I was gonna argue about a bunch of stuff since my last post, but I figure there's really no "wrong" way to play the magus as long you're having fun.
I do have to point this out however:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
.. and I am pretty sure that you can make a 5 ft. step straight up when flying.
Actually, no, you can't. Moving straight up requires 10 feet of movement which can't be done with a 5-foot step, much like you can't take a 5-foot step into difficult terrain (which a steep incline would be).
To get a mithral breastplate and a mithral buckler, you'd need to be at least level 4 (more likely level 5) and that's only if you get the standard WBL and the market is favorable. And what exactly do you gain by using a breastplate at that point? With their high dexterity bonus, a dervish magus likely has just as much AC as you at that point, plus a shiny +1 keen weapon (assuming level 5), so he gets an additional +1d6 elemental damage (or +1 attack and damage with a straight bonus) which increases to twice as much at next level. Not to mention that if you enlarge yourself, you lose 2 points of armor class, whereas a dex magus will likely be reducing himself, putting him even farther ahead of you.
And yes, the damage is marginal. Comparing the damage percentually at such low yields is pointless. The first few levels, every magus, even strength-based ones, should be color spraying and coup-de-grace-ing everything. So whether you do slightly more damage at first level, and it's expected since you're just a barbarian at that point, is irrelevant. If anything saves against the sprays, its hp should be low enough anyway that both the magus and barbarian should be able to kill it with relative ease.
Your argument is kinda moot since a normal barbarian is always gonna outdamage a magus at lower levels (and likely at higher ones if properly optimized). After level 5, your minimal perks of multiclassing will be unnoticable but the loss of one level is gonna weigh on you the whole time.
Like I said, could be fun if you're playing a quick low-level adventure, but not worth considering if you're gonna keep playing after that unless you want to intentionally sabotage your character.
So your entire argument was based on the fact that the character can do marginally more damage at very low levels? This could be a viable option if you're playing a low-level adventure (1-5) but it's hardly worth considering otherwise, you'd be better off making a straight-up strength magus.
You guys are forgetting that if you have two multipliers to the same effect, they're not applied arithmetically. If you double something twice, it is instead tripled, not quadrupled.
Also, maximize and empower don't stack like that. It wouldn't be 180 damage, it would be 120+10d6 damage (assuming a crit of course).
Actually, they do. Empower spell multiplies the result by 1.5 as far as I know. If you empower an intensified shocking grasp, it deals (10d6)*1.5 damage, not 15d6, although the end result may be the same. But even if that weren't true, the player may opt to apply the effects of his abilities in whatever is the most beneficial order for him (this is one of the basic rules), so you can always apply maximize at the end and reach the same result.
The 15 foot reach isn't actually 15 feet. It's 10. However, if the enemy moves towards me, close enough to attack, they will usually have to move 10 feet, thus negating any chance of getting attacked multiple times by THEIR full attack. Plus, I get a free AoO when they do come at me.
This is entirely false. With a 10-foot reach, the enemy is standing 10-feet away from you and can close in with a single 5-foot step, avoiding your AoO and making a full attack. You only receive this perk once, when the enemy is farther than 10 feet away and at that point he may just choose to ignore you because closing in on creatures with reach is a bad idea. Even once you can attack from 15 feet away, this trick only works once, because once the enemy closes in, you won't be moving away more than 5 feet, thus effectively reducing your reach to 10.
My spell combat is still a viable option, I just don't get the spellstrike feature. which, really, for the extra 1d6 of rapier damage....I don't feel like I'm missing out on much.
You're not spellstriking with a rapier, katana, or scimitar for the 1d6+X extra damage, although it certainly helps on a dexterity-based build to even out the slightly lower damage yield. The whole point of spellstriking through those weapons is the low critical threat range. At the end, having a 10% more chance to crit (assuming the keen property), far outweighs the minor damage boost of the falcata
Magical Lineage and Merciful Spell clearly weren't designed to be used together (probably an oversight considering they were released in the same book), hence there is no wording that prevents lowering the spell's level below its default. But it's safe to assume that most GMs won't let you so blatantly abuse the rules. Just like you can't increase the level beyond 9th, lowering it below its actual level doesn't make any sense. If your GM is up for it though, then by all means, shock away.
Magi are not responsible for being skill monkeys, multiclassing is gonna set you back quite a bit with not much in return unless you desperately need those skills to be high, the +3 from training is nice but there's better ways to deal with the problem than losing a full level.
I do understand that intimidate is a charisma based skill but even skills that rely on dump stats can be useful if proper planning is taken into consideration. In this case the weight of multiple dice rolls plays heavily in the Magus's favor. Every time he deals nonlethal damage he is able to make a roll when using this combo even with a poor charisma score the weight of numbers will likely win out and once he is successful it lasts for a number of rounds equal to the nonlethal damage dealt witch is 1d6+ 1/level thats awhile.
You're right, of course. If you're gonna be using frostbite a lot, then it can be a good idea amp it up with extra conditions and the numbers will work in your favor even with an average Intimidate bonus. It's hard to use Frostbite efficiently though, I gave it a shot with one of my characters but I just ended up wasting most of it since I had to cast other spells. I wish they'd change the rules so that your familiar could hold the charge while you cast other stuff, then it'd be awesome.
Enforcer Feat (Advanced player's Guide) and Spellstrike using the Frostbite (Ultimate Magic): A Target would potentially be affected by fatigue, shaken and possibly the frightened condition and if you add Rime meta magic feat (Ultimate Magic) add entangle to that.
This requires that you have at least an average Charsima which is a dump stat for a Magus plus an investment into Intimidate which is a suboptimal choice for a skill unless Int is your primary stat and you've got an overflow of skill points.
Opening Volley (Ultimate Combat) + Ranged attack spell such as scorching ray: At the lowest levels using a ray of frost to bump your to hit by +4 on the round before the big melee attack isn't bad. If you add Weapon Focus feat (ray spells) Weapon Specialization [Ray spells] Point Blank Master feat (Advanced player's Guide) you will be able to use range attack spells without provoking on the attack roll. I will admit that it does not specify spell attacks under specialization but I don't see it as a huge stretch since focus does but I can still see where a DM might say no, So YMMV.
This is a huge feat investment and you're already feat-starved enough as it is. You shouldn't have much trouble hitting your marks anyway, if you have time to cast a spell and your target is extremely tough, just cast true strike.
Death from Above (Ultimate Combat) + fly spell: Just call me peter pan.
This amounts to a +2 effective bonus when charging since you already get a +3 bonus when charging from above. You shouldn't be charging anyway, leave that to barbarians. :)
Topple spell feat + Force spell + The Trip feat chain to increase trip roll and eventually provoke attacks when they are tripped by the spell.
This is already a known combo although taking the entire trip feat chain is generally not a great choice unless that's your character's shtick. Works great with force hook charge though.
Note that these aren't bad ideas but you should weigh them against other things you could be doing and decide if it's worth investing your resources and combat rounds in.
Not that it isn't a viable option but being a better fighter is only really noticeable in the first half of the game. At level 7, your fighting skills become less and less relevant when compared against the power of spellcasting characters and it gets progressively worse after that.
While going EK gives you more BAB and slightly more HP, your Will save gets even lower (and it's low enough as it is since you dumped Wis like every other magus), you skip a caster level and miss out on all the great magus class abilities and arcanas after level 10. Spell critical is nice, but it's really not worth it if you ask me.
Dipping into fighter may or may not be a good idea. At early levels you won't want to miss any of the magus abilities, at later levels the effectiveness of such multiclassing is questionable unless you really need some feats.
It is flavorful but as already pointed out in this thread, using a whip is suboptimal, just like using a dwarven waraxe is.
And no, shields generally can't be used with quickdraw unless they are specifically made for it (a.k.a. quickdraw shields). And it also requires you to be proficient with any such shield for the trick to work (magus isn't by default).
If all you want to do is spam extra attacks with a cantrip then take Spell Blending and Touch of Fatigue at some point.
But if you can get away with Hexcrafter and Brand, I would personally like to kick your DM for not letting you use Arcane Mark which is basically the same thing.
Because not everyone can get an agile enchant and some of us prefer to spend that +1 on something else with the additional bonus that the feat doesn't cease working in AMFs and dead magic areas. That's not to say that it isn't a valid alternative, just like you have several alternatives to increase your critical threat range, it depends mostly on the type of campaign you are playing.
Not to mention that it's a +2 weapon at the minimum. In a normal game, if your DM is generous and follows the WBL table, you should be able to get it at lvl6 (since you're not supposed to spend more than half your wealth on any single item). That's almost a third of your career if you're aiming for lvl20, considering that you've probably dumped your strength in favor of dexterity, you're gonna have trouble keeping up during that time.
As for using Arcane Mark itself, it's not the intended purpose of that particular spell to be used in the way of which Spellstrike/Spell Combat works.
Actually, just about none of the spells were designed with spellstrike/spell combat in mind since they were designed before the magus, please stop using broken logic to justify your argument. The purpose of spellstrike was to allow the magus to channel a touch spell through their weapon because the devs thought it was cool. Whether or not they overlooked Arcane Mark when they were choosing the cantrips for the magus is pure conjecture and it makes just as much sense that they left it on the spell list because they didn't think it was too strong unlike touch of fatigue.
Using a spell not designed for combat just to give yourself a second attack is, IMO, cheesy.
Yes, it's cheesy by the definition of the word and it's also perfectly practical. You do it because you can, because in battle you don't have time to worry about such things, you use any resource at your disposal and you either win or you die (in most cases). The character does it for the same reason the player does, because channeling a spell increases their attack speed (it's a free attack after all), what the effects of the spell are is irrelevant. I don't see why you would need to justify casting arcane mark multiple times any more than that.
Radu the Wanderer wrote:
[...] but you might be better off looking at another Magus Arcana if that is the case.
I've been looking at other magus arcana, all the core ones suck at 6th level and we can't use 3rd party ones. A familiar still gives me the equivalent of 2 feats and has some very nice utility outside of combat.
Radu the Wanderer wrote:
Get Improved Familiar as soon as possible for a Mephit or other familiar with oppose-able thumbs and speech, get some wands and scrolls with useful spells. Keep your Use Magic Device skill high (you're doing this, right?)
Well for one, my DM most likely won't let me just get any improved familiar I want (or can), I know it's RAW but he needs to justify everything. But let's say I use monstrous physique to polymorph the normal familiar into a harpy (or a similarly evolved creature), it should be able to use such items much like the improved familiar, right? There's a problem with that tactic though, although that would work in theory, the normal familiars have a low charisma score and don't get your training bonus for UMD, so they wouldn't be able to use those items anyway. I'm gonna ponder on this overnight.
Another important point is that our DM doesn't like giving us magic items, especially not spell trigger/completion items, he's convinced that they make the characters way too overpowered, so in the last campaign I didn't get a single wand (not even a lvl1) and the party could not acquire a scroll of invisibility (at level 12 or so). I'm glad I at least don't have to worry about my weapon with the magus because otherwise I'd probably have to go kill Rovagug (or at least the tarrasque) to get a +1 holy scimitar from the church of Sarenrae, and even then I'd have to pay for it.
Anyway, I'm thinking blur should be a slightly better investment than mirror image. If I consider half of the destroyed images would have been actual hits (an the rest near misses) then a single casting saves me from 4 hits. Blur should last throughout the entire fight (unless dispelled) and block every fifth hit, so in average probably around twice as many. Although the behaviour is more random, it's not subject to being beaten by lots of weak attacks.
Also, I figured out yesterday that I can't use reduce person on myself since tieflings are outsiders (that's just ridiculous). Any alternatives to that? Alter self feels like somewhat of a waste for a 2nd level spell slot and a wand is already a 6k investment (that's if I could get one in the first place).
Can someone explain to me why mirror image is such a highly valued spell for a magus? Since you're a melee character, it means you'll be in the thick of things throughout most of each battle, which in turn means you'll be taking a lot of heat. Considering the fact that even the simplest of opponents generally have 2 or 3 attacks right off the bat in Pathfinder, those mirror images are gonna pop way too fast (accounting for all the near misses) for it to be worth spending the time on to cast it at any other time than before battle (assuming you have any time to prepare in the first place, although admittedly it is long-lasting). I'll agree that it's a decent defense spell against a smaller number of targets or in really short battles (ours are mostly epic encounters that last anywhere from 10 to 20 rounds) but unless I'm missing something, there's plenty of better 2nd level spells that you could and should be casting if you have time to do so.
Also, I've decided to take a familiar for flavor as one of my magus arcanas but I'm not really sure what I should be doing with it during a fight. I mean I could polymorph it and have it fight alongside with me but since polymorph spells no longer give you the physical stats of the monster like they did in 3.5, it still wouldn't be useful for anything other than flanking. But that also puts it in harm's way and it would probably just end up dying anyway. Any other combat applications I don't know about? They would have been marginally useful if they could at least hold the charge of something like Frostbite on their own but the darn thing dissipates if you cast another touch spell, so that's also pointless.
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Meta words have a level, which determines when you can learn them and the minimum level of a wordspell containing them.
Totally missed this part, thanks for pointing it out.
Dragonchess Player wrote:
For a three effect word wordspell (6/4/2), the wordspell is still level 8
It doesn't explicitly say so but it's a fair assumption judging from the example that you use "ceiling" to determine the level of the wordspell. This was my reasoning as well although I would prefer a more logical way of determining the wordspell level on-the-fly, looking at the table every time is gonna waste precious time.
Dragonchess Player wrote:
You cannot use a meta or target word with a wordspell if it will increase the minimum or effective level of the wordspell beyond what you can cast.
Which is what I figured, I was just kinda looking forward to summoning 1d4+1 astral devas. I guess they'll errata this eventually unless they give us some epic level rules first.
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Most meta words specify whether they can be applied to target words or effect words (or both/either).
That's what I get for skimming through the text, I just looked at careful and figured quiet and simple worked the same. So basically it's 2-4 meta words depending on the number of effect words.
I'm really looking forward to testing this system out in battle. It might even make me forget about Warlocks for a while (though I imagine not for too long). Thanks for the reply.
I might be misunderstanding something here but meta words seem rather confusing in some aspects.
First off, as I understand it, meta words by themselves don't alter the level of the wordspell, the level of the meta word affects only when you are able to learn it. This seems fairly clear but feel free to correct me.
Secondly, some meta words seem to alter the level of all effect words in the wordspell. I'm guessing this limits which effect words you can use in the wordspell.
So for instance applying the irresistible meta word to a wordspell with 4/2/2 effect words (6th level), assuming all of them allow a saving throw, this increases the levels to 6/4/4, making it effectively an 8th level wordspell. What if the meta word raises the level of only some of the effect words? Let's say you end up with a 6/4/2 wordspell, what level is it?
Additionally, Servitor IX states "If the target word is boosted, a wordspell with this effect word summons 1d4+1 of the chosen creatures." Servitor can only have the Selected target word and the rules state that boosting this word increases the level of all effect words by 3 levels. That would make a boosted Servitor IX wordspell a 12th level spell. How do you go about casting that in Pathfinder? Is this just the consequence of copy-pasting or am I missing something? Is the increase in level of effect words not considered an actual increase in spell level?
Finally, there's a question I've seen asked before but never quite answered. The rules state that "A wordspell can have multiple meta words arranged within it so long as each target word and each effect word are modified by only one meta word apiece." Most meta words affect the spell as a whole, not specific words, so how do you combine these? Is the Careful meta word considered to affect only one effect word and the wordspell uses only the components of the effect word with the fewest spell components? Can you choose which effect word it links to or does it link to the highest level effect word? Or can all this be simplified by saying that each effect or target word can only have one meta word that affects it specifically and any number of general meta words?
I feel like words of power need some further clarification from the devs since it's a wonderful idea for a free form magic system (especially combined with spell points). Maybe an errata that can be added to later printings...
You usually get bonus languages depending on where you're from (e.g. Shoanti barbarians get Shoanti as a bonus language, obviously) but Absalom doesn't seem to have any specific local dialect or language that would be equally prominent as Taldane. According to Inner Sea Primer, Kelish and Osiriani are also widespread but unless the character has spent most of their life in the company of individuals who speak those languages rather than Common (like if they hanged around in Foreign Quarter a lot) then there's generally no reason to give them a bonus language.
Not that my character needs a bonus language. Three is plenty. :)
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I think I might just go with Absalom and pick up the Absalom Hotspur trait along the way. Kind of makes the most sense for my character from what I've read in the Inner Sea Primer.
Quick question though, being from Absalom doesn't grant you any bonus (human) languages apart from Taldane, right?
My friends and I are starting a new Pathfinder campaign but since this is our first time playing in the world of Golarion, I'm having some trouble defining my character's background. Mainly I have no idea what my character's city of origin should be.
What I'm looking for is a (mostly) human city where a possible school of swordsmanship would reside (not an oriental kendo school, more like a german or italian fencing school). It should also be large enough for there to be a slum to support the common rogue/thug stereotype of its inhabitants.
Can someone better versed in the lore tell me if that sounds like one (or more) of the existing cities?