Quid's usual rambling thread


Kineticist Class


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All right!

Time for some really early and premature impressions, before I get into some more actual detail.

Dang I wish Constitution did something for this class. Please, at least something beyond setting DCs. Use it on a skill, scale effects off it, get a special ability that keys off of a fortitude save, whatever.

Auras look amazing. I love having a class with a ton of aura options ranging in level. And with an action discount for swapping auras? Excellent.

The d4 damage on air makes me a little sad.

What's with the random mention of "manifestations" in Clear as Air? The abilities are all specifically not spells, so they don't have manifestations.

I'd really like Air to be able to shut people up and/or have some sort of suffocation effect, even if it's got the Incapacitate trait. You control air; getting rid of it is the quintessential scary thing you should be able to do.

Adapt Element is nice. Pure Adaptation could really benefit from an example of what it means to purify fire.

Gonna try a character rebuild.

Scarab Sages

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Here's my minor annoyance so far (separate from yours which I mostly share): Circulate Qi - standardize that stuff, is it Qi or Ki in Pathifnder?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Does this feel like there's a big potential for watering-down? You have class feats and impulse feats competing for the same slots.

A dedicate gate, or a dual gate... seems maybe okay, but if you're a universal gate Kineticist (with 6 elements by the full book), it feels like you'll barely scratch the surface of what your class can do, and that will be at the higher levels when the game is potentially over. Avatar, you are not.

I do like that there's no bookkeeping; it's like a channeling mechanic, but you either have the element primed, or you don't.


First character!

Lauren Tacita is a human character whose origins are as a "superheroes setting" character able to exhale silence and use it to suffocate people by stopping them from making the noise of breathing. When I made her in PF1, she became an aerokineticist who would be grabbing Suffocate. She took earth secondary mostly for the damage reduction and because a sandstorm composite blast fit her all right. She was a tough sniper with lots of stealth and abilities to spy, as well as a Siamese cat familiar named Susurrus. Since Among Us has become a meme since then, his nickname of "Sus" will probably be dropped.

First up: her element is definitely air still. Earth secondary is less important, especially since the defensive abilities can't be used while she has air active. If solo-element is just too ineffective, though, we'll grab it.

Health is going to be comparable to a Gunslinger/Ranger/etc., having 18 Con instead of 14 but a lower base health. We'll grab Toughness when we get the chance; 10 hp base would help make Con feel more rewarding. We'll go with Dexterity secondary because she's supposed to be sneaky. We're human, so that means 18, 16, and two 12s. We'll go with Int and Wis. Lauren's a pretty unsociable person and not too strong, so while we're at it, voluntary flaws to Str and Cha to boost one of those mental stats to 14 sounds good.

Damage... woof. Nobody uses a d4 weapon without damage boosters. Ranger is firing their bow with +1 accuracy over me, so agile is just helping me catch up to the accuracy of a ranger not using their primary class feature. At this point in the build, I Do Not Care about combat. I'm going to be on my phone.

But, I get a bunch of first level options for going solo. Lets go check that out.

I get to pick three of the four first-level air abilities.
- Boomerang is a three-action (effectively- see Overflow) ability that allows me to do equally terrible damage within closer ranges, and force an extra five feet of movement out of enemies. It feels weird that it's "60ft line" and not "up to 60ft. line" if the boomerang itself hovers in place.
- Definitely getting Whisper on the Wind. Lauren was all about those weird whispering effects. It'd be nice if there were something that allowed listening in on people.
- Fair Winds or Air Cushion. Purely depends on the game, both work equally okay for flavor.

We also have a first level feat. I really hate that it feels like the best thing I can do is grab Elemental Weapon for a longbow. I guess I can do it, and then completely reflavor it to something else.

Second level: Second level feats are both worse than the first level ones, so they can be ignored. We'll get a dedication or a familiar here. (As a note, Kinetic Activation should provide some benefit over just getting a primal caster dedication?)

Fourth level: Soothing Breeze is too benevolent for Lauren in general, but it helps with tankiness and gives some more utility. It says "three abilities" but only lists two. More likely, grab an archetype feat.

Sixth level: All right, big money! Clear as Air is the first thing that makes me happy to be using this to build her. It's sustained invisibility, with scaling benefits, and it makes gathering elements stealthy- something PF1 never included. (As noted before, though, I feel like the offhand reference to manifestations that don't exist by the rules is a dozen annoying threads waiting to happen. Please don't solve that by slapping manifestations on...)

Eighth level: Celestial Palisade is pretty tempting (with the thematics of stopping projectiles being in keeping with Lauren's original abilities). Wings of Air is really useful, though, so it'll be under consideration. Oh hey! Aura Shaping is one of the few Con-bonus effects. I don't really have any auras that'd be worth spending this on, though.

Oh hey, good news! I can pick up the practical flight at eighth, and flexibly pick Celestial Palisade every day at 9th.

Tenth level: Chain Blasts. Love the absurd hypothetical range, even though that will never come up. Deconstruct Element seems like it's only worthwhile for fire?

Twelfth level: Circulate Qi can't be used on yourself? Bummer, and also very weird. Also, why the heck does Wiles on the Wind, Ghost Sound with speech added, only show up at 12th level? This is weirdly over-leveled for what it does. Rapid Attunement doesn't do much for solo-element, so... shrugs I guess she can do Ghost Sound with voices.

This is the level where PF1 kineticist was tossing out a very stylish sustained suffocation effect. I know it's just personal preference on making a particular character, but I'd enjoy that more than the odd healing effect or very late illusion.

Fourteenth level: Let's see... Flowing Kinetics would apply to Clear as Air, Aerial Boomerang, Celestial Palisade, Wings of Air (which gets a huge upgrade this level), and Wiles on the Wind. Not bad. Ferocious Cyclone is nice- a ten foot-wide line is much more useful than a regular line.

Oh hey, another flexible feat. Might as well get both of those mentioned in fourteenth.

Sixteenth level: Effortless Impulse! Done, no question. Keep invisibility up without any work. That's genuinely novel, especially since hostile actions don't interfere anymore.

Eighteenth level: Crowned in Tempest's Fury doesn't particularly fit Lauren- a bit too noisy. But Infinite Expanse of Bluest Heaven is weirdly weak? Maybe I'm missing something, but it's a lot of actions for something that doesn't do much. Could just go with Maelstrom Blast, though. Nourishing Gate seems like it should provide a LOT more benefits.

20th level: Ouch. These are really bad capstones for solo-element. I would pick up a second-level archetype dedication over either of these for this character. Omnikinesis is close to doing nothing and requires a prerequisite. I only have one three-action ability, so Flawless Element is a capstone to save me one action on my wind walls. I would definitely suggest a capstone feat locked to Dedicated Gate. I know space is going to be at a premium, but Flawless Element can easily be dropped for it- it's already essentially locked to Fire and Water (which actually have a decent number of non-aura three-action abilities).

Next up: the solo-element verdict is not great, so it's time to consider Dual Gate.


SaveVersus wrote:

Does this feel like there's a big potential for watering-down? You have class feats and impulse feats competing for the same slots.

A dedicate gate, or a dual gate... seems maybe okay, but if you're a universal gate Kineticist (with 6 elements by the full book), it feels like you'll barely scratch the surface of what your class can do, and that will be at the higher levels when the game is potentially over. Avatar, you are not.

I do like that there's no bookkeeping; it's like a channeling mechanic, but you either have the element primed, or you don't.

Universal Gate relies on shifting between elements' tricks on a daily (or eventually rest break) basis. You can change a feat daily at first level, instead of waiting for 9th level, and Rapid Attunement at 12th makes you something like a Spell Substitution Wizard.


All right, on to Dual Gate.

Skimming over them, and with the new rules for elemental switching, I think that Water makes a better secondary than Rock. A lot of the water effects can be reflavored as distortions caused by the silenced air.

Important swaps:
1st level (because of different freebies)
2nd level (because there will probably be some things to pick up)
Boring levels: 4, 10, 12, kinda 14, 18, 20

1st level: We can rely on Water for damage, so boomerang isn't as important. We'll keep the cool Message ability, because whispers are very thematic to Lauren. For Water, we'll get Deflecting Wave, since blunting the impact of an attack by enforcing silence on it is something Lauren does.

2nd level: Oh, I love Winter's Clutch. Level damage as an aura? I think my shifting from "silence" to "stillness" as a theme, it's her cooling the area around her by slowing everything down.

4th level: Veil of Mists is nice, but not for Lauren. Still a bit iffy here.

10th level: Cycling Blast and Aura Shaping are both pretty nice. Wings of Air is a little weaker on dual-element, so it might be worth making that non-permanent and getting both. 8th level for Cycling Blast means that Deflecting Wave can be used pretty much every turn for free now.

12th level: Drowning Sphere. At last, a way to shut people up! A bit of flavor-tweaking to make this an area with particularly oppressive stillness that hinders movement, sound, and even breathing.

14th level: Rapid Reattunement seems like a solid upgrade over Flowing Kinetics.

18th level: No real improvement here.

20th level: Yay, Omnikinesis does something now!

----

Dual element absolutely looks like the way to go for Lauren. Doing close to twice as much damage, and she can do a few things now that fit her concept better. Air actually seems like a somewhat supplemental element for her in PF2, providing some really weak long-range damage and a few utility abilities.


Wait, hold on... Cycling Blast references a "currently gathered element", so does that not work for re-gathering after you lose your element? The wording definitely needs to be cleared up one way or the other.


Cycling Blast has the Impulse trait, so it requires that you have an element gathered already to use it.


RexAliquid wrote:
Cycling Blast has the Impulse trait, so it requires that you have an element gathered already to use it.

That's PF2 for you. Thanks.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think Elemental Weapon can create a Longbow. It can only create one handed weapons and Longbow is 1+Hand I believe. The same issue longbow Thaumaturges had.

A little surprised you didn't go for Fusion Blast for the Air+Water version to get a xd4+xd8 120 ft blast, admittedly at the cost of 2 actions.


QuidEst wrote:
We also have a first level feat. I really hate that it feels like the best thing I can do is grab Elemental Weapon for a longbow. I guess I can do it, and then completely reflavor it to something else.

You can't. Bows are not one-handed weapons.

Ah, Ryuujin-sama has already mentioned this...


Ryuujin-sama wrote:
I don't think Elemental Weapon can create a Longbow. It can only create one handed weapons and Longbow is 1+Hand I believe. The same issue longbow Thaumaturges had.

Ah, I'd figured Thaumaturge had an issue because it had to actually use the other hand for something- but I guess then people would just use weapon implement.

Ryuujin-sama wrote:
A little surprised you didn't go for Fusion Blast for the Air+Water version to get a xd4+xd8 120 ft blast, admittedly at the cost of 2 actions.

Ah, I forgot about Fusion Blast after going through mono-element! Yeah, I'd definitely take that.

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