Actually, I took the Pyromancer into an AP with a lot of it, spoilered below.
The Mummy's Mask AP starting at 13th level. There was one level where about 2/3 of the critters were immune to fire. This was before 15th level, as I did not have Water blasts available.
The very next level a guy with a Magus subbed in... and that was the level where 80% of the critters were immune to lightning. He was kind of pissy about the whole thing.
I ran a Pyromancer as Fire/Fire/Water (taking in Water as an additional element at level 15). If I had to do it again I would go Fire/Water/Fire.
I also took in a +1 crossbow with Bane: Evil Outsiders, as that covered a lot of creatures that had Fire Resistance or Immunity. There were also +1 Frost bolts for the crossbow. But the truth is, the crossbow didn't get too much use.
"Wall" abilities were usefull, as well as the occasional Suffocate (Water based).
An additional benefit of Kinetic Blade, as that it's the prerequisite of Kinetic Whip. The Whip is better than the Blade in that it has a reach of 15', and it stays up until the beginning of your next turn. This leads to performing Attacks of Opportunity, particularly if you have Combat Reflexes and sufficent Dex for multiple swings.
Here's what Occult Adventures has to say about it:
Kinetic Blade... You form a weapon using your kinetic abilities. You create a non-reach, light or one-handed weapon in your hand formed of pure energy or elemental matter.
So yes, you could do spell combat with a Kinetic Blade.
The problem with this is: why would you? The Kineticist is a class that really suffers from dilution (like 9th level casters).
Baron Egil Firehair & his five comrades acquitted Grandmaster Torch on all counts and let him go. We even helped heal up his assistant. Of the the four VC party members, three decided to become members of the Decemvirate, and one an adviser.
Baron Egil declined on all accounts, as he spent most of his career cleaning out the Emerald Spire, and creating his barony in the River Kingdoms. He has little to no knowledge of Affairs in the Grand Lodge and had no idea who Torch was before 10-22. So he felt he would be a poor choice to run the Society... even if he had the time.
Our sixth party member also felt that he was to busy to spend all his time in Absalom.
The listed resistances work off the amount of burn you are currently subject to, so it's limited.
Note that at 9th level a Kineticist gets 5d6 plus mods damage for a simple blast, and 10d6 plus mods damage from a composite blast. The later will penetrate pretty much any elemental resistance you come across, including your own.
The moral to the story is be carefull where you place area affect blasts / walls / etc. Just like a wizard with area affect spells.
Played this on Sunday with 6 characters in high tier 17/18.
1. As a player, I wasn't realize there were Awareness points. But the group prepared well and didn't run into any patrols. (I assume the attackers at Eylysia's lair were not a patrol.)
2 We fought Rurat as not enough people disguised themselves as Reptilian.
3. The scenario took 6 and a half hours on normal mode. I _cannot_ recommend hard mode at Gen Con, or any location with time limitations. Note: that in the final fight, the Fire/Water Kineticist panicked when the Red Mantis Squad showed up and knocked out Eylysia with Suffocate in the first round. If she's supposed to help the party, then that slowed things down.
4. For people interested in party composition & tactics
We had at 17th level: Alchemist, Druid, Inquisitor, Kineticist & Paladin. The 6th player had some sort of composite class skill monkey, but I have no details.
We entered port with a Mind Blank running, went to the party, the Pagoda, back to the party with two Break Enchantments to get Strake back in his body & departed via Wind Walk before the Mind Blank expired.
The Kineticist took out both Soul Eaters with some help from the Paladin, about 75/25. The Kinny easily passed out more damage than any other character, followed by the inquisitor.
As I have commented before on these boards, a Kineticist can get a lot of mileage out of a +1 Bane:Evil Outsiders light crossbow. It handles the majority of the Outsiders with SR that you will run into. (For an energy using Kinny, at least). And the range is respectable... 80' I think, without looking it up.
Actually, I was surprised by the number of non-fire, non Outsider creatures I ran into that were immune to fire.
Including a lot of undead in the later Mummy's Mask books.
This is why I advised the Fire/Water shift at 7th level. Also Kinetic Healer, Wall & Suffocate.
The plan for Outsiders was to get a +1 Bane Outsider [Evil] light crossbow, as that covers the majority of all outsiders you will run into.
... Syries is right, fire's fury is your natural level 1 wild talent for the combat bonus even if elemental whispers might be fun.
Fire's Fury is a wasted effort at 1st level... it adds Elemental Overflow to a Fire blast, but you don't get EO until 3rd level. Try taking Extended Range instead.
Note that Fire is an energy attack. If you want to stay all energy, at 7th level you expand into Water/Cold. As both of these will bounce off of Spell Resistance, you want to take the Spell Penetration & Greater SP feats starting at around level 7.
The point about playing a Kineticist is well made (although it's off-topic, OP asked for casters).
With a 15 point build you can go 16,14,10,10,10,10 to get a 16 Con and 14 Dex. Then tweak the other 10s for pluses/minuses. And that's before racial mods. If you aren't going PFS, then there are option for races that boost both Dex & Con. Aasimar & Hobgoblin come to mind.
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Well if you want a reason for why you can't meta healer, I'd start with the fact Utility Wild Talents (like Healer) are all pretty strictly unmodifiable beyond what the text says it can do.
Incorrect: nowhere in the Occult Adventures book does it say that Wild Talents can't be modified.
The section on metakinesis says "Metakinesis (Su): At 5th level, a kineticist gains the ability to alter her kinetic blasts..."
The section on Elemental Overflow says "Elemental Overflow (Ex): At 3rd level, a ... She also receives a bonus on damage rolls with her kinetic blast equal to double the bonus on attack rolls..."
Kinetic Healer heals the amount of damage you Kinetic Blast would do. That is (level/2)d6*(metakinesis bonus, if any) + (varying mods per physical/energy) + Elemental Overflow. Nowhere in the description does it say 'base Kinetic Blast' or 'unaugumented KB', etc.
The text does say 'Kinetic Blast' as against 'Composite Blast', so you are probably right there. But I see no reason why metamagic cannot be used to enhance the blast. For that matter, I did not include Elemental Overflow into any of the previous calculations as it is quite variable... but EO is something that just happens when you have Burn. Nothing to turn on, or consume an action. So if you have it, it should add to the healing. At 9th level, the Kineticist might want to run around with three Burn to get the size bonus of +2 to two physical stats (including Con, of course), so that would be +6 to the healing.
Hmm. I just checked the nonlethal damage rules and you are correct AVR. The judges in my area don't stack them...
The fighter above probably doesn't want more than two/three points of burn. Classes with 8/6 sided hit dice probably only want 1 except in a pinch. Still, when you come out of fight with 3 out of 67 hp left, getting 54+ hp back in two rounds can be a big benefit. That's the equivalent of being tapped with a Wand of Cure Light wounds 10 times.
It's spammable, but not unlimited.
Yes, you push a point of Burn onto your fellow party member, but she isn't carefully managing her burn levels the way you are. She takes 1 hit point per level, which is likely to be 9, (like the Kineticist). But this is non-lethal, which doesn't cross over with regular damage. So a party member can take 90% of the hit point total in non-lethal with no consequences. The only reason I do not say 99% is you do (very rarely) run into someone/thing that deals out non-lethal damage at 9th level...
Say you have a 9th level Fighter with a 14 Con, she's going to average 5.5*9 + 18 HP. That's 49.5 -> 49, + 18 => 67 HP. She can accept 7 Burn from healing (7*9 = 63), or 6 if she is being cautious. Since Kinetic Healing heals per Kinetic Blast, you gather power for a full round + move action in the second round and heal with an empowered composite blast. At 9th level that yields 10d6*1.5 + misc bonus (depending on energy or physical type of blast). For energy blasts that's 52 +2/3 hp back; for physical blasts that's 52 + 10 + 4/5/6 hp.
At minimum that's 6*(52+2)=324 hp. Just how many hp do you expect your party fighter to burn through before getting 8 hours of rest (or two hours with nap stack)?
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
As the player of a 15th level fire/fire/water kineticist, my advice is go fire/water/fire. At 7th level you pick up the ever spamable Kinetic Healing, and you can get substance infusions to tag along with your blast that stagger, etc your opponents. Note that Suffocate can be a lot of fun when you hit 12th level.
Also, things that are immune to fire usually only have resistance to cold of 5/10, so you maximize your cold blast (which, like fire, is ranged touch).
Egil & his companions are only about 2/3 through... we had to stop just after the offer in the OP was made. Yoshi the Samurai accepted.
Also, that bit about losing your happiest memory? That was presented to our party as 'a very happy memory'. Most of our party had a very happy memory right in the module and agreed to lose that one. This trip to the Abyss is an unpleasant slog through various disgusting sights/sounds/smells... and the one bright point in the trip is gone! alas!
I just went into #9-25 (levels 12-15) this afternoon; four players at high tier. We also opted to play hard mode when the judge asked us, under the theory that it would be more exciting!
The first encounter wasn't too bad, but the second was frightfull. We won, but had to withdraw from the adventure. We got 1 XP, 0 prestige and 1/4 of the available loot.
My character, the 15th level Kineticist lost five energy levels and came three hit points of falling. The 14th level Inquisitor lost four levels and was killed in a fashion requiring Resurrection. The other two players lost another five levels between them.
The Huge Undead creature was destroyed. The Huge Demon had about 2/3 of his hit points left, but teleported out to report on the experimental undead's combat performance as per orders...
The 5337 gp loot was insufficient to pay for the Greater Restoration that got my 5 levels back (5910), and the Inquisitor was way worse off.
To quote Frank Gorshin from the 60's Batman tv show, "Golly Batman, that smarts!"
Just to clarify a few things...
2. Are you running the dungeon only? There are plot threads that occur in and around the nearby town. My group (which is 13 floors down/level 9-11) are going dungeon only, so I can't speak to/spoil things going on in town. But it makes a difference if you are building only for a dungeon; your characters don't need as much versatility. Ask your judge.
3. The nearby town is exactly that: a town. You can't get a lot of the more potent gear there (if you are in PFS, then you have downtime to travel to a big city). A build that needs equipment not found in the loot could be a problem. Once again, ask your judge.
4. My group has waffle-stomped multiple levels for two reasons: a) the dungeon was designed for 4 PCs, and we often have more. b) two of the players have really brutal swashmonklers, that generate 3-6 attacks of opportunity each round. Not just for each other, but for other melee players too. Our group is combat heavy and skills/knowledge light; we would have significant problems in many PFS scenarios.
Having helped empty out the Emerald Spire and claimed a Barony in the Riverlands, Egil Firehair was called to Osirion to help deal with the
Baron Firehair is, as can be easily imagined, a Fire Kineticist. Having doubled up on the Fire element, at 15th level he has added Water to his repertoire.
You are correct, Deadly Aim is there for the +1 Bane - Outsiders (Evil) Light Crossbow. As a Pyromancer, Egil has Fire's Fury, which gives extra damage for Elemental Overflow when using blasts with a 'fire' component & I confused the math.
The 6d6+16 should have been 6d6+13. Still not worrying about +3 damage too much. Note that an Earth blast (frex), not being ranged touch, would be 6d6+16.
Eh, +3 to hit and damage isn't a big deal to my previously mentioned Pyromancer. He does 6d6+16 damage, thanks to Elemental Overflow & Deadly Aim. (Or did, at 11th level.) The +3 damage isn't a big deal.
The +3 to hit isn't a big deal either, as Fire is Ranged Touch. It would become a much larger deal for most other elemental types, as they are _not_ touch. So no, don't do it.
VS metamagic rods/feats: empower, maximize & extended range(s) are already baked into the class, so skip those too. Note that there was a thread on Kineticists during the playtest that ran hundreds of posts, so the devs (principly John Compton) got a lot of feedback. So, generally speaking, the class does not need to be tweaked.
You game may vary. If the campaign is featuring enemies with elemental immunities & SR that affect the Kineticist more heavily than other players & it happens a lot, than maybe do something.
Note: by level 11, Gather Power has been bumped to 2 Burn for a move action, so empower, maximize or composite blast are all 'free' if you don't have to move. The 6d6+16 blast when maximized is 36+16=52. And the composite blast is 12d6+16=58 average. The Kinetic Blade is considerably weaker, as you don't get elemental overflow damage adds, but can be used iteratively in melee, including Haste. So the potential is there for more damage, plus no AoO if you are being crowded by your foes.
While playing Mummy's Mask with my level 13/14 Pyrokineticist, he was out-damaging everyone else at the table. Including the Fighter 8/Slayer 6 archer build. He also out-damaged most of the characters he played with in levels 1-11 of Emerald Spire. (It's hard to compare him to the pair of Swashmonklers... they were built to have huge synergy with each other. I am not familiar with the build, but they both have Paired Opportunist, Broken Wing Gambit, etc. They end up boosting each others AC and saves by about 7, as well as producing 3-5 AoOs for each other most combat rounds. The Pyro was clearly ahead of them until around level 9, but I think they've been pulling ahead now.)
The Kineticist doesn't need help laying out damage; his weak points are SR and Immunity to his chosen element. At level 14 the Pyro has this pretty well covered, but from around 7 to 12 it was a problem to varying degrees.
I built my human Pyromancer with the following point spread
His feats were (through 5th level)
Some people say that ranged touch is accurate enough without Precise Shot but I do not agree. I see no reason to impose a -4 to hit upon myself just because the melee guys are doing their thing.
Frex: at third level your opponent has a touch AC of 11. You have a BAB of +2, +2 from Dex and +1 from Point Blank Shot for a total of +5, so you need to roll a 6 to hit. Melee occurs, now you are -4 for soft cover, and -4 to shoot into melee. That 6 to hit just jumped to 14.
Note: I took in Kinetic Blade early, just in case I was forced into melee & never used it until 9th level. But the Kinetic Whip came in really handy any number of times at 13+. Paired with Combat Reflexes, it yields Attacks of Opportunity when people move through your 15' threat zone, even when flat-footed.
A Kinetic Blast of the energy type bounces off of Spell Resistance. A physical type blast bounces off of Damage Resistance instead... so a Physical Blast will penetrate an Anti-Magic field if it originates outside it's area off effect. (As stated above.)
Kinetic Blade & Whip will not work inside the affected area.
As a Fire Kineticist that would be susceptible to the SR of Outsiders, I acquired a Light Crossbow +1, Bane vs Outsiders [Evil] (that being the most common type of outsider with SR I would be likely to fight). As the class uses Dex as it's secondary stat, it's not an unreasonable weapon to carry around, and crossbow quarrels would hurt the caster as well as a not-so-magic sword.
Mobile Gathering is insanely useful- so long as you can avoid Provoking, it gives you an exceptional amount of mobility for what amounts to a full-attacking ranged character. Especially once you get Wings of Air, it gives you nearly full mobility at all times.
Eh, I'm not sold on this. You can't take Mobile Gathering until you are 7th level, at which point you already have Infusion Specialty 1. So you Gather Power to Empower your blast, and let InfSpec cover the cost of Extended Range and just blast away. Or move 30' and blast normally, so that next round you are inside the 30' range.
I note that Infusion Specialty 2 comes at 8th level, not long after Mobile Gathering, which allows for more infusion shenanigans.
Please understand I'm not saying this isn't a usefull feat, I'm saying think carefully about whether or not you're going to use it a lot. Kineticists are another of the feat starved classes, and there are a lot of other feats to chose from. The play-style of your campaign is going to influence this a lot.
If you aren't going to single element, then you aren't going to actually get that much out of the Elemental focus feats. Also talk to your judge about Weapon Focus (Kinetic Blast); he might rule that Weapon Focus needs to be taken once each for KB-water, KB-air, etc. Rather like getting different weapon Focus feats for greatsword and longbow.
There are plenty of helpfull feats that have nothing to do with your blasts, particularly if you are on the high end of your party's power level. Improved Init, Iron Will & Skill Focus Use Magic Device come to mind...
Remember: Water & Air KBs, as well as both of their Composite attacks are physical, so they are affected by DR. Of the two Composites: one is half piercing/half cold, and the other is half bludgeoning/half electricity. So, I guess you pays your money and takes your chances there.
A Kinetic Blast is an SPA - Spell-Like Ability. You only get one spell per round and this amulet will not change that. (Yes, I know about the Quicken Spell metamagic feat, but that only applies to spells, not SPAs.)
Note that the description of Kinetic Blade is very specific about it being a blast, despite being used in melee.
This amulet would help out the user of Kinetic Whip, however, as KW is quit specific about it being able to perform Attacks of Opportunity. (KW is presented as being able to make more than one attack per round without explanation of why it isn't limited like Kinetic Blade; it just does.)
So in the end, it depends on whether your Kineticist uses Kinetic Whip or not.
Slim Jim wrote:
No cherry-picking going on. No mention has been made of what element the Kineticist is using, frex. Mentioning the Kinetic Blade is exactly the same as mentioning the longbow... KB is how a ranged designed class gets melee, the same as mentioning the longbow is how a melee designed class gets ranged attacks. And mentioning the Lance for mounted combat to get double damage out of a charge is equivalent to using the wand of Shield to bump the Kinny's weaker armor class.
Please note: I am not saying that your Paladin can't switch hit, I'm saying that it's moderate, rather than optimal.
Let's repeat something from my previous post:
I didn't list any feats at all for the paladin example, and he doesn't truly need any of them (although I'd certainly have Combat Reflexes for AoO-generation in a polearm guy).
This is were you went wrong; to be optimal in a role requires feat support:a) Mounted Combat feat tree - Mounted Combat, Ride-By-Attack, Spirited Charge, with Wheeling Charge & Phalanx Formation also being helpfull.
b) Ranged Combat feat tree - Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Deadly Aim, Rapid Shot and/or Many Shot (not all ranged chars get Many Shot). Point Blank Mastery is also helpfull for the classes that get it.
c) Melee Combat feats - there are so many options here that listing feat trees is ridiculous. Str melee tends to start with Power Attack.
While I'm sure you're proud of your Kineticist's jacked Con bonus, the paladin's swift LoH is best-in-game for unassisted damage-mitigation.
Ah, no. Best in game would (probably) be the Earth Kineticist's defensive DR mechanism, though LoH is very good. As to jacked Con, if a Kinny only pays attention to his Con then he misses out the same way a Paladin misses out if only jacking his Cha.
I've never played a Kineticist and don't know a ton about them, so I would like to imagine there's some system-mastery-available mechanism around the prominently-listed 30' range limit to kinetic blasts.
No imagination (or system-mastery) is necessary, as Kinny's get multiple infusions that extend the range to 120', and one for 480'. These are available as early as 1st level. It all depends on what you want, as 1st level also supplies Kinetic Blade. (I note: Kineticists are a complex class and you have to read well in to find longer range infusions.)
A paladin can apply his charisma bonus to attack...
I apologize, as I seem to have mentally skipped from supernova to damage surges. But Kinny's get this too, via the Burn mechanism, and more flexibly. As previously asked, is your Paladin only going to fight Evil opponents? The Kinny has problems of his own with creatures that have Spell Resistance, but still gets his supernova off on a wider range of enemies.
Slim Jim wrote:
Correction: a Kineticist with the Kinetic Blade (and possibly Kinetic Whip), a wand of Shield, Deadly Aim & Power Attack is an optimal switch hitter.
The Paladin above suffers the problem most people who try to switch-hit have - too many feats required. He needs mounted combat, ranged and melee feats. He's normally going to have one of the three sets, and not much of the other two. The Kineticist only needs one extra feat path, has a barrel of hit points, and moves from a ranged-designed class to melee with the addition of one infusion (kinetic blade).
I also fail to see where the Paladin gets super-nova powers in all three areas from. Double damage from a lance is standard, but charging is one attack. It only super-novas if there is extensive feat investment... which denies feats to melee/ranged. Similarly ranged supernovas require a lot of feats (three to get Deadly Aim). Melee is easier, as it only requires one feat, Power Attack, to ramp up. (Though others would help.)
Admittedly, Smite is a powerfull ability, but are you only going to run into Evil opponents?
You do not get to use unlimited amounts of Burn. You get 3 + Con modifier points of Burn, and cannot voluntarily exceed that limit*. As you specify a +6 Con in your last post, that's 3+(+6) = 9 Burn maximum.
* There are circumstance(s?) where someone else can force Burn on you, which can push you over the limit. Kinetic Healing is the only one I can come up with off the top of my head.
Kineticists specialize in in blasting things. The blast is a spell-like ability that increases with every two levels. So yes, multi-classing is a bad idea... just like multi-classing wizards or any other 9th level casting class is. (Note that the Kinetic Blade & Whip are still blasts, but they've been altered into a different format suitable to melee rather than ranged attacks.)
Burn: take character level x2 temporary HP
This is wrong, it's only one point per level. As previously stated, the Elemental Overflow occurs once you have Burn, regardless of whether it was taken this round or an hour ago.
Burn management is a feature of the class, like Ki/Grit/Panache. You use less Burn if you Gather Energy, and Infusion Specialization reduces the Burn cost of Infusions by increasing amounts as you level up. This is an eminently playable (but complicated) class; you just have to figure out the mechanics first.
Generally speaking, you use Burn to produce surges of firepower in a pinch.
I played Emerald Spire Level 7: the Shrine of the Awakener last night with a three man party rounded out by 7th level pregen Kyra (the cleric).
The three players were a 7th level Fire Kineticist andd two level 7 Monkbucklers. (Two levels of Monk, 5 levels of swashbuckler).
The quetion is about the difficulty of the levels in ES: the four of us pretty much kicked the crap out of all our opponents without all that much trouble. The Monkbucklers had such high Ac they were almost never hit and Kyra & Egil (myself) have barrels of HP. the Monkbucklers didn't do all that much damage per strike, but always play together and had worked out tag-team with Broken Wing gambit and a few other teamwork feats & tactics, so there was a _lot_ of swings going off. And of course the Pyromancer was blasting away.
There were gaps in our Knowledges, and no one could detect traps, but still, the of the four of us Kyra & one Monkbuckler got below 50% HP once each.
Was it supposed to be this easy? Or did it just seem this way?
The previous explanation about DR and Energy resistance is not necessarily correct. It depends a great deal upon which actual elements are in play.
Note that a Kinetic Blast (even in it's melee Blade/Whip form) is a Spell Like Ability. As such it penetrates DR as if it were not there, but bounces off of Spell Resistance. Just like a spell.
Example 1: Fire or Lightning energy attacks
Example 2: Earth physical attack
Example 3: Water Physical attack
I am unfamiliar with any elements not listed in Occult Adventures, but generally they will behave like the four listed above.
Can a composite blast be subject to two different immunities? Yes, as stated above. The physical half can be weakened by DR, and the energy part can be blocked by energy resistance. AND one or both can be blocked by SR. (I gave the examples above to highlight the possability of the Steam - Water/Fire composite blast, which is not blocked by DR. Other odd combinations are possible.) Outsider's are a severe problem for the Kineticist class, as they tend to combine DR, SR and ER. Please be aware of this and be sparing in your use of them. Also suggest possible ways around this to your player. Such as Bane weapons/ammo, or the Spell Penetration feats.
A 'pure' composite blast (fire/fire or earth/earth) has the advantage of not being double diluted, and will generally overpower DR or energy resistance the same way fighters/sorcerers do; by piling on enough damage to get past DR/ER 10.
SR will continue to be a problem for Kineticists, even as it is for spell casters. Except worse, as there are options available to increase the spell penetration of a cast spell that don't apply to a SPA/kinetic blast.