"Wave" Spell Progression


Secrets of Magic Playtest General Discussion


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I brought this up in another thread, but wanted to make a separate one because I see a lot of problems that are systemic with the spell progression:

1. Staffs debacle

2. Summoners forget spells they previously knew

3. Summoners can't Summon at every level

4. Magus doesn't have room for utility spells without getting Martial Caster

5. Magus will struggle with longer adventuring days, and non-Eidolon focused Summoners would as well

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Now, I actually like the casting progression to some degree. It's a really smart way to keep them relevant in combats of their level without making them go full Focus casters or strictly Martial.

You can't change the early Magus/Summoner progressions very much at all, because as it stands, they have a really formidable first few levels when it comes to spell capacity considering they are both getting the standard Martial progression (albeit Magus doesn't get critical spec effects).

What is "Wave" Spell Progression?

Wave spell progression is modeled like the below

ugly version:

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lvl Can 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
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1 | 5 | 1 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | -
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2 | 5 | 2 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | -
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3 | 5 | 2 | 1 | - | - | - | - | - | - | -
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4 | 5 | 2 | 2 | - | - | - | - | - | - | -
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5 | 5 | 1 | 2 | 1 | - | - | - | - | - | -
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6 | 5 | 1 | 2 | 2 | - | - | - | - | - | -
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7 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 1 | - | - | - | - | -
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8 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | - | - | - | - | -
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9 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 1 | - | - | - | -
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10 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | - | - | - | -
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11 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 1 | - | - | -
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12 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | - | - | -
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13 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 1 | - | -
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14 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | - | -
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15 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 1 | -
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16 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | -
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17 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 1
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18 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2
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19 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | 2
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20 | 5 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 2
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Clean Version

In summary, the basic concept is as you level, you retain 1 spell slot of each level as you pass it, you always have 2 spell slots of your 2nd highest spell slot, and you have 1 spell slot of your highest level spell on odd levels, and 2 on the even levels.

Notable Changes From the Original

1. For starters, you have more lower level spells, but the first 4 levels of each Class is basically exactly the same.

2. On every odd level past 4 (5,7,9,etc.) you have one less of your highest level spell. This was the trade off I felt was worth it to grant the remaining spells (since higher level spells are considered more powerful and are the main damage for the Magus).

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Problems I think it Solves

1. You can have utility Spells on a Magus - Now you don't have to take Martial Caster, you don't have to hold Truestrike in your highest slots, and most importantly you still retain abilities that you have built over your character career. If you want your "defensive staple" to be Mirror Image, that's now an option for you. If you wanted Enlarge, that's now an option for you. Fly doesn't cost you a precious slot or force you into a Class Feat for a single spell.

2. It is actually a slight but direct power decrease while adding a lot of versatility in return - Lower level slots operate most efficiently with buffs, utility, and other generally non-offensive options. For a Magus, these slots can function as potential slight boosts to backup damage (though almost always they will be behind Cantrips) with potentially a novel debuff unique to that spell. Save spells will be quite weak in these slots, and damage spells will be behind cantrips in most cases. This could open up Critical Specializations to come back into the power budget (or some other comparable concession). It may not require any power changes, it's close to a wash for me personally.

3. Summoner doesn't have to forget their spells anymore - This may require the removal of free heightening (which only applied to their 2nd lowest level slots, so not a huge hit). Overall, a Summoner losing spells in the repertoire is a bit awkward, even more so than the situation with the Magus (who at least remembers them, but has trouble preparing them).

4. You can customize the style of Magus/Summoner you want to be further without overpowering the class itself - Spells add a lot of flavor to casters, and the more spells you have, the more flavorful combinations of "concept" you can make. A Sustaining Steel Magus with two hands that uses Enlarge and his slots to be a formidable opponent feels way different than a speedy Slide Magus with Blur or a Shooting Star with Mirror Image.

5. They no longer run out of gas - Now both classes have some versatility for the adventuring day and Magus gets a nice little boon by having "back up" slots the longer he goes (he runs out of gas slower, not immediately after using his top slots).

6. Staves work - They might work anyway, but this guarantees it.

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What do you think?

Open to thoughts on this, but I would feel far less starved for spells past about level 6. I am looking to get a group to try to playtest the current Magus as is, but I fear I won't be able to test at the levels where this "wave" format would come online to see if it's necessary.

One of the Playtest experiences recently posted by manbearscientist was a level 7 Magus, and interestingly, they had taken the Wizard MCD to gain spells, and even then they struggled. It would be nice if Magus didn't have such paralyzing choices in their spell slots to force their hand into choosing Feats that help make up for their loss.

Is it needed? Does this work for you? Why or Why not?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think this is a huge improvement if they don't plan on making other significant changes that my proposal would require.

I have a question though, why do you say that low level slots wouldn't be good for save spells?


WatersLethe wrote:

I think this is a huge improvement if they don't plan on making other significant changes that my proposal would require.

I have a question though, why do you say that low level slots wouldn't be good for save spells?

Great question, to clarify, I meant that lower level Save spells would be subject to Incapacitation, but also I was assuming that Striking Spell would be changing as well.

In a scenario where Striking Spell stays identical to the current scenario, then lower level Save Spells would still fall into the "slight damage boost" category that the attack spells do.

In the scenario where Striking Spell absorbs the Spell Attack Roll (but not the save from save spells) that would be where lower level Spell Attack Roll spells become a little more valuable for that little damage boost.

But certainly a good point to make, Save Spells if nothing else changes with Striking Spell are in the same boat (weaker than cantrips most of the time, but can have niche benefits).


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also, I really like the increasing lower level slots from 18-20. It keeps it from feeling stagnant and should provide a significantly improved quality of life at those levels.


I like this concept, but I'm actually not sure about those bonus spell slots for 19 and 20. They do get fairly significant class features to help make up a little for not being granted a 10th level slot via feature, and no other casters get any slots at 20 without paying for it via feat. It's also rather funky to get increasingly lower slots with the two higher levels, even if it looks nicer on a chart (and even if they're useful for utility and such).


Alfa/Polaris wrote:
I like this concept, but I'm actually not sure about those bonus spell slots for 19 and 20. They do get fairly significant class features to help make up a little for not being granted a 10th level slot via feature, and no other casters get any slots at 20 without paying for it via feat. It's also rather funky to get increasingly lower slots with the two higher levels, even if it looks nicer on a chart (and even if they're useful for utility and such).

I hear you, Double Spellstrike is quite good.

And to be honest, in the original concept, I didn't have additional slots there, but I did ultimately decide that I felt they deserved to get something since they do not get 10th level slots.

That said, I could just as easily part with that, the last 2 levels of the game are hardly my concern and I doubt a Magus would notice the difference.

That said though, all of the same logic still applies to gaining them except slightly more so in this case because a Magus won't be able to get their spell level any higher than 9 (so they've topped out on DC).

If they got those, I could see them dropping the 19th level class features, which don't get me wrong are great, but they could just as easily be Class Feats to me personally.

But nonetheless, you have a point and you might be right on that.


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I wish I could favorite this more than once. It seems like the perfect solution to fix Magus spell slots without them getting out of hand. I like how it acts as an opposite of caster archetype spell slots too by focusing on the higher level slots instead of the lower level ones.
The only criticism I have are the level 19 and 20 slots. Up until that point, the "wave" progression follows a simple and consistent pattern, but it suddenly goes backwards giving you more lower level slots.
But that's mostly nitpicking.


Question... if you allow a Spell Strike using your lower level slots, aren't you effectively giving them a big boost? If you *do* manage to crit with your weapon Strike, it automatically bumps up your result, which could change a miss (because you were casting a 1st level spell instead of a 5th level spell and rolled low by 3) into a hit, etc. It seems like part of the intent of limiting to the top two available spell levels was to avoid boosting the power of the lower spell slots through your weapon crits.


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Is the Summoner forgetting spells they used to know weirder than the Bard or the Sorcerer or the Oracle doing the same thing?


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Quintessentially Me wrote:
Question... if you allow a Spell Strike using your lower level slots, aren't you effectively giving them a big boost? If you *do* manage to crit with your weapon Strike, it automatically bumps up your result, which could change a miss (because you were casting a 1st level spell instead of a 5th level spell and rolled low by 3) into a hit, etc. It seems like part of the intent of limiting to the top two available spell levels was to avoid boosting the power of the lower spell slots through your weapon crits.

Lower level spells are effectively dealing less damage than cantrips in those slots at that level, so even if you do use them, they still aren’t creating significant changes in DPR.

For instance at level 5 (first level this new system takes effect) Shocking Grasp does 2d12 save damage for 13 avg

Chill Touch does 8 + 4 (Int at lvl 5) for 12 avg.

It comes down to being more versatile with effect choices.

But remember, losing your highest level slot on the odds is a significant drop in DPR too, and that’s what you’re buying with that drop (longer days and more versatility).

PossibleCabbage wrote:
any weirder than a Bard to forget spells

I think the big difference is Summoners don’t really get a choice, and this creates a disconnect over their career of using spells.

Like if you have an ability, losing that ability simply to make room for a new ability sort of fundamentally changes your character concept.

I think the nuance of wanting to do it in the case of the other spontaneous, and being forced to do it is the big factor for me. With retraining built in, I’ve come to expect swapping for the sake of having what you prefer, but trades in power are a bit more heavy handed (IMO).


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Is the Summoner forgetting spells they used to know weirder than the Bard or the Sorcerer or the Oracle doing the same thing?

Yep. Forgetting a specific spell and forgetting ALL first level spells are different magnitudes. One is like forgetting your high school locker combination while the other is like forgetting you went to high school at all. One is normal while the other is time for a mental checkup.


I really like this progression. Clearly makes you behind a full caster, but slightly higher than a multiclass, since it's still part of your "career".


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Midnightoker wrote:
Quintessentially Me wrote:
Question... if you allow a Spell Strike using your lower level slots, aren't you effectively giving them a big boost? If you *do* manage to crit with your weapon Strike, it automatically bumps up your result, which could change a miss (because you were casting a 1st level spell instead of a 5th level spell and rolled low by 3) into a hit, etc. It seems like part of the intent of limiting to the top two available spell levels was to avoid boosting the power of the lower spell slots through your weapon crits.

Lower level spells are effectively dealing less damage than cantrips in those slots at that level, so even if you do use them, they still aren’t creating significant changes in DPR.

For instance at level 5 (first level this new system takes effect) Shocking Grasp does 2d12 save damage for 13 avg

Chill Touch does 8 + 4 (Int at lvl 5) for 12 avg.

It comes down to being more versatile with effect choices.

But remember, losing your highest level slot on the odds is a significant drop in DPR too, and that’s what you’re buying with that drop (longer days and more versatility).

Fair point about damage, but what about save spells? Fear at level 1 would suffer from a weaker DC but the effect could then be bumped back up as a result of your weapon crit. Arguably, you could then fill your spell list with various heightened/reduced memorizations of a couple of control spells. Doing that while working to max your crit fishing would seem to pump more power than may be desired into those lower level slots.


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Quintessentially Me wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Quintessentially Me wrote:
Question... if you allow a Spell Strike using your lower level slots, aren't you effectively giving them a big boost? If you *do* manage to crit with your weapon Strike, it automatically bumps up your result, which could change a miss (because you were casting a 1st level spell instead of a 5th level spell and rolled low by 3) into a hit, etc. It seems like part of the intent of limiting to the top two available spell levels was to avoid boosting the power of the lower spell slots through your weapon crits.

Lower level spells are effectively dealing less damage than cantrips in those slots at that level, so even if you do use them, they still aren’t creating significant changes in DPR.

For instance at level 5 (first level this new system takes effect) Shocking Grasp does 2d12 save damage for 13 avg

Chill Touch does 8 + 4 (Int at lvl 5) for 12 avg.

It comes down to being more versatile with effect choices.

But remember, losing your highest level slot on the odds is a significant drop in DPR too, and that’s what you’re buying with that drop (longer days and more versatility).

Fair point about damage, but what about save spells? Fear at level 1 would suffer from a weaker DC but the effect could then be bumped back up as a result of your weapon crit. Arguably, you could then fill your spell list with various heightened/reduced memorizations of a couple of control spells. Doing that while working to max your crit fishing would seem to pump more power than may be desired into those lower level slots.

While I hear you, the crit fishing aspect of Striking Spell is a culprit for a lot of unhealthy things in the game.

It's the biggest reason why the "2 round DPR" is the only way to put damage on par.

And even then, it's still an opportunity cost and costs you a slot.

Would you rather have Fear for a once per day potential Frightened 3 and Fleeing or would you rather have True Strike?

To me, because you are limited to 1 spell per slot, it's a big choice to go Fear. If you land a Strike and the target Saves, you're in a rough spot.

But a Magus currently can just as easily use Paralyze as their 3rd level spell at 5th, which is significant. And instead of being able to do that twice per day at level 5, they can only do it once.

Considering the longevity Magus in PF1 derived on lower level slots, I don't have too much of an issue with it (especially considering a Magus can't really invest in Demoralize, and Demoralize can be used all day instead of once per day).

So in short, I think while something that does provide strength, I still think the trade-off of losing a higher slot doesn't significantly unbalance things.

If we consider Striking Spell is probably going to get another look, I'd say one of the more consistent things people agree should go is the Critical aspect of it, then the system becomes less troublesome as well.


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onl yissue i have is a lot of players on here would argue needing massive power nerfs to both classes features in some way in exchange for all those single slots.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Personally, I would give them two of each level up to 9, and only one top slot the first time they reach a new spell level, in exchange for keeping/gaining robust class features.

This lets them exceed multiclassing while definitely still letting full casters shine at the new spell levels.

That's just me though


as long as it doesnt interfere with my melee performance with magus, i ultimately do not care, so far ive written off the summoner after playtesting it and guaging the average feel of their forum.


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Martialmasters wrote:
onl yissue i have is a lot of players on here would argue needing massive power nerfs to both classes features in some way in exchange for all those single slots.

The impact of lower level slots is large for sure, but I would argue that both classes are definitely below the line in terms of power compared to published classes, and still have a lot of improvements needed to get to that level. The only real nerf I see being necessary to avoid Magus becoming overbearing is an end to the crit-fishing power spikes from Striking Spell.


Lightdroplet wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
onl yissue i have is a lot of players on here would argue needing massive power nerfs to both classes features in some way in exchange for all those single slots.
The impact of lower level slots is large for sure, but I would argue that both classes are definitely below the line in terms of power compared to published classes, and still have a lot of improvements needed to get to that level. The only real nerf I see being necessary to avoid Magus becoming overbearing is an end to the crit-fishing power spikes from Striking Spell.

lot of players disagree, all i can say, but i agree the crit fishing while interesting is ultimately too swingy and volatile to balance well.


Martialmasters wrote:
Lightdroplet wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
onl yissue i have is a lot of players on here would argue needing massive power nerfs to both classes features in some way in exchange for all those single slots.
The impact of lower level slots is large for sure, but I would argue that both classes are definitely below the line in terms of power compared to published classes, and still have a lot of improvements needed to get to that level. The only real nerf I see being necessary to avoid Magus becoming overbearing is an end to the crit-fishing power spikes from Striking Spell.
lot of players disagree, all i can say, but i agree the crit fishing while interesting is ultimately too swingy and volatile to balance well.

I don't think a lot of players think either class is "strong enough" as is in the sense that there is no way to fiddle with the budget.

I also think if people think the proposed above is a huge power increase, that I disagree pretty heartily.

For starters, it is a straight nerf at level 5. You're trading a 3rd level slot for a 1st level slot. At level 6 you edge the previous progression by a single 1st level slot.

And at level 6, a 1st level slot is effectively CL-3 ability (not exactly due to Proficiency, but in a sense of outcomes).

Now, as you gain levels it starts to be more impactful, but that's where the Class Feats to solve those problems start to come online anyways (Martial Caster, Standby Spell). Theoretically, in this progression, Martial Caster doesn't even have to exist as a Feat (and a LOT of people I've seen suggest that particular Class Feat just be baked into the Magus).

When you get further, a 1st level slot to a 7th level character is ultimately a small boon. It's only one spell, and there is action cost associated with it. Generally speaking, if you have your highest level slots available (or anything above a 1st level slot) using a 1st level slot is a 2 action cost for less gain than another spell would be.

As the player continues to advance, at level 9, it becomes even harder to choose a level 1 slot over using your others slots simply because using a 1st level slot is almost certainly going to be a reduction in power to your other choices.

Like sure, I can use Fear, and Fear holds some value. But at level 9, I could also just use a much stronger spell, so Fear is less appetizing.

This leads Magus to start preparing utility/defensive spells in those slots, particularly ones that last longer, provide mobility/protection.

Fly is going to feel near mandatory at higher levels and without Martial Caster, that leads a Magus to having to either purchase magic items to supplement that or preparing Fly in one of your precious 4 slots.

So while I think this is a "power" increase in terms of versatility, if we're speaking strictly DPR and combat advantages, it's actually more of a wash because you're still losing a higher level slot to gain these effects at every odd level.

Like if they could cast all their spells at once, then sure, but the truth is the Magus has to make a choice about what spells to be casting every given turn. And while I do expect their action economy to get better, I seriously doubt they will be able to produce multiple spells of different types in the same turn ever barring some weird focus mechanics.

I don't so much think the Magus is "OP" or "UP" right now. Powerwise, they aren't too far off either way. The overall structure and composition of that power is what's causing a lot of problems.

So the goal with this progression isn't to "buff" them, though it may appear like a buff to some, the goal with this progression is to present their power levels in a more "even" distribution.
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As an aside, I would expect Striking Spell to get a similar "more even distribution" power treatment. Striking Spell is good, but the distribution of the power is the problem. It's either an explosion of damage or the most disappointing turn a player can realistically have.


Definitely an option. It might be better suited for this to be a class feat to pick up the extra spells on Magus. (There's no way this is too much for a single class feat imo, as it's literally just the breadth feats from archetypes then) - Actually, that's a good comparison point. This is a buff equal to a 8th level class feat in terms of adding slots, though it's probably not quite that high being main class, etc.

On Summoner, I'm not sure. One thing I think they could consider is to just not have your repertoire decreasing, while keeping all spells as signature. So you start knowing 4 spells, and learn one new spell per level. You end up with a very versatile repertoire but very limited castings. Might need to only get a new spell every other level, and get the option to swap a spell out every level from other spontaneous casters?

The other option might be a more limited wave? Like, you gain additional level 1/2 casts but there's a gap between your high and low... eh, that doesn't make much sense really.

I do like the 1/2 changes as you level so it's not sudden jumps. If we allow them to go up to 6 spell slots, you could just have a rolling 1/2/2/1 and 2/2/2 set of spell slots going that way. (Ends up still having the odd stall at 19/20, but).


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Not too shabby. Looks better than what they have done currently. Gives some access to lower level spells which can be good. Gives the summoner some things to do with his actions.


Dubious Scholar wrote:
Definitely an option. It might be better suited for this to be a class feat to pick up the extra spells on Magus. (There's no way this is too much for a single class feat imo, as it's literally just the breadth feats from archetypes then) - Actually, that's a good comparison point. This is a buff equal to a 8th level class feat in terms of adding slots, though it's probably not quite that high being main class, etc.

Well sort of. It's sort of like the Basic Casting Spellcasting Feat (level 4), but at a level behind when you would normally get it (since it triggers at 4 for Basic, and not 5).

Then at 11th level, it grants you Expert Spellcasting Feat for free as well, with a major difference of your class already has Expert Spellcasting so you don't get that part of the Feat (which is honestly, probably the stronger portion of the Feat).

But remember, we're also losing a top level slot on the odd levels (all the way up to the end).

To me, losing a highest level spell slot is a decent drop in power, and one to be considered when weighing the value of these new slots.

Personally, I don't see the sum to be a huge power increase, but I have also suggested the removal of Weapon Specialization as a means to compensate as well in another thread (a drop of 2 damage on strikes from 7-13 where it then goes to 3 damage per strike, and finally 6 damage per strike at 15 on), as Spells of lower level generally translate to more damage or less damage taken (Bespell Strikes, True Strike, Haste, Mirror Image, Blur, etc.)

I'd rather see them not have to spend Feats to gain this type of spellcasting, as the Classes feel naked to me without it.
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On a side note, I just helped my players build their characters for the new playtest (level 7) and I ran into some things during the build process where they felt frustrated that I thought I would share:

1. A Ghost Summoner was originally going to try to Summon a bunch of creatures and then use the Spell "Final Sacrifice" as a fun way to use the "implosion" Class Feat where they explode when they summon, and then blow them up again when they were done. Ultimately, the player decided they couldn't because they didn't have enough spells to pull it off. I found this kinda odd, because if there was any class that should be able to use Summons and Final Sacrifice, I would have thought the Summoner would be the Class to do it. Overall, the build came out decent (changed to Angel Summoner) IMO but it was discouraging to see my player have to swap his idea when I thought that idea should have been possible.

2. The Magus that was built felt starved for spells, and although I personally put a lot of value on Martial Caster, the player opted to go Spell Countermeasures (I made no protestations, wanted them to choose for themselves). They intend to use Cantrips as their main focal point of damage and using Haste. They also took Phantasmal Killer and Vampiric Maiden as their highest level slots. Given the state of Cantrip damage versus Strikes as is current, I am worried it will not feel great to play this in play, but we will just have to see.

Basically, in both scenarios at level 7, I think more spells would have empowered their choices in what they wanted to do, but the players are unaware of my proposed spell progression changes (I want to ask them after we're done if they feel it would have helped them at all).

But I did think that the feelings expressed during the build process were evident of Spells available being a problem.

In neither scenario did the player want to go an MCD for more casting, as they wanted to be good at "being an X" instead of being something else (although I did offer them that when they said they felt like they didn't have the spells they needed). I expect most players will probably feel that same way when playing a Class, as no one goes into a Class expecting to have to MCD in my experience.
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Thanks for all the feedback!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I know that for me, I wouldn't want to trade one highest level spell for even 6 additional spells (one of each of the lower level spells), at the highest levels of play if it was presented to me as an option. The game provides so many options for being able to pick up spells that are 3 spell levels or more lower than your best that it is a pretty steep cost to lose your best ones for peanuts on a return investment. It would be kinda cool if the the magus paths looked less at weapon style and more of magic/weapon balance, so that a castery magus got something more like this or a built in martial caster, and a more martial focused magus got a useful combat feat that granted a two action activity that let the magus make 2 weapon attacks and release the spell if either hit, not applying MAP until after all the attacks were resolved. That would let the martial magus have a more reliable way of making their limited spells connect on that second round.


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Unicore wrote:
I know that for me, I wouldn't want to trade one highest level spell for even 6 additional spells (one of each of the lower level spells), at the highest levels of play if it was presented to me as an option. The game provides so many options for being able to pick up spells that are 3 spell levels or more lower than your best that it is a pretty steep cost to lose your best ones for peanuts on a return investment. It would be kinda cool if the the magus paths looked less at weapon style and more of magic/weapon balance, so that a castery magus got something more like this or a built in martial caster, and a more martial focused magus got a useful combat feat that granted a two action activity that let the magus make 2 weapon attacks and release the spell if either hit, not applying MAP until after all the attacks were resolved. That would let the martial magus have a more reliable way of making their limited spells connect on that second round.

I'm with you. Theres no real way to obtain top level or top level -1 spells slots affordably, but that isn't true for lower level slots at all.

I can get those in numbers for a reasonable cost in gold, or get a reasonable allotment daily for a manageable cost in feats.

As a trade, giving up a high level spell slot for any number of lower ones (well, any REASONABLE number of lower ones) feels like I'm on the losing end of that deal.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Which is why I argue losing top end slots gives you room to add lower level slots and tinker with or buff class features like striking spell.


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KrispyXIV wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I know that for me, I wouldn't want to trade one highest level spell for even 6 additional spells (one of each of the lower level spells), at the highest levels of play if it was presented to me as an option. The game provides so many options for being able to pick up spells that are 3 spell levels or more lower than your best that it is a pretty steep cost to lose your best ones for peanuts on a return investment. It would be kinda cool if the the magus paths looked less at weapon style and more of magic/weapon balance, so that a castery magus got something more like this or a built in martial caster, and a more martial focused magus got a useful combat feat that granted a two action activity that let the magus make 2 weapon attacks and release the spell if either hit, not applying MAP until after all the attacks were resolved. That would let the martial magus have a more reliable way of making their limited spells connect on that second round.

I'm with you. Theres no real way to obtain top level or top level -1 spells slots affordably, but that isn't true for lower level slots at all.

I can get those in numbers for a reasonable cost in gold, or get a reasonable allotment daily for a manageable cost in feats.

As a trade, giving up a high level spell slot for any number of lower ones (well, any REASONABLE number of lower ones) feels like I'm on the losing end of that deal.

I would say your positions of it "not being valuable" seems to be in the minority. Others have stated they believe the drop in power is worth a considerable deal more than a single top level slot. It's not a global drop, it's a drop at the odds (so you still get your second top slot eventually).

And considering I've seen a lot of Magus playtest data use Buff spells much more than attack based spells with Striking Spell (and my groups level 7 playtest is opting for a heavy buff lean than attacking spells), I would say attacking with your top level slot spell is not something all that common as is right now in favor of spending it on buffs that last the combat.

If we assume a change to Cantrips to become more valuable with Striking Spell in terms of more effective DPR vs. Strikes, the loss of the top slot is much less of a blow.

And just as a reminder its a trade of the highest slot only at the odd levels. The Even levels you effectively have the same slots.

This is exactly like the progression from 1-4 of both Classes, which changes to 2/2 of the highest slots at 5, so we're not talking a straight loss of a top slot all the time.

In addition, the comment "there's a lot of ways to get lower level slots" is just not true. Martial Caster is one Feat and forcing people to use their Archetype to feel whole on a class as a Base is pretty heavy cost. Even Martial Caster is extremely limited in terms of selection and forces a certain type of Magus.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Taking away top level slots (as a base decision for all builds) from the magus is killing the class as an offensive spell using powerhouse.

Trying to find a way to boost lower level spell slots and cantrips to bring the magus up to a DPR equivalent martial feels like the exact opposite direction I'd want to see it go.

If the class is deemed underpowered by enough people, I'd much rather just give it a shifting 3/2 to 2/3 at odd, then even character level, or even a full 3/3 would be better than only getting 1 highest level spell but a full 2 spells of each lower level spell level.

The nature of spells is just too different from PF1 for an offensive spell using class not to have highest level spell slots possible.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:


And considering I've seen a lot of Magus playtest data use Buff spells much more than attack based spells with Striking Spell (and my groups level 7 playtest is opting for a heavy buff lean than attacking spells), I would say attacking with your top level slot spell is not...

This is exactly why more higher level slots, might be necessary. The magus needs spells worth casting through their weapon, not spells to just cast generally to buff themselves up to being as powerful as a full martial. That is just way too close to what the multiclass martial/caster already is.


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Unicore wrote:
Taking away top level slots (as a base decision for all builds) from the magus is killing the class as an offensive spell using powerhouse.

Based on what data?

Removing a single top level slot on the odd level is only an effective loss in DPR at the 5th level mark.

At the 7th level mark, Bespell Strikes and Energized Strikes are on the table, which derives more value as you continue to cast spells.

Spells like True Strike, which you can no longer prepare on Magus without Martial Caster, derive a lot of DPR, and you get True Strike and some other 2nd level spell to make up for the loss of your 4th level slot in that case.

Vampiric Maiden or heightened Vampiric Touch are basically some of your best choices with Striking Spell at level 4 spells, and losing one of those is a net loss of about 15 damage(damage is actually less, but the effect is good so this is "close" but not accurate) compared to a Cantrip. That means two spells (True Strike can certainly make this up) of 1st/2nd level have to make up an effective 15 damage (with Bespell Strikes across two spells, that's 3.5 additional damage already).

If we assume Striking Spell is the most reliable way to land spells, which is likely to be true (and is now with Crit fishing), then AoE based spells aren't really a factor in the DPR situation due to lagging proficiency and INT.

Quote:
Trying to find a way to boost lower level spell slots and cantrips to bring the magus up to a DPR equivalent martial feels like the exact opposite direction I'd want to see it go.

Just so you know, this is the exact paradigm that the PF1 Magus (and all the 6 casters really) worked, making more effective use of lower level slots.

In addition, directly from the Playtest Magus text is:

"Because your spells per day are limited, you rely on trusty,
carefully chosen cantrips."

So it doesn't sound like it's intended for them to not be able to effectively use Cantrips.

Quote:
This is exactly why more higher level slots, might be necessary. The magus needs spells worth casting through their weapon, not spells to just cast generally to buff themselves up to being as powerful as a full martial. That is just way too close to what the multiclass martial/caster already is.

I'm confused, how does leaving it alone as it is solve the problem? That's what people do now.

If you COULD prepare non-buff spells in your top slots because you could prepare buffs in the lower level slots that would enable you to use them more often for high level spells. Most of the buffs people want are lower level anyways (like Haste).

Like preparing haste in your 5th/6th or Fly or Blur or Mirror Image because you don't have lower slots at all is the problem.

The problem exists because its too risky to actually prepare offensive spells in the top slots alone to deal damage, so you feel forced to prepare safer more reliable damage options.

Even then, Fear is a decent use of a 1st slot offensively, and it retains value throughout the game.


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Unicore wrote:
I know that for me, I wouldn't want to trade one highest level spell for even 6 additional spells (one of each of the lower level spells), at the highest levels of play if it was presented to me as an option.

I'd do it in a heartbeat. *toss aside* I don't want to like like a packmule laden down scrolls and staves JUST to use basic utility and buff spells like I'm putting coins in a vending machine. That's about as un-fun as it gets. If the only spells ever worth casting are your top 4 spells, something is working wrong IMO.


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If spell strike doesn't get reworked and get the fortune tag I'd maybe be for this so I can load up those lower slots with true strike instead of needing to invest all my gold into equipment to Force more true strikes.

Only losing one top level slot at odd levels is well worth the trade.

This all said still not a fan of the possibility of losing what martial benefits they currently posess for this.


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Martialmasters wrote:

If spell strike doesn't get reworked and get the fortune tag I'd maybe be for this so I can load up those lower slots with true strike instead of needing to invest all my gold into equipment to Force more true strikes.

Only losing one top level slot at odd levels is well worth the trade.

This all said still not a fan of the possibility of losing what martial benefits they currently posess for this.

I'd certainly be more apt to do a swap on Weapon Specialization for "Cantrip Specialization", where you increase your Weapon/Cantrip damage of the appropriate amount when using a Striking Spell.

In general, I try to make sure that any suggested changes I offer to a playtest Class don't elevate the power of that Class further, even if I think the Class might be underpowered.

The Magus very well might be underpowered, but for the purposes of making any amount of concession, I have to assume the designers are/were satisfied with the power budget of the Class as presented.

If the above falls in line with expected powers without any changes beyond the progression, then it doesn't necessarily need to be nerfed.
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I'm also all for Class Paths taking a larger role in the martial aspects, and IMO, they should, as that would allow a "good martial" budget at the cost of versatility of other martial actions. That honestly is what most of the Archetypes did for the PF1 Magus (adjusted the Martial aspects) and I see Class Paths as very much filling the roles that were once lead by level 1 Class Archetypes.

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A further aside, this actually helps the Summoner as much or more than the Magus IMO, because it opens up the ability for the Summoning Summoner to exist, as well as being able to vary your choices for Buff spells to help yourself and your eidolon out.

Then, IMO, some of the Class Feats might be able to pivot away from things that have situational benefit, for more grand customization type aspects of the Eidolon itself.

I know that if lower level Summon spells had been available to my Summoner Player, that would have changed a lot about their build decisions.

I had heard of Mark's Summoning Font, which sounds great, but considering not all Summoner's want to Focus Summons and the Magus is also suffering from lack of spells, I figured it was more related to the nature of the progression itself.

That said, I'd actually like to see the Font idea as a Class Feat and get this progression, which would allow for a lot of variation from Summoner to Summoner IMO.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I like this style of progression, could use some tweaks by those who know the math of the system better than me but I honestly think Magus and Summoner really could use a little more magic. I had been tinkering around with a more focus spell/cantrip heavy idea for the magus for a bit but this could work too!

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