An Argument for the Eldritch Archer


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Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Muser wrote:

Wand wielder allows you to do just that. I don't think once in a blue moon chronicle purchases are too worrisome though.

That said, we're at the point where people are starting to bring in corner cases and CharOp rhetoric. Next we start to argue definitions, somebody links to a fallacy or two, one or two posts get cleaned, etc. Time to let the thread simmer and see the campaign leadership's answer.

IIRC while you could hold a staff and a bow at the same time, you could not spell spellstrike with it, since you are activating a magic item, not casting the spell yourself.

I plan to post a couple of other sample builds, but you have a point, and it boils down to how you view some of the inherent up and downsides of the various melee and ranged options.
In PFS, I feel, that attacking from extreme range is pretty damn rare (and I remember printing the 35*45 inch map from a recent scenario, which was quite a rarity) and the ability to attack without suffering from some kind of cover... is quite rare two, especially since ranged combat staples like Rapid Shot, Manyshot, Improved Precise Shot and Clustered Shot ccan't be combined with spell combat, or are not available outside of seeker play.

Dark Archive

Muser wrote:

Wand wielder allows you to do just that. I don't think once in a blue moon chronicle purchases are too worrisome though.

That said, we're at the point where people are starting to bring in corner cases and CharOp rhetoric. Next we start to argue definitions, somebody links to a fallacy or two, one or two posts get cleaned, etc. Time to let the thread simmer and see the campaign leadership's answer.

I am arguing charOP, but not discounting others opinions, just merely looking at what options there are in this world that stack with this archtype.

The problem at its core is this archtype synergy is just too much. It really is, and it becomes more and more problematic.
I'm a passionate argurer. So if I seem like being rude, I'm not, at least I hope I'm not.

I'd like to see leadership's opinions and see where they go with this as it stands.

Dark Archive

Sebastion, you can ranged spell strike with a wand and a gun. It's a bit more tricky with bows, but you can get a prehensile tail easily enough that can hold wands rods etc.
I'm going to play around with whether you could archtype this magus build with an alchemist bombs. >_>

Scarab Sages 4/5

Sin, I think what's in question for Spellstrike is whether or not it can be used with Wands at all. Wand Wielder specifies Spell Combat. It doesn't mention Spellstrike. I have a Wand Wielder build, but I use it for things like Blade Lash and True Strike, because it's unclear whether it works with Spellstrike. I read as much as I could find about it when I was building the character, and I decided there is enough of an argument that it doesn't work that I didn't want to rely on it for my character. I believe a main part of the rationale was the FAQ stating that using a spell-trigger item is not "casting a spell," and Spellstrike requires that the Magus cast the spell. Wand Wielder also uses the phrasing that you "can activate a wand or staff in place of casting a spell when using spell combat."

At any rate, in my opinion, finding a specific broken build or combination of items isn't the best argument for or against something. I think some very good arguments have been made on both sides at times in this thread.

My earlier post was not meant to say an Eldritch archer is as good of a wizard as a wizard, or as good of an Archer as a full-bab Archer build. I was just pointing out what others have: It is a powerful caster and a powerful martial in one. It can definitely do things that no other Magus or class combination could quite do to that level before now. Again, that doesn't mean it should definitely be banned. I think it does warrant taking a closer look at it, which this thread has done. I, too, will wait and see what John's thoughts are when he has time to post them.

Can anyone say with certainty that feats like Rapid Shot, Multishot, etc. that require a full-attack action don't work? I know someone pointed to the FAQ, but i thought that clarified that spell combat is a full-attack, and that's why Haste works with it. If, on the other hand, those feats don't work with Spell Combat, then that lowers the power level of the archer side of the archetype some. I don't think whether they work or not is a debate we want to have here. I'm just wondering if there's a rules thread on it I'm not finding.

Dark Archive

Everything I have seen including a question pointing at wand weird is that yes it works with ranged spell combat.
My point is simply, the archetype is too much for just an archtype. It makes an entire prestige class look silly.
There is nothing sacrificed for this archtype, but you get everything from it. This is the Sparta of all archetypes. Trust me, I'm salivating for a chance to play this. It's why I bought streets. But I also understand that the power creep curve is just too dang high.
I'm hoping That if they do allow this, that they put it on a year seven boon, to at least restrict it some.
But if this goes live, I will have much fun wrecking stuff with it.

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

9mm wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
9mm wrote:
Alot of the fear seems to be "omg teh damages." and are using levels at which Investigators are one-shotting monsters to back it up. Damage is damage, sorry guys but your mosters are gonna die, they're supposed to.

I don't understand why many folks say "It seems like most of the concerns are X," when people's concerns are X, Y, Z, A, B, etc. And many of these reasons individually are sufficient enough that the archetype should be banned.

There's no single reason why Eldritch Archer should not see play. There's many of them.

you say that but... the entire thread is about damage.

It is? I made one of the biggest rebuttals to the argument for unbanning the Eldritch Archer. Not once I ever mentioned it doing too much burst damage. Even the OP did not list damage output as a major argument.

As I said, there's no single reason why the Eldritch Archer should not see play in PFS. There's many of them.

Dark Archive

So, this is just a sample 10th level I threw together, looking at the wealth and fame of three of my 9+ characters. This is my omg fire rays everywhere build. This is assuming 56 fame by 10th, and 70k wealth.

So, I have two staff's an ember staff which is around 13k, easily accessible by 5th level, and a staff of many rays, which is a mid 9th, early 10 pick up. I dont have anything else period.
To look at what I have here, this would be a full round attack action within 20 feet, or 30 if I change a snowball out, or decide to get distance on the weapon.

+13/+8 (1d8+13/×4) Now, with the full attack cast from lets say the ember staff, it uses CL 8, again easily obtainable around 5th level, 6th if you fail a ton of missions.
So with this, you'd be doing +13/+13/+8 with two attacks having rays on them.

If we use the Many rays, we get the same result but all attacks have firey death rays with them.
So +13/+13/+8

Lets add a haste into the mix
+14/+14/+14/+9. 3x firey death beams included. (if using many rays)

Now, if you can rapid shot while ranged spell combating, than it gets even sillier. Someone mentioned you can't, thus I didn't build with rapid shot, however I can not find out at all where this rule came from.

Either way, with ranged spell combat, this build offers you 18 scorching rays in a single day for that heavy lifting. Or a combination of weirdness. But a ton of fire, all fire all the time. The best part about it? If your hitting a monster with fire immunity, your still doing a ton of bad touch bullet damage...

Super Mega Test
Human (Chelaxian) gunslinger (pistolero) 5/magus (eldritch archer) 5 (Pathfinder Player Companion: Heroes of the Street 11, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 9, 51, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 9)
CN Medium humanoid (human)
Init +9; Senses Perception +15
Defense
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 10 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 74 (10 HD; 5d8+5d10+15)
Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +7
Defensive Abilities nimble +1
Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee ember staff (1d6)
Ranged +1 double-barreled pistol +13/+8 (1d8+13/×4)
Special Attacks arcane pool (+2, 4 points), deeds (gunslinger initiative, gunslinger's dodge, pistol-whip, quick clear, up close and deadly +1d6, up close and deadly +2d6, utility shot), grit (2), magus arcana (wand wielderUM), spell combat, spell recall, spellstrike
Magus (Eldritch Archer) Spells Prepared (CL 7th; concentration +9)
2nd—scorching ray, scorching ray, scorching ray
1st—ray of enfeeblement (DC 13), ray of enfeeblement (DC 13), snowball (DC 13), snowball (DC 13), snowball (DC 13)
0 (at will)—acid splash, detect magic, ray of frost, read magic
Statistics
Str 10, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 7
Base Atk +8; CMB +8; CMD 24
Feats Clustered ShotsUC, Combat Expertise, Deadly Aim, GunsmithingUC, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload, Weapon Focus (double-barreled pistol), Weapon Versatility
Traits magical knack, reactionary
Skills Acrobatics +18, Craft (alchemy) +10, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (engineering) +8, Knowledge (local) +8, Knowledge (planes) +8, Perception +15, Sleight of Hand +18, Spellcraft +15
Languages Common, Gnome
SQ gunsmith, pistol training, ranged spell combat, ranged spellstrike, ranged weapon bond
Combat Gear ember staffACG, staff of many raysAPG; Other Gear +1 double-barreled pistolUC, alchemical cartridge (paper)UC (60), 30 gp
Special Abilities
Arcane Pool +2 (4/day) (Su) Infuse own power into a held weapon, granting enhancement bonus or selected item powers.
Clustered Shots Total damage from full-round ranged attacks before applying DR
Combat Expertise +/-3 Bonus to AC in exchange for an equal penalty to attack.
Deadly Aim -3/+6 Trade a penalty to ranged attacks for a bonus to ranged damage.
Ember staff (10 charges) Can cast produce flame on staff, adding it's dmg to melee attacks.
Grit (Ex) Gain a pool of points that are spent to fuel deeds, regained on firearm crit/killing blow.
Gunsmithing You can use a gunsmithing kit to craft/repair firearms and ammo.
Magical Knack (Magus [Eldritch Archer]) +2 CL for a specific class, to a max of your HD.
Pistol Training (+5, misfire value -2) (Ex) Starting at 5th level, a pistolero increases her skill with one-handed firearms. She gains a bonus on damage rolls equal to her Dexterity modifier, and when she misfires with a one-handed firearm, the misfire value increases by 2 instead of 4. Every
Point-Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into melee.
Ranged Spell Combat (Ex) Must use ranged weapon for spell combat.
Ranged Spellstrike (Su) As a full rd action, ranged spells can be combined with ranged attacks.
Ranged Weapon Bond (- Custom / magic weapon -) (Ex) Must have bonded object to cast spells, doesn't interfere with somatic components.
Rapid Reload (Double-barreled musket) You can reload fast with one type of Crossbow or Firearm.
Spell Combat (Ex) Use a weapon with one hand at -2 and cast a spell with the other.
Spell Recall (Su) Spend your Arcane Pool to recall spells you have already cast.
Spellstrike (Su) Deliver touch spells as part of a melee attack.
Wand Wielder (Su) The magus can activate a wand or staff in place of casting a spell when using spell combat.
Weapon Versatility Weapon w/ Weapon Focus: shift grip to alter damage to B/P/S (free act.).

Shadow Lodge 5/5

So... you've got your gun in one hand and staff in the other... how are you reloading?

Oh yeah, how'd you afford your double barrel pistol too?


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Cyrad and I had a discussion about the archetype in the Product Discussion thread for Heroes of the Streets in which I tried to address his concern about combining battlefield control spells with ranged attacks as follows:

Thaliak wrote:

Cyrad, I'll admit it's a strong ability. However, as I tried to say in my original post, I don't know how much stronger it is than a Bard with a high enough Inspire Courage bonus to turn two or three hits into misses while casting [battlefield control] spells. In combat, the Bard may be even stronger, as those hits will come from martials who have damage-boosting class features and can invest more in strength than a Magus who needs strength, dexterity, and intelligence. Out of combat, a Bard should definitely outdo a Magus.

I could be off base. I'm not the most experienced player [and I'm new to PFS], and the game where I'm playing an Eldritch Archer [in] is already ridiculously overpowered [it's a gestalt game where we get a feat every level and roll stats using house rules that all but guarantee several stats above 16]. But I'm looking forward to seeing what the archetype can do.

Cyrad wrote:
I appreciate your honesty, Thaliak. Though, damage isn't just my concern. Archery and crowd control spells are some of the strongest combat contributions in the game. Giving the action economy to do both at the same time without putting much risk is insanely powerful.
Thaliak wrote:

For what it's worth, there already are several ways to combine movement-agnostic damage, the primary benefit of archery, and crowd control. Any caster can do it with Dazing Spell, summoning or combo spells such as Snowball and Blistering Invective. Summoners, Sylvan bloodline Sorcerers, Druids, Hunters, Sacred Huntmaster Inquisitors, Spiritualists, and any caster who is willing to invest feats in Nature Soul, Animal Ally and Boon Companion can come close through their companions.

Having said that, I agree that Ranged Spell Combat will be powerful. I just don't think it's strong enough to warrant too much concern unless the Magus knows what he's doing in a party with an otherwise low optimization ceiling. That will be a problem with almost any class, including the base Magus.

I still think my arguments are valid, so I'm reposting them here. If the other options that allow casters to combine damage and battlefield control are allowed in PFS, why ban the Eldritch Archer?

Part of the argument seems to be, "There is so little risk! This guy can do everything that the Magus can do, but he doesn't have to put himself in danger." I have four responses to that:
1. This is true of other classes as well. The aforementioned Bard doesn't need to be within five feet of an enemy to provide Inspire Courage while casting Glitterdust, Confusion and Silent Image.
2. If the Eldritch Archer demonstrates that he is a big threat, most enemies will try to counter him. In the case of intelligent enemies, that could mean focusing fire to take him out quickly, getting him into melee where he loses much of his power, or hitting him with spells such as Glitterdust or Dominate Person.
3. As Sebastian already mentioned, the Magus may be protecting himself at the expense of his allies. Unlike the normal Magus, he won't be providing flanking bonuses or standing between the enemies and the witch.
4. Other classes do it better. For example, the aforementioned Summoner has the freedom to spend points and feats boosting his spell DCs while offering a source of damage that can flank, guard the squishies, provide a second chance at critical rolls such as Perception and Spellcraft, and use wands if needed.

I suppose people could say, "Thaliak, you're comparing the Eldritch Archer to Summoners, one of the strongest class in the game even in its unchained incarnation. I don't want more options of that power level in PFS!" I don't agree with that sentiment. If I'm unfortunate enough to end up at a table where everyone cares only about power, I'd like to at least see several different character concepts rather than the Murder-Pounce Summoner, the One-Trick Zen Archer, and the Superstitious Two-Hand Barbarian I've seen or read about on the boards.

If I'm fortunate enough to end up at a table with people who try to build reasonable characters and share the spotlight, an Eldritch Archer would be a great ally. If the player notices he's steeling the spotlight, he has several options:
1. He can dial back by casting cantrips or buffs.
2. He can switch to a role that isn't covered. At a table with a wizard who focuses on battlefield control, he can prep damage spells. At a table full of melee monsters and ranged reapers, he can focus on battlefield control instead.

Of course, if his allies' dice go cold, he's still a Magus. When the enemy boss has his axe raised to finish off the prone fighter, the Eldritch Archer can pull out all the stops and kill the enemy before he can deliver the finishing blow. I think I'm okay with that.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Sin of Asmodeus wrote:
Everything I have seen including a question pointing at wand weird is that yes it works with ranged spell combat.

It works with ranged Spell Combat. It's unclear whether it works with ranged Spellstrike. So you could cast Disentegrate out of a staff for sure, then drop the staff and finish your full-attack. What is not clear is whether or not you can deliver that Disentegrate through Spellstrike. HERE is a link to one of the discussions on the rules board. Again, I'm not saying it 100% doesn't work. But there has been debate over it, which for PFS means don't count on it working at every table without something more official. To me, the argument against it is good enough that I'm not willing to base a build around it.

Oddly enough, Close Range Arcana combined with Wand Wielder and Spellstrike seems to work. Maybe Ranged Spellstrike is worded similarly?

Dark Archive

Eric Clingenpeel wrote:

So... you've got your gun in one hand and staff in the other... how are you reloading?

Oh yeah, how'd you afford your double barrel pistol too?

Magic. . Also there is a spell that gives you a magic hand that reloads for you.

Shadow Lodge

couple of Counterpoints and questions

A) Im assuming Spell blending is whats used to get named bullet ? because the issue with this way is you must be lvl 12 in order to that spell (Arcana gained vs Spell level) if Im wrong please let me know

B) Staff of Many Rays - even if we assume it works (I have yet to dig into this) Id Like to point this out

Recharging Staves wrote:
Staves hold a maximum of 10 charges. Each spell cast from a staff consumes one or more charges. When a staff runs out of charges, it cannot be used until it is recharged. Each morning, when a spellcaster prepares spells or regains spell slots, he can also imbue one staff with a portion of his power so long as one or more of the spells cast by the staff is on his spell list and he is capable of casting at least one of the spells. Imbuing a staff with this power restores one charge to the staff, but the caster must forgo one prepared spell or spell slot of a level equal to the highest-level spell cast by the staff.

so your saying your going to spend 57k for 3 Shots ? because you cant recharge it with scrolls

I admit I was all behind this archtype being legal when I found out about it ... but then I started thinking about the Arcane bond because I just got my Zen Archer a +5 bow

the cost of a +5 adaptive Bow is 51,400 with fame requirement of 49 (Minimum of 9th level assuming 6 Fame every level)

when you apply the benifits of Arcane bond to this ... you have a final Gold cost of 25,500 for enchantment upgrade costs ...
this further skews once you start looking at higher end enchantments
36k for a +6 - 54 fame
49k for a +7 - 63 fame
64k for a +8 - 67 Fame
81k for a +9 - 72 Fame
100k for a +10 72 fame

I don't remember the WBL Charts well enough that came out around the time out of tier was introduced ... but I Imagine a +5 or better weapon Buries that chart even at its most abused amount

yes I realize Ring of protection, Amulet of Natural Armor, 4th level Spell Wands, and some staves (tho as noted above staves need to be rechargeable) also skew WBL in much the same way - but I think this is actually worse

I really would like to Argue for this Archtype ... but because of this fact alone ... I don't think I could support it being included as a legal option in PFS

Grand Lodge

Wraith235 wrote:

couple of Counterpoints and questions

A) Im assuming Spell blending is whats used to get named bullet ? because the issue with this way is you must be lvl 12 in order to that spell (Arcana gained vs Spell level) if Im wrong please let me know

Spell Blending, with re-training to get it earlier had been my assumption for the builds that were being talked about.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sin of Asmodeus wrote:
Eric Clingenpeel wrote:

So... you've got your gun in one hand and staff in the other... how are you reloading?

Oh yeah, how'd you afford your double barrel pistol too?

Magic. . Also there is a spell that gives you a magic hand that reloads for you.

So your nova machine must also wand in reloading hands (2nd level spell on the magus list) which can load your weapon once a round for you. also reloading hands is rounds per level, so it isn't a buff and forget spell.

for an all powerful build, I am underwhelmed, even with wrist sheaths this build has atrocious action economy. especially since you have to choose between using your rod, or a full hasted attack.

I think we can stick a fork in it, as this is no better than an inquisitor, you either got to buff and mow em down, or you have to slowly, painfully build up and are finished buffing at the end of the fight.

Wraith235 wrote:


I admit I was all behind this archtype being legal when I found out about it ... but then I started thinking about the Arcane bond because I just got my Zen Archer a +5 bow

Should we also be banning arcane duelist bards as well? they get the same trick.

Cyrad wrote:

it is? I made one of the biggest rebuttals to the argument for unbanning the Eldritch Archer. Not once I ever mentioned it doing too much burst damage. Even the OP did not list damage output as a major argument.

As I said, there's no single reason why the Eldritch Archer should not see play in PFS. There's many of them.

and your aguements break down to... the arcane archer deals its damage to safely. so yes it is about damage; because the magus class is all about damage.

4/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

If you are worried about the Arcane Bonded bow, any archer that multi classes with Wizard could get that. There is nothing I see in the Wizard description that prevents it. It only says it must be held in one hand, not that it must be a one-handed weapon.

The Exchange

I don't think any particular part is too much. The class just seems to get everything you could ever want and loses no options though.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Ferious Thune wrote:

Sin, I think what's in question for Spellstrike is whether or not it can be used with Wands at all. Wand Wielder specifies Spell Combat. It doesn't mention Spellstrike. I have a Wand Wielder build, but I use it for things like Blade Lash and True Strike, because it's unclear whether it works with Spellstrike. I read as much as I could find about it when I was building the character, and I decided there is enough of an argument that it doesn't work that I didn't want to rely on it for my character. I believe a main part of the rationale was the FAQ stating that using a spell-trigger item is not "casting a spell," and Spellstrike requires that the Magus cast the spell. Wand Wielder also uses the phrasing that you "can activate a wand or staff in place of casting a spell when using spell combat."

At any rate, in my opinion, finding a specific broken build or combination of items isn't the best argument for or against something. I think some very good arguments have been made on both sides at times in this thread.

My earlier post was not meant to say an Eldritch archer is as good of a wizard as a wizard, or as good of an Archer as a full-bab Archer build. I was just pointing out what others have: It is a powerful caster and a powerful martial in one. It can definitely do things that no other Magus or class combination could quite do to that level before now. Again, that doesn't mean it should definitely be banned. I think it does warrant taking a closer look at it, which this thread has done. I, too, will wait and see what John's thoughts are when he has time to post them.

Can anyone say with certainty that feats like Rapid Shot, Multishot, etc. that require a full-attack action don't work? I know someone pointed to the FAQ, but i thought that clarified that spell combat is a full-attack, and that's why Haste works with it. If, on the other hand, those feats don't work with Spell Combat, then that lowers the power level of the archer side of the archetype some. I don't think whether they work or not is...

I didn't do a recent research on the wand wielder topic, but last time I checked I could not find a single shred of evidence, that supported the argument that you you spellstrike anything that is not a spell from the magus list that you cast yourself (especially since without the proper arcana) you can't even cast spells that are on the magus list, from the spell slots of your other spellcasting classes.

If you indeed can indeed spellstrike with a wand, the weapon wand spell becomes a very nice option for melee and ranged magus characters.

The point you mentioned "being able to buff/debuff and full attack, instead of using your spell slots do deal damage" is a valid one, but I will try to contrast that concept with a bard/arcanist/witch, since they operate in those areas as well.

On the haste issue I feel like I am on pretty solid ground though, the FAQs mentions spellcombat counting as a full attack, since otherwise the magus arcana that grands the magus a personal haste effect, would be unusable with the signature magus ability.(Something the players asked about since spell combat is a full round action, but not a full attack, then came the first FAQ reinforced that notion, then they changed it, so the arcana wasn't a horrible trap). So since they took the time to spell out that for the purposes of haste and similar effects (speed weapon, blessing of fervor etc.), unless your are taking the full round action "full attack" your are not taking a full attack and those feats are not an option.

And yeah, I know you don'T want to argue this, but I could not find anything either.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Sin of Asmodeus wrote:

Sebastion, you can ranged spell strike with a wand and a gun. It's a bit more tricky with bows, but you can get a prehensile tail easily enough that can hold wands rods etc.

I'm going to play around with whether you could archtype this magus build with an alchemist bombs. >_>

Sounds like you want to combine grenadier alchemist with tangleshot arrows or firearm ammunition.

Scarab Sages 4/5

To clarify, I don't believe Spellstrike works with Wand Wielder, due to the way Spellstrike is worded. I don't personally try to use it. I know there are people out there who argue the other side, though, so that's why I say it's unclear. My point in that section was to say that I would not rely on an Eldritch Archer build that depends on being able to use Spellstrike with a Wand or Staff, because there are almost certainly GMs out there who will rule that it doesn't work. I linked to the relevant rules discussion earlier.

A Bard/Arcanist/Witch can't drop a battlefield control spell and then attack four times (8th level Magus, Hasted, with Rapid Shot) in the same round without either Quicken Spell or spending money on a Quicken Rod. The Bard can Inspire Coursge as a move action by then, but it still precludes a full attack. If Rapid Shot doesn't work, that makes a big difference.

A regular Magus can drop a big spell then full attack, but had to be within a 5 foot step to do so, which aside from placing them closer to danger, also makes it harder to place a big area effect spell.

At this point I'm leaning towards the side that wants the archetype legal. It does sound like it may be more powerful than a standard Magus, but that alone doesn't seem like it should be grounds for banning something. I think the best comparison in terms of action economy and character safety is probably a character with an animal companion. The Eldritch Archer just accomplishes it without putting another token on the table.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Sin of Asmodeus wrote:

So, this is just a sample 10th level I threw together, looking at the wealth and fame of three of my 9+ characters. This is my omg fire rays everywhere build. This is assuming 56 fame by 10th, and 70k wealth.

So, I have two staff's an ember staff which is around 13k, easily accessible by 5th level, and a staff of many rays, which is a mid 9th, early 10 pick up. I dont have anything else period.
To look at what I have here, this would be a full round attack action within 20 feet, or 30 if I change a snowball out, or decide to get distance on the weapon.

+13/+8 (1d8+13/×4) Now, with the full attack cast from lets say the ember staff, it uses CL 8, again easily obtainable around 5th level, 6th if you fail a ton of missions.
So with this, you'd be doing +13/+13/+8 with two attacks having rays on them.

If we use the Many rays, we get the same result but all attacks have firey death rays with them.
So +13/+13/+8

Lets add a haste into the mix
+14/+14/+14/+9. 3x firey death beams included. (if using many rays)

Now, if you can rapid shot while ranged spell combating, than it gets even sillier. Someone mentioned you can't, thus I didn't build with rapid shot, however I can not find out at all where this rule came from.

Either way, with ranged spell combat, this build offers you 18 scorching rays in a single day for that heavy lifting. Or a combination of weirdness. But a ton of fire, all fire all the time. The best part about it? If your hitting a monster with fire immunity, your still doing a ton of bad touch bullet damage...

Super Mega Test
Human (Chelaxian) gunslinger (pistolero) 5/magus (eldritch archer) 5 (Pathfinder Player Companion: Heroes of the Street 11, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 9, 51, Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 9)
CN Medium humanoid (human)
Init +9; Senses Perception +15
Defense
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 10 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 74 (10 HD; 5d8+5d10+15)
Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +7
Defensive Abilities nimble +1
Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee ember staff (1d6)...

I mentioned above, that I have seriously doubts about the combination of wands/staffs with spellstrike, but the ability to add 4d6 fire damage (remember SR) to add to 3 separate attacks without the ability to use clustered shot doesn't seem that bad.

Of course getting access to disintegrate can be pretty effective. I am not sure how it compares to the standard cookie cutter metagmagic trait tricks. Especially since you can use snowball as your base spell in melee and ranged builds, the fact that it ignores SR is just too damn good.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Wraith235 wrote:

couple of Counterpoints and questions

A) Im assuming Spell blending is whats used to get named bullet ? because the issue with this way is you must be lvl 12 in order to that spell (Arcana gained vs Spell level) if Im wrong please let me know

B) Staff of Many Rays - even if we assume it works (I have yet to dig into this) Id Like to point this out

Recharging Staves wrote:
Staves hold a maximum of 10 charges. Each spell cast from a staff consumes one or more charges. When a staff runs out of charges, it cannot be used until it is recharged. Each morning, when a spellcaster prepares spells or regains spell slots, he can also imbue one staff with a portion of his power so long as one or more of the spells cast by the staff is on his spell list and he is capable of casting at least one of the spells. Imbuing a staff with this power restores one charge to the staff, but the caster must forgo one prepared spell or spell slot of a level equal to the highest-level spell cast by the staff.

so your saying your going to spend 57k for 3 Shots ? because you cant recharge it with scrolls

I admit I was all behind this archtype being legal when I found out about it ... but then I started thinking about the Arcane bond because I just got my Zen Archer a +5 bow

the cost of a +5 adaptive Bow is 51,400 with fame requirement of 49 (Minimum of 9th level assuming 6 Fame every level)

when you apply the benifits of Arcane bond to this ... you have a final Gold cost of 25,500 for enchantment upgrade costs ...
this further skews once you start looking at higher end enchantments
36k for a +6 - 54 fame
49k for a +7 - 63 fame
64k for a +8 - 67 Fame
81k for a +9 - 72 Fame
100k for a +10 72 fame

I don't remember the WBL Charts well enough that came out around the time out of tier was introduced ... but I Imagine a +5 or better weapon Buries that chart even at its most abused amount

yes I realize Ring of protection, Amulet of Natural Armor, 4th level Spell Wands, and some staves (tho as...

Thanks for mentioning the problem with reloading that staff.

Regarding your zen archer exampple, the zen archer is effectively a full bab class (that gains the benefits of two weapon fighting thus resulting in quite the number of attack), while the magus is a 3/4 bab class that has to offset that downside with their arcane pool class feature. Once you reach a +5 enhancement bonus, your available options can become a bit lackluster depending on the enemy variety (if the enemy has fire resitance 5, adding flaming to your weapon is a really lackluster option).
Of course once you can take the devoted blade arcana at level 12, your options become better, but since that is outside of the normal PFS frame of reference..

PFS FAQ wrote:

Can an Arcane Bonded Item be upgraded?
A character with the arcane bond class feature may create a bond with any item he owns, either magical or mundane, as long as the item falls within the categories permitted by the arcane bond ability (the cost for bonding with a new item still applies). If a caster later wishes to upgrade an existing bonded item, he may do so for the cost (not price) of the final item as listed in the item's statblock.

For items which can be enhanced incrementally (such as weapons or a ring of protection), the caster must meet all prerequisites for the item as outlined in the item crafting rules. For example, a nonmagical bonded dagger can be enchanted to a +1 dagger for 1,000 gp instead of the normal 2,000 gp, but the caster must be at least 5th level (a prerequisite for the Craft Magic Arms and Armor feat). To upgrade the item further to a +2 dagger, the caster must have a caster level of 6 or higher (three times the item's enhancement bonus).

A bonded item that is enhanced must still conform to all the campaign rules for access to and upgrading of magical items. The final and total price of the item (not the cost) is used on the Fame chart to determine whether a caster can apply such an enhancement to a bonded item.

So while my level 9 magus could buy/craft his arcane bond to a +3 weapon (since she could legally purchase a +3 composite longbow) and her caster level is just high enough to craft a weapon with an a +3 enhancement bonus, but since a +4 enhancement bonus would require a CL of 12 it is unlikely to be come a factor in PFS before the retirement arch.

Considering the way, weapon prices scale, I think it is fair to say (correct me if I am wrong) that the arcane bond usually allows a character to have a weapon with a effective enhancement bonus of 1 point higher than usual.
Of course using greater magic weapon, especially since it is on the magus spell list, is also a viable option.

Of course when it comes melee weapon enhancement choices, especially since I am not chained to a specific arcane bond item, there are plenty of attractive permanent options:
-keen: (since the BAB 8 requirement of improved critical, is hard to meet as a 3/4 BAB class)
-spell storing:1-3rd levels spells are your bread and butter, spell storing weapons allow your to increase the output of those spells per round by a significant margin.
-bane:A legitimate option if you find yourself facing the same kind of enemies on a regular basis. As as secondary weapon, an 8000+ weapon could be a worthwhile investment (human and evil outsiders seems like a good investment).

Obviously there are other good alternatives, but when it comes to ranged weapons, especially since this weapon will be your arcane bond, the list is a bit shorter:

-veering:A pretty good investment, of you find yourself shooting into cover a lot.
Obviously there are others, but right now I fail to come up with anything that I would prefer to a pure enhancement bonus.

EDIT: So arcane bond allows you to have a +7 weapon once you have 63 fame (something that might happen when you are level 11( if you have been quite lucky and haven't played too many modules) and a + 6 weapon once you have 58 fame which is unlikely to happen until you reach level 11.

The Exchange

The faq is only saying use the crafting rules and then gives an example. In the crafting rules + faq it says:

Quote:

Crafting and Bypassing Requirements: What crafting requirements can you bypass by adding +5 to the DC of your Spellcraft check?

As presented on page 549 of the Core Rulebook, there are no limitations other than (1) you have to have the item creation feat, and (2) you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion magic items without meeting their spell prerequisites. So racial requirements, specific spell requirements, math requirements (such as "caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus"), and so on, are all subject to the +5 DC rule.

By increasing the DC of the spellcraft check you can get a higher bonus. Generally I don't think this matters much especially for magi. Honestly getting something like a +10 bow which I'll be getting for my archer is more for show than anything. The only part that matters is the first +5 enhancement bonus. These sort of bonuses are quite easy to get for Magi and pretty much every magus has this bonus after using their pool.

The only thing I don't understand is why this archetype gets a free bonded object in the first place.

Shadow Lodge

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Regarding your zen archer exampple,

guess I should have been more clear ... it was a combination of this thread and the fact that I just bought that bow that made me think about it ... Zen Archer comparisons have been done here ... was commenting on the thought process that brought me to this point

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
EDIT: So arcane bond allows you to have a +7 weapon once you have 63 fame (something that might happen when you are level 11( if you have been quite lucky and haven't played too many modules) and a + 6 weapon once you have 58 fame which is unlikely to happen until you reach level 11.

+6 is minimum 9th lvl - assuming 6PA/level

+7 is Minimum 10th lvl - assuming 6PA / level
+8 is minimum 11th lvl - asuming 6PA/level
+9 and 10 are both 12th level

Grand Lodge 2/5

Wraith235 wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Regarding your zen archer exampple,

guess I should have been more clear ... it was a combination of this thread and the fact that I just bought that bow that made me think about it ... Zen Archer comparisons have been done here ... was commenting on the thought process that brought me to this point

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
EDIT: So arcane bond allows you to have a +7 weapon once you have 63 fame (something that might happen when you are level 11( if you have been quite lucky and haven't played too many modules) and a + 6 weapon once you have 58 fame which is unlikely to happen until you reach level 11.

+6 is minimum 9th lvl - assuming 6PA/level

+7 is Minimum 10th lvl - assuming 6PA / level
+8 is minimum 11th lvl - asuming 6PA/level
+9 and 10 are both 12th level

You can't assume 6PA (PA? prestige? I've only ever seen it as PP. What is PA?). I suppose you can assume it if you have GM credit for a good majority of it, but it's definitely not likely that you'll have all of your prestige by level 11.

The Exchange

I think unless you are using module credit it's fairly likely you will have close to max prestige. He did say minimum of course it could take longer.

4/5 5/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—St. Louis Park aka BretI

I don't think I have a single character at max fame (which is what determines how expensive an item you can get). I thought the general benchmark they used was 5 per level, although I have been doing better than that. Still, about every 2-3 levels I miss something.

Silver Crusade 5/5

From what I've been noticing earning both PA/PP has become a lot more common than it used to be. The secondary success conditions are usually pretty intuitive, which helps.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Ferious Thune wrote:

To clarify, I don't believe Spellstrike works with Wand Wielder, due to the way Spellstrike is worded. I don't personally try to use it. I know there are people out there who argue the other side, though, so that's why I say it's unclear. My point in that section was to say that I would not rely on an Eldritch Archer build that depends on being able to use Spellstrike with a Wand or Staff, because there are almost certainly GMs out there who will rule that it doesn't work. I linked to the relevant rules discussion earlier.

A Bard/Arcanist/Witch can't drop a battlefield control spell and then attack four times (8th level Magus, Hasted, with Rapid Shot) in the same round without either Quicken Spell or spending money on a Quicken Rod. The Bard can Inspire Coursge as a move action by then, but it still precludes a full attack. If Rapid Shot doesn't work, that makes a big difference.

A regular Magus can drop a big spell then full attack, but had to be within a 5 foot step to do so, which aside from placing them closer to danger, also makes it harder to place a big area effect spell.

At this point I'm leaning towards the side that wants the archetype legal. It does sound like it may be more powerful than a standard Magus, but that alone doesn't seem like it should be grounds for banning something. I think the best comparison in terms of action economy and character safety is probably a character with an animal companion. The Eldritch Archer just accomplishes it without putting another token on the table.

Yeah, I love the magus class, but spellstriking from wands doesn't seem intended and even with the close range arcane it's at least a bit questionable.

When it comes to pure spellcasting, either to buff, debuff, or do something else that, while the magus can do this a limited number of times per day (and attack), limited really is the word (especially if the magus takes an archetype with diminished spellcasting and/or replaces spell recall).

A quick arcanist build to compare, it focuses on slow as a battlefield control spell. I is just one of those options that tends to work and is pretty effective against troublesome enemies like lightning elementals (I honestly can't claim that this is a great arcanist, and there are some options I would not touch with a 10ft pole like a dazing metamagic rod).

Substandard Arcanist:

Unnamed Hero
Human arcanist (blade adept) 10 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide 8, 76)
Medium humanoid (human)
Init +3; Senses Perception +14
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 21, touch 14, flat-footed 18 (+4 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex, +2 natural, +1 shield)
hp 82 (10d6+40)
Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +9
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee black blade +11 (1d6+3/18-20)
Special Attacks arcane reservoir (5/13), arcanist exploits (close range[UM], potent magic[ACG]), consume spells
Arcanist (Blade Adept) Spells Prepared (CL 10th; concentration +19)
. . 5th—baleful polymorph (DC 24)
. . 4th—calcific touch[APG] (DC 23), stoneskin
. . 3rd—ablative barrier[UC], dispel magic, slow (DC 22)
. . 2nd—cat's grace, create pit[APG] (DC 19), false life, mirror image
. . 1st—heightened awareness[ACG], liberating command[UC], long arm[ACG], mage armor, magic missile
. . 0 (at will)—acid splash, dancing lights, detect magic, disrupt undead, mending, prestidigitation, read magic, resistance, touch of fatigue (DC 17)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 24, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +5; CMD 19
Feats Combat Casting, Greater Spell Focus (transmutation), Heighten Spell, Persistent Spell[APG], Spell Focus (transmutation), Weapon Finesse
Traits focused mind, wayang spell hunter
Skills Acrobatics +7, Appraise +11, Climb +2, Craft (baskets) +18, Fly +16, Knowledge (arcana) +20, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +12, Knowledge (engineering) +12, Knowledge (geography) +12, Knowledge (history) +12, Knowledge (local) +12, Knowledge (nature) +13, Knowledge (nobility) +12, Knowledge (planes) +12, Knowledge (religion) +16, Linguistics +20, Perception +14, Sense Motive +2, Spellcraft +20, Use Magic Device +13
Languages Common
SQ black blade, black blade: energy attunement, black blade: strike, black blade: teleport blade, black blade: unbreakable, sentient sword, sword bond
Other Gear haramaki[UC], mithral buckler, amulet of natural armor +2, belt of physical might +2 (Dex, Con), cloak of resistance +2, headband of vast intelligence +4, ring of protection +1, 150 gp
--------------------
Tracked Resources
--------------------
Arcane Reservoir +2 DC or CL (13/day) (Su) - 0/13
Consume Spells (1/day) (Su) - 0/1
Sword Bond (Rapier, 1/day) - 0/1
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Arcane Reservoir +2 DC or CL (13/day) (Su) Pool of points fuel exploits, or can expend to add +2 CL or DC while cast spell.
Black Blade (Ex) You gain an intelligent bonded weapon whose power grows with your own.
Black Blade: Energy Attunement (Su) Replace weapon dam with fire/cold/elec for 1 point, or sonic/force for 2 points.
Black Blade: Strike +3 (Sp) The Black Blade can grant itself a damage bonus for 1 min.
Black Blade: Teleport Blade (Sp) Spend 1 point from own or blades pool to teleport it into hand.
Black Blade: Unbreakable (Ex) The Black Blade is immune to the broken condition while the arcane pool is not empty.
Close Range (Ex) Using spellstrike, deliver ranged touch spells as melee touch spells.
Combat Casting +4 to Concentration checks to cast while on the defensive.
Consume Spells (1/day) (Su) As a move action, expend a spell slot to add its spell levels to arcane reservoir.
Focused Mind +2 to Concentration checks
Greater Spell Focus (Transmutation) +1 to the Save DC of spells from one school.
Heighten Spell Increases spell level to effective level desired.
Persistent Spell Foes must succeed at 2 saves or suffer the spell's full effects.
Sentient Sword (Su) You gain an intelligent bonded weapon whose power grows with your own.
Spell Focus (Transmutation) Spells from one school of magic have +1 to their save DC.
Sword Bond (Rapier, 1/day) Arcane bond with proto-black blade.
Wayang Spell Hunter (Slow) Reduce spell level increase from metamagic for chosen spell by 1.

Hero Lab and the Hero Lab logo are Registered Trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. Free download at http://www.wolflair.com
Pathfinder® and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Paizo Inc.®, and are used under license.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Ragoz wrote:

The faq is only saying use the crafting rules and then gives an example. In the crafting rules + faq it says:

Quote:

Crafting and Bypassing Requirements: What crafting requirements can you bypass by adding +5 to the DC of your Spellcraft check?

As presented on page 549 of the Core Rulebook, there are no limitations other than (1) you have to have the item creation feat, and (2) you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion magic items without meeting their spell prerequisites. So racial requirements, specific spell requirements, math requirements (such as "caster level must be at least three times the enhancement bonus"), and so on, are all subject to the +5 DC rule.

By increasing the DC of the spellcraft check you can get a higher bonus. Generally I don't think this matters much especially for magi. Honestly getting something like a +10 bow which I'll be getting for my archer is more for show than anything. The only part that matters is the first +5 enhancement bonus. These sort of bonuses are quite easy to get for Magi and pretty much every magus has this bonus after using their pool.

The only thing I don't understand is why this archetype gets a free bonded object in the first place.

I am not sure about that one, and I would not be surprised to learn that this is a point of table variation.

Honestly I didn't recall that particular FAQ, but one could argue that the wording of the PFS FAQ item "you must meet all the prerequisites" takes priority here.

One argument for this being the case is, that I am pretty sure that you don't actually make a crafting check to craft the item. At least I have never have never seen it (but considering the base DC of 5+CL, and the option to take 10, it might just be a nonissue).

3/5 Venture-Agent, Pennsylvania—King of Prussia aka Alexander Augunas

3 people marked this as a favorite.

As a PFS player, I'm going to weigh in on this. Please let it be known that I had no part in designing this archetype; I just prefer accessible options to non-accessible options.

1: You cannot use Rapid Shot or Manyshot with Spell Combat.
Spell Combat is a full-round action. Rapid Shot and Manyshot can only be applied during a full-attack, which the magi's spell combat is not. People who say otherwise are likely to point to this FAQ as justification. Note that the FAQ states that it is a revision to how haste works with Spell Combat, not other effects. Even though the question itself seems to imply that that the ruling might apply to all effects that trigger off of a full-round action, that is not what the answer says.

As a result, spell combat puts the magus down one attack compared to other archers in addition to having lower BAB, which in and of itself is a huge penalty.

2: Magi have 3/4 BAB.
The OP has noted that magi can make up their lower attack bonus with the arcane pool ability. Arcane pool does not, however, grant iterative attacks. At 6th level, a fighter has a BAB of +6/+1 while the magus has a BAB of +4. In addition, the fighter will certainly have Rapid Shot and Manyshot compared to the magus's lone spell combat (see above), giving them the following: +4 (hits twice)/+4/–1 while the magus has this: +2/+2. The fighter literally hits twice as much.

Another common retort is going to be, "But Alex! Magi hit more than twice because of the powerful effects tied to their arrows." Well, that's not true either.

3: Ranged Attack Mechanics Clash with the Magus.
At their core, the Ranged Attack mechanics are all about taking penalties in order to gain bonus attacks. The magus, on the other hand, really does not want to miss with his spellstrike attack. But looking at the above bonuses? +2/+2 before enhancement bonuses and modifiers at Level 6, when the average AC is between 19 and 23? Yeah, that spellstrike is not hitting. Even if our magus has a +5 Dex bonus, a +1 bow, and a +2 from arcane pool, that's only a +10, meaning that the chances of that shot going off aren't exactly amazing. This only gets worse if your magus tries to add in feats like Deadly Aim and the like.

Also, there's another problem.

4: Most of the powerhouse spells can't be used during Spell Combat.
What's my justification? This line:

Quote:
If the spell can normally affect multiple targets, only a single missile, ray, or effect accompanies each attack; if the spell allows multiple attacks and the eldritch archer can make additional ranged attacks as part of a full-round action with spell combat, one additional ray, missile, or effect from the spell accompanies each subsequent ranged attack the eldritch archer makes in the same round until all attacks allowed by the spell are made. Unused missiles, rays, or effects remaining at the end of the eldritch archer's turn are wasted.

Obviously, the big powerhouse spell that everyone's going to want to use at Level 6 is scorching ray. Well, scorching ray doesn't get its extra attack until Level 7, so scorching ray adds +4d6 fire damage to one arrow shot. Meanwhile at Level 6, magi are currently running around smashing people in the face with intensified shocking grasps (a 2nd level spell normally, or a 1st level spell if you take magical knack like every magi in the Pathfinder Society does). At level 6, an intensified shocking grasp does 6d6 points of damage. At level 7, scorching ray can't target more than one opponent unless you spend a full-round action casting the spell, which means NO spell combat, NO haste (because you're not using spell combat), NO Rapid Shot, and NO Manyshot. The only advantage of doing this is that you're using your full BAB on both attacks. Meanwhile, the Level 7 melee magus is casting haste and spellstriking with intensified shocking grasp for 7d6 points of damage (a mere 1d6 less than the two 4d6 scorching rays). All the while, more damage is loaded on to that one spellstrike attack compared to relying on two separate attacks hitting with the magus.

Final Thoughts: Without a deep investigation of various archery options, I do not think that the eldritch archer is too strong for PFS play. I think the idea of a bow wizard at low levels intimidates people, but in the long run the available spells and range mechanics themselves don't support the whole, "sky is falling" mentality that I've seen people profess with this archetype. But that's just my 2 cents.

Bonus Reason this Archetype is Fine: Archers in general are heavily dependent on feat options, and the magus has fewer bonus feats than the fighter or slayer, no ways to ignore prerequisites like the ranger or slayer, and their bonus feats come online significantly later than the gunslinger's. This means that while the melee magus is picking up oodles of arcana, the ranged magus is stuck with the "bread and butter" ranged combat feats, and in the long run most magus arcana are stronger.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Wraith235 wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Regarding your zen archer exampple,

guess I should have been more clear ... it was a combination of this thread and the fact that I just bought that bow that made me think about it ... Zen Archer comparisons have been done here ... was commenting on the thought process that brought me to this point

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
EDIT: So arcane bond allows you to have a +7 weapon once you have 63 fame (something that might happen when you are level 11( if you have been quite lucky and haven't played too many modules) and a + 6 weapon once you have 58 fame which is unlikely to happen until you reach level 11.

+6 is minimum 9th lvl - assuming 6PA/level

+7 is Minimum 10th lvl - assuming 6PA / level
+8 is minimum 11th lvl - asuming 6PA/level
+9 and 10 are both 12th level

A +6 weapon requires you to be able have 58 fame, so if your got perfect scores, and never played a module:

Level 1 - 6 fame
Level 2 - 12 fame
level 3 - 18 fame
Level 4 - 24 fame
Level 5 - 30 fame
Level 6 - 36 fame
Level 7 - 42 fame
Level 8 - 48 fame
Level 9 - 54 fame

At that point you are a level 10 character and still need 4 fame to be able to get that +6 weapon. So, your character has 4 games left to play at regular speed or 8 while slow tracking.
Of course once you crack that 63 fame ceiling you can have your +7 weapon, but even if you slow track, you have only 3 games left.

It is certainly a good ability, but when you can upgrade to a +7 weapon, a character without the arcane bond will have a +5 weapon for almost the same price. Maybe this feature is much better when accessed by a class that doesn't suffer the drawbacks of an arcane bond.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Alexander Augunas wrote:

As a PFS player, I'm going to weigh in on this. Please let it be known that I had no part in designing this archetype; I just prefer accessible options to non-accessible options.

1: You cannot use Rapid Shot or Manyshot with Spell Combat.
Spell Combat is a full-round action. Rapid Shot and Manyshot can only be applied during a full-attack, which the magi's spell combat is not. People who say otherwise are likely to point to this FAQ as justification. Note that the FAQ states that it is a revision to how haste works with Spell Combat, not other effects. Even though the question itself seems to imply that that the ruling might apply to all effects that trigger off of a full-round action, that is not what the answer says.

As a result, spell combat puts the magus down one attack compared to other archers in addition to having lower BAB, which in and of itself is a huge penalty.

2: Magi have 3/4 BAB.
The OP has noted that magi can make up their lower attack bonus with the arcane pool ability. Arcane pool does not, however, grant iterative attacks. At 6th level, a fighter has a BAB of +6/+1 while the magus has a BAB of +4. In addition, the fighter will certainly have Rapid Shot and Manyshot compared to the magus's lone spell combat (see above), giving them the following: +4 (hits twice)/+4/–1 while the magus has this: +2/+2. The fighter literally hits twice as much.

Another common retort is going to be, "But Alex! Magi hit more than twice because of the powerful effects tied to their arrows." Well, that's not true either.

3: Ranged Attack Mechanics Clash with the Magus.
At their core, the Ranged Attack mechanics are all about taking penalties in order to gain bonus attacks. The magus, on the other hand, really does not want to miss with his spellstrike attack. But looking at the above bonuses? +2/+2 before enhancement bonuses and modifiers at Level 6, when the average AC is between...

Two small corrections, otherwise you make good points:

Regarding point four, wrote spell combat, but meant to write ranged spellstrike.

Your example also has the problem that you didn't factor in the free ranged attack (replacing the free touch attack from casting a ranged touch spell) thus at level 6, the magus will shoot one arrow with the 4d6 scorching ray, and one normal arrow. At level 7 this turns into two arrows with 4d6 each.

An intensified snowball has more damage potential at level 6, but at level 7 the scorching ray damage output is slightly higher, and you split the extra damage between 2 attacks. Splitting the damage has the advantage of having a higher chance that at least one attack hits (might be useful if you need to do fire damage to stop a regeneration) but will have to deal with energy resistance twice.
And the snowball option has the chance to crit once for, while the scorching ray can crit twice with a lower crit damage.

The Exchange

Alexander Augunas wrote:

1: You cannot use Rapid Shot or Manyshot with Spell Combat.

2: Magi have 3/4 BAB.

3: Ranged Attack Mechanics Clash with the Magus.

1. The cantrips Acid Splash and Ray of Frost are effectively Rapid Shot but you gained a feat.

2 + 3. My example magus on page 1 hits AC 19 at level 5 on a 4 (when you spend his extra 5k gold on either a +2 weapon or an ioun stone). Bab hardly matters for this class. Magi are going to hit the enemy pretty easily.

4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:

1: You cannot use Rapid Shot or Manyshot with Spell Combat.

Spell Combat is a full-round action. Rapid Shot and Manyshot can only be applied during a full-attack, which the magi's spell combat is not. People who say otherwise are likely to point to this FAQ as justification. Note that the FAQ states that it is a revision to how haste works with Spell Combat, not other effects. Even though the question itself seems to imply that that the ruling might apply to all effects that trigger off of a full-round action, that is not what the answer says.

As a result, spell combat puts the magus down one attack compared to other archers in addition to having lower BAB, which in and of itself is a huge penalty.

Actually Alex that FAQ entry is saying that you can.

[b wrote:

Magus, Spell Combat: Does spell combat count as making a full attack action for the purpose of haste and other effects?[/b]]

Yes.

Rapid Shot and Many Shot are other effects.

The revision notes that appear under it are to let people know that this is a change from the previous FAQ where you couldn't combine Spell Combat with effects that enhanced full attacks.

This is important to note because those other effects are things like Fighting Defensively. If you read the FAQ as only applying to Haste, then a Magus wouldn't be able to fight defensively while using spell combat.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Jeffrey Fox wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:

1: You cannot use Rapid Shot or Manyshot with Spell Combat.

Spell Combat is a full-round action. Rapid Shot and Manyshot can only be applied during a full-attack, which the magi's spell combat is not. People who say otherwise are likely to point to this FAQ as justification. Note that the FAQ states that it is a revision to how haste works with Spell Combat, not other effects. Even though the question itself seems to imply that that the ruling might apply to all effects that trigger off of a full-round action, that is not what the answer says.

As a result, spell combat puts the magus down one attack compared to other archers in addition to having lower BAB, which in and of itself is a huge penalty.

Actually Alex that FAQ entry is saying that you can.

[b wrote:

Magus, Spell Combat: Does spell combat count as making a full attack action for the purpose of haste and other effects?[/b]]

Yes.

Rapid Shot and Many Shot are other effects.

The revision notes that appear under it are to let people know that this is a change from the previous FAQ where you couldn't combine Spell Combat with effects that enhanced full attacks.

This is important to note because those other effects are things like Fighting Defensively. If you read the FAQ as only applying to Haste, then a Magus wouldn't be able to fight defensively while using spell combat.

Actually quoting the entire FAQ, I am pretty sure that it only applies to haste, blessing of fervor and speed weapons. I can see where you are coming from, but have always viewed this faq differently.

Relevant FAQs wrote:

Magus, Spell Combat: Does spell combat count as making a full attack action for the purpose of haste and other effects?
Yes.

Edit 9/9/13: This is a revised ruling about how haste interacts with effects that are essentially a full attack, even though the creature isn't specifically using the full attack action (as required by haste). The earlier ruling did not allow the extra attack from haste when using spell combat.

posted April 2013 | back to top
Magus, Spell Combat: If I use spell combat, how many weapon attacks can I make?
You can make as many weapon attacks as you [b]would normally be able to make if you were making a full attack
with that weapon. For example, if you are an 8th-level magus (BAB +6/+1), you could make two weapon attacks when using spell combat.

Edit 9/9/13: This is a revised ruling about how haste interacts with effects that are essentially a full attack, even though the creature isn't specifically using the full attack action (as required by haste). The earlier ruling implied that spell combat did not allow the extra attack from haste (because spell combat was not using the full attack action).

And yes, this means that you can't use fight defensively with spell combat. Nor can you fight defensively when taking a move action and standard action to a cast a touch spell and attack(either with or without weapon).

Fighting defensively is a bit weird like that, but maybe that was intentional.

Shadow Lodge

I actually did mess up on my math a bit
the Fame progression is correct but the levels need to be skewed up by 1 level
2=6
3=12
4=18
5=24 and so on .... so allow me to correct it

50k for a +5 - 49 fame = Min 9th
36k for a +6 - 54 fame = Min 10th
49k for a +7 - 63 fame = min 11th (Late 11th)
64k for a +8 - 67 Fame = Min 12th
81k for a +9 - 72 Fame = Min 13th
100k for a +10 72 fame = Min 13th

and yes it skews even farther if you calculate based on 5 PA / level (50/60 at 10th level)

I'm going to have to look for the old WBL Charts from when out of tier was introduced to compare that

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

And yes, this means that you can't use fight defensively with spell combat. Nor can you fight defensively when taking a move action and standard action to a cast a touch spell and attack(either with or without weapon).

Fighting defensively is a bit weird like that, but maybe that was intentional.

And again, fighting defensively is generally not an issue with ranged, who's either hanging back, or taking a 5 foot step.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

LazarX wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

And yes, this means that you can't use fight defensively with spell combat. Nor can you fight defensively when taking a move action and standard action to a cast a touch spell and attack(either with or without weapon).

Fighting defensively is a bit weird like that, but maybe that was intentional.

And again, fighting defensively is generally not an issue with ranged, who's either hanging back, or taking a 5 foot step.

You are correct - even though, the intention not to be in range of melee attacks is not particularly effective when 4 lightning elementals spawn in front of you...

Of course this does affect the melee magus.

The Exchange 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

BretI wrote:
I don't think I have a single character at max fame (which is what determines how expensive an item you can get). I thought the general benchmark they used was 5 per level, although I have been doing better than that. Still, about every 2-3 levels I miss something.

The benchmark is *supposed* to be 4.5 Fame/level. That's been true from the beginning of PFS and helped determine how the purchase chart was laid out. (Here's John Compton confirming that fact last year.)

Digression about why this isn't accurate any more:
Several things mean that players get more prestige now than the original expectation. There were originally Season 0 scenarios where it wasn't even possible to gain 2 prestige. That was done away with and since Season 1 all scenarios have the potential to grant 2 fame. Players also realized how important that purchase table is and spent far more time trying to complete their missions.

But the biggest reason players get a lot of fame is that GMs give it to them. I've been at tables where GMs will bend over backwards to make sure all the players get all the Fame. Sometimes it's literally saying "and then you talk to this guy none of you have bothered asking about for the other Prestige Point. Give me a diplomacy check." Sometimes it's making up new checks (unprompted) for the players to try if they fail the first one. Heck, I've seen GMs give out full Fame regardless of what the players did. When I've confronted them in a sidebar after the game, all these GM's have a variation on the same reason: "It hurts too much not to get the Fame so I always give it to players no matter what." Some of the more honest GMs will admit they are thinking about what happens when they play their characters as well.

The GM generosity is a negative feedback loop of sorts as well. I've been at conventions and had players get very upset at me if they didn't get full Fame. As in "Why did I not get 2 Fame like I'm supposed to? How come you are trying to keep me down? You are keeping me from getting the item I really need to make this character work. You just destroyed my whole level plan." Their local GMs always gave full Fame and if someone didn't they were a bad person. So there is enormous pressure to always give 2 Fame in that area.

I certainly don't try to keep the players from getting full Fame. This is supposed to be a fun game and that feeling of success is instrumental. But I'm not going to lead the players by the nose to the solution. Neither am I going to say "no one has Disable Device? Then just give me an Acrobatics check instead." (But I will give them the point if they come up with a clever workaround to accomplish the goal on their own.) I'm absolutely not going to arbitrarily write "2" in the Prestige Gained box of every chronicle.

Wow. This turned into a rant.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kevin Willis wrote:
The GM generosity is a negative feedback loop of sorts as well. I've been at conventions and had players get very upset at me if they didn't get full Fame. As in "Why did I not get 2 Fame like I'm supposed to? How come you are trying to keep me down? You are keeping me from getting the item I really need to make this character work. You just destroyed my whole level plan." Their local GMs always gave full Fame and if someone didn't they were a bad person. So there is enormous pressure to always give 2 Fame in that area.

Response: "You did not get 2 Prestige and Fame because you failed scenario objective X, Y, and/or Z. Would you care to learn why you failed scenario objective X, Y, and/or Z?"

GM runs the game, players play the game. Players fail to complete their objectives, GM is expected to penalize the players. Playing scenarios is pointless if there is no penalty for failure. As long as the GM ran things correctly and by the script, any blame for failed success conditions should land solely on the players or on the author for writing a punitive scenario, with the latter being the exception than the norm.

The last three tables I've run have seen players get the snot beat out of them resulting in two near TPKs, and one where the players received a negative boon, reduced gold, and no PA/Fame. When confronted, I calmly explained why things occurred the way they did, sympathized with their plight, but ultimately issued the chronicles with the appropriate reductions with a "I hope you have better luck next time."

The Exchange

Kevin Willis wrote:
Fame Stuff

Because it's a bit off topic:
Maybe this is true in other areas but at least in my experience I consistently see tables sticking to their assigned goals and looking to achieve them. The region just has a large player base, a good understanding of the game, and a community which encourages success during the mission I suppose. They do earn their prestige. I think building a strong character probably negates some of the chance a player has at failing a secondary and if you have multiple strong characters at a table it becomes close to impossible. I don't think it's a bad thing though as long as they legitimately keep going above and beyond the call of their primary goal.
Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Ragoz wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:
Fame Stuff
** spoiler omitted **

Another GM and I drove to another city on Sunday, to offer some scenarios for beginners and a couple of more experienced players.

One group got full PP and all possible boons for their scenarios, the other didn't earn many boons and on one scenario lost their second prestige point (mostly because they didn't listen during the briefing).

Of course this might be a regional thing, my level 11 hunter is 2 PP away from a perfect score... and most of the others can claim the same (excluding those with module chronicle sheets).

Looking back at a couple of older scenarios and faction missions, some of them are much more difficult and illogical than mission goals.

Maybe it is time to adjust the fame table.

Dark Archive 3/5

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Ragoz wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:
Fame Stuff
** spoiler omitted **

Another GM and I drove to another city on Sunday, to offer some scenarios for beginners and a couple of more experienced players.

One group got full PP and all possible boons for their scenarios, the other didn't earn many boons and on one scenario lost their second prestige point (mostly because they didn't listen during the briefing).

Of course this might be a regional thing, my level 11 hunter is 2 PP away from a perfect score... and most of the others can claim the same (excluding those with module chronicle sheets).

Looking back at a couple of older scenarios and faction missions, some of them are much more difficult and illogical than mission goals.

Maybe it is time to adjust the fame table.

Tangent, but the table isn't broken. As described above, folks just aren't enforcing the system correctly (You either got it or you didn't. No second chances, no extra rolls, no freebies). Chronicle access suddenly starts to mean something again when that second prestige isn't easy to get.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

bdk86 wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Ragoz wrote:
Kevin Willis wrote:
Fame Stuff
** spoiler omitted **

Another GM and I drove to another city on Sunday, to offer some scenarios for beginners and a couple of more experienced players.

One group got full PP and all possible boons for their scenarios, the other didn't earn many boons and on one scenario lost their second prestige point (mostly because they didn't listen during the briefing).

Of course this might be a regional thing, my level 11 hunter is 2 PP away from a perfect score... and most of the others can claim the same (excluding those with module chronicle sheets).

Looking back at a couple of older scenarios and faction missions, some of them are much more difficult and illogical than mission goals.

Maybe it is time to adjust the fame table.

Tangent, but the table isn't broken. As described above, folks just aren't enforcing the system correctly (You either got it or you didn't. No second chances, no extra rolls, no freebies). Chronicle access suddenly starts to mean something again when that second prestige isn't easy to get.

Obviously GMs should run the adventure as written, I just wanted to point out, that some of the older faction missions are pretty hard to do if you happen to lack the right skill.

The Exchange

My current version of myrmidarch
Archer 3 (fighter archetype)
Myrmidarch 8 (magus archetype)
Arcane archer 2 (afterward retake myr to 15)

Archer ranged disarm (use w true strike) at 30'
Note takes a prep round currently

Myrmidarch mainly avoids ranged spellstrike unless he is forced to move and uses arcane accuracy and prescient attack (bought via feat)

Note level 6 weapon training
Note level 7 fighter training
Note level 8 armor training

Relevant to Eldritch archer - I'd skip Mymidarch and spell combat to true strike each round to ranged disarm.

And likely combine a level of dual sorc to add +2/die to a chosen energy type.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Silvanus Talimah wrote:

My current version of myrmidarch

Archer 3 (fighter archetype)
Myrmidarch 8 (magus archetype)
Arcane archer 2 (afterward retake myr to 15)

Archer ranged disarm (use w true strike) at 30'
Note takes a prep round currently

Myrmidarch mainly avoids ranged spellstrike unless he is forced to move and uses arcane accuracy and prescient attack (bought via feat)

Note level 6 weapon training
Note level 7 fighter training
Note level 8 armor training

Relevant to Eldritch archer - I'd skip Mymidarch and spell combat to true strike each round to ranged disarm.

And likely combine a level of dual sorc to add +2/die to a chosen energy type.

Very interresting, care to show your build?

Concerning your tactic, melee and ranged magus characters can already use true strike with trip/disarm etc. And they don't have to spend a full round action to disarm.

And even with the eldritch archer, the best you could do would be to use spell combat, make your regular number of attacks (no additional attack from spell combat) and cast true strike at the end. Following that you could use ranged disarm.

4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Seattle aka Gwen Smith

I see a lot of people saying that ranged options are strong because you aren't in danger from melee, but in my experience, that is usually not true.

With most scenarios I've seen from both sides of the screen, when combat starts, you are rarely more than 60 feet away. Corners, corridors, and walls limit your options even more.

This is the main reason I consider anything that increases the range modifier of a long bow to be a complete waste (likewise for a halfling sling staff, back when you could still use one). Even with a short bow, a 60 ft range increment is usually plenty.


I apologize for being the complete dumb-dumb in the room, but how does a magus cast gravity bow? I am not seeing it on any magus spell list. Is this a feature exclusive to PFS?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

In his build he took spell blending for gravity bow.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Sixteenbiticon wrote:
I apologize for being the complete dumb-dumb in the room, but how does a magus cast gravity bow? I am not seeing it on any magus spell list. Is this a feature exclusive to PFS?

A magus has to invest in the spell blending arcane to add it to his spell list and spellbook.

Spell Blending (Ex) wrote:

Benefit: When a magus selects this arcana, he must select one spell from the wizard spell list that is of a magus spell level he can cast. He adds this spell to his spellbook and list of magus spells known as a magus spell of its wizard spell level. He can instead select two spells to add in this way, but both must be at least one level lower than the highest-level magus spell he can cast.

Special: A magus can select this magus arcana more than once.

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