Occult Adventures Class Preview: The Kineticist

Thursday, July 23, 2015


Illustration by Suzanne Helmigh

The kineticist is the odd girl out in Occult Adventures. All the other occult classes are spontaneous spellcasters, but the kineticist isn't a spellcaster. Instead the power of the elements surges through her, and she controls the fundamental building blocks of reality in her own way, using her own body as a conduit to unleash and shape raw bursts of power and to assist her in every aspect of her adventuring career. The kineticist class lets you play characters with strong elemental themes, just like those from all sorts of books, TV shows, movies, and other popular media. She can infuse both form (to change the shape and the delivery mechanism for her blasts) and substance (to add extra effects to her blast), making her blasts an extremely versatile weapon indeed in the hands of an experienced kineticist. The kineticist needs the Constitution to withstand those energies and the Dexterity to shape them, which also makes her an oddity among all the classes in the way she operates. She can use her powers at a baseline all day long, but she can also overclock them, pulling in more energy than her body can normally withstand to gain impressive short-term benefits and the lasting advantages of extra elemental energy coursing through her, but at a great cost to her durability.

In the playtest, I was lucky enough to have the most active playtesters for the kineticist, nearly more feedback than all five of the other classes combined, and I was able to work with those playtesters to refine the kineticist and add more options to open up more possibilities for each element. The final version not only has many more wild talent choices in her pages, she also gains about twice as many wild talents over the course of her career (split out between infusions and utility talents), as well as twice as many base skill points each level (4 instead of 2). This allows the kineticist to branch out and cover more areas instead of being super-specialized like in the playtest. In terms of what else is new, internal buffer grants her an ability to store a very small pool of extra energy to use instead of burning herself, and elemental overflow now provides more benefits than ever before, especially if you wind up taking large amounts of burn and begin taking on more and more elemental aspects within your own body. Infusion specialization now works on both types of infusion, so you don't have to pick between form and substance; whichever kind you use, it's reduced automatically. While the kineticist was always able to gather power in order to reduce the burn cost of her next blast, now she gains improvements at higher levels; a kineticist with the supercharge ability and a round to prepare can reduce the burn cost of her blast by a whopping 5! For reference, especially for those not involved in the playtest, that's enough to both empower the blast and double it, essentially shooting out two blasts for 1.5x damage!

Every single element has gotten something new and cool (and since there are new and cool universal talents that anyone can take, that adds even more options). Here's s little bit for each element (there are more for you to discover on your own!): Aether gains telekinetic invisibility, which lets you use strands of aether to dampen sound and refract light around yourself, potentially fooling sound-based blindsense like the echolocation spell. Air can gain evasion and can even haste the whole party by either spending your turn or taking burn to keep it active. Earth can create deadly areas of difficult terrain that cause reduced blast damage—and special substance effects of course!—to everyone inside everyone (pair with grappling infusion substance to make grasping hands of earth that hold them in place to take damage again and again). Fire can burn away an enemies buffs and has fan of flames, a cone-shaped blast available at 1st-level. Water can summon a tsunami to annihilate entire settlements.

Alright, whew! Too many goodies to describe them all, but let's move on to the archetypes. The kineticist archetypes are pretty high-impact, in that they can strongly alter the kineticist in a way that opens up whole new avenues of play. Much of that is thanks to the playtesters who desired alternate styles of play, allowing me to see what we needed most. In the end, I managed to fit five archetypes in there somehow, enough to cover many of the archetypes that playtesters wanted most of all. The blood kineticist gains mastery of blood and can injure a foe without an attack roll by twisting the blood within their body. Sounds good for a vampire, right? So I'll skip alphabetically to the overwhelming soul, which uses Charisma instead of Constitution and doesn't conflict with the blood kineticist; the overwhelming soul uses mind over matter to avoid burn, gaining some of the benefits of a kineticist who took a lot of burn through sheer focus. Overwhelming soul is perfect for a kineticist face character, or for players who don't want to handle the tactics and economy of burn, like a small group of the playtesters. Next up is elemental annihilator. This archetype is all about killing things with blasts, and she trades out all utility talents for increased combat boosts, free combat feats that ignore prerequisites, and a special form infusion that grants her a versatile stream of mixed melee and ranged attacks. The elemental ascetic combines monastic wisdom with elemental powers, adding elemental damage (and of course, the true power of the archetype: delicious extra substance effects like trip, entangle, stagger, and more) to every punch in his flurry of blows. Finally, the peaceful kinetic chirurgeon is the polar opposite of the elemental annihilator and the perfect archetype for a support healer kineticist, giving up infusions and blast-based metakinesis abilities to gain a large number of paladin mercies (1.5x as many as a paladin gets), metakinesis that affects her kinetic healer (like extra healing, healing that brings back a recently-dead target, and quickened healing), and a double size internal buffer that only works for healing. And remember, this healer heals a lot of hit points each time to a single target. Way more than a cure spell.

I hope you enjoy the kineticist and use her to make all the elemental-focused character builds you've only dreamed about playing until now, based on all sorts of books, TV shows, and movies. It's going to be a (kinetic) blast!

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Tags: Kineticists Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Suzanne Helmigh
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This is so great to see finally!

I'd definitely wanna try the elemental ascetic one day!
And the kinetic chirurgeon next time I do healer role.


Sounds excellent!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Again one of the neat things in this book. They feel a LOT like the Warlock from 3.5 days only just different enough.

Sovereign Court

i look forward to his, the bigget issues i had with kineticist was that they were a 1 trick pony with lil flavor of their own. sound like mark attacked this head on.


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I am still not entirely clear on how the internal buffer works, but the addition of more utility talents and the versatility from the archetypes all sound very useful.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Golux wrote:
I am still not entirely clear on how the internal buffer works, but the addition of more utility talents and the versatility from the archetypes all sound very useful.

Basically, if you have some leftover room for burn at the end of the day, you can take some burn to put a point or two in your internal buffer, recover the burn, and then spend points from your internal buffer in place of taking burn. It's a very small pool, though.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

But if you play five kineticists, can you take a teamwork feat to work together and summon Golarion's greatest champion?

CAPTAIN PLANET!


I'll need to look this over when it comes out, but I'm very interested. The aesthetic may just give me the melee version of this class I was looking for.


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I didnt ever look into the play tests of any of these classes, and maybe I should have, but this..THIS is the class I've been wanting to see. This is what I've wanted to play for a long time. Now I can't wait for this to be out to purchase. This sounds incredibly fun

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

This is the class I'm most excited about. And I can't wait!

Though, I find it funny the iconic is basically Annie from League of Legends and there's an archetype that turns the kinectist into a Vladimir.


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Five kineticist elements...
Five kineticist archetypes...
I'm not sure if I should talk my players down from an all-kineticist party -- or to build a campaign specifically for it!

Really glad to hear the playtest helped expand the utility elements and archetypes for the book. It's what they process it meant to do, and makes me really hopeful for the vigilante. Thumbs up for community cooperation to make better design!


Quote:
Earth can... pair with grappling infusion substance to make grasping hands of earth that hold them in place to take damage again and again

Well great, now I'm going to have to work on a Warcraft Shaman archetype as soon as I get my hands on the PDF. Probably focus on Enhancement, Elemental and Restoration can already be done with existing Kineticist content I believe...

The Kineticist was the class I was most excited about in the playtest, and even with the improvements to the Medium and Occultist it looks like that still holds true. Everything in this blog sounds useful, interesting, and above all really f~&%ing cool. I reaaaally want to play one now.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Halfling was already a good fit for Kineticist, looking forward to all the overwhelming soul builds :D More wild talents and skill points help a lot too, the playtest felt like you were able to select about .95 of what you wanted for a build. Although the additional new talents will probably make even the expanded number of talents gained feel like a tough decision, ideally!


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Is it the 29th yet?

What about now?

...Now?

Grand Lodge

I love the new changes from what I've read here and what I've seen with the pre-generated Yoon character. I can already tell that I will never need to play another class again with the Kineticist around.

All of the archetypes except the monk seems pretty nice. When can we expect a black blood archetype that focuses on the kineticist's own blood instead of others? OR just give us a kineticist that really likes metal (and armor by association).

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds like a kinetic healer. I love playing different healer classes.

mentally marks off -22 as a kinetic chirurgeon


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Quote:
Earth can create deadly areas of difficult terrain that cause reduced blast damage—and special substance effects of course!—to everyone inside everyone (pair with grappling infusion substance to make grasping hands of earth that hold them in place to take damage again and again).

Yeah. My next DMPC is going to be a Dai Li Agent.


Oddly enough, it sounds like Hobgoblins are going to make great kineticists.

Though a corps of hobgoblin geokineticists whose job in an army is to create fortifications for the main hobgoblin force does sound quite plausible now that I think about it.


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Ventnor wrote:

Oddly enough, it sounds like Hobgoblins are going to make great kineticists.

Though a corps of hobgoblin geokineticists whose job in an army is to create fortifications for the main hobgoblin force does sound quite plausible now that I think about it.

Moloch-worshiping hobgoblin pyrokineticists ahoy.

Beware the hobgoblin Fire Nation!


I don't know if this was intentional or not, but the iconic looks left-handed in that picture - hooray for the little details of inclusion!

...Also, it would be hard to overstate how much I'm looking forward to seeing this in full. XD

Grand Lodge

Can't wait until next week! May have to build another type of Kinetisist than this playtest version.....


Ventnor wrote:

Oddly enough, it sounds like Hobgoblins are going to make great kineticists.

Though a corps of hobgoblin geokineticists whose job in an army is to create fortifications for the main hobgoblin force does sound quite plausible now that I think about it.

The first kineticist I built was a Hobgoblin Geokineticist, though he was very much a monk-trained striker.

Liberty's Edge

Rednal wrote:
I don't know if this was intentional or not, but the iconic looks left-handed in that picture - hooray for the little details of inclusion!

Iconics sadly lack handedness (or are all ambidextrous) because they often need to flip art.

And I'm most interested in the Overwhelming Soul. I like playing characters with good Int and Cha and that sounds like the way to go for a Kineticist who meets those criteria. I'll have to have a look at what it gives up Burn for...


Can't wait to get the book already.
I think one of the reasons this class is so popular is because everybody has an element which you can feel related to. (a favorite classic element)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Kyo Yamato wrote:

Can't wait to get the book already.

I think one of the reasons this class is so popular is because everybody has an element which you can feel related to. (a favorite classic element)

I for one relate most to Aethyr, because I like to Force Choke people who's lack of faith I find disturbing.

Paizo Employee Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kyo Yamato wrote:

Can't wait to get the book already.

I think one of the reasons this class is so popular is because everybody has an element which you can feel related to. (a favorite classic element)

Kyo, I think you're on to something. The thing that makes me grin the most (in that it tells me that I've done a good job making the elements different but cool) is when I saw a bunch of people get into heartfelt debates about their favorite element obviously being the best, and when they got down to explaining, it turned out that all the people involved had valid reasons, and so it was all about their playstyle and personality. And when I brought it up, they each admitted that they did tend to relate to that element more too. That told me that I captured the "feel" of the elements pretty well, which makes me happy!


So.... I read this hours ago. Then I squee'd, then I called up all my Avatar nerd friends and babbled on and on about how much I love the Kineticist and the this teaser post. But in doing so... I forgot to comment.

Well, now I have. Also... #SeifterMasterRace

:D


Mark Seifter wrote:
Kyo Yamato wrote:

Can't wait to get the book already.

I think one of the reasons this class is so popular is because everybody has an element which you can feel related to. (a favorite classic element)
Kyo, I think you're on to something. The thing that makes me grin the most (in that it tells me that I've done a good job making the elements different but cool) is when I saw a bunch of people get into heartfelt debates about their favorite element obviously being the best, and when they got down to explaining, it turned out that all the people involved had valid reasons, and so it was all about their playstyle and personality. And when I brought it up, they each admitted that they did tend to relate to that element more too. That told me that I captured the "feel" of the elements pretty well, which makes me happy!

This reminds me of a video by Cracked's "After Hours" show when they talk about the how the Ninja Turtles reflect everyone's personality.


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Mark, I want to say thank you for this class. This right here? This is what got me interested in Occult Adventures. Other things have since proved interesting, but it was the kineticist that immediately grabbed my attention in the play test, and it remains the class I've considered most interesting since I started playing pathfinder.

It's such a different take on how classes normally work that it grabs me far more than the new psychic magic system, and since the play test I've wanted a chance to play around with Wild Talents as much as I can, so there being more of them and even better than before is enormously encouraging to hear. The archetypes sound fun to work with, too! I'm holding onto the hope that the Kineticist proves able to please the masses of players like myself that took such an interest in its potential, and that maybe we'll see more classes as off the beaten path as this one going forward. We've found the paths that lead to high casting or martial mastery, but this class reminds me we may still have new paths to find.

The main problem I have is that it's going to be really, really hard to pick between the geokineticist and the aerokineticist...ah, well, that's what expanded element is for.

On the sillier side of things, I look forward to trying to recreate this fight scene with kineticists sometime. Sounds like I got just the martial artist archetype I'd need to pull it off.


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I am looking forward to playing this class because mechanically, it seems the most similar to my favorite class of D&D 3.5, the Dragonfire Adept. I've been wanting to play one again for so long, and I can probably just fluff that the kinetic blasts are my characters breath.


We don't have enough players so we always do gestalt - Next up - Monk / Kineticist... or a DSP Soul Knife/Aether Kineticist (Jedi)


I wonder if we'll get an ability to allow the Kineticist to ignore the elemental immunity of a creature.


Berselius wrote:
I wonder if we'll get an ability to allow the Kineticist to ignore the elemental immunity of a creature.

From what I hear, yes and no. For example, can't make your fire flatout ignore immunity, but you could use your control over fire to rip the fire out of a fire elemental.

Paizo Employee Designer

Milo v3 wrote:
Berselius wrote:
I wonder if we'll get an ability to allow the Kineticist to ignore the elemental immunity of a creature.
From what I hear, yes and no. For example, can't make your fire flatout ignore immunity, but you could use your control over fire to rip the fire out of a fire elemental.

Or a red dragon; take that, dragon!


Mark Seifter wrote:
Or a red dragon; take that, dragon!

Primal dragons would be particularly screwed I'd imagine. Though... I'll prob homebrew them to have wild talent instead of sorcery... so that might turn it into an elemental tug o' war.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Berselius wrote:
I wonder if we'll get an ability to allow the Kineticist to ignore the elemental immunity of a creature.
From what I hear, yes and no. For example, can't make your fire flatout ignore immunity, but you could use your control over fire to rip the fire out of a fire elemental.
Or a red dragon; take that, dragon!

I would really like to know the details of this ability, it sounds awesome.


Any chance for some Web fiction or upcoming novels featuring a kineticist?


Gordrenn Higgler wrote:
Any chance for some Web fiction or upcoming novels featuring a kineticist?

As of this blog post, no future Web Fiction.

For novels with any occult classes, that'll depend on whether the Paizo staff in charge wants it or not.


Luthorne wrote:
The Golux wrote:
I am still not entirely clear on how the internal buffer works, but the addition of more utility talents and the versatility from the archetypes all sound very useful.
Basically, if you have some leftover room for burn at the end of the day, you can take some burn to put a point or two in your internal buffer, recover the burn, and then spend points from your internal buffer in place of taking burn. It's a very small pool, though.

Oh, the internal buffer can last between days, unlike Burn?

Also, how free does a hand need to be for gather energy? I know if you're actually holding something it isn't, but what if you have a cestus or a spiked gauntlet, that you just wear?


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Okay, I can't believe I haven't thought to ask this until now, but...

Can a Geokineticist spontaneously create giant statues of themselves? This is definitely the most important aspect of the class-no, the entire book.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Arachnofiend wrote:

Okay, I can't believe I haven't thought to ask this until now, but...

Can a Geokineticist spontaneously create giant statues of themselves? This is definitely the most important aspect of the class-no, the entire book.

He can get

Spoiler:
Stone Sculpt at 10th level

Arachnofiend wrote:

Okay, I can't believe I haven't thought to ask this until now, but...

Can a Geokineticist spontaneously create giant statues of themselves? This is definitely the most important aspect of the class-no, the entire book.

Note to Self: Make the earth elementals my geokineticist summons shaped as statues of my character.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Berselius wrote:
I wonder if we'll get an ability to allow the Kineticist to ignore the elemental immunity of a creature.
From what I hear, yes and no. For example, can't make your fire flatout ignore immunity, but you could use your control over fire to rip the fire out of a fire elemental.
Or a red dragon; take that, dragon!
I would really like to know the details of this ability, it sounds awesome.

It's a 1st-level substance infusion that makes your blast only work on creatures of a subtype that matches your kinetic blast's element, but against those creatures, it's a touch attack, allows spell resistance, but ignores any and all damage reduction, resistances, or immunities they possess. It does somewhat less damage and they get a Fort save to reduce it further. But if at least one creature that gets hit fails their save, you can reduce the cost of a blast wild talent's burn by 1 for the next round.

The Golux wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
The Golux wrote:
I am still not entirely clear on how the internal buffer works, but the addition of more utility talents and the versatility from the archetypes all sound very useful.
Basically, if you have some leftover room for burn at the end of the day, you can take some burn to put a point or two in your internal buffer, recover the burn, and then spend points from your internal buffer in place of taking burn. It's a very small pool, though.
Oh, the internal buffer can last between days, unlike Burn?

Yes, points in your internal buffer remain indefinitely, until you use them.

The Golux wrote:
Also, how free does a hand need to be for gather energy? I know if you're actually holding something it isn't, but what if you have a cestus or a spiked gauntlet, that you just wear?

Sounds like a question for your DM. It just says you need to have all your hands and/or prehensile appendages free. What constitutes having a free hand isn't nailed down, though this probably wouldn't be the place to do that...same question, I suppose, if you're wearing a cestus on one hand, can you use Deflect Arrows? Benefit from the Free Hand Fighter's AC bonus? And so on and so forth. I can imagine people ruling either way...some saying you are indeed technically not holding anything, others saying you're clearly trying to evade the intent via technicalities...maybe we'll get an FAQ on it someday? (I don't think one exists, anyways...)

Scarab Sages

Milo v3 wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

Okay, I can't believe I haven't thought to ask this until now, but...

Can a Geokineticist spontaneously create giant statues of themselves? This is definitely the most important aspect of the class-no, the entire book.

Note to Self: Make the earth elementals my geokineticist summons shaped as statues of my character.

Addendum: Be thankful Alain is a cavalier and not a geokineticist.


Mr. Pilkington, Philosoraptor wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:


Note to Self: Make the earth elementals my geokineticist summons shaped as statues of my character.

Addendum: Be thankful Alain is a cavalier and not a geokineticist.

Well... my characters standard earth blast is tonnes of golden swords, and the earth-elemental-statue-me would be a gold elemental... so he might be worse than Alain.


Milo v3 wrote:
Well... my characters standard earth blast is tonnes of golden swords, and the earth-elemental-statue-me would be a gold elemental... so he might be worse than Alain.

Do you summon them from a giant portal?


Morrin the Stout wrote:
Can't wait until next week! May have to build another type of Kinetisist than this playtest version.....

I'm building gnome fire Kinetiscist. It's turning out pretty good. That class took me about 3 readings in book to figure but I think I have handle on it now. It's not so much the complexity but how I do up the character to streamline in play on character sheet. This was cool then I read Medium and was even more impressed. Loving Occult Adventures, can't wait for the hardcover book to get to my mailbox until I have the PDF on my IPAD.


Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Well... my characters standard earth blast is tonnes of golden swords, and the earth-elemental-statue-me would be a gold elemental... so he might be worse than Alain.
Do you summon them from a giant portal?

Inspired by a different Fate/Stay Night route actually.


Is there any chance that this class could get more archetypes later on to add the Tian elements of metal and wood in some form?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Iphigenia von Saltz wrote:
Is there any chance that this class could get more archetypes later on to add the Tian elements of metal and wood in some form?

Metal exists as a composite blast for earth and earth.

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