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New PFS Magus - advice and help welcome :)


Advice

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Hey all! Gonna be taking Pathfinder a little more seriously starting next week (I've done We Be Goblins back on gameday). We should have a fairly regular group though I can't say I know what exactly the others are playing yet, but I... I want to play a Magus!

Currently I have this:

Race:Human
Stats: 8-20-12-14-7-12
Feats: Weapon Finesse, Enforcer
Traits: Blade of Mercy, ....
Standard Spells:
0- Daze, Flare, Dectect Magic
1- Shield and/or Infernal Healing depending if we even have a healer.

Gonna go with a Gladius or a Dog slicer till level 3 and then pick up a scimitar.

Also at level 3 I'll pick up the Spell Blending Magic Arcana for Resistance and Touch of Fatigue. For the feat I'll take Dervish Dance.

So.. basically I'm aweful until level 3, but I'm thoroughly intriuged by the ability (possibilty) to heavily nerf anything I set my attack rolls upon. Until then the plan for spell combating would be to melee, 5-step, daze. Then in the following round if the guy is still around, Flare, 5step in, melee. Repeat with Flare as necessary. @ level 2 I may switch to arcane mark.

I have a Trait slot open. Originally I was taking two-world magic to pick up Touch of Fatigued until I discovered that I heavily disliked just about everything I could take at level 3 for Magic Arcane other than ability to spell combat with wands.

Which, if wands are easy come by/worthwhile to pick up I may switch back so could use some advice on that as I don't have any experience on how one acquire items in PFS.

Beyond a trait and any spell recommendations and Magic arcana advice. What can I do to better sure up my underwhelming first 2 levels if anything?


Magnus Arcanis wrote:

What can I do to better sure up my underwhelming first 2 levels if anything?

Get a bow?

As to traits.. I'd get concentration boosters.

Enforcer is cute and can work.. but combat casting might serve you better.

-James

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Well to be honest, you're gonna be awful a lot longer then that.

First, the main focus of this build is totally useless against all undead, constructs, oozes,Plants, Vermin and REALLY hard to pull off on Animals. It's built around a skill check that you have as little better then a dump stat.
All of this for giving your opponent a -2 to attack roles and saving throws. A good back up trick but unless you dip into Rogue (thug) it's not a strong ability.

The rest of your tactics involve forcing will saves on your opponent with REALLY low DC spells (DC 12).
Hint, if you really just want Touch of Fatigue just burn a grand for a for a Cracked Orange Prism Ioun stone. It adds one 0-th level spell to your spell list.
Second Hint, Resistance doesn't stack with Cloaks of Resistance which everyone grabs asap, I'd re-think that.

As for Arcana, take Arcane Accuracy +4 to hit is amazing for a 3/4 Bab class who takes a -2 to hit every time he tries to really attack.

Honestly, you've tanked your will saves, your bonus spells, your arcane pool and chosen to focus on the weakest and easiest to ignore spells you have.

Good Luck.


Ya, enforcer is not useful against everything. I realize, but as an added on effect even at a low DC is kinda nice to spam.

Which is also how I'm justiying my low DC spam spells. Its i'm not relying on them landing, it just gives me somethings else to do while I'm doing a d6 of damage.

On average, when will a PFS character reach a grand to spend on such an item as that is a rather nice alternative.

Ya... I didn't really know what else to pick up with Spell Blending. I kinda assumed that by level 3 I wouldn't have enough cash to buy a resistance item as i would probably value a weapon higher (or possibly that Iuon stone). That and it was one the few cantrips that aren't already on the Magus spell list.

Isn't Arcane Accuracy horrible at low levels? At level 3 I'll have 3 arcane pool points. I think I'd rather use those give msyelf +1 enhancement bonus for the 3 combats than get a +4 for one attack.

Still, your best points:
No will save - ya got me there. I don't like this, but something needed to be tanked and enforcer seemed so fun.

bonus spells - not really. a 14 gives me just as many as an 18 until we get to 3rd level spells which by then hopefully I can pick up an Int item.

Arcane Pool Points - agreed. I would love to have a LOT more so I can use a bunch of those 1 per attack types. But even if I didn't pick up an extra point or two I doubt I would use them differently until level 4 with spell recall which Extra Arcane Pool point feat is high on the considered list at level 5.

My focus was more or less to try and tack on as many debilitating effects I could find and hit with them every round. figuring odds are one of them will stick.

Other options I forgot to ask about. Any worth going 2 magus then 2 Alchemist for an extra arm to two-hand the scimitar to increase the melee damage output? Remember, too, I'm not to worried about how awesome my spellcasting is as opposed to my offensive output. (ya sure, there are probably simpler ways to dish out damage, but I think I enjoy tacking on the a few debuffs while keeping up in damage output)

Or I'm completely crazy... aka the likely scenario


Magnus Arcanis wrote:
Or I'm completely crazy... aka the likely scenario

How about the following:

Elf
STR 10
INT 18
WIS 07
DEX 19
CON 12
CHA 07

Traits: Magical Lineage, +2 concentration
Feats: Weapon Finesse (1), Dervish Dance (3), Heighten Spell (5), Preferred Spell: shocking grasp(5), Intensify Spell(7), Empower Spell(9), Spell Penetration (11).

At 12th level if you want pick a level of crossblooded sorcerer with blue dragon and orc bloodlines.

-James


Don't go with -8 STR, you won't be able to carry ANYTHING. That and you will be doing 1d6-1 damage until level 3... You don't need to play a character with both Dex and int, but for the love of all thats good don't put an 18 into any stats. It is just not worth it - 17 or 18 AFTER racial bonus should hold you fine. For example..
Human:
STR 10
DEX 16(+2 racial) = 18
CON 12
INT 16
WIS 8
CHA 10

having 12 charisma is totally overkill just to get +1 to your Intimidate... It's not worth the extra penalty to Will Saves, Perception, etc. If you really want more Dex, you can make Dex 19 at the cost of Int to 15.

For level 1 spells: Color spray color spray color spray. You will win all the battles vs anything it can affect. Shocking Grasp and Frostbite are good options too (Frostbite + Rime Spell couples VERY nicely with Enforcer).

Level 3 magus arcana: FAMILIAR. It's basically a free feat. Cover your weak spots with... +2 to any save (get your Will save back up), OR +4 initiative (compsom..something OP for sure), +3 to skill check, +1 to AC.. it's amazing. You don't even have to spend any pool points. Alternatively, go Hexcrafter and pick up something super awesome (Brew Potion, Flight...). Options are endless. Or go Black Blade and never worry about your weapon again. Then delay arcana choice until 6.

If you really want control/debuffs, take the Magic trait that treats a spell as -1 level for metamagic and pick Frostbite. Then take Rime spell. On a hit you will do Shaken, Entangle, and Fatigue. Profit. You can get all these feats by 5 (it's exactly what my magus is doing). Screw Shocking Grasp - no need to worry about damage when they can't hit you.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Magnus Arcanis wrote:

Ya, enforcer is not useful against everything. I realize, but as an added on effect even at a low DC is kinda nice to spam.

Which is also how I'm justiying my low DC spam spells. Its i'm not relying on them landing, it just gives me somethings else to do while I'm doing a d6 of damage.

On average, when will a PFS character reach a grand to spend on such an item as that is a rather nice alternative.

Ya... I didn't really know what else to pick up with Spell Blending. I kinda assumed that by level 3 I wouldn't have enough cash to buy a resistance item as i would probably value a weapon higher (or possibly that Iuon stone). That and it was one the few cantrips that aren't already on the Magus spell list.

Isn't Arcane Accuracy horrible at low levels? At level 3 I'll have 3 arcane pool points. I think I'd rather use those give msyelf +1 enhancement bonus for the 3 combats than get a +4 for one attack.

Still, your best points:
No will save - ya got me there. I don't like this, but something needed to be tanked and enforcer seemed so fun.

bonus spells - not really. a 14 gives me just as many as an 18 until we get to 3rd level spells which by then hopefully I can pick up an Int item.

Arcane Pool Points - agreed. I would love to have a LOT more so I can use a bunch of those 1 per attack types. But even if I didn't pick up an extra point or two I doubt I would use them differently until level 4 with spell recall which Extra Arcane Pool point feat is high on the considered list at level 5.

My focus was more or less to try and tack on as many debilitating effects I could find and hit with them every round. figuring odds are one of them will stick.

Other options I forgot to ask about. Any worth going 2 magus then 2 Alchemist for an extra arm to two-hand the scimitar to increase the melee damage output? Remember, too, I'm not to worried about how awesome my spellcasting is as opposed to my offensive output. (ya sure, there are probably simpler ways to dish out damage, but I think I enjoy tacking on...

Well lets do this in reverse. If your goal is to tack on as many debilitating status effects as you can then the best option is this:

Magical Lineage: Frostbite & Metamagic: Rime Spell & Arcana: Maneuver Mastery (trip).
Every time you cast this spell and attempt a Trip maneuver you can inflict Fatigue + Entangle + Prone on 2 different attempts every round.
This trick will stay relevant for the entire life of your PFS character and stacks nicely with taking Enforcer later for adding shaken (or frightened if you dip into rogue).

As for Multiclassing, Alchemist is fine (vivisectionist is best) for upping DPR but if you only want an additional hand then I would recommend going Hexcrafter Magus instead and taking prehensile hair at 4th.
HOWEVER, since status effects are what you're after I would recommend a 2 level dip into Witch (white haired witch) instead. That archetype mixed with the above tricks will let you apply:
Grappled, Fatigued, Prone, Entangled, Shaken AND move them into flanked position with an ally twice a round every round by 6th level.

Mix that with the Hexcrafter archetype and you get to keep all the best hexes from the witch class too while ignoring those arcana you don't like.

Your arcane pool is low which should let you know your Dex is TOO HIGH. A Magus without spells or arcane points is a crappy rogue without sneak attack. Drop your Dex to 18 & Chr to 10 and stuff those points into Int and get your Wis modifier out of the negatives.


Hmm, was looking into Rime Spell and curious. Several people seem to think Rime Spell and Ray of Frost is an at-will Entangle. Is that true? Based on the wording of Rime spell I'd entangle the target for zero rounds which to me is... not at all?

Definately gonna keep Frostbite in the pocket for now and focus on at-will, all day every day type of effects...

Speaking of how does using the hair work exactly? Seems like a level 1 dip into Witch (White-haired) and Hexcrafter I'd effectively gain 2 additional attacks on top of the normal weapon and spell attacks from spell combat?

If true does the -2 from spell combat apply to the additional attacks (I assume yes, but better to make sure)

Oh, thanks for the tip on Vivisectionist. Another good one to pocket.

4 Magus(Hexcrafter)/1 Witch(White-Haired)/2 Alchemist(Vivisectionist)/1 Rogue(Thug)

Think my BAB might cry. lol Wonder if its better to simply go str based at that point though... I may be outside the realm of this thread alone...

Cheliax

Like others have said, balance in stats is more important than a single 18. Assuming 20 point-buy, this is my favourite dervish dance magus build:

Elf Magus (after racials)

Str 13, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 9, Cha 7

The reason for 13 strength is two-fold; one, you have a respectable carrying capacity, and two you're eligible to grab power attack at level 5.

I would go full magus for the sake of spell progression and BAB. Alchemist and etc. may be tempting, but I would still shy away.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Rime spell does nothing for ray of frost don't bother trying.

Natural attacks and iterative attacks have special rules on how they interact, read the Natural Attack section from the bestiary to understand it. But mostly you get 1 extra attack per round from the hair and IF you took prehensile hair it wouldn't give you an additional attack it would just make your normal hair prehensile (the white witch archetype's hair is NOT prehensile normally).

As for spell combat/spellstrike, yes the penalty will apply to every attack you make that round, no matter what weapon you use.

Finally doing so you'd have a Bab of 4 and all your abilities would be so weak you couldn't kill a goblin in fight.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

A laser-focused PC can be a trap in PFS organized play. You want your capabilities to be a tad more diversified: one or two main schticks that you're pretty good at, a couple more that you're reasonably competent with, and be at least mediocre at most other stuff, with not more than a couple of achilles' heels.

Here are some situations I've either been in as a player or put forth as the GM in PFS:

• PC dragged to the bottom of a river in the mouth of a giant crocodile
• Swallowed whole by a gibbering mouther
• Swept off the side of a ship by a rogue wave in a storm
• Had to catch a werewolf before he reached/killed an NPC (using chase rules)
• Had to fight creatures that could use darkness or invisibility at will
• Had to climb down a 150ft cliff face while being fly-by attacked by harpies
• Had to find the MacGuffin (like a million times)

The list goes on. If you have a stat above 18 at level 1, you're too narrow for PFS. Those are the characters that die - they get into a situation they're not suited for, can't cope, and it's over.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Rime spell does nothing for ray of frost don't bother trying.

Natural attacks and iterative attacks have special rules on how they interact, read the Natural Attack section from the bestiary to understand it. But mostly you get 1 extra attack per round from the hair and IF you took prehensile hair it wouldn't give you an additional attack it would just make your normal hair prehensile (the white witch archetype's hair is NOT prehensile normally).

As for spell combat/spellstrike, yes the penalty will apply to every attack you make that round, no matter what weapon you use.

Finally doing so you'd have a Bab of 4 and all your abilities would be so weak you couldn't kill a goblin in fight.

Ah, I knew I was right on Ray of Frost... and will do on the read up on natural attacks.

Though I am kind of suprised that you'd still say that about the goblin fighting though. Worst case scenario I'm still doing 2 attacks at d6+dex+trait+arcane pool+weapon enhancements+Other effects.

A rogue is what? possibly pretty much the same minus arcane pool+other effects and gains a better sneak attack?

Do I do as much damage? No, but... I would think some of those weak effects could add up.


Mergy wrote:


The reason for 13 strength is two-fold; one, you have a respectable carrying capacity, and two you're eligible to grab power attack at level 5.

I would suggest avoiding power attack. Even without the feat and stat cost the benefit is marginal on a PC that is going to:

1. One hand the weapon.
2. Have a medium BAB.
3. Have associated spike damage on their attacks.

-James


Jiggy wrote:

A laser-focused PC can be a trap in PFS organized play. You want your capabilities to be a tad more diversified: one or two main schticks that you're pretty good at, a couple more that you're reasonably competent with, and be at least mediocre at most other stuff, with not more than a couple of achilles' heels.

Here are some situations I've either been in as a player or put forth as the GM in PFS:

• PC dragged to the bottom of a river in the mouth of a giant crocodile
• Swallowed whole by a gibbering mouther
• Swept off the side of a ship by a rogue wave in a storm
• Had to catch a werewolf before he reached/killed an NPC (using chase rules)
• Had to fight creatures that could use darkness or invisibility at will
• Had to climb down a 150ft cliff face while being fly-by attacked by harpies
• Had to find the MacGuffin (like a million times)

The list goes on. If you have a stat above 18 at level 1, you're too narrow for PFS. Those are the characters that die - they get into a situation they're not suited for, can't cope, and it's over.

I'm all for diversity, but... after Weapon Finesse, Dervish Dance, and possibly Agile Maneauvers... that one stat is responsible for my:

- to-hit for melee and ranged attacks and spells.
- melee damage
- reflex
- combat maneauvers (maybe)
- 7 dex based skills

Which... is a pretty big bulk of the character in question.

For Strenght - Other than carrying things (which addmittedly I could be underestimating) and 2 skills (granted they could matter, but so could all skills)... I just don't see much of a use for that 1 or 2 modifier. I'll also echo too, without alchemist's extra arm I'm not getting the full benefit from power attack... meh. My inexperience is showing, but the math isn't there.

For Wisdom - Ya... I would like more here for my Will save (at least its not in the negatives), but perception isn't a class skill and so I'm not so great at the other 3... But I don't think I'll be mediocre at them with a 10 score either.

For Intelligence - I wouldn't mind more, but I ask why do I really need more? Don't really care about DC's. The 1-2 extra arcane pool points would be nice, but after 4 combats what am I using them for? I might be undervaluing one shot techniques from Magic Arcana or my Spell list but isn't +1 to-hit and damage better than anything that extra point or 2 of int is giving me?

Now, if I wasn't pinning basically everything on my Dexterity I'd be in the same pool as you guys discouraging me, but if this isn't a reason to go for a 18 pre-racial stat I don't know what is.

Still, 7 build points is a lot, but I question what would actually be worth increasing (to a useable level).


Magnus Arcanis wrote:


For Intelligence - I wouldn't mind more, but I ask why do I really need more?

Let's start by asking at what level will you be able to be sure to cast defensively simple 1st level spells. Your top level spells?

Then there's spell recall which is awesome for longevity in burning through spells.

I wouldn't sink a ton into INT, but this class does speak towards a 10-10 or so investment in INT/DEX to me... but then again I tend to look towards elves for this build so a 18/18 (or really a 18/19) start here is kinda nice.

-James


james maissen wrote:
Magnus Arcanis wrote:


For Intelligence - I wouldn't mind more, but I ask why do I really need more?

Let's start by asking at what level will you be able to be sure to cast defensively simple 1st level spells. Your top level spells?

Then there's spell recall which is awesome for longevity in burning through spells.

I wouldn't sink a ton into INT, but this class does speak towards a 10-10 or so investment in INT/DEX to me... but then again I tend to look towards elves for this build so a 18/18 (or really a 18/19) start here is kinda nice.

-James

Well, casting defensively... bleh. What a wierd mechanic. Virtually impossible at low levels to be reliant, and if you sure up that aweful percentage it becomes worthless at certain tipping points.

Ideally, unless under extreme circumstances I won't have to cast my level 1+ spells defensively. As they're pretty much personal buffs I can cast while in safe areas. At least thats the plan anyway.

Cantrips... well.. they're free so ya. Hell, if my target is shaken+fatigued and if I have a healer so I can have shield up... I just might take the dang AoO. As against such a target I would effectively have a 27 ac+other stuff. Meh.

Spell recall is awesome though. It can add some serious longevity to the low spells per day. I'm still russeling with the math to make it work. Not sure if its really enough to allow me to abuse a damage spell often enough. And if thats true then all I'll end up doing is using any left over points to let me go into a 5th combat that may not happen. (not that 4 is garunteed either, but still)


Magnus Arcanis wrote:


4 Magus(Hexcrafter)/1 Witch(White-Haired)/2 Alchemist(Vivisectionist)/1 Rogue(Thug)

Think my BAB might cry. lol Wonder if its better to simply go str based at that point though... I may be outside the realm of this thread alone...

I'm starting to think this might be your first serious Pathfinder character.

One of the BIG differences between 3.5 and PF is that taking a single class is much more powerful than the cherry-picking game that was 3.5.

The build you have listed... has THREE spellcasting classes, none full BAB, none that have strong reasons to take all together. A one or two dip into WH-Witch or Vivisectionist could be argued is really useful...

But compared to a level 8 magus? You gain 2 BAB, 4 HP or skill points(favored class), 1 hp (compared to d6 HD witch), plus an extra arcana, 3rd level spells, medium armor casting, Bonus Feat, Knowledge Pool, and Imp. Spell Combat (not taking into consideration any archetypes).

Do all the extra abilities really beat out on 2 BAB and 3rd level spells AND bonus feat? The rest to me just seems like icing on the cake.

If you really really want to multiclass, go 2 levels max. Otherwise you will lose sight of what your character is trying to do and find yourself far behind other melee characters (which at the end of the day is exactly what you are).

Edit: not to mention the loss of Caster level for your main class, which will mean your Shocking Grasp (or spell of choice) will only do 4d6, compared to the 8d6 all other Magi are doing at that level.


dunebugg wrote:
Magnus Arcanis wrote:


4 Magus(Hexcrafter)/1 Witch(White-Haired)/2 Alchemist(Vivisectionist)/1 Rogue(Thug)

Think my BAB might cry. lol Wonder if its better to simply go str based at that point though... I may be outside the realm of this thread alone...

I'm starting to think this might be your first serious Pathfinder character.

One of the BIG differences between 3.5 and PF is that taking a single class is much more powerful than the cherry-picking game that was 3.5.

The build you have listed... has THREE spellcasting classes, none full BAB, none that have strong reasons to take all together. A one or two dip into WH-Witch or Vivisectionist could be argued is really useful...

But compared to a level 8 magus? You gain 2 BAB, 4 HP or skill points(favored class), 1 hp (compared to d6 HD witch), plus an extra arcana, 3rd level spells, medium armor casting, Bonus Feat, Knowledge Pool, and Imp. Spell Combat (not taking into consideration any archetypes).

Do all the extra abilities really beat out on 2 BAB and 3rd level spells AND bonus feat? The rest to me just seems like icing on the cake.

If you really really want to multiclass, go 2 levels max. Otherwise you will lose sight of what your character is trying to do and find yourself far behind other melee characters (which at the end of the day is exactly what you are).

Edit: not to mention the loss of Caster level for your main class, which will mean your Shocking Grasp (or spell of choice) will only do 4d6, compared to the 8d6 all other Magi are doing at that level.

Lol, while it is true this would be my frist true attempt at a pathfinder character. Actually will be my second attempt ever at multiclassing at a table top game (the first never made it past the first session). So ya, novice indeed.

Actually building the 4/2/1/1 character was more or less a spin off thought. Still I do wonder about that the actual drawbacks of multi-classing.

The thought behind it is merely to pluck certain aspects of each chosen class and ignoring what I don't need.

For instance, if I'm gauging for 4 combats a day (possibly a terrible idea, but like a said a spin off thought). From 4 levels of Magus I get pretty much all I need. 4 frist level spells (likely shield), Hexcraft for the hair which gives me four 1 minute uses. A 1 dip to witch to actually make effective use of the hair.

That sorta makes up for the extra attack I'd delay due to the lower BAB (which is honestly the biggest loss, that and haste). 2 Alchemist is merely there for the 1d6 sneak attack and an extra arm so I can get 1.5 Dex to damage. Everything else is merely a bonus. 1 rogue is another d6 of sneak attack and thug traits.

I may actually drop the rogue for a 5th of Magus, bonus feat and better weapon enchancements (or +2) from the Arcane pool now that I think about it a little more.

If its possible to sure up the inaccurate attacks...

grappling, shaken, fatigued attacks that do at least respectable damage may or may not be worht it... for me. I might miss haste too much though for me to actually go through with it... but was an interesting thought none the less.


Magnus Arcanis wrote:


Well, casting defensively... bleh. What a wierd mechanic. Virtually impossible at low levels to be reliant, and if you sure up that aweful percentage it becomes worthless at certain tipping points.

You're roughly playing levels 1 through 12. You can find the sweet spot there, but you have to plan for it.

Trust me as a magus you will wish to cast shocking grasp via spell combat in the thick of it.

Likewise you will get jumped at some point and being able to get off that mirror image or the like will be worthwhile.

As to taking the AOO.. now you've taken damage and need to make a worse concentration check! Gambling for them to miss vs you making the roll to begin with.. it's normally a sucker's bet.

-James

Shadow Lodge

Mergy wrote:

Assuming 20 point-buy, this is my favourite dervish dance magus build:

Elf Magus (after racials)

Str 13, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 9, Cha 7

so before racials

str 13 (3)
dex 16 (10)
con 14 (5)
int 14 (5)
wis 9 (-1)
char 7 (-4)

That's an 18 point buy, if you put charisma back up to 8 or wisdom to 11 you have 20 points

Shadow Lodge

Magnus Arcanis wrote:
2 Alchemist is merely there for the 1d6 sneak attack and an extra arm so I can get 1.5 Dex to damage

Dervish Dance doesn't work like that. First line from Dervish Dance.

Inner Sea World Guide wrote:
When wielding a scimitar with one hand, you can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on melee attack and damage rolls.

Cheliax

Skerek wrote:
Mergy wrote:

Assuming 20 point-buy, this is my favourite dervish dance magus build:

Elf Magus (after racials)

Str 13, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 9, Cha 7

so before racials

str 13 (3)
dex 16 (10)
con 14 (5)
int 14 (5)
wis 9 (-1)
char 7 (-4)

That's an 18 point buy, if you put charisma back up to 8 or wisdom to 11 you have 20 points

Whoops, you are correct.


james maissen wrote:
Magnus Arcanis wrote:


Well, casting defensively... bleh. What a wierd mechanic. Virtually impossible at low levels to be reliant, and if you sure up that aweful percentage it becomes worthless at certain tipping points.

You're roughly playing levels 1 through 12. You can find the sweet spot there, but you have to plan for it.

Trust me as a magus you will wish to cast shocking grasp via spell combat in the thick of it.

Likewise you will get jumped at some point and being able to get off that mirror image or the like will be worthwhile.

As to taking the AOO.. now you've taken damage and need to make a worse concentration check! Gambling for them to miss vs you making the roll to begin with.. it's normally a sucker's bet.

-James

Ya... I'm sure there be at least one time when I can't "back off" to cast a needed spell. I may be a very sad panda that day.

As for the AoO... I dunno, I'd only consider it after the I know the facts. If the target needs to roll an 18+ to hit me I may just risk on a cantrip rather than lose the cantrip when I didn't have to. And for a less expendable spell I probably wouldn't even consider it unless they needed to roll a 20. I'm a gambler sometimes... what can I say ;).

----------
On to better news... after coming into the knowledge of what Frostbite actually does... I think I'll take that White-Hair witch dip with 5 Magus hexcrafter levels.

However, I have a few questions. On a 5 Magus/1 Witch.

1. For feats, I plan on having Finesse and Enforcer at level 1, Dervish Dance at 3, and Rime Spell at level 5. I have one other at 5 and would get one soon at 7. I'm thinking at Agile Maneavurs and Combat Reflexes (to take advantage of that 10 foot reach from the hair).

Suggestions on which one I should take first? (or at all for that matter)

2. If my hair is grappling, can it deliever my extra touches from Frostbite (it may not even have a choice) so I can continue to spell combat with cantrips? Even if I orignally spellstriked it through the scimitar?

I guess I get myself all confused when it comes to having a trip+grapple (at least it sounds like if I trip I get free grapple check) attack without being grappled myself.

I may need to be told exactly what I can and can't do with my white and prehensile hair at this point... Just want to make sure I'm using this seemingly awesome trick right.

3. For Magic Arcana, with this direction, should I be taking the Maneauvers arcana at 3rd and 6th magus level (one each for trip and grapple)? Or if the extra frostbite touches can be delivered via my hair would it be worth it to take close arcana so I can use Flare in melee?

Might be cool to add Dazzled on top of Fatigued, Shaken, Grappled, Entangled and Prone.

4. Familiars, (this might answer question 3). +2 to CMB or Will Saves (or +1 AC)? And do i need to take the Familiar magic arcana to stack my Magus and Witch levels for the little guy?

Thanks for the all the help guys. You're really doin me a solid. Its a lot of info to take in and bad/old info+my inability to understand/remeber effects/rules+my desire to do cool tricks has turned this into quite a project for me. Your guiding hands are helping out big time.


Magnus Arcanis wrote:


However, I have a few questions. On a 5 Magus/1 Witch.

1. For feats, I plan on having Finesse and Enforcer at level 1, Dervish Dance at 3, and Rime Spell at level 5. I have one other at 5 and would get one soon at 7. I'm thinking at Agile Maneavurs and Combat Reflexes (to take advantage of that 10 foot reach from the hair).

Suggestions on which one I should take first? (or at all for that matter)

You can't use Combat Reflexes with your Prehensile Hair Hex, as it's a secondary attack and can't make AoOs. If you take White Hair witch you only have 5 foot reach with it until Witch4.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Magnus Arcanis wrote:
james maissen wrote:
Magnus Arcanis wrote:


Well, casting defensively... bleh. What a wierd mechanic. Virtually impossible at low levels to be reliant, and if you sure up that aweful percentage it becomes worthless at certain tipping points.

You're roughly playing levels 1 through 12. You can find the sweet spot there, but you have to plan for it.

Trust me as a magus you will wish to cast shocking grasp via spell combat in the thick of it.

Likewise you will get jumped at some point and being able to get off that mirror image or the like will be worthwhile.

As to taking the AOO.. now you've taken damage and need to make a worse concentration check! Gambling for them to miss vs you making the roll to begin with.. it's normally a sucker's bet.

-James

Ya... I'm sure there be at least one time when I can't "back off" to cast a needed spell. I may be a very sad panda that day.

As for the AoO... I dunno, I'd only consider it after the I know the facts. If the target needs to roll an 18+ to hit me I may just risk on a cantrip rather than lose the cantrip when I didn't have to. And for a less expendable spell I probably wouldn't even consider it unless they needed to roll a 20. I'm a gambler sometimes... what can I say ;).

----------
On to better news... after coming into the knowledge of what Frostbite actually does... I think I'll take that White-Hair witch dip with 5 Magus hexcrafter levels.

However, I have a few questions. On a 5 Magus/1 Witch.

1. For feats, I plan on having Finesse and Enforcer at level 1, Dervish Dance at 3, and Rime Spell at level 5. I have one other at 5 and would get one soon at 7. I'm thinking at Agile Maneavurs and Combat Reflexes (to take advantage of that 10 foot reach from the hair).

Suggestions on which one I should take first? (or at all for that matter)

2. If my hair is grappling, can it deliever my extra touches from Frostbite (it may not even have a choice) so I can continue to spell combat with cantrips? Even if I orignally spellstriked it through the scimitar?

I guess I get myself all confused when it comes to having a trip+grapple (at least it sounds like if I trip I get free grapple check) attack without being grappled myself.

I may need to be told exactly what I can and can't do with my white and prehensile hair at this point... Just want to make sure I'm using this seemingly awesome trick right.

3. For Magic Arcana, with this direction, should I be taking the Maneauvers arcana at 3rd and 6th magus level (one each for trip and grapple)? Or if the extra frostbite touches can be delivered via my hair would it be worth it to take close arcana so I can use Flare in melee?

Might be cool to add Dazzled on top of Fatigued, Shaken, Grappled, Entangled and Prone.

4. Familiars, (this might answer question 3). +2 to CMB or Will Saves (or +1 AC)? And do i need to take the Familiar magic arcana to stack my Magus and Witch levels for the little guy?

Thanks for the all the help guys. You're really doin me a solid. Its a lot of info to take in and bad/old info+my inability to understand/remeber effects/rules+my desire to do cool tricks has turned this into quite a project for me. Your guiding hands are helping out big time.

First things first...

1. Take Rime Spell and Weapon finesse at 1st level. The point of this trick is to come out of the door blazing, putting your biggest trick off until halfway through your players life is a mistake. The idea here is at first level you are stacking sick debuffs on everything you meet.

2. No it can't. Your hair only gets one attack per round (or 2 if you use spell combat and designate the hair as delivering the free touch/spellstrike). Spellstrike specifically states it can be channelled through ANY weapon, as long as you have charges left you can deliver them with every weapon you can legally use that round.
Also if you cast ANY spell while still having charges left you lose all those charges.

3. Only take maneuver mastery (trip) at 3rd level. The white witch archetype does screwy things with grapple and it's not necessary to do anything else to affect it. NEVER take the close range arcana, it's a waste. The only arcana you will ever want are maneuver mastery trip, arcane accuracy and the Haste arcana. Everything else should be spent picking up extra hexes.

4. Take the King Crab familiar on your witch side (+3 to grapple and free alertness feat) put it in a bucket and forget about it. It will never get past 3rd level and you won't use it for anything else.

Now some extra info;
Read the rules on natural attacks, then read them again. This is the heart of your build and if you don't understand them you WILL be hosed.
And go read Gricks post in the advice forum on spellcombat, you will definately need to explain it to your GM and it never hurts to make sure you know how it works yourself.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
dunebugg wrote:
Magnus Arcanis wrote:


However, I have a few questions. On a 5 Magus/1 Witch.

1. For feats, I plan on having Finesse and Enforcer at level 1, Dervish Dance at 3, and Rime Spell at level 5. I have one other at 5 and would get one soon at 7. I'm thinking at Agile Maneavurs and Combat Reflexes (to take advantage of that 10 foot reach from the hair).

Suggestions on which one I should take first? (or at all for that matter)

You can't use Combat Reflexes with your Prehensile Hair Hex, as it's a secondary attack and can't make AoOs. If you take White Hair witch you only have 5 foot reach with it until Witch4.

If you are going to comment on a thread please make sure you've read it and have some clue about what we are talking about. You are WAY WAY wrong on everything you just wrote.


1. Rime at 1 actually seems to early to me. I only have 2 level 1 spells per day at 1st level. And will only work for 1 round. Level 2 is a little better, but I don't see it worth it until 3. Course... that would delay Dervish Dance. Side question... Frostbite's description says 1 time per level. Does that mean caster level(I assume) or character level(I hope)?

2. Nuts.

3. Ok. Still worth it to take Agile Maneavur?(if I keep my 20 dex... if I even out dex and int out I don't see a point either) Poor close range... almost had a use for it (a poor one I know, but a use none the less!).

4. Will do. Thats kinda the one I wanted anyway. Was just so worried about the wisdom score I'm trying tank.

5. Ya, I've got Gricks favorited. I do need to read it a few more times though. Till you Mathwei, I've never concieved having a third limb that can be used for attacks so I read it on a pretty simple level. And will do on natural attacks. I skimmed it, went to sleep and my head spun all day at work lol. Off to read up on em again now.


dunebugg wrote:
Magnus Arcanis wrote:


However, I have a few questions. On a 5 Magus/1 Witch.

1. For feats, I plan on having Finesse and Enforcer at level 1, Dervish Dance at 3, and Rime Spell at level 5. I have one other at 5 and would get one soon at 7. I'm thinking at Agile Maneavurs and Combat Reflexes (to take advantage of that 10 foot reach from the hair).

Suggestions on which one I should take first? (or at all for that matter)

You can't use Combat Reflexes with your Prehensile Hair Hex, as it's a secondary attack and can't make AoOs. If you take White Hair witch you only have 5 foot reach with it until Witch4.

Not that I don't believe you... as I do. But I couldn't find anything keeping me from using a secondary attack in place of a primary for an Attack of Opportunity.

Though based on the natural attacks wording... I'd still have a -5 to-hit and a 1/2 str(int) to damage.

I gotta be missing something big here.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

1. You COULD put Rime spell off till third but I wouldn't. At 1st level it is only 1 round per cast but at that level of play it's usually an auto-kill for whoever gets hit by it. (you aren't playing in a vacuum and EVERY other player will love having a full round to just beat on the helpless critter)
the real point of builds like this is to make your life easier by making EVERYONE else in the party that much more powerful. De-buff builds are support builds, this just benefits you slightly more than usual.

3. Go for it, it's never a bad thing to have you just need to find a place to put it in.

5. Yeah, you have picked the two most complicated, controversial and conflicted abilities in the game (currently) to specialize on. You better learn them backwards and forwards since most GM's won't have them down pat yet.

Finally, I don't envy you, having to choose between getting a reach attack and magical lineage is a HARD choice.

Grand Lodge

I've a level 1 Samurai/ 1 Magus atm.

Go for stuff early on... those first 3 games before I got my magus on were slow for me. That Rime Spell etc is a good shtick early... consider you'll need to play 9 sessions before you qualify for level 3. It can be a long wait.

Don't diss your strength - unless you play a Kensai Magus that lets you add int to AC and not wear armour, its nigh on impossible to get a build with any armour other than a Leather cuirass with anything under 11 str and still remain unencumbered.

Stay flexible - you may not always know who your fellow pathfinders will be. I had one session with a mostly martial party, with very weak healing and no arcane caster... it was very nearly a TPK. Dumping your Charisma to 7 can be baaaaaaaaad. I try to invest (esp. with high int characters) the odd point in Charisma based skills because at the least you can Aid Another with a 50-50 or better chance of success and you never know when your faction mission will need YOU to be the face of your faction. That said look to a point here or there in most of your class skills during the character life cycle... and the odd cross class one. Elves should ALWAYS sink a point in perception every now and then - class skill or no. Stacked with that natural +2 it makes you a decently aware character.

Don't dilute too much - as someone said, 2 levels max as a dip is a good rule of thumb. I did samurai because I wanted access to the heavy armour feat so I could go Mithril heavy armour at level 8+ without paying for it, I wanted access to the Katana proficiency (again without paying for it and without going Kensai) and access to social skills as class skills... And though I now have what I want, even with a single level dip, it still dilutes the strength of the Magus and it can be a long time before you get where you want to be.


Helaman wrote:

I've a level 1 Samurai/ 1 Magus atm.

Go for stuff early on... those first 3 games before I got my magus on were slow for me. That Rime Spell etc is a good shtick early... consider you'll need to play 9 sessions before you qualify for level 3. It can be a long wait.

Don't diss your strength - unless you play a Kensai Magus that lets you add int to AC and not wear armour, its nigh on impossible to get a build with any armour other than a Leather cuirass with anything under 11 str and still remain unencumbered.

Stay flexible - you may not always know who your fellow pathfinders will be. I had one session with a mostly martial party, with very weak healing and no arcane caster... it was very nearly a TPK. Dumping your Charisma to 7 can be baaaaaaaaad. I try to invest (esp. with high int characters) the odd point in Charisma based skills because at the least you can Aid Another with a 50-50 or better chance of success and you never know when your faction mission will need YOU to be the face of your faction. That said look to a point here or there in most of your class skills during the character life cycle... and the odd cross class one. Elves should ALWAYS sink a point in perception every now and then - class skill or no. Stacked with that natural +2 it makes you a decently aware character.

Don't dilute too much - as someone said, 2 levels max as a dip is a good rule of thumb. I did samurai because I wanted access to the heavy armour feat so I could go Mithril heavy armour at level 8+ without paying for it, I wanted access to the Katana proficiency (again without paying for it and without going Kensai) and access to social skills as class skills... And though I now have what I want, even with a single level dip, it still dilutes the strength of the Magus and it can be a long time before you get where you want to be.

Alright! Ya got me. So happens I just ran the numbers on my starting equipment... 8... pretty much... you (and just about everyone else in this thread) are correct. Sadly I can't go that low on str. WHICH kinda pisses me off... I mean, seriously... Dex characters have it bad enough with all the feat taxing.

Ranting aside...

1. 10/20/12/14/7/10
2. 10/18/12/16/7/12
3. 12/18/12/14/7/14
4. 18/14/12/14/7/12
5. 18/12/12/16/7/10

My starting equipment so far...(keeping on the lighter side still)
25 lbs 100 gp For a Chain Shirt
1 lb 1 gp for a Dogslicer.
Gotta fit a blunt weapon in there skellies...

So.. what other neccessary items should I be packing. Plenty of good ones I'd want to have, but... neccessary.

Though, I'm having a ton of trouble justifying dex based at all right now. Saves me 3 feats (finesse, dervish, agile maneauvers) and lets me use a better weapon from the get-go.

I'm primarily in melee, if I keep a 14 dex I lose only 2 ac and reflex (among other things, but are less important to me).

Having Rime Spell and Enforcer at level 1 would defiantely get the ball rolling much quicker.... much quicker. I'm looking at number 4 right now... what do you guys think?


Stat block 4 is good, although I would go with 8 wis and 10 cha... Wis is too important to drop that low. Will save and perception should be enough to dissuade you. What about the RP consequences? Your character would be very rash and likely get himself into some trouble.

And yeah, I guess I was wrong about the AoO. Still adjusting to PF rules :)


dunebugg wrote:
Stat block 4 is good, although I would go with 8 wis and 10 cha... Wis is too important to drop that low. Will save and perception should be enough to dissuade you. What about the RP consequences? Your character would be very rash and likely get himself into some trouble.

A decently intellignt character who presents his/her arugments relatively well but doesn't know when to shut up? I think I can relate. ;)

+1 wisdom modifier is somehow not really gonna help my perception much. Its not a class skill for either class. This is more or less the thing I'm bad at. Unless I go out of my way to gain perception I'm just gonna be suprised.

Will save... ya that sucks, but to help both Magus and Witch have a good base will save. I'm more or less ok with relying on that. I'm not happy, but... I rather be a little more on the social side especially considering I'm likely to gain more from putting effort into intimidate/charisma than I am perception/wisdom.

EDIT: And not just me! My whole party can thanks to enforcer :)

Grand Lodge

Hey - heres a thought.

Human Magus with Kensai Archetype and you wear Silk Armour (no penalties but gives you +1 AC, and you can get enchanted versions too) - you can save on strength that way pretty well and you build for a Dervish Dancer build.

I personally do not like the Kensai but its viable and after level 3-4 is actually not bad.

Build would need to dump str to 8 (no lower), Int should be 17, Dex 15 or 16...


I strongly advocate never dropping a stat below 8 if possible. But if you're going to dump, dump like you've had a buffet of Ex-Lax.

How about this one:

Dwarven Magus:

STR 14 [5], DEX 12 [2], CON 14+2 [5], INT 15 [7], WIS 14+2 [5], CHA 7-2 [-4]

You'll fight with a Dwarven Waraxe - 1d10 20/x3. And spell combat.

Do the Witch dip and re-skin the hair as a beard that's prehensile if you want.

Final stat array: 14, 12, 16, 15, 16, 5.

One of your initial spells known should be Expeditious Retreat. The other should be Shocking Grasp. I happen to like Burning Disarm.

Your Aid Another: Diplomacy is keeping your mouth shut and keeping your beard-tentacles from grabbing rats for you to eat while you're distracted...

Shadow Lodge

Dwarf Magus, i like it, but you really don't need 16 wis, putting it back down to 12(after racial) leaves you the option of putting your strength up to 16

Grand Lodge

Skerek wrote:
Dwarf Magus, i like it, but you really don't need 16 wis, putting it back down to 12(after racial) leaves you the option of putting your strength up to 16

Yep - with that change this is one nasty nasty magus - I like it!


The magus' real strength comes from having a high crit range weapon, Since spells can crit too. 1d10 damage/x3 is nothing compared to 1d6 or 1d8 with 18-20/x2 :P

Shadow Lodge

dunebugg wrote:
The magus' real strength comes from having a high crit range weapon, Since spells can crit too. 1d10 damage/x3 is nothing compared to 1d6 or 1d8 with 18-20/x2 :P

This is true, but those scimitars aren't very dwarven

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Magnus Arcanis wrote:
dunebugg wrote:
Stat block 4 is good, although I would go with 8 wis and 10 cha... Wis is too important to drop that low. Will save and perception should be enough to dissuade you. What about the RP consequences? Your character would be very rash and likely get himself into some trouble.

A decently intellignt character who presents his/her arugments relatively well but doesn't know when to shut up? I think I can relate. ;)

+1 wisdom modifier is somehow not really gonna help my perception much. Its not a class skill for either class. This is more or less the thing I'm bad at. Unless I go out of my way to gain perception I'm just gonna be suprised.

Will save... ya that sucks, but to help both Magus and Witch have a good base will save. I'm more or less ok with relying on that. I'm not happy, but... I rather be a little more on the social side especially considering I'm likely to gain more from putting effort into intimidate/charisma than I am perception/wisdom.

EDIT: And not just me! My whole party can thanks to enforcer :)

Tank the charisma not the Wisdom.

Yes I know you want to be more on the social side but it's a LOT easier and cheaper to up your charisma modifier the then your wisdom modifier.

A 7 charisma gives you a -2 on your charisma skill based checks. At 3rd level you spend 4500 gold on a circlet of persuasion that gives you a +3 (effectively a +6 to your Charisma) on all Cha based skill checks. It DOES NOT occupy the same spot as your headband of Int.
Charisma is a dump stat for nearly every martial class for just this reason.

The +1 modifier on wisdom is not there to fix anything, the goal is to avoid as many penalties as possible and since the majority of save or suck spells are will based tanking that stat WILL really suck for you constantly.


The fact that Will Saves are "Save or Suck" is why that Dwarven Magus has a WIS of 16. On top of it being a Good save, on top of the Dwarven +2 versus Spells. I LIKE having a +12 or so Will Save by the time we get to NPCs using Save or Suck spells.

And yes, I know, higher crit threat ranges are "the norm" for a Magus. I figure that with 1d10+2 x3, critting with the spell AS WELL is just likely overkill.

So, how do you play a Dwarven Magus with a 5 CHA? :)


I'd say
18/14/12/14/12/7
go Half Elf, start with 1 lv.Barbarian, swap the Adaptability racial trait for proficiency with falcata. Take power attack at lv. one. Magus continues for 19 levels. Beatings abound.

Shadow Lodge

AdAstraGames wrote:
And yes, I know, higher crit threat ranges are "the norm" for a Magus. I figure that with 1d10+2 x3, critting with the spell AS WELL is just likely overkill.

just remember that with spell strike you only use the weapons threat range, not the modifier

galahad2112 wrote:

I'd say

18/14/12/14/12/7
go Half Elf, start with 1 lv.Barbarian, swap the Adaptability racial trait for proficiency with falcata. Take power attack at lv. one. Magus continues for 19 levels. Beatings abound.

Why Barbarian? i can understand that you want power attack, but you'd be better off going fighter IMHO, you can't cast while raging, so sticking your first level in fighter will grant you a total of 2 HP less, but you gain a feat, really want that extra life? Get toughness, you'll end up with more life.


No, I want +2 to attack and damage. The fast movement doesn't hurt either.


Skerek wrote:
AdAstraGames wrote:
And yes, I know, higher crit threat ranges are "the norm" for a Magus. I figure that with 1d10+2 x3, critting with the spell AS WELL is just likely overkill.
just remember that with spell strike you only use the weapons threat range, not the modifier

Yep! I'm wagering that getting 1d10+2+ND6 Electricity is enough damage that getting crits isn't something I need to plan for.

For feats, I'd take Magical Lineage [Shocking Grasp] and likely Reach Spell. At 5th, I'd take Intensify Spell.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
galahad2112 wrote:
No, I want +2 to attack and damage. The fast movement doesn't hurt either.

You really want to give up all your spellcasting ability for a +2 to hit and damage? Why are you playing a magus then?


Giving up all of my spellcasting ability? Really? It just doesn't manifest till level 2....You know, like all those Dervish builds that don't manifest till lv. 3.... Except that this guy is an effective lv. 1 character as well.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
galahad2112 wrote:
Giving up all of my spellcasting ability? Really? It just doesn't manifest till level 2....You know, like all those Dervish builds that don't manifest till lv. 3.... Except that this guy is an effective lv. 1 character as well.

You do know that YOU CAN'T CAST SPELLS WHILE RAGING right? Every time you get that +2/+2 you are giving up all ability to cast spells while you have it. Seems wasteful to me.


Maybe I don't understand the rules here. I was under the impression that activating rage was a free action, as was dismissing it. Can I cast a touch spell, then activate rage, then maybe 5-ft step, deliver the spell, and make an attack? or does the spell just automatically fizzle? If so, can I deliver the spell attack and then rage for my real attack that will actually deal damage above and beyond 1d6?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

dang post monster:

Every time you exit rage you are fatigued and take a -2 to Str & Dex for twice as long as you raged, so you cripple your combat ability for a +2 to 1 or 2 attacks a round.
This trick is just bad for any fight that lasts longer then a single round.

Edit: also, since I didn't want to clutter up Walters post the Falcata is a HORRIBLE weapon for most Magi. It's got a smaller crit range, is exotic (wasting either a feat or a sub-optimal race choice) and can't be used to Dervish dance. It's just a horrible weapon.

@adastraGames, the dwarf will be lucky to average (at max level) 30 pts of damage off that shock and 40ish pts of damage for the whole round. This puts you well behind every other martial character in the game.
Fish for the crits, use a different weapon.

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