Wednesday, January 9, 2013

H4X Android Magus

I have to admit.  I'm a softy for all the different races that exist in the Golarion Universe.  The Inner Sea Bestiary presented 4 new playable races, and I really liked 2 of them, was ok with 1 of them, and not impressed with the other... but that's another post all together.

One of the two races I really liked was the Android.  I know it is a little too futuristic / Sci-Fi for the purists, but I think it is a cool idea, could be super fun to play.  Being that I had a chance to make a new character for an online game using Rolld20, I decided to give the android a test drive.

Below I present to you H4X the Android Magus.

H4X like most other androids emerged from the technological ruins of Numeria.  He is programmed to be a deadly combatant with a scimitar.  The magic that H4X has developed however, was never part of his programming.  It is unknown how he developed any arcane abilities.  When asked when he became adept at magic, he is slightly confused.  He fails to see the difference as to what animates him, the biological races of elves and humans around him, the trees in the forest, the beasts on the ground, or the birds in the sky.  To him, all of that is magic, so the fact that he was able to spontaneously cast arcane spells is just as mysterious and remarkable as everything around him.  It is unlikely that he truly needs to study his spellbook everyday to prepare his spells, but that's what everyone else does, and H4X desires to be more of a 'person' and less of a 'machine' so he goes through the motions daily.  He can be seen attempting to eat, drink, and sleep, those these processes are also irrelevant to his functionality.

Despite his best efforts to 'fit in,' H4X remains an emotionless android.  Sarcasm, and humor are completely lost on him, he will often try to rationally explain a joke, or a pun, ironically to comic effect.  He is confused and intrigued by the randomness of human behavior, so creative plan making is sometimes difficult for him to carry out.  To him, most problems are black and white, problem - solution.

Once he acquires his familiar, it will be some sort of living creature, and H4X will go to great lengths to care for it and protect it.  Its well being will be a reflection of his desired humanity.

His stat block can be found HERE.  It is also copied below.  As H4X advances he will likely choose the following feats and Magus Arcana:
3)Extra Arcana - Familiar
3)Spell Shield
5) Weapon Focus - Scimitar
5) Arcane Magic
6) Empowered Magic
7) Improved Familiar
9) Intensify Spell
9)Prescient Defense

From here on out, damage, and survivability is key.  There are a lot of good guides to aid in feat and spell selection for a Magus.  Don't ignore those, and don't worry about mixing and matching ideas.  He starts out fragile but a good spell selection and careful play should balance him out as he progresses.  Get some wands, and some gaze spells for the familiar to abuse the action economy that the Magus already has.

The build presented was created with a 20 point buy, it also assumes you are comfortable with a big dump to Charisma.  This is mechanical as well as for RP flavor, H4X lacks emotions, and humanity, his ability to be diplomatic or intimidating, or even to bluff all rely on a more complex understanding of those things, which he would lack.

Regardless of ability score generation method you should prefer:

In a 15pt buy, I would build him:

For Traits:
I took Reactionary:  Explained as how he was programmed to be deadly with a sword, so when a threat arises  he is quick to respond.  It's not an emotional reaction, its part of his programmed combat abilities.
Focused Mind:  Doesn't let external things distract him, easy to explain from an RP standpoint, important to be able to cast in melee as that's whats a Magus does.

You don't have to spend a ton on the scimitar, you'll get abilities to buff it.  That said, don't neglect it, it is THE thing that H4X is most familiar and trained for.
Celestial Armor, or other buffs to the Chain Shirt are good early.  As your armor proficiency increases, progress with it.  AC bonuses are good. He doesn't have a high dex, so you'll have to compensate for that.
Pearls of Power:  Yes.  Get them.  Yes you can recall some spells, more recalls are always good.  The lower level the better value of a Pearl of Power.
Blessed Books:  Also good if you want to put a bigger focus on your spells, lets you add more spells more afford-ably to your book.
Items that boost Str and Int are the other ways to go.

Early on, your tactics have to be smarter.  He starts fragile at level 1.  His AC and HP will get better, but he'll never be a 'tank.'  Using the scimitar with 2 hands when you aren't casting helps a lot with damage, without any risk to hit, so use it frequently early on.   Once you're able to spell strike, shocking grasp is the way to go, Walter's Guide to the Magus talks about keeping it relevant.

You're a great watch at night, your perception is low, but you don't have to sleep.  How this interacts with getting your spells back is up to your GM so iron that out before you neglect the normal night time routine.  My guess is that any reasonable GM will let you get your spells back 'each day' as long as you aren't abusing the fact that you don't sleep.  So don't do things like crafting while everyone else sleeps.

Use his Nanite surge responsibly.  It doesn't have to be used for an attack roll, it can be used for a SV or a CL check to overcome SR, or an important concentration check.  Use it responsibly, you only get it once a day.

Male Android Magus 1
NG Medium Humanoid (Android)
Init +3; Senses Low Light Vision, Darkvision 60 ft, Perception +2
Languages Common, Elven, Goblin, Draconic
AC  15, Flat Footed 14,  Touch 11
HP 10
Fort +3, Reflex +1, Will +1 (+4 Racial bonus vs Mind Effecting, Paralysis, Poison, and Stun) Not
subject to fatigue or exhaustion, Immune to disease, sleep, fear, and emotion effects.  Cannot benefit from
a morale bonus.
Speed 30 Feet, 6 Squares
Melee   Scimitar +4 (1d6+4) 18-20/X2 One Hand or
              Scimitar +4 (1d6+6) 18-20/X2 Two Hand
Ranged Longbow +1 (1d8) X3
Magus Spells Prepared:
1st Level (2/day):  Color Spray (DC 14), True Strike
0 Level (At Will): Acid Splash, Arcane Mark, Mage Hand
Special Attacks:  Nanite Surge, Spell Combat
Abilities Str 18 (+4), Dex 12 (+1), Con 12 (+1), Int 16 (+3), Wis 8 (-1) Cha 6 (-2)
BAB 0, CMB +4, CMD 15
Feats Extra Arcane Pool
Traits Reactionary, Focused Mind
Skills Climb +8, Knowledge: Arcana +7, Knowledge: Dungeoneering +7, Perception +2, Spellcraft +7
SQ Nanite Surge, Arcane Pool, Cantrips, Spell Combat
Combat Gear Chain Shirt, Scimitar, Longbow, 20 Arrows.  Other Gear Backpack, Spellbook
(Contains: all zero level spells, Color Spray, Grease, Shocking Grasp, True Strike, Vanish) 33 gold
Constructed (Ex):  You can as a humanoid and a construct. You have a +4 bonus to resist Mind Effects, Paralysis, Poison, and Stun. You are immune to fatigue, exhaustion, disease, sleep, fear, and emotion effects. You cannot benefit from a morale bonus.
Emotionless (Ex):  You are emotionless and take a -4 to sense motive checks.
Nanite Surge (Ex):  Once per day as an immediate action, you can make your nanites surge to grant you a +3 bonus to a single d20 roll. You must declare you are using this ability before you roll, and it causes the tattoos on your body to glow for 1 round.
Arcane Pool:  You have an Arcane Pool of 6, you may spend a point to give your weapon a +1
enhancement bonus, this stacks with magic bonuses on your weapon to a maximum of +5.
Spell Combat:  You can attack and cast spells in the same round, as long as 1 hand is empty. You take a -2 to attack rolls when you use this ability.

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