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Kyoni's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 409 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


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Hexcrafter Magus specializing in weakening the enemy (spell-combat with a major curse or black spot? yessss).

Inquisitor of Cayden Cailean (great fun as a "Rock Stepper" dwarf): "Stupidity does not equal bravery, and bravery should never be sought at the bottom of a keg."
Combine the racial feature "Stubborn" with the Spellbreaker's "Strong-Willed" for more thick-headedness. ;-)

So.... you are telling us that a single normal bee would be able to lift a giant because encumbrance/armor rules don't apply to flying in Pathfinder rules?

In general you need to be one size smaller then your mount (as per the mount rules).

And I'd say that lifting a creature ("kidnapping style") requires a successful grapple (even if the creature is willing) to show that you get a good grip on that which you want to carry away (you are basically rolling grapple vs gravity).

With just these two, you limit quite a bit of nonsense. ;-)

nate lange wrote:
@kyoni- i know its not a strong build (i keep saying its not a strong build), but the OP asked for it so i'm trying to generate a build that won't be a total anchor (instead of just telling him to change his mind)... its like when someone asks for a rogue build: plenty of people point out that you'd be better off with a vivisectionist (which is basically what you've done), which while true may not be what they want- so i'm the crazy guy trying to figure out how to build a rogue worth playing... or, in this case, a magus/MT worth playing.
Cyrad wrote:

My character being a guardian of an ancient library, she's more likely to create magical traps and cast utility spells rather than drop stink bombs and throw fireballs. I slowly realized that most of the spells that would interest her are strictly divine spells.

My GM being an incredibly awesome guy, I'm now considering reworking her as a magus mystic theurge.

I'm fairly certain that giving the OP a list of traps/runes/and utility spells from the wizard list and how to access them, was an appropriate answer.

The idea of mystic theurge was a bad one and the OP finally agreed to drop that idea.
Telling someone how to do a mystic theurge that the OP will regret after a few gaming sessions is not doing him a favor.

But I don't believe in class names /class feature names anyways, if that concept/idea was better served by being an arcane duelist (bard) for various reasons, then I suggest it (and I did).

nate lange wrote:

like i said, its not optimal... it isn't quite dead weight either though.

round 1: use a swift action for extra +2 enhance on weapon (i know magus can do that too, but we're aiming for the fighter's +11...), cast divine favor, and move to set up a flank for next round [now up to +10, +6 base plus +2 extra enhance and +2 luck]
round 2: cast haste with spell combat, 5' step into flank, full attack [flank balances spell combat penalty; haste bonus puts you at +11, matching full BAB's normal bonus- plus you've buffed everyone else]
round 3: if party needs more buffs cast aid and full attack, if not cast shocking grasp and full attack with spellstrike.

its not the dpr that a straight class magus can kick out (obviously), but if its what he wants to play its not a worthless/unworkable build.

Except you could have given haste to your group with a straight magus just fine... I don't see what cool buffs your cleric levels add for that group, that they don't already get... unless you swap divine favor for prayer, and to me flanking does not count because everyone, even the fighter would want this, to hit more reliably anyways.

suggested Monster AC for CR level 11 is 25... that is +-0 partylevel vs. monsterCR average AC (thus not supposed to be very hard)

nate lange wrote:
spell combat will be more useful for cleric spells since it will let you get off self/party buffs and still be able to attack; spell strike could be fun with the inflict spells (as you mentioned), bestow curse, or poison- or (if you happen to have Close Range) things like the alignment based smites, searing light, and spit venom, but clearly won't be a game changer.

what party buffs? you didn't use any (haste is available to magus , too)... by the end of round 3, most fights should already be "under control".

your problem with inflict/bestow curse/poison/... will be your low caster level and wisdom, all those require saving throws.
- you have to hit AC ~25 with your +11 (and I don't see how your iterative hits are going to hurt anyone thus making full attacks pointless, you are better off trying to stay out of harm's way with your lower hitpoints)
- you have to get through saving throws where monsters have a +14 or +10 to their save (good luck, you'll need it)
- and you might have to pierce spell resistance on top of that!

Cyrad wrote:
Glyph of Warding really appeals to me

Rune of Warding

School abjuration; Level sorcerer/wizard 3
They function as a glyph of warding (blast glyph), though unlike a glyph of warding, these runes are always visible.

enjoy :-D


the big problem is: magi live and die with spell strike / spell combat...
that means:
- having enough attack bonus to hit your enemy (you are not targeting touch AC here)
- having enough int to beat saving throws on a reliable basis
- having enough caster levels to bypass spell resistance

you'll notice that most mystic theurge builds try to compensate those by either picking spells that don't require these (especially attack rolls):
buffing, summoning, ...
or builds that specifically make up for the lack of caster levels with traits like magic knack (+2 CasterLvl), however you can only get magical knack OR magical lineage (which is a staple for magi: intensified shocking grasp)

so while this wont be too hard on "lower" levels (7-12), by level 14-15 this will become really tough!

magus6/cleric1(check if your DM allows this first, though)/mystic theurge5, means a BAB of 4+0+2=6 at level 11...
at this level a straight magus has a BAB of 8 and a fighter a BAB of 11

thanks to class features and spells a magus can actually bump his attack bonus to fighter-levels and higher quite easily
(+3 from arcane pool buff as a swift action and he gets magic weapon and haste from his class spell list, on top)

@nate: not taking weapon enchantments into account (which a magus can have too), what cleric-features/spells do you suggest to get those missing +5 BAB back? (1-3 level cleric spells only)

- bless only gives +1 morale or
// aid +1 morale (and some sorely needed hitpoint)
- prayer +1 luck or
// divine favor +2 luck (for being caster level 6 on the cleric side)

also the mystic theurges low hit dice (d6) would put you at serious risk on that front line

better be a straight bard in this case

also, what cleric spells would you suggest using with broad study spell combat/spellstrike? other then "inflict" spells, I don't see anything interesting at first glance?

Move action or part of movement (as per drawing weapons) maybe quicker if you have "quick draw"? But that requires a nice DM.

I advise against the cleric-multiclassing or mystic theurge.

If all you really want is some extra spells that grant you trap-like runes, wards and such:

Alarm - Wards an area for 2 hours/level.
Arcane Lock - Magically locks a portal or chest.
Create Pit - Creates an extradimensional pit.
Web - Fills 20-ft.-radius spread with sticky spiderwebs that can grapple foes and impair movement.
Explosive Runes - Deals 6d6 damage when read.
Sepia Snake Sigil - Creates text symbol that immobilizes reader.
Spiked Pit - As create pit, but filled with spikes.

all of these are on the wizard spell list and you can gain all of these through the magus arcana:

Spell Blending (Ex)
Benefit: When a magus selects this arcana, he must select one spell from the wizard spell list that is of a magus spell level he can cast. He adds this spell to his spellbook and list of magus spells known as a magus spell of its wizard spell level. He can instead select two spells to add in this way, but both must be at least one level lower than the highest-level magus spell he can cast.
Special: A magus can select this magus arcana more than once.

No need to multiclass into anything divine... what specific cleric spells did you have in mind that you absolutely want? because if you are out for bless and such, then you are better off exchanging your magus for a bard (arcane duelist), you'd get a good bunch of group buffs (good hope, for one) and get to channel your magic into your weapon with arcane strike and bladethirst. (Also: bard would fit the librarian knack for knowledge?)
Don't mix cleric+magus (or any spellcasting classes), you'll sorely regret it when enemies with spell resistances start to show up regularly. And since you are already level 11, that's bound to happen soon.

Faerie fire specifically says it counters 3 specific illusion/glamer spells because they are concealment effects... however Mirror Image is an illusion/figment and nothing in it's description say anything about concealing: mirror image creates illusory clones, that's not concealment it's cloning.

Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:

Nope not all of them but I am running the AP as written so there are a lot of single encounters. As for being with in 30 feet of the baddie that is not an issue there are several party members in front of him, the witch has a buffed up DC I believe it is 20 currently so even the high will save class at level 4 still have a 50% chance to miss and currently as written no one is immune (no elves, no dragons, half dragons,...)

So yes I could change the encounter to deal with the witches ability but that seems wrong. So yes I could add extra creatures to wake up the sleeping I could raise the CR of the encounter that seems wrong. I guess I could rework each encounter so the CR remains the same but there are multiple creatures....why did I buy the "AP" then? I could start giving out "Protection from Law" every where to negate it..that seems wrong.

It seems to me that this one ability causes the way we look at encounters much differently, we are forced to react to it and change them to actually make them viable. Attacking a level one party with an Ogre seems stupid and trivial now. Actually the party started carrying Coup de grace weapons, high crit weapons to make sure the fort saves failed. So now the party is effected by this one ability also...

I have let it play out but in reality I can see it ruining the game slowly as both the GM and the players loss interest....the issue is really the ability to screw and encounter with single one dice role.

Then why not be honest and talk with that witch?

Tell him/her that you don't have the time/knowledge/... to change all the encounter of that AP to make the encounters challenging for them and you'd like him/her to trade that slumber hex for something that does not ruin single-monster encounters all the time.

If that player is remotely concerned about his and the group's fun, he/she'll agree to drop slumber for something else.

By the way: how the blazes did the witch get to DC20 at level 4? how high is the witches int? point buy? already decked out with headband of intellect +4?

I guess this is why I strongly dislike gunslingers... they don't bring anything to a table except damage.

So If I were you, I'd consider the gunslinger like a blasting wizard and be a support-oriented spellcaster...:
- bard (magician archetype?)
- cleric
- druid
- inquisitor
- oracle
- witch

personally I'd take the witch, but that's a matter of taste

Devilkiller wrote:
Touch attacks are a trivial barrier at higher levels. At lower levels they do provide some control, but the standard stagger effect would still have no save. I've tried to provide some evidence that this is a decent power. Some have proposed that it is flat out overpowered. Obviously opinions vary. The fact that they vary from "useless" to "overpowered" is odd but perhaps not unusual for the message boards. Regarding the Witch's Slumber hex, I think that's a pretty high powered option itself, but at least the enemy gets a saving throw, and if that save succeeds the enemy is immune for 24 hours. The fact that the Gentle Rest combo can act as a no-save "clean up" to failed Slumber attempts doesn't make it any better.

I ask again: if the touching is trivial for you (it is not for me)... would you agree to make the entire ability a ranged ability that has a saving throw, but WITHOUT the touch attack part?

yes? no? why?

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Devilkiller wrote:
I just want the monsters. and PCs for that matter, to have a fair chance against a sleep effect which will likely result in their death.

Why is the touch attack part not chance enough? why do you need to double the chances of failure? if you double it nobody will bother with it any more.

It seems like their cleric's chance to hit with his touch attack is unusually high in your games?

Devilkiller wrote:
Regarding our "lonely BBEG" comment, many encounters published by Paizo and other companies only feature one monster. Most DMs I know run mostly published adventures and want them to be as "ready to run" as possible right out of the box.

Unfortunately this is often close to impossible... whether it's Gentle Rest or another combo, some players will come up with something that works really well and make part of the published encounters a push-over when they shouldn't be. That is not a problem with Gentle Rest, it's a problem about the general balance that does not and will probably never exist... it's up to the DM to balance encounters. And yes that takes quite a bit of work and time.

Devilkiller wrote:
What happens to single foes is important. I’d also like to point out that they’re not always BBEGs. Not every monster should need a supporting cast of mooks. Anyhow, even if a fight has 2-4 foes it would often be pretty efficient to take out 1 per round with a coup de grace combo.

The last one... because while an enemy is standing nearby, coup de grace provokes AoO from all of them... taking 3 solid hits from 3 enemies while performing the coup de grace, could seriously hurt the fighter, especially at lower levels. Or one of the enemies could, instead of hitting for damage do a maneuver to trip the fighter: no coup de grace until the fighter gets back up.

Devilkiller wrote:

Round1 - Encounter starts at some distance, PC-Sorcerer casts Spectral Hand while PC-Cleric, PC-Magus, and PC-Fighter move towards melee range. The Witch does...something...

Round2 - Either the Sorcerer or Magus hits the victim with Frigid Touch. Cleric hits monster with Gentle Rest, Fighter performs coup de grace. Fight Over.

the witch uses her slumber hex on the first round: sleeping foe, the fighter coup de grace's, while the cleric, magus and sorcerer are watching

but then I'm not sure why the sleep + coup de grace would be any better then everybody just whacking the lone monster good? between the magus and sorcerer and fighter they should have enough damage to kill your monster on the first round anyways?
Magus with shocking grasp (no save)
Sorcerer with one of the many damage spells (burning hands / magic missile / ??? )
Fighter with power attack
your lone monster would survive three solid hits?
Make the cleric an evangelist archetype and he can add +1 atk and dmg to the magus and figther with bardic performance.

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Lifat wrote:
@Kyoni: So you are basically saying that a 2nd level spell is better than a first lvl domain power? Shouldn't it be? And I'd even argue that Hold Person works on far fewer targets than the 1st lvl domain power.

A domain power should be usable throughout an entire PCs career... if it becomes worthless (ie: never used) at level 3 then I'd rather pick a different domain that stays useful even at levels 7, 12, 18...

Lifat wrote:

@Kyoni: I agree with you that putting a save on the entire thing is going to far!

Would you really say that a save on the secondary effect would hamper the domain power so much that you would never choose it?

It would be the same thing as just houseruling the entire sleeping part away.

To sleep a target you need to:
- touch it to make it staggered
- touch it AGAIN to make it sleep
and you want to put a save on top of that?

some people already pointed out that this touching has roughly a 50%-70% to land... let's make it simply a 60%, ok?
first hit chance 60% to stagger
second hit chance 60% * 60% -> 36% to sleep
which is already rather low

now if we assume the save has a 70% chance (most probably less due to MAD cleric) to still affect the target we are down to 25% chance (most probably less then 20%) of actually having everything go as smoothly as you'd like...

As I said: a lot of other classes can do this with a single standard action (spells, hexes, whatever)... so it's already unlikely the cleric will do this because others will be quicker, as they don't need two melee-rounds to set it up. Spellcasters can do this before the monster even reaches melee.
So this ability is already weaker then spells, make it even more weak, and it's not even worth considering.

I'd really like to see some numbers from the "needs a save" crowd, because some numbers are off if you feel that the chance of success is more like 70%+ and not 40%- for the sleeping going as smoothly.
So what are the str/con/wis/cha stat of your clerics, what level are they and against what CR of monsters do they succeed so easily?

Ilja wrote:
Hey Kyoni, that's uncalled for and a fair bit off-topic. Let's leave the assumptions of foul play and the off-topic fudging rants at the door and discuss the actual ability, shall we?

I did discuss the actual ability... and I keep asking again and again why the "touch attack" part is dismissed so easily by Devilkiller and others and they keep insisting how important that saving throw is.

I put the "rant" in a spoiler... better?

No magic means there are no arcane spellcasters at all? and no divine casters too?
Or just no magic items?

If this is your first time DMing, I heavily advise against any houserules, especially such drastic ones, that change the entire game balance.
You need to get a decent understanding of the balances and mechanics before tinkering with them. And this is not something DMs can describe to you on a forum... it's something you need to know from experience.

If this is not your first time:

Make a list of available classes, don't go "you could, I advise against it".

What's wrong with paladins and monks when magical classes are not available? because otherwise there's fighter/barbarian/rogue/ranger?

Also, how do you intend to handle the healing? Be aware that spellcasting draining HP means somebody patching people back together. Without magic?

What's stopping some PC to hand his gems to another PC because he doesn't want spells? What will be the consequences?

Honestly all of this sounds like too big a change... I seriously advise against it. I fear this will end with a martial-centric group who'll just ignore spells altogether as in a no-magic world enemies shouldn't have access to magic either.


coup de grace provokes an attack of opportunity: lonely BBEG problem again

also if you really want to put a saving throw on gentle rest, I'd be fine with that under the condition that you make it ranged and remove the touch attack. That way you get your precious save and I have a decent chance to have this ability actually work.

Because as long as killing the monster outright is more efficient then trying to sleep it with little chance of success, I'll just go ahead and rage-pounce it.

anecdote about fudging saves:
But the more I read what you are writing the more I fear you are the kind of DM that adjusts saves and HP on the fly if dice don't go your way? (I might be wrong though).

I've seen one DM once, who fudged dice of saving throws because he didn't like how his monsters were debuffed/cc'ed...
- at first everybody stopped using those spell and it mostly ended in buffing the party then magic-missile & rage-pounce it to death
- then when he wondered why we didn't use tactics, and we explained how this was pointless
- finally, we enforced that ALL combat dice would be rolled in the middle of the table
- since then the chances of his monsters making the saves has drastically decreased

This little anecdote is to underline how players will always try to find the strategy that's most likely to work. Put too many chances to fail on gentle rest and nobody will take it any more...

so back to my question...
Are you fine with this change: Make it a saving throw ability, but make it ranged and remove the touch attack requirement?

Diego Rossi wrote:

Freedom of movement allow you to move normally under the effect of a slow spell because the spell say that if work against slow. The use of the conditions has some weird effects sometime.

Slow was a spell that reduced your movement, now it impose a condition.

However the text clearly says move AND ATTACK... if you drop that "and attack" from the spell's first sentence, you'd be right, but why specify the "and attack" then? breaking out of combat maneuvers is not an attack but an opposed check...

Also if all this spell does is negating the reduced movement or being entangled, this spell should not be a 4th level spell... would be more in line with slow and haste (3rd level) in that case.
Hold Person is level 2
Hold Monster is level 4

Do you think it should suppress Flesh to Stone? why yes, why not?

Diego Rossi wrote:
You are still under the effect of the spell, it simply don't suffer its drawbacks.

Ok, my bad, I missed that suppressed instead of canceled part. Since FoM lasts 10min./lvl we never had this issue.

Diego Rossi wrote:

Maybe you should cite the whole paragraph:

PRD wrote:
This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web. All combat maneuver checks made to grapple the target automatically fail.

Daze, stagger, stun,don't impede movement, they take away actions.

If we follow your line of thinking freedom of movement would allow to act to people asleep or dead.

If stagger is not canceled by Freedom of Movement... why does Freedom of Movement cancel Slow?

Slow Spell wrote:
An affected creature moves and attacks at a drastically slowed rate. Creatures affected by this spell are staggered and can take only a single move action or standard action each turn, but not both (nor may it take full-round actions).

It says staggered right there in the description.

Freedom of Movement specifically calls out Slow as one example of spell it counters, so I'd say anything that applies "staggered" and is a spell or spell-like is countered. However Freedom of Movement does not cancel sleep and I see no reason why it should... but you have to stagger a creature before the second touch will sleep it, anyways.

PRD wrote:
This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web. All combat maneuver checks made to grapple the target automatically fail.

Imho this means any magic taking away your standard and/or movement action is canceled by Freedom of Movement. The word "even" makes the difference for me, though I'm not a lawyer and not that good at grammatical finesse.

Being dead is not a magical effect that prevents you from acting, it's you not being alive any more.

Sleep is a good question... at my tables we handle it like this:
"mental impediment" -> requires protection from mind-magic
"physical impediment" -> requires protection through freedom of action
but that's probably a houserule, unless it's RAI? it's justified for me because it cancels paralysis and similar effect that stop the body from moving like it should without that magical impediment...

That actually makes me think that if you really want to put a save on Gentle Rest it should probably be fortitude... how is that a mental ability (aside from the sleep spell being will save?). Most fatigue/exhaustion magic use fortitude? so do most effect that stagger and allow a save or have anything to do with death: fortitude.

Lifat wrote:

@Kyoni: You are missing the point. We aren't trying to say that there aren't overpowered choices out there. We aren't saying that the Gentle Rest cannot be stopped in any way. We are saying that it is too good for the price you pay (essentially nothing since the rest of the Repose Domain is quite good aswell).

We aren't saying ZOMG TO POWERFUL MUST BE BANNED! We are saying that it could definitely do with a save, at least on the second part of the ability to make it more on par with what you should be comparing it against... Other 1st lvl domain powers.

If you absolutely want to have it be a save I request that it doesn't require a touch attack any more... usable at 30ft range... sounds fair?

Having it require TWO touches for the sleep and a save and stoppable by spellresistance, puts into worthless category. Because that's way too many chances to fail, and I'm not waisting my standard action to maybe-with-lots-of-luck take away his move action.

And for *** sake give those BBEG some sidekicks... this game is about action economy, so of course a 4vs1 fight is not even remotely fair... just giving that big dragon a bunch of measly kobold slaves will change the entire fight!

Other cool cleric domain powers have been pointed out by others already (I love travel and liberation), but why only compare to other clerics? it's not about what a cleric can do, but what characters can do, would you accept this power if it were a witch or a sorcerer doing this?

Karui Kage wrote:
A Will save is better than nothing at all, and the Witch hex also has the 'once per creature per 24 hours' limitation. If you make your save, they can't try again. Heck, even if you need a natural 20, that's still a 5% better chance you'll negate the effect then what this ability has (IE: no way to prevent it).

Ok, I did not intend to continue in this thread because people seem to camp on their POV no matter what... but here I go again.

Gentle Rest: is a touch and is (sp)=spell-like, so it needs a touch attack (two for the sleeping) AND it needs a spell resistance check.

Witch Hexes: The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the witch’s level + the witch’s Intelligence modifier.
All of the follow hexes are (su), so you bypass spell resistance and none of these require touch attacks!

Misfortune (Su): Will negates; creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day. (Extend duration with Cackle)
Slumber (Su): Will negates; hex can affect a creature of any HD; creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.
--> Eternal Slumber (Su): same thing
Agony (Su): Fortitude save negates; creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.
Delicious Fright (Su): Will reduces the duration of this hex to 1 round. mind-affecting fear effect no usage limit here! put a second fear effect to shut down that enemy completely
Hoarfrost (Su): Fortitude negates; creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day. cold effect
Ice Tomb (Su): Fortitude half dmg; cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.
Retribution (Su): Will negates no usage limit here! great against melee foes
Death Curse (Su): Will negates; third round = Fort save or death! cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day

Don't forget that survival is mostly about following tracks, finding north, and finding food/drink.

For catching rabbits/food, I'm fairly sure that setting up simple traps would be know by both. Rabbits/birds also exist in parks in modern cities... why shouldn't a street urchin have learned how to catch these? when you are hungry/starving you'll be happy to eat anything you can get your hands on.
A street urchin should know similar methods to catch rain, purify water from pools, figure out north through moss on trees/houses, ...
and while a street urchin might not know the tracks left by panthers and bears, he'd know wolves (dogs) and most humanoids just fine.

But looking at tracks to ID the creature who left it would be covered by knowledge skills anyways... survival is for following those tracks.

The only thing that would be weird, is if a street urchin knew how to assess dangers in wilderness (ravines, quicksands, ...). But usually I prefer to roll knowledge geography for these (but that's our table's houserule). It also gives knowledge geography more uses, because right now it's a rather pointless skill.

Natural hazards are already covered by Knowledge Nature: DC 15 + hazard's CR

Is your group already out-performing you?

Also, what would happen if your character talks to that fellow character needing an armor upgrade and just hand him your breastplate and agree that in exchange you get the big cut on gold so you can buy/order something useful soon?
If your character hands that not-useful item to another group member, that usually has the DM worried because his loot distribution did not turn out as he wanted, he should ponder the "why" at that point.

Also, be aware that talking "I got less wealth", is usually not the best way to tackle the problem... better say: hey, that breastplate is seriously hampering my mobility, I can't move in that darn thing! Explain to your DM how that breastplate will penalize your dex, which is your most important attribute: you have a +4 but breastplate limits you to +3 and slows you down, which is not a good idea for an archer who might want to get out of a danger zone.

Two more things that might be helpful to sort this out:

you and your fellow players should make a google-doc list of all items and who has them, that way your DM can always check who has what and adjust more easily.

Also, if that DM is an old AD&D / 3.5 DM he might be under the false impression that you, being an archer, need the equipment for becoming a switch-hitter. While some builds can do that in PF, it was way easier before. Make sure your DM understands that you want to purely focus on archery and mobility.

A DM handing out weird items is not necessarily because he wants to penalize you but often because he might think "oh, if that was me, I'd love this to be able to do that" but your way of playing your character and your expectations might be very different. Talk to him about what you expect out of this character and how you intend to fit into the group, because he might have the wrong idea.
Don't talk about wealth, that might be considered whining to get a bigger share.

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Bruunwald wrote:
Why don't you GM? Then you can act on all of your "suggestions," and maybe not be so angry about it all.

I already do... and it's not a gripe with the fellow DMs at my two tables, we all enjoy the games we have and learn from each other on occasion.

It's a gripe about DMs coming to this forum and complaining how their players beat the lonely BBEG because power X from class X is "broken/OP/whathaveyou"... these powers are not overpowered or broken.
But maybe these DMs need to learn how to do encounters right? And get a new point of view on how you can ramp up difficulty other then HP-slugfests... hence this thread to collect opinions and ideas.

Have a look at the last few pages of this forum concerning overpowered class features and what people suggest to correct this: 9/10 it's, why is that BBEG alone? where are his minions?

Claxon wrote:
As far as your character being overly concerned with his death, perhaps he's not meant to be an adventure if he is this afraid of death.

There is a healthy middleground between biting dirt every second fight and a 50-33% chance of biting dirt on one particular challenging encounter after 3 "normal encounters", as you say ;-) and only with the wrong tactics, as you admitted yourself...

I'm asking all the DMs out there posting about how their players ruin their BBEG because class ability X is sooo unfair and their poor BBEG does not stand a chance.

Fights should not come down to "which side has the largest healing&HP-to-damage ratio".

Karui Kage wrote:
One cleric, with quicken spell-like ability, could put down** spoiler omitted ** on the first round with a single touch. By that point, PCs are likely 17th-18th level, so beating an ** spoiler omitted ** isn't all that difficult. Granted, still need to get to him to touch... but if you can, game over man, game over! lol.

Why on earth is that CR ~17 BBEG standing all by himself, with no contingency plans nor access to "Freedom of Movement", a lowly level 4 spell?

Freedom of Movement wrote:
This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell

Daze, stagger, stun, paralyze, ...? not doing anything!

As for sleep: witches can do this from level 1 (Slumber Hex) too and good luck with the saving throw, you'll fail. And since that Hex is SU (read supernatural) Spell Resistance does NOT apply...

I've already driven our DM insane by targeting his high-levelmonsters with some cute witch (su) hexes... and with enough knowledge I know which one is the monster's low save: fort or will.

Actually there are only 3 (SP) witch hexes... neither of these will ever require me to roll vs SR (a summon, a dream thingy and woodland stride; still puzzled why woodland stride is SP for the witch???)

To go more into detail, you could use the kicking character's strength modifier plus some bonus to determine how far away the weapon will slide...
(in squares)
modified by the weapon's weight: a dagger will slide farther then a longsword then a greatsword.

the bonus could be something along the lines of +1 for every 5 increments you beat the CMD to succeed on the maneuver?

MurphysParadox wrote:
Character death is absolutely meaningless after about level 9 because you can just hop over to a temple or teleport to home base and get a rezz (or, heck, have the party's cleric/druid/whatever raise the person on scene).

This might be true from a metagame perspective, however RP-wise my character would seriously question his skills, if he's biting dirt on a regular basis... can he change something to fix this (items/magic)? if not, should he stop chomping off more than he can chew (less powerful foes)?

or maybe he cannot fix it and should just retire before the gods refuse to give him yet another chance at "life"?

Every so often we see people complaining how ability x or y is waaaay too powerful because some PC broke the DMs precious toy (read BBEG) with little/no effort.

Almost every time it's because the BBEG was too stupid to get some henchmen working for him and thus help the BBEG if the PCs pull something unexpected...

Also often these DMs give me the impression that they don't think they challenged their players unless at least one PC goes below 0 HP at least every 2-3 combats. Honestly... if that were me RL: I'd seriously reconsider taking on different jobs/missions because obviously the current ones are suicidal and one day/crit I'm going to _die_.
Adventurers are survivors... not suicidal! They beat impossible odds not run in blindly risking their lives: there is no need for martyrdom, adventurers are heroes, not martyrs.
Now some players don't mind about their PCs dieing, however I usually put a lot of effort into my PC's backgrounds and provide the DM with possible plot-hooks to use (within reason, but then my DMs are usually reasonable folks to begin with). So building a new PC every month or two because the old one died, will have me switch to "cannon-fodder" mentality and thus make my PCs act more I-don't-give-a-damn suicidal tendencies and next to no personality/background/rp-opportunities. I usually am fond of my PCs and don't want them to die! And RL usually people don't want to die, so they act smart... not suicidal.

So why do DMs feel this urge to challenge their player by having them bite dirt again, and again, and again?

Wouldn't it feel more rewarding to have the PCs take care of that huge dangerous whatever by outsmarting it, luring it into a deadly trap without risking their lives, fully knowing that if they would have faced that threat head-on, the dangerous whatever would have wiped the floor with their mangled bodies?

To me it certainly would... so why the single-BBEG-damage-slugfest? why can't that big dangerous brute have a shaman-sidekick and minions? and if the big brute dies too fast, why not have that shaman-sideknick be the EvilGeniusMasterMind behind the entire thing in the first place?

Also it would be interesting to see how much the fighterish people's perceived usefulness changes, if they can actually heroically protect their squishy spellcasters without having to be scraped off the floor by these spellcasters every other fight?

tldr; what do you consider challenging as a PC?
- biting dirt every 2-3 encounter?
- luring that impossible-to-face-head-on danger into a deadly trap, without getting hurt yourself?

Couldn't that kicking-weapon-away be ruled as a dirty trick maneuver and apply all rules according to a dirty trick?

That's what maneuvers were made for, iirc? Any weird aggressive action that's not an attack.

Taking away enemy actions is one way for PCs to stay alive...
- litany of sloth to take away enemy AoO
- various Hold X spells
- ill omen, slow, ...
- monk's stunning fists
- witch's sleep hex
- daze cantrip
- sorcerer abilities mentionned above

it's part of the entire "live to see another day" strategy.
Now of course, if as a DM you want a game of "do-damage and heal-damage" then you should bann everything that does more then just heal/damage.
(But I wouldn't play in your games then)

Preventing damage is just as valid as healing for a strategy... and actually more efficient/safer. I fail to see why PCs need to have a high-HP sponge and a make-sponge-whole-again in their party just so the DM feels like he is challenging the players...
It's not challenging to try to outheal a dragon's damage! It's bloody boring!
Outwitting and outsmarting a dragon's tactics: that is fun.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

At max level yes all of those are possible to have but still will never be a good form for a Magus.

No hands means no spellcasting or spellcombat so it directly removes the characters ability to bend the forces of reality to his will in exchange for nothing.

It's a bad form.

If you want to heavily rely on chaning forms you'd better get the means to eschew materials and/or still spell anyways... this highly depends on your build.

While Charda is definately a very nice form, you don't get flight "for free". Other creatures can be nice too, depending on the situation...

It also depends on whether the OP is a shocking-grasp 1-trick-pony or whether he also uses other techniques to get damage, for example "pool strike" (amagus arcana and "su" ability) can still be used with spell strike and thus with natural weapons and as it's (su) can be activated in any polymorphed form.

But anyways, I'd suggest the OP read this very nice guide (not made by me). Though keep in mind it's a general guide and magi might not find as much use for some of these.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Yeah, you might want to re-read the polymorph rules and the latest faq on spell combat again.

For that creature the only thing you'll get from MP is the Darkvision, the flight at 30' (it's speed falls above the limitation that spell offers), and the 5 natural attacks.
For those natural attacks none of them are hand based attacks so NONE of them can be used during spellcombat AND look, this creature doesn't have hands so no weapon use or spell casting while in this form.
This is a BAD magus shape to take.

For MP 1!, yes...


Monstrous Physique IV wrote:

School transmutation (polymorph); Level alchemist 6, magus 6, sorcerer/wizard 6
This spell functions as monstrous physique III except it allows you to use more abilities. If the form you assume has any of the following abilities, you gain the listed ability: burrow 60 feet, climb 90 feet, fly 120 feet (good maneuverability), swim 120 feet, blindsense 60 feet, darkvision 90 feet, low-light vision, scent, tremorsense 60 feet, blood frenzy, breath weapon, cold vigor, constrict, ferocity, freeze, grab, horrific appearance, jet, leap attack, mimicry, natural cunning, overwhelming, poison, pounce, rake, rend, roar, sound mimicry, speak with sharks, spikes, trample, trip, and web. If the creature has immunity or resistance to any energy types, you gain resistance 20 to those energy types. If the creature has vulnerability to an energy type, you gain that vulnerability. If the creature has immunity to poison, you gain a +8 bonus on saves against poison.

You get all of the above I posted... just not right off the bat.

Maybe I misunderstood the OP, but I thought he meant throughout his magus' career... not just MP I...

Buffed with Elemental Touch and Frostbite or Chill Touch before casting MP, you can do decent full attacks while in that form... And that form basically replaces any other flight-enabling magic you might have needed.

PS: to argue about the combination of Elemental Touch with Forstbite/Chill Touch please go here

another decent creature:

medium size, so you don't loose dex, even though the +2 str is unlikely to do much for you:

Popobala (Bestiary 3)
-Fly (80ft. average)
-5 natural attacks (bite, 2*talon, 2*wings)
-bonus to saves vs poison

too bad you don't get it's DR, too.

Otherwise: Jorogumo has poison, web, ...

Transmutation/Polymorph Rules (Magic section) wrote:

In addition to these benefits, you gain any of the natural attacks of the base creature, including proficiency in those attacks. These attacks are based on your base attack bonus, modified by your Strength or Dexterity as appropriate, and use your Strength modifier for determining damage bonuses.
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function.

And don't tell me "it's not not in the list of abilities of the spell", because that's a different section of the polymorph school rules... they would not have a separate paragraph about natural attacks if it was meant to be covered by this paragraph:

Transmutation/Polymorph Rules (Magic section) wrote:
If the form you choose grants these benefits, or a greater ability of the same type, you gain the listed benefit. If the form grants a lesser ability of the same type, you gain the lesser ability instead. Your base speed changes to match that of the form you assume. If the form grants a swim or burrow speed, you maintain the ability to breathe if you are swimming or burrowing.


Now this part is interesting:

Transmutation/Polymorph Rules (Magic section) wrote:
The DC for any of these abilities equals your DC for the polymorph spell used to change you into that form.

Does that mean that a creature/form that grant me a poison attack uses the DC of my spell? and not the (usually crappy) DC of the original creature's ability?

[disclaimer]I didn't read all pages of this thread, repeats are highly likely.[/disclaimer]

- the MMO/computer game mentality of tank/healer/dps has a wide fan-base because it's a easy and obvious way to cover combat roles needed in a party. However there are other ways of spreading roles (even in MMOs: Guild Wars 2). Also in D&D/Pathfinder it's not necessarily obvious which classes would fill what roles, as many can be build to perform very differently based on feats/archetypes/... choices.

- bringing me to my next point: combat is not the only thing you should be doing in a pen&paper game. It almost sounds like these tank/healer/dps groups have next to no "social challenges"? Why is that? (group's choice, DM not willing, only 1 skill-monkey player, ...?)
I disagree with social stuff being the monopoly of rogues (this should not be their reason to exist in a group!), and I think all characters, no matter what class, should have their area of expertise for some non-combat situations, whether investigating (gathering intel), sneaky reconnaissance (scouting), preparation (knowledge/crafting), engineering (traps?), ...

(I did make a document about pathfinder and roles a while ago, maybe people might be willing to have a look? 4 roles?, I'm still looking to improve it, any/all advice is very welcome.)

RP-wise (not optimization) Cayden Cailean is nice with a dwarf (put ranks in craft alchemy to brew your own ale?). My dwarf just took weapon prof. falcata as 1st feat... falcatas rock with inquisitors (and gods with falcata as their favored weapon are... obscure).

Desna is also quite nice... I think the starknife (like other 20ft throwing weapons: spears...) is often overlooked because of it's low damage, however it has a crit of x3 and it allows you to throw it too, making it a decent pick for switchhitting. Unlike a spear (2-handed) it is one-handed, allowing a buckler/klar in your other hand. (The shortspear only has x2 crit).
All starknife related feats you might take with this inquisitor will work for melee and ranged attacks (for example improved critical: 19-20; x3 with starknife... and inquisitors get quite a few spells that flat-increase their weapon damage, thus should multiply x3 on a crit, unless I missed something: Wrath[morale], Judgment/Weapon of Awe/Litany of Vengeance[sacred], Magic Weapon+Greater[enhancement], Divine Favor/Divine Power/Prayer[luck], Resounding Blow[sonic]).
Inquisitors get the spell "Returning Weapon" as 1st level spell, so even at lower levels you can throw your starknife, if you want to.
If you want to throw your starknife, don't rofget to have a gauntlet/spiked/cestus/... on that hand for when your blade is flying, that way you are not unarmed and still threatening.
But then gauntlets are standard backup weapons for most of my characters because you never need to get it out (draw it) and cannot be disarmed... also works great underwater.

(Again, the starknife for desnan inquisitors is more of a rp-choice, not hardcore optimization with god/weapon choices. If you want optimization, read those very well written guides out there: link)

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Easy fix for attributes under 10... have the player in question tell you what makes his attribute that low:

8 charisma?
characters is sweaty/smelly/shy/...?
this does not hamper his diplomacy/... ranks in the least (it will also not change the range of detection vs scent monsters) but it means that before being able to speak to that king with his hard-trained silver tongue, he might earn some chuckles from bystanders at his expense. It's about roleplay... not rollplay.

8 intelligence? 8 wisdom?
sure, just tell me how you intend to roleplay that first?

And, no, you cannot say charisma=6 and be bad at talking to people and then put ranks in diplomacy... charisma is more then just diplomacy... so you have to explain why a sorcerer with diplomacy=10 is different from charisma-dumper with diplomacy=10...

Standard NPC Nobles would first approach the guy with the highest charisma... and switch talking to the highest diplomacy person after being asked to. That's not punishing the players... they still get to do their diplomacy just the same, it just takes a wee longer if your are not the natural magnet of the group (charismatic) to grab the attention.

8 int doesn't necessarily mean bad tactician if he's a fighter (such a fighter would not live long)...
But I'd expect that player to roleplay how his character asks silly questions or points out obvious things, drawing a smirk from bystanders.

I don't like people dumping stats and then ignoring them because they put points into the necessary skill to make up for it... in that case you would not need those stats to begin with.
I like those stats to mean something beyond the bonus/malus they might give to some skills.

If you are not willing or capable of roleplaying those lower stats, I won't allow you to dump stats at my table.

low constitution?
you catch a cold easily... does that hamper you in any way? no... does that mean you sneeze every now and then? yes

wonder what recurring hiccups would be for a low stats... hmm? :-)

A true neutral character who actively tries to promote balance is somebody who tries to make sure neither side becomes too strong or too weak... just like predator and prey cycle in dominance (which is normal and balanced), the predator should never be allowed to drive the prey into extinction because after that the predator will become extinct from lack of food.

And just like the cycle of day and night, neither can exist without the other but if one becomes dominant for too much time, balance is broken: the consequences would be dire (major changes in the ecosystem).

Tyrannies are broken by revolutions and eventually people in charge after such revolutions become corrupted by power/money, becoming the very tyranny they were fighting before (usually about an opposite extremist thing).
The best way to stop this usually is to "break the cycle"... neither revolutions nor coups nor any other extremist way of solving problems. a TN character, I'd probably opt to assassinate the tyrant instead of doing a country-scale revolution/war and act from the back-lines to make sure whatever new leadership emerges is not a new tyranny (hopefully with nobody ever figuring out it was "me").

(the assassination vs revolutions, ensures no hero-worship will happen: powergrabbing)

Quantum Steve wrote:
Drawing components is a non-action and the free action to deliver the spell is granted as part of the spell. So, unless you count actions granted by spells against the normal number of actions allowed, that's two free actions.

Why is this then listed under free actions in the combat section of the CRB

Free Action - Attack of Opportunity^1
Cease concentration on a spell - No
Drop an item - No
Drop to the floor - No
Prepare spell components to cast a spell^5 - No
Speak - No

Also, the touch granted by touch spells is a free action otherwise you'd have to do it in the same standard action you cast the spell... not after moving around.

Jiggy wrote:
Kyoni wrote:
And maybe a rimed frostbite (entangle + fatigue, no save) spellstriked full attack ain't that powerful by itself, but if you combine that with major hurt from a maxed-str-full-dmg-power-attack with a 2-handed-weapon...?
You know, any non-magus can do this with a primary bite attack.

If you can math out for me how a bite attack will do similar amounts of damage when compared to a Greatsword or Falchion/Nodachi/Elven curve blade... I might be convinced otherwise.

(and the elven curve blade reminds me that it is finessable and thus cancels the entire we want str to mean something, we need 2-handers to work for magus, argument)

As Redneckdevil kindly pointed out... I forgot 1 free action... so that's 4 free actions plus full usage of standard+move+swift actions.

Yes, for me that is too much.

And maybe a rimed frostbite (entangle + fatigue, no save) spellstriked full attack ain't that powerful by itself, but if you combine that with major hurt from a maxed-str-full-dmg-power-attack with a 2-handed-weapon...?

Xenrac wrote:
If you're worried about a Magus infringing on the EK, I can see your concern, but that's not the topic at hand. Because both RAW and RAI are against you.

RAW maybe, but I'm worried how to explain to a player that

magus standard action casting and moving and spell striking in the same round

and this:
EK who casts a Quickened spell and full attacks in the same round

is ok... but this is not:
- free action: let go 1 hand
- swift action: cast touch spell (rimed frostbite?)
- free action: regrab weapon with both hands
- free action: hit enemy with 2-hander and spellstrike touch spell through it
- full-attack action: hit other enemies and keep discharging frostbite charges (to debuff everything in range and pile hurting)

as to RAI, you are wrong:

James Jacobs wrote:
[..]overall, magi do not use two-handed weapons. They need to keep a hand free for spellcasting—they're not "fighter/wizards" as much as they are two weapon fighters who just happen to use spells as their off-hand weapon. So two-handed weapons are nonsensical in most cases—the staff magus is the only one I know of that breaks that rule.

So the devs clearly intended the magus to be a sword+magic dual-wielder... or duelist with magic in his off-hand.

Jiggy, Xenrac, Quantum Steve

The problem is the amount of free actions that becomes ridiculous... I guess I would not mind (or mind less) if one of those actions were a swift action or move action.

But since Pathfinder balances around action economy, anything that needs to do so many free actions to work, smells like cheese. Especially when that class has clearly been stated by the devs to be a sword+magic dual-wielding class (see quote/link above).

and Quantum Steve: that's why I already replied further up, somebody who wants to wield a greatsword and do magic should be making an EK.

Because if you'd want to push it... my example further up could then become:

free action: let go 1 hand
standard action: cast touch spell (shocking grasp?)
free action: regrab weapon with both hands
move action: move to the enemy
free action: hit enemy with 2-hander and spellstrike touch spell through it
free action: let go 1 hand
swift action: cast 2nd touch spell (shocking grasp? again)
free action: regrab weapon with both hands
free action: hit enemy with 2-hander and spellstrike touch spell through it

Does this still sound fair to you?

Because this, in theory, is totally RAW... just like the EK quick-casting and full-attacking right after that. The question is: how much is too much... especially for a class that was never intended to wield 2-handers and channel spells through it (even though RAW seems to allow it).

Different scenario:
free action: let go 1 hand
swift action: cast touch spell (rimed frostbite?)
free action: regrab weapon with both hands
free action: hit enemy with 2-hander and spellstrike touch spell through it
full-attack action: hit other enemies and keep discharging frostbite charges (to debuff everything in range and pile hurting)

still fair to you?
(at this point spell combat looks like a very poor class ability indeed: -2 to attacks on a 3/4 BAB class...)

with 2 feats you can ask your DM to turn the pony into your animal companion... if your DM doesn't like the awakening idea + leadership feat stuff

Skill focus: Knowledge (nature)
Eldritch Heritage : Sylvan

however: link

or you can take these two feats:
- Nature Soul
- Animal Ally

Jiggy wrote:

Has anyone pointed out this FAQ yet?

Or for that matter, this one?

I know these FAQs and don't question them by themselves... I do however question how a magus could do 3 free actions in the same round with the same one hand...

Kyoni wrote:
Blackstorm wrote:

So... do you still think that these 3 free action are so much? :)

For a single limb (off hand)? yes

If it were 2 free actions with one hand and 2 free actions with your other hand and talking (with your mouth): fine by me

LazarX wrote:
Pol Mordreth wrote:
Quantum Steve wrote:
Xaratherus wrote:
Out of curiosity, my understanding has always been that Spell Combat requires you to keep a hand open for the duration of the action - not simply until you've cast the spell. Is that explicitly spelled-out anywhere in the rules?

It's pretty clear in the Spell Combat description.,You need a free hand to use Spell Combat.

If you need a free hand to perform any action, you need it to be free for the entire action.

True, but this question isn't about spell combat. It's about SpellStrike. Two different things.

You need a free hand for any spellcasting that involves somatic components. So you might be able to do it if you can find a V only spell.

Spell Combat however, would still require that free hand even in that case.

They don't debate spell combat... the debate is about SpellSTRIKE

Spellstrike (Su) wrote:
At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the magus makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon's critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier.

And whether you can do this with a 2-hander as a magus:

free action: let go 1 hand
standard action: cast touch spell (shocking grasp?)
free action: regrab weapon with both hands
move action: move to the enemy
swift action: activate arcane pool weapon enhancement (or arcane strike)
free action: hit enemy with sword and spellstrike touch spell through the weapon

all in 1 round...


LazarX wrote:
Kyoni wrote:

If you have a cool build in mind to use polearms, I'm sure your DM will find a way to house-rule the Staff Magus archetype somehow.
Yes, PFS won't allow it... but there are many other things PFS don't get, too.
The Staff Magus IS legal for PFS play. It's just not particularly popular for those who prefer to go the kensi/dervish route.

I meant using polearms as a houseruled staff magus replacement in PFS. :-)

Aureate wrote:

Spellstrike is just an alternative delivery method for a touch spell. Dual wielding for Spellstrike would only make sense if a spell had multiple charges. You only get one free touch attack with a touch spell, so you are only getting the one attack the first round regardless of any ways to draw and wield a second weapon after casting.

If the spell had multiple charges, then presumably if you drew a second weapon, you could two-weapon fight and deliver the charges when either weapon hit on...

Chill touch, Frostbite, Elemental Touch (depending on the DM's reading of "touch", see this thread), ...

there are spells that allow for multiple touches and "rimed frostbite" is actually a well known magus combo, that can be very nice alternative to shocking grasp...

Why allow it for unarmed/claws/gauntlets/... but not for two daggers or kukris or other dual-wielding weapons?
...for the same reason, that magi can only use quarterstaves/bastard swords/katanas for 1-hand 2-hand switching.

I believe the magus is strong enough as it is and the extra points of damage through a 2-hand weapon are not necessary outside theoretical min-maxing.

Allowing so many free actions in one round with the same hand will not sit well with many DM, including those from my 2 groups, and I believe that is a good thing.

If you want the option to go back an forth between 1-hand striking and 2-hand striking depending on whether you use spell strike/spell combat, you can use a quarterstaff or a bastard sword or a katana... I don't see the need to allow all 2-handed weapons for magi to work with spell strike, because then you enter "why-not-X-too" realms (dual wielding comes to mind).

If you have a cool build in mind to use polearms, I'm sure your DM will find a way to house-rule the Staff Magus archetype somehow.
Yes, PFS won't allow it... but there are many other things PFS don't get, too.

Parrots and Ravens are capable of talking (mimicking voice) and as familiars they get to speak the language of their master...

I'd say that qualifies for talking animal...?

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