Kineticists still TOO magical???


Kineticist Class


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

It's clear that kineticists are intended to be the masters of the four(ish) elements. They can create, control, change, gather, and blast with their chosen element(s) in all manner of ways.

However, some abilities seem to go quite beyond that scope with only the most tenuous of reasoning to support it. That doesn't really sit well with me, and I'm wondering if I'm alone in this thinking, or if others thought much the same.

More specifically, I'm thinking of abilities that heal, create illusions, allow for teleportation, and even perform limited self-resurrection (abilities such as all shall end in flames, arrive in conflagration, infinite expanse of bluest heaven, and veil of mists). Make no mistake, these are all amazing abilities, both mechanically and conceptually. However they don't seem like elemental abilities to me, but rather, just plain old magical abilities. As such, they all seem partially or wholly out of place in the kineticist class.

Is it just me?


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I like the idea of the power of the elements and the elemental planes are vast and more complicated than a surface level lore check of them. Like fire isn't just fire as you would expect IRL. A flame oracle could go on an absurd tangent about the nature of fire and its purpose in the world. Kineticists have access to all an element has to offer. Some of what you can pull out of your gate is quite magical. It's the stuff of creation. Fundamental essences. That sort of thing.


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Counter point, the abilities of the invisible stalker, melody on the wind, quatoid, and all of the genies are all along the same line. with the exception of the genies, these are all exclusively primal and elemental beings. I say these abilities have their place.


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I feel like if the book about the elemental planes establishes [x magical property] as a thing intrinsic to an elemental plane, then Kineticists of the appropriate flavor should have access to it.

Without having read the book I can't say that Illusions aren't part of the plane of Air (I would have thought water) but if they do the legwork elsewhere in the book I think it's valid. Like mechanics and thematics ought to reinforce each other and a book about the elements should suggest some ways to think about them that you might not have thought about.

Wayfinders

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I feel like the line will be in different places for different people. Elemental healing I'm totally fine with; good air does wonders, after all, and some good old-fashioned mud never did anybody any harm (water is also classically the element of healing in the media touchstones I'm familiar with). But things like Veil of Mists... I've no trouble with mist-based illusionry in general; I think that and more miragey effects from Fire are a good thing, but Veil of Mists is a little too specific an illusion for that to feel right to me.


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I greatly welcome a treatment of the elemental that goes beyond the traditional “it is the thing it is,” speaking as someone who is normally pretty underwhelmed by elemental stuff. The City of Brass and all its wonders are as much a part of the Plane of Fire as any volcano, after all.

The abilities you talk about are high level, in a system where a strong enough Fighter can cut holes in space itself and an equivalent Rogue can sneak through a solid wall.


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aobst128 wrote:
I like the idea of the power of the elements and the elemental planes are vast and more complicated than a surface level lore check of them. Like fire isn't just fire as you would expect IRL. A flame oracle could go on an absurd tangent about the nature of fire and its purpose in the world. Kineticists have access to all an element has to offer. Some of what you can pull out of your gate is quite magical. It's the stuff of creation. Fundamental essences. That sort of thing.

Yeah. The elements are more conceptual than they are literal, so it makes sense to me that abilities would be stretching into metaphysical properties of elements and what they can do.

If anything I wish more of the feats were element-agnostic, perhaps with different riders depending on the element using them. A healing feat granting temp HP when used with earth, a bonus to a save or against a kind of effect when used with air, allowing for a counteract check against a poison or disease when used with fire, etc. (I'm pretty sure most of those things already exist in playtest now I think on it.)


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keftiu wrote:

I greatly welcome a treatment of the elemental that goes beyond the traditional “it is the thing it is,” speaking as someone who is normally pretty underwhelmed by elemental stuff. The City of Brass and all its wonders are as much a part of the Plane of Fire as any volcano, after all.

The abilities you talk about are high level, in a system where a strong enough Fighter can cut holes in space itself and an equivalent Rogue can sneak through a solid wall.

Or anyone double jumping with cloud jumper.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like if the book about the elemental planes establishes [x magical property] as a thing intrinsic to an elemental plane, then Kineticists of the appropriate flavor should have access to it.

Without having read the book I can't say that Illusions aren't part of the plane of Air (I would have thought water) but if they do the legwork elsewhere in the book I think it's valid. Like mechanics and thematics ought to reinforce each other and a book about the elements should suggest some ways to think about them that you might not have thought about.

Hshurha, the Evil elemental lord of air, is permanently invisible, and her lair is filled with invisible and illusionary walls, and it has a sphere of pure darkness. I think illusions are quite fitting for at least that kind of air.

Wayfinders

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Honestly, I'm surprised that we don't have the Fire healing feat already given that the Inventor got away with this beautiful Sarenite nonsense. Burning out the sickness is a big thematic element of this setting in a lot of places so it'd be cool (or, y'know, the inverse) for the Kineticist to have its own interesting take on the concept.


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Nitro~Nina wrote:
Honestly, I'm surprised that we don't have the Fire healing feat already given that the Inventor got away with this beautiful Sarenite nonsense. Burning out the sickness is a big thematic element of this setting in a lot of places so it'd be cool (or, y'know, the inverse) for the Kineticist to have its own interesting take on the concept.

The flavor text for that feat may be my favorite in the entire game.


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A fire kineticist that evokes the power of the plane of fire to heal and protect in spite of its current evil deity occupying it sounds pretty good to me. Give us some righteous flames to burn away corruption. Ragathiel would approve.


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I'm ok with a magical bent because of the connection to primal power, not just pure elemental - there's a healing/instinctive aspect to it.

Some of the illusion stuff annoys me, though. I can handle a bit, but why is the fog cloud an illusion when a physical one would work just fine?


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
I'm ok with a magical bent because of the connection to primal power, not just pure elemental - there's a healing/instinctive aspect to it.

But didn't the developers themselves say "this is an Elements book, not a Primal book"?

Xenocrat wrote:
Some of the illusion stuff annoys me, though. I can handle a bit, but why is the fog cloud an illusion when a physical one would work just fine?

Agreed. I was asking myself the same thing.


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Ravingdork wrote:
More specifically, I'm thinking of abilities that heal, create illusions, allow for teleportation, and even perform limited self-resurrection (abilities such as all shall end in flames, arrive in conflagration, infinite expanse of bluest heaven, and veil of mists). Make no mistake, these are all amazing abilities, both mechanically and conceptually. However they don't seem like elemental abilities to me, but rather, just plain old magical abilities. As such, they all seem partially or wholly out of place in the kineticist class.

For what it's worth, these kinds of abilities existed with the 1E iteration of the kineticist as well.


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1e Kineticist also had a ton of magic stuff. I wouldn't expect the class to lose out on obvious utility stuff just because it's not "realistic" or whatever the hell.


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

I don't believe anyone said anything against utility or mentioned realism.


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The elementa in a lot fiction have a psychospiritual level fire isn't just hot but represents both change and destruction. Water relates to life, earth to stability and air links to the heavens.

I am OK with the kinetesist having abilities that speak to the spiritual side of elements not just the physical.


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I think it's good to have these options, and shouldn't be a problem as long as there are enough of the standard options for people to take if it isn't their jam.


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The thread title just makes it seem like you are saying kineticist shouldn't have magic.

As for the abilities you mentioned. Its not that those abilities are elemental that is the issue. Its the fact that they are doing the whole wuxia names/descriptions that is distracting from how those fit as elemental abilities. Specially because they are focusing more on the "we will have all elements have X feat at Y level, but we will change the numbers a bit".

For example all the level wuxia named level 18 feats are ranged abilities of about 100-200 feet, that has about 20 ft radius burst, and does either damage or a special effect that is loosely based on abilities that would otherwise make sense. Earth is creating falling rocks instead of earthquakes, Fire is resurrecting you but only if you commit suicide, water is literally just creating water even though its "usurping the moon", while air's super incredible illusion is literally just giving people vertigo for one round (I am not even kidding that is all that ability does).


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Temperans wrote:
while air's super incredible illusion is literally just giving people vertigo for one round (I am not even kidding that is all that ability does).

I thought this too, but it's not that bad. Failure makes a creature both flat-footed and fleeing, so they have to burn actions when their turn comes by running out of the area.

50% chance it's only one action to escape the 10' burst, 25% chance it's two actions, 12.5% chance it's three actions, 12.5% chance it's four or more.

If you catch three enemies inside that's a decent expected loss in actions (taking into account save probabilities) for your three action investment (two if you take the relevant 20th level feat in two levels). If they're in reach of an ally with AOO that's also going to trigger.

I'm not saying it's good, but it's not terrible.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
I'm ok with a magical bent because of the connection to primal power, not just pure elemental - there's a healing/instinctive aspect to it.
But didn't the developers themselves say "this is an Elements book, not a Primal book"?

They did. However, this is a primal class. Many of their abilities are tagged as such, including all the element specific Impulse feats.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Without having read the book I can't say that Illusions aren't part of the plane of Air (I would have thought water) but if they do the legwork elsewhere in the book I think it's valid. Like mechanics and thematics ought to reinforce each other and a book about the elements should suggest some ways to think about them that you might not have thought about.

The Evil Elemental Lord of Air does like her invisible stalkers.

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