Review: Paizo – Secrets of Magic (Pathfinder Second Edition)

Secrets of Magic
Secrets of Magic is a core supplement for Pathfinder Second Edition, written by Logan Bonner, Mark Seifter, and Amirali Attar Olyaee, Kate Baker, Minty Belmont, Logan Bonner, James Case, Jessica Catalan, John Compton, Katina Davis, Jesse Decker, Chris Eng, Eleanor Ferron, Leo Glass, Joan Hong, Vanessa Hoskins, Jason Keeley, Joshua Kim, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Liane Merciel, David N. Ross, Ianara Natividad, Chesley Oxendine, Stephen Radney‑MacFarland, Shiv Ramdas, Mikhail Rekun, Simone D. Sallé, Michael Sayre, Mark Seifter, Sen H.H.S., Shay Snow, Kendra Leigh Speedling, Tan Shao Han, Calliope Lee Taylor, Mari Tokuda, Jason Tondro, Clark Valentine, Ruvaid Virk, Andrew White, Landon Winkler, Tonya Woldridge, and Isis Wozniakowska and published by Paizo.
By Dave Pierson

Learn more about Secrets of Magic here
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The Homebrew DM’s Perception

Magic’s secrets are limitless. No one person can hope to understand them all. Powerful yet delicate, infinite in scope but precise in execution, magic is a conundrum that challenges the greatest minds and the most naturally talented souls. Within this book, you’ll find rules and descriptions of all kinds of magic, but they need players and Game Masters to bring out their full potential!.

Introduction, Pathfinder Secrets of Magic, Paizo 2021

Secrets of Magic is the second large expansion of player option since the release of 2.0 and primarily focuses on the magics of Golarion. The book is broken out into 5 chapters, each with its own focus on different aspects of player options. Chapter 1 focuses on the magic essentials and new player backgrounds. Chapter 2 introduces two new classes, the magus and the summoner, while chapter 3 provides over 200 spells, including new rituals. Chapter 4 expands on magical items, both permanent and consumables, and new items you can design yourself. Chapter 5 rounds out the compendium with the Book of Unlimited Magic – a repertoire of many uncommon and rare magical practices and payer options.

Whether you are running a DnD 5e or Pathfinder campaign, there is so much for you to use in your own settings. The magical lore presented throughout provides an opportunity for you to fully immerse yourself and assist in developing your own lore. What I really like are the Rare magical backgrounds. Many of the common magical backgrounds presented are a classical take on some of the 5e backgrounds I’ve seen, but the rare magical backgrounds provide a more direct impact to your campaigns, and each provide a unique ability that can easily be incorporated with a little tweaking for a 5e campaign. The Anti-Magical background sounds like fun –

“Whenever you would be affected by magic, even your own magic or that of an ally, the originator of the effect must attempt a DC 3 flat check. On a failure, the magic doesn’t affect you”. I’ve played with wild surge’s before, and it can lead to some fun. I could really see where this trait could lead to even more fun…or sorrow.

As I noted earlier, Secrets of Magic also introduces two new magic wielding classes, the magus and the summoner; both providing new and unique new abilities to spellcasting. The magus infuses arcane energy into their attacks with Spellstrike. Spellstrike allows the player to channel a spell into an unarmed strike or sword thrust to deliver a combined attack of magic and physical. As you grow as a player, your attacks become more powerful. The summoner calls upon powerful creatures, referred to as a Eidolon, to fight by their side. Magic flows from the Eidolon into you, creating matching sigils, and the type of Eidolon determines the type of magic the summoner has access to. Both classes provide new opportunities for Pathfinder players and could be interesting NPCs for any setting.

The number of new spells and magical items are a great add, however the last chapter, Book of Unlimited Magic, is the money chapter. The Book of Unlimited Magic provides new character options around how magic works. The section includes several class archetypes that truly can impact your playstyle. Wellspring Magic is the wild surge magnified and Ley Lines magic can be an interesting topic to add to your setting.

Ultimately, the Secrets of Magic is a solid addition to the Pathfinder setting and even if you only run DnD 5E, the topics and ideas within can be adapted well. Even the tiniest detail from Secrets of Magic can enhance your own campaign setting…and peaked my interest to give Pathfinder another try.

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