Where should I take my aerokineticist?


Advice


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I'm building an aerokineticist for Pathfinder Society. I want to start with air, so I can get true flight early on. Other than that, I'm kind of undecided where I want it to go with it. Kineticist just offers so many cool options.

I'm thinking of branching into water with expanded element, since I want the character to be something of a "Tian weather witch," but I'm not sure if I should start with electric blast (better accuracy), then get water blast at level 7, or if I should start with an air blast (better damage) and then get cold blast at level 7.

The types of blast I end up taking will inform the infusions and utilities I also take, but I pretty much like them all for various reasons.

Of the two paths, which might you choose and why? What kind of infusion/utility packages might you take with it, and why?


I'm a big fan of the magnetic infusion for utility. It'll make your electric blast practically un-missable and it'll help your party too. To that end I'd say electric + water.

For WTs, obviously wings of air is a must so: Air Cushion, Air's Reach, Wings of Air, Thundering, and Extended Range to start off with.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

Are you going range focus or melee focus, since flight seems to be a big option for you I am assuming range.

Honestly I am not sure if you need both Air's Reach and Extended Range. It may come up but less when you can fly and in most situations 120' is an effective range.

Air shroud is a really useful ability both to always have available and more importantly to be able to extend to your party. Also leads to constant life bubble, which is really nice.

Air also has Celerity, which is a free haste for the party or if you want you can spend the burn. Haste is arguably one of the best buffs in the game and combines well with melee Kineticist builds.


Taenia wrote:

Are you going range focus or melee focus, since flight seems to be a big option for you I am assuming range.

Honestly I am not sure if you need both Air's Reach and Extended Range. It may come up but less when you can fly and in most situations 120' is an effective range.

Air shroud is a really useful ability both to always have available and more importantly to be able to extend to your party. Also leads to constant life bubble, which is really nice.

Air also has Celerity, which is a free haste for the party or if you want you can spend the burn. Haste is arguably one of the best buffs in the game and combines well with melee Kineticist builds.

I only included extended range because there are a lot of nice wild talents that has it as a prereq. Cloud and snake would be the relevant ones for an electric/water build. There may be more, depending on your 3rd element choice.


I am playing in a game right now with lightning and I am enjoying it quite a bit. For me the question is to go water or stay air and get a 60 foot lightning torrent at 7th. Having to wait until 9th to pick it up hurts as this game advancement is quite slow so it will be months if I delay. I really wish they had given the pick at 7th if you expanded or not. Would make the choice come down a lot more to build style vs having to miss out for levels.


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The more I look at it, the more I realize I should probably stick with air at 7th. It seems to me that branching out is a strict downgrade. You get less powers when you do that, and those you do get are either from the previous element, or are much weaker.

Who would opt for that???

Taenia wrote:
Are you going range focus or melee focus, since flight seems to be a big option for you I am assuming range.

Range focus, though I will have Weapon Finesse and Kinetic Blade. Near the end of the character's PFS career, I may take Kinetic Whip as well.

Taenia wrote:
Honestly I am not sure if you need both Air's Reach and Extended Range. It may come up but less when you can fly and in most situations 120' is an effective range.

Air's reach grants my normal unmodified blasts a range of 60 feet without having to waste burn (or burn reduction abilities) to reach my targets. That's a big deal.

It also extends the range of things like Mobile Infusion, allowing me to roll that sphere as much as 60 feet away; Snake can extend 240 feet; Torrent hits everything in a 60-foot line; etc.

I'd say it's damned useful to have! :D

Taenia wrote:
Air shroud is a really useful ability both to always have available and more importantly to be able to extend to your party. Also leads to constant life bubble, which is really nice.

I fail to see how any of those are terribly valuable, at least over other options.

Taenia wrote:
Air also has Celerity, which is a free haste for the party or if you want you can spend the burn. Haste is arguably one of the best buffs in the game and combines well with melee Kineticist builds.

Noted.

Texas Snyper wrote:
I'm a big fan of the magnetic infusion for utility. It'll make your electric blast practically un-missable and it'll help your party too. To that end I'd say electric + water.

I can clearly see how it can help the party, but wouldn't the ranged touch attacks of a high Dex ranged character already be practically un-missable without it?

Texas Snyper wrote:
For WTs, obviously wings of air is a must so: Air Cushion, Air's Reach, Wings of Air, Thundering, and Extended Range to start off with.

Why would I need Air Cushion if I have wings of air???


Honestly? i would go air + wood, which gives you the spring composite blast, and when you take cold later you will get the winter blast too


Air's biggest benefit, imo, is it's extended range (air's reach), which doesn't work for other elemental attacks. Thus my suggestion is to go with air as your second. This way you get both a physical and an elemental attack at your full range (also composite).

There are reasons to go with other elements though. Water, Earth, or Aether will all add to your survival with their defense abilities. Earth's abilities to walk through walls and tremorsense could come in handy if you get into dungeon situations.

Anything other than Air will give you more options when choosing your utility talents. You will run through the good Air ones pretty soon. Then again this is for PFS, so completing a little early may be nice.

All in all, I think I would go air as your secondary. You still get a composite blast and both types of blasts.


Quote:
Why would I need Air Cushion if I have wings of air???

Prereq for wings of air. Airs leap works instead if you prefer.


Ravingdork wrote:

I can clearly see how it can help the party, but wouldn't the ranged touch attacks of a high Dex ranged character already be practically un-missable without it?

...
Why would I need Air Cushion if I have wings of air???

It'll be nigh un-missable with it which will help you maintain the debuff for your party martials to really lay down the pain.

Wings of Air has the pre-req of Air Cushion or Air's Leap. So, its up to which is more useful: perma-feather fall or Mario level jumping skills.


Quote:
Why would I need Air Cushion if I have wings of air???

As others have said, prerequisite for flight. Air's Leap is another option but I think AC is the better choice. Jumping and feather falling are both super situational, but when you need a feather fall you REALLY need a feather fall.

You'll have the majority of your midgame build claimed by all of the "no duh" talents. Rereading the WT list shows me that Air has multiple dead zone levels for talents, be they literal (no 2nd and 9th level talents) or figurative (Cyclone is super underwhelming) so Skilled Keneticist might be a decent pickup. Being 5th level is as good a time as any to pick up Kenetic Blade, and you can get Weapon Finesse at that point as well.


Air is quite strong for utility, as is Aether. Personally, I consider double Air to be a poor choice. Even though Air is my favorite element in media, I think I would rather make Air my secondary element, not my primary. Either beginning with Aether for a utility heavy build, or beginning with Water for balance and aggression.

Though, that is likely a personal choice. Earth is probably the best starting point. I just don't care for Earth and Air as much overall as I do Water and Air. I haven't gotten a good look at the two new ones though. I suspect my bias to darkness and chaos will make my personal element obvious once I see them.

On a side note: In my last d20 game (Not Pathfinder) I found having an insane at will Jump distance to be incredibly effective. In our first game I leaped across the map in a turn to headshot a fleeing thug. Air's Leap would be my pick between the two.


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Rylar wrote:
There are reasons to go with other elements though. Water, Earth, or Aether will all add to your survival with their defense abilities. Earth's abilities to walk through walls and tremorsense could come in handy if you get into dungeon situations.

Having multiple defense wild talents can actually make you WEAKER since you have to activate them all separately, which means more burn, which means you're more of a glass jaw. You could choose not to pump one of them, but then it's not nearly as worth it.

The real problem with going outside your main element, is any new alternative element abilities you pick up have to be be 2 levels lower. That means picking up something cool like earth glide won't even be possible until level 14--well outside the range of possibility for a PFS character.

So at level 8 I can only get a 2nd-level wild talent (since you branched out you don't get it at 7th). At 10th, a 3rd-level wild talent. Seems like a poor choice to me all around.

The Mortonator wrote:
Air is quite strong for utility, as is Aether. Personally, I consider double Air to be a poor choice. Even though Air is my favorite element in media, I think I would rather make Air my secondary element, not my primary. Either beginning with Aether for a utility heavy build, or beginning with Water for balance and aggression.

One of my primary goals is to get constant flight as early as possible. Starting with another element makes that impossible until the character's PFS career is almost over (since the next possible opportunity won't be until 10th-level).

The Mortonator wrote:
On a side note: In my last d20 game (Not Pathfinder) I found having an insane at will Jump distance to be incredibly effective. In our first game I leaped across the map in a turn to headshot a fleeing thug. Air's Leap would be my pick between the two.

What good is jumping if I can fly? What good is feather fall if I am constantly in flight? I overlooked them as prerequisites, but none of them seem like good choices considering I can no longer fall to begin with and will have no need to jump past level 6.

EDIT: It occurred to me that they are still mighty useful UNTIL I reach level 6. :P


Ravingdork wrote:
One of my primary goals is to get constant flight as early as possible. Starting with another element makes that impossible until the character's PFS career is almost over (since the next possible opportunity won't be until 10th-level).

Fair play then. Kinda annoying.

Ravingdork wrote:
What good is jumping if I can fly?

Well, to be fair it was a different rule system where I could exceed my movement speed with jetboot's jump. I actually checked just now and very weirdly neither Air's Leap or Acrobatics include a line to let you jump past your movement speed. I honestly thought a superhuman Jump could move beyond 30 Feet if they were pouring burn into it. I can imagine the faster speed being extremely useful for when what you want is just barely out of reach.

But yea, between the two I would start with Air's Leap. Jumping you can make useful. Falling just saves you if you end up in a bad place.


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I might take jumping, then switch it for falling when I get to level 6.


Ravingdork wrote:
I might take jumping, then switch it for falling when I get to level 6.

Didn't know you could do that in Society. Probably best then.


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The Mortonator wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I might take jumping, then switch it for falling when I get to level 6.
Didn't know you could do that in Society. Probably best then.

Why wouldn't you be able to? It's part of the Wild Talent class ability:

At 6th, 10th, and 16th levels, a kineticist can replace one of her utility wild talents with another wild talent of the same level or lower. She can’t replace a wild talent that she used to qualify for another of her wild talents.

My only concern is that I will end up with a stickler GM who might not allow it since it will be serving as a prerequisite for wings of air, which I will be picking up at the same level as I switch it for air cushion.


Ravingdork wrote:
The Mortonator wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I might take jumping, then switch it for falling when I get to level 6.
Didn't know you could do that in Society. Probably best then.

Why wouldn't you be able to? It's part of the Wild Talent class ability:

At 6th, 10th, and 16th levels, a kineticist can replace one of her utility wild talents with another wild talent of the same level or lower. She can’t replace a wild talent that she used to qualify for another of her wild talents.

My only concern is that I will end up with a stickler GM who might not allow it since it will be serving as a prerequisite for wings of air, which I will be picking up at the same level as I switch it for air cushion.

You're switching out a pre-req for a pre-req. I don't see how that wouldn't be allowed. Both are class features and happen at the same time so I don't see how it couldn't be allowed.


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Texas Snyper wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
The Mortonator wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I might take jumping, then switch it for falling when I get to level 6.
Didn't know you could do that in Society. Probably best then.

Why wouldn't you be able to? It's part of the Wild Talent class ability:

At 6th, 10th, and 16th levels, a kineticist can replace one of her utility wild talents with another wild talent of the same level or lower. She can’t replace a wild talent that she used to qualify for another of her wild talents.

My only concern is that I will end up with a stickler GM who might not allow it since it will be serving as a prerequisite for wings of air, which I will be picking up at the same level as I switch it for air cushion.

You're switching out a pre-req for a pre-req. I don't see how that wouldn't be allowed. Both are class features and happen at the same time so I don't see how it couldn't be allowed.

That was my thought as well, but some GMs in the world be power trippin' and are super harsh, especially in PFS.

I can totally see somebody saying "It is a prerequisite to something else, so you can't switch it out. Period. None of that other stuff matters, because the RAW only checks for that one thing--and in PFS, we always follow the RAW, even when it doesn't make sense."

When I found obvious typos and errors in pregens, I've had GMs force me to play it "as is" even though some of them didn't make any sense and were totally illegal per the RAW.


Despite not being able to jump past your speed, Mark has made a good point that it can be real useful for vertical jumps which one typically has a hard to getting very far with.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Protoman wrote:
Despite not being able to jump past your speed, Mark has made a good point that it can be real useful for vertical jumps which one typically has a hard to getting very far with.

It's also interesting to note that there is nothing preventing you from double moving or even taking the run action, then jumping multiple times during your move. For example, I want to get to the top of a 60-foot tall tree. I can easily make a 6-foot vertical jump. There are branches capable of supporting my weight approximately every five feet or less. So I double move up the tree, making several successful jumps (taking 10 perhaps) until I am at the top.

Now imagine a complicated battlefield littered with rough spots of difficult terrain or out-and-out obstacles. A good jumper could take a move action leaping over those rough spots without any penalties to movement (since they went over them rather than through them).

I don't know many characters that can jump farther than 120 feet anyways, so the speed limitation isn't going to be much of a problem I don't think.


Ravingdork wrote:
The Mortonator wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I might take jumping, then switch it for falling when I get to level 6.
Didn't know you could do that in Society. Probably best then.

Why wouldn't you be able to? It's part of the Wild Talent class ability:

At 6th, 10th, and 16th levels, a kineticist can replace one of her utility wild talents with another wild talent of the same level or lower. She can’t replace a wild talent that she used to qualify for another of her wild talents.

My only concern is that I will end up with a stickler GM who might not allow it since it will be serving as a prerequisite for wings of air, which I will be picking up at the same level as I switch it for air cushion.

Oh, right. I was thinking about the retraining, not that class feature.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Retraining is also an option, but it costs prestige points. Also, it is unclear which class abilities can be retrained since the kineticist is so new.


Ravingdork wrote:
Retraining is also an option, but it costs prestige points. Also, it is unclear which class abilities can be retrained since the kineticist is so new.

I don't have interest in society, so can't really say I know the particulars.

It is a shame thought Kineticists can't get their higher tier stuff. Those are some really cool Wild Talents.

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