Four Slot Casting


Secrets of Magic Playtest General Discussion

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But if you have a free hand, you can use the scroll, can't you ? You still have your other weapon in your other hand. Does it take two hands to use a scroll?


citricking wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

My point is that "using a scroll" for the magus doesn't just cost him his synthesis. It costs him his primary defining class feature.

Ie scrolls do not in fact make up for the lack of spells per day.

But it doesn't.

If you use the magus feat that lets you attach a scroll to your weapon, sure (but that's a once-a-fight ability and consumes your weapon-trinket slot). But not if you are casting from a scroll normally, that requires a hand to hold the scroll, then that hand is no longer:

(a) gripping your two handed weapon, now it is not wielded, your sustaining steel/shooting star benefits do not trigger
(b) have a free hand, your sliding step benefits do not trigger


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, it costs the two handed magus the ability to cast spells through scrolls because you have to be holding a two handed weapon in two hands to be wielding it, but for the one handed weapon magus, the fist magus and the bow magus it is fine. The one handed magus loses out on their synthesis slide ability, but can still cast a spell with a scroll and a one handed weapon. It makes no difference at all for the bow magus.


That's why sustaining steel with bastard sword is best.


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Kalaam wrote:
That's why sustaining steel with bastard sword is best.

Costs an action to switch hands, so not compatible with Spellstrike in a lot of scenarios.


Dammit forgot that.
See the magus needs better action economy Q_Q make spellstrike the number of action of the attack spell instead.


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Draco18s wrote:
If you use the magus feat that lets you attach a scroll to your weapon, sure (but that's a once-a-fight ability and consumes your weapon-trinket slot).

Someone actually USES trinkets? They always seemed like vendor trash to me, with a price about x10 the effect you get out of it. :P


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

My reading on Shooting star is that the weapon is imbued, (per sentence 1 paragraph 2) which can only be discharged in the weapon hits. That does create a weird logic puzzle of the arrow holding the charge but returning it to the weapon if the attack misses, but it could be that the bow itself just stays charged until the ammo makes contact with a viable target for the spell and then it discharges from the weapon.


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Unicore wrote:
My reading on Shooting star is that the weapon is imbued, (per sentence 1 paragraph 2) which can only be discharged in the weapon hits. That does create a weird logic puzzle of the arrow holding the charge but returning it to the weapon if the attack misses, but it could be that the bow itself just stays charged until the ammo makes contact with a viable target for the spell and then it discharges from the weapon.

As I said, its unclear. If you use thrown weapons, you clearly waste it, because the weapon and the ammo are one and the same.

(Know Direction had a similar remark about another feature, that I don't remember the name of, that let you put a rune--such as Returning--on a thrown weapon, but the feature said that if the weapon left your hands, it lost the rune. So you'd put the rune on, throw the weapon, and it would lose the rune and not return to you).

You're probably right that that was the intent but that the way it is worded is unclear.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

these are good things to point out, but probably not necessary to stress out about, just report the way you tested it.


Unicore wrote:
these are good things to point out, but probably not necessary to stress out about, just report the way you tested it.

Sure.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would kind of think of it like the bow and arrow being linked upon firing, trying to establish a connection with each other to send the spell along.

Not sure how well that visual really would work for everyone though


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WatersLethe wrote:

I would kind of think of it like the bow and arrow being linked upon firing, trying to establish a connection with each other to send the spell along.

Not sure how well that visual really would work for everyone though

Yeah, I was thinking of a magic tether sort of like a taser that only discharges when it hits something. It works but it's a bit of a departure from how other things.


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This thread has been a heck of a journey.

In PF1, magus is hands-down my favorite class and summoner is hands-down my least favorite, so this playtest is particularly wild for me. The former feels like a very fun hybrid with a lot of interesting flavor choices due to archetypes, and the latter feels like The Eidolon Show with a walk-on guest role for your PC.

So imagine my surprise when I read the playtest document and was more or less unimpressed by the magus and got the anime starry-eyed squee face when I read the summoner.

As to both classes, 4 slots a day poses some really weird issues, which I guess makes sense for a really weird design choice (but I love weird.) But the solution to one class's problem is not a solution to the other, I think. Granting more spell slots is a simple fix, but not necessarily the right one. I think it would grant the summoner the ability to over-buff on a given adventuring day, whereas a single slot at the "abandoned" spell levels would give the magus some much-needed opportunities to buff without adding to their blast options (while a 4th level shocking grasp will still do more damage than electric arc heightened to max at 19th level, it's probably still better used with, say, a second haste or slow spell for the day).

Until I get a chance to hop into the playtest and get behind the wheel of these classes (which may not even happen, due to life constraints) obviously everything is speculation, but just based off of the read-through, I feel like a few basic alterations would probably help even these classes out.

For the Magus:

I agree the Striking Spell class feature feels like you're using your primary class feature with disadvantage, which is the same reason I fell out of love with the operative in Starfinder. Having to roll twice and succeed twice, regardless of bonuses, feels frustrating when simply using modifiers to a single roll could get the same aesthetic effect and keep things more efficient. Plus, hit-or-miss on a single roll feels significantly less painful than hit-or-miss on a double roll regardless of the actual percent chance to hit on each, but I'm sure that's mostly a personal preference thing.

Some ideas for solves:

1. Remove the requirement to make a separate attack roll for the Striking Spell's spell attack roll. Requiring two successes for your main class ability to fire is just frustrating. Obviously there's no way to circumvent this with saving throws, but at the very least basic saves will offer an opportunity for something to happen even on a successful save.

2. Better functionality with cantrips is key, I think, to getting more mileage out of an average adventuring day. More focus spell options is fine and all (and would be great!) but I think making cantrips a more appealing option will give you things to do even after your main slots run out. As it stands, using Striking Spell with cantrips seems to hamper instead of help in most cases.

3. The ability for some buffs is absolutely critical. The class doesn't have a great AC even with medium armor (though they do eventually gain Master proficiency, which helps). Particularly at higher levels, where you lose those low-level slots you could use to buff, this is going to hurt a lot, and makes you a much squisher front-line warrior than most other classes. Having a few more low-level spell slots would go a long way toward remedying some of this, I think. I don't think keeping a spell slot every level is necessarily game-breaking, but I can also see the argument for keeping it only at higher level slots. In such a case, I would argue a 2/2/2 approach over the 3/3 approach; those lower level slots can be used for buffs or debuffs while keeping your higher 4 open for kabooms.

For the Summoner:

I love the weird sharing of actions and hit points. It makes it feel way more like the summoner and eidolon are of equal importance in the fight, particularly when adding the fact that one focuses on martial and the other magic. The lackluster spell list of the PF1 summoner just made me not want to cast spells except maybe one buff spell at the beginning of the encounter, and then just wade in with a longspear to help with flanks. Certainly good tactically, as experience has shown me, but not particularly exciting. This version of the summoner getting high-level slots (and only high-level slots) feels weird and interesting conceptually, which I like. The big downside that I can see, and which has been voiced multiple times before, is that due to the shared action economy, the summoner can't do summoner things without their eidolon sitting around with Derpface and doing nothing. Honestly I would have no problem with their limited slots if they addressed this issue.
Some ideas for solves:

1. Dragon is far and away stronger than the other eidolon options, and that's a problem. Sure, the breath weapon is based off the summoner's class DC which increases at a perplexingly slow rate, but it is an ability that potentially deals half your level in d6's every 1d4 rounds. That feels like a lot, especially when compared to the other eidolons. You could boost the power of the other eidolons to compensate, but I think it's probably easier to just nerf the breath weapon. Maybe once per minute, or deal less damage.

2. Reduce the required number of components for summon spells from 3 to 2 for summoners. This is in line with the original 1e summoner, who could cast a 1-round CT spell as a standard action, and removes some of the strain off the summoner's already restrictive action economy when doing the thing they're supposed to be really good at.

3. This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but instead of starting with an eidolon-boosting focus cantrip, I think they should start with a summon spell as a focus spell, the nature of which depends on their eidolon choice (summon animal for beast eidolons, for example). This could actually solve the action economy issue of summon spells and the issue of their limited spell slots by making the focus spell version of summon be a two-action cast instead of 3-action, and they have a summon ready once per battle (assuming they Refocus after each fight).

Wow, that was a lot! I put some of it behind spoilers so as not to blow up the thread too much. The TL;DR here is that on paper, the limited spell slots is an issue for both classes (but less so for the summoner) and the magi's Striking Spell class feature and the summoner's inability to cast summon without making their eidolon useless for a round are both issues that need addressing.

But of course, this is all speculative until more playtesting experience can come in. Hopefully I get a chance to join in the fun this time! I missed the opportunity to participate in the APG playtest and I really don't want to miss out this time. I wanna try that summoner especially!


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Apoc Golem wrote:

This thread has been a heck of a journey.

In PF1, magus is hands-down my favorite class and summoner is hands-down my least favorite, so this playtest is particularly wild for me. The former feels like a very fun hybrid with a lot of interesting flavor choices due to archetypes, and the latter feels like The Eidolon Show with a walk-on guest role for your PC.

So imagine my surprise when I read the playtest document and was more or less unimpressed by the magus and got the anime starry-eyed squee face when I read the summoner.

As to both classes, 4 slots a day poses some really weird issues, which I guess makes sense for a really weird design choice (but I love weird.) But the solution to one class's problem is not a solution to the other, I think. Granting more spell slots is a simple fix, but not necessarily the right one. I think it would grant the summoner the ability to over-buff on a given adventuring day, whereas a single slot at the "abandoned" spell levels would give the magus some much-needed opportunities to buff without adding to their blast options (while a 4th level shocking grasp will still do more damage than electric arc heightened to max at 19th level, it's probably still better used with, say, a second haste or slow spell for the day).

Until I get a chance to hop into the playtest and get behind the wheel of these classes (which may not even happen, due to life constraints) obviously everything is speculation, but just based off of the read-through, I feel like a few basic alterations would probably help even these classes out.

** spoiler omitted **...

Ooh I *love* summon spell as a focus spell, that would be so cool. Personally I would like that as a feat so you're not stuck with it if you want to go all in on Eidolon beatdown goodness, but I think it's a super cool idea :D


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Draco18s wrote:
Unicore wrote:
My reading on Shooting star is that the weapon is imbued, (per sentence 1 paragraph 2) which can only be discharged in the weapon hits. That does create a weird logic puzzle of the arrow holding the charge but returning it to the weapon if the attack misses, but it could be that the bow itself just stays charged until the ammo makes contact with a viable target for the spell and then it discharges from the weapon.

As I said, its unclear. If you use thrown weapons, you clearly waste it, because the weapon and the ammo are one and the same.

(Know Direction had a similar remark about another feature, that I don't remember the name of, that let you put a rune--such as Returning--on a thrown weapon, but the feature said that if the weapon left your hands, it lost the rune. So you'd put the rune on, throw the weapon, and it would lose the rune and not return to you).

You're probably right that that was the intent but that the way it is worded is unclear.

I believe the feature you are describing is Blade Ally. Blade ally says that your weapon gains the property rune effect, "in your hands," and one of those property rune effects is returning. Creates a weird situation, but most people just gloss over it and let it work since it would be weird if it didn't.


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beowulf99 wrote:
I believe the feature you are describing is Blade Ally. Blade ally says that your weapon gains the property rune effect, "in your hands," and one of those property rune effects is returning. Creates a weird situation, but most people just gloss over it and let it work since it would be weird if it didn't.

That sounds like the one.

One of those "I didn't notice this" things that I didn't catch the name of.

Runic Impression does it too, now that I'm in a position to search the PDF. "If cast on a weapon, this spell ends if you cease holding the weapon."


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

Both the Magus and Summoner get four spell slots, that upgrade as they level up without gaining additional ones. You will basically only have 2 slots of each of your two highest levels, before feat investment.

This is a new addition to the game that we haven't seen before. It seems to be a form of casting that is considered appropriate to ride along with major features-- Martial Weapon Proficiency, or the entirety of the Eidolon.

How do we feel about this system? I want to read discussion about this because I'm divided on it right now.

I'm having trouble understanding why they lose lower level slots. Do they forget how to cast easier spells when they learn the harder ones?


tuffnoogies wrote:
I'm having trouble understanding why they lose lower level slots. Do they forget how to cast easier spells when they learn the harder ones?

Magus doesn't, the summoner does.


tuffnoogies wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

Both the Magus and Summoner get four spell slots, that upgrade as they level up without gaining additional ones. You will basically only have 2 slots of each of your two highest levels, before feat investment.

This is a new addition to the game that we haven't seen before. It seems to be a form of casting that is considered appropriate to ride along with major features-- Martial Weapon Proficiency, or the entirety of the Eidolon.

How do we feel about this system? I want to read discussion about this because I'm divided on it right now.

I'm having trouble understanding why they lose lower level slots. Do they forget how to cast easier spells when they learn the harder ones?

I think it's implied they would be heightening those spells, they still know the spells, but they have have to choose to cast them as higher level versions (aka a 3rd/2nd level Shocking Grasp when you advance in level).

Dracos18 wrote:
Magus doesn't, the summoner does.

Summoner gets free heightening on anything I think, so they don't lose them either.


tuffnoogies wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

Both the Magus and Summoner get four spell slots, that upgrade as they level up without gaining additional ones. You will basically only have 2 slots of each of your two highest levels, before feat investment.

This is a new addition to the game that we haven't seen before. It seems to be a form of casting that is considered appropriate to ride along with major features-- Martial Weapon Proficiency, or the entirety of the Eidolon.

How do we feel about this system? I want to read discussion about this because I'm divided on it right now.

I'm having trouble understanding why they lose lower level slots. Do they forget how to cast easier spells when they learn the harder ones?

My personal interpretation is that they don't lose slots - they only have 4, which auto-heighten. I think of it like a slightly different version of cantrips, but for actual slots.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Dracos18 wrote:
Magus doesn't, the summoner does.
Summoner gets free heightening on anything I think, so they don't lose them either.

Quote:

Quote:

Spell Repertoire

The collection of spells you can cast is called your spell
repertoire. At 1st level, you learn two 1st-level spells
and five cantrips of your choice. You choose these from
the common spells from the tradition corresponding to
your eidolon, or from other spells from that tradition to
which you have access. You can cast any spell in your
spell repertoire by using a spell slot of an appropriate
spell level. Each time you gain a level, you can reselect
the spells in your repertoire.

At 3rd level, your repertoire grows to four spells of
your choice of any spell level you can cast, though you
must always know at least one spell you can cast using
your lower-level slots.

You never GAIN new spells known! You only ever know two spells, at least one of which has to be castable from your lowest available slot (except at 3rd, which bumps your total known to 4).


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Draco18s wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Dracos18 wrote:
Magus doesn't, the summoner does.
Summoner gets free heightening on anything I think, so they don't lose them either.

Quote:

Quote:

Spell Repertoire

The collection of spells you can cast is called your spell
repertoire. At 1st level, you learn two 1st-level spells
and five cantrips of your choice. You choose these from
the common spells from the tradition corresponding to
your eidolon, or from other spells from that tradition to
which you have access. You can cast any spell in your
spell repertoire by using a spell slot of an appropriate
spell level. Each time you gain a level, you can reselect
the spells in your repertoire.

At 3rd level, your repertoire grows to four spells of
your choice of any spell level you can cast, though you
must always know at least one spell you can cast using
your lower-level slots.
You never GAIN new spells known! You only ever know two spells, at least one of which has to be castable from your lowest available slot (except at 3rd, which bumps your total known to 4).

Oof.

Missed that bit of text. Honestly, hope they remove that. I don't see why a Summoner should forget spells they already knew considering they would have been lower level anyways....

Even with the free heightening I fail to see how that could be construed as "too powerful" given how limited they are on casting slots.

Now choice paralysis might be an issue, but the alternative is weird amnesia spells...


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
WatersLethe wrote:

I would kind of think of it like the bow and arrow being linked upon firing, trying to establish a connection with each other to send the spell along.

Not sure how well that visual really would work for everyone though

That would rather perfectly explain Comet Spell, so great visualization.


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What bugs me about this idea is that it breaks how the game works so soon since it's release.

One thing I love about PF2 and what made me use it as my main system is it's organization, all caster have universal mechanics, all martials heavy had patterns on their feats and abilities, they all are still unique and fun, but they followed patterns.

The magus and summoner breaks this idea entirely by creating a whole new system just for this two classes, I mean, if you guys wanted to make halfcasters, you could have made it with champion and rangers as well.

And a simple solution to it is just use archetype spell system, this way they'll not be great at spellcasting, but they'll cast nonetheless

I just think this 4 spells mechanic is a red alert for me, if they start putting new subsystems and different rules in a less then 1yo game, imagine what the game will look like in 4 or 5 years.

i'm just afraid it becomes 3.5 all over again.

Scarab Sages

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ruimpranick wrote:

What bugs me about this idea is that it breaks how the game works so soon since it's release.

One thing I love about PF2 and what made me use it as my main system is it's organization, all caster have universal mechanics, all martials heavy had patterns on their feats and abilities, they all are still unique and fun, but they followed patterns.

The magus and summoner breaks this idea entirely by creating a whole new system just for this two classes, I mean, if you guys wanted to make halfcasters, you could have made it with champion and rangers as well.

And a simple solution to it is just use archetype spell system, this way they'll not be great at spellcasting, but they'll cast nonetheless

I just think this 4 spells mechanic is a red alert for me, if they start putting new subsystems and different rules in a less then 1yo game, imagine what the game will look like in 4 or 5 years.

i'm just afraid it becomes 3.5 all over again.

I thought the game was past the 1 year mark now?

And as for the Ranger and Paladin, they were less than half casters so I think the Focus system works great for them. But the Magus and Summoner are a little more magic centric. But who knows, maybe we'll see a couple classes with Focus Cantrips, Focus Spells, and maybe regular Cantrips, but no spell slots after this.

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