Playtest, TerraKinetic, PyroKinetic, Occultist

Playtest Feedback

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Playtest Feed-Back, Occult Adventures

I ran a short Play-Test adventure, using three characters from Occult Adventures, a Human Pyro-Kinetic (Set up for ranged combat), Gnome Terra-Kinetic (AKA Geo-Kinetic, set up for switch hitting) and a Human Occultist (Generalist), all played by experienced players. We had a newer player join us as well, who played a Rogue. All Level 8, 20 point buy, 23,000 gp gear. Here are the Results, player feedback (Copied from player notes, I may or may not agree, but the player feedback is what they gave me), and DM feed back (From me). Combat Logs in spoiler tags for each battle.

Gnomes Kinetic Blast Attack bonus was +13 (Vs Standard AC)
Human's Kinetic Blast Attack bonus was +11 (Vs Touch AC)
Human Occultist (Evocation-Rod, Transmutation-Sword, Conjuration-Figurine, Abjuration-Amulet)

Part 1: The Missing Caravan

As a one-shot play test, it was a fairly simple mission. A Caravan failed to arrive, and its last known location was the dark woods to the north... The players investigated the caravan's last known location and found the sight of a battle. The players investigated the sight of the battle, or more accurately, the Rogue and Occultist did. The two Kineticist stood guard.

With only 2 and 3 skill's, they couldn't contribute much to the investigation. I'm not going to concentrate much on this issue, as it has been covered in great length in other places.

Discovering evidence of trolls leading a bunch of humans away from the sight of the battle, the players followed, eventually finding...

Part 2: The Ravine

1 Rock Troll (Cr 6) and 3 Trolls (Cr 5), guarding a Ravine. This was meant to be an easy encounter to give everyone a chance to get used to their classes. Combat kicked off about as fast as one would expect, with the players getting the drop on the trolls.

Troll AC's went from 16-20 Depending on cover (Touch 11-15), while the Rock Troll was 19-23 (Touch 10-14)

Combat Log, Battle 1:

Surprise Round:
Player's moved into positions, and the Occultist ID's the Rock Troll. Thick canopy prevents sunlight from effecting the Rock Troll.

Round One:
Pyro-Kinetic gathers power (Move action), and fires off a Snaking Burning blast at one of the Trolls. Using a forest battle map, Snaking allowed the Pyro to curve his shot, avoiding cover, and setting the Troll on fire. 17 fire damage.
Issue: Upon reading Burning Infusion, it is listed as “Reflex Negates”. I think this should read “Reflex Partial”. Wouldn't Reflex Negates also negate the damage?

Geo-Kinetic double moves, being a gnome, his slower movement speed and lack of the “Extended Range” infusion meant he was out of range.

Occultist double moves to avoid bush's and tree's in his firing lines (The troll he had meant to attack moved before he acted).

Rogue, Moves and Stealth.

Troll puts himself out. Trolls move.

Highlights: Lots of positioning, Snaking Blast is really useful in a forest.

Round Two:
Pyro-Kinetic gathers power (Move action), Fires an Empowered Extended Range fire blast, Hits for 29 fire damage. Troll is having a bad day.

Geo-Kinetic move's and “Throws a Rock at it”. Targets the Rock Troll, Hits for 17 damage.

Occultist moves and uses one point of Focus in his Evocation Implement to hit a fresh troll with a fire ray. Hits for 22 damage.

Rogue snipes from hiding with a crossbow. Crits, dealing 31 damage to Rock troll. Rogue's 39 stealth check makes it a 19 perception for the trolls to see where the shot came from, and the two with lines of sight fail. (First time I have seen someone pull this off).

One troll moves in on Geo-Kinetic (Attacks, hits but only 2 damage after DR), Rock troll moves forward, moving within 5 feet of the hiding rogue and stops (sniff, sniff). Bad day troll moves up to the Occultist (unable to reach the Pyro-Kinetic, he try's to take his anger out on his friend) and try's to bite him (Miss) 4th troll moves toward Occultist as well.

Highlights: Everyone hits. Rogue Snipes, Crits, Sneak Attack's for 29. Pyro lands another blast for 29. Geo “throws a rock at it” for 17 and Occultist hits for 22.

Round 3:
Pyro-Kinetic moves and fires a fire blast. Hits for 20, Drops Bad day troll.

Geo-Kinetic 5 foot steps back and hits the troll that attacked him with a Pushing Blast, hits for 19 and push's the Troll back 5 feet.
Issue: The CMB uses you're CON, but makes no mention if you suffer the special size penalty for being a small character.

Occultist casts Burning Hands hitting two Trolls. 16 Damage to one, 8 Damage to the other (bad day troll, before he dropped).

Rogue attacks Rock Troll. Hits for 6 (no sneak attack).

Trolls attack, Occultist takes a lot of damage, rogue takes some damage too. Geo-Kinetic gets attacked but DR prevents almost all of it.

Highlights: Everyone hits, Pyro drops Bad Day Troll (His day didn't get any better), Occultist catch's two trolls in a burning hands but takes a beating in return, Geo hits knocking the troll back 5 feet preventing a full attack.

Round 4:
Pyro-Kinetic fires a Blue-Fire Blast in an attempt to knock out the Rock Troll. Misses (Rolled a 1) and takes 1 Burn.

Geo-Kinetic fires a Metal Blast at Rock Troll, hits for 31 damage. 1 Burn (3 total)

Occultist fires a fire bolt at Troll, hits, 20 damage, dropping it.

Rogue Crits Rock troll for 20 damage, KOing it.

End Combat (Final troll finished off in a volley of stone and fire from three sides, trolls are prevented from regenerating by Pyro-Kinetic and dispatched).

Highlights: Blue-Fire used but Misses. Metal Blast hits but does an unimpressive amount of damage. Rogue and Occultist each drop a target.

Battle One Review: Fairly easy fight for these characters. Environment made Snaking Infusion very useful (Paizo Flip Mat "Deep Forest", non-river side). Geo-Kinetic character lost an entire turn moving because of short range and slow movement. Occultist player used 2 evocation focus and one 1st level spell. Both Kinetics suffered 1 Burn (Geo at 3 total).

Player Feed-Back, Gnome Geo: Pushing Infusion could use some modification, clarifying if small characters suffer the special size modifier to CMB. Also, restricting distance pushed to 5 feet seems unnecessary.

Player Feed-Back, Human Pyro: Not much to add; Snaking Infusion was great.

Player feedback, Human Occultist: Good selection of options, still "feeling out" the character at this point. This build wasn't made for melee, so it took a beating.

GM Feed-Back: Burning Infusion lists "Reflex Negates", which would generally mean a passed save means no damage. Could lead to confusion, "Reflex Partial" Suggested.

Part 3: Excavated Temple

The Hero's move into the Ravine, and find caves that lead into a dungeon. I actually used a high quality printout of the Catacombs of Wrath I still have from running RoTRL. The Hero's move in, explore and find the Northern Jail. Inside, they find some of the captives being guarded by 3 Kyton. Battle 2

Kytons, AC 21, Touch AC 13 (AC 25 and Touch 17 with Soft Cover for some attacks), SR 17

Combat Log, Battle 2:

Battle 2, Round 1:
Pyro-Kinetic: Fires a Burning Infusion from upper platform, hits but fails to overcome SR.

Geo-Kinetic: Fires a Pushing Infusion from upper platform, Miss.

Occultist: Casts Haste. Knowledge (Planes), Kyton (gets 28)

Rogue: Moves, hits flat-footed Kyton, Crit+Sneak Attack for 29 (-5 DR)

Kyton's animate chains to attack Geo and Pyro. DR prevents Geo from taking damage, Pyro takes small damage. Rogue gets hit twice, Occultist unhit (out of LoS)

Round 2:
Pyro-Kinetic: Moves, jumps off platform, Melee attacks Kyton with Cestus (While Jumping), hits, fails to overcome DR, fails Acrobatics check to jump down, takes 6 falling damage, lands prone adjacent to Kyton. DM Throws Pretzel at Pyro Player, Pyro Player is given another beer. Every has a laugh.

Geo-Kinetic: Gathers Energy, Empowered Earth Blast. Hits for 20 Damage (-5 DR).

Occultist: Moves (to flank with Rogue), Attacks, Miss.

Rogue: Attacks, Hits, 6 damage (-5 DR) (No longer flanking)

Kyton's Attacks varies targets with chains. Geo-Kinetic is effectively immune to Kyton damage.

Round 3:
Pyro-Kinetic: Uses Flame Jet to get clear of Kyton, provokes AoO (Miss), lands on Platform.

Geo-Kinetic: Pushing Blast, Hits for 19 (-5 DR), fails to push.

Occultist: Spends 1 Evocation Focus, Hits with Ray for 18 Electric. Moves to flank.

Rogue: Attacks, Crits, 20 Damage (-5 DR)

Kyton's: 12 more attacks, some miss, some hit, but Geo-Kinetic is really liking DR making him untouchable.

Round 4:
Pyro-Kinetic: Fire Blast, Hits, Beats SR, 17 Damage. (Player forgot to Gather Power and Empower)

Geo-Kinetic: Pushing Blast, Hits, 20 damage (-5 DR), Bull Rush successful, Knocking Kyton into open cell (This didn't have any real game benefit, but was very cinematic). Moves

Occultist: Melee Attack (Flanking), Miss

Rogue: Attack, Hit (Flanking), 21 Damage (-5 DR), Drops Kyton

Kyton's: More Attacks, everyone but the Gnome Geo takes some damage. 2D4+2 vs DR 6 usually results in 1 damage per hit.

Round 5:
Pyro-Kinetic: Blue Fire Blast, Hits, Beats SR, 25 Damage. 1 Burn Taken (2 total) Drops Kyton

Geo-Kinetic: Kinetic Blade (Cast Defensive), Hit, Miss, Miss. 19 Damage (-5 DR)

Occultist: Moves, Attacks, Miss.

Rogue: Attack, Hit 12 Damage (-5 DR)

Round 6:

Pyro-Kinetic: Fire Blast, Hits, Fails to overcome SR.

Geo-Kinetic: Kinetic Blade (Cast Defensive), Hit, Miss, Miss. 25 Damage (-5 DR). Drops Kyton.

Battle Highlights: Flesh of Stone made the Geo-Kinetic a real tank against the low damage Kytons. Everyone else suffered (On average) about 25 damage during the battle (Fairly low over-all), But the Geo-Kinetic took a total of 7 after DR. Pyro failed to bypass the Kytons Low SR 17 twice. Occultist used one 3rd level spell (Haste) and one point Evocation Focus, conserved resources and acted as a flanking buddy for the rogue otherwise. Pyro took 1 Burn (2 Total), Geo still at 3 Burn.

Player Feedback, Gnome Geo: Casting Defensive to use Kinetic Blade seem's unnecessary. Would like some AoE abilities. DR, while inconvenient, was not crippling. Kinetic Cover, cool ability, but doesn't scale well. Suggestion: Improve action economy with as you level (Standard>Move>Swift, Immediate for 1 Burn).

Player Feedback, Human Pyro: Suggest giving Feel The Burn +1 to Overcome SR bonus as well as To Hit / Damage. Blue-Fire Blast damage isn't worth the extra Burn. Empowered Basic Blast for 0 Burn seems superior (might be worthwhile at higher levels?). More Utility abilities would be very welcome.

Player Feedback, Human Occultist: No Notes for this battle.

GM Feedback: Flesh of Stone is really good. Searing flesh? Not so Much. While I can see some corner cases where it would be nice, it's no contest between the two.

Battle 3: The hero's head down a hallway and then descend a set of stairs. While Descending, the Geo-Kinetic uses Tremorsense, getting a warning of 3 creatures ahead (2 Kyton, 1 Soucouyant).

Soucouyant AC 23, Touch 17, Immune to Fire, SR 19

Combat Log, Battle 3:

Battle 3, Round 1:
Pyro-Kinetic fires at Kyton, Hits, Fails to overcome SR.

Geo-Kinetic Moves into room, Fires at other Kyton, Crits, 40 Damage (-5 DR)

Occultist: Haste, Knowledge (religion), Soucouyant (gets 33)

Rogue: Moves, Attacks, Hits, 7 Damage (-5 DR)

Soucouyant takes Fiery form, move to Geo-Kinetic (Geo Passes Save, No Dmg), Kytons attack (Again, Geo-Kinetic effectively immune)

Round 2:

Pyro-Kinetic Fires, Hits, Fails to overcome SR

Geo-Kinetic, (Cast Defensive) Kinetic-Blade, Hit, Miss, Miss. 5' step. 22 damage (-5 DR)

Occultist uses 1 Evocation focus, Electric 20' radius Blast, catching Kyton and Soucouyant. 20 damage to one and 10 to the other. Beats SR on Both.

Rogue, Full Attack on Kyton, 3 Hits. 9 Damage (-5), 5 Damage (-5), 9 Damage (-5). DR and no sneak attack really crippled him here.

Soucouyant Moves to Geo-Kinetic space, Geo-Kinetic passes Ref Save, no damage.

Kytons Attack (No Data)

Round 3:

Pyro-Kinetic: Move to gather energy, Empowered Blast.... Miss (Roll , Soft Cover)

Geo-Kinetic: Kinetic Blade (Cast Defensive), Full Attack, Miss, Hit, Miss, 23 Damage (-5 DR), drops kyton.

Occultist: Hits Soucouyant with Cold Ray (1 Focus) for 16 Cold.

Rogue, Full attack on Kyton, Miss, Hit, Miss, 11 Damage (-5 DR)

Soucouyant Detonates rolling near max damage (39)
- Occultist uses immediate action to activate Energy Shield gaining 40 points of energy resistance.
Rogue passes, Geo-kinetic passes, Pyro fails, Occultist fails.

Lone Kyton attacks (No Data)

Round 4:
Pyro-Kinetic: Fails to overcome SR vs Kyton

Geo-Kinetic: 5 foot step, (Cast Defensive) Kinetic Blade's Soucouyant, Hit, Hit, Miss, 34 damage, 25 damage

Occultist: 1 Evocation Focus, Deals 10 Cold to Soucouyant

Rogue: Moves (AoO Misses), Flanks Soucouyant, Hits for 30, Drops Soucouyant

Soucouyant Attacked Geo-Kinetic before going down, DR for the win again, minor damage.

Kyton attacks, minor damage.

Round 5:
Rogue finish's off Kyton.

Battle Highlights: Spell resistance and Fire Immunity locks down the Pyro-Kinetic, while this was dew to below average rolls, it was still surprising to see. Pyro also got nearly taken out.. by fire. Geo-Kinetic finally gets some Melee action on something without DR and deals decent damage. Occultist gets to use another of his toys, using an Immediate action for 2 focus.

Player Feedback, Gnome Geo: Kinetic Blade carried the battle. Would have been nice to use Utility abilities more, but very limited selection. Having the option of Immediate Action Kinetic Cover, even with Burn, would have seen it used.

Player Feedback, Human Pyro: Shut down completely this battle. Poor rolls. Having some type of Area Of Effect would have been great. Only Utility used in all 3 fights was Flame Jet. Searing Flesh really needs to grant Fire resistance, nonsensical for it not to. The Human Torch shouldn't get taken down by a guy with a flame thrower.

Player feedback, Occultist: Recalculating the various bonuses from resonant powers gets cumbersome (also a lot of wear and tear on character sheets, even after one game). Would be better if they didn't change as points are used. Immediate Action Defenses for 2 Focus are actually really nice to have when needed.

I like the idea of bundling fire resistance into Searing Flesh. It is very thematic, and nicer than making it is own wild talent. I'm also a fan of having Feel The Burn give a spell penetration bonus.

Yeah, Pete (The Guy who played the Pyro) has been playing 3.x / Pathfinder a Long time, and as soon as he made the suggestions I felt they had to be voiced.

RE: Resistance

My first instinct is to agree with Kineticists getting their elemental resistance.
What about those who want to control an element (Pyro) vs.
those who become an element (Human Torch)?

BTW...nice read on the playtest. I can totally visualize how it went down.

Thanks, I know it looks like I aimed to mess with the PyroKinetic by using a lot of SR creatures, but that wasn't the case. Other areas of the dungeon were stocked with higher AC monsters, we just ran out of time (I wanted plenty of time to get player feedback)

Very nicely written.

If you plan to continue it to do the rest of the dungeon, maybe try to get the players' builds?

I definitely agree on the Occultist, running one efficiently seems like I'd have to make a spreadsheet just for the powers. Which is doable, I love me some Excel, but it's still kind of an annoying time sink.

In Case anyone was interested in the actual builds used, here are the two Kinetics and the Occultist. Edit: Lol you must have added that while I was inputting the sheets Kestral287

Veni Gnome Earth:

NG Gnome Kineticist (earth) 8
Init +5; Senses Perception +14, Low Light Vision
AC 23, touch 18, flat-footed 18 (+5 armor, +5 Dex, +1 size, +2 Deflection)
hp 91 (8d8+48) Starts with 16 Non-lethal Burn (Flesh of Stone)
Fort +12, Ref +13, Will +6
Speed 20 ft.
Melee kinetic blade +13/+8 (4d6+8) or MW Cestus +12/+7 (1d3-1; 19-20/x2)
Ranged earth blast +13 (4d6+8)
Special Abilities: Feel The Burn +2, Tremorsense 30 feet (Move Action), Kinetic Cover (Standard Action), Meta-Kinesis Empower (1 Burn)
Special Defense: Flesh of Stone DR 6/Adaman
Special Attacks: earth blast, metal blast, kinetic blade, pushing infusion, Entangling Infusion [/b]
Str 8, Dex 20, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +6; CMB +4; CMD 21
Feats Combat Casting, Weapon Finesse, Toughness, Weapon Focus (Kinetic Blast)
Traits Focused Mind, Indomitable Faith
Skills Perception +14, Climb +9, Profession (Stone Mason) +7
Languages Common, Terran, Fey
SQ burn
Gear MW Cestus, +2 Studded Leather, +2 Dex Belt, +2 Ring of Protection, +2 Cloak of resistance. 3000gp assorted Misc. Items chosen by player.

Franklin Human Fire:

CG Human Kineticist (Fire) 8
Init +10; Senses Perception +12
AC 23, touch 17, flat-footed 18 (+6 armor, +4 Dex, +1 Dodge, +2 Deflection)
hp 91 (8d8+48)
Fort +13, Ref +12, Will +8
Speed 30 ft.
Melee MW Cestus +11/+6 (1d3-1; 19-20/x2)
Ranged Fire blast +10 (4d6+2)
Special Abilities: Feel The Burn +2, Flame Jet 60 feet (Standard Action), Fire Sculpter (Standard Action), Meta-Kinesis Empower (1 Burn)
Special Defense: Searing Flesh 1d8 Fire
Special Attacks: Fire blast, Blue Fire blast (1 burn), burning infusion, extended range infusion, Snaking Infusion
Str 10, Dex 18, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +6; CMB +6; CMD 23
Feats Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Dodge, Iron Will
Traits Reactionary, Indomitable Faith
Skills Perception +12, Knowledge (Nature) +11, Knowledge (Planes) +8
Languages Common, Ignian
SQ burn
Gear MW Cestus, +2 Chain Shirt, +2 Dex Belt, +2 Ring of Protection, +2 Cloak of resistance. 3000gp assorted Misc. Items chosen by player.

Harold Berlin Occultist:

CG Human Occultist 8
Init +2; Senses Perception +11
AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+6 armor, +2 Dex, +1 Natural)
hp 67 (8d8+24)
Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +8
Speed 20 ft.
Melee +1 Keen Rapier +9/+4 (1d6+1; 15-20/x2)
Ranged Energy Ray +8 Ranged Touch (4d6+Varies) Type: Varies, 1 Focus
Implements: 17 Mental Focus
Abjuration - Amulet (Resonant Power: Guarding Talisman, Base Focus Power:Warding Shied, Focus Power: Energy Shield)
Conjuration - Figurine (Resonant Power: N/A, Base Focus Power: Servitor, Focus Power: Mend flesh)
Evocation - Rod (Resonant Power: Intense Focus, Base Focus Power: Energy Ray, Focus Power: Energy Blast)
Transmutation - Belt (Resonant Power: Physical Enhancement, Base Focus Power: Psychic Weapon, Focus Power: Sudden Speed)
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 22, Wis 10, Cha 0
Base Atk +6; CMB +6; CMD 18
Feats Spell Penetration, Spell Focus (Evocation), Weapon Finesse, Intensified Spell, Greater Spell Focus (Evocation)
Traits Witty Repartee, Magical Lineage (Burning Hands)
Skills Acrobatics +0, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +11, Knowledge Arcana +17, Knowledge Local +17, knowledge Planes +17, Knowledge Religion (headband) +17, Perception +11, Spellcraft +17, Use Magic Device +15
Languages Common, +5 others
SQ burn
Gear +1 Keen Rapier, +2 Armored Coat, +2 Int Headband, +1 amulet of natural armor, +2 Cloak of resistance. 1000gp assorted Misc. Items chosen by player.

On the Kineticists: Franklin is looking a little odd with Blue Flame being only 1 Burn, unless his character sheet is assuming he spends his move action to set it up every time he shoots? That note is what originally pulled me to asking for them.

I'm assuming their Infusion Specializations are both split between one Form and one Substance. Veni's set up kind of odd for a switch-hitter build but that may be me.

Also worth noting that one of the Geo's prayers has been answered; no more concentration checks for Kinetic Blade.

Feel the Burn to punch through SR might be the single best suggestion I've heard for the Kineticist yet.

Ah, that's just a typo on Blue Flame actually, I ws manually entering them in from physical sheets. The player did in fact use a move to reduce the Burn load.

Yeah, Veni was my first attempt at a Kinetic and I had a really hard time making him. I split up the specializations to afford the players more 0 burn options.

I'm hoping to run them into the other half of the dungeon to see how they fair against the higher AC, no SR creatures.

What's mostly odd about Veni is exactly what the player pointed out: no Extended Range. And I have a feeling that if Franklin levels up he'll be taking Spell Penetration after that third fight.

I'm kind of surprised the Geokineticist didn't comment about his hit rate; seems like in melee he was only landing half of his full-BAB attacks and missed every iterative?

More dice rolls then anything, he had hit with almost every other attack the entire game. You only have so many talents, and I wanted verity in the two builds, so no extended range.

Yea, Franking could use Spell Pen. I didn't build him with it to see if its needed... Yeah, turns out it is lol.

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