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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.
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.
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.
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
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
and so on
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:
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.
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.
Or this one:
Or this one:
Every version of the Magus is explicitly restricted from using spellcombat with ranged weapons. Spellstrike yes but no spellcombat.
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
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.
They actually already addressed the meat in this argument back in July of last year.
Yes you can take hexstrike as a magus since the hex arcana works exactly like the hex class ability.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kestral, you have made several unwarranted assumptions in this thread that truly cloud the basic discussion that was going on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
No, only the first attack you make while invisible is against flat-footed ac. Every attack after that is against normal AC.
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:
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Artemis Moonstar wrote:
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.
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.
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.
That Other Guy wrote:
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.
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.
Now if you wish to continue in this discussion you should probably read what you are replying to first.
Adhesive Spittle is a good spell hex vulnerability is really a better choice.
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.
Well then lets directly address your points then.
Incorrect. Casting ANY touch spell grants you a free action to use it. That has nothing to do with spellstrike, quicken or anything else.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
This archetype is really, really bad and is a trap option don't do it.
Secret Wizard wrote:
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
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.
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.
"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.
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:
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.
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:
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?
Long commutes and broken links.
Here's te Hexcrafter Optimization guide with the 3 most effective natural attack builds (Last 5 pages).
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
dwayne germaine wrote:
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.
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.
And what good do you see coming from those hexes at any level?
What do you actually expect to gain from burning all your feats/hexes in this manner?
Cerberus Seven wrote:
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.
Artful Dodger wrote:
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.
It's not the swarm type that removes their Int, it's the vermin type that does it.
Vermin Traits wrote:
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.
For what you are shooting for, if you have the cash then the Homonculus is the best option.
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.