Kineticist Questions


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Reposting this in a dedicated thread so that it can get the attention it deserves. The original discussion (which got off-topic fast) can be found here.

Ravingdork wrote:

Had a couple of questions about my geokineticist come up in our game this evening, and was hoping you guys could help us out.

1) Can you deflect a kinetic blast with the Deflect Arrows feat?

2) How is the kinetic cover limit supposed to work? If you can create X walls using kinetic cover, what happens when you attempt to create X+1 walls? I thought the oldest wall simply collapsed and the new one appeared as normal (like many other magical effects with similar limitations), but the GM tonight seemed to think that nothing would happen if I attempted to create X+1 walls. The power would simply fail, and that I would have to go back through the dungeon and manually knock down a few walls in order to be able to use my wall-making powers again.

3) Does a kineticist summon their element out of thin air? Or do they draw it out of their surroundings? The GM seemed to think that I couldn't use my powers in areas where dirt, stone, and the like weren't readily available. Upon reading the class rules, it seems ambiguous. In some places, it mentions drawing power from the etheral plane, and in others it seems to refer to "gathering" or "moving" the existing matter.

4) Aside from Gather Power, is using one's kinetic powers generally noisy? The GM seemed to think that I could not use kinetic cover without making a lot of noise (since, according to him, rocks and the like would roll and clatter along the ground and gather up into the wall). In short, can I use my kinetic powers while using Stealth?

5) If a wall from kinetic cover can only support 5 pounds, why would enemies bother attacking it at all? Couldn't someone just lean on it, in order to knock it down?


Hmm, some interesting thoughts. I'll throw my two copper in on them.

1) Yes and no. I would say that if the blast type is physical then it can be deflected. Kinetic blast also says it counts as a weapon for feats such as Weapon Focus, so it's not too much of a stretch to apply it.

2) No comment right now

3) The RAW would side with producing the element regardless of if it is around you. I side with this also. For examples of Kintetists that show this, Sub-Zero, Rain, Tremor from Mortal Kombat.

4) You can cast spells while using Stealth, so you should be able to with the same penalty.

5) Folks that don't deal with people summoning rock walls on the daily wouldn't know its limitations, just that there is a large wall between them and their target.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

1) I'd go with no. Not a hard and fast answer, but my reasons are as follows:
- If it doesn't, then Deflect Arrows could deflect any SLA ranged attack rolls, even ones that duplicate a spell. That seems unlikely.
- The attack likely counts as "unusually massive" because it can damage a swarm. Certainly, Aether Kineticists can get up into the boulder range without much trouble.
- Balance-wise, it would make it way too easy to shut Kineticist down, so an uncertain GM should probably rule against allowing it.

2) Wow, that sounds annoying. Just ask to trade the power out if it's run like that.

3) They summon it from thin air. (Well, they draw it from the appropriate plane or planar intersection.) Mark has confirmed this one. The only exception is Aether, which can use pretty much anything, so keep some junk on you.

4) SLAs have no verbal or somatic components. You're creating the wall from thin air, so there's nothing to roll around. Now, making an attack roll carries its own massive stealth penalties- you'll have to see the sniping rules for that.

5) If they want to spend their standard shoving it, that's basically an attack. Just roll unarmed strike damage. If I were running it, they could also lean into it as part of the move action, but they'd likely go prone as it collapsed. I don't really know about that one, though.


Just rehashing my answers from the other topic for others to see.

1) No, kinetic blast counts "as a weapon" for things like feats (weapon focus) but is otherwise not a weapon so the "ranged weapon" caveat for deflect arrows does not apply here.

2) It is ambiguous but if we were to go off other abilities that have limited number of usages at once like wall infusion then we see that the old one dissipates and is replaced by the new one.

3) They pull it from the appropriate elemental plane.

4) Gather Power is the only ability that is cited to be overtly noisy. The rest should follow the rules of Su and Sp abilities where appropriate.

5) I think the 5lb rule is to prevent some unforseen breaking of the game with creating wall "ladders" or something like that. Sure they can 'lean on it' but that should cost them their action to do so.


For question 3.

Mark Seifter wrote:
They can pull it in through the Ethereal or use ambient elemental matter. The only way to completely stop a kineticist from having their element is to cut off the Ethereal dimensionally and send them to a place like you describe.


Regarding the wall, the intent behind the weight restriction seems to be to prevent bridging a chasm or using several walls to make "stairs" up to a high point. However, they are specifically intended to block attacks and protect you from harm. So I would go with the simple ruling of: the power does what it's supposed to and does not do what it's not supposed to.


1) Can you deflect a kinetic blast with the Deflect Arrows feat?
I'd say no.
"Even the weakest kinetic blast involves a sizable mass of elemental matter or energy"
"Unusually massive ranged weapons (such as boulders or ballista bolts) and ranged attacks generated by natural attacks or spell effects can't be deflected."

The one argument in your favor here would be the quote: "Kinetic blasts count as a type of weapon for the purpose of feats such as Weapon Focus."

However, that would be indicating from the perspective of the handler, not the target.

My verdict would be that this is a sizeable amount of earth and rock being shot at the target, not defectable like a single arrow.

2) How is the kinetic cover limit supposed to work? If you can create X walls using kinetic cover, what happens when you attempt to create X+1 walls? I thought the oldest wall simply collapsed and the new one appeared as normal (like many other magical effects with similar limitations), but the GM tonight seemed to think that nothing would happen if I attempted to create X+1 walls. The power would simply fail, and that I would have to go back through the dungeon and manually knock down a few walls in order to be able to use my wall-making powers again.

"You can have a number of kinetic covers in existence equal to your Constitution modifier + 1/2 your kineticist level."

So I'd say if you have 4 maximum and 4 already in existance and you attempt to make a 5th, one of the 4 existing dissapears when you make the 5th. I'd let you choose or roll at random.

However it's not clear, and is up to DM interpretation.

3) Does a kineticist summon their element out of thin air? Or do they draw it out of their surroundings? The GM seemed to think that I couldn't use my powers in areas where dirt, stone, and the like weren't readily available. Upon reading the class rules, it seems ambiguous. In some places, it mentions drawing power from the etheral plane, and in others it seems to refer to "gathering" or "moving" the existing matter.

"Kineticists who focus on the element of earth are called geokineticists. Geokineticists manipulate the earth itself, and they are masters of defensive techniques."

"Kineticists are living channels for elemental matter and energy, manipulating the world around them by drawing upon inner reserves from their own bodies. "

So you don't summon, you manipulate as a geokineticist.

A possibility is that it is both channelling and manipluating.

4) Aside from Gather Power, is using one's kinetic powers generally noisy? The GM seemed to think that I could not use kinetic cover without making a lot of noise (since, according to him, rocks and the like would roll and clatter along the ground and gather up into the wall). In short, can I use my kinetic powers while using Stealth?

I'd agree with the DM here, rocks being manipulated would be noisy.

5) If a wall from kinetic cover can only support 5 pounds, why would enemies bother attacking it at all? Couldn't someone just lean on it, in order to knock it down?

It's more about you not using the walls like legos and building things with it I think. The idea is the walls are missile cover, not much else.


For #1, you would likely have to have Ray Shield to deflect energy kinetic blasts, and you could use Smash from the Air to deflect both physical and energy blasts.


1. No.
2. Raw, it doesn't auto dismiss. RAI it does.
3. Summon it from the ethereal.
4. Not nosier than any other SLA's.
5. Have you ever seen someone lean on a wall mid-combat rather than go around it or cut through it?


After re-reading, I'll amend my answer to #3 to say: It's not clear.
I'd leave this to a DM decision. It looks like maybe both summoned from the elemental plane AND used from around you? I'd really think this is something they should specify. Can you use hydrokinesis in a room without water?


Kaliel Windstorm wrote:

After re-reading, I'll amend my answer to #3 to say: It's not clear.

I'd leave this to a DM decision. It looks like maybe both summoned from the elemental plane AND used from around you? I'd really think this is something they should specify. Can you use hydrokinesis in a room without water?

Check out this thread. Kineticists can can pull in elemental matter through the Ethereal or use ambient elemental matter from the surrounding environment. In regular conditions, plenty of ambient air around; in a vacuum, pull it in from another plane.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Given the recent FAQ on what counts as a weapon, and what weapon like means, I think it is save to say the answer to 1) is no.


Protoman wrote:
Kaliel Windstorm wrote:

After re-reading, I'll amend my answer to #3 to say: It's not clear.

I'd leave this to a DM decision. It looks like maybe both summoned from the elemental plane AND used from around you? I'd really think this is something they should specify. Can you use hydrokinesis in a room without water?
Check out this thread. Kineticists can can pull in elemental matter through the Ethereal or use ambient elemental matter from the surrounding environment. In regular conditions, plenty of ambient air around; in a vacuum, pull it in from another plane.

That settles it for me then, and makes sense based on the way the rules read.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My Telekenticist bought arrows to throw around instead of having to find pebbles.

Something to think about, for everyone, can an object that the Telekenticist "loosens the strands" with be deflected? (Typically done when wanting to use special materials to get past DR)


thaX wrote:

My Telekenticist bought arrows to throw around instead of having to find pebbles.

Something to think about, for everyone, can an object that the Telekenticist "loosens the strands" with be deflected? (Typically done when wanting to use special materials to get past DR)

Interesting question.

In this case you are using specifically telekinesis to throw an object, and in particular by loosening the strands you are allowing it to have your thrown damage bonus. (but in a weird way, using con).

In this case I'd say yes, it can be deflected.

Based on two things: First that this is a single object, second that the aether has been loosened allowing it to be possibly affected in its trajectory.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thaX wrote:

My Telekenticist bought arrows to throw around instead of having to find pebbles.

Something to think about, for everyone, can an object that the Telekenticist "loosens the strands" with be deflected? (Typically done when wanting to use special materials to get past DR)

Does it still do full damage to swarms?


GeneticDrift wrote:
thaX wrote:

My Telekenticist bought arrows to throw around instead of having to find pebbles.

Something to think about, for everyone, can an object that the Telekenticist "loosens the strands" with be deflected? (Typically done when wanting to use special materials to get past DR)

Does it still do full damage to swarms?

RAW would seem to indicate yes.

"so kinetic blasts always deal full damage to swarms of any size (though only area blasts deal extra damage to swarms). "


Deflect Arrow wrote:
Once per round when you would normally be hit with an attack from a ranged weapon, you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it.

Bolded the most important line. Kinetic Blast is definitely not included in that, as it is not a ranged manufactored weapon, it is a spell-like effect, which only counts as a weapon for feats that work with it, not against it.

Sorry guys, I don't think you can ever deflect a kinetic blast no matter what is being used with it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I believe the Loosening of the strands makes it so it does not effect Swarm, but I could be mistaken. I shall have to re-read the entry.

The object, when the strands are loosened, is doing the damage of it instead of the Kinetic Blast damage, with Con being added as normal for the Telekinesticist. (for my example, the arrow would do 1d4, as the improvised use instead of bow damage)


thaX wrote:

I believe the Loosening of the strands makes it so it does not effect Swarm, but I could be mistaken. I shall have to re-read the entry.

The object, when the strands are loosened, is doing the damage of it instead of the Kinetic Blast damage, with Con being added as normal for the Telekinesticist. (for my example, the arrow would do 1d4, as the improvised use instead of bow damage)

I agree. (Now that I actually READ THAT LINE, *sigh*) It seems like if you loosen the strands it stops being a kinetic blast and becomes a thrown weapon, either improvised (in the case of an arrow), or simply a thrown weapon attack (such as with a dagger).

Therefore, you can use Deflect Arrows on it. Cool.


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
thaX wrote:

I believe the Loosening of the strands makes it so it does not effect Swarm, but I could be mistaken. I shall have to re-read the entry.

The object, when the strands are loosened, is doing the damage of it instead of the Kinetic Blast damage, with Con being added as normal for the Telekinesticist. (for my example, the arrow would do 1d4, as the improvised use instead of bow damage)

I agree. (Now that I actually READ THAT LINE, *sigh*) It seems like if you loosen the strands it stops being a kinetic blast and becomes a thrown weapon, either improvised (in the case of an arrow), or simply a thrown weapon attack (such as with a dagger).

Therefore, you can use Deflect Arrows on it. Cool.

Perhaps, but I have yet to see a reason to ever actually loosen the strands. If you're doing it to bypass material DR, you're usually just better off punching through the DR with full dice instead of using the piddly thrown improvised weapon rolls.


Texas Snyper wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
thaX wrote:

I believe the Loosening of the strands makes it so it does not effect Swarm, but I could be mistaken. I shall have to re-read the entry.

The object, when the strands are loosened, is doing the damage of it instead of the Kinetic Blast damage, with Con being added as normal for the Telekinesticist. (for my example, the arrow would do 1d4, as the improvised use instead of bow damage)

I agree. (Now that I actually READ THAT LINE, *sigh*) It seems like if you loosen the strands it stops being a kinetic blast and becomes a thrown weapon, either improvised (in the case of an arrow), or simply a thrown weapon attack (such as with a dagger).

Therefore, you can use Deflect Arrows on it. Cool.

Perhaps, but I have yet to see a reason to ever actually loosen the strands. If you're doing it to bypass material DR, you're usually just better off punching through the DR with full dice instead of using the piddly thrown improvised weapon rolls.

Maybe you have a heart-piercing dagger, and a cyclops helm, and you are going to insta-gib some fool through the heart?


I'm sure they exist, but they are super fringe. But it is nice to have the option IF you ever come across a reason to need it. But like I said, super fringe case scenarios.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

At low levels, you can get weapons or items of materials (or blanch ammo) and loosen the strands to get past DR using that material by loosening the strands.

You right, though, at higher levels the damage is so much that a little DR isn't gonna matter much.

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