A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Infinite Shocking Grasp or "The Little Mail-man"

    Quote Originally Posted by Herodotus, 500 BC
    "Neither rain nor hail nor sleet nor snow nor heat of day nor dark of night shall keep this carrier from the swift
    completion of his appointed rounds."
    If you have read The Mailman you are familiar with these words and the concept of the mailman. A direct damage dealing spell caster designed around nothing but delivering as much damage as possible to the enemy.

    What follows is a somewhat different take on the mailman using a class that was intentionally designed around dealing maximum damage to the enemy via magic. That Class is The Magus.
    Things to understand about this build and why it can and cannot or does or does not work. It relies on Cantrips. It relies on zero level spells and the idea that a spell IS or is not a zero level spell.

    The major reason why this build is done with Magus is that the Magus is the only class where two things combine. Prepared arcane casters with cantrips and shocking Grasp, and a reason to focus on damage. This build is possible with the wizard, but be warned, if you're doing this with a wizard you are doing wizard wrong.

    Things you need: Magus, Cantrips, Shocking grasp (Or Snowball. and the magus arcana "Close Range"), 2 traits, and the feat intensified spell. The two traits you need are Metamagic Mastery and Magical Lineage. Both of these traits do essentially the same thing. Pick a spell. That spell uses up a spell slot one level lower than normal whenever you use it with a metamagic feat. Note: Magical lineage specifically has errata stating it cannot lower the spell below its original level. At this time, Metamagic Master does NOT.

    Why is this important? if you apply both of these traits to shocking grasp(or snowball), and then add intensified shocking grasp(or intensified Snowball), the following occurs: Because no errata corrects metamagic mastery, intensified shocking grasp now occupies a zero level spell slot. It is now a "cantrip" for our purposes. This means we can now cast it once or more a round (depending on various build tricks) for every round of every day.

    Warning: This build seriously plays with the concept of cantrips, and the dm is within his rights to tell you that it STILL isn't a cantrip, and no, you can't use it all day. Some DMs will allow it, and for those players who dungeon masters will allow it, this trick is now free for you to use, enjoy it.

    We are not, in fact, done yet, though we've established our basis. Our next step requires a further 8 feats and access to 3.5 material. This further build is only possible in games that allow 3.5 and pathfinder material.

    For the next portion of this build, you will need the following feats.

    1. Four metamagic feats: Empower spell, Maximize Spell, Energy Substitution, Elemental Admixture
    2. Dragon magazine feat: Easy metamagic
    3. Additional Feats: Practical Metamagic, Arcane Thesis, Spell Perfection



    1. Empower spell: increase the dice of the augmented spell by half.
    2. Maximize spell: all damage dealt by the spell is its maximum.
    3. Energy substitution: 0 lvl adjustment, pick an energy type, you can make spells deal that energy type. We don't care, it's a prereq for Admixture
    4. Elemental Admixture: add a number of dice to the total damage dice of the spell. these dice are of the energy type picked with energy substitution. Basically, doubles your dice total.
    5. Easy Metamagic: Pick a metamagic feat: reduce the spell slot adjustment of that metamagic by 1. Pick Maximize
    6. Practical Metamagic: Same deal as Easy metamagic, and to reemphasize, pick maximize
    7. Arcane thesis: pick a spell (shocking grasp). All metamagic adjustments applied to that spell are reduce by 1.
    8. Spell Perfection: Pick a spell (shocking grasp). You can apply any one metamagic to a spell for 0 adjustment, provided the total adjustment would not have exceeded 9th level.



    Result? An intensified, empowered, maximized, admixtured shocking grasp. That's 180 dmg, half electricity, half something else. I recommend Acid if you are using Shocking Grasp, and Electricity if you are using Snowball.

    Snowball vs Shocking Grasp: +3 to atk roll if the target has metal on them, is made of metal, etc. It also doesn't need a Magus Arcana to be useful to us. However, Snowball ignores Spell Resistance, meaning that while it's harder to use (we have to wait till 3rd level to spell strike it, or 6th if we take Blackblade) it is the superior Mailman spell.

    Now, in a mythic game, and ONLY in a mythic game, there's a further two feats you want. Improved Critical (applied to touch spells), and Mythic improved critical. Improved critical is a feat tax here, it's effects are pointless when we have a keen scimitar or some such. We care about Mythic Improved critical. Why? Because +1 critical multiplier. That means your 180dmg shocking grasp or Snowball spell has a crit multiplier of x3. That makes it 540 dmg.

    Alright, so we've now learned how to deal a ridiculous amount of damage via shocking grasp and snowball, and, if the DM allows, we do it as a 0 lvl spell and can do this all day every day for the rest of the character's lifetime. Even if he doesn't, we have it as a first level spell and we can still do it a great many times.

    Now: Problems.

    This build uses up 9 feat slots and both of your typical starting traits. It's extremely feat intensive and its full power doesn't hit until lvl 15 (when you take spell perfection). It is not race dependent, so I recommend taking human for the bonus feat. We've focused most of our attention on our damage BUT, with the infinite use version, all of our other spell slots are freely available to us for all kinds of battlefield control, buff, and utility/circumstantial spells (such as there are on the magus spell list). Without the infinite use version, we've still focused all our power into the most plentiful spell slot we have, 1st lvl spells. We've still got plenty of skill poinst (we ARE an intelligence based spell caster), though most of our effort is going into improving our combat stat, either dex or str, to ensure we can HIT the enemy.

    Additional problems: Shocking grasp allows spell resistance. Therefore, much of our remaining room needs to go into overcoming spell resistance. There are a couple spells we might have access to to help, if the DM is generous. If not, spell penetration and greater are desperately needed. Thankfully, Spell Perfection doubles their bonuses when applied to Shocking grasp, and Magus has a couple class benefits to help overcome spell resistance. Not as nice as an orb spell, but as mentioned earlier if you want to save some Magus arcana and don't want to wait till lvl 3 or 6, or you just like electricity, Shocking grasp is your spell, and that means dealing with spell resistance.

    If you went snowball, if you a little more feat room. I recommend Combat casting for help with casting defensively, improved initiative, and probably dodge for AC.

    Now: Options. There is a ranged version of this build. Crazy, right? Myrmidarch archetype gives you ranged spell strike, but Shocking grasp isn't a ranged touch spell, so how does that help? Snowball again.

    Snowball is a ranged touch atk normally, so we can use it with myrmidarch. Even better, there's a trick, besides Magus Arcana, to use it with touch attacks and still spell strike. Firearms. Nothing in myrmidarch precludes using guns for ranged spell strikes, and guns inside their first range increment are touch attacks. You will want a pistol if you're using early firearms. Muskets take too long to reload. If you have access to advanced Firearms, revolvers and rifles might work, because they are easy to reload. The downside is that Firearms have no good crit ranges (almost all of them are 20s only), shorter ranges than bows, and you're gonna reload alot, so you won't get much added damage or many shots. As mentioned though, you will be shooting for ranged touch attacks, which is what we really care about. Our job is to deliver the mail, and our super powered Snowball is how we do that.

    I know this build has a couple problems, and most games won't get any use out of the "infinite spell" setup, but otherwise, I hope all those who enjoy the Magus get some great fun out of this build setup, and please, if you have pathfinder based improvements and suggestions (and 3.5 suggestions) I want to hear them. I know this isn't perfect, but thank you for reading.



    Partial credit for this build goes to Crazyross, who introduced me to Arcane Thesis and Elemental Admixture after I first introduced him to the infinite use setup.
    Last edited by Iwasforger03; 2014-07-16 at 10:22 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Captnq View Post
    Wizards wind up Incanatrixs/Ultimate Magus/Whatevers. Clerics turn into CoDzillas. Blah Blah Blah. Boring. Seriously. Done this long enough that winning isn't the point. Winning with STYLE is the point.
    [10:15:05 PM] jack.of.thunder: if nothing tempts you, nothing tempts you. If no race beckons, none beckons. Cards fall where they may, where they might, where they must. That is how legends are born.

    The Little Mailman

    Garet Jax

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Snowbluff's Avatar

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    Default Re: Infinite Shocking Grasp or "The Little Mail-man"

    1) Mailmen don't use spells that allow spell resistance.

    2) Myrmidarch is messed up. Get a gun with a blade on it for the Archetype to work properly. If this is 3.x, get a bladed gauntlet.

    3) OMG, did I ever tell you how much I love Snowball? It's a good spell. It's an orb. The magus at my PF table loves it now that I've told him about it.

    4) They nerfed magical Lineage but not Wayang Spellhunter. This is funny because the trick does work by RAW, and does make a cantrip. It's an old one but a good one.

    5) Mythic Improved Critical is a joke if this is 3.x. A Kaorti Resin weapon gives x4. EWP really has no prereq here, so it saves you 2 feats. Keen Weapons are cheap and Magi can make their weapon Keen, IIRC.
    Last edited by Snowbluff; 2014-07-15 at 10:12 PM.
    Avatar of Rudisplork Avatar of PC-dom and Slayer of the Internet. Extended sig
    GitP Regulars as: Vestiges Spells Weapons Races Deities Feats Soulmelds/Veils
    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Infinite Shocking Grasp or "The Little Mail-man"

    1) Shocking grasp is the quintessential magus spell normally, so I used it for part 1. With the magus arcana Close Range Snowball can serve in its place, the only loss being +3 vs metal. You have to wait for lvl 3 or lvl 6 if you go Bladebound.

    2)Myrmidarch is what it is, but the key point is that it grants ranged spellstrike. It is currently the only way I know of to get ranged spell strike.

    3) Good! Glad I'm not the only one who noticed.

    4) Thanks

    5) Kaorti resin can affect spells? If you look at spellstrike, it says the only part of the weapon's crits used by the spell are its crit range, the spell uses its own crit mlutiplier. Unless Kaorti Resin can affect a SPELL's crit multiplier, Mythic Improved Critical is the way to go for this, because It DOES improve the spell's critical multiplier.
    Quote Originally Posted by Captnq View Post
    Wizards wind up Incanatrixs/Ultimate Magus/Whatevers. Clerics turn into CoDzillas. Blah Blah Blah. Boring. Seriously. Done this long enough that winning isn't the point. Winning with STYLE is the point.
    [10:15:05 PM] jack.of.thunder: if nothing tempts you, nothing tempts you. If no race beckons, none beckons. Cards fall where they may, where they might, where they must. That is how legends are born.

    The Little Mailman

    Garet Jax

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Infinite Shocking Grasp or "The Little Mail-man"

    Updates: Firearms suggestions for ranged attack build. Snowball included from step one as the superior option unless the player wants that lightning flavor or the atk bonus really badly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Captnq View Post
    Wizards wind up Incanatrixs/Ultimate Magus/Whatevers. Clerics turn into CoDzillas. Blah Blah Blah. Boring. Seriously. Done this long enough that winning isn't the point. Winning with STYLE is the point.
    [10:15:05 PM] jack.of.thunder: if nothing tempts you, nothing tempts you. If no race beckons, none beckons. Cards fall where they may, where they might, where they must. That is how legends are born.

    The Little Mailman

    Garet Jax

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Snowbluff's Avatar

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    Default Re: Infinite Shocking Grasp or "The Little Mail-man"

    Gun cane sword!
    Having a bladed weapon would let you use Spell Combat.

    That's a good point about the Kaorti Resin. Still, it's a good investment for a magus with a scimitar. 15-20/x4 is really crit-happy. I'm sure there's a way to apply it to spells, but I would not know it. My suggestion would be to look at smiting spell and read the wording on crits closely.

    Also, a Spellslinger would be able to launch spells with a ranged weapon.
    Avatar of Rudisplork Avatar of PC-dom and Slayer of the Internet. Extended sig
    GitP Regulars as: Vestiges Spells Weapons Races Deities Feats Soulmelds/Veils
    Quote Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Infinite Shocking Grasp or "The Little Mail-man"

    so a one level dip in wizard? Could work.

    I agree, a 15-20x4 crit is an awesome thing for the weapon.


    The gun option is only mentioned because Guns are touch attack weapons. you don't get much extra damage from spell striking, just a little, but you get to spell strike and keep the attack a touch attack, meaning you don't have to worry about hitting the target so much. Easier to hit the enemy, less damage than using a bow would probably deal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Captnq View Post
    Wizards wind up Incanatrixs/Ultimate Magus/Whatevers. Clerics turn into CoDzillas. Blah Blah Blah. Boring. Seriously. Done this long enough that winning isn't the point. Winning with STYLE is the point.
    [10:15:05 PM] jack.of.thunder: if nothing tempts you, nothing tempts you. If no race beckons, none beckons. Cards fall where they may, where they might, where they must. That is how legends are born.

    The Little Mailman

    Garet Jax

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