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Going from fighter to Magus Kensai, it says:

A kensai is not proficient with armor or shields and suffers normal arcane spell failure chance when casting magus spells while armored.

But as a fighter, I'm proficient with armor. Will I still suffer from spell failure?

Note:

A magus is also proficient with light armor. He can cast magus spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance.

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Yes.

Here are the rules for Arcane Spell Failure:

Casting an Arcane Spell in Armor: A character who casts an arcane spell while wearing armor must usually make an arcane spell failure check. The number in the Arcane Spell Failure Chance column on Table: Armor and Shields is the percentage chance that the spell fails and is ruined. If the spell lacks a somatic component, however, it can be cast with no chance of arcane spell failure.

The rules do state a few exceptions (spells without somatic components in the quoted portion, and bards getting light armor without ASF elsewhere in the linked document), but proficiency is not one of them.

In other words: Even if you are proficient with armor, you still suffer its Arcane Spell Failure chance.

Even though it says that a magus can cast magus spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance?

Yes.

Kensai is an archetype of Magus. The Magus does have a class feature that allows them to use light armor without spell failure:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A magus is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. A magus is also proficient with light armor. He 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 magus still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

But this is entirely replaced by the Kensai class feature of the same name:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A kensai is proficient in simple weapons and in a single martial or exotic melee weapon of his choice. A kensai is not proficient with armor or shields and suffers normal arcane spell failure chance when casting magus spells while armored.

In other words, the class behaves as though the entire "Weapon and Armor Proficiency" block had been removed from the Magus, and replaced with the one from Kensai.

The Kensai will also not get the Medium Armor (Ex) or Heavy Armor (Ex) class features of the Magus class, as these are replaced by the Iajutsu (Ex), and Iajutsu Focus (Ex) class features.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Even though it says that a magus can cast magus spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance? \$\endgroup\$ – Steven Apr 3 '15 at 20:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ The Kensai archetype features remove all class features that actually affect ASF chance. Adding relevant text to my answer in a minute. \$\endgroup\$ – Dorian Apr 3 '15 at 20:48
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Aye, you will. By the text you yourself quoted, Kensai still suffers spell failure chance. Proficiency with armor does not negate spell failure chance, nor does it reduce it, proficiency only affects Armor Check Penalty. Same as if you were to take the Armor Proficiency feats.

From the feats page on paizo.com:

Armor Proficiency, Light (Combat)

You are skilled at wearing light armor.

Benefit: When you wear a type of armor with which you are proficient, the armor check penalty for that armor applies only to Dexterity- and Strength-based skill checks.

Normal: A character who is wearing armor with which he is not proficient applies its armor check penalty to attack rolls and to all skill checks that involve moving.

Special: All characters except monks, sorcerers, and wizards automatically have Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

From the armor page on paizo.com:

Armor Check Penalty: Any armor heavier than leather, as well as any shield, applies an armor check penalty to all Dexterity- and Strength-based skill checks. A character's encumbrance may also incur an armor check penalty.

Shields: If a character is wearing armor and using a shield, both armor check penalties apply.

Nonproficient with Armor Worn: A character who wears armor and/or uses a shield with which he is not proficient takes the armor's (and/or shield's) armor check penalty on attack rolls as well as on all dexterity- and strength-based ability and skill checks. the penalty for nonproficiency with armor stacks with the penalty for shields.

Arcane Spell Failure Chance: Armor interferes with the gestures that a spellcaster must make to cast an arcane spell that has a somatic component. Arcane spellcasters face the possibility of arcane spell failure if they're wearing armor. Bards, magi, and summoners have class features which allow them to wear certain armors or even shields without incurring any arcane spell failure chance for casting spells from their class spell list.

Casting an Arcane Spell in Armor: A character who casts an arcane spell while wearing armor must usually make an arcane spell failure check. The number in the arcane spell failure chance column in the Armor and Shields table is the percentage chance that the spell fails and is ruined. if the spell lacks a somatic component, however, it can be cast with no chance of arcane spell failure.

Shields: If a character is wearing armor and using a shield, add the two arcane spell failure chances together to get a single arcane spell failure chance.

Quoted from the Kensai archetype on paizo.com

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A kensai is proficient in simple weapons and in a single martial or exotic melee weapon of his choice. A kensai is not proficient with armor or shields and suffers normal arcane spell failure chance when casting magus spells while armored.

Iaijutsu (Ex): At 7th level, a kensai applies his Intelligence modifier as well as his Dexterity modifier on initiative rolls (minimum 0). A kensai may make attacks of opportunity when flat-footed, and may draw his favored weapon as a free action as part of taking an attack of opportunity. This ability replaces the medium armor ability.

Iaijutsu Focus (Ex): At 13th level, a kensai may always act and may draw his weapon as a swift action during a surprise round, though he is considered flat-footed until he acts. During a surprise round or when attacking a flat-footed opponent, he adds his Intelligence modifier on damage with his chosen weapon (minimum 0). This ability replaces heavy armor.

Emphasis mine.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's probably worth quoting the Magus class features that later allow you to ignore ASP in heavier armors. The medium-armor version's at 8th, I think; forget about the heavy-armor version. But those are magus class level. ...unless kensai removes those features, which it probably does. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 3 '15 at 20:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ The text @steven himself quoted points out that Kensai removes those features altogether. Though I'll take a look again and see if there's anything that contradicts, just in case. \$\endgroup\$ – Dorian Apr 3 '15 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, the magus has the standard weapon and armor proficiency section, and then separate, additional class features gained later that add new proficiencies (and the ability to ignore ASF with the newly-proficient armors). Kensai would have to also eliminate those class features (but given the quoted text, it probably does). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 3 '15 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aye, it does, and I added to my answer the relevant text replacing each individual class feature. The Light armor portion is actually noted in the Magus's normal weapon and armor proficiency section, which is modified by Kensai, while the Medium and Heavy armor portions are flat out removed by the Iaijutsu and Iaijutsu Focus features. \$\endgroup\$ – Dorian Apr 3 '15 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, yeah, you can’t have a class with no weapon and armor proficiency section, but the other class features are just class features, they can go away. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 3 '15 at 21:06

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