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RPG Superstar 9 Season Star Voter. 267 posts (660 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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For a +1 to hit:

If you need >21 to hit before the bonus (BTB), it does nothing.

If you need 11 to 20 hit BTB, it gives an additive +5% to hit but does not increase crit chance. Expected damage from the hit increases by .05*(hit damage). This is a multiplicative increase in expected damage between 9% (for 11 to hit BTB including crit on 20) and increasing nonlinearly for harder targets, up to +50% multiplicative damage increase for 20 to hit BTB.

If you need 2 to 10 to hit BTB, it gives and additive +5% to hit and an additive 5% to crit. Expected damage from the hit increases by .1*(hit damage), while possibly also increasing the chance of special rider effects. For an 10 to hit BTB, this is an 18% multiplicative increase in expected damage, while for a 2 to hit BTB it is an 7% multiplicitve increase in expected damage.

If you need a -9 to 1 to hit, it increases crit change by additive +5%, giving .05*(hit damage) extra expected damage per attack and increasing rider chance. Multiplicative increase to damage at 1 BTB is 3% and going down.

The greatest effect of the crit rules change compared to PF1e is in the 2 to 10 BTB hit range: +1 to hit is MUCH more valuable then it used to be. The marginal utility of the +1 jumps considerably if the player can achieve this level of accuracy.

Some of the spells provide some benefit, but they are not necessarily better than default paladin options. At the same time it costs a feat and 13 int to use.

1) Haste as a party buff also gives +30 speed and it does not stack (both enhancement). How often will your party be operating without haste when it matters? And in the mid/high levels, shouldn't you be flying anyways?

The dubious benefit of having the spell takes a spell slot that could be used on Hero's Defiance, Lesser Restoration, Word of Resolve, Litany of Duty, Divine Favor (at upper levels)... etc. These are very powerful spells.

2) Mirror image is legit a great spell, and I can see a lot worse uses of a Paladin's turn than casting it and moving into position. The 'if the enemy misses by 5 or less, a figment is destroyed' line is a bit rough, but the Paladin's high AC makes them still good against enemies with few attacks.

However, I think a more offensive option would usually be a better choice. Does a Paladin really need Mirror Image? They already have high AC, unmatched saves, good hitpoints, and incredible self healing (including reactive healing when they would otherwise go down). Usually, unless the Paladin is blocking a good choke point, it is the party that starts dying first rather than the Paladin.

Off the top of my head, the only 2cd level paladin spell that is much better is Litany of Righteousness, but thats more because its unbelievably powerful. I'm sure there are some others.

Its a good spell, but not one I think is worth a feat by itself.

3) As you pointed out, the rest of the party has it covered. Blink gives you your own miss chance (ow!) and see invisibility is much better as a scroll, even for classes that have it. Plenty of better options already on the Paladin spell list.

Displacement is a good option for a scroll or wand.

4) Stoneskin isn't bad. Its hitpoint protection though, which Paladin's often don't need, and its competing with things like Greater Angelic Aspect, Archon's Trumpet, or Chains of Light (or just adding bane against undead or evil outsiders to a weapon, which can be very powerful). At 13th level when it becomes castable, a tiefling's lay on hands is going to be doing 8d6 + 29 (with bracers of the merciful knight). If your GM allows the mystical healer 3rd party feat I see above, that becomes 12d6 + 37 - an average of 79 HP per cast! DR 10/adamantium with a max of 130 HP is not that impressive with that amount of self healing going on.

I'd rather have the above scroll/wand of 'displacement' going than stoneskin, at least for a Paladin with so much self healing.

Basically... I think these spells are only "ok", and the Paladin is spending a feat and 13 int to use them.

I am not a fan at all of Unsanctioned Knowledge - 100% a trap option for Paladins.

a) Other classes get those spells, so the party as a whole gains nothing by you being able to cast them.

b) The spells are low level, so it is economical to just buy scrolls or a wand (and UMD them) - or even pearls of power for another party member to cast them! By the time the Paladin can cast the spells, other classes will have been able to do so for many levels!

c) The feat gives no slots, only spells added to the list. So, by casting those spells, the Paladin is not casting Paladin spells. This is a terrible mistake! Paladin spells are extremely powerful for their level, being either unique or several spell levels ahead of other classes. Using the same slot for a regular spell is just a waste.

d) Requires investing points into Int. This isn't terrible as it also gives skill points, but its an annoying burden.

Lets see, for other feats: Weapon Focus and Improved Critical are fantastic (yes you can get a keen weapon/use the class ability, but its cheaper and easier to use a feat instead and then use the equivalent power for other things). Furious Focus is good at upper levels, though runs into diminishing returns as the first attack usually hits anyways, unless fighting very high AC enemies.

Ah, if its a totally separate speed that replaces like a vehicle then the exocortex/drone wouldn't work. Darn!

An exocortex mechanic who takes the flight mod twice gains a permanent fly speed, as does a drone mechanic who takes drone meld. The drone meld is a good option for travel, though a drone mechanic probably wants to dip a level of soldier because the number of feats involved here is getting high if they also want big guns.

I don't think its been officially ruled what, if any, armor mods worn on light armor underneath powered armor actually work. I can see everything from "nothing" to "only mods that work with powered armor anyways" to "everything" being argued. Its sci-fi/fantasy so anyone can pick and choose their "realism" arguments to support whatever they want.

Though the image of what would happen to a person who turns on a jetpack when inside a metal shell...

(But the armor mod interfaces and adds vents!)

((No way a man portable jet pack can lift a gargantuan mecha.))

(((Thats not in the rules - if the character happened to be gargantuan and in heavy armor the jetpack would work.)))

((((But what if you put a jetpack on a mountain?))))

That makes sense :). One of the consequences of the point buy being 1 for 1 is that the theme points don't matter that much - odd points only matter for certain feats and carrying capacity. I was thinking of doing:

Con = 10 + 1(theme) + 1(point buy)

and then the odd point goes somewhere else.

I think 12 con is worth it, but thats your choice. Be aware that fort saves are important if your GM throws diseases or poisons at you, though its not so bad for a soldier as they have fort as a strong save.

Xoshok, I don't think that an attack with a weapon with the line weapon special quality is a 'targeted aoe' (which is not actually a thing). Its an attack, as is clear by the phrase "when attacking with such a weapon" in the description. And because it requires an attack roll after using an attack action. And it is a ranged attack, because its a ranged weapon. Yes it hits multiple enemies with an area that is defined by a line (with special rules). It is still an attack.

AoE is not a category of effect in starfinder. Some effects have areas, and there are rules for how to find what things are effected in those areas, but there is no such thing as a 'targeted aoe'. Its meaningless to say there are no rules for applying cover to AoE; of course there aren't, because AoE's are not a category.

I'll try to clarify what I was pointing out about concealment: in the concealment section, the miss chance applies to attacks that hit. This is an attack that hits, so concealment applies.
Take a look at weapons with the explode property and spells that have areas, they universally don't 'hit'. They apply damage directly. So concealment doesn't apply.

How about this: could concealment apply to the spell Crush Skull? Of course it would: it requires a ranged attack that 'hits'. The concealment rules don't need to specifically call out how spells interact with concealment: its all about whether or not the effect in question is an attack that hits. Line weapons are attacks that hit.

For cover, I agree that it is unclear and that it should be Faq'd. Unfortunately, whether or not something penetrates doesn't matter, as cover is defined by both line of effect (which line weapons can bypass if they beat hardness) but also by a square having 'cover'. Circular rules are terrible :(. I think we can agree that there probably isn't a "correct" ruling here.

I would start with a 12 Con and put the odd point into either strength or intelligence. Str gives you an extra carrying capacity and intelligence lets you qualify for technomantic dabbler (if you want it). I don't think the odd point in con helps?

Hmm, do spells fall under "feats and abilities?" I... think so? Thats a good question.

I'd say supercharge weapon does nothing, unfortunately. It pretty explicitly is an effect that boost the damage of a single attack. Wouldn't do anything for a blast either, but would give the 2d6 on automatic and explode.

If going bombard, consider going Powered Armor. You'll need a 14 Str at level 5, but won't need to put any more points into it after that (the armor will take care of it). This lets you both keep the save DC's for explode weapons high and benefit from the strength abilities of Bombard without needing to invest too many stat points.

Armor Storm as a secondary: the battle glove is at level - 8, so its useless. The level 5 ability is darn good, but if you are already using power armor it only gives the half off extra slot (still good).

Guard is pretty good as a secondary if you want the extra 1 AC and a backup way to shield allies (not as good as what the feats would give though, part of the reason why guard is a crap primary style but a pretty good secondary style).

Sharpshoot is solid - its low level abilities are very powerful.

Blitz is solid, even if you are using power armor and don't get the +10 speed: +4 initiaive is good. The ability to charge (and multiattack) as a standard action is ridiculously good.

Hit and Run would be purely for the level 5 ability, but its a pretty strong one so thats ok. Its level 1 ability is one of the weakest.

Arcane Assailant isn't a style.

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I believe you are incorrect in a couple ways.

Starting with concealment:

Concealment gives the target of a successful attack a chance that the attacker actually missed. This is called a miss chance. Normally, the miss chance for concealment is 20%. Make the attack normally; if the attacking creature would hit, the target must roll a 20 or lower on a d% roll (see page 513) to avoid being struck. Multiple concealment conditions do not stack.

And the line weapon special quality:

This weapon fires a projectile in a straight line that pierces through multiple creatures or obstacles. When attacking with such a weapon, make a single attack roll and compare it to the relevant Armor Class of all creatures and objects in a line extending to the weapon’s listed range increment. Roll damage only once. The weapon hits all targets with an AC equal to or lower than the attack roll....

Bolded for emphasis. The line weapon is an attack: not an attack against a given creature, but an attack all the same, and it can hit. Concealment applies after an attack hits: it applies. Nothing in the section defining areas mentions them bypassing concealment anyways: any other effect that makes an attack roll against AC and hits would also suffer from concealment.

For cover:

First off, nothing about cover or soft cover mentions area of effect at all. Soft cover says:

Creatures, even enemies, between you and the source of an effect provide you with cover against ranged attacks, giving you a +4 bonus to AC. However, soft cover provides no bonus to Reflex saves, nor does soft cover allow you to attempt a Stealth check.

The line weapon special quality is an attack vs AC, not reflex, so even soft cover gives +4 AC. Any other area effect that targets AC would also be affected by soft cover.

For regular cover:

Cover does not necessarily block precise senses, but it does make it more difficult for enemies to hit you. To determine whether your target has cover from your attack, choose a corner of your square. If any line from this corner to any corner of the target’s square passes through a square or border that blocks line of effect or provides cover, or through a square occupied by a creature, the target has cover. Cover grants you a +4 bonus to AC and a +2 bonus to Reflex saves against attacks that originate from a point on the other side of the cover from you. Note that spread effects can extend around corners and negate these bonuses.

This is slightly annoying because of the bolded bit: there are specific things (like a waist high wall) that explicitly provide cover, but shouldn't block line of effect for weapons with the line quality if they roll high enough damage. You can adjudicate this three ways:

1) Things that explicitly give cover, like waist high walls, some equipment/feats, and creatures give +4 AC. Things that would just stop normal bullets (like full walls, pillars, etc) provide no bonus.

2) Things that provide cover against regular attacks provide cover against weapons with the line special quality attacks.

3) No object provides cover against line attacks.

1 leads to paradoxes pretty quickly - a half wall or a small creature gives cover, but a full wall or gunport doesn't? 2 and 3 are both internally consistent, but makes for the very strange case that creatures provide soft cover but other things that are even easier to penetrate provides no bonus. I did hit the FAQ button on page 2 regarding this, but I believe that ruling 2 is correct.

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I'll state this again: Line of Effect does not belong in this discussion at all. To use a weapon with a line special quality, do what it says.

Draw a line and make an attack roll --> check AC --> check if any hit targets take no damage.

Thats it.

Its not an AoE, its a special attack with its own rules. Cover and concealment apply as normal.

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Xoshak, why does penetration effect cover at all? The line weapon special quality says to make attacks against everything in the line, with the caveat about being stopped on a hit with no damage. It makes no mention of cover or negating it. Even when the line is stopped, its not because of total cover; its because the line weapon description says its stopped.

The cover rules tell us to trace line from our square's corners to the target square's corners. Its still us making an attack roll, so I don't see why that doesn't apply. Compare the line weapon special quality to the blast weapon special quality, which specifically ignores concealment. Line doesn't have that language.

I can now see a potential argument: that the source of the attack on a given creature is from within its own square, and as such has no cover. But I don't think this is the case, as its not mentioned at all: the property says to make an attack roll, and without other language that means the firing character is the source.

This isn't a targeted aoe: its a specific rule as detailed in the line special weapon description.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Garretmander wrote:

So... if creatures are in a line, do they provide cover to creatures further down the line? Resistance to damage can stop the line after all.

If not, then wouldn't the line weapon also ignore cover provided by chest high walls?

Creatures are soft cover (Sorry Bob, your six pack abs are not THAT good) so they don't block line of effect or provide cover against AoEs.

Would you mind giving a citation for that? I'm seeing this for soft cover:

Creatures, even enemies, between you and the source of an effect provide you with cover against ranged attacks, giving you a +4 bonus to AC. However, soft cover provides no bonus to Reflex saves, nor does soft cover allow you to attempt a Stealth check.

Which applies to reflect saves, not attack rolls. As the line weapon quality has an attack roll rather than a reflex save, there is no difference between cover and soft cover.

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Line just doesn't say that it ignores cover: it just says to compare the single attack roll to the various creatures/objects AC. When calculating AC for your attack roll, cover adds a bonus.

So as weird as it sounds, line weapons don't ignore cover at all, so creatures give each other soft cover (either normal or partial depending on the specific squares/sizes involved). Even if the barrier is a piece of plastic with hardness 1 and hitpoints 1... its still cover (until its destroyed).

I am interpreting the words "relevant Armor Class" in the line weapon description to mean "EAC or KAC, depending on weapon type" - I think that is a reasonable interpretation, but I could be wrong.

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There is no need to bring line of effect into this discussion at all for basic line weapons, because you aren't targeting creatures at all. You:

Draw line and roll attack --> check AC --> check if anything hit takes no damage and stops the line.

Thats it. No "targeting a creature" involved because with a line weapon you fire in a line through squares.

Creatures get the usual cover bonuses because you are comparing your single attack roll to AC, and the weapon property does not alter that AC.

Creatures get the usual concealment miss chance on a hit, because that takes place after a hit and nothing in the weapon property alters that.

If I overcome hardness, you bet I can shoot through a wall. I just first have to: 1) guess that the enemy is there 2) hit on AC + 8 3) get lucky on the 50% miss chance. Its... really not that effective anyways so I don't particularly see players abusing it.

Nice catch on that Xenocrat! I read the "add 5 to the roll" and totally missed that it already had to be successful. This is really interesting, because the build only needs to move the target >5 feet for the damage to kick in, and that is already provided by Juggernaut Boosters. So no Unwieldy weapon required, which adds to the damage that the attack of opportunity can do.

With regards to the Bolida, the circumstance bonus would replace that of Juggernaut boosters, but the extra 5 feet of movement from Juggernaut Boosters would still be there.

So, revised original combo: +10 over base check, +10 to feet moved.
Could also use a non-unwieldy weapon for +10 over base check, +5 feet moved.

Oh thats a cool race, I hadn't seen that!

I think the Smash Through damage would apply, but not the attack of opportunity (as the Bolida can't make an attack). Still, gets the bonus up to +19, or +11 over AC!

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How is there any debate here?

Lines are magic fantasy beams that attack everything in their area of effect (a line). They explicitly shoot through anything that takes damage. Period end of story; its right there in the line weapon property description.

If you roll more than the hardness of rock (or use adamantine rounds), then yes it goes through the mountain. Is that unrealistic? Yes, but its equally silly for a rail cannon's round to magically stop at 60 feet. Both of those things are RAW. You can apply whatever house rules you like to your own games.

For any target hit that has concealment miss chances apply - miss chances are added after a hit is confirmed from AC and the line property does not chance that.

For targets that have cover, they get their AC bonus as normal - the cover rules add to AC and nothing in the line property changes that.

Consider dropping Mobility Enhancer as an armor upgrade and taking a Speed Suspension augmentation - lower top possible speed, but freeing up an armor slot is pretty worthwhile.

I'm not a fan of the Phase shield - the math in Starfinder is such that enemies will hit reasonably often, so +1 EAC is nice but doesn't reduce incoming damage by that much. It would be fine except that it takes up an arm, meaning you need a 3rd arm to use 2 handed weapons.

I think force fields are very much worth it. Not just for the regenerating temporary hitpoints, but for the fortification ability: critical hits are nasty.

Other notable armor mods: a flight mod like a force pack, haste circuit (for bursts of mobility), spell reflector (once per day ruin a caster's day).

Your build sounds fun and effective. For "optimal" though, pretty much nothing beats taking Enhanced Resistance: Kinetic and MkI Dermal plating. Having DR = Level + 1 is insanely good, and a thermal capacitor can get you 75% of the feat.

That could be fun! Not sure if its optimal - the build relies on heavy or powered armor so Solar Armor wouldn't do anything and such a low level solar weapon doesn't really do anything either. I'd have to look at what 2 levels of soldier really gets as opposed to the 2d6 damage and standard action charge. I do like the idea of a wrecking ball of armor hitting so hard it sets its enemies on fire.

It is a fantastic ability for Solarians though! They could also benefit from improved bull rush and/or juggernaut boosters as their attack of opportunity will be with a better weapon than Hammerfist.

With some investment, Bull Rushing can be an extremely effective way to deal damage and support allies.

This hinges on the Soldier, Armor Storm Style, 9th Level ability Smash Through:

While you are wearing heavy armor or powered armor, you gain a +4 bonus to attack rolls to perform a bull rush combat maneuver (see page 246). If you successfully push the target back 10 feet or more, you can also damage the target with an unarmed attack (and can use your hammer fist ability when doing so).

Now add:

Feat: Improved Combat Maneuver (Bull Rush): +4 to Bull Rush

Gear Boost: Massive Momentum: +5 to Bull Rush while wielding an unwieldy weapon.

Armor Mod: Juggernaut Boosters: When you move at least 20 feet toward the target before attempting a bull rush combat maneuver, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to the check, and if the attack hits, you can move the target an additional 5 feet.

Bonus Points: circumstances that lower the target's AC.

For more mobility: Take Blitz as a secondary style, allowing at level 13 the character to charge as a standard action at no penalty and bull rush at the end.

All combined, if you move 20 feet before the attempt: The Bull Rush attempt is at +15 and the target is moved an additional 5 feet. Because of this, as long as the check is successful you always deal Hammer Fist Damage. The target also provokes an attack of opportunity from you (probably again with Hammer Fist as you are wielding an unwieldy weapon) and from any allies along the path of movement.

Effectively: Attack at +7 over normal. On a hit, do Hammer Fist damage and then another normal melee attack at full bonus, and melee allies get an extra attack.

This is in addition to the benefits of moving enemies: you can protect ranged allies from melee enemies by swatting those enemies away, push the enemies off cliff/into acid vats, or just mess with their heads.


A weapon with the Spellthrower fusion is able to have a single Spell gem loaded into it at a time. It takes 1 minute to load a Spell gem, and only gems containing a Spell with a casting time of one standard action or less and a Spell level no greater than one-quarter the weapon’s item level can be loaded into the weapon.

If you are proficient with and wielding the weapon, as a full action you can cast the Spell contained within the Spell gem rather than make a normal attack. This allows you to use the Spell gem as if you were a spellcaster with the Spell on your class’s Spell list.

Unlike the normal rules for using a Spell gem, it does not matter if the gem’s item level is higher than your caster level (even if your caster level is 0). However, if the Spell gem’s item level is higher than your base attack bonus, once you’ve spent the full action to cast the Spell, you must succeed at an attack roll with the weapon against an AC equal to the Spell gem’s level + 1 or you fail to cast the Spell. This roll represents your expertise with the weapon, and no actual attack or ammunition is used. If you fail to cast a Spell from a Spell gem, the Spell is expended harmlessly and the Spell gem is destroyed.

Well, spell gems for non-casters come with a bunch of their own disadvantages. Spell level is at most 1/4 of item level with the spell thrower, so 2cd level spells can be used at 8, 3rd at 12, etc.

Their saving throws are going to be low, at 10 + spell level + ability modifier. What even is the ability modifier of a Soldier using a Technomancer spell in a spell gem? Spell DC's for spellcasters go off the caster's primary score, so probably dex for a ranged soldier, though a cruel GM would mandate the score of the caster class required to cast the spell (in which case the DC is terrible). EDIT: its faq'd - the user's primary ability score.

Caster level is 0 as well - its specifically mentioned, and the ability does not give a caster level. RAW it is your caster level that determines level dependent effects, so any spell that has a duration of minutes/level or effects 1 creature per level... just doesn't work? That doesn't seem right. Is that right?

Spell resistance will apply, and its a full round action to use it.

They do cost so much less though - Explosive Blast works even with all the above problems, and is much cheaper and better than an equivalent 12th level grenade, not to mention longer ranged.

For spellcasters though, yeah, spell gems all the way.

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:) I agree with you it does concealment and not cover. I wish that the grenade description said something like "squares inside the explosion provide concealment." instead of the current language, which is confusing.

As to the original question: I think grenades are worth it for their status effects, not for damage. Of the status effects, I think Blinded is very worth it, entangled and staggered are just ok.

As an example for blinded, lets look at a 10th level situation, where the party encounters 4 CR 8 enemies. This is a APL + 2, or hard fight. It should reward the players with an average of 34,000 credits.

Lets say a dex based character throws a level 6 flash grenade, which costs 1350 credits. The character probably has a dex bonus of around 7 at this point (4 starting, 1 from leveling, 2 from boost), so the DC for the save is 20. Going by the bestiary, a CR 8 enemy has a reflex save of +10, so they have a 55% chance to save.

The grenade has a 10 ft radius, and a soldier with powerful explosive increases that to 15 ft. It depends on the situation, but it would be really weird not to catch 2-4 of those 4 enemies in the area. Or on average 1-2 enemies are blinded.

Blinded is a nasty condition. Unless they are immune or have a recovery ability, those enemies are useless for d4 rounds. If all 4 enemies are in the radius (lets say you sneak up on them or have an operative do it), then thats average half the enemies mostly useless for on average 2.5 rounds. ~10% chance to blind all four of them.

So 1 standard action from one character consumes 4% of the encounters expected wealth gain to give a serious advantage (knocking half the enemies in the encounter out of action for 2 rounds). To me that is very worth it.

Abraham spalding wrote:

My only beef against smoke grenades is as written the usage is poor.

If you are using a smoke grenades for concealment you are should throw it in front of the person you want concealment from. It blocks a wider portion of their vision and doesn't immediately define where you are or where you are going that way.

Basically it should work more like a tower shield, or wall edge giving cover in Starfinder terms for the square/grid section it lands in for everyone trying to shoot through it.

Instead it grants cover for those in the smoke but not from them. It's possibly more helpful than hindering since armor can provide protection from the environmental hazard.

I'm 99% sure it doesn't work like that. The squares in the explosion radius grant concealment, ie you need to look at the corner to corner sight lines and see if they pass through or along the edge of those squares.

If an enemy is in say the middle of the smoke explosions, then every line from every corner of your square to one of their corners goes through a smoke square: they have total concealment from you. However, every line from every one of their corners to one of your corners also goes through a smoke square, so you have total concealment from them.

If the smoke is between the two people, but they are both out of the cloud, it still works the same way: if all the lines go through smoke squares, total concealment. If only some of the lines go through smoke (ie there is one corner to corner connection that does not go through or along an edge of smoke) then its partial concealment.

This is absolutely fantastic, thank you! Making starships is much, much easier and statblock is very attractive.

One small bug I noticed: If you take an Array weapon it does correctly take two slots, but on the "Statblock" page it lists an extra, empty mount. I can just delete it manually, but it was a bit confusing at first.

I'm not sure where they get the info from, but consider the descriptions on the pfsrd

4–5 Int
Otyugh, griffon, displacer beast
Can speak but is apt to react instinctively and impulsively, sometimes resorts to charades to express thoughts

6–7 Int
Examples Troll, hell hound, ogre, yrthak
Dull-witted or slow, often misuses and mispronounces words

Alderic wrote:


I have a few doubts myself about what's affected by empower. The basic xd6+con/2 or xd6+con+x for sure, but Elemental Overflow and even Point Blank Shot? Is there a FAQ or it's just a given?

I think its just a given - it seems clear from Empower.

Empower wrote:

Benefit: All variable, numeric effects of an empowered spell are increased by half including bonuses to those dice rolls.

Saving throws and opposed rolls are not affected, nor are spells without random variables.

Lausth wrote:
Never go less then 18 con 16 dex with kineticist for telekinetic blast.You need ıron will+cloak of resistance.12 wisdom helps too.

Its a small difference, but I think Dex should be higher than Con for a physical blast - I like the accuracy a little better than the bonus damage. Could just be personal preference.

Offense: Damage looks good to me - a few points higher than usual given how aggressively you pumped dex and con. Which you should probably scale back (3 stats dumped to 7 causes problems).

avr is right about the DC being 19 by default. Ability Focus is probs a GM call. @avr The energy blast is the Force composite.

Defenses: I think you need 1 more point on Force Ward (17 points at level 7 with 3 burn). And remember that the shield doesn't grant any AC bonus if you gather power.

Hitpoints are a bit high: base from d8 class at 7th level is 35 (4.5 per level rounding down, max at 1).

But the real problem is your Strength and your Will save. Anything that does Str damage can kill you in 1 hit, including shadows and poison. Heck, a Ray of Enfeeblement might drop you to incapacitated, and its a first level spell. A +1 will save at level 7 is an extreme liability. Best case on a failed will is being shut down for the combat; worst case is Domination and TPK. It puts your GM in an awkward situation.

I recommend you change your starting stats to something like:

Str: 10 - 2
Dex: 16+2
Con: 16
Int: 12
Wis: 12
Cha: 7 + 2

Damage and DC for foe throw go down a little bit, but the character no longer has such glaring weaknesses.

The halfling's size bonus does apply, giving them a -4 penalty to the CMB check... the one downside to small kineticists. IMO pushing is trash for earth - they have entangling and bowling for 2 burn, both of which are much, much better than pushing. I would even say its trash for everyone... I guess there is some synergy with Wall, but the situation is extremely specific and requires you to take Wall in the first place, so high level.

Regarding Impale... be careful, you are treading a fine line. Your GM is giving you a Composite that doesn't exist, and you've promptly used that favor to double the area of effect of the only full damage AOE that targets AC instead of reflex. Its not broken, but its a massive buff to an already very strong AOE. Your GM would be well within their rights to just go "Nope, Charged Earth can't do Impale" (they are the ones giving it to you, after all).

Regarding Tremorsense - Oh, I had forgotten it only applies on earth and stone. Yeah if you are thinking it won't apply most of the time, then its no use. Same with Earth Glide. Pity - they are both good abilities in a standard campaign.

The Geo/Aero build is going to be very versatile - especially with a "Charged Rock" composite. However, I don't think that impale would stack with air's reach; the talent specifically says it only effects range, not area of effect.

Do you like Kinetic Cover? I'm sure it has its uses, but consider moving Earth Climb to 4 so you can take Tremorsense at 6. (I like tremorsense a lot because I really hate when invisible enemies make me miss.)

Blade/Whip Whirlwind Whirlwind is really cool, but I'm not certain how useful it will be. I guess it depends on how often you get swarmed and if you can fit Kinetic Form in there somewhere.

[Edit] Now that I'm thinking about it, the one downside of the Geo/Aero is that it has so many cool abilities that its hard to focus.

Focusing on mobility:
Use the 10th level wild talent to take Earth Glide and the 11th level extra wild talent feat to take Air's Wings. Pick up air shroud somewhere too - you can fly at will and stay underground as long as you want. Probably loses Blade Rush and Whirlwind.

Focusing on Melee:
Kinetic Form + Blade Whirlwind to attack everything with reach? Eh, it negates the accuracy bonus from being a halfling and costs burn at the beginning of the day. Also where would Kinetic Form fit?

Consider Barbarian, they also fight...

Fighters make excellent DPR engines - I mean Archers.

They could also do pole-arm area denial with improved/greater trip and whirlwind attack. Thats ludicrously feat intensive.

People also forget that Cleave/Cleaving Finish and Greater Cleaving Finish is also good with pole-arms. I would rather do Improved/Greater Trip, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Cleave, Cleaving Finish than whirlwind attack, actually... The idea is that anytime you drop a foe, even if its on their turn from an AoO, you can hit another target. Add in some potions of Enlarge Person and voila, you have a martial character that can, when the rolls go right, have incredible bursts of effectiveness.

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Lemartes wrote:

Aerial Evasion is level 3 so I can take it at level 6 no???

Therefore, I should be able to use the feat at level 9. Am I wrong???

Extra Wild Talent wrote:

Prerequisite(s): Kineticist level 6th.

Benefit(s): You gain a wild talent that’s at least 2 levels lower than the highest-level wild talent you can currently use. You can select an infusion or a non-infusion wild talent, but not a blast or defense wild talent. If you have the expanded element class feature, you can select a wild talent from any of your elements that’s at least 2 levels lower than the highest-level wild talent from your primary element that you can currently use.

Special: You can take this feat multiple times. Each time, you must choose a different wild talent.

Unfortunately you can't take it as a feat at 9.

Aerial evasion is level 3, so you could take it at level 6 as a wild talent if Wings of Air weren't so good. But you need to be able to take 5th level talents (so be level 10) before you could take it as the feat, because its the Wild Talent that is two levels lower than the maximum, not the character level. Its really annoying.

However, Air Shroud is a level 1 talent, so you could take it at 7 or 9 with a feat and put aerial evasion into the 8th level talent slot.

Hrrrm, for infusions, my suggestion would be:

1: Extended Range (if dungeon delving at L1, go with kinetic blade instead)
2: Air's Reach
3: Kinetic Blade (or extended range)
4: Air Cushion/Leap
5: Thundering?
6: Wings
7: Torrent Feat: Air Shroud
8: Aerial Evasion
9: Magnetic
10: Greater Air Shroud

My personal opinion is that Pushing is so useless that you might as well take Kinetic Blade (so that if an enemy DOES pin you down, you can shove a lightning blade up its *** without eating two attacks of opportunity).

Remember that the Feat can only get you talents 2 levels below what you can take, so no Aerial Evasion at 9.

And there is no "normal" talent at 7th level, so by going air again at 7 you get 1 infusion then, not 2.

I'm going to say drop Toughness and take Iron Will instead.

Con is your top stat, taking burn gives you a size bonus to Con as you level. Add in an Energy specialist most likely taking a Con belt (for damage and to overcome SR), you will have massive hitpoint reserves (absolutely the highest in the party). Plus, damage from burn is nonlethal, so even if you fall unconscious you will have a huge hitpoint reserve before death.

As an Air kineticist, you'll be firing from long range, be flying, have a large miss chance for enemy arrows, a good AC, Evasion on top of a high reflex save, and a decent % chance to ignore enemy crits. You will take damage sometimes, everyone does, but Kineticists have a fantastic defensive package built in.

Except for Will saves, which they suck at.

Catharsis wrote:


As for DR vs resistance, I'd expect my party to be mostly physical damage dealers in the early levels, so if I alone suck against an energy-resistant foe, it's probably preferable over everybody sucking against a DR monster...

This is probably the strongest argument yet for going with an energy - yay for working with the party!

I think the real sticking point I see is the AoE's. If you really want them, Fire is hands down the best element. Not only do they get more of them, but energy AoE's do full damage rather than half. All the other elements I see as "switch-hitters" that have a couple bonus AoE's that might be good under specific circumstances (impale is an exception as it does full damage with a physical, but its area of effect is hard). If its swarms you are worried about rather than multi-target, the default blast does full damage.

My interpretation of what you want is either Double Air or Double Fire (blue flame whip is level 11+ only, but its very deadly).

I haven't played Iron Gods, but my 2 cents:

Its hard to go really wrong with any kineticist. So... not much news on the optimization front. I honestly think the best way to choose is to ignore 'optimization' and just write down what you want your character to be like. If an android who throws around electricity is what you want, go for it.

Fire is a good element as well, just without any defense. Between burning and fire's fury it does significantly more damage than lightning, and its AoE's are solid. Burning infusion gives you buffs on successive rounds to hit and to overcome saves. 4th level and up it rapidly deals with minor energy resistance (at no extra burn cost). Flash and Unraveling infusion give options for immune enemies at mid to high levels(and if they became immune via a spell, unraveling will smack it away before it stops the damage). Ignoring SR at upper levels is icing on the cake. Unless you are playing a campaign where you know you will be fighting a lot of immune enemies from low level, it should be fine.

In the 3rd level campaign I'm playing in right now we have an air kineticist who is solidly dealing the most damage in the party... if they were fire they would just be crushing entire encounters with the AoE's and higher damage (not to mention that the monsters we have been fighting use natural weapons, so the 'defensive' ability would have actually had some mileage).

GM Rednal wrote:

Core Rulebook, Page 179, under the "Damage" section:

"Minimum Damage: If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of nonlethal damage (see page 191)."

That is very odd, because it contradicts both the section on Damage Reduction and Energy Resistance, which both explicitly lay out what happens when damage is completely negated.

Are you sure that quote isn't dealing with penalties from the attacking creature to damage dealt, rather than damage reduction on the target creature? For example, someone with a strength of 6 attacking with a dagger does d4-2 damage. On a roll of 1 or 2, they do 1 nonlethal.

miniatureian wrote:

remember min damage is 1 nonlethal, which is why I suggest magic missile. The only way out of that is to become immune to nonlethal damage.

perhaps hit them with splash from every type of element? they'll have to expend resources to become immune to all of it. sonic, force, neg energy, positive energy are all fairly difficult to become resistant or immune to.

Do you have a source for the min damage? I'm pretty sure damage can be reduced to 0.

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Tldr; roleplay justifications are fine if they improve you and your fellow players's immersion, enjoyment, etc. From a crunch perspective, the crafter benefits more by taking the crafting feats than other feats even if they craft for no one else. Everything on top of that increases their party contributions even more: there is no crunch reason to charge your party members more than the base cost. Party effectiveness if maximized by distributing wealth evenly.

Gray Wardenn wrote:
...As I've already exhaustively said, maybe 25% discount on the party's equipment and more resources for the crafter may actually be better for the entire party than 50% discount and a character left behind. This is pure mathematics. I don't know how to solve this optimisation problem, and neither do you, but at least I'm trying. What are you suggesting instead?...

In the above quote I've bolded your problem. The crafter is NOT left behind. The buffs that they give others still belong to them in terms of contribution to the party, just like a bard buffing everyone elses attack rolls is contributing to the party. Buffing others IS contributing.

Originally you were asking about an A vs B comparison and how Wizard B was losing out because the crafting feats were a worse investment for their own personal power than Wizard A's feats. Then in my last post I showed with simple math that those feats are better for Wizard B than the feats they replace, even if they craft for no one else in the party. (Assuming that you have your 'core' feats like Augmented summoning in place, which isn't hard. Wizards tend to have feats free.)

So, if Wizard B who crafts for NO ONE ELSE is more powerful than Wizard A, then everything extra they craft increases their party contribution. Yes, after crafting Wizard A will be more powerful... but only because of the contribution of Wizard B.

For the new goal of showing which wealth distribution aids the party the best: the answer is to distribute the wealth as evenly as possibly among competent characters, with exceptions.

Exceptions first: Big items with unique abilities that are outside of normal WBL - this is usually decided as a party and dictated by situation. As a mild example, maybe Celestial Plate is outside of the Fighter's budget, but as a party you know that he will need to use the fly ability to engage the dragon if it takes to the air (ok, you could just cast fly, but the sentiment is that big items can have unique abilities that are more important than their numerical bonus). As another example, maybe that metamagic rod of quicken you can't afford will allow you to blast the enemy swarms away before they can incapacitate the party - again, a unique ability available early that is better than a bonus.

But... lets get to the more usual situation of numerical bonuses. For damage dealers, every +1 to attack increases the expected damage output by 5% of their damage on a hit. As the price per increased bonus is given by (1000 + 2000*n), where n is the current bonus level, ie the marginal cost per bonus increases, its easy to see that giving 2 characters +1 bonuses is cheaper than giving 1 character a +2 bonus. Assuming that the two characters are both competent, ie one doesn't have a base damage much lower than the other, then maximizing damage to the enemy favors spreading bonuses.

Defensive bonuses are more complicated. Expected rounds till dropping is given by (hitpoints)/(enemy base damage * hit chance). As (hit chance) is (20+enemy attack - character AC)*.05, each numerical bonus to AC gives an increasing marginal return on how many rounds a character can keep fighting. The marginal cost is also increasing, but asymptotic beats quadratic in the limit. At first glance, it seems that concentrating defensive buffs is ideal. But that glance would be wrong. First, any rounds that a character is expected to be still standing that the enemy is already defeated are wasted. Those wasted resources come at the expense of the effectiveness of another character. Second, pathfinder is a high variance game; over the course of many combats it is unlikely for there never to be a rare event that drops a character. If that was the character with the defensive bonuses concentrated on them, the resources expended in that particular fight will be vastly increased. (Yes, a conditional probability argument, but you can show that the condition is likely to happen at least once over the course of many fights.)

Ok, this post is already too long so I'll wrap up. To me it sounds like you WANT to charge more for crafting and you are trying to find any justification you can. In character arguments about free time are the best you are going to get: from a numerical perspective, you are already more powerful by taking the crafting feats, and charging more just gives your own character more power at the expense of the total group power.

Gray Warden wrote:


Well, Thaago, the whole point is that I don't think MEGABUFF is that awesome given its cost.

Well, as written I was being on the conservative side with the number of feats required because I thought it was a forgone conclusion. Craft Arms and Armor and Craft Wondrous Item covers 90% of what characters want, so if you are worried about return on investment the feat cost is 2.

Those two feats are worth, if not being creative (ie just big six) is roughly: +2 attack, +2/3 damage per attack, +1 to all saves, +1 to all DC's, +3 AC (is that right? I often forget) for every party member. And this is at mid levels - upper levels the bonus is even larger as the price per tier goes as the tier squared, which is a slower rate than 2^n once the party is past +3 bonuses. (For casters, double the number of metamagic rod uses per day or pearls of power or whatever replaces the weapon and armor part of the wealth).

In my opinion, even if you refuse to sell anything to your party members and horde your crafting to yourself, those 2 feats are already ridiculously amazing. And you aren't losing Augmented Summoning by taking the feats - you are losing one of the less critical feats instead, like greater spell focus.

Your other question, about using craft construct, is an entirely different matter. I don't have experience with the feat, so I don't know how powerful your mecha army can get. I suspect it is worse than summoning, as summoning is free? But you still win on action economy, as the constructs are made out of combat. The price of an action is directly proportional to the power of your best spell.

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Tldr; no price markup: if I'm a dedicated crafter I know how freaking awesome I am when my party wins.

It all depends on your point of view/personality. A gets both their feats and items so in a given combat they do actions that help more than B... but how is that different from a Fighter getting their feats and Haste? We praise the Wizard that casts Haste and the Fighter that lands the killing blow, even though Haste did no direct damage to the enemy. The wizard might get a bit bored casting Haste to start each combat as they are not blasting megadeath craters or summoning dire titanium elementals, but they are still contributing massively.

Its like the crafter has the following ability:
Each ally in your party has double WBL, with every item they want configured exactly as they want it. Replaces the feats normally gained at levels 3,5,7,9, (11?).

In many ways its better than the haste example, because its an always on ability: you're breaking action economy! Buffing your teammates in every fight without even needing an action! Elite system mastery.

So I say, relish every success that A (and the rest of the party) has. You've made them possible.

The main benefit of Charisma for a cleric is in the number of energy channels per day and the DC of those channels when used to harm undead. Channeling can be useful at low levels, but tapers off in effectiveness by mid-levels outside of specific circumstances/opponents - the general forum consensus is that channeling is a 'nice' feature, but not a great one to base a build around (with one or two notable exceptions). So dumping Charisma is not recommended, but neither is having it particularly high.

For Summoned monsters I do not think Charisma matters. For the Planar Ally line of spells, you need to "bargain" with the monsters or otherwise bind them, but its not usually a problem for clerics. From the pfsrd:


Clerics and oracles find the job of summoning and binding outsiders much easier than arcane spellcasters do. A cleric calls upon her deity to send a like-minded creature by way of one of the planar ally spells. That outsider is in the service of the god, and its desires almost always align with the cleric’s goals, or at least run in parallel with them.

The cleric must bargain with the deity’s servant for a payment agreed upon before the outsider will perform the task...

For the two builds you posted, the first cleric (with liberation and travel domains) are more in line with what I thought you wanted. Both of those are SOLID domains, both to boost yourself and keep status effects from your allies - even if you plan on staying back, with travel you should have a 40 speed in heavy armor if you need to move up to an ally and touch them. Also, without a lot of investment cleric spells just aren't going to be doing much damage to non-undead, so building towards it is a bit sub-optimal.

Be aware that if you are concentrating on summoning/buffing, rather than offensive spells, your wisdom does not need to be through the roof at first level. You could easily manage with a 16 after racial and put the high score into another stat to help your ranged damage.

For Bard vs. Cleric for ranged support, I know that a Bard makes for a rather good archer: they can use Arcane Strike to get good bonus damage on every arrow to keep up in damage, and they still have good buffs. Then again, a Summoner cleric can have their summons do the ranged bits or use ranged spells. Personality for a bard is up to you - "quietly inspiring" with a well placed word could be one way to play a bard. Then again, bards won't be able to do status effect removal nearly as well as a cleric, or summoning.

Personally I think either an archer bard of a summoner cleric would be a good fit for the group you've described and you will be an effective party member either way. So whichever you think would be more fun is the right choice :).

I do recommend telling your party members to have at least a backup ranged option - being at 1/3 damage is much better than being at 0 damage.

Carnithia wrote:
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:

magical lineage, frostbite, rime spell, enforcer, whip. Apply shaken, entangle, and fatigue all at the same time. All together that leaves them with half speed, unable to run or charge, –4 to attack rolls, -2 to str, -6 to Dex, and -2 to saves, skill checks, and ability checks.

Another sneaky combo I like is spell combat true strike plus disarm, trip, or possibly sunder.

Add Cruel weapon enhancement and give them the sickened condition too.

Just be careful to also invest resources in a "Plan B" for this build - lots of enemies are going to be immune to parts of the combo or even the whole thing. ("Plan B" can of course just be a shocking grasp to the face - and if the enemy has cold resistance and lightning immunity you need to fall back on "Plan C", so have some control spells memorized.)

Chill touch is an often overlooked option - it combines a bit of damage with a bit of debuff (1 str damage that does stack) and you get 1 attack per level. It really shines when you get attacked by undead though - each strike makes them save or be panicked, basically taking them out of the fight.

In my mind its not so much shocking grasp that makes magus builds similar - it is the critical mechanics of spellstrike. Even if you don't "build" towards shocking grasp with traits/feats/whatever, using a high crit range weapon is just better. And as a MAD class, its always tempting to try to get around an ability score (str).

Sorry, confusion on my part: I thought you were throwing like 20 flasks at once like was suggested. I agree that just 1 flask isn't game breaking at all.

Eh, if your GM doesn't let you stack them (and they should not stack, because its not in the rules and also breaks the game), then a basic telekinetic blast is much more powerful than using alchemist's fire. And doesn't cost anything.

(Also, please add spaces between your sentences. Them running together is driving me nuts. Not to be nasty. Just.... *twitch*)

Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Don't have to use the Blast acid flasks way 1lb could use your basic telekinesis move a bunch on them by level 10 you could drop 25

Or with telekinetic haul, which every telekineticist should take, you can drop a crate of 100 of them per level.

Of course there is nothing in the rules that state that 100 flasks of acid deal 100d6 damage, and even "real world" reasoning would have it stop scaling long before that.

I asked about the force ward and shadow thing in N Jolly's thread - Shadow_Charlatan found a post from Mark Seifter that addressed it:

Shadow_Charlatan wrote:

Mark Seifter wrote:
Shadow_Charlatan wrote:
Does Force Ward provide complete protection against Shadows ?
It doesn't do hp damage, so nope. However, it's fantastic against wraiths, since wraiths do hp damage that is piddling and
Ridiculon wrote:
I'm not sure why i don't see Opening Volley in more kineticist builds, it seems like an obvious choice to me. A +4 to hit in a situation you are going to be able to reproduce in almost every fight your character will ever be in? Yes please, more of that.

I had forgotten about this one! It is totally going onto my Aether/Earth build! The idea was to ambush from invisibility with a bowling infusion or (at high enough level) foe throw, then charge in with a blade or whip against the prone opponent on the next round. Winning the initiative, getting the trip, having the feat, and having an open charge lane (slightly low odds, but it could happen) would give a +10 bonus on the next attack (against flat footed AC no less) :P. Thats... honestly excessive. I wonder if there are any feats the kineticist can take that would trade a massive to hit penalty for some effect...

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