Swashbuckling Magus :)


Advice

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I’ve never tried an agility character so I thought one up in the last few days, was looking for critique/advice/high fives if its all good (one can dream, right :P). I'd also like to know if this is Society legal.

I was thinking a swashbuckler/magus crossbreed. With a katana (yes this is doable with the right feats). Basically would have the magus levels for self buffing – and something special (reach) while also adding some damage via shocking grasp and later vampiric touch (both no saves so my casting DC doesn’t matter too much).

Half elf race (important to get Katana with the ancestral weapon feature from advanced race guide). Why Katana? High threat (ESSENTIAL) good damage gets even better when enlarged, which will be key to this build. I could go a different race and just do this with a scimitar, but the difference of an enlarged scimitar and an enlarged katana is huge (1d8 vs. 2d6) so worth the half elf to me. Add lead blades and this is a pretty bad ass sword.

Looking at a regular swashbuckler with an eldritch scion magus. Dex and Cha are therefore used for both, so not too much MAD (multiple attribute dependency) problems. This magus is a spontaneous charisma based caster who also gets a bloodragers bloodline. Add the aberrant bloodline and at level 4 magus I get 5ft increased reach. This is a big deal. Follow the following feat path:

1) Weapon focus katana, weapon finesse
3) Slashing grace (adds dex to damage instead of str and allows for katana to be used with all swashbuckling abilities)
5) Combat reflexes
7) Dodge, mobility
9) Spring attack
11) Whirlwind, lunge, improved critical
13) weapon specialization

Then critical feats from here.

Level progression would go as follows: Probably 2 levels swashbuckler, then 7 levels magus, then 3 more swashbuckler.

Notable steps: at level 6 overall I have a 10 ft regular reach, 15 while enlarged. Add combat reflexes to that and I now threaten a big area with lots of attacks. My dex mod will be minimum +4 right from the go, so there’s 5 attacks of opportunity.
Level 11: range goes up another 5 ft with lunge, and add whirlwind means I can whirlwind a 20ft range :D

My BAB won’t be super high due to my str being low, and not being able to add my dex to hit (stupid weapon finesse doesn’t work on a slashing weapon, even though you HAVE to take weapon finesse to get to slashing grace, which requires a slashing weapon!) so the high crit range (15-20) will be essential to ensure hits. I’ll probably end up getting a keen weapon asap and then its “wasted” when I get the free improved critical at level 11 (level 5 swashbuckler) which is annoying but I can’t see living with only a 18-20 crit that long.

The 7 levels of magus will give me up to haste level buffs, and a few cool arcana, combined with some swashbuckler panache will mean a decent amount of “on call” abilities, so a very active character overall. And fun to play I figure being all agile and being able to dodge all around the field being annoying. Or just hiding behind the tank line still hitting everyone due to my reach.

The last decision I have is at level 12 overall I’ll have had the necessary 5 swashbuckler and 7 magus. At that point I could go more of either, or go eldritch knight instead. I haven’t decided where the progression would make the most sense at that point. Fairly sure swashbuckler would be more fun and make more sense assuming I really am not casing much. Could even do fighter levels for weapon and armor buffs – ability to reduce the dex penalties in armor would be relevant up here since my DEX will be hitting stupid at this point.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Somehow I don't see turning yourself into a giant, large enough to step over your foes, quite commensurate with the image of a swashbuckler, but that's probably just me.


Hm... Just on first pass, I'm not crazy about stacking size enlargement on a dex-based character. Enlarge Person gives you a +2 strength bonus, a -2 dex penalty, your damage die goes up by one size and you get a -1 size penalty to AC and on attack rolls.

For a strength user that's a net gain - he gains reach, +1 strength bonus to damage, the -1 size penalty to hit is balanced with the +1 strength bonus to hit, and if we assume he's wielding a katana he gains an average of +3 damage from the increased damage die. He does take a -2 penalty to AC, which sucks.

+0 to hit
+4 damage
reach
-2 AC

Then there's the dex user. He gets reach, a -1 dex penalty to attack and damage, a -1 size penalty to hit, a +2 bonus in a stat he doesn't really care about (strength), and an average of +3 damage from the increased damage die. He also takes a -2 penalty to AC.

-2 to hit
+2 damage (3-1)
reach
-2 AC

Just for kicks, let's consider Reduce Person.

You gain +2 to hit (+1 size, +1 from dex)
+0 damage (+1 from dex, -1 from smaller die)
+2 AC (+1 from dex, +1 from size)
no reach. :(

If I were you I'd consider Reduce Person as a general buff and Longarm as a reach-specific alternative to Enlarge Person. Both spells are much more dex-friendly than Enlarge Person.


Okay, a couple more points.

1. Since you are a swashbuckler, Slashing Grace allows you to add dex to both attack rolls and damage. Swashbuckler Finesse would work with your katana.

2. Not sure how you plan on casting Lead blades? UMD and a wand?

3. I would probably skip Whirlwind attack. Hitting all your opponents once at level 11 isn't interesting unless you can put enough hurt on that one swing to put each opponent in the ground, which seems unlikely with this build. Whirlwind also interacts poorly with Spell Combat.

4. I'd consider picking one class or the other - dipping can work in Pathfinder, but splitting a character down the middle is usually a poor solution - especially when you're picking up caster levels. Have you considered scavenging the swashbuckler with Flamboyant Arcana?

5. Feel free to disregard this, but have you considered pairing a normal/bladebound Magus with the Inspired Blade swashbuckler? The two archetypes merge very well indeed since they both want Dex/Con/Int. You'd also qualify for Fencing Grace at level 1, which would make you dex-based from the get-go.

I'm not really sure what it is you want from the magus levels, the magus is kind of an all or nothing class. If it's just buff spells then you might be better off with bloodrager levels?


Needing two ability scores is not a problem, not in the grant scheme of things. Three is tough. One of the players in my S&S game in playing an eldritch scion magus (with 1 level of rogue). He's got weapon finesse and slashing grace, so if you imagine that dressed up as a pirate, its close to what you are building. He's not doing all of your spring attack stuff, but I imagine the characters will still play out similarly. If you're worried about potency - don't. All of our crew have their niche and are better at this or that, but overall he's the most powerful. Good damage output with defensive spells to keep in the fight for the duration. He lands the final blow in most fights. My oracle has good damage and defense, but poor mobility and needs to busy himself with other spells. Without doubt the ranger does the most damage but gets knocked out nearly every fight. Make sure to plan out your spells known ahead of time. You don't want to be picking them at the last second and make a rash choice.


Playing a Bladebound Hexcrafter Magus in RotRL right now, never had any problems with damage.

I took Flamboyant Arcana and Arcane Deed: Precise Strike Deed at 6th (2 arcana with FCB for 6 levels) and just took it again for the deed that gives evasion, uncanny dodge, and imp uncanny dodge at level 12.

If you are going dex based, you don't want to enlarge ever. It will hurt your attack and damage. Use Longarm for reach, especially if you are playing an eldritch Scion magus and use the Arcane bloodline instead for free buffs you don't have to cast.

Also, if you have a Panache pool from Flamboyant arcana, get the Swordmaster's Flair (2500g) that gives you +5ft reach for 1 minute, and a Plume of Panache (1000g) each to power it.

Amatuer Swashbuckler feat is good for this build, as it gives you a separate pool of panache that refills on crits, which your pool from Flamboyant arcana does not.


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Unless you're starting from Level 8 or higher, don't play the Eldritch Scion.

Actually, don't play the Eldritch Scion period.


I disagree from personal experience, having watched one advance from 2nd level to 6th so far.


They work, they just don't work like most people expect a magus, since they can't cast while raging until later, and it costs a swift action and an arcane point every 2 rounds.

It's a completely different playstyle, and completely foreign to most of the shocking-grasp spam FTW magus proponents.


Longarm and swordmasters flair are great, thanks.

Is it universally agreed that the swashbucklers finesse is indeed "backwards compatible" with his slashing grace like that?

Dropping aberrant for arcane and getting reach via those spell/item is tempting.... But so is stacking both for an even longer reach.

I'll keep chewing in it. Thanks for the input


Timdog wrote:
Is it universally agreed that the swashbucklers finesse is indeed "backwards compatible" with his slashing grace like that?

Pretty much. The feat was written specifically for swashbucklers that wanted to wield slashing weapons, which are normally incompatible with Swashbuckler Finesse.

Note that the feat will see a revision when the ACG errata is released, and hopefully become less nonsensical.


TGMaxMaxer wrote:
They work, they just don't work like most people expect a magus, since they can't cast while raging until later, and it costs a swift action and an arcane point every 2 rounds.

Why would he rage?


Mixing Magus and Swashbuckler works and works fine, but it's usually best done with one level of Swashbuckler and the rest of your levels Magus. Swashbuckler levels 2-4 are not worth much. 5 is good but that level is not significantly better than taking four additional Magus levels.


I would think that is true if you want a more caster presence but im looking for more martial - i don't see alot if benefit past level three spells in terms of self buffing and my dcs will be to low to be an effective at directly attacking others.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
TGMaxMaxer wrote:
They work, they just don't work like most people expect a magus, since they can't cast while raging until later, and it costs a swift action and an arcane point every 2 rounds.
Why would he rage?

I think he's confused on how the Eldritch Scion ‎Archetype works. For those unfamiliar with this flavor of Magus, they can spend arcane points to go into a psuedo-Blood Rage called "a state of mystical focus" for 2 rounds at a time. Until level 8 they can only use Spell Combat while in the trance. However nothing is preventing a Magus from casting normally during their mystic focus. Jumping through the Spontaneous Metafocus hoop lets them go back to the bread and butter Intensified Shocking Grasp tactic.


Timdog wrote:
I would think that is true if you want a more caster presence but im looking for more martial - i don't see alot if benefit past level three spells in terms of self buffing and my dcs will be to low to be an effective at directly attacking others.

And swapping for more Magus levels means you get those third-level spells a level sooner and have a ton more slots. Your to-hit actually doesn't drop so long as you're using the Arcane Pool (which should be basically all the time). And you get level 9 Arcanas. You've mentioned that you like Haste. Check out the Hasted Assault Magus Arcana; that and Accurate Strikes are probably the two most frequently picked level 9 tricks.

For the Scion in particular you really want eight levels for always-on Spell Combat too. That's an insanely valuable ability, and not something to be sacrificed lightly-- the reason popular opinion is that the Eldritch Scion is terrible is entirely because of how bad its normal Spell Combat is.

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I have a Swashbuckler/Magus multiclass myself in PFS.

She's a Tiefling, with Dex and Int jacked through the roof, and Charisma dumped to 5. But with the Extra Panache feat, that's still 3 Panache Points. She uses a wakizashi (keen of course), and the Kensai archetype adds her Int to AC, which combined with Armor of the Pit and mage armor gives her pretty insance AC. Kensai also gives you EWP with one weapon, so you wouldn't have to go half-elf, or you could take the Skill Focus (for UMD, perhaps?) or Dual-Minded.

Fatima al-Izarin
Female Tiefling Swashbuckler 1/Magus (Kensai) 5
7/22/14/20/10/5 (after stat boosts)
Sw1: Swashbuckler's Finesse, Extra Panache
Ma1: EWP (wakizashi), Weapon Focus
Ma2: Piranha Strike
Ma3:
Ma4: Armor of the Pit
Ma5: Arcane Strike

That being said, I'm holding off on playing her until the Arcane Deed arcana is clarified, because if I can use that to add my Magus level to damage, I'll retrain out my Swashbuckler level and go full Magus, using arcanas to get the Swashbuckler flavor.


Forgot about pirana strike. Good stuff.

Fighting with going just one level swashbuckler and then 8 levels arcane blood scion. I lose the easy reach but could get that back by longarm. Hmmm.


RainyDay: you're probably be better off swapping the wakizashi for a katana and Piranha Strike for Slashing Grace. The costs involved in the swap might make that unattractive at this point though, I suppose.

Timdog: I'm not sure Whirlwind Attack is worth four feats, honestly.


I've always wanted a whirlwind - worthy build. Its damn hard to ever justify 4 feats. With some crit skills and a big threat range and a big area that it can hit it at least gets close. In my original build at level 11 i can whirlwind 25ft (with long arm added) while enlarged. Dealing around 5d6 + 10 with a 25% crit chance to everyone in that range isnt terrible.


The Slayer can build for Whirlwind Attack really easily-- there's a combat style he can access (which deity escapes me at the moment) that grants Whirlwind Attack at level 6, prereqs free. Throw in a whip, maybe Amateur Swashbuckler + a Swordmaster's Flair, you're threatening 20' Whirlwinds at level 6 easily, and it only cost two feats (Whip Mastery is kind of required) and a bonus feat.

But the Magus has a very strong incentive not to bother with Whirlwind Attack in Spell Combat. The Slayer can make a decent enough combat style out of that. The Magus might use it occasionally but it won't be an every-round kind of thing, and when you're spending four feats, you really want to do it every round.


kestral287 wrote:
there's a combat style he can access (which deity escapes me at the moment) that grants Whirlwind Attack at level 6, prereqs free.

Sarenrae's Combat Style from Inner Sea Combat gives Whirlwind Attack.


Blackpowder Witch wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
there's a combat style he can access (which deity escapes me at the moment) that grants Whirlwind Attack at level 6, prereqs free.
Sarenrae's Combat Style from Inner Sea Combat gives Whirlwind Attack.

Is it really hers? Huh, not who I was expecting.

The level 10 options for it are pretty mediocre as I remember (Spring Attack and... something? Lightning Stance maybe?), but the level 2 options include Improved Initiative, so I just wouldn't burn the 10th-level talent on the Combat Style and be happy.


kestral287 wrote:
Is it really hers? Huh, not who I was expecting.

It makes sense in away. Don't forget all those Dervish Dancers dedicated to her. The full line up for her style is Improved Initiative, Mobility,Nimble Moves, and Sidestep. 6th level, Whirlwind Attack and Wind Stance. 10th level, Lightning Stance and Spring Attack.


Side note: is enlarge person the only spell that increases equipment size along with the user?


I'm just going to point out something that you may have an incorrect understanding of based on this comment:

Timdog wrote:
the high crit range (15-20) will be essential to ensure hits

A high critical threat range does not help you hit at all. A critical threat is not a guaranteed hit. Only natural 20s are guaranteed hits.


Timdog wrote:
Side note: is enlarge person the only spell that increases equipment size along with the user?

Any Polymorph spell that changes your size and doesn't turn you into an animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin does this.

Incidentally, Monstrous Physique II is a 4th-level Magus spell that can make you Large and resize your gear. And give you Pounce.


Timdog wrote:
Side note: is enlarge person the only spell that increases equipment size along with the user?

I know on the divine side of things there's Righteous Might and sorta kinda Frightful Aspect. Though those spells are a moot point for a Magus without using Samsaran shenanigans.


Artoo wrote:

I'm just going to point out something that you may have an incorrect understanding of based on this comment:

Timdog wrote:
the high crit range (15-20) will be essential to ensure hits
A high critical threat range does not help you hit at all. A critical threat is not a guaranteed hit. Only natural 20s are guaranteed hits.

Wow we've played this wrong for years! Thankfully swashbuckler finese fixes my bab but damn it hurts learning we've been wrong this whole time


kestral287 wrote:
Timdog wrote:
Side note: is enlarge person the only spell that increases equipment size along with the user?

Any Polymorph spell that changes your size and doesn't turn you into an animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin does this.

Incidentally, Monstrous Physique II is a 4th-level Magus spell that can make you Large and resize your gear. And give you Pounce.

The monstrous physique spells were exactly what i was thinking of. Couldn't figure out what happened with the gear here. Cheers :)


Timdog wrote:

Forgot about pirana strike. Good stuff.

Fighting with going just one level swashbuckler and then 8 levels arcane blood scion. I lose the easy reach but could get that back by longarm. Hmmm.

Be careful about Pirhana Strike. It won't work with your Katana by RAW. I have a Swashbuckler (Inspired Blade) / Oracle (Seeker) in PFS who uses a rapier, and also can't use that feat because it is not a light weapon, despite being finesse-able. It may be an oversight in how it's written, but by strict RAW your Katana won't work.

Pirhana Strike

Spoiler:
Prerequisites: Weapon Finesse, base attack bonus +1.

When wielding a light weapon, you can choose to take a -1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls. This bonus to damage is halved (-50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon. When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and for every 4 points thereafter, the penalty increases by -1 and the bonus on damage rolls increases by +2. You must choose to use this feat before the attack roll, and its effects last until your next turn. The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage. This feat cannot be used in conjunction with the Power Attack feat.


Thanks. Wasnt going to take it probably anyways in this build since med bab and out of feats


Check the list for the Monstrous Physique spells, all the Monstrous Humanoids that go large (at MP2) none have pounce at all, even though if they did you could get it. I was EXTREMELY disappointed with it when I got it in my RotRL game.

Undead Anatomy is a better list at that point until MP3 or MP4.

On a side note, I said cast while raging earlier when I really meant spellcombat while getting the bloodrager bloodline benefits. I know it's not a real rage, but it still costs a lot to keep up for combats, a swift and an arcane point every 2 turns.

Especially on a swift action starved class.


I built a Halfling swashbuckler [Inspired blade] 1 / Magus [Hexcrafter] 9 for our RotRL game. I played him for one session, and I felt that he overly dominated the table. I shelved him.


Did the swashbuckler get a vmc? If so, details? I'll grab unchained soon but am impatient

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Timdog wrote:
Did the swashbuckler get a vmc? If so, details? I'll grab unchained soon but am impatient

Nope. I do not have enough sadface emoticons to convey my disappointment. :( :( :(


Darn. None of the "mixed" classes did im guessing?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Correct.


The closest to VMC Swashbuckler is to go VMC Magus and spam Arcane Deed.

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Alternatively, you could be a kensai magus. They get Weapon Focus and proficiency in one exotic weapon at 1st level. If you're human, you can pick up Slashing Grace at 1st level. Then as early as 3rd level, you can take Flamboyant Arcana and Extra Arcana (Arcane Deed) to get any swashbuckler deeds you want. The kensai also gets many abilities very attractive for a swashbuckling character, like being able to do attacks of opportunity while flatfooted, getting extra attacks of opportunity, the ability increase your weapon's crit modifier, and the ability to maximize damage on a critical hit. And as far as I know, all of this is legal for PFS.


Kensai can't finesse a katana, so he'd have to switch weapons. Beyond that it works like a charm though.


kestral287 wrote:
Mixing Magus and Swashbuckler works and works fine, but it's usually best done with one level of Swashbuckler and the rest of your levels Magus. Swashbuckler levels 2-4 are not worth much. 5 is good but that level is not significantly better than taking four additional Magus levels.

swashbuckler levels 2-4 give some solid benefits to me:three times a day +3 (or 4) to saves, +1AC, an extra feat and a third level deed. If we take the precision damage deed thats +3 (eventually +5) damage to every hit. This synergizes very well with a big area whirlwind.

I dont see much Magus spells past third that really do much in a buff kinda way and since i expect to have most critters make their saving throws anyways. ...


I don't like the idea of fueling my deeds with my arcane pool as I'll already be depleting my pool to keep my focus up. Two seperate pools are needed i think. I think the eventual kevels will be 8 Magus 12 swashbuckler but i need to figure out the order to take em.


Timdog wrote:
I don't like the idea of fueling my deeds with my arcane pool as I'll already be depleting my pool to keep my focus up. Two seperate pools are needed i think. I think the eventual levels will be 8 Magus 12 swashbuckler but i need to figure out the order to take em.

These spells say hi:

4th: Dimension Door, Elemental Body I, Greater Invisibility, Stoneskin, Wall of Ice
5th: Greater Bladed Dash, Elemental Body II, Interposing Hand, Vampiric Shadow Shield, Teleport, Wall of Force, Wall of Stone
6th: Form of the Dragon I, Transformation, True Seeing, Walk Through Space

They are all strong boosts to your survivability, mobility, and attack potential if you're going Magus. I think it's a bad idea to ignore them.

It really seems like you just want to be able to cast haste on yourself but be a swashbuckler? Even with 8 levels of Magus, and a generous 16 INT, you're only looking at at 7 point arcane pool (without investing feats in Extra Arcane Pool). Between enchanting your weapon and using your focus, you can probably only do 3 combats per day if you can kill everything in 2 rounds and don't use your arcana for any other purpose. Your caster level will also only be 8th, so over time your buffs are going to be increasingly vulnerable to dispel magic.

Dipping a level or two in Swashbuckler is probably okay, especially if you take magical knack and are only going to 12th in PFS, but if you're going to go further than that I think you'll get more mileage taking levels in Bloodrager instead of Magus. You'll get more rage / day, could haste yourself with the rage from the Arcane Bloodline, get full BAB, access to the buff spells you're after (albeit a bit latter), some DR, and increased movement speed.


Rage does nothing for a dex build. Thats the biggest limiting factor.


Actually rumor holds unchained rage is just a flat +to hit and damage. Hmmm. Is that only the barbarians new rage or bloodragers too?


Timdog wrote:
Actually rumor holds unchained rage is just a flat +to hit and damage. Hmmm. Is that only the barbarians new rage or bloodragers too?

I believe it's just barbarian rage - it doesn't translate backwards unless you have a GM who house rules it.

You're not wrong that the bloodrage wouldn't be as useful for your dex build, but it's just an extra boost on top of your Eldritch Scion ability, which is lacking in any the strength / con boost. I'm not saying it's a great fit, but it makes more sense than the magus

I think I see the flavor of character you're going for, but I'm not entirely certain what you're hoping to get out of the Magus. It doesn't seem like you really plan to take advantage of the spell-strike class feature or spell-combat (please correct me if I'm wrong, that's just the impression I get from the way you talk about the Magus side). If you only want 3rd level arcane buff spells and to be mostly a dex melee combatant, Arcane Duelist Bard for 8 levels might be more useful to pair with your swashbuckler.

You will admittedly lose the swift-action haste from Eldritch Focus or Arcane Bloodrage but you'd gain a lot over the Magus. You'd get the same 3/4 BAB, same spontaneous spells per day, and also get the same/better self and party buff spells (e.g. Heroism, Gallant Inspiration, Saving Finale), inspire courage with a move action (at 7) to offset some of the BAB loss, and bonus feats. Also extra skill points. If you invest a feat in Lingering Performance you'd end up with way more rounds of inspire courage than you'd get from Eldritch Focus. While you can't cast and attack with spell combat, you could use your move action to start inspire courage and cast haste at the start of combat then wade in using your swift actions to arcane strike your weapon.

I think you'd end up with a more versatile "arcane swashbuckler" than going with only a handful of Magus levels.


Timdog wrote:
Actually rumor holds unchained rage is just a flat +to hit and damage. Hmmm. Is that only the barbarians new rage or bloodragers too?

The Unchained Barbarian is available online, and the new rage mechanic works pretty well with dex-based barbarians. Unchained does not include rules for using the new rage mechanic on the other rage classes, but it would be very easy to transplant it.


cavernshark wrote:
Timdog wrote:
Actually rumor holds unchained rage is just a flat +to hit and damage. Hmmm. Is that only the barbarians new rage or bloodragers too?

I believe it's just barbarian rage - it doesn't translate backwards unless you have a GM who house rules it.

You're not wrong that the bloodrage wouldn't be as useful for your dex build, but it's just an extra boost on top of your Eldritch Scion ability, which is lacking in any the strength / con boost. I'm not saying it's a great fit, but it makes more sense than the magus

I think I see the flavor of character you're going for, but I'm not entirely certain what you're hoping to get out of the Magus. It doesn't seem like you really plan to take advantage of the spell-strike class feature or spell-combat (please correct me if I'm wrong, that's just the impression I get from the way you talk about the Magus side). If you only want 3rd level arcane buff spells and to be mostly a dex melee combatant, Arcane Duelist Bard for 8 levels might be more useful to pair with your swashbuckler.

You will admittedly lose the swift-action haste from Eldritch Focus or Arcane Bloodrage but you'd gain a lot over the Magus. You'd get the same 3/4 BAB, same spontaneous spells per day, and also get the same/better self and party buff spells (e.g. Heroism, Gallant Inspiration, Saving Finale), inspire courage with a move action (at 7) to offset some of the BAB loss, and bonus feats. Also extra skill points. If you invest a feat in Lingering Performance you'd end up with way more rounds of inspire courage than you'd get from Eldritch Focus. While you can't cast and attack with spell combat, you could use your move action to start inspire courage and cast haste at the start of combat then wade in using your swift actions to arcane strike your weapon.

I think you'd end up with a more versatile "arcane swashbuckler" than going with only a handful of Magus levels.

Thanks for the extended back and forth on this. this is entirely hypothetical for me so if i'm blowing something it's good to know now lol.

What I want from the magus levels:

1) reach. It's gotten lost that I was planning to go aberrant for the 5 ft reach. Half my fault because of waffling between it and Arcane. Reach is important because...

2) I want to be viable at whirlwinding. To me, viable means hitting as many targets as possible. That means reach. With enlarge (still a net gain in damage, even though its a loss in accuracy) and long arm and aberrant bloodline that's a 20ft radius, 25 if I include lunge. The AC loss isn't terribly important because in theory I'll be out of range to eat full attacks. Range also helps deal damage via combat reflexes and AOO.

3) when not whirlwinding that's when the normal magus stuff comes in - being able to buff at the same time as single target attacking is great. Then once I've done buffing I go into whirlwind mode (assuming enough targets are present). Or if only single targets I go "traditional" magus of stacking on damage with vampiric embrace and shocking grasp.

4) AC/defense isn't that important because in theory i'll be hitting from a range that will keep me safer than the front liners. I'll also have the mobility feats and dexterity to re-position as needed.

I will look up that bard next though and see how he plays out, I'm not familiar with it.

Cheers :)

EDIT: Kudaku, thanks for that link! I did not know it was online.
EDIT 2: really thinking a one level dip for that unchained rage + movement speed may be worth it


kestral287 wrote:
Kensai can't finesse a katana, so he'd have to switch weapons. Beyond that it works like a charm though.

Why couldn't a Kensai finesse a katana? All they'd have to do is cough up the gold for Effortless Lace to make it work. Admittedly it would be more practical to just use the standard wakizashi/rapier/scimitar method, but it's still possible.

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