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Father Jackal

Mathwei ap Niall's page

Goblin Squad Member. FullStarFullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,495 posts (2,505 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 Pathfinder Society characters.


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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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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?

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

Dark Archive

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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That Other Guy wrote:

Thanks for the responses.

Mathwei, your points; I checked them. THEY ARE SO VALID. The bonus spells loss really poops on the archetype IMO...

I think I'm going to work towards a reach witch build, like Brewer's Reach Cleric, but only with hexing and Glaive coup de grace's...

Evil Eye, Cackle, 5 foot Step back, Combat Reflexes, shimmy shimmy shimmy 'till the break of dawn YEEEEAAA

Regardless,
One thing remains:

Any thoughts about Spell Hex?

Spell Hex is awesome and I've been singing it's praises since it was introduced. Grep Hex vulnerability and watch everything every GM cry at your awesome Fortune, Healing, Slumber everything as often as you want.

Dark Archive

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

A). Nowhere and I mean NOWHERE does anything state that adding an UAS replace a mainhand attack. UAS are explicitly called out as being valid spellcombat weapon choices and don't impact the mainhands attacks at all. UAS strikes are full body weapons, this has been stated over and over agin. It CAN be a punch, or a kick or elbow or whatever other choice you want. IT specifically allows you to break the Hand requirement by the definition of the attack.

B). I never said anything about the highest Bab attacks. I Specifically said the iterative attacks. EVERY example I wrote only addressed the later attacks with the lower attack bonus. Did you skip reading that part?

C). AoMF is a Nice addition for a Nat Weapon Magus but it is not a necessary one. The only use a magus has for the AoMF is if they want a spell storing strike, no other enchant is needed. Here's the simple fact that you keep ignoring, Nat weapon Magi don't care about weapon damage. It's unimportant to them. You use natural weapons for the faster access to extra attacks and the better attack bonus on all those attacks. All the real damage comes from the spells you are channeling which massively dwarfs the weapon damage from the nat attacks. If you want to scrape every single point of damage you can then go ahead and buy the amulet an take power attack, etc. but end of the day the spells ill easily do 8x as much damage for a fraction of the work.

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 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.

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

Dark Archive

Adhesive Spittle is a good spell hex vulnerability is really a better choice.
Hex vulnerability allows you to do something that the devs tried very hard to kill, keeping Fortune on your party for as long as you want.

Hex vulnerability lets you drop a fortune on your party member up to 4 times a day instead of the measly once that it currently does.
That alone makes it awesome but through on extra uses of the healing hex, Major Healing and Ice Tomb/Agony really makes it the best option out there.

Dark Archive

Well then lets directly address your points then.

Quote:
Quote:
Anytime a Caster touches anything other than his weapon with a touch spell active the spell goes off. Swinging a claw and hitting the target counts as touching and triggers the spell.
Hitting something with a claw certainly discharges the spell, but without spellstrike hitting a target with a claw requires an attack action. Which means you cannot NORMALLY (without spellstrike, quicken, or some other exception) deliver a touch spell using a natural weapon in the same round as you cast the touch spell. Which is exactly what the OP and Artoo were saying, so your objection was unfair and inaccurate.

Incorrect. Casting ANY touch spell grants you a free action to use it. That has nothing to do with spellstrike, quicken or anything else.

Quote:

Touch Spells in Combat

Many spells have a range of touch. To use these spells, you cast the spell and then touch the subject. In the same round that you cast the spell, you may also touch (or attempt to touch) as a free action. You may take your move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. You can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on yourself, but to touch an opponent, you must succeed on an attack roll.

Quote:

I'm not forgetting it. But you also get that extra attack if you are using a manufactured weapon. Again, the specific thing I'm objecting to is:

Quote:

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

A magus using spellcombat can attack with ALL their hand based weapons

You can't spell combat with all your hand based weapons because you can't spell combat with your off-hand claw. The usual advantage of claws is that you get two attacks at full BAB, but when using spell combat you lose one of those attacks. That means that spell combat with claws, assuming you have only two arms, is not an improvement over spell combat with a manufactured weapon in your main hand. In fact the claw is worse at BAB +6 or higher. Using Monstrous Physique to turn into something with multiple arms resolves this issue, but that doesn't come into play until high levels.

And you are essentially wrong here as well. Yes, a claw wielder technically gives up one hand to use spellcombat which would cost one attack. But since spell combat with a touch spell gives you an extra attack he's back up to 2 attacks a round. Yes a manufactured weapon wielder with a BaB over 6 can get a 3rd attack but that attack will be at a -7 to hit and will usually miss. However the natural weapon wielder can invest in a Natural Spellcombat arcana and add another weapon into the rotation or simply cast a spell granting a form with extra claw/slam attacks OR simply use an unarmed strike. (The UAS does require burning two feats to do it safely without to extreme a penalty but still an option)

Add to this that the Natural Weapon wielder will almost always have a better to-hit chance then the weapon wielder for their extra attacks usually makes it a better option.

For example a 8th level rapier wielding magus would have a attack routine of +4/+4/-1 (before stat/magic adjustment) vs. the identical Natural weapon magus with a +4/+4/+4 with a claw/claw/(bite, Slam, gore, etc.)
Since the most important thing is to connect with the target to discharge the spell the natural weapon wielder has a superior chance to do that.

I think the big issue here is in your understanding of what an off-hand is. It's not a real term, there is no off-hand in spell combat, there is only "the other hand". It's just the hand that is occupied with casting the spell, it doesn't impact anything else, it's just busy during this round is all.

Overall between levels 1-8 the natural weapon wielder will be better then the weapon wielder since it has the same or more attacks each round. Once the Weapon wielder gets an iterative attack at 8th it starts to pull ahead IF the nat weapon wielder doesn't find a way to add another attack to their rotation. If they do they will rapidly shoot ahead of the weapon wielder since they will ALWAYS have a better chance to hit with their additional attacks. The will also have significantly more cash since they don't ever need to buy, improve or replace a weapon.
Eventually they will probably buy an AoMF but it's not a mandatory purchase like a magical weapon is for your weapon wielder. Plus the ability to wield a rod/wand/staff while doing spellcombat and still being able to attack that round is a small but very powerful advantage.
Normal Magi cannot use any of these during spellcombat since both of their hands are full and drawing/sheathing/picking up a weapon takes an action which they don't have. Natural wielders simply drop the rod and attack.

End of the day, Natural weapon Magi have a clear edge in attack bonus, number of attacks and utility over weapon wielders. They have a few different drains on their resources but the flexibility and potency more than make up for it.

Dark Archive

Hazrond wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Int is your most important stat, it controls how powerful ALL of your attacks are (Int gives you spells which is where 80% of all your damage comes from), it controls your defenses (it powers you shield spell, your mirror image, your invisibility, etc.) and if you want it can be the source of all your melee direct damage as well (Hair Hex, Pool Strike, Flamboyant Arcana).

EVERYTHING is secondary to that stat since it powers everything a magi can do.

about that, i have mentioned several times now that i am actually going to be using the Eldritch Scion archetype for this magus, which switches everything from Int to Cha

Also, thanks for the help, the stuff you have posted has been quite helpful so far :)

Yes, I know you mentioned it I'm just trying to convince you not to do it.

It's a bad archetype and it costs you more than it gives you.

You're spells known drops to nearly nothing (bard spells known, really?), you have to burn your swift actions AND arcane pool points to be able to spellcombat and you don't get the ability to improve your weapons until 4th level.
You can't use your arcana when you want to since your swift action is used every 2 rounds just to be able to do the main schtick your class is designed around. Add to that you are going to be burning through your pool points 2 or 3 times faster than every other Magus type in the game.
Finally you are giving up all your extra skill points from having a high Int score. Remember Int is still used for skill points AND skill modifiers.
Playing this is going to really destroy your action economy and you are going to hate trying to juggle everything you have to do just to function.

This archetype is really, really bad and is a trap option don't do it.

Dark Archive

Secret Wizard wrote:
Quote:
5) Not unless you learned how to spellstrike from the magus class. A dip in monk would make the hair damage go up, since a monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon.

This is incorrect. The fact that unarmed strike is treated as a manufactured and natural weapon does not mean it increases the damage of all manu/natural weapons.

That being said:

1. Prehensile Hair is not worth it. Having high Intelligence is not that interesting for this build. Any damaging potential is sure to fall off later, as your BAB fails to climb and your attribute investment goes to CON.
If you want to make a dark gish, you probably want to go Hexcrafter Magus with crazy INT, straight no dips.

2. If you MUST dip, you could do worse than starting out as an Arcanist, perhaps a Black Blade one.

This is not correct.

The hair damage would go up if you dipped monk AND took the feral combat feat. That would bump your damage up to 1D6. It's not worth it but it does work.

Second your Hair Hex would be getting it's damage from your Con bonus not your Int bonus, SWD specifically changes that. That COULD be worthwhile after a certain level but it makes your character burn their first standard action each feat activating their weapon. Can work with a AoO build but takes some work to do it.

For the OP I personally don't like the SWD archetype. It trades away a LOT of the innate power of a Witch for very little in return. Yes it gives a good boost to your HP's and Fort save but you lose all your bonus spells, the action economy of having a familiar, and makes you wait until second level before you actually get the hex class ability. The last one really strangles you on putting together your feats and hex abilities.

Overall this is an archetype that's trying to force a pure caster into melee range which is the LAST place they should be. You don't get anything to help you cast in that range and your Int is low so casting defensively is almost impossible, you lack most of the defensive/offensive spells so you can't blast from a distance or buff for melee combat. There aren't many offensive hexes so you are forced to use weapons (which you aren't proficient in). You have Hit points, and that's really all you get from this archetype

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claudekennilol wrote:
Weirdo wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

FIRST you don't need natural spellcombat for claws, those are already hand based weapons so automatically work with spellcombat/spellstrike. Natural spellcombat is for natural attacks that aren't hand based (like Bites, Gores, Pincers, etc.) As for it only allowing you 1 natural attack a round, well that's just completely wrong.

A magus using spellcombat can attack with ALL their hand based weapons as well as any natural attack they defined with natural spell combat.

Not quite. Spell combat requires that you wield a spell in your off hand, which means you can only use one of your hand based weapons. You can't spell combat with two daggers, you can't spell combat with two claws.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
FOURTH, some of you really need to re-read the rules for touch spells. ANY offensive touch spell allows you to cast then move and attack. Base rules allow you to swap that with a natural attack. Natural Weapon Magi don't even need spellstrike at all as long as they focus on just their natural weapons.

It's my understanding that delivering a touch spell through a natural weapon normally (without spellstrike) requires you to be holding the charge from a previous round, and that the free touch you get in the first round (when you can cast as a standard, move, and deliver as a free action) only works for a touch.

** spoiler omitted **...

Weirdo is right, Mathwei is only spewing half-truths. For spell combat one hand is wielding a weapon the other is wielding a spell. You cannot do claw (main), claw (off), spell + claw (main) in a single turn.

Also, casting a touch spell in combat gives you a free touch attack. You can also deliver touch spells via natural attacks, but casting a touch spell does not give you a free natural attack. The only exception is if you're a magus--then you can use a natural attack. Normally you have to wait til following rounds to deliver spells with natural attacks.

This is even plainly...

OK, I see where the issue is, You haven't kept up with the faq updates on spellcombat and Magi. Lets address the points where you are mistaken.

A). Spellcombat doesn't restrict you to only attacking with your main hand. Spellcombat was errata'd to function as a full attack action here:

Spellcombat action type:
Does spell combat count as making a full attack action for the purpose of haste and other effects?

Yes (revised 9/9/13) This is a revised ruling about how haste interacts with effects that are essentially a full attack, even though the creature isn't specifically using the full attack action (as required by haste). The earlier ruling did not allow the extra attack from haste when using spell combat.


Since it is considered a full attack action you get to make ALL of your legal attacks possible that round as long as the fulfil the requirement of being a hand based attack or have been flagged as one by the natural spellcombat arcana.

B). You do not need to take natural spellcombat for Claws or Slam attacks, ever. Those natural weapons have been officially stated as working with spellcombat normally and don't need any extra rules to channel the spell..

spellcombat weapons faq:
When using spell combat, can the weapon in my other hand be an unarmed strike or a natural weapon?

Yes, so long as the weapon is a light or one-handed melee weapon and is associated with that hand. For example, unarmed strikes, claws, and slams are light melee weapons associated with a hand, and therefore are valid for use with spell combat. A tail slap is not associated with a hand, and therefore is not valid for use with spell combat.

C). Using touch spells through natural attacks can be done the same round they are cast. This is addressed in the spellstrike rules you just quoted.

Quote:
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.

See where it says ANY weapon? As the previous faq quote just directly said that all natural attacks are light, 1-handed weapons that makes them a valid choice for spellstrike allowing you to use any of them as a delivery method for that spell.

I have multiple faq posts showing how these rules work. There's also about a dozen direct Developer quotes agreeing with my explanation on how this works as well. Now if you have anything to show that your ideas are correct and mine is wrong I'd be happy to see them.

@Hazrond
Before you go much further into building your Magus I'm going to give you some advice that should really hammer home what a Magi is.

"Magi are casters who know how to fight, not fighters who can cast."

Think on that for a bit, Magi can't really wear real armor for most of the game, have rogue Hit Points, Rogue Base attack bonus (but worse since they suffer a -2 to hit on all their best attacks), Cleric saves and Wizard stat requirements. They are not frontline fighters or meatshields. Trying to build a basic magus like a fighter means you are going to be hurting for most of the game.
Int is your most important stat, it controls how powerful ALL of your attacks are (Int gives you spells which is where 80% of all your damage comes from), it controls your defenses (it powers you shield spell, your mirror image, your invisibility, etc.) and if you want it can be the source of all your melee direct damage as well (Hair Hex, Pool Strike, Flamboyant Arcana).
EVERYTHING is secondary to that stat since it powers everything a magi can do.
Just remember, a Magi who tries to fight without spells is just a second rate rogue without sneak attack, and we all know how effective they are.

Dark Archive

Weirdo wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

FIRST you don't need natural spellcombat for claws, those are already hand based weapons so automatically work with spellcombat/spellstrike. Natural spellcombat is for natural attacks that aren't hand based (like Bites, Gores, Pincers, etc.) As for it only allowing you 1 natural attack a round, well that's just completely wrong.

A magus using spellcombat can attack with ALL their hand based weapons as well as any natural attack they defined with natural spell combat.

Not quite. Spell combat requires that you wield a spell in your off hand, which means you can only use one of your hand based weapons. You can't spell combat with two daggers, you can't spell combat with two claws.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
FOURTH, some of you really need to re-read the rules for touch spells. ANY offensive touch spell allows you to cast then move and attack. Base rules allow you to swap that with a natural attack. Natural Weapon Magi don't even need spellstrike at all as long as they focus on just their natural weapons.

It's my understanding that delivering a touch spell through a natural weapon normally (without spellstrike) requires you to be holding the charge from a previous round, and that the free touch you get in the first round (when you can cast as a standard, move, and deliver as a free action) only works for a touch.

** spoiler omitted **...

Don't forget casting a touch spell with spell combat grants you an extra attack with your hand. You give up 1 of your hand based attacks but get to make 2 an extra attack with the other. It's pretty much a wash when it comes to natural attacks.

.
For holding a touch spell that quote comes into effect BUT there is another errata that makes this a non issue.
faq update wrote:

Can a magus use spellstrike to cast a touch spell, move, and make a melee attack with a weapon to deliver the touch spell, all in the same round?

Yes. Other than deploying the spell with a melee weapon attack instead of a melee touch attack, the magus spellstrike ability doesn’t change the normal rules for using touch spells in combat. So, just like casting a touch spell, a magus could use spellstrike to cast a touch spell, take a move toward an enemy, then (as a free action) make a melee attack with his weapon to deliver the spell.

On a related topic, the magus touching his held weapon doesn’t count as “touching anything or anyone” when determining if he discharges the spell. A magus could even use the spellstrike ability, miss with his melee attack to deliver the spell, be disarmed by an opponent (or drop the weapon voluntarily, for whatever reason), and still be holding the charge in his hand, just like a normal spellcaster. Furthermore, the weaponless magus could pick up a weapon (even that same weapon) with that hand without automatically discharging the spell, and then attempt to use the weapon to deliver the spell. However, if the magus touches anything other than a weapon with that hand (such as retrieving a potion), that discharges the spell as normal

Anytime a Caster touches anything other than his weapon with a touch spell active the spell goes off. Swinging a claw and hitting the target counts as touching and triggers the spell.

Natural weapon builds are AWESOME for any caster focused on touch spells, Magi just have a LOT of advantages to make it extra awesome.

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kestral287 wrote:

I had the long version a few posts above, but the biggest one is that he never takes Natural Spell Combat, which makes some of his forms nigh-useless when using Spell Combat, though most are just "marginally less useful". Calikang works out fine (probably, see below), which is the most useful of them, so it's not all bad.

Second problem is that Spell Combat specifies singular weapons in a few places. How this pans out, then, is dependent on the GM and how they feel about four-armed characters. It could be ruled, by the letter of the rules, that Spell Combat specifying a singular weapon means you would require another dose of Natural Spell Combat to use additional attacks with it, even if you have four or more hands with natural weapons. I don't think I would rule it that way... but I'm not your GM.

Third problem is that Enforcer, part of the Frostbite setup, says that when you deal nonlethal damage with a weapon its effect activates. The standard method of activating it is with Frostbite, which is a spell that does nonlethal damage. It's delivered through a weapon, yes, but the actual nonlethal damage is coming from a spell. Again-- it's something to ask your GM about.

I'm also not a fan of a number of the Arcana/Hex choices but that's a personal thing. It's a very different fighting style from my own Hexcrafter, but that one is built around Unarmed Strikes and Hex Strike.

The reason natural spell combat was never taken is A). this is an old build from before that was available and B). it was never needed since most all your attacks are using hands which don't need that Arcana. That arcana is only required to use the natural attacks the round the spell is cast AND you are using non-hand based natural weapons.

As for the enforcer question it's a non-issue. Either your GM will allow it as is or you'll burn 4,000GP for an AoMF with the Merciful enchant and go from there (I spend 8,000 to make a +2 amulet for merciful & spell storing myself but that's not a significant amount of money).

Finally Spell combat has ALWAYS stated that you get to make all your attacks with your other hand no matter how many hands you have.

Faq post wrote:

When using spell combat, can the weapon in my other hand be an unarmed strike or a natural weapon?

Yes, so long as the weapon is a light or one-handed melee weapon and is associated with that hand. For example, unarmed strikes, claws, and slams are light melee weapons associated with a hand, and therefore are valid for use with spell combat. A tail slap is not associated with a hand, and therefore is not valid for use with spell combat.

That's why the calikang is the king of forms for Magi, it has 6 hands. You give up 1 hand to cast the spell but since spell combat gives you an extra attack (when casting touch spells) one of your other hands gets to attack twice.

Also I made a mistake on the Defiler part of that post. It's not double INT triple Power, it's 4.5x INT and 9 times power attack bonus. It's minimum damage before adding in spell damage and AoMF is well over 100 damage a round, through on the spell damage and AoMF effect and it's usually around 200 pt's of damage on average.

@kestral, any build that actually makes Unarmed strike/hex strike worthwhile interests me. I have never been able to make that combo worthwhile no matter how I've crunched it. I'm interested in how you've built it to be functional, care to share?

Dark Archive

Long commutes and broken links.

Here's te Hexcrafter Optimization guide with the 3 most effective natural attack builds (Last 5 pages).

Warlock- The complete guide for dealing with the devil

But for those who choose not to go through the whole guide here is one of the more straightforward builds.

Basic Nat weapon Magus:

This Hexcrafter is mostly oriented on Melee damage via using Magic to acquire Natural Attacks to maximize his channeled touch spells. This build works best as a standard strength based hexcrafter since his focus is on using his natural attacks to deliver his spells this is the least weapon focused Hexcrafter out there and should be avoided by the Staff Magus and Blade Bound archetypes.

Half-Orc & Half-Elf make the best normal races for this build (Strength based Tieflings are second place due to not being able to use enlarge person spells but that's not a MAJOR deal and Tengu are best for any game not expected to get past 7th level).

Trait: Magical Lineage (Frostbite), Wayang Spell hunter (shocking grasp)
1- Arcane pool, cantrips, spell combat, Rime Spell
2- Spellstrike
3- Arcana: Arcane Accuracy, Enforcer
4- Hex Magus: Prehensile Hair
5- Bonus Feat: Combat Expertise; Power Attack
6- Hex Arcana: Flight
7-Knowledge Pool, Medium Armor, Intensify Spell
8-Improved Spell Combat
9-Arcana-Hasted Assault, Eldritch Claws
10-Fighter Training
11- Spell Recall, Extra Arcana – Accurate Strikes
12- Hex Arcana- Ice Tomb
13- Heavy Armor, Quicken Spell
14 Greater Spell Combat
15- Spell Perfection, Arcana – Hex: Retribution
16- Counterstrike
17- Extra Arcana – Accursed Strike (Use Bestow Curse:Amnesia)
18- Hex Arcana- Summon Spirit
19- Greater Spell Access, <undecided>
20- True Magus

How it Plays:

From 1st through 4th levels this build focuses on making use of the Stonefist/FrostBite spell combo to maximize the number of charges and melee damage the Magi can dish out each round. (You’ll be averaging 2D6 +str +level each hit and can routinely get 2-3 attacks a round by 4th level)

From 4th till 7th level you’ll be dedicated to using the Alter Self spell to assume the form of a Trogolodyte. This gives you 3 natural attacks a round (4 with spell-combat) and lets’ you dish out a significant amount of damage each round and can easily last for more than 1 combat.

From 7th through 10th level you’ll be using the monstrous Humanoid I spell to assume the shape of either the Four-Armed Sahuagin Mutant (5 attacks & darkvision), the Charda (Five attacks, swim but Small sized), the regular Gargoyle (4 natural attacks, Darkvison & Flight) or the Witchwyrd (also 4 nat attacks & Darkvision). Choose which one based on your specific encounter needs.

From 10th on you'll be focused on just using the Monstrous Humanoid II spell to assume the Calikang form as much as possible (or when space is an issue using the Four-Armed Sahuagin Mutant or Charda form) pending new monstrous forms being introduced since nothing else really comes close to it in terms of damage output, maneuverability and special abilities.
Your weapon will spend most of its time hanging from your hip so don’t invest much cash into it instead spend your funds on Amulet’s of Might Fist instead (I recommend at least 2 of them, swapping based on need).

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 round 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 allow you to Intimidate the target for the Shaken condition.
At higher levels You’ll replace the Arcane Accuracy with Accurate Strikes to resolve all your attacks against Touch AC while power attacking and using your AoMF to drop an Intensified Shocking Grasp on each target you’re fighting. At this point you should have 2 touch spells running for each attack (Frostbite & Chill Touch from wand) stacking with your regular weapon damage and the elemental effect from your AoMF. On average you should be doing 4D6 +str +level +PA bonus on 6-8 attacks each round all at full Bab against touch AC.

Nothing should live through any full attack you unleash.

This is the basic Hexcrafter natural build and is the most basic and least damag focused of the three and routinely hits for 4D6 +str +level +PA bonus on 6-8 attacks each round all at full Bab against touch AC.
That averages out to 198-264 damage a round while entangling and fatiguing the target before adding in the spike damage/effect from whatever spell the Magus has decided to load into the AoMF.

If you choose to go to the other end of the spectrum of Natural Weapon Magus builds then you run into the Defiler builds who who on any single target fight can one round any opponent in the game no matter what they are. That's a cheesy build but auto grapple builds that at 7th level can inflict Grappled, Staggered, Fatigued, Entangled, Prone and Shaken onto a target with a single standard action while doing Double INT bonus in damage and triple power attack bonus. Not one I advise players to use but legal and very effective when needed.

Dark Archive

kestral287 wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Finally, Natural attack based magi (hexcrafters especially) are frighteningly powerful and dangerous combatants.

I, and probably the original poster, would love to see you support that with a build.

How about an optimization guide built around it?

We have 3 separate natural attack builds in this one and each one absolutely destroys any single target in one round and most groups of 4 opponents or less in under 3 rounds.

Dark Archive

Ok, let's clarify several of the really, really bad misconceptions and mistakes here.

FIRST you don't need natural spellcombat for claws, those are already hand based weapons so automatically work with spellcombat/spellstrike. Natural spellcombat is for natural attacks that aren't hand based (like Bites, Gores, Pincers, etc.) As for it only allowing you 1 natural attack a round, well that's just completely wrong.
A magus using spellcombat can attack with ALL their hand based weapons as well as any natural attack they defined with natural spell combat.

SECOND, Arcane pool CAN enhance your natural attacks but only one of them at a time. ie. A claw or A bite. It can be done but usually it's a waste for time. Save those pool points for use with better arcana like arcane accuracy, accurate strike and hasted assault.

THIRD, yes, Natural attack builds are strength based but Magi are spellcasters first and foremost. The weapon (whether melee, ranged or natural) are strictly secondary to that. The weapons are a method of delivering spells on your target as quick and hard as possible and natural attack builds are the best at that. Intelligence is a Magi's primary stat, all their damage comes from that stat and if built properly it also controls their to-hit chance. Any strength score of 13 is usually a waste.
Focus your attention on Chill Touch, Frostbite, etc. and leave the Shocking grasp spam for later. Multi-use touch spells will do far more damage and grant better secondary effects more efficiently then any shocking grasp build.

FOURTH, some of you really need to re-read the rules for touch spells. ANY offensive touch spell allows you to cast then move and attack. Base rules allow you to swap that with a natural attack. Natural Weapon Magi don't even need spellstrike at all as long as they focus on just their natural weapons.

Finally, Natural attack based magi (hexcrafters especially) are frighteningly powerful and dangerous combatants. Focusing on natural based weapons massively increases their flexibility, gives them better debuff crowd control abilities then normal magi and lets them fill their spell slots with far more varied and situational spells making them more of a jack of all trade

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Cuup wrote:

I can't find any RAW on this...If I create a creature using Shadow Conjuration in a room with 4 enemies, and 2 of them make the saves to disbelieve, am I aware of this fact? Do I inherently know if a creature believes/disbelieves my Shadow Conjurations? Strategically speaking, I would want to target the enemies who would be most effected by the spell.

The closest thing I can think of for how to handle this is making a Sense Motive check vs. a flat DC to judge a creature's reaction to the illusions, unless a creature was purposely pretending to believe they were real, in which case we'd make opposed Sense Motive/Bluff checks. Can anyone shed some light on this, please?

You always know when someone makes a save against your targeted spells but since you are not targeting the opponent then no you do not sense that they made the save.

magic chapter wrote:


Succeeding on a Saving Throw

A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell, you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.

Artemis, No, as far as observation goes if you fail the save you can't determine it that way. Either you make the save and see through it or you don't and everything is perceived exactly as if it were real.

Dark Archive ***

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Jiggy wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
a good GM needs to feel confident in that they are making the right call
Why?

Because feeling confident in yourself and what you are doing matters. Nothing is more immersion-breaking in a game as a GM who doesn't feel comfortable in what they are doing. A GM who is unsure of what's going on has serious problems keeping the story flowing and track of everything that's happening in the game.

It's like the new guy at the office who has no idea of what processes or tools the team has or is using and is lost in every meeting. That is intensely uncomfortable and really does not inspire respect or confidence from the rest of those at the table.

Quote:


What gets hurt if you instead trust the players to make the right call for you, in the areas in which you're uninformed?

Speaking of trusting players to make the right call...

Quote:
Trusting your players is not the issue, they can be 100% honest and do everything above board but you not knowing or understanding how any of this works...

"I believe you're not cheating" is only half of what "trust" means, and frankly, it's the easy half. I think most GMs act on the assumption that no one is cheating until they encounter evidence to suggest otherwise.

Then there's the other half of trust: "I believe enough in your competence that I'll let you handle it." This is the bigger part of trust, and the one that I think way too few GMs are willing to engage in.

You say that trusting your players is not the issue. But if you're not willing to let THEM tell YOU how something works, if you're not comfortable with character options unless you know them well enough yourself that you'll be able to spot any errors, then you do not trust your players.

It's not about cheating or needing to be in control, those are immaterial to this. What we are all talking about is not us trusting the players, it's about inspiring trust FROM the players.

We want to run a good game and give the players a chance to use their characters how they want to use them but without knowing what that is how can we do it?
You say trust the players to handle it but I say can you tell a story that lets everyone have their moment in the spotlight if you don't know where to point that light?
A GM NEEDS to know what a character can do so they can give them a chance to do it. Not knowing the rules for those characters doesn't let you know how to make those moments happen.
Ignoring what makes a character/class/build special is like having a party of dedicated killing machines and putting them in a all politics/RP adventure. You run a game around the players game style and that's really hard to do if you don't understand what that style is.

Quote:

Unless you can gauge what is and isn't a challenge or whether a party can or cannot overcome a challenge based on their abilities you are either going to have a cakewalk session or a frustrating slog.

No one wants either option so a good GM studies and learns the new rules and then the next book comes out with even more crazy new rules that conflict with other older rules and you just want to scream.

Well, there's part of your problem: you mistakenly think that part of the GM's role is to produce a specific type of experience with a specific challenge level.

If so, you're wrong.

Your role is to present the setting, then step back and see what happens when the PCs are added to the equation. Maybe they lack crucial thing X and struggle, or maybe they have perfect solution Y and succeed with ease, but either way they're getting the chance to help tell the story. If you try to enforce a certain difficulty level instead of letting it be a product of setting plus characters, you've stolen something precious from the players.

I can't speak for everyone, but I loathe tables where I realize the difficulty is always going to be approximately X no matter what abilities I do or don't have. At that point, I'm just watching a bad movie disguised as a roleplaying game.

I have to disagree with this, you are wrong here.

Your job as a GM is to present a fun, involving experience where each player gets to use their character to explore, have fun and overcome a series of interesting and DO-ABLE challenges. It should take into account what the party can and cannot do and should give each of them a chance to contribute. The players are the stars and should be treated as such. If you as a GM don't know what one of your stars can do its impossible to set the stage for them to do it.
Example: If you have a player who is a dedicated trap solver as one of their main abilities and you never put a trap in the game that's that's bad but not knowing what a trap IS is far worse.
That's what we are talking about here, if we don't know what the characters CAN do then how can we ever give them the chance to actually do it?

Quote:

But really the worst thing is nearly ALL of the new material is all about giving players more and better options while really giving the GM next to nothing to challenge those options with.

This is one of the most disturbing GM comments I've read in a long time. I've sometimes suspected that this or that GM had nasty "GM vs Players" attitude, but to have someone literally just come right out and complain that they're losing the arms race... Wow.

That is not what we said, we said Challenge not Compete.

No one enjoys playing a game where Bob the almighty steam rolls over everything and never takes damage or even has the hint of risk. That's boring and those games fall apart, quickly. The goal is for it to be exciting, fun and require some expenditure of resources. If the party can defeat/bypass/overcome every obstacle in their way naked with a stick they found outside then it's no fun for anyone.
Players who use these options want to actually USE them and when everything they run into is instantly destroyed by the basics of their build that is incredibly frustrating for the Player.
THAT'S what we are talking about, PC's power level has reason so drastically because of the glut of options that what is supposed to be a challenging encounter for the party isn't even a speedbump for ONE of them. One of my worst PFS examples was literally player A said wait here at the beginning of the scenario and walked straight through the dungeon to the boss (one shotting everything on the way) and killed it in 1 hit.This took all of 15 minutes. The downside was 2 of the other players admitting they could have done it faster. This is not fun or interesting.

Everything Paizo has released this last 1-2 years has been about increasing PC's options but nothing to actually make those options necessary. There needs to be something appropriate to use those options against.

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dwayne germaine wrote:

I can definitely empathize with what the OP is feeling. I'm encountering tables with over half the characters coming from the ACG, using combinations of rules that seem overly powerful to me. We don't really have time for me to track down all the rules they are using to find out if they are misinterperating something, It would take way too much time. Stores close, people have jobs in the morning to go to, etc...

So the party walks through the scenario, I feel like I didn't do a good job as a GM because there was no challenge, some players feel like their time was wasted because they were mostly just spectators.

I'm actually worried that a lot of the drop off of people willing to GM in our area is because of this. I don't know that it is, but from conversations I have had with other GMs I strongly suspect that it is a factor. I know I'm considering not GMing PFS anymore, and its directly related to the ACG, I haven't even seen anything from Occult Adventures yet.

As one of the Drop out GM's THIS right here is a big part of it but not all.

Mostly it's a confidence thing, a good GM needs to feel confident in that they are making the right call when running a game and this massive rules glut is making that a lot harder. When you sit down at a table planning on providing half a dozen people a good time and realize you have no idea how the majority of the classes, powers, rules, etc. for your players work is really shaking to that sense of confidence.

Trusting your players is not the issue, they can be 100% honest and do everything above board but you not knowing or understanding how any of this works really does make it a LOT harder to provide an enjoyable challenging experience. Unless you can gauge what is and isn't a challenge or whether a party can or cannot overcome a challenge based on their abilities you are either going to have a cakewalk session or a frustrating slog.
No one wants either option so a good GM studies and learns the new rules and then the next book comes out with even more crazy new rules that conflict with other older rules and you just want to scream.

But really the worst thing is nearly ALL of the new material is all about giving players more and better options while really giving the GM next to nothing to challenge those options with. How many coordinators have had to just stop scheduling season 0-1 (and sometimes season 2) stuff simply because the players will just waltz over it in 45 minutes and ask is that it?

Finally, and this is the big one, some GM's just really don't like the new options. They find them overly complicated, powerful or just distasteful and the only option they have is to suck it up and watch it drain their fun out of the hobby or walk away and only do home games and ban huge swaths of material.
I enjoyed PFS for a long time but had to walk away, it just stopped being fun any more.

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And what good do you see coming from those hexes at any level?
Ward can't be used on the witch and doesn't stack with any other resistance bonus (cloaks) or deflection Bonuses (rings of Protection or most defensive spells).
Fortune eats your move action every round of the day from the moment you use it.

What do you actually expect to gain from burning all your feats/hexes in this manner?

Dark Archive

Cerberus Seven wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:
Cerberus Seven wrote:
Spring Attack only prevents attacks of opportunity based on movement. Maneuvers you do not possess the requisite "Improved <maneuver>" feat for would still provoke from the target. I understand your reading but it would not fly at any PFS table or a game in which the GM knew what they were doing.

... Or in games where GM's disagreed with your statement and that spring attack ignores all AOO's from the designated target.

And PFS it would be illegal for them to ignore it.

That is the most inane interpretation I've heard of a feat in ages. Look at the prereqs, one of them is mobility, which works only on movement. Was this GM drunk at the time?

Try it at a PFS table, let me know how it goes. I'm genuinely curious to see whether they are that shackled to a mindless, word-by-word interpretation. If so, I'm not sure anything from an 'adventure path' like the Advanced Class Guide would be allowed.

Eh it's worse then that. It only protects you from AoO's from the target of the spring attack. Everyone else still gets their free whack at you if you provoke.

Dark Archive

Artful Dodger wrote:

So, assuming we can throw out spiked and bashing (three size categories) and cite the rule that Lead Blades and Impact overlap instead of stack, that leaves us four increments short. The Shield Champion is now only bashing for 8d6 at level 12 (4d6 without that druid magic), and 12d8 (6d8 without druid magic) at level 20. Are there any other interactions we can rule out? I'm hoping for more RAW than RAI here, but I'll take what I can get which is well-supported.

Edit: I would also really appreciate some official address to the language to get rid of the ambiguity.

Since Strong Jaw specifies it only works on natural attacks (which a unarmed strike is NOT) then you can remove those size increases as well.

It's also flagged as a size increase so doesn't stack either.

Dark Archive

TimD wrote:

Not sure where you're getting that their Int would drop to - as that is not a swarm trait (though it's often a trait of the creatures that make up a swarm).

Their immunities even call out that they are vulnerable to mind-affecting effects if they have intelligence / hivemind...

** spoiler omitted **...

It's not the swarm type that removes their Int, it's the vermin type that does it.

Vermin Traits wrote:

Traits: Vermin possess the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).

Mindless: No Intelligence score, and immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms). Mindless creatures have no feats or skills. A vermin-like creature with an Intelligence score is usually either an animal or a magical beast, depending on its other abilities.
Darkvision 60 feet.
Proficient with its natural weapons only.
Proficient with no armor.
Vermin breathe, eat, and sleep.

As a normal Worm that walks it has a defensive ability referred to as it's hive mind which lets it think and continue to function as an individual. When it discorporates it loses all of it's defensive abilities which includes it's hive mind ability so it goes back to the default for it's type which is Vermin (it specifically doesn't get the swarm type, it stays vermin) and all vermin have the mindless trait.

A WTW who discorporates loses it's Int score and personality and becomes a non-threat.

Dark Archive

For what you are shooting for, if you have the cash then the Homonculus is the best option.
Unlike the rest of the improved familiars on the list this one gives you high customization options (want a familiar with invisibility, mage hand, cure light/moderate wounds, etc.) and able to add all new abilities to it whenever you want?

Throw on top of that more skills/feats/attributes then any other familiar in the game and you can shape it to look like whatever you want. It's just made of win if you have the cash for it.

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