Welcome to the Secrets of Magic Playtest!


Secrets of Magic Playtest General Discussion

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

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Hello, magic fans! This thread is for general input on the Secrets of Magic playtest. You'll find separate subforums for the magus and summoner class as well, which will be the best place to give specific input on those. This forum is for any issue that involves all classes, and for other discussion about the playtest. Please do keep this forum all about the playtest. You can find threads about other Secrets of Magic topics elsewhere on the forums. Note that off-topic threads might get moved within this forum or to other parts of the forums if necessary.

Hope people are enjoying their first look at these future classes!

Just to restate what I said in the launch blog: Please be respectful and considerate to the other posters. Everybody's looking to improve the game!


I like what the designers are doing with this new "half-caster" mechanic. While 4 spells PER DAY is certainly limiting, being able to cast up to 9th level spells is huge. One of the biggest downsides seems to be the lack of low-level utility... For example, if you were a 13th-level magus, when you're able to cast 6th and 7th level spells grabbing staple utility spells like Invisibility, Mirror Image, Dimension Door are going to be VERY costly, considering you are going to be giving up a 6th or 7th level slot for maybe a 4th level spell??? It just seems like no player in practice is going to make that trade off.
However, the designers added the "Martial Caster" level 6 feat to address this. Basically, adding an extra 2 slots per day to prepare mainly movement oriented utility spells. I think it would really add to the versatility and customization of the class if there were more feats like this available. Maybe an Illusion focused one that adds Invisibility, Mirror Image, Illusory Disguise etc..


only 4 spells slots is too little.

And a feat does not help, its a feat tax for something that is needed to play the class.


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Why does the magus make 2 hit rolls. For the weapon, and the spell on the weapon?

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Moppy wrote:
Why does the magus make 2 hit rolls. For the weapon, and the spell on the weapon?

Yes. The spell needs its own attack or save. This is probably to prevent the swinginess of a single critical hit roll doubling the effect of the weapon and spell. Or a weak AC but strong save creature being affected overly by a punishing spell effect.


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Paul Watson wrote:
Moppy wrote:
Why does the magus make 2 hit rolls. For the weapon, and the spell on the weapon?
Yes. The spell needs its own attack or save. This is probably to prevent the swinginess of a single critical hit roll doubling the effect of the weapon and spell. Or a weak AC but strong save creature being affected overly by a punishing spell effect.

Why does the Eldritch Archer make only 1 roll?

https://2e.aonprd.com/Archetypes.aspx?ID=59

Activate Three Actions Eldritch Shot; Requirements You are wielding a bow; Effect You Cast a Spell that takes 1 or 2 actions to cast and requires a spell attack roll. The effects of the spell do not occur immediately but are imbued into the bow you're wielding. Make a Strike with that bow. Your spell flies with the ammunition, using your attack roll result to determine the effects of both the Strike and the spell. This counts as two attacks for your multiple attack penalty, but you don't apply the penalty until after you've completed both attacks.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Moppy wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Moppy wrote:
Why does the magus make 2 hit rolls. For the weapon, and the spell on the weapon?
Yes. The spell needs its own attack or save. This is probably to prevent the swinginess of a single critical hit roll doubling the effect of the weapon and spell. Or a weak AC but strong save creature being affected overly by a punishing spell effect.

Why does the Eldritch Archer make only 1 roll?

https://2e.aonprd.com/Archetypes.aspx?ID=59

Activate Three Actions Eldritch Shot; Requirements You are wielding a bow; Effect You Cast a Spell that takes 1 or 2 actions to cast and requires a spell attack roll. The effects of the spell do not occur immediately but are imbued into the bow you're wielding. Make a Strike with that bow. Your spell flies with the ammunition, using your attack roll result to determine the effects of both the Strike and the spell. This counts as two attacks for your multiple attack penalty, but you don't apply the penalty until after you've completed both attacks.

No idea, but Magus striking spell isn’t limited to attack spells. Are you ok with a hit on, say, a wizard automatically causing, say, confusion because their AC is significantly lower than their will save?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think the system as designed works, with a few tweaks in favor of the player, with saving throw spells. However, spell attack rolls really should just be subsumed into the spellstrike attack roll, in my opinion. It would ease up the weird math but also just give it a better feel.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I dislike the double roll as well. For spells that require an attack roll, I think it can be a single roll from the Magus. For spells with a saving throw, the target still gets a saving throw (I'm not rolling that die, so I don't mind as much the 2 dice in this scenario).

The increased effect on a critical from the strike balances against the choice that I may miss entirely and waste the confusion spell, from Paul's example. If I hit and do well, it makes it a little harder for the wizard to resist.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BishopMcQ wrote:

I dislike the double roll as well. For spells that require an attack roll, I think it can be a single roll from the Magus. For spells with a saving throw, the target still gets a saving throw (I'm not rolling that die, so I don't mind as much the 2 dice in this scenario).

The increased effect on a critical from the strike balances against the choice that I may miss entirely and waste the confusion spell, from Paul's example. If I hit and do well, it makes it a little harder for the wizard to resist.

i have no problem with that, whatsoever. The problem I had was that a weapon crit shouldn’t equal an automatic save crit. For attack spells, I’m less bothered, but crit fails on save spells can be much nastier than any weapon crit effect.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Paul Watson wrote:
BishopMcQ wrote:

I dislike the double roll as well. For spells that require an attack roll, I think it can be a single roll from the Magus. For spells with a saving throw, the target still gets a saving throw (I'm not rolling that die, so I don't mind as much the 2 dice in this scenario).

The increased effect on a critical from the strike balances against the choice that I may miss entirely and waste the confusion spell, from Paul's example. If I hit and do well, it makes it a little harder for the wizard to resist.

i have no problem with that, whatsoever. The problem I had was that a weapon crit shouldn’t equal an automatic save crit. For attack spells, I’m less bothered, but crit fails on save spells can be much nastier than any weapon crit effect.

I think we're largely all in agreement then. :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I understand, the scenario you're describing would be unbalanced. I'm looking for a balanced approach where I only have to trust my luck once rather than twice for a single effect.


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I say we change the current spellstrike to just be spell combat and change spellstrike into a two action activity to deliver attack roll cantrips or spells through melee attacks (two actions bc unlike the Eldritch archer the magus has to get in range. Or slide becomes base feature)


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Double roll is fine for saves, but for attacks it does feel way too swingy.

WWHsmackdown wrote:
I say we change the current spellstrike to just be spell combat and change spellstrike into a two action activity to deliver attack roll cantrips or spells through melee attacks (two actions bc unlike the Eldritch archer the magus has to get in range. Or slide becomes base feature)

Yes I have been saying the same.

The concept of Striking Spell works well for Spell Combat, give the ability to release a spell "normally" when you land a Strike, or just as a single action on subsequent turns. That way you could do stuff like: Stride, Gust of Wind, Strike. Or Stride, Strike (oh lucky, a crit!), Gust of Wind with disadvantage on the critted ennemy, everyone else in the AoE gets a normal save.

Spellstrike could be both releasing a spell "infused" by spell combat on a Strike AND making the strike as part of the two actions of a spell (that requires an attack roll) for double MAP.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Alternatively, using spell strike could impose a floor ofthe effect on a non-attack spell, i.e.

Quote:

When using Striking Spell, any spell cast through your weapon or body gains the following effect

Critical Success: As Success

If the spell has the attack trait, it instead gains the following failure effect
Failure: Target takes half damage

Just to reduce the risk of spells being lost entirely when using spell strike without making it too crit fishing a class.


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Losing the chance to crit at all with the spell seems like it's a bit much.

Being able to have the moments of elation that come with a big crit are just as important as having reliability.

It doesn't do that much to the damage averages anyway.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TheGentlemanDM wrote:

Losing the chance to crit at all with the spell seems like it's a bit much.

Being able to have the moments of elation that come with a big crit are just as important as having reliability.

It doesn't do that much to the damage averages anyway.

I didn’t explain clearly enough. That’s an effect on the saving throw of the tatget when you hit them with a striking spell.

At the moment, there’s no benefit at all to using striking spell with a non-attack spell over casting and striking separately. Either that needs to be made explicit, or there should be a eason to use all spells with it.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think some of the support for this many-rolls-to-balance-magus-spell-strike feature is poorly reasoned out.

Paul Watson wrote:
Magus striking spell isn’t limited to attack spells. Are you ok with a hit on, say, a wizard automatically causing, say, confusion because their AC is significantly lower than their will save?

I think your objection is that it seems inaccurate to the fiction that a wizard could be more easily affected by a confusion spell delivered by a magus hitting them with a spell strike than by another caster just casting the spell.

I'm not sure it bothers me (I could see the magic being driven into the wizards flesh and released as being different than the magic attempting to work it's way past the wizard's magical defenses) but lets say it does bother me and I accept that it's fictionally dissonant...

PF1 had many many complex and difficult rules that were intended to make the rules more accurate-to-the-fiction.

PF2 got rid of a lot of these things. Focusing on having a single roll to resolve actions. Attack or save basically.

A similar example is the "loss" of touch AC in PF2. Lots of attack spells now are "deflected" by armor, etc in ways that they were not before.
The PF2 system flows better with less janky time consuming rolls and edge cases AND armor now deflects disintegrate spells. You can complain about the second thing as much as you want, but it's a design function of the system. It's more abstract, some granularity is lost. The game plays faster but it's "less accurate".

Sure you can make some kind meta fictional argument that wizards-higher-resistence-to-confusion-attacks needs to have some special additional rule protecting it. I don't think that's the sole determinant of whether we need a new rule. I think you need to look at in the context of PF2.

PF1 is still around... if you want lots of super detailed rules for each edge case then that's a great system to use.

Having to make 3-4 rolls (attack, spell attack, saving throw, damage) is IMHO bad design and a wretched mess. It sticks out like sore thumb in PF2. Especially because the primary function of the extra rolls is probably to limit power level by introducing ~50% spell failure chance + 50% reduced effect on save spells.

I have to admit that this is because i find the situation where the magus drives their sword into their foe and then fails to successfully trigger the spell to be hard to imagine. (They're not a wild mage...)

So it seems like the rule exists purely for meta reasons (i.e. game balance). If the maths work out so that spells requiring saves need to have ~75% failure chance to be balanced... It seems like the designers are really saying "we can't figure out how to balance this case; we're adding a huge tax here so it's extremely unreliable".

They should just drop the extra rolls and clearly make the rule they need to to balance the system.

So just say "no spells requiring saves" and/or "you can only spell strike with cantrips or spells that are -x levels from your max level cast". Or use "infusions" similar to the legendary kineticist where you spend an spell slot to "power up" your attack in some kind of structured specific manner.

The magus neither fits within the simiplicity-focused PF2 system nor fulfills the desires of the typical fantasy player (i.e. my character is competent, my abilities mostly work, etc).

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