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[UM] Walter's Guide to the Magus


Advice

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Shadow Lodge

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I've spent a bit of time and have put together the foundations of a magus guide and now it's ready for phase 2: where you guys comment, discuss, suggest and question everything I said and together we make it better.

I know the class hasn't been out for very long, but I'm sure we can get a lively discussion going about abilities, arcanas, feats, spells and builds.

You can find it here.

Thanks in advance, fellow Pathfinders!


Excellent guide! I've been looking for something like this, I always recommend that prospective players go through class abilities with me before trying a class they haven't played before, to give them an idea as to the options they have available. A guide makes the process so much easier.

And I'm with you on the importance of strength to the magus - I've been taken aback by the number of threads advocating a really high DEX-based build.


I'm just going to post as I read...

Races - Tiefling is a great racial choice, +2 DEX and INT, -2 CHR (better than -2 CON), Darkvision, fire/cold/electricity resistances and spell like ability (or use the random traits from Pathfinder 14 I think).

Close Range - As pointed out to me, Close Range is in fact the BEST and FIRST Arcana that should be taken.
Why? Zero level spell Ray of Frost + Arcane Strike = Extra attack every chance I get.

Shadow Lodge

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JohnLocke wrote:

Excellent guide! I've been looking for something like this, I always recommend that prospective players go through class abilities with me before trying a class they haven't played before, to give them an idea as to the options they have available. A guide makes the process so much easier.

I agree entirely on the subject of guides. Even putting this guide together made me consider class options I otherwise would have overlooked.

Buba HoTep wrote:

I'm just going to post as I read...

Tiefling is a great racial choice as well.

Noted and adding, thanks!

Cheliax

I may be wrong, but I think many of the Dervish Dance advocates are considering the Magus in terms of Pathfinder Society Play, where 12 is as high as you go. With no heavy armour proficiency, and the cost of swapping over from light to medium armour halfway through your career a sting to the purse, a light-armoured Dervish Dance-ing magus goes online from 3rd level and stays competitive through to the end.


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Just so you know, touch spells always could critical, it's not unique to the magus.

PRD wrote:
Touch: You must touch a creature or object to affect it. A touch spell that deals damage can score a critical hit just as a weapon can. A touch spell threatens a critical hit on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a successful critical hit. Some touch spells allow you to touch multiple targets. You can touch up to 6 willing targets as part of the casting, but all targets of the spell must be touched in the same round that you finish casting the spell. If the spell allows you to touch targets over multiple rounds, touching 6 creatures is a full-round action.

The difference is that a magus' weapon determines the threat range of the critical, making scimitars and rapiers very attractive.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ninjaiguana wrote:
I may be wrong, but I think many of the Dervish Dance advocates are considering the Magus in terms of Pathfinder Society Play, where 12 is as high as you go. With no heavy armour proficiency, and the cost of swapping over from light to medium armour halfway through your career a sting to the purse, a light-armoured Dervish Dance-ing magus goes online from 3rd level and stays competitive through to the end.

No, I completely agree with that as a reason for taking Dervish Dance. PFS totally skipped my mind when writing up my review of that feat, and I'll make sure to mention that for PFS it's more competitive and even worth building into.

Now that I ponder on a PFS build I can see an elf Dervish Dancing magus being potentially lethal later on, however I'm curious how it compares to a non-dervish dancing one.

MinstrelintheGallery wrote:

Just so you know, touch spells always could critical, it's not unique to the magus.

The difference is that a magus' weapon determines the threat range of the critical, making scimitars and rapiers very attractive.

I was aware of this, but have edited it for clarification.


Pretty sure you can't take Arcane Accuracy and Spell Shield at level 1.

Quote:

Extra Arcana

You have unlocked the secret of a new magus arcana.

Prerequisites: Magus arcana class feature.

Benefit: You gain one additional magus arcana. You must meet all the prerequisites for this magus arcana.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects stack, granting a new arcana each time you gain this feat.

You don't get the magus arcana class feature until level 3. Unless you're a bladebound magus, then you don't get it until level 6.

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One minor point in defense of the half-elf magus: ancestral arms can be used to start the game with urumi or falcata proficiency.

Shadow Lodge

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'Rixx wrote:

Pretty sure you can't take Arcane Accuracy and Spell Shield at level 1.

Quote:

Extra Arcana

You have unlocked the secret of a new magus arcana.

Prerequisites: Magus arcana class feature.

Benefit: You gain one additional magus arcana. You must meet all the prerequisites for this magus arcana.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects stack, granting a new arcana each time you gain this feat.

You don't get the magus arcana class feature until level 3. Unless you're a bladebound magus, then you don't get it until level 6.

EXCELLENT catch, thank you Rixx! I overlooked this when reading the feat, changing things, many many things.

This is why guides need feedback by the way.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
One minor point in defense of the half-elf magus: ancestral arms can be used to start the game with urumi or falcata proficiency.

I'll make a note, but basically this just makes them Humans that have taken Exotic W. Prof. and exchanged their other racial traits for half-elf ones.


Thank you! I also caught another mistake: The magus isn't the only class that can crit with a spell. Any spellcasting class can if they get a natural 20 on the die when attacking with the spell - the magus is the only one that can crit on anything besides a 20.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
'Rixx wrote:
Thank you! I also caught another mistake: The magus isn't the only class that can crit with a spell. Any spellcasting class can if they get a natural 20 on the die when attacking with the spell - the magus is the only one that can crit on anything besides a 20.

Fixed! Thanks :)

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
WalterGM wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
One minor point in defense of the half-elf magus: ancestral arms can be used to start the game with urumi or falcata proficiency.
I'll make a note, but basically this just makes them Humans that have taken Exotic W. Prof. and exchanged their other racial traits for half-elf ones.

*nod* But the half-elf racial bonuses aren't exactly terrible, once the bonus feat is off the table. Also, while wand/scroll use isn't exactly a huge thing for magi, as you correctly argue that magi shouldn't multiclass, it's worth pointing out that the half-elf magus has access to the arcane training alternate racial trait as well, and it's pretty much a free ability (you're not giving up anything you care about in the slightest anyway).

Cheliax

WalterGM wrote:


Now that I ponder on a PFS build I can see an elf Dervish Dancing magus being potentially lethal later on, however I'm curious how it compares to a non-dervish dancing one.

Well, assuming by non-dervish dancing you mean a build based on Strength, the short answer is that the build without Dervish Dance will suffer on either hit points or AC, since the Dervish build needs decent numbers in 3 stats while the non-Dervish build needs decent numbers in 4. A non-Dervish build also can't really be an elf, since it doesn't benefit its primary stat (yes, I'd consider Str or Dex to be more important than Int for a magus - again, insofar as PFS goes), so you're likely to play human and lose the spell penetration as well. Without the ability to use a two-handed weapon alongside your major class abilities, I don't think that a Strength-based build can keep up with the Dex-based build in PFS. Still, this is pure opinion and theory - I've only seen Dex-based Magus builds where I play, so the opportunity to compare 'in the wild' hasn't arisen.


With regard to dexterity I think you're focusing too much on the endgame. If you're playing in a 1-20 game it's over half of your career (maybe less in some games where there's a tendency to level slower once a baseline is hit) until you get heavy armor proficiency. Going low dexterity and relying on heavy armor means you're giving up AC in the early levels when you have very low hp and little else to mitigate attacks. Sure in the end your AC more or less washes out and you can have (arguably) better stat placement, but your level 1 magus with 15 base AC and 2 shots of shield for the day is going to have some issues.

Personally I think dervish dancing is viable at any starting level, but I know from trying that magus builds are very feat tight, so if it were me I'd say you want to be starting at at least level 7 if you plan to have dex 10-12. EDIT: or at least a good plan to survive until level 7.

Also I would really like to see how others might build a whip magus, which is what I think I want to play if I ever get an opportunity to play in that new AP about pirates.

Last note: Am I the only one who really wants to make a late game (level 17+) BBEG bladebound magus with a focus on using spell combat with disintegrate?

EDIT2: Small quibble- arcane strike deserves another star, maybe 2. I agree that you experience some serious swift action fatigue as a magus, but arcane bond lasts for a full minute, so that's only 1 per fighter, and frankly I don't think you'll have enough pool points to be spamming the other powers all the time unless you're in a campaign with only 1 encounter a day. At the same level you could get weapon specialization for +2 damage arcane strike adds 3, and it gets better.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Buba HoTep wrote:


Close Range - As pointed out to me, Close Range is in fact the BEST and FIRST Arcana that should be taken.
Why? Zero level spell Ray of Frost + Arcane Strike = Extra attack every chance I get.

Arcane Mark lets you do that without using up an Arcana.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Buba HoTep wrote:


Close Range - As pointed out to me, Close Range is in fact the BEST and FIRST Arcana that should be taken.
Why? Zero level spell Ray of Frost + Arcane Strike = Extra attack every chance I get.
Arcane Mark lets you do that without using up an Arcana.

^--This

Ninjaiguana wrote:
WalterGM wrote:


Now that I ponder on a PFS build I can see an elf Dervish Dancing magus being potentially lethal later on, however I'm curious how it compares to a non-dervish dancing one.

Well, assuming by non-dervish dancing you mean a build based on Strength, the short answer is that the build without Dervish Dance will suffer on either hit points or AC, since the Dervish build needs decent numbers in 3 stats while the non-Dervish build needs decent numbers in 4. A non-Dervish build also can't really be an elf, since it doesn't benefit its primary stat (yes, I'd consider Str or Dex to be more important than Int for a magus - again, insofar as PFS goes), so you're likely to play human and lose the spell penetration as well. Without the ability to use a two-handed weapon alongside your major class abilities, I don't think that a Strength-based build can keep up with the Dex-based build in PFS. Still, this is pure opinion and theory - I've only seen Dex-based Magus builds where I play, so the opportunity to compare 'in the wild' hasn't arisen.

Yeah, this is the conclusion I was coming too as well. I haven't gotten the chance to see a magus in action when it comes to PFS, but I'll agree that with all the number crunching I've seen on it Dervish outweighs Strength in low end games. The AC is just too low.

I'll reflect this more in the guide.

Momar wrote:

With regard to dexterity I think you're focusing too much on the endgame. If you're playing in a 1-20 game it's over half of your career (maybe less in some games where there's a tendency to level slower once a baseline is hit) until you get heavy armor proficiency. Going low dexterity and relying on heavy armor means you're giving up AC in the early levels when you have very low hp and little else to mitigate attacks. Sure in the end your AC more or less washes out and you can have (arguably) better stat placement, but your level 1 magus with 15 base AC and 2 shots of shield for the day is going to have some issues.

Personally I think dervish dancing is viable at any starting level, but I know from trying that magus builds are very feat tight, so if it were me I'd say you want to be starting at at least level 7 if you plan to have dex 10-12. EDIT: or at least a good plan to survive until level 7.

Same response as the above poster; I'll throw up a section reflecting this and see what can be done with the Str build I presented.

Momar wrote:
Also I would really like to see how others might build a whip magus, which is what I think I want to play if I ever get an opportunity to play in that new AP about pirates.

Agreed, whip magus sounds fun.

Momar wrote:


EDIT2: Small quibble- arcane strike deserves another star, maybe 2. I agree that you experience some serious swift action fatigue as a magus, but arcane bond lasts for a full minute, so that's only 1 per fighter, and frankly I don't think you'll have enough pool points to be spamming the other powers all the time unless you're in a campaign with only 1 encounter a day. At the same level you could get weapon specialization for +2 damage arcane strike adds 3, and it gets better.

My main concern with arcane strike was that I don't believe it stacks with the augmentation provided by your power pool. I know that weapon enhancements stack, but I'm unsure if the feat and the class ability would allow them to stack. If they did, then the feat would surely be justified in a second star. And my reasoning for ranking specialization higher was that you didn't have to use a swift action to get the +2, you just always had it.


WalterGM wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
One minor point in defense of the half-elf magus: ancestral arms can be used to start the game with urumi or falcata proficiency.
I'll make a note, but basically this just makes them Humans that have taken Exotic W. Prof. and exchanged their other racial traits for half-elf ones.

Humans couldn't do it at level one because EWP requires BAB +1... which you don't have at level 1.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
WalterGM wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
One minor point in defense of the half-elf magus: ancestral arms can be used to start the game with urumi or falcata proficiency.
I'll make a note, but basically this just makes them Humans that have taken Exotic W. Prof. and exchanged their other racial traits for half-elf ones.
Humans couldn't do it at level one because EWP requires BAB +1... which you don't have at level 1.

Good catch, ty.

Cheliax

For a dervish magus reduce person isn't that bad. The casting time is a bit long, but it's a good spell to cast before combat unless you're already small.
Also, by the time a magus gets heavy armor proficiency, mithral fullplates aren't that expensive any more, so I'd say Dexterity above 12 has its benefits for a strength magus. And if the campaign isn't going to reach level 13 anyway, heavy armor proficiency plus mithral fullplate might be a good way for a strength magus to gain more AC.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jadeite wrote:

For a dervish magus reduce person isn't that bad. The casting time is a bit long, but it's a good spell to cast before combat unless you're already small.

Also, by the time a magus gets heavy armor proficiency, mithral fullplates aren't that expensive any more, so I'd say Dexterity above 12 has its benefits for a strength magus. And if the campaign isn't going to reach level 13 anyway, heavy armor proficiency plus mithral fullplate might be a good way for a strength magus to gain more AC.

I'll add this.

I've also just added a second build for the Dervish, stat breakdown etc, and leveled him the same as I did with the Str. So F5 and check it out -- the comparison is pretty close, not as close as I hoped it might be, but the Dervish Magus is better based off what I just calculated in the two builds.


WalterGM wrote:


You can find it here.

Thanks in advance, fellow Pathfinders!

You sell Dervish Dance builds FAR to short.

Playing til 13th will be tough with the AC you will sport, and after that you're way down on INIT vs a dervish build.

A scimitar is a fine weapon for a magus, so no loss there.

At worst you're talking spending 2 feats.

Likewise I disagree with some of your ratings on the magus arcana, and advice contained therein.

Arcane accuracy seems pricy for an arcana point imho. Couple that it eats your swift action (which arcane strike and empowering your weapon should be eating) it seems not worth it.

I don't know of anything good with broad study, perhaps you have something farther below than I've read.

Close range and concentrate I agree are both traps.

Critical Strike suffers from being a swift action, which means you can't use another swift action in hopes of getting a crit. This is the EK paradox.

Dispelling strike is god awful expensive. Unless you can expect only 1 combat a day it seems horrendous.

The 'sudden' metamagics are alright, but honestly are sub-powered feats in general for PCs.. again assuming a more than 1 fight/day schedule.

Familiar can find uses, depending on your options and if you want to polymorph it for damage or blend something like shadow projection.

Hasted assault is only decent when you can't afford to spell combat haste (which I can't see happening often).

Manuever mastery isn't worth the +1/4 levels that it gets you. It -might- be worth it if it treated you as full BAB for ALL manuevers, but with just one? It's a trait not a feat.

Pool strike is BAD. It deserves it's own color.

Reflection is expensive!! Wow is it expensive.

Spell blending is a decent default choice as there are a number of spells that you can use.

Spell shield should have to compete with a normal spell 'shield' which on lasting 1min/level could see quite some use. Eating up the swift/immediate action in addition to a point (which equates in my mind to a decent combat spell back) seems a bit much.

Wand mastery seems iffy to me, think you might be better off waiting until getting staves instead and save the arcana.

Wand wielder not this seems worth it from low levels on up. Whether it's a shocking grasp so that you can always 'flurry' attacks without worrying about concentration checks (as wands don't provoke), making sure that you are always shielded, can get middle of the road use out of color spray, or want to go with maneuvers and true strike. Seems like it could get use, especially at the lower levels when concentration checks and endurance can be issues.

I agree with you in spell recall. In fact between that and the weapon I think I've found a home for all the arcana pool imho. This is supposing a 3-4 combat day rather than the 1 combat day which might allow extravagant spending of these points.

Knowledge pool I would love to trade out, its only nice at the price of free imho.

Medium armor is great- celestial mail here I come.

Improved spell combat. If going without combat casting, but with a +2 trait you're looking at +16 concentration before INT item which means that you're tapping shocking grasps now which is perfect. So it helps nicely here.

Fighter training. Really should have been magus level - 5 or something, as it is you basically just qualify for weapon spec.

Improved spell recall. Now 3rd level spells are 1 arcana point.. say hi to vamp touch. Your magical lineage intensified shocking grasps now come back via pearl 1s instead of arcana points.

Heavy armor. If you've waited this long with a 12 DEX wow.. congrats now you get to pick up the rest of your AC that you've been slapped around for so long without. Mind you all the downsides come with it.. noise, slower movement, etc. Personally I say DEX build and see if an archetype won't come along to trade this out.

Also disagree on feats:
Extend spell is for rods. You only get to cast up to 6th level spells. A lesser rod is 3k and a normal rod is 11k. Spend the cash and save the feat.

The critical feats are unlikely to be worth it. They cost an extra near useless feat (critical focus) and are BAB tied and you are a medium BAB class.

Arcane strike. After you've charged your weapon and when you don't need to recall a spell do more damage for FREE. Sign me up. Especially at low levels to help you compete against the fighters.

Imp Crit. If the feat said 'get +1 to hit/dam' you'd take it, why spend for keen? If the feat said 'get +d6 elemental damage' you'd take it.. so again, why spend for keen? You're always using a scimitar so there's no cost to tying yourself to one.

Dervish Dance. A must for a magus. At low levels you can eek close to a fighter this way in AC & damage. At high levels you have a 2nd improved init feat. Wouldn't you take improved init twice if you could? Now you also add to your REF save and get an AC before 13th level.

Toughness. Cute feat, but a luxury. Use temp hps if you can't afford this. Likewise favored class into hps. If you can afford this on top over everything else fine, otherwise it's the first to go.

Spells:
Cantrips are worth discussing! Arcane mark lets you flurry. Dancing lights is worth trying to keep up, etc.

1st level:
Chill touch is nice at higher levels with a kicker (let a metamagic rod of dazing for 14k) when you want to conserve spells.
Enlarge person is not good as a self buff. It takes too long to put up. Either get a potion or cast it on someone else.
Floating disk is great for moving others who ride them.
Ray of enfeeblement without close arcana you will need to be out of harms way (and when does that happen?) otherwise you provoke.. and it has a save for half now.
Reduce person nice for hiding
Shield worth it.
Shocking grasp.. you don't wait until 11th for intensify.. you get it around 7th.
Unseen Servant it's traditional use is to pick up weapons of the bad guys that you've disarmed. Why buck tradition? Use your wand of true strike and have the servant move the weapon off to safety.

2nd level:
Alter Self: size bonus to either STR or DEX whichever you want. Also nice with a familiar if you want them suddenly to be humanoid.
Blood transcription. Get a scroll, when you can't find the wizard's spellbook then burn it if its worth it. Later get a wand. Or just skip both and buy the spells you need and save money. Pass.
Blur: lets you remain hiding outside of cover and can't be picked off.
Fog cloud. doesn't have to be centered on you. Nice spell, but 2nd level spells have a weird place for you here.

We kinda disagree fundamentally here..

Have to run for now, will write more when I get the chance.

-James

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

First of all, thank you for the comments! This is the sort of dialogue I was really hoping for. Anyway, here's some responses and explanations.

james maissen wrote:

You sell Dervish Dance builds FAR to short.

Yup, I had -- addressed this in a recent edit though.

james maissen wrote:


Arcane accuracy seems pricy for an arcana point imho. Couple that it eats your swift action (which arcane strike and empowering your weapon should be eating) it seems not worth it.

I like Arcane Accuracy bunches, maybe bunches more than I should but I definitely would pick it over arcane strike, since it adds more to hit, and empowering my weapon via the pool lasts for a minute. So the standard fight swift action breakdown would be 1) empower, 2) arcane accuracy, 3) arcane accuracy, etc. Note that I'd only use A.A. if I was spellstriking a touch spell against something I really did want to hit, otherwise attack as normal with your empowered sword and you'll hit more often than not.

james maissen wrote:


I don't know of anything good with broad study, perhaps you have something farther below than I've read.

Nope, I haven't either - which is why I rated it 1 star. The higher rating was if you were gishing or multiclassing or...something not being a straight magus.

james maissen wrote:


Critical Strike suffers from being a swift action, which means you can't use another swift action in hopes of getting a crit. This is the EK paradox.

My strategy here would be attacking with A.A. on trashy or weaker enemies, not using A.A. on harder foes and when a critical occurs (a 1 in 4 chance mind you), then activating Critical Strike. Once it is used, you can go back to using A.A. as normal.

I do agree that the magus is swift action overloaded, and it would make more sense to me to have Critical Strike be an immediate action instead of a swift.

james maissen wrote:


Dispelling strike is god awful expensive. Unless you can expect only 1 combat a day it seems horrendous.

Personally I'd never pump more than 3 points into it, but I'd still get it for the ability to essentially cast two dispels in a round. Sure, it's situational, but it could seriously mess up a BBEG's pre-final-fight buffs.

james maissen wrote:


The 'sudden' metamagics are alright, but honestly are sub-powered feats in general for PCs.. again assuming a more than 1 fight/day schedule.

Agreed, I may drop them a color and mention this.

james maissen wrote:


Hasted assault is only decent when you can't afford to spell combat haste (which I can't see happening often).

Currently playing a mid-high level game with my magus and I'd disagree this point. None of our combats start within 5 feet of me, and I use the swift action to throw down a 30 ft move speed on myself for an arcane point. Also, if my teammates don't align correctly, it saves me from using a 3rd level spell slot in order to get haste buffed on myself. It's not a 4 star though, so I'll drop it down.

james maissen wrote:


Pool strike is BAD. It deserves it's own color.

Haha!

james maissen wrote:


Spell blending is a decent default choice as there are a number of spells that you can use.

Yup!

james maissen wrote:


Spell shield should have to compete with a normal spell 'shield' which on lasting 1min/level...

The benefit to Spell Shield over the spell Shield (Paizo made it as confusing as possible) is that you can activate it as an immediate action. Usually, low level combats begin with you in attacking distance of the enemies, so I guess the question is do you sacrifice a round of damage in exchange for +4 AC for the fight? I'd prefer to get in there and deal damage on the first round, use Spell Shield as an immediate, then cast Shield on the second round. Note that I do like the Shield spell as is reflected in the spell selection section.


WalterGM wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
One minor point in defense of the half-elf magus: ancestral arms can be used to start the game with urumi or falcata proficiency.
I'll make a note, but basically this just makes them Humans that have taken Exotic W. Prof. and exchanged their other racial traits for half-elf ones.

Humans couldn't do it at level one because EWP requires BAB +1... which you don't have at level 1.

Close Range has an use you completely overlooked -- any ranged attack provokes an AoO -- so if you are going to use a ranged spell (like acid arrow or disintegrate) on the target of your attacks and you don't want to provoke then you want this arcana. Also works with ray of enfeeblement, ray of exhaustion, enervation (critical with enervation). Since you are using your weapon's critical range critical hitting with disintegration could look very nice.

Critical Strike -- um... not so great -- once a day I can do what the eldritch knight does... IF I didn't use the swift action for anything else (like arcane strike, arcane accuracy, quickening a spell, using my arcane pool to enhance my weapon...)? There is a reason people don't like this ability for eldritch knights.

Familiar -- much more useful for you than the wizard -- after all you have the BAB and HP to actually make the familiar useful.

Metamagic arcana -- Really? This over a rod? No thank you. But it seems this might be addressed.

Finally: Dragon's Breath -- you are really selling this spell short. Of all the damage spells available it might be the best one. The choice of damage and shape is an excellent combination meaning you have exactly the element you want, with a shape of your choice. The range isn't bad, and the damage isn't bad either (12d6, not 10 meaning up to 17d6) -- yes it is a reflex for half, but after full attacking the primary target getting him and his friends all in the same cone can be very useful -- especially (again) when you have the choice of element. IF we were talking about an admixture wizard, sure it's not that great, but for a magus without an easy means of changing his fireball into an acidball this spell gives lots of options.

Force Punch is a touch spell -- not a ranged spell. It is also 10d4 force damage, and a great target for toppling spell (or intensify). The damage goes through regardless of the save and if you critical becomes much nicer. Force damage -- again not a bad thing.

Wall of sound compares to wall of fire -- sonic damage is hard to come by and it deflects ranged attacks. Yes silence defeats it... but silence isn't that common and it has decent size.

Contagious Flame like acid arrow has one very important use: Disrupting spell casters. Throwing a metamagic feat that dazes or stuns on it with spell perfection can be useful -- the biggest flaw is the fire damage -- with a way to change that it would be regularly useful.

I don't get where you think that elemental body makes you unable to cast.

Andoran

Let me begin by saying I'm glad someone did a guide to the Magus and thank you for that.

However, I fear I disagree with you on a number of things but for the most part they're fairly minor. This is going to come across a bit harsh, and for that I apologize, I'm pointing out the few things I disagree with rather than the majority I agree with. (These are just my opinion but I thought they might be worth pointing out.)

1st: You value Int over Str for a Str based build on a medium caster. Why? The extra arcane pool point? The extra mid level spell? You really should have had a separate build for Str and a separate build for Int rather than saying to prioritize Int over Str.

2nd: Arcane Strike. Sure you have "better things" to do with your swift action, a few times a day. Better on a blade bound magus who has a smaller arcane pool but not a red choice on a normal magus either, especially if you favor strength (or dexterity) over intelligence.

3rd: Why on earth do you suggest waiting until 11th level to get intensify spell? (Under shocking grasp.)

4th: The monstrous physique line. Really? Is there a humanoid with pounce? And you take -1 AC from casting monstrous physique III over casting the 2nd level, yet you say the AC penalty makes it less attractive.

5: Even a Str based magus can benefit from having more than 12 Dex, by using Mithral armor (beyond the normal REF save, Init, and skill bonuses). Unless you're recommending a belt of Dex rather than upping the stat itself. (Also, combat reflexes is useless with 13 dex unless, again, you're using a belt to increase.) You should probably mention that if that is what you are suggesting.

6: I would suggest mentioning that Arcane Mark is lv 0 touch spell, and thus allowed for spell strike. Ever wanted to play Zorro? Now you can and gain a bonus attack for doing so at 2nd level.

7: There's a lot of great traits for a magus. Extra traits is, IMO, a serious contender for a feat slot.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:


Close Range has an use you completely overlooked -- any ranged attack provokes an AoO -- so if you are going to use a ranged spell (like acid arrow or disintegrate) on the target of your attacks and you don't want to provoke then you want this arcana. Also works with ray of enfeeblement, ray of exhaustion, enervation (critical with enervation). Since you are using your weapon's critical range critical hitting with disintegration could look very nice.

I may be wrong here but doesn't casting a spell defensively prevent the AOO provoked by it? Since the ranged touch attack is the part of the spellcast, wouldn't a concentration check negate the need for Close Range?

Abraham spalding wrote:


Critical Strike -- um... not so great -- once a day I can do what the eldritch knight does... IF I didn't use the swift action for anything else (like arcane strike, arcane accuracy, quickening a spell, using my arcane pool to enhance my weapon...)? There is a reason people don't like this ability for eldritch knights.

Yup, I addressed this an kicked it down a notch. However, since you won't be quickening a spell very often (since the max level you can is 2 unless you picked the quicken spell arcana), and since augmenting your weapon lasts for a minute, and since you won't be using arcane accuracy all the time if you have this ability, I'd still pick it up. The strategy is relatively simple - don't use A.A on things that you want to get a double cast on, if you crit, cast a second time and then go back to fighting normally.

Abraham spalding wrote:


Familiar -- much more useful for you than the wizard -- after all you have the BAB and HP to actually make the familiar useful.

I don't know if you have more HP than a well built caster, but I believe the rating reflects this already. "It's neat and wouldn't be terrible to have, but something else is better."

Abraham spalding wrote:


Metamagic arcana -- Really? This over a rod? No thank you. But it seems this might be addressed.

I'll mention the rods.

Abraham spalding wrote:


Finally: Dragon's Breath -- you are really selling this spell short. Of all the damage spells available it might be the best one. The choice of damage and shape is an excellent combination meaning you have exactly the element you want, with a shape of your choice. The range isn't bad, and the damage isn't bad either (12d6, not 10 meaning up to 17d6) -- yes it is a reflex for half, but after full attacking the primary target getting him and his friends all in the same cone can be very useful -- especially (again) when you have the choice of...

Hmm, I'll look into this and probably change my rating. The versatility of the spell was overlooked in my last reading of it.

Silver Crusade

I just started reading this. The first thing that just jumped out at me. Your Attribute Distribution for the Strength Build. This needs to be Str>Con>Int>Dex>Wis>Cha.
Str for to hit and damage
Con for hp
Int Are you realy casting spells with saves DC?
Dex Initiative is inportant but after level 8 AC wont mater much.
Wis ?
Cha ?

And on you Dex build
Str 13 Power Attack if they want to keap up with damage.


All ranged attacks provoke -- casting defensively just means casting the spell doesn't provoke -- the ranged attack still does. If you throw out a ranged touch attack then you provoke for the ranged attack -- even if casting the spell itself didn't provoke. Also please note that if you are attacking the target with the ray then you might as well try for a better critical range with your weapon (unless you would have more than one ray).

Spell perfection really has a place for the magus -- you can regularly have a quickened spell that way to fall back on. Not an 'always OMG I must have it" thing... but good enough to consider.

Metamagic feats I would consider:

Toppling spell -- you like force hook? How much more would you like it if it tripped the creature you are closing on? How about also taking the close ranged arcana so you can close on him then attack with your spell combat using spell strike to hit with the bonus damage from the hook?

Dazing Spell -- Low level adjustment but dazing them for a round has potential -- saves you hp if nothing else.

Focused Spell -- you have a lot of AoEs -- for an one level adjustment you can increase the save throw by 2 for your main target -- worth thinking about.

Persistent spell -- Again a lot of spells with save throws -- why not try and make them stick?

Bouncing spell -- so you shot your ray and somehow missed, or wouldn't you know it the guy had countermeasures! Wait a minute... he wasn't affected? Great! Hit his buddy instead!


ShadowcatX wrote:
7: There's a lot of great traits for a magus. Extra traits is, IMO, a serious contender for a feat slot.

On that note I have a question about the magical knack trait. Does it function if you're only missing one CL? The trait text on D20pfsrd strongly implies to me that it only functions if you're missing two or more caster levels. The other side of the argument is that that's sort of stupid.

Since true magus isn't a particularly awesome capstone a magus interested in being a pure damage dealer might consider dipping (cross blooded) sorc 1 for the damage per die bloodline arcanas like orc, dragon, and variant elemental, and the dip would obviously hurt a lot less if you didn't lose a CL.


WalterGM wrote:


I like Arcane Accuracy bunches, maybe bunches more than I should but I definitely would pick it over arcane strike, since it adds more to hit, and empowering my weapon via the pool lasts for a minute. So the standard fight swift action breakdown would be 1) empower, 2) arcane accuracy, 3) arcane accuracy, etc. Note that I'd only use A.A. if I was spellstriking a touch spell against something I really did want to hit, otherwise attack as normal with your empowered sword and you'll hit more often than not.

How many magus arcana are you looking to burn a combat? One each round?

I guess I'm seeing if I'm doing that I'm bringing back 3rd level spells (after 11th) for a vamp touch each round that way.

My count at that point is around 10 (5 from level and 5 from INT) give or take. At 3-4 combats I don't have 4 or so to spend each combat... let alone using to bring back spells cast.

As to Dispelling strike:

WalterGM wrote:


Personally I'd never pump more than 3 points into it, but I'd still get it for the ability to essentially cast two dispels in a round. Sure, it's situational, but it could seriously mess up a BBEG's pre-final-fight buffs.

Well 3 points is about my quota for points for an entire combat, so it seems FAR too expensive. I'd rather spend that much getting 3 dispels back and getting 3 chances at getting something.

Frankly this ability at 1 point is reasonable without the level cap attached to it.

As to hasted assault:

WalterGM wrote:
Currently playing a mid-high level game with my magus and I'd disagree this point. None of our combats start within 5 feet of me, and I use the swift action to throw down a 30 ft move speed on myself for an arcane point. Also, if my teammates don't align correctly, it saves me from using a 3rd level spell slot in order to get haste buffed on myself. It's not a 4 star though, so I'll drop it down.

Spend 12k on boots of speed. They were made for 'out of place' PCs to use when they want haste. It doesn't take a swift action to use either.

If you're using some older 3.5 material there was a swift expeditious retreat spell (swift action duration 1 round) that you could consider, but again boots are better here.

WalterGM wrote:


The benefit to Spell Shield over the spell Shield (Paizo made it as confusing as possible) is that you can activate it as an immediate action. Usually, low level combats begin with you in attacking distance of the enemies, so I guess the question is do you sacrifice a round of damage in exchange for +4 AC for the fight? I'd prefer to get in there and deal damage on the first round, use Spell Shield as an immediate, then cast Shield on the second round. Note that I do like the Shield spell as is reflected in the spell selection section.

I can understand the tempo here. But at low levels I'd rather have other arcana, and at higher levels I'd rather pearl a shield spell every so often to chance upon having it already up.

As to mid-high levels, I'd use a move action to move the fighter into full attack range (via that floating disk spell that you don't like) and then cast a shield spell. Then force hook charge my way in round 2 if no one has a delivered themselves to me.

-James


calagnar wrote:


And on you Dex build
Str 13 Power Attack if they want to keap up with damage.

Depends what levels you're thinking of spending the most time.

There are some levels where enemy AC is very low comparatively and a medium BAB class can power attack, but how much are we talking here?

At 12th level you have a 9BAB so you're talking 3 stat points and a feat so that you can be -3 to hit for +6 damage.

I think (looking to cap at 12th say for PFS) with a 20pt buy that I'd go with

STR 10
INT 18 (16+2racial)
WIS 07
DEX 19 (17+2racial)
CON 12 (14-2racial)
CHA 07

Now I could lower DEX to a 18 start and have the STR, but the feat is less than useful for a 1 handed build that wants to hit and crit for its damage.

-James
PS: Oh to the OP, my suggestion for the DEX build is that level 1 you use a BOW, level 2 you use spellstrike via wand and rapier, and starting at level 3 you wandwield spellcombat with the scimitar.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ShadowcatX wrote:

Let me begin by saying I'm glad someone did a guide to the Magus and thank you for that.

However, I fear I disagree with you on a number of things but for the most part they're fairly minor. This is going to come across a bit harsh, and for that I apologize, I'm pointing out the few things I disagree with rather than the majority I agree with. (These are just my opinion but I thought they might be worth pointing out.)

I totally understand. I made the guide full expecting to get lots and lots of criticism with lots and lots of ideas I haven't included because I have but one feeble human brain. My goal is that by getting everyones input we can get a sort of "hive mind" thing going here and make it worlds better than it is. And thank you!

ShadowcatX wrote:


1st: You value Int over Str for a Str based build on a medium caster. Why? The extra arcane pool point? The extra mid level spell? You really should have had a separate build for Str and a separate build for Int rather than saying to prioritize Int over Str.

I'll probably put this in at some point.

ShadowcatX wrote:


2nd: Arcane Strike. Sure you have "better things" to do with your swift action, a few times a day. Better on a blade bound magus who has a smaller arcane pool but not a red choice on a normal magus either, especially if you favor strength (or dexterity) over intelligence.

Changed and noted. Also, does anyone know if this stacks with augmenting your weapon via the arcane pool? Since enhancement bonuses to weapons stack it seems like these might too.

ShadowcatX wrote:


3rd: Why on earth do you suggest waiting until 11th level to get intensify spell? (Under shocking grasp.)

Changed!

ShadowcatX wrote:


4th: The monstrous physique line. Really? Is there a humanoid with pounce? And you take -1 AC from casting monstrous physique III over casting the 2nd level, yet you say the AC penalty makes it less attractive.

I don't think there are any that have those abilities yet, but when they're released the spell is sure to find a better use. The relatively medium-high ranking (**.5) was because of the size increase and the AC increase. I was talking about the more squares you occupy as a huge character (literally a bigger target) which is why it is slightly less attractive to me. You're still a d8 HD character, being uge may not be the best plan. Large though, I could see it if you were Str based.

ShadowcatX wrote:


5: Even a Str based magus can benefit from having more than 12 Dex, by using Mithral armor (beyond the normal REF save, Init, and skill bonuses). Unless you're recommending a belt of Dex rather than upping the stat itself. (Also, combat reflexes is useless with 13 dex unless, again, you're using a belt to increase.) You should probably mention that if that is what you are suggesting.

I don't recall suggesting combat reflexes. However I did mention using things like Cat's grace or stat increase items to artificially increase your Dex in the lower levels. An analysis at the end under "builds" has more about the Str build and how it might be able to survive low levels.

ShadowcatX wrote:


6: I would suggest mentioning that Arcane Mark is lv 0 touch spell, and thus allowed for spell strike. Ever wanted to play Zorro? Now you can and gain a bonus attack for doing so at 2nd level.

Thank you for this! It was mentioned earlier and I forgot to make a note of it.

ShadowcatX wrote:


7: There's a lot of great traits for a magus. Extra traits is, IMO, a serious contender for a feat slot.

I'll make a note. EDIT: I added the Extra Traits and listed a few off the top of my head that sounded good, any more you can think of? Thanks for your comments!

Keep em coming guys!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
calagnar wrote:

I just started reading this. The first thing that just jumped out at me. Your Attribute Distribution for the Strength Build. This needs to be Str>Con>Int>Dex>Wis>Cha.

Str for to hit and damage
Con for hp
Int Are you realy casting spells with saves DC?
Dex Initiative is inportant but after level 8 AC wont mater much.
Wis ?
Cha ?

And on you Dex build
Str 13 Power Attack if they want to keap up with damage.

I don't see where the points for a 13 Str is going to come in a Dex based build.

And for the Str based one: I prefer having a higher arcane pool/bonuses from arcana abilities like Arcane Accuracy. I am however going to put up a third build that favors Str > Int where Con is likely to be second tier (similar to yours) at some point soon.

james maissen wrote:


PS: Oh to the OP, my suggestion for the DEX build is that level 1 you use a BOW, level 2 you use spellstrike via wand and rapier, and starting at level 3 you wandwield spellcombat with the scimitar.

Noted, I'll likely include the bow bit, thanks!

Abraham spalding wrote:

All ranged attacks provoke -- casting defensively just means casting the spell doesn't provoke -- the ranged attack still does. If you throw out a ranged touch attack then you provoke for the ranged attack -- even if casting the spell itself didn't provoke. Also please note that if you are attacking the target with the ray then you might as well try for a better critical range with your weapon (unless you would have more than one ray).

Spell perfection really has a place for the magus -- you can regularly have a quickened spell that way to fall back on. Not an 'always OMG I must have it" thing... but good enough to consider.

Metamagic feats I would consider:

Toppling spell -- you like force hook? How much more would you like it if it tripped the creature you are closing on? How about also taking the close ranged arcana so you can close on him then attack with your spell combat using spell strike to hit with the bonus damage from the hook?

Dazing Spell -- Low level adjustment but dazing them for a round has potential -- saves you hp if nothing else.

Focused Spell -- you have a lot of AoEs -- for an one level adjustment you can increase the save throw by 2 for your main target -- worth thinking about.

Persistent spell -- Again a lot of spells with save throws -- why not try and make them stick?

Bouncing spell -- so you shot your ray and somehow missed, or wouldn't you know it the guy had countermeasures! Wait a minute... he wasn't affected? Great! Hit his buddy instead!

I'll mull over and reflect on this in the guide. Toppling spell and Spell perfection particularly make my mind salivate haha!

james maissen wrote:


How many magus arcana are you looking to burn a combat? One each round?

Probably 1/4th to 1/3rd of my pool a combat. So 1 at level 1, 2 at level 6, 4 at level 11?

james maissen wrote:


My count at that point is around 10 (5 from level and 5 from INT) give or take. At 3-4 combats I don't have 4 or so to spend each combat... let alone using to bring back spells cast.

You make a strong argument, I'll errat a bit.

james maissen wrote:


Well 3 points is about my quota for points for an entire combat, so it seems FAR too expensive. I'd rather spend that much getting 3 dispels back and getting 3 chances at getting something.

Fair, very fair. I suppose the utility of casting two dispels in the same round far outweighs the cost when given that example.

james maissen wrote:


as to hasted assault...Spend 12k on boots of speed. They were made for 'out of place' PCs to use when they want haste. It...

Still gotta be disagreeable here. 1 arcane point for haste for X rounds is a good deal imo. Compared to what else is available at level 9, I'd still take the arcana and save my gold for something else.

Andoran

guide wrote:

Level 3: He’s got more health now, 21, about what a wizard has. He’s also picked up Dervish Dance and spellstrike; now his basic attack is a +6 to hit (+9 with arcane accuracy) for 1d6+4, and his spell combat allows him to make two attacks at a +8/+8 if he expends a point from his pool. The first one will hit for 1d6+6 and the second will be touch that hits for 4d6+6 (Shocking Grasp again), clearly more powerful than his Str based counterpart. His AC is also statically higher still, at an 18.

[/guide]

Why is the shocking grasp doing 4d6+6? I may be missing something but this is quite a boggle.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shar Tahl wrote:
guide wrote:

Level 3: He’s got more health now, 21, about what a wizard has. He’s also picked up Dervish Dance and spellstrike; now his basic attack is a +6 to hit (+9 with arcane accuracy) for 1d6+4, and his spell combat allows him to make two attacks at a +8/+8 if he expends a point from his pool. The first one will hit for 1d6+6 and the second will be touch that hits for 4d6+6 (Shocking Grasp again), clearly more powerful than his Str based counterpart. His AC is also statically higher still, at an 18.

Why is the shocking grasp doing 4d6+6? I may be missing something but this is quite a boggle.

That includes the 1d6 from the Scimitar. I'll edit the guide for clarity.


WalterGM wrote:


That includes the 1d6 from the Scimitar. I'll edit the guide for clarity.

When you do, the 2nd is NOT a touch, but rather a normal attack with the scimitar.

Speaking of which, you're likely better off doing it first in case you happen to miss you can get a 2nd chance at hitting with it this turn.

WalterGM wrote:


Still gotta be disagreeable here. 1 arcane point for haste for X rounds is a good deal imo. Compared to what else is available at level 9, I'd still take the arcana and save my gold for something else.

I'd take a pair of 2nd level spells known instead. False life seems like a nice spell for a d8 fighting class. There are plenty of other 2nd level spells that would work nicely: resist energy, ghoul touch, retrieve item, spectral hand (for when you still have that touch spell active, but have dropped your foe), etc.

Again, I'd rather haste the entire party for that arcana point and use boots for the rounds where that isn't useful. Later on in levels I won't bother to load haste except preemptively as everyone who will want haste will have it via boots, or the wizard/sorcerer will quicken one.

-James


Keep in mind, there are some people who believe Dervish Dance is not a valid feat with Spell Combat. Just forewarning before it comes up again.

Arcane Strike stacks with your enhancement bonus. If you're Bladebound it also stacks with Black Blade Strike. Arcane Strike is a untyped bonus.

Arcane Mark seems allowable by RAW but I am not sure that was the intent. I know my GM would tell me to pound sand if I pulled that..

I'll read through the rest and think about it some more.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
james maissen wrote:


When you do, the 2nd is NOT a touch, but rather a normal attack with the scimitar.

Speaking of which, you're likely better off doing it first in case you happen to miss you can get a 2nd chance at hitting with it this turn.

I know how spellstrike works, but I'll errat it to make this clear. The order of the attacks in actual combat would make sense that way, I was merely presenting them as a "mash up" between the two builds. I'll reword it though.

james maissen wrote:


I'd take a pair of 2nd level spells known instead. False life seems like a nice spell for a d8 fighting class. There are plenty of other 2nd level spells that would work nicely: resist energy, ghoul touch, retrieve item, spectral hand (for when you still have that touch spell active, but have dropped your foe), etc.

That's a fair argument to take, but again, I guess it comes down to personal preference. 12k for boots is quite a lot of gold that is essentially wasted, and you can learn second level wizard spells from scrolls (which cost a lot less than 12k).

The major selling point of Hasted Assault to me is the swift action cast time. Sure, boots are better. If you gave my character boots I would not pick the arcana. However, without boots (or giving the boots to your rogue/etc), 1 point for +30 to move speed, +1 to reflex, +1 to AC, and +1 attack on full attacks for probably 5+ rounds is a good deal for a swift action.

If the party needs haste, cast haste. If you need to get somewhere without blowing your 3rd level slot, use the ability.

B0sh1 wrote:

Keep in mind, there are some detractors whether Dervish Dance is not a valid with Spell Combat. Just forewarning before it comes up again.

Arcane Strike stacks with your enhancement bonus. If you're Bladebound it also stacks with Black Blade Strike. Arcane Strike is a untyped bonus.

Arcane Mark seems allowable by RAW but I am not sure that was the intent. I know my GM would tell me to pound sand if I pulled that..

I'll read through the rest and think about it some more.

Good to know, thanks!

Andoran

WalterGM wrote:
Shar Tahl wrote:
guide wrote:

Level 3: He’s got more health now, 21, about what a wizard has. He’s also picked up Dervish Dance and spellstrike; now his basic attack is a +6 to hit (+9 with arcane accuracy) for 1d6+4, and his spell combat allows him to make two attacks at a +8/+8 if he expends a point from his pool. The first one will hit for 1d6+6 and the second will be touch that hits for 4d6+6 (Shocking Grasp again), clearly more powerful than his Str based counterpart. His AC is also statically higher still, at an 18.

Why is the shocking grasp doing 4d6+6? I may be missing something but this is quite a boggle.

That includes the 1d6 from the Scimitar. I'll edit the guide for clarity.

Still not clear how you are getting 2 scimitar attacks at level 3 with Spell Combat. You get a spell attack with your free hand and a melee attack with your weapon.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Shar Tahl wrote:
WalterGM wrote:
Shar Tahl wrote:
guide wrote:

Level 3: He’s got more health now, 21, about what a wizard has. He’s also picked up Dervish Dance and spellstrike; now his basic attack is a +6 to hit (+9 with arcane accuracy) for 1d6+4, and his spell combat allows him to make two attacks at a +8/+8 if he expends a point from his pool. The first one will hit for 1d6+6 and the second will be touch that hits for 4d6+6 (Shocking Grasp again), clearly more powerful than his Str based counterpart. His AC is also statically higher still, at an 18.

Why is the shocking grasp doing 4d6+6? I may be missing something but this is quite a boggle.

That includes the 1d6 from the Scimitar. I'll edit the guide for clarity.
Still not clear how you are getting 2 scimitar attacks at level 3 with Spell Combat. You get a spell attack with your free hand and a melee attack with your weapon.

you get the second attack via combining spell combat and spellstrike.


WalterGM wrote:


That's a fair argument to take, but again, I guess it comes down to personal preference. 12k for boots is quite a lot of gold that is essentially wasted, and you can learn second level wizard spells from scrolls (which cost a lot less than 12k).

You can't learn 2nd level wizard spells from scrolls as they are not on your spell list, you need to spend the arcana to add them to your list.

WalterGM wrote:


The major selling point of Hasted Assault to me is the swift action cast time. Sure, boots are better. If you gave my character boots I would not pick the arcana. However, without boots (or giving the boots to your rogue/etc), 1 point for +30 to move speed, +1 to reflex, +1 to AC, and +1 attack on full attacks for probably 5+ rounds is a good deal for a swift action.

If the party needs haste, cast haste. If you need to get somewhere without blowing your 3rd level slot, use the ability.

Hasted Assault has a very small window of being useful. In my mind it is levels 9 and 10. Then it's done.

By 11th spending an arcane point and a swift action is recalling a 3rd level spell in combat.

By 11th level boots of speed are not the investment that they are at 9th, nor is the 3rd level spell slot for haste as an alternative.

Meanwhile at 11th a resist energy gives you 30 resistance and a false life gives you 1d10+10 (before empower via rod).

Honestly if you need increased mobility from haste you'll lose a good deal of that by 13th when you overland fly. Of course by then your other build is looking at 20mv/40 hasted in that heavy armor...

But if you can get reasonable use out of hasted assault to make it worthwhile for later levels as well that's great, I just think it gets self-replaced very easily. Wand wielder at least has a place in spamming true strikes or the like, even though its main use was in the low levels when spell slots were too scarce and combats went for too many rounds.

-James

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shar Tahl wrote:


Still not clear how you are getting 2 scimitar attacks at level 3 with Spell Combat. You get a spell attack with your free hand and a melee attack with your weapon.

Check that section again, I've rewritten it in an attempt to clear up the language. I totally understand the confusion given how it was worded. My apologies.


Something else to note is that Ultimate Combat will have new magus arcana (at least according to the product page for UC)so I'd keep an eye out on that, it might bring more arcana that are worth spending points on. In general, I'd reserve points to fuel my spell recall and buff my weapon, there's not too many 1 point per round I am interested in personally. Hasted assault is OK since you get a better payback but I'd just cast haste and wait to recall it via Improved Spell Recall at 11th.

I can see picking up Maximize or Empower to really add in some punch but once a day means you really hold back on making that call.

I am fairly certain, with my GM, I'll need to get Close Range. He's not going to let me spam Arcane Mark, citing it as fairly cheesy way around the intention of using spell combat/spellstrike. I am OK with that though.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
james maissen wrote:


You can't learn 2nd level wizard spells from scrolls as they are not on your spell list, you need to spend the arcana to add them to your list.

Bah, you're right! I mean...crumbs, I overlooked that. ;)

james maissen wrote:


Hasted Assault has a very small window of being useful. In my mind it is levels 9 and 10. Then it's done.

By 11th spending an arcane point and a swift action is recalling a 3rd level spell in combat.

By 11th level boots of speed are not the investment that they are at 9th, nor is the 3rd level spell slot for haste as an alternative.

Meanwhile at 11th a resist energy gives you 30 resistance and a false life gives you 1d10+10 (before empower via rod).

Honestly if you need increased mobility from haste you'll lose a good deal of that by 13th when you overland fly. Of course by then your other build is looking at 20mv/40 hasted in that heavy armor...

But if you can get reasonable use out of hasted assault to make it worthwhile for later levels as well that's great, I just think it gets self-replaced very easily. Wand wielder at least has a place in spamming true strikes or the like, even though its main use was in the low levels when spell slots were too scarce and combats went for too many rounds.

-James

Fair points. The level 11 recall for a 3rd level spell makes your case entirely, I'll reflect it in the guide. Does haste not stack with overland flight? It seems like it should, since overland flight gives you a base fly speed and haste gives +30 to your base speed.

Edit: Although isn't it 2 points to recall a 3rd level spell that was already cast? 1/2 the spell level.


james maissen wrote:


Hasted Assault has a very small window of being useful. In my mind it is levels 9 and 10. Then it's done.

By 11th spending an arcane point and a swift action is recalling a 3rd level spell in combat.

By 11th level boots of speed are not the investment that they are at 9th, nor is the 3rd level spell slot for haste as an alternative.

-James

Wouldn't recalling a 3rd level spell cost 2 arcane points since half of a 3rd level spell is 1 and 1/2 rounded up to 2 or am I reading the ability wrong?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Narrater wrote:
james maissen wrote:


Hasted Assault has a very small window of being useful. In my mind it is levels 9 and 10. Then it's done.

By 11th spending an arcane point and a swift action is recalling a 3rd level spell in combat.

By 11th level boots of speed are not the investment that they are at 9th, nor is the 3rd level spell slot for haste as an alternative.

-James

Wouldn't recalling a 3rd level spell cost 2 arcane points since half of a 3rd level spell is 1 and 1/2 rounded up to 2 or am I reading the ability wrong?

My question as well.


Narrater wrote:


Wouldn't recalling a 3rd level spell cost 2 arcane points since half of a 3rd level spell is 1 and 1/2 rounded up to 2 or am I reading the ability wrong?

Rule #something -- always round down.

getting started wrote:

Rounding Fractions

In general, if you wind up with a fraction, round down, even if the fraction is one-half or larger.

Exception: Certain rolls, such as damage and hit points, have a minimum of 1.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
Narrater wrote:


Wouldn't recalling a 3rd level spell cost 2 arcane points since half of a 3rd level spell is 1 and 1/2 rounded up to 2 or am I reading the ability wrong?

Rule #something -- always round down.

getting started wrote:

Rounding Fractions

In general, if you wind up with a fraction, round down, even if the fraction is one-half or larger.

Exception: Certain rolls, such as damage and hit points, have a minimum of 1.

Thank you again, sir. :)


I doubt that they intended spell recall to be that good but the possibilities makes me positively giddy. Thank you for clearing that up for us.

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