Help me make the case for the Muscle Wizard Class Archetype

Homebrew and House Rules

Liberty's Edge

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As thread title: This is an idea/concept that doesn't really have the kind of support it needs to really be thus far, and is such a lovable (IMO) trope that's been touched on in tons of different systems, albeit mostly through homebrew. These exist in a variety of different fiction mediums, can be made in some more lightweight and crunch unfettered fantasy RPGs, and are just so freaking funny and cool, at least to me...

Sure it could probably be done partially by way of other Archetypes and various Spells but that's only going to get you halfway there and you'll still basically be a bookworm who bought a gym membership but never has the time or energy to invest in it. This thread is explicitly NOT about how to build this with existing rules but instead to talk about ways this could be created as a whole new thing. I am talking about the BEST minds at Paizo (and maybe even some freelancers) putting their heads together and publishing this in a real hardcover book, of course, I'm not at all OPPOSED to the idea of it being made in/as Pathfinder Infinite or another 3rd Party release but the idea to me is a strong one. (I'm not sorry for the pun)

I want this thread to not only be an appeal to the devs to seriously consider finding a way to make this work but to also be a lighthearted discussion and brainstorm of how it could work.

To start off, my first idea would be to have it as a Class Archetype that trades out the Arcane School and Arcane Thesis, has 1 fewer Spell Slots of each level starting right at 1st level (This does mean they can never gain 10th Level Spell Slots and also cannot take Archwizard's Might), but in exchange, they're granted a significant boost to their Unarmored Training, increased Unarmed, Simple, and a single Martial Weapon (that they otherwise have Access to) Training, and are afforded a Focus Spell named FIST (Yes, in all CAPS) that empowers their MELEE (NOT RANGED, just my opinion) Unarmed, Weapon, and Spell Attacks that as a 1-action Focus Spell gives a SIGNIFICANT boost to attack and damage until the beginning of their next turn or alternatively as a 2-action Focus Spell lasts for a full minute that offers a MODEST boost to these. The Key Ability Score is STR, Spellcasting Modifier, and the Class DC is also based on Strength. Oh and they should also be given Attack of Opportunity for free.

I really do genuinely think that a 1st party version of this is a good idea, I may be alone in that and others think it's too silly, feel free to speak up and let your thoughts be known either way and if you're bored and the idea catches you maybe help me spitball some ideas on how this could work and also be functionally balanced.

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Their spellcasting stat is Str?
Hard pass on that alone. And by the time you've fixed all the other holes in this plan, i.e. hit points, it will hardly be a Wizard. It'll just be a strong, martial PC w/ more spells than is fair to the Magus or martials w/ an MCD.

Separately, using muscles to cast spells is a trope?
Or were you just talking about a normal gish?

This belongs in Homebrew; IMO it's too far afield for Paizo consideration.

Liberty's Edge

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I also do not see the trope you mean and would love some examples as it sounds interesting.

Liberty's Edge

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Some examples of this would be Alex Louis Armstrong from Full Metal Alchemist, they're actually the primary headliner for the concept, a good overview of the idea can be found here on nerdarchy. Other (rather NSFW) forms of fictive writing on the concept can be found on film fiction. Another rather splendid and famous showcasing the overtly buff wizard here.

Here is another mockup of the idea for 5e, that strangely enough recycles some buffed out PF Ezren art. Other examples on the DMs Guild recreate the idea whole cloth for 5e as well and in fact, it seems to be a fairly common thing to tinker around and homebrew, not just for 5e but also previous editions and other RPGs too.

Admittedly, I's not a real MAINSTREAM type of concept but it's a funny and intriguing one to me at least and with the lack of any real "buff" Spells as we knew it in earlier editions and games it makes the concept that much harder to simulate for PC.

As for basing it off STR, maybe that's a step too far but again, I'm just trying to brainstorm. :D

Liberty's Edge

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I would take STR Monk with Ki spells based on INT and of Arcane tradition. And MC Wizard obviously.

At level 1 with Ancient Elf for even more stereotype breaking.

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A spell caster who believes they need to train all of their muscles, not just their brain? That sounds like a Magus to me. You don't even need any extra feats to spellstrike with your unarmed attacks.

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Why's this in Rules instead of Homebrew?

Grand Archive

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I am a little caught up on what you want for this. What do you want from this that a magus cannot accomplish?

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Is this themed after Flex Mentallo, Man of Muscle Mystery

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This reminds me of Philionel El Di Saillune: Phil is a pacifist that has no magical powers, but he does have a lot of brute strength. That and a lot of oxymoronic, justice-themed physical attacks like Pacifist Crush, Kindness to All Creatures Kick, Benevolent Giant Swing, and Goodwill Towards Man Smash.

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There are a lot of ways one could go for this. There are advantages to doing it as an archetype, as that would let you add in some focus spells that are particularly appropriate, and it makes sense that it would be a dedication feat, as it would involve quite a bit of dedication for a wizard to develop their strength and develop spell casting tricks that utilized it. Note that this version of the concept would not have any powers for actually physicall punching stuff. The character would have to choose a further archetype (barbarian, martial artist, fighter, magus, as they desire) to get some ability to hit stuff.

Other notes: you can get this dedication archtype by taking the Stength Powered Wizard arcane thesis. That thesis basically is just 'You can the Strength Powered Wizard dedication feat'.

Here is an outline of some ideas:

Archetype: Strength Powered Wizard
Prerequisites: wizard level 1, transmuter or evoker specialization, or universalist wizard, strength 14.

You have developed a unique arcane thesis that allows you to boost some of your magic using your physical strength. You may add your strength modifier to the damage dealt by any evocation or transmutation spell that you cast. This applies to any damage dealth by the spell throughout its duration, for example, it applies to each damage roll a flaming sphere deals, and to any damage you deal while polymorphed into a battle form. In addition, the status bonus you gain from the focus spell physical boost is equal to your strength modifier if it is greater than 2, and you can add your strength modifier to the damage dealt by the focus spell hand of the apprentice.

Force Master (level 8): whenever you cast an evocation spell with the force descriptor, add half of your Strength modifier (round down) as a status bonus its spell attack roll. Targets of evocation spells that you cast that have the force descriptor take a status penalty to their saving throws equal to half your strength modifier, rounded down.

Mighty Shield (level 2): WHen you cast the shield cantrip, you add your strength modifier to the spell's hardness. When you use Sheild Block with your shield spell, you may also make an athletics check to push the attack. Add both your strength and your intelligence modifier to the skill check for this push attempt.

Break Magic (level 4): gives access to a focus spell (and a focus point) that lets you counter wall spells and other magical barriers, as well as effects that would restrain or hinder you (slow, entangle, etc.)

Hefty Telekinetic Haul (level 10): When you cast Telekinetic Haul, the distance you can move the target increases to 10 feet times your strength modifier, and the maximum bulk of an object that can be affected by the spell increases to 80 plus 10 times your strength modifier. Once per turn you can sustain telekinetic haul as a free action.

Mighty Battleform (level 6): You add half of your strength modifier (round down) as a status bonus to attack rolls you make while polymorphed into a battle form.

Hand of the Apprentice (level 1): as per wizard feat.

Sovereign Court Director of Community

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Moved from Pathfinder Second Edition-Rules to Homebrew forum.

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I dig this.
My initial thought was to make a Magus class archetype, but that loses some of the flavor in the trope.

What S. J. Digritz proposes seems pretty good.
Only other thing I think it should get is the boosted weapon and armor proficiencies mentioned in the OP and definitely a reaction ability, but not necessarily AoO.

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Unarmed magus with wizard dedication for slots and monk dedication for more stances and flurry of blows is how I'd make my Colonel Armstrong.

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