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


Advice

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RickDias wrote:

Chess Pwn: True, but I'm not sure I see what else to toss in. Going straight-class Magus would add 1 more BAB, but guts my utility stuff.

There's an Ioun Stone that adds +1 attack, but this rules out the Blind-Fight ioun stone as a result and something tells me that's a very bad trade?

Weapon Focus Scimitar would help, but would require losing Step Up. I know this is a bad trade.

Arcane Accuracy helps, though I'd only get 3-5 uses of it a day. That will be enough for one fight.

Dancing will grant +2, but only for 4 rounds (technically 5, but one is spent just getting the stupid thing started). That's enough to cover most of a second fight.

I've already factored in Arcane Pool, running this as...
BAB +6/+1, +6 Dex, +2 Weapon, +3 Arcane Pool benefits. That's +17/+12, or +15/+15/+10 on Spellstrike.

It feels like I'm coming up a tad short. Any ideas for fixing this? Flanking obviously helps, and Heroism will last for a fight or two, but based on the math you're listing it sounds like I'm not quite where I need to be.

EDIT: Didn't see your second post. My breakdown is close to what you're saying, but my math is +6 BAB, +6 Dex, +2 Weapon, +3 Arcane Pool improvements to the weapon. Then -2/-2/-2 on spellstrike if used.

Why does that cut out the blind fight ioun stone? Is it just the money?

It looks like you could get another 1 from upgrading a belt from +2 to +4 (assuming you start with 18 and have your lv4 and 8 bumps to dex)


Wayfinders can only hold one Ioun Stone. Any other ones would be floating out vulnerable to be grabbed, AOE'ed, etc.

Dex would be... 17 starting (15 + 2 Elf), then +1 at L4 to make it 18, then +Dex items. I can try to fit the extra point of Dex in by lowering Str some, but this makes it hard to wear armor and magic items.

Stat spread is Str 10, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 7, Cha 12.
("Why Cha 12?" "Bard dip. Lowest I can go is Cha 11 if need be.")


RickDias wrote:

Wayfinders can only hold one Ioun Stone. Any other ones would be floating out vulnerable to be grabbed, AOE'ed, etc.

Dex would be... 17 starting (15 + 2 Elf), then +1 at L4 to make it 18, then +Dex items. I can try to fit the extra point of Dex in by lowering Str some, but this makes it hard to wear armor and magic items.

Stat spread is Str 10, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 7, Cha 12.
("Why Cha 12?" "Bard dip. Lowest I can go is Cha 11 if need be.")

So lets see here, you're fighting a human or humanoid that probably doesn't have improved steal, he moves to you to steal your ioun stone, you get an AoO on him and then he most likely fails his steal, but if he succeeds you then kill him and get it back. Otherwise they likely aren't knowing what those things even do to you.

Plus removing a stone when you have a few buzzing around means they don't know what they are grabbing really. And it's likely a better idea to kill you and take them then taking them while your alive.

But I don't know your games, if your games involve lots of danger to ioun stone then look towards implanting them for safety.


EDIT: Post revoked. Implanting the ioun stone would make it immune to AOEs too. That's a strong idea. I might do this. That gets another +1 down... wonder what else I can do to get the attack bonus up to an acceptable level.


RickDias wrote:
Sure, but what about AOEs? Wouldn't Fireball/etc. just rip one up?

AoE doesn't hurt your gear unless you roll a nat 1, then it makes it's way down a list deciding which of your gear it hurts. This is why your gear isn't ripped up when you're hit with a fireball.


...Even better, it turns out Implanting is unnecessary. An orbiting Ioun Stone counts as an "attended object" per quick research I did on this; I'm surprised by that, but it's very nice.

That solves a little bit more of the problem. I can cram in another +1 attack (among other nice benefits) from some Ioun Stones, which gets me up to...

Level 11: 6 BAB, 6 Dex, 2 Weapon, 3 Pool enhancement, 1 Ioun Stone.
that's +18/+13 total, or +16/+16/+11 on spellstriking full attacks.

From there, either I need a few other ways to increase attack, or...

...or I just have to hope that Dawnflower Dervish dancing (good for another +1 [ technically +2 but the ioun stone overlaps with its bonus]) for 4 rounds will be enough to help in one combat.

Heroism will give +2 for another fight.

Arcane Accuracy grants +3 every so often during one more fight. That's 3 fights covered. I think the rest of the accuracy issue will have to be handled by "find someone to flank with", "hope an ally brings buffs", etc. unless others have suggestions. Otherwise +16+16/+11 or +17/+17/+12 or +18/+18/+13 or +19/+19/+14 are good enough.


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RickDias wrote:
Can you break it down for me? How'd you get +6 Shield? +6 Dodge? The +2 Deflection I can guess (A ring of protection?) and the same for the +2 natural (Amulet of natural armor?), but the rest of these elude me. Same for the +1 Insight.

+6 shield = +4 buckler + shield focus + unhindering shield

+6 dodge = Int bonus
+1 insight = Dusty Rose Prism Ioun Stone

If not using the kensai archetype: +3 full place gives a 22AC all by itself. Add in a shield (or Shield), ring, amulet, ioun stone and your in your 30's.

RickDias wrote:


Heroism will give +2 for another fight.

At 10 min/level, Heroism should be lasting you >3 hours per casting. (assuming you carry a minor rod of extend).

Most (but not all) adventuring days will last less than 3 hours. Especially in an indoor setting. Very few fights last more than a minute, and no matter how carefully you scout, it's not taking you hours to move down a hallway or dungeon corridor.

Quote:

Level 11: 6 BAB, 6 Dex, 2 Weapon, 3 Pool enhancement, 1 Ioun Stone.

that's +18/+13 total, or +16/+16/+11 on spellstriking full attacks.

At 12th level I had:

+9 BAB, +9 Dex, +3 weapon (black blade), +2 pool, +2 Heroism, -2 spell combat, +1 weapon focus = +24/+24/+19

My go to spell in combat was Haste (party had a fighter and barbarian). Most fights I was attacking at:
+25/+25/+25/+20 - higher than either the fighter or the barbarian as both were using power attack, neither had Heroism. The barbarian had a +6 weapon due to Furious, compared to my +5 enhancement bonus.

The people advocating against things like Arcane Strike are typically building for Nova damage. They deal huge burst damage and maximize everything into delivering that burst as efficiently as possible. There is nothing wrong with this approach.

I tend to build for static bonuses and defense. I don't hit as hard in a single round, but can consistently deliver all day long. I develop defenses that ensure I can stand on the front line during an extended adventuring day without draining healing resources, and generally consume far fewer of those resources than either the fighter or the barbarian.

It is a difference in philosophy. You should play whatever you are most comfortable with, but be aware that there are other directions available for pursuit.


Volkard, is a magus able to use a buckler without interfering with spellstrike?


Saint Bernard wrote:
Volkard, is a magus able to use a buckler without interfering with spellstrike?

As long as it has unhindering shield it can. otherwise no.


Hrm. Heroism lasting that long (I intended to get a Rod for it, yes indeed!) could mean I have another possible solution: Just prep it twice. I'd have to drop Conjure Carriage for this, but it would cover 3.67 hours per casting... between two of them I should have most of the day covered. The persistent +2 to Attack, Saves, and Skills would be compelling indeed.

What do you think of this modified preparation list? It accounts for the defensive concerns

Bard 1: Spells omitted for brevity

Magus (Hexcrafter) 10, Caster Level 11 due to Magical Knack Trait:

1: 1x Frostbite, 2x Magic Missile, 2x Intensified Shocking Grasp (via Trait lowering metamagic cost), 1x Vanish. At-Will Feather Fall (Self-Only) via Flight Hex.
A spring-loaded Wand of Shield, with a Familiar on hand to retrieve it, will be used at start of combat to get +4 AC.

2: 1x Burst of Radiance (via Spell Blending), 1x Glitterdust, 2x Mirror Image, 1x Scorching Ray. 1x Levitate (self-only, via Flight hex). At-Will Cure Moderate Wounds (Once per target per day, via Healing Hex).

3: 1x Intensified Burst of Radiance (Spell Blending), 1x Fireball, 2x Heroism. Fly via Flight Hex for Caster Level Minutes per day, in 1 minute increments, self-only.

4: 1x Shield of the Dawnflower, 1x Wall of Ice.
(I've also considered Dragon's Breath instead)

My sole concern is the lack of Conjure Carriage, a spell I've become increasingly fond of as of late. I'd LIKE to drop a Heroism for keeping Conjure Carriage in there, but am unsure if this really works out okay given how much my character needs Heroism benefits.

Thoughts? I think I'm really, really close to having my build truly good to go and this is one of the last few hangups.


Chess Pwn wrote:

+8 bab +3 blade +2 arcane pool +5 dex

is this how you're reaching your 18?

Ditch combat casting, step up and hex healing.

Every one at the table is responsible for their own healing, unless someone volunteers for the role.Stopping covering for others will drive the point home.

In the meantime you will have a much better constructed character, and fill your role better.

Regarding spells.
Ditch feather fall for a ring thereof.
Ditch mirror images for a wand for familiar.

Without metamagic, I'd ditch fireball. Is haste not on yr list?


Can't ditch Feather Fall (plan to get ring anyway!), it's Hex-granted. There's literally nothing I can do about this, but I plan to have the Ring regardless since "KOed while Flying" is a really lethal thing without said ring.

I could drop Combat Casting for Weapon Focus Scimitar (which would fix my accuracy concern), my major concern is about getting auto-success Spellstrike Brand attacks online as soon as possible, but... perhaps that's not as good a thing as I think it is? You can win me over on this; anyone who can convince me that Spellstrike Brand (and, accordingly Spellstrike Shocking Grasp etc) shouldn't be a top priority can convince me to make the switch. I strongly welcome input on this!

Step Up I really like since it lets me mess with archers, polearm users, rogues/other-Sneak-Attackers, and mages. I'd have to find something really compelling to replace it. Do you have a better idea?

Healing Hex I am very, very reluctant to get rid of because I like having it handy. I've found even Celestial Fire on a Celestial Sorc is useful in emergencies, and am not going to be a hard-liner on it. That said, try me; what do you think would be better? I picked it up with an Extra Arcana feat (using the 'Arcana can be Hexes for a Hexcrafter' rule) so I can replace this with any other Hex, Arcana, or Feat.

Mirror Image I'd need to be convinced is worth the huge GP expenditure on a Level 2 wand plus the loss of caster level resulting in fewer Images being created. The GP budget is already pretty constrained.

Haste is available, but I'm placing greater weight on being able to 'chuck plasma' at range from time to time. I'm aware of the studies suggesting Haste is higher DPS; I nonetheless value Fireball's range more than I do the Haste benefits.


Saint Bernard wrote:
Volkard, is a magus able to use a buckler without interfering with spellstrike?

Unhindering Shield was listed in my description.


My concern is that you have 3-4 suboptimal choices that are cuttingdown overall viability. It's ok to choose 1 (healing,or fireball or..) but as you see, 4 is putting you behind the 8 ball.

I play wizards. I never choose spell pen, gsp. I just always have a or three spell sr:no.

Regarding mirror image. Everything you say is true. But it's a question of action economy. It gives your familiar something productive to do. Action economy is king.


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Oh and buy 5-6 grey ioun stones. Paint the other ones.


RickDias wrote:


I could drop Combat Casting for Weapon Focus Scimitar (which would fix my accuracy concern), my major concern is about getting auto-success Spellstrike Brand attacks online as soon as possible, but... perhaps that's not as good a thing as I think it is? You can win me over on this; anyone who can convince me that Spellstrike Brand (and, accordingly Spellstrike Shocking Grasp etc) shouldn't be a top priority can convince me to make the switch. I strongly welcome input on this!

Brand is DC 15 for defensive casting

Shocking Grasp is DC 17

At 10th level you have +10 caster level, +2 improved spell combat, +INT.

I typically start with a 15 Int, add +1 at 8th level, and have a +4 headband before 10th level for a +5 INT mod. I also take the Focused Mind trait.

10 + 2 +5 +2 = 19, auto success on 2nd level spells. 2 or better for 3rd level spells (or take -1 to-hit to auto succeed).

As the magus progresses in level it becomes easier and easier to defensively cast your highest level spell. When I ended at 12th level, I could auto succeed on 4th level spells.


'Paint the ioun stones.' Clever.

EDIT: My reply overlapped with Volkard's. Let me rephrase, since my original question no longer makes sense.

Do you find taking that long to auto-succeed on spells is okay? I would think getting Brand Spellstrike going ASAP, as an auto-success, would be highly valuable to boost damage output at earlier levels. Am I wrong?


6/9 casters have less issues with Def casting. I have no problem with v. Position.

In fact you are less susceptible, as you have hexes.

That said, your choice here eitherway is more tolerable than the other choices outlined above.


...Yeah, okay. You've convinced me. Give me some time to rework this.


If you are going to prep 2 of a spell often, what about instead investing in some Pearls of Power? Then you can fit in your Conjure Carriage. Also, for some long-duration buffs that have a duration not quite long enough, a Rod of Extend Spell might be in order, thus again saving you a double preparation (and you have the Pearls of Power for backup in case of a real emergency, such as if you get Dispelled).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

You're a prepared caster. You don't need to decide your L11 spell layout all in advance, you can switch them out each day.

Personally I prefer the higher casting level on Mirror Image, so I would not recommend a wand. But yes, since you have an improved familiar, definitely find something for it to do.

Quote:
Do you find taking that long to auto-succeed on spells is okay? I would think getting Brand Spellstrike going ASAP, as an auto-success, would be highly valuable to boost damage output at earlier levels. Am I wrong?

Since you have infinite castings of Brand, having a chance of failure for it at low levels isn't a big deal. Since Brand is a good DPR boost, having 80% chance of Brand is still a good DPR boost :)


If you really want to auto succeed on defensive casting at lower level, Elven Gloves give a +5 bonus.

They are a waste at higher level.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

Ditch mirror images for a wand for familiar.

Mirror Image is personal, having a familiar use a wand isn't going to help you. I do quite like familiars using a wand of vanish, sure the enemy will know which square you are in but it is still a 50% miss chance.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Volkard Abendroth wrote:

If you really want to auto succeed on defensive casting at lower level, Elven Gloves give a +5 bonus.

They are a waste at higher level.

Yes. I've found that, ironically, they are only actually useful at levels where you cannot afford them yet. They're pretty expensive.

Shadow Lodge

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Oh and buy 5-6 grey ioun stones. Paint the other ones.

Then coat them in enough wax to distort their shape so they can't be identified that way.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
Oh and buy 5-6 grey ioun stones. Paint the other ones.
Then coat them in enough wax to distort their shape so they can't be identified that way.

Just implant them.

Problem solved.

Shadow Lodge

Maybe wear some non-implanted Ioun stones with curses on them that activate when stolen?


Well, the spell list was just a 'what I generally envision doing'. As for the Familiar, PFS does not let Silvanshee Agathions use wands.

So, I did a complete rebuild based on all of your advice. What do you think of the following? I believe it's more focused while still including some flavor items I like. That said, I welcome any further advice; I think this is really close to being a great character!

Stats - 20 Point buy, PFS legality required:
Class: Magus (Hexcrafter archetype) from 1 to 11, staying single-class.
Elf, NG Align, Deity is Sarenrae (for the Shield of the Dawnflower spell)
Str 10, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 8
+1 to Dex at Level 4, +1 to Str or Dex at Level 8.
Favored Class Options: L1 and 2 get +1 HP, L3-8 get 1/6th new Arcana (spell blending), L9-11 get +1 HP.

Traits:
Wayang Spellhunter: Shocking Grasp
Magical Lineage: Burst of Radiance (will be acquiring the spell via Spell Blending later on)

Feats:
L1: Weapon Finesse
L3: Dervish Dance
L5: Extra Arcana (Spell Blending: Burst of Radiance) and Intensified Spell (Magus Bonus)
L7: Improved Familiar (Silvanshee Agathion)
L9: Spell Penetration
L11: Dimensional Agility, Step Up (Magus Bonus)

Arcana Selections:
L3: Familiar (Owl, Emissary type)
L4: Flight Hex via Hexcrafter benefits.
L5: (Via Feat expenditure) Spell Blending (Burst of Radiance)
L6: Healing Hex via Hexcrafter benefits.
L8: (Via Favored Class option use from levels 3 to 8) Spell Blending (Heroism)
L9: Arcane Accuracy

Basic equipment:
Scimitar, light or medium armor, and the usual magic items.

Default Spells (presumes no foreknowledge of situation): Note this does not account for Spell Recall use since later levels regain it, nor does it account for Pearls of Power (which I will be using!)

L0: Brand, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Prestidigitation, Read Magic

L1: 1x Frostbite, 1x Grease, 1x Magic Missile, 2x Intensified Shocking Grasp, 1x Vanish.
Am open to being talked into replacing one of the Shocking Grasps with something else if need be.
Shield will be handled via a Wand and letting the Familiar retrieve said Wand after it's used.
At-Will Feather Fall granted via Hexcrafter abilities, self-only.

L2: 2x Intensified Burst of Radiance, 1x Glitterdust, 2x Mirror Image.
1/day Levitate, self only, via Hexcrafter benefits.
At-Will Cure Moderate Wounds, one per recipient per day, via Hexcrafter benefits.

L3: 1x Conjure Carriage (will be Extended via Rod), 1x Fireball, 1x Force Punch or Vampiric Touch, 2x Heroism (will be Extended via Rod)
Can possibly swap out a Heroism for whichever of Force Punch or Vampiric Touch I didn't otherwise take.
At-Will, Fly for Caster Level minutes per day in at least 1 minute increments, self only.

L4: 1x Dimensional Door, 1x Dragon's Breath, 1x Shield of the Dawnflower

I think I'm good to go now, what do you guys think? Thanks again for all your great ideas; sorry I was so slow to come around to some of them, but you had good evidence and I think this is a stronger charachter that still has fun flavor items (Healing Hex and the Familiar).

If you see any room for improvement though, please let me know!


If you can wait until at least level 7 to get your first Spell Blending, you can use it to pick up 2 2nd level spells instead of just 1, although I can't think of a good way to rearrange things at the moment without hosing something else. The same would apply for your second Spell Blending and 3rd level spells if you wait until 10th level, but PFS really cramps your career progression. I wonder if PFS retraining allows you to retrain something to a better version of itself (retrain each instance of Spell Blending to itself when you get to be high enough level to be able to snag the 2nd spell)?


I agree that what you're proposing is more efficient, but I've also found when I sat down to do sample spell lists... that I wasn't USING the other options. Getting stuff I like sooner is better in this case.

The above build appears to work; I did drop Wis to 9 and Int to 15 (+1 to each at L4 for Int and L8 for Wis) to get Dex to 18, but otherwise it looks good. Found a set of benchmarks on a nice site that confirmed it.

I appear to be good to go now. Thanks a lot for all your help, everyone!


Sorry, I've got a stupid rules question. Is one allowed to 'pre-cast' melee touch spells into their sword? I would think that technically the answer is yes, that one could just declare a Spell Combat Spellstrike Shocking Grasp attack on an empty square, fail to hit anything of note in it, and maintain the charge that way for later rounds.


RickDias wrote:
Sorry, I've got a stupid rules question. Is one allowed to 'pre-cast' melee touch spells into their sword? I would think that technically the answer is yes, that one could just declare a Spell Combat Spellstrike Shocking Grasp attack on an empty square, fail to hit anything of note in it, and maintain the charge that way for later rounds.

I'm not sure what you mean exactly.

If you cast shocking grasp, you can retain the charge until you hit something.
If you're a Magus (2nd level or above), then any time you hit something with your weapon you can (if you choose) discharge your spell through your weapon. You can also choose NOT to discharge your spell through your weapon, and instead retain the charge.
If you touch something with the hand you cast with you're out of luck and you automatically discharge the spell whether you want to or not.

Does that answer your question?


Hell, it's better than I hoped. It basically means 'cast it, hold onto it and then decide whether you want to Sword with it or just do a regular Touch with it.'

Thanks!


How would you rate multiattack? I spend a lot of time polymorphed via Monstrous Physique, and up til now I've been dropping my weapon to use my natural attacks at full bonus.

I think I'm going to start holding on, and taking the -5 to secondary claws


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
Oh and buy 5-6 grey ioun stones. Paint the other ones.
Then coat them in enough wax to distort their shape so they can't be identified that way.

Just implant them.

Problem solved.

Implanting ioun stones is a gigantic pain if the GM sticks to all the relevant rules for starvation and dehydration for the fasting bit, plus the DC 20 Charisma check. Not to mention the high checks for the actual implantation bit.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Bob Genghis wrote:
How would you rate multiattack? I spend a lot of time polymorphed via Monstrous Physique, and up til now I've been dropping my weapon to use my natural attacks at full bonus.

You can't use a temporary spell effect to qualify for a feat.

Also, you can probably pick a monstrous form that has only primary natural attacks, e.g. the four-armed gargoyle.


^Sort of related to this, I wonder if this also applies to Supernatural and Spell-Like Abilities? Another reason to avoid the Greensting Slayer archetype like the plague (just in case somebody was thinking of using it for getting Sneak Attack to qualify for something else) . . . .


Re: Ioun Stones - It's easier in PFS, where they decided that since you basically get unlimited time between scenarios to set up the implantation that it auto-succeeds.

That said, since Ioun Stones count as attended objects for purposes of AOE damage and it's supremely rare for them to be targeted for direct theft (numerous GMs have, in several threads, attested they either literally never or almost never go for ioun stones)... implanting appears to be more a character aesthetic choice.

It's definitely an option if an ioun stone is absolutely vital to your build, but it appears to be unnecessary. I'd do it more if you think it'd look cool (and it could!).


RickDias wrote:

Re: Ioun Stones - It's easier in PFS, where they decided that since you basically get unlimited time between scenarios to set up the implantation that it auto-succeeds.

That said, since Ioun Stones count as attended objects for purposes of AOE damage and it's supremely rare for them to be targeted for direct theft (numerous GMs have, in several threads, attested they either literally never or almost never go for ioun stones)... implanting appears to be more a character aesthetic choice.

It's definitely an option if an ioun stone is absolutely vital to your build, but it appears to be unnecessary. I'd do it more if you think it'd look cool (and it could!).

I've had it make a difference in PFS.


I think the new spell Pouncing Fury is worth a mention. Bladed Dash/Force Hook Charge let you sort of pounce, but casting them cancels whatever held touch spell you have, like Frostbite.

Pouncing Fury is yet another buff you would have to cast before a fight, but if you get the chance I think it's worth the slot, since if you're going to be natural attacking with spell combat, you're likely to be using claws anyway.

It lets you charge in with touch spells, full attack, then next round spell combat to refresh your charges. Turning into something like a tiklabang wouldn't let you do that in round 2 since its attacks don't work with spell combat without heavy feat investment

I guess turning into a deathsnatcher would be even better, but I think turning into a CR 18 creature at level 10 (or 7, without pounce) is sure to attract DM wrath

Shadow Lodge

But weapon attacks are usually superior to claw attacks, less expensive to get magical effects like holy on, and you can be any race instead of one with claws. Bladed Dash and Force Hook Charge also give you pseudo-flight since they can go up or at diagonals.

Pouncing Fury is not a good spell.


I think it is when combined with Monstrous Physique since it lets you pounce with Frostbite active


Ludovicus (a long time ago) wrote:
Though the Charisma prerequisite is painful (except for eldritch scions), the Shapechanger bloodline is fantastic for the magus. In particular, with Improved Eldritch Heritage you can get a transmutation spell to last 12 hours starting at 11th level; in addition to the obvious benefits (more efficient use of spells per day, better action economy at the start of a fight), this allows half-elves to use paragon surge during downtime to get any item creation feat they want all day.

AND

Kurald Galain (a fairly long time ago) wrote:
Kaouse wrote:
Concerning the Myrmidarch, I think you are undervaluing the benefit of Advanced Weapon Training, specifically Warrior Spirit, which alone is more than worth the 3 Magus Arcana.

Warrior Spirit is good, but out of the four arcana you mention, I'd really only take one (Devoted or Bane). So WS is worth one arcana, not three. And unlike the arcana, it's a standard action, which is a major downside.

Quote:
Plus, combined with your Arcane Pool, you can effectively take any weapon and boost it up to +10,

+8, since myrm weapon training only goes up to 3. The Abundant + Barroom combo is interesting for many classes, but the Magus has a spell for that (Tactical Adaptation) so he has no need to spend feats or arcana on it.

{. . .}

I just realized that a Half-Elf Magus has some awesome options with combinations of the above, and should get an upgrade to Blue for this:

Both Paragon Surge and Tactical Adaptation let you get a feat for 1 minute per level, and only 1 feat per day even if you recast the spell, but each one lets you get 1 feat per day independent of the other, so if you need 2 different feats, you've got **2** spells for this.

Building upon the above, you can use these 2 spells to get the feat you really want but don't have and its prerequisite that you also don't have.

Eldritch Heritage (Shapechanger) --> Improved Eldritch Heritage (Shapechanger, 3) lets you increase the duration of both spells (they are both Transmutation, and cast only on yourself) to 10 minutes per level, and eventually to 1 hour per level. This is a major savings on spell slots even if you do need 2 feats per day, and as noted above, eventually free Item Creation feats, even if you need a pesky prerequisite.

Building upon the above with Improved Eldritch Heritage (Shapechanger, 9) is not too shabby either (and doesn't require any more investment in Charisma than the above) -- even though it's once per day until you get to really high level, it's a pretty good bomb in its own right, and I seen nothing that says that you can't Spellstrike with it.

Eldritch Heritage (Shapechanger) is actually somewhat useful in its own right, for emergency use in case you are deprived of your weapons or have to fight a Rust Monster -- if this was as far as you were going, Improved Unarmed Strike would be better for not having a time limit per day, but since it also gives access to the above options, it's not bad.

Conveniently, Half-Elf by default awards Skill Focus at 1st level, which you are going to need (selecting Disguise) to get Eldritch Heritage (Shapechanger)

If you're REALLY going to go hog-wild with this and go all the way to Improved Eldritch Heritage (Shapechanger, 15) (which practically requires that you be an Eldritch Scion Magus), this power isn't too shabby either, if you're even moderately into shapechanging (and the defensive benefit is also not too shabby).

If you don't want to invest in the Charisma for any of the above (like if you don't want to be an Eldritch Scion Magus), VMC Sorcerer is a reasonable alternative, although the delay in getting especially the later Bloodline Powers is annoying. On the other hand, unlike the Eldritch Heritage feat chain, you get NO delay in advancement of their effects once you do get them, instead of having a delay of 2 levels until you manage to get Greater Eldritch Heritage -- and the delay in getting the 3rd level power to 7th level is still letting you get it noticeably before the level at which it gets really good, which means that with VMC Sorcerer it gets really good 2 levels before it would with Improved Eldritch Heritage. Note that if you actually want Eschew Materials or one of the Impossible Bloodline's bonus feats in addition to all of the Bloodline Powers before the 20th level Bloodline Power, but can wait a while to get them, VMC Sorcerer effectively only costs 4 feats instead of 5, whereas getting the whole Eldritch Heritage feat chain costs 4 feats + the opportunity cost of not being able to trade out Half-Elf's Skill Focus for something else.

The Shapechanger Bloodline presents an example of where it would be better if you could select the Sorcerer version with Eldritch Scion, which instead forces you to take the Bloodrager version, which has its own virtue, but doesn't do what we want here. (Contrast this to the Aberrant Bloodline, where the Bloodrager version really is probably what you want.)

All of a sudden, I want to make a Half-Elf Magus . . . .


Editfail for what I jposted above: Tactical Adaptation can only get you a Combat Feat (*), whereas Paragon Surge does not have this restriction. Still good to have both, though, since the Combat Feats are the ones that more commonly have feat taxes.

(*)So no using it to get the prerequisite to an Item Creation Feat that you are going to get with Paragon Surge, unless some Item Creation Feat has a Combat Feat as a prerequisite -- I don't know of any.


I'd like to talk about the new spell, 'Ja Noi Aspect'.

It looks pretty good. It's a Level 3 spell for the Magus, granting Fast Healing 3 for 1 round/level... and if you whiff a Will save you can end the spell to get a reroll on that save.

This seems like two things a Magus would really like. Thoughts?

Shadow Lodge

Where is it from?


Trail of the Hunted, pg 74.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I think Pouncing Fury is not so great, because a Magus usually wants to use spell combat instead of charging. Furthermore, the spell's short duration prevents you from casting it before combat, and casting it in combat prevents you from charging that round, which is counterproductive. Finally, there's no need to use it with Monstrous Physique, since MP can already grant the pounce ability.

UnArcaneElection, that's an interesting combo you've got there. But, aren't you basically spending two feats for the purpose of getting two feats from your spells?

Ja Noi Aspect looks like a solid choice, and slightly better than pre-buffing with Bear's Endurance. That said, I don't usually list options from adventure paths.


I don't understand why not; they're usually (not always) made PFS legal, and buying a PDF of them works like buying a PDF of any other Pathfinder product as far as I can tell. Is there a hurdle keeping them from being easily accessible that I'm unaware of?

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