Why CON…but also, please keep CON


Kineticist Class

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Ok, so I’ve taken a look at the Kineticist and all that is in its kit and am currently making a few to play in multiple playtest scenarios to come. My first impression is that I really like the class and it has some real potential. However, the question I have to ask, and that I fear to ask, is “why CON?”

Now, I really want it to stay our first CON based class. I love that. It was our first and only CON based class in PF1e as well too, which I loved. However in the 1e version it made sense mechanically because of “Burn.” For those not familiar with the 1e class that mechanic basically let you take 1 point of nonlethal damage per character level to then do big moves. So, being a CON base class was almost required in order for it not to knock itself unconscious during fights (especially longer combats). However there is no such mechanic. Additionally, the 1e Kineticist’s damage was modified by Constitution as well.

Now, for what’s in this 2e playtest, the Class DC is based on CON (though arbitrarily) and there are exactly 2 other things specially for CON and both are niche feats. The first is the Familiar’s perception/acrobatics/stealth use your CON modifier if you take that first level feat. The other is an 8th level feat of “Aura Shaping” that determines your number of creatures you can designate as immune to your Aura (again very niche and optional).

I’d like to see the final version have some other cool things that have to do with CON and/or HP. I really don’t want “Burn” back as I’m glad that was done away with as it confused so many players. However, as it stands, it seems that CON is the ability modifier, not because it makes sense, but because it was expected of the class due to its 1e counterpart.

So, any thoughts on what could make the class feel more thematic in its use of CON as a primary stat? How can we show in mechanics and theme that these Kineticists are more robust in body than other classes?

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Invictus Fatum wrote:

Ok, so I’ve taken a look at the Kineticist and all that is in its kit and am currently making a few to play in multiple playtest scenarios to come. My first impression is that I really like the class and it has some real potential. However, the question I have to ask, and that I fear to ask, is “why CON?”

Now, I really want it to stay our first CON based class. I love that. It was our first and only CON based class in PF1e as well too, which I loved. However in the 1e version it made sense mechanically because of “Burn.” For those not familiar with the 1e class that mechanic basically let you take 1 point of nonlethal damage per character level to then do big moves. So, being a CON base class was almost required in order for it not to knock itself unconscious during fights (especially longer combats). However there is no such mechanic. Additionally, the 1e Kineticist’s damage was modified by Constitution as well.

Now, for what’s in this 2e playtest, the Class DC is based on CON (though arbitrarily) and there are exactly 2 other things specially for CON and both are niche feats. The first is the Familiar’s perception/acrobatics/stealth use your CON modifier if you take that first level feat. The other is an 8th level feat of “Aura Shaping” that determines your number of creatures you can designate as immune to your Aura (again very niche and optional).

I’d like to see the final version have some other cool things that have to do with CON and/or HP. I really don’t want “Burn” back as I’m glad that was done away with as it confused so many players. However, as it stands, it seems that CON is the ability modifier, not because it makes sense, but because it was expected of the class due to its 1e counterpart.

So, any thoughts on what could make the class feel more thematic in its use of CON as a primary stat? How can we show in mechanics and theme that these Kineticists are more robust in body than other classes?

Scarred witchdoctors feelings are hurt.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Invictus Fatum wrote:

Ok, so I’ve taken a look at the Kineticist and all that is in its kit and am currently making a few to play in multiple playtest scenarios to come. My first impression is that I really like the class and it has some real potential. However, the question I have to ask, and that I fear to ask, is “why CON?”

Now, I really want it to stay our first CON based class. I love that. It was our first and only CON based class in PF1e as well too, which I loved. However in the 1e version it made sense mechanically because of “Burn.” For those not familiar with the 1e class that mechanic basically let you take 1 point of nonlethal damage per character level to then do big moves. So, being a CON base class was almost required in order for it not to knock itself unconscious during fights (especially longer combats). However there is no such mechanic. Additionally, the 1e Kineticist’s damage was modified by Constitution as well.

Now, for what’s in this 2e playtest, the Class DC is based on CON (though arbitrarily) and there are exactly 2 other things specially for CON and both are niche feats. The first is the Familiar’s perception/acrobatics/stealth use your CON modifier if you take that first level feat. The other is an 8th level feat of “Aura Shaping” that determines your number of creatures you can designate as immune to your Aura (again very niche and optional).

I’d like to see the final version have some other cool things that have to do with CON and/or HP. I really don’t want “Burn” back as I’m glad that was done away with as it confused so many players. However, as it stands, it seems that CON is the ability modifier, not because it makes sense, but because it was expected of the class due to its 1e counterpart.

So, any thoughts on what could make the class feel more thematic in its use of CON as a primary stat? How can we show in mechanics and theme that these Kineticists are more robust in body than other classes?

Personally this is what I'd do..

Make it CON based, change it to d12.

Then put in an ability that deals 1d4 damage to the kineticist BUT you amplify its abilities by 1 level.

So if you're level 1, you can take 1d4 damage to treat that ability as if you were +1.

At 5, 10, 15, and 20 you can increase that to +2/+3/+4/+5 respectively and use that impulse at that heightened strength but you would take 2d6/3d8/4d10/5d12 damage in order to strengthen the impulse.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

There is too much healing in this edition to have that work and be balanced.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wierdly, using con as a main stat but giving mediocre HP per level to compensate sort of feels like a big nothing burger. All you really benefit from is high con saves. I sort of like it in a wierd way

Scarab Sages

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the blasts are magical, so why not attack with the main stat like casters?


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So thematically the reason for Con is "your biology is not supposed to have an internal gate to elemental energy like that, and you're constantly doing resistance training with every cell in your body by running planar energy through it."

Mechanically it should probably do something other than "class DC", "fort saves", and "HP".


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Invictus Fatum wrote:


Now, for what’s in this 2e playtest, the Class DC is based on CON (though arbitrarily)

I mean, is it any more arbitrary than Wizards using Int or Thaumaturges using Cha or anyone else using any attribute?

Arbitrary always feels like a weird term in this context because, yeah of course it's ultimately just someone making a decision.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So thematically the reason for Con is "your biology is not supposed to have an internal gate to elemental energy like that, and you're constantly doing resistance training with every cell in your body by running planar energy through it."

This was true in PF1, but nothing in the playtest flavor or abilities suggests this. Beyond mechanics, I would like to see more of the flavor text suggest you’re actually using your Con.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So thematically the reason for Con is "your biology is not supposed to have an internal gate to elemental energy like that, and you're constantly doing resistance training with every cell in your body by running planar energy through it."

Mechanically it should probably do something other than "class DC", "fort saves", and "HP".

I second the cabbage. There's a missing con-nection here.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think the aura manipulation feat should be baked into the class and the number of aura feats increased. Having blast accuracy tied to con is too “one stat to rule them all”


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Speaking of the Auras I would really like a high level feat, maybe even just where Shape Aura currently is if that becomes a class feature, that lets you have two Auras active at one time.

Let me get both of the water auras to deal damage in an area and even more damage each time an enemy damages you or an ally in your aura. Or two air auras to get a fly speed, damaging aura, extra damage on your air blasts and also difficult terrain for your enemies and a speed boost for your allies. Or let me go Dual Element and grab the heat shimmers and cold snow aura so that the air around me is both extremely hot and extremely cold at the same time!


Unicore wrote:
I think the aura manipulation feat should be baked into the class and the number of aura feats increased. Having blast accuracy tied to con is too “one stat to rule them all”

It would reduce the number of stats requiring investment down to three, and those all of the save-stats, which feels kinda bonkers.


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Unicore wrote:
Having blast accuracy tied to con is too “one stat to rule them all”

How so? It's just the inverse of most martials. CON then DEX instead of the DEX then CON of ranged martials. CON then STR then DEX instead of the STR then CON then DEX of your average melee types.

DEX will always be highly important for your AC, and STR for your damage. If CON were to dip into either of those pools as well, then I think we'd be in trouble. But as it stands, CON to hit wouldn't do anything more, far as I can tell, than put the kineticist mathematically in line with other martials?


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BooleanBear wrote:
This was true in PF1, but nothing in the playtest flavor or abilities suggests this. Beyond mechanics, I would like to see more of the flavor text suggest you’re actually using your Con.

The thing about Thematics is that they are conserved between editions in a way Mechanics are not. The PF2 Swashbuckler and PF1 Swashbuckler have almost nothing in common mechanically besides "finesse weapons" but thematically they are nearly identical.

No class has changed its premise or what it's about, even if they've changed how they go about doing it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sporkedup wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Having blast accuracy tied to con is too “one stat to rule them all”

How so? It's just the inverse of most martials. CON then DEX instead of the DEX then CON of ranged martials. CON then STR then DEX instead of the STR then CON then DEX of your average melee types.

DEX will always be highly important for your AC, and STR for your damage. If CON were to dip into either of those pools as well, then I think we'd be in trouble. But as it stands, CON to hit wouldn't do anything more, far as I can tell, than put the kineticist mathematically in line with other martials?

Well Dex is actually only a little important for a kineticist. Many of these options have damage mitigation, movement restriction, healing, or other means of being difficult to hit, that a 14 starting dec is going to be fine. You could go even lower if you get ahold of medium armor, a relatively easy option, and then boost Dex to 16 by 10 and be fine.

The bigger issue of having one class use con for attack rolls and then going all in on Con is that they won’t really be able to fight any other way. “Yeah but Casters” get multiple different cantrips and tons of spells. Kineticists will have some options but not nearly as many as casters, even just for transforming into a creature that can fight better than the caster.


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Unicore wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Having blast accuracy tied to con is too “one stat to rule them all”

How so? It's just the inverse of most martials. CON then DEX instead of the DEX then CON of ranged martials. CON then STR then DEX instead of the STR then CON then DEX of your average melee types.

DEX will always be highly important for your AC, and STR for your damage. If CON were to dip into either of those pools as well, then I think we'd be in trouble. But as it stands, CON to hit wouldn't do anything more, far as I can tell, than put the kineticist mathematically in line with other martials?

Well Dex is actually only a little important for a kineticist. Many of these options have damage mitigation, movement restriction, healing, or other means of being difficult to hit, that a 14 starting dec is going to be fine. You could go even lower if you get ahold of medium armor, a relatively easy option, and then boost Dex to 16 by 10 and be fine.

The bigger issue of having one class use con for attack rolls and then going all in on Con is that they won’t really be able to fight any other way. “Yeah but Casters” get multiple different cantrips and tons of spells. Kineticists will have some options but not nearly as many as casters, even just for transforming into a creature that can fight better than the caster.

This is literally no different than a Dex based class being bad at using a Str weapon or vice versa. I mean look at casters who are told "its fine if you use a crossbow as a 3rd action".

By comparison kineticists don't really have a need to use other weapons from the start unless they are going for something specific.

* P.S. I would settle with at least getting Con to damage, there is no reason why a mass of energy should be using Str to damage.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:


The thing about Thematics is that they are conserved between editions in a way Mechanics are not.

Paizo has up to this point conserved thematics across editions, but I want a class (thematics included) to stand on its own. I shouldn’t have to tell a new player to go read Occult Adventures to figure out why Kineticists use Con.

Scarab Sages

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Unicore wrote:
I think the aura manipulation feat should be baked into the class and the number of aura feats increased. Having blast accuracy tied to con is too “one stat to rule them all”

Is it really that different from a casting stat though? Sure, there's HP on Con but the defensive proficiency isn't very impressive so they're going to take a beating most of the time.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They can carry a shield and pick up medium armor as a general feat until they can get a 14 or 16 dex by 10 pretty easily. They are also a highly mobile ranged class, or a damage mitigating annoyance class.


Angel Hunter D wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I think the aura manipulation feat should be baked into the class and the number of aura feats increased. Having blast accuracy tied to con is too “one stat to rule them all”
Is it really that different from a casting stat though? Sure, there's HP on Con but the defensive proficiency isn't very impressive so they're going to take a beating most of the time.

Yes, because a caster would usually have to also invest in Con to keep enough HP and shore up their fort saves. If Con is the to-hit stat then the kineticist can reliably ignore Str, Int, and Cha.


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The specific thing about Con is that it is the only stat that is keyed to absolutely no skills. But nobody ignores it completely because the two things it does for everybody (HP and Fort) are meaningful.

This is the same issue we had with the playtests for the Investigator, Inventor, and Thaumaturge- "If something other than Str or Dex is going to be the key stat when I use one of those two to hit people with, I need to be getting something out of that key stat that everybody else isn't also getting." It's just that Int and Cha are tied to some important skills.


Perpdepog wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I think the aura manipulation feat should be baked into the class and the number of aura feats increased. Having blast accuracy tied to con is too “one stat to rule them all”
Is it really that different from a casting stat though? Sure, there's HP on Con but the defensive proficiency isn't very impressive so they're going to take a beating most of the time.
Yes, because a caster would usually have to also invest in Con to keep enough HP and shore up their fort saves. If Con is the to-hit stat then the kineticist can reliably ignore Str, Int, and Cha.

you can keep str for damage. now they have a reason to invest in that. Also thief rouge exists. as do clerics and druids. none of those classes need to invest in str int or cha for any reason than a kineticist doesn't.

Scarab Sages

Perpdepog wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I think the aura manipulation feat should be baked into the class and the number of aura feats increased. Having blast accuracy tied to con is too “one stat to rule them all”
Is it really that different from a casting stat though? Sure, there's HP on Con but the defensive proficiency isn't very impressive so they're going to take a beating most of the time.
Yes, because a caster would usually have to also invest in Con to keep enough HP and shore up their fort saves. If Con is the to-hit stat then the kineticist can reliably ignore Str, Int, and Cha.

They can ignore them if they only exist in encounter mode, but if they do something other than crack skulls they'll want some Int and Cha, and some Str if they want medium armor and a shield plus the basic adventuring gear.

Dark Archive

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Thing is, having 18 CON is nice and all, but really what am I getting for it that I wouldn't get from another stat?

STR would get me better to hit and better damage while also keying to Athletics which is a great skill to have. Not to mention qualification for better armor.

Dex would give me better AC, better to hit, better Reflex saves, and keyed to some great skills.

WIS gives arguably the best skill (Medicine) as well as oft used Recall Knowledge skills and Survival all while buffing Will saves (very important).

Even INT and CHA have great skill usage.

CON 18 gives me Fort saves and HP. However the HP is alright, but I could always take Toughness to shore those up. Besides, only being a D8 class seems to take away from the CON benefit as it just seems like the CON simply makes up for the d8.

Right now it seems too forced and more detrimental than helpful. I want a reason for CON to be special and make up for not having an 18 to start in one of the other stats.


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I would prefer con not be the attacking stat since blasting is for most intents and purposes a weapon, it would break the mold too much in my opinion. Only other class that can change the attacking stat on strikes is the investigator, which pays a fair price for it. Con to damage however, fits in with how the inventor works. Maybe stoke element could be a core feature that allows you to add con to your damage rolls. Could last until you use an overflow action.


I think Con to damage but still str/dex to attack is a fine compromise if Paizo thinks Con to atk+dmg is too much... But c'mon, give us con to both! The Kine might as well be an unofficial caster, give it caster KAS interactions!

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
aobst128 wrote:
I would prefer con not be the attacking stat since blasting is for most intents and purposes a weapon, it would break the mold too much in my opinion. Only other class that can change the attacking stat on strikes is the investigator, which pays a fair price for it. Con to damage however, fits in with how the inventor works. Maybe stoke element could be a core feature that allows you to add con to your damage rolls. Could last until you use an overflow action.

Thief rogues can and they don't pay a price for it. They get dex to attack AND damage.


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Just grab Mountain Stance and ignore blasts.


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Druids also only need three stats with Wis being their KAS. I'm not married to Con KAS but I really dislike not having your attack stat as KAS. So clunky for seemingly no reason, it hits pretty hard those 50% of levels.

Scarab Sages

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So we have at least 2 instances of Core classes needing fewer stats than other classes. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Core classes were the strongest. I'd really like a new class to hit that level and Kineticist has the option and theme strengths of the monk it just needs a chassis that's good too.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

One suggestion to make CON more useful may be to utilize Fortitude Saves more creatively. Perhaps if you use an Overflow action you make a Fortitude Save vs. a difficult DC by level. If you succeed, you immediately open another gate as a free action.

To keep it from being too powerful, perhaps you add +1 (heck even +3) to the DC if this ability was used within the last 10 minutes. Or you could make it once per 10 minutes, but I like the idea of it being used multiple times, just progressively harder.

The thematic explanation could be that your body is disciplined and you are brute forcing the gate to open rather than taking the regular care.


Verzen wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
I would prefer con not be the attacking stat since blasting is for most intents and purposes a weapon, it would break the mold too much in my opinion. Only other class that can change the attacking stat on strikes is the investigator, which pays a fair price for it. Con to damage however, fits in with how the inventor works. Maybe stoke element could be a core feature that allows you to add con to your damage rolls. Could last until you use an overflow action.
Thief rogues can and they don't pay a price for it. They get dex to attack AND damage.

They don't change the attacking stat. They just get more damage, which is what I was suggesting.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm using this thread to just keep adding to my thoughts for CON.

How about renewing Temporary HP every time you gather an element? Something like your CON modifier times half your level (rounded up). Would also make the class feel tougher and more sturdy


There's a few abilities similar to that for other classes that are Level 8 and they tend to be half level plus Constitution modifier.


Invictus Fatum wrote:

One suggestion to make CON more useful may be to utilize Fortitude Saves more creatively. Perhaps if you use an Overflow action you make a Fortitude Save vs. a difficult DC by level. If you succeed, you immediately open another gate as a free action.

To keep it from being too powerful, perhaps you add +1 (heck even +3) to the DC if this ability was used within the last 10 minutes. Or you could make it once per 10 minutes, but I like the idea of it being used multiple times, just progressively harder.

The thematic explanation could be that your body is disciplined and you are brute forcing the gate to open rather than taking the regular care.

You thinking something like Mighty Guy? Because I would be totally down for that, even if Monk feels a tiny bit more appropriate, it sounds like an amazing feature

Dark Archive

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nick1wasd wrote:
Invictus Fatum wrote:

One suggestion to make CON more useful may be to utilize Fortitude Saves more creatively. Perhaps if you use an Overflow action you make a Fortitude Save vs. a difficult DC by level. If you succeed, you immediately open another gate as a free action.

To keep it from being too powerful, perhaps you add +1 (heck even +3) to the DC if this ability was used within the last 10 minutes. Or you could make it once per 10 minutes, but I like the idea of it being used multiple times, just progressively harder.

The thematic explanation could be that your body is disciplined and you are brute forcing the gate to open rather than taking the regular care.

You thinking something like Mighty Guy? Because I would be totally down for that, even if Monk feels a tiny bit more appropriate, it sounds like an amazing feature

Yes, something like that. Makes the CON score matter more and gives a chance for better action economy while keeping to the theme of hardiness to withstand the rigorous demands of this power.

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