Actual play - level 7


Secrets of Magic Playtest General Discussion


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I have two groups I and running through a scenario, I thought I would put my observations here. We've just started, I'll add more as we play.

The first group is 3 magi and a summoner.

Two of the magi chose slide casting, and the third chose shooting star with returning javelin, which I thought was clever. All three had plenty of fun with their schtick, and the shooting star player didn't seem annoyed about not getting the free move. There was plenty of talk at the table about how cool the various magus feats and features were, and they all made liberal use of the fact you can hold your spell in your weapon for a round to split a spellstrike up, which made them able to be more flexible with their actions than I was expecting.
The overall first impression from the magus players was that it is a class with lots of fun ideas, but missing most of your spells makes it a bit of a bummer in practice.

The summoner kept getting tripped up by manifesting taking a full turn. They were moving through a foggy town, not knowing if the next creatures they encounter are going to be monsters to fight or panicy townsfolk to rescue (who might freak out about her ghost), and guessing wrong meant she lost the first round of combat. Everyone felt a full round to manifest was punishing.
Once in combat, though, the eidolon proved a powerful tank, what with the summoner standing out of danger healing herself. The player seemed satisfied with it's attacks and damage, even though she only used boost eidolon once.

Some of them have been liberal with their slotted spells, so we'll get some data on their endurance in the next session, I'm sure.


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Second group is an even split, two magi and two summoners.

The first magus chose sustaining steel, and as a result of needing to move around the battlefield a fair bit didn't get to use spellstrike much. If he had played a fighter with a maul and spellcasting multiclass instead, I don't think I would have noticed the difference. That player is a powergamer sort, and built his character with an eye towards maximum spike damage. He got one really good spellstrike in which made his night, but he expressed that those moments appear to be so few and far between, he probably wouldn't play another magus in its present form.
He did take martial caster to get himself some Jump spells, which was a spell several of our magi sought out, each independently. Some sort of feat or focus spell for a jump slam would probably be very popular.

The second magus was the same shooting star magus from first group, because we had a dropout last minute. I'll discuss him with the other group.

The first summoner chose a dragon eidolon. He badly wanted to use the breath weapon, but the rest of the party kept running into melee and leaving him without an angle, so he hasn't had a chance to use it yet. Evolution surge was deemed very good, providing scent and speed at crucial moments. When it came to casting spells, he opted to cast Haste on a magus, so obviously he feels the summoner has better action economy than the magus. There isn't all that much to say about his first session: everything was basically fine. The eidolon was fine in combat. The number of spell slots was fine. Managing two bodies was fine. He would entirely happy playing the summoner as-is.

The second summoner chose beast eidolon, and as a roleplayer type, is having a ball being two characters (one an adorable leshy, the other a Hulking bear). He ran a one-man good-cop/bad-cop routine on an NPC and discovered the power of two skill attempts against the same problem. This player hasn't had much experience with PF2, but doesn't appear to be having a problem grokking one character with two bodies. In fact, all the summoners I've run for so far don't seem to have any trouble wrapping their head around the shared HP pool, but none of them played PF1 to have preconceived notions of how the summoner works.
He tried a primal roar, which would have been useful if he had rolled better. The fights so far have been too close to use the charge.

The broad overview I've seen from all the players so far is that the summoner is pretty fun and effective in its current form, whereas the magus looks good on paper but struggles to make good in practice.
All the magus players have expressed a desire for more low-level spells, while the summoners haven't complained about their spell slots at all.
Probably the most common single phrase I've heard from my players is "slide casting is fun, but".


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I've had the second (and final) session with the second group now.

The phantom summoner continues to feel straightjacketed by the manifest action taking a full 3 actions. She had plenty of opportunities for neat tricks by unmanifesting the eidolon or warp it back to her side, but losing a whole turn to do it was prohibitive. The one thing they did that took advantage of the eidolon's impermanence was that when the rest of the party escaped a bad situation but the eidolon was trapped behind, they decided to just run and hope she hit the 100' limit or, failing that, if it got dropped they could heal her and still all be out of harm's way.
The summoner proved unexpectedly resilient again; the party was split into two groups, and both were getting hammered with AoEs, with the summoner in one group and the eidolon in the other. Despite getting both sets of attacks, the summoner held on and kept fighting on both fronts.

The two slide caster magi played pretty much exactly as you'd expect magi to play: they scoot up to a baddie and spellstrike. These two use cantrips exclusively for spellstriking, saving their slots for things like Fly and Haste, or Weapon Storm for area effect. The players talked a lot about which cantrips they were using, and the consensus was that Electric Arc is the best because it still has an effect when your spell roll or DC fails, which is often, and Telekinetic Projectile is for when you are confident of a successful hit (like smashing through a wall). Other cantrips are only worthwhile for trying to hit elemental weaknesses, they concluded.
With slide casting, the class plays very much like the consummate gish it is meant to be, at least against lower-level foes so your spells can hit often enough. One of the players is running a warpriest in another game, and the other has a fighter/sorceror, and they both have a lot more fun with those characters than they did with the magus. There wasn't a big flavourful hook, apparently.

The third magus was the shooting star magus with a Returning javelin. His build included 0 magus class feats, instead taking all barbarian multiclass feats, and he had a great time. With rage and giant instinct's oversize weapon, he actually had better damage than the other group's powergamer maul user. The other two magi were a bit jealous of his character for having an option besides setting up spellstrikes.


Nice write ups!

On this portion:

Quote:
The third magus was the shooting star magus with a Returning javelin. His build included 0 magus class feats, instead taking all barbarian multiclass feats, and he had a great time. With rage and giant instinct's oversize weapon, he actually had better damage than the other group's powergamer maul user.

Can you describe how they were able to make Rage work with the Magi. Did they cast spells and then Rage and duke it out? Or did they opt for Moment of Clarity?

Just curious how that interaction worked out.


Midnightoker wrote:

Nice write ups!

On this portion:

Quote:
The third magus was the shooting star magus with a Returning javelin. His build included 0 magus class feats, instead taking all barbarian multiclass feats, and he had a great time. With rage and giant instinct's oversize weapon, he actually had better damage than the other group's powergamer maul user.

Can you describe how they were able to make Rage work with the Magi. Did they cast spells and then Rage and duke it out? Or did they opt for Moment of Clarity?

Just curious how that interaction worked out.

And Clumsy seems extra rough for a thrower.

Can't see the payoff for so much investment, though thematically striking somebody w/ lightning javelins seems like a cool, primal, barbarian theme.


Midnightoker wrote:

Nice write ups!

On this portion:

Quote:
The third magus was the shooting star magus with a Returning javelin. His build included 0 magus class feats, instead taking all barbarian multiclass feats, and he had a great time. With rage and giant instinct's oversize weapon, he actually had better damage than the other group's powergamer maul user.

Can you describe how they were able to make Rage work with the Magi. Did they cast spells and then Rage and duke it out? Or did they opt for Moment of Clarity?

Just curious how that interaction worked out.

Yeah, he'd cast any buffs he wanted, load a spell into his weapon, then rage and rely on weapon attacks to see him through thereafter. I expect moment of clarity would have been his next feat if the character leveled up. I'm not saying it was an excellent build, but he was having a blast with it and didn't seem to suffer much from not spellstriking in the latter turns of combat.


Castilliano wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

Nice write ups!

On this portion:

Quote:
The third magus was the shooting star magus with a Returning javelin. His build included 0 magus class feats, instead taking all barbarian multiclass feats, and he had a great time. With rage and giant instinct's oversize weapon, he actually had better damage than the other group's powergamer maul user.

Can you describe how they were able to make Rage work with the Magi. Did they cast spells and then Rage and duke it out? Or did they opt for Moment of Clarity?

Just curious how that interaction worked out.

And Clumsy seems extra rough for a thrower.

Can't see the payoff for so much investment, though thematically striking somebody w/ lightning javelins seems like a cool, primal, barbarian theme.

Oddly, despite taking shooting star synthesis to work with his javelin, his actual weapon of choice was a bastard sword. The javelin only got used when he couldn't or shouldn't close to melee.


Were they perhaps partial to the Bloodrager in 1E? This seems like an interesting effort to recreate it.

I'm glad they had fun, that's really all that matters.


Midnightoker wrote:

Were they perhaps partial to the Bloodrager in 1E? This seems like an interesting effort to recreate it.

I'm glad they had fun, that's really all that matters.

None of us have ever played 1e, as it happens. I'm pretty sure this player would have loved the bloodrager, though. :)


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This is why Manifest Eidolon should provide at least 2 actions upon manifesting like regular summoning does. There is no exploit allowing the manifest action to provide the eidolon 2 actions to act. Manifesting and doing nothing for an entire round for either the eidolon or summoner is not a good idea.

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