Kensai with a Katana or Bastard Sword


Rules Questions

Silver Crusade

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A kensai is proficient in simple weapons and in a single martial or exotic melee weapon of his choice.

So if a Kensai Magus chooses a Katana or a Bastard Sword...
1.) they are allowed to choose either the martial proficiency or the exotic proficiency. And then...
2.) they are FORCED to use that weapon as either as a one handed weapon or a two handed weapon, based on their choice of proficiency.

Correct?
Becaue Kensai Magus are not proficient with martial weapons.


Considering that Magus need a free hand to cast, I would assume they always take it as an exotic weapon, to use one handed. Also, remember that any one handed weapon, (but not light) that a character is proficient with can be used in two hands without penalty.


If you get the exotic WP, I'm pretty certain you get everything "below" it in precedence. Take the Dueling Sword, for example. If you have just the martial proficiency, you can use it normally - but if you get the exotic proficiency, you then get added benefits.

It doesn't preclude you from using the martial WP if a Magus were to jump straight to the Exotic WP.

Quote:


Sword, Dueling
These swords are a bit over 3 feet long, very slightly curved, and sharp only along the outer edge.

Benefit: A dueling sword may be used as a Martial Weapon (in which case it functions as a longsword), but if you have the feat Exotic Weapon Proficiency (dueling sword), you can use the Weapon Finesse feat to apply your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on attack rolls with a dueling sword sized for you, even though it isn't a light weapon. You can also wield a dueling sword in two hands in order to apply 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus to damage.


Scythia's correct - you'd want the Exotic WP regardless. The feat for the weapon implies proficiency in it, one or two handed.

Silver Crusade

I need to know what the kid is going to do when he's NOT in Spell Combat/Spellstriking.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Brad McDowell wrote:
I need to know what the kid is going to do when he's NOT in Spell Combat/Spellstriking.

Brad, you're over thinking. If you take the Katana/Bastard Sword you get the Exotic proficiency which includes the Martial proficiency as well.

So when you're not spellstriking or casting, you can two hand the blade to your heart's content. My non-kensai magus does that.

Silver Crusade

Good good. Thanks. And KC's "top down" approach makes good sense.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

In essense, you're proficient in the weapon. i.e. you can use it one handed. If you weren't, but had martial weapon proficiencies, you'd only be able to use it two handed (think of it as wielding a small greatsword or falchion). Since you *are* proficient in it, you can wield it one handed, but also can wield it in two hands as the default rules for non-light one handed weapons.


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LazarX wrote:
So when you're not spellstriking or casting, you can two hand the blade to your heart's content.

Spellstrike works fine with a weapon wielded two-handed. Only Spell Combat requires it to be used one-handed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Grick wrote:
LazarX wrote:
So when you're not spellstriking or casting, you can two hand the blade to your heart's content.

Spellstrike works fine with a weapon wielded two-handed. Only Spell Combat requires it to be used one-handed.

As long as you've got that third hand to cast, or a vocal only spell, then you're golden.


LazarX wrote:
Grick wrote:
Spellstrike works fine with a weapon wielded two-handed. Only Spell Combat requires it to be used one-handed.
As long as you've got that third hand to cast, or a vocal only spell, then you're golden.

Who said anything about casting? You can use Spellstrike with a held charge.

Or just hold the weapon in one hand while you cast, then re-grip it before you attack.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Especially since removing one hand from the weapon or putting it back is essentially a free action, there is no real issue with using Spellstrike with a two-handed weapon. It would be the same thing as replacing the weapon attack with an Unarmed Strike, which you could even do with the same hand that cast the spell. The Touch attack associated with touch spells is free action anyway. But here is where things get really fun, from the Core Rulebook:

You can touch one friend as a standard action
or up to six friends as a full-round action. Alternatively,
you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with
a natural weapon) while holding a charge. In this case,
you aren’t considered armed and you provoke attacks of
opportunity as normal for the attack. If your unarmed
attack or natural weapon attack normally doesn’t provoke
attacks of opportunity, neither does this attack. If the
attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed
attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the
attack misses, you are still holding the charge.

So spellcasting Monks or characters with Improved Unarmed Strike can substitue an Unarmed Strike for the touch attack normally granted by the spell. With spells that have multiple hits available, like Chill Touch, this can get REALLY nasty. One hit first round, with Flurry of Blows + Spell on the second? Dastardly.

Lantern Lodge

Necro Alert!


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Chill Touch is one of those spells that is under valued. Flurry of Blows dealing an extra 1d6 negative energy AND 1 STR damage per hit, why the wouldn't you want THAT? Its also about the only first level spell other than Produce Flame that has multiple charges available. Shocking Grasp is great at lower level, but once it stops scaling Chill Touch + multiple attacks can deal almost if not just as much damage a round, and deal STR damage.


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Also Frostbite, which is what everybody actually uses over Chill Touch.

Chill Touch is overrated. At lower levels you're really not getting more damage than an equivalent Grasp and have to structure your casting around it just to get equivalent damage. At higher levels you will be wasting charges which guarantees you'll be doing less damage than Grasp.

Lantern Lodge

... guys, this thread is over a year old...

EDIT: Nearly 2 years old...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

... guys, this thread is over a year old...

EDIT: Nearly 2 years old...

If the thread isn't at least 4 years old, it doesn't count.

Lantern Lodge

Really? O.o


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

kestral287, the problem in this scenario with Frostbite is you won't be getting any additional returns on the Fatigue after the first hit, it never goes past it to Exhausted. Shocking grasp just does 5d6 max shock and that's it per spell slot used. If I'm going to be getting in multiple hits in anyway (in this instance Flurry of Blows) it makes far more sense to get 1d6 per hit and the possibility of 1 STR damage per hit with one spell slot used instead of using multiple spell slots for similar damage overall with Grasp. Especially if you plan on using any of the nifty effects monks can stick on a Stunning Fist, like Fatigued at 4th level and Sickened at 8th. Even more so since you can use it in a Flurry of Blows and it still will do normal damage AND Chill Touch on top. The ability to add those conditions already makes using Frostbite a little redundant and unhelpful overall unless you were going to stick to nonlethal Unarmed Strikes to begin with. There aren't any charges wasted as they will ALL be doing the negative energy damage, and by adding the Sickened effect they will be taking -2 on those saves to resist STR damage anyway. Win win.


There's an FAQ that basically rules against more then one use of a touch attack spell like chill touch a round.

You have to trigger it as a standard action, from what I remember.

I'm not gonna hunt it down, it's not worth my time. It may not even exist.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Then you could still pull it off using Spell Combat, A monk has no Offhand with Unarmed Strikes, and an unarmed monk always has hands free. It wouldn't make sense that you couldn't get multiple Chill Touch hits in a round considering it states "You can use this melee touch attack up to one time per level" and the duration is instantaneous. From what I've seen in other FAQs and on this board, you CAN deliver a touch spell with a natural weapon attack (or unarmed strike). This can't be done with your 'free' touch, unless you're a Magus, but after that you can, say, hit someone with a Claw attack or Unarmed Strike and discharge a charge of Chill Touch at the same time.


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FAQ wrote:

Magus, Spellstrike: If I cast a spell that allows multiple touch attacks, can I deliver all of those spell touches through my weapon?

Yes. For example, if you cast chill touch (which allows multiple touch attacks), you could use spellstrike to cast and deliver the spell through your weapon, and in later weapon attacks you could use your weapon to deliver the remaining spell touch attacks (one spell touch attack per weapon attack).

If you have multiple attacks per round with that weapon (such as from having a BAB of +6 or higher), you can use the weapon to deliver multiple spell touch attacks per round, so long as you have uses of that spell touch attack remaining.

For example, if you are an 8th-level magus (BAB +6/+1) and you cast chill touch, you have up to 8 uses of that spell touch attack. If you make two weapon attacks in a round, you can deliver two spell touch attacks per round (one for each successful weapon attack).

posted September 2013 | back to top

The opposite actually.


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Raziel Hethune wrote:
kestral287, the problem in this scenario with Frostbite is you won't be getting any additional returns on the Fatigue after the first hit, it never goes past it to Exhausted. Shocking grasp just does 5d6 max shock and that's it per spell slot used. If I'm going to be getting in multiple hits in anyway (in this instance Flurry of Blows) it makes far more sense to get 1d6 per hit and the possibility of 1 STR damage per hit with one spell slot used instead of using multiple spell slots for similar damage overall with Grasp. Especially if you plan on using any of the nifty effects monks can stick on a Stunning Fist, like Fatigued at 4th level and Sickened at 8th. Even more so since you can use it in a Flurry of Blows and it still will do normal damage AND Chill Touch on top. The ability to add those conditions already makes using Frostbite a little redundant and unhelpful overall unless you were going to stick to nonlethal Unarmed Strikes to begin with. There aren't any charges wasted as they will ALL be doing the negative energy damage, and by adding the Sickened effect they will be taking -2 on those saves to resist STR damage anyway. Win win.

1. The actual Frostbite Magus builds are applying a lot more than that. Shaken, Sickened, Cruel, Entangled, Fatigued. Fairly often they use a whip to target multiple foes easily. Frostbite also does more damage; note that by level four it does more than double the damage of Chill Touch.

2. SOP with Shocking Grasp is Magical Lineage + Intensify Spell. If we're actually talking about a realistic use of the spell, it's 10D6.

3. You cannot combine Flurry of Blows with Spell Combat. Just saying. Also, Monk/Magus is... kind of insanely weak. And... see the above about Frostbite and debuff chains.

4. Let's call it level twelve. Let's be exceedingly generous and assume you're in a gestalt game so you're Magus 12/Monk 12, with Haste up to boot.

Round one: Cast Chill Touch, deliver with free touch Spellstrike, primary attack, Haste attack, iterative attack. Four touches.

Round two: Flurry of Blows, deliver with five attacks. Five touches.

Assuming you landed everything, you've used nine touches and have twelve. Thus far, you're at less damage than a 10D6 Shocking Grasp delivered in the first round.

Round three: primary attack, Haste attack, iterative attack to deliver, re-cast Chill Touch and Spellstrike-deliver. One new touch used.

You've gotten 12D6 out of the first Chill Touch (in theory, assuming you didn't miss-- any miss is a wasted charge after all) and 1D6 out of the second. Shocking Grasp would total to 20D6. Going forward:

Round four: Flurry of Blows, deliver with five attacks. Five touches

Round five: Flurry of Blows, deliver with five attacks. Five touches

Round six: You now have the option of wasting a charge (plus any charges missed) or making unboosted attacks. If the Grasp Magus uses a Spell Combat instead of a Flurry in round five, he's far ahead in damage (23D6 off spells vs. 30D6 off spells). If he used them every round... yeah, it's not even worth tracking.

Note the massive assumptions made here. That you're hitting every time, that nobody crits (crits will favor the Grasp Magus. Hard.) That it's a gestalt game so you could even make this possible because otherwise that combination is insanely weak.

Chill Touch is way behind Grasp. It's also even further behind Frostbite; with the same assumptions, out to Round 5 we're looking at 23D6 off spells vs. 23D6+276 off spells. Think about that for a second. Two hundred seventy-six damage vs. a bunch of chances at -1 Str.

icehawk333 wrote:

There's an FAQ that basically rules against more then one use of a touch attack spell like chill touch a round.

You have to trigger it as a standard action, from what I remember.

I'm not gonna hunt it down, it's not worth my time. It may not even exist.

That's what Spellstrike is for. Alternately, that's what the touch spell delivery rules as they pertain to natural and unarmed attacks are for.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Downside to that is you just used a heck of a lot more spell slots than I did. Also Core Rule Book:
"If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges. If the attack misses, you are still holding the charge."

The monk that I built to do this is a Kasatha with Pummeling Style. Usually anything I hit with this is either suffering from massive damage, dead, or doesn't have enough strength left to do much (or even move) by the end of 2 rounds.


Actually... not.

Frostbite used the same number.

Shocking Grasp used the same number with a footnote in round six that one more could be used.

Please read what you're responding to.

If you built a Monk and not a Magus why are you in this thread talking about what Magi should be doing without conclusively disproving that they have not one but two better options? Or... at least understanding what those options are.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Actually, its a Kata Master/Kensai. Thought it might be fun to make a Sword Saint. Thus, Flurry of Blows and Spellstrike/Spell Combat are available to this character. Flurry of Blows allows the monk to make extra attacks as if he had Two Weapon Fighting with any combination of Unarmed Strikes or monk weapons. Since an unarmed monk has a hand free to cast a spell, an unarmed strike counts as a light weapon, a touch attack can be delivered by unarmed strike, and Spell combat is two weapon fighting with the spell being the off hand weapon (even though a monk has no unarmed offhand) there is no conflict when using Spell Combat as an offhand attack during flurry of blows, as it is essentially an offhand unarmed strike.


Actually... not.

Spell Combat is a full-round action. Flurry of Blows is a full-attack action. They're two inherently separate action types. Spell Combat allows one to make "all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty", but it does not actually say "a full attack action", which is what it would require to use it with Flurry of Blows.

This is even more true of Pummeling Style, which is a separate full round action. You cannot combine two full round actions.

Your GM may have houseruled around this (and the myriad other problems your build poses with a Kasatha using Flurry of Blows), but houserules have no place in the rules forum.


Raziel Hethune wrote:
Actually, its a Kata Master/Kensai. Thought it might be fun to make a Sword Saint. Thus, Flurry of Blows and Spellstrike/Spell Combat are available to this character. Flurry of Blows allows the monk to make extra attacks as if he had Two Weapon Fighting with any combination of Unarmed Strikes or monk weapons. Since an unarmed monk has a hand free to cast a spell, an unarmed strike counts as a light weapon, a touch attack can be delivered by unarmed strike, and Spell combat is two weapon fighting with the spell being the off hand weapon (even though a monk has no unarmed offhand) there is no conflict when using Spell Combat as an offhand attack during flurry of blows, as it is essentially an offhand unarmed strike.

Actually, there is a conflict with the bold part. Spell-combat is a full-round action to perform, while a Flurry of Blows attack is a full-action to perform, so you couldn't do both at the same time, only one or the other.


PRD wrote:
Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action.
PRD wrote:
Spell Combat (Ex): At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.
FAQ wrote:

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.

Edit 9/9/13: This is a revised ruling about how haste interacts with effects that are essentially a full attack, even though the creature isn't specifically using the full attack action (as required by haste). The earlier ruling implied that spell combat did not allow the extra attack from haste (because spell combat was not using the full attack action).

Spell Combat allows you to make all the attacks you normally could with a full attack with a one handed weapon. FoB is a full attack action, not a full round action attack.


Spell Combat and the FAQ listed specify that you make as many weapon attacks as you would /normally/ make. Invoking another ability (Flurry of Blows) is not the norm, so the FAQ does not change any statements made.

A Monk making a full attack action with his single unarmed fist normally makes one attack until 8th, then two, and three at 15th.

A Monk using Flurry of Blows is invoking a specific type of full attack action, not using the normal full attack action that the FAQ calls out.

Pummeling Style is a full round action though. No way you can possibly use it with Spell Combat.


kestral287 wrote:
Pummeling Style is a full round action though. No way you can possibly use it with Spell Combat.

I'm not debating this. You absolutely can't use Pummeling Style with Spell Combat.


Oh I'm aware. But it bears reiterating.

Really, the whole thing comes down to this: what happens when a Monk declares a full attack action with their fists?

Do they Flurry of Blows? No, not unless they declare that instead of the full attack. They get off those 1/2/3 punches and their turn ends. So that's what Spell Combat uses.


But FoB is a full attack. Nothing in Spell Combat specifies a particular type of full attack, just full attack.


You're misunderstanding my point.

Nothing in Spell Combat specifies a full attack at all, first off. What specifies it is the FAQ, which labels it as what you would normally be able to make on a full attack. My point is that Flurry of Blows is not the "normal" full attack for an unarmed strike. Given that, the FAQ actually states that you can't combine Flurry of Blows with Spell Combat.

To defend your position, you need to explain how Flurry of Blows is the normal full attack for unarmed strikes.


It doesn't say "a normal full attack", it says "as you would normally be able to make if you were making a full attack with that weapon".
Normally if I were making a full attack with that weapon it would be a Flurry of Blows.


Which is a specific type of full attack, not the normal one. Hence my point.


FAQ wrote:

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

Yes.

Edit 9/9/13: This is a revised ruling about how haste interacts with effects that are essentially a full attack, even though the creature isn't specifically using the full attack action (as required by haste). The earlier ruling did not allow the extra attack from haste when using spell combat.

PRD wrote:
Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action.

Either FoB is a full attack or it is an effect that modifies a full attack. Both are legally usable with Spell Combat.


NikolaiJuno wrote:
FAQ wrote:

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

Yes.

Edit 9/9/13: This is a revised ruling about how haste interacts with effects that are essentially a full attack, even though the creature isn't specifically using the full attack action (as required by haste). The earlier ruling did not allow the extra attack from haste when using spell combat.

PRD wrote:
Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action.

Either FoB is a full attack or it is an effect that modifies a full attack. Both are legally usable with Spell Combat.

It works for haste, not everything. Flurry of Blows and Spell Combat are essential modified versions of two-weapon fighting. You cannot two-weapon fight twice in the same round.

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