Magus as a Wizards Thesis.


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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What about Magus as a special Wizards Thesis/School combination, rather than a new class or archetype.

When you choose the Thesis you get Spellstrike (Strike and Cast a spell for the same action cost as casting the spell, counts as a single attack for MAP purposes). Maybe some improved weapon proficiencies?

Instead of a school, you get Arcane Pool (maybe renamed to Arcane Weapon?) as a focus spell which functions similar to the Champions Blade Ally, but lasts for a minute and has a different choice of property rune.

Then there can maybe be Thesis-locked feats for things like spell recall, and to be honest maybe the Thesis and School don't have to be locked together, they just work well together.

Discuss!


I've actually thought about homebrewing something similar, but just as a general spellsword character rather than specifically the Magus. Basically the wizard's answer to the warpriest.


There's too much in the Magus package that won't fit in Thesis + School.
It'd have to lose Arcane Proficiency too, which is intrinsic to Wizards.
And it really needs hit points.
I'm not sure if Paizo wants to start making such archetypes again that do swaps like that. Cleric hard-baked that opportunity into itself to get Warpriest, but Wizard doesn't have the space.
Plus it'd be neat to see other types of Magus, like from a Sorcerer or Primal caster so I'd like to see it as an archetype.
(Well, kinda. I think it'd be comparable to a Warpriest, which I find mediocre compared to martials w/ MCD caster or other combos.)

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Castilliano wrote:


Plus it'd be neat to see other types of Magus, like from a Sorcerer or Primal caster so I'd like to see it as an archetype.

Or a combat spellcasting class that lets you choose your casting tradition.


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Would be better as a Dedication Archetype IMO.

Requirements of a single spellcasting tradition as well as training in the skill of your spellcasting tradition (Nature for Primal, Religion for Divine, etc). Get training in your choice of martial weapons or light armor.

Allow dedication feats for access to the other choice, as well as improvements to expert on both. Make Spell Combat a feat as well, allowing you to substitute hitting an enemy with a weapon you wield instead of simply touching them (AKA only works with attack roll spells), applying item bonuses from your item to the attack roll, but using your weapon proficiency in place of your spell proficiency. If you hit the target, you deal both weapon damage plus the spell effects.

Couple other random feats like Bespell Weapon and stuff.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


Allow dedication feats for access to the other choice, as well as improvements to expert on both. Make Spell Combat a feat as well

That makes weapon + armor + spell combat three feats. Level 6 minimum. 4 if you buy one with a general feat then retrain out later. That's really really slow and with no freedom to pick up other character options in the interim.

A big appeal of the magus over other wizard/fighter hybrid options in PF1 was that you had all the basic pieces right out of the gate.

A dedication just isn't sufficient, it's too slow and too expensive. It needs to be a class archetype, path, or an entirely new class.


Squiggit wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


Allow dedication feats for access to the other choice, as well as improvements to expert on both. Make Spell Combat a feat as well

That makes weapon + armor + spell combat three feats. Level 6 minimum. 4 if you buy one with a general feat then retrain out later. That's really really slow and with no freedom to pick up other character options in the interim.

A big appeal of the magus over other wizard/fighter hybrid options in PF1 was that you had all the basic pieces right out of the gate.

A dedication just isn't sufficient, it's too slow and too expensive. It needs to be a class archetype, path, or an entirely new class.

I mean, you could roll both proficiencies into the same base dedication, with Spell Combat being taken at 4th level. It's not too bad, really. The issue stems from having someone being Master+ in both weapons/armor and spellcasting, since it seems that the balance is "You're either Master+ in Weapons and Armor, or Master+ in Spellcasting, not both," and the class designs show it.

The problem with paths is that not many classes with spellcasting support it. A Thesis might, in theory, work out, but it requires changing proficiencies of the class to make it work, something that the basic Thesis feature doesn't permit compared to the Cleric path rules. The Cleric paths better support this compared to the Wizard rules. An errata could fix it, but it'd be pretty drastic.

Archetypes can't reasonably support it either, since we'd need an original class based on the existing thematics for it to function. We might make it into its own unique Dedication, but now we're running into the problem you've described. In short, unless we make a Magus class, there won't be a Magus archetype to build from.

To follow up on that, it's quite clear that Paizo doesn't want to make a Magus class, and rightfully so. Warpriest from Clerics as an example is precisely why it's not great, especially since Paizo has set the bar there and probably won't budge without extreme backlash from the public (we're talking levels higher than, say, Sunder rules from PF1). The fact that Fighter Dedication on a spellcasting cleric is equally more valuable defeats the purpose of doing it. In my opinion, if Magi were set to that level, they would be pretty weak and people would be upset if that were the case. But it's difficult to balance having a Legendary in one medium of offense (such as spellcasting) while having Master in a different medium (such as weapon proficiencies). The closest you can get is a Fighter having Legendary proficiency going full-spellcaster with Master spellcasting with a limited spell selection from a spellcasting dedication feat of their choice (probably Sorcerer since it's easier for them to acquire).

Honestly, Magi's biggest downfall is the apparent need of having your cake and eating it too. In PF1, it was easier to balance this due to grades of efficiency between attacking and spellcasting limitations, with features shoring up both ends in unique ways. This is something that's very difficult to do in this edition without it being either its own class, dedication, or implementing power creep.


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Quote:
it's quite clear that Paizo doesn't want to make a Magus class

Er... is it?


Squiggit wrote:
Quote:
it's quite clear that Paizo doesn't want to make a Magus class
Er... is it?

Not really, but they did mention not being sure on how to carry them over. Warpriest being a blueprint for martial oriented casters is a definite yes, but Magus might very well be closer to a spellcasting oriented martial, or even a new form of midway.

It's a very popular class (regardless of reason). Once they figure out a good way to bring it back, they will.

Sovereign Court

What would we need a magus to do?

* Broader weapon proficiency than a wizard has, probably trained with all martial weapons.
* Weapon proficiency scales up at about the speed of a war priest.
* Some way to magically oomph up your weapons. Because glowing sword is part of magus. This might close the gap a bit between war priest degree of proficiency and full martial proficiency.
* Light armor proficiency that scales with level. Perhaps with a "doctrine" to go medium or heavy.
* A mechanism for doing both magic and weapon strikes in a round. Maybe it could be something like make both attacks, and increase MAP only after that, similar to fighter's Double Slice.


I think the Magus is best represented with its own class. It is too broad for an arcane thesis, and I have no idea how an archtype would work.

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2nd Edition is an opportunity to expand on what the magus can be.

Much like how the alchemist and maritals were expanded. Merely turning the magus into an archetype or an arcane thesis is a missed opportunity.


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Cyrad wrote:

2nd Edition is an opportunity to expand on what the magus can be.

Much like how the alchemist and maritals were expanded. Merely turning the magus into an archetype or an arcane thesis is a missed opportunity.

We don't have the ceremony spell in 2e yet, so I don't think maritals have been expanded much yet.


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I agree a proper Magus cant simply be replicated with a Wizard thesis or Archetype (of any type), there are just too many parts.

Also, I understand why people want to compare it to the Warpriest, but there are few comparisons. Warpriest even on PF1 was effectively an alternate version of Cleric with their abilities being closely tied. Remember the Warpriest was derived from Cleric + Fighter. Magus however has always been unique in style and function.

Its very much a similar case to the Swashbuckler. Where yes you can get close by mixing some classes. But a full class based around its own mechanic would make the class standout.

******************
For proficiency I see Magus as always having master in spellcasting, but different paths changing the martial proficiencies. A path for melee weapons, one for armor, one for ranged weapons, and a fourth with the worst proficiencies overall being a jack of all trades (gaining slightly better feats in compensation).


I've messed around with a homebrew magus to cover until we get an official one.

I ultimately come down on the side of needing a new class, because the magus wants different proficiencies and base routines from almost any class.

A magus needs some action efficiency to be able to fight in melee and cast spells, IMO.

For the moment I created a rough/coarse class for the magus, with the following:

Spell Combat
You have learned to cast spells and wield your weapons at the same time.
SPELL COMBAT [two-action]
|FLOURISH| | MAGUS|
Requirements You must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a melee weapon in the other hand.
You can make a melee Strike with a melee weapon at a –2 penalty. You can also cast any spell you have prepared in your magus spell slots which would take normally two actions to cast. You can choose to cast the spell first or make the Strike first. If the spell has the attack trait, each attack is made using your current multiple attack penalty. This always counts as two attacks when calculating your multiple attack penalty.

Spoiler:

MAGUS
KEY ABILITY
INTELLIGENCE
At 1st level, your class gives you an ability boost to your Intelligence.

HIT POINTS
8 PLUS YOUR CONSTITUTION MODIFIER
You increase your maximum number of HP by this number at 1st level and every level thereafter.

INITIAL PROFICIENCIES
At 1st level, you gain the listed proficiency ranks in the following statistics. You are untrained in anything not listed unless you gain a better proficiency rank in some other way.

PERCEPTION
Trained in Perception

SAVING THROWS
Trained in Fortitude
Trained in Reflex
Expert in Will

SKILLS
Trained in Arcana
Trained in a number of additional skills equal to 2 plus your Intelligence modifier

ATTACKS
Trained in simple weapons
Trained one common martial weapon
Trained in unarmed attacks

DEFENSES
Trained in light armor
Trained in medium armor
Trained in unarmored defense

SPELLS
Trained in arcane spell attacks
Trained in arcane spell DCs

Your Level Class Features
1 | Ancestry and background, initial proficiencies, arcane spellcasting, spell combat
2 | Magus feat, skill feat
3 | 2nd-level spells, general feat, magical fortitude, skill increase
4 | Magus feat, skill feat
5 | 3rd-level spells, ability boosts, ancestry feat, skill increase
6 | Magus feat, skill feat
7 | 4th-level spells, general feat, magus weapon expertise, overwhelming barrage, skill increase
8 | Magus feat, skill feat
9 | 5th-level spells, ancestry feat, lightning reflexes, skill increase
10 | Ability boosts, magus feat, skill feat
11 | 6th-level spells, alertness, general feat, skill increase, expert spellcaster
12 | Magus feat, skill feat
13 | 7th-level spells, ancestry feat, medium armor expertise, skill increase, spell specialization, weapon specialization
14 | Magus feat, skill feat
15 | 8th-level spells, ability boosts, general feat, juggernaut, skill increase
16 | Magus feat, skill feat

Thinking of allowing wizard feats, and fighter feats but at a level 2 faster than you would get it from the archetype. Or just the one-handed feats.

Overwhelming Barrage 7th
When you are using Spell Combat if you succeed with the Melee strike against a target, you get a+2 circumstance bonus to hit them with a spell attack roll made as part of the same Spell Combat.

Spell Specialization 13th
You’ve learned how to inflict greater injuries with the
spells you know best. You deal an additional 2 damage with all spells which include attack rolls in which you are an expert. This damage increases to 3 if you’re a master, and 4 if you’re legendary.

They do not have focus spells, as they are supposed to have better fighting with spellcombat cantrips, etc, that gives them more to do once they are out of their fewer spells per day.

Best facimile I've seen at the moment is monk/ranger + casting archetype, because you get to make two attacks and cast a spell in a turn, but its still very inflexible, the trick with melee+spells being any turn you have to move.


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I think Magus should be a class. There's enough there that warrants its own package, and enough variants on that package that a class with supporting feats and archetypes would be appropriate.

I also think that if/when it's made it should mess with the action economy and focus spells a lot, with focus spells and once per 10 minute or flourish abilities letting them do the magic sword bit as frequently as possible. Ways to regain focus (like the Swashbuckler does with Panache)and even have a good number of different "spellstrike" focus abilities would also be cool; one that does an elemental attack, one that stands in for a flurry of blows for a turn, etc.

Though now that I mention it though, the Monk with monk weapons isn't a bad stand-in right now, just doesn't have a spell list or armor. The fact that the Monk works so well and its ki abilities are fun makes me think that there's a lot of room to explore a Magus class.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Broken Promises, pg 25 wrote:
Spell Strike <free-action> Frequency once per round; Trigger (spoiler) begins to Cast a Spell that targets at least one creature; Effect (spoiler) channels his spell through his blade. He makes a Strike with his blade against a target within reach. If the Strike is successful, the target is automatically subject to the spell. If the spell required an attack roll, the target is hit. If the spell required a saving throw, the target takes a -4 penalty to its saving throw instead. If the spell could target multiple creatures, it targets only the creature (spoiler) hit with his Strike.


Shisumo wrote:
Broken Promises, pg 25 wrote:
Spell Strike <free-action> Frequency once per round; Trigger (spoiler) begins to Cast a Spell that targets at least one creature; Effect (spoiler) channels his spell through his blade. He makes a Strike with his blade against a target within reach. If the Strike is successful, the target is automatically subject to the spell. If the spell required an attack roll, the target is hit. If the spell required a saving throw, the target takes a -4 penalty to its saving throw instead. If the spell could target multiple creatures, it targets only the creature (spoiler) hit with his Strike.

Yeah. I tried to build it as an archetype that used this. But people FREAK about the -4. No amount of showing how having to hit first means the math is not crazy with a -4 will help. So I erred towards not making people lose their minds.

The only issue is that you still need a lot of feats, etc to get proficiency, and your hp still suffers.

I think an archetype with this is reasonably valid, but I don't know if it has wierd balance with different classes, etc. Making it work for a wizard, might make other things over-powered, etc. Though a worry is that archetype replaces feats with power here, and lots of caster feats are kind of weak to begin with, so I'd worry its hard to make satisfying and balanced via an archetype.

Spoiler:

MAGUS FEAT 2
|ARCHETYPE|UNCOMMON|
[[Prerequisites]] ability to cast spells from spell slots, Strength 14, one of Intelligence 14, Wisdom 14, or Charisma 14
You become trained one martial weapon. You become trained in Athletics; if you are already
trained in this skill, you instead become trained in a skill of your choice.
Special You can't select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the Magus Dedication archetype.

SPELL STRIKE [free-action] FEAT 4
|ARCHETYPE|
[[Prerequisites]] expert in skill associated with spellcasting tradition, Magus Dedication
Frequency once per round;
Trigger You begin to Cast a Spell that targets at least 1 creature; You have one hand free
You channel your spell through an attack. You make a melee Strike with a weapon or
unarmed attack against a target within reach. If the Strike is successful, the target
is automatically subject to the spell. If the spell required an attack roll, the target is
hit. If the spell required a saving throw, the target takes a –4 status penalty to its saving
throw instead. If the spell could target multiple creatures, it targets only the creature
you hit with your Strike. This counts as a number of attacks equal to the number of actions
spent casting the spell when calculating your multiple attack penalty.

MAGUS RESILIENCY FEAT 4
|ARCHETYPE|
Prerequisites Magus Archetype, class granting no more Hit Points per level than 6 + your
Constitution modifier
You gain 3 additional Hit Points for each magus archetype class feat you have. As you continue
selecting magus archetype class feats, you continue to gain additional Hit Points in this way.

BESPELL WEAPON [free-action] FEAT 6
|ARCHETYPE|
[[Prerequisites]] Magus Dedication
Frequency once per turn
Requirements Your most recent action was to cast a non-cantrip spell.
You siphon spell energy into one weapon you’re wielding. Until the end of your turn, the weapon
deals an extra 1d6 damage of a type depending on the school of the spell you just cast.
• Abjuration force damage
• Conjuration or Transmutation the same type as the weapon
• Divination, Enchantment, or Illusion mental damage
• Evocation a type the spell dealt, or force damage if the spell didn’t deal damage
• Necromancy negative damage

STEADY SPELLCASTING FEAT 8
|ARCHETYPE|
[[Prerequisites]] Expert in a spellcasting tradition, Magus Dedication
Confident in your technique, you don’t easily lose your concentration when you Cast a Spell.
If a reaction would disrupt your spellcasting action, attempt a DC 15 flat check. If you
succeed, your action isn’t disrupted.

MASTER OF STEEL FEAT 10
|ARCHETYPE|
[[Prerequisites]] Expert in a spellcasting tradition, Magus Dedication
Whenever you gain a class feature that grants you expert or greater proficiency in certain weapons,
you also gain that proficiency in your chosen martial weapon.


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I think the big question is, are they going to introduce spell casting classes that don't have 10 levels of spell progression?

If they aren't, and the fact that bards became full casters leads me to believe they aren't, then I think there are 2 possibilities for magus:

1) You are a wizard with fighter dedication, with a feat that allows for spell strike/spell combat.

2) You are a fighter with a wizard dedication, with a feat that allows for spell strike/spell combat.

Currently balancing gaining weapon proficiency scaling and spell casting scaling is really hard, and we don't have any examples (that I'm aware of) of a base class not getting full casting progression.


Claxon wrote:

I think the big question is, are they going to introduce spell casting classes that don't have 10 levels of spell progression?

If they aren't, and the fact that bards became full casters leads me to believe they aren't, then I think there are 2 possibilities for magus:

1) You are a wizard with fighter dedication, with a feat that allows for spell strike/spell combat.

2) You are a fighter with a wizard dedication, with a feat that allows for spell strike/spell combat.

Currently balancing gaining weapon proficiency scaling and spell casting scaling is really hard, and we don't have any examples (that I'm aware of) of a base class not getting full casting progression.

It might be as simple as gaining the basic, expert and master spellcasting benefits as part of the base class for the magus, or it could go for focus spells and special cantrips with MCD spellcasting feats as magus feats, or any number of things that we just haven't seen yet.

I do think that there are potentially enough class feats to build a base class from a magus.


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I don't see a Magus being playable out of the gate, not if you want casting (likely full), Spellstrike, and weapon buffs.
I can see two main routes:
-We get something mirroring the War Priest chassis, taking feats along the way to eventually unlock traditional Magus abilities, and after 13th using buffs to remain competitive as a martial. I don't think the nova nature of a PF1 Magus will carry over well though. So I'm uncertain how Paizo will make them attractive, yet balanced w/ Warpriests (et al).
-We get a focus-pool based class. The closest we have to that now would be a Wild Winds Initiate Monk or Wild Shape Druid where a focus point powers you up for a combat. Kineticists could works similarly, I'd think, so maybe whenever that book comes around we might get something. In this vein, I could see a Magus feeling like a Magus despite having no spells. They could activate a lightning-blade ability for a minute or some similar favorite flavor from PF1. Again, I don't think they'll be able to go nova or stack overmuch like in PF1 and I'd rather have a cool, magical, martial that can hit regularly than a full-caster that has to lag as a martial to maintain balance.

Stances might help with this too, so that the Magus could power up their weapons while in a specific stance. I think PF2 principles won't allow for Spellstrike to stack w/ PF1 Magus weapon buffing, so maybe have a Spellstrike Stance for those times as well as Fiery Blade Stance, etc.
Another route though could be Spellstrike being 3-actions and weapon buffing requiring an action each round. Then they don't overlap.

Lots of different routes. I'd prefer the Magus blend well with a body of other classes, like the Kineticist mentioned before. Warlock (at least some versions) could use a similar chassis, as could a Binder or Shadowcaster (to harken back to 3.X). Classes with lots of magic, but not necessarily spells.
(PF2's Monk & Champion are on the cusp of this.)


I've been speculating that a possible compromise would be for Magus to lay on top of caster classes and giving them a focus power that places them into something like "Spell Combat Stance". Effects could be something "You use your spell attack proficiency instead of your weapon proficiency for melee Strikes as long as you have one hand free." Subsequent feats could build on this stance allowing you to place property runes on the weapon for the duration of the stance. It solves the proficiency problem by letting the player focus only on spell proficiency instead of splitting between the two at the cost of being unable to really rely on focus powers outside of the stance until much later levels.

Spell Strike could be something like a reverse Bespell Weapon, where instead of adding spell damage to a weapon strike, you add weapon damage dice onto the effects of a spell which includes a spell attack role (maybe limiting it to cantrips only, or even fixing it at something like 1d6 of the type the weapon would deal normally). This would probably be limited it to only spells/cantrips with a spell attack role built in, or allowing the user to add a spell attack role to those which were previously auto-touch.


Castilliano wrote:
Stances might help with this too, so that the Magus could power up their weapons while in a specific stance. I think PF2 principles won't allow for Spellstrike to stack w/ PF1 Magus weapon buffing, so maybe have a Spellstrike Stance for those times as well as Fiery Blade Stance, etc.

Ninja'd by 7 minutes.

Liberty's Edge

I'd like to see Magus equipped with a Spellbook class feature and Prepared Spell Slots similar to Wizard.

Perhaps they should have 1 fewer Spell Slot by Default and have their own "Class-Path" to choose to give them ways to weight their abilities such as a "Caster Heavy," a "Martial Heavy," and a "Balanced" path each with their own benefits such as faster Weapon Training, additional Spell Slots, and a unique Spell-Strike utility Focus Spell Cantrip.

Just spitballing.


Stances have a lot of potential and it would fit the mostly duration based aspect of Arcane Pool abilities.

Just because Spell strike already exists doesnt mean a Magus cant also get it. I mean look as Sudden Charge and other feats shared between classes.

The core aspect of Arcane Pool is replicated by something like "Enchant Weapon, Enchant Armor, or Enchant Body". The initial feat benefit can easily be gaining the relevant potency or striking rune. Then depending on how much the economy is to be affected that feat/feature can scale by itself or require "improved enchantment feats". Which means depending on how its done you can have: Elemental Enchatment, to add elemental damage or resistance; Motion Enchatment, to improve or gain movement options similar to Hastened Assault; Skill Enchantment, to boost some skills similar to Spell Dancer and Arcane Cloak.

Pool Strike might actually be more liked this edition.

* P.S. Magus traditionally has many ways to increase his saves and AC temporarily. This means that at least in theory Paizo can be more generous on attack and spellcasting proficiency by making his defenses a slightly worse making the traditional magus have a similar niche as the Barbarian. The difference being that Barbarians are tankier allowing them to stay longer in combat, but the Magus would have better access to multiple combat tools thanks to spells and abilities.

* P.S.S. I think allowing Magus to hold the charge on strike spells might be a great niche. Since it would make then considerably better at conserving spell resources. I will leave that to other to figure out a proper solution.


Yeah, all these considerations feel like there's enough that "makes a Magus" that doing the concept justice would be a class and not just a Wizard specialization or an archetype.

You need affirmative abilities to make it cool and worthwhile, but you also need some limitations so it's not simply Fighter+ or Wizard+.

Sovereign Court

Inspired by Shisumo and vagrant-poet;

I think if spellstrike is a "cast a spell and deliver it through the blade; either both hit or neither hit", then it could be balanced enough to give them so-so spellcasting proficiency but almost-martial weapon proficiency.

So they'd distinguish themselves from a wizard, who can deliver spells at range without needing a weapon, just the wizard's serious spellcasting proficiency. The magus has great action economy, but it's attack spells are lackluster unless he goes into the fray and delivers them up close.

Scarab Sages

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One of the things I wish the 1e Magus could have done was make the Pool-x abilities better.

My take on a 2e Magus would be to go with the stance theme some people have been talking about, but have spellstrike be intrinsic to the class. Then have a variety of cantrips and focus powers without actual spells or reduced slots. My imagination conjures your 1h Magus, 2h Magus, a shield Magus - something I've wanted to do since 1e, defending with the weapon and striking with magic.

A big thing I think, as the Arcane Pool was a big thing for the Magus, will be a way to maybe regain Focus in combat - as a combat Mage is their whole deal, and it would offset the Focus heavy idea I put forth.


Angel Hunter D wrote:

One of the things I wish the 1e Magus could have done was make the Pool-x abilities better.

My take on a 2e Magus would be to go with the stance theme some people have been talking about, but have spellstrike be intrinsic to the class. Then have a variety of cantrips and focus powers without actual spells or reduced slots. My imagination conjures your 1h Magus, 2h Magus, a shield Magus - something I've wanted to do since 1e, defending with the weapon and striking with magic.

A big thing I think, as the Arcane Pool was a big thing for the Magus, will be a way to maybe regain Focus in combat - as a combat Mage is their whole deal, and it would offset the Focus heavy idea I put forth.

This is basically what I'm thinking. Pick a tradition, get a series of focus spells and special cantrips based on said tradition. A mix of stance/martial/focus improving feats.

So the default chassis becomes 'arcane paladin', but a MCD turns it closer to the classic magus. Especially if it's focus spell and unique cantrip based feats like spellstrike work for any spell of the same tradition.

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Ascalaphus wrote:

Inspired by Shisumo and vagrant-poet;

I think if spellstrike is a "cast a spell and deliver it through the blade; either both hit or neither hit", then it could be balanced enough to give them so-so spellcasting proficiency but almost-martial weapon proficiency.

So they'd distinguish themselves from a wizard, who can deliver spells at range without needing a weapon, just the wizard's serious spellcasting proficiency. The magus has great action economy, but it's attack spells are lackluster unless he goes into the fray and delivers them up close.

Would be interesting if the magus had lackluster spell progression, but whenever he spellstrikes, the spell uses his weapon proficiency in place of his spell proficiency

Scarab Sages

Cyrad wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

Inspired by Shisumo and vagrant-poet;

I think if spellstrike is a "cast a spell and deliver it through the blade; either both hit or neither hit", then it could be balanced enough to give them so-so spellcasting proficiency but almost-martial weapon proficiency.

So they'd distinguish themselves from a wizard, who can deliver spells at range without needing a weapon, just the wizard's serious spellcasting proficiency. The magus has great action economy, but it's attack spells are lackluster unless he goes into the fray and delivers them up close.

Would be interesting if the magus had lackluster spell progression, but whenever he spellstrikes, the spell uses his weapon proficiency in place of his spell proficiency

That's basically what spellstrike has always been, but much more distinct due to the edition


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Angel Hunter D wrote:

One of the things I wish the 1e Magus could have done was make the Pool-x abilities better.

My take on a 2e Magus would be to go with the stance theme some people have been talking about, but have spellstrike be intrinsic to the class. Then have a variety of cantrips and focus powers without actual spells or reduced slots. My imagination conjures your 1h Magus, 2h Magus, a shield Magus - something I've wanted to do since 1e, defending with the weapon and striking with magic.

A big thing I think, as the Arcane Pool was a big thing for the Magus, will be a way to maybe regain Focus in combat - as a combat Mage is their whole deal, and it would offset the Focus heavy idea I put forth.

Oh I love this. I'd never considered Magi (I guess that's the plural? Why not, lol.) of different combat types like that. Now I have this awesome image in my head of a shield Magus slamming down their tower shield in front of them and it sends out a small magical shockwave out in front of them. Mechanically this could be force/sonic damage to either the square in front of them, or an increasing area/damage with more actions or with heightening. And/or it knocks the enemy off-balance like the Feint action and might leave them flat-footed (reflex save I suppose).

I definitely feel like there is opportunity for lots of cool ideas here.

Sovereign Court

Angel Hunter D wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

Inspired by Shisumo and vagrant-poet;

I think if spellstrike is a "cast a spell and deliver it through the blade; either both hit or neither hit", then it could be balanced enough to give them so-so spellcasting proficiency but almost-martial weapon proficiency.

So they'd distinguish themselves from a wizard, who can deliver spells at range without needing a weapon, just the wizard's serious spellcasting proficiency. The magus has great action economy, but it's attack spells are lackluster unless he goes into the fray and delivers them up close.

Would be interesting if the magus had lackluster spell progression, but whenever he spellstrikes, the spell uses his weapon proficiency in place of his spell proficiency
That's basically what spellstrike has always been, but much more distinct due to the edition

Yeah this comes pretty naturally in this edition.


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One thing I'd like to see if we get a 2e magus class is an exploration of unique attacks.

PF2 gives martials a lot of unique activities which allow them to attack with special bonuses or modifiers and I think that model of feat design could be a great way to explore a character who combines magic and martial combat in ways more interconnected than just casting a spell and then hitting someone.


While I could see a Wizard thesis as working, I'd still prefer an archetype for it's versatility in applying onto any existing spellcasting class to allow for a more martial focus + allow any spellcasting tradition.

Personally, I don't see Magus as really having enough for a complete class in PF2. Their concept is basically just "mixes magic + weapons" and other than Spellstrike, the class didn't have much I'd consider especially unique (despite being one of my top 3 classes in PF1). I also dislike the idea of them becoming a pick-a-tradition class since they don't really have any thematic reasoning to support it (outside of Witch & Sorcerer, I don't see many classes I'd consider warranting this).


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I feel like unless we get an entire class for it, we'd see Magus as a Wizard specific archetype.

While a general Dedication is probably out of the question, a Wizard specific archetype which removes access to a school and a thesis in exchange for martial proficiencies and spellstrike seems possible. (Probably also lowers spellcasting proficiencies.)

After all, they did future proof the system for class specific archetypes (which come into play from 1st level and use your 2nd level feat slot), and Magus seems an effective time to use them.


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TheGentlemanDM wrote:


While a general Dedication is probably out of the question, a Wizard specific archetype which removes access to a school and a thesis in exchange for martial proficiencies and spellstrike seems possible. (Probably also lowers spellcasting proficiencies.)

I can kinda see this working. Notably one thing PF2 does is have Wizards and Sorcerers get fewer class features but more spells/day than Bards/Clerics/Druids. The kicker is a Wizard's bonus spell/day comes from school, so a class archetype/alternate path that replaces your school with something else could downgrade their casting and open up room for a little more power in their chassis.


Squiggit wrote:
I can kinda see this working. Notably one thing PF2 does is have Wizards and Sorcerers get fewer class features but more spells/day than Bards/Clerics/Druids. The kicker is a Wizard's bonus spell/day comes from school, so a class archetype/alternate path that replaces your school with something else could downgrade their casting and open up room for a little more power in their chassis.

This is what I was thinking: between replacing school/thesis, you add in archetype feats and it could work out well IMO.


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I think it would end up being a bad thing for the Magus to be a new class that gets master proficiency in weapons and spell casting, especially if the end up with less spells. Being limited to master in casting means spell attack spells in particular are down right terrible spells for the magus ( an old mainstay of the class).

Additionally, the issue with PF2's action economy for casting and fighting is far more a movement and survival issue than anything else. If spell combat was allowing the magus to make a melee attack as a somatic action in casting a spell. There are going to be a lot of rounds where the magus moves forward, casts a spell with an attack, and then gets mobbed to death because they are such a clear and present threat. Especially since they wont be raising shields and their HP can't be more than a D8 or else the balance is totally off.

Instead, I think the Magus as a wizard archetype or school and thesis replacement would work if it allowed the magus to keep the wizards full spell casting proficiency, but use their spell casting proficiency in place of their weapon proficiency in a round where they cast a spell, as well as use their weapon item bonus to apply to spell attack rolls made in melee range.

Magus desperately need full spell casting proficiency for offensive spell casting to make sense, and getting to use their spell casting attribute to make empowered attack rolls after casting a spell lets their attack with weapons to be decent without having to give them a strong enough melee attack that they should be choosing to do that instead of casting (especially if they end up with a reduced casting proficiency). Giving them legendary weapon proficiency seems like something that would never happen, so inverting the spell casting for weapon proficiency would be objectively worse.

Then I would give them the default ability to make a stride action in place of the somatic component, and feats that give them the ability to step away as a reaction. This lets them remain glass cannons, but have a defensive option that can at least reduce the number of attacks they are going to be exposed to each round.

EDIT: By giving them a stride instead of strike, it would allow them to have a default way of moving in, getting a spell attack roll off at melee range and then chose between a follow up attack with the sword, or a move away.

Scarab Sages

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that spell attack proficiency isn't that big a deal. Magus was always about those touch spells - so why not make all their spells touch unless it's a buff or AoE? Just have master or legendary weapon progression and punch all the spells into things. Maybe a Feat or ability to make spells use Class DC for spells that require a save.

As for ranged options, I think it'd be thematic and cool for a class ability or some kind of focus cantrip that allows them to make a melee attack at range. Thrusts through space and travelling sword cuts are just as cool now as when I was a young weeb.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that spell attack proficiency isn't that big a deal. Magus was always about those touch spells - so why not make all their spells touch unless it's a buff or AoE? Just have master or legendary weapon progression and punch all the spells into things. Maybe a Feat or ability to make spells use Class DC for spells that require a save.

As for ranged options, I think it'd be thematic and cool for a class ability or some kind of focus cantrip that allows them to make a melee attack at range. Thrusts through space and travelling sword cuts are just as cool now as when I was a young weeb.

If the ranger doesn’t get legendary weapon prof, then it doesn’t make sense that the magus would. A fighter/caster already gets the ability to attack well and use spells to be more effect at attacking. The magus needs a way to focus on doing damage with spells through a weapon to be unique. They can do this best, without infringing on any other class by attacking with their spellcasting proficiency in a melee focused way.


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Unicore wrote:
If the ranger doesn’t get legendary weapon prof, then it doesn’t make sense that the magus would.

It could if it's limited: for instance, they could have it so you use spell attack proficiency only in the spell strike action so other weapon attacks use the base weapon proficiency. Getting a proficiency boost when you're spending a spell slot doesn't, IMO, step on a rangers feet when they can make 4 attacks at master proficiency with a MAP's of -2/-4...


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I prefer the Stance/Focus Pool route, but if going the full caster route I like the idea presented above:
Have Spell Proficiency rely on the Magus casting through a weapon.

So they'd start w/ Trained in Spell Proficiency, and never improve, except when they cast through a weapon they'd get to use their Weapon Proficiency instead. A Magus that really wanted to be a blaster too could MCD over to a spellcasting class of the same tradition and gain higher proficiency that way. It'd cost them all those cool Magus buffs & maneuvers from feats, but should allow for some balance vs. a caster/MCD Fighter.
This way, the Magus could also fight with a weapon w/o a spell and hit normally (though likely w/ fewer default buffs like the other martial classes have.)
Balance would be harder this way because full casting w/ martial ability comes w/ a steep price so far. They'd likely have delayed Weapon Specialization and maybe even cap at Expert Weapon Proficiency (like a Warpriest). But one wouldn't want a mirror of a Warpriest either (or at least I wouldn't.)


Rather it be turned into dedication type for casters, what dedication give with it first feat be trained in light or (maybe medium of if already have light)? and choose a stance - Striker Stance: Allows the user to enter stance where they can then uses actions channel spell into of their melee weapons, conditions of it still need thinking. - Blowback Stance: Allows the user to assume a stance where they can channel spell into ranged weapon to use actions.

Later feat ideas might update the stance or allow them to grab other, another to get expert in the armor they bacame trained in. Maybe reaction type feat where you could waste spell slot to block incomming (maybe magic attack only?) attack through overloading spell.

So gists of it is magus/spell sword is caster who decided to want channel to spells into more martial style and learn to develop a stances that can do so.


Castilliano wrote:
I prefer the Stance/Focus Pool route

I'd much prefer a 'spell strike' action like a monks flurry. Stances and focus, IMO, would be cool add-on's but not required.

Castilliano wrote:
So they'd start w/ Trained in Spell Proficiency, and never improve

This feels bad IMO. They could get better spell proficiency by taking multiclass feats, which then makes it feel like a tax to gain your proficiency.


I don't think we have to be too afraid of a Magus being too powerful. There are plenty of ways to finagle the math that can keep whatever it does in check, and there are abundant ways to mess with the action economy of things to keep it all manageable. If it's an archetype or a dedication then it has to be built more conservatively, I think, than if it's a class with a specific progression. If it's a full class, too, it can have archetypes to do things like Bloodragers, or if/when firearms are introduced let an archetype deliver on a magic firearm concept.

You could do a maximum of expert proficiency in spells and martial weapons, for example, but give a bonus to hit when using Spellstrike. I think that example up above (from an AP?) fits that.

I also like stances and focus pool abilities, though I think part of the fun of a Magus is having a bit of utility. A pre-packaged gish class is part of the appeal, at least to me, and not just the "prestige class" route of old. Especially if you can Spellstrike or buff with focus powers while also having spell slots available, there are lots of ways to fill out a full class' worth of concepts and tricky abilities.


Puna'chong wrote:
You could do a maximum of expert proficiency in spells and martial weapons, for example, but give a bonus to hit when using Spellstrike.

You have to factor in multiclass feats allowing you to get to master proficiency no matter what you limit the normal max level to. It's why it doesn't seem like a good plan to limit them to anything under master.

Scarab Sages

graystone wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
I prefer the Stance/Focus Pool route

I'd much prefer a 'spell strike' action like a monks flurry. Stances and focus, IMO, would be cool add-on's but not required.

Castilliano wrote:
So they'd start w/ Trained in Spell Proficiency, and never improve
This feels bad IMO. They could get better spell proficiency by taking multiclass feats, which then makes it feel like a tax to gain your proficiency.

I think you'd absolutely need spellstrike, even going the stance/focus route. Some manner of cantrip/focus cantrip would probably be needed.

As for the proficiency, I think it will only feel bad if you're not playing your Magus like a Magus. Magi hit things, standing back and casting wasn't ever really their thing.

And I like the idea of a proficiency bump when spellstriking. Slot or Focus, it's still a valuable resource and rewarding the core mechanic/making it more reliable is pretty cool.


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I like the idea of merging a Stride action with a Somatic action; have it effectively work like Running Reload. That actually solves most issues i see with the Magus coming to 2e.

As much as i like the idea of Magus having Master in Weapons, i’m thinking more and more that Expert in Arms and Armor with Master Spellcasting is the best way to go. If you have any less than Master then, like Greystone says, MCD feels like a mandatory tax. This also allows the freedom to add abilities that can augment the stats for where they’re needed; such as abilities like Ki Strike giving a temp status bonus to Attack Rolls.


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Should a Magus be able to cast as well at range (w/o a ranged weapon) as well as they do when Striking?

I don't think so, so I don't see the MCD route as a 'tax' because to me that's adding something that isn't a defining part of being a Magus.
(Plus there are always Magic Missiles!)
Plus, by sacrificing that aspect, one can support having a decent martial chassis. Master w/ spells & Expert w/ weapons would be disappointing, since you can get Legendary w/ spells & Expert w/ weapons now (or the same w/ a single-class Warpriest, who can be kinda a gish already.)

We should look at several "average rounds" would look like for a Magus and compare them to caster/MCD martials + Warpriests (for the full caster version) and vs. Monks/Champions who've maxed out their magic (for the stance/focus pool route).
For uniqueness, I think that leads a full-caster Magus toward being better w/ weapons and worse at spells, unless those are cast as part of using a weapon. Using generic spell slots to power up one's mediocre martial skills could also work. Self-buffing.
Hmm...

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