What do we need to do for one roll spell strike


Magus Class

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Pretty much title. I'm interested in what needs to be done for one roll spell strike to be a thing.

With the caveat of maintaining martial proficiencies.

How do we make it good,

But good, I mean about as consistent as rolling to hit with a martial -0 map proficiency strike.

Without it being overpowered

ATM the only thing I got is what others have suggested is the fortune tag. But that's more the design of true strikes fault than anything.


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Turn it into Channel Smite: Two-action activity to expend a prepared damage spell and charge your weapon and Strike for +Xd8 damage of the same energy type, where X is the spell's level.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
Turn it into Channel Smite: Two-action activity to expend a prepared damage spell and charge your weapon and Strike for +Xd8 damage of the same energy type, where X is the spell's level.

Maybe. I think that just makes them a better version of warpriest as a class instead of a subclass Wich warpriest is. Takes away design space for a war mage subclass and takes away the things that currently do make spell strike good. That is to say it's open ended versatility of how spell strike works with other attack actions. It also brings into question if it would retain one of the other great aspects of it, that is applying the spell critical effects.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Are you just thinking for spell attack roll spells, or also including spells that offer saves?

I can't imagine folding the save into the attack roll outside of the Channel smite mechanic.

From the NPC to player side, I don't think it is possible to have a devastating or debilitating spell trigger automatically with just one successful attack roll.

And that is what makes it tricky with striking spell, because it is important that the ability not be limited to only spell attack roll spells, or else there are just too few spell slot spells for the mechanic to really be worth combining with spell slots into a core class, and not an archetype.

Maybe moving the spell strike/striking spell thing into a feat, then it can just interact with spell attack roll spells, and the basic striking spell mechanic can be moved into a spell combat mechanic not tied to having the spell trigger off of the weapon attack.

It just feels like having those two connected (weapon attack and spell trigger) is what makes a magus different than a general gish.


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Here's how I would make Striking Spell one roll. Make it count as two attacks for purposes of MAP. If the attack roll hits, the spell attack roll hits. If the spell is a saving throw spell, then on a successful weapon hit, the target gets a status penalty to the saving throw. If you get a success on your Strike, the penalty is -1, or -2 on a crit. Unlike the current Striking Spell, the spell is expelled whether you hit your weapon attack or not. You could have a feat that lets you retain the spell on a miss as a reaction or something like that.

This way, the Magus is very accurate when casting spells through their sword, but much less accurate when casting spells normally.

Here's how it compares to the current Striking Spell:

  • No crit fishing mechanic
  • One roll, not clunky anymore
  • You can't store the spell on a miss, making Striking Spell more risky
  • Successful weapon attack applies penalty to enemy for a saving throw spell

    Losing the crit fishing mechanic and storing the spell on a miss are big losses, but are offset by the one roll and penalty for saves.

    Edit: Also give Striking Spell the flourish trait

  • Liberty's Edge

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    Honestly, it's super easy IMO.

    Start off by giving it the Fourish Trait and as part of the Cast a Spell Activity/Action with a Spell Attack and you can replace one Somatic or Verbal Component with a Weapon Strike. Use the Weapon Strike result to determine if it hits the opponent and on a Success, it delivers the Spell. AoE effects are permitted if they Target a Creature but it only affects the Target of the Strike. On a Failure the Spell Slot is not expended, on a Critical Failure the Spell Slot is wasted and the Spell does not resolve at all.

    In terms of Save-only Spells leave them out of the equation altogether or perhaps better yet create a 4th or 6th level Class Feat that enables them to use these with Spell Strike.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    getting a status penalty to the saving throw means that a magus won't benefit from any debuffing efforts and it will need to be a -2 or 3 penalty at first level and then get better at higher levels to be better off than just a regular caster.

    I am not really convinced that is going to be better or more interesting than just keeping the critical mechanic for saving throw spells. Regardless rolling once for two powerful attacks to go off together is probably going to need the fortune trait, if it is workable into anything that can be done in less than 3 actions. After all, even Power attack is not the equivalent of getting two attacks on one roll.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I don't think we need to mess with the saving throws. The save spells already cause an effect on a successful save.


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    Unicore wrote:

    getting a status penalty to the saving throw means that a magus won't benefit from any debuffing efforts and it will need to be a -2 or 3 penalty at first level and then get better at higher levels to be better off than just a regular caster.

    I am not really convinced that is going to be better or more interesting than just keeping the critical mechanic for saving throw spells. Regardless rolling once for two powerful attacks to go off together is probably going to need the fortune trait, if it is workable into anything that can be done in less than 3 actions. After all, even Power attack is not the equivalent of getting two attacks on one roll.

    I think the penalty is a nice add on for saving throw Striking Spells. Otherwise its really better for attack spells. Crit mechanics can be fun, but they can also be arbitrary and inconsistent, which can be unfun. I rather get a consistent bonus to my saving throw spells through Spell Striking, then hope for a crit. It rewards Magus players for using Striking Spell and emphasizes the class is great at casting if done through their weapon. Otherwise, they are lackluster compared to other casters, not to mention their way less spell slots and lower Int.


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    richienvh wrote:
    I don't think we need to mess with the saving throws. The save spells already cause an effect on a successful save.

    Personally, I think there's needs to be a benefit for casting a spell through your weapon, otherwise why not just cast it normally? If you're a melee magus, you're putting yourself in a vulnerable position to cast a spell by using Striking Spell. Let's use Fear as an example. A 1st level Wizard can cast Fear from a safe 30ft away. A melee Magus has to spend its actions to get within melee range of an enemy, then use Striking Spell. Considering Magus will have lower Int and eventually lower casting proficiency than a Wizard, they need something to help them out.

    Synthesis, depending on what form they resemble in the final version, are meant to reward the Magus for Striking Spell, but the playtest version also has the crit mechanic to potentially reward Magus for Striking Spell. My hypothetical "change" to Striking Spell removes the crit mechanic (and storing the spell on a miss) in exchange for better consistency.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    Oops, that got out the wrong way, sorry Fanatic66!

    My point was that I didn't think it was that essential.

    You know that I did play with your own version of Spellstrike, so in an ideal world, I would have it work like Rinanrv Bontimar's ability, which does that.


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    @unicore:. My thought is you just remove the save spells success effect when using it with spell strike. So it functions similarly to a strike having a miss (critical fail), a success (hit), and a critical success (critical hit). Thus in it's own way it powers down save spells when used through spell strike. Losing its success on a save option.

    Once you do that you can just wrap it's 3 effects into the effect of a strike action as normal.


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    No worries, yeah, the Rinanrv Bontimar's magus Spell Strike ability is my main inspiration for my idea. It's simple, consistent, and gives the Magus a powerful tool without overshadowing regular casters. I had fun with the playtest crit fishing Striking Spell, but I think a more consistent ability will be more fun in the long run.


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    Martialmasters wrote:
    Staffan Johansson wrote:
    Turn it into Channel Smite: Two-action activity to expend a prepared damage spell and charge your weapon and Strike for +Xd8 damage of the same energy type, where X is the spell's level.
    Maybe. I think that just makes them a better version of warpriest as a class instead of a subclass Wich warpriest is. Takes away design space for a war mage subclass and takes away the things that currently do make spell strike good. That is to say it's open ended versatility of how spell strike works with other attack actions. It also brings into question if it would retain one of the other great aspects of it, that is applying the spell critical effects.

    I see your point, but I'd rather have a consistent moderately powered ability than one that is mostly useless but can occasionally deliver amazing results.

    I'd also combine my version with giving the magus more spell slots (2/spell level, so less than current casters but not as few as the playtest version), and give them feats that can deliver special effects along with a spellstrike, possibly based on the damage type. Some ideas:

    Acid for persistent damage.
    Fire for wide AOEs (cone, sweep).
    Electricity for line AOE.
    Cold for slowing/immobilizing effects.
    Sonic for stun and/or anti-object effects.
    Negative for weakening debuffs.
    Slashing/Piercing for bleeds.
    Bludgeoning for knockbacks.

    I would find this to be a more compelling gameplay for the magus than trying to find spells that happen to suit their particular playstyle


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    Reflecting upon it, I think I would scale it over multiple levels so that there's not a huge gap in competence with, say, the Eldrtich Archers themselves.

    At 1st level, I'd have it only work with cantrips, then expand to other spells at a higher level.

    Themetricsystem wrote:

    Honestly, it's super easy IMO.

    Start off by giving it the Fourish Trait and as part of the Cast a Spell Activity/Action with a Spell Attack and you can replace one Somatic or Verbal Component with a Weapon Strike. Use the Weapon Strike result to determine if it hits the opponent and on a Success, it delivers the Spell. AoE effects are permitted if they Target a Creature but it only affects the Target of the Strike. On a Failure the Spell Slot is not expended, on a Critical Failure the Spell Slot is wasted and the Spell does not resolve at all.

    In terms of Save-only Spells leave them out of the equation altogether or perhaps better yet create a 4th or 6th level Class Feat that enables them to use these with Spell Strike.

    I really liked your solution for the slot on a failure.


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    Baseline idea. To work up or back from. Probably mostly for myself.

    One roll spell strike. Still 3 total actions. Still able to do it how it works now.

    So what does that mean?

    Well, for save spells. It loses one if the 4 effects they have. The effect on failure. A strike miss is treated as a critical failure. But as a success, and crit as critical success. Simple. You gave something up to use that save spell with spell strike.

    Obviously it also means that you don't need intelligence during spell strike, but would need it at any time outside of spell strike.

    You'd lose the current critical slider effect obviously. I know you unicore find it interesting but interesting doesn't mean good, and I'd personally be ok with losing it in exchange for consistency. As all it's actually doing is trying (and often failing) to make it more consistent.

    Then the other issue is Nova's. It probably really would constitute the fortune trait. Or some wording barring you from casting a spell while you hold a spell with spell combat. Wich is a real limitation, Wich I gather is needed to make spell strike one roll, but I'm trying to preserve it's open ended nature and interaction with multi class feats as much as possible.

    It should probably also count as 2 attacks for map but only apply after the strike is made. Kinda like double slice. Dunno how fair it is to go halfway so it counts as 2 attacks for map on hit and 1 on miss. Or give it some kind of finisher trait. Spit balling in this last paragraph.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

    In response to Staffan's idea, If the mechanic is going to make spells behave radically different from the way they do as spells, it just makes a lot more sense to have different spells for striking spell, and having them work as focus spells with a recharge mechanic or as focus cantrips makes more sense to me than giving the class a bunch of spell slot spells that become completely different spells when used through the class's core mechanic.

    Saving Throw spells are too powerful to take away the element of giving the target a chance to roll for themselves, especially as a ton of player mechanics interact with saving throws, and being able to hit someone well with a sword should not be a magical way to dominate a character with a really high will save and an evasion mechanic on that save. It would tear players apart as an NPC mechanic.

    The issue that makes this complicated is an underlying structural issue about what getting to make a save vs a spell effect does, and how the game treats that very differently then making an attack roll. There is a reason disintegrate gives both, and phantasmal killer gives two saves, and even why ray of enfeeblement gives a save on top of requiring a spell attack roll.

    I just don't think the way spells are designed will translate well to a mechanic that bypasses the means of delivery. As modular as PF2 is, the spells are not very modular at all. Metamagic feats have to be pretty careful about how they can interact with and change spells, and most of that is very subtle stuff that makes a lot of players ignore how valuable they can be. I think the best answer to make spell strike use only one roll for all spells is to only let it work focus spells and focus cantrips that are specifically designed and balanced to work around hitting with a weapon attack, and either make the magi have no spell slots as a base, or very few or reduced level spell slots designed around providing utility and buffs, not to be competitive with full caster combat spell capacity.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Unicore wrote:

    In response to Staffan's idea, If the mechanic is going to make spells behave radically different from the way they do as spells, it just makes a lot more sense to have different spells for striking spell, and having them work as focus spells with a recharge mechanic or as focus cantrips makes more sense to me than giving the class a bunch of spell slot spells that become completely different spells when used through the class's core mechanic.

    Saving Throw spells are too powerful to take away the element of giving the target a chance to roll for themselves, especially as a ton of player mechanics interact with saving throws, and being able to hit someone well with a sword should not be a magical way to dominate a character with a really high will save and an evasion mechanic on that save. It would tear players apart as an NPC mechanic.

    The issue that makes this complicated is an underlying structural issue about what getting to make a save vs a spell effect does, and how the game treats that very differently then making an attack roll. There is a reason disintegrate gives both, and phantasmal killer gives two saves, and even why ray of enfeeblement gives a save on top of requiring a spell attack roll.

    I just don't think the way spells are designed will translate well to a mechanic that bypasses the means of delivery. As modular as PF2 is, the spells are not very modular at all. Metamagic feats have to be pretty careful about how they can interact with and change spells, and most of that is very subtle stuff that makes a lot of players ignore how valuable they can be. I think the best answer to make spell strike use only one roll for all spells is to only let it work focus spells and focus cantrips that are specifically designed and balanced to work around hitting with a weapon attack, and either make the magi have no spell slots as a base, or very few or reduced level spell slots designed around providing utility and buffs, not to be competitive with full caster combat spell capacity.

    I agree. While I don't think a penalty like Fantic66 suggested would be too bad, I think the safest route to getting one roll spells would be to confine that mechanic to spell attacks and have striking spell save spells work as they do.


    Unicore wrote:
    In response to Staffan's idea, If the mechanic is going to make spells behave radically different from the way they do as spells, it just makes a lot more sense to have different spells for striking spell, and having them work as focus spells with a recharge mechanic or as focus cantrips makes more sense to me than giving the class a bunch of spell slot spells that become completely different spells when used through the class's core mechanic.

    I agree that a different spell list for the magus would make more sense, but that ship sailed when the CRB was released and said that all proper casters needed to cast spells from one of the four tradition spell lists. So the second-best thing to do (at least from my POV) is to make the spells act as fuel for special abilities.

    Quote:
    Saving Throw spells are too powerful to take away the element of giving the target a chance to roll for themselves, especially as a ton of player mechanics interact with saving throws, and being able to hit someone well with a sword should not be a magical way to dominate a character with a really high will save and an evasion mechanic on that save. It would tear players apart as an NPC mechanic.

    Right. And even if you could figure out a mechanic that worked well with the current set of spells, it would act as a design constraint on future spell design (the way True Strike seemingly does to Striking Spell).

    A lot of people seem to want the magus to be a wizard that uses a sword as a spell delivery mechanism. And hey, I can sympathize. That's essentially what it was in PF1. But given the highly structured nature of PF2, I don't think that's possible, at least not in a balanced way. That's why I'd rather see the class do something different - more like the 4e swordmage, or something like WOW's elemental shaman or maybe death knight.


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    Staffan Johansson wrote:
    Unicore wrote:
    In response to Staffan's idea, If the mechanic is going to make spells behave radically different from the way they do as spells, it just makes a lot more sense to have different spells for striking spell, and having them work as focus spells with a recharge mechanic or as focus cantrips makes more sense to me than giving the class a bunch of spell slot spells that become completely different spells when used through the class's core mechanic.

    I agree that a different spell list for the magus would make more sense, but that ship sailed when the CRB was released and said that all proper casters needed to cast spells from one of the four tradition spell lists. So the second-best thing to do (at least from my POV) is to make the spells act as fuel for special abilities.

    Quote:
    Saving Throw spells are too powerful to take away the element of giving the target a chance to roll for themselves, especially as a ton of player mechanics interact with saving throws, and being able to hit someone well with a sword should not be a magical way to dominate a character with a really high will save and an evasion mechanic on that save. It would tear players apart as an NPC mechanic.

    Right. And even if you could figure out a mechanic that worked well with the current set of spells, it would act as a design constraint on future spell design (the way True Strike seemingly does to Striking Spell).

    A lot of people seem to want the magus to be a wizard that uses a sword as a spell delivery mechanism. And hey, I can sympathize. That's essentially what it was in PF1. But given the highly structured nature of PF2, I don't think that's possible, at least not in a balanced way. That's why I'd rather see the class do something different - more like the 4e swordmage, or something like WOW's elemental shaman or maybe death knight.

    As a big fan of the 4E Swordmage, I would love to see something similar in 2E. Drop the Spell Strike pretense and just give the class focus cantrips that offer different ways to make magical attacks like Burning Blade (weapon attack plus some fire damage). Unfortunately, I think for many 1E players, they want a Magus with a traditional Spell Strike feature and it makes sense to keep the 2E class similar to its origins.


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    But then it wouldn't really feel like a Magus. Having SOME special focus spells like this would work perfectly fine. But then the Magus loses his identity of student of many arts. The part of its description about "studying any tome you might find" etc wouldn't hold true anymore. The Magus is all about making "traditional" magic work in a martial way.
    While I still aggree that the Magus would definitely have some specific focus spells/cantrip too.


    Yeah, unfortunately, this is part of the baggage of designing a new system off of an older one. It would be cool to have the classic Magus and another magical warrior class that relies on focus cantrips/spells to emulate something more like the 4E Swordmage. I'm not sure if Paizo will make two gish classes, but I would like it at least


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    Honestly I feel like it's more interresting to have the gish use "actual" magic as part of his kit rather than "made up spells". It adds more variety to it, and when new spells are released the class can use them too, instead of waiting for specific spells for them. Of course those "blade spells" have a place in it too.


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    I don't have the answer to the OP's question, but from an ease of play/speed of play standpoint, one roll is important to me. My fighter only has to roll once. But my Magus needs to roll twice? Bummer, twice as much math, twice as much time.


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    jdripley wrote:
    I don't have the answer to the OP's question, but from an ease of play/speed of play standpoint, one roll is important to me. My fighter only has to roll once. But my Magus needs to roll twice? Bummer, twice as much math, twice as much time.

    Twice the chance to fail at your class feature woot


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    jdripley wrote:
    My fighter only has to roll once.

    Do you... just... only ever attack once per turn with your Fighter?

    I feel like that isn't particularly normal.


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    Squiggit wrote:
    jdripley wrote:
    My fighter only has to roll once.

    Do you... just... only ever attack once per turn with your Fighter?

    I feel like that isn't particularly normal.

    Most of his abilities though that do two things, he only has to roll once for as a fighter.

    You hit... The effect happens too.

    That's The point I believe.


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    Kalaam wrote:
    Honestly I feel like it's more interresting to have the gish use "actual" magic as part of his kit rather than "made up spells". It adds more variety to it, and when new spells are released the class can use them too, instead of waiting for specific spells for them. Of course those "blade spells" have a place in it too.

    Yeah, I see that. In an ideal world, I have liked Paizo to have kept class specific spell lists just for a gish class like the Magus. That way they can get new gish oriented spells. I guess gish spells could be focus spells, but it feels bad to take feats for them. I would love some of 5e's blade spells as focus cantrips, but I'm not sure if there's a power budget for them with the current Magus.


    Squiggit wrote:
    jdripley wrote:
    My fighter only has to roll once.

    Do you... just... only ever attack once per turn with your Fighter?

    I feel like that isn't particularly normal.

    I feel the same.

    Also, on the second attack you don't have any advantage if you crit your first one.

    What they really need to do, since it's causing many issues, is to get rid of eldritch shot ( modifying it ), bringing it equal to spellstrike, or eventually unable to be used for magus purposes.

    I'd really like not to see:

    A) a magus taking Eldritch archer dedication to improve shooting star

    B) a magus make a comparison between the mechanic of eldritch shot compared to spellstrike.


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    I would be a fan of anything if it meant a consistent non multiple roll magus they retains martial proficiencies.

    Hell if it was a ten feat investment with no wiggle room or it falls apart I'd take it.

    That's how much I'm sick or having to make multiple rolls to accomplish one thing.

    Spell strike canonically is one thing, an attack, it might use a resource with that attack but it's an attack. One roll.

    Give me one roll spell strike.


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    Every fighter/ wizard and wizard/ fighter has to make two attacks to get both a Strike and a spell off.

    I’m not convinced a single roll is necessary or necessarily an improvement.


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    RexAliquid wrote:

    Every fighter/ wizard and wizard/ fighter has to make two attacks to get both a Strike and a spell off.

    I’m not convinced a single roll is necessary or necessarily an improvement.

    What fighter MC wizard is casting a spell to do damage.

    Why would a wizard ever MC fighter. To only be able to hit some enemies on a natural 20?


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I’m so tired of this debate I kind of wish Paizo keeps the current Magus then makes the Melee Eldritch Archer archetype and everyone goes home happy, getting what they want.

    Those that want to crit fish, crit fish and those that want a simpler mechanic get the archetype at 6th level and are done with it.

    Or maybe put the one roll as an optional feat. Crit fishing Magus is still televant for save spells, you don’t even have to take it if you don’t want to.

    I think at this point those that want to play the playtest Investigator with magic would be extremely disappointed if they got to play the eldritch archer with a sword and vice versa.


    richienvh wrote:

    I’m so tired of this debate I kind of wish Paizo keeps the current Magus then makes the Melee Eldritch Archer archetype and everyone goes home happy, getting what they want.

    Those that want to crit fish, crit fish and those that want a simpler mechanic get the archetype at 6th level and are done with it.

    Or maybe put the one roll as an optional feat. Crit fishing Magus is still televant for save spells, you don’t even have to take it if you don’t want to.

    I think at this point those that want to play the playtest Investigator with magic would be extremely disappointed if they got to play the eldritch archer with a sword and vice versa.

    While I like eldritch Archer it was only because of its other feats not eldritch shot.

    Plus the level 6 entry was kind of a downer.

    But I'd be for a feat to make it one roll, or a dedication that gives me one roll as you said.

    But martial proficiencies and one roll is kinda the baseline for my hopes.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Martialmasters wrote:
    richienvh wrote:

    I’m so tired of this debate I kind of wish Paizo keeps the current Magus then makes the Melee Eldritch Archer archetype and everyone goes home happy, getting what they want.

    Those that want to crit fish, crit fish and those that want a simpler mechanic get the archetype at 6th level and are done with it.

    Or maybe put the one roll as an optional feat. Crit fishing Magus is still televant for save spells, you don’t even have to take it if you don’t want to.

    I think at this point those that want to play the playtest Investigator with magic would be extremely disappointed if they got to play the eldritch archer with a sword and vice versa.

    While I like eldritch Archer it was only because of its other feats not eldritch shot.

    Plus the level 6 entry was kind of a downer.

    But I'd be for a feat to make it one roll, or a dedication that gives me one roll as you said.

    But martial proficiencies and one roll is kinda the baseline for my hopes.

    Mine too. But I think that solution really ends the conundrum.

    If someone is looking to play a tactically minded, slow starting Magus, they just don’t take the feat/archetype. The others just live through maybe a few levels (I’d place it at level 4) then take it.

    Can’t break anything, as seen by the Eldritch Archer (I play a Rogue one and usually combine Sneak attack with a charged cantrip. A Magus would have to go through a lot to top that, damage wise)

    Also, like you said, the other feats are great! Would be nice to have similar ideas implemented in a melee context with the proper adaptations

    Which is why I’m going to give fanatic66 and the-magic-sword a nod and propose that that hypothetical archetype be called Swordmage haha


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    I hate sitting around levels for my character to play well. I like feats to enhance my gameplay not enable it, especially feats beyond level 1 or 2.

    But yeah, I could just home brew allowing the feat at level 1 at that point.


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    richienvh wrote:
    I’m so tired of this debate I kind of wish Paizo keeps the current Magus then makes the Melee Eldritch Archer archetype and everyone goes home happy, getting what they want.

    Not me, but that's because I want a swordmage.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Staffan Johansson wrote:
    richienvh wrote:
    I’m so tired of this debate I kind of wish Paizo keeps the current Magus then makes the Melee Eldritch Archer archetype and everyone goes home happy, getting what they want.
    Not me, but that's because I want a swordmage.

    For the record, Swordmage is tied with the Magus as my favorite gish class.

    Ah, the joy of lightning luring an oponent right into flame blade


    richienvh wrote:
    Staffan Johansson wrote:
    richienvh wrote:
    I’m so tired of this debate I kind of wish Paizo keeps the current Magus then makes the Melee Eldritch Archer archetype and everyone goes home happy, getting what they want.
    Not me, but that's because I want a swordmage.

    For the record, Swordmage is tied with the Magus as my favorite gish class.

    Ah, the joy of lightning luring an oponent right into flame blade

    I wonder if we will ever get a Swordmage like class. It would need a lot of unique spells (focus?) to get the same feeling as the old Swordmage, and play differently from the Magus.


    We could potentially get swordmage in the future, but in heavy modified way as swordmage is from WoC and its pretty unlikely that one will take something away from other.

    If you want sword mage then you will have unfortunetly wait for it.
    It feels (at last to me) like what are you saying is on lvl "I want fighter so lets remove rage from barbarian and give him heavy armor prof together with legendary weapons and martial versatility, let him also chose dex as core ability class.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I don’t think Paizo will make two gish classes. The Magus is their own interpretation for that concept.

    That said, I do think there is room for a Melee Gish Archetype that’s not the Magus MCD.

    Swordmage was a Defender Class and there was an Eldritch Knight on PF1...


    VictorFafnir wrote:

    If you want sword mage then you will have unfortunetly wait for it.

    It feels (at last to me) like what are you saying is on lvl "I want fighter so lets remove rage from barbarian and give him heavy armor prof together with legendary weapons and martial versatility, let him also chose dex as core ability class.

    What I want is a character with martial-level weapon proficiencies who uses magic to enhance their attacks, with maybe the occasional "hard-cast" spell. I'm thinking things like telekinetically repositioning a foe from across the room and bringing him into melee range, or stabbing a dude and have my blade project a bolt of lightning into his ally a few steps back, or doing that thing where I teleport a few times in quick succession and make a strike in between each.


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    Enhancing their attacks is already done by multiple classes and dedications. Magically even. Including magus as it is currently.

    I'm curious to what you mean by enhance if not this.


    Martialmasters wrote:

    Enhancing their attacks is already done by multiple classes and dedications. Magically even. Including magus as it is currently.

    I'm curious to what you mean by enhance if not this.

    I think I mentioned it earlier in the thread, but my idea goes something like this:

    1. Give the magus up to 2 spell slots per spell level (so one less than most casters, but still keeping lower-level spells around).

    2. Replace the current Striking Spell with a Spellstrike feature modeled after Channel Smite, giving you a two-action activity that expends a prepared damage-dealing spell and makes a Strike that deals +Xd8 damage of a type that spell would deal, where X is the spell's level.

    3. Give them a bunch of class feats that piggy-back on Spellstrike, e.g. "Sweeping Flame: When you deal fire damage with a Spellstrike, also deal that damage to another target that is adjacent to both you and the target" or "Insidious Corrosion: When you deal acid damage with a Spellstrike, the target also takes 1 point of persistent acid damage per die."

    4. Probably some focus spells for the battlefield manipulation and mobility stuff.

    Of course, this is just a rough idea and even if adopted would need some serious balance work to get things right, but I think that would be a much cooler character than the current magus.


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    Staffan Johansson wrote:
    Martialmasters wrote:

    Enhancing their attacks is already done by multiple classes and dedications. Magically even. Including magus as it is currently.

    I'm curious to what you mean by enhance if not this.

    I think I mentioned it earlier in the thread, but my idea goes something like this:

    1. Give the magus up to 2 spell slots per spell level (so one less than most casters, but still keeping lower-level spells around).

    2. Replace the current Striking Spell with a Spellstrike feature modeled after Channel Smite, giving you a two-action activity that expends a prepared damage-dealing spell and makes a Strike that deals +Xd8 damage of a type that spell would deal, where X is the spell's level.

    3. Give them a bunch of class feats that piggy-back on Spellstrike, e.g. "Sweeping Flame: When you deal fire damage with a Spellstrike, also deal that damage to another target that is adjacent to both you and the target" or "Insidious Corrosion: When you deal acid damage with a Spellstrike, the target also takes 1 point of persistent acid damage per die."

    4. Probably some focus spells for the battlefield manipulation and mobility stuff.

    Of course, this is just a rough idea and even if adopted would need some serious balance work to get things right, but I think that would be a much cooler character than the current magus.

    Honestly I think you have some cool ideas there. My concern giving Magus 2 slots though is that they might lose master in weapons, which I would rather avoid. That's the tough part of balancing a gish. You can't make it too good at caster and martial stuff or else it invalidates regular martials and casters. Everyone also has their own definition of a gish character. It's really a spectrum with pure martial on one end and a wizard on the other. Some want a gish to be closer to a wizard than others. I don't envy Paizo's job in making a gish class. It's hard work to balance and satisfy player expectations


    fanatic66 wrote:
    Honestly I think you have some cool ideas there. My concern giving Magus 2 slots though is that they might lose master in weapons, which I would rather avoid. That's the tough part of balancing a gish.

    I suspect, but I don't have the math to back it up, that 2 slots + mediocre casting proficiency will mean that the magus will be reluctant to use direct offensive magic (e.g. fireballs and such), and instead use their slots for Spellstrike and buffs, with maybe a little utility magic in there. That's what would provide the balance.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Staffan Johansson wrote:
    Martialmasters wrote:

    Enhancing their attacks is already done by multiple classes and dedications. Magically even. Including magus as it is currently.

    I'm curious to what you mean by enhance if not this.

    I think I mentioned it earlier in the thread, but my idea goes something like this:

    1. Give the magus up to 2 spell slots per spell level (so one less than most casters, but still keeping lower-level spells around).

    2. Replace the current Striking Spell with a Spellstrike feature modeled after Channel Smite, giving you a two-action activity that expends a prepared damage-dealing spell and makes a Strike that deals +Xd8 damage of a type that spell would deal, where X is the spell's level.

    3. Give them a bunch of class feats that piggy-back on Spellstrike, e.g. "Sweeping Flame: When you deal fire damage with a Spellstrike, also deal that damage to another target that is adjacent to both you and the target" or "Insidious Corrosion: When you deal acid damage with a Spellstrike, the target also takes 1 point of persistent acid damage per die."

    4. Probably some focus spells for the battlefield manipulation and mobility stuff.

    Of course, this is just a rough idea and even if adopted would need some serious balance work to get things right, but I think that would be a much cooler character than the current magus.

    Some very interesting ideas there. Although I'd prefer the Magus to remain, you know, the Magus, I think there is potential for another class or archetype.

    I will point out that the main strength of a Swordmage approach or a Swordmage class is that it could be some much easier to balance because it's abilities are self-contained. This leads to you not having to worry about it potentially critting with spell x or y, and that gives you more freedom to mess with the action economy and the effects.

    On your ideas themselves, the approach is very similar to the 5e Paladin's Divine Smite. I like it, though.

    I don't think your Swordmage would need to lose their Master martial proficiencies due to the fact that the damage from the smite-like spellstrike tends to be lower than the damage of a potential spell of the same level.

    For example, I think the highest damaging single target spell you can cast over multiple level is Sudden bolt (for 4d12+1d12 per level). At 2nd level, its average damage is 26 versus 9 from the 'smite'. I think it could be a good trade due to the fact that the 'smite' also gets the weapon damage.

    At least in theory, you're trading raw damage for efficiency.

    Also, I feel that there wouldn't be much harm in the 2 slots per spell level due to the fact that a) those slots are also competing for your 'smite' and b) your caster proficiency will be lower.

    Just a thought, but since that idea is so much similar to the 5e paladin, I wonder if it couldn't be more suited to a potential Inquisitor than the Magus. I don't know, make it Judgement Strike and the mobility/push and pull stuff could be you hunting down the enemies of your god.


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    richienvh wrote:
    I will point out that the main strength of a Swordmage approach or a Swordmage class is that it could be some much easier to balance because it's abilities are self-contained. This leads to you not having to worry about it potentially critting with spell x or y, and that gives you more freedom to mess with the action economy and the effects.

    Exactly. The way I see it, the main Cool Thing about the playtest magus is Striking Spell, but the math makes it unsatisfying. And since it's tied to existing spells, you kind of need to be conservative with it or you run the risk of getting broken interactions with particular spells. One of the main arguments I see goes something like this:

    Suggestion: We should have the spell delivered via Striking Spell just use the result of the attack to determine the spell's success, or reverse it for a save.

    Reply: No, we can't do that, because then you could bypass saves which determine different creatures' strengths and weaknesses, plus you could use True Strike and other shenanigans to have way too high a chance to succeed or even crit with strong debuffs.

    And that's a fairly persuasive argument: getting Striking Spell to a place where it's satisfying for most cases makes the outliers too powerful. So my suggestion is to just make that problem go away by redefining the ability. It also opens up the action economy a bit, and we like action economy.


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    But removing Striking Spell just to give the Magus "Flame Blade" "Ice Blade" etc is way, way less interresting.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    Yeah, which is why I feel that that should be another class. The Swordmage approach, I think, completely does away with the Magus’s identity, which I personally wouldn’t like.

    At least on my part, I’m still hopeful the Magus will get a functional, one roll Striking Spell (for spell attacks), whether it’s as the baseline or as an option/evolution accompanying the current mechanic.

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