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Thank you so much Vanessa for popping over to share your insight! I feel pretty comfortable with that interpretation, as it fits well with the other tricks, and seems balanced. Gotta say this trick in particular is probably my favorite (though the floating disc is a close second).

Sorry, been busy. If no one else has PM'd Vanessa I'll try to reach out to her today. Either way I think we are generally agreeing that the actions take place as a part of either casting or concentrating each round. The more contentious issues are going to to be those surrounding what can and can't be applied to throw punch, str bonus for example.

Azothath wrote:

for Publishing, both of the books were late efforts.

Distant Realms (Pathfinder Campaign Setting, circa 06-2018) had Floating Disk magic trick and likely had more editorial review and engagement.

Chronicle of Legends (Pathfinder Player Companion, circa 05-2019) had the balance of the magic tricks and products in this line received minimal editorial review, had a lot of great and innovative ideas, and the bulk of RAW complaints by users (it happens when you get creative). Reading the Product Discussion & Product Review can be helpful, it mentions expanding Magic Tricks from Distant Realms. Luis Loza (Developer) comments in the Product Discussion.
see Capstones, post #146 by Mikhail Rekun
see Magic Tricks, post #98 by Vanessa Hoskins

This is some first rate search fu! Thank you. I haven't PM'd Vanessa, but I would love to hear her intent when this was written. I understand that that's not the same as an FAQ or errata, but given that we won't ever get either hearing from the author is always helpful and interesting.

Agreed which is why I'm here hoping we as a whole can come to a conclusion on this. Personally I like the interpretation that you cast mage hand and it does the trick's text then ends. It makes things so much simpler. For actions that would take longer than a round (some disable attempts for example) you would have to maintain concentration till you complete the action where on the spell would end. It's not the most favorable interpretation, but it seems to be more consistent with the other spells the feat allows. Granted each one was probably written by a different author, but most of the spell tricks came from the same book, so the editing team should have been the same for all except floating disk at least.

Melkiador wrote:

"My original reading was that these abilities were one time effects from one time castings. So, you cast mage hand and the magic trick effect happens, and then the spell is over. Basically, my thought was that those tricks modify the goal and mechanics of mage hand.

On deeper reading, I'm not really sure. It'd be nice to get some developer intent on this, but I have no idea who wrote that and it's unlikely they are still checking these boards.

Magic Trick

I al leaning towards your original interpretation more and more if for no other reason than it simplifies so much. It would mean that you have to cast the spell multiple times to make multiple attacks with throw punch, instead of concentrating each round, but a simple interpretation is so much cleaner. That doesn't make it right, but it does make it easier to run.

The place where that could be supported I think is the general feat text:

magic trick wrote:

Prerequisites: Ability to cast the chosen spell or spell-like ability.

Benefit: You can use any magic tricks relating to the chosen spell so long as you meet the appropriate magic trick requirements.

There is nothing explicit that says you have to cast the spell to even use the tricks, just be able to cast the spell. But I think it is strongly implied that you muse cast the spell and then can use the spell for the listed tricks benefit. This is consistent across the various spells listed and their tricks. Any interpretation that would say differently is simply being obtuse. Where it gets murky is how does a spell with an ongoing duration interact with the trick text. Some are explicit and give actions required to do something other than the usual spell effects, others have no such text. For those I think it is consistent to look at the trick as being an alternate spell text as it were and the duration of the trick be whatever makes sense.

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Temperans wrote:
The movement costing a move action is only if you are moving an object. So if you were to make a ranged steal maneuver using mage hand you would need a move action to move the stolen item (unless the ability said otherwise). This means that none of the abilities you listed would cost an additional action.

Well you can't make a steal maneuver, only a slight of hand check, so I don't think you actually can use that application in combat. The interpretation that you cast the spell to have the listed effect, namely to perform the actual check, then spend move actions to move the item to yourself I could agree with.

Temperans wrote:
Because you are spending a standard action on concentration you cannot full attack, making Throw Punch more like a cantrip.

How do you come to this conclusion? What is your logic here? I agree with the conclusion, I just want to be clear why we believe that. If you spend a standard action to concentrate 6ou don't have a standard action left to spend making an attack action. That is one way to think about it, but that doesn't make sense as it would invalidate the feat. Another way (which I think is what we are agreeing is the case) is that when you concentrate you are effectively making the spell do the thing, whether that is throw punch or subtle hand or whatever, in which it would do the listed action, no more, no less. A third way of looking at it is that you need to spend time concentrating, but if you do you can attack and keep attacking, making attacked as your BAB would allow. I don't agree with that interpretation as there is nothing in the text of the feat that implies that's possible.

Temperans wrote:
However, Throw Punch is much better than a cantrip because it is a melee attack and thus can add Str to damage and benefit from abilities that boost all melee attacks.

This i don't agree with. While it is different (no penalties for soft cover, or your target being engaged in melee combat, goes against AC instead of touch AC) the test is pretty explicit. "You can use mage hand to strike an opponent within the spell’s range. This is a melee attack that always deals 1d3 points of force damage. The mage hand has an attack bonus equal to your caster level plus your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier, whichever is highest." Emphasis mine. I interpret this as the mage had itself is making a melee attack, not the caster, so strength bonuses, or penalties don't apply.

Temperans wrote:
As for whether you threaten in the spell area. If the thing worked like a whip then yes you would provoke the full 30ft+ radius area. However because the ability is throwing a punch I would say that you don't and are in fact mimicking a thrown weapon. There is also the fact that you are not wielding Mage Hand just your normal unarmed strikes.

So I don't think you are "wielding" anything, if you were wielding an immaterial unarmed strike with the spell's reach then you would threaten, as having improved armed strike would mean you threaten at your reach's range so long as the spell is active, but that's not how I interpret it.

Also good suggestions, but the "how to deal with spell manifestations" discussion while worthwhile isn't really where I want to focus on with this thread. I want to nail down the action economy of the applications and how other things interact with the throw punch application of the feat.

Not that I don't appreciate the input, just want to keep things focused. :)

Azothath wrote:
... thus the action is part of the standard action of maintaining concentration thus it is a standard action or longer (if the action takes longer).

I agree with this conclusion, I'm hoping for someone to be able to point to something conclusive that that is the case though as it seems open to interpretation to me. An example that comes to mind of concentration allowing for the manipulation, I can think of, is manipulating a illusion spell that requires concentration. But it's not a perfect analog.

Azothath wrote:

I'm not certain that maintaining concentration will allow you to move beyond the spellcasting manifestations, I think it will vary with the GM as the clear intent of the effect was to prevent spellcasters from running amuck (In this case we have official designer comments to that effect).

That's fair. I would expect to meet to clear such things with my GM. Table variation is likely. A surefire way to avoid that part would be something like the conceal spell feat. But that's a further 2 feats and rolls. So if I can I'll avoid that.

Three of the listed applications are explicitly combat only actions though; a combat maneuver, aid another, and a melee attack.

I can see an argument being made for each requiring a move action per the spell's "As a move action, you can propel the object as far as 15 feet in any direction" but as the specific feat's text is listing uses for the spell and doesn't refer to that text as being a part of the 'doing' for those applications I don't think that makes sense.

Azothath wrote:
casting Mage Hand will involve Spellcasting Manifrustrations which everyone in the area can notice.

I mean yes, I know that, but that has nothing to do with the questions I asked...

Since you brought it up though, there are ways around that. Cast it, in a private area, then move to the person you want to use slight of hand on while concentrating on the spell, take one of the feats or abilities that allows for hiding casting, have some distraction that diverts attention etc. etc. That is all assuming you don't have a GM that doesn't make spells manifestations a problem.

Also it's still super handy for long range trap or lock disabling so there's that. (Sift is a great compliment)

But as I said this is off topic. Thanks for replying though.

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Hello all, so I've been planning out a character who uses this feat for ranged thieving and hits with it for giggles. I'm trying to understand how the action economy of using the spell with these applications should be handled. Here's the relevant text:

Magic Trick: Mage Hang Excerpt wrote:

Dirty Magic Trick (base attack bonus +1, Improved Dirty Trick): You can manipulate a target’s clothing or a nearby object to attempt a dirty trick combat maneuver against a single opponent in the spell’s range, using your combat maneuver bonus for the check.


Ranged Aid (base attack bonus +1): You’ve learned to use your mage hand to tug at an opponent’s hair, clothing, and equipment. You can use the aid another action at range, attempting a ranged touch attack instead of a melee attack.


Subtle Hand (Deft Hands, Disable Device 6 ranks, Sleight of Hand 6 ranks): You can attempt Disable Device and Sleight of Hand checks within range of your mage hand. Working at a distance increases the normal skill check DC by 5, and you cannot take 10 on this check.

Throw Punch (Improved Unarmed Strike): You can use mage hand to strike an opponent within the spell’s range. This is a melee attack that always deals 1d3 points of force damage. The mage hand has an attack bonus equal to your caster level plus your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier, whichever is highest. Spell resistance applies against this ability

Each of these applications would presumably require a standard action or more to accomplish but casting the spell requires that action, and on subsequent rounds concentration requires your standard. So if one were to assume you have to make the action separate from concentration on or casting the spell, all of these would be useless. Thinking about it I have determined that I would say the use is combined with the concentration or casting, but I want to hear what everyone else thinks.

A second question that is more contentions, when we use the throw punch application can the caster apply things like sneak attack, Can you "full attack" with it? Can you threaten with it? Can you apply other bonuses to damage or to hit that would normally apply to melee attacks?
My opinion on all of these is that sadly no none of those things can apply, it's effectively just casting another 1d3 damage cantrip, nothing more except for the odd bonuses to hit compared to the ranged ones.

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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

Yeah... so sawback sword specifically says sword in the description and seems to suggest its a light or heavy blade weapon. I don't think I'd rule against this in a homebrew game of my own, but I can see the kunai not actually qualifying for this mod.

Still I DO like the flavor of this weapon with the sawback mod added. It would be cool to also have a hollow hilt filled with survival stuff (fishing line, hooks, flint and steel, etc). I go crazy for early game survival and characters with flavorful gear though, so that might be my bias.

As to cost, how would all of you rule this? Is it 2 GP for the kunai, +5 GP for the sawback, then double that for 14 GP on a Cold-Iron version, or would it be 2 GP, doubled to 4 GP for Cold-Iron, then Sawback added for 9 GP?

Like I said I'm not sure it technically works, but I think most GMs would allow it. The kunai is pretty close in form to a dagger, and it's not like it adds game breaking capabilities. Adding the hollow pommel is a cool idea. As far as cost goes I'd expect it to be 9gp following the same rules for a masterwork cold iron weapon.

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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Say, sorry to hijack the thread a bit but does anyone have a link to this "sawback" modification for weapons? I'm trying to figure the cost of adding that to a weapon and I can't find it anywhere. Thanks!

Andostre got it with the first link. It's not a major mechanical improvement, but a great role play one. The Kunai is described as being a development of a shovel, and can be used as a crowbar without risk. Adding the sawback modification (which may not technically be legal as it's not a in either the light or heavy blade weapon groups) just adds to the utility.

As a weapon it's nice because a cold iron one is only 4 gp, it's simple so almost anyone can use it, and can do either blunt or piercing damage and has a range increment. Basically good for most of the same reasons a dagger is. Good to have both.

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Ah it's been a while, but this thread got me. I'm an optimizer at heart, so stats always call to me, but there's a few that are loved for more than raw power. Here are some of my too faves.

Cold iron sawback kunai: Glad to see this is still getting some love here, I'm not sure you can technically make it sawback (depends on how you read the rules) but it's the original do everything utility tool for your level 1 character in a budget.

Cold iron morningstar: Solid damage can be two handed for more, can be finessed as a swashbuckler (big plus) and coverts two damage types while almost everyone is proficient, yes please.

Dueling dagger: All the utility of the dagger, plus more for a little more gold

Sling: Free, adds strength to damage, can't be beat for a level 1 character, and stays relevant for ages as a backup for brawny Martials as a backup

Club: Not as "cool" as a quarterstaff I'll admit, but does almost everything just as well and can be used in 1 hand at need.

Cestus: Undroppable simple blunt weapon with 19-20 crit? Oh and you can do piecing damage

Rapier: Dex to damage at level 1 with the right class. Hard to beat

Lucerne Hammer: Cheap, reach, great damage, two damage types, also just cool, what's not to love.

Now for the more interesting choices.

Elven Thorn Blade: Everything good about the rapier, plus bonus to confirming crits and slashing damage option. Just know you'll never find a one. Also dex to damage via feats is slower

Broken-Back Seax: A bastard sword but better. Same number of feats to use, but you can do piecing damage by default. Requires 15 strength, Very fun "thugbuckler" weapon. Also nice that it's a smaller weapon role play wise, easier to justify getting into places than huge swords/polearms.

Fauchard: crit fishing with reach and a shield. How to maximize DPD with 3/4 BAB and minimul feat investment

Waveblade: Too good to not mention, two damage types, finessible, 18-20 crit, brawlers and monks proficient.

Dwarven Giant sticker: A reach spear with 2d6 p or s, oh and a racial proficiency. Tasty.

Boarding Gaff: A reach double weapon. Two weapon fighting where you don't have to constantly move for full attack. I still haven't done a build for this but it's so so tempting.

There are several others I love, but these are the one I come back to over and over again, honorable mentions include falchion, quarterstaff, gladius, halberd, longbow, and orc horn bow

Kasit, any response 5o the twins proposal?

I just want to second what one of the other posts said. Intimidation builds are easy to break the game with. Defending against intimidate is extremely hard. I've seen campaigns absolutely busted by the thig archetype. By itself intimidate isn't so bad shaken is manageable unless you're a psychic caster, but once you can fear stack (which is pretty easy to do) you can make it not fun. It's not so bad with abilities that allow a traditional saving throw.

Have you seen the feat: magic trick (floating disk)?

This is the closest thing in Pathfinder I've seen you a silver surf board.

I just want to point out that while you have access to the ranger spell list you don't cast ranger spells. I don't think that technically you qualify for the Fey spell versatility feat. That said I think most gms would be ok with it.

Solid VMCs for a fighter are magus (one of if not the best VMC of all), bard (would general VMC, cleric (grab an inquisition as your domain, and don't dump charisma), inquisitor (gives you a scalping bonus to two of the social skills, and you have enough feats from your class to make solo tactics worthwhile), barbarian (great for just adding damage), and rogue in't bad if you are going to be dexed based enough to get decent use out of evasion.

That's it, that's what I got mixed up. Thanks avr.

Hi everyone. I seem to remember a trait that let you qualify for animal Ally without having to take nature soul, but I can't find it. Am I remembering wrong? Or can someone figure out what I might be remembering? Thanks :)

There is a specific cavalier archetype (I can't remember which right now) that let's you get higher level deeds with "mature gunslinger if I remember right l.

Edit: Found it, look at the spellscar drifter. There's at least one example of using amateur gunslinger with higher level feats.

Winter's grasp is a great debuff, especially because the stacking ofbhalf movement speed with entangled. One thing to keep in mind is if you aren't damaged by the spell time spell doesn't take effect. Winter's grasp only does at max 6 damage, so ER10/cold will make you immune to the time spell. This can be an advantage though if your team members are willing to invest a bit in getting that ER. It's a fun trick, but will fall off in usefullness as monsters have er and or fly.

If you want to ride a dragon fly a small character with a shimmering dragonfly familiar with the mauler archetype is quite entertaining. The change from tiny to medium plus the size bonus means it has 18 strength.

Chivalry Inquisition with VMC cleric, cleric or Inquisitor. Doing it with a cleric option means you do have a dead ability as you never get judgement to pass you your mount, but you can be a solid mounted character.

That's true, but that doesn't mean that the FAQ (if it exists) can't apply. You could have multiple qualified classes you just can only advance one of them.

What that is saying is if you had two divine spell casting classes when you became a mystic theurge you have to decide which if the two to advance, same if you had multiple arcane spellcasting classes, you can only advance one of each. It's not saying you can pick a new class to start advancing.

This is one reason I pointed the OP to look at the magus for reference. Questions like this have been asked for the magus and answered. When the phantom blade is ambiguous or confusing it's best to default to think of it as a magus. Which in this case means that you can add as many properties as your level and poop points allow for up to +10 (or level limit)

If you are unsure this is very similar to the magus arcane pool that the phantom blade is based on. I love the phantom blade archetype, but it was a lot of changes to fit into a semi short word count which meant several points were left kinda vague. My suggestion in general bus if you have a question compare it to the blade blade magus and see if that clears things up.

Divine tracker ranger

This is a fight that has been fought many times and has never really been resolved. There are several classes that give you hexes, but don't specifically give you the "hex class feature" (hexcrafter magus, Sylvan trickster rogue, VMC Witch, etc.) There are also may other examples of where writers give class features where they don't specifically call it out as "this class feature"

For example, cantrips, orisons, knacks etc are all their own class feature separate from spell casting technically, but no one ever gets mad when an archetype has wording like "casts spells as blah" but doesn't specifically call out the appropriate 0-level spell feature.

Anyways, expect table variation. If it's a home game talk to your GM and you'll probably be fine. For PFS do some searching for other classes that get hexes and feats like split hex for guidance.

Chill touch is however, so that is an option.

If you're going half orc consider sacred tattoo and fate's favored. An additional +2 to all saves is a nice boost you to your already high saves.

Edit: Nevermind. You want the orc ferocity, sacred tattoo replaces that.

Angel-blooded aaismar is the most OP option you could pick for a race, but the flavor fits pretty well too.

At fifth level you can use shield brace if you want to do a two handed weapon (nodachi is your best non reach polearm option) and maintain high ac. You can also still pick up power attack which is really the only feat needed when going the two handed route.

If you go this route your saves will be astounding and your ac solid so you'll be hard to take down (that's normal for a paladin).

Phantom blade spiritualist (it's really a class of it's own)
Psychic Detective Investigator
Blooded Arcanist, psychic bloodline

9th level: Arcanist
6th level: Skald, Magus
4th level: Bloodrager (specifically the older version of the enlightened bloodrager)

VMC (varient multi classing) you give up your odd numbered feats for specific benefits. Some VMC options are terrible, but VMC Magus is one of the best here's what you get.
Level 3: Arcane pool as magus of char level -2. This is a solid bonus to hit and damage that stacks with enchanted weapons and allows you to add specific enchantments on the fly. It's awesome.

Level 7: Magus arcana. Want a familiar, here you go, want to be able to sneak attack no matter what, there's an arcana for that. Want wands to have decent DCs there's and arcana for that. Want silent spell on the fly, there's and arcana for that. There are a ton of great options.

Level 11 Spellstrike. Want to make that vaptic touch crit, cool, stab them with your keen rapier (you can even have a regular rapier you spent two poop points on to make it Keen for a fight) and now you have a 15-20 range to try to land a crit with the touch spell of your choice. Just want some extra damage, cast chill touch and have fun hitting with an extra d6 for char level rounds.

Level 15: Improved arcana: Same as before but with more powerful options. Now you can get free quicked once per day for instance.

Level 19: Greater arcana. Same as previous, but again with more options.

Things to note, you cat take extra arcana after level 7 if there's more goodness you want. You count as a magus of your level for all arcana.

Of all of the VMC option magus is by far one of the most versitile and and most powerful. It's so good I even recommend it to non caster classes on occasion.

First of all one easy thing to do, pick up a haramaki.

Are you set on half orc? If not elf works really well for an Eldritch scoundrel buffing to key stats, and you get proficiency with elven branched spear with a dip into any martial class. Otherwise half elf for the elven branched spear is a solid choice.

Personally I wouldn't take quicken spell on a six level caster. The 4 level penalty makes is very late game if ever. If you want quicken spell I'd either use a rod (expensive, but worth it) or take VMC magus. VMC Magus is an awesome option for an Eldritch Scoundrel, arcane pool is a solid buff (and stacks with arcane strike) and the magus arcana can be super helpful.

Check out fated champion, twilight speaker, and urban skald. Al keep the most important aspects of spell kenning intact.

Skald isn't a bad choice. The main reasons are the knowledge skills alleviate the skill load and spell kenning is an awesome ability, even more when you don't have anyone else to cast some of those situational spells. If you are looking at skald consider the dates champion archetype. It keeps the most important aspects of spell kenning intact, and the initiative boost can make a big difference. Urban skald with a way to get dex to damage can also be a really solid route.

If you can get past bashing people with a book honestly the living Grimoire is the strongest option I've found. The saves are the important ones, you get prepared casting which allows for more situational spells, and you have a ridiculous number of skill points. Take the conversion domain and you can basically dump charisma to the floor which helps with other things. But the flavor can be hard to swallow.

Edit: Puppetmaster magus is one I've always wanted to try in a solo campaign. The skill list of the magus is a bit lack luster, but you get 4+int skills with an int casting stat which is pretty good. You also get both the magus and the bard spell lists. This may not sound all that great, but that is pretty freaking awesome, plus with spell blending you can steal some wizard spells if you need to. Also in a solo campaign you should be higher in cr than most of your enemies. That make illusions a much better option that they usually would be.

Personal favorites for solo play:

Phantom Blade Spiritualist
Puppetmaster Magus
Archeologist Bard
Psychic Detective Investigator
Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor
Living Grimoire Inquisitor

All of these have decent skills, and some spellcasting. Some are very well augmented by a dip in a martial class for skills/abilities.

Also all of these have at least 2 good saves. Saves are the most dangerous thing for a solo character. A good GM will account for this, but a single blown save or suck spell is realistically the end of a campaign. Look for ways to make saves super solid if possible and discuss this with your gm.

Simple: Morningstar, Longspear, sling, dagger, kunai, club

Martial: Gladius, dueling dagger, tonfa, Luncerne hammer

Exotic: Elven Thorn blade, Broken Back Seax, Fauchard, Dwarven Giant Sticker, Orc Horn bow

Theses aren't always the weapons I use, but they are some of my favorites for various reasons.

avr wrote:

Also if you give out rage powers which use Cha like lesser spirit totem then it uses your Cha for some reason.

I haven't heard this before, can you provide a reference? It makes some rage powers much better and Skald is one of my favorite classes, so being able to use those powers more would be awesome.

Twilight speaker is an awesome Skald archetype and is a super solid choice. Just be sure to go over it with your gm because the wording is a little vague.

There are archetypes that allow for a lawful evil antipaladin so sure, why not?

Just to throw out another example of how applying this rule strictly causes problems. Take a blood arcanist with the psychic bloodline, prepares psychic caster with a spell book. Where would he find the "psychic" type scrolls that he need to put spell in his spell book? If you strictly enforce the rule they don't even exist as there's only arcane and divine.

Where is the reference for swift action spells not provoking? I'm not arguing, I've heard this many times I'd just like to be able to reference why it it so.

Congrats guys, have fun :)

The reason I like the old version is you use the medium spell profession so you start with spells from level 1 and that you have both the bloodrager list, plus the druid list (up to level 4) on your spell list so you can use wands of cure spells and all sorts of awesome fun stuff. The new version neutered the archetype hard

Phantom blade spiritualist, enlightened bloodrager (the older version)

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