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Father Jackal

Mathwei ap Niall's page

Goblin Squad Member. FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,515 posts (2,525 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Dark Archive

I'll jump in and state that I'm on the other side of this interpretation. Blindfight appears to be designed to only offset the penalties from concealment and invisibility and not have anything to do with actual blindness. If the feat had a different name this wouldn't (probably) be in question.

Heck even the rules for concealment specifically call out the need for sight to bypass the bonuses from invisibility.

Quote:
Although invisibility provides total concealment, sighted opponents may still make Perception checks to notice the location of an invisible character.

Here's the basis of the argument that blindfight doesn't help when in darkness, The feat has 3 separate paragraphs on what it does and since they separated them so completely they have to be examined that way.

Quote:
A). In melee, every time you miss because of concealment (see Combat), you can reroll your miss chance percentile roll one time to see if you actually hit.

Exactly as written when you miss because of the concealment rule roll again once and check if that roll succeeds. No arguments on how this works.

Quote:
B). An invisible attacker gets no advantages related to hitting you in melee. That is, you don't lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, and the attacker doesn't get the usual +2 bonus for being invisible. The invisible attacker's bonuses do still apply for ranged attacks, however.

The feat specifically calls out the invisible condition and since that is a defined game term it only pertains when the target is under the effects of the invisibility condition. The invisibility condition itself references the blindfight feat and reinforces that it only affects invisible creatures.

It doesn't say UNSEEN opponents it specifies INVISIBLE opponents only.
Next the Darkness definition reinforces the assumption that blindfight doesn't help here.
Quote:
In areas of darkness, creatures without darkvision are effectively blinded.In addition to the obvious effects, a blinded creature has a 50% miss chance in combat (all opponents have total concealment)

It states that the player suffers the blinded condition, it doesn't say treat all opponents as invisible or even unseen just apply the blinded condition to the sufferer. The Blindfight feat specifies it overcomes the invisible condition not the blinded condition.

Quote:
C). You do not need to make Acrobatics skill checks to move at full speed while blinded.

This is the only reference the feat has to the blinded condition which it calls out as a separate condition from invisible. This is the only thing the feat does when the character is considered blind. This shows that the writers were aware of the Blinded condition and only chose this single affect from that condition to be overcome by this feat. They could have easily said that Blindfight negates all or even just the combat penalties from the blinded condition but they didn't, they chose to only specify this one part of it. what this means is not only doesn't blindfight prevent you from losing your dex bonus in the dark you ALSO suffer all the other penalties that go along with the blinded condition.

Is it a case of bad writing and naming for this feat? Probably but we've had to deal with that before (Prone Shooter I'm looking at you), but in simple RAW terms this feat does NOTHING against the actual Blinded condition.

Dark Archive

Chengar Qordath wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Are you trying to convince us that the feat BLIND-fighting doesn't help when you're blind?
There's plenty of precedent for the fact that just because something makes absolutely no sense on its face doesn't mean the rules aren't written that way.

Yup. The real issue is the name of the feat doesn't match what it does, like so many other feats out there.

This feat functions as an anti-concealment/anti-invisibility feat, that's the main benefit of it. It specifically states what it works on (invisibility) and the only thing it does against invisibility is not require you to make an acrobatics check to move at full speed.
Nothing else.

Dark Archive

Snowlilly wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


Blinded is defined as The creature cannot see. This is what darkness inflicts on the target.
This is different then invisible which states this object as visually undetectable but everything else is visible.

You should probably point that out the whoever wrote the RAW for concealment, since they treat darkness and invisible in the same manner.

The only difference is the movement restrictions for darkness, which blindfighting removes.

Ok, I now see where the confusion is coming from.

YOU are debating how you think the feat works based on other rules in the game.

I'M debating how the feat says it works and using that to fit it into the game.
Remember the invisibility & concealment rules are general rules for the pathfinder system. The Blindfighting rules are SPECIFIC rules for how this feat works and per the core rules definition SPECIFIC rules trump GENERAL rules.

Dark Archive

Snowlilly wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


It's not a matter of a difference between the two conditions it's going by what the feat SAYS.
It specifies, as I quoted, invisible attackers don't get a bonus against you. Invisible is a specific game term and has a set definition. This feat says it affects that defined game term. Blindness is a different but also defined game term and this feat doesn't mention it, therefore it doesn't affect it.

Thematically an invisible person can be detected by seeing their footprints in sand/dirt/water as they move or seeing them brush against something or just seeing them exhale and finding them. Total darkness or blindness prevent you from even seeing that which is why this feat doesn't protect you while in complete darkness.

If you and your GM don't want the feat to work that way for your games that's great, but in RAW games or under a different GM house rules like that probably won't fly.

Invisible is defined in the conditions (RAW) as visually undetectable.

Characters with total concealment are visually undetectable.

Blinded is defined as The creature cannot see. This is what darkness inflicts on the target.

This is different then invisible which states this object as visually undetectable but everything else is visible.

Dark Archive

Snowlilly wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


And Blidfight doesn't help with this. If you go back and read the feat you'll see it only prevents you from losing your Dex bonus vs. invisible opponents. It does nothing against fighting in the dark.
An invisible attacker gets no advantages related to hitting you in melee. That is, you don't lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, and the attacker doesn't get the usual +2 bonus for being invisible.

As long as the character can't see they lose their dex bonus. There are no ways to remove the penalties from blindness.

If you can point out the difference between fighting a visually undetectable opponent (how the invisible condition is defined by RAW) and an fighting an invisible opponent I'll listen. The argument has been ongoing in many threads for years now with no FAQ.

** spoiler omitted **

It's not a matter of a difference between the two conditions it's going by what the feat SAYS.

It specifies, as I quoted, invisible attackers don't get a bonus against you. Invisible is a specific game term and has a set definition. This feat says it affects that defined game term. Blindness is a different but also defined game term and this feat doesn't mention it, therefore it doesn't affect it.

Thematically an invisible person can be detected by seeing their footprints in sand/dirt/water as they move or seeing them brush against something or just seeing them exhale and finding them. Total darkness or blindness prevent you from even seeing that which is why this feat doesn't protect you while in complete darkness.

If you and your GM don't want the feat to work that way for your games that's great, but in RAW games or under a different GM house rules like that probably won't fly.

Dark Archive

Snowlilly wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


Darkness

Turn off the lights and this character becomes easy as pie to take out. Remember in darkness (or deeper darkness if the race has darkvision) the character is blinded which gives these penalties:

A blinded creature loses its Dexterity modifier to AC (if positive) and takes a –2 penalty to AC.

Dodge Bonuses
Dodge bonuses represent actively avoiding blows. Any situation that denies you your Dexterity bonus also denies you dodge bonuses.

All the Dex bonuses go away, all the dodge bonuses go away, his Combat Insight class ability goes away, his Deadly Insight ability goes away, half of his (probable) defensive items and feats stop working.
Usually this builds AC drops down to +13 (base 10 -2 from blindness +3 from ring or bracers +2 light armor)
At this level of play even with the roll 2x take lowest most opponents should have a much better than average chance to hit.

Literally if you just turn the lights out...

That is going to work 2-3 times max before the player picks up Blindfighting. The feat can be obtained by slotting an incandescent blue sphere into a wayfinder.

It's good to toss in once in a while, along with invisible opponents, but don't start using it constantly. It's not worth countering if rare, mandatory to counter if it becomes commonplace.

A magus build I posted for an unrelated discussion. Meets all the defensive benchmarks while keeping decent (but not min/maxed) damage. The only number that falls short is CMB, which the character would not be using.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2t843?Survivors-of-Hell#26

The character has been optimized for a specific scenario, so certain choices are not normal (enduring blade, no Fly/Haste). Blind Fighting is a feat specifically taken to eliminate penalties from darkness / invisible opponents.

And Blidfight doesn't help with this. If you go back and read the feat you'll see it only prevents you from losing your Dex bonus vs. invisible opponents. It does nothing against fighting in the dark.

An invisible attacker gets no advantages related to hitting you in melee. That is, you don't lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, and the attacker doesn't get the usual +2 bonus for being invisible.

As long as the character can't see they lose their dex bonus. There are no ways to remove the penalties from blindness.

Dark Archive

Remember Monstrous Physique limits you to a max fly speed of 30 while the fly spell lets you hit 60 (or 40 in medium/heavy armor). Don't ever try to chase a target down with monstrous physique flying.

As for good forms, once you hit MPII then there is one vital form to add to your list, the Tikbalang. It's the only humanoid form that gives you pounce as well as defined foot related natural attacks.

Dark Archive

HWalsh wrote:
Knight Magenta wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Dex-based, poor fort save. Yep, targeting pretty much anything other than AC could be potentially disastrous for your character, depending on what you've done to shore up those other defenses.
Ya, that was basically my response :) he was running a module and after a few fights where I cheerfully tanked 5 mooks and then a boss character with lots of attacks at a low bonus he was a little put-out with me.
Ahh yes. Never bring 3PP to an AP. They cause problems. The GM needs to alter the module to accommodate you.

The 3pp content is a problem but it's not really THAT big of a deal. Witches can force the reroll on more than just attack rolls all day as well.

As for the characters AC, well that's the easiest part to deal with.
This is a Dex based build so it focuses on dex bonuses, Dodge Bonuses and feats/abilities that lets you add some other stat or number to it's Dex/Dodge bonus. It's effectively a Kensai Magus with no spells and has the same weakness that class has.

Darkness

Turn off the lights and this character becomes easy as pie to take out. Remember in darkness (or deeper darkness if the race has darkvision) the character is blinded which gives these penalties:

A blinded creature loses its Dexterity modifier to AC (if positive) and takes a –2 penalty to AC.

Dodge Bonuses
Dodge bonuses represent actively avoiding blows. Any situation that denies you your Dexterity bonus also denies you dodge bonuses.

All the Dex bonuses go away, all the dodge bonuses go away, his Combat Insight class ability goes away, his Deadly Insight ability goes away, half of his (probable) defensive items and feats stop working.
Usually this builds AC drops down to +13 (base 10 -2 from blindness +3 from ring or bracers +2 light armor)
At this level of play even with the roll 2x take lowest most opponents should have a much better than average chance to hit.

Literally if you just turn the lights out when fighting this build it becomes a non-issue to defeat it.

[edit]Now if you are dealing with a build that has darkvision or Blindsight that has all this then you just invest in a single feat and kill the target with that. Improved Feint destroys this build as well though you need a second mook in the fight to beat it. Slightly harder but not enough to actually matter.

Dark Archive

If you're going to make an Ettin Magus you should absolutely make him an Hexcrafter Magus. Let one head control the Witch Hexes and debuff opponents while the other does the melee combat and spell combat.
That would be painful for any PC party and give them a leg up on action economy to counter the PC's advantage there.

Dark Archive

The biggest issue with poisons are the horrifically low save DC's. The only familiar type I've run across that can actually scale their poison DC high enough to be useful is the Homonculus. With the rules for actually increasing it's con score and bumping up it's actually DC. Using it's poison and the Poison Concentration discovery would make it worth investing in but overall Poison Steep is really the only truly effective DC poison I've found.

As for the milking rules I do believe I read it somewhere in one of the official splatbooks but will need to find it. But for poison amounts the rules are so vague that's going to be up to your GM. In general though a poison berry is a poison berry it shouldn't take more a couple at MOST to be effective.

Dark Archive

Resurrecting this from the dead since I've been away for awhile but Witches are by far the strongest poison based class in the game.
With access to the Veneficus archetype, the Poison Steep Hex, Poison Conversion and the Toxic Words ability this witch is frighteningly dangerous.
About 6th level the build is ready and at 10th and is frighteningly effective.
It all hangs on the way that Toxic Words works with Evil Eye and the poison rules and how Poison Steep and Poison Conversion Work together.

Poison steep overcomes the biggest weaknesses with poisons (Cost and DC) since the Hex is free to use (0 Cost) and ignores the DC of the spell and scales as the Witch goes up in levels (10 +Int Mod + 1/2 Witch Level). This gives you a very potent Con damaging ingest poison that Poison Conversion turns into an injury poison making it legal for Toxic Words to use. Use the Poison steep on a pound of berries or nuts and you have virtually unlimited poison attempts per day.

Now use Evil Eye on your target with Toxic Words (DC 19-2 because of Toxic Words) and target your opponents saves for the -2. Since Evil Eye ALWAYS works for at least 1 round the penalty from Toxic Words is negated and the target effectively needs to make a DC 19 save again or eat 1D3 Con damage (or using the new poison rules from Unchained eats 4 points of HP damage and advances a step on the Constitution Poison track) and a quick cackle to keep the penalties going.

Following round repeat but evil eye the ability checks instead so now they get an additional -1 to the fort save (since saves are considered ability checks) so now they have to make a DC 17 fort save with a -2 from evil eye (saves), a -1 from evil eye ability checks, a possible -1 from con damage (from the poison). Fail this check and the DC's go up by +2 every time you fail and the duration goes up by 50%.

It's even worse if you are using the unchained rules, those rules give an additional -2 to your save AND you take 4 points of damage each time you are forced to attempt this save so it's a DC 17 check with a -5 to your roll and if you fail the 2nd check you are at a -7. Fail it a 3rd time which you probably will since the 3rd round comes with a Misfortune and/or Ill Omen spell on top of that -7 AND a 3rd dose of poison and you become disabled and effectively out of the fight.

Not the fastest takedown since it takes 2-3 rounds to defeat most opponents but it does let you get the biggest bang for the money (ie no cost).
However by 10th level this witch should have added Sticky Poison, Concentrate poison and split hex to their list so not only has the DC gone up by 4 (+2 from the Hex and +2 from Concentrate) they have also treated all their party members weapons with the poison as well and each weapon will get 10 hits (or more if you have archers) before running out of poison. 5-15 doses of DC 23-25 poison every round eating away at your targets CON score is usually a 1 round kill of anything that isn't immune to poison. Depending on the party it's a 1 round takedown of everything you are fighting.

Witches are the nastiest poison users in the game now and if properly optimized can annihilate anything that can't handle poisons.

Dark Archive

Just a Mort wrote:

Uh, thats a nice picture, but I'm very fond of my familiars and would stand between them and harm. You know, you are closer to the front, hopefully monsters go after you rather then him (Since he has half your hp). Besides if your familiar gets killed, there goes all future cdg attempts till you get a new one.

The arguments against this are the following:
1) Some GMs rule earth elementals cannot use weapons. Can understand that, in which you need to try to find a way to get cha to 13, take evolved familiar to grant reach evolution. So the earth elementals slam has 10 ft reach. Sadly cdg dmg will drop to only 2d6+14 due to natural weapons only having x2 crit.
Make DC 10 + 2d6+14 fort save or die. Ill omen was still on, no? Guess they need to save twice, take lowest, then. At lv 6 hexcrafter, the damage increases to 2d6+20, as per scaling with power attack. With mauler archtype you might be able to improve on the str part.

2) Some GMs say you can't put living things on a floating disk. This to me, doesn't make sense. You can put a dead body on the disk, but not a living one? Or that staying on a floating disc eats your move action (but hey, objects don't hate move actions to lose and still can remain on the disk!) If GM forbids it then, sorry, whole idea won't work.

That's why you don't use a familiar for this tactic, you purchase a Homonculus. All the perks of having a familiar with none of the downsides and at only 4K a pop you can always have 2-3 of them around at a time.

Dark Archive

Well, this hex is far more potent and easy to use if you look beyond just this one hex.
First, invest in the Soothsayer hex so you don't have to cackle until combat starts and the hex stays active.
And depending on your GM some will allow you to use Hex Vulnerability to allow you to reuse this hex on them.

Soothsayer is awesome, invest in it asap if you want to be a buffing witch.

Dark Archive

Coleridge12 wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
My Self wrote:
If you're going evil, take a look at the bouda witch. Melee touch attacks at range, ability to double up on your Evil Eye hex for a single target, and ability to change into a hyena. While the change into a hyena part is meh, you give up your familiar and two hexes for all the features, which isn't all that bad of a deal, considering how good Evil Eye is.

Bouda is almost brokenly good and is worth almost everything it gets. While it loses some of the action economy advantage having a familiar gives the ability to use your touch spells at 30' isn't too bad of a trade.

The real icing on the cake is Hyena Form, it's the best thing about this archetype. Natural spell, full ability to speak, 50' movement rate + scent, 10' reach, free trip attacks & +4 to strength and AC that lasts for 10 hours a day.
You are now impossible to sneak up on, chase down or mundanely stop you from casting spells. AND if someone does try to melee with you you can now effectively AoO them and knock them to the ground and move further away from them then they can follow you and attack (and almost out of the range of most of their attack spells).

This is a POTENT archetype with two annoying trade offs (no familiar and delayed access to major hexes).

The alignment requirement was what initially turned me off the archetype (I was making a CN character) and so I haven't paid attention to it again until now.

I understand that extending touch range to 30' feet is metamagic-feat level power, but given that the bouda can only do it 1/4th her witch level, is it truly that good?

The hyena thing is crazy good. Maybe I'll make a different character a bouda eventually.

It's not world-shaking good but it is a significant boost that, like all the other bouda powers, becomes that much better at higher levels. Usually a touch level spell only needs to be used 1x per average adventuring day at low levels so this tends to fulfill 90% of the times you'll ever need to use a touch spell at range. It's a nice mid-level ability and it looks to be just at the right level for average play.

Dark Archive

My Self wrote:
If you're going evil, take a look at the bouda witch. Melee touch attacks at range, ability to double up on your Evil Eye hex for a single target, and ability to change into a hyena. While the change into a hyena part is meh, you give up your familiar and two hexes for all the features, which isn't all that bad of a deal, considering how good Evil Eye is.

Bouda is almost brokenly good and is worth almost everything it gets. While it loses some of the action economy advantage having a familiar gives the ability to use your touch spells at 30' isn't too bad of a trade.

The real icing on the cake is Hyena Form, it's the best thing about this archetype. Natural spell, full ability to speak, 50' movement rate + scent, 10' reach, free trip attacks & +4 to strength and AC that lasts for 10 hours a day.
You are now impossible to sneak up on, chase down or mundanely stop you from casting spells. AND if someone does try to melee with you you can now effectively AoO them and knock them to the ground and move further away from them then they can follow you and attack (and almost out of the range of most of their attack spells).

This is a POTENT archetype with two annoying trade offs (no familiar and delayed access to major hexes).

Dark Archive

avr wrote:
No, that archetype screams NPC! Bad person doing stuff you need to send adventurers after her for! It's not designed to be useful as a PC, and it isn't.

It's actually extremely powerful for a PC, it just takes time for that power to make itself truly available.

While the curdle thoughts ability is kinda weak by itself the ability to add a +2DC to any fear spell you cast is kinda potent at low levels.

Sunder Hope is a great counterspell ability with the added bonus that it can counter things that no one else can and doesn't eat up your standard action like it does to everyone else. Remember it states beneficial spell or ability, so class abilities (lay on hand, hexes, bard song, aid another, etc). You can stop all manner of beneficial effects that no other person in the game can prevent.

Finally, at 12th level you get a Hag servant for 12 rounds a week. Do you know how powerful that is? This gives you access to a full power Hag's Coven and all these spells:
animate dead, baleful polymorph, blight , bestow curse, clairaudience/clairvoyance, charm monster, commune, control weather, dream, forcecage, mind blank, mirage arcana, reincarnate, speak with dead, veil, vision.
These can all be cast effectively for free as often as you want (barring your 12 round limit). Force Cage is a 7th level spell, Mind Blank is 8th and Vision is Legend Lore on steroids. Massive defensive, offensive, information gathering and ally gathering powers that don't require you to burn your own spell slots and resources.

It's a slow archetype but extremely powerful if you really put some effort into it.

Dark Archive

Just a Mort wrote:

Oooh the master has spoken.

Just for debate(maybe I'm not a very good student):
A lv 7 magus of decent int has 4 lv 2 spells. That would mean 4 attempts to go trog for 3 atks per round. Note that constructs tend to have DR 5/adamantine or hardness. Would it not be better to hit once, harder, inflict all kinds of nasty conditions, as opposed to having multiple small attacks?

The defiler, by virtue of final embrace, can trip and possibly grab baddies for the fighter and rogue to hit, and not get grappled, which means she can do it to multiple baddies.Combat reflexes helps provide a defensive wall from AOOs.5x per day(from prehensile hex), or more, if someone can enlarge her.

Melee transmorg 2, I see only 4 attacks per round when buffed (unless you use monstrous physique 1 for gargoyle - you're limited to 2x per day for it), one of it which is secondary(prehensile hair). In a gauntlet esp where undead have nasty conditions on hit, no condition removal in party, is it not better to prevent getting hit in the first place as opposed to trying to dps yourself, since having mobs debuffed in the right positions, the fighter and rogue will probably beat you at it?

You are right that the defiler build would normally be able to do all those things but don't forget that the Undead and Construct type are immune to non-lethal damage so most of what the defiler is based on stops working (No frostbite damage, no shaken, no fatigued, no entangled (rime requires them to take damage but they can't since it's non-lethal). At best you could trip and grapple the target but without the debuffs on it you just took the nastiest creature you can fight and moved it adjacent to you and opened yourself up to a full attack from it. Not an ideal choice.

The transmog works better since at it's core it's designed to simply throw out massive mixed melee/spell damage at a steady constant rate where at least half of it ignores DR/Energy resistance. Remember it's damage is split pretty evenly between melee damage and elemental damage. This lets him ignore a significant portion of his opponents resistances and always be doing damage.

Also remember this default build is still based on the standard shocking grasp build but uses it as a rider attack from the AoMF (spell storing). It's going to do a ton of damage from it's full attack (default 3 from alter self + 1 from haste which he'll teach Flash +1 from the free attack he gets from Bladed Dash +1 from the AoO caused by 1 of the rest of the party which is their job as support characters).

Finally if the target does have significant enough DR/Hardness/Energy resistance, well we are playing a caster who has access to a pretty varied spell list as well as some very nasty hex abilities that lets you just fly out of reach and pound the target into the ground with your beard. Slow but steady and very high single strike damage.

edit: the one thing I've wanted to do is go back and add spell scars in as a valuable additional arcana since it effectively gives an additional 18 spell levels of casting per day. On this kind of challenge it would extend the Hexcrafters ability to continue fighting through the roof.

Dark Archive

chuffster wrote:

On a separate note, how about this for the Transmogrifist build:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I was originally looking at this as a way to get Hex Strike while transformed. But that last line... how about using your arcane pool to pump up your unarmed strike? All of a sudden all of your natural weapons get a +x bonus on top of your amulet of mighty fists. Not bad when you're rocking six attacks.

That won't work, read the Martial Versatility feat again.

It specifies it only allows you to use that specific feat for any weapon in that group, it doesn't change the restriction from Arcane Pool to only affect one weapon at a time.

Dark Archive

Defiler is more of a single target build that is not very effective against undead and swarms. No for this I'd recommend using the Melee Transmorg #2 from that same guide. It's far more effective at handling multiple opponents, doesn't care about the type specialties from undead, swarm or construct, and has the staying power to easily handle 3-30 battles without running out of spells. The only change would be switching from frostbite to Chill touch for undead & constructs. Undead won't take damage but they will need to make saves and since the build is throwing out 5-9 attacks a round it's a good chance the target will fail a save quickly.

Throw in being able to add any shared wizard/magus spell into Flashs' spellbook should let them wade through half a dozen or more challenges before ever needing to rest.

Dark Archive

chuffster wrote:

Yeah, the Rime + shocking grasp is a little shaky. I've had GMs allow it (so far the only time I hit with it the baddie was immune to cold damage) but I could see it going the other way.

I love the design concept of the defiler. It is a beautiful picture of single attribute dependency. It's also dependent on some pretty generous GM rulings (that hair is "associated with a hand" and that white haired hair and prehensile hair stack perfectly), which is a bad thing with a GM-unfriendly build. I'm also a little bothered by the fact that you have to burn an early standard action just to get your weapon ready.

My debuffer concept is a little more straightforward:

** spoiler omitted **

On round one you run in and punch the bad guy for non-lethal. If you hit, free action intimidate. Then free action ill omen. Then swift action slumber. They now have to save twice with a -2 penalty. For CR-appropriate foes you're looking at a 75%-90% chance of taking them out in the first hit.

Round two->end you pull out your wand of ill omen and close on the bad guys. If you start a turn next to one you spell combat from the wand and punch them as above. At end of combat, refill your amulet. For a boss fight you can lead with a wand of true strike.

Bonus points: no dump stats and everything is online level five with a feat left over (or two if you're human). Obvious backup plan in case of a save is Rime Frostbite, but you could go another way if you wanted.

Issues: Undead, constructs, vermin, elementals.

Side point: While entangling is awesome, remember that only shaken and sickened directly attack saves.

I am still regretting creating this build but whatever, it's out there now.

Anyway, a standard action is not required to get the weapon ready, that's the point of the White Haired Witch dip. That hair is always active and can be used immediately (you don't even have to draw it, it's always on). The only time Prehensile hair is needed is if you want to attack at reach or want to cast spells with your hair hand.
As for the stacking issue it doesn't actually matter. If they do then great you can do it at range but if they don't you just need to take a 5 foot step closer and it works (or buy the lunge feat).

Dark Archive

The scarred witch doctor nerf was called for, it really needed it. The wyroot nerf was also needed but it really hurts. Only being able to benefit from any wyroot weapons once per day is a big hit.

Dark Archive

Irrelevant. ALL familiars are automatically granted the ability to speak at 5th level so the voice ability is only needed if you want your familiar to carry on a conversation with others.

Dark Archive

There are three points you'll need to address with your build that can interfere with your enjoyment.

1). Decide if DPS'ing or Debuffing are more important and put your 18 in that stat first. For a Hexcrafter that stat is always Int, since it powers your go-to abilities, your spells, hexes, knowledges and some of your direct damage abilities (prehensile hair, spell hex, etc).

2). Disable Device can be useful but remember unless you have the rogue talent you cannot use it to disable magical traps, etc. There's multiple ways to get it but each has an opportunity cost.

3). Strength. You are playing a melee character but have tanked your strength to the point you can barely carry any gear at all. Yes your attack and damage is provided by your dex but carrying capacity, encumberance, ranged damage, strength checks all still use your STR score.
At this point you can only carry your scarf, clothes and a handy haversack before you are under a medium load. Medium load drops your max dex to a +3 so penalizes everything your melee abilities have then.

Dark Archive

LazarX wrote:

Sometimes they are both. A supernatural ability may be part of the soul, but still require the requisite body part as a medium or focus.

I may have the SU ability to manipulate my hair, but if someone just gave me a balding hair cut, I've got nothing to use that ability on.

Whether you have had your hair shaved or not has no impact on this hex.

It specifies that you GROW the hair out to 10 feet, never states you have to have hair already. If that where the case then Kobold, Tengu, Nagaji, etc. would never be able to take this hex.

Look at the sorceror entry on their claws, they can grow their claws even of the form doesn't have nails.

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blahpers wrote:
Quote:
You can actually throw on Divine spells too.
How does that work?

Same way you make any other magic item, you have someone with the spell needed help you.

Get yourself a divine caster to assist while scribing the scar (or get a scroll of the spell and use that to provide the spell you need) and get started tattooing. Now when you decide to cast them if it's not on your spell list you'll need to make a UMD check to cast it but that's easily done if you put some effort into it.

@Malag, I've quoted the text and DEV clarification supporting my stance, if you wish to continue stating I am incorrect I would love to see what rules text or DEV post you are using to justify that position.

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isdestroyer wrote:

I think everyone is forgetting that if you touch another object, any held charge is automatically discharged.

PRD wrote:
Holding the Charge: If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates. You can touch one friend as a standard action or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case, you aren't considered armed and you provoke attacks of opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge.
I would think that a scroll or a wand counts as "anything".

Spell-Scars

Scrolls you can use at anytime that you don't have to see or touch and best of all they don't even have to be magus spells. You can actually throw on Divine spells too.

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

That FAQ doesn't address this issue. It addresses whether rider effects that trigger on "when you cast a spell" do so as well when you use a scroll or wand.

I don't think the dissapation of a held charge works in the same way. How would you determine what spell discharges when you make a touch attack if you were holding two charges? Would both discharge? If you can do this with two spells, why not an arbitrary number? Use all 50 charges of a shocking grasp wand to do 50d6 with a single touch attack! (Only takes 5 minutes of casting to build up the held charges!) That can't be the intended function of the rules.

No, you are putting conditions on the faq that aren't there.

It specifically states using any of these items is not spellcasting for these purposes or any other. That's why the question has the

Quote:
and so on

line.

For every purpose you want to add onto it using a scroll does not count as casting a spell. They made it as broadly defined as possible and threw every single thing that could be affected by casting a spell on the list AND added and so on to indicate that other options that call on the "cast a spell" language was included.

Here's the important line to pay attention to:

Quote:
not using magic items that emulate spellcasting or work like spellcasting

Magic items EMULATE or WORK LIKE spellcasting but are not actual spellcasting. Only casting a spell dissipates charges. Heck for awhile there SKR was advocating that having multiple touch spells active were a valid and normal part of the game. It was in his ask thread so not worth digging up for a rules debate but indicative of how at least some of the paizo employees play the game.

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LoneKnave wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
LoneKnave wrote:

You spellcombat, cast the spell, hold the charge, quickdraw the net and then spellstrike with it once spell combat is over.

If that doesn't work, feel free to point out where I'm wrong.

Ok, here:

spellcombat wrote:
To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty).

I bolded it for you. Full round actions means from the beginning of the round to the end of the round that weapon HAS to be in his hands. Using quickdraw means there is a time in the round when the weapon isn't there so you fail to fulfil the full round action requirement of spellcombat.

This has been discussed ad nauseum for years and this is how it works, go read the discussions on the Myrmidarch and you'll see.

You'll have to link me to these "ad nauseum for years" discussions, because I can't find them. No errata/FAQ on it either, so even if discussions exist, nothing is official.

Also, while spellcombat may take a whole turn, free actions made during/before/after it are separate action and shouldn't be influenced by using spellcombat; if things worked by your logic, you couldn't drop an offhand weapon/shift grip as a free action before starting spell combat, which is ridiculous and an extremely contorted read of RAW that I can find no support for.

I'm guessing you might need to brush up on your search skills then. if you search the messageboard for Myrmidarch the first result explains this issue to you.

Myrmidarch Magus

Or this one:

What about the Myrmidarch

Or this one:
Myrmidarch and spellcombat

Every version of the Magus is explicitly restricted from using spellcombat with ranged weapons. Spellstrike yes but no spellcombat.
And yes, free actions can be done at anytime on your turn BUT there is nothing about them that changes the fact that during spellcombat you MUST have a melee weapon in your main hand for the duration.

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The reason why this works is spelled out in the core rulebooks + faq update.

First the core rule

Holding the Charge wrote:
Holding the Charge: If you don't discharge the spell in the round when you cast the spell, you can hold the charge indefinitely. You can continue to make touch attacks round after round. If you touch anything or anyone while holding a charge, even unintentionally, the spell discharges. If you cast another spell, the touch spell dissipates.

Now the FAQ update

FAQ wrote:


Items as Spells: Does using a potion, scroll, staff, or wand count as "casting a spell" for purposes of feats and special abilities like Augment Summoning, Spell Focus, an evoker's ability to do extra damage with evocation spells, bloodline abilities, and so on?

No. Unless they specifically state otherwise, feats and abilities that modify spells you cast only affect actual spellcasting, not using magic items that emulate spellcasting or work like spellcasting.

By the rules if you use a spell in a bottle item like a scroll, potion, wand, spellscar, etc. it is NOT "casting a spell" allowing you to have multiple touch spells running at once.

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They actually already addressed the meat in this argument back in July of last year.

Faq Entry

faq wrote:

Archetype: If an archetype replaces a class ability with a more specific version of that ability (or one that works similarly to the replaced ability), does the archetype's ability count as the original ability for the purpose of rules that improve the original ability?

It depends on how the archetype's ability is worded. If the archetype ability says it works like the standard ability, it counts as that ability. If the archetype's ability requires you to make a specific choice for the standard ability, it counts as that ability. Otherwise, the archetype ability doesn't count as the standard ability. (It doesn't matter if the archetype's ability name is different than the standard class ability it is replacing; it is the description and game mechanics of the archetype ability that matter.)

Yes you can take hexstrike as a magus since the hex arcana works exactly like the hex class ability.

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There is nothing in the staff magus description overriding this limitation so by raw, no you can't.
You can choose to enhance one end of the staff and use that but that's it.

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Dafydd wrote:
Spellstrike 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.

If I understand Nefreet right, this bolded part is the source of his argument. It is what made me stop and question it personally at the table.

However, I am not sure if that is strict rules text there. Hence the questioning of it.

Zero damage is still normal damage, it's just zero.

The part you need to look at is under the rules for combat maneuvers.

combat maneuvers wrote:
Combat maneuvers are attack rolls, so you must roll for concealment and take any other penalties that would normally apply to an attack roll.

The only requirement for a spellstrike is that it be delivered via a melee attack which combat maneuvers are explicitly called out as.

You're original assumption is correct. Trips, Disarms, Sunders, etc are all attack rolls and are valid choices for spellstrike.

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LoneKnave wrote:

You spellcombat, cast the spell, hold the charge, quickdraw the net and then spellstrike with it once spell combat is over.

If that doesn't work, feel free to point out where I'm wrong.

Ok, here:

spellcombat wrote:
To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty).

I bolded it for you. Full round actions means from the beginning of the round to the end of the round that weapon HAS to be in his hands. Using quickdraw means there is a time in the round when the weapon isn't there so you fail to fulfil the full round action requirement of spellcombat.

This has been discussed ad nauseum for years and this is how it works, go read the discussions on the Myrmidarch and you'll see.

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Lune wrote:

Also, I can tell that Mathwei agrees with me about Accurate Strike working as he said this, here:

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

4. Caliking, you only get 4 natural attacks (the other 2 or iterative attacks with weapons) making all of them at BaB-5 and your iterative attacks are also at -5 (except the first one). You get a lot of attacks but with the natural penalty and the spell combat penalty you will be missing a lot. Arcane accuracy will remove the penalty (mostly) but any of the other forms will give you so much more from it.

(Calikang is nice but please remember you only get what's on their stat block so only 4 natural attacks and nasty penalties if you try to wield manufactured weapons. A sorceror or witch/hexcrafter who can grow claws however would get all 6 attacks).
Also all of it's special abilities are lost since the polymorph school doesn't allow you to get ANY of it's powers. It's a nice form but not good enough.
For the record he didn't rate Calikang strongly. As you can see, it is his 4th choice. The point is that he agrees that Arcane Accuracy works with natural attacks. Honestly, I do not understand where this disagreement comes from.

that was actually an old statement that was revised when they changed the rules on spellcombat requiring hand based attacks. At that point Calikang became the top choice of forms for MPII.

Also I do appreciate your efforts to continue the argument for the natural based Magus but you don't need to. I gave up on this thread long ago do to the sheer number of false assumptions and incorrect rules they are spewing in here.
Honestly they have decided that it shouldn't work so are using every possible excuse to deny the rulings the devs have made to minimize the effectiveness of the build.
I'd recommend letting it go and watch this thread spiral off the normally read pages and try again later. Right now no one who would be interested in this will be able to get past the noise to signal ratio of these thread. That's what I did but my name keeps coming up.

Oh and since you might have missed it, Prehensile Hair is hand based and qualifies for Spellcombat. It's part of the basics of the build. Cast with the beard and attack with the claws/slams, if you feel like it drop a feat for Natural Spellcombat for the bite and keep the full routine going.

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LoneKnave wrote:

You can just quickdraw a weapon for the ranged spellstrike. You can't do the whole sequence with it, true, but you can still do that.

You can also just use thrown weapons. With throw anything, you can do a full attack with a kukri, then throw it for spellstrike.

The net is kinda great, because it delivers the effect and also gets you entangle and it's targeting touch. So, all great things basically.

No, this doesn't work.

Remember spellcombat requires the weapon in hand for the entire round so quickdraw doesn't cut it and throwing doesn't cut it.
You cast the spell and if it is a touch spell you get one attack. If it's NOT a touch spell you don't get to attack at all.

If you want to use spellcombat then you have to switch to a melee weapon and if it isn't a ranged melee weapon (Like a throwing Dagger) you can't spellstrike with it.

It's a trap, run from it.

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I'm thinking you shouldn't do it. You may want to re-read the card caster archetype before going this route since as it's written it doesn't work.

The card caster is a terrible archetype for the same reason that the Myrmidarch is terrible, it doesn't have any synergy with the default magus abilities.

Remember, it only modifies how spellstrike and Arcane Pool work so it's not compatible with spellcombat which requires a melee weapon in your mainhand which a net isn't. No spellcombat means you can't cast and attack unless you cast a touch spell which gives you 1 attack a round. PERIOD.

This is a TERRIBLE archetype, don't do it.

Dark Archive

Uhmm, why?
What exactly are you trying to do here?
You have a non martial based class with terrible HP's/BaB and poor survivability with low physical stats and you want to focus them around a melee attack. What is your goal with this?

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First, why don't YOU go back and read the ability again, you've obviously mis-read it. There is no exclusion for natural attacks with precise strike. All it requires is light/one-handed and piercing. Stop making things up.

Boosting party members isn't the question, it's needing boosts from party members to function is the issue. Your build needs it, mine doesn't. (I guess, you still haven't posted one yet). And for your point 4 the answer is Haste, ALL your examples had someone else cast haste on your magus, that's a buff and a pretty hefty one. Stop making things up.

Yes, those DR's are a corner case and truly don't matter. Worst case they are a speed bump and MAY let the target live an extra attack or two.

Why don't you read my post first, you are the one trying to convine others not me.
I'm comfortable in how my build works in theory and actual gameplay, you are the one who can't seem to understand it.

Oh and since you still haven't posted a build I'm assuming the challenge is too much for you then? That's fine why don't you go post in a different thread and we'll get back to answering the OP's questions.

kestral287 wrote:

Oi... okay, rules first.

1. DR/good, DR/evil, DR/admantine, and DR/cold iron are corner cases? That looks like most of the DRs in the game to me.

2. Boosting extra party members is a marginal and variable benefit-- but it is a benefit.

3. Precise Strike specifically disallows natural weapons, and only allows one-handed piercing weapons. A Slam is not piercing, nor is a claw. So... yeah, no, no Precise Strike for the Natural Magus. Please read the abilities before you talk about them.

4. What extra party member has put buffs on the Weapon Magus but not the Natural one? I mentioned that the party Wizard could have dropped Haste... and then went ahead and dropped the scenario in which he didn't, and the Weapon Magus cast it himself, and how the Weapon Magus was still ahead.

I am seriously doubting that you're reading the posts you're responding to at this point.

5. Read my previous post for why two people building separate characters under separate design principles does not allow for an effective comparison. Read my previous post for the sole thing I am waiting on to run a full comparison. Whenever you want to provide that, I can run the numbers.

6. Please, if you actually want to have a discussion on this subject, read the posts in question.

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Kestral, you have made several unwarranted assumptions in this thread that truly cloud the basic discussion that was going on.
Simply put does the natural attack magus equal or exceed the weapon wielding magus. You have thrown in extra party members, weird corner DR cases and incorrect rules assumptions (There is nothing about the swashbuckler deeds you are relying on that prevent natural attackers from using them too).

Basically this is what's going on, I have posted a build (a build that's over a year old and viewed by hundreds) that is designed to be as self-reliant, self contained and as immune to GM fiat as possible. Whatever amount of cash is available doesn't matter to my builds. Whether the game starts at 5 gold or 500,000 gold makes no difference to my builds since everything is non-gear dependent. If the AoMF is available then great it makes us more effective but if not it doesn't stop the character from doing everything it's designed to.

The parts of your build that you've posted so far is dependent on having enough cash for a +3 weapon as well as extra party members to through buffs on it to equal what the natural wielder does for themselves.

My design has been out there forever and works, yours seems to only exist in your world. If you seriously want to compare the two (or 3 or 4 since I have posted 3 different natural weapon wielding magus builds) it's on you to post yours. I'll even give you this to make it easier, whatever point buy and stat allocation you use for yours I'll drop into mine, no changes. Heck you can pick the Wealth to spend on their gear and spells as well.
Once you've done that we'll have anyone who's still interested pick 4 challenges (CR 10-13), terrains and initial Initiative rolls (for us and the challenge) and see how each build handles it. I'm confident my build will be able to hold it's own against everything they throw at us as well as or better then your build can.

Edit: you know what, lets take it a step further, whatever you post I'll just apply my build on top of your layout (race, stats, wealth, etc) and show that it's better that way. Keeps it really simple.

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kestral287 wrote:

Oooh, two big posts. Let's start from the top.

1. Is your priority not to actually be able to use natural attacks? I would assume so. Accurate Strike much less so, but it's the most tactically sound thing to do with your Swift Action at this level. I suppose buffing a single Slam with the Arcane Pool isn't totally useless, since you can use that particular Slam for Spellstrike, Haste, etc., but it's still not a great play, nor does it significantly alter anything.

Not sure what you mean but if you are referring to round 1 as I said it's simply a setup round where getting all your buffs and positioning right is most important. That is exactly what you wrote for the weapon magus did that round. If you're making a different point I'm missing it.

Quote:
2. Given that I am currently playing a Strength-based Rapier Magus, we're going to have to disagree on this front. Dex-to-damage is common and valuable at low levels, but if I was building for 10th level from the ground up? Strength all the way. And almost certainly a rapier. Rapier's advantage is the high crit range and Precise Strike access, and the only thing that makes it traditionally bad for Strength is that you can't two-hand it... which a Magus doesn't care about.

This one is a matter of individual taste, I personally find the bloat from the ACG and it's poorly designed abilities distasteful and haven't updated any of my builds to include them. I'm sure there is enough in there to double the power of any of my builds but it's too unpalatable to me to use any of it. Someone else can address this point if they care to.

Quote:
3. The established setup presumed Haste was pre-buffed. Hasted Assault would be a waste. Hence I swapped it with Accurate Strike in your build, which I would call fair since you explicitly defended the Natural Magus in Weirdo's numbers using Accurate Strike at 10th level. With your build you can have one or the other, but not both. I presumed the one you argued with and the one more favorable for your build under the setting.

I fail to see how anyone can presume haste is pre-buffed. The short duration, relatively high spell level and limited number of casters who can do it leaves this firmly in the cast during combat world for the majority of encounters. The only way it could active before the first round of combat is with an extra character casting it or a free surprise round for the magus where I'd rather cast Monstrous Physique with a swift action hasted assault for better acction economy.

Quote:
6. What happened to your contention that the Natural Magus does not need an AoMF? Shifting the goalposts doesn't help your argument, it weakens it.

I never changed that assumption, I have always stated he doesn't need it merely that it is recommended that he take it if he has the available cash or wants the extra flexibility. The weapon Magus doesn't need a +3 weapon but if he chooses to take it the better for him it is.

Quote:
7. Taking the Amulet of Mighty Fists means that you're down spell slots since you no longer have the WBL for Pearls of Power to offset your greater spell costs. Look back at Weirdo's post regarding wealth or read down in mine.

Irrelevant argument and un-true in any case. The natural attack magus casts fewer spells per day then the weapon magus and gets a longer and bigger overall benefit from them. Your example magus uses greater invis (a rounds per level spell) while mine uses MPII which is a minutes per level spell. An order of magnitude longer lasting with fewer counters to it. We use the same attack spell for equal value but the Natural magus spends fewer Arcane Pool points since he doesn't enchant his weapon that way (he can he just doesn't need to).

Since we have fewer expenditures of those pool points we don't need pearls since we can recover the spells that way AND at this level have the extra cash (that 2K extra that was left over from the amulet) is easily enough to purchase a Wyroot backup weapon to keep that arcane pool full. Irrelevant argument.
Quote:
8. Using Monstrous Physique I cuts the natural attack suite down from six slams (-1 for Spell Combat, +1 for Haste, conditional +1 for Spellstrike) to four claws. This is a massive damage loss. Anything less than the Calikang puts the Natural Magus drastically below the Weapon Magus in damage output.

And it doesn't matter. The point of playing an advanced class is knowing when to use the right resource. If fighting a boss fight you use MPII if it's a lieutenant you use MPI if it's a grunt use alter self. Smart players scale their resource expenditure to the challenge since any damage after the target hit's zero is wasted damage.

Quote:
9. Second round of combat goes by the DPR established by Weirdo, save that Precise Strike (+10 damage on every attack) was not included, which easily pushes the Weapon Magus above the Natural in DPR. The reason I didn't look into it heavily is that Weirdo already did a solid job of it, save for taking it easy on the Natural Magus by not including the best damage booster the Magus has access to.

See my comments for point number 2, but if absolutely necessary there are enough ways to easily add or exceed the extra 10pts per hit (easiest of the top of my head is to use the witchwyrd form and take Final embrace to double both the natural attack and frostbite damage easily beating the boost from precise strike).

Quote:
10. Weapon Magus in this example is using Frostbite, not Shocking Grasp. Please, understand the numbers Weirdo used and I built on before you comment on them. Now, I personally prefer Shocking Grasp to Frostbite, but that's not what I assumed for this comparison.

Frostbite or shocking grasp makes little difference, the net outcome is still about the same. XD6+(x*10) damage from frostbite nat builds will always do more damage then 4D6+(4*10) where x equals a number between 6 and 9. With shocking grasp builds it's even worse since that's 14D6 (avg 42). The minimum damage from the nat build exceeds the average from the weapon build. The weapon build has to crit just to stay competitive each round so is burning spell slots every round.

Quote:
General notes: As I touched on a few times in this post, the idea of "it enhances all of your attacks" does not really mean much. A Weapon Magus will be making all of their attacks with, well, their weapon. So the Amulet of Mighty Fists is completely offset by the cheaper Rapier, the Deliquescent Gloves affect both characters equally at best (a mild edge to the Natural Magus if your GM is willing to actually let it apply to all attacks)

The rapier isn't cheaper, it's more expensive as long as the natural attacker has more natural attacks then the weapon wielder has normal attackers. Remember each natural attack is a separate weapon and all that entails.

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Dafydd wrote:
Lune wrote:
I am confused by this as well. As far as I know you become visible after your first attack hits thus making the rest of your attacks in the round no longer qualify for sneak attack. Is this false?

All your attacks in that round you attack from invisible are against their flat footed AC, thus giving you sneak attack, until their turn. This also means, if a party member forces them to provoke an AoO, you get sneak on that AoO too.

No, only the first attack you make while invisible is against flat-footed ac. Every attack after that is against normal AC.

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kestral287 wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Let's try some numbers.

A notable point: The Rapier build's access to Precise Strike means their static damage would be much higher. You also noted the lack of Arcane Pool enhancement. Assume your same data points, toss the Rapier Magus Flamboyant Arcana and Arcane Deed: Precise Strike. Pretty bog-standard for a Weapon Magus. Mathwei's build has Arcane Accuracy and Flight Hex in those spots. Reduces the benefit of an extra spell, but Arcane Accuracy is half-wasted at this point due to both builds likely carrying Accurate Strike; more on both of those in a moment. Precise Strike first!

At 10th level, with the Magus dealing 10 points of precision damage on every hit, the Natural Magus falls noticeably behind in DPR-- the points you made about DR are actually true as a general case, with DR added in on top of that. Notably, a 10th-level Magus with what's normally a +3 weapon can ignore every DR save DR/-.

Conclusion: without Amulet of Mighty Fists, even using the Calikang the natural attack build is falling noticeably behind in damage due to the prevalence of DR at this level. With Amulet of Mighty Fists, Natural Magus falls behind less severely but is significantly behind in available wealth.

Second notable point. We'll make the assumption that both builds have the same Int stat, and are able to dedicate the same level of resources each round. Thus, assuming no pre-buffing beyond Haste:

First round, Weapon Magus' priorities are to get the Arcane Pool weapon enhancement online. Natural Magus' priority is to shift into their combat form. This means that the Weapon Magus' priority demands a Swift Action and one Pool point, the Natural Magus' priority demands a spell.

Thus, if we work off the assumption of equal resources and equal dedication, the Weapon Magus uses their Swift for an enhancement and casts a 4th-level spell, to match the Natural Magus. They're now at another +3 . Realistically, probably a +2 and Keen and they wouldn't take Improved Critical; we're...

I will have to disagree a bit on your assumption of natural attacker priorities but that's strictly due to your lack of experience with the natural attack routine. Now taking on your assumption that this all begins inside of full attack range and each magus is built on the same point buy and wealth chassis it would be diffrent.

(Also a Rapier wielding Magus is going to be dex based since rapiers are more of a dex based weapon and need the Weapon finesse feat bringing available feats to the same. AND Haste is not something that can be assumed is running before a battle begins. It's a significant investment to have that active and as short as it lasts there is no way to justify it being on as a pre-buff.)

Combat begins with:
A Swift action Hasted Assault
A Full round action Spellcombat Monstrous Physique (Calikang)
A fullattack with Calikang forms 6 attacks (-1 for casting) +1 from haste.
(IF the Nat build magi bought a AoMF also throw on a spell effect, usually blindness, bestow curse or shocking grasp)
Ending the round with a 5' step back putting them 15' from their opponent (20' if lunge was taken)

This puts both of the 2 magi in roughly the same position save the nat wielder is outside of full attack range and has more attacks and a better average attack bonus and base damage with probably better defense against any opponent who can deal with invisible foes.

Now three important details that your example forgot to address:
1). Natural Attacking Magi are strength based combatants. This means whatever Dex you estimate for the rapier wielder they have too, BUT MPII grants a +4 to that strength for an additional 2 pts to hit and damage. AND they qualify and usually take Power attack which at this level means the same to-hit bonus but 6 more points of damage. That 6 + the 2 from MPII + the 1 from strength 13 means they will always equal or exceed most base DR. With the addition of Eldritch Claws that means the only DR that slows them down Adamantine, Alignment based or Cold Iron. All of which have easy methods of getting past.

2). For the 18,000 GP that the rapier wielder spent on their weapon the Nat wielder could have bought a +2 AoMF (Spell storing, Merciful for Debuff builds, Spell Storing Cruel for hexcrafter builds, or just a fury-born and rock a +5 enhancement bonus against every opponent shortly after the fight starts). AND they'd still have 2,000 GP to spend on anything else they want. They come out ahead on the WBL even if they do buy the AoMF which is Great and recommended but not NEEDED.

3). Natural Builds do not require a 4th level spell, that is simply the level where the best form is available. These builds have viable spells to keep them going for every level. (Stone Fist, Alter Self, Monstrous Physique 1,2,3,4). Anything past 1st level spells gives them 3+ attacks a round while past 2nd level they have 4+ attacks a round.

Now if you really want to examine the difference between these two builds, do not look at the first round of combat since both use that round activating their powers, instead look at the second round.

At this point both builds are ready to start handling the challenges on the same footing . Honestly it's a pointless comparison though. The Rapier wielding, shocking grasp builds are designed for rocket tag and run out of juice quickly while the Natural Weapon Builds are designed for longevity and survivability. They are also designed to avoid drawing the ire of GM's by one hitting every opponent they meet.

Dark Archive

Weirdo wrote:

Let's try some numbers.

Let's assume that a 10th level magus with a +3 rapier is fighting beside a magus in a 6-clawed form (but no AoMF). The claw magus has taken Eldritch Claws as you suggest – the rapier magus instead took Improved Critical. Both are otherwise identical and using Haste, Spell Combat, and Frostbite. Let's assume that the claw magus has a 75% chance to hit with each attack. This means the rapier user has a 90% chance to hit at full BAB with the +3 and their iterative attack will have a 65% chance to hit. For simplicity attack damage only includes base weapon damage + enhancement + spell.

** spoiler omitted **

DPR is 93.8 vs 93.7, virtually identical. Both characters are almost guaranteed (>99.9% chance) to hit at least once, so the target is also fatigued. The claw user has an extra 18K, but the rapier user didn't cast Monstrous Physique, so they have an extra 4th level spell slot. 4th level pearl of power = 16K so I'd call that even. Keep in mind also this is a favourable level for the claw user since they have just gotten access to their 6-armed “king of forms.”

Now, both characters are likely to have a few extra damage bonuses, whether from a Str bonus, elemental property, etc, so let's see how this works with a general “X” where X is total damage from the attack before weapon enhancement:

DPR (natural weapons) = 7*.75X + 7*.05*.75X = 5.5125X
DPR (rapier) = 3*.9(X+3) + .65(X+3)+...

Impressive math output and far beyond my ability to plot but add two more moving parts to this to show the in play effects. Touch AC and strength bonus. At this level the Natural attacker will always be using Accurate strikes against touch AC's to make sure their hit chance exceeds 90% and since these are built around transformation spells they should always have at least a +1 to +3 greater damage bonus from the strength boost over the weapon wielder.

9Yes the weapon wielder benefits from the accurate strikes as well but the increased number of attacks is a significant damage boost).

Dark Archive

kestral287 wrote:

1. As you explicitly pointed to Natural Spell Combat (Bite) as something that would never work without your ruling, pointing out that it does not work without Natural Spell Combat is simply a statement of fact, regardless of the status of rulings regarding hands. You do not Bite with your hands.

2. "Functioning as a hand" and "associated with a hand" are not the same thing. A prehensile tail can also function as a hand with the right feats, but it is not legal for use with Spell Combat.

3. Excellent. Now, if that rule regarding unarmed strikes is true for everybody, explain why it got specific mention as a special ability of the monk? Given that the rule is in the combat section explaining what you can do with an unarmed strike, rather than what it is, it doesn't really help your case... but then we still have the Monk issue.

Really, this is all rules lawyering of the worst sort. An attack associated with a hand doesn't actually use that hand? Really?

You are adding conditions to the ability that don't exist. There is no requirement for it to "Function as a hand" it simply has to be associated with a hand. The Developers have stated this over and over Claws work with Spellcombat, Slams work with Spellcombat and all Unarmed strikes work with spellcombat. Why it works is unimportant, they say it works so it works. Period.

Monks get a special mention because they can do everything everyone else can and more. Normal characters can't use Knees and Elbows with UAS Monks can. Normal characters provoke when making UAS, Monks don't and Normal characters do 1/2 damage with their offhand attacks, monks don't. THAT'S why monks get a specific writeup, they simply do it better.

If you want to play a game where the rules of the world match ours then go play life. DnD/Pathfinder is a simulationist game with different rules and a more flexible meaning of the term WHY.

Dark Archive

Weirdo wrote:

I can't argue my side. I don't have one. I am undecided on how the natural weapons magus stacks up against the manufactured weapon magus. I was just lurking and hoping you'd convince me (I'd really like to try this build!) but I'm noticing some inconsistencies and I can't ignore them because I'm stubborn. It's a character flaw.

A)

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
You are entitled to your opinion however the Faq says what it says.

B) We are agreed that the natural weapons magus has a higher average number of hits in a round. We are not agreed that makes the build "better."

C) I notice that your Transmorgifist build #2 takes Eldritch Claws to bypass DR/magic and DR/silver - at level 9. At that point WBL is 46,000gp and even if you haven't got a +3 rapier you can make one with arcane pool, so why are you spending a feat on getting through less kinds of DR than a +3 weapon does? That's not easier and cheaper.

In terms of value, a rapier also gets the +1 bonus on its free spellstrike attack and any iteratives, so you need more than twice the number of natural weapons for AoMF > rapier. With six arms an AoMF is a better buy than swords - but that doesn't make it less necessary for the build, which was your original assertion. Goal-posts should stay put, thanks.

D) Maybe I'm blind. Bold it for me.

Two Touch Spells wrote:
In general you shift into a Form with multiple natural attacks, say a Gargoyle for example, and then close and use the Frostbite spell. From this point on every attack you can burn an arcane pool point to add your Int bous to your attack bonus for normal weapon damage + 1D6 cold + CL in non-lethal damage and Fatigue as well as Entangle the target(s) because of the Rime Spell metamagic. That is usually enough non-lethal damage to knock most things out in a round and if it lives being entangled lets you 5ft away and it can’t follow you to retaliate. Also each successful hit will
...

Fine I'll spell it out for you as simply as I can. That is an optimization guide designed to squeeze out every advantage possible. None of it is necessary for a functional character, it's designed to show you the limits of what's possible.

As for why it's unnecessary I'll say it again "Melee damage from the natural attacks is unimportant, it's all about hitting the target with the spell effect." If your spells are doing 30 or 40 or 90 points when they hit that makes the 1D4+whatever from the actual weapon a joke.
The reason you choose natural attacks over manufactured attacks is because it's SOOO much easier to get more natural attacks and they all have a higher chance of hitting and discharging the spell.

Here's the best way of looking at it, let's say you do have that rapier +3 and you're hasted and you spell combat to get your frostbite off. Best case you are going to get 4 possible attacks that round with at least one of them having a less then 50% chance to hit. Your +3 rapier is going to add 3D6+9 (19pts of damage on average) to your total damage.
Or you can use natural attacks and get 6 (8 with the same haste and spellcombat) attacks there with all your attacks having an equal chance to hit. At 9th level without the rapier and use the slams the natural attack build gives you an extra 5D6 + 45 (ave 62) pts of damage without spending the cash for the weapon. That's a return of over 3x the damage of the weapon and saving over 18,000GP which you can use to buy more spells, wands, rods and attribute boosting items.
It is overwhelmingly a better return on your investment.

As for the Eldritch claws feat you don't take it to get through the DR, you take it so you can freely attack every type of creature you are likely to encounter. Being treated as magic lets you freely hit incorporeal or creatures that require magic weapons to affect. We don't care about the DR since your spell damage ignores DR.

As for the rest of your post we have no idea what you are asking there.

Dark Archive

kestral287 wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
A). Hand Associated not limited to just hands. UAS strike is explicitly called out as valid but it doesn't require you to use a hand. UAS (kick) is valid for spellcombat since UAS is explicitly declared as valid. If it was limited to hand only then Natural Spell Combat (bite) and prehensile hair would never work.

You are aware that they don't work without Natural Spell Combat, which is a specific rule overriding the limitation, right? Specific beats General, this is old news.

In other news, only Monks and Brawlers can explicitly make unarmed strikes with body parts other than their hands.

No. That is not true and I showed you direct FAQ quotes stating that you do not need Natural Spellcombat for claws, slams or unarmed strikes. The Devs have also directly stated that since prehensile hair functions as a hand it also doesn't need it either.

Now if you do not want to listen to the people who created the game telling you how it works then there's nothing that's going to convince you so I'll just stop trying, it's not worth the effort.

Secondly you are wrong on the unarmed strikes as well.

Unarmed Attacks, Core rulebook, pg 182 wrote:

Striking for damage with punches, kicks, and head butts is much like attacking with a melee weapon,

Monks and Brawlers are allowed to add elbows and knees to this list but ALL characters can make unarmed strikes with Kicks, Headbutts and punches.

Honestly, would you just stop making things up? Your attempts to confuse the actual rules of the game are wearing thin.

Dark Archive

Artemis Moonstar wrote:

Edit (for misinterpreting what you said to me): True.

Regardless, the perception to notice someone effected by something has always been played in my groups as common sense, regardless.

Common sense has nothing to do with a world where people can stop time with a word and tell the laws of physics to take a hike.

Follow the rules of this world as they have been laid out by the game rules and accept that common sense here is more flexible then in our world.

Dark Archive

Weirdo wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

OK Wierdo, at this point you are obviously not reading the clear cut rules quotes provided and just making things up.

...
Now if you wish to continue in this discussion you should probably read what you are replying to first.

Take your own advice.

A) UAS are normally full-body weapons and can be delivered with any body part (general rule), but when using Spell Combat you must use hand-associated weapons (specific rule). The FAQ allowing UAS with spell combat still requires that the attack be hand-associated, which means a punch, not an elbow or kick.

** spoiler omitted **

B) Your argument was that a claw/claw/bite user has a higher chance to deliver a spell because your third attack is at full BAB compared to an iterative attack. While I agree this is true, I was pointing out (1) the difference is only meaningful with multi-touch spells (2) there are trade-offs which you are not mentioning. Both of these are important points for the OP when considering how effective a claw/claw/bite build will be.

C) Magic weapons aren't just about weapon damage. They also increase to-hit, help you overcome DR, and can add properties like Keen or Holy. The former amplifies the rapier magus' crit advantage and the latter is very useful in certain campaigns. Rapier magi also derive much of their damage from spells and they still want magic weapons.

D) Your guide doesn't mention using a wand or spell scar to pull off the Frostbite + Chill Touch combo, so you can hardly fault me for failing to read your mind and anticipate...

A). Hand Associated not limited to just hands. UAS strike is explicitly called out as valid but it doesn't require you to use a hand. UAS (kick) is valid for spellcombat since UAS is explicitly declared as valid. If it was limited to hand only then Natural Spell Combat (bite) and prehensile hair would never work.

B). Good, we agree that natural attacks are better as long as you don't use sub-optimal spells that ignore what the build is designed to do.

C). Everything that you are referring to applies to natural attacks as well and depending on your build is easier and/or cheaper to do with natural attack. A +1 enchant on a AoMF for 6 natural attacks (calikang form) cost 667gp per weapon as opposed to the 2300+ for that +1 rapier. Honestly once you get past 2 natural attacks it's cheaper to have Magic natural weapons then manufactured weapons. Throw on the fact that natural enchants don't require a base +1 to enchant ALL of them makes the higher bonus enchants an order of magnitude cheaper.

D). That's a reading comprehension fail on your part since all of that is written into the guide. Read it again.

At this point you sound like you are more invested in proving my argument wrong then proving your argument right. Don't argue with me on why I'm wrong, show everyone else why you are right, you'll do better going that way.

Dark Archive

Standard actions can only be done on the characters turn and since Grave touch is a standard action it can't be done as an AoO.

Option 3 is the only legal choice.

Dark Archive

Malag wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

D). Chill touch & Frost bite. Again you are showing you aren't reading what you are replying to. The Chll touch came from a wand/staff/spellscar which is NOT considered casting a spell and doesn't cause the Frostbite to dissipate.

Faq wrote:
Items as Spells: Does using a potion, scroll, staff, or wand count as "casting a spell" for purposes of feats and special abilities like Augment Summoning, Spell Focus, an evoker's ability to do extra damage with evocation
...

I am not gonna further clog the topic about "personal opinions" about natural attacking magus, but your D point is very very unlikely correct. The FAQ you quoted explains that feats and special abilities do not effect spells stored inside items which makes sense but it does not state that you can have multiple touch spells active at any such time.

Please don't spread incorrect information. If you can further dispute, go ahead, but include topics or designer responses in it otherwise you are fishing in muddy waters.

Adam

You are entitled to your opinion however the Faq says what it says. The only thing that causes you to lose a held spell is if you CAST another spell. Period.

Using a wand, staff, scroll or rod does not count as casting a spell so does not cause you to lose any charges. Now retrieving one of these items will probably cause you to discharge one of your charges but that's what Weaponwand and Spell Scar are there to prevent.

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