There's no reason to not take the universal gate.


Kineticist Class

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Dedicated gate gets a handful of free feats that are forced to go into options you would never have chosen on purpose.
Dual gate is trading access to 2~4 entire elements for two iffy level 1 feats they at least get to cherry pick.
Universal gate gets a flexible bonus feat that can be anything they want any day on top of access to cherry picking the high level elemental options on top of having the best gate-exclusive feats.


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The one I'm building is going to be a single element geokineticist since I actually want Geological Attunement, Stone Shield, and Tremor. I might want Stepping Stones too, I'm not sure yet.

It's possible an element may have a bunch of impulses at level 1 that you want. Not all of them do necessarily, but some will.


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Stoked can be decent damage in an AoE, and you aren't using your three action Impulses every turn anyway.

But yeah having more options is often better than having less.

However, the bonus feat is 1st level. This means you're choosing from the 1st level Impulse feats only, not quite "whatever you want".


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The non-universal gates definitely need more benefits throughout the game. They're not bad at level 1 for the most part, but the higher you go, the bigger having access to multiple elements gets as an upside, and the smaller 1 or 2 first level feats get.


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I do also think there's some value in not needing to memorize all 80-odd feats.


I really disagree with this. For both earth and water (which sre the ones I'm considering building in) I can find 3 feats I would like from first level alone.


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The elements have quite good 1st level feats actually. Plus the feats can be spent on familiar, weapon, and flexible blasts.

The exception is fire, because the more I look at it, the more nearly everything in fire is significantly undertuned vs the other elements.


Water has deflecting wave, tidal hands and water dance so earth and water look fine for the feats.

Fire has burning jet [getting to leap 40' at 6th if pretty awesome], flame eruption, and warming nimbus.

Air has aerial boomerang, air cushion which leaves one open that's iffy but I think whisper on the wind is fine as it doesn't need line of sight or effect.

Edit: in fact, I've looked at a human with a dedicated gate that gets 5 class feats at 1st and I haven't had any issue filling up the feats.


Fair Winds isn't awful to have, speed boosts are always nice to have.


1 more flexible feat for every time you can prepare would good I think when the universalist has access to every feat.


Guntermench wrote:
Fair Winds isn't awful to have, speed boosts are always nice to have.

No, it's fine: snagging aura shaping can get you a 30' enination of difficult terrain for foes. Combined with the speed buff it can keep you away from an enemy pretty nicely.


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Thaago wrote:
The elements have quite good 1st level feats actually. Plus the feats can be spent on familiar, weapon, and flexible blasts.

The feats gained from dedicated/dual gate must come with the relevant elemental tag; you can't take the unrestricted options.

And I strongly disagree with these "level 1 elemental feats are good" takes I'm seeing in here.
The only ones I'd take on purpose are aerial boomerang (maybe some other AoE option instead, but never two at once) and maaaaybe Winter's Clutch because minor free AoE damage is still free AoE damage. Assuming I didn't have line of effect to an actual enemy. And I didn't want to spend those three actions on just... moving to where I'd have line of effect.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

What I'd like to see is more impulses moved down to level 1 and given scaling. Problem right now is that sometimes you only have a handful of choices and picking 3 of them to keep is a pretty mediocre sell.


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Sydney S. wrote:
Thaago wrote:
The elements have quite good 1st level feats actually. Plus the feats can be spent on familiar, weapon, and flexible blasts.

The feats gained from dedicated/dual gate must come with the relevant elemental tag; you can't take the unrestricted options.

And I strongly disagree with these "level 1 elemental feats are good" takes I'm seeing in here.
The only ones I'd take on purpose are aerial boomerang (maybe some other AoE option instead, but never two at once) and maaaaybe Winter's Clutch because minor free AoE damage is still free AoE damage. Assuming I didn't have line of effect to an actual enemy. And I didn't want to spend those three actions on just... moving to where I'd have line of effect.

So the only Universal feat you'd take on purpose is Aerial Boomerang then?


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Interesting enough Universal Gate names the four elements instead of saying ALL or something similar, makes me wonder if it will exclude wood and metal and make it exclusive to dual and dedicated.


Guntermench wrote:
So the only Universal feat you'd take on purpose is Aerial Boomerang then?

It would be my pick for the level 1 freebie, yes.

Though with the universal gate being flexible, it's possible later on in levels I might choose something else, as might a wizard who knows they'll need more haste and less fireball. The dual/dedicated gates don't get that option.


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Sydney S. wrote:
Thaago wrote:
The elements have quite good 1st level feats actually. Plus the feats can be spent on familiar, weapon, and flexible blasts.

The feats gained from dedicated/dual gate must come with the relevant elemental tag; you can't take the unrestricted options.

And I strongly disagree with these "level 1 elemental feats are good" takes I'm seeing in here.
The only ones I'd take on purpose are aerial boomerang (maybe some other AoE option instead, but never two at once) and maaaaybe Winter's Clutch because minor free AoE damage is still free AoE damage. Assuming I didn't have line of effect to an actual enemy. And I didn't want to spend those three actions on just... moving to where I'd have line of effect.

Errrrr what? Just glancing through and picking up the ones where I go "yup thats really good to have": There are two different AoE difficult terrain auras (one gives termorsense, the other buffs allies with speed), an AoE level=resist aura for heat or cold, featherfall, an excellent self shield, reaction damage resist=level for a bunch of damage types, and a move other character ability.

Thats not counting the damage overflows because they are undertuned. With proper damage and scaling I would use any of them (they need to scale as real focus spells or better considering their +1 action cost that also lowers the player elemental defenses if done in the second 2 actions of a turn!).


Sydney S. wrote:
Thaago wrote:
The elements have quite good 1st level feats actually. Plus the feats can be spent on familiar, weapon, and flexible blasts.

The feats gained from dedicated/dual gate must come with the relevant elemental tag; you can't take the unrestricted options.

And I strongly disagree with these "level 1 elemental feats are good" takes I'm seeing in here.
The only ones I'd take on purpose are aerial boomerang (maybe some other AoE option instead, but never two at once) and maaaaybe Winter's Clutch because minor free AoE damage is still free AoE damage. Assuming I didn't have line of effect to an actual enemy. And I didn't want to spend those three actions on just... moving to where I'd have line of effect.

I think you also have to look at the heightened effects too when you gauge the options: Whisper of the winds is meggage with a mile range without line of effect or sight. Air Cushion effects an unlimited amount of people within 120' [that's one awesome feather fall]. Geologic Attunement becomes a precise sense. Stepping stones becomes 110' of steps. stone shield gets 33 hardness. Burning jet you get to leap 40' and you don't fall until your next the end of your next turn. Warming nimbus stacks with your elemental resistances. Water dance gets a creature 70' swim speed to an ally or 140' swim for yourself.


Especially when metal is valid option; It's not in universal gate's amalgam!


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Sydney S. wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
So the only Universal feat you'd take on purpose is Aerial Boomerang then?

It would be my pick for the level 1 freebie, yes.

Though with the universal gate being flexible, it's possible later on in levels I might choose something else, as might a wizard who knows they'll need more haste and less fireball. The dual/dedicated gates don't get that option.

You said the other ones are garbage though. Why would you change it? You still only get to pick from the first level ones.

Honestly I don't expect this to change at all. Fury Barb works similarly and gets less because it gets an extra feat and does less damage. At least Dedicated can grab Stoke Element at 6th for some more damage if you foresee a big AoE and have a spare action.


You can't just be looking at the effects of a given thing without also looking at its cost, both in actions and in opportunity.

If you want to use one of those auras, they have to be worth a feat as well as at least 3 actions.
The universalist can say "we're going into a volcano/tundra? Sure, I'll prep resist today." The dedicated/dual gate character is stuck with that resist even in the 90% of the time it's not going to come up.

And then, that aura locks you out of other auras; Dust Storm is significantly better than any of the level 1 options, and the moment you take it, the others are dead feats. Hope your GM uses the retraining rules.

To go further, Kineticist is a "martial" class and hitting things for damage is its primary job. If you're spending all three of your first turn actions to deal 0 damage it had better be for a very good effect, not a situational and minor resistance to an energy type the class doesn't even have the knowledge checks to be sure the enemy uses.

And don't even start with Stoke Element, it's a bad joke even in optimal conditions. All the overflow impulses you'd want to use it with already take 3-4 actions; making them take 4-5 is not a win. Doubly so since only dual/universal gates have access to cycle element, allowing them to overflow and regather/blast without as much action tax.


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Same reason I don't have universalist wizard. I like to specialize. That said. Being able to get dr to 4 different elements at any point> 3 level 1 feats. To a great degree. Perhaps single and dual elements need more reward from this or the universalist, less.


Sydney S. wrote:

You can't just be looking at the effects of a given thing without also looking at its cost, both in actions and in opportunity.

If you want to use one of those auras, they have to be worth a feat as well as at least 3 actions.
The universalist can say "we're going into a volcano/tundra? Sure, I'll prep resist today." The dedicated/dual gate character is stuck with that resist even in the 90% of the time it's not going to come up.

And then, that aura locks you out of other auras; Dust Storm is significantly better than any of the level 1 options, and the moment you take it, the others are dead feats. Hope your GM uses the retraining rules.

To go further, Kineticist is a "martial" class and hitting things for damage is its primary job. If you're spending all three of your first turn actions to deal 0 damage it had better be for a very good effect, not a situational and minor resistance to an energy type the class doesn't even have the knowledge checks to be sure the enemy uses.

And don't even start with Stoke Element, it's a bad joke even in optimal conditions. All the overflow impulses you'd want to use it with already take 3-4 actions; making them take 4-5 is not a win. Doubly so since only dual/universal gates have access to cycle element, allowing them to overflow and regather/blast without as much action tax.

If they're already 3 actions and you need to Gather again after I guess I don't see a difference adding one more action to make it hit harder the next time.

You're still avoiding the question. You gave basically 2 level 1 feats that you like. Being universal doesn't help you with this.


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Okay I'm done with that. Most venting frustration inappropriately.

I do agree that versatility is good, and two extra level 1 feats probably isn't going to change that. However that's two more feats than Fury got so I don't think that'll change much.


Guntermench wrote:
You're still avoiding the question. You gave basically 2 level 1 feats that you like. Being universal doesn't help you with this.

With a universal gate, you get to cherry pick the good feats, even in a flexible manner, as well as gain 3-5 more elements than a dedicated gate.

It absolutely helps with that. You get value from the tradeoff instead of being made to take options you probably didn't want.
Even a dual gate character is better off at specializing than a dedicated gate is due to that expanded access at minimal cost.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Don't forget there are also higher level feats that specifically require dedicated gate. Deconstruct Element in particular looks very good for fire kineticists.

That said, I hope the final version has more dedicated gate feats... and that Stoke Element is less awful. XD


Deconstruct element requires you to be targeted and that makes me sad.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That is somewhat unfortunate, but it at least doesn't require you to be the only target. Still, I do wish you could Deconstruct a fireball.


@Sydney S.
Sorry, but I don't really buy any of that. Just compare the effects of the feats to the effects of similar abilities and spells and its easy to see that they are worth it.

Also I'm not sure why you say 3 actions rather than 2 for the non-overflow abilities? Nothing I listed other than the damage, which needs fixing anyways, is overflow! Some are even 1 action or reactions! Plus, if we are assuming that martials start combat with their weapon drawn (which in dungeons we do) then we can expect kineticists to have their element gathered. In that case turn 1 can look like attack + aura, or attack + attack (or the flurry move) + shield, etc.

Auras lock you out of having more than 1 at a time, but they do different things and you get an action economy boost towards switching (if you raise an aura on turn 1 but want a different one later its only 1, or 0 at high level, actions). Having multiple auras means you can get the correct one for the situation.

As to dust storm... no its actually not better all the time, its very much a 2 edged sword. While its up you are concealed from enemies not adjacent to you, but they are also concealed from you! So its going to interfere with any of you or your ally's ranged or reach attacks or attack spells - I don't know about you but my party would HATE that. By its precise wording it also does not work very well with aura control: you have to apply the same effect to all targets selected (up to con mod). So say I want to remove the detrimental effects (other targets are concealed from them) of the power from my allies. Thats fine, but it means that I either apply that effect to enemies or don't apply any effect at all... which means that any enemy that enters the cloud is concealed from me anyways. For a pure ranged party at level 8 it becomes good because it gives the whole party concealment but aura control allows me to remove the detriment, but if any enemy enters the cloud I can't stop them from also being concealed. Its kind of the same with Dessert Shimmer - if I make my allies immune to the damage, I can't make enemies not get concealed. This one at least calls out the kineticist as being unaffected, but its not great for allies nearby.

Meanwhile the level 1 auras actually don't have these problems with aura control! Fair Winds has friend/foe built in, Geological attunement you except allies, warming nimbus you except enemies.

For retraining: retraining is RAW in the core book, not an optional rule. Any GM not using it is playing with house rules. Which is fine, but you can't use that as a balance argument.


I guess the point I'm trying to make here is, beyond the minutiae of how any given application of action economy or feat selection shakes out, you're not rewarded for specializing.
Anything a dedicated kineticist can do is something a dual or universal can do, but with more options for versatility.

The thematic angle of being "the fire guy" just isn't there. You can be "the fire guy" just fine as a universalist, there's nothing (good) hidden away behind being a specialist.

In pf1e, you made the choice at 7th level, and choosing to double up on your own element unlocked a bonus wild talent at a very competitive level for wild talent selection, and again at 13th where tripling up gave you a hard-to-come-by +1 to accuracy.

In pf2e, that choice is entirely front-loaded and "balanced" accordingly. You don't gain any extra (good) water feats for being a dedicated water specialist, let alone a bonus feat that comes online at a level where the universalists don't get one at all.

It entirely boils down to the trade between your level 1 feat options and the expanded access to other elements, and I do not believe the level 1 feats are so good you really want THAT many of them.

They're just too situational for their opportunity cost.

(and yes, retraining is a core rule, and in the core rulebook, it's mentioned as being up to GM discretion. ie, explicitly something they can choose to allow or not)


The way the GM can deny you the option to retrain is by denying you downtime, but this is also bad for other reasons (like people who want to do crafting). Otherwise "not allowing retraining" is like "not allowing elves" which is a thing that the GM can do, since a GM is able to ignore, abrogate, or alter any rule in the rulebook.


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Now that I think about it, it's kind of a recurring issue with pf2e class development in general. By lumping everything together as "class feats", they've created an issue where things like a message cantrip have to compete against potentially 6d4 damage in AoE at level 1.
Which is a player more likely to care about? There's a reason the pf1e kineticist has utility talents on its own track separate from the infusion options.


What if dedicated got increased proficiency with impulses?
Giving up versatility for accuracy and higher DCs.


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As someone that's probably going to play a dedicated Air Kineticist, I wouldn't complain about that.

But I imagine dual and universal gate users will.


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CookieLord wrote:

What if dedicated got increased proficiency with impulses?

Giving up versatility for accuracy and higher DCs.

That seems like it would invert the problem lol.


Kyrone wrote:
Interesting enough Universal Gate names the four elements instead of saying ALL or something similar, makes me wonder if it will exclude wood and metal and make it exclusive to dual and dedicated.

I'd expect having 2 separate "universal" gates in the final book.

One has access to air, earth, fire & water (4 western elements), other has access to earth, fire, metal, water, & wood (5 eastern elements).
---

Overall, it seems like Dedicated Gate wins if you know you'll be restricted to low level - but Universal is probably best for anything else. Ability to swap and alter certain abilities based on element is very good, especially if paizo goes with what most people seem to want and lets elements get more elemental blasts (heck, universal gate might be the reason they swapped every blast other than fire to physical damage only - since it'd be too good for universal gate to be able to swap to target any elemental weaknesses compared to dedicated gates.)


Sydney S. wrote:

Now that I think about it, it's kind of a recurring issue with pf2e class development in general. By lumping everything together as "class feats", they've created an issue where things like a message cantrip have to compete against potentially 6d4 damage in AoE at level 1.

Which is a player more likely to care about? There's a reason the pf1e kineticist has utility talents on its own track separate from the infusion options.

Honestly this seems to be very much so a person by person basis. I couldn’t imagine going universalist and choosing only 1 of the feats, that takes a full day to change. And I do think there are more than enough good 1st level impulses in all the elements (except maybe fire) that having 3 is fine. Dedicated/dual will likely be my choices every time I build a kineticist. The one I’m most excited to play is dual air water and picks up Tidal Hands and Whisper on the Wind. I wish I was playing a human to grab Fair Winds as well.


I don't think we want a situation where dedicated gate kineticists have a mathematical (damage/accuracy) advantage over dual/universalist gate kineticists. That leads to a mechanically 'correct' version of the class; there is a reason why specialist wizards don't get a damage bump over universalists.

Something like Stoke the Elements can be that, but worse. Not only can it imbalance the subclasses, hiding it in a feat benefits system mastery in a way not really found in 2E.

As an alternative to a direct damage increase, I think it would be interesting if each gate got some form of Gather Elements action economy booster and Dedicated Gate's was something like Gather + Blast. This would slightly slant it towards damage, but would also free up actions to do other things like move or Raise a Shield.

Later on, I wouldn't mind if a dedicated gate kineticist got access to a feat that let them keep up 2 kinetic auras at a time with some sort of condition. Perhaps a lingering aura feat that let them keep an aura active with a Fortitude save.


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manbearscientist wrote:

I don't think we want a situation where dedicated gate kineticists have a mathematical (damage/accuracy) advantage over dual/universalist gate kineticists. That leads to a mechanically 'correct' version of the class; there is a reason why specialist wizards don't get a damage bump over universalists.

Something like Stoke the Elements can be that, but worse. Not only can it imbalance the subclasses, hiding it in a feat benefits system mastery in a way not really found in 2E.

As an alternative to a direct damage increase, I think it would be interesting if each gate got some form of Gather Elements action economy booster and Dedicated Gate's was something like Gather + Blast. This would slightly slant it towards damage, but would also free up actions to do other things like move or Raise a Shield.

Later on, I wouldn't mind if a dedicated gate kineticist got access to a feat that let them keep up 2 kinetic auras at a time with some sort of condition. Perhaps a lingering aura feat that let them keep an aura active with a Fortitude save.

what if dedicated gates could "two hand" their energy, doubling up on gathered energy for a dice size increase at the expense of using both hands?


manbearscientist wrote:

I don't think we want a situation where dedicated gate kineticists have a mathematical (damage/accuracy) advantage over dual/universalist gate kineticists. That leads to a mechanically 'correct' version of the class; there is a reason why specialist wizards don't get a damage bump over universalists.

Something like Stoke the Elements can be that, but worse. Not only can it imbalance the subclasses, hiding it in a feat benefits system mastery in a way not really found in 2E.

As an alternative to a direct damage increase, I think it would be interesting if each gate got some form of Gather Elements action economy booster and Dedicated Gate's was something like Gather + Blast. This would slightly slant it towards damage, but would also free up actions to do other things like move or Raise a Shield.

Later on, I wouldn't mind if a dedicated gate kineticist got access to a feat that let them keep up 2 kinetic auras at a time with some sort of condition. Perhaps a lingering aura feat that let them keep an aura active with a Fortitude save.

It's interesting but in this action economy benefit (Gather + Blast) would be even better than just improve the damage maybe even more than just add some additional damage. This goes against the mathematical advantage you are trying to avoid and also will give even more other benefits.

Action economy probably is the most value thing in PF2.


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Dual and Universal get to Gather+Blast with Cycling Blast, though they do need to already have an element gathered.


YuriP wrote:


It's interesting but in this action economy benefit (Gather + Blast) would be even better than just improve the damage maybe even more than just add some additional damage. This goes against the mathematical advantage you are trying to avoid and also will give even more other benefits.

Action economy probably is the most value thing in PF2.

This proposal isn't giving dedicated blast an action economy boost over dual/dedicated gate, it is giving all three a gunslinger deed equivalent and making the dedicated gate the 'deed' that is associated with elemental blast.

For a comparison, Dual might get Gather Power + Stride, and Universalist Gather + Ready Aid.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Am I just not seeing this?

You only get 10 class feats (not counting your initial Lv 1's), and you're splitting them between class and impulse feats.

Not counting retraining every level, you don't really get the option to swap until level 9.

Let's say that you go half class and half impulse, that means by level 20 your schtick is to cast 5, maybe 6 elemental abilities? And this is your THING? I can't se why anyone would spread themselves so thin with a universal gate. Especially once you add hybrid impulse feats when ROE comes out.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
SaveVersus wrote:

Am I just not seeing this?

You only get 10 class feats (not counting your initial Lv 1's), and you're splitting them between class and impulse feats.

Not counting retraining every level, you don't really get the option to swap until level 9.

Let's say that you go half class and half impulse, that means by level 20 your schtick is to cast 5, maybe 6 elemental abilities? And this is your THING? I can't se why anyone would spread themselves so thin with a universal gate. Especially once you add hybrid impulse feats when ROE comes out.

Because Universal is able to cherry pick which feats they want and additional 1st level feats aren't all that great.


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First level is where they put all those utility impulses that you aren't going to use all the time, but when they come up you will be glad that you had them.

Like you won't use "I made stairs" or "I'm good at message" in every adventuring day, but it's memorable when it comes up and the single element kineticist is going to have those kinds of abilities but the cherry-picker won't.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

First level is where they put all those utility impulses that you aren't going to use all the time, but when they come up you will be glad that you had them.

Like you won't use "I made stairs" or "I'm good at message" in every adventuring day, but it's memorable when it comes up and the single element kineticist is going to have those kinds of abilities but the cherry-picker won't.

I totally read that as, "I'm good at massage" lol


Universal has the benefit of being able to Extract and use the damage type defense against anything, and being able to cherry pick abilities.

But yes, they won't have very many moves, especially considering that they will probably want Cycle and quite possibly Aura control. It might not be until level 6 that they have one ability in every element beyond the basic blast/extract.


Gather Amalgamation really pushes a universal gate kineticist toward picking up Overflow abilities from most if not each element. There isn't much room left for aura or utility feats, which makes Rapid Reattunement almost mandatory for universal gates. To be fair, you can build a kineticist to not take Gather Amalgamation and free yourself up a little more, but Amalgamation is very cool and right there.

Dedicated and dual gate kineticists have much more room for utility feats, or the Elemental Blast boosts (Cycling, Stoke, Barrage). They can focus on using Elemental Blast and treat Overflow abilities as situational abilities to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. I think you are much more likely to see an Aura, especially with Aura Shaping on a dedicated or dual gate kineticist. Universal just doesn't have the room.


I think Stoke should be second level. It's basically a first level Sorcerer feat anyway, and I think the whole class only has 2 level 2 feats.

Don't even need to change it really, it'll just start with like 1 or 2 damage.


Guntermench wrote:

I think the whole class only has 2 level 2 feats.

I strongly suspect the reason that the playtest has only 2 new feats you can take at level 2 is to see what Archetypes people are going to try to pair this with, to see if it breaks anything.

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