Making an Arcanist


Advice


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I've been told to make an arcanist for our game coming up. (Not commanded, just its the slot that open that we need filling. Someone else took the healer slot.)

So I'm trying to figure out what sort of arcanist to make. My character currently is a Kitsune (-2 str, +2 dex, +2 cha) and +1 to Enchantment spell DCs. Now that makes it sound great as an enchantment based Sorc, but I've tried designing this and it just isn't working out for me. (Crossblooded for Serpentine and Pestilence to be able to use charm person on everything) Its not working cause its too one trick..

But I can't come up with a good bard design, and the power gamer in me says no to int base classes, though I so badly would love to play a kitsune witch with a fox familiar and prehensile hair.

I just can't push myself to the point where it would be effective and fun.

Any suggests for a wild and fun character who can do arcane stuff? (Mostly is for doing a bit of identify and the like)

A few I've thought of is possibly a Magus or the Spell Slinger. Or a beast bonded witch.


If you want to play the witch, play the witch:) You could even go the charming witch route with the right spells and hexes.


As a big sorcerer fan, I say that you should stick to the enchantment idea. You don't need to devote half your spells to your trick, usually about 1 spell per level is enough,sometimes two if there's multiple nice things that level. So for an enchanter, I'd pick charm person/hideous laughter/suggestion/charm monster/dominate person/gaes/?/irresistible dance/dominate monster. With your theme firmly established, you are free to pick up the loose ends for your character's weaknesses. This way when you run into an ooze, you aren't useless but are still primarily an enchanter.

Magus is very easy to screw up because it's trying to do two very different things at once. If you try too hard going one way or the other, you'll be outshined in either. It's a tough ball to juggle and they are late bloomers. I posted a Kensai magus in the monk thread (for comparison) as one of my better attempts to juggle fighting and casting.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
seekerofshadowlight wrote:
If you want to play the witch, play the witch:) You could even go the charming witch route with the right spells and hexes.

I want to, but I don't want to. I just can't figure out the way to do it, and am seriously thinking of doing a human (something my DM is oddly kinda against this time around. Typically he dislikes me playing "the furries")


Don't get too hung up on using all of your race's strengths. When you do cast an enchantment spell there's a little more oomph; cool, but no need to base a build around it.
As far as a sorc, I would not crossblood unless you're going for one trick. The spells known penalty is extra bad for nonhuman.


The thing is you do not need to be super optimized. So you do not get a +2 to your main stat, you still save points on cha. Just because you want to make a charming does not mean ya have to be a cha based caster.


Oh kitsune. That's why your inner powergamer said no Int based.

You're in Serpent's Skull, correct?

Here's what I did in that for a charmer.

Start out as a dirge bard. Yea, dirge bard. Bear with me. Grab Charm Person.

At level 2, take one level of crossblooded Serpentine / (Groveborn or Pestilence). Grab the snake fangs, because if nothing else, it's an extra attack. Grab utility spells that you'll cast without armor on. Expand your cantrip selection a bit.

At level 3, go back into Dirge Bard, and stay there. The 10th level ability is a little weird, but at this point you are a charmer extraordinaire! Able to charm undead, animals, monstrous humanoids, magical beasts, and plants or vermin.

Then tear people apart with your claws and snake fangs. Maybe your fox has serpentine features.

As I mentioned in that other thread, if 3.5 stuff is allowed and you are wanting a Caster, Unsettling Enchantment works wonders for this build. It lets you cast Unwitting Ally on an enemy, and have them take -2 to AC and to hit for a round. A little (ok a lot) cheesy, but it does allow for a pure caster bard who is able to always contribute with a spell.

Or: Just a plain bard, or anyone who keeps Suggestion. Suggestion is *great* for charming people. It's like a constantly heightened spell.

Take the Spellsong feat, and max out Perform(Oratory). You can now charm people while talking to them. They need to beat your Perform(Oratory) roll to figure out that you are casting a spell. Even taking Skill Focus (Perform Oratory) is a good idea in this case. And with Versatile Performance? That skill focus also goes into Diplomacy and Sense Motive :D


Non-human Sorcerer? -20 spells known at level 20 +20 hp/skill points?

Blah.

----

Dexterity and Charisma points to a Archer/Dervish Dancer Bard.

If you go int based you could do something like:

6
14
14
17
10
14

Level 4 you hit 18 in Int. You don't really need 3 14's though so you could drop them to 12's and fiddle around. Those are pretty good stats. I'd keep them if I rolled them. :)


Lightbulb wrote:

Non-human Sorcerer? -20 spells known at level 20 +20 hp/skill points?

Blah.

And that's why that racial trait is stupidly overpowered.

Shadow Lodge

Lightbulb wrote:


Dexterity and Charisma points to a Archer/Dervish Dancer Bard.

If you go int based you could do something like:

6
14
14
17
10
14

Level 4 you hit 18 in Int. You don't really need 3 14's though so you could drop them to 12's and fiddle around. Those are pretty good stats. I'd keep them if I rolled them. :)

6 strength? oh joy, that's 20lb light load, you can carry a mithral chain shirt and your scimitar, assuming your scimitar isn't mithral, that's 16.5 lb, you can't even carry rope. "oh but i'll just get the fighter to carry that for me" ok, lets add in some other equipment you'll want, belt of dex, cloak of resistance, hand band of char, ok we are at 19.5lb, look i'll even be nice and let you have a mithral scimitar because your strength sucks that bad, 17.5 lb. 1 point of strength drain or damage, yes you read that right, 1 point, will put you into a medium load, hell i'm not even tracking the gold you're carrying with that either. Worst thing is that the one item that could really help you carry things (handyhaver sack) weighs 5lb, so that'll put you into a medium load even without the other magic items. As a bard with 6 strength your only ways of not realistically being overloaded are either drop the cloak of resistance and get muleback cords, so you're dropping all your saves to make up for your crappy strength, or throw wads of cash into getting wands of anthaul and either UMDing which have a chance to fail or having some one else in the party use it on you these wands will cost between 750(4 uses a day assuming you want to be covered for 8 hours a day) to 3000 (1 use a day also assuming being covered for 8 hours a day), these will work out to an average of 60 gold per day you have to pay for having a sucky strength score. Even if you could cast ant haul yourself at lower levels this just isn't viable, using multiple spell slots to cover it won't work, the only exception is when you can cast ant haul at about CL 4, you'll only be using one spell slot a day that way and one level one spell slot isn't to bad by then

tl;dr don't do low strength, you have to use mule back cords instead of a cloak of resistance, pay an average of 60 gold or use up multiple spell slots a day a day to not be at a medium load


Yeah I would not advise doing so. I really hate when folks dump stats like that. I find stuff like mule bands and spells like any haul encourage stuff like this. So normally ban em. If you want to dump yourself to an easy kill and near uselessness then you deal with it.

Shadow Lodge

the only situation i wouldn't be bothered by 6-7 strength is a wizard starting at 4th level or higher, sorcerers shouldn't waste a spell known for that

The Exchange

Skerek wrote:
Lightbulb wrote:


Dexterity and Charisma points to a Archer/Dervish Dancer Bard.

If you go int based you could do something like:

6
14
14
17
10
14

Level 4 you hit 18 in Int. You don't really need 3 14's though so you could drop them to 12's and fiddle around. Those are pretty good stats. I'd keep them if I rolled them. :)

6 strength? oh joy, that's 20lb light load, you can carry a mithral chain shirt and your scimitar, assuming your scimitar isn't mithral, that's 16.5 lb, you can't even carry rope. "oh but i'll just get the fighter to carry that for me" ok, lets add in some other equipment you'll want, belt of dex, cloak of resistance, hand band of char, ok we are at 19.5lb, look i'll even be nice and let you have a mithral scimitar because your strength sucks that bad, 17.5 lb. 1 point of strength drain or damage, yes you read that right, 1 point, will put you into a medium load, hell i'm not even tracking the gold you're carrying with that either. Worst thing is that the one item that could really help you carry things (handyhaver sack) weighs 5lb, so that'll put you into a medium load even without the other magic items. As a bard with 6 strength your only ways of not realistically being overloaded are either drop the cloak of resistance and get muleback cords, so you're dropping all your saves to make up for your crappy strength, or throw wads of cash into getting wands of anthaul and either UMDing which have a chance to fail or having some one else in the party use it on you these wands will cost between 750(4 uses a day assuming you want to be covered for 8 hours a day) to 3000 (1 use a day also assuming being covered for 8 hours a day), these will work out to an average of 60 gold per day you have to pay for having a sucky strength score. Even if you could cast ant haul yourself at lower levels this just isn't viable, using multiple spell slots to cover it won't work, the only exception is when you can cast ant haul at about CL 4, you'll only be using one spell slot a day...

Actually, concerning the Ability Score damage/drain, I believe Damage no longer affects carrying capacity.

Ability Score Damage, Penalty, and Drain, page 555 CRB wrote:
Strength:Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and your Combat Maneuver Defense.

As far as I can tel, this would not affect your carrying capacity, although I don't liek a character with such low strength either.

Shadow Lodge

I'd see that as an oversight and personally would rule it that it does in fact affect carrying capacity until some one can show me an errata that shows otherwise

If you want to get into RAW:

PRD wrote:
Ability Damage: Damage to your Dexterity score causes you to take penalties on Dexterity-based skill checks, ranged attack rolls, initiative checks, and Reflex saving throws. The penalty also applies to your Armor Class, your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Tiny or smaller), and to your Combat Maneuver Defense.

weapons using weapon finesse, scimitars with dervish dance and the gunslinger's firearm damage(with gun training) are not affected by dex damage according to that because it never mentioned melee attack rolls or damage rolls


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I never go negative str if I can help it. Its a rather dumb thing to do as an adventuring hobo.


I always thought so myself. What point buy if any do you have to work with?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

25 point buy.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

My character is an animal speaker bard.. I took Unnatural Presence allowing me to intimidate animals/vermin. First animal of choice is canine. Plan on taking snakes at 5th level.

What are some traits that increase the ability to preform?


Perform?


I should perhaps clarify that those are two totally different ideas. +Dex +Cha points to Dervish Dancer/Archer.

6 strength for anyone wearing armour is indeed foolish.

--------
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TOTALLY SEPARATE PARAGRAPH
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An INT based character could have stats like that even though +Dex and +Cha isn't that helpful you could still get 18 Int.

To be honest my Sorcerer has strength 7 and has no problems. I just don't carry that much stuff.


I'd hope you didn't carry much. With 7 str, just clothes, a backpack with some rations, and a bedroll will only leave about 10 pounds of stuff for anything else.

Unless of course your GM houserules a few things away, in which case you shouldn't really be advising 7 str. (Not that you should ever in the first place).

That's a primo Ray of Enfeeblement target right there.


Penalties are even weaker than damage. Though combat maneuvers will be a danger.

Dumping strength can be fine -- however if done you do have to remember to take care of the fact that you do have a low strength. Personally I kind of like mount to help with carrying stuff.


Magus is very easy to screw up because it's trying to do two very different things at once. If you try too hard going one way or the other, you'll be outshined in either. It's a tough ball to juggle and they are late bloomers. I posted a Kensai magus in the monk thread (for comparison) as one of my better attempts to juggle fighting and casting. wrote:

Late bloomer my ----. read feats "EXTRA ARCANA" take "Pool Strike" at level one....... 2d6 touch attack at level one and use shield spell asap and you are aslo hard to hit.
If you do some math and think about proper point allocation and the ability to get higher stats later on you should start with no less than
str 10 dont kick your self in the ---- negative damage sucks
dex 16 check out those max dex stats on armors you want
con 14(ish) with the 25 point thing
int 16 max magus spell level is 6
wis 10ish
chr 13(thats important actually) but thats a whole nother ball of wax

your actually trying to do one thing as a magus
increase your damage every level focused on one strike
use the benchmark spells of 'shield' lvl1 'shocking grasp' lvl1 until level 4


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Perform?

yeah Perform. With Versatile performer, you use perform skill. By level 14 or so you should have 8 skills that fall under this category. After that its all just gravy.

Percussion Handle/Intimidate
Oratory Diplomacy/Sense Motive.
Dance Acrobatics/Fly
Act Bluff/Disguise

That's basically the way I'm taking it.

I'm currently asking my DM if I can trade Whip prof for Razor Scarf, as it is fairly appropriate for a varsisia character.


Right. I thought animal speaker got rid of that, but I guess not.


Frenchfrie, a magus can't take extra arcana until level 3. Unless it doesn't follow all the other such feats, where they require the class ability.


Frenchfrie wrote:
Magus is very easy to screw up because it's trying to do two very different things at once. If you try too hard going one way or the other, you'll be outshined in either. It's a tough ball to juggle and they are late bloomers. I posted a Kensai magus in the monk thread (for comparison) as one of my better attempts to juggle fighting and casting. wrote:

Late bloomer my ----. read feats "EXTRA ARCANA" take "Pool Strike" at level one....... 2d6 touch attack at level one and use shield spell asap and you are aslo hard to hit.
If you do some math and think about proper point allocation and the ability to get higher stats later on you should start with no less than
str 10 dont kick your self in the ---- negative damage sucks
dex 16 check out those max dex stats on armors you want
con 14(ish) with the 25 point thing
int 16 max magus spell level is 6
wis 10ish
chr 13(thats important actually) but thats a whole nother ball of wax

your actually trying to do one thing as a magus
increase your damage every level focused on one strike
use the benchmark spells of 'shield' lvl1 'shocking grasp' lvl1 until level 4

Umm... No. First, you can't take extra arcana feat at level one because you do not have the magus arcana class feature at level 1. Second, Cha is useless for a magus. It is not keyed for any class features, casting, skills, or even any spells since they do not have charm person, planar binding etc. Finally, strength needs to be at a 13 for power attack so you can keep up in damage. Also pool strike is terrible because it is a standard action. While doing ~3d6 looks good at level 3, 4d6 looks bad at level 6 and it only gets worse. You're better off spending it on arcane accuracy to pick between offense and defense (using it to effectively cancel fighting defensively penalty). Also Kensai is the way to go for Dex builds because it puts out better numbers for all the reasons to go Dex (AC, initiative and more SAD).


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Right. I thought animal speaker got rid of that, but I guess not.

Nope, Whole reason I took animal speaker over many others.

Unfortunately, now the guy who was going to make the arcanist, then was going to make healer, is now going to make a wizard again, because bard apparently is enough arcaney..

So I'm being told to drop a spell for Cure Light.

My two spells are Enhance Water and Beguiling Gift. I'm currently keeping enhance water. Would rather have the ability to make at least a bit of water drinkable alcohol whenever I want than get a number of diseases that lurk in the water.

So I'll trade the ability to stop a creature from doing something for a turn, to being able to heal a few hp for the fighter who is likely to run around doing nothing but getting hurt. (Its what the player Always does.)


Get them to chip in for a wand then, not a lot of gold. :)


Flat out state that you will not cast it in combat.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Flat out state that you will not cast it in combat.

I switched a trait, got rich parents instead and just bought the wand. Now I'll flat out state it will cost them if they want a charge from my wand... I am a Gypsy after all.

I'm also going to be a little more forceful with my charm and compusion magics.. Nothing like using Beguiling Gift combined with memory lapse.


I once had a healer tell my fighter that he was going to charge him for every healing he did for him. So, my fighter told the healer he was going to charge him for every hit bad guys did to the fighter instead of the healer. Suddenly, the healing was free...


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well if the healer is using a wand, they should be charging ya.

You do want more wand right? Not healer's fault wand need money.

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