically heightened cantrips are too powerful. Another case where making everything standardized works against class design.
Two attacks for MAP works, as long as the strike with the attack isn't penalized.

For cantrips, they were useless before and they’re useful now. You can say ‘standardized works against class design’ but that’s simply not the case since the inverse brings nothing of value. It seems they limited Cantrips’ interaction with Magical Striker so that it couldn’t be exploited for extra damage. I can picture a caster going Cantrip (2 actions) and then Crossbow/Bow (1 action); basically they would constantly be triggering Magical Striker with zero downside and only taking a -5 on the second attack but getting a free extra weapon die for damage.

As for “have to use the right spell level” i already explained, but i’ll go into a little further detail. Only cantrips and focus-spells are auto heightened. This means for the purposes of Spellstrike you apply the spell on top of the melee strike. If a level 10 Magus strikes at a target, using only a 1st level Shocking Grasp for instance, they apply the damage of a 1st level Shocking Grasp. Meaning if the PC uses all the big damage spells in the first few fights the ability will lose steam with each additional fight, and also means they aren’t using their spells for utility; which some players will prefer. On the inverse, if you use all your low level spells for some extra damage it saves your big spells for utility or boss fights but shouldn’t out damage the dedicated Martial Classes.

Maybe I'm being exceptionally dense tonight. Yeah, the level 10 Magus has to actually cast the spell from the slot it was prepared in, no autoheightening. That's just how the new casting spells work, right? No special restrictions on SpellStrike in you approach. He could heighten something if he prepared it that way.

Cantrips were useless before and are useful now in general, but they were useful to Magi before and now would have to be restricted so they can't be used with spellstrike to keep them from being overpowered. If Magi had their own list of special non-heightening cantrips or their own rules about not heightening them, then they could still use them, which would be good, because they could do their signature thing more. That's what I meant by "standardizing works against class design".


Yeah, so it seems we’re talking the same thing with spells. I was trying to highlight the importance of preparing and using spells as an inbuilt limitation or balancing factor for using spellstrike.

As for Cantrips. . . Could you give me an example of how useful they were to Magi, i’m assuming for 1e correct? I am by no means challenging your statement in this regard; i’m actually wondering if Cantrips could be shifted into a focus for a Spell Combat path for them that would be a TWF specialization instead of a Spellstrike specialization. Kinda like the difference between Two Weapon Fighting and Two Handed Weapon Fighting.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:

Yeah, so it seems we’re talking the same thing with spells. I was trying to highlight the importance of preparing and using spells as an inbuilt limitation or balancing factor for using spellstrike.

As for Cantrips. . . Could you give me an example of how useful they were to Magi, i’m assuming for 1e correct?

They were useful for gaining both spellcombat and spell strike every round that had a full attack available: using spellcombat allowed a spell and weapon attacks at -2 while spell strike let you turn the spell cast in spell combat into another melee attack with the spell as a rider. So the only reason a magus didn't use spellstrike every round was because their weapon couldn't reach.

In whatever form it shows up in, it'll feel strange if they can't use spellstrike in some form every round. s such, I'd have to agree with thejeff that they'd need some kind of cantrip they can use with the ability, even if that means they have to get new ones or normal ones get a restriction on how it's heightened.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Can we go through the math on cantrip damage versus weapon damage?

Just how overpowered is it to get both with 2 actions? Seems like from what I recall cantrip damage was falling behind a single attack action.


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Divine Lance the cantrip we know from the 100 spoilers increase one dice per spell level. So something like Chill Touch would do 2d8 at lvl 3 and 9d8 at lvl 17, mo martial can increase the damage that much with 2 actions.

Maybe making something similar to bard that basically have an action tax every turn to keep compositions, like a stance.

Spellstrike Stance Feat x

You enter the Spellstrike Stance. When you cast a spell with the touch range make a strike, if it hits apply the spell effect and then the stance ends.

This makes it use 3 actions but it's way more flexible and would be fine to use cantrips with it.


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I mean, a barbarian with an axe at that level runs 3d12+20ish... that’s higher than a cantrip.


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WatersLethe wrote:

Can we go through the math on cantrip damage versus weapon damage?

Just how overpowered is it to get both with 2 actions? Seems like from what I recall cantrip damage was falling behind a single attack action.

The question isn't quite: Is cantrip + weapon strike above or below two swings from a full martial.

It's: Is cantrip + weapon strike close enough to a martial that also having the full arcane spell list means the magus so much better than a martial that anyone playing a fighter gets told to go remake their character as a magus.


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Garretmander wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

Can we go through the math on cantrip damage versus weapon damage?

Just how overpowered is it to get both with 2 actions? Seems like from what I recall cantrip damage was falling behind a single attack action.

The question isn't quite: Is cantrip + weapon strike above or below two swings from a full martial.

It's: Is cantrip + weapon strike close enough to a martial that also having the full arcane spell list means the magus so much better than a martial that anyone playing a fighter gets told to go remake their character as a magus.

OTOH, you don't want to limit them so much that they can't put out the reliable damage that a full caster using cantrips can either.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Garretmander wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

Can we go through the math on cantrip damage versus weapon damage?

Just how overpowered is it to get both with 2 actions? Seems like from what I recall cantrip damage was falling behind a single attack action.

The question isn't quite: Is cantrip + weapon strike above or below two swings from a full martial.

It's: Is cantrip + weapon strike close enough to a martial that also having the full arcane spell list means the magus so much better than a martial that anyone playing a fighter gets told to go remake their character as a magus.

I don't know, it seems the question *is* whether the cantrip + weapon strike is above or below two swings from a full martial.

If a wizard's cantrip damage is "X", a full martial weapon damage is "Z", then shouldn't magus damage "Y" fall somewhere between the two? A magus would be a full caster, but with restrictions beyond, say, a wizard. Fewer spells, slower proficiency progression, possibly prohibited schools.

If a Magus's all-day damage is less than that of both a wizard and a fighter, that's not exactly fair to the magus is it?

So, I ask again: Just how overpowered is it to get both a cantrip and a weapon attack with two actions?

A 17th level wizard, with two actions, can chill touch for 9d8 damage - avg 40.

How much is a single attack from an equal level fighter with a one handed weapon? How much extra damage can they get from their feats by doing a two-action attack of some kind? What sort of utility would they get by having an open hand at that level? Should we instead look at dual wielding fighter damage because Magus is supposed to be dual wielding spell and sword? What about the cost of weapons, should that be taken into account to find the final acceptable Magus cantrip damage?

I just think it's a more complicated question than people are making it out to be.


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Kyrone wrote:

Divine Lance the cantrip we know from the 100 spoilers increase one dice per spell level. So something like Chill Touch would do 2d8 at lvl 3 and 9d8 at lvl 17, mo martial can increase the damage that much with 2 actions.

Maybe making something similar to bard that basically have an action tax every turn to keep compositions, like a stance.

Spellstrike Stance Feat x

You enter the Spellstrike Stance. When you cast a spell with the touch range make a strike, if it hits apply the spell effect and then the stance ends.

This makes it use 3 actions but it's way more flexible and would be fine to use cantrips with it.

I like the stance idea, and actually would be interested in seeing Magus focused stances to flesh out that martial side of them. I don’t like the ‘then this stance ends’ part though. I feel that’s what the traits Open and Press are for.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think the poor interaction between existing cantrips and Spellstrike is another reason for Magus to have something other than standard Wizard casting - or another reason Spellstrike needs to have a drawback.

Please lets not have another class like the original Alchemist, where once you run out of charges of your daily ability you are just a discount fighter (or discount wizard, in this case). Every class having a meaningful and mostly unique at-will ability is a good part of PF2e's design; it would be disappointing if a Magus that ran out of spells just has to choose between being an inaccurate fighter or an inaccurate cantrip-flinger.

Also, as graystone mentions, spellstriking with cantrips was fairly core to the Magus' combat identity in 1e, especially at low levels.


Garretmander wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

Can we go through the math on cantrip damage versus weapon damage?

Just how overpowered is it to get both with 2 actions? Seems like from what I recall cantrip damage was falling behind a single attack action.

The question isn't quite: Is cantrip + weapon strike above or below two swings from a full martial.

It's: Is cantrip + weapon strike close enough to a martial that also having the full arcane spell list means the magus so much better than a martial that anyone playing a fighter gets told to go remake their character as a magus.

I agree this is something that can slip under the radar if not careful. It’s why i was thinking Cantrips wouldn’t be allowed originally. If spells stay relatively at the same power as the Playtest though, i’m actually starting to lean towards allowing Cantrip fueled Spellstrikes. I’ll have to take some time to actually put a list of numbers and examples togeather before following this up though.

EDIT: @ MaxAstro - Currently i’m going off of just information how the Magus was previously designed, and in some cases it has a fairly minimal design compared to how 2e is designed.

It might be a good idea to put a pin in Spellstrike concepts for the time being and talk about other aspects and ideas as a breath of fresh air. :)


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

Divine Lance the cantrip we know from the 100 spoilers increase one dice per spell level. So something like Chill Touch would do 2d8 at lvl 3 and 9d8 at lvl 17, mo martial can increase the damage that much with 2 actions.

Maybe making something similar to bard that basically have an action tax every turn to keep compositions, like a stance.

Spellstrike Stance Feat x

You enter the Spellstrike Stance. When you cast a spell with the touch range make a strike, if it hits apply the spell effect and then the stance ends.

This makes it use 3 actions but it's way more flexible and would be fine to use cantrips with it.

I like the stance idea, and actually would be interested in seeing Magus focused stances to flesh out that martial side of them. I don’t like the ‘then this stance ends’ part though. I feel that’s what the traits Open and Press are for.

The problem is that the Open trait is not even a drawback because everyone would be Spellstriking with the first attack anyway while Press could work people would complain about it being inaccurate because of MAP.

I thought that something like Bard compositions would work, every turn Bards use an action to keep it and if they use an spell they can't even move and when use one that have material casting the compositions is even dropped all together because of the action economy.

The stance that ends every time is used is something similar but more flexible.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Kyrone wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

Divine Lance the cantrip we know from the 100 spoilers increase one dice per spell level. So something like Chill Touch would do 2d8 at lvl 3 and 9d8 at lvl 17, mo martial can increase the damage that much with 2 actions.

Maybe making something similar to bard that basically have an action tax every turn to keep compositions, like a stance.

Spellstrike Stance Feat x

You enter the Spellstrike Stance. When you cast a spell with the touch range make a strike, if it hits apply the spell effect and then the stance ends.

This makes it use 3 actions but it's way more flexible and would be fine to use cantrips with it.

I like the stance idea, and actually would be interested in seeing Magus focused stances to flesh out that martial side of them. I don’t like the ‘then this stance ends’ part though. I feel that’s what the traits Open and Press are for.

The problem is that the Open trait is not even a drawback because everyone would be Spellstriking with the first attack anyway while Press could work people would complain about it being inaccurate because of MAP.

I thought that something like Bard compositions would work, every turn Bards use an action to keep it and if they use an spell they can't even move and when use one that have material casting the compositions is even dropped all together because of the action economy.

The stance that ends every time is used is something similar but more flexible.

Flurry of Blows has the Flourish trait to make usable once per turn


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It’s possible i’m putting too much value into the Open trait. The Flourish trait is another way to do it.

Though i feel there’s something not being conveyed properly by what a Drawback is intended to be in this context. When i hear Drawback i’ve been thinking Limitation in which i describe 3-5 limitations even if we take out the Open trait. I’d like to hear what is meant when you say a Drawback is needed so i can get a better idea of where you’re coming from.

On the note of Stances that Kyrone brought up, i think that would be a good space to add some of the things MaxAstro is talking about with the SpellSword stuff. Like a stance that sets the blade on fire; weather it adds a small amount of damage or just converts the damage type to Fire outright. It would take an Action to get into the Stance, and Stances use the Open trait as well which would dictate how your turn is spent.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
On the note of Stances that Kyrone brought up, i think that would be a good space to add some of the things MaxAstro is talking about with the SpellSword stuff. Like a stance that sets the blade on fire; weather it adds a small amount of damage or just converts the damage type to Fire outright. It would take an Action to get into the Stance, and Stances use the Open trait as well which would dictate how your turn is spent.

I think for something like this, a set of class exclusive cantrips would work better. Have a 1 action cantrip to add "a small amount of damage or just converts the damage type to Fire outright" and let it last the round: if you want a stance, you could have it extend the cantrips duration to the duration of the stance and casting a new cantrip drops the first one and extends the new one.

Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
I’d like to hear what is meant when you say a Drawback is needed so i can get a better idea of where you’re coming from.

I think one of the big drawbacks no one has mentioned is they'll need to to pick up items from both the weapon side and the casting side: with the limited number of slots I'd expect from a gish class, they'll want wands/scrolls/staves to supplement those spells along with armor and weapons upgrades. IMO as long as they aren't overshadowing a raging barbarian for damage or a wizard for casting ability, everything should be fine.


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Regarding Cantrips used with Spellstrike, why not expend focus (if that is a class feature the magus gets in this theoretical build) for the use of a Cantrip with Spellstrike and/or charge the cost of a level-equivalent spell slot the the effective level of the Cantrip used? If there are no more higher level spell slots, then adjust the power output of the Cantrip according to the lower level spell slot used.


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A stance that lasts 1 round and takes an action, and overall need 3 actions to get the benefit of "spellstrike" is way too punishing. The action economy itself is worse that spell combat which was a full-round action.

However, a stance mechanic would not be too different to Eldritch Scion. Where you needed to spend 1 arcane point to gain a 2 round "rage", and access to bloodline abilities.

Having said that, a magus in PF2e could be a mix between Magus, Bloodrager, and Eldritch Archer/Arcane Archer. The abilities and available feats can be set with a path like other classes.

For example: The Arcane Archer path could start with something equivalent to imbue arrow. Later feats can then use Focus spells to emulate Arcane Archer abilities, like spending a point to get Seeker Arrow.


It’s why I want to double check the damage and compare it with Fighter, Barbarian and Champion DPR estimates. When I was looking at Cantrips earlier, Chill Touch did up to 4d8 + spell mod as a 9th level spell; where as a Shocking Grasp can do 4d12 as a 4th level spell. Cantrip SpellStrike may not be too much damage like I originally thought.


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Thundarr the Barbarian wrote:
Regarding Cantrips used with Spellstrike, why not expend focus (if that is a class feature the magus gets in this theoretical build) for the use of a Cantrip with Spellstrike and/or charge the cost of a level-equivalent spell slot the the effective level of the Cantrip used? If there are no more higher level spell slots, then adjust the power output of the Cantrip according to the lower level spell slot used.

I'd rather avoid either option: this leaves the magus with times when he's generic fighter x because they have nothing to spellstrike with. The reason they let cantrips work all day is so casters always have something to do that's magical. A rather not have magus that's left with nothing magical to do with their weapon.

As far a limiting cantrips I'd rather see them limited in another way if that's needed. For instance 'when using spellstrike with cantrips, treat the magus' level 1/2 their normal level for heightening them'. Simple, easy and doesn't cut into the slots so utility/buff isn't competing as much with combat spells. This is important because I'd expect them to be on the low end of number of spell slots per day.


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Temperans wrote:

A stance that lasts 1 round and takes an action, and overall need 3 actions to get the benefit of "spellstrike" is way too punishing. The action economy itself is worse that spell combat which was a full-round action.

However, a stance mechanic would not be too different to Eldritch Scion. Where you needed to spend 1 arcane point to gain a 2 round "rage", and access to bloodline abilities.

Having said that, a magus in PF2e could be a mix between Magus, Bloodrager, and Eldritch Archer/Arcane Archer. The abilities and available feats can be set with a path like other classes.

For example: The Arcane Archer path could start with something equivalent to imbue arrow. Later feats can then use Focus spells to emulate Arcane Archer abilities, like spending a point to get Seeker Arrow.

Actually i’d like to see the Arcane Archer as a 6th level Archetype so all casters could have access to it. Give it access to the recipe for Spellstrike Ammunition, and other ammunition types and have it focus on bows and magical arrows of different kinds like you suggested.

I agree with the ‘path’ idea as well. An Eldritch Sniper that uses a bow as a weapon/focus and able to extend the range of spells would make a good contrast to a SpellStrike focused class.

@Greystone - As for limiting Cantrips to 1/2 class level, i feel that would be adding on complication to the mechanic. I’d think an all or nothing approach would be smoother and more accepted than a clunky feeling one.

As for the Stance idea, take a look at Monk’s Wild Wind Stance page 272. Is that along the lines of what you were thinking? A Power that enhances you ability and lasts as long as you stay in the Stance. It may cost a Focus Point as well.


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graystone wrote:
I think for something like this, a set of class exclusive cantrips would work better. Have a 1 action cantrip to add "a small amount of damage or just converts the damage type to Fire outright" and let it last the round: if you want a stance, you could have it extend the cantrips duration to the duration of the stance and casting a new cantrip drops the first one and extends the new one.

Graystone, I feel like you are slowly making your way along the line of logic that led me to conclude a Magus with a unique spell list was the likely outcome. :P

After all, if you are giving a set of class-exclusive cantrips specifically to work with Spellstrike, why have the confusion of "your spells work with Spellstrike, but your cantrips don't work with Spellstrike, but your class cantrips do"? Why not only give the Magus class features that work with Spellstrike? But then if you are taking away cantrips, are you really giving the Magus the Arcane list?

It's a whole rabbit whole. I started off thinking Magus would be a full caster, too. :)

I'm mostly joking, since I know we pretty fundamentally disagree on what we want out of Magus, but seeing the parallel logic is amusing.


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I will just give up in trying to think about the Magus for now, Spellstriking is a big can of worms that if implemented wrong will just destroy the 3 action economy and make both Wizard and Martial obsolete.

So I will just wait and see how it will be implemented, be it own class, a feat, archetype, class archetype, school, thesis or whatever.


Okay, here’s some weird stuff. Just some examples of how you can get creative in how you do this; I don’t expect these to match an actual Magus class.

Spell strike as a reaction. When you crit with a melee weapon and have a hand free, cast a cantrip against the subject of the crit.

Spell strike as a reaction. When you crit with a melee weapon and have a hand free, if your next action this turn is casting a spell against the target, reduce its casting by one action (min 1).

Spell strike as a metamagic. Increase the casting time of a spell by one action to store it in a focus one-handed melee weapon. The next target you hit with it is also targeted by the stored spell, expending it. (Possibly increase the number of stored spells with level, and make it a free-action flourish to trigger one spell.)

Spell strike as a casting mechanic. Reduce casting time of a spell when casting it (minimum one action) to form the spell into a blade weapon. One-action spell strike action. Treat a critical hit as a crit fail against the spell, a hit as failing the save, a miss as succeeding the save, and a critical miss as a critical success on the save.


Those sound nice, although the reactions sound more like Eldritch Knight (not a problem).

That last one sounds nice, combined with the wording for Silent spell (Still spell?) and previous ideas for spellstrike, you can replace a somatic component for a weapon attack.

For example, Spellstrike, Feat X, 1 action: If the next action you take is casting a spell with a somatic component and at least 1 other component, you may choose to use a strike action in place of the somatic component. The spell uses the result of the strike action to determine success.

This would also mean you can't use metamagic feats based on somatic components; and you can't use spellstrike more than once per round.

**************
Yeah I can see why making Arcane Archer as a 6th level general archetype would be good. I didnt think about that.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ok, I could be wrong, but I don't think that anyone has an issue with the idea of a Magus being able to have a spell they have cast that has a touch range go off when they make a strike with a weapon.

I think the only question is, that potentially getting a free attack with a weapon with the same number of spell-casting actions for the spell-casting activity might make the weapons + spell damage too high without some reason for someone not to do this.

What if Spellstrike were an action that allowed you to take the charge of a touch spell you cast and make it part of an attack with a weapon you were holding at the time you cast the spell. The attack is resolved as a normal strike with the weapon in question.
The damage/effect of the spell triggers on your successful attack with the weapon. The damage from the two sources of damage are combined with respect to resistance/weakness. A miss I presume you would lose a charge/application/attack from the spell.

Spell Combat is different. If the caster casts a spell using spell combat. If the spell has at least one Somatic component, after casting is completed, the caster is treated like they are hastened, and enabling them to use their extra action only to take either a strike or spellstrike action with their weapon. However, the somatic component from their casting gets counted as a successful agile attack for MAP purposes prior to their attack, so the bonus strike or spellstrike will be at a agile weapon's MAP penalty.

Spellstrike itself then doesn't give you an action economy boost, but lets you combine damage. (not unlike the different two-weapon fighting feats) Spell combat, on the other hand, gives you an action economy boost, to hep mix spell-casting and attacking, but at the cost of accuracy, which was consistent with the old method.


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QuidEst wrote:

Okay, here’s some weird stuff. Just some examples of how you can get creative in how you do this; I don’t expect these to match an actual Magus class.

Spell strike as a reaction. When you crit with a melee weapon and have a hand free, cast a cantrip against the subject of the crit.

Spell strike as a reaction. When you crit with a melee weapon and have a hand free, if your next action this turn is casting a spell against the target, reduce its casting by one action (min 1).

Spell strike as a metamagic. Increase the casting time of a spell by one action to store it in a focus one-handed melee weapon. The next target you hit with it is also targeted by the stored spell, expending it. (Possibly increase the number of stored spells with level, and make it a free-action flourish to trigger one spell.)

Spell strike as a casting mechanic. Reduce casting time of a spell when casting it (minimum one action) to form the spell into a blade weapon. One-action spell strike action. Treat a critical hit as a crit fail against the spell, a hit as failing the save, a miss as succeeding the save, and a critical miss as a critical success on the save.

I'd just like to point out that Starfinder is living proof that keying cool stuff off of a crit is a terrible idea if the crit chance is anywhere near 5%.

Gotta be reeeeaaaally careful not to overvalue things that happen only when the stars align. That is: a crit occurs, the target wouldn't have died from regular crit damage, the spent reaction wouldn't have dealt more damage later on, your target doesn't have an AoO to use against your triggered spell, etc etc


MaxAstro wrote:
After all, if you are giving a set of class-exclusive cantrips specifically to work with Spellstrike, why have the confusion of "your spells work with Spellstrike, but your cantrips don't work with Spellstrike, but your class cantrips do"? Why not only give the Magus class features that work with Spellstrike? But then if you are taking away cantrips, are you really giving the Magus the Arcane list?

There are already abilities in the game that don't work without spending a slot so that part already makes sense: as for the class canrips, I was thinking of them as something to do when you can't spellstrike: As to a why, it'd be easy enough to require a spell that uses at least 2 actions and make the class cantrips 1 action. Simple and easy.

MaxAstro wrote:

It's a whole rabbit whole. I started off thinking Magus would be a full caster, too. :)

I'm mostly joking, since I know we pretty fundamentally disagree on what we want out of Magus, but seeing the parallel logic is amusing.

Part of the "whole rabbit" is we have multiple talks about various ways it can work and they aren't mutually compatible. For instance, my saying I'd rather do x instead of z doesn't necessarily mean I want/like x, just that I'd prefer it to z.

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