Arcane Armor Training for a Kensai


Advice

Grand Lodge

Is the bump in AC for something like a Mithral kikko worth taking Arcane Armor Training and lowering the Swift Action economy of a Kensai?


Not IMO. Kensai already have pretty solid AC in general, especially if the dervish dance build. Plus, can't you already wear darkleaf leather without proficiency and without penalty?


Well you won't be able to cast without suffering the arcane spell failure when you enhance your blade. To qualify for arcane armor training you'd also need armor proficiency, which the kensai loses. You also would lose the ability to cast quickened spell at higher levels and not suffer spell casting failure, if that was a part of your plan.


It's a trap. The magus has too many ways to spend a swift action.


MrSin wrote:
Well you won't be able to cast without suffering the arcane spell failure when you enhance your blade. To qualify for arcane armor training you'd also need armor proficiency, which the kensai loses. You also would lose the ability to cast quickened spell at higher levels and not suffer spell casting failure, if that was a part of your plan.

While I agree on the spell failure and swift action parts, having it be mithral removes the ACP , which is the only penalty from non-proficiency in armor. That said, the Arcane Armor Training would remove the rest of the ASF (what's left after the mithral adjustment), leaving only the swift action to be able to cast in it without penalty. Losing your swift action is still kind of a hefty loss, though, especially when it means no Arcane Strike.

You could always go with an armored kilt on a haramaki or silken ceremonial armor. No ACP (either to skills or your attack bonus), no ASF, and +2 AC that you can enchant as normal for significantly less than bracers of armor would run you with only one less ending AC bonus (none if playing a game that would stop before a +8 pair of bracers). RAW, I see no reason why it wouldn't work, but it does seem a bit silly.


Actually you need light armor proficiency to get arcane armor training. Medium armor proficiency and arcane armor training to get arcane armor mastery. Feat prerequisites, and the kensai gives up armor proficiency. I didn't say anything about armor check penalty.

Byrdology wrote:
It's a trap. The magus has too many ways to spend a swift action.

He has two from class features, and possibly another from spell casting. Kensai gets rid of spell recall, which is one of the two from class features.


MrSin wrote:
Actually you need light armor proficiency to get arcane armor training. Medium armor proficiency and arcane armor training to get arcane armor mastery. Feat prerequisites, and the kensai gives up armor proficiency. I didn't say anything about armor check penalty.

Ah, sorry. I know you didn't say anything about ACP (which is why I brought it up as the only reason not to use armor sans proficiency), but I misread you saying it was a prereq for AAT, which you are obviously correct on, as a general "armor is bad when you're not proficient" thing. My bad.

I think we're still in agreement on it not being worth taking in either case.

Grand Lodge

Well I am taking a level of Dawnflower Dervish so I get the medium armor proficiency. I will also be going Kensai-bladed bonded so even less swift actions at least at lower levels. It's not the most powerful version of a Magus in my opinion ( that would be hexcrafter or straight magus) but it fits the character concept. Basically, she has heard the calling of Sarenrae (literally) since she was a child but has never heard it well enough to hear where it is coming from. But the voice keeps getting louder over the years until she can finally follow it and discovers its her Black Blade (a holy relic of Sarenrae).

However, I agree that going with Arcane Armor Training is probably not the best idea. I just wanted to make sure. Since I have a 12 Charisma and a level of Bard I can just UMD a Wand of Mage Armor at low levels until I get something better. It's PFS so I don't think I can use the kilt but silk robes are fine. Also, Darkleaf leather still has a 5% spell failure.

What I am not too sure on is what 2 bard spells to take at first level as I will only ever be a level one caster for them.


Note that it is possible to get armor with zero armor check penalty, meaning no penalty for being non-proficient with it. I find donning some armor is a good way to survive the low levels as a Kensai when you only get to add 1 or 2 of your int bonus to your AC.

Dark Archive

Mage Armour should do the job better for all Dex based Magi. Could be an option if you want to run your Magus Str based. In that case, I would not built a dervish dancer though ;)


@ trollbill

I'm currently running a similar character in PFS, although not a kensai. If you're looking to wear actual armor, the Darkleaf Cloth +1 studded leather is a VERY reasonable choice (1765 GP, always available). The only drawback is the 5% ASF, but, really, that kind of equates to "Don't roll a 1." For about half of your PFS career, your concentration checks to cast defensively (even with that trait AND combat casting) will pose more of a threat to successful casting.

For the bard spells, I highly recommend Comprehend Languages. There are SO many different languages in PFS, you'll never speak ALL of them. But you can certainly READ them with this spell. I've also found Grease to be a fantastic spell. Even if they don't make their save (DC 12, they'll have decent odds), they are still stuck in the puddle, so it denies 5-ft steps and charges, if they DO move, they are flat footed while doing so (you're welcome, rogues), and there is always a chance that they'll fail their acrobatics check and fall down/be stuck anyway.


You can wand comprehend languages. You get a ton of wands in PFS unless you like to hoard your PP. I suggest feather fall myself, for those times you just can't pull out a wand. Grease is also good for CMD in some rare cases. I'm not keen on the bard spell list myself, but if it can be done out of combat and stressful situations its probably best on a scroll or wand.

If you can reliably UMD mage armor I'd suggest doing that myself. You can wear a silken gown like you were planning, possibly add armor spikes or make it out of griffon mane if you want a slightly better flight, and you can put armor qualities on it and still keep the +4 from mage armor for when you remember to have it on. If not its not missing out on much of a boost.. Wrist sheaths and weapon cords can save on action economy further.


Looking at the cost (in WBL or Feats/etc) of trying to (effectively) slap armor on a Kensai, and most Kensai being Dex builds, I'm having trouble seeing how any way of achieving it doesn't use resources that could be better spent in other ways. The lost opportunity cost is just to high. Count me in the "not worth it" catagory. Then when you toss in how a Magi's defense includes Blur/Displac and Mirror Image, etc... na, few extra AC pts not worth costly armor or feats.

Plus from an RP standpoint, half the fun of playing a Kensai is knowing you've got just some cloth and fast moves between enemy claws and your birthday suit. That'd motivate me to be a fast initiative/alpha strike class too.


@ ShoulderPatch
1765 GP is excessive? I would think that spending a round casting mage armor from a wand is the more excessive opportunity cost...To each their own, I guess.

@ MrSin
Oh yeah, feather fall. Good call. Also, VERY good call on the CMD bit with Grease. I actually used that about a month or so ago to calmly walk through a Black Tentacles spell. That was good stuff.

Dark Archive

Chevalier83 wrote:
Mage Armour should do the job better for all Dex based Magi. Could be an option if you want to run your Magus Str based. In that case, I would not built a dervish dancer though ;)

Mage Armor is not on the Magus spell list. You could probably find a friendly wizard to cast the spell on you, though - especially if you buy a wand.


Sagotel wrote:
Chevalier83 wrote:
Mage Armour should do the job better for all Dex based Magi. Could be an option if you want to run your Magus Str based. In that case, I would not built a dervish dancer though ;)
Mage Armor is not on the Magus spell list. You could probably find a friendly wizard to cast the spell on you, though - especially if you buy a wand.

Get Spell Blending arcana to gain Mage Armor wouldn't be a bad option, although it would probably be better to buy a wand of it.

Grand Lodge

Gherrick wrote:
Sagotel wrote:
Chevalier83 wrote:
Mage Armour should do the job better for all Dex based Magi. Could be an option if you want to run your Magus Str based. In that case, I would not built a dervish dancer though ;)
Mage Armor is not on the Magus spell list. You could probably find a friendly wizard to cast the spell on you, though - especially if you buy a wand.
Get Spell Blending arcana to gain Mage Armor wouldn't be a bad option, although it would probably be better to buy a wand of it.

Well, like I said, I am taking a level of bard so UMD is a class skill. I will also be going blade bonded so I won't get my first Magus Arcana till 7th (although I will likely get 3 at the point). Wand seems a much better choice.

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