I am playing a kineticist. The ability Elemental Overflow states:
Starting at 6th level, whenever she has at least 3 points of burn, the kineticist gains a +2 size bonus to two physical ability scores of her choice.
I'm wondering when that choice of what abilities to affect is made.
Does the character pick once (when the ability is gained at 6th level) that, for instance, she will gain +2 STR / +2 to CON / +0 DEX and stick with that choice? Or may she pick each day, whenever she takes a third point of burn? Or may she choose freely -- deciding to move bonus to +0 STR / +2 CON / +2 DEX because she is about to cross a wobbly bridge, and presumably spending a standard action to make the change?
Texas Snyper, I think you are wrong when you state that the Kineticist must perform a blast after a Gather Power. Consider the case where the Kineticist wants 2 points of burn reduction. She spends a full round gathering power, and then everyone else on the battlefield gets an action before she can act again. By then, things may be very different.
Perhaps all of the enemies have teleported away. Perhaps the nearest enemy is now dead and it would take more than one move action to reach the next-nearest. Maybe they surrendered. Maybe the Kineticist herself is now under a charm person spell (that did no damage) or otherwise prevented from taking further actions. Nowhere do the rules state that the Kineticist must perform a kinetic blast, nor does it specify the penalty for not doing so -- it only says that IF she does so then the Gather Power reduces the burn cost of doing it.
I'm trying to learn the rules for a kineticist, and I'm hoping someone can help me with this detail.
So imagine: I am a kineticist, and I decide that I need to land a powerful blow, so I spend a move action doing Gather Power -- or perhaps a whole round action in order to gain -2 burn cost for my next turn. Unfortunately for me, the gather power is really showy, so the enemy archer who had a readied action to shoot anyone in my party casting a spell or similar action picks me out and looses an arrow, hitting me.
All right, I still have some chance. I have to make a concentration check, or else I will lose the effect and also take the burn I had planned to avoid. To make the concentration check, I roll a D20 + my Kineticist level. And the DC I need to make-or-exceed is, according to the rules: "DC = 10 + damage taken + effective spell level of her kinetic blast"
OK, I know what 10 is, and I can find out the damage taken, but what do the rules mean by "effective spell level of her kinetic blast"? Does it mean the kinetic blast that I will probably be using later on my standard action (or actually on my next turn)? Because I haven't yet decided WHICH blast to use, and I certainly haven't declared it. Does it mean the blast that I know how to use? Because simple blast HAS no level.
Can someone explain what value I need to use here?
Regular kinetic blast costs an attack of opportunity for the SLA, and then one for the ranged attack.
Aha! And the light dawns... Thank you Shiroi!
I didn't realize that the normal Kinetic Blast triggered an AOO. (Two AOOs?? I don't actually understand that part.) So before iterative attacks and haste, the benefit of the Kinetic Blade is that it doesn't trigger AOOs. That's enough to make it useful and give me an excuse to use it (for flavor reasons).
Out of curiosity, does Gather Power trigger AOOs? Actually, which of the kineticist's powers trigger AOOs and which don't -- and more significantly, where is that described in the rules.
Thanks for the quick response.
take Weapon Finesse and now you're running off pure Dex (for hit) and Con (for damage).
Which is exactly the same as if I just attacked at range using blast. Where's the advantage from Kinetic Blade?
Or, just go Fire or Void for an energy attack so all your attacks are against touch.
Which, again, is the same as if I just used blast from range.
At level five, you can reduce the cost of total kinetic blast by 1, so if all you're applying is the blade, it's free. No more rounds / day limitations.
So by level 5 some of the severe disadvantages disappear. But it still isn't until 8 that I get any advantages over the blast WITHOUT Kinetic Blade.
if you stick with a single element you could pick up Kinetic Whip at 7 when you get Expanded Element.
Ah, so by taking 2 infusions, it can actually become useful at 7 (by giving AOOs), then pretty nice at 8 (by giving a 2nd attack). That's something.
Lastly, if you want haste, go Air.
Ah, I didn't realize that was there and could be used on yourself. So that brings it down to 6th level when Kinetic Blade finally starts having some kind of advantage over just doing the blast. That's a good deal better than 8.
I am creating a kineticist, and starting him at 3rd level. I *really* like the fluff of the Kinetic Blade infusion. Instead of standing back 30 feet or more, I charge right into the middle of the combat (bare-handed), then conjure up a morningstar of earth (or whatever) to deliver my attack. I want to play a character who likes to mix it up -- I like the fluff so much that I'm probably taking this, regardless of the drawbacks.
But oh, the drawbacks. If I am understanding the rules correctly, then this is significantly worse than the simple blast. I have to be in the melee (where I am more easily attacked, and am likely to get pinned down by an opponent). I have to pay a point of burn -- that's a significant amount of damage to me (perhaps half of what I'm doing to my opponent) and it limits me to doing this only a few rounds per day!
At least I've got the benefits. Normally, melee attacks do slightly more damage than ranged... but not this one. I do not get a strength bonus to damage. I DO get to use my strength bonus to hit, but my strength is worse than my dex, so in my case that's actually a penalty. I don't get an advantage against their armor, or even get to change my damage type. If I had multiple attacks, that would be nice: as a kineticist I will first get that at 8th level, and haste spells aren't likely until about that range either. I don't even get attacks of opportunity or provide flanking bonuses to my friends, because it disappears at the end of my turn. I suppose I can get the +2 from doing a charge; that's just about the only thing I could find.
I really want this to be good, but right now it looks like by burning hitpoints I can, for just a few rounds a day, take a to-hit penalty for the right to get up close where the enemy can hit me. Please tell me what I am missing so I can take advantage of this really nice-sounding ability.
Actually, I believe that line is mechanics, not opinion. The ring does not function for anyone other than a spontaneous arcane spellcaster (although it still decorates your finger quite well).
Well, technically, with the withdraw action I don't have the option to move one move's worth of distance (eg: 30 ft) and then take a different move action like getting something out of my backpack. With the disengaging feint I could. (The wording of disengaging feint says it takes a standard action and allows you to move up to your speed away, it does not say that this movement requires a separate move action.) But honestly, I can't think why I would WANT to do this. It could also be used to disengage from an opponent you can't see (perhaps you are blinded or they are invisible). One other thing it allows is disengaging from an opponent with a really wide range of reach: withdraw only protects you from attacks in the square you are leaving (from any opponents), while disengaging feint protects you from one opponent in ALL squares they can reach.
All that being said, it is still not much of a feat. Now, if disengaging feint were a MOVE action, then I would have the option of disengaging one foe and engaging another on my turn (if my bluff were good enough). That would be worthwhile, but as written it sounds like it adds almost no benefit over the withdraw action.
This is a really nice guide. The section at the beginning where you explain words of power is really important; after reading this guide I am definitely thinking differently about that approach to spellcasting.
Also, I particularly liked the detailed breakdown and analysis of the words. The way you organized it was clearly better than the usual guide format. And the spell sheet at the end is a nice idea. As a bonus, great illustrations throughout. (Where did you get these?)
All in all, a really great guide!
Every one else has said "If you're having fun, you're doing it right." So just to be different, I'm going to say that you're doing it wrong.
I mean, not really "wrong" (since you're having fun) but there's always the possibility that you could be having even MORE fun if you tried something a little different. So one great thing you can do is to TRY IT OUT.
For one session (or perhaps 2, but not more) let somebody GM a very different sort of game: one where the players are in fear for their lives and have geninue possibilities of either success or failure. Don't spring this on them, say beforehand "You'll all get to start with 5th level characters, but the dungeon you are entering is incredibly perilous: the odds are, you won't even make it out alive, and it would take a miracle to actually rescue the princess." (Exaggerate the challenge level since this is new to the group.)
Maybe it will be a bust and you'll all return to your normal games happy to get back to your usual fun approach to gaming. Or perhaps it will be great and you'll decide to up the challenge level in your normal games.
Or not... don't feel obligated to try this out: if you're having fun then you're doing fine. Game on!
I read the guide all the way through and it's really an interesting character concept. Thank you for sharing the deailed writeup.
Now I'm going to get greedy (or perhaps the correct term is "obnoxious") and ask for even more. Since your guide is about a very focused character concept (rather than something broader like "bards") you might be able to do something that wouldn't be feasable in a normal guide: discuss strategy.
There was a bit of this already, for instance in your discussion of casting "pit" spells while your mount is charging or the suggestions for ways to use Silent Illusion. But you could potentially take it a bit further and create a "Tactics" section in which you list a few particular tactics (like those) that are especially effective with this build. Even details like which save-or-suck spells you would use for particular categories of enemies would be great. I have not seen anything like that in other guides, but then other guides have been more broadly focused so that it might not really be possible.
Anyway, just wanted to toss out the idea... and mention again that I really enjoyed reading this.
Thanks for the help, guys.
The options that really stood out for me were:
Web - 2nd level, excellent battlefield control spell, even capable of ending certain encounters which I had overlooked
All the features of a summoner, especially the Eidolon, scale with level, so multiclassing really hurts: your Eidolon will be several levels behind and thus have a hard time contributing.
If you're willing to forego "optimization" to have a really cool character concept (something I personally do and enjoy greatly!) then you could still keep your original concept by making a Summoner with fairly good strength and other physical stats. Just pretend like you're a (somewhat ineffective) fighter most of the time, and only bring out the Eidolon occasionally.
This will work for several levels, until your lower HP, lower BAB, and limited armor options really begin to have an impact. During those levels, you can begin to develop the character's devotion to the Eidolon -- you spend more and more time with it until one day the rest of the party looks up and realizes that the "fighter" they started out with has morphed into a magic-wielding summoner!
The one piece of your original description that seems difficult is having the Eidolon only show up when needed. It's easy enough not to use her until the party is really in need, but wandering around keeping out of things isn't what you were looking for. The standard 1 minute summon time is too long to help out when you really need it. There's a Summon Eidolon spell which is faster, but you wouldn't get that until 4th level.
So I have two suggestions. The first is to talk with your GM and explain what you're trying to do, then ask if there's a way to bend the rules to achieve it. Maybe you can get a deal where summoning only takes a round, not a minute, for the first 4 or 5 levels, but as a price the Eidolon is only available for Level+Charisma bonus minutes per day. Or you could "summon" the Eidolon at the beginning of each day, but the GM lets you have a way of making it invisible and it just follows along stealthily behind the party all the time. If these don't fly, you could try something similar by using your evolution points for a high stealth (adding in bonuses for small size) and the Eidolon just follows along by skulking in the shadows.
Anyway, it's a great concept... don't let the rules get in the way of making it playable!
For the campaign we're playing in now my wife and I are playing a matched pair of characters. We are twin magical gnomes with different personalities (ying and yang twins: a study in contrasts). She is an evocation-focused wizard: 90% of the time she is casting direct damage spells on the enemy. Fireball, flaming sphere, magic missile: anything to bring down the bad guys.
Meanwhile, I am a Fey Bloodline Sorcerer. In contrast, I have taken NO direct damage spells. From first level I was using Silent Illusion and Grease to confound opponents. I am now 5th level, and have things like Spider Climb and Hideous Laughter.
What I am looking for is suggestions of spells I can take. Because a sorcerer is so limited in spells known, I have to choose wisely. (For instance, I had thought Enlarge Person would be a useful buff for my party members, but turns out they felt the reach and extra damage weren't worth the AC and Dex penalties so I had to swap out that spell.) I am looking for interesting utility spells or effective battlefield control and debuff spells. Both because I'm a "prankster" personality and also because I don't want to steal my sister's shtick, it shouldn't be anything that does direct damage.
Any suggestions for useful (low-level: 1st through 4th level spells) spells that fit this style?
To correct my own mistake, I just realized that ALL Wizards know Read Magic, even if Divination is an opposition school. Having Divination as an opposition school means it's not in their spellbook, but all wizards know Read Magic "from memory" even without a spellbook.
That being said, the points about Sorcerers and about simply having taken other cantrips for that day still apply.
I don't think that the list of simple commands from Handle Animal is an appropriate starting point for determing what an Unseen Servant can do. With those sorts of limitations the spell could never be used for my own archetypal image of the spell: washing and folding my laundry for me. The spell explicitly mentions it's being able to "clean and mend" and those are well beyond what any animal can be trained to do.
However, to answer the original poster's question, I think that the explicit spell language "The servant cannot attack in any way" is fairly clear. It could probably carry a shrunk item over and place it somewhere (perhaps even underneath the monster), but shoving it down the beast's throat or aiming seems right out.
Not necessarily. A sorcerer may not have access to the Read Magic cantrip, because of their limited list of spells known. A wizard may might have Divination as one of their opposition schools and thus lack Read Magic in their spellbook (although they could have taken it). And it might just not have been one of the spells they memorized that day.
Reading magic using the Spellcraft skill is fundamental.
Wish and it's cousin limited wish are unusual spells in that rather than adhere to strict numerical effects, they contain some ambiguity which flexes in the direction of plot. Outside of the strict explicit limits (duplicating lower level spells), what they can do is subject to GM interpretation for the furtherance of the story. If you try to wish away the BBEG rather than confront her then the wish (or limited wish) is likely to be misinterpreted and backfire. In contrast, wishing for what is needed to grant one the opportunity to face down that BBEG.... that is far more likely to be granted.
In other words, I think it was an appropriate use for plot reasons. Perhaps that's because I play to tell a story, not to perform a simulation. Wishes (and limited wishes) cater to my playstyle.
Definitely let him do it. Wait until just after the eggs hatch (just before he can sell the birds). Then, if he is of a good alignment, have him be visited by an elder from the church. "You are a respected member of our community, so I hate to bring this up with you, but we performed an augury which predicted that you are in peril of losing your immortal soul. The augury suggested (and I assume there must be some mistake) that you would SELL YOUR OWN CHILDREN INTO SLAVERY." See what he does.
If he's playing an evil character who wouldn't mind having the church tell him that he's wrong, then he can pass by an old gypsy woman or soothsayer on the street who cries out to him: "The gods have told me to warn you . . . a most terrible misfortune will befall you if you ever SELL YOUR OWN CHILDREN INTO SLAVERY!"
Either way, the point is that it's an opportunity for interesting role playing. It gives the player a strong nudge to have his character experience a change of heart when he realizes what he is doing. But, of course, if he DOES have a change of heart, then what is he going to do with the baby Axe Beaks? A perfect adventure hook. The thing just writes itself.
I am not an expert, but here are some of my thoughts. I am partial to Dispel Magic because it can quite easily solve some problems that are extremely difficult otherwise. And having it in a Sorcerer (where it is always available, not only on days where it was planned for) can be very useful.
Others with more experience may guide you differently, but this is what I would probably do.
Best way to play this encounter? After the first three rounds of combat, announce "Ten minutes later, just before the invisibility runs out, you manage to wipe out the last of the skeletons."
You can _always_ fudge in the player's favor when things get boring. Next time, give the barbarian a short-term single-charge antimagic token to use.
Shrink Item is a third level spell. It takes a 5th level wizard to cast it. I don't seem to have the same definition of "starting equipment" as you. Mine consists of tricks like a handful of chalk dust, a 10 ft pole I cut in the woods, and a sack of dried leaves (burn to create a dark smoke signal or drop in the pit for a soft landing).
20. All you inherit is a title. Your great-uncle dies. You never knew him well -- all your life he was just a creaky old white-haired man living in a nearby town who used to grumble about how you should always remember to act your station in life. But when he dies his executor delivers a small, intricately carved wooden box to you. Inside is badly yellowed piece of vellum signed by the king's great-grandfather, granting your family the title of "Duke of Egileer" in perpetuity. There is also a gold signet ring displaying a crest with the double bars of a duke. You have never heard of "Egileer", and you have no idea what this implies, but technically you ARE your great-uncle's heir.