Magus has always struck me as a great class. The combination of wizardly magic and melee combat is the peanut butter and chocolate of the “gish” builds that many players including myself enjoy so much. With the game having been out for a while now and options for wizards AND sorcerers in the arcane realm, some people have come to prefer spontaneous casters. In all my excitement to pour over the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Class Guide, I almost missed one small entry in the archetypes section:
This archetype modifies and replaces the abilities of magus to create a spontaneous “sorcerer version” of magus. With magus spell access and bard levels of spells known, the eldritch scion lands as a solid contender for sorcerer loving players that want to gish without multiclassing. Additionally, its edritch focus ability serves as an analog to the arcane pool feature and adds the capacity to enter a state similar to bloodrage from bloodrager even granting access to the classes blood-line related features. Now, it does not give you the stat modifiers of a rage so don’t consider it a replacement for that.
With the swap out our spontaneous spell loving friends get access to spell combat, arcane pool weapon enhancements (though a few levels later) and just about all the other benefits of the magus’ magic-mixed-melee style. You can even combine it with the staff magus archetype.
Spell combat is pretty specific in its restrictions regarding spells needing to be standard actions. So magus still has an edge if you are going to metamagic a touch spell. Now there are great options with third party product to fix this, one of which is Meta Spell from Kobold Press’ collections of feats. This will allow you to learn spells like shocking touch as a permanently empowered version (assuming you had the metamagic feat) as a 3rd level effect allowing effective use of spell combat.
The 4th level restriction before your eldritch focus becomes a fully effective arcane pool means you are probably in for the long haul with the archetype but magus habitually does require a focused leveling strategy. If you are going to multiclass at all make sure they are melee enhancing classes if you are looking for “maximum effectiveness.” Other spellcasting options are going to both diminish eldritch scion’s spellcasting and be diminished by it. More complex builds might lead to hybrid double-casting classes but I encourage a very long view on your shaping with this sort of setup.
Not Quite Right?
If the eldritch scion is still not quite right, there might be a few other options to consider. Bloodrager itself is a decent high attack low magic option if that is your overall intention in character building.
For other 3rd party options in the same vein consider:
Vanguard (Rogue Genius) – Another solid spontaneous hybrid melee-magic class. The pdf presents a feat “vanguard heritage” allowing the vanguard to have a bloodline as a sorcerer. It is also worth noting that vanguard uses normal sorcerer/wizard spell access making its spell options quite broad. It also has a handy blast power as a added perk.
Riven Mage (Rogue Genius) – Mentioned in the recent “warlock” feature, it is worth noting that swift action rivenspells, a medium base attack and a point based casting system might match the needs of a “magus” style caster with spontaneous flexibility.
Psionic Warrior (Ultimate Psionics) – A point based power pool pretty much means spontaneous access to your abilities. The class list has a strong body of buffs and access to heals and restores absent in the arcane group.
Steel and magic. It isn’t a bad way to go. If you can’t make it work as above I think there may be a future for an arcanist/eldritch knight but that is another post entirely…