New Guide: The IRON CASTER!


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Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Hi everyone!
I wrote a quick guide on a build that came up recently, a Fighter who can cast spells using Constitution as the casting stat. Please read it and let me know what you all think!

Guide to the Iron Caster


Just did a quick look, but there is a problem in your opening statement. You said spell like abilities do not provoke AoO. They actually do, Extraordinary and Supernatural abilities do not.

Grand Lodge

Item mastery feats specifically don't provoke AOO's:

"Using an item mastery feat is a standard action that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, similar to activating a command word item"

Grand Lodge

Also, haven't finished reading yet, but none of the advanced weapon training options from magic tactics toolbox are legal in PFS, which may limit the applicability for many people.

MTT: "The advanced weapon training options in this book are not legal for play"


i love this concept so much, i think i would go brawler 1/weapon master x, since i would like to take too many advanced weapon training, also being locked in a single weapon isnt so bad when you can use a fallback plan and start casting spell

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Zedorland wrote:

Also, haven't finished reading yet, but none of the advanced weapon training options from magic tactics toolbox are legal in PFS, which may limit the applicability for many people.

MTT: "The advanced weapon training options in this book are not legal for play"

Ah, I had missed that. Just means this is not a PFS-legal build, oh well! I'll update the guide right now.


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which also means its less likely to ping the nerf radar.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

cuatroespada wrote:
which also means its less likely to ping the nerf radar.

Totally true. And besides, the clarification that you can't stack Fort save bonuses from different classes in PFS for this build really hurt it. It's best to stick to a home game with this. I can't wait to make a character with these options myself!


cartmanbeck wrote:
Totally true. And besides, the clarification that you can't stack Fort save bonuses from different classes in PFS for this build really hurt it. It's best to stick to a home game with this. I can't wait to make a character with these options myself!

I thought everyone used fractional saves. You don't?


Blueskier wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
Totally true. And besides, the clarification that you can't stack Fort save bonuses from different classes in PFS for this build really hurt it. It's best to stick to a home game with this. I can't wait to make a character with these options myself!
I thought everyone used fractional saves. You don't?

A lot of people don't, actually, but our group does, along with fractional BAB increases. Fractional BAB increases are the only way to play, imo.

EDIT: Love the guide, by the way!!!


Blueskier wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
Totally true. And besides, the clarification that you can't stack Fort save bonuses from different classes in PFS for this build really hurt it. It's best to stick to a home game with this. I can't wait to make a character with these options myself!
I thought everyone used fractional saves. You don't?

I use them whenever we play gestalt. Otherwise, no reason to bother, really.

Sometimes, we'll do so at the request of someone who wants to make a multiclassed partial BAB character, (such as a magus/rogue/arcane trickster) as that kind of thing tends to run into accuracy problems otherwise.

I'm actually playing this in a home game right now. Not getting a lot of mileage out of it before I make the Brawler dip, unfortunately, as my Fortitude is too low for the really good stuff. But I did get some use out of Silent Image, and the Vision mastery. It was pretty cool.


I would think the Paragon Surge precedent would apply to this, in that if you select advanced weapon training multiple times during a day, the first choice you made (the first item mastery you selected) would always apply.


Dave Justus wrote:
I would think the Paragon Surge precedent would apply to this, in that if you select advanced weapon training multiple times during a day, the first choice you made (the first item mastery you selected) would always apply.

As Cartmanbeck suggests, this may be errata'd into oblivion, but at the moment, it works. The Paragon Surge errata makes no mention of Martial Flexibility, and these things matter.

Regardless, it doesn't work for PFS, and as fun as it is, it really isn't degenerate, it's just extremely cool. If a player came to my table wanting to play this character, I'd be just as excited to see it in action as that player.


Okay, just so you can point me to the sentence I've obviously missed: the ítem mastery feats are not combat feats, so you cannot choose them with Barroom brawler.


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Blueskier wrote:
Okay, just so you can point me to the sentence I've obviously missed: the ítem mastery feats are not combat feats, so you cannot choose them with Barroom brawler.

You use martial flexibility/barroom brawler to take the Advanced Weapon Training feat (which is a combat feat), choosing the item mastery option, which grants you one bonus item mastery feat.


TristanTheViking wrote:
Blueskier wrote:
Okay, just so you can point me to the sentence I've obviously missed: the ítem mastery feats are not combat feats, so you cannot choose them with Barroom brawler.
You use martial flexibility/barroom brawler to take the Advanced Weapon Training feat (which is a combat feat), choosing the item mastery option, which grants you one bonus item mastery feat.

Ah, excellent! I knew there was something

thanks!


I just noticed this line in the Item Mastery AWT:

Quote:
The fighter gains an item mastery feat as a bonus feat, which functions with any magic weapon he wields, even if the magic weapon does not meet the feat's normal requirements.

Damn. I was using Warrior Spirit to hack the prerequisites this whole time, thinking I was being oh so clever.

Oh well, more Bane on Demand for me, then.


I don't see this mentioned, but you can use the Warrior Spirit AWT to grant your weapon the Training enhancement, which in turn can grant you the AWT feat to get an Item Mastery feat.


Secret Wizard wrote:
I don't see this mentioned, but you can use the Warrior Spirit AWT to grant your weapon the Training enhancement, which in turn can grant you the AWT feat to get an Item Mastery feat.

What book is the training enhancement from? I can't find it on any of the pathfinder sites.


Inner Sea Intrigue.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Secret Wizard wrote:
Inner Sea Intrigue.

I don't have access to that one, any chance you could tell us the text of it so I can evaluate it and add it to the guide if it's relevant? :)

Thanks to all of you for your input so far, and please keep it coming! If you think that I've rated anything incorrectly, please let me know, because there could be things I've missed as far as ways to use them, etc.

Oh, and no, I've never used fractional bonuses before, though I can definitely see the appeal for multiclassers. This is one case where it would actually hurt the build, so I don't think it's worth mentioning at the moment, since its' optional.


What would you recommend for on the other side of a gestalt using this build?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Azten wrote:
What would you recommend for on the other side of a gestalt using this build?

Hmm... good question. Since you don't need high BAB since you already have that on this side of the gestalt, I would say something like Oracle, to get full divine casting and Mystery abilities. A buddy class would also be a good fit, so perhaps Spiritualist to get some Psychic casting ability and a Phantom, or Hunter to get divine casting and an animal companion? No matter what direction you go with casting, you'll need to put some of your point buy into a casting stat, unfortunately.

If you REALLY wanted to push the CON-caster idea, you could go with Kineticist, giving you much more damage potential through Kinetic Blade, and you could even take your Kinetic Blade as your weapon training option, I believe. This would let you boost its damage, though your GM would have to rule whether it counts as a "magic weapon" for item mastery feats, etc.


Your heavy Constitution investment kind of suggests kineticist.

Technically, their blast thingy fits the requirements for a Conductive weapon, so you could just build a fighter that incidentally delivers a kineticist blast each round through his sword when he's making full attacks.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Olaf the Holy wrote:

Your heavy Constitution investment kind of suggests kineticist.

Technically, their blast thingy fits the requirements for a Conductive weapon, so you could just build a fighter that incidentally delivers a kineticist blast each round through his sword when he's making full attacks.

Great call on the Conductive weapon idea!


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What about vivisectionist alchemist? The sneak attack is nice for a martial, and you can always pick Con for your alchemical stat boost from your Mutagen...

(On that note, wouldn't that make Mutation Warrior a desirable archetype for the Iron Caster?)


cartmanbeck wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Inner Sea Intrigue.

I don't have access to that one, any chance you could tell us the text of it so I can evaluate it and add it to the guide if it's relevant? :)

+1 bonus (so it can be obtained easily through Warrior Spirit), mechanics text:

a training weapon grants one combat feat to the wielder as long as the weapon is drawn and in hand. The feat is chosen when this special ability is placed on the weapon. That feat cannot be used as a prerequisite for any other feats and functions for the wielder only if she meets its prerequisites. Once chosen, the feat stored in the weapon cannot be changed.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Secret Wizard wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Inner Sea Intrigue.

I don't have access to that one, any chance you could tell us the text of it so I can evaluate it and add it to the guide if it's relevant? :)

+1 bonus (so it can be obtained easily through Warrior Spirit), mechanics text:

a training weapon grants one combat feat to the wielder as long as the weapon is drawn and in hand. The feat is chosen when this special ability is placed on the weapon. That feat cannot be used as a prerequisite for any other feats and functions for the wielder only if she meets its prerequisites. Once chosen, the feat stored in the weapon cannot be changed.

Thanks Secret Wizard, I added a blurb about that convoluted option under "Other useful things". :)

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Gulthor wrote:

What about vivisectionist alchemist? The sneak attack is nice for a martial, and you can always pick Con for your alchemical stat boost from your Mutagen...

(On that note, wouldn't that make Mutation Warrior a desirable archetype for the Iron Caster?)

Mutation Warrior would definitely be a good choice if you go for a non-Weapon Master build. All three of the builds that I listed toward the bottom do use Weapon Master, though, and the two archetypes are not compatible.


Gulthor wrote:

What about vivisectionist alchemist? The sneak attack is nice for a martial, and you can always pick Con for your alchemical stat boost from your Mutagen...

Nice idea! I like it.


I'm definitely with you on your opening blurb that it's worth waiting 1 more level when it opens up so many other options (though I understand why you'd use Weapon Master for your examples.)

To me, the beauty of the build is that you can play 1-5 as a normal fighter, then just break this out at 6 as you start to fall behind a little. Absolutely love it.


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Iron Caster Guide wrote:


you can use the Warrior Spirit Advanced Weapon Training option to grant this property to your weapon each morning, choosing the Advanced Weapon Training feat as your Combat feat, and choosing the Item Mastery option, which gives you an Item Mastery feat. This is super circuitous, but it gives you one more switchable Item Mastery feat each day, and this one lasts all day, so you could use it to gain one of the long-term bonuses

I don't think this section is correct. The Warrior Spirit enhancement only lasts one minute. It's useful because using it means you don't need Martial Flexibility/Barrroom Brawler to get AWT Item Mastery, or using both means you can access two feats at once (which would take 6 brawler levels otherwise). It's a good option, but it doesn't give you any of the long-lasting buffs.


What action is activating warrior spirit anyway? I haven't been able find it anywhere.


cartmanbeck wrote:
Totally true. And besides, the clarification that you can't stack Fort save bonuses from different classes in PFS for this build really hurt it.

Not really interested in the build, but can you point me to this clarification?

P.S. "Warrior Spirit" Action should default to a standard action, lacking any other text.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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TristanTheViking wrote:
Iron Caster Guide wrote:


you can use the Warrior Spirit Advanced Weapon Training option to grant this property to your weapon each morning, choosing the Advanced Weapon Training feat as your Combat feat, and choosing the Item Mastery option, which gives you an Item Mastery feat. This is super circuitous, but it gives you one more switchable Item Mastery feat each day, and this one lasts all day, so you could use it to gain one of the long-term bonuses
I don't think this section is correct. The Warrior Spirit enhancement only lasts one minute. It's useful because using it means you don't need Martial Flexibility/Barrroom Brawler to get AWT Item Mastery, or using both means you can access two feats at once (which would take 6 brawler levels otherwise). It's a good option, but it doesn't give you any of the long-lasting buffs.

You're right, I read it wrong... it's actually BETTER than I thought. You can use it several times per day (based on your weapon training bonus) and each time you could pick a different Item Mastery feat, which would last a minute each. This basically gives you another pool of Martial Flexibility with which to use Item Mastery feats. I'll fix the text right now.

EDIT: Fixed. I love it.


Majuba wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
Totally true. And besides, the clarification that you can't stack Fort save bonuses from different classes in PFS for this build really hurt it.

Not really interested in the build, but can you point me to this clarification?

P.S. "Warrior Spirit" Action should default to a standard action, lacking any other text.

Pathfinder Player Companion: Magic Tactics Toolbox

Archetypes: All archetypes in this book are legal for play. Equipment: All items in this book are legal for play except monster hunter's folio and saccadic focusing prism. Feats: All feats in this book are legal for play except Abeyance, Eldritch Assault, Hinder, Scale and Skin, and Vast Spell. When qualifying for and calculating the benefits of an item mastery feat, a PC uses the base Fortitude save bonus from only one of his classes. Spells: All spells in this book are legal for play except earsend and kalistocrat's nightmare. Other: The advanced weapon training options in this book are not legal for play. The bloodline mutations in this book are legal for play except blood havoc. Sagas are legal for play but are only available to skald PCs. The investigator and rogue talents in this book are legal for play except unlock ki. The curse warpriest blessing is legal for play.

PS: For anyone wondering, this means Warrior Spirit is PFS-illegal but we all knew that already.


Secret Wizard wrote:

PS: For anyone wondering, this means Warrior Spirit is PFS-illegal but we all knew that already.

Honestly, I'm always happy whenever something interesting is PFS-illegal. It means it'll probably stick around longer.

Majuba wrote:
cartmanbeck wrote:
Totally true. And besides, the clarification that you can't stack Fort save bonuses from different classes in PFS for this build really hurt it.

Not really interested in the build, but can you point me to this clarification?

P.S. "Warrior Spirit" Action should default to a standard action, lacking any other text.

Thanks. Not to be annoying, but do you have a source for the 'default to standard action' rule?


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Hey, im really liking this guide so far.

So i got to this line:
Teleportation Mastery (UMD 4 ranks, base Fort save +6) - You can cast dimension door, which is one of the more useful options on this entire list. Getting around on the battlefield can make a huge difference for a martial character. This one is a guaranteed “yes” for you.

Now, does this qualify you to take Dimensional Agility? Because if it does i think it's the lowest level that it is possible to break into the whole Dimensional Savant feat line, which is awesome.

EDIT: just noticed that Teleportation mastery is limited uses per day, so maybe not worth going 4 additional feats deep to make it better


No, because you don't actually have it. You only take it when you need it.

If you actually took it, you'd qualify.


fair enough, what is the fastest way to get a +6 base fort save?

although actually i'd have to contest your claim that it doesnt qualify you for Dimensional Agility, the wording of the prerequisite says you have to have "the ability to cast dimension door", which you do have in basically the same way that a spellcaster has. The situation is similar to a prepared caster having not prepared that particular spell, he still has the ability to cast it, its just that he wont be casting it today


Olaf the Holy wrote:
Majuba wrote:


P.S. "Warrior Spirit" Action should default to a standard action, lacking any other text.
Thanks. Not to be annoying, but do you have a source for the 'default to standard action' rule?

No annoyance, it's a good question. It's a pretty general rule, but I was actually thinking of the spell-like ability text from the Universal Monster Rules, so that wouldn't directly apply.

Since it's not a constant or reactive effect, you're definitely taking some action when you activate Warrior Spirit. Since it doesn't specify (not even free or swift), it would be standard. It also aligns with the closest other ability, a Paladin's weapon bond.

It really should say though - that sort of ability isn't the sort to leave open to question.


Ridiculon wrote:
fair enough, what is the fastest way to get a +6 base fort save?

+6 BASE fort save from only one class. 8 levels in a good Fort class is your only option. (Or like, Hulk archetype Vigilante)


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Secret Wizard wrote:
Ridiculon wrote:
fair enough, what is the fastest way to get a +6 base fort save?
+6 BASE fort save from only one class. 8 levels in a good Fort class is your only option. (Or like, Hulk archetype Vigilante)

That's for PFS specifically. In most games, you can just be a Fighter 1/Brawler 1/Barbarian 1 and have done with it.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Olaf the Holy wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Ridiculon wrote:
fair enough, what is the fastest way to get a +6 base fort save?
+6 BASE fort save from only one class. 8 levels in a good Fort class is your only option. (Or like, Hulk archetype Vigilante)
That's for PFS specifically. In most games, you can just be a Fighter 1/Brawler 1/Barbarian 1 and have done with it.

Agreed. There's nothing in the rules as written that says you can't dip into three martial class and fulfill those qualifications. If your GM doesn't like it, then they should require you to use fractional save bonuses, which is totally reasonable.


Pretty sure the +6 base save bonus was meant to read "+6 save bonus from a single class".


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Please, please don't try to make more bad PFS rules into everything rules. The Crane Wing and Jingasa mutilations should be warning enough against such things.


Just because something is a PFS clarification doesn't mean it's not a good compass of what the RAI of a resource is.


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Neither is Paizo, honestly.


Ice cream is superior to chocolate.


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Chocolate ice cream is thus the absolute best. :)

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