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That sounds like a good idea. Archetypes will be a lot easier to cover than feats. If I were doing it (which I'm not, so grain of salt needed!), I would just have an archetypes section and make a list. It's not going to be hugely long in all likelihood. I wouldn't break it down class by class and cover all of them, just more mention the ones that are worth taking, and say "Otherwise, don't really bother with one."
The Trapper archetype for Ranger nets you martial weapons along with Trapfinding and Disable Device as a class skill. You have Disable Device listed as Red and "Not you." It can very easily be you, especially with a Dex based build of any kind.
Starting off with Ranger (Trapper) 1/Wizard 5 probably deserves a mention as you can still pull off a good Gish AND be the party trapfinder/disabler decently well. Plus more skill points and Perception as a class skill, plus a favored enemy/Guide archetype (since Trapper and Guide can be combined, though I advocate against it as it's yet another Swift action to trigger).
On the same note, a Seeker Empyreal Sorcerer could very well be the party trapfinder/disabler, too. By your own advice, a Dex/Wisdom Sohei - Empyreal Sorcerer would be nice. Add in Seeker archetype on the Sorcerer, and you've got a darn good Trapfinder/Disabler set up, in addition to your normal Gish activities.
Also, Lore Warden archetype for Fighter nabs you a couple extra skill points if you only ever plan on using the Chain Shirt you mention earlier in the guide.
Gendarme archetype for Cavalier was already mentioned, but I will add in my vote for that being a solid first level.
Dud Muffin wrote:
Thanks everyone. This was kind of what i was afraid of, but i guess i didnt realize just HOW busted the myrmidarch is. I think i might make both builds (one based on the magus archetype and another based on a hybrid into AA/EK) and see which is more fun to play. I really like the zen archer/empyreal sorcerer...though that uber slow BAB progression will suck. But, our group has a pretty interesting campaign and its really expansive and flexible, so a few extra characters would be welcome....especially ranged combatants, which we sorely lack. Anyways thanks again for the advice and hopefully i dont crap the bed on these builds.
Well we're always here if ya need anything. Feel free to toss out any questions on feats or progressions or equipment. Have fun!
The problem you're going to run into, Dud Muffin, is that you're still advancing the Myrmidarch's already poor casting. However, by taking fighter, AA, and EK, you're making his casting even worse (at least 5 lost caster levels there in addition to a slow developing base casting progression AND an archetype that reduces spells per day).
You could go Myrmidarch 10/EK 10 if you really wanted to up your BAB by 2 in the long run...but you lose out on so many little goodies from Magus by doing so.
The options really boil down to:
Ranger 2/Fighter 3/Wizard 2/AA 4/EK 9
Fighter 1/Wizard 5/EK 10/AA 4
Ranger 6/Wizard 2/AA 4/EK 8 (just for Improved Precise Shot way early)
Some kind of Zen Archer/Empyreal Sorcerer/Arcane Archer hybrid is doable too, but I don't have a build at the moment
All of the above builds excel at different level ranges, some are more even keeled throughout, some are more damage oriented, some are more castery, some can be the group trapfinder/disabler, etc. It's really up to you to explore the options (as you've been doing here) and deciding what fits your style/character concept/game you'll be playing in.
Edit: Of COURSE, there are other builds than the ones above, but they fall around those general guidelines, with just some things moved around and the like. I've even heard people say Bard (Arcane Duelist) characters can be good archers, but I've never really looked into it.
2-8 the Myrmidarch is definitely easier to play than the full-hybrid gish archer. At about 9-11th level the Gish archer starts to take over. (And at first level it's equal.)
Partly, this depends on the play-style of the game, too. In a game where you generally know combats are coming up, the Gish archer is way more powerful. In games where you are frequently surprised at when combat happens, then a buff-reliant character is less powerful.
The real difference is in how versatile you want to be. The Magus spell list is just nowhere near as good as the Wizard one. The Myrmidarch loses spells per day, to the tune of having 2 less spells per level than a specialist wizard with equal intelligence. And once you hit 9th and on a Myrmidarch falls behind on both BAB and Spells.
All that said, with weapon training and the occasional Arcane Accuracy, you'll certainly do ok for yourself as a Myrmidarch archer. You lose out on spells like heroism and greater heroism, gravity bow, see invisibility, and countless utility spells...but as an archer you're pretty solid.
Once you fail to kill a PC when they should die, it can take months or years for your players to respect you again. If they don't think you will kill them, and worse, you prove that is true, nothing will have any effect ever again.
This. A thousand times this.
Also, the threat of death HAS to be there, or the whole thing loses its luster. It's one of the biggest reasons why I love reading A Song of Ice and Fire so much.
And the rest of the characters walked uphill to AND from the dungeon! Through difficult terrain! And when they wanted to talk to each other, they TALKED! None of this Message cantrip or Telepathic Bond stuff you kids use!
Unless you carry a quiver of large sized arrows, throw it on the ground, cast enlarge, then pick the quiver up again you won't benefit on ranged attacks from enlarge person. I think somewhere in the description of the spell it actually states that anything fired or thrown while you are enlarged shrinks to its normal size when it leaves your hands. So even when enlarged, you're arrows will just do 2d6 (counting Gravity Bow as cast). Think of Admiral Ackbar when using a ranged character and pondering Enlarge Person...It's a trap!
Buffing up your arrows with elemental enchants is really good until higher levels, when many things have many different resistances. Also, Rods of Quicken are amazing, but prohibitively expensive. I'd probably shy away from them (there's also the "what hand are you using?" issue when it comes to using a rod and taking a full attack with a bow in the same round).
Myrmidarch is fine, as others have mentioned, but if you want to be a magical archer specifically, I strongly encourage you to check out the builds I posted back up the thread.
As for Arcane Archer vs. Eldritch Archer...people feel differently. There are people here who would argue that Arcane Archer is better, but I think they are flat out wrong :P For me, Arcane Archer 4 is the cutoff in terms of how far I would take the class. After that, you start losing more caster levels for abilities that just aren't that great (in my opinion, of course). If you look at the builds I posted above, you see that AA is used to either finish off after taking all 10 levels of Eldritch Knight, OR to help get to 3rd level spells if you play a more martial build at first. Eldritch Knight is where it's really at in those builds, though.
Hybrid builds do tend to be late starters. I will absolutely admit that. As such, I'd check how far the campaign is going to go right off the bat. If people are really dedicated and convinced that they're gonna take it to higher levels, then it'll be worth it to play your hybrid. If you don't see it happening, then I'd avoid the more hybrid builds.
All that said, you can always play the more archery build at low levels, then only start going into magic around 6 and after. This will make it so your character is effective as an archer from the start, and IF the game starts getting to higher levels, you'll get the chance to add in some good casting.
Dud Muffin wrote:
Hey man, play whatever is fun. If your group wants to houserule the Myrmidarch and no one has an issue with it, then go buck wild.
That said, when you're dominating with stupid-good archery novas at higher levels, if everyone else is playing middle of the road, un-houseruled builds, you may end up being looked upon as a little munchkin-y.
If you houserule spell combat as allowable with Bows, you're going to end up with a free attack at your highest BAB that is also loaded with a damaging spell. That'll lead to 5 arrows at full BAB (granted, with a -3 penalty total accounting for haste, rapid shot, and spell combat), one of which will be loaded with a spell. Add in Weapon Training, Gloves of Dueling, buffs, etc....well, you see why you may end up getting some funny glances at how the houserule you asked for now allows you to do all of that.
It's not game-breaking, but its a BIG difference in power, which is where you may catch some flak since you're asking people to allow you to ignore the rules for your character. If your character then outshines everyone else, it's going to make you look sketchy.
Focused Shot is an awful feat. Seriously. It's garbage. Just ramp up toward Manyshot. Archers make their bank through volume of attacks, not trying to turn one attack into a big hit. If you really want to go the one attack route, I suggest the vital strike feats any day over Focused Shot.
Also, Cartmanbeck is correct about the Myrmidarch just not really working. You can't combine spellcasting with a full attack like other Magi do.
If you really wanna ramp toward a magical archer, I'd try a variation on:
You can fool around with the balance of levels in the build to achieve your desired result (and if you go with more full BAB classes early rather than wizard, then you may want to toss in Arcane Archer to help get to Eldritch Knight).
My favorite version of the build is:
This ends with 17 BAB and 9th level spells, which is pretty crazy. This is a little backloaded in terms of when you really come fully online (you start ruinating around 9th level, really).
You can also easily do something like:
That gets you Trapfinding and better archery throughout the build while still ending with 7th level spells and 19 BAB (higher than a Magus ever gets on both accounts). The spellcasting aspect does take a while to really get up and running here, but you're a damn functional regular ol' archer until then. You can eventually have a static damage modifier of +30 per arrow fairly easily, with a likely rate of fire of 7 arrows per round, and that's not including special effects for the bow or its base dice damage.
Now here's the funny thing in older editions it was explained (when you found it usually in expanded releases) that nothing asides from pure air could pass through a barrier made of force not even magic hence it did work as a protection versus touch attacks at least with shield and mage armor as they automatically protected you from all angles. However I haven't found a specific explanation of force in pathfinder yet. It's perhaps one of the few things they forgot or just thought it was obvious. As players and GMs my group has always said yes but I'd rather look for a way to contact Paizo directly about it than take what anyone has said here as your answer.
I don't believe it was ever the case that Shield or Mage Armor protected against regular old touch attacks, but, regardless, the answer is No/No for Pathfinder (it's as people have already said).
Developer responses are opinion, not RAW, at least until they make it into errata or FAQs. Quite honestly, the Devs would be the first to tell you that their responses to some issues on the board are simply how they do it in their home games, NOT what the rules actually are.
There's never been anything in any books as far back as their have been armor spikes that limit attacks with armor spikes to using arms. Even the pictures of armor with armor spikes on it show spikes all over the place, not just on arms.
When I describe characters using armor spikes in my games, it's almost always a mix of shoulder checks, knees, elbows, headbuts, forearm shivers, and leg kicks....along with punches if someone has a free hand. Essentially, you have spikes on your armor, so attacks with any spiked section work pretty effectively.
I really like the Seeking enhancement. It's also great for getting past mirror image, if that is something you're worried about seeing often.
For an energy type, I'd go with Corrosive first.
With that said, for your build it might be best to just use the numerical enhancements and aim for greater accuracy/dr penetration/damage that won't be resisted. So +1 to people who've already said that.
EDIT: I love, love, love, love Holy as an enhancement on a bow. If the majority of things you fight are evil, the Holy enhancement is absolutely golden. Plus, it overcomes DR/good, skyrockets your damage vs. evil, and won't be resisted by anything evil (unlike the elemental enhancements which are resisted by almost every extra-planar creature ever).
Abjurant Champion.....ahhhh those were the days. Of course, it was good but not AS good without using Wraithstrike as a spell. That spell was so fun with the 3.5 Power Attack.
War Weaver: The best buffer character ever. You were the ultimate enabler of your group, and it was amazing.
Suel Arcanamach: ASF reduction, cool spells, cool abilities, awesome flavor.
Spellsword: Why are there no classes that give permanent, flat reductions to ASF in Pathfinder?
I agree with Knight of the Raven and Swiftblade, which were already mentioned.
Two little known gems:
Jaunter: a 5 level PrC from an obscure source that gave really cool teleportation based powers. So cool.
Knight Phantom was basically a re-skinned Eldritch Knight with much cooler powers and much cooler flavor. So awesome.
The rerolls are there to protect against poor natural rolls, as I see it. You don't need to know the DC ahead to time to know if you're gonna use a re-roll power. You rolled a 2 on a Will save after seeing a wizard flap his arms and mutter gibberish? Probably time for the re-roll.
As for players wanting to know what DCs are so they can decide on hero points, that's so unfun and against the spirit of play that it would probably make me throw something at someone. Is it the BBEG? Are you a fighter? Did he just cast a spell and now you need a will save? Spend the hero point if you're worried. Don't try to mathematically game the system during big moments. Failure is ok...having it happen now and then tends to make adventures exciting.
If you're worried about having players accuse you of manipulating the DC of things on the fly, just make sure you have the DC written down/typed ahead of time whenever possible. Show them after the whole combat is over. If the still accuse you of cheating or something like that, then the group probably has some bigger issues going on.
I always roll it when I announce I'm casting it. If it's at the start of the day, when I announce that I have that up as a day-starter spell I roll it. It's always announced and in the open, and that way I can monitor it myself without interrupting combat later on.
Seems like a situation of the DM just being irritated with you, and it coming out at that moment...I personally don't see the big deal if you consistently do false life the way you're talking about, though.
I'm jealous. I'd love to play in a Dragon Hunting campaign.
I'd use the dragons as leaders, not solo encounters. Make them almost "bosses" rather than try to fill a campaign with them. Heck, even using good dragons as quest givers and the like could be fantastic in a campaign like this.
The cult suggestion is a great idea. Also, there was a cult in the Forgotten Realms that reanimated Dragons into Draco-Liches and such....that's be awesome for a good extended quest with some tough fights at the end. (Another area where good Dragons may be the ones coming to the PCs and asking them for help to end this desecration).
Early on you could even try some recovery style quests where the group is trying to rob dragons rather than kill them....though it takes a good group of you'll have to TPK them when they mess it up....which could be bad.
I call this build "The Beast in the Mist"
Cavalier (Gendarme) 1/Fighter (Lore Warden) 1/Alchemist (Vivisectionist) 1/Barbarian (Raging Drunk) 1/Ranger (Trapper, Guide) 1/Oracle (Waves) 1/Bard (Dawnflower Dervish) 1/Dragon Disciple 1/Gunslinger 1
That'll get you to 9th level. You'll have 5 BAB, but a whole MESS of tricks up your sleeve.
With a whole mess of tricks up, you can do:
3d6+25 (enlarge person, mutagen, rage, dawnflower dervish dance, power attack, +2 lucerne hammer, 18 starting Str and +2 from levels)
On top of that, you can drop Obscuring Mist and use the revelation from Oracle of Waves that lets you see in Mist. With your reach, you'll have full concealment and thus sneak attack, adding another 1d6 damage, as well as making it easier to hit and yourself harder to hit.
Feats: Power Attack (from gendarme), weapon focus (from fighter), Extra Rage, Combat Reflexes, Furious Focus, Extra Performance....and whatever else works (I'm too lazy to figure out the rest of the optimization here)
You have perception as a class skill as well as trapfinding.
Once per day, you get +2 to hit and +2 damage vs. a target.
Drink potions as a move action, and you can brew your own Enlarge Person potions from your alchemist level. Nice.
Cavalier's challenge? Sure, why not.
Natural Armor bonus from Dragon Disciple, access to Shield, and some other nice little spells can help out, too. Plus you don't lose much by going with heavy armor.
It's actually not too bad as a fairly heavy damage battlefield controlly kind of build. You can really clog things up with Obscuring Mist, Enlarge Person, and your Lucerne Hammer. Your attack bonus ends up being nice when buffed up, probably about +20 or so fairly easily.
Certainly workable. If your group is able/willing to take an hour or so after certain fights, you can also use your Mutagen fairly liberally. And since you get most of your attacks on AoOs, it's not a huge issue to use your turn for buffing while standing there waiting to beat things down.
Edit: For a 5th level build, I'd go with Cavalier (Gendarme)/Fighter (Lore Warden)/Alchemist (Vivisectionist)/Barbarian (Raging Drunk)/Ranger (Trapper, Guide). You'll get +4 BAB (second tick on Power Attack is big) and be able to do your Hulk out style thing perfectly well.
Fair 'nuff. Though, if you're not going to be following the guidelines you may want to warn players that you're playing the game totally different than it's intended, which will mess with average wealth per level and thus the CR system as a whole, not to mention people's builds and character ideas that presume they will be able to obtain certain items.
But notice that there are guidelines in place that your average player would assume something similar to. When you start completely ignoring those, while it may be GM discretion, your venturing off into "homebrew" territory in general, and should probably warn your players that this will be the case.
+1. Just played in a 2nd-3rd level game and saw how deadly this could be. Combine with Raging Drunk Barbarian for another great dip. Enlarge Person as a move action? Yes please.
An attractive Harvard student? Playing in a fantasy world is awesome...:p
Like I said...houserules. And for the record, your bit about magic shops and not providing them.....also a houserule. Settlements have rules for what items can be found in them, including when to roll and what for. Also, your whole thing about wizards and spells is covered by these same rules of what can/can't be found in settlements. So as I said earlier, and people have kindly illuminated since, enjoy the houserules....seriously, it's cool if it's fun for your group. Just don't come on here and confuse your houserules with RAW and possibly confuse others.
Arma virumque wrote:
Did you tell him this is badwrongfun and he should be using his spells for the boring Mage Armor? :p
If you just want to do Enlarge Person shenanigans, multiclass into Alchemist and take the Vivisectionist archetype. That gets you Enlarge person and some other good stuff, plus, it doesn't take a full round to cast since it's in potion form...you just drink it. Plus, you get access to mutagens, which are awesome.
Heck, you might even want to throw in a level of Barbarian for the Raging Alcoholic archetype (not the actual name, but close), so you can drink potions you craft up as move actions.
Fighter 1/Alchemist 1/Barbarian 1 is actually beastly right at third level, and for a few combats a day your DM will be angry with you. From there you can just take levels where you want or whatever. (The three level build above has 30 strength at level 3 when all buffed up).
Combat tactics usually fall under Intelligence, I believe. Though I understand if that's not how people play it. The whole point of insightful strike and combat expertise and the like working off of intelligence though, in my opinion, is that intelligence represents tactical combat ability. But I understand if you play that as Wisdom, too. It's not real clear, to be honest.
And a fighter using a reach weapon to begin with can really lock down a battlefield.
Also, it's more than a one damage increase. A: That strength might bump you two damage if you're using a two handed weapon. B: Your damage dice increase to that of a Large sized weapon.
Did you know: A level one barbarian with starting strength of 18 using a Lucerne Hammer, Rage, and Power Attack does 3d6+13 damage per attack when Enlarged (At an attack bonus of +6...+8 if they can get a masterwork weapon and weapon focus)? If he has 14 Dex and Combat Reflexes he gets 2 AoOs per round when Enlarged (-2 Dex, boo), and he threatens out to 20 feet (make sure to wear armor spikes for maximum effect). That's bigtime.
Have the monk ready a grapple attack. Then all of you pound the flier. It was already said above, but that's how you do it. If your character has such a high Int that it gives him lots of damage, he should be smart enough to figure out solid tactics vs. fliers, so it's not like you're metagaming or something by playing intelligently.
Also, I don't believe that a Swashbuckler's Insightful Strike ability specifies that you only get your Int to damage on melee attacks. You get it with Light weapons, so it's very possible to throw weapons and get your Int bonus. A light hammer has range 20. That could be pretty useful, though you might need quick draw to get the most from it. Darts may or may not work, too.
So you're taking more player options away from the players and putting them under DM control? If that's fun for you and your group, more power to you guys.
The knowledge skills are extremely important to the game, and there is really nothing wrong with players initiating the checks. For example, if I role play a character who studies religion...and yet I haven't read everything about the Gods of Golarion....I'm going to be asking for a lot of knowledge checks. It'd be the same thing if I roleplayed a Professor of Psychology (hint: I'm not a professor of psychology)...I'd need to use knowledge rolls frequently to see the difference between what my character knows and what I know as a player. Of course this involves the meta-game, but it HAS to. We're not medieval fantasy characters who have spent their lives devoted to things that...well...don't exist in our world. We have to use the knowledge checks to figure out what we know and what we don't. To simply take that away or only use it when you feel like it as a DM just seems wrong.
And if you have a huge issue with item creation, just ban it. The feats themselves represent your character's ability to figure out how to make the items in question, especially in conjunction with spells involved and whatnot. It's why there is a spellcraft check involved...it represents your ability to figure it out and make it work. Someone who is pretty well trained in carpentry can probably figure out how to build a nice back-porch, even if they've never done it or seen one before. If they try to get fancy, it's a higher check and demands more aptitude on their part...same with item crafting.
Ranger (Trapper - Guide) 1/Wizard (Transmuter 5)/Eldritch Knight 10/Arcane Archer 4
Starting at 8 is right around where this starts to get beastly. The ranger level is there so you can be the group's trapfinder, if needed. If that's not needed, it might be better to take 1 level of Fighter to start the build.
By the end of the build you end up with 9th level spells and 17 BAB....something you won't come close to accomplishing without prestige classes.
Also, it looks like your group could use some Ranged support, and this can fill that role.
If you want to avoid prestige classes, I'd still recommend an Archer build for the group you're playing with.
Deafened: Slam your weapon off a wall next to them, hit em upside the helmet if the helmet is metal, box the ears
Blinded: Spit in their eyes, dirt/sand throw or kick
Sickened: anything gross tossed on them, boot to the stomach, low blow
Shaken: superficially hurt yourself in an intimidating fashion, lick their blood off your weapon if you've already hurt them, tap them on a vital area with your weapon just to show you can
Dazzled: Reflect light, torch to the face
Entangled: cut the belt (or really any strap that would cause some entangling), toss rope at their feet, toss a blanket at them, loooove TwoWolves' hockey shirt trick, and if they're wearing a cloak or cape of their own you can do whatever you want with that
Put him in a small smoke/fog/mist filled room (with a high ceiling), then have a dread wraith or two pop out of the walls.
Dread Wraiths have spring attack and 10 foot reach, to go along with lifesense (which means the smoke/fog doesn't bother them). This means that the dragondemonguy is pretty much going to be flatfooted (and even when he is not, the dread wraith has a good chance to hit him). Also, Fort is his lowest save, so he'll rapidly start losing Con.
When he flies up higher to try and get away, he'll actually just be isolating himself from the rest of the group (and possibly provoking an AoO or two), which will make it easier to focus on him for the dread wraith(s).
Without ghost touch, it'll take him a long time to kill the dread wraith.
Anyhow, that's basically how I'd do it. If you feel the party needs to be distracted, put a lower level wizard in the room. Have him cast ground-based crowd control spells like Black Tentacles or whatever. That'll isolate the dragondemonguy even better, then you can have the dread wraith waiting inside a wall or something.
Edit: Also, incorporeal undead with class levels (Shadows, for example) can be fantastically fun (for the DM).
Bracers take up an arm slot, gloves are a hand slot. No conflict there.
That said, sell the bracers of armor and get a Pearl of Power 1. Give it to your wizard and have him cast mage armor on you. He should also have a lesser rod of extend (only 3k), and if you can convince him to extend the mage armor it'll last almost all day, even early on. +4 is much better than +1.
How powerful are the characters? Are we talking 25 point buy? Rolled stats?
What's the wealth looking like? They have good items that directly increase the potency of their builds?
Are they fairly optimized? Do they work well as a team normally, or are their tactics only mediocre or flat out bad?
If you plan on having the rangers focus fire on one character at a time....then you're probably going to lose a few characters. If the rangers are fairly disorganized, and the PCs are fairly optimal and tactically sound, then they might be able to do it.
All that said, fights like this often come down to luck. If you crit with a mighty composite bow fired by a 6th level orc...and the other orcs are also hitting the same character, get ready to say goodbye.
Also, how much warning do the PCs have? If they have time to shop for this, buff for this, and can come in with all guns blazing like a souped up SWAT unit...then they might be ok.
Stuff like spider climb, invisibility, almost all of the divinations, levitation, comprehend languages, teleport spells, identify, water breathing....just off the top of my head. Of course you can try to do a lot of it with skills, but it's a heck of a lot more effective with spells most of the time.
With those stats you could multiclass...
A seeker sorcerer would be one good way to start, as you'll get spells and trapfinding/disable device.
Ranger (Trapper)/Wizard/Eldritch Knight gets a lot of different class skills, trapfinding, spells, and decent combat ability.
Just a couple thoughts...but spells, to me, are going to be really important for artifact hunting and dungeon delving.
Fighter 1/Sorcerer 4/Dragon Disciple 4/Eldritch Knight 10
I'd go with Crossblooded Empyreal - Draconic for the Sorcerer. This is going to be more of a melee build that augments with magic, as opposed to a magic build that augments with melee. I'd put my best score in Strength, then get some Dex, Wisdom, and Con. With your scores, you could go:
That'd make you a pretty solid striker throughout the build, and if you wanted more damage you could use a Lucerne Hammer.
If you're set on Wizard and casting more, then:
A solid base that only loses 2 caster levels (take the magical knack trait), and gives you some bonus feats to work with. Dwarf isn't ideal for this, but it's not backbreaking with your scores.
At some point, though, you'll need to decide if your priority is melee or casting. If it's melee, you can make yourself really deadly...same goes for casting. It's hard to really do both decently, though (not impossible, but difficult).
One thing to keep in mind is that some of the polymorph spells can really work well if you DO decide to get into melee, especially with a reach weapon (be sure to get combat reflexes if you plan to do this). Heck, with a Lucerne Hammer and Enlarge Person with a 16 starting strength, you'd deal 3d6+6 damage per hit...3d6+9 with power attack. That could be at level 2. An alchemist does this trick even better, though.
If we're talking level 9, I resubmit my suggestion for Counterspells as a viable (and really cheap, actually) ring that is worth having. This depends on your interpretation of the rules on crafting, though. Caster level is not listed as a pre-requisite, however, it is explicitly stated that you cannot create an item below its listed/minimum caster level. This begs the question, of "Can a caster create something at a higher caster level than he has?" The answer, logically, is no, but CL is not listed as a pre-requisite, and you can ignore the required spells for a +5 bump in the spellcraft DC to craft.....so I dunno.
I wouldn't suggest a Ring of Wizardry, as I'd rather just buy pearls of power for the most part. Also, I don't think you really get more than 4 spells from a ring of wizardry, not 5. It doesn't double your bonus spell for being a specialist, as far as I can remember.
The two best that you meet the CL for, and aren't TOO expensive, are Freedom of Movement (20k to craft) and Evasion (12.5k to craft). I'm not sure how much evasion helps with your build, but if you have a decent Reflex save it can be really nice.
I'm not real sure, but my goal for any character who I thought of at all as a damage dealer would be at least 2o% of the baddies HP in one round.
I think that, if 4 party members all focus their actions on one enemy....they're in trouble if it takes more than one round to bring the enemy down. Of course, for encounters with big baddies this may take longer.