And The Earth Shall Rise Against You: A Geokineticist Playtest


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Shadow Lodge

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WHO ARE YOU?
Hello, I'm Sammy T!

In the previous playtest for the ACG I played a Heavens Shaman and an Arcane Bloodrager Tank. I thought I'd give it another go for the Occult Adventures playtest.

HOW ARE YOU PLAYTESTING?
I exclusively play PFS, so my playtests will be in sanctioned modules or official PFS scenarios. These are almost all tables with open sign ups. This means party sizes will vary, player system mastery may be lacking and the ideal balanced party you theorycraft may not be the one you actually play with. But it also means that table variation on rules should be minimized and the encounters I experience can almost be directly compared to other people's run-throughs.

WHAT SCENARIOS ARE YOU PLAYING
Barring any scheduling issues:
-Emerald Spire (level 1)
-My Enemy's Enemy
-Hall of the Flesh Eaters
-The Horn of Aroden
-Library of the Lion

WHAT ARE YOU PLAYTESTING?
I originally considered the Psychic but it's too lacking in spells to enjoy right now. I couldn't (and still can't) quite figure how to build an effective Occultist. So the Avatar / Legend of Korra fan in me decided a kineticist would be fun to play.

WHY A GEOKINETICIST?
Fire was immediately out since it's such a common resistance/immunity. Aether, while extremely cool, doesn't feel element-y enough -- but I have to admit, Foe Throw was tough to turn down. Air seemed neat but the options of Water and Earth seemed like the most fun. Literally, with half an hour until gametime, I was still unsure which way to go...water has the most options as of right now, but ripping up chunks of the earth and tossing them at my enemies was too much fun to pass up. I'm gambling that Earth will get some nice goodies eventually even if it's lacking in the playtest. I'll just suffer the the dearth of options for Earth the best I can.

WHAT'S YOUR CURRENT BUILD AND WHY?
Thanks to some PFS credit, I'm starting at L2.

RACE: Human. I can't bear the thought of not having Precise Shot until L3. The Point-Blank Shot + Precise Shot feat tax is the primary reason I didn't play a non-human kineticist. The secondary reason? With 2 skill points/level, I would be hurting to contribute in a meaningful way in non-combat situations...and depending on the scenario, that could be a significant chunk of time. Hello, human bonus skill point!

STATS: STR 9, DEX 18, CON 16, INT 14, WIS 10, CHA 7

I kept flip flopping DEX and CON, but with 3/4 BAB I was convinced by the forums that the +hit was needed. INT came in third to make up for the paltry skill points. I never dump WIS and especially not on a WILL weak class. STR and CHA were the throwaways, especially CHA as I could use Pragmatic Activator and Clever Wordplay to move UMD and Diplomacy to INT.

TRAITS: Pragmatic Activator and Clever Wordplay to use my INT and dump CHA. Even though Diplomacy isn't a class skill, being able to assist a real face character or pinch-hit in a Diplomacy-dumped party when necessary is clutch. I have a Boon for a third trait that must be from the Dark Archive, so I chose Soul Drinker--reduced HP from Burn means one or two solid hits could do me in, so having an emergency heal of sorts is nice.

FEATS: (L1) Point Blank & (Human) Precise Shot. Pay your taxes everyone.

WILD TALENTS: (L1) Extended Range, (L2) Kinetic Cover. I'm meh on KC in theory, so I'm hoping I can find good use of it in practice.

ARMOR CLASS: 19. With a chain shirt, darkwood buckler (no ACP), a good DEX, 21 HP and DR from Flesh of Stone, I felt pretty darn good for someone who never plans to melee.

...and then I entered L1 of Emerald Spire.

Shadow Lodge

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SCENARIO:
Emerald Spire: The Tower Ruins (Level 1)

PARTY:
L2 Human Kineticist
L2 Dwarf Monk
L2 Ifrit Sorceror Ifrit
L2 Sylph Wizard (Thassilonian Specialist - Transmutation)
L1 Half Orc Inquisitor (Pregen)

I've skimmed Emerald Spire when it first came out as I own it and was considering GMing it. I semi-remembered the first level is punishing to non-darkvision characters.

Oh hey, that's me! And I'm a ranged class! Wheeeee!

Well, it can't be that bad, we have 4 L2 characters right?

During our pregame, we decide that the Monk (AC19) and the Inquisitor will take the lead. Even though my AC is high, my Blast is a SLA that provokes. I hope I can hang in back with +5 to hit and 1d6+4 (+6/1d6+5 with Point Blank).

First Fight:

We approach the Emerald Spire on a narrow switchback path. I use 1 Burn on Flesh of Stone for 2 DR.

As the inquisitor, renamed from unpronounceable Imrijka to 'murca, nears the entrance a goblin on a goblin dog charges 'murica and drops him unconscious in the surprise round.

The Monk closes and misses. The Wizard readies a Stumble Gap anticipating another charge from the dark entrance. While the monk frontlines with the goblin and his dog, the Sorceror Infernal Heals the Inquisitor and gets him to 0 HP. The Inquisitor retreats to heal himself. I miss the goblin with my Blast.

The goblin and dog tear at the Monk. The Wizard misses with his Telekinetic Fist and the Sorceror pings with his Magic Missile. I line up a Blast and wallop the goblin for 10 points, killing him. The Monk punches the dog to death and we take a moment to collect ourselves and recall that one time 'murica almost died.

We enter the Spire and are hit by its special effect: "Inside the structure, a magical effect swallows up light. Any light source, no matter how strong, illuminates only a 5-foot radius." "Anything beyond the 5-foot area is darkness. Ranged combat and melee attacks with reach have a 50% miss chance unless the attacker has darkvision."

I sigh at the useless Ioun Torch circling my head and ask the other players to please, in character, tell me where I need to go in combat since I am the only character without darkvision. I'm thankful my AC is 19 because I will be fighting next to every monster in this dungeon, provoking AOOs with my Blast AND my Ranged Attack.

Then we learn that every square in the dungeon is difficult terrain for us due to debris...but we quickly would find out all the goblins in here are not affected by the rubble.

Barely 10' into the entrance and I already hate this level of the Emerald Spire.

Second Fight:

A little into the tower, the Monk opens a door to a circular room with another goblin and his dog, triggering combat.

Naturally, I win initiative. Not knowing they had found something or where it was, I delay. The Sorcerer uses his wand of Magic Missile, the Wizard uses Telekinetic fist and they tell me exactly where to go. I come off delay and double move into the room. The goblin gets an AOO and, since I can't see beyond 5' and he has a reach weapon, it's against my flatfoot AC. Luckily he misses. The Inquisitor and Monk also enter the room.

Then 3 Goblin archers join the fray from the rear, attacking the Sorcerer and Wizard. Luckily, their volley of arrows only hits once. The Sorcerer Greases a pair of them and they both fall.

In the room, I try to use the Blast at his square, provoke, and the goblin ranger hits my flatfoot AC. My DR eats 2 points. I flub my concentration check. Boooooooo. I try to move adjacent and HE HAS COMBAT REFLEXES! I eat another hit. My DR eats another 2 points...but I've still taken 9 damage in one round.

The Monk kills the dog and the Inquisitor shoots an arrow and misses.

Outside in hall, the goblin archers gather themselves and let fly with more arrows. The Sorceror is barely hanging on. The Wizard comes into the room with us.

Inside, I successfully cast defensively and Blast the goblin ranger for 9 points. He 5' steps away into the darkness and attacks me with his reach weapon. CONFIRMED CRITICAL. After DR, I'm skewered for another 16 points of damage and drop to -6. I joke that it's a good thing I'm a CON-based caster.

The archer goblins move in and keep harrying the Sorcerer. He catches them in a Burning Hands, but they make their reflex saves. The Sorcerer beats a hasty retreat back to entrance and out of their site. The Wizard begins casting Enlarge Person on the Monk. The Monk misses the goblin ranger. The Inquisitor shoots an arrow and misses.

Over the next couple of rounds, I keep failing my stabilize checks as the Enlarged Monk and Inquisitor melee with the goblins. Finally, the monk crit kills the boss and the Inquisitor switches to a melee weapon to finish off the remaining goblins while the Sorcerer snipes with his Magic Missile wand. The fight ends and they heal me.

I dropped all the way to -10 HP. My CON is 16. My DR ate 6 points of damage from the goblin ranger. I would have died if not for my DR.

Third, Fourth, Fifth & Sixth Fights:

These were all fights against 2 goblins. They were pretty much walkover fights from the our L2 party perspective but frustrating from my perspective as they all involved: I can't see anything so I delay until someone tells me where to go. I move at half speed to get there. If I get there in time, I intentionally provoke AOOs with my movement hoping that when I use my Blast in the adjacent square that they don't have Combat Reflexes.

On the plus side, I pulled that combo twice and dropped a goblin on the ensuing blast, making me feel good about my tactics and abilities. On the minus side, it was kind of a drag dealing with darkness, 1/2 speed and constant AOOs.

By this point in the session, I was averaging 8-10 points of damage per blast--hovering tightly around the average for 1d6+5.

Seventh Fight:

We enter a laboratory/kitchen chamber where a construct and a goblin cleric reside.

Combat starts and we move into the room. I step up to the construct, cast defensively and fail the roll--I didn't realize the automaton hadn't acted yet and I could have forgone the concentration check.

Meanwhile, the Wizard Stumblegaps the goblin cleric. The Inquisitor and Monk pound on the construct and it begins to short circuit (which I can't see, wah wah). I do the "intentionally draw an AOO, blast it safely" manuever, critical hit and blow it up in our faces. The cleric casts cause fear on the Monk, but he makes his save. The Wizard readies a telekinetic fist if the cleric casts again, but the cleric channels. I fail the DC 9 Will save (double wah wah). While the Inquisitor heals himself, the party hounds the cleric into a corner, all the while nickle and diming him. Second Verse Same As The First: I move, draw an AOO and then finish the cleric off with my Blast.

Eighth Fight:

We climbed stairs and opened a door to a circular room, only about 1/2 we can se. Oh, and a pair of undead Goblins. Strung out along the stairs, we played the delay game to manage traffic flow and work our way into the room. As we pile in, I swing around undead to open room for the melee and reveal a bugbear (which I can't see).

The Bugbear Ranger Rapid Shots me, hits once, and my DR eats some of the damage. The Monk grapples one zombie and the Inquisitor attacks the easy target. The Sorceror hangs back on stairs to assist the Monk and Inquisitor and the Wizard works his way to me.

Kinetic Cover--it is your time to shine!

However, like my unnecessary concentration check that led to a fizzle, you can't
theorycraft player fatigue and the resulting bad decisions that happen.

I create a kinetic cover nearby to grant me cover. But instead of creating it on the edge of my square granting total cover (or at least forcing the Bugbear to move and unable to use Rapid Shot), I placed it as to block Line of Sight to the wizard and only grant me cover.

Even with cover, I'm still flatfooted because of darkness. The Bugbear Ranger with Favored Enemy Human rolls in the 20s to hit with both shots and drops me from full HP to -3.

Once again, I'm glad I'm a CON-based caster.

The Sorceror Ear Piercing Screams a zombie (we forget it wouldn't work, so the zombie is dazed). The monk maintains his grapple for damage on the other one and the Inquisitor takes it out. I stabilize and watch the rest of the fight with dread.

The Bugbear drops the Wizard, even through through the DR 10 of a Windy Escape. The other zombie is slain. Now, just the Monk, Inquisitor and Sorceror (and my kinetic barrier) face the Bugbear. My kinetic barrier, which failed as a missile shield, now serves as a makeshift wall for a bottleneck.

It drops the Wizard with rapid shot. The Monk gets in the Bugbear's face while the Inquisitor pours a CMW pot down the Sorcerer's throat, who then MM wands the Bugbear.

The Bugbear drops his bow, pulls out his morningstar and rocks the monk hard.
The Inquisitor CLWs the Wizard back into action. The Sorcerer continues to plink away with his MM wand.

The Bugbear keeps hurting the Monk. The Inquisitor moves around the other side of the barrier through a tiny gap (thank you circular maps), judges and hits! The Sorcerer MMs yet again. The Wizard Burning Disarms the Bugbear, but it holds onto weapon and eats the damage. The Bugbear attacks and 5' steps away as not to be flanked.

The Monk drinks a CMW pot. The Inquisitor squares off with the Bugbear but misses.

The fight has moved, so the Sorcerer double moves to reposition. The Wizard delays. Bugbear smashes the Inquisitor to 0 HP and he is staggered. Just in time, the Monk swoops in and delivers the finishing blow.

The GM handwaves the last combat of 3 goblins in a room we skipped previously.

It's hard to give an accurate assesment of how the Kineticist performed as this scenario was perfectly built to ruin my build and expected playstyle.

Thank you, sir! May I have another?
Before the game I was like, "2 DR? Meh. Does that even matter?" Considering it literally saved my life in the second fight and almost kept me from going under in the last fight, consider me a believer for now. And even though I'm a blaster, I definitely would have felt comfortable on the frontlines if there wasn't perma-darkness and perma-difficul terrain. We'll how much DR will come into play in the future as I do my darndest to become and stay a ranged blaster.

The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.
I believe I only missed once with my Blast in all the combats...and that was literally on the first Blast of the first combat of the module. I rolled consistently on damage, which meant oneshotting regular goblins and slightly damaged goblin rangers or doing a significant chunk of damage to stronger creatures. It was never crazy damage in that 20 STR 2H weapon power attack way, but it was solid and felt good (at least at this level). I never felt like I was overshadowing anyone or, conversely, not pulling my weight. By the way, I don't think me hitting almost 100% is because I'm OP, but because it's hard to miss CR 1/3, 1/2, 1 creatures.

Also, to reiterate what I mentioned in the previous post, I would have liked to play a different race but without the bonus feat from being Human, I would have had to use my Blast without Precise Shot and would have meant missing a metric crapton more.

Seven years of college down the drain.
Since this was a straight up dungeon crawl, I didn't get a chance to use my skills in any meaningful capacity. And the one skill I might have used (Knowledge Dungeoneering) didn't come into play. I'll see how things go in the next scenario. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like I should have Survival as a class skill in addition to or instead of Dugeoneering. Also, I think it would be nice to have the elemental language of your element be open on your starting bonus languages for high intelligence.

We have an old saying in Delta House: don't get mad, get even.
The next time I see a goblin or bugbear, they're dead. DEAD.


"Im-ree-ka". That should work even for 'murcans.

Dark Archive

This is more of my 'I am a bad GM' showing, but do you have to make concentration checks for spell like abilities? What exactly is the DC?

As a side note, if you think you will continue your "Intentionally provoke AoO's so your blast is open", maybe consider Mobility? I once played a kind of weird tanky Ninja build that would intentionally provoke as many AoO's every turn as possible so the rest of my party was free to act and it worked surprisingly well. Mobility added a huge chunk of survivability to that character and I think it could be helpful here, even if a lot of people think it is a suboptimal feat.

Shadow Lodge

This morning, thinking back on last night's session, I realized I never had to worry about Burn because every target was within 30' of me. I never had to "gather energy" as move to alleviate 1 Burn from Extended Range. So, I missed out on low level Burn management.

@Oceanshieldwolf: When I hear Im-ree-ka, I think of a movie. (Also, it probably didn't help that I kept thinking Harsk was the Iconic Inquisitor.)

@koujow:

SLA Concentration Checks:

Spell-Like Abilities (Sp): Using a spell-like ability works like casting a spell in that it requires concentration and provokes attacks of opportunity. Spell-like abilities can be disrupted. If your concentration is broken, the attempt to use the ability fails, but the attempt counts as if you had used the ability. The casting time of a spell-like ability is 1 standard action, unless the ability description notes otherwise.

Using a Spell-Like Ability on the Defensive: You may attempt to use a spell-like ability on the defensive, just as with casting a spell. If the concentration check (DC 15 + double the spell's level) fails, you can't use the ability, but the attempt counts as if you had used the ability.

Since I plan to go full ranged on this character, burning two feats (Dodge & Mobility) for a very infrequent situation isn't the best use of my resources. Normally, I would have 5' stepped and then blasted but the difficult terrain prevented that. If provoking AOOs from Blasting does become a regular thing for Kineticists, perhaps picking up a concentration trait and feat might be a better solution.

Dark Archive

I think your experience with DR makes a good argument for a geokineticist to focus on melee with kinetic blade and weapon finesse. That said, I'm hoping that using kinetic blade doesn't provoke.

Shadow Lodge

Mergy! I was literally going to post that question--since Kinetic Blade is a form of a Blast and Blast is SLA, does it provoke? If it does, ugh.

Dark Archive

Wow, I never knew.

Since the blast doesn't have a level (or reproduce a spell that has one), what is the DC? A flat 15?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Thanks for the great playtest Sammy! I remember your solid and thorough playtests of heavens shaman (and a very similar shaman build to my heavens shaman Aitheria too!), and I'm looking forward to seeing where you go with this. I'm particularly happy to see that your blast accuracy as a geo/terra is faring well against goblins (a traditionally high AC for their CR).

Shadow Lodge

@koujow

Quote:
All wild talents have a required kineticist level, and most have an effective spell level. However, blast and defense wild talents are always considered to be a spell of a level equal to half the kineticist’s level (maximum 9th level at level 18).

While that refers to WT, a I figured an unaltered blast would also have the same difficulty. So, Level 2 Kineticist * 1/2 = Kinetic Blast Spell Level 1. 15 Base Concentration + (2 x Spell Level) = DC 17 Cast Defensively.

I don't know if that is how it should have been calculated, but it felt right.

Paizo Employee Designer

A blast wild talent is indeed a wild talent. You are correct.

Dark Archive

Mark, does that still apply to Kinetic Blade/Fist/Whip? If it does, that severely limits the use of it for many levels.

Paizo Employee Designer

All of them are wild talents, yes. I want to see how they do in playtest with provoking (and the subsequent likelihood of getting a +2 concentration trait and maybe Combat Casting), but I'm considering making those three not provoke for the same reason quickened spells don't, since they aren't their own standard action.

Shadow Lodge

Tonight, I played in the PFS Scenario My Enemy's Enemy, which features a good mix of investigation, RP and combat. Unfortunately, because I have GMd this scenario before, I let the party know I would be minimizing my RP and not making any decisions as not to influence how the game played out.

Party:

L5 Paladin (no archetype, 14S/12D/14C/12I/14W/18C)
L3 Rogue (no archetype)
L4 Sorcerer, Sage Bloodline (no archetype)
L3 Wiz 2/Barb 1
L3 Geokineticist

The players featured a mix of experience and system mastery (if you couldn't tell).

My Build:

Konraeus Stonekeeper
Male human (mwangi) Geokineticist 3
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +4; Senses Perception +6

--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +4 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 30 (3d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +2

--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Melee stone cestus +1 (1d4-1/19-20)
Blast +7 (2d6+5)

--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 9, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 7

Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 15

Feats: Point-blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus (blast)

Traits: clever wordplay, pragmatic activator, soul drinker

Skills: Diplomacy +5, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (nature) +5, Perception +6, Use Magic Device +8

Languages: Common, Polyglot, Terran, Undercommon

Combat Gear: potion of air bubble, potion of shield of faith, wand of cure light wounds, alchemist's fire, holy water;

Other Gear: mwk chain shirt, darkwood buckler, stone cestus, cloak of resistance +1, ioun torch ioun stone, masterwork backpack, potion sponge, silk rope (50 ft.)

--------------------------

To start the day, I use Flesh of Stone and Burn twice to get DR 3 and reduce my HP 24. With Burn and Point-Blank Shot, I'm rocking +9 hit & 2d6+7 damage at L3. I'm not happy with my AC 19, but considering I plan on sitting in back and sniping from 30' away, it'll do. I just bought a cestus so I threaten in melee range and I made it stone BECAUSE WHY WOULDN'T I WEAR A CESTUS MADE OF STONE--GEOKINETICISTS REPRESENT!

(Neveryoumind I will never ever use it in a million years to melee with as I'm going for a pure ranged build with Konraeus.)

As part of explaining my shtick, I ask the party to leave shooting lanes open for me if they can.

Investigation and First Combat:

A shopkeeper has been roughed up and the pathfinders have been framed with a wayfinder left at the scene!

As there are 2 other people with high diplomacy (Pally/Sorc), I sit on the sideline with my piddling +5. During the course of talking to the guards, the landlady, the injured shopkeeper and looking around the shopkeeper's store the following skills come up: Heal, K:Local, Craft Alchemy, Spellcraft, Perception and K:Nature. Even though K:Nature is not a class skill yet, I'm investing in it as I plan on taking Water at L7. If I didn't do that, I would have pretty much sidelined for the first 45 minutes of the game other than the "everyone roll perception" or "I take 20 on perception").

The Rogue easily finds a trap and disarms it and finds a crate with a clue in the back room of the shop. The shopkeeper's pet, a living shrubbery in the shape of a cougar, comes around a corner attacks him. We roll initiative and come in dead last.

The Rogue tumbles behind the ShrubCat to set up a flank. The Wiz/Barb, hence known as the Wizzarian, and the Sorceror run around the shop to come in through a door behind the ShrubCat. The Pally steps up and misses, but leaves me a shooting lane.

Bam! Full damage!

...but I chose the wrong type of damage and DR kicks in :(

The ShrubCat slams the Pally. The Rogue, who doesn't have a flank yet and didn't realize I said to delay, fails to pierce the DR. The Sorceror and Wizard ping the ShrubCat for minor damage and Pally slashes away. I choose the right damage type but roll a natural 1. Aaargh! I move up to flank with Rogue, totally threatening it with my BADASS STONE CESTUS.

The ShrubCat swings twice at me and misses. The Rogue and Sorcerer easily finish him off

Blast Stats: Borden Milk...because I'm Half & Half with 1 hit and 1 miss. Defense Stats: Product 19 since I'm untouchable at AC 19...for now...

Second Combat:
We find some more clues and head to a different part of town. Walking down an alley, we come upon a lady calling for help--someone has fallen into a sink hole and she's reaching in trying to help.

As the Paladin and the Barbarian begin to help her rescue her friend, a rat swarm appears behind us!

Once again, I end up dead last in initiative...and I'm the person nearest the swarm. STONE CESTUS, HAVE I OFFENDED THEE?!

The Rogue runs up next to me, leaving a lane open called for by the Wizzarian. The Sorcerer drops a Stone Call on the swarm, both hurting it and slowing down its advance with the difficult terrain. Everyone jokes I have more than enough ammo for my Kinetic Blast now...I then sadly tell them I don't have an AoE blast. The Wizzarian moves into the lane left open by the Rogue and Burning Hands the swarm. Blerg, its still up. I grab an Achemist's Fire...

...and the damage is enough to finish it off.

Blast Stats: BOOOOOOOOOOOOO-berry...because it was useless. Defense stats: as chill as Nice Cold Ice Cold Milk -- even though my AC would have been useless, my DR 3 would have given me a 50% chance to ignore the 1d6 swarm damage (and subsequent disease save too).

Not My Forte Interstitial:

Because I had GMd the scenario before, I recused myself during the ensuing RP of talking to the people we rescued (who turned out be who we were looking for) and them taking us to their headquarters to parlay. Even if I didn't, I lacked Sense Motive, K:Local and had low Diplomacy, which would have kept me from contributing on any required skill checks.

Into the Temple of Gozreh:

We learn that new gang members have taken the gang over and the old gang members wouldn't mind us removing them from power. The new guys make their base in an underground temple, so I toss on my Ioun Torch and head down.

We quickly figure out an early puzzle to enter, which required K:Religion and Linguistics--skills I don't have.

We proceed down a stairway and HOLY SMOKES K:Engineering comes up! I contributed! I tell folks about the construction of the tunnel and some crossbeams that can be removed...but the party passes on that option and we move on.

Third Combat:

We open a door into a wide chamber. Several squares rise above a water covered floor, part of an illusion of islands on a sea. There are two mooks on a raised platform on the far side. We make it part way into the room before being spotted.

For the third time, I'm last in initiative. WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME STONE CESTUS!?!?

Bad Guy 1 invokes the power of the room and lightning streaks from the ceiling hitting folks who might be standing on the 'islands'--like the Paladin. I move in and ready an action to Kinetic Barrier right in front of the Paladin if Bad Guy 2 shoots at him. The Wizzarian and Sorcerer plink at Bad Guy 1. The Rogue feints and kills Bad Guy 1, so naturally Bad Guy 2 shoots at the Rogue instead of the Paladin and my readied action is wasted.

Bad Guy 2 invokes a different power of the room and a Water Elemental appears.

Hey, wouldn't be awesome if I, someone so in touch with the elements that I actually can manipulate earth and stone with my mind, could identify an elemental? Without K: Planes, I don't know what it is in character...

The Rogue and Pally finish off Bad Guy 2. The Wizzarian rages and smashes the living-water-thing-that-I-don't-know-what-it-is. I finish off the DC-13-Knowledge-Planes-Check-That-I-Can't-Roll-On with a Kinetic Blast.

Take a knee everyone. I want us as a team to take a moment and realize that I, a geokineticist, would not even be able to identify a small Earth Elemental if I ran into one.

Blast Stats: I'm batting .666 AKA Asmodeus' Crispy Numbers. Defense Stats: Totally MC Hammer...because you can't touch this.

Final Fight:

We come through a narrow tunnel into a circular room. An alchemist kicks over a vat of chemicals, blocking us from coming right at him. Next to him is a (Rogue?).

I WIN INITIATIVE! WORSHIP THE GLORY THAT IS THE STONE CESTUS!

I step into the room and critically hit the enemy Rogue, shredding him with flagstone flooring for 31 points of damage!

I SHALL NEVER DOUBT YOU AGAIN O STONE CESTUS!

The Wizzarian comes in and Color Sprays them both, stunning them for one round. The Sorceror drops a Grease for good measure. Our Rogue finishes off their Rogue and the GM pretty much calls it as we can cycle the party through our attacks on the stunned alchemist.

Blast Stats: 3 of 4 overall, but for that last critical hit blast it was THIS. Defense Stats: Dairy Pure...because I went untouched.

Part Of A Balanced Breakfast
1) Kennies need more skill points; 4/level seems fair.

2) The Kenny skill list is lacking. It would be one thing if I was an OMG PEW PEW damage machine and skill points were a balancing factor, but I'm not a grim blaster of death and in non-combat situations I'm hurting to contribute (at least with a geokineticist).

3) I feel a bit sad that my first 3 feats are Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot and Weapon Focus (Blast) and I have to wait until 5th level to finally choose a non-build critical feat. I also feel weird that my main casting stat (CON) comes in secondary to DEX because I will the need the +hit in mid- to upper-levels. (Food for thought: does Reckless Aim work with the non-Touch AC blasts?)

4) For the second game in a row (12-ish fights in total), I didn't have to worry about Burn management because all my fights were in close quarters. The only Burn I took was when I used Flesh of Stone.

5) I have yet to make good use of Kinetic Barrier. The 2 times I tried to use it so far haven't worked out. It seems like a cool ability, so I'm hoping someone has found some use for it.

6) I know I'm low level, but I don't feel like I can do "fun" or "cool" things yet. This is probably symptomatic of the limited Earth/Wild Talent list for the playtest.

7) As it stands right now at low levels, I'm not a good fifth man class because I'm lacking in skills, I don't bolster anyone else's abilities and I only have one trick. That might change at L6 with more WTs and at 7th when I can dip into another element, but that seems so far off.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How are you guys hitting so much? Mark mentioned early on about not dumping stats so I don't have any stat dumps.

But even with a 17 dex (which I think is pretty decent) Point-Blank and Precise targeting touch AC, my Kineticist has an accuracy rating of 42% (I logged every round of every combat that he's played so far). Coupled with average damage of 4.5 when I actually manage to hit...it's not terribly impressive. Mr. Wizard with a 2 PP magic missile wand was more effective in combat. And I'm not including the multiple encounters where he ran into magic or energy damage immune creatures. Or swarms. Or SR.

I did not know that Mark wanted the Kinetic series to provoke. I could have sworn it was the opposite. Well I'll relay this to the other kineticists in our playtest group.

I wasn't sure about Reckless Aim...do you guys think it is better than Weapon Focus? I just hit L3 and am debating on taking it.

Shadow Lodge

At L3, I have +2 BAB, +4 DEX, +1 Weapon Focus & +1 Feel the Burn as a base. All my fights so far have been within Point-Blank range, so another +1. Between precise shot, maneuvering myself for clear shots and teammates doing their best to leave shooting lanes open, +9 to hit at L3 is pretty solid as a CR 3 foe has an average of AC 15 ...but it took the concerted effort of pumping Dex and taking WF to keep me up there.

Weapon Focus is untyped while Reckless Aim is a competence bonus--depending on the party buffs you regularly receive R.A. may or may not be worth the investment. (In PFS, I'm sorely tempted to grab it as party composition varies so much from table to table but I don't know if R.A. works with our Blast.)

I will admit my damage dice have not let me down yet, so count me lucky on that point.


The biggest difference I've seen in this test and so many others where the Kineticist is constantly missing is simple and so very critical.

Quote:
As part of explaining my shtick, I ask the party to leave shooting lanes open for me if they can.

This is important for any ranged fighter but absolutely critical for the Kineticist.


kestral287 wrote:

The biggest difference I've seen in this test and so many others where the Kineticist is constantly missing is simple and so very critical.

Quote:
As part of explaining my shtick, I ask the party to leave shooting lanes open for me if they can.
This is important for any ranged fighter but absolutely critical for the Kineticist.

I don't recall any of the other tests commenting that they where missing because of 'clogged shooting lanes', so I don't see how you can conclude that it's the major factor in his seeming improved accuracy. I know it wasn't that big of a factor in the tests I've had so far.


graystone wrote:
kestral287 wrote:

The biggest difference I've seen in this test and so many others where the Kineticist is constantly missing is simple and so very critical.

Quote:
As part of explaining my shtick, I ask the party to leave shooting lanes open for me if they can.
This is important for any ranged fighter but absolutely critical for the Kineticist.
I don't recall any of the other tests commenting that they where missing because of 'clogged shooting lanes', so I don't see how you can conclude that it's the major factor in his seeming improved accuracy. I know it wasn't that big of a factor in the tests I've had so far.

Really? I'm fairly certain I've heard it twice now, and I /want/ to say three times but might be getting things mixed up.

At least once was in relation to Emerald Spire, where it seems to be an unavoidable consequence though.


I recall 1 cramped conditions/single file adventuring test and that's something you can't just open up a lane for. I think that's the emerald spire and as such, that's an adventure issue that can't be solved by helpful party members.

If there was another test that mentioned party members getting in the way and THAT reduced their accuracy, I haven't seen them. I know that it had nothing to do with the accuracy issues in my test.


Yeah, as I recall yours was some entirely different issues.

Real ones, and to take it a step further the class has real accuracy issues, but I did find it odd that at least twice I saw people complain about having to fire through two or more people to get to their target and how that was gimping their accuracy.


Well people getting in the way could only make matters worse, it's true. I'll be interested to see if Sammy T continues to hit well as he levels up.

Shadow Lodge

Another Monday, Another Playtest!

I switched from playing Halls of the Flesh Eaters at the FLGS to playing an online game of Emerald Spire L2: The Cellars with some pals.

Thoughts going into the game: 1) cramped quarters may limit my effectiveness as a ranged Kineticist; 2) it's a dungeon crawl so my OOC utility may not be much of an issue; 3) I've read on the forums that the Kineticist does well from 1-5 before suffering DPS dropoff, so I'm hoping I don't inadvertently outshine anyone.

Party
L1 Fighter (Sword & Board)
L1 Spiritualist (based on Michael and GOB Bluth, played by Redward)
L2 Summoner (melee, tag teams with melee Eidolon)
L2 Ninja
L3 Oracle 1/Sorceror 2 (Awesome Display/Color spray build)
L3 Geokineticist

Level 3 Build:

Konraeus Stonekeeper
Male human (mwangi) Geokinteticist 3
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +4; Senses Perception +6

--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +4 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 30
Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +2

--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Ranged Kintetic Blast 2d6+5
Melee stone cestus +1 (1d4-1/19-20)

--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 9, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 7

Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 15

Feats: Point-blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus (kinetic blast)

Traits: clever wordplay, pragmatic activator, soul drinker

Skills: Diplomacy +5, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (nature) +8, Perception +6, Use Magic Device +8

Languages: Common, Polyglot, Terran, Undercommon

Combat Gear: potion of air bubble, potion of shield of faith, wand of cure light wounds, alchemist's firex2, holy water; Other Gear mwk chain shirt, darkwood buckler, dart, stone cestus, cloak of resistance +1, ioun torch ioun stone, masterwork backpack, potion sponge, silk rope (50 ft.)

--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Flesh of the Stone DR 1/admantine, may add more for additional Burn
Feel The Burn +1/+1 when suffering from a point of Burn
Point-Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.
Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into melee.
Soul Drinker (1/day) (Su) 1/day, gain temporary HP equal to the HD of a defeated foe for 1 minute.

Dungeon Prep:
Before we enter the dungeon, I use my single 15gp dose of Clear Ear.

Clear Ear wrote:
This green gel is poured into the user's ear and takes effect 2 hours later, enhancing senses and memory but increasing irritability. For 6 hours, the user gains a +2 alchemical bonus on Perception and Knowledge checks and a –2 penalty on all Charisma-based checks.

Since my Diplomacy is based on my INT, boosting my 2 Knowledge skills and Perception is a no-brainer.

I pick up a second flask of alchemist's fire and Cure Light Wounds pot for an emergency and I'm good to go.* During our pregame palaver, I ask folks to leave a shooting lane if possible.

*(I'm saving money for a +2 Dex Belt as nothing else seems like a critical investment yet.)

Thanks to the does of Clear Ear, I have the highest perception at +8. I share the front row with the Fighter, taking 10 to find traps. When we come to doors, I take 20 for traps before sending GOB Bluth the spirit ahead.

Going into this dungeon, in ideal conditions, I'll be +9 to hit and doing 2d6+7 per hit.

I burn twice for 6 hp to get DR3 and away we go...

First Encounter:

We send GOB ahead to scout through a door. Nothing. I walk into the room and find a pit trap, which we skirt. I find 2 secret doors which lead to a crypt with caskets. So, being the murderhobo Pathfinder, I open one. 6 Skeletons pop out...but not out of the one I opened luckily.

The Eidolon and the Summoner each smash two Skellies right away.

I get flanked and full attacked by 2 Skellies. They each hit me for 3 points. My DR 3 stops both hits! The rest of the Skellies reposition.

I eat 2 AOOs moving away from the flank but both miss my 19 AC. Free from their grasp, I rip up a flagstone and throw it at one. I roll a 27 and do near max damage of 17 points blunt damage, obliterating it.

The Fighter misses with his Sword&Board attacks. The Soracle Magic Missiles a Skelly, dropping it. The Ninja flanks one and hits, but barely pierces the DR. The Summoner and his tag team partner Eidolon both miss. The Skellies attack and hit the Summoner and Ninja.

I miss with an Earth Blast 14. !@#!&@#$

The Fighter finishes another one off. The Soracle MMs the last remaining one but it stands strong. The Spiritualist and his Spirit, the Bluths, miss. The Ninja misses. The Eidolon finally crushes the last Skelly.

I'll be honest, I've never seen a tagteam melee summoner/eidolon pair, so it was nice to see them clean house.

I'm 1 for 2 on shots (I'll compile average hit roll and damage at the end). My DR has stopped 6 points of damage, paying off my initial Burned HP in full.

Second Encounter:

We send GOB the spirit ahead through some doors. He finds a room with a closet making sobbing noises. Some of us position ourselves in the room. The Soracle opens the closet with an open/close cantrip...triggering a trap and combat! A net drops onto the Eidolon and a zombie pops of the closet.

The Zombie charges and misses the Summoner. The Ninja full attacks and hits twice. The Soracle Shield of Faiths the Summoner. GOB hits the Zombie.

Last in the order, I finally get to go. I maneuver for a clear shot and hit with a 21 for 15 points, ending the fight.

I'm 2 for 3 on blasts so far. Luckily, nothing has been a hallway horror of cover and bad shots.

Third Encounter:
We continue to send GOB Bluth first to ghost through the doors and report back to us. He reports a webbed room. We enter and burn away the webs with a pair of alchemist's fires...and a spider attacks us.

I'm on top of initiative. I hit on a 14 for 16 damage.

The Summoner casts Long Arm on his Eidolon, which whiffs its attack. The Spiritualist's spirit and the fighter hack away some webs.

The spider, using an SLA, creates some obscuring mist.

I do the AOO hokey pokey. I step into the mist to find to find the spider. Immediately finding it, I intentionally step away to draw an AOO. It misses. I step back and use Kinetic Blast, hoping it doesn't have Combat Reflexes.

It doesn't!

I hit with a 25, overcome 20% concealment, hit for 13 damage, ending the encounter.

I'm 4/5 on blasts with 0 shots with cover and 1 shot with 20% concealment. No skills checks other than perception have been needed so far.

Fourth Encounter:
GOB slimes through door and triggers a pit trap. The player burns a shirt reroll to keep his spirit from falling into the pit.

We work our way across the pit, accidentally triggering a minor nuisance trap on the far side. While the Rogue takes time opening a three lock device. GOB scouts the surrounding doors. He finds a huge room with 3 skeletons.

The spirit awkwardly parlays before returning to us. I've had enough of undead and open the door to start combat.

I win initiative. I roll 25 for 10 pts, killing a Skelly outright. The Fighter enters and readies an attack should one enter his range. Then an unseen caster forces a Will save one me!

I roll a Natural 1!

Nope. No thank you. I use my PFS GM reroll and get 20, making the save. I can see this Will save stuff being a huge pain in my Earthbending ass.

One skelly charges and gets dropped by the Fighter's readied action. The other Skelly attacks me and misses. The Ninja and Summoner move in, keeping an eye out for the unseen caster.

I double move and investigate a curtain lining the back wall and find a caster skeleton between the curtain and back wall. I alert the party. The Fighter moves over. The Caster throws a (cause fear?) spell on the fighter who fails his save. The Soracle Mage Hands the curtain open, revealing the caster to rest of the party. The Ninja moves up and misses. The Summoner Long Arms his Eidolon and then it moves up.

I ready an action to blast the Caster if it casts a spell. So, of course it uses (Su) attack that doesn't trigger my readied action (womp womp). It uses a gaze attack that gives the shaken condition to the PCs right in front of him. The Soracle MMs it. GOB misses both slams. The Summoner moves up and the eidolon tears down some curtains so all the melee can gang up on the Caster.

Throwing tactics to the wind, I just blast it. I hit with a 19 and inflict 12 points of damage.

Warrior shakes off the fear and runs back. The Skelly caster melees and dings the Eidolon for a solid chunk of damage. The Soracle MMs. The Ninja can't pierce DR with his wakizashi. GOB Bluth misses. The Summoner heals his eidolon and eidolon misses its attacks.

I rip more stones from the ground and swing them at the caster. I hit with a 25 for 17 points of damage. I realize that magic damage matters for DR and let the GM know my blast is counted as magic. The caster splinters into bone shards.

I'm 7 for 8 on blasts with 0 shots with cover and 1 shot with 20% concealment.

Fifth Encounter:
We find two secret doors. GOB scouts them. Finds a spider swarm in one area...and we decided to go there later.

In the other room we find a trap, the ninja gets smooshed for 18 points while trying to disarm it. While we recover from that, the swarm has followed GOB from the other room and crept up behind us!

The party scatters but me and two others get caught in the swarm.

The swarms does 3 points of damage...my DR/3 saves me again. I don't get affected by poison or distraction!

The spiritualist tosses an alchemist's fire and damages the swarm. Still in it, I take 1 point of splash. For the first time in the entire dungeon I get hurt...and it's from my own party member!

Lacking an AOE option, I 5' step out of the swarm, pull out a flask and toss it.

Natural 1. Blech.

Luckily, it scatters in the right direction and the splash damage kills it.

DR comes to the rescue again! As a ranged kineticist, DR has saved me from forced melee situations more than I thought it would. Worth every point of Burn.

Last Encounter:
GOB previously scouted this room, so we prep by Enlarging the Fighter and eidolon. We open the door and spot a spider hiding in a corner opposite of us. The room is full of webs and is difficult terrain. The Fighter, eidolon and Ninja maneuver in. The Spiritualist delays. The Sorcale, no surprise here, MMs. Another spider, which we didn't percept, casts Obscuring Mist in its corner. Ugh.

I move in and, because of the enlarged bodies, blast through cover at the non-misted spider. Boom! Roll a 23 for 13 damage. The spider tries to SLA mist as well but provokes from the Fighter who smashes it into a fine past. The Fighter wanders into the other corner and mist to blockade the spider with the Eidolon. The Eidolon smacks it but the spider lives.

I take a pot shot at the square the everyone says the spider is in. I roll a 20 to hit, overcome 50% concealment and rip it for 18 damage, killing it dead dead dead.

Just the Facts Ma'am
My average to hit roll was 21.3 and I was 9/10 on blasts. Of the hits, 1 was with cover, 1 was with 20% concealment and 1 was with 50% concealment. Ironically, the one shot I missed was on a skeleton with no cover or concealment.

Total damage was 131 points--an average damage per shot that hit of 14.555--repeating of course ;) However, I forgot to add my Feel the Burn in for +1 damage per shot for the entire game, so it should have been 140 total damage for an avg of 15.555 damage/shot.

Every shot was within Point Blank range thanks to this being another dungeon crawl.

DR mitigated 9 points of physical damage with no spillover. The only damage I took was from splash damage from an Alchemist's Fire.

This is Dr. Frasier Crane. I'm listening...
Since this was a combat-heavy, skills light dungeon crawl, I felt pretty good about my character. The fact that I could use Clear Ear to buff my skills and incidentally turn me into a party scout was pretty neat...but if there had been someone with a decent perception, I would have been reduced to "wake up Sammy T when we roll initiative."

It's a different world than where you come from
With this adventure, I ding L4. Soon, I'll be entering the mid-levels where issues will begin to arise apparently. As of right now, my most pressing issues are: 1) There is a dearth of any worthwhile L4 Wild Talents for me to take. Since I'm committing to a ranged build, my only option is Pushing Infusion as I don't want to melee with Kinetic Blade/Whip or pay the Weapon Finesse feat tax. What sticks in my craw is that a 3/4 BAB character using Bullrush is going to get very limited use of it. 2) Other than a belt of Dex, I'm not really pressed to purchase anything right now. I'll default to boosting my Cloak of Resistance and pick up some minor AC items, but I don't feel the push/pull of budget management which I kinda enjoy.

It takes a lot to make a stew,
A pinch of salt and laughter, too,
A scoop of kids to add the spice
A dash of love to make it nice, and you’ve got
Too many Cooks

I didn't use kinetic cover once. As a standard action, it costs too much action economy. If it improved at higher levels to a move action or a move action to gather energy to swift action kinetic cover, I would feel compelled to keep it in my repertoire. As it is right now, it's just a WT tax for Move Earth for me...and Move Earth is in the congested L6 WT pool. If there were WTs to improve KC's size (more edges per X levels), thickness (more HP/level) or action cost I'd be down with it being the deadweight in my current WT selection. Unlike Extra Range, which I haven't used once but can foresee being very useful on a regular basis when I'm not dungeon crawling, WT sits there taunting me with theoretical awesomeness that never actually comes into play.

WHAT IS THE MISSING SPICE IN THE KINETIC COVER STEW?!?!?!

Shadow Lodge

Two shower thoughts this morning after rereading last night's playtest:

1) I understand that baking in a no-burn Kinetic Cover that uses a move or swift action is problematic as ranged Blasters would standard action blast then move action total cover themselves and 5'-step-repeat the next round while, if it were a swift action, melee KBladers would full attack then swift action Cover. Perhaps baking in 1 Burn to use as a move action and 2 Burn to use an immediate action with no way to reduce the Burn cost would give it utility while keeping it in line with the class' mechanics?

2) At L6 with Infusion Specialist and a move action Gather, a Snaking Pushing Infusion blast costs 1 Burn and at L8 with 2 Infusion Specialist and a Gather it costs 0 Burn. This means if a ground bound foe is within 30' of you, you can snake your blast up 5' and then attack downward and bull rush them into the ground, knocking them prone--a fantastic move to set up your melee.

Issue 1: CMB does not scale as well as CMD. The kineticist is 3/4 BAB and will likely boost Dex over Pushing Infusion stat of Con. Furthermore, a kineticist would not take Power Attack>Imp Bull Rush>Greater Bull Rush as Str is currently a dump stat and we don't have the feats to spare. A kineticist would have to heavily invest in Magic Items to keep their CMB anywhere near reliant for Bull Rushing.

Issue 2: If you bull rush/prone your target and your party melee doesn't kill the enemy relatively quickly, you've just incurred a prone target penalty on yourself :(

Silver Crusade

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Bruno, a handsome and beautiful Tetori, proud to announce that joining Geokineticist, Aerokineticist, Pyrokineticist and Hydrokineticist is brand new Brunokineticist.

Brunokineticists will unleash Brunetic Blasts of tiny Tetoris at targets.

Brunokineticist can overexert himself and incur non-lethal damage measured in points called Burnos. A Brunokineticist make Brunetic Blast more handsome for 1 Burno or more beautiful for 1 Burno.

You cannot choose Expanded Elements because other elements are dumb.

Brunokineticist further detailed in Paizo 2015 release, "Brunos of the Inner Sea." Feature new feats like 'Grappling with Guilt' ("instead of receiving an Atonement, you may make a grapple check against your inner self-loathing") and new archetypes (Armwrestling Alchemist, Crushing Cleric, Wrasslin' Rogue, etc).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
graystone wrote:

I recall 1 cramped conditions/single file adventuring test and that's something you can't just open up a lane for. I think that's the emerald spire and as such, that's an adventure issue that can't be solved by helpful party members.

If there was another test that mentioned party members getting in the way and THAT reduced their accuracy, I haven't seen them. I know that it had nothing to do with the accuracy issues in my test.

Yep, my to-hit tallies are in the clear. There has been exactly one encounter so far with the single file chokepoint issue. And it didn't count against his blast accuracy because it simply put the target out of his 30 foot range entirely. My kin had to use his backup weapon, a sling. It turns out he was more effective with a sling than than his blast.

He just hit 3 and I'm looking forward to get more playtesting done.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Bruno Breakbone wrote:

Bruno, a handsome and beautiful Tetori, proud to announce that joining Geokineticist, Aerokineticist, Pyrokineticist and Hydrokineticist is brand new Brunokineticist.

Brunokineticists will unleash Brunetic Blasts of tiny Tetoris at targets.

Brunokineticist can overexert himself and incur non-lethal damage measured in points called Burnos. A Brunokineticist make Brunetic Blast more handsome for 1 Burno or more beautiful for 1 Burno.

You cannot choose Expanded Elements because other elements are dumb.

Brunokineticist further detailed in Paizo 2015 release, "Brunos of the Inner Sea." Feature new feats like 'Grappling with Guilt' ("instead of receiving an Atonement, you may make a grapple check against your inner self-loathing") and new archetypes (Armwrestling Alchemist, Crushing Cleric, Wrasslin' Rogue, etc).

Subscription planned.

Shadow Lodge

I have another game on Thursday, which I will play as a L4. Immediately after, I will level to L5. Recapping where I've been, where I'm going and why:

L1: Point-Blank, Precise Shot; WT: Extra Range
Must haves for a ranged Kineticist.

L2: WT: Kinetic Cover
Going pure ranged, so looking for some utility.

L3: Weapon Focus
Must have to maintain accuracy.

L4: +1 CON; WT: Pushing Infusion; Infusion Specialization: Form
As I will be buying a DEX belt and continuing to upgrade it during my 11 level career, I will sink my ability bumps into CON as I probably won't be able to afford a +4 DEX/CON belt by L11, but could afford a +4 DEX belt and a +2 CON item. I select Infusion Specialization: Form as it allows me to use Extra Range without using a Move Action to gather energy and I plan on taking Snaking form at higher levels. I'm taking Pushing Infusion as it is the only other ranged utility WT available to me in this iteration of the playtest.

L5: Reckless Aim
It was either Reckless Aim or Toughness. Since I'll be using ability bumps on CON, I can slide Toughness down my priority list. Looking at my home group and the FLGS pool of players, I will may never run with a Bard, so the +2 competence bonus from Reckless Aim makes up for no DEX bumps at L4/L8 and keeps me self-sufficient.

I doubt I'll get to L6 during the playtest, but if I continue to play it afterwards here are my tentative thoughts:

I get 3 WTs from L6 to L9. Expanded Element at L7 is pretty much mandatory, leaving me with 2 WTs. As there are no PFS-official extra WT feats, I have to make the remaining WTs count.

Break down of WTs available to me:

EARTH CLIMB: Effects easily recreated with Spider Climb potion or magic item. PASS.

ENTANGLING INFUSION: DC (Base 10 + Level 4 + CON mod) Reflex save or Entangle. Since my build A) attacks regular AC, B) pumps DEX over CON, C) is focused on Form Infusion, taking Entangling Infusion immediately is not ideal. However, after adding a touched ranged attack from Water and getting some CON boosts puts this into consideration for a later pick up. Other consideration: Once rocket tag begins, how often do things live for more than 2 rounds past L11? MAYBE

EXTREME RANGE: As I play PFS, 90-95% of encounters will be within the coverage of Extra Range's 120' reach. PASS

IMPALE: My only "AoE" type option--that requires an attack roll against each target and only works in a line. Not ideal but with no competing form options, this is a strong MAYBE.

JAGGED FLESH: Not a melee kineticist. PASS

KINETIC WHIP: Not a melee kineticist. PASS

MAGNETIC INFUSION: Grant my metallic weapon melee +4 to hit for a round? Solid support ability, but I need to use my second Infusion Specilization on Substance and, because I PFS, my party comp varies from game to game meaning other PCs may not get that much utility from this despite my investment of 2 WTs. MAYBE

MOVE EARTH: With enough time, you can break almost any scenario with this.

GM: The massive door is locked and requires 7 keys to open. The keys are scattered through this dungeon and--

Geokineticist: I use Move Earth on the wall next to it and open a 5' hole to walk through.

GM: The wall is 20' thick. So, which way do you--

Geokineticist: Ok, 4 rounds later I tunnel through.

GM: ...

--or--

GM: The village will be attacked in the morning by the raiders. What preparations you do make?

Archer: I make extra bolts and help train the villagers with their old crossbolts.

Fighter: I sharpen my sword and train the villagers with their spears.

Wizard: I memorize extra fireball spells.

Geokineticist: I use Move Earth to dig a 10' deep pit around the village and use that earth to create a 10' high wall right behind it.

--or--

Geokineticist: I use my Gloves of Reconnaissance on the door.

GM: On the other side you see a 40' by 40' with 4 Barbarians and a Wizard staring at the door, waiting for you to enter.

Geokineticist: We go back down the hallway about 30'. Guys, we'll breech here and hit them from behind.

You get the idea. Smart players will get ridiculous amounts of use out of this, making this a TAKE. (I wouldn't be surprised if PFS bans this.)

RARE METAL INFUSION: Allows me to overcome DR. TAKE

SNAKING: Even though I get a ranged touch attack via Water's Cold Blast, picking this up removes Cover penalties from the attack equation and allows use of Pushing Infusion from above, letting you Bull Rush an opponent into the ground and giving them the prone condition. (Whether your CMB will be high enough to allow this tactic to work on a regular basis is yet to be mathed out by me.) TAKE

TREMORSENSE: Cool to have but not necessary given the increased prevalence of anti-invis, anti-darkness and anti-fog options. For PFS, Lenses of Situational Sight, an oil of Daylight, and a Goz Mask are pretty much must buys for any ranged build. While it is a very good ability, it can be replaced via items. Strong MAYBE

PASS: Earth Climb, Extreme Range, Jagged Flesh, Kinetic Whip

MAYBE: Entangling Infusion, Impale, Magnetic Infusion, Tremor Sense

TAKE: Move Earth, Rare Metal Infusion, Snaking

NO BRAINER: Expanded Element at 7*

*(unless Earth is given a ranged touch blast option, I would take Water for Cold Blast and Mud Blast)

So, tentative build through L9:

L6: WT: Snaking or Move Earth
As I get a ranged touch attack option at L7, Snaking loses a little luster but is still neck and neck with Move Earth.

L7: WT: Expanded Element (Water); Feat (Toughness?)

L8: WT: Rare Metal Infusion; Infusion Specialization: Substance
DR shows up more and more at this level in PFS. This is almost mandatory...but without a way to overcome alignment DR, I'm half-heartedly selecting this.

L9: Feat?

Thoughts and critiques welcome.


You don't get Infusion Specialization until level 5.

Move Earth does sound fun, especially if Konraeus Stonekeeper looks much smaller than the Strength-based character in the party while you move loads of earth and stone throughout the day.

The penalty of rolling a 1 with Reckless Aim especially when it can only be used when the target is engaged in melee seems kinda harsh when you do a potential 3d6+6 points of damage on an ally.

Shadow Lodge

Infuse Specialization: Whoops! I copy/pasted that on the wrong level! Thanks for the heads up.

Move Earth: M.E. has lots of potential for use...and abuse. I expect a lot of GM fiat/table variation on that one outside of PFS play. Would a 1/level per day use limit be called for to prevent M.E.-spamming or am I just seeing potential problems where there are none?

Reckless Aim: Since it's a toggle-able ability, I can be judicious in its use. (However, if it's @redward at my table, it's always gonna be on and I'll be hoping for that Nat 1 for hilarity's sake.)


Sammy T wrote:


Reckless Aim: Since it's a toggle-able ability, I can be judicious in its use. (However, if it's @redward at my table, it's always gonna be on and I'll be hoping for that Nat 1 for hilarity's sake.)

<THUMBS UP!!!>

I don't think Move Earth would be too much of an issue. For stuff like sieges, it'll probably score a defense point or whatever abstract way the scenario/GM is counting up ways the PCs are shoring up defenses.

Getting past walls? Not that much different than spellcasters using burrow, summoning burrowing creatures, shattering doors, disintegrating walls. Kineticists are already pretty limited on utility, enjoy your limits and abilities!

Shadow Lodge

This is a crazy week of gaming for me--5 Pathfinder games in 7 days, 4 of which are with my geokineticist.

SCENARIO:
Library of the Lion

PARTY:
Bard L4 (debuff)
Geokineticist L4
Summoner L3 (melee tagteam)
Wizard L2
Barbarian 1/Warpriest 1

PREGAME:
@redward, our GM, lets us know this is a skill heavy scenario. Word on the street is that you can complete this one without a combat. I pick up another dose of Clear Ear (+2 bonus to Knowledge & Perception and three PF Chronicles (+2 bonus to K: Nature, K: Dungeoneering, UMD: wands).

BRIEFING:
We need to infiltrate a secret archive beneath a library, be in and out within 2 hours and leave no traces. The party preps overnight. The next morning I use my Clear Ear then Flesh to Earth with 2 Burn for DR 4.

INFILTRATION:
The Bard & Wizard pretty much do all the work as we solve an early puzzle, find the hidden archive then search several rooms. My best use is as a trapfinder/searcher with my Perception of +9, otherwise I assist when I can as my skills are not needed. After the bard parlays with a sentient stone lion head, we proceed deeper into the archive, searching more rooms and eventually finding a hidden vault. We fail to solve a puzzle and trigger a combat (which would have been avoided if we solved the puzzle). Being the brave heroes, we had the eidolon attempt to complete the puzzle in room while we huddled in the hallway in case things went wrong. Things go wrong and a Foo Lion and Foo Dog appear.

Until this point, my on contribution has been as mediocre percept-o-bot.

First Encounter:

Round 1:
The Foo Lion bites and grapples the eidolon.

I move into the room, slip into a corner and fire off a blast. Roll a 26 for 13 points of blunt damage on the Foo Dog, bypassing its DR. The Wizard uses a wand of Magic Missile and pings the Dog. The Barbarian/Warpriest (Barpriest) stays in the hall and casts Shield of Faith. The Summoner moves in and begins casting Enlarge of the eidolon. The eidolon misses its attacks. The Bard begins a Mocking Performance, affecting only the Dog and inflicting a -2 penalty on it.

Round 2:
The Lion maintains the grapples and hurts the eidolon some more.

Camped in the corner with clear lines of sight, I gather energy and launch a Pushing Infusion blast--the Lion is next to a wall and knocking him prone would be aces. I hit on a 16 for 12 damage with the right DR bypass...but the Lion does some sort of immediate action to harden his skin and shrug off some of the damage. My Bull Rush fails.

The Barpriest uses a Blessing and moves into the room. The Eidolon enlarges and misses its attacks. The Bard demoralizes the Lion.

Round 3:
The Lion rolls a Nat 1, losing the grapple.

Second verse same as the first. I gather energy and launch a Pushing Infusion blast. I hit on a 16 for 13 damage with the right DR bypass...but the Lion does some sort of immediate action to harden his skin and shrug off some of the damage (I learned later it was hardness 8). My Bull Rush fails.

The MMs and pings the dog. The Barpriest finally engages the Dog and hits...but his damage does not pass through the DR. The tagteam Eidolon and Summoner miss, as does the Dog.

Round 4:
The Lion shreds the eidolon hard and the Summoner absorbs some of the damage to keep it from being dismissed. The Summoner is at -3 HP and only stands because of Die Hard.

I roll and confirm a crit for 29 damage! The stupid Lion does its hardened skin thing and is still standing. My Bull Rush fails.

Naturally the Wizard MMs the lion for 2 pts of damage and drops it.

Only the dog remains. The Barpriest again hits but does not pierce the DR. The Summoners misses his melee attack on the Dog and the Bard moves up and heals him. The Doggie chomps on the Bard for his healing shenanigans.

Round 5:
I hit on a 17 for 11 damage and drop the Foo Doggie.

Combat summary: Hit on all 5 attacks for avg of 15.6 damage. All 4 shots were in the clear with no cover. All were in point blank range. All 3 of my attempted Pushing Infusion Bull Rushes failed. I have yet to actually incur a point of in-combat Burn.

...and that was the only combat of the scenario for us. After that fight, we did some more searching and puzzle solving and got out on the sly. Quick and easy night and now I'm level 5.

SOLID GOLD!
For those keeping track at home, I'm almost 100% on my shots for the last 2 scenarios (14 of 15).

FOOL'S GOLD
0 for 3 on the Pushing Infusion attempts.

CHEAP ASS GOLD THAT MAKES YOUR SKIN TURN GREEN
I didn't even bother or think to use Kinetic Cover.

Not much else to say here that I haven't said already in my previous playtests.

I'm now L5 and have games on Sunday and Monday. With Metakinesis: Empower at my disposal, I'll see if I get an opportunity to pull it out during a combat.

Shadow Lodge

Scenario:
Horn of Aroden

Party:
L5 Geokineticist
L4 Barbarian
L4 Warpriest
L2 Spiritualist and GOB Bluth the spirit

Relevant Stats:
+10 to hit (+12 with Reckless Aim) while in Point Blank Range with Feel the Burn.

3d6+8 damage, can be Empowered.

AC 20 with Mithral +1 Chain Shirt, 18 Dex, and buckler

Plot Hook:
Some noblewoman's son is missing. We are tasked in finding him and talking him out of an adventurous life. We have a face, so other than some secondary Diplomacy or Perception checks during the RP/Investigation, there's not much for me to do.

When we decide to head out into the woods to look for the NPC, I take some Clear Ear and Flesh to Stone for DR5. This costs me 3 Burn, lowering my HP from 48 to 33.

For the first time since I've started playing a kineticist, the Burn mechanic feels onerous.

First Encounter:

We come upon a man at the edge of a bog. All the party members, except the GOB spirit, spot 2 more men hiding in some bushes to the sides with bows!

The Warpriest, GOB and Barbarian move up.

I shoot off an Extra Range Blast and hit on 22 for 19 damage, beat the 20% concealment, and drop one of the hidden archers.

The other Reed Archer pings our Barbarian,

The Warpriest and Barbarian plow forward and assault the Water Guy.
I have a clear shot to the other archer in the reeds. I move action gather energy and fire off an Extra Range Empowered Blast. I hit on 19 for 28 damage. NOPE! The concealment 20% eats the shot.

womp womp

The spiritualist drops prone while GOB moves to attack the Water Guy, who is then killed by the Warpriest. The Barbarian swings over to attack the Reed Archer.

I decide to use Reckless Aim for the first time. I gather energy and toss off an Extra Range Empowered Blast.

Oh no...no no no no...a natural one!!1!!1! I spike my own teammate the Barbarian for 22 points of damage.

Yikes :(

GOB the spirit moves up and hits the Reed Archer, debuffing him (the Reed Archer is now -2 to hit anyone but spirit). The Barbarian misses his smash as does the Warpriest when he piles on.

I gamble and keep Reckless Aim on...but miss on a 10.

Sigh. Just not my fight today.

GOB and the Warpriest slay the Reed Archer and end the ambush.

I apologize to the barbarian and heal him with my wand.

1 hit for 19 damage. 2 misses, 1 to concealment and 1 that blasted the Barbarian for 22 damage. Not a good start.

Second Encounter:
We find and follow a path back to the bandits' camp. We send GOB the spirit ahead to scout and get the lay of the land. We decide on a 2 prong attack. The Spiritualist, GOB and I will distract them from the south and the melee will come in from the north.

Naturally, I get heard and spotted maneuvering in. The melee are still 100' off the map to the north.

Not good.

Surprise round:
I toss up a kinetic cover and use that to make a stealth check. No dice as I'm spotted. A large wolf and two guards come right at me. Unexpectedly, a feral looking woman emerges from a tent. GOB charges the Wolf and misses.

Combat:
From behind my cover, I decide to snipe. I Gather Energy into a Extra Range Empowered Blast.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...NATURAL ONE!!! !!@#$%!@%#@!%$

I crunch GOB the spirit for 27 points! His DR ignores some of it while the Spiritualist eats the rest to keep GOB present. One of the Guards hit GOB for more damage. Again, the Spiritualist eats GOB's damage. Luckily, the wolf misses GOB.

The Feral Woman moves in some more, obviously coming towards me. Gulp! Right now, it's a L2 squishie, his spirit and my ranged self character facing all the baddies in close quarters. GOB goes total defense and the Spiritualist heals himself.

On the other side of the camp, the Barbarian and Warpriest do their damndest to hustle in.

Seeing the Feral Lady closing in on me, I gather/empower/pointblank blast her. 19. A miss!

GOB tanks with his crazy high AC as the guards and wolf miss him.

The Feral Lady misses with her sword swing but hits with a bite. DR soaks it up, but I get tripped in the process. This is my nightmare scenario—prone at the feet of a melee mob.

The Barbarian drinks an Enlarge Pot and finally joins the scrum around GOB, who's AC tanking all the other mobs. While GOB does that, the Spiritualist heals himself. The Warpriest moves in, Fervoring along the way.

At the feet of the Feral Lady, I make a cast defensively check but miss my with my Empowered Blast with a 15. She slashes me with her sword for 20 (DR soaks up 5).

GOB keeps AC tanking and the Barbarian does his best to thin out the guards and wolf. My savior, the Warpriest, finally arrives and lands a significant blow on the Feral Lady from behind. I'm happy I wear a cestus to provide flanking.

I fail a cast defensively roll on my blast, missing by 1 (need a 19)! There are not enough curses for the anguish I feel.

GOB keeps the AC tanking going and the Barbarian keeps working his rage mojo on the guards and wolf.

The Feral Lady goes after the easy target of me on the ground. I eat 2 more hits which, after DR, score for 14 damage.

While the Barbarian drops another guy, the Spiritualist heals me with a CLW wand. I promptly fail a cast defensively roll on my blast. COME ON DICE GODS!

Lady smacks me and drops me to -4. She turns and bites the Warpriest for some damage with her remaining attack.

The Wolf, tired of missing GOB, bites and trips the Barbarian. He stands up, eats an AOO then moves over to help kill the Feral Lady. While GOB smacks guard, the Spiritualist heals himself...which is good because GOB gets hit and the Spiritualist eats some of the damage. The Warpriest lands a massive hit and kills the Feral Lady.

The Barbarian crushes the Wolf, the Spiritualist heals me to consciousnees and we finish off the last guard.

Yeah, we split the party, but thought we could flank our foes. Meh.

I failed 2 cast defensively concentration checks. I whiffed on all 3 of my blasts (once hitting my own teammate for 27 points of damage). My DR5 ate 25 points of damage, which was pretty amazing...too bad my attack rolls were so bad I couldn't capitalize.

Third Encounter:

We find the errant NPC kept captive in a trunk in the camp and convince him to come back with us. We decide that if he gets a taste of combat, perhaps he'll abandon notions of being a hero.

On our return trip, we find a bridge with 2 axebeaks on the far side. We decide to try and get the NPC some combat experience.

The birds stay on the far side and ready an action.

I ping one bird with a 26 for 12 points of damage as we move forward. The Axebeaks move behind cover.

We move forward across the bridge, I throw a kinetic cover to break a potential Axebeak charge lane. The Barbarian drinks a pot and enlarges. We finally engage.

The Barbarian's readied action triggers and hits an axebeak that comes into range.

I Gather/Empower/Point-blank and toggle on Reckless Aim because, what are the odds of a third natural one...

...I roll...

...and get 25 to hit for 36 damage and drop one Axebeak. We go into stall mode to get the NPC an attack, if not killing blow.

Amazingly, GOB the spirit somehow crits twice for 18 damage! We desperately reposition to give the NPC a flank and Aid Another so he gets the killing blow. I intentionally eat an AOO and my DR soaks all but 1 point of it.

The NPC hits and kills the Axebeak, hooray!

I, obviously, felt much better about this encounter as I used almost all Kineticist tools at my disposal: Extra Range, Gather Energy, Empower & Kinetic Cover. The only thing I didn't use was Pushing Infusion.

Due to how things have shaken out so far, this has been my # of games at given level:

L2: 1 game
L3: 2 games
L4: 1 game
L5: 1 game

I will be applying GM credit tomorrow evening, bumping Konraeus to L6 and then possibly playing 2 games L6 before the playtest ends.

I'll post more thoughts tomorrow.

Paizo Employee Designer

If your DR soaks all the damage, you don't even have to worry about the added effects, like trip, which is one cool thing about such high DR.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks, Mark. I was unsure how a bonus combat maneuver would interact with DR. So if something had the bonus grab ability on an attack and DR soaked up all the damage, the grab would not be applied? Neato!

Silver Crusade

Bruno does not find that neato.

Shadow Lodge

Thoughts on my DPS on levels 2-5 so far:

I've been satisfied with my damage so far. Even though my last game was a series of hilarious misfires, I felt perfectly fine with my (3d6+8 x 1.5 Empowered) Blasts and felt fine compared to the two-handed raging barbarian who was swinging for (3d6 + 9 STR + 6 P.A.) -- he might have actually been swinging for slightly more damage (+2 STR belt? +1 Weapon?), but he also had to stand toe-to-toe with his foes.

My current worry: I'm entering iterative attack territory for other pure BAB classes and don't want to fall too far behind. I understand I shouldn't be a top tier damage dealer like a melee barb or pure archer build and I'm perfectly happy with living in the second DPS tier if I have some utility toys or effect riders on my blasts, but I'm afraid I'll fall to a underperforming third tier DPS if I stay a pure ranged kineticist. Much of the pressure I feel to keep my accuracy up is due to the fact that I am a blaster, I only blast once a round and if I miss that blast, I'm failing at my only job. All my feat selections so far (Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Focus, Reckless Aim) have been solely to pre-empt accuracy issues.

Shadow Lodge

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Scenario:
Valley of the Veiled Flame

Party:
L6 Dual-Cursed Life Oracle (non-life link/shield other)
L6 Asmodean Cleric (Sacred Summons)
L5 Rogue 4/Brawler 1
L5 Paladin (Sword and Board)
L5 Geokineticist

My Newest Shiny:
+2 Belt of Dex

Tale of the Tape:
HIT: +11 in Point-Blank range, +13 if Reckless Aim is toggled on
DAM: 3d6+8 in Point-Blank range
AC: 21
HP: 48, 33 after 3 Burn for DR 5

Other notes:
All the other players were very experienced people I enjoy sharing a table with. During the prep, we were very quick to check in with who did what, what character had skill X and other tactical stuff.

Man, I live for pre-game communication like that.

Intro & early RP encounters:

Briefing: A Pathfinder party has gone missing after reporting an illusionary wall in the mountains. Find 'em and bring 'em back home.

Piercing an illusion, we find an Oread town with Ifriti guards. This makes my Geokineticist very angry. THE EARTH SHALL NOT BE RULED BY FIRE.

We find out a Ifrit Genie despot commands the town and has taken our fellow pathfinders hostage. The Asmodean Cleric's Ignan language and my Terran language came into play during the early RP and I thoroughly love it.

The party talks to the last Oread Counselor (?), gets the lay of the land and earns his support. We rally Oread workers at a tavern, and accidentally begin fomenting rebellion! We then talk to a Slag Giant blacksmith and convince him not to supply the Ifrit guards and to instead arm the rebellion.

During these 3 RP encounters, our Diplomancer Oracle and Bluffbot Rogue easily lead the way. I RP where I can and aid skill checks when needed. Occasionally, I end up making an inadvertent Diplomacy check.*

*and this, my friends, is why you put points in Diplomacy even if you're not the party face in PFS.

Honestly, just being a Geokineticist in a town of Oread tickled my fancy something fierce.

Encounter 1:
The final stop of our rallying Oread support was an Alchemist's shop. When we arrive, 2 Ifrit are pouring oil in the shop and the shopkeeper is calling for help. We spring into action!

The Cleric standard action Sacred Summons a pair of Lemures to flank and claw at Ifrit 1.

I have a clear shot and Point Blank/Reckless Aim Blast on Ifrit 1. I hit on a 23 for 18 non-lethal.* The Oracle tosses a Hold Person on Ifrit 2 but the spell fails as it is an outsider. The Rogue charges and misses his attack. The Paladin moves in.

*the Ifrit are the children of the town's Oread and we decided we would not kill any if possible

I laugh at the table when the GM asks about Martial Flexibility. Holy crap! The Ifrit are Brawlers! Ifrit 1 flurries on a lemure, not doing much because of its DR. Ifrit 2 uses Knockout on the other lemure and coldcocks it into unconsciousness.

Seriously, I rather enjoyed that :)

The Cleric wands a Bless while his conscious Lemure claws at Ifrit 1. The Oracle casts Blind, but the second Ifrit makes his save.

I Gather Power/Point Blank/Reckless Aim/Empower Blast, roll a crit but fail to confirm for 24 damage on Ifrit 1.

The Rogue tumbles past Iffy2 and starts working him over. The Paladin misses.

Iffy1 tries to KO the Paladin, but the Paladin shrugs it off. Iffy2 casts Burning Hands, incidentally setting the place on fire.

The Cleric begins summoning a Water Elemental to quench the fire and the Oracle moves in and casts Create Water to drench part of the blaze.

I Gather/PB/RA/Empower Blast and hit with 29 for 28 damage on Iffy1.

The Rogue misses Iffy2 and gets tripped in a return attack. The Water Elemental arrives and puts out a square of fire and the Oracle's Create Water finishes the last of the flames. The KO'd Lemure awakens and joins his brother in dropping Iffy1.

I Gather/PB/RA/Empower Blast and hit with 24 for 36 non-lethal damage on Iffy2, ending the fight.

I was very happy with this fight and especially how the group worked as a team and used good tactics. I know that seems like things one should assume, but PFS games run the gamut of tactical knowledge and character ability. Even though the Paladin didn't hit once with his attacks, he was in the Ifrits' faces doing his thing.

I was 4/4 on my attacks, 3 of which were through cover. I'm growing a little concerned that if I want to Empower without Burn, I have to hope it's a stationary fight or teammates leave me shooting lanes as I'm basically a stationary turret pewpewpewing every round.

Encounter 2:

The Oread rebels begin pushing towards the Keep that is the Genie's seat of power. We join the crowd, head that way and find two Fire Elementals barring our way. Diplomacy fails and the battle is joined.

The Elementals are immune to the Rogue's precision damage and he can barely beat their DR, so he AC tanks one Elemental using Total Defense to boost his AC to 29.

The Sword & Board Paladin tanks the other Elemental, frequently missing attacks and not doing much damage with his Longsword after DR is factored in.

The Oracle casts Bless then basically pocket heals/misfortunes as he has no good spell options.

The Cleric tosses a Shield of Faith on the Rogue (boosting his AC to 31), summons a crocodile to harry an Elemental and pocket heals.

The crocodile occasionally lands some damage and gets a grapple off once. He dies after several rounds of soaking up slams and burn damage.

Then there's me.

To my left, a Tank and pocket healer. To my right, a Tank and pocket healer. This is my time to shine! It is time to let loose with the Earth's fury! They tank, I spank!

This fight would last 11 rounds due entirely to my bad rolling.

Every shot Gather/PB/RA/Empower Blast:
R1: Miss on a 15
R2: Hit for 30 damage
R3: Miss on a 14
R4: Miss on a 15
R5: Miss on a 15
R6: Miss on a 14
(curse and swap d20 out of sheer frustration)
R7: Hit for 30 damage
R8: Miss on a 17
R9: Hit for 34 damage
R10: Hit for 36 damage.
R11: Hit for 31 damage.

Worst. Earthbender. Ever.

To the credit of the group, even if the encounter was a little frustrating due to our own bad rolls, everyone kept their cool and kept on keepin' on with the strategy.

I went 5 for 11. Every shot involved cover or partial cover depending on how well I 5' stepped and if my cohorts remembered to adjust with a 5' step as well. However, cover wasn't the main factor--rolling low single digits did me in. I won't lie, it was just brutal.

At one point, the GM asked, "How many of those (blasts) can you do that a day?"

I answered, "All day every day."

I'm pretty sure I immediately missed my next attack.

Encounter 3:

We enter the Hold and make it into the throne room. We find the Boss Lady and her pet Mephit. 4 prisoners sit upon trapped pressure plates. We try to parlay but the paladin is not having it...plus we failed the hefty diplomacy DC.

I win initiative and tell the Paladin the Big Bad is all his--I will try to take out the Mephit first. I Gather/PB/RA/Empower Blast on the Mephit's flatfoot AC for 21 damage and its DR eats some of it.

The Rogue charges in and misses the Mephit.

The Boss Lady quickens a Scorching Ray, hitting the Oracle, Paladin and me. Of course, I'm the only one without Resist Fire ("I'll be in back, give it to the frontliners...") I eat 15 points of damage. She then drops a Wall of Fire on us. I eat another 17 points of damage. I've taken 32 points of damage in one round and have just 1 HP left! I curse my DR5 and its 3 Burn cost.

The Asmodean Cleric sucks it up and walks through the Wall of Fire then Sacred Summons Lemures to surround the Boss Lady. The Pally activates his Smite, passes through the Wall and double moves next to her. The Oracle Quick Channels healing us for 17 then casts Blindness on the Boss Lady.

She fails! She is blind and surrounded by 3 Lemures and our smiting Pally!

I finish off the Mephit with my patented Gather/PB/RA/Empower Blast for 34 points of damage.

The Rogue moves over and Sneak Attacks the Boss Lady. In a bad spot, she makes a cast defensively check and casts Invisibility. Ugh.

The Paladin Detects Evil and detects the presence of evil above him. He yells this out to me.

I Gather/PB/RA/Empower Blast, beat the concealment roll and deal 28 points of damage.

Before anything of note can happen, the blinded and hurting Boss Lady Plane Shifts away. womp womp

After the sucktacular second fight, I redeem myself in fight three by going 3 for 3. Overall, I was 12 for 18. Again, I do not blame my +hit (as it averaged +12ish) but rather some crappy crappy low rolls.

Playtest #6, my fifth game of PFS in 7 days, is in the can.

More thoughts tomorrow.

Shadow Lodge

As the playtest winds down I have 1, maybe 2, games left with Konraeus the Stonekeeper. After 20ish hours of tabletime with my ranged kineticist from Levels 2-5, here are thoughts that have been rattling around my noggin'

(Note: I understand that we only saw a portion of the kineticist in order to testdrive the chassis of the class and select certain mechanics and that my thoughts may be obviated by developed but unreleased material.)

First Infusion Specialization: There are no compelling reasons to not choose form first. If you are ranged, you will pick up Extra Range. If you are melee, you will pick up Kinetic Blade. You are basically forced to to use your first infuse spec on form since you are a DPS character and ER/KB will be your primary, every round tool. Once you get Empower with its 1 Burn at L5 and you Empower every attack (reduced by move action Gather), you need to have your ER or KB blast reduced by Form speccing. I would like to see more substance options that make that first choice tougher (or less one-sided). I understand bad choices are baked into game design to reward system mastery, but I also value being offered difficult choices.

Pushing Infusion/Pressurized Blast: There are no compelling reasons to ever use PI/PB rather than an Empowered Blast. 1) From L1-5, your 3/4 BAB barely cuts it. 2) As mentioned above, people will most likely take Form Spec at L5. 3) Once Empower comes online, you'll be actively mitigating that Burn cost.

Why would I want to eat a Burn on an ability that most likely won't work?

With its built in Bull Rush max of 5', changing it to be in line with other caster maneuver type spells of Caster Level + Casting Stat gives it some luster and makes it more dependable in its use.

Burn: I am Burn-averse, using it only for my daily buffs. I have yet to suffer Burn in-combat. Looking ahead to upcoming levels, I see nothing that would tempt me to Burn in a fight until L7 (Composite Blast)...and even then, it would have to be pretty dire. I would love to see tempting Wild Talents or class mechanics pre-L7 that force me to make harder choices sooner when it comes to accepting Burn for a payoff.

Tactical options: I'd like different ways to assist my party. Ranged maneuvers? Ranged Aid Another? Etc. Basically, I want more abilities like Magnetic Infusion that allow me to support as well as blast. (How about a lesser version of MI for the base elements w/ a L1 pre-req that grants a +2 to allies to hit that foe? Or a blast effect akin to the Freebooter Ranger's Freebooter's Bane ability)

Differentiation: I hope that, just like Oracles, you could have multiple kineticists in a party who are extremely different in playstyle and conceptual focus other than "I blast it from far away" and "I blast it from melee"

PFS Specific: I know it was hinted that reduced PP costs for retraining may be in the offing for PFS playtesters, but I hope going forward something like that is put out at the beginning of the playtest. PFS folks are burning their one-time plays of scenarios to test a work-in-progress class and PP are a very limited resource. I know a couple of players who limited their playtesting because they didn't want to eat hefty retraining PP costs for when the finalized classes come out. Even though the players get to try something new and shiny, the opportunity cost of scenario-loss and PP retraining cost may actually decrease PFS playtest participation.

Lantern Lodge

I feel I need to make one comment about your levelling plan. You have said that you plan to take your expanded element lv 7 as water to get a touch attack blast and composite blasts, but with the playtest document at this stage there is no way to do this as the composite mud blast requires you to have water blast and earth blast, if you choose the ice blast for a touch attack you don't get a composite blast.

I would also second your comments about lack of utility in the class, especially with the need to split wild talent choices between infusions or utility. I would be in favour of seeing these perhaps separated a bit, granting wild talents as is now and maybe adding a few bonus infusion chances so that you can focus your wild talents on more utility things, and even if people decide to take more infusions over the other wild talents it still doesn't unduly increase their power level since they can only use 2 at a time, it would only increase their combat versatility.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks for pointing that out, Hordshyrd!

Liberty's Edge

I just want to

:%s/geo/terra/g

this thread.

Shadow Lodge

Since it looks like I can still post, I'll add in my most recent game!

Scenario:
The Merchant's Wake

Party:
L5 Geokineticist
L4 Monk (Vanilla)
L4 Warpriest (Pregen)
L4 Arcanist (Brownfur transmuter)
L4 Barbarian

Prep:
Since I blew most of my gold last time gearing up, I make no major purchases.

Since I managed to play 6 PFS games during the playtest, I earned special boon: I have an student occultist follower and once per scenario I can spend a minute to transfer 1 point of burn to him. My morning routine from here on out will be maxing my Flesh to Stone DR and transferring 1 burn to my student because learnin' is burnin'

A face a mother could only love:
We are to attend of a funeral of the mentor of the Trade Prince, Aaqir al'Hakam. While showing our respects we should assist him as needed. We are asked to parlay/negotiate with 5 important people at the funeral. After making ourselves presentable, we chat with some of them. I have the highest diplomacy at L6 with +6(!)...so, I act as the lead with others assisting. At some point, I actually have to give a speech at the funeral! I roll well and pull it off.

Once again, especially in PFS, invest in Diplomacy even if it's not a class skill!

The Monk determines the cleric leading the service is acting somewhat hinky.

Encounter 1:

At the memorial service, the deceased rises as a mummy to attack us! A desert wind effect fatigues the Monk, Warpriest & Arcanist and does non-lethal damage as well.

The monk stands up from the pew and moves into the aisle. I realize that I forgot to Flesh to Stone and have no DR up. I stand up and Earth to Stone, eating 3 Burn for DR5.

The mummy steps up and attacks the Monk. The Barbarian moves in and misses. The Warpriest drops a bless.

The Warpriest and Arcanist get fatigued again and end up exhausted. The Arcanist uses a scroll of Communal Endure Elements to protect the party from further damage.

I have a clear shot and Gather Energy, Point Blank, Reckless Aim and Empower a blast. I miss with a 21.

The Barb lands a solid blow. The exhausted Warpriest moves in and channels to heal the party. Arcanist uses his reservoir to boost an Enlarge on the Barb. The Monk misses.

I Gather/PB/RA/Empower...and miss on an 18.

Barbarian hits for a substantial chunk of change. The mummy returns the favor. The Warpriest fervors a Divine Favor and whacks the mummy. On the Arcanist's turn, the Enlarge triggers. Then the Arcanist boosts a bulls strength on the Monk. Naturally, the Monk misses

I Gather/PB/RA/Empower. Thank God, a hit on 27 for 22 damage.

The enlarged Barbarian misses. The Mummy crits the Barbarian and drops him to -1. The Warpriest 5' steps back, pulls a wand and heals the Barb to 4 HP. The Arcanists drops an infernal healing on the Barb as well.

I Gather/PB/RA/Empower...and miss with a 20.

The Barbarian swings from prone and gouges a chunk out of the Mummy. The GM softballs it and instead of attacking the prone, single digit HP Barb, has the the mummy swings and hit at the monk.

The Warpriest moves in and delivers the finishing blow.

I went 1 for 4 on this fight and basically wasted a round on a buff I should have had up earlier in the day. Not my greatest showing.

After combat, I call over my student to transfer a burn point and kick myself for not having done that earlier. The Warpriest has nothing to remove his exhausted condition and suffers with it for the rest of the scenario.

Encounter 2:

Zombies attack the main building and we have do a chase scene to get through them and rescue our preferred NPC. This a chase sequence is done as a party instead of individuals(?) We flub the first one, wasting time (acrobatics or CMD). The Barb handily cuts past the AC23 attack challenge on the second barrier. I easily beat the REF DC 18 save on the third challenge. We fail the STR check 20 on the last challenge.

We enter the room to find 2 zombies and an assassin attacking a friendly NPC (who's suffered some wounds from our delays).

The Arcanist Burning Disarms, the Assassin holds onto the weapon and eats the damage.

I fire off a Blast at the killer and miss on a 19.

Sigh...it's gonna be one of those nights.

The Monk moves in to grapple the Assassin and fails. The Zombies move up to attack the NPC. The Barb rumbles in and whomps the Assassin.

The Assassin turns invisible but then misses their attack on the wounded NPC. The Arcanist tosses another burning disarm on the assassin who this time decides to drop their weapon.

Everyone, friend and foe, is clustered around the NPC. I go for a clean shot on a zombie. I Gather/PB/RA/Empower, hit on a 28 for 31 points of damage and smoosh the zombie.

The remaining zombie hurts the NPC, who's looking ragged at this point. The Monk and Barb tagteam and drop the Assassin. The Warpriest, stuck at 10' movement rate because of exhaustion, finally joins melee and cleans up the last zombie.

Encounter 3:

We enter a graveyard and find the hinky cleric from before laying on the ground. She's wounded, but we determine the wounds are faked. We enter combat and the Barb smacks her for some non-lethal.

I Gather Energy and Ready a PB/Empower blast to shoot her when she is standing.

The Monk moves in and grapples her.

The cleric decides to channel negative energy. I fail the WILL save and eat 13 damage. The Arcanist Magic Missiles, the Monk maintains the grapple and the Barb hits again for damage.

I realize I had gathered energy for a readied blast and took damage from the channel, meaning I needed a concentration check or I'd eat Burn. At the time, I calculated Base DC 10 + 13 damage + 4 (effective spell level x2)for a concentration check of DC 27 (it should have been DC 25...I didn't need to double the spell level). Needing a 27, I only have a +8 concentration....

I roll 28.

phew.

Ticked off, I Gather/PB/RA/Empower and a 27 hits for 24 damage and kills her.

We find an Animate Dead scroll on the cleric's body. The Arcanist uses it to make a disposable lead body as we descend into a crypt.

encounter 4:

We enter a crypt with 3 skeletons and one boss skeleton

In a single file, we clog a stairway and the skellies are arranged about the door. No one pushes in and eats the AOOs. A little frustrated that none of the melee just go in, I move in and take 4 AOOs moving through threatened squares. Only the skeletal champ hits for 8 damage, but my DR5 eats most of it.

Then, everyone comes off delay and moves in. (Really?) We start clearing out the skellies.

I Gather/PB/RA/Empower...I ROLL A NAT ONE ON MY RECKLESS AIM. Oh crap!

Luckily I have a reroll and use it. I miss on the reroll of 14...which hurts because I would have done max damage.

The next round, only the skeletal champ remains. I Gather/PB/RA/Empower and hit on a 29 for 28 damage, killing it.

Tale of the tape:
Average of +13 to hit all night...but I missed more than I hit by going 4 for 9 for the night. Damage felt good when I hit (which wasn't often). I didn't use Kinetic Cover or Pushing Infusion. Ate burn in combat for the first time in 7 games...but only because I forgot to use Flesh to Stone at the beginning of the day.

If I'm stuck at a hit ratio of 50%, I could see myself cheesing every possible way to boost my hit bonuses.

Not much else to add other than this post-playtest blow-by-blow as I've pretty much said everything else I've been thinking upthread.

Thanks for reading. I hope you found some entertainment in my trials and tribulations. I promise to keep Reckless Aiming and almost killing my fellow party members as much as possible!


FWIW, max damage on a reckless aim kills the Arcanist (me) dead-dead. Which is why I made sure I was never anywhere near a bad guy.

If I could have prepared a second L2 spell for the day, it would have been Cat's Grace to give him +6 Dex, but with only one slot and three melee in the party Bull's Strength was the safer bet.

I'd meant to prepare Reduce Person for Konraeus but forgot. Other than the (harmless?) loss of Strength, it's all upside, especially with an extra +2 Dex from the Brown-Fur's Powerful Change ability.

Which is all to say potions of Reduce Person seem like a really good purchase for a ranged Kineticist.

---

My disorganized thoughts on playing alongside and GMing for a Kineticist:


  • His damage with an empowered shot is pretty impressive, but next level is where that starts to change when the full BAB classes start getting additional attacks.

  • Unlimited blasts never fails to raise an eyebrow, regardless of damage or accuracy.

  • Earth and Telekinetic blast's ability to deal with physical DR makes them seem like the hands-down best choice for early levels. Otherwise you're looking at some very frustrating sessions when you hit a bad stretch of DR or Resistance.

  • Seeing a Kineticist in action did not inspire me to run out and make my own. It's still early, but the lack of options seems very limiting. Kind of seems like a single-element blasting Sorcerer with less to do if something is invalidating your element (again, the flexible physical damage of earth and telekinesis help a lot here). But I'm also the type of player who will always choose flexibility over optimization.

  • Reckless aim works well in our group (we all hope for Nat 1s), but I can see it causing some heartburn in less easygoing parties. Use with caution.

  • 2+Int skill point classes are rough.


Sammy T wrote:


basically wasted a round on a buff I should have had up earlier in the day. Not my greatest showing.

Since Flesh of Stone is an immediate action to activate, why not wait til you actually get hit first with a physical attack first before activating it? For example, in case you get hurt with energy damage, such as scorching ray or negative energy channel, first which would have bypassed your DR anyways.


Also, while the playtest forums remain unlocked (for who knows how long) just wanna say thanks for your playtest reports. You've posted several reports that I've found real useful when comparing with my pyrokineticist (I'm still pretty happy with my accuracy even if I do suck against fire resistance when I run into it). Happy gaming!

Shadow Lodge

Holy tomatoes, Protoman!

I knew dismissing it was an immediate action, but I mistakenly thought activating it was a standard action. Cue star and rainbow.

Shadow Lodge

I might be able to squeeze in one more playtest at L6 if the forums are still open later tonight.

Trying to mitigate the action economy of having to chug potions of Reduce Person, someone on the forums directed me to: Spelunker's Mail

Unfortunately, it caps out at +5 DEX for AC Bonus, which means most Kineticists will be close to outgrowing it when they can afford it (if they're concerned about their AC). For home games, not an issue as you can improve it with the GM's permission; for PFS, you're out of luck.

Shadow Lodge

Scenario:
Weapon in the Rift

Party:
L7 Investigator (Empiricist)
L6 Geokineticist (Ranged)
L5 Oracle 1/Sorceror 4 (Awesome Display/Color Spray)
L5 Monk (Vanilla)

Prep:
I picked up some potions of Reduce Person and Protection from Evil. Since Reduce doesn't affect my Blast and boosts my DEX, +hit and AC I will probably try to use it when I can prebuff.

I'll be very honest, I've been half-assing much of my utility gear purchasing—-in the crunch of playing 8 (9?) games in 5 weeks with this character (and playing another character and GMing a high level mod in that same time), I've only focused on the essentials. Usually I drop 2PP per adventure for utility pots (fly, daylight, etc), but because retraining is so expensive*, I'm hoarding my PP and don't carry a full suite of adventuring gear. That may come to bite me in the ass.

(As folks noted in the PFS feedback thread, playtesters don't like eating full retraining costs on a class that will change upon release....myself included.)

Newest Toy:
Now that I have Snaking infusion, I can just snake around cover and allies...but at the loss of using Empower on my blast (2 base burn cost, -1 Form specialization, -1 gather energy). Using Snaking and Empower would incur 1 Burn...so, using that would have to be for the OMG MUST HIT SITUATIONS.

Relevant Stats:
HP 57
AC 21
DR 6
+13 to hit with a Point Blank Blast (+15 with Reckless Aim)
3d6+9 damage in Point Blank range

Hook:
A secret holy weapon in the World Wound is hidden in a tower in a demon-infested area. We are sent to study and activate it as needed.

I activate Stone to Flesh, take 3 Burn for DR 6 and transfer 1 Burn to a student follower of mine (playtest boon).

We head to the tower where a camp of crusaders prepare for a demon attack.

The Investigator self-buffs and then crushes all the perceptions and trap disables. Along the way we find an item and the Sorceror identifies it as holy hand grenade.

We work our way through a combination puzzle and find a room with 2 deranged Hound Archons.

Encounter 1:

From the get go, the Sorceror pits one.

Not having the angle on them, I move action Gather and then ready a Blast. The Archons teleport into our faces, triggering my Empowered/Point Blank blast for 31 damage (reduced by DR10/evil).

The Monk melees and misses. The Investigator steps back, studies, shoots and misses. The Sorceror casts a defensive spell on the Monk...but steps into my shooting lane while doing so.

Because of the DR issue, I forgo Snaking and go with Empowering. I Gather/Empower/Point Blank/Reckless Aim and hit on a 20 for max damage of 40! Again, their DR eats a chunk of it.

The Investigator repositions and snipes. The Sorceror pulls out his Awesome Display/Color Spray trick...only to fail the SR check.

I go for the throat and Gather/Emp/PB/RA...

NAT 1 ON RECKLESS AIM!

Knowing that it would do 36 damage to the poor monk (we roll hit&dam at same time), I burn a GM reroll to prevent friendly fire. Unfortunately, I miss on the reroll.

The Monk slips back and flurries with his shuriken...missing with every one. The Investigator likewise misses on her ranged attack. The battle has shift and I have to move before taking a shot. I PB Blast for 15 damage--DR soaks up 2/3rd of that shot :(

One of the Archons teleports behind us! The Monk melees and misses. The Investigator hits on a ranged shot and sickens one. I Gather/Emp/PB/RA and hit for 33 damage (23 after DR).

The Archon slashes me for 16, but my own DR stops 6 of that. The Monk grapples it. The Sorcerer pings a Magic Missile, but fails the SR check. I PB Blast for 25 damage, killing one. The Investigator feathers her foe and finishes it off.

The first combat tells me pretty much how the rest of the dungeon will go--I will shoulder the DPS burden, the monk will most likely Flurry of Misses, the Investigator will plink with her arrow once a round and the Sorceror, when not Magic Missiling with a wand, will be dropping control spells.

I go 5 for 7 in the first combat, eating a hefty DR 10 on every blast. I'm thankful my type of blast was not affected by the Hound Archons' SR 15.

We do some more exploring, finding powerful crystals. We gather them as we explore, enlarge the monk before opening a door and then we run into...

Encounter 2:

...a unique Allip.

The Sorceror and I fail our Babble saves, and become fascinated. At L6, my WILL is a piteous +3...I need to rectify that ASAP.

The Allip whomps the Investigator and does WIS damage to boot. The Investigator engages the Allip while the Monk shakes the Sorceror awake.

The Allip hits the Investigator again, dropping his WIS to 2, then flies into a corner of the room. The Investigator understandably retreats into another room. The Monk enters and readies an action to wail on the Allip. The Sorceror shakes me out of the fascination. I Gather/Emp/PB/RA and hit for 30 damage...but only half goes through because it is incorporeal.

blerg. Back to back battles with damage reduction to the my blast.

The Allip fly-by attacks the Monk. The enlarged Monk takes his readied and AOO attacks while the Allip misses. The 2 WIS Investigator hangs out in the other room to avoid getting WIS damaged into unconsciousness.

The rest of the fight is pretty much the Sorceror wanding MM, me Gather/Emp/PB/RA blasting and the Monk missing/getting a kama oiled up while the Allip fly-by attacks and WIS damages the monk. I finally drop the Allip with one of my gimped 1/2 damage blasts.

I go 4 for 5 on blasts this fight, but every blast only did 1/2 damage. Uff, I feel the pain of DR I can't counter dulling my one combat ability. I'm 9 for 12 overall and have yet to do a full damage blast or use a Snaking Blast.

The Allip's spirit tells us there is a weapon in the next room and the GM gives a us a quick primer on what we need to do--basically, we need to get the gathered crystals into a control panel and turn on the weapon to defeat the demons attacking the tower. We hear a ruckus in the next room and quickly buff up. I drink my potion of Reduce Person, the Monk gets enlarged, the Investigator drinks a defensive something and away we go.

Encounter 3:

We open the door and see a huge apparatus (the weapon) and 2 demons, demondee and demondum, wrecking it. A stairway wraps around the room and ends at a platform with the control panel.

I move in and onto the stairs then PB Blast demondee for 18 damage.

The monk double moves in all the way to the far side and next to demondum. The Sorceror Pits the demondee. Meanwhile, the Investigator quaffs an expeditious retreat extract and begins the long run up the exposed staircase. The demondum roughs up the Monk a little bit.

And then a gargantuan CR 16 demon bursts through the wall...basically almost on top of the Monk and underneath the stairs where the Investigator must pass.

Well, @#$%@$%&@.

From behind us runs in one of the major NPCs from earlier (a paladin) and her 2 pally mooks.

The Monk goes Total Defense, spends a Ki Point to boost his AC and moves away to the other side of demondum. The Shemhazian wallops him on the AOO but at least the Monk is no longer standing next to it in full attack range.

The Sorceror silent images a fake mist near the control panel so the Investigator can hide in it when she gets there. Speaking of which, she keeps hustling up the stairs.

The Shemhazian drops a Mass Inflict Light Wounds on the pally pack, nicking the Sorceror as well. The NPC Pallies move in and engage.

From the stairs, I Gather and use a Snaking Blast to arc over the enlarged Monk to avoid cover, doing 25 damage to demondum.

Demondum hits the monk and takes him to 0 HP. Disabled, the monk 5' steps back and pulls a CMW pot out, intending to drink it next turn. The Sorceror readies a color spray near the pitted demondee, in case it manages to climb all the way out. The Investigator, against all odds, is missed by the Shemhazian's AOO and is at the control panel!

Demondum drops the monk into the negatives.

Then, the Shemhazian shakes and stones fall onto us.

I make my REF save and my DR 6 eats the stone damage...however the unconscious Monk failed his save and is on the cusp of death. The original pit spell ends, bringing up demondee. The Sorceror tries to repit it, demondee makes its REF save.

Both demons are but 5' steps away from the downed Monk.

I 5' step off the stairs, make the Acrobatics check for the 10' drop, swift action use my spring-loaded sheath for my CLW wand, and cross my fingers that my +13 UMD skill will work.

I get 32.

The monk is now stable...but now I have 2 demons in full attack range of me.

Across the room, the Investigator begins doing stuff at the panel.

Thanks to Reduce Person boosting my AC, the 2 full attacking demons only
hit once...and my DR eats that attack. I 5' step away from one, but still am in melee of the other. I chance the AOO and Gather/Emp/PB Blast Demondum. I get hit by its AOO but only take 1 point of damage after DR. I easily make the concentration check and drop that ugly mofo with 33 damage.

The Sorceror tries to color spray demondee, but it makes the save.

The Shemhazian kills 2 of the pally mooks and gravely injures the main pally. We all know time is running out on us.

Demondee goes for me but misses his attacks. I 5' and Gather/Emp/PB his face with with confirmed crit...but roll low and only do 35 damage. Womp Womp.

Luckily, it's still enough to drop him.

The Sorceror moves over to the unconscious Monk and rolls low on his CLW...only 2 HP are healed. The Investigator keeps doing panel stuff and, with nothing else to do, I toss off a Snaking Blast across the room at the BBEG. Even though I miss, it's pretty much the only thing I can do at this point.

The Shemhazian finally drops the NPC paladin that has been plot-tanking it.

The Investigator almost maxes an inspired UMD check to pump up the panel before activating the weapon.

For my temerity in attacking him, the BBEG flies across the room and goes for me. I cringe. He hits for 30 damage and 4 STR. My DR takes the edge off.

Toe to toe with a CR16 Demon, I go for it. I make my cast defensively check...but miss with my blast. Damn. It would have been a great story.

The Investigator activates weapon. It drops a high level Holy Word and destroys the demon! Hooray us!

I go 4 for 6 this fight...but to be fair, I was 4/4 on the mooks. Landing a shot on the BBEG was most likely not going to happen.

I'm 13 for 19 overall, with 9 of the connecting shots on creatures that had DR 10 or took 1/2 damage.

I'll have to sit down and try to math it out, but my blast typically does 3d6+8 now. If a target has cover, is it better to Empower for the 1.5 damage or to Snake for regular damage without the (effectively) -4 penalty to hit?

Forum wisdom is that +1 to hit is worth approx 2 damage.

If my blast does and average of 17.5, an empowered blast would do an average of 26.25 while a snaking blast would be the equivalent of a 25.5. I know that's not the official math, but I wonder how much of a difference there is at this level and if Snaking should only be used when facing improved or total cover (or when a target is around a corner) instead of trying to ameliorate partial or normal cover...basically just try to muscle through with your regular +hit.

Anyways, its 1:30 am, I'm rambling and it's time to sleep.


Sammy T wrote:
I'll have to sit down and try to math it out, but my blast typically does 3d6+8 now. If a target has cover, is it better to Empower for the 1.5 damage or to Snake for regular damage without the (effectively) -4 penalty to hit?

From a pure DPR perspective, the answer is that as you level up, it will be better to Empower, because the penalty is a static -4 while the damage boost scales linearly.

IOW, using the general +1 hit ≅ +2 damage, you want to Empower once it's giving you ~8 extra damage. But you'll need to adjust for especially high-AC opponents.

One thing that may prove especially useful to ranged Kineticists is flight, and at lower levels, something like the Slippers of Spider Climbing. Get up above the fray so you can shoot down without worrying about most cover and be much harder to reach in melee.

Earth Climb and the various other elemental flight possibilities are nice, but I don't know if they're worth sacrificing other options when they can be largely replaced with items.

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