Master Chymist

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Organized Play Member. 43 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.


So I got my answer, it is makes sense: it's the Magus's whole schtick to be able to hit with a spell-imbued weapon. I was just somehow thinking that a spell with a Melee Touch Attack meant that the whip made by the spell could do it. Must have been tired.

Anyway, I found a snake whip spell from a third party that does what I was hoping to accomplish without needing to be a Magus, but it has inspired a new character build.

So Whips of Spiders is pretty neato imo, but as I was reading it I wanted to make sure I understood something.

"You can wield this object as if it were an actual whip, except you make a melee touch attack with it instead of a regular attack."

So question #1: If I understand, a regular whip has a reach of 15ft. Would that mean my spider whip has the same range?

Question #2: It says specifically 'you make a melee touch attack', and so my question is that until the spell fades and the whip disappears, couldn't I use a Melee Touch Attack spell and deliver it via my whip?

Original thread here for some context.

So our party just barely survived the head of a group of polar bear werebears, a cult that was making a demonic construct that was twice the size of the Iron Giant, and some guy covered in stitches who was rescued by some ancient Ozzy-looking mf who can use some sort of cigarette magic it seems. This was all one encounter, and I almost died from it...but more importantly, we are jumping from 3rd lvl to 5th lvl and I get to pick a number of spells and at least one new Hex if not two if I grab Extra Hex again.

In the fight against the leader of the polar werebears, I dunked on him with Slumber which gave us a free coup de grace into his second phase, which Evil Eye and Bungle were somewhat helpful...but the giant construct after that I was mostly useless against once I used the two charges of my Frost Fall staff on it.

So ideally, even though I would like to take water-themed and some of the 'grosser' themed spells that could be tied to transmutation, I would like to pick up a Hex that I can use in basically any scenario. I've learned that a number of the better hexes don't work against Undead and Constructs, so I need something for that. My hexes so far are Cauldron, Slumber and Evil Eye. I was looking at Misfortune, but I've seen conflicting information that it works on Undead/Constructs because it requires a Will save.

Adhesive Spittle, Bungle, Cure Light Wounds, Ear-Piercing Scream, Enlarge Person, Hex Vulnerability, Identify, Interrogation, Mage Armor, Snowball, Cure Moderate Wounds, Staggering Fall are my current spells, and Cheetah Sprint and Bone Fists are my first two Patron spells that I have gotten and the rest are transmutation spells as well.

I have two unique gimmicks (everyone on the team has some homebrew in this vein), and they are being able to eat certain spells that are cast and then spit them back out for various results (currently untested), and that I can Wild Shape but it is based off Monstrous Physique. So far, while I can AC stack with Mage Armor and my 'Monstrous Shape', we've been getting handed a lot of AoE attacks that require saves...and my saves suck because I have an 11 in all but Int and Dex due to rolling like garbage.

I also get a feat choice that I haven't picked yet, but was leaning towards Extra Hex so that I might be able to the one hex that lets you deal Touch Attacks with your hair over the Spectral Hand spell since I have a negative con and only 25 HP.

Basically, first and foremost I need a hex recommendation that can be useful no matter the enemy I go against, as well as some spells that might make more useful than flying around to heal people when we already have a Warpriestess on the team. And yes, I've been reading the guides here, but I wanted to ask anyway as the guides tend to be slightly outdated.

*Edit: We will have a chance to go shopping on character after my witch recovers, and there are multiple magic shops in there area. Any recommendations for some good Magic Items for a 5th lvl witch to have but aren't TOO OP would be appreciated. I plan on having her craft magic items in the future as well.*

Java Man wrote:

Not having many spells per day: this is the big hassle for a low level spell caster. Your sleep and evil eye not having limited uses is a nice balance to that. And don't neglect your cantrips, the witch list is not great for them, but daze and stabilize are solid. Stabilize is particularly nice when you need it because it has range. And you have guidance, always popular for spamming before every out of combat skill roll.

After those options run out or don't work you come to your crossbow and alchemist fire, maybe scrolls.

Temperans wrote:

Mythic is not really "super high level".

Its more "you are now a demigod" and have access to some extra bit of power as a result. That is why it uses its own levels so that you can be tier X demigod and level Y character. Think of it as a secondary character track instead of an extension.

Further more the mythic feats are upgrades to what the base feats would normally do. For example Quick Draw normally limits what items you can draw, but Mythic Quick Draw removes that restriction and allows you to expend power to draw 2 hidden items. Is it really strong? Not really. Is it more than a character would normally be able to do? Definetly.

Also maybe while talking with friends or other threads you may have realized this but this is how PF1 treats different levels:
Lv-2 - Kids.
Lv-1 - Teenagers.
Lv0 - The average person they can do stuff but really aren't anything special.
Lv1 - The average person, but they paid attention in class or are physically fit.
Lv5 - The olympic athletes and famous thinkers.
Lv10 - Most myths.
Lv20 - The strong but still clearly not the best myths.
Lv20 tier10 mythic - The most famous most powerful myths.

That's why the common suggestion is to start at lv 2 or lv 3. Also yeah, older systems liked the low levels being deadly. Some early game systems even expected you to lose multiple characters at level 1.

Just want to note that I enjoy reading Temperans' posts because of how much they just feel like someone who genuinely enjoys the game and wants others to have fun.

Yes I do have a crossbow for if a battle goes long enough that I have no Hexes or non-Cantrip spells left, and while I haven't crafted anything yet I will be crafting many things to have in battle so I'm sure I will always have at least something up my sleeve.

I'm also glad to see others who have much more investment in PF1e being honest with how the system really does crunch down on earlier levels, so it isn't just me or my friends being crazy or some sort of echo-chamber made up of a lack of experience.

As for the whole Mythic feat thing, my frienDM has decided to rate it on a case-by-case basis just like with all other feats, but he isn't a fan of the Mythic system as being a separate thing and feels like that should be up to the GM and the players and how the world is built rather than a mechanic that requires a whole leveling system just to grab feats that are a bit lackluster when the idea is about making you demigod-comparable. So he approved me having the feat without needing to take any 'mythic levels'.

As for the whole 'Monsterous Physique' as a class feature, I now understand that Polymorph and anything like it isn't like 5e where you actually just get the statblock outside of your non-physical stats: I'm not grasping it entirely, but it is much more piecemeal on what you get, what you don't, and what you lose.

Name Violation wrote:

the mythic feat can only be taken in a mythic campaign.
Do the character have mythic levels?

So as a quick update, we had our first session and I picked my spells but yet again I'm really feeling how Pathfinder likes to place very strict limits on characters in the early levels. Learning that, as a Lvl 3 prepared caster, I can only prep 2 2nd Level and 3 1st Level spells and ONLY because my high Int gives me an extra from both was really sobering considering I felt like I was struggling to find useful options as it was when choosing what spells I know only to find out how few I can cast anyway.

However, I will give the benefit of the doubt in that A) We haven't had combat yet for me to truly feel the brunt of only having 5 non-cantrip spells available to me per day, and B) Hexes are my big class feature and Evil Eye doesn't have the typical 24-hour restriction so if I'm out of spells I'm have something available to me to do. I had a similar issue with the Magus previously, and it feels like PF1e takes a direction of bottlenecking early-level characters in a way that almost forces them to fail at the things they are supposed to be good at in some way, and I think it comes from this idea that every Lvl 1 character is a fresh adventurer when that really doesn't seem to be entirely accurate.

Don't really wanna go into it too much since I had my fair share of it in another thread as well as talking with my friends/party about it, of which many of them agree with me and feel like newer systems are much less harsh on early-level characters without removing all the tension and threat of being an early-level character.

However, Name, I had no idea what Mythic was until now, and I'm still not sure I get it. I thought it was just a third party feat. I'm having my frienDM see what he thinks about it...but the notion that something that is supposed to be SO high level it gets its own special levels require me to take a prerequisite feat AND all it does is give disadvantage to the target's second roll against my Hex if they passed the first time is crazy to me. To me, that feels like a Lvl 7-Lvl 10 class feature, not something that demands so much investment and special rules.

Hey guys, I wanted to give an update.

So the above spells are all still my Patron spells, and while there might be some debate on their strength or scaling, this is due to my frienDM trying to make my Patron spells themed on transmutation spells of which the list was relatively limiting in his opinion to make a properly-scaling Patron spell list.

However, based on his decision, Gwynnifred (my witch) will have the ability to use Monsterous Physique a limited number of times per day in a similar vein to Druids with Wildshape and that it will level up with me at benchmarks but still have all the proper restrictions and the additional note that the more I use it the more it starts to affect me when I revert back.

Additionally, we have expanded on the concept of Potion Lung and I will be able to eat spells and spit them back out a number of times per day as well.

Since my DM doesn't approve of Ritual Hex, I'm going with Accursed Hex and Accursed Hex Mythic as well as Extra Hex for the three feats I get (my party gets an extra starting feat).

I'm grabbing Cauldron, Evil Eye, and Slumber as my starting I just need to come up with some spells to take before this Sunday...

DeathlessOne wrote:

I've long thrown away most of the high optimization advice that I've seen on these (and any) forums and only engage with some of it when I need to hit certain benchmarks for the character to be adequate at what they do, not optimal. I've been in enough games to know for sure that high optimization is only needed for certain playstyles. So, take any suggestions that I offer with that in mind.

For your ties to the Night Hag, in addition to being a Changeling, have you considered the Hagbound witch archetype? This archetype oozes with flavor for what you are doing but might not offer exactly what you are looking for. There is also the Hag of Gyronna witch archetype.

The Extra Hex feat is the one that grants you an extra hex, and one that I highly recommend utilizing at first level if you take either one of these above archetypes. One other fun source of patrons/hexes is to take a look at the Unique Patrons that are available to the witch. They all come with a bonus hex and some sort of drawback. Hag's Calling might the most thematic one for you.

If you let me know which archetype you are planning to use, I can offer more advice (even if its not one of the ones that I listed). As of right now, your potential choices are far too numerous for me to offer anything other than a gentle push in one direction or the other. In short, pick a primary role (examples: controller, buffer, debuffer), a secondary role (examples: ranged, melee, or switch-hitter), and a tertiary role (examples: backup healer).

EDIT: One suggestion I have is to stop relying on rolling ability scores. You are far better off using point buy. I...

As mentioned in my post, my frienDM is creating a Patron/Archetype combo that is based on partial body morphing. I didn't link each of the spells because Paizo forums require you to do it Ye Ol' Fashioned way, but I supposed I can take the time to do that now.

These are my Patron spells.

Cheetah's Sprint, Bone Fists, Hallucigenic Smoke, Ice Body, Shadow Body, Frightful Aspect, Eruptitive Pustules, and Hellmouth Lash.

We are working on the Archetype-esq portion where I will have class features that allow me to do some stuff based on eating monster parts, raw or cooked.

Update as well: in addition to the above listed, I've recently been informed that I get to pick THREE traits instead of two, and I was given two more traits for free: Keen Appraiser and Deepsea Native.

Yeah I originally looked into the Hagbound and Hag's Calling stuff and honestly, already being a Changeling some of the Hagbound stuff was more miss than hit and Hag's Calling is only really good for already being in a coven which my Witch is not and replaces Patron spells so I'm not super about it. We will rock my Hag transformation stuff more homebrew as we go, but I think some portions of Hagbound will be used.

So I posted this on Reddit as well, but not only have I not gotten many replies but also the last time I trusted PF1e subreddit I was informed by the experts here that some of the decisions I made via their advice wasn't the best.

So to replace my Magus character in my frienDM's campaign, I decided to go with a Witch. This is because a) the party does not have a full caster and b) casting spells for various effects in combat is more engaging for me instead of rolling dice and hoping to smack a mf. However, the next session will be this Sunday, and I haven't finished building the character due to a few caveats. (For reference, the group uses for basically everything for character creation)

~Pathfinder is MASSIVE with its content, so even with reading into a couple of guides, it's hard to make sure I haven't missed anything (which is why I find it easier to post here and get input from folks for have played for a while). Making any character means a lot to look at, but starting at Lvl 3 even more so.

~I'm trying to balance theme/flavor with optimal character design, because while I want to stay on theme I would also like to make sure I'm not useless. My theme is a young Changling Witch who has a turtle familiar, mother was Night Hag and father was a merfolk, and she's tiny and neurotic and she will change physically and become more Hag-like as she gets stronger and has to balance her new confidence with being aggressive and potentially full-blown evil. I wanted to balance between Hexes and Spells that would be useful to make potions out of as well as having spells that also align with what a Night Hag would have (Sleep stuff, nightmare stuff, corruption stuff) and maybe some water-esq spells, but it will have to be my starting spells/spells on level up because...

~My frienDM has come up with a cool concept for a Patron/Archetype mix, in the sense that it will give me all my Patron spells at level benchmarks but also some additional things I can do that aren't spells (additional class features I guess). It's not ENTIRELY worked out or explained to me just yet, but the general idea is temporary body augmentation and expanded potion creation/gaining effects when eating various monster parts...essentially Cook People, but considerably more fleshed out. These are my Patron spells (but not the exact order the spells are in via Patron Level Benchmarks), but what I was given for my Patron spells are the following: Cheetah's Sprint, Hallucinogenic Smoke, Ice Body, Shadow Body, Frightful Aspect, Eruptive Postules, Hellmouth Lash, and Bone Fists. Full casters aren't really known for melee combat, but the idea is to have some options based on body-morph that could work in conjunction with stat-ups and possible stat changes as I become more Hag-like.

~I rolled like absolute s&+&: 17, 16, 11, 11, 11, 11 is what I rolled. I plugged the 17 in Int and the 16 in Dex, but via Changling rules I have a negative Con, so I've read some guides and know about Mithral Bucklers and Silken Ceremonial Armor, but I would like any help I can get to boost my AC a bit more. It was the original reason I grabbed a turtle familiar but now I'm attached to the idea based on the theme now of the turtle being her emotional support familiar. Speaking of the familiar, there might be things that happen to him as well, but I don't plan on him being a combat familiar so should I grab a Familiar Satchel?

~As for extra stuff, all characters in our campaign get to have extra/custom stuff based on our race. For me, I get both the Potion Lung and Accursed Blood feats for free and two Changeling Racial traits (Night Hag Disease saving throws bonus and Merfolk water breathing and swim speed) as well as the Ocean's Daughter trait that gives +1 to Swim checks and auto-succeed on Swim checks to avoid taking nonlethal damage. Additionally, we get an extra starting feat, and we get to pick two traits, so I have three feats and two traits of my choice to pick that I'm not sure what to grab outside of I saw something about a feat that gets me extra Hexes?

~If it matters for party synergy, my party consistent of an Undead Ghoul Fighter, a Human Witch Hunter (yeah, that ought to be fun!) with a spear that can absorb fire to deal more damage, an Aasimar Warpriestess with a magic ice shield, and a Human who is some sort of martial class that I don't know at this time. Originally their was a Dhampir Rogue who sacrificed his Sneak Attack for more skill ranks, but he is temporarily being replaced with the Ghoul Fighter for plot reasons.

I haven't done NO research at all, but the last time I went by Reddit and my research alone I ended up not liking what I was I decided to run this by what I like to call 'The Paizo Council of Elders' to help me in the right direction to get the experience that I'm looking for. I may not be able to do all of it, but getting as close as I can will be fine.

So I'm making my first Witch in PF1e and I'm re-reading over what my familiar gives me, but my most recent character is a Slayer who has an animal companion.

One of the things I've learned is that classes that get animal companions tend to have the animal 'upgrade' at a certain level where their stat block gets updates, and the companion gets feats and skills and levels up similar to like a slightly-lesser character.

I know that a familiar gives my Witch a bonus based on the familiar itself as well as spells, but I'm really confused on the differences between the two at character creation as well as at level up. Will the familiar's stat block go up at certain levels?

Basically, what differences so I have to account for at character creation, and how do they function differently from one another both in session and out of session with progression? I tried looking it up via other websites and I didn't quite find what I was looking for.

So we all have things we think are really neat from various media, and one of mine that I feel I never get to explore enough is the Blue Mage. I have a link to the wiki right here but in summary for those who might not know how a Blue Mage works, the cliff notes version is that they learn spells/active skills from enemy encounters and have the ability use them in future encounters much like how a Wizard can learn and add spells to their spellbook, but the requirements vary from having to see the spell/ability or having said spell/ability be used upon them successfully to using a consumable drop from specific enemies to outright eating the enemy when they are weakened, and sometimes it isn't guaranteed that you will learn anything.

I asked Reddit about this a while back and while I appreciate their input, the last time I applied what they told me I came back here to find out I essentially wasted a feat slot and attempt to play the class I desired I'm here to get the opinions of the folks here.

Generally speaking, I'm looking for a more tribal character with a connection to nature and mysticism being why they can perform such feats. I originally thought Shifter would do this well since some of the partial forms give unique abilities, but I have since learned that Shifter is a martial class and that even Paizo admitted they kinda screwed up with it as a class, so I'm thinking some form of Druid or a Barbarian that can utilize magic would be a better place to start.

I appreciate all help in advance.

Phoebus Alexandros wrote:
Well-addressed and put-together post that got weirdly quoted and I was too tired to piece it back together

I think we've really touched upon my big issue with PF1, which is what I already mentioned a couple of times, and that is the idea of being bad instead of being inexperienced. I won't go over that again very much, but you gave a bunch of examples that either weren't quite one-to-one with the Spell Combat being the core 1st lvl class feature that the class is essentially designed around giving you negatives on your attack rolls, or it was a fair example but is even more proof that PF1 takes it too far in early levels IMO. You seem so focused on the portion that it gives you TWF essentially as a feat to accomplish something other characters would need to spend a feat for, but wouldn't a martial class like Fighter easily get that as a bonus feat? The Fighter could also choose a different style of fighting and build towards that, but a Magus ignoring Spell Combat is ignoring the majority of their kit, which is why I said it would be akin to a Fighter starting with a negative BAB just flat-out at 1st lvl.

A class shouldn't inherently make a character bad or worse at the core functions that class is supposed to provide, even at beginning levels. Mechanically, the class should allow the player to feel like they can do what their class is designed to do right at 1st lvl, but that they can't do it as well as they could later on with more experience.

A class shouldn't require feats to be taken to make the class more playable, as those feats should be for customizing your individual playstyle and not patching holes in the core design.

A class shouldn't feel like it's fighting against itself, and it definitely shouldn't take until about halfway to the level cap or just shy of it to start to feel good to play.

I know a lot of folks who prefer older TTRPG systems really dislike 5e, and trust me that the lack of options in 5e is the thing I dislike about it the most, but I think 5e nailed early levels in classes really well so that early encounters are still scary and they feel their lack of experience but not that they suck. Some people say 5e makes you too OP too fast or that the classes are really frontloaded and that is a conversation to be had, but it really seems to work. One of the reasons I'm trying to get my friends to try PF2 is because I think it may have the best of both worlds that I want...but they don't want to stray from PF1 just yet.

Regardless, I think it is pointless to debate about this further and just agree to disagree, since we even disagree on what limitations to early levels are good or bad design-wise. I appreciate you enjoying my character concept though, and it's one that stuck with me enough that I will attempt to recreate her in PF2 someday and see if I get what I'm looking for then.
As for Mr. Rizz (cringe I know, sorry), I dig the math but MAN does the math not dig me. In a different PF1 campaign with a different DM, I rolled under 10 back-to-back in a battle where the AC to hit was like 22 or something. This is why I stress out sometimes about trying to either min-max at least my to-hit bonuses or just play a caster because rolling poorly consistently in combat feels awful. I don't remember, but my first PFS character was a gnome alchemist and I'm pretty sure my to-hit with my bombs at 3rd lvl was fairly high.

I read up on what you said with the Occultist and I see what you mean, although the flavor of how they get their abilities wouldn't work with Tonga as a character it was still a good read. I think this is the class that Thaumaturge takes a lot from for PF2 and it makes sense, and the concept of someone who just believes in their own superstitious BS hard enough to make it real sounds amazing.

I hope to see you and some of the others here in the next thread I make to get some help balancing theme and good choices to make my replacement character, and I forget who the chad here who pushed Skald was but it won my DM over for me to have one as a replacement in case this next character dies.


Humbly, I would ask you to consider whether the problem is not that the Magus was designed to punish players, but that the background you devised for your character--which I think is really cool, by the way--started overtaking your expectations for what your character could reasonably in combat.

With that in mind, you were in a tough spot--Pathfinder 1E already has a steep learning curve--and you unfortunately were given... not the best advice. Combat Casting isn't a bad feat, but between spells and synergy between Improved/Greater Spell Combat and your Arcana, it's not necessary and delays you from getting something that could make your Magus that much better. Power Attack should be a bonus for your character, and best taken when you can reliably/consistently offset...

Didn't quote your whole post for some reason, but anyway.

While I think it's less about the idea I had for my character out of combat conflicting with her in-combat and I do think that PF1 Magus has design flaws, I also recognize that not every system is made the same and part of older TTRPG design was to make you feel weak early on to cause more threat in combat and more satisfaction upon getting level ups. I personally think that later installments have figured out a much more balanced way of accomplishing this and changed players from feeling 'weak' to feeling 'inexperienced' and that those changes are for the best.

I completely understand the notion that someone who can cast spells AND fight in melee combat is super strong and needs to be balanced in some way to not outclass all other options, but it wouldn't be my first decision to take one of the classes first core features and immediately have it apply negatives to dice rolls unless ALL the other classes had very similar drawbacks, and I honestly just disagree with giving such a penalty in general. I think a much better way to balance such a concept is to put on other limitations, such as having limited types of spells that you can cast w/ Spell Combat or having to choose a limited number of your spells when prepared that can be cast with Spell Combat, and have it become broader or increased as you hit certain levels.

Considering the whole idea of dice rolls is that you have the chance to do well or poor at generally anything, the whole point of building a character is to increase the odds of success at what you want your character to be good at and sacrifice being bad at things they are okay with their character not being the best at. The point of a class in a system that has classes is that it is essentially a pre-packaged concept of what your character can be good at and a roadmap of sorts of where your character will end up. Imagine if the Fighter got a negative BAB at 1st lvl, or if the Wizard got negatives to their Spell DCs/Spell Attack rolls. Bards with negatives to Performance? Rogues with negatives to stealth and SoH? Clerics with negatives to the amount of healing they do? It's one thing to be a Barbarian who started with negatives to Diplomacy and a completely different thing if a Barbarian started with a negative BAB and negatives to Intimidate.

THIS is why I see the Magus as being designed poorly: instead of taking an alternate route to show being inexperienced and limited, the Magus gets negatives to rolls regarding their primary combat feature and spend class features that could be dedicated to making the class more fun and unique trying to cover for those negatives that didn't need to be there, and in addition to those negatives to combat you get a slower BAB increase and fewer bonus feats than Fighter and fewer spells known, fewer spells per day and less variety in your spell list than a Wizard.

Regardless, the biggest thing I learned is that I as a person need more in combat than just rolling big numbers and smacking things, so the more martial a class is the worse that will be for my enjoyment as a player. I thought that the Magus would give that to me and that Spellstrike would be 'hit with hammer, crazy spell now goes off' but the more I played the class and learned (and relearned) how things actually worked it would be better for me to A. make a character that DOESN'T focus on Spellstrike as much for big damage numbers and B. built a Magus that was more focused on combat maneuvers and spells that would work in tandem with combat maneuvers. Tonga was basically just 'buff to counter my negatives, now Spellstrike for big dmg' when it came to combat even if outside of combat I enjoyed her a lot.

When it comes to PF1, I've learned that the way for me to go is to either have an animal companion and be able to cause unique battle scenarios that way...or because this DM HATES animal companions, to just be a caster that focuses not as much on damaging spells and more on mixing things up on the battlefield with status effects and state changes. At the end of it all, I think that the truth is a mix of what everyone here has said: Magus (and PF1 as a whole) has some issues but also I have some disagreements with its design philosophy, and what I wanted out of Magus with Tonga wasn't really something the class was designed to give...although it was redesigned and I think it may give what I want now.

I really have the sudden urge to try and take on that combat maneuver Magus idea now...

Wow, this thread really did stay active after I said I had moved on since the second page of this thread, that's wild. I figured that since I agreed to disagree while stating I have much less PF1 experience than pretty much everyone here, that would have been the end of it. It seems there are a couple of folks that agree with me though, partially or in whole, which is cool I guess.

I want to post some stuff about my character here for people to analyze and understand my position/figure out what I may have done wrong in the creation process.

~First off, this campaign is set currently in a frozen wasteland area with very few successful civilizations and lots of danger in just traveling alone. It grim-dark, and in just three battles we fought a group of goblins with a shaman that used a blood tsunami spell of some sort; a smoke haunt that nearly made us sweat to death just trying to fight it; and some evil Bogeyman guy with crazy fear powers and a bunch of amalgamated children made faux flesh golems as his lackeys. I've learned that I can't be running around with low AC and HP naturally my next character is a frail Witch. More on that in another post.

~Tonga was a 2nd lvl Aphorite Magus whose final stats (so including rolls and racial bonuses and everything like that, in order of STR to CHA) were 18, 13, 15, 18, 13, 10. Her entire character was that she was an 8ft tall 300 lb crystalline woman who was raised by a volcanic dwarf, which lead her to be an exceptionally tough and talented blacksmith. Her call to adventure was to protect people and learn how to fight in different environments, with the goal that as she traveled she would make weapons that benefitted each community in her travels so that mortals had a better chance of survival in the harsh conditions, and her innate magical ability was something she was learning to adapt into her blacksmith work by studying various types of magic and magic items/weapons on her journey.

~I was told by PF1 Reddit that I HAD to take Combat Casting as my 1st lvl feat even though I failed to understand why at the time, and that at 3rd lvl I should take Power Attack because I was building a STR-Based Magus that was wielding both a Lucerne Hammer and an Earthbreaker. I figured that wanting a big beefy half-caster that swings around some big weapons meant that I should prioritize INT and STR, and since we've never done point-buy and I rolled two 16s, a 15, two 13s and a 10...I now realize that the BEST I could have done was to throw one of the 16s in DEX and just take a 15 in INT, but at the time I was putting my highest numbers into what I thought were my most important stats and just trying to make do with the rest.

~I took the Eternal Smith alt racial trait and we were allowed to start with 2 traits of our choice, of which I chose Bladed Magic and Spark of Creation to go towards the whole blacksmithing aspect...but perhaps I should have picked different traits to get closer to what I wanted for combat?

~We had some homebrew, like all of us being able to grab something extra based on a god we worshipped (mine was smithing-based) or bonus racial traits made by my DM, but the latter were factored in during just the last couple of sessions. In a party that has a Dhampir getting bonus action economy when he drinks blood at the risk of failing saving throws to attack his own party, a warpriestess who was probably not supposed to be able to attack AND cast spells via RAW (who also had a magic shield), and a Witch Hunter that essentially started the campaign with a magic spear that can absorb a couple of candle flames to deal an additional 1d6 fire dmg (but could be higher if it absorbs more fire) homebrew was being able to use Spell Combat and Spellstrike while wielding my Lucerne Hammer/Earthbreaker. It didn't really seem that strong at first, and I originally asked for it just to keep with the character idea, but I learned about STR and a half later on and kinda felt like I was cheating my DM. It wasn't until even later that I realized that wanting to be a Spellstrike-focused Magus and trying this wasn't even close to the kind of dmg I would get by going a Dex build and crit-fishing, and I would have had a higher AC to boot. Later on, I got the ability to cast Color Spray 2/day and 3 natural AC as my homebrew racial traits, but that wasn't really relevant.

~I'm still FIRMLY a believer in that classes should not be designed to punish players or take negatives in/be bad at what they are designed to do, even at early levels. IMO, good class design clearly pushes you towards being able to accomplish what you are supposed to do right out the gate at 1st level but to not be very efficient at it, and you begin to actually excel at what your class does as you level up and by 4th or 5th lvl your unique path of choices should start to reveal itself to really give that custom experience that just gets even better as you go. Magus in particular to me seems to punish the player for choosing the class in a multitude of ways, and instead of really pushing the class forward in later levels, instead, you end up mostly just trying to make up for all the deficits you started with. In a system that takes as long as it can to reach a level cap of 20, that means lvl 10 is halfway there, and that is IF you are running a campaign for that long without it ending prematurely: as such, why should it take a player until 7th level or 10th lvl to feel like their class is finally able to do what the class is supposed to do?

~That said, I will admit that I think my rolling being generally awful outside of critical moments/out of combat had a bit to do with my negative experience. When your class is supposed to cast spells and put them into your weapon but you can never hit the enemy with your weapon, that puts a damper on your enjoyment and investment...but not having to take negatives in the first place just by picking the class would only improve this aspect, ya know? Part of the problem was also how I need more to do in combat than just mostly smacking the enemy, which I learned that being Spellstrike-focused obviously doesn't do that for me, but I thought having the spell flexibility would be enough...but all these small negatives adding up just pushed me away from the class.

As I said, I really didn't plan on posting here again, but I'll look back for any quotes to this comment for any advice on what I could have done better in this case.

So I just want to thank everyone here for the discussion as well as for providing alternative options for me to run for Tonga. I will be retiring her just because it's not quite working out for me in PF1e and even after a review of spells I'm just trying to do something that screams inefficient and would require months of time to get to where it feels a bit better (we level up once per month/every other normally, and we are moving to another friend's campaign that will be about the same amount of time with no progression in the other), and additionally, changes were made before I made this post and those changes will be staying.

I want to thank you for all your suggestions and the effort put into them, and I'm planning on having a Skald on the side in case something happens, probably a Spell Warrior Skald Piper.

I've come from this conversation having learned some things but ultimately keeping the same opinion: the Magus has more spell variety than I originally gave it credit for and a number of the archtypes for Magus do change things up enough to make for some somewhat interesting builds, but trying to build what I wanted would have been waiting for at least two more levels to feel it really come alive and it would still be an inefficient way of playing the Magus that I would feel said inefficiency for the entire campaign.

I think the reason a lot of my disagreement exists is that, as someone who had very minimal experience with PF1e prior to now (only a couple of sessions, none of them with the same group or character) and now coming back to it after playing a system like Blood of Heroes that provides complete creative control on character build (there are no classes) and only punishes you for trying to do things you didn't build for/purposely taking Drawbacks and 5e where everyone seems stronger at all levels and aren't punished at early levels but have fewer options in combat and builds, coming back to a system that has a bit more realism and didn't really evolve with the times in a number of ways in its core system means having a fundamental disagreement with the system itself. Also trying to find the customization is hard, and the classes themselves don't really feel like they give you a whole lot of uniqueness in your class features in the sense that other classes tend to share a number of features as well as so many archetypes just making you more like another class to share even more features that it feels like each base class just isn't very unique even if they are dedicated to a core concept.

However, while I disagree with a number of things about how PF1e works and its design philosophy, I do think that how much customization for a non-opened-ended system is massive, being able to build around mechanics in battle outside just attacking and casting is excellent, having more feats that feel designed to make actual builds and concepts instead of being vague or basic bonuses that don't really lead to much are great.

I don't plan on posting in this thread after this, but I DO plan on asking for advice from you guys here soon with a new thread in regards to trying to balance out my Witch I'm making. I'm big on RP and themes, but I also want a certain level of optimization with my spells that I feel you guys would be incredibly helpful with. I will be posting it sometime today.

Melkiador wrote:
Actually, the core rogue came packaged with the finesse rouge talent.

Huh, I thought that was one of the things that got changed with Unchained, but then again I know very little about Pathfinder overall, let alone its history...though this begs the question of what changes Unchained makes to Rogue that makes them so much better from what I've gathered.

Java Man wrote:

Just because I love skalds I'll add one more minor endorsement: you aren't "playing an instrument" in a traditional sense, you are using your enemies and the surrounding terrain as drums, and beating out the rhythm of the forge upon them with your hammer.

Scribe scroll vs counterspell: both are suboptimal for a skald.

Now I will admit, playing the song of your people via beating the snot out of your enemies is a fun viable. A more tribalistic character taking this approach sounds like a lot of fun. "Hol up, let me inspire my team real quick via the sound of my weapons against your ribs like a more percussive xylophone singing along with your screams and the sound of your ripping flesh."

I've basically convinced myself to retire the character already, and one of the first things I looked at was the Skald, so knowing I could give everyone's weapons ACTUAL abilities and bonuses while not giving negatives to AC is pretty appealing. I've already built a different character and like her concept though, so I might have to pocket this idea for later.

Phoebus Alexandros wrote:

I'm not trying to be blunt or rude, ForsakenM, but this is a really difficult line of discussion precisely because so many of the points are opinions that you're absolutely entitled to... but are not necessarily true.

Absolutely nothing is keeping you from playing a Strength-based Magus, taking Power Attack, and using the Blade Tutor's Spirit spell or the Arcane Accuracy Arcana to offset (or entirely erase) the penalty to attack rolls. Your GM is even letting you two-hand your weapon, effectively bridging the gap between you and a non-Magus.

Similarly, absolutely nothing is keeping you from going after spells and metamagic feats that focus neither on critical hits or DPR, but rather on effects that compliment a given theme. By 4th level, you could--for example--be smashing foes with your hammer and a Frigid Touch spell that staggers them, with no save. By 7th level, you could be combining that with Magical Lineage and Authoritative spell, and not only stagger them but take away their remaining action... again, with no save.

Don't like the Magus selection of spells? Take the Spell Blending Arcana a bunch of times, and add Wizard spells that give you more options. Combine Calcific Touch with Empower Spell and petrify an opponent after a few swings of your hammer... with no save.

There are so many options that I or other posters could offer you, but--with respect--at this point it genuinely feels like your counterargument for all these specific suggestions you've been offered is a just that you don't like the class in general. And that's fine! You're entitled to not like X, Y, or Z about the Magus... but that doesn't make it a poorly designed class.

You can make all the defense you want of the class, but no one has really been able to properly defend the biggest issues I have with the class, which are A. that the CORE class itself is executed with a very narrow idea in mind and requires lots of outside pieces and sacrifices to change that and B. that the class is designed to cripple itself in the beginning and fix those issues later when it could have just not added additional negatives and spent less of its class features dedicated to fixing those issues and more time adding cooler features.

If you tell me that grabbing certain Arcana and Feats will allow me to do what I want, my response to you is "How long do I have to wait to get these things?" and "Why doesn't the class give me more bonus feats to make this manageable when I am told I have to grab a feat to make Defensive Casting work at low levels?" With the knowledge that the campaign I'm playing in switches off to a different one run by another friend roughly every month, and the pace we've been making so far is about a level a month or so, how long would it realistically take to get to the point where it all blends well together?

If I went with my plan to grab Power Attack and Arcane Accuracy, when do I get to take metamagic feats? I already took Combat Casting, but my DM is giving us all an extra feat to use that I could put towards something, so I'm more than happy to work with what I have to try and give this another chance. After looking up Frigid Touch (as well as a feat tied to it that can give fatigued on hit, exhausted on crit) I'm willing to believe there are likely more spells in the magus list that fit what I'm looking for if I review them better. Just please keep in mind that I will be at level 3 for likely an entire month, then level 4 for a month, and possibly each of these levels could be 2 months of IRL time as we don't always meet if I have to suffer not feeling like a class that functions as well as picking others for months, I'm probably going to enjoy the class even less.

Btw, one of the prestige classes functions very much like a magus does, giving them Spellstrike and an arcane pool, with one of the options from it is to give a weapon as it turns out, my idea about that was in the right lane of thought, but you have to meet a bunch of character requirements first and use a 3rd party prestige. Also lets you use arcane pool as a free action to augment spells...oh, and all 'Touch' range spells work with Spellstrike, Melee or Ranged be damned. I wish some of this was factored into the magus class itself as class features, even if changes needed to be made to make these things less strong, just the idea of spell storing as a magus class feature sounds awesome and was kind what I thought Tonga would grow into.

Also I don't think most of the folks here have been rude, I'm just mostly being disagreed with, and I kind of expected that: I came into a forum of folks with a VASTLY higher knowledge of a system I've barely dabbled with. Regardless of how I think the design philosophy of other TTRPG systems have done things better than PF1e over time, my friend is running PF1e, so I either have to make the character work here or move on to the Witch I've almost finished. So even if I disagree with a number of you on the magus as a core class fundamentally, I still have to learn and take your advice if I want to get closer to what I'm looking for.

Java Man wrote:
A spell warrior Skald doesn't have the AC penalty that other Skalds do, and spellcasting isn't interfered with. In fact the standard buff for this archetype is to temporarily enchant the weapons wielded by allies.

While interesting, we now completely lose the Spellstrike and Spell Combat by being a different class, and we also have to trade the feat to make scrolls for Counterspell which while it's very good I'm sure I'm unsure if it is better just getting to make scrolls, like I'm not sure the tradeoff is worth it. What I get is the ability to do what Arcane Pool does for Magus, but to my whole party AND with more options...but Tonga isn't even remotely an instrumental type, so it's another situation of taking away from who she has been built as a character already to try and make her work more mechanically when Magus fits it just fine, but the class is incredibly punishing at early levels and requires you to use your feats to make up for these faults instead of personalizing your character.

Also, I took a look at Bloodrager...and you don't even get spells until 4th lvl and are VERY limited with them, which also isn't what I'm looking for in addition to the whole Rage mechanic not working with the character: Tonga is highly intelligent and tries to get her team to go in with a plan, though it hasn't worked yet.

Melkiador wrote:

The class was obviously not designed with only dexterity in mind or it wouldn’t progress you to heavy armor as you leveled. A dexterity based class would also give you dexterity to hit options. Magus is a hybrid-type class. It is equally meant for either play style.

There are archetypes that favor dexterity more, but then there are archetypes that make barbarians favor dexterity more too, so that’s not really meaningful to the discussion.

I’ll agree that spell warrior skald would have fit your concept a little better. Maybe even just regular skald.

Gonna have to disagree again, as unless I'm missing something here, the best most players would have for Dex would be an 18 at 1st lvl and you only get five stat increases the whole game from 1st to 20th, and they only go up by one. This means that the best a single stat could be in is if a player had a 20 and you could boost it to 24 by 16th level, so the highest Dex you could have is a +7.

The highest non-magical heavy armor Dex bonus is 3, but the best heavy armor AC is 9 which has a Dex bonus of 1. Sure, that means you could have 10 AC as long as you had a 12/13 in Dex and have an AC of 20 before shields and other bonuses...but a 20 in Dex by 7th/8th lvl can net you a Chain Coat and you can now have 19 AC 6 levels before you can use heavy armor and at that point why take higher AC penalties when you can just cast AC-increasing spells if you need something pasts 19 AC without any other buffs being applied already? Hell, you can stick with just light armor and be at an 18 if you already have a high enough Dex from the get-go.

Heavy armor is something that would be good for a Str-based Magus, but you have to suffer from being so easy to hit for 13 freaking levels that if you are alive at this point you probably found a way to achieve what you need before you got there. Therefore, much as I've been saying, it's just better in PF1e to be a Dex-based Magus that can use Spell Combat as efficiently as possible and have a rapier or similar weapon that can be better used for crit fishing, and this is both true in general and especially so for a Level 1 campaign.

Also I'm not sure you can really say that a Dex-based class would give you Dex to hit built into the class because not all of them have that, pretty sure Rogue got Unchained to fix that and mythic feats were introduced to make it more possible to build Dex as both to-hit and damage. PF1e had a lot of realism put into it from its predecessor so most martial classes either have to use Str completely or push them into using Dex to hit but you have to use more feat slots to get Dex for damage. This further proves my point that Magus seems a bit all over the place in design and wants you to have high numbers in all the physical stats as well as your casting stat if you don't want to take feats to circumvent this, but then also needs to take feats anyway to make the casting more bearable.

Temperans wrote:

Okay knowing more about what you wanted to actually helps a lot.


First since this began with the magus let's talk about that. While yes, the class has some options that focus on getting crits, that is not actually required to make the class good. Crit is one of those play styles that are highly considered when looking at DPR, but can take a back seat when the goal is to be consistent or apply secondary effects.

So the first thing of note is that Magus has a lot of spells besides those that can be used with Spellstrike.** spoiler omitted **
Second, while level 1 can indeed be scary without max armor it is not unsurviable. Barbarians end up have the same AC as you during their rage, but only get the bonus damage during their rage; Not to mention that is the only time where a full caster and a full martial have about the same survivability.
Third, a lot of the feats that you would need to survive at low levels (Ex: Toughness) are still very good at high level. But if you are worried you can always take a dip for the first level, and then start doing your main class after that.


That out of the way, it sounds like you want to focus more on playing a support role than on doing max DPR. The way you want to do that is by using magic, but the system by its nature limits how much magic you have at low level; Even a wizard might need a weapon when they only have 5 spells a day).

So what class or combination thereof would help you achieve your goals?[spoiler=list of...

I'm not really sure, because I'm not sure PF1e can give me what I want. I figured that if any system could, it would be the system that has 15-some-odd years of content in it.

What I wanted was a big and smart Aphorite woman who wielded hammers and could work her magic into her hammers to make combat more interesting with stuff that might do heavy knockback or inflict conditions and what not, and be able to craft weapons that as very strong and might have some magical properties of her Magus spells or others. Making multiple attacks per turn and being able to cast spells via her hammers was a big part of it, but it really seem that PF1e magus rewards those that use S/P weapons and who either rolled well more than once or who sacrifice feats to be Dex-based in combat. Pf2e has a whole Hyrbid Study mechanic that can give you temp HP for being a 2HW magus, and that is just part of choosing the class and isn't even a personal feat choice for you to make (aka you can pick your Hybrid Study, but this is just given as a choice for picking Magus rather than having to use a feat for it), just as an example of what I mean by it catering to different playstyles within the class better.

I do see that there are some spells that can utilize Spellstrike that might be more toward what I was looking for, but it still might be a bit limited for my tastes. As for what I'm willing to sacrifice for being a big beefy woman that smacks people around with a spell-charged hammer that lets me do fun effects with it when I hit, I'm not sure because Magus already sacrifices so much as it is just to pick the class. Considering how I was wanting to be mostly Spellstrike-focused originally, if I could get good damage even though I can't really crit consistently and have interesting effects in battle, I think I could maybe sacrifice how many spells I know and MAYBE less spells per day but that is a bit of a stretch as I barely have any as is.

This really sparked a lot more conversation then I expected, even if it has derailed a bit.

Regardless, I want to thank those of you who provided suggestions for alternate routes to play my character. I will better address that with a response to this comment. However, I will address that the class was built with a Dex-based spellblade in mind and with that in mind alone, so even if other builds are possible...that doesn't mean that they are optimal enough in their own right to enjoy them properly. I've also reviewed every single Magus archetype off and on a couple of times, and I can't say I saw much that really spiced the class up that much without sacrificing core concepts without getting a lot back in return...or just doing what must archetypes do and make you a bit more like another class.

The best ones I can think of are the Puppetmaster and Spell Trapper, and the latter gets a big penalty when it comes to picking Magus Arcanas, and I didn't pick an archetype with my character Tonga because of all the negatives but if I did Soul Forger would have been the best to have an even higher Craft than I already do...but I'm not sure less spells is worth it.

TxSam88 wrote:

yep, which is why there are quite a few Archetypes, plus the ability to multiclass.

There are a vast number of ways to play a Magus, some are exceptionally good, others are decent, and a couple are just bad.

IMO, your character concept didn't fit the Magus class at all. Not saying it isn't possible to do, I bet I could build a decent one, just that it really doesn't fit.

Now you may argue this as a fault in PF1, but picking a class that matches your concept is pretty important. If you are wanting to try to do something with your character that it's classes were not meant to do, then you aren't going to have a good time. Being an Wizard, but wanting to be the party healer - while it can be done, you are very subpar at it. Playing a Fighter, but wanting to cast spells all day. Again, possible, but sub par.

From what I can see, Multiclassing info Fighter (Titan fighter)/Cleric might have been a better option. Or, just going for Blood Rager

Both have the ability to Forge weapons, and to be a frontline fighter with a 2 handed, magically charged weapon.

So the whole point of Tonga, an Aphorite raised by a volcanic dwarf, is that she can utilize both martial and magical prowess. She is studying how to make magical weapons in this grim-dark homebrew world she's in because the frozen north ain't no joke and there aren't enough mighty people to go around to deal with the problems everyday folk have in an unforgiving world...but if she could learn to master crafting magical weapons, she could provide them to more people and train them to wield them effectively so that every village has a fighting chance.

Her father has already taught her much in terms of crafting normal weapons, but she wants to travel the world with the Inquisition to help others and learn about new weapons, and understand magic on a much deeper level so as to provide people the knowledge and power they need to survive...and the Magus really seems perfect to me for something like that. The issue is less that a STR-based Magus doesn't work at all, but more that the Magus is front-loaded with so many negatives that at low levels you have to have a bunch of high stats and/or use up your early feats to make the class *FUN* to play.

That is my whole argument here: that PF1e Magus just has too much built into it that hurts it at its early levels and doesn't get resolved until much later down that line that it forces you to use your feats as a stopgap instead of personalizing your playstyle. If we started at 5th level, I may never have made this discussion thread because I would never have suffered the issues I have to then see how narrow and punishing the design of Magus is. By 5th level Blade Tutor wipes out the entire natural penalty of Spell Combat, and Power Attack wouldn't be giving more than a -1 until the very next level, so having a +6 to hit within Spell Combat while using Power Attack and not factoring in Arcane Pool buffs or anything else from another spell/Magus Arcana/and upgraded weapon seems pretty good, and I would have 2nd lvl spells AND more feats ?

But no, we started at 1st Lvl and trying to hit anything as someone who often rolls low unless it's thematic (confirmed by multiple groups, with both in-person and online dice rolls), I was suffering in combat compared to my party.

Now I have other issues with the class that are more personal, and I discovered one of them yesterday with a friend, and those are that I don't enjoy classes that are mostly about hitting stuff without any extra flair and I can't play Tonga how I want with how Spellstrike and the Magus are designed.

Now I've seen that the Magus can do all sorts of stuff, but their limited spells per day and being a prepared caster goes against what I was looking for before we even get into the problem that Spellstrike is what led me into wanting to play the class. I was hoping that I would get some more spells that would do cool things on hit, like big knockback or weaken their defenses or inflict status effects on the enemy...but it seems Spellstrike is 90% focused on damage output, and even Arcane Pool doesn't give a ton of variety and mostly just flavors of damage for resistance/weakness purposes. Maybe there are a line of Magus Arcana/feats that would make it so I could use ANY spell with Spellstrike? If that's the case, that alone might bring back my interest in the class, but all I found was including Ranged Touch Attack spells at most. You can see where this might cause someone who doesn't JUST want to roll dice to do big numbers in combat when the Class Feature you are most interested in seems to be there just to push up those damage numbers.

Now the issue with Tonga is she is a big girl who swings big hammers, and that is what I want out of the character, which as I said I thought Spellstrike was going to give a fun way to add more damage and cast spells...but if I focus on Spellstrike, I will NEVER really shine with damage without fishing for crits...but if I want to stick with her wielding hammers I'm not going to be able to do that because applying Keen via Arcane Pool is ONLY for P/S weapons, not B. Even I could or did with my Lucerne Hamer, Keen would only bump that to a 19-20, so realistically the number of resources I would have to spend to get these weapons even close to being able to crit-fish would be would be too high to be worth it. In addition, some of the other Arcane Pool affects give base elemental damage but then ALSO trigger on a crit, so there is yet more crit-fishing built into the it's almost like the class wants you to wield a one-handed light weapon with a high crit range already, which as I said, makes the class to narrow in its focus.

It's just a bit unfortunate that the Magus suffers more early on than other classes for really no good reason, combined with my desire for the character clashing with how the class *wants* to function.

As for the recommendations given to me, I never looked at the Bloodrager because I had an assumption it was Barbarian mixed with Fighter or another martial class, and thus no magic at all. I see that I was wrong, and I may have to review the class. The party doesn't want me to run Skald due to the AC drop and the effect on our Warpriestess in regards to spells, but now we have a martial class joining us so that changes things up altogether as before we only had a Rogue who sacrificed Sneak Attack for more skills and a Witch Hunter.

Knowing a bit more about what I was trying to pull off with Tonga, I appreciate any more suggestions folks here might have.

Kasoh wrote:

If you want to two hand a sword with Str and play a magus...then do that?

Pathfinder 1e is not a hard game. You can half ass almost any class and still do okay if the rest of team is equally invested.

I played up to level 17 with another player whose Card Caster Magus forgot to take iterative attacks half the time. He did fine.

The mechanics of the class steer one towards 1 handed weapons because Spell Combat is Two Weapon Fighting But Different. No one says that the Fighter is bad because he can't dual wield greatswords.

If you like the PF2 Magus great, you can join the PF2 circlejerk a few forums up.

I would disagree with the game 'not being hard' as innately having so many options all the time and the crunch you have to do both at creation and each level is hard in the sense that missing things is easy to do. The rest of my party is doing fine and enjoying their respective classes currently, though that could change in a few levels.

I wouldn't even say I've half-assed anything: only things I haven't utilized are movement in combat I didn't know I had and confusing all touch spells as Melee Touch Spells. Outside of those two things I've been pumping my numbers as much as I can, and for my 3rd lvl I was going to grab Power Attack to push them even higher since the increase in BAB would keep me at a +5 unless I grabbed Arcane Accuracy to bumps attacks in a round to +9.

Based on guides that care about being optimal, seems like the card caster is kinda meh. Not that I care about optimal myself, but Pathfinder as a system does, hence the issues I'm having.

I mean...I'm pretty sure the Fighter can grab feats via his busload of bonus combat feats to be able to TWF with greatswords. That aside, there is a difference between trying to dual-wield two giant weapons and trying to cast magic in a free hand real quick and then regrip your 2HW properly.

I'm not here to praise PF2 as I've never had a chance to play it: players in my group do the opposite and act like PF1 is perfect and that PF2 has no options just because it hasn't existed for over a decade yet. There are a number of things I think PF2 on the surface does better than PF1 as they are more player-friendly, but I've also seen some things I think don't make sense (like certain class feats being too weak for when you get them for example). I just noted a lot of issues that PF1 Magus has in its design that were resolved in PF2 and wanted to have a conversation about what other people thought about that. Clearly, the answer was the class is flawless in design and I'm an idiot for thinking otherwise and not just playing the same optimal playstyle as every other magus player.

Though a couple of you have been more reasonable, and I appreciate that.

Temperans wrote:

Arcane Marauder is a 3rd party archetype.

Str-based magus works, but you have to think about it very differently from a normal fighter.

Int for magus matters, but it matters less because they focus more on attacks and buffs as opposed to saving throw spells.

Yeah you don't get heavy armor immidiately, but when you do, you suffer non of the penalties. If you want to use heavy armor you can play the Armored Battlemage or Sigilist archetypes.

If you don't want the penalties of Spell Combat then cast Blade Master's Tutor, problem solved. If you want to use spellstrike with a 2-handed weapon, then cast the spell via your weapon then free action grab the weapon. You won't get spell combat, but you will also not take the penalty. Remember Spell Combat is just a fancy Two-Weapon Fighting.

Yeah Magus is a MAD class, it happens when you are trying to be a Mage and a Martial at the same time with little compromise in either.

To you Arcane Pool is to mitigate the penalties of Spell Combat. In reality its to catch up with Fighters without having weapon expertise.

Yeah later class features remove the penalties of earlier class features. Welcome to half the classes in the game. The entire point is that you start at a certain point because you have a split focus (penalty), then become much better as you combine the two sides (benefit).

If you force yourself to focus on spellstrike or any one other aspect you are literally throwing away half the class. The point of the class is the flexibility to pick how you will run your turn to git your needs. Need to cast a buff/utility? Spell Combat so you can still deal damage. Want to go all out on attacks? Spellstrike Spell Combat. Want to attack and move? Spellstrike and move. Magus is the most versatile hybrid class.

If you are ignoring feats, you are ignoring how PF1 classes work. No class works well without feats. Not even casters work well without feats.

PF2 didn't figure out the class, it picked one side and forgot the other, while making it worse at...

Responding to these in order...

Okay, and? Doesn't change the fact that both the 1st and 3rd party archetypes tend to sacrifice much more than is realistically required to add some variety to the class.

I never said it doesn't work: I said you can't just have two high stats as a Magus. While a number of classes can get away with one or two, Magus without certain feats needs to have a minimum of a 16 in Str, Dex, and Int to not feel like complete ninnies.

If Int matters less for a Magus because they focus more on attacks, does that mean they are mostly a Martial class that can cast a few spells? We still haven't determined if that is the case, or if they are a caster that can attack in melee a little bit.

I never asked for heavy armor at 1st lvl, but someone else here stated that they would change it to medium armor at 1st lvl. The issue here is that if Dex is so important for the class early on, why even bother with armor in later levels if heavier armor dumps on your Dex mod to your AC? Doesn't that mean you are throwing away a portion of the whole point of your class design later on with a stat that you can't change?

I always cast BMT at the beginning of combat and pop an Arcane Pool. At 2nd lvl this nets me a whopping +5 to hit when utilizing Spell Combat which isn't much at all, and I have to use up one of my three spells a day and one of my Arcane Pool points to get there. Meanwhile the Fighter has a +5 to hit with the same Str mod as myself and already has two bonus feats to work with that might get him even higher or more damage or honestly just whatever they feel like they need for their build, and they spent no resources at all for that. Plus, my DM homebrewed that I could Spell Combat w/ my 2HW anyway, so it isn't even an issue with that but how even with that change it's clear the class isn't made with any other builds but 'sword and spellbook' in mind and thus is too limiting.

But you have massive compromises, as already addressed multiple times, and on top of that you now need to have more stats than other classes that high?

No, this isn't a subjective perspective thing: you wouldn't need to play catch up with the class was designed to not punish the player for playing it at early levels, and as such Arcane Pool is merely there to try and fill the gap to not have the class feel awful at all levels and give it a very minor amount of customization but at a resource cost... whereas the Fighter would just have feats that are always there and don't require resources.

This is where there is a fundamental disagreement: if you start at a point where you suck at the one thing you are supposed to do while everyone else starts off anywhere from sucking less to not sucking at all, where is the fairness there? Also, the realities of life don't always make for good gameplay mechanics: if I met someone who could both cast spells and attack with a weapon by any stretch, I would assume they either had training or talent enough and thus have already overcome such basic level difficulties since they can actually do the thing. Many TTRPGs have learned this lesson that a class sucking at what they are supposed to do doesn't appeal to players no matter what level they are, and as such have learned to go from being bad to just being less experienced. PF2e seems to have learned this as well.

I'm using Spell Combat w/ Spellstrike every combat I can while opening with BMT w/ Spell Combat so that I can start negating all negatives I can ASAP. Sadly because I have these negatives, even when I roll decent I'm still missing my attacks, but when your class focuses mostly on putting all your eggs onto one hammer thems the breaks. That much I've come to accept as any martial class would be in a similar situation...well you know, without the built-in negatives but other than that it's the same. Also the only thing I haven't done here is move because I thought FRA took up all your movement and you couldn't do both, not even 5FS but I have learned better on that now. What with all the archetypes that exist for all classes, I'm not sure that is 100% true.

It's less about ignoring feats, and more about being forced into taking certain feats early on to make the class functional at early levels due to the setback the class starts at, and the fact that not every DM will let you retrain feats later when they no longer have use at 7th lvl.

I disagree: it opened up being able to use any weapon without making any major sacrifices, makes it so you can have unique rewards for each style, and introduced a new mechanic that flows well and doesn't feel tacked on to fix a built-in issue with the class. Sure, they sacrificed being able to cast a spell that doesn't work with spellstrike and make a melee attack in the same turn, but what they added vs what they removed is overall better for the class I feel.

TxSam88 wrote:

LOL, le me put it this way, My GM absolutely hated my Magus/ninja Blackblade, with his 1d10 shocking grasp/5d6 sneak attack absolutely destroying anything in its path.

Your error is trying to use a 2-handed weapon - there's no point to it. As you mentioned, it's a dex based fighter - quit trying to use a STR based weapon. And quit comparing it to a 2-handed martial as well.

You are trying to compare it to a martial class, which it is not. It is a casting class that can also do melee damage. It sounds to me like you are trying to use it as something it's not really meant to be. PLay it more like a dex based fighter or rogue, with spell capability and you'll do way better.

A decent build is

INT 16
DEX 18

Weapon: Rapier or Blackblade
Trait: Magical Lineage: Shocking Grasp
Ring of Wizardry: Level 1
Metamagic feat: intensified spells
feat: Arcane strike

Most used spells: Haste, Shocking Grasp, Invisibility, Greater Invisibility, Dimension Door

Look at the Dimensional Agility feat, it's a great way to get into flanking.

Remember, with Shocking Grasp, you gain +3 to hit if the opponent is wearing metal armor, and then do everything you can to be invisible, and/or flanking. Flanking gives a +2, being invisible gives you another +2, plus ignores Dex mods. So being in flanking and invisible against an opponent wearing metal, you are +7 to hit (not to mention the dex loss)

Mix it with anything that gets sneak attack damage, combined with haste and you will see a significant damage output.

Well first off, using your character that multiclassed isn't really a fair comparison to just a pure Magus, nor someone who only has Magus lvls but perhaps picked an archetype.

Second, I've actually heard others say the opposite: that it's a martial class that can cast a few spells. Either that means the class was well-balanced, or it means that class was poorly designed that it lacks a true identity. As I see it, it's a class that tried to have its cake and eat it too, but knocked the cake off their plate in an attempt to take a bite and it splatted all over the floor: the facts are that in an attempt to make a spellblade class that can cast spells and wields a weapon in combat simultaneously, they gutted the perks of a Fighter and a Wizard to have a class that feels incredibly limited on its own and downright punishing and unfun to play at early levels.

Thirdly, I've more than enough looked at multiple builds talking about the Magus. Their best spells, best feats, traits, archetypes, multiclass opportunities, the tech you can have with wands and Dimension Door with certain I have a good grasp on what is OPTIMAL, but unfortunately I didn't ask for optimal: I was asking for fun with a big beefy Aphorite woman who smacked things with a magically-charged Lucerne Hammer by night and forged weapons by day. I could forge the weapons by golly, but that had nothing to do with being a Magus outside of it connecting with her lore on why she could cast magic and weave it into weapons and armor.

And see, we've now entered the segment that I expected I would, which is being told how I should play the game. Now this may sound like I have an ego, acting as if I know better than an entire team dedicated to making TTRPG content, but throw me a bone here with this one: If a class needs to be heavily optimized to function at all rather than just functioning at maximum efficiency, isn't that a failure on the designer? To sound even more arrogant, shouldn't a class be designed to have more than one way to play it? Shouldn't there NOT be an actual correct way to play the class?

If that wasn't clear enough, what I'm saying is that the very fact you are telling me I'm playing the game 'wrong' because I should use the same stats as everyone else, only fight with very particular weapons like everyone else, grab the same feats and spells...what that tells me is that there is only one way to play this class, which is what I listed as a negative, and is evidence of the short-sightedness with the original PF1e design of the class.

And just to be clear, there is a massive difference between trying to run a Wizard with a negative Int mod and a massive Str mod...and trying to run a class that mixes spellcasting and martial prowess using Str instead of Dex. The option to build that way with weapons that work with Str should have ALWAYS been there, and with PF2e now they are.

Also, none of this changes the fact that playing the class from the start feels awful due to all the negatives the class has: way less bonus feats/no weapon training from Fighter, fewer spells per day/in their list than Wizard, negatives to all attack rolls when using Spell Combat, being forced into taking a Defensive Casting roll as apparently the best option when casting while in a threat area despite the whole idea is that the class will be in the frontlines, forced into needing Str Dex and Int to be high stats(with Con being a bit of a requirement since you are in the fray) or to take feats early on to focus on Dex, not getting medium armor prof until 7th lvl despite being in the fray from the get-go, second core class feature often clashes with the first rather than melding with it, other class features are essentially filling in the hole that was dug rather than providing fun and unique features to the class.

Like, just imagine for a moment that you didn't need to get extra bonuses to Concentration checks because you already got those bonuses earlier in the class, so now you could change a class feat to...idk, making your weapon a temporary spell-storing weapon, with proper limitations in place so that it isn't strictly better than having a proper magical weapon of the same ilk? Maybe Spell Combat lets you replace one of your higher BAB melee hits with casting another spell, so 8th lvl you can choose two melee attacks and a spell Or two spells and a melee attack? Maybe work it into Spellstrike so that at later levels when you land a successful Spellstrike you can cast another spell in that turn as long as the spell met certain restrictions?

But no, the class is front-loaded with so many negatives that players who've played the game for years tell you that you have to build your character in a very specific way to have the class function at lower levels and I just see that as a massive failure.

PF2e letting you choose to be Str or Dex based is a great call, and allowing you to pick from not just a traditional 'sword and spellbook/spell' but also 2HW, 'I cast these hands', an actual arcane archer or someone who tosses magically-charged daggers, sword and spellbook but your spellbook is actually a shield AND just going the traditional way of the wooden bonker...and each one is not only a real choice that functions properly, but Hybrid Studies give you even more support for playing the way you choose...whereas to do any of that in PF1e, you have to sacrifice core parts of the class rather than lose nothing and gain more.

Honestly vastly superior, and the Arcane Cascade stance is just a fun and interactive mechanic that easily trumps Arcane Pool points without being overly complicated, and the feats you get every two levels to really customize how you play even further than what I mentioned comparison, PF1e Magus not even being fun to play without very heavy min-maxing and situational encounters on top of that until later levels just doesn't compete.

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Maybe it's just me, but after playing a bit of the Magus and really looking into it and all it's options

- It is built strictly as a Dex-based Martial that has half-casting, to the point where the core mechanics of Spell Combat or Spellstrike don't work with 2-handed weapons without DM homebrew, forcing you to play a specific way with 1-handed light weapons. This seems like a massive oversight fundamentally that those who made this class couldn't see past the single vision they had of a stereotypical spellblade.

- Trying to do this without homebrew means taking the Arcane Marauder archetype, which allows you to Spellstrike with a 2-handed weapon. You also get medium armor prof at 1st level, Power Attack feat at 1st lvl, and if you use Power Attack w/ Spellstrike you get half the bonus damage of Power Attack added to your caster level in regards to overcoming enemy spell resistance. The tradeoff? You lose the class feature of Spell Combat ENTIRELY and cast one less spell of each level per day than a normal Magus...really doesn't seem worth it to me. There are other archetypes that let you try using ranged weapons, thrown weapons, and even working in a shield...but they often sacrifice too much of the core of the class to seem worth it, which means that they somehow STILL couldn't get past this very limited scope of the class.

- Despite being a casting class, the casting stat (Int) isn't as important to have super high as it is to have a high Dex as you can't get medium armor until 7th lvl and heavy until 13th and you will be on the front lines. I've heard you just aren't rewarded as much as other half-casters or full casters for having a high casting stat, which doesn't make sense as you should be equally rewarded.

- Without taking at least two feats or specific weapons, the Dex-based half-caster class can't use their Dex mod for their attacks or for damage, which requires you to either wait until later levels to get online or to also have a high Str Mod. Since every character should have a decent Con Mod and the Magus will eventually get hit by being on the front lines, this makes the Magus very MAD.

- Casting in melee threat range requires you to Cast Defensively or to risk an AoO and having to roll concentration anyway. Defensive Casting DC is 15 + Double Spell lvl, which means even just a normal 1st level spell needs you to beat a 17 DC. The math was done by someone else, and the odds of you beating that when you only add your caster level and Int mod to the roll are very low for the beginning levels...unless you grab Combat Casting as your 1st lvl feat, but the issue now is you have to waste a feat just to resolve an early game issue that doesn't exist later on in levels.

Additionally, if a Magus is using Spell Combat and Spellstrike frequently, this means having to roll a max of three times per round of combat (once for Concentration, and twice for attack rolls) which just increases the odds of failure at lower levels where the bonuses you have to each roll are too low to make enough of a difference.

- You get a default -2 to all attack rolls (spell or otherwise) made when using Spell Combat, which at early levels could easily cancel out your BAB when you have to split your stats in such a way, and this forces you to cast spells that give constant buffs to your attack rolls...but you also need to cast spells to help your AC...but then with so few spells to cast per day when are you supposed to use your offensive spells in general, let alone with Spellstrike that goes against a higher AC than normal while still taking negatives from Spell Combat. This means that you actually DO want a higher Int to have more spells per day than you usually get to make up for this.

Also, to try and mitigate the Concentration issue, Spell Combat allows you to take further negatives on your attack rolls (up to your Int mod) to increase your chances of successfully Casting Defensively...but that means you will likely miss your melee attacks, which defeats the purpose of Spellstrike and the class itself. Thus this is more proof that you need a high Int mod so as to not need to take more negatives to your melee roles in addition to having more Arcane Pool points and spell the Magus really does want you to have at least a 16 in Str, Dex, and Int to function properly when not factoring in feats...which you shouldn't HAVE to grab certain feats just to make the class bearable to play.

- Arcane Pool at base feels mostly like a bandaid solution to the negatives you get from Spell Combat rather than making an actual solution, with the really good part of it not factoring in until 5th lvl, and even then you have to sacrifice portions of your enhancement bonus to get the extra properties...and we all know you should be grabbing Keen as often as possible anyway.

- All the other class features feel as though they are offering more options to make up for how much things suck for the class early on instead of the class already being strong and really making the class crazy cool. Magus Arcana have cool additional options, but so many of the choices are more bandaid fixes for the negatives the class has; All forms of Spell Recall, Knowledge Pool, and Greater Spell Access are there to semi-address how few spells you get a day and your very limited spell list; the upgrades to Spell Combat simply address the negatives the class got early on while trying to keep up with the fact that a 6th lvl spell has a Defensive Cast DC of 27; The Capstone gives the option of finally removing the need for Concentration checks when Casting Defensively and getting a mere +2 to spell DC to resist effects, a +2 to overcome spell resistance, OR a +2 to all attack rolls made to the same target in that round...but ONLY if your spells actually targets the same creature you are melee attacking...or you just get a flat +2 for a max of +7 when you pop an Arcane Pool.

So you have to struggle with these stupid checks until literally max level (when most campaigns don't go this far), and the most unique class features not tied to fixing the mistakes of the class are bonus feats, half your level being considered as a Fighter for feats, and getting AoO on casters who Cast Defensively within your threat range...and the latter two don't come into play until 10th lvl and 16th lvl respectively. Not gonna lie, kind of a letdown.

- Because of how the class is designed with forcing you to be in a Dex role with Spell Combat and heavy negatives for casting with Spell Combat, the only real way to play the magus optimally is to constantly weave in your 5-foot-step to have you in and out of threat range. Additionally, Spellstrike is almost a hindrance as you still are behind the damage output of other martial classes even though you get both weapon and spell damage, so it is better for you to combine the above strategy of weaving in and out of combat and casting spells that do not work with Spellstrike and work with the Touch AC when it comes to attacking spells.

If you are forcing yourself to focus on Spellstrike, that means you have to build around crit fishing so that you can catch up or exceed other martial in damage due to spell damage being able to crit via a system that has you roll again to confirm your crits instead of just rewarding the good roll...with a class that, while giving you potentially multiple melee attacks a round, gives you negatives to those attacks when you are already trading Touch AC for full AC, makes you roll just to cast your spells near your opponent and put them into your weapon before even trying to attack them, and forcing you to waste your spell charge if you miss all your attacks and declared Spell Combat to try and max your damage output. So, for as much as the defining class features CAN work together, it feels like you are better off only aiming for one or the other which doesn't make a whole lot of sense for a class's features to be at odds with one another.

It just really feels like they figured out the class after taking a second go on it in PF2e, which still feels like it has a ton of customization options, possibly more than it actually had prior. I also understand that more levels into the class ends up taking care of a number of issues the class has, but a class should feel more self-complimenting and playable in early levels and just get better later on rather than being behind/in a hole early on and having to play catch up.

Am I just an inexperienced doofus here, or do some of the more experienced Pathfinders agree with some of these points?

Kurald Galain wrote:
ForsakenM wrote:
However, this is news to me that you can 5-Foot-Step before performing a Full-Round Action such as TWF or Spell Combat.

Yes. What's more, when doing spell combat you can do the 5-step between the attack and the spell.

ForsakenM wrote:
I also wasn't aware that I had to roll a Concentration Check EVERY time I used Spell Combat
You don't, and I'm really not sure where you're getting that from. You roll concentration when you cast defensively (such as because you're in melee), but with smart usage of 5-steps you usually don't need to cast defensively.

So if you are in melee in someone's threat area, you have to cast defensively and thus have to roll for concentration?

I can't just cast and risk the AoO, then roll for concentration if I do get hit?

Melkiador wrote:

So, I'm assuming you now understand how touch attack spells work and how that's different than non-touch attack spells. You get the free attack, because of the qualities of touch attack spells combined with spell strike. If the spell had been like the actual burning hands, which is a cone instead, you could have still done the cone damage with the spell, but there would no free touch attack to interact with spell strike.

Spell Combat is similar to two weapon fighting, except your offhand weapon is a spell. You can cast/attack or attack/cast with spell combat, but either way you would need to commit to taking those penalties before you did either action.

As for your GMs feelings, it is indeed powerful. But it is also limited. You only have a few spells per day. And spell combat requires a full action, so you can't move more than a 5 foot step in the round you use it.

So I didn't expect all these replies, but I want to thank you all.

We resolved it right away thanks to Chell responding so quickly and I really appreciate that. My DM (who is also one of my better friends) and I resolved it: he finally understood how it works and that if I attack w/ spellstrike and miss on a previous turn, I can Spell Combat and attack first and proc the spell if I hit, but that if I miss again I still have to cast whichever spell I said I was going to and lose the charge on the previous spell no matter what.

I also have learned that there are Melee and Ranged Touch Attack Spells, and without a Magus Arcana, I can only Spellstrike with Melee.

However, this is news to me that you can 5-Foot-Step before performing a Full-Round Action such as TWF or Spell Combat. I was under the impression that you couldn't move at all, not even the 5FS, before or after a FRA as it took up your 'full round'.

I also wasn't aware that I had to roll a Concentration Check EVERY time I used Spell Combat: I thought Concentration checks were only if you tried casting in strenuous situations such as intense movement or taking damage. If you HAVE to roll for Concentration EVERY time you use Spell Combat, that seems awful because that means you have just another way to fail and completely lose the spell entirely (and the slot used) in addition to missing your attacks on a successful cast.

After experiencing combat with the Magus (and consistently rolling awful) and having built them to be STR over Dex because I wanted to try something different, I can say with confidence that the class was 100% made without taking a STR build in mind even in the slightest. I find that to be a massive oversight, but the designers probably had the idea that someone who could use magic couldn't be buff or something like that. This has been heavily cleaned up and I think the Magus is a much better class in PF2e, so the original plan was to retire the character via not being able to handle being an adventurer (she has the least combat experience of the party in terms of backstory, in a grim-dark world, and we just failed to save like a third of a village of children from being turned into body horror abominations on top of her essentially killing a child that the party thought was past saving as a Flesh Golem)... but now I'm conflicted.

Not only does she now have the possibility for character development but we hit Lvl 3 which would bump BAB to +2 and I could possibly grab the Magus Arcana that lets me use an Arcane Pool point to add my +4 Int mod to all my attacks for that round.

I've been rolling on average mostly 7s or lower against some pretty beefy monsters but with this, I could stack this so even when using Spell Combat with Power Attack regardless of Spellstrike, I would be swinging with a +9 to hit (Spell Combat and Power Attack give -3, but I always start combat by casting Blade Tutor's Spirit normally or with Spell Combat and popping an Arcane Pool point, so Activating Arcane Accuracy gives +4 for all attack that round).

I mean I already jumped into making a new character with lore and everything, so I think the deal breaker here is if the Magus HAS to roll Concentration EVERY time they use Spell Combat.

Chell Raighn wrote:
If you had cast a touch spell, then yes, you could carry the spellstrike damage over to the following round assuming the attack missed or you used a touch spell with multiple attacks. If you wish to spellstrike on a turn that you have a held charge, then you must call it at the e start of your turn and pay the -2 penalty on all your attacks for spell combat even if you plan to only add it at the end of your turn. You attacked first with the held charge and then only decided to add spellstrike after the enemy survived, if I were your DM I would have said no to.

I actually already planned on casting a Touch Attack spell (which I we both thought Burning Hands) even if I missed, it because I had been missing most of my attacks the entire campaign, and just wanted the chance to finally hit something with Spellstrike.

However, if I understand correctly, if I use Spell Combat, I have to declare what spell I am casting and if I'm using Spellstrike much like when I declare if I'm attacking or casting first before anything else happens on my turn?

Also, since Burning Hands doesn't work like I thought, I may switch that to Touch of Combustion.

Chell Raighn wrote:

Your DM was correct to not allow you to do that… but not for the reason either of you seem to think. You cannot spellstrike with Burning Hands. Spellstrike only works with melee Touch spells, Ranged Touch spells can be made to work with it through a magus arcana. Burning Hands is NOT a touch a spell, it is a cone AoE. You can cast it with spell combat, but NOT spellstrike. Since you used it earlier in your turn once, then you had already used it with spell combat .

FYI, Spell combat and Spellstrike do not allow you to cast multiple standard action spells in one round.

Oops, I misread Burning Hands as a fire version of Shocking Grasp.

So in this same situation, replace Burning Hands WITH a Touch attack spell.

In that case, who is correct?

Remember, the situations was Spell Combat AND Spellstrike, putting what we THOUGHT was a Touch Attack Spell into my weapon, attacking twice and missing. Next round, I declaring Spell Combat and attacking first, landing the attack, then declaring I was Spellstriking another Touch Attack spell.

Also, I found the Magus Arcana you were speaking of, and if I keep playing and we make it to the next level, I think I'll take it just for the convenience of this not happening again of mistaking the difference in touch spells.

So we are fighting some sort of Dark Fey abomination, and first time since we started this campaign, over three major combats, I finally hit an attack with my Magus. Suddenly, all hell breaks loose because apparently, no one understands how that s*#+ works, apparently not even me.

So base understanding here, my GM ruled it so I could wield a two-handed weapon and still use Spell Combat, the idea being that I tempt lift on hand off my weapon if needed to cast a spell and then fix my grip. It wasn't until later that we realized this would mean I get time and a half for my STR mod for dmg, it was just to have the theme of me being a big cobalt Aphorite woman who was raised a blacksmith by her father and fights with both an Earthbreaker and a Lucerne Hammer at ranged. Thus, Spell Combat works normally for me despite wielding a two-handed weapon.

I started combat by Spell Combat casting Blade Tutor's Spirit and then swinging and basically auto-hitting a poor child amalgamation and ending it's suffering. On my next turn, since the evil fey is within 10ft after a transformation, I cast Burning Hands and Spellstrike it to swing twice, and as per usual, I missed both even with a +5 to hit and having both BTS and my Arcane Pool buffs up to negate the -2 due to Spell Combat.

Finally, on my next turn, for the FIRST TIME in the campaign I land an attack with my weapon charged with a spell. I did Spell Combat again as the enemy was still in range, I hit him, and did 12 dmg via my Lucerne Hammer and 6 dmg via Burning Hands being charged in the weapon, which is now gone upon contact.

I then was going to cast Burning Hands again via Spell Combat since I get to choose whether or not I cast first or attack first, with the idea being that as my last Lvl 1 spell I can maybe hit the bastard again and maybe end the fight, so I announce I'm casting Burning Hand and using Spellstrike so that I can attack with my Lucerne Hammer again...and apparently, that seems incorrect and imbalanced by my DM.

So, I'm coming to the experts who understand Pathfinder better than our whole: Can you combine Spell Combat and Spellstrike each turn, provided you can take a Full Round Action and can cast a Touch Attack spell, to always make two attacks with your weapon that can theoretically both land to deal both weapon and spell damage in a turn you miss your Spellstrike attacks?? Also, how in any way is this more than two attacks, since I'm sacrificing my Touch Attack for a Melee Attack?

Okay, so I've played very little Pathfinder until recently, and my experiences were briefly a Rogue and slightly less briefly a gnome alchemist all about throwing them bombs.

However, now I have some friends obsessed with the opportunity to run 1st Edition, and I now have Slayer with an owl animal companion and a Magus that the GM allows me to wield 2H weapons and utilize Spell Combat/Spellstrike without any crazy penalty, and while the Slayer has been AMAZING in combat with everything I can do between me and my birb (flanking, feinting, in the future having lots of teamwork feats setup)...I'm more in love with my Magus character but struggling to understand efficiency.

So I read the long post here that explained Spellstrike and keeping the charge in your weapon if you miss but loses the free melee attack since you only get the touch attack upon casting and that is converted into a melee attack. My issue is understanding buffing spells with duration and losing the touch spell on my weapon.

So my understanding is that if I use a touch spell and utilize Spellstrike with it (Shocking Grasp for instance), and I miss my attacks, on my next turn if a cast another spell before I attack...the 'charge' of Shocking Grasp on my weapon goes *poof* into the aether.

However, Magus has spells like True Strike and Blade Tutor's Spirit that allow you to assist in hitting your attacks since it's a caster/melee hybrid class, but I was given the impression that if I cast one spell and then another on my next turn, I am no longer concentrating on that previous spell and therefore lose it's effects...but that doesn't make sense to me when True Strike gives me +20 to my next hit as long as I strike before the end of the next round and BTS reduces my attack penalties from feats and certain actions for a minute per caster level.

Did I just misunderstand something here? Do you always lose a previous spell when you cast a new one? Is it just if you cast a spell after 'charging' your weapon with a touch attack spell and not landing the attack to 'discharge' it before casting? Is the right method when starting a fight to typically utilize Spell Combat to buff my attacks with a spell, then strike, and on my next turn potentially utilize Spellstrike?

Temperans wrote:

Yes what I was trying to get across was that you are trying to do to much and first figure out what exactly you want and narrow it down.

Yes, you can get a decent amount of feats with slayer talents, but the maximum amount of feats for any single class build is something like 30 from a Vigilante/Fighter, the cap for everyone else is around 15. You need to think about what you want to be able to do by what level, and curve your expectations accordingly. Feinting would require at least 2 feats (I & G Feint), ranged attacks require at least 2 feats (Point-Blank & Precise Shot), Quick Draw to get the weapons, Weapon Finesse for dex to hit. That's already 8 feats and your feint is only helping your allies.

If what you want is to throw a ranged weapon "feint" then strike in melee, then you might be better off using Opening Volley (+4 on next melee attack this turn after a ranged attack) along with Flinging Charge. Sure its not quite feinting, but it requires significantly less feat investment. But it sounds like that is not what you want.

Well well well, looks like there are multiple ways to flow from ranged to melee, but now I'm at the stage where I have to math how many Feint Feats there are vs how many I get over all as a character.

Derklord wrote:

That is a hard task, because the game really doesn't support that. Basically, it can't be done in one turn for most classes, and it doesn't make sense to do it, either. To be honest, I don't get what you're trying to do - the whole point of throwing a weapon is to not need to get into melee, unless the throw kills the target (which doesn't work in Pathfinder, or pretty much any game with a HP system that doesn't lean towards one-hit-kills), why would anyone chase after it into melee?

In addition, feinting requires spending an action, and is feat intense, and you're looking into combining that with something that you already don't have enough actions to do in a turn, and that is feat hungry on its own.

Considering that the class features are both almost useless, and that a Slayer gets more talents than there are good selections, this is a very lopsided trade not really something to lament. It shows that this is a 3rd party archetype...

Divine Fighting Technique (Desna's Shooting Star) is what they were talking about, but that's strictly worse than Mythic Weapon Finesse. With "thrown weapon Fighter feats" you mean the Startoss Style suggestion? That's not actually Fighter related, but it doesn't fit what...

My thought process was that, in situations where a fight begins at a distance, I could throw a weapon while running at them and that the weapon throw would be a feint attempt since I'm making it look like I'm running into melee range. The enemy could then already be bamboozled and now they are getting hit by my thrown weapon AND I'm in melee range for another attack with a possible follow up from my owl.

Sure, there is a level of 'rule of cool' to it, but you can't carry an infinite number of ranged weapons on you, so not only is playing a character that completely relies on thrown weapons risky but it doesn't fit my character idea either. However, I believe I may have found a Rogue Talent or something like that which allows me to make a feint with a ranged attack as long as it's within 30ft, so maybe that would be the better angle? I still think that Shot On the Run from the Ranger Fighting Style works really well, but it sounds to me like you are saying I'm asking to do too many things with what feats and talents I can get. If I understand correctly, I'm basically asking to be someone who has some mastery over not only dex fighting but also thrown weapon style and fighting around feinting my opponent while also working in an animal companion and trying to expand on my crits...and it's just too much.

I would say that I'm okay with not focusing as much on thrown weapon combat in exchange for buffing up my companion and my crits, but I would still like the option to feint someone from a distance, especially since my armor lowers my movement to 20.

Also, thank you for letting me know to not get distracted with the Shooting Star style. Thta is one less thing to worry about.

First off, thank you both for responding so quickly.

Temperans wrote:

If you are trying to make a feint build you are hard stuck getting Improved Feint, Greater Feint, Combat Expertise or Dirty Trick, Skill Focus (bluff), etc.

Given how you have an animal companion it might be worth going for Feint Partner, Improved Feint Partner, Outflank, Improved Outflank, etc. Give your companion Ferocious Feint so that it can set up for you.

Might also want to consider Linnorm Hunter Style and Beastmaster Style. Which can set up some good combos.

This is my third time trying to respond to this, so I will make it quick.

There are a lot of cool things you introduced to me here, but I can both grab a good share of these feats via Slayer Talents as well as having regular and Advanced Talents that compliment them heavily. I think I will stick with focusing on feint and then making my crits better, but since I have 2 feats and a Slayer Talent that can grab me some of those feats you mentioned AND I get two more Talents next level, I'm confused on what the most efficient way to select them is.

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Been a long time since my Mighty Godling question, glad to see awesome folks around here are still helping each other out. I tried to get some help on this build on Reddit but the fish aren't really biting. In case I forget something because I'm tired, I will link that post here.

So I will do my best to make this short and sweet:

We are starting at 5th lvl.
We have been given some equipment choices for free and 750gp to spend from.
We get to have one magic item as long as it isn't super OP or comes from the magic that is considered evil or dark magic.
After multiple failed inspiration attempts, I'm going with Slayer and my archetype is Warhound which gives me an animal companion.
My goal with that character is to have combat be about Bluffing for feints and mixing my attacks between throwing weapons and melee attacks, eventually being able to chuck a weapon at someone at the start of combat and in my same turn run after that weapon and melee attack, weaving in my Owl companion into the mix as needed.
I'm wanting to take Slayer Talents that focus on making me crit more often and crit harder once I have what I need to be able to weave together thrown weapons and melee.

I already have the character mostly built in terms of race and class as well as lore/backstory: Kichōna is a Kitsune who exclusively stays in her human form under the name of Reibecca due to societal pressure. As a Kitsune, I get +2 to Dex and Cha, and -2 to STR. With my stats being 16, 16, 15, 13, 11 and 9, that gives me 7 STR, 18 Dex, 13 Con, 16 Int, 11 Wis and an 18 in Cha with my 4th lvl ABI.

I did a lot of exchanging on the Kitsune Racial bonuses: I exchanged my natural bite attack, Agile and Kitsune Magic for Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat, Prankster to get +1 to Bluff and SoH and now have SoH as a class skill, and Versatility from Earthkin variant which gives me +1 HP and Skill Rank per level up.

However, getting an animal companion as a Slayer forced me to lose out on two Class Features later and to get my Studied Feature at 2nd lvl and miss out on my first Slayer Talent. To counteract this, my GM is letting me take four traits when other get three as well as letting me trade Knowledge Dungeoneering for Handle Animal since the Warhound doesn't give the class skill. He is additionally allowing me to take Weapon Finesse Mythic over having to grab individual feats per weapon to add my Dex to dmg.

It is from here that I'm a bit lost: I already have Finesse and Finesse Mythic, but I still have a feat to pick for 3rd and 5th lvl and I have a Slayer Talent to grab for 4th lvl, and if we make it to next lvl I will have another two Slayer Talents thanks to my FCB. There are many paths to go, and originally I was thinking I would use my Slayer Talent to grab the Thrown Weapon Ranger Combat Style and then start taking feats from that, but then I found that you can get Combat Trick from Slayer Talents and that was when my brain started to melt. When you add in what the few reddit comments told me about some sort of Starknife deity and a whole chain of thrown weapon Fighter feats, I decided I needed to call in the experts.

Thus, based on me being a Slayer that combines the Studied Target with Bluffing consistently to Feint, wanting to weave together throwing weapons and melee attacks as well as my companion while getting easier and harder-hitting crits...I ask the veterans of PF1E to help me organize my feat selections, Slayer Talent pathway, what Traits work best for this as well as what weapons would work the best, including anything I could get for my owl. All I can say past that is I think the Kikko Armor works very well, the Buckler seems like the best shield choice to work into everything, and one of my traits is dedicated to Clever Mount so that my owl gets more tricks.

Thank you all in advance, I really appreciate it.

Tels wrote:

On the Godling side, you want to take Divine Traits (Nature Myster: Nature's Whisper) so you can add Strength instead of Dexterity to AC and CMD, allowing you to double dip your Strength to CMD.

It adds Charisma, not Strength. Is there even an Oracle Mystery that would allow you to add Strength to AC and CMD?

No one has any advice?

So, I'm building a Mighty Godling character, and my idea was that he would fight unarmed a la DBZ and just go ham on peepz. I also want him to have lightning abilities if it's possible. Not so much spells as much as abilities that effect only my person.

Things that are set in stone:

I'm Half-Human, Half-Celestial.

I want to be a Mighty Godling.

Numbers for my ABS: 20, 18, 18, 17, 17, 16


Gestalting Mighty Godling with Monk.

Would like to have lightning capabilities.

I want to grapple and punch the crap out of people.

Any help would be appreciated.


Nothing except the adept godling is a spellcaster. And in general you dont want to multiclass spellcasters. Because if you go mighty...

"Eldritch godlings are even more steeped in mystic power than adept godlings." Straight from here -> ch-godling

Also, maybe I'm just confused, but I think maybe you are: It says that a Mighty Godling can multiclass with either a Adept or Eldritch Godling. If what you are saying is possible, then you are saying I could gestalt (instead of multiclass) both Might and Adept Godling. This would, instead of making me mighty 5/adept 5 at 10th level, I would be mighty 10/adept 10 at 10th level.

So, in other words, making a gestalt class replaces multiclassing? So that means I couldn't go mighty 5/adept 5/monk 10? That would make sense, I'm just curious.

Also, as for picking more than one Godling, my character will be fighting in Unarmed, H2H combat. Therefore, I feel that I should have Monk or Martial Artist, or some other class that works in H2H.

Also, would gestalting get around not being able to multiclass clever with mighty?

Alright, I am pretty sure I know how multiclassing works, but if someone feels like going into detail on that, I have no problem with that.

My DM is doing the equivalent of an Epic Campaign, one where he plans on shaping our characters into the lore and eventually hitting lvl 20 and whatever comes after that.

He said he would allow Gestalting. I read a little bit about it: you get the high BAB, Saves, HD, all that good jazz. Also, from what I was told, both classes level at the same time whenever you level (IE: When a gestalted Monk/Sorcerer goes from lvl 1 > lvl 2, he is now considered a Lvl 2 Monk and a lvl 2 sorcerer).

I was also told you take the positives and negatives of both classes, but I honestly find gestalting to only be helpful at this point.

Now, here is my questions: My DM approved my character to be Half-Celestial, Half-Human (with some minor nerfs, of course). I then showed him the Godling 3rd Party Class, and he approved of me using that as well.

The Godling class allows you to pick either Adept (balanced), Clever (more rogue or bard), Eldritch (more sorcerer or wizard), or Mighty (more barbarian, fighter or paladin). It also allows you to multiclass with other versions of Godling, with the limit that you cannot multiclass with a certain one (IE: Clever cannot multiclass with Mighty).

I'm making a Mighty Godling. Is there anything in the rules that prevents me from multiclassing with Adept Godling, and also Gestalting with Martial Artist or Monk?

revaar wrote:

You mention using two weapons, but not the two weapon fighting feat. Have you taken this yet?

I can't help but agree with Vaellen, Titan Mauler and Swashbuckler do not mesh at all. Most of the Swashbuckler's abilities rely on using light or one handed piercing weapons. Titan Mauler uses Two handed weapons in one hand (not the same as a one handed weapon, RAW), or oversized two handers. Either route that you choose, you will be wasting half of your potential, unless there is some house ruling you have not shared yet.

My suggestion, if you want to run with the duel wielding Two handers concept, is to ask the GM if you can retrain the Swashbuckler and Rogue level to Titan Mauler, and pick up two weapon fighting, if you have the dex.

What stats are you currently working with?

AS: STR-13, DEX-18, CON-10, INT-12, WIS-10, CHA-18



If you need anything else let me know. Also, my secret tech is that Weapons Finesse makes all light weapons, as well as Elven Curved Blade, Rapier, Whip and Spiked Chain use your DEX for one's Attack Roll instead of STR. It also makes the above mentioned weapons considered light for the Swashbuckler, which would make two-handed fighting negatives lower. Spiked Chain and Elven Curved Blade are both Exotic and two-handed weapons, which is where the Titan Mauler comes in.

All future levels are planned to be put into Swashbuckler, in which at Class Lvl 3 and every other 3 class lvls gives you access to a pool of Feats. All levels of Two-Weapon fighting are within that pool.

Also, I have not yet picked any traits or a favored class, so advice on that would be appreciated as well.

In honor of a friend, in a home-brew I'm playing in, I have a Kitsune Swashbuckler. I have trained him one lvl in rouge, and we just hit Lvl 3. The idea for this character is to have him wield two two-handed weapons in combat, with the least amount of negatives.

I was planning to take a total of two lvls in Barbarian w/ Titan Mauler Archtype. This would be the first lvl, giving the character Rage and Big Game Hunter. Lvl 1 Swashbuckler gives Weapon Finesse.

The question is what feat I should pick due to hitting lvl 3? Also, if someone has input on what Rage Power to pick at lvl 4, I'd be grateful for that as well.

In honor of a friend, in a home-brew I'm playing in, I have a Kitsune Swashbuckler. I have trained him one lvl in rouge, and we just hit Lvl 3. The idea for this character is to have him wield two two-handed weapons in combat, with the least amount of negatives.

I was planning to take a total of two lvls in Barbarian w/ Titan Mauler Archtype. This would be the first lvl, giving the character Rage and Big Game Hunter. Lvl 1 Swashbuckler gives Weapon Finesse.

The question is what feat I should pick due to hitting lvl 3? Also, if someone has input on what Rage Power to pick at lvl 4, I'd be grateful for that as well.

So, I had a few questions related to the subject:

1. What does Wealth mean, referring to the Character Advancement Table (I'm currently sitting at 3K, will hit 6K)?

2. I'm not sure I know all that happens when you level up. I know you get more HP (although I'm not sure how it works), skill points (not sure how that works either, :P), additional feats or bumps to an ability score when you hit those milestones, and either an additional HP or SP for your favored class bonus (or whatever your race may provide). I also know that, as long as you gain a level in that specific class, gain stuff like a higher BAB, Saves, etc. If there is anything I missed or got wrong, please let me know. In general, I know more about the class-related things than the 'every character gets this' stuff.

3. Since this is specifically my Alchemist hitting Lvl4, I know I get an AS bump and a Discovery, among a BAB, Fort, and Ref increase and more Extracts. The AS goes straight to Int, but I'm not sure which Discovery or Extracts to pick. For the Discovery, I was originally going to pick Infusion, but since my Archetype is Chirurgeon, I have Infused Curative as a bonus feat (all my cure extracts are treated as if I had Infusion). Since that seemed to be the only real reason to get Infusion, and I can't get the Breath Weapon until Lvl6 I now have no idea what I want for a Discovery: I'm stuck between different bomb types and better positioning (having the bombs burst in a line, cone, larger splash area, work underwater). As for Extracts, I know I'll get Fox's Cunning, Cat's Grace, and Cure Moderate. Not sure on my other two 2nd Level, or my additional 1st Level. Any advice would be appreciated.

4. In the same spirit as some of my dumb friends saying 'There's no life after 30', I've been told that there is nothing after Lvl12 when it comes to PFS. How true is this statement?

Deadmanwalking wrote:
ForsakenM wrote:

3. Alchemist Fire is not considered a spell, a granted power of the fire domain, a fire elemental bloodline power or flame mystery revelation, or a bomb. Therefore, it gets no bonuses.

While you're right about everything else, this actually isn't true. As others have mentioned and is stated in the Throw Anything class feature, in addition to getting +1 to hit and the Feat, you also get to add your Int mod to the damage of all splash weapons. Alchemist fire falls under that banner.

Sorry, I didn't clarify: I meant that it gets nothing from Pyro trait.

Alright, thank you guys for explaining that to me. Now, just to clarify that I understand everything:

1. Whoever told me (and the website I found that said this) that you add your Dex mod to your dmg when using a Throwing Item (as long as it was considered Light, not Heavy; They said it was Dex for Light, Str for Heavy) is silly. I only add my Dex mod for To Hit.

2. When it comes to min dmg, I look at the minimum amount my die rolls would be, THEN add any and all bonuses. With Pyro and Int mod, and possible PBS, this comes out to 6/7 with a DC14 Reflex for half. That seems a lot more fair.

3. Alchemist Fire is not considered a spell, a granted power of the fire domain, a fire elemental bloodline power or flame mystery revelation, or a bomb. Therefore, it gets no bonuses.

@Tribalgeek: Alchemists gain Throw Anything as a bonus feat at Lvl1. Throw Anything negates the penalties of using an Improvised Weapon, and adds +1 to the Attack Roll when using a Splash Weapon.

As for your statement about the bombs, I agree, but consider this: If somebody whisked a bomb at you, and it physically hit you, I'm sure it wouldn't be pleasant. It would have to be considered nonlethal, and as such is irrelevant.

I'm just here to make sure I don't jip either myself or any GM, since I'm fairly new to PFS. I'm going to list what I think the numbers come out to, so please feel free to correct me.

When throwing a splash weapon, if I'm correct, your To Hit is: BAB + Dex Mod + Size Mod + Any Range Penalties. For me this comes out to 2+2+1=5, with an extra +1 from Throw Anything, a possible +1 from Point-Blank Shot, and I don't suffer from shooting into combat due to Precise Shot. This ends up often being a +7 To Hit with a splash weapon.

Now for Damage, specifically with Bombs, specificall on direct hit. At Lvl 3, Alchemist bombs deal 2d6 damage. Alchemists add their Int mod to their damage, and I was informed that bombs are considered light throwing weapons, which meant I also add my Dex mod. This comes out to +5, and due to my Pyromaniac trait (and the fact that I can only make fire bombs right now) I add another +1, with another possible +1 from Point-Blank. This often means I add +7 to most bomb attacks upon direct hit.

Now, this is the part I get confused on: splash damage. I was informed that splash damage is equal to the minimum amount of damage the thrown item could deal. I'm not sure how this works though, since Alchemists add their Int mod to their splash dmg as well, and no one informed me on whether I add the possible +6/+7 from everything else. Do I add the original Int/Dex mods, Pyro, and PBS? Do I not add them? Do I only add some of them? Adding it all makes the min dmg 11, which seems pretty steep considering I could hit upto 8 enemies with it. Or maybe it isn't, seeing as the can all make a DC14 Reflex save to take half the damage.

Also, do I not add my Pyro bonus to Alchemist Fire?