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[UM] Walter's Guide to the Magus


Advice

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ShadowcatX wrote:


However, strength also controls carrying capacity which is important to a meleer. Leather armor, an explorer's outfit (and only one), and a scimitar will eat up the majority of a 10 str magus's carrying capacity. And celestial armor will put you over the weight limit. Assuming, of course, that you want to retain your 30 ft/round movement rate. If not, then perhaps you're right, perhaps wisdom would be a better investment.

A STR medium creature has a carrying cap of 33lbs (more with ant haul).

Celestial chain is 20lbs
A scimitar is 4lbs
A haversack is 5lbs
A spellcomponent pouch is 2lbs

Total: 31lbs

Is it a lot to spare? No. But there you go.

This is assuming, for example a 20pt buy of:
STR 10
INT 18 (16+2racial)
WIS 07
DEX 19 (17+2racial)
CON 12 (14-2racial)
CHA 07

Obviously salt to taste. It was geared to getting that higher DEX a little earlier, and handling a 12th level cap to favor an odd ability point.

ShadowcatX wrote:


Power Attack isn't something the Magus is going to be using all the time, I agree. However, there are times that you're going to have low AC enemies, npcs for example, and there power attack will shine. And I believe that situation will come up far more often than a +1 to will saves will shine. But maybe you're right, maybe it wouldn't be worth a 3 point investment (and, arguably, the cost of not dumping strength entirely, if starting post lv 3) at character creation if all you get is a feat that is usable some of the time.

Well ask yourself when the feat will be taken, and instead of what?

My plan for a magus (dervish based) would not see a 'free' feat until 9th where, frankly, lunge looks very tempting.

Feats:
1st: Weapon Finesse
3rd: Dervish Dance
5th: Arcane Strike
5th(b): Weapon Focus: Scimitar
7th: Intensify spell (coupled with trait: magical lineage)
9th: Lunge
10th(b): Weapon Spec: scimitar
11th: Improved Critical: Scimitar

Which would you trade out? Certainly not weapon spec as even if you were always power attacking then you'd have a net trade-off of -2 for +2 (or -3 for +4) which doesn't seem worth it.

Improved critical's removal would mean that keen would be chosen on the weapon, that's trading out +3.5damage (if not +1/+1) so it would be even worse than losing weapon spec.

Lunge is possible, though it's uses imho are wider than power attack's slight bonus when it is favorable to do so.

Arcane strike is even better than weapon spec on the rounds when the magus has the swift action to burn. For my build that's anything other than the first round (which can be a closing round) and a round when a spell is recalled to be cast right then.

I don't think you can argue against intensify or dervish dance in terms of dealing damage, and the other two feats are prereqs.

Now I wasn't planning on higher than 12th, but if I were planning on higher then frankly I'd be headed towards spell perfection: shocking grasp by 15th picking up 2 metamagics at 13th & 15th (quicken and something else.. likely dazing or penetrating). At that point quickened shocking grasps would give an additional flurry attack via spell strike (even better in that a full attack action would not be needed for it).

So honestly I don't see room for power attack coming in here, with the possible exception of ditching lunge. Which I admit I'm not as sold upon, but then there are other options for that feat depending upon the end level goal.

-James

Andoran

james maissen wrote:

A STR medium creature has a carrying cap of 33lbs (more with ant haul).

Celestial chain is 20lbs
A scimitar is 4lbs
A haversack is 5lbs
A spellcomponent pouch is 2lbs

Total: 31lbs

And you're naked except for your armor (which IIRC is a chain shirt, is it not?). Chaff much? Arrested Much? (Propositioned much?)

James Maissen wrote:


This is assuming, for example a 20pt buy of:
STR 10
INT 18 (16+2racial)
WIS 07
DEX 19 (17+2racial)
CON 12 (14-2racial)
CHA 07

Obviously salt to taste. It was geared to getting that higher DEX a little earlier, and handling a 12th level cap to favor an odd ability point.

That's likely how I'd build as well. Optionally, dropping Int to 14 (16) to take Str to 14 because wearing pants is good.

James Maissen wrote:
ShadowcatX wrote:


Power Attack isn't something the Magus is going to be using all the time, I agree. However, there are times that you're going to have low AC enemies, npcs for example, and there power attack will shine. And I believe that situation will come up far more often than a +1 to will saves will shine. But maybe you're right, maybe it wouldn't be worth a 3 point investment (and, arguably, the cost of not dumping strength entirely, if starting post lv 3) at character creation if all you get is a feat that is usable some of the time.

Well ask yourself when the feat will be taken, and instead of what?

My plan for a magus (dervish based) would not see a 'free' feat until 9th where, frankly, lunge looks very tempting.

Feats:
1st: Weapon Finesse
3rd: Dervish Dance
5th: Arcane Strike
5th(b): Weapon Focus: Scimitar
7th: Intensify spell (coupled with trait: magical lineage)
9th: Lunge
10th(b): Weapon Spec: scimitar
11th: Improved Critical: Scimitar

Which would you trade out? Certainly not weapon spec as even if...

You're right, if I was going to trade anything out power attack wouldn't be what I traded it for. (Combat Casting [less important with lunge though], Extra Traits. . .) Having not drawn up the full build I hadn't thought about how feat tight it would be.


Power attack with a one handed weapon at level 9 would be a -2 for a +4 bonus to damage.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
james maissen wrote:

My plan for a magus (dervish based) would not see a 'free' feat until 9th where, frankly, lunge looks very tempting.

Feats:
1st: Weapon Finesse
3rd: Dervish Dance
5th: Arcane Strike
5th(b): Weapon Focus: Scimitar
7th: Intensify spell (coupled with trait: magical lineage)
9th: Lunge
10th(b): Weapon Spec: scimitar
11th: Improved Critical: Scimitar

Which would you trade out? Certainly not weapon spec as even if...

You get your second bonus feat at 11, not 10. I wouldn't get Imp critical (since I'd expect it from augmenting my weapon or Keen Edge), and instead would do something like this.

(1) Weapon Finesse
(3) Dervish Dance
(5) Weapon Focus (Scimitar)
(5) Arcane Strike
(7) Intensify Spell
(9) Power Attack
(11) Critical Focus
(11) Lunge / W. Spec.

EDIT: and at that point, lunge is less useful since the you can always cast defensively, and pump it with intelligence to get around a +19 on your concentration check (level 11 + Int 4 + Int again 4 + 2 improved spell combat)

EDIT 2: the pros and cons of each archetype are now listed in the guide.


Lunge isn't to keep you out of threat range it's to help you be sure you can full attack. The magus needs full attacks, and lunge can help keep that happening.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In the critical strike arcana you write " It uses a swift and not an immediate action", it doesn't matter even if it was an immediate action, you get only one swift action per round and an immediate action is a swift action.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Power attack with a one handed weapon at level 9 would be a -2 for a +4 bonus to damage.

What's your point?

Power attack for a magus upto 12th level is either going to be a -2 and +4 (at 9th), or a -3 +6 (at 11th). The point is that if you're taking power attack instead of say weapon spec, that these numbers are even further reduced.

WalterGM wrote:


You get your second bonus feat at 11, not 10. I wouldn't get Imp critical (since I'd expect it from augmenting my weapon or Keen Edge), and instead would do something like this.

(1) Weapon Finesse
(3) Dervish Dance
(5) Weapon Focus (Scimitar)
(5) Arcane Strike
(7) Intensify Spell
(9) Power Attack
(11) Critical Focus
(11) Lunge / W. Spec.

EDIT: and at that point, lunge is less useful since the you can always cast defensively, and pump it with intelligence to get around a +19 on your concentration check (level 11 + Int 4 + Int again 4 + 2 improved spell combat)

Oh sorry, well 10 or 11 (for some reason I thought feat at 10 and improved recall at 11.. forgot the silly 'fighter training' at 10), it's still weapon spec: scimitar. For some reason I thought the progression was every 5 levels a bonus feat rather than starting at 5th and every 6 thereafter.

I disagree with not taking improved crit: scimitar. I don't want to augment the weapon via keen.. I'd rather take another d6 damage. Would you take a feat that was 'add 1d6 fire to each attack'? Why not, we're sold on weapon spec for +2 damage. While it's elemental damage, we can choose, but more importantly help the basters test for resistances. Likewise instead of keen edge, I'd rather cast GMW or keep the 3rd level slot... the duration is only 10min/level so at 12th even extended you're looking at 4hours.. meanwhile the GMW at that level and rod investment can be done the prior day (either by empty slot or via unused arcana points).

As to critical focus, you don't qualify (BAB9) and you honestly shouldn't need it. The +4 to confirm shouldn't be an issue, and it's not a feat. If you're worried about confirms there's bless weapon (vs evil). If you want a +4 on something that you already can do.. take improved init. Or take toughness. Both, while not sexy, are likely to serve you better. Can you tell I'm not a fan of critical focus?

Lunge isn't just to avoid AOOs from casting, but for doing combat maneuvers without AOOs (disarm with true strike is very nice with an unseen servant to pick up the weapon if you don't provoke and don't need to pay feats for this), being able to make that full attack when 5' short, etc. Force hook charge is cute and all, but I'd rather do more damage, not provoke, and hit them with a vamp touch instead.

-James

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
1925 wrote:
In the critical strike arcana you write " It uses a swift and not an immediate action", it doesn't matter even if it was an immediate action, you get only one swift action per round and an immediate action is a swift action.

Not quite. Immediate actions use the swift action on the turn following them, and swift actions use the swift action on their turn. This means that you can't react to getting a critical with critical strike and decide to use it if you have already used up your swift action for that turn.

james maissen wrote:


I disagree with not taking improved crit: scimitar. I don't want to augment the weapon via keen.. I'd rather take another d6 damage. Would you take a feat that was 'add 1d6 fire to each attack'? Why not, we're sold on weapon spec for +2 damage. While it's elemental damage, we can choose, but more importantly help the basters test for resistances. Likewise instead of keen edge, I'd rather cast GMW or keep the 3rd level slot... the duration is only 10min/level so at 12th even extended you're looking at 4hours.. meanwhile the GMW at that level and rod investment can be done the prior day (either by empty slot or via unused arcana points).

True.

james maissen wrote:


As to critical focus, you don't qualify (BAB9) and you honestly shouldn't need it. The +4 to confirm shouldn't be an issue, and it's not a feat. If you're worried about confirms there's bless weapon (vs evil). If you want a +4 on something that you already can do.. take improved init. Or take toughness. Both, while not sexy, are likely to serve you better. Can you tell I'm not a fan of critical focus?

Again, personal preference I suppose. +4 to confirm to me is just like having an auto confirm button for critical hits, which makes that 1/4 chance of getting one more of a reality than what it actually is. I like toughness and improved initiative as well, and I do see your point. And I can't take it then anyway :P.

james maissen wrote:


Lunge isn't just to avoid AOOs from casting, but for doing combat maneuvers without AOOs (disarm with true strike is very nice with an unseen servant to pick up the weapon if you don't provoke and don't need to pay feats for this), being able to make that full attack when 5' short, etc. Force hook charge is cute and all, but I'd rather do more damage, not provoke, and hit them with a vamp touch instead.

Abraham Spalding made the same comment, and I see lunge's benefit in full now. Given that, my build would be more like yours.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
STR Ranger wrote:


For spell blending at level 13: Boneshatter is a great spell. 15d6 of Untyped damage and target is exhausted. The Fort save bites but they're still fatigued.

What book is that spell in?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Tales Subscriber
Quote:


According to HeroLab, Arcane Strike doesn't stack with a Magus' ability to enhance his/her weapon. It won't even let you select it as feat. Whether this is just their interpretation, or whether they have some inside knowledge is unknown. Just something to keep in mind.

Arcane Strike and the Magus ability are equivalent, and it says as much in the feat description in Hero Lab when you look at it with a Magus character. The final playtest rules said it also; but for whatever reason, that blurb was taken out of UM and is just implied.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
mycerius wrote:
Quote:


According to HeroLab, Arcane Strike doesn't stack with a Magus' ability to enhance his/her weapon. It won't even let you select it as feat. Whether this is just their interpretation, or whether they have some inside knowledge is unknown. Just something to keep in mind.
Arcane Strike and the Magus ability are equivalent, and it says as much in the feat description in Hero Lab when you look at it with a Magus character. The final playtest rules said it also; but for whatever reason, that blurb was taken out of UM and is just implied.

It seems that Hero Lab must change the description of the feat.

Andoran

mycerius wrote:
Quote:


According to HeroLab, Arcane Strike doesn't stack with a Magus' ability to enhance his/her weapon. It won't even let you select it as feat. Whether this is just their interpretation, or whether they have some inside knowledge is unknown. Just something to keep in mind.
Arcane Strike and the Magus ability are equivalent, and it says as much in the feat description in Hero Lab when you look at it with a Magus character. The final playtest rules said it also; but for whatever reason, that blurb was taken out of UM and is just implied.

Not "are equivalent", "were equivalent." They took that blurb out because that is no longer the case.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Tales Subscriber
Quote:
Not "are equivalent", "were equivalent." They took that blurb out because that is no longer the case.

Let's agree to disagree because unless you work for Paizo, you don't know any more for certain than I do. :)

And the Arcane Strike feat description wasn't changed but rather an addendum was added to the description.


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People I know it's hard but try to remember that while herolab is an excellent tool --it is not always right -- in fact many times it is downright wrong. They fix this as quickly as possible but even though it is officially licensed it is not an actual pathfinder product. As such it gets its information only barely before we do and therefore often has errors with new material.

When in doubt look at the book -- not the third party character generator which isn't actually an offical rule source.


mycerius wrote:
Quote:
Not "are equivalent", "were equivalent." They took that blurb out because that is no longer the case.

Let's agree to disagree because unless you work for Paizo, you don't know any more for certain than I do. :)

And the Arcane Strike feat description wasn't changed but rather an addendum was added to the description.

I think that you're going to be disagreeing with a lot of people.

The wording was changed as a result of the playtest period and all the text alluding to this was removed.

Put another way, without the playtest document you would never suppose the two to be related....

You have as much case for arguing this as for demanding a concentration check for a magus casting without his 'bonded weapon' in hand... even though there's no long such a thing for the magus of course.

-James


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Tales Subscriber
Quote:

I think that you're going to be disagreeing with a lot of people.

The wording was changed as a result of the playtest period and all the text alluding to this was removed.

Put another way, without the playtest document you would never suppose the two to be related....

You have as much case for arguing this as for demanding a concentration check for a magus casting without his 'bonded weapon' in hand... even though there's no long such a thing for the magus of course.

Yes, actually I would have relate the two even without seeing the playtest rules because aside from their durations, the two abilities are the same thing. But I am not going to push this any more. Everyone can play their game as they see fit.

Now let's get back on track and help Walter with his guide.


A side note: The abilities do not do the same thing.

Arcane strike spends a swift action for a one round bonus to damage and makes the weapon count as magical for overcoming DR.

Arcane Pool spends a point and a swift action to give an enhancement bonus to a weapon for a minute.

The bonus damage from arcane strike is untyped and doesn't affect attack rolls -- where as the arcane pool ability actually makes the weapon a full magic weapon.

I'll let that drop now -- but I wanted to point out the difference.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
mycerius wrote:
Quote:

I think that you're going to be disagreeing with a lot of people.

The wording was changed as a result of the playtest period and all the text alluding to this was removed.

Put another way, without the playtest document you would never suppose the two to be related....

You have as much case for arguing this as for demanding a concentration check for a magus casting without his 'bonded weapon' in hand... even though there's no long such a thing for the magus of course.

Yes, actually I would have relate the two even without seeing the playtest rules because aside from their durations, the two abilities are the same thing. But I am not going to push this any more. Everyone can play their game as they see fit.

Now let's get back on track and help Walter with his guide.

They're not even remotely the same thing! Arcane strike adds an untyped bonus to damage, the magus ability adds an enhancement to the weapon, which can even take the fom of special abilities, such as keen or flaming.

Edit: bah, ninjaed of course. Ah well, I think it bore repeating for emphasis anyway.


It's already been reported as a bug in the 5.3(?) version of the Pathfinder module regarding Arcane Strike. It also doesn't calculate arcane pool correctly either for Bladebound magus..

Hero Lab let you pick Magus as a class in their software during the UM playtests. It was one of the options you could check-mark to include.


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Here's a build (20pt) I like for the first 7 levels of a Dex based Magus:

Human Magus

S10
D18 (inc. +2)
C10
I16
W12
Ch8

Place stat increases in Int. to insure receiving bonus spells at all levels.

Personally, I never dump Wis. Will saves are simply too important. You can, however, drop Cha by another point, and add one to Str. Don't kid yourself, the carrying capacity for Str 10 will always be annoying. Always.

Note: Place favored class bonus into hit points.

Also note that Muleback Cords use the same slot as Cloaks.

Feats:
1. Weapon Finesse
1b. Toughness/Combat Casting/Extra Traits/Scribe Scroll/Improved Unarmed Strike, as per taste.

3. Dervish Dance

5. Weapon Focus (Scimitar)
5b. Intensify Spell

7. Lunge

Alternately, change Weapon Focus to Craft Wondrous Items {depending on the campaign}, and delay either Lunge or WF to 9th. The Dex Magus will greatly benefit from earlier access to a Handy Haversack, skill boosting items, and an Efficient Quiver. If allowed, shifting the slot for Muleback Cords to a belt completely solves the carrying capacity problem without straining credulity.

Arcana:

3. Wand Wielder (for the joy of spamming)

6. Spell Shield (for avoiding nasty surprises)

Skills:

Note: IMHO, unlike a full caster, a Magus should not rely on spells to replace skills. The Magus needs those spells for combat, so choose your skills wisely.

With the human bonus, this build gains 6pts per level. Spell Craft and, to a lesser degree, Knowledge skills are a must, but consider placing 2 in Climb, Swim, and Ride, giving a 15 while Taking 10. You are a warrior, after all, and doing so can prevent embarrassing situations. Intimidate, despite the penalty for a low Cha., is a good place to put extra points.

Also, the high Dex makes Acrobatics, Stealth, and Disable Device appealing, especially in smaller parties. Don't forget that you can Take 20 while opening locks. Even with normal tools, this grants a pass on DC 25 locks. You'll never replace the Rogue/Bard/Monk, but a Dex Magus can be a pretty reliable scout, nonetheless.

Note: If your DM allows, consider putting two points into Craft Armor and purchasing MW tools. This will permit you to Take 10 and create a Mithrail Chain Shirt for 1/3 of the normal price. It does take months, however, so unless you are starting at 3rd level (and your DM allows "pre-play" crafting) it might not be worth it.

Equipment:

With Wand Wielder, invest in a pair of Wrist Sheathes. One type grants access as an immediate action for near instant access to two wands.

A Mithrail Chain Shirt is your friend.

Tactics with this Build:

Wands:

Use them to handle "lesser" encounters. Aim to carry one each of True Strike, Grease, Color Spray, and Vanish. Each time you use one, your pocket book gets lighter, so choose wisely. Pick the wand that best suits the opponent. Aim to limit their number of attacks or decrease their chance to hit. Against multiple opponents, use Grease or Color Spray. Against a single opponent, or opponents with multiple attacks, Vanish works beautifully. If you need a 12 or better to hit, or against opponents with a miss percentage, consider True Strike (don't forget that it applies to confirmation rolls, as well). In any event, save your spells for when you can make them count.

BigBads:

Rd1. "Charge Weapon" and use Spell Combat to cast Shield (for opponents with multiple attacks) or Mirror Image (for opponents with a single large attack), and attack.

Rd2. Use Spell Combat to attack, then cast True Strike

Rd3. Use Spell Combat and Spell Strike to deliver a devastating intensified Shocking Grasp with a 30% chance of a critical (95% chance to confirm, on AC of 30 or less) with your newly "keened" Scimitar. A 7th level Magus with a modified 20 Dex can deliver a 16d6 + 12 blow. Steal the kill and laugh at the Fighter.

Rd4+. Repeat Rd 3 (if needed) using Spell Recall (but without True Strike).

Osirion

Mynameisjake wrote:


Feats:

7. Lunge

Alternately, change Weapon Focus to Craft Wondrous Items {depending on the campaign}, and delay either Lunge or WF to 9th. The Dex Magus will greatly benefit from earlier access to a Handy Haversack, skill boosting items, and an Efficient Quiver. If allowed, shifting the slot for Muleback Cords to a belt completely solves the carrying capacity problem without straining credulity.

Unfortunately a magus doesn't qualify for Lunge until 8th level (+6 BAB). Also a Belt of Incredible Dexterity is a must item for the waist slot. I just don't see a convenient way to keep strength under 12 for a Magus--I don't like asking the wizard to carry my extra stuff.


Mynameisjake wrote:

Here's a build (20pt) I like for the first 7 levels of a Dex based Magus:

Human Magus

S10
D18 (inc. +2)
C10
I16
W12
Ch8

A 10 CON? On a d8 class that's going into melee out in the open?

I don't think +1 WILL save is the same as toughness, do you? If you're going to take toughness (and you are) are you also taking Iron Will?

-James


I'm kinda liking Dwarf for strength based Magus:

Darkvision+Con Bonus+Once I get the privilege I'll wear the heaviest armor possible and can carry whatever+Dwarven Waraxe all synergize pretty damn well. I would not call it a blue selection but its not a bad choice.

Andoran

thomas nelson wrote:

I'm kinda liking Dwarf for strength based Magus:

Darkvision+Con Bonus+Once I get the privilege I'll wear the heaviest armor possible and can carry whatever+Dwarven Waraxe all synergize pretty damn well. I would not call it a blue selection but its not a bad choice.

Except you're getting a bonus to con rather than strength, a bonus to wisdom rather than intelligence, and a base movement speed of 20. That is pretty much a horrible deal for the magus.


ShadowcatX wrote:
thomas nelson wrote:

I'm kinda liking Dwarf for strength based Magus:

Darkvision+Con Bonus+Once I get the privilege I'll wear the heaviest armor possible and can carry whatever+Dwarven Waraxe all synergize pretty damn well. I would not call it a blue selection but its not a bad choice.

Except you're getting a bonus to con rather than strength, a bonus to wisdom rather than intelligence, and a base movement speed of 20. That is pretty much a horrible deal for the magus.

I love the dwarf magus idea ! It would be a lot of fun to run. Is it optimize ? No but still It would be a pretty good character . Why does everyone think the cookie cutter best characters build is the only way to play? Last I checked still was a role playing game.

Andoran

I too love the non-optimal builds. I myself have an affinity towards gnomes and kobolds ; ) I would definitely make a magus out of one of those! Kobold dervish type Magus would be great! (Though I was quite unhappy with their treatment with character race template in Pathfinder!)

Cheliax

Shar Tahl wrote:
I too love the non-optimal builds. I myself have an affinity towards gnomes and kobolds ; ) I would definitely make a magus out of one of those! Kobold dervish type Magus would be great! (Though I was quite unhappy with their treatment with character race template in Pathfinder!)

With their +4 dexterity, goblins are superior dervish magi.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
qutoes wrote:


I love the dwarf magus idea ! It would be a lot of fun to run. Is it optimize ? No but still It would be a pretty good character . Why does everyone think the cookie cutter best characters build is the only way to play? Last I checked still was a role playing game.
Shar Tahl wrote:
I too love the non-optimal builds. I myself have an affinity towards gnomes and kobolds ; ) I would definitely make a magus out of one of those! Kobold dervish type Magus would be great! (Though I was quite unhappy with their treatment with character race template in Pathfinder!)

I think you guys misunderstand. In the world of Pathfinder there will always be halfling barbarians, ogre aristocrats, and kobold magi - but when it comes to making a class guide, something that players experienced and not can reference to better understand the mechanics of what they are playing, then the content has to reflect what most suited for play.

If you want to play a dwarf or a kobold, no one will stop you, heck, I might even salute you for thinking outside the box, but I can't make every section a "anything you pick is fine, as long as you role play it," or else the guide would be useless.

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.

Andoran

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correct! It's not optimal, but also not horrible as was previously stated by another. For a guide, all must be viewed from the optimal standpoint and rated as such. I do like the guide you generated quite a bit. I have a playtest magus in a campaign that I am in that was rebuilt using your guide. It's a great resource!


Shar has it right. Walter your guide is great . What I'm talking about is people who think everything is horrible if it's not min max the nuts . I hope everyone has a dm that doesn't force you to min max every game .


ShadowcatX wrote:
thomas nelson wrote:

I'm kinda liking Dwarf for strength based Magus:

Darkvision+Con Bonus+Once I get the privilege I'll wear the heaviest armor possible and can carry whatever+Dwarven Waraxe all synergize pretty damn well. I would not call it a blue selection but its not a bad choice.

Except you're getting a bonus to con rather than strength, a bonus to wisdom rather than intelligence, and a base movement speed of 20. That is pretty much a horrible deal for the magus.

I would of course point out that a bonus to Con is a nice addition as you need those hit points and wis bonus+militant merchant means you are good at the most important skill in the game. Like I said, suboptimal but still a fine amount of synergy if you are trying for something different.

Andoran

This is an optimization guide. Dwarf is a thoroughly sub-optimal choice for Magus. You can make a good dwarf magus. Sure. It can be incredibly flavorful and the most wonderful character ever. Alternatively you can make a great elven or human magus and still make it flavorful and be the most wonderful character ever, and even be good at what you do.


Wyrd20 wrote:


Unfortunately a magus doesn't qualify for Lunge until 8th level (+6 BAB). Also a Belt of Incredible Dexterity is a must item for the waist slot. I just don't see a convenient way to keep strength under 12 for a Magus--I don't like asking the wizard to carry my extra stuff.

My bad on the Lunge. 9th level is, in fact, the soonest it can be taken.

As for the belt slot, one assumes that if the DM is okay with custom items, then adding the "muleback" property to a belt (that also enhances physical properties) would be acceptable.

Andoran

How would a halfling rate on the Dervish style Magus? It seems like they be fairly good with the dex bonus effecting your attack and damage (level 3+) and the size adding to your attack and AC. The weapon damage dice would be down a step though. Would maybe be a step behind humans and elves.


james maissen wrote:

A 10 CON? On a d8 class that's going into melee out in the open?

I don't think +1 WILL save is the same as toughness, do you? If you're going to take toughness (and you are) are you also taking Iron Will?

-James

Toughness is a suboptimal feat for a Dex Magus. You already get the equivalent of Toughness by using your favored class bonus for hp. The primary strategy when playing a high Dex Magus is to avoid getting hit in the first place. While I think a higher con is important for a Str Magus, it is far less important for a Dex based one. Again, the point of optimizing for a Dex Magus is to avoid getting hit, not to absorb damage.

And, yes, IMHO the bonus to will saves is far more important than an additional hp/level. A few extra hps will prevent a character from being taken out at the end of a fight, while a better Will save will prevent the character from being taken out at the beginning of one.

Iron Will/Improved Iron Will are excellent choices for any character. Unfortunately, the Magus needs to wait until later to pick them up. Taking both for the 5th level slots would work fairly well, delaying Intensify Spell till 7th, and adding Lunge at 9th, if Craft Wondrous Item is not available/useful.


james maissen wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
Power attack with a one handed weapon at level 9 would be a -2 for a +4 bonus to damage.

What's your point?

Power attack for a magus upto 12th level is either going to be a -2 and +4 (at 9th), or a -3 +6 (at 11th). The point is that if you're taking power attack instead of say weapon spec, that these numbers are even further reduced.

I think I might understand what you are trying to say -- but you aren't saying it well.

I believe your point is that weapon specialization is a -0 for a +2 damage instead of the power attack's -1 for +2 damage.

Which is a fair statement. However if you have both you have a -1 for +4 damage.

Overall I would generally take weapon specialization before power attack if possible. After weapon specialization I would take arcane strike (again no penalty for a damage bonus -- down side is that it eats a swift action). Once I have both of those then I would look to power attack.

Honestly for melee character's power attack becomes needed to really deliver damage. weapon specialization is good, arcane strike is good, however the return on power attack is almost always worth it (there are a few very specific points when the extra damage potential is outweighed by the penalty to hit -- but this is exceptionally rare mathematically speaking).

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shar Tahl wrote:
How would a halfling rate on the Dervish style Magus? It seems like they be fairly good with the dex bonus effecting your attack and damage (level 3+) and the size adding to your attack and AC. The weapon damage dice would be down a step though. Would maybe be a step behind humans and elves.

I updated my thoughts on this yesterday in the guide, and put them a step behind the humans and elves :P

Cheliax

WalterGM wrote:
Shar Tahl wrote:
How would a halfling rate on the Dervish style Magus? It seems like they be fairly good with the dex bonus effecting your attack and damage (level 3+) and the size adding to your attack and AC. The weapon damage dice would be down a step though. Would maybe be a step behind humans and elves.
I updated my thoughts on this yesterday in the guide, and put them a step behind the humans and elves :P

Since you included Fetches and Tieflings, how about Goblins? With their Dexterity +4 and their 30' base speed, they're a much better choice than halflings for a dervish build.

Cheliax

Abraham spalding wrote:


Staff Magus -- Needs to be green. You can take weapon specialization at 3rd level in quarter staff.

Me and you have been over this, but for everyone else; no you can't. You need weapon focus, which (without multiclassing) you can't take til 3rd level (needs BAB of +1).

You can specialize at 5th

Cheliax

Another interesting piece of equipment might be a mithral buckler. The magus isn't proficient with it but since it has an ACP of 0, he takes no penalty for using it. Its ASP is also 0%. He would lose its shield bonus in every round he casts a spell, but it might still be useful.
Since a buckler isn't wielded in a hand but strapped on the forearm, Dervish magi should also be able to use it without penalty. Strength magi would take a -1 penalty on attack rolls when wielding their weapon two-handed, though.

Also, a magus can't take Exhausting Critical and Stunning Critical because the BAB prerequisite is to high.


Um I think spell combat might retype wand use as a cast spell for the purposes of spellstrike. Spellstrike is specifically combinable with spell combat. Wand wielder allows a wand to be used in spell combat, that retypes the wand as a spell combat effect making it spellstrikeable. I should also add that spellstrike only says the magus must cat from his list, sounds like he should be able to cast from his list from an item and then spellstrike, even without wand wielder.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jadeite wrote:

Since you included Fetches and Tieflings, how about Goblins? With their Dexterity +4 and their 30' base speed, they're a much better choice than halflings for a dervish build.

Mentioned in the guide now.

Jadeite wrote:

Another interesting piece of equipment might be a mithral buckler. The magus isn't proficient with it but since it has an ACP of 0, he takes no penalty for using it. Its ASP is also 0%. He would lose its shield bonus in every round he casts a spell, but it might still be useful.

Since a buckler isn't wielded in a hand but strapped on the forearm, Dervish magi should also be able to use it without penalty. Strength magi would take a -1 penalty on attack rolls when wielding their weapon two-handed, though.

Also, a magus can't take Exhausting Critical and Stunning Critical because the BAB prerequisite is to high.

Fixed feats, added buckler.

The Forgotten wrote:
Um I think spell combat might retype wand use as a cast spell for the purposes of spellstrike. Spellstrike is specifically combinable with spell combat. Wand wielder allows a wand to be used in spell combat, that retypes the wand as a spell combat effect making it spellstrikeable. I should also add that spellstrike only says the magus must cat from his list, sounds like he should be able to cast from his list from an item and then spellstrike, even without wand wielder.

Yes, I believe this is true. I'll make a note of it on the guide. Thanks!

Silver Crusade

Dervis Dance / Weapon Finess Question (I'm not good with compurters so I don't know how to link it.)

Draeke Raefel
Basic assumption: Touch attacks can be use Weapon Finesse.

So, the question is what counts as "holding a weapon or shield" in the off-hand? I was assuming this was because the extra weight in the off hand prevented you from moving properly to gain the benefit of the feat. If you have a touch spell, like produce flame or shocking grasp in your off hand, does that negate the benefit of the feat? If you attack with the scimitar and the touch spell does that negate the benefits from the feat( obviously taking the appropriate 2-weapon fighting penalties )?

Thanks! (( Again I welcome and desire the opinions of the community, but as I am trying to make a pfs character and don't want to be subject to the individual GMs interpretation of the rules, I'd appreciate a paizo ruling one way or the other )).

James Jacobs
A touch spell won't negate the benefit of the feat, unless that touch spell specifically gives you a weaponlike attack, such as flame blade does. Furthermore, the flavor of Dervish Dance implies that you're simply attacking with one weapon. If you use a spell to try to trick the feat into letting you get away with using two weapons, the GM is well within his rights to say that the effects of Dervish Dance don't function as long as you're doing two-weapon fighting.

Dervish Dance isn't supposed to reward tricky-thinking two-weapon fighters, after all. It's supposed to make fighting with a single weapon more attractive, so as soon as you start trying to game the system to get an off-hand attack, you're breaking the spirit of Dervish Dance and the feat should stop working. You can certainly still cast spells with your off hand and make touch attacks, but making touch attacks with spells is generally not something you can do with two weapon fighting.

Sean K Reyonalds
Dervish Dance is also specifically intended to let you use a scimitar with the duelist prestige class, as many of the duelist's abilities require (1) no weapon or shield in the off-hand, and (2) your weapon has to be a *piercing* weapon

Draeke Raefel
So, basically, attacking with your off-hand will negate the feat bonuses for that round as will carrying a shield or other item in that hand.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WalterGM 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.

I personally think that the Magus is a multi-class in and of itself. It's essentially a mushed together Fighter/Mage.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
calagnar wrote:

Dervis Dance / Weapon Finess Question (I'm not good with compurters so I don't know how to link it.)

Draeke Raefel
Basic assumption: Touch attacks can be use Weapon Finesse.

So, the question is what counts as "holding a weapon or shield" in the off-hand? I was assuming this was because the extra weight in the off hand prevented you from moving properly to gain the benefit of the feat. If you have a touch spell, like produce flame or shocking grasp in your off hand, does that negate the benefit of the feat? If you attack with the scimitar and the touch spell does that negate the benefits from the feat( obviously taking the appropriate 2-weapon fighting penalties )?

Thanks! (( Again I welcome and desire the opinions of the community, but as I am trying to make a pfs character and don't want to be subject to the individual GMs interpretation of the rules, I'd appreciate a paizo ruling one way or the other )).

James Jacobs
A touch spell won't negate the benefit of the feat, unless that touch spell specifically gives you a weaponlike attack, such as flame blade does. Furthermore, the flavor of Dervish Dance implies that you're simply attacking with one weapon. If you use a spell to try to trick the feat into letting you get away with using two weapons, the GM is well within his rights to say that the effects of Dervish Dance don't function as long as you're doing two-weapon fighting.

Dervish Dance isn't supposed to reward tricky-thinking two-weapon fighters, after all. It's supposed to make fighting with a single weapon more attractive, so as soon as you start trying to game the system to get an off-hand attack, you're breaking the spirit of Dervish Dance and the feat should stop working. You can certainly still cast spells with your off hand and make touch attacks, but making touch attacks with spells is generally not something you can do with two weapon fighting.

Sean K Reyonalds
Dervish Dance is also specifically intended to let you use a scimitar with the duelist prestige class, as many of...

Good to know. So spellstrike spell combat = dervish dance ok, and spell combat, casting spell after attacks = dervish dance ok, and wearing a buckler = dervish dance not possible.

Silver Crusade

It's a no go on the spell combat becous it work like two weapon fighting. The spell being cast and the attacks hapen at the same time. So for devirish dance there is a weapon in your off hand the spell being cast.

Spell Combat (Ex)
At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast.


WalterGM wrote:

For the Strength Build:

I rate your stats as follows: Str > Con > Int > Wis > Cha.

Shouldn't this be this?

For the Strength Build:

I rate your stats as follows: Str > Con > Int > Dex > Wis > Cha.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
calagnar wrote:

It's a no go on the spell combat becous it work like two weapon fighting. The spell being cast and the attacks hapen at the same time. So for devirish dance there is a weapon in your off hand the spell being cast.

Spell Combat (Ex)
At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast.

Except you can still Dervish Dance when you spellstrike, because you channel a spell through your MH weapon and there is no OH involved.


LazarX wrote:
WalterGM 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.

I personally think that the Magus is a multi-class in and of itself. It's essentially a mushed together Fighter/Mage.

The more i think about non-Dervish Build Magus like staff or high str combat builds i'm no sure you can do better then starting as a human fighter , X3 feats right off the bat . This is starting you out as a kick butt Melee char .

Lets look at a staff Magus.

20 point build: Str 16 (18), Dex 12, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 10, Cha 7
1 fighter
Feats
(1)WF staff
(1)Combat Expertise
(1)Improved Trip

Thats +6(+8trip)hit/+4dam

1 fighter/1 magus
(2)Q staff master
1 fighter/2 magus
(3)WS staff
Arcana
(4) Wand Wielder or Maneuver Mastery if are not happy with your CMB .
Your spells you are going to use to help control the battle field .

I think it works really well with something like Dwarf waraxe build to . Take WF waraxe and Power Attack . Then use your spells to help you attack two handed with your Axe when you are not using Spell combat .
1fighter/magus
Your charge attack (16 str) be +7 hit 1d10+6
if you are using Arcane Mark Chezzz +3/+3 hit 1d10/1d10+5

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:

Shouldn't this be this?

For the Strength Build:

I rate your stats as follows: Str > Con > Int > Dex > Wis > Cha.

This is already addressed in the guide, right below the ranking you quoted.

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