Kineticist on tbe Horizon ?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I’m not married to the idea, but another poster way back pointed out that just giving a couple spells slots would allow you to cram a lot more effects and abilities into a relatively small amount of page space. Since I would prefer cantrips to be the focus, allowing the ability to opt-in (but by default having no slots) would allow multiple playstyles while still devoting the vast majority of the page space to remain focus on various elemental effects.

They could just as easily take a MC feat to accomplish the same thing, but it’s not my favored approach.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:

I’m not married to the idea, but another poster way back pointed out that just giving a couple spells slots would allow you to cram a lot more effects and abilities into a relatively small amount of page space. Since I would prefer cantrips to be the focus, allowing the ability to opt-in (but by default having no slots) would allow multiple playstyles while still devoting the vast majority of the page space to remain focus on various elemental effects.

They could just as easily take a MC feat to accomplish the same thing, but it’s not my favored approach.

I would 100% be against making kineticist just another spellcaster.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Verzen wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:

I’m not married to the idea, but another poster way back pointed out that just giving a couple spells slots would allow you to cram a lot more effects and abilities into a relatively small amount of page space. Since I would prefer cantrips to be the focus, allowing the ability to opt-in (but by default having no slots) would allow multiple playstyles while still devoting the vast majority of the page space to remain focus on various elemental effects.

They could just as easily take a MC feat to accomplish the same thing, but it’s not my favored approach.

I would 100% be against making kineticist just another spellcaster.

especialy given that magic is intentionally bad at doing the things keneticist wants to be doing, even if they give them incredibly potent foccus spells and focus cantrips, spell attack will always be worse that weapon attack unless they have a way to get item bonuses on it significantly worse for most of the game as well unless they give them accelerated spell attack/dc growth which seems unlikely since im sure it would lead to all sorts of multiclass shinanigans.


AnimatedPaper wrote:

I’m not married to the idea, but another poster way back pointed out that just giving a couple spells slots would allow you to cram a lot more effects and abilities into a relatively small amount of page space. Since I would prefer cantrips to be the focus, allowing the ability to opt-in (but by default having no slots) would allow multiple playstyles while still devoting the vast majority of the page space to remain focus on various elemental effects.

They could just as easily take a MC feat to accomplish the same thing, but it’s not my favored approach.

This is why I mentioned Kinetic Invocation. That let you get around the "you have no spell slots" by making the spells given by the feat as potential utility talents you can pick. Those may or may not not cost Burn and use up zero spells slots.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I think I’d rather they not try to use spell effects at all in that case. Just go directly to the exact effect, moddable by Amps or whatever, rather than waste page space to reprint stuff already in game in a very slightly different form. I’d still prefer cantrips/focus (and of course focus cantrips) as the base mechanic, both for personal preferences and simplicity of mechanics, but Thaum’s direct effect seems reasonable enough.

Edit: in fact, now that I think about it, the ability to cast from scrolls that share your elements trait might be more palatable while still maintaining most of what I was saying.

That was one criticism of legendary’s version: 100+ feats to break hardly any new ground. Meanwhile giving the ability to add new effects or change up the traits of spells or otherwise magical effect along elemental lives would be. I’m


Could Kineticists counterspell in 1e? That feels like a very strange tool to have in their kit.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
Could Kineticists counterspell in 1e? That feels like a very strange tool to have in their kit.

It was part of the baseline kinetic blast ability:

“A readied kinetic blast can be used to counterspell any spell of equal or lower level that shares its descriptor.”


Counterspelling is pretty rare in 2e. I could see it being a dispelling effect on demand instead.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
The monk has been doing that for years now.
It's sort of at the same level as "everyone has scaling cantrips so kineticists aren't necessary" argument.

I agree, which I why I didn’t make that argument. I was responding to the comment that the theme was completely unexplored.

As a class unto itself, I should have specified. We don't have a single class that is just "the guy with elemental abilities" sans Druid, kind of. My wording was poor (as is everyone's apparently) so sorta on me for conveying the wrong idea. I do like Monks having the elemental stances, but I just want a Shoto Todoroki "spam fire and ice all day" character, and that's not SUPER feasible right now (other than elemental sorcerer with Produce Flame and Ray of Frost and only ever Fire and Cold trait spells.) AtlA isn't the only series with elemental manipulation at it's core, it's just the most pop-culturey for many of us mid 20s grew-up-on-diablo/Elder Scrolls kids on these here forums :P

That's also why I threw X-Men out as a series for inspiration, since Magneto, Ice Man, Storm, and a few others can't really be replicated yet.


Temperans wrote:

Nah regular and kinetic blasts should have the same proficiency which is why kinetic knight works as a class archetype. If you treat the blast as being solely a spell yeah you will have problems. But realistically it should be treat as a spell only in so much as you are casting a weapon to make a strike, meaning that mechanically it should be treated like a unique weapon type.

As far as provoking goes, you can just say that kinetic blade doesn't provoke AoO. Also if regular kineticist requires burn to use kinetic blade, then kinetic knight as a class archetype can modify it such that it doesn't.

Between kinetic blade not being subject of AoO, being melee only, and Kinetic Knight offering a way to do it without harming yourself, that should be more than enough compensation for it being able to get multiple strike a round no?

I think you and i talked about this in a different thread. For some stuff like this I really like the idea of the spell heightening increasing proficiency rather than damage, and relying on property runes for the damage increase.

Something like an advanced unarmed attack where at certain spell levels you go from trained -> expert -> master and still need handwraps

I could see a that deals electric damage,
Focus Cantrip 1 (Kineticists only)
1 action
Casting stat to hit
1d8 chose energy type damage
1 -> Trained
3 -> Expert
7 -> Master

I'd almost look at it as a one action cantrip This should be about in line with Produce Flame for DPR but different action economy and accuracy and doesn't change much else from what I can see.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

No, that was *why* I was disappointed Unleash and Amps didn’t work out. If they had, it would not be very many steps to the kineticist I’d like to see. Take out spell slots to pump up Amps and Unleash, and I’d be happy.

As for leaving Avatar style unexplored…I’m just really confused by that statement. The monk has been doing that for years now. That’s where some of the earliest calls for making kinetic blast an unarmed strike came from (specifically the wild winds stance iirc). That’s not to say we couldn’t use another class in that vein; plenty of room there for more stories and for stuff that wouldn’t quite fit on a monk frame, like expanding ancestry feats that also give ranged elemental unarmed strikes. Hopefully the impossible lands book will give us at least a few more, given houses of perfection. Some of the abilities we saw on Ruby Phoenix would be cool to see.

Again, I’m not suggesting this as an alternate to the kineticist; more using what is already in game and expanding on that to double down on a thematic space already being explored.

I read you say this earlier in the thread, about the amps not working out, and went back to check because I remembered people having a very positive impression of them, and yeah, this was one of the main takeaways for the psychic in the playtest Analysis:

Quote:
The overwhelming majority of you responded that you preferred this approach over a conventional spellcaster approach; however, much of the feedback also indicated that while what the psychic got in exchange for this reduced spell loadout was very interesting, it didn’t feel powerful or useful enough to make up for the difference in lost spell slots. So, a major direction of change for the psychic will be to retain the “fewer spell slots” and “cantrip/amp focus” class role, but adjust the power level of the supplemental pieces so that you can truly feel like you’ve unleashed the awesome power of your mind. I’ll get into some of the approaches we’re taking in each point below.

Overall, it looks like the cantrip/amp model was popular and they go on to say this about amps:

Quote:
Amps are one of the major parts of the psychic, and most respondents stated that they found these options very interesting— Mark tells me that amps scored among the highest for “interesting” of any class we’ve playtested —but also that they felt weak in comparison to normal focus spells. They were! Since Unleash Psyche meant that you could amp your focus cantrips 5 or more times in a single combat, as opposed to a hard maximum of 3, those amps needed to be a little under the balance point of spells like fire ray. While psychics will retain their focus on amps, they likely won’t have such an outsized number of them, so we have plenty of room to now bring the power scale of amps back up.

So it looks like people love the mechanic, but just wanted it to be less reliant on unleash, and stronger on its own without having to enter the unleash state to accomplish it.


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The whole vibe from the playtest feedback and the post-playtest blog wrt the Psychic specifically was “this seems cool, but pretty undertuned, and the way Unleash works leads to a far too rigid gameplay loop.” I don’t know that there was much backlash against the skeleton of the class itself.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

It was the specific interaction of Amps and Unleash that I thought was reminiscent of a kineticist, not either in isolation. Especially the ability to get an outsized number of amps in exchange for taking a penalty.

Edit: removed some snark. I’m done for a while.


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I am worried, because to me what they're saying from the playtest feedback is they're removing the free amps while psyched to allow amps to be stronger. So... Just focus spells and cantrips? We'll see but I'm worried about that


wegrata wrote:
Temperans wrote:

Nah regular and kinetic blasts should have the same proficiency which is why kinetic knight works as a class archetype. If you treat the blast as being solely a spell yeah you will have problems. But realistically it should be treat as a spell only in so much as you are casting a weapon to make a strike, meaning that mechanically it should be treated like a unique weapon type.

As far as provoking goes, you can just say that kinetic blade doesn't provoke AoO. Also if regular kineticist requires burn to use kinetic blade, then kinetic knight as a class archetype can modify it such that it doesn't.

Between kinetic blade not being subject of AoO, being melee only, and Kinetic Knight offering a way to do it without harming yourself, that should be more than enough compensation for it being able to get multiple strike a round no?

I think you and i talked about this in a different thread. For some stuff like this I really like the idea of the spell heightening increasing proficiency rather than damage, and relying on property runes for the damage increase.

Something like an advanced unarmed attack where at certain spell levels you go from trained -> expert -> master and still need handwraps

I could see a that deals electric damage,
Focus Cantrip 1 (Kineticists only)
1 action
Casting stat to hit
1d8 chose energy type damage
1 -> Trained
3 -> Expert
7 -> Master

I'd almost look at it as a one action cantrip This should be about in line with Produce Flame for DPR but different action economy and accuracy and doesn't change much else from what I can see.

I am pretty sure I have been consistent in saying that Kinetic Blast should not be an Unarmed Strike. Also pretty sure I have been consistent in saying that Kinetic Blasts should not be treated as a unique "weapon" and not just a random focus spell. Also heightening changing proficiency creates too much of a balance problem since class determines proficiency not abilties themselves. Regardless Kinetic Blades should be balanced around a martial weapon strike not a cantrip.

Besides you are forgetting that physical and energy blasts need to have different scaling due to the fact that they are affected differently. So in your quest to "simplify" you made it more complicated than it has to be. All it takes is: The kineticist has X proficiency in this class unique ability, that ability deals Y damage per level if its physical and Z damage per level if its energy.

If people think Kinetic Blade is an issue then that can be changed to fit, not the other way around.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:

It was the specific interaction of Amps and Unleash that I thought was reminiscent of a kineticist, not either in isolation. Especially the ability to get an outsized number of amps in exchange for taking a penalty.

Edit: removed some snark. I’m done for a while.

Gotcha, have a nice break.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Gaulin wrote:
I am worried, because to me what they're saying from the playtest feedback is they're removing the free amps while psyched to allow amps to be stronger. So... Just focus spells and cantrips? We'll see but I'm worried about that

Yeah that's sort of my concern too. The post opens with acknowledging that amps and etc. were popular, but felt too weak and unleash was too slow... then goes down a checklist of things that are cool about amps that are all being removed. So I'm not sure what's left to make the class stand out.


Squiggit wrote:
Gaulin wrote:
I am worried, because to me what they're saying from the playtest feedback is they're removing the free amps while psyched to allow amps to be stronger. So... Just focus spells and cantrips? We'll see but I'm worried about that
Yeah that's sort of my concern too. The post opens with acknowledging that amps and etc. were popular, but felt too weak and unleash was too slow... then goes down a checklist of things that are cool about amps that are all being removed. So I'm not sure what's left to make the class stand out.

When I read that post the only thing that came to my mind was that they read everything, acknowledge all of praise and concerns. But then decided to tell us that they will do the exact opposite of all the things the players asked about. This this is interesting but weak? Okay we will make it boring but "stronger". I bet that things won't even get much better if any of the other playtests have shown anything about how they treat magic.

Which is why I do not see kineticist being in the horizon. Instead, it's probably closer to the moon. Yeah, it looks like its close, if you ignore that it 100s of miles away.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I do hope that when they get to something like the kineticist they get more willing to break out of their comfort zone.

Psychic feedback feels like they're just nudging the class back toward normal focus spells... Inventors kind of suffer from feeling very safe too, in that weird, unstable prototypes just ends up being rage with a skill check and adding the shove trait to your weapon.

I really want the kineticist to be something cool and unique that embraces the fantasy in ways nobody in this thread has predicted yet. The class could just have an unarmed strike that does fire or bludgeoning damage (because everything is bludgeoning now i guess) with a couple token options for AoE damage and a few focus spells for utility.

But it could also be so much more.

Liberty's Edge

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Squiggit wrote:

I do hope that when they get to something like the kineticist they get more willing to break out of their comfort zone.

Psychic feedback feels like they're just nudging the class back toward normal focus spells... Inventors kind of suffer from feeling very safe too, in that weird, unstable prototypes just ends up being rage with a skill check and adding the shove trait to your weapon.

I really want the kineticist to be something cool and unique that embraces the fantasy in ways nobody in this thread has predicted yet. The class could just have an unarmed strike that does fire or bludgeoning damage (because everything is bludgeoning now i guess) with a couple token options for AoE damage and a few focus spells for utility.

But it could also be so much more.

TBH I hope they do not create a completetely new and complex system just for one class, no matter how beloved.

Liberty's Edge

Temperans wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Gaulin wrote:
I am worried, because to me what they're saying from the playtest feedback is they're removing the free amps while psyched to allow amps to be stronger. So... Just focus spells and cantrips? We'll see but I'm worried about that
Yeah that's sort of my concern too. The post opens with acknowledging that amps and etc. were popular, but felt too weak and unleash was too slow... then goes down a checklist of things that are cool about amps that are all being removed. So I'm not sure what's left to make the class stand out.

When I read that post the only thing that came to my mind was that they read everything, acknowledge all of praise and concerns. But then decided to tell us that they will do the exact opposite of all the things the players asked about. This this is interesting but weak? Okay we will make it boring but "stronger". I bet that things won't even get much better if any of the other playtests have shown anything about how they treat magic.

Which is why I do not see kineticist being in the horizon. Instead, it's probably closer to the moon. Yeah, it looks like its close, if you ignore that it 100s of miles away.

If you mean that casters should become more powerful than the core classes, I am pretty sure it will never happen and I am thankful for it. OP Casters was one of the very big problems with PF1.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Well with Mark Seifter out of the picture, whatever we get with the kineticist will be well below expectations.


The Raven Black wrote:
Temperans wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Gaulin wrote:
I am worried, because to me what they're saying from the playtest feedback is they're removing the free amps while psyched to allow amps to be stronger. So... Just focus spells and cantrips? We'll see but I'm worried about that
Yeah that's sort of my concern too. The post opens with acknowledging that amps and etc. were popular, but felt too weak and unleash was too slow... then goes down a checklist of things that are cool about amps that are all being removed. So I'm not sure what's left to make the class stand out.

When I read that post the only thing that came to my mind was that they read everything, acknowledge all of praise and concerns. But then decided to tell us that they will do the exact opposite of all the things the players asked about. This this is interesting but weak? Okay we will make it boring but "stronger". I bet that things won't even get much better if any of the other playtests have shown anything about how they treat magic.

Which is why I do not see kineticist being in the horizon. Instead, it's probably closer to the moon. Yeah, it looks like its close, if you ignore that it 100s of miles away.

If you mean that casters should become more powerful than the core classes, I am pretty sure it will never happen and I am thankful for it. OP Casters was one of the very big problems with PF1.

At what point did I ever ask for casters to be stronger than core classes? Seems like you think I have no sense of balance, even thou I am saying that a Kineticist will be disapointing exactly because of how PF2 is balanced.


As soon as I saw the way metamagic works in 2e I thought that it was perfect for kineticist. Give class a flourish, 1d6 per spell level attack cantrip, give metamagic to do things like spend a focus point to double damage, target a save, damage an area, etc. Give class feats to do fun elemental things, strong ones require focus points. Boom class done.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

I do hope that when they get to something like the kineticist they get more willing to break out of their comfort zone.

Psychic feedback feels like they're just nudging the class back toward normal focus spells... Inventors kind of suffer from feeling very safe too, in that weird, unstable prototypes just ends up being rage with a skill check and adding the shove trait to your weapon.

I really want the kineticist to be something cool and unique that embraces the fantasy in ways nobody in this thread has predicted yet. The class could just have an unarmed strike that does fire or bludgeoning damage (because everything is bludgeoning now i guess) with a couple token options for AoE damage and a few focus spells for utility.

But it could also be so much more.

TBH I hope they do not create a completetely new and complex system just for one class, no matter how beloved.

They kind of did for the alchemist though I suppose it's fair to say that didn't go very well.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Well with Mark Seifter out of the picture, whatever we get with the kineticist will be well below expectations.

That's pretty cynical and unfair. There are a ton of fantastic designers and devs working for and with Paizo. Mark was just one dude. A cool and talented dude, mind, but still just one. You don't need to undercut the other Paizo people in order to show your appreciation for Mark's work.


Ravingdork wrote:
Well with Mark Seifter out of the picture, whatever we get with the kineticist will be well below expectations.

Why not take inspiration from D&D's Warlock?


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JiCi wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Well with Mark Seifter out of the picture, whatever we get with the kineticist will be well below expectations.
Why not take inspiration from D&D's Warlock?

In what way? That class is a mechanical and balance catastrophe in 5e compared to other classes. I love it, I've played quite a few, and it is the single most unstable, borderline fissile class in all of 5e hands down. The spells back on short rest is the Focus Point system, but done in a round about way. And conventional spells/slots is something everyone here has been more or less hostile to as in concept for the Kineticist to use.

If the Witch or Psychic worked like the Warlock, that'd be fine, but the Kine is a VERY different design space both thematically and mechanically.


The warlock is probably one of the most well balanced classes in 5e it has a very reliable power level that fluctuates a lot less than most of the other classes depending on longer or shorter days. Now there are imbalanced with multiclassing in 5e but those are issues with the multiclassing system in 5e not the warlock class.

Liberty's Edge

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Saedar wrote:
That's pretty cynical and unfair. There are a ton of fantastic designers and devs working for and with Paizo. Mark was just one dude. A cool and talented dude, mind, but still just one. You don't need to undercut the other Paizo people in order to show your appreciation for Mark's work.

It's also not like he's banned for life from ever working on Pathfinder 2e content. Don't we see former employees doing contract work on books fairly often?


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I don't think they outsource huge things like classes, but I could be wrong.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Gaulin wrote:
I don't think they outsource huge things like classes, but I could be wrong.

They generally don’t, and given what I understand about the design process for classes I don’t think they will, but I could see them contracting out the initial draft design to him while keeping the playtest and follow up design rounds in house.

Liberty's Edge

Fair enough. I have no idea what their internal process is like.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Making this a separate post, but I had a question for the crowd:

People say they want an Avatar-like character for the kineticist. What does everyone mean by that on a mechanical level? For me, coming out of the PF1 version, I can’t see a kineticist as anything but a cantrip/focus/focus cantrip caster, but I’m willing to listen.

I guess as a start, describe a round or two of play. Since this is all in our heads, feel free to toss our balance or level, and just describe what the ability does, what roll you’d need, how many actions you spend on each action, etc.

Like for instance, to my caster version:

Round 1:
-1 action on Elemental Overload. This gives you the drained 1 condition, but allows you to cast your kinetic blast with the “Intense” amp for free. This lasts 3 rounds.
-1 action: Kinetic Blast. Ranged spell attacks, 1d6 at 1st level, 2d6 at level 3, 3d6 at level 11, 4d6 at level 19. The intense Amp makes these 1d10.
-1 action: Kinetic blast, with the Comet amp (spending 1 focus point to do so) as well as Intense. Comet adds the Grazing trait, which deals 1 point of damage per die on a miss, hit, or critical hit in addition to all other damage.

Round 2:
2 actions - 2 kinetic blasts
1 action - use a utility talent/focus spell “Blast Back”, letting you move 20 feet and dealing 1d6 fire damage to creatures adjacent to your initial square.

may just make this an entirely new thread, but we’ll see if anyone bites first

Liberty's Edge

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siegfriedliner wrote:
The warlock is probably one of the most well balanced classes in 5e it has a very reliable power level that fluctuates a lot less than most of the other classes depending on longer or shorter days. Now there are imbalanced with multiclassing in 5e but those are issues with the multiclassing system in 5e not the warlock class.

I mean... I wouldn't say you're exactly WRONG here but I think you have the issue turned on its head.

The Warlock is the best-DESIGNED Class in the system, but it's so wildly off-beat with the basic realities of the whole of 5e rules and other Classes that it may as well have been written for an entirely different game.

It is in no way balanced against other Classes, the CR system, or even the narrative RP "power level" assumptions of the game, but that's more a consequence of the fact that it may as well have been delivered to the WotC offices by way of a time-travel paradox incident by the postal service who somehow delivered a manuscript 10 years into the past.


Themetricsystem wrote:
siegfriedliner wrote:
The warlock is probably one of the most well balanced classes in 5e it has a very reliable power level that fluctuates a lot less than most of the other classes depending on longer or shorter days. Now there are imbalanced with multiclassing in 5e but those are issues with the multiclassing system in 5e not the warlock class.

I mean... I wouldn't say you're exactly WRONG here but I think you have the issue turned on its head.

The Warlock is the best-DESIGNED Class in the system, but it's so wildly off-beat with the basic realities of the whole of 5e rules and other Classes that it may as well have been written for an entirely different game.

It is in no way balanced against other Classes, the CR system, or even the narrative RP "power level" assumptions of the game, but that's more a consequence of the fact that it may as well have been delivered to the WotC offices by way of a time-travel paradox incident by the postal service who somehow delivered a manuscript 10 years into the past.

Well said, the warlock works well on its own but their design is so unique to the rest of the system it can break things very easily, and it's no wonder it spawns the most egregious examples of multiclassing brokenness with the other CHA casters (Mixing sorcery points with pact slots for Sorlock/Coffeelock exploits, Adding more high-level slots for Divine Smite or even just giving the Bard the high-damage autoscaling cantrip they miss so much from the base class).

Back to the kineticist, they can probably work something out, the Psychic playtest already showed a solid skeleton of how a cantrip-reliant class could work (and they had actual spells to worry about on that one), even if the limited amps were undertuned and poorly balanced between themselves; the kineticist as a concept is also much simpler to get right (As long as the blast's damage/accuracy/amp is in the right spot, most of the class should fall into place) than the much more flavor-aligned Psychic and their occulty weirdness.


Why the heck would Paizo ever copy the 5e warlock when they have a huge number of their own classes? Even more so, why the heck would they copy the 5e warlock when trying to port the PF1 Kineticist? The two classes have nothing alike outside of "shoots magic all day" and trying to model a unique Pathfinder class after 5e is to me almost an insult to how great Paizo class design can be.

* P.S. Just because I disagree with some choices does not mean that the team is bad. But when you make certain choices multiple times it becomes a pattern and likely means the choice will be repeated.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

Making this a separate post, but I had a question for the crowd:

People say they want an Avatar-like character for the kineticist. What does everyone mean by that on a mechanical level? For me, coming out of the PF1 version, I can’t see a kineticist as anything but a cantrip/focus/focus cantrip caster, but I’m willing to listen.

I guess as a start, describe a round or two of play. Since this is all in our heads, feel free to toss our balance or level, and just describe what the ability does, what roll you’d need, how many actions you spend on each action, etc.

...

The way I see it there should be multiple ways to do a round with the player choosing which one they would prefer.

Round version A:
- 1 action gather power
- free action infusion
- 2 action Kinetic Blast

Round version B:
- 3 action gather power
Next round
- free action infusion
- 2 action kinetic blast
- third action

Round version C:
- 3 action gather power (4 action activity)
Next round
- 1 action gather power
- free action infusion
- 2 action kinetic blast

Round version D:
- 1 action gather power
- free action infusion
- 1 action Kinetic blast (kinetic blade infusion)
- 1 action Kinetic blast (kinetic blade infusion)

Round version E-H:
Same as the previous 4 but replace gather power with utility talents, movement, or other 3rd actions.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

Making this a separate post, but I had a question for the crowd:

People say they want an Avatar-like character for the kineticist. What does everyone mean by that on a mechanical level? For me, coming out of the PF1 version, I can’t see a kineticist as anything but a cantrip/focus/focus cantrip caster, but I’m willing to listen.

I guess as a start, describe a round or two of play. Since this is all in our heads, feel free to toss our balance or level, and just describe what the ability does, what roll you’d need, how many actions you spend on each action, etc.

Like for instance, to my caster version:

Round 1:
-1 action on Elemental Overload. This gives you the drained 1 condition, but allows you to cast your kinetic blast with the “Intense” amp for free. This lasts 3 rounds.
-1 action: Kinetic Blast. Ranged spell attacks, 1d6 at 1st level, 2d6 at level 3, 3d6 at level 11, 4d6 at level 19. The intense Amp makes these 1d10.
-1 action: Kinetic blast, with the Comet amp (spending 1 focus point to do so) as well as Intense. Comet adds the Grazing trait, which deals 1 point of damage per die on a miss, hit, or critical hit in addition to all other damage.

Round 2:
2 actions - 2 kinetic blasts
1 action - use a utility talent/focus spell “Blast Back”, letting you move 20 feet and dealing 1d6 fire damage to creatures adjacent to your initial square.

may just make this an entirely new thread, but we’ll see if anyone bites first

I'm definitely with you in that I would love for kineticist to be more of a spell (spell like ability but I guess that doesn't really exist anymore) caster than a martial. I do like your version, though I would say numbers need to be higher (4d10 at level 20 is only like 22 dmg on average) but I don't think that's the point of your post anyway, more action economy.

I've said my wanted version in a few places but I'll say it again for fun here. Kinetic blast is a one action cantrips with the press trait, dealing 1d6+mod damage for every two levels. Infusions are a special kind of metamagic that can be applied multiple times to a kinetic blast (and only applied to a kinetic blast). Infusions cost an action to apply to a blast, or the kineticist can spend a focus point to apply one as a free action. A blast can also be empowered (not sure what word to use there) to deal 1d6 per level instead of every two levels; this costs a focus point.

So a typical round without any other actions might look like

1 action - apply explosion infusion to your blast, dealing damage to an area and targeting a reflex save.

1 action - apply entangling infusion to your blast, applying -10 ft movement to those who fail their saves.

1 action - the actual blast.

Next turn the baddies come up to attack the kineticist

1 action - move away

Free action - spend a focus point to empower the blast, dealing a lot more damage

1 action - knockdown infusion, hit enemy is prone on a failed fort save.

1 action - the blast.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:

Making this a separate post, but I had a question for the crowd:

People say they want an Avatar-like character for the kineticist. What does everyone mean by that on a mechanical level? For me, coming out of the PF1 version, I can’t see a kineticist as anything but a cantrip/focus/focus cantrip caster, but I’m willing to listen.

I guess as a start, describe a round or two of play. Since this is all in our heads, feel free to toss our balance or level, and just describe what the ability does, what roll you’d need, how many actions you spend on each action, etc.

Huh. Well, if you're going to get all nitty-gritty and mechanical about it... Well, I guess I have my own idea to offer, though this one is also a caster-kineticist. First, I don't pretend to be perfect at balancing. That said...

Elemental Strike is a one-action range 30 spell attack vs AC dealing 1d4+stat damage, +1d4 at 5th, 9th, 13th, 17th. As a kineticist you start out with an element (your class path) that determines what kind of damage you do and what kind of amps are available, It also adds a free amp to your standard strike. Fire always adds ongoing damage, acid always adds splash, lightning strikes two separate targets, and so forth. We're playing Water in this case. Water's schtick is that if you hit, the enemy has to save vs spell DC or be knocked prone. If you crit, they don't even get the save.

Elemental Blast is... basically cantrip-tier. It doesn't get the free amp, but it generally gets something equivalent as part of the spell itself. Lightning's Elemental Blast literally is Electric Arc. Acid's literally is Acid Splash. The others are built accordingly. Water's is a single-target attack that rolls Xd4+stat for damage, fortitude save for no damage, and knocks prone on failed save.

There is a state called "charged". You can expend the charged state to add an extra amp to your Elemental Strike. You can spend a focus point to add an amp to your Elemental Blast. With the right feat, spending a focus point on amping will also make you charged. There are a number of other ways to become charged as well, generally as a result of feats. There's probably one that comes with the class path, though maybe not immediately.

There are a variety of overdrive states, available as feats. Each has certain requirements for entry, generally either paying a cost or fulfilling some requirement. Overdrive states generally add some automatic amp to your elemental blasts and strikes - often one that isn't otherwise available. Many of them have other effects as well, often both good and bad. By default, they last for 3 rounds. The first one available (which might have to wait until level 3 or 5 or something) is Limited Overdrive. It only requires that it be the second round or later, and it only lasts for two rounds. It has no other effects. Instead of having an automatic amp of its own, it jsut lets you use an amp you have available. can be freely chosen from the amps you have unlocked.

So, your first few turns for a hydrokineticist might go something like this:

Round 1:
- 2 actions on Elemental Blast. Focus point for area effect amp (increasing it to a 5-foot burst). One enemy fails their save and goes down. The other two pass and remain standing. Gain charged (via feat)
- 1 action on Elemental Strike. Spend charge to make it an area effect and drop it on the same location. It hits the prone foe for a bit more damage, misses one, and hits and then prones the other.

(End of round: starting out with three enemies in fireball formation, we spent a focus point, did slightly over two hits of electric arc in damage, and knocked two enemies prone. It's a pretty good round, but you really *should* have a pretty good round when you start with three enemies in fireball formation and have a full three actions to bedevil them with)

Round 2:
- 1 action on Choking Ocean Overdrive. its requirement is that you must have knocked at least two enemies prone this encounter. Its amp is that enemies that you knock prone are also slowed 1
- 2 actions on Elemental Blast. There aren't any particularly good enemy groupings to hit, so instead takes a shot at whoever the biggest threat on the field is, spending a focus point for Relentless amp. This increases the damage by a die size, and causes half damage on successful save. Miss, doing half damage. Gain charge

(End of Round: did a bit of damage to the boss. Have charge. 2 rounds of overdrive remaining.)

Round 3:
- 1 action on Elemental Strike. Spend charge. We can catch both the boss and one other enemy in area effect, so we'll use that. Misses boss, hits and prones the other guy. Other guy is slowed 1.
- 2 actions on Elemental Blast. We've already spent two focus points, and that's all we actually have at this level. Use on boss. Boss fails save. Boss goes prone and is slowed 1.

(End of Round: we're still doing only a bit better than standard cantrip damage, but we actually dropped and slowed both the boss and a mook this turn. One round remaining in overdrive)

/*********/

The default "you can get this every round" level of effectiveness is basically a good cantrip and a strike, and the strike is intended to be slightly over half a good cantrip worth of effectiveness. This is increased by focus amps (which are intended to raise your cantrip effect to the level that one would expect from a focus spell), charges to amp the strike (which... might make it cantrip-tier?), and Overdrives (which you get one of per encounter, and have some cost or requirement for entry).

The intent is that the default three-action effectiveness be about on par with a summoner who's spending a round going "Lightning Arc/strike/strike" or perhaps a bit under, with the focus points, overdrives, and spending charge to amp the strikes bringing the rest of the value. The intent is that immediate single-target damage should be something that the class is not particularly good at - that much of their effectiveness should come in the form of multitarget, ongoing damage, and/or control effects, with the individual amps offering a variety of options each turn on how to deploy the power you have, as long as you spent the feats to buy those amps. I freely acknowledge that I'm not great at balancing for this stuff.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Did wind up making a new thread, so as to not clutter this one.

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