Revised Magister for PF1 (Part 2)
Posted by Owen K.C. Stephens
Okay, still working on the Revised Magister, for PF1. Here comes one of the big reworkings — rules for how to select spells given that you can draw from one of three possible combinations of sources of magic (arcane/divine, arcane/occult*, or divine/occult).
*And yes, I know it’s “psychic” magic in PF1. But it’s used by occult classes, from Pathfinder Occult Adventures, and it became Occult Magic in PF2, so I just think of it as occult magic. If I release this as an actual product, I’ll go back and fix it. 😛
A magister casts spells from any two of the following sources of magic: arcane, divine, and occult. They can learn and cast spells from any class spell list that draws from the same type of magic as either of the two they have selected. Thus, an arcane/divine magister can draw spells from all arcane and divine class spellcasting lists; an arcane/occult magister can draw spells from all arcane and occult class spellcasting lists; a divine/occult magister can draw spells from all divine and occult class spellcasting lists. For more details on this, see “Choosing Spells,” below).
When deciding her two sources of magic, the magister also must choose two ability scores, one as her primary spellcasting ability, and the other as her secondary spellcasting ability. These cannot be the same ability score. The possible abilities that can be selected to be primary and secondary spellcasting abilities are Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
A magister can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a magister must have a primary spellcasting ability score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a magister’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the magister’s secondary spellcasting ability score modifier. Like other spellcasters, a magister can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on “Table 1: The Magister.”
In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high primary ability score.
A magister need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level. The magister’s potential range of spells is extremely broad, but she may only know a limited total number of spells. A magister begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of the magister’ choice (see “Choosing Spells”, below). At each new magister level, she gains one or more new spells, as indicated on “Table 2: Magister Spells Known.”
Upon reaching 3rd level, and at every other magister level after that (5th, 7th, and so on), a magister can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the magister “loses” the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s effective level (see “Choosing Spells”, below) must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level class spell the magister can cast. A magister may swap only a single spell at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level. A magister applies metamagic feats to her spells as if she were a sorcerer (unless she has metamagic points—see the metamagic pool mystic bond, below).
A magister who has selected occult magic as one of her two sources of magic casts spells drawn from occult spell lists using occult components (emotion and thought rather than somatic and verbal). For purposes of prerequisites and magic effects, a magister can choose to be treated as a spellcaster of either of the two types of spellcaster she has selected, but cannot count as both at the same time. For example, while both a cleric 3/magister 4 and a magister 4/wizard 3 qualify for the mystic theurge prestige class, a magister 7/sorcerer 1 does not. (In no case should a GM allow things clearly designed for multiclass arcane/divine spellcasters to apply to a single-class magister character in a disruptive or unbalancing manner.)
Choosing spells is a more complex process for the magister than for other spellcasting classes. To begin with, there is no set “magister spell list.” As a practitioner of two of the three sources of magic (arcane, divine, and occult), a magister will be able to choose spells from the list of any base class that draws spells from one of the two sources she has selected (though not spells available only to prestige classes). However, a magister’s choices begin with her primary spell list.
Primary Spell List
A magister must designate the class spell list of a devoted spellcasting class as her primary list. Devoted spellcasting classes are those that receive spells at 1st level, and have 0–9th level spells on their spell lists. (This includes the arcanist, cleric, druid, shaman, occultist, psychic, sorcerer, witch, and wizard.) At least half of all the spells a magister knows at each spell level must come from her primary spell list. Even if a magister chooses to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows, she must maintain this ratio at every spell level. Some mystic bonds (see the mystic bonds class feature), can also add bonus spells to a magister’s primary spell list. A magister can select spells from her primary spell list as known spells with no penalties or restrictions.
Other Devoted Spellcasting Classes
In addition to her primary class list, a magister may select spells known from the list of any devoted spellcasting class that draws power from one of the two magic sources she has selected. If that class draws from the same magic source as the magister’s primary spell list, she may choose these spells with no penalties (though she is still under the restriction that at least half the spells she knows at each spell level must come from her primary spell list). So, for example, at 7th level a magister who has selected arcane and divine as her two magic power sources, and taken the cleric spell list as her primary spell list, could decide to make flame blade her new known 2nd-level spell, since it is from the druid spell list—a devoted spellcasting class with the same magic source (divine) as her primary spell list. However, the magister can only do this if both her other known 2nd-level spells are from the cleric spell list (her primary spell list).
A magister may also select spells known from a devoted spellcasting class that draws from her secondary magic source. However, for the magister, such spells have an effective spell level one higher than usual. Thus, the magister from our example above (who has arcane/divine as her two magic power sources, and who selected the cleric spell list as her primary spell list) may select acid arrow as a spell known. But because that is a 2nd-level spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list—a devoted spellcasting class with a different magic source than her primary class—this magister must count it as a 3rd-level spell known. For her, acid arrow is treated in all ways as a 3rd-level spell.
Non-Devoted Spellcasting Classes
A magister may also select spells known from the spell list of a non-devoted spellcasting class (a class that either does not receive spells at 1st level, or that does not include 0-level through 9th level spells on its spell list), as long as it is still from one of the two magic sources the magister has selected (arcane, divine, or occult). For the magister, such spells have an effective spell level two higher than usual, regardless of their magic source. Thus, our example arcane/divine magister from above could, upon reaching 7th level, decide to select bless weapon as a spell known. Since this is from the paladin spell list (a divine nondevoted spellcasting class), the magister counts it as a 3rd-level spell known. For her, bless weapon is treated in all ways as a 3rd-level spell.
If a spell appears on more than one class spell list, the magister may treat it as being from whatever class list is most beneficial to her.
Spells and Magic Items
For purposes of using magic items and meeting prerequisites, a magister’s spell list is considered to include all spells from her primary spell list, plus any other spell that the magister currently knows. Thus, a magister can use a wand of magic missiles freely if she has taken the sorcerer/wizard spell list as her primary spell list or if she has a different primary spell list but has selected magic missile as a spell known. Otherwise, she must make a Use Magic Device check to use the wand.
Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells
A magister can’t cast or choose to know spells of an alignment opposed to her own (even if they are arcane or occult spells). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaotic, evil, good, and lawful descriptors in their spell descriptions.
Magisters learn a number of cantrips and orisons, or 0-level spells, as noted on “Table 2: Magister Spells Known”. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.
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About Owen K.C. StephensOwen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens
Posted on May 10, 2022, in Game Design, Pathfinder Development and tagged Base Classes, Game Design, gaming, Geekery, Magister, Pathfinder First Edition, PC Options. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.