Iconic Design — Master of a Million Elements

Welcome to Iconic Design! Where I start your week off right with an exciting character build for the Pathfinder or Starfinder Roleplaying Game! I’m Alexander Augunas, the Everyman Gamer, and today I’m finishing my series on Kineticists of Tian Xia with a Samsaran Kineticist. This build uses the past life evoker utility talent that I designed for Pathfinder Play Companion: Heroes of Golarion. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to it, shall we?


  • Race: Samsaran.
  • Class: kineticist 12
  • Feats: Weapon Finesse (1st), Weapon Focus: kinetic blast (3rd), Power Attack (5th), Mobile Gathering (7th), Gather Might (9th), Enduring Might (11th)
  • Class Features: burn, elemental overflow +4, infusion specialization 3, internal buffer 2 , gather power, kinetic blast, supercharge
    • Elemental Focus: air (1st), air(7th)
    • Defense: enveloping winds (2nd)
    • Infusions: kinetic blast (1st), blade rush (3rd), thundering infusion (5th), kinetic whip (9th), blade whirlwind (11th)
    • Metakinesis: empower (5th), maximize (9th)
    • Utility: air’s leap (2nd), past life evoker, (4th), wings of air (6th), aerial evasion (Bonus; 7th), celerity (8th), kinetic form (10th), ride the blast (12th)

Playing the Build

One thing I discovered in writing a build for past life evoker was that it was actually REALLY difficult to design an entire build around a once-per-day ability that lasted one minute. So instead of doing that, I made a build where the ability to pull an element on demand is helpful, but not necessary. Behind, my dancing breeze samsaran!

So, how does this build work. Insanely! Believe it or not, but it actually revolves around the last three feats in the chain: mobile gathering, gather might, and enduring might. Here’s the rundown.

  • When you use gather power as a move action, Mobile Gathering allows you to move half your base speed. This likely means 15 feet for you.
  • When you gather power, instead of accepting a burn reduction Gather Might allows you to accept a +2 alchemical bonus to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution for every point of burn reduction you could have gotten from gather power. For a move action, this is +2 at 9th level when you get it or +4 at 11th level thanks to the supercharge class feature.
  • When you accept burn, elemental overflow also gives you a bonus to your ability scores. At 11th level, this is a +4 size bonus to one score and a +2 size bonus to a second score.

So basically, I went out of my way to pick high-damage infusions that don’t really need to be stacked with one another, and whose burn cost is mostly low enough that infusion specialization reduces their cost to 0. Kinetic blade and kinetic whip are great for this. As a result, you can accept 5 points of burn to charge up your enveloping winds defense (or celerity or past life evoker), netting you the +4 size bonus to Dex and +2 size bonus to Con. Then any time you gather power, you get to move up to 15 feet (maybe more if you boost your speed, like with a pair of boots of striding and springing or your celerity utility talent), give yourself an extra +4 to Dex for another +2 to hit (a total of +4 from everything) and boom. This is why I took Power Attack on this build; you’re going to be rolling in To-Hit, so as long as you have the 13 Strength to qualify go ahead and Power Attack the heck out of those kinetic blade and kinetic whip attacks.

So, what does past life evoker do for you? Basically, it allows you to quickly grab a new element for optimal kinetic blading. Fighting something weak to a specific damage type that you don’t have? Grab it for a minute and wreck face! Since this build isn’t super dependent on what element you take, here are some suggestions for changes (I picked air for wings of air specifically, since I think that’s SO useful for a melee kineticist build).

  • Aether: The elemental defense for aether is AWESOME; if you have enough time between fights, it basically shores up all the hit points you lost charging up elemental overflow.
  • Earth: Not only is the defense (an AC bonus) great, but the rare-metal infusion where your kinetic blade overcomes most metallic-based DRs is REALLY good for damage dealing.
  • Fire: Fire isn’t a great element for this build because its restricted to one specific damage type (fire) and its flame jet ability is generally a worse wings of air all around. Fire’s strength is in its awesome infusions, and you don’t really have room for most of the ones you’d want.
  • Void: Void also isn’t a great choice for the same reason as fire—it only has two damage choices and one of the blasts is useless against undead, a common enemy type. Most of its abilities focus on allowing you to see in the dark and exist without breathing, so if those abilities are valuable to your campaign then go for it. Otherwise void is basically just an element for edgelords as far as this build is concerned.
  • Water: Water is a fantastic element! Shroud of water is a great elemental defense, and you get access to kinetic healer if your group needs it. If your campaign is water based, the swim speed is also great.
  • Wood: Wood is a surprisingly good element. Even though positive blast is useless for damage most of the type, wood blast is as versatile as earth blast. Wood also has an AC bonus like earth and some fantastic infusions. It’s utility talents, however, are pretty specialized.

And that’s that! After a long journey, we’ve made kineticists for every Tian Xia race. Since Pathfinder 2E is just around the corner, I’m expecting this to be my final PF1 Iconic Design. Next week I’m going to write that blog I keep talking about regarding character roles and how your design is affected by them.  The following week I’ll be traveling home from GenCon, so I don’t think I’m going to have a super in-depth article. Expect some light thoughts on my opinions of the newly released PF2 and that’s about it. After that on August 12th, I’m going to be doing my first PF2 Iconic Design! I think it’s going to be my design for my first PF2 PFS character, a human fighter. What will I do? Stick around and see!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time in the Dev Pit!

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 Alexs Twitter, @AlJAug.

Creative Commons Credit: Lord of Sunlight by sstarkm

Alex Augunas

Alexander "Alex" Augunas is an author and behavioral health worker living outside of Philadelphia in the United States. He has contributed to gaming products published by Paizo, Inc, Kobold Press, Legendary Games, Raging Swan Press, Rogue Genius Games, and Steve Jackson Games, as well as the owner and publisher of Everybody Games (formerly Everyman Gaming). At the Know Direction Network, he is the author of Guidance and a co-host on Know Direction: Beyond. You can see Alex's exploits at http://www.everybodygames.net, or support him personally on Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/eversagarpg.

Stellar Logo