Raxius Malgorian

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Corruption, in our Golarion?! Why I never. We just have...


- A nation literally ruled by Devil-worshippers, the highest of which are at most a step or three removed from being Devils themselves.

- An ostensible Democracy... except for the large swathes of the country where the heads of the Lumber industry pretty much rule with an iron fist.

- An old-school Constitutional Monarchy (and remains of a major Empire) where, to quote the Inner Sea World Guide "Greed and lack of trust are the hallmarks of Taldan politics, with assassination and betrayal the preferred methods of advancement."

- A nation formerly ruled by a figurehead monarch kept tamed through use of drugs by a shadowy cabal of tech-empowered wizards. The shadowy cabal has since been unseated, and the monarch returned to power... which may have actually made things even worse.

- A tyrannical dictatorship ruled by a man who thinks himself a God.

- An Undead Paradise ruled over by a centuries-old ghost, and its eternal rival the Mage's Wonderland that currently lacks a central government after the disappearance of its own centuries-old archmage. Caught between the two is a small nation that runs like a steampunk wild west, which even the World Guide calls out the Corruption rampant in it.

And that's just to name a few. So yeah... maybe we have a little bit.

Ningasak wrote:
Seriously, Skittertech Scattergun sounds cool, but a scattergun is a category, not an weapon name. It also does nothing for world building, or context. Who makes scatterguns? Why are the all the same? There is a game called Crying suns, it has robots that make everything. People can't make stuff. That would then make sense. Every scattergun is just a 'scattergun' as they are all made by the same 3D printer. I doubt this is the same situation in Starfinder. Unless I missed a chapter where Triune took over manufacturing.

The thing here is, at least as I understand SF1e (having mostly interacted early in the lifecycle, maybe things changed over time), is you actually pretty much answered your own questions with the latter half of that first sentence. "...scattergun is a category, not an weapon name."

You have your weapon, which is a weapon of x category, and then the details are up to you and the GM. Take your basic Utility Scattergun. Maybe it's a Human Shotgun, Maybe it's a Vesk Scaleburster, maybe it's an Abadar Corp Pellet-hurler 9000, heck maybe it's a Skittertech Skitterscatterer. Each of which has their own unique design aesthetic, unique firing mechanisms, unique sights and stocks and what have you. But ultimately, they all will roughly hold 4 shells, and deal an approximate 1d4 damage in a 15 foot cone. That spec is what gets it added to the general category of Utility Scattergun, so you know what you're dealing with when you're considering weapons. So why do all of these manufacturers, from various different cultures, all produce very different guns that ultimately have the same basic stats? Because book space is at a premium, and "here's the basic stats, you and your GM can come up with the aesthetics yourself" takes up a lot less book space than a dozen/hundred/thousand guns that are only minor variations on the same theme.

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So, just from a personal view, I think a good way to figure out what makes a magic, is to look at what gives Arcane magic. Now obviously there's the easy looks (Wizard and Magus) which I'll come back to in a second, but first I want to look at the Pick-a-List casters (at least as we have them right now, just because that's what's available), Sorcerer, Summoner, and Witch.

Starting with Witch, because at the moment it has the least routes to Arcane magic. The Arcane Patron Theme for the current Witch is the Rune theme. Sigils, Symbols, Tomes and Texts, Words and Wisdom. Okay, that's one datapoint.

Then we can look at the Sorcerer. Now, I'm gonna set aside Draconic for the moment, because that feels mostly a legacy thing, and we also already know Dragons are going multi-Traditional in the Remaster anyways. So that leaves us with Imperial from the CRB, and Genie from the APG. Imperial is your ancestor mastered magic, and you inherited their ability. And then Genies are notoriously the Wishcrafters (though I'm not sure how well that's gonna carry over in the Remaster, but again going by what we have right now). Anything you want, but it must be in the form of a verbal wish. Even a couple of the PreMaster Genie Bloodline's focus spells directly reference Wishing.

And finally we have the Summoner. Again, setting aside Dragons, that leaves us with only one Arcane source: the Construct Eidolon, Magically Empowered Machinery. Gears and Pistons, Wiring, or some other form of mechanism given life.

So what am I getting at? Well, the Summoner and Witch both have Arcane granting options that are very Structural, very Mechanical. Sorcerer might be a bit of an oddball, but then again, Genies are most known for a very structured form of magic (it must be a Wish, which itself requires a specific set of trigger words to happen), and while it's just one interpretation Imperial would be the best bloodline to represent something along the lines of a "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" situation, as well as family trees themselves being, ya know, pretty rigid. I don't think Imperial bloodlines show up in adopted children very much.

And then we have the Wizard and Magus themselves. Magi conjure their magic through martial arts, up to and including channeling the magic straight up through their weapons. And Wizards quite literally attend schools to learn specific forms of magic, the most structured way to learn spellcasting.

So in conclusion: To me, Arcane Magic is the Tradition of Magic through Structure. Occult Casters typically pull on the power of superstition, the power of the unknowable, in a way they could be seen as pulling on the power of Belief. This works because the stories say it will work, or (in the case of Psychics) because I believe it will work and my Mind can manipulate reality. Divine Casters are frequently granted their power by another being, and even when they're not they are still generally tapping the Domains, the Concept of something, to draw on their power. Primal Casters channel the ambient energy of the Planes, frequently the Elemental ones, or the Forge or Void, conducting that raw energy into someone. Arcane Casters though...

As someone else said, Arcane Casters are the Casters of Mind and Material. They pull a little bit of the Tradition Occult uses, and a bit of the ambient Planar Power that Primal are tapping, and they shape it through developed, tried and tested structural forms to create the desired effect. They know that if you draw out this sequence of runes, pull on this thread of reality with this amount of force at this angle, or say this line of Old Diabolic with just this accent, it'll produce this desired ball of flame that far away in that direction. But it doesn't do that just because they believe it will hard enough like an Occult caster, oh no. It has been tried and tested, over and over, by many generations before them. And if you don't draw that rune just right, if your angle is a little off, if you pronounced it LeviosAh instead of LeviOhsa, well, the power just won't come. And that's why not just anyone can be an Arcane Caster, you need that eye for detail, and the memory for all the minor minutiae to make sure you get everything exactly right.

And then Magi are Arcane Casters, because see, Martial Arts are also actually very structural. A couple degrees off in your stance could be the difference between that blow deflecting off your sword, or sliding down into your arm. The difference between your own blow landing in the shoulder or the neck. Not that big a leap from their to adding in strikes that draw the right runes, a stance that draws those threads of reality with you, a battlecry invoking the right term as you swing, bringing those desired effects into your blow. Magi are likely going to be using a lot of particular fighting styles blended with particular casting styles for their blending.

If you'd rather have a more loose style, the idea that surely something about this fighting style is going to invoke the right magic... that sounds like an Occult angle, might I introduce you the Thaumaturge whose effects work because they can will it into being hard enough. Or if you really just want to have faith that you will be enough of a Hero, might we direct you instead to the Champion for that true Faith-based fighting. Or maybe the Exemplar if you have more faith in your own ability than the Gods. Or maybe the Monk if you want less Hero and more Spiritual. And if you just want to take Raw Magical Power and use that to blow people away, that sounds like you want to be Primal, so for you we have the Kineticist. But the Magus is the one who has Trained in their arts of magic and war both, perfected the details of each, until they can blend the structure of Arcane Magic and the precision of the Warrior.

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Kinda reminds me of a character I had back when Inventor was in playtest. I'm expecting/hoping Human with Mixed Ancestry Amurrun or Kitsune will be a new alternative for my catgirl/foxgirl needs than the old Versatile Human > Adopted Ancestry hack I used then. Heck, maybe even get really crazy and do Human with MA Kobold for some Dragon Girl shenanigans, especially if I go Dragon Disciple for eventual proper wings...

Edit: The lore would be... interesting... to justify, but Human + Leshy = Makeshift Dryad Aesthetics.

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Vulpys wrote:
I have a lore question. How can a leshy be a grimspawn?

Besides the options others have already mentioned, what is a Leshy at their core?

Leshy Lore wrote:
Leshies are immortal spirits of nature temporarily granted a physical form. Leshies are “born” when a skilled druid or other master of primal magic conducts a ritual to create a suitable vessel, and then a spirit chooses that vessel to be their temporary home.

So going off that, say a Druid changed the ritual ever so slightly, infusing the vessel with just a touch of Abaddon, so instead of a Nature spirit hopping in, instead a Daemon did. This could be intentional (an evil and heretical Druid spreading Daemonic corruption, or even a less-villainous Druid using the Leshy ritual to seal a Daemon away in a form where it would forget its nature) or unintentional (an arrogant but unskilled young Druid trying a ritual far outside their skill level, and screwing it up in just the wrong way). Either way though, you could still wind up with a Leshy, but one with Daemonic energy infusing it. AKA a Grimspawn Leshy.

That's the fun thing about stuff like this, you can create your own stories for it, and with enough creativity anything can be made to sound lore-plausible.

Also, RE: whether or not Artificial Nephilim are a thing or not... Not necessarily the same thing but there was at one point a book (can't remember which off-hand, just that it was a thing) that mentioned experiments with fusing fire elementals and human souls resulting in artificial Naari, which is a concept that I've used for a character (planning on rebuilding her in PF2e at some point), so if it works for the Elemental planes why not the Outer Planes?

It may not work for everyone, but as someone who works better in mechanics than storytelling and is obsessed with PF2e's variety of Ancestries, I follow what I call an ACDC system (in part because lol-references). Ancestry, Class, Details (Background, Feats, Gear, Skills, etc), Completion (Name, Token, other minor details like that). Ancestry defines who they are, Class defines what they do, then I basically flop between the various Details in whatever order (usually around here is where I actually attach a story to the build), then finish with the finishing details like a name (usually the last thing I add).

ETA: Also I say Token falls under Completion, but as someone who does online games, I have an entire folder of character art that is often enough part of what defines an Ancestry for a character.

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Heck, I'm pretty sure having access to all Elemental spells regardless of originating Tradition was the point of Elementalist getting its own spell list in the first place.

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Karmagator wrote:

Critically, even if they go that route, the oracle isn't any degree of god and they also have close to no control over the matter. There doesn't even have to be a god involved, divine power can come from any outsider. Then there is the whole crippling curse thing. Comparing that to the Exemplar claiming a divine domain at the start of their entire career is a stretch.

The two narratives are night and day.

Splitting up because a good amount to say here.

"they also have close to no control over the matter."

Says who? "Mortal who reached out and grasped a Primordial Divine Essence, with intentions of Ascending" seems just as valid an Oracle backstory as anything, and if anything seems like it would fit well with the source of their power being (again, this is a direct quote as a potential source of the Oracle's Mystery feature) "a direct and dangerous conduit to raw divine power".

"There doesn't even have to be a god involved, divine power can come from any outsider."

There doesn't even have to be an outsider involved. Again, I quote "a direct and dangerous conduit". Emphasis mine this time. Oracles tapping directly into the Divine Juice that Gods themselves pull from is as valid as one being bestowed their power by a God or lesser Outsider.

"Then there is the whole crippling curse thing."

Well yeah Oracles get more backlash. They're pulling Reality Warping levels of power through their conduit (again, 10th-level casting), the Exemplar's getting some fancy toys and maybe a little juicing. If anything this brand of Oracle is coming closer to God-like power.

"Comparing that to the Exemplar claiming a divine domain at the start of their entire career is a stretch."

Exemplar, level 2 feat: "While domain spells usually come from a deity, you’ve learned to tap the properties of your own divine spark to manifest domain magic."

Meanwhile the Oracle (who again can by RAW be tapping a direct conduit to raw divine power) can manifest that same level of Domain magic right out of the gate, and with their level 2 feat can do the same thing with a second Domain. The only difference is that Oracle is forced to be on theme while Exemplars can pull any domains, but frankly I'd be as disappointed in Exemplars who ignore their own thematics in the name of just power-building as much as I would be seeing the same thing from any other class.

So in conclusion...

The two narratives are night and day.

I disagree.

ETA: On revisiting the text again, the class description of Oracle also mentions Circumventing the Gods, Oracle's Divine Spellcasting feature states clearly that their power comes directly from their Mystery, and the first line of Mystery (so just before the second line I've been quoting part of) explicitly states that "An oracle wields divine power, but not from a single divine being" so it's definitely not just being fed to them by "an outsider" as you implied being an option in your second sentence.

Unfortunately as both would be applying Resistance to a single source of damage they don't stack, you just apply the higher one (which at 2+Champion's Level would be the Champion's Reaction). That said, if the 2+Champion's Level is enough to negate, since the Reaction explicitly gave you Resistance, that should still meet the "your resistance would be enough to reduce the damage dealt to 0" clause, but that's still not particularly likely.

Karmagator wrote:

And if that was all there is to it I wouldn't be worried. That is an awesome backstory and theme. But having your innate divine angel (or in this case demon) power isn't even close to having your own divine god power.


The difference is purely one of degree and I don't see how that doesn't make a difference. If one person is framed as tapping a decent size generator and the other their personal nuclear reactor, how is that not significant?

Counterpoint: Oracle, a common class, as described in the APG (and honestly I'm hoping they don't actually get rid of this in the Rework, it's actually one of my favorite bits of flavor from Oracle): Legitimately the second sentence of the Mystery feature lists "a direct and dangerous conduit to raw divine power" as a potential source of their magic. Now maybe it's just me, but this seems like basically the exact same thing as the Exemplar's Divine Spark is providing. It's just rather than getting phenomenal cosmic power (10th-level casting) but with some drawbacks (a curse) like the Oracle, their channel just gives them some relatively smaller perks (Body Ikon) and conducts the rest more safely through some gear (Weapon and Worn Ikons).

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I highly doubt I'm gonna actually get to play during the Playtest, but Animist really wanting to play one as a Tien priest of Tamashigo. It's the perfect Cleric alternative for that belief system IMO.

gesalt wrote:
I don't suppose the idea of just using alternate stats is off the table? Add 1/2 your str (or 100% of whatever mental stat) to AC and reflex saves in place of dex and you neatly sidestep most or all of the pressure on your starting stat array or need to take sentinel for bulwark. You'd need to give something to dex too, but anything to encourage more diverse builds imo.

Unfortunately this kind of thing is something they've explicitly wanted to avoid since PF2e was first in development (outside of some exceptionally rare specific exceptions) so highly unlikely.

As someone who saw this class and instantly wanted to build some kind of Shield Hero if you would, I agree we need more Shield support. It would be interesting to have it be a more Support-y Weapon Ikon choice at that.

Nah, see, the Immanence explicitly affects both weapons as long as one is empowered. Think of it as the one that's Empowered has a magnetic effect on the other one, so regardless of which one you throw the magnetic pull will bring reunite them, and the one that got thrown has reduced resistance to being pulled. Likewise with the Transcendence, it's an effect of the Empowered one that just happens to affect both Ikons at the same time. Similar to how your Worn Ikons manage to affect your allies, despite them not being directly imbued with your Divine Spark.

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Beyond just these two, it (at least to me and my group) feels like Twin Stars, Hurl at the Horizon, and Mated Birds in Paired Flight are intended to be a chain letting you turn any one-handed melee weapon into a dual-wielding thrown combatant.

The Rot Grub "The Rules Lawyer" wrote:
Page 22. The overview of Ikons lets you change your ikon "to the new object by spending 1 day of downtime." I'm assuming this can be done with weapon and worn ikons, but [u]not[/u] body ikons. Would this be correct?

Given that as far as I can tell the only thing that changes is the Vessel of the power, and not the Type of Ikon it is... it's arguably not gonna come up much, but at the same time if you do wind up somehow being body swapped, being able to transfer your Body Ikon over to your new Body might still be useful.

The Rot Grub "The Rules Lawyer" wrote:
Page 23. Noble Branch: The Transcend ability lets you deal spirit damage to a creature you had a successful Strike against. It takes "spirit damage equal to your weapon damage dice." Is this supposed to read the [u]number[/u] of your weapon damage dice, as in 1 spirit damage if you don't have striking runes? Or do they take 1d12 damage if you just struck them with a greataxe?

For starters, outside of the possibility of Shifting rune shenanigans, depending on rulings on that, I don't think you could get this feature on a Greataxe. That aside though, I hope it is the latter because spending an entire action for flat 1-4 damage just doesn't feel worth it, even if it is guaranteed damage.

The Rot Grub "The Rules Lawyer wrote:
Page 26. Binding Serpents Celestial Arrow: It says "the arrow" transforms and immobilizes the target. But it also indicates you can use this with thrown weapons. So if used with a thrown weapon I'm assuming it must not return to your hand in order to immobilize the creature...

As an aside to this one, a lot of Ranged Weapon abilities tend to specify Arrow, despite both thrown weapons and just in general other projectiles generally working with them. Can be a little bit awkward sometimes.

Falgaia wrote:
Hurl at the Horizon: Does the weapon return to your hand after being thrown? Asking since otherwise it is not possible for a Melee weapon without the Thrown trait initially to ever get Returning.

Unfortunately I'm pretty sure you need the Mated Birds in Paired Flight feat 6 levels later (and also either the level 1 Twin Stars or level 8 Additional Ikon into another Weapon, so you qualify) to get Returning on your Hurl at the Horizon thrown weapon.

People saying that the effect stops stuff of a Spell Rank of half your level... did I miss an errata or something somewhere? Because reading my copy it says you're immune to the effects unless the spell rank is more than twice your level. Meaning at level 1 you're immune to up to Rank 2 effects. At level 2 up to Rank 4. By level 6 it would take Rank 12, which doesn't exist as far as I'm aware.

EDIT: Nevermind, I did miss an errata.

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Calliope5431 wrote:
I still think they do sort of want to keep the elements balanced against each other (why else print exactly the same number of impulses at exactly the same levels for every element? It's a lot easier to not do that) so I'd have to disagree there.

I mean, of course they want every subclass (Elements being the Kineticist Subclasses in this instance) to be at least roughly balanced, especially in the class's introduction. Though honestly I think it's more that it is the class's introduction is why every element has the exact same number of Impulses at the exact same levels, thus meaning whichever route you take with it you'll always have options at the same levels as anyone else taking the class. I think that's more just laying the appropriate foundations rather than some over-arching goal to never ever let any element have more impulses than any other element though, and honestly I feel like it would be a bit difficult to write feats for Kineticist that aren't impulses, especially at any level where impulses exist, given they are literally the bread and butter of the class.

Also, even if some core team of Paizo devs did want to never have any other Impulses for Kineticist... Paizo has a good number of devs, even more freelancers, and I'm pretty sure they have a pretty sizeable team of editors too. Plenty of points for someone who happens to like Kineticists to see something they can't do currently that said person thinks they should be able to do, sticks in an Impulse (or heck, maybe even an entire section or if things get really crazy a chapter of Impulses) and it slips past that core team's notice and into an official book. So in short, I wouldn't bet too much on them never seeing another Impulse, any more than I would bet on Monks never seeing another Focus Spell feat, or Fighter never seeing another combat feat.

And that's not even to get into Infinite, which while more iffy on being usable in any given game, also is not beholden to any core team of Paizo devs, outside of Content Guidelines of course.

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As they said, but also adding that whenever this is not the case, the source of the Cantrip will always specify what level it casts at. Usually this will be in Cantrips from Items (like breithauptclan mentioned) but also can happen with other cases. The only one I know of at the moment is the Detect Magic cantrip that the Arcane Sense skill feat gives you heightens based on your Arcana skill proficiency rather than your level (starting at 1st when Trained or Expert, then heightening to 3rd at Master and 4th at Legendary).

Another one that just came to me, and this would be an interesting one to actually have as part of the party I think: A Swashbuckling Antipaladin of Cayden Cailean. Going off of what we have from the existing version (noting it might well change, but work with what we've got) as an Antipally of Cayden Cailean, your Edicts and Anathema in order would be (taking Edicts and Anathema from Tenets and Cause as appropriate):

Edicts: drink, free slaves and aid the oppressed, seek glory and adventure, put your Deity's needs before your own, and your own needs before another's (though you can perform acts others might consider helpful, it must be done with the expectation that it ultimately furthers your own goals or those of your master), act dishonorably, take advantage of others, lie, cheat, and steal to get what you want, destroy that which offends you and that which stands in your way, including—and perhaps especially—the forces of Good and Law that oppose you
Anathema: waste alcohol, be mean or standoffish when drunk, own a slave, commit a purely good act (such as giving something solely out of charity, casting a Holy spell, or using a Holy item), bind yourself with any law or oath beyond that of your code

Now, it might not be as easy as some of them, but (setting aside the possibility of being forcibly Holy Sanctified) it would be possible to build a character that meets all those priorities. The kind of character who topples corrupt governments and frees slaves not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because they revel in the glory and celebration, and will undoubtedly profit off those they "helped". And hey, you can be a total jerk who lies, cheats, and steals, without being Mean or Standoffish if you play it well.

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This actually got me thinking, and (as someone who is very glad to see Alignment go) some interesting ideas stood out to me. Admittedly mostly based around Champion, since they were more tightly woven with Alignment and thus have more wiggle room now.

First one that's on the lower-end of controversy, Gorum. Formerly Chaotic Neutral, and for whatever reason hard locked out of even Chaotic Good, Gorum could not have Champions on the Good-leaning side. But now, let's look at Gorum's actual Edicts and Anathema as previously printed:

Edicts: attain victory in fair combat, push your limits, wear armor in combat
Anathema: kill prisoners or surrendering foes, prevent conflict through negotiation, win a battle through underhanded tactics or indirect magic

Nothing seems to interfere with Heroic Champion ideology there, and in fact the first Anathema even seems downright Honorable to me. Paladin of Gorum? Makes sense to me.

Now for one that might be more controversial (and I've even had a couple GMs in my own group say they probably wouldn't allow but YMMV), let's look at the (formerly CE, obviously) Demon Lord Dagon.

Edicts: Swim underwater, improve your own strength, encourage the spread of dangerous sea monsters
Anathema: Break a sworn oath, settle in a land-locked area, share Dagon’s secrets with outsiders

So uh... there's only one there I can see that even *might* actually cause an issue with even a Paladin's ideals, and that's the last Edict. After all, dangerous sea monsters tend to be, well, dangerous. But, see, here's the thing: Just because something is dangerous, doesn't mean it's Evil per say. Imagine an inhabitant of the Shackles out there brokering agreements between coastal towns and some of the more intelligent sea monsters, even setting up deals where the coastal town provides food and care for some of the monsters, in exchange for protection. Sea monster gets a safe den where it's not gonna get hunted by every rando with a sword and dreams of grandeur, town gets a guardian that might make the next wandering pirate pause before razing the town (I'm pretty sure pirates, or anyone else who might raze a coastal town, count as Innocents). And imagine they do it successfully enough that they even inspire others to do similarly. Now, to me... that meets that third Edict. The sea monsters are still plenty dangerous, heck that's literally what they contribute to the dal, and through that Paladin's direct actions, they are being spread. And I don't believe that has violated a single clause of the Paladin code. Unless some legitimate authority in the Shackles... I can't even finish this sentence, just that much alone gets me laughing.

breithauptclan wrote:
And the developers wrote in that 10 minute time limit for what purpose?

I mean, the 10 minute time limit still has a purpose even with the 99% uptime out of combat, and that's "in combat" or "consecutive combats". Between levels 6 and 15 you use any hostile action and your invis goes down, and thanks to that 10-minute clause, unless you happened to enter combat at the perfect time for you (which is highly unlikely), you can't go Invis again until probably at least after combat (though popping it again for Concealed rather than Invis is still valuable, but also resets the 10-minute countdown because you just Used it again). The 10 minute part means that if you have back to back fights (which I know happen sometimes) it has a good chance of carrying over into those other fights too so you straight up don't get Invis for them, especially if you take advantage of the Concealed at all.

Even once you hit level 16 and Hostile actions don't take it down, it's still a Sustained (and Overflow, so re-Channeling is an action cost to keep track of) ability, and there's plenty of things that might get in the way of you Sustaining it. Even with Effortless Impulse, it means you have a trade-off of Sustaining this over another Sustained impulse, and if you for whatever reason really need to Sustain something else instead you can't just do so then re-pop Invis the next turn.

Edit: Heck, assuming Sustaining still has Concentrate (which I wouldn't be surprised) an enemy might even have a Reaction that triggers off that Concentrate and can negate your Sustain.

I didn't, but in my first PF2e game our Cleric did. Cleric of Desna, received Desna's Major Boon for a 40-foot Fly Speed (and 20-foot dim light aura). which actually just brought them up to par with the other three of us in the party, since by that point through various methods 3 of the 4 of us already had constant fly speeds.

The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Squeakmaan wrote:
Looks like something I'd fight in DOOM, by which I mean it looks metal as heck.

I was looking for a good word to describe them, and there it is: they indeed do look so METAL.

I'm curious to see the other ones. The one in the cover of GM Core seems to be so alien that I really thought it was an outer dragon, a time dragon to be more specific.

Nah, by the description they're explicitly supposed to be scaley and maybe a bit fleshy, not metal.

They do look really cool though. A part of me feels like they feel more abyssal than infernal, but that may just be me.

Super looking forward to the Occult and Primal Dragons though, though a part of me wonders if one of the Primal families could just straight up have the elemental dragons. For Occult I'm really hoping for something Tulpa-esque though, a living story given draconic form, since Bards are our iconic Occult casters after all.

Luis Loza wrote:
There's one I can think of that we're adding to Monster Core that feels very weird and creepy, at least to me, so hopefully it scratches that itch a bit!

That said, a part of me is expecting this to also be an Occult dragon so we'll just have to wait and see.

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In games like these who doesn't hate water? Even aquatic ancestries can suffer in aquatic combat.

Yup. The firing component is integrated into the cost of the ammunition in this edition. Normally for a black powder firearm that's gonna be black powder, but in the case of an Air Cartridge Firing gun the air cartridge replacements take that 'cut' of the cost instead. Since ammo for guns is generally sold in bundles of 5 or 10 anyways, just handwave it as that's how many shots one canister is good for, and replacing it is part of the reload action. Or you could handwave it as a gun with the firing mechanism takes smaller compressed air ampoules that are good for one shot, typically bundled with the individual bullets a la paper cartridges.

also to avoid AoOs, if you're a Melee build and suspect you'll be fighting a lot of them, since Blasts provoke but Weapon Strikes don't.

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Unfortunately the method by which I play never facilitates getting any actual-play playtesting in, but it's definitely been interesting lurking around the playtest forum and reading the discussions.

I wonder if Elemental Weapon would get around this, it seems to be the default solution to most of the other Impulse issues.

Honestly if they do like some people have suggested and have multiple Blast options for each element, I could see Fire getting a Bludgeoning "Explosion" Blast. After all, most real-world explosions aren't actually gonna burn you, it's gonna be the pressure wave that gets ya.

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CorvusMask wrote:
once I realized I can spam solar detonation four times every round with each kineticist, I realized the enemies can't avoid being blinded.

This actually shouldn't have worked. As per the ability:

Solar Detonation wrote:
Each of those creatures is then temporarily immune to being dazzled or blinded by Solar Detonation for 10 minutes, but can still take damage from the impulse.

As for the All Shall End In Flames 'bug', I have never seen an activated ability that says "if you [x]" where "you" wasn't the person using the ability.

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Well even if Whispering Wind scouting doesn't work out, a Deception-Skilled Fire Familiar with Share Senses Impersonating a fire in a lit fireplace is still a valid spying mechanism. The only flaw I can see in such a plan is if your GM is really against you and rules "The familiar uses your Constitution modifier to determine its Perception, Acrobatics, and Stealth modifiers" doesn't extend using Con to Skilled, but even then that can be worked around.

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Ironically for someone who has long been great at math, I'm actually no good at feeling numbers, so much of my discussions has been taking people's word for numerical stuff and just going off my feels. And my feels actually adore much of the class. Here's some of the highlights for me:

> Your basic thing is just... lashing out with elemental matter.
> Every element's blast is unique. It would've been so easy for them to just give a generic "Blast" attack, that the only thing that changed was elemental trait (and that Fire would do Fire damage) like they gave Sorc, but instead they made each Blast unique. And that's awesome.
> Air's ranged blast is a fricken' sniper with that 120 foot range increment.
> Even Air's melee blast is Reach, which I just find a fun way to translate over "your element is the ranged element" even in melee.
> For that matter, Melee is just... a thing that you can do. Now if it can just stop provoking.
> Between the better damage, Propulsive on Range, and Flexible Blasts, Strength-based Earth build is a valid build. May take some extra investment, but possible.
> Honestly, the Blasts in general just have a lot of flavor just in the choice of traits. Air likes to keep their distance, Fire's a general-purpose assault, Earth is strong like boulder with the most Strength support, and Water's melee at least really gives that feeling of flowing strikes with Sweep.
> Adapt Element does give some great flavor. There's something just fun about the fact that if you're at a stuffy dinner party and bored you can just pull a couple flames off the candelabra centerpiece and sit there 'juggling' them. Bonus points for the fact that if you do so and a fight breaks out as they always do in the middle of the event you're now Combat Ready.
> For that matter, Gather Element having some built in utility is fun. The Pyrokineticist Gathering flame to provide light, the Hydrokineticist Gathering water to quench their thirst (more reliable than Cactus Juice, even if it is the Quenchiest). Aerokineticist always having that anime blowing cloak, even a mile underground in a sealed room (and possibly being able to breathe off their Gathered air, GM permitting). And of course Geokineticist just rocks. /shot
> Extract Element, AKA "bringing a Pyrokineticist to the Fire Dragon hunting adventure actually isn't a half-bad idea". Also it's flavorful as heck, just reaching out a hand towards the Dragon/Elemental/whatever and using your greater Claim to just forcibly pull the very elemental essence from their core, just to turn around and smack them back in the face with it.
> Having separate paths for the single-focused Kineticist (always super flavorful), two-element focused (still super flavorful, but now with backup element for utility and Immunities not covered under Extract, probably my favorite path RN TBH), or full Avatar (enough said) all available at level 1.
> Proliferate, an ability that lets you violate conservation of matter that doesn't disappear a minute later. Turn a vial of air into a breathable pocket, throw your cigarette at someone and expand it into a raging inferno, flood the banks of the river to tie up your opponent, turn a pebble into a field of natural caltrops. Also, it'll be really interesting to see how Paizo words this one when Metal comes out, since turning a thrown Adamantine dagger into a 5-foot field of Adamantine Blades might just break the economy.
> Purify. Yes there's the obvious elements, stripping toxins from water, clearing gas from the air, something about plants and earth... but I just love the mental image of a Pyrokineticist who runs into a group of Sarenrite extremists going on about "purifying by fire" and being like "okay but my flames can purify fire itself," and just leaving them speechless.
> Elemental Familiar. Familiars are already cute, but now you can get a firefox, a bird made from clouds, a vaporeon, a carbuncle... the list goes on. They're made all the cuter by being elemental incarnate IMO.
> Elemental Weapon still being able to use appropriate blasts. Give the Aerokineticist a wind-rapier that they can slash through the air to wind-blade an enemy at Reach, or (GM permitting) a cloud Air Repeater shooting real air they can still snipe with. A Geokineticist with a cannon of a Mace Multipistol, smack someone's face in then hotswap to gun form and shoot a boulder at someone. Oh if only there were a one-handed proper Gunblade rather than Dagger or Rapier for some real Cannonblade shenanigans.
> Kinetic Activation, holding up a scroll of Fireball, having it burst into flames in your hand, and you sling a Fireball spell with it. Just gotta get around that Proficiency issue.
> Command Elemental is just cool and flavorful.
> Cycling Blast is super cool, giving that feeling you are actually dual-wielding elements.
> Deconstruct Element. There's something super cool about your enemy shooting something at you and you not only deflect it, you absorb it, and launch it back at them your next turn.
> Fusion Blast. Like Cycling, getting that feeling of actually dual-wielding elements. Also, Fusing one of the high-damage elements like Earth or Water onto an Air Blast to deliver good damage at 120 feet like a boss.
> Gather Amalgamation, or as I like to call it "going full Avatar."
> Maelstrom Blast, while a pain to use when your party is mixing it up in melee, is nonetheless super cool aesthetically. Just unleashing a 60-foot wave of fire, or 120-foot hurricane blast, or even just the simple 20-foot Earth Shotgun.
> A vast majority of the non-Overflow Impulses are super cool, especially the level 1 ones. Ignoring Fall Damage, aura of "stay way from me", exceptionally long-range communication that doesn't even need line of effect, Tremorsense (which even becomes a Precise Sense at 13!), instant stairs (or, GM permitting, ramp for all the wheelchair-using Kineticists), the best Shield Block'ing Shield in the game, Jet Propulsion, multi-use Light (that can even be used to deal Fire damage in an emergency), a pretty effective defensive water block, hydraulic repositioning for your allies (that doesn't even cost them a reaction)... these are all just things you can take at level 1.
> Yeeting Flinging Updraft, something that lets you move enemies without counting as Forced Movement. Finally you can just toss an enemy off a cliff, or into a raging fire. Also later lets you toss your entire party over a gap.
> At Will Flight, with additional benefits, at level 8.
> A lot of the later Impulses have amazing names.

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Unless the dungeon you're in is truly massive an Aerokineticist might be one of the few classes that can definitely use their Familiar to scout. After all, they get as a level 1 ability a Message that needs neither line of sight nor effect, and at level 8 has a max range of a mile. Slap some Share Senses on your little buddy in the morning, and use message to command it from a safe place while watching through its eyes. Heck, give it Share Senses and Speech and you can take advantage of the built-in response of Message to only turn on Share Senses when there's actually something to see. And all of this should be entirely within the vanilla options of what Familiars can do.

Also a Pyrokineticist's Elemental Familiar, as per the wording of the feat, both "appears to be... made of [fire]" and "immune to [fire]" so you could absolutely just park it in a burning fireplace to relatively easily bug a room. Or for that matter, what does a creature made of air look like?

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A Universalist Kineticist can actually already be a decent dedicated healer. They get 4 separate options for healing in-class (Soothing Breeze and Restoring Mud as level 4 feats, Torrent in the Blood as a level 8 feat, and Circulate Qi as a level 12 feat). Three of those are on a 10-minute cooldown per character. Two of them are AoE heals (one emanation, one a cone), while a third is a 30-foot ranged Single Target. Since they don't start until 4 that also leaves you your level 2 feat for a standard Healer build's Medic or Blessed One archetype.

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Fortunately none of the Lines are 3-actions, since they're so particular on placement. Also 2 of the 3 are Air, so they do have the Air speed boosts going for them.

Then there's Maelstrom Blast and Ride the Tsunami, the Three Action, and in 3 out of 5 cases sizeable area (Tsunami's 60-foot, Fire Maelstrom 60-foot, Air Maelstrom 120-foot), Cones. You have to either have a particular buff (namely Haste), or spend a separate feat to have any hope of adjusting your position for these, which sucks when they are forced to come from your position, while they take up so much area that unless you did either luck into being in just the right position, or spend feats or other resources, they are very likely to hit at least one ally in the process of hitting your enemies.

Also, as far as hitting allies being a "skill issue", when melee allies and melee enemies are all trying to flank each other, I'm not sure it's possible to get any standard shape that will hit multiple enemies but also won't hit at least one ally. Which is just another place where it would be nice to have more Single Target stuff.

Firearms equipped with Air Cartridge Firing Systems don't fire pellets. They fire the same bullets the firearm usually fires. The only difference is that the bullets are propelled now by compressed air rather than black powder. This allows the firearm to be fired underwater, at the cost of a bit of range and the damage bonus from Kickback if your weapon has it.

It's basically a lower-level version of the Underwater Firing Mechanism, not an upgrade to turn any firearm into an Air Repeater.

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Gaulin wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The universalist gate is the most versatile gate there is, simply because you get access to all 4 elements, and a scaling flexible feat; having access to 2 level 20 feats at once, one of which you can change each day, is quite powerful, even more flexible than Fighter's "Flexible Feat" capstone.
...But it doesn't scale? Universal Gate is pretty specific about you getting "one 1st-level impulse feat" and nothing anywhere ever changes that.
It's scaling in that you get more and more available choices.

They definitely referenced getting 2 level 20 feats though, which is quantifiably false. Also barring the release of new books mid-campaign that happen to add additional level 1 Impulse feats, or the addition of Uncommon+ level 1 Impulse feats for you to gain access to, it literally doesn't scale at all in the lifetime of a character. A level 1 Universal Gate Kineticist has the exact same options of level 1 Impulse feats as a level 20 Universal Gate Kineticist.

Elemental Weapon with either a Haste effect or a Speed rune can give you a fourth Action to Strike with, where that would matter. As would dual-classing Kineticist and Summoner, and using Maelstrom Blast as part of Act Together. Possibly other stuff too, though those are the two that come to mind. It's also good Futureproofing.

EDIT: Though since Maelstrom is Overflow and you can never gain more than 1 action for being Quickened, the Haste/Speed effect is more for "the entire Maelstrom Blast is at 2nd MAP" than "An attack after blasting is at 3rd MAP".

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The universalist gate is the most versatile gate there is, simply because you get access to all 4 elements, and a scaling flexible feat; having access to 2 level 20 feats at once, one of which you can change each day, is quite powerful, even more flexible than Fighter's "Flexible Feat" capstone.

...But it doesn't scale? Universal Gate is pretty specific about you getting "one 1st-level impulse feat" and nothing anywhere ever changes that.

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Martialmasters wrote:

Also you act as if all proficiencies are weighted exactly the same.

They are not

..okay I was trying not to double post... but... if you literally had bothered to read my original post, legit the entire point of it was saying that different proficiencies are weighted differently, and that Class DC should not be weighted as high as Spellcasting Proficiency.

If anything it should be weighted closer to Defense proficiency because the only things it affects are how easily your enemies can bypass your class tricks.

EDIT: Thank you Unicore for making it not a double post.

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Actually right now I'm pretty sure the consensus seems to be that Kineticist is the lowest damage output martials in the game.

But Champions don't need the big damage output because that's not the thing they're intended to be great at. The thing they're intended to be great at is defense, so they get the Legendary defense. On top of that they get to be Master proficiency in literally everything else except for Reflex Saves and Skills.

Fighters are the Attack class, so they get to be Legendary in their Attacks, Master in everything else they get except Will Saves and Skills. Heck, while I can't say with 100% certainty, after seeing Champion and Monk I feel like if Fighter had been written to have access to Focus Spells they would get Master in the relevant Spellcasting.

...and actually on that note, if Legendary in one offense and Master in another is so bad, why can Fighter and Gunslinger do it? Through caster Multiclassing a Fighter or Gunslinger can have Legendary Attacks, Master Defenses, Master Class DC, and Master Spellcasting, with 14 spell slots of up to 8th level and 4 Cantrips, and for the Prepared options can change any of those out every day.

EDIT: Oh, and as for Casters having to "lock out their spells", one of the things I mentioned in my earlier response you didn't read, prepared casters can change up their entire spell loadout every day. Kineticists get 2 level-limited floating feats, three for Universal Gate, and everything else takes a full week to change out.

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Martialmasters wrote:

Legit not reading all that I'm sorry.

Druid have to lock out their spells and use limited per day/encounter abilities to even rival the to hit of a martial and usually don't succeed. Otherwise they are expert martial and legendary spell and master class DC.

It's a extremely important baseline metric to hold to for this system.

I'm not even sold on the idea I just mentioned about dedicated being the only one that got legendary. Even though it would help to distinguish it.

Side tangent. Not saying I like this idea but it's amusing.

Do away with gates entirely.

You pick one element to start out expert with your class DC.

Once that one gets to master you select another element you get to expert.

When those reach legendary/master you pick a third to reach expert.

As I said, not saying I like this idea, as I'm generally against legendary class DC. But it's interesting thought. I am more amiable you the notion of only a single element reaching legendary even though I still hold that it breaks the checks and balances paizo has built for their system.

Shinigami02 wrote:
Heck, Champion gets Master Attacks, Legendary Defense, Master Class DC and Master Divine Spellcasting all for free in-class. Monks get the same, but have to buy Trained in the first place with one of the Ki Spell-granting feats.

How about this part? If two classes are allowed to have 3 Master and a Legendary proficiency, why isn't this one allowed to have 2 Masters, a Legendary, and an Untrained. Especially when one of their own feats even requires they use that Proficiency that is Untrained unless they buy it up elsewhere.

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Martialmasters wrote:
It is unless your willing to go to expert with your martial progression. In the very least for attacks.

Why? What is actually that overpowered about being good at your own class's tricks while also being able to actually hit an enemy? I mean let's compare what a caster (let's say a Druid) gets compared to Kineticist.

The Druid is a prepared Primal Caster, who gets Expert in Unarmed Attacks and Simple Weapons, Expert in Unarmored, Light, and Medium Armors, and Legendary Primal proficiency.
At level 20 they have 5 10th-level Cantrips, and either 27 or 28 Spell Slots per day, 3 of each level except 10 which is either 1 or 2 depending on their choice of Capstone, as well as 10 Druid feats, potentially 11 if they went Human. They also can have up to 3 Focus Points they can use each combat.
As of a post from three years ago there were 172 spells on the Primal list, though the post does not mention how many are Uncommon or above. Still, Uncommon and above shouldn't be that Common (pardon the pun), so that should still be well over 100 choices of spell, with a wide range of options. And that was 3 years ago, and new spells are released all the time, but I'm not that devoted to go manually count how many spells there are now.
They can pick and choose from that entire list (except said Uncommon+, unless they get Access) which spell goes in which slot every single day, meaning with foreknowledge and prep time they can always bring the best spell to bear.
They get to use their Legendary Primal proficiency for both their spell DCs and their Spell Attacks. Seems pretty cush.

Now let's look at Kineticist. In this theoretical scenario, they get Master in Unarmed Attacks and Simple Weapons, Master in Unarmored and Light Armor, and Legendary Class DC proficiency.
At level 20 they have a Blast that uses Unarmed Attack proficiency, and depending on choice of gate can have 14 to 16 feats, plus one if they went human.
In the playtest, not counting the basic Blast itself, there are 10 Universal Impulses, and 16 Impulses for each of the 4 elements, for a total of 74 Impulses. There are also 13 non-Impulse generic feats that are competing for 11 or 12 of those 14 to 17 feats. Any archetype you take for whatever reason, unless playing with Free Archetype, will also compete for those 11 or 12 feat slots. And while there will definitely be more feats in the finished product, class feats notoriously come out a lot less frequently than spells.
With the exception of 2 feats, 3 if you're a Universal Gate, once you pick an Impulse or generic Feat, it is locked in unless you spend 1 week of downtime. Those 2 or 3 feats are locked to level 1 for the Universal Gate-specific one, level 8 or lower, and level 14 or lower, all must be Impulses, and with the exception of the Universal Gate-specific one must be pulled from the Elemental lists, but you can change them out daily. By spending a level 12 feat you can swap them out with 10 minutes of change, and by spending your capstone feat after doing that, you can swap one out with a single action.
Their Legendary Proficiency in this case would only apply to their Save DC for their own abilities, and maybe a small scattering of other abilities if they use other feats to purchase them. Any Strikes they make, including Strikes made with their Impulses (which always seems to be based off just modifying their basic Blast), must use their Martial proficiency instead.
Oh, and just as a bit of frosting on the cake, Kinetic Activation, the feat they have that does let them activate "Cast a Spell" items and might let them compete with spellcasters for flexibility, if they shell out gold for it (since they have no temporary item production ability)... never actually says they can use their Class DC, so by RAW it would default to the standard Cast a Spell item rules, and use their Spell DC. Their by-default-Untrained Spell DC, unless they buy one from somewhere else. And we thought capping out as Master was bad.

In short, yes, full spellcasters have a reduced martial proficiency to account for their Legendary spellcasting proficiency. Because for a spellcaster their spellcasting proficiency does much more for them than Class DC does even for a class that uses their Class DC as much as Playtest Kineticist does. To be frank, it really does seem more of a valid comparison to the Fighter or Gunslinger getting Legendary Attacks and Master Class DC, or Champion and Monk getting Legendary Defenses and Master Class DC.
Heck, Champion gets Master Attacks, Legendary Defense, Master Class DC and Master Divine Spellcasting all for free in-class. Monks get the same, but have to buy Trained in the first place with one of the Ki Spell-granting feats.

Martialmasters wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
Kekkres wrote:
Firebeard92 wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:

Maybe blast's should just lose the impulse trait.

I like that they are hard coded and distinct.

As written, if they lose the impulse trait, they can’t be done at all since Gather Element just lets you do Impulse abilities. So at the very least it’ll have to be rewritten for that. But also, them being an action that isn’t a basic Strike gets weird and wordy again with abilities. When we already have language for unarmed strikes, it’s odd to exclude these when they function so similarly to other unarmed strikes.
the use of your blasts without requiring gather energy would at least make the action economy way less clunky
Though then we'd need a reason for gather to exist as a base feature. Because everything else is feats.
Feats you are guaranteed to have at least one of though, the Gate-granted free feats all have to be Impulse feats, including Universal's floating one.

I've built several kineticists with zero overflow

It's really easy

Even without Overflow you still have to Gather at least once. If you're not a Dedicated Gate, you still have to Gather every time you change elements. And when Gathered it still uses your hand, so it still has a mechanical effect. Even with Blasts losing the Impulse trait the only way to actually never have any impact from Gather ever is if you never take a single Impulse, but you will always have at least 1 Impulse because they're mandatory.

And if you have a build that doesn't use a single Overflow the only difference this would actually make is now you can Strike with a 0-hand attack, because Gather is the part of Blasting that actually uses a hand.

Xenocrat wrote:
Renkosuke wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
Literally summon a sun in the middle of his field.
I like this option because the damage is so low it probably won't kill him!
With master class DCs and incentives to put dex/strength first, he might even crit succeed at his save and take no damage!

The High Save stat for a level 6 creature is +17. A level 20 Elf Kineticist who never put a single boost into Con except the KAS boost at level 1 (which would bring it to 10 because of the Ancestral Flaw) will have a Save DC of 36. In this exact scenario the farmer can succeed at their save on a 19, and crit on a 20. If you play any ancestry without a Constitution flaw and put no other boosts in, they'll only succeed on a nat 20, but hey, it's a crit. Once you get 14 Con or above, yeah no, the Farmer physically cannot crit succeed their save, and has ever-scaling chances of crit-failing.

of course, the sun only does 4d6 Basic Ref damage and the farmer should have around 120 HP, so yeah, as long as you don't hold the sun directly on their head for half a minute or so they probably won't die.

Temperans wrote:
Given how bubbles immidiately rise to the top of liquids (baring special cases) and the fact it takes you 2 actions to do any thing with that ability. Its more likely that the bubble is just straight up gone as soon as you create it.

This is why I always specify "water-filled dungeons" when I bring up this possibility. If you're in the open ocean, sure, the bubble's just gonna float away. If you're in a room, it's gonna float up to the ceiling, and assuming the dungeon is something less porous than a giant sponge or something, probably get stuck. Then you proliferate it, now you have a bigger bubble that's stuck. Keep proliferating it, and you should wind up with a sizeable air pocket.

As for the water being pushed out, admittedly taht might be an issue, but one that can be gotten around by simply adjusting the sealing. Rather than going for an air-tight seal, just go for something that allows the water to get pushed out but won't let your air escape faster than you can replenish it. Bit harder, but definitely not impossible. Done right you can basically wind up with a similar mechanism as a diving bell or moonpool.

As for the pressure just compressing everything, at the very worst it'll compress to equal pressure, which probably shouldn't be that bad unless you're at, like, the bottom of the sea or something, and I don't think even most fully-submerged dungeons are actually that deep.

Gather Amalgamation is the thing they're referring to, yeah. True, something like Blasting or popping a utility Impulse will get rid of it, but until then, you still have all 4 elements Gathered, and all the benefits there-in, and if you're going to use the elements for Overflow Impulses anyways it's functionally identical to just having Gathered but for all four elements at once.

graystone wrote:
Use my Meteor Swarm scroll. I don't have time to use my own class abilities to deal with it.

You need 5 Meteor Swarms to fully wipe out the farmer's field. 15,000g seems like a lot of gold to dump just teaching a lesson to a level 6 farmer

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YuriP wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Can you get the stone shield through the kineticist dedication?

If they remove manipulate trait, probably yes. It's a good alternative to Shield cantrip for 2H chars.

If they don't so no.

Except it doesn't work for 2H characters, because it's still Gathered Element, and as per Gather Element, any time you have element Gathered, your hand is occupied.

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