Describe some rounds on your dream Kineticist


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

One of the issues with talking about the kineticist on here is that many of us have different versions of the class in our heads.

I’ve asked in previous threads what people want to see, and what themes they’d like explored with the class, and others have talked about what tradition they’d like to see. In particular, people keep saying they’d like to see Avatar as a base inspiration, but what would that look like at the table?

My question for everyone is this this: what might a round look like for the kineticist that lives in your head? I’d like mechanical details, but don’t worry about balance or levels or anything like that. I’m more interested in stuff like: what proficiencies does their ability reference, what damage type might they have, what specific actions do they do (names, action costs, some descriptions).

I’d like to ask that no one get too worked up over the specifics of other peoples posts. Like I said, balance is thrown out, I want to see what mechanics you think you’d need to serve the class fantasy you want to see. What WOULD let you play Katarra or Aang or BeiFong? Or Cyclops or Carrie if those are the direction you’d like to see them go.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I’ll go first, but I encourage the others who made posts in the other thread to copy them here:

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. It was correctly pointed out that this damage is still too low, so additional dice levels are probably needed; I was originally copying Striking runes while forgetting the OTHER runes
-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.


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(Copied from the other thread):

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 unlock those amps, and the different elemental selections meaning that they can prevent any really abusive amp combos from being formed. I freely acknowledge that I'm not great at balancing for this stuff.

Grand Archive

Elemental Blast - focus cantrip - 1 action - 2d4+stat
(Heighten +1 : +1d4)
Spell attack/dc based - same proficiency progression as full spellcaster

(I've put some thought into this and welcome others' thoughts)


(Copied from other thread)

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.

********************

Addendum and explanation of my terms.

Gather power is a 1, 3, or 4 action activity. That activity lets you lower the burn cost by 1, 2, or 3.

Infusion lets you pick 1 substance and 1 form infusion and apply it to all kinetic blasts for the turn. This cost zero or more burn. This is not an amp or metamagic ability, nor does it cost focus points.

Kinetic Blast is two actions and deal either physical or energy damage. Physical is 1d8+Con +1d8 every odd level. Energy is 1d6+Con +1d6 every odd level. This is comparable to power attack using a ranged weapon. This does not require or use focus points.

Kinetic blade makes kinetic blast into a 1 action melee ability (may have reduced damage per blast if full damage is too strong but I doubt it). This is a form infusion that costs 1 burn.

Burn reduces max HP by 1 per level per point of burn until the next day (not drain to avoid problems, although it does mean the two stack). Spending 5 burn means reducing max hp by 5 per lv.


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Another fun way to go is making blasts a cantrips, but making it a variable action spell as well.

1 action - touch range, 1d6+mod per spell level, flourish

2 action - 30ft range, add an infusion

3 action - 30ft cone, 60ft line, 10 ft emanation, or 10 ft burst within 30 ft, add an infusion.

Could even do 'overcharge', spilling actions into your next turn, like in some recent spells in secrets of magic. Could have feats to modify, like when you blast you can take a step for free, or quickened for using blasts, or changing what adding extra actions does. Variable spells are one of the coolest features in 2e, making a whole class around it could be fun.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Just to be clear, do you see this cantrip as 1 action or 2 actions sieg?


Personally I would like slightly stronger cantrip base something like base 1d6 per spell level with either reflex or fortitude saves (depending on the element) with metamagic options that give it area effects or other special effects with usage limits for the more strong options.

As well as free action focus metamagic to boost the damage (2d6 per spell level).

I would like for them to get the option to get quickened for meta-magic early to make it so their action economy isn't so painful.

I would like them to get an option to become drained for some boost.


Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

Elemental Blast - focus cantrip - 1 action - 2d4+stat

(Heighten +1 : +1d4)
Spell attack/dc based - same proficiency progression as full spellcaster

(I've put some thought into this and welcome others' thoughts)

That's a fairly chunky attack as I read it. At lvl 1, being able to make three attacks at 2d4+stat puts you up there real close to the martials rolling 1d10+stat on their weapons - and all of those are melee. You're actually doing more damage than ranged martials are capable of at that level. At lvl 20, you're rolling 12d4+stat, which is... pretty much the same thing, as I'm reading it. It's about as much damage per swing as you might expect from a melee martial who'd built their weapon entirely for damage.

That's a bit excessive, I'm thinking, especially if you want the class to be able to do anything else.

It's actually even more excessive because the fact that it's a spell attack means that you have a solid spellcasting proficiency, and can thus easily acquire a standard cantrip for your second and third actions, thus letting you basically dodge the issue of MAP, on turns where you have three actions to blow and a situation favorable to your cantrip of choice.

Even if it's not utterly overpowered itself (arguable) it really doesn't leave much left int eh build budget for any sort of cool options. This pretty much says that the kineticist is a blunt, straightforward damage dealer. I'd much rather have something with some more interesting bits, and perhaps some options.

Grand Archive

Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:

Elemental Blast - focus cantrip - 1 action - 2d4+stat

(Heighten +1 : +1d4)
Spell attack/dc based - same proficiency progression as full spellcaster

(I've put some thought into this and welcome others' thoughts)

Traits

Metakinesis infusion
Form infusion
Substance infusion

Infusions behave like metamagic except they can be stacked with other infusions. Though they cannot be stacked with the sane type of infusion.

Infusions cost either 1 action or 1 focus point.

A kineticist can, as a free action, gain or increase their temporary drained condition to get a focus point. The temporary drained condition gained or increased in this way cannot be healed. Instead it is removed during daily preparations.


Incidentally, my version would allow for taking drain, but make it a feat thing. Like, you might have a specific overdrive that just cost you a drain, or even the ability to trigger any overdrive without fulfilling its requirements in return for a drain. You might have the ability to gain a focus point in return for a drain... things like that. The point, though, is that it would be opt-in - available to specific class paths and/or via specific feats.


Yeah I don't agree with the 1 action or 1 focus point infusion thing since it behaves weird with getting focus points in general. Not to mention the fact the fact that infusions should be able to have a cost 0 or have their cost be reduced by various methods not available to other classes (soul sucking). It also creates the problem of Kineticist suddenly being able to power focus spells from other classes better when they shouldn't be better.

Grand Archive

Sanityfaerie wrote:
...

Yes. However, with casting being Con based it is certainly a tradeoff.

Also, it should cap at 11d4. Starting at level 5, the attack bonus should be lower than a martial which statistically affects the average damage.

Grand Archive

Temperans wrote:
Yeah I don't agree with the 1 action or 1 focus point infusion thing since it behaves weird with getting focus points in general. Not to mention the fact the fact that infusions should be able to have a cost 0 or have their cost be reduced by various methods not available to other classes (soul sucking). It also creates the problem of Kineticist suddenly being able to power focus spells from other classes better when they shouldn't be better.

I'm not sure what you mean by behaved weird.

A fair point about the gaining focus for temporary drained. How about adding the temp drain option as a part of the possibility paying options?


Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
Temperans wrote:
Yeah I don't agree with the 1 action or 1 focus point infusion thing since it behaves weird with getting focus points in general. Not to mention the fact the fact that infusions should be able to have a cost 0 or have their cost be reduced by various methods not available to other classes (soul sucking). It also creates the problem of Kineticist suddenly being able to power focus spells from other classes better when they shouldn't be better.

I'm not sure what you mean by behaved weird.

A fair point about the gaining focus for temporary drained. How about adding the temp drain option as a part of the possibility paying options?

Drain (really should be its own burn condition for clarity) and action (replicated using the gather power activity) were already a thing. Focus point is the problematic part because you can get it back so easily, specially with classes that can restore all 3 points in 10 minutes.

That's why I said it behaves weirdly. Infusions, talents, and composite blasts should be a limited resource unless you are taking your time to do it carefully (gather power). But focus points are virtually unlimited and have 0 actual costs which throws the power balance off (either you lower the power or reduce the versatility). As soon as you get a pool of 3 focus points and can recover it in 10-30 minutes no one will ever take burn because you have more than enough power for every combat.

Grand Archive

What if you limit the rejuvenation to a maximum of 2 per 10 min at higher level?

Also, give the kineticist 1 per round free action to reduce cost by 1? (At mid levels)


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Temperans wrote:
It also creates the problem of Kineticist suddenly being able to power focus spells from other classes better when they shouldn't be better.

Easy enough to add a rider “this point must be spent on a focus action with the Infusion trait” or the like. iirc the psychic had language like that, and the Oracle.

I could be wrong and am imagining things, but I know the Rogue reaction feat has that.

...or don't even create a focus point at all. Just say that you can take drain on the spot instead of paying a focus point for those particular cases. That helps remove any weirdness that might accrue from, for example, having focus recovery 2 and a focus pool of 3.

Temperans wrote:

Drain (really should be its own burn condition for clarity) and action (replicated using the gather power activity) were already a thing. Focus point is the problematic part because you can get it back so easily, specially with classes that can restore all 3 points in 10 minutes.

That's why I said it behaves weirdly. Infusions, talents, and composite blasts should be a limited resource unless you are taking your time to do it carefully (gather power). But focus points are virtually unlimited and have 0 actual costs which throws the power balance off (either you lower the power or reduce the versatility). As soon as you get a pool of 3 focus points and can recover it in 10-30 minutes no one will ever take burn because you have more than enough power for every combat.

If your issue is that focus points aren't a meaningful cost because you can't spend them all... I don't think I agree with that, but even if it were true, an easy answer for that would be to give more/faster ways to spend them, and balance appropriately. I mean, focus points are supposed to be a meaningful cost, yes? Obviously, that'll require a bit more balancing around the increased ability to encounter nova, but that all still seems doable.


Action 1: Stride.
Action 2: Smack a bad guy with my cool elemental damage.
Action 3: ???


Sanityfaerie wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Temperans wrote:
It also creates the problem of Kineticist suddenly being able to power focus spells from other classes better when they shouldn't be better.

Easy enough to add a rider “this point must be spent on a focus action with the Infusion trait” or the like. iirc the psychic had language like that, and the Oracle.

I could be wrong and am imagining things, but I know the Rogue reaction feat has that.

...or don't even create a focus point at all. Just say that you can take drain on the spot instead of paying a focus point for those particular cases. That helps remove any weirdness that might accrue from, for example, having focus recovery 2 and a focus pool of 3.

Temperans wrote:

Drain (really should be its own burn condition for clarity) and action (replicated using the gather power activity) were already a thing. Focus point is the problematic part because you can get it back so easily, specially with classes that can restore all 3 points in 10 minutes.

That's why I said it behaves weirdly. Infusions, talents, and composite blasts should be a limited resource unless you are taking your time to do it carefully (gather power). But focus points are virtually unlimited and have 0 actual costs which throws the power balance off (either you lower the power or reduce the versatility). As soon as you get a pool of 3 focus points and can recover it in 10-30 minutes no one will ever take burn because you have more than enough power for every combat.

If your issue is that focus points aren't a meaningful cost because you can't spend them all... I don't think I agree with that, but even if it were true, an easy answer for that would be to give more/faster ways to spend them, and balance appropriately. I mean, focus points are supposed to be a meaningful cost, yes? Obviously, that'll require a bit more balancing around the increased ability to encounter nova, but that all still seems doable.

I agree with the first half of this comment, you don't need focus points as an intermediary. You can just say "when you use this ability increase X condition by Y". Other abilities can thus say "the next time X would increase it subtract Z from it".

The second half I think you misunderstood. Its not a matter of not being able to spend it all. But that you straight up stop having a reason to take burn or spend actions since you can always just go Nova with focus points and regain the points after the fight. Imagine having a maxed out internal buffer every 10 minutes at no cost as opposed to having to take burn to refill it. The only logical conclusion of that would be lower power and flexibility when there is already such a tight budget, as you yourself implied by saying that it would have to be balanced around encounter nova.

Grand Archive

I am just not seeing what you are talking about with the focus points.

Could you break down an example?


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keftiu wrote:

Action 1: Stride.

Action 2: Smack a bad guy with my cool elemental damage.
Action 3: ???

Profit? ;)

Temperans wrote:
Its not a matter of not being able to spend it all. But that you straight up stop having a reason to take burn or spend actions since you can always just go Nova with focus points and regain the points after the fight.

You make not having to take burn sound like a bad thing. I want a kineticist that doesn't need burn.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
keftiu wrote:

Action 1: Stride.

Action 2: Smack a bad guy with my cool elemental damage.
Action 3: ???

I get that you’re being irreverent, but I really would invite you to explicate here. No one expects you to have a fully formed perfectly balanced mechanic here, but kind of “smack” would you like to see, in terms of PF2 mechanics? An unarmed strike with a range? Reach trait? A pseudo spell or actual spell? Does it use an attack roll if some kind, trigger a saving throw?

If a perception check against your class DC is what would please you most, I would be pleased to hear it.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
keftiu wrote:

Action 1: Stride.

Action 2: Smack a bad guy with my cool elemental damage.
Action 3: ???

I get that you’re being irreverent, but I really would invite you to explicate here. No one expects you to have a fully formed perfectly balanced mechanic here, but kind of “smack” would you like to see, in terms of PF2 mechanics? An unarmed strike with a range? Reach trait? A pseudo spell or actual spell? Does it use an attack roll if some kind, trigger a saving throw?

If a perception check against your class DC is what would please you most, I would be pleased to hear it.

No irreverence meant! That’s my honest answer.

My ideal Kineticist is built around a “weapon” unique to them, one where most of the class chassis goes to customizing. An “unarmed” ranged attack that deals elemental damage feels like the closest approximation to what I picture.

Options for Kinetic Blade in the launch version of the clash would be lovely, but even the “blasty” one is a martial, in my mind.

Grand Archive

While I can understand the point of it being an unarmed attack with martial proficiency progression, to me, if it is going to have the versatility that the 1e kineticist did, spell attack/DC seems to make more sense.

Grand Archive

I think separating the traits. Thus...

Metakinesis
Form
Substance
Infusion

Also, I am unsure if, in my conception, a compound blast would add any damage. It would just shift the damage type and what infusions could be added. Which makes me wonder if each blast should be its own focus cantrip.


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Damage type really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, so making 30+ different kinetic blasts is more of a waste of space then specifying the damage type and/or any special rules of the given blast. Also yes composite blasts should deal more damage. Those are not just changing the damage type but throwing twice as much energy (hence composite), its why they cost burn/actions to actually use. Unless you are saying to remove the cost in compensation for halving the damage.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
Also, I am unsure if, in my conception, a compound blast would add any damage. It would just shift the damage type and what infusions could be added. Which makes me wonder if each blast should be its own focus cantrip.

For simplicity, I would prefer a single focus cantrip that deals magical bludgeoning damage by default, but that as part of picking your element it has text that says "your Kinetic blast deals Fire/Electric/Frost damage instead of bludgeoning" or "Your Kinetic blast deals 1d8 bludgeoning instead of 1d6".

Although, that brings up another point, energy and phsyical damage probaby don't need to deal different damage now. It made sense in PF1 because energy targeted your touch AC, but that's not a thing now. Telekinetic projectile does deal more damage, admittedly, but it also is probably the single most straightforward of the cantrips. So a focus cantrip using that as a starting point but increasing in something from there, such as damage, range, or allowing some kind of rider, makes sense to me.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
For simplicity, I would prefer a single focus cantrip that deals magical bludgeoning damage by default, but that as part of picking your element it has text that says "your Kinetic blast deals Fire/Electric/Frost damage instead of bludgeoning" or "Your Kinetic blast deals 1d8 bludgeoning instead of 1d6".

If we follow the Elemental Sorcerer example for dealing with energy damage, EVERYTHING except Fire would be bludgeoning damage... :P


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

This thread is for what we want to see, and I'd want to see a greater variety of damage types.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
This thread is for what we want to see, and I'd want to see a greater variety of damage types.

I do too, but if it happens it'll make all the Elemental Sorcerers quite sad. Imagine if they could get elemental damage abilities easier by multiclassing into Kineticist than from their own class? ;)


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Idk if probably have a first turn of gathering power and second/third turns of blasts, strikes, and/or focus point utility abilities. Preferably itd be martial proficiency since there's no spell slots and attacking with elements is what they do.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
graystone wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
This thread is for what we want to see, and I'd want to see a greater variety of damage types.
I do too, but if it happens it'll make all the Elemental Sorcerers quite sad. Imagine if they could get elemental damage abilities easier by multiclassing into Kineticist than from their own class? ;)

Not really within the scope of this thread. Probably they should ask their GM to allow them access to more elements than the basic 4, I would imagine.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Probably they should ask their GM to allow them access to more elements than the basic 4, I would imagine.

I don't get this: you could literally add 50 new element types but that don't change the fact that all of them would deal bludgeoning as only Fire gets to work with the Elemental Sorcerers as Elemental Type says for everything other than Fire, "For other elements, they deal bludgeoning damage."

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Not really within the scope of this thread.

*shrug* So I have a bit of realism in my Kineticist. Sue me. ;)

As long as burn isn't an integral and required part of the class, I'm pretty flexible with what the actual mechanics are as long as there are a variety of attack and utility abilities as long as that variety doesn't require me punching myself in the face first to get it. Bonus points is I can do some Lin Beifong web cable slinging and blood-bending.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
graystone wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Probably they should ask their GM to allow them access to more elements than the basic 4, I would imagine.

I don't get this: you could literally add 50 new element types but that don't change the fact that all of them would deal bludgeoning as only Fire gets to work with the Elemental Sorcerers as Elemental Type says for everything other than Fire, "For other elements, they deal bludgeoning damage."

AnimatedPaper wrote:
Not really within the scope of this thread.

*shrug* So I have a bit of realism in my Kineticist. Sue me. ;)

As long as burn isn't an integral and required part of the class, I'm pretty flexible with what the actual mechanics are as long as there are a variety of attack and utility abilities as long as that variety doesn't require me punching myself in the face first to get it. Bonus points is I can do some Lin Beifong web cable slinging and blood-bending.

I would kindly ask you, since you seem to have missed it the first time, to not take a crap on what other people want to see just because it's not something you think is realistic.

Edit: to more fully explain, the designers are going to design whatever they feel is best. For this thread, I want to know what people want to see, how the kineticist in their head plays. Whether it works in PF2, is wildly unbalanced, completely wonky, or would make other classes sad is immaterial. I want to know what everyone wants.


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Not requiring burn is fair. As long as you can not ignore burn if you want to go nova.

As far as Elemental Sorcerer goes, never understood why they made everything do bludgeoning. But I do not want Kineticist to copy them.


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Temperans wrote:
As long as you can not ignore burn if you want to go nova.

No reason Focus can't be used for a nova.

Temperans wrote:
As far as Elemental Sorcerer goes, never understood why they made everything do bludgeoning. But I do not want Kineticist to copy them.

It's going to feel quite odd and introduce a very stark difference if sorcerer gets the shaft while Kineticist gets to actually target elemental weaknesses. I personally can't fathom why the sorcerer is the way it is but I also can't fathom why it'd be different for the Kineticist. As a "dream", I guess I'd prefer the sorcerer got errata'd to use elemental damage so it'd wouldn't feel bad compared to a Kineticist that had them.


Yep it would be nice if they got errata'd. But still disagree on not using burn for nova.

I can just feel it in my gut that they would cut kineticist power and versatility because "oh you can use focus points for nova".


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The weirdness of elemental sorcerer is compounded when you consider elemental fist for monks that goes with the same 4 elements but has bludgeoning for earth, lightning for air, fire for fire, and cold for water.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Temperans wrote:

But still disagree on not using burn for nova.

I can just feel it in my gut that they would cut kineticist power and versatility because "oh you can use focus points for nova".

Possibly, but there could be upsides there. For instance, there could be the equivalent of a Fury Totem, where you get smaller bonus with no downside, for those that want to Nova without Burning, but still use more or less the same mechanics.

Edit: I guess I never put this out there, but I'd like to see multiple kinds of "Burn". The Unleash mechanic covered a wider range of ups and downs, and I think being able to choose which one appeals to you appeals to me. Perhaps even vary how many actions it takes to activate, how many rounds it lasts, and so on.

I kind of wanted to see something like that on the Oracle, sort of how the Tongues curse in PF1 was "well I have to pick SOMETHING".


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1st round starts with a Stance, which gives a basic 1-action melee attack comparable to a one-handed, agile finesse weapon. I could see it also adding modest damage to an actual weapon.
If one burns a Focus Point, it improves this Stance (becoming much like Wild Winds Stance for Monks) adding perhaps range or Reach for air, metal damage types, burn, and whatever suits water or whatever flavor the Kineticist wants to tap into for that battle.
This Stance would also activate the defenses associated with that element.
There might be more, like adding superior movement, though that might only come with the Focus Point (and NOT another action; don't want two actions to buff up).

In future rounds, one could rely on that basic attack or add more actions not just to improve damage numbers, but to add more effects that've been unlocked (most likely through a class feature, not a feat since it'd be a "must-have"), like range, AoEs, cold for water, lightning for air, etc. 3-actions options would be available for bigger special effects or when blending multiple elements.

Focus points could be used to help bump abilities. These would quickly burn out in tougher combats, leading to Burn as a mechanic to replenish one's Focus Points. (Too many ways Burn could work to address here!)

I could also see some defensive action options via feats, much like Mountain Stance has.

So the mix would be skirmishing Stride/Strike/Stride, holding the frontline Defense/Strike/Strike or Defense/Big Strike, ranged Stride/Big Strike (albeit lower damage for being at range), and various combos to get various shapes & effects, with competitive damage at 2-actions (maybe adding damage from two elements into one). And that same damage as an AoE, multi-target, +Persistent, or w/ debuffing effect at 3-actions (or w/ 2 and mediocre damage).
I don't know whether I'd like specific elements being tied to/locked into specific fighting styles, though it seems natural to do somewhat.

Actions banked one round to spend on the next round don't appeal to me, though it does seem part of the PF1 concept so I'd accept that mechanic as long as it weren't required to play competitively. That could be a method to charge up w/o a Focus Point or Burn.


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Temperans wrote:

Not requiring burn is fair. As long as you can not ignore burn if you want to go nova.

As far as Elemental Sorcerer goes, never understood why they made everything do bludgeoning. But I do not want Kineticist to copy them.

Okay... why? Why do you feel like Kineticist nova fundamentally must require burn? I personally don't see why those two things should be so specifically an inextricably linked.

Now, if it's that your dream Kineticist inherently involves "must take burn if they want to nova" then I suppose I can see how that might be something someone might want. So... you have some ideas? That's great! could we perhaps invite you to present what two or three rounds of your dream Kineticist would look like here?

As far as burn goes, how would you be running burn? I gotta say, if this is just another way to shoehorn in "Magic wielders are hard-required to care deeply about daily resources. No exceptions." then I personally have no sympathy for that position. "Heavy use of magic" and "Must juggle daily resources" are two concepts that don't have any real need to be connected.


The problem I see with burn, at least the way I see it, is that it's basically a second focus pool. If you can take burn to hit really hard a few times a fight, and also take feats to get some focus spells that are also nukes (even just through archetypes) it would just feel like double focus spells, to me.


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Gaulin wrote:
The problem I see with burn, at least the way I see it, is that it's basically a second focus pool. If you can take burn to hit really hard a few times a fight, and also take feats to get some focus spells that are also nukes (even just through archetypes) it would just feel like double focus spells, to me.

My ideal burn mechanic is that it's an optional way to spend feats or other build resources that lets you cheat on your focus costs. So, you have your 1-3 focus points normally, and then you can go above and beyond that with burn, but there's a cost to it (in the form of increased fragility and slow recovery times)

...and, honestly, I'm not all that attached to Burn as a concept in the first place. I don't want to have to juggle that daily resource pool in order to play my character at full effectiveness. If I liked juggling daily resources, I'd be spending my time advocating for more satisfying elementalist sorcerers or whatever instead.

At the same time, there are clearly people out there who really do like burn, for whom it is a key part of the Kineticist thing. How many people? No clue... but then I don't know how many there are who agree with my side of things either. Still, I think there's some sort of place for a satisfying burn mechanic that's entirely opt-in, so that we can have burn kineticists and non-burn kineticists, an everyone can be cool together.

...and that's why my suggestion of "you can take burn as an alternate way of paying focus costs" - because a single focus point is reasonably chunky, and if there are enough interesting ways to spend focus points, then it's a simple place to plug into the rest of the system.

/*************/

@Temperans, I have an apology to make. Looking back in the history, it appears that you *did* include some demo turns to work with. Indeed, there's some interesting ideas there. I suppose I just hadn't internalized how deeply they were bound up with the burn mechanic. I'll need to address those separately in order to do them justice.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:
As far as burn goes, how would you be running burn? I gotta say, if this is just another way to shoehorn in "Magic wielders are hard-required to care deeply about daily resources. No exceptions." then I personally have no sympathy for that position. "Heavy use of magic" and "Must juggle daily resources" are two concepts that don't have any real need to be connected.

I can definitely see two sides on this one. On the one hand, I am 100% behind the idea that daily resources can be decoupled from casters. That’s more or less the entire appeal of classes like the kineticist (or it’s 3.5 predecessors the Warlock, Dragon Shaman, and Dragonfire Adept) to me.

But, looking at some of the quotes from the psychic playtest afteraction, there is clearly (and probably reasonably) concerns about how powerful casters that don’t use daily resources will be allowed to be. So if your class fantasy for the kineticist involves it having a slew of powers that are near or on par with a caster (though obviously with less overall versatility), daily resources might make sense.


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Temperans wrote:

(Copied from other thread)

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.

********************

Addendum and explanation of my terms.

Gather power is a 1, 3, or 4 action activity. That activity lets you lower the burn cost by 1, 2, or 3.

Infusion lets you pick 1 substance and 1 form infusion and apply it to all kinetic blasts for the turn. This cost zero or more burn. This is not an amp or metamagic ability, nor does it cost focus points.

Kinetic Blast is two actions and deal either physical or energy damage. Physical is 1d8+Con +1d8 every odd level. Energy is 1d6+Con +1d6 every odd level. This is comparable to power attack using a ranged weapon. This does not require or use focus points.

Kinetic blade makes kinetic blast into a 1 action melee ability (may have reduced damage per blast if full damage is too strong but I doubt it). This is a form infusion that costs 1 burn.

Burn reduces max HP by 1 per level per point of burn until the next day (not drain to avoid problems, although it does mean the two stack). Spending 5 burn means reducing max hp by 5 per lv.

So... addressing this seriously, I see the following things.

- Burn is pretty strictly limited as a resource. Absolute max burn in a day (barring largely inefficient feats) is hit die size plus conmod, because if you go over that you literally have no hit points. Of course, even taking it that far is very nearly a death sentence. Most of your boosting is going to need to be from gathering power, rather than from burn. Burn is a way to cheat on gathering power, rather than vice versa.

- It looks like the really major powers are all going to require you to either spend a turn doing basically nothing (not even moving) in prep or take significant amounts of burn. If you don't want to take burn, and you want your turn to be anything other than deeply bland, then you're losing an entire turn doing nothing. That's kind of feelsbad, especially given the importance of early turns as compared to later turns.

- If you *do* take burn, you're not able to take much of it. Like, if you're eating three burn a pop, that's back in "you can only do this four times per day" territory. Effectively, you've turned them into something that's even more five-minute workday than normal.

- As far as I can tell, you're not even letting them swing against save DCs. "I am simple, bland damage, except when I spend hugely of my HPmax and/or turns" isn't a lot of fun as a prospect, at least not to me.

- To me, the whole point of the kineticist is to be able to do interesting things (though not necessarily high-damage things) without having to dip into daily resources. This version of the Kineticist does not offer that.

So... what fantasy does this version of the kineticist offer as far as you're concerned? Where is their cool factor? What is the awesome thing that makes them worth playing?

AnimatedPaper wrote:
But, looking at some of the quotes from the psychic playtest afteraction, there is clearly (and probably reasonably) concerns about how powerful casters that don’t use daily resources will be allowed to be. So if your class fantasy for the kineticist involves it having a slew of powers that are near or on par with a caster (though obviously with less overall versatility), daily resources might make sense.

Okay, sure... but if all you want is another caster... then why not play another caster? If you're just going to turn the kineticist into another "cantrips are there as a holdout weapon, and everything else is daily resources" then what's the point of doing it at all? We already have that stuff.


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Burn to me is an intrinsic part of the class just like curses are for oracle, anathema for champion, cleric, and druid, just like music is for bards. Removing burn and its significance as a "way to get power beyond your body can handle" goes against an intrinsic part of the class. It is fine if people don't want to spend burn for basic usage, but burn should 100% be needed to do the most amount in a single turn. It is like saying that Champions shouldn't have anathema because "why should the champion be limited", and the answer to champion is the same for kineticist "because anathema/burn is core idea behind the class".

People are making it sound like PF2 has not "daily resources" but Alchemist is built around having a daily resource, oracle is built around having a limited amount of curse a day they can take, clerics have a limited pool of free heal spells, all casters have a very limited amount of their highest level spells. Kineticist would never get an adequate power if it were to have multiple at will abilities because that is just not how PF2 is balanced. Focus spells do not solve the isse because they are still effectively at will abilities with a 10 minute cooldown, so again kineticist would be short changed unable to reach what should be their full power.

What makes you say that kineticist cannot move while gathering power? That was literally a basic feat in PF1 that could be upgraded to get very reasonable movement. Not to mention that you are assuming that kineticist wouldn't have any other way to reduce burn cost. Despite the fact that those were basic parts that they naturally got: Getting a buffer (take burn today to jot spend burn tomorrow) or outright reductions (which is much less complicated than requiring paying a focus point). That is not even taking into account that the round option that I gave is bastly more versatile than some other classes. Ex: Magus that is pretty much required to spend as many turns as possible using spellstrike, or literally every single spellcaster which require using their turns on cantrips for half damage.

Finally, Kineticist never was about not spending daily resources. It was about not having spell slots and being able to pick what you want, when you want, at whatever power level you so choose all at the cost of your life, mental health, or the life of creatures you sacrifice (for certain archetypes).


Sanityfaerie wrote:
Temperans wrote:

(Copied from other thread)

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.

********************

Addendum and explanation of my terms.

Gather power is a 1, 3, or 4 action activity. That activity lets you lower the burn cost by 1, 2, or 3.

Infusion lets you pick 1 substance and 1 form infusion and apply it to all kinetic blasts for the turn. This cost zero or more burn. This is not an amp or metamagic ability, nor does it cost focus points.

Kinetic Blast is two actions and deal either physical or energy damage. Physical is 1d8+Con +1d8 every odd level. Energy is 1d6+Con +1d6 every odd level. This is comparable to power attack using a ranged weapon. This does not require or use focus points.

Kinetic blade makes kinetic blast into a 1 action melee ability (may have reduced damage per blast if full damage is too strong but I doubt it). This is a form infusion that costs 1 burn.

Burn reduces max HP by 1 per level per point of burn until the next day (not drain to avoid problems, although it does mean the two stack). Spending 5 burn means reducing max hp by 5 per lv.

So... addressing this seriously, I see the following things.

- Burn is pretty strictly limited as a resource. Absolute max burn in a day (barring largely inefficient feats)...

The fact you are asking me "what is the cool factor" of the kineticist when I literally posted the bare bones action economy is a bit baffling to me. The following that up with kineticist is not needed because casters have cantrips?

Have you never seen a kineticist? Because that post reads to me like someone that has never read or seen the actual kineticist abilities. Kineticist is a highly dynamic class capable of dealing a decent amount of damage at will while having a lot of thematic utility powers. They are able to shape their blast and change its substance to get a variety of effects. The effects include but are not limited to: Creating walls, having increased range, creating explosions, warping the battlefield, throwing items or even enemies, suffocating foes, healing wounds at the cost of your life, creating constructs, flying, scrying, teleporting, bypassing resistance, enhancing weapons, getting/enhancing elemental themed defenses, etc.

What you are asking for by removing burn and gather power for focus spells is removing the set of abilities that allow kineticist to have so much versatility and power in the first place. It's quite literally reducing kineticist to a class whose only thing is dealing damage and doing minor tricks. Which looking at the fact fire kineticists can spend burn to revive like a phoenix, Void kineticists can travel through outer space with little trouble and control gravity, Aether can create building out of pure force and create primal magic events (5e calls it wild magic), Air can become immune to weather effects and almost unreacable in the air, Earth can create eartquakes, Water revive the dead, etc.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Sanityfaerie, I’m not going to defend a position I don’t hold. I said I could see why it might be attractive, and I do, but ultimately I am fine with a lower overall power level if it means I don’t have to track daily resources. A caster class that does not have resources to track is ideal for me, even if for some that’s just another caster class.

Let me be clearer. I want a class that gets legendary caster proficiency. I want them to cast spells. I want those spells to be somewhat moddable by using either focus or a mechanic similar to the unleash from the psychic playtest. I also want those spells to run off spell attack rolls. And I do not want to track daily resources for any of it. Encounter resources, sure, but not daily.

None of this is outrageous or very groundbreaking, but it is so far not something I can get on a class.


Honestly that's fair AnimatedPaper. I can honestly see a few classes that could potentially fit that. But if I am understand it right you want something closer to a proper word caster than a kineticist.


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Temperans wrote:
People are making it sound like PF2 has not "daily resources" but Alchemist is built around having a daily resource, oracle is built around having a limited amount of curse a day they can take, clerics have a limited pool of free heal spells, all casters have a very limited amount of their highest level spells. Kineticist would never get an adequate power if it were to have multiple at will abilities because that is just not how PF2 is balanced. Focus spells do not solve the isse because they are still effectively at will abilities with a 10 minute cooldown, so again kineticist would be short changed unable to reach what should be their full power.

I'm not making it sound like that at all. I agree. Every single meaningfully magical class in PF2 is shackled to daily resources. Also, I hate that, and I want options that are not that thing. It's not inevitable. It's just the way they built the ones they've built so far. Sure, if you don't build to daily slots, then your ability to daily nova goes way down. That's true. That doesn't mean that the class is hopelessly weak. It's not like they're going to take away those daily powers and give back nothing at all.

In particular, it's not "just how PF2 is balanced" because we have martials all over the place who aren't particularly tied to any sort of daily anything. Being shackled to a daily budget is not in any way necessary. They can go past what has been produced before, just like they have time and time again.

Like, yeah, if all you care about is the daily nova, then obviously, giving up all of your daily resources in return for at-will resources and encounter resources (ie focus stuff) is going to leave you feeling a bit poor... but if that's all you care about then the Sorcerer is right over there, happy to hook you up. You have your portion already. Stop trying to take away mine, too.

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