What about Might of the Magus? A review…

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When I reviewed the Complete Advanced Feats, and I wished I could see an Advanced Feats type book on the Magus, I had no idea that the awesome kobold crew at Open Design were working on this book. Maybe they had announced it and I missed it, but I was really happy to see my wish become a reality. Sigfried Trent worked his magic once again and produced a great and concise overview of the new class presented in the Ultimate Magic book for the Pathfinder RPG (and like I mentioned in this post available in the Pathfinder Reference Document) with 30 new feats and three character builds. This book is excellent for the new player wishing to explore a class that combines magic and might, or even an experience player wishing to explore all the new options, with concise practical advice, neat options for the player who enjoys tinkering with builds, and the sample builds are great NPCs usable in any campaign. Actually a great way to introduce the Magus into a game!

If some of you are scratching your heads and saying, “Well this isn’t exactly a timely review!” You are right, the gracious folk at Open Design had provided a review copy on PDF of this book some weeks ago and I had been unable to review it. I apologize to them, real life has just not let up, and I hope that this is a better late than never situation and I can do my part to spread the word of this excellent supplement. How awesome is it? Read on to find out…

Let’s dispense with the layout first. It follows the same format as all previous books, two columns simple yet functional layout, a beautiful cover by Christophe Swal, who has become eponymous  with the look of the Advanced Feats series, and decorations through the book that manage to mix the mysterious of the arcane with the a martial theme. The book is sprinkled with useful sidebars, about shields, swords, rule considerations, including advice on running low charisma characters and balancing feats, all useful and enlightening about the creation process of the author.

The overview of the class is what opens the book, and I found it especially useful. New classes are always a tricky thing, especially for me who can often get lost in the role-playing and lose sight of some of the rules long term. And then come the feats; 30 new feats, useful for the Magus, but many are useful for other classes, both magic and combat oriented. The feats have the author’s comments, understanding the rationale behind the rule decisions is almost like having a director’s commentary track on your RPG book.

I love some of the feats because of their flavor, while they are good solid rules, these rules enhance the role-playing possibilities for players and that to me is a win-win. Arcana Thief is a feat that enhances the Magus’ Arcana Pool when the character disrupts a spell or counterspells, filling a particular niche that is often overlooked in my games.  Greatweapon Spell Combat lets the Magus use the Spell Combat feature with a two handed sword, granting greater variety to the class. These are an example of a feat specific to a Magus.

And then there are some gems of a feat, like Hobbyist, an elegant solution to earning decent skill ranks through the use of a feat (I won’t spoil it, let’s just say I really like the idea), Parrying Defense (sacrifice an attack when doing a full attack for some extra defense) and Reckless Attack (get an attack bonus and suffer penalties and attacks of opportunity), all seem interesting and a good option for many other classes. Sure there are a lot of Magus specific feats but I think there is a good overall balance. There is a brief section on the feats from previous books in the Advanced Feats series that would be useful to a Magus rounding out the feats section.

Then there are the builds. The Fae Blade is an elven themed build, the Lady of the Lash is a whip themed Magus and the Rune Fist mixes Monk and Magus. While these are some interesting themes, the builds seem more themed to the character they represent than archetypes of myth or literature. I like that! The NPCs are imaginative and immediately useful for a Game Master at any level. Kudos…

Overall I think this is a GREAT addition to the Advanced Feats series. The book is available as a PDF here for $3.99. I hope to see more books in this series, full of crunchy rules, but with many ideas that enhance the role-playing. What’s up next? I for one can’t wait…

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