Myrrh, Frankincense, and Steel: Kurald Galain's Guide to the Magus


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A dip into bloodrager or using the Raging Blood feat, let's you grab Blooded Arcane Strike. This means you dont need a swift action to use Spell Cartridge.

It might also make it possible to really use Riving Strike with Spell Combat & Spellstrike.


baggageboy wrote:

Sure, but I'm not trying to say that Phantom Blade is better than bladebound, just that if VMC multiclassing is allowed phantom blade is improved greatly. Being able to access both a second pool and magus arcana greatly improve a Phantom Blade. Spellstrike at level 11 is redundant, but it does mean that you can now Spellstrike with a weapon other than your phantom weapon.

{. . .}

Good catch. I forgot about the redundant Spellstrike, and VMC makes no provision for non-stacking redundant abilities. (Of course, VMC needs a fix, but that isn't going to happen since 2nd Edition is replacing all that . . . unless somebody else decides to make 1.5th Edition.)

baggageboy wrote:

Advantages of a Phantom Blade:

{. . .}
  • Conversely can be charisma based of combined with the fractured mind archetype
    {. . .}
  • At first glance, it looks like the archetype rules would allow these archetypes to combine, but I'm not sure if it really works, because some Fractured Mind features depend upon Emotional Focus, which refers to Phantom, which Phantom Blade replaces, so implicitly these archetypes are incompatible, even though they are not explicitly stated to modify or replace any top level class feature in common with each other.

    baggageboy wrote:

    Disadvantages of a Phantom Blade:

    {. . .}
  • Spell combat is hard to utilize before level 4 when you get enteric focus.
    {. . .}
  • Judicious use of beans, prune juice, and spices should provide a serviceable workaround.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    Temperans wrote:
    A dip into bloodrager or using the Raging Blood feat, let's you grab Blooded Arcane Strike. This means you dont need a swift action to use Spell Cartridge.

    Yeah, that works. So you spend one level, and then the feats Mad Magic + Arcane Strike + Blooded Arcane Strike + EWP Firearm + Spell Cartridge + Riving Strike... that's a pretty steep cost though.

    baggageboy wrote:
    The Phantom Blade is slightly weaker than a bladebound magus. It trades away striking ability for tankyness. It is one of the few ways to make a spontaneous "magus" and allows wisdom or charisma based casting. The progression is more linear, less exponential. You don't have to worry as much about low AC at low levels of strength based, but this is wasted if going dex based.

    Thank you for writing the summary. I'd like to add the drawback that the Spir pays twice as many pool points to enchant his weapon. Requiring a swift action to concentrate is still an issue, the Magus has a lot of competition for his swift actions. And since you credit the Spir's will saves, you should likewise note the Magus has "very good" knowledge skills. By my count, a mid-level Magus is ahead by four feat/arcana slots (which could e.g. give him higher will save, perception, medium armor, and ghost touch).

    It strikes me that adding the Fractured Mind archetype simply means you get no benefit from Emotional Power (since you don't actually have an emotional focus); you just lose the four SLAs. But they're very situational and mostly for flavor anyway, so that's not a big deal. This is nice since the other way of playing a charisma Magus (i.e. Eldritch Scion) does not stack with Bladebound.

    Overall this suggests that a green rating is a fair assessment for the Spir Phantom Blade.


    I agree, I think a green rateing is appropriate, I just wanted to point out that VMC magus does a great deal to shore up the phantom blades weaknesses.


    Anyone take a look at Infused Spell Cartridges yet? It’s a little redundant compared to spellstrike, but you’re still firing a force bullet and a spell at the same time. That ought to do something positive for your action economy.

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    Reduxist wrote:
    Anyone take a look at Infused Spell Cartridges yet? It’s a little redundant compared to spellstrike, but you’re still firing a force bullet and a spell at the same time. That ought to do something positive for your action economy.

    Well it doesn't work with spell combat (since it's a standard action) so I don't see this as very useful for a Magus. And yes, it's pretty redundant to spellstrike.


    ^It does give you a way to get effectively a Ranged Spellstrike if you didn't take a Magus archetype that already gives you one. If you mainly want to be a melee Magus and don't want to take the Myrmidarch archetype, and want an occasional ranged Spellstrike, and have a feat to spare, and somehow already have proficiency with a firearm (Human Martial Tradition alternate racial trait, maybe? . . . or obviously a 1 level Gunslinger dip) and have an enchanted one(*), this might be for you.

    (*)Needed to make this better than just firing off the ranged spell in the normal way; however, if you're going to use a firearm at all for any other reason, eventually you're going to want to get an enchanted firearm anyway.

    Too bad they made it so specific to firearms and didn't let it work with ranged weapons more generally.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    Well if you're a melee Magus who wants to occasionally make a ranged attack, I don't think you're going to invest three feats in that. Either a rod of Reach Spell or simply casting a ranged spell is going to be more effective.


    Hello Kurald, I very much enjoy and appreciate your work!

    Is there a change log that shows what you change each month?


    Kurald Galain wrote:

    Well if you're a melee Magus who wants to occasionally make a ranged attack, I don't think you're going to invest three feats in that. Either a rod of Reach Spell or simply casting a ranged spell is going to be more effective.

    Well, you wouldn't want to invest 3 feats just for that, but if you had the prerequisites for some other purpose, it might be worthwhile. Admittedly, the prerequisite of Arcane Strike (which is mostly a trap) slipped my mind in my last post.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    noral wrote:

    Hello Kurald, I very much enjoy and appreciate your work!

    Is there a change log that shows what you change each month?

    Thank you. And no, I do not keep a change log; although new additions are generally mentioned in this thread. Anything in particular you're looking for?


    Thanks, I was just wondering if there is a changelog. ;-)
    do you have a version from last October? Then I could do a ‘track changes’ analysis to see what great ideas you added since the last time I checked out the guide in detail.

    Shadow Lodge

    Don't know if it has been seen already, but Wyrwoods have a FCB for Magus now.

    Magus (Heroes of Golarion pg. 6): Add 2 rounds to the duration of the magus’ arcane pool enhancements.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    Dragonborn3 wrote:
    Magus (Heroes of Golarion pg. 6): Add 2 rounds to the duration of the magus’ arcane pool enhancements.

    Thanks, I missed that (wow, that race is weird). But it's not very good: without this ability, pool enchant already reliably lasts through one combat, and with this ability it still doesn't reliably last through two combats.

    noral wrote:
    do you have a version from last October?

    No, I don't.


    This fcb does give up to 6 minutes of Arcane Pool as opposed to 2 minutes for other races. Perfect for setting up ambushes and for Armor versions of Arcane Pool.


    Temperans wrote:
    This fcb does give up to 6 minutes of Arcane Pool as opposed to 2 minutes for other races. Perfect for setting up ambushes and for Armor versions of Arcane Pool.

    I count it as 5 minutes.

    Also the ENDURING BLADE arcana already kinda does this but better (I guess if you combine them you end up with 24 minutes duration). I like that arcana more than Kurald does, but this FCB doesn't really keep up.

    For me it comes down to: "how often will this actually be useful?" - Even at level 10 with a 3 minute duration the answer seems like: "not very often."


    Is it just me or is it deeply strange to have a FCB which adds a duration in rounds to something which has traditionally been measured in minutes? Like I know how to convert between the two, but it's still odd.

    Shadow Lodge

    Pretty odd, not as odd as the kinitecists talents that let you accept burnt to use a racial feature again, but still odd.

    I guess +1/5th of a minute wasn't working for them haha


    MrCharisma wrote:
    Temperans wrote:
    This fcb does give up to 6 minutes of Arcane Pool as opposed to 2 minutes for other races. Perfect for setting up ambushes and for Armor versions of Arcane Pool.

    I count it as 5 minutes.

    Also the ENDURING BLADE arcana already kinda does this but better (I guess if you combine them you end up with 24 minutes duration). I like that arcana more than Kurald does, but this FCB doesn't really keep up.

    For me it comes down to: "how often will this actually be useful?" - Even at level 10 with a 3 minute duration the answer seems like: "not very often."

    I also counted the Bladed Magic trait that increases the base time from 1 to 2 minutes. So 2 minutes + 20*2rds (4 minutes) = 6 minutes; with the arcana it would be 24 minutes still.

    As to how useful it really depends on the campaign, if you are constantly fighting (say a horde of mooks) then it becomes great.


    Temperans wrote:
    <Other Stuff (snipped for space)> As to how useful it really depends on the campaign, if you are constantly fighting (say a horde of mooks) then it becomes great.

    Yeah there are circumstances where it could be good, but you can re-cast your weapon enhancement as a swift action, so it's not that hard to get by without this trait/arcana/fcb anyway. If you're in a campaign where you're having long fights consistently then it's 100% worth it, but if it only comes up once every couple of levels you're probably better off with more hp or more skill points (or a different trait/arcana).

    I like Enduring Blade a little more than Kurald does, but the trait/fcb don't add enough to reliably get through 2 fights without re-buffing.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    Temperans wrote:
    As to how useful it really depends on the campaign, if you are constantly fighting (say a horde of mooks) then it becomes great.

    Well of course it depends on the campaign, but I've never even heard of a campaign (or adventure path) where it you fight hordes of mooks for more than 10 rounds in a row AND use your swift action on other things during all that time.

    Even if I did have such long combats, personally I'd rather have the +20 hit points, considering Wyrwood doesn't have a con bonus.

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