Building a damage dealing kineticist and making it ... equivalent.


Advice

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I've been seeing a lot of ... dislike thrown towards kineticists in a separate forum that I like to lurk around on, claiming that a kineticist can not output damage equal to a "half-decently optimized" dedicated damage dealer from another class. Now, I immediately scoff at that because I've seen what a well played, almost no optimization kineticist can do at one of my tables (earth/metal/fire), and my group runs fairly optimized, but, I am not above learning I am incorrect.

So, the point of this thread! I want to see what people over here think a "half-decently optimized" damage dealer looks like in three categories: Melee, ranged, and spellcasting. NOTE: This is not throw me the best builds possible that max out damage. I want half-decent optimized, not fully optimized. Something to get a base level on what an efficient kineticist should strive to match, not outright break the CR system and send it home crying to its mother (to repeat a phrase I saw on the other forum). If nothing less than the best is what you can offer me, I don't want it. You can instead suggest a kineticist build.

Now, to the important bits:
Point buy 20pts
Races: stick to common and uncommon
Classes: Any and multiclassing is allowed, with kineticist and the target groups.
Wealth: Typical for level, assume crafting not available.
Resources: NO 3RD PARTY AT ALL. Anything 1st party is good. Variant rules available are fractional BAB/SAVES and multiclassing.
Additional: Do not assume that optimal circumstances are available for your damage potential. Smite evil? Assume they aren't evil. Favored Enemy? Assume they aren't what you selected. Sneak attack? Assume they have uncanny dodge or are immune. Don't like that? Fine, post the damage for your favored circumstance, but put the non-ideal damage in a prominent place, preferably bold.

Let's pick some arbitrary levels to give a spread to target. Ideally, we'll have 3 builds (1 Melee, 1 ranged, 1 spellcasting) in each level group and they don't have to be the same builds. Let's pick Level 6, level 11, and level 16.

Hopefully this will garner some attention and support. I did not attempt to do all this myself, even though I have the capacity, because I am quite biased on the matter and want to get an idea of the community's perspective and creativity in the mix. Overall, we want to shoot for a range where the kineticist matches the expectations of a typical adventure path and doesn't break the system


It really depends on your definition of 'half-decent optimizing', it's possible to exceed the expectations of APs without intending to do so as I understand it.

If you want an idea what sort of numbers you need to meet the expectations of the CR system, try this spreadsheet.

If you just want some creative character builds, I'm sure we can do that.


Indeed. I've blown AP expectations out of the water myself and had to reign myself, and my players, back a bit. Trying to get an example of what they mean by half-decently optimized is a joke, as there is some sort of assumption of stupidity or ignorance if you don't select the very best options available when they become available. Hence my appeal to this forum. If we can reach a consensus, I can claim objectivity and less bias in my methods.

Excellent suggestion with that spreadsheet. Let's shoot for the GREEN category, +/- 10% for wiggle room. If we can hit green in all categories applicable to each build, I will deem that a success and the character efficient. Even "passable" orange in a secondary tactic is fine, because we won't be working in a vacuum with other party members, but we really want green. And we need to have a non-combatant schtick. That goes for EVERY build, even non-kineticists. We need to be GOOD at that schtick, even if it hurts over all optimization. Maybe that's half-decent?

Creative builds are more than welcome, especially with kineticists. I am not trying to prove the kineticists are the best, but effective in their own right and worth wrapping your head around their mechanics. I even have my own "ranged" kineticist archer build to add into the mix if interest is there.


It really depends on the level, at 3-5 the damage is quite good, but it falls over for a bit, then is ok at 11 again briefly, then falling off a bit after


So finals approach, and I don't have time to post a bunch of builds, but having played a kinetisict, I feel I can say a few things :)

First it's a fun class to play, but it can be very frustrating

They're damage output looks big, and it can be, but if you go the ranged route, you Will fall behind, even with empowered, it can't keep up with a full attack, and if you miss that one shot, you wasted a turn, and it hurts :(
To really crank numbers you need to get kinetic blade, and mix it up in melee, once you get kinetic whip, whip hurricane, you can REALLY put on the hurt :)

The problem I have, is hitting things...

As far as build rules go, we are assuming non optimal scenario, so no sneak attack, I think that's a bit restrictive, as rouges can usually get sneak attack, but let's assume non optimal for the kinetisict, and the thing is immune to your energy blast, and let's assume we have 1 enemy, no hurricane of death this time...

ok no problem, let's switch to our physical blast, so at level 16 our physical blast is 7d6+7+con, let's say +5 base modifier (20 pt buy, leveling etc) +3 enhancement (belt) and overflow for +3 size, so we have so we are looking at 7d6+18, not bad (and yes, I left out overflow to damage, as kinetic blade isnt allowed to use it :P)

But what if there bonus to hit, Bab+12, +5 overflow,+1 weapon focus, and we assume they took weapon finesse, and let's be nice and say we have +5 base Dex, +3 enhancement (belt if physical might) and +2 size, so we are looking at an attack routine of
28,23,18 for (7d6+18) avg damage of 39
now your average CR 16 monster has an AC of 31, so hits on a 3, hits on an 8, hits on a 13, not bad :D

But what if this is a hard encounter, so averadge party level, +2 CR, a CR 18 monster has an AC of 33 (averadge)
So you need a 5, 10, 15, still not bad, but let's hope this isn't an above averadge AC :)

I know there are complex formulas, but let's just say he hits the first 2 and misses the last, he has done (on average) 78 damage :D

Let's look at a basic 2 hander, nothing fancy, but let's do a vanilla fighter,
We will assume Str is base 5,+3 enhancement, and even though there are plenty of buffs to strength in the form of spells, let's say he doesn't get any, let's give him a good old greatsword, but being a fighter, he needs power attack, and at least one weapon speacilization (let's not do greater), then his weapon training is only +3 right now, however, the fighter has one advantage the kinetisict cannot duplicate, a +5 enhancement bonus on his weapon, and if I were to be fair, it's probably a flaming, frost, shock greatsword of blah, but we will leave that out for now, but let's not forget power attack -5 to attack, but on a 2 hander +15 damage

So damage so far is looking like 2d6+38, an averadge of 45, (he also crits more often, but it's not too often, unless it's a keen greatsword, an option kinetisict don't have

so far it looks like our fighter is winning, but the fighter also gets 4 attacks, and with strength of 8 total, weapon focus, weapon training, 16bab, and +5 enhancement, -5 power attack

We have an attack routine of 28,23,18,13
Let's look at that actually of 33, we need a 5,10,15,20, again let's assume the first 2 hit, and the second 2 miss, we have an avg damage of 90

In this example, fighter wins, and unfortunately, I think I was fair, there isn't much else a kinetisict can add, yes they can empower if they spend burn, or gather power, they can tack on debuffs, they could even get a wysp to boost there attack and damage a tad, even still though the kinetisict has no way of bypassing damage reduction, so even damage reduction 10 puts the kinetisict at 58 damage, to the fighters 90 (assuming it's not Dr/-)

However the fighter has options to add much more, even furious focus gives that first attack, a plus 33 to hit (all but garunteeing one hit) keen flaming frost shock corrosive wepaon, greater weapon speacilization, you can even use feats like cornugan smash to debuff, combat manuevers etc.

The kinetisict does have more skill ranks, and wild talents, and so brings some utility, but let's be honest, not that much utility, it's primarily a for class, and it's no where near the fighter, at least not in solo combat, (good old whip hurricane)

I love the kinetisict, but they vastly overestimated it, and being unable to have a simple enhancement bonus is sad, well, there is one talent, but it would cost 5 burn to add a +5 enhancement to one hit, so punch yourself in the face for 100hp at level 20, and I can add +5 to attack and damage, and bypass damage reduction on 1 hit :D
(Ok that last bit wasn't fair, infusion speacilization can reduce that to 0, but that means no other substance infusions, and no form infusions without taking burn or gather power, and yes that means to do this in melee, you will need to take at least 1 point of burn to use kinetic blade)

Sorry the formatting is poor (I'm on my phone) but the main point is, it's not really hard for a kinetict to be out done in damage, and they don't have nearly enough utility to make up for that, if you want to optimize a charectors (just look at the utility, skill, and damage of bards...)

My suggestion, work with your gm, see if they will allow you to have an amulet of mighty blasts ;)

And/or use some of the kinetisicts of poryphora stuff, most of it is decent (not all of it though, again, work with your gm)

And I don't want to scare people away I really enjoyed the kinetisict :)

But I have also played an arcanist, and a bloodrager, and the kinetisict does not have the same level of power


I was actually hoping for complete builds, rather than quick summaries, so that we can inspect the mechanics a good bit closer and see how each individual piece fits into the picture. Also, we aren't saying assume the worst possible scenario, only not the most ideal scenario. But thank you for your contribution.

For anyone else, feel free to just tackle ONE build at ONE specific level. You don't have to do a side to side comparison. I am sure the rest of us reading can compare the builds and offer suggestions independently.


I may have more time to do a full build later this week/month :) either way I'll be watching this thread :D


More likely the fighter has gloves of dueling, and the 3rd swing hits.


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Complete builds aren’t very telling, unfortunately. The problem is that the relative power of the kineticist is based on a lot of variables, like how available are the perfect weapons for the comparison build. If your campaign is low wealth, the kineticist may look pretty good. The kineticist is a class that doesn’t have any good gear options and the little gear there is for it will never drop in an AP, so has to be bought somewhere.

The annoying thing is that I feel like a lot of the kineticist issues could be fixed just by adding an equivalent to an amulet of mighty fists.


Melkiador wrote:
Complete builds aren’t very telling, unfortunately. The problem is that the relative power of the kineticist is based on a lot of variables, like how available are the perfect weapons for the comparison build. If your campaign is low wealth, the kineticist may look pretty good. The kineticist is a class that doesn’t have any good gear options and the little gear there is for it will never drop in an AP, so has to be bought somewhere.

Let us assume that the standard game table experience is available. We are not going to struggle with low/no magic issues and magic items are available. While we aren't allow crafting feats as far as being able to shortcut the wealth per level, you can use them to manufacture items and the NPCs can be hired to make them for you too. As far as making custom magic items to help the kineticist out, I am afraid that is a big no. We can't be giving them any special treatment.

plaidwandering wrote:
More likely the fighter has gloves of dueling, and the 3rd swing hits.

Remember that we are not uber-optimizing the competition builds. We want them 'half-decent' in optimization. If you are going to give them dueling gloves, be sure that they NEED them to make up for some deficiency or less than optimized aspect of their character.

UPDATE: Perhaps I should have mentioned this in my opening post, but I just thought about it. Try not MIN/MAX ability scores, as that is a sure sign of optimization. If you can, only have one stat with a negative modifier and I really hope no one goes below an 8 but I wont make that a hard rule because of racial modifiers. Keep stats above a 6 and try not to start with a score higher than an 18.


No sorry, dueling gloves is not uber-optimized. You are measuring at 16, it's definitely standard well before then.

This comparison also has kineticist with blade for multiple attacks, which not everyone wants to do. Yet, it's the only way to get this comparison even close.

If you compare it at range vs another character, it's even more atrocious.


Just because something is “standard” does not mean it is not optimized. Something that is well known to increase the effectiveness of a character just means it is a smart choice. You can have dueling gloves. You can take the kinetic blade. I am expecting people to be reasonable with their choices because this whole experiment does not work if they don’t take the time to think out their choices and apply it to the big picture we are shooting for here.

By all means, use optimization in your builds. Don’t push past what you feel is half-decent with that optimization, at least with the non-kineticist builds. The rest of us will make up our own minds on what that terms means after the builds are posted, not before. We are not prejudging anything.

Check out the spreadsheet avr posted as we are going to use the GREEN criteria as our baseline. If you meet blue, GREAT! If you absolutely SMASH the blue criteria, consider dialing it back because you’ve pushed beyond our scope here. The spreadsheet does not account for DR or energy resistances (well, it does but not specifically, merely averages it out in DPR), so neither are we. We are assuming that sources of variable damage, like smite, favored enemy, and sneak are not going to factor in (as really, it complicates the math), but feel free to add that ideal damage as a side note. What we want is average and expected performance against the wide range of enemies.


What's the use of creating an artificial situation that doesn't reflect the average experience? Dueling gloves are so well known, that'd I'd expect anyone with weapon training to go after them, as soon as they are available. it's not like they're from some splat book either. They are part of Ultimate Equipment and should be considered standard for most builds.

The kineticist has a high floor and low ceiling for optimization. This is because in addition to having few magical items that are great for them, they also have very few feats that can help them deal more damage with their usual blast. This is why the melee build is so popular, because there are feats that work with the melee build to improve things.


Melkiador wrote:
What's the use of creating an artificial situation that doesn't reflect the average experience?

Because we are trying to get a baseline for a concept and that requires specifying a controlled scenario. Asking people to optimize to a certain baseline is perfectly reasonable. As for reflecting the 'average' experience, too much table variation exists for that statement to be useful. We are creating an artificial 'average' experience and using that.

Quote:
Dueling gloves are so well known, that'd I'd expect anyone with weapon training to go after them, as soon as they are available. it's not like they're from some splat book either. They are part of Ultimate Equipment and should be considered standard for most builds.

If they help you meet the baseline target, use them. If they push you well past it, consider not using them. It is your wealth you are choosing to spend. A lot of this is being left up to the individuals. Either we work together or this isn't going to work out.

Quote:
The kineticist has a high floor and low ceiling for optimization.

This isnt really about how well you can optimize the kineticist. This is about seeing how it performs in comparison with the other classes and if it is efficient enough to encourage people to wrap their heads around learning the mechanics. If a little-to-no optimized kineticist can keep up with expected damage output of the CR system (as avr posted), we can call that worthwhile. If it doesn't, then we have to reassess our assumptions.


*pokes head in*

I would very much like to disagree. While I did realize (after it became irrelevant) that Composite Blast shouldn't be reduced automatically by Infusion Specialization (the wording is confusing, and there's conflicting clarifications), I still output an impressive amount of damage, especially with Gather Power finally catching up. I have decent accuracy (though it is somewhat behind a full-BAB martial) on my one attack, and when it hits, I deal an average of 150 damage every round.

Outside of combat, I have insane amounts of utility (Earth Glide is awesome for scouting), ridiculous amounts of survivability (DR 11, over 200 HP), and quite a bit of mobility (Ride the Blast, Mobile Gathering).


Rogar Befin wrote:
*pokes head in*

Your experience with the kineticist class closely mirrors my own. I AGREE with you. This thread is about putting numbers to it.


At level 6, a simple archer fighter with 16 str and 20 dex with Deadly Aim, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Rapid Shot and Manyshot will full-attack with +10/+10/+10/+5 to hit for 1d8 +10 damage.

At the same level, a kineticist who invest 3 burn to get Overflow bonus and uses gather power to Empower (basically a full round action, the same as the archer) will attack with +10 to hit for 4d6 +17 (with deadly aim and a 20 dex/ 20 con).

To me this seems pretty much the same, the fighter will end up doing more damage than you, but you can do more stuff, like flying, healing, create cover or whatever else kineticist do.


I'm a fan of Magnetic Infusion for increasing the amount of damage the Kineticist produces. Just because the damage is from somebody else's sword doesn't make it their damage.


Allow me to be clear on my stance too, as I have played a kinetisict, I did enjoy it, but I feel like there could be some quality of life changes made, like extra wild talent not being talents 4 levels behind, some way to get an enhancement bonus etc.

As far as out of combat utility, it depends on your elemant, as was mentioned eart glidenis great for scouting, and yes kinetic cover is a thing (it only has 2hp per level though, it's inly going to stop one attack as a standard a action) but what does fire offer for utility? Not much beyond what first level spells offer

My issue with a kinetisict isn't that they can't do damage, or don't have utility, it's that they don't have enough of either one or the other, if they are built for support utility, let them have some more support utitlity, if they are built for damage, let them do some more damage.

But as it stands, I can play a ranger, do more damage, and bring more utility, with an animal companion to boot :)

I could play an alchemsit, with touch AC bombs with about the same progression as a kinetisict blast, but fast bombs for full attacks, with AoE (but no spell resistence issues) and bring boats of utility (and yes, a kinetisict can do there thing all day, but that doesn't come up as often as you might think, heavily depends on the campaighn)

I can play a bloodrager, definitely do more damage, and bring up to fourth level spells in utility (speaking from experience on that one)

Any full caster can get high damage spells, summons, and utility etc.

Kinetisict is not a bad class, but it's like a monk, there are plenty of decent monk builds out there, but more often then not, they feel like they should be better at what they do.

But I guess that's why your asking for full builds let's look at the actual numbers behind that damage and utility :)

(I'll try to put some full builds up soon)


Celobi wrote:
At level 6, a simple archer fighter with 16 str and 20 dex with Deadly Aim, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Rapid Shot and Manyshot will full-attack with +10/+10/+10/+5 to hit for 1d8 +10 damage.

Don't forget about Weapon training, for another +1. And by that level you can assume the fighter has at least a +1 bow, with a +2 bow being somewhat likely. The fighter will also likely have some magic arrows to tack special effects onto his shots by that level, but those are hard to quantify and expect.

So, it's more like +12/+12/+12/+7 hitting for 1d8+12 damage. And that's really just baseline for a fighter archer. If you wanted to actually optimize it, you could get much higher numbers. The problem with the kineticist is that it's already very near its ceiling. It starts with lower DPR than something like an archer and then can't do anything to try to optimize up, because there's no more options for it to do so.


Melkiador wrote:
So, it's more like +12/+12/+12/+7 hitting for 1d8+12 damage.

Ok. These are good numbers to throw out but I think people are missing the point. This is an example of optimizing for the damage potential of the fighter. Yes, you can pump the numbers higher. Everything you have done is simply to enhance its ability to deal damage. This is not what we are a trying to do.

Despite dealing 16.5 damage per shot being great, it completely SHATTERS the expected capabilities of the target we are aiming for. 66 (average) damage in one turn, for a level 6 character (assuming everything hits) is well beyond the "good" expectation of 35 listed in the BLUE category for a ECL 6 encounter. Even accounting for for possible misses (assumed target AC is 19), that is still well above what we need.

So, if you are shattering that expectations, dial down the optimization and branch out into non-combat related abilities. We still need a fighter that is good at social and other non-combat activities.

Quote:
The problem with the kineticist is that it's already very near its ceiling. It starts with lower DPR than something like an archer and then can't do anything to try to optimize up, because there's no more options for it to do so.

This is the exact thing I am seeking to tackle in this thread. The perception that the kineticist can't handle itself because everything else has been so inflated in expectation by other classes. People are assuming optimization as the base line expectation, rather than the CR system we have to work with, with which the kinentcist was likely designed to work within.


Including the base abilities and assumptions isn't even optimizing though. An archery fighter will have weapon training in bows. And a level 6 character is expected to have at least a +1 weapon.

I still don't see your point. It seems like you're saying that other classes can be as weak as a kineticist if we purposely make weak decisions for them. Yes, those other classes have low optimization floors. The kineticist has a high floor. Proving that you can make other classes weaker than the kineticist doesn't really seem meaningful.

And fighter is really the "weakest" archer example for all rounding. Advanced weapon training with dueling gloves is the only thing that really makes them competitive. But, throw a baseline archer inquisitor in and things get ugly fast. Not only does the inquisitor do more damage, but its utility is way better too. It has non-combat abilities all over the place and 6th level spell casting.


Melkiador wrote:
Celobi wrote:
At level 6, a simple archer fighter with 16 str and 20 dex with Deadly Aim, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Rapid Shot and Manyshot will full-attack with +10/+10/+10/+5 to hit for 1d8 +10 damage.
Don't forget about Weapon training, for another +1. And by that level you can assume the fighter has at least a +1 bow, with a +2 bow being somewhat likely.

I actually put those numbers in the calculataion:

+6 (BAB) +5 (DEX) +1 (Weapon Training) +1 (Weapon Focus) +1 (+1 Bow) that puts him at a +14 to hit, however he was also Rapid Shoting and using Deadly Aim, which gives him a -4 to hit, bringing him to +10.

And his stats were 16 str, 20 dex (from 15 base, +2 racial, +1 from 4th level and a +2 belt) [16 str / 15 dex / 13 con / 12 int / 13 wis / 8 cha] was the spread that I used.

And I think this only speaks that the kineticist is a very capable class, since level 6 is when the Fighter Archer gains his power spike (going from making 2 attacks to 4) but the kineticist only gains his at 7th level, when not only he gains an extra dice from empower (at 6 it goes from 3d6 to 4d6, but at level 7 it goes from 4d6 to 6d6) but also can start using Composite Blasts that basically double his damage and also his options to overcome resistances and DR


Why do you need a fighter that is good at social activities in this comparison? That's invalid honestly. The kineticist in this comparison is going to be trash at social itself.


Melkiador wrote:
It seems like you're saying that other classes can be as weak as a kineticist if we purposely make weak decisions for them.

That is NOT what I am saying. I stated in my previous post that our expectation of the capabilities of the classes are TOO HIGH to begin with and this is causing a perception of the kineticist as being too weak to compete.

Quote:
And fighter is really the "weakest" archer example for all rounding. Advanced weapon training with dueling gloves is the only thing that really makes them competitive.

This isn't about classes being "competitive" with each other, but being 'effective' at what they are intended, or built, to do. That doesn't mean being the best, or breaking the expectations.

plaidwandering wrote:
Why do you need a fighter that is good at social activities in this comparison? That's invalid honestly. The kineticist in this comparison is going to be trash at social itself.

Because optimizing for one specific purposes ignores everything outside of that situation and fighters exist in a game world where their non-combat actions matter.

*sigh* At this point, I'm starting to think that I am better off building these characters myself and seeing how they each match up to the chart. I am hoping some of you can grasp what I am trying to do and assist with that, as I wanted to get a variety of different classes (and archetypes) to work with so we have a greater sample size to draw from.


DeathlessOne wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
It seems like you're saying that other classes can be as weak as a kineticist if we purposely make weak decisions for them.
That is NOT what I am saying. I stated in my previous post that our expectation of the capabilities of the classes are TOO HIGH to begin with and this is causing a perception of the kineticist as being too weak to compete.

That word "compete" is what you seem to be missing though. The issue isn't about how different classes do when straight jacketed to some arbitrary standard. The issue is how the kineticist measures up to other classes, when those classes have just the slightest bit of optimization.


Melkiador wrote:
That word "compete" is what you seem to be missing though. The issue isn't about how different classes do when straight jacketed to some arbitrary standard. The issue is how the kineticist measures up to other classes, when those classes have just the slightest bit of optimization.

Except I am not MISSING anything of the sort and am not straight-jacketing anything. This thread is not about a competition. That can come later in another format. This is NOT an arms race.

I am setting a not-unreasonable goal of meeting a baseline effectiveness and asking the builds to diversify from there, rather than continuing attempting to optimize their damage potential. THAT is the goal. To meet the expectation of the CR system and see how the kineticist measures up from there. When we do this, we can see how many resources each build can set aside to do something OTHER than build for more damage. And we can look at that from three different points in a build, maybe more later.

If you (not you specifically) like to build for large numbers and you find your fun in that, this might not be the place to use your talents.


DeathlessOne wrote:
I am setting a not-unreasonable goal of meeting a baseline effectiveness and asking the builds to diversify from there, rather than continuing attempting to optimize their damage potential. THAT is the goal. To meet the expectation of the CR system and see how the kineticist measures up from there. When we do this, we can see how many resources each build can set aside to do something OTHER than build for more damage. And we can look at that from three different points in a build, maybe more later.

But why? The "baseline" builds are meaningless if no one realistically builds that way in the first place. If you are trying to prove that for a very specific set of circumstances the kineticist is ok, then what use is that?


Melkiador wrote:
But why? The "baseline" builds are meaningless if no one realistically builds that way in the first place. If you are trying to prove that for a very specific set of circumstances the kineticist is ok, then what use is that?

Just because you don't realistically build that way does not mean no one else does. I am not trying to say you are playing wrong, because everyone has their own style and manner that they play it, but I could be suggesting that the perceptions of the kineticist are wrong because you are not playing the same type of game it was designed for. Forums like this (and others) act like echo chambers and not all experiences are seen in equal light.

Now, for me to either affirm my opinion or dismiss it, I need data. That is what this thread is for. Gathering and comparing data so that we can ALL see what is going on in a transparent manner, and get multiple opinions that are based on hard data, not personal experiences and pure mathematics (as we see in pure damage builds, existing in a vacuum outside of the game environment). I realize that I am going against the grain here. That is the only way to ever get a truly finished, and polished, perspective. Either I will wear away a rough spot on the eyes of the community, or my own will wear off and everything will be smooth.


I get it, your more looking to see if a kinetisict is up to par with the CR rating right? Either way,bi have a build for you, also apology, my earlier post said 7d6 when it should be 8d6 for or level 16, not that that's a huge difference...

Lv16 kinetisict human, element water, expanded elemant water, expanded elemant water

Roles, tank,bscout, damage (primarily groups, and emergency healer

20 pt buy, with racial adjustment adding 2 to Dex, and leveling adjustment adding 2 to dex and 2 to con, base stats

Str 8
Dex 20
Con 18
Int 10
Wis 12
Cha 10

Being human we get 1 bonus feat, and we are replacing skilled with "hustory if terrors" , this gives +2 will vs mind effecting, and +4 will vs fear

Traits, indomitable faith +1 will
And defensive stratigest (can't be caught flat footed in the surprise round)

Feats
1-weapon focus blast
1-weapon finesse
3-iron will
5-ability focus blast
7-extra wild talent kinetic cover
9-combat reflexes
11-extra wild talent, water manipulator
13-kibetic invocation
15-extra wild talent, spark of life

Infusions
1-kinetic blade
3-extended range
5-entangling
9-kibetic whip
11-blade whirlwind
13-whip hurricane

Utility wild talents
2-kineyic healer
4-elemental whispers
6-greater elemental whispers (take a wysp)
8-water dancer
10-kibetic form
12-ride the blast
14-shimmering mirage
16-fluid form (see kinetic invocation)

And at levels 7 and 15, since we chose water, we can gain either an extra infusion, or utility talent, there are better options, but
7-cold adaptation
15-cold snap
(Level 15 we also get +1 attack +1 damage, and +1DC)
The wysp also gives us +1 attached,and +1 damage

We will put our skill ranks into perception, survival, stealth, and acrobatics.

Items
Belt if physical might +6 con +6 Dex
90,000gp
Ring if protection +5
32,000gp
Cloak of resistence +5
12,500gp
Headband of inspired wisdom +6
36,000gp
+5 greater shadow haramaki
25,000gp+153gp+33,750gp
+5 amylet if natural armor
50,000gp
Boots of speed
12,000gp
Masterwork dagger
301gp
Eyes of the eagle
5,000gp
Dusty Rose prism ioun stone
5,000gp
Cracked Dusty Rose prism ioun stone
500gp

Every morning, our kinetisict fills his internal buffer with three points (which he can use later, but those points if burn help activate elemental overflow now) he spends 2 points of burn on increasing his shield bonus from shroad if water, and lastly he spends 2 points in kinetic form, allowing him to grow huge, for a total of 7 burn, meaning he now has
+6 size bonus to dex
+4 size bonus to Con
+2 size bonus to Str
+5 attack, +10 damage (not with blade or whip though)
A 35% chance to avoid crits or precision based damage
And unfortunately 112 points if non-lethal damage

If by some magic he rolls 8 every time, or spends hold/time to retrain, he will have 272hp, 112 non lethal, with 160hp left to go

Adjusted ability scores, including size and enhancement

Str 10 +0
Dex 32 +11
Con 28 +9
Int 10 +0
Wis 18 +4
Cha 10 +0

Skills
Survival +20 (wisdom+ranks)
Perception +28 (wisdom, class,ranks, +5 comp)
Acrobatics +30 (Dex, ranks, class)
Stealth +45 (ranks, class, dex, +15 comp)

Saves
Fortitude 24 (con, base, resist)
Reflex 26 (dex, base, resist)
Will 17, 19 if mind effecting, 21 if fear (history of terror, trait, feat, Wis, base, resist)

Boots of speed can boost reflex by 1

AC 43 (dex, armor, deflection, natural armor, ioun stone, +7 shield from shroud, + base 10 -2 for size)
any round you take burn, you get the armor bonus from shroud, which is 9, 3 better then your regular armor, so your account jumps up to 46, and your wysp can perhaps aid another on that account, having servitor, allows that to be a +4 bonus, on one attack, if it can threaten...but still :)
Flat footed ac 34
Touch 25

Boots if speed can boost ac by 1

We also have a 20% miss chance, and can spend 1 burn to heal 8d6+28 if needed

Initiative +12 (dex+ioun stone)

Now for that offense

Attacks melee 29/24/19 (Bab 12/7/2 + 11dex, +1 expanded element 15, +1 wysp, +1 weapon focus, +5 overflow, -2 size)

With haste from boots if speed 30/30/26/20

If you choose to not grow huge, say for ranged attacks, you get a +31 to hit on that blast

Damage cold blast (goes against touch AC) 8d6+4(1/2 con)+1 wysp, +1 expanded element, if not using blade +10 overflow
8d6+6 melee, or 8d6+16 range

Water blast regular AC
8d6+7+9con,+1 wysp,+1 expanded element
+10 if not using blade
8d6+18, or 8d6+28 if ranged

Composite blast (with composite speacilization this costs 1 burn, but gather power can be used to reduce)

Ice physical (goes against regular AC, half piercing, half cold damage)
16d6+14+9 con,+1 wysp, +1 expanded element, +10 overflow if ranged
16d6+25, or 16d6+35 if ranged

Phew...
Putting it all together, we have the options to modify our blasts
And we can reduce the cost if infusions by 4, and can reduce the cost further by 2 with gather power as move action, but as we want to full attack, gather power is for ranged blasts, or whip hurricanes.

Infusions
Kinetic blade cost 1 burn (melee)

Kinetic whip cost 2 burn (reach melee, but threatens close targets too, can also make AoO)

Blade whirlwindd cost 3 attack everyone in natural reach once

Whip hurricane cost 4 attack everyone within reach (using reach) once

Entangling DC 30 fort to resist cost 2

Dc(10+ blast level (8), +1 expanded element, +2 ability focus, +9 con)

We also have composite blast, costs 1, but no reduction for infusion speacilization

And metakinusis, we will focus mostly in empower costs 1 +50% damage

We can gather power and blast at range, without doending burn, move gather, empower composite, extended range and entangling,
+29 to hit, avg damage of 136, with a DC 30 entangle effect from 120ft away, but once it's time to close..

round 1, if your able to wait, spend 1 point of internal buffer or burn to cast fluid form, going some Dr, and 10 more feet if reach (making 40ft total) next round we activate our boots if speed as a free action, and with water dancer, we now move 70ft, but that's a bit mundane, so instead we gather power as move action, and blast at range as above, we ride the blast, and are now in melee range, and hopefully it's cold enough, that cold snap can reduce there Dex by 4, and we wait for next round, or

We gather power, and spend 1 point from our internal buffer, to do a quickened, cold, entangling, extended range blast, taking no burn (if you really feel now is the time, spend 1 or 2 burn to empower/composite)

You are now adjacent, but you still have a standard action, you whip hurricane everyone within 40 ft
+30 to hit, avg damage of 46 (if water blast at regular AC)
Or 34(if cold damage, at touch AC)
Or again spend a point or 2 of burn to empower a composite, and hit all this mooks for an avg of 121

From there you can gather power to composite empower whip hurricane every turn, no burn, or entangle whip hurricane, no burn

Or if there is only 1 left to stand against the onelught, kinetic whip, entangle, or spend internal buffer to full attack, for
30/30/25/20 avg damage of 34 for cold blast, or 46 for water blast

You can also ready action kinetic cover, to block spells, dragons breath, etc.

Or if low on how, just spend a standard to summon a water elemental, a move to maintain, and blast from a distance

There is my build, level 16, its optimized to a degree, but I fear it won't be difficult to outdue...


Just some thoughts on Kineticist and DPS. The only real way to increase damage is to increase the number of attacks a Kineticist can perform. The only way to do that is to melee. There are 3 infusions that allow this. The one that most people focus on is Kinetic Whip. While Whip is very good, it takes a long time to come on line, and you have to go through Kinetic Blade first.

Instead I've focused on Kinetic Fist. While it isn't as supported as Blade/Whip it does have some advantages. The biggest advantage is that it can be used with natural and unarmed attacks. The other advantage is that it gains a little bit of extra damage. A large detriment is that you lose con bonus to damage, but it gets offset by adding strength to damage instead.

So go Elemental Ascetic to get Kinetic Fist reduced to 0 burn. Pick up Lizardman for the race so you have 2 claw primary with a secondary bite attack. At first level you're doing 2d6+ str mod damage. Do not use Flurry, instead focus on a natural attack build. Also don't get caught up in wisdom. Use armor.

By 6th level that damage increases to 4d6 elemental damage + claw or bite. While your BAB is lower, your 2 claw attacks have no penalties to them, and your bite is the same as other classes iterative attack. AT this point you can consider yourself slightly ahead of other melee classes damage wise.

By 11th level you'll fall behind other classes if you don't do something to increase the number of natural attacks you get. The only way to do that is to change your form. So take Leadership at 7th level and grab an Alchemist follower with the Infusion discovery. Now you can benefit from Monsterous Physique and pick up a form with more natural attacks. Also your alchemist can give you a Barkskin infusion to free up your neck slot for an Amulet of Mighty Fists.

By 16th level you'll have access thanks to your follower to even better forms. You're main concern should be the number of attacks you can perform, and reach. Things like movement can be done by your kineticist abilities.


The problem is kinetic fist also scales slower, as it's damage is 1/3 of your regular blast (minumum 1d6) so that blast is 1d6 until level 11, where it's 2d6, and 3d6 at 17


Geruvurrda wrote:
The problem is kinetic fist also scales slower, as it's damage is 1/3 of your regular blast (minumum 1d6) so that blast is 1d6 until level 11, where it's 2d6, and 3d6 at 17

Ah. I was reading that to be it did an additional 1/3 of your blast damage, when it should be it adds 1/3rd of your blast damage to your natural attacks. The designer was absolutely adamant about making sure this class can't put out damage, wasn't he?

It really makes me wonder how Shikigami Style slipped through the cracks.

But it makes more sense now why anyone would consider dipping 1 level into Spellslinger then going Kinetisist so they can channel their basic blast through a firearm. That lets them get enhancement bonuses both to hit and to damage.


Spellslinger doesn't mention the ability to use SLAs, only actual spells. You can, however, use a weapon with the conductive property.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Celobi wrote:

At level 6, a simple archer fighter with 16 str and 20 dex with Deadly Aim, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Rapid Shot and Manyshot will full-attack with +10/+10/+10/+5 to hit for 1d8 +10 damage.

At the same level, a kineticist who invest 3 burn to get Overflow bonus and uses gather power to Empower (basically a full round action, the same as the archer) will attack with +10 to hit for 4d6 +17 (with deadly aim and a 20 dex/ 20 con).

To me this seems pretty much the same

Funny you should say that, because 3d8+30 is WAY more than 4d6+17. If you do the math against e.g. a CR8 enemy, this fighter ends up doing roughly TWICE as much average damage as the kinny (33.6 vs 17.1, to be precise).

And you're lowballing the fighter, and giving the fighter lower ability scores than the kinny, and everybody knows fighters aren't such a great class in the first place.

Quote:
you can do more stuff, like flying, healing, create cover or whatever else kineticist do.

Creating one square of cover for a standard action, that's weaker than 20-gp smokestick. In-combat touch-range healing isn't great either, and out-of-combat you just use a wand. Permanent flight is great; but other than that, this "other stuff" doesn't seem to amount to much.


I like Kineticists a great deal so my opinion is biased.

Will you ever be king of damage? No.
Will you be good at damage? Yes.
Will you have a swiss-army knife of tricks you can do all day in the early to mid-levels? Maybe (depends on which element...here elements such as Telekinesis really shine).

Note that this applies to a normal game...if the game is heavy combat then kineticists cannot keep up because of the lack of attack bonuses.

His gear upgrade path was pretty simple. Magic was very hard to get in the game and he was basically below low wealth until he hit level 6.
Light armor first
Belt of Con came after.
Then everything else.

Damage spikes come at L5-free empower and L7-take Expanded Metakinesis (Furious Spell)

My build that I used for Dragon's Demand (L1-L7)

Hobbes, aka 'Mr. Handy' Kineticist (Aether aka TK):

Feats
1-PBS, Precise Shot
3-Iron Will
5-Weapon Finesse (never ended up using)
6-(human bonus feat): Extra Wild Talent Whispers (rabbit for the init)
7-Expanded Metakinesis (Furious Spell)*

*A MUST-have.

Traits
Vagabond Child (get disable device as class skill with +1)
Indomitable Faith (+1 Will saves)

Talents by level
1-Basic TK, TK Blast, Extended Range
2-TK Finesse (disarm traps/open doors at range)
3-TK Blade (never used)
4-TK Haul (ferry party members over pits, hazardous areas, carry loot, feed guard dogs from far away, drop alchemical items on targets/square, drop heavy stuff on foes-the last is more cosmetic and RP since dropping rocks does not do much damage in pathfinder). This is before anyone gets flight, unless they have racial flight.
5-Spindle (two target attack, limited utility but could not find anything else to fit here)
6-TK Invis. Now he's also a very very good scout.
7-Foe throw. (never got to use). Composite Blast (never used)

Gear:
Mithral Chain Shirt
Belt of Con +2
Cloak of Resistance +1
Pale Green Ioun Stone, cracked

MW Thieves' Tools
Deck of Cards*
Bag of Marbles*
Bag of 100 copper pieces*

*Used because his primary attack is basically a railgun for flavor.
-"You're life isn't worth 1 copper!"
-"Never bet against the queen of hearts!"


Lets see a 18 Con (15 point buy, no severe dumping, & con belt) lv6 Kineticist has a max (after calculating empowered) of: 4d6 + 4 + 9 (3 Con + 1 Con belt + 1 Size bonus to Con) + 6 (overflow + Fire's Fury) + 6 (Deadly Aim). Or, 4d6+25 with +7 to hit (given Dex 14).

An archer fighter using 18 Dex and 14 Str has a max of: 1d8 + 2 (composite) + 1 (enchantment) + 1 (Weapon Training) + 4 (Deadly Aim) + 2 (W. Specialization). Or, 1d8+10 with +11/+6 to hit; +8/+8/+4 with rapid shot.

So its 4d6+25 spending 3 feats and 1 standard action vs 1d8+10*2 spending 4 feats and 1 full action vs 1d8+10*4 spending 6 feats and 1 full action.

So in my view Kineticist wins in mobility but loses in Full round dmg when fighting 1v1. As soon as a group of enemies in a close group, a kineticist with fan of flames (or other AoE infusion) has a chance at least double the dmg.


Not to bash on the kinetisict (I like the class) but the AoEs are kinda...meh

They usually deal half damage, and half AGAIN on a passed reflex save,thankfully those saves are pretty high, but you wouldn't be able to use deadly aim, so 4d6+21 avg of 14 damage, if they fail there save, or 7 if they pass

At least it's garunteed damage, so that +7 to hit won't be as big a problem

The one saving graxe of their AoEs is you can tack on substance infusions for debuff goodness, as long as they fail the reflex save, and the fortitude save that is

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Temperans wrote:

Lets see a 18 Con (15 point buy, no severe dumping, & con belt) lv6 Kineticist has a max (after calculating empowered) of: 4d6 + 4 + 9 (3 Con + 1 Con belt + 1 Size bonus to Con) + 6 (overflow + Fire's Fury) + 6 (Deadly Aim). Or, 4d6+25 with +7 to hit (given Dex 14).

An archer fighter using 18 Dex and 14 Str has a max of: 1d8 + 2 (composite) + 1 (enchantment) + 1 (Weapon Training) + 4 (Deadly Aim) + 2 (W. Specialization). Or, 1d8+10 with +11/+6 to hit; +8/+8/+4 with rapid shot.

So its 4d6+25 spending 3 feats and 1 standard action vs 1d8+10*2 spending 4 feats and 1 full action vs 1d8+10*4 spending 6 feats and 1 full action.

Right. So what you're showing here is that the kinny's nova damage, which he can keep up a total of four rounds per day only, is about half of what the fighter deals at will. And common party buffs (such as bard song, haste, or prayer) benefit the fighter more. That doesn't look so good for the kinny...


Kurald Galain wrote:
Temperans wrote:

Lets see a 18 Con (15 point buy, no severe dumping, & con belt) lv6 Kineticist has a max (after calculating empowered) of: 4d6 + 4 + 9 (3 Con + 1 Con belt + 1 Size bonus to Con) + 6 (overflow + Fire's Fury) + 6 (Deadly Aim). Or, 4d6+25 with +7 to hit (given Dex 14).

An archer fighter using 18 Dex and 14 Str has a max of: 1d8 + 2 (composite) + 1 (enchantment) + 1 (Weapon Training) + 4 (Deadly Aim) + 2 (W. Specialization). Or, 1d8+10 with +11/+6 to hit; +8/+8/+4 with rapid shot.

So its 4d6+25 spending 3 feats and 1 standard action vs 1d8+10*2 spending 4 feats and 1 full action vs 1d8+10*4 spending 6 feats and 1 full action.

Right. So what you're showing here is that the kinny's nova damage, which he can keep up a total of four rounds per day only, is about half of what the fighter deals at will. And common party buffs (such as bard song, haste, or prayer) benefit the fighter more. That doesn't look so good for the kinny...

Doesn't gather power allow you to reduce the burn cost of metakinesis? If so, the aforementioned empowered fire blast should be 0 burn at level 6 + gather power. Not exactly a nova situation - but not particularily impressive damage either.

(Also, pardon me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the fire kineticist be dealing (3d6 (Base) + 2 (1/2 Con) + 4 (Elemental Overflow) +2 (Fire's Fury))x1.5 = (3d6+8)x1.5 ≈ 29-ish fire damage on average?
After all, Deadly Aim doesn't apply to touch attacks, and energy blasts target touch.)


Actually it's not Nova damage, at that level, you could gather power and make the above combo free, but this means they fo NOT have mobility iver the Archer, and let's be honest +7 to hit at level 7 is.... meh

(Ninjas!) +1 on pounce


Oh, and another cool trick I forgot to mention for hydrokinetisicts, if you take kinetic invocation, so you can take fluid form, fluid form gives you the water subtype

So if you grab greater elemental whispers, and grab a wysp, it's resonance gives you a +2 to all attacks, damage, and DCs if your blasts and wild talents, enjoy :D

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Wait, why does the fighter have the same ability scores as the Kineticist? Elemental Overflow alone is going to give an additional +2 Con & Dex. And the Kineticist is listed as having a con belt. The Kineticist is also likely to dump Str, and the Fighter isn't going to completely dump Con. The Kineticist also doesn't need to buy a weapon. Lets just cut the Fighter's Dex to 16(15 starting dex + 1 for level, 14 starting str) and remove the Con belt from the Kineticist(so 14 starting dex, 15 starting con +1 for level). Since Elemental Overflow will increase Con and Dex to 18 and 16 respectively it doesn't change the numbers too much. So the free +1 Composite Longbow for the Fighter slightly skews the numbers toward the Fighter, because free items, but the Kineticist doesn't really need items to do their job.

Doing a quick internet search, the average AC of a CR 6 monster is 18.4 and a touch AC of 11.8. I am going to use 18 and 12 respectively. CR 8s have an average AC of 20.5 and still a touch of 11.8. Again, rounding the regular AC down and the Touch AC up slightly skews the numbers in the Fighter's advantage.

Maths:
For our Fighter Archer example, we have 1d8+10 with +11/+6 to hit; +8/+8/+4 with rapid shot, crits on 20s for x3... that's weird, Rapid Shot is a -2. Also, Point Blank Shot isn't included (in either example). So Fighter Feats: PBS, WF, WS, Deadly Aim, Rapid Shot. So 5/7 feats expended on the fighter's part. 6 BAB, 3 Dex, 1 Weapon Focus, 1 Point Blank Shot, 1 enhancement, 1 Weapon Training, -2 Deadly Aim, -2 Rapid Shot = +11/6 and +9/9/4. Damage should be 1d8 (4.5 ave), +1 Weapon Training, +1 PBS, +1 Enhancement, +2 Str, +4 Deadly Aim, +2 WS = 15.5 ave.

This gives an expected damage of 17.9 without rapid shot and 23.8 with. Throw in Manyshot and the Fighter jumps to 27.9 and 32.4 with Rapid Shot. Spending 6 of its 7 feats.

So our Kineticist example we have a bonus of +7 to hit vs touch, with ~29 damage, crits on 20's for x2. Wait, that still includes Deadly Aim, not having Elemental Overflow(Dex), and not having PBS. Recalculating... +4 BAB, +3 Dex, +1 PBS, +2 Elemental Overflow, +1 WF = +11 to hit. Damage 3d6 (ave 10.5) +2 (1/2 con), +4 (Elemental Overflow), +1 PBS, +2 (Fire's Fury) *1.5 = 19.5*1.5 or an average of 29.25. Since the Kineticist hits on 2's... this comes out to an expected average damage of 29.17. The Kineticist is spending only 2 feats (WF and PBS). Granted, unless it's human it would only get 3 feats. This is Gather Power as a move action + standard action Metakinesis(Empower) Blast, no burn spent, no infusions added.

Since a level 8 creature was mentioned earlier... the Kineticist's damage stays the same (since the touch AC didn't change), but the Fighter's expected damage goes down to 25.7 with Rapid Shot, Manyshot, and an AC of 20. And yes, its still better to use rapid shot than not(breaks about even at AC 23 actually).


TL:DR Fighter Wins vs CR 6 (by 3 damage) spending 6 feats compared to Kineticist spending 2. Kineticist Wins vs CR 8 (by about the same margin). As noted, level 6 is huge for the Fighter because Manyshot comes online, and level 7 is a huge damage jump for Kineticist for several reasons(4d6 base, composite for 8d6, metakinesis(furious)).


Low-level to mid level kinetisict are generally fine, it's the high levels that get dicey in my opinion, more energy resistence/immunity spell resistence for touch blasts, no way to bypass Dr (earth can do this, for metal based Drs and a substance infusion), and difficulty hitting for physical blasts

At late levels, that enhancement bonus matters more, and more, for DR, and to-hit bonuses

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Pounce wrote:
Doesn't gather power allow you to reduce the burn cost of metakinesis?

Yes it does, but that poster explicitly wanted to use only a standard action as a kinny. I'm not sure why, but he says it's for mobility. If his math is wrong, well that just underlines that the kinny is overly complicated :D

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Firebug wrote:

This gives an expected damage of 17.9 without rapid shot and 23.8 with. Throw in Manyshot and the Fighter jumps to 27.9 and 32.4 with Rapid Shot. Spending 6 of its 7 feats.

So our Kineticist example we have a bonus of +7 to hit vs touch, with ~29 damage, crits on 20's for x2. Wait, that still includes Deadly Aim, not having Elemental Overflow(Dex), and not having PBS. Recalculating... +4 BAB, +3 Dex, +1 PBS, +2 Elemental Overflow, +1 WF = +11 to hit. Damage 3d6 (ave 10.5) +2 (1/2 con), +4 (Elemental Overflow), +1 PBS, +2 (Fire's Fury) *1.5 = 19.5*1.5 or an average of 29.25. Since the Kineticist hits on 2's... this comes out to an expected average damage of 29.17.

Thanks for the math.

Let's see, against the CR8 monster (AC 20 / touch 12) fighter gets ((0.5 * 3) + (0.25 * 1)) * 1.1 * 15.5 = 29.8 damage, kinny gets 0.95 * 1.05 * 29.25 = 29.2 damage. So that's basically a tie.

However, the situation changes if you're in a party. With a Prayer spell, fighter damage goes to 35.4. Instead with Inspire Courage, it goes to 41.4. With a Haste spell, fighter gets 42.63; in all these cases, the buff doesn't affect the kinny's damage. If there's inspire AND haste, fighter gets 62.6 damage, or over twice what the kinny does.

Likewise, if you give the fighter a Flaming bow (which is affordable at level 6), his damage goes up to 36.6 (49.7 with inspire, etc). It's not so much that "the fighter gets a free bow", but that similar items for the kinny flat-out do not exist. Give the fighter a +2 dex belt and his damage goes to 33.2, give the kinny a +2 con belt and his damage stays the same. Against a creature with DR, silver or cold iron arrows are cheap; but against a creature with SR (22% of all enemies at CR8) kinny damage goes down to 13.1. So the problem is not so much that kinny's baseline damage is low, but that many MANY feats, items, and party buffs exist in the game that help every class except the kinny.

So to answer the OP, this lack of synergy makes the kinny non-equivalent.

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Kurald Galain wrote:

Thanks for the math.

Let's see, against the CR8 monster (AC 20 / touch 12) fighter gets ((0.5 * 3) + (0.25 * 1)) * 1.1 * 15.5 = 29.8 damage, kinny gets 0.95 * 1.05 * 29.25 = 29.2 damage. So that's basically a tie.

Hold up, not sure where your numbers are coming from, but the fighter in my example hits its main attack on a 12, which means it has 45% chance to hit the Primary attack(which includes the manyshot damage, since you don't roll to attack with manyshot, and if it crits you only crit 1 arrow) and the rapid shot attack. The iterative attack will only have a 20% chance of hitting.

Maths:
So for the Primary attack:
What happens when you hit (not including crit): 15.5 damage * 2 (manyshot) * 45% (chance to hit) = 13.95
+ What happens (additionally) when you crit: 15.5 damage * 2 (because x3 multiplier, 1x is already represented in the hit section) * 5% (chance to critical threat the first roll) * 45% (chance to confirm) = .6975
Combined total from the first attack: 14.64
Rapid Shot:
What happens when you hit (not including crit): 15.5 * 45% (chance to hit) = 6.975
+ What happens (additionally) when you crit: Same as Manyshot = .6975
Combined total from Rapid Shot = 7.67
Iterative:
What happens when you hit (not including crit): 15.5 * 20% (chance to hit) = 3.1
+ What happens (additionally) when you crit: 15.5 damage * 2 (crit multiplier) * 5%(threat) * 20%(confirm) = .31
Combined expected iterative damage = 3.41

Combined total from full attack vs CR 8: 25.72 damage, behind the Kineticist.
Sure, Haste would help the Fighter and not the Kineticist(as much). The Kineticist would also benefit from using Burn and the Fighter wouldn't. Incidentally, Haste brings the Fighter up to ~37 expected damage.

Prayer, Haste, Inspire Courage all help the Kineticist, at least with the attack roll part... its just that the Kineticist already hits on 2s in our example. All three buffs on the fighter brings its expected damage to ~46, but we are talking about the entire party spending a round to buff the Fighter. If they were just Kineticists instead and contributed ~29 damage a piece... one of the monsters is probably already dead (average 96 hp at CR 8).
Kineticists have Esoteric Diadem which is roughly the same price as a +3 weapon for 1d6 additional damage. Every 4 Con would also increase the damage of the blast slightly.

Fire resistance? Sure, how about DR/Alignment or Swarms for the Fighter (not finding a good resource for tracking DR per CR). Average Fire resist at CR 8 is just under 10, and 22% of monsters. Fire Kineticists can literally burn off the fire resistance over time with Burning->Searing infusion, which also sets the target on fire (1d6/round). And since we have Infusion Specialization and weren't using any infusions we can add it for free (or just empowered fan of flames for full damage on a 15' cone, which probably hits 2-3, and there goes the Haste advantage of the Fighter).

There are lots of options. Ultimately though, it does come down to force multipliers. The Kineticist is good enough on its own (as in it has a high floor for damage), it just doesn't play well with party buffs like you said.


Everything Kurald said. The game has a decade's worth of goodies for martials classes, and the new kids on the block have a lot less.

Kineticists also need allies perhaps more than other striker classes:

* Due to limited number of attacks per round (usually one), something as simple as Mirror Image or a stealth/concealment type is very irksome. Needed: ally to biff the images in a full-attack, or someone to debuff/reveal/etc. (Even then you're going to roll a 1 every so often, and it just sucks watching your whole turn evaporate while other full-attackers keep on rollin'. In that way, you're similar to the Vital Strike dude with an Impact butchering axe who also has a single all-eggs-in-one-basket massive attack.)

* Monk or other opponent with sky-high touch-AC... Needed: ally who can render them flat-footed.

It's nice having a huge pile of hitpoints, although that usually just means it takes one more hit to drop you, and as a (usually) highly visible combatant, you're going to be targeted a lot. (And: attend to your will-save, because kineticists are one of those classes evil GMs love to see in "munchkin parties" because they know that some serious pain will be splashed around once the kineticist is dominated.)


Firebug wrote:
Kurald Galain wrote:

Thanks for the math.

Let's see, against the CR8 monster (AC 20 / touch 12) fighter gets ((0.5 * 3) + (0.25 * 1)) * 1.1 * 15.5 = 29.8 damage, kinny gets 0.95 * 1.05 * 29.25 = 29.2 damage. So that's basically a tie.

Hold up, not sure where your numbers are coming from, but the fighter in my example hits its main attack on a 12, which means it has 45% chance to hit the Primary attack(which includes the manyshot damage, since you don't roll to attack with manyshot, and if it crits you only crit 1 arrow) and the rapid shot attack. The iterative attack will only have a 20% chance of hitting.

** spoiler omitted **
Combined total from full attack vs CR 8: 25.72 damage, behind the Kineticist.
Sure, Haste would help the Fighter and not the Kineticist(as much). The Kineticist would also benefit from using Burn and the Fighter wouldn't. Incidentally, Haste brings the Fighter up to ~37 expected damage.

Prayer, Haste, Inspire Courage all help the Kineticist, at least with the attack roll part... its just that the Kineticist already hits on 2s in our example. All three buffs on the fighter brings its expected damage to ~46, but we...

I agree the kinetisict benefits from a lot of those buffs (even haste for melee kinetisicts)

But a couple things, DR alighnment is overcome by a +5 enhancement, so a fighter can deal with that eventually, and while this isn't a problem for the fire kinetisict, it is for some air, all earth, and some water kinetisict, who have no way to bypass it.

Also kinetisicts can add 3d6 forbthe cost of a +3 weapon, a fighter can get a +1 corrosive, shock weapon for the same price, adding 2d6+1 damage to the total

And if you are using a physical blast, then your to-hit isn't going to hit on a 2, and the fighter jumps ahead

Also fan of flames gives a reflex save to half, so it may not deal all that much extra damage

Again, I like the kinetisict, I just think they need some love, gloves of blasting, adding up to +5 worth if enhancements

This alone would allow physical blasts to bypass some Dr, as well as get a boost to-hit, that I doubt any one will argue is "overpowered"

Also, can we remove the restriction of extra wild talent? You can't take even a level 2 talent with it, until your level 8, which means your level 9 feat...seems a bit harsh, extra rogue talent, alchemist discovered, Slayer talent etc. Have no such limitation.

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Firebug wrote:
Hold up, not sure where your numbers are coming from, but the fighter in my example hits its main attack on a 12, which means it has 45% chance to hit the Primary attack

Your fighter has +9 to hit vs AC 20, meaning he hits on an 11, which is a 50% chance.

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we are talking about the entire party spending a round to buff the Fighter.

No, we are talking about one character that is buffing the entire party. That is a common concept and numerous classes and abilities and spells are written to do precisely that. What, you've never had a support Bard or Cleric in your party? Or a champion Medium?

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Kineticists have Esoteric Diadem which is roughly the same price as a +3 weapon for 1d6 additional damage.

Well, a +3 weapon deals up to +2d6+1 additional damage, and applies to four or five attacks per round instead of just one. It's obvious that kinny is getting a bad deal in terms of equipment.

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Fire resistance? Sure, how about DR/Alignment or Swarms for the Fighter (not finding a good resource for tracking DR per CR).

First, those are WAY less common: at this CR, 5.9% of monsters have DR/alignment (usually /good), and 0.6% are swarms; whereas 16% have fire immunity. Second, there are (unsurprisingly) items that let a fighter deal with these, such as Oil of Bless Weapon or Swarmbane Clasp. At higher levels, a Holy Weapon is a pretty good investment for a fighter.

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Average Fire resist at CR 8 is just under 10, and 22% of monsters.

So let's do some math on that. With this fire resistance, the kinny's damage changes from 29.2 to (0.22 * 19.5 + 0.78 * 29.2) = 27.1. But wait, an additional 16% is flat-out immune to fire, meaning damage changes to (0.22 * 19.5 + 0.16 * 0 + 0.62 * 29.2) = 22.4. Searing Infusion takes too long to be useful. And we haven't accounted for spell resistance yet, which is 22% of monsters with an average SR of 19. This drops the damage by to (0.78 * 1 + 0.22 * 0.40) * 22.4 = 0.868 * 22.4 = 19.4.

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Ultimately though, it does come down to force multipliers.

Yes. So the problem is that kinny doesn't have access to the most common force multipliers (such as multiple attacks per round, or common party buffs); it has to rely on force additions instead. This means it lags behind every single other damage-oriented class in the game.

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