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[UM] Walter's Guide to the Magus


Advice

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Shadow Lodge

Question: If a Magus were to use the Construct Armor construct trait, would a Caryatid column be suitable and powerful? (Asking for enemy NPC advice)


Question regarding the guide.

I noticed while reading the Dervish Dance build that you suggest Weapon Finesse for use with Dervish Dance and the Scimitar, but from everything I have read the Scimitar is not affected by Weapon Finesse, am I correct in this?


Avalon2099 wrote:

Question regarding the guide.

I noticed while reading the Dervish Dance build that you suggest Weapon Finesse for use with Dervish Dance and the Scimitar, but from everything I have read the Scimitar is not affected by Weapon Finesse, am I correct in this?

The feat, Dervish Dance, makes the scimitar finessable and acts as a piercing weapon for PRC requirements and also substitutes your dex. bonus for your str. bonus for weapon damage. This is what makes the dex. build Magus so effective and allows a person to ignore strenght for the build. There is an argument, which I think is valid, the build should have a str of 13 to qualify for power attack.

Doug

Andoran

Also, weapon finesse is a pre-requesite for dervish dance.


godoffire04 wrote:

Currently loving my first time character a level 10 Magus.

But I'm gonna be building a new character soon, and had a great idea for ranged Gestalt Magus Archer. I know there is an Arcane Archer Prestige Class. But I wanted some input on whether anyone thinks using Spellstrike as you draw/nock arrows as legit?

Just to follow up on my earlier post, the GM ruled that Spell Combat is possible with a bow. But spellstrike was not possible unless I took minimum 2 levels of Arcane Archer Prestige Class for the Imbue Arrow ability. Once I had that I could use Area spells and Touch spells with arrows.

Grand Lodge

Anyone done any write up on the Myrmidarch or any sort of assessment?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

I just found out a great use for the (otherwise) stupid 1st level spell corrosive touch, if you play in a very demon heavy campaign (like i am now) you should switch your focus from shocking grasp to corrosive touch.


godoffire04 wrote:
godoffire04 wrote:

Currently loving my first time character a level 10 Magus.

But I'm gonna be building a new character soon, and had a great idea for ranged Gestalt Magus Archer. I know there is an Arcane Archer Prestige Class. But I wanted some input on whether anyone thinks using Spellstrike as you draw/nock arrows as legit?
Just to follow up on my earlier post, the GM ruled that Spell Combat is possible with a bow. But spellstrike was not possible unless I took minimum 2 levels of Arcane Archer Prestige Class for the Imbue Arrow ability. Once I had that I could use Area spells and Touch spells with arrows.

Thats a houserule, and if you want it, not a bad one at that. That said. You would do a lot more damage with a high threat range weapon like a scimitar or a katana. If you stick with the bow the spell flame arrows will be your friend.


Helaman wrote:
Anyone done any write up on the Myrmidarch or any sort of assessment?

Most opinions I've heard find the myrmidarch suboptimal. Diminished spellcasting really hurts, especially since your typical magus puts Str or Dex ahead of Int so you don't get a lot of bonus spell slots.

Ranged Spellstrike has some positive points to it (hard to argue with touch range spells being delivered by arrows), but some significant negatives (and spotty wording). The magus list spells which can be used with it are limited. The Reach Spell feat and adding spells to the list through Spell Blending arcana are pretty much a necessity. Spells that could have use like reach chill touch and reach frostbite can only be used on one attack until 11th level, and even then the duration expires at the end of the round. Damage-dealing spells like []scorching ray[/i] or reach shocking grasp suffer from a suboptimal threat range and lose damage potential compared to a normal magus.

The myrmidarch also replaces most of the magus abilities with less-powerful options. Giving up both your spell recall and improved spell recall (unlike something like the hexcrafter which still gains late access to spell recall) sucks. Gaining weapon training instead of three arcana sucks. Losing access to your knowledge pool just to gain fighter training a little earlier than a normal magus sucks. Armor training intead of the later spell combat improvements is decent.

You may be able to make a specialized archer with this archetype that is effective, but I'm not sure how optimal it would be.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

And very weird wording on ranged spellstrike.

Grand Lodge

No errata for that yet?


Helaman wrote:
No errata for that yet?

None. Ranged Spellstrike still:

  • refers to single- and multi-target ranged touch spells, when your typical ranged touch spell stat block has an effect instead of a target.
  • drops any effects not used during the round the spell is cast, but doesn't incorporate that casting into the full-attack action mentioned as allowing spell effects to be delivered with the 11th-level ability (even though it's most likely RAI)... effectively rendering the improved ability useless.

This is the house rule rewording we're using for Ranged Spellstrike while testing out potential usability of the myrmidarch archetype in case anyone wants it. I'd avoid the archetype altogether in something like PFS unless you're only playing the character under the same few GMs and have a concrete ruling on how they're interpreting RAW.

suggested Ranged Spellstrike errata:
Ranged Spellstrike (Su): At 4th level, a myrmidarch can use spellstrike to cast a spell with an effect that allows a ranged touch attack and deliver it through a ranged weapon attack. Even if the spell's effect normally allows multiple attacks, only a single missile, ray, or effect accompanies the attack.

At 11th level, a myrmidarch may use this ability with a full-attack action, delivering one ray or similar effect with each attack (up to the maximum allowed by the spell). Any effects not used in the round the spell is cast are lost. This ability replaces spell recall and improved
spell recall.


Banpai wrote:
godoffire04 wrote:
Just to follow up on my earlier post, the GM ruled that Spell Combat is possible with a bow. But spellstrike was not possible unless I took minimum 2 levels of Arcane Archer Prestige Class for the Imbue Arrow ability. Once I had that I could use Area spells and Touch spells with arrows.
Thats a houserule, and if you want it, not a bad one at that. That said. You would do a lot more damage with a high threat range weapon like a scimitar or a katana. If you stick with the bow the spell flame arrows will be your friend.

Yeah sorry, it's totally a houserule. But as far as damage goes, I'm not worried the total build is Race: Sylph (with Darkvision) Class: Gestalt Sniper Rogue 11 / Magus 9 - Arcane Archer 2. My character's weapon is a +1 Keen Frost Composite Longbow (Strength Rating 4). And I can add on more damage with my Arcane Pool Ability (+3 Total Bonus), As I get higher with Arcane Archer I can choose more elemental or alignment effects to put on my arrows per day. I have Rapid Shot, Many Shot, Snap Shot for AoOs just in case I'm that close. I have 4 consistent ways of getting a minimum of 1 sneak attack: Stealth (31) with Stealthy Sniper Rogue Talent, Invisibility & Greater Invis, Darkness & Deeper Darkness(with the Shadow Strike Feat to deal SA even if they have concealment. I plan on casting Darkness on arrows and firing them at the enemy.), and Prescient Attack Arcana. I took Intensified Spell so I can have Shocking Grasp 10d6, Corrosive Touch 10d4, and eventually 15d6 for spells like Vampiric Touch or Fireball etc.

It's gonna be a fun evil campaign!! So far we've met one NPC in the campaign, I'm fairly sure she's a Gestalt Monk / Sorcerer - Arcane Archer. She might be better at the archery, but she can't cast spells and attack in the same turn!!!!


WalterGM wrote:
qutoes wrote:


That said, does anyone know of some good multiclass options with the magus? My rule of thumb for any character is usually just to stick with one class since all the pathfinder base ones got a pretty sizeable bump from 3.5, but I don't know if that's true for the magus in particular.

Hey Walter.

I really like your magus build, and I had an idea regarding the multiclassing thing. how about taking the souldrinker prestige class from BoD3? when following the horseman of war you get enhancements for your weapon, which also - if you are a staff magus - should give you extra AC. and if your GM is a little large he might even let your spell strike your level drain. I'm thinking if this because i'm running a campaign we're the main villain is a magus who's about to to be heightened to a nascent daemon lord, so thematically it makes sense. but what are your thoughts? i know the level drain is a little far fetched, but even if you don't allow that it's pretty neat.


Since we're talking bout multiclassing, I noticed that the guy doesn't really recommend any good level 6 spells, how about doing to focus more on the fighting aspect?

Then you could consider dipping a level or 2 in fighter for bonus feats and maybe even taking levels in EK for Spell Critical and full BAB/d10 HP.

You can feasibly make your BAB 17 or 18 by level 20, much better than the 15 cap, and giving you one more attack on a FRA.


Not that it isn't a viable option but being a better fighter is only really noticeable in the first half of the game. At level 7, your fighting skills become less and less relevant when compared against the power of spellcasting characters and it gets progressively worse after that.

While going EK gives you more BAB and slightly more HP, your Will save gets even lower (and it's low enough as it is since you dumped Wis like every other magus), you skip a caster level and miss out on all the great magus class abilities and arcanas after level 10. Spell critical is nice, but it's really not worth it if you ask me.

Dipping into fighter may or may not be a good idea. At early levels you won't want to miss any of the magus abilities, at later levels the effectiveness of such multiclassing is questionable unless you really need some feats.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

The Magus like the witch is one of those classes that feel like a multi-class already.


Keneth wrote:

Not that it isn't a viable option but being a better fighter is only really noticeable in the first half of the game. At level 7, your fighting skills become less and less relevant when compared against the power of spellcasting characters and it gets progressively worse after that.

While going EK gives you more BAB and slightly more HP, your Will save gets even lower (and it's low enough as it is since you dumped Wis like every other magus), you skip a caster level and miss out on all the great magus class abilities and arcanas after level 10. Spell critical is nice, but it's really not worth it if you ask me.

Dipping into fighter may or may not be a good idea. At early levels you won't want to miss any of the magus abilities, at later levels the effectiveness of such multiclassing is questionable unless you really need some feats.

I agree in hindsight, esp. considering that the trturn is too little: at least a wizard/sorcerer keeps full spellcasting of a MUCH better set of spells.


I am putting up an analysis of the Kensai archetype should this guide get continued and for anyone interested.

Pro: it offers more of the advantages for going Dex over Str. You get better init, AC, and stat spread. It is also quite capable of outputting more damage than a regular dervish build because of the ability to bump your weapon up to 15-20/x3 by level 5. It also plays nicer with AC builds because Mage armor and Int to AC match up to wearing armor without having to worry about that pesky max Dex bonus.
Con: the price of your martial prowess is taking a hit to your casting ability. Losing a slot per level, spell recall, knowledge pool, and improved spell recall means losing the ability spam shocking grasp and vampiric touch later.


looking over the equipment section and i see you just put longbow. for a strength based build I would recommend the composite longbow if gold supply allows allows it. true your to hit is not going to be spectacular but as a just in case thing might as well grab the one that you will do the highest amount of damage with.


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I had some ideas for magus combos.
Enforcer Feat (Advanced player's Guide) and Spellstrike using the Frostbite (Ultimate Magic): A Target would potentially be affected by fatigue, shaken and possibly the frightened condition and if you add Rime meta magic feat (Ultimate Magic) add entangle to that.

Opening Volley (Ultimate Combat) + Ranged attack spell such as scorching ray: At the lowest levels using a ray of frost to bump your to hit by +4 on the round before the big melee attack isn't bad. If you add Weapon Focus feat (ray spells) Weapon Specialization [Ray spells] Point Blank Master feat (Advanced player's Guide) you will be able to use range attack spells without provoking on the attack roll. I will admit that it does not specify spell attacks under specialization but I don't see it as a huge stretch since focus does but I can still see where a DM might say no, So YMMV.

Death from Above (Ultimate Combat) + fly spell: Just call me peter pan.

Topple spell feat + Force spell + The Trip feat chain to increase trip roll and eventually provoke attacks when they are tripped by the spell.

Wanted to see what others thought and wanted to see if any one else had worked out other combos that fit the Magus fighting style.

Shadow Lodge

Question: After Shocking Grasp stops being able to get more damage at 10th level, what is supposed to be your damage-dealing spell?


There's really no particular reason to change damaging spells simply because you're not adding more damage onto shocking grasp. It remains viable and useful, particularly if you apply feats like maximize and empower to it.

Vampiric Touch has just started to become nice, so if you want to use it, you can.

However, most of your higher level spell slots allow you to cast spells which, while not usable with spell strike, either inflict SoD/SoS conditions or deal damage across multiple targets. Since you can still make a melee attack while casting one of them, just use that instead.


Narrater wrote:
Enforcer Feat (Advanced player's Guide) and Spellstrike using the Frostbite (Ultimate Magic): A Target would potentially be affected by fatigue, shaken and possibly the frightened condition and if you add Rime meta magic feat (Ultimate Magic) add entangle to that.

This requires that you have at least an average Charsima which is a dump stat for a Magus plus an investment into Intimidate which is a suboptimal choice for a skill unless Int is your primary stat and you've got an overflow of skill points.

Narrater wrote:
Opening Volley (Ultimate Combat) + Ranged attack spell such as scorching ray: At the lowest levels using a ray of frost to bump your to hit by +4 on the round before the big melee attack isn't bad. If you add Weapon Focus feat (ray spells) Weapon Specialization [Ray spells] Point Blank Master feat (Advanced player's Guide) you will be able to use range attack spells without provoking on the attack roll. I will admit that it does not specify spell attacks under specialization but I don't see it as a huge stretch since focus does but I can still see where a DM might say no, So YMMV.

This is a huge feat investment and you're already feat-starved enough as it is. You shouldn't have much trouble hitting your marks anyway, if you have time to cast a spell and your target is extremely tough, just cast true strike.

Narrater wrote:
Death from Above (Ultimate Combat) + fly spell: Just call me peter pan.

This amounts to a +2 effective bonus when charging since you already get a +3 bonus when charging from above. You shouldn't be charging anyway, leave that to barbarians. :)

Narrater wrote:
Topple spell feat + Force spell + The Trip feat chain to increase trip roll and eventually provoke attacks when they are tripped by the spell.

This is already a known combo although taking the entire trip feat chain is generally not a great choice unless that's your character's shtick. Works great with force hook charge though.

Note that these aren't bad ideas but you should weigh them against other things you could be doing and decide if it's worth investing your resources and combat rounds in.


Keneth wrote:
Narrater wrote:
Enforcer Feat (Advanced player's Guide) and Spellstrike using the Frostbite (Ultimate Magic): A Target would potentially be affected by fatigue, shaken and possibly the frightened condition and if you add Rime meta magic feat (Ultimate Magic) add entangle to that.
This requires that you have at least an average Charsima which is a dump stat for a Magus plus an investment into Intimidate which is a suboptimal choice for a skill unless Int is your primary stat and you've got an overflow of skill points.

I can't really agree here you will most likely have at least 4 points every level and your list of skills isn't that long and almost all of them are what I would consider roleplaying choices they don't truly effect your magus's job in the party deciding to focus on one such skill over another is really personal preference. Deciding to capitalize on that focus is optimizing. Will this be the best selection for everyone, no but any magus that wishes to focus on intimidate will get good millage from it with this feat and spell.

I do understand that intimidate is a charisma based skill but even skills that rely on dump stats can be useful if proper planning is taken into consideration. In this case the weight of multiple dice rolls plays heavily in the Magus's favor. Every time he deals nonlethal damage he is able to make a roll when using this combo even with a poor charisma score the weight of numbers will likely win out and once he is successful it lasts for a number of rounds equal to the nonlethal damage dealt witch is 1d6+ 1/level thats awhile.

Keneth wrote:
Narrater wrote:
Death from Above (Ultimate Combat) + fly spell: Just call me peter pan.
This amounts to a +2 effective bonus when charging since you already get a +3 bonus when charging from above. You shouldn't be charging anyway, leave that to barbarians. :)

I can see where your coming from with this.

Keneth wrote:
Narrater wrote:
Topple spell feat + Force spell + The Trip feat chain to increase trip roll and eventually provoke attacks when they are tripped by the spell.
This is already a known combo although taking the entire trip feat chain is generally not a great choice unless that's your character's shtick. Works great with force hook charge though.

When I was working this out I was thinking of a magus that would select maneuver mastery for trip attacks. I knew that toppling plus force spells where a known trick but I hadn't seen it anywhere in the discussion about combining them with the trip feats not that it isn't possible that I might have missed it. It is a long thread after all.

Keneth wrote:
Note that these aren't bad ideas but you should weigh them against other things you could be doing and decide if it's worth investing your resources and combat rounds in.

Thank you for your feedback and while I know that some of these selections aren't the absolute best feats that can be selected I believe that every Magus doesn't have to be a cookie cutter dex based whirling dervish to be great at their job. So you understand I am not trying to sound like a jerk I just think that many people get stuck in what is the prevalent wisdom of what is optimized that they tend to shut out anything that deviates from that set plan. Besides nothing wrong with a little healthy debate.


Narrater wrote:
I do understand that intimidate is a charisma based skill but even skills that rely on dump stats can be useful if proper planning is taken into consideration. In this case the weight of multiple dice rolls plays heavily in the Magus's favor. Every time he deals nonlethal damage he is able to make a roll when using this combo even with a poor charisma score the weight of numbers will likely win out and once he is successful it lasts for a number of rounds equal to the nonlethal damage dealt witch is 1d6+ 1/level thats awhile.

You're right, of course. If you're gonna be using frostbite a lot, then it can be a good idea amp it up with extra conditions and the numbers will work in your favor even with an average Intimidate bonus. It's hard to use Frostbite efficiently though, I gave it a shot with one of my characters but I just ended up wasting most of it since I had to cast other spells. I wish they'd change the rules so that your familiar could hold the charge while you cast other stuff, then it'd be awesome.


That would certainly make a familiar more popular as a character choice. Maybe a home grown feat that provides that kind of flexibility would work? It certainly is an interesting idea.


I'm playing a dervish dance elf magus who did not dump cha, and I'm tempted to take a 1 level dip into archaeologist bard, or even rogue. I am already picking up a morale bonus from another PC, so I don't want to battle dance.

I know trading a level of magus is a step back in power, but I would gain a lot of flexibility, capitalizing on the dex based skills. Two first level bard spells wouldn't hurt either. The rogue offers less overall. I'm getting both a +1 morale bonus and a +1 sacred bonus from other players, so the loss of a BAB won't hurt too bad in terms of accuracy.

Just curious what you all think about this option.

Andoran

Its a weaker option than straight magus. Use traits, maybe even the extra traits feat, to grab the skills you want as class skills. Don't multi-class for skills.


Magi are not responsible for being skill monkeys, multiclassing is gonna set you back quite a bit with not much in return unless you desperately need those skills to be high, the +3 from training is nice but there's better ways to deal with the problem than losing a full level.


So I have a question...

With Arcane Pool I can give my weapon up to a +5 maximum bonus, and @ 5th level I can give it some certain weapon properties. UM states "If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added."

If Vorpal is a +5 bonus, how can I add this to a weapon that must already have at least a +1 bonus on it? That would be a +6 bonus, which according to the UM isn't possible.

As a follow up, if I am playing a Bladebound archetype, the weapon gets automatic enhancement bonuses as I level. Am I correct in thinking that this makes the Arcane Pool ability less and less useful as far as enhancing my weapon (useless at level 19)? I would then be using my Arcane pool just for things like powering Magus Arcana and Spell Recall?

Great thread and awesome Guide!


You can purchase up to a +10 bonus half can be straight plus bonuses the other half can be special abilities. I think that should answer your second question as well.

Another thing to remember is that this ability allows the Magus to pick up any weapon and place a bonus on it. So if you loose your primary weapon even temporarily you can buff up what ever happens to be on hand to defend yourself with. You can also use it to increase the effectiveness of any secondary weapons you carry that are more effective for the current situation such as a bow if you are having trouble closing to melee range such as when facing a flying enemy.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Kyorlin Oloth wrote:


As a follow up, if I am playing a Bladebound archetype, the weapon gets automatic enhancement bonuses as I level. Am I correct in thinking that this makes the Arcane Pool ability less and less useful as far as enhancing my weapon (useless at level 19)? I would then be using my Arcane pool just for things like powering Magus Arcana and Spell Recall?

No it's not useless at 19 level, you will just put special abilities on the weapon.


Kyorlin Oloth wrote:

So I have a question...

With Arcane Pool I can give my weapon up to a +5 maximum bonus, and @ 5th level I can give it some certain weapon properties. UM states "If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added."

If Vorpal is a +5 bonus, how can I add this to a weapon that must already have at least a +1 bonus on it? That would be a +6 bonus, which according to the UM isn't possible.

As a follow up, if I am playing a Bladebound archetype, the weapon gets automatic enhancement bonuses as I level. Am I correct in thinking that this makes the Arcane Pool ability less and less useful as far as enhancing my weapon (useless at level 19)? I would then be using my Arcane pool just for things like powering Magus Arcana and Spell Recall?

Great thread and awesome Guide!

You have to remember that enhancement bonuses are the flat +s on a weapon, and special abilities are effectively their own seperate category. As you level up while being a magus, if you've got an appropriate magic weapon for your level which you are enhancing, you will eventually have to stop adding flat +s and start adding qualities to your weapon instead. So, you've got a +4 weapon, and arcane pool would let you add up to another +5 to it? Since only one of those can be a +, you will need to pick four qualities to add as well.

Now, where this would become useless is if you happened to be carrying around a permanent +5 Flaming Shock Cold Corrosive Aberration Bane weapon. It's already at the +10 maximum for special abilities and enhancements combined. But because you're a smart magus, you've realized you never want a weapon like that: your flexibility at being able to add special qualities is so far superior over owning a fixed item that you will immediately sell any weapon like that you find (or magnanimously give it to your friend, BSF).

A bladebound magus simply takes this frugal attitude to the next degree (which some might argue makes them miserly :-) ). They recieve their +5 weapon for free as they level up, and add the special qualities they want when they want them, using arcane pool.


I have a question about shocking grasp vs. scorching ray. Assuming either can be my magical lineage target and pumped with intensified spell, shocking grasp is 10d6 and a free hit from spellstrike; scorching ray is 9d6 X 3 = 27d6 without the free hit by lvl 11.

I have yet to create this character, this is all preliminary research, but could I not just have lunge for making full round attacks and use scorching ray at that distance and do more damage that a spellstrike shocking grasp? What level does a magus's single weapon strike become greater than 17d6 I get from the scorching ray vs shocking grasp. Or is there some other mechanic going on that I do not see that makes spell strike shocking grasp superior?

Cheliax

Brady Schwandt wrote:

I have a question about shocking grasp vs. scorching ray. Assuming either can be my magical lineage target and pumped with intensified spell, shocking grasp is 10d6 and a free hit from spellstrike; scorching ray is 9d6 X 3 = 27d6 without the free hit by lvl 11.

I have yet to create this character, this is all preliminary research, but could I not just have lunge for making full round attacks and use scorching ray at that distance and do more damage that a spellstrike shocking grasp? What level does a magus's single weapon strike become greater than 17d6 I get from the scorching ray vs shocking grasp. Or is there some other mechanic going on that I do not see that makes spell strike shocking grasp superior?

The difference between these two options are:

1. Shocking grasp is a first level spell and can be done at first level and a lot more often per day.

2. Scorching ray is 2nd level and requires you to take close range to spellstrike with it (which reduces it to 1 ray) or give up the extra attack per round.

3. Magus are crit based fighters, a 20d6 shocking grasp (+2d6 from the weapon itself) is much better and more likely then the the 4d6 from scorching ray.

Overall the reason this isn't recommended is you can't make use of this trick before 4th level. You're probably only able to do it about a 35rd as often as shocking grasp AND your more likely to hit with shocking grasp anyway (that +3 to hit metal armor is very useful) and the expanded crit range of using the weapon makes spellstriking shocking grasp SOOOO much better.

edit: Also intensified doesn't actually DO anything for Scorching ray. It only affects spells where the DIE of damage is increased by level, not the number of rays produced.


Brady Schwandt wrote:
Assuming either can be my magical lineage target and pumped with intensified spell, scorching ray is 9d6 X 3 = 27d6 without the free hit by lvl 11.

Scorching ray cannot be intensified, and does not do 9d6 per ray. It does a flat amount of 4d6 per ray that doesn't scale by level.

-James


Ah, yes, I completly forgot about that mechanic of intesified spell when it hit me that scorching ray could be like 3 shocking grasps for just an increase in spell level.

But, I have another question now. Within your guide I read that you use both arcane accuracy and arcane strike. I believe the first to be the arcana and the second to be the feat. If they both require swift actions to perform, how is this possible? I thought you could only have one swift action per round.


Walter's recommendation for arcane strike is based on the theory that you will eventually run out of Arcane Pool points, which is not a bad theory for any group where your DM has learned not to allow 15 minute work days.

Because of this, Arcane Strike is a recommended feat for those moments in time when you are without pool points but still fighting, as it allows you to still use your swift action to gain a bonus to your weapon.

At least, that was my understanding from reading the guide. I don't recall seeing a point where he figured out stats with both of them functional at the same time.


Under the "Breakdown of builds" section, for both Str and Dex builds at level 11 he states "He can haste himself, so when he spell combats with Arcane Accuracy and arcane strike he hits for +24/+24/+19 that hit for 1d6+17 each, critting on a 15-20." (This being copied directly from the dex build).

I read this as a calculation with both arcane accuracy and arcane strike taken into the crunch, which was my confusion and the reason behind my question.


If Arcane pool adds an enhancement bonus and the black blade already has an enhancement bonus, then the two don't stack.

I wanted to throw my build out there for criticism and advice...

First off, one of the feats in this build is a non-Pathfinder feat called Arcane Thesis from the PHBII. I understand that most of your first reactions will be that allowing a Magus to use this feat in conjunction with Magical Lineage is broken. I agree. But my party's Sorcerer got the green light from our DM on the feat, and well, if he can use it, then so can I! :)

The character is an elven Magus 19/Sorcerer 1 (taken @ 12th lvl) with the following stats...The character is already 3rd level, so the stat assignments and first two feats can't change at this point.

S:10
D:20 (level 4 & 16 stat boosts)
C:13
I:20
W:11
CH:9 (level 8 & 12 stat boosts here)

Taking both the Bladebound and Hexcrafter Archetypes

1 Weapon Finesse
3 Dervish Dance
5 Heighten Spell
5 Preferred Spell: Shocking Grasp
6 MA: Wand Weilder
7 Intensify Spell
9 Empower Spell
9 MA: Arcane Accuracy
11 Arcane Thesis: Shocking Grasp
11 Maximize Spell
12 MA:Broad Study
13 Elemental Spell:Fire
15 Echoing Spell
15 MA: Dispelling Strike
17 Spell Perfection: Shocking Grasp
18 Elemental Spell:Acid
18 MA: Reflection
19 Elemental Spell:Cold

Taking the Flight hex @ level 4.

With this build, I will be able to spontaneously swap out any spell for Shocking grasp @ level 5.

By level 11, I will be able to cast an Empowered, Maximized, Intesified Shocking Grasp [with no increase to casting time - thanks preferred spell!]

to Hit:
+16/11
60 (maximize)
+ 1/2 of 10d6 (empower)
+ 1d6 weapon damage
+ 5 (dervish dance)
+ 3 (black blade enchancement)
+ 3 (black blade strike)
+ 1d6 (Icy Burst enhancement from Arcane pool)
= 78-113 damage) as a 2nd level spell.
and 157-236 damage on a crit!

At level 12, I can add another +10 damage (or +20 depending on your definition of "die rolled") due to my Blue Dragon Draconic Sorcerer heritage. Double this on a Crit!

At 13th level, I can spontaneously change the damage to fire should I come across anything immune to electricty (Shambling mounds = bane of the magus!)

At level 15, I can now cast Echoing, Empowered, Maximized, Intesified Shocking Grasps as 3rd level spells, which in essence gives me 10 of these to cast a day, and if you add in a ring of wizardy III you are now talking 20 of these a day!

At level 17, I can effectively ignore the level increase of one of the Metamagic feats, so now those Echoing, Empowered, Maximized, Intesified Shocking Grasps can be cast as 2nd level and add in a Ring of Wizardy I and you can now cast Empowered, Maximized, Intesified Shocking Grasps 30 times a day.

At level 18 I can now cast Acid Shocking Grasps

At level 19 I can now cast Cold Shocking Grasps

The final two feats are kinda meh...but the other options were kind of meh too. I considered the other following feats.

Arcane Strike
Craft Wand (I can always just buy them)
Spell Penetration (I already get a +2 for being an elf)
Greater Spell Penetration (nice, but by the time I would take it, I'd have a +22 to my roll anyway)

Looking forward to what the community has to say!

Qadira

Arcane Pool wrote:


At 1st level, a magus can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.

Black Blade enhancement wouldn't stack with ARcane pool, except for that little line allowing it to, bolded above.

Edit: Also, Rings of Wizardry only double base spells, not bonus spells/day from Intelligence.


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Kyorlin Oloth wrote:
The final two feats are kinda meh...but the other options were kind of meh too. I considered the other following feats.

I'm sorry, but where is quicken spell in all of this? Simply for shocking grasps mind you.

Likewise why boost CHA? So you would need a +2CHA ioun stone to cast whatever 1st level spell you know.. who cares? Compare the cost of that to further boosting your DEX or even INT score.

Also I'm assuming that the sorc was for crossblooded blue dragon/orc bloodlines so then there should be a +20/30 more for that in there.

Last.. at the levels you're talking you are better doing the following:
Swf action: Give the black blade dancing. IT commands itself to dance and full attacks.
Full round action: force hook charge (if needed, otherwise another spell) and full attack with the other scimitar you started the combat with in your other hand.

Subsequent rounds: spell combat shocking grasp, when it discharges cast a quickened one and continue your full attack after that second free attack.

-James


Late to the game, but wanted to say it anyway. Walter this is a great guide!! i think this may be the best I have seen.

David


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Ditto, very full of useful info. :)

I have made my first magus PC (starting at 5th level, still tweaking as we haven't quite started yet) and had a question regarding the dancing weapon property, and the dancing weapon Arcana,

I decided it was worth taking teh Arcana, as it costs 1 arcana point to make your weapon dance, as opposed to the 4 arcana points to make it dance using the basic magus ability to add weapon properties.

My question is, how many weapons can you make dance at the same time? using one, the other, or both abilities? ;P

My original concept was to have my magus (dex based but not dervish, using rapier) use the Arcana to have a longsword (better base dmg, but maybe another rapier for crit?) start dancing on the 1st round, then quick draw his rapier and still be armed/attack the same round. so following rounds you have dancing sword attack, your standard attack, and your spellstrike attack. (Also, add the 'Dancing Dagger' spell to prevent AoO's while casting):)

Is there a limitation that prevents me from dancing more swords in later rounds? or at least using the Dancing weapon enhancement to add another dancing weapon to my collection?

Thank you, and keep up the good discussion! I appreciate the help! :D


Edgar Lamoureux wrote:
Black Blade enhancement wouldn't stack with ARcane pool, except for that little line allowing it to, bolded above.

Good to know about the stacking...

Edgar Lamoureux wrote:
Edit: Also, Rings of Wizardry only double base spells, not bonus spells/day from Intelligence.

I realize this and my calculations were made factoring in the 5 spells of each level a Magus would have @ 15th level (though I did forget about the one level delay due to the sorcerer level, so I would only get 8 5th level spells with the Ring of Wizardy III, but Echoing would in essence get me 16 @ 15th level and then 20 @ 16th level.

james maissen wrote:

I'm sorry, but where is quicken spell in all of this? Simply for shocking grasps mind you.

Likewise why boost CHA? So you would need a +2CHA ioun stone to cast whatever 1st level spell you know.. who cares? Compare the cost of that to further boosting your DEX or even INT score.

Also I'm assuming that the sorc was for crossblooded blue dragon/orc bloodlines so then there should be a +20/30 more for that in there.

Last.. at the levels you're talking you are better doing the following:
Swf action: Give the black blade dancing. IT commands itself to dance and full attacks.
Full round action: force hook charge (if needed, otherwise another spell) and full attack with the other scimitar you started the combat with in your other hand.

Subsequent rounds: spell combat shocking grasp, when it discharges cast a quickened one and continue your full attack after that second free attack.

-James

I shied away from quicken because of the +2 level adjustment, which when added to Maximize and Echo, would make the spells 5th level, but if I took it as the free Metamagic feat for Spell Perfection, I could still cast it as a 3rd level spell....interesting...

Good point about the CHA boost. A cloak or Ioun stone would work just as well.

I did factor in the Sorcerer bonus @ level 12 above. I wonder if you could argue that because the Bloodline power reads "per die rolled" whether Maximize doesn't count because those dice aren't rolled...OR...that a Max/emp rolls 20 dice...OR on a crit, you are effectively "rolling" 40 dice?


I am not familiar with spell perfection or preferred spell, where are they from?


I have another idea that might be great at low levels take magical lineage shocking grasp and merciful spell at first level applying this to shocking graps lets you add +leveld6 nonlethal electricity damage all day long to use with spellstrike all day long.


Kyorlin Oloth wrote:
I did factor in the Sorcerer bonus @ level 12 above. I wonder if you could argue that because the Bloodline power reads "per die rolled" whether Maximize doesn't count because those dice aren't rolled...OR...that a Max/emp rolls 20 dice...OR on a crit, you are effectively "rolling" 40 dice?

Well I tend to like dazing rather than maximize for the +3 boost.

Empower does not increase the dice rolled. Crits would double it, and empower multiplies it by 1.5x.

But quicken is a must, as it not only gives you another free attack it gives you another big shocking grasp.

I'm not as sold on echo, but then I tend to think on 3rd level slots (empowered intensified shocking grasps plus either quicken or daze) which come back with a pool point. For little intensified +1 metamagic shocking grasp you're looking at a pearl 1 bringing it back.

-James


spell perfection and preferred spell are both from the APG

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