Discussion on the delayed Expert attacks


Kineticist Class


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just wanted to spin up a thread on what I imagine will be a contentious subject. Kineticist gets expert in unarmed and simple weapons at level 7, similar to an alchemist or warpriest rather than a "martial" like monk or ranger, and similar to when full casters get expert in spell attacks. However, they receive critical specialization and master in attacks much like full martial characters do (5th and 13th) which puts them in a bit of an odd spot.

Even with a Con key stat, a kineticist will be able to match a class that starts in an 18 for their attack stat at level 5 in terms of ability modifier for their own attacks. But they will be a proficiency tier behind at level 5 and 6.


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This will put kineticists attacks at:

  • 1-4: -1 to martial comparison
  • 5-6: -2
  • 7-9: +0
  • 10-14: -1
  • 15-19: 0
  • 20: -1

    It seems the general approach will typically put kineticists behind in attacks by -1.

    Kineticist damage, on the other hand, scales more poorly. Kineticists will have the same lack of a full STR modifier to their damage, but will also be using lower dice with worse action economy, bonuses to damage, and traits.

    For example, most martials using 1H weapons either have a Double Slice equivalent, a Sneak attack equivalent, or a flat damage buff (3+). Elemental Blast is probably roughly at -4 to damage compared to most alternatives at level 1, with that gap increasing with weapon dice stacking.

    This seems to be an 'poor chassis, good options' approach. Attacking with Elemental Blast is not designed to be competitive by itself, and is not equivalent to any martial using their basic class features.

    Meanwhile, you have the extraordinarily action-efficient Chain Blast and early access to relatively decent AoE to compensate.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    manbearscientist wrote:

    This will put kineticists attacks at:

  • 1-7: -1 to martial comparison
  • 8-9: +0
  • 10-14: -1
  • 15-19: 0
  • 20: -1

    It seems the general approach will typically put kineticists behind in attacks by -1.

    Kineticist damage, on the other hand, scales more poorly. Kineticists will have the same lack of a full STR modifier to their damage, but will also be using lower dice with worse action economy, bonuses to damage, and traits.

    For example, most martials using 1H weapons either have a Double Slice equivalent, a Sneak attack equivalent, or a flat damage buff (3+). Elemental Blast is probably roughly at -4 to damage compared to most alternatives at level 1, with that gap increasing with weapon dice stacking.

    This seems to be an 'poor chassis, good options' approach. Attacking with Elemental Blast is not designed to be competitive by itself, and is not equivalent to any martial using their basic class features.

    Meanwhile, you have the extraordinarily action-efficient Chain Blast and early access to relatively decent AoE to compensate.

  • I believe at level 5 and 6, the kineticist will be -2 behind, not just -1.


    Xethik wrote:


    I believe at level 5 and 6, the kineticist will be -2 behind, not just -1.

    Yeah, -2.


    This is the same proficiency progression as the Inventor and Thaumaturge isn't it? Those classes generally don't have problems missing too much, do they?

    But since the Kineticist in PF1 was a "one big hit" class, I wonder if missing just feels worse than it used to. I wonder if an impulse to Aim (a la Hunted Shot) would be appropriate? Since at low levels it feels like since your class DC is higher since you can start with an 18 Con, you might be better off attacking saves with impulses.


    PossibleCabbage wrote:

    This is the same proficiency progression as the Inventor and Thaumaturge isn't it? Those classes generally don't have problems missing too much, do they?

    But since the Kineticist in PF1 was a "one big hit" class, I wonder if missing just feels worse than it used to. I wonder if an impulse to Aim (a la Hunted Shot) would be appropriate? Since at low levels it feels like since your class DC is higher since you can start with an 18 Con, you might be better off attacking saves with impulses.

    Nope. They get their weapon prof bump at 5 as normal.


    PossibleCabbage wrote:

    This is the same proficiency progression as the Inventor and Thaumaturge isn't it? Those classes generally don't have problems missing too much, do they?

    But since the Kineticist in PF1 was a "one big hit" class, I wonder if missing just feels worse than it used to. I wonder if an impulse to Aim (a la Hunted Shot) would be appropriate? Since at low levels it feels like since your class DC is higher since you can start with an 18 Con, you might be better off attacking saves with impulses.

    Nope, both inventor and thaumaturge get expert at lvl 5


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    manbearscientist wrote:

    This seems to be an 'poor chassis, good options' approach. Attacking with Elemental Blast is not designed to be competitive by itself, and is not equivalent to any martial using their basic class features.

    Meanwhile, you have the extraordinarily action-efficient Chain Blast and early access to relatively decent AoE to compensate.

    Blegh, that is like, the last thing i wanted this class to be

    Scarab Sages

    Kekkres wrote:
    manbearscientist wrote:

    This seems to be an 'poor chassis, good options' approach. Attacking with Elemental Blast is not designed to be competitive by itself, and is not equivalent to any martial using their basic class features.

    Meanwhile, you have the extraordinarily action-efficient Chain Blast and early access to relatively decent AoE to compensate.

    Blegh, that is like, the last thing i wanted this class to be

    same here, why change the class fantasy that much and keep the same name?


    Would switching the level positions of Blast Expertise and Critical Mastery work?


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    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

    It would make more sense.
    It’s a bit odd that the level you get the crit specialization is the level you are least likely to crit.

    Dark Archive

    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    Would switching the level positions of Blast Expertise and Critical Mastery work?

    This was exactly my first thought too. Feels weird getting a crit specialization before your even an expert at your attacks.

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