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I played with my regular group the lvl 10 one-shot in the Dark Archives book. Below is a very detailed account for how it went.
The Character: Vapore
Stats: 8 Str, 18 Dex, 20 Con, 14 Int, 16 Wis, 16 Cha
1. Acrobatics – Trained
2. Diplomacy – Expert
3. Nature – Master
4. Occultism – Trained
5. Stealth – Trained
6. Survival – Trained
7. Thievery – Master
1. Evanescent Wings
2. Animal Speaker
3. Energize Wings
1. Concealing Legerdemain
2. Cat Fall
3. Wary Disarmament
4. Natural Medicine
5. Quick Unlock
6. Steady Balance
1. Burning Jet
2. Tidal Hands 6d6
3. Flame Eruption 4d6
4. Water Dance
5. Desert Shimmer 5
6. Slippery Sleet 8d4
7. Solar Detonation 3d10 / Torrent in the Blood (second is general my floating feat chosen) 7d6
8. Fusion Blast
1. Animal Instinct Barbarian / Goloma
2. Time Oracle / Human
3. Thief Rogue / Human
4. [Me] Dual Gate (Fire/Water) Kineticist / Sprite
After this section you'll find a blow-by-blow of what happened in this one shot as I hope that will be helpful as well. I’ll put my thoughts here though for those who don’t want to read the whole thing.
Flavor – Fantastic. I loved playing with fire and water elements, I also really enjoyed how well it meshed with the Sprite ancestry
Skill Challenges – I wasn’t useless, but there was always 1 or 2 people better suited than I for the skills. I didn’t feel crippled, but I did feel bummed out that I never had a max skill since I had put my investment in CON and that has no skills to work with.
Combat – simply put, DISMAL!
I was near useless against the ghost. The barbarian simply powered through its resistances, the oracle had affective spells against it, and the rogue could recall knowledge about it and then do a little damage.
Against the assassins, it felt better since I used Slippery Sleet. It didn’t do much damage, but the added affect made it hard for them to close the gap and provided flat-footed for one round to my friends due to clever placement. However after that, I really wasn’t much use.
Against the primary enemy, I did next to nothing. The Oracle had different spells to cycle through, provided great reactions (that ultimately allowed us to win) and was very useful as the Delay Consequence saved the rogue from death that round and allowed him to make the final blow to the enemy with the special McGuffin.
I also had very little movement in combat as I was constantly having to use all three actions to even try being affective. Between gathering my element constantly and using 2-3 actions to do something that did half to a quarter of damage as the rogue, barbarian, or even the oracle felt really bad. I definitely weighted the party down.
My half basked suggestions:
• Keeping CON as the primary ability is what I’d like, but as is it takes
more away then it adds. Especially in the skills department, so something
needs to be done to compensate.
• The barbarian still had more HP than me which felt bad considering what I
have to invest.
• Action economy feels very clunky
• Damage needs some big tweaks
• I felt like I was playing similar play style to a Psychic, however without
the same arsenal as they have
Full breakdown of the scenario (spoilers ahead):
Initial gathering of information was helped by the Rogue primarily, however my abilities to speak to Dragonflies (via Melixie) was very insightful about the vessel at the beginning.
We were taken to dinner on a mysterious (bad) ship. After we were told nobody is aloud “down stairs” and so, of course, I wanted to sneak down stairs. The rogue easily snuck down, I am only trained in Stealth, but my tiny stature gave me a GM bonus as I used the waiter and other objects for cover. My Barbarian and Oracle friends were not able to make it unnoticed, so they attempted and failed to gather information about what is down stairs.
The stairs just kept going on and on. I had no way to detect magic or determine if there was magic or illusion, so I gathered water and let it tumble down the stairs. It acted as I would expect in an endless staircase, so we were stumped for the time being.
Waiter came in and I stayed as a tiny creature and shadowed him down the stairs, but still was not able to make it down, so I returned to the party. As I did though, I noticed something that caused me to make a Nature check and I found out the water outside the ship was not in sync with the boat and that it wasn’t an illusion or nature.
AT this point battle began against one enemy who was clearly a plot device. My initiative was second to last. Rogue failed the recall knowledge and then moved for a strike and missed. It then used a breath weapon to which I critically failed and “died” along with our Oracle. The Rogue and Barbarian lasted 2 more round before joining us in death.
We then started a second time loop as we were when we first stepped onto the ship. We then were able to make it to the lower deck. We then started a fight with a few assassins trying to hide.
I used Slippery Sleet for 3 actions. One critically succeeded and the other succeeded, so I did a total 9 damage to one of them. There was then a lot of difficult terrain which wasted some of their movement actions. Barbarian went to rage and attacked one of the assassins that was flat-footed due to my ice and critically hit dealing 62 damage damage than I did (but I helped as it only crit due to my ice). The Rogue feinted and then hit with a sneak attack that also did 29 damage and then a second attack with 18 more damage and then again for another 26 damage. The oracle then tried Telekinetic Projectile and missed, then cast shield.
I then gathered fire and then did a Fusion Blast for 21 damage. This took out the first assassin. The assassin then failed it’s attack against the Barbarian. Barbarian who did a total of 42 damage in two strikes. The rogue then attacked for critical hit of 46 damage on her first attack (and destroyed his armor with the corrosive rune) and he gave up.
We then tried to get into a very complex locked room that I failed to unlock, but my Barbarian friend simply broke down a door with a 39 Athletics check.
This started a fight with an incorporeal ghost. Barbarian punches the ghost for 28 damage. The rogue then did a recall knowledge very successfully and then missed with a natural 1 but hit with second attack for 15 damage. I then went and having no good options for incorporeal and so did a regular fire attack (since I had fire already gathered) simply because I have an impactful rune to do force damage. I did a total of 1 damage (force was the only thing that went through). My second attack was a Fusion Blast that missed. The Oracle then did 16 positive damage to it. It then did a cone attack and I succeeded taking 22 points of cold damage.
Next round Barbarian attacked for 32 damage in the first attack. The second attack missed. Rogue then attacked and dealt 18 damage and the ghost then became willing to talk. I tried a diplomacy check and succeeded making the ghost slightly less angry. The Oracle then tried a diplomacy check and critically succeeded ending the combat.
Upon talking to the ghost, we got some plot information.
We then went into a skill challenge. Everybody except me critically succeeded, I succeeded (some amazing rolls all around)
There was another skill challenge that using Perception/Occultism/Arcana and everybody had better options than I did.
We then started the fight with the boss who is supposed to kill us for plot reasons. Rogue went first, moved and used a plot device weakness to cause it to be sickened. Barbarian moved and missed it’s attack. Enemy went and did an AoE. We had 2 critical fails (myself included) and a failure. Used the Talisman from the plot to negate the attack. I then attacked with water blast, missed, then did Tidal Hands. He succeeded his save, but took 14 damage (after halving). Oracle did Agonizing Despair and it failed it’s save taking 25 damage and becoming frightened 2.
Next round the rogue moved twice and attacked for 24 damage. Barbarian then hit twice one for 31 damage and the next for 17 damage. Monster then went and it hit two people and crit me for 54 damage. It then ran away and both the rogue and Barbarian followed it with reaction, leaving me in a room by myself. My turn I gathered Fire element, moved to target it again and attacked with a fire blast that missed ending my turn. The Oracle went and cast Temporal Distortion, but the enemy critically succeeded, then moved away.
Third round the rogue (who was already flanking) attacked for 30 damage on the first attack and missed the second attack. It then attacked and dropped the rogue. I then attacked with a fire blast and then did a flame eruption. It succeeded taking a total of 5 fire damage. The oracle moved and inflicted sickened on it, then cast shield.
Fourth round the barbarian missed by rolling a 2 on the die twice in a row and then missed the crit fishing third attack. Rogue continued dying. Monster went and brought full death to the rogue while hurting the oracle and barbarian (I was some distance away). The oracle then used the breath of life reaction and brought the rogue back. I then gathered fire again and did a fusion blast that hit for 16 damage. Oracle used Agonizing Despair again, it succeeded, but it was still frightened 1 and took 13 damage after being halved.
Fifth round the barbarian rolled another 2 on the dice, then moved to the rogue and healed her for 31 healing. Rogue went, grabbed her weapon, stood up, and attacked for a critical for 32 damage (no sneak attack). The monster went and hurt people around it taking the rogue down again as well as the oracle. I went and missed with my fire blast, then did Flame Eruption. It succeeded it’s save and took 8 damage total.
Barbarian then attacked for 32 damage on a regular hit, then missed its other two attacks. Monster went and downed the barbarian then strode up to me. I was able to use Burning Jet (this was fun) to successfully run away, unfortunately there is an inescapable dome barrier and so eventually I was dropped by long range spells.
Time reset (the scenario plot device) and we started again
We then did some gather information checks and had multiple successes. Then we gained plot knowledge for the scenario.
We now had a special item to fight the main boss (who has now killed us twice) and awaited the enemy to come find us.
The enemy won initiative and failed to tumble through our barbarian who was blocking the door. It then attacked for a critical and did 44 damage. The barbarian missed the first attack and then drank a potion. The rogue tried to tumble through and was stopped, so just attacked without the flank and critted for 46 damage (without sneak attack). The oracle then moved and cast Agonizing Despair. It succeeded, but was frightened and it took 15 damage after halving. I did Slippery Sleet, it succeeded so took 11 damage total while causing him to be flat-footed to help out my friends.
The enemy failed a tumble through, then succeeded to get past the barbarian, then got a natural 1 on its attack. The barbarian attacked for 35 damage and missed a second attack. Rogue missed both attacks. Oracle used bon-mot and failed, then used Temporal Distortion and failed. I gathered water, blasted for a hit and did 13 damage.
The enemy then did a big AoE attack that did 43 damage. The barbarian attacked and did 19 damage and missed its second attack. The rogue then used the special plot McGuffin to take it close to death. The oracle cast Agenizing Despair for 31 damage and making it frightened 2. I delayed my action until after the enemy. It critically hit the rogue, but the oracle used Delay Consequence. It then attacked again for 30 damage. I then moved in and used Tidal Hands which it succeeded against. I did a total of 9 damage. The barbarian then grabbed the enemy, then missed its attacks. The rogue then used the McGuffin and killed the enemy, ending the combat and the scenario.
...• I felt like I was playing similar play style to a Psychic, however without
the same arsenal as they have
That's the same felling that me and my party had in our playtests. Including that's the why we put a Psychic in the party in order to do direct comparisons.
We put a Wellspring Oscillating Wave Psychic in order to do most closest comparison between both. And the difference was exactly that. The psychic done much more damage (including some multi-target unleashed EA and the usually "free" top spell from Wellspring) due Unleash and Amps and even having only 1 spell per level (due Wellspring) the psychic was more versatile than Kineticist without be so clunky and way more powerful either for single target and even AoE (with the notable exception of Chain Blasts that's make Kineticist to be very good to attack minions and weaklings).
The thing where Kineticist was better and interesting was using supportive utility spells (walls and auras in general). In fact since when we archieved lvl 12 the kineticist gameplay switched from DD to utility prove way more useful dividing opponent forces, making itself and ranged allies easily fly than doing blasts in general (but returning to subpar when only one opponent remains).
We don't done a strong skill comparison because all our tests are currently only focused in combat (due basically all the class feats and abilities are combat oriented).
IMO to be good and interesting the kineticist strongly need some general damage improvements (maybe something like Unleash) and the Overflow Impulses also need a serious improvements to be at last closer to focus spells but the ideal is make them in the power level suggested by roquepo's topic.
I also think that kineticist may be use it's KAS to Blasts too more for a flavor and MADness question (may help to put your secondary stat in one more useful for skills like a mental stat).
Wait... You had no ghost touch rune and every round you were using overflow action?
The fight didn't last long due to the damage output of the others. The part you're referring to was deliberate. I already had fire built up and had an impact full tune so I attacked to at least get the force damage. Then I used the fusion blast in hopes of punching a little through the resistance and add force damage. The idea was to do something with my last two actions and then gather water next round for a healing Torent in the Blood to help the team that way. But between the other party members, it ended before I did that.