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


Advice

1,351 to 1,400 of 1,423 << first < prev | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | next > last >>

Adventure Path for Myrmpus is blank -- is this still supposed to be for Ruins of Azlant? (If not, I had the idea that it would actually fit with Skull and Shackles -- Besmara's Chosen.)


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Adventure Path for Myrmpus is blank -- is this still supposed to be for Ruins of Azlant? (If not, I had the idea that it would actually fit with Skull and Shackles -- Besmara's Chosen.)

I double checked that so many times! Yes, it is supposed to say Skull & Shackles; the first trait listed 'Touched by the Sea' is a S&S campaign trait.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Good to see some long-term builds in action here, thanks for posting!

I'm curious what Myrmpus is intended to do at levels before he can turn into a giant octopus? Or is it meant to be primarily a high-level build?
I think Penetrating Strike may be unnecessary, because at level 15, you can probably afford a +5 AOMF (which also breaks pretty much all kinds of DR).
Why do you take Greater Eldritch Heritage, and how are you qualifying for it?
And finally, how does the build deal with GMs that disallow Multiattack, because it's from a book not necessarily allowed to PCs (the Bestiary).

For Dirty Dancing, before it gets Quick DT, you could use feats like Rime Spell to stack up the debuffs (and then retrain). It strikes me as a fairly bad deal for a Magus to forego spell combat.
The build has a swift action problem, as it needs the first two swifts in combat to switch on the style feat and to use empowered arm. But hex strike and spell trickery and quickened magic are also swift actions.
Is this build playable without drawbacks? It is listed as requiring a drawback, and in my experience most GMs don't allow those.
Finally, what exactly is the synergy between DTs and unarmed combat? Seems to be that any weapon user could use the same DTs without suffering the drawbacks of the Jistkan artificer. Unless the aim of the build is that golem arms are cool, which they are.


Kurald Galain wrote:


I'm curious what Myrmpus is intended to do at levels before he can turn into a giant octopus? Or is it meant to be primarily a high-level build?

Suffer? No in all seriousness they just have to survive. My groups experience of playing "broken" combinations is, if you have to suffer through at the beginning then it is acceptable to play at the end.

Kurald Galain wrote:
I think Penetrating Strike may be unnecessary, because at level 15, you can probably afford a +5 AOMF (which also breaks pretty much all kinds of DR).

Yeah it probably is

Kurald Galain wrote:


Why do you take Greater Eldritch Heritage, and how are you qualifying for it?

To take Superior Transformation (Su) and give my Octopus form a fly speed.

Kurald Galain wrote:
And finally, how does the build deal with GMs that disallow Multiattack, because it's from a book not necessarily allowed to PCs (the Bestiary).

I actually don't think it is really needed. Weapon Training kind of covers it. It is nice though to have. Taking Greater Weapon Focus earlier is not bad either.

Kurald Galain wrote:


For Dirty Dancing, before it gets Quick DT, you could use feats like Rime Spell to stack up the debuffs (and then retrain). It strikes me as a fairly bad deal for a Magus to forego spell combat.

Yeah you are still going to be casting touch spells. Rime Spell would have been great early on to be honest

Kurald Galain wrote:


The build has a swift action problem, as it needs the first two swifts in combat to switch on the style feat and to use empowered arm. But hex strike and spell trickery and quickened magic are also swift actions.

Swift Action overload I fully agree

Kurald Galain wrote:


Is this build playable without drawbacks? It is listed as requiring a drawback, and in my experience most GMs don't allow those.

Yeah you should be able to. We always play 1 Campaign + 1 Trait, and Drawback for another non-campaign trait

Kurald Galain wrote:


Finally, what exactly is the synergy between DTs and unarmed combat? Seems to be that any weapon user could use the same DTs without suffering the drawbacks of the Jistkan artificer. Unless the aim of the build is that golem arms are cool, which they are.

A lot of dirty tricks when required to RP what you are doing require you to use your hands; rubbing sand in the eyes, stubbing toes. You can of course do dirty tricks with a weapon but I find you have to be more creative with what you are doing


Hi all,

I hope everyone is doing well enough. There's been a bit of a lull here, so I thought it might be acceptable to ask for some build advice.

This is the same PC I've mentioned previously. Level 10 Bladebound/Hexcrafter Frostbite magus.

This is a three-PC Rise of the Runelords campaign (no spoilers please).

1: Weapon Finesse
3: Craft Wondrous Item (Retrain to one of the mentioned feats)
4: Hex Arcana: Flight
5: Dervish Dance
5: Rime Spell [1]
6: Arcana: Flamboyant Arcana
7: Enforcer
9: Improved Initiative 
9: Arcana: Spell Blending [Heroism]
---
11: Empower Spell [2]
11: Dimensional Agility? Iron Will? Additional Traits (Stabbing Spells/Reactionary)? Lunge? Combat Reflexes?
12: Arcana: Accurate Strike? Spell Blending?
13: Quicken Spell [3]
15: Spell Perfection: Frostbite
15: Arcana: Bane Blade 

Thank you in advance.


^Not done thinking about this yet, but some of the answers are going to depend upon what kind of campaign you are in.

A few things to start with:

Any reason not to get Dervish Dance or Rime Spell at 3rd level and bump Craft Wondrous Item to 5th level?

What is Empower Spell going to be for? You would have to wait until 13th level to be able to use it with Fireball, which is the only obvious candidate (well, you could use it with Burning Hands, but without Intensified Spell you wouldn't be getting good use of that, and even with that you would be missing out on damage).

If you wait until 11th level to get Spell Blending (Heroism), you could blend in a second spell of 3rd level or lower.

It's confusing on the character sheet that Intimidate still says Cha for the skill type even though you have Bruising Intellect, but that might not be something you can do anything about.

What's the deal with "Page-Bound Epiphany (Not in SB)"?


Thanks very much for your reply, @UnArcaneElection.

The campaign is a three-PC Rise of the Runelords campaign (no spoilers, please). The other PCs are a sorcerer and a ranger/unchained rogue sniper. I am the sole melee combatant.

The PC is already level 10 (began at 8), so the ordering of the early feats is cosmetic.

Empower Spell is for Frostbite.

I took Spell Blending (Heroism) because I wanted it ASAP.

Good catch on Intimidate; I changed it to Int.

"Page-Bound Epiphany (Not in SB)" is my reminder to dock my arcane pool when I prepare it because it is not in my spell book.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

The Other wrote:
There's been a bit of a lull here, so I thought it might be acceptable to ask for some build advice.

Certainly.

For L11, definitely go for Dimensional Agility. I'd consider Elemental Spell instead of Quicken. If retraining is on the table and you're good-aligned, consider Devoted Blade at L12. You can also consider squeezing in Chilling Amplification, and maybe hexes Ice Tomb and/or Iceplant. Lunge is probably more fun to play with than Imp Init, especially if you're the only frontliner. And consider handing off Craft Wondrous to the sorcerer, because you likely need feats more than he does.

HTH!


Do we care about getting Spell Pen/Stabbing Spells to take advantage of Spell Perfection for Frostbite? Or do we just ignore and use a Piercing Spell rod and Dweomer's Essence?

My thinking with Quicken is I really want to get the Frostbite debuffs up ASAP if I am using Dimensional Agility. I also like having a Quickened Shocking Grasp in reserve for some nova damage.

Thanks very much for everyone's input.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

The Other wrote:
Do we care about getting Spell Pen/Stabbing Spells to take advantage of Spell Perfection for Frostbite?

Stabbing Spells is not a feat, so not multiplied by Spell Perfection. And for a Magus, metarods tend to interfere with spell combat. If spell resistance bothers you, I'd go with Piercing Spell as a feat.

Quote:
My thinking with Quicken is I really want to get the Frostbite debuffs up ASAP if I am using Dimensional Agility.

Well it's a good feat, but you also want to spend a swift on enchanting your weapon; and Flamboyant and Accurate also eat your swift action.

Personally I wouldn't spend my highest-level slots on Quickened spells, so I wouldn't take quicken until L16. YMMV though.


Oh, my mistake about Stabbing Spell. I am a Tiefling with Prehensile Tail, so metarods can be handy (tailsy).

The swift action economy dilemma is real, though.

I foresee some serious SR coming up in this campaign.

Point taken about Quicken. Some things to consider, for sure.

Again, very much appreciated.


The Other wrote:

Thanks very much for your reply, @UnArcaneElection.

The campaign is a three-PC Rise of the Runelords campaign (no spoilers, please). The other PCs are a sorcerer and a ranger/unchained rogue sniper. I am the sole melee combatant.

Oops -- I even saw your mention of Rise of the Runelords before, and then somehow erased it. Anyway, the additional information just above reveals that you need to make yourself noticeably tanky (not easy on d8 HD, but having really high Dex helps), and for you and the Sorcerer to be able to enable the whole group to move fast when 1 character being tanky just isn't going to cut it (and you WILL run into that situation sooner or later, even if you upgraded to a party of 4).

The Other wrote:

The PC is already level 10 (began at 8), so the ordering of the early feats is cosmetic.

Empower Spell is for Frostbite.

Since Frostbite does 1d6 points of nonlethal cold damage + 1 point per level, Empower Spell isn't adding all that much. Yes, it does add up over multiple hits, but for +2 spell level (unless your character sheet has some Metamagic cost reducer in addition to Magical Lineage and I missed it -- eventual Spell Perfection at 15th level seems like kind of a waste for this), you aren't getting much, and Empower Spell doesn't synergize with Rime Spell, since the effect of Rime Spell has a duration that depends upon the original spell level. Heighten Spell would be better than Empower Spell for this purpose, since it actually increases the base level of the spell (including for DC calculation, although that isn't relevant to Frostbite), unlike all other Metamagic Feats. Not saying it would be ideal, and your feat might be spent better yet somewhere else, but at least it would have synergy with Rime Spell -- you could use a normal (unheightened) Rime Spell Frostbite for when you want to whack on 1 enemy repeatedly, and use a Heightened Rime Spell when you want to spread the chill around and have a debuff on several enemies at once (with unheightened Rime Spell, you won't be able to debuff more enemies than you can hit in 1 round).

Like I said, Heighten Spell isn't ideal, so since you're worried about Spell Resistance, it might be better to take Spell Penetration, which is 40% of Piercing Spell but without the spell level cost, and then later thake the Greater version of this instead of Piercing Spell to get another 40%, still without the spell level cost.

The Other wrote:
I took Spell Blending (Heroism) because I wanted it ASAP.

Since you have a Sorcerer, why not get them to cast Heroism on you (or use a Scroll of it if they don't have room for it in their Spell Repertoire) until you get to 11th level, and then you can get 2 Sorcerer/Wizard spells of 3rd level or less for the price of 1? Pick something that targets a Save that you don't have many spells targeting(*), or pick some utility that you wouldn't otherwise have (like for Insect Scouts for scouting).

(*)For instance, Spiked Pit to use against Medium to Large creatures with low Reflex Saves. I was going to say Hold Person to use against Humanoids that have low Will Saves, but being a Hexcrafter, you also have access to Bestow Curse, which is better for that. I was also going to say something else to use against creatures with low Fortitude Saves, but even the squishier enemies at higher levels are going to have pretty good Fortitude Saves, so scratch that. So go with something like Spiked Pit or a utility spell, or something that doesn't allow a Save like Call the Void (but be careful not to hose your friends; more effective against your enemies if you also have the Step Up feat, and better yet also Following Step, and even better yet also Step Up and Strike).

A couple of thoughts about Quicken Spell: At 13th level, you can use it for casting a Quickened True Strike that you follow up with something else that you get in by Spell Combat (for instance, Vampiric Touch, or especially Vampiric Touch on a Combat Maneuver, like a Bull Rush into a Spiked Pit that you created but they didn't fall into the first time). You can also use it for Quickened Ill Omen to poopify their chance to save against the next thing you or your Sorcerer friend hit them with (what kind of builds do your allies have, anyway?).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Since Frostbite does 1d6 points of nonlethal cold damage + 1 point per level, Empower Spell isn't adding all that much.

Why not? Going from e.g. 13.5 (1d6+10) to 20.25 on each hit seems fairly good. The entangle reduces their AC against your subsequent attacks; and when it wears off, you just hit the enemy again.

My bigger worry is enemies that resist cold and/or are immune to nonlethal, hence my suggestion for Elemental Spell (or a rod thereof).


Good morning, all.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Since you have a Sorcerer, why not get them to cast Heroism on you

I chose not to metagame the Heroism for RP reasons (the Sorcerer is Chaotic Neutral and not really the buffing type - great guy IRL though). The Magus and the Sorcerer weren't really getting along. Also the Sorcerer is quite fond of Fireball.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
What kind of builds do your allies have, anyway?

The Ranger is Ranger 6/Unchained Rogue 4, focusing on Master Sniper with Sneak Attack. The Sorcerer is a zany chaotic Arcane Bloodline who now seems to be interested in Possession. I have helped them both with their builds, but let's just say they are not on the Paizo forums discussing the finer points - which of course is quite reasonable.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
You can also use it for Quickened Ill Omen to poopify their chance to save against the next thing you or your Sorcerer friend hit them with

I like this idea. Quickened Ill Omen with Dweomer's Essence seems quite nasty to have in reserve.

Kurald Galain wrote:
My bigger worry is enemies that resist cold and/or are immune to nonlethal, hence my suggestion for Elemental Spell (or a rod thereof)

The current plan is to get my hands on lesser Elemental and Piercing rods. These are both very cheap, and with the Tiefling's Vestigial Tail, should be effective. The issue would be if I come up against an undead/cold resist foe with high SR, but I can use Dweomer's Essence in this instance.

Kurald Galain wrote:
Lunge is probably more fun to play with than Imp Init, especially if you're the only frontliner

I felt like getting the debuff up first is important on this character. The Swift Action economy problems persist, of course, but seemed too unwieldy to justify not taking Improved Initiative.

I will vacillate endlessly, I'm sure, but the build is perhaps becoming slightly more clear:

1: Weapon Finesse
3: Craft Wondrous Item (Retrain to Lunge)
4: Hex Arcana: Flight
5: Dervish Dance
5: Rime Spell [1]
6: Arcana: Flamboyant Arcana
7: Enforcer
9: Improved Initiative
9: Arcana: Spell Blending [Heroism]
---
11: Empower Spell [2]
11: Dimensional Agility
12: Arcana: Accurate Strike
13: Quicken Spell [3]
15: Spell Perfection: Frostbite
15: Arcana: Bane Blade

Should I retrain to Combat Reflexes instead and use Long Arm instead of Lunge? This build seems to really want Combat Reflexes.

What about Spell Perfection: Shocking Grasp for Quickened Empowered Shocking Grasp novas?

My save DC seemed too low to justify Ice Tomb.

Thank you, as always.


The Other wrote:
I felt like getting the debuff up first is important on this character. The Swift Action economy problems persist, of course, but seemed too unwieldy to justify not taking Improved Initiative.

An alternative to Improved Initiative (or an extra if you want to double the bonus) is to take Spell Blending again for HEIGHTENED AWARENESS (and whatever other spell you want) and spend like 4,000gp on pearls of power so you can have it up before most/all combats. Also you get some skill bonuses.


MrCharisma wrote:
take Spell Blending again for HEIGHTENED AWARENESS

This is a fantastic idea, both for flavor and function. As a coffee addict IRL, I am in. I love the idea of my PC having to stop every two hours to make a potent brew. I will take this and Visualization of the Mind with Spell Blending at 12 and retrain Improved Initiative to Combat Reflexes:

1: Weapon Finesse
3: Craft Wondrous Item (Retrain to Lunge)
4: Hex Arcana: Flight
5: Dervish Dance
5: Rime Spell [1]
6: Arcana: Flamboyant Arcana
7: Enforcer
9: Improved Initiative (Retrain to Combat Reflexes)
9: Arcana: Spell Blending (Heroism)
---
11: Empower Spell [2]
11: Dimensional Agility
12: Arcana: Spell Blending (Heightened Awareness, Visualization of the Mind)
13: Quicken Spell [3]
15: Spell Perfection: Frostbite or perhaps Shocking Grasp
15: Arcana: Bane Blade


Kurald Galain wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Since Frostbite does 1d6 points of nonlethal cold damage + 1 point per level, Empower Spell isn't adding all that much.

Why not? Going from e.g. 13.5 (1d6+10) to 20.25 on each hit seems fairly good. The entangle reduces their AC against your subsequent attacks; and when it wears off, you just hit the enemy again.

My bigger worry is enemies that resist cold and/or are immune to nonlethal, hence my suggestion for Elemental Spell (or a rod thereof).

Might be okay, but seems an awful lot to sink into 1 spell (I'd feel better about it if Empower Spell also ended up being useful on something else without needing even more investment -- for instance, note that at the next level, Fireball is going to need Intensified Spell to keep it from becoming cramped that will in 4 more levels keep Empower Spell at +2 levels from doing any more than Intensified Spell would done at +2 level). Although come to think of it, if you're up against something immune to Cold and/or Nonlethal, and you DON'T use Rime Spell on it, and you use the Rod of Elemental Spell (with which Rime Spell wouldn't work anyway because it makes the spell no longer Cold), then it's +1 spell levels (after taking into account Magical Lineage) for average +6.75 damage per hit (up to 10 hits right now, more later), which is actually not too shabby.

Why get Improved Initiative and then retrain to Combat Reflexes? I can understand doing the equivalent for Lunge, which is BAB-gated, but Combat Reflexes doesn't have a BAB or Fighter level(*) prerequisite.

(*)In 1st Edition, that is. In 2nd Edition it does -- ackphth!


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Why get Improved Initiative and then retrain to Combat Reflexes? I can understand doing the equivalent for Lunge, which is BAB-gated, but Combat Reflexes doesn't have a BAB or Fighter level(*) prerequisite.

I think he said he's already level 9, so anything up to there is already fixed.


^I thought The Other meant that this was a new character being inserted in at level 10, the ordering of earlier feats was cosmetic, but potentially subject to change.

On an unrelated note, I was looking up feat ratings in The Guide, and checked out the Stick-Fighting Style feat chain. Normally I would agree with the Orange rating, but on a Staff Magus, this would actually be pretty good -- maybe Green/Orange/Blue for the chain.

On another unrelated note, updated Tank Magus build here.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

UnArcaneElection wrote:
On an unrelated note, I was looking up feat ratings in The Guide, and checked out the Stick-Fighting Style feat chain. Normally I would agree with the Orange rating, but on a Staff Magus, this would actually be pretty good -- maybe Green/Orange/Blue for the chain.

The way my ratings work is that

* All builds really want this = blue
* All builds should consider this, OR one or more specific builds really want this = green
* One or more specific builds should consider this = yellow
* Trap = red

So "it's good but only for a staff magus" means yellow. Anyway I'd call the first feat useless filler; the second feat requires you to fight defensively which is a fairly bad deal (at least without further investment); the third is indeed good if you want to use a staff (assuming it stacks with spell combat, that is).

UnArcaneElection wrote:
I'd feel better about it if Empower Spell also ended up being useful on something else without needing even more investment

Empowered Scorching Ray is pretty good.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
The Other wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:
take Spell Blending again for HEIGHTENED AWARENESS
This is a fantastic idea, both for flavor and function. As a coffee addict IRL, I am in.

You need to read "The Quest For The Sacred Meleetah" in P.E.I. Bonewits' Authentic Thaumaturgy. :-) It's about a quest for three or four members of the Javacrucians, a religious cult.


Ed Reppert wrote:
You need to read "The Quest For The Sacred Meleetah" in P.E.I. Bonewits' Authentic Thaumaturgy. :-) It's about a quest for three or four members of the Javacrucians, a religious cult.

This sounds wonderfully strange. I am in.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Steve Jackson Games has it in pdf for 10 bucks.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:
Steve Jackson Games has it in pdf for 10 bucks.

Thank you - I think I'll try interlibrary loan.


Kurald Galain wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
On an unrelated note, I was looking up feat ratings in The Guide, and checked out the Stick-Fighting Style feat chain. Normally I would agree with the Orange rating, but on a Staff Magus, this would actually be pretty good -- maybe Green/Orange/Blue for the chain.

The way my ratings work is that

* All builds really want this = blue
* All builds should consider this, OR one or more specific builds really want this = green
* One or more specific builds should consider this = yellow
* Trap = red

So "it's good but only for a staff magus" means yellow. Anyway I'd call the first feat useless filler; the second feat requires you to fight defensively which is a fairly bad deal (at least without further investment); the third is indeed good if you want to use a staff (assuming it stacks with spell combat, that is).

Point taken, but I wouldn't call the first feat in the chain useless filler -- if you don't have a Masterwork staff, your quarterstaff acts like Weapon Focus (but stacks with actual Weapon Focus), and if you have a Masterwork quarterstaff (and a Staff Magus probably will after the first level or two), it gains the blocking, disarm, distracting, performance, and trip special weapon qualities, whereas a quarterstaff doesn't have any of these. These aren't for everyone, of course, but some of them would be of benefit to a Staff Magus who wants to do some Combat Maneuvers on the side (or even just appreciates the extra defense when Fighting Defensively).

Kurald Galain wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
I'd feel better about it if Empower Spell also ended up being useful on something else without needing even more investment
Empowered Scorching Ray is pretty good.

I agree, although I didn't see it on the linked character sheet (just looked again and still not found).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

UnArcaneElection wrote:
it gains the blocking, disarm, distracting, performance, and trip special weapon qualities, whereas a quarterstaff doesn't have any of these.

I'm really not impressed by what these qualities do (unless you specifically tailor your build to them, maybe).

Quote:
Quote:
Empowered Scorching Ray is pretty good.

I agree, although I didn't see it on the linked character sheet (just looked again and still not found).

Yeah, that was meant as a suggestion, not something he already has.


Kurald Galain wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
it gains the blocking, disarm, distracting, performance, and trip special weapon qualities, whereas a quarterstaff doesn't have any of these.

I'm really not impressed by what these qualities do (unless you specifically tailor your build to them, maybe).

{. . .}

If nothing else, the +1 Shield Bonus when Fighting Defensively (You should have Blade Tutor's Spirit running and be fairly high level to reduce the penalty, but no specific feats or other build choices required) and the +2 to Disarm (if you already have Dirty Fighting, you can use Tactical Adaptation to get Improved Disarm) are nice to have.

I was going to say that the +2 to Feint is also nice to have, but you need to be an Eldritch Scion to have the Charisma to pull this off, and then you need to be in a situation where this is worth it, like your opponent is high-Dexterity and hard to hit and is trying to get around you to a squishy team mate (or to escape) but has to risk an AoO (with your Spellstrike riding on it) to do so. This gets better if you have Combat Reflexes (which you really should have anyway if you are a Staff Magus) and Stand Still (which you could take with Tactical Adaptation), especially if Stand Still stops the enemies where you are flanking them with your Sneak Attacking ally. But I'll admit that's a pretty rare combination of situations and builds.

Unfortunately, Paizo left the Trip weapon property in a bad state (they should have had this give you a +2 on Trip attempts, like weapon properties that help with other Combat Maneuvers).


Weirdly, the trip property matters more for the drag or reposition combat maneuvers. You can perform a reposition maneuver with a weapon (and so use its bonuses) iff it has the trip property.

Dabbling in a range of combat maneuvers works better for a whip-using magus than a staff magus. I could see a staff magus build for it, but it looks awfully specific in my mind's eye. Not a lot of room for deviation from the path.


^I was thinking about that, but the problem is that the Whip itself requires a lot of feat investment and takes a while to come online: Whip Proficiency (may or may not be a feat), Whip Mastery (needs BAB +2, so 3rd level), Improved Whip Mastery (needs BAB +5, so 7th level, and needs Weapon Focus (Whip)), and then Greater Whip Mastery (needs BAB +8, so 11th level). What you get is pretty good, but it doesn't leave you with room for much else until you get to high levels. Assuming you got your Whip proficiency from something other than a feat but not from a dip, that means you have your 1st level, 5th level (1 of 2 feats, assuming you used 1 for Weapon Focus), 9th level, and 11th level (1 of 2 feats) free, and in practice you're going to need one of those (preferably 1st level) for Combat Reflexes, so the first feat you can use for dabbling comes at 5th level (probably going to be Dirty Fighting), and by 11th level you've only gotten 2 more. You almost need to be a Half-Elf so that you that you can cast both Tactical Adaptation and Paragon Surge when you get to 7th level. Stick-Fighting Style is somewhat less cramped in that it doesn't require Weapon Focus and doesn't require you to go scraping up an exotic weapon proficiency (so you could be {Human|Half-Elf} and actually use your Bonus {Human|Half-Elf} Feat for something other than getting Exotic Weapon Proficiency).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

UnArcaneElection wrote:
^I was thinking about that, but the problem is that the Whip itself requires a lot of feat investment and takes a while to come online: Whip Proficiency (may or may not be a feat), Whip Mastery (needs BAB +2, so 3rd level),

It strikes me that if you want a maneuver build based on a whip, you can stop here. IWM is nice but not essential, and GWM I'd probably skip entirely. So this comes online much earlier than Stick-Fighting Counter (which requires BAB 6, so level 8).

Or use the Rock Whip spell.


Yeah if I were going with a Whip maneuver build I'd take:

1. Whip Proficiency (preferably as an alternate racial trait)

3. Weapon Focus (possibly take this at 5 as a bonus feat but you know)

5. Whip Mastery

7. ???

9. Lunge

That lets you try maneuvers from 20 feet away, which is outside the reach of polearms, Large creatures and even Huge creatures.

True-Strike + Spell Combat = almost guaranteed to land, so you don't need any feats to back it up. Also note that you don't really need Lunge, it's just a "nice-to-have", so this all comes on line at level 5 with just 3 feats (one of which is hopefully for free).

Then if I wanted AoOs as well I'd take Combat Reflexes and Improved Whip Mastery (2 more feats), but they're not essential.

Also worth noting this is all doable on a Weapon Finess build, so that can add 1 more feat. Slashing Grace is also only 1 more feat at this point, but since you can't use Slashing Grace with Spell Combat it's debatable whether it's worth it.


I have seen a Chain fighting Magi mentioned around a few times recently. No clue as to HOW I would build it. How would any of you build it?


Well...dancing chains probably suffers from the same 'turns off when using spell combat' as ___ grace. It mentions not working with multiple weapons. Plus it costs 4 feats. Chain mastery works though to use a spiked chain one-handed when necessary.

If you're getting seriously into disarm or trip I could see the bonuses being useful, though it's a slow start with EWP and chain mastery needed. It looks overspecialised to me; YMMV.

Edit: feat taxes are annoying, and a spiked chain combat maneuver specialist magus has more to deal with than than most. Say you get ancestral arms (spiked chain) and chain mastery at level 1, dirty fighting at 3 (and a flanking buddy familiar as the arcana), improved {trip and/or disarm} at 5. You still want more feats into the combat maneuvers like greater {maneuver}, darting retrieval or aiming for poised bearing etc., and power attack has yet to make an appearance.

Scarab Sages

Just dropping in to mention don’t forget blade lash for trips. It’s a +10 bonus instead of the +20 from true strike, but if you’re building for maneuvers that’s usually enough. Plus the trip attempt is part of the spell, so you can still full attack after the trip. AND you can trip out to 20 feet regardless of what weapon you are wielding.

Effectively +8 after the spell combat penalty, 20 foot range free trip attempt is pretty great. And it works well as a wand with wand wielder to just repeat every round.

I would also try to work Phalanx Formation into a whip build. Combined with 15 foot reach and lunge, you can be the 4th person in a single file party line and be attacking with no cover penalty against the front enemy.


MrCharisma wrote:

Yeah if I were going with a Whip maneuver build I'd take:

1. Whip Proficiency (preferably as an alternate racial trait)

3. Weapon Focus (possibly take this at 5 as a bonus feat but you know)

5. Whip Mastery

7. ???

9. Lunge

That lets you try maneuvers from 20 feet away, which is outside the reach of polearms, Large creatures and even Huge creatures.

True-Strike + Spell Combat = almost guaranteed to land, so you don't need any feats to back it up. Also note that you don't really need Lunge, it's just a "nice-to-have", so this all comes on line at level 5 with just 3 feats (one of which is hopefully for free).

Then if I wanted AoOs as well I'd take Combat Reflexes and Improved Whip Mastery (2 more feats), but they're not essential.

Also worth noting this is all doable on a Weapon Finess build, so that can add 1 more feat. Slashing Grace is also only 1 more feat at this point, but since you can't use Slashing Grace with Spell Combat it's debatable whether it's worth it.

Oops, I forgot about Weapon Finesse. So that's yet another feat unless you get as MAD as a Staff Magus (for whom Weapon Finesse wouldn't work anyway). Also keep forgetting Phalanx Formation, which is YET ANOTHER FEAT.

With your mention of the Dex-to-Damage feats, I was suddenly wondering whether Two-Weapon Grace would let them work with Spell Combat. Of course, that's yet another feat, and then it requires Two-Weapon Fighting, which is bad on the great majority of Magus builds (I can think of exceptions but they are for really specific builds that will be unlikely to ever touch a whip), and is YET ANOTHER FEAT.

I was thinking about doing this with Kensai Magus, which you the Whip Proficiency and Weapon Focus (Whip) for free, so you can be Human and keep the Human Bonus feat (or use it for Dual Talent), but unfortunately this would end up costing you in fairly short order -- you lose martial weapon proficiency (so you can't pick up a different good weapon if you lose your whip) and 1 spell of each level you can cast; and Spell Recall (and Perfect Strike, the replacement for basic Spell Recall, is roughtly 5/8-wasted on a Whip).

So let's try a Half-Elf with no archetype:

Str 10; Dex 14 + 2 = 16; Con 14; Int 14 with 15 PB or 16 with 20 PB; Wis 10; Cha 10 (could cheese some points out of this but I hate dumping unless I absolutely have to)

Alternate racial traits: Ancestral Arms (Whip), Fey Thoughts (Acrobatics, Perception)
Favored Class Bonus: Add +¼ point to the magus’ arcane pool.
Traits: Pragmatic Activator (get Wand of Mage Armor to use pre-Combat, and other Wands for out-of-combat utility), Campaign/Faction Trait.

1: Level 1 character feat = Weapon Finesse; Half-Elf Ancestral Arms = bonus Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Whip).
2: -
3: Level 3 character feat = Whip Mastery; level 3 Magus Arcana = Wand Wielder (get Wand of True Strike to use for Combat Maneuvers).
4: Level 4 ability score increase goes to Intelligence on 15 PB or Dexterity on 20 PB.
5: Level 5 character feat = Phalanx Formation; Level 5 Bonus Feat = Combat Reflexes.
6: Level 6 Magus Arcana = Disruptive.
7: Level 7 character feat = Dirty Fighting; both Paragon Surge and Tactical Adaptation come online and can be used to get 2 different temporary Combat Feats, including the Improved Combat Maneuver (and pretty soon Greater Combat Maneuver) feats unlocked by Dirty Fighting (Paragon Surge could instead be used for some other type of feat, including Extra Magus Arcana (Maneuver Mastery), which could be better than the corresponding Greater Combat Maneuver feat if you don't think you can get good use of teammates getting AoOs on whatever enemy you used Improved Combat Maneuver on).
8: Level 8 ability score increase goes to Intelligence on 15 PB or Dexterity on 20 PB.
9: Level 9 character feat = Rime Spell (use most often with Frostbite); Level 9 Magus Arcana = Accurate Strike.
10: -
11: Level 11 character feat = Weapon Focus (Whip); Level 11 Bonus Feat = Improved Whip Mastery.
12: Level 12 ability score increase goes to Dexterity; Level 12 Magus Arcana = Spellbreaker.
13: Level 13 character feat = Greater Whip Mastery.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Minigiant wrote:
I have seen a Chain fighting Magi mentioned around a few times recently. No clue as to HOW I would build it. How would any of you build it?

The main appeal of the Spiked Chain is that it's a one-handed reach weapon. Well, assuming you take those feats, of course.

This means you don't need any maneuver-related feats (dirty fighting, improved trip, etc) because if you do the maneuver from 10' away, most enemies won't be able to take the opportunity attack against you. If you commonly fight large enemies, add the Lunge feat or the Long Arm spell, or polymorph into something large.

So I'd go with Kensai (free EWP), L1 finesse, L3 chain mastery, L5 dance of chains + combat reflexes.

That said, as Avr points out, Dance of Chains won't get you dex-to-damage in spell combat. So really, it's easier to go with a whip (get whip prof from race or trait; L1 weapon focus; L3 whip mastery; L5 phalanx formation; L7 lunging spell touch); or to use a small-sized polearm or the Weapon Trick: Polearm feat to get reach. HTH!

UnArcaneElection wrote:
With your mention of the Dex-to-Damage feats, I was suddenly wondering whether Two-Weapon Grace would let them work with Spell Combat.

That should work, yes. Good find. Even if it requires two feats and gives yet another -2 to hit.

That said, it is feasible to play a Magus without dex-to-damage. That sounds like heresy to say, doesn't it? :) By either enchanting your weapon to flaming/frost/shock (or all of the above) or using Frostbite, you should be doing fine in the damage department. Not uber-optimized, but certainly fine in most parties. Plus you'll debuff a lot, that counts for something.


Kurald Galain wrote:

{. . .}

UnArcaneElection wrote:
With your mention of the Dex-to-Damage feats, I was suddenly wondering whether Two-Weapon Grace would let them work with Spell Combat.

That should work, yes. Good find. Even if it requires two feats and gives yet another -2 to hit.

That said, it is feasible to play a Magus without dex-to-damage. That sounds like heresy to say, doesn't it? :) By either enchanting your weapon to flaming/frost/shock (or all of the above) or using Frostbite, you should be doing fine in the damage department. Not uber-optimized, but certainly fine in most parties. Plus you'll debuff a lot, that counts for something.

I wasn't going to recommend actually going for Two-Weapon Grace, just wondering if it would work . . . although as I already noted above, it would normally be a bad idea, and I didn't stick it in the Whip Magus build I posted above (whose main job is to debuff and do Deft Maneuvers (the family of Combat Maneuvers whose Improved Combat Maneuver feats traditionally depend upon Combat Expertise, substituted by Dirty Fighting in the above build). Even so, now I have this urge to put together one for which Two-Weapon Fighting and Two-Weapon Grace would actually be good.

Although that's competing with my urge to put together a Stick Fighting Staff Magus build. And that's competing with my urge to put together a build that does Powerful Maneuvers (the family of Combat Maneuvers whose Improved Combat Maneuver feats depend upon Power Attack -- actually I did one, and it even gets good use out of Two-Weapon Fighting, but that build is specialized whole hog in Bull Rush and in being a Sword-and-Board Tank for a campaign like Ironfang Invasion that has a lot of Medium Humanoid opponents -- next one needs to be less specialized).

With regard to that last idea and the build in my previous post, I am getting to like Half-Elf more and more for a Magus, even without the Shapechanger Bloodline + Paragon Surge cheese -- being able to take Extra Magus Arcana (some really situational Magus Arcana) temporarily is really good (need an emergency Ghost Blade but don't want to shoot yourself in the foot for more than a day? -- done).


Kurald Galain wrote:
... it is feasible to play a Magus without dex-to-damage. That sounds like heresy to say, doesn't it? :)

I fully agree. I've never fully understood why Dex-to-damage is so lauded for a Magus. The difference between having Dex-to-damage and not having it is like 6 damage per hit at most (assuming you're playing a Dex build). Not to say that isn't worth a feat, but as you say Kurald, this is a class that has plenty of other places to find damage.

UnArcaneElection wrote:
With regard to that last idea and the build in my previous post, I am getting to like Half-Elf more and more for a Magus ...

I find it hard not to like Half-Elf for any class. They get some great racial options and can pinch good options from the Human and Elf list (any list - feats, spells, FCB, etc). Unless I'm building a character who has to be a specific race I almost always end up as a Half-Elf =P


^That said, for somebody who wants to be a Tank and doesn't mind specializing, I think Dwarf is still a very strong contender across the board (not just Magus) as long as you aren't trying to make a 6/9 or 9/9 Charisma-based caster.


Just realized I made a mistake in the above build -- Paragon Surge for a Magus is 4th level, not 3rd level (so it comes online at 10th level). But it's still really good. (Weird that the 2 classes that get it late entry are both partial casters: Magus and Paladin -- unless you count Clerics with the Self-Realization Subdomain, which also makes it 4th level but makes it be no longer Half-Elf-Specific.)


MrCharisma wrote:

I fully agree. I've never fully understood why Dex-to-damage is so lauded for a Magus. The difference between having Dex-to-damage and not having it is like 6 damage per hit at most (assuming you're playing a Dex build). Not to say that isn't worth a feat, but as you say Kurald, this is a class that has plenty of other places to find damage.

+6 damage for a single feat is a really good deal. And obviously you go dex based in the first place because you can't really ignore dex on a strength magus in the same way you can ignore strength on a dex magus unless you're high level.


Weird -- my post seems to have been eaten with no error message.

Anyway, getting away with lower Dex on a Strength Magus is a bit easier if you can enhance your shield. Of course, this isn't for everyone . . . .

The same could be said if you could enhance your armor and especially if you got Medium Armor to start with, but the archetype for that is just bad, since unlike the above, it takes away the ability to enhance your weapon and never gives you back Spell Combat and eats 2 Magus Arcana for Armor Training(*). I have a morbid wish to try to come up with a build that will make something decent out of this archetype, but I'm not optimistic, and even if I could make something out of it, I have a suspicion that an old-fashioned Eldritch Knight prestige class build might actually do the same job better.

(*)Trading in a Magus Arcana for Weapon Training is provisionally worthwhile as long as you have access to the Weapon Master's Handbook. Trading in a Magus Arcana for Armor Training probably isn't, even if you have access to the Armor Master's Handbook.

Edit: Even weirder: When I DID get an error message ("You have backtracked too far"), it DIDN'T eat my post or the most recent edits made to it, although this error has been associated with doing so in the past.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thunder999 wrote:
+6 damage for a single feat is a really good deal.

Nobody is disputing that it's a good feat. The point is that it's not in any way required; the context here is that some Magus builds want to use different weapons than a scimitar, such as a whip.

Quote:
And obviously you go dex based in the first place because you can't really ignore dex on a strength magus in the same way you can ignore strength on a dex magus unless you're high level.

You could also go dex-primary and still have a decent strength for bonus damage (with the same point buy as str-primary with a decent dex for bonus AC).


2 brief questions: Why does the guide say that Devoted Blade is redundant with Bane Blade? There doesn't seem to be anything stopping you from using both to e.g. make a Holy Outsider Bane weapon; am I missing a stacking rule here or something?

Also, I notice the guide doesn't seem to have any suggestions for body slot items. Is that because you don't feel there aren't any that are worth their cost?


Caemar wrote:
2 brief questions: Why does the guide say that Devoted Blade is redundant with Bane Blade? There doesn't seem to be anything stopping you from using both to e.g. make a Holy Outsider Bane weapon; am I missing a stacking rule here or something?

They stack, but you're spending a lot to do this.

First up, their effects are similar.

Bane Blade = +2 enhancement bonus and +2d6 damage to <creature type (/subtype)>

Devoted Blade = +2d6 damage to <alignment>

If you're fighting multiple different creature types who are all evil then Devoted Blade will win out, but otherwise the +2 enhancement bonus from Bane Blade makes it pretty clearly superior. Also, you don't get all 4 alignments from Devoted Blade, just one or two. Usually all you need is Holy, but you never know.

Devoted Blade overcomes DR/Alignment, but so does a +5 weapon, and by level 12 you should be able to get to a +5 bonus with your Arcane Pool anyway, so that part is probably moot.

Second, getting both Bane and Devoted Blade costs you 2 arcana.

Third, if you do get both, you can activate them together by spending 1 additional Arcane Pool point for each. That means you're spending 3AP to enchant your weapon for 1 minute.

Fourth, the Bane and (let's go with) Holy bonuses both "cost" part of your Enhancement bonus. Lets say you're a 15th level Magus with (for some reason) a +1 Scimitar.

By spending ONE AP point you can add +4 do your weapon. That's +4 to hit and +4 damage.

If you have Bane Blade you can spend TWO AP points to add +3 Bane to your weapon. That's +5 to hit and +2d6+5 (~+12)to damage.

If you have Devoted Blade you can spend TWO AP points to add +2 Holy to your weapon. That's +2 to hit and 2d6+2 (~+9) to damage.

If you have Bane Blade AND Devoted Blade you can spend THREE AP points to add +1 Holy Bane to your weapon. That's +3 to hit and 4d6+3 (~+17) to damage.

Now that +17 to damage seems pretty good, but compared to just Bane it's coming at the cost of 1 Arcana (or feat), 1 extra AP point per use and -3 to hit, all for +5 damage. Not necessarily terrible, but it's a high cost

Finally, Devoted Blade is adding the same damage as Flaming+Frost enchantments, and you can do those for free without spending an arcana and an extra AP point every combat.


Caemar wrote:
Also, I notice the guide doesn't seem to have any suggestions for body slot items. Is that because you don't feel there aren't any that are worth their cost?

(Oh and I didn't answer this part because ... I dunno, good question)


MrCharisma wrote:
Fourth, the Bane and (let's go with) Holy bonuses both "cost" part of your Enhancement bonus.

Ah, I wasn't aware of that part. That obviously changes the math.

That said, the reason I missed that is that the Devoted Blade and Bane Blade are actually phrased differently in that regard: Devoted Blade specifically says it adds (say) Holy to your options. Bane Blade on the other hand just says you can spend 1 pool point to add Bane.

I would interpret that to mean that unlinke Holy, Bane gets added on top of your regular "enhancement capacity" (the +10 limit allowing). Am I wrong?


Oh wow, you're right! That makes Bane Blade (already among the best arcana) even better than I thought.

For reference:

Bane Blade (Su) (Ultimate Combat pg. 54): Whenever the magus enhances his weapon using his arcane pool, he may spend 1 additional point from his arcane pool to add the bane special ability to the weapon. The magus must be at least 15th level before selecting this arcana.

...
Devoted Blade (Su) (Ultimate Combat pg. 54): Whenever the magus enhances his weapon using his arcane pool, he may spend 1 additional point from his arcane pool to add either the anarchic, axiomatic, holy, or unholy special ability to the list of available options. A magus may only add one of these abilities if it matches his own alignment. The magus must be at least 12th level before selecting this arcana

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Caemar wrote:
2 brief questions: Why does the guide say that Devoted Blade is redundant with Bane Blade?

MrCha has already answered that. I feel it's probably not the intent that Bane Blade is "free" (but it's a great arcana either way).

Quote:
Also, I notice the guide doesn't seem to have any suggestions for body slot items. Is that because you don't feel there aren't any that are worth their cost?

The guide lists Corset of the Vishkanya and Alabaster Trapping, both of which are pretty good.


MrCharisma wrote:

Oh wow, you're right! That makes Bane Blade (already among the best arcana) even better than I thought.

For reference:

Bane Blade (Su) (Ultimate Combat pg. 54): Whenever the magus enhances his weapon using his arcane pool, he may spend 1 additional point from his arcane pool to add the bane special ability to the weapon. The magus must be at least 15th level before selecting this arcana.

...
Devoted Blade (Su) (Ultimate Combat pg. 54): Whenever the magus enhances his weapon using his arcane pool, he may spend 1 additional point from his arcane pool to add either the anarchic, axiomatic, holy, or unholy special ability to the list of available options. A magus may only add one of these abilities if it matches his own alignment. The magus must be at least 12th level before selecting this arcana

I wonder if they meant for Devoted Blade to work the same way as Bane Blade and just didn't word it right. On the other hand, Bane Blade has a higher level prerequisite, so maybe that really is supposed to be the way it is.

1,351 to 1,400 of 1,423 << first < prev | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Myrrh, Frankincense, and Steel: Kurald Galain's Guide to the Magus All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.