Kineticist playtest - Home campaign

Playtest Feedback

Disclaimer: My experiences is anecdotal evidence. People playing under other conditions will have drastically different experiences.

That said, I've played a kineticist for the duration of my home campaign's final arc, alongside my regular character.

The campaign was an e6 campaign, meaning we never advanced above 6th level, instead gaining a feat every 5k xp above 6th.
I think we do things very differently from AP's and PFS, encounters here are notably more brutal. You'll see what I mean. As such, my findings probably won't reflect what people playing pfs and ap's find, and that's just fine, but I'd like for these classes to be usefull to me, myself, hence me giving you the data. I believe it usefull as a stress test of what a kineticist can do.

The party consisted of 9 players. We were all level 6 by the time I added a kineticist, and at the final battle we all had 5 additional feats. I'll give an outline of the party in the below spoiler.

-A str 22 barbarian who used invulnerable rager in conjunction with stalwart and fighting defensively to get DR 8.

-A str 22/dex 20 tiefling(some variant with a str bonus) fighter who had a mithral full-plate and dual-wielded shortswords(she had 2 pairs, one silver and one cold iron) AC in the high twenties.

-A gunslinger who used various rule tricks to dual-wield double-barreled pistols and full-attack every round for a shit-ton of damage. He had trouble dealing with DR though, on account of thinking cold iron bullets didn't exist. Eventually died and made a half-orc barbarian who was made to have as many hp as possible, and continue fighting while in the negatives.

-A tiefling(standard) vivisectionist alchemist, dex-based, used mutagen to give himself claws and a bite, relied on . When fighting foes with DR, he two-weapon fought with dual cold iron or silver daggers.

-A blaster wizard who eventually died and made a summoner. The wizard was a blaster & buffer, the summoner's main job was haste dispensing.

-A dwarven 20 wis, 16dex, 14str cleric 5/monk 1. Had started his career specialized in crafting, his main combat contribution was buffs. His AC was sort of low for the party.

-Me, an archer bard6. I had really good stats and used many different sorts of arrows to pretty good effect. I teamed up with the barbarian and used feromone arrows to give him +2 to hit and damage on top of my other bonuses.

-A master of many styles monk 2/mutagen brawler 2/bloodrager 2 who joined partially through, he used a high strength, rage, mutagen and dragon style/ferocity & pummelling style/charge to deal devastating damage. His defenses were a little weak, but not entirely shabby.

-A paladin who joined partially through. He had a mounted build, but didn't get to use his mount all that much. Still, various stuff made him kick-ass as hell. He died eventually, and his player didn't roll up a new character.

The Build

CE Human Kineticist 6
+6 initiative
+10 ranged, Aether blast(+11Point blank, +9 deadly aim), 3d6+12PBS, +16DA & PBS
+10 melee, kinetic whip or kinetic dagger, +8/+8 both, 3d6+11
30ft movement
Burn (Max 9)
Element Focus: Aether
Telekinetic blast
Force Ward 6+3/burn
Feel the Burn +2
Infusion Specialization(Kinetic Whip)

Wild Talents (DC 19)
1 - Kinetic Blade
2 - Kinetic Healer
4 - Extended Range
6 - Kinetic Whip
84(6d8+48) rolled, minimum 4 on each die, 8 at 1st.
23AC, 19FF, 15T, 18CMD
+13fort, +11ref, +7will
Stats(rolled): Str9, Dex18, Con22, Int10, Wis14, Cha17
Feats: 1 - Stealth Synergy, H - Point Blank Shot, 3 - Medium Armor Proficiency, 5 - Precise Shot, E1 - Weapon Finesse, E2 - Iron Will, E3 - Two-weapon Fighting, E4 - Toughness, E5 - Deadly Aim
Skills: Stealth +17
Traits:+1 to will saves, +2 initiative
Items: +2 con, +2dex, +1 natural, +1deflection, +1 mithral breastplate, +2 resistance, 10 silver daggers, 10 cold iron daggers

A note on the build: We interpreted that you're allowed to use both kinetic blade & whip in the same round if you're prepared to deal with the burn, and that using daggers made from special materials for throwing allows you to bypass DR (after the first time encountering demons)
Whip & blade was included mainly in order to capitalize on the haste that always got laid down in combat.

I'll be breaking down the combats in the following posts.

Day 1.

First combat. Pre-combat Carrie'd taken 2 burn from her elemental defense in order to take advantage of Feel the Burn.

The enemy force consisted of:

21 imperial soldiers using Guard Officer stats
3 imperial battle mages
2 officers

We got the drop on them, and although the enemy wizards got to act in the surprise round on account of them being diviners, they wasted their turn buffing. Our wizard won initiative, and hit all of the enemies with a fireball and a cone of snowballs before they managed to move out of formation.

The only thing left for us martial types to do was cleaning up: the wizards were fried and the officers were the real battle. Carrie's first two turns were rather ineffective: she only managed to topple over a soldier in one of them. They did not require much damage to go down.

On her third and fourth turn, she attacked one of the officers. Raging as they were, they took a lot to take down, and the damage done to that were her main contribution to the fight.

One of the straggling soldiers managed to kill our wizard; he was low on hp from an earlier encounter, a fact the rest of us was unaware of.

As an overall verdict, Carrie did not do well here. Her to-hit was all right, if bordering on the low side, her AC was fine, but lack of AoE or multiple attacks meant that she was outshined by the bard, vivisectionist, gunslinger and the fighter, while the barbarian was far superior in dealing with the two tough foes, by virtue of better melee defenses, more bonus damage, etc..

She ended up with 5 burn at the end of that combat, having spent 3 to empower, and used move actions to deal with extended range burn.

Her ability to at-will heal was appreciated after the combat. We were already sort of able to do this by virtue of wands of cure light wounds, but shop access was scarce at that point, so a renewable resource is good.

A quick note on the build: you don't take Infusion Specialization (Kinetic Whip), and then Whip counts as one less burn. You take Infusion Specialization (Form), and then all Form Infusions cost one less burn. So at her level, Extended Range and Kinetic Blade costs 0 Burn and Kinetic Whip 1.

I'm curious about why you decided to spend 3 Burn to Empower on what's mostly a clean-up engagement. What was the thought process behind that?

I'm also not sure why the Alchemist was outshining you? He's locked into three attacks per round (assuming he's not TWFing, which wouldn't be the case based on your initial statistics). You're locked into two. A difference, certainly, but not a massively noticeable one in a clean-up operation.

How did she fare defensively?

1) I've been doing it wrong then. That would have been nice to know, a melee full attack costing 1 burn instead of two would have made it a much more lavish resource.

2) The three burn were for taking down the officers. Most of our characters were held up fighting soldiers, leaving one officer to fight our barbarian while the other one ran around doing a lot of damage to people that couldn't really take it. I was trying to take him down quickly. Also, we usually only have one or two fights / day, so resources not used are wasted. Leaving enemies to take their turn has the possibility to let them kill teammates, so if resources have to be expended to take them down, I'd rather take the chance of running out in the next fight as opposed to someone dying. They dealt 2d8+26 damage per turn with good to hit. That made them important enough to warrant expeditious executiony.

3) the alchemist used those three attacks/round to poke at two or three soldiers per round, making them fall over. He has an extremely high to-hit, falling in somewhere around +13 while using mutagen. At the time he was also using swift actions to drink extracts via a trait, an exploit that was outlawed after that battle. For the first two rounds I was trying to conserve burn, and since apparently I misunderstood the rules, A full attack cost me 2 burn as I had no move action to dampen it. It might have turned out differently if I hadn't run Infusion specialization like that.

4) Defensively, she was allright. No saving throws in that battle, her AC was around bench-mark, if a tad on the low side. I kept her out of the fray to avoid taking burn for melee attacking, instead standing still and firing (empowered) extended range blasts.

Okay. I'd misinterpreted the danger that the officers represented, hence some of my confusion.

So, this is what I'm seeing. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Offenses: Carrie suffers against multiple targets, but she seems like she did good sniping at single targets. With the officers having a low AC that might not be the best stress-test, but how was her raw damage output against the officers?

Resources: Had you played the Infusion Specialization by the book, you wouldn't have had to expend any Burn (or could have moved and taken Burn, but I'm thinking that sitting back and sniping worked for you well enough here). However, expending the move action for Empowering was more-or-less necessary to maintain damage output at acceptable levels.

Defenses: Not great but didn't really come up a great deal.

Is that a relatively accurate summation?

That seems pretty accurate. Her defenses aren't 'not that great' they're just fine for someone that is at best a melee skirmisher.

Damage output was 3d6*1.5+13(9 base bonus, 2 bardic music, 2 feel the burn) with +12 to hit, which was near autohit, averageing 28.75 damage. It seems respectable, but it took 3 turns to bring him down, so he must've made his reflex saves, or maybe I just rolled low. Meanwhile, the barbarian took down his officer in a single round, so I didn't feel very impressed. He does have a higher damage output; with 26 str while raging, power attack, and two attacks, he's beating Carrie handily.

Day 1

Second & final combat of the day. Enemy force consisted of three waves. During our investigation we foolishly activated a summoning circle that set off the scheduled apocalypse two weeks early.

At the start of combat, Carrie has 54hp + 12 temp, and the ability to take 4 more burn.

First wave consists of four babaus. We dispatch them rather easily, although the close quarters force me to enter melee with the blade talent, using move actions to avoid burn. I have no way to deal with DR 10/cold iron.

We use clever tactics to force them to move in order to flank, those of us with cold iron weaponry converging on one of those posed to take a nasty full sneak attack on their turn. It works like a charm, and two and a half round later, the last one goes down. During this fight, the GM forgot about their defensive slime.

Carrie has now taken two hits, and they've put her at ~45hp.

We take a moment to heal. During the third round, a trickle of blood starts to pour from the summoning circle. We feel the room shaking. On the fourth round, something rips apart the portal to the lower planes, and a ceustodaemon rears its head at us. We are all caught in its breath weapon. Carrie makes her save easily. We lose some time as we switch to silver weaponry, but dispatches it in two rounds. As we fight, the GM keeps mentioning something big making its way through the portal. We figure, What the hell, we just faced down a bunch of dangerous stuff, we can probably take it.

At this point carrie has spent two more burn. She's currently at 18hp.

The thing comes through; It's a Derghodaemon. Carrie succeeds her saving throw by a hair, avoiding the feeblemind.

She goes down to a hit by a claw; the damage is bad, but the con damage is just nasty on her.

The rest of the party realize that they can't deal with the DR when it's attached to that amount of hp, swarms, con-damage, feeblemind & associated nastiness, and drag her out in order to get the hell out of dodge; the daemon pursues almost off-handedly.

Thoughts; You can certainly feel your hp going down due to burn. Not having a way to deal with DR hurts a lot, and I'm really glad that I don't have to think about (spell) resistances or immunities. After that combat, we agreed that if you had cold iron blades, you could throw them with telekinesis to overcome that sort of DR.
She was not as hurt by this as the gunslinger or the fighter. The 'slinger in particular was unable to do anything. The point is moot though, as that fight was unbeatable regardless.

Allowing for a wealth of small special material weapons to be carried around as ammo might have been against the rules, now that I read them again.

Even if a telekineticist uses this power on a magic weapon or other unusual object, the attack does not use any of the magic weapon’s bonuses or effects and simply deals the telekineticist’s blast damage.

Is ability to bypass DR/something encompassed by "effects"?

If the answer to the above question is in fact, "no", then I've been cheating, and (nearly) all my damage from here on out is reduced by 10.

The Dragon wrote:

Allowing for a wealth of small special material weapons to be carried around as ammo might have been against the rules, now that I read them again.

Even if a telekineticist uses this power on a magic weapon or other unusual object, the attack does not use any of the magic weapon’s bonuses or effects and simply deals the telekineticist’s blast damage.

Is ability to bypass DR/something encompassed by "effects"?

If the answer to the above question is in fact, "no", then I've been cheating, and (nearly) all my damage from here on out is reduced by 10.

I asked that question in the thread, especially focusing on special materials (like, using adamantine arrows).

Mark responded with nope, Aether covers the object with their telekinesis, so it doesn't overcome dr.


Edit: Linky for his response

Yeah, by RAW no special materials. That said, I honestly don't think that's an unreasonable houserule-- right now the Kineticist has basically no access to items (there's no magic weapon that works for them without neutering them horribly in one way or another), so they're saddled with no way to overcome DR unless you're an 8th level Earth/Earth Kineticist who's willing to eat 2 Burn per attack for a Rare Metals-infused Metal blast.

Come release time, I would think that they'll have some way of acquiring a magic item more-or-less akin to the Amulet of Mighty Fists (which, with enough boosts, means they can counter DR). If not, they're basically screwed on every front. There's no way for the Kineticist to survive unless they can fight over DR and Energy Resistance alike.

So, given that I think the design team is smart enough to realize that that's something the Kineticist needs, houseruling in something for a similar effect seems reasonable to me.

But that's me. Point it out with your GM, chat with them, see what happens.



Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Occult Adventures Playtest / Playtest Feedback / Kineticist playtest - Home campaign All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Playtest Feedback