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Dotting for interest. I'll have to look through the gameplay thread when I get the chance.

One option that's rarely thought of is spell specialist archanist. It's nice because the stat boost to inteligence is a boost to your primary casting stat. Also it give you mostly prepared casting as well which can be very nice.

Other interesting options include Bloodrager or skald for more martially inclined options, both allowing casting in medium armor without spell failure. Eldritch Scion magus is also a good option for that path.

Another option that may be forgotten is let line witch. It's not the best choice probably, but if you pick hexes that don't require or allow saves, it can be a decent choice. The mix of spells on the witches list are generally not the best at anything (except debuffing) but you do get an interesting mix of options.

While it's not anything official PFS ruled that it's 1x. You can find it somewhere, but even in that ruling they said it's not RAW.

I'd just have 12 int, no more than 14. A single pool point will make your unarmed strike magic for a minute which is longer than most fights, by the time you need more than that you have plenty of points due to simply leveling. Some good magus arcana for a non caster are familiar, disruptive, and prescient attack. At higher levels also bane blade, dispelling strike, hasted assault, ranger trap, and spell breaker.

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Actually the vanilla brawler is one of the better options. I usually use that unless I'm just dipping, the snakebite strike or wild child are decent dips

Vmc Magus is one of the best out there, the arcane pool would be a godsend for a brawler and many magus arcana are very good even if you don't have spells.

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This topic comes up every now and then. It's usually pretty contentious. A similar case is that of the skald and spell kenning. There's lots of arguing both ways, but you won't get a real answer from the devs on it. You'll have to talk with a gm and understand that they are going to decide if it works or not.

^ I agree that this should apply, but I've had people argue against similar "effects" being covered by this FAQ. Hence why I said some confusion and not that it simply didn't work.

Thank you avr for posting the associated FAQ.

avr wrote:

Re pure spellcaster entry; esoteric knight is a class which really isn't about spellcasting. You can force it with prestigious spellcaster^n, but it primarily improves martial abilities otherwise.

Fear immunity actually isn't that big a deal if you take the battle mind psychic esoterica.

I still stand by what I said before. You need slots to power most of the psychic esoterica, and you get the most out of increasing spell casting when you have a 9th level caster. Whether you decide to keep bumping spellcasting more by taking the prestigious spellcaster feat or not a 9th level caster is just better when entering a prestige class. The 6th level caster classes get other class features to balance out their weaker spellcasting. You give those up to take the prestige class, but get less in return. It's just generally a bad idea.

As to not needing fear immunity, it's still nice to have. First level slots might not be as valuable a resource to a normal caster, but to an esoteric knight they become a lot more valuable. Having to burn one each round to cast a spell will use them up quite fast. True you can replenish them with pearls of power, but if you have the fear immunity you don't have to make that expenature, which is especially useful when psychic casters are so easily shut down by intimidate which is almost impossible to avoid without having a complete fear immunity.

The best psychic class for the esoteric knight in my opinion is the archanist with the psychic bloodline. The one downside to using this class though is you have fewer slots to burn on the knight abilities. If you really want to use those a lot the scorceror is the best. Psychic gives you a good number of slots and still is dependent on inteligence. Whichever of these three you pick it's best to stick with a 9th level caster when going into a presitge class.

The best martial for entry is probably either fighter for feats, or paladin for fear immunity. Also of note is the ghost Rider cavalier for fear immunity.

Using your feats for presitgious spell caster is probably the most powerful build, but it leaves you pretty much the same as any other esoteric knight. You will gain all but 1 of the chosen class abilities, so there really isn't much variety there.

It's pretty expensive feat wise, but have you seen the magic trick, mage hand feat? Might be fun for a rogue.

I'm not sure you can combine kinetic blade with spell combat RAW. It call out specific actions with which you can use the blade infusion "You can use this form infusion once as part of an attack action, a charge action, or a full-attack action in order to make melee attacks with your kinetic blade."

I'd allow it cause I don't think it is against the intent, but spell combat is it's own full round action. There is some confusion about whether things that work specifically with a full attack work with spell combat.

True strike doesn't require somatic components...

There is a very very long history of shield being played as we have said and you agree it is the precident. If you don't like that you'll have to get your specific GM to agree with your different interpretation of the rules. If he will agree, cool you're good. Don't bother trying to make the case at any organised events though as you'll cause yourself more trouble than it's worth.

This simply isn't a fight worth fighting. Just use a light shield if you want to cast a spell. It's only 1 ac different and only 1 size dice different in the case of bashing.

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Congrats. Good luck to those hat made it.

I've tried to find another method for building gun based casters other than dipping gunslinger and have found it very very hard. Other options are musketeer or picaroon swashbuckler, or the spells car driver cavalier. Those work well if you want to use Cha for "grit" but still aren't great.

Hexcrafter with hexstrike slumber hex is super nice. Some people will argue that you don't have the hex class feature so can't take hexstrike, but I feel like most are ok with it. With it you can cast a spell, hit and deliver both the spell and slumber. Pick your favorite debuff then hit, it's lights out for most opponents.

3 levels in trench fighter can be nice.

Fingers crossed. Good luck everyone. I don't envy your difficult choice DM. Lots of good submissions.

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Heavy shield says "A heavy steel shield is so heavy that you can’t use your shield hand for anything else." So you can't use that hand for anything else. Darkwood doesn't change that.

The workaround to the enlarged progectile projectile weapon problem is to carry a quiver of larger arrows. You drop them before being enlarged, then pick them back up. They are large, you are large, so no penalties, also they don't shrink back down.

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You are fixating on the weight of the shield which isn't the main difference. The main difference is the method of attachment. A light shield leave the hand free enough to grab your weapon, cast your spell, then shift it back. A heavy shield which gives you the increased ac requires a more restrained method for holding it which means you can't do the same number.

Herbalism is a very swingy ability when it come to power. In a fast paced campaign you get very little out of it as you burn slots to make concoctions even with the free ones. However if you have downtime... Well your gm my put a limit on what you can do. Pumping out Wis mod potions a day for free at max caster level (since you aren't paying there's no reason to not max that out) can get broken very very fast. The best thing to do is talk with your gm and get their opinion on it.

Vital strike is one of the best ways to do a switch hitter. It leads to a kind of silly flavor, but it allows for both decent melee and ranged. You can do it pretty viably with any class that has full bab.

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Use an orc horn bow and the vital strike line of feats.

No, you can only use magus spells with spell combat without broad study,l. Even then it's only usable with spells, not spell like abilities.

Ok thank you, that's what I wanted to know. Not the answer I was hoping for, but that's ok.

GM question: How do you feel about ioun stones and resonant powers?

I'm currently equipping my character while working on his background with Valghaz off thread.

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Ok, I'm still working out a background, hopefully in conjunction with Valghaz. The crunch is done though.

Character Sheet

He's a very tanky dwarf who can talk with people reasonably well and knows a bit about a lot of things. How and why he is the way he is will come in a few days.

Valghaz Ironhammer wrote:
Don’t see why not. What do you have in mind?

I'm still formulating, but if a paired entry is on the table it will color my choices. I was thinking about doing a vindictive bastard/phantom blade, but that's just one of several concepts. I still need to do some backgrounds research, and I'll review your current entry as well.

Grumbaki, would you be interested in doing a paired entry?

Dotting for interest.

In this same vane, how does an aasmiar's size, if there are small, not have mechanical effects? Are you still a medium creature but just look smaller? Or are you small in the mechanical sense with all the effects that entails?

Aaismar with Scion of humanity will allow access to the human fcb which is very often sited as overpowered it's so good. If going a strength build I'd say Angel kin is and excellent choice.

Just a note for someone trying to avoid readied action attacks while casting. The feat conceal spell actually allows a way to avoid triggering readied actions. It's not a great feat and you have to roll to see if it works, but it does make such things possible.

The feat spellsong should probably work the same way as well, though it doesn't explicitly say so.

You don't get a swift action study until level 9. Sneak attack is mostly a way to quickly study a target while still doing something useful.

Riving strike is a better choice than rapid shot. Shoot once to lower saves, cast your spell, hit then with your spellstriked shot. Since you are already committed to taking arcane strike Riving strike is a really good choice for a magus.

VMC magus works quite well on classes without slots. A lot of the magus acrna don't use slots at all and the arcane pool just uses your int mod for pool points. It's really a good choice. Spell strike is a bit of a dead ability, but most of the vmc classes have one or two of those.

As far as class stuff goes, stygian slayer only gives you light armor proficiency, but a single dip in another class can give you heavy armor. That and a strength build will make it easy to max out damage with few feats. If you decide to go Dex based I'd suggest a dip into swashbuckler or one of the swashbuckler based archetypes for other classes for the weapon finess and class skills.

If you can swallow worshiping Nethys you can take underlying principles as a religion trait, in addition to pragmatic activator. Together you'll have UMD as a class skill, based on inteligence, and a +1 trait bonus to it.

Also, I'd say look at the magus VMC rather than the wizard. Arcane pool is great and fits a slayer well, the magus arcana include wand mastery, familiar, precient attack for automatic sneak attacks, and more. Also you aren't limited to the ones you get automatically, you can trade feats for extra arcana which is really nice a lot of times, especially if you pick a fighting style that isn't feat intesive.

Question related, where does the idea that metamagic rods count as +5 weapons come from? I've heard that before specifically related to Merciful rods, but I can't find a reference for it.

Ashen Path is a communal spell. It doesn't have the communal flag, but in the description you can split the duration. If you have a chance to prepare for a fight at all it's a super good combo with any did the fog spells as avr pointed out. Also if you can have someone else casting the fog spell of Ashen Path the it gets even better. It's better than the combo you listed because it doesn't really on any saves. You do need to be close enough to each other to share the benefits of Ashen path though when you cast the spell.

Look at the Smokestick alchemical reagents rules for makinging fog that doesn't go away once your blaster sets to work.

Phantom Blade spiritualist. Beefy, casting without worries from underwater, and covers a lot of the basic divine caster needs.

Personally I feel that arcanist is a great full caster to multiclass. It has the most versatility of the three classes that use the wizard list, but the fewest slots. So as a multiclass you get the most benefit from having something other to do than casting, and you have the most likelhood of having the right spells available to supliment your non spellcasting abilities.

But it's important to realize you are not a full caster and not try to play as one, otherwise you will be disappointed. A multiclass character is about having options. Rarely will you be better at anything than anyone else, but you will usually have something you can do.

Thanks for going through all of that guys. Like MrCharisma said, there was a lot interacting there which was why I wanted an few more opinions.

Edit: On a related note. Since I summon as a standard, if they can't act on the round summoned my monster will only get 1 round to attack it I'm a level 2 cleric correct?

I want to check and make sure that I am correct in thinking this combo works.

CE Herald Caller Cleric level 2
Feats: Summon Evil Monster, Sacred Summons
Domain :Void (Dark Tapistry)

So will all of that I can:
1. Summon a fiendish ghost scorpion using summon monster 1 spontaneously converting a prepared spell if desired
2. I can summon it as a standard action
3. The summoned scorpion acts on the turn I summon it
4. The scorpion has the advanced template
5. It can understand my words and I can direct it.

Hmmm, for that my build would be
M = Eldritch Archer/Hexcrafter Magus
G = Siege Gunner Gunslinger

M1: Arcane Strike, Point Blank Shot
G1M2: Spell Cartridges
G1M4: Precise Shot
G1M5: Rime Spell
G1M6: Intensify Spell
G1M7: Deadly Aim
G1M9: Riving Strike

This isn't some perfect or amazing build, but it's functional. You should be able to shoot effectively for solid damage and debuffs, and you'll be able to deal with misfires quickly. You can't do anything if you get caught in melee though so be careful about that. Take the flight hex via an arcana and you'll be able to stay out of most melle trouble.

You can, but if you dip gunslinger you get quick clear, gunsmithing, and proficiency. That's three feats. Some people feel you can get by with mending for dealing with misfires, gunsmithing can be skipped if you have spell cartridges and use them most of the time, proficiency is pretty easy to get via a race or feat. Still, that's a lot of small advantages to skip on. I also took spire defender archetype with my build so picking up light armor proficiency was nice as well.

The build that I have done was one level of siege gunner gunslinger and the rest Eldritch Archer. I went with spell cartridges, but it's really tough getting all the feats you want into a reasonable time frame.

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Infused spell cartridges is a pretty poor option for a magus as you already have spellstrike. You'd be much better off taking riving strike. You first shot lowers saves, then you follow with your spellstrike shot.

Edit: You still want to have precise shot. Also consider weapon focus and gunslinger. It's nice to know you can keep shooting even if you get swarmed.

As far as delivering kintic blast a conductive weapon is the usual method for doing so. However it comes with the limitation of only being allowed once per round.

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