General Discussion: Kineticist


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I'd kill him ASAP.

Ignoring him until everyone else is dead means he can attack you with impunity, and you'll be more damaged after the fight, meaning his ability to burn you will be far more significant and dangerous.


Rynjin wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Which is an unlikely scenario and shouldn't be what the ability is balanced around.

What's more common...an enemy Monk with no HP, or an enemy Fighter with a Greatsword who simply doesn't GAF about your defense?

Or a creature with Fire resistance who attacks with natural attacks?

Or a creature who attacks at range, with arrows or spells?

Well, I do think it should be extended to melee attacks in general as long as the enemy is close enough.

And my example can be easily expanded to more likely scenarios.

E.g. I am in melee with a t-rex; he bites me and dies and then cannot swallow me next round. I am fighting a bear; he bites me and claws me twice. Next round, my allies will kill the bear before he can act again. The bear would not had died if it were not for my hot body. I am saved from another bear full attack.

At the level a T-Rex is a challenge (9th at the highest), you're boosting the damage to 4d6 with 3 Burn (1d8-2d6-3d6-4d6), taking 27 damage in the process, of your likely 114 total (Average HP+22Con+FCB+Toughness).

You're dealing an average of 14 damage to the T-Rex. It has 153 HP.

It hits you for an average of 36. Its basic damage dice, before its massive Str to damage, is as good as your defense.

The T-Rex kills you in 3 hits.

You'd need to take 11 hits to kill it with this.

So yeah.

You will fare likewise against the Bear.

Oh, and I just noticed, even BETTER, the thing allows for a Ref save to negate the damage.

So...the Monk Flurrying you probably doesn't have any issue.

You act like I am the only one who is going to be attacking the T-rex, man. And I can very much kill that t-rex in 3 rounds if he is taking that damage each time.

Things in melee with me are DYING FASTER. You can't deny that means less damage to me in general. It will be alive for fewer rounds so it will be hurting me for fewer rounds. Moreover, for things with full attack, that is generalizable to me sometimes being hit fewer times IN a given round.

Paizo Employee Designer

Of course if you do that, then you're leaving alive other foes who might do things like cast heal and make you slog through all that fire damage again (as just one example).


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I'd also like it much better with no save. You might also want to include extra damage for grappling, since before, the benefit was no save and that is now default.

However, what if Searing Flesh was just a Wild Talent and not the defense? What if Fire got an actual defense, like it burns incoming attacks, stopping them? Or the haze from heat grants miss chance? Or enemies are dazzled or something? I don't know, something actually defensive.


Rynjin wrote:

I'd kill him ASAP.

Ignoring him until everyone else is dead means he can attack you with impunity, and you'll be more damaged after the fight, meaning his ability to burn you will be far more significant and dangerous.

Then you are a rank chump. Kill the healer first if you are able to make the choice. He does not damage you when you attack him AND he could heal the kineticist if you attack the kineticist first.


Mark Seifter wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
I'd like that much more than where it is now.
Hmm...yeah. Or let's look at it from the perspective of the bad guys. Let's say you're a bad guy and you notice that one of your foes has this defense that does 3d6 fire no save to your natural attack dudes (and may harm your metal weapons on a high roll of 3d6). How do you deal with that foe damagewise? Divert your ranged to hit that one while others go elsewhere? Try to deal with everybody else first so your melee and ranged can focus the burny foe together and only deal with the pain at the end when necessary? Either way, you probably don't assign melee resources to that one if you can avoid it, right?

... An interesting question. The shortest answer is that it depends on his threat level (and positioning and the like, but that's a given).

In my optimum world, I immediately divert every ounce of ranged firepower/spellcasting firepower that I can in his direction. I would want to do so quickly, because his very existence is a threat to my close-ranged fighters. He can hurt a large number of them at a time if they all get bogged down doing battle with him, and even though I'm a bad guy I read the Evil Overlord List and don't want my minions to all die horrible deaths.

He may, however, go ignored completely until I deal with the larger threats-- Wizard et al.

If I don't have ranged combat available though, my second plan is to mug him with as many sword-wielding mooks as I can handle. Spread the damage around to manageable levels so I don't take any real losses (a few castings of Mending are cheaper than buying new swords). If he's doing enough to straight-out slag my mooks' swords, then I'd go for the claw-armed mooks instead. Again, I'd be trying to mug him quickly so that no one has to take too much damage.

I see what you're going for, and it's an interesting strategy. Assuming a resource-conscious opponent, it forces one of those three tacts: bypass, ignore until he can be bypassed, or zerg rush.

My concern is that only one of those three is good for the Pyro.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

I'd kill him ASAP.

Ignoring him until everyone else is dead means he can attack you with impunity, and you'll be more damaged after the fight, meaning his ability to burn you will be far more significant and dangerous.

Then you are a rank chump. Kill the healer first if you are able to make the choice. He does not damage you when you attack him AND he could heal the kineticist if you attack the kineticist first.

Assuming assumptions about the presence of a dedicated healer. Which I have NEVER had in a game of Pathfinder I've played.

And also assuming they know which one it is before they heal someone.

And also assuming you don't murder the squishy chump who dropped his total HP for the purpose of dealing a piddling amount of fire damage to some dudes when they whack him in one round.

Assuming a lot of things, really.


Mark Seifter wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
I'd like that much more than where it is now.
Hmm...yeah. Or let's look at it from the perspective of the bad guys. Let's say you're a bad guy and you notice that one of your foes has this defense that does 3d6 fire no save to your natural attack dudes (and may harm your metal weapons on a high roll of 3d6). How do you deal with that foe damagewise? Divert your ranged to hit that one while others go elsewhere? Try to deal with everybody else first so your melee and ranged can focus the burny foe together and only deal with the pain at the end when necessary? Either way, you probably don't assign melee resources to that one if you can avoid it, right?

I think it depends a lot on what kind of bad guys I am. I mean, I would expect most PC parties to have access to fire resistance by level 7+, but monsters don't have those kinds of resources. Monsters rarely even have options.

Paizo Employee Designer

Hmm, let's consider a kineticist 7 who is fighting in a party against a stone giant with two pet dire bears (inspired by the stone giant goddess of dire bears and a certain AP volume). Alternatively, super-contemptuous kineticist 7 who refuses to attack at all vs 1 dire bear will give us a similar microcosm (since its CR 7). If one of the bears attack you at full burn with the newly-proposed version, they will take 4d6 damage per hit with no save and they do 1d6+7/1d6+7/1d8+7 to you. So you take 10.5 or 11.5, the bear takes 14. If I delevel my pyro to 7, she's got 94 hp, and in this situation, she's burned herself for 28 nonlethal. So 66 hp to spare before a KO. So it'll likely take 7 bear hits to drop her without any assists from the rest of the team, and in the meantime, she did average 98 damage to that bear from the defense alone. So double KO, even if you don't even attack the bear.


Bears are also pretty much the weakest animal in the bestiary. And Animals are among the weakest creatures in general with a few rare prehistoric exceptions. Just a thought.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Hmm, let's consider a kineticist 7 who is fighting in a party against a stone giant with two pet dire bears (inspired by the stone giant goddess of dire bears and a certain AP volume). Alternatively, super-contemptuous kineticist 7 who refuses to attack at all vs 1 dire bear will give us a similar microcosm (since its CR 7). If one of the bears attack you at full burn with the newly-proposed version, they will take 4d6 damage per hit with no save and they do 1d6+7/1d6+7/1d8+7 to you. So you take 10.5 or 11.5, the bear takes 14. If I delevel my pyro to 7, she's got 94 hp, and in this situation, she's burned herself for 28 nonlethal. So 66 hp to spare before a KO. So it'll likely take 7 bear hits to drop her without any assists from the rest of the team, and in the meantime, she did average 98 damage to that bear from the defense alone. So double KO, even if you don't even attack the bear.

A double-KO against a CR=level opponent that's walking straight into the defense isn't really filling me with confidence. Searing Flesh is an awesome defense against a nonintelligent, natural attacking enemy who doesn't have any other option.

But that's limited, whereas Shroud of Water is an awesome defense against... everything that wants to make a (non-Touch) attack roll. Pretty big difference.


Rynjin wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

I'd kill him ASAP.

Ignoring him until everyone else is dead means he can attack you with impunity, and you'll be more damaged after the fight, meaning his ability to burn you will be far more significant and dangerous.

Then you are a rank chump. Kill the healer first if you are able to make the choice. He does not damage you when you attack him AND he could heal the kineticist if you attack the kineticist first.

Assuming assumptions about the presence of a dedicated healer. Which I have NEVER had in a game of Pathfinder I've played.

And also assuming they know which one it is before they heal someone.

And also assuming you don't murder the squishy chump who dropped his total HP for the purpose of dealing a piddling amount of fire damage to some dudes when they whack him in one round.

Assuming a lot of things, really.

Well, you should recall that unconscious rarely equals dead for our friend the kineticist. He is a lay on hands away from being up again and wasting more of your precious attacks and hp to put him back down. Those same attacks against the rouge (or bard or whatever) would have killed that fool. He would not set me on fire and he will not get up.

Also: I will have taken all this damage from the kineticist and the fighter and the rouge are just going to kill me next round (since the fire damage has put me ever closer to the hot cold embrace of eternity) when I could have had an extra round to do more damage.

Rank. Chump.

Scarab Sages

Rynjin wrote:

So, lessee, you're trading 4 Burn/At least 48 HP (2d6 --> 3d6 ---> 4d6 ---> 6d6 ---> 8d6 assuming it follows the INA progression, since it's not very clear) to do some damage to enemies that attack you, in melee, without a weapon. When by your own admission you're not being attacked in melee much (so you're not making use of it at all most of the time). And there's a good chance the enemy will be using a weapon anyway.

Yeah...no. It's not worth trading a significant chunk of HP for something that MIGHT work to do a bit of damage to an enemy who has also damaged you by the very fact that it works.

On the other hand, my melee geokineticist was using burn to augment his damage shield.

DR + Searing Flesh changes the balance considerably.

Paizo Employee Designer

kestral287 wrote:

I see what you're going for, and it's an interesting strategy. Assuming a resource-conscious opponent, it forces one of those three tacts: bypass, ignore until he can be bypassed, or zerg rush.

My concern is that only one of those three is good for the Pyro.

Nice! I would rate "bypass" as overall good for the pyro if the enemy had strength in the sorts of attacks they aren't directing at you, that is to say, if the "bypass" component of the enemy's side is less capable of harming you significantly than if they could use all their resources on you. Clearly ignore until he can be bypassed is the best. Another thing to consider, as you quite correctly mentioned at the top of your post (which I didn't quote) is that other factors like positioning matter. When you combine disadvantageous positioning for zerg rush with the damage, it might push them over the edge to not doing the zerg rush (whereas they might have been inclined to zerg rush through the disadvantageous positioning against a ranged damager if not for the extra disincentive). For instance, my pyro had friends with reach up front, so combined with heat, I was rarely attacked.

Paizo Employee Designer

kestral287 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Hmm, let's consider a kineticist 7 who is fighting in a party against a stone giant with two pet dire bears (inspired by the stone giant goddess of dire bears and a certain AP volume). Alternatively, super-contemptuous kineticist 7 who refuses to attack at all vs 1 dire bear will give us a similar microcosm (since its CR 7). If one of the bears attack you at full burn with the newly-proposed version, they will take 4d6 damage per hit with no save and they do 1d6+7/1d6+7/1d8+7 to you. So you take 10.5 or 11.5, the bear takes 14. If I delevel my pyro to 7, she's got 94 hp, and in this situation, she's burned herself for 28 nonlethal. So 66 hp to spare before a KO. So it'll likely take 7 bear hits to drop her without any assists from the rest of the team, and in the meantime, she did average 98 damage to that bear from the defense alone. So double KO, even if you don't even attack the bear.

A double-KO against a CR=level opponent that's walking straight into the defense isn't really filling me with confidence. Searing Flesh is an awesome defense against a nonintelligent, natural attacking enemy who doesn't have any other option.

But that's limited, whereas Shroud of Water is an awesome defense against... everything that wants to make a (non-Touch) attack roll. Pretty big difference.

To be fair, we are also not attacking the bear at all with our blast in that example. Our defense class feature is killing the bear entirely on its own without any input or actions from us. If we're talking my personal pyro, the bear would also miss a fair amount and take quite a while to drop me (and itself).


Mark Seifter wrote:
Hmm, let's consider a kineticist 7 who is fighting in a party against a stone giant with two pet dire bears (inspired by the stone giant goddess of dire bears and a certain AP volume).

The Stone Giant just walks up and clobbers the kineticist with impunity while the bears take on the rest of the party.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Alternatively, super-contemptuous kineticist 7 who refuses to attack at all vs 1 dire bear will give us a similar microcosm (since its CR 7). If one of the bears attack you at full burn with the newly-proposed version, they will take 4d6 damage per hit with no save and they do 1d6+7/1d6+7/1d8+7 to you. So you take 10.5 or 11.5, the bear takes 14. If I delevel my pyro to 7, she's got 94 hp, and in this situation, she's burned herself for 28 nonlethal. So 66 hp to spare before a KO. So it'll likely take 7 bear hits to drop her without any assists from the rest of the team, and in the meantime, she did average 98 damage to that bear from the defense alone. So double KO, even if you don't even attack the bear.

I think she's far more likely to drop in 6 bear hits than 7, since at least some of those hits will be bites instead of claws.

But yeah, this is definitely better than the previous version.


mplindustries wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Hmm, let's consider a kineticist 7 who is fighting in a party against a stone giant with two pet dire bears (inspired by the stone giant goddess of dire bears and a certain AP volume).

The Stone Giant just walks up and clobbers the kineticist with impunity while the bears take on the rest of the party.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Alternatively, super-contemptuous kineticist 7 who refuses to attack at all vs 1 dire bear will give us a similar microcosm (since its CR 7). If one of the bears attack you at full burn with the newly-proposed version, they will take 4d6 damage per hit with no save and they do 1d6+7/1d6+7/1d8+7 to you. So you take 10.5 or 11.5, the bear takes 14. If I delevel my pyro to 7, she's got 94 hp, and in this situation, she's burned herself for 28 nonlethal. So 66 hp to spare before a KO. So it'll likely take 7 bear hits to drop her without any assists from the rest of the team, and in the meantime, she did average 98 damage to that bear from the defense alone. So double KO, even if you don't even attack the bear.

I think she's far more likely to drop in 6 bear hits than 7, since at least some of those hits will be bites instead of claws.

But yeah, this is definitely better than the previous version.

By Seifter's argument, that would at least mean that the kineticist won't have to fight the giant AND the bears (which would be the more optimal play on the part of the enemies if they actually wanted to kill the kineticist first).


Mark Seifter wrote:
kestral287 wrote:
I'd like that much more than where it is now.
Hmm...yeah. Or let's look at it from the perspective of the bad guys. Let's say you're a bad guy and you notice that one of your foes has this defense that does 3d6 fire no save to your natural attack dudes (and may harm your metal weapons on a high roll of 3d6). How do you deal with that foe damagewise? Divert your ranged to hit that one while others go elsewhere? Try to deal with everybody else first so your melee and ranged can focus the burny foe together and only deal with the pain at the end when necessary? Either way, you probably don't assign melee resources to that one if you can avoid it, right?

Energy damage is automatically halved against objects, before encountering hardness.

Your garden variety longsword has hardness 10 and 5 hp. Even if you roll max damage on a 3d6, for 18 points of damage, it's halved to 9 and fails to penetrate the hardness of the blade. Your garden variety spear has hardness 5 and 5 hp, so, even on a max damage roll, it only take 4 hp of damage, meaning it takes two hits for the spear to break on a max damage roll with 3d6. Considering the average for 3d6 is 10.5, that means that on average, you fail to penetrate the hardness of the spear.

Keep in mind, magical enhancement also adds to the weapons hardness and hp, so as the level of the game increases, weapons become harder and harder to break as more and more enemies have magical weapons. Granted, the defense of the Pyro does outpace the hardness of the weapons, but it's only just. Magical enhancement adds +2 hardness and +10 hp to weapons, where as the damage of the Searing Flesh ability scales by 3.5 on average**.

In addition, once you hit level 10, you start finding that an overwhelming number of enemies have high resistance to fire, or are flat out immune. So they Pyro's Searing Flesh becomes even more useless to use.

That is, unless the Kineticist gets some sort of equivalent of the Winter Witch's Unnatural Cold/Unearthly Cold.

[Edit] Turns out, I was wrong on this, the damage scales according to the improved natural attack chart.

1d6 > 1d8 > 2d6 > 3d6 > 4d6 > 6d6 > 8d6 > 12d6

So the Pyro can easily destroy weapons at high levels, but at the same time, at high levels is when the ability is at it's most useless as nearly every one and every thing has fire resistance.

Hmm... maybe the damage should apply before damage is dealt? I have this mental image of arrows being incinerated before they strike a target because of a high level Searing Flesh.


I understand the idea of Fire having an offensive defense, for anyone saying it isn't a defense, please refer to a porcupine or a skunk. I even feel that every element should have the option to take an offensive passive like this. I feel that if each element had 3 defense modes, one damage mitigation such as DR or Resistance, one miss chance such as air and water have now, and one offensive (air retaliates against ranged, earth sunders weapons, fire close to as it is) this would open up options. Then, I also feel you should only be able to use one defense at a time.

Fire I feel would play smoother at the table as a flat number with no save. That's my honest opinion about it, that a rate of 1/HD no save fire damage with an additional 1/2 or 1 DMG per hd fire damage would make it scale based on how much damage you put into it. It would make it more universally useful given the lack of saves. If it was allowed to be all melee, or even half damage if they used a weapon, this would make it generally a guarantee that non immune, non resist enemies would be harmed. That makes it a much more attractive option. Because 100 damage 1% of the time looks far less useful than 5 damage 20% of the time. Reliability is the key problem here. Also making it a flat value makes it easier to understand, and saves rolling 6 extra times against that opponent and adding all those dice, which I feel unnecessarily bogs down a defensive ability.


Mark Seifter wrote:
kestral287 wrote:

I see what you're going for, and it's an interesting strategy. Assuming a resource-conscious opponent, it forces one of those three tacts: bypass, ignore until he can be bypassed, or zerg rush.

My concern is that only one of those three is good for the Pyro.

Nice! I would rate "bypass" as overall good for the pyro if the enemy had strength in the sorts of attacks they aren't directing at you, that is to say, if the "bypass" component of the enemy's side is less capable of harming you significantly than if they could use all their resources on you. Clearly ignore until he can be bypassed is the best. Another thing to consider, as you quite correctly mentioned at the top of your post (which I didn't quote) is that other factors like positioning matter. When you combine disadvantageous positioning for zerg rush with the damage, it might push them over the edge to not doing the zerg rush (whereas they might have been inclined to zerg rush through the disadvantageous positioning against a ranged damager if not for the extra disincentive). For instance, my pyro had friends with reach up front, so combined with heat, I was rarely attacked.

I'm curious-- have you actually chatted with the GM about how much Searing Flesh factored into decisions to ignore you? You mentioned earlier that there was a melee-oriented Geokineticist rapidly closing distance to melee range, and I would think that would also dramatically tilt my decision-making (In a world where I have those balanced resources, I'm going to be aiming my spellcasting at him first, then you).

Paizo Employee Designer

Excaliburproxy wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Hmm, let's consider a kineticist 7 who is fighting in a party against a stone giant with two pet dire bears (inspired by the stone giant goddess of dire bears and a certain AP volume).

The Stone Giant just walks up and clobbers the kineticist with impunity while the bears take on the rest of the party.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Alternatively, super-contemptuous kineticist 7 who refuses to attack at all vs 1 dire bear will give us a similar microcosm (since its CR 7). If one of the bears attack you at full burn with the newly-proposed version, they will take 4d6 damage per hit with no save and they do 1d6+7/1d6+7/1d8+7 to you. So you take 10.5 or 11.5, the bear takes 14. If I delevel my pyro to 7, she's got 94 hp, and in this situation, she's burned herself for 28 nonlethal. So 66 hp to spare before a KO. So it'll likely take 7 bear hits to drop her without any assists from the rest of the team, and in the meantime, she did average 98 damage to that bear from the defense alone. So double KO, even if you don't even attack the bear.

I think she's far more likely to drop in 6 bear hits than 7, since at least some of those hits will be bites instead of claws.

But yeah, this is definitely better than the previous version.

By Seifter's argument, that would at least mean that the kineticist won't have to fight the giant AND the bears (which would be the more optimal play on the part of the enemies).

Indeed. I'll happily take the giant on my pyro while the bears fight someone else, rather than all three on the same person.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

I'd kill him ASAP.

Ignoring him until everyone else is dead means he can attack you with impunity, and you'll be more damaged after the fight, meaning his ability to burn you will be far more significant and dangerous.

Then you are a rank chump. Kill the healer first if you are able to make the choice. He does not damage you when you attack him AND he could heal the kineticist if you attack the kineticist first.

Assuming assumptions about the presence of a dedicated healer. Which I have NEVER had in a game of Pathfinder I've played.

And also assuming they know which one it is before they heal someone.

And also assuming you don't murder the squishy chump who dropped his total HP for the purpose of dealing a piddling amount of fire damage to some dudes when they whack him in one round.

Assuming a lot of things, really.

Well, you should recall that unconscious rarely equals dead for our friend the kineticist. He is a lay on hands away from being up again and wasting more of your precious attacks and hp to put him back down. Those same attacks against the rouge (or bard or whatever) would have killed that fool. He would not set me on fire and he will not get up.

Also: I will have taken all this damage from the kineticist and the fighter and the rouge are just going to kill me next round (since the fire damage has put me ever closer to the hot cold embrace of eternity) when I could have had an extra round to do more damage.

Rank. Chump.

The Fighter and Rogue are being handled by the big guy. The Kineticist is being pounded on by minions, who are more than capable of killing him in numbers. The damage is insignificant spread across multiple people.

I'm also having a hard time figuring out what your theoretical party composition is. You have a Fighter, a Rogue, a Paladin, and a Kineticist?

Forcing the Paladin to stop opening up a can of whoopass on you to use his Standard to heal the Kineticist of some small portion of the damage he suffered sounds like a damn good trade to me.

Stop with the rank chump s+@+. It makes you look petty.

Paizo Employee Designer

kestral287 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
kestral287 wrote:

I see what you're going for, and it's an interesting strategy. Assuming a resource-conscious opponent, it forces one of those three tacts: bypass, ignore until he can be bypassed, or zerg rush.

My concern is that only one of those three is good for the Pyro.

Nice! I would rate "bypass" as overall good for the pyro if the enemy had strength in the sorts of attacks they aren't directing at you, that is to say, if the "bypass" component of the enemy's side is less capable of harming you significantly than if they could use all their resources on you. Clearly ignore until he can be bypassed is the best. Another thing to consider, as you quite correctly mentioned at the top of your post (which I didn't quote) is that other factors like positioning matter. When you combine disadvantageous positioning for zerg rush with the damage, it might push them over the edge to not doing the zerg rush (whereas they might have been inclined to zerg rush through the disadvantageous positioning against a ranged damager if not for the extra disincentive). For instance, my pyro had friends with reach up front, so combined with heat, I was rarely attacked.
I'm curious-- have you actually chatted with the GM about how much Searing Flesh factored into decisions to ignore you? You mentioned earlier that there was a melee-oriented Geokineticist rapidly closing distance to melee range, and I would think that would also dramatically tilt my decision-making (In a world where I have those balanced resources, I'm going to be aiming my spellcasting at him first, then you).

In a typical fight (not every fight was like this but it could be used as an example), we had situations with caster and/or archer enemies that were quite far back (sometimes over 100 feet), some enemies in the middle for board control of crucial regions, and then strong melee enemies near where we entered to make entering bad for us. Then there would be one or more stealthy and dangerous enemies hidden somewhere (usually near to the back guys to rely on distance penalties to aid Stealth) who would hop out and mix it up a bit. My geo would close with the back enemies and have to contend with them, maybe the hidden extra enemies, and possibly board control central enemies depending on the setup while everyone else in the party dealt with the strong melee near the entrance and the board control centers.


Mark, if a kineticist pays burn to augment an ability, does the ability stay augmented if he dismisses and then re-applies it?

Using the Pyro, for example, if he increases the damage of Searing Flesh, and then dismisses it because they entered a town (where jostling and bumping could kill people), but they get into a fight, does he have to re-pay the burn cost to increase the damage of Searing Flesh? Or does Searing Flesh stay augmented?

Paizo Employee Designer

Tels wrote:

Mark, if a kineticist pays burn to augment an ability, does the ability stay augmented if he dismisses and then re-applies it?

Using the Pyro, for example, if he increases the damage of Searing Flesh, and then dismisses it because they entered a town (where jostling and bumping could kill people), but they get into a fight, does he have to re-pay the burn cost to increase the damage of Searing Flesh? Or does Searing Flesh stay augmented?

It does. But yeah, initially I didn't have the immediate action thing for dismissing and reupping. That was added in a dev pass because maybe someone would want to not have winds around them or have a giant water shroud for a bit depending on the situation. It certainly makes the abilities more confusing, though I see that point too.


kestral287 wrote:
Tels wrote:

Yes, you use Kinetic Form and Water's defense ability to fuel your burn, because any other option your class has is sub-optimal. I notice you didn't take burn to increase the miss chance from Envoloping Winds, why is that?

Is it because it's not worth the trade off? Because it's sub-optimal?

Are you kidding? I would take the Aerokineticists' defense in a heartbeat were I inclined to mainline one (I'm not, but that has more to do with general elemental imbalances than the defenses-- Water has a much stronger start and Air's best abilities can be obtained off of taking it secondary easily). Aerokineticist gets infinite flight come level six. At that point, resistance to one of the few things that realistically threatens you? That's a yes. The ability of the Aerokineticist to shoot and scoot means that in a dogfight, they're awesome. They're going to outdamage a lot of aerial monsters because unless a monster has flight and pounce, they can't full attack. Grounded opponents using ranged attacks? Yeah, that's when you want a flat miss chance. It really only falls apart against spells, but ever Kineticist on the planet is boned as soon as you target their Will save.

Well, and rock throwing. If you fight a lot of giants you might have issues.

Aether's defense is highly GM-dependent; it's going to be a question of how rapidly the encounters come. I'm not a fan of it, personally, because I tend to expect bursts of back to back fights, then a long break, then more fights. If they're spread apart, it's very valuable, though that's going to fade over higher levels because the spread becomes longer. Hopefully an improved regeneration rate kicks in (I like the idea of Con mod/minute, or even flat Con/minute).

I'm frankly not a fan of Earth's defense but others seem to like it. Might just be my dislike of the entire element showing through.

Fire's defense blows. I think basically everyone has called for an upgrade. Honestly, right now Fire's only real saving grace is that they get the...

Activating the none-burn aspect of the air defense is fine... because it doesn't cost burn. But is spending burn to increase the miss chance of Air's defense worth the cost of the burn?

Say you're 7th level and you have activated Enveloping Winds and currently have a 25% miss chance. How many points of burn will you sink into it to increase the miss chance? For ever point of burn spent, you increase the miss chance by 5% up to a maximum of 75%.

Also, please do keep in mind that the majority of published encounters take place inside with 10 ft. ceilings on average, maybe 15 ft. So you are within reach of medium sized melee characters most of the time.

Outside in the open field? Hell, I might just sink all of my burn into that miss chance I can and stay 100 ft. up to shoot people, but inside? Ehhhh.... very, very unlikely.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Tels wrote:

Mark, if a kineticist pays burn to augment an ability, does the ability stay augmented if he dismisses and then re-applies it?

Using the Pyro, for example, if he increases the damage of Searing Flesh, and then dismisses it because they entered a town (where jostling and bumping could kill people), but they get into a fight, does he have to re-pay the burn cost to increase the damage of Searing Flesh? Or does Searing Flesh stay augmented?

It does. But yeah, initially I didn't have the immediate action thing for dismissing and reupping. That was added in a dev pass because maybe someone would want to not have winds around them or have a giant water shroud for a bit depending on the situation. It certainly makes the abilities more confusing, though I see that point too.

Just to clarify, you're saying it stays augmented even if you dismiss it and then re-activate it later?

Paizo Employee Designer

Tels wrote:

Activating the none-burn aspect of the air defense is fine... because it doesn't cost burn. But is spending burn to increase the miss chance of Air's defense worth the cost of the burn?

Say you're 7th level and you have activated Enveloping Winds and currently have a 25% miss chance. How many points of burn will you sink into it to increase the miss chance? For ever point of burn spent, you increase the miss chance by 5% up to a maximum of 75%.

Also, please do keep in mind that the majority of published encounters take place inside with 10 ft. ceilings on average, maybe 15 ft. So you are within reach of medium sized melee characters most of the time.

Outside in the open field? Hell, I might just sink all of my burn into that miss chance I can and stay 100 ft. up to shoot people, but inside? Ehhhh.... very, very unlikely.

Hmm, that's an interesting analysis. It gives me an idea for an Air/Earth sandstorm kineticist who either burns for ranged miss chance or for DR depending on whether she expects to be aboveground or below in a given day!

Paizo Employee Designer

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Tels wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Tels wrote:

Mark, if a kineticist pays burn to augment an ability, does the ability stay augmented if he dismisses and then re-applies it?

Using the Pyro, for example, if he increases the damage of Searing Flesh, and then dismisses it because they entered a town (where jostling and bumping could kill people), but they get into a fight, does he have to re-pay the burn cost to increase the damage of Searing Flesh? Or does Searing Flesh stay augmented?

It does. But yeah, initially I didn't have the immediate action thing for dismissing and reupping. That was added in a dev pass because maybe someone would want to not have winds around them or have a giant water shroud for a bit depending on the situation. It certainly makes the abilities more confusing, though I see that point too.
Just to clarify, you're saying it stays augmented even if you dismiss it and then re-activate it later?

Affirmative. Until you recover the burn.


To me a fire defense is super heating the air to warp the light around you and thus creating a visual distortion.

AKA a Miss chance.

It doesn't have a million ifs, it actually protects you, and it's cool as heck.


Tels wrote:

Activating the none-burn aspect of the air defense is fine... because it doesn't cost burn. But is spending burn to increase the miss chance of Air's defense worth the cost of the burn?

Say you're 7th level and you have activated Enveloping Winds and currently have a 25% miss chance. How many points of burn will you sink into it to increase the miss chance? For ever point of burn spent, you increase the miss chance by 5% up to a maximum of 75%.

Also, please do keep in mind that the majority of published encounters take place inside with 10 ft. ceilings on average, maybe 15 ft. So you are within reach of medium sized melee characters most of the time.

Outside in the open field? Hell, I might just sink all of my burn into that miss chance I can and stay 100 ft. up to shoot people, but inside? Ehhhh.... very, very unlikely.

To an extent it depends on the campaign, and the opponents within-- if everyone with range is a caster why bother. But as a general rule, yes I would use Aerokineticist's defense, and that includes Burning it up. The amount is "whatever I need to max Feel the Burn", just like it is with every other defense.


Heres a question for me

Say I have the aether's defense up force ward, with the temp hp that makes it sorta miss if it doens't take all my hp.

Then I have the fire defense up, searing flesh

Does the fire activate still if the attack doesn't get past my temp hp? It specifies that it counts as a miss for various effects. What about the "fire thorn" effect there?

Also. Searing Flesh specifies "in a grapple" not "grappling you" so.. that lets you do this damage if your the one grappling right?

I hope htere are more composite blasts in the final one.
i really wanna make a focused aetherist.
and possibly eventually an aether, earth, fire guy. along with my aether lightning dark lord


kestral287 wrote:
Tels wrote:

Activating the none-burn aspect of the air defense is fine... because it doesn't cost burn. But is spending burn to increase the miss chance of Air's defense worth the cost of the burn?

Say you're 7th level and you have activated Enveloping Winds and currently have a 25% miss chance. How many points of burn will you sink into it to increase the miss chance? For ever point of burn spent, you increase the miss chance by 5% up to a maximum of 75%.

Also, please do keep in mind that the majority of published encounters take place inside with 10 ft. ceilings on average, maybe 15 ft. So you are within reach of medium sized melee characters most of the time.

Outside in the open field? Hell, I might just sink all of my burn into that miss chance I can and stay 100 ft. up to shoot people, but inside? Ehhhh.... very, very unlikely.

To an extent it depends on the campaign, and the opponents within-- if everyone with range is a caster why bother. But as a general rule, yes I would use Aerokineticist's defense, and that includes Burning it up. The amount is "whatever I need to max Feel the Burn", just like it is with every other defense.

Okay, so when you factor in the fact that most encounters in most campaigns take place inside buildings in which you can usually be hit by melee characters, even when flying at the top of the ceiling... it's not all that useful.

You have to keep in mind the trade offs for the burn damage you're accepting. To max out Feel the Burn, you're loosing 3 > 14 > 27 > 48 > 75 > 108 hp at the levels that FtB increases, capping out at 120 hp lost at 20th level.

So, tell me, is 5% - 30% and +1 - +6 to attack and damage worth the loss in hit points you take? At higher and higher levels, the amount of damage you take for accepting burn increases in relative to the overall percentage of your health.

For example, if you start off with 20 Con and end with 36 Con, with Toughness and FCB to HP, at 3rd level, FtB represents 3/38 = 7.8% of your overall HP, but at 20th level, FtB represents 120/393 = 30.5% of your overall HP.


Well, those numbers aren't quite the case, because from level 10 on, I'm going to be an Air Elemental*. But again, the answer is a resounding yes. Would I be as quick to Burn it up as I would Shroud of Water? No. Would I do it? Yes.

Of course, if I knew that the campaign was going to be a dungeon crawl in a bunch of enclosed spaces I wouldn't take an element specialized around flying and sniping. I wouldn't take a lot of other classes into that environment either though.

*I'm the odd man out here. I love the flavor of turning into a walking embodiment of your power, and I love that there are trade-offs in size and shape that stop Kinetic Form from being too awesome. My only qualm with it is that it needs a written statement (or the game itself does) that elementals still have hands for blasting and gathering energy.


kestral287 wrote:

Well, those numbers aren't quite the case, because from level 10 on, I'm going to be an Air Elemental*. But again, the answer is a resounding yes. Would I be as quick to Burn it up as I would Shroud of Water? No. Would I do it? Yes.

Of course, if I knew that the campaign was going to be a dungeon crawl in a bunch of enclosed spaces I wouldn't take an element specialized around flying and sniping. I wouldn't take a lot of other classes into that environment either though.

*I'm the odd man out here. I love the flavor of turning into a walking embodiment of your power, and I love that there are trade-offs in size and shape that stop Kinetic Form from being too awesome. My only qualm with it is that it needs a written statement (or the game itself does) that elementals still have hands for blasting and gathering energy.

I'm not opposed to turning into an elemental, depending on the character I want to play. I absolutely love polymorphing into elementals as a druid, but not every character needs to be forced into an elemental to be good.

For example, if I want to play a character from Avatar, or a Jedi, or Kaze no Stigma*, the characters in this show don't turn into elementals to use their power.

Something else that needs to be clarified is whether or not using higher level Elemental Form spells forces you into larger and larger Elementals, or if you can stay at smaller sizes, but still receive the benefits of the more powerful spell.

However, maybe you're more excepting of it, but I don't think losing up to 30% of my hit points for a miss chance against only 1 type of attack is worth the trade off.

*In Kaze no Stigma, an antagonist does make a sacrifice to turn himself into a giant stone golem/elemental for the power to protect his charge, but no one else in the show does this, with one of the characters having an ability that powers himself up, but weakens him once it's over, similar to Burn.


Turning into an elemental is reasonable actually, when you realize how the power works...

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What if the Pyro's defense was something that gave concealment/miss chance?

Use heat aura, smoke, flickering flame, or some other flavor, and just go at it.

I would rather have something that actually might cause my enemies to not to hit me, than some effect, that may, or may not, hurt them a little, if they hit me, under very specific conditions.

Shadow Lodge

ooo that would be cool, sort of getting heated up and something like mirror image, like a heat double or something lol


I bet there is some sorta happy medium there..

you could have it deal the fire-thorn damage-lessened no save, and have a % to miss melee attacks.

Paizo Employee Designer

No element is going to get a scaling flat miss chance as its basic defense, and if one did, it wouldn't be fire. I'm happy to listen to options, but just to channel away from that to keep it more productive.

Shadow Lodge

ahh ok, lol i can see it being a wild talent, like water and fire, to make like steam surronding you lol

Scarab Sages

blackbloodtroll wrote:

What if the Pyro's defense was something that gave concealment/miss chance?

Use heat aura, smoke, flickering flame, or some other flavor, and just go at it.

I would rather have something that actually might cause my enemies to not to hit me, than some effect, that may, or may not, hurt them a little, if they hit me, under very specific conditions.

Each of the elements should have two defensive options.

Fire
- Damage shield
- Fire resist
Air
- Ranged miss chance
- Electricity resist
Water
- AC
- Cold resist
Earth
- DR
- AC

I break the pattern with earth; the class has no connection to acid and the usefulness of DR/admantine decreases with level. I'll take it, but it is not worth the burn at higher level.


Rynjin wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

I'd kill him ASAP.

Ignoring him until everyone else is dead means he can attack you with impunity, and you'll be more damaged after the fight, meaning his ability to burn you will be far more significant and dangerous.

Then you are a rank chump. Kill the healer first if you are able to make the choice. He does not damage you when you attack him AND he could heal the kineticist if you attack the kineticist first.

Assuming assumptions about the presence of a dedicated healer. Which I have NEVER had in a game of Pathfinder I've played.

And also assuming they know which one it is before they heal someone.

And also assuming you don't murder the squishy chump who dropped his total HP for the purpose of dealing a piddling amount of fire damage to some dudes when they whack him in one round.

Assuming a lot of things, really.

Well, you should recall that unconscious rarely equals dead for our friend the kineticist. He is a lay on hands away from being up again and wasting more of your precious attacks and hp to put him back down. Those same attacks against the rouge (or bard or whatever) would have killed that fool. He would not set me on fire and he will not get up.

Also: I will have taken all this damage from the kineticist and the fighter and the rouge are just going to kill me next round (since the fire damage has put me ever closer to the hot cold embrace of eternity) when I could have had an extra round to do more damage.

Rank. Chump.

The Fighter and Rogue are being handled by the big guy. The Kineticist is being pounded on by minions, who are more than capable of killing him in numbers. The damage is insignificant spread across multiple people.

I'm also having a hard time figuring out what your theoretical party composition is. You have a Fighter, a Rogue, a Paladin, and a Kineticist?

Forcing the Paladin to stop opening up a can of whoopass on you to...

You are the one who makes parties with no healers, man. I have no idea what they look like. And the minions kill themselves on the fire body or miss. Kineticist is king.

Grand Lodge

I have a suggestion that IMO needs included. Gnome Pyromaniacs get bonuses to CL or Damage based on level for fire based attacks for just about every class that has such a thing. I would like to suggest the same wording for Pyrokineticists.

Specifically "Gnomes with this racial trait are treated as one level higher when casting spells with the fire descriptor, using granted powers of the Fire domain, using the bloodline powers of the fire elemental bloodline or the revelations of the oracle's flame mystery, and determining the damage of alchemist bombs that deal fire damage (this ability does not give gnomes early access to level-based powers; it only affects the powers they could use without this ability)" could include "Kineticist Blasts that deal fire damage" in the list. Or because you cant just change an already printed book you could include the line "Gnomes with the Pyromaniac Alternate Racial Trait count as one level higher for determining damage from blasts that deal fire damage."

I would also like to see this for other similar racial traits such as giving a boost for Oreads, with Earth Affinity, to their Earth Blasts.

Perhaps something like "Races with racial traits that normally grant a +1 Caster level or similar effect on spells and abilities of a specific element count as one level higher when calculating the damage of their blasts that use that element."


Honestly don't see why Fire should not have an actual defense, but I can agree that as awesome and thematically sense making a heat distortion would be, a miss chance would be OP.

What other kind of Defense would work guys?

Maybe having your body malleable like Flames? This can take the form of DR or penalties to hit.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
No element is going to get a scaling flat miss chance as its basic defense, and if one did, it wouldn't be fire. I'm happy to listen to options, but just to channel away from that to keep it more productive.

What about a smallish miss chance? As in...

Searing Flesh: Your body radiates intense heat and deals damage to creatures using unnarmed or natural attacks and weapons that strike his body, and when the kineticist is in a grapple. The damage inflicted is as according to the chart below. At 7th level and every 3 levels thereafter, your damage increases by one step. You can increase your damage by 1 step by accepting one point of burn, this stacks up to 4 times. Damage form this ability applies before the incoming attack hits (but only on a successful attack roll against the kineticist), possibly allowing for the ability to destroy the weapon. Weapons destroyed in this manner deal no damage.

1d6 > 1d8 > 2d6 > 3d6 > 4d6 > 6d6 > 8d6 > 12d6

In addition, for every increase of Feel the Burn you are experiencing, you gain 5% miss chance (this miss chance stacks up to 30%) against melee attacks from the intense heat. Creatures that don't take damage from your Searing Flesh are not affected by this miss chance, neither are creatures that can see through flames or that possess the (fire) subtype.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Maybe something like a flash of blinding flames as an immediate action? (But, for all that is holy, not the flare spell.)

Imposing a penalty on an incoming melee attack as an immediate action could be useful. -4 perhaps?

Grand Lodge

Insain Dragoon wrote:

Honestly don't see why Fire should not have an actual defense, but I can agree that as awesome and thematically sense making a heat distortion would be, a miss chance would be OP.

What other kind of Defense would work guys?

Maybe having your body malleable like Flames? This can take the form of DR or penalties to hit.

How is a miss chance OP? Air already gets that. IMO that is the biggest reason for Fire not to get a miss chance, because Air already has it and you don't want to duplicate.

I like the concept of dealing damage to attackers personally. The defense is that most people / creatures will think twice about even attacking you in melee.

If you want ideas for different ones though, here is one.

Heat Mirage, works like Mirror Image, you get 1 image to start, spend burn for more. Images that are destroyed by a hit reappear at a rate of one per minute.


Two things:

First, I think I can further refine why searing flesh bothers me. If the premise is that it defends you by making enemies reluctant to target you, how can you actually tell it worked? It just feels like the rock that keeps tigers away.

Lisa, I want to buy your rock.:

Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, dear.
Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Oh, how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn’t work.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: It’s just a stupid rock.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
[Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money]
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

When my Shroud of Water gives me more AC, I can tell it worked because I can see my AC written on my sheet and if someone attacks and misses I can directly credit my Shroud. When I have Force Ward on, I can see my THP written down, and when I take damage without losing real HP (and then later, see my THP regenerate), I can say, "yes, this worked, it was a good investment." The same is true of DR and miss chance. They have obvious, visible effects I can directly credit.

However, I only see proof of Searing Flesh when it fails. Remember, the point is to NOT get hit because it sucks to hit you. But how could you possibly tell that was the reason you weren't targeted unless the GM flat out told you (and how can you tell if that was really true anyway)? When it works, I am not attacked, but I could have been left alone for thousands of reasons.

I only really see Searing Flesh when the disincentive fails and I take a hit. It's only visible effects are a consolation prize. And that brings me to another point--does the amount of damage dealt really matter to the disincentive? Is a Dire Bear going to be willing to hit you when it's burned for 2d6, but unwilling if it goes up to 3d6? How could it even tell? What's the threshold? It just feels so unsatisfying.

Second, the possible defenses I can think of are AC, DR, THP, Miss Chance, Saves, SR, Energy Resistance, and Condition Mitigation/Immunity. Of those, the most obvious are taken. I actually would be intrigued by the idea of a Pyrokineticist getting some of the non-physical defenses. Save bonuses maybe? Energy resistance (and it doesn't have to just be Fire--fire could absorb cold, too, burn away acid, etc.)? Even SR representing burning way harmful magic? I could see that working.

Searing Flesh should totally exist, I just don't think it should be the base Defense.

Paizo Employee Designer

That psychology bit is interesting mlp. Game design vis-a-vis the psychology of players actually intrigues me a lot. I would say that the main time you know more-or-less for sure that something was dissuaded by your flames is when it hits you, gets burned, and then switches targets to somebody else rather than do that again. I believe I did have that happen once.

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