Overflow and compromise


Kineticist Class


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Next to accuracy and damage complaints. The biggest gripe is overflow.

Now I think as far as the strike portion of the class. The damage is largely fine. I agree the aoe stuff seems lacking.

But is it arbitrarily lacking or does it have reason?

Many of these actions are versions of actual spells. Wich have a finite uses per day. So it makes sense that there must be other limits. If a kineticist could cast a full fireball every round without every stopping that would not be balanced.

Overflow and the damage seem to be due to the frequency of Wich you can use these abilities.

So the question I pose to you. Where are you willing to compromise?

What if you had a font similar to warpriest?

What if they were only once per day?

In either case you could probably see a damage bump.

These are just ideas. What's your idea? Do you actually think they should be on par with even focus spells but have no real limit and still be 2 actions with no extra cost?


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If it's actually underpowered then it can be buffed without a compromise. There is no need for tradeoffs unless it actually eclipses existing classes in power/versatility beyond its intended niche.

These "compromises" instead of buffs are what killed the Witch.


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Djinn71 wrote:

If it's actually underpowered then it can be buffed without a compromise. There is no need for tradeoffs unless it actually eclipses existing classes in power/versatility beyond its intended niche.

These "compromises" instead of buffs are what killed the Witch.

Witch isn't dead despite what people think.

If these infinite use abilities are even on par with a focus spell. They were not balanced.

Yes I know right now they are not.


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I was thinking to create a thread to talk about Overflow and the price that is being paid for it and conceptual problem and add some polemic suggestions. But I'm going to take advantage of this one for that.

Let's begin with concept:

Kineticist Intro wrote:
The power of the elements flows from within you. Roaring fire, pure water, fleeting air, steadfast earth. An inner gate inextricably tied to your body channels power directly from the elemental planes, causing elements to leap to your hand, whirl around your body, and blast foes at your whim. As your connection to the planes grows, you attain true mastery over your chosen elements.

The main idea is that Kineticist will be a true master of the elements. Is someone who rivals the best primal spellcasters so the last thing I and I think that many of us want's it being weak, specially weaker than a caster in the think where the Kineticist is mostly speciallized, in it's elemental power.

So answering many players desires we finally got an elemental blaster, without limits. That can use their powers without fear that they will end but with what compensation this was done? With infinite use of weak powers!

Let me demonstrate comparing Over flow impulses with Spells/Focus/Cantrips:
For a question of easier the comparative I will use only damage spells that uses saves and I will use the avg dices dmg that means:
d4 = 2,5
d6 = 3,5
d8 = 4,5
d10 = 5,5
d12 = 6,5

The Overflow Impuse actions will accounted as number of action +1 dure the need of Gather Element again.

So let's beginning comparing lvl 1 spells, Eletric Arc (cantrip), Cry of Destruction (focus), Pummeling Rubble (spell) with Aerial Boomerang (Overflow Impulse), Tidal Hands (Overflow Impulse):
Electric Arc (lvl1 cantrip):
Actions: 2
Avg DMG: 6,5
Range: 30ft
Possible Targets: 1-2 targets inside the cantrip range
Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 1d4.

Cry of Destruction (lvl1 focus):
Actions: 2
Avg DMG: 4,5 (or 6,5 if already make some damage in this turn)
Range: 15ft cone
Possible Targets: 1-6 depending of how many are inside the cone area and their sizes
Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 1d8. (or d12s if you already made some damage in the same turn)

Pummeling Rubble (lvl1 spell):
Actions: 2
Avg DMG: 5
Range: 15ft cone
Possible Targets: 1-6 depending of how many are inside the cone area
Additional Effect: Can push creatures 5ft or 10ft in a critical failure
Heightened (+1): Increase the damage by 2d4.

Aerial Boomerang (lvl 1 Overflow Impulse)
Actions: 2+1
Avg DMG: 5 (+5 if some still stay in the line of effect in the beginning of your next turn. But it's very situational happing usually only corridor or tunnel situations)
Range: 60ft line
Possible Targets: 1-12 depending of how many are inside the line area and their sizes
Level (+2): The damage increases by 1d4.

Tidal Hands (lvl 1 Overflow Impulse)
Actions: 2+1
Avg DMG: 7
Range: 2 30ft cones or 1 60ft cone
Possible Targets: 1-28 depending of how many are inside the cone area
Additional Effect: Can push creatures 5ft in a critical failure
Level (+2) The damage increases by 1d6.

So comparing we can see at level 1 almost all compared spells and impulses have a similar dmg, but they vary a lot at range and AoE. But with the notable exception of EA thats allow the caster to hit 2 creatures in their range don't matter their position, the number of targets are very relative to AoE. Also the Pummeling Rubble can easily push the creatures while Tidal Hands needs a critical failure what's usually means thats rarely happen (you can't count with it). But the real noticeable diference here is the "Heighten" effects e relative number of actions; Focus and Spellslot Spells basically doubles their effects when casted in higher level while cantrips and Impulses just increases by 50% and in this situation the Impulses can be even worse than EA cantrip because they require 1 additional action making them effectively less cost efficient than a cantrip.

Now let's jump to a higher magic level.
Here I will keep using Electric Arc because the lack of higher level dmg cantrips but the rest of comparison will be made using a little stronger spells, the classic lvl 3 spells vs lvl 6 Impulses:

Electric Arc (Heightened to lvl3 cantrip):
Actions: 2
Avg DMG: 11,5
Range: 30ft
Possible Targets: 1-2 targets inside the cantrip range
Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 1d4.

Dragon Breath (lvl 3 focus):
Actions: 2
Avg DMG: 17,5
Range: 30-foot cone or 60-foot line originating from you or 10 ft. burst within 30 ft.
Possible Targets: 1-28 depending of AoE and number of creatures inside
Heightened (+1): Increase the damage by 2d6.

Fireball (lvl 3 spell):
Actions: 2
Avg DMG: 21
Range: 20-ft burst within 500ft
Possible Targets: 4
Heightened (+1): Increase the damage by 2d6.

Storm Spiral (lvl 6 Overflow Impulse)
Actions: 3+1
Avg DMG: 19,5
Range: 10 ft. burst within 30 ft.
Possible Targets: 4
Additional Effect: Can push creatures 5ft or 10ft in a critical failure
Level (+3) The damage increases by 1d12.

Rolling Boulder (lvl 6 Overflow Impulse)
Actions: 2+1
Avg DMG: 9!
Range: 30-foot line
Possible Targets: 6
Additional Effect: Can push creatures 5ft or prone them if they are in corridor or tunnel
Level (+3) The damage increases by 1d8.

Slippery Sleet (lvl 6 Overflow Impulse)
Actions: 3+1
Avg DMG: 10!
Range: 20-foot burst within 120 feet
Possible Targets: 4
Additional Effect: difficult terrain and uneven ground with a Balance DC of 15
Level (+2) The damage increases by 1d4.

Now we see a really power difference here. While focus spells are basically slight weaken than spells from spellslots with less range and less AoE they still keep same Heighten power progression but 2-action Overflow Impulses are basically a slight stronger cantrip that's uses 1 extra action due the need to Gather Element again while 3-action Overflow Impulses firepower is slight stronger then a 2-action focus spell but with worse Heightened effects and effectively uses an entire turn + 1 action in next turn making then terrible at action economy basically destroying the next turn economy making it impossible to use another 3-action Impulse in next turn.

So after analise and compare the effectiveness of Overflow Impulse vs Spells I came the conclusion that's the designers intension is make the Impulses power somewhere between cantrips and spells but using a higher and fragmented action cost penalty (like a worse version of recharge but more penalty because the Kineticist stop to working until Gather Element again and with less firepower). So except from adjustment in some Impulse don't expect that Impulses will become better than we currently have.

OK there's some ways to compress the actions a little. One is using Gather Amalgamation but requires a Universalist and 3-4 good 3-action Overflow Impulses from different elements, limiting you options a lot and the other is Final Gate given freely to the Kineticist at lvl 19 and Flawless Element but these comes only in the end game. Until there you have to survive 90% of the game having to deal with the lack of actions.

So considering this situation maybe isn't better to just forget everything about Impulses (specially Overflow) and just turn them as Focus spell and turn the Kineticist as Elemental Spell Focus specialist? Turning non Impulses into Focus Cantrips and Overflow into Focus Spells.

Why this? First, mostly experienced players already knows that even severe combat situations the encounter don't endure more than 3-4 rounds. And in more than 95% after combat situations the chars have enough time to refocus without problems. So would be easy to a Kineticist to use their Focus Spells without afraid at same time as Focus Spells we know that their spell power will be so good as any other focus spell and without suffer from severe action penalties.

To avoid becoming with too little focus points at early of the game we could use the same concept from playtest's Psychic beginning with 2 focus points, being able to refocus 2 of them since the beginning and having a Burn similar to playtest version of the unleash that's not only improves the damage but also allow to 3 more rounds being able to use the amps freely. This would solve at same time the power weakness of impulse and the asking for burn from some players. And as big difference between psychic the kineticist will still have way lot more exclusive focus spell options while still a martial character that can also attack with Elemental Blast the firepower in same turn giving it a good action economy.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Martialmasters wrote:
Djinn71 wrote:

If it's actually underpowered then it can be buffed without a compromise. There is no need for tradeoffs unless it actually eclipses existing classes in power/versatility beyond its intended niche.

These "compromises" instead of buffs are what killed the Witch.

Witch isn't dead despite what people think.

If these infinite use abilities are even on par with a focus spell. They were not balanced.

Yes I know right now they are not.

Witch isnt dead, wizard shows that you could give a prepared caster basically nothing at all and they can still function, the problem with witch is that every other 3 slot caster has better hp and most have better armor, and considering how table dependant the familier is since all the rulings we have gotten are on what they cannot do, rather than actual use cases, its easy to feel like the witch was cheated in comparason


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There's no need to compromise, the class is literally just weak. Making it "compromise" in this state would be like someone who's hungry and thirsty having to sell their water to buy food.

You can straight up increase the power budget by a lot and it would still be just alright. Not even super strong.


dmerceless wrote:

There's no need to compromise, the class is literally just weak. Making it "compromise" in this state would be like someone who's hungry and thirsty having to sell their water to buy food.

You can straight up increase the power budget by a lot and it would still be just alright. Not even super strong.

That is an opinion I do not necessarily share.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Martialmasters wrote:
dmerceless wrote:

There's no need to compromise, the class is literally just weak. Making it "compromise" in this state would be like someone who's hungry and thirsty having to sell their water to buy food.

You can straight up increase the power budget by a lot and it would still be just alright. Not even super strong.

That is an opinion I do not necessarily share.

ok, as written right now, what are the kineticists strengths? what is it actually good at doing in any way that stands out. I quite like the non-overload non blast impulses, and chain blast is crazy if you have 5 enemies close together but basically everything else it can do strikes me as notably sub par

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
dmerceless wrote:

There's no need to compromise, the class is literally just weak. Making it "compromise" in this state would be like someone who's hungry and thirsty having to sell their water to buy food.

You can straight up increase the power budget by a lot and it would still be just alright. Not even super strong.

100% agreed.


Kekkres wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
dmerceless wrote:

There's no need to compromise, the class is literally just weak. Making it "compromise" in this state would be like someone who's hungry and thirsty having to sell their water to buy food.

You can straight up increase the power budget by a lot and it would still be just alright. Not even super strong.

That is an opinion I do not necessarily share.
ok, as written right now, what are the kineticists strengths? what is it actually good at doing in any way that stands out. I quite like the non-overload non blast impulses, and chain blast is crazy if you have 5 enemies close together but basically everything else it can do strikes me as notably sub par

An out of the gate switch hitter with flexible support options that is currently marred with a clunky overflow mechanic.

But I don't necessarily see their damage problematic. Their action economy with overflow is less than fun though.

If they were to get a damage buff I hope it's not more then con to damage. And/or removal of overflow and instead getting focus points. Medium armor or some other way to help out level 1 strength kineticist would be nice as well.

Maybe we can get all this for free, maybe not and we have to give something up. I don't know. But overflow is a very specific design choice and there is reason for it other than making people mad. Even if it isn't the best designed choice to achieve the goal.


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YuriP wrote:


So comparing we can see at level 1 almost all compared spells and impulses have a similar dmg, but they vary a lot at range and AoE. But with the notable exception of EA thats allow the caster to hit 2 creatures in their range don't matter their position, the number of targets are very relative to AoE. Also the Pummeling Rubble can easily push the creatures while Tidal Hands needs a critical failure what's usually means thats rarely happen (you can't count with it). But the real noticeable diference here is the "Heighten" effects e relative number of actions; Focus and Spellslot Spells basically doubles their effects when casted in higher level while cantrips and Impulses just increases by 50% and in this situation the Impulses can be even worse than EA cantrip because they require 1 additional action making them effectively less cost efficient than a cantrip.

while I agree with your point, Kineticist abilities scale on class level, not spell level. So they effectively scale every spell level, which puts it on par with the spells scaling.


Pronate11 wrote:
YuriP wrote:


So comparing we can see at level 1 almost all compared spells and impulses have a similar dmg, but they vary a lot at range and AoE. But with the notable exception of EA thats allow the caster to hit 2 creatures in their range don't matter their position, the number of targets are very relative to AoE. Also the Pummeling Rubble can easily push the creatures while Tidal Hands needs a critical failure what's usually means thats rarely happen (you can't count with it). But the real noticeable diference here is the "Heighten" effects e relative number of actions; Focus and Spellslot Spells basically doubles their effects when casted in higher level while cantrips and Impulses just increases by 50% and in this situation the Impulses can be even worse than EA cantrip because they require 1 additional action making them effectively less cost efficient than a cantrip.

while I agree with your point, Kineticist abilities scale on class level, not spell level. So they effectively scale every spell level, which puts it on par with the spells scaling.

I agree. I also think YuriP is comparing the wrong spells with overflow feats. I think overflow feats are in par with AOE cantrips like acid splash, puff of poison and haunting hymn which scale every +2 spell levels and add dice damage from lvl 3 spell (except acid splash that starts with die damage and later adds your key ability mod).


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Martialmasters wrote:
Kekkres wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
dmerceless wrote:

There's no need to compromise, the class is literally just weak. Making it "compromise" in this state would be like someone who's hungry and thirsty having to sell their water to buy food.

You can straight up increase the power budget by a lot and it would still be just alright. Not even super strong.

That is an opinion I do not necessarily share.
ok, as written right now, what are the kineticists strengths? what is it actually good at doing in any way that stands out. I quite like the non-overload non blast impulses, and chain blast is crazy if you have 5 enemies close together but basically everything else it can do strikes me as notably sub par

An out of the gate switch hitter with flexible support options that is currently marred with a clunky overflow mechanic.

But I don't necessarily see their damage problematic. Their action economy with overflow is less than fun though.

If they were to get a damage buff I hope it's not more then con to damage. And/or removal of overflow and instead getting focus points. Medium armor or some other way to help out level 1 strength kineticist would be nice as well.

Maybe we can get all this for free, maybe not and we have to give something up. I don't know. But overflow is a very specific design choice and there is reason for it other than making people mad. Even if it isn't the best designed choice to achieve the goal.

Switch hitter with flexible support options? Allow me to introduce you to the Investigator (finesse melee weapon and a bow and you're equally good at melee and ranged). Take Alchemical or Forensic methodology and you've got valuable support options.

Switch hitter isn't something unique or attractive to me. That investigator is going to outperform the kineticist easily in single target damage. (Alternatively, precision rangers work nicely for that by stacking up buffs that don't care about weapon type). If "switch hitter" is the best the class can offer than mechanically it's DoA.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dubious Scholar wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
Kekkres wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
dmerceless wrote:

There's no need to compromise, the class is literally just weak. Making it "compromise" in this state would be like someone who's hungry and thirsty having to sell their water to buy food.

You can straight up increase the power budget by a lot and it would still be just alright. Not even super strong.

That is an opinion I do not necessarily share.
ok, as written right now, what are the kineticists strengths? what is it actually good at doing in any way that stands out. I quite like the non-overload non blast impulses, and chain blast is crazy if you have 5 enemies close together but basically everything else it can do strikes me as notably sub par

An out of the gate switch hitter with flexible support options that is currently marred with a clunky overflow mechanic.

But I don't necessarily see their damage problematic. Their action economy with overflow is less than fun though.

If they were to get a damage buff I hope it's not more then con to damage. And/or removal of overflow and instead getting focus points. Medium armor or some other way to help out level 1 strength kineticist would be nice as well.

Maybe we can get all this for free, maybe not and we have to give something up. I don't know. But overflow is a very specific design choice and there is reason for it other than making people mad. Even if it isn't the best designed choice to achieve the goal.

Switch hitter with flexible support options? Allow me to introduce you to the Investigator (finesse melee weapon and a bow and you're equally good at melee and ranged). Take Alchemical or Forensic methodology and you've got valuable support options.

Switch hitter isn't something unique or attractive to me. That investigator is going to outperform the kineticist easily in single target damage. (Alternatively, precision rangers work nicely for that by stacking up buffs that don't care about weapon type)....

Agreed 100%


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Re: scaling keeping up with cantrips:

2+1 action cost abilities that a class needs to pay a feat for barely keeping up with 2 action at will abilities that classes get 5 of for free at start is not good.

And the kineticist DC starts to fall behind later, so even if the raw damage roll keeps up with cantrips, the actual damage done will not.


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I think that in general, I am okay with 3-action overflow abilities matching focus spells or being around 1d6 behind. So if a 9th level dragon's breath does 17d6 (60) and a 9th level fireball does 18d6 (63) I'd like to see an 18th level, 3-action overflow deal between 16d6 (56) and 17d6 (60).

This is a pretty large difference from what we actually see. The Shattered Mountain Weeps is the top with 9d10 (50), while All Shall End in Flames is at the end with 7d10 (39). We'd need something between 10d10 and 11d10 to reach that level.

At level 1, the comparison that fits best would be Spray of Stars, at least from what I've found. That's 1d4 over a 15ft cone. Kineticist actually overperforms here with Aerial Boomerang or Tidal Hands, but scales up to better focus spells.


Dubious Scholar wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
Kekkres wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
dmerceless wrote:

There's no need to compromise, the class is literally just weak. Making it "compromise" in this state would be like someone who's hungry and thirsty having to sell their water to buy food.

You can straight up increase the power budget by a lot and it would still be just alright. Not even super strong.

That is an opinion I do not necessarily share.
ok, as written right now, what are the kineticists strengths? what is it actually good at doing in any way that stands out. I quite like the non-overload non blast impulses, and chain blast is crazy if you have 5 enemies close together but basically everything else it can do strikes me as notably sub par

An out of the gate switch hitter with flexible support options that is currently marred with a clunky overflow mechanic.

But I don't necessarily see their damage problematic. Their action economy with overflow is less than fun though.

If they were to get a damage buff I hope it's not more then con to damage. And/or removal of overflow and instead getting focus points. Medium armor or some other way to help out level 1 strength kineticist would be nice as well.

Maybe we can get all this for free, maybe not and we have to give something up. I don't know. But overflow is a very specific design choice and there is reason for it other than making people mad. Even if it isn't the best designed choice to achieve the goal.

Switch hitter with flexible support options? Allow me to introduce you to the Investigator (finesse melee weapon and a bow and you're equally good at melee and ranged). Take Alchemical or Forensic methodology and you've got valuable support options.

Switch hitter isn't something unique or attractive to me. That investigator is going to outperform the kineticist easily in single target damage. (Alternatively, precision rangers work nicely for that by stacking up buffs that don't care about weapon type)....

If it costs you an action to switch. And you need different set of runes. You not much of a switch hitter. Not on the fly.

And what's not valuable for you is what's not valuable for you. Not everyone.


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Pronate11 wrote:
YuriP wrote:


So comparing we can see at level 1 almost all compared spells and impulses have a similar dmg, but they vary a lot at range and AoE. But with the notable exception of EA thats allow the caster to hit 2 creatures in their range don't matter their position, the number of targets are very relative to AoE. Also the Pummeling Rubble can easily push the creatures while Tidal Hands needs a critical failure what's usually means thats rarely happen (you can't count with it). But the real noticeable diference here is the "Heighten" effects e relative number of actions; Focus and Spellslot Spells basically doubles their effects when casted in higher level while cantrips and Impulses just increases by 50% and in this situation the Impulses can be even worse than EA cantrip because they require 1 additional action making them effectively less cost efficient than a cantrip.

while I agree with your point, Kineticist abilities scale on class level, not spell level. So they effectively scale every spell level, which puts it on par with the spells scaling.

Unfortunately not. The only Impulses that scales every level are Celestial Palisade, Circulate Qi, Body of Air, Stone Guardian* and Winter’s Clutch. But they aren't damage spells and being honest their progression also are strange:

Celestial Palisade: It's a wind wall. Their scale are just to make it 1 square larger per level. Isn't bad but...
Circulate Qi: Is a LvL 12 Overflow 2 actions Impulse that works like a
Paragon Battle Medicine
is useful but it ins't a thing and it's scales is a joke. It's just makes me fells bad to use an Impulse that uses 3 actions to give the same effects that an 1-action skill feat can give better.
Body of Air: Is a Gaseous Form that can is a little more resistant but it's access is 4 levels higher. It's scales is another joke because it's basically a spell for covert-ops not for battle (you can attack) so you dismiss it at first oportunity.
Stone Guardian*: From these Impulses that's scales 1 it's the only one really interesting in scale and in action economy. But I don't know how it's strikes work in a MAP. The text don't say if it counts for your MAP or not. But it's has a good damage and the unlimited cast here is really useful (you can recast it every time it's destroyed what's makes it as a perfect summon and it can be used to flank because it's do fist attacks so it's counts to flank and if you need to move it just cast it again in a new position and the best part it haven't Overflow trait) but due the terrible action economy of the Kineticist you probably will really use it at lvl 16). *It isn't a damage spell but can be used do some damage.
Winter’s Clutch: It's an aura damage Impulse. It's good but does't do significant damage but endures all day long without require sustain spell, but stay with a damage aura enabled all day means that can harm innocents so before Aura Shaping at lvl 8 you need to actively enable it while keeps the distance from allies so it will waste your precious actions during an encounter.

So we have only 4 Impulses that has Level (+1) and only 2 of them really works well with the scale. Curiously the 2 that works well aren't Overflow.

Beriliand wrote:
I agree. I also think YuriP is comparing the wrong spells with overflow feats. I think overflow feats are in par with AOE cantrips like acid splash, puff of poison and haunting hymn which scale every +2 spell levels and add dice damage from lvl 3 spell (except acid splash that starts with die damage and later adds your key ability mod).

But that's the problem if feats with Overflow are in par to cantrips why they use so much actions to reply an already unlimited uses spell? And also if they are par to cantrips. The are comming for the double of the price once that cantrips are buyed in pair with Cantrip Expansion feat.


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Switch hitter is kinda pointless when you get AoO bonked either way.


The problem is we have to many negatives: overflow action tax, Less damage and last but not leased the DC proficiency deficiency. Probably any two of these would be livable but all three is more than a little extreme. As it is now not only do you do less damage but your target is far likely to save or crit save.


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Guntermench wrote:
Switch hitter is kinda pointless when you get AoO bonked either way.

Yeah, pretty much everything including the base blast triggers... Well I guess you can switch hit with an Elemental Weapon. :(


Guntermench wrote:
Switch hitter is kinda pointless when you get AoO bonked either way.

Ranged attacks from range?

Even normal ranged attacks provoke attack of opportunity

So does spell strike.

This is not new


gather element actions that do something extra aside from just gathering element can fix the action economy of overflow impulses.

or, something like "burn" where you basically just let your gate open to quicly gather up the element in exschange for burdening your body (aka take some damage, free action gather. Probably limited to 1 or 2 times per fight)


manbearscientist wrote:

I think that in general, I am okay with 3-action overflow abilities matching focus spells or being around 1d6 behind. So if a 9th level dragon's breath does 17d6 (60) and a 9th level fireball does 18d6 (63) I'd like to see an 18th level, 3-action overflow deal between 16d6 (56) and 17d6 (60).

This is a pretty large difference from what we actually see. The Shattered Mountain Weeps is the top with 9d10 (50), while All Shall End in Flames is at the end with 7d10 (39). We'd need something between 10d10 and 11d10 to reach that level.

At level 1, the comparison that fits best would be Spray of Stars, at least from what I've found. That's 1d4 over a 15ft cone. Kineticist actually overperforms here with Aerial Boomerang or Tidal Hands, but scales up to better focus spells.

I agree Aerial Boomerang and Tidal Hands are in pair to LvL 1 focus spells but their progress are of a cantrip and they uses 2+1 actions so if they progress like cantrips they rapidly becomes useless even when compared to Elemental Blast due runes progression and low action cost. It's better to do 2 Elemental Blast at level 4 than use 2+1 actions with Aerial Boomerang or Tidal Hands.

And I agree that they have to be in pair with Focus Spells at last, specially the 3+1 actions Impulses. But obviously the Paizo designers don't agree. It's noticeable when all the 3 mid to higher level Impulses are weaker than focus spells. So I don't expect they change this.

That's why I'm proposing to change everything to Focus Spells and Focus Cantrips and add a "Burn" based in a mix of The Unleash Psychic was proposed in the playtest and the currently Unleash Psychic.

The idea implementation is simple:

  • Remove the Impulse trait. This basically breaking every integration that the class have to currently game mechanics. They aren't spells so cannot interact with archetypes that interact to Spells and aren't Strikes so also break archetypes and some items that interact with Strikes. Also removes the concentrate and manipulate traits that's basically takes all disadvantages of the Spells without give back any advantages.
  • Consequently removes the Overflow trait.
  • Remove the Elemental Blast
  • Turn the 4 basic elemental attacks into Unarmed Strikes that are granted by Gather Element
  • Turn all non-overflow Impulses into Focus Cantrips and adjusts their power level
  • Turn all overflow Impulses into Focus Spells and adjusts their power level
  • Allow the Kineticist to refocus 2-focus points when they used for Kineticist Focus Spells only (like happen to psychic amps)
  • Add Burn based on Psychic Playtest Unleash Psyche, allowing to use Kineticist focus spells freely while "burning".

    The idea of this burn is the same idea of Psychic Playtest Unleash Psyche. Here is how Unleash Psyche worked in Psychic playtest for reference:

    Playtest Unleash Psyche wrote:

    A psychic who taxes their abilities to the limit thins the barrier between their inner mind and the outer world, truly unleashing their psychic power. However, this state also causes one or more aspects of your mentality to become exaggerated or exposed to outside influence.

    When you Unleash your psyche, it lasts for 3 rounds, and during this time, you can amp one psi cantrip each round without paying the Focus Point cost. Each psyche action has requirements you must meet to Unleash your psyche, and each typically also has an additional effect and a drawback while that aspect of your psyche is unleashed. Other rules for while your psyche is Unleashed are described in the psyche trait on page 8.
    While you might later learn of other aspects of your psyche, all psychics know how to Unleash Focused Intent.
    Playtest Unleash Focused Intent wrote:


    Unleash Focused Intent [one‑action]
    Traits: Psyche Psychic
    Requirements: It’s your third turn of the encounter or later.
    After some time of acclimating to a stressful situation, your psychic magic flares to greater destructive power.
    Benefit When you Cast a Spell from your spell slots while you have Unleashed Focused Intent, you gain a status bonus to that spell’s damage equal to double the spell’s level as long as spell deals damage and doesn’t have a duration.
    Drawback The focus on offense comes at the expense of your defensive instincts. You take a –2 penalty to AC while you’ve Unleashed Focused Intent.

    So based in above playtest and in the currently Unleash Psyche my Burn proposal is this:

    Burn [free‑action]
    --
    Traits: Kineticist
    Requirements: You're in an encounter, you Gather an Element and is hold it, and you aren't drained.
    --
    When you Burn, for 3 rounds or until your fall unconscious, whichever comes first. You can cast one Kineticist Focus Spell each round without paying the Focus Point cost. You can't voluntarily quell your Burn.
    After your Burn subsides, your body must recover from the strain of channeling its full power. You can't use Burn again for 3 rounds, and while you are drained, you're drained 1 for 3 rounds.
    --

    The most interesting part of this proposal modification is that it doesn't even needs give damage bonus to Kineticist anymore. Once that Impulses Overflow was trade to Focus Spells you have one action left to attack allowing to cast a Focus Spell/Cantrip that uses a save then Strike in same turn avoiding MAP and improving the DPR. Also once that Elemental Blast change to unarmed Strikes that's replicate it's mostly effects this allows then to integrate to many archetypes feats without problem so this also solves the MC and items integration problems.


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    Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    YuriP wrote:
    ...experienced players already knows that even severe combat situations the encounter don't endure more than 3-4 rounds...

    Our 2nd Edition record is 23 rounds, when two encounters merged into one. Every other session we have an encounter that lasts 6-9 rounds.

    It is the nature of blanket statements such as yours to be inaccurate.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Ravingdork wrote:
    YuriP wrote:
    ...experienced players already knows that even severe combat situations the encounter don't endure more than 3-4 rounds...

    Our 2nd Edition record is 23 rounds, when two encounters merged into one. Every other session we have an encounter that lasts 6-9 rounds.

    It is the nature of blanket statements such as yours to be inaccurate.

    As a GM, I very frequently have at least 2 encounters bleed into each other, sometimes more. I have to add a turn counter to my initiative chart because we often exceed 10 rounds as well.

    Part of why the developers look for actual play experience and surveys is because everyone has their own expectations based off of their own experiences. They want to collect aggregate data, not individual projected data.

    Comments on these message boards about first impressions before playing are pretty much for other play testers to get each other to look closer at the rules and think about how the class works as well as show the developers what questions are getting asked about the design, and whether people are interpreting the rules the way they were intended.

    Expressing your opinions about how parties "generally act" or how "combats generally go" are not really going to be be read in comparison to the general suggestion that you make through out the threads, so you are better off putting those in the survey when you are making your qualitative comments.

    Even if you have strong feelings about certain design choices, I strongly recommend trying to build a character even if you can't play them in time, but then try to direct your comments towards your specific character and how they feel and what kinds of enemies you are concerned about your character being unable to fight effectively against. The more specifically you can identify the troubling parts of your play experience the better off the final class will be.

    So if you have strong feeling about overflow actions, see how a character feels built without them, or if you can playtest it, build the character and try it. That feed back will be super useful for the developers.


    Ravingdork wrote:
    YuriP wrote:
    ...experienced players already knows that even severe combat situations the encounter don't endure more than 3-4 rounds...

    Our 2nd Edition record is 23 rounds, when two encounters merged into one. Every other session we have an encounter that lasts 6-9 rounds.

    It is the nature of blanket statements such as yours to be inaccurate.

    Due to terrain and the type of monsters we had to deal with (they exploded on death), my group and I had a fight that lasted for 8 rounds the other day (9 if you count the round we tried and failed to save a dying character). I used most of my slots (level 6 sorcerer) and we ended up with 2 character deaths (party of 6). Not as extreme as 23 rounds, but just happened less than a week ago.

    Hard combats can last a lot in this system if the circumstances are right. They can also be dealt within in a round or two.


    Unicore wrote:
    Ravingdork wrote:
    YuriP wrote:
    ...experienced players already knows that even severe combat situations the encounter don't endure more than 3-4 rounds...

    Our 2nd Edition record is 23 rounds, when two encounters merged into one. Every other session we have an encounter that lasts 6-9 rounds.

    It is the nature of blanket statements such as yours to be inaccurate.

    As a GM, I very frequently have at least 2 encounters bleed into each other, sometimes more. I have to add a turn counter to my initiative chart because we often exceed 10 rounds as well.

    Serious!?

    Since I begin to GM I had only one encounter that endures more than 5 rounds (and even the 5 rounds are pretty uncommon).

    Plaguestone spoiler:

    Spoiler:
    The only encounter that really endured more than 5 rounds was against Orcs in Spite's Cradle.
    My characters tryed to put fire on wooden palisade to and hidden around.
    This obviously sounded the alarm calling all the Orcs to Yard and some minutes after the Lord Nar ordered a small group to check.
    The players party was composed from 6 lvl 3 chars. A Paladin, a Fighter, an Alchemist, a Druid, a Battle Oracle and a Ranger. Due this I had to increase the total number o orc brutes to 16 making 18 orcs in the total due the presence of Lord Nar and Graytusk.
    When the orcs opened the gates the players begins the ambush. They wait the orc grup (4 orcs) to exit and they attacked.
    The Paladin and Fighter runs to the gate to prevent it's closure and attacked an killed the orcs that was trying to close it.
    The rest of the party attacked and killed the orcs outside the gate. Then the slaughtering begins.
    Due the Paladin and Fighter preventing the gates closure and protecting the other players behind the orcs tried to concentrate their efforts on them. But It's not hard to imagine how hard to a bunch of orc brutes to hit 2 heavy armored shielded players 4 levels higher. The rest of the players just concentrated to do long-ranged attacks against the orcs.
    Due high number of characters in the field this was the longest battle in my PF2 table because in practice was a junction of 5 separated encounters if the players was more subtles. But even this didn't pass from 8 rounds.
    The players basically killed all 16 orc brutes in 4 rounds (Due the well positioned situation they used the initiative order in their favor. They delayed the Alchemist and Druid initiative order to use the splash and EA to kill the orcs that already used Ferocity in the round. Making the slaughtering easier) the 4 levels of difference between players and Orcs basically prevented almost all hits and the players position staying in the gates prevented the players to be surrounded forcing most orcs to try to use javelins but this also reduced the Orcs number of orc attacks due the extra draw time. While the fighter and paladin was killing every orc that Lord Nars ordered to attack.
    When the orc brutes numbers was bellow than players numbers, the players entered in the yard, surround the Lord Nar killing it in the 5º round.
    The battle basically endured one more round because the Graytusk in the tower was well positioned and the players had only a small stair as option to up and attack. This and the fact that Graytusk pushed the first player that was able to arrive in the tower to the ground was what make the battle to endure more 3 rounds. But they easily killed the Graytusk when the Fighter entered in the tower's roof and from Ranger and Druid's ranged attacks.

    This was the longest battle that my players had until now, since plaguestone to mostly AoA books their fights don't endure more than 5 rounds (and even 5 rounds is pretty rare).
    Curiously the most longer encounters as more about a question os numbers than power. The most shorter encounters was against big bosses with low or no minions. Due the players surrounds and the currently low number of casters they easily surround and flank the bosses shortening the encounter a lot. But when face many opponents due the lack of AoE the battle duration is longer (but they don't care. They already know that when they have to face many opponents this opponents are easier to kill and at same time the players chars are harder to hit and my players don't care to killing their opponents slowly due the lack of AoE. They aready know that due the level difference they hardly will be killed. They had way more afraid when face a big monster alone that even being faster to kill sometimes take down one of them in a single round).

    roquepo wrote:

    Due to terrain and the type of monsters we had to deal with (they exploded on death), my group and I had a fight that lasted for 8 rounds the other day (9 if you count the round we tried and failed to save a dying character). I used most of my slots (level 6 sorcerer) and we ended up with 2 character deaths (party of 6). Not as extreme as 23 rounds, but just happened less than a week ago.

    Hard combats can last a lot in this system if the circumstances are right. They can also be dealt within in a round or two.

    Exactly. In PF2 what really makes most encounters to endure are "external" situations that can make encounters to merge or some players decision to careless advance or some scenario/maps additional conditions that's give a field advantage/difficult to one side.

    Due their experience in some harder TRPGs. My players are carefully. They almost never advance without prepare (that why almost always they had 10min to refocus) or search/analise all the place. This basically prevents them to begin an encounter without resources, unprepared and rarely merge encounters because they almost never follows fleeing opponents.

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