Is a Combat-Focused Mystic Theurge Possible?


Advice


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Many people consider the mystic theurge a "weak" prestige class, especially where combat is concerned. And, when considering a "typical" cleric 5/wizard 5/mystic theurge 10, they are substantially correct (BAB +10 at 20th character level); even a more "focused" cleric 7/wizard 3/mystic theurge 10 isn't much better (BAB +11).

However, when looking at some of the other possible combinations, things aren't quite as simple. After some analysis, it turns out that a mystic theurge, while not as capable as a full-BAB character (or some of the single discipline multi-/prestige class progressions), can actually be close/comparable to a straight +3/4 BAB class.

Note 1: This analysis doesn't consider using spell-like abilities for early entry into eldritch knight (or mystic theurge itself). Sure, you could possibly go with an aasimar oracle (battle) 4/sorcerer 1/eldritch knight 4/mystic theurge 10/eldritch knight +1 for a BAB of +13, but as you will see below, you don't actually gain that much in the end (although the BAB may be slightly higher at mystic theurge entry).

Note 2: This analysis also doesn't consider the optional rules in Inner Sea Magic for membership in a guild to boost spell progression without actually gaining levels.

Note 3: I only considered combinations that resulted in BAB +12 or higher at 20th character level, which keeps them (with appropriate buffs like heroism) at least close to the BAB +15 of a +3/4 BAB class. Also, only prestige class combinations that actually provide a benefit are considered: For instance, holy vindicator may look like it could help boost BAB of a cleric or oracle before entering mystic theurge, but it just delays entry due to the +5 BAB prerequisite and the hit to spell progression.

Note 4: Because the summoner's class features (eidolon, summon monster spell like ability) are so central to the class, this analysis doesn't cover using summoner as the arcane class. Similarly, this analysis doesn't cover alchemists, since their extracts aren't actually spells.

Note 5: The progressions below are (mostly) focused on gaining the highest spell progressions in both arcane and divine base classes. In some cases, a one level hit to spell progression in one discipline is taken to gain a boost to BAB.

Analysis

To start with, let's recap the entry requirements for the mystic theurge prestige class and the main combat influencing features.

Mystic Theurge entry requirements:
Skills- Knowledge (Arcana) 3, Knowledge (Religion) 3
Spells- Cast 2nd-level Arcane spells and 2nd-level Divine spells

Mystic Theurge class feature progression:
BAB- +1/2 per level
Saves- Good (Will), Poor (Fort, Ref)
Spells- +1 level Arcane and +1 level Divine spell progression per level

The skill requirement is easy to fill, so the primary difficulty is attaining the 2nd-level spells from both arcane and divine sources.

Class progressions for 2nd-level spells:
Bard 4: +3 BAB, +1 Fort, +4 Ref, +4 Will, spontaneous Arcane spells, 6 + Int-mod skills, light armor
Cleric 3: +2 BAB, +3 Fort, +1 Ref, +3 Will, prepared Divine spells, 2 + Int-mod skills, medium armor (no limit on spells)
Inquisitor 4: +3 BAB, +4 Fort, +1 Ref, +4 Will, spontaneous Divine spells, 6 + Int-mod skills, medium armor (no limit on spells)
Magus 4: +3 BAB, +4 Fort, +1 Ref, +4 Will, prepared Arcane spells, 2 + Int-mod skills, light armor
Oracle 4: +3 BAB, +1 Fort, +1 Ref, +4 Will, spontaneous Divine spells, 4 + Int-mod skills, medium armor (no limit on spells)
Paladin 7 (14+ Cha): +7 BAB, +5 Fort, +2 Ref, +5 Will, prepared Divine spells, 2 + Int-mod skills, heavy armor
Ranger 7 (14+ Wis): +7 BAB, +5 Fort, +5 Ref, +2 Will, prepared Divine spells, 6 + Int-mod skills, medium armor (no limit on spells, limit on combat style)

Relevant prestige classes:
Arcane Archer 3/4 (req. +6 BAB): +3/+4 BAB, +2 Fort, +2 Ref, +1 Will, +2/+3 levels Arcane spell progression, 4 + Int-mod skills
Dragon Disciple 4 (req. Knowledge (Arcana) 5): +3 BAB, +2 Fort, +1 Ref, +2 Will, +3 levels Arcane spell progression, 2 + Int-mod skills; doesn't actually boost final BAB, but provides +4 inherent Str and +3 (with Blood of Dragons) Natural Armor

Possible Mystic Theurge entries:
Bard 4/Cleric 3 - BAB +5, +4 Fort, +5 Ref, +7 Will; BAB +10 at 17th character level, +12 at 20th with (Bard or Cleric) +3, +13 at 20th with Holy Vindicator as last 3 levels; cast as Bard 14/Cleric 13 at 17th character level, with Bard 17, Cleric 16, or Cleric 15 at 20th depending on last 3 levels

Bard 4/Inquisitor 4 - BAB +6, +5 Fort, +5 Ref, +8 Will; BAB +11 at 18th character level, +12 at 20th with (Bard or Inquisitor) +2; cast as Bard 14/Inquisitor 14 at 18th character level, with Bard 16 or Inquisitor 16 at 20th depending on last 2 levels

Bard 4/Oracle 4 - BAB +6, +2 Fort, +5 Ref, +8 Will; BAB +11 at 18th character level, +12 at 20th with (Bard or Oracle) +2, +13 at 20th with Eldritch Knight (or Holy Vindicator) as last 2 levels (certain mysteries only); cast as Bard 14/Oracle 14 at 18th character level, with Bard 16, Oracle 16, Bard 15, or Oracle 15 at 20th depending on last 2 levels

Bard 4/Paladin 7 - BAB +10, +6 Fort, +6 Ref, +9 Will; BAB +14 at 20th character level, +15 with Mystic Theurge 8/Paladin +1; cast as Bard 13/Paladin 16 (or Bard 12/Paladin 16) at 20th character level

Bard 4/Ranger 7 - BAB +10, +6 Fort, +9 Ref, +6 Will; BAB +14 at 20th character level, +15 with Mystic Theurge 8/Ranger +1; cast as Bard 13/Ranger 16 (or Bard 12/Ranger 16) at 20th character level

Cleric 3/Magus 4 - BAB +5, +7 Fort, +2 Ref, +7 Will; BAB +10 at 17th character level, +12 at 20th with (Cleric or Magus) +3, +13 at 20th with Eldritch Knight or Holy Vindicator as last 3 levels; cast as Cleric 13/Magus 14 at 17th character level, with Cleric 16, Magus 17, Cleric 15, or Magus 16 at 20th depending on last 3 levels

Inquisitor 4/Magus 4 - BAB +6, +8 Fort, +2 Ref, +8 Will; BAB +11 at 18th character level, +12 at 20th with (Inquisitor or Magus) +2, +13 at 20th with Eldritch Knight as last two levels; cast as Inquisitor 14/Magus 14 at 18th character level, with Inquisitor 16, Magus 16, or magus 15 at 20th depending on last 2 levels

Magus 4/Oracle 4 - BAB +6, +5 Fort, +2 Ref, +8 Will; BAB +11 at 18th character level, +12 at 20th with (Magus or Oracle) +2, +13 at 20th with Eldritch Knight (or Holy Vindicator with Life mystery) as last two levels; cast as Magus 14/Oracle 14 at 18th character level, with Magus 16, Oracle 16, Magus 15, or Oracle 15 at 20th depending on last 2 levels

Magus 4/Paladin 7 - BAB +10, +9 Fort, +3 Ref, +9 Will; BAB +14 at 20th character level, +15 with Mystic Theurge 8/Paladin +1; cast as Magus 13/Paladin 16 (or Magus 12/Paladin 16) at 20th character level

Magus 4/Ranger 7 - BAB +10, +9 Fort, +6 Ref, +6 Will; BAB +14 at 20th character level, +15 with Mystic Theurge 8/Ranger +1; cast as Magus 13/Ranger 16 (or Magus 12/Ranger 16) at 20th character level

(Paladin or Ranger) 7/(Witch or Wizard) 1/Arcane Archer 3 - BAB +10; BAB +14 at 20th character level, +15 with Mystic Theurge 8/([Paladin or Ranger] or Arcane Archer) +1; cast as (Paladin or Ranger) 16/(Witch or Wizard) 12, (Paladin or Ranger) 16/(Witch or Wizard) 11, or (Paladin or Ranger) 15/(Witch or Wizard) 12 at 20th character level

(Paladin or Ranger) 7/(Bard or Sorcerer) 1/Arcane Archer 4 - BAB +11; BAB +15 at 20th character level; cast as (Paladin or Ranger) 15/(Bard or Sorcerer) 12 at 20th character level

Cleric 3/(Bard or Sorcerer) 2/Dragon Disciple 4 - BAB +6; BAB +11 at 19th character level, +12 at 20th with Cleric (or Bard) +1; cast as Cleric 13/(Bard or Sorcerer) 15 at 19th character level, with Cleric 14 (or Bard 16) at 20th

(Inquisitor or Oracle) 4/(Bard or Sorcerer) 1/Dragon Disciple 4 - BAB +6; BAB +11 at 19th character level, +12 at 20th with (Bard or Sorcerer) +1; cast as (Inquisitor or Oracle) 14/(Bard or Sorcerer) 14 at 19th character level, with (Bard or Sorcerer) 15 at 20th

(Paladin or Ranger) 7/(Bard or Sorcerer) 1/Dragon Disciple 4 - BAB +10; BAB +14 at 20th character level; cast as (Paladin or Ranger) 15/(Bard or Sorcerer); cast as (Paladin or Ranger) 15/(Bard or Sorcerer) 12 at 20th character level

Conclusion

Although not a combat powerhouse, mystic theurge can actually "not suck." Certain combinations, such as the ones using paladin or ranger as the divine caster or using eldritch knight or holy vindicator at high levels to boost BAB, are comparable in combat to a 6-spell level casting class (alchemist, bard, inquisitor, summoner) and probably have more/better spells.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I haven't had a chance (or the time) to do an in-depth comparison on the spell lists (to include cleric domains, magus Spell Blending choices, and oracle mystery spells). This is mainly an analysis of BAB and spellcasting progression. If anyone has any comments on, say, the difference between a bard 4/oracle 4/mystic theurge 10/ oracle +2 and an oracle 4/sorcerer 1/dragon disciple 4/mystic theurge 10/sorcerer +1, feel free.

This actually started from looking at a paladin 8/bard 4/mystic theurge 8 and finding out that it was a pretty well-rounded character. A cleric (negative energy) 3/magus 4/mystic theurge 10/magus +3 (with Broad Study) looks promising (good buffs and spontaneous cause wounds spells), too; as does a ranger 7/(witch or wizard) 1/arcane archer 3/mystic theurge 8/arcane archer +1 (barkskin that keeps improving and entangle covers a larger area than web, plus some 2nd-level+ ranger spells boost versatility).


Quote:
After some analysis, it turns out that a mystic theurge, while not as capable as a full-BAB character (or some of the single discipline multi-/prestige class progressions), can actually be close/comparable to a straight +3/4 BAB class.

BAB is the least of your worries. The bigger issue is that you're suffering from a tremendous loss of class features by doing this. The Mystic Theurge class only improves your spellcasting, and other abilities do not improve. Meanwhile, the Mystic Theurge class offers little in the way of class features of its own. For classes like the Wizard this isn't a big deal; you lose some school powers, but the bulk of your abilities are your spellcasting, which mystic theurge grants full progression to. For a class like the Paladin this is catastrophic; his spellcasting is a relatively minor part of the package, but his most powerful abilities like his divine bond or his smite evil won't improve.

20th level play is unforgiving. The kinds of attacks, spells, and special abilities being thrown around are crazy-powerful. Any credible foe at this level can fly or teleport, for instance. You just won't be relevant if you're throwing out piddly 2nd or 3rd level spells in combat, and your lack of class features means your physical attacks are mediocre at best. Even with ideal pre-buffing time you'll never come close to making up the lost power of the class features you never acquired.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

For example, since this what started me down this path:

Straight bard vs. bard 4/paladin 8/mystic theurge 8, compare and contrast. How do 6th-level spells match up against 4th-level spells in two classes? How well do they do in combat against both evil foes and non-evil foes? How well does divine favor (if going sacred servant paladin with the Archon domain) compare to Inspire Courage?

From what I can see, BAB is equal (actually, the bard/paladin has a higher BAB from 5th-14th), the mystic theurge has better saves, the spells are a bit of a wash (straight bard gets higher level ones/better CL, mythic theurge has more total spell slots and picks up some better combat spells), the straight bard is better against non-evil foes, while the mystic theurge is better against evil foes...

And what about the earlier question on straight magus vs. cleric (negative energy) 3/magus 7 (broad study, cast in medium armor)/mystic theurge 10? Sure, the straight magus gets a higher BAB, but does a Quickened divine favor (or a divine power) spell and having more spell slots (including the spontaneous casting of cause wounds spells) close the gap? EDIT: Thanks, Abraham spalding.


Magus 7/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 10.

You can spell combat with both cleric and magus spells (and in medium armor), you have very strong fort and will saves. If you want go evangelist so you have some inspire courage to drop on it as well.

For level progression I would suggest Magus for the first seven then cleric followed by Mystic Theurge. Arcane accuracy will help you land blows and the ability to drop a heal on yourself (at later levels) will definitely be a boost. I would consider the wand wielder arcana as it will extend your play options considerably when it comes to spell combat. A guided weapon wouldn't go amiss either.

Bard 5/cleric 3(evangelist)/Mystic Theurge x

works well too, I did a full on post for both of these somewhere in my past.

Bard 5/Oracle 4 can work too.


My point was that you hadn't analyzed your class features (or rather, the lack thereof) on these builds. These characters have mediocre BAB (neither high nor low) and below-average spellcasting (they sacrifice power for versatility). They are going to be completely dependent on potent class features to keep up with the high BAB classes in melee and the full spellcasters in magic. You have done no analysis on this, and on the surface of things it doesn't look promising tat all. The mystic theurge has no class features to speak of, and because of your heavy multi-classing your other class features are atrophied. The class features of an 8th level Paladin and 4th level Bard simply won't cut it at 20th level play.

Quote:
Straight bard vs. bard 4/paladin 8/mystic theurge 8, compare and contrast.

Presuming 26 charisma

Bard spellcasting (CL 20)
6th level x 6 per day, 5 known
5th level x 6 per day, 5 known
4th level x 7 per day, 6 known
3rd level x 7 per day, 6 known
2nd level x 7 per day, 6 known
1st level x 7 per day, 6 known
0th level x 6 known

Bard/Paladin spellcasting (CL 13 for paladin, CL 12 for bard)
4th level x 3+5 per day, 4 bard known
3rd level x 3+6 per day, 4 bard known
2nd level x 4+7 per day, 5 bard known
1st level x 5+7 per day, 6 bard known
0th level x 6 bard known

They have exactly the same number of spell slots total, but the spell levels favor the single-class bard. The Bard/Paladin does have the option of using both class lists, but the single-class bard has access to 5th and 6th level spells that the multi-class character does not; you could argue this one, but I'd say that's a clear advantage for single-class bard. On top of this, the single-class bard has a significantly higher caster level. The single-class Bard is the clear winner for spellcasting, and I don't see how you could construe it otherwise, even with the advantage of having the versatility of two spell lists.

Quote:
the straight bard is better against non-evil foes, while the mystic theurge is better against evil foes...

Again, presuming a charisma score of 26:

The 8th level Paladin smite evil is worth +8 to hit, damage, and AC against a single foe 3 times per day as a swift action. The 20th bard can use inspire courage performance for 50 rounds per day to give the entire party a +4 to hit, damage, and saves vs charm/fear effects. While the bard/paladin also has a performance, it requires a standard action to activate (so you're doing this instead of using a buffing spell) and it's only worth a +1. The bard also has a toolbox of other performances at his disposal, and with the right feats he can get the benefits of more than one running simultaneously (utterly implausible for the Bard/Paladin due to the standard action required to change performances and his much smaller list of performances).

You do gain a number of useful abilities from 8 levels of Paladin, with the divine grace boost to your saving throws standing out, but the other abilities are held back by your low Paladin class level. Your lay on hands is stuck at 4d6 per use, and your divine bond (if it's a weapon) is worth an effective +2 boost once per day.

I think Magus/Cleric or Magus/Oracle are perhaps the only combo mentioned in this thread that sounds remotely viable. Spell combat actually lets you put that Cleric spell list to use in a way that the regular Cleric cannot. Still, that's a pretty steep trade; you're losing BAB, class features, spell levels, and caster level to get more spell slots and the ability to use the Cleric's spell list with the Magus's spell combat ability. Even if it does work out after it matures, I can only imagine the pain of qualifying for this build if you had to play through the intervening levels.


I've been wanting to play Redmage from 8-bit theatre for a looooooong time and I designed him as magus(Myrmidarch)7/Cleric3/MT10. You get weapon training like a fighter and can wear gloves of dueling, can use your arcane pool to beef up your weapon with a +2 enhancement that stacks or give one of the other options, wear medium armor, cast 7th level cleric and 6th level magus spells, get the MT capstone,.

Maybe the new war priest will have better synergy but I haven't seen it yet.

Look at inquisitions if you don't like what domains offer since you only get the lowest tier ability. Some are pretty sweet.


Oh wow, a Mystic Theurge can almost keep up with the BAB of a Rogue? Sign me up!!


While I do find this interesting (always interested in PrC optimization), dasrak exposes my main worry because of the lack of scaling class features;

For example, magus/anything; while I do admit the presence of clerical spells can help overcome certain weaknesses, you lose a lot by :

1) limiting your arcane pool (less pool, less powerful pool)
2) Limiting your magus arcana

Thus, you remove the advantage that allows a magus to stand beside the fighter; they have scaling abilities that depend on level, and are VERY interesting, and that will stop scaling. Spell combat (and broad study arcana) do allow improved action economy, BUT it's difficult to say if that will compensate for the losses of arcane pool & magus arcana. Especially when you basically need 3-4 rounds of buffage just to hit the enemy, compared to the usual "swift action" arcane pool of the normal magus.

That's the difficulty with gish classes; they depend VERY much on their class abilities. Loosing judgments HURTS for an inquisitor, much more than loosing BAB.

While the analysis is definitly interesting, it needs to take into account that many of the classes analyzed do not rely purely on BAB (as figthers do) or purely on spells (as clerics/wizards CAN do). So I'm reserving judgment. I'd need to see some full builds. might try tonight, at level 13 (my rule is, if a build isnt capable by level 13, it's just not worth it).


The bard 5/Evangelist 3 can work, but it's going to be a buffer primarily and a combatant secondarily. Following it up with some more of either class would be fine, and it might be worthwhile to limit the mystic theurge levels to 8 in order to gain more BAB (doing so would allow you to go to bard 8, maximizing your BAB return and getting you to level 11 equivalent for inspire courage). Doing this would put you to BAB +12, but helping this would be the +3 (feat could make it +4) inspire courage, the good hope, and righteous might with prayer.

If you wanted to do more on the divine side I would recommend Evangelist 6~8(anger subdomain or inquisition) with bard 4. This would give you the inspire courage, and rage which with a guided weapon courageous furious weapon you would really be piling on the morale bonuses and wouldn't have to maximize strength or dexterity nearly as much giving you the weak on physical strong on faith character with zeal as his main weapon.

The rage by the way would just be to see you to the end of the fight -- since you are using a guided weapon. However with a 14 starting strength, rage, and righteous might all bundling onto your strength and a bit of focus on it you could have enough to simply rely on the magic to increase your attack and damage.

A cleric bard has the possibility to use a shield if desired without hurting your casting ability and being able to switch between the two and still raise your inspire courage at lower level.


Roberta Yang wrote:
Oh wow, a Mystic Theurge can almost keep up with the BAB of a Rogue? Sign me up!!

Considering it's a poor BAB class and you are looking at 10 levels in it? That's actually fairly impressive.


I think it can depending on the exact order options are selected at, but it will fall back at times. I would like too such a build. Since SLA's now fill the arcane requirement, it is much more likely.

Contributor

If you really wanted to, you could multiclass Magus 6 / Druid 4 / Mystic Theurge 10. You could use Broad Study to cast Druid spells with spellstrike and spell combat. There are a few neat spells on the Druid spell list that would interact well with this combo; produce flame immediately comes to mind as at 10th level, you could make up to 4 spell strikes with that single spell. The damage isn't great, but hey, its something!

Furthermore, Druid has the benefit of possessing Shaping Focus which would bump up your Wild Shape progression to that of an 8th level Druid.

I don't really see a benefit to doing this combo, mind you, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. As others have mentioned, its Mystic Theurge's poor base attack progression that really kills this idea for the Magus / Bard / Summoner.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There's not much new analysis needed; we've had the mystic theurge to kick around for ten years. The basic lesson of MT analysis is that caster level and high-level slots are persistently better than "versatile" low-level slots with lower caster level. Any MT build is automatically a worse spellcaster than a pure build of the better of its two caster classes. What keeps the MT out of the "never" bin is that full-progression spellcasting is good enough at high levels that you can still have a viable MT character built around a full-progression class.

So, MT-centered paladin, ranger, and inquisitor combinations with 3/4 BAB arcane classes are consistently, persistently inferior to the 3/4 BAB arcane classes alone, which have better spellcasting before you go into the better class features and equal or better BAB.

MT-centered paladin and ranger combinations with full arcane casters could be viable since they're built on the base of a full-progression caster, but they are completely crushed by deliberate Eldritch Knight/Arcane Archer types of builds. There just isn't enough paladin/ranger spell power to justify any significant degree of MT when you could take full-BAB levels that also level your arcane spellcasting. If you're replacing some pure wizard advancement with MT near the top end in a EK build, okay, but it's minor filler.

Any combinations of 3/4 BAB divine class and a full arcane caster winds up with lousy BAB and HP, because that's what arcane and MT classes bring to the table. They can be mighty casters, but they shouldn't use weapons against anything with a CR in the neighborhood of their level.

Full divine caster MT combinations with 3/4 BAB arcane classes can be viable, though they start behind the 3/4 BAB progression. Holy Vindicator can fill in to boost that BAB; that puts you further behind in cleric spellcasting, but cleric spellcasting is good enough the result might come ahead of a 6-level caster anyway. If you want a "fighter/mage/cleric", a magus/cleric/holy vindicator/mystic theurge can scratch that itch and not be a total write-off. But it'll be a pain to build.


In my experience, casting doesn't define most 3/4 BAB classes, class abilities do. To take a couple examples:

Dragonchess Player wrote:


Cleric 3/Magus 4 - BAB +5, +7 Fort, +2 Ref, +7 Will; BAB +10 at 17th character level, +12 at 20th with (Cleric or Magus) +3, +13 at 20th with Eldritch Knight or Holy Vindicator as last 3 levels; cast as Cleric 13/Magus 14 at 17th character level, with Cleric 16, Magus 17, Cleric 15, or Magus 16 at 20th depending on last 3 levels

OK, so with Cleric 3, you're channeling for 2d6 and will never get your 8th level domain power. Not a really big deal.

But Magus 4: You have 2+Int arcane pool points (and how much Int can you get when you have to have enough Wis to cast spells and some of all 3 physical stats?) You only imbue your weapon with a +1 enchant, and have the basic spell recall. If you go up to Magus 7 at 20th level you can cast in medium armor and get Knowledge pool, you'll never gain Improved Spell Recall and never be able to add more than a +2 enchant to your weapon with your arcane pool (of 3+Int.)

You get 5/5/5/4/3/1 Magus spells and 4/4/4/4/3/2/1 Cleric spells, giving you effectively 9/9/9/7/5/2 Magus spells. That's nice, it might be more than the extra 10+Int spells of level 1-3 a 20th level Magus can cast with Improved Spell Recall.

Yes, he can spend a 5th level slot on a quickened Divine Favor, which will give him roughly as much benefit as the 20th level Magus's +5 enhancement bonus from his Arcane Pool, except that the Magus can tailor the extra +3 to whatever enhancement is most effective for that combat. He can spend a standard action to cast Divine Power (won't get 8th level spells for the Quicken) for a +1 advantage over the straight Magus' Arcane Pool's enhancement.

Spell blend Harm spells? How are his saves going to be on those, considering he has at least 4, probably 5 stats he needs to invest in? Indeed, casting defensively is going to be a problem: Even if he goes 18 int/18 Wis, his concentration checks will only be +8 for Magus and +7 Cleric at 8th level: He's only 50% successful spell combatting with first level spells when most Magi are successful 75%+ of the time.

Or...

Quote:
Inquisitor 4/Magus 4 - BAB +6, +8 Fort, +2 Ref, +8 Will; BAB +11 at 18th character level, +12 at 20th with (Inquisitor or Magus) +2, +13 at 20th with Eldritch Knight as last two levels; cast as Inquisitor 14/Magus 14 at 18th character level, with Inquisitor 16, Magus 16, or magus 15 at 20th depending on last 2 levels

Inquisitor 4: You Judge twice a day for a grand total of +1 to your attack, you only get 1 solo tactics teamwork feat. You don't get Bane until 19th level! (Of course, that might be a feature not a bug since you have 3 swift actions before you're fully combat functional.) Going Inquisitor 6/Magus 4/Mystic Theurge 10 gives you a total of 6 rounds of Bane, 2+Int arcane pool points, +1 enhancement from the arcane pool and +2 from Judgment.

Compare that to an Inquisitor 20 who has +4/+4 +4d6 from Greater Judgement 20 rounds a day, +5 Attack from Judgment of Justice, +7 damage from Judgment of Destruction, plus another Judgment (Fast Healing 7, anyone? Or maybe +5 to all saves?) Not to mention the fact that his first attack after he Judges is a save or die.

So, yeah, the Inquisitor/Magus/Mystic Theurge has a BAB 12 + 5 self buffs = +17 and +3 + 2d6 damage at 20th level after spending 3 swift actions. The straight Inquisitor has a BAB 15 + 9 self buffed = 24 + 11 + 4d6 damage after 2 swift actions, and the straight Magus has 15 + 5 = 20 self buffed in 1 swift action with +5 damage. Both of them also have one fewer stat to worry about.

That's not a favorable comparison. Could it be done? Sure. Would it be successful? Depends on the campaign/GM/rest of the party. Would it be fun? See above. Is it comparable to a straight 3/4 BAB combat character? No: It's crippled compared to a straight 3/4 BAB class because class features are too important to most of those classes, spells are secondary.


The point of the magus/cleric/MT is to take magus straight to 6 or 7 to get the ability to use cleric spells with spell combat as well. This may not be an optimal build when compared to a straight class. Not many multiclassed caster is beyond a few select dips to make you a one trick pony. I've never viewed the MT as anything other than a utility/buffing caster. You make yourself MAD with most options. A few have synergy like the empyreal sorcerer cleric which might be a more DC focused caster.

You need to look towards the spell options as most people who like these builds do. Magical knack is usually included to buff the spells of the full casting class. The flavor of tossing a heal on yourself while full attacking and not having to play a paladin. The potential to get greater magic weapon as a 16th level cleric for +4 enhancement that you can increase to +5 keen or any other +1 listed. There's potential to make it work you just need to be careful to not fall into the traps along the way.

Edit: there's also early entrance cheese you can pull off having SLAs with certain races. As early as level 4 instead of level 7. Tieflings get darkness which is on the divine and arcane list as a second level spell. Sorcerer2/cleric1/MT10 is allowed unless you have to choose your SLAas a divine or arcane ability. In which case level 5 to take one to level 3 first.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Removed some posts—please be civil to each other. Not everybody plays the game the same way you do.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Re: Spell-level slots

Just looking at the level of the spell slots and not comparing the spell lists doesn't always tell the entire story. For example, a bard 10 can cast 4th-level spells and a barbarian 2/sorcerer 3/dragon disciple 5 is limited to 3rd-level spells; if both have at least 18 Cha, they have the same total number of spell slots (bard 6 x 1st, 5 x 2nd, 4 x 3rd, 2 x 4th for 17; sorcerer 7 x 1st, 6 x 2nd, 4 x 3rd for 17). Based on the "higher spell slots = better caster" hypothesis, the bard is the "better" spellcaster. However, since the sorcerer/wizard spell list is much stronger than the bard spell list (aside from a few specific spells gained at a lower spell level), that is not necessarily the case, especially if the sorcerer takes Magical Knack (non-PFS) to improve CL to 8.

For the bard/paladin/mystic theurge vs. straight bard, what is given up and what is gained? Out of the combat-useful spells in the bard and paladin spell lists:

Lose
5th- greater dispel magic, greater heroism, shadow evocation, song of discord, summon monster V (Core); deafening song bolt, foe to friend, frozen note, mass cacophonous call, phantasmal web, stunning finale, unwilling shield (APG); ki shout, resonating word, shadowbard (UM)
6th- animate objects, eyebite, greater shout, heroes' feast, irresistible dance, mass charm monster, project image, summon monster VI (Core); deadly finale, euphoric tranquility, fool's forbiddance (APG); dance of a thousand cuts, waves of ecstasy (UM)

Gain
1st- bless, bless weapon, divine favor (Core); challenge evil, veil of positive energy (APG); sun metal (UC)
2nd- resist energy (Core); corruption resistance, fire of entanglement, instant armor, light lance, righteous vigor (APG); arrow of law, vestment of the champion (UM); divine arrow (UC)
3rd- greater magic weapon, magic circle against chaos/evil, prayer (Core); fire of judgement, holy whisper, sanctify armor, wrathful mantle (APG); archon's aura, blade of bright victory (UM); daybreak arrow, deadly juggernaut (UC)
4th- death ward, dispel chaos, dispel evil, holy sword (Core); fire of vengeance, resounding blow (APG)

Plus, gain all the litany spells; these are extremely situational, but can possibly come in handy against specific foes.

In addition, the feat Unsanctioned Knowledge (with a 13+ Int) lets the paladin choose four spells from the cleric/oracle (or inquisitor) spell list to theirs', including spells like hide from undead or magic stone or shield of faith, align weapon or spear of purity or spiritual weapon, invisibility purge or magic vestment, and air walk or blessing of fervor or divine power or holy smite. Finally, paladins (as prepared casters) can make use of pearls of power, which allow a bard/paladin to actually cast more spells than a straight bard; also as prepared casters, the paladin can tailor their limited spell slots for their opponents, if they know what they will be facing.

Heroism (long-term) + divine favor > greater heroism
Resist energy >> nothing
Greater magic weapon >>>> nothing
vestment of the champion/sanctify armor (or magic vestment with Unsanctioned Knowledge) >> (or >>>>) nothing

This doesn't even consider the bard/paladin against evil foes/undead, where they have many more options.


What confuses me is why Combat-Focused means higher BAB?

Someone can qualify for MT with racial SLAs (I think Asimar?)

They go 3Wis/1Clr/10MT/6Wis. 19th lvl Wizard casting + plus 11 levels of Cleric casting should be plenty "combat-focused"


Usually the term 'combat focused' actually means 'martially focused' on these forums.

It's like when people confuse martial with melee. Similar terms and all that.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
If you really wanted to, you could multiclass Magus 6 / Druid 4 / Mystic Theurge 10. You could use Broad Study to cast Druid spells with spellstrike and spell combat. There are a few neat spells on the Druid spell list that would interact well with this combo; produce flame immediately comes to mind as at 10th level, you could make up to 4 spell strikes with that single spell. The damage isn't great, but hey, its something!

That's a no-go. Produce Flame isn't a touch spell, therefore it isn't compatible with Spellstrike even if you did use Broad Study.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Because, for some people, if the character only has BAB +10 or +11 over 20 levels, then they "may as well have been a witch, if all I do is hang in the back and cast spells."

"Combat-focused," in this context, can be taken as "able to act as a combatant (with some self-buffing)." As a guideline, a BAB +15 over 20 levels is generally adequate for a secondary/limited duration primary combatant in many cases. This is, in fact, highlighted with the "COD-zilla" play style (a self-buffing cleric, oracle, or druid who acts as a combatant), although a mystic theurge is not going to match the sheer depth of a 9-level spellcasting class; in some cases, such as the magus 7/"bad touch" cleric 3/mystic theurge 10, they aren't necessarily that far off (with heroism from Spell Blending and divine favor/divine power to boost attack rolls, greater magic weapon to improve their weapon in addition to the Arcane Pool, plus the number of touch spells that cleric adds, like slay living and harm, for Spellstrike use with Broad Study gives the character more "staying power" as a magus).


Quote:
Just looking at the level of the spell slots and not comparing the spell lists doesn't always tell the entire story.

As I said previously, you can argue whether 1st-4th level Paladin spellcasting is equitable to 5th-6th level Bard spellcasting (in addition to more spells known at lower levels). It's certainly a tradeoff, and having two spell lists at your finger-tips is a big bonus. However, I don't think it's worth the loss of the higher-level bard spells, but it's close enough that it's comparable and I wouldn't argue against it if you prefer the other.

Looking at the big picture, though, I think you're grasping at straws at this point. You've lost a tremendous amount of caster level and class features to pursue this path, and all to make a trade of higher-level bard spells for access to the Paladin spell list (or, flipping it around, trading access to higher level Paladin class powers for access to the lower-level bard spells). Access to these spell lists is nice, no argument here, but it's not anywhere nearly good enough to justify the massive costs incurred to get it.

Your Barbarian/Sorcerer/RDD example is different for a number of reasons. First of all, we're talking 10th level play rather than 20th play. There is a lot more leeway for unfavorable multi-classing there. Second, you're only 4 caster levels behind in that case, so the magical knack trait eats up most of the loss. In your 20th level Paladin/Bard build, you're 4 caster levels behind as a Paladin and 8 caster levels behind as a Bard; magical knack can't solve this problem. Third, Red Dragon Disciple offers a lot of useful class features (not to mention progression for your Sorcerer bloodline powers!) that help this character. Finally, the comparison of a multi-class sorcerer to a single-class bard is not an apt analogy for a comparison of a multi-class bard to a single-class bard.

Quote:
They go 3Wis/1Clr/10MT/6Wis. 19th lvl Wizard casting + plus 11 levels of Cleric casting should be plenty "combat-focused"

That's a pretty wicked way of doing mystic theurge with the SLA ruling. Some MAD issues and a small pain at the 4th and 5th character level for an excellent payoff beyond that point.


Dragonchess Player wrote:

Re: Spell-level slots

Just looking at the level of the spell slots and not comparing the spell lists doesn't always tell the entire story.

Of course not. The other half of the difficulty is the significant caster level sacrifice trouble. Buffing, party- or self-, doesn't work well when your caster levels are trailing CR by seven levels. Per-caster-level effects are seriously weakened and resistance to dispel is lousy. You can't CoDzilla with a bard/paladin/MT because your caster level isn't up to it.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

<sigh>

Of course you can't COD-zilla with a bard/paladin to the extent of a single-classed 9-spell level caster. That isn't what this thread is about. However, you are, as I pointed out, able to buff yourself in ways a bard can't.

The COD-zilla comment used the cleric/magus as the example, which can actually come close; in some aspects, it can improve on both classes (as noted above).

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Mystic theurge...heh the biggest issue of the class is you are playing catch up all the time. It's only good at very high level of plays which most of the time never happens. The only adventure path currently I would even bother playing a mystic theurge would be Wrath of the Righteous because you actually get to level 20 + Mythic power which will help a lot of the mystic theurge weaknesses.

Mystic Theurge is frankly optimization proof with pathfinder only material.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Is a Combat-Focused Mystic Theurge Possible? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.