You are on page 1of 33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

KensaiMagusGuide

TheExhaustiveGuide
totheKensaiMagus
~AFrodoOf9FingersProduction

InDnD,aclassthatactedasablendbetweenphysicaldamageandmagicalabilitywascalledagishclass.
Theyevolvedfrombeingsimplyfighterswhocouldselfbufftowizardsthatcoulddelivertheirspellsthroughtheir
weapons.Pathfinderbuiltontheideaanddevelopedoneofthebestgishclasses:TheMagus.TheKensaiisan
archetypeofthemagusthatfocusesalittlebitmoreonphysicaldamagethanonthemagic.Thisdoesnotmake
themweakerinanywaythough,aswewilldiscuss,andwhileitmayclosesomedoors,theKensaiopensmany
others.
Inthisguide,everythinginThePlayersHandbook,AdvancedPlayersGuide,AdvancedRaceGuide,Ultimate
Combat,UltimateMagic,UltimateEquipment,andUltimateCampaignistalkedaboutasifitwasavailabletoyou.
Referencestoanyotherresourcesofnoteincludethesourceofsaidresource.Idontlookthroughanyother
booksforstuff,soifyouseesomethinggoodfortheKensai,sharewhatyouknowandmakeapostonthethread
:).
Forthisguideinprintableformat,clickHERE,andforthisguideinaweblayout(whichIfindeasiertoread)
clickHERE.Finally,ifyoufindanyerrors,knowofanygoodbuildstomention,orotherwisehaveotherinput,
please,shareitwithme(andbyextension,manyothers)bydroppingalineHERE.Thecommunityhasbeen
helpingoutalotwiththisguide,soIwanttosendashoutouttoallofthepeopleaddingsuggestionsandmaking
correctionsasnecessary:).

ColorCode:

RED:Eithertrapsorotherwiseterribleoptions,avoidtheseliketheplague.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

1/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

ORANGE:Agenerallybadoption,eventhoughitmaylookgood.
GREEN:Aprettygoodoption,worthconsidering.
BLUE:Agreatoption!
PURPLE:TheoptionsthatyoubetterhaveaGREATreasonfornotchoosing,thesearethebest.
1.AbilityOverview
2.PartyRoles
3.BuildConsiderations
4.RaceOptions
5.Arcana
6.Feats
7.Gear
8.SpellList
9.Polymorphing
10.SpecialTactics
11.MulticlassingandArchetypes
12.SampleBuilds

1.ClassandAbilityOverview

WeaponandArmorProficiency:Youcanuseanyoneweaponyouwantto,butyoucantreallymakeuseofany
otherweapon.Also,youloseallarmorproficiency,buttherearewaystogetpastthis.Rememberthatbowyou
alwaysgetforyourcharacters?Saygoodbyetothat.Therearesomewaysaroundthis,suchasusingaranged
cantriporusingasling.
CannyDefense:Insteadofarmor,youaddyourintelligencebonustoyourAC(limitoneperlevel).Notethatthisis
NOTlimitedbyarmor,butinallotherwaysactslikeadexteritybonustoAC.
WeaponFocus:Afreefeatisafreefeat,especiallyifitsafeatthatyouprobablywouldhavegottenanyways.
Spells/SpellBook:Yourspelllistislargelyfocusedonevocationspells,whichisrightupyouralley.Theusualnote
aboutspellbooks:Alwayshaveasecondspellbookhandy,itsuckswhenyourfirstoneisstolenbyarogue.
ArcanePool:EssentiallyaKipoolfocusedforyourclass.Thisisanothergreatreasontohavehighintelligence,
especiallywhenyoustartgainingvariousarcanas.
SpellCombat:Theessenceofyourclass,thisallowsyoutocastaspellwhilefullattacking.Sinceitsafullaction,
however,therearesomeusefulcombinationsthatbecomemoredifficult,aswillbediscussedlater.
SpellStrike:Gainfreeweaponattacksasyoucasttouchspells,onceagain,prettysweet.Butanothergreat
additionisthatthespellsthathitthroughyourweaponinheritthesamecriticalthreatrangeasyourweapon.
Usingkeenorsimilarability,youcangetaweaponwitha1520criticalrange.Thats30%ofALLweaponstrikes,
unlessyouneeda16orgreatertohityourtarget.Ifyouneeda10tohityourtarget,50%ofyoursuccessfulhits
willbecriticalthreatsAndlaterwithcriticalperfectionfailingtoconfirmacriticalthreatwillbeathingofthe
past.
MagusArcana:Inadditiontofeats,ArcanaallowsyourKensaitobecomeexactlywhatyouwantittobe.There
areaLOTofgreatoptionshere,andsincemostofthemdonthavefeat/otherarcanaprerequisitesyoucanbe
flexiblewithyourchoices.
PerfectStrike:Ehability.IwouldhavepreferredSpellRecalloverthis,butconsideringallofthefreestuffweve
gottenthusfar(CannyDefense,WeaponFocus,anyweaponwewant)welltakeit.Thecriticalmultiplier
increasecanhavesomegoodutilitywiththerightthings(suchastheBurstingweaponenchantmentsandthe
SpellStealingweaponenchantment).
FighterTraining:Anicethingtohave,thisallowsyoutopickupthingslikeweaponspecializationandgreater
weaponfocus.
Iaijutus:Yourinitiativejustincreasedbyalot.Aseveryoneknows,thepersonwhogoesfirstwins.Essentiallya
betterversionofimprovedinitiative(Ifyoumakeintelligenceahighstat)thatstackswithimprovedinitiative.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

2/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

ImprovedSpellCombat:Concentrationchecksjustbecamealittlebiteasierasiftheywerehardtobeginwith?
CriticalPerfection:Awesome,justawesome.Youcannoweventuallygetanycriticalfeatinexistence.Withahigh
intelligence,yourbonustocriticalconfirmationrollswillbe9ormore.Afterthispoint,youwillrarelyfailto
confirmacriticalhit.
SuperiorReflexes:Ifyouhavecombatreflexes,youllhavemoreAoOsthananyoneelse.Theonlydownsideis
thatyouprobablywon'tbeabletouseallofthem.
IaijutsuFocus:Canyoustarttoseetheninjainsideofyounow?Alwaysgettingtoactinthesurpriseroundis
awesome,andthebonusdamagetoflatfootedopponentsisanicethingtohave.Thisreallycountsinambushes
yousetup:Standardactiontocharge,rollandwininitiative,thenfullattackallwhiletheyareflatfooted.
GreaterSpellCombat:Sacrificingyourattacktomakesureyourspellsucceedsisnowalittlemorebearable,but
honestly,defensivecastingbythispointisprettyeasy.
Counterstrike:Punishotherspellcasters,eveniftheysuccessfullycastaspelldefensively.Inaddition,yourtouch
ACisthroughtheroof,sononastytouchattacksaregoingtohityou:).
IaijutsuMaster:Withthis,youwillgofirst99%ofthetime.Thedownsideisthatyouloseoutongreaterspell
access,whichbringsinalotofspellsthatyouwouldhavelikedtohave.
WeaponMaster:Agood,naturalcapstonekindofAtfirstglance,thisisprettygood,automaticallyconfirming
criticalhitsandincreasingthemultiplier.ButitsnotthatgreatonceyourealizethatA.CriticalPerfectionalready
madeconfirmingacriticalhitacakewalkandB.Mostofyourdamagecomesfromspells,whichdontbenefit
fromtheincreaseincriticaldamagemultiplication.Buthey,spendtwoarcanepointsandyourkatanaorscimitar
isdealing4xdamageonacriticalhit.

2.PartyRoles:

ThereareseveraldifferentpartyrolesinaDnDgroup,andevensubrolesofthosegroups.Iveheard
themcalledmanydifferentthings,buttheyallperformsomeneededtaskinasuccessfulgroup.Asinglecharacter
can,andoftendoesfulfillseveralroles.HeresagoodlistofwhatthoseareandhowgoodaKensaicanfillthat
role:
1.PartyScout:Withadexteritybuild,youcanbeaveryeffectivescout.Theskillsimportanttoa
scoutinvolvegettingaroundstealthily,avoidingtraps,andbeingabletoidentifymonsters.You
dogreatattwoofthose,avoidingtrapswillbethetoughspot.Youalsohaveanamazing
initiative,soifyouarecaught,andevensurprised,yougettoeitherrunawayfirstorattackfirst.
2.PartyFace:YouareNOTthepartyface.Partyfacesneedhighcharismaandhighranksin
diplomacy,bluff,andsensemotive.Noneofthoseareclassskills,andyoutypicallywanttodump
charisma.
3.SkillMonkey:Pathfindergroupsdontneedskillmonkeysasmuchas3.5did,butthatdoesnt
meantheyarenotuseful.Beingskillmonkeymeanshavingalargevarietyofskillstobeableto
performwhateverjobthepartyneeds.Withahighintelligence,youddodecentatthis,butin
Pathfinder,agroupcangetmost,ifnotalloftheneededskillsmaxedoutiftheycooperateand
planaheadwhatskillstheywillget.
4.MeatShields:Thefirstoftwotypesoftanking,meatshieldsaretypicallybarbarianswhocan
takeTONSofdamagebeforegoingdown.Theyholdsomeadvantageoverevasiontanking,
becauseintelligentcreaturestypicallystopattackingatargetwhotheycanthit.Youdonthavea
lotofHP,soyou'renotaMeatShield.
5.EvasionTank:Thesecondtypeoftanking,evasiontanksfocusmoreonnotbeinghit.Thisis
advantageousforparticularlyheavyhittingopponentswhocandroptargetstheyconsistentlyhit
quickly.Ifanintelligentmonstercanthityouthough,theywillprobablygoaftersomethingelse
easiertohit,meaningyoucantkeeptheirattentioneasily.Thiscanbecounteredbypreventing
theirmovementordoingthingsthattickthemoff(Forinstance,usingbodyguardwithacouple
itemstograntanally+12ACwilltickoffabadguy).Youdoamazinglywellasanevasiontank.
6.DamageDealer:Fairlyselfexplanatory,damagedealersdealdamage.Youdogreatinthis
category,specificallyasameleedamagedealer.
7.Debuffer:Whenbuiltcorrectly,youcaneasilystacktonsofdebuffsonatarget,andyoure
moreeffectiveatdoingsothanafullprogressioncaster.Withspellssuchafrostbiteandweapon
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

3/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

enchantmentssuchassickening,youhavethebestofbothworldsfordebuffs.Awordofcaution
however,thisisatabletopgame,anddebuffsinvolvequiteabitofpaperwork.
8.BattlefieldController:Reservedmostlyforspellcasters,battlefieldcontrollersmanipulatethe
environmentagainsttheenemycombatants.Thisdoesntmeankillingthem,thatsthedamage
dealersjob.Whileyouhavesomeofthebestbattlefieldcontrolspells,yourlimitedspellslots
preventsyoufrombeingasgoodatthisasawizard.
9.Healer:Famouslyknowasthewasteofspace,ifallahealerdidincombatwashealthenhe
wouldbedoingmoretoharmthangoodtotheparty.HealinghasthusbecomeasubroleofParty
Supporter.Youdonthaveeasyaccesstohealingspellsanyways.
10.PartySupporter:Insteadofhamperingenemies,partysupportersfocusongrantingwhatIcall
buffstotheparty.Thisincludesresistancestoelementaldamage,grantingextraattacks,and
grantingbonusestothingslikeattackrollsorAC.Yourspelllisthassomegoodbuffstograntthe
party,includingthekingofbuffs:Haste.
*Thecolorsinthisspecificsectionisnotareflectionofwhatyoushoulddo,butratherareflection
ofhowgoodyoucouldbeinthisrolewhengearedtowardsit.
Inmyopinion,ifanyonecharactercanonlydooneofthesethingslistedabove,heisdeemedasawasteof
space.Hence,awizardcouldfocusonbeingabattlefieldcontroller,butshouldstillabletobeadamagedealer
and/oraPartySupporter,whileafightermaybeadamagedealerandameatshield.Aroguecouldbeascout,
skillmonkey,anddamagedealer.Evenifacharacterisntthebestataparticularpartyrole,aslongashedoesnt
suckatithescontributingtotheteam.
Youhavemanyoptions.AKensaicanfillmanyoftheseroleseffectively.

3.GeneralBuildConsiderations:

ThereareseveralreallygoodbuildsthatyoucanfollowwhenconsideringtheKensai.Ofcourse,theres
alwaysthemoststraightforwarddealasmuchdamageaspossibleinaslittletimeaspossibleconcept.Butoneof
theKensaisstrengthsishisdiversity.Hecanmakeagreatdebuffer,agreatbodyguard,doeswonderfulwitharea
lockdownandtripbuilds,inadditiontohisabilitytodealdamage.Youcanalsomingleseveralbuildstogether,to
takeadvantageofeachothersstrengths.OneimportantthingtorememberistoNOTbeaonetrickpony.Ifyou
canonlydoonething,youllsuckandbeahinderancetothepartywhenyoucantdothatonething.
Asaquicknote,Ihavelistedwhatstatsbestcomplementeachbuild.Generally,however,dexteritybuilds
outshinestrengthbuilds.Anotherconsiderationishowhighyouwantyourintelligence.Heresatablewithwhat
eachattributecontributesto:
DEXTERITY
1.Acrobatics,DisableDevice,
EscapeArtist,Fly,Ride,
SleightofHand,Stealth
2.ArmorClass
3.Initiative
4.ReflexSavingThrows
5.RangedAttackRolls
6.MeleeAttackRolls(With
WeaponFinesse,Dervish
Dance,orSlashingGrace)
7.MeleeDamage(With
DervishDance,Slashing
GraceorAgileWeapon
Property)
8.AttacksofOpportunity
(WithCombatReflexes)
9.CMBwithmaneuverswith
weapons(WeaponFinesse)
orallofthem(Agile
Maneuvers)
10.CMD

INTELLIGENCE
1.Appraise,Craft,
Knowledge,Linguistics,
Spellcraft(Intimidatewith
BruisingIntellect)
2.SkillPoints
3.BonusSpells
4.SpellDC
5.ConcentrationChecks
6.ArcanePool
7.SomeAttackRolls
(ArcaneAccuracy)
8.ACandCMD(maxone
perlevel)
9.Initiative(Level7)
10.CriticalHitconfirmation
rolls(level9)
11.AttacksofOpportunity
(level11)
12.Damagerollstoflat
footedopponents(level
13)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

STRENGTH
1.Climb,Swim
2.MeleeAttackRolls
3.MeleeDamageRolls
4.StrengthChecks
5.CMB
6.CMD

4/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

Canyouseewhydexterityandintelligenceareoftenyourtwomostimportantstats?Theysimplydomorefor
you.Thefollowinginformationisalittlebitmoregearedtowardsdexterityandintelligencebasedcharacters,but
therearealwaysoptionsforthosewantingtobestrengthbased.

TheStandardSGBuild:

Stats:Any
1.IntensifiedSpellmetamagicfeat
2.MagicalLineagetrait:ShockingGrasp
OfcourseIhavetomentiontheclassicconceptofusingshockinggraspasyourprimarydamagedealingspell.
Thisisntsomuchofabuildasitisanunderstandingofoneofthebestmethodstodealdamage.ShockingGrasp
deals1d6*CLindamage,upto5d6.Intensified(+1spelllevel)increasethistoupto10d6.MagicalLineagekeeps
shockinggraspasafirstlevelspell,allowingyoutohavequiteafewcastingsofit(Throwinsomepearlsofpower
for1kapieceandyoucouldhave10+firstlevelspellsavailable).Shockinggraspalsoadds3toyourattackroll,
evenwhenusingspellstrike.Agreatcombinationtoaddtoanybuild(exceptmaybetheFrostbitebuild,sinceit
focusesonusingadifferentspell).

TheFrostbiteBuild:

Stats:CharismaorIntelligencewiththebruisingintellecttrait
1.UsethespellFrostbite
2.EnforcerFeat
3.CruelWeapon
4.RimeSpellMetaMagicFeat
5.DazingMetaMagicFeat(OrMetaMagicRod)
6.DazzlingDisplay+ShatterDefenses(waitforlevel13ish)
TheFrostbitebuildfocusesondebuffingenemiesratherthantonsofdamage.Frostbitedeals1d6+CL
(CasterLevel)nonlethaldamage,andcanbeusedanumberoftimesuptoyourCLforeachcast.Comparedto
shockinggrasp,youactuallyendupdoingmoredamage(CasterLevelsquaredmoredamagetobeprecise),butits
nonlethaldamage(whichmeansyourdamageisaffectedbyhealingspellstwotimesover).Italsotakesmore
timetodeliverthatdamage.
Therealadvantageisthedebuffingitprovides.Frostbitemakesthemfatigued,Enforcerallowsafree
intimidatechecktoaddshaken(onacriticalitbecomesfrightened),cruelmakesashaken(or
frightened/panicked)opponentsickened,andRimeSpellmakesthementangled.DazeSpellintroducesasave
effectbasedoffofyourintelligencetodazethem,whichtheyhavetomakeeverytimetheyarehit.Shatter
Defensesmakesthemflatfootedtoyourattacks,allowingyoutoaddyourintelligencemodifiertoyourdamage
atlevel13.So,alltogether:
Fatigued(2strengthanddexterity,cannotrunorcharge)
Shaken(2attackrolls,savingthrows,skillandabilitychecks)
Sickened(2attackrolls,damagerolls,savingthrows,skillandabilitychecks)
Entangled(Halfspeed,cannotrunorcharge,2attackrolls,4dexterity,andcastersneedconcentrationchecks)
Dazed(Cantakenoactionsnextround)
ShatterDefenses(Cannotmakeattacksofopportunity[toyourattacks],losesdexteritybonustoAC[toyour
attacks])
TOTAL:6attackrolls(notincludingabilitydamageshere),2damagerolls,2strength,6dexterity,4
savingthrows,4skillandabilitychecks(thinkacrobatics,intimidateandbluff),2xcannotrunorcharge,cannot
makeAoOs,lossofdexteritybonustoAC(applydexteritydamagebeforethis)andunabletotakeanyactions.
Thisisallfromtwoattackssogoaheadandhiteveryenemyyoucan,itllreallystarttoturnthetideof
battle.
Thereareafewmajordownsidestothishowever.Forone,enemiesimmunetononlethaldamageare
almostcompletelyimmunetothiscombination(UndeadandConstructs).ChillTouchcanreplaceFrostbitealittle
bit,ChillTouchthedazedconditionviadazingspell,thoughyouareprobablybetteroffusingshockinggraspin
thosecircumstances(Andhaveaweaponhandymadespecificallytodealwithundeadand/orconstructs).The
nextinvolvesenemiesimmunetofeareffects(Undead,Constructs,Behemoths,Kami,Qlippoth,Oozes,Plants,
Vermin,andPaladins).Finally,theresenemiesresistantorimmunetofrostdamage.Thiscanbecompletely
bypassedbyatheelementalspellfeatorametamagicrodofthesamename.
Withallofthoseweaknesses,itmaybewisetonotcompletelydevoutallofyourresourcestothisbuild.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

5/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

ManypeoplepeopleleaveoffDazzlingDisplayandShatterDefensestomakeotheroptionsmoreviableintimes
ofneed.

Downsides:

Fairlyfeatintensive
Dealsnonlethaldamage,whichishealedbymagicatthesametimeaslethaldamage
Notasmuchburstasashockinggraspmaniac
VulnerabletoUndeadandConstructs
PartiallynegatedbyBehemoths,Kami,Qlippoth,Oozes,Plants,Vermin,andPaladins
Debuffsinvolvelotsofpaperwork

TheBodyguardBuild:

Stats:DexterityandIntelligence
1.CombatReflexes
2.Bodyguard
3.BenevolentArmorenchantment
4.ArcaneStrike+GlovesofArcaneStriking
Averystraightforwardbuildthatcanbeaddedtomanyotherssinceithassofewfeatrequirements.Theidea
istotakeadvantageofahighdexterityandintelligenceformassiveamountsofAoOsandAC.Then,usethose
AoOstoaddACtoyourallies.Thewaytogainarmorwillbeexplainedlater,butBenevolentallowsyoutoadd
yourarmorsenhancementbonustoyouraidanotherbonuses.GlovesofArcaneStrikingaddsyourArcaneStrike
damagebonustoaidanotheraswell.So,themathisasfollowsforthebonusyouraddingtoyouralliesAC:
Base(2)+BenevolentArmor(upto5)+GlovesofArcaneStriking(upto5).
Forupto12ACthatyouregivingyourallyforoneattack(useabletoasmanytimesasyouhaveAoOs).
Naturally,sinceyourepreventingyouropponentsfromhittingtheirintendedtargets,youllbethenextperson
theyattack.Thatmakeshavinggooddefensesforyourselfimportant,whichthankfullyyoullhaveagoodamount
of.

Downsides:

IfusedyouWILLbetargetedbyintelligentmonsters.

TheWhipMasterBuild:

Stats:Dexterity(AndintelligenceifyouneedmoreAoOsperround)
1.Useawhip(duh?)
2.WeaponFinesse
3.WhipMastery
4.ImprovedWhipMastery
5.CombatReflexes
6.GreaterWhipMaster?
Typicallyyoumixthewhipbuildwithotherbuilds,likeusingfrostbiteortrip.Youcanattacktargets15ft
away(20whenenlarged)andyouthreatenoutto10ft(15enlarged)insteadof5.Becauseofthatlargerange,
andifyouthrewinfrostbiteand/ortrip,youcankeepenemiesawayfromyourselfandyourallies,nottomention
thatdefensivecastingbecomesaworryofthepast.Thedownsidetothebuildishowfeatintensiveitis,so
combiningitwithotherbuildsorsimplyaddingotherfeatstaplesbecomesachallenge.Whipsaretheonlyoption
forreachfortheMagustooUnlessyoudecidetotakeadipintoeitherTitanMaulerBarbarian(2levels)or
PhalanxSoliderFighter(3levels,andyouhavetobeusingabuckler,whichmeansnoIntelligencetoAC).Ifyou
takeeitherofthosetwoclasses,knowthattheresnooptionsforfinessableweapons.

Downsides:

VERYfeatintensive
Whipsdontdoallthatmuchdamage,andhaveasmallcriticalrange

TheTripBuild:

Stats:StrengthorDexterity(GetweaponfinesseforDexteritybuilds)Intelligenceisnice,butnotnecessary.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

6/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

1.CombatExpertise
2.ImprovedTrip
3.GreaterTrip
4.TrippingStrike*
5.ManeuverMagus:Triparcana
6.CriticalFocus*
Onceagain,fairlystraightforward.Trippeople.Afewthingsofnote,however,ishowgoodtrippingstrikeis
foryou.Witha1520critrangeyoullbethreateningacriticalonceeveryfourattacks.Insteadofusingthenormal
CMBmath,youcanuseyourcriticalconfirmationrollinstead.ThisactuallyINCREASESyouroddsoftripping.
Heresthemath(highlightonlythedifferences):
Normaltripattempt=MagusLevel+SizeModifier(upto+1ish)+4(greater/improvedtrip)
ConfirmationRollAttempt=BaB+IntModifier+4(CriticalFocus)

ThedifferencebetweenyourBaBandmaguslevelonlygetsupto5,addanother1foryourenlargeperson
spell(or2forsomeotherpolymorphspellthatmakesyouhuge)andyoumaxoutthedifferenceat7.So,you
needanintelligencemodifierof+7tobreakeven.AddinthespellUnerringWeaponandyourcritical
confirmationrolljustwentthroughtheroof.Ifyoudecideyouwonttripanythingexceptonacriticalhit,youcan
droptheManeuverMagusarcana.

Downsides:

Lotsofenemiesareunaffectedbytrip
MonsterCMDrisesatafasterratethanyourCMB
Ithinkisalsoagoodplacetomentioncombatmaneuversingeneral.Combatmaneuverscanprovidethat
extraoomphneededtoturnthetidesofwar.Whilemanypeopleplanonspecializinginthem,taking3to4feats
togetthemostoutofperformingaspecificcombatmaneuver,usingacombatmaneuverwithoutthefeatscan
stillbeeffective.I'mgoingtotalkabouttheminbothtrainsofthought:gettingfeatsforthemandnotgetting
featsforthem.
Maneuver

NoSpecialization

Specialized

*Trip

Fallsprone,andiftheystandup,they
provokeanattackofopportunity.

Probablythebestonetospecializein,greater
tripgivesyouandyouralliesAoOs.Doesntwork
againstcreatureswithoutlegs,havealotoflegs,
orflyingcreatures.

*Disarm

IFtheyhaveweapons,takingthose
Abadideatospecializein,sincealargemajority
awayistypicallyawonderfulidea,and ofthecreaturesyoufightdontuse
mightevenbeworththeAoO.Ifyou
manufacturedweapons.
exceedthierCMDbytenormore,you
disarmbothhands.

*Sunder

Sunderingcanbegood,thoughyour
teammatesmightgetmadifyou
destroyyouropponentsgear,since
whenhedies,itwillbetheirgear.

Notsogreattospecializein,sincesundering
doesntreallygetbetterasyougetmorefeats.

Grapple

Itstypicallyabadsituationwhen
you'reresortingtograppling,and
eventhentruestrikeonlyhelpsyou
startthegrapple,notmaintainit.

Grapplingjustisntthatgoodforamagus,it
meansnospellcombat.Sorry.

Steal

Tostealsomethinglikeacloakor
quiver(hehehe,NoArchery!),its+5
tothierCMD.

Highlysituational,thisdoesnthelpoutthat
muchinfights(unlesstheyNEEDtohavethat
item,likeaspellcomponentpouchorquiver),so
evenmoresituationalthandisarm.

Feint

Usesyourbluffskill,notyourattack

Yourcharismawillprobablybelow,soyouwont

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

7/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

roll,sonotruestrike.Wait,whatbluff
skill?

havethatgoodofabluffskill.Makingthemlose
theirdexteritybonusisntthatgreateither.

DirtyTrick

Youcanblind,dazzle,deafen,
entangle,shakenorsickenan
opponent.Extraroundper5you
exceedtheirCMD,thoughtheycan
alwaysremovetheconditionwitha
moveactionandstillattack.

Makingtheeffectlastlongerandrequirea
standardactiontoremoveisnice,butisitworth
threefeats?

Overrun

Needtogetpastsomeoneblockinga
hallway?Thisishow.Iftheytryto
stopyou,andyouexceedtheirCMD
by5ormore,theyfallprone.

Overrunningisntthatusefulexceptforthose
fewcircumstances.

**Reposition

Repositioninganenemyintoaflanked
positioncanbenice,butitsa
standardactionatthispoint.Extra5
feetofmovementforevery5ftyou
exccedthierCMD.

RepositioncanbenicetogiveyouralliesAoOs,
buttoreallymakeitworthityoudneed4feats
(GreaterRepositionandQuickRepositionplus
theirprerequisites).

**Drag

Thisdoesntreallyhelpyouinanyreal
way,thoughtheremightasituation
whereitsneeded.Extra5ftof
movementforevery5youexceed
theirCMD

Sameasreposition.

BullRush

Movingcreaturesawayfromyour
InadditiontogivingyouralliesAoOs,youcan
alliescanbeimportant,butpushing
enduppushingthemoffacliff!
someoneoffacliffisjustawesome.By
every5youexceed,theymove5more
feet.

*Youcanusethismaneuverwithyourweapon,addingitsenhancementbonustothecombatmaneuverroll.
Also,ifyouhaveweaponfinesseandyou'reusingafinessableweapon,youcanuseyourdexterityinsteadofyour
strengthforthoserolls.
**Ifyourweaponhasthetripspecialproperty,youcanuseyourweaponforthesemaneuvers.Seeasterisk#1.

4.RaceOptions

Choosingaraceisatouchysubjectforme.Ononehand,statsareimportant,butontheotherhand,playinga
funcharacterismorefunthanhavinggoodstats.Withsomanychoicesofraces,therearemultiplegoodoptions,
eveniftheirstatsarenotthebest.Alwayschoosewhatyouwanttoplay,andrememberthatroleplayingisan
essentialpartofthegame.Ibasemyratingsontheircombatpotential,includinganyextrasthattheracemight
provide.
Human:Oneofthefirstoptionstoconsider,humansgiveanextrafeatanda+2thatllgointostrength,
dexterity,orintelligence.Thedownsideisthattheydonthave+2intwostatsthattheylikebuttheyareagreat
choiceforthosefeatstarvedbuilds.Atlevel14youqualifyforCriticalVersatility,whichmakeswaitingtospenda
featonacriticalfeatthatyouwantobsolete.Justtakethisatlevel15,andwhenyoucan,switchittothecritical
featyouwant.Thisisaverycommonchoiceforstrengthbasedmagi.
Elf:+2intelligenceand+2dexterityisawesome,thoughthe2toconhurts.Therearequiteafewother
benefitstobeinganelfaswell.Ifyouplanonusingstealthalot,theyhaveadecentfirstlevelspelltohelpyouget
aroundwithouttheuseofinvisibility(Thisbonusworksagainstthespellseeinvisibility,butnotagainst
Truesight).Inaddition,theirfavoredclassbonusfortheMagusisnice,anextraarcanaevery6levels.Asagreat
sidebonus,yougainweaponproficiencywithsomeofthemostcommonweaponsaround.Thisisespeciallycool
forthelongbow,thetraditionalbackupforoutofreachopponents.
Goblin:+4dexterity,2charisma,2strengthisreallygoodfortheKensaiMaguswhohasdexterityto
damage.Inaddition,youresmallsized,addingtoyourattackandAC,thoughyourCMBgoesdownmaking
combatmaneuverbuildsalittlelesseffective.Thevomittwinspellcanmakeforsomeverygoodcombatmobility,
thoughitsoundscoolerthanitactuallyis.Havingreallyhighstealthisfuntoplayaroundwithtoo.
MonkeyGoblin(InnerSeaBestiary):+4dexterity,2wisdomandcharisma.Verysimilartotheregular
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

8/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

goblin,monkeygoblinscanbeaninterestingchoice.Theyaresmallsizewithaslowerspeed,butthe2to
strengthisswappedforwisdom,whichisaslightimprovement.Themainkickeristhattheyhaveaprehensiletail,
allowingthemtoholdthoserodsforyou(holdingrodscanbedebated,checktherulesforumsforthefull
reasoning).Wellworthconsidering.
Ratfolk:+2dexterity,+2intelligence,2Strength.GoodstatsfortheDexterityMagus,though2to
strengthwillhurtuntilyougetthenecessaryfeats.Unlessyouhaveanotherratfolkinyourparty,youllbegetting
corneredfury,asituationalabilitythatcanbealifesaver.IREALLYlikethespellthatyoucangetwitha3rdlevel
spellslot.Bythetimeyougetit,itlllastatleasthalfthefight,andthedurationofthedebuffisgreat.Notto
mentionthatyouhavemanyattemptstolandthedisease,soiftheydomakethesaveyoucanjusttryagain.
Tiefling+2intelligence,+2dexterity,and2charisma.Thebestpossiblestatsforadexteritybasedmagus
(excludingpossiblythegoblin).Inaddition,Tieflingshavesomegreatresistances.Theyalsocomewitha+2bonus
tostealth,andpotentiallyaprehensiletailtograbthosewandsforyouANDholdrodsforusewhencastingspells
(holdingrodscanbedebated,checktherulesforumsforthefullreasoning).AVERYsolidchoice,assumingyou
canroleplayaracethatstypicallylookeddownupon.
Samsaran:+2intelligence,+2wisdom,2Constitution.Whiletheydonthavethebestofstatsfora
dexteritymagus(ConsideringtheotheroptionsforstrengthmagiSamsaranshaveprettygoodstats)itstheir
alternativeracialtraitthatmakesthemawesome.Youcouldget45spellsaddedtoyourspelllistaslongasthose
spellsarearcanebased(Ifitsonthewizards,sorcerer's,summoners,bards,orwitchsspelllist,itsarcane).A
fewideasincludeCureCriticalWounds(Bardslist),InflictWounds(Witchsspelllist),Contingency,Heroismor
GreaterHeroism,Permanency,TouchofFatigue,Touchofidiocy,Juxtaposition,ProtectionfromEnergy,False
Life,MageArmor,DanceofaHundredCuts,Haste(FromtheSummonersspelllist,makingitalevel2spell)and
BestowCurse.Thisisaverysolidchoiceifyouhadplannedongettingspellblendinglateron.
Lashunta(InnerSeaBestiary):+2intelligence(Male+2strength,2wisdom).MaleLashuntasaretheonly
playablecreaturesIknowofthathave+2intelligenceandstrength,makingthemanexcellentchoiceforstrength
magi.Theydonthavemuchelse,exceptfortelepathy,whichcanbehelpfulinsomecircumstances.
Fetchling:+2dexterity,2wisdom,+2charismareallyisntthatgreatforyou.Whatyouwilllike,however,
isextrastheracehas.Indimlight,youhaveanequivalentmisschancetototalconcealment.At9thlevel,youcan
getdisplacementasaSLA,andwithafewfeatsyoucanseeinmagicaldarkness,allowingyoutokeepyourhigh
ACinthosepeskymagicaldarknessencounters.
Hobgoblin:+2dexterity,+2constitution.Solidstats,+4bonustostealthorintimidate,andapossible+1
naturalarmor.Theresnotmuchelsetothemthough.
Strix:+2dexterity,2Charisma.Aroundthesamelevelasaracewith+2toanyabilityscore,thereal
benefithereisthatStrixcanflystartingatlevel1Yeah,awesomeright?Toobadyouneedtobeinmelee
though.
Oread:+2strength,+2wisdom,2charisma.Notabadchoiceforthestrengthmagusintermsofstats.
Theyalsohaveafewextrasthatarereallygood.WithStoneintheBloodandtheCantripAcidSplash
prepared,youcanhealyourselffortwiceyourHDperdayoutsideofcombat.ThespellStoneShieldlooksand
soundstempting(ImtheAvatar!),butnotquitewortha2ndlevelspellslot.WithFerrousGrowthyoucangrow
yourselfanewweaponifallofyoursparesbecomesbrokenorlost.Thereisafeatchainthatcanbefuntoplay
withtoothatgivesyouaburrowspeed.
Slyph:+2dexterity,+2intelligence,2constitution.Samestatsasanelf,butIfeeltheelfhasmore
benefitstoadd.Inexchangeforfeatherfallyoucouldgeta+4bonustostealth,andforafeatyoucansee
throughmists,fogs,andclouds,whichcanbequitehelpfulwhenusedwithobscuringmistandothersuchspells.
HalfElf:+2toanystatisgood.ThespellParagonSurge,whileperhapsalittlehighlevelforwhatitdoes,
essentiallygivesyouafeatforaspellslot,andifyourgroupmovesfastthroughadungeon,itwillcanlastfora
couplebattles.ResilientReservoircanbeniceifyouaretakingalotofweakerhits.Itsshortdurationandhigher
spelllevelmakeaehspellthough.ManyMagigohalfelffortheAncestralArmsfeature,butsinceyoualready
haveproficiencywithaweaponofchoice,halfelvesjustarenotthatgreat.
Orcs:+4strength,2intelligence,wisdom,andcharisma.The+4strengthrocks(forastrengthmagus),but
the2tobothintelligenceandwisdomhurtsquiteabit.Beyondstats,theonlyotherthingworthmentioningis
ferocity,allowingyoutobestaggeredinsteadofdyingwhenatnegativehitpoints(whichisntalwaysagood
thing).Otherthanthat,notagoodoption,thoughworthtalkingabout.
Merfolk:+2Dexterity,Constitution,Charisma.Prettygoodstatsforyou,thoughthe5footlandspeed
sucks.Thatcanberaisedto15foot,andthenhasteandothereffectswillmakeitevenlessnoticeable.Theyalso
comewith+2naturalarmorNotthatgreatofachoice.
HalfOrc:+2anyabilityscore,thoughthereisntmuchmoretotheirracethatisreallygreatforyou.Being
consciencewhileatnegativeHPcanbenice,sincemostofyourACfailswhenyourunconscious,butthatalso
meansthatyourenemieswillstilltargetyou.Thespell,SavageMaw,isntreallythatgreat,thoughitdoesallow
oneswiftactionintimidatecheckagainsteveryonewithin30ft.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

9/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

Allotherracesareconsideredred,thoughrememberthatitsnotalwaysaboutbeingthebestrace,but
havingfun(especiallywhileroleplaying).

5.Arcana

ArcaneAccuracy:SwiftAction,1arcanepointtogiveyourselfabonustoattackrollsequaltoyour
intelligencemodifieruntilthebeginningofyournextturn.Verygood,atthetopofmostMagislists,thoughnot
setinstone.
AccurateStrike:SwiftAction,2arcanepointstoresolvesallattacksasmeleetouchattacksuntiltheend
ofyourturn.Idontreallylikethisasmuchasarcaneaccuracybecauseyouhavetowaittogetit,anditdoesnt
lastforyourattacksofopportunity.Itdoes,however,comeinhandyagainstthoselargerfoeswithlowtoughAC.
ArcaneCloak:Intelligencetostealthandblufftohide,IguessifyoureREALLYintothescoutingconcept,
butthenagain,youcangetvanishatlevelone.Notthatgoodofanability.
ArcaneEdge:Immediateactiontodealyourintelligencebonusasbleeddamage.Idpreferthecriticalfeat
thatmakespeoplebleedmore,sinceitstacksanddoesntuseresources.Butifyou'renotgoingforcriticalfeats,
thiscanbeagoodoption.
ArcaneDeed(AdvancedClassGuide):Thereareacoupleawesomedeedsthatswashbucklershave.The
threethatstickouttomearePreciseStrike(AddmagusleveltomeleedamageAwesome!)Evasive(Onearcana
forevasion,uncannydodge,andimproveduncannydodge?Hmm)andthelevel19DeadlyStab,adeathattack
whossaveisbasedonyourdexteritybonus.Thereareafewothersthatyoumightlike,gotakealook,but
rememberthatyouvehadtospendtwoarcanatogettothispointthatyoucouldhavespentonotherthings.
ArcaneRedoubt:SwiftactionyourshieldbonusnowaddstoyourtouchAC.Didntreallyneedthistouch
ACisalreadyhigh.
ArcaneRedoubt,Greater:Beingabletogetevasionorimprovedevasioniscool,buttheamountofarcane
pointsitexpendsiswaytoohigh.Pass.
BaneBlade:Reallyawesome.Nowyoucanhavebaneagainstwhateveryou'refighting.Nottomention,
becauseofthewordingoftheability,yougivebaneontopofthebonusesyounormallygivewithyourarcane
pool,meaningifyouwantedtoyoucouldhaveweaponsonlybe+4andstillgettheawesomenessofa+10
weapon.
BroadStudy:Ifyoumulticlassbetweenspellcastingclasses,thisisagoodidea.Ifnot,thendontbother.
CloseRange:Peoplegetthissothattheydonthavetouseacheesymethodofusingspellstrikeevery
turn(Thatis,usingarcanemarkasatouchattack).Theresacouplebetterways,suchasspellblending.
Concentrate:Rerollaconcentrationcheck,thoughconcentrationchecksrarelyfailforyou.
CriticalStrike:Awesome,really,reallyawesome.Essentiallyfreequickenedspellsaftercriticalhits.The
downsideisthatyouhavetoplanahead,becauseifyouusearcaneaccuracyorarcanestrikethiswontbe
useablethatround.Also,only1/day.Awesome,butnotthebest.
DevotedBlade:Mighthavebeengood,ifitdidnthavetomatchyouralignment.
Disruptive:Asthefeat,whytradeanarcanaforafeat?Especiallyonelikethisthoughitcanbeanidea
forthemagehunterconcept.
DispellingStrike:Soundsgood,butitsnot,sinceyouhavetoexpend1arcanepointperspelllevelofthe
spellyouwanttodispel.Pass.
EmpoweredMagic:Freemetamagiconceperday?Adecentchoice,especiallyifnothingelseat6thlevel
nothingelsereallystandsouttoyou.Canbeinterestingwhenmixedwithaspellstoringweapon.
EnduringBlade:Nowhywouldyouspendanarcanatosaveanoccasionalswiftaction,andmoreoften
thannot,wasteanarcanepoint.Wasteofanarcana.
Familiar:Aninterestingoptionforactioneconomybreaking,considergettingimprovedfamiliar,givingita
wandofCureLightWounds,andhaveitautohealyouincombat.Orawandoftruestrikehaveithavedisarm
people.Or,passitarodthatitcanhandtoyouwhenyouwantitandtakeitbackafterwards.Lotsofutilityhere,
thoughtheseoptionsareforanimprovedfamiliarGainingtheAlertnessfeatandabonustoaskillcheckor
initiativeisreallynicetohave.Nottomentionroleplayingopportunities.
FlamboyantArcana(AdvancedClassGuide):Gainthefirstlevelswashbucklerdeeds,andyourarcanepool
doublesaspanachepoints(thoughwithouttheregenerationfeature).Ipersonallyliketwoofthem:DerringDo,
whichallowsyoutoaddabonustosomeskillchecks,andOpportuneParryandRiposte,whichallowsyoutoparry
attacks,bothofwhichuseanarcanepointperuse.Nottooterribleanarcana,butnotmyfirstchoice.Idonlyget
thisbecauseitsaprerequisiteforarcanedeed.
GhostBlade:Ghosttouchisgreatagainstghosts,andbrillianceisgreatagainstarmoredopponents.On
firstglance,Ithoughtbrilliancewasawesome,butthenitwaspointedoutthatitdoesntaffectmostcreatures,
andyoufightnonhumanoidcreaturesmoreoftenthananythingelselateronBotharesituational,soIdpass
andjustgraba+1ghosttouchweapon.
HastedAssault:Bythetimeyoucangetthisarcana,youcanalreadygethasteseveraltimesaday,andit
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

10/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

affectsyouralliestoo.Oryoucangetbootsofspeedifyouwantsomethingthathelpsjustyou.Justsaying.
LingeringPain:Ananticasterability,can,andoftenwillmakeacasterfailatcastingaspell(TheCLcheck
theyneedtomakeis10+thedamagedealt).Withthatinmind,thisisprettyeffectiveatnegatingcasters.Itis
animmediateactionhowever,whichtranslatestoaswiftaction.Beyondthat,agreatability.
ManeuverMastery:Ifyouaregoingforatripbuild,thiscanbenice,dependingifyouplanontryingto
tripthemorjustwaitforcriticalstrikestotrip.Ifyouwaitforthecriticalstrikes,passonthis.Otherwiseitsa
goodinvestment.
MaximizedMagic:YES!Moredamage!1/dayspelldealsmaxdamage,nochangeinspelllevel.Good,
especiallyforthatbackupvampirictouchyoukeeparoundincaseofemergency.Thisisnottojustusewillynilly
though,useitwhenyouneedsomethingdropdeadFAST.Also,anotherthingofnoteisthatsinceitdoesnt
increasethespelllevelofthespell,itcanplacedonspellsgoingintoaspellstoringweapon.Veryniftyability
PoolStrike:Muchlessthandesirable,astandardaction(sonofullattackingorusingspellcombat)todeal
2d6damage+1d6everythreelevelsmore.Also,youreburninguparcanepointsbyusingthis.Theonlysituation
wherethiscouldbegoodisifyourenemieswereresistanttoeveryspelltohad(youshouldhaveatleasttwo
differentdamagespellspreparedeveryday,includingatlevel1.Level8andbeyondyoushouldhaveatleast3).In
thatcase,whichshouldberare,youwontbeentirelyuselessbecauseyourestilldealingphysicaldamage.Its
notworthanarcana,itisanabilitythatIwouldhaveexpectedtocomefree.
PoolStrike,Arcing:Awastebutalittlebitbetterconsideringthepossibilityoffacingcrowdsof
monsters.Buttwoarcanas?Nah.
PoolStrike,Clinging:Awaste
PoolStrike,Thunderous:Awaste
PrescientAttack:Aninterestingability,ifyourefightingadexteritybasedcharacterthiscanbeuseful,
sinceitlastslongerthanarcanestrike.Butotherwise,thisisnotasgoodasmanyotheroptions.
PrescientDefense:Defenseisnotasimportantaskillingwhatstryingtokillyou.Justnotgoodenough.
QuickenedMagic:Amazing,1/dayfreequickenedspell.Takethis,nomatterthebuild,justtakeit(when
youcan,level15).
Reflection:Canbegoodforthemagehunterconcept,butforthistobeaseffectiveasyouwantit,youll
bespendingaLOTofarcanepointstogetittowork.So,gowithsomethingelse.
RodMastery:Ifyouplanonusingalotofrodsasweapons(Lowcritrange,dontdoit!)thiscanbe
helpful.
RodWielder:Seeabove.
SilentMagic:Goodforwhenyouaresilenced,thenextthingyoulldoiscastasilentdispelmagic.
SpellBlending:AnalternativetoabusingArcaneMark.Withthisyoucangetawizardscantripthatis
meanttobeusedasatouchattack(TouchofFatigue),allowingyoutousespellstrikeconstantly.Ifyougetthisat
level3(theearliestyoucan),youcangetthatcantripalongwithanyfirstlevelwizardspellyoudontalreadyhave
(perhapssomethinglikemagearmor?).Atlaterlevels,theresalotofspellsonthewizardslistthatyouwould
want,includingheroism,permanency,andevencontingencyatthehighestlevels.Pokearoundandseewhatyou
like.
SpellBreaker:Arcanaforafeat?No,butthanks.
SpellShield:Ifyouareusingawandorpotionsofshield,thiswontbeaddingmuchtoyourAC.
StillMagic:Notasusefulassilentmagic,itcanstillhelpyougetoutofsomestickysituations.
WandMastery:Notsogreat,sinceyouarenotusingsavespellsanyways.Thoughthiscanbeusefulfora
fewselectwands,suchasgrease.
WandWielder:Areallygoodoption,youcannowusewandsinsteadofspellsforspellcombat(butnot
spellstrike).Afavoriteofmineisusingtruestrikeeveryroundtotakeoutthehardtohitopponents.

6.Feats

Featsarewhatreallymakeyourcharactersbuildunique.TherearesomanyoptionsthatImnotgoingtogo
througheverysinglefeatinexistence,butIwillmentionandratefeatsofnote:

COMBATFEATS(OfNote):

GreaterWeaponFocus:Hittingpeopleisimportant.Endofdiscussion.
AgileManeuvers:ThisisimportantforBullRush/Reposition/grapple/feint/DirtyTrick.Butsinceyouwant
touseTrip(ordisarm/sunder)more,WeaponFinessedoeswhatyouwant(unlessyoureallywanttobull
rush/feint/grapple/reposition/performdirtytricks).Pass.
ArcaneArmorTraining/Mastery:Youdontneedtoweargoodarmorsobadthatyouburnfeatsandswift
actionseveryroundjusttobeabletocastspells.Yourealreadysufferingfromhavingtoomanyswiftactionsto
do.
ArcaneStrike:upto+5damageperhit.Notthebest,butitdoesnttakeawayfromyourchancetohitlike
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

11/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

powerattack.Itsaswiftactionthough,soyoucantmixitwitharcaneaccuracyandthelikes.Ifyoudecideto
taketheBodyguardfeat,grabtheglovesofarcanestrikingandyoullbeanevenbetterbodyguard.
ArmorProficiencies:Ifyoureallywantarmorthatbad,playatraditionalmagus.
CombatCasting:+4toconcentrationchecks.Ifyoureplayingalowlevelgame,thiscanbehelpfulfor
thoseearlydefensivecastingchecks.Butlateronitdiminishesseverelyinvalue.
CombatExpertise:Asuckyprerequisiteforthetripbuild.Allwell
CombatPatrol:Atfirstthought,thisfeatkindasucks,evenforarealockdownbuilds.ButthenIrealized
thatthereisseveralsituationswherethiscanbegreat.RefertotheSpecialTacticssectionformoreinformation.
Itdoeshaveacoupleprerequisitesthough,makingthisnotasnice.
ImprovedTrip:Requiredforthetripbuild,thismeansnoprovokingfortryingtotripsomeone.
GreaterTrip:Thepointofthetripbuild,thismakestrippingpeopleproduceAoOs
TrippingStrike:Seethetripbuild.
CombatReflexes:Neededforbodyguard,itisnicetohaveearlyon.OnceyougetSuperiorReflexesat
level11CombatReflexsimportancediesout.
BodyGuard:IfyougettheitemstoimproveAidAnother,thiscanbelifesavingforyourallies.Seethe
buildformoreinfo.
InHarm'sWay:Increasingthechancetoavoidanattackentirelyisgood,takingthedamageforyourally
isntsogood.Youread8character,remember?
Disruptive:eh,notreallyneeded,thoughitcanaddflavorforthemagehuntertype.
Spellbreaker:Moreeh,nowiftheyfailtocastaspell,theygethitforeventrying.Justcasting
defensivelybythetimeyougetthisisnttoohardanyways.
SpellPenetration+Greater:Forthemostpart,youdontrelyonspellswithsaves.Theonlylineof
defenselefttoyouropponentsleftisspellresistance.ThesefeatshelpyouovercomethatThereforeyoushould
gettheseifyouhavesomeroom.
SpellFocus+Greater:Youdontreallyusespellordiespells,sothesecanbewasteful.Butiftheressome
saveeffectthatyouwanttoimprovereallybadly,goforit.
Dodge:+1AC.NottoobadofanideabuttherearebetterwaystoincreaseAC.Tradingfeatsformoney
=bad.OnlygetthisifyouNEEDitasaprerequisite.
Endurance:Badfeat.
Diehard:Mytwobits:Ifyouarereducedtonegativehitpoints,youralmostdead.Dontyouwantyour
enemiestothinkyoudied?Sotheydonttrytohityoumore?Traprighthere.
ImprovedSaves:ThisincludesGreatFortitude,LightingReflexes,andIronWill.Ifyouhavesparefeats,
thesearegoodoptions,sincefailingsavessucks.Alot.Rememberthissaying:Ifyoufailareflexsave,yourhurt.
Ifyoufailafortitudesave,yourdead.Ifyoufailawillsave,youjustkilledyourallies.
ImprovedFamiliar:Thiscanbeaninterestingchoice,sinceseveraloftheimprovedfamiliarscanwield
wands.Thisallowsyoutobreaktheactioneconomy,beingabletodothingsthatyounormallywouldntbeable
todo.Itrequiresanarcanatogetafamiliarinthefirstplace,soyouhavetoaskyourselfifyoureally,really
need/wantthis.
ImprovedInitiative:+4toinitiative.Thisisreallynice,butlateronitbecomeslessimportantforyou,since
youhaveseveralclassabilitiesthathelpyouwithinitiative.
IntimidatingProwess:IfyouregoingtogowiththeFrostbitebuild,andyouwanttobestrengthbased,
thisisworthlookingat.
PowerAttack:Aprettygoodfeat,tradingattackfordamageona1:2ratiohelpsforthoseweakerfoes.
Thoughtobehonest,unlessIcouldtwohandmyweapon,IwouldntgetpowerattackunlessIknewforsurethat
Iwasgoingtohaveareallyhighrateofsuccessfulattacks.
PiranhaStrike(Sargava,theLostColony):Essentiallypowerattackwithoutthestrengthrequirement,and
useablewithonlyfinessableweapons.
QuickDraw:ThiscanbebadtogooddependingonyourGMsdecision.Ifheallowsyoutodraw
metamagicrodsasafreeactionwiththisfeat,thenitsworthalook(seetheitems:metamagicrodsectionfor
details).Ifnot,thisonlyletsyougetoutaspareweaponfaster.Buttypically,itokaytospendamoveactiondoing
that,anditwonthurtthatmuch.
MaximizedSpellstrike:Interesting...The3arcanepointstoactivateitcanbeaheftypricetag,although
youcanuseitasmanytimesperdayasyouwant.Italsodoesrequirethetargettohavetheirdexteritybonusto
ACremoved(whichisoneofthedebuffslistedinthefrostbitebuild).ThepartIlikeisthatyoudonthaveto
decidetouseituntilafteryoufindoutwhetherornotyouaregoingtocriticallyhityourtarget.Critical
MaximizedIntensifiedShockingGraspsdeal120,notincludingtheweaponswingitself.So,IFyouknowyour
enemieswillbewithouttheirdexteritybonustoACfairlyfrequently,givethisalook.
StepUp:Stayingclosetoenemiescanbenice,especiallyifthatenemyisacastertryingtocastaspell.
FollowingStep:10feetversus5feetisntmuchofadifferencebutstillbeingableto5footsteponyour
nextturnisniceimprovementtostepup.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

12/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

Stepupandstrike:AnothergreatwaytogetanAoO,thoughittakesthreefeatstogethere
Toughness:AgreatwaytoboostyourHP,effectivelygivingyou+1toyourconmodifier.
DazzlingDisplay:Aprerequisite,itdoesnthavemuchvalueonitsown.Beingabletointimidateabunch
ofpeopleallatoncecanbenice,butwithenforceryoucanapplyittosingletargetsasfreeactions.So,ameh
featinandofitself.
ShatterDefenses:Really,reallygoodforthefrostbitebuildafterlevel13whenyoustarttoaddyour
intelligencemodifiertoflatfootedopponents.Beforelevel13though,itsnotreallyworthit.
DishearteningDisplay(AdvancedClassGuide):Ireally,reallylikethisfeat,andcanmakeDazzlingDisplay
worthwhiletouse.Usedtwiceinarowandanyenemieswithin30ftnotimmunetofearrunaway.
DeadlyStroke:Timestwodamageononeattack.Thiscansoundnifty,butitreallydoesntaddtoyour
damagebythetimeyoucangetthis.Onlysituationallyhelpful,kindalikeVitalStrike.
WeaponSpecialization:+2damageperhit,therearebetterthingsyoucouldgetbutitcanbeniceif
theresnothingelsethatsuitsyou(thoughthereshouldbebylevel7).
GreaterWeaponSpecialization:More+2damageperhit.Bythispoint,atlevel15,theresalotofbetter
optionsforafeat.Pass.
BloodyAssault:1d4bleeddamagethatdoesntstack.Andyoutakea5penalty.PASS!
DazingAssault:5toattackstohaveachancetodazeyouropponents(BaB+10fortsave),thiscanbe
quitegooddazedmeanstheycanttakeanyactions.Combinethiswillcastingtruestrikeandasingleenemywill
belockeddownfairlywell.
StunningAssault:YoucantqualifyforthisSorry!
Enforcer:Essentialtothefrostbitebuild,thisallowsyouafreeintimidatecheckwhenyouhitsomeone
withnonlethaldamage.
ExtraArcana:Arcanacanbebetterthanfeats,ifyouhavesparefeats,investinarcana!
ExtraArcanePool:Imnotsosureaboutthisone.Sinceyouwillbepumpingintelligencereally,really
high,youwontbeneedingmorearcanepoolpointsthatoften.
DestructiveDispel:Ifyousuccessfullycastdispelmagic,theyarestunned(Iftheyfailasaveversusthe
spell).Withdispellingcriticaloradispellingweapon,youcangetdispelsofffairlyoften,thoughIwouldntreally
botherwithitpersonally.
DispelSynergy:Notreallyworthafeat,becauseitonlylastsoneturnanditssituational.
PinDown:Youcangetthisatlevel15,butifyouaretryingtofindawaytokeepenemiesclosewithout
usingyourown5footstep,thisisgreat.Thiscanalsobeviciouswhenusedwithreach.Iftheytrytochargeyou,
tripthemwithyourAoO.Iftheytryto5footsteptogetcloser,useanAoOtopreventthemfrommoving.
Especiallywonderfulforyourarealockdownbuildinvolvingtripand/ordaze,literallypreventinganythingfrom
moving.
StageCombatant:IputthisherefortheDMswhodontallowenforcertoworkwithfrostbite(though
theyshouldbefewandfarbetween).Makesitpossibletodealnonlethaldamagewithoutworryingaboutthe4
tohit.
Lunge:Awonderfulfeat,thisallowsyoutospellcombatwithouthavingtocastdefensively.Reachis
awesometohave,andthe2toACisnttoobigofadeal.Thoughthisreachdoesntlastforattacksof
opportunities.
WeaponFinesse:Ifyourdexteritybased,YES!Getthis.
DervishDance(TheInnerSeaWorldGuide):Youdealmoredamage.Actuallyalotmoredamage.
Assumingyourdexteritygetsuptoaround30,its+10moredamageperhit,assumingyouhave10strength.But
ifyourcampaignallowstheagileweaponenchantment(PathfinderSocietyFieldGuide),likeinPFS,Idratethisa
littlelower.Featsaremoreimportantthangold.Onlyforscimitars,andunlessyou'rehumanyouhavetowait
untillevel3.
SlashingGrace(AdvancedClassGuide):Anoddball.Notethatitonlyaddsdexteritytodamage,not
dexteritytoattack,andsoifyouwantthefullbenefitsofdexteritywithaonehandedslashingweaponyoudhave
totakea1leveldipintoswashbuckler(Notabaddecisionoverall,actually).Wouldbepurpleiftherewasntadip
requirementtogetfullmileage.Butnote:ifyoutakethedip,youcangetthisatfirstlevel.

CRITICALFEATS

ImprovedCritical:ItseitherthisorgettingKeenonyourweapons.Exchangingfeatsformoney=bad.
Thereareotherbetterfeatoptionsavailable.
CriticalFocus:+4tocriticalconfirmationrollsisnicetohave,butwhatyoureally,reallywantisthestuff
thatfollows.NotethatIratethestuffwithsaveslower,becausetheyhaveachancetofail.Thesaveforanyof
these(unlessnotedotherwise)isBaB+10fortitudesave.
CriticalMastery:Yes,youcanqualifyforthisnowasaKensai,allowingyoutohavetwocriticaleffectson
yourenemies.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

13/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

*AccursedCritical:Requiresaspelltocriticallyhit,whichiseasierforyouthananyotherclass.Though
youdonthavethespellcurse,sodontbotherwiththis.
*BleedingCritical:Nosave,2d6(7average)bleeddamagethatstackswithitself.Thisisareallygoodone
inmyopinion,italwaysworks,andunlesstheywanttospendanactiontostopthebleedingorhavesomeone
magicallyhealthemitsgonnahurt.AnditstacksJustwowonthatpart.Itsquitepossibletobedealing6d6
bleedafteraroundortwo.ThisdoesNOTstackwithotherbleedeffectsthough,sochooseeitherthisorthe
ArcaneEdgearcana.
*BlightedCritical:Sinceyoullbehavingspellscriticalhit,theseareworthtalkingabout.Thelesserblights
arenotthatgoodgenerally,anditschosenrandomly.So,eh.ThebestoneIseeformidcombatpotentialis
RitualisticObsession,increasingcastingtimesevenforquickenedspells.Overall,Ifeelthatspellblightsaretoo
situational.
*BlightedCriticalMastery:Choosewhatspellblighttoapply.Ifyouwanttospendtwofeatsgettingspell
blights,IdratherchooseGreaterBlightedCriticalandrolltoseewhattheygetthanhavingtochoosewhatminor
spellblighttoapply.
*GreaterBlightedCritical:Anyoneofthesecanreallymessoveracaster.IpersonallylikeSpellSap,which
involvesafortitudesaveorbedazed,whichistraditionallylowforcasters.
*BlindingCritical:Adecentoption,blindisaVERYgooddebuff,especiallyifyouhavearogueinyour
partywhocannowgetsneakattacksoffontheblindedtargetwithoutanyflanking.Nottomentionthatyour
targetnowhasa50%chancetomiss.Thedownsideis,onceagain,thesave.Iftheysucceed,yourtargetgetsa1
toattackrolls,whichisalright
*CripplingCritical:Halveatargetsspeed.Thiscouldbegoodforthefrostbitebuildifyouthinkaboutit:
Halftheirspeedandhalveitagain.Buthonestly,Idontlikethisonesomuch,sinceyouWANTtobeinmelee,
andtheotherusesareforfleeingcharacters.
*DeafeningCritical:BeingdeafenedisnttoogoodIcanseeitbeingusefulforspellcastersbutnotfor
anythingelse.Pass.
*DispellingCritical:Imkindofehonthisone.Itssavessometimetogetadispelout,butyoucanalso
castdispelmagicwithspellcombat.Soitdoesnthelpyouthatmuch,Idpreferagreaterdispellingweapon,
becauseitincreaseyouroddsofthedispelworking,anditdoesntrequireaswiftaction.
*ImpalingCritical:Thissoundscool,buttakesawayfromyourabilitytousespellstrike.Nottomention
thatitrequiresapiercingweaponThereareother,betteroptions.
*ImprovedImpalingCritical:Notmuchofanupgradeforafeatwedidntreallywanttobeginwith.Pass.
*SickeningCritical:Notforthefrostbitebuild,sincesickeningyourenemiesisalreadyonthatlist.Thiswill
automaticallydebufftheenemy,fora2toattackrollsanddamage.Idpersonallygetsomethingelse.
*StaggeringCritical:Agreatoption.Ithasasavebuttheleastthathappensisthattheyarestaggered
foroneroundinsteadof1d4+1rounds.Staggeredisapowerfuldebuff,andsinceyoullbelandingcriticalhits
often,thisisagreatchoice.
*StunningCritical:Alsoagoodoption,beingstunnedmeansyoucantdoANYTHING.Iftheysucceed,they
arestaggeredfor1d4rounds.Inandofitself,averygoodfeat,butyouwouldalreadyhavestaggeringcritical,and
Ioftenfindthatsgoodenough.Nottomentionyouhavetowaituntillevel17togetthis
*TiringCritical:Fatiguedisntthatgreatofadebuff.Pass.
*ExhaustingCritical:Exhaustedisprettygood,butnotworthtwofeats.Pass.
*Onlyonefeatwithanasteriskcanbeusedonanyonecriticalhit,unlessyouhavecriticalmastery,then
youcanapplytwoofthese.

METAMAGICfeats(ofnote):

Quicknotehere,youdontwanttobegettingtonsofmetamagicfeats,yourenotafullcaster,youdont
havethespellslotstojustifythat.Instead,getoneortwothatllyouwilluseoften,andthengettherestas
metamagicrods.Youhavetobeholdingametamagicrodtouseitthoughwelltalkabouthowthatworksina
bitintheitemssection.Sinceyouarelimitedsomuchonspellslots,Illberatingmetamagicfeatswithmorethan
a+1tothespelllevelalittlemoreharshly.
IntensifiedSpell:Ummmyes?Thiswillturnyourshockinggraspfromyournumberonedamagespellfor
5levelstonumberonedamagespellfor10levels,ifnotmore.
RimeSpell:Areallygoodchoiceifyouplanonusingfrostbitealot.Eventhoughitonlylastsoneround
(withfrostbite),itdoesaddmoretothedebuffing.Andsincefrostbitelastsmultipleroundsworthofcombat,you
willbeabletoentanglemultipleenemies.Ifyou'renotgoingtobeusingfrostbitealot,dontgetthis.
QuickenSpell:Itsaclassicbutreallynotthatgreatforyou.+4spelllevelsthathurtsalotforsomeone
whodoesnthavealotofspellslotstobeginwith.Therearebetteroptionsoutthere.Ifyoureallywantthis,
consideritsmetamagicrodequivalent,orgetspellperfection.
ElementalSpell:Beingaonetrickponycansucksometimes,relyingonshockinggrasporfrostbiteonly
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

14/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

meansthatyoucanhaveabaddayagainstenemiesimmunetoelectricalorcolddamage.ElementalSpellcan
makeitnotsucksobad,especiallyifyouknowyouwillbefightingthosekindsofenemiesthatday.
PenetratingSpell:BypassingSRisgreat,thisgivesyou+5spellpenetrationfor+1spelllevel.Ifyouare
havingtroubleconqueringSpellResistance,takeit,theresnotmanymeleetouchspellslevel4andbeyond
anyways.
EmpowerSpell:Increasesspellvariablesby50%.So,a4thlevelshockinggraspwoulddeal6d6damage.
Myissuewithitisthatitsa+2tothespelllevel.Sobleh,goodforametamagicrod.Averagedamageincrease
withCL10shockinggraspis17.5.
MaximizeSpell:Spellvariablesautomaticallydeal100%damage.Soa5thlevelshockinggraspnow
automaticallydeals30damage.Prettysweet,thoughIdgetthisasthearcana,sinceitdoesntincreasethespell
levelthatway(thoughitisonlyonceperday).AveragedamageincreasetoaCL10shockinggraspis25
DazingSpell:Ireallylikethisone.TraditionalMagitrytoavoidsaveeffects,sincetheyknowtheir
intelligencewontbetooterriblyhigh.Kensaiwanthighintelligence,andsothesavesonthiscanbecomefairly
difficulttoresist.Agreatchoiceforametamagicrod,useitonfrostbitebeforebattleandforthefirstfewrounds
youllbedazingfoesrightandleft.Greatforarealockdownbuildstoo.Usingitonfrostbitedoesdiminish
effectivenesslaterinlevelsthough.
SpellPerfection:Thiscanbegreatforusewiththoseburstytouchattackspells.QuickenSpellisanatural
lineuptouseasyourfreemetamagic,andshockinggraspmakesagreatspelltofocusonto.Thefeatdoeshave
somelengthyprerequisites,makingyouhavetochoosebetweenCriticalfeatsorthis,butifwanttofocusmore
onspellcasting,thisiswhatyoushouldaimfor(Ifyourgameiscampaignisgoingtomakeitintothehigher
levels).
HeightenSpell:MakeaspellahigherlevelforthesakeofmakingitahigherlevelHmmm,itonlyreally
helpsoutwithsavespells,orforothermetamagicthathavevaryingeffectsbasedonspelllevel(suchasDazing
SpellandRimeSpell).Inmostcases,thisisjustaprerequisite.
PreferredSpell:Sinceyoudonthavespellrecall,thiscanbeverygood,allowingyoutochoosebetween
thoseutilityspellsyoudontneedtodayandyoureincombatspellsofchoice(probablyshockinggrasp,itreallyis
thatgood).Greenbecauseoftheprerequisite.

TheDimensionalFeats:

Justwantedtotakeasidenotehereandmentionthese.Theyareawesome,thoughitsquitefeat
intensiveandrequiresa4thlevelspellperuseThatsa16kpearlofpowerforanextrauseeveryday.Soits
quiteexpensive,butitcanbeveryeffective.Itislategameusetoo,becauseoftherequirements,soitwouldbe
replacingcriticalfeats.Afterlookingatthem,theyaremoresuitedforthetraditionalmagus,whohasspellrecall
andcantradetwoarcanepointsforadimensiondoor.But,ifyouwanttoseewhattheyare
DimensionalAgility:Thisfeatletsyouuseyourmoveactionandswiftactionafteryoucastdimension
door.Soaquickenedspellforafreeweaponattackwouldwork.Thoughyoustillcouldfullattack,andthenuse
dimensiondoorviaspellcombat,thenuseyourquickenedspell.Sothisfeatdoesntaddtoomuch.
DimensionalAssault:ThisoneIcouldcarelessfor,itjustallowsyoutochargethroughroughterrain.Or
youcouldjustteleportnexttothemandfullattackafteryougetthenextfeat,justsaying.
DimensionalDervish:Officially,youcanfullattackandcastthisspellasaswiftaction.Awesome!Andif
youwanttoteleportbetweenattacksyoucanwithoutexpendinganymoreusesofdimensiondoor!Ifyoudont
useallofyourteleportationdistance,youcangiveyourselfthespaceyouwantawayfromyourenemies.Thisis
thefeatthatyoureallywant.
DimensionalSavant:Giveyourselfflanking,anextra+2tohit.Soundsgoodtome!

7.Gear

Naturally,youwontbeabletogeteverygooditemyouwantrightoffthebat,sowhenreadingthrough
thesechoicesandconsideringwhatyouwant,dosomecomparisonandaskyourselfwhatismoreimportant.I
madethissectionwiththethoughtthatyoucouldreachlevel20withyourcharacter,whichhasaWBLof880,000
gold,whichisaTON.Hencewhytherearesomanyitemslisted,Ibringupagoodoptionforeveryslotofgearyou
canwear.

WEAPONS:

Choosingwhatweaponyouwilluseisaveryimportantdecision.Normally,flatdamageistheleading
factor,butbecauseofSpellStrike,yourweaponscriticalthreatrangenowappliestothespellsitdelivers.
Therefore,havingahighcriticalrangeisveryimportant.Iwillnotlistalloftheweaponsavailable,justthefew
bestandmostcommonlyused.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

15/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

Wakashaszi1d61820x2lightweapon:Thisisoneofthefirstoptionsto
considerwhendecidingtogowithadexteritybuild.Itcanbeweapon
finessedimmediately,butitrequirestheagileenchantmenttogetdexterity
todamage.
Scimitar1d61820x2onehandweapon:Verycommonweaponofchoice
formagi,simplybecauseofthedervishdancefeat.Samestatsasthe
wakizashi,thoughnotethatyoucannotgetthebenefitsofthedueling
enchantmentwiththisweapon.
Rapier1d61820x2onehandweapon:Thegotoweaponforduelingflavor.
Technically,thisisbetterthanaWakizashibecauseitsmorecommonand
ithasafewmoreHP,unlessyouplanonusingquickdrawtoduelwield
everyotherround,thenthisfallsbehind.
Katana1d81820x2onehandweapon:WeaponofchoiceformostKensai
magi,bothstrengthanddexterity(WhenSlashingGraceisavailable).Asa
remindertostrengthmagi,whenyoudontcastaspellwieldyourweapon
withbothhandstoapplyextradamagefromstrengthandpowerattack.
OtheridenticalchoicesincludetheUrumiandtheRhokaSword,though
mostprefertheKatanaforflavor.
Whip1d320x2onehandweapon:UsedinafewrarecasesofKensaiwho
wanttofocusonarealockdown.Seethewhipbuildabove.Theweapon
itselfisreallynotthatgoodatall,theonlyreasonisitistheonlyone
handedweaponthathasreach,thoughittakesfeatstogetittothreaten.
Bardiche1d101920x2reach:ThisispossiblytheonlyweaponIcouldsee
someonedippingtwolevelsintobarbarianorthreelevelsintofighterfor
(Fromthesourcesmentionedatthebeginningatleast).Itgainsreachlikea
whipwithoutrequiringfeats.Ithasthebestcriticalthreatrangeforany
reachweapon,anddealsquiteabitofdamage.Thoughitsnotfinessable,
sostrengthmagionly.
Fauchard(ClassicHorrorsRevisited)1d101820x2reachandtrip:An
improvedversionoftheBardiche,ifyoucangetthisweaponandyouare
planningonusinga2hander,takethis.Inabitofanoutofthewaybook
though.

ElvenCurveBlade/SpikedChain:Imentionthesetwoforthosewhowishto
takeatwoleveldipintoTitanMauler(Barbarianarchetype)FortheElven
CurveBlade,youdippedtwolevelsfora2penaltyjusttogetanextra1
damageonaverageperhit?Nothankyou.Thespikedchainhasthesame
concept,thoughitsevenworsewhenyouconsiderthatitonlyhasa20x2
threatrange.
Youcanalsouseasmallweaponwithreach.Technically,atwohandedweaponbecomesaonehanded
weaponwhenitsonesizecategorysmaller.IfyougotasmallBardiche(orFauchard)asamediumcharacter,you
wouldtechnicallyhavereach.Butthatscheesy.Trytoavoidcheese,ok?

WEAPONENCHANTMENTS:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

16/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

Asanote,youshouldbecarryingmultipleweapons,sosituationalabilitiesareworthlookingatforthose
extraweapons.Whenitcomestoweapons,youreallyshouldntpayforaweaponwithatotalofbonuseshigher
than+5,becauseyourarcanepoolwilladd+5(atlevel17)anditcannotexceedthe+10limit.Therefore,youllbe
spending50,000goldformagicenchantmentsforyourendgameweapon,whileyourteammateswillbespending
200,000.Youcaneffectivelyget4timesasmanyweaponsasyourteammates.Iwouldcarryatleasttwoweapons
withyou.
Allying:Youretheoneattackingright?Notforyou.
Anchoring:Canprovidesomereally,reallyusefulutility,especiallysinceyouwillhavemultipleweapons.
Goodforoneofthosebackupweaponsthatyoumaybewillingtolose.TheonlyissueIseeisthatitusesaswift
actiontouse,andyoualreadyhaveaTONofswiftactionsthatyou'reusing.Butimagineusingthiswithreach.
Preventthemfrommoving,stepback,andstabatthemuntiltheyeithermovetheweapon(DC30strength,very
hardtodo)orsunderit(iftheydonthaveimprovedsunder,theyareprovokingattacksofopportunity).
Holy/Unholy/Anarchic/Axiomatic:Eh,2d6(7)istwiceasgoodasflaming,butitonlyworksagainst
certainopponents.Utilityandconsistencyiswhatyourelookingfor,pass.
Repositioning/Countering/Advancing:Moreeh.Thesecorrespondtoreposition,disarm,andtakinga5ft
stepasaswiftactionrespectively,noneofwhicharethatgreatofcombatmaneuversfortheKensai.
Bane:Situational,somaybeitsgoodforthatspareweaponyouhavewithghosttouchforthosepesky
undead.Butifyouplanongettingthebanearcana,passthis.
Benevolent:Youretheoneattackingright?Pass.
BrilliantEnergy:Thisonecanbegreatagainstheavilyarmoredfighters,butotherwiseitsfairlyuseless.
ButwhenitisusefulItsamazing.Putitonaspareweaponthough,orifyouwant,getitasthearcana.
Called:Teleportyourweaponbacktoyourhand,andusesaswiftaction.Iftheydisarmedyou,you
shouldvehadaweaponchainonsononeedforthis.Theothersituationscouldbe:itemisremovedfromyour
possessionduetostoryline,oryouwantyouranchoringweaponbackwithoutwalkingtoittoretrieveit.Orange
unlessyouknowyouwillbeusingit.
Conductive:Youdonthaveofthoseabilities,sonotforyou.Pass.
Corrosive/*Frosting/*Flaming/*Shocking:Youcangetthesewithyourclassfeature,exceptforcorrosive.
Whatisthemainpurposeofyourweapon?First:Tohityourtarget(Landingyourspellsismostimportant!).
Second:Todealdamage.Theyeachadd1d6damagetoeachweaponhit,anaverageof3.5damageper
successfulhit.Ifyouneeda10tohit,thenthats1.75moredamageonaverageperswing,thisisimportantwhen
comparingtotheburstenchantments
CorrosiveBurst/*FrostingBurst/*FlamingBurst/*ShockingBurst:Onceagainyoucangetmostofthese
withyourarcanepool.Inadditiontograntingthebase1d6(3.5)extradamage,youalsogeta1d10(5.5)onacrit.
Isitworthit?Assumingyouneeda10tohit,a15tothreat,anda2toconfirm(Withcriticalperfectionandcritical
focuswith5intelligence)youllbeadding1.5675damageperswing.Slightlyworsethanjusttheirbase
enchantments.Atlevel20though,thatnumberdoubles,makingitveryworthit.Alsoyoucanspend2arcane
pointstoincreaseyourweaponscriticalmultiplierby1whenyouconfirmacriticalhit.Thesecondoptionisnt
thatgreatunlessyouhadmultipleoftheseenchantmentsonyourweapon,oryouhavetonsofarcanepoolto
spend.
Courageous:Situational,butitcanbeEXTREMELYvaluableifyouaregettingmoralbonusesItcanalso
begoodifyouhaveaclericcastingblessoneveryone.That+1toattacksrollsjustbecame+3.TheresaLOTof
synergythatcanhappenwiththisweaponenchantmentandthewidelistofspellsavailable.Sotalkwithyour
partyandfindoutwhatbuffstheyllbepassingout.Ifyouhaverandomgroups,keepthisonasecondaryweapon.
Cruel:Verynicetohaveifyougowiththefrostbiteroute.Atargetwithanyformoffearisnowsickened
aswell.Verynice.Ifyoudonthaveawaytomakeopponentsshakened,dontgetit.
Cunning:Atrap,sinceyoudontneedanymorecriticalthreatconfirmationaddition,nottomentionits
notthatgreatofabonus.
Dancing:Aninterestingoption.Becauseyouonlyneedtopayfortheequivalentofa+5weapon(youget
therestthrougharcanepool,andyoucantexceed10),youllhavesomeextracashflowingaroundintheweapon
department.Alsosinceyoualmosthaveafreehandtograbit,youllbeabletoretrievethisasafreeactionand
stowitawayasamoveactionYetitdoesntgetthebenefitsofyourstrengthordexteritymodifier,oryourfeats
tohit,sounlessyouhaveATONofmoneyflowingaround,passonthisone,andeventhen,reallyconsiderifyou
wanttospendastandardactiontogetaweaponfightingforyouthathitsratherrarely.
Deadly:Youarenotreallygoingtohaveissueswithnonlethalweapons.Ifyouuseawhip,WhipMastery
makesyourattacksdeallethaldamage(Andyoullprobablybegettingthatfeatifyouusewhips)
Defending:Canbegoodattimes,butarmorcostshalfasmuchasweaponssowhybother?Thisisreally
agoodoptionforabackupweapon,andonlyifyoufeellikeyoullbegettingattackedalot.
Defiant:Notworthit,unlessyougetanimprovedsavefeat(suchasimprovedgreatfortitude),thenthis
bumpsupquiteabitforthoseplanningontakingthebodyguardfeat(IfyourAChigh,theylltrytoaimforyour
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

17/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

saves).
Dispelling:Exchangea+1bonusforasituationalactioneconomysaver?Nah,nothanks,ifyouneeddispel
magicthatbad,justcastit,sincethespellismoreversatilethantheweapon.
GreaterDispelling:Sameasdispelling,canbutcanholdgreaterdispelmagic,anditcanaddyour
weaponsenhancementbonustwiceoverifyouuseitsabilityonacriticalhit.Thismakesitalittlemoreworthit,
sincecasterlevelchecksaretheissuewithdispelmagic.Yetitsnowa+2bonus.Agoodideaforoneofyour
secondaryweapons(Youknow,theonetokillmages).
Disruption:Imgoingtovoicemydislikeofsavesonitems:theyjustdontgethighenough.Passthemall.
Dueling:Doesntuseabonus,givesa+4bonusoninitiativecheckswhenitsdrawnThisisupyouralley.
Takeitwhenyoucanaffordit(level13+).NotethattheresanotherDuelingweaponenchantmentfromthe
PathfinderSocietyFieldGuidewhichisextremelygoodforcombatmaneuvers.Alsoablueenchantment
Furious:Notforyouunlessyouhaveragespellscastedonyoualotoryoudippedbarbarian,andthen
itsquitegoodforitscost(aslongasyouthinkyoullberaging100%ofcombat).
Furyborn:Youhavetohitthesametarget5timesormore(youspent2onit,so0+1+2+3+4=10,where
youcouldhavehad2+2+2+2+2=10)tomakethisbreakeven,andyoucannotattackotherenemies,sosay
goodbyetousingallofyourAoOsontheenemiespassingyou.Oryoucouldjustgetsomethingelse
GhostTouch:Situational,goodforthatspareweaponyoukeeparound,fortheoccasionalghost
encounter.Thoughifyouhavetheghosttoucharcana,thisbecomesalotlessvaluable.
Glammered:Flatcosthelpskeepyourweaponfrombeingstolenortakenfromyouduringafrisking,have
thisonatleastofyourweaponslategame.
Glorious:Dazzledisntthatgreat,andthesaveissolowthatbythetimeyougetthis,nobodywillbe
blinded.Notwortha+2bonus.
Grayflame:Notforyou.
Grounding:Toosituational.
Guardian:Killinganenemyismoreimportantthandefendingagainstattacks,sodontsacrificeyour
abilitytohitthemtoraiseyoursaves.
Heartseeker:Ignoreconcealment?Thatsreallygood,sincelandingblowsiswhatyoureallyneedtodo.
ThoughthiscanbesituationalthoughAtleastspareweaponworthy.
Huntsman:Notforyou.
Igniting:Catchingonfiredeals1d6ofdamage,andanadditional1d6damageforeveryroundtheydont
save.Notasgoodasaburstingweapon,sincethesavetoputoutflamesis15reflex.
Impact:Notworthitunlessyourweapondeals1d8ormorebeforethisbonus.A1d6(3.5)becominga
1d8(4.5)isanaverageincreaseof1damagewhereyoucouldgeta+2bonustoyourweapon.A1d8(4.5)
becomesa2d6(7),anaverageincreaseof2.5,alittlebetterProbablybetterforthestrengthmaguswhouses
polymorpheffectstoincreaseinsize.Notethatthisdamagedoesincreaseonacriticalhit.
Impervious:Flatcosttomakeyourweaponhardertobreak,awesome.Getthiswhenyouhavecash
pouringoutofyourpockets(literally,doyouknowhowmuch100,000goldweighs?).Alsogoodforyour
anchoringweapon
Invigorating:Justnotgoodenoughtojustifya+2bonuscost.
Jurist:Notforyou.
*Keen:YES!!!!!ThiscriesoutPICKME!OHPICKME!Your1820criticalthreatrangejustbecamea15
20.Unlessyouareusingawhiporgoingforareachweapon,youshouldALWAYSgetkeen(ortheimproved
criticalfeat).Always!
KiFocus:Notforyou.Unlessyoudecidedtogetstunningfist(oranyofthoseothermonkfeats),butthen
Iwouldhavetoaskyouwhyyougotafeatwithasavebasedonyourwisdomwhilenotbeingamonk
KiIntensifying:Notforyou.
Lifesurge:Situational,itdoessynergizewellwithvampirictouch,althoughitdoesntaddthatmuch.Id
consideritformybackupweaponthathasghosttouchonit,callitmyantiundeadblade.
Limning:Toosituational,pass.
Menacing:Situational,ifanallyNEEDSflanking,theyshouldbetheonetogetthis.
Merciful:Aninterestingoptionforthefrostbitebuild,butreallynotthatgreat.
MightyCleaving:Iguessifyougotcleavethiscouldbeinterestingbutwhygetcleave?Youdontwanta
lotofenemiesnearyou,yourenotthemeatshield.
Mimetic:SituationalagainElementalsdontdealtheirtypeinregulardamageunlesstheyarecastinga
spell,thoughadragondoesdoitstypeindamage.Itonlylastsfor1roundthough,sopassonitevenforthespare
blades.
Negating:Doesntreallyhelpmuch,sincethosetypesofdamagereductioncanbebypassedwitha+5
enhancementbonusonyourweapon,whichyoucangeteasilybythetimeyouconsiderthis.
Neutralizing/Quenching/Thawing:WAYtoosituational.
Nullifying:Decentbecausethemainthingblockingyourspellsissellresistancebutnotgoodenoughto
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

18/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

justifya+3bonus.
Ominous:Onceagain,toolowofasave.Thebonusonintimidatecheckscanbehelpfulforthefrostbite
build,butsucceedingonintimidatechecksisalreadyeasy.
PhaseLocking:VERYsituational,butifyourcampaigninvolvesalotofteleportingbadguys,thenitisa
*decent*option,sinceyouhavetohitthemeverysingleround.ThespellitselfisMUCHbetter.
Planar:Situationalagain.Andrememberthatalotofoutsiderdamagereductionscanbebypassedwith
weaponmaterials.
Seaborne:Situational,butworthconsideringforawaterbasedcampaign.
Speed:Youcancasthasteyourself,orgetbootsofspeed.Notwortha+3.
SpellStoring:Mediocretogood,dependingonwhatyourDMsaysaboutitsinteractionwithspellslike
frostbiteandchilltouch.Ifhesaysitcanholdcharges,allowingyoutogetthefulleffectofthosespellsfromthis
weapon,AWESOME!Takethis!(Essentially,itletsyouhaveyourweaponusefrostbiteforyou,whileyoucast
yourownspells)Ifnot,thenitsusefulforstoringvamparictouchfortheextraboosttoHPwhenyouneedit.This
alsosynergizeswellwiththeempoweredandmaximizedarcanas.Becausetheydontincreasethespellslevel,
theydstillfitinsideofaspellstoringweapon,makingthatemergencyvampirictouchevenmorepowerful.Ora
shockinggrasp.
Spellstealing:Ipersonallyreallylikethisability,althoughitisfairlysituational.Bythetimeyougetit,it
canbereallygood.ItaffectsSLA(SpellLikeAbilities)andSpells,soveryanticaster,andthefurtheryougetin
levels,themoreandmoreyouwillbefightingcreatureswithmagic.Secondly,youcanspend2pointsfromyour
arcanepoolandincreasethecriticalmultiplierby+1,soyoucouldpotentiallysteal2spells.Igiveitagreen.Ifyou
haveanantimageblade,thisshouldbeonit.
Stalking:Onlylastsonehit,andissituational.Pass.
Throwing:Pleasedontthrowyourweapon
Thundering:Thesaveisntthatgood,butsinceitsa+1bonusyoucangetitfairlyearlyonwhenitmight
work,thoughdeafenedisntthebestdebuff(makinganenemydeafenedpermanentlycanhaveinterestingrole
playpotential),andtheadditionaldamageisnotasgoodastheburstenhancements.BUTifyouwanttomakea
weaponwithALLofthecriticalhitprocs,thiscouldisanoptiontotopitoff(thoughwhy?YoudspendALLof
your10bonusesslotsforthose,andyoudbemissingKeen ).
Transformative:IdontreallyseethepointinthisforaclassthatfocusesonusingonlyONEkindof
weapon.
Valiant:Notforyou;
Vicious:Ifyouhadabout5DamageReduction,thiswouldbeworthit.Butyoudont.
Vorpal:MostoftheDMsIvehadhavebannedthis,butifitsnot,itisanoptionIdkeepitasaside
weaponpersonally,andtakeitoutforthosefightsthathavereallyhardtotakedownopponentsthatdieifthey
losetheirheads...Sinceyourcriticalconfirmationrollswillbeamazingbythispoint,whenyoudogeta20onyour
rolltheconfirmationshouldbeprettyeasy.Synergizeswellwithaluckdomaincleric(makestheoddsofa20a
9.75%chanceinsteadof5%).

WONDROUSITEMS(Justafewofnote):

BeltSlot:
BeltofConstitutionandDexterity/Strength:Bestbeltslotchoice,startoffwithabeltofdexterityorabelt
ofstrengthandthenwhenyouhavethemoneygetthebeltthatgives+6totwostatssoyoucanalsohave+6to
constitution(FortheHPandfortitudesaves).
BodySlot:
OtherworldlyKimono(67,000):AreyoumanenoughtowearaKimonowithblossomsonit?Asitturns
out,thisisinsanelygood,itcanreplacetheneedforacloakofresistance(whichonlygetsupto+5),adds+4(or6)
tocasterlevelchecks(suchaswhendispellingorovercomingspellresistance)anditcancastmaze,anosavespell
thatcanholdastupidcharactertrappedforalongtime(10mins).TheKimonodoescostabit,somoreworthitat
laterlevels,like15+.
RobeoftheArchmage(75,000):Mentioningthisbecauseitsalittlebitofatrap.First,theACbonus
doesntstackwiththeSilkenCeremonialArmorthatyoullbeenchanting.Second,SpellResistanceisadouble
edgedsword,itmakesitharderforyouralliestobuffyoutoo.Thebonustosavescanbecoveredbyacloakor
Kimono,andtheenhancementbonustocasterlevelchecksistheonlythingthatsofanygoodonthis.Pass.
FeetSlot:
BootsofSpeed(12,000):Agoodbackupplanforwhenyouorthepartywizardcantcasthaste,orwould
prefertobedoingotherthings.Butthatshouldbearareenoughoccurrence.
SandalsofQuickReaction(4,000):Sinceyouautomaticallygettoactinthesurpriseroundatlevel13,and
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

19/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

alsosinceyoullhavegreatinitiative,mightaswellgetafullattackoffonyouropponentsbeforetheyever
realizedyouwerethere.
Hands:
GlovesofArcaneStriking(5,000):Really,reallygoodforthebodyguardbuild.
GloveofStoring(10,000):Onewaytousemetamagicrods.Seethatsectionforafulldescription.
GauntletsoftheSkilledManeuver(4,000):Ifyouaregoingwithatripbuild,thesecanhelpyougetmore
tripsoff,+2bonus.Thoughitdoesntapplytotrippingstrike

HeadSlot:

JingasaoftheFortunateSoldier(5,000):+1ACandtheabilitytoavoidacriticalhitonyouonceperday.A
good,cheaperitemforyourheadslot.
CrownofConquests(24,600):Thisitem,whileexpensive,canbeaniceboonifyouneedmoreskillin
intimidate.Itsalsoniceforprayer,whichbothaidsyouralliesandhindersyourfoeswitheachcriticalstrike.
Moredebuffs,yay!

ChestSlot:

TunicofCarefulCasting(5,000):Add2toyourconcentrationchecks,oryoucangetspellguardbracers.
SippingJacket(5,000):Swiftactionuseapotion,notabadthing,butitdoesrequireprepwork.Lookat
theideasforwandstoseeiftheresanypotionsyoudliketohavemidcombat.
QuickRunnersShirt(1,000):Good,cheap,andverypowerful,thiswillallowyoutogetintopositionand
stillfullattack3timesaday.Doesuseaswiftthough.
HeadbandSlot:
HeadbandofIntelligence/Wisdom:Aswiththebelt,startwithintelligenceandwhenyouhavethespare
goldgettheheadbandthatgives+6totwostatssoyoucanalsohave+6towisdom(Forthewillsaves)

ShoulderSlot:

CloakofResistance(bonus^2*1000):Anexcellentbackslotitem,itscheapandhelpsyounotlose
againstspellcasters.
CloakofDisplacement,Minor(24,000):Iactuallyprefertheminorone,sinceitsaconstanteffectblur
(20%concealment),whereasthemajoroneonlyallows15roundsadayofitseffect,andsinceitdoesntmention
whatactionittakes,itsdefaultstoastandardaction(thoughitwasprobablyintendedtobeafreeaction).Agood
choice.
WristSlot:
SpellguardBracers(5,000):+2tocastingdefensively,andyoucanrerolldefensivecastingchecks3times
aday.Sweetdeal.
RingSlots:
RingofDeflection(bonus^2*2000):DeflectionbonustoAC,betterthannaturalarmorsinceitalso
increasesbothtouchandflatfootedAC.
RingofArcaneMastery(20,000):Ilikethisringjustfortheideaofstoringarcanepool.4arcanepointscan
reallyturnthingsaround.Lategameitemthough.
RingsofWizardry:Justwantedtonoteonthese,theyareNOTworthit.Hereswhy:Foryou,aringof
wizardryaddsatmost4morespellslotssinceyoureaKensaiMagus.PearlsofPowerarecheaper.Thetable
belowisthepricedifferences.TheONLYbenefitsisthatyoudonthavetospendminisculeamountsoftime
betweencombatsrecallingyourspells,andyoucanpreparealargevarietyofspells(thoughnotanymore).
Level
1
2
3
4

RingofWizardry
20,000gp
40,000gp
70,000gp
100,000gp

FourPearlsofPowerofequivelantlevel
4,000gp
16,000gp
36,000gp
64,000gp

ARMOR:

SilkenCeremonialArmor/Haramaki:Noarcanespellfailurechanceorarmorcheckpenalty,eitherofthese
willbewhatyouwillbewearing.+1AC,butmoreimportantly,itcanbeenchantedwithouttherestrictionsof
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

20/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

bracersofarmor.AlsoconsiderMageArmorpotionsandwands,althoughMageArmorisnotonyourspelllistso
youdohavetomakeaUMDcheckof20.Butitlastsforanhour,soyouwonthavetomakethatcheckoften.
BetweentheHaramakiandSilkenCeremonialArmor,IusetheCeremonialarmormore,itseemsmoreflavorful
:P.
MithrilBuckler:BADIDEA.Magisusemithrilbucklerstoadd+1actotheirarmor,butsinceyouasa
kensailoseyourintelligencemodifiertoACwhenyouuseashieldorwearanythingmorethanlightarmor,thisis
aterribleidea.

METAMAGICRODS:

Metamagicrodsarehardtouse.Tousearod,youhavetobeholdingit,andthatcanbeaveryrough
thingtoaccomplish.Thesimplestapproachistobeatieflingwiththeprehensiletailracialtrait.Youcanholda
rodwithyourtailandcontinuefightingwithnoextraeffort,thoughthisisdebatable,socheckwithyourGM
beforemakingdecisionsbasedoffofthat.
Whenitcomestoactuallyhavinganotherarm,thereareacouplewaystodothis.First,andprobably
easiest,ispolymorphspells.MonstrousPhysiquehasacoupleformswithfourarms,thosewouldwork.Its
questionableastowhetherornotElementalBodycanassumeaformwithfourarms,butsinceElementalBodyis
alreadyreallygoodforyou,Iwouldntpushit.Dipping2levelsintoAlchemistandtakingtheVestigalArm
discoverygivesyouanotherarm.
Anotheroptioninvolvesglovesofstoring.Freeactiontakeoutarod,freeactionstoreyourweapon,cast
yourspell,freeactiontakeoutyourweapon,freeactionputawayyourrod.Lotsoffreeactions,whichcanlimited
byyourGM(nottomentionyoustillneedafreeactionforspellstrike!)
Thelastoptioninvolvesusingquickdrawtopulloutyourweaponafterusinganddroppingyour
metamagicrod.Animprovedfamiliarorunseenservantcanthenpickuptherod.Thedownsideofthisisthat
handingarodbacktoyouistechnicallyamoveactiononyourpart(Idarguethatitsastandardactiononyour
familiarspart,consideringthefeatDeceitfulexchange).Soanothermethodcouldinvolvehavingyourfamiliar
orunseenservantplacetherodintoanefficientquiverforyou.EitherA.Playerssaythathandinganitemto
anothercreaturerequiresthatcreaturetospendamoveaction(AstrictRAWinterpretation,probablynotRAI),or
B.theysaythatputtingaweaponorrodintoyoursheathrequiressomesortofcheck(AnonRAWconcept,
mostlyRAI).Ifnoneoftheseoptionsworkforyou,thenconsidermetamagicrodsonlyforoutsideofcombat
situations.
QuickenMetamagicRod(35,000;75,500):Thiscanbereallyawesome.Spewingoutacouplespellsina
singleroundcandealTONSofdamageandwilldropfoesquickly.Also,oneofeasiestonestousesinceyournot
modifyingthespellcastduringspellcombat.Onlygreenbecauseofitshighprice.
ExtendMetamagicRod(3,000;11,000):Greatforbuffing,thiswillmakethespellsyoulikemost(like
hasteorstoneskin)stayaroundlonger.Nottomentionthatthisrodisrathercheapincomparisontotheothers.
DazingMetamagicRod(14,000;54,000):Ireallyliketheideaofthisandfrostbite,sincefrostbitewillgive
youmanychancestodazeyouropponent.Ifyouarenotusingthefrostbitebuild,considerthisanorange.Dazeis
oneofthebestdebuffs,bytheway.
MaximizeMetamagicRod(14,000;54,000):Automaticallydealfulldamage,amaximizedshockinggrasp
willdeal30damageatlevel5.AgreatspelltousethiswithisVampiricTouch,sincethemoredamageyoudeal
youmoretemporaryhitpointsyougain(uptoalimitofhowmuchittakestokillthecharacter).
EmpowerMetamagicRod(9,000;32,500):Spellvariablesareincreasedby50%,thiscanaddalittlebit
moredamagetoyourShockingGrasporVampiricTouch,thoughIdpersonallygowithadifferentrodlike
maximize(thoughmaximizedoescostmore).
IntensifiedMetamagicRod(3,000;11,000):Ifyouwanttousethis,getitasafeat.Itonlyadds1tothe
spelllevel,andyoullbeusingitquitefrequently.
EchoingMetamagicRod(14,000;54,000):Metamagicrodsworkthreetimesaday,andapearlofpower
costs(spelllevel^2)*1000.So,a3rdlevelspellcostsyou9,000forapearl(27,000forthreepearls)or14,000for
arod(3timesaday).So,whendecidingtopurchase3rd,5thor6thlevelpearlsofpower,considerametamagic
rodofEchoinginstead,youllsavesomegold(thoughitsabitmoreofahassleworkingwithmetamagicrods)

Wands

Unfortunately,withouttheArcanaWandWielder,youcantusespellcombatwithawand.Furthermore,
sinceusingawanddoesntcountasacastingaspell,youdontgetspellstrikewiththemeither.Therearesome
benefitstothatthough.
Take,forexample,howthefrostbitebuildtendstohaveanactivetouchspellchargeonalmostconstantly.If
youbychancehaveaccesstotheWeaponWandspellfromtheInnerSeaMagicbook,ormorethantwohands,
youcanusewandsevenwhileholdingthecharge.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

21/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

Withthatcombinationinmind,considerthefollowing:

Alwaysgood:

Truestrike:+20toyournextattack,thiswillalmostguaranteethatyournextwillhit.Especiallygoodfor
tripbuilds.
Shield:+4ACforoneminute,thisfreesupaspellslotortwo.
Vanish:Goodforgettingintobattleswithoutprovokingandscouting.
Grease:Greaseisjustagoodspell,ok?
UnseenServant:Excellentfordisarmsandwhenpurposefullydroppingweaponsorrods.
ExpeditiousRetreat:Youstillgetexperienceforrunningawayfrombattles,sowhynot?
Knock:Opentrappeddoorswithoutexposingyourself.
InfernalHealing(FromtheInnerSeaWorldGuide):Thefasthealingherewillhealyoumorepercharge
thanawandofCLWwill,buttakeslongertogainitsfullbenefits.
Invisibility:Whilealevel2spell,thiscanhelpyouscout,ortohelpyourentirepartysneakaround.

WithWeaponWand(andwandwielder):

MirrorStrike:Onlyreallyworthitwithweaponwandormultiplelimbs,andonlyifyourGMrulesthat
hittingtwotargetswiththesameattackeitherreleasestwochargesoffrostbiteortheconditionsrelatedto
frostbiteaffectbothtargets.
ShockingGrasp:Whileyoucantspellstrikewithit,youcanuseyourweapontodeliveriteffectswhile
usingweaponwand.Theweaponitselfdoesntdoanydamagewiththishitthough,butitbegsthequestionasto
ifoneofyourfrostbitechargeswillgooffwhentheweaponhits.

Also,ifyouhaveranksinUMD,considerthese:

MageArmor:Yourarmorbonuswillbelowerthan+4forawhile,thiscanbeagood,cheapalternativefor
thelowlevels.
CureLightWounds:Thestandardhealingwand,thisisactuallyalittlebitworsethaninfernalhealing.Itis
goodtogivetoafamiliarwhohidesnearyouandhealseveryround.

MISCELLANEOUS:

PolymorphicPouch(5,000):Ifyouareplanningonusingpolymorphspells,thiscanhelpalot,keeping
yourimportantcombatitemsaccessible.Ifyougetthis,putyourspellcomponentpouchinhere.
PearlsofPower(SpellLevel^2*1000):TheselittlebuggersareAWESOME.Morespells=moredamage.
Getthese,thoughtheybegintobeextremelypriceyafterthefirstfewlevelsofspells.

8.SpellList

SpellcastingisattheheartoftheMagus,butwithsomanyspellsavailable,itcanbecomehardtochoose
whichspellstolearnanduse.Atthesametime,itisamistaketoonlyhaveonespellthatyourelyon.Youshould
havealeast2differentdamagespellspreparedinadditiontoyourpreferredspell(suchasshockinggraspor
frostbite).Thiswillensurethatyouarenotuselessinanysituation.
HeresarundownofeveryspellavailabletotheKensai:

Level1

AdjuringStep:Youcan'tattackwhileusingthis,sopass.
Blend(Elf):Agoodideaforscouting,sinceitmakesitsoyoucanusethestealthskillanywhereevenwhena
monsterisusingseeinvisibility.DoesnotbypassTruesightthough.Also,toosituationaltohaveprepared
everyday.
BurningHands:AgreatlowlevelAoEdamagespell,thoughyourpartymightgetmadatyoufordestroyingitems
theywouldprefertosell.
ChillTouch:Agreatwaytodealwithundead,thiscanbeagoodbackupspellthatwilllastyouforseveralrounds
whenyoufaceenemiesimmunetoyourotherspells.
ColorSpray:Averygoodlowlevelspell.Thiscan,asothershavesaid,makeGMscry.Itofcourseloses
effectivenessasyoufacetougherenemies.Everymagusbelowlevel3shouldhaveoneoftheseprepared.After
level56,stoppreparingit.
CorrosiveTouch:Inferiortoshockinggrasp,butitcanserveasabackupspellforfacingenemiesimmuneto
electricity.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

22/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

EnlargePerson:Adecentlowlevelbuff,ifyouwantreachthisisthewaytogo.Itisafullroundcasttime,sono
spellcombat,andthestatadjustmentsisgearedforstrengthbasedmagus.
ExpeditiousRetreat:Utilityspellsarenicetohave.Thisisoneofthosewandcandidatesthough,sinceyou
probablywontusethiseveryday.
FeatherFall:Areyouafraidofheights?Itsgoodtohaveoneofwhendoingadungeoncrawl(pittrapsbeware!)or
adventuringonamountain.Ifnot,thendontprepareit.
FlareBurst:Dazzledisntthatgoodofadebufftogiveyourenemies.Pass.
FloatingDisk:Thiscanhavesomegoodutility,thoughyoudonthavethatmanyspellslotstobeginwith.Awand
offloatingdiskwillgetthesamejobdoneeffectively.
Frostbite:Thespellitselfisdecent,1d6+CLnonlethaldamageplusfatigued.Therealsweetnessisthedebuffsyou
canstackontoit,andthefactthatyougetmultipletouchespercasting.Thatsonlyifyouinvestinitthough.
Grease:Agoodlowlevelcrowdcontrolspell.Ipersonallydontcareforittoomuchsincetherescolorspray,
thoughhavingawandofitonbackupforgrapplingisagoodidea.
HydraulicPush:Bullrushfromadistance,oravoidanAoO.Ipersonallypreferusingawandoftruestrikeandthen
pushingthem,becauseitworksmoreeffectively.Atlaterlevelsthough,thiscanbeanideaifyouwanttobull
rushwithoutlosingallofyourattacks.
IllusionofCalm:Defensivecastingbecomesreallyeasylater,butatlowlevelsitcanbeachallenge.ThoughIdont
thinkitsworthaspellslottopreparetocastanotherspellwithalesserchanceoffailure,especiallysinceyoucan
takea5footstepback.
Ironbeard(Drawf):Theextraarmormighthavebeenhelpful,buthavinga20%chancetofailalargelistofspells
makesthisabadchoice.
Jump:Youcantjumpfartherthanyourspeed,sothisislimitedtooutofcombatuses.
JuryRig:Temporaryfixeruper.Nah,nothanks.
Linebreaker(Orc):AmericanFootballisnowasportamongtheorcs!Regardless,thisonlyreallyhelpsifyouplan
onbullrushing.
LockGaze:Canbeniceifyouwanttobeatank,buttypicallyyoudon'twanttobeatank.Willsaveendsittoo.
Longshot:Youdon'tusebows.
MagicMissle:Doesntdoallthatmuchdamage,andyourinmelee,sothisspellisntquiteforyou.
MagicWeapon:Doesntlastlong,anditdoesntstackwithmasterworkweapons,whichyoullhavebylevel2.
Pass.
MirrorStrike:Thiscanbeagoodwaytospreaddamageacrossseveralweakerfoes,butthenagainitonlyworks
foroneattack.Itdoespresentquestionsaboutstatuseffects.Ifyouareusingfrostbite,forexample,doboth
targetsbecomefatigued?Buteveninthatsituationitsnotthatgoodasaspell(asawand,maybe)
Mount:Goodutilityfortravelinglongdistances,considerhavingitinyourspellbookbutnotonyourdailylist.
Mudball(Goblin):Withspellcombatatlowerlevels,thisisntahalfbadspellatlowerlevels.Blindisavery
effectivedebuff,especiallyifyouhavearogueintheparty.
NegativeReaction:Anoutofcombatspellthatcanhavesomeutilityinsomerarecircumstance.Pass.
ObscuringMist:Canyouseethroughmist?Youllbegivingyouandyourenemiesinmeleecombathigher
chancestomiss.Ifyouarealoneandsurroundedbyseveralenemies,orarebeingtargetedbyfoesatrangethisis
agoodidea.Otherwise,youwontreallywanttouseit.
RayofEnfeeblement:Agoodrangedtouchattack,thoughyouwontbeusingraysallthatoften.
ReducePerson:Asosobuffevenfordexteritymaguss.Youllget+1toattack,butyoulllose12pointsof
damagealongwithit.
RechargeInnateMagic(Gnome):Yay,yougetonemoreuseofyourgnomespelllikeabilitiesNotforyou:P
ReinforceArmaments:Temporarilygetridofthefragilequalityoryoucangiveyourweaponthemasterwork
qualityfortenminutes.Fornormaluse,thisonlyhelpsoutatlevelonewhenyoudonthaveamasterwork
weapon.Butifyoudecidethatyourweaponsarepronetobeingsundered(suchaswhenusingtheAnchoring
weaponenchantment,seethespecialtacticssectionofthisguide)thenthisbecomesaveryusefulspell.
ReturningWeapon:Youshouldn'tbethrowingyourweaponsO.o.
Shield:Umm..yes?Untilyougetawandofshield,thisisagreatideatohave.Automatic+4ACisgoldenfora
meleecharacter.
ShockShield:NotaspowerfulastheshieldspellforAC,andit'sdamagealsoeffectsyou,pass.
ShockingGrasp:Yourgotodamagespell.Damagefromthisisreallybursty(dealsdamageallatonce)meaning
youllhaveabetterchanceatliving(sinceyourfoewillbedeadatyourfeet).The+3tohitisamazing,anditDOES
affectyourspellstrikeattempt.
SilentImage:Greatutility,itcanlureenemiesinclosertoyouwhileyourpartyliesinambush.Alsogreatpotential
outsideofcombatwheninteractingwithNPCs.
StoneFist:Youcantchooseunarmedstrikesasyourchosenweapon,sotheresnoreasonforthisspellforyou.
TrueStrike:Asaspell,itsalright,thoughIdprefertodomoredamage.Lateronthough,awandoftruestrikeis
amazingtohaveagainstthosehardtohitopponets.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

23/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

UnerringWeapon:Ifyouwantabetterchanceforconfirmingcriticalhits,thiswillhelp,thoughithastobecastin
themiddleofcombattobeeffective...Iwouldsaypass,butthiscanreallyhelpouttheoddsofhavingtripping
strikework,andyouwillbethreateningfrequently.
UnseenServant:Unseenservantswillallowyoutodropweaponsandrodswithouttheworryofenemiespicking
themup.Iftheycanputstuffintoyourbagsandsheathswhileyou'refighting,theyaregolden.Ifyouplanon
doingthat,thengetawandofUnseenServantinsteadofpreparingaspellslotwhenyoucanaffordit.
Vanish:Yourgetoutofjailcardforscouting,andgettingintoandoutofposition.Onlyroundsperlevelthough,so
itsquitelimited.Goodtohaveawandofthisoutandreadywhilescouting.
WardingWeapon:Around/levelnolongerneedtomakedefensivecastingchecks.Thatcanbenice,though
castingaspellfordefensivecastingisjustlikenotcastingaspellforaroundsoyoudontriskwastingaspell,but
worse...

Level2

AblativeBarrier:AtfirstIthoughtthisspellwasntthatgreat,sincethereareotherbuffsyoudratherhave.But
thenIrealizedthatitsdurationwasmeasuredinhours.So,thisbecomesadecentdefensivebuffthatyoucast
whenyouenterthedungeon.Converting50pointsofdamageintononlethaldamageisprettygoodforalevel2
spell,especiallyifyouhavealotofspellslots.
AcidArrow:Ihonestlydontcareforthisspell,youspecializeinbeinginmeleeandthedamageisntthatgreat.At
higherlevelsthis*might*beaanorangeinsteadofared.
AlterSelf:Polymorphspellsareonlyreallygoodiftheygrantamazingstatsorsomeutility(suchasreach).This
canprovidesomeearlydarkvision,butyougiveupyourownracialsforitsduration.Pass.
AnimalAspect:TheonlybuffthatstandsouthereistheRaptorAspect,inthosesituationswhereyouneeda
continuous+20toyourspeed.Ifindthatnotgoodenoughtowarrantalevel2spellthough,asa3rdlevelspell
you'llgethasteanywaysandatlevel1youhaveexpeditiousretreat.
BearsEndurance:Itllprobablybeawhilebeforeyougetabeltwithconstitutiononit,sothisisagreatbuff.
BestowWeaponProficiency:Youretheonethat'ssupposedtohitthings,right?Mightbedecentforafamiliar...
BladedDash(InnerSeaMagic):Thiscanbeusefulforgettinginandoutofcombat.Thiswillallowyoutofull
attackandrunawayorclosethegapandthenfullattack.Thismakesforgreatearlylevel,midcombatmobility
options.Themovementdoesntprovokeattacksofopportunityeither.
BloodTranscription:IFYOUAREEVIL,thisisagoodspelltohaveinyourspellbook,butinyourspellslotsona
dailybasis.Thiswillallowyoutogetmorespellsintoyourspellbookwithouthavingtopaygold.
Blur:Ifindthisspellinferiortomirrorimage,butitcandomoregoodifyouarefighting3or4backtoback
encountersandthedurationlaststheentiretime.Otherwise,gowithmirrorimage:).
BrowGasher:Ifyouropponentshavenohealers,thiscanbeprettynice,iftheylivepast3rounds.After5rounds
they'reblindandnowcontributingverylittletocombat.
BullsStrength:+4bonustostrength,meh.Mightbegoodatfirst,butifyoureallyneedstrengthyoullbegetting
abeltwithit.
BurningGaze:Usesastandardtogiveyouastandardactionattack.Notforyou.
CatsGrace:Sameasbullsstrength,butfordexterity.Gooduntilyougetabeltofdexterity,whichisntfaroffby
thispoint.
Darkness:Indimlightthiswillgiveeveryonesomeformofconcealmenttothosewithoutdarkvision.Onlyhelpsif
yourentirepartyhasdarkvisionthough.
DefensiveShock:Onlyworksifyourhit,andyouwanttoavoidthat...
EffortlessArmor:Withthisspell,youcanwearsomearmorswithouttakingapenaltytoyourattackroll,though
you'dstillsufferthearcanespellfailurechance.I'dpass.
ElementalTouch:Thisisactuallyreallynice,givingyouaspellthatcantargetacreatureselementalweakness.It
hasthelastingeffectlikeChillTouchandFrostbite,sopreparing1/dayforthosemonstersimmunetoyourother
touchspellsisagoodidea.Theelectricalversionofthisspelloffersastaggereffectonafortitudesavetoo,which
isveryniceforlowlevels.Itdoesntscaleatall,soitdiminishesineffectivenessasyougainlevels.
EscapingWard(Halfing):Youwanttobeinmelee,notgetout.
FireBreath:Astandardactiontogiveyourselfastandardactionattack.Again,pass.
FlamingSphere:Notthebest,onlyreallyefficientifthetargetsstaystilltheentiredurationandfailtheirreflex
saves(ReflexCOMPLETELYnegatesthis).
FogCloud:Asobscuringmist,butatrange.Mightbeusefultopreventarchersformshootingyou,butobscuring
mistcandothatto.
FrigidTouch:Nosave,4d6damageandstaggered.Ifitsacriticalhit(whichyougetalotof)theyarestaggeredfor
1min.Winspell.Atleasthaveoneofthese:)
Glitterdust:Thiscanbeexcellentbattlefieldcontrol,andallowsforarogueinthepartytotakeadvantageof
sneakattacks.Itstaysasagreatwaytodealwithinvisiblecreaturesthroughoutalllevels,butyouneedtoknow
wheretheyarefirst.Ifyou'reokaywiththethoughtofblindingyourself,castitinyourownsquaretomakesure
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

24/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

yougetthoseinvisiblemeleeattackers:).
GroundSwell(Dwarf):Theresbetterspellsthanthis,allitreallyseemstodoitpreventflanking.Pass.
GustingWind(Slyph):Asflamingsphere,butattemptsbullrushesandonlydeals1d6nonlethaldamage.
GustofWind:Thishassomegoodutility,thoughitsnotaprepareeverydayspell.Couldbegoodtohaveinyour
spellbookhowever.
ImbuewithElementalMight(Sulis):Mightbeusefulifyouhadamonkintheparty,butthechancesofthatAND
youbeingaSulisisprettylow...
Invisibility:Vanishcangetmostjobsdone,makinginvisibilitylessimportant.Butinvisibilityisnotlimitedtojust
yourself,sothisisworthconsideringonceyouhavealotofspellslots.
Levitate:Sinceyourelyonattackrolls,thisdoesnthelpyouatallincombat.Nottomentionyouwanttobein
meleeButoutsideofcombatitcanhavesomeutility.
MinorImage:Silentimagewithsound!Silentimagewilltakecareofgetanyjobyouneeddone,makingminor
imagesanditsimprovedversionssomewhatuseless.
MirrorImage:UmmYes?Thisgivesyoubetterchancestoescapeahitthananyotherformofconcealment.I
cannottellyouhowmanytimesthishassavedmycharacterslife.
Mount,Communal:Prettyniceifyourpartyhasnomountsandyou'retryingtogetfrompointAtopointB.I
wouldn'tprepareiteveryday,butit'sworthknowing.
PilferingHand:Thisspellcanactuallyworkfordisarmandstealcombatmaneuvers,butasituationIdpreferitin
istryingtodisableatrapfromadistance.Ifyou'rethepartyscout,getthis.Ifnot,thenwellIpersonally
wouldntgetit.
Pyrotechnics:Fordebuffing,thisisgreat,thoughitdoesntprovidetoomuchutility.Youllbeinmeleetoo,sothe
firewouldhavetobeperfectlyplacedtonotaffectyouwhileaffectingthecreatureyou'reengaging.
ReinforceArmaments,Communal:Asit'ssingletargetversion,butbythispointalmosteverybodyhas
masterworkorbetterweapons,sopass.
ReloadingHands:You'renotgoingtobeusingrangedweapons...
ReturningWeapon,Communal:Throwingthingsisrude!
SavageMaul(HalfOrc):Notforyou,sinceyourattacksduringspellcombatarelimitedtoyourweapon.
ScorchingRay:Ifyou'repreventedfrombeinginmelee,thisisagoodspelltohave.Otherwise,pass.
Shatter:Notreallythatuseful.Also,youwon'tbefightingcrystallinecreaturesthatoften,anditsnotanybetter
thanshockinggraspinthatregard.Pass.
SpiderClimb:Notthatusefulforyou,youwanttobeinmelee,andifyouneeditlater,theresfly.
StoneCall:Agoodwaytocreatedifficultterrain,anditcausessomedamage.Decentbattlefieldcontrol.
StoneShield(Oread):IMTHEAVATAR!ThisspellalwaysremindsmeofearthbendersfromAvater:TheLast
Airbender.Itshouldbealevel1spellthough,sothisbecomesnotsogreat.
TacticalAcumen:Notreallyforyou,sinceitdoesn'tstackwitharcaneaccuracy.Nottomentionit'sdurationis
reallyshort.
TelekineticAssembly:Nicetohave,ifyoureplanningonusingsiegeenginesalot.Thisisonlyworthlookingatfor
thosecampaignswithlotsofsiegeengines.
TwistedSpace:Ifindthatthisisquitesituational.Nottomentionthatithasasave,yuck.
Web:Agreatspelltohaveifyouaregoingtobeadventuringintoacave.Outintheopen,itsucks.Goodtoknow,
andgoodtopreparewhenyouknowyoullneedit.

Level3

AnimalAspect,Greater:Theimprovedboonsarereallynogood,especiallywhencomparedtosomethinglike
haste.
AqueousOrb:Betterforwizardswhotraditionallyhavemoveactionsavailabletomovetheorbaround.Notso
goodforyou,sinceyouusemostofyourmoveactions.Thisspellisthematicallyawesomehowever,Iwonderif
theresawaytofreezethewaterwhiletherearecreaturesinit...
ArcaneSight:Goodforscouting,itallowsyoutoknowalmostexactlywhatyou'regoingtobefightinginthenext
room.Toobaditsalevel3spellthough,itwouldhavebeenniceasalevel2.Ifyouscoutalot,considermakingit
permanent.
BeastShapeI:Seepolymorphingsectionforwhythissucks.
Blink:Outnumbered?A20%misschancewonthurtonecharacterasmuchas20%misschanceonseveral
creatures.Thisspellalsoallowsyoutowalkthroughwalls...
BurstofSpeed:Ifyoureallyneedtogetbysomeone...useflyinstead.
CloakofWinds:Onlyreallyworthitifyou'refightingtinyorsmallercreaturesincludingswarms.
Daylight:Hassomeutility,thoughIwouldntgetitasathirdlevelspell.
DispelMagic:IhonestlydontlikeDispelMagictoomuch,sinceithasagoodchanceoffailurewithoutoffering
toomuchreward.Itdoesbecomebetterifyouhaveadispellingweaponthough.Italsohasgoodutilityusewhen
dealingwithmagicaleffectsoutsideofcombat.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

25/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

Displacement:Thisisnice,muchbetterthanblinkforavoidattacks,thoughitsnotasgoodasmirrorimageinmy
opinion.
ElementalAura:ElementalTouchisbettersinceitdoesntinvolveasaveanddoesnthurtallies...
Fireball:RawAOEdamageatrange.Itdealsasmuchdamageasshockinggrasp,butasAOEdamage.Reflexsave
forhalfthough.MAYBEhaveoneofthesepreparedaday,forwhenyoucatchagroupofenemiessittingnextto
eachotherwhilescouting:).
FlameArrow:Notethatthisspelldoesntnotgivetheflamingenchantment,meaningitstackswithit.Ifyouhave
anarcher/gunslingerinthegroup,theywillloveyouforthis.(ZenArchersespeciallybenefitfromthisduetothe
highamountsofattackstheyget).
FireTrail(Goblin):Typically,youaren'tmovingduringcombatThoughthisdoeshavesomegoodsynergywith
KirinPath,thelastfeatintheKirinStylefeatchain.
FireStream(Ifrit):Notthatgood,itrequiresconcentration(SonoSpellCombat)andonlydeals2d6perroundAoE
damage,withareflexsaveforhalf.Pass.
Fly:Yes?Flyingaroundat60ft/rdisgreat.Intelligentcreatureswilltrytostayawayfromyouandtakeyouout
fromrange.Thismakesgettingtothemmucheasier.Whenyoucangetoverlandflight,useyourspellslotsfor
somethingelse.
ForceHookCharge:Alittlemoresituationalthanothergapclosingspells,thiswillgetyoutoyourtargetandstill
allowyoutofullattack.Itispounce,thoughitignoresdifficultterrain,chasms,etcItalsomakesmethinkofthe
hookshotfromZelda.
ForcePunch:Damageisnotthereasonyoushouldusethisspell.Ifyouthinkyouropponentswillfailtheirsaves,
thiswillactlikeaquickbullrush.Theresalreadyalotofgreatlevel3spellscompetingforyourattentionthough.
GaseousForm:Utilityspellforgettingintooroutofareas,notaneverydayspellinmyopinion.
GloomblindBolts(Fetchlings):Essentiallyscorchingraywithablindingeffectandalevelhigher.Theblinding
effecthasareflexsave,soeh.
Haste:Yes?Probablythebestbuffspellinthegame,itaffectsmultipletargets,grantsanextraattack,bonusto
attackrolls,ACandreflexsaves.Theothergreatthingisthatitcountersanddispelsslow,oneoftheeffectsyou
oughttofearmost.
HydraulicTorrent:Theresmoreimportantspellstogetatthislevel,thoughitsbetteratbullrushingthanForce
Punch(UntilmonsterCMDgetstobeVERYhigh).
KeenEdge:Donthavekeenonyourweaponandyoudonthaveimprovedcritical?Thiscanhelp.Though
honestlyitsbettertogetthefeatortheweaponenchantment.
LightningBolt:Iliketheimageryofthis,thoughrealisticallyitsmorecommonthattheywillbeclumpedtogether
thaninastraightline.
LocateWeakness:Doesn'taddhardlyanythingtoyourdamage,andit'sa3rdlevelspell.Don'tgetthis.
MagicWeapon(Greater):Thegreatthingaboutthisspellisthatlaststheentireadventuringday.AsfarasIcan
tell,itstackswiththeweaponscurrentmagicalenchantments(andwithyourarcanepool),givingyouaflat
bonusthatlastsallday!
MajorImage:Imagesjustarenotyourspecialty,sosilentimagewilltakecareofall,ifnotmost,ofyourtactical
needs.
MonstrousPhysiqueI:Seepolymorphsection.
PhantomSteed:Agoodtohaveinyourspellbook,notpreparedeverydayspell.Essentiallymount,butbetter
(andeventuallygetsflying).
PrehensilePilfer(Vanaras):Doesntstackwithhaste,andaffectsthestealanddirtytrickmaneuvers,meaning
youdneedAgileManeuvers(fordexbuilds),ordoyou?Sincethetargetstailbecomesanaturalweapon,its
affectedbyweaponfinesse.Notreallyworthitthough,becauseofthereachandyoudneedafeatinordertonot
provokeanAoO.
RayofExhaustion:Verynicespell,onespellcanexhaustorfatigueonasave,asecondcastingautomatically
exhauststhem.Thoughtherearebetterdebuffsyoucangivewithyoulevel3spellslots.
ResilientReservoir(HalfElf):Requiresyoutobehit,whichyoudontwanttohavehappen.Ifyouknowyou're
goingtobetakingatonofdamage,oryouplanonbeingamasochistandhurtyourselfbeforechargingintobattle
thenthiscanbenice(YourGMmaynotlikethatthough).
SickeningStrike(Ratfolk):Aneffectthatstackswithanyotherspellyoucast,forcingyouropponenttomakeafort
saveeverytimeyouhitthemorbesickened.Nicebecauseyougetalotofattemptstolanditseffects.
SleetStorm:Moderatebattlefieldcontrol,notreallyworthathirdlevelspellslot.
Slow:Againsttargetswithmultipleattacksperroundthisisamazing.Oneofthebestdebuffsinthegameforthat
situation.
StinkingCloud:Oneofthebestbattlefieldcontrolspellsuptothislevel.AsFogCloud,butitaddsanauseated
effecttoit.Iftheyfailtheirsaves,theyareoutofthefightfor2roundsatleast.
UndeadAnatomyI:Seepolymorphsectionfordetails.
VampiricTouch:Oneofthereasonsyoucanbeatank.WhenyouneedmoreHP,castthisinsteadofshocking
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

26/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

graspandyougettoessentiallyignoredamageforalittlebit.Verynifty.
VersatileWeapon:Thisappearstobebetterthangreatermagicweapon,butitonlylastsminutesinsteadof
hours,makingthisasituationalIneedtobypassDRspell.
VomitTwin(Goblin):InterestingDoyouneedtoscoutintoaroomwithadoorthatclosesbehindyou?Castthe
spell,runin,havethedoorlockyouin,teleportout,andletthemonstersortrapskillyourtwin.Orinthemiddle
ofbattle,keepajustincasecloneawayfromtheactualfighting.Whenintrouble,teleportout.Usefulutility
here.
WaterBreathing:Agoodspelltohaveinyourspellbook,onlyprepareitifyouknowyoullbearoundwateralot.
WindWall:IfyourGMlovesthrowingarchersatyou,grabthis.Otherwiseletyourpartywizardgrabit,itsnottoo
terriblyimportant.

Level4

ArcanaTheft:DispelMagicasatouchattackandyougetthespellinsteadofitdisappearing.HmmToobadyou
cantputitintoadispellingweapon,buttheresthespellstealingweaponenchantmentwhichallowsyoutodo
thesamething,butyougettochoosewhichspellthetargethas.
BallLightning:Anotheradditiontothespherespells,thisonedoesevenmoredamage,butonceagainistotally
negatedbyreflexsavesanditrequiresamoveactiontotakefulladvantageof.Pass.
BeastShapeII:Seepolymorphsection.
BlackTentacles:WalterinhisguidereferencedOrderoftheStick,whichdemonstratedtheamazingnessofthis
spell.Itsgood,itsverygood.Illleaveitatthat.
Detonate:KindalikeexplosionandselfdestructfromPokemon.Youtakedamagetodealthatdamagetoothers,
buttheygetasave.Ifyougainedresistancetoanelement,itreducesthedamage.Areallypowerfulnovaifyou
had40resisttooneelement(GreaterEnergyResistancearmoronlyblocksupto30,sotoughluck).
DimensionDoor:Greatteleportspell,ithasashortrangebutitshortcastingtimemakesitapplicabletocombat
situations.Needtogettoatarget?Done.
DragonsBreath:AoEdamagethatcanchangetowhateverelementyouneed,andcanchangeintowhatever
shapeyouneed..Dealsdecentdamage,aboutasmuchasafireball.Inmyopinion,averyrespectfulAoEattack.
ElementalBodyI:Seepolymorphsection,butjustsoyouhaveithere,ElementalBodycanbethebestformyou
cantake.
EnlargePerson(Mass):EnlargePersonwasntreallythatgreattobeginwith,makingeveryonelargerisntworth
it.
FireShield:Notthatgreatofaspell.Doesntdothatmuchdamage,anditmightevenrequirethatyoubehitby
anattack(Thespellisvagueonthispoint).Looksdangcoolthough,ifyouwantyourmagustobesurroundedby
red,blue,orgreenflames,givethisasecondthought:).
Firefall:Suppeduppyrotechnics,increasingtheareaofeffectdoesntreallyhelpyouindungeons,butifyouare
dealingwithanarmyornavywellthiscanputaseriousholeintheirforces.
IceStorm:Moderatebattlefieldcontrolagain,butwithsomedamage.Meh.
Invisibility(Greater):Invisibilityinthemiddleofcombatthatstaysevenwhenyouattack.Awesome.Bythetime
youcangetthis,youllbefacingenemieswithseeinvisibilityandtruesight,sodontrelyonitandbewiseabout
whentouseit.
MonstrousPhysiqueII:Seepolymorphsection
PelletBlast:There'sother,betterspellstodoAOEeffects,likeblacktentacles.
ParagonSurge(Halfelf):Bythetimeyoucancastthis,youalreadyhavepermanentenhancementbonusesto
bothdexterityandintelligence(Orstrength,thenyoureallydon'tcareaboutthedexterity).Theonlybenefitis
thefeatitgrants,buta4thlevelspelltodothat?Pass.
PhantasmalKiller:Iftheysucceedontheirsaveandhavetelepathy,youcoulddie.HECKNO.
ReducePerson(Mass):SameasEnlargePerson(Mass).
RiverofWind:Situational,butitcanbeeffectiveforputtingpressureonenemyspellcasters.Ipersonally
wouldntgetit.
Shout:5d6sonicdamage(notthatgreat)andpossiblydeafened.4thlevelspell,really?
SolidFog:Thisisfairlygood,ithasnosaves,shutsdownarchers,andhampersmelee.Goodbattlefieldcontrol.
Stoneskin:WantDR?Hereyougo!Youmaywantarodofextendforthis,tomakeitlastforyourentire
explorationofacave.Doescost250goldacastingthough...
VerminShapeI:Seepolymorphsection.
WallofFire:Themainpurposeofwallspellsaretoseparateenemies,allowingyoutokilloffacoupleofthemand
thenlaterfighttheothers.Thisdoesntdothat...
WallofIce:Thefirstwallspellyoucangetthatenemiescantstepthrough,thoughitsprettyeasytobypass.Itll
workuntilwegetbetter.
WallofSound:Seewalloffire.
WreathofBlades:Thiscanbeafunspell,especiallyifyouhaveTONSofmoneyflowingoutofyourpocketsfor
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

27/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

thefoci.6d4averagestoabout15damage,soitreallyisn'tthatgreatbutthenoneedfordefensivecastingcan
beusefulinsomecircumstances.Onceagain,afunspell.

Level5

AcidicSpray:Ifthiswasntalineeffect,itwouldbemoreworthwhile.GowithConeofColdinsteadofthisifyou
wantsomehighendAoE.
BalefulPolymorph:Bythetimeyougetlevel5spells,yourwizardfriendhaslevel7spells.Hisspellshaveanother
+2totheirsavesinotherwords.Saveorsuckspells,suchasthisone,arethatmuchmoreineffective.
BeastShapeIII:Seepolymorphsection.
Cloudkill:Automaticconstitutiondamage(atleastone)everyround,thatsnice.Itmovesthough,soIdontlikeit
asmuch.
ConeofCold:AclassicAoEdamagespell,alwaysdealsdamage,andiftherestwoormoretargetsintheareait
dealsmoredamagethanshockinggrasp.
CorrosiveConsumption:Thelasttouchattackyouget.Itsdecent,youuseitonceperenemyandallowittoreach
itsfinalstageofdamage.Wellworththeaction.
ElementalBodyII:Seethepolymorphsection.
FireSnake:BetterthanConeofColdifyouropponentsarespreadout,thisallowsyoutocustomize12
consecutivesquaresthatyoullbedealingyourdamageto.
Geyser:Notenoughdamagetojustifyalevel5spell.
InterposingHand:Youwanttobeinmelee,remember?
MonstrousPhysiqueIII:SeethePolymorphsection.
OverlandFlight:Alittleslowerthanfly,butitlastsaLOTlonger.Castthisonceandyoullbeflyingtheentireday.
SymbolofStriking:Amaterialcomponentof300goldtoessentiallydoubletheeffectsofgettinganAoO.Itlast
yourlevelinstrikes,butitdoesntdotoomuchdamage(theweapon'sbasedamage+yourintelligencemodifier).
Itcanaddupthough,sinceitlastsawhile.
Telekinesis:Youhavetoconcentratetousethis.Whichmeansnospellcombat.Whichmeansithastobe
absolutelyamazingtobeworthconsidering,anditsnot.Mighthavesomeoutofcombatutility.
Teleport:Rememberthosemountspellsyouhadinyourspellbookforlongdistancetravels?Youcanforgetthem
now:).
UndeadAnatomyII:Seethepolymorphsection.
VerminShapeII:Seethepolymorphsection.
WallofForce:Yay!Goodwallspells,thisispossiblythebestoneformidcombatuse.
WallofStone:Everwantedtobuildacastle?Onemonth,yougotit.Onaseriousnote,thisspellisuptherewith
WallofForce,itsnotasstrong,butitstaysthereforforever.
WindBlades(Sylph):Doesntdothatmuchdamage,reallyonlyusefulifthetargetisgoingtoberunningarounda
lot(suchasinachasescenario).Toosituationaltobeofanyuse.

Level6

AcidFog:Animprovementtothesolidfogspell,whichwasanimprovementtothefogcloudspell.Ontopof
debuffingtheenemywithnosaves,thiswilldealsomedamageeveryroundtoo.
BearsEndurance,Mass:IftheresseveralpeopleinyourgroupthathavetogetBeltswithconstitutiononthem,
thisisworthwhile.
BeastShapeIV:Seepolymorphsection.
BullsStrength,Mass:Everyonewhoneedsstrengthshouldalreadyhavebeltsofstrength.
CatsGrace,Mass:SameasBullsStrength,Mass,butforDexterity.
ChainsofFire:SameasChainLightning,butinsteadofelectricityitsfireandithasaquartertherange.
ChainLightning:YourfinalAoEdamagespell.Onaverage,itdealsjustasmuchdamagetoyourprimarytargetasa
shockinggraspwouldeveniftheysave(atlevel20).Now,italsohasthebenefitofbeingranged,andhitting
everythingelsewithin30ofthetarget(butyoucanhaveitavoidtargets).Awesome.
ContagiousFlame:ImagineScorchingRaysonsteroids,butiftheresmorethanoneenemy,itsdamagecanbeup
tothreetimestheoriginalamount.Awesome!
Disintegrate:2d6perCLdamageisgreat,butreducingitto5d6damageonasaveisnt.Couldbegoodforutility
though.
DispelMagic,Greater:Yougetthisfairlylate,anditrequiresaspelllevelhigherforyoutocastthananyoneelse.
Sadday,sinceitssonicetouseonenemyspellcasters.Ofcourse,whatyoucandoisgetagreaterdispelling
weaponandstickthisintoit.
ElementalBodyIII:Seepolymorphsection.
FleshtoStone:SaveorSuckspell,bythistimeyourwizardfriendhasa+3bonusonhisspellsthanyou.
ForcefulHand:Youwanttobeinmelee,havingenemiespushbackawayfromyouconstantlyisnotinyourbest
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

28/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

interests.Youwantthemclosesoyoucankillthem.
FormoftheDragonI:Seethepolymorphsection.
FreezingSphere:Notasgoodaschainlightning,whichdealsmoredamageandignoresyourallies.
Mislead:GreaterInvisibilitywithadecoy,itsnice,andsinceitsgreaterinvisibility,goaheadandbackstaballof
themooksstandingbehindthegeneralasyourimagekeepsthemoccupied.Beyondthatthisspelldoesnthave
toomanyuses.
MonstrousPhysiqueIV:Seethepolymorphsection.
Sirocco:Aninterestingbattlefieldcontrolspell,itdealsdamage(saveforhalf),knocksprone(save),andfatigues
thenexhaustscreaturesinside(nosave).TheresotherthingsIdratherhaveatthislevel.
StonetoFlesh:Reversepetrification.Prettynice,goodtohaveinyourspellbook,butunlessyouknowyou're
goingtobefightingagainstmedusas,Iwouldntprepareiteveryday.
Transformation:Youlosespellcasting,butyougainfullBaB,higherAC,andfortitudesaves.Iwouldinstantly
writethisoffasahorriblespellforyou,butifyouhaveafamiliarthatyouwantedtohavetrippeopleorother
suchthings...
TrueSeeing:Veryhelpful,agreatutilityspelltohavepreparedforthejustincasescenariosthatthespellitself
lists.Havingonecastingofthisprepareddailyisagoodidea.
UndeadAnatomyIII:Seethepolymorphsection.
WalkThroughSpace:Thisspellallowsyoutoteleportinsteadofwalkforitsduration.Inallhonesty,theresnot
manysituationswherethisisuseful,especiallysinceitsa6thlevelspell.
WallofIron:EssentiallyWallofStone,butstrongerandwithamaterialcostof50g.

Heresalistoftouchattacksandraysavailabletoyouwithoutmulticlassing.
Touchspellsonthemagusspelllist:
CorrosiveTouch
Frostbite
ShockingGrasp
ElementalTouch
FrigidTouch
VampiricTouch
CorrosiveConsumption

Touchspellsonotherarcanespellcasterslists,uptolevel6:
BestowCurse
Contagion
GhoulTouch
IrresistibleDance
TouchofIdiocy
CalcificTouch
EuphoricTranquility
TouchofGracelessness
DisfiguringTouch
ExcruciatingDeformation
Fleshworminfestation
SandsofTime
TouchofSlime
KineticReverberation
TouchofCombustion
StealYears
TouchofMercy
FilmofFilth

RayspellsontheMagusspelllist:
DisruptUndead
RayofEnfeeblement
RayofFrost
RayofExhaustion
Disintegrate

Rayspellsonotherarcanespellcasterslists,uptolevel6:
RayofSickening
DimensionalAnchor

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

29/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

9.Polymorphing

Polymorpheffectscanbegreatbuffstoyou,thoughyouhavetounderstandtheimplicationsofusing
them.Themainissueisspellcastingwhileinapolymorphicform.Herestherulesonthat:
CoreRulebook:Whenyoucastapolymorphspellthatchangesyouintoacreatureoftheanimal,dragon,
elemental,magicalbeast,plant,orvermintype,allofyourgearmeldsintoyourbody.Itemsthatprovideconstant
bonusesanddonotneedtobeactivatedcontinuetofunctionwhilemeldedinthisway(withtheexceptionof
armorandshieldbonuses,whichceasetofunction).Itemsthatrequireactivationcannotbeusedwhileyou
maintainthatform.Whileinsuchaform,youcannotcastanyspellsthatrequirematerialcomponents(unlessyou
havetheEschewMaterialsorNaturalSpellfeat),andcanonlycastspellswithsomaticorverbalcomponentsif
theformyouchoosehasthecapabilitytomakesuchmovementsorspeak,suchasadragon.Otherpolymorph
spellsmightbesubjecttothisrestrictionaswell,iftheychangeyouintoaformthatisunlikeyouroriginalform
(subjecttoGMdiscretion).Ifyournewformdoesnotcauseyourequipmenttomeldintoyourform,the
equipmentresizestomatchyournewsize.
Tosummarize,inordertobeabletocastanyspell,theformyouassumeneedsto:
1.Beabletospeak.
2.Beabletomakesomaticcomponents(AKAbehumanoidinform)
3.Beabletoaccessmaterialcomponents
Isuggestyoureadthefullentryifyoudecidetousepolymorpheffectsotherthanenlargeandreduce
person.TheonlyotherformsyoucantakeisUndeadandMonstrousHumanoid,whichisaregreatformsifyou
wanttobeabletousespellswithmaterialcomponents,metamagicrodsanduseactivateditemswithoutany
hassling.
Allotherformsmakeitdifficulttousemetamagicrods,wands,andweapons.Therearethreewaysto
overcomethis:Dropallthethingsyoumaywantontothegroundbeforeyouchangeandthenpickthemup,give
allyouritemstoteammates,unseenservants,ofafamiliar,orwearaPolymorphicPouch(5,000),whichholdsup
to40poundsofitemsthatwontmeldintoyourbody.Useactivatedmagicitemsyouarewearingstillwontdo
anythingwhileyouareinapolymorphicformthough.Heressomenotesonthevariouspolymorphicspellsanda
fewsuggestionsonwhatformstotake:
ElementalBody(I,II,andIII):Lookingatthebestiaryentrytotheelementals,allelementalshave
languages(sotheycanspeak),andcantakehumanoidform(sotheycancastspellswithsomaticcomponentsand
wieldweapons).Theelementalformsyoucanassumegiveyougreat,no,wonderfulstatandarmorbonuses,and
asa6thlevelspell,giveyoureach(andstillevenbuffyourdexterityasanAirorFireElemental).Also,when
lookinginthebestiaryattheelementalsubtypedefinition,ifanelementalishumanoidinformitcanuse
weapons.Iwouldbecarefulaboutbeingafireelementalandholdingitemsvulnerabletofirethough.Overall,
ElementalBodyisprobablythebestpolymorphicspellsetfortheMagus.
MonstrousPhysique(I,II,III,andIV):ThestatsinvolvedwiththesearenotnearlyasniceasElemental
Body,especiallysinceyoumaywanttobelargesizedtogetreachwhilestillgainingabonustoyourdexterity.The
beautyofMonstrousPhysiqueisthatyoudontloseallofyouritemswhenyouchangeform,theystayaround.So
spellswithmaterialcomponents,metamagicrods,wands,useactivateditemsetcarestilluseable.Also,therea
coupleformsavailable(oneinthefirstthreebestiariesiscalledtheWitchwyrd)thathavefourarms,allowingyou
toholdmetamagicrodsandorwandswhilestillusingspellcombat.
UndeadAnatomy(I,II,III):SameasMonstrousPhysique,thoughthereareafewdifferentabilitiesyoucan
getthataredifferent.Themaindownsideisthattheresnoformsthathavemultiplelimbsthatcanholdthings,
whichistheoneofthemainreasonswhyyoudtakeMonstrousPhysiqueoverElementalBody.
FormoftheDragon:Dragonscantholdweapons,sonotagoodchoice.Sorry!
BeastShape:Cantholditems,andcantevencastspellswithoutoutsidehelp.Notagoodidea.
VerminShape:SameissuesasBeastShape,thoughifyourDMallowsmilkingpoisonsoffofcreatures(and
allowspoisonsmilkedfromapolymorphicformtolastforever),Verminhavethebestpoisonsaround(andthe
DCsforpoisonswhileinapolymorphicformiscalculatedjustlikespellssaveDCs,souseyourintelligence.Ifyou
wanttolookataparticularlynastypoison[andIthinktheworst]checkoutthejellyfish).

10.SpecialTactics

Thissectionisjustacollectionofsomeinterestingbattletacticsthatyoumightpursuethatdidntmakeit
intotherestoftheguide(typicallybecauseofruleslegalityissues).Ihopetobeabletoconstantlyaddnewand
uniqueideastothissection,soifyouhaveanythingyouwanttoadd,sendamessageonthemessageboards!
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

30/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

ArcaneMark:

Whilethisisalreadyawellknownandfrequentlyusedtactic,itisstillvalidandperfectlyrulessavvy.Arcane
Markisacantrip,ithasarangeoftouch,andthereforeyoucanspellcombat/spellstrikewithit,essentially
givingyoutheeffectsofTWF,justwithadefensivecastingcheck.Itsconsideredcheesybysome,whileothersare
happytomarkuptheirenemies.Someday,oneoftheirvictimsisgoingtohuntthemdown

AnchoringWeapon:
JustthoughtIdsharesomethoughtsaboutthis,sinceitisalegitimatetacticthatdeservesaparagraphonits
own.Ifyouhitatargetwithananchoringweapon,youcanactivateitsabilitytoforceanopponenttostaystill.
Then,takeastepback,laugh,pulloutyourreachweaponorcastenlargepersonandhackaway.ItrequiresaDC
30strengthchecktomove(Theyhavetohaveastrengthof30orhighertoevenhaveachanceatthis,provokes
anAoO)ortheyhavetosunderyourweapon,whichalsoprovokesanAoO.Ortheypulloutarangedweapon,
whichprovokesAoO.Theonlythingtheycanreallydoiscastspellsoruseotherabilities.
Themainweaknessofthisisthatyourweaponisntthemostdurablethingintheworld,withabase
hardnessof10and3hp(Forawakizashi).Butyoucanincreasethateasily!Startoffbymakingitadamantium,
givingithardness20and4hp.Thenusethespellreinforcearmaments,whichdoublesitshardness,givingit
hardness40and4hp.Atthispoint,evenCR20creatureswouldneedtocriticallyhitwithasunderattackto
damagetheweapon,butoncetheystartdamagingititsover.Wait,theresmore!Every+1bonusadds2
hardnessand10hp.Hmm,youhaveanabilitytogiveyourweaponsbonuses.A+5anchoringweaponwith
reinforcearmamentscastedonitwillhave60hardnessand54HP.Finally,addintheImperviousenchantment
andyourweaponwillcapoutat80hardnessand104HP.Veryrespectful,andprobablynotgoingtobedestroyed
anytimesoon.Ifitdoesbitethedust,ascrollofMakeWhole(CL20)costs1kgold,anditwillrepairyourweapon
solongasyoudontletyourweaponexceedCL10(sowatchwhatotherenchantmentsyouplaceonit).
Thisweaponwouldcostyou:3,000(adamantium)+18,000(+1andAnchoring)+3,000(Impervious)=24,000
gold.Aheftypriceforaheftyability.

SpellStoringAbuse:
Haveasingle,verytoughopponentyouknowyoullbefightinginafewdays?BuyacoupleSpellStoring
weapons,andloadthemupwithyourmostpowerfulspells(Ifyouhavethemaximizedandempoweredarcanas,
youcanloadoneweaponadaywithanintensified,maximized,empoweredshockinggrasp[90damage]).Thenin
combat,aftereachsuccessivehit,expendthatweaponsstoredspell,dropyourweaponandquickdrawanew
one.Ahastedlevel20maguscanpumpoutupto5hitswithweapons,upto450damagefromstoredspells
alone.
Fun,butnotwithoutcostsandlegalityissues.Becauseofgunslingersabusingthistypeofthing,free
actionshavetheirownFAQremindingGMsthattheycanlimitfreeactions,andatonepointevensuggestinga
limitof5ish(thathasbeenremovedfromtheFAQ).Thecombolistedaboveuses15freeactions.Nottomention
thatspellstoringweaponsarenotcheap.

TwoWeaponFighting:

Therearetwowaystoaccomplishthis,bothrequiretheQuickDrawfeat.Neitherofthemallowyouto
usespellcombatthatroundthough,sothisisbetterforaFrostbite(orChillTouch)centeredbuild.
Thefirstmethodseemstobethemostnatural,usingaweapon(typicallythesamekindofweaponthat
yougotweaponfocusas).Thesequencegoes:freeactiondrawweapon,TwoWeaponFightwithyourweapons,
freeactionstowyourweaponaway.Thishasanissuewhenitcomestorules,however,sincetherulesnever
mentionthatyoucanstowaweaponasafreeaction.Ipersonallyfeelitshouldbeallowed,butPFSprobably
wouldnotallowit.
Thesecondmethodisalittlebitmorerulesfriendly.Itinvolvesusingaquickdrawlightshield,which
explicitlystatesthatitcanbestowedasafreeactionviaquickdraw.Therearetwoweakspotsinthisconcept
though.First,youloseyourintelligencebonustoACwhileusingashield,butifyouputtheshieldawayatthe
endofyourturnyoushouldbefinewiththat.Thesecondisthatyoudischargeyourspellifyoutouchanything
otherthanaweapon.Butifyou'replanningonusingyourshieldasaweaponandnothingelseIdontthinkGMs
wouldbetooupsetwiththat.
Bothoptionshavetheirmerits.Thefirstrequireslessfeats(BothuseTwoWeaponFightingand
Quickdraw),boththeweaponcostgoesup.Thesecondonerequiresmorefeats(MartialWeaponProficiency:
ShieldBash[Ordipalevelinfighter],ShieldProficiency[ordipalevelinfighter]),butifyou'rewillingtospenda
LOToffeatsonthis,shieldscanbemorecosteffective(ShieldMastercutsthemagicitemcostsessentiallyinhalf)
andmoredamaging(BashingFinish).Heck,ifyouinvestedintheBullRushfeats,youcouldbedealingTONSof
damageeveryotherturn(gottauseoneturntousespellcombat,remember?).
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

31/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

11.MulticlassingandArchetypes

Thereareafewdifferentclassesthatarewellworthlookingatfordipping,andeventwoprestigeclasses
worthmentioning.Ifindthatmulticlassingisadoubleedgedsword,multiclassingtowardsthebeginningcanbe
amazing,butlateryoumayfindthatyouareweakerthanother,pureclass,characters.Kensaihurtalittlemore
thanothersinthiscategorytoo,sinceyoucanonlygainuptoyourKensailevelofACfromyourintelligence
modifier.AlsoknowthatdippingcandropyourBaBandhamperyourspellprogression,andalsorememberthat
spellsgainedfromotherclassescannotbeusedwithspellcombatandspellstrike(unlessyougettheBroadStudy
arcana).Regardless,itsnotalwaysabouthowpowerfulyouare,justaslongasyouhavefunwithyourcharacter!

Classes:

Swashbuckler:Becauseofslashinggracealone,thisinstantlybecomesagreen.Therearemanyother
greatreasonsfora1leveldipthough.Yougainafreefeat(weaponfinesse),accesstolevel1deeds,1BaB,and
proficiencywithmartialweaponsandlightarmor.Agreatchoiceforadip.
Fighter:Dippingintofightercanbringinalotoffeats.Twolevelsoffighterbringstwofeats,threeif
you'redippingintolorewarden(PathfinderSocietyFieldGuide,thebestfighterdipchoicefortripbuilds)orsome
otherarchetype.YoudontloseanyBaBeitherfordippinghere.Youdolosespellprogression,whichyouare
alreadyhurtingin,andyourACwilldropforalittlebittoo.
Barbarian:TwolevelsofTitanMaulernetsyouareachweaponthatthreatenswithoutspendingany
morefeats.Greatideaforastrengthcharacter,notsomuchforadexteritybasedcharacter.Youalsogetaccess
toraging,andasingleragepower.Ragingbringsinsomegoodstatbuffs,butyoucantcastspellswhileraging
(ouch)andyoulosesomeAC(doubleouch).
Monk:SomeonesgottabeaskingWhytheheckismonkhere?Well,asitturnsout,flurryofblows
mesheswellwithFrostbite,solongasyouhaveaweaponthatcanbeflurried(TempleSword,ortakeadipinto
cleric,findadeitythatusesyourselectedweapon,andthengetCrusadersFlurry).Beyondtheflurryofblows,
therestheextrafeat(alongwithstunningfist,andImprovedUnarmedStrikewhichcanbeusefulifyouwantto
getastylefeat)andthe+2toallsaves.MonksarenotafullBaBclass,soyoulosesomeofthat
WhiteHairedWitch(DragonEmpiresPrimer):Thisiskindofanoddball,butIthoughtIdmentionit.A
1leveldipgetsyouprehensilehair,averyniftyability.Wheneveryoufullattack(whichisNOTwhenyouusespell
combat,mindyou)youcanaddina1d4plusintelligencenaturalattack.Thehaircanholdmetamagicrodsfor
you,andhasthegrabmonsterability.Ifyoudipintothis4levels(reallynotthatgood),yourhairbeginstogain
reachTheremightbeafewwitchspellsworthhaving,thoughyoucannotusethemwithspellcombatwithout
anarcana.
Alchemist:Twolevelsofalchemistandyoucangetadiscovery(mostoften,Magiwantthevestigial
armdiscoverysotheycanuserodseasily).Ifyou'regoingwiththefrostbiteroute,thebestarchetypehereisthe
Vivisectionist,forthesneakattackdie.Anotherabilityofnoteformthealchemististhemutagen,whichgives+4
toanyonephysicalstatand2toacorrespondingmentalstat(+4dexterity,2wisdom).
Wizard:GoingwiththeAdmixtureschoolcannetyouanotherwaytobypassmonstersimmunetoyour
favoritespells,andyoucangetafamiliar,thoughrememberthatyoullbelosingBaB,spellprogressionandcaster
level.Alsonotethatthespellsyougetfromherecannotbeusedwithspellcombatorspellstrike.

PrestigeClasses:

EldritchKnight:ThisclasslookPHAT(prettyhotandtempting).Yougetmorefeatsthanyouwouldasa
magus,anditstenthlevelabilityseemstomeshwelluntilyourealizeitusesaswiftaction.So,youhavetotry
andpredictwhennottousethingslikearcanestrike,arcaneaccuracy,quickenedspells,etcNottomentionthat
itrequiresproficiencyinALLmartialweapons,requiringadipintosomeothermartialclass.Notreallyworthit,
itsaninferiorversionofwhatyoualreadyare.Itcanbeworthitbeyondlevel20though
Duelist:Anonspellcastingversionofyourself,thiscanbeanotheroptiontolookat,thoughitsnottoo
terriblygreat.Itdoeshavealotofuniquemechanics.
MysticTheurge:Nowheresanawesomeideaforaprestigeclass.Cleric3,Magus7.Notanoriginalidea
ofmine,butitcanlookscary.Thereareafewissueswithitthough,suchasitbeingaBaBprogression(ouch).
Thefinalabilityisgreat,butonlyonceperday.Idstayawayfromthisforthemostpart,you'remorephysical
thanmagical(Yourelyonattackrollstodeliverspells).

Archetypes:
ThereareonlythreearchetypesthatcanblendwiththeKensai,theSpellBlade,theBladebound,andthe

FiendFlayer.
SpellBlade:ThisreplacesthespellstrikeclassfeatureMakingitahorriblearchetype.Spellstrikeisoneof
thebestabilitiesthemagushas!
BladeBound:Thisisaninterestingchoice,yougiveupyourthirdlevelarcanaandupto4arcanepool
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

32/33

3/4/2015

KensaiMagusGuide

pointstogetaspecialblade.Itendsupbeingacompletelyfreeendgameweaponthatgivesyousomespecial
powers.Nottomentionthatyoucanalwayscarryotherweaponswithyou.Note,however,thatyoucannot
enchantablackblade.
FiendFlayer:Thisisanarchetypethatcomesfromthetieflingrace.Youdontgiveupanyabilitiestotake
this,sotheresnopointinnottakingthisarchetypeifyoureatiefling.IhonestlydontknowifIdeverendup
usingitsabilitythough.Thearcanaisnicetoo.

12.SampleBuilds
Becauseofthesheernumberofvariousbuildsandideasthatcometomind,Iwontbeposting
individualbuildsinsidethisdocument,itsalreadylongenough.However,ifyourecurious,Iwillbe
postingbuildsinanotherdocument.Heresalink.Thestuffyoufindinthisdocumentwillbehighly
unpolisheduntilIfinishedmypersonalproject:CreatingaBuildBuilderapplicationtoaidinthecreation
anddistributionofbuildideas.Untilthen,treatthesebuildsmoreasaplaceformybraintobraf.
Cheers!
PublishedbyGoogleDrive ReportAbuse Updatedautomaticallyevery5minutes

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NzctTRYgBVzNanNnzSpOCdTyifV3elCgpkBeayua97s/pub

33/33