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Father Jackal

Mathwei ap Niall's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Modules Subscriber. FullStarFullStar Pathfinder Society GM. 2,210 posts (2,220 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 5 Pathfinder Society characters.


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Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Resurrecting this thread simply to make note that the holy grail of the monstrous physique forms was introduced in the Beastiary 4. We finally have a humanoid form that lets you Pounce.

Introducing the Tikbalang!!
Not only does it come with pounce it also has reach and no natural attacks on it's hands making weapon use a great option.
For those weapon loving Magi this is by far the best form for them to invest in.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Thaago wrote:
Quote:
@Thaago, you are the one who found the dev post stating you can.

Uhhh, but you didn't actually answer my point: it is the weapon casting the spell. In this case, I'm going to say that the completely unambiguous text overrules "although I would probably allow it during the usages of the stored spell...".

Either way, this needs to be brought up in a separate thread and FAQ's, because spellstrike is completely broken with this. Even without free action weapon changes there are a dozen ways to simultaneously wield lots of weapons (actually having two weapons, and then spiked gauntlets under each one is 4 already and thats without any shenanigans).

I didn't make the post so I can't answer the question, I'm not a dev so the reasoning behind it is a mystery to me. All I can do is quote the devs rulings and follow them since the game is based on the decisions these DEV's make. If you don't like those rulings you are free to make your own call but at that point we are now playing completely different games and have nothing to discuss.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Shimesen wrote:
I think what you are trying to say is that in order to create a wand of intensified empowered maximized shocking grasp I would have to be at least be able to cast a 6th level spell which would require a caster level of 17. This normally means that the spell it self is a 6th level spell and cannot be put in a wand. However, if I make the spell a first level spell by means of feats/traits, the caster level still remains at 17, but now I have a first level spell being cast at caster level 17. This is perfectly acceptable. I fail to see the problem.

No, what I'm saying is that no matter what feats/traits you have the magic item creation rules ignore that when computing the maximum level of the spell that can be put in the wand and the final cost of that item.

Here's the breakdown.

375GP * spell level spell * caster level.

Regular spell: 375gp * level 1 Frostbite spell * caster level (1) = 375GP
Intensified : 375gp * level 2 spell (1st level spell +1 for intensified =2nd level) * caster level 3 (the minimum level to cast a 2nd level spell for a wizard) = 2250
Intensified + maximized: 375GP * level 5 spell (first level spell +1 for intensified +3 for maximized = 5th level) This exceeds the maximum level of the spell allowed in wands so you cannot do this.

Your feats/traits that reduce the cost to cast doesn't change the mechanics for crafting items. You still have to follow the standard rules for creating items.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

A). Your understanding is incorrect and your own quoted link shows you why (though I do appreciate you finding that link I've been looking for that forever). Here I'll break it down for you.

Shocking Grasp is a first level spell, add intensified to it and it's a 2nd level spell. A spell-storing weapon can store up to a third level spell so if I wanted to I could add another +1 metamagic to it and still be able to store it into a spellstoring item. After it's in there and we decide to use it on a hit we can invoke the rod then (or a gem if money's not an issue) and drop an intensified maximized/empowered spell from a spellstoring item.

You can NOT invoke a metamagic rod, or a magus arcana for that matter, on a spell stored inside a weapon. Metamagic rods can only be used while casting, and the casting process has already been completed with putting the spell inside. You can either intensify the shocking grasp, or empower it, not both.

Way to not bother reading the link to the DEV post OR the text quoted from that DEV post saying that is EXACTLY what you can do.

Go back and read the post and come back after that.

@Alexandros, I'm not underestimating the martial ability of the Magus just stating that is significantly inferior to the Magical ability of the magus and THAT is a better place to focus on.

Well I'm actually going to say that the Dev is wrong on this. Because what are you doing when you're unleashing that spell, you're in melee, probably engaging in spell combat casting another spell while you're unleashing the magic stored in the blade.

Where is the free hand for holding a metamagic rod for applying metamagic on this process? If I had seen Jason's post in the wild, I probably would have brought up some objections against using the metamagic rod in either end of the process.

There's also another issue. When the magic of a spellstoring weapon is released, it is not a...

So your argument is that YOU are smarter and know more then the guy who CREATED the game and is responsible for exactly how the game works (AND the creative director who decides how the world works) and everyone should listen to you instead of them? Ok.

As for where the rod is well A). noone said the rod is being used during spell combat and B). if it is being used there are soooo many ways to have a third hand to hold a rod that it's immaterial to this discussion.

@Thaago, you are the one who found the dev post stating you can.

Jason Buhlmahn wrote:

This does not work.

There is an ambiguity in the language of the spell storing property here that is causing a bit of confusion. The storage process for adding a spell to a spell storing weapon is a special action that is similar, although not the same as casting a spell. The issue here is that the rod applies to a spell as it is being cast, which this is not quite the same.

In the end, this is an issue for your GM to decide, but since I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to issues such as these, I am going to say that this does not work. A spell storing weapon holds a spell of up to 3rd level. A metamagic rod cannot be used during the storage process (although I would probably allow it during the usages of the stored spell... )

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

@alexandros, sure, if you want to see any of the more magically focused magus builds we've done go ahead and read them.

Magus Builds

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Shimesen wrote:
I see. However, cost is not in question here. A wand can have any caster level you choose to give it. All that does is up the cost to create it. Nothing is stopping a 20th level wizard from crafting a wand of a first level spell with his full caster level if he wants to and can afford to. Am I wrong? I would be well within my means for example, to create a wand of frostbite as a 20th level magus and no metamagic or traits involved that did 1d6+20 damage and lasted for 20 touches. This might have a rediculus price tag, but its fully possible.

Not quite, the point is that making a wand with a metamagic feat on it kicks up the spell level and minimum caster level on it. This increases the cost and also pushes it up towards the level cap for that item.

Since wands can't have a spell over 4th level in them adding a metamagic pushes it up and possibly over that level.

As for your example, nothing stops you from doing that, you can do it as a first level spell all you want until you put metamagic on it which stops it from being a first level spell.

Cheliax

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

A). Your understanding is incorrect and your own quoted link shows you why (though I do appreciate you finding that link I've been looking for that forever). Here I'll break it down for you.

Shocking Grasp is a first level spell, add intensified to it and it's a 2nd level spell. A spell-storing weapon can store up to a third level spell so if I wanted to I could add another +1 metamagic to it and still be able to store it into a spellstoring item. After it's in there and we decide to use it on a hit we can invoke the rod then (or a gem if money's not an issue) and drop an intensified maximized/empowered spell from a spellstoring item.

You can NOT invoke a metamagic rod, or a magus arcana for that matter, on a spell stored inside a weapon. Metamagic rods can only be used while casting, and the casting process has already been completed with putting the spell inside. You can either intensify the shocking grasp, or empower it, not both.

Way to not bother reading the link to the DEV post OR the text quoted from that DEV post saying that is EXACTLY what you can do.

Go back and read the post and come back after that.

@Alexandros, I'm not underestimating the martial ability of the Magus just stating that is significantly inferior to the Magical ability of the magus and THAT is a better place to focus on.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
STR Ranger wrote:

Yeah, probably a solid green.

Awesome for utility and endurance (though hexcrafters have the best endurance of any other magai)

Blue is reserved for balls to the wall awesome.
It's pretty sweet but not moronic to not take it.

Here's one other advantage to that is awesome for the non-shocking grasp focused magus.

A spell-scar is considered a scroll so it's not a spell you cast. This means it won't cost you any of your remaining charges from chill touch or frostbite. This lets you double dip and have both of those spells running at one and STILL be able to drop the occasional intensified shocking grasps on top of the damage & debuffs from the other two.
I think that ability (though not cheap) is well worth consideration.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Thaago wrote:

My understanding on spell storing is completely correct: you are breaking the rules. See: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2kty3?Spell-Storing-Metamagic-Rods

In short:

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

This does not work.

There is an ambiguity in the language of the spell storing property here that is causing a bit of confusion. The storage process for adding a spell to a spell storing weapon is a special action that is similar, although not the same as casting a spell. The issue here is that the rod applies to a spell as it is being cast, which this is not quite the same.

In the end, this is an issue for your GM to decide, but since I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to issues such as these, I am going to say that this does not work. A spell storing weapon holds a spell of up to 3rd level. A metamagic rod cannot be used during the storage process (although I would probably allow it during the usages of the stored spell... )

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Quote:
...the weapon itself was inconsequential...

If you think this is true for all Magus' then I'm sorry to say you've gimped yourself. I just posted an easy easy example of the weapon doing more damage: you countered one where the weapon was doing ~40% damage. I'll accept that, but 40% of total damage is not at all inconsequential.

Quote:
Simply using the resources we didn't spend on the weapon (which is the point of the caster build)...

Oooooh! Is that what you meant by a caster build? Not spending any money on your weapon? I see. If only there was an archetype that let you do that and still have a kickass magic weapon!

Ok, ok, that was uncalled for. But in all seriousness your argument previously was that we are trading arcane awesomeness for a little bit of cash. Now you are saying that that same bit of cash is a big part of what makes the arcane awesomeness.

The feats are a different matter - if you feel you can survive the first 6 levels without combat feats, then go for it. My...

A). Your understanding is incorrect and your own quoted link shows you why (though I do appreciate you finding that link I've been looking for that forever). Here I'll break it down for you.

Shocking Grasp is a first level spell, add intensified to it and it's a 2nd level spell. A spell-storing weapon can store up to a third level spell so if I wanted to I could add another +1 metamagic to it and still be able to store it into a spellstoring item. After it's in there and we decide to use it on a hit we can invoke the rod then (or a gem if money's not an issue) and drop an intensified maximized/empowered spell from a spellstoring item.

B). I said resources not cash. This means feats, arcana, cash, etc devoted to magic prowess, cash is merely one of the many resources better spent here then on a weapon.

C). Exactly, spending those resources on boosting your chance to hit with that piece pig iron is resources you aren't spending on making your magic stronger, harder hitting and more effective. Increasing your chances to hit with that lump of metal makes you hit softer not harder. As for only having 1 attack at less then full bab is incorrect. All of your attacks are at less then full bab and require you to get help from others or burn an action to shore up your reduced hit chance. The caster focused magus doesn't need anything from anyone to shore up that weakness, he's self contained and has better action economy because of it.

D). You didn't read that one, I'm guessing you just skimmed it. The familiar uses a wand of whatever the magus wants (shield, blur, mage armor, silence, etc) and leaves the direct damage spells to the magus themselves. A familiar is a force multiplier, letting the caster drop more buffs and battlefield control spells each round. An entire second set of actions each round is a massive advantage the BB can never get.
Amulets of spellstoring cost 4000GP, it's cheaper to get the amulet then to get a weapon with this ability.

F). No, the BB can't. The spiked gauntlet is a weapon in his off hand which prevents him from using spellcombat. If you wish to give that up then I guess you can if you want to but there goes all the cash you saved from taking this archetype.
As for my build it cost a single feat for the improved familiar 4 grand for the amulet and 750GP for the wand and comes on-line at 4th level when you get 2nd level spells (Alter Self). It's faster, cheaper and easier then the BB build, has more attacks normally (At least 4 attacks every round from 4th level on) with a higher attack bonus and more spells per day.
Anyway, from 1st-5th all characters have very few spells and abilities, the caster magus is built to use those spells as efficiently as possible so he wastes as little as possible and defeats his opponent as quickly as he can. Swing a lump of iron is neither quick or efficient and is what's most likely to end a characters life.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Crafting rules are one of the less defined areas of the game which is why there is a FAQ posting on issues like this.
Crafting FAQ

Quote:

Pearl of Power: What is the caster level required to create this item?

Though the listed Caster Level for a pearl of power is 17th, that caster level is not part of the Requirements listing for that item. Therefore, the only caster level requirement for a pearl of power is the character has to be able to cast spells of the desired level.

However, it makes sense that the minimum caster level of the pearl is the minimum caster level necessary to cast spells of that level--it would be strange for a 2nd-level pearl to be CL 1st.

For example, a 3rd-level wizard with Craft Wondrous Item can create a 1st-level pearl, with a minimum caster level of 1. He can set the caster level to whatever he wants (assuming he can meet the crafting DC), though the pearl's caster level has no effect on its powers (other than its ability to resist dispel magic). If he wants to make a 2nd-level pearl, the caster level has to be at least 3, as wizards can't cast 2nd-level spells until they reach character level 3. He can even try to make a 3rd-level pearl, though the minimum caster level is 5, and he adds +5 to the DC because he doesn't meet the "able to cast 3rd-level spells" requirement.

The minimum caster level of the spell in question is the point. For a spell with intensified metamagic on it kicks it up to a 2nd level spell. Just because you have a trait/feat whatever that allows you to cast this spell as a first level spell doesn't change the fact that it is still considered a 2nd level spell (the minimum for casting this spell with that metamagic on it) for crafting purposes.

This is what kicks the cost up and keeps you from adding all those metamagics to this spell in item form.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Thaago wrote:
Quote:
A). Since the OP was asking about a PFS character with a level cap of 12 delaying all Arcana until 6th level IS half the characters career. I feel justified in that statement.

Its a misleading statement because the difference is only 3 levels, while you are making it out to be 6. I agree that it is a cost to the archetype. I don't think its a big deal.

Quote:
rest

I will accept it if you think of the class as a caster - I think we simply have a difference of terminology. To me it seems like the build you offered is not a caster build, so whatever. For me it is not a caster because of the reasons before. *shrug*

For the rest: you've gotten a bunch of stuff wrong here. First of all, you cannot store a maximized intensified shocking grasp in a weapon - not until level 15 and spell perfection, and even that is iffy. Intensified, sure - with the trait its level 3 so you can have a 15d6 ready to go. I'm not contesting that its a great weapon ability - it is easily the best for a Magus. Second, the pool bonus lasts for a full minute, so it can be activated in a surprise round or prep round when moving into position/casting a buff. In practice it is up all fight and you can still use your swifts for other things, like arcane accuracy or accurate strike.

Its completely inconsistent to first say 'your build will only hit 50% of the time, so weapon damage sucks' and then say 'but my Magus hits everything on a 1, even when I dump the weapon enhancement.' What did you do that I can't that makes yours hit on a 1? Accurate Strike for touch AC? True strike? A Bladebound can do whatever it is you are claiming to do just as well. And for enemies that aren't huge on AC, will spend less resources to do so. I didn't put forward a specific build on purpose - I put forward a bog standard Magus with 1 feat used. It has massive room for improvement.

How is using frostbite make your Magus spell based? Its just a build choice - go with shocking grasp for straight damage or frostbite for...

A). My only comment was gone bladebound is 6 levels before you get a arcana which is half the career of a PFS character. Nothing more or less, There is nothing misleading about that. Saying it's only 3 levels is what's misleading.

B). I posted a Caster build and only listed out the damage and effects from the spells, the weapon itself was inconsequential (I honestly never use the weapon and focus on doing touch attacks with prehensile hair which automatically hit touch AC).
As for your mis-understanding of how spell-storing works that is easily resolved. Unlike scrolls and wands when you load a spell into a spellstoring item when you cast a spell into a spell-storing item it goes directly from your the casters memory into the item exactly as it was prepped by the caster. THIS lets you pre-load all a casters hard hitting spells with the benefit of any metamagic rods, 1x day arcana or consumables at once and release them all at one time.
Only the RING of spell-storing restricts what you can put on a spell before storing it, weapons do not. Simply using the resources we didn't spend on the weapon (which is the point of the caster build) on better magic boosting items (Meta-magic rods & gems, feats on arcana instead of power attack weapon focus, etc) we masively increase the damage the Magus can put out leaving the weapon in the dust.

C). Iterative attacks are always on a diminishing scale where only the first (or second if you spend significant resources) or likely to hit, every attack after that is less and less likely to connect. Claiming a 50% hit rate on a 3/4bab class while power attacking and 2 weapon fighting at this level of play is not a stretch. I would actually say it's a generous estimate.

D). As for taking the time to pre-buff before attacking that was simply being nice and giving the weapon-focused character a leg up by not pre-buffing the caster one first. If you want to give a single round to buff first then the caster one jumps FAR ahead. The caster would spend that first action going monstrous physique to get 5-7 natural attacks and fly/swim/burrow activating his hasted assault arcana while having his familiar hi him with a charge from its wand of whatever and moving into position with the following round unleashing 9-12 frostbite/chill touch/etc powered full bab attacks every round. Natural attacks are ALL at full bab +to hit bonus which makes them superior to weapon based attacks the higher the level of play and the tougher the enemy.

E). You are the one who brought up energy immunity not I. I simply addressed it since you mentioned it.

F). Finally, unlike your BB build a non-BB build magus can easily run with the frostbite or shocking grasp build and still drop 3+ shocking grasp spells each round, the BB is always going to be at least 1 spell behind. At high levels that's 90+ points of damage per round which is no laughing matter at this point.

The Black Blade is a nice idea, at low levels but as you go up it just gets less and less worth it. The basic design I just put up used exactly one feat (improved familiar) same as yours but gets so much more out of it.
As for the BB being able to do all of this I never said it couldn't. I specifically said it could, just that the non-BB does it faster, easier and better. Read it again.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

A). Yes, any weapon you are holding, so reach up and grab your hair. You are now holding your hair, put the enchant on it you want and then let go. The rules do not state that you have to keep holding it after you enchant it (otherwise dancing wouldn't work) and grabbing your hair to enchant it is a free action just like switching a weapon from one hand to the other or taking your hand off to cast a spell and re-grabbing it.

B). Dev post and in the faq entry regarding spellcombat with natural weapons.
Dev Post Here and FAQ here.
Prehensile hair functions as a hand for all purposes except wielding weapons. You can freely manipulate any item except weapons so rods, wands, tankards and clothes. Everything but weapons.

C). With standard Wealth by Level and only needing to focus on Int and Dex like most Kensai and Hexcrafters it is entirely doable to have a 30 int and a 30 dex (+10 bonus on each for +20 AoO's per round max). Once bodyguard is added to it letting this character threaten the entire battlefield all the time you could easily get all 20 AoO's every round if there are enough opponents provoking.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Whoa, first there's a lot of incorrect information in this post.

A). With prehensile hair you CAN burn your arcana to make it it flaming, shock, keen, etc. (though the dancing is going to look weird). The only rules on Arcane Pool enhancements is that the weapon has to be a weapon which all natural attacks are.

B. You don't need the Natural Spell arcana, the prehensile hair is called out as being a hand-based weapon so it automatically works with spellstrike/spell combat.

C). Once you hit 11th level your GM is going to regret letting you mix these two archetypes. a 20+ft reach (before the combat patrol range) with 20+ AoO's a round doing 1D4+1D6+16+(1.5* int bonus), minimum, on each hit before throwing in spell damage and all the fighter based damage increasing feats is really obscene.

there's a reason these 2 archetypes don't mix.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Keep in mind that as a BladeBound Magus you CAN'T have a cruel spell-storing black blade. Those enchants are specifically forbidden for the Black Blade.

As for the wand of metamagicked spells those will NOT be at first level. The traits and spellperfection lets you CAST those spells as 1st level spells. When you are crafting the wand those don't benefit the cost of crafting that wand. And since wands are limited to 4th level slots you can either have a maximized wand or an intensified& empowerd but not all 3. Either way that wand is going to cost 21,000GP (10,500 if you craft it yourself). That's a LOT to spend on 50 charges (420 or 210 GP per use is HIGH).

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

All of them.

Knowledge Pool lets you take any spell on your list and put it into your memory. The rules for spellbooks says you can take any spell in your memory and write it into your book. Take a week off and scribe every spell on your spell list into your spellbooks and have all of them available at all times.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Lastoth wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


Uhmm, by not being weapon focused? The actual weapon contributes little to anything to the offense of a well built Magus.

Unless You consider the fact that it delivers your spells on a hit, which means the weapon delivers 100% of your relevant damage and non BB wielders have a harder time hitting from what I've seen because while they are dumping tons of WBL into a weapon. Meanwhile, the BB user is dumping his wealth into peripheral items to enhance his abilities while holding a vastly superior weapon for free.

The weapon is there to deliver the spell that's it and there are FAR more efficient ways to make sure you hit then just dumping cash ont a stick of pig iron. The smart Magi dump their resources into themselves to maximize their flexibility and THAT lets them hit.

Target has a High AC then you drop two arcana to target his touch AC instead.
High Touch AC? then drop a high DC Grease or Mudball spell to drop that to nothing and wail on them then.
Immune to one or more of your energy damage types? Use the one of the feats you didn't burn on martial feats to change the energy type to something that works.

Quote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
A blackblade reduces a Magi's magical ability (the degree is unimportant, any reduction is bad) by making them wait longer to get their built-in power ups.
OK, well since the black blade reaches bonuses far faster than any player with a standard weapon could, then how does this reduce his damage delivery? He's hitting more. Also his WBL is invested in stat items, pearls of power, and other items the standard magus can't afford cause he's saving for a +3 weapon when the BB had +3 two levels ago.

This is where we differ in opinion, I don't care about what bonus is on the weapon since (properly built) a Magus should hit on everything but a natural 1. A weapon focused Magi is stuck is at the will of the dice to see if he succeeds at hitting his target which takes control of the situation out of his hands.

Quote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Of all the existing optimized Magi builds, only one of them actually really uses the blade and even then it's only contributing about 10%-15% of the damage the build does. Everything else is strictly spells and arcana with the weapon only being used to clean up mooks to unimportant to waste spells on.

You and I play a vastly different game, I see. In my game my black blade delivers all my spells. It hits a lot and saves me a boatload of cash I can invest elsewhere. It's also delivering free action intimidates (well, free to ME as the owner, still costs the blade an action) and assisting me on all my rolls. I can't really imagine a non BB magus being better.

I strongly encourage you to give BB a try before naysaying it.

I'm sure we are playing different games, mine is a bit more rules focused I'd say.

How is your blade delivering an intimidate for you? Black Blades are only telepathic with it's wielder and doesn't have the speech ability so it can't actually communicate with anyone else. It's int and language ability allows it to understand what it senses but since Speech is a special ability and cost on the intelligent item chart and not on the BB list of abilities it can't speak or communicate with anyone but it's wielder. Also since it's not a familiar and cannot be independently enchanted/modified it can't use any other items or have the speech ability granted to it.

As for hitting and delivering spells as I said earlier, if you are concerned about hitting a target there are far better ways to make sure ALL your attacks hit then just throwing cash at your to hit bonus.
Focusing on the weapon as much as the BB does actually makes it harder to succeed at your goal then focusing on your ther abilities.

@FrodoOf9Fingers, Actually it does usually mean not having other weapons. Intelligent items (weapons especially) have listed as one of their usual actions as soon as they gain dominance to force the player to divest themselves of items it doesn't want them to have, and weapons have always been the jealous type and will constantly try to force their wielder to throw all other weapons away.
17th level black blades ALWAYS believes itself better then the character and CONSTANTLY fights for dominance/obedience from it's wielder.

Intelligent Items wrote:
When an item has an Ego of its own, it has a will of its own. The item is absolutely true to its alignment. If the character who possesses the item is not true to that alignment's goals or the item's special purpose, personality conflict—item against character—results. Similarly, any item with an Ego score of 20 or higher always considers itself superior to any character, and a personality conflict results if the possessor does not always agree with the item.

Making a DC20 will check every day and every time my pig sticker wants it's own way doesn't seem very fun to me.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Thaago wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Third, You are giving up all arcana for half your characters career. No arcana for that long is excessive.

Saying "You are giving up all arcana for half your characters career" is flat out wrong and also misleading. Neither character has any arcana for levels 1 and 2. The Bladebound has 1 less from 3-5, barring feat investment. So yes, for 3 levels, or 1/4, of the 1-12 career you don't have arcana while a regular magus would. However, these levels are when arcana are least useful. A magus has the lowest int bonus here, the lowest number of pool points (which compete with spell recall!!), and the lowest funds for goodies like wands for wand wielder (a very good arcana, to be fair). And an arcana is a feat, so at 7th level the difference can be completely erased.

Quote:


These are the mechanical problems with using this archetype, the rest of the issues are with playstyle. I have always said that a Magus is a CASTER who can fight not a fighter who casts. This archetype pushes you towards being more of a fighter then caster by emphasizing that aspect of the class and I find that seriously sub-optimal.

I fundamentally disagree with you here. The Magus is not a primary caster and should not be thought of a caster who fights, at least in my opinion. They have a reduced spell list and reduced spell progression, never getting past 6th level spells. In addition to the obvious this also gimps their metamagic use compared to full casters - while they can contest at touch range with critical spellstrikes, they are completely outclassed in ranged blasting by a full caster with only a feat or two (no need to do an opto-blaster build). In support role, while they have several good spells, they can't be summoners, won't have as high save DC's so won't be as good SoL shooters, and are missing many good control options.

I think the Magus' spells are still their best feature, but I also think they are best used to enhance the Magus' fighting abilities (and the rest of the group too, with some of the buffs). If the fighting abilities are sub-par from building too heavily as a caster, then the spells have to overcome that gap before anything else.

I also think its incorrect to think that a Magus' damage primarily comes from spells, at least for the PFS career. For the first several levels spell use will be rare and to be honest much better spent as defensive buffs unless you need to nova something. Even once the damage spells come online with some consistency (probably around 6th level) the weapon damage will be equal to or greater still than spell damage. I think the turning point is probably 11th level for spell damage passing the halfway mark consistently, and 15th level for a large lead thanks to spell perfection.

Consider for example at 10th level, when shocking grasp is at good effectiveness:

Shocking grasp: 10d6 = average 34, plus chance to 2x crit of 30%*(confirm probability). Hope the enemy isn't resistant or immune to electricity or up to a 2cd level slot with elemental spell.

Non-optimized sword damage potential: d6+15 (just power attack, a +4 belt, a +3 weapon, and pool enhancement) again with a 30%*(confirm probability). Note that with buffing from teammates this can climb quite a bit.

With Haste, a very realistic 10th level buff, the attack sequence will be something like 16/16/16/10. Arcana can make that vs touch or add +4 or 5 without problems. Or drop power attack for another 2. Or get a buff or flanking: basically I'm saying that hitting is good at this level.

In this scenario the Magus is doing equal or better damage with the weapon rather than the spell. At 11th Empower spell + improved spell recall + magical lineage gives a 15d6 shocking grasp for a 3rd level slot, which is conveniently 1 arcane point, so the balance tips. Elemental resistance is pretty common however, so even this isn't a sure thing.

Of course there are other options than shocking grasp, but its kind of the "go to" build so thats what I'm comparing.

A). Since the OP was asking about a PFS character with a level cap of 12 delaying all Arcana until 6th level IS half the characters career. I feel justified in that statement.

B). The Magus IS a primary caster, just not a 9 spell level class. Everything about the base Magus is designed around it's spellcasting & magical abilities, the martial abilities are strictly secondary to that.
A Gish (which is all the magus is) is just a specialized caster who uses their spells in melee range to eliminate their target(s). It sacrifices the high end reality bending powers of the usual wizard for superior direct damage dealing ability. Trying to match the nova output from the spellcasting with the blade is doomed to failure.

Lets look at your example and see how it really goes (Assuming 10th level, dervish dancing, power attacking Black Blade with a 18 starting Dex since that's typical and you didn't really lay out the full build)
And we'll also assume we start the fight in melee range so you can full attack on the first round.

At this level the average target AC to hit is usually between 26-30 for a suitable challenge for a 10th level party. With that attack bonus your BB will have less then a 50% chance of hitting on his first 3 attacks and the 4th needs to crit just to hit. Hitting is NOT easy at this level massively reducing the damage output from this character.
And if you are planning to use an arcana to increase that hit chance well then no pool bonus for you this round (only 1 swift per round). Per most of the DPR calculators put this build at an average of around 100 pts of damage a round.

An example spell based caster will focus on something like Frostbite instead and easily double the damage output (an extra ((1D6+level)*1.5) BEFORE factoring in regular attacks) and with his spell-storing weapon he adds an additional an extra 60 pts (intensified maximized Shocking grasped stored in it) and throwing Natural Attack build on it kicks it up an additional 60-90 pts a round (AoMF-Spell-Storing).
On top of that since he picked up Spell-Scars and accurate strikes and doesn't need to burn an arcane point to enhance his weapon on the first round he instead uses that action to go accurate strikes and make sure all of his attacks hit instead of missing with half of them like the BB does.
He can EASILY destroy his target in the first round while the BB is still getting ready and manage to have enough spells available/stored to be able to do this for every fight, every day. The BlackBlade traded away this power to save a little cash at the early part of the game.

Everything the martial focused Magi can do the Caster focused one can do faster, cheaper and better.
Now I will say that calling the BlackBlade a terrible archetype may be overstating it. A more accurate statement would be that the BB is a significantly sub-optimal choice. Not TERRIBLE but really less then ideal use of resources.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
STR Ranger wrote:

Just checking up (been away awhile)

this new spell scars arcana looks interesting......

but on the surface just looks like a way to create scrolls and cast them without extra actions to pull them out......

other than that follows the normal rules for scrolls.

so what....it's basically extra spell slots you pay for.

Hmmm. Not sure how to rate this. on the surface it looks good but Hexcrafters are not really spell starved because of the backup of hexes

It's a powerful arcana with several unique advantages.

A). It's a scroll spell that can't be stolen or destroyed and works inside a deeper darkness field (Better then an oil of daylight).

B. It's 18 extra spell levels per day that doesn't eat up your memory (drop all utility spells as scars since their levels don't matter).

C. It doesn't say these have to be spells on the magus spell list. ANY spell can be made into a scar (no guarantee they can successfully be cast but still useful ability)

It's a very useful and flexible arcana and should be rated accordingly.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Lastoth wrote:

Having played a black blade, I'm not sure how a normal magus gets by with his cheap and insufficient WBL weapon. To me the black blade is obviously more powerful based on how much WBL you have to spend on other stuff since your offense is taken care of and your defense is mainly mirror image for the first part of your career.

My question is "why is the normal magus so terrible compared to black blade".

Uhmm, by not being weapon focused? The actual weapon contributes little to anything to the offense of a well built Magus.

This post here is the part I have the most trouble understanding. Pathfinder design is really simple, casters rule martials drool.
Magic has ALWAYS been more effective and powerful then melee at just about every point of the game. Magi highlight this more than any other class out there since they do magic and melee at the same time.

Ever since the class was introduced it has overwhelmingly been apparent that the class was designed as a new way to get a spell onto a target and any attempt to focus on anything but that reduces the effectiveness and power of the class. A blackblade reduces a Magi's magical ability (the degree is unimportant, any reduction is bad) by making them wait longer to get their built-in power ups.

Of all the existing optimized Magi builds, only one of them actually really uses the blade and even then it's only contributing about 10%-15% of the damage the build does. Everything else is strictly spells and arcana with the weapon only being used to clean up mooks to unimportant to waste spells on.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Easier method than that.
Just don't kill it.

If it regenerates when the main body dies (and only when the main body dies) then simply incapacitate the main body, trap it in a suitable container and use your summoned creatures to take the container somewhere safe and guard it. I'd take it to the boneyard and have the pschopomps stand guard over it for a few thousand years.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
kinevon wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
I didn't mean to suggest it was hate worthy, sorry. My actual response was:
Quote:
Are you certain on bladebound? The blade doesn't upgrade as quickly as a normal magic weapon, and not getting an Arcana until sixth level really hurts.

I don't personally like it that much for a few reasons, but it can be good if you are in a low magic campaign.

One: It delays your arcana. In your other thread you were making a hexcrafter, and they need arcana for hexes and for normal arcana. You can't take an extra arcana feat until you have an arcana, so waiting until 6th level delays one of the main magus abilities.

Two: It reduces your Arcane pool. This is a needed resource and it hurts when it's missing.

Three: The enhancement bonus of Black Blade is set by you level and is lower than what your would get if you had standard WBL allocated to a magic weapon. Depending on your game, this can be good because you have a guaranteed magic weapon, but in a standard game, it's weaker than having a normal magic weapon.

Four: Intelligent items are a pain. Bickering with your blade is not my idea of fun, and I was never really a fan of Elric, so having a powered-down Strombringer isn't appealing.

I'm the one who expressed the hatred for this archetype but I agree one hundred percent with your statements here.

My real issue with it is this is an archetype that takes away choices and options from the player all to save you a little cash which is the easiest most abundant resource in the game.
All taking this archetype does is save you a little cash up front in exchange for flexibility and power later in the game.

Add to that it really does lock you into a more martial style of play as opposed to magical. You are effectively trading your ability to bend reality over your knee and beat it to your whim for a hunk of pig iron that's a little easier to swing but acts like a stuck up girlfriend if you try to do what it doesn't think you should.

...

The choices and options it takes away were laid out in the post above which you cutoff.

First, the main issues are it takes away the spell-storing enchant (and the Agile, cruel, Disruption, Holy, etc.) and any other possible enchant beyond the very limited list you get.

Second, it's an intelligent item that can (and will) fight you if you deviate from it's goal or your alignment and EVERY TIME you level it gets stronger and can get to the point where it gets harder to win a conflict with it.

Third, You are giving up all arcana for half your characters career. No arcana for that long is excessive.

These are the mechanical problems with using this archetype, the rest of the issues are with playstyle. I have always said that a Magus is a CASTER who can fight not a fighter who casts. This archetype pushes you towards being more of a fighter then caster by emphasizing that aspect of the class and I find that seriously sub-optimal.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Rikkan wrote:
No, arrows are ammunition not ranged weapons. So you can't make +1 seeking arrows.

Ammunition is specifically called out as a valid target for this enchant which overrides the exclusion you are referring to. That's why they added the chart to UE making this a legal option.

@Blahpers, yup.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
James Risner wrote:
neferphras wrote:
Ultimate Equipment the property does not have the little number next to it.

I just read Core (6th printing) and UE (1st printing) and couldn't detect a difference between the text or chart (neither had the "2" superscript that applies to ammo.)

So I again say, they look identical to the Core rules. So if anything it is a Core rules problem.

Yup, it's been this way since the game began and has intentionally stayed that way. Just because any number of GM's out there have allowed it doesn't change the fact that seeking has never officially worked with bows/crossbows or guns.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
neferphras wrote:
James Risner wrote:

I did check all his posts and there isn't a single relevant one with "seeking".

It certainly does seem to be on the chart that it isn't applied to the weapon ammo fired.

I can't count the number of seeking bows I've seen. The game last night had one. Are we certain it doesn't apply?

I am asking the GM that mentioned this to me for a link to his blog comment.

To answer your question in the Ultimate Equipment the property does not have the little number next to it. Which mean you could have a seeking error, but not a seeking bow. which is well... pretty dumb and make the property all but useless. Lets see what i can get on this.

Dumb is a kind of a heavy criticism since seeking is a VERY powerful enchant especially at a +1 cost. This restriction makes it more of a special power used when you REALLY need it as opposed to just making those ranged builds so much more OP then they currently are.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Three: The enhancement bonus of Black Blade is set by you level and is lower than what your would get if you had standard WBL allocated to a magic weapon. Depending on your game, this can be good because you have a guaranteed magic weapon, but in a standard game, it's weaker than having a normal magic weapon.

My real issue with it is this is an archetype that takes away choices and options from the player all to save you a little cash which is the easiest most abundant resource in the game.
All taking this archetype does is save you a little cash up front in exchange for flexibility and power later in the game.

Add to that it really does lock you into a more martial style of play as opposed to magical. You are effectively trading your ability to bend reality over your knee and beat it to your whim for a hunk of pig iron that's a little easier to swing but acts like a stuck up girlfriend if you try to do what it doesn't think you should.
It's not a rationale trade.

1.Most normal campaigns you're going to find that "bend reality over your knee and beat it to your whim" doesn't quite work out that way in practise. Even the straight magus falls very short of the wizard in this aspect.

And taking an archetype that makes you fall any further behind is a good thing?

Quote:
2. Maybe I want to be locked into a more martial style, that's the beauty of choices and archetype, you can ratchet the class's style to taste. If you have a problem with this over the bladebound, you must really hate the Kensai, Myrmidach, and Skirinir archetypes.

And that's entirely your CHOICE, this archetype takes that choice away from you at a very expensive cost.

Those 3 archetypes are not on my favorite list but they are nowhere near as expensive a choice as the Bladebound (though the Skirnir is close).

Quote:

3. And why does everyone consider every class but the Fighter, "feat-starved"? You're not supposed to be able to grab the whole pie, just a decent slice of it.

It's not about grabbing the whole pie, it's strictly that what slices of the pie it CAN take most of those are usually reserved to the same pieces over and over again.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

There is no comment from sean on the boards I have found and we've been over this seeking enchant question repeatedly. Seeking doesn't work the way you are thinking, it doesn't apply to ammunition fired from the bow. If you wanted to throw the bow/crossbow at the target it totally works that way though.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
chaoseffect wrote:
Rerednaw wrote:
Losing/delaying a magus arcana in exchange for Hexes didn't seem like a horrific loss, but then I haven't played a magus (though I've been in parties with them).

Hexcrafter actually loses nothing in the long run except Improved Spell Recall (as that is not replaced by the archetype the Hexcrafter gets regular Spell Recall at level 11) and in return gets a bunch of extra powerful options he can take. Nothing about the archetype innately delays Magus Arcana progression.

And that is why Hexcrafter is awesome.

Not quite true. Other then giving up early access to spell recall it also forces the Magus to give up several Arcana he would have taken if he hadn't spent those arcana slots on hexes. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it is an opportunity cost that you have to absorb.

Not terrible but can be unpleasant to let some of those options go in a feat-starved class.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Imbicatus wrote:
I didn't mean to suggest it was hate worthy, sorry. My actual response was:
Quote:
Are you certain on bladebound? The blade doesn't upgrade as quickly as a normal magic weapon, and not getting an Arcana until sixth level really hurts.

I don't personally like it that much for a few reasons, but it can be good if you are in a low magic campaign.

One: It delays your arcana. In your other thread you were making a hexcrafter, and they need arcana for hexes and for normal arcana. You can't take an extra arcana feat until you have an arcana, so waiting until 6th level delays one of the main magus abilities.

Two: It reduces your Arcane pool. This is a needed resource and it hurts when it's missing.

Three: The enhancement bonus of Black Blade is set by you level and is lower than what your would get if you had standard WBL allocated to a magic weapon. Depending on your game, this can be good because you have a guaranteed magic weapon, but in a standard game, it's weaker than having a normal magic weapon.

Four: Intelligent items are a pain. Bickering with your blade is not my idea of fun, and I was never really a fan of Elric, so having a powered-down Strombringer isn't appealing.

I'm the one who expressed the hatred for this archetype but I agree one hundred percent with your statements here.

My real issue with it is this is an archetype that takes away choices and options from the player all to save you a little cash which is the easiest most abundant resource in the game.
All taking this archetype does is save you a little cash up front in exchange for flexibility and power later in the game.

Add to that it really does lock you into a more martial style of play as opposed to magical. You are effectively trading your ability to bend reality over your knee and beat it to your whim for a hunk of pig iron that's a little easier to swing but acts like a stuck up girlfriend if you try to do what it doesn't think you should.
It's not a rationale trade.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Rerednaw wrote:

@Math

So your advice is to Truestrike with an exotic reach weapon? I'll admit I didn't think about that.
So round 1: cast Truestrike. Round 2: Swing? And then repeat? And after 4 rounds and 2 swings...continue to fight at -4 to hit?
I don't see how that is much better could you explain?

I'm sorry you hate the archetypes, what other advice to improve their defense/offense?

@Lazar

I thought about a bow...but +1 to hit is pretty lackluster. He carries chakrams mainly for range. They add his strength and are one-handed to boot.

He also carries a bow as backup but by the time he's running into harpies...not sure if that's the best way to go offense-wise. As opposed to flying and engaging them in melee.

If offense is paramount then what would you change to increase his offensive output?

It's not quite intuitive so it's understandable you might miss it. This is strictly for low level games, the typical 2hd attack at first level will kill any average target in one hit and most fights are over in 2-3 rounds.

So with this tactic the fight starts, you cast true strike and move into position and wait. They will either move at you and provoke an AoO and eat that guaranteed 2hd hit and die or stop short and let you move in and kill them at the beginning of round two. This will be all you need to do for all of 1st level.
At 2nd level you get spellstrike allowing you to cast and attack every round so you always hit with the 2hd and there is no wasted round prepping. That level you'll cast true strike and move up to the BBEG and swing and if it's still alive at your 2nd round you'll just stand there and hit it again. With a decent strength score and the hardest hitting 2hder you can get (go for an oversize 2hder, you really don't care about the attack penalty, you have at least a +20 to hit on every attack to absorb that penalty). you will consistently be doing more damage then any spell you can cast.
At 3rd level you get your Black Blade and your first extra D6 from your spells so you can now dump the 2hder because the spell damage finally exceeds the 2hder damage.

As for the Defense option I personally recommend ignoring it at this level. The Magus at default is a burst class, go first and hit your target so hard it dies or panics and runs away. Low level fights tend to be resolved in 1-2 hits (oddly enough so do high level fights) so if you build your character to do such frightening amount of damage per hit you won't need to concern yourself with defense, everything will be dead before they can respond.
If you do decide to invest anything into defense then you'll run with Displacement plus Misfortune Hex with just an average amount of armor (mithril breastplate or so) and let that triple layer of protection handle it. If they can roll to hit your AC TWICE then they still have a 50/50 chance of missing you entirely. Anything more than that takes the risk out of it which is part of the fun.

My issue with the Black Blade is you give up so much for it and get back so little. Yes it is a free scaling magic weapon so it saves you cash but you give up the option of having spell-storing on your weapon, you lose all Arcana for half your PFS career and you take a BIG hit to your arcane pool which powers your best tricks. It's just a bad deal to me, especially on top of what hexcrafter makes you give up.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

If you are really planning on spending this kind of gold for this idea to work then spend a little bit more and buy a Blinback Belt and just throw spell storing daggers/kukris.

By the time you can afford to do this (8,000 GP per weapon x3 weapons minimum) the extra 5,000 for the belt will be nothing. It also makes sure you never lose a weapon, makes sure you can always full attack every fight and with 2 arcane points per fight (Grab Accurate Strike to target touch AC's) you'll pretty much never miss.

Have fun, I hope you can afford it.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

This is society play where the best defense is a good offense.

First things first, why are you trying to build your CASTER character like a MELEE character.

As I've always said, a magus is CASTER who fights not a fighter who CASTS.
Hexcrafters are even more like this.
If you really want to up your survival chance spend your feats/traits/cash on making your magical abilities better and use that to either eliminate the target before it can hurt you, boost your mischance so they can't hit you or debuff them so they can't do anything.

Oh and at low levels use a Dwarven Longhammer as your weapon and truestrike as your go to spell. You'll hit almost as hard as a barbarian and never miss.
+20 to hit and ignoring concealment is better then an additional 1D6+1 from from frostbite or shocking grasp and with the higher base damage from the hammer it'll equal the damage from the spells and 2hding the Longhammer pushes your average damage higher then the spells can go (and the crit is MUCH better).
PLUS it's a reach weapon so you'll never need to worry about making a concentration check to use it.
Once your Blackblade (hate this archetype by the way, it's absolutely terrible) comes on line and your hexes start showing up THEN you switch to the 1hders and the various combat tricks you use them for but always remember.
Your weapon is there to deliver your spells, not the other way around.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Melil13 wrote:

I can probably guess the answer to this but can you use Vital Strike on a Ranged Spellstrike?

I am making a Card Throwing Magus who can channel spells through the throwing cards.

Using myrmidarch and staff master ... in a hope of making the dmg from the playing cards (uses the stats of a Dart with a feat) viable i was hoping to use vital strike.

So Vital Strike (1d4+1d4) + Ranged Touch Spell (1d4,1d6,ect)

Do you think at level 6+

2d4(Vital Strike)+1d3(Acid Splash/Ray of Frost)+Str 2 + Arcane Strike 1-2

on 1 attack a round would be too much to ask a GM to wave?

You already know the answer to this question is no.

Vital strike is a standard action and casting the spell is a standard action and the spells you've listed can't be held.
If you were to substitute one of the touch range spells with charges (chill touch, frostbite, shocking grasp) then you COULD but you'd have to spend a round re-casting the spell to start it each time.

So no, you can't make a Gambit clone this way.

edit: here's the FAQ entry that shuts this idea down.

FAQ wrote:


Can Vital Strike be used with Spring Attack? Can Vital Strike be used on a charge?

No. Vital Strike can only be used as part of an attack action, which is a specific kind of standard action. Spring Attack is a special kind of full-round action that includes the ability to make one melee attack, not one attack action. Charging uses similar language and can also not be used in combination with Vital Strike.

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

In PFS you don't replace alertness with cooperative casting, you just keep the alertness ability.
I asked the same thing when the book came out.

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Unless I'm missing something somewhere that says the spell can come from the sensor

Well, it says detect magic and friends operate "through the sensor". What does that mean?

You keep pointing out that it doesn't specify anything about altering the range or point of origin, but you won't say what the difference is between casting detect magic by itself and casting detect magic through the sensor.

The rules say you can cast detect magic through the sensor; we have to follow that rule. So what does that rule mean?

Well now you are making assumptions that aren't in the spell. The spell doesn't say you can cast through the sensor, it's exact words are
Quote:
In addition, the following spells have a 5% chance per caster level of operating through the sensor

.

You don't cast the spell through the sensor just that if you have the spell running it be used on something the sensor can see. It's base emanation point is still the caster.

@mattastrophic, It is an old spell true but the game is constantly evolving and new spells really help identify changes in the language. This one is just the first I've seen that highlights this difference.

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Or perhaps more to the point, it says that detect magic (among others) "operates through the sensor". That means that casting detect magic while you're scrying is materially different than casting detect magic while you're not scrying. So what do you suppose that difference is?

My question with that is that the range of all spells is from where you cast it to the limits defined in the spell. The detect magic spell says it's a cone shaped emanation from you out 60 feet. Scrying lets you see the target but doesn't say that the spell emanates from the magical sensor (Like eldritch conduit does).

Since that spell exists and is the official way of having a cone effect emanate from a point other than yourself and the scrying spell doesn't have that language then by the default then Message, Detect Magic, etc. spells should still come from the caster and fall under the range rules that are built into those spells.
Unless I'm missing something somewhere that says the spell can come from the sensor you should probably need to either use long range spells or get close to your target before you scry and fry them.

edit: best I can tell is Scrying gives you line of sight/effect to the target but doesn't override the range restriction put in place to prevent scry and fry tactics from working.

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Majuba wrote:

Congratulations Jig.. Jiao-long, for getting to play this finally! :)

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
draxynnic wrote:
the party contacted the Red Raven by using a message spell through scrying (using the dagger that the Raven used to kill Adril)...

I'm a little curious how this worked to be honest.

Since scrying has a 1 hour casting time then the red raven is at least at the entrance to the maze (which is 300 feet from the back of the lodge). Message only has a range of 100ft +10dt per level for a maximum of 220 feet for a level appropriate caster.
Scrying says you can cast message through it but nothing about whether it changes the range limitation on that spell.
They should be able to observe him but not speak to him.
Being able to cast message and the detect spells "through the sensor" shortens the range. There wouldn't really be any point in casting any of those spells if it didn't work that way, since you're not going to scry on something that you have line of effect to.

I understand that's the assumption but I'm not seeing anywhere in the rules that states that assumption is true. It's not a defined perk in the scrying spell or in the divination school, nor can I find it anywhere in PRD that says that either.

I'm just looking for the rules text saying it works this way.

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
draxynnic wrote:

Greetings, all,

I recently ran the above module for a group, and have come across an ambiguity in the interaction between the module itself and the Pathfinder Society guidelines.

Basically, the situation is this: While the Red Raven escaped (just), the party contacted the Red Raven by using a message spell through scrying (using the dagger that the Raven used to kill Adril) and thus received the password in order to see his evidence implicating Adril. This meant Geppa was present for the encounter in the caves and, thus, they both had the password and someone to recognise the password when they reached that encounter, and thus bypassed the combat entirely.

This meant that they never had the opportunity to pick up the ring that controls the phoenix (or even know about it), and thus get the campaign point for that encounter.

The ambiguity is that the section on "Creative Solutions" in the Guide says that players who find a creative means of avoiding a combat encounter (and this counts) should get the rewards. However, the section in question talks about rewards in money and access, and talks about rewards for a combat encounter - freeing the phoenix is effectively a roleplaying encounter that follows the combat encounter.

For the record, if this was a home campaign I would have no objection to giving them a point on the basis that they also managed to rescue the naga (a personal agent of one of the Ten) from Condria's control - something that isn't listed as being worth a campaign point, but which possibly should be. Given that this is organised play, however, I'd like a precise ruling before I award (or otherwise) the point.

I'm a little curious how this worked to be honest.

Since scrying has a 1 hour casting time then the red raven is at least at the entrance to the maze (which is 300 feet from the back of the lodge). Message only has a range of 100ft +10dt per level for a maximum of 220 feet for a level appropriate caster.
Scrying says you can cast message through it but nothing about whether it changes the range limitation on that spell.
They should be able to observe him but not speak to him.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Diego Rossi wrote:

You need to have an actual, real hand free to use spell combat.

You can wield a metamagic rod with the hairs and use it with spell combat.

And where are you getting that interpretation? Prehensile hair has been called out as effectively an additional hand for nearly all purposes (save wielding weapons and shields) and is explicitly used as a casting hand for spellcasting and spellcombat.

What reasoning are you using to believe it's not valid?

Cheliax

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Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
kevin_video wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

The 9th THINKS they made sure of that. Every messenger, delivery boy, minion and new trainee who's made it too or past the front door saw something.Elise would have interrogated them all to find out what little scrap of information they might have seen or heard as they were doing their jobs.

Anyway, that actually makes it even easier. The hydra is outside the door and the golem is inside it. Use the exact same tactic and have the hydra beat the trap door down and attack the psychotic golem. If it wins great, if it loses the Verdant can finish off the golem and continue.
With the hydra's fast healing and multiple heads it should walk through any trap (especially with a pocket healer keeping it up) and wail on the golem hard enough to take it out of the fight in 2 rounds. It's bite bypasses the Golems DR and it's pounce makes sure it's always full attack. Have one of the casters hit it with lockjaw or strong jaw and not only...

The minions never made it past the front door. They know of the hydra, hangman tree, assassin vines, and golem, but that's it. The wizard is crazy paranoid. I mean, his eventual character's plot is, even if it takes 200k years, he wants to overthrow Asmodeus and replace the god. Not that Asmodeus doesn't already have that with the 8 other layers.

And they got rid of the lillend a long time ago by killing off Jurak and framing the priestesses of Farholde, and getting them to slaughter each other. There's no longer any clerics in Farholde, save Trik. The 9th made sure of that.
The dire tiger is the PC ranger's new animal companion, so one-eye won't betray them any time soon.
They'll have no problem with magical support since four of them are casters, and the other four are fighter types. There are eight of them, not including the NPCs they've got, and the undead. It will definitely be hard to make it a difficult fight, but I'll try.

There will ALWAYS be more clerics, until they complete book 3 there is an endless supply of new clerics out there coming this way. Doesn't matter though, clerics are immaterial to this combat. Since the druid and sorcerer know there's assassin vines, Hydra's, Hangman trees and a golem there, it stands to reason those two would simply charm all of those to attack the front door, kill the golem and rampage through. I'd do it and I know most PC's would do it too, it's just efficient that way.

As for the Dire Tiger:
A). That's not a legal animal companion for Rangers but you allow it so B). There's nothing about being an animal companion that prevents Charm monster from forcing it to attack it's master. It's just an opposed Charisma check and with the Gnome's charisma score he has a better then average chance of commanding the Tiger to turn(especially with a quick bungle spell at the right time).

Realistically both of these NPC's were built as controllers focused on enchantment and mind control spells. Given as much forewarning as they apparently have (without a doubt they know what classes and magical abilities the PC's have from the 7th) they'll be trucking as many charmed/summoned minions as they can and that could easily be a LOT (the ward doesn't stop summoning spells, it just makes you step inside of it to cast the summon).
Considering how big your players group is it would be madness not to bring at least an equal number if not more.

Finally this fight is as difficult as you want it to be, if you are concerned it'll be too easy then break the rules, you are the GM your job is to make it fun and exciting. Personally I'd sneak in with the druid wild shaped into an earth elemental and completely scout/map the place out, identify the priority targets and with a quick silence spell dog pile each PC when they are alone and asleep. That's no fun but probably the easiest most efficient way to do it.
Just remember, a Druid can go anywhere they want to and there's nothing you can do to stop them.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
kevin_video wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

You are incorrect about hide from undead, intelligent undead can be affected, they just have to fail a will save for it to affect them.

As for handling your problem...** spoiler omitted **...

Sorry, you're right. They're not immune. It's just that I roll well every time so they might as well be immune to it. At least when it comes to the PCs.

Wow, I must have half asleep when I wrote that and I can't edit it either. Let's try again because the scenario you gave me doesn't work at all, but would if what I said was accurate. The hydra is not on the second floor. It's outside at the bottom of the stairs to the first. The first floor has a built door with a trap on the other side, and is guarded by the alchemical golem who is situated behind the half-wall inside. The caves are so well guarded it's not even an option. Everyone would need command plants and charm monster to get that to work. Even with wands that's a lot of charges and low saving throws.
And Zadaria knows nothing. The 9th made sure of that.

The 9th THINKS they made sure of that. Every messenger, delivery boy, minion and new trainee who's made it too or past the front door saw something.Elise would have interrogated them all to find out what little scrap of information they might have seen or heard as they were doing their jobs.

Anyway, that actually makes it even easier. The hydra is outside the door and the golem is inside it. Use the exact same tactic and have the hydra beat the trap door down and attack the psychotic golem. If it wins great, if it loses the Verdant can finish off the golem and continue.
With the hydra's fast healing and multiple heads it should walk through any trap (especially with a pocket healer keeping it up) and wail on the golem hard enough to take it out of the fight in 2 rounds. It's bite bypasses the Golems DR and it's pounce makes sure it's always full attack. Have one of the casters hit it with lockjaw or strong jaw and not only will it destroy the golem in no time it'll do a real number on the PC's.
The Assassin Vines and the Dire Tiger are much closer and can easily be added to this natural revolt (they already don't like and have a reason to kill the pc's)and those 4 creatures running a muck through the first floor will easily decimate the traps and guardians there and probably through the 2nd floor too.
Your players will expend significant resources trying to curtail this rebellion before the verdant join the fight and if they are making an easier show of this then you like, well there's a interested Lillend who is likely to join the verdant on this assault and she is deadly with this group.

Getting in is the easy part, making it a dangerous but winnable fight for the PC's is the really hard part. This setup is full of TPK, 3+ pouncing, hard hitting natural attackers with serious magical support is hard to fight on a good day and this isn't a good day.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
kevin_video wrote:
SnowHeart wrote:
Between the lot of you, you ought to be able to find a gaming spot. Have you tried the community library? University library (they usually have tons of small meeting rooms that are available outside of exam time; provided one of your group is a student). Got a gaming store with a free table? Living room floor?

** spoiler omitted **

We're not the only ones out. PFS also used the university so there won't be any PFS games until Sept as well.

** spoiler omitted **

You are incorrect about hide from undead, intelligent undead can be affected, they just have to fail a will save for it to affect them.

As for handling your problem...

Unsecure location:

If those are the extent of your PC's preparation then that place is easy to break into with almost no modification to the banner verdant.
Step one, swap out one of Brunhild's Cure serious wounds with a Earth Glide spell. This lets her walk straight into the horn onto any floor room she wants. With Elise's information they know as much about the layout as you want them too.
Step two, Get a large bag of holding and a bottle of air. Put the rest of the party in the bag and carry them into the horn.

This gets them into the horn, with a quick invisibility spell and a liberal use of Fineas' Charm monster spell to convince the hydra to attack the Golem and go rampaging through the 2nd floor. It's fast healing will let it set off and recover from all the traps there forcing the party to come down and deal with it (or send other minions which lets the verdant pick off more of their troops).

Once the PC's show up ready to fight the Hydra the Verdant can appear and blindside them and turn that fight into a nightmare. If you want to be especially cruel you can have the druid use command plants on the assassin vines and throw them into the fight too.
Really the only change to what's written that I'd recommend is a limited use wand of invisibility so the verdant can be unseen when the PC's show up or use scry to see what's going on.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
roninwb wrote:

I hate rules lawyers as much as the next guy, but unless they have added errata or there is a rules clarification that i have not seen.You can not combine spell combat with dervish dance. As it is written, spell combat works like two weapon fighting but you use a spell rather than a weapon. Meaning that hand is being used for a purpose of casting a spell as your fighting. So your off hand is not free when you are using that ability. Both of them require the off hand to be free. One used it to cast spells and use touch attacks. The other requires it for balance. You can't even use both your hands to use the scimitar as a two handed weapon and have it work with dervish dance because your off hand has a weapon it it even if its the same as your main hand. Spell cstates the spell is being cast. So the round you use spell combat, you do not get the benefits of deverish dance. It's the same idea you can not use a two handed weapon with spell combat, your off hand is not free.

Spell Combat (Ex): At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. [Bold]This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. [/bold] 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). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than...

You are making assumptions that are not listed anywhere in the feat description.

Dervish Dance does not require your other hand to be empty it just requires you to not have a weapon or shield in it. You can have anything else there you want in that hand (a spell, a scarf, a bowl of fruit, etc) and be just fine.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Yes they get it.
Only difference between witch and wizard familiars is the witches holds their spells like a spellbound.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

No, thats not what I'm talking about.
To get your terrain dominance bonus versus the target it has to be native to the terrain you have selected not be in the terrain you choose.

terrain dominance wrote:
When dealing with creatures /native to that terrain, the horizon walker treats his favored terrain bonus for that terrain as a favored enemy bonus.

Terrain bond makes the terrain you are in function as your highest favored terrain, it does not make the creatures in it native to that terrain.

You'll get the favored terrain bonus but you wont get the favored enemy bonus.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Gaseous form + Hide from Undead, or just a good Rogue with Hide from Undead and/or Invisibility Sphere. The rogue currently with the party can open those locks with a decent set of lockpicks and taking 20. Easier thing to do is simply pour acid over the lock and push. They aren't trying to leave the place intact.

Simply use the same tactics against them that they use against you and relax. If they give you any issues with it just say do you not want this tactic to work the next time they try to use it?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Grizzly the Archer wrote:

Terrain bond allows the land your in to be your territory. That allows you to transfer your extremely high (example. Mountains +18) to lets say forest, when in the forest. And since it lasts hours, it works great for terrain dominance. It's very useful for combat, large scale.

Instant enemy is a swift, but you won't have 3rd level spells with only 8 levels ranger.

So, get a wand of instant enemy, but as a wand it's now a standard action.

I never said it wasn't nice, I said it doesn't let you use the Terrain Dominance ability against your target.

Dominance only works on targets that are native to that terrain, terrain Bond doesn't change that restriction.

Now if you are in a non-favored terrain and fighting a target native to your best terrain casting terrain bond will give you the init bonus but none of the combat bonuses.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Xavier319 wrote:
So yes

No. This question gets asked so much I had to go back and bookmark this dev response so I could just point to it.

Linkified

Mark Moreland wrote:
As for a familiar's abilities, they do not increase in duration or potency, as the creature's HD do not increase. For the purposes of determining whether or how a spell effects a familiar when the familiar is targeted (like sleep, color spray, or blasphemy), it treats the caster's level or it's own HD total as its HD (whichever is higher). A familiar scales by having half the caster's hit points, and using the base saves and base attack bonus of the caster if higher than the familiar's. But a familiar is not a cohort, nor an animal companion, and thus it advances only as outlined in the Familiars section of the wizard class description on page 82 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Grizzly the Archer wrote:

I'm also playing a Horizon Walker/ranger/rogue. Some insight:

Your probably better off getting to ranger 6 for the Imp. Precise shot and qualifying for HW. from there, 3 levels horizon walker to get the Terrain Dominance you want first. From there you have a decision to make. Delay 2 levels of rogue for morem HW, or take them now to boost your terrain, and take HW later.

I'm personally going ranger 6/HW 3/ rogue 2/HW 7/ranger 2

For nice benefits, take the player companion ranger ability instead of the animal companion version.myhis way, as a move action, you give your allies a bonus of your terrain (which is FE for all purposes) 1/2 your terrain bonus to atk/Dmg.

Also, the item, Horn of the Huntmaster, allows you to give your full FE bonus to allies for a short duration. S you can choose what to do.

Instant enemy spell, and terrain Bind spell are amazing. Better one is terrain bond, since it will allow you to not waste your first round casting instant enemy.

Instant Enemy is a swift action cast so it doesn't interfere with your first round action.

Terrain Bond is nice but it doesn't trigger the Terrain Dominance ability against your opponents so is less useful in combat.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

The teleporter is a nice way for them to invade and attack but not necessary depending on how well the PC's have defended the other entrances.
Swap out one of the clerics spells for a decent infiltration spell and have them use that to get in and out.

Cheliax **

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Mattastrophic wrote:

Though it's tough for any of us to talk about underplayed scenarios, because our perspectives are very limited, I'd say...

-Red Harvest (best scenario of Season 3)
-Eyes of the Ten I: Requiem of the Red Raven (best scenario ever)
-The Jester's Fraud (up there with Dalsine Affair in Season 2)
-Hall of Drunken Heroes (Season 1, pretty solid if The Weird Part is cut out)

Hall of Drunken Heroes is awesome (mostly BECAUSE of the weird part).

The look on their face when the ID that spell is so worth it.

After that I truly enjoy
Rebel's Ransom (An honest to goodness dungeon crawl and FUN to build)
Sarkorian Prophecy (She's my favorite 2hd wielder ever)
Pallid Plague (A scenario that encourages skills AND improv? Woot!!)

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Jubrayl Ibor Ardoc wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
I still prefer the Homonculus. Unlike all the other familiars out there this is the ONLY one that can actually increase it's base Hit Die and gain extra feats/skills/increase DC's and add extra powers.
*scribbles notes*
This only applies if it's built as a bestiary construct. If it becomes an actual familiar, familliar rules supersede that.

That's an... interesting interpretation, wholly outside the rules but interesting.

The only thing that changes when you take a homonculus as a familiar is it's hit points change to half of what the Master has and that it uses it's masters rank in skills that are higher than it's own.

familiars wrote:
It retains the appearance, Hit Dice, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, skills, and feats of the normal animal it once was, but is now a magical beast for the purpose of effects that depend on its type.

And I see what you did there Jubrayl, I'm watching you.

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