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If you want a bit of a different option look at the witch.

Half orc with the toothy trait.
Start with ranger for 2 levels and pick up aspect of the beast (claws) from the natural weapon style.
Witch levels from there until you switch in to Eldritch knight

1 improved unarmed strike.
3 weapon focus (claws)
5 feral combat training
7 hex strike (evil eye)

Focusing on natural weapons lets you use your highest bab on every attack. Hex strike gives you a chance to debuff every turn that you hit. With evil eye you can debuff multiple ways. Start with saving throws on tougher enemies and then ac or attack rolls. Even on a successful save the hex lasts 1 round.

Witch spell list gives you debuffs and crowd control and your hexes can offset some of the reduced spellcasting. You won't get many and you DCs will be lower so look at the utility hexes like cauldron and flight. Prehensile hair gives you a fourth attack, secondary so at a -5 but still nice.

Improved familiar will get you a wand buddy to get some buffs up quickly.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Normally going from a 6/9 spellcasting class into a spellcasting prestige class designed for 9/9 spellcasters would be bad, but the idea of getting Sneak Attack on your Warlock Mystic Bolts is interesting, although I would need to do more research to figure out how well it would work.

I disagree with the idea that the trickster was designed to be a full 9/9 caster. I see it as a rogue replacement, not a wizard one. When the class came out there was not a way to enter it without at least 3 levels of rogue. It was designed to take a hefty hit to spell levels, DC and spells per day. A current 6/9 caster's not as far behind as you might think.

It's a much smoother power curve too.wizards suck at early levels. Wiz 3/rogue 1 sucks still. The wizard trickster doesn't really have any advantage over the full wizard until tricky spells and that's limited. At higher levels the extra wizard metamagic feats outweigh the sneak attack dice of a trickster. So it's a power curve where you suck at low levels, get decent midlevel and start to fade in comparison to your base class at higher levels.

6/9 tricksters do much better at low levels. They can wear armor, the have better hit points, generally better skills and better bab so they can contribute when they run out of spells. Midlevel they are comparable to the wizard trickster if not slightly better as I detailed above. Once you get to higher levels you fall behind a little bit but you've got additional tricks that can be used by clever players to do interesting and fun things. I'm personally okay giving up a small amount of raw powers the end game to have a character that's more versatile and unique.

Long story short I think if you're starting at 1 and don't plan on making it past 15 (like an ap) the 6/9 trickster gives you a more consistent power curve with a ton of fun exploits. If you start and play at higher levels the wizard trickster pulls ahead powerwise.

I hadn't paid much attention to this archetype before but now that I'm looking at it. Holy crap. This is a huge upgrade. Not for the Magus persay, but as a 1 level dip for any bard. The way it's written is that you treat bard spells as Magus spells. That means raw a puppet Master 1/ bard 19 can cast all his bard spells with spell combat. A single level dip that basically gives you a free quicken spell every round. That's a huge boost even restricted to illusions and enchantments.

I haven't had a chance to play it yet but i've been kicking around the idea of a warlock vigilante into an arcane trickster.

5 levels of warlock gets you multiple ranged/melee touch attacks which you can take weapon feats like TWF and rapid shot on to get a decent number of attacks in the air a round. you don't do much base damage but you start tacking on several D6s of SA damage and it adds up fast. You'll almost never miss and if you run in to something that is immune/resistant to your energy you can keep a couple blast spells memorized as back ups.

Your spell casting is a bit weaker than a wizard focused trickster BUT you actually get more utility out of it. Instead of having to prepare and use multiple blasts you've got your mystic bolts so you can prepare more utility/control spells. A wizard trickster has to worry if he should prepare a acid arrow or an invisibility spell. you prepare an invisibility and web and have your acid bolts in reserve. Personally I love the feel of the cunning use of lower level spells for a trickster rather than a more boring standard blaster wizard with sneak attack dice.

The lower max spell level also means that you can afford to spread out your stats more. you only need a max INT of 16 so you get some room to bump up CON or bump your DEX to higher levels.

Also the way SA and spells interact is...well crap. lets take a look at an 11th level wizard trickster vs a warlock trickster.

The wizard fires off a scorching ray for 3 bolts at 4d6 each and only one bolt gets SA damage added of 5d6 so we have a total of 17d6 damage or roughly 60 average. The Warlock took TWF and rapid shot and gets 4 bolts (rapid, TWF, +2 from base BAB) at 1d6+2 each and EACH bolt can get SA damage so 4d6+8+ (4 bolts 5d6 each) 20D6 from SA 24d6+8 or 92 average. Its not a perfect comparison as it depends on being in position where you get the SA on multiple attacks and it doesn't take in to account what you may do with the feats you used on TWF/rapid shot. But it's an interesting idea for a more roguish trickster and it's more constant damage if you don't tend towards the 15 minute adventuring day.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I will just note that when gun limitations are enacted, suicides do go down. The "Most gun deaths are suicides, ergo gun control won't stop gun deaths" argument appears to be fallacious.

I agree that there aren't votes in anything more than background checks, though. America is broken. Gun control is turning into the Left's "We're gonna overturn Roe v. Wade"—an old fight long since lost that seems to do nothing these days but fire up the base.

Suicides do go down but it's a hard thing to measure how much. If you look at statistics in areas with lower gun ownership you see less suicides by firearm but you see more by other causes. You also see increases in things like single car auto accidents and accidental overdoses. Firearms make the act easier and more impulsive, and limiting guns would decrease some deaths but it also means that people use alternate methods which are often much harder to classify as they can be reported as accidents.

Either way the best and far far more effective solution is help and treatment.

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First off, TL:DR. Sorry if I repeat something.

I'm an independent, I don't consider myself of any party. I look at facts and numbers and the best idea wins when i'm voting. That being said, with the craziness that's been coming out of the republican party, I've found myself aligned with the democratic party much more often than not. It's frustrating as hell. The democratic party seems like they are terrified of actually winning and having to govern rather than losing and complaining about the republicans. I've never seen a group of people try so hard to shoot themselves in the foot. And I say that as a die-hard Detroit lions fan.

My suggestions for a better democratic party in no particular order:

A. FOCUS! It seems like every single Dem has a pet cause and the party seems hell bent on trying to include everything all at once so as to make everyone happy. everyone is protesting something different, everyone thinks that their cause is the one that should be at the front of the line. I even agree with most of it, but here's the thing, if everyone's screaming something different i can't hear anyone clearly.

The party should have a laser like focus on just a few things. Building the middle class, getting people healthcare and improving law enforcement while still protecting people from an overzealous police state.

there's a bunch of reasons why people voted for trump, but i think the biggest is fear. People are scared right now. The world is changing quickly, the middle class is shrinking, most working class people are one bad accident or disease away from losing everything to bankruptcy. Crime is on the news every night and it feels like everything is going to hell (yes stats show crime is actually at the lowest rates in a couple decades, but the prevalent nationwide coverage of every large violent crime makes it feel much higher).

Asking people who are barely getting by to sacrifice for a stranger is hard. It's even harder when the person asking you to sacrifice for the greater good is someone who comes across as a patronizing "elitist" with the attitude of "you don't know how good you have it, you should be ashamed you aren't helping this guy who has less". The areas that went for trump in the election are hurting. Prices are going up, good jobs left, wages are stagnant and they can't afford to send their kids to college for a better opportunity. And they are being ignored by one party completely except when they are being mocked by celebs and comics. Is it really any wonder that they are willing to vote for the guy who says he'll fix it, even if his plans are bs? Grow the middle class, grow your base and make people feel secure and then they'll reach out to help those who were left behind. It's not the ideal plan, but it will work. slow and steady gains beats losing and nothing.

B.) Drop gun control as a major plank. It's a losing battle and it costs a ton of votes. Any law that infringes too much on the 2nd amendment will be struck down. And It's seriously not worth the fight at this time, we have bigger issues that need fixed first. about 36000 people die a years from guns, about 21000 of those are suicides. It's horrible but it's also something that gun restrictions would have little effect on, most suicides are done with legally obtained weapons and even if guns are banned it wouldn't stop the suicidal behavior, only change the mechanism that people use (my guess would be a sharp rise in single car "accidents" leading to death.) Of the 15000 remaining deaths a good number are accidents. The remaining aprox 10000 homicides are mostly deaths caused by criminals to other criminals. Gun control treats the symptom not the disease. universal health care including mental health would cut down the number of suicides and the number of killings done by mentally ill people (mass shootings etc) the deaths that are caused due to crime factors will drop as people's economic outcomes improve and they seek legal channels rather than criminal ones for a better life. To put this in perspective, The top two causes of death are cancer and heart disease. Both treatable and both causing about 600000 deaths a year. Focus on health care, save more lives and stop pissing off people who agree with you on the majority of issues and would vote for you but think gun control is the most important thing. Gun control ranked "very important" for 71% of the republican voters. Democrats are alienating those voters for a pet cause that they can't win and are letting millions of Americans pay the price as health care suffers.

C. Stop giving the republicans easy wins. I don't know WTH democrats are thinking by abandoning large areas of the country. Yeah I get that you probably won't win that city council position in rural georgia but you sure as hell should be fighting for it. Even if all you do is get 1 or 2 positions moved to the left that's a win. If you don't fight than what happens is another republican will challenge the incumbent and will try to win by going further right, further radicalizing the country. Even if that doesn't happen the incumbent knows that he's safe and can say and do things that people might disagree with, but since there's no one running against them they get away with it. Democrats have to make serious efforts for local and state government even in red states. it builds a bench of talent, it gets people thinking about your ideas and sometimes you'll win. On the state level the power of gerrymandering should be obvious from this past election. It won't get fixed if you don't fight for state positions and fight hard.

D. Split the party. Not really but I think that the party should adopt a 2 wing strategy for dealing with the current political climate in DC. Right now we have a president that cares about image and winning, has little to no ideological values that he truly believes in and who can be baited with either insults or praise. The democrats on the other hand have very little that they can do to stop the GOP if the GOP is united. Luckily the GOP doesn't like trump much either and they are a fractured party between the moderates and the far right. So here's what i would do if i was a congressional democrat. engineer a party "split" in to two wings. One wing would be the liberal populist wing. Sanders, Warren, Franken, Booker etc. This wing does nothing but oppose and bait trump. This will fire up the base, people are pissed right now and are mobilizing. But they'll need leaders to keep them fired up and to direct the movements in to things that can truly affect change. It's also a good place for building up some rising stars for future elections. This wing should be stacked with your potential candidates for the next election.

The second wing should be the congressmen in more purple districts. These are the deal makers and consensus builders. Trump can be played. He's a useful idiot. You have your progressive wing set the agenda by pushing him on the issues you want to tackle. Tweets, speeches, calling him out on news networks etc. He will, without fail, spout off something that will either piss people off or he'll make some claim about fixing it without thinking. Since he doesn't really believe in the republican platform you can use the moderate wing the swoop in and make a "deal". If you do it right you can get him to focus on the subjects you want, and then you can use the deal makers to give him a public "victory". Since he doesn't actually care about the content of the law you can get concessions by bring him the votes he needs for a quick win. You'd have to control the agenda to steer towards things that divide the republicans so the deal makers are needed, you then limit the damage by pulling the bills to the middle and you might get a couple of minor victories. If you oppose trump completely you lose if all the republicans are on board against you and i suspect that they way they get every republican on board is to move things further right. To keep that from happening the next two years the democrats agenda should be limiting the power of the far right and pulling things toward moderate policy, while still having enough outspoken critics of trump to keep his negatives high and build up peoples profiles for a national run.

A couple things where i think this could work:

Increase the earned income tax credit. Republicans like it as tax relief, democrats like it as it's extremely progressive in that it helps the lower income brackets far more than the higher income brackets.

The infrastructure bill.

Obamacare reform- the republicans are screwed on this one. They fought it so hard they need to do something but since the law was already mostly a republican idea they have nothing that they can replace it with. worse their base is demanding something be done right away. I'd start having the progressive wing agreeing that yes we do need to get rid of obamacare. we need to replace it with universal health care! keep up the pressure and then have the moderates swoop in with an offer of a public option "fix" for obamacare instead. If the pressure is high enough I think republications might take the deal instead of being painted in to a corner with no way out. it's have to be sold as letting the free market decide by letting companies compete with medicare etc.. and it's be a long shot but maybe.

Student loans- tax deductions for interest or some similar deal could probably be made.

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Wally the Wizard wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:

Nethys is a sticky one - He doesn't really bring a philosophy with him. What is to worship him, exactly? Do I need to wear a pointy hat and blue robes? Is he a "you should be a wizard"-god? "I worship Nethys because I'm an arcane spell caster"? How is he more magical than the rest of the gods? He's also cannibalized by Irori as the deity of knowledge.

I think this is my biggest gripe with the Pathfinder deities. Nethys should be full of role playing opportunity. I'd love to see two very distinct and different philosophies about magic in his church(s). A holy war where both sides worship the same god. one believes magic makes you better than everyone else, the other believes that having magic means you have a duty to serve others.

Each aspect could have different alignments. CN and LN. You could have paladin and antipaladin of nethys. In rustic areas the differences could lead to all out war where in more cosmopolitan cities both philosophies coexist in a tension filled church filled with political intrigue.

Even in the individual sides you have awesome tension between the CG wizard who uses his magic to try to free slaves, vs the CE who binds devils and angels alike to grow his personal power, etc..

And what if the whole nex vs geb war wasn't 2 mighty wizards but avatars of nethys playing out an internal struggle writ large.

I think nethys should get a lot more love it's a great concept that needs fleshed out more.

Thinking about this some more I think this could make an awesome "choose your own adventure" type AP. You play through while making decisions about which sect to support and you get completely different reactions/ rewards etc depending on the choices. The final book being 2 books one for each sect winning the day. It'd have great replay ability.

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Rub-Eta wrote:

Nethys is a sticky one - He doesn't really bring a philosophy with him. What is to worship him, exactly? Do I need to wear a pointy hat and blue robes? Is he a "you should be a wizard"-god? "I worship Nethys because I'm an arcane spell caster"? How is he more magical than the rest of the gods? He's also cannibalized by Irori as the deity of knowledge.

I think this is my biggest gripe with the Pathfinder deities. Nethys should be full of role playing opportunity. I'd love to see two very distinct and different philosophies about magic in his church(s). A holy war where both sides worship the same god. one believes magic makes you better than everyone else, the other believes that having magic means you have a duty to serve others.

Each aspect could have different alignments. CN and LN. You could have paladin and antipaladin of nethys. In rustic areas the differences could lead to all out war where in more cosmopolitan cities both philosophies coexist in a tension filled church filled with political intrigue.

Even in the individual sides you have awesome tension between the CG wizard who uses his magic to try to free slaves, vs the CE who binds devils and angels alike to grow his personal power, etc..

And what if the whole nex vs geb war wasn't 2 mighty wizards but avatars of nethys playing out an internal struggle writ large.

I think nethys should get a lot more love it's a great concept that needs fleshed out more.

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So I just was looking at the warlock in another thread: Warlock Vigilante + a level of snakebite striker, Rogue or vivisectionist sounds like a decent way to go in to the AT prestige class. you can pick up the second d6 of sneak through a feat and using mystic bolts means you get a touch attack for both melee and ranged so the BAB hit doesn't matter as much.

it could be interesting to build around that feat. high dex+ acrobatics, mobility, dodge, combat expertise, fighting defensively, arcane strike, twf, maybe crane style or unhindering shield. dance around slapping for multiple d6s of sneak attack. stack as much defense as you can and go to town, you'll be taking a lot of penalties on your to hit but that shouldn't matter unless you are fighting tiny fast creatures often. At range you still do okay damage with ranged touch attacks especially with a pair of sniper goggles and some planning.

Warlock Vigilante + a level of snakebite striker, Rogue or vivisectionist is a decent way to go in to the AT prestige class. you can pick up the second d6 of sneak through a feat and using mystic bolts means you get a touch attack for both melee and ranged so the BAB hit doesn't matter as much.

it could be interesting to build around that feat. high dex+ acrobatics, mobility, dodge, combat expertise, fighting defensively, arcane strike, twf, maybe crane style or unhindering shield. dance around slapping for multiple d6s of sneak attack. stack as much defense as you can and go to town, you'll be taking a lot of penalties on your to hit but that shouldn't matter unless you are fighting tiny fast creatures often. At range you still do okay damage with ranged touch attacks. On top of it you've got access to the best spell list in the game and spells for back up combat use and out of combat utility. oh and a ton of skill ranks.

So I was thinking about this very question and I was interested in the idea of the magical child vigilante as a base for the DD.

if you stick with the class until 6th level you get 3/4 bab, 2 good saves 4 SP per level a familiar 3 social talents and 2 vigilante talents before hitting DD levels. In addition you get access to the best 6 level spell list for a character who is not a primary spell caster, the summoner spell list has great buff spells, access to healing and some fantastic early entry items that give you strong options with utility and battlefield control.

Also since you're only using a 6 level spell list you can get by with being less MAD.

You're an extremely self sufficient character, you can buff yourself and wade in to combat, heal your self after and you've got skills/familiar/social talents for non combat utility.

I haven't had a chance to fully stat it out but i think that a warlock/arcane trickster could be really interesting and fun.

The warlock suffers from needing to add damage to his arcane bolts, The trickster gives you a sneak attack progression to add serious numbers of die to your rolls. Since you are aiming at touch you don't have the accuracy problem the trickster normally faces and you can be at range. focus on feats to maximize your number of attacks like the TWF line and on setting up sneak attacks and you can do solid damage while still having a good number of feats and access to the best spell list in the game. With the feat that bumps up the SA damage you only lose 1 level of spell casting.

Magus are fun.

Take the spire magus archetype and pick up frostbite,rime spell and get some good feats and can set it up so you're debuffing and attacking at the same time. add in wand wielder and a wand of truestrike and you can reliably trip or disarm through mid to high levels.

if he wants to stick to a bard, arcane duelist is good. the feats help damage with arcane strike and later the DR overcoming ones, the magekiller feats are also good with a reach weapon. and you get heavy armor and a shield which help you survive. the weapon bond allows you to cast with the whip and shield both.

Atarlost wrote:

The reach caster action economy effect only really applies if you have spells or spell grade abilities that you cast as a standard action (or full round as a spontaneous caster with metamagic, though the lack of mobility hurts there) that are good at a poor save DC.

The cleric can do that with sacred summons. A summoner gets standard action summoning. Anyone else needs to have stuff on their spell list that is effective with a low casting stat. The only summoning spell that is naturally a standard is vomit swarm, which helps the witch/EK be a viable reach build in spite of hexes having hopeless DCs.

Wizard EK with a battlefield control conjuration focus has potential to work well.

A bard or skald could find enough buffs to stack to be worth using a reach build, but it might mean using too many resources. It's not a definite no like Oracle

I'm going to stick with the statement that arcane duelists bards are better reach characters than clerics. Espically over the course of a whole adventure.

The reach cleric is nice in that it gives the cleric some extra action economy but it has some issues. It's MAD and Sacred summons doesn't come online until mid levels and it suffers at higher levels from lack of specialization.

Levels 1-5 the cleric is a mediocre fighter with a few buff spells. Since you have to have decent DEx for AOO, Con to survive, Wis for spells and Str for damage you don't excel at anything. unless you are evil there's no sacred summon monsters until SM3 so you're casting a couple low level buffs like the bard

The bard is less MAD, he needs less in his casting stat to get all his spells, and arcane strike and inspire courage allow him to get by with a lower STR while still pumping out decent damage. the extra points go in to dex and you get better AC, better init and another AOO over the cleric with combat reflexes Also the performances help stretch his limited spells.

The cleric comes online with sacred summons and will probably be going towards superior summoning using up all his feats.

The bard bets to double buff in the first round now that the performance is a move action, his since he has weapon bond and doesn't need to save to get expensive stat boosts for his casting stat he has more money to get better gear and deals more damage and has better defense. he has open feats to take things liek standstill and control the battle field. 7th level AD bard can use arcane strike with a swift, performance with a move, drink a enlarge person potion with his standard and be in control of the battlefield with reach and stand still, all in 1 round. round 2 he's got options, move towards the spell casters with disruptive and a huge threat area or set up flanks,cast a spell to buff or heal or damage sinec he's spontaneous, use dazzling display to debuff, etc

Cleric comes in to his power here and has several summoning options. The bard keeps a steady increase between feats and increase todamage sources but nothing special.

The cleric starts to wane, summons only scale to a point, the pit fiend doesn't care if you summon 5 CR8 creatures as a standard action if they can't hit his AC, the cleric's damage is nothing special and has trouble getting past DR and his spells DC can be beat.
The bard still is pumping out decent damage with his DR piercing and making it so other party members can shine with his buffs and debuffs.

It comes down to a question of trade offs.

The arcane duelist with a 14 int has 8 skills a level. More than just about any other class except the standard bard. And it gives you 8 feats over the course of 20 levels. So the question is do the extra feats outweigh the skills.

Bardic knowledge is great for skill checks but you really only need so much. be human and take focused study or use a feat on skill focus and you can meet most checks. And it's a team game, so it's not unreasonable to leave the arcana or religion checks up to the wizards and clerics.

versatile performance is pretty over rated to me. first you have to put skills in a perform skill you would never use otherwise and in return you get to use it for 2 skills. okay but not great, it gets less exciting when you see most of the skills are cha based so the bonuses are about the same and most of the later choices are going to overlap with a previously chosen skill.

On the flip side with the duelist you get combat casting, heavy armor, arcane strike, a bonded weapon, bladethirst and some nice feats to get past DR in late games greatly increasing your survivability and damage output. Unless you play in very intrigue social heavy games I think duelist is the better choice.

Arcane duelist bard.

3/4 bab, armor, abilities to boost damage with performances and your bonded weapon and spells.

not a lot of offensive spells but with a high charisma, UMD and weaponwand youve got a built in blaster option too.

Face Smashing Monk build:


Weapon master Fighter 3/ Weapon Adept/Maneuver Master Monk 17

You're too MAD to keep up a good AC without armor so don't even try. Use a mithral breastplate. You can't use flurry of blows so you give that up for a free maneuver attempt every round (I like dirty trick since it is versatile and scales better than trip once you start fighting things with multiple legs)

Weapon training, Gloves of dueling, brawling armor and the bonus feats from weapon adept give you solid bonuses to hit and damage your unarmed strikes and maneuvers.

You can be Str based and pick up dragon style for extra damage or get an agile AOMF and be dex based. Dex based you can pick up the TWF feats and snake style to load up on attacks. I'd also suggest picking up a scaling caster level if possible to get arcane strike for even more damage per strike.

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Magyc wrote:
Were you surprised by the depth of reaction regarding the change to Crane Wing?

A bit. We expected some reaction, but I am a little surprised by how much this has upset some folks.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer about to head off to a playtest for a bit

Hello Jason,

I think the intensity of the reaction is due to the intensity of the change. I think that there were several options to reduce the power of the feat that could have been implemented without such a drastic change. Off the top of my head:

You can't deflect a natural 20 or critical hit.
You can't deflect when you are denied dex or flanked.
You have to declare before the attack roll is resolved.
You have to spend an immediate action eating your swift for next turn.
You take a penalty on all your AC checks for the rest of the round after using the deflection.

Or probably the best option since the abuse seems to be mostly from getting the feat too early: MoMS can only choose the first style feat in a path as a bonus feat at level 1, but they don't have to meet the prereqs. at 6th and 10th the could choose the second and third respectively without meeting the prereqs.

Out of curiosity did you and your team consider any milder changes to the feat? If so would you be open to sharing what ideas were discussed and why this option was decided to be better?

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Add 1 more vote for disappointed crowd. As it stood Crane style feats were an option that was worth investing in for several build types across several classes without being so good it was mandatory across the board. In other words it was pretty damn good feat design.

However I do try to give constructive criticisms so here's my suggestions to Paizo on how to lower the power level of the feat chain while not breaking it.

A: Keep the old feat text but instead of " deflect one attack that would normally hit you" change it to "deflect one attack. This deflection may be used after the attack roll is made, but must be applied before the results of the roll are determined."

B. Keep the old text but add that you may not deflect a critical hit or natural 20.

Both of those ideas would diminish the power level a bit while still keeping the spirit of the current feat the same.

RainyDayNinja wrote:
Wally the Wizard wrote:

I was just looking in to a build similar to this and I decided that it's just not worth the cost required to use the aldori dueling sword for a magus. You've got to spend too many feats and a dip in to a non spell casting class to get a weapon that is not much better functionally than a long sword. Now if you wanted to build more of an aldori FIGHTER and take a small dip in kensi it started to make more sense.

Tragically the mechanics for teh aldori just don't match the cool factor of the fluff.

Getting to add your Dexterity to damage on a weapon you can wield in two hands is huge.

It's really not. It's nice but it's hardly a game changer. The Agile weapon property is a +1 bonus. Weapon focus gives you the +1 to hit and weapon spec or sword scion trait gives you 1-2 to damage. So dex to damage is worth roughly 1.5 feats. To get it from the Aldori class you have to spend 4 preset and somewhat trap feats and eat a level of a non favored, non spell casting advancing class. If you're in a game where the GM refuse to allow you to get agile than maybe it's worth it, otherwise it's not.

I was just looking in to a build similar to this and I decided that it's just not worth the cost required to use the aldori dueling sword for a magus. You've got to spend too many feats and a dip in to a non spell casting class to get a weapon that is not much better functionally than a long sword. Now if you wanted to build more of an aldori FIGHTER and take a small dip in kensi it started to make more sense.

Tragically the mechanics for teh aldori just don't match the cool factor of the fluff.

Jiggy wrote:

Okay, let me be more clear about my goals:

I'm building an EK, not a magus or an inquisitor or bard or whatever else.
I'm using diviner wizard for my casting class.
I intend to not wear armor.

I'm interested in suggestions on going STR vs DEX, exact stat spreads, feat choices, opposition schools, and other details that don't contradict that base.

Sorry if I wasn't clear on that before.

Focusing on being unarmored is probably a death sentence in the first few levels. You won't have the spells or the durations to buff up enough and you won't have the hit points to survive long. Once you get to higher levels where you can extend your buffs and afford some magic gear you may be better off, but it's gonna be hell getting to that point. But if you're set on doing it here's some things I would think about:

A. Using Ranger as the martial- go natural weapon and take 2 levels to pick up claws. Go half orc and pick up a bite- now you've got 3 attacks all at your highest BAB. You could go strength to get better damage or all the attacks are able to be finessed so you can go dex and count on arcane strike and magic weapon to help the damage out while getting some AC.

B. Distance. Reach weapon- maybe even the whip line. If you can keep distance your lack of armor is less important.

Alternately if you're not focused on being a melee fighter grabbing a bow allows you to be unarmored and not worry about your HP.

C. Skirmisher- Dodge-mobility-spring attack. Use expeditious retreat or longstrider or boots to up your mobility and spring in and out of range to keep safe. You'll one have one attack a round so you'll need to do everything to buff it. high strength, enlarge person, two handed weapon, lead blade, and probably barbarian as your martial class for the rage rounds. Since it's PFS and you're not hitting high levels this should be a viable build. at higher levels you'll never do enough to make up for the lost iterative attacks.

D. Styles-Crane Style lets you lower the penalty for fighting defensively, Snake style lets you use sense motive as AC for 1 attack per round. both give you additional options for counter attacks. you can run both if you dip master of many styles. Add in threatening defender and combat expertise and you should be getting +6 to ac plus deflecting one hit and the ability to use sense motive for one attack around. of course be spending this much on defense your offense is going to suck.

E. Magus. Yeah you don't want a magus, but think of it as your martial class. A couple of extra 1st level spells and the ability to cast them while full attacking. True strike, Enlarge person and Shield are all great choices and with pearls of power you can do it several times a day. You're still too squishy but at least you don't take as long to buff up and get in the fight.

After typing that out I'd probably recommend C or A as your best bet.

It's not an Eldritch Knight but Kensi Magus sounds like what you are looking for. Canny defense+high dex= good unarmored AC, choose an exotic weapon and you've got a good story reason for keeping it through your whole career (even better if its wyroot). Arcane pool helps keep up your weapon bonuses. Spell comabt gives you extra action economy which is great at low levels. Your BAB should be about the same since you're not mixing in the wizard levels. Your spell casting is a bit weaker but it's not too bad since you'll never reach the higher level spells in PFS anyways. If you think of all your spell combat spells as quickened you're actually ahead of other spell casters.

Here's my take on a similar build:


Evangelist cleric + 1 level dip in fighter.

inspire courage is as good or better than any spell you lose with that one level. The fact you'll be able to use it as a move/swift action later on is even better.

Fighter gives you heavy armor, martial weapons and a bonus combat feat.

You're less of a healer but that's okay. Grab some scrolls for emergencies and keep slots open to fill with healing spells as needed.

Since you've got a 20 ft movement speed grab a reach weapon you get some good options as a dwarf. Long hammer's my choice but dorn derger could be nice too if you wan more versatility.

Best part about this build? You can remake yourself in to whatever you need to be week to week which is great for a PFS build. Sit down at the table and there's no bf control? no problem you take a bunch of control spells and use your reach to keep enemies off the squishies. next week there's no melee? You self buff and kick ass. Third week it's all martials? support caster extraordinaire. After that intrigue heavy, combat light? oh look you have some great out of combat spells as spontaneous casts.

So here's a build I've been thinking about:

Master of many styles/hungry ghost/monk of the sacred mountain 5-Weapon master fighter 3

The idea is to build a mobile fighter who can move all around the battlefield making AOOs and provoking enemies in to using theirs up

Str 16 Dex 18 Con 12 Int 10 Wis 15 Cha 7

1-Monk 1- Combat reflexes, Panther Style (human bonus), Snake Style (monk bonus)
2-Fighter 1- Panther Claws (fighter bonus)
3-Monk 2- Panther Parry, Snake Fang (Monk bonus)
4- Fighter 2- Dodge (figher bonus)
5- Fighter 3- mobility
6- Monk 3-
7- Monk 4- Weapon focus (unarmed)
8- Monk 5 -

By mixing panther and snake you get a ton of AOOs a round. Move through a threatened square, enemy attacks you make a retaliatory strike before he hits, you hit he takes -2, since your AC is high he misses his attack which triggers snake style, you then can spend a swift action to get a third attack. With your high movement you can provoke attacks from multiple enemies. With dodge, mobility, ki points and a decent dex most miss. You can wear armor for a few levels then ditch it for bracers and your wisdom bonus. Weapon master + gloves of dueling help your to hit and damage. Monks robes keeps your unarmed damage high. Once you hit level 8 you can add crane style to the mix for extra defense and an extra AOO.

I was thinking this would be a great build to pair up with a blaster wizard/sorc and an archer. AOE blast to start the fight and weaken all the enemies. You wade in and make AOOs against everyone further weakening them and taking out multiple mooks. Finally the archer takes out whoever's left.

andreww wrote:

The nail was already in the fighters coffin. Under the previous rules you could just as easily go Wiz5/Ftr1/EK10/Arcane Archer 4 or Sor6/Pal2/EK10/Dragon Disciple 2 and be far better off than straight Ftr2o and worse off than straight Wiz or Sorc 20.

The difference being Wizard 5/fighter 1 or sorc 6/Paladin 2 aren't holding the front line through half their careers. They eventually hold their own in melee but only after some growing pains that many players didn't want to put up with. They also both have some flavor and role play restrictions that players wouldn't want to deal with.

ShadowcatX wrote:

First, do me a favor, look at some optimization guides and tell me how many say the eldritch knight is just an awesome choice. No seriously, go ahead. I'll wait.

Back? Ok. Now that we've established that Eldritch Knight, as written prior to this, was pretty much 100% suboptimal, maybe you see the reason for this.

So does it change the dynamics of the game? I don't think it really does. Your eldritch knight build put forth here is just about as bad as the one you put forth before, and the fact that it gains "a 16th level ability at 11th level" doesn't salvage it. Barbarian 1 (improved speed ftw) / Wizard 1 is probably the best entry, but even that won't be broken with this.

So this is not directed specifically at Shadowcat, It's more a general observation after reading through many of the SLA threads. Most people defending the change are saying that it's not a bad thing because even with the changes the improved prestige classes are weaker than a full Wizard, Sorcerer or even Magus. And I agree that they do seem to be right, This change probably won't result in totally broken builds. However one thing that I haven't seen addressed in any of the threads is what this does to further marginalize some of the less optimal core classes. If I am making a fighter is there any reason not to make my build (caster 1/fighter 9 ek 10)?

You'd lose:

Armor training 3&4 which are pretty weak abilities.
Weapon training 3&4 which does hurt a little but made up for with gloves of dueling
Bonus feats which with the EK's feats and the feat you probably get from your caster class = 1 feat total
Armor mastery. Again a pretty weak ability for the level you get it at.
Weapon mastery- this is a pretty good ability but it's 20th level which few people ever see.

You gain:
10 levels of spell casting
Access to using items with no UMD check
A bloodline, school power or arcane pool
better saves

To me this pretty much puts the final nail in the pure fighter's coffin.

For rogues it's not quite as cut and dried. The trickster's horrible BAB and lack of any bonus feats hurt. But Rogue 3/Magus 1/EK 10/AT 6 keeps the 3/4 BAB, gives you 16 levels of casting and 5d6 of sneak attack. Even with the lack of utility spells on the magus list I think it more than outweighs what you lose.

Xavier319 wrote:
yeah, the sorc AT is looking worse and worse since the vivisectionist thing doesnt work.

I know a lot of people don't like the idea but i really think the magus is a strong class for the AT. You get:

Armored casting
3/4 bab
Extra attacks each turn
Int based spell casting for extra skills
Lots of blast spells to sneak attack with
Arcane pool and Magus arcana which can boost your abilities.
Spell strike which is basically TWF

Levels 1-15 I think the magus is better than the Wiz/Sorc AT. once you get past that the higher spell slots begin to take over but you can still be an effective character. the magus AT plays more like a rogue who can cast rather than a blaster with SA, which sounds like it's your style.

So after reading through this whole thread the FAQ seems to have had an opposite effect than was intended, we now know that simultaneous spells only have SA dice added once. But we have confusion on:

1.What spells are simultaneous? Does it need the word in the description or do implied simultaneous spells have this restriction too?

2.What spells are "weapon like"?

3.How is the SA target determined, is it the first attack or can the attacker decide which effect is modified?

4.How do misses work? If the spell fires three rays and two miss does the third automatically get the SA dice?

5. Does this ruling apply to non magical simultaneous attacks as well?

Here's my suggestion on how to roll all these up in to one rule:

Sneak Attack and Spells:

Sneak attack damage may be added to magical attacks that require an attack roll as long as the normal sneak attack conditions are met. A caster may only apply SA damage to one target per attack roll. If the spell has multiple targets per attack roll the target of the sneak attack must be specified prior to making the attack roll, if the attack misses that target the SA dice are wasted. If a spell grants multiple attack rolls the SA dice may be added to one attack roll per 5 caster levels attained (minimum 1).

So now any spell with an attack roll can get SA, no more questions about it being "weapon-like" or simultaneous. Woohoo!

SA is capped at a number similar to the amount given to non-magical attacks. At a maximum of 4 SA per each casting you no longer have the worst offenders like TK or Holy Ice breaking things but you do still have utility for tricksters and UMD rogues. Worst case scenario I can imagine is a trickster casting a quickened and normal spell for 8 SAs per round at 7d6 each at 20th level. That would be an additional 196 damage that is subject to SR, Savings throws, Evasion, and Resistances. It's good, but not broken at that level especially when you have to spend several feats and lots of resources to get there.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Wally the Wizard wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Furious Focus requires two hands.

Only if you are using a one handed weapon. If you are wielding a two handed weapon in one hand it's still a two handed weapon and meets the requirements of the feat. I'd say it's against RAI except the FAQ seems to imply that is not the case.

No. The feat let's you wield it as a one handed weapon, which must be wielded in two hands to benefit from Furious Focus.

There is a difference between "wield in one hand" and "wield as an One-handed weapon".

You're right for the quarterstaff, I re-read the feat, I thought it allowed you to wield it in one hand not as a one handed weapon. That's disappointing, the quarterstaff could use some help.

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Furious Focus requires two hands.

Only if you are using a one handed weapon. If you are wielding a two handed weapon in one hand it's still a two handed weapon and meets the requirements of the feat. I'd say it's against RAI except the FAQ seems to imply that is not the case.

I was not aware of this FAQ. This makes me happy for the staff magus build I was contemplating.

It actually is a pretty interesting for a monk too, you could flurry with a quarterstaff 1 handed with quarterstaff master and still have 1 hand free for crane style for defense

Vinja89 wrote:

Favored Enemy is one thing i never quite got asking the DM for advice with, even when i played rangers. Way i always thought about it, the favored enemy should be worked into the characters backstory, not the backstory worked around what favored enemy is most useful?

just how i have alwaya viewed it.

I bet that you could name a good number of animals native to your home state, however you'd probably have a much harder time telling me what animals are native to the wilds of the Brazilian rain forest. (unless your from there, then that statement makes no sense.) It's not metagaming to use common knowledge that your character would have gained by living in an area for his entire life. If you ask your gm and he says, well we'll be in Geb so there are a bunch of undead around. Thats not metagaming. now if you ask and he says, hey I know we're playing in geb but the bbeg is actually a gold dragon. That is metagaming.

ciretose wrote:
Why stop at 3rd level for monk? 4th level is a +1 to BaB, you get your Ki Pool and you can grab a Qinggong ability swapping out Slow fall.

This is probably best. I was thinking about the Animal Companion advancing but seriously with this build I'd recommend taking the freebooter or guide and giving it up.

On Crafting DCs:

Longbow, shortbow, or arrows Bows 12
Composite longbow or composite shortbow Bows 15
Composite longbow or composite shortbow with high strength rating Bows 15 + (2 x rating)
Crossbow, or bolts Weapons 15
Simple melee or thrown weapon Weapons 12
Martial melee or thrown weapon Weapons 15
Exotic melee or thrown weapon Weapons 18
Mechanical trap Traps Varies1
Very simple item (wooden spoon) Varies 5
Typical item (iron pot) Varies 10
High-quality item (bell) Varies 15
Complex or superior item (lock) Varies 20

So to make almost any weapon or any high quality item all you need a 15. but you're taking 10 so you really need 5 points. So 2 skill points in a class and you can't fail. For non class skills you can grab masterwork tools and you still only need 2 points.

On weapons and proficiency:

So this idea is suboptimal. The gnome has bonuses in the wrong places and is small which hurts melee. BUT they do have a optional racial ability you would love:

Master Tinker Gnomes experiment with all manner of mechanical devices. Gnomes with this racial trait gain a +1 bonus on Disable Device and Knowledge (engineering) checks. They are treated as proficient with any weapon they have personally crafted. This racial trait replaces defensive training and hatred.

I'd scrap the rogue levels and do Zen archer 3/ trapper/(guide or freebooter) ranger 17.

With bonus feats from both classes your archery should be top notch. You're also basically a full bab class. Ranger gets you tons of skills and bonuses on several you want to focus on. You do lose out on 2 sp per level vs a rogue but you get more hp meaning you can take your favored class bonus as skill points and even that out some. Also skill bonuses are cheap to get and most skills don't need to be maxed out, a few points here and there can go along way with a take 10.

For your weapons be a half orc with beastmaster and pick up the swordbreaker with the heirloom weapon trait. That's 3 out of the 4 with no feats.

stat wise you have a choice, you can go traditional archer and pump dex or you can pump wisdom and get better dcs on your traps since the zen archer can use it for to-hit. If you go the wisdom route you'll be a bit weaker at lower levels but should shine more at higher ones.

My suggestion is to start with a base of a Mordant Spire defender magus and then add a few levels of a class that has sneak attack and skills. Magus is great for a couple of reasons, He can cast in armor, he can cast and fight at the same time, spell strike lets you boost your damage, spell strike also basically gives you TWF for free (using arcane mark). Since you're restricted to a one handed weapon going dex with the dervish dance feat or agile enchantment makes a lot of sense. I like the spire defender because you get to swap out your armor proficiency for combat expertise and dodge. Since you'll be picking it back up with your sneaky class it's really not a loss at all. You also give up spell recall for arcane augmentation. This isn't really a great trade but it fits so strongly with the character concept the slight power decrease is worth it.


Spire defender 16/Rogue 4 (choose your preferred archetype, I like thug)

BAB of 15, 16 levels of spells with a caster level of 18 with magical knack, tons of skills and good progression on all your magus abilities. You also get some rogue goodies like evasion and trapfinding (although i normally switch it out with an archetype)

Spire defender 12/Rogue 4/ arcane trickster 4

Same as above but you lose 1 point of bab and some advancement in your magus abilities to pick up some extra sneak attack die and the ability to use some skills at range

Spire defender 16/ Vivisectionist Alchemist 4

less skills than option 1 but more magic. mutagen will be limited but it will be useful for the big fight of the day.

Kyoni wrote:

6 guys:
- paladin (sword&board)
- cleric (staff-fighting, when he's not buffing/healing)
- sorcerer (blasty with some backup control spells)
- rogue (TWF)
- bard (caster, low physical attributes, lowish HP)
- archer (no magic)

now the paladin can't make it to one game, but another player shows up saying he wants to play an alchemist specialized in lobbing bombs (Precise bombs discovery), what would you do? would you ask the archer to drop his bow and wade into melee? ask the bard who's bad at fighting to do it anyways?
ask one of the "old" players to switch characters, because the new guy insists?
or would you ask the new guy to make a different character, because to group really needs a front-line guy?
or maybe everybody should do what they want and end the game in a highly likely TPK?

So there's a blaster, an archer and a bomb throwing alchemist being buffed by a cleric and a bard? Man that team could really lay down some hurt at range before the enemies even closed distance... but of course for that to work they would need some sort of sneaky party member who could scout ahead and warn them of approaching battles or ambushes. If only they had a dex based rogue in the party.. Oh wait!, They do.

You adapt your tactics to your resources. The Mongols conquered the known world using lightly armored mounted archers. The Greeks and Romans used heavily armored footmen wielding spears. The Chinese used masses of crossbowmen. The Carthaginians massive armored elephants. If the imaginary group took a few minutes to stop whining about not having a tank and used them to think of tactics that would work with what they do have than they'd be fine. And they'd probably actually end up having more fun dealing with situations in new ways.

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:

I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Can anyone compare Seattle, Boston, or similar cities to San Francisco or San Jose, cost of living wise? Comparing them to my home area would make it easier to understand.

I'm about to head out to work but I'll try to check in on the thread when I get back and give you some more details on Seattle on thoughts about moving cross country in general.

As far as cost living goes rent will probably be your biggest expense but it will be cheaper than San Fran. I'd recommend the capitol hill area or U district given your posts so far. In those areas you're probably looking somewhere in the 800-1000 range for a place. Electric costs are some of the lowest in the country. Internet depends on the deal you get but if I remember right averaged around 50.00 a month. Transportation wise the bus system is great and a monthly pass will get you anywhere in the city pretty easily. Food costs were a little higher than I grew up with in Michigan but not bad. Entertainment costs were probably my second highest expense (eating out, bars, events etc..) and that really depends on what you like to do.

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:

My situation is getting a bit crazy. I was supposed to go to university in Montana, but that turned out to be too expensive. I was supposed to go to community college in California (my home state), but that relied on living with Grandma, and my Uncle is doing every single possible thing he can to prevent this (I could rant for hours about getting lectured on my worth as a person by that deadbeat), and I think he'll be able to talk Grandma out of it. I've decided that I want to start my new life somewhere I haven't lived before, so I can avoid familial drama and solidify the fact that I am becoming a new person in more ways than one.

As for where I go, there are three big requirements I have. It has to be highly LGBT friendly, it has to be a city, and it has to be reasonably close to the coast (it doesn't have to be on the coast, but I have to be able to get there without too much difficulty). Right now, I'm looking at Boston, Seattle, Honolulu, and Portland (both of them). I'm open to suggestions for other cities and states.

My big problem is finding a job that will accept a telephone interview instead of a face to face interview, and finding a job in general. I like the idea of employment agencies, but I'm having trouble finding a good one for somebody with my training (Job Corps trade diploma in Office Administration).

Does anyone have any advice, places to look at, or employment agencies for me? I'd greatly appreciate it.

So I'm originally from Michigan, moved to Seattle and just moved to Honolulu in the last few months.

Unless you've already got employment I would probably recommend against Honolulu. The cost of living is very high and the moving expenses would also be higher than anywhere on the mainland. The job market doesn't seem too bad but to be honest I did not actually have to research it much as I got only applied at one place and got the job on the spot.

Seattle sounds like it could be a good fit for you. The cost of living is higher but it's not unreasonably so. The job market is decent (or least was last time I checked) and it has a strong lgbt community. The weather does get some people. It's not as bad as most people think but it is definitely dreary for much of the winter if you're used to sunshine. Another thing to consider is the Seattle freeze. It can be a difficult city to get to know people at first. (

If you've got specific questions about either place I'd be happy to answer what I can.

darkwarriorkarg wrote:

So, to summarize:

The main problem with fighters is that they're consistent?

I know this comment was meant to be in jest but I do kind of think this is the problem with fighters. Most of a fighter's abilities are always on, and they're good abilities (often undervalued even) but they are just so... boring. The fighter doesn't need fixing as much as he needs a PR makeover.

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Lord Snow wrote:

The first and the last adventures in an AP are often the most challenging to create, and in some aspects are the most important.

This is exactly why I think they should be written by the same person. If the schedule were adjusted so that the first installment was finished before the others were even started it wouldn't change the amount of time that the author has to write each part. And since the author has already put in a good deal of the work when he completed the first part, the last part should actually be easier for him than it would be for a different author.

Having the same voice bookend an adventure would provide a great boost for a consistent feel. I imagine it would be something the writers would look forward to. Being the headlining author would give them a showcase where they could really shine. I also expect that it's somewhat frustrating to spend all this time fleshing out a world and a story for a beginning AP and then not be able to finish telling it in your own words.

Derek Weil wrote:

I posted on this topic before, but now that I've played more I wanted to zero in on some specific items.

I tried building my first PFS character as a cleric, but I didn't like how that was going so I rebuilt him as a ranger. I still really want to play a cleric, so here's my issues:

My stats currently are 14 STR; 10 DEX; 13 CON; 12 INT; 16 WIS; 14 CHA.

I would play a human cleric of Iomedae, and probably select the Glory and Good domains.

I want to be able to contribute to melee combat and healing, but have the ability to be a very good caster at higher PFS levels (if playing a full campiagn to level 20, I'd be sure to bump my WIS to 18).

Like all the others have said being good at everything is going to be difficult. My suggestion would be focus on support with melee and healing being secondary. The reason I suggest focusing on support is because the spells are not affected by SR or Save DC.

Build idea:

A variation on the reach cleric idea. Take the evangelist archetype and the heroism sub-domain. wield a reach weapon. At low levels you use inspire courage as a standard action and then use your move action to get in place to either flank enemies for your tank or block an enemies path to your squishies. Second round standard action you buff spell and then reposition, later rounds- help mop up in melee. Once you hit mid levels you should be able to inspire as a move, buff as a standard and still get an AOO or 2 a round. That's solid action economy. Since evangelist gives up medium armor and spontaneous cures you wouldn't be poorly served by a 1 level dip in to fighter or paladin to pick up heavy armor and a feat or smite evil. You'll also get a better reach weapon than the longspear. as far as curing goes selective channel and channel energy in battle and leave slots open to prepare spells if needed out of battle. and of course the good ol' wand of cure light wounds.

I'd drop your int to 10 and bump your dex to 14 if you decide to take this route.

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Since this thread seems to have been thoroughly necro'ed I might as well throw in my 2cents:

I get that a one author AP would cause too many logistical issue but how about having the same author do two parts? Specifically the beginning and end. The ideal way I would see this working is an AP idea is decided on and an outline is created. Author 1 gets this outline and begins the opening adventure. Once author 1 is done with the opening adventure authors 2-5 get the adventure and the outline and then started on their portions. With the beginning already set they get a lot stronger feeling of the style and tone of the whole AP. At this same time author 1 begins work on the last installment. As authors 2-5 finish their parts the first author ties the various loose threads to the final adventure.

Since the first author know he is working on the beginning and the end he is able to use a fair amount of subtle foreshadowing knowing that it will at least be touched upon in the final installment. He also is better able to weave in the inevitable loose ends that multiple authors will cause since he's got a better idea of how things started and how he wants them to end. I think it would give you the overall feeling of having one author while still allowing you to split up the work so things are able to get done in a timely manner.

Artanthos wrote:

That does not bar all melee touch attacks from being iterative.

Take, for example, Accurate Strike

Benefit: The magus can expend 2 points from his arcane pool as a swift action to resolve all of his melee weapon attacks until the end of his turn as melee touch attacks.
Combine this arcana with TWF and Frostbite.

So if we go back and look at my earlier numbers and change the % to 100% than you're looking at about 300 damage, figuring in crits probably closer to 400. The average hit points on a cr 20 monster is around 375 so you can conceivably take one out in one round assuming you get everything cast the round before. But the investment is heavy. 3 feats, an arcana and 2 points from your very limited arcane pool every time you use it. Out side of the maybe 10 rounds a day you can afford the arcane pool points you're okay at best. Like i said if you're really loving the concept of a twf magus you could make it work but it's not something I'd recommend in general.

A better build for a magical twf might actually be magus 8/fighter 12. With weapon training, gloves of dueling and the higher BAB you would have a +7 over the magus's base to hit and wouldn't need to use accurate strike. You could cast as a 10th level magus with magical knack. Weapon training, an extra attack and extra feats would make up for the frostbite damage being lower and you'd have better ac with mithral full plate and armor training. Your standard attacks are much better and you can use your arcane pool for other things. I'm too tired to run any numbers but i bet the damage would be comparable to the burst damage of the previous build and it'd be a lot better in all the rounds where the previous build couldn't go nova.

Xaratherus wrote:
Can you TWF with touch attacks? I didn't think that would work. I know you can with unarmed strikes, but those are different from touch attacks.

I'd have to search further but I am pretty sure one of the devs stated that no you can NOT use touch attacks as iteratives. The reasoning was that a touch attack was a stand alone standard action and not like a normal weapon attack.

Found it:

Touch attacks

Diego Rossi wrote:

A kukri isn't a scimitar.
You can't use Dervish dance with two weapon fighting, you can't carry a weapon or shield in your off hand.

That's why the TWF build used the agile enchantment instead. Which also lowers the to hit enchantments on those items further.

Artanthos wrote:

I'm not talking about combining. I'm talking about forgoing spell combat after the opening round and using Haste + TWF.

I was torn on this idea. When you've got extra damage like frostbite added to every attack more attacks sound good, but the decreased accuracy caused by TWF and the cost of enchanting two weapons is bad. So i did some quick and dirty math:

numbers and stuff:


Standard- Dervish dance, weapon finesse, arcane strike,weapon focus weapon specialization . +5 weapon
TWF- weapon finesse, arcane strike, TWF, ITWF, GTWF. One +3 agile kukri, one +2 agile kukri.

Same amount invested in weapons, same number of feats taken. Both are dex based and we'll say they have a 26 for a +8

For purposes of math I'm going to say the first attack starts at 70% to hit before weapon enhancement bonuses or twf penalties. We are looking at round 2 of combat, the party wizard has already cast haste and you've already cast frostbite and used 4 charges in the last round.


attack 1 1d6 (weapon)+8 (dex)+5 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+ 2 (WS)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =47 * 100% (base to hit and +5 from weapon)= 47
attack 2 1d6 (weapon)+8 (dex)+5 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+ 2 (WS)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =47 * 100% (base to hit and +5 from weapon)= 47
attack 3 1d6 (weapon)+8 (dex)+5 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+2 (WS)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =47 * 80% (base to hit and +5 from weapon)= 38
attack 4 1d6 (weapon)+8 (dex)+5 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+2 (WS)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =47 * 55% (base to hit and +5 from weapon)= 26

Total= 158
Charges of frostbite remaining= 12 (3 more rounds of the same routine)


attack 1 1d4 (weapon)+8 (dex)+3 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =44 * 75% (base to hit, TWF penalty and +3 from weapon)= 33
attack 2 1d4 (weapon)+8 (dex)+3 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =44 * 75% (base to hit, TWF penalty and +3 from weapon)= 33
attack 3 1d4 (weapon)+8 (dex)+2 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =43 * 70% (base to hit, TWF penalty and +2 from weapon)= 30
attack 4 1d4 (weapon)+8 (dex)+3 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =44 * 50% (base to hit, TWF penalty and +3 from weapon)= 22
attack 5 1d4 (weapon)+8 (dex)+2 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =43 * 45% (base to hit, TWF penalty and +2 from weapon)= 19
attack 6 1d4 (weapon)+8 (dex)+3 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =44 * 25% (base to hit, TWF penalty and +3 from weapon)= 11
attack 7 1d4 (weapon)+8 (dex)+2 (weapon)+5 (arcane strike)+ 1d6+20 (frostbite) =43 * 20% (base to hit, TWF penalty and +2 from weapon)= 9

Charges of frostbite remaining =9 (1 round of same routine with 2 left over)

Long and short of it. TWF does not give you an advantage over the one weapon build on full attacks and it would be worse on standard spell combat rounds and standard attacks. I'm sure you could do a full build and change the numbers a bit but I don't think it's worth the investment unless it's a concept you really wanted to play.

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Claxon wrote:

I very much like this idea. What thickness of stone/earth/metal did you use?

I'm thinking like 5ft/1ft/1in would shield or prevent from scrying or teleportation. Definitely adds to the degree of difficulty if you don't know where exactly something is or can't just teleport to it.

Here's the text from the tome Kirth Gersen was referring to:

On Dungeons:

9.9 The Constructanomicon
“How does that even stay up?”
Perhaps the most important question surrounding Dungeons and Dragons is the question why there are
Dungeons and Dragons. When you think about it, that’s pretty weird.

9.9.1 Dungeons: By the gods, why?
Alright, we know that you love dungeons. We love them too, despite the fact that we’re pretty sure there is
no good reason for the silly things. The average D&D game world is frankly incapable of the technology or
manpower needed to build vast underground complexes. I mean, look at our own world history: aside from
a single underground city in Turkey and a couple of pyramids and tombs, the ancient world took a pass on
underground life. Even the old excuse of “Wizards can magic it up and they do it because its defensible” is a
bit lame considering that we are talking about a world with teleport and burrowing and ethereal travel; being
underground is actually a liability since its harder to escape and people can drop the roof onto you, not to
mention the incredible costs involved in doing it even if magic is available.
So here is what we suggest: dungeons have an actual magical purpose. By putting anything behind at
least 40’ of solid, continuous material (like solid walls of dirt, stone, ice, or whatever, but not a forest of trees
or rooms of furniture) the area is immune to unlimited-range or “longer than Long Range” spells like Scrying
and transportation magic like teleport, greater teleport, the travel version of gate, and other effects. You can
use these magics inside a dungeon, but you also stopped by a 40’ solid, continuous material in a Line of Effect;
this means you can use these effects inside a dungeon to bypass doors and walls, but entering and leaving the
dungeon is a problem, and parts of the dungeon that have more than 30’ of material in the way between your
position and the target of your effect will be effectively isolated from your position.
In summary, in a best-case scenario you can transport yourself to a dungeon, then bust in the entrance and
enter the dungeon, then transport yourself to the place you want to be inside the dungeon. In a worse-case
scenario, the dungeon designer will have built the dungeon in such a way that only someone aware of the
layout can take full advantage of unlimited range or transportation spells like teleports and Scry, or even that
most or all areas if the dungeon are inaccessible to these effects.

Of course, there are exceptions. The idea of permanent portals, gates, or teleport circles are just too common
in D&D and too fun to just abandon. Permanent effects will continue to regardless of materials in the way, and
will be the premier way to enter and leave dungeons, as well as the best way to move inside a dungeon.
By incorporating these changes in your D&D world, you are ensuring that players actually explore rooms
in your dungeons that you have painstakingly built, you avoid all the problems with Scry-and-Die tactics, and
you’ll find that players actually care about dungeon geography. It also adds a bit to suspension of disbelief in
your setting, which is only good for a cooperative storytelling game

I suggest reading the whole thing if you have time. It's 3rd or 3.5 edition but the authors give a lot of good ideas.


Artanthos wrote:

Lets follow this to its logical conclusion. Is there any reason a magus should not invest in two-weapon fighting and frostbite? Greater TWF + frostbite on a level 20 magus is 1d6+20 added to 7 attacks per round, on top of arcane strike and all other mods.

I'm not sure that you can combine two weapon fighting and spell combat. Regardless of if it is possible or not I probably would not recommend it. You'd be taking -4 on every attack with a 3/4 bab character. You might get 7 attacks but you'd be missing on most of them unless you've got a way of really lowering an enemies ac (see below).

Artanthos wrote:

Yep. Rimed Frostbite + Haste has become very interesting.

The key point is: with the current ruling there are going to be a lot of scenarios where a level 7+ magus is better off not using one of his defining class features. Low level spells that were marginal at best are going to start seeing a lot more usage on higher level characters.

Don't stop with rimed. Grab enforcer and you can intimidate with your touch attack. Since you'll be spamming low level spells (pearls of power FTW) take a 3 level dip in to rogue (thug) to boost your intimidate and add sicken. Now pick up shatter defenses and you'll can make your opponent flat footed too.

Here's a character I created built around this idea, I specifically wanted the ranged legerdemain ability so I picked up some levels in Arcane trickster. Replacing them with magus levels would be stronger as it would boost your BAB by 1 and advance your class abilities:

The daughter of a Mordant Spire Elven magus Leila never quite fit in. She excelled in her magic and swordplay lessons but soon ran out of willing sparring partners as she always seemed to hurt them more than the training required. She had no interest in the studies of history or nature and was considered aloof even by Mordant elf standards. It was no surprise when she left the spire after an argument with her father. She moved on to Absalom where her skills were noticed by a local crime boss after she took down three local toughs in a tavern brawl. He offered her a job as his new enforcer. The job satisfied her sadistic tendencies and Leila thrived, eventually graduating from simple broken legs to contract killings...

CN Magus 12 (mordant spire defender) /Rogue 4 (thug)/ Arcane Trickster 4

Starting Stats:

Str: 10 Dex: 18 Con: 12 Int: 16 Wis: 10 Cha: 10

Traits- Magical knack, Reactionary

1 Magus - Combat expertise, Dodge, Weapon finesse, Spell Combat, Arcane Pool
2 Rogue - Frightening, SA 1d6
3 Magus - Spellstrike, Enforcer
4 Rogue - Evasion, Weapon training talent: rapier
5 Magus - Wand Wielder arcana,Skill focus: intimidate
6 Rogue - Brutal beating, SA 2d6
7 Magus - Arcane Augmentation, Rime Spell
8 Magus - Dazzling display
9 Arcane trickster- Ranged legerdemain, Shatter defenses
10 Arcane trickster-SA 3d6
11 Arcane trickster-Impromptu sneak attack 1/day, arcane strike
12 Arcane trickster- SA 4d6
13-20 Magus
In Combat:

Damage: We've got spellstrike and sneak attack adding damage. Using Spell combat and Frostbite we get to make a touch attack that does 1d6+ (level-1) nonlethal damage. It will also add fatigue, and give us a chance to add shaken. If it's a sneak attack it can also add sicken. And if it's rimed than entangled. Since it makes an opponent shaken shatter defenses kicks in and our weapon attacks get SA damage. With the damage from spellstrike,sneak attack,agile weapon,enhancement bonuses, spell storing weapon and critical hits you should be doing very well. Of course the HP damage is really only the icing on the cake. The best thing about this build is you get to stack debuffs while attacking. Shaken, Sickened, Fatigued, Entagled and flat footed to your attacks off a normal full attack routine. Solid.

Accuracy: This is the weakest part of the build. You've got a base BAB of 13 at level 20. That sucks. You do get bonuses from your arcane pool which helps. But you also take -2 for spell combat which hurts. Your first attack should be a touch attack from frostbite, the extra weapon damage isn't worth the miss chance. For the others you'll almost always be making the attack against a flat footed ac because of shatter defenses. You can grab one of the magus arcanas to boost your accuracy as well. All in all if you sink some decent money in to your weapon and use your arcanas wisely I expect you'll be hitting more often than your average rogue even if you're not flanking. If you are flanking and have a bard in the party you should be able to crank out a ton of hits.

Defenses: You're stuck using light armor but you have the dex to max it out so that's not too bad. You've got dodge and combat expertise to add to your ac if you need to as well. Your saves are strong across the board 10/9/11 without modifiers. You've got a high dex and evasion for extra reflex goodness. Your best defense however is your debuffing attacks. Once you hit a guy and make him shaken, sickened, fatigued, and entangled he will be making attacks at a -7 to -9 depending on if he's str or dex based. He also can't make AOOs against you unless he has combat reflexes.

Spells: You're light on spells. But the good news is that a few low level ones are all you really need. Frostbite, Chill touch and Elemental touch will be staples since you can cast them once and get spellstrike on all of your weapon attacks. Vanish is useful for both offense and defense (attack and use spell combat to vanish after for defense, then next round attack from invisibility for the bonus). True strike helps if you're having accuracy issues. It also gives you the option of grabbing a whip (proficient from the spire magus archetype) and making a ranged trip or disarm at +20. That trick should last well in to the mid levels and costs no feat investment unlike a normal trip build. Wand Wielder and pearls of power will extend your spells per day cheaply and will allow you to use your higher level slots for situations where your normal plan of attack doesn't work (enemy is immune to SA or fear)

Out of combat: Skill monkey extraordinaire. With a high int score giving skill ranks and a high dex &int giving bonuses this build excels at most skills and has more than enough points to go around.

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