Melee AoO Kineticist Feedback Applied to Other Classes


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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The recent playtest analysis of Kineticist was great, and I particularly liked that melee attacks triggering AoO, a longtime complaint for other classes, was finally addressed.

"Manipulate Trait: There was a lot of conversation about the manipulate trait triggering Attacks of Opportunity and putting the melee kineticist in danger. This isn’t a factor in most combats, but in combats against many monsters with Attack of Opportunity, it’ll get you dead in a hurry! The discussions about this reinforced that the inclusion of concentrate and manipulate on all impulses was carried forward from how spells work... and these aren’t supposed to be just like spells! So, it’s likely the final impulses will still include concentrate, but manipulate will only appear on impulses where it’s essential to the action taking place in the story."

Now personally I would LOVE to see Paizo take a look back at some other classes that have melee attacks triggering AoO and perhaps errata that too? I am looking at you poor melee magus and spellstrike...


We already removed that at my table a long time ago. The funny thing is I actually believe it was an oversight on the Magus, with the exact same reasoning as the kineticist.

It was baked into casting a spell, and thus it snug past the radar.

I mean them doing a sweeping errata and removing manipulate from basically all Magus/inventor/thaum abilities that are used in melee combat would be swell. But it's such an easy houserule either way.


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A really popular houserule I've seen bouncing around the internet lately is making any ability with a range of melee/reach/5-feet and the manipulate action not provoke. It keeps ranged manipulate actions vulnerable while making it harder to punish melee people. Seems good.

It's not like manipulate can really be a balancing factor anyways, AoOs are too inconsistent and can either ruin your character or be meaningless depending on the campaign.


Does elemental weapon somehow solve the AoO issue?


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Squiggit wrote:

A really popular houserule I've seen bouncing around the internet lately is making any ability with a range of melee/reach/5-feet and the manipulate action not provoke. It keeps ranged manipulate actions vulnerable while making it harder to punish melee people. Seems good.

It's not like manipulate can really be a balancing factor anyways, AoOs are too inconsistent and can either ruin your character or be meaningless depending on the campaign.

I've thought that offensive touch spells shouldn't provoke since before the game released. They basically didn't in PF1 because of the wacky "hold the charge" workarounds, and making it provoke in PF2 just buries a character concept that is already not as effective as the standard stuff to do.


Squiggit wrote:

A really popular houserule I've seen bouncing around the internet lately is making any ability with a range of melee/reach/5-feet and the manipulate action not provoke. It keeps ranged manipulate actions vulnerable while making it harder to punish melee people. Seems good.

It's not like manipulate can really be a balancing factor anyways, AoOs are too inconsistent and can either ruin your character or be meaningless depending on the campaign.

I like this. It's also easier than having to remove manipulate on a case by case basis. Cheers


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The big difference I see between the Magus and the playtest Kineticist is that Spellstrike is only part of the Magus kit (even if a standout part) while everything the Kineticist could do would provoke an AoO.

Thus a Magus could still contribute to an encounter while avoiding AoOs (even if their damage was lowered), while the Kineticist couldn't do anything (including gather power or their basic attack).


A magus going up against a creature with an AoO has to adjust their strategy, whereas a kineticist was simply shut down. The two are comparable, but not equivalent.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:

The big difference I see between the Magus and the playtest Kineticist is that Spellstrike is only part of the Magus kit (even if a standout part) while everything the Kineticist could do would provoke an AoO.

Thus a Magus could still contribute to an encounter while avoiding AoOs (even if their damage was lowered), while the Kineticist couldn't do anything (including gather power or their basic attack).

If you start with a Magus, and you take away "spellstrike", "all other spellcasting" and "everything that triggers off of spellcasting", you really don't have a lot left.

Admittedly, you *can* still cast spells and make spellstrikes if you limit yourself to spells that do not have material, somatic, or focus components. It's still losing quite a lot.


Currently I'm no more so against AoO risk of melee manipulation attacks because this also creates a lot of tactical opportunities to make the encounters more interesting to such classes. After I noticed that Elemental Wrath can be used to not trigger AoO in Magus.

The usage of reach weapons or feats and class abilities like Twisting Tree could give more interesting tactical limited solutions than just remove the AoO completely.

Instead of just remove the AoO risk completely maybe just add more concentration only attack spells to circunvent the limitation but not completelly may be mora interesting than just ignore completelly it.

In general I don't against the idea that AoO can be a disadvantage to magus just like ghosts are resistant to physical attacks and are more difficult to martials. The only problem now is that many subclasses can be barely useless when a magus face an AoO opponent.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:

The big difference I see between the Magus and the playtest Kineticist is that Spellstrike is only part of the Magus kit (even if a standout part) while everything the Kineticist could do would provoke an AoO.

Thus a Magus could still contribute to an encounter while avoiding AoOs (even if their damage was lowered), while the Kineticist couldn't do anything (including gather power or their basic attack).

Actually a Kineticist has a fully functional ranged attack roll with the same to hit, so if anything they are less effected by AoO than Magus, they just have to move back and use their range attack.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:

The big difference I see between the Magus and the playtest Kineticist is that Spellstrike is only part of the Magus kit (even if a standout part) while everything the Kineticist could do would provoke an AoO.

Thus a Magus could still contribute to an encounter while avoiding AoOs (even if their damage was lowered), while the Kineticist couldn't do anything (including gather power or their basic attack).

Don't really get this. A magus who doesn't want to get AoO'd can only really make regular strikes on a weak martial chassis with no combat enhancers. A playtest kineticist who doesn't want to get AoO'd is in the exact same boat.

Except the Kineticist's entire kit functions at range too, which means trying not to get close to the provoking enemy is valid tactical option (and not true for most magi).

YuriP wrote:


The usage of reach weapons or feats and class abilities like Twisting Tree could give more interesting tactical limited solutions than just remove the AoO completely.

Is "interesting tactical solution" really what we're calling 'getting a flickmace is always the right option' now?

It sounds nice on paper but "interesting tactical solutions" is mostly a fantasy and not really how PF2 works.


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YuriP wrote:

Currently I'm no more so against AoO risk of melee manipulation attacks because this also creates a lot of tactical opportunities to make the encounters more interesting to such classes. After I noticed that Elemental Wrath can be used to not trigger AoO in Magus.

The usage of reach weapons or feats and class abilities like Twisting Tree could give more interesting tactical limited solutions than just remove the AoO completely.

Instead of just remove the AoO risk completely maybe just add more concentration only attack spells to circunvent the limitation but not completelly may be mora interesting than just ignore completelly it.

In general I don't against the idea that AoO can be a disadvantage to magus just like ghosts are resistant to physical attacks and are more difficult to martials. The only problem now is that many subclasses can be barely useless when a magus face an AoO opponent.

I'm not buying it. It's not really tactical nor interesting imo. It's just a game of 'how do I circumvent this BS mechanic'. And it's really not like reach isn't strong enough on martials as is. Making it feel mandatory is just annoying.

I always disliked the whole 'having less options means you actually have to make more choices' rhetoric. Alot of 5e people used the same argument to defend mechanically weak subclasses like the champion etc.

I honestly think the main question should be:
Is it needed ? Is the mechanic there because otherwise the class would be broken ?

And I don't think so. I mean come on, the inventors AoO triggers AoO's. That's just ridiculous.

Should rage or hunt prey also have the manipulate trait ? It would lead to some interesting and tactical plays I'm sure


Imagine the outrage if barbarian rage triggered AoO because they had to psych themselves up.

Imagine if the barbarian getting hit negated the rage because "that's just how it works".

Imagine if the barbarian was told "it's better this way because it means you have to waste actions trying to circumvent this issue that was never a thing before.

That is why the argument of "its better because its worse" is so bad. Its literally trying to justify a bad mechanic under the pretense of "you are just playing wrong" or "this makes it so you can do more".


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The issue with magus was not something that came up in playtesting because spell strike was so different. When casting the spell and striking with the spell didn’t have to happen as one activity, you could do the whole cast and then hold your charge.

Play testers didn’t get to comment on how the combine spell strike worked in play until the full class was released. Everyone was so overjoyed with the power upgrade of having only one roll with spell strike that the AoO issue didn’t immediately make itself known.

I super duper respect all the developers at Paizo and Logan, the Pnoll will always have my heart. But I think it is at best a relative truth that the issue of AoO rarely come up in play, and at higher level, in Paizo APs, it has tended to come up more often than not.

I don’t think it actually needs errata though. I think an 8th levelish feat that deals with the problem, as well as maybe a closer look at monster design and the frequency of AoO as a reaction and having conversations between adventure designers and developer leads about distribution of monsters with the ability can probably deal with the issue for the magus just fine with innate changing spellstriking, which probably is about as close to an overturned single target striking ability as exists in PF2.

Sovereign Court

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I'd go another direction: write some more attack spells without somatic components. Ideally at least two different cantrips, so there's something to choose from. Right now each cantrip has some gimmick that it's good at:

* Telekinetic Projectile has high damage and type flexibility
* Ray of Frost has really long range
* Product Flame can take advantage of flanking with melee spell attacks, and the crit effect works well against low AC enemies like oozes.
... and so on.

Being safe to use in melee would be a reasonable gimmick as well.

That way, if a magus has to fight AoO opponents, they're not handicapped, but it's not their favorite situation either. Which is about right: it fits flavor that magi don't like anti-caster enemies. But it restricting your choice of cantrips a bit would be enough punishment.

I'd go for something like these:

* Unnerving Touch: touch range, 1d4+stat mental damage and frightened 1, verbal components only. Crit for double damage and frightened 2.

* Acute Scream: 30ft range, 1d4+stat sonic damage, verbal only, crit for double damage and deafened 1 minute.


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I don't see the magus as "handicapped" While facing AoO enemies, because even the flat damage from arcane cascade gives their 2* strikes a good overall damage.

They can also rely on spells like draw the lightning, enhancing their first strike, invisibility, dealing with AoO, or even the usual swap target.

Going with multiclases offers a some possibilities too:

- gravity weapon is pretty cool in similar situation ( it synergies well with cascade too, being a 1 action cast)

- power attack, especially with a 1d12 weapon, gives an interesting alternative to spell strike, especially if the enemy has high AC ( a boss fight, for example).

I can also accept one fight over 6 book where every single enemy has AoO, though it would be quite rare.

But lvl 8+ it would be 4* heightened +2 invisibility per day, plus scrolls or wands, which would mostly solve all the AoO issues.


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HumbleGamer wrote:

I don't see the magus as "handicapped" While facing AoO enemies, because even the flat damage from arcane cascade gives their 2* strikes a good overall damage.

They can also rely on spells like draw the lightning, enhancing their first strike, invisibility, dealing with AoO, or even the usual swap target.

Going with multiclases offers a some possibilities too:

- gravity weapon is pretty cool in similar situation ( it synergies well with cascade too, being a 1 action cast)

- power attack, especially with a 1d12 weapon, gives an interesting alternative to spell strike, especially if the enemy has high AC ( a boss fight, for example).

I can also accept one fight over 6 book where every single enemy has AoO, though it would be quite rare.

But lvl 8+ it would be 4* heightened +2 invisibility per day, plus scrolls or wands, which would mostly solve all the AoO issues.

Having to do very suboptimal things and use limited resources to get around a problem that other martials ignore is the definition of handicapped in a fight.


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The problem with the Kineticist taking a ton of AoO was that the motions that the Kineticist makes to control the elements are like the motions that martial artists do in katas. Since this involves "paying close attention to your body is as to control it" it didn't really make sense for you to also leave yourself open to attacks while doing this.

I can, however, believe something like "casting a spell" takes your attention away from what is happening right next to you.

Remember, the Magus is not just supposed to spellstrike to do damage. Using your spell slots to buff and not spamming spellstrike with cantrips should be a viable way to play the class.


CaffeinatedNinja wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

I don't see the magus as "handicapped" While facing AoO enemies, because even the flat damage from arcane cascade gives their 2* strikes a good overall damage.

They can also rely on spells like draw the lightning, enhancing their first strike, invisibility, dealing with AoO, or even the usual swap target.

Going with multiclases offers a some possibilities too:

- gravity weapon is pretty cool in similar situation ( it synergies well with cascade too, being a 1 action cast)

- power attack, especially with a 1d12 weapon, gives an interesting alternative to spell strike, especially if the enemy has high AC ( a boss fight, for example).

I can also accept one fight over 6 book where every single enemy has AoO, though it would be quite rare.

But lvl 8+ it would be 4* heightened +2 invisibility per day, plus scrolls or wands, which would mostly solve all the AoO issues.

Having to do very suboptimal things and use limited resources to get around a problem that other martials ignore is the definition of handicapped in a fight.

I haven't witnessed a single encounter with all enemies with AoO, meaning the magus would be forced to go against enemies with AoO.

It's more a hypothetical white room s enario than a real issue ( or a DM making encounters without consider balance).

If eldeitch tricksters can do it, so can the magus.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Humblegamer, what levels have you played through, and what APs? Even newer APs like outlaws of Alkenstar start throwing AoOs at you as early as 5th level. Some even at range!

I am ok with it being a situation that happens occasionally, but sometimes it is 3 or 4 encounters in a row of high accuracy mooks with AoO. I have see this in Age of Ashes, Extinction Curse, Agents of Edgewatch, and Outlaws of Alkenstar. And it is pretty brutal on casters in close quarters. An option you buy your way into like a feat would let players who want to spell strike often to do that with a cost. I think if it was just attack cantrips then that kinda devalues Attacks of Opportunity too much for players too as every caster will have one.


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HumbleGamer wrote:
CaffeinatedNinja wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

I don't see the magus as "handicapped" While facing AoO enemies, because even the flat damage from arcane cascade gives their 2* strikes a good overall damage.

They can also rely on spells like draw the lightning, enhancing their first strike, invisibility, dealing with AoO, or even the usual swap target.

Going with multiclases offers a some possibilities too:

- gravity weapon is pretty cool in similar situation ( it synergies well with cascade too, being a 1 action cast)

- power attack, especially with a 1d12 weapon, gives an interesting alternative to spell strike, especially if the enemy has high AC ( a boss fight, for example).

I can also accept one fight over 6 book where every single enemy has AoO, though it would be quite rare.

But lvl 8+ it would be 4* heightened +2 invisibility per day, plus scrolls or wands, which would mostly solve all the AoO issues.

Having to do very suboptimal things and use limited resources to get around a problem that other martials ignore is the definition of handicapped in a fight.

I haven't witnessed a single encounter with all enemies with AoO, meaning the magus would be forced to go against enemies with AoO.

It's more a hypothetical white room s enario than a real issue ( or a DM making encounters without consider balance).

If eldeitch tricksters can do it, so can the magus.

Eldritch Trickster is kind of universally considered really bad, so not the best example.

And I have seen PLENTY of fights where the single +3 enemy has reach and AoO. It is absurdly common at higher levels. Seen quite a few where everyone has AoO too.

AoO is kind of weird in it's frequency. I mean, if it was an ultra rare ability that messed with you, well, that is annoying but happens. There are plenty of those floating around.

OR if everyone had it like in 1e, then it could just be factored into balance.

But it is in the middle. So if your campaign has lots of AoO enemies, magus suffers badly. If not it is fine. I don't think that is a good place for it to be.

And frankly it just isn't FUN to get punched in the face for doing your cool melee moves. In fact it feels counter to the fantasy. Spellstrike is literally designed to be used in melee combat, who on earth would design a move that lets the enemy hit you first?

Also, I tend to think it is one of those rules that is ignored a LOT which isn't really a good thing. Outside of us super nerds posting on the forums or discord/reddit, I suspect most people don't even think spellstrike triggers AoO since it is not spelled out.


We are playing EC and AoA ( we also played one scenario I forgot the name).

Are you saying in those other APs you mentioned there are several encounters where every single enemy in a given encounter has AoO?

I have to say it's kinda weird in terms of balance.

As for fun purposes, if I happen to find an enemy with AoO ( at higher levels is even easier to spot them, because you just have to send in first the tank or other frontlines), I just swap on a different one or consider one of my several options.

PS: if an adventure is know for having every encounter with all enemies with AoO, I'd probably suggest the players not to play a magus ( or I wouldn't play one as a player).


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HumbleGamer wrote:

We are playing EC and AoA ( we also played one scenario I forgot the name).

Are you saying in those other APs you mentioned there are several encounters where every single enemy in a given encounter has AoO?

I have to say it's kinda weird in terms of balance.

Here is the thing. Even if not everyone has it, you are still badly impaired in the fight. If your party is focusing on one enemy, and you go fight another, you just made the fight way harder. Focusing down an enemy is always the way to go.

I am not saying you can't contribute, it just isn't fun. And frankly, even in a situation without AoO, no one is saying melee magus is top tier in power. So why make it even worse in AoO situations?


But fun is subjective in a tactical rpg.

I have fun having several options as well as having to adapt.

Sometimes I use thievey in combat to seal doors, to prevent ( or delay) more enemies to join the fight. I cast light when needed ( wasting a round) and I also support ( stoneskin for the frontlines).

Sometimes I even tank with shift blame when a low health ally crits.

I am not saying you are wrong and I am right, but it's just that some can still enjoy the current situation ( I can think of superbidi and the current alchemist situation).

Ps: in your specific case, if all party is focusing one, I may conaider going on them too with melee attacks. So the focus is not split.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

The problem with the Kineticist taking a ton of AoO was that the motions that the Kineticist makes to control the elements are like the motions that martial artists do in katas. Since this involves "paying close attention to your body is as to control it" it didn't really make sense for you to also leave yourself open to attacks while doing this.

I can, however, believe something like "casting a spell" takes your attention away from what is happening right next to you.

Remember, the Magus is not just supposed to spellstrike to do damage. Using your spell slots to buff and not spamming spellstrike with cantrips should be a viable way to play the class.

There seems to be alot of premises one has to accept for this to makes sense.

Magus is very much the alpha strike king. And it's fairly logical to assume the Magus in the party is the one you sic on the BBEG.
Ironically BBEG's are the biggest threats to a Magus as they more likely to have both AoO and a high crit chance.

Why should not using your main class feature be a viable way to play ? Not using your champion reaction or rage shouldn't be all that viable either


Lollerabe wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

The problem with the Kineticist taking a ton of AoO was that the motions that the Kineticist makes to control the elements are like the motions that martial artists do in katas. Since this involves "paying close attention to your body is as to control it" it didn't really make sense for you to also leave yourself open to attacks while doing this.

I can, however, believe something like "casting a spell" takes your attention away from what is happening right next to you.

Remember, the Magus is not just supposed to spellstrike to do damage. Using your spell slots to buff and not spamming spellstrike with cantrips should be a viable way to play the class.

There seems to be alot of premises one has to accept for this to makes sense.

Magus is very much the alpha strike king. And it's fairly logical to assume the Magus in the party is the one you sic on the BBEG.
Ironically BBEG's are the biggest threats to a Magus as they more likely to have both AoO and a high crit chance.

Why should not using your main class feature be a viable way to play ? Not using your champion reaction or rage shouldn't be all that viable either

Why not using a scroll of improved invisibility, mirror image or similar when facing the big boss?

To make an exampls, we are going to fight a magma dragon soon.

Guess who has a potion of quickness in their gloves of storage, fiery body ready as we'll as and Contingency with lvl4 invisibility.

Plus,
- Twisting tree makes an infinite lunge with - their lvl 10 feat.
- Starlit span shots from the distance.
- Inexorable iron with enlarge may end up with 15/20 feet reach.

- Sparking targe has it harder, but it's a tank so they are probably not going to use spell strike that much because of action economy. But I agree it has issues even against AoO.
- laughing shadow can dimensional assault spell strike ( using hero points), hitting while being undetected. Though it's better to use focus point to go Nova, this is still a possibility.

But these are some of my suggestions.

What is your tactics against a BBEG while playing a magus?

Anyway, back to the kineticist, I still have no idea whether elemental weapon ( not creating it) would trigger AoO or not.


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I'm not sure I follow. By all means prep for a boss fight. Be smart about it.

I fail to see what that has to do with a Magus' disproportionate issues with AoO's.

I think it's pretty telling that you have mentioned a bunch of ways (and some I just think are bad, such as power attack) to circumvent AoOs, yet the question remains:

Is it a needed weakness ? Is it there to balance the Magus overall "power budget" ?

I don't think it is. As many others have pointed out by now: if it's there for balance it's odd that it's so swingy in its effect. Sometimes it doesn't matter at all, at other times it more or less disables your entire class feature. Not only does it prevent your spellstrike, you also lose your spell. That's just insult to injury.

How about changing the premise of the discussion a bit: Why have it be a thing to begin with ?
I've read many suggestions as to how one can soft counter it (and frankly 'play a Magus that doesn't use spellstrike' makes no sense to me) but not alot of reasons to justify the mechanic being there.

Could it be possible that it was
A:

An oversight as the manipulate part is tied to casting a spell and not actually spellstrike itself.

B:

Bad design. Now I realize that saying the game designers might have missed the mark is widely unpopular, but I don't think it's such a sin to simply call it that. Bad design.


Squiggit wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:

The big difference I see between the Magus and the playtest Kineticist is that Spellstrike is only part of the Magus kit (even if a standout part) while everything the Kineticist could do would provoke an AoO.

Thus a Magus could still contribute to an encounter while avoiding AoOs (even if their damage was lowered), while the Kineticist couldn't do anything (including gather power or their basic attack).

Don't really get this. A magus who doesn't want to get AoO'd can only really make regular strikes on a weak martial chassis with no combat enhancers. A playtest kineticist who doesn't want to get AoO'd is in the exact same boat.

A magus has a whole class feature for a damage boost and other combat benefits.


CaffeinatedNinja wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

We are playing EC and AoA ( we also played one scenario I forgot the name).

Are you saying in those other APs you mentioned there are several encounters where every single enemy in a given encounter has AoO?

I have to say it's kinda weird in terms of balance.

Here is the thing. Even if not everyone has it, you are still badly impaired in the fight. If your party is focusing on one enemy, and you go fight another, you just made the fight way harder. Focusing down an enemy is always the way to go.

Spoiler: Focusing on a single enemy is not always the way to go, and can in fact cause anti-synergy with your allies' abilities.


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Lollerabe wrote:

I'm not sure I follow. By all means prep for a boss fight. Be smart about it.

I fail to see what that has to do with a Magus' disproportionate issues with AoO's.

I think it's pretty telling that you have mentioned a bunch of ways (and some I just think are bad, such as power attack) to circumvent AoOs, yet the question remains:

Is it a needed weakness ? Is it there to balance the Magus overall "power budget" ?

I don't think it is. As many others have pointed out by now: if it's there for balance it's odd that it's so swingy in its effect. Sometimes it doesn't matter at all, at other times it more or less disables your entire class feature. Not only does it prevent your spellstrike, you also lose your spell. That's just insult to injury.

How about changing the premise of the discussion a bit: Why have it be a thing to begin with ?
I've read many suggestions as to how one can soft counter it (and frankly 'play a Magus that doesn't use spellstrike' makes no sense to me) but not alot of reasons to justify the mechanic being there.

Could it be possible that it was
A:

An oversight as the manipulate part is tied to casting a spell and not actually spellstrike itself.

B:

Bad design. Now I realize that saying the game designers might have missed the mark is widely unpopular, but I don't think it's such a sin to simply call it that. Bad design.

when I read Logan’s thinking on this topic for the kineticist, it seems to me like he feels Attacks of Opportunity are relatively rare and that they are an intentional foil/hindrance for all classes that cast spells. I think casters of any stripe are not supposed to have a way around AoO, and that is an intentional design choice.

I disagree that in practice that they are all that rare, or at least, very many iconic difficult monsters have them: a lot of dragons, high level fiends, any typical soldier characters that are very likely to serve as guards for the boss. That is why I think a feat based solution could work. Maybe something like a meta magic feat that lets you start casting the spell, including any somatic actions, and then grants you stride that can be taken before or after making the strike and a +2 to any attacks of opportunity you provoke from any of these actions (casting a spell or moving).


I find a little inappropriate for option A to be considered bad design.

Though I still leave room for some errata in the future ( even if it's been a while since the magus came out), I think there's also room to accept what the devs meant the magus to be, rather than claiming it to be bad development.

Spellcasters have it easy, as it take just 14 dex and 2 feats to get mobility from the rogue dedication, if they are really afraid of AoO, but there's also stuff like elf step or teleportation focus spells, to say some.

Back to the magus, for what concerns creatures, I think it's up to the DM ( if an homebrew campaign) or Paizo ( if it's an AP) not to put too many of them in the same encounter, as well as waiting for the magus to get spells and feats to deal with them.

Ps: Logan point over view about AoO being relatively rare "might" explain hoe encounters are built, but I have no idea what does it mean relatively rare in terms of Percentages... so... ( I mean, I am fine with the current balance on the AP I am playing, though I wouldn't call AoO there relatively rare ).


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I disagree with charging Magus a feat to not provoke. Magus should had gotten a way to avoid AoO from the very start since that was the core feature of Spell Combat.

A feat to boost that okay, but a feat to get it in the first place is just a feat tax.


CaffeinatedNinja wrote:

Actually a Kineticist has a fully functional ranged attack roll with the same to hit, so if anything they are less effected by AoO than Magus, they just have to move back and use their range attack.

I don't really buy that a class with marital weapon proficiency and martial TEML progression who is generally expected to be holding a perfectly usable weapon in hand during combat is somehow more affected by AoOs than the playtest Kineticist was. Plus they have verbal-only spells/abilities (limited) which will still function in melee without provoking (i.e. True Strike, Dimensional Assault)

And if you want to bring in ranged abilities - Magus has cantrips & spell slots which can allow for ranged combat with the added benefit of potentially targeting saves as well (Magi I've seen in play personally have kept a backup save-targeting cantrip in addition to their spellstrike cantrips). Not to mention scrolls/wands of buff/utility spells, etc.

By comparison, a Kineticist in our playtest had just used an overflow ability before the enemy (dragon) decided they were now worth attention and flew over. Simple weapon proficiency, slightly delayed TEML progression at various levels, and an expectation to use blasts meant they didn't have a weapon in hand. Considering just about everything the Kineticist does requires Gather Element (which provokes) - they had zero class abilities left. The one feat kineticists had for melee was both extremely badly worded (my group couldn't agree how it even functioned), and would still have been useless since it required Gather Element.

Overall, comparing the two seems like apples to oranges because the Magus still has options vs AoO while the playtest Kineticist had nothing left.

Unicore wrote:
... maybe a closer look at monster design and the frequency of AoO as a reaction and having conversations between adventure designers and developer leads about distribution of monsters with the ability ...

This I can agree with 100%. Part of what really impressed me in 2e was how much the play experience improved when AoO wasn't a default assumption. Combat suddenly became much more mobile and AoOs actually triggered more often because of it. (Compared to 1E where no one dared moved after getting into melee range.) Also would love to see more reaction with different triggers, especially against critical failures on melee attacks (like Swashbucker).

While I haven't played many adventure paths - it sounds like an issue with the campaign/monster design if enemies with AoOs are overrepresented in some of them.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Charon Onozuka wrote:


And if you want to bring in ranged abilities - Magus has cantrips & spell slots which can allow for ranged combat with the added benefit of potentially targeting saves as well (Magi I've seen in play personally have kept a backup save-targeting cantrip in addition to their spellstrike cantrips). Not to mention scrolls/wands of buff/utility spells, etc.

Cantrips are poor damage and magus have delayed attack/DC scaling (and they don't main int) means they are quite bad on them. At that point they are just a poor caster if that is what they are doing.

Kineticist has their standard attack which works at range and pretty much all of their impulses are ranged. So if anything their whole kit works fine they just have to step back.

As for ranged spells, I think people forget both that magus are not great at offensive spells, and they only have 4 spell slots. Can't really pack in a lot of variety there.

I think a fallacy a lot of people fall into (not necessarily you, just in general) is thinking casters always have all these spells prepared. Your options are pretty limited.

I think the logic applies to both Kinet and Magus as far as AoO. A melee kinet wants to be in melee, that is why you play it. Having a significant number of enemies shut that down pretty hard just is not fun and absolutely not necessary for balance.
A Melee Magus wants to be in melee too, etc etc.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Charon Onozuka wrote:
And if you want to bring in ranged abilities

Trying to establish some equivalency between the kineticist's entire package of abilities and a magus casting ray of frost seems a litle bit misleading.

Quote:
By comparison, a Kineticist in our playtest had just used an overflow ability before the enemy (dragon) decided they were now worth attention and flew over.

It's kinda lame, no disagreement and the change is good, but there's also a material difference between someone with an AOO positioning themselves to harass a ranged character (something a wizard or archer would also be punished by), and a melee character provoking just by using their normal combat routine.

Actually it's probably worse for the archer or wizard, because they probably don't have fully upgraded handwraps like the kineticist does (wait wasn't that your argument against the Magus in the first place? weird).


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CaffeinatedNinja wrote:

I think the logic applies to both Kinet and Magus as far as AoO. A melee kinet wants to be in melee, that is why you play it. Having a significant number of enemies shut that down pretty hard just is not fun and absolutely not necessary for balance.

A Melee Magus wants to be in melee too, etc etc.

Once again, I don't see how it is comparable or worth saying a Magus is "shut down" in melee when they are still holding a martial weapon with a full martial chassis.

While plenty seem to disparage the Magus ability to make basic weapon attacks - when compared to a melee blast this attack is comparable at worst, and actually superior at some levels due to TEML advancement.

In order for a melee Magus to be comparable to a playtest melee Kineticist - their basic weapon attack would have to provoke, Spellstrike would have to remove their ability to make weapon attacks in addition to provoking, and the action spent to refresh spellstrike/be able to make basic attacks again would also have to provoke. They would also need to lose all focus abilities that function in melee, lose the option to choose any verbal-only spells, and require a feat to attack in melee without provoking (without addressing the other issues).

CaffeinatedNinja wrote:
I think a fallacy a lot of people fall into (not necessarily you, just in general) is thinking casters always have all these spells prepared. Your options are pretty limited.

If your biggest weakness is AoOs, you have selectable options which help compensate that weakness, and you still refuse to select options which do so, that is 100% on you when an AoO appears.

Something as basic as True Strike not only works vs. AoO enemies, it also is a major boost when you can Spellstrike to boost your hit/crit chance on the damage spike. Part of why some of the first theorycraft Magus builds on the forums were all about how to get as many extra castings of True Strike as possible.

I'd also say an issue that people fall into in these threads is assuming the Magus is expected to Spellstrike every turn and every situation. Considering the action costs alone - the class clearly isn't designed to do that (just like the playtest kineticist wasn't designed around using overflow abilities every round, which is the Kineticist feature that more closely resembles Spellstrike rather than their blasts).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Especially for spell casters, there shouldn’t be options for just “cast spells and don’t provoke,” but that doesn’t mean that some build-into options for making it less painful is out of the question. We already have this for many classes, but MCing just for a kinda weak mitigating option is asking a lot. A feat that was part mobility and part steady casting at level 4 feels about right.

I think some players have a “never risk provoking AoOs” which is coming from an understandable mentality, but can limit options and hurt other party members. Especially against a boss, sometimes having the right character provoke in the round can set up opportunities for others to move into flanking, cast better spells, let characters get healing in or utilize other skills. Also, plenty of champions love forcing an enemy into attacking someone else and setting their own reaction.

I don’t think the situation needs be: do nothing, or errata magi not to provoke.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I also don't see the issue with Magus. I played one for awhile. And well Spellstrike was rarely my go to move. It felt more like an option I had instead of my main thing. My focus spell from my hybrid study often felt like as good an option. Force fang was also nice to use for guaranteed damage, or calling on my familiar to use one of its abilities. Or buffing myself or an ally.

Spellstrike being the only option, makes sense to me if you like see the mechanics as like a rotation from an mmo or something. Now I used spellstrike plenty of times and it is iconic to the class, but it is not the only way to be useful.

I think I agree with Unicore, a feat would be a nice balance. Not mandatory but for those who want it, it would be a neat thing to pick up.


While mechanically I don't think that AoO is so bad as many complains. Thematically I agree that's a non-sense. For a class focused in mixing spells on it's Strikes the minimum expected is that it's able to circumvent the AoO in some way.

Maybe at last the Inexorable Iron deserves to have a way to ignore AoO while in Arcane Cascade and Laughing Shadow the ability to ignore it vs flat-footed opponents.

Yet I don't fell that AoO trigger for Spellstrike is a bigger problem than a general martial fighting a creature with physical resistance or a rogue fighting a precision immune creature and still better than a general spellcaster facing a AoO opponent in melee range.

Having some new accessible concentration only attack cantrips maybe turn into an interesting midway alternative too.


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YuriP wrote:
While mechanically I don't think that AoO is so bad as many complains. Thematically I agree that's a non-sense. For a class focused in mixing spells on it's Strikes the minimum expected is that it's able to circumvent the AoO in some way.

Depends on the game. If you are talking about a typical published adventure AoO might not be that common. Magus is playable as it is. But I can imagine games where your opponents where mostly soldiers, and perhaps half of your total opponents have AoO by default.


Creatures that are immune to sneak attack are rarer than creatures that have AoO.

Creatures that have resistance is more common, but it also rarely invalidates your turn while dealing damage to you and making you lose a resource you can use 4 times a day.

Playtest Kineticist being more at will doesn't have the issue of limited resource. Instead they have the issue of doing any including shielding themselves causing them to take damage and potentially negating it. Which is a huge problem when 90% of Playtest kineticist were 2+1 action activities.


Gortle wrote:
YuriP wrote:
While mechanically I don't think that AoO is so bad as many complains. Thematically I agree that's a non-sense. For a class focused in mixing spells on it's Strikes the minimum expected is that it's able to circumvent the AoO in some way.
Depends on the game. If you are talking about a typical published adventure AoO might not be that common. Magus is playable as it is. But I can imagine games where your opponents where mostly soldiers, and perhaps half of your total opponents have AoO by default.

And "half of your total opponents" means all of the opponents in half of the encounters in Trail of the Hunted, the 1st module of Ironfang Invasion. When I converted it to PF2 rules, the Hobgoblin Recruits became the PF2 Hobgoblin Soldiers, who have attack of opportunity, and the Ironfang Heavy Troopers were Hobgoblin Soldiers upgraded to 2nd level and given heavy armor. Half the encounters were against the hobgoblin Ironfang Legion.

That is the period when the high-Dexterity ranger in the party relied on two melee weapons and Twin Takedown to protect the other archer and the spellcasters from attacks of opportunity. The ranger became mostly an archer after the party gained two other melee characters to keep enemies further away from those who provoke.


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People really understimate how prevalent AoO are in APs. Most enemies that form groups (of course not all) have AoO in some form. That is not even considering that there are enemies with class levels (or similar) that makes it even worse.

I still wont forget that my literal first session had a player die instantly because they were trying to activate panache. Sure higher level mitigates the damage side, but Magus and Kineticist still have to deal with losing their entire turn or more because of it.


Temperans wrote:
I still wont forget that my literal first session had a player die instantly because they were trying to activate panache. Sure higher level mitigates the damage side, but Magus and Kineticist still have to deal with losing their entire turn or more because of it.

There are some panache actions with the manipulate trait that will trigger AoO. Many won't. I do find it stupid that Create a Diversion does. Or the Battle Dancers performance might. As a GM I would definitely be making those trigger free.


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Martial humanoids are built like fighters and usually have AoO. Martial humanoids tend to be far more common than their quantity in the bestiary would imply if you're playing anything other than a dungeon crawl.

Liberty's Edge

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Yet another thread about Magus and AoOs. Though with a new title.

What makes you people think the Magus does not already have benefits that counterbalance it ?

Not to mention the quote in the OP specifically states that Kineticist does not cast spells and thus should not suffer from AoOs.

Which is an argument that just cannot apply to Magus since those do cast spells.


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The Raven Black wrote:

Yet another thread about Magus and AoOs. Though with a new title.

What makes you people think the Magus does not already have benefits that counterbalance it ?

Not to mention the quote in the OP specifically states that Kineticist does not cast spells and thus should not suffer from AoOs.

Which is an argument that just cannot apply to Magus since those do cast spells.

How about you read the thread ? There's plenty of solid arguments as to why they don't

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