General Discussion: Kineticist


Rules Discussion

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Artanthos wrote:
Tels wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tels wrote:
Hit point wise, you had somewhere in the range of 8+(4.5*11)+(12*5)= 117 HP; but you were running with maxed out FtB so you take a 4*12= 48 HP loss netting a functional HP of 69.
Close, but I also had Toughness and FCB in hit points, so more like in the 90s. With lots of DR. With my DR and AC, I never really took much damage, even when I engaged in melee.
So you invested either a 16,000 gp item (+4 belt) or a 24,000 gp item (+4 belt *1.5 for same slot), a feat, and FCB all to mitigate the self-inflicted damage of Feel the Burn?
How much would another class have invested in it's weapon, which would not include close to the benefits you can get from devoting 4 points of burn towards defenses and kinetic form.

It doesn't matter how good your defenses are if a single lucky shot kills you because you sucked away all of your hit points for the sole purpose of raising you to baseline adequate combat efficiency.

Fuel the Burn = weapon enhancement bonus. But other classes get more than just weapon enhancement on their attack bonus!

Bards get Inspire Courage and spells
Magus gets Arcane Pool and spells
Summoner gets Eidolon and spells
Inquisitor gets Judgement and spells
Investigators get Studied Combat/Strike, alchemy and spells
Hunters get Animal Focus and spells

Only the Rogue and Monk don't have some method of generating additional accuracy or spells for their characters outside of feats that nearly anyone can take.

So the Rogue and Monk get BAB, Ability Score and weapon Enhancement on their attacks; Kineticist gets BAB, Ability Score and FtB on their attacks. If you were any other class than a Rogue, Monk or Kineticist, you'd be able to add a third or even fourth source of generating extra accuracy on your attacks.

Class Features are supposed to push you above the baseline, not barely achieve it.


Rynjin wrote:
"Trade HP for False Life (i.e. trade HP for less HP)".

To be fair, the Telekinetic gets his level in hp for 0 burn, and then for another 2 burn, he gets his level again. That's a net loss of 0 HP for the telekinetics Force Ward, but any further Burn and he gets shafted on the return rate.

[Edit] Fixed a mis-remembered aspect of Force Ward.

Paizo Employee Designer

Rynjin wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
So you're GOING to get hit every now and then, and most of those creatures can hurt you through your DR for a good bit still (EX an Iron Golem hits you on an 8 at worst, for an effective 2d10+6 per Slam). So you're kinda back to square 1. You've spent 4 Burn (52 HP) to gain an extra 4 DR, which seems like an even trade at best. Somebody better at the math than me can run that and see, but I think 52 renewable HP trumps an extra 4 "conditional HP" per hit you take.

Ah, that's actually a really good question Rynjin. Thanks for asking!

It's actually not too hard to calculate and depends on how many hits you take to drop:

The golem does 7 damage per hit to me on average, so it would need about 15 hits to drop me from full. I take 4 more off each of those hits from the DR, so that means I save more than 52. That is, if that golem pounded me from full to KO, I'm better off with the 4 DR than the 52 hp.

The fact that the missing 52 is nonlethal and thus doesn't make you more likely to die on a freak x4 crit is a small side factor in the favor of the trade-off of burn for DR, as is the healability (its easier to keep someone with lower hp and higher DR topped up with the heal spell in a fight or an after-fight cure spam than the reverse; for example, if a level 13 cleric wanted to cast heal on me during the epic beatdown from the golem as I was about to drop, I would get back all my missing hp and then some, whereas without burn it wouldn't top me off).

Did you mean 17? And that's after DR (it's 2d10+16 normally, I pre-subtracted the DR 10).

That's good to know regardless, though I don't think "I have enough HP the Cleric can't fully heal me" is a bad thing, as you seem to be implying by saying it's cool he can top you up completely with a Heal.

Still, that's pretty much the best option alongside Water's "WOOOOOO AC!", and they both still rub me the wrong way. I just don't see any reason these benefits are powerful enough you...

Ohh, presubtracted. OK, in that case, then, it's not quite as efficient since it drops me in 7 hits, but it does cover a fair percentage of the gap, and I get offensive boosts from Feel the Burn. However, for the healing, it's all about raw numbers, as Tels suggests in later post. Let me explain:

Let's say I have 182 hit points, 130 after the burn (I don't have that much but the math is nicer looking). A monster smacks the DR version of me for 125 damage (dealing 161 damage to the other version of me). So Right now DR version has 5 hp left and non-DR version has 21. So far the DR was not worth it, as the non-DR has more hp left. The cleric nows heals. In the DR version, I get everything back. In the non-DR version, I am still missing 31. So now the DR version is 130/130 and non-DR is 151/182. Then the monster keeps pounding me more, for another 125 damage to the DR version. DR version is now at 5/130. Non-DR took 161 again and is bleeding out at -10/182.

That's what I meant in terms of heal efficiency.


Please correct me if someone has already brought this up.

I'm liking the kineticist; it feels like it fills a gap, occult or not occult. And my personal leaning is toward the aether kineticist (telekineticist). But it seems like there should be an option to throw bolts of pure force, rather than just picking up and throwing available unattended objects. Do any of the other kineticists need to use the materials around them to be effective (even if the material is ubiquitous)? This could be a purely cosmetic change, or it could be a separate form of simple blast. I would favor the latter. It could do bludgeoning damage, or perhaps force damage (likely with a lower damage amount). Doing force damage isn't strictly necessary, as if the character wants to do that, he'll learn the Force Blast composite blast wild talent.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Zwordsman wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I know "Starvation and Thirst" were the comparisons for "unhealable" damage, but that can be bypassed too.

Clear Spindle Ioun Stone prevents that.

So, you can never eat, drink, sleep, and survive in a vacuum, and yet, no matter how you invest, Burn can not be healed, bypassed, or reduced.

Not sure if you were making a comment for, against, or just making a statement. this isn't directly towards you but just a statement about the idea of burn.

Isn't that because your pulling the elements through your body? I mean.. anything that would bypass seems like it would plug up those channeling points. Makes sense of how you think o fit.

It's like a water bottle.. you can't keep the inside of the bottle cap from getting wet (the one where you pull the top out). Pulling open the pathway intricately means it gets wet. Same way that your body has to get burned.

You make the class sound like a wet blanket, that squirts enemies, and makes them slightly irritated by being wet.

Also, your thematic "explanation" misses the point.

Mechanically, there is no class feature that has a drawback, that cannot be lessened, negated, or made irrelevant, with a proper investment.

It does not exist.

Why does it need to do so now?

Shadow Lodge

im not sure if its been brought up cuase this thread goes so fast lol, but i was wondering what are the advantages of taking kinetic blade/fist? it seems its a bad choice, your losing hp just to keep up with accuracy and going head to head with a bad guy at less health just sounds like a bad idea in my book, but im probally missing something about it but it would seem standing back and fireing off blasts from a distance is how the best to survive an encounter but then all kineticist all suffer from having to be human to make them work due to needing point-blank shot and percise shot, i probally missed alot from not reading the last 300 posts since the last time i checked the thread lol but i was just curious lol


blackbloodtroll wrote:

You make the class sound like a wet blanket, that squirts enemies, and makes them slightly irritated by being wet.

Also, your thematic "explanation" misses the point.

Mechanically, there is no class feature that has a drawback, that cannot be lessened, negated, or made irrelevant, with a proper investment.

It does not exist.

Why does it need to do so now?

haha, I didn't mean to make it sound like a wet blanket. Just easiest thing I can think of.

I got the point just fine, but the designers themselves have expressed quite solidly they like the idea of that mechanic, and they already heard comments either for or agianst it.
So it sounded more like that discussion was trying to figure out why thematically they wanted it. Hence the best examples I could think of were as I said.

As for why, there isn't a need to do so, outside of I guess them wanting something along these lines. This and the "item magic" of occultist (i think it was them) and the staremagic of mesmers is all part of the theme they're trying to go for. While I don't like some of it, and do hope they change it it still gives some neat mental ideas.


Raphael Valen wrote:
im not sure if its been brought up cuase this thread goes so fast lol, but i was wondering what are the advantages of taking kinetic blade/fist? it seems its a bad choice, your losing hp just to keep up with accuracy and going head to head with a bad guy at less health just sounds like a bad idea in my book, but im probally missing something about it but it would seem standing back and fireing off blasts from a distance is how the best to survive an encounter but then all kineticist all suffer from having to be human to make them work due to needing point-blank shot and percise shot, i probally missed alot from not reading the last 300 posts since the last time i checked the thread lol but i was just curious lol

You get to deal your blast damage more than once a round, and you benefit from things like flanking.

If you don't use Feel the Burn, then you can minimize the burn from Kinetic Fist/Blade/Whip by spending a move action to do so. Once you get Infusion Specialization, if you select Form infusion, you reduce the cost of Kinetic Fist/Blade to 0 and Kinetic Whip to 1 (which can be reduced to 0 via a move action).

Once you've got Kinetic Fist/Blade/Whip to 0 burn, it costs you nothing to activate it.

The Kinetic Weapon talents will allow you to deal more damage per round because you get more attacks that each deal your blast damage. It also benefits from spells like haste that increase your number of attacks, so you can get even more damage dished out.

Basically, the Kinetic Weapon talents are the best way to deal damage with the Kineticists' blasts outside of abusing the Conductive weapon property.


Raphael Valen wrote:
im not sure if its been brought up cuase this thread goes so fast lol, but i was wondering what are the advantages of taking kinetic blade/fist? it seems its a bad choice, your losing hp just to keep up with accuracy and going head to head with a bad guy at less health just sounds like a bad idea in my book, but im probally missing something about it but it would seem standing back and fireing off blasts from a distance is how the best to survive an encounter but then all kineticist all suffer from having to be human to make them work due to needing point-blank shot and percise shot, i probally missed alot from not reading the last 300 posts since the last time i checked the thread lol but i was just curious lol

It's been commentd on a fair times here and there but short hand

the damage amount is a lot more in line with the world when you use blade/whip. Because of iteratives. Even if it makes you more fragile

you ca nstand back and blast but your damage looks pretty sad.. Kind of like how using a crossbow is generally worse than a bow.

Fist is a different story I guess.. Since it just adds to your punch damage.. So I can't really comment on it very well. Though i bet there is a fun mix of brawler or monk and this that turns out well


Just to let everyone know, the blog with the playtest survey link is up.


For anybody having issues finding the survey,

Link to Surveys

Peter


Rynjin wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

My last character (not counting the Vampire Inquisitor I have now, seems like a bad comparison point) to reach those levels was an Invulnerable Rager. He still dipped into low HP on many occasions, with DR 6/- and ~250 HP.

DR really only makes up for so much. It protects him from arrows, sure, but when you have a creature hitting 3 times for 1d10+30 or something, that's still a hell of a lot of damage for you to take with only 100 HP.

My perspective may be a bit skewed, however.

My guess is that I had a lot higher AC, and my DR was nearly twice as high (10 rather than 6). Most enemies had trouble hitting me consistently. They'd still nab a hit on their attack routine, maybe even two, but rarely more. They'd also usually have to turn off Power Attack to get those hits that consistently too, which helped a lot.

What was your AC? I'm guessing something in the ballpark of 29 (+4 Armor, +3 armor enhancement, +8 Dex, +2 Ring, +2 Amulet)? 30 with a Jingasa, 31 with that 5k Ioun Stone. We'll be generous and say 32.

That's the exact same AC my Barbarian had at that level (He wears Full Plate, I took a Fighter dip), though you have a higher touch (when I'm not Raging. Ghost Rager is rad.).

So, that's not the advantage.

The real advantage is 10 vs 6 DR at 13. Which...I don't think even out given the HP advantage. You're shaving 4 extra damage off each hit, but you have less than half of the HP. Before I Rage.

Granted, comparing Barbarian durability to a d8 class' durability is kind of silly (the Barbarian is SUPPOSED to b more durable), but let's look at stuff on its own.

At the very high end you probably have a 34-36 AC (you shelled out for +5 armor and +3 Ring and Amulet).

CR 10 creatures still hit you on a 13-15 on at highest (Giants), so you're getting whacked by mooks some time, but fairly safe.

Fast forward to CR 13, however, and you're being hit on a 13 or so at the low end...so not exactly an ironclad defense.

So...

At 20, my Fire kineticists has 43 AC (DR 12 from Geo cross element). Could be higher if I go Kinetic Form though (or switch talents around for greater).

I could do him better, but he seems decent. True, he is only 17 levels of Kineticist (but I wanted AC bonus from Monk/Master of Many style).
My blasts are +28 (or 32 if I use a rd of boots)

http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheetview.php?sheetid=1052518

So while Fire doesn't initially do very good, they can cross element with Expanded.

Shadow Lodge

Tels wrote:
Raphael Valen wrote:
im not sure if its been brought up cuase this thread goes so fast lol, but i was wondering what are the advantages of taking kinetic blade/fist? it seems its a bad choice, your losing hp just to keep up with accuracy and going head to head with a bad guy at less health just sounds like a bad idea in my book, but im probally missing something about it but it would seem standing back and fireing off blasts from a distance is how the best to survive an encounter but then all kineticist all suffer from having to be human to make them work due to needing point-blank shot and percise shot, i probally missed alot from not reading the last 300 posts since the last time i checked the thread lol but i was just curious lol

You get to deal your blast damage more than once a round, and you benefit from things like flanking.

If you don't use Feel the Burn, then you can minimize the burn from Kinetic Fist/Blade/Whip by spending a move action to do so. Once you get Infusion Specialization, if you select Form infusion, you reduce the cost of Kinetic Fist/Blade to 0 and Kinetic Whip to 1 (which can be reduced to 0 via a move action).

Once you've got Kinetic Fist/Blade/Whip to 0 burn, it costs you nothing to activate it.

The Kinetic Weapon talents will allow you to deal more damage per round because you get more attacks that each deal your blast damage. It also benefits from spells like haste that increase your number of attacks, so you can get even more damage dished out.

Basically, the Kinetic Weapon talents are the best way to deal damage with the Kineticists' blasts outside of abusing the Conductive weapon property.

ahh i see lol thanks for the clear up, i despertly want to see this class become awesome and make a wicked cool pyro lol


What does he look like at a playable level? Like 10th?


Zwordsman wrote:
Raphael Valen wrote:
im not sure if its been brought up cuase this thread goes so fast lol, but i was wondering what are the advantages of taking kinetic blade/fist? it seems its a bad choice, your losing hp just to keep up with accuracy and going head to head with a bad guy at less health just sounds like a bad idea in my book, but im probally missing something about it but it would seem standing back and fireing off blasts from a distance is how the best to survive an encounter but then all kineticist all suffer from having to be human to make them work due to needing point-blank shot and percise shot, i probally missed alot from not reading the last 300 posts since the last time i checked the thread lol but i was just curious lol

It's been commentd on a fair times here and there but short hand

the damage amount is a lot more in line with the world when you use blade/whip. Because of iteratives. Even if it makes you more fragile

you ca nstand back and blast but your damage looks pretty sad.. Kind of like how using a crossbow is generally worse than a bow.

Fist is a different story I guess.. Since it just adds to your punch damage.. So I can't really comment on it very well. Though i bet there is a fun mix of brawler or monk and this that turns out well

There is, try a first level dip in Monk of Many Styles and use Snake and Panther styles to provoke 3 attacks of opportunity every time you enter an opponent's space and get attacked for it. Then rock down on Greater Two Weapon Fighting to deliver 6 punches in a row. Now consider that if you're Earth/Water(cold) you can use Entangling Infusion or Staggering Infusion with every single one of those hits. Then add in being a Water Elemental and all of those associated bonuses, and Earth Glide if you can get the feats/talents to line up right. I'm still not sure I can get that in place. Even without it, there's a great deal of nasty involved in 6 or more attacks a round doing status nerfs to everything in town. I'm personally more a fan of the attacks of opportunity than the actual TWF side of it, and considering dropping those three feats for Combat Patrol and some spare Talents. That's mostly because the AoO are all at full attack bonus, in a class which tends towards low accuracy high damage. (or will, when the damage gets buffed as Mark has indicated it likely will)

Just as an aside, I'm wondering... You get the element and the defense at first level. Why when you get expanded element do you not pick up the defense as well? It almost feels as though if Defense is a separate talent, you should be able to take the defense even if you don't have the element. This is simply for reason of someone like Pyro, who isn't as happy with their defense (I've seen a few people comment they don't like it, and nobody jumped in and said they were super glad it was there) now needs 2 talents to get to a defense they want, even if they actually didn't particularly want that element. In addition, because they now have to take Expanded Element, available only twice in the game and at particular levels to boot, if they want Blue Flame Blast (Fire/Fire) to use the Pure Flame Infusion, they have to decide whether to get it way late game, or get the better defense way late game. It's a tough choice. Both of those get more and more useful mid game, and by late game it might already have cost you your sheet.


Mark, does it make sense for elemental blasts to be affected by SR? Since it's conjuration and not evocation style?

Energy resistance makes sense, but SR makes as much sense as saying physical dmg blasts must roll vs SR.

Paizo Employee Designer

Insain Dragoon wrote:

Mark, does it make sense for elemental blasts to be affected by SR? Since it's conjuration and not evocation style?

Energy resistance makes sense, but SR makes as much sense as saying physical dmg blasts must roll vs SR.

It's evocation style because you manipulate magical energy, tapping an unseen source of power (the elemental planes, via the Ethereal) to produce your desired effect, creating something out of nothing, and dealing damage.

Evocation spells, CRB wrote:
Evocation spells manipulate magical energy or tap an unseen source of power to produce a desired end. In effect, an evocation draws upon magic to create something out of nothing. Many of these spells produce spectacular effects, and evocation spells can deal large amounts of damage.


So when a Kineticist picks up a rock for his blast, no spell resistance. When he picks up some fire, we get spell resistance?

What you described sounds much more like conjuration.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've not said much in this playtest but we played the other night and here's some thoughts and feedback from building a kineticist and playing with one.

On Burn

A long time ago Green Ronin released the Psychic's Handbook, which ostensibly took the Force system from the d20 Star Wars RPG and ported them into D&D with a reflavouring. At the core of the class was that psychics took non-lethal damage when they used their powers (called strain), it was a balancing factor so at level 1 I couldn't just toss an entire horde of skeletons around. The things I could do were fun, but taking damage for using a primary class feature wasn't.

The kineticist is different from a Psychic in that it can use its primary class feature all day without taking any non-lethal damage, but as a player I still don't find it fun to take damage to use an ability.

Part of the playtest, I think is more than just finding if a class is balanced. I think Burn is fairly balanced against the fact that a kineticist won't be taking a lot of full attacks being a ranged character, and has a decent number of defenses to turn hits into misses or mitigate hits it might take. But so far anyone using the class I've played with is too nervous to take burn, even though the class needs Feel the Burn in order to contribute most effectively. At certain levels the difference between dead and unconscious is academic, death can be cured with a simple application of magic. What it does mean is that you are forced to do nothing during fights, or contribute even harder to the 15 minute adventuring day because your burn damage can't be healed by any kind of magic.

I can understand the logic and flavour behind it, and I can follow that it's balanced. At this point though, I'm not sure if I can say that it's fun, and at the heart of it that's what the game is about.

Perhaps think of it in terms of the Medium: The Medium takes influence but at no point is forced to lose control of their character unless they make a decision as a player to do so.

The Burn rules already have in place a "Maximum Burn" number that a character can take. Perhaps have it so that the character takes all of their burn damage at once if they hit "maximum burn". That way if a player hates the idea of taking damage for using a class feature they never ever have to do it, but those willing to take the hit have an edge but are fragile because of it.

On Utility

It's pretty much universal that the class just doesn't have enough utility. Between low skill points and drawing their blast and utility powers from the same class resource means while kineticists are uber simple to create and play, they can rapidly feel boring.

A kineticist of all kinds should be able to exert force on their chosen element as if their Constitution was treated as strength for purposes of Lifting, Carrying etc. Perhaps a light load at 1st level, up to a medium load at 5th level, up to a heavy load at 10th,Lift over Head at 15th and Treat their Con as 10 points higher for purposes of lifting and carrying at 20th?
This change ALONE could make the kineticist more interesting and varied in what it's capable of doing.

Finally here's a wishlist of things a kineticist should be able to do but can't currently. Separated by energy type:

Aether


  • Force Choke/Grab Organ/Kaliiimmaaaa: This should be the "touch attack" option for telekinetics. Dealing direct damage to a foe, and you could even flavour a coup-de-grace as pulling a foe's heart/liver/spleen/other funny organ from their body as the finishing move.
  • Easier access for Kinetic Finesse: Two talents is just too many, especially considering "extra talent" has to wait until 6th level. Light touch should be an automatic ability for all kineticists (limited to their element or unattended objects), thus leaving telekinetic finesse as a single power.
  • Deflect/Reflect Ranged Attacks: I know you say you aren't going for "X-Men" but the ability to stop a fusillade of bullets or arrows in midair and then turn them back on their foes is too cool not to do.
  • Apportation/Teleportation/Warp: These are high level abilities, and if you've seen the (slightly terrible) movie Jumper, or remember "orbing" from Rose McGowan's sister on Charmed, or just are a fan of the fuzzy blue elf Nightcrawler, this is an ability that those who can bend space to their whim can do.
  • Singularity: Pull everything in an area towards one spot. Fun for the whole family.
  • Animate Object: Ever see the part in the wonderful Eddie Murphy movie The Golden Child, where the kid animates the little Pepsi can to do a little dance. I want to do that to a house.
  • Dancing Weapon: Add the dancing property to a weapon. Even an improvised one.
  • Use the properties of an object thrown: The kineticist can either choose to deal their kinetic damage, or the properties of the thrown weapon, using their Con Mod in place of Strength where appropriate.

Air


  • Suffocate a Fool: Draw the air out of a foe's lungs. Hardly OP due to the suffocation rules being so generous in Pathfinder. Just like [redacted] did to [redacted] during Legend of Korra Season 3.
  • Air Bubbles: Portable air supply for breathing underwater, and can be sat on as it rolls and zips around the battlefield.
  • Air Slam: A column of air throws a foe straight up, or pushes a foe straight down (as if they are carrying their maximum strength load).
  • Air Columns: Create "solid" steps of air that other characters could even walk on.

Earth


  • Soften Earth and Stone, Stoneshape, Create Pit etc: These spells that the Geokineticist should be able to emulate but currently can't really.
  • Stone to Flesh (remove petrification only): I think a geokineticist should be able to free someone from their stony prison.
  • Sonic Damage. I know acid is traditionally associated with earth in the game (booooo!), but I think Sonic is a better fit, as you could flavour it as vibrating the ground beneath someone.

Fire


  • Needs more ways to bypass fire resistance. It's by far the most common resistance in the game, and there's few things more depressing than a one-trick pony unable to perform its one trick.
  • Increase the ambient temperature: The ability to force folks to deal with environmental heat damage rules in an area would be a lot of fun for a pyrokineticist to play with.
  • Photokinesis: The ability to create light without heat, blind foes with flashes, increase the ambient light levels, create ghost lights and eventually even daylight enough to harm those vulnerable to it.

Water


  • Water Bubble: Similar to the air bubble above.
  • Decrease ambient temperature: Make it so cold that foes have to start dealing with environmental rules.
  • Water breathing: I don't think a hydrokineticist should ever fear drowning.

Actually a lot of these could be covered with a "Spell-Like" talent, that allows a kineticist to take a spell of their elemental descriptor (or the Force Descriptor for telekinetics) of a spell level equal to half their level (or 1/3rd if you want keep control of it), perhaps have it cost burn?


Insain Dragoon wrote:

Mark, does it make sense for elemental blasts to be affected by SR? Since it's conjuration and not evocation style?

Energy resistance makes sense, but SR makes as much sense as saying physical dmg blasts must roll vs SR.

In a way I can see it because of touch attacks like Shocking Grasp, but I also see your point here. Not everything with an element involves SR, and what we do here is closer to Shock which is also Evocation, but is a weapon ability. In fact, it's an almost arbitrary division between the two as to where it stops being magic and starts being... Magic? Why does a magic sword not need to pass through SR to behave as a magic sword instead of just hitting like any old piece of sharp steel?

It's fairly well arbitrary application of a poorly defined defensive style, built more for fair game mechanics than for common sense. Spell resistance has always felt like a clunky trait to me, especially given that it shares the 'resistance' word with 'elemental resistance' when they operate so differently. It feels as though "Magic Resistance" should be a resistance just like Elemental Resistance, making you take less damage from spells of any kind, stacking with elemental resistances. But then you leave out non-damage spells, like Curse. So I suppose my take on this is that 'making sense' with SR is second place to making balance. So the question is, can our touch blasts be balanced without SR?
I'd think so, if we lowered the damage in proportion to the physical blasts by a little more (note : Not saying lower the damage, saying lower it in relation to a number which needs to go up a tad, so basically leave it as is instead of buffing it). But then we're lowering the damage, against everything not just things with SR.

SR may be a pain, but in the end it's what lets a spell be super accurate, deal awesome damage, and still let it be useless against magic resistant creatures. If we make it useful against SR creatures, we would have to give up something else somewhere in the math.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Great post Dudemeister. I think there's a thread someone made for ideas of more wild talents. I'd appreciate it if anyone with a long post of cool new wild talents posts there (if it exists, which I think it does). That way, I am less likely to miss it when I spend the hours to reread this thread looking (and might even not have to do the reread! :D)


Hey Mark, how would you feel about changing the Kineticists hit die to d12? It would give the Kineticist a real HP advantage over other hammers and give you more leeway on when you can use burn without changing anything else. I imagine that some people would still complain about the burn mechanic with the extra HP, but at least they'd definitely be wrong.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Arachnofiend wrote:
Hey Mark, how would you feel about changing the Kineticists hit die to d12? It would give the Kineticist a real HP advantage over other hammers and give you more leeway on when you can use burn without changing anything else. I imagine that some people would still complain about the burn mechanic with the extra HP, but at least they'd definitely be wrong.

I am considering all of my options. I also have something in mind that is...similar to this in some ways (in fact, several of the things I have in mind were removed from the playtest version due to feedback that they may not be necessary, which you guys in the playtest have helped me prove, so thanks everyone!).


Mark Seifter wrote:
Great post Dudemeister. I think there's a thread someone made for ideas of more wild talents. I'd appreciate it if anyone with a long post of cool new wild talents posts there (if it exists, which I think it does). That way, I am less likely to miss it when I spend the hours to reread this thread looking (and might even not have to do the reread! :D)

While some of those I can see being talents, I'm actually very pro getting some utility abilities without spending Talent points. In all reality, I'd be happy with the damage of this class as it is if we had a separate pool of awesome toys to play with.

For a class to be able to support a forced choice between utility and damage abilities as talent options, it has to have enough of both to barely pass inspection even before you touch the talents, and then you pick which one you want to be great at, or mix and match. This class, without talents, barely passes combat inspections and only then by some people's standards... And most would argue it fails utility inspections quite badly, outside of Earth Glide and Fly. Which are semi-combat related to boot.
This of course is pending a great deal of unknown information about how you've seen fit to modify things based on what has been brought up here.

Oh, and while I have your ear, while I'm all for getting to move elements outside of combat, and feel that about 1 square of material per level or even per two levels would be awesome... Hydrokineticist can pick up the equivalent weight of several blue whales worth of water and carry it inland for miles before dropping it in a swirling riptide of death according to their current water manipulation mimicking talent. Probably not a great wording on that one. Especially since nothing tells me I can't then hold it there and move it around inside the tower, crushing and drowning most obstacles from a lazy 400 feet away.


Hit die is tied to Base Attack Bonus in Pathfinder for base classes. All 1/2 BAB classes have d6, all 3/4 BAB classes have d8 and all full BAB classes have d10 (or d12 for Barbarian).

If you change the hit die to d12, then you need to change the BAB to full. That's one of the changes from 3.5 that Paizo instituted.

Paizo Employee Designer

Tels wrote:

Hit die is tied to Base Attack Bonus in Pathfinder for base classes. All 1/2 BAB classes have d6, all 3/4 BAB classes have d8 and all full BAB classes have d10 (or d12 for Barbarian).

If you change the hit die to d12, then you need to change the BAB to full. That's one of the changes from 3.5 that Paizo instituted.

Tels is correct, which is one reason I have several ideas that work similarly and am keeping all my options open. I will play with all of them until the balance is perfect :)


Mark Seifter wrote:
Great post Dudemeister. I think there's a thread someone made for ideas of more wild talents. I'd appreciate it if anyone with a long post of cool new wild talents posts there (if it exists, which I think it does). That way, I am less likely to miss it when I spend the hours to reread this thread looking (and might even not have to do the reread! :D)

Link to said thread


Tels wrote:

Hit die is tied to Base Attack Bonus in Pathfinder for base classes. All 1/2 BAB classes have d6, all 3/4 BAB classes have d8 and all full BAB classes have d10 (or d12 for Barbarian).

If you change the hit die to d12, then you need to change the BAB to full. That's one of the changes from 3.5 that Paizo instituted.

You mean like how all 4th level casters have full BAB? Occult Adventures breaks a lot of Pathfinder's usual expectations; we don't need to stick with a tradition just because it's a tradition. I'd personally much rather keep the Kineticist at 3/4 BAB and give the Kineticist a scaling bonus that only applies to the blast; it locks the Kineticist out of iteratives so the ranged attack can be more competitive with the kinetic whip and discourages people from just pulling out a manufactured weapon.

Paizo Employee Designer

Milo v3 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Great post Dudemeister. I think there's a thread someone made for ideas of more wild talents. I'd appreciate it if anyone with a long post of cool new wild talents posts there (if it exists, which I think it does). That way, I am less likely to miss it when I spend the hours to reread this thread looking (and might even not have to do the reread! :D)
Link to said thread

Yes, everyone please go post in the thread Milo linked (or I guess Dudemeister's new one that may have only wild talents) if you have lots of new wild talent ideas. If you already posted here and you know it, just search your own user name or the name of one of your wild talents to find it. Crowdsourcing FTW (especially handy since each of you individually knows for sure if you posted lots of wild talent ideas). If you want to take crowdsourcing into your own hands, feel free to crosspost someone else's long list of wild talents in one of those threads, but if so, be sure to credit the original poster!


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
(slightly terrible) movie Jumper

I'm a fan of this movie if only because it got me to read the book series, which I found far more enjoyable.

The Jumper series of books have some interesting abilities that may or may not fit the kineticist.

Some major and not so major spoilers for the Jumper series of books.

Jumper, Reflex, Impulse:
In the first, book, Davy learns he can teleport and learns that he can only teleport to places he can remember vividly. He solves this problem by acquiring 'jump sites' at various locations by recording a spot and describing the sights, sounds and smell of the location as best he can. Jumping also ignores physical laws, like, if you were to fall off a cliff for several seconds and then Jump, you would land at your jumpsite without any of the energy you picked up while falling. The Jumper can also conceivably 'jump' anything he can lift (an example is Davy manages to tilt a bookshelf and lift it off the ground, barely, and jumps it). The Jumper is less teleporting, and opening a doorway to another part of the world and passing through it. A recording of the Davy jumping, when slowed down, shows a perfect 'Davy-sized hole' in which you can see the location of where he's going.

In the second book, it's discovered that people who are 'passengers' of a jumper can learn how to do it too. The Jumper can also open the doorway to another place, and hold it open, to let ambient surroundings through the doorway. Davy uses this ability in the third book to melt snow off his driveway by holding the door open to some tropical location.

In the third book, the Jumper can learn to *not* negate the kinetic energy he neutralizes while Jumping, and, in fact, can force kinetic energy into himself to launch himself through the air. With practice and control, the Jumper can even fly using it. They can also use it to add to their punches and blows for some serious damage.

[Edit] Note, the movie Jumper is based as loosely on the book series as can be possible. As in, the characters share similar names, David's Dad is an alocoholic who abused him, and David can teleport. That's about it as far as what the book and movie have in common.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Great post Dudemeister. I think there's a thread someone made for ideas of more wild talents. I'd appreciate it if anyone with a long post of cool new wild talents posts there (if it exists, which I think it does). That way, I am less likely to miss it when I spend the hours to reread this thread looking (and might even not have to do the reread! :D)
Link to said thread
Yes, everyone please go post in the thread Milo linked (or I guess Dudemeister's new one that may have only wild talents) if you have lots of new wild talent ideas. If you already posted here and you know it, just search your own user name or the name of one of your wild talents to find it. Crowdsourcing FTW (especially handy since each of you individually knows for sure if you posted lots of wild talent ideas). If you want to take crowdsourcing into your own hands, feel free to crosspost someone else's long list of wild talents in one of those threads, but if so, be sure to credit the original poster!

*Sigh* Awhile back I made a long post for each element and the class itself on possible ideas for wild talents. I know I had it copied to a document, I can't recall if I actually *saved* that document :(


Tels wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
TOO
MANY
QUOTES!
*Sigh* Awhile back I made a long post for each element and the class itself on possible ideas for wild talents. I know I had it copied to a document, I can't recall if I actually *saved* that document :(

Here, starts at 1344 & goes thru 1350

Peter


Peter nielson wrote:
Tels wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
TOO
MANY
QUOTES!
*Sigh* Awhile back I made a long post for each element and the class itself on possible ideas for wild talents. I know I had it copied to a document, I can't recall if I actually *saved* that document :(

Here, starts at 1344 & goes thru 1350

Peter

Yeah, I went to my post and selected 'Favorited by Others' and then scrolled down until I found it. Easier than searching my 'recent posts' cause I probably post too much.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Blazej wrote:
In the 9th level playtest I ran with 15 point buy the geokinectist had a 14 to hit with full feel the burn running and Point Blank Shot. He was a bit more focused on Constitution than Dexterity, but that ended up with him having (after magic items) a 18 Dex and a 20 Con, which is a long shot from the 26 or 28 in either ability score.

My first thought on reading this was that Con is clearly a secondary stat, so "focusing on Con" would be a mistake (like putting more into Charisma than Wisdom for a cleric). Then, however, it occurred to me: what if there were wild talents or class abilities that allowed you to take additional burn for substantial increases in accuracy or damage - so a "Con focused" build would be one that nova'd with burn, while a Dex-based one would look more for consistency?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Shisumo wrote:
Blazej wrote:
In the 9th level playtest I ran with 15 point buy the geokinectist had a 14 to hit with full feel the burn running and Point Blank Shot. He was a bit more focused on Constitution than Dexterity, but that ended up with him having (after magic items) a 18 Dex and a 20 Con, which is a long shot from the 26 or 28 in either ability score.
My first thought on reading this was that Con is clearly a secondary stat, so "focusing on Con" would be a mistake (like putting more into Charisma than Wisdom for a cleric). Then, however, it occurred to me: what if there were wild talents or class abilities that allowed you to take additional burn for substantial increases in accuracy or damage - so a "Con focused" build would be one that nova'd with burn, while a Dex-based one would look more for consistency?

I also built a Con-focused pyro build, focusing on a new save-or-suck substance infusion that's stronger (and higher level) than burning. It worked pretty well. I imagine cold with stagger would be excellent too. Nothing like preventing a full attack to make the party happy!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Posted my list to this thread

I have deleted the thread I've created to avoid doubling up on things.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Blazej wrote:
In the 9th level playtest I ran with 15 point buy the geokinectist had a 14 to hit with full feel the burn running and Point Blank Shot. He was a bit more focused on Constitution than Dexterity, but that ended up with him having (after magic items) a 18 Dex and a 20 Con, which is a long shot from the 26 or 28 in either ability score.
My first thought on reading this was that Con is clearly a secondary stat, so "focusing on Con" would be a mistake (like putting more into Charisma than Wisdom for a cleric). Then, however, it occurred to me: what if there were wild talents or class abilities that allowed you to take additional burn for substantial increases in accuracy or damage - so a "Con focused" build would be one that nova'd with burn, while a Dex-based one would look more for consistency?
I also built a Con-focused pyro build, focusing on a new save-or-suck substance infusion that's stronger (and higher level) than burning. It worked pretty well. I imagine cold with stagger would be excellent too. Nothing like preventing a full attack to make the party happy!

Speaking of which, I'd love an archetype specializing on substance infusions that can stack more than one of them on a blast. Maybe replace Empower with Heighten, too, so you can play more of a controller than a damage role.


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Talents like Fire Sculptor, Ice Walker, Light Touch, Telekinetic Finesse, and possibly others are either too weak to be valid choices or are such simple tasks that they are more like taking a feat that allows you to fire your gun while prone or a feat to draw your weapon as part of your move action.

It might be best if some of these were just a list of talents given for free when you select your element.


Tels wrote:

Hit die is tied to Base Attack Bonus in Pathfinder for base classes. All 1/2 BAB classes have d6, all 3/4 BAB classes have d8 and all full BAB classes have d10 (or d12 for Barbarian).

If you change the hit die to d12, then you need to change the BAB to full. That's one of the changes from 3.5 that Paizo instituted.

With a straight HD swap, I can see the logic from the pattern. I've never seen it specifically written that it *must* be done that way before though, and what the players don't know won't hurt them.

Or having FtB increase your Con might also fix the exact same problem, adding 3 HP/lvl over the course of the game (but only as you burn that HP) would cause it to eventually be equivalent to a D12+1 class, actually.

A more dramatic approach would be to let FtB give you 1 free burn each day at the same rate as it, which would be the equivalent of 6 Burn, and therefore equal to about 12 con points. This would be an extreme case, but it would also only be usable to go directly into the burn mechanic, so technically it can't ACTUALLY give you +120 HP. Just 120 free burn damage at the start of the day, to kickstart your FtB.

A class ability under the title "Kinetic Reinforcement" at 1st lvl, which adds 2 HP/HD, would handle it another way, putting us exactly on par with a D12 class, though with more stable numbers.

Dropping actually to a 1/2 BAB would reduce the iteratives on Kinetic Blade/Whip, making them easier to balance against, and the accuracy could be solved with an elemental icon which gives enhancement bonuses as a weapon would every 4 levels. This puts us at a D6 HD, unreasonably low, unless you say that Kineticists don't roll their HD they just max them every time as a class ability. Because after all, isn't the Con score supposed to represent how some people are more healthy or less healthy? I never really understood rolling for health anyways.

Of course, if we stick to the D8 and 3/4 (a much more practical plan, given all the balancing that's gone into presuming that number is permanent), rolling HD twice and taking the better result would yield an average of 5.8 according to a post I looked up just for this purpose. That would be a whole HP higher, but still only put us at unnoticably higher than a D10's average of 5.5.

Giving a full 8 points, maxing the D8 Die instead of rolling it, would be quite a large boost. Sadly, too big to really be practical I feel. It would be the equivalent of rolling a D15. Barbarians might get a little miffed.

Oh! Here's a good one. I found a dice calculator. 3D8 take the highest has a mean of 6.47! Since the highest of 1D12 is 6.5, I can say with confidence that almost nobody is going to notice a difference. If Kineticists roll HD 3 times and take the highest, we effectively have a D12 hit dice, on a 3/4 chassis. Better, it's one with a very high chance of rolling the average. It can't roll higher than an 8, and the odds of it being lower than a 5 are pretty bad. So this is a strong middle of the road D12 HD analog.

So many ways to fix it so that the class gets more HP without rolling a larger HD... But the question is, which one would make the most sense and give the class the best flavorful balance?


A class feature giving you 1 additional HP per hit die that upgrades at X levels could do the trick. It wont add extra math, it would be less text, it would have the same effect as "pretend burn" if used for FTB. It wouldn't invalidate the toughness feat.

Super simple and just as effective.

Paizo Employee Designer

Yup, I actually have all these options (except rolling multiple times for HD, which could mess up games that have alternate rolling schemes like take-half-rounded-up) and a few others in my toolbox right now. I am hoping to marry functionality with cool thematics and simplicity.


Shiroi wrote:
Tels wrote:

Hit die is tied to Base Attack Bonus in Pathfinder for base classes. All 1/2 BAB classes have d6, all 3/4 BAB classes have d8 and all full BAB classes have d10 (or d12 for Barbarian).

If you change the hit die to d12, then you need to change the BAB to full. That's one of the changes from 3.5 that Paizo instituted.

With a straight HD swap, I can see the logic from the pattern. I've never seen it specifically written that it *must* be done that way before though, and what the players don't know won't hurt them.

That's because Paizo has never given explicit rules for class design before. The closest Paizo has come to doing so is in the Conversion Guide for converting 3.5 characters to Pathfinder.

Conversion Guide Pg. 13 wrote:

Base Classes

Of all the rules elements, converting a base class is the one that requires the most careful consideration. Most classes need a bit of an upgrade to be on par with those presented in the core rulebook. The first step is to ensure that the class’s Hit Dice and base attack progression match. If the class has a slow base attack progression (such as the wizard), it should use d6s for Hit Dice. Classes with the medium progression (such as clerics) should use d8s for Hit Dice, while those with a fast progression (such as fighters) should use d10s. As a general rule, if the class did not have a d12 Hit Die in 3.5, it should not get one in the Pathfinder RPG.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:

Mark, does it make sense for elemental blasts to be affected by SR? Since it's conjuration and not evocation style?

Energy resistance makes sense, but SR makes as much sense as saying physical dmg blasts must roll vs SR.

It's evocation style because you manipulate magical energy, tapping an unseen source of power (the elemental planes, via the Ethereal) to produce your desired effect, creating something out of nothing, and dealing damage.

Evocation spells, CRB wrote:
Evocation spells manipulate magical energy or tap an unseen source of power to produce a desired end. In effect, an evocation draws upon magic to create something out of nothing. Many of these spells produce spectacular effects, and evocation spells can deal large amounts of damage.

I think that from a game balance perspective, having a class's primary source of damage be affected by SR, and then either DR or energy resistance is not fair. A kineticist at most can cover two elemental types of damage. An alchemist can cover every one of them, get force damage, and ignores SR. Yes they can do it a limited number of times, but the kinetisist can only use burn a limited number of times too. A spellcaster has to deal with SR and energy resistance too, but like an alchemist they have access to every element and force.

In short, I think that Kinetisists should only have to face one sort of attack negation. Removing SR from the equation means that physical blasts have to deal with DR and that energy blasts have to deal with energy resistance. Therefore, removing SR from the equation meets this goal.


A small point out that the spell Resist Energy can really ruin a Kineticist's day. 10 from levels 1-6, 20 for 7-10, and 30 for 11+. God forbid they have protection from X Element.

Conversely most monsters around CR 11 have 10-15 DR and Stoneskin only gives you 10 DR.

Energy Blasts are more accurate, but are more likely to meet factors reducing/negating damage and have to deal with Spell Resistance. Additionally Touch Blasts do less damage than Physical Blasts.

That BBEG who you've been working toward fighting? He knows that you're a Pyro/Ice/Lightnig Kintecist and therefore knows a single 2nd level spell or 3rd, or both will significantly reduce your chances to do anything to him. Not to mention if he also casts Spell Resistance.

Energy focused Kineticists already have it tough enough, why also make them deal with Spell Resistance?

Also that level 16 Wild Talent for Pyrokineticists that lets them bypass SR should instead let them affect Fire Immune for half damage and split Fire Resistance in half.


Adam B. 135 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:

Mark, does it make sense for elemental blasts to be affected by SR? Since it's conjuration and not evocation style?

Energy resistance makes sense, but SR makes as much sense as saying physical dmg blasts must roll vs SR.

It's evocation style because you manipulate magical energy, tapping an unseen source of power (the elemental planes, via the Ethereal) to produce your desired effect, creating something out of nothing, and dealing damage.

Evocation spells, CRB wrote:
Evocation spells manipulate magical energy or tap an unseen source of power to produce a desired end. In effect, an evocation draws upon magic to create something out of nothing. Many of these spells produce spectacular effects, and evocation spells can deal large amounts of damage.

I think that from a game balance perspective, having a class's primary source of damage be affected by SR, and then either DR or energy resistance is not fair. A kineticist at most can cover two elemental types of damage. An alchemist can cover every one of them, get force damage, and ignores SR. Yes they can do it a limited number of times, but the kinetisist can only use burn a limited number of times too. A spellcaster has to deal with SR and energy resistance too, but like an alchemist they have access to every element and force.

In short, I think that Kinetisists should only have to face one sort of attack negation. Removing SR from the equation means that physical blasts have to deal with DR and that energy blasts have to deal with energy resistance. Therefore, removing SR from the equation meets this goal.

Actually, they both also have to meet AC. And since the physical attack has to *actually* meet an AC, and the touch attack more or less pretends it has to meet an AC, the inclusion of SR on the touch side could be seen as the balance between AC and SR, then the balance of DR and ER. Of course, since ER is generally higher than DR, this would be far out of whack, especially with the reduced damage of the touch attacks, except that SR is a bit of a corner case, most creatures don't have it until you get pretty high level. So yes it's a pain, but it's only a pain sometimes. As opposed to AC for a physical blast, which is a pain all (or close to it) of the time.


Shiroi wrote:
Adam B. 135 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:

Mark, does it make sense for elemental blasts to be affected by SR? Since it's conjuration and not evocation style?

Energy resistance makes sense, but SR makes as much sense as saying physical dmg blasts must roll vs SR.

It's evocation style because you manipulate magical energy, tapping an unseen source of power (the elemental planes, via the Ethereal) to produce your desired effect, creating something out of nothing, and dealing damage.

Evocation spells, CRB wrote:
Evocation spells manipulate magical energy or tap an unseen source of power to produce a desired end. In effect, an evocation draws upon magic to create something out of nothing. Many of these spells produce spectacular effects, and evocation spells can deal large amounts of damage.

I think that from a game balance perspective, having a class's primary source of damage be affected by SR, and then either DR or energy resistance is not fair. A kineticist at most can cover two elemental types of damage. An alchemist can cover every one of them, get force damage, and ignores SR. Yes they can do it a limited number of times, but the kinetisist can only use burn a limited number of times too. A spellcaster has to deal with SR and energy resistance too, but like an alchemist they have access to every element and force.

In short, I think that Kinetisists should only have to face one sort of attack negation. Removing SR from the equation means that physical blasts have to deal with DR and that energy blasts have to deal with energy resistance. Therefore, removing SR from the equation meets this goal.

Actually, they both also have to meet AC. And since the physical attack has to *actually* meet an AC, and the touch attack more or less pretends it has to meet an AC, the inclusion of SR on the touch side could be seen as the balance between AC and SR, then the balance of DR and ER. Of course, since ER is generally higher than DR, this...

Yes, at least with the removal of SR from the equation the physical kineticist must face AC and DR, while the energy kineticist must face mostly just energy resistance, which is high enough that it really makes up for the easy-to-hit touch AC of most things.


I think part of the problem that kineticists will face will have to do with GMs balancing the party in comparison to the heaviest damage dealers. If the GM starts throwing higher CR fights in order to challenge a party with a Paladin or Ranger (both of whom can easily have +10 accuracy higher than a kineticist at level 20) then the kineticist would have a really hard hard time hitting anything without resorting to touch attacks.

I saw this sort of thing happen in Wrath of the Righteous actually. When the GM buffed the enemies to challenge our heavy hitters, he had to specifically give the enemies a low flat footed AC so that the ninja could actually hit them thanks to invisibility. A rogue would have been completely unable to do anything, and a kineticist would have had to switch to touch attacks (disregarding that they would have been immune or heavily resistant to all of his elements).

Paizo Employee Designer

Matrix Dragon wrote:

I think part of the problem that kineticists will face will have to do with GMs balancing the party in comparison to the heaviest damage dealers. If the GM starts throwing higher CR fights in order to challenge a party with a Paladin or Ranger (both of whom can easily have +10 accuracy higher than a kineticist at level 20) then the kineticist would have a really hard hard time hitting anything without resorting to touch attacks.

I saw this sort of thing happen in Wrath of the Righteous actually. When the GM buffed the enemies to challenge our heavy hitters, he had to specifically give them a low flat footed AC so that the ninja could actually hit them thanks to invisibility. A rogue would have been completely unable to do anything, and a kineticist would have had to switch to touch attacks.

From what I've seen, if a GM at those high levels is actively significantly challenging the fighter's accuracy on the first attack, the martials are also in serious trouble.


Energy resist is kinda the nine hundred pound silverback in the room isn't it? I feel like those resistances presume full casting to fall back upon.

This, of course, is obvious to Mark already.... And yet I'm still typing.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:

I think part of the problem that kineticists will face will have to do with GMs balancing the party in comparison to the heaviest damage dealers. If the GM starts throwing higher CR fights in order to challenge a party with a Paladin or Ranger (both of whom can easily have +10 accuracy higher than a kineticist at level 20) then the kineticist would have a really hard hard time hitting anything without resorting to touch attacks.

I saw this sort of thing happen in Wrath of the Righteous actually. When the GM buffed the enemies to challenge our heavy hitters, he had to specifically give them a low flat footed AC so that the ninja could actually hit them thanks to invisibility. A rogue would have been completely unable to do anything, and a kineticist would have had to switch to touch attacks.

From what I've seen, if a GM at those high levels is actively significantly challenging the fighter's accuracy on the first attack, the martials are also in serious trouble.

This is true, but I have seen it happen fairly often in the games that I've played and some that I've GMed in. Not with every enemy, but I have definitely seen final bosses that the paladin had a roughly 50% chance of hitting on a first swing smite because the GM wanted the fight to last 10 rounds instead of 2.

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