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


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Melkiador wrote:
I said how... freed up physical stats, good defenses and concentration checks.

The catch is that those aren't really benefits to a blaster.

"Freeing up physical stats" is not a thing: due to how point buy works, you simply can't boost your int beyond 18 (+2 racial) no matter how much you dump your physical stats. Besides, underinvesting in dex and con tanks your saving throws, an important part of your defenses.

You do get better armor class, but on a ranged caster that is much less important than on a melee character; and the Magus's best defenses are spells, not AC.

Concentration checks were never a problem for a baseline Magus; and again, less important on a ranged character. Even without archery feats, your blaster would be better off using Ranged Spell Combat to chuck a spell storing chakram, or something like that. Maybe invest in Startoss Style for the fun of it.

Shadow Lodge

Have you considered a Spheres of Power section for this guide? You wouldn't even need to go into the various different spheres since you can cover just the archetypes.

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Dragonborn3 wrote:
Have you considered a Spheres of Power section for this guide?

Well, I've seen SOP discussed in the forums, but I haven't actually seen (or played) any games that allowed it. So right now I'm not planning on it.

Grand Lodge

Kurald Galain wrote:

"Freeing up physical stats" is not a thing: due to how point buy works, you simply can't boost your int beyond 18 (+2 racial) no matter how much you dump your physical stats. Besides, underinvesting in dex and con tanks your saving throws, an important part of your defenses.

You do get better armor class, but on a ranged caster that is much less important than on a melee character; and the Magus's best defenses are spells, not AC.

Concentration checks were never a problem for a baseline Magus; and again, less important on a ranged character. Even without archery feats, your blaster would be better off using Ranged Spell Combat to chuck a spell storing chakram, or something like that. Maybe invest in Startoss Style for the fun of it.

Armored Battlemage gets more/better use in melee than in ranged, an eldritch archer looks better primed in that aspect, even if more MAD. If the goal is to allow self to tank physical ability scores, not a good idea : the PC will be weak to fireballs and not so great against the poisons and alike, and I don't speak about the low initiative bonus which I think for that kind of concept is almost mandatory given the one-punch quitter spells aren't there (levels 6-9 ones)


Just noticed a minor error in the guide: In Builds, Ilyara Bladesong, Maneuver Magus: First trait is Bred for War, but this Race Trait requires Shoanti, whereas Ilyara Bladesong is an Elf. Recommend Forlorn as an alternative (half of Great Fortitude is not too shabby, since she has a Constitution penalty to start with and doesn't have enough feat space for the actual feat).


For a better blaster Magus, the Eldritch Sage 3rd-party archetype is one that I think is really interesting and honestly only overpowered in my mind compared to L1-4 full casters. Once you get beyond, you're keeping up with Arcanists or Exploiter Wizards in the mid-levels I suppose and then being absolutely outclassed beyond that. Magi do get good numbers of feats but, at some point, you just need higher spell levels so you can slap metamagic feats on your lower-level spells. The Eldritch Sage lets you use Wand Mastery and the other abilities to drop lots of lower-level spells on foes with higher DCs than otherwise, for making foes fail those saves.

About Armored Battlemage...it's probably suboptimal, but it's a LOT less fiddly, especially for newer players. The real complaint, which I'd absolutely change for home games, is Arcane Pool only working on armor.

Shadow Lodge

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Just noticed a minor error in the guide: In Builds, Ilyara Bladesong, Maneuver Magus: First trait is Bred for War, but this Race Trait requires Shoanti, whereas Ilyara Bladesong is an Elf. Recommend Forlorn as an alternative (half of Great Fortitude is not too shabby, since she has a Constitution penalty to start with and doesn't have enough feat space for the actual feat).

Would the Adopted Trait cover the Shoanti requirement?


^Strangely, you're right. I thought Adopted covered Social Traits, but it actually covers the (confusingly categorized) Race Traits. Although given that Elves adapt to their surroundings, I guess it makes sense that one brought up by Shoanti might grow up to be of similar size. Even so, I'd rather get Fortitude back up from what the Elven Constitution penalty does.

JiaYou wrote:
For a better blaster Magus, the Eldritch Sage 3rd-party archetype is one that I think is really interesting and honestly only overpowered in my mind compared to L1-4 full casters. {. . .}

Unfortunately, they mostly don't say what replaces what original feature.

JiaYou wrote:
About Armored Battlemage...it's probably suboptimal, but it's a LOT less fiddly, especially for newer players. The real complaint, which I'd absolutely change for home games, is Arcane Pool only working on armor.

If they had left in the ability to enhance weapons (like Skirnir has, being able to enhance both weapon and shield) and didn't eat 2 Magus Arcana including the one at 3rd level, Armored Battlemage would be merely bad rather than awful -- you would be able to make it serviceable if not great for casting multiple-hit spells like Chill Touch or Frostbite, wielding a polearm, and and making Attacks of Opportunity.


I have come to the biggest Magi nerdfest on the internet in search of your wisdom (or should I say Intelligence?). I am trying to build what I consider a slightly different build for the Magus AKA not finessed and no shocking grasp in sight (okay I lie, I will still learn it but it isn't the builds focus)

The builds focus is combining Sacred Weapon Damage (AWT gained from the Myrimdarch archetype) with the Giant Octopus (Beast Shape II & III)

Race I have gone with Half-Elf. For the Magus Arcana FC bonus saving me on Extra Arcana feats, as well as access to Paragon Surge, and human feats (Thank you Elf Blood).

I know the Myrimdarch is considered one of the weaker archetypes but it is the only single class build in the game that can combine beast shapes with AWT.

This is what I have come up with so far:

Feats:
1 (Level) - Improved Unarmed Strike
1 (Half-Elf) - Skill Focus (?????)
3 (Level) - Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
5 (Level) - Eshew Materials
5 (Bonus) - Combat Reflexes
7 (Level) - Martial Versatility (Weapon Focus - Close&Natural)
9 (Level) - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Tentacles
11 (Bonus) - Multiattack
11 (Level) - ???????
13 (Level) - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Spiked Armor

Arcana

3 - ??????
6 (FC) - Spell Blending: Bonefists
6 - Weapon Training: Natural
9 (FC) - Natural Spell Combat: Tentacles
12 - Maneuver Mastery: Grapple
12 - Weapon Training: Close
15 -

IUS is from building backwards and needing something to do in the early levels. Weapon Focus Unarmed is in both the Close & Natural Weapon Groups so I can AWT both the Tentacles and Spiked Armor.

Eshew Materials is so that you may cast spells in a polymorph shape. Ring of Eloquence will be needed for verbal components.

A few things still undecided, I would love to see what suggestions you have for that as well as the build overall. As I said, it is a little different.

1 - Cast Beast Shape and Attack
2 - Cast Bone Fist and continue to Attack
3 - Profit.


^I'm all up for nerdfesting! Seems to have gotten harder to do these days . . . like for instance, we need some more nerdiness here.

The extra Magus Arcana from Half-Elf Favored Class Bonus is only 1 every 6, and Rules As Written (I know, it's a mean restriction), you can't even start it until you have the class feature that you're adding to, so you could get one at level 9, but not at level 6 or 12. Without the latter restriction, you could get one at 6 and one at 12, but not at 9. Did you mean to put "(FC)" at 6 and 12 instead of 6 and 9?

Martial Versatility would be able to get you Weapon Focus (Close) or Weapon Focus (Natural), but not both with one instance of the feat . . . check with your GM, but I think it actually doesn't matter for this (I think the armor spikes you grow due to Bonefists would count as Natural Weapons, but check with your GM to be sure).

Is this for an aquatic campaign? If not (or even if yes, in some parts of it), even though the Giant Octopus surprisingly has a passable land speed specified for it, it has the Aquatic subtype and not the Amphibious special quality, which means that breathing out of water is going to be a problem after a short while.

Although a Ring of Eloquence lets you keep speech in Beast Form, I'm not convinced it lets you keep spellcasting without some feat like Natural Spell (which requires you to have the Wild Shape class feature -- Beast Shape by spell isn't good enough to qualify, which seems wrong to me, but that is the Rules As Written, although if you DID somehow manage to get it, you wouldn't need Eschew Materials). Better check with your GM. If you want something that can use manufactured weapons, speak, and cast spells without needing a hard-to-get feat or magic item AND works out of water without needing to hold your breath or use yet another environmental adaptation spell, use Monstrous Physique instead of Beast Form -- even comes online at the same time).

To get Bonefists, if you were willing to wait 1 more level and use Extra Magus Arcana, you could get another 1st or 2nd level spell with it. (Seems to me that once the spell you blended in isn't the highest level you can cast any more, you should be able to add another one, but that's not the Rules As Written.)

If you are going to use Maneuver Mastery (Grapple), you probably want to get Improved Grapple, so stick that in at Level 11 -- you easily qualify as long as you have Dexterity that would still be worth having Combat Reflexes with even when you get Large.

For the Half-Elven Skill Focus, you wouldn't be doing too badly to put it on Acrobatics. But you also have several good options for trading it out for an alternate racial trait, like Dual-Minded (basically Iron Will, except that it stacks with actual Iron Will), or even Water Child (also trades out Multitalented) if this actually is for an aquatic campaign. (By the way, also look for something good to trade out Multitalented for, since you aren't going to use it; if you aren't taking Water Child, Fey Thoughts might be good, depending upon what skills you want.)

Need to work out your point buy -- you're going to be fairly MAD.

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Minigiant wrote:
I have come to the biggest Magi nerdfest on the internet in search of your wisdom (or should I say Intelligence?).

Welcome, that's what we're here for. The entire guide is written to offer alternatives to the done-to-death shocking dervish build.

That said, you are paying some pretty steep costs here for the goal of increasing your tentacle damage from 1d4 to 1d10. On average, that's a +3 to damage (+4.5 at level 15 and up). Based on that, I'd suggest you drop the entire myrmidarch chain, simply take Weapon Specialization for +2 to damage, and spend your many other feats on something else.
+2 damage for one feat is already not spectacular on a Magus, so I would not advise spending more than two feats for +4.5 damage.

Unfortunately, you've got your verbal and material components covered (a polymorphic pouch could do the latter, too), but not your somatic. Animals cannot cast spells with somatic components, other than with Natural Spell. That said, you could simply focus on long-term buffs instead, and forego spells in the combats when you go berserk octopus. There are also some Monstrous Physique forms that are good grapplers and can still cast.

HTH.


UnArcaneElection wrote:


The extra Magus Arcana from Half-Elf Favored Class Bonus is only 1 every 6, and Rules As Written (I know, it's a mean restriction), you can't even start it until you have the class feature that you're adding to, so you could get one at level 9, but not at level 6 or 12. Without the latter restriction, you could get one at 6 and one at 12, but not at 9. Did you mean to put "(FC)" at 6 and 12 instead of 6 and 9?

I had not considered that is how it worked, so an extra one at 9 & 15 respectively. It still works with the build in mind. And yes I meant 6 & 12, the FC next to 9 is a typo

UnArcaneElection wrote:


Martial Versatility would be able to get you Weapon Focus (Close) or Weapon Focus (Natural), but not both with one instance of the feat . . . check with your GM, but I think it actually doesn't matter for this (I think the armor spikes you grow due to Bonefists would count as Natural Weapons, but check with your GM to be sure).

I am not too sure about that, Martial Versatility just says belongs to the same group. Unarmed Strikes just happen to belong to many.

I would agree with you regarding bone fist spiked armor making more sense being considered natural but there is no mention of that.

UnArcaneElection wrote:


Is this for an aquatic campaign? If not (or even if yes, in some parts of it), even though the Giant Octopus surprisingly has a passable land speed specified for it, it has the Aquatic subtype and not the Amphibious special quality, which means that breathing out of water is going to be a problem after a short while.

It is indeed for an aquatic campaign (Ruins of Azlant) but as far as I understand it, beast shape doen't take away your bility to breathe air

UnArcaneElection wrote:


Although a Ring of Eloquence lets you keep speech in Beast Form, I'm not convinced it lets you keep spellcasting without some feat like Natural Spell (which requires you to have the Wild Shape class feature -- Beast Shape by spell isn't good enough to qualify, which seems wrong to me, but that is the Rules As Written, although if you DID somehow manage to get it, you wouldn't need Eschew Materials).

I think it does because it lets you speak but if not then the only options are metamagic feats; still and silent.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
....... use Monstrous Physique instead of Beast Form -- even comes online at the same time).

Monstrous physique doesn't get you the amount of attacks I am looking for unfortunately

UnArcaneElection wrote:
To get Bonefists, if you were willing to wait 1 more level and use Extra Magus Arcana, you could get another 1st or 2nd level spell with it. (Seems to me that once the spell you blended in isn't the highest level you can cast any more, you should be able to add another one, but that's not the Rules As Written.)

Yeah, and with the rearrangement because of the FC error, it can do. Might as well eek out as much as possible. The only reason I could picture wanting it earlier is that it works with unarmed strikes. What other good wizard spells are there?

UnArcaneElection wrote:
If you are going to use Maneuver Mastery (Grapple), you probably want to get Improved Grapple, so stick that in at Level 11 -- you easily qualify as long as you have Dexterity that would still be worth having Combat Reflexes with even when you get Large.

Improved Grapple has been going in and out of my draft build multiple times. I am working on the basis of a Dex of 14

UnArcaneElection wrote:
For the Half-Elven Skill Focus, you wouldn't be doing too badly to put it on Acrobatics.

Skill Focus Acrobatics lead me into an interesting idea, Myridarch stacks with the Elvish Spelldancer which just so happens to get Acrobatics as a Class Skill. Giving up weapon augmentation is a pain but as a Giant Octopus how much difference is enhaning 1 of the 8 tentacles really going to do? The archetype then gives me an AC boost which I would of course loose in a Beast Shape.

Kurald Galain wrote:
Minigiant wrote:
I have come to the biggest Magi nerdfest on the internet in search of your wisdom (or should I say Intelligence?).
Welcome, that's what we're here for. The entire guide is written to offer alternatives to the done-to-death shocking dervish build.

Not the hero we deserve but the hero we need

Kurald Galain wrote:

That said, you are paying some pretty steep costs here for the goal of increasing your tentacle damage from 1d4 to 1d10. On average, that's a +3 to damage (+4.5 at level 15 and up). Based on that, I'd suggest you drop the entire myrmidarch chain, simply take Weapon Specialization for +2 to damage, and spend your many other feats on something else.

+2 damage for one feat is already not spectacular on a Magus, so I would not advise spending more than two feats for +4.5 damage.

It is way more damage than that though it is 2D8 because you are large so a +6 damage but the long term aim is to eventually pick up a necklace of Strong jaw and you are exponentially looking at damage die in the range of 4D8 or 6D6, 18 or 21 damage respectively from dice alone.

Kurald Galain wrote:

a polymorphic pouch could do the latter, too

I had never even heard of that until now, that is cool

Kurald Galain wrote:

Animals cannot cast spells with somatic components, other than with Natural Spell.

Isn't a tentacle a valid appendage for somantic components? If not then still spell is my only other option. My bigger concern is whether a tentacle counts as a free hand for the purposes of spell combat. I argue that a tentacle can be used to manipulate objects and therefore if it is not in use it can be but I have not found rules that are clear on this issue

Kurald Galain wrote:
That said, you could simply focus on long-term buffs instead, and forego spells in the combats when you go berserk octopus.

I had considered that, if I can pre buff with bone fists then all I would need is to spell combat beast shape and I am golden

Kurald Galain wrote:
There are also some Monstrous Physique forms that are good grapplers and can still cast.

Monstrous Physique kinda loses the glamour of rolling a million dice.

Just for argument sake a level 20 Giant Octopus with Strong Jaw, and Sacred Damage Tentacles and Bone Fist spikes is rolling 144D8 thanks to Grab, Constrict, Spikes.

Minor Updated build:

Feats:
1 (Level) - Improved Unarmed Strike
1 (Half-Elf) - Skill Focus (?????)
3 (Level) - Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
5 (Level) - Eshew Materials (Can maybe be replaced with polymorphic pouch)
5 (Bonus) - Combat Reflexes
7 (Level) - Martial Versatility (Weapon Focus - Close&Natural)
9 (Level) - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Tentacles
11 (Bonus) - Multiattack
11 (Level) - ???????

Arcana

3 - Maneuver Mastery: Grapple
6 - Weapon Training: Natural
9 (FC) - Spell Blending: Bonefists
9 - Natural Spell Combat: Tentacles
12 - Weapon Training: Close
15 (FC) -
15 -
18 - Weapon Training


Minigiant wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:


The extra Magus Arcana from Half-Elf Favored Class Bonus is only 1 every 6, and Rules As Written (I know, it's a mean restriction), you can't even start it until you have the class feature that you're adding to, so you could get one at level 9, but not at level 6 or 12. Without the latter restriction, you could get one at 6 and one at 12, but not at 9. Did you mean to put "(FC)" at 6 and 12 instead of 6 and 9?
I had not considered that is how it worked, so an extra one at 9 & 15 respectively. It still works with the build in mind. And yes I meant 6 & 12, the FC next to 9 is a typo

Just to clarify this, you can pick up the extra Arcana from your FCB at levels 8, 14 & 20 if you want to.

You can use your "+1/6 of an Arcana" FCB from the point that you have Arcana, which is level 3. This means at levels 3,4,5,6,7,8 you would take +1/6, and by level 8 you could have your first arcana. You don't have to wait till AFTER level 3 (eg. level 4), you can take the first racial FCB at level 3.

There may be advantages to taking them at levels 9 and 15 though, as this is only 1 level later and opens up higher level options for your Arcana. Up to you really.

Also, the way my group usually plays is that you can't get the extra arcana before the class gives you one. For example if there was a FCB that gave you +1/4 of an Arcana and you played a Black Blade (who swaps out their first Arcana) you wouldn't be able to get an Arcana at level 4 because you don't have a first Arcana yet. But since the FCB gives +1/6 and most Magi have arcana by then you can start taking the FCB at level 1. This is of course a house-rule, but we haven't had any problems with it, so ask your GM.


Minigiant wrote:
Kurald Galain wrote:
Animals cannot cast spells with somatic components, other than with Natural Spell.
Isn't a tentacle a valid appendage for somantic components?

I thought this too, but I'm not an expert in this. Are we wrong?

Quote:
My bigger concern is whether a tentacle counts as a free hand for the purposes of spell combat.

I'd probably rule yes ... but I'm not sure about this one either =P

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I'm not familiar with the Necklace of Strong Jaw; did you mean an Impact AOMF?

MrCharisma wrote:
Minigiant wrote:
Isn't a tentacle a valid appendage for somantic components?
I thought this too, but I'm not an expert in this. Are we wrong?

Somatic components look like this. That's why you can't do them with an occupied hand, or with an appendage that doesn't have fingers.

Quote:
Quote:
My bigger concern is whether a tentacle counts as a free hand for the purposes of spell combat.
I'd probably rule yes ... but I'm not sure about this one either =P

By a strict reading of RAW, no. That said I would likewise allow this (giving you seven tentacle attacks instead of eight).

Another thing to consider is that Natural Spell Combat is ambiguous whether it lets you use a single tentacle or all of your tentacles; and that Multiattack requires GM permission because it's a monster feat.

I mean it's a pretty cool combo but I don't really see it working in practice. That said, if you have eight attacks already and you cast pre-buffs on yourself, you've probably got a highly effective character already.


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I don't see why a tentacle wouldn't count as a free hand for purposes of spell combat, as long as the tentacle is capable of holding spell components and making gestures.


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Don't know if this old gem helps on the tentacle front since you're polymorphed and not 'natural'
James said...

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kadance wrote:

Don't know if this old gem helps on the tentacle front since you're polymorphed and not 'natural'

James said...

Later in the thread, James specifies that polymorphed-vs-natural makes all the difference:

"Unless you're a blink dog or have the knowledge about how to cast spells in a body SUPER DIFFERENT than your own, no, you wouldn't be able to cast spells in a non-humanoid form."


/facepalm
yeah.... that seems important and applicable to this discussion.


Kurald Galain wrote:


MrCharisma wrote:
Minigiant wrote:
Isn't a tentacle a valid appendage for somantic components?
I thought this too, but I'm not an expert in this. Are we wrong?

Somatic components look like this. That's why you can't do them with an occupied hand, or with an appendage that doesn't have fingers.

Funny example considering the movie had a scene saying it has nothing to do with your hands but considering:

Kurald Galain wrote:


"Unless you're a blink dog or have the knowledge about how to cast spells in a body SUPER DIFFERENT than your own, no, you wouldn't be able to cast spells in a non-humanoid form."

It looks as if Still Spell is needed.

We have actually gained a few feats because of

1) Polymorphic Pouch
2) This question

Kurald Galain wrote:


Another thing to consider is that Natural Spell Combat is ambiguous whether it lets you use a single tentacle or all of your tentacles; and that Multiattack requires GM permission because it's a monster feat.

I am pretty confident it means all the attacks

D20 wrote:
For example, a magus could select this arcana twice, choosing claw attacks and bite attacks. This would allow him to use a full-round action to make all of his claw attacks with his free hand and all of his bite attacks in addition to casting a spell.

but I will conceed that like the rest of the class, it is so terribly worded.

Minor Update

Feats:
1 (Level) - Improved Unarmed Strike
1 (Half-Elf) - Skill Focus (?????)
3 (Level) - Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
5 (Level) - Eshew Materials (Replaced with polymorphic pouch)
5 (Level) - ???????
5 (Bonus) - Combat Reflexes
7 (Level) - Martial Versatility (Weapon Focus - Close&Natural)
9 (Level) - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Tentacles - Taken as Arcana
9 (level) - Still Spell / Extra Arcana (Still Magic
11 (Bonus) - Multiattack
11 (Level) - ???????
13 (Level) -
15 (Level -
17 (Level) -
17 (Level) -
19 (Level) - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Spiked Armor

Arcana

3 - Maneuver Mastery: Grapple
6 - Weapon Training: Natural
8 (FC) - Spell Blending: Bonefists & _______
9 - Natural Spell Combat: Tentacles
12 - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Tentacles
14 (FC) -
15 -
18 - Weapon Training: Close
20 -

What do people think of stacking the Spell Dancer archetype on top of this for the extra AC while in beast shape?


Normally, I wouldn't be so keen on the Spell Dancer archetype. But you are going to be doing multiattacks, which don't go so well with Spell Combat as others have posted above, but do go very well with multiple Touch Attack spells like Frostbite and Chill Touch (too bad we don't have more of those) on rounds when you aren't doing Spell Combat, once you get to higher levels (to increase the number of Touch Attacks, which you can use with Spellstrike, that you get before the spell is used up). And having a lot of attacks doesn't go very well with the Arcane Pool Enhancement -- you can only have one weapon enhanced at a time (unless you are a Skirnir -- then you can enhance both 1 weapon and 1 shield), but even if you could, you would blow through your Arcane Pool in no time. So Spell Dancer trading this out might not be such a bad thing for your build, since you're 7/8 (actually 8/9 if you count Bite) hosed out of it anyway. (But then you do need to get yourself an Amulet of Mighty Fists, if possible.)

Now, with respect to getting a LOT of attacks out of Beast Shape vs Monstrous Physique -- see this guide, which has a list of Monstrous Physique forms. Even with Monstrous Physique I, you can already get a form that has 6 attacks, which is just 2 behind the Giant Octopus (although at that point, you aren't going to be able to get Large yet with either spell series -- on the other hand, if you are in a tight space, Medium is actually an advantage). Monstrous Physique II gets you a Large form with 6 attacks or a couple of Large forms with 3 Attacks + Pounce (one of these gets up to 2 more attacks from Rend). Some of the forms get noticeably better with higher Monstrous Physique versions (including all the way to Monstrous Physique IV).

If you have feats to spare: Rime Spell is good to have with Frostbite; Persistent Spell is good to have with Chill Touch.

Finally, I need to add a bit of cheese. Warning: This is Limburger = Weapons-Grade Cheese. Paragon Surge is on your spell list, since you are a Half-Elf Magus, and like Tactical Adaptation, it is a Transmutation spell that normally lasts 1 minute per level, and gets you temporary use of a feat that you qualify for. Unlike Tactical Adaptation, this can be any feat you qualify for, not just a Combat Feat. Meanwhile, the Shapechanger Sorcerer Bloodline 3rd level Bloodline Power extends any Transmutation spell that normally lasts 1 minute per level to 10 minutes per level and later to 1 hour per level. You can get this Bloodline Power with either the Eldritch Heritage feat chain (not so great for you due to the high Charisma requirement and the feat tax of Spell Focus (Disguise)) or by VMC Sorcerer (no Charisma absolute requirement, but you need a little bit of Charisma if you want the 1st level power to be useful for a decent amount of time, but VMC Sorcerer eats total 5 feats, of which 3 ere in the level range you're looking at). With respect to other Bloodline Powers: The 1st level power (that you would get at 3rd level either way) makes your natural attacks act as if 1 size larger, so it is actually useful for you. The big deal about the 3rd level Bloodline Power is that at 9th level (11th level if gotten with Improved Eldritch Heritage), it makes Paragon Surge to get an Item Crafting feat actually last long enough to do a day's work on Item Crafting. When you aren't using it for that and actually want extra Combat Feats, you can set Paragon Surge and Tactical Adaptation to 2 different Combat Feats and have this last most or all of the day with just 1 casting of each spell, thus effectively getting back 2 feats (with the flexibility to make them different for a day if you know ahead of time what you need). (Each spell has its own restriction that the choice made for the first casting of the day also sets the choice for castings during the rest of the day, but this restriction operates independently for the 2 spells.)

If you can't fit in a way to get the Shapechanger Sorcerer Bloodline Powers, you can still use Tactical Adaptation and Paragon Surge to get 2 Combat Feats -- they just won't last very long (but on the other hand, you won't be hurting for permanent feats).

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I probably wouldn't take Spell Dancer, because...
(1) At lower levels, you probably want pool enchant.
(2) Since you mentioned constricting, it's quite fun to add flaming+frost+shock on the tentacle you're constricting with.
(3) At higher levels, you can do pool enchant for Speed, hasting yourself as a swift.

An easier way to boost your AC may be to Spell Blend for Mage Armor. Although if you value AC higher than the above points, you could do spell dancer and mage armor.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Normally, I wouldn't be so keen on the Spell Dancer archetype.............So Spell Dancer trading this out might not be such a bad thing for your build, since you're 7/8 (actually 8/9 if you count Bite) hosed out of it anyway. (But then you do need to get yourself an Amulet of Mighty Fists, if possible.)

So one vote for, and one vote against

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Now, with respect to getting a LOT of attacks out of Beast Shape vs Monstrous Physique -- see this guide, which has a list of Monstrous Physique forms. Even with Monstrous Physique I, you can already get a form that has 6 attacks, which is just 2 behind the Giant Octopus (although at that point, you aren't going to be able to get Large yet with either spell series -- on the other hand, if you are in a tight space, Medium is actually an advantage). Monstrous Physique II gets you a Large form with 6 attacks or a couple of Large forms with 3 Attacks + Pounce (one of these gets up to 2 more attacks from Rend). Some of the forms get noticeably better with higher Monstrous Physique versions (including all the way to Monstrous Physique IV).

Which form has 6 attacks which are all the same (For Focused Weapon)?

I think with the ruling that you can't cast in beast shape because you are not familiar with the form would mean you cannot spell combat. So a monstrous physique with 6 identical natural attacks could be great if it still was in humanoid form.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Finally, I need to add a bit of cheese. Warning: This is Limburger = Weapons-Grade Cheese. Paragon Surge is on your spell list, since you are a Half-Elf Magus, and like Tactical Adaptation, it is a Transmutation spell that normally lasts 1 minute per level, and gets you temporary use of a feat that you qualify for. Unlike Tactical Adaptation, this can be any feat you qualify for, not just a Combat Feat. Meanwhile, the Shapechanger Sorcerer Bloodline 3rd level Bloodline Power extends any Transmutation spell that normally lasts 1 minute per level to 10 minutes per level and later to 1 hour per level. You can get this Bloodline Power with either the Eldritch Heritage feat chain (not so great for you due to the high Charisma requirement and the feat tax of Spell Focus (Disguise)) or by VMC Sorcerer (no Charisma absolute requirement, but you need a little bit of Charisma if you want the 1st level power to be useful for a decent amount of time, but VMC Sorcerer eats total 5 feats, of which 3 ere in the level range you're looking at). With respect to other Bloodline Powers: The 1st level power (that you would get at 3rd level either way) makes your natural attacks act as if 1 size larger, so it is actually useful for you. The big deal about the 3rd level Bloodline Power is that at 9th level (11th level if gotten with Improved Eldritch Heritage), it makes Paragon Surge to get an Item Crafting feat actually last long enough to do a day's work on Item Crafting. When you aren't using it for that and actually want extra Combat Feats, you can set Paragon Surge and Tactical Adaptation to 2 different Combat Feats and have this last most or all of the day with just 1 casting of each spell, thus effectively getting back 2 feats (with the flexibility to make them different for a day if you know ahead of time what you need). (Each spell has its own restriction that the choice made for the first casting of the day also sets the choice for castings during the rest of the day, but this restriction operates independently for the 2 spells.)

And I thought just having those two spells for different style feats was good. I like this a lot. The Charisma prerequisite is a pain however, even 25 point buy it is a stretch. If I can get the point buy to work this is what I think we are looking at:

Feats:
1 (Level) - Improved Unarmed Strike
1 (Half-Elf) - Skill Focus (Disguise)
3 (Level) - Eldritch Heritage (Shapechanger)
5 (Level) - Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
5 (Bonus) - Combat Reflexes
7 (Level) - Martial Versatility (Weapon Focus - Close&Natural)
9 (level) - ??????
11 (Bonus) - Multiattack
11 (Level) - Improved Eldritich Heritage
13 (Level) -
15 (Level -
17 (Level) -
17 (Level) -
19 (Level) - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Spiked Armor

Arcana

3 - Maneuver Mastery: Grapple
6 - Weapon Training: Natural
8 (FC) - Spell Blending: Bonefists & _______
9 - Natural Spell Combat: Tentacles - Don't need it if I cannot spell combat in beast shape
9 - Still Magic
12 - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Tentacles
14 (FC) - ??????
15 - ???????
18 - Weapon Training: Close
20 -

Kurald Galain wrote:

An easier way to boost your AC may be to Spell Blend for Mage Armor. Although if you value AC higher than the above points, you could do spell dancer and mage armor.

I didn't even realise that Mage Armor wasn't on the Magus spell list, that makes my 2nd spell blend option easy, thanks


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Years ago I ran a related build through Gencon. Resulted in several nerfs shortly thereafter, but it gave me some familiarity with the issues you describe.

I was playing a build where I shape changed into a giant octopus, then via shadow projection was doing touch attacks for str dmg.

Shortly thereafter the nerf hammer came down saysing only 1 str atk.

Notes: Yes, you need natural spell. Yes, you keep your ability to breath air.

After the ban hammer, you can make a build that can do a grapple to pin in the same round, due to having a familiar.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

Years ago I ran a related build through Gencon. Resulted in several nerfs shortly thereafter, but it gave me some familiarity with the issues you describe.

I was playing a build where I shape changed into a giant octopus, then via shadow projection was doing touch attacks for str dmg.

Shortly thereafter the nerf hammer came down saysing only 1 str atk.

Notes: Yes, you need natural spell. Yes, you keep your ability to breath air.

After the ban hammer, you can make a build that can do a grapple to pin in the same round, due to having a familiar.

I am interested, how was Spell Combat ruled without an actual hand free?

How did you cast spells in Beast Shape? Still/Silent Spell/Eshew Materials?


Sorry, related build.
Not using spell combat. Just using 7 (iirc) touch attacks for str dmg.

But a lot of the issues are the same. Can you cast with tentacles. Breath? Move?


You're right, Mage Armor isn't on the Magus spell list, of all the weird things. Well, I guess that means you use Spell Blending for Bone Fists and Mage Armor.

Fortunately, Shield and Mirror Image are already on the Magus spell list.

Scarab Sages

If it's a high magic game (crafting, can readily buy magic items), just use wands of Mage Armor and UMD with a few potions as a backup. They're cheap. Or if the party has someone that can cast mage armor, just get a level 1 pearl of power. Spending a Magus Arcana or Feat on picking up mage armor is rough.

If you've got reason to believe magic items will be scare, and no one else can cast it on you, then it would be worth it.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
You're right, Mage Armor isn't on the Magus spell list, of all the weird things.

I mean, Magi can wear armour so they don't really need it.

I know we're talking about archetypes who lose that here, but the design of the spell-list wasn't really taking that into account.

(But yeah I totally would have thought they had it if I hadn't checked.)

... actually the Bloodrager and Occultist get Mage Armour ... ok now I'm with you, that's weird.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

Sorry, related build.

Not using spell combat. Just using 7 (iirc) touch attacks for str dmg.

But a lot of the issues are the same. Can you cast with tentacles. Breath? Move?

So it was ruled that a tentacle could be used for somantic components?

So you would cast Beast shape, then Shadow projection the next turn? Then on the 3rd turn start dishing it out?

I'm just trying to figure out your action economy


Minigiant wrote:
And I thought just having those two spells for different style feats was good. I like this a lot. The Charisma prerequisite is a pain however, even 25 point buy it is a stretch. If I can get the point buy to work this is what I think we are looking at:

Kindred Raised could be the solution

STR: 15+2
DEX: 14
CON: 14
INT: 15
WIS: 9
CHA: 12+2

AI Order: STR-CHA-INT-??-??

Feats:
1 (Level) - Improved Unarmed Strike
3 (Level) - Skill Focus (Disguise)
5 (Level) - Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
5 (Bonus) - Eldritch Heritage (Shapechanger)
7 (Level) - Combat Reflexes
9 (level) - Martial Versatility (Weapon Focus - Close&Natural)
11 (Bonus) - Multiattack
11 (Level) - Improved Eldritich Heritage
13 (Level) -
15 (Level -
17 (Level) -
17 (Level) -
19 (Level) - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Spiked Armor

Arcana

3 - Maneuver Mastery: Grapple
6 - Weapon Training: Natural
8 (FC) - Spell Blending: Bonefists & Mage Armor
9 - Still Magic
12 - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Tentacles
14 (FC) - ??????
15 - Quickened Magic
18 - Weapon Training: Close
20 -


Minigiant wrote:
Minigiant wrote:
And I thought just having those two spells for different style feats was good. I like this a lot. The Charisma prerequisite is a pain however, even 25 point buy it is a stretch. If I can get the point buy to work this is what I think we are looking at:

Kindred Raised could be the solution

{. . .}

Alternatively, VMC Sorcerer saves you from having to meet the Charisma requirement and saves you from the feat tax of Skill Focus (Disguise) (which you probably won't find very useful in its own right), so you don't have to go Kindred-Raised.

Adjusting your ability scores slightly (25 point buy):
STR: 15+2
DEX: 14
CON: 14
INT: 15
WIS: 8
CHA: 13

AI Order: STR-INT-CHA-STR-STR

Feats:
1 (Level) - Improved Unarmed Strike
3 (Level) - VMC Sorcerer (Shapechanger) I -- gets you the 1st level Bloodline Power; the 12th level increase in Charisma will eventually extend your time of being able to use this
5 (Level) - Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
5 (Bonus) - Eldritch Heritage (Shapechanger)
7 (Level) - VMC Sorcerer (Shapechanger) II -- gets you the 3rd level Bloodline Power
9 (Level) - Combat Reflexes (and the 3rd level Bloodline Power automatically upgrades to serious cheese)
11 (Bonus) - Martial Versatility (Weapon Focus - Close&Natural)
11 (Level) - VMC Sorcerer (Shapechanger) III -- gets you a Shapechanger Bloodline feat (Extend Spell to use with your non-Transmutation spells? Great Fortitude? Improved Initiative? Lightning Reflexes? Toughness?) or Eschew Materials
13 (Level) - Multiattack
15 (Level) - VMC Sorcerer (Shapechanger) IV -- gets you the 9th level Bloodline Power (a decent bomb, although the extremely limited uses per day really hurt)
17 (Bonus) - Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Natural Armor Spikes
17 (Level) - ?
18 (Retrain) - Retrain Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Natural Armor Spikes to Advanced Weapon Training - Focused Weapon: Spiked Armor (if you want to use actual armor spikes when you are not Polymorphed)
19 (Level) - VMC Sorcerer (Shapechanger) V -- gets you the 15th level Bloodline Power (nobody can Polymorph you if you don't want it, and once per day you can add a Fly or Swim speed or extra land speed to your own Polymorphed form)


Kurald Galain wrote:

I probably wouldn't take Spell Dancer, because...

(1) At lower levels, you probably want pool enchant.
(2) Since you mentioned constricting, it's quite fun to add flaming+frost+shock on the tentacle you're constricting with.
(3) At higher levels, you can do pool enchant for Speed, hasting yourself as a swift.

An easier way to boost your AC may be to Spell Blend for Mage Armor. Although if you value AC higher than the above points, you could do spell dancer and mage armor.

I have just realised that a Myrdimarch can get the Warrior Spirit AWT so can sort of buy back what Spell Dancer gives up


Minigiant wrote:
Kurald Galain wrote:

I probably wouldn't take Spell Dancer, because...

(1) At lower levels, you probably want pool enchant.
(2) Since you mentioned constricting, it's quite fun to add flaming+frost+shock on the tentacle you're constricting with.
(3) At higher levels, you can do pool enchant for Speed, hasting yourself as a swift.

An easier way to boost your AC may be to Spell Blend for Mage Armor. Although if you value AC higher than the above points, you could do spell dancer and mage armor.

I have just realised that a Myrdimarch can get the Warrior Spirit AWT so can sort of buy back what Spell Dancer gives up

But it suffers from the same problem that it works on one weapon at a time(*). Amulet of Mighty Fists (which you can craft yourself with the monstrously but deliciously stinky cheese of Shapechanger Sorcerer Bloodline 3rd level ability(**) + Paragon Surge), on the other hand, does not.

(*)At least it doesn't have the text that says if you use it again before the 1 minute duration is up, the previous instance ends; however, you'll run out of Warrior Spirit points before you finish enhancing all your tentacles, even at high levels.

(**)Starting at level 9 if you get it with VMC Sorcerer or starting at level 11 if you get it with Improved Eldritch Heritage.

Edit: Who here has had a chance to look at the playtest version of the 2nd Edition Magus? Does it look like it will be possible to convert most 1st Edition Magi to 2nd Edition reasonably, and vice versa?


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Minigiant wrote:
Kurald Galain wrote:

I probably wouldn't take Spell Dancer, because...

(1) At lower levels, you probably want pool enchant.
(2) Since you mentioned constricting, it's quite fun to add flaming+frost+shock on the tentacle you're constricting with.
(3) At higher levels, you can do pool enchant for Speed, hasting yourself as a swift.

An easier way to boost your AC may be to Spell Blend for Mage Armor. Although if you value AC higher than the above points, you could do spell dancer and mage armor.

I have just realised that a Myrdimarch can get the Warrior Spirit AWT so can sort of buy back what Spell Dancer gives up

But it suffers from the same problem that it works on one weapon at a time(*).

I know, I am using it as an argument for Spell Dancer. What is nice is that at least by not dumping charisma the spell dancer makes better thematic sense


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Who here has had a chance to look at the playtest version of the 2nd Edition Magus? Does it look like it will be possible to convert most 1st Edition Magi to 2nd Edition reasonably, and vice versa?

I don't think so? The basic structure of PF2 magi (full casters with exactly 4 non-cantrip spell slots; cantrips are different too), the different structure of PF2 classes, of PF2 feats, and of the PF2 magus spellstrike suggest to me that at most you could get inspiration for one from the other and maybe not that.


^That's what I was afraid of from some of the early comments I saw about the Playtest, but it was early enough that I thought maybe those had been from looking at an announced pre-Playtest version.

So does anything already released in Pathfinder 2nd Edition let you come closer to approximating a Pathfinder 1st Edition Magus? I didn't see anything, but then again, I haven't gone through 2nd Edition's material in anywhere near as much depth as for 1st Edition.

Edit: So really is just 4 non-cantrip spell slots? I wonder if it is going to be something like Eldritch Trickster Rogue in which you are supposed to multiclass into some other spellcasting class to get the rest of your spells?


Cantrips are a bigger deal in PF2. They scale, sort of, and should be a spellcaster's bread & butter though they couldn't be used with spellstrike in the magus playtest.

If you're going to try to approximate a PF1 magus in PF2...probably you're using the spellcasting multiclass feats with a lightly armored class and trying to find synergy. From what I saw the PF2 magus is not incentivised to use a rapier or scimitar or similar, I think it'd look less like most PF1 magus builds. I'm not an expert though.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Minigiant wrote:
Minigiant wrote:
And I thought just having those two spells for different style feats was good. I like this a lot. The Charisma prerequisite is a pain however, even 25 point buy it is a stretch. If I can get the point buy to work this is what I think we are looking at:

Kindred Raised could be the solution

{. . .}

Alternatively, VMC Sorcerer saves you from having to meet the Charisma requirement and saves you from the feat tax of Skill Focus (Disguise) (which you probably won't find very useful in its own right), so you don't have to go Kindred-Raised.

Cool build.

Any idea as to what traits you would run?

Obviously Reactionary is crying out but could we do anything interesting with traits to tac on


^Well, for starters, do you have to make room for a Campaign Trait?

Also, if you want a Combat Trait, which therefore conflicts with Reactionary unless you invest in Exemplar Traits (which you won't have enough feats for even without VMC Sorcerer), then you can get the same thing as Reactionary with Elven Reflexes (which is a Half-Elf-specific Race Trait; the pure Elf equivalent is Warrior of Old).

For more on traits, see this guide -- it is missing the more recent material (including Exemplar Traits and Campaign Traits after Skull & Shackles), but still pretty good.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Well, for starters, do you have to make room for a Campaign Trait?

We always play 1 Campaign Trait, 1 Drawback, and 2 Additional Traits


^Okay, sorry, I missed "Ruins of Azlant" in one of your messages above. That is definitely after the time of the guide I linked, although that guide is still worth looking through. To avoid derailing this thread with Trait and Drawback stuff, I sent you a PM (although some of the stuff is actually Magus-relevant).

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Well if you have any Magus traits that aren't in the Magus Guide yet, let me know! (other than campaign traits, I don't list those because they're too campaign-specific)


^Most of my private message was about the Campaign Traits (I didn't look through general traits more than I had with my previous posting), which you don't want, but I did briefly get into Drawbacks (although it's pretty generic), and also said something about Advanced Armor Training, which on reflection, you might want (although it depends upon being a Myrmidarch or worse yet an Armored Battlemage), so here you go:

Advanced Armor Training (only a subset of the options that I thought were most relevant to Minigiant's character -- for a more general review, which is probably what you would really want, I would have to go back and look through again)

If you aren't going beyond Medium Armor, you could usefully trade out the 2nd rank of Armor Training for one of the following options (a subset of the Advanced Armor Training list); if you have a spare feat, you could even pick up one of these with the Advanced Armor Training feat:

Adaptable Training: If you're short on skill ranks, take this with Swim and use the skill ranks you freed up for the other stuff you want. You don't have to be wearing armor for this to work.

Armored Confidence: If you're going to use your okay Charisma(*) to Intimidate, this is for you. Also makes you harder to Intimidate. Only works when wearing armor.

Armored Master (Secured Armor): Having a chance to negate Criticals and Sneak Attacks is potentially okay, but it depends upon how often this comes up.

Armored Master (Sprightly Armor): Improves your Initiative; even works with enchanted Light Armor (but not sure if it would work with a magic item that gave you enhanced natural armor).

Armored Sprint: Run! You don't have to be wearing armor for this to work.

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
If you aren't going beyond Medium Armor, you could usefully trade out the 2nd rank of Armor Training for one of the following options (a subset of the Advanced Armor Training list); if you have a spare feat, you could even pick up one of these with the Advanced Armor Training feat:

Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm not so convinced these are such great picks.

Instead of taking Armored Confidence or Adaptable Training, it's much easier to grab Skill Focus, which does more-or-less the same. It's not a great feat though, and the int-based Magus should have sufficient skill points.
Likewise, instead of Sprightly Armor take improved initiative, and for Secured Armor you can use Fortified Armor Training. Those are just easier to pick up and have pretty much the same effect. The Run feat has no prerequisites, so you don't need Armored Sprint for that (and it's also not a great feat).


^ . . . Except for the problem that Minigiant's build was short on feats, but had an Armor Training slot that could be traded for the the options I posted, but not for regular feats (except in so far as some of them give you a bonus feat). That said, Adaptable Training actually gives you a whole {your_level} worth of skill points, so if you're single-classed and you can't fit Cunning into your build, it's not bad; meanwhile, although Skill Focus does more offensively than Armored Confidence, it wouldn't make you harder to Intimidate (but if you want to really double down and can spare the feat to get both, as far as I can tell they stack in offensive Intimidation value).

Other options that I didn't put in because they didn't appear good for Minigiant's build, but could be good for some other Myrmidarch-based build (technically also an Armored Battlemage build, but that's just too gruesome):

Armored Juggernaut would get good if you're up against a lot of attackers that deal small amounts of damage AND you're really armoring up AND you're going into Epic levels, but it isn't very good before that (Myrmidarch only gets Armor Mastery at level 20).

Unmoving could be used to shore up a weakness to a particular type of Combat Maneuver that your enemies like to use a lot (if applicable).

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Adaptable Training actually gives you a whole {your_level} worth of skill points

On a fighter, yes. But the Magus has partial BAB.

Quote:
if you're up against a lot of attackers that deal small amounts of damage AND you're really armoring up AND you're going into Epic levels

Yeah, I agree that's too situational. I'd recommend the chillblight emissary trait or the clayskin spell.

Quote:
Unmoving could be used to shore up a weakness to a particular type of Combat Maneuver that your enemies like to use a lot

So which combat maneuvers are common enough to make this worth it? I'd imagine the worst combat maneuver is trip (but you can deal with that by flying) or grapple (getting freedom of movement is admittedly not so straightforward on a Magus).


Kurald Galain wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Adaptable Training actually gives you a whole {your_level} worth of skill points
On a fighter, yes. But the Magus has partial BAB.

Had to go back and look again -- you're right. Good catch. I must have auto-corrected it to level (several other things, including some Magus Arcana, convert level to effective BAB for feat qualification/effect purposes -- didn't occur to me to check for effectively the opposite).

Kurald Galain wrote:
Quote:
if you're up against a lot of attackers that deal small amounts of damage AND you're really armoring up AND you're going into Epic levels
Yeah, I agree that's too situational. I'd recommend the chillblight emissary trait or the clayskin spell.

Clay Skin looks good. Actually, that looks good for anyone who has it on their spell list. I keep learning new stuff every day.

Kurald Galain wrote:
Quote:
Unmoving could be used to shore up a weakness to a particular type of Combat Maneuver that your enemies like to use a lot
So which combat maneuvers are common enough to make this worth it? I'd imagine the worst combat maneuver is trip (but you can deal with that by flying) or grapple (getting freedom of movement is admittedly not so straightforward on a Magus).

Yeah, Grapple is the one I am thinking of (fortunately, this includes Grab and Snatch).

Somebody could trip you while you are flying if they have Ace Trip, but most enemies aren't going to have that.


I see Planar Hunter is marked as red, but in a campaign where the majority of the enemies are Outsiders (and have at-will access to G. Teleport) coupled with a DM who is fond of keeping his baddies alive by fleeing at the last moment; does the Arcana gain in value simply due to the Phase Locking ability?

Dimensional Anchor isn't on the Magus list, and while you can slap lingering pain on someone (for the same 2 points as phase locking) that only lasts a single round compared to the 10 rnds you can anchor them for. Granted Pain will affect them trying to cast any spell, but the fire and forget nature of just adding Phase Locking to your weapon buff (which you are going to do anyways) seems pretty appealing.

I always like to refer to this most awesome of guides when selecting feats or spells just to make sure I'm not overlooking something glaring and the Red status for this arcana has me concerned.

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Worthx wrote:
a campaign where the majority of the enemies are Outsiders (and have at-will access to G. Teleport) coupled with a DM who is fond of keeping his baddies alive by fleeing at the last moment

That's a pretty risky move. Greater Teleport has a concentration DC of 29; most outsiders cannot consistently pull that off when threatened (for instance, a Vrock has +15 to concentrate, so only a 35% chance). And they want to do that when they're just a couple hits from dying? Doesn't sound like a great plan.

My issue with Planar Hunter is that it's just so darn expensive: one arcana slot, and two pool points per use, and it's a +2 enchantment that you could spend on something else.

If this situation comes up often, my preferred way of dealing with it would be the Disruptive arcana and Arrowsong's Sorrow ritual (so the Vrock now has a 5% chance of teleporting). Then spend your +2 on Holy or something.

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