Welcome back to the continuation of the Secrets of Magic special review blog! If you missed the beginning, you can find it here! Yesterday, I read broke down the Summoner’s class feats. Today, we summarize the multiclass archetypes before moving onto an overview of … SPELLS!
Basic/Advanced Class Feats
Both classes have a 4th-level feat that lets you take a 1st- or 2nd- level feat from the class. Both classes have a 6th-level feat that you can take multiple times that let you take a class feat of a level half that of the class feat you are using. These magus feats are “Martial Magic” feats while the summoner feats are “Synergy” feats.
Bounded Spellcaster Archetype
The magus and summoner both use the same new variant of spellcaster that has a limited number of spell slots each day. You gain new spell levels and your highest level slots at the same time as the core spellcasters do, but you lose the slots lower than your highest two spell levels. This new bounded spellcaster is described for each class, and the rules for archetypes that are bounded spellcasters are outlined before the archetypes themselves. Because these classes are more known for abilities other than just spells, the Basic Bounded Spellcasting feats are obtained no earlier than 6th level, Expert at 12th, and Master at 18th.
Basic Bounded Spellcasting (6th) – You start with a 1st and 2nd level slot. At 10th, you trade your 1st level slot for a 3rd level slot.
Expert Bounded Spellcasting (12th) – You become Expert, and you now have 1 2nd-level slot and 2 3rd-level slots. At 14th, your slots become 1 5th-level and 2 4th-level slots. At 16th, they are 2 5th-level and 1 6th-level slots.
Master Bounded Spellcasting (18th) – You become Master and now have 2 5th-level and 2 6th-level slots. At 20th, your slots are 2 6th-level and 2 7th-level.
Magus Dedication (2nd) – Not surprising, requires Int 14 and the Str/Dex stat you plan to use also a 14. You get two cantrips per day (4 in your book), and Trained in simple weapons. Seems like a pretty straight forward multiclass of both wizard and fighter.
Hybrid Study Spell (4th) – This allows you to gain the conflux spell of one hybrid study.
Spellstriker (4th) – Here we go, this is why you are still reading this section! You gain Spellstrike, but you can only recharge it with an activity that takes 1 minute. At first glance, I think this is a really nice way to implement this for an archetype. Looks like I will be building out a multiclass magus to find out!
They spent a half a page covering examples of how each of the core classes could benefit from an eidolon. I am now resisting the urge to write up similar paragraphs for the APG classes and the magus.
Summoner Dedication (2nd) – This is rather interesting, and takes a couple read throughs to make sure you get it all. You get an eidolon and can manifest it. You cannot gain or use Tandem actions/activities, which means (based on my previous understanding of Act Together) only one of you can act in a round). It also means only one of you gets Exploration activities at a time. You get skills based on eidolon choice, and it has only basic training (unarmed, unarmored) and matches your skills and saves. When you choose an ability array, the primary 18 stat is lowered to 16 until you reach 5th level (before applying ability boosts).
I want to take a second to call out something I completely missed in my coverage of the summoner and eidolon. Eidolons gain 4 ability boosts at the same levels that your character does. I had a brief “I wonder if the stats will stagnate” and then completely forgot to address it and somehow managed to gloss over it in my read through! I was happily jarred when I saw it called out in the dedication.
Initial Eidolon Ability (4th) – Your eidolon gains the initial ability for its type.
Expert Combat Eidolon (12th) – It becomes Expert in unarmed attacks. It also gets expert in unarmed defense if you are and weapon specialization if you have it.
Signature Synergy (14th) – Your eidolon gains one evolution feat from the following list: Airborne Form, Burrowing Form, Ever-Vigilant Senses, or Hulking Size; using your level – 4 for level prerequisites.
I think these multiclass archetypes walked that line of getting the feel you want from the class without being too weak or too much. Time will tell … and hopefully not much time, as I am already working on a build for each. Likely a rogue / magus and perhaps a monk / summoner.
Spells (but mostly Cantrips)
Ok, I have been super excited about each new thing I have read in this book, but a Secrets of Magic book is nothing without a pile of new spells. The first page of this chapter continues the theme of discussing the contents in character. It mentions researchers as a neat segue into new spells, while also discussing various categories of spells:
- Cantrips – as expected
- Contingency Spells – anything based on contingency type effects
- Minion Magic – spells for companions, familiars, and *cough* eidolons
- Polymorph Magic – polymorph, morph, and a new “multimorph” ?
- Summoning Magic – traditional summons, swarm/group summons, and the new incarnates.
- Time Magic – anything that involves time manipulation
- Variable Incantations – spells like heal/harm magic magic missile
Side Note: The wording on summoning magic referred to “scholars willing to pore through every bestiary to find the most fitting beings to summon” and I couldn’t help but think of our own Dustin Knight and his amazing Summon-Dex!
Ok, we gotta start somewhere, and just reading the spells alphabetically was really not doing it for me. So, I thought it might be a good idea to start small and look at the smallest group of spells that could very well be the most common, impactful, and loved new spells … Cantrips!
I really like the space that these spells are playing in. I play casters almost exclusively, and my selection of cantrips has been fairly stagnant … until now. I can see a use for each of these spells amongst the various builds I have and those I have planned. Because these are likely to get more frequent play, I am going to include the summary from the spell list here, along with my thoughts on each one.
- Arcane – Approximate, Bullhorn, Gale Blast, Gouging Claw, Infectious Enthusiasm, Protect Companion, Puff of Poison, Scatter Scree, Spout
- Divine – Approximate, Bullhorn, Haunting Hymn, Protect Companion, Read the Air, Wash Your Luck
- Occult – Approximate, Bullhorn, Haunting Hymn, Infectious Enthusiasm, Protect Companion, Read the Air, Tame, Wash Your Luck
- Primal – Approximate, Gale Blast, Gouging Claw, Healing Plaster, Protect Companion, Puff of Poison, Scatter Scree, Spout, Tame
Approximate (div): Magically estimate the number of nearby objects.
All traditions get it, and I think that is right for adventurers trying to count their loot. I remember this as a wild spell from ADnD 2e and I am almost certain I gave it a 3e treatment at some point in the past (either homebrew or my personal blog before joining Know Direction).
BullhornH (ill): Magnify your voice to be heard at a distance.
This gives me all sorts of ideas for town/city communications, be it news, defense, or entertainment. I love that it scales, isn’t painful, but does provide some benefit to commands and entertainment. I can see why primal doesn’t get it.
Gale BlastH (evo): Damage and push adjacent creatures with air.
Not only is this a cool whirlwind attack, but it is a cantrip that attacks foes in a 5ft emanation and can push them away. This is amazing! It is also very flavorful for Fists of the Ruby Phoenix.
Gouging ClawH (tra): Morph your limb into a claw and attack with it.
This is fun. Melee spell attack for slash or pierce with possible bleed. I think this will become great cantrip fodder for those ancestry feats that let you get cantrips, because it is a fun and flavorful way of adding a “claw attack” to a “were-creature” build.
Haunting HymnH (evo): A powerful hymn harms and deafens.
A cone of sonic damage. As a cantrip. Oh, possible deafened. Sure it is a 15 ft cone and the base damage is your caster mod, but it does go up every other spell level. And is a cone, as a cantrip. I am rebuilding my 1st level PFS musician bard to include this as soon as I can.
Healing PlasterH (tra): Transform mud into a healing plaster to treat wounds without healer’s tools.
I think this is a wonderful idea. This cantrip replaces healer’s tools, and even provides the +1 bonus at 3rd level to replace expanded healer’s tools. While it is really easy to get healer’s tools, it is primal only, which means druids, which generally means you only prepare it when you need it and aren’t stuck wasting a spell in your repertoire. Optional, Situational, Perfect.
Infectious Enthusiasm (enc): Encourage yourself and an ally to improve one roll apiece.
This is a pretty fun way to get a watered down inspire courage to the non-bard adventuring team moms out there. It is arcane/occult, so clerics and champions need not apply. The summary says “improve one roll apiece” but the spell text does not. It is a 2 action cast and lasts 1 round, so does that mean you only get one action to use it or 4? Please comment to remind me! Allies can spend an action to get the same bonus until the start of their next turn, which means they should get two rolls? Gonna have to bug some devs for clarification. It does call out no trickery with Cha skills, though!
Protect CompanionH (abj): Shield your eidolon or minion from harm.
This is really fun. Take the shield spell, but apply it to a companion or eidolon. Give it AC, and a reaction that reduces their (which you take) and discharges the cantrip for 10 minutes. Brilliant adaptation of Shield. I want more of this!
Puff of PoisonH (evo): Exhale toxins to poison a foe.
Single target. Poison damage. Possible persistent. Options are always welcomed, and this one is flavorful for many a background and build. *cough* eldritch trickster *cough*
Scatter ScreeH (evo): Evoke rocks to deal bludgeoning damage and make rocky difficult terrain.
This is fun. Two adjacent squares take bludgeoning damage from rocks *and* the space becomes difficult terrain for a minute? It is almost like somebody was curious how to combine electric arc and grease into a multifunctional spell (that had no electric damage and no grease).
Read the Air (div): Pick up societal cues.
This is such a good cantrip. Flavorful, but not broken. Integrates Recall Knowledge and benefits Make an Impression. Again, situational, making it easy to prepare for instead of being in the woods wondering why you didn’t take Spout.
SpoutH (evo): Batter creatures with a water blast that is larger if cast in a body of water.
A simple water spell with expected damage for a basic Reflex save. The not-so simple variation of a burst vs a single square when cast at/in water is a really nice touch.
TameH (enc): Make a domesticated animal friendlier to you.
This is basically the Read the Air cantrip for druids, rangers, and pied piper bards as well (Occult and Primal). Great for temporary animal friends, and I assume making those animal skill feats easier to succeed at.
Wash Your Luck (abj): Ignore misfortune once.
Bravo. What a great way to end the cantrips. A 2 action cast to let you negate misfortune. Using it causes the magic to dissipate for 10 minutes, as with other cantrips. But. Wow. I know a Jinx-Eater Tengu or two (hundred) that will be picking this up.
That wraps up the multiclass archetypes … but it barely scratches the surface of the spells. Thanks for reading along … tune in tomorrow as I dig into the pile of spells ahead of me. As always, please join us at our Discord server https://discord.gg/Rt79BAj to let me know what you think or simply have a chat!