How magus spellcasting stacks up


Magus Class

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I made some graphs comparing the expected damage of a magus using their spell slots to other casters.

Here are the graphs~

So some thoughts. Their damage is really nice at low levels (but spell slot damage spells aren't worth using over electric arc then). At level 5 when they get fireball they're really nice!

They fall behind because of lagging proficiencies, but the don't go below 80% of the normal casters expected damage until level 19 (missing 10th level spells). Changing proficiency increases to 9 and 17 makes the graph look worse imo.

MC casters get really close at level 18+.


But fireball can only be cast "normally" doesn't it ? So it's just from normal spells?


This is casting a spell with the maguses proficiencies and spell slots, not using spell strike


Oh ok, sorry I misunderstood.


Yep. I think people are underestimating how good they are at individually casting spells as well as using their weapons.

I think spellstrike won't be an every round kind of action, but we will see them alter between casting and using their weapon quite a bit.


As a main class feature Spell Strike should always look good with normal spellcasting being the situational CC, AoE, or Self Buff.

Edit- though its nice to see that they can cast and not be totally worthless


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Callin13 wrote:
As a main class feature Spell Strike should always look good with normal spellcasting being the situational CC, AoE, or Self Buff.

spell strike looks good when you have buffs, debuffs on an enemy & can plant and spend three actions to hit them.

I don't think main class feature means it has to be spammed, and I think that leads to one dimensional and boring classes.


Well, with Master Proficiency in weapons, a Magus is a full-fledged martial class. They even get Greater Weapon Specialisation.

It does, however, seem to me that "MARTIAL CASTER FEAT 6" is mandatory for getting all the necessary buff spells going.

I didn't at first realise that a Magus only ever has 4 regular spell slots, which puts him into a kinda strange position, where his Spell Strike ability will mostly be employed with attack cantrips.

So that basically becomes 'Double Slice', but your off-hand weapon is a cantrip and not agile (on account of casting proficiency not increasing the same way weapon proficiency does).

Of course, a Magus also seems to get a lot of mileage out of multiclassing with another caster class, since it does not say he must use a Magus spell slot for Spell Strike.


Lycar wrote:

Well, with Master Proficiency in weapons, a Magus is a full-fledged martial class. They even get Greater Weapon Specialisation.

It does, however, seem to me that "MARTIAL CASTER FEAT 6" is mandatory for getting all the necessary buff spells going.

I didn't at first realise that a Magus only ever has 4 regular spell slots, which puts him into a kinda strange position, where his Spell Strike ability will mostly be employed with attack cantrips.

So that basically becomes 'Double Slice', but your off-hand weapon is a cantrip and not agile (on account of casting proficiency not increasing the same way weapon proficiency does).

Of course, a Magus also seems to get a lot of mileage out of multiclassing with another caster class, since it does not say he must use a Magus spell slot for Spell Strike.

At this point, for Striking Spell to be used with anything other than cantrips that's going to need to be a thing. The more I read about peoples opinions on all of this, the more I lean toward making the Magus a Focus Spell based class. You would be able to use your spells more reliably throughout the day, though they would be more combat oriented instead of utility. Kind of what I would expect from a combat oriented caster.


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I've played enough wizard and sorcerer to know that offensively casting for someone with MCD levels of proficiency (even lower for magus) is a terrible idea. It's hard enough for full casters to get their spells to land without system mastery


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If they cast a spell with a good on success effect that's okay. I really think the magus casting is being underrated, kinda like quicken spell. Sure it's limited, but you can save it for the most important situations.


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citricking wrote:
If they cast a spell with a good on success effect that's okay. I really think the magus casting is being underrated, kinda like quicken spell. Sure it's limited, but you can save it for the most important situations.

......and still have a high likelihood of missing. It's just not all that sastifying. Better to trade some if that raw power for more reliable efficacy


so, if optimally build, you are almost always behind a full caster due to not being able to start with 18int (your casting stat) and lagging proficiency, best case scenario, you match 50% of your character life.

you have 4 slots.

those slots also can be used for spellstrike, with slide casting, is this not the superior tactic?

and if spell strike isnt meant to be used every round, then it shouldnt be a core feature, and it is, because your synthesis revolves around it, as well as at least 1 or more feat every single level affects it in some way.

even if its casting is underrated, id settle for it being actually bad (objectively its worse at least half your life) in exchange for workable spell strike that you want to use every round.

every play a barbarian not raging? sucks.

Scarab Sages

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citricking wrote:
If they cast a spell with a good on success effect that's okay. I really think the magus casting is being underrated, kinda like quicken spell. Sure it's limited, but you can save it for the most important situations.

The limited spell casting is an issue, because Striking Spell only gives a consistent benefit when using one of the limited spell slots. So if you want to use Striking Spell, then you're saving your limited spell slots to use with damaging spells instead of using them on utility spells or other things. If you got any kind of consistent boost from using a cantrip combined with Striking Spell (even 1d6 or 1d8 would put it on par with other classes), then it might not feel like only having 4 other spells was that limiting, because you could use them for other things.


I personally like not having to use spell strike. Often the best spells are multi target ones, which don't work with spell strike.


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citricking wrote:
I personally like not having to use spell strike. Often the best spells are multi target ones, which don't work with spell strike.

Play a wizard imo

Scarab Sages

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citricking wrote:
I personally like not having to use spell strike. Often the best spells are multi target ones, which don't work with spell strike.

I like there being options for how to play the Magus as well. I do not like having a main class ability that doesn't support those options. If Slide Casting were cast a two action spell and get a free Stride, and that spell didn't have to be put into the weapon, that would be great. I could buff defenses move up and make a normal strike with no stored spell. Or cast a control spell and get some benefit from my class for doing so. In 1E I played a maneuver Magus (blade lash or true strike and trip). In theory I could do that, but with a very limited number of spell slots, I'm not going to be doing that very often.

I want more ways to play the Magus. The way that Striking Spell is set up encourages either playing the Magus one specific way (which is turning into finding a way to cast true strike and using the most damaging spell you have) or ignore the main class feature of the class. That's what I don't like.


Ferious Thune wrote:
citricking wrote:
I personally like not having to use spell strike. Often the best spells are multi target ones, which don't work with spell strike.

I like there being options for how to play the Magus as well. I do not like having a main class ability that doesn't support those options. If Slide Casting were cast a two action spell and get a free Stride, and that spell didn't have to be put into the weapon, that would be great. I could buff defenses move up and make a normal strike with no stored spell. Or cast a control spell and get some benefit from my class for doing so. In 1E I played a maneuver Magus (blade lash or true strike and trip). In theory I could do that, but with a very limited number of spell slots, I'm not going to be doing that very often.

I want more ways to play the Magus. The way that Striking Spell is set up encourages either playing the Magus one specific way (which is turning into finding a way to cast true strike and using the most damaging spell you have) or ignore the main class feature of the class. That's what I don't like.

Yeah, I hope they make that change too.


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Magus Spellcasting Proficiency isn't going to cut it for what the class currently wants unless Striking Spell gets a rework.

The core mechanic of the Magus is Striking Spell. They only have a few powerful spell slots. They are a class built around the idea of using your spells for damage in melee.

The logical and thematic extension of that idea is that a Magus uses their cantrips with Striking Spell most of the time, and uses their slots with Striking Spell to go nova a few times per day.

The issue is that the times when a Magus needs the damage burst the most are the times when it is least likely to be useful.

The accuracy of spell attacks against bosses is like 30% in the best case scenarios, and often well worse than this. Assuming that you unloaded Spellstrike on the first attack- if it happens to land on the second attack against a boss, that spell is not working. Period.

Striking Spell needs to provide guaranteed or near-guaranteed success for spell attacks if the weapon attack hits.

This is necessary for a) enabling the class to still function with the current limited casting proficiency, b) opening up a niche for the class to be using spell attacks more reliably than even full casters, c) tying the martial and magical sides of the class together in ways that genuinely makes them better than the sum of their parts, d) giving the class enough stopping power to stay in the front lines alongside other martial characters, and e) making the technique actually feel satisfying and strong to use through reliability.

There have been a number of proposals for how to manage this aspect of Striking Spell:

Crits on weapon attacks improve the spell's outcome by one degree: This is the current system, and it turns the Magus into a crit fisher. Not doing anything to help against bosses is the problem. TOO WEAK.

All hits on weapon attacks improve the spell's outcome by one degree: This breaks the game. At the moment, spell attacks against average foes are about [5% crit, 35% hit, 60% miss]. This would make them [40% crit, 50% hit, 10% miss], which is terrifying. TOO STRONG.

Spell attacks use the weapon attack's result: This is pretty good by the numbers, but it means the Magus can completely dump their casting ability (which we don't want happening), and also makes for a higher crit rate with powerful spells than is ideal. NOT TOO STRONG, BUT ENABLES DUMPING INTELLIGENCE.

Striking Spell spell attacks that roll a failure get a success instead. (This is admittedly my suggestion.) This takes spell attacks from [5% crit, 35% hit, 60% miss], to [5% crit, 85% hit, 10% miss]. Even against bosses, it's still around [5% crit, 65% hit, 30% miss], which is within acceptable bounds. It trades sheer power for reliability, and still means that you can't just dump Intelligence while also reducing the pressure to start with 16 Intelligence (because the difference between a 10% and 15% fail rate is a lot less significant when the crit rate at the top end remains the same). RELIABLE AND POWERFUL WITHOUT BEING BROKEN, BUT A LITTLE WEIRD IN IMPLEMENTATION.

Striking Spell spell attacks/save DCs benefit from the item bonus of the weapon. Helps against average enemies, scales nicely, gives the Magus a cool niche. Does have the issue that it still won't do enough to make spells reliably impactful when they're really needed. APPROPRIATE POWER, GOOD FLAVOUR, BUT DOESN'T SOLVE THE BOSS ISSUE.

Scarab Sages

I'll add one:

Striking Spell spell attacks/save DCs benefit from the item bonus of the weapon While I'd much prefer not to have two rolls and just go with Spell attacks use the weapon attack, if there has to be a separate roll, then let the class that's delivering a spell through its weapon be the class that gets to have an item bonus to their spells.


Ferious Thune wrote:

I'll add one:

Striking Spell spell attacks/save DCs benefit from the item bonus of the weapon While I'd much prefer not to have two rolls and just go with Spell attacks use the weapon attack, if there has to be a separate roll, then let the class that's delivering a spell through its weapon be the class that gets to have an item bonus to their spells.

I forgot about that; I'll add it to my original post. Good catch.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Dumping int might be acceptable, at least it's not the class' key ability. It has the significant tradeoff of locking you out of ever landing a non-spellstriked spell.

Being able to dump int actually opens up more varied builds. Not sure if it's a huge concern.


WatersLethe wrote:

Dumping int might be acceptable, at least it's not the class' key ability. It has the significant tradeoff of locking you out of ever landing a non-spellstriked spell.

Being able to dump int actually opens up more varied builds. Not sure if it's a huge concern.

I'd prefer it if the spellcasting class still has reason to actually invest in their spellcasting ability.

At the moment, 16 INT is basically mandatory. Having auto-hits enables dumping INT to 10 and never improving it, which feels like a big thematic failure.

There's room for a middle ground of 14, maybe 12 INT in starting arrays with my proposal, but you still want to invest in it as much as possible. You just get a little more breathing room.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I mean, I wouldn't dump int even if I could with that one version of spellstrike because I'd like to land offensive spells and cantrips from a distance. Certainly not every magus would dump it.


TheGentlemanDM wrote:
Striking Spell needs to provide guaranteed or near-guaranteed success for spell attacks if the weapon attack hits.

Aren't you forgetting something? Melee attacks are binary, they either hit for full damage or not at all. But an attack spell will usually still do damage even on a 'successful' save by the enemy, and a Magus even gets a free tier boost on his spell effect, if the melee strike was a critical hit.

In other words, the spell will only fail to inflict at least some damage if the enemy critically succeeds on their save. That is a huge step up from a melee attack, seeing that the initial melee strike even has a (small) chance to boost the spell effect tier.

Of course this makes it even more important for a Magus to go fish for flanks and whatnot to boost their to-hit chance. But at the same time, seeing that they are matching a 'real' martial in accuracy*, also giving them the same spell accuracy as a real caster would pretty much invalidate the melee classes.

* Personally I believe that a Magus should not exceed Expert proficiency in weapons, but rather have a sort of 'Eldritch Accuracy' class feature, that adds +2 to to-hit on every spell strike they perform. In exchange they could maybe add their Weapon Specialisation damage bonus to spell strikes. Of course this would force them into actually using Spell Strike even more, but it is the One Thing one would pick Magus for, no?


Lycar wrote:
TheGentlemanDM wrote:
Striking Spell needs to provide guaranteed or near-guaranteed success for spell attacks if the weapon attack hits.

Aren't you forgetting something? Melee attacks are binary, they either hit for full damage or not at all. But an attack spell will usually still do damage even on a 'successful' save by the enemy, and a Magus even gets a free tier boost on his spell effect, if the melee strike was a critical hit.

In other words, the spell will only fail to inflict at least some damage if the enemy critically succeeds on their save. That is a huge step up from a melee attack, seeing that the initial melee strike even has a (small) chance to boost the spell effect tier.

Of course this makes it even more important for a Magus to go fish for flanks and whatnot to boost their to-hit chance. But at the same time, seeing that they are matching a 'real' martial in accuracy*, also giving them the same spell accuracy as a real caster would pretty much invalidate the melee classes.

* Personally I believe that a Magus should not exceed Expert proficiency in weapons, but rather have a sort of 'Eldritch Accuracy' class feature, that adds +2 to to-hit on every spell strike they perform. In exchange they could maybe add their Weapon Specialisation damage bonus to spell strikes. Of course this would force them into actually using Spell Strike even more, but it is the One Thing one would pick Magus for, no?

Uh, no? Save spells work like this, attack spells (i.e. Shocking Grasp, Polar Ray, almost all cantrips) don't. The difference between save and attack spells does need to be considered here, but its not that great even with save spells currently (someone's ran the numbers, I don't have them handy).


TheGentlemanDM wrote:
At the moment, 16 INT is basically mandatory. Having auto-hits enables dumping INT to 10 and never improving it, which feels like a big thematic failure.

I'm not sure how it's a thematic failure for a gish when a full on Wizard can have a 10 int and use buffs, summons and the like...


graystone wrote:
TheGentlemanDM wrote:
At the moment, 16 INT is basically mandatory. Having auto-hits enables dumping INT to 10 and never improving it, which feels like a big thematic failure.
I'm not sure how it's a thematic failure for a gish when a full on Wizard can have a 10 int and use buffs, summons and the like...

Who builds Wizards with 10 Intelligence?

Sure, you can do it, but you're not encouraged. Indeed, at some point, you're going to be using cantrips in combat, and you want as much Intelligence as possible for that.

Especially at early levels when you have a very minute supply of slots.


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TheGentlemanDM wrote:
Who builds Wizards with 10 Intelligence?

*raises hand*

TheGentlemanDM wrote:
Sure, you can do it, but you're not encouraged. Indeed, at some point, you're going to be using cantrips in combat, and you want as much Intelligence as possible for that.

Sure, but neither is the Magus with that option: they still have the option for area attack spells and ones with counteract checks: if people want to limit themselves, what's the problem. It's not forcing anyone to. If they want to push Int as mandatory, it should be the key stat.

TheGentlemanDM wrote:
Especially at early levels when you have a very minute supply of slots.

No, low level is EXACTLY when it's easiest to not use attack spells: you can get a 16 dex and have the same proficiency bonus as everyone else but the fighter.


It kinda breaks my heart that some people still want to play crossbow Wizards.

That's what we got proper cantrips for.


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We should have the current spellstrike switch to spell combat and turn spellstrike into the Eldritch archer mechanic of one martial roll with a attack spell. Why bother with save spells on spellstrike when it's balanced entirely on a crit mechanic (which should be axed bc it's dragging the rest of the feature down)


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TheGentlemanDM wrote:

It kinda breaks my heart that some people still want to play crossbow Wizards.

That's what we got proper cantrips for.

Who said I wasn't using cantrips? They weren't from wizard ones though. I just said I wasn't using Dex and that you can use a weapon just fine at lower levels. Honestly though, even if I didn't pick them up, I don't think it's an unforgivable sin is a caster uses a weapon: afer all, there is a warpriest for that exact thing.


I've posted this one in a couple of other places, but here's my proposal:

Divorce saving throws from Striking Spells entirely, leave it with spells that have attack rolls, have it determined by the weapon attack roll ala Eldritch Archer. Add a 2nd feature that applies a -2 status penalty to saving throws against your spells for a round after you hit with a strike.

Something like this:

Striking Spells: Free action once per round. You drastically alter a spell to combine it with a martial attack.
If the next action you use is to Cast a Spell that can target one
creature or object and requires a spell attack rolls, instead of casting it as normal, you place its magic into one melee weapon you’re wielding or into your body to use with an unarmed attack. The next time you would hit with a Strike the spell is discharged against the target. Treat a critical success on the attack roll as a critical success on the spell attack as well. The spell dissipates harmlessly if it has not been discharged by the end of your next turn. Delivering a spell this way counts as two attacks for your multiple attack penalty, but you don't apply the penalty until after you've completed both attacks.

Rend Magical Defenses: Whenever you successfully Strike a target, that target takes a -2 penalty to saving throws against your spells until the end of your next turn.

This creates a very natural through line between Striking Spell one turn and casting saving throw spells the next. However, this also allows you to entirely focus on Striking Spells if you like, or saving throw spells if you like as well without forcing you into a particular playstyle. It helps shore up the bad math on the Magus, but only as long as the Magus is willing to work for it and only within a very specific circumstance. This prevents the Magus from ever being as strong a blaster as other casters or aoe debuffers but gives them a solid, healthy role as a melee caster, and does so in a way that no other class currently can.


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Ligraph wrote:
Uh, no? Save spells work like this, attack spells (i.e. Shocking Grasp, Polar Ray, almost all cantrips) don't. The difference between save and attack spells does need to be considered here, but its not that great even with save spells currently (someone's ran the numbers, I don't have them handy).

And it can't be allowed to be 'great', lest Magus would invalidate all other martial classes.

Bit of a conundrum, but what would you rather see? The Spell Strike hitting more often, but for middling damage outside of crits, or swingy damage with the potential of really massive crits?

As for the accuracy issue: Apart from not being able to max out your casting stat on lv. 1, a Magus has a better chance to hit with his spell then a martial (other then Fighter) has with their second attack. It is basically equivalent to a Double Slice with a non-agile off-hand weapon.

And as an unique feature, a critical melee strike also boosts the effect of the attached spell one tier. This is not nothing.

You have to remember that Master weapon proficiency and Greater Weapon Specialisation are things that a Magus gets. So their primary melee attack is as potent as any other martial's, save for maybe hanging behind -1 to-hit half of the time on account of non-maxed melee stat.

And that means that Spell Strike has to be measured against a martial's second attack in a turn, with the caveat that the action tax they pay is severe and better results in a decent payoff.

But the chance to actually land their spell is only -2 compared to a full caster, which is equivalent to a second melee strike at -2 to to-hit compared to the first attack of any martial. You can't consider the Magus in a vacuum here, you must consider how they stack up to other martial classes. And most martial classes don't get a second attack at a generous -2 to to-hit.


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Lycar wrote:
Ligraph wrote:
Uh, no? Save spells work like this, attack spells (i.e. Shocking Grasp, Polar Ray, almost all cantrips) don't. The difference between save and attack spells does need to be considered here, but its not that great even with save spells currently (someone's ran the numbers, I don't have them handy).

And it can't be allowed to be 'great', lest Magus would invalidate all other martial classes.

Bit of a conundrum, but what would you rather see? The Spell Strike hitting more often, but for middling damage outside of crits, or swingy damage with the potential of really massive crits?

As for the accuracy issue: Apart from not being able to max out your casting stat on lv. 1, a Magus has a better chance to hit with his spell then a martial (other then Fighter) has with their second attack. It is basically equivalent to a Double Slice with a non-agile off-hand weapon.

And as an unique feature, a critical melee strike also boosts the effect of the attached spell one tier. This is not nothing.

You have to remember that Master weapon proficiency and Greater Weapon Specialisation are things that a Magus gets. So their primary melee attack is as potent as any other martial's, save for maybe hanging behind -1 to-hit half of the time on account of non-maxed melee stat.

And that means that Spell Strike has to be measured against a martial's second attack in a turn, with the caveat that the action tax they pay is severe and better results in a decent payoff.

But the chance to actually land their spell is only -2 compared to a full caster, which is equivalent to a second melee strike at -2 to to-hit compared to the first attack of any martial. You can't consider the Magus in a vacuum here, you must consider how they stack up to other martial classes. And most martial classes don't get a second attack at a generous -2 to to-hit.

Except they don't have more accuracy with their spell than other martial do with their 2nd attack. Because they don't (reasonably) get master casting, and they don't get item bonuses to their spells it stays as bad as an agile attack. Starting at level 13 you're always at either a -4 or -5 compared to the weapon. At level 13 your weapon is at +26, your spell at +21. It starts middling at low levels, and due to the way spell attack math works, it can only get worse from there. This is a class that, in its current iteration, does not and cannot scale properly.


Capn Cupcake wrote:
Except they don't have more accuracy with their spell than other martial do with their 2nd attack. Because they don't (reasonably) get master casting, and they don't get item bonuses to their spells it stays as bad as an agile attack. Starting at level 13 you're always at either a -4 or -5 compared to the weapon. At level 13 your weapon is at +26, your spell at +21. It starts middling at low levels, and due to the way spell attack math works, it can only get worse from there. This is a class that, in its current iteration, does not and cannot scale properly.

Then they would need feats or preferably class features that allow them to keep their 'off-hand' attack within -2 or maybe -3 compared to their primary attack. Something that other classes can't pick up with dedication feats though.

Honestly, I think a Magus should not get past Expert weapon proficiency, but rather get a class feature, maybe call it 'Eldritch Accuracy', that boost their to-hit every time they perform a Spell Strike. But only if they do a spell strike. But that class feature then could easily scale with level to keep their attack bonus competitive without making them too good at casting spells.

So weapon attacks and lone castings would be behind other martial/caster classes, but their main shtick would get them right up there with the 'big boys' and no system mastery required.


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the critical boosting effect is such a terrible design i hope they remove it in favor of something actually consistent.


Lycar wrote:

And it can't be allowed to be 'great', lest Magus would invalidate all other martial classes.

Bit of a conundrum, but what would you rather see? The Spell Strike hitting more often, but for middling damage outside of crits, or swingy damage with the potential of really massive crits?

No contest, for a base class feature, rather than build-specific or optional feature, I would 100% rather have reliable middling damage.

Making the class' central feature force building and playing towards crit-fishing is probably the worst design for a class I have seen in 2e.

The central idea of 2e is that a class has multiple ways to play it.

Magus does not have that, you are either crit-fishing, or you're not competitive.


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Lycar wrote:

Honestly, I think a Magus should not get past Expert weapon proficiency, but rather get a class feature, maybe call it 'Eldritch Accuracy', that boost their to-hit every time they perform a Spell Strike. But only if they do a spell strike. But that class feature then could easily scale with level to keep their attack bonus competitive without making them too good at casting spells.

So weapon attacks and lone castings would be behind other martial/caster classes, but their main shtick would get them right up there with the 'big boys' and no system mastery required.

The Magus does not want to be the Warpriest. While the Warpriest does generally play better than it looks on paper, the lack of Master weapon proficiency means they need to buff up before heading in. And given just how controversial and how much criticism the Warpriest gets for its proficiencies (a little of which is warranted), I doubt Paizo wants to repeat that with the Magus.

The issue with staying at an Expert base is that 'Eldritch Accuracy' would have to be some kind of status bonus, which means that the Magus couldn't ever benefit from other status bonuses that the Bard or Cleric would like to be handing out.


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Ressy wrote:
Lycar wrote:

And it can't be allowed to be 'great', lest Magus would invalidate all other martial classes.

Bit of a conundrum, but what would you rather see? The Spell Strike hitting more often, but for middling damage outside of crits, or swingy damage with the potential of really massive crits?

No contest, for a base class feature, rather than build-specific or optional feature, I would 100% rather have reliable middling damage.

For a Core class, I’d agree. But I appreciate that the developers are exploring a different approach for additional classes. I like the tactical thinking and set up necessary for landing a huge nova. I like that the magus demands situational awareness so every turn doesn’t devolve into Cantrip, Strike.


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I'd rather have a reliable class.

Having a class that misses more often than not, especially in situations where they've dedicated multiple actions and resources towards that attempt, results in a great deal of frustration and dissatisfaction.

I don't want to be useless two-thirds of the time just because I might crit the boss into oblivion with a spell.

I'd rather put out damage steadily and consistently and feel like I'm properly contributing.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
TheGentlemanDM wrote:

I'd rather have a reliable class.

Having a class that misses more often than not, especially in situations where they've dedicated multiple actions and resources towards that attempt, results in a great deal of frustration and dissatisfaction.

I don't want to be useless two-thirds of the time just because I might crit the boss into oblivion with a spell.

I'd rather put out damage steadily and consistently and feel like I'm properly contributing.

Misses how? and with what? The ranger is a class that misses about as often as it hits. The barbarian is a class that misses even more often, especially if you are assuming that it will attack 3 times a round in your comparisons the magus.

Have you tried playtesting it yet? It is actually pretty fun in play to see your tactical choices cascade into a pretty impressive round. Being a full martial that can also cast spells, but does so better than a wizard when you are most successful as a martial is pretty cool.

Even just making sure you pick up flanking (something made not too difficult with sliding synthesis) is enough of an accuracy booster to make a noticeable difference.


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Unicore wrote:
TheGentlemanDM wrote:

I'd rather have a reliable class.

Having a class that misses more often than not, especially in situations where they've dedicated multiple actions and resources towards that attempt, results in a great deal of frustration and dissatisfaction.

I don't want to be useless two-thirds of the time just because I might crit the boss into oblivion with a spell.

I'd rather put out damage steadily and consistently and feel like I'm properly contributing.

Misses how? and with what? The ranger is a class that misses about as often as it hits. The barbarian is a class that misses even more often, especially if you are assuming that it will attack 3 times a round in your comparisons the magus.

Have you tried playtesting it yet? It is actually pretty fun in play to see your tactical choices cascade into a pretty impressive round. Being a full martial that can also cast spells, but does so better than a wizard when you are most successful as a martial is pretty cool.

Even just making sure you pick up flanking (something made not too difficult with sliding synthesis) is enough of an accuracy booster to make a noticeable difference.

Misses because unlike Rangers and Barbarians, you don't GET to make your second attack if you miss with the first with Striking Spell. You can't just wind up and take another shot, you're done. And dude, we know you like setting up and novaing, but please stop telling other people they have to enjoy it. If other people don't like that playstyle, that's their prerogative but you insisting that it's fun is really draining. It's great that you enjoy it. That playstyle shouldn't be the default, it should be the option. It'd be great as a synthesis for people who want to work with their party and make it happen, but the class *needs* to be able to stand on its own two feet at the base level and currently it doesn't.


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I don't think their is anything wrong with unicore requesting you playtest the class before you judge it...


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
I don't think their is anything wrong with unicore requesting you playtest the class before you judge it...

There isn't anything wrong with requesting someone playtest it before you judge it, but they've been systematically shooting down every possible criticism of the core mechanics behind the class with "I think playing this way is really fun", even to people who HAVE playtested it like myself.

It's not just in this thread, it's been systematic across multiple threads, across multiple days and it's been really exhausting trying to have a conversation about possible improvements to the class and its shortcomings without someone coming and and talking about how much fun they have when the bard buffs them and they have flanking and the enemy is clumsy and they can cast true strike and-

And any attempt to explain that a class shouldn't fail under less than perfect conditions is met with constant, draining opposition.


Hmm well I definitely haven't followed ever post from them for sure. I think the confusion here is you were replying more to the person then their individual post.

On another thread someone suggested having the magus keep 1 spell per spell level as they level. I think that and adding the martial caster spells and maybe expanding it could be the best way to improve the magus. I did also like the idea of the + of weapons adding to the spell save as well.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think comparing the magus to the barbarian is pretty interesting.

The Barbarian is notorious for missing on their second and third attacks, especially with how they are pushed away from agile weapons. Without actively seeking out accuracy boosting, the Barbarian is a class that misses a lot and ends up taking a beating as they stand still trying to hit as often as possible, often getting too far out ahead of the rest of the party and then, when they go down, they lose rage and can be pretty disappointing for the rest of the combat. It can look like a lot of fun, and lead to some massive hits, but is a class that can have a real survivability issue because people playing it don't usually want to be playing a flighty hit and run style.

The playtest magus actually shares a lot of the same issues. It is a bit of a glass cannon that requires a fair bit of help with accuracy to feel much like a cannon. At first level, it gets this in the form of getting a way to get an item bonus to attack rolls, pushing it a little closer to the fighter in terms of early accuracy, but it still needs flanking almost as much as the rogue does to be successful. Much more challenging for the magus, it has way fewer HP than the barbarian so it is even more brittle and its action routines will often leave it in very much compromised positions that will result in a heavy counter attack. Even more so if you actually land that first action crit and then get nasty with the follow up spell, you become a massive target, just like the barbarian.

I don't think the Magus is a flawless playtest class. I think the striking spell mechanic has some really interesting yet subtle potentials that I would like to see and hear more about playtesters actually testing out. It seems like a lot of people on these boards would rather tell you that your experience trying something out wasn't actually fun for you, because a specific interpretation of "the math calculations" prove that your idea could not possibly work. To me, that is a pretty radically different thing than hearing about someone having a frustrating time with their playtest, and asking them if they tried out some different ways to overcome the issues that were frustrating them.

I am sure that the developers working on this class are hearing the concerns that people are having over the accuracy issues in particular. I would not be surprised at all to see some minor shifts in magus spell accuracy by the time the final class is developed. But "reliability" in PF2 comes with a pretty steep cost. People are still arguing that casters using save spells to get half damage when their opponents succeed is an unfun mechanic. People who want to see a 1 action cantrip are likely to either be disappointed, or see the damage on that cantrip being daze-like, without a decent crit rider.

In the end, a lot of players still love the barbarian, because it has the potential to hit really hard, and, when played tactically, can push that to pretty powerful levels. I think that the magus is very likely to end up in a similar boat. The biggest issue it might face is that spell selection is a subtle complexity that can massively make it more difficult to figure out how to exploit your tactical advantages than anything the barbarian player will face. PF2 casting is one of the most tactical elements of the game and stacking that on top of a glassy high risk/high reward martial build has a lot of room for disappointing play.


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Unicore wrote:
Daze like

That would be great for a one action cantrip. Especially if it did elemental damage.


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The big difference between the Barbarian and the Magus as it currently stands is that the Barbarian gets their bonus power automatically applied.

If they hit something, they get Rage damage.

For the Magus, the issue lies that in order to get their cool, special thing, not only do they need to hit with a weapon, but they also need to hit with a spell.

Having multiple points of failure to do your cool thing makes for an unreliable and potentially frustrating ability.


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TheGentlemanDM wrote:

The big difference between the Barbarian and the Magus as it currently stands is that the Barbarian gets their bonus power automatically applied.

If they hit something, they get Rage damage.

For the Magus, the issue lies that in order to get their cool, special thing, not only do they need to hit with a weapon, but they also need to hit with a spell.

Having multiple points of failure to do your cool thing makes for an unreliable and potentially frustrating ability.

This also makes me laugh because people want to combo Striking Spell with Disintegrate, pushing it to 3 checks to do a thing.

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