# Action investment per output

### Kineticist Class

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

WARNING - LOTS OF MATHS

Most cantrips are either 1d4 or 1d6 damage

Electric arc is 1d4 * 2

So we will go with the least and strongest cantrip to find a range.

At level 1, produce flame deals 1d4+4 damage for two actions. Electric arc deals 1d4+4 damage for two actions but deals it twice.

So at level 1, produce flame deals 7 damage or 3.5 damage per action. Electric arc deals 7 damage to two different targets or 7 damage per action.

At the highest level (20), produce flame deals 10d4+7 damage or 28.5 avg damage or 14.25 damage per action.

Electric arc deals 28.5 avg damage per action.

Now let's go into Elemental blasts.

Air deals 1d4 damage at 1 or 4d4 damage at 20. Runes may give it another lets say 3d6 damage just for maths sake.

So 4d4+3d6 = 7 min 34 max or 20.5 damage on average if you hit with your first attack. Assuming a dice roll of 12 is needed for the first attack, you deal an average damage of .4*20.5+.2*20.5 = 8.2+4.1=12.3 avg damage with attacks at max level.

Now granted, electric arc can resisted as well. Blasting spells are resisted a lot even on legendary casters.

But let's assume for a minute that the electric arc is resisted twice with a success, but not critical success.

That 28.5 = 14.25 damage per hit, meaning that even though the electric arc was resisted twice, it still deals more damage on average than simply using strikes.

A cantrip deals more damage than strikes at max level for an air kineticist. The earth one would deal 4d8+3+3d6 or 10 - 53 damage or 31.5 damage on avg. 11 damage more per strike than the air kineticist. They would deal 18.9 damage on average when calculating on whether they can hit an AC of 12 or not at level 20.

14.25 damage per hit is STILL more total damage, being as that is 28.5 damage total, than the most damaging elemental blast that the kineticist has.

Now - Let's look at cantrips vs impulses.
Tremor deals 11d4 for an action investment of 3.
Aerial Boomerang deals 11d4 (maybe twice, but not often) for an action investment of 3
Flame Eruption is 7d6 for an action investment of 3
Water is 11d6 or an action investment of 3.

These are, admittedly, all level 1 feats. But lets analyze their damage potential.

Tremor deals 9.16 damage per action per target.
Aerial Boomerang deals 9.16 damage per action per target. Maybe twice, but not often.

Flame Eruption deals 8.16 damage per action per target.
Water deals 12.83 damage per action per target.

These are assuming full damage.

Electric arc deals 14.25

In order for ANY of these attacks to be more effective than electric arc I would need..

Tremor to hit 28.5 damage worth of targets each cast. or at least 4 targets each time tremor is used. The max targets tremor can hit is 4.

For flame eruption, I need to hit 4 enemies.. stacked up on top of each other like 4 goblins in a trench coat pretending to be a venture captain.

For Aerial Boomerang per cast, I need to hit at least 4 targets to be better than a cantrip. These 4 targets can be 2 initial targets and then 2 more when the boomerang come back or 3 and 1 or 1 and 3 or 0 and 4 or 4 and 0. Just any combination of 4 targets needing to be hit.

Water probably has the easiest damaging potential. I just need to hit 3 targets per cast with my wave in order to be better than electric arc and if it only hits 2, the damage potential is barely behind electric arc for the action investment needed. The damage for this water wave is fairly easy to mean given you can have two 15 ft cones or 30 foot cone. I think this ability is fairly balanced compared to all the rest and I think this is the sort of balance where all of the abilities should be at for 1st level. In fact, allow con to be added to the damage for impulses. This will make up, some, for the higher potential for resistances I suppose since we don't get legendary class DC and I think it would be perfect.
2d6+4 damage at level 1 = 3.66 dmg per target per action investment at level 1 instead of 2.33 dmg per target per action investment at level 1.

Now let's look at the strongest abilities for kineticist

Air
Ferocious Cyclone 9d10 damage for 3 actions total. 99/6 = 16.5 damage on avg per target per action invested. So I have to hit 2 targets with this ability to be better than electric arc.

Earth
The shattered Mountain Weeps Initial damage is 13.75 damage and i'd have to hit 3 targets initially to be better than electric arc, but I can prob get away with 2. But it also has the 3d10 damage per round for a minute as well which is an additional 4.125 damage per target per action if they remain in the area.

Fire
All shall end in flames deals 8d10 damage meaning 88 damage or 11 damage per target per action. I'd have to hit 3 targets with this ability to be better than electric arc.

Water
Interestingly, their highest level ability does NOT increase at level 20 so I will take their 18th level damage which is 11 damage per target per action.. Which means I'd have to hit 3 targets with this ability to be better than electric arc.

Now let's compare it to fireball. Why fireball? It's the most iconic spell in tabletop and lets go ahead and buff it up to level 10 spell level, then 9, then 8 so on and so forth and analyze it's damage potential.

It deals 20d6 damage at 10. 18d6 at 9. 16d6 at 8. 14d6 at 7. 12d6 at 6. 10d6 at 5. 8d6 at 4. 6d6 at 3.

Fireball at level 19 deals 35 damage per action per target. Usable 1/day
At 17 = 31.5 damage per action per target 3/day
At 15 = 28 damage per action per target 3/day (This is essentially on par with electric arc damage if you only hit 2 targets with fireball if electric arc is at level 20)
At 13 = 24.5 damage per action per target 3/day
at 11 = 21 damage per action per target 3/day
At 9 = 17.5 damage per action per target 3/day
At 7 = 14 damage per action per target 3/day
At 5 = 10.5 damage per action per target 3/day

So let's compare them.

At max level...
Air deals 16.5 damage per action per target which is lower than a spell level 5 fireball. (level 10 wizard)

Earth deals less damage per action per target than a spell level 4 fireball. (level 7 wizard)

Fire deals SLIGHTLY more damage than a spell level 3 fireball. (level 5 wizard)

Water deals the same as fire per action so they deal slightly more damage per action per target as a level 3 fireball (level 5 wizard)

Now let's look back on damage potential again of level 1 impulses.

Tremor deals 9.16 damage per action per target.
Aerial Boomerang deals 9.16 damage per action per target. Maybe twice, but not often.

Flame Eruption deals 8.16 damage per action per target.
Water deals 12.83 damage per action per target.

Interestingly tidal wave deals more damage than a level 18 feat. per action per target.

But every one deals less damage per action per target than a spell level 3 fireball or a wizard at level 5 except tidal wave which deals less damage than a spell level 4 fireball.

Meanwhile a wizard has 22 total fireballs that they can cast at 20th level total of varying degrees of strength and 16 total fireballs per day that are stronger than whatever a level 20 kineticist can dish out.

On average there are 3 encounters per day with around 3-4 round per encounter.

That's 9-12 rounds per day.

A wizard can cast a fireball once every round per day and still have fireballs left over that are stronger than whatever a kineticist can dish out at level 20.

This isn't even calculating in the fact that wizards also have 2 higher DC and their spells are resisted far less than a kineticists abilities will be and they'll get crit fails against their saves and less crit successes against their saves more frequently as well.

The math shows quite plainly that the action investment per damage done makes the kineticist not worth playing at all in its current state.

Want a blaster? Just play a wizard.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I spent 2 hours on this so I hope people read it.

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I give it two minutes before somebody starts mentioning how much easier it is to improve strike hit/crit rate vs save spells so maybe run through the numbers again with standard buffs/debuffs applied (heroism/inspire courage, dirge, flat-footed)

The fireball numbers seem pretty damning though, especially when you can progress to better blasts.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
gesalt wrote:

I give it two minutes before somebody starts mentioning how much easier it is to improve strike hit/crit rate vs save spells so maybe run through the numbers again with standard buffs/debuffs applied (heroism/inspire courage, dirge, flat-footed)

The fireball numbers seem pretty damning though, especially when you can progress to better blasts.

The 12 on the dice is assuming standard debuffs/buffs/flatfooted etc.

Sure it's an assumption, but it's an average assumption of the scenario or situation you're in. You just gotta hit that 12 on the die.

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Another useful point of comparison: a 20th level caster can spend three actions for a free 5th level fireball (10d6) every minute, that can be flexibly used on any 5th-level or lower instantaneous spell, and I haven't seen it mentioned as particularly good.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Another useful point of comparison: a 20th level caster can spend three actions for a free 5th level fireball (10d6) every minute, that can be flexibly used on any 5th-level or lower instantaneous spell, and I haven't seen it mentioned as particularly good.

Which 10d6 is pretty much close to what the kineticist can currently do.

The maths just does not add up and this class is dead on arrival as is.

This does seem rather underwhelming for what is suppose to be a core aspect of the clas....

Kylian Winters wrote:
This does seem rather underwhelming for what is suppose to be a core aspect of the clas....

Technically the only core aspect where damage is concerned are the blast's.

That said, they could use a damage bump. But it should be done in such a way that other classes cannot just poach it and be better than them at doing it. Mine hunters edge or inventor's.

Verzen wrote:
I spent 2 hours on this so I hope people read it.

It seems you forgot weapon specialization for blasts. Still wouldn't change much probably.

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Verzen wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Another useful point of comparison: a 20th level caster can spend three actions for a free 5th level fireball (10d6) every minute, that can be flexibly used on any 5th-level or lower instantaneous spell, and I haven't seen it mentioned as particularly good.

Which 10d6 is pretty much close to what the kineticist can currently do.

The maths just does not add up and this class is dead on arrival as is.

... This is literally a playtest... How can it be dead on arrival when it won't arrive in another 10 months?

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Errenor wrote:
Verzen wrote:
I spent 2 hours on this so I hope people read it.
It seems you forgot weapon specialization for blasts. Still wouldn't change much probably.

Well, sure. But it would only adjust it by like a few damage points and it's not that relevant.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Jibiikako wrote:
Verzen wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Another useful point of comparison: a 20th level caster can spend three actions for a free 5th level fireball (10d6) every minute, that can be flexibly used on any 5th-level or lower instantaneous spell, and I haven't seen it mentioned as particularly good.

Which 10d6 is pretty much close to what the kineticist can currently do.

The maths just does not add up and this class is dead on arrival as is.

... This is literally a playtest... How can it be dead on arrival when it won't arrive in another 10 months?

The definition of "as is"

"“As is” refers to a term used in sales contracts where the buyer agrees to buy a product in its current condition, without legal recourse should the buyer discover a defect in the product after purchase."

As in, if this is the class that is being released in 10 months and there are not drastic changes, it is a dead class.

First. If you want to compare something.

Use something similar. Electric arc is one of the best cantrip it exist. It has 30 range. And a Dc.

The wind slash (ranged) as 120 ft. 4x the range of electric arc. And it an attack.

So, it does something similar to ray of frost which does 1d4 plus mod. (And it is better than this spell.)

Or you could compare to a crossbolt.

And also.... The overflow does more than damage.

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You can correct me if I missed something!

There are a few things that make Impulses have little damage to offer compared to Cantrips, right?

When you compare the damage potential of Tremor vs Electric Arc, for example. Electric Arc damages two targets and that's it. Tremor deals damage to multiple targets and potentially knocks them down. Prone enemies are flat-footed and take a –2 circumstance to attack rolls. Tremor even causes the area to become difficult terrain. all this effects potentially helping other party members both in offense and defense. Affected enemies will need to spend 1 action to stand lowering their threat for that turn and being able to trigger an allied reaction.

I haven't played with Kineticist to know if this is a quirk of the earth element and doesn't apply to other elements or if even with all these effects in a two-action activity it's worth the little damage.

I just thought it was important to take it into account.

I've been thinking about something ever since I saw people complaining about Kineticist's Class DC being just master. Considering that Impulses aren't really spells or Elemental Blast isn't really an unarmed attack, isn't there an opportunity for potency runes to affect the class DC? it would be interesting.