I've been using them in my game for a couple years, every once in a while they cause something cool to happen, like having it come down to a single character's roll on an extra standard action from a hero point being the deciding factor on whether or not it would be a TPK. Honestly though more often than not my players make sure to keep at least two points at any given time, more hero points have been used on being left for dead than on anything else.
As a player I always take the antihero option, I personally like having more risk of death, and that extra feat is really nice in a lot of builds.
I've run a couple campaigns where I've used DMPCs, they can be really helpful as a gm, especially for those circumstances where you want to point out things that the characters should clearly know, but that the players have clearly forgotten. They're also really handy for those times where you want to say "Really?!? That's your plan?!? Are you out of your bloody minds?". In both cases it comes across as being a little more natural coming out in character from an NPC, and a little less ham handed.
On the other hand I've seen the flip side, playing in a 4E game where the GM was running a DMPC that was a high-end epic tier character (fully stated out) using his epic bluff to convince us he was a slightly bumbling henchman... To make matters worse the GM's idea of hints were things like having the real character sheet on the table amongst his notes where we could see it... (after he said that I started using a screen in my games for a while...) Needless to say I can understand why some people would be very much against the idea.
I'd add my vote to moving away from the cursed item chat, and going back to constructive advice because the cursed item wouldn't work for one of two reasons:
1. The GM is being a jerk and putting a (nigh) unbeatable foe in as a roadblock, and will just continue to be a jerk and the dust won't work.
2. The dragon is being put in as a plot point and the players are trying to circumvent it for the hell of it, in which case the GM should tell them straight up OOC that a clever plan and good dice rolls might work, but a questionable rules loophole will just be Rule 0'd.
In short if the game is already player vs GM, the plan won't work, and unless they want it to become player vs GM it shouldn't be attempted.
On a more serious note... how bout something like this:
Mute: You cannot speak or vocalize in any way. You gain Silent Spell as a bonus feat but any spell you cast with a verbal component gains a Somatic component and you suffer from spell failure chance from armour. In addition you may communicate telepathically in any language you know with a range of 15'. At 5th level the range of your telepathy increases to 30 feet and you no longer suffer spell failure while wearing light armour. At 10th level the range of your telepathy increases to 60 feet and you gain a +3 bonus to the DC of your Language Dependent Enchantment spells. At 15th level you no longer suffer spell failure from Medium armour and can communicate telepathically as if under the effect of Tongues. Note this does not grant you the ability to understand heard from outside the range of your telepathy.
This doesn't impede the player's ability to participate in RP with the party, but does somewhat hinder their ability to be a face (a significant drawback for a Cha primary). I was trying to keep the power level somewhere between Clouded Vision and Tongues... I'm not sure about the ranges on the telepathy though, I was considering touch to start then 15' at 5, 30' at 10 and 60' at 15. The idea of having to do spells like command as a melee touch seems kind of cool, but it's probably too harsh when combined with the spell failure from armour, and the communication range seems a little restrictive. I was also debating having the range increase to 90-120' at 15.
Matthew Morris wrote:
Either that or a side effect of losing all skin pigmentation in the face and gaining Force Cube range personal.
/ducks volley of rotten veggies.
I was considering doing something similar for a bit of a switch hitter. For PFS play there isn't a whole lot I'm interested in after level 5-7, so I was thinking of going Monk(sensei) for the wis based unarmed strike and making a grizzled old vet type character. Biggest thing holding me back on it is the fact that the monk would be really important for the feel of the character, but I wouldn't want to drop out Gunslinger(Musket Master) until I'd done at least three levels, otherwise the reload is just too painful.
As far as the act of holding the sword automatically discharging the spell where RAW does it say that you are holding the charge in that hand? Since Spellstrike requires a free hand, for a we know it could be a technique in which you cast the spell and hold the charge in your off hand, and touch the blade of your sword as it contacts the foe.
The way I would rule it would be that "Come" will call a distant animal to you, and "Heel" will instruct a nearby to follow you. For example:
The dog is in the yard and you come out of the house to talk him for a walk.
Scenario 1, Come: You walk out of the house and shout "Here boy!" The dog comes running to you, and you clip his leash to his collar, because you know that if you don't he's going after every squirrel, interesting bush, and bird on the way, and you will constantly be hollering for him to come back.
Scenario 2, Heel: You walk out of the house and shout "Here boy!"... nothing. You shout it a couple more times, then curse and go find the dog chewing on a stick behind the tool shed. You give his head a quick rub, then slap your thigh and say "Heel!". The dog perks up and follows a couple steps behind you while the walk.
Scenario 3, Come and Heel: You walk out of the house and shout "Here boy!". The dog comes running to you. Then you slap your thigh and say "Heel!". The dog gives a happy little bark, and follows along behind you while you walk.
So in my opinion, "Come" will get the dog out of the bushes, or away from that neat stick, but it won't keep his attention long. "Heel" won't get the dog's attention, but will keep it once you have it.
I don't think you can dispel the mount. I'm fairly sure it is a Conjuration (Teleportation) effect for a few reasons:
First Conjuration (Calling) specifies that it comes from another plane. When you get the mount it has the Animal type, and when you get higher level it becomes a Magical Beast. It never gains the Outsider or Outsider(Native) types.
Second, it never says anywhere that you can "unsummon" the mount. You can leave the mount in the stables, then summon it into a dungeon, but once it is there you can't send it back to the stables. Unlike 3.x there is nothing about having it conveniently disappear.
I think it's one of those annoying situations where a common rules term gets used in a sentence with just its standard English language meaning ie: Huge Rats (size small). So I think you can counterspell the initial call/summon/whatever, but banishment, dismissal, and dispel shouldn't have any effect.
The further into the campaign you are, the harder it is to train players to consider running to be an option. I find the trick is to avoid pulling punches... once players start to realize that crits happen, and that characters CAN DIE, running starts to seem a lot more reasonable. The downside is if the characters have been around for a while, and the players expect "fair" encounters even one death can create hard feelings.
The other thing that can work is obvious no-win scenarios where the enemies won't chase the PCs:
Base assault type scenario where a wave of ranged attacks spread out amongst the PCs (2-4 attacks on each) brings them all low enough that it's obvious that another wave will probably take at least one PC down, and if they were to focus fire...
Have a nasty monster start eating a downed PC, giving the others an obvious opportunity to escape.
Or to create a BBEG that the group will instantly hate (works best if you have one player that is a really good sport). Have the BBEG show up a group of minions that would be a slightly under tuned encounter without him. On the first round have the BBEG somehow one shot the good sport while the minions engage. On the second round have the BBEG cast something (or use a magic item) and hand the PC you one shotted a character sheet with their character beefed up with a couple nasty undead templates and tell them to have fun. Round three BBEG does a Laugh and Leave ;)
Honestly though, just keeping encounter difficulty generally tuned a little high so that there is always a sense of risk, and not saving the players from their own stupidity is the best way to do it.
So earlier you said you weren't having fun, and you were only still running the game because you didn't want to let down your friends, then you said that if you were to force them to create/level their own characters they'd walk. You might want to take a stand there... as I see your situation it might be win-win, either they learn, or they stop playing and you are no longer obligated to run the game.
For a slightly less hard line approach, maybe try saying that when they get enough xp they may, if they choose, level up their character whenever they are ready. Until that point they can continue to play the character as is. Then tell them that you'd like them to level up on their own between sessions. If they have any questions, feel free to ask(in between sessions) and you'd be happy to help. If they ever ask you for help on character choices, offer advice, but always offer a choice:
"Hey, what feat should I take for my fighter?"
At this point you can take a couple minutes to say that it depends most on what they want the character to be like, then show them a couple higher level options that chain off those feats, like Greater Specialization. This way you are narrowing the options for them so it's not so overwhelming, but they are still choosing. From there hopefully they can start to take the training wheels off.
Just make sure when ever they ask for advice on a build choice, present them with 2-3 options, explain them, and NEVER, EVER, decide for them.
If all else fails, they seem to really enjoy roleplaying, so if they can't figure out PF, maybe try a simpler game?
Ship's Galley's were a very real risk to the ship. They were generally built using brickwork the deck and bulkheads to prevent fires. They were also kept as far as possible from the powder magazine for obvious reasons. For a forge I would say it would depend on you campaign's teck level. If you are at a traditional medieval tech level and only have brick oven style forges, you are probably SOL without some decent magic. If you're tech level is a little higher and you have access to a portable forge (think modified pot belly stove) it would be easier, those were actually used on tall ships. The trick with them is that they have to be made out of a metal that can withstand enough heat for you to melt the metal you want to work with.
Here is a link to a Flickr of the Portable Forge from the HMS Victory
Strange. I wonder why steam ships don't spontaneously combust then.
They did: The Lexington
Figuring out how to keep a raging fire on a boat that was made of wood coated in tar was took some pretty significant advances in technology and manufacturing techniques. You're not really looking at medieval or even renaissance era tech.
On the up side, a lot of the work involved in armouring doesn't require a forge. If you can pound out sheets and stretch wire on shore you could punch out scales and lamellar. Cold pound to shape plates. Form, weave and rivet chain links.
Hope some of that is helpful.
One of those awesome Table computers like they've been using in this season of leverage as my game table. Individual tablets for each player for character sheets, and private messages. Multi-panel LCD monitor GM screen + tablet to gm from. Hire a GW Golden Demon nut to paint all my minis, and do conversions to make the PC minis match the character.
If you were to add 0 or two it could get really fun... maybe arrange a "Red Phone" to Seatle for a 24 hour dev hotline for those really annoying rule adjudications. ;) Oh and maybe some chairs rigged to give painful but harmless shocks... mostly for that one player who can't help but start a side conversation any time I try to describe a scene. 8D
Oh, and did anyone else have "Ignore the man behind the curtain" pop into their head during the OP?
If you are using things like Black Tentacles you shouldn't be screwing your melee at all. Think of it this way:
Best case scenario, all enemies are caught in the tentacles:
Middle of the road scenario, some enemies get caught:
Worst Case scenario, no enemies are caught: Everything is pretty much as it was before, but you might still be able to make use of it with other control spells. If you are exceptionally lucky and have a BIF instead of a BSF among your melee, they might even be ale to make use of it.
I don't see a downside here, though I suppose for completeness sake I really should include:
The Worse than Worst Case scenario, you catch the melee in the area without creating a massive, insurmountable advantage:
Please, please , PLEASE! No weapon init mods. They're great in systems with phased combat (ie everybody moves, then everybody attacks) but they just don't work in a system with sequential init like PF. There are too many problems... does my init change because my greatclub got disarmed, then again when I draw my backup dagger? Does that mage get to blast me even sooner cause he's got a rapier in his offhand?
The idea on modifying when iteratives occur is a lot better, but would take a MASSIVE overhaul of the weapon chart, and probably the way static modifiers work. You knock daggers down to BAB-4 and Greatswords up to BAB-6 and I can almost guarantee that daggers would come out way ahead.
As far as go, I'd give them the rule firearms have now, and give firearms a damage boost. Remember, the effect crossbows had on armour was so terrifying that they were banned by the Pope.
Overall though I think the biggest problem with weapons in general is the insignificance of the dice. After a certain point the only major differences between a dagger, a longsword, and a greatsword are one is one handed and finessable, one is one handed, and one is two handed with a 1.5* modifier on str an PA.
It might be interesting at some point to try doubling all HP related dice (HD, weapon, spell, etc) while leaving the static modifiers the same. I'd be curious to see how it changed things, I think it might actually make things like the Bastard sword and TWF worthwhile.
I think a major part of why we disagree on this is because of playstyle. I tend to value longer term or passive buffs far more highly than very short term. The additional passive buffs from wondrous items and armour, more than balance out the loss of Pool points in my opinion. Honestly the Bladebound archetype is most valuable in campaigns with long "work days" and or long encounters.
I'm honestly not as concerned about action economy either... I find that with a tendency towards having a relatively high init, and being fairly squishy, if you use the "pounce" options right off the bat you beat the party meatshield in and out damage them on round one. That tends to get you killed so I prefer to take a round to buff up a bit and pop off a control type spell (I know it's not RAW but my group allows using an action as a lesser action, so Cast(Std), AP(move>swift), BB strike(swift) is doable), then charge in.
I'm not trying to say that Bladebound is the optimal way to go, but I would say it's pretty close to an even trade for what you lose.
Stuff about Bladebound and Shocking Grasp vs Frostbite
I think there are some things that you aren't taking into account in both discussions. First I'll tackle the Black Blade:
The difference in arcane pool isn't quite as big as it seems, it's not 1/2 level vs 1/3 lvl, it's 1/3 lvl + the sword's pool, a difference of 1-3 points total.
You aren't choosing between Arcane Pool, Black Blade strike, and Arcane strike they all stack, it just takes a couple rounds to wind up, and they all get multiplied on a crit.
Next Shocking Grasp vs Frostbite... I'm not going to say that Frostbite is awful, but I think your numbers are skewed. Frostbite will do more damage per cast, but the damage is spread pretty thin. The big advantage that SG has is that all of its damage is on attacks that are likely to hit, where FB is spread down the chain of iteratives. On top of that SG has a bonus to hit a decent targets with metal armour. Add in in the math for hitting and confirming crits and you will see a very different picture.
The other problem with FB is that it is nonlethal damage. That completely rules it out against a good chunk of the Bestiary.
That being said, FB definitely has its uses, it's way better against hordes, especially since it can carry through to your AoO, and possibly even last multiple turns (Though you won't get the extra attacks from Spellstrike if you stretch it), but for taking down a big dangerous mob SG is the way to go.
I've been looking at building a Cavalier, and checking out the archetypes made me think of an interesting question. Are the Beast Rider and Standard Bearer archetypes compatible? The only cross over between the two is the Mount class feature, which Standard Bearer moves without altering. I'm just curious, because I'm not interested in mounted combat, and by combining the two, you get a mildly useful ability (Banner) early, and don't receive your mount until it can actually be something other than a horse.
Could this be a potentially PFS legal alternative to the Hound archetype from RPG superstar?
Umm... Isn't this one of this cases where it really doesn't matter?
Whether you are multiplying the dice result by 1.5 or the number of dice rolled by 1.5 it comes out pretty much the same until you run into rounding. I tend to prefer multiplying the result because you end up with a smoother boost that way since rounding 7*1.5 to 10 seems less awkward than rounding 7d6*1.5 to 10d6.
I'm fairly sure that the numeric variables statement is partially to prevent increase on static modifiers to healing and damage in spells like the cure series, but more importantly to prevent shenanigans like empowered bull's strength.
The question about metamagic stacking is more important, and I'm not sure whether it should be 10d6*1.5 or 5d6+(5d6*1.5), but I'd personally rule towards the former for simplicity's sake.
Looking back to the conversation about the value of spell recall vs hexcrafter, Abraham Spalding brings up the point that spell recall is a crutch and that you shouldn't just be nova'ing with shocking grasp and using spell recall to get it back. The fact that I agree with him to some extent is why I like preferred spell (shocking grasp) so much for the magus. I know it is expensive because of the requirement, but I think it's undervalued in the guide a bit because the use that is being suggested for it is kind of backwards in my opinion. I don't see it as yet another way to be able to spam more shocking grasps, but as a way to gain more versatility by never memorizing SG.
Shocking grasp is a spell that is pretty much bread and butter for the magus, in that its kind of a default fallback attack. With preferred spell you can trade whichever other spell you think you might not need, and if you make a mistake, you can use spell recall to recover it. That way you can have a broader selection of utility spells.
Even without preferred spell I really like the versatility that spell recall gives because it gives you the option of memorizing more unique spells, and using spell recall to gain multiple casts if necessary.
Walter also makes a good point about using pearls and spell recall in tandem. To really gain the most out of your spells you can try to use whichever is most efficient for a given level. Once you have improved spell recall, using AP for 1st and 2nd level spells seems pretty wasteful, but one point for a 3rd level is pretty good, and two points for a 5th level is great, so if you try and buy pearls for levels 1, 2, and maybe 4, and use improved spell recall for 3 and 5, you can get a fairly obscene number of casts in a day, from a large selection of spells.
A few things to look at for this comparison:
0:10/8/8/6 1:12/10/8/6 2:14/12/10/9 3:16/14/12/10 4:18/16/14/12 5:20/18/16/14 6:-/20/18/16
So it can be tricky, but those numbers aren't taking into account int increases or taking attack penalties for bonuses.
So is the AD better than the Magus? I don't know, with lots of really short encounters, sure, and he may be more of a boon to the party. Does he beat the Magus at his own game? I don't think so, the Magus is arguably the best true "Gish" 3.5 has seen, other than maybe the old Duskblade, which wins out in combat ability, and loses out in versatility.
Like I said, depending on the GM's ruling. The BAB issue, like just about everything else about the Synthesist is still heavily debated with no official ruling clarifying things.
But anyway I didn't mean to turn this into another Synthesist thread, I was just presenting a silly work around since the OP's question had been answered. My apologies to everyone for derailing things.
I was mostly joking, but depending on how the GM rules on the synthesist you could make some pretty cheese-tactic builds with a single level dip. If you go biped you'd get decent physical stats (while dumping your own), and with the 3 evolution points you could get limbs and reach. A magus weilding a scimitar two handed (with reach) with a rod and a free hand? Ick! I think I'd have to smack any player who tried to bring something like that to the table...
Every time I look at the synthesist I'm more convinced that it needs some clarification and possibly errata.
As a GM I'd allow a rod plus spell strike if you were to jump through all the hoops: cast the spell with the rod in hand and weapon sheathed (standard), stow the rod (free), draw your weapon, possibly as a part of a move (move), deliver the spell through the weapon (free). This works because with spellstrike you are delivering the attack with the weapon, not casting it.
Spell combat on the other hand I'd say is a straight up no. Since you are doing a full attack and casting as part of a single Full-Round action you are running into two problems. First of all I would say that you would need to meet the action's requirements throughout the entire action. Since the requirements are for a one hander and a free hand, a rod in the offhand would fail to meet the requirements. Failing that, if I recall correctly you can't interrupt an action with a free action, so you could store the rod before or after spell combat, but not during.
The primary exception to that would be if you could have the free hand while you had the weapon and rod out, which could be possible with a synthesist or alchemist multi class.
Two possibilities I haven't seen mentioned so far:
Builds revolving around preferred spell. Ive been messing around with preferred spell, magical lineage and shocking grasp a bit, it's pretty feat intensive, but it let's you keep other spells memorized, improving your utility and makes applying some of the higher end metamagic feats a little more practical since you can do it on a case by case basis instead of choosing ahead of time. Becomes even better with spell perfection in high level games. The biggest downside is that I can't think of any good uses for heighten spell in the builds.
The othe one I've been wondering about, has anyone considered staff magus as an off hand weapon? With the two arcana to be able to spell combat with a staff, and that feat from UM that let's you use a staff one handed, you could use the staff as a shield. Throw in a glove of storing and you could still cast normally. It also gives you a backup bludgeoning weapon. Seems to me like it might be especially good either for non-dervish dex builds, or with some cheese, free action to store, attack with dervish, then free action to retrieve. (though I'm not sure I'd allow that kind of shenanigan as. GM)
Not that I think they're great, but one point in favor of the instant metamagic arcanas is that the Magus basically can't use metamagic rods. Spell combat requires a free hand, and spell strike you'd be limited to non somatic spells. Unless of course you sheathe your weapon cast the spell, draw, then use the free action attack.
I won't save them, but I will often try to give them an out of some sort. If it's a monster, I might have it start munching on a downed pc. If they keep attacking and disturb it's meal they are SOL, but it they run it may just enjoy it's meal. I often have intelligent opponents take prisoners, that usually makes more sense than killing the PCs outright anyway, and as I've posted before I love running jailbreak scenarios. But again, if they don't surrender I don't hold back.
@Buba Ho Tep
First of all, RAW the blade just gets enhancement bonus, but I don't see any huge balance issues with allowing someone to swap some of that enhancement for abilities, but enchanting the blade beyond that is probably a no-no. Just check with your GM first.
As for Vanilla vs Bladebound, since you aren't going rapier or scimitar I'm guessing you aren't planing on spamming touch spells, so delaying your first arcana shouldn't hurt too much. The main question then becomes whether or not it is worth losing the AP. Since you are doing Second Darkness you are probably only going up to 15-16 so you would be losing 1-2 points (3 at 14 and 16), that means you'll be losing 1-2 spell levels per day, or 2-4 after 11, that will usually amount to one casting of your highest spell level. So for your build is that worth more than Black Blade Strike, and whatever you can get for the gold you would have spent on your weapon?
Oh and if you choose Falcata over Bastard Sword, go Bladebound for sure, the extra damage from BBS is more valuable with the 19-20x3 crit than it would be otherwise, and your oddball weapon is guaranteed to stay up to par.
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
While I totally agree with you, given how much this thread has been showcasing how many awesome fantasy series are seriously under read by this group, (and I think I need to track down Elric myself), that should probably go in a spoiler tag.
That would be right at the top of my list of good points you've made. I always forget familiars because, well, I always forget familiars... and so does everyone else I play PF with. I've always thought that Loiosh (From Brust's novels) is what a familiar should be like, but that requires the GM to actively role-play it, and GMs tend to be the worst for forgetting familiars. On top of that I think roleplaying your own familiar/cohort/eidolon is kinda masturbatory. What all that means is that I don't even consider choosing them anymore, and the best anyone in my group has done in a long time is the old "Toad of Toughness"
I know they can be awesome, but they are one of my blindspots.
Ok, you were totally justified sleeping his character. I just wanted to make sure, because I've dealt with scenarios where the person in your position was really the root cause, but it doesn't look like that's the case here.
If you don't think you can really get rid of him and have the game run smoothly, a solution one of my GM's used for a player's girlfriend who enjoyed combat, but who had spotty attendance and didn't care about RP, was to make her character a summon. We summoned her in any fight where we "needed her help", which meant any fight she was actually present for. The rest of the time she read magazines and participated in the non game related table banter, worked great.
If you do think the group could survive losing his warm body, I'd go back to my suggestion of politely giving him an ultimatum about his tardiness and cell phone use. I'm not really suggesting it because I think it'll change his behaviour (but if it does, bonus!), but because it gives you a fair and diplomatic way of giving him the boot when it doesn't. You're not blindsiding him, your not commenting on his skill at the game, or making it personal. It's the same type of stuff that you could get away with firing someone for, without having to worry about wrongful dismissal BS.
I think you are misunderstanding me a bit, I'm not praising the glory of the Bladebound. I think that what it gains is a roughly even trade for what it loses.
The loss of the points in your personal AP pool hurts, and the Black Blades powers aren't necessarily an even trade for them, as I only see Black Blade Strike as being consistently useful, everything else is incredibly situational(I wasn't thinking about Energy attunement when I was talking about DR).
Getting the Blade itself for one Arcana I think is a great trade. Being guaranteed the magic weapon you want (and bladebound is only an option if the weapon you want is on the list) for free early on is pretty good. Crafting your own weapons is almost as good(it still cost more), but my comparison to a feat wasn't entirely fair. In a lot of ways a feat is more valuable than an Arcana, since a feat can become an Arcana and the reverse is not true, and the Magus is pretty feat starved.
The spellblade on the other hand, I'm not saying that it is a bad trade for Spellstrike... that's just adding insult to injury.
There isn't a single spell level where I can imagine sacrificing a spell to get the athame being anywhere near as useful as just casting a spell.
On top of that, the Arcanas:
I was looking forward to the Spellblade the most out of the Magus archetypes, I love the flavour, but you are trading a decent (at worst) class feature, and good spells for a mediocre off hand weapon for a class that really shouldn't be trying to TWF...
I'll grant, it's better than Vow of Poverty, but as far as I'm concerned it gets tossed into the same "Only for use in masochistic RP builds" bin.
(Disclaimer: I do not believe that RP is masochistic, or that playing an unoptimized is in any way wrong. An intentionally weak character can make for (but does not guarantee) good roleplaying, but the player must accept that they will most likely "suffer for their art" in any situation where the weaknesses are showcased.)
I agree Leo, Spell Combat and a two-hander is a no-go, not only does it say you need a free hand but it specifically states light or one handed weapon. Spellstrike on the other hand would be fine, taking a hand off of a two hander would fall under James Jacob's ruling here if anything releasing a hand and putting it back on would seem like less of an action than switching a weapon from one hand to the other and back.
I'm not sure that the Bladebound is better than a vanilla Magus, but I can see pros and cons for it. You are losing one arcana (which is exactly equivalent to a feat) and getting a modified Arcane Pool progression, in which your total points are always equal or higher than the normal progression, and your personal pool is at worst 4 points lower (only at lvl20). For this you:
-Will be way above the curve on equipment (The cost of a weapon equivalent to the Blade plus AP is minimum a quarter of your WBL, and isn't that low until lvl 20)
-Will be better against DR than most physical combatants, at 5 if you allocate your pool to enhancement you ignore almost all DR and at 9 you only need to worry about DR epic, s/p/b, and -.
-Will be able to pump your static damage modifiers as higher than any other Magus.
-will get a few utility powers with which YMMV
On the other hand I have a hard time seeing how the Spellblade isn't straight up worse than vanilla. You trade Spellstrike, for the Athame which gets you:
-a magic force dagger that can't be thrown at the cost of a spell/minute. Since it is force it ignores DR and can hit incorporeal.
-access to three more arcana options (YMMV but in my opinion they are awful, inefficient, and mediocre respectively)
TWF is not compatible with Spell Combat, makes you MAD, and is very feat intensive. To stay ahead of or equal the Black Blade's enhancement you need to burn your highest level spell each fight up until lvl 13 at which point your second highest will do.
Unless you are in a very ghost heavy campaign, I just don't see the advantage, and even I'm not sure how much better it is than spell combat with magic missile.
I'm not sure if it would be worth combining with the hexcrafter, but since you are talking about SG and metamagic, I threw together the skeleton of a build here.
I made it before I found Magical Lineage so the number crunching is wrong, and some tweaks should be made if it's going to be used for PFS (maximize seems kind of pointless if you're only going to 12), but I'm not sure I can squeeze much more out of Spellstrike. It would be nice to fit Elemental Spell in, but I wasn't too worried about it since once you hit level 5 you should never memorize SG, so you won't be hurt too badly if you can't use it. I just wish I could figure out how to make Heighten useful for the build.
Jason Nelson wrote:
Rope trick is a spell I dislike, but there's a very simple solution. *ANY* creature that climbs the rope climbs into the extradimensional space. There is no door, nor lock on it, and no way to prevent additional creatures from climbing up, other than filling the RT with 8 creatures. Most parties aren't that large, which means any enterprising bad guy can climb the rope and go in and start hacking.
That just made an idea that would probably make a gm want smack me come to mind. Carry a cage of rats. The spell specifically states creatures of any size... four adventurers and four rats is a full rope trick.
You may commence groaning and rolling your eyes now ;)
I am somewhat of two minds on this one... please do not take offense at this, I am trying to help by looking at both sides of the situation, and I will provide a possible solution for both scenarios I see as possible.
If you think that what I say below is way off base, or if you just want him gone as painlessly as possible, my suggestion for getting rid of him diplomatically is in the spoiler:
I would recommend speaking with him as a group ASAP and tell him about problems that can't easily be perceived as personal attacks. Warn him that if the problems aren't resolved by the end of the campaign, he won't be invited to the next one. My suggestion based on your post would be a paraphrase of:
"We feel that the way that you have been arriving late, and playing with your phone at the table is very disruptive, and is ruining the game for the rest of us. We would like to have you keep playing with us, but if things continue as they are, we won't be inviting you to our next game."
First of all I would suggest examining the situation to make sure that K is the problem. From some things that you mention in your post I am a little concerned that K may be (over)reacting to some of your behaviors. From the way you described his Cleric, it is very obvious that you do not approve of his play style or build choices, and that may be coming through in your interactions with him. Remember that given the fact that you are on these forums, you probably care more about the quality or effectiveness of your builds than most people. Not everyone is an optimizer (by choice or because of lack of ability) and no one likes to be condescended to, or to be told how to play.
You also mentioned that K's character died to a coup de grace after you put him to sleep. I'll admit that I don't know the context, but if it happened to me, I'd be pretty angry unless you gave me a very good reason why it was necessary. If he thinks (or worse, knows) that you don't like him, that type of thing is easy to perceive as spiteful, or as a personal attack.
It is also important to remember that most people don't like to tell people harsh truths things that may hurt their feelings. That's probably a good big part of why you haven't told him off yet, but it may also be why the other players aren't telling you if your behaviour is part of the problem.
I don't really think that talking to K at this point would be productive, either he is being a jerk, or both of you are, either way it'll be a mess. If you think that there is a chance that any of what I've said is possible, I would suggest talking to your husband and the other players. Ask if they think that your behaviour has anything to do with things being the way they are, and if so you might be able to solve things by modifying your behaviour.
I hope that what I've said is helpful, and I wish you luck on resolving the situation.
The way I read it, the weapon's arcane pool can be used normally to enhance the weapon. Who thinks I'm wrong?
My first instinct was to say no, but looking more closely the ability to enhance your weapon falls under the Arcane Pool feature, so it would be good to get clarification on whether the Blade gets Arcane Pool (the feature) or an arcane pool (just the points to be used for it's abilities like Black Blade Strike).
I'm guessing that even if they weren't meant to work together at one point in the design process that is no longer the case. I remember that post, and given that it was during the playtest if they weren't meant to be compatible the wording would reflect that in the final product.
As it is right now Arcane Pool adds a +1(scaling) Enhancement bonus to a weapon, requires a swift action to activate, and has a duration of one minute. Arcane Strike is a +1(scaling) untyped bonus to damage that requires a swift action to activate, and that lasts one round. So, while you can't combine the two on the round you activate Arcane Pool, you could use Arcane Strike on each of the other nine rounds.
Given that the Magus is a class that can't really use Two Handers, and that doesn't really have a credible TWF option (Spellblade loses Spellstrike, and specifically states that it can't use TWF and Spell combat together) it would take a pretty significant amount of stacking static damage modifiers to be OP.
Edit: lol, ninja'd a few times there...
The basic Arcane Pool ability that the Magus gets at level 1 begins to allow you to buy weapon abilities such as flaming and keen beginning at level 5. There is also very little reason to bother with special materials with the Bladebound, +3 enhancement bonus overcomes DR/silver and cold iron, +4 overcomes adamantine, and +5 overcomes alignment. Beginning at level 5, if you are having difficulty with DR you can just allocate the arcane pool to enhancement bonuses and you ignore everything but alignment, weapon type, epic, and -. If that doesn't do it you can swap your damage type to an element and ignore DR altogether, but that gets expensive.
Please tell me this synthisist is severly limited in some way. I mean pathfinder wouldn't really nerf the druid into some sort of balance just to make a new class that breaks the game in the same way the old druid did, would they? Please tell me I'm missing something.
It's not nearly as bad as the 3.5 druid because:
You only have one form you can change into, not a form for every situation.
Your number of attacks are capped based on level, not on what you can find (eberron halfling dinosaur of wankyness and so on).
You don't have a full caster progression.
No animal companion.
I'm guessing that before long people will start finding some exploits for the synthesist that make it really nasty, but at this point it is probably straight up weaker than the base Summoner. It's just a cool enough idea to make up for it, and is accessible to more players.
Nah, I wouldn't think so either, the big difference just made it easier to describe the mechanic, but even a relatively small con difference can be dangerous. They have the same problem as Barbarians in that they have a lot of hp, but if they go down, they are probably going to die outright.
1: Since a Magus of at least 7th level can prepare any spell on the Magus' spell list using the Knowledge Pool feature, and scribing a prepared spell into your spellbook expends the spell, and has the normal cost in materials, but no spellcraft roll, what is to stop a Magus from learning his entire list once he hits level 7?
2: How is a Bladebound Magus' Black Blade's Special Purpose chosen, and does it get a Special Purpose power (and if it does how is it chosen?)?