Air Blast - 120 ft / d4 can we do better?


Kineticist Class

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How often are encounters in spaces large enough to make 120 ft range useful?
Is d4 with reach for melee blasts really balanced?


Would probably have to drop agile to bring the damage to a d6. Currently, air blast is best paired with either elemental weapon or dual/universalist for a better close range option. It's balanced I think but looses it's utility in close range.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think the first question is meant to be tested in the play test. I absolutely love that there is an over the top long range option, even with a d4, because of what it opens up with chain blast or maelstrom.

I am even temped to play it as a strength build as a skirmished. 1st round aura and move to cover. Then start firing at range. Then, if someone gets close, melee attack and move twice. Even as a human, 60ft of movement with the last 10 being difficult terrain is 80ft of movement for an enemy to cover to get adjacent.

Small maps in APs are a frequent occurrence, but it is not uncommon for there to be large open air dungeons with multiple encounters within a couple hundred feet of each other…I.e. perfect air bending conditions


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If too much damage at long range is a worry then maybe it's time for a new trait that changes the damage dice at closer ranges.

Like "Focused d6: This ranged weapon is more effective at closer distances. Your attacks against targets that are within half of its first range increment changes its weapon damage die to the indicated value. This change applies to all the weapon's damage dice, such as those from striking runes."

Or the inverse if that is better, lowering damage at higher ranges instead of taking a range penalty.


I see no reason why it can't be 1d6 from the start.

However, if something has to give and con bonus to damage is not an option then losing 60ft to be about the same as Short bow should be fine.

To fulfill the Air Sniper theme, just add Air's reach that passively doubles the range of all air blasts and impulses. If double is too much just make it add 10 times Con bonus to the range, so at 22 Con all air blasts and impulses would have +60 ft range (not game breaking). Seriously please, if you do this don't charge anything, specially not action: There is quite literally no need to charge for this when their whole thing is having the most distance.


Djinn71 wrote:

If too much damage at long range is a worry then maybe it's time for a new trait that changes the damage dice at closer ranges.

Like "Focused d6: This ranged weapon is more effective at closer distances. Your attacks against targets that are within half of its first range increment changes its weapon damage die to the indicated value. This change applies to all the weapon's damage dice, such as those from striking runes."

Or the inverse if that is better, lowering damage at higher ranges instead of taking a range penalty.

Why was this not used for firearms? This is literally how shotguns and pistols work.

Wayfinders

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An interesting thing one might do to keep the range while boosting damage could be adding the Volley trait, representing that the element of Air is all about building up speed and power over distance, either directly at long range or by whirling in melee. Mechanically, this would mean that you have a dead zone or "air gap" between your ranged and melee abilities, which might be interesting to play with.


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If we have to drop something for a d6, I'd drop agile. The class encourages mixing blasts with other impulses, so agile doesn't actually do a lot for it. There's a place for a blast that's all about hitting a bunch, but not without some kind of class damage booster to go with it...

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Would it break anything if air was 1d8, fire was 1d10, and earth and water was 1d12?

This higher dice would make up for other classes getting math fixers while this class doesn't.


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Verzen wrote:

Would it break anything if air was 1d8, fire was 1d10, and earth and water was 1d12?

This higher dice would make up for other classes getting math fixers while this class doesn't.

I think a math fixer would be better as it cuts down on possible dedication shenanigans.

But a math fixer is also only better for them if we can somehow get away from overflow and have better action economy.


It might break multiclass builds grabbing one handed ranged/melee weapons.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I dont mind the 1d4 sniper range attack, its the 1d4 melee attack i take issue with

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
It might break multiclass builds grabbing one handed ranged/melee weapons.

You always need a free hand to gather elements first so... no. I dont think so.


Verzen wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
It might break multiclass builds grabbing one handed ranged/melee weapons.
You always need a free hand to gather elements first so... no. I dont think so.

One handed ranged weapons are pretty limited. If you could grab blasts from the dedication that are doing d10s, it immediately beats out every other option. This will depend on how the dedication goes though. It's preferable for them to be balanced for the dedication and have some other kind of feature exclusive to kineticist to do more damage with them rather than them be better attacks generally.


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d4 is way too low. Bows can already reach nearly this far (or MUCH farther with a ranger) and do d8 + deadly d10 with propulsive (though thats usually not more than a point). And then those classes get another damage boost on top! (Either accuracy, or flurry, or precision, etc)


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Thaago wrote:
d4 is way too low. Bows can already reach nearly this far (or MUCH farther with a ranger) and do d8 + deadly d10 with propulsive (though thats usually not more than a point). And then those classes get another damage boost on top! (Either accuracy, or flurry, or precision, etc)

Longbows are a bad example though because volley really screws with you in tight quarters unless you take Point Blank Shot. Which you probably will as a fighter but is pricey on a ranger. On a ranger I prefer to carry a short and a longbow and Quickdraw whichever suits the fight better. But that runs into rune cost issues.


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The die size would probably be a d4 even without the range. It just has more traits.


Thats a very good point - longbow needs point blank shot from fighter to avoid volley, or swapping to shortbows. Still though, thats d6, deadly d10, and propulsive. d4 for air blast is just really rough, especially if its being used as an "off turn" mix in attack because in that case agile is not putting in much work either.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Guntermench wrote:
The die size would probably be a d4 even without the range. It just has more traits.

Honestly, I think finesse on the blasts for melee is kind of a waste of time if flexible blast is going to basically offer that anyway. But at the same time, since it isn't a weapon, the major exploitable advantages of finesse don't really matter at all for blasts since they don't count as weapons for any archetype synergies.

Agile adds quite a lot of DPR to the fire and air kineticist since you can often still crit on your third attack and once you get runes, your crits can do interesting and additional things that cantrips can't be similarly modified.


At 10th level you can use the air invisibility feat to constantly make the first elemental blasts in a turn against flatfooted AC (at 16th it can be all of them, and you can have a free sustain on the invisibility). If you're staying dedicated air gate you are the most accurate kineticist on your d4.

With dual element and Cycling Blast you can activate it and then try to swap to a more damaging element, but the spamming options will be less interesting (unless it's fire, or course).


Unicore wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
The die size would probably be a d4 even without the range. It just has more traits.

Honestly, I think finesse on the blasts for melee is kind of a waste of time if flexible blast is going to basically offer that anyway. But at the same time, since it isn't a weapon, the major exploitable advantages of finesse don't really matter at all for blasts since they don't count as weapons for any archetype synergies.

Agile adds quite a lot of DPR to the fire and air kineticist since you can often still crit on your third attack and once you get runes, your crits can do interesting and additional things that cantrips can't be similarly modified.

Even ranged. Fire and air lose a die size for agile then Air loses another for versatile B.

Earth is the weird one gaining a trait and losing 10ft.

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