PFS Whip Magus Build


Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I am interested in making a Whip Magus build for PFS. The basic idea is not your standard maximize damage output. I am interested in using the reach properties of the whip with spell combat/spellstrike. Damage output is important; however I don't mind a build that focuses on support or de-buff spells that can be delivered via spellstrike (ie. Frostbite, Frigid Touch, etc.). A secondary combat goal of the character is possibly trip or other whip tricks like grapple/entangle, etc.

With the goals I have in mind, my plan is to go Fighter for the first two levels using the Drill Sergeant archetype to pick up the Tandem Trip Teamwork Feat and the Tactician ability. This also allows me to pick up Whip Mastery at 2nd level so my damage becomes lethal and keeps my BAB progression on target for 2 attacks at 6th level. I then would move into Magus for the rest of my levels using the hexcrafter archetype.

From a role-playing aspect, the personality of the character is an Indiana Jones/Librarian mix. He is a lot of muscle with some intellect and an interest in history and languages. I am choosing the Dark Archive or Scarab Sages for Faction. I have the Great Scholar as one of my traits and Magical Knack as my other trait. I am open to selecting other traits. How important are the two caster levels that Magical Knack give me? I like Arcane Temper, Eldritch Delver (which thematically is perfect), Mathematical Prodigy (thematically a good fit), Self-Taught Scholar is another good fit thematically. I also like Tomb Raider from Scarab Sages.

Anyway- here is a preliminary post of the character at first level.

Male half-orc fighter (drill sergeant) 1
LN Medium humanoid (human, orc)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+6 armor, +2 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 11 (1d10+1)
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +1
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Melee whip +6 (1d3+4 nonlethal) or
. . warhammer +5 (1d8+6/×3)
Str 18, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +5; CMD 17
Feats Phalanx Formation, Tandem Trip[UC], Weapon Focus (whip)
Traits magical knack, scholar of the great beyond
Skills Acrobatics -4 (-8 to jump), Intimidate +1, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (history) +7, Linguistics +3, Profession (librarian) +4; Racial Modifiers +2 Intimidate
Languages Azlanti, Common, Draconic, Orc, Tien
SQ orc blood
Other Gear four-mirror, buckler, dagger, light crossbow, shortsword, warhammer, whip, backpack, bedroll, belt pouch, blotter (0.2 lb), fishhook (2), flint and steel, inkpen, knife for cutting quills into pens (0.5 lb), mug/tankard, pen nibs, pigment for making ink (0.2 lb), ruler, small (0.1 lb), sewing needle, signal whistle, string or twine, trail rations (7), vial, waterskin, whetstone, 28 gp
Special Abilities
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white vision only).
Magical Knack (-Choose-) +2 CL for a specific class, to a max of your HD.
Orc Blood Half-orcs count as both humans and orcs for any effect related to race.
Phalanx Formation Allies don't provide soft cover to opponents when wielding a reach weapon.
Tandem Trip When you make a trip against an opponent threatened by any ally, roll twice and take the higher result

Silver Crusade

My Whip magus, maybe you can draw some inspiration from her.

Grand Lodge


Or if you do not wanna read that...

I went with Kensai and Bladebound. This gave me a free magic weapon as well as allow me to focus better on DEX and INT.

There are some things I would do differently if I could redo him, but he has been very fun.

In combat, he trips or disarms, using the combat maneuver to deliver Rime Frostbites and Chill Touches. First causes Entangle and Fatigue, which combine with the trip apply a -6 to hit with melee, -6 to DEX, -2 to STR, unable to make ranged attacks, as well as getting in 1d6+5 cold damage (nonlethal, but usually that does not matter).

So a melee STR fighter has a -7 on their attack and armor class and their CMD has dropped by 4.
A melee DEX fighter has a -9 on their attacks and -7 to armor class and their CMD has dropped by 4.
A ranged fighter is unable to attack and has a -7 AC, as well as the -4 to CMD.

Also, if it is a barbarian or bloodrager (or anyone using rage) they just lost their rage bonuses.

Next level, he finally provokes (7th) and his battle field control becomes even greater.

I think you should consider going magus to start with. If you have the ARG (and if you don't a pdf is just $10) then you can get an alternate racial trait that lets you treat whips and nets as martial weapons. Both of these are excellent for debuffing maguses. That starts you out doing the things you do as a magus. If you're Dex focused, your first feat would be Weapon finesse. If you're strength, as your build indicates, then you could do weapon focus or something like that.

Your build seems to have one too many feats. You should have one at first level, and one bonus feat for being a fighter.

Tandem Trip is great if you have someone else who will take it and play with you regularly. It's a teamwork feat, though, and the description of it above is inaccurate. Apparently that's what Herolab puts in, which is unfortunate.

As a half orc I think you're almost obligated to consider the Sacred Tattoo alternate racial feature (replaces Ferocity, gives +1 luck bonus to all saves) and the Fate's Favored trait (+1 to any luck bonus you're under). +2 to all saves would usually take three feats.

I like Tomb Raider a lot. Having perception in class is sweet, and the flavor is even better.

The other trait to consider is Magical Lineage on whatever is going to be your go to touch spell. Getting to Rime a spell for free and then entangle people on top of everything else you're doing will really turbocharge the debuffing.

Any particular reason to go hexcrafter? The way you're planning to do it won't give you access to curses until level 6. Also, the value of prehensile hair in delivering touch spells goes way down when you've got the whip focus. Is the idea to get in the middle of a bunch of baddies, curse people, and work the attacks of opportunity angle?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Paladin- The Drill Sergeant Archtype gives you the Cavalier's Tactician ability which means a free teamwork feat at 1st level. It also means I can share my teamwork feats with my allies at 2nd level. I also took the City Life half-orc trait which gives me the whip as a martial proficiency. So 1 Free Teamwork Feat from Drill Sergeant (Tandem Trip); 1 Bonus Fighter Feat (Phalanx Formation); and 1 1st Level feat (Weapon Focus: Whip). I also picked up Endurance by trading out the Intimidating Racial Ability but that isn't listed above.

Chuffster- I only posted the short block. I do have the sacred tattoo trait instead of Orc Ferocity which is why my will save is +1. I chose the Sacred Tattoo and the Mystic traits. I will post an amended stat block.

As for the Fate's favored, I could get on board with that, although I would prefer something like the magical lineage trait you talked about. Isn't magical knack kind of mandatory though? If I take Magical Knack then my 2nd Level Fighter/1st Level Magus is still considered a 3rd level caster, which means the duration on all of my spells will be as a 3rd level caster rather than a 1st level caster AND it means my Shocking Grasp, Chill Touch, etc. all are considered 3rd level for damage effects.

I went hexcrafter because it gives me access to all of the curse spells such as Brand which is a cantrip and allows me to do an actual point of damage. A lot of the curse spells fit with the debuff theme as well. The only thing I lose with hexcrafter is spell recall. Because I am not looking to Shocking grasp all the time, spell recall isn't as important as it is with a regular magus build; at least that is my opinion. I guess being able to cast Frostbite multiple times is good though. My plan is to use the reach of the whip to deliver my attacks and let the fighters, barbarians and paladins wade into face to face combat. I don't want to be in the middle of things. Ideally I would be behind the fighter delivering my damage and debuffs as well as my teamwork feats. Precise Strike is pretty nice, especially when everyone in the party gets it!

I wasn't even considering the Pre-hensile hair. It was mostly for the access to curses and later the hexes. I will have to rethink about the hexcrafting portion of the build.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Skylar-Thank you for the post. I took a look at your build and there were some things there I hadn't considered so that is good. Both you and Chuffster referenced the Magical Lineage trait. I hadn't considered that at all and am really taking a look at that. The other two things I noticed with your build were the Fly and Intimidate scores. I have a polearm wielding character that is heavy in intimidate and I was trying to figure out the best way to use him & his intimidate. Your build actually helped me figure some things out for that character. As for the Fly skill- I assume you are casting fly on yourself or some other spell that gives you flight. How often are you doing that and how effective is it?

I do need to say I really want to go a strength build rather than the dex build. Most Magus' I have encountered while playing have the dex build. I totally understand the dex build and how powerful it is, especially the dervish build, but I am interested in trying something a little bit different.

A fair point with magical knack. It might be worth it to start out with your traits being magical knack (magical) and Wayang Spellhunter (regional), then at some point burn a feat to pick up Fate's Favored (faith) and Tomb Raider (campaign). The +1 to all saves and +4 to perception seems better than most of the feats out there.

Hexes are cool. I like Hexcrafter over base Magus, but I'd take a look at Kensai. It gives you a lot of goodies, including a free Weapon Focus. The drawbacks are real, but I think manageable.

Silver Crusade

I get fly from the headband, she does have the fly spell though. I am glad my debuff build was able to help you. She is amazing when combining all the debuffs together. Riving Strike, Entangle, Fatigued, Shaken, Sickened, Blinding (when using Brow Gasher)

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