Striking Spells Action Economy


Magus Class

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Ferious Thune wrote:

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.

Ah, yup. I definitely screwed something up when messing around with Magus Potency. I'll try to fix that up later today but I think it should only hurt the Magus compared to other classes, not the Magus internal comparison.


Just to query:
After two full rounds, your expected damage is 13 (ish) having cast the cantrip once.
Have you considered that if you miss the first two attacks, but cast the cantrip twice, your expected damage on the "cantrip+strike" side goes up?


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Just let my Magus do cool s#$+ from the get go. I don't need wildly innacurate damage spreadsheets that don't represent the moment to moment play. I just want a Magus that feels fun to play. Having a feature that requires 3 actions and 2 rolls for these actions with one of theses rolls on a much lower hit chance is definitely not "cool s!++".

Most people here already saw that the best Synthesis is Slide and it's for a very, very, very simple and obvious reason: It allows you to play a Magus like you would in PF1e.

The problems with the Magus core mechanic doesn't lie in DPR calculations (that aren't useful), it lies in mechanical elegance. An Eldritch Archer can afford a 3 action Spell+Strike Combo because it is leveraging the accuracy for Strikes AND it's doing it from afar, most Magus characters will want to be in the thick of it doing their cool stuff with their various weapons, relegating mobility to a single Synthesis is creating a problem for all other builds that only Slide will have the solution, thus becoming the only way to play a fun Magus.

Classes should deliver everything you need to play your concept from the start. Creating artificial difficulties to be bought later is old edition design, full of feat taxes, mandatory options. We already have a class suffering from this old design, it's the Alchemist, let's not let the Magus end up the same way. We all want the Magus class to be able to do amazing things with their spell+combat prowess (that's spell plus combat not spell then combat), things like Capture Spell, Spirit Sheath, Portal Slide (that should become a feat accessible to any magus, because Striding with your Striking Spell should be a basic feature), School Shroud and several other feats show that there are interesting ideas for the class, the focus now is to bring this creativity to its main shtick.


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Draco18s wrote:

Just to query:

After two full rounds, your expected damage is 13 (ish) having cast the cantrip once.
Have you considered that if you miss the first two attacks, but cast the cantrip twice, your expected damage on the "cantrip+strike" side goes up?

Yeah I do need to check that. It's a pretty low contribution area to the damage number but it is worth checking for non-agile weapons. Unfortunately my brute force methodology takes a while, so I probably won't get to that today (I have a game tonight I should actually prep for).

Also, I believe I have fixed up the numbers (I think) for my sheet. Probably still inaccurate, as I am calculating a 50% chance to hit, not a 45%. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, so I'll need to adjust once I find the discrepancy.

It seems to make sense as a 45% since intuitively there are 9 values between your hit and crit? If you hit on an 8, you crit on a 18. But I think if you consider it as you hit on the following:
AC + 0, AC + 1, AC + 2, AC + 3, AC + 4, AC + 5, AC + 6, AC + 7, AC + 8, AC + 9
There are ten values there, so that equates to a 50% hit chance. Am I still messing something up? Or is the 45% an off-by-one issue?

With my new and still wildly inaccurate numbers, it looks like Striking Spell actually beats out the Eldritch Shot method. It does bring the Cantrip + Strike closer to Striking Spell, but surprisingly not by too much even though I was giving MAP 0 attacks a +5% chance to hit.


I do believe that the spell accuracy is the core issue atm.

Let spellstrike be the accuracy booster that they want it to be, and capitalise on "crit with weapon= increased spell accuracy" as the payoff of the magus.

Scarab Sages

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Ah, no, you're right. 50%, not 45%. Adjusting my numbers. Hope I've got it right now.
To try to talk this through:

Calculations:
Weapon attack : +17 (w/Potency)
Spell attack: +13

Average damage from a weapon hit: 15
Average damage from a weapon hit w/ Bespell Strike: 18.5 (You only get Bespell on the round you cast.)

Average damage from the spell: 11.7
Average damage from the spell when weapon attack crits: 22.95.

Round 1 you have to cast the spell. Two actions cast, free Stride if you need it, Strike. This is assuming Weapon Potency, though you probably won't have that on round 1 if you're doing all of this. It is not assuming flank.

With Striking Spell:

.50 [Chance to hit] x 18.5 + .15 x 37 + .50 x 11.7 + .15 x 22.95 = 24.0925 expected damage for round 1

Without Striking Spell:

.50 x 18.5 +.15 x 37 + 11.7 = 26.5 expected damage from casting the spell then attacking.

If you need to stride to get to the enemy, then you use Striking Spell. If not, then you don't.

Round 2, assuming the enemy doesn't move anywhere and you can attack three times:

1st attack (no more Bespell Weapon): .50 x 15 + .15 x 30 = 12

2nd attack (-4): .4 x 15 + .05 x 30 = 7.5

3rd Attack (-8): .2 x 15 + .05 x 30 = 4.5

Total expected weapon damage: 24
Incidentally, this is how much damage you could expect from just attacking three times on round 1.

Chance that spell occurs on round 2:
85.56% chance at least one attack hits
14.44% chance none of the attacks hit

18.06% chance that the attack that triggers the spell crits (.15 [1st attack crits] + .35x.05 [1st attack misses, 2nd crits] + .35x.75x.05 [1st and 2nd miss, 3rd crits)
81.94% chance no attack crits

.8556 x (.8194 x 11.7 + .1806 x 22.95) = 13.13 expected damage from spell if carried over.


One Round:

Round 1 w/ Striking Spell: 24.0925 expected damage

Round 1 w/o Striking Spell: 26.5 expected damage

Two Rounds:

Round 1: Miss, Round 2: 3 attacks w/ held spell:
Expected damage: 37.13
(round 1 damage was 0, because the attack had to miss in order for the spell to still be there)

Round 1: Cast Spell (no Striking Spell), Strike. Round 2 repeat.
2 x 26.5 = 53 expected damage (fixed to account for 50% hit)

Round 1: 3 attacks (no spell), Round 2 repeat:
2x (24) = 48 expected damage

Since it's a cantrip we're dealing with, you're better off casting the spell then attacking if you can. If you have to move up, then it's worth using Striking Spell. But not because it does more damage. Because of the extra action to Stride. Introducing the chance that the spell misses completely makes the expected damage lower than just casting the spell twice.

Someone better at probabilities check me on this. I'm sure there's a more efficient way I could have calculated things.

EDIT: One more two round variation. What if you make a single weapon attack first, then cast the spell into your weapon. That gives:

Round 1: .5x15 + .15x30 = 12
Round 2: 37.13

Total: 49.13

So that's slightly ahead of just attacking 3 times with no spell, but still behind casting the spell twice normally and attacking twice normaly.


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

Ah, no, you're right. 50%, not 45%. Adjusting my numbers. Hope I've got it right now.

To try to talk this through:

** spoiler omitted **
One Round:

Round 1 w/ Striking Spell: 24.0925 expected damage

Round 1 w/o Striking Spell: 26.5 expected damage

Two Rounds:

Round 1: Miss, Round 2: 3 attacks w/ held spell:
Expected damage: 37.13
(round 1...

I think your two round Striking Spell case ignores the possibility of hitting with the spell attack 1 of round 2, and casting a cantrip with remaining two actions. Which is better than attacking twice with a non-spell charged weapon, certainly.

RE: your edit,
I think there is no major reason to attack once and then Striking Spell, unless your weapon is charged with a spell already.


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Lightning Raven wrote:

Most people here already saw that the best Synthesis is Slide and it's for a very, very, very simple and obvious reason: It allows you to play a Magus like you would in PF1e.

I entirely agree with your points, and I'd even argue that Sliding is the synthesis that is the minimum to allow you to play a Magus like you would in PF2e. It fits the basic P2e paradigm; you do your unique mechanical thing with a bit of room to spare. Your entire turn isn't just standing still and full attacking.

I think just being able to move and do a spellstrike is the minimum for a Magus to fit into 2e's design. Everything else can be layered on top of that. But you have to start with a modular design that works right out of the box, or else--like you said--you end up like the Alchemist and spend resources patching holes in design while other classes spend resources adding more cool tools to their kits.

Edit: I'll also say this.

I think something like "Magus is ackchyually 5% more accurate using a spell and striking than a Fighter/Wizard" or some other dubious whiteboard forum "advantage" is not a rad, compelling niche for the average player.

I think "Woah, the Magus gets to chase down an enemy, cast a spell, AND swing their sword in the same turn!?" is rad, and is a niche. Much the same as "Woah, the Monk can jump through the air, kick an enemy, and then punch them twice?!" is a rad, visceral thing. It's not an advantage you have to calculate with a spreadsheet to understand. It's compelling, it's cool, and it justifies the existence of an entire class based around the marriage of sword and sorcery.


Puna'chong wrote:
I'd even argue that Sliding is the synthesis that is the minimum to allow you to play a Magus like you would in PF2e

Should that be a PF1?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Throne wrote:
Just repeating the claim that 'no-one can have this mechanic because no-one has this mechanic!' doesn't make it a better argument.

It doesn't need to be a better argument, it's a fine argument. It's not hard to see what the expectations of the system are.

Out of curiosity, if someone proposed a class that gets master proficiency in martial weapons at first level, what argument would you make against it other than "this is completely out of line with the expectations of the system"?

Throne wrote:
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.

Don't tell me what I know.

It honestly hadn't occurred to me to look at it like that. I'll grant that might be a way to do it, but I think it's a bad way to do it. I think the accuracy issue is larger than any potential action economy issue, especially since you can't avoid having two attack rolls without making attack roll spells vastly better than saving throw spells. Plus, the action economy gives the Magus a degree of flexibility to work with feats like Dispelling Strike.

Throne wrote:
Stop arguing in bad faith.

I can hardly stop doing something I haven't started doing. Stop telling me what my motivations are.


Draco18s wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:
I'd even argue that Sliding is the synthesis that is the minimum to allow you to play a Magus like you would in PF2e
Should that be a PF1?

No, that was explicitly my point. Sliding is the synthesis that lets you play P2e. It feels like the correct choice for so many people because it's the choice that most closely matches what makes combat in P2e feel dynamic and fun for most classes.

Scarab Sages

Xethik wrote:

I think your two round Striking Spell case ignores the possibility of hitting with the spell attack 1 of round 2, and casting a cantrip with remaining two actions. Which is better than attacking twice with a non-spell charged weapon, certainly.

RE: your edit,
I think there is no major reason to attack once and then Striking Spell, unless your weapon is charged with a spell already.

I did not include that option, but it's close to a wash and actually in favor of the attacks instead of the spell.

Assuming the attack hits, it would crit 23.08% of those hits. That would be:

15 + .2308 x 15 + .7692 x 11.7 + .2308 x 22.95 + 11.7 = 59.4585

vs attacking two additional times:

15 + .2308 x 15 + .7692 x 11.7 + .2308 x 22.95 + 7.5 + 4.5 = 59.7585

Bespell Weapon is really what makes casting a cantrip then attacking better in the original scenario, because you're getting the extra 1d6 for free. Otherwise attacking with your -4 and -8 is going to do 12 expected damage vs. 11.7 from the cantrip and actually be better.


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Puna'chong wrote:


I think just being able to move and do a spellstrike is the minimum for a Magus to fit into 2e's design. Everything else can be layered on top of that. But you have to start with a modular design that works right out of the box, or else--like you said--you end up like the Alchemist and spend resources patching holes in design while other classes spend resources adding more cool tools to their kits.

That's always the core of my complaints for any class. I want them to be able to perform what they are supposed to do when you make your career choice. It is unfair that some classes get to do their thing from the get go, and sometimes with amazing chassis, while others need to be jumping unnecessary hoops.

I've noticed one thing recently while creating my character for the Iron Kingdoms RPG, and its playstyle is very similar to war game, one of my careers (basically a class,but with less progression) was Alchemist. I noticed, while reading each feature, was that it gave me everything I would need to draw and throw a bomb without throwing a wrench on my action economy, at all. Even the Granadier's Bandolier, an item that makes it a free action to draw a alchemical grenade, was GIVEN to me, from the get go. So this character of mine is a Field Mechanik, which means I have an Iron Giant to fight with me (also given, despite it costing roughly 10K gold, putting it on PF2e's terms, but in this system, there's a lot less power tied to leveling) and as my second career I got an Alchemist, that gave me everything I would need to lob bombs without a huge hassle (I still have to craft/buy the items).

That's basically what I think all classes should offer. You make a choice and it allows you to play like that. With leveling you either get better at doing what you already do (precision, speed, frequency, etc) or can do things differently, actual options. Creating problems to be solved with feats is basically the whole design philosophy behind Archery feats in Pathfinder 1e.


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Puna'chong wrote:

I entirely agree with your points, and I'd even argue that Sliding is the synthesis that is the minimum to allow you to play a Magus like you would in PF2e. It fits the basic P2e paradigm; you do your unique mechanical thing with a bit of room to spare. Your entire turn isn't just standing still and full attacking.

I think just being able to move and do a spellstrike is the minimum for a Magus to fit into 2e's design. Everything else can be layered on top of that. But you have to start with a modular design that works right out of the box, or else--like you said--you end up like the Alchemist and spend resources patching holes in design while other classes spend resources adding more cool tools to their kits.

Hot take: Make the free Stride a base part of the class, and pull the crit-fishing aspect of Striking Spell out and throw it into a synthesis?


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Ferious Thune wrote:
Xethik wrote:

I think your two round Striking Spell case ignores the possibility of hitting with the spell attack 1 of round 2, and casting a cantrip with remaining two actions. Which is better than attacking twice with a non-spell charged weapon, certainly.

RE: your edit,
I think there is no major reason to attack once and then Striking Spell, unless your weapon is charged with a spell already.

I did not include that option, but it's close to a wash and actually in favor of the attacks instead of the spell.

Assuming the attack hits, it would crit 23.08% of those hits. That would be:

15 + .2308 x 15 + .7692 x 11.7 + .2308 x 22.95 + 11.7 = 59.4585

vs attacking two additional times:

15 + .2308 x 15 + .7692 x 11.7 + .2308 x 22.95 + 7.5 + 4.5 = 59.7585

Bespell Weapon is really what makes casting a cantrip then attacking better in the original scenario, because you're getting the extra 1d6 for free. Otherwise attacking with your -4 and -8 is going to do 12 expected damage vs. 11.7 from the cantrip and actually be better.

bespell is only for spellslot spells, not cantrips.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ah, yup. I did not include Bespell Weapon in my sheet (other than a mention, it went unincluded in the following scenario calculations) because I did not want to factor in feats. But also the cantrip part is important, too.


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Ressy wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:

I entirely agree with your points, and I'd even argue that Sliding is the synthesis that is the minimum to allow you to play a Magus like you would in PF2e. It fits the basic P2e paradigm; you do your unique mechanical thing with a bit of room to spare. Your entire turn isn't just standing still and full attacking.

I think just being able to move and do a spellstrike is the minimum for a Magus to fit into 2e's design. Everything else can be layered on top of that. But you have to start with a modular design that works right out of the box, or else--like you said--you end up like the Alchemist and spend resources patching holes in design while other classes spend resources adding more cool tools to their kits.

Hot take: Make the free Stride a base part of the class, and pull the crit-fishing aspect of Striking Spell out and throw it into a synthesis?

I like this. A full on crit fishing nova synthesis would be fun, but isn't what I want to be forced to do to play a Magus.

Scarab Sages

shroudb wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Xethik wrote:

I think your two round Striking Spell case ignores the possibility of hitting with the spell attack 1 of round 2, and casting a cantrip with remaining two actions. Which is better than attacking twice with a non-spell charged weapon, certainly.

RE: your edit,
I think there is no major reason to attack once and then Striking Spell, unless your weapon is charged with a spell already.

I did not include that option, but it's close to a wash and actually in favor of the attacks instead of the spell.

Assuming the attack hits, it would crit 23.08% of those hits. That would be:

15 + .2308 x 15 + .7692 x 11.7 + .2308 x 22.95 + 11.7 = 59.4585

vs attacking two additional times:

15 + .2308 x 15 + .7692 x 11.7 + .2308 x 22.95 + 7.5 + 4.5 = 59.7585

Bespell Weapon is really what makes casting a cantrip then attacking better in the original scenario, because you're getting the extra 1d6 for free. Otherwise attacking with your -4 and -8 is going to do 12 expected damage vs. 11.7 from the cantrip and actually be better.

bespell is only for spellslot spells, not cantrips.

Ah, yeah. So let me fix those numbers.

EDIT:

Round 1 w/ Striking Spell
.50 [Chance to hit] x 15 + .15 x 30 + .50 x 11.7 + .15 x 22.95 = 21.295

Round 1 w/o Striking Spell:

.50 x 15 +.15 x 30 + 11.7 = 23.7

Round 1 w/ 3 attacks:

.50 x 15 + .15 x 30 + .40 x 15 + .05 x 30 + .20 x 15 + .05 x 30 = 24

So you are actually better just attacking three times if you can, by the same .3 damage margin.


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Puna'chong wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:

Most people here already saw that the best Synthesis is Slide and it's for a very, very, very simple and obvious reason: It allows you to play a Magus like you would in PF1e.

I entirely agree with your points, and I'd even argue that Sliding is the synthesis that is the minimum to allow you to play a Magus like you would in PF2e. It fits the basic P2e paradigm; you do your unique mechanical thing with a bit of room to spare. Your entire turn isn't just standing still and full attacking.

I think just being able to move and do a spellstrike is the minimum for a Magus to fit into 2e's design. Everything else can be layered on top of that. But you have to start with a modular design that works right out of the box, or else--like you said--you end up like the Alchemist and spend resources patching holes in design while other classes spend resources adding more cool tools to their kits.

Edit: I'll also say this.

I think something like "Magus is ackchyually 5% more accurate using a spell and striking than a Fighter/Wizard" or some other dubious whiteboard forum "advantage" is not a rad, compelling niche for the average player.

I think "Woah, the Magus gets to chase down an enemy, cast a spell, AND swing their sword in the same turn!?" is rad, and is a niche. Much the same as "Woah, the Monk can jump through the air, kick an enemy, and then punch them twice?!" is a rad, visceral thing. It's not an advantage you have to calculate with a spreadsheet to understand. It's compelling, it's cool, and it justifies the existence of an entire class based around the marriage of sword and sorcery.

100 percent agree. I just want spellstrike to be two actions so I have a floater action like every other class doing their MAIN SCHTICK. I'm more than welcome to nerf the damage accordingly if it's too much


Puna'chong wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Puna'chong wrote:
I'd even argue that Sliding is the synthesis that is the minimum to allow you to play a Magus like you would in PF2e
Should that be a PF1?
No, that was explicitly my point. Sliding is the synthesis that lets you play P2e. It feels like the correct choice for so many people because it's the choice that most closely matches what makes combat in P2e feel dynamic and fun for most classes.

*Thumbsup*

Just wanted to make sure I was parsing correctly.


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

It doesn't need to be a better argument, it's a fine argument. It's not hard to see what the expectations of the system are.

Out of curiosity, if someone proposed a class that gets master proficiency in martial weapons at first level, what argument would you make against it other than "this is completely out of line with the expectations of the system"?

Not that I disagree as a whole (you should look at the baseline), but I could conceive of a class or archetype with Master in martial weapons that's reasonable. Namely, they only can do so with d4 weapons. I'm not sure I would argue that that's a good choice, but its certainly not innately wrong to have something that steps out of the current expectations of the system. Damage based exceptions are especially easy to consider, as DPR calculations to things within expectation aren't too hard to do. They should be looked at with caution, but not excluded as a whole.

MaxAstro wrote:


Throne wrote:
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.

Don't tell me what I know.

It honestly hadn't occurred to me to look at it like that. I'll grant that might be a way to do it, but I think it's a bad way to do it. I think the accuracy issue is larger than any potential action economy issue, especially since you can't avoid having two attack rolls without making attack roll spells vastly better than saving throw spells. Plus, the action economy gives the Magus a degree of flexibility to work with feats like Dispelling Strike.

It adds a little text, but you can always make saving throw spells also dependent on the hit. Such as: If you hit with your strike treat the result of the spell as a failure, if you critically hit with the strike treat the result as a critical failure.

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