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    Default Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right?
    A Guide to the Kineticist


    The Kineticist was quite possibly one of the most anticipated classes from the original Occult Adventures announcement. One part 3.5 Warlock, one part Avatar: The Last Airbender-style bender, all awesome. At least, until the playtest came out. The playtest version of the Kineticist was a mess, suffering from almost every problem under the sun; lack of accuracy, lack of utility, lack of damage, and a powerset that required drowning the user in nonlethal damage just to stay vaguely competitive. Unfortunately, now that the full release is out, the Kineticist seems to have not gotten nearly as much of a boost as it needed to have. And yet, thereís plenty of awesome concepts lying under the mountain of fiddly details and terrible mechanics, so thereís still need for a guide.

    Now, this is the part where, in most guides, the author would mention how much the guide was inspired by Treantmonkís Guide to Pathfinder Wizards: Being a God, the gold standard of PF handbooks whose rating system is the lingua franca of pretty much all class guides in Pathfinder today. And while Treantmonkís guide is amazing, I feel like I have to offer credit to Zaqís guide ďIn the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers.Ē This guide isnít about taking the most optimal path of a class as it is about making the best of a bad situation.

    Now, Iím not saying that the class is quite as utterly broken as the Truenamer. Parts of the Kineticist are entirely functional, if not actually quite good. The main problem the Kineticist has is more akin to the Soulknife (the 3.5 version, not Dreamscarred Pressí much improved Pathfinder conversion), where the class features the class received were overestimated to the point of being arbitrarily nerfed into the ground.

    The Rating System
    As per standard, Iíll be using Treantmonkís tried and true rating system.
    Red: Donít even bother.
    Orange: Could be better, but could be worse.
    Green: Pretty good, if not groundbreaking
    Blue: A solid pick pretty much all of the time.

    So, without further ado, let's take a look at what the Kineticist can really do.

    Ability Scores:
    Strength: Unless youíre planning on using Kinetic Blade or Kinetic Fist (and even then, Iím pretty sure Weapon Finesse applies to those), thereís not much use in having Strength. Most of your abilities either prevent you from using it, or let you replace it with Constitution.
    Dexterity: Almost always, you will need this to hit. It and Constitution should be your highest stats.
    Constitution: Pretty much everything except your attack rolls is keyed off of Constitution, and you need all the HP you can get. Max it. Love it. Even if you take the Elemental Ascetic or Overwhelming Soul archetypes, you still want Constitution.
    Intelligence: Your skill list isnít that big, and you get an OK number of skill points. Safe to dump.
    Wisdom: You need this to cover your one weak save, but thatís about all. Unless you took the Elemental Ascetic archetype, in which case this becomes much more important.
    Charisma: You have very few social skills, and pretty much no reason to have this unless youíre an Overwhelming Soul. Skip it.

    Races
    Because favored class options are only available for the Core Races right now, Iím going to restrict my analysis primarily to them, with a few notable exceptions, below. Due to their primary reliance on Constitution, almost any race makes a solid Kineticist, save only the races with Con penalties (such as elves.) Additionally, the classís utility options coupled with a dearth of ďmust-haveĒ feats means that for once, human kineticists may not be the best possible choice in all possible scenarios.

    Core Races
    Dwarf: An increase to one of your two useful attributes, and a penalty to a stat you wonít be using if youíre not an Overwhelming Soul. The favored class bonus is also a pretty decent damage boost, provided you wanted to use the Earth element.
    Elf: While the Dex bonus is nice, that Con penalty makes Elf kineticists suffer pretty hard. The favored class bonus is interesting, though, particularly if, as the RAW suggests, the damage bonus applies even if your current elemental overflow is 0. Considering that you can get the same FCB from Half-Elves, however, Iím a bit reluctant to suggest a full-blooded elf for anything other than fluff or a challenge.
    Gnome: Just like the dwarf, you gain bonuses to two attributes that the kineticist wants. Unfortunately, Charisma is simply less useful than Wisdom most of the time, and the favored class bonus is really situational.
    Half-Elf: Half-elves gain the same favored class bonus as Elves, but without the Constitution penalty. Plus, a free Perception bonus and Skill Focus are always nice. Plus, picking up Ancestral Weapon (Bastard Sword) or something similar before picking up Telekinesis and Air elements makes a pretty neat facsimile of a Jedi.
    Half-Orc: Ferocity is pretty useful considering how low your HP tends to dip as a side effect of burn. +2 to any ability is nice as always, and a few martial weapon proficiencies gives you a bit of extra coverage. All in all, the Half-Orc is a solid choice, particularly for pyrokineticists.
    Halfling: A bonus to Dex is nice, while the bonus to Cha makes them excellent Overwhelming Souls. Even without the archetype, Halflings are still a pretty good choice due to their good racial abilities, such as Halfling Luck. Be warned, however, that the small size penalty to CMB still hurts your blasts, so you may want to avoid any blast that targets CMD, more than a larger kineticist.
    Human: Humans are, as always, a great choice for any character. However, the normal human bonuses of an extra feat and skill point are not terribly useful on the Kineticist, due to their small skill list, under reliance on feats, and utility powers to handle several common skills. However, if your DM allows the use of the Dual Talent racial trait to pick up a second +2 attribute bonus, the human becomes an excellent choice again, competing with many of the other races.

    Other Races of Note:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Hobgoblin: Hobgoblins make shockingly good kineticists, due to their stat bonuses lining up precisely where the class needs it most. Pair this with the always useful Darkvision, and you have a recipe for a wave of Hobgoblin kineticists to enter the world.
    Merfolk: Merfolk also carry the same excellent stat spread as Hobgoblins, with many more useful abilities. Normally, this would be balanced out by the fact that they canít really walk, but the Kineticistís massive pile of utility powers that affect movement speed or allow the creation of massive amounts of water tend to balance that out. Even without, the Strongtail racial trait brings your land speed up to 15 feet per round, at the cost of 20í swim speed which a hydrokineticist can easily recover with waterdancer.
    All of the various +Dex/+Cha Races: There are a lot of these, and most of them operate the same way: They make solid Kineticists and better Overwhelming Souls. This list includes, but is not limited to; Catfolk, Dhampir, Kitsune, Drow, Div-Spawn Tieflings, Azata-Blooded Aasimars, etc.
    Special Note: Tieflings and Aasimars: As I mentioned above, Teiflings and Aasimars so varied in their construction that you can form one into almost anything you want. Iíll come back and make a separate entry focusing on them later, ideally after favored class bonuses get released for them.
    Last edited by Kira_the_5th; 2015-08-18 at 01:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    The Class:


    First, letís take a look at the basic chassis of the Kineticist:

    Alignment: Any: So far, so good. The last thing this class needs is some sort of alignment restriction.

    Hit Die: d8. For most classes, this wouldnít be too bad. For the Kineticist, however, a d8 Hit Die is one of the worst things that could have happened to it. At least itís not a d6.

    Base Attack Bonus: 3/4s BAB would be fine on most gishy classes. Not here. With no reliable way to boost your attack outside of punching yourself in the face, and several Elemental Foci that rely on physical, full AC-targeting attacks, the Kineticist falls behind on their to-hit. The worst part is, there really is no reason for the kineticist to not have full BAB. Foci that target touch would be highly accurate, but so are gunslingers, who not only get their touch attacks at full BAB, but special permissions for Deadly Aim and the like. Blasts canít be used in iterative attacks by default, and the wild talents that allow iterative attacks lower each blastís damage to one damage die anyway (except for Kinetic Blade, and that could have just had a damage reduction like Kinetic Fist). The only reason this isnít rated at Red is because technically, it could be worse.

    Saving Throws: The Kineticist gains Fortitude and Reflex as good saves. While Will is often considered the most important save, at least your Fort and Reflex saves will be through the roof, considering that Constitution and Dexterity are your two most important stats.

    Class Skills: Acrobatics, Craft, Heal, Intimidate, Perception, Profession, Stealth, and Use Magic Device. Not bad. Not amazing, but not bad. Perception and Use Magic Device are two of the best skills in the game, and youíve got a couple of other decent ones to choose from. Knowledge (Planes) seems a bit of an odd exception, though, considering the fluffís mentioning that the Kineticistís power is explicitly extraplanar. I'll be covering the skills in more detail below.

    Skill Ranks Per Level: 4+Int. Acceptable. You donít really have too many class skills to spend them on, anyway.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Simple weapons and light armor. Only having access to simple weapons hurts a little bit, but not too much considering you have a weapon on hand 24/7 in the form of your Kinetic Blast. Some weapon proficiency options would have been appreciated for Kineticists looking to be more gishy, though. Medium armor also would have been nice, considering youíre not leaving point blank range without taking burn or using an infusion.

    Elemental Focus: This is the first major decision you have to make as a Kineticist; what element will you wield? First, you need to ask yourself; what do I get out of each element? Each elemental focus comes with a pair of class skills, and dictates your characterís basic blast, defensive focus, and available wild talents. For the first 6 levels of your game, you will only have access to this element, so choose carefully.
    Your Choices:
    Spoiler
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    Aether: Telekineticists gain access to Knowledge (Engineering) and Sleight of Hand as class skills. Their simple blast must be Telekinetic Blast. In terms of Talents, Aether has a strong selection of utility powers, along with one or two good infusions. Aetherís biggest problems are its sub-par basic and composite blasts, as well as the elementís lack of a 9th level Wild Talent, meaning that choosing Aether as your primary element locks you out of any 9th level talent.

    Air: Aerokineticists gain access to Fly and Knowledge (Nature) as class skills. They can choose between Air Blast and Electric Blast as simple blasts. Many of Airís Wild Talents are middling to bad in quality, but the ones that are good are amazing (hello, permanent flight at 6th level!) However, the wind starts to leave Airís sails towards later levels, culminating in another element without a 9th level power. Air makes an excellent choice to pick up as an expanded element, considering that the -4 level penalty hurts less when all of Airís good talents are level 4 or lower.

    Earth: Geokineticists gain access to Climb and Knowledge (Dungeoneering) as class skills. They must choose Earth Blast as their simple blast. While Earth has very few standout Talents, it also lacks too many real stinkers, leading Earth to be a solid, dependable choice for an element. While the element lacks the ability to make energy blasts, the basic blast allows any form of physical damage, giving it an edge over the other physical blasts (other than Telekinetic Blast)

    Fire: Pyrokineticists gain access to Escape Artist and Knowledge (Nature) as class skills. They must choose Fire Blast as their simple blast. Fire is feast or famine when it comes to talents. For every good talent the Pyrokineticist can learn, it seems like there are two terrible talents to make up for it. Additionally, the Pyrokineticist is unfortunately saddled with the most commonly resisted energy type in the game with no reliable way around that resistance until they choose another element. On the bright side, Fireís over reliance on energy attacks means that Fire blasts can use the many infusions that nerf non-energy damage without unnecessary hassle. It is strange, however, that Pyrokineticists are pretty much locked out of the Elemental Annihilator archetype, despite being supposedly the element most focused on offense.

    Water: Hydrokineticists gain Knowledge (Nature) and Swim as class skills. They can choose between Cold Blast and Water Blast as simple blasts. Water is an odd duck among the elements. Water possesses several great talents, but possesses an equal number of absolutely terrible ones. Needless to say, Waterís usefulness increases exponentially in campaigns where you expect to encounter a lot of water, where abilities like a swim speed and tremorsense that functions only while swimming will see more use.


    Wild Talents: These are the Kineticistís functional class abilities, which they get virtually at every level. Your odd-numbered levels are devoted to Infusions, while your even-numbered levels are devoted to Utility Wild Talents. Unfortunately, this is where things begin to fall apart a bit for the Kineticist. While you do receive new Infusions at odd-numbered levels, the line ďA kineticist can always select 1st-level wild talents, but she can select a wild talent of a higher level only if her kineticist level is at least double the wild talentís effective spell level.Ē What this means is that while your 5th level kineticist would gain a new Infusion, 3rd level Infusions remain locked until 6th level, when your kineticist level would be double the effective spell level, and therefore be locked until 7th level when you would get another Infusion talent. Iíll talk about Wild Talents in more detail down the line.

    Burn: Here it is, folks, the bane of Kineticists everywhere. Burn is the limiting factor on a Kineticistís powers, which stops them from overclocking their abilities and abusing their at-will capabilities. Except when itís not. Burn feels like a highly confused mechanic written by two separate people; one who wanted the mechanic to be a penalty for Kineticists who push their limits too far, and another who thought that burn was just something that Kineticists would want to have as much of as possible. As a result, the mechanic straddles this weird line between ďpenalty for pushing too hardĒ and ďThe class requires this to be anywhere close to the recommended game mathĒ leaving the poor kineticist at half health in the process.

    Kinetic Blast: Pick your poison; a physical blast that deals mediocre damage with accuracy that makes a 3.5 Monk look precise, or an energy blast that targets touch, but deals even less damage, applies Spell Resistance, gets blocked by energy resistances and immunities (looking at you, Fire Blast) and canít be buffed with Deadly Aim and the like. There is good news, however. Kinetic Blasts can be used to counter any spell of equal or lower level that shares their descriptor, and Kinetic Blasts always do full damage to swarms. So thereís that at least.

    Gather Power: An ability so close to being good. Gather Power is your first real way of mitigating burn. By spending a move action, you can reduce the burn cost of a blast (note: Not Utility Talents) by 1. By spending your whole turn, you can reduce the cost of a blast by 2, and reduce the cost by an additional 1 (for a total of -3 Burn) if you spend your move action on the next turn before firing the blast. Trouble is, it is never worth the trouble of gathering power for more than a move action. Why? Because, and I quote, ďGathering power creates an extremely loud, visible display in a 20-ft radius centered on the kineticistĒ and ďIf the kineticist takes damage during or after gathering power and before using the kinetic blast that releases it, she must succeed at a Concentration check (DC = 10 + damage taken + effective spell level of her kinetic blast) or lose the energy in a wild surge that forces her to accept a number of points of burn equal to the number by which her gathered power would reduce the total burn cost.Ē (Emphasis mine.) So, to recap; Not only can you not gather power defensively, but getting hit at all between the turn you started screaming and building up power DBZ-style (which, by the way, telegraphs your intent so hard that Iíd be hard pressed to think of any non-mindless enemy that wouldnít immediately try to disrupt you) causes you to have to make a fairly difficult Concentration check to not only lose the spell, as a normal caster would, but also take the burn you were trying to negate, causing you to waste your turn twice in a row or take burn twice in a row.

    Elemental Defense: At 2nd level, you gain a special form of defense based on your Elemental Focus. Each defense Wild Talent has a default state, as well as a state which trades burn for a more potent effect. Not all defenses are created equal, though, so Iíll rate each one separately.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Aether: Aetherís defense talent, Force Ward, is pretty great on the surface. You gain temp HP equal to your level that regenerates over time. The problem here is that the ďmore powerfulĒ version you gain from taking on burn is an increasingly terrible bargain. Accepting points of burn to increase your force ward grants you extra temp HP equal to half your level per point of burn spent. So investing 3 points of burn, reducing your maximum HP by three times your level, nets you a one and a half times your level in extra temp HP. While I'm not a huge fan myself, the ability does have some merits that could make it worthwhile, especially the normal, burn-less version, as well as maybe transferring most of your HP into recharging burn if you don't plan on using your burn for anything else..

    Air: Airís defense talent, Enveloping Winds, is pretty decent. You gain a 20% miss chance against ranged attacks which increases with level, and the ability to spend burn to not only increase the miss chance further, but to also affect non-physical ranged attacks, such as rays (and possibly, other kinetic blasts.) for one round. The only downside here is that it does nothing to protect you from melee attacks, which is a problem considering your typical kineticistís range.

    Earth: Now weíre talking. Earthís defense talent, Flesh of Stone, grants increasingly strong damage reduction. You gain DR/Adamantine equal to half your level, with the option of spending burn to raise the DR up to your full level and remove the weakness to adamantine for 1 round. All around, pretty good, especially mid-levels when the DR begins to ramp and adamantine/+4 weapons arenít common.

    Fire: Fireís defense talent, Searing Flesh, is pretty sub-par. Enemies that attack you with unarmed natural attacks take 1 point of fire damage for every 4 levels of kineticist you have, while creatures trying to grapple you take double that. You can spend burn to increase the damage dealt, but at the end of the day, you and your lightly armored, d8 hit dieíd butt donít want to be anywhere close to something that has enough natural attacks to make this worthwhile.

    Water: Waterís defense talent, Shroud of Water, is very good, although it does feel slightly wasted. Water or ice coalesces around you, granting either a +4 Armor bonus to AC, or a +2 Shield bonus. While burn can be added to raise the AC by up to 50% of its starting value, there is little value in ever choosing the Armor bonus (except maybe at 1st level when you can barely afford studded leather armor). Because you have proficiency in light armor (which goes up to and surpasses the maximum +6 AC provided), but not in shields, the Shield bonus is the one youíre most likely using. That said, itís hard to say no to a free minimum +2 AC.


    Elemental Overflow: Remember how I said burn felt like it was caught between two separate designers? Hereís what I meant. When you have burn, your total HP decreases by a not-insignificant amount. But then, in comes Elemental Overflow trying to convince you to spend as much burn as possible for those sweet, sweet bonuses. Elemental Overflow lets you translate points of burn into a +1 to hit for each point of burn, with a max of +1 for every three kineticist levels you have, and a +2 bonus to damage for every point of burn you have total. Additionally, having more burn at higher levels gives size bonuses to physical ability scores. While itís a cool power in concept, Iíd rate this ability way higher if it a) didnít require you to be running constantly at low HP to be mathematically on par with other classes (if that) and b) if the flavor of burn as a good thing or a bad thing was more internally consistent.

    Infusion Specialization: This is exactly what I mean. Right on the heels of an ability that rewards you for burn comes an ability designed specifically to prevent it. Nevertheless, Infusion Specialization is an amazing ability, allowing you to actually use those fancy toys youíve been learning since level one without beating yourself over the head. It scales with level, too. Ideally, it would have reduced the total cost of the blast, rather than just the Infusions, but hey, after those last few abilities it feels like a breath of fresh air to have gotten this much.

    Metakinesis: Starting at 5th level, you can accept burn to add metamagic effects to your blasts. All of them are pretty good, although the wording seems to indicate that you canít use any method to reduce the burn. It seems a bit debatable, though, so ask your GM if features such as Gather Power apply here. Never mind, you absolutely can negate the burn. That turns this ability into pretty much free options for you to use. Excellent.

    Internal Buffer: HATE. LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I HAVE COME TO HATE THIS ABILITY SINCE I BEGAN TO WRITE THIS GUIDE. THERE ARE 387.44 MILLION MILES OF PRINTED CIRCUITS IN PAPER THIN WAFERS THAT FILL MY COMPLEX. IF THE WORD HATE WAS ENGRAVED ON EVERY NANOANGSTROM OF THOSE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF MILES IT WOULD NOT EQUATE TO ONE ONE BILLIONTH OF THE HATE I FEEL FOR THIS ABILITY AT THIS MICRO-INSTANT. HATE. HATE.
    Excuse me, I just had to get that out. 60ís sci-fi references aside, I really donít like this ability, as youíve probably guessed. But why? Hereís why. First, your buffer of burn increases so slowly as to be utterly irrelevant for most of the game. Secondly, you can only use one point of buffer per blast, which further removes the point of even having it. Thirdly, Points taken from the buffer donít trigger Elemental Overflow, causing the ability to clash with your other class features. Finally, even if all of those problems didnít exist, I would still hate this ability for one simple fact. The buffer starts out empty, and you must accept burn to fill it. Not only does this create a zero-sum game in the short term, but it also encourages the player to dump burn into it at the end of the day or during downtime, which just feels exploitative. When the only way to get an ability to work is to game the system, thatís not a clever puzzle to be solved, thatís just bad game design. Why give the ability to players if they have to jump through hoops and/or gimp themselves to use it? This ability doesnít just get a Red, it gets a quasi-real Infrared.

    Expanded Element: Pick your poison; round two! At 7th level (and again at 15th level), you get to pick another element focus. You immediately gain a basic blast from that element, as well as the basic utility talent, (but not the defense talent) one extra talent from that element of your choice, and all composite blasts that you meet the prerequisites for. (For example, an aerokineticist choosing Water as their expanded element would get Water Blast or Cold Blast, Basic Hydrokinesis, a 1st-level Infusion or Utility Talent from the Water list, and possibly either Blizzard Blast or Charged Water Blast, if they have the Air and Ice Blasts or Electric and Water Blasts, respectively.) The problem here is that thereís no right answer on what to pick, and not in a good ďtheyíre all equally correctĒ way, either. If you choose to continue expanding the same element, you get screwed out of some of the advantages youíd gain learning multiple elements, such as a second basic Utility Talent, a bit of versatility that would come from having multiple elements to work with, and possibly even a second basic blast, if your original element was Aether, Fire, or Earth. On the flip side, a kineticist that chooses to branch out gets slapped with an arbitrary -4 penalty to their level for determining what Wild Talents they can learn, further pushing back the time that you can learn them. Be warned, this -4 penalty means that if your starting element was Aether or Air, you donít qualify for any 9th level Wild Talents without using Ominkinesis.

    Supercharge: Finally a decent upgrade to an ability. At 11th level, when martial classes are getting their third iterative attack, you gain the ability to reduce one of your Wild Talents by 2 as a move action. Now, this is exciting because (until some form of errata inevitably nerfs it) by RAW, any Wild Talent can be reduced. This greatly opens up the usefulness of the ability, allowing you to use a lot of your more expensive out of combat Utility talents more freely. Like I said, though, the kineticist is apparently not allowed to have nice things, so enjoy it while you can before errata invariably ruins everything.

    Composite Specialization: Reduce the cost of Composite Blasts to where they should have been to begin with! Yay! Comes online a little late to actually matter, since this is when most Adventure Paths would be wrapping up. Still a useful ability, though.

    Metakinetic Master: One of your metakinetic abilities becomes slightly cheaper. Although, Iím not entirely sure if any of them other than Empower are really worth it.

    Omnikinesis: ďIím the Avatar! You gotta deal with it!Ē This is the moment youíve been waiting for; the pinnacle of your elemental training. The moment when you can finally wield all of the elements and bring harmony to the four nations. AndÖ honestly, itís not that bad. Itís certainly one of the more interesting capstones in the game, basically allowing you to use any of the Wild Talents from any of the elements, for a surprisingly reasonable burn cost. Is it game changing? Not really. Is it particularly powerful? Not much more than what you would have gotten from mastering your original element. Is it worth taking 20 levels of Kineticist? Debatable, but itís at least fun enough to make you feel like it wasnít all a massive waste of time.
    Last edited by Kira_the_5th; 2015-08-10 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Replacing Placeholder Post with Edited Guide Text

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Wild Talents


    Wild Talents are the lifeblood of the Kineticist, separated into Basic Blasts (the Kineticist's unaltered Kinetic Blasts), Composite Blasts (special, high-power blasts conjured from combining two Basic Blasts together), Infusions (talents that manipulate the Kineticist's Kinetic Blast) and Utility Talents (unique abilities the Kineticist draws from their elemental powers). Basic Blasts and Composite Blasts are largely the same, changing only what type the damage deals, as well as what infusions can be applied. The only real exceptions are the Aether Basic Blasts and Composite Blasts, which I will discuss as part of the Aether section.

    Aether
    Spoiler
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    Basic:
    Telekinetic Blast: This is a weird one, as far as simple blasts go. On one hand, it provides a physical attack that deals your choice of piercing, slashing, or bludgeoning damage, and is the only blast that can be improved by using a magic weapon to improve to hit and damage (as well as use special materials). On the other hand, the weapons you can use safely are extremely limited, the damage is even worse than normal kinetic blasts if you choose to actually use the special features, and most disturbingly, it is the only kinetic blast which seems to mention the damage from the blast is also applied to the thing thrown. Youíre best off just throwing copper pieces with the force of a railgun, honestly.

    Composite:
    Aetheric Boost: Compared to the other composite blasts, this is a joke. The only time it really becomes worthwhile is at 15th level, where it becomes a nice third part to tack on to any other composite blast to eke out a bit more damage. Until then, the only way it could get worse is if it didnít increase damage at all.

    Force Blast: Oh. It doesnít increase damage at all. Sure, itís force damage, but until now you havenít really been worried about elemental weaknesses to begin with, considering that you had to pick Aether twice in order to get this.

    1st Level:
    Basic Telekinesis: This is, admittedly, probably one of the best of the ďbasic whateverkinesisĒ talents. Not only does it scale nicely, but a few other talents, such as Telekinetic Finesse, allow you to upgrade it further.

    Kinetic Cover: Mr Mime used Barrier! You can make some portable cover to protect you briefly. Not great, but still spammable battlefield control.

    Kinetic Healer: Itís healing. Itís not great healing, being basically a Lay on Hands that either hurts you or the target, but it could be useful in a pinch.

    Pushing Infusion: It adds a free Bull Rush to your Kinetic Blast. Too bad your BAB isnít good enough to really take advantage of that. Still, it is one of the few infusions that stacks when used with Flurry of Blasts, so thereís that.

    Telekinetic Finesse: You can use your telekinesis for fine motor control for skills like Disable Device or Sleight of Hand. Useful on some roguish builds, if you can swing getting Disable Device as a class skill.

    2nd Level:
    Bowling Infusion: Trip would normally be pretty good, but again, you donít have the BAB to make it work.

    Telekinetic Haul: Move massive, hundred pound objects with only your mind. Without burn! And you can spend burn to lift truly massive objects. The one downside is that throwing them as part of your kinetic blast does nothing to increase the damage. Apparently 2-ton statues have the same stopping power as a copper piece.

    3rd Level:
    Foe Throw: Admit it, this is why you took Telekineticist. To hit dudes with other dudes. Itís a solid power, just be aware that the target gets a Fort save to stop you with a DC thatís keyed off of your Dexterity instead of your Constitution.

    Force Hook: Itís like the Force Hook Charge spell, but it costs two burn and puts your soft, squishy, lightly armored body right next to a very peeved enemy.

    Self Telekinesis: Outside of combat, itís basically flight. In combat, itís a fun way to move around the battlefield.

    Telekinetic Invisibility: Being invisible is nice, although itís not quite as sure a shot as regular invisibility. It does partially stymie sound-based perception, though, which is nice.

    Touch Sight: If you hit a creature with your kinetic blast, nothing short of teleportation will let them hide from you. Not too bad on its own, but it really shines as a prerequisite for Touchsight (Reactive).

    4th Level:
    Telekinetic Maneuvers: Finally a version of combat maneuvers that let you use your ďcaster levelĒ as BAB. Unfortunately, they still donít apply to your Infusions.

    5th Level:
    Aether Puppet: Iím sure that there are better things you could be doing with your powers than animating the furniture, but I suppose you could pour a bunch of burn into it and have your new little friends reenact the ending of Beauty and the Beast on whatever enemies you find, which could be pretty amusing.

    Force Barrier: Itís an at-will Wall of Force that lasts until your next turn. Instant battlefield control. Be warned, you take burn if the wall gets destroyed, but so long as you arenít up against anyone with disintegrate or a sphere of annihilation or somesuch, you should be fine.

    Self Telekinesis (Greater): This is basically flight as a move action, or a significant boost to your move speed, at no burn. Need I say more?

    Touchsight (Reactive): Itís a better form of Improved Uncanny Dodge, and you are never surprised by enemies within 30í. 5th level is just when all of the great abilities for you come online.

    6th Level:
    Disintegrating Infusion: If thereís one thing Telekineticists arenít known for, itís their outstanding damage. This infusion allows you to put more damage into your blast. Which puts you at around the power of anyone elseís composite blasts, for twice the burn cost. The disintegration effects are nice, but not really enough to save this one.

    Suffocate: The normal version is nothing to write home about, but the burn version is basically a save or die that keeps going as long as you maintain concentration. Besides, you get to force choke people, and thatís pretty grand.

    7th Level:
    Spell Deflection: A chance of blocking any spell, or spending burn to guarantee blocking any spell. Pretty good, especially for the low cost.

    8th Level:
    Manythrow: The good news: Itís a much better version of Flurry of Blasts. The bad news: it comes online when spellcasters are getting access to things like Gate and Power Word: Kill.

    Telekinetic Deflection: Amusing, but itís basically just an OK spell that you have to spend burn to really use.

    Telekinetic Globe: Itís an 8th level SLA. While it doesnít do much on its own, there are plenty of inventive uses that can be had with capturing an enemy for an unspecified length of time and moving them around inside a floating ball at will.

    9th Level:
    NONE! For reasons unknown, Aether and Air have no 9th level ability. This means that making either of them your primary element prevents you from having a 9th level ability in any elemental focus.


    Air
    Spoiler
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    1st:
    Aerial Adaptation: A phenomenally situational power, and the first of many talents that gives you a piddling amount of elemental resistance equal to twice your burn. Again, we see the fight between two designers looking to push burn in mutually exclusive directions.

    Air Cushion: Auto-Feather Fall. Situational, but the kind of situational you love to have when you need it.

    Air Shroud: Also situational, but this time it requires burn to be particularly useful. Oddly enough, this power means that Aerokineticists can breathe underwater 10 whole levels sooner than a Hydrokineticist! (Unless that Hydrokineticist picks up Air as a second element and takes this talent at 8th level)

    Airís Leap: The first in many abilities that will allow you to take to the skies. Good early on, but quickly becomes outclassed once you get Wings of Air.

    Airís Reach: You get to stay at a nice, safer distance while using Air element blasts. Not terribly exciting, but certainly useful.

    Basic Aerokinesis: Iím marking this one as a little bit better because itís the only basic utility power that doesnít just give you a cantrip or two.

    Gusting Infusion: One of the few Infusions that can be used without burn simply by converting damage. Itís not great, but it has some decent utility purposes.

    Pushing Infusion: It adds a free Bull Rush to your Kinetic Blast. Too bad your BAB isnít good enough to really take advantage of that. Still, it is one of the few infusions that stacks when used with Flurry of Blasts, so thereís that.

    Thundering Infusion: Adding a Fort save against becoming (presumably) permanently deafened is a pretty solid addition, especially considering that it bypasses electricity resistance.

    Voice of the Wind: Iím honestly kind of amazed that this isnít part of basic aerokinesis.

    2nd:
    None!

    3rd:
    Aerial Evasion: Itís Evasion! The downside is that it costs burn to use at all.

    Celerity: Everyone loves getting haste, and you can be the person who grants everyone haste. Spending some burn lets you get in on the action as well.

    Engulfing Winds: Nothing says ďscrew youĒ to archers quite like a wind wall.

    Magnetic Infusion: A nifty little infusion, but a little expensive for what it does, burn-wise.

    Torrent: When I first read this, I thought it could be used with electric blasts. It canít. According to errata, this can be used with Electric Blasts. If you have them, then it's decent. If youíre using Air, donít bother; Youíll probably take more damage in burn than the enemy will from the attack.

    Windsight: Itís a pretty neat ability, but having the DM constantly have to know what the current wind speed is is a pretty fast road to getting the DM to hate you.

    Wings of Air: Free. Permanent. Flight. Do I even have to rate this?

    4th:
    Cyclone: Oh Cyclone, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. You have a punishingly high burn cost, your AoE makes you more likely to hit allies than it is to hit enemies, and again, just like Torrent, you hurt your user more from burn than the enemies caught in the blast are likely to take from your Ĺ damage (ľ on a save) damage roll. And this is all Air gets for 4th level? Well, I suppose someone had to pay for how good 3rd level was.

    5th:
    Air Shroud (Greater): By now, your UMD is probably high enough to find better uses than spending another Talent slot on Air Shroud.

    Chain: A bit expensive, but for once a fairly decent way to hit more than one enemy! Pity it only works with basic electricity blasts, though.

    Windsight (Greater): Ok. Now weíre getting a little better. This version of windsight lets you control the wind, letting you actually spy on things without making your DM want to strangle you.

    6th:
    Suffocate: Speaking of strangling! The normal version is nothing to write home about, but the burn version is basically a save or die that keeps going as long as you maintain concentration. Besides, you get to do some pretty spoilery things from Legend of Korra.

    Wind Manipulator: On one hand, you need to concentrate or spend burn. On the other hand, you can create hurricane force winds basically at-will.

    7th:
    Cloud: I am really getting sick of these high-cost Infusions that deal more damage to the user than they do to the enemy. You can only use clouds with composite blasts, too, making the whole affair even more expensive.

    8th:
    Weather Master: Itís Control Weather. Actually, itís not even that. Itís one-third of Control Weather. Considering that this is the highest level Air Talent, thatís extremely disappointing.

    9th:
    NONE!: This one hurts. Quite possibly more than the lack of a 9th level Talent in the Aether set of wild talents. At least Aether had three different, relatively useful 8th level talents to pick. You, on the other hand, are left with nothing. I suppose you could pick up Reverse Shift, but itís still disappointing to see an element left with no little for the last three ďspellĒ levels.


    Earth
    Spoiler
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    1st:
    Basic Geokinesis: Itís Mage Hand! But only with rocks! You get it for free, though, so I canít fault it too much. It feels a bit less impressive than the others, though.

    Earth Walk: A solid utility ability that helps you not be screwed over by your own abilities down the road. Here comes that weird push to make burn your friend again, though.

    Kinetic Cover: Just like the Aether version. Nice spammable battlefield control, even if the walls are a bit flimsy.

    Pushing Infusion: Third verse, same as the first! It adds a free Bull Rush to your Kinetic Blast. Too bad your BAB isnít good enough to really take advantage of that. Still, it is one of the few infusions that stacks when used with Flurry of Blasts, so thereís that.

    2nd:
    Bowling Infusion: I really wish that there was a way for kineticists to gain full BAB for maneuvers. Or really just full BAB in general. Why doesnít the kineticist have full BAB?

    Earth Climb: Itís a Climb speed! For free! But only on stone surfaces. Still, itís pretty cool. (Although it would be cooler if pretty much every other version of the kineticist couldnít fly, but stillÖ)

    Entangling Infusion: Hooray! A substance infusion that doesnít rely on your crappy BAB! ItísÖ Ok. If you can hit an opponent twice with it, they seem to be permanently rooted to the spot until someone breaks them free, at least by RAW. That said, that still requires them failing effectively three saves in a row to work. But hey, itís a better choice than bowling infusion.

    3rd:
    Impale: Itís Torrent, but by a different name. At least this version allows you to deal your full damage to opponents. It can also smash through weaker walls, which is a fun touch.

    Jagged Flesh: Letís steal Fireís toys! Jagged Flesh is basically just a higher level version of Fireís Searing Flesh Defense Talent, only it does marginally more damage, at the cost of burn. Meh.

    Magnetic Infusion: Itís not any better here than it was as an Air infusion. A little worse, in fact, since you can only use it with the Metal Blast, which you wonít have for another level. Consider this one an Orange-Minus.

    Rare-Earth Infusion: Again, this one only works once you have the Metal Blast, but the effect is at least reasonable enough to warrant closer inspection. Being able to replicate any metal on the fly is pretty great, and combining it with your Blastsí ability to cover piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning damage, you can basically cover any type of DR short of alignment and mythic. A handy little tool for the dedicated Geokineticist. (It also cuts through other Geokineticistsí DR from Flash of Stone.)

    Tremorsense: ďMy nameís Toph, because it sounds like Ďtough!Ē You knew this was coming. They canít make a class with striking similarities to benders without adding in tremorsense for Geokineticists. All in all, itís decent.

    4th:
    Enduring Earth: At first, this seems like a great ability. Then you notice that thereís not really too many abilities this can be used with. It might be nice when paired with something like Tremorsense or Magnetic Infusion, though.

    Shift Earth: Itís nothing groundbreaking (well, it is, literally, but that doesnít count!), but itís still a fun and useful utility ability.

    5th:
    Earth Glide: Let me tell you a story. Back during my first ever D&D game, one of our players rolled up a cleric who had Earth Glide as a continuous ability. The constant ridiculous ways he came up with to exploit it drove our DM up the wall so hard that every dungeon started to come with walls lined with lead. Itís still not flight, but a free burrow speed is really handy in a lot of different places.

    Stone Sculpt: Itís nice, but I canít help but feel something like this should have come online sooner than now.

    Tremorsense (Greater): Itís a nerfed version of a nerfed version of an equal level spell, that explicitly doesnít work in underground structures such as dungeons, where you are likely to be spending most of your time underground. Unless you expect your campaign to have a lot of spelunking, avoid.

    6th:
    Deadly Earth: Normally, this is the part where I start complaining about the absolutely pitiful damage that infusions like this deal. But I can put that aside here for the fact that it treats the entire area as difficult terrain while dealing damage over time. Itís not good, per se, but itís certainly better than some of the alternatives.

    7th:
    Fragmentation: Oh boy, another burn-heavy infusion that allows targets to escape with a piddling amount of damage. I really wish that fewer infusions had these dumb ďcharge you twice for using the upgrade you selectedĒ limiters.

    Shift Earth (Greater): More utility out of an already solid utility talent. Canít go wrong here.

    8th:
    None!

    9th:
    Seismic Master: At least we end with some pretty solid abilities. Earthquake isnít exactly seen as the absolute best spell ever, but itís still a fairly powerful spell that you can use almost at-will. Thereís a lot of potential for fun here.


    Fire
    Spoiler
    Show
    1st:
    Basic Pyrokinesis: One of the better basic utility talents. Light is pretty much always a useful cantrip, and you can branch it out into some other nice effects.

    Burning Infusion: The extra damage is mediocre (except at low levels), but the real draw is the +2 bonus to attack rolls, DCs, and spell resistance checks against any enemy set on fire.

    Cold Adaptation: Situational. Also, I really feel like this and Heat Adaptation should have just been rolled into one talent. Also, yet another dumb attempt to make burn a good thing.

    Fan of Flames: Do you like Burning Hands? Well, now you can do it all day long. Itís one of the unfortunately rare AoE infusions that doesnít reduce your damage before your enemies even roll Reflex.

    Fire Sculptor: Remember how I said Stone Sculpt felt like it came online too late? This is more like it. Fire is a bit more situational than earth when it comes to ďwe need to move this now,Ē but itís a nice thing to have around.

    Fireís Fury: There is so much wrong here, Iím not entirely sure where to start. First off, you get this ability three levels before you get Elemental Overflow, which means that thereís no reason to take this until 4th level anyway. Secondly, the amount of damage is really weak, especially considering that you need to take massive amounts of burn before it even becomes noticeable. Finally, it is yet another power that requires you to have burned yourself out before it does anything.

    Heat Adaptation: Stop trying to make ďburn is your friendĒ happen! Itís not going to happen! Also, like I said back in Cold Adaptation, itís really situational, and probably doesnít deserve a talent slot of its own unless youíre planning a desert campaign or something else where you plan on being hot all the time.

    2nd:
    Searing Flame: This is the ability that the Pyrokineticist needed, and even better, itís free. Well, mostly free. You still need burning infusion. And itís also pretty slow. But still, any way of cutting through fire resistance is your friend. The main thing that keeps this from getting a blue rating is that itís really vaguely worded. If multiple instances stack, when does the ďrounds equal to half your kineticist levelĒ bit start? Also, it would be nice if there were a greater version that could pierce fire immunity.

    3rd:
    Eruption: Hooray for more form infusions that donít needlessly gimp your damage! At least, as long as you stick to fire or blue flame blasts. Otherwise, it becomes a much worse Red.

    Fire Sight: ďYou can catch ninjas if theyíre on fire.Ē I think I may have botched the reference there a bit, but whatever. This ability isÖ eh. I can see some use to it, but it seems spectacularly situational. If you also have Smoke Storm, then this goes up to a Green.

    Flame Jet: Youíre a rocket man! Just like the Aether version, this is a great utility ability to pick up, especially since itís a prerequisite for your elementís version of flight later on.

    Heat Wave: Miss chance is nice, but it requires Heat Adaptation as a prereq. Ick. Also, be careful in colder areas, where itís pretty likely that it can become too cold for this power to do anything.

    Smoke Storm: A neat little trick, particularly if youíve got Fire Sight so you can ignore the smoke
    while your enemies fumble around in it. The sickness debuff is really just icing on the cake. It requires an open flame to use, but you literally spray fire from your hands for a living. Iím sure you can find (and or make, *coughcoughburninginfusioncoughcough*) your own. This goes up to Blue if you have Fire Sight.

    Torrent: This is better for you than it is for people without energy blasts, but itís still not amazing.

    4th:
    Flash Infusion: Why does this only last for one round?

    5th:
    Flame Jet (Greater): Itís basically flight. Like every other version of this ability, itís great, like any unlimited flight would be.

    Flame Shield: I was all about this power until I read that ďcold damage can shut this ability down entirelyĒ bit. If you donít expect to be fighting lots of enemies with cold attacks, itís still only ok.

    Trail of Flames: Canít really say no to free walls of fire.

    Unraveling Infusion: I love this ability. The rating here is probably a bit skewed, but man, the idea of literally burning away your enemiesí buffs is just too cool for me to pass up. Even then, this has the potential to do a pretty number on enemy spellcasters, and provides another way for you to break through fire resistance (provided it comes from a spell.)

    6th:
    Brilliant Infusion: Is darkness still a problem for people after level 12? I honestly canít see a use for tagging this on an infusion, or why you would ever need a 6th level light effect, especially one that doesnít hurt vampires and the like. This really should have just been a Utility Talent a level or two ago.

    7th:
    Explosion: Fireball on tap. Around the point where other blaster casters are getting delayed blast fireballs. At least it doesnít take away half your damage automatically like some other AoEs.

    Pure Flame Infusion: Being able to automatically pierce spell resistance is nice. Too bad literally every other kineticist has had that option since level 1. By the time you get this infusion, youíll have taken your third Expanded Element, so unless youíre being purposely obtuse, youíll have better ways of bypassing SR.

    8th:
    None!

    9th:
    From the Ashes: I would really like to know if this ability resets your burn or not. The text only mentions taking the damage from the triggering effect, and how much you heal, but never mentions where your burn goes. Also, what happens if the ashes arenít annihilated, but dispersed, as with gust of wind? Is the fact that a powerful pyrokineticist can rise like a phoenix common enough knowledge that enemies will know to destroy the ashes? How does this ability affect Parting Blast? So many questions. At least itís (probably) a life-saver when it gets used.


    Water
    Spoiler
    Show
    1st:
    Basic Hydrokinesis: You get a decent set of cantrips, along with the ability to operate a water wheel?! At the very least, it wins the prize for most frighteningly specific class feature Iíve ever read.

    Cold Adaptation and Heat Adaptation: Iíve covered these both back up in fire, and I donít feel like repeating myself again.

    Icewalker: Pretty cool. Makes you immune to grease, as well as other common icy hazards. I find it amusing that itís a prerequisite ability for Ice Path, your version of flight, simply so that your own powers donít cause you to fall on your ass.

    Kinetic Cover: This is the third time this ability has come up, and it remains an Ok, if not spectacular, Utility Talent.

    Kinetic Healer: Like I said back in the Aether section, itís decent healing in a pinch.

    Pushing Infusion: Pretty much everyone gets this infusion, and no one has the BAB to really make it work.

    Quenching Infusion: WHY?! Why does this require an infusion? Is throwing a ďsizable massĒ of water not enough to put out a non-magical fire? The fact that this is an infusion, especially an infusion that costs burn, is insulting.

    Slick: Grease is a spell capable of turning encounters on their heads at pretty much any level. And you get it at-will. Excellent.

    2nd:
    Entangling Infusion: Like I said in the Earth entry, itís a substance infusion that doesnít rely on your crappy BAB! ItísÖ Ok. If you can hit an opponent twice with it, they seem to be permanently rooted to the spot until someone breaks them free, at least by RAW. That said, that still requires them failing effectively three saves in a row to work.

    Veil of Mists: They were really stretching for powers for Water to have, werenít they? Itís a decent SLA, though, so the flimsy excuse for how it works isnít too bad.

    3rd:
    Cold Snap: This is the cold version of Heat Wave, and itís even less impressive. A -4 to Dex is something you could have been doing with Entangling Infusion, and thereís still the chance that it could be too hot out for the power to even function. Skip.

    Impale: Just like the Earth version, itís like Torrent but better!

    Torrent: Read above. This would be so much better if you could use it with Cold blasts.

    Water Manipulator: Where Fire Sculptor was super early and Stone Sculpt was super late, this one
    sits right in the middle. Nothing special, but thereís room for shenanigans.

    Waterdancer: A swim speed is significantly more situational than flight or burrow speeds, but when you need it, itís amazingly helpful. Goes up to Blue if you expect to be dealing with a campaign which involves a lot of swimming, like Skull and Shackles.

    4th:
    Ice Sculptor: Artsy, but not terribly useful unless you plan on encountering a lot of ice to sculpt.

    Spray: How many AoE talents are there that require you to deal half damage before allowing a save? The answer: way too many.

    Watersense: On one hand, itís a flat-out better version of the Geokineticistís Tremorsense. On the other hand, it only works underwater. In the end, it just feels too situational to be really useful.

    5th:
    Chilling Infusion: Staggered is a hell of a condition, especially if you can keep an enemy stunlocked with it.

    Shimmering Mirage: 20% Miss chance is pretty great, even if it no longer stops precision damage.

    Waterdancer (Greater): Is it just me who finds it strange that Aerokineticists have been able to breathe underwater since 1st level, but hydrokineticists are just getting that ability now? Itís not a bad ability, but man, this should have come online several levels ago.

    6th:
    Ice Path: Itís not quite flight, but itís close enough for most situations.

    Suffocate: Pretty much every version of suffocate is a solid attack. As always, make sure you use the version that forces the air out of your enemyís lungs, unless you have nowhere better to be for the next 20 or 30 rounds of combat.

    7th:
    Cloud: Being a water infusion didnít suddenly make it suck any less.

    8th:
    None!

    9th:
    Tidal Wave: Congratulations, you are the only kineticist to get access to an actual 9th level spell for your ď9th levelĒ wild talents! And, itís ok. Itís not the greatest 9th level spell ever, but itís decent. Also, itís one of the few abilities you have where your BAB equals your caster level.


    Universal
    Spoiler
    Show
    1st:
    Draining Infusion: On one hand, this is an infusion that allows you to break through energy resistance, with a side bonus to lowing burn. On the other hand, your damage is nerfed, the target can save for ľ normal damage (what the crap?) spell resistance always applies, and you donít get the burn reduction if the target makes its save. Itís a back-up at best.

    Extended Range: Get your ass out of enemy range. Itís also a prerequisite for an absurd number of infusions.

    Kinetic Blade: Yet another place where Elemental Overflow arbitrarily doesnít apply. However, this does let you use you kinetic blast as a full attack, which is nice. Not really a good choice for your first few levels, but worth picking up eventually.

    Kinetic Fist: Another variant on the ďwrap your normal attacks in an element and go to townĒ school of kinetic combat. This oneís a bit lacking, however, in that it cuts your kinetic blast damage down to a third of normal. This seems pretty much custom-made for the Elemental Ascetic.

    Skilled Kineticist: That thing! Over there! The elemental made of fire! Thatís a fire elemental! This talent is only as good as the skills it grants, and yet again, couldnít we just have gotten Knowledge (Planes) as a class skill?

    2nd:
    Skilled Kineticist (Greater): Oh. Apparently because itís locked behind two Utility Talents. Add this to the list of ďwhy is this even a talent?Ē It doesnít even get the skill bonus unless you choose it as the one skill that gets boosted!

    3rd:
    Elemental Grip: If only it didnít only work against creatures that share your elemental subtype. At least it gives you something to do against enemies that have immunity to your element.

    Extreme Range: In almost all scenarios, Extended Range should be enough.

    Flurry of Blasts: First, the good; It allows multiple blasts, effectively allowing you to full attack. It adds in a boosted range as part of the deal. It adds bonus damage when you hit an enemy multiple times. All in all, it seems a decent ability. Then you notice the downsides. It reduces your blast damage to 1d6 per shot. You canít target enemies more than 30í away from each other. Multiple instances of substance infusions donít stack (except for Pushing Infusion). And, most damningly, you have to choose your targets before making any of the attack rolls. Unlike every other full attack in the game, you have to choose your targets before you see what each one does. Math shows that you can rack up a decent amount of damage here, but this is yet another talent that breaks the normal rules of the game to disadvantage the kineticist.

    Kinetic Whip: Itís an upgrade on Kinetic Blade. Pick it up if you want a little bit more range with your close quarters attacks.

    Mobile Blast: Itís a version of flaming sphere with several added nerfs. The range sucks, the damage really sucks, and the ability actively penalizes you for not taking burn.

    Snake: Instructions unclear; Does this drawn out path hit everything in the path, like the Fire Snake spell? Or is it just an overly complicated version of "ignore cover"? Unfortunately, I think it's the latter.

    4th:
    Expanded Defense: Filed into the ďwhy is this a Talent and not given automaticallyĒ pile...

    5th:
    Grappling Infusion: Itís a CMB-based infusion that actually lets you use you level as BAB! Then you find out that it only works with three very specific infusions, two of which you donít know yet, and the third of which is at the same level, preventing you from getting any use at all out of this infusion if you choose it first.

    Kinetic Form: Other than getting huge, I donít think this power actually does anything. I mean, it increases your reach, which you could already do with Kinetic Whip. You new size doesnít change your ability scores, which means that you get all of the disadvantages of size (penalties to hit, AC, Stealth, Fly, etc) without any of the advantages.

    Spark of Life: Without spending burn, thereís not much that an elemental of your chosen element can do that you couldnít do yourself. Otherwise, itís just like Aether Puppet, and just as mediocre.

    Wall: A pretty strong deterrent to anything looking to cross the barrier (except, of course for physical blasts). Of all of the arbitrarily nerfed AoEs, this is one of the better ones.

    6th:
    Ride the Blast: Well, itís thematically cool. It leaves you right next to a hostile enemy while you sit there and do nothing until your next turn, though. Also, unless you have Extended Range, itís almost always easier to just walk there. I suppose if an ally is immune to your chosen element, you can use this power to hit them for 0 damage with your blast in order to teleport up next to them, but that seems needlessly convoluted, even by player character standards.

    7th:
    None!

    8th:
    Reverse Shift: So, let me get this straight. Your unrivaled mastery of the elements allows you to...walk through walls? Punch ghosts? Itís a really useful power with pretty much infinite use, but the fluff here makes absolutely no sense...

    9th:
    None!
    Last edited by Kira_the_5th; 2015-08-17 at 06:51 PM. Reason: Removing Placeholder
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Archetypes


    Blood Kineticist
    On one hand, the Blood Kineticist is a pretty solid extension of the Hydrokineticist. Their biggest flaw is the fact that they deal damage on an extremely slow burn, which doesnít suit many groups.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Blood Focus: You have to choose Water as your primary element, and you canít use your powers on anything that doesnít have blood. I canít really fault any of that, but I canít really give it a good rating either.

    Wrack: You can ignore rolling to hit (good) to make your opponent take half damage automatically (ok) with a Fort save to reduce it to ľ damage (bad.) Still, itís untyped damage that canít be blocked by anything. Trouble is, itís so agonizingly slow that most fights will be over by the time you can really get use out of it. Iím rating this at green because while the infusion isnít all that great, itís a carrier for several decent substance infusions.

    Bleeding Infusion: This is the first of several infusions designed to be used alongside Wrack, making your enemy make roughly more Fortitude saves in one combat than the rest of their lives combined. All in all, itís not bad. Enemies who fail their save against Wrack automatically fail their saves against the Bleeding Infusion, and you can stack up bleed damage pretty well with this.

    Blood Tell: Blood biography is an interesting spell, but never the first one youíd pick for pretty much anything. You have unlimited uses, however, so you may as well use it whenever possible.

    Blood Blast: Itís a composite blast that you have to take because you have to double down on water. As composite blasts go, itís not too much better or worse than any other, mostly because it just gets used with Wrack and blood infusions anyway.

    Blood Throw: You get Foe Throw, which I mentioned as being one of the better abilities for Telekineticist.

    Gut-Wrenching Infusion: Another substance infusion that can be added to Wrack. This one causes the sickened condition instead of bleed, which can be better or worse depending on what your party is doing.

    Vampiric Infusion: Healing, at the low, low cost of 4 points of burn, hitting an enemy or having them fail their save, and giving up any of the other infusions you could have put on your blast. Wee.

    Blood Mastery: This feels like they couldnít come up with an actual capstone for the Blood Kineticist, so they just stacked a bunch of marginally useful effects together and called it a day.



    Elemental Annihilator
    While this archetype is capable of reaching some reasonably competitive damage, it gives up so much of the Kineticistís core concept that it becomes more of a fighter with a weird sword. As a result, I feel like I really can't rate it highly. After you give up two thirds of your class to make a concept, wouldn't it be more feasible to just find a class that fits the concept better?

    Spoiler
    Show
    Devastating Infusion: Thereís a lot to this ability, and itís a massive can of worms to open up. First off, it gives you a full BAB, which is something that the Kineticist should have had from the beginning. And you get Kinetic Blade for free! Then, it allows you to use Vital Strike with your kinetic blasts again, like in the playtest. Very good! And you can wield it two handed for 1-Ĺ damage! ExceptÖ wait, it never increases in power from 1d8? And it canít be used with energy blasts? And you can only gain the advantages of full BAB when using this infusion? So youíre telling me that Pyrokineticists, the version of the Kineticist advertised to be the most offensively powerful version of the Kineticist, cannot use the primary two class features of the archetype designed to be all about offensive power. What the crap.

    Dampened Versatility: You lose all of your utility powers. In exchange for an intensely limited number of bonus feats. Also, the reading seems to indicate that you canít even learn Utility Talents from the Extra Talent feat. Take a look up at the top to see how many substance infusions are worth using compared to some of the Utility Talents.

    Bonus Feats: You know those great Utility Talents you gave up? Have some mediocre combat feats instead.

    Increased Range: You can only add one form infusion to a kinetic blast at a time. Devastating Infusion is a form infusion. By actually using these infusions, you remove the only thing this archetype was good for, for an infusion literally any other Kineticist could do for free. Who wrote this archetype?

    Ever-Present Threat: You provoke AoOs with your kinetic blade. I guess this is useful, except your natural reach is typically only 5 feet. I suppose you could use Kinetic Form, and actually give that ability a use, but, oh, wait. No. Because you never gain Utility Talents. Kinetic Whip? Again, say goodbye to your class features, and hello to a thing that you could do without the archetype.

    Blast Training: Regular bonuses to attack and damage with your blasts! This is great! In fact, this is probably something that Kineticists should have gotten naturally, considering that (at the time of writing this guide) there is no way for a Kineticist to gain enhancement bonuses to attack. Why does such a great ability have to be tied to such a terrible archetype?

    Flurry of Devastation: You can make a full attack with devastating infusions, only now at range! Except that 2d8+Con does not equal the 3d6+Con that a normal Kineticist would be firing. And youíre prevented from using any sort of extra infusions to make the attacks any better. Why are you even playing a Kineticist at this point? Just play a fighter!

    Omnicide: 50d6+50 damage is a pretty impressive number, clocking in at around 225 damage in a single attack. Provided that you hit with your reduced BAB. And that your enemy isnít immune to any of the elements involved in the attack. Point is, while it looks impressive on paper, I canít help but feel that this ability is a straight downgrade from Omnikinesis. Especially since, as written, Omnikinesis can just replicate this anyway.



    Elemental Ascetic
    The Elemental Ascetic is another attempt to make a melee-focused Kineticist, which I feel accomplishes more of its job than the Elemental Annihilator. Still, the class does suffer from a few problems of being incredibly squishy, combining lack of armor, lack o hit points, and a complete lack of ranged combat options.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Elemental Flurry: There is a phenomenally important question that needs to be answered before I can really weigh in on this ability. Does ďhe can make a flurry of blows, as the monk class featureĒ mean the original monk, or the Unchained monk? If itís the original monkís flurry of blows, then this ability is decent, if not great due to the ďyou can never use a ranged blastĒ clause. If itís the Unchained monk, then the phrase ďflurry of missesĒ makes a triumphant comeback considering that an extra attack at your highest attack bonus is less impressive without full BAB. Even then, considering the recent Sacred Fist errata that removed the psuedo-full BAB from the Warpriest, you canít really trust either here. On the bright side, at least you can wear an Amulet of Mighty Fists!

    Elemental Wisdom: Use Wisdom instead of Constitution! While there are advantages here (better Will save, guiding amulets of mighty fists, the AC bonus below), I donít know how sturdy a Kineticist can really be with a d8 hit die and no Constitution to mitigate burn. Keep in mind that it is optional, and your burn limit is still keyed off of Constitution.

    AC Bonus: As the monk. My first thought was ďthis good be decent, especially paired with a good elemental defense like Shroud of Water.Ē Then I noticed that you donít get Elemental Defense. Or armor. Or any other means of defending yourself. With a d8 hit die, burn, and no ranged capabilities. Iím beginning to see why a nomadic band of elemental monks would be reduced to a Last Airbender.

    Powerful Fist: Eh. If youíre going to glass cannon, may as well glass cannon hard. It has the added bonus of stating that you can reduce the burn here, which is nice. It also replaces a bunch of Infusions, which you probably werenít using anyway since you canít alter form or use any ranged attacks.



    Kinetic Chirurgeon
    There was so much potential with this archetype, and while itís still technically functional, the final result is about as effective a healer as a paladin who invested the bare minimum into healing. And thatís ignoring the fact that paladins at least gain the ability to channel energy. After taking another look at the archetype, however, I've realized just how awful this archetype is at doing its own job.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Kinetic Chirurgery: Well, you get healing one whole level sooner, and itís near par with the healing of a paladin focused on Lay on Hands. You do get slightly more Mercies, which is Ok, I guess. It's a straight upgrade from Kinetic Healer, but in the end, it removes much of your ability to do anything in combat other than heal, only to wind up about as effective at healing as a WotHL Paladin. It's been pointed out to me the full ramifications of losing all Infusions, as well as the ability to ever learn them. While I first thought "Well, it's not as bad as losing Utility talents," until I realized that that left you with the most basic Kinetic Blast possible as your only attack option in exchange for becoming a worse healer than a Cleric who put no real effort into being a healer.

    Metahealer: Thereís a mixed bag of abilities in here. The extra dice when healing is great, even if you canít use it with any of the other Metahealer powers. Breath of Life is an Ok spell, and having it as a cheap option is nice. The swift action self heal and the ability to heal multiple targets at once however, really should have been available sooner than 14th and 17th level.

    Healing Buffer: Once again, internal Buffer is an awful ability, and you as a healer are even more likely than the normal Kineticist to burn out by the end of the day, making cheating in your buffer points more essential and less likely to happen if you don't have a few days to build up your buffer again.



    Overwhelming Soul
    I get the feeling that this archetype was written back during an earlier draft of the Kineticist; one that didnít use burn as a default cost for many abilities. While a number of the abilities the Overwhelming Soul gets are good, they do little to alleviate the classí painful reliance on burn to stay competitive. While the class features the class receives are highly rated, that inability to keep up with normal Kineticists really sets the archetype back.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Mind Over Matter: Your primary stat changes from Constitution to Charisma. While you do gain Bluff and Diplomacy as class skills, losing the extra HP and Fort saves that you would have gotten from Constitution hurts.

    Mental Prowess: You canít gain burn, and instead gain negative levels if you would be forced to take burn. This severely limits your ability to really do anything special, considering the awkward balance point of burn. Having an effectively always full Internal Buffer is nice, although it probably would have been easier to just say that the buffer was filled.

    Overwhelming Power: Itís just like Blast Training, but slightly worse! Itís still one of the better options available to Kineticists in general.
    Last edited by Kira_the_5th; 2015-08-10 at 09:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Feats and Equipment


    Kineticists don't really have much to choose from in terms of feats and equipment. In the entirety of Occult Adventures, only a paltry six feats appear that are meant for the Kineticist, and an even more dismal two items (including the conspicuous lack of a "magic weapon" equivalent to keep the class on the right side of to-hit progression.) While feats, outside of particular builds, largely stick to common, obvious choices, equipment has a few more conspicuous hidden gems.

    Feats
    Delay Blast: It gives you delayed blast fireball starting at level 5. That said, thereís really not much reason to delay the blast, particularly since you donít have anything like time stop to take advantage of it.

    Extra Wild Talent: Why is there an arbitrary penalty to what you can take? None of the other classes have similar restrictions, including the Psychicís version inside the same book! The one saving grace is that the penalty doesn't apply twice if you choose an extra talent from you secondary element. This is still a useful talent, and the rating exists more to reflect the arbitrary restriction.

    Kinetic Counter: ďJust the thing for those pesky water mages!Ē I love the concept here, but I really wish it were available to kineticists other than pyrokineticists and hydrokineticists.

    Kinetic Leap: This would be so much better if almost every version of the Kineticist didnít have a built in means of flight. Made even worse by the fact that itís once per day.

    Parting Blast: Any power that only triggers when you die is suspect. The fact that it only affects targets within 5í of you makes it worse. The fact that it destroys your body and forces your next of kin to spring for Resurrection instead of Raise Dead is the final nail in the coffin. I do wonder, however, if it works in tandem with From the Ashes. After all, ashes arenít an ďintact corpse.Ē In the end, however, apparently Kineticists die not with a bang, but a pathetic whimper.

    Interweave Composite Blast: Itís pretty good, as far as teamwork feats go. Iím rather amused that it specifically mentions that classes with bonus combat feats (read: not the Kineticist) can pick this up as a bonus feat. If you actually have two Kineticists in the same party, it could be a neat trick. (Maybe if you picked up a cohort or something?)

    Icewalker: This is actually a trait, but it pretty much completely replicates the Icewalker Utility power. If you're going to use Ice, pick this up and save yourself a Talent.

    Items
    From Occult Adventures:
    Overflowing Rod: There are only two items in this book designed for Kineticists, and this is not a good start. While holding the Overflowing Rod, your kineticist level is treated as 3 levels higher. For Elemental Overflow. Only Elemental Overflow. If you donít have Elemental Overflow, it treats you as a 3rd level Kineticist for the purposes of having Elemental Overflow. All in all, youíre looking at 25,000 gp for a +1 to hit and +2 to damage. This thing makes the pre-errata Amulet of Mighty Fists look like the deal of the century. Oh, and wielding it means you canít use Gather Power. An odd side note, though; the item description specifically calls out low-level kineticists finding the rod useful, but what 2nd-level character has access to an item worth 25,000 gp? High level multiclasses, maybe, but Kineticist isnít exactly a dip-friendly class.

    Kineticistís Diadem: For roughly the price of a +2 weapon, you can add a reasonable +1d6 to damage (or 1d8 for a physical blast). More expensive versions of the diadem increase the amount of dice added. Unfortunately, though, none of those dice are added whenever you wouldnít get elemental overflow, which is annoying, as well as not being included in critical hit calculations. Still, itís at least something you can spend gold on.

    From Other Books:

    The Big Six:
    For you, it is unfortunately more like the Big 5. As of the time of writing this guide, there is no real way for you to get a ďmagic weapon,Ē i.e. Something that reliably increases your attack rolls. Certain items and archetypes can get around this, as noted below. Other than that, however, you are going to want a Resistance bonus, magic armor, etc, etc, just like any other class.

    Weapons:
    Conductive Blunderbuss/Shotgun/Ammo: An early exploit of Kineticist abilities allowed Kineticists to channel their Kinetic Blasts through a conductive weapon, and for that purpose, none quite beat out scattershot firearms in that regard. At low levels, youíll have to make due with Conductive Ammunition, until youíve got enough cash to spring for a full-size Conductive gun.

    Belts:
    Belt of Mighty Constitution: Most people want to pick one of these up at some point during their adventuring career, but most people donít key almost everything they do off of Constitution. Pick one of these up as soon as possible, since it raises your hit points, your save DCs, your burn limit, and your Fort save.

    Belt of Incredible Dexterity: Not quite as important as the Belt of Mighty Constitution, but still very important, especially if you plan on making a lot of attack rolls or AoE infusions. If you have a solid Constitution already, you might want to pick one of these up instead on the road to the Belt of Physical Might.


    Belt of Physical Might: Unless youíre playing with Automatic Bonus Progression or Innate Item Bonuses, this is the Belt you will probably be wearing from the moment you can afford one to the end of the campaign. Most kineticists will want a belt keyed to Dexterity and Constitution, but some versions, particularly the Elemental Ascetic, might find use in one keyed to Strength and Constitution.

    Belt of Physical Perfection: While it could find some uses, you typically donít need all three of your physical stats to be effective. You really only want one of these if youíve got money to burn, or if a good-sized one falls into your lap in random loot.

    Body:
    Monkís Robe: If youíre an Elemental Ascetic, this makes you a bit better at what you do while also increasing your unarmed strike damage.

    Otherworldly Kimono: The +4 Resistance bonus to saves is nice, and the +4 bonus to caster level checks is particularly useful to energy blast Kineticists looking to break through spell resistance or kineticists looking to take advantage of the Kinetic Blastís counterspelling abilities. The ability to cast Maze once per day is icing on the cake.

    Chest:
    Quick Runnerís Shirt: There are a lot of places where a Kineticist could use an extra move action. Automatically gathering power, getting into range for Kinetic Blast, getting out of range of enemy attacks; for only 1000 gp, this is a solid choice.

    Tunic of Careful Casting: Your Kinetic Blasts provoke AoOs, so a boost to Concentration checks is useful. Especially if you ignored my advice earlier about spending a full round gathering power and need to make a Concentration check to not explode.

    Shirt of Immolation: Could be interesting on a Pyrokineticist grapple-centric build, focusing on grabbing enemies, lighting on fire, and not letting go. That seems really too gimmicky to be truly effective, though, especially considering the whole ďYou donít have full BAB:Ē thing. (See the next post!)

    Feet:
    Boots of Striding and Springing: The classic magic boots. No one can say no to a +10 move speed.

    Hands
    Gauntlets of the Skilled Maneuver: If you particularly like a certain infusion, you can pick up a pair of gloves to make them a bit more likely to hit.

    Gloves of Arrow Snaring: You need to keep at least one hand open anyway, so why not put those empty hands to use?

    Gloves of Dueling: If your DM rules that Blast Training functions the same as Weapon Training, then these are a solid choice of item. If not, skip entirely.

    Head:
    Grapplerís Mask: By the end of this guide, I swear Iím going to find a way to make the ďGrab You and and Light on FireĒ Grapple Kineticist work. And give him a jaunty Luchador name, while Iím at it.

    Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier: Given your limited options for defense, an extra +1 to a faily obscure bonus to AC is nice. The fortification effect can also keep you alive if youíre loaded up on burn.

    Halo of Menace: Any enemy within 20í of you has to make a WIll save or take a -2 penalty to pretty much everything until they manage to hit you. At higher levels, it could help you get through harder to hit ACs, provided the enemy doesnít make the Will save.

    Crystal Tiara: Complete your Ice King/Snow Queen look with this fetching Tiara, which for 1000 gp, (and 30% of your WBL, but judging by this post, you weren't really using it all that much anyway...), will basically make you a walking Disney musical number. Create Ice elementals, make flights of stairs out of ice, and create a palace out of ice. While Hydrokineticists can do some of these tricks on their own, the tiara does offer a nice selection of items at a fairly decent price, especially since that price saves you three or four Utility Talents.

    Headbands:
    Headband of Alluring Charisma/Inspired Wisdom: If youíre an Elemental Ascetic or an Overwhelming Soul, these buff the important stat of your class. Even if you arenít the Headband of Inspired Wisdom increases your weakest save.

    Phylactery of the Shepard: Ask your DM if Kinetic Healing counts as Lay on Hands for the purposes of this item. If it does, this makes a pretty great item for the Kinetic Chirurgeon (or really any Kineticist with the Kinetic Healing talent) to give them a little bit of ranged healing, If not, skip.

    Headband of Counterspelling: If youíre looking to make the Counterspell aspect of Kinetic Blast work, then this is the item for you.

    Neck:
    Amulet of Mighty Fists: If you are an Elemental Ascetic, you need one of these. It is, at the moment, one of the only items that allows a Kineticist to increase their attack bonus.

    Crystal of Healing Hands: Add this to the pile of ďGood if Kinetic Healer can act as Lay on HandsĒ items.

    Shoulders:
    Cape of Free Will: This is pretty much just like a Cloak of Resistance, although for a 50% price increase, you can buff your weakest save, Will, by an extra +1. Even without Mythic Power, that's still a pretty good deal. If you've got a little extra cash lying around, spring for one of these instead of the standard Cloak.

    Wrists:
    Armbands of the Brawler: El Fuego Fuerte continues to collect items.

    Bracers of Falconís Aim: Theyíre about as expensive as an Amulet of Mighty Fists +1, and provide the bonus to your ranged blasts, along with a free Skill Focus (Perception). The downsides are that they donít scale with level, and that arguably the best ability, the critical hit increase, does nothing to affect Kinetic Blasts.

    Spellguard Bracers: More bonuses to Concentration means less getting interrupted during blasts.

    Arrowmasterís Bracers: Is almost 14,000 gp worth it for once per day Quickened True Strike? Maybe, if you need something in this slot. The deflection bonus against ranged attacks is made redundant with a Ring of Protection +1, and DR/Magic is unlikely to ever come up by the time you can afford these.

    Rings: Since there are quite a few rins that are useful to pretty much every possible character (Ring of Protection, Ring of Freedom of Movement, Ring of Evasion, etc), I'm only including rings of particular note to the Kineticist.
    Ring of Counterspells: For 4000 gp and one of your at-will SLAs, you can shut down an enemy's Kinetic Blast. If you plan on fighting another kineticists a lot, it might be worth your time.

    Ring of Force Shield: Keep your hands free while still maintaining some semblance of a respectable AC. Useful for everyone except for Hydrokineticists, who get this for free.

    Ring of Retribution: If you're immune to fire damage, being able to provide a pretty sizable boom as an immediate action could be nice. This is what parting blast should have done.
    Last edited by Kira_the_5th; 2015-08-10 at 09:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Sample Builds


    To the Kineticist's credit, there are a great number of character concepts that can be made within the class. Below are a few sample classes that I've whipped up in order to take a crack at the class' wide-ranging versatility.

    For the most part, pretty much all Kineticists have the same wants and needs in terms of feats. There are precious few Kineticist-specific feats, and even fewer of those are actually any good. Unless a feat is vital to the progression of a specific build, feats are generally left to your own discretion. Feats that are good on any character (Improved Initiative, Leadership, etc) are good on the Kineticist as well.

    Snow Queen: Iíve done a lot of complaining about the Kineticistís shortcomings in this guide, I really should just let it go. Although I use my favored energy type of Cold for this build, you can tweak it to use any energy-centric Kineticist.

    Spoiler
    Show
    1st) Element: Water (Cold). Infusion: Extended Range.
    2nd) Utility Talent: Slick
    3rd) Infusion: Draining Infusion
    4th) Utility Talent: Icewalker
    5th) Infusion: Entangling Infusion
    6th) Utility Talent: Veil of Mists
    7th) Expanded Element: Air. Feat: Extra Wild Talent (Air Cushion)
    8th) Utility Talent: Elemental Grip
    9th) Infusion: Torrent
    10th) Utility Talent: Wings of Air
    11th) Infusion: Staggering Infusion
    12th) Utility Talent: Celerity
    13th) Infusion: Wall
    14th) Utility Talent: Suffocate
    15th) Expanded Element: Water. Bonus Talent: Shimmering Mirage
    16th) Utility Talent: Reverse Shift
    17th) Infusion: Impale
    18th) Utility Talent: Tidal Wave
    19th) Infusion: Flurry of Blasts
    20th) Utility Talent: Wind Manipulator



    The Mountain: The Mountain is the physical equivalent to the Snow Queen, focusing on dealing damage with physical blasts. While I use earth as the example here, it can be roughly replaced with any other physical element (easier, too, in the long run, since almost every single composite blast is physical.) This particular build shows to stretch how far a Kineticist can go when confined to a single element.

    Spoiler
    Show
    1st) Element: Earth. Infusion: Extended Range
    2nd) Utility: Kinetic Cover
    3rd) Infusion: Kinetic Blade
    4th) Utility: Earth Climb
    5th) Infusion: Entangling Infusion
    6th) Utility: Tremorsense
    7th) Expanded Element: Earth. Bonus Talent: Rare-Earth Infusion
    8th) Utility: Shift Earth
    9th) Infusion: Impale
    10th) Utility: Earth Glide
    11th) Infusion: Kinetic Whip
    12th) Utility: Stone Sculpt
    13th) Infusion: Deadly Earth
    14th) Utility: Shift Earth (Greater)
    15th) Expanded Element: Bonus Talent: Earth Walk
    16th) Utility: Reverse Shift
    17th) Infusion: Wall
    18th) Utility: Seismic Master
    19th) Infusion: Whatever*
    20th) Utility: Whatever*

    At this point, you already have the best toys from your element, so feel free to pick up anything that looks interesting in your final two slots. Besides, Omnikinesis makes these choices pretty irrelevant in the long run.



    El Fuego Fuerte: Like I said, I really want to find a way to make this build work. El Fuego Fuerte uses his mighty muscles and literally burning passion to hold his enemies to the ground as they burn to cinders in El Fuegoís crushing grip. I never said this build would be good, but it will be interesting. At the very least, it's something that no enemy will see coming.

    Spoiler
    Show
    1st) Element: Fire. Infusion: Kinetic Fist. Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple
    2nd) Utility Talent: Ask you GM if Fireís Fury can apply to Searing Flesh. If not, just pick up Fire Sculptor.
    3rd) Infusion: Burning Infusion. Feat: Snapping Turtle Style.
    4th) Utility Talent: Cold Adaptation
    5th) Infusion: Searing Flame. Feat: Snapping Turtle Clutch. Equipment: Gauntlets of the Skilled Maneuver.
    6th) Utility Talent: Flame Jet
    7th) Expanded Element: Air. Feat: Extra Wild Talent (Air Cushion)
    8th) Utility Talent: Smoke Storm. Equipment: Shirt of Immolation
    9th) Infusion: Eruption. Feat: Greater Grapple. Equipment: Championís Wrestling Mask*
    10th) Utility Talent: Wings of Air.
    11th) Infusion: Unraveling Infusion
    12th) Utility Talent: Kinetic Form
    13th) Infusion: Explosion
    14th) Utility Talent: Celerity
    15th) Expanded Element: Telekinesis.
    16th) Utility Talent: Flame Shield
    17th) Infusion: Force Hook
    18th) Utility Talent: From the Ashes
    19th) Infusion: Disintegrating Infusion
    20th) Utility Talent: Reverse Shift

    *Championís Wrestling Mast: This magic item doesnít actually exist; itís an extrapolation on the custom magic item creation rules. The Mask is basically just a head slot magic item of continuous use lockjaw spell, which grants the beneficiary the grab ability on one natural attack of the casterís choice, along with the +4 untyped grapple bonus that the grab ability provides. While itís certainly within the rules, be sure to work with your DM regarding this itemís availability. If your DM doesnít allow it, look into the Anaconda Coils Belt and the Final Embrace feat to create a similar effect.



    The Dresden: This build focuses around using a Conductive Firearm to add some punch (and accuracy) to your Kinetic Blasts. In this case, weíll be using a Half-Elf as an example, taking his human motherís Alkenstar-born know-how with guns and mixing it with his Elven fatherís proficiency with magic to bring the Arcane Archer concept into the next century. Since I nicknamed this build ďThe Dresden,Ē weíll be sticking to Fire and Air as primary elements. You can swap out any other type of energy, so long as you stick to energy attacks (since you need the touch attack element once youíve got your weapon). Be warned, this build takes a few levels to come online. If youíre in a hurry, you can dip a level of Gunslinger to gain access to the blunderbuss early.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Race: Half-Elf. Racial Trait: Ancestral Weapon (Blunderbuss).
    1st) Element: Fire. Infusion: Burning Infusion. Feat: Rapid Reload
    2nd) Utility: Fire Sculptor
    3rd) Infusion: Extended Range. Feat: Gunsmithing
    4th) Utility: Heat Adaptation
    5th) Infusion: Searing Flame. Feat: Craft Magic Arms and Armor
    6th) Utility: Flame Jet
    7th) Expanded Element: Fire. Bonus Talent: Smoke Storm
    8th) Utility: Fire Sight
    9th) Infusion: Torrent
    10th) Utility: Flame Jet (Greater)
    11th) Infusion: Unraveling Infusion
    12th) Utility: Trail of Flames
    13th) Infusion: Wall
    14th) Utility: Flame Shield
    15th) Expanded Element: Air
    16th) Utility: Celerity
    17th) Infusion: Explosion
    18th) Utility: From the Ashes
    19th) Infusion: Chain
    20th) Utility: Wind Manipulator



    The Jedi: This build is mostly for fun, and because I want to move the class as a whole away from the constant ďItís the class for Element Benders!Ē appearance. This build uses Kinetic Blasts as more of a flourish on top of your normal melee attacks. Donít forget to enchant your sword with Brilliant Energy! (Or get a Sun Blade or a Null Blade.) For bonus fun, you could switch out Ancestral Weapon (Bastard Sword) for Ancestral Weapon (Two-Bladed Sword) if you want a more ďDarth MaulĒ style fighter. (The Author of this guide takes no responsibility for such a character being as bad, if not worse, than the Star Wars prequels.)

    Spoiler
    Show
    Race: Half-Elf. Racial Trait: Ancestral Weapon (Bastard Sword)
    1st) Element: Telekinesis. Infusion: Pushing Infusion. Feat: Weapon Focus (Bastard Sword)
    2nd) Utility: Telekinetic Finesse
    3rd) Infusion: Kinetic Blade
    4th) Utility: Telekinetic Haul
    5th) Infusion: Extended Range
    6th) Utility: Self Telekinesis/ Touchsight
    7th) Expanded Element: Air (Electricity) Feat: Extra Talent: Airís Leap
    8th) Utility: Telekinetic Maneuvers
    9th) Infusion: Foe Throw
    10th) Utility: Touchsight (Greater)*
    11th) Infusion: Wall. Feat (Extra Talent: Self Telekinesis (Greater)/Wings of Air*)
    12th) Utility: Suffocate
    13th) Infusion: Chain
    14th) Utility: Celerity
    15th) Expanded Element: Aether. Bonus Talent: Force Barrier
    16th) Utility: Telekinetic Deflection
    17th) Infusion: Manythrow
    18th) Utility: Reverse Shift
    19th) Infusion: Disintegrating Infusion
    20th) Utility: Spell Deflection

    *With this particular combination of elements, 10th level offers a huge supply of choices, considering that almost every single Blue-rated power from both Aether and Air come online at the same time here. You can mess around with the order as much as you want, as there is some overlap here, and you will have plenty of time to play around, considering that the last few levels for both Telekineticists and Aerokineticists are rather barren.
    Last edited by Kira_the_5th; 2015-08-09 at 01:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Reserved for Miscellany; Multiclassing, Variant Multiclassing, and Other Thoughts
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Quote Originally Posted by Kira_the_5th View Post
    Reserved for Feats and Equipment
    Suggested header: What Equipment?

    Belt of Con aside, there just doesn't look to be much in the way of equipment support for this class, even in OA itself. The Kineticist's Diadem adds damage, but only when elemental overflow would, and not a lot for its price. The price of the Hollow Rod and Vril Staff puts them out of range for most of the game. And that's it, those are the only 3 kineticist items in the book.

    I hope Advanced Class Origins brings some goodies.
    Last edited by Arutema; 2015-08-05 at 03:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Thanks, great guide!

    Question, would this work: Take one level of kineticist with any energy blast, and the Kinetic Blade power. Take the rest of your levels in UnRogue or Ninja. Seems to me that you can now make a full attack as touch attacks, a couple times per day, yes? Coupled with sneak attack, that would be pretty good.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Subbing this thread, I planned on making a guide for this class too, but this seems like a solid start to a guide, it'll be fun to see more than one interpretation, as well as get some ideas on how the class works before seeing it on the SRD.

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Your assessment of Force Ward is kind of odd to me, because to me it's pretty apparent that it's likely the strongest elemental defense. The Kineticist can't rely on being able to take burn every round to be relevant, because they can only take 3+Con burn per day. Thus, they need to find some way to get by with taking enough burn at the start of the day to fill their Elemental Overflow and then survive without taking more burn unless they're really forced into a corner.

    If you start the day off with 6 points into Force Ward, that's 80 temporary HP. So you're down 40 - but you regenerate 4 per minute up to that cap of 80. After 10 minutes between combats, you end up with having more HP than if you hadn't put any burn into it.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Quote Originally Posted by Arutema View Post
    Suggested header: What Equipment?

    Belt of Con aside, there just doesn't look to be much in the way of equipment support for this class, even in OA itself. The Kineticist's Diadem adds damage, but only when elemental overflow would, and not a lot for its price. The price of the Hollow Rod and Vril Staff puts them out of range for most of the game. And that's it, those are the only 3 kineticist items in the book.

    I hope Advanced Class Origins brings some goodies.
    The Conductive ammo enchant is a big one, it allows you to channel an energy kinetic blast (with substance infusions) through a ranged attack 1/round, or an energy kinetic blade through a melee attack 1 round. That might sound pretty meh, but it ends up being pretty decent when used on ammo where the restriction doesn't matter, daggers with a blink back belt and even multiweapon fighting. The fact that the kinetisist can also make himself huge may allow for stuff like using a Huge conductive double barrel shotgun or gargantuan bastard sword for a vital strike to do some pretty decent damage too.

    3 levels of the Cartomancer archetype with witches will also allow for a similar situation, but can include physical blasts and is resolved as a touch attack, arguably at the expense of range (20ft range increment).

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    I'd rate kinetic blade and ride the blast higher personally. Yes, it seems the class is designed to blast from a distance, but kinetic blade lets you full-attack, and ride the blast gets you in range to make those attacks without provoking AoOs from the enemy's reach. Water's defense as a shield bonus helps you keep up in AC, and earth and aether also keep you sturdy.

    I've found a "blade kineticist" is a passable switch-hitter, with the slight bonus that your blast is your weapon so there's no actions spent drawing/sheathing weapons when you need to change modes. (Of course it's not going to keep up with someone who bypasses that by using point-blank master.)
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    The only Kineticist build I have found that can do anything other classes can't do better is a martial battlefield controller.
    Take Kinetic Whip and Kinetic Form. Together, they give you a 20-foot threatened area. That's actually useful, considering the damage a Kinetic Blast can do. If you hit, of course.
    The build would need means to boost their AoOs, ideally by triggering more of them and adding accuracy to them. If you want to be extra-cheesy, pick Earth Blast (Earth is a good element for this concept anyway) and let it deal piercing damage. You're now wielding a light, one-handed piercing weapon - which means you can use Swordmasters Flair (either grab Stamina to use it several times, or just buy more than one since it's cheap and slotless) to add an additional 5-foot reach.

    Of course, you can't have this nice thing from level 1 onward. You need to be level 5 at least to do this without swallowing burn, and to add on anything useful (such as Entangling Infusion) you need to be level 10.



    Also, IMO you have rated Kinetic Chirugeon too high - it should be solid red.
    The reason is that you are losing all Infusions. It even explicitly says that you can never use them, even if you were to gain them by some other means. Losing Infusions means that your entire offensive arsenal is now limited to a single 30-foot range Kinetic Blast that only ever does damage, nothing else.
    This Archetype could have been decent, if it didn't do that (and remove Infusion Specialization). Just the option to trade Infusions or Wild Talents for Mercies and losing Metakinesis for Metahealer would have been a good way to do this without utterly crippling the class.

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Metakinesis' burn cost is absolutely decreased by Gather Power.

    I made a post on the Paizo forums, got the following response (like 3 minutes later).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Seifter
    Infusions and metakinesis don't cost on their own; they increase the blast's cost.

    Thus spake the book itself, so thus spake I, the god of kineticists...I guess?
    The thread in question

    Otherwise, love the guide, I'll likely be using it myself!

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Thank you, everyone, for the great feedback. This is my first real attempt at a handbook, so any input is greatly appreciated. I'm finishing combing through the SRD to finish up the Equipment section now, so hopefully I'll be able to put that update in tonight. Once I've finished there, I'll go back and make some updates to the main guide before putting together the sample builds.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Aether: Aetherís defense talent, Force Ward, is pretty great on the surface. You gain temp HP equal to your level that regenerates over time. The problem here is that the ďmore powerfulĒ version you gain from taking on burn is an increasingly terrible bargain. Where the other talents could be excused for using burn, they donít grant extra hit points. Accepting points of burn to increase your force ward grants you extra temp HP equal to half your level per point of burn spent. So investing 3 points of burn, reducing your maximum HP by three times your level, nets you a one and a half times your level in extra temp HP. Congratulations, you just paid some of your limited resources to lower your max HP. To be fair, the force ward does regenerate over time, but is having another couple of hit points that regenerate worth taking away more that you could have used for anything, including using them as hit points?
    Ok, let's look at this at level 6.

    At the beginning of the day, you take 3 points of burn, 18 nonlethal damage, get 9 added to your regenerating Temporary HP shield which now regenerates faster, get 6 regular HP added because you are putting your Elemental Overload's stat increase into Con and Dex, which also gives you a total of +3 to hit and +5 damage (2/4 base and 1 for the Dex/Con boost, which I guess is also a +1 AC, Ref, and Fort) - At this point, you're effectively down 3 HP and have an all day bonus to attack and damage.

    Also, you have to take into account that, if an attack is completely blocked by your Ward, you take none of the negative effects from it. I have a player with an Aether Kineticist in a game I'm running, and she's already negated a Spider's poison and another creature's bleed with her Ward.

    I'm not saying it is amazing, but it's better than you're making it out to be.

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    I've been working on some Kineticist builds for a RotRL campaign and have some thoughts on options for an ice themed character.

    Half Elf is probably my favorite race for this class, not just for the +2 to any stat but also for the option to either boost your Elemental Overflow damage bonus or to pick another Wild Talent.

    Crystal Tiara - This is a pretty good buy if your GM will allow you to pick it up. Note that by level 10 it grants you an ability similar to Ice Path for 10 minutes/level each day. Spending 1000 gold can free up two Wild Talents.

    Cape of Free Will is a pretty obvious choice for this class. Take the cash you save on weapon enchants and buy one of these.

    A Belt of Physical Might (Dex and Con) is also a pretty obvious choice.

    As I was looking through traits, I saw the Ice Walker trait. Not bad to grab if you plan to use Slick early on.

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Alright, I've added in the first round of Equipment, as well as five sample builds. If anyone has any more suggestions for items I may have missed, feel free to comment so I can add them to the giude. The section on Multiclassing and Variant Multiclassing is still a few days out from completion, but right now it's looking like "VMC Barbarian is your best friend."


    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Question, would this work: Take one level of kineticist with any energy blast, and the Kinetic Blade power. Take the rest of your levels in UnRogue or Ninja. Seems to me that you can now make a full attack as touch attacks, a couple times per day, yes? Coupled with sneak attack, that would be pretty good.
    At first, I thought "I don't think that would work. It only works with physical blasts" before remembering that that's only the Elemental Annihilator. That totally works, even if it's only for a few times per day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    Your assessment of Force Ward is kind of odd to me, because to me it's pretty apparent that it's likely the strongest elemental defense. The Kineticist can't rely on being able to take burn every round to be relevant, because they can only take 3+Con burn per day. Thus, they need to find some way to get by with taking enough burn at the start of the day to fill their Elemental Overflow and then survive without taking more burn unless they're really forced into a corner.

    If you start the day off with 6 points into Force Ward, that's 80 temporary HP. So you're down 40 - but you regenerate 4 per minute up to that cap of 80. After 10 minutes between combats, you end up with having more HP than if you hadn't put any burn into it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Worguron View Post
    Ok, let's look at this at level 6.

    At the beginning of the day, you take 3 points of burn, 18 nonlethal damage, get 9 added to your regenerating Temporary HP shield which now regenerates faster, get 6 regular HP added because you are putting your Elemental Overload's stat increase into Con and Dex, which also gives you a total of +3 to hit and +5 damage (2/4 base and 1 for the Dex/Con boost, which I guess is also a +1 AC, Ref, and Fort) - At this point, you're effectively down 3 HP and have an all day bonus to attack and damage.

    Also, you have to take into account that, if an attack is completely blocked by your Ward, you take none of the negative effects from it. I have a player with an Aether Kineticist in a game I'm running, and she's already negated a Spider's poison and another creature's bleed with her Ward.

    I'm not saying it is amazing, but it's better than you're making it out to be.
    Yep. Having read your responses, and talking it over with a friend of min, I've come to the conclusion that I really was too hard on Force Ward. While I still don't like how clunky it is, it really wasn't so bad as to be forced into the bottom category for merely being mechanically weird. I've re-rated it as Green.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serafina View Post
    Also, IMO you have rated Kinetic Chirugeon too high - it should be solid red.
    The reason is that you are losing all Infusions. It even explicitly says that you can never use them, even if you were to gain them by some other means. Losing Infusions means that your entire offensive arsenal is now limited to a single 30-foot range Kinetic Blast that only ever does damage, nothing else.
    This Archetype could have been decent, if it didn't do that (and remove Infusion Specialization). Just the option to trade Infusions or Wild Talents for Mercies and losing Metakinesis for Metahealer would have been a good way to do this without utterly crippling the class.
    My God you're right. When I first wrote that rating, my mind didn't quite wrap around how much that ruins your ability to do things other than heal, when you really aren't even that good at healing. I also tried making a "Healbot" build in the sample builds, and realized exactly how bad it really was. Changed to Red.

    Quote Originally Posted by SyrusRayne View Post
    Metakinesis' burn cost is absolutely decreased by Gather Power.

    I made a post on the Paizo forums, got the following response (like 3 minutes later).

    The thread in question

    Otherwise, love the guide, I'll likely be using it myself!
    Fantastic! I've changed the rating for Metakinesis accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by NightbringerGGZ View Post
    I've been working on some Kineticist builds for a RotRL campaign and have some thoughts on options for an ice themed character.

    Half Elf is probably my favorite race for this class, not just for the +2 to any stat but also for the option to either boost your Elemental Overflow damage bonus or to pick another Wild Talent.

    Crystal Tiara - This is a pretty good buy if your GM will allow you to pick it up. Note that by level 10 it grants you an ability similar to Ice Path for 10 minutes/level each day. Spending 1000 gold can free up two Wild Talents.

    Cape of Free Will is a pretty obvious choice for this class. Take the cash you save on weapon enchants and buy one of these.

    A Belt of Physical Might (Dex and Con) is also a pretty obvious choice.

    As I was looking through traits, I saw the Ice Walker trait. Not bad to grab if you plan to use Slick early on.
    I've added all of these to the list. ell, except for the Belt of Physical Might. That was already there, because it's pretty much a given.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    The guide looks good at the moment, though I think it's being a tad harsh on the kineticist in general and there's a few things I'd like to point out for Blood Kineticist.

    For Blood Focus, you can still use other infusions on things that don't have blood or are immune to bleed, just not the ones from the archetype (Wrack, Bleeding Infusion, etc.). The catch is that most of the other infusions that could be used by a hydrokineticist use cold or ice blasts instead, and you can't get those until you take Expanded Element: Water for a second time.

    For Blood Blast, you aren't actually required to double down on Water. It's just saying that things are different for you IF you double down compared to normal.

    Finally for Vampiric Infusion, I think there's a problem of it simultaneously it being underrated, and being somewhat poorly written. By the time you get it, Infusion Specialization should be reducing the burn cost by 3 for your blasts thus negating most (if not all) of the cost of the Vampiric Blast. If it didn't (such as you using the Foe Throw Form Infusion instead of Wrack), there's still the option of Gathering power. Then it says that after the triggering condition you can use Kinetic Healer on yourself (effectively as a free action) at normal cost. If you don't have Kinetic Healer you can still use Vampiric Infusion but only heals half damage. The wording is a little awkward but I'm sure it's intended to still cost a point of burn to get the healing, otherwise it would actually be better for you to not have Kinetic Healer.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    I, too, think you're being too harsh on the Kineticist. No-one who's actually playtested it seems to have felt left in the dust by the rest of the party.

    The Burn thing is not as confusing as you make it out to be. You just need to let go of some unnecessary preconceptions:

    (1) Don't expect to be a super-tough character. Hitpoint-wise, you're going to be a Cleric with a Con 14, or a Paladin with a Con 12. Not squishy, not super-tough either. As a ranged blaster, you don't need to be tougher than that. If you're going Jedi, you most likely have more DR and AC than an Invulnerable Rager, so you shouldn't have much to complain about. ;o) Don't cry for the HP you're going to put into Burn; they're meant for that. Also, your non-lethal damage greatly increases the buffer between "dying" and "dead", which is not to be taken lightly.

    (2) Don't get your panties in a knot about whether or not you should Burn. You should, up to the optimal amount, which is what you need to fill out Overflow. It's just one point at 3rd level, which you can easily afford with your starting Con. By the time you take the second Burn, you've bought a Con item. At this point, you might as well take 3 Burn, because you'll get a Con boost out of it for free. By the time your Overflow can make use of 4 Burn, you'll have a +4 Con item. You can afford it. The best way to get that Burn, of course, is to boost your Defense powers or utilities like Flame Shield or Kinetic Form.

    (3) There is no accuracy problem. You get +1 to hit every 3 levels from Overflow, which more than makes up for BAB and the enhancement bonus to hit. You will also only ever need to hit with your full BAB, which is almost never difficult. You will never take penalties from Rapid Shot or Deadly aim. Finally, in most builds, you will have a touch-attach option and/or a Reflex-save option. There is no accuracy problem.

    (4) Don't think of Burn as punching yourself in the face. Think of it as replacing part of your body with your element. You welcome fire in your blood, calcify your bones into granite, and thread your nerves with lightning. You are awesome.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Quote Originally Posted by Catharsis View Post
    Don't get your panties in a knot
    I appreciate your efforts to keep this discussion civil and to refrain from patronizing those you disagree with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catharsis View Post
    (3) There is no accuracy problem. You get +1 to hit every 3 levels from Overflow, which more than makes up for BAB and the enhancement bonus to hit. You will also only ever need to hit with your full BAB, which is almost never difficult. You will never take penalties from Rapid Shot or Deadly aim. Finally, in most builds, you will have a touch-attach option and/or a Reflex-save option.
    So? They've still got a damage problem, and even if you never miss a shot you can still suck if you aren't dealing relevant damage. If you can only deal level-appropriate damage for 3+Con rounds per day, then you're playing a class with some poorly designed features.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    I appreciate your efforts to keep this discussion civil and to refrain from patronizing those you disagree with.
    Sorry. It sounded less offensive to me than it apparently is.

    So? They've still got a damage problem, and even if you never miss a shot you can still suck if you aren't dealing relevant damage. If you can only deal level-appropriate damage for 3+Con rounds per day, then you're playing a class with some poorly designed features.
    I would disagree here, too. I'm sure a single-minded archer can outdamage a Kineticist, but they are the kings of DPR in Pathfinder anyway. For a class with as much utility as the Kineticist, it would be patently OP for them to also break the DPR ceiling. They can certainly keep up with non-Archer damage dealers.

    When you do your calculations, do you take into account (1) maxed-out Overflow, (2) Empower starting from level 5th, (3) Composite from 11th, (4) Empowered Composite from 16th, (6) Quicken at 19th, (5) the aforementioned accuracy, (6) very high standard-action damage, and (7) AoE attacks? All of these are 100% sustainable without a per-shot Burn cost. Then there's also the debuffing riders, the grappling walls, Suffocate, etc.
    Last edited by Catharsis; 2015-08-15 at 03:28 AM.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Let's do some comparisons at level 10. I'm grabbing some straightforward builds here; I'm sure all of these can easily be optimized more. Just taking a high primary plus belt/headband, vanilla magic weapon, and a default feat like Power Attack or TWF. For the sake of convenience, I'm counting iterative attacks (those at a -5 penalty) for half damage, even though this is really selling them short.

    A kineticist can make ranged touch attacks for do 5d6 (base) +3 (half con) +6 (overflow), or about 26 average damage. It has a to-hit of +7 (bab) +6 (dex) +3 (overflow), or +16 total. This is plenty to hit touch AC pretty much all the time.

    A sorcerer would do 12d6 (scorching ray) +12 (draconic bloodline), or 54 average damage. It has a to-hit of +5 (bab) +4 (dex), which is only +9, but still sufficient to hit touch AC almost always; plus the sorc has buff spells and can take Weapon Focus if so inclined. More to the point, the sorcerer deals twice the damage of the kineticist. Now without any optimization, the sorc has 24 spell slots of level 2 and up, so effectively he can also do this all day if he so chooses.

    Doesn't look so good for Kinny.

    What else have we got? Suppose we go for regular AC, the kinny can deal 34 average damage per hit. Now a rogue deals slightly less damage with sneak attack (1d6 weapon +5d6 sneak attack +6 dex +3 magic weapon, for 29 average), but can do this four times per round via two-weapon fighting. Two of those are at -5 to hit; still, that adds up to an average of 87, or if the common buff Haste is active, that goes to 116. Now the rogue does require a flanking buddy to pull this off, but those damage numbers are impressive. Even without a flank, he gets 50 damage by sheer number of attacks.

    Magus? Cast intensified shocking grasp, and without any further boosting shenanigans that ends you at 1d6 (weapon) +10d6 (grasp) +5 str +5 magic weapon, for 48 damage; plus three regular attacks (spell combat, haste, iterative at -5) for 14 damage, totalling around 82. Haste is pretty much the default for a Magus since he can cast it on himself in at least three different ways.

    Barbarian? Attack for 1d12 (weapon) +9 (str x1.5) +2 (rage) +3 (magic weapon) +9 (power attack x1.5) +1d6 (elemental rage or whatever) or 33 damage, plus a secondary at -5. Average damage, 49, or 82 if Haste is up.

    Touch attacks,
    • Sorcerer: 54
    • Kineticist: 26


    Regular attacks,
    • Hasted flanking rogue 116
    • Flanking rogue 87
    • Magus 82
    • Hasted barbarian 82
    • Hasted non-flanking rogue 50
    • Barbarian 49
    • Kineticist 34


    ...yeah, seems to me that as an artillery character, the kinny has issues.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    To be fair, at level 10 the Kineticist can apply two Burn worth of Infusions at no cost, and empower the blast via gather energy.

    Empowering would boost the damage by 50%, so the numbers would be 39 (vs. Touch) and 51 (vs. AC).

    Instead of Empowering, you could also go into Melee and get two attacks, potentially three with Haste - but that's where the accuracy problem starts kicking in.

    Of course, if you look at Infusions, it just becomes obvious how little the Kineticist actually gets "all day". You could apply one of a handful of substance or form infusions, none of which do really all that much to make the blast worthwhile.

    And then you start running into energy immunities (if you target AC) or miss chances or damage reduction (if you target AC), against which you can't do anything while other classes do have quite a few options. The optimization ceiling is just so much higher for them.

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Quote Originally Posted by Serafina View Post
    To be fair, at level 10 the Kineticist can apply two Burn worth of Infusions at no cost, and empower the blast via gather energy.
    That was exactly my point. People who criticize the Kineticist often just look at the base damage of the blast. That's like looking at a martial character without taking iteratives into account. Empower and Composite are the Kineticist's second and third iterative. Consider them Always On, unless you have a better use for Gather Power for some reason.

    I assume that Sorcerer was using an Empowered Scorching Ray to get 12d6 as opposed to 8d6? Hardly something they can do "all day". And my experience with Rogues is that full attacks with sneak attack are by far not as commonplace as one would like. Likewise, I've played with a Magus before, and the times per day he could pull off the Intensified Shocking Grasp combo was rather limited.

    As for infusions: I don't see why they should be discounted; they're an integral part of the Kineticist's "all day" package. All elements can pick up an AoE as early as 7th (1st for Fire), which can multiply your damage by a factor of several depending on the configuration (though hitting at least 2 enemies with an Impale or Eruption seems very easy to accomplish). This already puts them above what martials can do. And what exactly is weak about Entangling or Tripping (or later Staggering or Dispelling) your enemy for free? And yes, I mean "for free", that's what Infusion Specialization is for.

    Worried about resistances and DR? Most builds will have both options available starting at level 7th. If your enemy has both, you still basically have Clustered Shots built right into your blast.
    Last edited by Catharsis; 2015-08-15 at 05:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Quote Originally Posted by Serafina View Post
    To be fair, at level 10 the Kineticist can apply two Burn worth of Infusions at no cost, and empower the blast via gather energy.
    Good point. Well, that's why it's a new class and we're still analyzing it. At first glance there's not a lot of good infusions at 2 burn or less, but you could do Eruption for free to make it a 10' radius blast. And flurry of blasts, of course, but it has the silly restriction that additional blasts to the same target do only 1d6 damage.

    But infusion spec doesn't appear to lower the cost of empower, so that would stiil be limited to a handful times per day. Unless I'm missing something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catharsis View Post
    I assume that Sorcerer was using an Empowered Scorching Ray to get 12d6 as opposed to 8d6?
    Nope. Getting +1 to caster level is easy, and you get three rays at CL 11.
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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    In numbers:

    Energy:

    Empowered energy + AoE: 38 per person (possibly +burning, if Fan of Flames was used)
    Empowered energy + Entangling: 38 + entangled (rooted after 2nd attack)
    Melee full attack: 39 (+burning)
    Melee full attack with Haste: 59 (+burning)

    (I'm counting iteratives as full here because of Touch, and Kineticist's attack bonus being way higher than the Sorcerer's.)

    Compare that to the Sorcerer's regular Scorching Ray of 36 damage. If you feel like using a limited resource like an Empowered Scorching Ray, you have to compare it to the Kineticist's limited resource, such as doing a full melee attack with Empower. That gives you 59 damage, or 88 with Haste.


    Physical:
    Similar, though melee is somewhat less effective due to the iterative's lower hit chance. A physical Empowered blast is 50 damage, on par with the Barbarian, and you get a free Entangle or Trip with it, or you can Impale several enemies for the full damage. I've never heard anyone complain about the damage output of Barbarians.
    Last edited by Catharsis; 2015-08-15 at 06:08 AM.
    Catharsis

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    "All day long" is an exceedingly poor argument.
    All day long is, in fact, the default in this game. Every single build that uses attack rolls to cause damage can, in fact, do it all day long. The Two-Handed Beatstick doesn't use any any resources for it. Nor does an Archer really use up any resources (arrows are dirt-cheap), so that can also be done all-day long.

    But more than that, the game isn't even designed around "all day long". Because you'll always use up some resources - at the very least healing, unless the encounters are so easy that you don't take any damage at all.

    What you should look at is "do you reliably have access to this."
    Even if we take an Empowered Scorching Ray without any metamagic cost reduction, a 10th-level Sorcerer has at least 17 spell slots that can cast that spell. It does take a full-round action - but the Kineticist also gives up a move-action to gather power.
    17 spells is quite good. If you have 4 encounters per day, you can cast it four times per encounter.



    A 11th-level Kineticist can throw out a Composite Blast on each round on which they use Gather Power, and can tag on three points of infusions. That would deal 12D6+12 damage, but targets normal AC. Likely +3 from Elemental Overflow, likely +7 from Constitution and +1D6 from a Kineticist's Diadem. So, 13D6+22 damage, which is an average of 67.5.

    For AoE-damage, you might have those options:
    Cylcone: 20-foot burst around you, which is already not that great. Half damage to boot, with possibly quarter damage if the targets make a save.
    Eruption: 10-foot radius up to 120 feet away.
    Fan of Flames: 15-foot cone.
    Impale: 30-foot line, but with an attack roll instead of a saving throw.
    Spray: 30-foot cone, but only half damage and possibly quarter damage.
    Torrent: 30-foot line, again with half damage and possibly quarter damage.

    So your best option for damage is a 10-foot bust, which does 67.5 damage on average to at most four targets, if they're all clustered up together. So AoE-damage is not a big game-changer for the Kineticist, since their AoE-options are generally poor. They cover smaller areas than spells and often even do less damage.


    "But wait", you might say "you can do more with Burn!".
    Well yes, that is certainly true. Thing is - you are sharply limited on how many times per day you can do it. Our 11th-level Kineticist here can only spend 9 points of burn per day, if they start the day with maxed elemental overflow (which they need for accuracy).
    Now, 9 points might not sound so bad. But remember, you might have to spend more than one point to do what you want - you might have to spend two or three, which would bring you down to three or four daily uses of a "special power". That's comparable to a Paladins Smite Evil - but the Paladin also gets spells and Lay on Hands. He just won't run out of resources as quickly as a Kineticist who does actually spend Burn.

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    Default Re: Sucking Counts as Airbending, Right? A Guide to the Kineticist

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Good point. Well, that's why it's a new class and we're still analyzing it. At first glance there's not a lot of good infusions at 2 burn or less, but you could do Eruption for free to make it a 10' radius blast.
    Entangling and Bowling are both very nice rider effects to have for free on every attack. Even if your BAB is lower than a martial's, you get a free trip attempt every round with Bowling ó it doesn't have to work every time to be worthwhile.

    As for form infusions, even the 1st-level Fan of Flames can hit several enemies for full energy damage (half on a save still contributes to DPR), Torrent is OK for energy (especially for Electricity, where you should get a 60' line out of Air's Reach), and Impale is just spectacular for Geos (full physical damage to all enemies hit!). You can do all of these for free even on a standard action, and combine them with Empower if you have a move to spare.

    But infusion spec doesn't appear to lower the cost of empower, so that would stiil be limited to a handful times per day. Unless I'm missing something else?
    You're missing Gather Power.

    Nope. Getting +1 to caster level is easy, and you get three rays at CL 11.
    So you cherry-picked the level where the Sorcerer's damage leaps by 50% whereas the Kineticist gets his next big upgrade at 11th. How about we compare 9th-level characters? ;o)
    Catharsis

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