[UM] Walter's Guide to the Magus


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Knighthood wrote:
Ok, that's great to know. That means that on each of my attacks, standard and spellstrike I have a 25% chance of critical threat!

30% (15,16,17,19,19,20 is six rolls out of twenty possible).

Quote:
So what about play through, am I ok with with going with Range attacks of Scorching Ray and up-close with Shocking Grasp? I am considering the Frigid Touch too, but in Walter's guide he was able to bump the dies up for Shocking Grasp... I'm still trying to figure out that

There are ways of increasing your effective caster level for specific spells or schools; higher caster level leads to more damage dice (until you hit the cap)

Quote:
Using the +1 Keen Scimitar, does the magic on the weapon the (+1) and the (Keen) give me a +2 on attack and damage? or Does the (+1) only grant that benefit?

Abilities only do what they say they do. A +1 Keen weapon is only a +1 weapon, the Keen only doubles the crit range.

Quote:

Level 6:

BAB: 4
Dervish Dance adds Dex Mod to Attack and Damage: 3
Arcane Accuracy: 5
The +1 Keen Scimitar grants: 1 or 2?

So is the total: 13 or 14 to attack?

Also, when the actual attack occurs, because it's still part of spell combat, that's minus 2 on the attack roll. so does that make it: 11 or 12 to attack?

13 (11 with spell combat).

Quote:

I'm confused how he has hits at 14:

BAB: 4
Dervish Dance: 4
Arcane Accuracy: 3
Weapon Focus: 1
+1 Keen Scimitar: 1

I count 13, unless I'm missing something. But what I also don't understand is that if he is Spellstriking (which is the only way for him to get two attacks) wouldn't those also be -2 lower?

Can somebody clarify? As I said, I want to make sure I'm understanding mine and Walter's numbers accurately. Thanks.

I think he may actually be off by one. I'm unclear on if his sword is a +1 Keen or just +1 before arcane pool. If the former, then his Arcane Pool can be used to boost it to +3 Keen during the fight; if the later then he has to choose either +3 or +2 Keen.

In any case, don't worry too much about the exact numbers in the guide examples; you'll have different situations in actual game play. You may have ability boosting spells his examples don't for example. And he's not taken into account that Shocking Grasp gives a bonus to hit enemies made of or wearing metal.

Silver Crusade

It looks like it's a +1 scimitar and then at level 6, arcane pool would make it a +2 keen. He would not be able to make it a +3 keen with arcane pool until level 9.

Also, the magus you described in your post cannot power attack, since he does not qualify for the feat with only 11 Str.

His damage would break down as:

BAB: 4
Dex: 4
Weapon enhancement: 1
Weapon Focus: 1
Arcane pool: 1
Arcane Accuracy: 3

That would be +14 to hit on a normal attack or just a spellstrike. If he's using spell combat, that drops to +12. If he spell combats with a touch spell, that goes to +12/+12.

Also, somebody made a very good point to me. Your melee damage is never going to keep up with your spell damage as a shocking grasper. Do things that increase your shocking grasp damage instead of your melee damage. Weapon focus is good because it increases your chance to hit with spellstruck shocking grasps, but things like arcane strike or power attack are probably not worth it. On my human magus that I made, my first level feats are Weapon Finesse and Intensify Spell (shocking grasp). I also have the Magical Lineage (shocking grasp) so i can throw out intensified shocking grasps as level 1 spells.

To the person who was talking about force punch as an alternative to shocking grasp, the biggest difference is it's a 3rd level spell. For a second level spell I can get a 10d6 shocking grasp. Granted, more stuff will be resistant to electricity than force, but electricity resistance is still pretty uncommon.


Why would you bother with Intensified at first level bdj? It's not going to accomplish anything until you can get a caster level of at least six for your shocking grasp.


Thank you ZanThrax and Bigdaddyjug!

Yeah, I don't think I'm going to go the Power Attack route, since my Scimitar isn't the focus of my damage, it's the magic I use with it.

I wonder how I can pickup the Magical Lineage trait. If I can figure that out, then I can pick up Intensify Spell as my feat that I haven't filled out yet! :)

Silver Crusade

ZanThrax wrote:
Why would you bother with Intensified at first level bdj? It's not going to accomplish anything until you can get a caster level of at least six for your shocking grasp.

Because a lot of the other feats I'm taking hav level or BAB requirements.


Fair enough. 3/4 BAB classes can be very finicky to get started thanks to all the BAB +1 prerequisites.

Silver Crusade

ZanThrax wrote:
Fair enough. 3/4 BAB classes can be very finicky to get started thanks to all the BAB +1 prerequisites.

Yeah, I end up taking Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (scimitar), Dervish Dance, and Lunge as well as quite a few metamagic feats. Unfortunately, Weapon Focus gets pushed back to level 5 because of needing Dervish Dance at 3. I considered dipping a level of fighter for an extra feat, but it didn't fit the flavor of the character. Dipping a level of admixture wizard would fit the flavor more and would help me if I ever run into a monster with high electricity resistance (or outright immunity), but this is a PFS character and any dip at all costs me an arcana.


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/magus/magus-arcana/paizo---mag us-arcana/natural-spell-combat-ex

Just stumbled across the natural spell combat Arcana. Wouldn't this be some good in frostbite builds?

A toothy Tiefling could have 3 Natural attacks (Claw, Claw, Bite) from the get go. Picking up this arcana twice at 3rd level you could be casting a spell and slinging three attacks with that provided by frostbite this would make 4.


natural attacks is only 20 crit

magus is awsome in 15-20 vrit


Alex Mack wrote:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/magus/magus-arcana/paizo---mag us-arcana/natural-spell-combat-ex

Just stumbled across the natural spell combat Arcana. Wouldn't this be some good in frostbite builds?

A toothy Tiefling could have 3 Natural attacks (Claw, Claw, Bite) from the get go. Picking up this arcana twice at 3rd level you could be casting a spell and slinging three attacks with that provided by frostbite this would make 4.

I don't get it. Don't a Magus already get full attack of he has natural weapons of he spell combat? I mean, my 6th level hexcrafter use cutlass, and if he has hairs on, I should get, with spell combat frostbite, 1 weapon attack from spellstrike and a full attack with weapon and hairs. Something I missed?

Dark Archive

Blackstorm wrote:
Alex Mack wrote:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/magus/magus-arcana/paizo---mag us-arcana/natural-spell-combat-ex

Just stumbled across the natural spell combat Arcana. Wouldn't this be some good in frostbite builds?

A toothy Tiefling could have 3 Natural attacks (Claw, Claw, Bite) from the get go. Picking up this arcana twice at 3rd level you could be casting a spell and slinging three attacks with that provided by frostbite this would make 4.

I don't get it. Don't a Magus already get full attack of he has natural weapons of he spell combat? I mean, my 6th level hexcrafter use cutlass, and if he has hairs on, I should get, with spell combat frostbite, 1 weapon attack from spellstrike and a full attack with weapon and hairs. Something I missed?

Actually no he can't. A Magus can only use spellcombat with a hand based natural attack (Claws, Slams or Prehensile hair) at this point. This arcana removes the restriction introduced in this FAQ and lets you use any other natural attack you want while still making weapon attacks.

Overall it's a crappy arcana based on the normal issues with mixing natural attacks with weapon attacks BUT if you are a shapechange based Magus it can be beneficial. If you can afford it this would bring the four armed gargoyle back to the top of the list for Monstrous Physique I with 5 attacks a round (6 if you burn two arcana on it).


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


Actually no he can't. A Magus can only use spellcombat with a hand based natural attack (Claws, Slams or Prehensile hair) at this point. This arcana removes the restriction introduced in this FAQ and lets you use any other natural attack you want while still making weapon attacks.

Hmmm. Wait, let's recap. Starting straight, if I'4th level and have prenshile hairs and scimitar, I should be able to spell combat with frostbite, having the free attack from frostbite via spellstrike, and make my full attack routine, with both scimitar and prenshile hair. So I should get, via spell combat:

- 1 spellstrike attack (free one from frostbite casting), at +1 (+3 bab -2 spell combat)

- 1 full attack: 1 scimitar at +1, and 1 prenshile hair attach at -4 (+3 bab, -2 spell combat, -5 for secondary natural attack).

Is this correct?

Or I cannot take the full attack?


The reason why I brought up Natural weapons in the first place is that they provide you with a lot of attacks at a high modifier. Pairing them with melee weapons then sort of sucks...

Dark Archive

Blackstorm wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


Actually no he can't. A Magus can only use spellcombat with a hand based natural attack (Claws, Slams or Prehensile hair) at this point. This arcana removes the restriction introduced in this FAQ and lets you use any other natural attack you want while still making weapon attacks.

Hmmm. Wait, let's recap. Starting straight, if I'4th level and have prenshile hairs and scimitar, I should be able to spell combat with frostbite, having the free attack from frostbite via spellstrike, and make my full attack routine, with both scimitar and prenshile hair. So I should get, via spell combat:

- 1 spellstrike attack (free one from frostbite casting), at +1 (+3 bab -2 spell combat)

- 1 full attack: 1 scimitar at +1, and 1 prenshile hair attach at -4 (+3 bab, -2 spell combat, -5 for secondary natural attack).

Is this correct?

Or I cannot take the full attack?

With those specific weapon choices, yes you can do that.

However if your natural attack was a Gore, Bite, Tailswipe, Wing Buffet, etc. then no you would not be able to use that natural attack EVER while using spell combat.
Spell combat normally only works with hand held weapons or natural attacks that are used by hand (Claws and Slams are on your hand so those work and Prehensile Hair functions as a hand so it works as well, no other natural attack works with spell combat).

This new Arcana will allow you to take ONE other natural attack and allow it to be used with spellcombat, the others are off the list.


So in my claw, claw bite example above I'd only have to take the Arcana once for the bite?


Ok, now I get it. But why you said:

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


Overall it's a crappy arcana based on the normal issues with mixing natural attacks with weapon attacks BUT if you are a shapechange based Magus it can be beneficial. If you can afford it this would bring the four armed gargoyle back to the top of the list for Monstrous Physique I with 5 attacks a round (6 if you burn two arcana on it).

The four armed gargoyle has 4 claws and 1 gore attack, and the claws are specifically pointed as valid for spell combat, so I think that, even without this arcana, it worth. I mean, as 4 armed gargoyle you have 5 natural attacks base. You cannot use gore while spell combat, but you still have 4 claws attacks. And via spell combat you get a 5th attack. Or I'm doing wrong math and it's 3 attack with spell combat (maybe because the "casting hand" shouldn't be used to attack)?

Dark Archive

Blackstorm wrote:

Ok, now I get it. But why you said:

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


Overall it's a crappy arcana based on the normal issues with mixing natural attacks with weapon attacks BUT if you are a shapechange based Magus it can be beneficial. If you can afford it this would bring the four armed gargoyle back to the top of the list for Monstrous Physique I with 5 attacks a round (6 if you burn two arcana on it).
The four armed gargoyle has 4 claws and 1 gore attack, and the claws are specifically pointed as valid for spell combat, so I think that, even without this arcana, it worth. I mean, as 4 armed gargoyle you have 5 natural attacks base. You cannot use gore while spell combat, but you still have 4 claws attacks. And via spell combat you get a 5th attack. Or I'm doing wrong math and it's 3 attack with spell combat (maybe because the "casting hand" shouldn't be used to attack)?

The 4 armed gargoyle has 6 attacks (4 claws, a bite and a gore) and without this arcana has 4 attacks a round total (1 claw is used to cast the spell while the other 3 get to attack and then you get to make an additional attack if the spell you cast was a touch spell).

With this arcana it would let you add the gore or bite into that spellcombat routine maxxing you at 5 attacks (or 6 if you took the arcana twice).

Now the reason I don't like this arcana is two-fold.
First it's a feat tax strictly put in to undo a nerf the devs added. Before that faq update there was no need for this arcana since this is exactly how it used to work. Now they've decided to undo the nerf but are charging players for it instead of just re-addressing that faq update which is bad form to me.

Second, unless you are playing around with the race builder rules to create a natural attack using race then there is absolutely no need for this arcana to exist since there are no allowed races in the game that need it (only races that use gores, tentacles, wings, etc. need this and none of those really exist as player options).


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
The 4 armed gargoyle has 6 attacks (4 claws, a bite and a gore) and without this arcana has 4 attacks a round total (1 claw is used to cast the spell while the other 3 get to attack and then you get to make an additional attack if the spell you cast was a touch spell).

Ok, I missed the bite and did some wrong math, thanks for clarification.

Quote:

Now the reason I don't like this arcana is two-fold.

First it's a feat tax strictly put in to undo a nerf the devs added. Before that faq update there was no need for this arcana since this is exactly how it used to work. Now they've decided to undo the nerf but are charging players for it instead of just re-addressing that faq update which is bad form to me.

Second, unless you are playing around with the race builder rules to create a natural attack using race then there is absolutely no need for this arcana to exist since there are no allowed races in the game that need it (only races that use gores, tentacles, wings, etc. need this and none of those really exist as player options).

I see. For the first point I'm rather agrre with you. If they want to undone it, just update the faq. I still think that the 4 armed gargoyle had an edge, at least until you cannot afford something better, even without the gore and bite.

For the second part, it's a so-so. You can still select a natural attack that you have while in MP form. Yes, I know, it's still a tax, and it's a really bad solution. But it could be useful if you focus heavily on the MP build.

Dark Archive

Blackstorm wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
The 4 armed gargoyle has 6 attacks (4 claws, a bite and a gore) and without this arcana has 4 attacks a round total (1 claw is used to cast the spell while the other 3 get to attack and then you get to make an additional attack if the spell you cast was a touch spell).

Ok, I missed the bite and did some wrong math, thanks for clarification.

Quote:

Now the reason I don't like this arcana is two-fold.

First it's a feat tax strictly put in to undo a nerf the devs added. Before that faq update there was no need for this arcana since this is exactly how it used to work. Now they've decided to undo the nerf but are charging players for it instead of just re-addressing that faq update which is bad form to me.

Second, unless you are playing around with the race builder rules to create a natural attack using race then there is absolutely no need for this arcana to exist since there are no allowed races in the game that need it (only races that use gores, tentacles, wings, etc. need this and none of those really exist as player options).

I see. For the first point I'm rather agrre with you. If they want to undone it, just update the faq. I still think that the 4 armed gargoyle had an edge, at least until you cannot afford something better, even without the gore and bite.

For the second part, it's a so-so. You can still select a natural attack that you have while in MP form. Yes, I know, it's still a tax, and it's a really bad solution. But it could be useful if you focus heavily on the MP build.

The Charda and Four armed Sahuagin mutant are technically superior forms now (you get them earlier and don't require a size change) while the calikang is better for MPII since ALL 6 of it's attacks are slams. The only thing the Gargoyle is bringing at that point is flight which you should already have running at this level anyway.

As for Point two your comment is exactly the root of why I have a problem with it. Requiring the expenditure of a Arcana to fix a corner case issue like the interaction of a class ability with a single spell you can't even take until halfway through your characters level progression seems arbitrary at best. Add to it this all came about right after a post I made for one of my builds makes me take it personally.


What about the poor Tiefling raised by Orcs, or the poor Tengu who doesn't know his swordmanship. They both gain claw, claw bite from level1 and for them this arcana would allow them 1 additional attack during a full attack. While that's no world beater it seems fair enough to me...

Dark Archive

Alex Mack wrote:
What about the poor Tiefling raised by Orcs, or the poor Tengu who doesn't know his swordmanship. They both gain claw, claw bite from level1 and for them this arcana would allow them 1 additional attack during a full attack. While that's no world beater it seems fair enough to me...

And before the nerf there wasn't an issue, they functioned just like every other class/creature in the game with natural attacks. Then they released that faq update and now those are in the same boat as monks, unable to use their natural abilities with their class skills (Like bites + Flurry of Blows) and are stuck in Exception territory.

It really looks like anything that is even remotely like Two Weapon fighting is getting beat down with rules exceptions to keep them from being efficient.


Mathwei, I'm sorry, maybe I'm totally dumb here, but something is blowing my mind:

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


With those specific weapon choices, yes you can do that.
[...]
Spell combat normally only works with hand held weapons or natural attacks that are used by hand (Claws and Slams are on your hand so those work and Prehensile Hair functions as a hand so it works as well, no other natural attack works with spell combat).

Reading the rules and the FAQ, something seems really strange to me. Here's the group of related FAQ

Quote:


1)Magus: When using spell combat, can the weapon in my other hand be an unarmed strike or a natural weapon?

Yes, so long as the weapon is a light or one-handed melee weapon and is associated with that hand. For example, unarmed strikes, claws, and slams are light melee weapons associated with a hand, and therefore are valid for use with spell combat. A tail slap is not associated with a hand, and therefore is not valid for use with spell combat.

2)Magus, Spell Combat: When using spell combat, do I specifically have to use the weapon in my other hand, or can I use a mixture of weapons (such as armor spikes and bites) so long as my casting hand remains free?

You specifically have to use the light or one-handed melee weapon in your other hand.

3)Magus, Spell Combat: Does spell combat count as making a full attack action for the purpose of haste and other effects?

Yes.

4)Magus, Spell Combat: If I use spell combat, how many weapon attacks can I make?

You can make as many weapon attacks as you would normally be able to make if you were making a full attack with that weapon. For example, if you are an 8th-level magus (BAB +6/+1), you could make two weapon attacks when using spell combat.

Now, the FAQ 1 is the FAQ you quoted. OK with that.

But the FAQ 2 seems to imply that you cannot use any other weapon while spell combat than the "weapon in the other hand". And now the things go strange: If I have my scimitar and my Hairs, if I spell combat, this FAQ says I have to use scimitar OR Hairs, but not both.

FAQ 3 say that spell combat "count as" full attack, that's lead to conclusion that spell combat isn't a full attack, even if you count as full attack for the effects related.

FAQ 4 lead again towards the "you can use only one weapon that is in your other hand".

Rules as well, seems to imply that you can make all your weapon attacks, but only with the "weapon in your other hand".

Now, with all that in mind, how can you say that if I spell combat I get my full attack with cimitar PLUS the Hair attack? I've always played that way, but now I'm a bit confused. Can you explain me?
(and sorry if I force you to repeat things you wrote thousand times, I'm actually playing a hexcrafter and I'm still in doubt for some things I don't want to cheat my GM, so in the moment I realize myself that I played a rule in the wrong way, I want to correct myself immediately.)

Dark Archive

The rules ARE very confusing strictly because of the poor wording choices from FAQ1, before that it was very easy to understand.

Now to answer your question is stupid but legal. The rules states your other hand but doesn't specify which other hand it's referring to (since there is no handedness in Pathfinder). Your prehensile hair counts as your other hand for this purpose. So you can attack with the scimitar in your other hand fully and then with your prehensile hair which is ALSO your other hand as well.

Actually if you are a hecatonchieres with 99 other hands each one is a legal other hand and can be used during spellcombat. If you have a tailswipe however that DOESN'T count as an other hand so it can't be used.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

The rules ARE very confusing strictly because of the poor wording choices from FAQ1, before that it was very easy to understand.

Now to answer your question is stupid but legal. The rules states your other hand but doesn't specify which other hand it's referring to (since there is no handedness in Pathfinder). Your prehensile hair counts as your other hand for this purpose. So you can attack with the scimitar in your other hand fully and then with your prehensile hair which is ALSO your other hand as well.

Actually if you are a hecatonchieres with 99 other hands each one is a legal other hand and can be used during spellcombat. If you have a tailswipe however that DOESN'T count as an other hand so it can't be used.

Good God. This is some brain-melting Force Trick, yes? I mean, you can have any number of other hands or hands like, and those are legal for spell combat, but if you don't have a hand-like natural weapon, they suddenly become non legal? That's a FAQ that should never be made. Or at least, a FAQ that should had write a lot better.

But before the FAQ, was that legal? Rules says that you cannot attack with other weapons than the weapon in the other hand.

Dark Archive

Blackstorm wrote:
Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

The rules ARE very confusing strictly because of the poor wording choices from FAQ1, before that it was very easy to understand.

Now to answer your question is stupid but legal. The rules states your other hand but doesn't specify which other hand it's referring to (since there is no handedness in Pathfinder). Your prehensile hair counts as your other hand for this purpose. So you can attack with the scimitar in your other hand fully and then with your prehensile hair which is ALSO your other hand as well.

Actually if you are a hecatonchieres with 99 other hands each one is a legal other hand and can be used during spellcombat. If you have a tailswipe however that DOESN'T count as an other hand so it can't be used.

Good God. This is some brain-melting Force Trick, yes? I mean, you can have any number of other hands or hands like, and those are legal for spell combat, but if you don't have a hand-like natural weapon, they suddenly become non legal? That's a FAQ that should never be made. Or at least, a FAQ that should had write a lot better.

But before the FAQ, was that legal? Rules says that you cannot attack with other weapons than the weapon in the other hand.

Before the faq the only requirement for Spellcombat was a light or one handed melee weapon wielded in the offhand. Nothing else was required and you didn't even need to use that weapon, just wield it.

It fell under the normal rules for a full attack so anything you had that you could legally attack with was open to use during spellcombat.
I'm really seeing it fall under the headache rulings that pop up whenever they try to clarify two weapon fighting. Every time that pops up the dev reactions have been less then stellar and mostly impulsive.


Thank you. I have another question about spell combat: can I declare spell combat, take my full attack and then choose to not cast the spell, obviously with all the penalty and restriction associated to spell combat?


Blackstorm wrote:
Thank you. I have another question about spell combat: can I declare spell combat, take my full attack and then choose to not cast the spell, obviously with all the penalty and restriction associated to spell combat?

Yes, i belive so. Imagine if you kill the baddie, it would be totally out of synch, with the way the rest of the game works, if you would then be forcer to cast shocking grasp and ground it.

Silver Crusade

I don't believe you can declare spell combat and then not cast the spell. If it's a touch spell, you can always hold the charge. If it's not a touch spell you can always find another target. As a bonus, you may not have to make a concentration check now.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
I don't believe you can declare spell combat and then not cast the spell. If it's a touch spell, you can always hold the charge. If it's not a touch spell you can always find another target. As a bonus, you may not have to make a concentration check now.

I am quite sure you can declare a full attack but stop attacking if the bad guy dies or have fire shield up. This must be the same.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So I'm entirely sure why the Arcane Edge arcana is rated so high. It just seems like it adds an extremely marginal damage over time (that most casters would be able to pass the concentration for easily), and costs you an arcane point and a swift action next turn.

Lingering Pain, on the other hand, has been downright amazing for my kensai magus. It was giving a red rating because a spellcaster should always die after a full attack, but that doesn't always seem to be the case. They often have miss chance (blink/displacement), damage reduction or energy resist (Lich, protection from energy), are over 30 feet away (so you can only do a single attack even with Bladed Dash), can otherwise prevent you from doing a full attack (stagger), or just have a lot of hp (dragons; the arcana works on SLAs too!). Completely cutting off a huge portion of their abilities (sometimes virtually all of them), and any serious chance of escape has been ridiculously useful for my group.

Anyone else had any positive or negative experiences with this arcana? Combined with Reflection (which I would think should be green or blue instead of the current rating), my character has become the designated Mage-slayer of the group, and it's been a blast to play so far.


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Abraham spalding wrote:

Magus 7/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 10.

Play it around in your head a bit.

This build would be a bit odd since it doesn't advance Magus Arcana or Domains, but if you are using the Guild rules from Inner Sea Magic and went with Magus 6/Cleric 4 you *could* end up with

6th level Magus spells and 9th level Cleric spells:
Eclectic Training (5 Fame): Guilds often require members to master and train in different subjects. When your Fame score in a guild reaches
5, choose one spellcasting class you have at least 1 level in—you increase
your effective caster level in that class (including the number of spells you know and can cast per day) by +1, to a maximum caster level equal to
your total Hit Dice. Single-classed spellcasters should still pick a class to which this bonus applies, since this bonus is retroactive.

Esoteric Training (35 Fame): The bonus to caster level you gain from Eclectic Training increases to +3 (but is still limited by your total Hit Dice). You may select a second spellcasting class to gain a +1 bonus to effective caster level.

Bare minimum, if you took Esoteric Training and Magical Knack you'd be able to cast level 6 Magus spells as a level 20 caster. At least in pure spell casting power the multi-classing wouldn't cost you anything at all.

And as an aside, since we are talking about Magus'
I posted in another thread about how to build Gandalf as a Magus:

Believe it or not, he works best as a Kensai Magus/Paladin:

At the risk of some thread necro, seeing the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug got me thinking about this again. It's very late here, so I apologize if what I am proposing ends up being illogical of somehow impossible due to rules I've overlooked.

In looking at ways to approximate what we actually see Gandalf DO, which isn't much casting at all, and beating the Balrog in sword fight, I've come up with:

Samsaran w/Mystic Past Life
Level 20 with 10 mythic tiers: Dual path Archmage and Marshal
Half-Celestial template (if resurrection is self-only) and/or Celestial Blessed (Solar if slaying shot is sword-based rather than ranged).
Eclectic/Esoteric training for +3/+1 Caster Levels.

Build wise either Kensai Magus 20; Or
Paladin Warrior of the Holy Light, Oath against Savagery 20; Or
Kensai Magus 6 / Paladin Warrior of the Holy Light, Oath against Savagery 14 which would get him level 3 Magus spells, a few cherry picked Samsaran spells, and a truck load of SLAs that would approximate all the things we actually see him doing on screen. It would make for an extremely powerful and capable character who doesn't throw fireballs or cast particularly big spells left and right, but who's very presence...

*Sorry for all the links, but I figured I'd save you some googling.


I was woundering how the magus gets a +4 with a scimitar at 1st level with weapon finess only works with light weapons and a scimitar is not a light weapon until you obtain Dervish Dance at lvl 3? It would seam to me that a str based magus would be hiting more often and harder at 1st lvl than a dex magus. Or did i miss something?

Silver Crusade

Use a rapier at level 1 and 2 then get your scimitar at 3 when you pick up Dervish Dance.


So, now my magus is lvl 7.

BAB: 5
Dervish Dance: 3
Arcane Accuracy: 5
+1 Scimitar: 1

= 14 for Attack, and 12/12 for Spellstrike

However, I'm constantly asked to roll concentration checks before I spellstrike. Can somebody explain to me what's happening here? I thought if I was casting using spellstrike my attack roll gets to act like the cast. It seems a little weighted against me if I am having to do a concentration check and then roll two attack rolls to see if I can hit with spellstrike.

Thoughts?

Also, I want to make sure I'm calculating my base damage correctly:

STR: +1
DEX: +3
+1 Scimitar: +1

I'm looking at 1d6 + 4, right? Dervish Dance makes the dex mod take the place of the STR mod to the weapon output, correct? Or do they stack?

Also, are there additional modifiers to damage that I might be missing? I am not wearing any gear that enhances either dex or str.

Thanks.


Knighthood wrote:

= 14 for Attack, and 12/12 for Spellstrike

However, I'm constantly asked to roll concentration checks before I spellstrike

The -2 penalty is only for Spell Combat. Spellstrike doesn't reduce your attack bonus.

The concentration checks only apply if you attempt to cast defensively, which removes the attack of opportunity the enemy normally gets if you cast a spell. The concentration check does weight it slightly against you in that you must roll extra rolls in order to succeed, but this is a method to mitigate the Magus' power. It feels well balanced to me, since spending a feat (Combat Casting) allows you to almost ignore concentration checks for a while.

Quote:

STR: +1
DEX: +3
+1 Scimitar: +1

I'm looking at 1d6 + 4, right? Dervish Dance makes the dex mod take the place of the STR mod to the weapon output, correct? Or do they stack?

Also, are there additional modifiers to damage that I might be missing? I am not wearing any gear that enhances either dex or str.

Thanks.

That looks correct. Dervish Dance replace the STR mod to attack and damage with the DEX modifier. Nothing else would be adding to your damage at this point.


make sure you have enough INT and youll be fine rolling concentraton checks

you can also make sure you cast when not threatened but the higher you get the eazyer it gets to make those concentration checks

i did get combat casting and need to roll a 2 to to get my con check (lvl9)


My ability scores are as follows for lvl 7 (also, I have no equipment that has augmented it yet)

STR: 12
DEX: 16
CON: 12
INT: 20
WIS: 12
CHA: 10

Also, my character is a Sylph (so the stats above reflect the race ability adjustments).

My Current list of Feats:

Toughness
Weapon Finesse
Dervish Dance
Airy Step
Intensified Spell (Shocking Grasp)

Special Abilities and Traits:
Breeze-Kissed
Like the Wind
Spell-like Ability: Feather Fall
Darkvision
Spellstrike
Spell Recall
Arcane Accuracy
Magical Lineage (Shocking Grasp)
Dragon Slave Rune/Curse (acts like scorching ray, takes up ring slot)

I have room for one more feat with how we're progressing. Thoughts on what I should get?


Possible Feats:

Combat Casting: if you feel like you need to make better concentration checks

Weapon Specialization: For more attack bonuses

Arcane Strike: For more damage, though it costs a swift action. Basically choose either this or Arcane Accuracy

Piranha Strike: More damage for losing accuracy. Good if your attack bonus is becoming very high, pairs well with arcane accuracy

Craft Wondrous Item: If you have time in your campaign, wondrous items cost half as much

Silver Crusade

Piranha Strike won't work with Dervish Dance. Piranha Strike works only with light weapons, and the scimitar is a one-handed weapon.


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I was thinking of possibly getting Leadership and gaining a cohort. A lvl 5 personal cleric might be nice to have at lvl 7, no? ;)


Knighthood wrote:
I was thinking of possibly getting Leadership and gaining a cohort. A lvl 5 personal cleric might be nice to have at lvl 7, no? ;)

No.

:p

Simply put: it would be nice for sure, but magi are really mad. You should afford at least a cha of 10, to attract a 5 level cohort. If you can afford it you can surely think of it.


It was mentioned earlier, but I don't think anyone noticed or replied. A Falcata in the hands of a Kensai is a devastating weapon. I think it deserves a little more love than it has had so far in this thread.


MrPineapples wrote:
It was mentioned earlier, but I don't think anyone noticed or replied. A Falcata in the hands of a Kensai is a devastating weapon. I think it deserves a little more love than it has had so far in this thread.

Why? your spell damage doesn't benefit from the falcata's multiplier.


scimitar is still the best weapon to go :-)


MrPineapples wrote:
It was mentioned earlier, but I don't think anyone noticed or replied. A Falcata in the hands of a Kensai is a devastating weapon. I think it deserves a little more love than it has had so far in this thread.

As master marshmallow said, a falcata is actually sub optimal for a magus: your spells still crit x2, and the 18-20/x3 range of the falcata not worth the ewp feat just to add, 25% of times, 1d6+str+enanchement bonus. It adds at best 1/3rd of weapon, and weapon only (ie not spell) damage, 1/4th of times. A rough count set it at +1/12 weapon damage. Much better if you take the extra arcana to get bane weapon enanchement.


or anny other feat for that mather!


Bill Lumberg wrote:

Has anyone here looked at the new arcana from Blood of the Moon? They are posted on d20pfsrd.com.

Here is one that I am curious to hear opinions on.

Spell-Scars (Ex)

Benefit: The magus can use special scar-based tattoos called spell-scars on his skin to cast or prepare spells, much like scrolls. He can cast a spell from a spell-scar exactly like casting from a scroll; the ink and scars vanish when the spell is cast. The magus can also prepare spells from his spell-scars without expending them, similar to a wizard using the Spell Mastery feat.

The magus does not need to be able to see his spell-scar to use it. A magus has room on his skin for 18 total spell levels of spell-scars, which he can create using the rules for scribing scrolls (although they do not require the Scribe Scroll feat).

It appears to be a useful option, much like having scrolls readily available but without needing the Scribe Scroll feat. I think I would take this over Arcane Accuracy as a third level arcana. Arcane Accuracy strikes me as an expensive for a one-round bonus.

However, if other have contradictory views, I would love to hear them.

Just wanting to bring this back up... First up I think this is an amazing way to acquire additional spells at low level while playing the Kensai archetype.

While this can become pretty cost heavy...
25gp per lower level 1 spells can be an easy access to True Strike cast or Shield without having to worry about wasting your level 1 spells slots that you're using for Shocking grasps.

So then... my question is... Is casting using the scars compatible with Spell Strike / Spell combat?


MarcFrey wrote:
Bill Lumberg wrote:

Has anyone here looked at the new arcana from Blood of the Moon? They are posted on d20pfsrd.com.

Here is one that I am curious to hear opinions on.

Spell-Scars (Ex)

Benefit: The magus can use special scar-based tattoos called spell-scars on his skin to cast or prepare spells, much like scrolls. He can cast a spell from a spell-scar exactly like casting from a scroll; the ink and scars vanish when the spell is cast. The magus can also prepare spells from his spell-scars without expending them, similar to a wizard using the Spell Mastery feat.

The magus does not need to be able to see his spell-scar to use it. A magus has room on his skin for 18 total spell levels of spell-scars, which he can create using the rules for scribing scrolls (although they do not require the Scribe Scroll feat).

It appears to be a useful option, much like having scrolls readily available but without needing the Scribe Scroll feat. I think I would take this over Arcane Accuracy as a third level arcana. Arcane Accuracy strikes me as an expensive for a one-round bonus.

However, if other have contradictory views, I would love to hear them.

Just wanting to bring this back up... First up I think this is an amazing way to acquire additional spells at low level while playing the Kensai archetype.

While this can become pretty cost heavy...
25gp per lower level 1 spells can be an easy access to True Strike cast or Shield without having to worry about wasting your level 1 spells slots that you're using for Shocking grasps.

So then... my question is... Is casting using the scars compatible with Spell Strike / Spell combat?

No, unless there is an arcana that allows you to cast spells via scroll like the wand arcana does.


its awsome for situational spels im stil trying to get a list of scols i should have!

vur for lvl1 spels i got pearls of power!

i got craft wonderous item and make my own pearls 500g for +1 lvl1 spell/day is awsome


My GM did make clear what he thinks of the "Arcane Mark"-Trick. I'm thinking about "Close Range" as an Arcana on 3rd level, would you say that it is still worthless?
I'm playing as a Kensai, so I am a little bit low on spells per day and would surely like to add all of the touch cantrips to my bag of tricks.

Or is there something nicer out there?

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