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RPG Superstar 9 Season Star Voter. 333 posts (726 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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YuriP wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I for one understand why they did it, YuriP. It still diminishes both a potential strength of the class as well as the fun of playing a kineticist.

I don't disagree with you. I just showed my understanding of why the designer did it.

That said, I think it's pretty bad too. In the end this practically renders the Elemental Weapon useless, since its main advantage would be to be able to fight melee without suffering AoO, being forced to spend an action to switch to the normal Gather Element, which is a handling action also ends up greatly limiting the usefulness of the weapons. Elemental Weapons.

In fact, this is the main reason why my players haven't used Elemental Weapons in my Playtests. Because I warned them in advance that if he was going to use a Bastard Sword Elemental for example and they needed to do a range Elemental Blast he would have to spend an action doing Gather Element.

In other words, the only advantage that remained for the Elemental Weapon was being able to make 1d12 attacks with an Elemental Bastard but that requires strength, and it would have to deal with the low AC or it would have to be with less hit or less Con and if you face an opponent with AoO it could neither use Stone Shield nor even Deflecting Wave as the reaction itself is an Impulse and therefore causes AoO.

That's why we just ignore Elemental Weapon. In fact we are just ignoring melee kineticists at all.

On the one hand, the confusing language is bad. On the other hand, ignoring melee and strength in your group's playtestsing means you are all doing it wrong. Having to spend an action to switch from melee to ranged is completely standard; plus any build using overflows is going to be regathering anyways (I dislike it immensely because its boring, but if one is regathering anyways it lets me choose again if I want melee or ranged).

My main playtesting is with a dedicated air and melee with elemental weapon is essential. At low levels my basic attack options were d4 ranged, d4+3 reach melee that provokes, or d8+3 melee. In theory I could get away with going from 7.5 to 5.5 average damage and sometimes I would if it meant making the enemy spend a move action getting to me, though at level 4 going from 12 to 8 was more painful, but going all the way from 12 to 5 is right out.

As to "why melee" in general... because of all the usual melee advantages for both the character and the party that come along with the increased risk: flanking, higher damage, athletics, and damage spreading are all huge. Then there are the more unique kineticist factors of close range auras and powers on top.

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Fantastic post describing your experiences, thank you very much for taking the time to write it up!

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Unicore wrote:
YuriP wrote:

The alchemist has an advantage when using this concept of blast-buffing feats that's the fact the Advanced Alchemy reagents system gives it a independent source of different "blasts" without consume the char's class feats. This give free space to use feats to do things like Calculated Splash.

But kineticist doesn't have such free space. It's feats slots dispute space with Elemental Impulses and bonus/modification Feats. A good example is Stoke Element that dispute the level 6 feat slot with others Elemental Feats of the same level.

In order to add boost feats the class will need to give extra impulses in some other way to prevent an excessive dispute for feat slots or the inverse, these boosts need to come from chassis directly allowing feats to be used more freely to take Elemental Impulses.

I think SanityFaerie's point is that choosing to focus on blasting should be possible, but only at the cost of not getting to do much else with the Kineticist feats. Since all of the utility powers are self-contained in a single feat, it defeats the purpose of making a choice if a kineticist can pick up as many utility feats as they really want, but otherwise be the best blastiest blaster in the game.

The whole point is that they DON'T get to pick up as many utility feats as they want while otherwise being the best blasteiest blaster in the game.

Feats are limited resources, and Kineticists are already WAY more feat limited than theorycraft gives credit for. If I'm dedicating 80% of my feats to blasting, yes that means that I still get 1 or 2 utility feats. But I'm going to have way, way less utility than a kineticist who doesn't take the blasting feats and takes more utility boosters.

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They can swap to those impulses with 10 minutes at level 12... but only a few are flexible (up to 2 at level 15) and only at impulse levels (<=8, <=14), and otherwise their choices must be locked in. And this ability isn't free: it cost them their level 12 feat.

This is quite good for allowing them to take the out of combat utility powers, such as the water breathing one, or flight (though they probably already have flight). Or they can swap in a healing power, heal up, and swap out, thats a good one. If they got intel about a particular enemy type that had a weakness they could swap to a power that has that damage type. However...

They can't take everything at the same time, and they can't swap in combat. Their feat choices are as locked in as everyone else. Any given build could be taking from any element sure, but they still need to have a build. "Universalists" as a group can do anything, but a "universalist" cannot.

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If I'm being honest I'm not convinced that universal "pulls ahead" at higher levels.

The conjecture depends on there being impulses from 3 or 4 different elements that, when combined, give unique advantages. But what are those combos, and how reasonable is it to pull them off in battle? Do they really eclipse what a Dual element can do with two?

Getting access to all blasts, extracts, and defenses is quite good - especially the extracts for fighting elementals and dragons!

But consider a universalist at level 10 - if they are taking Cycling Blast, Aura Control, Gather Amalgamation (Gather Amalgamation is of questionable usefulness, but its often mentioned) then they have feats free: 1(any), 1(flexible impulse), 2, 4, 9 (flexible 8th or lower). Rapid reatunement (12) was mentioned as being incredible for universalists because they can adjust their flexible powers more than anyone else, and flowing kinetics (14) is a massive mobility increase... but this doesn't leave any room for impulse powers! Luckily another flexible one appears at 15.

That was kind of an extreme example, but what I'm getting at is that if a Universalist takes all of the feats that have been mentioned as making them amazing (or are just incredible for kineticists in general), they have no room left to take impulse powers. They can't have everything and need to actually pick a build/strategy.

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Before level 8 the Auras, with the exception of Air's fantastic one, all require being 10 ft away from allies. That can work but is tough and stops flanking for melee characters, which is annoying.

A weird thing is that while Aura Shaping works perfectly with the level 1 auras, it does not work well with the level 4 auras. Because all targets of Aura Shaping have to have the same effect (IE ignore downside or ignore upsides), you can't both exempt allies from the downsides and exempt enemies from the upside at the same time.

Like if you exempt allies from the damage of Dessert Shimmer, enemies are still concealed from your allies (but not from you).

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I'm personally of the opinion that only overflow impulses should provoke.

Normal impulses are, to my mind, like martial arts katas. It's just the overflow ones where you go "all out" and can't effectively protect yourself.

I agree! I made the suggestion here:

before but it didn't get much traction.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Earth shield is better than a kineticist carrying a shield. The Kineticist has to get, and then spend a general feat to use shield block at all. Even then, their shield options are pretty limited and they are going to have to pick up an archetype to do anything nearly as valuable with it as the earth kineticist can just do with one feat.
The general feat for shield block is a lot cheaper than the class feat for Stone Shield. Now, Stone Shield does let you skip out on the otherwise necessary crafting skill, and it does have better DR, but having shield block cost a reaction and an action is still a lot more expensive than just costing a reaction.

I don't think the feat cost is true. General feats are limited outside of humans, getting medium armor is VERY important for strength builds and competes with it (depending on choice of level 2 feat),and one thing Kineticists do get is extra level 1 feats.

The reaction + action is much more expensive its true. The amount blocked is pretty beefy though! And without the reaction, the feat is better than raise shield: it gives +2 fort and is hands free.

I like that idea! A save vs damage and effect would be great, and the damage doesn't need to be high if the effect is decent.

Just some sort of offensive reaction would really fill in a hole in the kineticist.

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I'll also note that at 8th level the damage reduction from Spike Skin stacks with Earth Shield, and spikeskin can be a precombat buff (with a 1 hour cooldown it needs to be used strategically, but you can rotate through front liners!).

So at 8th, thats 4 reduction on for 10 hits/minutes with 2 damage strikeback, plus a 15 damage reduction on the shield once/round! Its taking 2/3 of actions every turn but, it only takes that 2cd action if the enemy attacks you - otherwise the next turn you can do other things (and with a difficult terrain aura if they choose not to attack you they might have to spend multiple actions getting away to even reach someone else).

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One thing I'm noticing in my playtesting as an air kineticist is that I'm forcing enemies to do move actions rather than steps, which is great. The aura, flinging updraft, and boomerang's damage on the next turn (depending on GM: is the boomerang noticeably whirling back so even animals know its coming? Or is it subtle so even high intelligence enemies only know after they've seen it?) all combine to force enemies to use that move action, which the other party members with AoO love (have a fighter and a stand still monk).

However, my poor kineticist is in melee with no reaction other than feather fall - which is a great reaction to have and has been very useful out of combat! But its not a combat reaction, so I'm usually not using one.

I know one of the directions being considered for the kineticist is "more martial" - if that is the direction taken, I think an AoO type ability, with a rider attached for each element, would be really cool and a good increase in the class's combat potential.

It would also just increase the number of actions that kineticists take overall: right now with gather elements being a "dead" action after an overflow, and there being 2 and 3 action impulses, this would give the player a bit more to do.

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Unicore wrote:

Also, when I played an 11th level Air Kineticist, I never felt like my action economy was suffering but that could have been because I didn't take storm spiral because the range was too low to fit the build I had made.

I am just saying that it might be worth paying attention, when players complain about the classes action economy to notice what choices they are making on abilities and gates. If there is already a "common knowledge" that "dedicated gate Kineticists are terrible" and "Universal gate Kineticists are the one true build," and yet those exact same players are feeling like the class struggles to have enough actions to use all the 3 action overflow abilities they chose, then it is possible that they are missing some of the intended drawbacks and nuances of the class.

All playtest data is valid. SO it could be that the text around gates needs to explain the importance of not overloading on high action cost overflow abilities and having a wider spread of options. I just think theory crafters should be careful jumping to conclusions about builds because I have seen and experienced loads of fun being had with dedicated gate Kineticist, including my own mid level experience at level 11. Trying to get too complicated with a class can lead to a bad time even with a fighter or a rogue.

So far in playtesting (I haven't been able to do too much, just a few sessions with a Str Air dedicated gate) the action economy has been mostly ok... except for the turn after I use boomerang. Overflow is a huge cost on the class! I also have really wanted to be able to do flinging updraft and then have a better ranged attack for third action, but I can't because I'm dedicated air (and often I can't do a ranged attack at all because I'm using elemental weapon to have some damage).

I've read posts saying gather amalgamation is amazing because it lets you throw multiple overflows from 1 gather... but to get benefit from it the character needs to have chosen multiple overflow abilities, which is a huge downside because it means that they didn't take the non-overflow feats.

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Gaulin wrote:
Yup. I initially read it incorrectly as well.

So did I! I think the ability is fine, but could use a clarification line (in theory the trait is enough but its so easy to miss).

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Dubious Scholar wrote:

Dedicated gate doesn't have to think about what to gather, but is still paying the full price every overflow.

Cycling Blast is, imo, the best action economy helper, since it lets you Overflow>Gather+Strike every turn. Gather Amalgamation is also good for universal at 10. Dedicated gate has no action economy feats at all.

I'd also argue that overflow is a lesser cost for dual/universal gates in some situations. If you're going to switch element anyways, overflow is free, basically.

Cycling Blast doesn't work this way. Its an Impulse so you MUST have an element already gathered to use it - it doesn't work after an Overflow.

Its still a fantastic action saver for combining the abilities/blasts of multiple gates, but it doesn't help with overflow action economy.

Well if you need to roll a 12 its 45% because 12 is included. But I completely agree with your overall point: Chain Blast isn't particularly good. Its not awful, but its not that great. I worry that it will just feel awful to miss the first attack and waste an action... and the odds of doing that are about the same as hitting 2 or more creatures (depending on to hit roll). Its not like chain lightning that requires the enemy crit succeeding, it fails on a regular miss...

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Igneogenesis is a potentially brokenly good ability that needs to be clarified what exactly it can do.

"The object must be relatively simple in shape and can’t include any intricate parts, moving pieces, or fine details. It must fit within one 5-foot cube that’s adjacent to you, and you can make the object large enough to occupy the square. If you create the object underneath you or
another willing creature, you cause the target to rise into the air; you can’t create it under an unwilling creature."

So how about making a foot thick shell of stone around an ally that just got wailed on, with a hole in the back for them to get out of (hardness 14, 56 hp)? Or trapping an enemy (saving throw is only for UNDER an unwilling creature)? A lesser form of that: put up a wall around 3 edges and the top of the enemy space so that they can't retreat/move but you can still attack them. Or how about making a portcullis across a door (this one is more in the spirit of the ability). Or making instant cover. Out of combat you can take advantage of it being only one at a time and it going away when another is cast: make a trap by plugging a river or using it as a support pillar for a structure, or something like that.

I suppose if you want to multiclass its a higher cost, but otherwise its just 1 feat, and 1 more general to make heavy. I really wish it weren't needed, but thats the way it is.

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Hrrrm, I'm seeing a lot of 'Chain Blast is good/amazing' going around, but I really don't think it is. I haven't done a rigorous analysis yet, but a quick look does not leave me impressed. On the one hand multiple MAPless attacks is great, but on the other hand any miss ending the chain is rough.

Its only going to be used vs multiple lower level enemies, so that helps, but even if the hit chance is all the way up to 75%, that means you only get to the 3rd attack 56% of the time.

Its annoying, but you can just take sentinel. Either after doing medium armor in order to get heavy, or by itself at level 2. There's no reason to buff dex higher than 12, and a character that takes a gamble at surviving till 5th can even leave it at 10. Plus most games won't make it to 13 - sad but true.

The huge thing at low levels is the damage increase though. A melee "aero knight" will do 7.5 average damage per strike while a ranged "aero kiter" does 2.5. Literally triple the damage output with strikes!

When it comes to to the straight combat utility of kineticists (so not counting the dex based skills) Strength is just plain better, for all kineticists, than dex, at the cost of getting medium armor and a 1st level class feat (which the class gets lots of). It requires investment but once that investment is made it:

1) Gives bonus damage to melee attacks, which is very important at low levels (and a small bonus to earth's ranged damage too). Aero going from d4+1 or d6+1 (dex without or with elemental weapon, 12 str) to d8+3 is a massive change.
2) Allows for maneuvers and other athletics actions.
3) Allows for an upgrade to heavy armor later, and full plate at 5th after the ability score increase.

It comes at the cost of getting medium armor, which is really unfortunate because it makes humans even better as a starting ancestry than they would otherwise be. Everyone else needs to wait until 2cd level (or 3rd if going for a general feat and not retraining!).

Pretty much the only reason to go dex is for the dex skills - and that can be absolutely worth it for some kineticists!

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YuriP wrote:
Thaago wrote:

As to "why melee", there are actually a good number of reasons:

1) flanking support to both yourself and allies
2) manuevers
3) str to damage
4) spreading damage out among other melee characters

Being ranged is good too of course, especially when long ranged or flying enemies are around, or if the terrain stops melee from doing their job efficiently.

But having everything except kinetic blade strikes provoke AoO is really annoying, as is the lack of medium armor on a class that otherwise has good support for Con+Str as main ability scores.

With this 4 points you showed a lot of problems that Kineticist currently have to fight at close quarters:

1) flanking support to both yourself and allies:
Flaking is one of the best melee strategies since the D&D 3.0. But to real benefit from flaking it's supposed that your char will receive some real benefit from it or that you are ready to accept the frontline risk to benefit from flat-foot condition.
So to a Champion/Fighter and Rogue goes to front and do this with a heavy armor, shield and Deny advantage+Precision damage it's one thing. The other is the Kineticist going to same risky situation without any real advantage or protection (basically it has only disadvantage because melee just diminish your Impulse options).
2) manuevers
This is a thing that Kineticist don't have. Str isn't even a KAS for it. The class also don't have any ability of feat that helps to do maneuvers like fighters, barbarian, monks and even eidolons have.
3) str to damage
OK you can have, but once again isn't your KAS and if you strongly invest in it using str APEX you will end even with less HP and less "strike" power than any other martial at same time.
4) spreading damage out among other melee characters
Well I don't need to stay in front line to do this...

My point here is. The currently Kyneticist design is completely unfavorable to act melee. It's basically a caster build with a martial chassis and a strange...

Sorry, but I don't think any of this is correct. The question was "why melee at all?" and those are 4 good reasons. Ranged has its own advantages, but all of these are reasons for a kineticist to go melee than ranged.

1) Flanking for +2 to hit on blasts/weapons is valuable as kineticists aren't doing overflow impulses very often (or at all if they don't get serious buffs), and kineticists have quite good abilities that deal with debuffing enemies or being defensive at close range. Are kineticists attacking sometimes? Then flanking is good. And moreover it gives flanking to the other melee characters too.

2) Kineticists have a free hand, can't use that hand for offense, have a hands free shield option, and can get strength to ranged attack accuracy. They can safely start at 16 and increase every 5 levels while leaving dex low: maneuvers are great on them! Having 1 less point on the roll for some levels is a downside, but not a big enough one to stop maneuvers from being valuable.

3) While I would like kineticists to get a damage booster (they really really need one), for this case it doesn't matter that it is less than martials: it is still an advantage for the kineticist that they deal more damage melee than ranged. For an air kineticist its going to be 1d8+3 vs d4 for example!

4) Yes you do? Front lines take more hits, so a character with decent AC (medium/heavy armor, which medium were in class) and good HP (it will) can use that armor/HP as a resource to help other melee characters, by taking hits! Its not always a good idea to do so, but its a valid and important strategy.

Its interesting because it conflicts some with the flavor text, but using an overflow after this ability does not impact the shield in any way, as its written. So using overflow then blocking that same turn is getting a 2:1 on overflows, effectively?

It could use some wording cleanup to address that!

As to "why melee", there are actually a good number of reasons:

1) flanking support to both yourself and allies
2) manuevers
3) str to damage
4) spreading damage out among other melee characters

Being ranged is good too of course, especially when long ranged or flying enemies are around, or if the terrain stops melee from doing their job efficiently.

But having everything except kinetic blade strikes provoke AoO is really annoying, as is the lack of medium armor on a class that otherwise has good support for Con+Str as main ability scores.

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AoE's are useful tools to have in the toolbox, but they aren't appropriate for all situations. They spread damage out, but at the same time when faced with many enemies they are the numbers one way to end encounters fast, usually after a debuff has been cast as well.

Comparing damage to a martial is a useful exercise - using the tool found here:

Comparing a 2d6+1 damage save effect (dangerous sorcery) to a greatsword (d12) fighter's 2 attack routine vs 1 target, the damage effect keeps up pretty well. It has some highs and lows, but it usually hovers around 75% of the damage. It does roughly the same damage as a d8 fighter striking twice, sometimes higher, sometimes lower.

So the idea of the "normal" blasts not helping the martials to take down single targets isn't true - its like another martial taking 2 swings at them. Especially because at the higher level the spells start out-scaling 2d6 (and lightning bolt starts a d12 ahead even at 3rd). Now thats not fantastic considering that spell slots are pretty restricted and there are some awesome control/debuff spells that are going to be more valuable, but its not useless, and using the spells well means hitting 3-4 targets instead of 1.

Even using under leveled slots (2-3 levels below max once in the mid/upper levels) and focus spells (-1d6 and no dangerous sorcery) will put out good damage numbers against more than 1 enemy, and at much lower resource cost. I've had very good success opening combat with potent control spells (wall of stone, slow 6, etc) and then switching to focus blasts and minus a few level chain lightning to clean things up.

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Yes, cycling blast requires having an element gathered. It allows for dual/universal kineticists to get a free attack if they want to switch elements while still gathered, which to be fair is really great; there are a lot of good aura/control/buffing moves that are not overflow. Things like an air-earth activating their aura turn 1, then swapping to the higher damage element for an attack, etc.

But it doesn't do anything to help overflow moves, those still need a regular gather (or extract) afterwards.

Thats a very good point - longbow needs point blank shot from fighter to avoid volley, or swapping to shortbows. Still though, thats d6, deadly d10, and propulsive. d4 for air blast is just really rough, especially if its being used as an "off turn" mix in attack because in that case agile is not putting in much work either.

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d4 is way too low. Bows can already reach nearly this far (or MUCH farther with a ranger) and do d8 + deadly d10 with propulsive (though thats usually not more than a point). And then those classes get another damage boost on top! (Either accuracy, or flurry, or precision, etc)

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Used just as a shield: The power is excellent. It gives you a raised shield AND +2 Fort AND leaves your free hand free for grapples/maneuvers/held items. A kineticist using a physical shield has no hands free and so cannot do those things.

Used as a shield block: The reaction costs an extra action the next turn, which is bad. However it is significantly more damage blocked than a normal shield, even a sturdy one, and while it is dismissed vs further attacks it cannot be permanently broken (new one summoned next turn). As a defensive "oh crap I'm getting wailed on" option, its worth it.

[Edit] For those saying it scales too fast: it takes an extra action on the next turn, which is a heavy cost. Currently its worth it, but if it only blocked as much as a normal sturdy shield it would be bad (reaction + action for the same value as a normal reaction).

Adding more love to air:
Fair Winds is great, and so is the one that flings enemies/allies. When you get them they are useful, but then at 8th, 10th, and 12th levels they get very good. 8th to expand the aura, 10th to reposition the entire fight (enemies get a save, but you can move your entire party!), and 12th for another aura expansion.

With a small amount of playtest experience in, Aerial Boomerang is decent at low levels, almost good enough to be 3 actions. It does not scale well enough and so becomes obsolete, but for low levels it either hits twice or forces the enemy to move, both of which are good outcomes, especially if the enemy is inside the difficult terrain aura.

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No, it shouldn't. The class should have medium armor by default.

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Great, thanks to you both! That's what I thought but I wanted to check!

Does stone shield require taking shield block from a general feat or some other source before the reaction part of the impulse can be used?

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Guntermench wrote:
Kind of pointless for dedicated though because they can just take all four of their level 1 feats at level 1.

True, though I suspect quite a few builds are also going to want Elemental Weapon and/or Flexible blasts.

But honestly, for literally any melee kineticist I want medium armor, so Sentinel at level 2 is looking pretty much mandatory.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Guntermench wrote:

I think the whole class only has 2 level 2 feats.

I strongly suspect the reason that the playtest has only 2 new feats you can take at level 2 is to see what Archetypes people are going to try to pair this with, to see if it breaks anything.

Also the level 1 feats/impulse powers are very good, especially for power-starved universal, so if not archetyping taking a level 1 power is reasonable.

graystone wrote:
YuriP wrote:

Flying is cool but remember that chars in mostly combat situations of mostly adventures as closed to some kind of structure (natural or artificial) that's in the best cases have 20 to 30 ft height.

Even the distances are shorter in mostly encounters usually Water and even Earth long range Elemental Blast are better when you are fighting inside a cave, a dungeon or a tavern.

*shrugs* even in non-outdoor situations, I can't say it's rare for me to see places where earth/water blasts would/could be in the second or third range increment. And with how str builds forces you into having an awful AC, you'll want to be as far away from your target as possible.

Just a note, nothing in the strength build forces you to have bad AC past level 1. I really really want the class to start with medium AC, but any character can take sentinel, or a general feat for medium and then sentinel for heavy (though 16 str means that full plate doesn't fully come online till level 5).

Universal has the benefit of being able to Extract and use the damage type defense against anything, and being able to cherry pick abilities.

But yes, they won't have very many moves, especially considering that they will probably want Cycle and quite possibly Aura control. It might not be until level 6 that they have one ability in every element beyond the basic blast/extract.

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I agree with both reasons. It is not a particularly powerful ability (unlike flurry of blows) so having this just be part of the base class would be fine.

(The reason its not very strong is that it adds a 3rd MAP attack after attacking twice - that is some benefit, but 3rd attacks are weak so the free component is not very much. It still requires attacking twice, so things like move-barrage-move are impossible, as are barrage-2 action impulse.)

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Re: scaling keeping up with cantrips:

2+1 action cost abilities that a class needs to pay a feat for barely keeping up with 2 action at will abilities that classes get 5 of for free at start is not good.

And the kineticist DC starts to fall behind later, so even if the raw damage roll keeps up with cantrips, the actual damage done will not.

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Oh yikes! So in addition to doing significantly less damage than a cantrip while costing 2+1 actions, it only hits 1 square. Thats... not great.

"benefit from kinetic aura"

Just FYI, using an overflow does not stop kinetic auras:

"A kinetic aura lasts until you
get knocked out, until the encounter ends, or until you
use a new kinetic aura, whichever comes first. "

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aobst128 wrote:
Yeah, blasts are basically standard martial attacks without any boosters. I like them but they could use some more stuff. Either a more generally useful impulse as a core feature or some kind of damage booster.

They are actually worse because Kineticist's attack stat is behind for half the levels.

For ranged kineticists: its like taking a full caster and giving them 16 dexterity and a bow. That bow would be useful for 3rd action attacks! Cantrip + Bow strike would be a decent turn to spend no resources on at low level.

But now take the bow and maybe reduce its stats (bows are better than some blasts, depending on range and if shortbow vs longbow). Air especially. Make it so that the cantrip forces you to draw the bow again before you can do any other attacks or spellcasting, so you can't do the same thing 2 rounds in a row. Make it so that you only have 1 type of cantrip you can draw from at a time (or only 1 cantrip period).

"The weapon must be a one-handed simple or martial weapon."

Do bows count as one-handed? These rules:

Say how to use 1+ weapons, but not whether they count as one handed, two handed, or are their own group.

The rest of the ability mentions ranged weapons and ammunition, but otherwise the Hand Crossbow and Air Repeater seem to be the only valid weapons?

Right you are! In terms of kiting being a problem, Rangers are way worse than air kineticists: almost double range (and almost 4x the range at level 4!), much more damage, etc. So I really don't think air's 120 ft range is a balance problem.

Verzen wrote:
Due to action tax, raise a shield and overflow can't be used in the same turn as literally as literally any overflow ability. It seems a bit anti synergistic to me

Do you mean earth's stone shield or a physical shield? Because kineticists could just carry a shield and go overflow + raise shield, they just wouldn't have an element gathered (which isn't great).

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Nitro~Nina wrote:

A strength-focus is suggested by the Earth element, but it also suggests an up-close style of play unsupported by the armour options if you don't still pump Dex. This means that your character likely has to end up with poor-to-average Mental scores unless you dump your Class DC and HP.

I find the chance for a PC to have access to the Brutal trait so rad that I'm definitely going to be playing a Geokineticist and hurling rocks around like Pohatu, but I'd like to be at least a little durable when doing so.

While I really want the class to get medium armor built in, characters can after a few levels get both medium and heavy armor. Needing to wait levels for AC is not great for survival, but Str based characters without high dex don't sacrifice ranged attacks, so you can have a switch hitter with "full" accuracy in both without needing to pump both stats.

graystone wrote:
Thaago wrote:
... wouldn't any of the other better kiting classes be a bigger problem? The ones doing more than d4 damage?
You can get 100' out of a longbow.

Right, so a Ranger is going to have a 200 foot range at level 4, attacking two times in one action, using d8 deadly d10 with an extra d8 damage on the round if either hit, with an attack stat that starts at 18 instead of 16.

Or a crossbow character with the damage boosting feats is going to also have 120 range, and while the reload makes them not keep up with bows they certainly beat out a d4 weapon.

Plus the accuracy difference from key stats means that IF other kiters are forced into their second range increment, they are at -1 to the kineticist to hit; thats a penalty, but their higher base damage probably still wins out.

... wouldn't any of the other better kiting classes be a bigger problem? The ones doing more than d4 damage?

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Martialmasters wrote:

Look at any aoe from casters or martials.

What are the limits?

Range, action cost, uses per day.

Currently a kineticist can do them effectively infinitely. And at massive area of effects. So the damage is low as well as the action cost being restrictive.

We'd probably need drastic range decrease to get better action economy early on.

A few responses:

1) The area of effect is not massive. Most of the overflow impulses have shorter ranged and worse areas than spells. Some are comparable, but not all, and none approach fireball or chain lightning.

2) Focus spells are also infinite per day, but limited per encounter. Currently focus spells are stronger than most overflows despite costing less actions. At low levels these are once/encounter, plus additional times for a 'boss' encounter. At higher levels it becomes 2 or even 3 times per encounter, which isn't much less than what a kineticist is going to be doing considering combats don't last very long and the high action costs here. Especially if the Kineticist is using some of its support abilities/auras (which are great!) mixed in with normal attacks.

2) It doesn't matter if something has infinite uses per day if the rest of the party has already finished the encounter with the kineticist not contributing much. Or if the party dies because the kineticist couldn't pull its weight.

@Sydney S.
Sorry, but I don't really buy any of that. Just compare the effects of the feats to the effects of similar abilities and spells and its easy to see that they are worth it.

Also I'm not sure why you say 3 actions rather than 2 for the non-overflow abilities? Nothing I listed other than the damage, which needs fixing anyways, is overflow! Some are even 1 action or reactions! Plus, if we are assuming that martials start combat with their weapon drawn (which in dungeons we do) then we can expect kineticists to have their element gathered. In that case turn 1 can look like attack + aura, or attack + attack (or the flurry move) + shield, etc.

Auras lock you out of having more than 1 at a time, but they do different things and you get an action economy boost towards switching (if you raise an aura on turn 1 but want a different one later its only 1, or 0 at high level, actions). Having multiple auras means you can get the correct one for the situation.

As to dust storm... no its actually not better all the time, its very much a 2 edged sword. While its up you are concealed from enemies not adjacent to you, but they are also concealed from you! So its going to interfere with any of you or your ally's ranged or reach attacks or attack spells - I don't know about you but my party would HATE that. By its precise wording it also does not work very well with aura control: you have to apply the same effect to all targets selected (up to con mod). So say I want to remove the detrimental effects (other targets are concealed from them) of the power from my allies. Thats fine, but it means that I either apply that effect to enemies or don't apply any effect at all... which means that any enemy that enters the cloud is concealed from me anyways. For a pure ranged party at level 8 it becomes good because it gives the whole party concealment but aura control allows me to remove the detriment, but if any enemy enters the cloud I can't stop them from also being concealed. Its kind of the same with Dessert Shimmer - if I make my allies immune to the damage, I can't make enemies not get concealed. This one at least calls out the kineticist as being unaffected, but its not great for allies nearby.

Meanwhile the level 1 auras actually don't have these problems with aura control! Fair Winds has friend/foe built in, Geological attunement you except allies, warming nimbus you except enemies.

For retraining: retraining is RAW in the core book, not an optional rule. Any GM not using it is playing with house rules. Which is fine, but you can't use that as a balance argument.

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Sydney S. wrote:
Thaago wrote:
The elements have quite good 1st level feats actually. Plus the feats can be spent on familiar, weapon, and flexible blasts.

The feats gained from dedicated/dual gate must come with the relevant elemental tag; you can't take the unrestricted options.

And I strongly disagree with these "level 1 elemental feats are good" takes I'm seeing in here.
The only ones I'd take on purpose are aerial boomerang (maybe some other AoE option instead, but never two at once) and maaaaybe Winter's Clutch because minor free AoE damage is still free AoE damage. Assuming I didn't have line of effect to an actual enemy. And I didn't want to spend those three actions on just... moving to where I'd have line of effect.

Errrrr what? Just glancing through and picking up the ones where I go "yup thats really good to have": There are two different AoE difficult terrain auras (one gives termorsense, the other buffs allies with speed), an AoE level=resist aura for heat or cold, featherfall, an excellent self shield, reaction damage resist=level for a bunch of damage types, and a move other character ability.

Thats not counting the damage overflows because they are undertuned. With proper damage and scaling I would use any of them (they need to scale as real focus spells or better considering their +1 action cost that also lowers the player elemental defenses if done in the second 2 actions of a turn!).

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