Spell Slot Choices


Secrets of Magic Playtest General Discussion


I'm curious what spells players are preparing for their Magus and Summoner characters, and what your reasoning was behind those choices.


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For Magus, I've had the chance to playtest at 5 and 8 and both times I've taken combat utility spells in 3 of the 4 slots, normally with either a good hitting spell or a debuff in the fourth

Spellstrike works fairly well with Cantrips, so being able to Haste, or increase speed, or increase AC through various means, or being able to debuff a group of enemies is worth more than taking a full line up of hitters in the slots.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I've been playtesting around levels 5 to 13.
Always have Haste On and some of form of True Strike (through Martial Caster, a Wizard MC Archetype or a Staff of Divination)

Usually, I keep some damaging spell ready or through standby spell. The most useful one has been Sudden Bolt, so far.

My setup has been a variation of Shocking Grasp, Sudden Bolt, Vampiric Touch and Phantasmal Killer.

I then leave at least one slot for a debuff or for the mandatory lvl 13 Fiery Body.

My routine goes:

1st round - Haste, Spell Potency and Stride.

Subsequent rounds - Striking Spell with Produce Flame or with a slotted spell using True Strike before the melee Strike (last action) to attempt to crit fish.


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At level 6, my Angel Summoner is packing -

Heal - Because primary role.

Dispel Magic - I GMed Age of Ashes, and was shocked how many Hazards / Obstacles / Objectives had Dispel Magic as a viable solution... and generally from a far safer position than the other options.

Calm Emotions - There's a period where my proficiency will drop and I'll replace this, but I'm not there yet. Calm Emotions is a fantastic "win the fight, or at least cripple the bad guys" spell.

Faerie Fire - This is another spell that hard fixes a common obstacle. Concealment and Hidden are common conditions, and this allows no save to remove these. Already paid off repeatedly... this likely gets moved to a pair of carried scrolls once I hit 7-8 or so.


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I tested lvl 5 and 10.

For lvl 5 was a Dragon Summoner

I used
lvl 2 - Animated Assault, Blood Vendetta
lvl 3 - Lightning Bolt, Aqueous Orb

I like Aqueous Orb a lot in the test, the sustain could be done in act together, so I always could try to engulf a target during the turn and attack with Eidolon at the same time and lasted the entire battle, I got a lot of mileage with that spell.

Lvl 10 was a Phantom Summoner

lvl 4 - Invisibility, Resilient Sphere
lvl 5 - Synesthesia, Illusory Creature

This one was a weird Swashbuckler MC with Antagonize to make the enemies attack the summoner to trigger phantom reaction, Invisility works well for that so the summoner is even more a target and the phantom even gains free flatfooted during it, Resilient is the basic good spell and I didn't even use Illusory Creature because Synesthesia is OP as heck.


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How many encounters is 4 spells sustaining across? Are these all one or two encounters? Or do they last an adventuring day? Is the 4 spell slots slowing the party down from moving on leaving you weaker in more encounters or is it sufficient for an adventuring day of 4 to 6 encounters?


Deriven Firelion wrote:
How many encounters is 4 spells sustaining across? Are these all one or two encounters? Or do they last an adventuring day? Is the 4 spell slots slowing the party down from moving on leaving you weaker in more encounters or is it sufficient for an adventuring day of 4 to 6 encounters?

4 encounters a day is a medium-long day in many cases, and that leaves a Summoner with a spell per encounter without needing to dip into consumables.

Thats 4 spells vs 5-6 for a druid or bard, 5-6 plus font for a cleric, 7-8 for a sorc or 8-9 for a Wizard. I dont typically count spells more than top-level -1 for combat, as lower level slots tend to be filler...

That does mean Summoners (and presumably Magi) are going to feel the pinch, and have less chances where they want to burn more than one spell an encounter... but they also have superior combat abilities through their eidolon.

It definitely is going to be tight for a Summoner, but I think that's kindof the point.

Plus, theres always consumables.

No comments on Magi.


KrispyXIV wrote:
I dont typically count spells more than top-level -1 for combat, as lower level slots tend to be filler...

I think this is where we diverge the greatest: I tend to use those lower level spells with the high level more for a 'boss' or tough hazard.

KrispyXIV wrote:
Plus, theres always consumables.

:P


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graystone wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
I dont typically count spells more than top-level -1 for combat, as lower level slots tend to be filler...

I think this is where we diverge the greatest: I tend to use those lower level spells with the high level more for a 'boss' or tough hazard.

KrispyXIV wrote:
Plus, theres always consumables.
:P

Yeah, there's actually plenty of low level spells that can still be useful at any level. Blur and Mirror Image never heighten, so you can fill in lower level slots with more of them. Lots of utility spells like Air Bubble, Water Breathing, Invisibility Sphere, etc you can bring when you aren't using those slots for combat.


When I played a magus, the four spell slots lasted through the four encounters we had. One encounter I used none. Two I used one each. The last one I used two, but the second of them didn't even have an effect. Skills and cantrips were pretty solid for everything else. I used two oils of potency (applied to armor before entering places I expected combat). I think I used a potion of healing also.


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KrispyXIV wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
How many encounters is 4 spells sustaining across? Are these all one or two encounters? Or do they last an adventuring day? Is the 4 spell slots slowing the party down from moving on leaving you weaker in more encounters or is it sufficient for an adventuring day of 4 to 6 encounters?

4 encounters a day is a medium-long day in many cases, and that leaves a Summoner with a spell per encounter without needing to dip into consumables.

Thats 4 spells vs 5-6 for a druid or bard, 5-6 plus font for a cleric, 7-8 for a sorc or 8-9 for a Wizard. I dont typically count spells more than top-level -1 for combat, as lower level slots tend to be filler...

That does mean Summoners (and presumably Magi) are going to feel the pinch, and have less chances where they want to burn more than one spell an encounter... but they also have superior combat abilities through their eidolon.

It definitely is going to be tight for a Summoner, but I think that's kindof the point.

Plus, theres always consumables.

No comments on Magi.

I tend to use lower level spells for see invis or faerie fire or an extra heal or perhaps a single target enlarge. Then for haste or slow. I'm surprised you don't use more lower level slots as you level higher, since there are still quite a few useful lower level spells for buffing and such.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
How many encounters is 4 spells sustaining across? Are these all one or two encounters? Or do they last an adventuring day? Is the 4 spell slots slowing the party down from moving on leaving you weaker in more encounters or is it sufficient for an adventuring day of 4 to 6 encounters?

4 encounters a day is a medium-long day in many cases, and that leaves a Summoner with a spell per encounter without needing to dip into consumables.

Thats 4 spells vs 5-6 for a druid or bard, 5-6 plus font for a cleric, 7-8 for a sorc or 8-9 for a Wizard. I dont typically count spells more than top-level -1 for combat, as lower level slots tend to be filler...

That does mean Summoners (and presumably Magi) are going to feel the pinch, and have less chances where they want to burn more than one spell an encounter... but they also have superior combat abilities through their eidolon.

It definitely is going to be tight for a Summoner, but I think that's kindof the point.

Plus, theres always consumables.

No comments on Magi.

I tend to use lower level spells for see invis or faerie fire or an extra heal or perhaps a single target enlarge. Then for haste or slow. I'm surprised you don't use more lower level slots as you level higher, since there are still quite a few useful lower level spells for buffing and such.

If your takeaway from my statement was that low level slots aren't useful, then I wasn't clear enough.

They're absolutely good and useful - enough so that not having them feels like a meaningful limitation on spellcasting.

But they're not expensive enough to replace through multiclassing or consumable items that the classes are actually crippled by not having the slots.

Meaningful limitations are important to ensure it doesn't feel like a Summoner gets all the tangible and material benefits of being a spellcaster... or a Martial character, on the flip side. It should feel like you compromised on one side to get the other.

Because a Wizard > Fighter didn't have to compromise any meaningful amount of his Wizardness to add Fighter, but that Wizard will never be as good at Fighting as your Eidolon.

Thats the ideal, right?


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magus-save spells that do damage

because doing half damage on a fail is better than no damage on a miss after i already had to roll to hit with my melee weapon.


Magus thoughts:

Level 1-3: Magic Weapon
Level 4: Sudden Bolt/True Strike
Level 5(6): Haste/Sudden Bolt(/True Strike)
Level 7-8: Fireball/Haste/??
Level 9/10: Fireball/Phantasmal Killer/Haste
Level 11+: Chain Lightning/etc

That’s where i’m at right now at least.


KrispyXIV wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
How many encounters is 4 spells sustaining across? Are these all one or two encounters? Or do they last an adventuring day? Is the 4 spell slots slowing the party down from moving on leaving you weaker in more encounters or is it sufficient for an adventuring day of 4 to 6 encounters?

4 encounters a day is a medium-long day in many cases, and that leaves a Summoner with a spell per encounter without needing to dip into consumables.

Thats 4 spells vs 5-6 for a druid or bard, 5-6 plus font for a cleric, 7-8 for a sorc or 8-9 for a Wizard. I dont typically count spells more than top-level -1 for combat, as lower level slots tend to be filler...

That does mean Summoners (and presumably Magi) are going to feel the pinch, and have less chances where they want to burn more than one spell an encounter... but they also have superior combat abilities through their eidolon.

It definitely is going to be tight for a Summoner, but I think that's kindof the point.

Plus, theres always consumables.

No comments on Magi.

I tend to use lower level spells for see invis or faerie fire or an extra heal or perhaps a single target enlarge. Then for haste or slow. I'm surprised you don't use more lower level slots as you level higher, since there are still quite a few useful lower level spells for buffing and such.

If your takeaway from my statement was that low level slots aren't useful, then I wasn't clear enough.

They're absolutely good and useful - enough so that not having them feels like a meaningful limitation on spellcasting.

But they're not expensive enough to replace through multiclassing or consumable items that the classes are actually crippled by not having the slots.

Meaningful limitations are important to ensure it doesn't feel like a Summoner gets all the tangible and material benefits of being a spellcaster... or a Martial...

Hopefully the wizard isn't the bar. That bar would be pretty low. I was hoping for more druid level of balance.

I get what you're saying though.

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