Wings of Protection

Kurald Galain's page

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32. ** Pathfinder Society GM. 1,128 posts. 25 reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 11 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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JDawg75 wrote:
I liked the idea of being a gish in full Hellknight armor (with the benefits Hellknights get from it), but perhaps it is not to be.

You can certainly play a gish in heavy armor, I would just not recommend the Signifer prestige class for that.

Derklord wrote:
Also, Hellknight Leather (and Hellknight Half-plate) is "hellknight armor", too.

The description for Hellknights states they wear plate as a matter of pride, and that Hellknight leather is for sailors. A Hellknight gish wouldn't be wearing leather.

JDawg75 wrote:
Is a straight magus the best way to build a great gish, or are there better alternatives out there?

It's hard to compete with Spell Combat; its action economy advantage makes the Magus a natural "best" at most kinds of gish. Of course, it depends on what exactly you want from your gish, and at what level :)

Derklord wrote:
Magus is for using offensive (touch) spells in combat, especially damaging ones.

While that's certainly a good tactic for the Magus, it is a common misconception that it's the only thing a Magus is good at. The Magus spell list also has good crowd control, solid defensive buffs, and unmatched mobility for a melee character.

Obligatory guidebook link.

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Aranel2000 wrote:
And the new Magus Capstone? Chronicle of Legends is out and there is a capstone for the magus: Legendary Blade. Someone know what it does?

The new capstone gives you two more pluses when enchanting your weapon; which is decent but nothing special. A better option (open to all classes) is to boost your strength or dex by eight points. And really, the most fitting capstone for a Magus is one that changes your weapon into an artifact with customized properties.

Temperans wrote:
Also the book added some PrC feats. Eldtrich Knight might become more viable.

There are two feats that give the EK a lesser spellstrike ability; but this doesn't help the Magus any.

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Paizo has hinted that a Magus will be printed in 2020. In the meantime, any one-action spells (such as Shield) can be combined with two attacks per round, in P2's action economy.

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Saint Bernard wrote:
Once 2nd edition is out, is there any chance of you doing a guide on how best to simulate a magus using the new rules?

That is unlikely, as currently none of the groups I play in have expressed an interest in switching.

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ekibus wrote:
I will have to disagree Slim, if this was so broken wouldn't the forums be crawling with builds.

Precisely.

I find it pretty funny that Slim says numbers are important to count and compare, and then fails to provide any numbers at all to support his wild claims. So Slim, time to put your money where your mouth is: you claim that certain options are overpowered, so show us with actual math. Prove it. And in another thread please, because as MrCharisma points out, your "advice" has very little to do with what the OP actually wants.

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ekibus wrote:
Hate to say it but dex might be a better route since it will help the ac and init right off the bat. Sorry thinking and typing.

Dex route has better AC and init, Str route has better damage and saves two feats. One is defensive, the other is offensive. That doesn't make one better than the other.

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ekibus wrote:
Thanks for the comments Kurald I've actually gone through your guide a few times as well as the hexcrafter guide. Granted I probably should go through it again. I'm trying a slight variation with occultist and trying to tank so I had questions. I really think this character will be a beast for damage at 6..imagine bane, flaming and shocking grasp :)

I think you are right. And don't worry too much about numbers, being a single +1 behind the curve is not going to hurt you. Taking -1 to hit for +2d6 to damage is much better than Power Attack.

Meirril wrote:
So, the big benefit from dipping Occultist is getting bane 3-4 times a day for 1 minute at a time, right? Not the +1 weapon enchant?

Yes. And I agree with you that it's better to do this dip after you can actually afford a magic weapon.

Quote:
Short term Frostbite will be good, but long term Shocking Grasp is more impressive for a Magus.

Perhaps surprisingly, Frostbite outdamages Shocking Grasp once you get regular access to Haste. Except against undead, of course. Your advice of a Shield wand, Intensify, and Elemental Spell is otherwise solid.

Quote:
Also instead of using Brand, I'm under the impression that Arcane Mark works just as well?

That is correct.

Slim Jim wrote:
I'm being exactly the right amount of harsh by clawing the blackboard whenever I see a starting stat of 18 in point-buy, and I'll say so regardless of class (save probably wizard).

The OP is using 16 with a racial +2, which is entirely reasonable.

Quote:
PCs die like mice in PFS

Riiight. If you have (say) +5 to a save, you're perfectly fine; but if you have one single point less, you're suddenly "dying like mice". Math doesn't work that way, and it is entirely not standard in PFS for anyone to "die like mice".

Slim Jim wrote:
Magus is one of the earliest "new in Pathfinder" classes, and a little lackluster compared to many of the newer ones.

I take it you've never actually played one, then :D The Magus's action economy (spell combat and swift action abilities) blows the occultist completely out of the water. Besides, single-class Magus gets bane too, albeit at a later level. No need to be alarmist.

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Slim Jim wrote:
You're spending 17 of your 20 build points on an 18 strength in a non-full-BAB class that doesn't rage. ....do NOT do this (in any kind of build, let alone magus), and everything else is being butchered to pay for it.

You're being way too harsh on this.

Going strength-primary is an entirely viable way to play a Magus (as well as numerous other melee classes that don't rage). The main advantage is that it saves two feats - feats which are precious at low level and which you can spend on more interesting things than swapping stats around. But the str-Magus also deals more damage than the dex-Magus, and it gets decent climb and swim skills (which are useful in many adventures).

Yes, dex magus has better defenses; but you can compensate for that with your spells. Mirror Image is generally better than investing in AC. The point is that both work; unlike what your post suggests, there is no "one and only" single way to play a class.

Oh, and swashbuckler dip isn't great on a Magus. Occultist dip is actually better, since it can give Bane ability to the weapon.

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It strikes me that a guide like this one is most useful when it offers general advice, not highly specific advice. That is, if an archetype is -2 but we can think of an obscure corner case where it's possibly not, then it should still be listed as -2, because that corner case will simply never apply to the average player.

Because otherwise, the document gets unwieldy very quickly.

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Ok, I've added some feedback in the document on a few existing rates. Most of the text is solid, but a few of the archetypes overlook a particular feature, or have become better due to new material in the last few years. HTH!

For instance, in the wizard section, most archetypes that lose arcane bond and/or school point out that this is a major downside and get a poor rating, but a handful either point this out in the text but omitted to adjust the rating, and one or two archetypes have overlooked this drawback entirely. Losing a major class feature usually makes an archetype less powerful and less versatile.

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Some updates for the Magus class:

Armored Battlemage (versatility -2, power -2) - Yeah, this is a big trap. You lose both spell combat and your enchant weapon ability, which are two of the biggest reasons for playing a Magus, and get almost nothing in return. The armor enchantments are overpriced and eclipsed by your defensive spells anyway.
Deep Marshal (versatility -1, power -1) - Ironically, this defensive archetype actually has worse defense than a regular Magus, since the best defensive buffs are all illusions and the marshal can't use those. And it turns out that most of the good abjuration spells are on the Magus list already anyway.
Hexbreaker (versatility +0, power +0) - You can counter and reflect curses, which is nice but situational as well as unreliable. But you don't lose a lot for taking this archetype.
Iron-Ring Striker (versatility -2, power -1) - Diminished spellcasting, fewer pool enchantments, less feat choice, and an enlarge ability that's weaker than your spells. You should really go for the Jistkan Artificer instead.
Jistkan Artificer (versatility -2, power +1) - You get an AC bonus from shielding arm, and a damage boost from golem arm with size-increasing polymorphs. But these increases aren't so big, and you pay a lot of spells and arcana for them.
Magic Warrior (versatility +1, power +1) - You gain a Beast Shape ability activated with arcane pool, meaning you can fly as early as level 3. The pre-errata version lets you even use this at will.
Nature-Bonded Magus (versatility +1, power -1) - You get druid spells, and there are some pretty good druid spells out there; and an AC boost from merging with your familiar. But losing your arcane pool locks you out of the enchant weapon ability as well as most (but not all) good arcana.
Puppetmaster (versatility +1, power +0) - This archetype gains full access to the Bard spell list, adding versatility and making him a very good debuffer. It loses the direct damage capacity of a regular Magus but gets better save-or-lose spells in return.
Sigilus (versatility -2, power -2) - Replaces by a situational +1 to hit, and gets weaker armor in exchange for a bit of energy resistance. Two straight downgrades and zero new abilities make this one of the weakest archetypes.
Sorrowblade (versatility +0, power +0) - This archetype just doesn't do much. You replace one arcana by a weaker and more expensive version of the Enforcer feat, and get a pool enchantment that you could have bought from cash. That's all.
Spell Trapper (versatility +0, power +0) - You don't lose much for taking this, but in most campaigns, it is pretty rare that you have time to trap an area before combat occurs. That makes the main benefit to this archetype highly situational.

(note, the guide currently lists 'bladed scarf dancer' and 'golemfist' and so on, these are just the d20pfsrd renames of 'kapenia dancer' and 'jistkan artificer')

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Wilderness Origins appears to be on d20pfsrd now. It doesn't have a lot of material for the Magus in particular, but there's a new hex that gives a flat +2 AC that may be worth it for Hexcrafters. And I suppose I should write up (kurald) Gathlains at some point because they fly.

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Bjh31 wrote:
I would love to get some advice regarding building (and playing) a Magus.

Magus guide, at your service :)

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The rules on Style Feats specify that "You can use a feat that has a style feat as a prerequisite only while in the stance of the associated style." Therefore you must be in spear dancing stance for any and all benefits of spear dancing spiral.

It may be easier to take Weapon Trick Polearm to get a one-handed reach weapon. It gives some penalties, but Weapon Trick + Focus + Specialization is still fewer feats than the whole Spear Dancing line, and doesn't eat your swift actions.

If you don't care about OAs, then the Lunge feat is even easier; and of course there's the Long Arm spell.

For really absurd amounts of reach, note that all of these stack with each other if you're so inclined.

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Yes, that was definitely a mistake (something with google sync). It should be back now.

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I've had some time to look over the Planar Adventures book, and it has a number of interesting feats.

* Authoritative Spell is interesting. If used with a spell that doesn't give a saving throw (e.g. Ray of Frost) then the feat doesn't give a save either. Also available as metarod.
* Blissful Spell is a decent buff or debuff on every spell you cast. Also available as metarod.
* Chaos Reigns is nice for a polymorph-based Magus; whenever you're in a form without hands, this gives you an extra attack.
* Crypt Spell adds an automatic debuff for undead to all your spells; probably best as a metarod.
* Grasping Tail is decent on any race with a tail (e.g. kitsune) that doesn't have the tiefling's or vanara's tail ability.
* Planar Infusion is a good feat but it's more flexible to use the Bestow Planar Infusion spell for it.
* Tidal Swiftness basically gives you +10' movement rate whenever you have time to prepare for combat.
* Wanderer's Fortune feat gives you freedom of movement at-need as a swift action. Wow.

Heroes of the Fringe has one interesting feat, which is Gifts from the Sea. As written it appears to bypass the restriction on what spells can be potions. If this feat can give you e.g. Monkey Fish or Longstrider 1/d then it's an interesting pick. If not, it is immediately obsoleted by some cheap actual potions.

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So, looking over the classes and their proficiences, I see that a few of them get very cool abilities with their saving throws. For instance, the rogue's evasion and barbarian's juggernaut let them treat crit-fail as regular failure, and eventually failure as success.

This is great. But for the classes that don't have them, there is just not enough difference here. Most of them are "trained" in one saving throw and "expert" in two others, and this doesn't change. This means that by the end of the game, one class will have +20 to a save and the other will have... +21. And that's it. I wouldn't even notice this difference in gameplay.

The same applies to perception and weapons. Most classes are either fixed at +0 or fixed at +1 at level one, and this doesn't change and is barely discernible as different. The scale from +0 to +3 is small enough already, and now most classes are locked in a scale from +0 to +1.

So do more with this. I'd say that more classes should gain expert/mastery in various things, just not all at the same level - and then expert/mastery should just DO more, which either means doubling the bonus (come on, a +6 over 20 levels is not going to break the game) or having more feats that scale with it (like Assurance and Slow Fall do).

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From Blood of the Ancients, added Jistkan Artificer archetype as yellow (1-13) and green (14-20, where its monk damage, free weapon, and AC bonus become substantially better than baseline); Shared Training spell (green, as hours-lasting party buffs are rare); and Aerial Roll feat (blue, as an excellent defense comparable to Flamboyant Arcana).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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It's nice to hear that the bonuses work out at level 20 but this is not representative of common gameplay. I would be more interested to see how things work at level five because it's way more common to play at that level.

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Oh wow, this is a classic.

Decades ago, one of the designers of Dungeons and Dragons had never heard of a military sling, and thought this was the same as a slingshot toy.

Military sling: http://www.webassign.net/giocp2/5-p-064.gif
Toy sling: http://www.everwonder.com/david/simpsons/pics/b1.gif

So, you know, he confused a highly effective weapon with lead bullets from the Greek/Persian wars of antiquity (among others) for the little toy pea-shooter used by Bart Simpson and Dennis the Menace. Later designers have simply copy/pasted the sling stats, and this is why the sling has been a very crappy weapon throughout all iterations of D&D, and now, Pathfinder.

It would be nice if somebody would finally rectify this :)

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tivadar27 wrote:
This system is almost as flat as 5E, and I don't love that. I'm curious to see what you can and can't do, but the fact remains, my level 5 Legendary Stealther has the same base stealth score as your level 10 Untrained Stealther.

No, this system is flatter than 5E, and bear in mind that the skill system is the most controversial and widely-disliked part of 5E.

At mid-level, 5E's system goes mod+0 (untrained), mod+4 (trained), mod+8 (expert); meaning that if he's allowed to roll, the untrained guy beats the expert one time out of six.

Compare P2's proposed system, which goes mod-2 (untrained), mod (trained), mod+1 (expert). That means that on any task the rookie is allowed to roll for, he'll beat the expert about one time out of three.

...somebody who loses to a rookie 33% of the time is NOT what I'd call an expert.

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I've just read the new article on proficiency, and it sounds really good that there are different levels of proficiency and that you can learn special tricks (or feats or whatnot) at higher level, such as evasion or immunity to poison and so forth.

But.

Then there is the associated dice mechanic, and the issue here is that proficiency uses the same modifiers for everything, even when that wouldn't be appropriate.

Consider: in P1, Weapon Focus and Spell Focus give you a +1, and are pretty good feats that are commonly used. Lightning Reflexes and Iron Will give a bigger bonus, +2, and despite that are fairly average feats; they're just not as good as Weapon Focus. And then, Skill Focus gives you a +3 (or +6 at high levels) and this is a mediocre feat that's rarely seen in play. Basically, a +1 on attack rolls is a good deal since you roll several of these per round. A +2 on saving throws is ok but not great for a feat, since saving throws are pretty common but less common than attack rolls. A +3 on skills for a feat is just not a good deal.

Under the proposed proficiency system, these bonuses are all the same, and I don't see this as a good thing. In combat, it works fine that a sword master gets +1 to hit over a regular trained person, comparable to weapon focus. But out of combat, an expert performer with only +1 over a trained singer, well, that's way too small a difference. You roll a perform check once or twice per session if you're lucky, and at that point the amateur has about a 45% chance of beating the expert at his expertise. Because usually, the learned wizard should beat a same-level barbarian on knowledge checks, and right now he doesn't.

Yes, I get that they're the prerequisite of all kinds of cool stuff, and I like that. But the expert/master/legend modifiers for skills at least, and arguably for saving throws, should make a bigger difference than this, like +2 or +3 per 'rank'. Because in P1 that modifier is at least +3, and THAT is so weak that almost nobody wants to spend a feat on it.

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Yes, we could certainly lobby for the Magus (or failing that, a gish archetype of some kind). Please join this thread.

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So the original eleven classes do not include a magic warrior, spelldancer, or Gish; and only allow you to play one through kludges like multiclassing fighter and wizard and some hybrid prestige class. Imho, one of the great inventions Paizo did in later books is making this actually work, and have a class that can reliably cast-and-fight in the same turn.

The prime example of this is the Magus, but the Bloodrager and Warpriest are other good examples, and numerous other classes have an archetype or two that let you play a magical warrior.

I would really like to be able to play one in the New Pathfinder as well. Ideally I'd love to see the Magus class in 2.0, but what could also work is have an archetype (or whatever the equivalent is) focused on playing this traditional character. If any of the playtesters can tell me how this could be accomplished, I'd appreciate it if you could share that.

Sovereign Court 2/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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I find that in the current system, Fame basically doesn't matter. Prestige points matter, but fame doesn't really.

Yes, item access is based on fame, but in almost all cases a character's item access is determined by how much money he has, and it's pretty hard (and vanishingly rare in my experience) to get a character with enough money to buy an item that would be above his fame rating. Other than that, there's nothing much really; a handful of vanities that nobody ever takes require a 10 or 20 fame, or something? I've not seen this matter over several years of play.

So I'd say, either get rid of fame (and use only prestige); or have it actually do something meaningful.

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The guide is WAY too long. It is easily three or four times longer than is necessary.

Furthermore, there should not be both a PFS FAQ and a PFS Clarifications document, as these serve the exact same purpose and you shouldn't require players to look in both documents. This also means that errata or clarifications or rules changes should NOT be in the additional resources document NOR should it be in the PFS guide.

Keep all documents focused and to the point, and they'll be much more accessible.

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I have only two issues with the way chronicles work now.

The first one is that lots of chronicles devote a LOT of space to listing items that you can normally buy anyway. This strikes me as a waste of time and space. Don't give (e.g.) a Pearl of Power III as loot when the rules clearly state that anyone can buy those already anyway. Also, don't give out loot that is WAY above what characters can afford at the adventure level.

The second is that many of the newer ones are just too darn long. Instead of giving five separate small results that you all get at the same time, give a single one that's big and more meaningful. Narrow situational bonuses are annoying (e.g. +1 to bluff checks against elves in Lastwall, or whatever); basically too fiddly to bother remembering.

I love reputation boons, i.e. such-and-such faction (or person) loves or hates your character now, and this will impact future scenarios. Related to this, I love mutually exclusive outcomes, i.e. depending on your choices in the scenario you get either this boon or that boon (or either the love or hatred of such-and-such faction).

Finally, I completely disagree that players should do their shopping under the supervision of the GM. Slot time is limited, and when we've got the PCs together I want to adventure, not watch other people think of what items to buy.

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RickDias wrote:
I have to wonder if one could do well in PFS play without a Magical Lineage Shocking Grasp and instead just do regular Level 2 Intensified Shocking Grasps instead. Is this one of those things that makes-or-breaks a Dex Magus where you just have to have it or TPKs will ensue because your character wasn't doing their job, or does the Magus get by without it?

One of the reasons why I wrote this handbook is to show that the Magus is a very versatile class, and do not NEED any one particular trick to play an effective one. Indeed, you can play a Magus who doesn't even cast Shocking Grasp, ever (which should be a fun surprise for numerous PFS players). SG is a good trick, but by no means the only good trick.

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Etob wrote:
First off, let me just say that this guide is great. I've rarely seen this level of dedication in a guide, so thank you, and well done. The Magus has become one of my favorite classes to play. Anyway, I'd like to request a couple of additions to the guide, namely words of power and mythic. Both are really cool subsystems, and I think a Magus in particular could benefit from WoP, especially Eldritch Scion.

Thank you :)

Well I've just recently put in a section on Mythic. It could still use a bit of proofreading but please take a look. It's next to the prestige classes because mechanically mythic tiers feel like a powerful prestige class (that fully advances your main class, too).

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Moonheart, I'm sorry to hear you're getting irritated from all this. Please understand that if you just want to share a cool build you've made then everybody is fine with that.

However, if you claim that your build is the best build or strictly superior to some other build or the highest damage of any Magus, then people will expect you to prove this. And this goes both ways: if you expect other people to be convinced by your math, you should also be open to be convinced by their math if they point out that you've overlooked something. If you cannot do that, then you're just "eager to dismiss a divergeant opinion".

Moonheart wrote:
Also, I do not understand the "Weapon Trick: Polearm" thing.

It lets you use a polearm one-handed. If the polearm has reach, you now have a one-handed reach weapon.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Doesn't using the branch spear prevent you from using spell combat, which is part and parcel to the class? What am I missing?

The catch is that Moonheart's build is a Mindblade. At level 13 and up, Mindblades can use spell combat with a 2H weapon.

Moonheart wrote:
ALL the worst assumptions you've throw in my way (not enough gold for two +4 items, no x1.5 multiplier to int modifier, when you still have to prove those points)

The point is not that you don't have enough gold. The point is that IF you spend gold on two +4 items, then the Str Magus gets to spend the same amount of gold on something else - otherwise your comparison isn't fair.

In the same spirit, as Chesspwn points out, your EBS build has spent four feats. That means the Str Magus gets to spend four feats on something else, too. And because the EBS requires a swift action to activate the stance, the Str Magus gets to spend a swift action, e.g. on arcane pool to boost his weapon by +4.

Chess Pwn wrote:
And to be the REAL kicker is, why are you two handing your weapon but the str version isn't?

Because it's a Mindblade and the Str Magus is not.

When the discussion started, Moonheart wanted to prove that the Elven Battle feat line (that are commonly considered trap options) are actually great. Mindblade is just an instrument in this proof. So the question becomes, what happens to this build if we replace the EBS feats? ...It turns out the build actually becomes better. You lose +3 damage from int, but WF/WS makes up for that and you gain two feats and a swift action.

So the overall conclusion here is that Mindblade is very good, Combat Reflexes is very good, and Elven Battle Style is still a trap.

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Moonheart wrote:
Ok, I'm going to simply a bit the analysis, because comparing the benefit of reach vs the benefit of a superior critical range is truly tricky

No it's not. Sorry, if you do not know how to do a basic DPR calculation then you have no business claiming that one build does "MORE damage than ALL other kind".

You are welcome to use your own stat distribution, of course. It may help if you take one that actually meets the prereq for Power Attack :P

Quote:
to get reach, you need to sacrifice a round of spellcombat, and you cannot extend it to 15th

Come now. Casting Long Arm is the level one solution. At level thirteen, you'd be casting Monstrous Physique III, which gives +6 to strength, 15' reach, +4 to AC, 3d6 base weapon damage, and pounce. And please read my post above on how to get more than 15' reach.

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

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

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

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It strikes me that Weapon Specialization will contribute more to your overall damage than Arcane Strike, as +2 damage all the time is simply better than +3 or +4 whenever you have a swift action to spare. And Weapon Spec already isn't a great pick.

Aside from enchanting your weapon, you could be using your swift for e.g. Hasted Assault; Spell Recall; Lingering Pain; Step Up; any quickened spell; drawing an item from spring sheaths; plus magical items like a Blood Scarab, Buffering Cap, or Spell Storing weapon or armor. So in my experience having an open swift action happens less than 20% of the time.

Regarding Step Up, I note that your 11th level caster is casting a 4th level spell with about 20% chance of failure. If you wouldn't have the feat, he'd be casting a sixth level spell with a zero chance of failure. So that's a clear win. Moreover, you can counter archers, since most archers have no way of "shooting defensively". Finally, a lot of monsters have spell-like abilities with a markedly lower caster level (e.g. royal naga is CL 9 for a CR 11 monster) or concentration check (e.g. meladaemon has +15 conc, and his best SLA is DC 31 to cast defensively!)

In addition, Step Up is simply hilarious: "I step away!" - "No you don't!" :D

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You won't run out of spells. Let's start with the assumption that this is possible, and then work out how.

You mention up to six encounters per day. This obviously depends on the campaign, so it's good that you know your GM already. In my experience the average combat is three or four rounds. With a big party (like yours: six people) this tends to decrease, and if you have more encounters per day they tend to be shorter to compensate. So let's go with an average of three rounds per combat (feel free to adjust my math since you know your GM; the principle still stands).

So if you can get eighteen spells per day, that means that on your longest adventuring day, you can cast a spell every round and never run out. How do we get there?

  • It's easiest with a sorcerer. Level six sorcerer gets 18 spells per day (14 base, +4 from high cha), boom, done.
  • Level six wizard gets eight baseline, +3 for specialization, +4 for high intelligence, +1 from arcane bond, +2 from pearls of power (assuming normal WBL, these are easily affordable by now). So that's also eighteen.
  • Level five cleric has it easy if you count Channel Energy as a spell, either as team healer or with a variant channel debuff. 6 baseline, 3 domain, 3 wisdom, 6 channels equals eighteen.

At levels below six, we've got a couple options:
  • The first is cantrips. At low levels, Daze and Disrupt Undead, in particular, are good options in combat. They have infinite use, of course.
  • Scrolls are cheap. Carry a bunch of them around.
  • School powers and bloodline powers. Most of them don't scale particularly well, but at low levels you get half a dozen free castings of Magic Missile (or equivalent) per day.
  • Finally, bear in mind that we're aiming for your longest day, most days will probably be shorter than that.

So yes, you can play a full caster who doesn't run out of spells. Try it some time, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
How about the Belt of Fallen Heroes? At 21k, you can get 6 hours of an Unseen Servant, only THIS one warns you about everything! Sure, the +1 to all saves is an insight bonus, meaning it stacks with all your resistance ones, but if a GM put it a treasure pile, I'd half-expect them to add, "but the Fallen Hero's warnings are high-pitched, nonstop, and really annoying."

Hey! Listen!

Watch out!

Hey! Listen!

A POIsonous snake!

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Since your guide is based primarily on wizards, I can offer the following from my Magus handbook. Several abilities are better for a Magus than for a wizard, and vice versa; in particular, Protector and Mauler are better on a frontliner, whereas Emissary and Figment are better on a pure caster. Note that the School Familiar feat is required to unlock the various school familiar archetypes, which rather devalues them as the other archetypes don't require a feat.

Archetypes:
Emissary (*****) - Since it can cast Guidance each round, you basically get +1 to all skills and your first attack each round, which is great. Additionally, you can reroll a will save and use a cleric domain once per day each (using the familiar's action, not yours); a good choice here is the bit of luck power from the Luck domain. This is probably the best and most versatile choice for a familiar; "+1 to everything" may be a bit bland, but it is very powerful, and clerics have some amazing domains.

Figment (****) or Sage (****) or Both (*****) - These two archetypes give you a familiar with excellent knowledge skills that will come back the next day if killed. This makes it a safe choice for a flanking familiar. Your figment gets to pick an evolution, as the feat below (e.g. +8 to a knowledge skill, switch each day depending on where you're going). Note that several familiars are small-sized, meaning they don't need any feat or evolution to flank with you. This is frankly amazing on any character that's not int-primary, and it's the best option for a fighting familiar.

Mauler (**) - The main benefit of the mauler is that you gain a bonus to hit and damage whenever defeating an enemy. Even with its strength bonuses, it's still not an effective combatant due to its poor AC and hit points (and its damage is frankly mediocre). Its bigger form can, however, serve as a mount; this is particularly nice for flying familiars. The big problem with the Mauler is that putting a familiar in combat may well get it killed (which puts it out of action for a week, and costs a sizeable amount of money); if you want a flanking buddy, the Figment is a much better choice.

Protector (****) - A very good defensive choice, this effectively gives you a +2 to armor class, as well as a buffer of extra hit points. The obvious combo is making it a turtle for another +1 AC. This is best on a frontliner, for obvious reasons. By the way, Protector and Sage don't stack, they both replace the alertness ability.

Feats:
Evolved Familiar (***) - In addition to any archetypes, you can take this feat to boost your familiar with an evolution. The obvious choice is adding +8 to one knowledge skill, or to perception; or reach so you can flank even with a tiny familiar.

Figment's Fluidity feat (****) The figment's feat lets it switch around its evolution a couple times per day (using the familiar's action, not yours), which adds versatility. Particularly nice at low level.

Mauler's Endurance feat (***) A decent HP boost for the familiar, but the mauler is still not a great combatant with this (because its damage and AC remain subpar). The Figment's immortality is better.

Sage's Guidance (*****) This gives your whole party a to-hit bonus whenever the familiar identifies a monster. This is a great bonus at no action cost to you, and given the sage's knowledge checks he's identifying monsters all the time. If the sage is also a Figment, he won't die.

Undersized Mount (****) - If your character is small-sized, this feat lets you use a small familiar as a mount, which is nice if it can fly. This is not the safest way of flying in combat, though.

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Zhangar wrote:
Though if you have a "gain an enchant on the fly" class ability (such as the magus Ghost Blade arcana), then brilliant energy can be amazing.

Of course, the fact that it's so situational makes the Ghost Blade arcana also regrettably overpriced :)

Feather Token Tree is amazing. The rest of them, well, not so much.

Brooch of Shielding is a legacy item, because Magic Missile used to be one of the best spells to disrupt concentration of an enemy spellcaster... back under Second Edition rules. The concentration rules got updated, the brooch did not. Hence it's pretty pointless now.

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All right...

Nimble Shot bow. Sure, as a ranged character you need a way to deal with opportunity attacks, or possibly a backup melee weapon. It's not really a big deal to have such an option available at low level. But this bow enchantment counts as a plus four... that's way overpriced.

Smuggler's Collapsible Robe. What this lets you do is escape from combat... but only into the robe. Anything that's actually a threat to you is likely to either take the robe with them or destroy it, either of which puts you right back in the same predicament. It's not a bad ability per se but it really isn't great either (compared to e.g. a scroll of dimdoor), what's shocking about it is the price. How many smugglers do you think have 48000 gold just lying around for a haphazard pseudo-escape?

Deep Brown Sphere Ioun Stone. This uber powerful magical item, for the bargain price of ten thousand gold, lets you know how many feet you are below sea level. Impress your friends!

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You... missed the fact that its effect is random, right? If found in random loot, any player in their right mind would sell it.

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Looks like the necromancer is a very good class today...

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Clearly the answer is dentures.

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Magus builds are welcome in this thread, don't worry about it :)

Your build looks solid; however after a couple of levels I would suggest retraining out of Dervish Dancer in favor of another Magus level (and replacing Extra Performance by Weapon Finesse). Although it's by no means a bad dip, I'd say single-classing is better in the long run.

Why is that? Well, on your first turn you basically want to either move to an enemy and cast/attack (if there isn't one next to you), or make a full attack in spell combat (if there is); and spending a move action on Dervish Dance prevents you from doing either. At low level, this is fine; but as soon as you have spells that are equal or better than the dervish bonus, you can cast one of those and engage, instead of spending the first combat round buffing yourself.

Also, I suggest dropping str and wis to 8 each (since their current values do basically nothing for you) in favor of more con (frontliners want hit points and fort save). HTH!

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It's much easier than that.

Check the section on weapons. It explicitly states that "Ranged weapons are thrown weapons or projectile weapons that are not effective in melee."

So a throwing hammer is a ranged weapon. Problem solved.

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Saint Bernard wrote:
Just to answer the question of whether a Blade Bound is top notch. I have a strength blade bound magus in PFS built using this guide for guidance I am thoroughly enjoying. Having fun is more important than DPR.

Thank you :)

MagicA wrote:
Would any of the advanced armor or weapon training be of good use for the magus? I think maybe armor specialization for heavy armor magi.

Ah, there's an interesting question. As some good choices, Focused Weapon provides a decent damage boost at level 15 and up, Warrior Spirit lets you use Bane at level 11, and Armored Juggernaut gives you DR from level 7. This also opens up the Difficult Swings and Smash from the Air feats.

If allowed, variant multiclassing is a cheaper and easier way of getting these than the myrm, which is another archetype with more drawbacks than it's worth.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Not related to the above (I think): Here's a question I've been wondering about for a while: Any good way to leverage high Wisdom on a Magus, other than the obvious

And since this wasn't really answered yet: dip one level into inquisitor to add your wisdom to monster knowledge checks and to social skills (via various inquisitions); a second level adds it to init. Knowledge/memory domain is also decent. Or, dip two levels into sacred fist warpriest to get wisdom to AC, as well as fervor ability. Combine with fortune's favor trait and divine favor. Also, there's the wisdom in the flesh trait.

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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
At what level would you like a comprehensive comparison using fully stated out characters?

Please take this to another thread. Several people have indicated they have had quite enough of this nitpicking on a poorly designed archetype. Thank you.

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We all agree that more attacks are good. That's why the eso pays through the nose for the ability to have five attacks per round. But you know what gives five attacks per round at no cost? Monstrous Physique I. For that matter, Beast Shape II gives a whopping nine attacks well before GTWF comes online.

Bladelock wrote:
Damage is only a wash up to lvl 13 or 15 when Esoteric pulls away from BB. A SG magus needs Intensify so Esoteric is down 2 feats not 3.

Well, I'm glad we're agreeing that the damage is more-or-less equal, rather than twice as much as you previously claimed. However, the bladebound does this for free, whereas the eso has to invest most his feats and all of his WBL to keep up (and loses bonus feats, spell recall, and spell slots to boot!) So the point is that the eso build is optimized whereas the bladebound is 'cookie-cutter'; or as Chess puts it,

Chess Pwn wrote:
Basically 1 build that can keep up doesn't make the archetype that tier. Since the other archetype can have many different builds that are all roughly equal to each other it's a better archetype. If your archetype varies in build ideas then it quickly loses to BB.

That shows that the bladebound is a top-notch archetype and the eso is decidedly not. For instance, as Ferious and Jurassic point out, an easy way to up the bb's damage is by using Frostbite, which saves yet another feat. I really don't see the point in arguing about DPR any futher, so to answer your questions the bb was using deliquescent gloves (since he had a ton of cash left over), and my formula does account for the fact that flaming/shock don't double on a crit.

AZGrowler wrote:
I'm not sure the vanilla Spellstrike works on unarmed attacks without dipping monk or brawler.

It does if you wear gauntlets.

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Skald is heavily dependent on what your teammates are playing, so check with them first. Usually, you'd want a number of strength-based melee characters in your party before skald becomes worthwhile.

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Perhaps you meant to use the word "verdict" instead of "consensus" :)

I think Legislation is pretty good at low level. Tell an enemy to not attack, and he's either doing nothing much for one round, or takes damage. Considering the damage is equivalent to that of many school/domain abilities requiring a to-hit roll, that's a pretty good deal.

It's worth noting that the Petrification's hardness ability is primarily for caster clerics - since if you're a melee cleric, you'll probably want to use full attacks as often as possible.

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After (a)lchemist and (b)arbarian, let's check the Cleric.

Tark's is from 2013, and is also comprehensive.
Rogue Eidolon is from 2010, and is comprehensive.
Beckett's is from 2010 and is rather less complete than Tark's or Eidolon's.
Axe's is from 2010, and appears to be unfinished.
Brewer's Guide, the Hangover Cleric, and Ia Chtulhu are about a specific build instead of the whole class; I think these ended up in the wrong list and should be moved to the "guide to the builds" instead.

Finally, Pupsocket's guide is an interesting case. It is the most recent (2014), but it's actually a guide for other classes to dip into cleric. So it's not actually a cleric guide. I'm not sure where to place this.

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Magus Alchemist

To add to your list,

The Exhaustive Guide to the Kensai Magus is from 2014. Forger’s Supplemental Guide is also last updated in 2014 (and explicitly covers only anything that Walter's guide doesn't). The Guide to the Myrmidarch was last updated May 2012.

Dealing With The Devil is already in the first post of the thread we're currently in, meaning it's older than April 2011. So is Ogre's Alchemist’s Guide.

I concur with the rest of the datings.

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