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


Advice

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Grand Lodge

Kurald Galain wrote:
claudekennilol wrote:
Just a note, for tieflings you say they can use metamagic rods with their tails. While I agree with this, I would not allow it without the Grasping Tail feat which specifically removes the size limit and includes "you can hold such objects with your tail."
The racial tail ability already states that these tieflings have "long, flexible tails that can be used to carry items". The feat lets you grab things from 5' away.

That's not all it does. It also negates that the item needs to be "small". While your point is arguable because carrying does imply that it must be holding the rod. The feat specifically upgrades "carry" to "hold" which is also the key word used for rods ("Activation: Details relating to rod use vary from item to item. Unless noted otherwise, you must be holding a rod to use its abilities. See the individual descriptions for specifics." crb p484).

So while you can argue that carry implies hold, it will be tougher to argue that a rod is small.

Silver Crusade

Kurald Galain wrote:

While feats are valuable, so are actions and spell slots.

The Magus gets bonus feats, and frankly there's not a lot of feats that are better for a Magus than getting reach on all your attacks. And there are numerous spells that are better than getting reach. For example, Mirror Image or Greater Invis (which also solve your issue with armor class).

Regardless, Long Arm is still a good spell; it's just not ranked as a must-have since it has numerous alternatives.

I have to agree with Kurald here, lunge is an always on 5 foot reach boost while long arm requires more planning to use well since the duration is far more limited. Long arm is great, I'd just suggest lunge over it myself.


Well, except it's not 'always on' for AoOs. Reach/AoOs give a pretty decent boost to action economy. Heck, there are builds based on it. It's not a big deal, there obviously will always be different opinions. I think most people will understand which situations favour one over the other.

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claudekennilol wrote:
That's not all it does. It also negates that the item needs to be "small".

Well, the racial trait doesn't actually say that (the text is "carry items", not "carry small items") but at any rate a metamagic rod is small. The weapon rules point out that any one-handed weapon made for regular sized creatures is "small", which includes clubs, maces, and hammers.

And yes, if you carry something in your hands (or tail) then you're obviously holding it. I see no reference in the rules that this wouldn't be the case, or that one of these terms would be an "upgrade" somehow.

So I see no reason to lower the rating of tieflings based on your comment.

Grand Lodge

I'm not saying you should lower the rating. I believe tieflings make excellent magus. I'm only saying that you're being disingenuous in your suggestion by pointing out that not everyone believes tieflings can use a metamagic rod as you suggest. I got my understanding it of it straight from James Jacobs (found HERE

James Jacobs wrote:
Wraith235 wrote:

A Friend of mine is looking at making a Tiefling Magus - and has started asking the Obvious questions ... Tails and Metamagic Rods

Ive Dug through this at length trying to get a handle on it and am ... for the most part standing on the fence of a yes / no (this is a Society Character)

all of the quotes are grabbed form the SRD

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

my 1st issue comes into play with the term "Carry" which is the exact same definition as "Hold" (you have to hold something to Carry it)

my 2nd issue is from the Idea of "What is Small" - does a Rod Qualify as Small - or is small refering to potions and Wands ect.

so the question is ... does the Idea work ... and do you need the feat or not to make it work

Heh... very interesting idea! Since I just started playing "Way of the Wicked" and my character happens to be a tiefling with a prehensile tail too! :P

In this case, the idea of using a metamagic rod or, frankly, ANY rod in a prehensile tail (or a wand or potion, for that matter) really depends on the GM's judgement call. But as written, the prehensile tail is something that's not intended to give you a third hand as regards combat options.

What you can do with the tail is carry a third item there and transfer it to your hand to use it pretty quickly; switching items from one hand to another is a free action, and in this case, switching from tail to hand is also a free action.

So... as intended, you couldn't use a metamagic rod carried by your tail, but you probably could drop your weapon then use your tail to transfer the rod to your hand and use it that way. You could then pick up the weapon (provided it's a light weapon, probably) with your tail.

Metamagic rods don't really mix all that well with magi, though, so it's not really something that the rules expect you to do. (Same as playing a magus with a 2 handed weapon.)

In other words... it's really in your GM's hands. Or his prehensile tail if...

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claudekennilol wrote:
I'm not saying you should lower the rating. I believe tieflings make excellent magus. I'm only saying that you're being disingenuous in your suggestion by pointing out that not everyone believes tieflings can use a metamagic rod as you suggest.

That's really not the point. Lots of GMs will disallow something-or-other for whatever reasons. And that's fine, it's their table. For example, Flamboyant Arcana is a good choice... but not if your GM doesn't allow the Advanced Class Guide. Vampiric Touch is a great spell... but not in a world where using necromancy gets you killed by a lynch mob. Pearls of Power are an useful item to buy... but not if the GM rolls for random loot and doesn't have magic items for sale.

None of that is hypothetical, by the way. Point is, if your GM disallows some option, you use something else. It is entirely unfeasible when writing a guide to take into account everything that some GM might disallow.

Paizo has extensive FAQ and Errata documents. If some issue makes it into there, I take it into account. If something does not, then it probably wasn't that important.

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Based on Ultimate Intrigue, I've added the spells Controlled Fireball, Instant Fake, and Urban Step. While the rest of the book is very interesting, it isn't particularly suited to the Magus as far as I've seen.

Also, Fencing Grace has been downgraded to red, since recent errata makes it no longer work with spell combat. A dex-based Magus would have to rely on Dervish Dance or an Agile weapon instead, or focus on debuffs instead of damage.


Kurald Galain wrote:

Based on Ultimate Intrigue, I've added the spells Controlled Fireball, Instant Fake, and Urban Step. While the rest of the book is very interesting, it isn't particularly suited to the Magus as far as I've seen.

Also, Fencing Grace has been downgraded to red, since recent errata makes it no longer work with spell combat. A dex-based Magus would have to rely on Scimitar Dance or an Agile weapon instead, or focus on debuffs instead of damage.

Did you mean Dervish Dance?

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Gisher wrote:
Did you mean Dervish Dance?

Yes, that's the one.


I was hoping that Scimitar Dance was some new option, like a trait.

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I've added the new Armored Battlemage archetype. Unfortunately it isn't very good. I haven't found any especially useful combos with armor training yet.

Also, the recent errata fixed Spell Storing armor, making it much better. On the other hand, I've removed the Ring of Ferocious Action, Quick Runner's Shirt, Feather Step Slippers, Jaunt Boots, the Jingasa, and Snapleaf from the list of recommended items.

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Added fighter VMC, higher rating for distant spellstrike, downrated nine warriors edition because of how silly expensive it is.

Other than the new archetype, the new Armor Master's handbook don't appear to be any particularly good feats/items/combos for the Magus. It's a nice book, just not for this class.


A good dip to include is Oracle. The Nature mystery and revelation nature's whispers allow for CHA to AC. Quite handy for a Strength focused Eldritch Scion, allowing them to have good melee and spells.

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MageHunter wrote:
A good dip to include is Oracle. The Nature mystery and revelation nature's whispers allow for CHA to AC. Quite handy for a Strength focused Eldritch Scion, allowing them to have good melee and spells.

Yes, and the Lunar and Lore mysteries have a similar power. That said, I'm not sure a one-level dip is worth it for two or three points of AC, given the defense offered by spells like Mirror Image.


Yet, the puppetmaster magus much weaker standard magus?

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PhD. Okkam wrote:
Yet, the puppetmaster magus much weaker standard magus?

It's weaker at damage dealing, and stronger at debuffing; rated green overall.

In a single round, you can cast a debuff at a group of enemies, add a second debuff to an enemy failing its save, then step next to it and make a full attack. You won't be able to enchant your weapon or spellstrike like a plain Magus, so feats and items that further cripple your enemies work well with this (e.g. Frostbite as a touch attack + Enforcer + Cruel weapon). Since most of the Magus's defensive buffs are illusions, you can still use those with spell combat; otherwise, you should rely on the bard list as the Magus doesn't have a lot of illusion or enchantment spells.


Thanks!
And what weapons and the Magus Arcana would you recommend for him?

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From the new Magic Tactics Toolbox, adding the following:


  • Spell Trapper archetype
  • Flash Forward and Secluded Grimoire spells
  • Burning Amplification, Chilling Amplification, Weapon Evoker Mastery, and Eldritch Assault feats
  • Sigil Chalk and Lore Needle items.
  • Crossblooded Sorcerer dip gets even stronger with the Blood Havoc ability, although not in PFS

Please tell me if there's anything good that I've missed!


Blood Havoc only works for sorcerer spells and can't be taken lv1 if you are going crossblooded

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Chess Pwn wrote:
Blood Havoc only works for sorcerer spells

Ah, good. That combo was getting slightly too ridiculous, anyway.

Quote:
and can't be taken lv1 if you are going crossblooded

Why is that?


I'm surprised to see that Dazing Spell is missing.

My build use a Rimed frostbite (magical lineage)with enforcer and cruel weapon. By level 10, a Dazing Rimed frostbite has a good DC (16) vs will and with each hit the DC increase (because of the penalty debuff from shaken and sickened conditions) making it a DC 20 will save...

As any good party at that level often has a haste in play, with 3 (or 4 when casting) attacks per round, statistics are on your side....

So against a big monster or Boss, this has been very useful for me so far....


Kurald Galain wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Blood Havoc only works for sorcerer spells

Ah, good. That combo was getting slightly too ridiculous, anyway.

Quote:
and can't be taken lv1 if you are going crossblooded
Why is that?

Crossblooded alters all your bloodline abilities and bloodline mutations can't be taken if that slot was altered at all.


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You might want to mention that if you take Flamboyant Arcana, you will also want the Combat Refexes feat.

Am I correct in thinking this combination would allow you to parry and ripost an attack while flat-footed?


So, since the blood havoc thing doesn't work for magus spells, is taking a dip into crossblooded sorcerer worth it for a magus at all? And if so, what level would be ideal?

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Cuttler wrote:
I'm surprised to see that Dazing Spell is missing.

Interesting point. It's not a great feat for a Magus in general, but a very good combo with Frostbite in particular.

BretI wrote:

You might want to mention that if you take Flamboyant Arcana, you will also want the Combat Refexes feat.

Am I correct in thinking this combination would allow you to parry and ripost an attack while flat-footed?

Yes, you are correct. Same goes for the Defensive Strategist trait.

Archmage Joda wrote:
So, since the blood havoc thing doesn't work for magus spells, is taking a dip into crossblooded sorcerer worth it for a magus at all? And if so, what level would be ideal?

Yes, definitely. It's a big damage boost for your favorite 1d6/level spell. I'd go with level 6 (after you gain the enchant weapon ability) or level 8 (right after you obtain third level spells). This depends on the expected length of the campaign, of course.


You got some things right that others have gotten wrong but failed to grasp certain good options.

Humans are blue, duel talented and favored class bonus arcane points.

Extra arcane points is blue. Spell recall is blue.

An int or strength builds starts with 18 strength and 17 int. Then you pump int.

I project a max arcane pool of 44. All those little bonuses add up. It's why dex builds are so weak, they need too many feats and end up with a character that has 20 less arcane points.

Enduring blade is important for saving actions. Round 1 is hasted assault plus spell then round 2 is full attack at max accuracy because blade was prebuffed. The magus changes a lot when you ate drowning in arcane points.

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Rhedyn wrote:
I project a max arcane pool of 44. All those little bonuses add up.

Well, that's a nice bit of theoretical optimization, but practically speaking it has a number of problems.

First, 44 points is well above what you can spend during a day. Even if you're spamming Accurate Strike every round, you should have plenty of points left by the end of the day.

Second, if you had spent your feats on something more useful than Extra Arcana (as well as boosted your attack stat instead of intelligence), you wouldn't need to spam Accurate Strike every round. The Magus doesn't have any particular problem hitting things, and has plenty of other uses for swift actions, such as quickened spells.

Third, most campaigns don't start at level 20 (in fact, most campaigns end before they even get close). Whatever fun capstone combo you have in mind, it is generally preferable to have a build that's effective at all levels.

So to recap, you're spending almost all your resources on something you don't particularly need, in a quantity much greater than you can actually use, and in a way that blocks you from other swift action abilities. Well, it's certainly an unusual build; but it's hardly an optimal one.


Kurald Galain wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
I project a max arcane pool of 44. All those little bonuses add up.

Well, that's a nice bit of theoretical optimization, but practically speaking it has a number of problems.

First, 44 points is well above what you can spend during a day. Even if you're spamming Accurate Strike every round, you should have plenty of points left by the end of the day.

Second, if you had spent your feats on something more useful than Extra Arcana (as well as boosted your attack stat instead of intelligence), you wouldn't need to spam Accurate Strike every round. The Magus doesn't have any particular problem hitting things, and has plenty of other uses for swift actions, such as quickened spells.

Third, most campaigns don't start at level 20 (in fact, most campaigns end before they even get close). Whatever fun capstone combo you have in mind, it is generally preferable to have a build that's effective at all levels.

So to recap, you're spending almost all your resources on something you don't particularly need, in a quantity much greater than you can actually use, and in a way that blocks you from other swift action abilities. Well, it's certainly an unusual build; but it's hardly an optimal one.

Well no dip 44 is more than needed. That is the point. You don't start at 20 and want well over necessary before then.

Who cares about the cap stone?

There is nothing more useful than extra arcane points. They let you spam spells and little thing like arcane accuracy. But more importantly they give you spont access to your whole list. It's no theorycraft, I've played it. I could flip between rivaling the wizard in casting and fighting up front with the synthesist summoner to topple Rune Lords.

Take a moment to go through those abilities again and reanalyze those options that "cost way too much" to be of much value. Maybe spending 6 arcane points to cast stone to flesh on your wizard buddy is High cost for most magi, but when you have 44 it is merely inconvenient. A middle int magi is looking at what? 15 or so arcane points? OK. I take spell blending for protection from energy and heroism. For me, a mere 4 arcane points to cast PoE 5 times and gain 120 HP to all energy is an easy trade. For those "optimal" magi, that is a third or more of their arcane points. By level 4, I'll have 11 arcane points. I don't need to use arcane accuracy or extra enhancement bonus yet, so that is 11 extra 1st level spells at a level where they still do a lot. (like spamming shield to close the AC gap with dex magi) Mid levels are where the magi naturally shines, so from 1 to 20, you are doing great.

I will give you, that there is an action crunch if you try to spam shocking grasp. You can't use spell recall and arcane accuracy on the same turn. I don't use spell combat for damage though. It means I am not two-handing with 30 strength (polymorph stength bonuses). Spell combat is a -9 over 4 hits to hit 5 times at 10% less accuracy. Most foes I fight are drowning in SR and energy resist/immunity so a lot of times that spell doesn't do anything and the -9/-10% overtakes a 5th attack pretty quickly. I've seen spell combat as a more of a utility move. The full attack is secondary to the wall of force. I prefer prebuffing spellstrike.


Rhedyn, if you've played such a magus that could "rival a wizard" in casting and still fight well, I would very much like to see your build progression. Not trying to come off as snide or confrontational, I just really want to see what such a magus build looks like.


Archmage Joda wrote:
Rhedyn, if you've played such a magus that could "rival a wizard" in casting and still fight well, I would very much like to see your build progression. Not trying to come off as snide or confrontational, I just really want to see what such a magus build looks like.

First build at the top

Actual character with all the funny campaign/GM specific rules(like a 26 point buy pffff) The mythic stuff got turned off outside of mythic encounters because it kept breaking things.

IMHO: It was more the wizard's fault that my casting kept up. He loved esoteric splat book spells that weren't nearly as effective as CRB spells. My ability to spam and throw out more raw spell levels helped. Like he didn't have 5 3rd level slots for Protection from energy.

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Ok, I can see the numbers here. At level 11, a Magus would have around 19 spells per day and a wizard around 32; so if the Magus invests heavily into arcane pool he can have around 28 points available to pump into Greater Spell Recall, for another 14+ spell slots, putting him ahead.

Now a 'standard' campaign has about three combats per day; in this kind of campaign, those 19 spells are more than enough to cast a spell every round of combat, and then some. This is why Extra Arcane Pool is currently rated orange: in most campaigns, you simply don't need more pool points or spell slots. If your campaign commonly has longer days than that, things are different.

However, then I'm curious why your party wasn't using consumables. Sure, you can pump 15 spell levels into Protection from Energy, but a Scroll of Communal Protection is only 700 gp (or 375 gp for Communal Resist Energy). At lower levels, each pool point gets you an extra first-level spell; but so does a scroll (25 gp), and even Pearls of Power are affordable at 1000 gp each. Yes, you'll get a higher caster level from your personal slots, but for most utility magic, the scrolls work well enough. Aside from that, feats like Enforcer or Lunge, or arcana like Familiar or Disruptive, simply give you an ability that's always on and never runs out, no matter how long the adventuring day is.

Ultimately, the Extra Arcane Pool feat gives you an extra spell per day (L2 spell at levels 10 and below, or a L4 spell at 11 and up), and I should add that to the handbook. But if you already have 19 spells per day, then one extra is just not amazing.


Kurald Galain wrote:
However, then I'm curious why your party wasn't using consumables. Sure, you can pump 15 spell levels into Protection from Energy, but a Scroll of Communal Protection is only 700 gp (or 375 gp for Communal Resist Energy). At lower levels, each pool point gets you an extra first-level spell; but so does a scroll (25 gp), and even Pearls of Power are affordable at 1000 gp each. Yes, you'll get a higher caster level from your personal slots, but for most utility magic, the scrolls work well enough. Aside from that, feats like Enforcer or Lunge, or arcana like Familiar or Disruptive, simply give you an ability that's always on and never runs out, no matter how long the adventuring day is.

Eh party wizard was spending that money on crafting items. We were all casters so use consumables outside of healing seemed silly. The group did eventually fall into the 15 minute adventuring day problem.

Consumable cost add up. Spamming those never seems to make a fighter equivalent to a wizard so there is little reason to depend on that crutch as a magus.

Kurald Galain wrote:

Ultimately, the Extra Arcane Pool feat gives you an extra spell per day (L2 spell at levels 10 and below, or a L4 spell at 11 and up), and I should add that to the handbook. But if you already have 19 spells per day, then one extra is just not amazing.

In PF the little things start stacking up. Death by inches. It's why level up ability score increases tend to go into one stat and starting at 18 is considered far better than starting at 16.

Yeah you don't take the feat cause it's 2 points. But all 10 is 20 points. Maybe you don't take the extra favored class bonus cause it's only 1 per 4, but all 20 grants you 5. Yeah maybe you only start 14 int cause you are attack stat focused, but that nets you 5 points instead of 9. So you end up with 15 points compared to 44.

You spend much of your points outside of combat, but you are still able to fresh prepare 6th level spells and cast them about 4 times a day without problems. You get versatility. Maybe you didn't prep the exact perfect spell needed? Well your in luck because you have a super large pool to correct errors on the fly. I personally like polymorph spam to scout, near limitless fly, Buffing with impunity (it doesn't matter if minute per level buffs run out 3 times per day if you can cast them 4 times without issue).

It's an orange feat for most builds, but for the build based around it, it is essential. 20 points is nearly half of your pool in the big pool build. The big pool build just does not work without it. I Rant a bit because I keep seeing that silly dex magi over and over again (and people complaining how that is the only magus they see) as if it is somehow the only or best way to play when I see it as a sub optimal build I wouldn't even consider running. (Unchained Rogue Eldritch Scoundrel with lots of ninja tricks two handing an elven curve blade for that sweet 1.5 dex mod to damage with access to all of the good wizard buff spells and near endless ki with ninja talent support, not magus but if I wanted a dex-based gish I would go there)


Honestly, I thought I was about to see a different way to do the Staff Magus. By the time you get the ability to recharge magic staves, a stupidly large arcane pool would be useful.

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Rhedyn wrote:
Consumable cost add up. Spamming those never seems to make a fighter equivalent to a wizard so there is little reason to depend on that crutch as a magus.

Nobody's talking about spamming consumables. But carrying a dozen L1 or L2 scrolls around for contingencies should be standard operating procedure for any caster.

Quote:
So you end up with 15 points compared to 44.

You end up with 15 points and a ton of extra abilities; plus higher hit points, accuracy, and damage. That's the point.

Quote:
You get versatility. Maybe you didn't prep the exact perfect spell needed? Well your in luck because you have a super large pool to correct errors on the fly. I personally like polymorph spam to scout, near limitless fly, Buffing with impunity (it doesn't matter if minute per level buffs run out 3 times per day if you can cast them 4 times without issue).

Yeah but the thing is, a regular Magus can already do all of that.

Correct errors? You don't need a big pool to use improved spell recall, and you can also leave slots blank. If you commonly make errors in your spell selection, you should work on your spell selection (for example, by learning Communal Protect instead of the single-target version).
Spam spells to scout? A regular 13th level Magus can cast it ten times per day with combat spells left over; and there's items for that which are affordable around level five.
Limitless fly? Overland Flight is a default buff at level 13 and up; or at level five there's the Hexcrafter and a few races like Strix.
Cast minute-per-level buffs four times per day? Well if you have four combats per day and want three buff spells in each, then that's 12 spells, which any Magus can use at level seven. Make it 10 if you still need combat spells after all those buffs.

So I'm not seeing any big advantage so far to the "pool Magus". The more spells and pool points you have, the lower the value of even more spells and pool points. This is why it's advantageous to spend your feats on other things.

Quote:
I Rant a bit because I keep seeing that silly dex magi over and over again

Please do that in threads where people actually promote that as the "only build to play", not in the handbook thread that shows half a dozen counterexamples.


I am talking about spamming spells. Your guide has Str magi using a shield wand. Awful action economy. That spell should just be up pre-fight not locked to a 1 minute duration wand. My low level Magi can out spam the wizard at 4 with decent control spells or just burning hands (if the situation calls for it).

Those extra abilities tend to cost pool points. More spells tend to just be better than whatever you would get. So I just don't see your point.

I don't know how you even function with max 15 pool points. Lower to-hit, lower damage, less spells, worse AC. If I ran what I normally do with one of your suggested builds, I would be empty by the 3rd fight or just contributing way less (or spending tons of money like a UMD fighter). If I go full attack stat, I net a +3 to-hit (assuming a +1 inherent bonus boost) at the cost of not spamming a +9 to-hit from arcane accuracy. I don't have the points for Prot Energy for all kinds so I'm just down 120 hp. I can't spam my high level spells without emptying.

The way I see it, you just end up being worse at attacking and casting spells for a few meager abilities that you can't afford to use anyways or a few feats (that may or may not lock you into one kind of weapon) or maybe some extra magic item crafting.

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Rhedyn wrote:
I am talking about spamming spells. Your guide has Str magi using a shield wand. Awful action economy.

Fair point, I'll have to reword that. The idea is to wand-cast Shield until you have enough spell slots to cast your defensive buffs by yourself (which would be level four or so). After that, you only use it if you can pre-buff before entering a door.

Although I admit it's funny that you can have twice as many spells as the wizard, at level four.

Quote:
That spell should just be up pre-fight not locked to a 1 minute duration wand.

And here is the key distinction. The question is, can the party pre-buff for all or most combats with minute-per-level spells? In pretty much every campaign I've seen, the answer is "NO, usually not" because the party doesn't control when fights occur.

Long-lasting buffs are the 10m/l or 1h/l ones, like Heroism and Mage Armor. Something that lasts six or twelve minutes total, like Mirror Image? Yeah, if you cast that while exploring, don't count on it still being up when combat starts. If you cast it in one combat, don't count on it lasting until the next (although it might, if you're lucky).

Quote:
Those extra abilities tend to cost pool points.

The better abilities don't. For example, Lunge, Familiar, Step Up, Disruptive (and none of this locks you into one kind of weapon, either). For more examples, check out the guide :)

Quote:
More spells tend to just be better than whatever you would get.

It's more efficient to take the Lunge feat than to spend multiple spells/pool points per day on Long Arm. It's more efficient to take Blind Fight than to try and keep See Invisibility up all day. And so forth.

Quote:
I don't know how you even function with max 15 pool points.

Well for example,

Turn one: swift action to enchant weapon, spell combat for Mirror Image, 5' step to enemy, full attack.
Turn two: swift action for Bane Baldric, spell combat for Haste (defensively), 5' to flank, full attack.
Turn three: spell combat for Bladed Dash (defensively) to full attack an enemy farther away, swift action for spell storing weapon.
Turn four: immediate action for Step Up, full attack, spell combat into Fireball for an explosive finishing move.
Combat over. Pool points spent: 1.

The catch is that while arcane accuracy is very useful, it is also good to have other options, such as preventing enemy attacks (e.g. spell storing with Frigid Touch), forcing opportunities (e.g. Step Up), and defending yourself (e.g. Buffering Cap).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rhedyn wrote:
I don't know how you even function with max 15 pool points.

It seems to me the above is a key point.

I want to think about what you've said about going all in on Arcane Pool. See if I shouldn't invest a bit more into a larger pool on my magus.

On the other hand, shouldn't you try to figure out how others are able to make it without spending pool points faster than a life oracle with Life Link uses up healing?


Kurald Galain wrote:

And here is the key distinction. The question is, can the party pre-buff for all or most combats with minute-per-level spells? In pretty much every campaign I've seen, the answer is "NO, usually not" because the party doesn't control when fights occur.

Long-lasting buffs are the 10m/l or 1h/l ones, like Heroism and Mage Armor. Something that lasts six or twelve minutes total, like Mirror Image? Yeah, if you cast that while exploring, don't count on it still being up when combat starts. If you cast it in one combat, don't count on it lasting until the next (although it might, if you're lucky).

For me and this silly large pool, the answer to that question is always yes within a dungeon.

While traveling, I am a bit weaker, but in a dungeon I have more than enough points that my minute per level buffs just stay up through a dungeon.

But my parties tend to go "kick in the door" for dungeons since minute per level buffs are far stronger than being careful and meticulous. My other party members aren't rolling in pearls or endless arcane points, so they are far weaker once their initial minute per level buffs are gone (unless they are spont casters).

My turns go

Precombat: Enduring Blade and other per minute buffs
Turn 1 (assume selfish play since this is in a vacuum): Hasted Assault, Battle field control spell, move in range
Turn 2: Arcane accuracy, full attack or arcane accuracy, Spellcombat for battle field control spell/buff/debuff/repair spell and a full attack.
Turn 3: Probably not a turn 3 unless this is a serious fight, then spell + move into range or Teleport full attack (cause I can afford to just teleport for fun).

You spent 4 spells, one point, and used a specific magic item. That's 5 points unless you don't refresh spells after combat. So you are either prepping the same spell twice (cut down versatility) or you are diminished for the next fight but save some arcane points.

Now for on the road:
Turn 1: Haste on party, Enhance Blade, move into range
Turn 2: Spellcombat polymorph, arcane accuracy, smash foe
Turn 3: Battle Field control spell, move into range or spell combat teleport, arcane accuracy, full attack

I tend to be polymorphed so I have reach, lunge is unneeded. Blind-fight is nice, but as you say, I can spam glitterdust, light, and dispell mischance spells. Step-up serves no purpose and neither does disruptive. Defensive casting is very easy outside of the lowest levels. You need a deeper feat chain to get that combo working properly and it only is useful on some foes (like most feats). Pool points work in any situation.


BretI wrote:
On the other hand, shouldn't you try to figure out how others are able to make it without spending pool points faster than a life oracle with Life Link uses up healing?

That's just it. I have thought about it and it just isn't comparing well. I'm seeing more to-hit, more damage, more spells, more versatility, more skills, more AC, more HP, more staying power, more everything.

I keep scoping out these guides and threads to see if people have discovered a real reason to not just go more arcane pool. So far, no.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Rhedyn wrote:
I keep scoping out these guides and threads to see if people have discovered a real reason to not just go more arcane pool. So far, no.

Well for starters, you have shown that you are playing under several assumptions (regarding encounters in the game) that aren't even remotely true on most game tables.

Other than that, if you can't see that a build that spends its FCB on pool points has less hit points than a build that spends its FCB on hit points (which should be trivially obvious!) then you clearly aren't actually comparing your build to other builds.


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Kurald Galain wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
I keep scoping out these guides and threads to see if people have discovered a real reason to not just go more arcane pool. So far, no.

Well for starters, you have shown that you are playing under several assumptions (regarding encounters in the game) that aren't even remotely true on most game tables.

Other than that, if you can't see that a build that spends its FCB on pool points has less hit points than a build that spends its FCB on hit points (which should be trivially obvious!) then you clearly aren't actually comparing your build to other builds.

I would guess he is using False Life for the hit points. The thing is that spell lasts long enough that any Magus would have it up, so that really isn't an advantage of the huge pool.

In the campaign I'm currently playing a magus in, I've had eight or more battles in a single day with gaps of 20 minutes between battles -- at third level. Talking with the GM, there is more of that to come although there evidently are ways we could slow down that pace. I'm not certain the rest of the group will slow down.

I have only seen a couple of instances of sprint through the dungeon. In my experience, it is the exception rather than the normal case. The sprinting also tends to halt after the first encounter with a trap.


"but if I spam false life/bear's endurance I'm getting more HP that FCB to HP would get."


I think you are really underestimating the myrmidarch archetype. The description itself tells you: it is supposed to use sword and bow together, and he can do that very well, you get a very high AC thanks to high dex and heavy armor+ armor training, and you are able to use the gloves of dueling


Chess Pwn wrote:
"but if I spam false life/bear's endurance I'm getting more HP that FCB to HP would get."

and protection from energy and stoneskin.

20 minute gaps between 8 battles just makes more arcane points more useful. Cause you can cast more prebuffs. Unless you take half hour breaks and just get surprised every fight. Then those dex builds net some early level AC. Ooooo


I propose that Myrmidarch should be higher than red. Weapon training and qualifying for the fighter gloves to boost that is really quite nice for a fighting magus.

So ignore all the broken stuff and just use the weapon training and fighter feats.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

BretI wrote:
I have only seen a couple of instances of sprint through the dungeon. In my experience, it is the exception rather than the normal case. The sprinting also tends to halt after the first encounter with a trap.

Oh don't get me wrong, sprinting can be a really cool and exciting style of gameplay, it's just not a common one. And yes, the Magus can deal with that better than most classes. Still, for sprinting my first recommendation would be always-on abilities from feats, a few cheap level-1 wands for buffs, and some infinite-use abilities from the Hexcrafter at level 4+.

Chess Pwn wrote:
I propose that Myrmidarch should be higher than red. Weapon training and qualifying for the fighter gloves to boost that is really quite nice for a fighting magus.

I've been looking for a good combo with fighter training, and have so far not found any that suit the Magus well. If you have any concrete examples of what you could use, let's hear them.

Serph90 wrote:
I think you are really underestimating the myrmidarch archetype. The description itself tells you: it is supposed to use sword and bow together,

Every Magus can use a bow; but if you want to use sword and bow very well, look at the Eldritch Archer archetype, which is hands-down much better than the myrm.


I really fail to see where the eldritch archer is better than the myrmidarch as a switch hitter.... myrmidarch by level 12 has weapon training in 2 different weapon groups, that plus gloves of dueling give a huge bonus to both bow and sword. And as I said he gets better AC. Myrmidarch is simply to be considered closer to a figher than your typical magus. (not to mention that eldritch archer doesn't have neither spell combat or spell strike for melee, as it is clearly not his focus)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Serph90 wrote:
I really fail to see where the eldritch archer is better than the myrmidarch as a switch hitter....

Because the Eldritch Archer can use spell combat with ranged attacks, and pays half price for enchantments on his bow, and doesn't get diminished spellcasting.

Aside from that, bear in mind that switch hitting is not particularly valuable to a class that has ranged spells and teleportation available.

Serph90 wrote:
Myrmidarch is simply to be considered closer to a figher than your typical magus.

Yes, and the fighter is generally considered a (much) weaker class than the Magus. Hence, an archetype that makes the Magus more fighter-like is a downgrade.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

So let's do a comparison.

By level 12, the myrm can take Gloves of Dueling and have a +4 to hit and damage with his main weapon. Sounds nice, right?

But, that costs 15,000 gold, and a regular Magus has several ways to get +1 to hit/damage for that money. Also, the myrm loses two arcana slots and will likely spend feats on Extra Arcana; whereas the regular Magus can instead take Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization. Mind you, these are fairly weak feats, so the regular Magus can easily do better than that.

So the actual advantage of the myrm is +2 to hit, +1 to damage; that's nice but not spectacular. The tradeoff is that he has diminished spellcasting, and no spell recall (which gives at least 6 more spells at this level, or 26 if you're Rhedyn).

Is an extra ten spells per day better than +2/+1? Yes, easily. And at levels below twelve, myrm does not get the bonus but he does get the penalty. Overall, while it looks good on paper, it's just not a good tradeoff.


which arcana would a myrmidarch be taking? especially ones that he'd need to burn a feat to take?

Also can you list a few of these ways that a magus can spend 15,000 to get +2/+2 or +4/+4?

I'm recently looking into magus and feeling that a bladebound myrmidarch would work well. I couldn't find any arcana that I want to take. But with you saying there are several ways I'm curious what these ways are.

And I'm not saying it's a good trade of green, just not an awful deal of red. That a yellow color would be a better fit.

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