Does Kineticist suffer DR and Energy Resistance simultaneously?


Rules Questions


Backstory:

Spoiler:
I have a player that just started up a kineticist, and his first few fights were a little underwhelming. I threw an outsider against the party that had both damage reduction and energy resistance, and after slogging through the AC, DR, and then Energy Resistance, the kineticist ended up barely doing any damage with his composite blast over the course of the combat. I'm a little disappointed at the character's performance, and worried that the player might be a little put off by ineffective he was. So my actual question is,

Actual Question: Are kineticist blasts [that have both a physical and energy type listed] subject to both damage reduction AND energy resistance?

Opinion Question:

Spoiler:
If so, what do you all think would be the balance ramification of changing that, and how would you do it/what would you do?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes. The half that is physical damage is subject to Damage Reduction (and counts as magic), and the energy half is subject to appropriate energy resistance or immunity.

If I were to change it, I'd say that instead of half and half damage, make the largest reduction of damage apply to the blast. This will make kineticists more powerful than they're meant to be.


Think so? My kineticist seems remarkably underpowered compared to the rest of the group. He can't compete in damage or accuracy, he has worse defenses, and his utility is on par with a common fighter. Is the player maybe doing something wrong? Are there some must have items or feats out there of which neither he nor I are aware?


You have worse acc than the fighter, but he needs to hit with iteratives. Use the common DPR math to compare your single hit per turn hitting 80% of the time vs him missing with his second hit 80% of the time and his third and fourth even less often, you'll get the idea. On paper kineticist doesn't look impressive, but in a campaign they're easy to build so they have great DPR, multiple control options, insane dpr with melee infusions, and more utility than most non-casters could ever hope for.


Edit: It seems there was a FAQ that got added later that changed that rule. But they never updated the rules text to show it.

I'm actually not sure why kinetic blasts are even supposed to be subject to damage reduction, though apparently they are intended to be.

CRB Glossary wrote:
Spells, spell-like abilities, and energy attacks (even nonmagical fire) ignore damage reduction.

Nothing in the kineticist rules overrides this statement, though abilities like Rare-Metal Infusion would imply that they are meant to not ignore damage reduction.


Shiroi wrote:
You have worse acc than the fighter, but he needs to hit with iteratives. Use the common DPR math to compare your single hit per turn hitting 80% of the time vs him missing with his second hit 80% of the time and his third and fourth even less often, you'll get the idea. On paper kineticist doesn't look impressive, but in a campaign they're easy to build so they have great DPR, multiple control options, insane dpr with melee infusions, and more utility than most non-casters could ever hope for.

I'm not talking on paper, though. Well, technically, I suppose so, since it is a pen and paper game. But I'm talking about our session, where he was performing consistently worse in both damage and accuracy than the other characters (magus and brawler).

I'm looking at the brawler's character sheet right now, and he seems to have +14/+12/+7/+7, 1d8+14, compared to the kineticist's +10, 10d6 * 1.5 +13. I don't have the magus's character sheet offhand, but he's a harder comparison since he's bursty per day.

Why are your theoretical 80%s and such so vastly different from my actual values?


What level is your party? I have a good reference for this stuff, but I need to know where your group is at.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Brogue The Rogue wrote:
Shiroi wrote:
You have worse acc than the fighter, but he needs to hit with iteratives. Use the common DPR math to compare your single hit per turn hitting 80% of the time vs him missing with his second hit 80% of the time and his third and fourth even less often, you'll get the idea. On paper kineticist doesn't look impressive, but in a campaign they're easy to build so they have great DPR, multiple control options, insane dpr with melee infusions, and more utility than most non-casters could ever hope for.

I'm not talking on paper, though. Well, technically, I suppose so, since it is a pen and paper game. But I'm talking about our session, where he was performing consistently worse in both damage and accuracy than the other characters (magus and brawler).

I'm looking at the brawler's character sheet right now, and he seems to have +14/+12/+7/+7, 1d8+14, compared to the kineticist's +10, 10d6 * 1.5 +13. I don't have the magus's character sheet offhand, but he's a harder comparison since he's bursty per day.

Why are your theoretical 80%s and such so vastly different from my actual values?

So if this is a physical composite blast, it should do physical damage, so at level 9 (it seems based on the number of d6? That or level 10) we're looking at (10d6+16+Con modifier)*1.5. We'll go with 18 Con, which is very likely a significant lowball. The accuracy can't be right for level 10 unless the kineticist has 10 Dexterity, which seems very unlikely, or has 14 Dex (still seems too low) and is using Deadly Aim, which would add 4 more damage. I will grant that the brawler's +14 also seems a little bit low (and the +14/+12 difference can't be from Furious Focus at level 9, since that would be a +3 difference). Accuracy aside, the damage is going to be 83 for the kineticist, whereas the brawler is 18.5 and can't pull that off even with all four hits...however, this seems to be an empowered composite, which is very hard for a level 9 (or 10) kineticist to pull off.


Brogue The Rogue wrote:
Shiroi wrote:
You have worse acc than the fighter, but he needs to hit with iteratives. Use the common DPR math to compare your single hit per turn hitting 80% of the time vs him missing with his second hit 80% of the time and his third and fourth even less often, you'll get the idea. On paper kineticist doesn't look impressive, but in a campaign they're easy to build so they have great DPR, multiple control options, insane dpr with melee infusions, and more utility than most non-casters could ever hope for.

I'm not talking on paper, though. Well, technically, I suppose so, since it is a pen and paper game. But I'm talking about our session, where he was performing consistently worse in both damage and accuracy than the other characters (magus and brawler).

I'm looking at the brawler's character sheet right now, and he seems to have +14/+12/+7/+7, 1d8+14, compared to the kineticist's +10, 10d6 * 1.5 +13. I don't have the magus's character sheet offhand, but he's a harder comparison since he's bursty per day.

Why are your theoretical 80%s and such so vastly different from my actual values?

Are you hitting normal or touch? Including the bonuses to hit from your burn in overflow? Remembering that you're a ranged character who can frequently do AoE damage or afflictions to a target? You probably won't out-DPS a martial unless you use kinetic blade/whip with a touch attack, but you should be doing half or better their damage with less risk and infinitely more other stuff to do.

18.5 average * 4 hits, assuming he can hit all four iteratives, is 74 damage.
65.5 average damage on your listed values at range 30 or better, with entangled or hitting touch or something fun. You'll miss once in a while, but so will he, and overall this should be nowhere near a curb stomp even on straight damage rolls. Let's assume an AC of 21 for the target to get better math...

You have a straight 50% chance to hit, so we'll mark it a flat average of 32.75 DPR on this walking tank of a target.

He's got to hit on a 7/9/14/14. He'll hit on average 70% with his first, 60% with second, and 35% each with third and fourth. That means he deals 18.5*.7 + 18.5*.6 + 18.5*.35*2.
He's averaging 13+11+6.5+6.5 so 37 with miss chance.

This doesn't cover crit ranges, which may also skew the results a bit.

Grand Lodge

The previous explanation about DR and Energy resistance is not necessarily correct. It depends a great deal upon which actual elements are in play.

Note that a Kinetic Blast (even in it's melee Blade/Whip form) is a Spell Like Ability. As such it penetrates DR as if it were not there, but bounces off of Spell Resistance. Just like a spell.

Example 1: Fire or Lightning energy attacks
Not only do these attacks have to penetrate SR, fire or lightning resistance applies if the attack gets through.

Example 2: Earth physical attack
An Earth attack scoops up nearby earth and throws it the target. The SPA doesn't touch the target, it figuratively picks up a rock and throws it. So no SR, but DR applies.

Example 3: Water Physical attack
I believe that this attack creates the water, so despite being a physical attack the water is magically charged and bounces off of SR (and passes right through DR). Unlike an Earth attack which requires rock/earth nearby, you can use it anywhere.

I am unfamiliar with any elements not listed in Occult Adventures, but generally they will behave like the four listed above.

Can a composite blast be subject to two different immunities? Yes, as stated above. The physical half can be weakened by DR, and the energy part can be blocked by energy resistance. AND one or both can be blocked by SR. (I gave the examples above to highlight the possability of the Steam - Water/Fire composite blast, which is not blocked by DR. Other odd combinations are possible.) Outsider's are a severe problem for the Kineticist class, as they tend to combine DR, SR and ER. Please be aware of this and be sparing in your use of them. Also suggest possible ways around this to your player. Such as Bane weapons/ammo, or the Spell Penetration feats.

A 'pure' composite blast (fire/fire or earth/earth) has the advantage of not being double diluted, and will generally overpower DR or energy resistance the same way fighters/sorcerers do; by piling on enough damage to get past DR/ER 10.

SR will continue to be a problem for Kineticists, even as it is for spell casters. Except worse, as there are options available to increase the spell penetration of a cast spell that don't apply to a SPA/kinetic blast.


dotted

Also, I just looked at OA last night. There are a few ways to reduce the Energy Resistance against your energy attacks, at least. SR is sadly never going to be your friend.


Spoiler:
All damage from a kinetic blast is treated as magic for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction.

However, if a magical attack specifically mentions that it deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, DR affects that damage normally, as if it were from a physical weapon. (Otherwise the magical attack might as well not have a damage type, as it would only interface with B/P/S damage in a very few corner cases, such as whether or not an ooze splits from that attack.)

For example, the ice storm spell deals 3d6 points of bludgeoning damage and 2d6 points of cold damage. If you cast ice storm at a group of zombies, the zombie’s DR 5/slashing protects them against 5 points of the spell’s bludgeoning damage. Their DR doesn’t help them against the spell’s cold damage because DR doesn’t apply to energy attacks.

Physical blasts are ranged attacks that deal an amount of damage equal to 1d6+1 + the kineticist’s Constitution modifier, increasing by 1d6+1 for every 2 kineticist levels beyond 1st. Spell resistance doesn’t apply against physical blasts.

Energy blasts are ranged touch attacks that deal an amount of damage equal to 1d6 + 1/2 the kineticist’s Constitution modifier, increasing by 1d6 for every 2 kineticist levels beyond 1st.

Composite blasts combine elements to form a new blast. When a kineticist gains a new element through expanded element, she gains access to all composite blasts for which she qualifies. All composite blasts are listed after the kineticist elements.

Most composite blasts are either physical or energy blasts, like simple blasts.

Physical composite blasts deal an amount of damage equal to 2d6+2 + the kineticist’s Constitution modifier, increasing by 2d6+2 for every 2 kineticist levels beyond 1st.

Energy composite blasts deal an amount of damage equal to 2d6 + 1/2 the kineticist’s Constitution modifier, increasing by 2d6 for every 2 kineticist levels beyond 1st.

You are not obligated to have earth anywhere nearby to use earth blast. You hit normal AC and face DR fully unless it is bypassed by magic or the (p/b/s) type you chose (or both), or in the case of rare earth infusion is bypassed by a specific material you can emulate.

Energy blasts deal with SR, and resistance, but target touch AC.

Energy/physical composites target normal AC, don't deal with SR, and must separately overcome DR and resistance to the appropriate elements (including bypassing DR by the proper choice of b/p/s if available).

If anyone would like to correct me with rules, FAQs, or Dev quotes that would be nice, but this is how it worked back in the play test and I haven't heard it changed since.


The party is all level 10. I will admit that the kineticist isn't what most would consider ideally optimized, but it's not abysmal.

Quote:
So if this is a physical composite blast, it should do physical damage, so at level 9 (it seems based on the number of d6? That or level 10) we're looking at (10d6+16+Con modifier)*1.5. We'll go with 18 Con, which is very likely a significant lowball. The accuracy can't be right for level 10 unless the kineticist has 10 Dexterity, which seems very unlikely, or has 14 Dex (still seems too low) and is using Deadly Aim, which would add 4 more damage. I will grant that the brawler's +14 also seems a little bit low (and the +14/+12 difference can't be from Furious Focus at level 9, since that would be a +3 difference). Accuracy aside, the damage is going to be 83 for the kineticist, whereas the brawler is 18.5 and can't pull that off even with all four hits...however, this seems to be an empowered composite, which is very hard for a level 9 (or 10) kineticist to pull off.

Physical. It's the ice blast.

I was under the impression that Empower had been clarified as of this edition to only affect the values of the spell that are both variable and numeric, not their sum. I recall this being a sticking point before. Is this no longer the case? I just googled the FAQ, and it looks like there's a part that's crossed out. So is *everything* now increased with Empower? If so, this greatly increases his damage output, so that helps. This can't be right, though, can it? It makes maximize terrible. For the number I stated, 10d6+13, the old empower value is 65.5 on average, the new empower value is 72 on average, and the maximize value is 73 on average.

The kineticist has 14 dex and 16 con.

Isn't an empowered composite guaranteed for a level 10 character? The kineticist has infusion specialization of 2, so anytime he spends a move action gathering energy, that reduces the total burn by 3 points. Empower is 1 point and the composite blast is 2 points. What am I doing wrong?

Shiroi wrote:
Are you hitting normal or touch? Including the bonuses to hit from your burn in overflow?

Ah ha! As mentioned before, I am entirely unfamiliar with this class. I'd never even heard of it before the player asked to use it. The player must have forgotten about this ability. This helps a LOT, and would seem to account for the discrepancy.

Egil Firehair wrote:
Note that a Kinetic Blast (even in it's melee Blade/Whip form) is a Spell Like Ability. As such it penetrates DR as if it were not there, but bounces off of Spell Resistance. Just like a spell.

OK, this is interesting and flies counter what others have been saying. I suppose the line in question is this:

Spoiler:
All damage from a kinetic blast is treated as magic for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction.

Does this mean "as a magic weapon" or "as a spell or spell like ability"? This seems controversial. Do we have a solid ruling?

The damage reduction section states:

Spoiler:
Spells, spell-like abilities, and energy attacks (even non-magical fire) ignore damage reduction.

But the FAQ on the same page states:

Spoiler:
ow does DR (damage reduction) interact with magical effects that deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage?

Although the definition of damage reduction says “The creature takes normal damage from energy attacks (even non-magical ones), spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities,” that’s actually just referring to damage that isn’t specifically called out as being of a particular type, such as fire damage or piercing damage. In other words, DR doesn’t protect against “typeless damage” from magical attacks.

However, if a magical attack specifically mentions that it deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, DR affects that damage normally, as if it were from a physical weapon. (Otherwise the magical attack might as well not have a damage type, as it would only interface with B/P/S damage in a very few corner cases, such as whether or not an ooze splits from that attack.)

By this logic, DR would seem to apply to the Kineticist's attack, right?

As for the rest of your examples, they seem to be logically-fueled, rather than RAW-supported. While I generally agree with the idea, it poses problems of its own. It seems that it would be better to simply use the RAW rather than applying an addition filter of spell-based logic. By your logic, a geokineticist is useless on a ship, in the water, in the air, etc. This seems to be a strange requirement for the class. The telekinetic blast goes into great detail about the objects it throws, but earth blast does not. By your logic, should not magically enchanted earth then do bonus damage? Are we stating that it's RAW that earth blast requires nearby earth to use?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Brogue The Rogue wrote:

The party is all level 10. I will admit that the kineticist isn't what most would consider ideally optimized, but it's not abysmal.

The kineticist has 14 dex and 16 con.

These stats are actually remarkably low for a level 10 kineticist, and are pretty much the beginning and end of why the character is having trouble. With +2 to each from overflow and assuming they received the level 4 and 8 stat raises and one of them has a +2 stat item (a lowball for level 10), that means he started with something like 13 in both of them. That's like if a level 10 wizard had 14 Int or like the brawler had 14 Strength; you're not going to connect much. An optimized kineticist could have as much as 28 Dex. Now you don't need that much, but something like an 18 and a 20 by this level should be very easy to reach, even with very low starting stats.

Quote:
Isn't an empowered composite guaranteed for a level 10 character? The kineticist has infusion specialization of 2, so anytime he spends a move action gathering energy, that reduces the total burn by 3 points. Empower is 1 point and the composite blast is 2 points. What am I doing...

Infusion specialization only decreases infusions. However, when facing off against something that's going to double ding like a demon, losing the composite isn't going to change as much. It's worth noting that at the very next level (level 11), supercharge shows up, which makes this combo a mere 1 burn to pull off, so it's not like she's not close to this right now.


Infusion Specialization applies to neither metakinesis nor composite blasts. The standard full round action for a level 10 kineticist should be an empowered simple blast.

The kineticist does not need a supply of their element, it's pulled from the appropriate elemental plane.

Physical attacks ignore SR. They are affected by any DR except DR/magic.

> Spell resistance doesn’t apply against physical blasts.

Having 14 Dec and 16 Con at level 10 is...a bit low. That seems like he'd have had to start with 14 Dex/Con at level 1, and also doesn't have a belt of Dec or Con. It'd be hard to make do with stats that low even with elemental overflow (which you should check if he's applying the stat bonuses from that, as well).


Did your kineticist forgot to buy any +stat items? That's an easy fix there. Did they remember the +1 stat every 4th level? Did they remember to add their racial bonuses at creation?


For reference on the stats, I pulled up my (conveniently level 10, but with level 9 WBL because the campaign was stingy) electric/water kineticist and they have 16 Dex, 22 Con during overflow. Dex is relatively low because I was expecting to be target touch AC to land Deafening or Magnetic infusions or to just play support with Celerity and Kinetic Cover. Also, Weapon focus (blast) is useful.


I was not aware that Infusion Specialization did not apply to his metmagic stuff. I thought those were considered infusions. We'll make the according adjustments. It looks like his default is going to be an empowered water blast.

The kineticist does not have any stat items. He opted for a different route with some of his gear, purchasing the more expensive items up front in the expectation that it would be easier to get the more common items later (the character just started). I know this lowers the stats a bit, but I was mentally accounting for that, and the character's performance on the previous session isn't entirely explained by a simple loss of +2 to dex and con. It is, however, solved by the huge loss of Elemental Overflow, so I'm pretty happy, now, with where he's at. I'm going to speak with him and see if he's aware of the ability.

Once he has two +2 stat items, is using the elemental overflow for another +2 to dex and con and +3 attack/damage, that's a total of +5 attack and +8 damage, which puts him right in line with where I was expecting him to be. So, yes, apparently the memo of the day is "Use elemental overflow" xD

Thanks for the help, everyone. :)


No problem. I'll link in a flow chart here for calculating burn, it makes things much more clear. I'll also bring up that elemental form is a great move for most kineticists. The default way to get max value is to start the day pushing elemental form up with a burn and then sink the minimum needed to use your full overflow value into your defense so you become a walking tank with overflow and size bonuses to your stats. You beef up quick, but don't have a whole lot of burn or HP left for the rest of the day. The other option is to be willing to sacrifice that power to instead have many burn per day available to nova your high damage composite/meta combos. This is a burst of power a few times a day, and may be more to your players style. It's generally noted to be somewhat less optimized strategically, but I'm not arguing against taking a BBEG out on turn two as a way to feel important.

Burn calculations

Spoiler:
Order of operations for burn is complex but manageable.
(Form cost + substance cost) - (infusion specialization) = basic blast cost.

(All meta kinesis costs if applicable) - (1 if you have meta kinetic mastery on one of the chosen metakinesis) = Meta cost.

(Cost of composite blast if applicable + cost of aetheric or gravitic boost if applicable) - (composite specialization) = composite cost.

(Basic blast cost) + (meta cost) +(composite cost) = Blast Cost

(Blast cost) - (gathered power + internal buffer used) = Burn Cost

At no point can any number be less than 0, or it just defaults to 0.
Burn cost must be less than the amount of burn you can accept per round to use the blast.
Some infusions offer you the chance to "accept 1 additional point of burn to...", this cannot be reduced except by internal buffer.
Some infusions say "increase the cost of this infusion by...", this is applied during step 1 to the cost of the infusion before infusion specialization is substracted.

If the burn cost of the ability is a number greater than 0, you take that amount of burn, and will take burn damage. You also trigger any effects which state "when you accept burn from this element" such as your elemental defense.

This then counts against your total burn taken for the round (which might decide for you whether or not you can use the "accept 1 additional point of burn to..." abilities) and generally means you've managed to blow something up good.


Yeah, the Kineticist's current accuracy is waaaay too low - remembering Elemental Overflow helps.

At Level 10, a character striking normal AC should be around +17 to-hit with their main attack. +13 is the minimum viable amount, and they really should be higher. Below that, they probably aren't going to hit often enough to really achieve what they're trying to do.


Brogue The Rogue wrote:


Once he has two +2 stat items, is using the elemental overflow for another +2 to dex and con and +3 attack/damage, that's a total of +5 attack and +8 damage, which puts him right in line with where I was expecting him to be. So, yes, apparently the memo of the day is "Use elemental overflow" xD

Thanks for the help, everyone. :)

That +5 covers a little over the negative for shooting throw an ally's square, and all it will cost him is a 30 HP reduction for the day. What he needs is a way to reduce his size, either the bat or fox shape feats or grab the song bird of many colors for a quick and easy option. Kineticist damage not being reduced by size is about the only good thing the class has going for it.

Good thing he didn't go aether or his damage would be half that without two available targets and tacking on a saving throw.


Boy that's pessimistic. That 30 how reduction also comes with bonus defenses like DR, or AC, or miss chance against projectiles for someone who's never in melee, or a refillable shield with immunity to on hit effects, bonuses to fort and reflex saves, increased accuracy and damage. So I'd think the class gets quite a lot for that 30 hp from their D8 hit die and absurd con mod to hp.

And aether gets empower too, or a composite that hits touch AC with no resistance. On top of that, snaking allows you to not shoot through any particular square if you don't want to so no -5 or miss chance if you want to go that route. While going small size with no damage penalties is great, it's hardly the only great thing the class does.


Shiroi wrote:

Boy that's pessimistic. That 30 how reduction also comes with bonus defenses like DR, or AC, or miss chance against projectiles for someone who's never in melee, or a refillable shield with immunity to on hit effects, bonuses to fort and reflex saves, increased accuracy and damage. So I'd think the class gets quite a lot for that 30 hp from their D8 hit die and absurd con mod to hp.

And aether gets empower too, or a composite that hits touch AC with no resistance. On top of that, snaking allows you to not shoot through any particular square if you don't want to so no -5 or miss chance if you want to go that route. While going small size with no damage penalties is great, it's hardly the only great thing the class does.

In the case of this water elementalist, he gets an armor equivalent to medium armor or a shield spell. He can spend 20 of the lost hp boosting the shield to +6, that is pretty good. Earth's is also alright. Then you have fire which provides no defense, aether gives you hp that can't be healed through spells or potions, air gives you physical ranged miss chance, void is niche as heck and wood gives extremely hp expensive natural armor. It's not a good spread there.

Yes, you can spend 2 burn snaking spells, another 20 hp. 0 if you don't move(there's a feat that gives you half your move, I know) and don't use metakinesis. That's half of a 10th level kineticist's infusions spent.

Aether's 2 composite blasts do damage as a normal blast, not a composite blast. If you don't do foe throw or disintegrate you're lagging behind and both add a save on top of the attack roll. Disintegrate is also expensive.

The only real solution to shoring up kineticist problems is turning into a tiny or smaller flying creature. it makes that ice armor really cool, removes the need for snaking since you can drop shots from above, and gives you a substantial to hit boost without a loss of damage. It can also save you the cost normally spent on being able to fly and allow you to fly while using the mobile gathering feat rather than dropping like a stone since you can't spend the move action to use your variant of greater flame jet when you've spent your move action on mobile gathering.

I'm telling you, the bat shape feat really brings the class together in a way that feels almost mandatory.


Wood deals some small damage to go with that less useful armor (wood is underpowered IMO) and void is definitely niche. Fire is heavy offense, lower utility and defense. It typically wants to be using kinetic whip to get all four iteratives at touch (and haste when possible). Aether refills itself between combat, and when it completely stops a bit of damage it negates all on hit effects (paralysis/poison/disease). Void is niche, but like wood it was added later and due to popularity more than honestly a lot of great mechanics and got less play test feedback.

Aether does do less damage, but with no resist or immunities it can be extremely reliable on an element which often doesn't focus on damage but utility.
Snaking is 2 burn, at level 5 it's only one and at 8 it's zero. You can drop it further by gather energy if you don't need to max out damage this shot. Also archers get the same miss chance, without feats, and kineticist can take the same feats if they'd rather.

Again, not to say bat shape isn't a really fun way to do it (I personally made a fire kineticist named Mozilla who never left Kitsune fox shape), but it's far from the only answer and doesn't stack well with the elemental form IV you can grab later.

You can definitely have a blast with the class without trying to hyper optimize the damage, it's almost hard to mess it up if you're actually using all the stuff it gives you and not afraid of the burn.


i have a level 7 earyth kineticist, who functions quite well, usually hits as the hardest in the group, and almost never uses more than 4 burn a scenario to increase his DR at the start.... So not sure what half of you are talking about? And this is a PFS legal char.

I have little trouble hitting (worst i have seen required me to roll an 10, and I am easily overpowering DR)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's some debate about the legitimacy of Fox or Bat Shape and kineticists, due to the requirement for Kinetic Blast of having "one free hand or prehensile appendage if you don't possess a hand" which you don't have in either bat or fox forms. Really annoying, because it disallows kinetic blasts as Godzilla style breath weapons.


Prehensile just means capable of grasping. A mouth can certainly grasp things.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

True enough, but you generally don't refer to your mouth as a limb. Your head, either. I'm wouldn't disallow it, just warning of a potential stumbling block.


Your head wouldn't be the appendage. Humans have really flat faces, so it's hard to think of our mouths as appendages. But something like a fox has a relatively long snout that projects away from the the head, and could be considered an appendage.


prd, polymorph wrote:
While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

A cheese-lover might use this information and an Alchemist's vestigial arm or tentacle ability to increase the weirdness of a kineticist.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Might work, I was looking at AoN, and the Monkey Belt can be used. 9400, but you can grow a prehensile tail for 5 minutes a day.


Kineticist leaves quite a bit of the rules around it up to the imagination. The aiming requirement seems to be there so that people can see the origin of the attack, so using anything you can point in the target's direction should be enough. Godzilla style should be available to everyone honestly, not just those without other options. Toot-toot style, maybe less widely available. I agree though, there's probably table variation on that rule.

For burn reduction, it's good to remember that combined blasts are 2 burn. You can discount the combined blast cost entirely at eight level, but you have nothing left for infusion costs. Supercharge reduces it again later and so on. Kineticist has a weird hiccup design where the cost reduction and cost increases don't sync up; occasionally making the class lame, then great, then lame again.

Overflow for instance seems to give the class it's full BAB and some bonus damage. That's fine, but if the class is designed with the assumption that you're hitting your overflow max, why not just bake it into the class? If the assumption is maxing overflow, we have a full bab class that gets a +1 to hit and about a 1d6 hit die. Same with the cost reducers, they aught to have reduced the cost of abilities that the class was designed around instead of bloating them and offering reductions at different levels. It's not like the class is so bare bones that it needs the padding of extra abilities.

Fire has the issue of nothing decent to dump your burn into to get the overflow bonus at the start of your day until you can grab heat wave and trail of flame. Searing flame could be a pretty cool ability, but getting it at the cost of defense means it's useless. Similarly, fire being melee focused and not having a decent defense means they're in a bit of a bad spot as well. They have rogue to hit, damage and defense with lower hp and inability to equip a shield. Kinetic knight is pretty necessary for that kind of fire build, and I'm not sure it really makes up for the loss of a ranged blast. If dipping water dancer for elemental focus is enough to qualify for water's elemental defense, then you can avoid the need for the archetype. But again, rules are fuzzy on that topic. Once you get trail of flames at 10th level, everything sort of changes.

I'm not saying the class can't be fun. It looks great at 5, 8, 9, and 11. It's just a bit over designed and sloppy in places. Fixing things like class based fly working with gather power, making sure abilities within the elements compliment each other, baking in costs and bonuses rather than pointlessly spreading them around and making sure the class abilities actually have rules and work with the rest of the game would all shape it up nicely.


To me, and I apologise for being so off topic I seem to ramble on the subject for it being my favorite class...

Burn giving you options for where to spend it either on defenses or utilities or as nova attacks is a cool thing. How you choose to max your overflow is a big decision (though usually one that a given character will do similarly most days, it can lead to very different ways to use it from player to player).

I once made the statement, nobody likes burn because you get an amazing new ability but you can't use it without hurting yourself for three more levels. The problem with looking at it that way is that the class is relatively balanced even if you choose not to accept burn at all, the numbers I quoted up there show that a kineticist forgetting overflow can be just shy the damage of a martial build while having great utility and options like ranged or AOE. So actually having your higher abilities gated behind burn isn't that you earn the ability to do an empowered composite and then can't use it without hurting yourself, it's that you get to use empowered composites several levels ahead of when you realistically should be allowed to use that kind of power. Then you get hurt, and even get paid back interest for being hurt (assuming you haven't yet maxed overflow).

It's a question of looking at the situation as whether you're not allowed to do what's on your sheet, or whether you're allowed to do stuff that shouldn't be on your sheet at a cost.


The idea seems great, but if we're looking at a class balanced around having a base HP of 9 before constitution at 12th level and is running a deficit at 15th, I think it's fair to say that the HP cost for meeting the class's base line abilities is pretty exceptional. Each burn after overpower is maxed is about 1/6th(or 1 over whatever your con mod is) of your hp after 9th level. Every interrupt, every extra burn you spend is a good chunk of your health pool and completely unrecoverable without a full rest. If the class weren't balanced around maxed overflow, it wouldn't be as much of a concern, but with Mark's reply here it appears that it is.

I was wondering before, but why do you mention kinetic form as a good use of burn. All it does for you is reduce your to hit and AC, give you reach, and a bonus to combat maneuvers. Is this to avoid getting locked out of all your class features when you're grappled?


ErichAD wrote:


I was wondering before, but why do you mention kinetic form as a good use of burn. All it does for you is reduce your to hit and AC, give you reach, and a bonus to combat maneuvers. Is this to avoid getting locked out of all your class features when you're grappled?

Large+ Kinetic Whip=20' radius sphere of potential AoOs, each matching around 2 hits from a normal weapon. Especially good on a Kinetic Knight.


... they have changed elemental form I-IV since the playtest, I had memorized old rules. I retract the statement, that is a bad talent and should be burned for most builds.

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