Image used by permission of Yama Orce.
There are those who spend their lives poring over ancient tomes and texts, unlocking the power of magic, and there are those who spend their time perfecting the use of individual weapons, becoming masters without equal. The magus is at once a student of both philosophies, blending magical ability and martial prowess into something entirely unique, a discipline in which both spell and steel are used to devastating effect. As he grows in power, the magus unlocks powerful forms of arcana that allow him to merge his talents further, and at the pinnacle of his art, the magus becomes a blur of steel and magic, a force that few foes would dare to stand against.
Role: Magi spend much of their time traveling the world, learning whatever martial or arcane secrets they can find. They might spend months learning a new sword-fighting style from a master warrior, while simultaneously moonlighting in the local library, poring through tomes of ancient lore. Most who take this path dabble in all sorts of lore, picking up anything that might aid them in their search for perfection.
Hit Die: d8.
Starting Wealth: 4d6 × 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
The magus’s class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.
The following are the class features of the magus.
A magus is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. A magus is also proficient with light armor. He can cast magus spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a magus wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. A multiclass magus still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.
A magus casts arcane spells drawn from the magus spell list. A magus must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time.
To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the magus must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a magus’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the magus’s Intelligence modifier.
A magus can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Magus. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score.
A magus may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the magus decides which spells to prepare.
Cantrips: A magus can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Magus under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.
Spellbooks: A magus must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook except for read magic, which all magi can prepare from memory. A magus begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level magus spells plus three 1st-level magus spells of his choice. The magus also selects a number of additional 1st-level magus spells equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to his spellbook. At each new magus level, he gains two new magus spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new magus level) for his spellbook. At any time, a magus can also add spells found in other spellbooks to his own.
A magus can learn spells from a wizard’s spellbook, just as a wizard can from a magus’s spellbook. The spells learned must be on the magus spell list, as normal. An alchemist can learn formulae from a magus’s spellbook, if the spells are also on the alchemist spell list. A magus cannot learn spells from an alchemist.
At 1st level, the magus gains a reservoir of mystical arcane energy that he can draw upon to fuel his powers and enhance his weapon. This arcane pool has a number of points equal to 1/2 his magus level (minimum 1) + his Intelligence modifier. The pool refreshes once per day when the magus prepares his spells.
At 1st level, a magus can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the arcane pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the magus uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the magus.
A magus can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.
At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.
At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier. See FAQ/Errata at right for more information.
As he gains levels, a magus learns arcane secrets tailored to his specific way of blending martial puissance and magical skill. Starting at 3rd level, a magus gains one magus arcana. He gains an additional magus arcana for every three levels of magus attained after 3rd level. Unless specifically noted in a magus arcana’s description, a magus cannot select a particular magus arcana more than once. Magus arcana that affect spells can only be used to modify spells from the magus spell list unless otherwise noted.
(Editor's Note: A complete list of magus arcana can be found here: Magus Arcana)
At 4th level, the magus learns to use his arcane pool to recall spells he has already cast. With a swift action he can recall any single magus spell that he has already prepared and cast that day by expending a number of points from his arcane pool equal to the spell’s level (minimum 1). The spell is prepared again, just as if it had not been cast.
At 5th level, and every six levels thereafter, a magus gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat, item creation, or metamagic feats. He must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal.
At 7th level, when a magus prepares his magus spells, he can decide to expend 1 or more points from his arcane pool, up to his Intelligence bonus. For each point he expends, he can treat any one spell from the magus spell list as if it were in his spellbook and can prepare that spell as normal that day. If he does not cast spells prepared in this way before the next time he prepares spells, he loses those spells. He can also cast spells added in this way using his spell recall ability, but only until he prepares spells again.
At 7th level, a magus gains proficiency with medium armor. A magus can cast magus spells while wearing medium armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a magus wearing heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component.
At 8th level, the magus’s ability to cast spells and make melee attacks improves. When using the spell combat ability, the magus receives a +2 circumstance bonus on concentration checks, in addition to any bonus granted by taking an additional penalty on the attack roll.
At 11th level, the magus’s ability to recall spells using his arcane pool becomes more efficient. Whenever he recalls a spell with spell recall, he expends a number of points from his arcane pool equal to 1/2 the spell’s level (minimum 1). Furthermore, instead of recalling a used spell, as a swift action the magus can prepare a spell of the same level that he has in his spellbook. He does so by expending a number of points from his arcane pool equal to the spell’s level (minimum 1). The magus cannot apply metamagic feats to a spell prepared in this way. The magus does not need to reference his spellbook to prepare a spell in this way.
At 13th level, a magus gains proficiency with heavy armor. A magus can cast magus spells while wearing heavy armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, a magus using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component.
At 14th level, the magus gains the ability to seamlessly cast spells and make melee attacks. Whenever he uses the spell combat ability, his concentration check bonus equals double the amount of the attack penalty taken.
At 16th level, whenever an enemy within reach of the magus successfully casts a spell defensively, that enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from the magus after the spell is complete. This attack of opportunity cannot disrupt the spell.
At 19th level, the magus gains access to an expanded spell list. He learns and places 14 spells from the wizard’s spell list into his spellbook as magus spells of their wizard level. He gains two of each of the following wizard spells not on the magus spell list:
0-level, 1st-level, 2nd-level, 3rd-level, 4th-level, 5th-level, and 6th-level.
He can ignore the somatic component of these spells, casting them without the normal chance of spell failure.
At 20th level, the magus becomes a master of spells and combat. Whenever he uses his spell combat ability, he does not need to make a concentration check to cast the spell defensively. Whenever the magus uses spell combat and his spell targets the same creature as his melee attacks, he can choose to either increase the DC to resist the spell by +2, grant himself a +2 circumstance bonus on any checks made to overcome spell resistance, or grant himself a +2 circumstance bonus on all attack rolls made against the target during his turn.
The following favored class options are available to all characters of the listed races who have magus as a favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.
When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.
A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.
Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.
Magi often defy expectations. Many are mistaken for rogues and swashbucklers dabbling in minor magic, often to their opponents’ detriment. Clerics, oracles and wizards often view these spellcasters with a degree of mistrust, as they seldom understand the nature or—more importantly—the source of magi’s arcane power. This is especially true of the rare magi who dabble in hexcraft or carry strange sentient blades with alien goals and an ever-increasing lust for power. To more formulaic or hierarchal spellcasting traditions, such powers can only mean meddling from beings beyond mortal understanding.
Monks and sorcerers are often more accepting of magi, as they know that life energy and magic are more powerful than formulae and devotion would dictate, and see magi as fellow travelers on the road toward power, if not wisdom.
Because of the magi’s flexibility, it is rare to find two who practice their arcane arts in exactly the same way, giving rise to many different organizations, disciplines, and tactics.
Archetypes & Other Class Options