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UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Interesting party concept -- I'll have to give this some more thought.

Some food for your thoughts, then:

The Phantom Blade can follow a Magus through a Dimensional Assault or an invisible scouting atrempt, and fight besides him.
He can cast See Invisibility, Feedom of Movement or Death Ward on the
Magus depending of what foe could appear, preventing the Magus to face problematic abilities.
He can also surround both of them with Etheric Shards, turning their surrounding into a death field for anyone getting close
Both can share a Life Pact together if they wish, and the Phantom Blade will be often closer the party healer to throw an emergency Heal on him.
The Phantom Blade brings variety of magical damage by spellstriking eith positive and negative damage spells, when the Magus does elemental damage
And all this, while they can actually perform flanking or abuse some teamwork feats...

Kurald Galain wrote:
Moonheart wrote:
Well... at the same time, after I defeated a boss in a single round by combining Ethereal Weapon, Spell Strike and Plane Shift... I could understand him.

So what you're saying is you cast a save-or-lose spell on the boss, and he failed his save. While that's certainly effective tactics, it doesn't say anything about the Phantom Blade :)

It's still a good archetype though; I rate it green when compared to baseline Magus.

The reason why I decided to spend time to write a guide about the Phantom Blade is that after playing this archetype for a full campaign, I came to the conclusion that comparing it to a Magus is a bad idea itself.

In fact, the Phantom Blade is to the Magus what the Cleric is to the Wizard: Something that have in common the way they cast spells to hurt hurt opponents, and almost everything else different, including their strengths, fields of expertise, role and goals within a party.

Because of this, you cannot truly compare the two... exactly the same way you cannot say of the Cleric that you "rate it..." compared to the Wizard.
Two class can only truly be compared if they serve the same purpose... (well a class an an archetype in the present case, but you get the idea, I think)

I even truly think that you could actualy include a Phantom Blade and a Magus in the same party and that both would actualy complement each other very well.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Moonheart wrote:

Yes, the list on pfsrd is very incomplete.

That's sad because the Phantom Blade get some truly interesting touch spells like Plane Shift, Harm and Bestow Curse.

I usualy use D20pfsrd as a reference instead.

That is what I was referring to.

AoN has it listed correctly, but looking up spells there is not quite as easy.

It is referenced in d200fsrd. Here: h-Level-Spiritualist-Spells-Paizo-

Yes, the list on pfsrd is very incomplete.
That's sad because the Phantom Blade get some truly interesting touch spells like Plane Shift, Harm and Bestow Curse.

I usualy use D20pfsrd as a reference instead.

baggageboy wrote:
If you'd like to discuss the Phantom Blade more I'd love to but that's a overview. Here's a link to a Phantom Blade specific guide. I don't agree with everything in it, but it does do a decent job of looking at the class.

Well, as the author of this guide, if you'd like to share the controversial points, I'll be glad to hear them.

Phantom Blade is a bit hard to compare in terms of efficiency with Magus, mainly, as I said in the guide, because the spell list is so vastly different that you end to have a different role in party than a Magus has.

I've played the Phantom Blade as a tank, for exemple, and I was fully satisfied of it.
I remember even my DM saying once that he should perhaps remove some of my spells because I was litteraly soloing some encounters without the help of my teamates.

Well... at the same time, after I defeated a boss in a single round by combining Ethereal Weapon, Spell Strike and Plane Shift... I could understand him.

@Thunderlord: Discussing ideas is not "shooting" advices down.

I simply see several potential problems in some advices, and wish to truly understand how the author deal with those problems, because I'm not all-knowing and could have missed several informations or tricks that make my worries irrelevant...

There is no way however to harvest that additional info without confronting the authors with the said potential problems.
Note that if I had found those ideas stupid, I would not even lose time to answer them... but they are interesting, so yes, I argue.


MageHunter wrote:
The reason people are going pure mechanics to help is because that is generally the purpose of the advice forum.

Yes, I know. But that doesn't make we must completly forget the existence of roleplay when giving advices.

Anyways, if someone else hasn't mentioned it, I recommend UMD ranks for those situational spells you can't waste spells known on.

Yes, I should raise that skill.

I get you don't like prepared casting, but hedge witch can be very versatile. I made one and leave spell slots open to prepare on demand to adapt.

Ley Line Guardian with Spontaneous Versatility is almost as versatile outside of combat, and much more versatile in combat, imho.

Melkiador wrote:
He can’t take extra hex until he gets a hex. And that won’t be until level 4, assuming that he doesn’t use a hex to advance his channeling. So at level 5 he could have a 1d6 channel and a couple of hexes. Or a 2d6 channel and no hexes. Either option sounds pretty dismal.

Low levels are disappointing now I see this FAQ, yes.

However, in the long run, the Hex Channeler is actualy better at healing (note I just talk of healing here, I don't say its better overall) than a witch using healing hexes.

Each 1d6 of channeling is actualy equivalent to 24.5 hp of group healing per day:
- Healing Hex only does 9.5 per day, which is stricly inferior
- Major Healing Hex needs you to be level > 11 to do more than 24.5 per day, but still need you to get close unless you have another hex, and spend several action to deliever all its potential, so overall 1d6 of channeling is still a better choice

Lifegiver is something situational that can be handled with spells... so only Regenerative Sinew is actualy better than an extra 1d6 of channeling.

This should lead to a logical choice to use ALL the normal and gnome FCB hex grants for an extra 1d6 channel except for the level 10 one, which will be Regenerative Sinnew
Then, by level 10, I should have taken every Channeling Feat I need, so I could fit Extra Hex to take utility or debuff hexes if I want some.

So... a possible alternative route could be:
1- Human Bonus: Racial Heritage
1- Healer's Hands
3- Selective Channeling
5- Spontaneous Versatility
7- Quick Channeling
9- Reactive Healing
11- Extra Hex
13- Extra Hex
15- Extra Hex
17- Extra Hex
19- Extra Hex

With the gnome FCB (that the archetype does not prevent to be turned into d6), the progression of the channel would be:
2- 1d6
4- 2d6
6- 4d6
12- 6d6
14- 7d6
16- 8d6
18- 10d6
20- 11d6
There is a huge gap between level 6 and 12, but that's because of Regenerative Sinew is earned so it's fine imho.

The bad point would be to have Hexes very late in the progression, the good point is the healing potency is at its peak for a witch.

Perhaps, UnArcaneElection, but you know, I've played a whole campaign with the Phantom Blade, and what my experience learned me with Burst of Insight, is that even when you learned it, you most often decide to -NOT- use it than to use it.

Burst spells are bets: you are betting that you will fail your saving by less than 4, and thus, need that +4, even at the cost of a penalty.
In the case of Burst of Adrenaline, if you fail, you just get a -2 penalty for a round for strictly nothing... but in the case of Burst of Insight, what you get is losing a whole round for nothing which could cost the life of one of your teamate.

To give you an exemple, in the campaign where I played the Phantom Blade, we met a specter who started a surprise round by throwing a confusion aoe.
My Phantom Blade, having the best will save of the party, resisted it. ALL my teammates failed and started to hit each other (which means a total lockdown, if you're a bit familiar with confusion rules)

If at that time, I lost a round dazed because I had been over-cautionous and casted Burst of Insight, we probably had lost one or two party members... but I didn't cast it, which allowed me to rush to close-quarter and block the creature before she could reach my disabled allies, and I held it here until the confusion wore off

To put it in a metaphoric way: Burst of Adrenaline is like going to a casino game and betting 100 bucks on a dice throw... but Bust of Insight is like going to a casino game and betting your whole house on the table.

Melkiador wrote:
But if you really think about it, is it a change? You have traded away so much of the witch that it comes closer to resembling an oracle than a witch.

It's obvious any competent healer is always going to ressemble gameplay-wise for a good part to another healer, because decent healing sources are only a few in the game: channel, healing spells and a tad of heal skill.

But at least roleplay wise, the witch is a completly different animal: she's a kind of outcast, a healer not tied to the divine, but more mysterious and less-understood forces. She has a different view on the world and a different base for relationship with the different social categories of PC and NPC.

People of this forum tend to only think about gameplay mechanics and forget that the best part of playing Pathfinder is character interpretation... and I never played a witch before, so, yes, it's going to be a welcomed change.

A real change would be trying to take on the challenge of being the healer without relying on the channels.

But that's a challenge that the OTHER players are the first to pay if you fail.

And since I take seriously the goal to prevent the other to need to reroll another PC, I'm not wanting to take up that challenge.

Cavall wrote:
I'd still reccomend the hedge witch archetype. You'll get your heals as spontaneous and hexes at level 1. It's what you want and trades little away.

That's still a no, and I already explained why above.

Thunderlord wrote:
Meirril wrote:
Alternatively make a Witch with a familiar, cast invisibility on said familiar. Now the familiar can deliver all of your healing using its movement while you continue to use your hexes offensively. Just watch out for opponents that see invis.
I use a thrush in our Kingmaker campaign and he just zips around blasting undead and keeping the barbarian alive.

Then your DM is lenient.

1- Using an invisible familiar to actualy deliever heals create a penalty to its stealth score so high that the invisibility actualy provide no effet to prevent foes to notice its presence.
2- Then, any creature with at least 8 intelligence should understand that something invisible is healing his opponent from close range and attempt to strike it to stop his opponent to have his wounds closed each round.
3- Due to having a low AC score, it's unlikely that the trush is going to avoid the blow from a decent opponent, except for the 50% concealment miss chance of invisibility.

So if you play with a DM playing ALL the rules and also playing opponents that actualy aren't bots who don't use their brain, you trush should get killed rather fast using this method more than once in a while.

That's not even accounting the problem of AoE effects.

The DM of my table is actualy not lenient. He truly plays the opponents are intelligent beings if they have enough intelligence score... so that kind of thing if just not be viable with him.

Melkiador wrote:

-FAQ links and quotes-

To reiterate: You can't take extra hex at level 1!

Seems you're right... *sigh* This is not making things simplier, but well..

I have to wonder why you want to play a witch at all. You don't like the spell casting, and you are trading out most of your hexes. And your archetypes even remove your familiar. You should just play a spirit guide healing oracle.

For a change. We've seen too many clerics and oracles already in the campaigns we played.

Make sure you aren't confusing its full round action with a 1 round spell. It's mostly just losing your move action, which isn't usually that bad. You still have 5 foot steps.

Losing the move action -is- a big penalty.

Positioning is an important point to stay alive in pathfinder.

Forgot one answer:

Cavall wrote:
3. Heal hex at 1. Flight later. You chose an archtyprvthat doesn't give hex at 1 so you can't take extra hex at 1. That's lame. Heal hex at 1 gives scaling healing for everyone. It'll save thousands, and when used with scar hex, gives heal at ranged. Could save lives.

Fair point, Heal is a priority compared to Flight that doesn't become great before level 5.

I can take Extra Hex at level 1, as what the archetype currently remove is the hex I'm gaining at level 1, and not the hex class feature itself.
If the archetype did remove the hex class feature, I would not be able to use hexes at all ;)


Mixing all those answers, and putting a stronger emphasis on range healing, I'm going to rework the feat list like this:

1- Human Bonus: Racial Heritage
1- Extra Hex: Healing
3- Extra Hex: Scar (make healing hexes work from 1 miles away)
5- Selective Channeling
6- FCB: Flight
7- Spontaneous Versatility
9- Quick Channeling
11- Extra Hex - Witch's Charge (make all cure wounds spells work from 30ft on the main tank)
12- FCB: Regenerative Sinnew
13- Extra Hex - Major Healing
15- Reactive Healing
18- FCB: Life Giver

Prehensile Hair is a nice hex, but making Cure Wound spells at 10ft instead of 5ft is not changing the fact you need to get too close if you ever need to heal the frontliners, IMHO.
So I do prefer Witch's Charge for this use, even if it only works on one of the team member.

I still don't have a clue which trait I could take.
Reactionary would be an acceptable choice.


That's an amazing answer, full a very good points.

There are here a lot of possible and interesting choices, especialy things link Healer's Hands (free cure), Scar and Regenerative Sinew

I'm going to ponder on each element a little while to see what I will pick.

avr wrote:
The witch spell list is weak on defence. You have 10 Con, 10 Dex, a d6 hit die, your favored class bonus is spent elsewhere... with ~20 hp and ~AC 14 at level 5, for example, you're in serious danger of being taken out in 1 round between your actions. Self-healing has limits. If you could drop Cha to 16 that'd give you some points to put in Dex and/or Con to mitigate that weakness.

The weakness of the witch's defense is truly an important point I didn't spot right on.

However I do not think that grabbing a +1 dex or con modifier is the solution to that problem, as such a low bonus will not make any true difference in combat after a few levels.

For me, I should rather work on having more ranged healing options, like taking Scar or Prehensile Hair.

LordKailas wrote:
I would suggest looking at the Hedge Witch archetype, it will let you spontaneously cast healing spells w/o learning them.

I HATE prepared spells, that's why I took Ley Line Guardian.

I would rather NEVER play a witch of my whole like that playing it without an archetype switching its casting mode to "spontaneous"

That's just a matter of tastes, and not something relevant to efficiency, and that's why it's not a negociable thing in the build.

Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Drop the racial heritage feat. As a spontaneous caster your spells known are way more important than hexes. An extra spell known per level is much better than a hex every 6 levels.

There is no race providing extra spells known to a witch who doesn't use her familiar to store spells, so I have no such option available.

Melkiador wrote:
I recommend against the hex channeler. It is not worth the number of hexes and feats it eats up to be useful.

For many reasons, any healer without Channeling is actualy in my eye a BAD healer. I'll explain those reasons a little further in my answer to Derklord if you care... but keep in mind that's not a negociable point for me.

Derklord wrote:

I don't see the need for infight healing at all. Seriously, using an offensive action, or casting a buff, debuff, or battlefield controll spell, prevents more damage than the heal action would have healed.

E.g. if you slumber a hard to reach target, you've effectivly "healed" every point of damage your target would have done during that fight.

The main problem with that thought is a problem of reliability.

Debuffs and controls are nice and indeed powerful, but they are also luck-dependant.
As long that luck is at your side, a good debuff/control is going indeed to do more than a heal. But when luck is at the side of NPC, in-combat heal is what save people.

For exemple, if at one round a character get damaged, it becomes exposed to what players of my table call an "Obliteration Round" i.e. a stroke of luck on a strong monter that make his target goes straight from "I'm wounded but still have more than 50% total hp" to "Dead" status without stoping by the "Dying" or "Disabled" one
In-combat healing prevent this by allowing your to keep your fellow teamates at an amount of hp high enough at each round that you fill confident that even a stroke of bad luck won't provoke such an "Obliteration Round"

Channel is one of the few useful methods of infight healing, so that's OK, but I would strongly advice against cure spells or the healing hexes.

I almost never recommand anyone trying to use Cure Wound spells during a fight until they get the "mass" version, simply because you shouldn't get that close to your main tank during a fight... Such a thing expose you to 5-foot-step and reach full-attacks, as well as make you more easy to caught in an area-of-effect

That's why Channel Positive Energy is actually the BEST healing power of the whole game: It's a close range (30ft) group healing that you can use without provoking AoO and which is available from levels 1-2.

If you closely look at this from this perspective, having Channel Energy is actualy like to recieve "Cure Light Wounds, Mass" as a level 1 spell, except that the amount of healing it produce will stay relevant even at level 20, which makes this ability totaly OP

And this in-combat healing bears importance for the reason I mentioned above, to me, any healer without this ability is a bad main healer (but can be a wonderful debuffer and a good secondary healer)


1) Using your FCB to gain a single additional hex at 12th level doesn't feel worth it.

2) Versatile Spontaneity is only one spell/day.

1) That FCB adds 3 additional hexes.

2) Yes Versatile Spontaneity is one spell/day, however, it still great for any out-combat spell of rarely use: The Ley Line Guardian can write all those spells into a spell book and only get them in the rare cases they truly need them, without wasting her precious spell known.
Lost in a Maze? Camp a bit, open the spellbook, make Find the Path part of your spontaneous spells.
Someone sick? Camp a bit, open the spell book, make Remove Disease paart of your spontaneous spells.
Need to speak to a foreigner leader? Camp a bit, open the spell book, make Tongues part of your spontaneous spells
An so on...

Ryze Kuja wrote:
Get Reach Spell so you can make your Touch range Cure spells into Close range (25ft +5ft/2lvls).

But spontaneous casters get a nasty penality on metamagic use, so I'm reluctant to use this... plus with Scar and Channel Energy, I'm pretty sure I have enough in-combat ranged healing for a class that feature so many control spells she can use to actualy prevent damage.

- New campaign starting, and I'm the one in charge of alllll the party healing.
- I want to do something more original than the usual Cleric/Paladin/Oracle but still retain the Channel Positive Energy features.... so, I looked at the remaining option and set my eye on a Hex Channeler With

- Never f!!#ing played a witch before, so I could miss some important goodies. Need advices!

Current state of my draft build:
Race: Human, +2 int
Archetypes: Hex Channeler + Ley Line Guardian (I just prefer spontaneous casting)
Favored Class Bonus: 1 hex / 6 level (gnome favored bonus, gained through Racial Heritage)
Ability Scores: Int/Cha 18 Str 8 others 10
Patron: Healing (we will need those restoration spells)
- one campaign trait (will see once the build is completed)
- one generic trait (need help on this one!)
1- Human Bonus: Racial Heritage - Gnome (see favored class bonus)
1- Extra Hex
3- Selective Channeling (yay for anytime in-combat channel!)
5- Versatile Spontaneity (I'll just scribe all those "Remove xxx" spells in a spell book and make them part of my spontaneous list when I need them instead of wasting my precious known spells on them)
7- Quick Channel (yay, can channel AND cast a spell the same turn!)
9- Reactive Healing (can't heal someone if I'm dead)
1- Extra Hex Bonus: Flight
6- Favored Class Bonus : Healing
12- Favored Class Bonus : Major Healing
18- Favored Class Bonus : Life Giver
Skills (7/lvl):
- Spellcraft*
- Use Magic Device*
- Perception
- Fly (because Flight Curse)
- Knowledge: Arcana* (always useful for Detect Magic)
- Knowledge: Nature* (roleplaying purpose)
- Knowledge: Planes* (roleplaying purpose)

Except for the archetypes, that I will not change, everything is debatable.
I lack a trait and a lot of feats... I do not know the witch enough to know what good feats she can use

Any ideas or good tips for me?

What I've tried to explain in my guide is that the most important point to understand the Phantom Blade, is to understand what are the differences between Cleric spells and Wizard spells, since the Phantom Blade is based on the first one, unlike the Magus.

The strong point of Cleric spells are sustainability: They usualy does a bit less damage than Wizard ones, but they help you to survive a lot more.
However, damage done by Cleric spells are made mainly out of positive/negative damage, unlike the Wizard spells the Magus uses who are mainly made out of elemental damage.

What it implies? Simply that the Phantom Blade spell list is almost split in half:

  • what works against living beings
  • what works against undead beings
Spells working against the two are quite rare, and good ones even more.

I do not know any campaign where you won't fight living beings, so the investment into anti-living spells is for me a no-brainer, and some avialable to the Phantom Blade are truly potent.
However, as you said @Rycaut, the amount of undead encounters you will have is much more variable from campaign to compaign... making the investment into anti-undead spell a risk of wasting a known spell slot.

What makes the Cure Wound spells great in this context is that they are FIRST excellent spells to emphasis the Cleric spells strong point, sustainability, and then, only second, a good option to deal postive energy damage whenever, and if, you encounter undeads.
So, you cannot waste a spell slot by taking them, as they will always find an use.


HOWEVER, I do understand your concern about the low damage, especially since those spells allow a save-or-half will save.

In all honesty, I didn't use much those spells to spellstrike when I encountered undeads during my campain, prefering another use for them: I casted Chill Touch and Haste on myself, gave my Ghost Touch phantom weapon the Disruption and Ethereal qualities by spending ectoplasmic points... and then wacked this weapon at their faces while keeping myself alive with the Cure Spells.

This strategy made me do up to 5 attacks per round, each resolving against touch AC, and each hit forcing the undeads to make a double save-or-suck throw to avoid to be forced to flee and/or to be immediatly destroyed.

Still, no matter what is your approach to fight undeads with a Phantom Blade, I never see a case were you shouldn't have the Cure Spells... so yes, they deserve their rating in my guide, believe my experience on this.

I don't know if it could interest you, but since the last year, another alternative appeared for to build a magus-like character: the Phantom Blade Spiritualist

I recently completed the first version of a guide on it (a few days ago, in fact) after playing it for a long time in the Strange Aeons campagin: The Guide

Little summary of what the archetype does:
- Similar to the Bladebloud Magus you get a magical sentient weapon that automatically improve with levels for free
- Features Spell Combat and Spellstrike as the Magus, but Arcanas are remplaced by another power allowing you to morph and adapt your weapon to the current needs of a fight (for exemple, you can make it resolve its attacks against touch AC...)
- Use psychic magic instead of arcane magic, which allow it to use armors and shield without penalties
- Feature a spell list so different of the Magus it open a fully different realm of strategies and tactics
- Can fight "unarmed", the phantom then inhabiting his fists instead of taking the shape of a steel weapon, and making them almost more deadly than the ones of a monk (they improve automatically with levels up to 2d10 + 5 with permanent Ghost Touch quality)

Since you were disappointed with your first try with the Magus, I thought you could be interested by something at the same time similar, but also quite different in some ways

I personnaly loved to spellstrike with a blade that resolve againsy touch AC and banish people into hell on a failed will save :)

I've done a small guide for the Phantom Blade Spiritualist archetype here: Google Docs Link

It still need reviewing, but I felt it was needed because Phantom Blade is one of those archetype who changes so much the base class that your can't at all use the guide of the class itself to help you doing something efficient.

You can leave any comment you would have on it, I'm alaways happy to get some feedback

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Well, that's good food for thoughts :)
I'm going to ponder about all this, thanks for those informations.

I'm however going to keep my stance on Cure Wound spells and Vital Strike, due to my own experience on in-game battles with the Phantom Blade:

  • Cure Wound spells: even with a full cleric behind me, I never regretted to pick any Cure Wound spells, during the whole campaign.

    Cure Wounds spells are truly versatile;
    They prevent your healer to over-use his energy channels: often you are the only one wounded, and it's not truly a good idea that the healer come that close of you to cast his own Cure Wound spells, and at that time, you're happy to be able to close your scratchs yourself
    They also contribute to the out-of-combat healing, you can share the burden, so you always start fights in top condition.
    And then, there is the fact that if you have all the Cure Wounds spells, you are quite well prepare from the very basis to deal with undeads, since you ALWAYS have the option to spellstrike them with a good amount of positive energy

  • Vital Strike: There is two reasons why you will not use this even if you cast a spell like Chill Touch

    First one is: Chill Touch is a spell that has only value if you hit several times per round with it. Otherwise, better cast another spell.
    Second one is: Even if you don't want to cast a touch spell which would cancel the charges of Chill Touch, the Phantom Blade spell list is so full of goodies that you could find a relevant spell to cast from it every round of a twenty-round-long fight

    I, in fact, did a fight that lasted something like 18 rounds, and during which I only used touch spells twice.
    Still, I casted a spell every round of this fight.

    So... no, I would never have used Vital Strike once during the full campaign even if the DM gave me the full feat chain for free.

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    I made changes to reflect all the points I'm agreeing on, here is a new link with a better presentation: New Google Doc

  • Spell Resistance: rating lowered since it prevent people to heal you
  • Withdraw Affliction: added a NB explaining why you don't get an extra attack with it
  • Offensive Feat: added Weapon Focus and Improved Unarmed Strikes
  • Message: rating up
  • Expeditious retreat: rating up and included in the Phantom Dragon build
  • Scizore removed from weapon recommandations
  • Handy Haversack replace the Bag of Holding in the encumbrance section

    UnArcaneElection wrote:
    ^Reading this now, and temporarily ignoring the grammar/word usage issues:

    Well, I'll be glad if some people could at least point out the recurring ones, because english is a foreign language to me, and I'd like to improve

    Burst of Insight: If you use this for your Will Saves, it seems that this would be VERY good despite the penalty -- 1 round of being Dazed is a lot less bad than who knows how many rounds of being Charmed, Confused, Cursed, Dominated, Feebleminded, or Possessed.

    You're absolutly right, but this spell is truly inferior to Burst of Adrenaline as it works for only 1 type of save, give a much severe condition and apply to your best save and not your worst one.... so I couldn't give it the same rating than Burst of Adrenaline.

    Cure-series spells: I would start downgrading these at the higher levels, because your casting of these falls progressively further behind a 9/9 caster. The obvious exceptions are the related spells Breath of Life and Heal -- you want to have these though you get them late relative to 9/9 casters.

    The rating is not made compared to level 9 spellcasters, but to what the Spiritualist spell list offer, and Cure spells are among the best spell you can pick at every spell level, believe it by my experience with this archetype.

    You'll never never never regret to have pick a Cure Wound spell as part of your spell known.

    Feeblemind: This will ruin almost any target's day, unless they are immune. It's just that arcane spellcasters take a penalty on the Save, whereas others don't.

    I don't truly see why, care to explain?

    Let's admit you have a barbarian in front of you... you cast Feeblemind on him and he fails his save. What does the fact his intelligence is reduced to 1 changes anything to his ability to split you in half with a 2H weapon?

    Withdraw Affliction: It's not clear that you can Spellstrike with the withdrawn affliction (as opposed to having to make a normal Touch Attack), although the text "as if holding the charge for a touch spell" leads me to lean in favor of it. Expect table variation.

    This FAQ explain that if a spell allows several touch attacks, Spellstrike allows you to deliver them all through your weapon.

    Withdraw Affliction allows 2 touch attacks: one harmless against yourself, and one harmful against an opponent. You can do both via Spellstrike, but since the first was made against yourself, you just don't gain an extra attack agaisnt your opponent when you cast this spell.

    Races: Some of these (including Human with Military Tradition) get additional weapon proficiencies that are actually useful.

    Well I couldn't find one light or one-handed exotic weapon proficiency given by those traits that was better in at least one way to my eye than a simple scimitar, that's why I didn't make any note of it.

    But if you have an example in mind, I'll gladly add them.

    Feats: I just realized that since you use your Phantom Blade Spiritualist level as your effective Base Attack Bonus for qualifying for these feats, you can actually benefit from the full Vital Strike feat chain, although you will be a bit late in getting each part of it.

    You can't use Vital Strike with Spell Combat.

    avr wrote:
    I'm pretty sure that fencing grace & starry grace suffer from the same incompatibility with spell combat as slashing grace. Dervish dance is the one and only Paizo-produced dex to damage option for a phantom blade. Deadly agility out of Path of War is a simple 3rd party fix.

    I'll trust Kurald on this one, as I didn't find any ruling preventing fencing grace to work with spell combat. Fencing Grace is in his magus guide too.

  • You are soooooo stubborn. That's amazing.

    Once again:
    - EVEN if nobody can fin any game-breaking build using this spell
    - EVEN if the can replicate the example I givben by mundane means
    That doesn't change that spell is too strong for a cantrip! Stop focusing on isolated cases and look at the problem as a whole!

    I gave ONE example of use for this spell, and just to counter this exemple, you described a method which implies to buy X shields, deal with the extra encumbrance of those shields (5 lbs each, on classes who starts usualy with a max of 26 lbs in total) and take an extra feat (Quick Draw)... all this just for ONE use.

    Try to just imagine what it would take to replicate ALL the possible uses someone could fit in a build exploiting seriously this spell!
    How can't you actualy still fail at seeing that's far too much for a level 0 spell?

    Seriously I'm out of this silly talk. This will not lead anywhere to continue

    Alright Gary, you made some points. I misreaded the Resistance spell I admit it.... so let's look at your other claims:

    Gray Warden wrote:
    You don't need infinite quickdraw mithral bucklers (btw, it's eiter mithral buckler, or vanilla quickdraw shield; I start believing you do not understand how this works). If you just want a sheld, you only need one Mithral buckler. If you want to do the broken shield shenanigans, you just need a few normal, non-mwk Quickdraw shields. What's still unclear about that?

    That's you who don't understand how it works, imho.

    The spell actualy does not do one thing or another, it does everything at the same time:
    - providing you a shield during the -integrality- of the fight as long you sacrifice all your swift actions for this without making you suffer from ASF
    - losing the "broken" at each round if you need the broken shield feat

    You cannot evaluate need separatly because there is absolutely no way for you to know which attack will turn into a critical hit, to make the critical only land on "normal" shields.
    So EVERY quickdraw shield you have need to have ASF to be able to match the spell on those two points.

    Then, once you did that, there will stay the fact that this spell cost nothing toward your total encumbrance (that's what I did put the "weightless" word you conveniently ignored in my questions) and cost you absolutly no gold to use.

    And after that, you'll have to face your DM's wrath for bringing absurd strategies to his table...

    So... sorry but no, this spell truly does something that you cannot do without, and which largely exceed the boundaries of what cantrips are supposed to do.

    You cannot have a level 0 spell producing an illimited amount of disposable combat gear, even of a weak kind.

    Rycaut wrote:
    Yes I think this is right. The tradeoff of no somatic components is in higher DC for concentration checks (with the option of a move action to reduce it but that’s not something a magus will typically want to do) as well as various effects that will s**@ down many psychic spells (emotion spells or fear effects like being frightened or shaken)

    That's one thing the Phantom Blade does better than a Mindblade: his phantom weapon assist him for concentration checks, allowing him to negate the penalty as a swift (or even free) action.


    BTW, I finished to write the first version of my Phantom Blade guide.

    You can read this first version on Google Docs

    There is probably a lot of thing to critizice in it, as I didn't made a seconde reading for now.
    I need a little break, because it took me a lot of hours to write all this base content already.

    Gray Warden wrote:
    Both Resistance (not Resiliance) and this cantrip give a +1 bonus to resist a harmful effect (ST or AC). Both become obsolete with a 1kgp item. Resistance requires a standard action to cast, but lasts a whole minute, and no further actions are needed to benefit from it.

    - This spell works even if you didn't had some time to prepare yourself before the start of fight, Resistance doesn't.

    - This spell can be used during a surprise round, Resistance doesn't.
    - This spell can protect you even if two or more of those harmful effect happen during the same round, Resistance doesn't.
    - This spell can have its effect renewed for another round without having to forfeit the right to cast another spell at the same round, Resistance doesn't
    - This spell still provide you the right to use feats you would not be able to use without it, Resistance doesn't.
    ... add also this spell works against a much more common harmful effect that the one Resistance protects against

    Also, could you tell me which 1kgp item actualy provide you an infinite stock of weightless quickdraw mithral bucklers, I'm totaly curious about it?

    Gray Warden wrote:
    Grasp is a cantrip that can be cast as an immediate action, and may very well save a character's life. I guess this is game-breaking too.

    You're being ridiculous. When was the last time you saw a full arcane spellcaster actualy even attempt ONE climb roll that could make him killed if he fails at it?

    Because once the Barbarian, Clerics, Magi, Paladins used the feat to cancel one critical hit, their shield is broken and can't serve this purpose anymore, and they will have to fight with a reduced AC until the end of the fight... when someone could do something to actualy repair the said shield.

    That spell simply cancel the normal penality of the feat by producing a new shield every round at NO cost. No standard/move action spent, no spell spent, just like this *snap fingers*


    Now, that was the last time I answer your nippicking about this exemple, because it's only ONE exemple among many I could find if I was wanting to spend 2 hours browsing the feat database just for your eyes.

    The -main- problem is that what this spell does is -not- at the cantrip level. Resiliance is a cantrip, just compare what it does to this spell: it cannot be cast as a immediate action, and it doesn't allow you to use feats you couldn't use normally.

    THIS is what a cantrip spell does, a very minor thing, at the price of a simple standard action.

    Oh please, stop nippicking. I could replace Barbarian with Cleric, Magus, Druid, Paladin or whatever.... that doesn't change at all the fundamental point.

    This spell is:
    - giving a permanent 1 shield AC to every spellcaster as long he doesn't need his swift action for something
    - bypassing the prerequisites of a lot of shield feats

    There is absolutely no way this can be considered as a cantrip level spell.
    You cannot put this at the same level as a spell that simply helps you to lit a campfire !!!

    Ok, I started to write the Phantom Blade guide and it's progressing well.
    However, a strange question came to my mind during the process, and I'd like your opinion.

    It is a well-know fact right now that when wielding a buckler, a character can still use Spell Combat as this shield is strapped to his forarm and thus, allows him to keep his off-hand free, as requiered by the ability.
    However, the buckler will not provide his AC bonus, because you use your hand to cast a spell.

    At least, that's what we were thinking, but I took another look at the buckler rules, and this is the text I actualy found about the lost of AC while casting spells:
    "You can cast a spell with somatic components using your shield arm, but you lose the buckler’s Armor Class bonus until your next turn."

    Now, a Mindblade Magus or a Phantom Blade actually use -psychic- magic instead of arcane magic, and psychic magic doesn't have -any- somatic components.
    So, doesn't it means that those Spell Combat archetypes actually allow to retain a buckler's AC at all times?

    Gray Warden wrote:
    Mithral Bucklers do not require proficiency either

    Technicaly it does, it's just that the penaly for not having it is reduced to 0 is the buckler is at least masterwork.

    take negligible inventory space (only 2.5lb)

    2.5lb on a class that sometimes starts with 7 strength score is far from neglectible

    nobody has EVER wasted an action to sunder a Buckler in the whole history of Pathfinder (probably)

    As formentioned: Fortified Armor Training

    Plus, sorry, I met several boss with the automatic sunder abilities during Pathfinder standard adventure paths.
    They did not even need to spend an action to sunder our equipment the sundering maneuver was an automatic bonus everytime they landed a hit on us.

    and does allow the use of 2h weapons (although with -1 penalty and losing the AC bonus, as if Wizards are known to use 2h weapons...).

    Wrong. If you use your second hand to use the a weapon, the buckler lose stop providing his bonus to AC until your next turn.

    But this spell allows you to make appear the buckler ONCE your hand is perfectly free.


    You lack some knowledge about the finger prints of the pathfinder's combat rules, but believe me, any over-optimizing player will point them to their DM if you create such a cantrip.
    Balance in Pathfinder never was a problem about what a spell/feat/ability does alone.... but about what it does in COMBINATION with the other existing content.

    A simple exemple of this:

    2h weapon-using barbarian
    Trait "Two-world magic" to get access to that cantrip
    Feat "Fortified Armor Training"
    => At the end of each of his round, once he finished to attack (without any penalty, since he didn't have a shield), the barbarian release the grip of his weapon as a free action, then use the spell. He has now a buckler increasing his AC, since the buckler was never here when he used his offhand to attack, so it doesn't lose his bonus to AC.
    If any attacker perform a critical hit him, he sacrifice the say shield, since its disposable at will, and will be back the next round.

    Gratz, you created a barbarian with increased AC and immune to critical hits with a simple "balanced" cantrip.

    And ocnce again, this is a mere sample... I found it in less than 2mn of research, but players reasearch insane combos during months, or years, in Pathfinder.

    I also play this AP, and I must warn you it's the HARDEST campaign for item-reliant characters.

    The asylum is a pain as it is an isolated territory, but it's not better after that: the only buying point you will find won't have any strong item to sell, and after that you're out of contact with merchants for a while.

    We are currently level 10 at my table and all absolutely under-stuffed.
    I'm currently the most powerful member of the team because I play a Phantom Blade, so my weapon is given for free to me and automaticaly improve with levels: it's the only +3 weapon of the team, everyone else is still stuck with +1 weapons.
    I'm still wearing an armor without any enhancement bonus.

    Neverless, our team is still doing fine without all this magic gear, so the encounters probably have been tuned slightly down to reflect the fact we don't have access to high-magic gear.
    But I will NEVER recommand to play a f@~!ing wizard in that campaign, nor anything requiering ammunition stocks.

    Ok let me try to make you realize again how powerful your spell is for a cantrip...

    Since it's an immediate action and unlimited uses per day, an arcane spellcaster, who have very few use for swift actions anyway until he gets Quicken Spell, can basicaly have that spell active ANYTIME he's attacked.

    That spell gives ALL the advantages of a Mithral Buckler: +1 AC, no ASF, lightweight, allow shield feats use.
    So basicaly, the existence of the spell means you're giving a free Mithral Buckler to every arcane spellcaster and any other class wanting to spend a trait, for free, at level 1.

    But if it was a simple Mithral Buckler.... not even!
    That Mithral Buckler do not need any proefficiency to use, do not take inventory space, regenerate in one round if broken, and allow use of two-handed weapons with it (when attacked, relase the grip of your 2H weapon as a free action, use immediate action to cast the spell, withstand the attack roll, then use another free action to grip your 2H again)

    How much do you think such an item would cost in GP if you roll an appraise check on it?

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    Slim Jim wrote:
    Ryze Kuja wrote:
    Your Killer DM will have a rough time with a Soulthief Vitalist as your frontliner.
    No he won't. He'll just up the ante.

    Oh please, stop with this "killer DM" thing. There is nothing like that.

    Our DM just use the encounters at the fullest of what each one allow, and we discover he's truly talented at that... he however never modified any encounter to make it harder than the recommandation wrote in the adventure path, nor set any disavantageous homerule for us.

    He's truly playing the campaign by the book.

    Even more simple:

    There are two problems with this spell:

    1- It's damn too powerful for a cantrip.

    You are writing a spell allowing the spellcaster to bypass feat restrictions. There is no way something like that can be a cantrip.
    Cantrip don't make appear piece of combat equipement, those kind of thing only appear from level 2 spells.

    2- It's totaly impossible keep balanced.

    The spell breaks the boundaries of arcane spellcasters in a way not feat creator probably ever thought about before, so it's bound that one actual or future feat is going to create an insane combo with this spell...

    That's a terrible terrible idea balance-wise.

    Feats are balanced with some "common facts" in mind. On of them being: "arcane spellcasters won't benefit of that shield feat, because they can't use shield without huge penalities"
    Introducing a CANTRIP that screw this common fact will open the door to insane combos that will do a lot to unbalance spellcasters.

    For exemple, what if a spellcaster actualy take the Fortified Armor Training feat? You basicaly made a critical-immune spellcaster.
    That's just an exemple, there are many like that.

    You should basicaly not make spells that break the boundaries of classes, or else, make it high level enough to come at a cost.
    A -cantrip- breaking class boundaries is totaly overpowered.

    We have a little problem in one of the campaign I currently play: We lost our only frontliner due to a hard critical hit at the worst moment of a battle, and we need to replace it.

    However, the player says he's a bit tired of mundane frontliners, and which to play more a magical thing. Basicaly, a cleric focused on spells rather than a weapon, but with a fullplate and a shield.

    Problem is: Our DM is quite a severe one, and play every monster using every strategical possibility to the max (cunning placement, ambushes, prepared actions, etc) so every battle is actualy quite hard (we had 8 deaths in the campaign and we are sill not even level 10).... and none of the players at the table have the slightest idea of how to build a such thing efficiently.

    Any guidelines from people with some experience with the cleric class?
    Archetype/feats/spells suggestions?

    Well I could try, but I feel a good guide need reviewers, and I bet there is very few people able to curently discuss the spell list and feats...
    That's the problem to write something for a niche archetype rather than a whole class.

    I'm going to start writing a draft and see how it goes...

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    Currently trying to see if there is enough matter to do a separate Phantom Blade Spiritualist guide...

    While Phantom Blade has truly a lot in common with the Bladebound magus, but I feel that compare it to a Magus on the field of being a striker is a loss battle from the start.
    If just for the loss of Shicking Grasp and Blade Rush and metamagics, the Phantom Blade actualy lose the damage battle by a large margin.

    However, the more I toy with this archetype during my current campaign, the more I feel it does a truly marvelous off-tank/battlefield controller.

    First, it's a lot more resilient than a Magus:
    - better saves (wisdom-based and special spells to help with saves)
    - better hp sustain (false life and cure wounds spells)
    - better counter-measure against magic (immunity to silence and feature spells like Spell Resistance)
    - can wear an agile breastplate on top of a dex build with no penality

    Second, the spiritualist spell list is stuffed with battlefield controls and debuffs absent from the magus list:
    - 5 spells forcing opponents to fight each other
    - 2 very strong debuffs for bosses (an Enervation-like spell with extra prejudice, and a strong curse you can deliver through spellstrike)
    - 2 battlefield removals
    - severals way to use the corpses of slain ennemies against their former allies

    Dips tend to harm the spellcasters a lot, because it provokes a lost of spell per day, spell known and make all spell levels happend on level later.

    A dip in uMonk make truly great things for a Phantom Blade, between the unhindered flurry, the Wis-to-AC and other bonus, but having played already the Phantom Blade a lot during my campaign, I would not trade all those spellcasting bonuses for those uMonk bonuses.
    I would haver died at least twice if I did so.

    Update of my draft:

    Phantom Blade 11
    Human (favored bonus: hp)
    Dex 18 (+2 at level 8) Con 14 Wis 16 Others 10

    - Agile Mithral Breastplate
    - Scimitar (phantom weapon)

    1- Fey Foundling
    1- Weapon Finesse
    3- Dervish Dance
    3- Weapon Focus (Scimitar)
    5- Improved Initiative
    7- Great Fortitude
    8- Blind-fight
    9- Divine Fightning Technique: Sarenrae's Mercy
    11- Eldritch Assault


    The build will use mainly 2 defense spells:
    - Displacement: give total concealement for a 50% miss chances of all attacks, and allow Eldritch Assault to auto-confirm all the critical from the 15-20 critical range of the Scimitar
    - Mindshock: triggers the Divine Technique, which restore 2d6+4 hp each round, plus deliver the Confused status on each critical strike

    For the attack spells, I'll use mainly Chill Touch (against the undead), Vampiric Touch (against the living).
    Later Etheric Shards can build a true painfield around the Phantom Blade

    Also I forgot to warn:

    Even if you make your companion animal intelligent, he will not be able to speak with you, because intelligent is not enough.
    Intelligence does not change the way the vocal cords of the animal are made, this is explained into the "Intelligent Animal" rules of the Complete Compaign book.

    Basicaly, intelligence make the animal able to UNDERSTAND your language, but if he doesn't have the way to produce human-like sonorities with his throat, he will just not speak with you like that.
    Very few animals can do this at the base, like parrots or thushes.

    So, to speak with an animal, there is only 2 ways:
    - YOU need to speak the animal's language (Speak with Animals and Animal Totem are two ways to do that)
    - or you need to turn the animal in a Magical Beast, but at that time, he will not be your Animal Companion anymore (Awakening)

    A animal companion Mammoth speaking human language is not possible without an houserule

    15 points seems possible however, the method you describe burn 4 points per round. 5 in fact, since you spoke of attacking against touch AC, which is an extra point per turn.

    Your wife cannot sustain this more that 3 rounds...

    Name Violation wrote:
    you can't take or use power attack without a str 13+

    Oh yes, thank you, will need to change that.

    Saleem Halabi wrote:

    She doesnt reshape in the middle of spell combat, but between them.

    Round 1: 2 Handed weapon, no spell combat.
    Swift: Change weapon type
    Round 2: 1 Handed weapon, spell combat.
    Swift: change weapon type
    Round 3: 2 Handed weapon, no spell combat, use charges remaining from previous rounds casting of chill touch

    The swift action change of weapon type is either the first action taken during a round, or the last, depending on when she needs the swift for other things. It never actually happens in the middle of an attack routine.

    It uses lots of Ecto points, but by our current level I think she is floating 20+ (not 100% sure on that)

    I understand better, but that's limiting the power of spell combat.

    Also, to have 20 ectoplamic points, you need to be level 20 with 30 wisdom.

    Huh, that's not a valid technique rule-wise.

    The attacks are currently part of the Spell Combat full-round action and the rules stats that if an action interrupt the flow of an another action, the second action resume after the interrupting one, but only if you still met all the requirements for it.

    Let's take an exemple: you start shooting with a bow, and you're able to do 3 attacks.
    After the first shoot, someone actualy throw a prepared action to use Telekinesis to disarm you... then your action doesn't resume, because you do not met the requirement for it anymore, which is to hold a ranged weapon in hands, even if you did at the start of your action.

    Here, it's the same thing: your ability to cast and do a full-attack in the same round has "one hand free and wielding a light or one-handed weapon"
    When your wife use a swift action to reshape the weapon, she lost that requirement... and thus, she cannot resume the Spell Combat action, and do the attacks that were normaly part of it.

    .... naturaly however, your DM could have houseruled it for her if he wished so, but otherwise, it's an illegal move which largely explain why she look so powerful like that.

    Crossblooded sorcerer with Eldritch Heritage still work, however.

    You could more simply go crossblooded with Eldritch Heritage, imho

    I'm more worried about using Spell Combat with that two-handed weapon, actually.

    Using Spellstrike, you naturaly -can- use a standard action to cast a touch spell, then use the free action to deliever that spell through a 2-handed power attack.
    Howver, what you cannot do, is combine it with Spell Combat to actualy deliver the spell through a full-attack, as Spell Combat's description says you need at least one free hand to use that ability.

    That means, unless Saleem's wife found a way around this limitation, she lose something like 5 attacks per round (the 4 from the BAB and the one from a haste spell) to only perform the spellstrike itself.
    I do not see how she can fare the highest damage output of the party this way...


    The concept sounds interesting however, so I have drafted a different version, using only a one-handed weapon:

    Phantom Blade 10
    Human (favored bonus: hp)
    Dex 18 (+2 at level 8) Con 14 Wis 16 Others 10

    - Agile Mithral Breastplate
    - Scimitar (phantom weapon)

    1- Fey Foundling
    1- Weapon Finesse
    3- Dervish Dance
    3- Weapon Focus (Scimitar)
    5- Power Attack
    7- Great Fortitude
    8- Weapon Specialization (Scimitar)
    9- Divine Fightning Technique: Sarenrae's Mercy


    - Can use Spell Combat
    - Combine a high dex with a breastplate for 21 AC prior any enhancement
    - Better reflex saves
    - No movement penality from armor
    - Heals 2d6 every round through Mercy + Fey Foundling
    - Mindshock spell synergize with Mercy and the high critical range of a scimitar to stagger opponents

    How can she use her touch spells while wearing a two-handed weapon?

    avr wrote:
    I can't agree on crossblooded. You lose spells known, it puts you another 1/2 spell level behind, the -2 on will saves is a pain when you probably can't spare a decent wisdom. If you want to blast then pick an element (elemental or draconic) or go orc, but not both.

    Human favored class bonus + Iron Will => Problem solved.

    *Khan* wrote:

    The problem with blaster sorcerer is the full round casting with metamagic feats.

    Thats why admixture wizards with af 1 level dip of crosblooded sorcerer or bloodrd arcanist are more populare.

    That's, IMHO, because people do not realize that the metamagic actualy do not make up for everything one less spellcaster level causes.

    With one less level, a wizard lose absolutely ALL the advantages he could have on a sorcerer: while he cannot access to a new spell level earlier anymore, he does not make up for the lesser amount of spell per day and even aggravate the gap between him and a sorcerer on the topic.
    Plus, each spell cast has now one less of those empowered damage dice compared to a pure sorcerer..

    Cumulated to the fact that spontaneous casting is a lot more adapted to blasting than prepared spellcasting, you end to a situation where, if you make the calculations, you'll see a pure sorcerer deals more damage than this crossbloadmixture wizard at almost every level, from 1 to 20.

    (PS: dipping on a pure spellcasting class is generaly a trap, and there is very very very very few exception to this... if any)

    Alas, you can't use shield with Spell Combat, so going for the Shield Brace route doesn't work with the Phantom Blade.
    Even using a 2h weapon requiers some feats to free your offhand (like with Bladed Brush)

    I'd like to avoid the dip route, as I'm not fond of it personaly. The other advice are interesting.

    I'm currently playing a Phantom Blade in a campaign, and wish to optimize it to become the main frontliner of the team.

    The Phantom Blade being a magus-like archetype but with a more defensive spell list than the said Magus, I wish to make it a kind of tank, playing the main frontline role and enduring the fire.

    After a while however, I found out I'm a bit out of ideas on how to optimize it for such a role, besides saying he can go and use Spell Combat to throw on himself Cure Wound spells and defensive buffs while still hitting the surrounding foes... so I would like to take ideas and suggestions on the topic.

    Honestly, you do not need all this spell knowledge thing.

    There is only 3 spells "mandatory" within each spell level. The first being the spell you will cast by default during battle if there is no special problem to solve, and the two other being spells that are meant to solve predictable problems coming from the bestiary.

    A sorcerer knowing what's he's doing can easily be at the top of the uselfulness just with the basic amount of spells known.
    Spells given by his bloodline than adds flavors to the whole.

    Many spells suggested above are fun and useful... but they are not mandatory, as they do not solve any problem a good warrior/healer tandem would solve by themselves anyway.
    And also, in all honesty, after a few sceances, all players tend to have a prefered spell for each spell level to use by default, and they spam it without using the other ones at the end.

    I had a little debate recently with another player to know if dipping (i.e. taking only 1-2 levels of a class to snatch a class ability then apply it to the true main class of a character build) is an abuse or not.

    Most of my DMs strictly forbid dipping builds, because they play by RAI, and assume it was strictly not the intent to have that class feature used by other class... or their authors would simply just have made them as feats.
    Some players on those forums however frown at this limit, saying it's not normal coming from a DM to bring such a limitation, cherishing their powerbuilding...

    I tend to agree with those DM myself, but I wanted to know globaly the opinion of the playerbase here.

    Are you a DM or a PC, and are you for or against allowing dip in your roleplaying tables?

    I'm not going to go for a quote war with you.

    I've tested both the DEX and STR way for an unarmed phantom blade, and I'll still side with the STR way seeing how advantageous it is.
    Your analysis is theoricaly logical and well put, but it does not pass the pratical field experience, that's all.

    The OP will decide then what is best for himself.


    I'll only add something: I never said that my GM don't allow multiclass, they don't allow DIPPING.

    Rules As Written allow dipping... but Rules As Written allow in fact a ton of things that are total absurdities in terms of roleplay. That's why the best DM do not play by RAW but by RAI.

    The INTENT for the 1st or 2nd abilities of a class is to design a power that is a class signature.... NOT to allow powerbuilds by making ridiculous mix based on the fact to take a single level of a class and then ignoring it entierly after that.

    That's why almost all the most competent DM I've met in twenty years of table top roleplaying just strictly frown on that kind of build.
    If yours don't, good for you. But I would not fight to go at the table of a DM that just let things like that slip.

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