For those pioneering the black course oracle, remember that the -4 penality to weapon attack rolls applies also to ray, since they are considered weapon-like spells (you can focus them). It's not too hot having -4 on scorching rays.
While this is true it matters a bit less since unlike arcane classes they are 3/4 BaB and not 1/2. Still something to consider yes but not crippling.
The only thing that comes close that I know of is wreath of blades. But those are daggers not katana. They only don't really attack but rather hurt things in their area.
So dancing weapon is the only option and I know of no way to make it effect more weapons at one time. Perhaps find a way to get spiritual weapon? That would bring you up to 2.. But beyond that I don't think there is anything that's not homebrew.
Well a thought comes to mind. Because arcane in general has lower BaB then divine? Since full divine casters have 3/4 then half casters have full. Full arcane casters have 1/2 BaB so half casters(or partial since nether bard nor magus are really half casters.) get 3/4 BaB.
Not saying I would not want such a class or think its a bad idea. Just saying the logic of it makes sense.
The facts are that there are archetypes for Bard, Ranger, Alch, Oracle, and... (did I miss anyone?) that give the ability to disable magical traps and that 1/2 lvl to disable bonus. Since most of these can bring more to the table then rogue then yes it is common for people on the advice forums to advise against them. As to do otherwise would be bad advice.
Also the idea that a cleric is needed has long since been proven exaggerated. There is no such thing as something only the cleric can deal with. With UMD, Other classes the get things like heal and restoration and a ton of classes with cure spells there is no need for a cleric. Sure they are still a fine class as they are a full caster but if no one wants to play it that works too.
At low lvls sure. But archers beat melee hands down in mid and late game. The thing is archers can take feats that give them more shots. More shots mean static damage boost are more valuable (Inspire, weapon enchanments, arcane strike and so on.)
More so though is their ability to full attack far more often then melee.
-Edit- To the main topic though there is only one melee bqard build I would say tops archer (unless you want melee because its what you enjoy. Having fun tops all.)
The build is Flagebearer feat with a longspear and banner of the ancient kings.
Now your personal damage might not top the archer build but the boost you provide your team might tip the scales.
With the healing patron and the healing Hexes they can easily be main healers. Even in just a normal party of 4 the healing hexes equal 4 more spells slots a day. They can also pull of some interesting things with them like healing a entire city in a day since the hex is only limited by target not by use.
PS. there is only hedge witch if they feel the need for more heal-ish-ness but frankly I am not a fan. Giving up a hex to spontaneously cast cure spells isn't so bad but losing another hex for that mess of an ability Empathic Healing is just to big of a price.
"Leveling up" Is not something your chars "do". It is something that happens on its own. If you give a close read it is assumed your chars are always training and such in "off camera time.".
A continuation of that same idea new abilities and spells and such do not just pop up in that lvl up moment. Your Char has been working and training on it for awhile. Then at the point of lvl up is when they are good enough at it to reliably use it where there back side is on the line. Because honestly who would use an ability they have not mastered when its life or death?
I personally have found the "can just take a 5 foot step" does not work nearly as well in practice. Really do to a whole host of things. Terrain, multiple enemies having you threatened in the squares you could move to, Reach, step up, backed into a corner and so on. Now I never said it was top priority by any means. Just said it was something to consider.
As I said if it was me building it (well I would use flame oracle but if I didn't.) I likely would go guided hand or DD. Still its workable without as Salindurthas has shown with this ability score array. I personally would go with the first one as I dislike dumped scores but that's personal taste.
Another feat to consider is elemental spell for the times fire just wont cut it. Though it might go against the concept.
Is he concerned with doing very good melee damage or just being alright in melee? If the later guided hand feat can help lessen the need for a high str. Though I would still go at least 14. I would really say 16 wis. Sadly cha might have to be sacrificed so channeling will take a back seat big time.
There is also the option of a dervish dance build I suppose but its feat heavy and many people get up in arms over it. Still to make this less MAD I would go ether guided hand or DD. Or perhaps the weapon enchantments that do the same thing (though I really dislike basing a build on itemization.)
As for traits I think there is one that adds to consternation checks while casting defensively? The name wont come to me atm. Also if he somehow does end up with a fair cha dangerously curious comes to mind. Od course reactionary is a crowd favorite as well.
As for other feats as I mentioned glorious heat is not a strong feat but it does certainly fit the feeling of this build very well. Combat casting is he finds he will be casting in melee range a fair bit and well just the everyday combat feats. Antagonize might also be to his liking.
Well since its not a channel focused build nor at the domain powers worth anything most alternate favored class bonuses are no use.
So really its human for an extra feat since he will need heavy armor proficiency. Half-elf if he would like to use an exotic weapon or half-orc if he likes two handed weapons.
I can't find much of a reason for the other races. Granted dwarves +2 on saves is always good no matter who you are and alright states for this build but well I have a hard time recommending them for anything heh. Personal taste there tbh.
Theologian Cleric is a good catch there. I was not familiar with the archetype. It certainly fixes the problem of once a day domain slots and the metamagics are a nice bonus. Now are they nice enough to be better then the flame revelations? IMO I would say no but that is just me. Of course prepared > spontaneous most of the time so cleric has that going for it. But then again some people just like spontaneous more and with things like human alternate favored class bonus and half-elf paragon surge the power gap between the two types of casting is much smaller then it was in say 3.5.
In the end I am of the opinion that Flame Oracle has more of the holy fire feeling wheres the cleric just feels more like a battle cleric that happens to have some fire spells. What I mean by this is the oracle it feels more like a core part of the build. Cleric it feels like a side note.
The only thing that comes to mind is a flame oracle. But for the heavy armor its going to take a dip or a feat. Also point them towards the glorious heat feat. Not that strong but the flavor of it is wounderful for this concept.
The only other option might be a crusader cleric with the fire domain. they will be better in melee but the amount of fire spells will be very limited do to only one domain slot per lvl (where the oracle just flat get the spells to his spell list.)
The other two options being the paladin and inquisitor don't seem to have a way to get fireball (that I can find anyway.) and even if the paladin could the save would be low and they would take forever to get it. Inquisitor would be a great option if I could find a way to get them the fire spells. Maybe there is a way out there that I missed.
Tell me exactly why the Magus can only do it once a round? Alto once with the massive bonus of true strike but that does not mean can't do it more then once. Since all it takes one arcana to make their BaB for trip equal HD. They also just like anyone else can trip on a AoO.
The whole "Magic can do it better" thing is a bit pointless. If everyone played the game with that in mind no one would play anything but a full caster. But I for one would hate games that are that damn boring.
There is also a lot of times where monsters have "Must be this tall to ride" things. Abilities/spells/mechanics that without a way to deal with it makes them much more deadly. For instance incorporeal or ability damage/drain.
So not all +3 APL are even. If its +3 APL that is just a big beatstick with lots of hp then a good party will likely do alright. If its something with said abilities though and the party lacks the means to deal with it then not so much.
Well for me yes mostly. As frankly I don't care that much about these things. But there are some that do find that a feat makes a human more of an orc then a half-orc is well absurd. I wouldn't disagree with that opinion really. But absurd is not rare in system so I would just shrug it off.
But yes consistency in text is what I want. A term or phrase in one place should not be different then the exact same term or phrase in another.
Throwing a fit at people that want consistency in the rules is not helpful to anyone. More so they have made mistakes before.
Also expecting people that pay for a product to go scour the internet to find FAQs that change RAW (because yes how it written in the books the half races should be able to do anything that feat can do.) is well getting tiresome. Once in awhile yes but its getting to be to often.
Err also something I failed to notice. You list of classes leaves well no healing other then ranger and maybe oracles? (not sure if around means PCs will or won;t be allowed to play them.)
This gives ranger a bit more value too. Frankly I would drop a rogue any day before a ranger. SA is a very weak mechanic.
Well there is the spell instant enemy that makes favored enemy MUCH more powerful. It is like ranger smite really. With favored defense its even better. So a few times a day a ranger can pick an enemy they are very powerful against. That makes them the best BBEG fighter on your list.
There is the wide range of archetypes. My favorite being spirit ranger (spontaneously cast a few spells a day.) and Infiltrator (trade favored terrain for at will buffs that are much more useful.)
They also can get the feat shield master much sooner then any other class. Making them a far better shield user then any other class. (twf with sword and board plus instant enemy is much like a smiting paladin. Save for the target does not have to be evil.)
So they have consistent normal damage unlike a rogue that misses a lot and has to be set up just right. Then they have spike damage that will top the other classes you listed (save for maybe Barb. Not really in the mood to break down the math.) favored enemy is not really so minor. Since they can put all the bonuses into one if they like there is the potential of +10/+10.
Hmmm interesting. Would take 2 rounds to lead up to if you wanted to use it and true strike. But if you get your trip CMB high enough to not need it then it has promise. Still it suffers from the same thing all these enforce builds do. That is things immune to nonlethal.
Still a good suggestion. Now I want to build it... that would be the 100th or so build I am waiting to get the chance to play heh.
While the idea sounds fun as hell I do not think it works. Enforcer triggers of nonlethal damage. A trip does not do damage.
So one would need greater trip or a second attack to make it work. Since you will be taking 3 lvls of rogue your BaB is set back even more. Its an interesting idea but it would take way to long to get off the ground IMO.
Urist The Unstoppable wrote:
They might be "bad" for damage but there is far more to the game then damage.
A whip is a powerful tool when using true strike + trip/disarm and a magus can do it in the same round with spellcombat.
There are other ways to play a magus then single target nova damage.
If you really must have some sneak attack there is archetypes for classes other then rogue that grant it. Like for bard and alchemist. Unless there is a rogue talent you would really like they are a better option.
If you go with fighter lvls the most valuable thing that could come out of it is weapon training so you can use gloves of dueling. Problem is that takes 5 fighter lvls and that is tough to choke down on a caster class. That aside you sould look at fighter archetypes. Lore warden would get you extra skill points, Combat Expertise and +2 CMB/CMD. It is a very profitable 3 lvl dip.
Or weapon master that gets weapon training at lvl 3 giving you use of said gloves of dueling. Also pretty good for a 3 lvl dip.
Also as a random side not even though it seems strange you can two hand a whip. So at any time you can't get spell combat in you can two hand for added damage.
While that can be a problem yes its not a witch problem. Wizards have been pulling this kind of thing for a long time.
I really don't get the problem with evil eye and cackle. The theory of why its so strong seems to be the witch doing it over and over so a target now has -'s to a bunch of stuff and she keeps it going.
Is this really how its playing out in games or just theory based complaints? Because seriously if your which is standing within 30 feet of badies, not moving, and spamming evil eye/cackle how in the hell is she not dead? A low AC caster standing that close for a few rounds shouldn't be breathing.
Even going evil eye for - saves, cackle and then the next round trying to land something big is 2 rounds of being up close and should be risky.
The whole "what is an effect" thing is something that is inconsistent.
Take half-orcs ability orc blood vs the feat Racial Heritage. They both have the exact same text "effect related to race" (The fat goes on to give examples but example does not change the meaning of a word.) and yet at least according to these forums (I have seen dev speak on the feat but have not seen them do so about orc blood) the feat lets you take an orc archetype and the half-orc ability does not.
So what is an "effect" is sloppy at best.
I personalty don't get the ninja hate thing. Class names or only a metagame thing. Does your world have magic and people killing people? Yes? Then why wouldn't there be assassins with magic-ish abilities? You don't have to freaking call them ninjas. Just like a rogue does not have to call himself a rogue nor does he have to sneak about and steal all the time.
Didn't Buhlman or Jacobs or some other guys like way important in Paizo already lay down the law on this? so why is it still being discussed as if its some sort of new discovery??
Yes they did. Its not so much being discussed as its one person thinking disagreeing with people that clearly know more then him makes him cool or something.
So you know, The internet.
So you think being comparable to one of the worst builds one could come up with is alright? (here is a hint. two weapon fighting is terrible without added sources of damage like sneak attack or smite and so on.)
Its becoming clear that your attitude stems from very little understanding of the system. Since when it comes to single target damage Megus is trumped by a simple two handed barb. So how exactly is there a problem?
Then why does any min Maxer combat type roll anything but a magus since based on these interpretations he out fights any other character at low levels due to making more attacks in a tons than any other single character of any other class. Makes perfect sense to have one class capable of attacking twice and casting two spells per round at level two, all benefiting from his scimitar crit range. What's unbalanced about that?
/faceplam.. Really? More attacks has NEVER equated to better. If it did TWF wouldn't be the weakest fighting option. The fact is more attacks ate lower to hit is always sub-par to larger single hits.
If this "more attacks is better" Fallacy was anywhere hear true TWF rogues would be the best damage class.... see how that works out for them? Or FoB monks for that matter.
Magus is good single target damage sure but is still not even the best at that one thing.
-Edit- And what is this two spells per round stuff? Not unless we are talking higher lvls with some quickened spells.
Monster feats do say "Most of the following feats apply specifically to monsters, although some player characters might qualify for them (particularly Craft Construct)." and banning monster feats on the base of one feat is a bit of overkill.
Though I can not help but wonder if Hexs even work with ability focus.
Prerequisite: Special attack.
So it really depends on what one counts as a Special attack. Though I find nothing on any class that is labeled as such. Only on monsters. Wait even on them its labeled "Special ability".
/sigh sloppy writing once again.
Yes you are right. Force is force no matter the source. The "it doesn't say it does that" argument NEVER has any place in PF. Something follows general rules unless it says it does not.
This is something new DM's really really need to figure out quickly. Unless something says specifically that it does not follow the general rule then it does, always.
It would take up way to much space if every little thing had to state that it follows the general rules.
There are some Hex's that have an effect on a save (evil eye for one.) but its not only of them and not the most powerful Hex's. Slumber is certainly not one of the Hex's with an effect on a save.
-Edit- other advice other then stop his cheating. There are monsters that are immune to sleep that are not undead.
On Coup de Gra. Remember its a full round action (not saying you have done it wrong just being sure.) and is a lot less useful on things that can not be crited. Though that is a bit rare in PF.
In the end slumber is nice but to pull it off it takes the the Witch's standard action plus someones full round action.
I can agree that the skills are very nice for Inq (even if skills in general can largely be replaced by a full caster I like them.) and its one of my favorite classes.
Conversion Inquistion of course is a great option for being a party face. But Wind subdomain can get you a nice little AoE bull rush. That and many domain abilities are 3+wis uses a day so ther emight very well ge a lot of good choices.
Wisdom of the flesh trait to make one skill wis based works well in here.
While it will set back casting multiclassing into monk is also an option. 2 lvls of weapon adept does net a lot of gain. Wis to AC, and extra attack with FoB, Weapon focus, Perfect Strike,(2 uses plus 1 for every 4 inq lvls.)and 2 bonus feats. As far as 2 lvl dips go it does not get much better.