Theory: We'll Get Magus Rules Early Next Year


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Level 4 is still a significant level requirement to play your basic concept before specializing.

Not only that, but dedication rules would require you to wait till level 8 before you could take a second archetype. (Unless this archetype doesn't require dedication, which seems like it would be inconsistent with the rest of the game, but time will tell.)

And either this is going to be a massive archetype, at which point, why not just make a class. It is going to a lot of different archetypes, at which point, why not just make a class. Or you are going to lose a lot of potential builds in the shuffle.


you have cantrips from lvl 2, and they are useful and cool :)

i just don't see some spell level caped class as a standalone in current rules....look what happened to bard....and alchemist(also a gishy class in pf1)


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Why would the spell list be capped?


maaaybe it's possible to make some kind of rougish martial progression with 2 spells per spell lvl except top 2 levels(with maybe 10th lvl off limits), with some cool class abilities....my imagination started to get the best of me :)


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I mean there is probably room for a class that gets some combination of- fewer spell slots, slower slot progression, and slower spell proficiency progression than the wizard (while using the same list) which gets better weapon/armor proficiency in return.

But would this just work as a subclass or class archetype of the wizard?

Like seriously, for a really good gish template, make a class archetype for the sorcerer that slows spell slot/proficiency progression and grants better weapon/armor proficiency.

But I think figuring out how to do spellcasting between "full" and "none/focus spells only" is on the backburner.


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I would dislike any class archetype which messes with non-archetype features. It would just be a massive headache. And it would defeat the point of having streamlined features.

Also, once again, by making it a wizard archetype you are either removing or limiting Bladebound, Sigilus, etc. Or you are creating so many subclasses you might as well make a new class.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Like seriously, for a really good gish template, make a class archetype for the sorcerer that slows spell slot/proficiency progression and grants better weapon/armor proficiency

Let’s take a look at Bard for a good Gish template. It has one less spell it can cast at all levels in exchange for better proficiencies and instead of Bloodlines they have Compositions and Muses. I guess Bard should be an Occult Sorcerer Archetype.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Let’s take a look at Bard for a good Gish template. It has one less spell it can cast at all levels in exchange for better proficiencies and instead of Bloodlines they have Compositions and Muses. I guess Bard should be an Occult Sorcerer Archetype.

Well, the reason we don't want to do that is that the bard already has unique thematics which are more than "good at two unrelated things", which is precisely what I want the Magus to get before it becomes it's own class.

For general purpose "I can do both spells and weapons/armor" purposes, that is so generic it's better to do via various MC combinations or archetypes.


I think that would be wise to see how Magic Warrior Archetype is in the Lost Omens before we speculate further to be honest.

But I wonder if Spellstrike be even made at all how it would be, because it would break the action economy and MAP hard, the closest example that have in the CRB is Channel Smite that is 2 actions that do a strike and cast only heal/harm in their 1 action form.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Let’s take a look at Bard for a good Gish template. It has one less spell it can cast at all levels in exchange for better proficiencies and instead of Bloodlines they have Compositions and Muses. I guess Bard should be an Occult Sorcerer Archetype.

Well, the reason we don't want to do that is that the bard already has unique thematics which are more than "good at two unrelated things", which is precisely what I want the Magus to get before it becomes it's own class.

For general purpose "I can do both spells and weapons/armor" purposes, that is so generic it's better to do via various MC combinations or archetypes.

Well see, i’m confused. How is ‘plays an instrument’ or ‘jack-of-all-trades’ not generic? I think it would make more sense to make a Musician Archetype that people can MC into. Then we can give a Muse Bloodline to Sorcerer that has them use Occult and everything works out.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I like the idea of focusing the mechanics and themes of a Magus around manipulating magic via there chosen weapons. Martials have to go ahead and mostly rely on magical weapons they purchase or craft. Spellcasters are in many cases better off on just using there own magic.

A magus could bridge that gap, bonding with a regular weapon and changing out enchantments or casting through the weapon, adapting there attacks to different adversaries and so forth.


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Pf2 modular design allows for classes to be condensed, but also expanded. I think it should be judged case-by-case. Yes, "guy with spells and a martial weapon" is generic. It should be. If gishes were something specific, it could be an archetype. But because gishes are very diverse, a class is better suited.

For example, we could adapt the Bladebound arcana as a subclass. At level 1, you have a sentient sword as a pseudo-familiar, that scales as you level.

We can further explore different combinations of magic and specific martial weapons. In particular, I would like a bow-mage and shield-mage, but there are other fun options. Bow-mages could have seeker arrow, and expand spell ranges. Shield-mages could use spells reactively when they shield-block or create force fields.

We could explore the Sigilus, and inscribe weapons and armor with sin runes. The card caster could have a deeper connection with the harrow deck. You can explore more esoteric weapon users like the Bladed Scarf Dancer, which has fun abilities like gaining reach, stealing from the enemy, and teleporting. Or we could give attention to gishes which conjure weapon.

In no way is this an exhaustive list, this is just emphasizing the design space a gish could have.


What exactly is the argument with the bard thing?

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I agree Leotamer, the design space for gishes is much more than "just get spellstrike" as some have previously mentioned. And as good as multiclass is for some things, it just can't access a lot of it for the same reason that people seem to enjoy it.


I don't get the need for excessive rooting in the world lore. That's for archetypes or prestige classes, maybe, not for full classes.

You have a guy who has studied specifically to use magic and swordsmanship to complement each other, as opposed to someone who studies one and dabbles in the other. What more theming do you need?


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I noticed that depending on who you ask the answer is: "super specific theme that doesn't touch other class and is practically impossible to define without actual research", "something that's is more than 'fighter/wizard' with spellstrike", or "just some cool abilities that mix some martial stuff with some magic stuff".

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Btw Magi also tend to be self buffers as opposed to Bards who are party buffers, and unlike a Fighter/Wizard who are usually generalists.


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To me currently the Bard is mechanically no more different to Sorcerer than the Cleric’s Warpriest Doctrine. The big differences are Muses over Bloodlines and Compositions over Powers. We can’t even use Class Feats as a difference between the two since they share a number of them; yet somehow that’s perfectly fine and okay where as a Magus has to be stripped for parts and tossed aside. Most of the discussions around Magus have been ‘the Spellstrike class’. Most of the Classes so far have been expanded on and further developed into becoming something more than the sum of its parts, but Magus is just the Spellstrike class that’s basically no different than an Eldritch Knight.

To me there is nothing that makes sense about any of that.


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Difference is a bard is thematically distinct from an occult sorcerer- one is an artist of supernatural prowess, the other has special blood.

What is the thematic difference between a Magus and any other gish?

I mean, the Oracle is hypothetically not mechanically distinct from the divine sorcerer, but we're getting one of those since it is thematically so different.


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The same reason a Bard isn’t a ‘Sorcerer with an instrument’; a monk isn’t a brawler or fighter; an Eldritch Knight isn’t a Magus. A Gish is as broad a term as ‘Caster’ is, but we aren’t lumping clerics and druids together. A magus doesn’t use magic to supliment themselves or learn to fight to better defend themselves; the synergy between the two styles is an art that they uniquely mix. A monk isn’t a wizard or sorcerer cause they can throw fire with elemental fist. A bard is much closer to a sorc in both theme and design than a magus is to either a Fighter or a wizard.


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One, it is harder to redesign a class than reflavor one. So I would argue that being able to create a character mechanically should take precedence over flavor because it allows for more character diversity.

Two, once you create the mechanic groundwork for a class, then you can explore thematic areas easier than if you did the inverse. You can have the baseline of a character with even martial and spell progression and abilities that allow them to weave spells together with their attacks. You can then have a gish subclass which is a Bladebound and has an intelligent sword as a pseudo-familiar, and a gish subclass which is a Spellblade and can conjure weapons. If you started from the thematic groundwork of a Bladebound, then it would be harder to have the Spellblade be apart of that class. So once again, mechanics should trump flavor because it ultimately allows for more room for both.

And so to answer your question "What is the thematic difference between a Magus and any other gish." it doesn't matter. By being a simple concept, it has more room to support different character concepts, mechanically and flavor-wise.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
an Eldritch Knight isn’t a Magus.

I want to highlight that this is specifically what I don't understand. For me the reason the Magus exists is:

1) Making an Eldritch Knight is fiddly and requires system mastery.
2) No Eldritch Knight build functions as its concept in the early levels- you're just a spell level behind because you took a fighter level.

So the Magus was created as a user friendly Eldritch Knight, because people wanted to play Gishes and the tools available weren't good enough.

Nowadays, you can get Martial Weapons on your wizard at level 2 from a class feat for the fighter dedication, and not impede spellcasting at all. So why isn't this a sufficient gish?

I mean, the point of having lots of options is so people can make the character they want. So if my concept is "a spellcaster who is also good with a weapon" why shouldn't I just multiclass?

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
... So why isn't this a sufficient gish?

Because some people want to be able to swing a sword with maximum accuracy AND shoot spells from their fingertips at level 1...

I don't get it either, but I gave up trying to convince folks weeks ago.


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Reasons why multiclassing is not an ideal solution to create a gish:
-An archetype solution would delay your gish specialization until level 4 at best, level 8 at worse. For example, having your Bladebound feat, your Sigilus feat, etc. They would also need to compete with other gish feats, such as spell-strike.
-Because they are more specific, these specializations will likely be cut-down or glossed over.
-An archetype solution would prevent from taking another archetype until level 8.
-There is no way to have an even split between spellcasting and martial weaponry with the archetype solution.
-If you decide to be a fighter and multiclass into spellcasting, then you do not get basic spell-casting until level 4.
-Having a gish class does not prevent people from a wizard/fighter multiclass, not having a gish class prevents people from choosing that as a choice.


Themetricsystem wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
... So why isn't this a sufficient gish?

Because some people want to be able to swing a sword with maximum accuracy AND shoot spells from their fingertips at level 1...

I don't get it either, but I gave up trying to convince folks weeks ago.

A Paladin was a Gish. Should we dismantle it into an Archetype because everyone can have a divine cause?

Not understanding a reasoning is fine. Bard is a Gish as well; we should dismantle it into a Bloodline and an Instrument Archetype.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
an Eldritch Knight isn’t a Magus.

I want to highlight that this is specifically what I don't understand. For me the reason the Magus exists is:

1) Making an Eldritch Knight is fiddly and requires system mastery.
2) No Eldritch Knight build functions as its concept in the early levels- you're just a spell level behind because you took a fighter level.

So the Magus was created as a user friendly Eldritch Knight, because people wanted to play Gishes and the tools available weren't good enough.

Nowadays, you can get Martial Weapons on your wizard at level 2 from a class feat for the fighter dedication, and not impede spellcasting at all. So why isn't this a sufficient gish?

I mean, the point of having lots of options is so people can make the character they want. So if my concept is "a spellcaster who is also good with a weapon" why shouldn't I just multiclass?

One of the problems with MC that is being completely overlooked is the fact that you can’t even use 1st level spells till 4th level. A Magus also isn’t ‘a Wizard with a Sword’ anymore than a Paladin was ‘a Cleric with a Sword’.

Currently a Sorc is the closest thing to copying a Magus with some of its Bloodline Powers. I agree that you can make a plentiful amount of Gish classes that even vary in strengths and weaknesses; but it simply isn’t true that you can make something that feels like a Magus with just the CRB that isn’t the absolute most shallow conceptual idea of what the class is suppose to be.


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People didn't say they wanted to do both at level 1 anyway (just not need to wait till level 6+), they said that a Magus is more than just a Wizard swinging a weapon or a Fighter casting a few spells. I mean how many time has the concept of a self buffer, the thematic of a Blackblade, and abilities (that arent spellstrike) have been mentioned? (By my count it's a good 3rd of the posts).

Having said that why is it so hard to picture a Magus as anything but a wizard with a sword? Seriously, I'm curious if its willful ignorance of the argument or just having difficulty with it.


Well, if I wanted to play something "Magus-ey" then I would just start with wizard (or more likely sorcerer) then take the fighter MC at 2nd level. I spend 1 level without martial proficiencies, which I can live with, and have them thereafter. More pressing would be the difficulty in getting armor proficiency. But, once they give access to armor proficiency more easily, that would get me everything I would want out of Magus.

What I don't really understand is what other people want from a magus that I am not getting here. Like sure you can't play a bladebound, or whatever but I can't play a thundercaller bard or an arrowsong minstrel either- those things will come with time.

But mechanics should never outweigh flavor (or vice versa)- they are equally important. Mechanics give thematics weight and thematics give mechanics meaning.


What we are saying is that by making a Magus class, we can have say 3 paths, for example: Bladebound (melee), Eldritch Archer (ranged), Sigilus (armor user). And then the feats can be focus powers to enchant your weapon/armor, focus powers to represent Magus Arcana and some archetype abilities (Ex: Kensai spend 1 focus point to increase your level of success to Crit success).

Because it is a class (as opposed to many archetypes), other classes can multiclass into it without having to go through a bunch of dedication taxes. Which opens up Arrowsong Minstrel, Arcane Duelist/Spelldancer, Eldritch Scion, Arcane Archer, Arcane Trickster, Trap Magus, Magic Warrior, etc. As for Inquisitor, it could be done via Warpriest Cleric dipping into Magus for the weapon/armor buffs.

Overall, it let's people that want to play a gish start of better. Doesn't hinder multiclassing. And is overall much easier to design while keeping a balanced power level and more dedicated thematics.


Without the gish class, The gish archetypes will suffer, presuming its sees print at all.

Best case scenario, we have 10+ stand-alone archetypes that you can access at level 2. Which is inelegant, while likely lead to them being trimmed down, and you will extremely feat-starved in the early game.

I can not think of a better way to handle it without a new class, and I can think of severely worse ways.

And my point was not to sacrifice flavor for mechanics. It was that creating a solid mechanical groundwork gives us more of both. Flavor is more malleable than mechanics. It is also easier for two themes to share the same mechanics than one flavor supporting two different mechanics.


I would start with fighter, then MC to wizard(or sorc)...true strike, enlarge, haste...the only thing i need is an ability to deliver my chill touch cantrip(or any other attack spell) as a wpn attack using it instead of spell attack and adding all together for dmg(you would just add an action to casting and maybe remove manipulate trait)...benefit is that you get both as a single highest attack. and than you strike again with haste action :)

all that in full plate and full attack(bastard sword)

and that ability could just be an 4th lvl archetype feat that any class could take(with some prereq). if you add to that a later feat that lets you do something similar to righteous ally, that would be it.

and with those two feats you could make dozens of different gish characters...some full caster, some full martial, some spontaneous, some ranged....to cover the whole niche and all themes

and you can add a 3rd feat later...and 4th...(like better prof and spec in martial for full casters, vice versa for full martials...or high level feat that lets you deliver spells without adding an action but downcasted 2 levels)

you don't need bunch of archetypes if you make it open for all classes


PossibleCabbage wrote:
What is the thematic difference between a Magus and any other gish?

The Magi's focus on combining magic and combat together instead of essentially having two unrelated disciplines they use alongside each other is a pretty big one. Things like spell combat, spellstrike, the arcane pool, arcana.

An eldritch knight never does that.

You could turn these into feats, but then how long would it take for your character to come together? Level 8? level 10? You're now even further behind than PF's EK.


If you are a fighter with MC into a wizard, you get one fighter feat at level 1 that is free. You then must take the wizard dedication at level 2. If you want spellcasting, you need to take the spellcasting feat at 4. If this new archetype obeys dedication rules, you would either need to take a wizard school or a level 1 or 2 wizard feat at level 6. You then take a new dedication at level 8, and now you get to play the character concept you wanted, the most bare-bones version of your character concept. You have to spend your 10 and 12 feats to play your actual character concept.

If it doesn't obey normal game-rules, then you can to your actualized character concept at level 10. (Level 8 if you are playing a wizard)

Yes, you will have a ton of variety of characters built almost exactly alike, don't come online until between level 8-12, and there will almost certainly be fewer feats than if this was a class.


im still a guy in fullplate with bastard sword and my shield cantrip and some attack cantrip with full attack and I dont mind that i cant do everything at 1st lvl...i'm not any worse then other martials

that archetype would have to ignore dedication restriction yeah....and would maybe give some martial prof or spell expansion depending on your initial class.

if the upcoming magical warrior is anything similar to that, you can probably forget about magus as a standalone...


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Debelinho wrote:

im still a guy in fullplate with bastard sword and my shield cantrip and some attack cantrip with full attack and I dont mind that i cant do everything at 1st lvl...i'm not any worse then other martials

that archetype would have to ignore dedication restriction yeah....and would maybe give some martial prof or spell expansion depending on your initial class.

if the upcoming magical warrior is anything similar to that, you can probably forget about magus as a standalone...

And that’s great if that works for you. I’m glad to hear it. To me that is extremely superficial and boring. I would have no desire playing a concept like that, and that is much closer to an Eldritch Knight than a Magus.

The closest i have gotten to is a Draconic Sorc with Magical Striker(from the PT) using Dragon Claws and going into Fighter to grab Double Slice; using the Jump spell for movement and MS trigger. I find having to rely on True Strike to be a cripple to proving the effectiveness of a concept.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The magus concept is pretty much exactly as specific as the monk one: a unique and esoteric fighting style not otherwise all that feasible. For monks, that's fighting unarmed and unarmored, for magi, it's blending spells and weapon attacks.


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No. You don't get your shield cantrip and an attack cantrip until level 2. You don't get spells until level 4. You don't get spell-strike until either level 6 or 8. You aren't any worse than every other martial, because until around level 12, you are just a martial with some magic.

I don't think the magical warrior will dimish the need for a gish class, no more than red mantis assassin would for the rogue. We can create a gish with CRB archetypes. What will another one realistically do?

Archetypes can not solve the fundamental problems that a class would: balanced martial/spell progression, being able to play your concept at level 1 as opposed to 4-6-8-12, and more player customization.

A gish class could take a gish-based archetype.


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well then go with caster and MC to martial and then take that archetype. do it with a gish and it will add that blend that you need...

just don't expect a class that has martial profs and full caster progression...that's just a slap to everything else


What weapon proficiency/caster proficiency/armor proficiency would they have to properly emulate the previous class?


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Debelinho wrote:

well then go with caster and MC to martial and then take that archetype. do it with a gish and it will add that blend that you need...

just don't expect a class that has martial profs and full caster progression...that's just a slap to everything else

Not really since both Bard and Warpriest Doctrine show it’s possible and works just fine.


I'm not sure a hypothetical magus class should have first level spells at first level. We're going to be going off the Arcane list (since they are not creating custom lists for classes) so we need to have slower progression in spell slots, spell levels, spell proficiency, etc. than a wizard.

If a hypothetical first level Magus has 2 first level slots and basic spellcasting proficiency, they are no worse at casting spells than a wizard, while also having better armor/weapon proficiency. Sure, we'd deny them an arcane thesis and a school specialization, but honestly that seems like a class archetype.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm not sure a hypothetical magus class should have first level spells at first level. We're going to be going off the Arcane list (since they are not creating custom lists for classes) so we need to have slower progression in spell slots, spell levels, spell proficiency, etc. than a wizard.

If a hypothetical first level Magus has 2 first level slots and basic spellcasting proficiency, they are no worse at casting spells than a wizard, while also having better armor/weapon proficiency. Sure, we'd deny them an arcane thesis and a school specialization, but honestly that seems like a class archetype.

And we can draw a direct comparison between Bard and Sorc for this. Bard has the same Spellcasting prof, better weapon prof, actually has armor prof and even gets up to Legendary in spells; they both have the same spell progression. We get the same results with Sorc and War Priest Cleric.


But the War Priest is just a subclass of the Cleric; would it work then to do Magus as a subclass of the wizard with just parallel construction?

"A more martial wizard" is totally a thing that should be an arcane thesis/class archetype.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Debelinho wrote:

well then go with caster and MC to martial and then take that archetype. do it with a gish and it will add that blend that you need...

just don't expect a class that has martial profs and full caster progression...that's just a slap to everything else

Not really since both Bard and Warpriest Doctrine show it’s possible and works just fine.

yeah, but none of them have an arcane spell list and don't have martial progression...and have a limited selection of wpns

the only guys with arcane spells have 6hp/level, right? for a reason IMO

you could do it with a wizard or sorc path, but it would still mean that your martial progression wouldn't be good enough...you would just be a wiz that mcs to fighter...

you want it all


You keep acting like we want all the benefits of wizard and fighter. We want some benefits from them and some unique boons. (I would also like the choice between the arcane and occult spell list)

If they need to have diminished spell-casting and lesser martial proficiencies, that is fine.

The three things I care about is: Being functional, Being able to weave spells and weapons together, and Having unique subclass abilities.

If they have spell-strike, they can even go without having spell-attack proficiency until later levels.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
But the War Priest is just a subclass of the Cleric; would it work then to do Magus as a subclass of the wizard with just parallel construction?

A Magus isn’t a Wizard; doesn’t benefit from Wizard Schools or get a Bonded item. My question is; with how Alchemist, Monk, Champion, Barbarian, Druid, Bard and Sorcerer got fairly significant reworks while staying true to the core of the class wouldn’t it be reasonable to suggest something similar for Magus?


Is spellstrike a thing we should let anyone get? Like if we let bards, clerics, wizards, sorcerers, druids etc. deliver touch attacks with weapons (unlocked with a feat, say) would that be bad?


Debelinho wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Debelinho wrote:

well then go with caster and MC to martial and then take that archetype. do it with a gish and it will add that blend that you need...

just don't expect a class that has martial profs and full caster progression...that's just a slap to everything else

Not really since both Bard and Warpriest Doctrine show it’s possible and works just fine.

yeah, but none of them have an arcane spell list and don't have martial progression...and have a limited selection of wpns

the only guys with arcane spells have 6hp/level, right? for a reason IMO

you could do it with a wizard or sorc path, but it would still mean that your martial progression wouldn't be good enough...you would just be a wiz that mcs to fighter...

you want it all

Putting Arcane on a bit of a pedestal there aren’t we? I’d like to ask politely you not assume i’m making a discussion for some ulterior motive of pushing for a power creep; thank you.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Is spellstrike a thing we should let anyone get? Like if we let bards, clerics, wizards, sorcerers, druids etc. deliver touch attacks with weapons (unlocked with a feat, say) would that be bad?

Would we not be able to as an MC Archetype? I can grab Druid Orders with an MCA; LOH with MCA; Wizard/Sorc powers with MCA; Bard Songs with MCA. Have at it to make Spellstrike available with MCA.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Putting Arcane on a bit of a pedestal there aren’t we? I’d like to ask politely you not assume i’m making a discussion for some ulterior motive of pushing for a power creep; thank you.

I mean, we have dev confirmation that arcane is far and away the greediest list because of wizards needing to have stuff in every school, so support the whole "school specialization" thing. So it's the biggest, most overtly powerful, and most versatile list. Presumably there should be some cost for that.

Of course, since Maguses were more about blasting than control, would switching them to primal work? Primal gets most of the blasting spells.


I am advocating for a flexible spell-list. I don't believe that the arcane spell-list is as powerful as you claim, but if this is somehow a massive concern, then I would be fine the choice between occult and primal.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Putting Arcane on a bit of a pedestal there aren’t we? I’d like to ask politely you not assume i’m making a discussion for some ulterior motive of pushing for a power creep; thank you.

I mean, we have dev confirmation that arcane is far and away the greediest list because of wizards needing to have stuff in every school, so support the whole "school specialization" thing. So it's the biggest, most overtly powerful, and most versatile list. Presumably there should be some cost for that.

Of course, since Maguses were more about blasting than control, would switching them to primal work? Primal gets most of the blasting spells.

They had an archetype that allowed them to access Druid divine spells. Based on this a number of people have suggested and supported the magus to be a prepared choose your tradition class. I’m not advocating for Arcane dominance, nor have I. I actually like Occult over Arcane and hope Primal ends up in a similar position.

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