Striking Spells Action Economy


Magus Class

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:

You know, I can see that Magus and Summoner have some rough edges, but why is that every playtest we seem to get a contingent of people saying "OMG this is the worst thing ever Paizo completely ruined this and couldn't possibly have made it any worse"?

Like... I agree that Magus probably has some accuracy issues, but that's... a pretty small part of the class, design space wise, and easily fixed?

Yikes, I haven't seen much of anyone calling Paizo incompetent so I think this comment is pretty unwarranted?

I'm pretty sure some of the things the Magus is testing are very much deliberately controversial to engender our feedback and test weird ideas-- like the current implementation of Striking Spell.

I seem to remember Mark mentioning them being "9th level casters" at the Q+A, so I think four slot casting might be a a big "weird experiment" as well.


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I definitely don't dislike the way they did Magus casting. At the very least it's an interesting inversion on a sort of "multiclass casting" progression, where instead of limited slots of lower level you have limited slots of the highest level. It's very funky and in fairness leaves a lot of the utility to a full caster while letting the Magus still drop level-appropriate bombs. Where it'll be weird is when heightening doesn't match up with your slots, and as far as I know you can't up-slot a spell without heightening, so... It'll take some consideration for me to decide whether I dig it.

I think action economy starts to fall apart for me in part because we don't know whether we'll be getting some 1-action spells (which would make Striking Spell make a lot more sense, even if it might warp Magus spell lists towards 1-action spells), and the focus spells take almost none of what made the Arcane Pool interesting in P1e. The focus spells are actually really, really bizarrely underdeveloped for what I think players are envisioning a Magus is.

I think it'd be a very different discussion if Magus had at least four or five 1-action focus spells that they could pick up and use with Striking Spell. Then you might say "Ahh, well, if you want to do shocking grasp you pay a bit of an economy fee for some extra damage, but if you want to spend a focus point and do shocking strike you're enhancing your economy and can do that all day."


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I think, fundamentally, the problem is that every martial-ish class in the game has some sort of combat enhancing mechanic in their core features and for the Magus it doesn't seem to really come together.

Striking Spells isn't an action economy enhancer, but while it's technically an accuracy enhancer, Spell Attacks already scale worse than regular attacks and Magi have issues with their proficiency and Int... so your spell ends up effectively being a second attack anyways.

It makes Striking Spells feel very swingy, because you have to succeed at the attack in order to make the spell and and the spell isn't going to be very reliable, which means your trick doesn't even work consistently.

And it also makes it hard to really gauge what you're gaining. From a purely game-feel perspective, a class' core combat mechanic, imo, should have a really strong feeling of "I get to do this cool thing" and Striking Spells doesn't really confer that feeling, especially if you're splitting up your actions across two rounds as some people have suggested.

To be fair, while I think the class is much more functional, Summoner feels in a similar boat with Boost not feeling very satisfying for something you have to cast every round.


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The Magus core class feature should feel useful, rewarding and above all it should standout as such. Anyone looking at Flurry of Blows, Hunter's Edge or Devise Stratagem can see it as unique and beneficial mechanic. I got a first reading of Striking Spell and REALLY got my hopes up that the ability was Casting Spell+Strike delivery, that simply looked really cool and better smoother than an Eldritch Archer because it was supposed to be melee, but then I looked again and realized that Striking Spell was no striking spell at all, the feature was actually Spell Storing or Holding The Charge, there's no strike involved in the feature even.

It doesn't satisfy the idea of a PF1e Magus, whose entire concept relied on Spell Combat and Spell Strike, the former that understandably so couldn't make the transition because it was a Full-Round Action that doesn't exist in this edition, but the later could've simply ported over how a Magus worked with the Alternative Action Economy from Pathfinder Unchained, Two-Action Cast Spell+Delivery Strike. Clean. Simple. Useful. Too Strong? Tweak the numbers, reduce damage, reduce precision, limit frequency or possible synergies (limited selection of spells, like it happened in PF1e). But the core feature would still be distinctly something only a Magus could do, as it stands, it basically functions like any janky Gish build you can currently do.


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2 actions.

Cast a spell as part of the attack.

The spell becomes single target only. And uses your to hit with melee as the spells to hit.

Create a feat that when taken. Let's you use spells with saves and boosts the save dc by+2/4.

Create another feat line that functions like a spell cleave where you can apply the spell attack to adjacent enemies as a reaction.

I think I'll just make my own Magus. I'll steal the spell progression though.


graystone wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
From a purely game-feel perspective, a class' core combat mechanic, imo, should have a really strong feeling of "I get to do this cool thing" and Striking Spells doesn't really confer that feeling, especially if you're splitting up your actions across two rounds as some people have suggested.

What I think also influences a feeling of that you're missing out on the "I get to do this cool thing" is that Eldritch Archer JUST came out and showcased a "I get to do this cool thing" that does what the Magus is doing and is in every way better than Striking Spells...

Striking Spells would have felt bad anyway but it just plain looks worse when you compare it to something so much better... :P

I don't think Eldritch Shot would be a good fit on the Magus though- too few spell slots makes losing spells on misses hurt so much worse. Plus Striking Spells works with so many more spells in general.

I'd rather see them make Striking Spells work at a math level than just copy/paste Eldritch Shot's mechanics.


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graystone wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
From a purely game-feel perspective, a class' core combat mechanic, imo, should have a really strong feeling of "I get to do this cool thing" and Striking Spells doesn't really confer that feeling, especially if you're splitting up your actions across two rounds as some people have suggested.

What I think also influences a feeling of that you're missing out on the "I get to do this cool thing" is that Eldritch Archer JUST came out and showcased a "I get to do this cool thing" that does what the Magus is doing and is in every way better than Striking Spells...

Striking Spells would have felt bad anyway but it just plain looks worse when you compare it to something so much better... :P

Right! And when you consider that this mechanic was in core with the cleric's Channel Smite feat? Just perplexes why the class that was designed to enable casting spells through attacks has the worst version of the mechanic yet in the game.


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graystone wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
From a purely game-feel perspective, a class' core combat mechanic, imo, should have a really strong feeling of "I get to do this cool thing" and Striking Spells doesn't really confer that feeling, especially if you're splitting up your actions across two rounds as some people have suggested.

What I think also influences a feeling of that you're missing out on the "I get to do this cool thing" is that Eldritch Archer JUST came out and showcased a "I get to do this cool thing" that does what the Magus is doing and is in every way better than Striking Spells...

Striking Spells would have felt bad anyway but it just plain looks worse when you compare it to something so much better... :P

I really don't think that Eldritch Shot is a strictly better Striking Spell, even discounting the 1-action spell benefit on Striking. In a typical scenario, a Magus will have two chances to hit (or crit) with the Strike that triggers the spell at full MAP, as well as subsequent lower MAP attempts. With Eldritch Archer, if you miss, you miss.

The upside with Eldritch Archer is that the spell uses your weapon Strike bonus to hit, but with the Magus you have the benefit of having more chances to possibly have the spell work. You can also much more easily combine Magus Striking Spell with things like True Strike, though it does incentive an ancestry/multiclass/staff source for that to work well. On top of that, you aren't limited to spells that require attack rolls; in fact, Striking Spell works much better with saving throw spells as you ignore MAP penalties if you are making a second or third Strike on a turn to discharge the spell (but if you don't have a non-20 crit chance, you're often better off casting the spell separately unfortunately).

Eldritch Shot is higher risk for high reward. You use all three actions and a spell slot that does nothing on a miss. Striking Spell gives you multiple chances to discharge the spell, but is more bell-curved in expected results.

Scarab Sages

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Just to point it out again, you don't have any extra chances to have the spell work using Striking Spell. You have fewer chances to have the spell work than if you had just cast the spell and attacked separately. Some of those successes will benefit from the attack critting, but you still only ever get one attempt at the spell attack or one save from the enemy. That happens less often with Striking Spell than just casting the spell, because there is a chance that even with 4 attempts to hit with the attack, they will all fail.

With Eldritch shot, you always have one attempt for the spell to succeed as well, because there is no second roll once you have hit. And it's a better chance for the spell to succeed, because it is based on your weapon attack and not your spell attack.


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Xethik wrote:
graystone wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
From a purely game-feel perspective, a class' core combat mechanic, imo, should have a really strong feeling of "I get to do this cool thing" and Striking Spells doesn't really confer that feeling, especially if you're splitting up your actions across two rounds as some people have suggested.

What I think also influences a feeling of that you're missing out on the "I get to do this cool thing" is that Eldritch Archer JUST came out and showcased a "I get to do this cool thing" that does what the Magus is doing and is in every way better than Striking Spells...

Striking Spells would have felt bad anyway but it just plain looks worse when you compare it to something so much better... :P

I really don't think that Eldritch Shot is a strictly better Striking Spell, even discounting the 1-action spell benefit on Striking. In a typical scenario, a Magus will have two chances to hit (or crit) with the Strike that triggers the spell at full MAP, as well as subsequent lower MAP attempts. With Eldritch Archer, if you miss, you miss.

The upside with Eldritch Archer is that the spell uses your weapon Strike bonus to hit, but with the Magus you have the benefit of having more chances to possibly have the spell work. You can also much more easily combine Magus Striking Spell with things like True Strike, though it does incentive an ancestry/multiclass/staff source for that to work well. On top of that, you aren't limited to spells that require attack rolls; in fact, Striking Spell works much better with saving throw spells as you ignore MAP penalties if you are making a second or third Strike on a turn to discharge the spell (but if you don't have a non-20 crit chance, you're often better off casting the spell separately unfortunately).

Eldritch Shot is higher risk for high reward. You use all three actions and a spell slot that does nothing on a miss. Striking Spell gives you multiple chances to discharge the spell, but is more bell-curved in expected results.

I mean, the Striking Spell is discharged on a miss as well, you just need to successfully land a strike before you even get to the point of rolling the spell attack.

Spell Strike does exactly nothing to improve your accuracy with the spell unless you crit (until very high levels, that is), it just adds a requirement that you hit with a normal strike on top of the default requirements of hitting with a spell attack.

I'm pretty sure that in the case of 2-action attack roll spells Eldritch shot is close to being strictly better than Spell Strike.


When I first read Eldritch Archer I was 90% happy with it just being ported over to a melee version for the Magus. Why make up something new when you already did something that worked?


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Reticent wrote:
I don't think Eldritch Shot would be a good fit on the Magus though- too few spell slots makes losing spells on misses hurt so much worse. Plus Striking Spells works with so many more spells in general.

IMO, it IS better as you're using your bonuses to hit with your weapon also for the spell: this solves the accuracy issues with not having your key ability in your casting stat and your lower proficiency. Also it being a Strike means True Strike works on both.

Xethik wrote:
The upside with Eldritch Archer is that the spell uses your weapon Strike bonus to hit, but with the Magus you have the benefit of having more chances to possibly have the spell work.

But, IMO, you aren't really in a better position than is you Strike and then Cast your spell: there is only a crit benefit on your strike for the spell so on a non-crit strike so you're worse off using the ability and missing with the strike and trying to hit later vs making a miss with a strike and casting your spell while resolving it THAT ROUND.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't disagree that casting a saving throw based spell separate of the Striking Spell (see my comment regarding that above) is often safer than attempting to Striking Spell with it. The only upside is the Degree of Success bump on a crit, and if your chance to entirely miss is around the same as your chance to crit, there isn't much of point aside from triggering a Synthesis ability.

BUT, if you are critting on a 17+, I think the math might be in your favor to Striking Spell. I'd have to run the numbers, but let's not forget this is a full martial progression character here. With buffs and easy flanking with Sliding Synthesis, that's fairly realistic against non-+2 level foes. I don't think the class should be built around this exact scenario, but I don't think you can discount it, either.

If I have time later today, I'm hoping to get some DPR samples between a "melee" Eldritch Shot and a Striking Spell, with both spell attacks and saving throws. But such a topic likely belongs in the spell accuracy thread, not so much the action economy one.


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Xethik wrote:

I don't disagree that casting a saving throw based spell separate of the Striking Spell (see my comment regarding that above) is often safer than attempting to Striking Spell with it. The only upside is the Degree of Success bump on a crit, and if your chance to entirely miss is around the same as your chance to crit, there isn't much of point aside from triggering a Synthesis ability.

BUT, if you are critting on a 17+, I think the math might be in your favor to Striking Spell. I'd have to run the numbers, but let's not forget this is a full martial progression character here. With buffs and easy flanking with Sliding Synthesis, that's fairly realistic against non-+2 level foes. I don't think the class should be built around this exact scenario, but I don't think you can discount it, either.

If I have time later today, I'm hoping to get some DPR samples between a "melee" Eldritch Shot and a Striking Spell, with both spell attacks and saving throws. But such a topic likely belongs in the spell accuracy thread, not so much the action economy one.

What you should really test. Is spell strike vs just attacking twice lol.

Scarab Sages

Martialmasters wrote:
Xethik wrote:

I don't disagree that casting a saving throw based spell separate of the Striking Spell (see my comment regarding that above) is often safer than attempting to Striking Spell with it. The only upside is the Degree of Success bump on a crit, and if your chance to entirely miss is around the same as your chance to crit, there isn't much of point aside from triggering a Synthesis ability.

BUT, if you are critting on a 17+, I think the math might be in your favor to Striking Spell. I'd have to run the numbers, but let's not forget this is a full martial progression character here. With buffs and easy flanking with Sliding Synthesis, that's fairly realistic against non-+2 level foes. I don't think the class should be built around this exact scenario, but I don't think you can discount it, either.

If I have time later today, I'm hoping to get some DPR samples between a "melee" Eldritch Shot and a Striking Spell, with both spell attacks and saving throws. But such a topic likely belongs in the spell accuracy thread, not so much the action economy one.

What you should really test. Is spell strike vs just attacking twice lol.

yeah, that's gonna be what I do in at least 1 game.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Martialmasters wrote:
Xethik wrote:

I don't disagree that casting a saving throw based spell separate of the Striking Spell (see my comment regarding that above) is often safer than attempting to Striking Spell with it. The only upside is the Degree of Success bump on a crit, and if your chance to entirely miss is around the same as your chance to crit, there isn't much of point aside from triggering a Synthesis ability.

BUT, if you are critting on a 17+, I think the math might be in your favor to Striking Spell. I'd have to run the numbers, but let's not forget this is a full martial progression character here. With buffs and easy flanking with Sliding Synthesis, that's fairly realistic against non-+2 level foes. I don't think the class should be built around this exact scenario, but I don't think you can discount it, either.

If I have time later today, I'm hoping to get some DPR samples between a "melee" Eldritch Shot and a Striking Spell, with both spell attacks and saving throws. But such a topic likely belongs in the spell accuracy thread, not so much the action economy one.

What you should really test. Is spell strike vs just attacking twice lol.

Hah, not wrong at all. I think without a Double Slice/Follow-up Strike style two attack at full MAP, hoooopefully the Striking Spell cantrip is better. But I suppose a Magus could pick up Double Slice and forgo their Synthesis, so I can try that as well.


My soloution would be to never have the spell dissipate. That way you can pre buff and you never waste spells


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Xethik wrote:
I don't disagree that casting a saving throw based spell separate of the Striking Spell (see my comment regarding that above) is often safer than attempting to Striking Spell with it.

I have a hard time justifying Striking Spell with a Cantrip vs a Strike and Electric Arc. With non-cantrip spells, I'm not betting on a crit: even if I bet on them, what did I gain? What I gained from a Crit, I most likely lost in the lower change to to hit or DC from the lower proficiency and casting stat. To me, it'd balance out to a normal Strike and casting a spell... :P


nicholas storm wrote:
My soloution would be to never have the spell dissipate. That way you can pre buff and you never waste spells

Or at least move the time limit on dissipation out to 1 minute. Then you don't really have to worry about what carrying around an extra spell into another combat might look like.

Even changing the dissipation, there'd still be some basic to-hit issues with Striking Spell though.


Xethik wrote:
But I suppose a Magus could pick up Double Slice and forgo their Synthesis, so I can try that as well.

It wouldn't "fix" Striking Spell, but I think there's an interesting Magus(Shooting Star)/Dual Weapon Warrior build to be had using throwing weapons, Dual Slice, Dual Thrower, Dual Onslaught.


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Reticent wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
My soloution would be to never have the spell dissipate. That way you can pre buff and you never waste spells

Or at least move the time limit on dissipation out to 1 minute. Then you don't really have to worry about what carrying around an extra spell into another combat might look like.

Even changing the dissipation, there'd still be some basic to-hit issues with Striking Spell though.

I tend to agree with this; I don't think the problem is the action economy at all (that really can't be better than it is for reasons that have been discussed) but rather the chance of wasting a spell through either low accuracy or missed opportunity.

Better proficiency and some sort of option to "hold the charge" a bit longer would fix that issue.


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MaxAstro wrote:
I don't think the problem is the action economy at all (that really can't be better than it is for reasons that have been discussed)

The reasons haven't been discussed, and don't really hold up.

All you've said is 'this can't be better because no-one has something like that'. That's not a conclusive or consistent argument at all; other classes have things that no-one else gets to make their core idea work.

P.S. Action economy is still a problem.
P.P.S. Striking Spell is arguably not even an accuracy enhancer; you're going to be hitting at a similar deficit to someone else's second strike, have a significant chance of being locked out of the 'second strike' by missing the first, and don't even get that arguable benefit if using a non spell-attack spell (as has been suggested).


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MaxAstro wrote:
Reticent wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
My soloution would be to never have the spell dissipate. That way you can pre buff and you never waste spells

Or at least move the time limit on dissipation out to 1 minute. Then you don't really have to worry about what carrying around an extra spell into another combat might look like.

Even changing the dissipation, there'd still be some basic to-hit issues with Striking Spell though.

I tend to agree with this; I don't think the problem is the action economy at all (that really can't be better than it is for reasons that have been discussed) but rather the chance of wasting a spell through either low accuracy or missed opportunity.

Better proficiency and some sort of option to "hold the charge" a bit longer would fix that issue.

Why can't the action economy be changed? Why can't spellstrike be 2 actions with martial accuracy and nerfed damage (and also some rider like it being the only attack trait you can have on your turn). I really think the signature mechanic of the magus should reliably hit and not take two turns to do. Any and all nerfs surrounding that to accommodate it are much more acceptable than what we have. As the magus is now I really don't want to use spellstrike


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graystone wrote:
What I think also influences a feeling of that you're missing out on the "I get to do this cool thing" is that Eldritch Archer JUST came out and showcased a "I get to do this cool thing" that does what the Magus is doing and is in every way better than Striking Spells...

Eh, I can get why we have Striking Spells instead of Eldritch Shot.

An explicit 3-action activity like ES wouldn't really work on a melee character at all, being able to break up your actions and be more flexible with it is definitely a boon for the Magus.

The problem I think is less with the fundamental structure of the ability and more with the payoff. The "improved" accuracy from not gaining MAP is just compensating for how bad your spell attack rolls are compared to your normal attacks, especially at higher levels... and suffering that accuracy issue with your spell is really punishing when you've got so few of them per day.

Right now it seems like the Magus is built around the idea that they don't get a big damage booster like every other martial (sans Champion) because they get to nova with their spells, but their spells are too unreliable right now, imo, for that to make sense.

Just fixing their accuracy would go a long way toward making the Magus feel better. You only get FOUR spells for the entire day, after all, so you should really be able to make them count.

Someone posted some math earlier suggesting a 1 in 3 chance of landing a spell against a same level enemy.

Honestly the odds are so bad right now I don't think it'd be unfair to just refund the spell slot if the Magus misses their spell attack, because you're eating up so many actions anyways.


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Throne wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
I don't think the problem is the action economy at all (that really can't be better than it is for reasons that have been discussed)

The reasons haven't been discussed, and don't really hold up.

All you've said is 'this can't be better because no-one has something like that'. That's not a conclusive or consistent argument at all; other classes have things that no-one else gets to make their core idea work.

P.S. Action economy is still a problem.
P.P.S. Striking Spell is arguably not even an accuracy enhancer; you're going to be hitting at a similar deficit to someone else's second strike, have a significant chance of being locked out of the 'second strike' by missing the first, and don't even get that arguable benefit if using a non spell-attack spell (as has been suggested).

I think a first level class feature that can be used at will giving both an action economy bump and MAP avoidance is a complete non-starter. It's simply not how the system is designed to work.

We have plenty of examples of action economy enhancers, and plenty of examples of MAP avoiders, and even at high levels you typically don't get to do both - Ranger is an arguable exception for one specific built at very high levels.

For a level 1 "all builds all day" ability, it's just not happening. If they drop it down to Striking as part of the cast action, you can guarantee that MAP will apply... but that has the same problem as not making a second roll for spell attacks: It makes saving throw spells either a strictly better or strictly worse option, depending on which you go for.

Your PPS is basically agreeing with what I am saying, though - that the accuracy is what is lacking.


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MaxAstro wrote:
I think a first level class feature that can be used at will giving both an action economy bump and MAP avoidance is a complete non-starter. It's simply not how the system is designed to work.

Except that it currently contains neither of those things.


Squiggit wrote:
graystone wrote:
What I think also influences a feeling of that you're missing out on the "I get to do this cool thing" is that Eldritch Archer JUST came out and showcased a "I get to do this cool thing" that does what the Magus is doing and is in every way better than Striking Spells...

Eh, I can get why we have Striking Spells instead of Eldritch Shot.

An explicit 3-action activity like ES wouldn't really work on a melee character at all, being able to break up your actions and be more flexible with it is definitely a boon for the Magus.

The problem I think is less with the fundamental structure of the ability and more with the payoff.

IMO, both the payoff and the fundamental structure are inferior.

On "explicit 3-action activity", Slide Casting is there for melee, using 3 action and movement. For Shooting Star, you're ranged. This only leaves Sustaining Steel as an issue: I'd rather do something about Sustaining Steel and Eldritch Shot type Striking Spells.


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A lot of martials' gimmick ability gets upgrades at higher level that makes them more effective.
Ranger's Flurry edge gives a bigger MAP reduction.
Barbarian's rage damage increases.
Champion's reactions get upgraded range, damage or defensive power.
The monk's unarmed strikes start to count as special metals, their movement speed increases.
The rogue get's a new effect to their sneak attack with debilitating strikes etc etc.

The magus has to be considered like a martial character on top of being a caster.

Scarab Sages

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Draco18s wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
I think a first level class feature that can be used at will giving both an action economy bump and MAP avoidance is a complete non-starter. It's simply not how the system is designed to work.
Except that it currently contains neither of those things.

yeah, all the math says it's functionally still got MAP. Right now we get neither of those things.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
graystone wrote:
What I think also influences a feeling of that you're missing out on the "I get to do this cool thing" is that Eldritch Archer JUST came out and showcased a "I get to do this cool thing" that does what the Magus is doing and is in every way better than Striking Spells...

Eh, I can get why we have Striking Spells instead of Eldritch Shot.

An explicit 3-action activity like ES wouldn't really work on a melee character at all, being able to break up your actions and be more flexible with it is definitely a boon for the Magus.

The problem I think is less with the fundamental structure of the ability and more with the payoff. The "improved" accuracy from not gaining MAP is just compensating for how bad your spell attack rolls are compared to your normal attacks, especially at higher levels... and suffering that accuracy issue with your spell is really punishing when you've got so few of them per day.

Right now it seems like the Magus is built around the idea that they don't get a big damage booster like every other martial (sans Champion) because they get to nova with their spells, but their spells are too unreliable right now, imo, for that to make sense.

Just fixing their accuracy would go a long way toward making the Magus feel better. You only get FOUR spells for the entire day, after all, so you should really be able to make them count.

Someone posted some math earlier suggesting a 1 in 3 chance of landing a spell against a same level enemy.

Honestly the odds are so bad right now I don't think it'd be unfair to just refund the spell slot if the Magus misses their spell attack, because you're eating up so many actions anyways.

I think when we're talking about Eldritch shot, people are really looking for the "attack roll" of the weapon strike to dictate the success of the spell, regardless of the number of actions it takes.

I think breaking it into seperate store and strike features is the way to go.

Let the spell hold in the weapon for up to a minute, then have a one action activity that does a weapon strike for delivery, that way it's more flexible. If nothing else, it's your 'its turn two (or the enemy already ran up to me) I'm standing in front of this foe and want to unload" technique.

Even nicer touch I just thought of-- you could make a feat that provides minor benefits for holding the spell in the weapon without delivery. Another way to help the Magus stretch it's tiny pool of spells.


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:


Even nicer touch I just thought of-- you could make a feat that provides minor benefits for holding the spell in the weapon without delivery. Another way to help the Magus stretch it's tiny pool of spells.

This kind of remind me of the Swashbuckler's Panache/Finisher mechanic.


graystone wrote:
On "explicit 3-action activity", Slide Casting is there for melee, using 3 action and movement. For Shooting Star, you're ranged. This only leaves Sustaining Steel as an issue: I'd rather do something about Sustaining Steel and Eldritch Shot type Striking Spells.

I'm not sure Shooting Star actually works. As a benefit you can make your spells ranged (out to the spell's own range, so not really a benefit) but if you miss the spell is wasted (MAYBE?)

As opposed to "have a free move action."


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Kalaam wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:


Even nicer touch I just thought of-- you could make a feat that provides minor benefits for holding the spell in the weapon without delivery. Another way to help the Magus stretch it's tiny pool of spells.

This kind of remind me of the Swashbuckler's Panache/Finisher mechanic.

That's intentional : )


The-Magic-Sword wrote:

I think when we're talking about Eldritch shot, people are really looking for the "attack roll" of the weapon strike to dictate the success of the spell, regardless of the number of actions it takes.

I think breaking it into seperate store and strike features is the way to go.

Let the spell hold in the weapon for up to a minute, then have a one action activity that does a weapon strike for delivery, that way it's more flexible. If nothing else, it's your 'its turn two (or the enemy already ran up to me) I'm standing in front of this foe and want to unload" technique.

Even nicer touch I just thought of-- you could make a feat that provides minor benefits for holding the spell in the weapon without delivery. Another way to help the Magus stretch it's tiny pool of spells.

Kalaam wrote:


This kind of remind me of the Swashbuckler's Panache/Finisher mechanic.

I love the idea of using striking spell like a swashbucklers panache. Getting half spell level to damage (or something like that) and 1 for cantrips with the same types that Bespell Strikes gives would be a really interesting way to use your limited spell slots.

A little less complicated would be allowing bespell weapon itself also last until you discharge. But building it in like Panache would and tagging the discharge strike as a finisher would be both really elegant, and I'm pretty probably also very fun.


The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Kalaam wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:


Even nicer touch I just thought of-- you could make a feat that provides minor benefits for holding the spell in the weapon without delivery. Another way to help the Magus stretch it's tiny pool of spells.

This kind of remind me of the Swashbuckler's Panache/Finisher mechanic.
That's intentional : )

I still prefer it to be two actions and weapon attack roll dependent. Just cut the spell damage in half for cantrips and call it a day. Then I can reliably do it every turn and 4 times a day I can reliably nuke something. Just making spellstrike an arcane power attack is all I honestly want.


Draco18s wrote:
graystone wrote:
On "explicit 3-action activity", Slide Casting is there for melee, using 3 action and movement. For Shooting Star, you're ranged. This only leaves Sustaining Steel as an issue: I'd rather do something about Sustaining Steel and Eldritch Shot type Striking Spells.

I'm not sure Shooting Star actually works. As a benefit you can make your spells ranged (out to the spell's own range, so not really a benefit) but if you miss the spell is wasted (MAYBE?)

As opposed to "have a free move action."

With the playtest Striking Spells, it works but it's not very good. If it worked like Eldritch Shot, it'd be a huge improvement as you hit with the improved chance to hit from your weapon and your Key stat.

And on spells ranges can be quite far: even a Ray of Frost is 120' and gets an improved chance to hit.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
WWHsmackdown wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Kalaam wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:


Even nicer touch I just thought of-- you could make a feat that provides minor benefits for holding the spell in the weapon without delivery. Another way to help the Magus stretch it's tiny pool of spells.

This kind of remind me of the Swashbuckler's Panache/Finisher mechanic.
That's intentional : )
I still prefer it to be two actions and weapon attack roll dependent. Just cut the spell damage in half for cantrips and call it a day. Then I can reliably do it every turn and 4 times a day I can reliably nuke something. Just making spellstrike an arcane power attack is all I honestly want.

I think both alternatives are viable and better than the current version.

I would favor a once per round free action on top of the Cast a Spell activity. If it feels unbalanced, maybe not allowing cantrips to work with it or halve the damage like you propose.

Having the charge last longer seems the way to go if they adopt the two attack rolls approach


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MaxAstro wrote:


I think a first level class feature that can be used at will giving both an action economy bump and MAP avoidance is a complete non-starter. It's simply not how the system is designed to work.

...

Your PPS is basically agreeing with what I am saying, though - that the accuracy is what is lacking.

Just repeating the claim that 'no-one can have this mechanic because no-one has this mechanic!' doesn't make it a better argument.

My PPS, as you well know, is pointing out that Striking Spell isn't really MAP avoidance, so shouldn't even lock the ability out of an economy bump if we accept your argument (which I don't, obviously), as others have also pointed out.
Stop arguing in bad faith.


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I've been thinking about Striking Spells and I think It'd be better as a free action.

Striking Spell [Free Action]
[Metamagic, Abjuration, Magical, Summoner, Flourish]
Trigger Your last action was a hit with a melee Strike
Add the item bonus from the weapon or unarmed attack used in the triggering Strike to your arcane spell attacks and DCs for the spell and the spell doesn't count as a manipulate action for reaction triggers.


Puna'chong wrote:
as far as I know you can't up-slot a spell without heightening, so... It'll take some consideration for me to decide whether I dig it.

Figured I'd weigh in on this. You can heighten any spell to any (higher) level. Spells with heighten entries get bonuses when you do so.

https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=273

Player's Guide P.299 wrote:
In addition, many spells have additional specific benefits when they are heightened, such as increased damage. These extra benefits are described at the end of the spell’s stat block. Some heightened entries specify one or more levels at which the spell must be prepared or cast to gain these extra advantages. Each of these heightened entries states specifically which aspects of the spell change at the given level. Read the heightened entry only for the spell level you’re using or preparing; if its benefits are meant to include any of the effects of a lower-level heightened entry, those benefits will be included in the entry.


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Xethik wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
Xethik wrote:

I don't disagree that casting a saving throw based spell separate of the Striking Spell (see my comment regarding that above) is often safer than attempting to Striking Spell with it. The only upside is the Degree of Success bump on a crit, and if your chance to entirely miss is around the same as your chance to crit, there isn't much of point aside from triggering a Synthesis ability.

BUT, if you are critting on a 17+, I think the math might be in your favor to Striking Spell. I'd have to run the numbers, but let's not forget this is a full martial progression character here. With buffs and easy flanking with Sliding Synthesis, that's fairly realistic against non-+2 level foes. I don't think the class should be built around this exact scenario, but I don't think you can discount it, either.

If I have time later today, I'm hoping to get some DPR samples between a "melee" Eldritch Shot and a Striking Spell, with both spell attacks and saving throws. But such a topic likely belongs in the spell accuracy thread, not so much the action economy one.

What you should really test. Is spell strike vs just attacking twice lol.
Hah, not wrong at all. I think without a Double Slice/Follow-up Strike style two attack at full MAP, hoooopefully the Striking Spell cantrip is better. But I suppose a Magus could pick up Double Slice and forgo their Synthesis, so I can try that as well.

Okay, so this morning I finally ran through some scenarios. Unfortunately, I'm awful of branching probabilities, so I kind of did things the hard way. I've got my math to share here, if anyone wants to look. But be warned, it looks like a middle schooler's homework:

Level 7 Magus DPR

The TL;DR is that Eldritch Shot-style damage and Striking Spell are near equivalent. Over two rounds, Eldritch Shot has an expected 0.062665 (a 0.2% difference, I believe) increase in DPR. They are functionally identical in expected damage.

Additionally, even without flanking or any status bonus to hit, Striking Spell + Cantrip + Strike is better than Save Cantrip + Strike by about 15% against a same level foe. Against higher level foes, it's likely not using Striking Spell increases in favor, but you can counteract the AC improvements pretty easily with features built into the class. Even without that, I'm guessing it would only ever catch up, but not surpass. Just attack spamming is much worse, overall.

A Barbarian has a small advantage over the Magus cantrip spam, but this seems like a good thing: the Magus has spell slots to use and we have totally discounted them. The Magus should be slightly below the baseline of a raging Barbarian or attacking Ranger, but peak up over them when casting spells.

Overall, I don't think the Striking Spell accuracy complaint is totally valid; it isn't really any worse than Eldritch Shot and you are more consistently doing something with your spells rather than nothing. How the action economy feels is another discussion, but I did want to hold up my math promise in this thread.

Again, hopefully someone better at complex probability and variable spreadsheets can take this sort of info and make a nice sheet out of it with adjustable buffs/debuffs/enemy levels. A lot of what I've seen totally discounts a second round of attempts to Striking Spell discharge, or neglects the Degree of Success entirely.

Scarab Sages

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It's a little difficult to interpret your numbers, but I believe that you are not multiplying the spell chances by the chance that the attack hits in the first place. That will significantly lower the expected damage.

You have a 45% chance to hit but not crit with the attack, and a 15% chance to crit with the attack. That makes your expected damage with the spell on round 1:

.45 x 11.7 = 5.265

Or with a crit weapon attack:

.15 x 22.95 = 3.4425

For a total expected damage from the spell on round 1 of 8.7075.

(EDIT: Adding in the damage from the weapon attack: .45 x 18.5 + .15 x 18.5 = 13.875 for a 1st round expected damage of 22.5825. Just casting the spell and attacking would be 11.7 + 13.875 for 25.575)

It's that chance that the spell does 0 that makes the difference and why the math isn't going to work out in the Magus's favor. If you ignore that, things look a lot better, but it's a mirage. Yes, you get to carry the spell over into the next round, but if you just cast the spell in the first round, you could cast it again in the second round in place of your -5 attack, and you're still going to do more damage on average than using striking spell.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:

It's a little difficult to interpret your numbers, but I believe that you are not multiplying the spell chances by the chance that the attack hits in the first place. That will significantly lower the expected damage.

You have a 45% chance to hit but not crit with the attack, and a 15% chance to crit with the attack. That makes your expected damage with the spell on round 1:

.45 x 11.7 = 5.265

Or with a crit weapon attack:

.15 x 22.95 = 3.4425

For a total expected damage from the spell on round 1 of 8.7075.

It's that chance that the spell does 0 that makes the difference and why the math isn't going to work out in the Magus's favor. If you ignore that, things look a lot better, but it's a mirage. Yes, you get to carry the spell over into the next round, but if you just cast the spell in the first round, you could cast it again in the second round in place of your -5 attack, and you're still going to do more damage on average than using striking spell.

Yes, to say that my math is difficult to interpret is a bit of an understatement, hah.

With most of the numbers, I am only taking into account the chance to hit at all. Additionally, I am using a save spell in this case, but I would like to redo the math with an attack spell.

To clarify some things: When you see an 11.7 or a 22.95 in the calculations, that is the expected damage of the cantrip normally and when the source is from a critical Striking Spell. These values are always multiplied by the chance to be in the current scenario (AKA, the hit you are making). At the end of the document, scenario I represents the chance to never discharge the spell and the DPR takes all of that into account. With the round 2 numbers, I am also dividing the expected damage by two, to average out the values after two rounds of combat.

I didn't calculate it, but it is possible that if you miss your two full MAP attacks, you are better off to just cast a second cantrip and give up on your first cantrip cast. It's possible that would be slightly better, but you are already in the realm of bad damage at that point so it is a bit of a moot point. I do assume that you cast a second cantrip if one of your first two MAP strikes connects.

EDIT: Additionally, I have the hit chance (but not crit) at 55%, not 45%. Is that incorrect?
Most of the text above the SCENARIO line is setup for later referencing. If you can read and grok the scenario bit, I think that should cover the DPR calculations.

Scarab Sages

I didn't factor flank in, but basically if you can hit by 10 or more, you're always going to have a .45% chance to hit but not crit, because anything that results in hitting by 10 or more is a crit.

I thought the numbers in the rest of your document were round 2, since you have a -5 and -10 attack in there (which are more likely to be -4 and -8, since there's incentive to use an agile weapon).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

To more explicitly comment on your chance to hit * damage, it is being taken into account as follows

Quote:


A: 15%, 30 + 22.95 = 7.9425
B: 50%, 15 + 11.7 = 13.35

The 7.9425 and 13.35 are derived from .15 * 52.95 and .50 * 26.7, correspondingly.

If you wanted to get the expected damage from just the spell, you'd just have to remove the weapon damage, which gives you .15 * 22.95 + .50 * 11.7 = 9.2925

Which, yes, is less than 11.7 (the normal expected damage). HOWEVER, at the bottom of the page I have the calculations for how much damage you should expect from the spell discharge alone on a subsequent round by just attacking. That math is

Quote:
.15 * 22.95 + .50 * 11.7 + . 35 * .05 * 22.95 + .35 * .35 * 11.7 + .35 * .6 * .05 * 22.95 + .35 * .6 * .1 * 11.7 + .35 * .6 * .85 * 0

That ends up equaling 11.61405. If you just attack until you hit in round 2, that is the expected damage from the cantrip. We can multiply that by 35% to account for the chance to miss in round one, to give us 4.0649175.

In total, the anticipated damage from spending your two actions round 1 on the cantrip is the sum of those numbers, or 13.3574175, which is slightly higher than the 11.7 expected of the cantrip alone. This does not include the weapon damage, just the cantrip damage. If you look at the numbers above (and can make sense of them) you should be able to remove attack 2 and 3 from the calculation if you want to enable yourself to recast the cantirp with the last two actions of round 2, hit or miss of the first cantrip Strike.

I apologize for being so confusing. I assume these numbers will not make sense after even several readings, but I'd be happy to elaborate on my math/theory.

EDIT: To your last post, ignore the round 2 stuff. I'd just look at the scenarios. The math above that is all reference work for what is below.

And yeah, I could make it an agile weapon but I believe it would lower the weapon die to a 1d6 unless you have an advanced weapon like the Aldori Dueling Sword? Might still be worth it.

EDIT2: I have to redo the above math due to an off by one error. It should now be correct.

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