Quantum Steve wrote:
A cool thing about UMD is that you don't actually have to be able to speak to use command word items with UMD.
That is incorrect. Activate blindly specifically stats you need to do an equivalent action (for special words, thoughts, or actions). If you are incapable of speech, you are incapable of doing such actions.
The UMD for activating a spell trigger item (like wand), stats that a successful check means you are treated as having the specific spell on your list. The spell trigger activation method stats you need to speak a word.
There is nothing in umd that lets you activate an item you are physically incapable of activating. However, at level 5-6 the familiar learns speak with master, which is a verbal communicating language, which would give you access to UMD items. Pre level 5, you would need a Raven/Parrot or Thrush.
I am currently playing through society with a magus archer. My build has only a dash of arcane archer, since the upper limit to the game is level 12. A couple thoughts I had on this build.
First, I don't think imbue arrows works like you think it does. I don't believe you can use a wand or other item to cast into an arrow as part of this class ability, much less open it up to other character (such as your familiar).
Imbue arrow is the best ability the archer has going on. I believe Antimagic field was the big combo with imbue arrow, back in 3.5. The enhanced arrows, the arcane archer gets, are only on non-magical arrows, and most likely you will be able to afford some magical arrows. So, I don't believe full arcane archer levels are worth it.
Magus 18/Arcane Archer 2 will give you imbue arrows with antimagic field (using your last magus arcana to gain the spell). However, this gives you a hit to bab.
Magus 16/Arcane Archer 4 gives you your final attack, more caster levels, more feats, and more arcana.
Combos are fairly straight forward. Your bow should be a +1 bow with lots of enhancements, arrows should be the same. At the start of your day/adventure you will cast greater magic weapon (it lasts hours) on your bow. During combat you will use your arcane pool to enhance your bow further, then use your other abilities in combat as normal (arcane strike or accuracy).
I also suggest improved familiar before weapon specialization... or rather improved familiar as close to lv 7 as possible. With the extra feats you might want to look into point blank master
Also spell blending or UMD gravity bow if you don't have an opportunity to full round.
Edit: Since you dropping one caster level with the two presented builds, I would swap traits for Warrior of old (+2 to init, elf only) and Reactionary (+2 to init). He who casts first, laughs last.
Why even bother with the Magus. The Magus powers don't mesh well with a Arcane Archer. The Arcane Duelist (Bard) does though. Bladethirst applies to ranged ammunition. The bonus feats are nice. You bow could be your bonded weapon.
As I see it:
Arcane Duelist Bard:
I am not entirely sure what would be a better switch hitter archery/melee, but I would put my money on the magus. Also familiar is well worth taking, even just for someone to use your skills (umd) or aid action.
Aside from hasted assault, I don't see many amazing magus arcana to take as an archer (I wouldn't bother with arcane accuracy for the reasons described). So spell blending, familiar, and the pseudo swift metamagic would be my choices.
I will +1 all the requests for archery or ranged magus options. Currently there are some good options for playing an archery based magus (arcane pool is similar to enhance arrows). A few magus arcanas work with archery (see dispelling strike). Otherwise you’re playing a magus for the armor proficiency and spell selection over, say, a bard. If you are not an elf, the best option for an arcane “feeling” archer would be the magus (always the option of a strait wizard archer). But taking that a step further for synergy between the magus and arcane archer would be lovely for those of elvish persuasion.
Making an arcana to allow spell strike (with a cost of say a pool point) with a ranged weapon would be fantastic and wouldn’t encroach on the arcane archer’s imbue abilities (since those are all area). Other than spell strike, the only main class abilities that don’t work for an archery magus are the spell combat (and the improved versions and counterstrike). What to replace them with is a difficult question though.
1) leaping, like tumbling and climbing are part of a move action. There is nothing built into the feat that says you must leap. Much the same way you can leap with shot on the run (I would assume).
Quantum Steve wrote:
Unfortunately you are doing a few things incorrectly. First, intensified raises the max by 5 levels. Shocking grasp does a d6 per level (max5 normally). So for two reasons, you would only be doing 10d6 at level 10 for an intensified shocking grasp. Second, Improved Crit also specifies that it doesn't stack with other threat increases (and seemed to be a default in many 3rd party books), so you wouldn't have a crazy threat range with pathfinder alone. Luckily you don't need to spend a feet and you can enhance your weapon via arcane pool.
Simple ranged Magus.
Good Free Feat choices: Improved Initiative (he who casts first laughs last), Improved Precise Shot (handy but not essential), Improved Familiar (the imp's dr is worth the feat and spending an arcana), Lingering spell, Quick draw, Two weapon fighting, gunslinging.
**A magus has low spell levels (which limits most of it's arcana options) so these options are pretty meh, but if you don't mind losing a spell and failing then get these