Confused on how Kinetic Blasts interact with Damage Resistance and Spell Resistance… Let’s take an Air Kineticist with Air Blast as an example…
Your Kinetic Blast is a Spell-Like Ability.
Under Spell-Like Abilities:
Spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance and dispel magic. They do not function in areas where magic is suppressed or negated, such as an antimagic field. Spell-like abilities cannot be used to counterspell, nor can they be counterspelled.
Then you have the description of the Kinetics Blast ability, which in part reads:
As a standard action, the kineticist can unleash a kinetic blast at a single target up to a range of 30 feet. She must have at least one hand free to aim the blast (or one prehensile appendage, if she doesn’t have hands). All damage from a kinetic blast is treated as magic for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction
So taking these two rules into consideration, one would assume using a Standard Action to activate your Kinetic Blast spell-like ability for Air Blast, that would be a “magic” attack and be subject to Spell Resistance but overcome anything with DR/Magic…
But then I found:
Physical blasts are ranged attacks that deal an amount of damage equal to 1d6+1 + the kineticist’s Constitution modifier, increasing by 1d6+1 for every 2 kineticist levels beyond 1st. Spell resistance doesn’t apply against physical blasts.
So now I am confused…
Is an Air Blast considered magic or not? Does it bypass DR/Magic? Does it count as “magic”? Does it have to beat SR?
My mind can’t square that this ability is both “treated as magic for bypassing damage reduction” and also “Spell Resistance does not apply against physical blasts”.
How can both be true? Either it’s considered magic and follows the rules of magic (both positive and negative) or it’s not…
Spell resistance applies to energy blasts, does not apply to physical blasts (including Air Blast). Both count as magic for purpose of overcoming DR. It works like that because that’s how the Kineticist class rules work; trying to square it with core rules will add a hint of confusion potential, yes.
Specific trumps general:
Energy Blasts are subject to Energy Resistance and Spell Resistance (so Fire, Electricity, Cold), but not subject to DR.
Physical Blasts are subject to Damage Reduction NOT Spell Resistance, and count as magic for the purposes of bypassing DR, or attacking incorporeal creatures (for half damage).
So when you take that all together: An air blast is a physical blast, it deals 1d6+1 bludgeoning damage, and counts as magic for the purposes of overcoming DR, and ignores spell resistance.
With Pathfinder the rule closest to the ability take precedence over those further away. So, if a spell contradicts a general or class rule, the rule used is that of the spell. If a class rule contradicts a general rule the class rule is the one that is used. For example, as a general rule when you cast an arcane spell in armor there is usually a chance of it failing. Some arcane classes have class abilities that allow them to cast spells in armor. So, a sorcerer casting charm person in armor has to roll to see if their spell fails. Bards can cast in light armor so can cast charm person in light armor without needing to check but would need to check in medium or heavy armor. If the spells description stated it ignored arcane spell failure any arcane class that can cast the spell can cast it in any armor without having to check for spell failure.