The feat, Dervish Dance, makes the scimitar finessable and acts as a piercing weapon for PRC requirements and also substitutes your dex. bonus for your str. bonus for weapon damage. This is what makes the dex. build Magus so effective and allows a person to ignore strenght for the build. There is an argument, which I think is valid, the build should have a str of 13 to qualify for power attack.
Ice Titan wrote:
However, neither a rapier nor a katana work with dervish dance so a pure dex build is not going to be effective. The mathematics of the critical are just going to favor high critical range weapons for the magus. Personally I prefer the rapier over the scmitar just for theme reasons. In the hands of a non-magus the falchata is the best one handed weapon, unfortunately the *3 critical multiplier does not affect spells.
+1 I was going to recommend the same book.
Gark the Goblin wrote:
Circumstantial evidences says yes.
You are going to have to explain your logic on that. The goblins do not strike me as the type to pool all of their resources and then distribute them due to need of the individual. My impression of goblins, excluding hoggoblins, is they are too anarchistic to favor such a communtarian society.
This guide is exceedingly helpful, is there a possibility that it will be revised with the latest additions from Ultimate Combat and other sources?
Up thread I did an analysis of the Kensai archetype and there has been an analysis of the arcana in UC. Walter has been quiet for a while so I figure life got in the way.
Brow Gasher in UC looks like a possible green or blue spell. It causes bleed damage of 1/2 the magus level and the victime is increasingly visually impaired up to blindness at the 5th round. Nasty spell against non fast healers.
I think I will have to spend some time going through the spells and rating them.
JJ said in his Ask Jacob James thread basically the bane quality is so cheap because it is fixed. Sorry, can't give a citation due to size of the thread. One thing to consider, since the blackblade is sentient, it could choose which enemy the bane was for even if it was not in campaign. If I were GMing I would roll in the intelligent item section of the PFCRB to determine what the sword's purpose and if appropriate its sworn enemy.
Bane Blade (Su): Whenever the magus enhances hisweapon using his arcane pool, he may spend 1 additional
point from his arcane pool to add the bane special ability
to the weapon. The magus must be at least 15th level before
selecting this arcana.
There is a new arcana in UC covering that exact quality.
1. No, due to the effect of ego as Name Violation stated. Even the simple increasing + enhacement is great, the weapon grows in power as you do.
Edited to remove advise information once I saw it was in the rules section.
Okay, I blew off home work tonight to give my accessment of the kensai archetype. WalterCM feel free to incorporate any or all of this in you guide. As usual this is just my opinion and I don't claim to be a optimizing guru.
Kensai Archetype – red/blue
Where a magus and even the bladebound magus represent a middle point between a fighter and a wizard, the kensai magus is a step towards the fighter and in my estimation ¾ fighter and ¼ wizard. A player gives up a lot for increased fighting ability and for me it is too much but for others it may be perfect. I expect to see a number of katana wielding kensai magi running around the PFS tables.
Changes from a standard magus:
The kensai is proficient with simple weapons and one martial or exotic weapon and not proficient with armor or shields. For most of us, a single weapon will not be a drawback since the optimal weapon is the scimitar. The katana will be a favorite of the strength build crowd. Green
Diminished spell casting is the deal breaker for me but others may feel one fewer spell of each level is acceptable. Red
The kensai gains canny defense from the duelist prestige class with their chosen weapon. Blue
Weapon focus with their chosen weapon – free bonus feat, which is always good. Blue
Gives up spell recall for perfect strike, 1 arcana point for maximized weapon base damage or 2 arcana points to increase the critical multiplier by one. Gee, for 1 arcana point I can go from an average of 3.5 to 6 points of damage. Not worth there are so many better things I can do with arcana points. Yellow
Gives up knowledge pool for fighter training, starting at 7th level the magus functions as a fighter = magus level -3 to a maximum of 17th level fighter at 20th level. This is a great upgrade except in certain situations; if you are playing the World’s Largest Dungeon then you really want knowledge pool. Blue
Lose medium armor in exchange for iaijutsu at 7th level, add your int bonus as well as your dex bonus to initiative rolls. This is a good one. Blue
Lose your 9th level arcana for critical perfection, adds your Int bonus to critical hit confirmation rolls and uses magus level for qualifying for critical focus or the critical feats. Why bother playing a straight fighter. If combined with bladebound the character is down two arcana. Blue
Replaces improved spell recall with superior reflexes, you get your Int bonus in AOOs per round and it stacks with combat reflexes. Assuming an Int of 16 and a Dex of 16 that makes 7 AOOs per round, over kill. Green
Loses heavy armor, big deal at this point, for iaijutsu focus. Allows you actions in the surprise round if surprised and a damage bonus (Int bonus to damage) if the surpriser. Given how high your initiative bonus could be I expect a lot of bonus damage. Green
Loses greater spell access, boo, for iaijutsu master, so at 20th level you can’t be surprised and your initiative roll is always a natural 20. I have visions of trying to fight Quicksilver of the Avengers. Since I feel greater spell access is terrible to lose I can only give it a Green.
Trades true magus for weapon mastery, as I said earlier why play straight fighters when this is an option. Blue
After it is all said and done, this is a very good archetype. The key attributes are strength, dexterity and intelligence. An elf katana wielding kensai bladebound magus would be an interesting character but I would have to name him, Bill. I have not run the math but I believe a Dex build using a scimitar would be the optimal build. I’ll leave that up to those of you who understand the math behind DPR.
Jason Stormblade wrote:
One of the books I mentioned (I forget which) actually has a section on the implications of charisma as a dump-stat and how it effects your magus in rp.
That would be Might of the Magus by Sigried Trent, which is my favorite of the the three books. I fell in love with the magus during the play test, it felt like an old friend coming home. Too many years playing elven and half elven fighter-magic users in pre-3e. What has been pointed out in the reviews of these PDFs is they synergize very well and work very well together. Alas we only get 6 arcana and no where enough feats.
I had no prioblems with the down load other than 230 MB took a while. This is a fantastic masterpiece, I can't wait for the print copy. Some of the monsters brought back fond memories, I have been playing since 1977. Some of them I had never seen and was plotting on how to introduce them into my future campaign. One of my NPCs is a fire elementalistm, he is so going to have a fire nymph as a companion with a garden of phlogiston.
Thanks for putting all of the hard work to convert all of these monsters.
WalterGM, are you planning on including the new magus arcana from Ultimate Combat in your guide. Just from the little I have seen, don't have the PDF yet, they are better than the ones in UM. If the one line description of "Accurate Strike: make attacks as touch attacks for 1 round" is correct it is beyond blue. Sure it can only be used a couple of times a day but it could change the balance of an encounter. Jaberwock, AC 40, Touch 14, the difference is significant. A spellstrike of Frigid Touch combined with a crit could significantly soften up the jaberwock.
First off, I think this guide is wonderful and a great compilation of advise. One thing I am struggling with is the weapon of choice for the magus being the scimitar. I have a character created for Kingmaker with the Sword Scion trait; +1 trait bonus to attack with either the Aldori dueling sword or long sword.
Using the strenght build, the Dervish Dance is not allowed, can you show me why a scimitar is the better choice over the long sword? Assume the only difference is the Sword Scion trait and long sword wielder and the scimitar wielder have the same feats and attributes.
Why would anyone ever use specific magical weapons?
Style, personally I prefer specific magical weapons and armor for that matter. Each item is more flavorful than just another +3 long sword. I would have preferred the vorpal blade to remain a special weapon instead of comming a weapon quality. My earliest successful character was an elf ftr/mu with both a flametongue and a frostbrand. I am currently playing his great grandson (bladebound magus)who is trying to acquire enough wealth to buy a set of elven chainmail. His goal is to acquire all of the items with an elven nature; boots of elven kind, oathbow, etc.
Playing a character with a certain style may not be optimized but makes the character memorable. I had a fire elementalist who wears a leather vest made from red dragon hide. Tends to make an impression when he enters a tavern.
Agreed. If you are starting the Kingmaker AP your character could take the Sword Scion trait and focus on the long sword or Aldori dueling sword due to the +1 trait bonus to hit.