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Warlock: STR Ranger's Guide to the Hexcrafter.


Advice

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Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


And I agree with your analysis on the effectiveness if you can get it all going but my issue is this ONLY works at 15+ level. This is when spell perfection comes into play which puts it at the end (or After) most AP's normal run and definitely takes it out of PFS play. This means you have to spend the first 15 levels of play being.. well.. weak while waiting for this uber trick to come into play. You have spent half of your feats on metamagics of which you only really use 2 regularly.

I fully accept that AT 15th level this all comes together in a joygasm of 1 shot power my concern is the 14 levels of meh that comes before it. Since the vast majority of playtime is sub-15th level I personally feel this build is really only useful if you are starting the game at a much higher level.

Well this is a little astray as the build below is not a Hexcrafter, but rather a normal magus (all feats/traits that specify a spell go to shocking grasp):

Traits: Magical Lineage, Wayang Spellhunter
1st Weapon Finesse
3rd Dervish dance
5th Heighten Spell, Preferred spell
7th Intensify Spell
9th Empower Spell
11th Quicken Spell, Elemental Spell
(12th) level of crossblooded sorc

I don't really see that many levels where he suffers from building towards spell perfection at 15th.

When he picks up quicken at 11th (arguably the only metamagic he can not easily use) he can use it when burning a 3rd level spell for an extra attack (and 5d6+10 acid) is worth it. He replaces that 3rd level spell with an arcane pool point whenever he has a spare swift action to spend (or after the combat).

Now the only hexcrafter that I've really built was a mutt that didn't focus on his casting, so I know there's more in play here than what I've laid out. But for a standard magus going the DEX & damage route this doesn't seem to suffer.

As to the metamagics that the above build uses regularly, I would say that it uses all of them. Now heighten is only 'used' by virtue of using Preferred Spell, but the later is so game altering for the magus in terms of helping them memorize spells that I accept it as 2 feats.

Intensify is always used, empower is used whenever needed. At 11th elemental is used whenever acid would be better than electricity and always once the sorc level is online. Quicken would be the only rare one, but it's not as if it needs to be memorized as a quickened shocking grasp ever.

-James

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
james maissen wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


And I agree with your analysis on the effectiveness if you can get it all going but my issue is this ONLY works at 15+ level. This is when spell perfection comes into play which puts it at the end (or After) most AP's normal run and definitely takes it out of PFS play. This means you have to spend the first 15 levels of play being.. well.. weak while waiting for this uber trick to come into play. You have spent half of your feats on metamagics of which you only really use 2 regularly.

I fully accept that AT 15th level this all comes together in a joygasm of 1 shot power my concern is the 14 levels of meh that comes before it. Since the vast majority of playtime is sub-15th level I personally feel this build is really only useful if you are starting the game at a much higher level.

Well this is a little astray as the build below is not a Hexcrafter, but rather a normal magus (all feats/traits that specify a spell go to shocking grasp):

Traits: Magical Lineage, Wayang Spellhunter
1st Weapon Finesse
3rd Dervish dance
5th Heighten Spell, Preferred spell
7th Intensify Spell
9th Empower Spell
11th Quicken Spell, Elemental Spell
(12th) level of crossblooded sorc

I don't really see that many levels where he suffers from building towards spell perfection at 15th.

When he picks up quicken at 11th (arguably the only metamagic he can not easily use) he can use it when burning a 3rd level spell for an extra attack (and 5d6+10 acid) is worth it. He replaces that 3rd level spell with an arcane pool point whenever he has a spare swift action to spend (or after the combat).

Now the only hexcrafter that I've really built was a mutt that didn't focus on his casting, so I know there's more in play here than what I've laid out. But for a standard magus going the DEX & damage route this doesn't seem to suffer.

As to the metamagics that the above build uses regularly, I would say that it uses all of them. Now heighten is only 'used' by virtue of using Preferred Spell,...

And that is a functional nova caster build but it fails to take into account that Magi tend to have fewer available spell slots everyday and need to rely on their melee abilities more often.

I see 1 feat in that list for this Magi to improve their martial abilities. Literally everything about this build can be defeated with a single second level spell (Silence cast on a rock).

If you are planning on playing the class just like another evocation wizard why are you bothering to play a Magus?

edit: Oh and since Hexcrafters don't get spell recall till way late and NEVER get improved spell recall recovering spells with arcane points is usually a bad plan, those points are desperately needed elsewhere. We also have a distinct lack of swift actions to spend as is and this while nice throws off the priority system.

The only Metamagic I see as really useful is Intensified since we use it constantly, the rest of them are nice-to-haves so I'd just burn the 1500GP and make a few rods that do everything those feats do and focus those feat slots on less situational needs. (I will happily trade a 1 feat slot and some gold for 5 feat slots to use as I wish).

As I've said before, Magi are casters who FIGHT!, if you just want to cast maybe playing a wizard/sorcerer is more what you're after.


Well, last night saw my level 15 bladebound/hexcrafter in play for the first time, versus some demons alongside a paladin. I'm fairly new to this gaming group and the other guy was starting a new character, his old one having died in the last session before they took a break for a couple of weeks. Obviously, it's a long running campaign.

First impressions:

It's overdone, I know, but 15-20 crits with meta-magicked-out-the-wazoo shocking grasp is just a lot of fun to play!

Slumber is as "broken" as I had heard! Awesome stuff, just amazingly effective and thematically cool. No one got off a coup but still, pretty sweet to just shut down the opposition that way.

Prehensile hair was vastly more useful than I had imagined it would be! Picked it up basically to hold rods, ended up spell striking, tripping etc. also, no one in party had seen a witch in play before, so the reaction to "I do X with my hair," was pretty great.

Because of action economy, (and a DM that really keeps us on our toes) I never got a chance to run through an evil-eye/cackle combo routine, so I'm still looking forward to it. I have so many options that it's hard to get around to them all!

I burned through 5 pool points in what was essentially 2 fights -- plus a point from my blackblade. I'm not sure how that matches up with other people's rates, but it felt like I was blowing through them like Charlie Sheen on speed.

Melee was a little punishing, I have one of the higher AC in the party but thanks to a fumble and a pair of crit-lucky mooks, I got rather pounded on. Made good use of hair and lunge to try and stay out of range. Bad rolls will happen but next time I may spend longer buffing/debuffing before wading into melee.

All in all, just a really fun class to play. I've always been a fan of rogues and bards, because as much as I like optimization, I like fun options more. This has both!


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


And that is a functional nova caster build but it fails to take into account that Magi tend to have fewer available spell slots everyday and need to rely on their melee abilities more often.
I see 1 feat in that list for this Magi to improve their martial abilities. Literally everything about this build can be defeated with a single second level spell (Silence cast on a rock).

If you are planning on playing the class just like another evocation wizard why are you bothering to play a Magus?

edit: Oh and since Hexcrafters don't get spell recall till way late and NEVER get improved spell recall recovering spells with arcane points is usually a bad plan, those points are desperately needed elsewhere. We also have a distinct lack of swift actions to spend as is and this while nice throws off the priority system.

The only Metamagic I see as really useful is Intensified since we use it constantly, the rest of them are nice-to-haves so I'd just burn the 1500GP and make a few rods that do everything those feats do and focus those feat slots on less situational needs. (I will happily trade a 1 feat slot and some gold for 5 feat slots to use as I wish).

As I've said before, Magi are casters who FIGHT!, if you just want to cast maybe playing a wizard/sorcerer is more what you're after.

First, calm down. It's not a fight, and from this last post it is starting to feel like one.

Second, the build I listed is a STANDARD Magus and NOT a hexcrafter. Getting spell recall at 4th and improved spell recall at 11th are real game changers. The build I've listed doesn't have the resource issues that a hexcrafter would have with that build. His standard round burns very little in terms of resources (uses up a pearl 1 after combat and an arcane pool point after combat).

Third, for the record the first two feats are martial. They go to the same place, but still.

Fourth, this build certainly does fight. It just goes from rogue without sneak attack damage to fighter level damage by means of spells. All the medium BAB combat classes have methods for this and touch spells are the way for magi to deal damage and compete there with the Joneses so to speak.

Fifth, certainly for a hexcrafter spell recall is a near useless ability when it is gained at 11th. By then out of combat you can afford as many pearl 1s as you would like, so the idea of burning a pool point for one is a waste. So the only time it would be worthwhile would be in combat, and I agree that it would be a very strange situation for this to occur. Frankly if the hexcrafter had the option to trade this out for something else they would take it. For a standard magus however it is an awesome ability. This is the price that you pay for hexcrafter and it is a high price. Even higher than I thought if your perceptions are accurate for them.

Lastly, the metamagics I listed that standard magus would use almost all of each 'typical' round. The only exception would be heighten, but its required for preferred spell which is being used near constantly.

-James
PS: I'm not really interested in this becoming some sort of internet 'fight', so if that's the goal here, just ask me to leave the thread.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
james maissen wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


And that is a functional nova caster build but it fails to take into account that Magi tend to have fewer available spell slots everyday and need to rely on their melee abilities more often.
I see 1 feat in that list for this Magi to improve their martial abilities. Literally everything about this build can be defeated with a single second level spell (Silence cast on a rock).

If you are planning on playing the class just like another evocation wizard why are you bothering to play a Magus?

edit: Oh and since Hexcrafters don't get spell recall till way late and NEVER get improved spell recall recovering spells with arcane points is usually a bad plan, those points are desperately needed elsewhere. We also have a distinct lack of swift actions to spend as is and this while nice throws off the priority system.

The only Metamagic I see as really useful is Intensified since we use it constantly, the rest of them are nice-to-haves so I'd just burn the 1500GP and make a few rods that do everything those feats do and focus those feat slots on less situational needs. (I will happily trade a 1 feat slot and some gold for 5 feat slots to use as I wish).

As I've said before, Magi are casters who FIGHT!, if you just want to cast maybe playing a wizard/sorcerer is more what you're after.

First, calm down. It's not a fight, and from this last post it is starting to feel like one.

Second, the build I listed is a STANDARD Magus and NOT a hexcrafter. Getting spell recall at 4th and improved spell recall at 11th are real game changers. The build I've listed doesn't have the resource issues that a hexcrafter would have with that build. His standard round burns very little in terms of resources (uses up a pearl 1 after combat and an arcane pool point after combat).

Third, for the record the first two feats are martial. They go to the same place, but still.

Fourth, this build certainly does fight. It just goes from rogue without sneak attack damage to fighter level damage...

If you took this comment as aggressive or spoiling for a fight then I assure there was no antagonism intended, I was merely responding to a build that would not work for a hexcrafter and letting it be known that these tactics are not functional for this archetype.

In a generic magus build discussion this would be a fine ideal but here it needed to be stopped before it began confusing those unfamiliar with how hexcrafters function. (The dedicated build handbooks need to be kept on focus or they are useless to those who come looking to learn how to play them).

Now with that said let us keep the focus on Hexcrafters who have a different style of play and tend to be significantly more martial & hex focused and spending feat slots on things other than that tends to significantly reduce the effectiveness of what you took this archetype to get.

Also please continue to contribute to the thread, you have usually provided a wealth of knowledge and ideas to each discussion you have taken part in and I'd hate to be responsible for driving that away.
I am simply trying to keep the discussion on target.


Love and Peace guys! <3 ...
I remember seeing some Quaterstaff Hexcrafter build by Abraham Spalding somewhere, and he did take Spell Perfection, as i recall and he was also using Toppling spell! ... I'd be glad he would see this thread, because i always like his comments over Magi...


Well, considering the opinions given (Indeed, James, I am not sure if you have read the builds section of the Hexcrafter guide, but there is indeed a Mega Blaster hexcrafter build down the bottom. I'll look at it your suggestions and see if it could use tweaking.)

Mathwei added a fantastic Defiler build.

This one we are working on for the Guide will be the 3rd and final example.
It mostly focuses on melee while under Miss chance and giving equal focus to either debuffing with hexes or blasting (via magic and rods).

Now given the comments I'm thinking of dumping Dazing Spell for Craft Rod. Making them myself makes them far cheaper and functioning as a (sometimes) blaster is made easier with
Rods.
I think I'll keep Instensify and Rime since they are both useful on their respective first level spells for the life of the build.
At 17 keep quicken and take spell perfection Shocking Grasp.
This allows the nice swift extra attack+15d6 on top of any full attack.

So we have a build that can effectively Debuff via Cackle+Evil eye (when situation dictates)
Can melee effectively (via Arcane Accurcay, SG or Frosbite, Moonlight Stalker, Gtr Invis)
And blast effectively (via Hair Hex to bold self crafted rods of Instensify, Empower etc)

I WAS going to make the guides 3rd build a transmorgifist. Instead we made Batman...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scripps wrote:

Well, last night saw my level 15 bladebound/hexcrafter in play for the first time, versus some demons alongside a paladin. I'm fairly new to this gaming group and the other guy was starting a new character, his old one having died in the last session before they took a break for a couple of weeks. Obviously, it's a long running campaign.

First impressions:

It's overdone, I know, but 15-20 crits with meta-magicked-out-the-wazoo shocking grasp is just a lot of fun to play!

Slumber is as "broken" as I had heard! Awesome stuff, just amazingly effective and thematically cool. No one got off a coup but still, pretty sweet to just shut down the opposition that way.

Prehensile hair was vastly more useful than I had imagined it would be! Picked it up basically to hold rods, ended up spell striking, tripping etc. also, no one in party had seen a witch in play before, so the reaction to "I do X with my hair," was pretty great.

Because of action economy, (and a DM that really keeps us on our toes) I never got a chance to run through an evil-eye/cackle combo routine, so I'm still looking forward to it. I have so many options that it's hard to get around to them all!

I burned through 5 pool points in what was essentially 2 fights -- plus a point from my blackblade. I'm not sure how that matches up with other people's rates, but it felt like I was blowing through them like Charlie Sheen on speed.

Melee was a little punishing, I have one of the higher AC in the party but thanks to a fumble and a pair of crit-lucky mooks, I got rather pounded on. Made good use of hair and lunge to try and stay out of range. Bad rolls will happen but next time I may spend longer buffing/debuffing before wading into melee.

All in all, just a really fun class to play. I've always been a fan of rogues and bards, because as much as I like optimization, I like fun options more. This has both!

That's the awesomeness of Hexcrafters, they really are good at lots of things all at once.


I'm not quite clear here. Are you proposing to add craft rod at 17th? I would suggest simply waiting till 18th, and then using Summon Spirit to call up assistance to help you with crafting, rather than using one of your feat slots...


STR Ranger wrote:

Well, considering the opinions given (Indeed, James, I am not sure if you have read the builds section of the Hexcrafter guide, but there is indeed a Mega Blaster hexcrafter build down the bottom. I'll look at it your suggestions and see if it could use tweaking.)

It does feel a little scattered.

Consider how you fare against demons (imm electric) as they can appear with a regularity. As the build is already looking at elemental spell, perhaps a different element would be acceptable.

But honestly the split between shocking grasp and fireball has me a little worried.

I'll give it some thought. Also I'll see if I have my multi hexcrafter build around somewhere if you'd like it. It's basically a half-orc whip wielder ftr3(lore warden)/monk2 (maneuver master)/magus 9 (hexcrafter) I didn't take the build past 14th tho. Not sure if you would be interested in it. The guy has a huge strength but when he deals damage it's nonlethal, he doesn't mem shocking grasp at all, can use wand wielder to spam true strikes if he needs them, etc. The trip check is through the roof, and he can fall back on evil eye and the like when he needs it. I kinda liked the build. Was a little weak on defenses (would likely be casting defensive buffs via spell combat rather than offensive, and leave the bad guys shaken, blinded and prone).

-James


pad300 wrote:
I'm not quite clear here. Are you proposing to add craft rod at 17th? I would suggest simply waiting till 18th, and then using Summon Spirit to call up assistance to help you with crafting, rather than using one of your feat slots...

Oops, good catch. That wasn't supposed to be there anymore! I had reworked the build last minute to pick up Craft Rods as an alternative to burning through feat slots on meta-magics and also Craft Wondrous Items, just because I think it's one of the most entertaining feats you can have as a caster.

But I vetoed both after a quick conversation with the DM about PC down time, loot tables etc. (And summon spirit certainly came up in that discussion) Like I said, just recently joined this group and we're alternating between two campaigns, this was my first session in the high-level campaign.

Long story short, that build got reworked twice at the last minute. Fixed now. It's not entirely optimized, sometimes I pick feats or spells just for fun or role-play purposes, like Craft Wondrous Items or choosing cold for Elemental Spell over acid. But I'm pretty happy with it.

Next time we start a fresh campaign I'm looking forward to trying a hexcrafter from level 1.


Minor fine-tuning for Varrel's optimization. He's not using the elven weapon familiarity trait for anything. Arcane Training would make a good trade out; +2 to concentration checks is good for a Magus. You could trade Elven Immunities for Dreamspeaker for a +1 to your slumber DC's.


STR Ranger wrote:


So we have a build that can effectively Debuff via Cackle+Evil eye (when situation dictates)
Can melee effectively (via Arcane Accurcay, SG or Frosbite, Moonlight Stalker, Gtr Invis)
And blast effectively (via Hair Hex to bold self crafted rods of Instensify, Empower etc)

I WAS going to make the guides 3rd build a transmorgifist. Instead we made Batman...

With some optimization tweaks (i.e., yours is better) this is fairly similar to what I was going for, with the caveat that starting at 15 and customization to fit the ongoing campaign altered the build slightly from my original conceptualization.

I'll look forward to seeing it written up when you guys finalize it!


pad300 wrote:
Minor fine-tuning for Varrel's optimization. He's not using the elven weapon familiarity trait for anything. Arcane Training would make a good trade out; +2 to concentration checks is good for a Magus. You could trade Elven Immunities for Dreamspeaker for a +1 to your slumber DC's.

Damn good call. I didn't notice that.

And I was suggesting Taking Craft rod at 15, not 17. some aps are still crankin at those levels and it could be nice to craft whatever rod you want at 1/2 price for yourself or a full mage buddy. Just in time to take on the AP's BBEG ;)


OK, Scripps here with a conundrum...

So I've been playing my bladebound/hexcrafter for several weeks now and have been quite happy with the build. We've largely finished up the campaign he was built for (aside from a few loose strings) and naturally would have leveled to 18 following our final, climactic fight with the BBEG (a stupidly over-optimized monk/sorcerer (Maybe? Haven't seen the character sheet) and his henchmen, a 17th level cleric and a black dragon on steroids.

Aven got a crowning moment of awesome as he flew after the dragon and cast a spell combat dimension door to catch up with it (it was flying away with the BBEG's corpse) then hit with a full attack and a quickened, maximized shocking grasp, which crit.

The DM is good but brutal, with a heavy-on-combat, small spaces kind of style. He's eager to run us through some really crazy stuff he's been putting together and suggested we just come up with some 20th level builds. (Honestly, he isn't following standard XP tables and we probably should have hit 20 before now).

I think I've nailed down the build at 20 except for the elf racial bonus 18th level hex and the 19th level feat. Just not sure what to take. I'm pretty sold on Summon Spirit for the standard 18th level arcana but not sure on those others. Both Death Curse and Dire Prophecy have an appeal, but Death Curse is 2 saves. Spell blending, and wand wielder (given the amount of cash I have to work with) are both on the table too. I've even thought about taking one of the better standard arcana like critical strike, arcane edge or accurate strike. The build is detailed on this profile. Any advice?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is you?

1. Weapon Finesse
3. Dervish Dance
Evil Eye
5. Heighten Spell
5. Preferred Spell (Bonus Feat)
Arcane Accuracy, Cackle
7. Intensified Spell
9. Elemental Spell (Cold) Slumber
11. Maximize Spell
11. Lunge (Bonus Feat)
12.Prehensile Hair, Ice Tomb
13. Quicken Spell
15. Spell Perfection Bane Blade
17. Craft Wondrous Items
17. Extra Arcana: Retribution
Summon Spirit, Bonus?
19. Extra Arcana: Dire Prophecy (?)

Well Screw Spell blending. You just go Gtr Spell Access at 19
that's 2 spells from 0 to 6 each.
so we need to pick some winners, others can help but I like
0- Message, Mending
1- Charm person, Comprehend Languages or Endure Elements
2- SKINSEND, Resist Enegy or See Invis
3- Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Pro from Energy or Invisibility Sphere
4- Confusion, Control Summoned Creature, Resiliant Sphere, Communal Non-detection or TERRIBLE REMORSE
5- Dismissal, FEEBLEMIND, Fickle Winds, Major Creation, Mind Fog
6- Battlemind Link, COLD ICE STRIKE-why the hell is this not a magus spell, Contingency

Keep SUMMON SPIRIT for your feat, arcana/hex
at your level I would pick any of-
Flight Hex (fly EVERY combat, free levitate, featherfall)
Ressurection, (great at this level vs powerful enemies)
Craft Rod (any rod for 1/2 price? YEP)


Yep, that's me all right. Thanks for the advice, it's very much appreciated. I had wavered on Life Giver, but between your suggestion and knowing how tough this DM is (pretty sure some of his BBEGs can make the builds off the DPR Olympics thread cry), that's probably a lock. I think I may go with Craft Rod after all -- it's a little late normally but he seems to have every intention of having us use these level 20s for a while and really putting us through our paces.

Greater Access choices are detailed on the build, and by picking up permanency and shelling out for some scrolls (in some cases combined with a high UMD) some things like See invisibility and comprehend languages become redundant. But I'll have a look at some of the others you mentioned -- I'm still fairly new to pathfinder and don't know all the spells yet, but a quick glance through the OGC tells me you've picked out some good ones that deserve a thorough looking at!

Again, much appreciated!


STR Ranger wrote:

COLD ICE STRIKE-why the hell is this not a magus spell

Good call on that! It has Magus all over it! I'm pretty sold on Summon Monster at that level, but I rarely see summon spells suggested for Magi? Is there a good reason for that, one which I might be obtusely overlooking?


So, the PFSRD lists the Prehensile hair hex as being a secondary natural attack...Is that accurate?


galahad2112 wrote:
So, the PFSRD lists the Prehensile hair hex as being a secondary natural attack...Is that accurate?

Yes, that is correct. But please note the full text:

Natural Attacks:

Most creatures possess one or more natural attacks (attacks made without a weapon). These attacks fall into one of two categories, primary and secondary attacks. Primary attacks are made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and add the creature’s full Strength bonus on damage rolls. Secondary attacks are made using the creature’s base attack bonus –5 and add only 1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature’s full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 times the creature’s Strength bonus on damage rolls. This increase does not apply if the creature has multiple attacks but only takes one. If a creature has only one type of attack, but has multiple attacks per round, that attack is treated as a primary attack, regardless of its type.

Emphasis mine. In other words, as I understand it, in this case the specific mention of the hex as a secondary natural attack is merely there to let players know how it interacts with other attacks.

If this is the only attack you're making, say spell striking with frigid touch, cackling as a move action and then ending your turn, it should function as a primary attack.

At least, that's what I understand the consensus to be. I can see this point being a little iffy, but makes sense to me.


You have it right.

That's why Mathawei's defiler is still awesome.
It's attack is 15/15/15 vs a Scimitar user at 15/10/5.

It hits a lot more but lacks the crit range of a scimitar.
Plus needs a Amulet of Mighty Fists to get an enhancement bonus. (It's WAY more expensive than a weapon) but he lays a ton of Conditions per hit.
And hair takes a standard to activate, where a scimitar can be carried indefinitely.

So a Hair build is wicked for BATTLE CONTROL.
A scimitar build is for burst damage


STR Ranger wrote:

You have it right.

That's why Mathawei's defiler is still awesome.
It's attack is 15/15/15 vs a Scimitar user at 15/10/5.

It hits a lot more but lacks the crit range of a scimitar.
Plus needs a Amulet of Mighty Fists to get an enhancement bonus. (It's WAY more expensive than a weapon) but he lays a ton of Conditions per hit.
And hair takes a standard to activate, where a scimitar can be carried indefinitely.

So a Hair build is wicked for BATTLE CONTROL.
A scimitar build is for burst damage

It's also why I went with Permanency for Greater Spell Access. Permanent Greater Magic Fang? Yes please. Also note you can can give your normal weapon dancing and then attack with your hair. Not sure how that works with Mathawie's build. And granted, both of those points only apply at higher levels.


Hello all!

I'm having a little difficulty with the finer points of the Defiler build.

If you take the White Haired witch archetype, your hair is a primary natural attack that does damage based on your Int, but applies your strength to your attack roll as normal. If you then take the Prehensile Hair hex as a Hexcrafter, your hair is a secondary natural attack that applies your int to both damage AND the attack roll.

Additionally, witch hexes: Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard action, yet Prehensile Hair (Su): The witch can instantly cause her hair (or even her eyebrows) to grow up to 10 feet long or to shrink to its normal length.

What action (if any) is necessary to apply my Int bonus to my attack rolls with my hair? Does it then function as a primary or secondary attack? Why should the witch level be taken at first level? I'm not sure how I'm going to be an effective party member through the early levels until the build starts coming together.

If it helps, for context: My character sheet. I am playing in Rise of the Runelords. This is my first Pathfinder experience, though I played 3.5 back in high school and 4th this last year.


Nvm, I somehow missed the last couple posts addressing that this is definitely a Primary natural attack.

Is it possible to go a prehensile hair build without taking two levels of witch? It seems like I still need to activate the hair at the start of combat to gain the +Int to the attack roll, so I'm not sure what the main benefit of 2 levels in witch is (the constrict? Is that worth it?). Also with a two level dip, should I be taking a trait that gives +2 CL? If so, which class should it be applied to (witch2/magus20 or witch4/magus18)?)

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

The witch dip is vital to gain access to the Always on natural attack and the constrict ability. Without it you lose access to the grappled condition and the ability to resolve all your attacks with your CMB instead of your attack bonus.
As for the caster level traits, they aren't necessary with this build since you are focused on using 1st & 2nd level spells to apply conditions. The damage/penetration of your spells is irrelevant to this kind of build.

The point of the debuffer is to reduce the combat effectiveness of your opponents to the point where they literally can do nothing without your permission.
Damage will be done by your companions (or your CR 2 riding dog who you've trained to CDG on command), nothing is as funny as watching the BBEG get 1 shot by your puppy.


Thank you for the insight. Is it clear whether the damage is bludgeoning, slashing, your choice, or both?


.


Do the Magus and witch levels stack for purpose of determining level of DC for your hexes????

Cheliax

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Splitlip wrote:
Do the Magus and witch levels stack for purpose of determining level of DC for your hexes????

Unfortunately no they do not. But since this witch archetype completely gives up the ability to get Hexes it's a decent trade off to me.

Oh, and the prehensile hair is considered bludgeoning damage.


First, I'd like to thank STR and Mathwei for the excellent guide, and all other posters for the interesting discussion!

I do have two questions with regard to the last builds:


  • For the Defiler example, could you please indicate which spell/feat etc. actually causes the listed conditions? I do have some trouble following the numerous effects, especially given that they should occur within a single round.

  • For the Transmogrifist, I also have difficulties understanding the Monstrous Physique - Gargoyle example: As I read it, a Gargoyle normally has 2x claws + bite + gore attacks. The hexcrafter would need one hand to grip his Scimitar in, the second one for casting (spellstrike/spellcombat), and could then use the bite and gore natural attacks as secondaries. Giving a total of 2x Scimitar + bite + gore + touch spell damage. The example, however, shows 2 scimitar swings +claw+gore.

Many thanks from a future hexcrafter :-)

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Gnorr wrote:

First, I'd like to thank STR and Mathwei for the excellent guide, and all other posters for the interesting discussion!

I do have two questions with regard to the last builds:


  • For the Defiler example, could you please indicate which spell/feat etc. actually causes the listed conditions? I do have some trouble following the numerous effects, especially given that they should occur within a single round.

  • For the Transmogrifist, I also have difficulties understanding the Monstrous Physique - Gargoyle example: As I read it, a Gargoyle normally has 2x claws + bite + gore attacks. The hexcrafter would need one hand to grip his Scimitar in, the second one for casting (spellstrike/spellcombat), and could then use the bite and gore natural attacks as secondaries. Giving a total of 2x Scimitar + bite + gore + touch spell damage. The example, however, shows 2 scimitar swings +claw+gore.

Many thanks from a future hexcrafter :-)

It's not that complicated, for the 7 debuffs the Defiler build uses it works out like this.

Prone = Combat Maneuver - TRIP, Fatigued = FrostBite spell, Entangled = Rime Spell, Grappled = White Haired Witch hair ability, Shaken = Cornugon Smash feat, Staggered = Frigid Touch spell and Flanked = White Haired Witch grapple Maneuver.
With the new equipment from the Ultimate Equipment guide it looks like I can add at least 2 more conditions into this rotation but it gets obnoxious at that point.


Question about the defiler, what is the "Grab" ability mentioned for taking Witch to 2? I see Constrict as the only thing they get. Also how is the character pulling the creature closer? Isn't that a power you only get at level 6 of Witch?

Thanks for any clarification and cool guide.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Grab is a monster ability from the Bestiary, you can read it here that is granted to WHW at first level. The moving the target adjacent to you is automatic from the grapple rules which you can read here.

The pull ability is special and has a different set of rules.


Ah a monster power of course. Thank you. Missed the grapple line too thanks...read that thing like 4 times.... >_<. I was reading pull as pointless but just remembered a high level witch has longer hair.

Also what are you doing with Scribe Scroll? Why not get Combat Reflexes at one, Power Attack at three, and A new Hex at seven with Extra Arcana? The way you make them sound more hexes sound like a awesome thing.

Boo, seems White Haired Witches Constrict power is a swift action now so you can't use it with Arcane Accuracy.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Scribe scroll is a feat I routinely take since witches and magus are prepared casters this massively increases their flexibility. It is flagged as optional but I personally like having it and make regular use of it.


1) Gnoor made a point - you can't make claw attacks and use a weapon in your hand the same round

2) "a magus can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding" he isn't really holding his hair is he? And the same with natural attacks were do you get the idea that you can use arcane pool on natural attacks?

3) natural weapons an spell combat "while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty)." I see you assume natural weapons is a light melee weapon - do you have a source?

4) a part from those kinda big problems - a nice guide - a lot or great ideas!


Oh but with a monk dip we are back! "A monk's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons."
So then we can use Arcane pool to buff the unarmed strikes.

ADD: Hex strike - and now we can attack and if we hit use a swift action to use a HEX - now that action economy!

And if we really want to use hair or some sort of natural weapon:
Feral Combat Training - use natural attacks for unarmred strikes...

And let's just add
Monstic legacy - to make the unarmed strike a little bigger...

Cheliax

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
STR Ranger wrote:

You have it right.

That's why Mathawei's defiler is still awesome.
It's attack is 15/15/15 vs a Scimitar user at 15/10/5.

It hits a lot more but lacks the crit range of a scimitar.
Plus needs a Amulet of Mighty Fists to get an enhancement bonus. (It's WAY more expensive than a weapon) but he lays a ton of Conditions per hit.
And hair takes a standard to activate, where a scimitar can be carried indefinitely.

So a Hair build is wicked for BATTLE CONTROL.
A scimitar build is for burst damage

I have been giving some thought to the melee transmorgist and how it fits in with all that we've learned about Hexcrafters in the last few months and I've come to a few conclusions.

First, The Caliking is a sub-optimal choice for forms. I'm not saying it's bad just that there is a MUCH better choice considering the nerfbat that hit the polymorph school.

Second, this build NEEDS to be a strength build since all the best forms are built around strength. This has it's on challenges to it but really keeps things simple and saves you several feats.

Third, this build is all about sustained damage. With the right spells running (Chill touch, frostbite, enlarge person, etc) you will be able to consistently 100 pts of damage a round, every round.

Finally, this build is the quickest to get your primary role working (4th level at the latest) but is also the most likely to end in character death. You can put out a lot of damage but it has the lowest hit points and armor while still needing to get into and stay in melee.

The best possible forms to assume are:
1. The 4 armed Gargoyle from Shadows of Gallowspire. This form gets gets 6 full BaB attacks a round + 60' flight and 40' land movement as well as the freeze special ability. (The regular gargoyle form is almost as good but this one takes a slight lead on it).
2. The Witchwyrd, this form gives you 4 4 full BaB attacks a round but you also get the Grab ability on each so can take advantage of all the goodies that comes with multiple grab attempts per round.
3.Four-Armed Sahuagin Mutant, this bumps you back up to 5 full bab attacks a round and gives you the aquatic and ampibious traits. Situationaly these can make for an even better form for dungeoun crawling since you rarely have room to fly.
4. Caliking, you only get 4 natural attacks (the other 2 or iterative attacks with weapons) making all of them at BaB-5 and your iterative attacks are also at -5 (except the first one). You get a lot of attacks but with the natural penalty and the spell combat penalty you will be missing a lot. Arcane accuracy will remove the penalty (mostly) but any of the other forms will give you so much more from it.
Also all of it's special abilities are lost since the polymorph school doesn't allow you to get ANY of it's powers. It's a nice form but not good enough.

Advice:
From 1st till 4th level the primary spells to use will be Stone Fist + Enlarge person (for reach and 1D8+str damage) backed up with either chill touch or frostbite based on the target.

From 4th till 7th you use Alter Self to turn into either a Trogolodyte (for 3 natural attacks and Darkvision) or WereTiger (for 3 nat attacks, low light and Scent).

From 7th to 10th you use Monstrous Physique I to assume the form of a Four-Armed Sahuagin Mutant (5 attacks & darkvision) or the regular gargoyle (4 natural attacks, darkvison & flight) or the Withwyrd (also 4 nat attacks, darkvision but grab instead of flight). The sahuagin form has drawbacks so only go that route if you can be assured of avoiding it's light blindness.

From 10th on you'll be focused on just using the Four armed Gargoyle form as much as possible (pending new monstrous forms being introduced) since nothing else really comes close to it in terms of damage output, maneuverability and special abilities.

I'm working on an actual level by level build on this theme but it's still a bit rough.


Is there a list anywhere of all the spells.added. to magus list by becoming a hexcrafter?


Also I'd like some ideas for feats and whatnot I'm playing a half elf hexcrafter from minakai in Rise of the Runelord anniversary addition.

Stats so far
17 str
14 dex
14 con
15 int
12 wis
9 cha
EWP katana from being a half elf. magical lineage shocking grasp
I originally had power attack, but after spending an entire session missing literally every time I think I should change that(My DM allows for small alterations as long as it happens after that game and said feat or ability hasn't been used yet), I'm looking for a burst damage/debuff katana wielding samurai(no actual samurai levels). Thanks for any help or suggestions


After reading this thread, I have to post my flavor take on the hexcrafter. If I ever build one, said hexcrafter will have a single rank in perform(shred) - playing guitar. Said character will have the prehensile hair feature, be dedicated to death metal, and primary mode of attack would be headbanging (reach attack w/ hair). While only having one rank in perform(shred), said character would be the greatest guitarist in the world, though simply hearing them play would be enough to inflict misfortune on anyone. Picture that, and enjoy.


Pathfinder Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Gnorr wrote:

First, I'd like to thank STR and Mathwei for the excellent guide, and all other posters for the interesting discussion!

I do have two questions with regard to the last builds:


  • For the Defiler example, could you please indicate which spell/feat etc. actually causes the listed conditions? I do have some trouble following the numerous effects, especially given that they should occur within a single round.

  • For the Transmogrifist, I also have difficulties understanding the Monstrous Physique - Gargoyle example: As I read it, a Gargoyle normally has 2x claws + bite + gore attacks. The hexcrafter would need one hand to grip his Scimitar in, the second one for casting (spellstrike/spellcombat), and could then use the bite and gore natural attacks as secondaries. Giving a total of 2x Scimitar + bite + gore + touch spell damage. The example, however, shows 2 scimitar swings +claw+gore.

Many thanks from a future hexcrafter :-)

It's not that complicated, for the 7 debuffs the Defiler build uses it works out like this.

Prone = Combat Maneuver - TRIP, Fatigued = FrostBite spell, Entangled = Rime Spell, Grappled = White Haired Witch hair ability, Shaken = Cornugon Smash feat, Staggered = Frigid Touch spell and Flanked = White Haired Witch grapple Maneuver.
With the new equipment from the Ultimate Equipment guide it looks like I can add at least 2 more conditions into this rotation but it gets obnoxious at that point.

What are the extra 2 conditions?


Pathfinder Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, on the defiler build, how is it getting more than one attack with the hair without the multiattack feat?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Lawful Evil GM wrote:
Also, on the defiler build, how is it getting more than one attack with the hair without the multiattack feat?

Spellstrike allows you to take an additional attack with any weapon you are wielding when you cast a touch spell. And the other two conditions are Blinded and Stunned but I'll leave it to others to explain how to do that, this build is already annoying enough.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

This build includes the update from JJacobs. if you'll notice we only use 1 swift action from the magus and that's at the beginning before combat.

The 2nd level of witch is so you can use power attack to trigger the Cornogon Smash off of the free damage from Constrict. The intimidate as a free action is needed to stack on the shaken debuff.
this build is all about getting as many debuffs on as fast as possible.

look again, 5 high end debuffs off of a single standard action.

edit: IF *IF* the hair doesn't stack the only change it makes is the grapple debuff isnt added until the second attack ina full attack action.

Looks like a great build, but I need a clarification.

You had said you were only using one swift action(used prior to combat) to trip, grapple, pull and constrict. Am I reading that right? If so, how is that accomplished with only one swift action per round?


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
cartmanbeck wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Here's my first pass on the Defiler/Debuffer. It's still a bit rough but I think it's all legal and just needs a bit of Polish.

The Defiler: This debuff build is focused on piling on negative effects and rendering every target as harmless and easy to kill as possible. This is a Melee effective option that is fully developed by 6th level with everything after that making it more destructive.
The with a 20pt buy the best I can think of is Human
STR 13 DEX 14 CON 14 WIS 10 INT 18 CHA 7
Note: A 2 level dip in White Haired Witch is needed to REALLY up the Debuffs and action Economy on this build.
Traits: Magical Lineage (Frostbite), Wayang Spellhunter (Frigid Touch)

1 (Witch 1) (White Haired Witch archetype) Feats: Rime Spell, Scribe Scroll
? (King Crab familiar, Strength or Wisdom Patron)
2 (Magus 1) Spell Combat, Arcane Pool
3 (Magus 2) Spellstrike ? Combat Reflexes
4 (Magus 3) Arcana- Arcane Accuracy
5 (Magus 4) Hex Arcana- Prehensile Hair, Feat: Extra Arcana (Flight)
6 (Witch 2) - Grab
7 (Magus 5) Feat: Cornugan Smash, Bonus Feat: (Power Attack)
8 (Magus 6) Arcana: Sleep Hex
9 (Magus 7) Medium Armor, Knowledge Pool Feat: Lunge
10 (Magus8) Improved spell combat
11 (Magus9) Arcana: Hasted Assault Feat: Elemental Spell (Acid or Cold)
12 (Magus10) Fighter Training
13 (Magus11) Spell Recall Bonus Feat: Sickening Spell
14 (Magus12) Hex Arcana: Ice Tomb
15 (Magus 13) Heavy Armor
Why it's good: At 7th level a prepared Defiler can inflict Grappled, Staggered, Fatigued, Entangled, Prone and Shaken onto a target with a single standard action. If he decides to make a full action he can also add Blind to that target.
The bad: It?s a dedicated melee build with lower HP?s than any other and has delayed getting access to Heavy armor until 15th level.

How it works: This build hinges around using your Hair natural attack for ALL your attack actions. As your only natural attack it is always at Full Bab and does 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus on damage

...

Also, for trip and pull, don't you need to add 4 more levels of white witch? Constrict is 2nd level, but trip is 6th and pull is 4th level witch. How would you accomplish that?

An added question, if my GM did not allow the Dragon Empires as a
source book, only hardcover rules books, what would you recommend for the build?

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Zippykat wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

This build includes the update from JJacobs. if you'll notice we only use 1 swift action from the magus and that's at the beginning before combat.

The 2nd level of witch is so you can use power attack to trigger the Cornogon Smash off of the free damage from Constrict. The intimidate as a free action is needed to stack on the shaken debuff.
this build is all about getting as many debuffs on as fast as possible.

look again, 5 high end debuffs off of a single standard action.

edit: IF *IF* the hair doesn't stack the only change it makes is the grapple debuff isnt added until the second attack ina full attack action.

Looks like a great build, but I need a clarification.

You had said you were only using one swift action(used prior to combat) to trip, grapple, pull and constrict. Am I reading that right? If so, how is that accomplished with only one swift action per round?

Well first, though this is a legal build it's not really something that should be played. It's really not that fun.

To address your actual question you do them all by simply not attacking. You make a Trip combat maneuver to start the fight and burn a swift action for arcane accuracy. It's an attack roll so it triggers the hairs natural grapple ability (which is a free action) giving the target the prone and grappled debuffs. Also anytime you successfully grapple someone you automatically pull them adjacent to you.
NOW you burn a swift action to activate your constrict ability to do damage to the target and since you power attacked it activates the Cornugan's Smash which intimidates the target as well.

That's how you do all this with one swift action. As for your second question, this build is focused around the dip into White haired witch, if you don't have access to that it just doesn't work.


The guide still gets used. Yay!


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks for answering my questions. I found the rule that states the hex would level along with my magus level because of the hexcrafter archetype. The example builds you guys have are human and I was hoping to play an elf. What changes would you make without the first level feat? (I am thinking I may have to suck it up and play a human.


Being an elf is best for playing a hexcrafter.

Taking the alt favored class option is worth 3 whole arcanas over your career. Plus you get spell penetration.

Take a look at the melee transmorgifist or the uber blaster. They can easily be done with a elf.

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