Myrrh, Frankincense, and Steel: Kurald Galain's Guide to the Magus


Advice

601 to 650 of 893 << first < prev | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | next > last >>

And the Wizard's arcane bond has no limitation(I could find) on having both. Only the bloodline arcane bond does. Admittedly they were written before other classes had access to familiars, so it could get changed, but for now you can have both.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Azten wrote:
but for now you can have both.

Maybe. Got any views on that other than your own?


Like I said earlier, I should probably make a thread for it. It's my view after reading the class features involved, and probably should get an FAQ, especially if you take levels in another class(like shaman) that get a familiar.


Odd, seems my post didn't go through; forgive me if this ends up being a repeat.

Basically... how important is it to get Wayang Spellhunter (or Magical Lineage) onto a Magus? I'm at the point where it's a tradeoff between a Concentration trait or Wayang Spellhunter: Shocking Grasp.

I've got an Elf Magus with Arcane Focus (+2 Concentration), Combat Casting, 16 Int, and Quantium University Graduate (+2 Concentration via Trait bonus). The other trait slot is unfortunately taken up by Magical Knack since I find the improvement to caster level very important on a PFS-legal Bard 1/Magus 10 build; regaining that lost caster level is really, really nice.

Trying to make the right call here, as I'd rather not gut my character's damage output. They are, for reference, a Dervish Dancer (scimitar) Magus with Hexcrafter archetype. It's literally down to "is my Concentration score good enough or not?"

The math I have so far looks like...

At Character Level 2 (Bard 1/Magus 1): 1d20 + 2 Caster Level (Magical Knack is involved here) + 3 Intelligence + 4 Combat Casting + 2 Trait +2 Elf Alternate Racial Trait (Arcane Focus) = 1d20 + 13

At level 3, this is 1d20+14 (so Level 0s are now guaranteed when cast Defensively), L4 gets it to +15, L5 gets it to +16 (so Level 1s are guaranteed when cast defensively).

Should I be ditching the +2 Trait (Quantium graduate) to get Wayang Spellhunter: Shocking Grasp? If I do, is there some other way to make up for the loss? Other than Focus Chew, which looks ridiculous in play; I'd rather my scholarly elf not be walking around smacking on gum.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I'd say that Arcane Focus and Combat Casting and Quantium is definitely overkill. You can usually avoid OAs with either tactics (cast, 5', then attack) or spells (e.g. mirror image), so it's really not a problem if at early levels you have a chance of failure on defensive casting.

So by all means, swap the feat or trait for something more interesting :)


Good point. I ended up going with Wayang Spellhunter (Shocking Grasp) for the other Trait instead.

Thanks for going over a lot of the finer details with me lately, by the way. I appreciate it!


Kurald,
I am looking forward to your take of the Nature Bound Magus in Ultimate Wilderness. Hoping it is compatible with a Blade Bound Magus.


Might not be appropriate here, but an idea on a Magus has been going through my head. Taking True strike, using the spell combat, getting basically a +18 to hit...


Jason Wedel wrote:
Might not be appropriate here, but an idea on a Magus has been going through my head. Taking True strike, using the spell combat, getting basically a +18 to hit...

Probably best if you have the arcana, wand wielder, so you can activate true strike from a wand.


Got part of my answer on the nature bound magus, it will not be compatible with a blade bound magus. :(


Saint Bernard wrote:

Kurald,

I am looking forward to your take of the Nature Bound Magus in Ultimate Wilderness. Hoping it is compatible with a Blade Bound Magus.

I'd say it's deep brown...as something so s@++.ty can only be brown... that archetype is soo bad it's truly insulting...

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Saint Bernard wrote:

Kurald,

I am looking forward to your take of the Nature Bound Magus in Ultimate Wilderness. Hoping it is compatible with a Blade Bound Magus.

I haven't seen the book yet, and the forum thread so far isn't saying much. The Magus does get Fey Form spells now, apparently.

Jason Wedel wrote:
Might not be appropriate here, but an idea on a Magus has been going through my head. Taking True strike, using the spell combat, getting basically a +18 to hit...

It's a good option, and combines particularly well with trip/disarm/bull rush maneuvers. Use defensive spells or a reach weapon to avoid the opportunity attack, and true strike to effectively autohit with combat maneuvers. In case of disarm, use an Unseen Servant (the spell is on your list) to pick up the weapon.

Silver Crusade

So, I know that the myrmidarch is suboptimal, but I was wondering how can I make the most of it when combining it with a one level dip into spellslinger? From spellslinger, I take the one arcane gun option for the x3 spell critical, but once I'm in myrmidarch, where do I go from there?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

isdestroyer wrote:
So, I know that the myrmidarch is suboptimal, but I was wondering how can I make the most of it when combining it with a one level dip into spellslinger? From spellslinger, I take the one arcane gun option for the x3 spell critical, but once I'm in myrmidarch, where do I go from there?

You're already behind on spellcasting because of your dip, so you should take an archetype that doesn't diminish your spellcasting, such as Eldritch Archer (which, despite the name, works just fine with firearms).

Silver Crusade

Kurald Galain wrote:
isdestroyer wrote:
So, I know that the myrmidarch is suboptimal, but I was wondering how can I make the most of it when combining it with a one level dip into spellslinger? From spellslinger, I take the one arcane gun option for the x3 spell critical, but once I'm in myrmidarch, where do I go from there?
You're already behind on spellcasting because of your dip, so you should take an archetype that doesn't diminish your spellcasting, such as Eldritch Archer (which, despite the name, works just fine with firearms).

Well, this is for Society play, and the Eldritch archer isn't allowed. I have a boon for the spellslinger, and I want to combine it with the magus, even if it's with a subpar archetype. So with that, how can I make this combo suck the least?

I figure I start with human, grab amateur gunslinger (for quick clear) and point-blank shot. Then I take precise shot. After that, what should be next?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

isdestroyer wrote:
Well, this is for Society play, and the Eldritch archer isn't allowed. I have a boon for the spellslinger, and I want to combine it with the magus, even if it's with a subpar archetype. So with that, how can I make this combo suck the least?

The combo doesn't suck; it's the myrm that sucks (specifically AT the levels you'll be playing at AND in society play). In addition, the myrm's main appeal is redundant on a spellslinger. So pick any Magus archetype except that one, and you'll be good.

Quote:
I figure I start with human, grab amateur gunslinger (for quick clear) and point-blank shot. Then I take precise shot. After that, what should be next?

After that, you take feats like Intensify Spell, Rime Spell, or Burning Amplification. Possibly Improved Initiative. Familiar is a good choice for an Arcana. Basically check anything in this guide rated Green or Blue :)

Silver Crusade

Kurald Galain wrote:
isdestroyer wrote:
Well, this is for Society play, and the Eldritch archer isn't allowed. I have a boon for the spellslinger, and I want to combine it with the magus, even if it's with a subpar archetype. So with that, how can I make this combo suck the least?

The combo doesn't suck; it's the myrm that sucks (specifically AT the levels you'll be playing at AND in society play). In addition, the myrm's main appeal is redundant on a spellslinger. So pick any Magus archetype except that one, and you'll be good.

Quote:
I figure I start with human, grab amateur gunslinger (for quick clear) and point-blank shot. Then I take precise shot. After that, what should be next?
After that, you take feats like Intensify Spell, Rime Spell, or Burning Amplification. Possibly Improved Initiative. Familiar is a good choice for an Arcana. Basically check anything in this guide rated Green or Blue :)

Alright, fair enough. Maybe I'll just hold onto the boon and wait to see if they grant another one for the Eldritch Archer. ;)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

From Ultimate Wilderness, added the Nature Bound archetype (whose main point is getting druid spells; other than that it doesn't really do anything and it does lose Arcane Pool of all things...) and downgraded the Snowball spell since it's been errata'ed to no longer bypass SR.


Kurald Galain wrote:

If you need to get into armor quickly, there's a spell for that.

That seems like such a cool spell, but it should really not be designed like that. I don't mean to be pedantic, but technically the spell consumes the armor that it is supposed to relocate to the targets' body since the armor is the material component.

"A material component consists of one or more physical substances or objects that are annihilated by the spell energies in the casting process."-CRB page 213 (magic chapter)

That's either a gross oversight on the spell designer's part, or it is only useful on mundane armor that you have to replace after each casting. Should be written with no material component or instead as a focus component.


Great guide and examples. Thanks for the hard work.

I was looking at your build for the Maneuver Magus Ilyara which is a great idea. I love Combat Maneuvers and it's always nice to see specialists outside of Monk or Fighter.

Since she's an elf, I was curious why you had her take FCB HP and 3 feats for Extra Arcana at 7th, 13th and 15th.

Wouldn't it make more sense to take FCB Extra Arcana for 18 levels and take Toughness for 1 feat? It gets you 3 Arcana, the same number of HP (+2 more potentially for the last 2 levels of FCB) and 2 extra feats to play with. Or was it chosen for the arcana you can get at specific levels?


Thanks for the update on your guide concerning the Nature Bound Magus.


You still have an error in the archetypes that the hexcrafter can stack with.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

T'Challa wrote:
Since she's an elf, I was curious why you had her take FCB HP and 3 feats for Extra Arcana at 7th, 13th and 15th.

Good question. It's mainly for having more HP at low levels, where this is most important. And the build needs finesse and dervish feats to get started so it can't just grab toughness at L1. If you're starting at higher levels then priorities may be different.

I'm sure all of the sample builds can be further optimized if you're so inclined. The aim is to show off class functionalitity in a way that's playable at pretty much all tables, not to win the DPR olympics :)


The guide says that hexcrafter and blade bound stack. Is this still the case following the archetype stacking faq given they both affect arcana?


Part of me actually legit wonders if the nature-bound magus was meant to give up the 3rd level magus arcana and not arcane pool. Why would this archetype give up something so important and influential for something that is far worse than the bladebound archetype, which only gets a delayed arcane pool and loses the choice of an arcana at 3rd level?


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

I agree. You get a single arcana in place of a defining class feature. I'm pretty sure this goes down as an archetype that will never be played by anyone.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Kurald, thanks for updating the guide. I was surprised (albeit glad) to see that Snowball got a deserved nerf, but this raises a question... would this now make Magic Missile a better choice for most Magus builds?

Let me get into a comparison of Magic Missile vs. Snowball.

Magic Missile / Snowball

Range: Medium / Close
Damage Type: Force / Cold
SR: Yes / Yes (Errata)
Special Effects: Multi-Target / None (Errata)
Accuracy: Automatic Hit (negated by Shield) / Ranged Touch

Damage: 1d4 + 1 Per Projectile (Maximum 5 Projectiles) / 5d6
Damage Calculations: 2.5 (Avg of 1d4) + 1 = 3.5 for Magic Missile, vs. 3.5 (avg of 1d6) for Snowball means roughly equal damage output.

From my point of view, this makes Magic Missile superior. It does about the same damage (there will be times where you roll higher on Snowball, I grant that, but overall I think they're equal), it's Force instead of Cold damage, it has longer range, the damage can be split between targets in the event you wish to do so, and it automatically hits.

Yes, Shield stops it... but if you're facing a Shielded foe and you're at the range where a Snowball would hit... why not Move over there and hit them with your sword? In my experience, Shield isn't all THAT common anyway.

Can anyone argue to the contrary? This isn't me being a jackass; I legitimately want to hear why a non-Enforcer build Magus would still go with Snowball. Otherwise, based on what I see it really does look like Magic Missile is better for most Magus builds. If I've overlooked something, I'd be glad to hear about it!


Snowball can crit, can benefit from the various [cold] enhancing feats, maxes it's damage 4 levels faster than magic missile, and can be intensified.

Shadow Lodge

So worse as a base, better with more resources pumped into it?


Dragonborn3 wrote:
So worse as a base, better with more resources pumped into it?

Close. I think the truth is more detailed, but you're not entirely wrong. Here's what I think, after reading Kadance's good points.

Presuming no special resources invested in them, Snowball is equal to Magic Missile at very specific early-game levels and then falls behind later on.

Here's how it looks.

Caster Level 1: 1d4 + 1 Force (Medium Range auto-hit) vs. 1d6 Cold (Close Range ranged touch)... advantage goes to Magic Missile.

CL2: 1d4 + 1 Force (Medium auto-hit) vs. 2d6 Cold (Close ranged touch). That's 4 auto-hit vs. 7 ranged touch. I'd call this about equal.

CL3: 2d4 + 2 Force vs. 3d6 Cold. That's 7 auto-hit vs. 10.5 ranged touch. I'd say you've got legitimate reasons to use either one here, even if the extra range and accuracy and Force type on Magic Missile is appealing.

CL4: 2d4 + 2 Force vs. 4d6 Cold, or 9 auto-hit vs. 14 ranged touch. Again, it amounts to a side-grade; each has legit uses at this point.

CL5: 3d4+3 Force vs. 5d6 Cold, or 10.5 auto-hit vs. 17.5 ranged touch. Sidegrade; each has valid uses.

CL6: Comparison unchanged.

CL7: 14 auto-hit vs. 17.5 ranged touch. I'm willing to say Magic Missile wins here due to higher accuracy as the damage gap is minor.

CL8: Comparison unchanged.

CL9: 17.5 auto-hit vs. 17.5 ranged touch. At this point Magic Missile is unambiguously better.

However, if one is devoting resources to it such as Intensify Spell (in conjunction with a Trait keeping it at a level 1 spell, of course) then Snowball keeps pace. Then you're doing 6d6 (avg. 21), 7d6 (avg 24.5), 8d6 (avg 28), 9d6 (avg 31.5), and 10d6 (avg 35) as your level increases. That's a route you can go down if you want to.

Nonetheless, it looks like at Levels 2, 4, 5, and 6 you can make very strong cases for using Snowball as-is. It's a Not-Wrong choice at Level 3, too. Afterward, Magic Missile comes out unambiguously better. Until then, Snowball retains some value. It doesn't do the things I want, so I won't use it, but the math shows it can be a justifiable choice at those times.

Scarab Sages

For a Magus there’s also the consideration that Snowball can be used with Close Arcana, while Magic Missile cannot. Though with the errata, there’s less incintive to go that route instead of just using Shocking Grasp.


RickDias wrote:

CL3:2d4 + 2 Force vs. 3d6 Cold. That's 7 auto-hit vs. 10.5 ranged touch. I'd say you've got legitimate reasons to use either one here, even if the extra range and accuracy and Force type on Magic Missile is appealing.

CL4: 2d4 + 2 Force vs. 4d6 Cold, or 9 auto-hit vs. 14 ranged touch. Again, it amounts to a side-grade; each has legit uses at this point.

Typo? Regardless the point more or less stands, although it does put snowball way ahead for level 4 (actually I just noticed you gave MM 4 damage at level 1, it should be 3.5).

Ferious Thune wrote:
... Snowball can be used with Close Arcana...

Are you referring to the CLOSE RANGE arcana? If so it specifically says "Ray spells", so it doesn't work with snowball.

Scarab Sages

Ah, you are correct. I was thinking it was any ranged touch attack spell.


Other than making Spell Resistance apply, what else got nerfed in Snowball? Both www.d20pfsrd.com and Archives of Nethys lack the Spell Reistance update, and thus are presumably lacking whatever else was done to it.

Pedantic point here: Intensify Spell is actually a 3rd party magic-modifying (but not metamagic) feat that lets you trade off range for an increase in caster level. The (metamagic) feat you want for Snowball is Intensified Spell.

Grand Lodge

It got moved to the Evocation school (as it damn should be) and the staggering effect was removed (makes it more in line with a ranged Shocking Grasp).


Ferious Thune wrote:
Ah, you are correct. I was thinking it was any ranged touch attack spell.

It's a common mistake. Honestly, even though I know it only works with rays - and know this is a mistake people make all the time - I had to re-read it 3 times because I kept skipping over the word "ray" =P


MrCharisma wrote:
Typo?

Typos, plural. I am absolutely exhausted and shouldn't be doing even basic math right now, as my above post shows. Somehow my conclusions were correct, even though my numbers were wrong, so 1 out of 2 in my current condition isn't bad. I'll take it.

G'night, everyone.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Saint Bernard wrote:
Thanks for the update on your guide concerning the Nature Bound Magus.
taks wrote:
I agree. You get a single arcana in place of a defining class feature. I'm pretty sure this goes down as an archetype that will never be played by anyone.

Maybe. There are some gems on the druid spell list though; you can now play a Magus with Cheetah's Sprint (and its ludicrous bonus to jump checks), Flame Blade, and Free Spirit.

Using Flame Blade in spell combat strikes me as a good combo, particularly with spellstrike. Of course I'd like to use Flame Blade with the arcane pool enchantment as well, but that's not currently an option.

RickDias wrote:

Kurald, thanks for updating the guide. I was surprised (albeit glad) to see that Snowball got a deserved nerf, but this raises a question... would this now make Magic Missile a better choice for most Magus builds?

Let me get into a comparison of Magic Missile vs. Snowball.

Good points. Overall it strikes me that Snowball is slightly weaker than Magic Missile purely in terms of DPR. As people have pointed out, Snowball scales faster but MM makes up for it with greater accuracy. And that is before accounting for range, damage type, and flexibility; all of which MM wins. I'm not sure why an enforcer build would want Snowball; its go-to spell is Frostbite. Snowball can be used with Rime Spell but Magic Missile gets Toppling Spell which is also better. Even if Close Range worked on Snowball, there'd be little point in using that over Shocking Grasp.

What about Intensified Spell? It's questionable if you want to invest one of your two traits in Snowball; and from a second-level slot Intensified Snowball doesn't compare well to Scorching Ray. And Scorching Ray isn't great either unless you're a crossblooded sorcerer or something.

So it strikes me that Snowball has been overnerfed; it's been a bad week for poor old Snilloc. Since Magic Missile is rated orange, I think I should drop Snowball to red for being essentially a weaker Magic Missile now.


Kurald Galain wrote:
Saint Bernard wrote:
Thanks for the update on your guide concerning the Nature Bound Magus.
taks wrote:
I agree. You get a single arcana in place of a defining class feature. I'm pretty sure this goes down as an archetype that will never be played by anyone.

Maybe. There are some gems on the druid spell list though; you can now play a Magus with Cheetah's Sprint (and its ludicrous bonus to jump checks), Flame Blade, and Free Spirit.

Using Flame Blade in spell combat strikes me as a good combo, particularly with spellstrike. Of course I'd like to use Flame Blade with the arcane pool enchantment as well, but that's not currently an option.

And what useful arcana can still be used?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

PhD. Okkam wrote:
Kurald Galain wrote:

Maybe. There are some gems on the druid spell list though; you can now play a Magus with Cheetah's Sprint (and its ludicrous bonus to jump checks), Flame Blade, and Free Spirit.

Using Flame Blade in spell combat strikes me as a good combo, particularly with spellstrike. Of course I'd like to use Flame Blade with the arcane pool enchantment as well, but that's not currently an option.

And what useful arcana can still be used?

Natural Spell Combat. Spell Blending. Spell-Scars. Wand Wielder. Disruptive. Empowered / Maximized / Quickened Magic. Maybe close range or maneuver mastery? Overall not a whole lot but still enough good picks to fill out your levels.


Kurald Galain wrote:
PhD. Okkam wrote:
Kurald Galain wrote:

Maybe. There are some gems on the druid spell list though; you can now play a Magus with Cheetah's Sprint (and its ludicrous bonus to jump checks), Flame Blade, and Free Spirit.

Using Flame Blade in spell combat strikes me as a good combo, particularly with spellstrike. Of course I'd like to use Flame Blade with the arcane pool enchantment as well, but that's not currently an option.

And what useful arcana can still be used?
Natural Spell Combat. Spell Blending. Spell-Scars. Wand Wielder. Disruptive. Empowered / Maximized / Quickened Magic. Maybe close range or maneuver mastery? Overall not a whole lot but still enough good picks to fill out your levels.

Then the int Magus is the most suitable option with a Flame Blade?


Kurald Galain wrote:
So it strikes me that Snowball has been overnerfed; it's been a bad week for poor old Snilloc. Since Magic Missile is rated orange, I think I should drop Snowball to red for being...

Alternate take: Snowball isn't terrible at its job, merely not good. Snowball is arguably 'orange.'

Magic Missile is actually fairly good at the job it does. Magic Missile is arguably 'green' (or 'climbs the tier list') since its main competitor just got eliminated.

Fair assessment?

Dark Archive

wow a magus with firearms , i hadnt considered them before

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

RickDias wrote:
Magic Missile is actually fairly good at the job it does. Magic Missile is arguably 'green' (or 'climbs the tier list') since its main competitor just got eliminated.

Is it though? Carrying an MM wand is good because it deals better DPR than a bow (unless you're a dedicated archer), but I'm having a hard time justifying preparing MM instead of e.g. Grease, Blade Lash, or Vanish.

PhD. Okkam wrote:
Then the int Magus is the most suitable option with a Flame Blade?

I'm not sure why you're concluding that.

Grumbleguggle wrote:
wow a magus with firearms , i hadnt considered them before

Yep, Eldritch Archer isn't limited to bows :)


Yes. I am absolutely willing to go to bat for preparing Magic Missile in one of your L1 slots. There are times where slamming down 17.5 automatic damage from across the board is a play worth making. Times where an enemy is clearly almost dead and the tiniest nudge will make them actually dead. There are also times where an enemy is well entrenched and you can't realistically get to them but your projectiles can.

Should you be casting Magic Missile every round? Obviously not. Nonetheless, there are times where you want to deal meaningful damage without wading into melee (even as a Magus) and you'd just as soon not worry about Incorporeal, or energy resistance, or cover/firing into melee.

Magic Missile is a Pretty Good Move.


Sorry to post twice, I'm well outside my Edit window.

I wanted to discuss Familiars for a bit. Let's presume PFS, where they clamp down significantly on letting Familiars be combat-viable wand wielders and so on.

On a scimitar dex Magus (spells are mostly about damage dealing, with bits of control/defense here and there): I've been arguing with myself about two different options, the Silvanshee Agathion and the Pseudodragon. Forgive me if I've brought this up before; my memory's kind of shot and I legitimately can't remember whether we've had the discussion or not.

The Pseudodragon has 60 foot Blindsense and 60 foot telepathy, which are pretty big deals. They are also decent scouts. However, from a Magus' standpoint this is about all they do; you can't really send them in to fight stuff at level 7+ because they'll get mulched.

On the other hand, the Silvanshee is significantly faster, better defended, a significantly better scout, and has a variety of useful tools (Stabilize, universal translator, etc.), and can cast Commune. It can also provide minor buffs.

What I'm debating is whether Blindsense 60 is that big a deal to overlook all the little things a Silvanshee can do. I want to say that Glitterdust can handle the same thing Blindsense does, but I'm not certain.

Any opinions? Again, this is for a Dex Scimitar Magus whose spells are mostly damage dealers with a few things filling in gaps.

Shadow Lodge

Wouldn't the Pseudodragon get the magus' BaB and half their hit points? Since they use their master's level for anything they have as a racial ability their Poison DC will also go up. It's not much, but if you can extend its reach a bit with the tail...


It's not something I'm wild on. Most things at level 7+ are going to mulch a Pseudodragon. At least that's what the numbers tell me. Am I wrong?

Also, it's my experience some GMs get really pissy about your Familiar fighting and will go out of their way to kill it afterward. I suspect they've run into Familiars that use lots of combat wands, burning gaze spells, etc.

This kind of extreme reaction to combat familiars has admittedly discouraged me from doing more than token experiments with them, so it's possible I'm working from a very flawed data set and maybe most GMs are okay with Pseudodragons fighting. Maybe they hold up decently well at it. If so, let me know? I admit a lot of my play experience has been in very... bizarre environments.

Shadow Lodge

While expensive, I imagine Mithral Barding would help quite a bit.

601 to 650 of 893 << first < prev | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / Myrrh, Frankincense, and Steel: Kurald Galain's Guide to the Magus All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.