Future Kinectist


General Discussion


I know kinectist won't be in the core rulebook, but I can see it eventually coming along. And while talking about other parts of the playtest today, I had a realization that I really think is a great idea and want to pass along to the fine folks at Paizo. When we reach the point the Kinectist is added back to play, it should use the Words of Power system for it's abilities. With it getting a base element word at level 1 (and any level it might gain more powers), and getting metamagic and transformation words as either class feats or from certain levels. This could make the kinectist a lot more versatile.

Liberty's Edge

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The Kineticist was already pretty complicated. I'm not at all sure making it more complicated is a good plan.

Especially when custom Cantrips + Focus Spells (ie: Powers) let you reconstruct the Kineticist in an intuitive and consistent fashion pretty easily.


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Just saying, when one of the primary design goals of PF2 was to simplify the overarching systems for accessibility/ease of use, the last thing you'd want to do is introduce an entirely new and fairly kludgy system for the exclusive use of one class.

Honestly kines at their core (ignore their own piles of kludge of which there are many) work fine with the whole SP/Power paradigm PF2's using and rocking the boat seems unnecessary when/if kines get added back in.


So the Kineticist (along with the Vigilante) is one class I've had trouble figuring how to port to PF2, since both of those classes involved making a choice every level and PF2 classes make a choice every other level.

Siloing "utility stuff" from "fighting stuff" was good for both of those classes, and I'm not sure how we do that anymore. Unless we have a bunch of skill feats that have "Kinetic Blast" as a prereq, I guess. Since like telekinetic finesse could be a thievery skill feat with KB as a prereq.

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
So the Kineticist (along with the Vigilante) is one class I've had trouble figuring how to port to PF2, since both of those classes involved making a choice every level and PF2 classes make a choice every other level.

Vigilante is easy. Social Talents in general should just be skill Feats and mostly available to everyone (except those that necessitate Dual Identity, of course), so you add a Vigilante Archetype granting the secret identity stuff as the base Feat and a few of the more unique Vigilante Talents as Feats and you're good to go.

Kineticist likely just requires a couple of different types of options at different levels on the Class.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Siloing "utility stuff" from "fighting stuff" was good for both of those classes, and I'm not sure how we do that anymore. Unless we have a bunch of skill feats that have "Kinetic Blast" as a prereq, I guess. Since like telekinetic finesse could be a thievery skill feat with KB as a prereq.

It could, but it also doesn't have to be. Rogue, for example, gets bonus Skill Feats every even level and bonus Skill Increases every odd level. The pattern of only giving things from Class on odd levels is obviously thus far from unbreakable.

You'd need to title the Utility Talents something new, probably, but that's just terminology.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The PF1 kineticist has good flavour, but a broken implementation. Not because it's over- or under-powered, but because it's really complicated to follow when you're doing even the simplest thing.

So I'd love to see a from-the-ground-up reimagined Kineticist, rather than a straight port of the existing class.


I feel like it's hard to learn, but not hard to use once you've learned it. It's a heuristic problem, not a complexity problem.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

So the Kineticist (along with the Vigilante) is one class I've had trouble figuring how to port to PF2, since both of those classes involved making a choice every level and PF2 classes make a choice every other level.

Siloing "utility stuff" from "fighting stuff" was good for both of those classes, and I'm not sure how we do that anymore. Unless we have a bunch of skill feats that have "Kinetic Blast" as a prereq, I guess. Since like telekinetic finesse could be a thievery skill feat with KB as a prereq.

For the kineticist, probably make utility powers the class feats, while make the main combat options the class abilities you get at odd levels. Probably workable, but you’d basically wind up with two sets of class feats, so that might be weird.

I also think “Burn” should be a new condition that knocks you out once your burn exceeds your con modifier. That way you don’t accidentally kill yourself. I originally thought that you could get spellpoints by giving yourself burn, but now I think burn could reduce the number of actions your blast takes.


I agree the problem with the kineticist is not complexity, but learning it. The class doesn't even have too many options compared to the typical Wizard with tons of spells.

Moving it to PF2 has lots of challenge because Utility Talents are stronger than skill feats, and Infusions would probably be fighting with base Kineticist abilities given how PF2 is set up.

That is unless they treat infusions as a form of "spell". Then give Kineticists an spontaneous "spells" known progression of 1 spell per spell lv. That would free up class feats for Utility Talents and other Kineticist abilities.

Instead of spell slots it would use Burn. Using spell points would effectively make it closer to a PF1 psychic.


Maybe instead of giving the kineticist skill feats they could give him 'specialized skill feats' that way he could gain something every level.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Splitting the talents and infusions into two piles, one that's like spells and one that's class feats, is probably a good approach to making it easier to untangle. Wizards and Sorcerers manage to have progression every level, not just at feat levels.

PF2 has done a lot to convert spell-like effects into actual spells. "You cast this spell using your domain slots rather than your spell slots, but it's still a spell." Following that trend, many of the kineticist's effects are probably called spells as well; but that doesn't mean they have to use spell slots by level the same way an arcane spellcaster does.

Thematically, I think there's an important distinction between harmless abilities, that you can do until the cows come home, and ones that cause burn. Burn is a penalty you voluntarily suffer in order to do more powerful stuff. A waterbender water kineticist can lift water all over the place, but a massive water blast takes burn.


Lol the way you wrote that last sentence just makes me see "burn" as "guts".

"A water kineticist can lift water all over the place, but a massive blast takes [guts]."


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I see the Kinectist as one of several potential no-spell casters; just cantrips and powers.

Basic blast and kensis abilities are cantrips, easy enough to stat out. Actual wild talents and the results of some of the infusions are powers; yes, that will require a reworking/rebalancing instead directly porting things. Burn is a way to regain focus points once your pool is dry, but as you dip for more points the cost increases.

Also add in a condition related to burn that makes it so you can't use focus points on anything but Kinectist powers; since the new point of burn is you use it only when the focus pool is dry, you can't use it to fuel some other multiclasses powers when the focus pool is in the red while still allowing some tactical choice between the Kenectist powers and another source of powers while the focus pool is in the black.

Ultimately it wouldn't replicate the mechanics of the Kinectist, but it would replicate the feel and flavor of them pretty well. Which is the more important thing.


Benjamin_Mahir wrote:

I see the Kinectist as one of several potential no-spell casters; just cantrips and powers.

Basic blast and kensis abilities are cantrips, easy enough to stat out. Actual wild talents and the results of some of the infusions are powers; yes, that will require a reworking/rebalancing instead directly porting things. Burn is a way to regain focus points once your pool is dry, but as you dip for more points the cost increases.

Also add in a condition related to burn that makes it so you can't use focus points on anything but Kinectist powers; since the new point of burn is you use it only when the focus pool is dry, you can't use it to fuel some other multiclasses powers when the focus pool is in the red while still allowing some tactical choice between the Kenectist powers and another source of powers while the focus pool is in the black.

Ultimately it wouldn't replicate the mechanics of the Kinectist, but it would replicate the feel and flavor of them pretty well. Which is the more important thing.

I like this approach. You're not going to replicate the mechanics exactly, but that's the case with all PF2 classes. And this gets a lot of the feel of the class. Also a PF2 Kinetist has the potential to fix some of the issues with the class that I saw in PF1. Namely that the utility and versatility is a bit limited (especially since any given Kineticist only has the option to get a small subset of talents), and heavily back-loaded, so it's not really useful until high level. Until high level it's mostly just basic blasts all the time, which feels a bit one-trick ponyish. Also the scaling of burn damage seems a bit off.

Redoing the blasts as cantrips does make a lot of sense. They already did that with Bard performance, so I think that might be the direction they're heading anyway. Some of the infusions could be class feats that modify the cantrip blasts like a metamagic, while others can be as you said, Focus Powers. Advanced blasts could also be cantrips that simply have prerequisites. The Gather Power seems like it would fit well with the action system, you could trade actions to power up your blasts or Focus Powers. Those metamagic infusions could cost either Burn or actions. Bonuses to skill checks related to the element also makes some sense. My PF1 geo-kineticist was a stone-carver. It seemed odd that he got no bonuses to working stone (until he got stone shape, which was very nice, just didn't come around until level 10 I think). I kind of figure their connection to the element would help. But other than Earth and craft with stone-related things, I'm not sure what skills would make sense.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

One thing we 100% can't do is allow Burn to give Focus points without it being horrifically expensive HP wise. Remember you can multiclass into Paladin and get Lay On Hands. Unless Burn costs more HP than a Lay On Hands cast (which is huge as Lay on Hands scales) you cannot use it with Focus points. Otherwise you will multiclass Paladin for infinite healing.


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Malk_Content wrote:
One thing we 100% can't do is allow Burn to give Focus points without it being horrifically expensive HP wise. Remember you can multiclass into Paladin and get Lay On Hands. Unless Burn costs more HP than a Lay On Hands cast (which is huge as Lay on Hands scales) you cannot use it with Focus points. Otherwise you will multiclass Paladin for infinite healing.

In PF1, burn cost 1 hp/level. A physical blast with Kinetic Healer healed an average of just over 2.25 hp/level. But, it wasn't considered "infinite healing" because lowered the healer or healed's hp cap.


Well in PF1 you could not heal, reduce, or redirect the non-lethal damage from burn. And could not take burn if you were immune to non-lethal damage.

The problem is more that burn was supposed to be very limited and relatively costly. -1 temp hp/lv/burn doesn't sound too bad, but you can end up weaker than a wizard if you arent careful.


I dunno, Kineticist seems like the easiest to port over. A lot of its class features already resemble the class feat system present in the new system.

I would say that Kineticist should resemble more of the Warlock class. A blast-centric class with an at-will and exclusive occult cantrip that is their Kinetic Blast. Uses only a Somatic Component for action economy reasons so they can make more attacks as their accuracy goes up.

Maybe nixing Burn in all but name. Restructuring it around a Focus Point system based on the Proficiency Modifier + Constitution Modifier. That to recover these Focus Points requires [X] Hours of Rest/Meditation.

To account for Utility Talents and Infusions, maybe have the FP Cost be 0 but can be increased to provide a bigger and more impactful benefit.

Like for example with Kinetic Healer at 0 FP providing [Y] Temp HP. But actually investing [Z] FP into it instead allows the Kineticist to actually heal HP damage based on the would-be damage of their Kinetic Blast cantrip.

Grand Lodge Contributor

I cast resurrect thread.

This is so much fun to find this thread after working on the Legendary Kineticist for the last year (mostly the last couple of months). Much of what you discuss here is what I discussed with Jason Nelson of Legendary Games at PaizoCon 2019! That's when the plans for the Legendary Kineticist came into being. With some assistance from N. Jolly and Onyx Tanuki, we were able to put together a kineticist class for Pathfinder 2nd Edition.

I created the class with a lot of the concepts mentioned in this thread: a cantrip based class with reliance on Focus Points and special powers as their core mechanics. This let infusions become unique metamagic focus spells while Gather Power and Accept Burn become actions that mitigate Focus Point costs. These give your kineticist strategic options when determining how to manifest their powers.

If you'd like more information, I've been posting updates daily to Twitter with the #LegendaryKineticist tag. Come and join the conversation!

The Legendary Kineticist should release within the next couple of weeks, I'll be sure to post a link when it's available!

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