Fightermage?


Advice


Hi.

Seems we're going to start a "two-player party" where the other player will be a paladin. So it might be wise of me to have some knowledge of the arcane, as well as not being totally lost when it comes to some hand-to-hand combat as well.

I've been considering the magus, but I wondered if an eldritch knight could be just as viable?

Haven't completely landed on race yet, will be human or elf I suppose.

It doesn't have to be the most optimized thing out there, but able to add some versaility and utility also out of combat. But of course, I don't have to miss out on anything obvious I should include to make it as good as possible, also in combat. Maybe someone has a complete build for something like this, or have strong arguments for doing a magus instead?

Human
Stats: 8-16-10-16(18)-10-12
Traits: Magical knack

Classes: 1 Swashbuckler (Inspired blade) / 6 Arcanist (Blade Adept) / 10 Eldritch Knight / 3 Arcanist

Feats/Exploits

1st: Fencing Grace, Toughness
3rd: Extra Arcanist Exploit (Spellstrike)
5th: Extra Arcanist Exploit (Quick Study)
6th: Dimensional Slide

Or maybe there's a rogish caster-type that's more viable for utility and versailty (and perhaps also survivability..?).


While you can do this, it doesn't come together immediately. For one thing you can't take Extra Arcanist Exploit until you have a normal arcanist exploit - arcanist 5, character level 6 minimum. Magus works from a much lower level. Trouble is the magus isn't good at being the only arcane caster in the party, it lacks the breadth you'd want.

If you want a roguish caster-type you want something else entirely. Some options are the occultist class which gets a pretty good spell list and gets a variety of tricks in its implements. An archaeologist bard leans more to the rogue side; other bards and skalds can have a variety of emphases. (Rogue, ninja or snakebite brawler 1)/Wizard 3/Arcane Trickster X is possible with the right feat and is a caster-heavy option. Shadow seeker sorcerer is even more caster-heavy (if less blasty) though it might have trouble in melee.

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Celestrian wrote:
I've been considering the magus, but I wondered if an eldritch knight could be just as viable?

That depends entirely on what level you'll be playing at.

At levels 1 through 13, the Magus is clearly better due to his synergistic class features and action economy. That is, the EK can cast or attack whereas the Magus can cast and attack (and has better AC and hit points).

At level 14 and higher, the EK is better due to getting higher level spells. However, at that point he's not so much a gish, but rather a spellcaster that happens to have a sword in his hand.


Quote:
Stats: 8-16-10-16(18)-10-12

Ok, so whatever you do, this is a pretty terrible call whatever way you slice it.

1. You don't want to dump STR even on a Swashbuckler because you are deadly reliant on your weapon, and disarm maneuvers are a thing. You need that sweet, sweet CMD. You are particularly using a low CMD combination, with classes that even lose more BAB (so they get lower CMD later on too. This seems way too dangerous if your GM is smart.

2. 10 CON is not viable for anyone who intends to put his face in the frontlines. 12 is the bare minimum, with 14 being advisable. You are taking several levels in a 1d6 HP class so it seems even more dangerous. Toughness is not going to be enough to make this viable.

My advice: Play a Questioner Investigator, no Swashbuckler levels, no nothing else. You get good arcane casting, tons of roguish skills, and all the Knowledge skills. It's less martial than what you want, but it's martial enough.


I was thinking Eldritch Knight would be a good bridge for a Wizard to become an Eldritch Archer. I was thinking

1Fighter1
2F1Wizard1
3F1W2
4F1W3
5F1W4
6F1W5
7F1W5Eldritch Knight1
8F1W5E2
9F1W5E3
10F1W5E3Arcane Archer1

So, for most of this character's early career it's a Wizard with a tick fewer spells and a tick more hit points. It doesn't start taking Aracane Archer until level 10, but by level 11, when it gets Imbue Arrow, there are some really good spells to imbue those arrows with. All-in-all, I think Arcane Archers are more effective as Wizards with Bows than as Fighters who can cast a few spells. I got the idea back when Spell-like abilities could qualify you for early entry into Prestige Classes. Aasimars get a level 3 Spell as a SLA, so it would get EK by level 3.

I've just started developing archer in a character now, and I'm really excited about how she will work out. She is a Ranger with Precise Shot, Cleave, a Wand of Lead Blades, and a Wand of Gravity Bow. She'll be a full-package fighter, always with the right tool for the job. This character might be a good arcane archer, substituting those 2 levels in Ranger for the Fighter level and 1 of the EK levels. Gravity Bow seems worth it.


If I were going for Eldritch Knight, I would go for Wizard, not Arcanist or Sorcerer. When you take levels in a Prestige Class, you don't get your Class Abilities from your old Arcane class, and what Arcanist and Sorcerer have over Wizard is mostly those Class Abilities. They do get more spells/day, but Wizards get higher level spells earlier, and they have no limit as to the spells they can learn. All-in-all, I think Wizards work better for Prestige Class bases.

So, Eldritch Knights still have Arcane Armor Failure to conent with. If you wear Darkleaf Cloth Lamellar Leather Armor and take the Arcane Armor Proficiency Feat, you can reduce your Spell Failure chances to 0. But that means spending your Swift Action every round to activate your Feat. you might not find that acceptable. Magi can wear armor. I'm surprised you didn't mention Magus.

Another way around your Spellcaster/Fighter/Armor problem is to be an Fighter/Alchemist. Alchemists don't learn how to wear Medium or Heavy armor, but neither do those armors interfere with Alchemy. Using Extracts provokes attacks of opportunity, but I don't think taking damage ruins Concentration Checks. Most Alchemal Abilities buff melee abilities and compliment your Fighter levels nicely, but Alchemists have broad utility spells, especially with the Alchemal Allocation Extract.

You have a lot of options. I think the next question is what will the preferred martial tactics of you and your paladin friend be? Normally, I would recommend any party diversify your tactics, but now I am thinking the opposite. With only 2 of you, 1 a paladin, you should match tactics. You should both be archers, or you should both be melee. When the pair of you spring into action, you should both just be on the same page. I've been in a situation where there was just 2 of us. We were outnumbered, and I really wanted to run around the baddies taking advantage of high speed and ranged weapons, but then the Barbarian just decided to jump in and get his fool self butcherd, and cause he was my shipmate, I had to jump in after him.

Edit Oops, I see you did mention Magus.


The Fighter and Mage were never really meant to work together in the same class as the have opposite priorities and methods.

The Magus and Occultists hybridize them and give additional abilities to make it work rather than trying to combine the incompatible, and wondering why that didnt work.

Its far more reasonable to play something else than going out of your way to make a build that has so many faults for a few gains.

Youre pretty much just going to get suggestions to play the Magus.


If you're interested in playing an Eldritch Knight, I'd personally recommend Variant Multiclassing into Battle Oracle (nice thematic tie-in with your paladin teammate as an extra bonus), and pick up Skill at Arms as your Revelation at level 3.

This will allow you to enter Eldritch Knight as a full caster. Wizard would be my recommendation as well - the level 5 bonus feat helps compensate for the VMC loss (then Eldritch Knight does the same with its bonus feats), and allows you to enter the PrC at level 6, giving you only that one level casting delay. From there, you'll be acquiring tiers of spells as a sorcerer/oracle, which keeps you on-curve.

As for ability scores, I'd probably go something like:

S14, D16(14+2), C14, I14, W 12, Ch 8

Yeah, the 14 Int is going to have to be boosted by items and level increases, but you'll be able to easily keep up with your spell progression - clerics go 14 Wis all the time.

Of course, *personally*, I'd go with:

Spellslinger:
Human Spellslinger Wizard
* One arcane gun option

S7, D16, C12, I18, W12, C10

Traits
Magical Lineage (Disintegrate)

Level 1 feats: Point Blank Shot (Human), Amateur Gunslinger (Quick Clear)
Level 3: Oracle Revelation (Skill at Arms)
Level 5 feats: Spell Penetration, Reach Spell (Wizard)
Level 6 feat: Precise Shot (Eldritch Knight 1)
Level 7: Oracle orison (Mending)
Level 9 feat: Maximize Spell

(At level 10, I detour back into wizard for 1 level to stagger back my next two Eldritch Knight feats by 1 level.)

Level 11 feat: Improved Critical (Ray) (Eldritch Knight 5)
Level 13 feat: Quicken Spell
Level 15: Retrain Precise Shot into Spell Perfection (Disintegrate), Oracle Revelation
Level 15 feat: Precise Shot (Eldritch Knight 9)

So the late-game plan is to throw out a maximized disintegrate and a quickened disintegrate each round with no spell level increase that'll rock an 18-20 crit range and a x3 critical multiplier (for the big fights, of course.) Of course, starting at 16, if I'm lucky enough to crit with the maximized disintegrate, then I'll get to spell critical another maximized disintegrate. So I'll be looking at 90d6 crits.

Given the priority I'll be placing on Intelligence, by level 16, I should have a minimum 28 Intelligence (probably higher), putting my Disintegrate at a minimum DC of 30 (10 + 6th level spell, +9 Int, +5 arcane gun.)

Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus increase this by another 4 once I can squeeze them in (probably retraining Amateur Gunslinger into SF as early as possible after hitting 15, and picking up GSF as my 17 feat - by which point I'll assuredly be able to get +2 or +4 Int from wish as well, bumping the save DC to 35 or 36.) My to-hit will be a pretty respectable +24 versus touch or so at 16 as well (+13 BAB, +6 Dex, +5 Arcane Gun.)

Of course, many people will point out that Spellslinger is objectively terrible, and they're not wrong.

That all being said, if your goal is to be able to fight in melee and blend martial and spellcasting seamlessly, then I'd Google up a good Magus guide.


I've got another vote for Magus. Yeah, you can go super nova with them (Shocking Grasp ends up doing insane damage) but the class does allow casting any spell and attacking the same round and that's pretty cool.

Bard is an option. Bloodrager is pretty slick at combining casting and fighting and leads really nicely into Dragon Disciple.

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Gulthor wrote:
That all being said, if your goal is to be able to fight in melee and blend martial and spellcasting seamlessly, then I'd Google up a good Magus guide.

There you go.

Note that if your goal is to be a melee combatant, then your highest ability score should be strength (or dex, with Weapon Finesse), but not intelligence. If your goal is to be a caster, you shouldn't take EK.


Celestrian wrote:

Hi.

Seems we're going to start a "two-player party" where the other player will be a paladin. So it might be wise of me to have some knowledge of the arcane, as well as not being totally lost when it comes to some hand-to-hand combat as well.

I've been considering the magus, but I wondered if an eldritch knight could be just as viable?

Haven't completely landed on race yet, will be human or elf I suppose.

It doesn't have to be the most optimized thing out there, but able to add some versaility and utility also out of combat. But of course, I don't have to miss out on anything obvious I should include to make it as good as possible, also in combat. Maybe someone has a complete build for something like this, or have strong arguments for doing a magus instead?

Human
Stats: 8-16-10-16(18)-10-12
Traits: Magical knack

Classes: 1 Swashbuckler (Inspired blade) / 6 Arcanist (Blade Adept) / 10 Eldritch Knight / 3 Arcanist

Feats/Exploits

1st: Fencing Grace, Toughness
3rd: Extra Arcanist Exploit (Spellstrike)
5th: Extra Arcanist Exploit (Quick Study)
6th: Dimensional Slide

Or maybe there's a rogish caster-type that's more viable for utility and versailty (and perhaps also survivability..?).

Human Bladebound Kensai

10
18
12
16
10
8

weapon finesse, weapon focus (scimitar), arcane strike

Take dervish dance at 3rd level, or retrain arcane strike to dervish dance at 2nd level and retake arcane strike at 3rd.

Carry a finesse weapon, like a dagger, until dervish dance comes online.

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Snowlilly wrote:


Human Bladebound Kensai

10
18
12
16
10
8

weapon finesse, weapon focus (scimitar), arcane strike

Don't take arcane strike on a Magus, you need your swift actions for other things. Also, drop str or cha to 7 in order to bring your con to 14; frontliners love hit points.

More to the point, since the OP wants to focus on spells, an archetype with diminished spellcasting is not such a good match.

Dark Archive

Sadly, the questioner can't wear armor without a chance of arcane spell casting failure. Makes the class even less martial than you originally desired.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
If I were going for Eldritch Knight, I would go for Wizard, not Arcanist or Sorcerer. When you take levels in a Prestige Class, you don't get your Class Abilities from your old Arcane class, and what Arcanist and Sorcerer have over Wizard is mostly those Class Abilities.

The reason why Arcanist is the archetype. It gets an exploit that uses CL for their main class feature, the Black Blade. It's basically the only way I would play Eldritch Knight honestly. You can also take Spellstrike with the weapon. Though, I'm sure most would rather have Spell Combat.

On the other hand, I think the build presented technically can't take a Extra Arcanist Exploit for Spellstrike until 5th because you don't have an Arcanist Exploit class feature until then. Not a huge deal, but I think that's supposed to be how it works.

If you can, another great trick is playing a variant multiclass oracle. *points at battle mystery* That, you want that. Skill at arms saves you the bare pure martial level.


While you won't be able to go EK maybe instead of Arcanist you could go Psychic Sorcerer pair it with any fighting class(Swashbuckler, Paladin, Bloodrager, or Cavalier seems to have the best synergy with CHA) and you can fight with weapons, wear armor, and cast spells.


Kurald Galain wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:


Human Bladebound Kensai

10
18
12
16
10
8

weapon finesse, weapon focus (scimitar), arcane strike

Don't take arcane strike on a Magus, you need your swift actions for other things. Also, drop str or cha to 7 in order to bring your con to 14; frontliners love hit points.

More to the point, since the OP wants to focus on spells, an archetype with diminished spellcasting is not such a good match.

Kensai does not get spell recall. Bladebound does not receive it's first arcana until 6th level and has a reduced arcane pool. Up through mid-levels, your entire arcane pool will be devoted towards enhancing your weapon.

The Kenasi typically takes Spell Blending at 6th level and grabs Mage Armor + a second spell of choice.

You absolutely want arcane strike on a bladebound kensai. You literally have nothing else to use your swift actions for before 9th level (if you take the extra arcana feat, 12th if you don't). Even then, your limitited arcane pool will mean you are only spending arcana elsewhere a few rounds/day.

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Snowlilly wrote:


Kensai does not get spell recall. Bladebound does not receive it's first arcana until 6th level and has a reduced arcane pool.

Yes. Note how I didn't say you need your pool points for other things, but how you need your swift actions for other things.

Such as enchanting your weapon; arcana like Flamboyant or Hasted Assault; items like a Buffering Cap, Pendant of the Blood Scarab, or Spell Storing Armor; and feats like Step Up.

Trading all of that for a minor damage bonus is a really bad deal. If there's one class that doesn't need a minor damage bonus, it's the Magus.

Scarab Sages

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I would stay away from magus, the spell list is light on utility.

Some good options for a fighter/Mage feel with better utility from a 6th level caster are investigator, alchemist, occultist, eldritch scoundrel rouge, warlock or cabalist vigilante, hunter, inquisitor, mesmerist, or bard.

I'd really recommend a hunter or sacred huntmaster inquisitor though. They both have bouns teamwork feats, a companion to help make up for a two person party, great utility, good skills, and good class features.


Kurald Galain wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:


Kensai does not get spell recall. Bladebound does not receive it's first arcana until 6th level and has a reduced arcane pool.

Yes. Note how I didn't say you need your pool points for other things, but how you need your swift actions for other things.

Such as enchanting your weapon; arcana like Flamboyant or Hasted Assault; items like a Buffering Cap, Pendant of the Blood Scarab, or Spell Storing Armor; and feats like Step Up.

Trading all of that for a minor damage bonus is a really bad deal. If there's one class that doesn't need a minor damage bonus, it's the Magus.

  • Flamboyant Arcana / Hasted Assault: not coming online before 12th level unless you spend your 9th level feat to get. Bladebound Kensai only has one arcana prior to 12th level. At 7th level the magus starts casting Haste for the entire party, assuming a pure caster does not start supplying earlier.
  • Buffering Cap: Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier is better. Once per day the magus cannot arcane strike the round after he negates a critical. Most days, never used as Kensai is a high AC build.
  • Blood Scarab: not giving up Amulet of Natural Armor. Kensai already receive substantial bonuses to confirm critical hits.
  • Spell Storing Armor: kensai does not typically wear armor.

Step Up is the only thing on your list that applies to the bladebound kensai and is situational. Only specific opponents (usually casters) will 5' step away. While step up is nice, I've found Lingering Pain to be more efficient prior to acquiring Call of the Void.

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Snowlilly wrote:


  • Buffering Cap: Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier is better. Once per day the magus cannot arcane strike the round after he negates a critical. Most days, never used as Kensai is a high AC build.
  • Not anymore - the Jingasa is much weaker now.


    Imbicatus wrote:
    I would stay away from magus, the spell list is light on utility.

    Or you could just take Spell Blending for every Magus Arcana and still be a vastly better 6th level caster than the Unchained Eldritch Scoundrel. Two skill points just ain't worth it for that many barren levels. And Sneak Attack becomes a lot less valuable when it falls below 1/3rd of level progression.


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    The Mortonator wrote:
    Imbicatus wrote:
    I would stay away from magus, the spell list is light on utility.
    Or you could just take Spell Blending for every Magus Arcana and still be a vastly better 6th level caster than the Unchained Eldritch Scoundrel. Two skill points just ain't worth it for that many barren levels. And Sneak Attack becomes a lot less valuable when it falls below 1/3rd of level progression.

    Taking Spell Blending at 6th already gives 1 utility spell in addition to [I]Mage Armor. I usually retrain to Resist Energy once available at 7th level.

    The 12th level arcana is usually a toss up between Lingering Pain and Spell Blending for two more spells.

    My magus tends to memorize far more utility and buff spells than direct offense. He already deals enough damage without trying to nova every fight.


    I've been messing around with a build...

    One level of sohei monk. Get surprise weapon trait for +2 attack rolls with improvised weapons. Use a shovel as a weapon as it's statted out, and you don't have to argue. High strength helps you be competitive.

    Six levels of empyreal sorcerer. With high wisdom and strength you get spells, AC, and attack. Fluctuate between hitting and spells depending on the target. Magical Knack helps maintain power.

    Focus in attack roll boosting items and pick up EK. Full BAB and good spellcasting.

    So far just a theorycraft but I've been considering trying it.VERY close to regular sorcerer spell power, and can even rival Fighters sometimes. EK for two people is better for two players than a magus because you can still get 9th level casting from the best spell list. If it weren't for the lower HD I would dare to go solo.

    Guide to Guides has a great EK guide by Zolkuth. I'd link it, but I'm on my phone...


    Snowlilly wrote:
  • Buffering Cap: Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier is better. Once per day the magus cannot arcane strike the round after he negates a critical. Most days, never used as Kensai is a high AC build.
  • Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier is almost completely useless. +1 Defelection Bonus to AC? One time ever negate a crit or sneak attack? Even if it was priced similarly to a ring of protection, it would be eh. But 5,000 gp??? Total waste.


    MeanMutton wrote:
    Snowlilly wrote:
  • Buffering Cap: Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier is better. Once per day the magus cannot arcane strike the round after he negates a critical. Most days, never used as Kensai is a high AC build.
  • Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier is almost completely useless. +1 Defelection Bonus to AC? One time ever negate a crit or sneak attack? Even if it was priced similarly to a ring of protection, it would be eh. But 5,000 gp??? Total waste.

    Apparently it was errated two months ago. Prior to that, it was a +1 luck bonus to AC and the crit avoidance was 1/day.

    Typical Paizo over reaction: take anything slightly better than the baseline and nerf it into complete oblivion instead of adjusting it to be in line with similar items/abilities. (Or completely ignore the truly broken things for years.)

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    Imbicatus wrote:
    I would stay away from magus, the spell list is light on utility.

    Spell Blending says hello.

    Also, they start with Mount, the Silent Image line, Shatter, Invis, most Polymorph spells, Monkey Fish, Grease, and Dispel Magic. Among others. Exactly what utility are you looking for?


    Kurald Galain wrote:
    Snowlilly wrote:


    Kensai does not get spell recall. Bladebound does not receive it's first arcana until 6th level and has a reduced arcane pool.

    Yes. Note how I didn't say you need your pool points for other things, but how you need your swift actions for other things.

    Such as enchanting your weapon; arcana like Flamboyant or Hasted Assault; items like a Buffering Cap, Pendant of the Blood Scarab, or Spell Storing Armor; and feats like Step Up.

    Trading all of that for a minor damage bonus is a really bad deal. If there's one class that doesn't need a minor damage bonus, it's the Magus.

    But you're not using your swift action to enchant your blade every round. Arcane Strike is a nice filler AFTER you've done the blade enchanting thing.. or if your pool points are running low. Or if you're like my magus you're saving some of your pool points for use with the amateur swashbuckler riposte tricks.

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    Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
    Kurald Galain wrote:
    Snowlilly wrote:


    Kensai does not get spell recall. Bladebound does not receive it's first arcana until 6th level and has a reduced arcane pool.

    Yes. Note how I didn't say you need your pool points for other things, but how you need your swift actions for other things.

    Such as enchanting your weapon; arcana like Flamboyant or Hasted Assault; items like a Buffering Cap, Pendant of the Blood Scarab, or Spell Storing Armor; and feats like Step Up.

    Trading all of that for a minor damage bonus is a really bad deal. If there's one class that doesn't need a minor damage bonus, it's the Magus.

    But you're not using your swift action to enchant your blade every round. Arcane Strike is a nice filler AFTER you've done the blade enchanting thing.. or if your pool points are running low. Or if you're like my magus you're saving some of your pool points for use with the amateur swashbuckler riposte tricks.

    You can't get Parry/Riposte with amateur swashbuckler anymore. Or with the magus ability.


    Kurald Galain wrote:
    Imbicatus wrote:
    I would stay away from magus, the spell list is light on utility.

    Spell Blending says hello.

    Also, they start with Mount, the Silent Image line, Shatter, Invis, most Polymorph spells, Monkey Fish, Grease, and Dispel Magic. Among others. Exactly what utility are you looking for?

    The Magus's lack of utility seems to be this weirdly persistent myth. They might not be a Wizard, but I still constantly see people surprised when a Magus busts out invisibility or even grease.

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    Charon's Little Helper wrote:
    You can't get Parry/Riposte with amateur swashbuckler anymore. Or with the magus ability.

    Yes, you can. The AS feat was errata'ed, the Magus arcana was not.

    The Pale King wrote:
    The Magus's lack of utility seems to be this weirdly persistent myth. They might not be a Wizard, but I still constantly see people surprised when a Magus busts out invisibility or even grease.

    Indeed. I count 75 (seventy-five) first-level spells on their list, and 65 second-level; wanna bet there's tons of utility there?

    Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
    But you're not using your swift action to enchant your blade every round.

    Please note how I listed half a dozen swift-action abilities that are all better than a minor damage boost, e.g. arcana like Flamboyant or Hasted Assault; items like a Buffering Cap, Pendant of the Blood Scarab, or Spell Storing Armor; and feats like Step Up.

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    Kurald Galain wrote:
    Charon's Little Helper wrote:
    You can't get Parry/Riposte with amateur swashbuckler anymore. Or with the magus ability.
    Yes, you can. The AS feat was errata'ed, the Magus arcana was not.

    My bad - I remembered that it was errata'd, but it just made it so that you couldn't use it with panache. (Which would let you take amateur swashbuckler for a panache pool and then use your magus parry/riposte.)


    I think the basic premise is flawed. Arcane vs Divine doesn't really matter all that much anymore, if it ever really did, and while the Sorcer/Wizard list has some 'nice to haves' it is the Cleric list that has the 'must haves'. Paladin can cover some of that, but in a 2 person party you really need to have condition removal well covered, or you can easily face a TPK.

    Luckily, there are a ton of great options for powerful casting and 3/4 BAB that can handle being in melee in the divine magic classes. Cleric and Oracle are obvious great choices, with Cleric probably being a bit better at the magic and Oracle a bit better at the melee. carefully chosen Domains, Mysteries and Curses can all add some specific missing arcane pieces if you need it.

    Personally I would probably go with Cleric with a VMC of either Wizard or Witch to get a familiar (sage archetype) to add in some skill coverage that are party will sorely be lacking. I'd probably want the travel domain and perhaps the Liberation Domain to increase versatility and survival. Cayden Cailean seems like an obvious choice for a diety then, which can work with a paladin, but with enough conflict to be interesting. A standard reach build and you have about as survivable a party as 2 characters can manage.

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    Dave Justus wrote:


    Personally I would probably go with Cleric with a VMC of either Wizard or Witch to get a familiar (sage archetype) to add in some skill coverage that are party will sorely be lacking. I'd probably want the travel domain and perhaps the Liberation Domain to increase versatility and survival.

    Isn't there a domain that gets you an animal companion?


    Charon's Little Helper wrote:
    Dave Justus wrote:


    Personally I would probably go with Cleric with a VMC of either Wizard or Witch to get a familiar (sage archetype) to add in some skill coverage that are party will sorely be lacking. I'd probably want the travel domain and perhaps the Liberation Domain to increase versatility and survival.
    Isn't there a domain that gets you an animal companion?

    The Druid animal domains do, they are specific ones for each domain and whether they work with Clerics is debatable. If allowed, the Monkey domain would be a pretty good option. Probably would need an 'animal' diety at the least for that, but Monkey domain + Animal(feather) would end up being a pretty strong combo for bringing a whole team to the group.

    oppps...Read that as a domain that grants a familiar, which is what the druid animal domains do.

    An Animal companion is great, although without boon companion it is going to be too weak to join in the front line, but I'd be more concerned with skills than having another meat shield, and an animal companion isn't going to do that. Plus, fairly soon a sage familiar is probably going to be the most intelligent in this party, which leads to all sorts of fun.


    Charon's Little Helper wrote:
    Isn't there a domain that gets you an animal companion?

    The Animal Domain.


    Kurald Galain wrote:
    Charon's Little Helper wrote:
    You can't get Parry/Riposte with amateur swashbuckler anymore. Or with the magus ability.

    Yes, you can. The AS feat was errata'ed, the Magus arcana was not.

    The Pale King wrote:
    The Magus's lack of utility seems to be this weirdly persistent myth. They might not be a Wizard, but I still constantly see people surprised when a Magus busts out invisibility or even grease.

    Indeed. I count 75 (seventy-five) first-level spells on their list, and 65 second-level; wanna bet there's tons of utility there?

    Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
    But you're not using your swift action to enchant your blade every round.

    Please note how I listed half a dozen swift-action abilities that are all better than a minor damage boost, e.g. arcana like Flamboyant or Hasted Assault; items like a Buffering Cap, Pendant of the Blood Scarab, or Spell Storing Armor; and feats like Step Up.

    Half of those don't apply to a kensai, most of the rest are very limited use and don't come online until 9+ or 12+

    That is the majority of the kensai's life where arcane strike is being used on every round of combat save the first, when arcane pool is used to augment the kensai's weapon. Even when the options that are meaningful to a kensai come online, they are situational. Most of the time you still use arcane strike.

    I'm not theorycrafting here. Bladebound Kensai is what I play more often than anything else and I do so in a Rappan Athuk group where everyone else has died 3-5 times. My magus is the party scout/trapper/face/arcane caster.

    @Dave Justus: I agree skill coverage would be nice. The magus can be a skill monkey with only a modest sacrifice in combat. I would recommend leaving most of the healing to the Paladin, carrying back spells in scroll form for the magus to UMD. It is a class skill and easily converted to use intelligence.


    I might suggest a Summoner for a 2 man party. Use your eidolon for combat til killed, then summon. While you do some support. Either casting or intimidation to debuff. Use a reach weapon to help out in combat.

    What level are you starting at?


    Ray-gun wrote:

    I might suggest a Summoner for a 2 man party. Use your eidolon for combat til killed, then summon. While you do some support. Either casting or intimidation to debuff. Use a reach weapon to help out in combat.

    What level are you starting at?

    Summoner is also an excellent choice for a small party.

    Not sure how the paladin would feel about Infernal Healing >:)


    Lots of great advice here. I haven't been able to look closely on all of them yet.

    I might end up going for a divine caster. I have never tried cleric in pf, is there a way for them to swap spells during the day (something like the arcanists quick study)?

    ( have played a couple oracles before and thought I'd see if I could manage not playing one of those for once...)


    Celestrian wrote:

    Lots of great advice here. I haven't been able to look closely on all of them yet.

    I might end up going for a divine caster. I have never tried cleric in pf, is there a way for them to swap spells during the day (something like the arcanists quick study)?

    ( have played a couple oracles before and thought I'd see if I could manage not playing one of those for once...)

    Warpriest is decent in combat and has very efficient action economy.

    Most of your spells will go to self buffs, but healing is available if needed.


    The Guy With A Face wrote:
    Charon's Little Helper wrote:
    Isn't there a domain that gets you an animal companion?
    The Animal Domain.

    Animal Domain for the Druid, Cleric, and Inquisitor all allow an animal companion with a -3 level modifier. That is fixed with one feat, Boon Companion.

    Anything to give more bodies on the battlefield, from animal companions to summons are a pretty good idea especially in a small party.

    By the way, does anyone know how to increase animal companion or Eidolon hit die?

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    Dave Justus wrote:
    I think the basic premise is flawed. Arcane vs Divine doesn't really matter all that much anymore, if it ever really did, and while the Sorcer/Wizard list has some 'nice to haves' it is the Cleric list that has the 'must haves'.

    I wonder what "must haves" you're talking about, other than healing? In my experience the cleric list is hands down much worse than the Wizard or Magus or Bard list.

    Snowlilly wrote:
    Half of those don't apply to a kensai, most of the rest are very limited use and don't come online until 9+ or 12+

    That's circular reasoning. You're making a build that doesn't use these items/feats/arcana, assuming that that's the only feasible build, and then concluding that these items/feats/arcana are pointless.

    For example, your assumption that you "must" take spell blending for Mage Armor at level 6 breaks down as soon as (1) you use Mirror Image instead of armor class, or (2) you've got an arcane caster in the group who can cast it on you, or (3) you invest in UMD, or (4) you take the Extra Arcana feat.

    There's plenty of alternatives. Point is, many alternatives that use a swift action are better than a minor boost to damage. But if you insist in always using the same build (like you just wrote) then you'll never see the comparison.


    Kurald Galain wrote:
    Dave Justus wrote:
    I think the basic premise is flawed. Arcane vs Divine doesn't really matter all that much anymore, if it ever really did, and while the Sorcer/Wizard list has some 'nice to haves' it is the Cleric list that has the 'must haves'.
    I wonder what "must haves" you're talking about, other than healing? In my experience the cleric list is hands down much worse than the Wizard or Magus or Bard list.

    Primarily condition removal. The wizard list has some great tricks, but most of what it does can be accomplished in other ways. When you have gotten a negative level though, you really need the cleric list.

    I love wizards and would rather play one myself. The spells they have are probably more fun. That said, if I had to choose for my party to only have either a cleric or a wizard, it would be the cleric every time, and if we didn't have one, we would have to make very special plans (UMD and consumables mostly) to make up for that lack. If we didn't have a wizard, mostly their would just be a few tactics we couldn't take advantage of.


    Quote:
    That's circular reasoning. You're making a build that doesn't use these items/feats/arcana, assuming that that's the only feasible build, and then concluding that these items/feats/arcana are pointless.

    Actually, he was talking about a specific build that used Arcane Strike, you responded with "Arcane Strike isn't good for a Magus".

    For his build, it actually is.

    I, too, advise a magus. I'm fond of the Kensai, but haven't ever tried a Bladebound one. Seems interesting.

    Pragmatic Activator trait to use INT for Use Magic Device, and carry scrolls, I suppose, of some divine spells, if you want. Though, once a week, you can use 180 gp worth of dragon's blood to wash away a single negative level, if that's all it was.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    Mechanical Pear wrote:
    Actually, he was talking about a specific build that used Arcane Strike, you responded with "Arcane Strike isn't good for a Magus".

    Indeed, it's not. Because it's causing him to disregard any ability that uses a swift action (and there are some very good abilities there!), in exchange for a small damage bonus that he doesn't particularly need (as the Magus is one of the most damaging classes in the game).

    Just because his build is effective or enjoyable doesn't mean that it can't be improved.

    Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

    Dave Justus wrote:
    Primarily condition removal. The wizard list has some great tricks, but most of what it does can be accomplished in other ways. When you have gotten a negative level though, you really need the cleric list.

    That's a good point. Things will eventually go wrong and the cleric is best at fixing them. Druid can also work, although it's missing out on e.g. Restoration.

    Celestrian wrote:
    I might end up going for a divine caster. I have never tried cleric in pf, is there a way for them to swap spells during the day (something like the arcanists quick study)?

    You can leave a spell slot empty and fill it later.

    Charon's Little Helper wrote:
    Isn't there a domain that gets you an animal companion?

    Play a druid :)

    Or a cleric with crocodile domain, for example. Animal domains are subject to GM approval, but there is explicitly a god of crocodiles (Sobek), as well as monkeys (Sun Wukong).

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