Jigeke the Exile

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Grick wrote:

You are taking two separate issues (DC to notice invisible creature, and invisible bonus to stealth) and merging them together when they are completely unrelated.

The bonus to stealth checks is a bonus. It applies to stealth checks. It doesn't apply when you're not making a stealth check.

The DC to notice an invisible creature is 20. This is not including the bonus to stealth checks, because it applies even if the creature is not using stealth.

For the record, I'm with Grick on this issue. The "extra" +20 is from the bonus for being invisible under the stealth skill (and would be a +40 if the stealthing invisible creature was stationary).

Its entirely separate from modifiers to perception DC checks derived from being invisible.

IMHO of course.

Grick wrote:
MTCityHunter wrote:

What happens if the hidden creature isn't technically "invisible" but is still "not visible" to whatever is trying to pinpoint them?

Do all these modifiers for being "invisible" still apply?

Nope. Invisible is a condition, which applies the effects under Invisibility.

That's what I figured. Using strict RAW, its pretty clear a lot of these modifiers come specifically from the invisible condition.

That certainly creates a logic loophole though, as Diego has pointed out, and I'm a big fan of things making sense.

Grick wrote:
MTCityHunter wrote:
For example, say they're stealthing through the area of a darkness or mist spell and the creature attempting to pinpoint doesn't have line of sight.

Then you use your Stealth check opposed by the Perception check of anyone who might notice you.

If you are invisible, you gain a bonus on Stealth checks. That wouldn't make much sense if using stealth made you invisible which grants you a bonus on the check that caused it.

I certainly agree on the second point, but if you're making a stealth check against someone who literally cannot see you, you're effectively invisible. I realize the distinction of not actually benefiting from the invisible condition, but stay with me.

I do think you're right by RAW, but if you're stealthing through fog or darkness and you're NOT "invisible" (meaning its just a standard stealth vs. perception opposed roll), isn't it kind of absurd that its not effectively easier to hide under such circumstances than it is under ordinary ones (say...hiding behind a bush)?

You can still potentially see the guy behind the bush, but even with a successful perception check, you've got NO chance to see the guy in the fog (though you'd know he was in there somewhere). What if the guy in the fog/darkness is also invisible via the spell, NOW he gets huge bonuses to his stealth check ostensibly because, you know, he's invisible and you can't see him. Only, you already couldn't see him! That's messed up IMO.

Does the guy in the fog/darkness get the +20 bonus to his DC to be pinpointed (even though that rule only appears under the invisibility condition, which is not met by RAW), and if so, is THAT the benefit of denying LOS? Because if he doesn't at least get that bonus, its no different from hiding within LOS.

Consider, succeeding on a perception check vs. the guy behind the bush (assuming he's within LOS but has concealment) means he's likely automatically pinpointed. Even with a successful perception check against the guy in the fog, you'd still need to pinpoint them somehow to target them. But the only place they give a modifier for pinpointing something you can't see is under the invisible condition.

Am I wrong? Feels like we're chasing our tails here...but thanks for the replies.

Also yeah, I followed that stealth discussion for a while. Its definitely a hot mess, and its a shame that the rewrite got put on the back-burner IMO.

What happens if the hidden creature isn't technically "invisible" but is still "not visible" to whatever is trying to pinpoint them?

Do all these modifiers for being "invisible" still apply?

For example, say they're stealthing through the area of a darkness or mist spell and the creature attempting to pinpoint doesn't have line of sight.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

1. the DR issue. Well first, remember that the energy damage you are doing (the 1D6+level from frostbite) isn't melee damage, it's energy damage and it completely ignores DR. The only thing DR affects is the claw and strength damage which is the least part of this attack. SR and Hardness are the things to worry about.

When you run into a target that is energy immune or has SR you can't pierce then you focus on melee damage (boost your Str and use enlarge) to get your damage up. This build splits it's damage on each attack between energy & physical to handle anything the target is resistant too so you are always getting something through.
Now when you run into something that has DR & Energy Immunity & SR then you have a problem like I did last night. (I hate fighting Angels)

These are good points. And I agree its been nice that when faced with DR or SR/resistance, its been nice to know that I can always get something through. It doesn't mean that DR (or SR/immunity) aren't still issues of course, but at least helps to soften the blow. It still sucks when your physical damage is gutted by DR (or spell damage vs. resist). If DR is a bigger problem in the situation at hand though, using a weapon for a bit can be helpful.

At any rate, I think we're in agreement that DR isn't any kind of deal breaker here though. In fact, its much less of an issue than for some other natural attack builds I've seen. But its nice to have alternate tactics available sometimes.

Also, yes, enemies with DR, SR, and resist/immunity can bite me. I find I end up using different tactics entirely against those types.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
2. Prehensile hair. As multiple Devs have stated repeatedly all natural attacks are Light melee weapons and that's the only qualification to use spellstrike/spell combat. If you have a pedantic GM who pulls out the you have to "hold" your weapon (which is stupid since HOLD is a defined action in PF and a held weapon isn't wielded and can't be used to attack, doesn't let you make AoO's and doesn't give you the benefits of any enchant on them), then just remember you have 2 free hands. Take one of those hands and grab your hair, now you are holding your melee weapon and you have jumped through their hoop and can continue with the steps laid out above.

I mean...yeah they're light weapons (as in ARE, not equivalent to), and I pretty much agree with you (I'd have no problem with it if I were GMing), its the wording in Arcane Pool where it describes enhancing your weapon that gives me some pause. Anyway, though I'd be inclined to allow it, I can definitely see the other viewpoint. Bad word choice for RAW aside, the arcane pool description does pretty clearly use the word "held" to indicate what it can be used on. I know quite a few GMs who wouldn't really be interested in looking any deeper at it than that, and who do not agree that natural weapons can be held, so this won't fly in all groups.

That's the only reason I bring it up; so someone interested in the build is aware of potential grey areas that they may need to discuss with their GM prior to it becoming an in-play debate.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
3. AoE spells, look up the fire snake spell. AoE spell that only hits the targets you want and can snake around the field covering a massive amount of space. Either that or just use the right metamagic rod.

Yeah. There are quite a few nice precise blasts, but even if you routinely memorize them, you might have already used it. Maybe there are enough of these mooks that you need to use both options. I dunno.

Not that optimizing for corner cases against mook hordes is generally advisable, but I'm only talking about keeping a somewhat relevant sidearm around after all. Not too different from suggesting a fighter keeps a bow on hand for ranged or a mace for skeletons or whatever. Options. I like them ;-)

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

Extra: Chill touch. Since this is a char build document we are strictly held to using RAW as the Developers have stated. If your home game decides to throw RAW out the window then there is no way or reason for these build docs to address that. That's why we feel comfortable listing this double spell tactic.

The Devs say it works then we use it, if your GM decides it doesn't then there are no tactics we could ever suggest since they will just disallow anything they don't like and ignore the rules.

Also agreed, which is why I put it behind the spoiler block in the first place (since its not relevant to discussions about RAW). And yeah, in general I agree that character build/advice discussions should lean heavily towards standardization (and thus RAW).

Still, I do think this kind of thing has a place in build discussions, even if its in passing. Again, mostly so people know what all their options are by RAW, and which of those options some people may find questionable, so they know what to discuss with their group before it comes into play and well before is can become an issue.

First off, I'm not trying to pick your build apart. I like it, and agree it will be very effective. As I said, I'm even playing something similar. Heck, because the version I'm playing doesn't even have the option of using the very powerful frostbite synergy most of the time, and because even with that being the case, the style still works, that says all that really needs to be said: its an effective build/style for a Magus. I especially enjoy the longevity and versatility of this type of magus build.

That said, I bring up DR/situational manufactured weapon use for the sake of completeness. Having played through the low levels, its come up, and its prudent to have a backup plan. Outright dismissing the situational use of a manufactured weapon under any circumstance isn't wise IMO. Do note that I am in no way advocating putting a substantial portion of WBL into one's weapon (a +2 by level 9 is pretty easy IMO, and trivial if you put it off any longer than that...before then a +1 will do most of the time).

Anyway, the main point is the added versatility is not to be trivialized.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Option 1. Brute force, you are doing on average 4D6 +level +str +PA per hit for 7+ hits. Worst case of the 40ish points of damage you do per hit they ignore 10 pts of it. Net gain 30ish damage a hit for 7 hits. Still more then enough damage to drop the target in on round.

Always an option (often the only option for natural attack builds), and once the build really gets going, you're right, its a non-issue. By the time you get access to good MP forms, you'll have enough attacks, have high enough base damage, and a high enough strength that punching through DR will be pretty easy. This is especially true once power attack comes online at ~9+, but I'm not really talking about those levels. I'm talking mostly levels 1-7, i.e. before you get the good transmog forms (I only bring up high level play to illustrate that once you can put dancing on a manufactured sidearm at 13+, you might as well do so, so any investment made into that weapon is still put to good use).

At lower levels (1-7), you're probably going to be a moderately, but not exceptionally strong, medium character, attacking 2-4 times or so a round (give or take, depending on level, whether you're willing to be a troglodyte for every fight, etc.), and layering frostbite onto each attack. Total damage can still be exceptional, but the individual hits aren't big enough to ignore significant DR. Likely we're talking about something on the order of 2d6 + str + CL, which DR will certainly impact.

Aside re: chill touch:
I realize that due to the FAQs, by RAW you could also potentially layer chill touch on top of frostbite, for more damage. I know you're aware of what they said, and you even mention using chill touch in such a manner. I even agree that its legal, but IMO the devs didn't have the full context in mind when making those statements, and IMO its a silly ruling. In my games, and in many others, remaining charges of either spell are going to go away if any other spell is cast. I'm talking houserules, yes, but its not a particularly uncommon approach IME, and in such a case, not having access to chill touch -and- frostbite damage makes punching through DR a bit tougher, and might just make use of a manufactured weapon situationally desirable.

And if the target is immune to nonlethal damage? There are quite a lot of enemies who are, and the whole frostbite/enforcer thing (not to mention a sizable chunk of DPR potential) goes out the window vs. those types. Its a campaign specific issue of course, but something to consider as DR in conjunction with non-lethal immunity is pretty rough without a backup plan.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Option 2. Prehensile hair. Skip the shapechange and activate your hair hex and use your arcane pool to enhance it. It now hits as a +5 weapon and ignores all DR and does full damage while you channel intensified & quickened shocking grasps through it for 3 regular attacks and 3-4 intensified shocking grasps each round. Damage actually goes up for this build though resource expenditure is a little higher.

I realize many GMs will equate holding a weapon to wielding one for purposes of enhancing it. It may even be RAW if there's an FAQ I'm overlooking, but as written you can't enhance prehensile hair (or any natural attack) with the arcane pool. They aren't held, so they can't be boosted. (Also consider that the hair itself can hold items, so saying that it too is "held" is a logical stretch IMO). If the hair and natural attacks cannot be enhanced (as is the case in games I play in) that weapon on your hip gets a little more attractive in the right circumstance.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
As for hordes of weak easy to hit targets you'll never bother to draw a weapon against them. Just cast an AoE spell (maximized & Empowered) and watch em all drop.

Sure, if they're in fireball formation. We're already talking about a situationally used tactic, so there are certainly plenty of situations where blasting isn't going to be as good a choice (or even desirable...maybe you can't avoid friendly fire or collateral damage to NPCs/environment?). Or maybe you just don't have an appropriate blast prepared at the moment. That backup wepaon will always be available though. Anyway, it depends on too many variables to really address whether whatever blast you may have ready is better or worse than just wading into melee with loads of attack rolls. But its nice to have both options.

I'm sure you're aware that how things look on paper doesn't always translate to real gameplay. IMO, the versatility you gain from a modest investment in a manufactured weapon that you only occasionally use, is more than worth it. That's really all I'm saying.

Peace and good job on the build (the defiler was great work as well btw, even though its so evil I hope I never see it in play).

I like transmogrification focused hexcrafters a lot. I'm actually playing one currently, although with some differences (its carrion crown so the frostbite/enforcer combo just doesn't work often enough to invest in).

Anyway, I've found it very enjoyable so far. The damage potential, as you mention, is very solid, and quite sustainable relative to other magi, but I like the inclusion of ML:SG and intensify spell for extra burst when you want it. At very low levels, damage output was still a small issue, but that's nothing unique; pretty much all Magi have that problem (and it would have been better had frostbite been a viable combat option for me). Later on, as you mention, using Power Attack simultaneous to Accurate Strike can be pretty incredible when making all these attacks.

I see you've chose eldritch claws, which will certainly help with the bane of any natural attack build (DR), but what's your plan for dealing with other types of DR like cold iron, adamantine, and alignment? Getting something like Holy on the AoMF would help a good deal I'd think, but that's still not 100% dependable.

You mention basically ignoring your (manufactured) weapon, but IMO a modest investment in an actual weapon will go a long way towards overcoming the DR issue. You can use your arcane pool (which you otherwise don't make much use of for enhancing weapons since its a natural attacker) to enhance it to the point it will bypass whatever DR you may be up against. For example, by level 9, a simple +2 weapon can be boosted to +5 with the arcane pool, and will bypass pretty much any DR except S/P/B (and you can add transformative to the weapon to take care of those). Before then, that same +2 weapon will take care of everything but alignment based DR...

Of course, use of the manufactured weapon is situational, and not something you'd want to use in every fight (due to natural attacks becoming secondary), but when faced with significant DR (i.e. I may not worry about it for DR 5 or less), its better than nothing. Plus, combining a manufactured plus natural attacks will net more total attacks (with lower bonuses), which is also situationally nice I suppose. In addition to tough opponents with DR, I could see that option being useful vs. hordes of easy to hit enemies as well.

I DO agree that you shouldn't choose an archetype like Bladebound for this style, as the tradeoffs just won't be worth the situational use of the weapon. As it so happens, my hexcrafter IS also bladebound, but I chose that primarily for flavor/character reasons. It still works nicely though (and perhaps better at lower levels before you get access to all the juicy transmog forms).

EDIT: Despite being of only situational use at early to mid levels, I also meant to mention that any investment you make into a manufactured weapon will never be wasted in the long term. If you plan to see play at levels 13+, you'll then be able to add dancing to the weapon at the start of every combat (with arcane pool) to get a few more attacks per round while keeping your natural attacks primary for the full bonus. Not a bad trick IMO.

Fair enough ;-)

I guess I just don't see the advantage of doing it that way unless you have to.

tonyz wrote:

But delay doesn't allow you to interrupt someone else's action (your turn is coming up next, just not right now) . So the OP wants to know if you can chain off the readied actions so enemy E casts a spell, wizard W's ready action goes off to get next to him, and now fighter F's readied action goes off when the target is in range.

It ought to work, as far as I can see.

Yeah I know. And I agree that it ought to work as described just fine IMO.

I only mentioned delay to point out that most of the time, the melee types will prefer their full attack to a single readied attack (and potentially a second triggered AoO). If you can make the delay tactic work, its going to be superior.

As long as the caster ally casting dimension door to bring his buddies along readied HIS action to interrupt the enemy caster (X), and as long as the melee guys who want to pound on X are ALREADY within the range required to be transported by DD (touch, so in a square adjacent to the caster), they may as well delay to get a full round of actions when they get to the destination.

If they are NOT already adjacent to their caster ally, they may indeed want to move adjacent and then ready an attack against X. Both work, but delay will be more effective most of the time if you can swing it.

Pretty much, although in your example, if A hit X after being DD'd next to him when X began casting a spell, chances are that the concentration check forced by the hit will cause X to lose their spell such that they'll no longer be casting and won't provoke any longer (X still will have lost the action).

DD doesn't make anyone but the caster lose their remaining actions. Other creatures transported may continue to act just fine according to their initiative.

Also note that while what you proposed could be effective under some circumstances, if they know that their ally is about to use DD to get them into range, it'll usually just be better for the melee types to DELAY until after the DD casting ally, rather than READY actions. That way, they get their full round's worth of actions when they get there. Hello full attack barrage.

Jeraa wrote:
*The Heal spell doesn't specify it heals only living creatures. It says it heals creatures, so it should work to heal a construct.

That's interesting. Never noticed that before, though it is still positive energy.

Troubleshooter wrote:
If you can me a page number for where it says constructs cannot be healed by normal means (instead requiring magic like Make Whole), I think that would simplify my problem greatly : )

I was going off memory. Turns out it doesn't technically preclude healing via spells like CLW, but IMO its implied. Anyway, don't have a page number but the SRD says, under the section for construct traits, that constructs:

Cannot heal damage on its own, but often can be repaired via exposure to a certain kind of effect (see the creature's description for details) or through the use of the Craft Construct feat. Constructs can also be healed through spells such as make whole. A construct with the fast healing special quality still benefits from that quality.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/rules-for-monsters/creature-types#TOC-Cons truct

EDIT - also note that Golems, which are a specific category of constructs (albeit the most frequently encountered IME) are altogether immune to magic except for conjurations (since those don't directly target the golem, but rather its environment). As such, they couldn't be healed via magic unless the spell contained a construct/golem specific exception like make whole does.

1. Since Channel Energy can affect only either undead creatures or living creatures, it would depend on whether a construct was either "an undead creature" or "a living creature".

IMO, it is neither, and so Channel Energy cannot affect them (except as noted below). Remember that constructs cannot be healed by normal means (instead requiring magic like Make Whole), so if they were living creatures, why couldn't channeled energy heal them? Simple answer is that it can't by virtue of the fact that they aren't "living".

Obviously, objects are neither undead nor living, so cannot be affected unless they are both animated AND haunted (which makes them vulnerable to channeled energy as if they were undead).

2. I'm honestly not too sure about this one. IMO no, channeled energy is not technically an "energy attack", as defined by this context, but since things with hardness tend to be objects and constructs, which I don't believe to be affected by CE at all, its kind of moot whether or not it gets divided in half prior to not affecting the target.

I've certainly never run a game or seen a game run where Channeled energy could affect objects/constructs, and as such have never seen the interaction with hardness come up.

TGMaxMaxer wrote:

I think they should have just removed the trait bonus on attacks from the trait, and kept the masterwork and martial prof in that single weapon. Alternately, I would have agreed with a trait bonus on attacks and martial prof in that one single weapon, instead of masterwork.

So far as the masterwork thing goes... there's a trait that gives you 900gp to start with, so you can start with a freakin 750gp 1st level wand in addition to normal equip, but not a 350gp weapon?

It wasn't the masterwork component that made it too good. In fact, the spell masterwork transformation means it can still be made MW pretty early on. Rich Parents is nice enough at level 1, but is pretty much useless past that. Once you start accumulating real wealth, its a completely dead trait. That's what balances it.

The trait bonus to all attacks is what made the original heirloom weapon trait absurd. It was effectively weapon focus (except as noted applies only to that weapon but then again, it stacked with WF). It was an extra +1 to attack, with whatever weapon you decided to wield, that anyone without the trait simply couldn't get. IMO, that was closer to a full feat value than a half feat all by itself.

Adding proficiency and masterwork on top of the trait bonus left me wondering who decided that was at all reasonable. You ended up with a WF equivilency (call it 3/4 of a feat), a weapon proficiency equivilency (call it half a feat), and a free MW weapon (nice perk, especially at level 1, but no real long term value, call it 1/4 of a feat). That put the value of the old version about 3 times what it should have been.

People got bent out of shape because it was nerfed SO hard, but from an objective perspective, it HAD to be. The current version is much more in line with what traits are intended to represent: half the value of a single feat.

Either Magus, Druid, or Sylvan Sorcerer combined with Master Summoner depending on whether you'd rather Spellcombat/spellstrike or a full powered animal companion plus full spellcasting on top of your mini-eidolon and standard action minute/level summon monster SLAs, and depending on how MAD you're willing to be (but if we're assuming ideal ability scores...)

Add Eldritch Heritage (Arcane) for a wand wielding familiar...perhaps also improved familiar.

Proceed to make action economy your B!+*#.

blue_the_wolf wrote:

just because a guy has a high perception does not mean he auto finds every trap within sight.

they have to actively say "I check the doorway for traps"

this appears to be the official ruling.

Yup. That's how most people I've ever gamed with run it as well.

The exception would be if someone had the rogue Trapspotter talent or something equivalent (like dwarven stonecunning for stone traps) which provide an automatic check if the character gets within a certain range of the trap. Barring something like that, they actually have to actively search for traps by explicitly saying so.

Quoted from the d20PFSRD sidebar under Perception: "The Trap Spotter rogue talent is a good way to gain an auto-spot ability for traps in the game. Normally, you can't autospot traps like this. A player has to specifically state that they're looking for traps."

blue_the_wolf wrote:
with that in mind is a person "checking for traps" considered flatfooted as they carefully search for switches and trip wires?

I'm not aware of any rule that would make them flat footed while searching for traps or while disabling them. No real reason they should be as they are aware of the threat. However...

blue_the_wolf wrote:
if not flat footed do they take a penalty to the search as they are not paying full attention to the search? (as in say running down a hallway, dodging arrows and hoping not to trip a wire)

There ARE rules for imposition of specific penalties for such circumstances under the perception skill. "Creature making check is distracted" is a +5 DC modifier (this pretty much certainly will apply in this circumstance).

"Unfavorable conditions" imposes a +2 DC modifier, and "terrible conditions" imposes a +5 modifier (one of these may also apply under this circumstance, especially if there's vision impairment like smoke, fire, darkness, etc. although the degree of penalty will be up to the GM to decide).

Also, don't forget the standard +1 DC per 10 feet away distance penalty for any perception check.

Finally, since they will be in imminent danger, there is no taking 10 for any skill checks made while under fire.

Dekalinder wrote:

how can people argue there wasn't a reason for heirloom weapon to be nerfed?

For god's sake, it gave you a +2 to hit at first level for a single trait!! double the benefit of weapon focus for half the price! and even after the masterwork proprerty has passed the utility it was still a weapon focus for half the price. That trait was g!&$!%n OP.

This. The old version was silly powerful for a trait. My group only saw it used once, and it wasn't any kind of game breaker or anything, but from an optimization perspective, most martial builds would have been silly NOT to take it. The new version is still reasonable, even fairly strong, and is situationally useful for different builds. Plus it keeps the requisite flavor that made the trait neat for fluff reasons.

Want to have proficiency with a specific weapon your class doesn't provide and don't want to dip? Great. Its basically worth a feat if all you plan to fight with is that weapon. It is less valuable than a full feat since it is only that weapon but that's not a huge problem (and it should be worth less than a full feat, since you know, its a trait). And as mentioned, even if sundered, etc. its repairable.

Want to use a reach weapon and use combat reflexes to make lots of opportunity attacks? Great, got you covered, now you're better at it.

Want to focus on a combat maneuver like trip, sunder, or disarm? No problem, you are now significant;y better at it.

Limiting the use to a single specific weapon has always been a limitation, but its always also been grossly overblown IMO. With masterwork transformation and the rules for enchanting items, there is no real limit on enchanting it as you go, unless you play with a particular set of house rules that disallow that.

Besides, realistically, >90% of characters primarily use a single weapon (or that weapon simultaneously with another a la TWF). Hardly a deal breaker unless you play with a GM who always steals the PC's stuff.



As for the OP's question, I agree with BBT. The bastard sword is still an exotic weapon, so you can't use the trait for proficiency. Check with your GM though, I wouldn't think it would break anything to allow proficiency with the bastard sword via the trait (two handed use only, no using it one handed without EWP). Alternatively, if you were somehow able to get proficiency with martial weapons, you could then use it two handed without EWP.

rangerjeff wrote:

So under shocking grasp, you get +3 to hit if the target is wearing metal armor. Does this count for a spellstriking magus?

Yes, I know it says in the spell melee touch attack, and spellstrike makes it a melee attack, so it might not work. What I'm really wondering is, if the magus swings and misses, but by 3 or less, could this be interpreted as "well, your weapon hit the target's armor but didn't pierce it, so you don't do any weapon damage, however the shocking grasp still goes off because it was metal armor."

I agree. The bonus applies vs. metal wielding/constructed opponents. Some disagree, but I personally don't see the ambiguity. Spellstike or no, you're still casting the spell, and everything in the spell description applies, for better or for worse.

The language regarding the melee touch was written before there was an alternate delivery method (spellstrike), but spellstrike overrides it. Further, the text describing the bonus to hit is a separate clause altogether and is therefore independent of the first clause (where the bit about the successful touch attack resides).

The second part of what you posted does not work though IMO. Even if one were to decide the bonus did not apply, there is no "partial hit" mechanic in PF as far as I am aware. Its all or nothing, hit or miss, for both the weapon and spell portions of spellstrike.

darkorbit wrote:

It says in the magical weapons, armor, and rings that if you have an enhancement bonus, you have to have a caster level of at least 3 times the enhancement bonus

Caster Level for Armor and Shields: The caster level of a magic shield or magic armor with a special ability is given in the item description. For an item with only an enhancement bonus, the caster level is three times the enhancement bonus. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met.

Caster Level for Weapons: The caster level of a weapon with a special ability is given in the item description. For an item with only an enhancement bonus and no other abilities, the caster level is three times the enhancement bonus. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met.

Aura faint abjuration; CL 5TH
Slot ring; Price 2,000 gp (+1), 8,000 gp (+2), 18,000 gp (+3), 32,000 gp (+4), 50,000 gp (+5); Weight —
This ring offers continual magical protection in the form of a deflection bonus of +1 to +5 to AC.
Requirements Forge Ring, shield of faith, caster must be of a level at least three times the bonus of the ring; Cost 1,000 gp (+1), 4,000 gp (+2), 9,000 gp (+3), 16,000 gp (+4), 25,000 gp (+5)

The caster level requirement only applies to the person adding the enchant to the item in question. In other words, the guy you give your gold to to make your masterwork sword a +2 sword. Or a member of the party if they have the appropriate crafting feat (arms and armor in this case). To add that +2 the. Guy adding the enhancement bonus must be at least caster level 6. There is no requirement for actually using. The bonus once you get it.

Anyway, good luck....gotta run!

Wasum wrote:
at this point - sorry - I just have to tell you: read the CRB.

Have to agree here

darkorbit wrote:

And... Do you guys know what an enhancement bonus is? like for a bladebound magus, his blade gets an ENHANCEMENT bonus, and if I put magical qualities, that would add a +2 ENHANCEMENT bonus, so I would get a total of a +4 ENHANCEMENT bonus. Can someone plz define this and see if the given situation is possible?

PS: This questions are for some of the people in my group who need a professional's definition.

An enhancement bonus is basically a magical improvement on an existing bonus. You generally need to pay gold to have enhancement bonuses. For example, Full plate +2 is full plate (9 Armor bonus) with a +2 Enhancement bonus (for total AC of 11). Alternatively, an amulet of natural armor improves whatever baseline natural armor you may have by its enhancement bonus value (i.e. +2 for 4000 gold). On your weapon enhancement bonuses will apply to attack bonus and damage rolls (a longsword with a +2 enhancement bonus does 1d8+2 damage and gets a +2 to attack on top of your normal bonuses from level, strength, etc.

If the fighter didn't PAY for those enhancement bonuses, something is wrong, if they did, its ok. Caster level has nothing to do with it (except as a requirement for the caster who actually takes your gold to add the enhancement bonus to the item in question).

In general, you can put enhancement bonuses on armor, shields, natural armor, and weapons. Edit- and ability scores of course;-) They will apply individually to each item they are placed on, but you can't stack two enhancement bonuses on the same item (the higher would apply, just like the rings).

darkorbit wrote:

My breakdown is a bit more realistic:

Armor= 6 (4+2(magical shield enhancement, caster level 6))+1(dex bonus)+10 (default)+4(2 rings of protection, caster level 6)

I am caster level 6, and I am able to use 2 rings of protection since each one needs a cl 6, and the +2 magical armor enhancement is possible cuz 3 caster levels per +1 for armor, and I am cl 6, so 3 times 2=6, so that is perfect.

And if the fighter's AC isn't right, can you adjust it to the maximum it can be(considering what i've given?)

PS: this guy has no dex bonus, no natural armor.

You cannot use 2 rings of protection. They both provide deflection bonuses, only the higher of which would apply.

darkorbit wrote:

So, here is the breakdown of the Ac of my friend fighter

Armor= 11 (9+2(magical armor enhancement))+6 ( 4+2( magical shield enhancement))+10(default)+1(ring of protection)= 28 AC, and this guy has no caster level. I don't think this is possible, do you guys think or know if this is possible or not?

This looks reasonable to me assuming he's wearing full plate and a tower shield (which technically provides cover not a shield bonus I believe)

darkorbit wrote:

actually this is Chinese. I know cuz i am taking Chinese here in middle school, and going to take Chinese in high school

That is definitely japanese. Which uses plenty of Chinese in its writing (kanji), but also present are both japanese exclusive alphabets: hiragana (used for most things and native words) and katakana (used for foreign words).

I know because I used to be fluent in it. (Was never better than passable at reading/writing which is significantly harder due to the previously mentioned kanji elements, but I KNOW what Im looking at).

Thats Japanese, and if you used a translator to put it into Chinese, I wouldn't keep using that translator. Anyway, the major fail isn't on me, lol.


So its been way too long since I was reasonably fluent in Japanese, and I'm WAY too tired (and lazy) to try to sort through that.

So I'm just going to say "Wakaranai", and leave it at that.

thejeff wrote:
Is that actually a rule somewhere? Or even in the fluff text? I didn't see it in the PRD entry for the Bladebound archetype

Nah. That's not a rule as far as I'm aware.

In general, there's nothing to stop a bladebound magus from using a weapon other than a blackblade. In fact, at times, he'll even need to unless he's able to add transformative to the BB (i.e. fighting something with DR/bludgeoning). Or maybe the situation calls for a ranged weapon like a bow. Still, barring those kinds of circumstances (or the level 13+ Dancing property shenanigans I alluded to earlier), I can't see a situation where they would want to fight with anything else.

That said, playing the archetype (or anything else using an intelligent weapon with a fairly high Ego) gives the GM an awful lot of leeway to decide situationally what the blade wants and what it doesn't, and gives them a means to enforce those desires (Ego based domination). So they could certainly rule that the BB would be peeved if you tried to use something else while faced with enemies related to its specific purpose, for example.

Steven_Evil wrote:
Also, the BB gets the option to make ALL of his weapon damage a specific type, so now he can apply all of his arcane pool enhancements to something else. I don't think one has the upper hand over the other, really. I think they are pretty much even. The BB has a slight advantage at lower levels simply because his black blade starts out a little more powerful at base, but that's it.

The energy substitution and other "tricks" the BB is capable of are certainly VERY useful when they come up. They are situational, and can only be used a few times per day, but they are useful when the situation calls for it.

Steven_Evil wrote:
One could argue that since the Black Blade has arcane pool of its own, the BB magus can customize his weapon more often, allowing him to change his weapon to whatever he needs it to be for an encounter, whereas a magus that bought a magic sword is stuck with that. Sure a +3 Holy sword is good against some creatures, but what if you fight something nuetral with damage resistances and weaknesses? Suddenly, you might need a +3 Corrosive Burst, or Shocking Burst. The BB can then use his swords arcane pool, add +1 (or two, or three, depending on his level) and then use his own to take advantage of the situation, ending up with a far better weapon for the encounter.

Again, you're now just talking about the arcane pool enhancement, which any magus can do. Energy Substitution (above) IS unique to BB, but its fairly situational to need to do ALL damage as elemental damage (force is most commonly useful, but also costs 2 points per round of use). Still, that is a useful ability. And yes, the guy with Holy fighting non-evil is "wasting" his bonus, while the BB is not, but he could have chosen something more universally applicable instead (like spellstoring or agile plus keen), and saved his pool for the situational stuff just as easily.

Steven_Evil wrote:
IMHO, the BB has the opportunity to be more flexible in any given situation.

Absolutely. A few rounds per day.

Steven_Evil wrote:
Besides, who said the BB can't buy any old weapon he wants? No where does it say he has to use his black blade 100% of the time....

No one. He can, but then what does he gain from the archetype exactly? This is actually a viable strategy to "keep up with the Joneses" at levels 13+, when you can use the arcane pool to add dancing to your +4 BB, and then simultaneously fight with something else (again, a normal magus can do the same, but needs to buy two weapons to do so...making use of GMW even more attractive).

At the end of the day, I agree that they are pretty even. Either path can be made to work, and work quite well. Its just that the differences are something to be aware of, especially if you plan to play at high levels. If someone chose the archetype because they were under the impression that it would always allow them to have a more powerful weapon than they'd otherwise be able to have, they should know that's not necessarily the case. Full disclosure and all that...

LazarX wrote:

The problem is that the cornerstone of your strategy relies on the usage of greater magic weapon. This tactic has it's downsides.

1. Fixed duration. while it's a long one, if you're caught outside that window, then you've got to either wait for the cast or go without.

2. It uses a third level spell slot. or the equivalent. I can think of other uses I'd much rather put that spell slot towards. This is especially serious if you're using an archetype that diminishes your spellcasting, i.e. Kensai or Skirinir. You can offset this with magic, but it's not cheap. If you this effect 24/7 you're using an extended version of the spell either as a fourth level slot or through a metamagic item. Your alternate choice is to memorize TWO of those spells per day.

That's all true, but its not a particularly uncommon strategy for classes with access to the spell. Its pretty common in optimization discussions IME, simply because its so economical. And its a trick the BB can't use because he gets a set scaling bonus (that does have its own advantages).

LazarX wrote:
By your own formulas, you really don't see a value decrease until after 13th level, which is past the ending point of most campaigns. Campaigns that run higher have so much variability that set assumptions become suspect. Either way it's hardly a clearcut case at those levels. And your formula doesn't really account for the tricks the Blade continues to get at those high levels, including it's Stormbringer type power.

Are you talking about my earlier post discussing the value of the scaling enhancement bonus? If so, the "decay" starts much earlier than 13th level. If you're talking about my last post comparing what a normal vs. BB Magus is capable at 12th level, that's not at all what I illustrated (a +10 vs. +6 disparity is easily attainable at level 12, but smaller disparities in favor of non-BB magi can be achieved at earlier levels). Not sure where you're getting 13th level as a break point.

LazarX wrote:

That's incorrect the GMW spell can ONLY be used to add bonuses to attack and damage. You can't use it to add properties. Check the spell text below.

This spell functions like magic weapon, except that it gives a weapon an enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls of +1 per four caster levels (maximum +5). This bonus does not allow a weapon to bypass damage reduction aside from magic

I'm well aware of this. I think you're missing my point, although I probably could have been more clear in illustrating it.

Any magus can enhance his blade with flexible properties from his arcane pool. We all know that; its not unique to the BB. The only difference between a BB and normal Magus w/r/t the arcane pool enhancement is what their blade starts as before they enhance it.

For example, lets take 12th level for simplicity, since that's where GMW and the BB both grant a +3 enhancement bonus; one or the other will have the balance shifted towards them at different levels, but 12 is a good apples to apples comparison point...so is every multiple of 4 levels, but I think its easy to see the BB has an advantage at early levels, and at least arguably breaks even at intermediate levels. So 12th level is a good snapshot to see the point where normal Magi can begin to easily surpass the BB (if additional enhancements are disallowed).

Let's start by having BOTH Magi spend ZERO gold on their weapon:

Bladebound: +3 set enhancement from BB and +3 flexible enhancement equivilency from arcane pool. Let's say he makes his blade +5 keen (pretty standard IMO).

Other Magi: +3 set enhancement from GMW and +3 flexible enhancement from arcane pool. He can also make his weapon +5 keen (except its really only +2 for purposes of overcoming DR).

Okay, pretty even, but advantage BB when facing DR. But what if the other Magi actually invest in boosting their weapons?

Bladebound: he's stuck with the same +5 Keen blade. (Or +3 Keen, flaming, shock. Or...you get the point.)

Other Magi: let's say he invests 32K in his weapon to make it +3 equivilency (~30% of his 108K WBL, not out of whack at all for a martial character). Since he's still going to use GMW, he only adds +1 enhancement (he has to in order to add other stuff, so its a 2K "tax" because it won't stack with GMW, although it will contribute to overcoming DR when combined with further enhancement form the arcane pool). The other +2 can be whatever he wants, including options unavailable to the BB. Let's say he chooses Holy. Now, after adding GMW and his arcane pool enhancement, he can get his weapon to a +5 Holy, Keen blade. (Or +3 Keen, Holy, flaming, shock, or whatever.)

Now DR is even less of a problem for the non-BB. If he's faced with material DR, he uses his pool for actual enhancement to get a true +3/+4 (+1 baseline plus 2-3 from AP). He already bypasses Evil DR due to holy, but will still have issues with other alignment DRs (not that they come up very often IME). He can always also use keen edge or a scabbard of keen edges to boost things even further, but I'll leave that out of this discussion because the BB can do the same.

At any rate, by 12th level, we've got ordinary Magi easily running around with +8 equivalent weapons, albeit with some DR concerns, and if they chose to spend more gold on their weapon, it could be even worse. Martial characters often times spend up to half their WBL on their primary weapon. I usually don't but if we did that here, the non-BB Magi could be running around with +10 equivalency weapons. Meanwhile, the bladebound Magi are "stuck" wielding +6 equivalency weapons.

Now sure, the BB gets to put that 32K (or 50K) gold the other Magi spent towards something else, but the value of that gets deflated when he can't put that towards his most important piece of equipment. Any optimizer will tell you a good offense is more critical than a good defense the vast majority of the time (albeit in moderation IMO), so from an optimization perspective, the BB comes up short compared to other Magi at higher levels...unless he's also allowed to invest gold directly into his most vital magic item: his weapon.

LazarX wrote:
What you get is a +5 weapon that you can customize with an additional +5 worth of properties by spending a point with your arcane pool, as opposed to having a weapon you can't change at all. Don't sell the Black Blade short. Also keep in mind that it's FREE. which leaves a lot of WBL for other things.

The ability to add customized enchants isn't unique to the archetype. In the interest of apples to apples, a normal Magus can surpass a BB by mid levels just by casting Greater Magic Weapon and Keen edge each day on their sword and purchasing properties instead of enhancements. He will need a plan for material/alignment DR though.

At any rate, the BB is NOT free. I really wish people would stop saying that, trying to make the BB look like a more powerful option than it is (not saying that's your intent LazarX, nor do I intend to call you out specifically by replying to your post, its just a general pet peeve of mine).

You PAY with the Magus Arcana and with the Arcane Pool Points you lose at level 3. Yes, the BB has its own pool, but those points aren't anywhere near as versatile or powerful as the Magus' own pool. So we're talking about a 2 feat equivalency cost (Extra Arcana and Extra Arcane Pool). It also delays access to the Magus Arcana class feature for 3 levels, which is only a temporary cost, but could also potentially force a non-optimal feat progression (i.e. you'd like to choose extra arcana at levels 3 or 5, but can't because you don't yet have the class feature, and you can't yet qualify for other feats you may want later, so you have to choose something you want less instead). That's not necessarily a cost, and will depend entirely on the build though. Still, a TWO feat equivalency is a pretty high cost, and in the long run is a pretty terrible trade for only 50K gold and some situational utility powers.

That said, the BB IS a VERY significant financial gain at early levels, but if we assume the bonus is static and cannot be further enhanced by adding other properties, the value of the "free" enhancement bonus decays substantially over time. This makes the Bladebound archetype strictly a short term play through early to mid levels, and a borderline trap if you're concerned with high level play.

I'm okay with that in general terms; not every choice needs to be balanced at all levels IMO, and it is a very flavorful choice, but it shouldn't be a trap either. You paid two effective feats for this thing, it should be good! Yeah, you also get the situationally useful abilities of the BB, that you can use a couple times per day, but for a high level Magus, the +5 enhancement and those neat powers of the sword are no longer worth the cost of entry IMO (lifedrinker at level 19 does help substantially though, even if its too late to see use in most campaigns).

To illustrate, assuming the static progression is all you get, and ignoring the assumed inability to add specific enchants like agile or spell storing:

+1 at level 3 - 2K value vs. 3K WBL (67% improvement on WBL! Awesome!)
+2 at level 5 - 8K value vs. 10.5K WBL (76% improvement on WBL! Even better!)
+3 at level 9 - 18K value vs. 46K WBL (39% improvement on WBL. Still solid, but starting to see the decay.)
+4 at level 13 - 32K value vs. 140K WBL (23% improvement on WBL. Meh okay. Not the best value, but I'll take it.)
+5 at level 17 - 50K value vs. 410K WBL (12% improvement on WBL. I paid 2 feats for that?!)

All IMHO, of course.

Dakota_Strider wrote:
Just curious, why not 3 levels of AA to get the elemental enhancement? While a veteran of the genre, new to Pathfinder, and playing an AA build as my first character. In a low magic, low money campaign, so not sure how much equipment I am going to end up with. Thought the elemental arrows would be great, then could get a bow that had Holy, and combine the damages.

You could do that. Might even be worthwhile, but the Magus can already use their arcane pool to enhance the bow, and already has access to the elemental enchants via that ability. So it doesn't provide the ability to do something you couldn't do already.

Getting the AA version would free up a +1 property equivalency that could then be used for something else though. May or may not be worth delaying the rest of the magus progression, but its something to consider.

waiph wrote:

Well, there is the Reach Spell Metamagic that lets the Magus use any of his touch spells with his bow as ranged touch attacks. So dropping a Shocking Grasp would be part of his Ranged Spellstrike.

I would think one could use the Imbue arrow in concert with Spell Combat and cast an area spell which goes into an arrow, attack with it and then perform the rest of the full attack. Perhaps a Quickened Reach spell for another shot taking advantage of Magical Linage or Quicken Arcana eventually

that all works, right?

Good advice on Reach Spell. Opens up quite a few more options for ranged spellstrike, which is a neat trick. Unfortunately spell combat cannot be used with bows or any other two handed weapon. So no go on the imbue/ranged spellstrike as part of a ranged full attack.

Still, combined with the imbue arrow AA ability, the ranged spellstrike adds another trick to the bag, and now you're capable of delivering touch (with reach applied), ranged touch, and area spells through the bow, which is pretty cool IMO.

Ultimitely though, the Myrmadarch is really more of a switch hitter. They get weapon training with multiple weapons, and still have spell combat to fall back on in melee. Also, don't forget they keep the normal version of melee spellstrike.

I also agree with Quntin Belmont that as a Myrmadarch, a 2 level dip into Arcane Archer is really all that's "needed".

Happy Hunting!

shallowsoul wrote:

I'm working on a Magus at the moment and I was thinking about taking the "Bladebound" archtype because I wanted to create a Tiefling Magus that has his fiendish father's soul trapped in the blade and his father, is trying to eventually take over and posses his son's body.

Now there is a discussion at the moment about the "Bladebound" Magus and the possibility of adding enchantments to the blade by buying them through crafting. Well it's still an ongoing discussion but I got thinking. I would actually be better off taking a normal Magus and just asking the DM if I could eventually have an intelligent weapon that goes with my concept.

I like the concept of the bladebound and all but you are essentially stuck with just a + 5 weapon while everyone else has the possibility of going all the way to + 10 (+5 enhancements & + 5 properties).

What do you think?

If you end up running under the understanding of being unable to further enchant the black blade, and you can live without the extra cookies the BB gives like energy substitution, teleport blade, unbreakable, etc., AND your GM agrees to provide you with an intelligent weapon, tthen yeah...from an optimization perspective there's not a lot left the archetype would have going for it.

That said, it would take a pretty nice GM to give a player an intelligent weapon of any kind before level 3. So the bladebound's comes online much sooner in all likelihood.

OTOH, unless you play an evil Magus, the ordinary magus with an intelligent blade actually fits your fluff/story better than a bladebound IMO, since the BB always has the same alignment as its wielder. Seems fitting to me that the fiendish father who strives to possess his son would be of an opposed alignment (therefore making it more likely for there to be differences of opinion and the resulting Ego battles). That's just opinion based on an incomplete view of your character though...could be way off, but cool concept either way ;-)

Nazard wrote:
Does this combination violate the spirit of the RAI by stacking FoM with TWF?

IMO, no. When the wording of two abilities (FoB and FoM in this case) are different, I'm generally going to have to assume that difference is intentional unless that results in something that's obviously broken or too powerful. In this case, IMO there's absolutely nothing unbalancing about using FoM with TWF, with non-monk weapons, or while wearing armor. Go right ahead. Others may disagree, which obviously is their right.

Nazard wrote:
Does it violate RAW?

Absolutely not. Regardless of how one may feel on the RAI, the RAW is crystal clear. When you make a full attack, you get extra attacks via TWF (and improved/greater TWF). "As part of a full attack", FoM allows you to attempt an additional combat maneuver at a -2 penalty (but using effectively full BAB rather than 3/4 BAB, although note that the full BAB only applies to the extra maneuver(s) from FoM, not your other attacks). Higher level MM Monks may attempt extra maneuvers if they wish with additional penalties. Not much room for interpretation there.


A few more notes:

As alluded, the TWF penalties will also apply to the extra maneuver(s) from FoM (since they are still "attacks"). The -2 (or higher) penalties from FoM will NOT apply to standard attacks made as part of a full attack under normal circumstances. The FoM WILL apply to standard attacks that are used to attempt combat maneuvers (like trip/disarm) that can replace a normal attack. This means its always going to be advantageous to attempt the "extra" maneuver from FoM prior to the remaining attacks in your full attack routine, since if it lands, you can continue to attack without penalty.

Also, while you're evidently planning on using FoM for trips and disarms (which is fine), note that the ability actually allows you to use maneuvers like grapple and dirty trick (which ordinarily require a standard action) along with your full attack. IMO, that's where the true power of FoM lies. Even if you use it predominantly for trips and whatnot, I'd advise picking up the feat(s) for at least one of the standard action maneuvers as well. Options is power after all.

Just my 2cp

kyrt-ryder wrote:
That makes sense for throwing it (though speaking as a DM, I wouldn't do it. You can pretty easily 'toss' a shuriken in a way that it wouldn't be considered an attack while still aiming it, in the same way one does when tossing rings onto bottles/poles at the carnival), but if a DM enforced that break chance from a simple drop there are some serious issues going on with that DM >.<

And it would make me wonder if they'd ever actually seen or handled a shuriken before. Throwing it at full force into a likely armored opponent? Yeah I can deal with the likelihood that it could be damaged. Dropping it from my pocket 3 feet into the grass (or stone)? Yeah, you're crazy if you think it has even a remote chance of breaking, barring a serious flaw in construction.

I mean, sure its kind of a loophole/exploit (not a big deal IMO, but whatever), but logic has to prevail over all else IMO. If it doesn't make sense the RAW can suck it...although in this case, the RAW actually support the trick in question, so...

If the GM just didn't like it, and wanted to make a gentleman's agreement about not doing this, yeah sure, I'm on board. But I'd probably roll my eyes a bit (bigger fish to fry and all that).

sowhereaminow wrote:
Gloves of Reconnaissance. See into the next room without opening the door, allowing you to prepare the necessary equipment and spells, all for 2,000 gp? Yes please.

I really like these too. Assuming I'm not playing a "smash door, kill bad guys" kind of character, but then I generally play much more deliberate, strategic types, so the gloves fit right in ;-)

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Actually, you want it heightened to 4th level, because Deeper Darkness is often 3rd level and continual flame will only beat it if it's higher level.

Furthermore, my recommended target item is a shuriken kept in a light-proof pouch. It's a free action to draw shuriken (they draw like ammunition) and it's a free action to drop anything, so without sacrificing any actions you can get your light source out.

Buy several as you can afford it, and you could spend an attack or two expanding the field of light beyond the spot you dropped the first one. Remember a given square has an AC of 5.

That is awfully clever about the shuriken. Kudos!

As for items, I really like the ring of sustenance for any prepared caster, as well as the bookplate of recall/bookmark of deception (I prefer a trashy romance novel or a very boring technical manual of some kind) for spellbook users.

I'll also echo the cracked dusty rose prism ioun stone (+1 initiative for 500GP?! yes please) and the haversack.

Also...has anyone mentioned the Quick Runner's Shirt yet? Its a godsend for melee types.

KainMalice wrote:
I dont know if I should get Extra Arcana Pool, or pick up the Moonlight Stalker Feint. Im not sure how often I would end up using my points in my Arcana Pool honestly.

I'm not sure how much use you'll get out of the feint. It denies the target their dex but its only for the next attack YOU make against the target. Also, your swift actions are pretty valuable as a magus, you've already got enough things competing for them.

As for the pool points, I'd wait and see how you use them in play before deciding whether or not you need extra arcane pool. Its a good feat, and situationally great, but some folks just don't use their arcane points all that much. See how things go for you. That said, if you get the arcane accuracy arcana (or hold out for accurate strike at 9), chances are that you'll want as many pool points as you can get to make use of those accuracy boosts on as many full attacks as possible. Not to mention you've still got spell recall, which is awesome, but can eat points in a hurry.

KainMalice wrote:
Some of the stuff for the Magus seems weird. Like, Knowledge Pool. So, I can gain spells I dont know for my spellbook? I mean, if I prepared it, do I know it, and can write it down into my spellbook, even though I technically havent paid for it?

Technically yes. By RAW its kind of a loophole, and it allows you to use unspent points before you rest to prepare spells you don't have in your spellbook. If you choose, you could technically then scribe those spells from memory into your book for later use. Most GMs I know would throw a book at me if I tried that though ;-)

Still, its a situationally useful option even if you don't take advantage of that loophole (and by all means, if your GM is cool with it, use it whenever you've got downtime). If you know what you're getting into in the next day or so, and that one spell you don't know would be just perfect, well...might as well get temporary access to it.

KainMalice wrote:
So, can Magic Lineage make Metamagic spells drop it to where I dont have to spend an higher spell slot, for example Intensified Spell? Are there any rules on it always costing at least one higher spell slot? Also, if I use it, doesnt it cause the spell casting time to become like...a full round or something like that?

Yes, it can. Its a very common tactic for Magi to take Magical Lineage or Wayang Spellhunter as one of their traits to apply to either Shocking Grasp or Frostbite and then add intensify or rime respectively such that the spell level stays as a 1st level spell. You then fuel the continued use of that spell with cheap 1st level pearls of power. You can NOT however, reduce the level of a spell below its normal level (i.e. taking a +0 level adjustment metamagic and applying it to a 1st level spell does not make it a cantrip).

Now, in your case, since you're playing in Carrion Crown, I'd strongly advise you to go with shocking grasp rather than frostbite out of those two.

I'm playing CC now (incidentally also as a Bladebound Magus although mine is also a Hexcrafter and Synthesist summoner gestalt...but I digress) and there are TONS of enemies that are outright immune to the nonlethal damage of frostbite (don't think that's much of a spoiler since its pretty common knowledge you're dealing with lots of undead, but *shrug*. Incidentally, Blind Fight has actually gotten a good bit of use for me as well in CC FYI.

KainMalice wrote:
Man, now I am kinda torn...I really like the thought of playing an more melee centric Magus, because initially I was wanting to play a Transumtation Specialized Wizard, and try to melee, but someone pretty much just said to play a Magus, and yeah...I think I might go with this build then. It would end up being more to my liking I think...

Always glad to help. Anyway, if you're interested in mostly melee plus transmutation, the magus does it pretty darn well, especially the Str builds. They do tend to be somewhat more optimized using frostbite as their 'go to' spell (since you're aiming to get lots of natural attacks and you can easily end up applying multiple "charges" of things like frostbite and chill touch per round), but again, due to the campaign, I'd advise using your trait bonus on SG, and perhaps still also using chill touch and/or frostbite when its appropriate (they're still perfectly useful without rime/other metamagic).

And there's nothing wrong with still using your blackblade while transmuted if you're not worried about full blown optimization (combining the manufactured plus natural attacks means the naturals end up as secondaries for -5 to attack and +1/2 strength damage, but its still viable...and you can always choose not to use the BB on occasion while transmuted if you get enough primary natural attacks and just want to rip things up that way.

Happy Hunting!

KainMalice wrote:
I am playing an Elf though, so I dont have the extra feat from Human...I was considering picking up Blind Fight as my bonus feat, so I dont know that I would prepare See Invisibility.

This is actually my suggestion, but not for the reason you stated.

If you qualify for it (you do), and if you've got a reliable way to get concealment (you do), Moonlight Stalker is incredibly good value. The +2 to attack and damage really helps to offset the penalties for spell combat quite well. Blind fight is the first prerequisite for MS (combat expertise is the other).

It basically amounts to Weapon focus, greater weapon focus, and weapon specialization, only it stacks with those feats and you also get the benefits of its prerequisites which are pretty good: Blind Fight, which is a very solid feat in its own right, and Combat Expertise, which again is a solid feat in its own right.

Just use stealth, fight in darkness, drop obscuring mist, cast blur, vanish, (greater) invisibility, etc. and you'll have +2 to attack and damage. Note that with darkness and mists, they'd have concealment from you as well, but you'd get to reroll miss chances due to blind fight, while your enemy likely will not. Later on, you can either continue casting stuff like blur regularly or just invest in a lesser cloak of displacement to have the effect 'always on' (you'll still probably want a cloak of resistance though, so don't forget you can pay the cost of the first enchant plus 1.5 times the cost of the second to add both to the same cloak).


Aside from that, I'd scrap all 3 of the feats you already decided on.

As mentioned, you're already past the sweet spot for combat casting. Soon enough, its going to be a pretty much useless feat for you. If you're really worried about casting defensively, buy some gloves of elvenkind. Alternatively, cast enlarge person, etc. to get reach so you don't provoke when you cast, and also just cast before you move + spellstrike whenever possible.

Toughness is okay, but not really necessary IMO for a Magus because you've got some of the best defensive spells in the game on your list (vanish, blur, invisibility, mirror image, displacement, greater invisibility, etc.). A decent AC plus mirror image will almost always be all you need to survive a HP attrition race. Plus, again, you've missed the sweet spot for toughness (level 1). Its a fine feat, but you don't need it anymore IMO.

Weapon focus is a fine feat too (especially if you swap to an 18-20 threat range weapon as detailed above), but I'd get Moonlight Stalker first. If you've got an extra feat later, WF is always welcome.


My suggestion for your feats up to 7th level:

Blindfight, Combat Expertise, Moonlight Stalker, and then probably Extra Arcana/Extra Arcane Pool (depending on what you need/want) and finally Intensify Spell (if you go with shocking grasp as your go to spell, plus you're right at the level most people grab this at) OR Rime Spell (if you go with frostbite instead).

If you decide to go dervish dancer, you'll need to fit Weapon Finesse and Dervish Dance in instead of the last two. I prefer strength builds myself though (doesn't cost 2 feats and you can make MUCH better use of monstrous physique/transmutation type spells).

Psion-Psycho wrote:
I would make it were u have a lot of EDs with reach weapons. Have them and ur self pick up team work feats and act as the star combatant while the reach EDs increase ur accuracy, defenses, and what not. It would be unsuspected to see a non Synthesis summoner be the front liner instead of the ED.

Let's combine things shall we? There's no reason the support eidolon's from my proposal can't wield reach weapons. They might as well in case space gets tight, they can still aid another and whatnot over the front line. The lead dog could have the reach evolution on one of his high threat attacks. Might give him an extra attack (or several with combat reflexes) per round that he could potentially start the crit train with. The summoner himself doesn't have to be the beatstick with the x4 crit weapon, but he certainly could be.

cZak wrote:
MTCityHunter wrote:

Now, you take the Lead dog, and give him Improved Critical (favored natural weapon, maybe tentacles to keep costs down and maximize attacks per evolution points spent?), and perhaps also a manufactured weapon or two to wield (preferably one with a high threat range and keen like a kukri or...

I like this. Very interesting, but...

With Improved critical the limited range of natural weapon crits (19/x2) leaves only a 10% chance of getting the crit. Not very promising.

If using manufactured weapons, the cost gets pretty steep. Or waiting until 11th level to get the Improved critical feat.

Any way to make this viable quicker?

yeah...that's why I said it may not be super optimal. Still, the 19-20 on natural attacks is the best you're going to get. That unimpressive threat range plus the fact that tentacles are the cheapest option and are already secondary, means there's no downside to using your starting limbs (or purchased ones on a non-biped) for manufactured weapons in conjunction with the natural ones. More attacks means more chances to trigger butterfly's sting after all (and the increased threat range on the manufactured weapons helps too).

To keep costs down on those, you could always buy as many +1 Keen kukris/scimitars as you have limbs to wield them and then pump them all up with greater magic weapon. DR will be an issue, since GMW won't bypass it, but since he only really cares about passing on his crits to whoever the designated beatstick is, its not such a big loss.

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:

So my thought was to have multiple ED's whose purpose is not to be effective themselves, but instead to aid another, distract, and otherwise act as disposable (but still renewable) resources!

Running with this idea what do you think and how would you "optimize" this?

Hmmm. Yeah this kind of thing screams for teamwork feats, but I think we can take it further. Maybe this won't be "optimal", but the following could be fun to play around with IMO.

First optimize one of the brood as much as possible for accuracy (to hit) and number of attacks. You don't need to worry about damage too much; his main goal is trying to get as many crits as possible, but even though his damage contribution could well end up meaningful, that's not where I'm headed here (more on this guy later).

Anyway, the crit fisher is your "lead dog". The rest of the brood should probably only have 1 natural attack (so the "leader of the pack" gets to use most of the set limit on natural attacks). Alternatively, your supporting cast could use a manufactured weapon (so they can make use of things like the Menacing property...and isn't there also a property that enhances the ability to aid another? Can't recall off hand).

These supporting eidolons should generally be using aid another and flank tactics (with stuff like the Outflank teamwork feat, among others) to help the "lead dog" as much as possible, but won't be really directly attacking much of anything. It might be worthwhile to spec one of them out to use a combat maneuver like trip or grapple at a semi-competent level, but that may be asking too much. Could be worthwhile if you pulled it off though.

Now, you take the Lead dog, and give him Improved Critical (favored natural weapon, maybe tentacles to keep costs down and maximize attacks per evolution points spent?), and perhaps also a manufactured weapon or two to wield (preferably one with a high threat range and keen like a kukri or scimitar, might as well throw in TWF or multiweapon fighting if you can afford the limbs to wield more of them). Remember, he wants as many chances to get a crit as possible, and if he's sporting tentacles, which are already secondary, he might as well also get iterative attacks. Now...give the lead dog Butterfly's Sting.

See where this is headed? As long as the summoner himself or someone else in the party is built as a high damage per hit character, ideally one with a x3 or x4 crit weapon, lots of strength, and two-handed fighting, your support crew helps the lead dog with his odds in landing a confirmed critical, then the lead dog passes his critical to someone who can really lay the hurt. The summoner can also help set things up with all the buffs he's got access to.

It would certainly take some coordination, but it could wind up being fairly effective and entertaining. There are probably a hundred other things I'm not thinking of to tweak the idea further...

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darkorbit wrote:
And, if i choose the magical knack for my sorcerer, will it gain the spell slots and everything or only spells will be at +2 caster level?

The latter.

It gives you a +2 bonus on caster level up to a maximum of your character level, so any variable spell effects dependent on level get calculated with that +2, but you do not gain new spell slots, etc.

MK helps multi-classed casters keep the spells they do have relevant to their level, but doesn't give them any additional spells.

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Pendagast wrote:
Lots of good stuff

PFS aside (where you're certainly right it would not be allowed, but so is anything in a remotely grey area banned, as is crafting of any kind), I see where you're coming from, but in general terms, can't agree because the basic assumption is that the blade is a static magic item. Magic items, even intelligent ones, don't have to be static. All of that changed when they introduced the rules for adding magical properties to existing magic items in 3.0 (that right? I certainly had a more static view of magic items in previous editions).

Who's to say the BB has always been what it is and that the various Magi who have used it over time haven't given it more power? That would certainly be the case for any other magic item that was owned by a series of adventurers. They would take and use the item, but also likely do what they could to add further enchantments to suit their specific needs.

If those needs coincided with the BB's goals, there would likely be no problem with "permission". The Magus and BB generally share a common interest, else why would the blade have chosen to lend itself to this particular magus in the first place? Certainly, if that changes, the BB might try to reject/save against the enchant, and may try to dominate the magus, heck it might even accept the enchant so domination will be easier to achieve. Besides, if it makes the blade more powerful, I doubt it would balk at such an offer under most circumstances. After all, its got an agenda, and becoming more powerful can only help it achieve what it wants to.

As for pricing, IMHO it doesn't really matter what extra properties beyond flat enhancement it has, as those do not impose limits on further enchantment (i.e. max +5 enhancement and max +5 properties). I'd say most of those powers come from the blade's intelligence and/or from "+flat GP cost" properties rather than being additional extra "+X properties", but of course others will disagree as is their right. If you wanted to call them +X properties, you'd simply need to decide what the value(s) of X are and figure out if anything underneath +10 remains. If so, it could still be enchanted. Note that regardless, those extra abilities may determine whether the weapon is epic or not. At any rate if you wanted to calculate a specific value for some reason, you'd have to estimate based on similar abilities in other items and from the intelligent weapon powers list.

I mean, the Magus can't sell the BB regardless because it won't act like a magic item in anyone else's hands. So who would buy it? This particular point is potentially sticky because if you ruled that its not actually magical in another's hands, obviously it can't hold permanent powers of any kind. I'd counter that by saying that of course its still magical and is simply refusing the new unworthy person access to its powers. Still, it would probably just disappear anyway. "Sell me? Sell ME?! Pfft. I'll show you! Bamf!"


At any rate, I'll always keep coming back to the same points that ultimately made me decide to allow additional enchants:

1) Is it a magic weapon? I have a hard time saying no to that question. So, I suppose I'll have to treat it as an item.

2) Does it unbalance things if this is allowed? Not really IMO. Certainly not in my home games, although setting the price for adding to the blade as if its a +5/whatever regardless of its current enhancement is probably a good idea if one wanted to close off any possible abuse.

3) Does it unbalance things if its not allowed? Yeah kind of IMO. If we don't allow this, by higher levels, the bladebound's weapon isn't likely anywhere near as good as every other magus' weapon. This is just an opinion, but that's kind of absurd to me. He paid an effective cost of 2 feats and a 3 level delay in a class feature for this blackblade. In return he gets a scaling enhancement bonus (worth a substantial chunk of gold) and some neat situational abilities. Cool, but it better not also gimp his mid to endgame potential IMO.

Also, if its not allowed, the bladebound can't make use of things like the agile enchant. So black blades don't like Dex Magi. Unless they're scimitars and the Magus is down with the dervish regional fighting style. Huh? All this does is perpetuate the DD cookie cutter builds, and that's a very bad thing IMO. The bladebound also can't make use of probably the most iconic magus enchant in spell storing. Fine, that's not really a deal breaker either. IMO spell storing is usually more optimal on a backup weapon, but what if you want it on you main weapon? What if you would just rather not use any other weapons? I wouldn't as a bladebound. That's part of the draw. Just doesn't sit well with me how limited the archetype would be when its defining feature is this awesome weapon it gets to wield.

So I think it best to remove those limits and put it on an even playing field with all other Magi. Perhaps that falls into the realm of house rules. Maybe, maybe not, but we all make house rules all the time anytime a rule isn't 100% clear.


Anyone still alive after that wall of text crit?

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darkorbit wrote:
Actually, i looked at the archetype, and it is more of a sorcerer archetype than a magus archetype, and looks lame...no offense bro

None taken, just a suggestion.

If you dont like the cabalist, i'd probably recommend going into DD from sorcerer rather than magus. Unless you have some RP or character reason behind choosing magus, it will certainly be a much more seamless transition from a naturally spontaneous casting class.

GM Arkwright wrote:

There are three decent ones; Summoner, Bard and Sorcerer. The problem is that they all use Charisma as their main casting stat, not Intelligence. I'd say go Sorcerer (Draconic). Dragon Disciple isn't the most amazing prestige class for the magus but it's okay, particularly if you're going with the Strength build.

Take Magical Knack to keep your caster level up.

Additionally, if your group is open to using 3rd party materials, there is also the Cabalist Magus archetype, which uses spontaneous casting instead ofprepared. Might be what you're looking for.

Jason Stormblade wrote:

I had to log in just to say this:

Your argument has been probably the most adult and respectful side of a discussion I have ever witnessed on these boards. You acknowledge the counter-points despite not agreeing, and you do it without this thread descending into crap. I've grown disgusted with the Paizo boards in the last few months, but seeing your post was great. Very respectful and well represented.

Rock on man.

Thanks for the kind words.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even more so when the issue at hand isn't black and white. Debate is healthy IMO, but we all need to try to keep an open mind and attempt to understand opposing viewpoints.

It can get frustrating on these (or any) forums at times, but theres a lot of good debate too. Keep the faith, lol.

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Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:
MTCityHunter wrote:
Thats not remotely the same thing. My argument is simply that an exception is not necessary since rules already exist for enchanting preexisting magic items. A rogue using channel energy would require some pretty specific rules exceptions to be in any way possible.

There are rules for classes getting powers not listed on their CRB progression charts. They are called archetypes, so the examples I listed using your "reading of the rules" are parallel.

I don't own all the books published by Paizo. In the books I do own, every table that charts out gains, and does not specifically spell out alternate options, anything outside of that chart is not available for selection. This has been true 100% of the time. If you have an example of a chart allowing something not mentioned on the chart as an option please share it.

If the class feature simply said they gained a generic magic weapon, or the black blade was usable by everyone(not just the bladebound magus) your interpretation would have a stronger foundation.

The item has a set progression listed on table 1-3, that progression does not include language allowing any flexibility in that progression. This means there is no flexibility in the progression.

Many of us have told the OP that their GM could adjust several things in a home game to allow the player to get what he wants, but we were also telling the OP that what they're asking for is not allowed by the language used in the archetype.

I've already adressed this. Spelling out exaclty how everything works with every newly published option is generally unnecceasry. The rules would go on for 30000 pages if they did that. Only exceptions to the general rules need to be spelled out. Exceptions were not provided in this case, so we (my grpup) use the existing magic item rules.

IMO its either a magic weapon or it isn't. I dont think it being sentient or being treated as a construct is mutally exclusive with it ALSO being a magic weapon. To me, its pretty clearly a magic weapon, regardless of whatever else it is or isn't, so we treat it as such. That's all. IMO the exceptions were not required, because rules for magic weapons already exist.

Now then, considering how often this issue is confused, perhaps it would have been best had they clarified the issue upon publication, but oh well. Until we get official errata its open to interpertation.

That said, let me say that I understand your point, I just don't agree. I'm not saying you are wrong, but Ive researched this topic extensively, and while there are inconsistencies no matter the interpertation, I've already decided how I think things work, and am simply voicing the minority opinion on the matter. I haven't seen anything new (to me) in this thread that would change my mind, although Im certainly open to doing so if we get some kind of official word on the matter. Regadless, I'm not interested in changing anyone's opinion, only in laying out all the facts for the undecided to make their own call.

Anyway, we have presented both sides of the argument. I feel I have been clear about how I interpert things and why, as have those in opposition. Its pretty obvious we're fairlydug in, so I'll take my leave before we start repeating ourselves too much. Hopefully the OP and their group can agree on how to handle things for themselves.

Enjoyed the chat! Happy Hunting!

Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
MTCityHunter wrote:
Also, for the record, I certainly recognize that I am in the minority opinion on this issue, and would be totally cool with running it however the GM wanted to, I just don't understand why folks are so reluctant to allow this, since the issues are not particularly difficult to reconcile IMO.

There is still the mechanical argument better addressed by Diego Rossi, which you have yet to respond to. If your response is 'Yeah, I like that idea', that is one thing; but it seems telling that you are responding to the non-mechanics arguments against with mechanic arguments, but not seeming to respond to the actual mechanical arguments.

@Azten: Interesting...

I did respond to Diego's post. I said it was aperfectly reasonable way to handle things. I also said I wouldnt worry about it in my home games, because no one I play with would abuse it, but fixing the cost (at what it would cost to add to a +5 weapon) is a simple solution to prevent the possibility.

As for intelligent items being creatires, yes I am aware they can be "treated" as creatures or constructs but they are still items as well. I understand ya'lls counter argument (and have already stated I wouldnt have a problem playing things that way), but I cant overlook that it is in fact, still a magic sword.

As for this:

Vinyk kettlebek wrote:

Most equipment doesn't have progression charts listing what it does at a given level, but the black blade does.

The black blade description says it gains certain abilities based on the level of the magus. The progression of abilities gained is listed on Table 1-3. None of the abilities that the black blade gains says they can be altered.

It is the lack of inclusion, of these abilities being flexible, that means that they must be used only as listed. Like I said before they get what is on the chart and nothing else.

Using your interpretation of what that progression chart grants access to would also allow a rogue to channel energy or a fighter to use sneak attack. Because their class progression charts in the CRB doesn't specifically allow or disallow them from doing so.

Thats not remotely the same thing. My argument is simply that an exception is not necessary since rules already exist for enchanting preexisting magic items. A rogue using channel energy would require some pretty specific rules exceptions to be in any way possible.


If one were to treat it as a construct, and NOT also a magic item and then rule that constructs cannot be enchanted, fine. I can live with that, but thats a debatable issue as well. Please realize i am not trying to convince anyone here. Just giving the other side to the OP so they can make up their own mind.

Since the OP asked a question and only one side of the argument had been voiced, i thought it best to give the other angle so that the OP and their GM can decide how they want to run it. Based on how frequently the issue pops up, its far from universally accepted one way or another, and thats ok.

Also, for the record, I certainly recognize that I am in the minority opinion on this issue, and would be totally cool with running it however the GM wanted to, I just don't understand why folks are so reluctant to allow this, since the issues are not particularly difficult to reconcile IMO.

Vinyc Kettlebek wrote:
MTCityHunter wrote:
I honestly cannot understand why people think a BB cannot be enchanted further. Its a magic weapon and it follows the rules for adding enchantments to any other magic weapon (pay the difference). If the BB was any different from any other magic item, the rules would say so. Since they do not specify, we must assume it follows the standard rules, so it can be enchanted.

The black blade has a static progression chart that lists all the abilities it gains. It is Table:1-3 in UM. The black blade doesn't get anything less or more than what is listed on that table. Which means the only way to modify the black blade is with temporary spells(eg align weapon) or using acane pool.

If a GM wants to allow a magus to add agile weapon to their arcane pool options, or substituting the black blades inherent +s for an equivalent special ability. In a homegame setting it is entirely within their rights to do so. However the archetype or class doesn't support either of these two options, as written.

Show me where it says other enchantments cannot be added. Or where it says the BBworks differently from any other magic item in the game.

Anyway, I dont personally care how others want to run it. Its perfectly clear to me how it works. not saying I couldnt be wrong, but nothing in the rules leads me to believe it works any differently from other magic items. I wouldn't likely add much to a BB in my own games where I was playing one anyway, but i would certainly allow players the option to if they so choose.

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