How will you be playtesting?

Rage of Elements Playtest General Discussion

We decided in our group that the players would run an all-Kineticist party, and that I would run a series of challenges tailored for them. One scenario would be an average dungeoncrawl with a lot of easy encounters, a scenario which involves roleplaying and investigation, and a straight-up severe encounter for stress-testing. I'm building the PCs with input from the players (one wants to be a healer, another wants to have a lot of utility tricks, etc.), as well as the encounters (no demons, angels, or dragons).

What are your plans for playtesting? Are you going to run a module or adventure for the players? Are you going to have a mixed party of other classes; and if so, will you look for synergetic classes? Are you going to include things like Victory Points and exploration roles?


For brevity's sake I will likely be throwing some fairly straightfoward challenges at my party if/when we get to playtest. I'm not fast at designing challenges, and they're not super fast at building characters, so doing something simple would suit us.

That being said I'd likely throw in some other traps and non-creature hazards. I think it might also be instructive to place challenges that deliberately play to a kineticist's weaknesses, like fire immune enemies for a pyrokineticist, to see how well the class can work around those difficulties.

Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One of my players will be playing a temporary kineticist character through Extinction Curse #4.

The other player characters consist of a bard, a fighter, an inventor, and a wizard. There was a champion too, but the kineticist will most likely be replacing it during the trial period.

A friend is hopefully running some Society one-shots for me.

I'm going to run some encounters from APs by myself at some point.

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The Pathfinder Bounties would also be a good source for encounter mining now I think on it.

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I am going to do the same thing I did with summoner Cirieo Thessaddin in the Secrets of Magic playtest and inventor Arkus in the Guns & Gears playtest. One player will also run a playtest kineticist who temporarily joins our party during our regular Friday Ironfang Invasion campaign. We happen to be right at the beginning of the 5th module, Prisoners of the Blight, so adding another party member fits into the story cleanly.

I will chronicle the kineticist's actions in a playtest thread. The playtest character will probably remain in the party after the playtest, until a reasonable time to depart, but the chronicles end when the moderators lock down the playtest subforum. And previous playtest characters have made appearances again, because I like to convert them to the published rules when they come out.

The regular party members are an elf ranger, a gnome rogue, a gnome druid, a halfling rogue/sorcerer, a goblin champion, a leshy sorcerer, and a catfolk monk. The monk's player will build and play the kineticist.

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Last playtest I did ended up being a bit repetitive for my players since it was just combat (for Gunslinger and Inventor) so this time I will make a very simple mini campaign for them, 1 to 3 sessions probably.

I will level them up 2 or 3 levels after every combat to see how the class fares at different points (I was thinking about starting at level 3). I would prefer to run a full kineticist party as well, but having something else to compare them would be cool too. I will give them ABP too.

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I think the plan is to run through Chapter 2 of Book 3 of Ruby Phoenix with 4 Kineticists.

Group is finishing an adventure this week and will have scheduling conflicts for the next two weeks... Will need to find a decent published oneshot I can try to squeeze in before the playtest ends.

Open to any suggestions - preferably level 4-5 minimum with at least a couple decent combats to sink teeth into.

Failing that, will likely fall back on a simple coliseum with a couple levels of encounters to test out.

At least one player is excited to try Kineticist, and we haven't had time to look through Dark Archive fully - so likely will have a Psychic or Thaumaturge in the group. Other than that, Swashbuckler likely to just keep his current character and no idea what 4th will be.


I can't really irl at the moment so your guess is as good as mine, though I very much intend to do so. If anyone's running anything online do let me know!

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What, PLAYtesting? Crazy idea, but no, thanks, arguing after some white room theorycraft with other people who do white room theorycraft, preferably ones who only ever played PF2 twice so far and up to level 4, making them experts on the broader strokes of the system, is the only proper way of conducting testing.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Currently planning on running an all kineticist party through two PFS scenarios. Both groups will be 3rd level kineticists, one scenario at 1-4, the other at 3-6. We’ll see what else we can fit in after that.

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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've seen a lot of people saying they are going to be playtesting all-kineticist parties. Is that really going to yield useful data?

Would it not be better to run one in a more conventional party? Or perhaps two if it's a large party?

An all kineticist party is not only an unrealistic representation of what is likely to happen at actual tables, it misses out on all kinds of interesting interactions between other classes, and would likely result in weirdly skewed data outcomes.

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There's always going to be compromises. In our case:
- Nobody wanted to GM something brand new with temporary characters, so we chose an adventure we knew, had played through, and generally enjoyed.
- Since we're doing something we're familiar with, nobody really wanted to play a non-new class since they've already seen how that adventure works with several existing classes.
- Everybody wanted to try out the new Kineticist, and it comes in four basic flavors.
-Playing Team Avatar in Ruby Phoenix kind of seemed thematically appropriate, you're supposed to have a theme!

But really any kind of playtesting is useful data. It would be great if people went through this in a systematic way, but none of us are being paid for Paizo for our time here, so whatever compromises you can make with your friends in order to get a playtest session in those are the right compromises.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think its worthwhile to test in an all kineticist group to find their pain points and where they excel. Those things should be exaggerated if you only have the tools available to the kineticist in the party.

It also means you get to see more of the options available to the class with a single session instead of only seeing what a dedicated fire kineticist can do, for example.

No, you're not seeing how they fit in a normal party, but there's still something to learn from it.

One reason our group is doing all-Kineticist is to see how all the different gates work. We'll have 1 Dedicated, 1 Universal, and 2 Dual Gates (Air/Fire & Earth/Water). We're also juggling some of the stat make-ups:
- 2 PCs will be DEX / CON / STR
- 1 will be STR / CON / DEX
- 1 will be STR / DEX / CON

Looking at their general wishlists, it does feel like they'll be settling into certain roles. The STR Kineticist is taking the Sentinel archetype for medium armour, another will be specializing in healing impulses, and another is built around utility impulses instead of attacks. If I can make their INT / WIS / CHA different enough without wrecking their PCs, I might do that as well to see if Kineticists can be good at those things as well.

This won't look like a normal party (pretty much everyone wants to have access to flight!), so I hope to hear from other groups who are doing things differently.

Perpdepog wrote:
That being said I'd likely throw in some other traps and non-creature hazards. I think it might also be instructive to place challenges that deliberately play to a kineticist's weaknesses, like fire immune enemies for a pyrokineticist, to see how well the class can work around those difficulties.

Good point on traps and hazards. I think the elemental utilities will make traditional traps easier to overcome (if they find them!).

We wanted to play a session of our current AP replacing two characters with kineticists. But then tried to finish a small current thing with usual characters before ... and took almost all of the session for it. So the new plan is to play a dedicated session with (almost) all kineticists next week.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

my party doesnt seem interested in dropping their current campaign for playtesting, so i will likely solo run a few encounters in the foundry av modual over the weekend to get a sense of their effectivness in various encounters from mook fights, to small groups of eleets to bosses with adds, to high level solo bosses to give a balanced sample

12 mini-sessions. One different encounter each time, not exclusively combat, even skill based ones. 2 kineticist and 2 other classes.

We began at level 2 but each session we level up 2 levels and we get to completely retrain.
Just for the sake of fair play testing we do not use the free archetype variant rule for these specific one-shots.

We're hoping to squeeze in at least one playtest. Random die roll gave us level 8, and so far the party is three kineticists of various stripes and one player de-leveling their ranger from another game we're in.

I'm going to try whipping together a couple five-room dungeons to make a larger dungeon for them to crawl through. I'm excited because this'll be my first time constructing a dungeon in this system, and maybe my third time overall. If anyone has suggestions for some more skill-based challenges for more ways to push the party I'd love to hear.

Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In another campaign (homebrew) it's looking like we'll have one or two kineticists, along with a ranger, thaumaturge, and others playing out a "prelude side-party one shot." That is, we'll be roleplaying a group of NPCs our main characters encountered previously as they go on their own adventure that runs parallel to our own.

Ought to be very interesting for a variety of reasons.

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