Parry, Riposte, Electrocute: Magus Options (Part 1)
Most magi seek a balance between steel and spell, though some may focus a fraction more of their attention on the martial or arcane aspect of their unique fighting styles. Some, however, seek to expand their repertoire, experimenting with a wider variety of skills and abilities. Presented below is a new archetype for the magus. The iron fist magus uses magic to transform his or her body into the perfect weapon.
New Magus Arcana
As a magus gains levels, he or she masters arcane secrets that supplement magical and martial attacks. Any magus who meets the prerequisites listed in a magus arcana’s description can select that arcana. 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 be used only to modify spells from the magus spell list unless otherwise noted in their descriptions. Magus arcana marked with an asterisk (*) are found in Ultimate Magic and magus arcana marked with two asterisks (**) are found in Ultimate Combat.
Arcane Horseman (Su): The magus can choose to expend points from his or her arcane pool to create barding for mounts conjured with the mount or phantom steed spells. The barding is weightless and imposes no armor check penalties. The magus can expend up to 2 points as part of the casting of the spell, and the barding provides 2 AC per point spent.
Fear Strike (Su): As a free action, the magus can demoralize a foe with an Intimidate check after successfully damaging the foe with a spell cast using the spellstrike ability. The magus receives a competence bonus to Intimidate equal to the level of the spell.
Iron Fist (Ex):The magus deals damage with unarmed strikes as if he or she were a monk of half his or her magus level. If the magus has levels in monk, this ability stacks with monk levels to determine how much damage the magus can do with unarmed strikes. The magus must be at least 9th level and have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat before taking this arcana.
Iron Resilience (Su): The magus can expend 1 point of his or her arcane pool as an immediate action to gain DR 1/magic and the benefits of the Diehard feat for a number of rounds equal to the magus’s Intelligence modifier. The DR increases by 1 for every 5 levels to a maximum of DR 5/magic at 20th level.
Iron Fist Magus
An iron fist magus seeks to transcend the confines of his or her mortal state, striving toward both mental and physical perfection. Unlike a monk, an iron fist magus studies the secrets of the arcane, blending spell and martial skill together.
Class Skills: The iron fist magus adds Acrobatics to the list of class skills in addition to the normal magus class skills.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An iron fist magus is proficient with the club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, sling, and spear. An iron fist magus is also proficient with light armor. An iron fist magus 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 iron fist magus still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes. This replaces the normal magus weapon and armor proficiency feature.
Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, an iron fist magus gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. An iron fist magus’s attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that an iron fist magus may make unarmed strikes with his or her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for an iron fist magus striking unarmed. An iron fist magus may thus apply his or her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all unarmed strikes.
An iron fist magus usually deals lethal damage with an unarmed strike but can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on the attack roll. An iron fist magus has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling. An iron fist magus’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
An iron fist magus also does more damage with his or her unarmed strikes than a normal person would. A Medium iron fist magus deals 1d6 damage with unarmed strikes. A Small iron fist magus deals 1d4 damage with unarmed strikes.
Eschew Materials: At 1st level, the iron fist magus gains Eschew Materials as a bonus feat.
Arcane Body (Su): At 7th level, the iron fist magus may expend 1 point from his or her arcane pool as an immediate action to reroll a saving throw against disease and effects that would cause the iron fist magus to be fatigued or sickened. The iron fist magus gains a +4 bonus to the reroll, but must accept the result of the reroll, even if it is worse than the original roll. At 11th level, an iron fist may use this ability to reroll a saving throw against poison, and effects that would cause him or her to be exhausted or nauseated. This ability replaces the medium armor and heavy armor abilities.
Magus Arcana: The following arcana complement the iron fist magus archetype: hasted assault*, iron fist, iron resilience, maneuver mastery*.