A minor balance problem


Kineticist Class


Take this: A kineticist gnoll that can gather air. No problems here. The player makes CON the highest stat, and select his heritage as a great gnoll, giving him 4 + 8 + 10 = 22 HP at level 1. The problem is that he gather air, and a ranged air elemental blast has **120** ft. range increment. Give them a good AC, go very far and hide them if possible and you can deal damage without worrying too much about dying soon. You can give this character the cavalier archetype at lvl 2 and the Impressive Mount feat at lvl 4 and you're gonna be unstoppable, as long as your mount don't go too near or too far away.

Suggestions to solve it:

The most obvious is to reduce the range of the ranged air blast, the second most obvious (but hard to justify in narrative) is to give kineticists less HP per level, and the less obvious is to make either the gather element activity or the elemental blast activity (but not both) take two actions instead of one. Other suggestions are welcome


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If someone is attacking you from 120 feet away and trying to stay away from you and you can't catch up, presumably you could instead find sufficient cover to break line of effect.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
MatiPa wrote:

Suggestions to solve it:

The most obvious is to reduce the range of the ranged air blast, the second most obvious (but hard to justify in narrative) is to give kineticists less HP per level, and the less obvious is to make either the gather element activity or the elemental blast activity (but not both) take two actions instead of one. Other suggestions are welcome

They had better not!


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So you want to nerf a weak class' baseline abilities, due to a super niche case in which a gnoll riding a horse are hitting the enemies with d4 attacks ?

Yeah dude, no. That's a really bad idea


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The amount of encounters where you can run 120+ feet away and still have line of effect are usually rather minimal.


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Tweezer wrote:
The amount of encounters where you can run 120+ feet away and still have line of effect are usually rather minimal.

Wings of air is only 8th level so a lot of outdoor encounters could have that kind of range.


... wouldn't any of the other better kiting classes be a bigger problem? The ones doing more than d4 damage?


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Thaago wrote:
... wouldn't any of the other better kiting classes be a bigger problem? The ones doing more than d4 damage?

You can get 100' out of a longbow.


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Lollerabe wrote:

So you want to nerf a weak class' baseline abilities, due to a super niche case in which a gnoll riding a horse are hitting the enemies with d4 attacks ?

Yeah dude, no. That's a really bad idea

Definitely a bad one.

Plus, but that's maybe just me, I have to see a 120 feet+ map yet ( where enemies have no ranged weapons too. A normal longbow would result into 200 feet range with it's second increment ).


HumbleGamer wrote:
Plus, but that's maybe just me, I have to see a 120 feet+ map yet ( where enemies have no ranged weapons too. A normal longbow would result into 200 feet range with it's second increment ).

When see ranges this big it usually also involves flying and part of the distance is in the air. For instance, I had a fight with a dragon where it would dive, bite, then fly back out.


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graystone wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Plus, but that's maybe just me, I have to see a 120 feet+ map yet ( where enemies have no ranged weapons too. A normal longbow would result into 200 feet range with it's second increment ).
When see ranges this big it usually also involves flying and part of the distance is in the air. For instance, I had a fight with a dragon where it would dive, bite, then fly back out.

Flying, air combat and those speeds would require higher levels.

And I also have the feel it doesn't involve a kineticist gnoll riding a horse.

Anyway, those would be extremely rare scenarios.


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Bows exist


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I'm also don't see any balance problem here.

The 22 HP at level 1 isn't any big. Any human barbarian have such HP without any Con bonus. Same for a 10HP martial.
About the Kineticist Air Elemental Blast as already said. It's basically a d4 ranged Strike with 120ft range. But longbows are d8 deadly with 100ft. Being honest Air Elemental Blast is just weak. Weak at the point that's maybe more interesting to a flying elf Kineticist to use a longbow instead.

I imagine these people that's becomes surprised with 100ft range what they think when they read some spells like Chain Lightning and Horrid Wilting


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I don't think the 2.5 damage per attack of an air Kineticist is a threat to anyone. If you fight one on an open plane or in a desert GG I guess, otherwise just go around a corner.

Plus what kind of psychopath are you playing that's going to kite and then chase someone down to kill them one paper cut at a time over probably actual in game minutes?


Guntermench wrote:

I don't think the 2.5 damage per attack of an air Kineticist is a threat to anyone. If you fight one on an open plane or in a desert GG I guess, otherwise just go around a corner.

Plus what kind of psychopath are you playing that's going to kite and then chase someone down to kill them one paper cut at a time over probably actual in game minutes?

I know a few people...


graystone wrote:
Thaago wrote:
... wouldn't any of the other better kiting classes be a bigger problem? The ones doing more than d4 damage?
You can get 100' out of a longbow.

Right, so a Ranger is going to have a 200 foot range at level 4, attacking two times in one action, using d8 deadly d10 with an extra d8 damage on the round if either hit, with an attack stat that starts at 18 instead of 16.

Or a crossbow character with the damage boosting feats is going to also have 120 range, and while the reload makes them not keep up with bows they certainly beat out a d4 weapon.

Plus the accuracy difference from key stats means that IF other kiters are forced into their second range increment, they are at -1 to the kineticist to hit; thats a penalty, but their higher base damage probably still wins out.


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Thaago wrote:
graystone wrote:
Thaago wrote:
... wouldn't any of the other better kiting classes be a bigger problem? The ones doing more than d4 damage?
You can get 100' out of a longbow.

Right, so a Ranger is going to have a 200 foot range at level 4, attacking two times in one action, using d8 deadly d10 with an extra d8 damage on the round if either hit, with an attack stat that starts at 18 instead of 16.

Or a crossbow character with the damage boosting feats is going to also have 120 range, and while the reload makes them not keep up with bows they certainly beat out a d4 weapon.

Plus the accuracy difference from key stats means that IF other kiters are forced into their second range increment, they are at -1 to the kineticist to hit; thats a penalty, but their higher base damage probably still wins out.

Hunt Prey ignores the penalty for second range increment, so rangers with a longbow have 200' range at level 1.


Right you are! In terms of kiting being a problem, Rangers are way worse than air kineticists: almost double range (and almost 4x the range at level 4!), much more damage, etc. So I really don't think air's 120 ft range is a balance problem.


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HumbleGamer wrote:

Flying, air combat and those speeds would require higher levels.

And I also have the feel it doesn't involve a kineticist gnoll riding a horse.

Anyway, those would be extremely rare scenarios.

You can fight flying enemies an any level and I don't think that is very rare. As for levels, Young Brass Dragon is a 7th level creature so you don't have to be that high a level: a weak Young Brass Dragon could easily be a boss at 4th level. If we specifically look for 120' fly, you only have to go to a Young Green Dragon and that's only 1 level higher. So we aren't talking high level here unless you count 5th level high.


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I am of the opinion that any character should be able to answer "what do I do about flying enemies" by 4th or 5th level, yes. But you don't need to have 100' of ranged attack for that. Shortbows are a common answer and have a mere 60' range increment. Other weapons are even shorter.

Of course, part of this is the option of "I prepare to strike" so you can make your attack as it swoops in once it gets inside your first increment.


Flying is cool but remember that chars in mostly combat situations of mostly adventures as closed to some kind of structure (natural or artificial) that's in the best cases have 20 to 30 ft height.

Even the distances are shorter in mostly encounters usually Water and even Earth long range Elemental Blast are better when you are fighting inside a cave, a dungeon or a tavern.


YuriP wrote:

Flying is cool but remember that chars in mostly combat situations of mostly adventures as closed to some kind of structure (natural or artificial) that's in the best cases have 20 to 30 ft height.

Even the distances are shorter in mostly encounters usually Water and even Earth long range Elemental Blast are better when you are fighting inside a cave, a dungeon or a tavern.

*shrugs* even in non-outdoor situations, I can't say it's rare for me to see places where earth/water blasts would/could be in the second or third range increment. And with how str builds forces you into having an awful AC, you'll want to be as far away from your target as possible.


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MatiPa wrote:

Take this: A kineticist gnoll that can gather air. No problems here. The player makes CON the highest stat, and select his heritage as a great gnoll, giving him 4 + 8 + 10 = 22 HP at level 1. The problem is that he gather air, and a ranged air elemental blast has **120** ft. range increment. Give them a good AC, go very far and hide them if possible and you can deal damage without worrying too much about dying soon. You can give this character the cavalier archetype at lvl 2 and the Impressive Mount feat at lvl 4 and you're gonna be unstoppable, as long as your mount don't go too near or too far away.

Suggestions to solve it:

The most obvious is to reduce the range of the ranged air blast, the second most obvious (but hard to justify in narrative) is to give kineticists less HP per level, and the less obvious is to make either the gather element activity or the elemental blast activity (but not both) take two actions instead of one. Other suggestions are welcome

Is the unbalanced part that the 45 ft speed while raging barbarian is going to sprint and sudden charge and hit you every turn for way more damage? I am not sure what you think the problem is that, what character do you think can't deal with this really sub optimal tactic?


graystone wrote:
YuriP wrote:

Flying is cool but remember that chars in mostly combat situations of mostly adventures as closed to some kind of structure (natural or artificial) that's in the best cases have 20 to 30 ft height.

Even the distances are shorter in mostly encounters usually Water and even Earth long range Elemental Blast are better when you are fighting inside a cave, a dungeon or a tavern.

*shrugs* even in non-outdoor situations, I can't say it's rare for me to see places where earth/water blasts would/could be in the second or third range increment. And with how str builds forces you into having an awful AC, you'll want to be as far away from your target as possible.

Just a note, nothing in the strength build forces you to have bad AC past level 1. I really really want the class to start with medium AC, but any character can take sentinel, or a general feat for medium and then sentinel for heavy (though 16 str means that full plate doesn't fully come online till level 5).


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Someone with a ranged weapon and a high speed being invincible if they're fighting in an arbitrarily large empty field against someone who is slower with less range isn't really anything new.

And while I think the range on air blast is pretty cool, I'm not sure this scenario is something the game should be trying to balance itself around.


Thaago wrote:
graystone wrote:
YuriP wrote:

Flying is cool but remember that chars in mostly combat situations of mostly adventures as closed to some kind of structure (natural or artificial) that's in the best cases have 20 to 30 ft height.

Even the distances are shorter in mostly encounters usually Water and even Earth long range Elemental Blast are better when you are fighting inside a cave, a dungeon or a tavern.

*shrugs* even in non-outdoor situations, I can't say it's rare for me to see places where earth/water blasts would/could be in the second or third range increment. And with how str builds forces you into having an awful AC, you'll want to be as far away from your target as possible.
Just a note, nothing in the strength build forces you to have bad AC past level 1. I really really want the class to start with medium AC, but any character can take sentinel, or a general feat for medium and then sentinel for heavy (though 16 str means that full plate doesn't fully come online till level 5).

We're talking about lower levels as far as I know and we're talking maybe taking till 5th [which can be a sizable chunk of played levels]. Now sure, once you hit mid levels you're fine with AC but you're getting to the level when you can just fly yourself.


Squiggit wrote:

Someone with a ranged weapon and a high speed being invincible if they're fighting in an arbitrarily large empty field isn't really anything new.

And while I think the range on air blast is pretty cool, I'm not sure this scenario is something the game should be trying to balance itself around.

I think it's more balanced around the traits that the range. 2 traits on ranged and 4 on melee leaves air with a d4: if anything 120' seems like it's a bit out of balance with the other ranges and traits unless we're counting dropping a die as doubling the range.


It's a little bit of both.

The traits are definitely the larger influence, given each one is generally a die step down, but evidently Propulsive is valued the same as 10ft of range if you look at Water and Earth.

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