Hey everyone! Sorry that I was MIA last week—I had a lot of work to catch up on for school the previous weekend, and Iconic Design had to give. Sorry! To make it up to you, I’ve gone and made a build for a popular class that’s rather atypical. Today, I’m going to do a kinetic chirugeon build!
So, what’s a kinetic chirugeon? Basically, it’s a kineticist archetype that focuses on healing over damage. It is REALLY flipping good at healing. Like, REALLY flippin’ good. It does have some innate limitations built in (specifically that you give burn to heal, which means there is a hard cap to the number of times you can heal someone). However, the kineticist (and by extension, the chirugeon) is the burstiest healer in the game, meaning it can throw around huge numbers for its healing whenever it heals. That in and of itself makes it a good build to look at, in my opinion. And considering I run this popsicle stand, that’s what we’re going to do today!
Any information important to understanding the build or its roots goes here.
- Classes: kineticist (kinetic chirugeon) 12
- Feats: Point-Blank Shot (1st), Precise Shot (3rd), Toughness (5th), Combat Casting (7th), Improved Initiative (9th), Iron Will (11th)
- Abilities: burn, elemental focus (wood), elemental overflow +4, expanded element (aether), gather power, healing buffer 4, kinetic chirurgery, metahealer (1 die or breath of life), supercharge
- Mercies: fatigued (3rd), sickened (5th), haunted (7th), injured (9th), nauseated (11th)
- Simple Blast Talents: telekinetic blast (1st), positive energy blast
- Composite Blast Talents: atheric boost (7th)
- Defense Talents: force ward (2nd)
- Utility Talents: kinetic healer (Bonus), elemental whispers (2nd), telekinetic finesse (4th), kinetic restoration (6th), healing burst (8th), telekinetic maneuvers (10th), kinetic revivification (12th)
So one of the trickier parts of designing this build was trying to pick whether to go aether or wood as the primary element. Basically, when you take this archetype, you can pick from aether, water, or wood (Psychic Anthology has an alternate wild talent that you can take instead of kinetic healer if you go kinetic chirugeon). Personally, I don’t think wood is a strong choice, as you’re forced into taking positive energy blast as your first blast, which means you lose any ability to deal damage to things that aren’t undead creatures (and can’t affect constructs at all). So personally, I prefer aether’s elemental defense to water’s and aether can deal any type of damage with its physical blast, so I am going to recommend aether. (Plus aether’s defense scales REALLY well with taking burn, which is probably going to happen to you if you play a kinetic chirurgeon). However, you’re REALLY not going to see much of the aether-specific talents if you’re using this build. You’re mostly taking things that amp healing, and those are available to aether, water, and wood.
So initially, you get kinetic healer as a bonus utility talent, and then you grab elemental whispers. I really like elemental whispers because it gives you Alertness and a familiar ability of your choice for free. (Going +hit points or +initiative is a smart idea for this build.) Telekinetic finesse is simply a favorite of mine, and being able to find and set off traps from a distance is simply cool beans. From there, we take kinetic restoration, healing burst, and kinetic revivification as soon as we’re able. For our second “not-healing” utility talent, I picked telekinetic maneuvers, because having a healer who can trip or dirty trick opponents from afar is pretty awesome in my opinion—gives you something fun to do when friends don’t need healing.
Now, you might notice that there are no infusions in this build. That’s because the kinetic chirugeon trades them away; you get kinetic healer for free as mentioned at 1st level, plus paladin mercies that you can put onto your kinetic healer ability. (Note—the healing burst wild talent counts as kinetic healer for the purpose of ALL kinetic chirugeon wild talents, so one of the strengths of this archetype is that like the merciful healer cleric, you have mercies AND can apply them to a bunch of people all at once.) I chose some of my favorites for this build, which include several of the new mercies from Healer’s Handbook. Sickened, fatigued, and nauseated are staples that remove several common, debilitating conditions, while haunted gives you the mental protections of protection from evil, and injured gives you fast healing 3 for a number of rounds equal to your kineticist level. This is SUPER helpful, especially the fast healing, which can take the edge off of big hits, automatically stabilize dying allies (one of the few healing-based powers this archetype doesn’t get), and basically auto-stop bleed effects.
Now, the place where this archetype gets hit damage-wise is in the fact that it loses metakinesis, which means no empowered for your blasts. However, you get an awesome metahealer ability instead, and throughout the course of our gameplay, you’ll get the ability to spend burn to add extra dice of healing to your kinetic healer and healing burst abilities, as well as the ability to breath of life allies. And yes, since healing burst counts as kinetic healer for all purposes, this archetype can combine metahealer with healing burst to AoE breath of life all allies within 30 feet of you. REALLY good if things are going down the drain fast, or you’d be unable to reach someone directly to hit them with kinetic healer. Plus since this build takes kinetic revivification, you can actually breath of life allies that have died a number of rounds prior equal to 3 + your ally’s Con modifier (minimum 0), so this combination of abilities basically gives you a better breath of life if you’re willing to place massive amounts of burn on yourself and your allies.
Finally, this archetype has a special version of the internal buffer ability—it holds twice as many points of burn, but those burn points can only be used for kinetic healer and other healing abilities. Which is … basically what you do. You’ve only got force ward as your only not-healing burn generator, so this is PERFECT.
Overall, I really like this build as far as healing goes. It’s up there for builds that I’d like to try someday. I think it would be a fun, effective healer that still has a decent offensive option to fall back on when allies aren’t dying (which isn’t something you can always say for all healing builds). I’d encourage you to try this build the next time your party needs a healer—it’ll likely take some time to master, but once you do you may not want to play any other healer ever again!
That’s all for this week’s Iconic Design! Going forward, I’m breaking away from the rotational nature of Guidance and Iconic Design, so you’ll see the next Iconic Design whenever I have new builds to share! (Hint—PRETTY OFTEN.) Also, if there’s a specific build or archetype or prestige class that you want to see me tackle, make sure to tell me in the comments section. I’d love to take a swing at whatever you serve to me. Take care!
Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.