Iconic Design: The Sneaky Shadow Kineticist

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 continuing my series on Kineticists of Tian Xia with a Wayang Kineticist. This build uses the kinetic dissolution ultility 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: Wayang.
  • Class: kineticist 12
  • Feats: Skill Focus: Stealth (1st), Step Up (3rd), Dampen Presence (5th), Shadowy Dash (7th), Shadow’s Shroud (9th), Hellcat Pounce (11th)
  • Class Features: burn, elemental overflow +4, infusion specialization 3, internal buffer 2, gather power, kinetic blast, supercharge
    • Elemental Focus: void (1st), void (7th)
    • Infusions: kinetic blade (1st), blade rush (3rd), kinetic whip (5th), darkness infusion (Bonus; 7th), blade whirlwind (9th), vampiric blast (11th)
    • Defense: emptiness (2nd)
    • Metakinesis: empower (5th), maximize (9th)
    • Utility: kinetic dissolution (2nd), skilled kineticist, (4th), greater skilled kineticist: Stealth (6th), gravity control (8th), eyes of the void (10th), greater gravity control (12th)

Playing the Build

This build is a weird one, mostly because it really can’t take off until 13th level, which is one level beyond the typical range of a Pathfinder Society Scenario. The basic idea of this build is that it uses the darkness infusion to create temporary areas of darkness that you can see through because you’re a wayang. Because of how its worded, if you shoot a foe with your kinetic blast, you basically draw a line from you to your enemy and BOOM. Everything in that line is darkness for a short while. Additionally, if you strike someone with a melee attack, their space becomes darkness for a short bit. This makes for some weird interactions with several of the abilities I picked for this build, as follows.

  • Stealth Focus: This build is designed to be good at hiding. Every feat this build gets except for Step Up is designed to allow you to hide where you want, whenever you want. Greater Skilled Kinecticist also allows you to add half your kineticist level to Stealth checks, so since kineticist has Stealth as a class skill you’re probably looking at a bonus of +41 at 12th level (Dex +9 [includes the size bonus from elemental overflow], 12 ranks, +3 class skill, +1 trait, half level from greater skilled kineticist, +5 from a magic item like soles of the silent stride or subtle slippers, Skill Focus +3, +2 from lurker racial trait). That’s not going to ensure that all of your tricks work, but that’s a bonus most characters won’t be able to match.
  • Dissolution’s Child: This racial trait is basically a once per day invisibility spell, but its WAY better in the hands of a void kineticist. That 5 rounds of invisibility can be super helpful when you’re trying to maximize your Stealth bonuses in combat, as its worth an extra +20. Moreover, the void element doesn’t really HAVE any good wild talents at 2nd level, so even if this isn’t the greatest its still helpful, and since telekientic invisibility has a lesser Stealth bonus (literally half), this is the largest easy-access bonus your kineticist could get outside of buying a ring of invisibility.
  • Step Up: In my opinion, Step Up is one of the sillier things this build can do. Let’s say you run into a group and do something like kinetic blade or blade whirlwind and combine that ability with the darkness infusion. When you do so, you make a square of darkness in every space that you attack. Now, let’s say a foe uses a 5-foot step to move away from you, out of the darkness. Well, if you were adjacent to that target can could have used Step Up, congratulations! You can step up directly into that shadowy space and use Stealth next round. Huzzah!

Unlike many of my builds, this is a build that gets better when you level out of PFS range. Grabbing greater darkness infusion allows the darkness you create to be squares of supernatural darkness, and greater eyes of the void allows you to see through supernatural darkness. That means that this build, which doesn’t get to do any of its Stealthy bits against creatures with darkvision up until, like, 13th level, suddenly can. You also get a big boost from taking aether as your final expanded element at 15th level, as you can combine a whole bunch of composite blasts together into one doom blast. Plus aether is pretty thematic for void, since you can flavor the aether powers as gravity powers. Going into aether also allows you to unlock the kinetic-based invisibility options.

A Stealth build is definitely not your typical kineticist fare, but if you want to use this build to incentify groups of enemies from splitting up and moving around, this is an awesome build. If you cna stop your enemies from moving, its even somewhat defensive against foes unable to see through your darkness, since it basically gives you and your allies concealment. Next week is going to be my Part 2 of “How to Do PF1 Ultimate Classes in PF2” speculation series, and then I’ll finish this Tian Xia series with the Samsaran. Three weeks later I’ll be doing “How to Do PF1 Occult Classes in PF2”, and then I have an article on character roles like tank / healing / control and how Dev design is affected by them.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time in Iconic Design!

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: Bercerita dengan Wayang by Wikimedia Commons

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.

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