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I do want to give one suggestion for a defense for pyrokineticists: one of the coolest fire based defensive abilities that I have seen was in the anime Witch Hunter Robin. The way Robin used bits of fire to precisely burn down bullets before they could hit her was awsome.
Maybe an ability that lets you use fire (or some other element) to 'parry' an attack would be a nice thematic ability for kineticists?
I know that I'm late to the discussion, but I just wanted to add this about the pyrokineticist's Searing Flesh ability. My main problem with it is as you accept burn to make the ability more effective, you are actually decreasing the number of times it will 'activate' before you fall unconsious.
Think about it. If at high levels you accept 4 points of burn to increase searing flesh's effectiveness, you potentially have 80 fewer hit points to increase the damage per hit by 4d6. The thing is, when you combine that with the burn you'll be inflicting upon yourself to power your other abilities you'll be lucky to survive a few hits before you go down!
That's the real problem with Searing Flesh. The more burn you inflict upon yourself, the fewer times Searing Flesh will actually be able to activate since its effectiveness depends on you being hit. On some days if you get really unlucky you might get hit *once*, deal 7d6 points to the attacker (if he used a natural weapon, if he isn't immune to fire, if he fails the saving throw) and then go unconsious.
I said it before and I'll say it again: there is nothing in the ability that says anything about any souls being harmed in any way. Aside from it being separated from the body of course.
There is nothing in the rulebooks that actually says that players can't take bestiary feats. The bestiary just says they are more common for monsters, and if you want to get really techical Kitsune have a bestiary entry anyway.
Sorry, I just hate it when the "Players can't use bestiary feats" misconception gets spread around.
Umm, I have to point out that the Consume Life ability doesn't actually say anything about consuming souls. All it says is that you consume the target's life energy, and that it kills him. The soul goes on its way just as if you had killed the guy normally.
Yes, it is a technicality, but it makes the ability signifigantly less evil. And it isn't like the party wasn't going to CDG the guy in the end anyway.
Mark Seifter wrote:
This actually brings up another worry that I have had about this class. Once you take some burn and have Feel the Burn running, you look really really out of place in a city. People aren't going to let you walk into a building if it looks like you are on fire!
I like the idea of the visual effect, but in games where GMs take notice if it players will have to wear a Hat of Disguise just to get around. It it is about as bad as dealing with an eidolon in a town. Some players will feel like they're forced to not use burn when in a town if the Hat of Disguise isn't available, and this will effectively give them a lower accuracy than a rogue.
Maybe the visual effects of feel the burn should only come up when the kineticist is using his abilities (or when he wants them to) rather than being an all day long thing?
Mark Seifter wrote:
:D :D :D
Mark Seifter wrote:
This is true, but I have seen it happen fairly often in the games that I've played and some that I've GMed in. Not with every enemy, but I have definitely seen final bosses that the paladin had a roughly 50% chance of hitting on a first swing smite because the GM wanted the fight to last 10 rounds instead of 2.
I think part of the problem that kineticists will face will have to do with GMs balancing the party in comparison to the heaviest damage dealers. If the GM starts throwing higher CR fights in order to challenge a party with a Paladin or Ranger (both of whom can easily have +10 accuracy higher than a kineticist at level 20) then the kineticist would have a really hard hard time hitting anything without resorting to touch attacks.
I saw this sort of thing happen in Wrath of the Righteous actually. When the GM buffed the enemies to challenge our heavy hitters, he had to specifically give the enemies a low flat footed AC so that the ninja could actually hit them thanks to invisibility. A rogue would have been completely unable to do anything, and a kineticist would have had to switch to touch attacks (disregarding that they would have been immune or heavily resistant to all of his elements).
One thing that I'm a bit worried about is that the Kineticist will get its utility abilities, but that there will be gaps in their capabilities that full spellcasters will be able to cover. Will an Aerokineticist be able to do everything that a spellcaster could with Air spells? Will a Hydrokineticist be able to blast and freeze things in even close to all the varied ways that a spellcaster could with water and cold spells?
I'm not suggesting that a kineticist become a real spellcaster. I'm just thinking that it will be difficult to make a non-spellcaster have the utility of a spellcaster without some crazy abilities. And let's be honest: if the kineticist isn't going to have the skills of a rogue or bard, he's going to need a lot of 'magic' style utility.
Perhaps a way to work around the limitations of the kineticist being a non-spellcaster class would be to allow it to pay Burn to cast a spell which has a discriptor that matches his element? Let it be any spell from the wizard and druid lists with the correct descriptor and a low enough level. You could make it into an expensive last resort kind of thing by having the burn cost equal the spells level, and reducing this burn cost very slowly at higher levels.
Free utility powers is definately high on the list of things that I would like to have for the Kineticist. Playing a Pyrokineticist and not being able to at least generate my own light sources without a torch (or setting an enemy on fire) kind of drove me crazy in my playtest, but it is also something that I couldn't afford to spend a wild talent on if it was an option.
Mark Seifter wrote:
By saying that the Rogue has even more accuracy issues than the kineticist, does that mean it is safe to assume that the kineticist will get an enhancement bonus item? Because right now without any gear the Kineticist's accuracy is on par with the rogue when the kineticist has Feel The Burn and the rogue has a magical weapon. Unless I am mistaken at least.
I find it very worrying that the kineticst right now can do more damage with a bow rather than by using its class abilities. It is probably safe to assume that once it gets some items that benefit the blast though, that it will probably get better.
Perhaps *your* kineticist might. Not everyone's will. That's my point.
I have to say that in almost all cases running a Kineticist with low Con is a mistake. Even without factoring in Burn, the Con increases blast damage and is linked to most of the Kinetisist's saving throw DCs. You should have at least a 20 con (with gear) by level 20, and that's assuming you start with a 14.
Yea, and the key part is that in order to become staggered the kineticist would probably have to have a combination of both nonlethal and lethal damage. That means that at the end of each fight he can just ask the party's healer to heal the lethal damage, and he'll be right back to normal.
As for banning the feat... I don't know. I can see that happening in PFS, but that is a tougher thing to have happen in the normal game. Sure the feat is (normally) worthless, but it is kind of bad form to offically ban or change and existing feat just because of a new class. Not that anyone would care in this case XD
....You know, I just realized a that there is a really weird corner case in the rules. Diehard lets you act when you're dieing, but not when you would be knocked out from having nonlethal damage? Wut?
Wow, the flagellant feat does completely break the burn mechanic. That's kind of a big problem, especially since it will force players into a single background in order to pick it up.
Mark has returned and mentioned in a new post the Kinetic Blade doesn't provoke when used. That makes me very interested in trying a low level switch hitter build with my Kineticist. The main problem is that in order to do this I'd have to give up Precise Shot for Weapon Finesse, and I'll probably also need to increase my Dex in order to have survivable AC.
Well, the one benefit is that you are *much* harder to kill outright. Sure, you will still go unconscious early, but at high levels you'll have a buffer of one or two hundred hit points to go through before you even start bleeding out.
Hmm, I thought Mark said that Kinetic Blade currently requires a concentration check? Honestly, the thought of having only a 50% chance of even getting to make the attack roll has made me wary of using that power (along with the burn). Plus I'd need the Weapon Finesse feat as well....
You know, this is making me realize that Kinetic Blade really has too many downsides for its effect at level 1. I'd have to take damage just to move and attack, plus the class has low armor in the first place. It *might* require a concentration check as well, and requires Weapon Finesse if you aren't going to give up on ranged blasts. Getting Weapon Finesse means delaying Precise Shot. Kind of a bad combination.
It is starting to sound more and more like that this class (at low levels) needs to just ignore its class abilities and use a normal weapon in narrow corridor dungeon situations.
In my experience, every class that doesn't have either Full BAB or real spellcasting simply tends to lag a bit behind the other classes. Maybe Pathfinder Unchained will fix the rogue and monk, but it hasn't happened yet. Until then, I am extremely wary of the Kineticist having anything less than Full BAB.
Having recently played the same module, I can safely say that it's simply not a good test for many characters. Ranged attacks and limited vision, combined with low mobility that prevents you from repositioning away from cover? No bueno.
True, though I didn't really have a way of knowing this ahead of time ;)
I have to say though, I don't think having more lighting or maneuverability would have changed much in this game. The biggest problem for me was that there was really no where I could go in order to get a clear shot. Unfortunately, this sort of cramped dungeon crawl stuff happens all the time for adventurers! I might have to try and fit in Kinetic Blade as an alternative way of dealing damage, but with the concentration checks I'm not sure it is worth it.
In my opinion though, part of a measure of a class is how well it can function in non-ideal circumstances. If its primary ability can be rendered ineffective too easily then that shows that the class either needs more variety and support powers or needs to be extremely effective when it is in ideal conditions. Right now I'm seeing neither of these qualities in the Kineticist.
I guess I'll just have to see how things go in the next level/senario. Not sure what the next game will be.
Just a thought on a simple way to let Kineticists to choose a 'combat style' at 1st level. Package in a bonus feat with certain existing Wild Talents. For example:
Extended Range grants Precise Shot
These would be permanent feats, not just ones that are active when burn is being used. The idea is that if the character is choosing a Wild Talent to use his Kineticist powers in a certain way, he shouldn't be having to spend a bonus feat as well to use it.
Elemental Body is good, but not as good for a ranged kineticist as you would think. The dexterity bonus is generally canceled out by the size penalty to attack that you would get. The only real benefit from elemental body would be the Constitution bonus and higher AC.
Game 1: Emerald Spire level 1 (SPOILERS!)
The party here consisted of six players: my Kineticist, a Barbarian, a fighter, a magus, a cleric, and an oracle. This was a very melee oriented party: I was the only one with a ranged attack. I suffered for this because this game consisted of narrow corridors that the melee almost always blocked, so I had essentially a constant -4 to hit that canceled out my touch attack advantage. If I wasn't playing a human I would have had a -8 to hit constantly due to the lack of Precise Shot.
The entire area was also covered in magical darkness, and I had to rely heavily on the magus using dancing lights in order to be able to see my targets. Most of the rest of the party had darkvision.
It was not a very good opening game for the Kineticist, lol. I also found it odd that my character, who could summon fire at will, had to rely on other people's light sources to see further than his own torch.
Encounter 1: goblins at the entrance
We could not see into the fort because of the magical darkness, so Natsu had to rush in with the melee in order to target anything. We fought 5 gobins and two goblin dogs over the course of several rounds. Natsu used his Kinetic Blast about four times, but missed each time. I had to sit out two rounds because the light sources were't lined up in such a way that I could blast anything. Felt kind of useless here.
Encounter 2: goblin barracks
Finally got a few hits in. Got a clear shot on one goblin and hit it for max damage, dropping it in one hit. Rolled a 20 to hit another one with Fire Blast+Burning Infusion. Burnt it for 5, and then it caught fire for another 2 and died.
This brought up a question. The rules for catching fire in the environment section says that you automatically take 1d6 damage when you fail the save. Does it work this way for burning infusion as well, or do they not take damage until the following round?
Next we ran into a construct backed up by a goblin cleric. I couldn't see the cleric, so I focused on the construct. I hit it once, and to my relief found that it wasn't immune to magic. I was able to ignore its DR, but only did 3 damage and it made its reflex save to not catch fire. The melee finished off the construct, the cleric, and two other goblins that came in later. I missed two more attacks fired at the goblins.
A few knowledge religion and and arcana skill checks came up, but my character didn't have points in any of the related skills.
Encounter 3: Found two gobins by the stairs. I got a clear shot to fire at one, but missed with a 2. The melee killed everything.
Encounter 4: Bugbear on the roof.
The melee managed to kick the door in and we started rushing in the room. However, we delayed killing the thing because it briefly tried to Parlay. We were feeling too bloodthirsty, and tried to kill it before it escaped. We failed, Natsu missed once. This was a point where I would have found the Extended Range wild talent to be useful because I could have shot at it from the window.
I guess a good class to compare this to at this point would be a gunslinger (since I was using my move actions to reduce burn, that is similar to reload). The gunslinger would have similar average damage on a hit, higher attack due to full bab and the ability to focus on DEX, more skills, and a longer range. I would say a gunslinger's grit and the kineticist's wild talents are comparable.
The kineticist seems like it needs *something* extra for low levels. Especially the Pyrokineticist since it is supposed to be all about damage, but I don't see anything it does that is much better than a Elemental Sorcerer using his backup elemental rays. I feel like things will be worse at level two because some archers will have Rapid Shot at this point while I will still just be going for 1d6+2 per round.
Aside from a lot of the usual things that people are recommending like full BAB and bonus feats, I think something the pyrokinetisist could use is a low level AOE attack. Such an ability would have worked wonders in this situation since I could have worked around the -4 attack penalty from cover that I was dealing with.
Hey there, I have been starting to run a Kineticist in PFS, and I will be posting my thoughts and experiences on it here.
Here is the build at level 1.
Ability Scores: Str 10, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 7
AC 16, Touch 13, Flat 13 (Studded Leather)
Skills: Know(nature) 5, Perception 5, Stealth 7, Use Magical Device 2
I felt forced to choose to play a human so that I could have Precise Shot before level 3. I would really recommend that there be a Wild Talent or something that lets the character gain Precise Shot at level 1 without having to play a human. I also felt like I had to pick a trait for a will save bonus.
Yea, this is probably something that we're going to have to bother Mark for a FAQ on eventually ;)
In any case, I guess one of my wild talent recommendations is going to be one that lets the Kineticist use his Blast without having to use a hand. The greater version of this Wild Talent could let the kineticist gather power without having to use hands either.
It isn't like shooting fireballs without moving is a new since Still Spell is a thing. :)
Grrr, just realized that the rules for Kinetic Blast specifies that it requires at least one free hand to aim, even though it is a Spell-like-ability. So blasting while in Fox Shape (and most other polymorph forms) is probably a no-go.
Edit: Actually, that brings up a question. When you use Kinetic Form to assume the form of an Elemental, do you lose your abililty to use Kinetic Blast? It is kind of questionable whether or not elementals have hands.
Some of the talk I've seen about how good small Kineticists are has inspired me to create a Fox Shape Kitsune Kineticist. Since *all* of the ablities are spell-like they can be used while polymorphed. The combined bonuses of +4 Dex and +2 size to attack gives the character a +4 to hit while in fox form.
The only downside I can think of so far is that he might not count as having 'two hands free' to gather energy to avoid burn while in fox shape. However, at high levels with Quick Kitsune Shapechange he would be able to use a move action to gather energy, swift action to change into a fox, and a standard action to use an attack all in the same turn.
Humans still have a bit of an advantage because of their bonus feat and skill point, but I'm glad that I've at least thought of a mechanical advantage to going with 'foxfire' theme ;)
So, I was building a 1st level Pyrokinetisist, and I realized something funny. Despite being able to produce fire from his hands *at will*, he still needs to carry torches!
It would be nice if each type of Kineticist got an at will cantrip that matches their powers. For example:
Aether: Mage Hand
I know it has been mentioned before, but I also have to point out that I feel forced to play a Human so I can get Precise Shot at level 1. The class probably should get an early feat that lets the player choose their fighting style.
I kind of wish that Pyrokineticists could use Deadly Aim to up their damage a bit, but the feat specifically calls out that it can't be used with touch attacks.
Mark, what do you think of the idea of taking a page from the gunslinger and making an exception that allows Kineticists of all types use Deadly Aim, and not just the standard AC targeting ones? (at least I think Gunslingers can use deadly aim...)
Mark Seifter wrote:
OOoo, I like the idea of being able to burn spells away :D
It has already been mentioned, but I'm still worried about campaigns with a lot of natrually energy resistant foes though. Right now the consensus is to not even bother bringing a kineticist to Wrath of the Righteous because almost everything has DR and Resistances.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Even if you have Arcane Strike, it says "As a swift action, you can imbue your weapons with a fraction of your power". Can you really use it on a weapon that doesn't exist until you use it? It isn't like you'll be holding the blast in your hand when you activate Arcane Strike.
One thing that I would like to point out is that the Plasma Blast power doesn't follow Pathfinder's definition of what Plasma is.
Every creature and item that does Plasma damage currently does electrical+fire damage, not the bludgeoning+fire damage that the Kinetisist version does. I would suggest renaming the current 'Plasma Blast' power into 'Superheated Air Blast', and then making a new Plasma Blast power that does Electrical+Fire damage.
Plus, an electrical+fire attack would advance my dream of creating a Natsu type character :D
One person mentioned that Natsu from the Fairy Tail Manga would obviously be a Pyrokinetisist. For those who don't know, Natsu is a 'Dragon Slayer' type character, who essentially follows a 'fight fire with fire' theme. He uses fire infused punches and breath attacks, is immune to most forms of fire, and can eat/absorb flames to become more powerful or rejuvinate himself. It has never been shown, but I believe that his fires can also damage creatures that would normally be immune to fire.
If there were powers available that allowed us to emulate Natsu's fighting style it would be *amazing*. I'll go ahead and share a few rough power ideas.
Elemental Immunity/Resistance: The Kinetisist is immune or resistant to elements associated with his blasts.
Absorb Element: Requires Elemental Immunity. The Kinetisist can absorb energy related to his element. Whenever damage is negated by his energy resistance or immunity, he can choose to store this energy instead. When using an ability that would inflict Burn upon him, the Kinetisist can use a number of points of stored energy equal to his level to decrease the burn cost by 1. The Kinetisist cannot store energy damage from his own attacks.
Kinetic Breath: The Kinetisist can build up elemental energy within his body and release it from his mouth as a cone or line attack that deals damage equal to his blast. Reflex DC = 10+1/2 lvl + Con Mod. Burn 2
Kinetic Slayer: The Kinetisist's attacks can ignore an amount of energy resistance or damage reduction equal to his level. By paying three burn, he can ignore all energy resistance, immunity, and damage reduction for one round.
I think that this is what the Kineticist really needs in order to feel complete. Right now the class suffers a bit from a case of "I need to spend my first three feats to even have the character that I want to run". Honestly, those sort of feats should be given out by the class itself (or at least an archetype).
I like this idea. It could be applied to things like the Explosion infusion as well so we can get fun things like that at a lower level.
A lot of people are commenting on the lack of out of combat options that this class has. The truth is it has some out of combat tricks, but there is very little room for someone who wants to remain competitive with damage to take them.
I think a signifigant boost to skills could help a lot with this issue. Maybe it would be neat if the Feel The Burn power didn't just affect attack and damage, and instead affected certain skills as well. For example, an Airbender *cough* I mean Aerokineticist could gain bonuses to Acrobatics and Fly from Feel the Burn. Fire could gain Acrobatics and Intimidate bonuses, Water could gain Swim and Heal.....
You know, I just looked at the class skill list. Even if this class keeps its skills limited, shouldn't it at least have Knowledge(planes) since its power comes from the planes?
Robert Jordan wrote:
Ahh I missed Expanded Element on my first read through, I'm literate I swear, long as I can make her and other ridiculous Avatar characters I'm happy. Bring on the blood bending!
I have to admit that I was very happy when I realized that I could create Combustion Man with the Explosion infusion. :D
(I just wish it came before level 16!)
Mark, just curious, what are your thoughts on making the various wild talents all have "spell levels" that scale with the character's level rather than having them be based on the ability? I'm worried that characters will be picking abilities that will be useful early on, but then at high levels aren't really worth using because the saving throw DC is so low. Plus, the kineticist doesn't have a 'highten spell' ability like a standard caster to make a low level spell work at a higher level.
Actually, maybe there could be a highten Metakinesis that changes the DC of a power to 10+ 1/2 lvl +Ability Mod?
Soo, I really want to make a Fire Kineticist, so I am only listing all these potential problems with the class out of love ;)
This class seems to have a rather large number of drawbacks compared to the amount of damage it can put out. For example, a Fire Kineticist's main upside is that it gets unlimited touch attacks which do fire damage. However, they are affected by fire resistance/immunity, spell resistance, burn limitations, and medium BAB. They also need to spend at least four feats to be reliably effective: point black shot, precise shot, and two spell penetration feats.
On the other hand a standard archer build, while admittedly overpowered, covers the same role as a Kineticist while having higher damage (more attacks per round and magic item boosts), more reliable damage (ignores immunities/DR), likely higher skills per level (ranger), and a longer range without any investment. An archer needs a lot of feats too, but their classes usually hand these feats to them.
I'm not saying that the Kineticist needs to be as crazy as an archer, but it probably needs ways to overcome its drawbacks and more tricks that distingush it from other ranged damage classes.
At least both archers and Kineticists can't really damage swarms ;)
I agree. I love this class so far, but it really needs more AOE at lower levels. Especially for the fire element: it is kind of weird that they only get single target attacks that don't affect most swarms until level 16.
Personally, I would also recommend that a burn option be added that lets the character bypass elemental resistance and immunity. Maybe 1 burn per 10 points of resistance ignored, and 4 points of burn for bypassing immunity on a single attack. It would be an expensive last ditch option for players at least.