The Book of Beasts: Magus Codex comes out tomorrow and is already available to subscribers of the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription. We shared with you some NPCs from the book, name the apprentice mage and the clan outcast. Today, I want to share with you the Helltouched Archer.
Before I do, I have to provide a bit of context for this one. One of the things we do before conceptualizing these NPC is to research all the books from Paizo and see what has been created before. I want to see what concepts have been done and more importantly which ones have not. We discovered that the magus was not a very common class for NPCs. I found approximately as many magus NPCs in all the adventure paths I searched as I found slayer NPCs in the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path. While there may be more in others APs, but it does means there is quite a bit of opportunity to show atypical magi.
The magus’ class features highly encourages a melee-focused character. However, the lack of touch spell options lends the class to a typical wizard build, one that avoids melee combat (casting lightning bolt through a weapon attack means you are reducing the number of targets of that spell to one, greatly reducing the spell’s effectiveness, making it a suboptimal choice). The ranged build is not typical for a magus but is no less valid. Which brings us to the Helltouched Archer. By ignoring the spellstrike class feature, the NPC can attack a specific target with arrows and at large groups of targets with spells like fireball all in one turn. Suddenly this build went from an oddity to a formidable foe, one that should be seen as a very reasonable build for the class.
So we present you with the Helltouched Archer, the unusual NPC that should not be so unusual. You can find this and more as part of the Book of Beasts: Character Codex Subscription, available at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store.
Helltouched Archer CR 8
Tiefling ARG magus 9
NG Medium outsider (native)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0
AC 21, touch 14, flat-footed 17 (+7 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 71 (9d8+27)
Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +6
Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee spear +7/+2 (1d8+1/×3)
Ranged +1 speed composite longbow +11/+11/+6 (1d8+2/×3) or javelin +10/+5 (1d6+1) or spear +10/+5 (1d8+1/×3)
Special Attacks arcane pool (+3, 7 points), improved spell combat, magus arcana (arcane accuracy UM, arcane edge UC, empowered magic UM), spell recall, spellstrike
Tiefling Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +7)
Magus Spells Prepared (CL 9th; concentration +12)
3rd—cloak of winds APG (DC 16), fireball (DC 16), lightning bolt (DC 16), versatile weapon APG (DC 16)
2nd—acid arrow, flaming sphere (DC 15), scorching ray, spider climb, stone call APG
1st—burning hands (DC 14), expeditious retreat, feather fall, hydraulic push APG, returning weapon UC, true strike
0 (at will)—acid splash, detect magic, disrupt undead, flare (DC 13), ray of frost
Before Combat The magus casts cloak of winds and spider climb, then hides high up on a wall.
During Combat If facing evil outsiders, the magus casts versatile weapon on arrows, enhances the bow with arcane pool, and uses the oil of bless weapon if necessary to bypass DR. When fighting humanoids or similar, the magus throws javelins or spears and casts spells
with spell combat, spending the arcane pool on spell recall.
Base Statistics Without arcane pool, the magus has the following stats: Ranged +1 composite longbow +11/+6 (1d8+2/×3).
Str 12, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 6
Base Atk +6; CMB +7; CMD 21
Feats Far Shot, Manyshot, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Rapid Shot
Skills Bluff +0, Climb +11, Knowledge (arcana, planes) +15, Spellcraft +15, Stealth +13; Racial Modifiers +2 Bluff, +2 Stealth
Languages Abyssal, Common, Dwarven, Elven, Infernal
SQ knowledge pool, medium armor, prehensile tail ARG
Combat Gear oil of bless weapon, potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of jump, potion of shield of faith +2; Other Gear +1 mithral chainmail, +1 composite longbow (+1 Str), efficient quiver containing arrows (60), javelin (18), spear (6), magus spellbook (contains all 0-level spells and all prepared spells plus 1st—abjuring step UC, color spray, ray of enfeeblement, unerring weapon UC, 2nd—molten orb ACG, 3rd—haste, slow), 117 gp