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Insert obvious reference of a certain song performed by a little crab

5/5

This book is an impressive collective writing effort to bring probably the least explored environment in tabletop games. The amount of content is massive and very well-implemented. There are several races to choose from, the classes have been given an aquatic feel, the spells have been converted and even the weapons have been redesigned. Yeah, they offer as many weapons as there are in a player guide, all adapted for underwater environments and their restrictive rules when it comes to swing a weapon. You won't fight with a sword, but there's the spear equivalent that does the job.

While it's good to see everything the seas can offer, I'd like to point out that every chapter of this book can be added to any setting. Yep, Golarion, for instance, can have the Cerulean Seas next to it. While it's a shame that no setting to date has charted its underwater sections, it's a real blessing that it can be layered on top another setting without any problem.

An excellent book that paves the way for the future of underwater settings ^_^


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From misfit to legend

5/5

Legendary Kineticists is the series’ foray into the occult rules for the kineticist, offering plenty of new materials for the class, which has been getting a lot of attention ever since its release. Let’s see what’s in the book:

Kineticist Archetypes: As the title implies, this section offers archetypes for various classes. The Artistic Summoner (Kineticist) turns water or wood talents into animated drawings. The Awakened (Blodrager) grants kineticist abilities during a bloodrage. The Evoker Ministrel (Bard) trades Bardic Performances for kineticist abilities. The Soundweaver (Kineticist) grants bard abilities. The Surge Fist (Unchained Monk) lets you shoot kinetic blasts, in a similar fashion to fighting games. The True Psychic (Kineticist) augments the Aether or Mind element. The War Kineticist (Kineticist) changes around the Burn mechanic to have regular and temporary Burn points. Overall, all of these are well-written and balanced. However, I feel like the War Kineticist is lacking some features to make it a soldier more than a caster. It could have gotten better proficiencies and combat feats as well.

Kineticist Talents: This section offers new infusions and talents for any element. Keen Blast increases the critical range of any physical blast. Cantikinesis mixes elements and music. Hostile Flora makes any plant the source of a Wood Blast. These are all great additions to any kineticist… and it’s good to see Wood getting some love.

Kineticist Feats: This section offers a handful of new feats. Flashy Finesse lets you use Charisma instead of Dexterity for the blast’s attack rolls. Kinetic Channeling let you use the cleric’s Channel Positive Energy. While there are not many feats here, those presented are interesting options.

Kineticist Magic Items: This section offers 3 new items. The Planar Gates Tattoo allows the kineticist to shoot blasts from his eyes, leaving his hands free. The Leviathan Cross is a crossbow that can bestow the Snake infusion to the bolt, carrying the blast as well. The Energizing armor property can grant temporary hit points when targeted by wild talents. Each of them should be considered for any kineticist, as they are great tools.

The Neurokineticist: We are introduced to a new element, the mind. The mind is different from aether, as it focuses on mind-affecting effects, like confusion, inability to cast spells, to take action or to move. It is reminiscent of the old psionic classes, and it comes with its own blasts, infusions and talents. It’s a very good addition to the rules.

Sample Neurokineticist: Mindfang is a CN Neurokineticist, with the True Psychic archetype, is a slaver trying to free other slaves to add them to her own, but there’s more to her plan than it seems. She’s an interesting NPC to add to your campaign and can be a useful ally just as likely as to be a dangerous enemy.

Final thoughts: Once again, the kineticist gets an amazing support. If you like the Kineticists of Porphya booklet, this one will hit right home with you. I hope we’ll see more of this series, because I don’t think we’ll run out of ideas for the kineticist.


Niche class no more 3: return of the Kineticist

5/5

I am going to give credits to the authors here, because they managed to pull a third Kineticists of Porphya booklet. I’m impressed here. Once more, kineticists will find new archetypes, talents and items for their occult adventures. Take a dive in:

Little note: even if Porphya is a 3rd-party setting, everything in the booklet is campaign-neutral.

The booklet begins with new archetypes:
Elemental Brethen: This is the first racial-exclusive archetype of the series, this one being for the 5 geniekins. It is similar to the Elemental Scion from Kineticists of Porphya I, as each geniekin must pick a single element, but their trick is to use rounds from their Elemental Assault ability to reduce Burn costs and increase the various Talents. This is a pretty good archetype for these races who really wish to tap into their elemental heritage.

Corpse Puppeteer: This archetype adds a dominant necromantic feel to the Kineticist, as it grants a corpse as a companion with the ability to use shared talents. If you pick void or viscera for a very menacing character, this archetype is for you. “Necrokineticist” would be a good way to put it.

Dimensional Ripper: This… is possibly the most complex archetype I’ve seen so far. Basically, it’s a kineticist with the ability to open portals to attack its opponents. If you’re familiar with an obscure Marvel villain known as the Spot, you’ll know what you’re in for. You can shoot blasts, attack in melee, travel through portals and even collapse portals for devastating effects. If you want to confuse your opponents with portals, this archetype will please you.

Dread Soul: This archetype is the evil counterpart of the Divine Conduit, presented in Kineticists of Porphya II. This kineticist deals with fiendish power in order to bolster its defense, increase the damage for its blasts and even force other targets to take Burn costs. This archetype is perfect for evil characters.

Next, the booklet offers Elemental Saturations. This mechanic was introduced in Occult Realms. It involves unique locations in Golarion which a Kineticist can attune itself to gain exclusive talents. However, attuning oneself requires some sort of trail. Alright, I did say that “everything” was campaign-neutral, but the locations presented here are from Porphya. Fortunately, and that applies to all locations, they can be adapted to your campaign setting with ease. Each location is well described and will give kineticists a run for their gold.

The booklet follows up with new talents, be new composite blasts, infusions and wild talents. This time around, the booklet adds “combo wild talents”. These talents require multiple talents of any kind, but the effects can be quite powerful. For instance, you can create an area of darkness that deals cold damage or a pool of lava. Be warned though, as several of these combinations use talents in the 2 previous booklets. Overall, this is a new idea that we’ll possibly see in future booklets.

Following that, we have Elemental Mutations, another new mechanic. These mutations offer variants of the class features in exchange of a weakness. For instance, Conservative Mutation allows you to take half the damage you usually take from Burn, but in exchange, all your blasts deal one die lower and have their DC reduced by 1. All four mutations can offer different playstyles and should be useful if you are looking for ways to work around some class features you might find a little annoying.

Next section is dedicated for feats. This time around, there are options for Kinetic Blade wielders, for composite blasts and for standard features, such as gaining extra Burn points, extra Dimensional Tears and bonuses when hasted.

Magic items are once again featured on this booklet, albeit for a small selection. The Blaster’s Bearing is a sling bullet that can be infused with a blast; the Burn Fragment is a one-time use item that can absorb a Burn point by 1 for a talent; the Elemental Heart is a minor artifact that enhances its owner, absorbs Burn and can even change a kineticist’s elements completely; and the Robe of Burn Conversion grants temporary hit points when the wearer accepts Burn. All four items provide useful bonuses for your characters and are affordable as well.

Finally, the booklet ends with a NPC, a CG female Dimensional Ripper. She’s basically a happy-go-lucky adventurer with good intentions, but with a fighting style that makes her hard to get. She can be a great ally for your party anytime soon.

Overall, the booklet delivers great material for the kineticist for a third time. The addition of saturations, mutations and brand-new archetypes expands the class even further. I honestly don’t know where the authors will go from here, but if it’s their last booklet, they have ended on a high note for sure ^_^


Niche class no more, the sequel ^_^

5/5

Kineticists of Porphya once again delivered a great booklet with their sequel, Kineticists of Porphya II. Kineticist fans will find new elements, just in time for their new campaign. We do have a slightly different set of material, but you will not be disappointed.

Little note: even if Porphya is a 3rd-party setting, everything in the booklet is campaign-neutral.

The booklet begins with new archetypes:
Divine Conduit: This… is my least favorite archetype of the lot, mostly because it stops to level at 10th, unlike other archetypes which go up to 20th. The idea to have a paladin-like kineticist works, but it is over rather quickly. You receive several abilities related to the paladin in exchange of infusions and talents.

Dragon Pact Kineticist: If you’re familiar with Hiro Mashima’s manga series, Fairy Tail, you’ll know the drill with this one. Basically, it’s a kineticist that made a pact with a dragon to obtain various powers. These powers are split into 2 categories: Breath and Form. Breath focuses on a breath weapon and Form grants you natural weapons and such. Considering the sheer elemental prowess of dragons, this archetype is well presented.

Fusion Kineticist: This is an odd one, I’ll admit it. The idea is to have a kineticist who can use two elements and level them up rather evenly. It is a good way to have simple blasts for 2 elements at the start of your class, but you will have to balance between talents. The concept does work nicely though.

Hex Kineticist: This archetype makes the kineticist even MORE occult than it was first presented. It grants the kineticist several witch features, such as hexes and a familiar. Hexes can be combined with blasts, just like the familiar can utilize the kineticist’ abilities. If you really want a kineticist with obscure powers, this archetype is for you.

Next, the booklet offers 2 new elements:
Poison: This element focuses on poisoning the opponent in various and grants an acidic blast, an energy that was missing until now. There isn’t much to say about it, as the concept is simple, but the application is great, as you can stack the effects in order to severely cripple the opponent.

Viscera: This element is about corporeal matters, such as bones and flesh. While it does not relate to the dead and necromancy, it does have a creepy tone to it. In fact, it has a strong transmutation vibe to it, as the talents often morph either the user’s body of the opponent’s. It can be to cripple an opponent’s movement or to harden your bones into armor.

The booklet also offers many new blasts once more, this time for the 7 existing elements, as well as the 3 new elements presented in Kineticists of Porphya. As both Poison and Viscera emphasize on crippling the targets, many of the talents are about afflicting penalties.

Following those, the booklet has new feats. This time around, it does focus on aggressive gameplay, poisonous effects via the Poison element and even a feat to allow a ranged blast, something missing for the Elemental Ascetic, for instance. The feat selection is well-written and it does have nice options for offensive play.

We now get to a new section of the series: Magic Items. Indeed, the booklet offers a dozen of items to complement any kineticist out there. There are gloves that grant enhancements to blasts, a shard that can absorb Burn and variants of existing defensive items that activate while in elemental overflow. While you cannot have everything on you, you will surely find a few items to purchase or fabricate.

Finally, the booklet ends by presenting another NPC: a female toxikineticist (Poison). Rulewise, the character is built accurately. Flavorwise, she’s an antagonistic figure, being the loyal servant of a black dragon. There’s no denying that this kineticist will give your players trouble.

Overall, the booklet once again delivers great material for the Occult class. The addition of magic items adds a new layer of depth and everything fits nicely with the original concept. I do not know if a 3rd booklet is planned, but if so, I wish the creators the best luck to bring us another great booklet ^_^


Niche class no more ^_^

5/5

Ok, let's be honest here: the Kineticist filled a niche that many players wanted for years, and that being a pure elemental spellcaster, similar to the Warlock back in D&D 3.5. Paizo delivered a great class in Occult Adventures, but people have been wanting for more materials ever since, even after Occult Realms, Bestiary and Origins. With Kineticists of Porphya, players finally get their wishes for a lot more options for their class.

Little note: even if Porphya is a 3rd-party setting, everything in the booklet is campaign-neutral.

The booklet begins with new archetypes:
Cerebral Kineticist: in the same veins as the Overwhelming Soul, the Cerebral Kineticist is a kineticist that uses its Intelligence as its primary stat. The drawbacks are various afflictions, such as dazzle or shaken. This is very situational, as it depends on what race you pick and if you cannot afford the heavily-reliant Constitution score that the kineticist requires.

Elemental Avatar: Ok, if you’re familiar with a certain American cartoon series, you’ll recognize this one. We are talking about someone who can wield all 4 primary elemental powers, trading specialized talents for a lot of versatility, including 2 new composite blasts to boot.

Elemental Scion: This is the polar opposite of the Avatar. You pick one element and you stick with it. It does limit your options, but the ones you have for your primary elements get upgraded by a big margin. If you want to focus on a single element flavor-wise, this is the archetype you need.

Kinetic Duelist: This is my favorite archetype hands down. Kinetic Blade is often the primary talent for melee combat… mostly because you will not turn away from dealing kinetic blast damage with iterative attacks. This archetype takes the talent to its limit. You do lose ranged combat, partially recovered with a custom talent, but you receive plenty of options to deal massive damage with the Kinetic Blade. Fun Fact: it can be combined with the Cerebral Kineticist, Elemental Avatar, Elemental Scion, Blood Kineticist, Elemental Annihilator and Overwhelming Soul.

Next, the booklet offers 3 new elements:
Light: This is to counter Void, sort to speak, originally published in Occult Realms. This element focuses on illusions, mirror images and blinding effects.

Sound: This element is put to good use here. It offers 2 simple blasts, many options related to sound-based effects, such as silence, charm and even sleep.

Time: This would probably be the hardest element to balance, but Time is well-written, focusing on speed effects and various penalties related to checks. No, you cannot travel back in time and change future, because that would not be balanced.

The booklet also offers many new blasts for any of the 7 existing elements. Void and Wood receive new composite blasts, in addition of new talents. The 3 new elements get their shares of talents as well. It’s safe to say that it does complement the class nicely.

Following those, the booklet has new feats, ranging from Burn reduction to voluntary Burn increases for better effects. Not much here, but it does address several common issues that Kineticists often encounter.

Finally, the booklet ends by presenting a NPC: a female photokineticist (Light). Rulewise, I don’t see any problem with her. Flavorwise, she is your typical anti-hero with her own agenda and attitude. She can easily be added in your campaign without any hitch, but feel free to change her if you so wish.

Overall, the booklet offers plenty of new options for kineticists, with archetypes and elements that can take the class in new directions, and it’s possibly the start of a great series of booklets to expand the class in great ways.