Elemental Blasts Need to be Elemental... Please?


Kineticist Class


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Fire kineticists being the only ones who can actually do elemental damage with their basic elemental blast is my only real disappointment with the kineticist right now.

Please please please can we switch air's blast to electricity damage and water's blast to cold damage so that the elemental damage-focused class can actually do elemental damage?

If I only got one wish for this entire playtest, it would be that.

Earth totally makes sense to deal bludgeoning damage, but three out of four elements (and I imagine with wood and metal it's going to be five out of six) dealing physical damage is just a huge let-down.

Ideally, wood would be piercing damage and metal slashing damage. That way, we would have fire, cold, electricity, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing as options - half elemental and half physical.


Agreed. If they really wanted to they could give Air and Water the versatile trait, which could be a nice compromise.


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That's less a compromise and more a power creep; letting those elements switch easily between physical and elemental damage would make them kind of automatically the best elements.

So I get why they didn't go that route - I just strongly agree with Keftiu that elemental damage feels core to the fantasy.


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I know we shouldn't make too many comparisons but... PF1 let you choose and I feel like you should be able to do that too. Pick Bludgeoning or Cold for Water, Slashing or Electricity for Air.... hell, Piercing or Poison for Wood even.

Versatile trait would also be good.


Usually earth in these d20 games does acid damage, so there is an excuse to add that too. I think though I like having the option to shoot actual water, rocks and blasts of air, but also lightning, cold and acid. Maybe these could be upgrade feats or something

Wayfinders

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I'd really rather we had an option to be pure-air or pure-water out the gate; I like that we're differentiating not through damage type alone, but through weapon traits. I also think that (versatile) physical damage makes more sense for ice blasts anyway, but I reckon that I'm in a very small minority there.

That said, elemental damage is obviously a fantasy that should be available so a choice of secondary damage types would be nice, possibly as a first-level feat (forming a nice counterpoint to weapon-trait fans who get Elemental Weapon).

Alternately, if people wanted to be pure-lightning or pure-cold from level one, a simple choice between two blasts per element could be cool, with a feat to get the other one. In addition to the obvious, Fire's other option could be a Poison-type smoke blast and Earth could get a Piercing stalagmite blast, keeping them pure-Elemental and pure-Physical respectively.


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Oh I get it would be stronger. I was assuming Paizo would nerf the elements in some other way in exchange, which is something I should have included in my original comment. As it is, it feels odd that they have an entire core class features built to get around elemental immunities, and yet only one element actually uses that feature. Especially since I can't see wood or metal dealing elemental damage.

EDIT: I think Nitro-Nina has the right idea. Having multiple attacks you choose between would be the perfect solution.


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AestheticDialectic wrote:
Usually earth in these d20 games does acid damage, so there is an excuse to add that too. I think though I like having the option to shoot actual water, rocks and blasts of air, but also lightning, cold and acid respectively. Maybe these could be upgrade feats or something

I’d prefer Acid to be tied to Metal, but that’s a quibble.


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Nitro~Nina wrote:

I'd really rather we had an option to be pure-air or pure-water out the gate; I like that we're differentiating not through damage type alone, but through weapon traits. I also think that (versatile) physical damage makes more sense for ice blasts anyway, but I reckon that I'm in a very small minority there.

That said, elemental damage is obviously a fantasy that should be available so a choice of secondary damage types would be nice, possibly as a first-level feat (forming a nice counterpoint to weapon-trait fans who get Elemental Weapon).

Alternately, if people wanted to be pure-lightning or pure-cold from level one, a simple choice between two blasts per element could be cool, with a feat to get the other one. In addition to the obvious, Fire's other option could be a Poison-type smoke blast and Earth could get a Piercing stalagmite blast, keeping them pure-Elemental and pure-Physical respectively.

Oh this is the best idea I've yet heard. Giving each element a choice of two blasts, but not letting you freely switch between them without further feat investment, really neatly solves this issue.

That way the people who want to play an air bender and the people who want to hurl lightning can both be happy, and you don't have the balance concerns of certain elements having both physical and elemental damage and others not.


Squiggit wrote:

I know we shouldn't make too many comparisons but... PF1 let you choose and I feel like you should be able to do that too. Pick Bludgeoning or Cold for Water, Slashing or Electricity for Air.... hell, Piercing or Poison for Wood even.

Versatile trait would also be good.

Also why not have acid be paired with earth to round it out? However, I would say that there should be some damage dice tweeking when choosing between physical and elemental damage.


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Posibly, Paizo's made comments about specifically wanting to divorce Acid from Earth, but an Acid Blast does sound cool to me.


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Squiggit wrote:
Posibly, Paizo's made comments about specifically wanting to divorce Acid from Earth, but an Acid Blast does sound cool to me.

I agree with AnimatedPaper, acid does feel like it would fit more naturally with Metal than Earth.


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Nitro~Nina wrote:

I'd really rather we had an option to be pure-air or pure-water out the gate; I like that we're differentiating not through damage type alone, but through weapon traits. I also think that (versatile) physical damage makes more sense for ice blasts anyway, but I reckon that I'm in a very small minority there.

That said, elemental damage is obviously a fantasy that should be available so a choice of secondary damage types would be nice, possibly as a first-level feat (forming a nice counterpoint to weapon-trait fans who get Elemental Weapon).

Alternately, if people wanted to be pure-lightning or pure-cold from level one, a simple choice between two blasts per element could be cool, with a feat to get the other one. In addition to the obvious, Fire's other option could be a Poison-type smoke blast and Earth could get a Piercing stalagmite blast, keeping them pure-Elemental and pure-Physical respectively.

Co-signing this as emphatically as I can. I dearly want cold and electricity as my base element, and would be very pleased if acid, poison, and sonic could get in on the action, too.


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(Just chiming in that I do hope that the physical options are kept, and maybe shored up a little on damage. But I don't see any reason why Kineticist shouldn't get to mess around with energy damage- that's what a lot of people want.)

Sczarni

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AnimatedPaper wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
Usually earth in these d20 games does acid damage, so there is an excuse to add that too. I think though I like having the option to shoot actual water, rocks and blasts of air, but also lightning, cold and acid respectively. Maybe these could be upgrade feats or something
I’d prefer Acid to be tied to Metal, but that’s a quibble.

Radiation damage for metal. =P Bring back radiation!


I'll go against the flow (lol) and actually push against Electricity here. While I do want that to be an option, perhaps as a blend of fire and air, I don't want the lightning kineticist to replace the Airbender.

Let Aang be playable, bludgeoning Air is evocative and fun.

Fire definitely has some edge to it (especially in the resistance department), but adding energy damage isn't the way.


MaxAstro wrote:

Fire kineticists being the only ones who can actually do elemental damage with their basic elemental blast is my only real disappointment with the kineticist right now.

Please please please can we switch air's blast to electricity damage and water's blast to cold damage so that the elemental damage-focused class can actually do elemental damage?

If I only got one wish for this entire playtest, it would be that.

Earth totally makes sense to deal bludgeoning damage, but three out of four elements (and I imagine with wood and metal it's going to be five out of six) dealing physical damage is just a huge let-down.

Ideally, wood would be piercing damage and metal slashing damage. That way, we would have fire, cold, electricity, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing as options - half elemental and half physical.

Like the elemental sorcerer. Only fire does fire damage.


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Gayel Nord wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

Fire kineticists being the only ones who can actually do elemental damage with their basic elemental blast is my only real disappointment with the kineticist right now.

Please please please can we switch air's blast to electricity damage and water's blast to cold damage so that the elemental damage-focused class can actually do elemental damage?

If I only got one wish for this entire playtest, it would be that.

Earth totally makes sense to deal bludgeoning damage, but three out of four elements (and I imagine with wood and metal it's going to be five out of six) dealing physical damage is just a huge let-down.

Ideally, wood would be piercing damage and metal slashing damage. That way, we would have fire, cold, electricity, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing as options - half elemental and half physical.

Like the elemental sorcerer. Only fire does fire damage.

Lots of people have been unhappy about Elemental Sorcerer since launch.


I think the disconnect here is that Paizo (in 2e at least) has been leaning toward elements as a physical substance rather than something made of energy -- ie: water is water, air is air. Fire is the odd one out here but the way they've treated the kineticist elements is consistent with how they've done the Elemental sorcerer and also the Elementalist class archetype. Note that the Elementalist spell list also doesn't include things like ray of frost or electric arc.

Considering they've decided to add stuff like a Plane of Metal and a Plane of Wood (as opposed to having it be an extension of the Plane of Earth and the First World, like in 1e), I wouldn't be surprised if one day they decided to reinclude energy-based elementals and give them their own plane. In that sense "Cold" is a separate concept from "water" and would exist in its own plane. The same for electricity and air, acid and earth, etc.

I personally would also like to see kineticist being able to wield those energy-based elements, whether tied to the existing ones or as a separate element entirely, but I feel that it's unlikely.


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I think having a feat later on for Water and Wind for a lightning/cold Blast might be easy to implement. Maybe another for wood and positive/negative damage, depending on how they want to deal with it when it releases.


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The addition of planes for Wood and Metal seems to be about incorporating concepts from wuxing, not just adding a plane for every element.


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keftiu wrote:
The addition of planes for Wood and Metal seems to be about incorporating concepts from wuxing, not just adding a plane for every element.

I mentioned wood and positive/negative energy due to 1E and plant related spells and monster abilities, not because of planes. No idea about what direction they want to take wood and metal.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
Usually earth in these d20 games does acid damage, so there is an excuse to add that too. I think though I like having the option to shoot actual water, rocks and blasts of air, but also lightning, cold and acid respectively. Maybe these could be upgrade feats or something
I’d prefer Acid to be tied to Metal, but that’s a quibble.

Problem with this is the wu xing the five elements comes from, which includes metal, associates metal with deep winter. It's associated with the cold. Doesn't make sense from this perspective to make it acid


Metal, Wood, and Earth are the ones that don't really need an elemental attack since "hitting people with things" never goes out of style. Cold for Water, Electricity for Air, and Fire for Fire works though.

I'm not sure it should be the basic blast, but an infusion that gives you an aura that changes your damage type (by say moving air to create a localized thunderstorm) seems reasonable.


They should be basic since having an action cost is punishing for no real reason. Its not like having cold and electric damage is going to break anything.


I like the idea of multiple blast choices at level 1 for each element. Like, single-element air just gets stuck with a low damage blast, while dual element can pair the utility of air blast with the force of earth or water for doing high damage strikes.

I kind of want to sacrifice one of the traits on air blast just to get it to d6 damage - without any class feature boosting strike damage a d4 is really underwhelming for a martial.


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I think the issue with having elemental damage be the starting base line instead of B/P/S is that you end up stuck being unable to do anything against enemies immune to your damage type until level 3. I am very interested to see how many people have this problem with the fire element. Feats around level 4 that modify elemental blast damage type might make a lot of sense though.


Unicore wrote:
I think the issue with having elemental damage be the starting base line instead of B/P/S is that you end up stuck being unable to do anything against enemies immune to your damage type until level 3. I am very interested to see how many people have this problem with the fire element. Feats around level 4 that modify elemental blast damage type might make a lot of sense though.

There is a very simple solution to this.

Just make that ability a level 1 feat and instead give us something else at level 3. Like say a free impulse, or elemental defense.


AestheticDialectic wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
Usually earth in these d20 games does acid damage, so there is an excuse to add that too. I think though I like having the option to shoot actual water, rocks and blasts of air, but also lightning, cold and acid respectively. Maybe these could be upgrade feats or something
I’d prefer Acid to be tied to Metal, but that’s a quibble.
Problem with this is the wu xing the five elements comes from, which includes metal, associates metal with deep winter. It's associated with the cold. Doesn't make sense from this perspective to make it acid

I thought that water was meant to represent deep winter? Wasn't metal more meant to represent autumn and harvest time?


Unicore wrote:
I think the issue with having elemental damage be the starting base line instead of B/P/S is that you end up stuck being unable to do anything against enemies immune to your damage type until level 3. I am very interested to see how many people have this problem with the fire element. Feats around level 4 that modify elemental blast damage type might make a lot of sense though.

How often do you encounter something immune to fire before level 3? Granted, fire resistance is very common, so yeah... you could bump into something awful. Your GM is probably being a jerk if they just throw lots of fire resist 5 at a level 1 pyrokineticist though.


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Mephits seem like common 1st level and second level enemies.


There are also any low-level devils.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Does Extract Element even work on Demons or Devils? Doesn't it only work on creatures with the Air, Earth, Fire or Water traits? Which means mostly only things with the Fire trait like elementals and fire dragons, but not a bunch of other things with resistance or immunity to fire.


Ryuujin-sama wrote:
Does Extract Element even work on Demons or Devils? Doesn't it only work on creatures with the Air, Earth, Fire or Water traits? Which means mostly only things with the Fire trait like elementals and fire dragons, but not a bunch of other things with resistance or immunity to fire.

That is right.


Ryuujin-sama wrote:
Does Extract Element even work on Demons or Devils? Doesn't it only work on creatures with the Air, Earth, Fire or Water traits? Which means mostly only things with the Fire trait like elementals and fire dragons, but not a bunch of other things with resistance or immunity to fire.

Pretty much. For that ability to work the creature has to either have that element's trait or be made primarily from that element.


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Ryuujin-sama wrote:
Does Extract Element even work on Demons or Devils? Doesn't it only work on creatures with the Air, Earth, Fire or Water traits? Which means mostly only things with the Fire trait like elementals and fire dragons, but not a bunch of other things with resistance or immunity to fire.

Fends like hell hounds, some Daemon, phantom/spirit, humanoids, undead, animals, fey, celestials, Giants aberrations and beasts. No devils/demons though.

There is an exception though: "has a trait matching that element or otherwise has that elemental nature (page 8)." So even if a creature doesn't have the trait, you can ask the Dm to allow it if it would otherwise fit.


Perpdepog wrote:
I thought that water was meant to represent deep winter? Wasn't metal more meant to represent autumn and harvest time?

Oh yeah, you're right. Acid still feels inappropriate because it burns things, literally makes them smoke and stuff, and metal still represents slowing down, splidifying etc. Still a cold-like element. I mean, it literally is the most solid here even more than earth which can be like sand where it has solid component parts but flows like a liquid.

I do think it could be fun to play against type, well western type, as take a page from Avatar and allow fire to pick up fire or electric damage. They're both HOT GUYS y'know. Lightning often sets things on fire. They're the only two that glow. Acid doesn't glow, ice doesn't glow, sound doesn't have any visual component, force could look like anything ig, I assume it doesn't glow, poison doesn't glow. It's the only two damage types which produce light. They're like, the same guy


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The greatest travesty of this is while I can use Elemental Weapon to make a literal water gun I can't make an electric guitar (battle lute).

Though I suppose being able to make a literal air guitar is also funny.


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cheezeofjustice wrote:

The greatest travesty of this is while I can use Elemental Weapon to make a literal water gun I can't make an electric guitar (battle lute).

Though I suppose being able to make a literal air guitar is also funny.

If you have a way to gain access to it you can. "It must be common, or you must otherwise have access to it."


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Guntermench wrote:
cheezeofjustice wrote:

The greatest travesty of this is while I can use Elemental Weapon to make a literal water gun I can't make an electric guitar (battle lute).

Though I suppose being able to make a literal air guitar is also funny.

If you have a way to gain access to it you can. "It must be common, or you must otherwise have access to it."

I know. You still wouldn't be able to make an electric one though as there's no actually electric blast. Just air.


The currently Kineticist class is more like a "Avatar: The Last Airbender" class. It's bases are in the pure element that can only be controled and thrown against the opponents while most high level and complex Impulses have a more diversity in it's related energy types. So I that's the main you gaining the access to more complex related to elements energy time while you become more experienced and stronger.


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Perpdepog wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
Usually earth in these d20 games does acid damage, so there is an excuse to add that too. I think though I like having the option to shoot actual water, rocks and blasts of air, but also lightning, cold and acid respectively. Maybe these could be upgrade feats or something
I’d prefer Acid to be tied to Metal, but that’s a quibble.
Problem with this is the wu xing the five elements comes from, which includes metal, associates metal with deep winter. It's associated with the cold. Doesn't make sense from this perspective to make it acid
I thought that water was meant to represent deep winter? Wasn't metal more meant to represent autumn and harvest time?

Seems to me that Golarion is not China, so maybe the origins of the six element model in Golarion are different to what comes from wu xing. But then I'm used to a different world, where the sixth element is spirit, not wood. :-)

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