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Organized Play Member. 117 posts (197 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 9 Organized Play characters. 2 aliases.


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Not a lot of interest here, took this to reddit

Gloomblade optimization advice

Looking for feedback on a 1e Gloomblade build

My group will be starting Tyrant’s Grasp in the near future, and I was hoping to get some feedback on my build. I’ll be the only melee in a 4-person party, and this is my first time playing a full martial (I’ve played my share of Magus, Summoner, and Oracle). Looking for help either optimizing the dips I’m using to cover feats, or any ideas that might result in fun interesting playstyles that take advantage of the Gloomblade’s Shadow Weapon.

No spoilers for TG please, but feel free to reference the Tyrant’s Grasp Player’s Guide content.

Party Composition
- Spirit Guide Oracle of Pharasma
- Twilight Sage Arcanist
- Bolt Ace Gunslinger / Inquisitor

Primary Success Criteria
- Solo-melee tank
- Trap finder
- Manifesting a weapon of pure awesomeness (Mini link)

- 25 pt buy (no dump stats)
- Two traits, one must be Tyrant's Grasp specific
- Background skills
- Non-int classes have a minimum of 4+int skill ranks / level
- “Anything Paizo” (no leadership, more RAI than RAW)
- Free Weapon Finesse (not planning on using it, but it is an option)
- Advanced Weapon Training is ok, so long as it does not apply to a specific weapon group (example: Fighter’s Tactics is ok, Versatile Training is not)

The Build
Divine Tracker/Trapper Ranger 1, Green Knight Cavalier 1, Gloomblade Fighter+
Human – Dimdweller (60ft. Darkvision)
Str 16(18), Dex 14, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 10
Traits: Aldori Caution, The Reclaimer

L1 Fighter – Dodge, Mobility, Power Attack
Medium armor and no shield proficiency means early game is going to be tough. Picking up Dodge and P.A. early helps with focus firing targets before they kill me.
L2 Ranger – Improved Unarmed Strike, Trap Finding, Favored Enemy +2 (Undead)
We need IUS [Lythertida] to qualify for Crane, snag Trap Finding, and Favored enemy (Undead) is icing on the cake.
L3 Fighter – Combat Expertise, Crane Style
We need C.E. for Whirlwind, and we leverage Crane for Stalwart.
L4 Fighter
Nothing of note.
L5 Cavalier – Endurance, Diehard, Stalwart, Intercept Charge
Green Knight gets us two feats needed for Stalwart, as well as an anti-undead oath. Intercept Charge is a bonus pick up here for tanking, and we take Stalwart as our 5th level feat. Fighting defensively we are now DR 5/-
L6 Fighter – Spring Attack
Needed for Whirlwind
L7 Fighter – Whirlwind Attack
With a reach weapon, we threaten 5ft.(I.U.S.) and 10ft.
L8 Fighter – Lunge
Now we threaten 15ft.
L9 Fighter – Advanced Weapon Training: Fighter’s Tactics
We can now use Intercept Charge on anyone in the party
L10 Fighter – Gloomstorm
We can swap weapons as a free action if needed. Allows for full attack throwing javelins
L11 Fighter – Improved Stalwart
We are now DR 10/-, and our Gloomblade reach is now +5 (20ft/with lunge and reach weapon)
L12 Fighter – Crane Wing
We can choose to stick with AC rather than DR if we want the deflect
L13 Fighter – Crane Riposte
Fighting defensively is now only a -1
L14 ???
L15 ???
L16 ???
L17 ???

Closing Thoughts
Going back to our goals, we have a Low AC tank "easy target" with DR 10/- that can threaten a 20ft. radius. We threaten with IUS, so we can wield a Greatsword to hit things hard, then hold it in one-hand to threaten with unarmed and keep Crane Style benefits. Because our base Will save is pretty bad, I was thinking the remaining feats could be something like Combat Reflexes, Cut From the Air, Spellcut, Smash from the Air.

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear any and all feedback around the build/concept.

I've built a couple of these, but I end up getting feat-starved.

Best preliminary advice I can give you is to take a look at Pheromone Arrows along with the Scent evolution.

Thanks for the responses guys, so much to cover here!

Firebug wrote:
Actually, the starknife has the worst crit range. Just 20.

You are correct. I don't know what I was thinking of.

Firebug wrote:
I like 3 Flying Blade ...

I'll take a look and mess around with some build. I only have 7 levels to play with before going into Sentinel, and feat selection is really tight. Losing out on the bonus feats and then being forced to take Martial Focus might be too much for this character.

Firebug wrote:
For the price of a +1 chain shirt (and MW buckler), you can buy ~100 hours of mage armor via 2 wands...

Mage armor might be good for early levels (especially if I can get the Wizard to burn a slot on it) before I have access to things like Deathless or Fortification.

Firebug wrote:
You gain back evasion that you lost because you were wearing armor or using a shield as a monk.

Evasion is still valid with light armor. Only the AC bonus, fast movement, and Flurry of Blows abilities are disabled while wearing any kind of armor.

Firebug wrote:
You have Deific Obedience listed but I didn't see what you had for Deity...

I had planned for Desna.

Firebug wrote:
You will lose Starry Grace if you switch to dagger...

I need to look at the progression for that train of thought. I know I can make up for the damage with the Agile enchant

Firebug wrote:
I'd also recommend a whetstone...

Added the whetstone, and a couple of acid flasks (hadn't finished up purchasing yet). I'll keep the others on my list. Lot's to think about here. Thanks again!

Majuba wrote:
I was just making a thrower myself using Guided Hand, and was strongly tempted to use starknives/Desna. Ended up going with daggers/Pharasma, but perhaps that could help you? Cleric/U-Rogue instead of Swash/Monk/Ranger?

I will admit that this is not something I had thought about. It is a little light in the BAB department, but I'll mess around with it and take a look at some builds.

Thunder_TBT wrote:
I would Go Ranger 2 instead of Swash with the combat style Faithful (Desna) Which would let you get Weapon Finesse

Not sure what I would gain from that. I would gain +1 Fort -1 Ref and lose access to Parry, Subtle Throw, and Derring-Do.

Declindgrunt wrote:
i dont remember where I saw it but i think there is a feat where if you crit with a star knife you can give that crit chance to someone else might be an interesting idea

I think you are thinking of a feat called Butterfly Sting*? It allows you to pass on a critical threat but has Combat Expertise as a prerequisite. The starknife has a decent crit range, but I think Butterfly Sting fits better in a party with a greataxe wielding barbarian.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Renlar wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

With a name like that, I was sure you were talking about a Vigilante. :)

A bright star shines in the shadowed streets of Kintargo No one knows the identity of this would be savior, but felons whisper in the dark the name of... The Starnife Sentinel!

Haha, sadly no. My group isn't too fond of the Vigilante, as we feel it is a bit too strong.
Really? the charopers on this venue seem to feel the opposite.

Yea, sentiment revolves feat economy in relation to martial characters all while having access to strong social skills and an impressive class skill list.

Using a similar Starknife build as an example, Lethal Grace replaces Weapon Finesse and Starry Grace combined. Signature Weapon replaces Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization. Returning Weapon isn't quite Ricochet Shot, but it skips the Weapon Training requirement and it can be abused at 14 with crystal chakrams. You get all of that in addition to access to social talents.

I'm not saying it is broken, but at our tables they have tended to play too many roles. My friends are big fans of bards, so we tend to have one person step up as the social character. For us, the Vigilante just does too much and tends to be the center of attention.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:

With a name like that, I was sure you were talking about a Vigilante. :)

A bright star shines in the shadowed streets of Kintargo No one knows the identity of this would be savior, but felons whisper in the dark the name of... The Starnife Sentinel!

Haha, sadly no. My group isn't too fond of the Vigilante, as we feel it is a bit too strong.

I'm looking for feedback on the character I have built for Hell's Rebels. This character will be starting at level 4, and along with the build I'd be happy to hear any ideas you have for magic items that I should be pursuing.

Our party has a dedicated Life Oracle healer, buff Bard, Swashbuckler, Warpriest, and a Wizard. I volunteered to be the party trap finder, while contributing to damage from range. I decided to go with a Starknife build because I thought it would be a lot of fun, and had a lot of utility in terms of switch-hitting.

Build Overview:

Getting everything I wanted for my Starknife build was tough. I knew the build was feat intensive, so I tried to get the essentials before going into the Sentinel prestige class.
Swashbuckler(Flying Blade) 1, Ex-Monk(Far Strike Monk) 2, Ranger(Freebooter,Trapper) 1, Fighter(Weapon Master 3), Sentinel 10

Flying Blade gets me access to Weapon Finesse and a few utility tricks. Monk gets me three essential feats, decent saves, and evasion. Trapper gets access to trapfinding, while Freebooter provides a small bump that I can use with my move actions. Weapon Master gets weapon training (needed for ricochet toss) and two more bonus feats. Sentinel rounds out the build with some sacred bonuses that help offset the multi-classing as well a lot of nice utility from Desna.

Feat Progression:

Level 1(Swashbuckler): Weapon Finesse*, Weapon Focus, Starry Grace
Level 2(Monk): Point-blank Shot*, Quick Draw*
Level 3(Monk): Precise Shot*, Startoss Style (Starknife)*
Level 4(Ranger): ---
Level 5(Fighter): Deific Obedience, Startoss Comet*
Level 6(Fighter): Startoss Shower
Level 7(Fighter): Ricochet Toss
Level 8(Sentinel): ---
Level 9(Sentinel): Advanced Weapon Training (Warrior Spirit), Weapon Specialization*
Level 10(Sentinel): ---
Level 11(Sentinel): Rapid Shot
Level 12(Sentinel): ---
Level 13(Sentinel): Deadly Aim
Level 14(Sentinel): Greater Weapon Focus*
Level 15(Sentinel): Greater Weapon Specialization
Level 16(Sentinel): ---
Level 17(Sentinel): Improved Critical

Build (Level 4):
Leandros "Lea" Rinzler
Male human (Varisian) monk (far strike) 2/ranger (freebooter, trapper) 1/swashbuckler (flying blade) 1
CG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +5; Senses Perception +11
Aura freebooter's bane (1 ft.)
AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +3 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 34 (4 HD; 2d8+2d10+8)
Fort +7, Ref +12, Will +5
Defensive Abilities evasion
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Melee starknife, cold iron +9 (1d4+7/×3)
Ranged starknife, cold iron +9 (1d4+7/×3) or
...composite shortbow +8 (1d6+1/×3)
Special Attacks deeds (derring-do, opportune parry and riposte), panache (1)
Str 13, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 7, Wis 15, Cha 7
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 19
Feats Alertness, Improved Unarmed Strike, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Starry Grace, Startoss Style, Weapon Focus (starknife)
Traits historian of the rebellion, kobold's neighbor
Skills Acrobatics +8 (+4 to jump), Climb +2, Disable Device +13, Knowledge (history) +2, Knowledge (nobility) +2, Knowledge (religion) +3, Linguistics -1, Perception +11 (+13 to discover traps), Perform (dance) +2, Sense Motive +4, Sleight of Hand +9, Stealth +8
Languages Common, Sphinx, Varisian
SQ swashbuckler finesse, track +1, trapfinding +1, wild empathy -1
Other Gear chain shirt, buckler, composite shortbow (+1 Str), starknife, starknife, starknife, starknife, cold iron, starknife, silver, cloak of elvenkind, figurine (silver raven), belt pouch, earplugs[APG], flint and steel, masterwork backpack[APG], masterwork thieves' tools, silk rope (100 ft.), 261 gp, 9 sp, 5 cp
Special Abilities
Evasion (Ex) If succeed on Reflex save for half dam, take none instead.
Freebooter's Bane +1 (Ex) +1 to hit & damage vs. chosen target.
Improved Unarmed Strike Unarmed strikes don't cause attacks of opportunity, and can be lethal.
Panache (Ex) Gain a pool of points that are spent to fuel deeds, regained on light/piercing crit/killing blow.
Point-Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into melee.
Quick Draw Draw weapon as a free action (or move if hidden weapon). Throw at full rate of attacks.
Starry Grace Use Dexterity on starknife damage rolls
Startoss Style +2 (Starknife) Gain bonus dmg to thrown weapons.
Swashbuckler Finesse At 1st level, a swashbuckler gains the benefits of the Weapon Finesse feat with light or one-handed piercing melee weapons, and she can use her Charisma score in place of Intelligence as a prerequisite for combat feats. This ability counts as having
Track +1 Add the listed bonus to survival checks made to track.
Trapfinding +1 Gain a bonus to find or disable traps, including magical ones.
Wild Empathy -1 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.

The only thing I know I need to get my hands on is a pair of Gloves of Dueling. I really love playing a Magus, and I think Advanced Weapon Training (Warrior Spirit) will scratch that itch for me. Other than that, Adamantine Starknife, Belt of Incredible DEX, Cloak of Resist, and the knight-Inheritor's ring are all on my list.

If you have gotten this far, thanks for reading. Any comments and/or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Sammy T wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Ergo, if you have 5 BAB, you can make up to three attacks with the feat; once against your initial target, then up to two "bounces." At 10 BAB, you can make up to two "bounces." At 15 BAB, you can make up to three "bounces." And at BAB 20, you can make up to four "bounces."

Shouldn't this be:

...if you have 5 BAB, you can make up to three attacks with the feat; once against your initial target, then up to two "bounces." At 10 BAB, you can make up to three "bounces." At 15 BAB, you can make up to four "bounces." And at BAB 20, you can make up to five "bounces."

Digging this one up out of the grave. Does anyone know if this interpretation is correct?

John Compton wrote:
We're combining several months' updates this week and should see them on the website shortly after that.

Thanks John, I look forward to it!

It occurred to me that someone here might know more than I do about the update cadence. I'm looking forward to playing a new GM credit character, but I'm getting a backlog of concepts that are dependent on new material.

Have any of you heard anything about when the next update to the Additional Resources will be? The last update was on April 4th. It makes sense that they would hold off changes until after PaizoCon, but now that we are past the major convention I'm itching to get at those new books.

I know it is a long shot, but maybe someone here has some details or perhaps heard something at PaizoCon?

Will do, thank you!

FrozenLaughs wrote:

Startoss Comet is a special attack, once it's done hitting the target it's still flying in a single (albeit deflected) trajectory, so it bounces into another target. You're getting a free second attack off of the first. The full Startoss Comet attack isn't considered resolved until you determine if that second hit connects, and then Ricochet Toss brings it back.

** spoiler omitted **

I've been told to expect table variation due to the wording of "If you hit, you deal damage normally and can make a second attack" because the reference to a second attack implies the first attack has been resolved. Can you think of any similar abilities I might be able to point to for precedent so that I can feel confident building this character for PFS?

7 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've been talking over a Starknife build with some friends and the following question was raised:

"If Startoss Comet triggers after a successful hit but Ricohet Toss states that the weapon returns immediately after an attack is resolved, is it possible to use the two together?"

Startoss Comet wrote:
As a standard action, you can make a single ranged thrown weapon attack at your full attack bonus with the chosen weapon. If you hit, you deal damage normally and can make a second attack (at your full attack bonus) against a target within one range increment of the first. You determine cover for this attack from the first target's space instead of your space.
Ricochet Toss wrote:
When you make a ranged attack with an appropriate thrown weapon, the weapon returns to your hand immediately after the attack is resolved.

Makes sense, thank you.

The alchemist discovery "Tumor Familiar" states the following:

PRD wrote:
Tumor Familiar (Ex): The alchemist creates a Diminutive or Tiny tumor on his body, usually on his back or stomach. As a standard action, the alchemist can have the tumor detach itself from his body as a separate creature vaguely resembling a kind of animal suitable for a familiar (bat, cat, and so on) and move about as if it were an independent creature. The tumor can reattach itself to the alchemist as a standard action. The tumor has all the abilities of the animal it resembles (for example, a batlike tumor can fly) and familiar abilities based on the alchemist's caster level (though some familiar abilities may be useless to an alchemist). The tumor acts as the alchemist's familiar whether attached or separated (providing a skill bonus, the Alertness feat, and so on). When attached to the alchemist, the tumor has fast healing 5. An alchemist's extracts and mutagens are considered spells for the purposes of familiar abilities like share spells and deliver touch spells. If a tumor familiar is lost or dies, it can be replaced 1 week later through a specialized procedure that costs 200 gp per alchemist level. The ritual takes 8 hours to complete.

My interpretation is that the standard action to detach the tumor makes it a target, is this correct?

Wow, I really did not expect this kind of response but I am very grateful that I was able to kick off so much constructive discussion around the archetype. Since John has chimed in (thanks John!) about revisiting this thread on Monday, I would be very pleased to see this discussion continue through to weekend.

Moving on. Since I can't edit my original post, I want to take a minute to admit a few things I was either wrong about or had not considered:

  • The Kensai archetype has a melee weapon restriction, and after looking over most of the abilities I don't think think stacking it with the Eldritch Archer is something that we should be concerned about.

  • Comparing the Eldritch Archer to a Zen Archer was a mistake, and I apologize. I'm glad that the discussion has veered away from that comment, as I didn't really communicate very effectively why I equated the two in my head.

  • The Hexcrafter and the Flight Hex is very powerful. In my experience combat rarely takes a full minute and this would mean that for nearly every fight (terrain permitting) the Eldritch Archer would be negating one of it's most significant drawbacks, vulnerability to melee.

  • The points centered around not casting spells that miss are valid. The Magus has access to a number of spells that do not require that they be cast by their bow, and thus the drawback of losing prepared spells can be significantly avoided (depending on the circumstance and the spells used).

  • While I believe I understated the value of a free 50%-off weapon, I want to make sure that we also recognize having an Arcane Bonded weapon comes with significant risk (disarm, sunder, etc.).

I'll be honest, you all raised solid points, and it is very difficult for me to set aside the way I really want to play a ranged Magus and instead look at the boundaries of what the Eldritch Archer is capable of. When I started this thread last night it seemed very obvious to me that while the Eldritch Archer is a strong archetype, it was by far so overpowered as to be banned in PFS. Now, when I look through all of your comments I can humbly say I am on the fence.

P.S. Thanks Sebastian for keeping the dream alive and phrasing things much better than I can!

15 people marked this as a favorite.

Disclaimer: Based on this post by John Compton, I decided to attempt an argument for why the Eldritch Archer should be added to the Additional Resources in Pathfinder Society. As someone who plays more than one Magus in PFS as well as a ranged Eldritch Knight, this post should be contextualized as having a significant bias. In fact, my intent is to play an Eldritch Archer in PFS were it to be allowed, so please understand that by reading my feedback and analyzing my perspective I am not entirely sure I meet the requirements of making a reason argument “in good faith.” That being said, I welcome any and all constructive feedback and discussion surround the Eldritch Archer and PFS.


What is the Eldritch Archer Archetype?
The Eldritch Archer is an archetype for the Magus class that trades its melee focused abilities for abilities centered around ranged combat. The following is a summary of the changes that the Eldritch Archer archetype makes to the base Magus Class

  • Gains Perception as a class skill, but loses Use Magic Device as a class skill

  • Using their Arcane Pool, they can add Distance, Nimble Shot, and Returning as weapon properties but they lose the ability to add Dancing, Keen, or Vorpal.

  • They gain an Arcane Bond, however it cannot be used to cast a spell once per day and it must be a ranged weapon. Additionally, holding the arcane bond does not prevent them from providing somatic components for spells.

  • They gain the ability to perform Spell Combat with ranged weapons, but they lose the ability to perform Spell Combat with melee weapons. However, an Eldritch Archer loses the ability to take a penalty on their attacks in order to gain a bonus on concentration checks to cast defensively.

  • They gain Ranged Spellstrike, which allows them to make a ranged weapon attack whenever they cast a spell that call for a ranged attack roll.

  • They also gain Focusing Spellstrike, but as a level 16th ability it should have no impact on Pathfinder Society play.

How does the Eldritch Archer differ from a normal Magus in typical play?

  • In my opinion, the largest change in playstyle will come from when the Eldritch Archer chooses to cast their spells. A standard Magus typically casts their touch spells without fear of wasting them as missed attack results in a held charge. However, the Eldritch Archer throws away their spells on a missed attack, meaning that the decision to use a spell slot should hold significantly more weight (the only exceptions to this are cantrips, more on that later).

  • As ranged combat tends to be feat intensive, the Eldritch Archer will tend to focus on many of the standard archery feats, these include Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Deadly Aim, Clustered Shots, Rapid Shot, and Many Shot. In PFS, a standard non-human Magus will have access to 7 feats (1st, 3rd, 5th, 5th*, 7th, 9th, 11th, and 11th*).

  • The Eldritch Archer does have an advantage over other archers in that they can use Spell Combat as a stand-in for Rapid Shot. By using Spell Combat with a canrip (Acid Splash or Ray of Frost) the Eldritch Archer can gain the extra attack that would normally be given by Rapid Shot at the same -2 penalty (with a bonus ~1.5 damage!). Whether or not this is a benefit for the Eldritch Archers is debatable, as Rapid Shot is still a prerequisite for Manyshot and Snap Shot. Many players focused on damage will try and get Manyshot as soon as possible, but because the Magus is 3/4 BAB the earliest an Eldritch Magus in PFS could take Manyshot would be 9th level (or 8th level through retraining), and even then it competes with the Clustered Shots feat. In my conversations with other players, we predict that many players will avoid Rapid Shot (or take it at 11th) and keep the feat slot open for a metamagic feat, Spell Penetration, Improved Initiative, or some other utility feat.

  • In terms of attribute allocation, the Eldritch Archer will not typically differ much from a Dex Magus. Dexterity is still the primary attribute, however an Eldritch Archer will never get access to adding their Dexterity to damage, thus I predict many Eldritch Archers will have 12-14 Strength in order to take advantage of a composite bow (similar to any DEX Magus that leverages Power Attack). There is an argument that Con could be lowered due to no longer being a frontline fighter, however I don’t think there would be too much of a difference due to much of the Magus’ survivability coming from spells anyways (shield, mirror image, etc.).

How does the Eldritch Archer compare to other common PFS archers?

  • While the Magus is a ¾ BAB class, they do have the ability to increase the enhancement of their weapon through their arcane pool which in theory makes this a non-issue. I use the word “theory” because I have not yet played an Eldritch Archer, and it is entirely possible that they are forced to use Spell Recall more often due to wasted spells.

  • In terms of the closest match in PFS play, I believe that the Zen Archer is probably the closest comparison. The Zen Archer has Flurry of Blows to compete with Spell Combat, their ki pool can be used for bonus attacks (in the same vein as Arcane Pool bonus weapon damage), and they receive a series of bonus feats to complement their ranged combat ability. There are many unique aspects to the Zen Archer, however I believe that between Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Perfect Strike, and Ki Arrows they are able to make up much of the damage that the Eldritch Archer has access to through spells albeit in a much more steady format rather than in directed bursts.

What are some reasons for why the Eldritch Archer should not be allowed in PFS?

  • If accept Intensified Shocking Grasp as the standard Magus build, then there is a pretty good chance that Intensified Snowball would be a prevailing Eldritch Archer build. By starting combat with Spell Combat and a 10d6+1d8+STR ranged attack in addition to standard arrows sounds pretty scary. However, when you compare this to a Bladed Dash full round attack with by Keen Scimitar, I don’t think the numbers are going to be that far off, especially when the standard Magus can follow up with an Intensified Shocking Grasp the following round that can be doubled by rolling 15-20.

  • I have heard that stacking the Eldritch Archer archetype with currently accessible Magus archetypes can be problematic, specifically the Hexcrafter, Kensai, and the Mymidarch.
    Hexcrafter: Gaining the ability to cast hexes from range in addition to using a bow could become problematic. While I believe that it will be easier to create a successful Hexcrafter with the Eldritch Archer archetype due to the nature of remaining further away from enemies with using hexes, since casting a hex uses a standard action I believe that using Spell Combat will typically be more favorable than losing a turn to debuff an enemy. Again, this is my belief and I am sure that there are many who disagree. For those individuals who would chose to overlap both, I see little reason to prevent tem from doing so, especially since they will be trading Spell Recall (their primary method for recovering those missed spells) to do so.

    Kensai: I think the main draw for those looking to combine the Kensai with the Eldritch Archer is the fact that their loss of armor is hardly a penalty to a ranged character. In fact, gaining access to Fighter feats as well as Weapon Focus is highly compelling. However, the Kensai has diminished spellcasting and loses Spell Recall which is incredibly penalizing for the Eldritch Archer. In my opinion these penalties far outweigh the gains from Kensai, as access to Fighter feats is hardly broken especially when so many feats have already been allocated to the archery tree.

    Myrmidarch: Given that the Eldritch Archer already has access to Ranged Spellstrike, the Myrmidarch provides increased static damage through Weapon Training, access to increased survivability through Armor Training, access to fighter feats, and the ability to cast touch spells from range without new Arcana. All of this comes at the cost of Spell Recall and Diminished Spellcasting. I think it is fair to say that this could be a significant increase in static damage, but I think that the build ends up looking a lot like a Fighter archer with an Arcane Pool and less feats. Additionally, I believe that the Eldritch Archer was intended to replace Greater Spell combat as it states "Whenever he uses the spell combat ability, his concentration check bonus equals double the amount of the attack penalty taken." and since the Eldritch Archer is incapable of taking a penalty to their attack roll in favor of a bonus on their concentration check, I suspect we may see errata around this ability(thus preventing Myrmidarch/Eldritch Archer stacking) in the near future.

Why should the Eldritch Archer be allowed in PFS?

  • An Eldritch Archer has a much lower critical threat range. Many Magi tend to favor the Scimitar or the Rapier because they start at 18-20 and can be made Keen. While Crossbows are available as 19-20s, they are incapable of being made keen. Longbows do have a x3 modifier, but the main source of damage from a Magus critical strike comes from his spells (of which damage can only ever be doubled).

  • As mentioned before, the Eldritch Archer will throw away more spells than a standard Magus due to their inability to hold a charge on a miss. This is a fairly significant loss in power from the standard Magus.

  • The Eldritch Archer fills a slot that has been long sought after, the Arcane Archer. While there is an archetype called exactly that currently accessible in PFS, it is not accessible until 8th level and even then it is very restrictive. I personally have a fantasy of using my Arcane Pool to weave fire and lightning into my arrows and follow up my attacks by firing Elemental Rays from a magic bow. As archery is mostly comprised from a set of core feats, it can be applied to most classes quite easily, however because Spellstrike and Spell Combat specify melee weapons, the fantasy of the ranged Magus (the class designed to blend martial prowess and arcane sorcery) remains unattainable.


  • The Eldritch Archer is just a Magus that doesn’t need to move around as much, has a much lower critical range, and will throw away more spells per day due to missed attacks. While the class can definitely be powerful, it is no more powerful than a standard Magus, however it does manage to deliver a very different fantasy.

If you have made it this far, then I thank you for taking the time to read this post. Please feel free to post your thoughts and/or any feedback that you have for me.

EDIT: Added a section for Archetype stacking, split up some of the reasons it should be allowed, and added a summary.

Tonya Woldridge wrote:
DM Beckett wrote:

Something to keep in mind is that the PFS leadership had a pretty big change recently, so updates and other things have slowed down because of that and other factors. There are also a lot of products and material to go through, too.

Just my opinion, but I'd much rather everything be done right in this case than something slipping through and down the road players getting angry when their characters are made illegal or ruined to some degree.

We did have a bit of a shake up, but the team is off and running. We know your anxious to see the updated Additional Resources and are working to make it happen!

Thanks for the update Tonya, I really appreciate that I can check the site and see an update from you guys that this is something you are actively working on.

Here is to getting the Eldritch Archer PFS legal! ::fingers crossed::

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Eldritch Archer is a ranged magus that actually works.
Thanks! I gave David N. Ross some idea how I wanted that to come together in the outline (it seemed like both something the game could use, and a very flavorful example of a heroic defender of the walls in Golarion), and he did a great job with it!

Thank you for this! As one of the many Magi who have been dying to play a ranged Magus, I greatly appreciate this archetype.

I know you can allow yourself to be touched by an ally, but can you allow yourself to be attacked?

I ask because I would like to use an Injection Spear as an emergency potion for my allies, but my healer has almost no chance of hitting their AC.

Edit: Injection Spear

Gisher wrote:
Just a Guess wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Just a Guess wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Renlar wrote:
thistledown wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Horray, the Myrmidarch is finally fixed!
Well, half-way fixed.
Yup, the Myrmidarch is still missing spell combat with ranged weapons.
Why do you need it? The new version of Ranged Spellstrike seems to work just fine by itself.
If you start the game at level 11.
I guess I don't understand you. The problem with the old level 11 ability was that it couldn't be used due to action economy issues. The new version fixes that problem completely without needing a ranged version of Spell Combat.
But before level 11 the myrmidarch can always only shoot one arrow per turn when casting a spell. So while the standard magus can full attack and cast from level 2 on the myrmidarch is limited to single attacks 'till level 11.

Yes, that is true. But that wasn't an error. The Myrmidarch never had a ranged Spell Combat ability. It was never intended to have a ranged Spell Combat ability. What they did have was a 4th level Ranged Spellstrike ability that worked and an 11th level Ranged Spellstrike ability that had apparently passed through the editorial equivalent of a wood-chipper. The 11th level ability now works. It is fixed. It may not be the type of class that you want to play, but it is now fixed.

And the Myrmidarch can still use Spell Combat and Spellstrike in melee combat like a standard Magus. That is why they are excellent switch-hitters.

I will concede to the fact that it is entirely possible that the Myrmidarch could make for an "excellent switch hitter," but I've tried so many builds to make it work than I have given up hope.

If it had the ability for Ranged Spell Combat(the Card Castor already has something similar) then I feel confident that I could make a viable ranged Magus, but as it stands now the switch-hitter build is so MAD and feat dependent that I am never able to build a Myrmidarch that can hold it's own in melee while managing to hit reliably with Ranged Spell Strike.

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thistledown wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Horray, the Myrmidarch is finally fixed!
Well, half-way fixed.

Yup, the Myrmidarch is still missing spell combat with ranged weapons.

I'm not sure I understand the change to the Myrmidarch. Does this mean that they still do not have access to Spell Combat with ranged weapons, but have a minor workaround at 11th level?

I would like to know if the Esoteric Magus ability Ki Arcana counts as "gaining a ki pool as a class feature" in order to determine if I can take Monk Vows with a 1 level dip.

I've had a couple of ideas on this, but I'm not sure that all of them will work. Let me know what you think:

1. Monk Vows! "A monk can take a vow at any level, but it does not add to his ki pool until he gains a ki pool as a class feature..." and since Ki Arcana specifies that, "an esoteric’s arcane pool
is also considered a ki pool for the purposes of meeting
feat and ability requirements..." I think you can get access to a few extra arcane pool points by taking a one level monk dip.

2. If you are taking a dip for monk anyways, flurry of blows might not stack with Spell Combat but it can be used to burn through charges of spells like Frostbite. If you go (UC)Monk 3/Magus+ then you can spend some of those arcane pool points for another extra attack during a flurry.

3. I looked at "Ki Leech" as a candidate for Spell Blending, but as Ki Arcana only states that it is considered a ki pool for the purposes of meeting feat and ability requirements, I'm not sure it would work. If it did, it could help make a viable Pool Strike build.

Congratulations to the both of you!

Don't forget to mark the other thread for an FAQ!

_Ozy_ wrote:
So, if you're forced to follow RAW, does that mean you follow the Hexcrafter rules as written, and effectively make the class useless?

Hang on, the "Hex Magus" ability states that "He gains the benefit of or uses that hex as if he were a witch of a level equal to his magus level."

Source: agus.html#hexcrafter-(archetype)

Where as Arcane Deed only states "When a magus takes this arcana, he can pick any one deed from the swashbuckler class feature as long as that deed can be used by a swashbuckler of his magus level."

I would say that this is not a valid comparison, as "treating your level equal to" is not the same as "as long as someone of the same level could take it".

_Ozy_ wrote:
Renlar wrote:
kestral287 wrote:

Spell Combat/Precise Strike is debated. Consult with your GM.

Critical failures are not a RAW thing. You miss on a 1, but nothing bad happens as a result of it beyond "you do no damage".

Can a magus even use precise strike? Arcane Deed doesn't say that your swashbuckler level is equal to your Magus level for the purpose of the deed.

And Hex Arcana doesn't say that your witch level is equal to your Magus level for the purposes of the hexes you select.

Sometimes you have to use common sense.

If everyone could agree on what common sense was then I would agree with you, however many of us are forced to follow RAW.

There is a reason that has 28 FAQ requests.

kestral287 wrote:

Spell Combat/Precise Strike is debated. Consult with your GM.

Critical failures are not a RAW thing. You miss on a 1, but nothing bad happens as a result of it beyond "you do no damage".

Can a magus even use precise strike? Arcane Deed doesn't say that your swashbuckler level is equal to your Magus level for the purpose of the deed.

That Crazy Alchemist wrote:
Is this for PFS? If so, PFS has proven to be very much a stickler for what pets can and cannot wear and I doubt it would be allowed on anything non-bipedal.

Yes, my intent is to use this in PFS.

SlimGauge wrote:
Is it quadrupedal or bipedal ? (How many legs does it have ?) You might need two pair !

It is a Quadruped(the mount evolution is restricted to quads and serps)

SlimGauge wrote:
Does it have things on those legs that need to be exposed in order to make attacks ? (Hooves/Claws) If so, you many need to pay extra money for a different form (such as horseshoes instead of slippers )if you want to keep using them.

I have claws on one set of legs, but not the other(claws can only be placed on legs once).

My primary concern was that because they were paws, he would not have the "feet" required to wear slippers.

I have a mounted summoner and I am looking at ways to avoid difficult terrain for my eidolon.

I came across Feather Step Slippers from Ultimate Equipment, but a friend of mind asked if my eidolon had the appropriate "feet" to wear them.

I know summoners and their eidolon's share slots, but are their any other rules I need to be aware of that would prevent me from buying my eidolon mount a pair of slippers?

In regards to the chronicle sheet, only games played before the 25th are to be recorded correct? The text seems to imply that at the end of the playtest(Nov. 25th), the number of sessions played are totaled and the player receives the listed boons.

BennActive wrote:
...It feels really fun at level one, but as I progress it feels more like I'm being taunted with all the neat stuff I can't quite do.

I'm working on a level 1 Occultist for an upcoming game, and I think your feedback is spot on.

Additionally, I would say that it feels strange for a character to become less effective as they spend their mental focus. All of the other class abilities like have their limited uses per day, but the character isn't penalized for spending them. As an Occultist, I am afraid to spend my mental focus, because my resonant powers are more reliable than single use focus powers.

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Can a Magus use his Magus level in place of a Swashbuckler level for the purposes of Arcane Deed(specifically Precise Strike)?

I know I've seen several FAQ threads about it, but they look like they have gotten buried.

Michael Brock wrote:
I have already made those changes in Additional Resources and they will be live when the next update goes up.

Awesome, thanks Mike!

Does anyone know how often these updates are made? I'm really looking forward to some retraining.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I mentioned this in another thread, but I think that the explicit addition of "Precise Strike" to the Daring champion makes the RAI a 'yes'.

That being said, marking this FAQ as I would like an official answer.

Alexander Augunas wrote:
zapbib wrote:

yea I don't think precise strike is that great either, and only cavalier and duelist get's it

Note however, that using a katana instead of a rapier (with slashing grace) gives you 1 more damage. Also, you can wear a buckler, a small difference that can be useful. Also you can use your rapier while being grappled.

Magi can also get it at the cost of two arcana. They need flamboyant arcana and then arcane deed.

While I would love for my Magus to take it, there is no text stating that the Magus uses their Magus level in place of their Swashbuckler level for the purpose of Arcane Deed. RAW, I believe that taking Precise Strike as a Magus is a wasted arcana.

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Xethik wrote:

If this does not work for the Magus, I suspect it would not work for a Daring Champion Cavalier. Which would be odd because it is specifically given to him.

That being said, I see no "treating his Swashbuckler level as his Magus level" so I'm not so sure.

You make a good point about the Daring Champion Cavalier, why explicitly give it to the character if it is useless.

I think this is a pretty good case of RAI, but I'll probably play it safe in PFS unless there is an FAQ or errata.

54 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata. 4 people marked this as a favorite.

Assuming I have a Magus with "Flamboyant Arcana", can I take "Arcane Deed" for "Precise Stike"?

Flamboyant Arcana:
A magus gains the derring-do and opportune parry and riposte deeds from the swashbuckler’s list of deeds. The magus can spend points from his arcane
pool as panache points to use these deeds and any other deeds he gains from the deed arcana, but he cannot use points from his arcane pool to use deeds from other classes or those gained by feats, nor can he regain points to his arcane pool as a swashbuckler would regain panache points. Effects that add to, reduce the cost of, or otherwise affect panache or grit don’t affect the arcane pool of a magus with this arcana.

Arcane Deed:
When a magus takes this arcana, he can
pick any one deed from the swashbuckler class feature as long as that deed can be used by a swashbuckler of his magus level. The magus can use that deed by using points from his arcane pool as the panache points required for that deed. A magus can take this arcana multiple times, each time
gaining a new deed. The magus must have the flamboyant arcana to select this arcana.

Precise Strike:
At 3rd level, while she has at least 1 panache point, a swashbuckler gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon (though not natural weapon attacks), adding her swashbuckler level to the damage dealt. To use this deed, a swashbuckler cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield other than a buckler. She can even use this ability with thrown light or onehanded piercing melee weapons, so long as the target is within 30 feet of her. Any creature that is immune to sneak attacks is immune to the additional damage granted by precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a
creature from the additional damage of a precise strike.This additional damage is precision damage, and isn’t multiplied on a critical hit. As a swift action, a swashbuckler can spend 1 panache point to double her precise strike’s damage bonus on the next attack. This benefit must be used before the end of her turn, or it is lost. This deed’s cost cannot be reduced by any ability or effect that reduces the amount of panache points a deed costs (such as the Signature Deed feat).

I suspect that a strict interpretation would be that because Precise Strike specifies "Swashbuckler level" that the answer is 'no'.


Ok, so if the requirement was to be able to cast "comprehend languages", then he would qualify under, but since it's "spells" plural it doesn't qualify, correct?

Basically as the subject says:

1. Do these SLAs qualify for Arcane Strike?
2. Would an elf fighter with envoy receive full Arcane strike progression?

Envoy: Elves often have trouble relating to neighbors of other races, especially those with much shorter lifespans. As a result, some are trained in minor magics that are particularly useful when dealing with non-elves. Elves with this racial trait and an Intelligence score of 11 or higher gain the following spell-like abilities once per day: comprehend languages, detect magic, detect poison, and read magic. The caster level for these effects is equal to the elf's level. This racial trait replaces elven magic.

Arcane Strike:
Arcane Strike (Combat)
You draw upon your arcane power to enhance your weapons with magical energy.

Prerequisite: Ability to cast arcane spells.

Benefit: As a swift action, you can imbue your weapons with a fraction of your power. For 1 round, your weapons deal +1 damage and are treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. For every five caster levels you possess, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

All great advice, thanks guys!

I've never played a class with a familiar before, and now that I have one (rabbit) I'm kinda paranoid about him dying.

I want to keep the benefits of having him close, but I'm afraid he is going to die to a fireball or something.

How do you guys keep your familiars safe? What do you do when you enter combat?

James McTeague wrote:
4 prestige. All of the 3XP chronicle sheets award 4 prestige unless the chronicle sheet says otherwise. The online system unfortunately says otherwise sometimes, but it's wrong.

Thank you. That was what I suspected, but I wanted to make sure.

Last question, should GMs be awarded 4 prestige or 2 for each chapter of RotR?

That was it, thanks guys!

Guide to Organized Play wrote:
You cannot receive more that 1 player Chronicle and 1 GM Chronicle for the same scenario, regardless of how many times you GM or play the scenario.

I played chapter one of Rise of the Runelords a while ago but the group didn't pan out. When I finally finished GMing chapter 1 with me new group, the events page didn't give me credit.

Session Page wrote:

Player has already played scenario at session # 1 of event # 39665 RotR: Burnt Offerings on February 16, 2014.

GM ranking: +2

Is this correct? Or should I receive credit for playing once, and GMing once?

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