Because stacking 1d6 + 1d6 to get 10d6 is not how anything else in Pathfinder works, and was not possible when Vivi was printed so there’s no way it could have been intended.
Everyone agrees that’s what the words say though. Surprised it wasn’t errata’d, or maybe the errata was done before slow progression classes were printed.
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Skald is a better choice than bard anyways. Fortitude saves are more important than reflex saves, and a bard has fast progression for reflex instead of fortitude. Inspired rage also seems to be a better choice than inspire courage especially when you factor in the character can grant rage powers to the entire party. There are 5 other combat focused characters in the party besides the OP. Being able to boost the STR and CON of all of them is probably a lot better than anything a bard can do. Without seeing...
skald is going to be extremely dependent on group specifics.
In this case, i’d guess that the Rogue and Ninja are Dex characters, and the brawler, ranger, bloodrager are Str. And of those three, Bloodrager probably won’t benefit much from the Skald song. Where Inspire Courage is always going to give max benefit to all 5.
Bard is a decent option, but once you consider the synergy between being a full caster while performing at the same time,
I can’t help but look at going Sorcerer // Oath of the People’s Council Paladin;
getting full caster + full performance + Cha to everything on one main ability score, and full BAB/D10 hp. Though i guess with a 32 point buy you could actually do a Wizard//OotPC Paladin fairly effectively.
On Wizard/Magus side of things, another thing they could do very well (beyond spell combat with ranged touch weapon) is Combat Maneuvers. Pretty easy to get +50 CMB with a magus around level 10, and Dirty Tricks are basically unstoppable (which you could combine with standard action spells each turn).
I think expectation that Greater Invisibility will help you hit things reliably isn’t accurate; enemy flat footed AC is often as high as regular AC. Giants, Dragons, Undead, Oozes, Aberrations, Constructs, Outsiders etc.
well that takes out my previous recommendation, Musket Master Eldritch Archer // Wizard.
But if the rule is “No Firearms.”, does that still allow Bolt Ace (crossbow, no guns) Gunslinger? Eldritch Archer with a few Bolt Ace levels works pretty well too.
3/4 BAB would usually make it difficult to contribute by weapon attacks in a Gestalt campaign. Maybe Musket Master/Eldritch Archer + Wizard (Spellslinger or otherwise)?
Chark the Shark wrote:
he may be saying that Medium list 4th level spells are only at higher level on other lists, and while normally Mediums don’t access them until 13th level, when they go Hierophant they jump ahead to 7th level. There is some truth to that, with a handful of decent spells that are 3rd or 4th on the medium list but don’t show up until higher levels for others (e.g., True Seeing), but overall the list isn’t good and there aren’t a lot of those lower-for-Mediums that are that exciting. Haste and Heroism as 2nd level spells is nice, sort of Bardy there.
Two comments on the Wizard guide would be:
I think they started putting out the FAQs maybe 10 years ago, which are the ‘actual rules’, and substantial errata occurred to the CRB and APG. At this point, i think all of the hardcovers have had their errata (and FAQs), so at least for them RAI = RAW.
For your other question, if someone asks a rules question in the rules forum, I think the priority should be including a ‘letter of the law’ answer, although noting if it is ruled differently for PFS would be reasonable, or if it is particularly problematic/unplayable as written. Outside of the rules forum, letter vs spirit probably depends on the context of the question.
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
i would expect Contingency to cover most situations like that, given the required 11th level caster requirement. Can’t he just kill himself and reform in worst case scenario though?
Do you really mean “harder to dispel”, or possibly “harder to save against”? Usually things being easily dispelled isn’t problematic; if anything capable of casting Dispel Magic or Remove Curse is spending turns that way, that’s great (also Dispel magic looks at spell caster level vs. remove curse being spell DC based, which adds a bit more mess to this).
If you really mean ‘harder to dispel’, Tenacious Spell metamagic is nice. It looks like there isn’t officially a metamagic rod for it, but there should be a Metamagic Gem for it.
Agree that there shouldn’t be a bunch of 10s in each category, but I think for a lot of these 7-8s are achievable at least with appropriate builds. E.g., i think divine casters in general can get to at least 7-8 for combat and healing, and int casters should all be close to 7ish to start for utility. And saying a class can get up to 8 in multiple categories isn’t really that big a claim; “if you devote your build to this, you can be third rate at it”. Sure, fine.
And I certainly have favorites, but i would put the 10s down as:
For wizard, on ‘critters’ the Acadamae Graduate feat buys you standard action summons, which is one of the biggest criteria i look to when judging whether a class is good or not at summoning. They have access to familiars out of CRB, so that is nice here. And the Instructor archetype gives you a Cohort, which is overpowered but i’m not sure whether to count it as a critter.
For Utility, wizard is an Int class with arbitrarily many different spells in his book (and Scroll writing as a class feature by default). So very high floor; the Spell Savant archetype gives on demand access to most other spells as well, pushing that archetype up to at least a 9 for utility, pending whether anyone suggests something else could be better.
For Healing, i guess Arcane Physician is an intended archetype, but it’s terrible, maybe pushes wizard from a 1 to a ‘1.5’. Spell Savant is probably better even purely for healing purposes.
For Arcanist, Occultist Archetype is the place to be for ‘Critters’, 9 or 10 out of 10 for that. For ‘buff’ing, Brown Fur Transmuter is the 10 of 10. For Healing, White Mage i guess is the high point for Arcanist, maybe puts you up to 3-4 out of 10, comparable to a Witch. So Arcanist archetypes align pretty cleanly with the categories you have.
For Utility, one comment I’d make is that Int-based casters have a huge Utility advantage because they end up flooded with skill points, and that tends to overwhelm any class feature skill advantages other builds have, at least by high level.
Northern Spotted Owl wrote:
for the ‘spell selection shaman’, key features i would note are:FCB: i think shaman is the only class that was designed with an FCB in mind. The Cleric spell list is the standard list for Shaman to access through FCB, but Druid, Psychic(!!!!), and portions of the wizard list are available. With a racial heritage feat, you can access up to two of these lists through FCB.
Spirit magic: lots of good spells through spirits, but unlike clerics/sorcerers/oracles, they can change these daily.
Arcane Enlightenment: has been discussed enough.
Fluid Magic: Would be amazing if Waves spirit magic spells weren’t so bad.
Serendipity Shaman: An archetype that can be used to do almost nothing other than replace bad Waves Spirit spells with great spells.
So at high level shaman ends up with access to every shaman and wizard list spell, and every cleric, druid, and psychic spell up to level 8 (but can only do two of those three lists). I’m a big Miracle fan, which is one of the reasons Serendipity merited a place on the list above.
Combining the features from that list, a high level shaman might prepare any combination of Wishes, Miracles, Time Stops, Gates, and Mass Heals in 9th level slots (which i view as the best/most important 9th level spells, and i don’t think any other class can come close to that). If you wonder where Communal Mind Blank is, said Shaman gets it as an 8th level spell from the Psychic list.
I really endorse MrCharisma’s proposal to use ranges for all of these; lots of cases where a class is generically not very good at something, but if you build toward that thing it becomes better than other classes building toward that.
Shaman examples are an extreme example of that in multiple ways. Going by their default spell list, they are the worst 9th level caster for spell list: i’d put them at a 3. But building for spell selection, they have by far the best effective spell list in the game (i would have them as the only 10). And it would be confusing to a reader to just toss that into ‘class features’; if someone looks at the guide wanting to build something with a strong effective spell list, they shouldn’t be pushed away from classes that are potentially ideal for that (also not clear that FCBs are ‘class features’).
Combat is the same challenge for shaman. By default, shaman is the worst divine class for combat (i’d give them a ‘4’ maybe). But building for it, i’d put them 2nd among 9th level casters built for combat (behind druid).
For a straightforward build,
Spell Focus + Greater and Elemental Focus + Greater gets you +8 with Spell Perfection. On a Spellslinger using a +5 gun,
I could see:
Then start grabbing little bonuses, Focused Spell metamagic (rod), +2, Robe of Runes, +2, Outlander trait, +1, Djezet material component, +1, Yulrael’s Blessing, +1.
I think the lack of armor proficiency would be most immediately noticeable.
The lack of strength might also be something that would be noticed. In game, however, most NPCs are probably more familiar with warrior npc-class characters, not PC classes that would have the obvious heroic str level. So maybe trying to pass yourself off as a the more common and less heroic warrior class might be easier.
There’s a Class Guide for the shaman class stickied in the advice forum if that’s what you are looking for.
Not really a general way to convert witch/oracle to shaman (beyond “nature patron/mystery => nature spirit”, etc); if there’s a specific build to be converted, could help with that.
For the classes, witch and oracle certainly have plenty of roles and niches they are great at, but yes, shaman has a lot of benefits of both of those classes while avoiding issues with them that are common complaints (while lacking other advantages of those classes and adding some new issues, of course).
Charisma bonuses definitely won’t ‘stack’ together.
But neither do enhancement bonuses, and yet for AC it’s common for a character to have three different enhancement bonuses contributing to AC: an enhancement bonus to your armor bonus to AC, an enhancement bonus to your shield bonus to AC, and an enhancement bonus to your natural armor bonus to AC. Enhancement bonuses don’t stack, but more than one can contribute if they do so indirectly. If there were mechanics (maybe there are) for it, a character could also have an enhancement bonus to their dexterity bonus to AC and an enhancement bonus (directly) to their AC. All five enhancement bonuses would be adding to the AC, even though they don’t stack.
Similarly, a character could have a charisma bonus to their Armor bonus to their AC adding on to a charisma bonus to their shield bonus to AC, adding to a charisma bonus to their dexterity bonus to AC adding to any applicable charisma bonus to AC. The charisma bonuses wouldn’t stack, but you would still be adding your charisma bonus to your AC multiple times. As written for this, one is a Charisma bonus directly to AC and one is a Charisma bonus added to your Dexterity bonus to AC; they won’t ‘stack’, but they should both contribute to your AC, giving you the double Cha effect that you actually care about..
you don’t see value in better reflex saves or extra class feats?
Shocking grasp is amazingly effective with spell strike as just a raw damage dealing spell. Getting item bonuses and being combined with the attack for the sake of truestrike makes it a really heavy boss hitter. Right up there with a fighter's single target damage capacity.
if you are spending your spell slots to be ‘right up there’ with single target damage classes for a few rounds per day, what is the value in being a magus, as assumptively you are worse than them for single target damage the rest of the day and worse defensively all day?
it was recently pointed out to me that Spirit Whisperer Wizard can take Arcane Enlightenment at level 5, weirdly granting divine spells.
On the original topic, yes, fast progression for both divine/arcane with shared ability score is ideal. You’ll still be a pretty worthless character for a few levels unless you cheat in without needing three levels of both classes.
Note that the Backfire Mantle magic item in SoM is useful to a Magus who wants to fireball someone in melee - it grants a circumstance (not status/item) bonus to reflex saves and some flat resistance to your own spells. Blow yourself up with more security.
Mantle’s resistance appears to only apply vs alchemical item splash. If i was going to do a blow-myself-up build, i’d look at Elfbane Hobgoblin, but honestly just use Cones instead of Burst.
The “lifetime to understand” phrase hints to me that the 9th version of clone would be relevant for someone at advanced age; given that standard clone is useless for someone about to die of old age, one possibility for Greater Clone would be the option for the clone to have a different age and does not fail for creatures that die of advanced age/natural causes.
the authors did a pretty even handed job of splitting RotRL loot into two categories; ‘wizard loot other classes could also potentially benefit from’ and ‘wizard only loot’.
i don’t get the logic…8 Min/18 Max after racials basically kills Orc and Kobold races off as options with no obvious benefit…?
if disallowing traits because a relevant staff already exists is the right thing to do, then there aren’t really any good traits left (unless you are on board with “commoner’s staff” type traits).
Scabbard of Pain is for rerolling failed saves against mind-affecting. Don’t actually need a melee weapon for it, or even a slot.
Boots of Speed are a reasonable investment around ~10th level. Getting grappled is pretty bothersome for an archer; Talisman of Freedom (Lesser at low levels) is a lower cost solution (vs. the 40K ring you’ll eventually want or the 10k unfettered shirt).
Charon Onozuka wrote:
the list the GM can add to is the list of spell traits that can’t be used for staves.
Obviously people can do whatever is agreed on in a home game, but i don’t see any supportive language for non-shared trait staves there.
their save DC with Int as your secondary ability is on average about 1 point behind wizard. It’s not really crippling, but if you want to dump Int (Champion etc archetype maybe), that’s certainly workable.
I’m generally more interested in Expansive for AoE spells, which are situationally spectacular, than single target save spells, which aren’t that exciting.
without expansive, you either only use cantrips for Spellstrike (which is a bit dull for my taste), or you have to prepare attack spells (which are generally bad) in your few precious slots.
I do think both of those directions are viable, and I don’t think there’s necessarily a “right way to magus”, but i’m confident taking a feat that allows you to combine Magus Spellstrike action economy advantage with the best spells available at each level isn’t “the wrong way to magus.” And i don’t think i’ve seen almost anyone complaining about ‘bounded spellcasting’ for the magus.
at which point you are likely only hitting one target with the aoe (Unless other players in your group don’t have reach), which kind of makes it pointless.
I don't know why we a marking the spell loss on a critical failure as some nasty downside. It's actually nicer than regular spell strike where you lose the spell on a regular failure.
i think the logic is that aoe spells normally have no chance of ‘failure’, where the attack spell’s chance of failure is effectively decreased with spellstrike.
For Expansive Spellstrike, i think people will realize that spending slots on AOEs is a very strong option (despite being 1.1 points lower in spell DC than wizards), and getting an extra effective action point or two at the beginning of combat is frequently a big deal.
Halcyon Speaker seems like this. Though making an Occult Wizard along the Halcyon Speaker approach might make Speaker feel less special.