Kapenia Dancer / Eldritch Scion


Advice


So, I'll be taking part in a new campaign soon. It'll be a long term, infrequent play (like whole day session once every couple months or so). I'm wanting to try something completely different, as far as characters go. Something where it's Form first, function later - that said, i don't want it to completely NOT function.

I'm thinking of a female spy/concubine/diplomat/assassin - something along the lines of Mata Hari with a weapon. After pouring through various classes/archetypes, I think I've settled on the Kapenia Dancer archetype. The ability to almost always have my favored weapon as basically a concealed weapon that could be work as part of the wardrobe was what brought me to the Archetype.

Then came the issues. The character concept requires CHA. The class requires INT and DEX. This is a huge mechanical problem that would work itself as a huge hindrance as the game progressed, and get in the way of the desired character.

I then noticed that (I believe) the Eldritch Scion archetype is compatible with the Kapenia Dancer. This solves a couple potential problems.

1. The Spellbook - Eldritch Scion ditches the spell book in favor of spontaneous casting. This means one less piece of rather conspicuous equipment required to carry out the day to day activities.
2. The Ability Scores - Eldritch Scion swaps in CHA for all Magus INT abilities. This allows me to reduce the primary abilities to just CHA and DEX. INT can't be dumped, as this will require decent skills as well, but it doesn't have to be pushed as high.

So on to the question(s):
- Are there any significant mechanical pitfalls I may be overlooking in this Class/Archetype/Archetype combination?
- Are there any other ideas that might mechanically back up this particular character concept?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Sounds like a dervish bard to me or arcane duelist bard. Since you want skill and being a spy, bard are excellent at this kind of stuffs.

But anyway, if you still want to do Kapenia dancer/Eldritch Scion, not much to say except choose a bloodrager bloodline that would benefit you the most in your playstyle.


You're not going to have enough arcane pool/mystic focus points to want to take any arcana costing arcane pool points. So, 1/day abilities and/or Disruptive and Spellbreaker. If you get the latter the Arcane bloodline looks more attractive.


Yeah, some of the bloodlines are a bit too 'unnatural', but the destined bloodline seems to fit well. If nothing else, it's survivability might help out a bit.

Regarding the Bard, I had thought of that, and it would be an appropriate multiclass. I'm likely to take Perform (dance) anyway, if not just for flavor alone.

Would seem odd, though, that this woman dancing during combat would somehow 'inspire courage' as opposed to just distract enemies and allies alike.. :-)


I actually looks like the biggest hurt will be spells, and armor class. The Kapenia Dancer gets 1 less spell per day per spell level, which sucks, but I've dealt with that before (The last Magus I played was a Soul Forger, with the same trade-off).

In the Soul Forger, the reduction of spells was mitigated a bit with a bonded item giving 1 spontaneous spell. While the dancer doesn't have this trade-off, the Eldritch Scion making all spells spontaneous might make what spell slots are there more useful.


AC won't be a problem for too long. Applying both of your primary stats to AC means that once Canny Defense gets rolling it gets hilarious. Destined is just icing on that cake.

Your biggest problem will be resource management. It's where the Scion really falls apart: until level 8, you will be spending an Arcane Pool Point every other round of combat just to achieve basic functionality. This is generally why the Scion is considered a poor archetype; it absolutely hemorrhages resources.

Skill points are going to be a glaring concern, and your next-biggest pitfall. In terms of out of combat utility, frankly you're a very pretty Fighter. Hopefully you're Human for 3+Int, but you're going to have to figure out how you want to juggle in- and out- of combat utility: do you want to spend the FCB on pool points, for more combat endurance, or skill points, for out of combat use?


I don't know if this helps but I'm a fan of Student of Philosophy, a skill very useful in letting you perform certain social skills using intelligence in place of Charisma.


Tangaroa wrote:
I don't know if this helps but I'm a fan of Student of Philosophy, a skill very useful in letting you perform certain social skills using intelligence in place of Charisma.

It's an interesting trait, but this concept is more about the Charisma than anything else. I am more interested in making a mechanically useful high Charisma player, that isn't a sorcerer or paladin (both of which would NOT really meet the idea of the character). A bard is the obvious choice, but I never seem to go with the obvious choices...

As mentioned, though, I can fully expect this character to end up with a few levels of bard thrown in at some point.


kestral287 wrote:

AC won't be a problem for too long. Applying both of your primary stats to AC means that once Canny Defense gets rolling it gets hilarious. Destined is just icing on that cake.

Your biggest problem will be resource management. It's where the Scion really falls apart: until level 8, you will be spending an Arcane Pool Point every other round of combat just to achieve basic functionality. This is generally why the Scion is considered a poor archetype; it absolutely hemorrhages resources.
Skill points are going to be a glaring concern, and your next-biggest pitfall. In terms of out of combat utility, frankly you're a very pretty Fighter. Hopefully you're Human for 3+Int, but you're going to have to figure out how you want to juggle in- and out- of combat utility: do you want to spend the FCB on pool points, for more combat endurance, or skill points, for out of combat use?

I'm not sure this is really 'required'. At least for destined, the bloodrage powers are not all that 'required'. 1st level is just the occasional insight bonus, so the focus only has to be active when wishing to do that, and it's a free action to turn on, so when you do want to make a destined strike, swift to enter focus, then free action to activate destined strike, and make your hit. Destined strike is limited to 3/day, so that couldn't possibly eat up all the resources even at 1st level. Spell combat is limited in usefulness by the number of spells available to this particular character (with 1 less slot per spell level).

At 4th level is when the Fated Bloodrager comes into play - where, yes, the AC bonus might be nice to have up throughout combat - but as you also mentioned, it's not like its the only source of an AC boost for this character.

Regarding skill points, this, again, is why i can see a couple levels of bard thrown in the mix at some point. The added boost in skill points, along with versatile performance, might help to mitigate some of the skill deficiencies.


Bard really doesn't seem that helpful. Two levels of it, for Versatile Performance, means slowing down your casting so that you don't get third-level spells until ninth, and your most critical class ability (free Spell Combat) until tenth.

I recognize the form before function mentality, but you also said that you wanted some modicum of functionality and I can't see how Bard will give you that.

For the Scion, you /do not/ want to multiclass before level eight, and probably not at all.


Interesting build, I would probably yank it... Quick question: Canny defense, granted by the kapenia dancer, allows you to use Intelligence as a bonus to AC. Is that also altered by Eldritch Scion?


The problem I see in this is that your concept requires quite a bit of skills (Bluff, Diplomacy, Stealth, Perception to be maxed, while Disable Device, Knowledge (local), Linguistics and the like should be considered) and while the normal magus gets their fair share, the scion does not. You can probably fulfill the concept by just using bard. Dervish Dancer or Arcane Duelist both can have the feel of a graceful magical warrior.

From personal experience, I found Sandman to be a really fun archetype for social maneuvering thanks to the boost they get to bluff, stealth, and sleight of hand. I was a pretty weak combatant, though it didn't matter much when my social skills netted me the support from higher level NPCs or my UMD score consistently letting me cast 7th to 9th level spells at around level 10. Pageant of the Peacock also let me use bluff for int based skills, so basically any time I needed false credentials, scan an enemy for weaknesses, figure out where the hidden servant's passages are in a mansion based on it's architecture or anything like that, I was rolling my absolute highest skill. It's like versatile performance with a huge boost.

Another possibility, if you must be a magus, is looking into the Orator feat, which lets you use linguistics to tell lies in place of bluff, and to sway people's favor and the like instead of diplomacy. Linguistics itself is a very helpful skill, and often overlooked by a lot of people I know. While it's big function is deciphering ancient text, it's also used to make forgeries of anything. I often use it to make fake credentials, a perfect aid when pretending to be someone you're not, add credibility to a lie, to act as a prop to give intimidation a little extra kick (anyone can threaten someone, but if you, say, happen to have the paperwork saying you're a government agent, that thug might just give you the information you need as long as you don't take him in for questioning)


Jeremias wrote:
Interesting build, I would probably yank it... Quick question: Canny defense, granted by the kapenia dancer, allows you to use Intelligence as a bonus to AC. Is that also altered by Eldritch Scion?
Canny Defense (Duelist) wrote:
When wearing light or no armor and not using a shield, a duelist adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per duelist class level as a dodge bonus to her Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If a duelist is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied her Dexterity bonus, she also loses this bonus.
Canny Defense (Kapenia Dancer) wrote:

At 1st level, when a bladed scarf dancer is wielding a bladed scarf, he gains the canny defense ability.

This is identical to the duelist prestige class ability of the same name, save that his magus level (rather than his duelist level) affects his Armor Class.

Archetypes are modifications of a class, therefore Canny Defense is a magus class ability/feature in the context of a Kapenia Dancer.

Eldritch Pool wrote:
any magus's class feature or spell from the magus spell list that normally uses a calculation based on Intelligence is instead based on Charisma for an eldritch scion. For example, an eldritch scion with the arcane accuracy magus arcana grants himself an insight bonus on attacks equal to his Charisma bonus, not his Intelligence bonus. This has no effect on the eldritch scion's skills or skill points.

So, the final, as modified rule text would be:

Quote:
When wearing light or no armor and not using a shield, a duelist kapenia dancer adds 1 point of Intelligence Charisma bonus (if any) per duelist kapenia dancer class level as a dodge bonus to her Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If a duelist kapenia dancer is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied her Dexterity bonus, she also loses this bonus.


The real shame is, what really attracted me in this direction was the bladed scarf, and its ability to be worn as part of the wardrobe and "not revealing their deadly nature". The kapenia dancer archetype's specialty with that weapon is the real reason I even looked at magus to begin with. Aside from that, the concept could be fulfilled a number of different ways (Bard - as mentioned, swashbuckler, rogue, etc). There are, of course, ways to gain proficiency in the bladed scarf - exotic weapon proficiency (requires BAB +1); Tattooed Mystic (human trait); Gypsy bard archetype - but none of them can wield it one-handed like the Kapenia Dancer can, and its hard to compete with the kapenia's unarmored AC.


I'm pretty sure those two archetypes wouldn't stack, because they both modify your spellcasting.


Avoron wrote:
I'm pretty sure those two archetypes wouldn't stack, because they both modify your spellcasting.

That is up to interpretation. They both alter aspects of spellcasting, but completely unrelated aspects of it. One alters the spell list and spellcasting ability, the other reduces the spell slot count. The text for the Kapenia Dancer does not state that it replaces or modifies any specific magus class features.

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