I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Mezo-American adventures in Maztica, the True World.
The Book-House: Find Maztica products.
Post Reply
thorr-kan
Troll
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:40 pm

I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by thorr-kan »

I'm new to Maztica, so bear with me.

I was poking through my PDFs looking for NWPs when I got sidetracked reading up on Maztican magic. I've seen pluma and hishna spells as part of the Priest's Spell Compendiums, so I always assumed they were a variant priest class. Now I see they're kind of a separate category, but with a wide availability across three class groups. This is some interesting stuff. Not as different from base as the sha'ir from my beloved AQ, but very interesting.

Eagle and Jaguar Knights are fighter kits. They get limited access to pluma/hishna respectively, in addition to the usual fighter stuff. Seems straight forward; enlighten me if I'm missing anything.

Clerics can have access to pluma/hishna based on their deity. It's treated like a sphere, but it's not a divine sphere. So...is it treated as a new sphere for those clerics? That's how I read it, but I'll never actually seen it in play so I'm curious.

Finally, plumaweaver and hishnashapers are fascinating. Divine spellcasting rogues? Sign me up! But are they a kit or a class? They're specifically called a kit, but they don't specify *which* class they are kits for. The description calls out "rogue" THAC0, XP, and Saving Throws. Neither kit lists changes to thieving ability scores (a staple of many thief kits), but the hishnashaper specifically calls out the kit getting a thief's backstab. So are these guys kits or two new rogue subclasses?

Tangentially, I really like the fetishist thief kit from FMA3 City of Gold. A thief with access to the animal friendship spell? If you can't make that character work, I don't know what other rogue will work for you.

(ETA: Spelling. Don't sleep-post folks!)
Last edited by thorr-kan on Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 26676
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by Big Mac »

Those are great questions.

I was always a little bit troubled by Maztica, because it seemed like the options were a bit depowered compared to the options that Faerûn (and therefore invading Amnians) would get.

Pluma and hishna magic both seem really interesting. I didn't quite get the concept of opposition when I read the Eagle Knight and Jaguar Knights kits, but the priest stuff makes it a bit clear that feather magic and talon magic are the work of opposing deities.

Qotal (the pluma deity) and Zaltec (the hishna deity) are not the only Maztican deities, but their two forms of magic seem to be dominant. Qotal abandoned Maztica for a while and I think that caused an imbalance. (So I wonder how that is supposed to be redressed after Qotal's return.)

I never really figured the plumaweavers and hishnashapers as spellcastig rogues, but that makes a lot of sense. I guess you are right that it needs more clarification, as I didn't spot that. Perhaps there was some errata that clarified things.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum (and administrator). My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Boneguard
Deep One Priest
Posts: 1088
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:00 pm
Gender: male
Location: Gatineau (Quebec) Canada

Re: I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by Boneguard »

thorr-kan wrote:Finally, plumaweaver and hishnashapers are fascinating. Spellcasting rogues? Sign me up! But are they a kit or a class? They're specifically called a kit, but they don't specify *which* class they are kits for. The description calls out "rogue" THAC0, XP, and Saving Throws. Neither kit lists changes to thieving ability scores (a staple of many thief kits), but the hishnashaper specifically calls out the kit getting a thief's backstab. So are these guys kit or two new rogue subclasses?
I always had the same question than you on that one and at the end I decided to basically treat them as a new subclass (with 2 specialization). It makes a hell of a lot more sense then treating it as a kit for either Thief or Bard.
Roleplaying is not a Hobby...it's a Way of Life.

Consolidated projet thread

thorr-kan
Troll
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:40 pm

Re: I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by thorr-kan »

Boneguard wrote:
thorr-kan wrote:Finally, plumaweaver and hishnashapers are fascinating. Spellcasting rogues? Sign me up! But are they a kit or a class? They're specifically called a kit, but they don't specify *which* class they are kits for. The description calls out "rogue" THAC0, XP, and Saving Throws. Neither kit lists changes to thieving ability scores (a staple of many thief kits), but the hishnashaper specifically calls out the kit getting a thief's backstab. So are these guys kit or two new rogue subclasses?
I always had the same question than you on that one and at the end I decided to basically treat them as a new subclass (with 2 specialization). It makes a hell of a lot more sense then treating it as a kit for either Thief or Bard.
My gut reaction is to treat them as separate subclasses. There's enough flavor difference and mechanical difference to justify it, in my opinion. But that's just semantics, really. They really do read like separate classes, don't they?

The taltos subclass from Dragon Magazine gives a precedent for a divine rogue spellcaster.

The more I think on the Fetishist, the more I like it. It's Aladdin from the Disney movie. You've got Abu, a raptor of some type, a vicious attack dog, and hey, is that a horse?! Animal Friendship could be so much fun!

User avatar
Boneguard
Deep One Priest
Posts: 1088
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:00 pm
Gender: male
Location: Gatineau (Quebec) Canada

Re: I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by Boneguard »

thorr-kan wrote:
Boneguard wrote:
thorr-kan wrote:Finally, plumaweaver and hishnashapers are fascinating. Spellcasting rogues? Sign me up! But are they a kit or a class? They're specifically called a kit, but they don't specify *which* class they are kits for. The description calls out "rogue" THAC0, XP, and Saving Throws. Neither kit lists changes to thieving ability scores (a staple of many thief kits), but the hishnashaper specifically calls out the kit getting a thief's backstab. So are these guys kit or two new rogue subclasses?
I always had the same question than you on that one and at the end I decided to basically treat them as a new subclass (with 2 specialization). It makes a hell of a lot more sense then treating it as a kit for either Thief or Bard.
My gut reaction is to treat them as separate subclasses. There's enough flavor difference and mechanical difference to justify it, in my opinion. But that's just semantics, really. They really do read like separate classes, don't they?
Yes they do. Unlike the Knights who does read like a kit, these 2 reads like a complete different subclasses.
Roleplaying is not a Hobby...it's a Way of Life.

Consolidated projet thread

thorr-kan
Troll
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:40 pm

Re: I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by thorr-kan »

I appreciate everybody's input. I'm going to ask around a few other places, though I doubt the consensus will be much different.

redking
Hobgoblin
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:11 pm
Gender: male

Re: I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by redking »

Dragon magazine #315 just adds to the confusion. That issue introduces the Jaguar Knight and Eagle Knight, martial classes that use Hishna and Pluma magic respectively. They each get a list of spells from which they can choose a spell-like ability, the number of which increase as they gain levels. So we gain no clarity from Dragon Magazine, either.

thorr-kan
Troll
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:40 pm

Re: I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by thorr-kan »

redking wrote:Dragon magazine #315 just adds to the confusion. That issue introduces the Jaguar Knight and Eagle Knight, martial classes that use Hishna and Pluma magic respectively. They each get a list of spells from which they can choose a spell-like ability, the number of which increase as they gain levels. So we gain no clarity from Dragon Magazine, either.
Actually that update to 3.5 is kinda valid. The kits in 2ED got some hishna and pluma spells as well.

thorr-kan
Troll
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:40 pm

Re: I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by thorr-kan »

Thanks for everyone's input on this. I'm always up for some spellcasting rogues.

thorr-kan
Troll
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:40 pm

Re: I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by thorr-kan »

thorr-kan wrote:
Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:34 am
Clerics can have access to pluma/hishna based on their deity. It's treated like a sphere, but it's not a divine sphere. So...is it treated as a new sphere for those clerics?
A closer reading of the deity descriptions under the Battlesystem section of the boxed set has pluma/hishna specifically referenced as spheres. There is the limitation based on the pluma/hishna table for casting 4th and 5th level pluma/hishna spells and ability prerequisites.

An argument for treating them as kits rather than subclasses:
p58-59
"Choosing a Kit
A character cannot enter one of these orders as a first level neophyte—-both the knightly orders and the magical artisanships, require experience and knowledge to employ.
Consequently, a character need not announce his intention to enter one of these categories until he has earned enough experience points to achieve the third level of experience. At this point, he must declare for one of these types, if he intends to pursue that calling."

Can't join until 3rd level, so it can't be a subclass, right? (Though I totally understand the argument to make them subclasses.)

It calls the kits rogues, but every is to thieves. Nary a reference to bards. That makes sense to me: a rogue kit with divine and arcane casting, however limited, with the rogue XP chart would be problematic.

So for my purposes, I think I'm going to go with these being thief kits, subject to the modifications for the thief class given throughout the boxed set. (Would it have killed them to include all of this in one spot?)

thorr-kan
Troll
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:40 pm

Re: I have some questions on Maztican magic...

Post by thorr-kan »

Argument for them being subclasses:
p62
"Artisans of Maztican Magic
Plumaweavers and Hishnashapers
Though these kits are nominally parts of the rogue class..."

A few paragraphs down:
"These rogue tables provide the information for both of these character types..."

Then two paragraphs down:
"Artisans of Maztica magic earn spells..."

I'm really going back and forth here. Combined with the "can't take a kit until 3rd level" above, I'm wondering if we don't have more arguments for a subclass here. Artisan, or magical artisan, for a name, perhaps.

Anybody want to weigh in with an opinion?

Post Reply

Return to “Maztica”