I was looking at archetypes for the kineticists and found Overwhelming Soul it doesn't seem like it gives much of a benefit. You gain a couple of good skills, get the ability to lower burn by one point once per day, and gain the hit and damage roll bonus without relying on burn. In exchange, you lose the ability to take burn which restricts what wild talents you can use. Not to mention you have multiple ways to manage burn. I don't really see the real benefit it feels like one of those archetypes that give to little in exchange for to much. Is that just me?

  • \$\begingroup\$ See, Kineticist itself is already not worth it. The class itself is very problematic and a chaos to implement. I seriously do not recommend this class. As written, it is very hard to make work, and you need very specific builds to make it marginally viable. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Feb 20, 2020 at 18:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you recommend not playing Kinticist, how would you implement that character fantasy for people who don't care about power level and Tiers as much? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Feb 21, 2020 at 1:05

2 Answers 2


Almost everything about Overwhelming Soul just makes a kineticist worse.

As with a lot of other archetypes, Overwhelming Soul trades out class features for things that look like they might fill the same role. Unfortunately, these are all pretty much downgrades from what a normal kineticist would have. Going over the replacements:

Mind Over Matter

Charisma is a less useful ability score for a kineticist to be based on than constitution. Sure it helps out with your social skills, but kineticists don't really get that much for use outside of combat (especially without the ability to take burn on utility talents). On the other hand, constitution gives you more hit points and better fortitude saves, both of which can help out with being in combat. Sure you'll be trading away all of your extra hit points for more burn, but at least that will let you do something by investing in your primary ability score instead of just bumping up your numbers.

Mental Prowess

Not being able to take any burn is going to limit what you can actually do. If anything does end up forcing burn onto you, then you're stuck with negative levels for 24 hours. So by giving up being able to take burn, you get... what exactly? Yeah, your replacement for elemental overflow is always on, but you give up a lot of versatility for a few small numerical boosts that aren't even any higher than what you would have in the first place.

The replacement for internal buffer could have been okay, but you only ever will have it once per day. Internal buffer had the slight benefit of getting more uses as you leveled up. You would expect the archetype that gives up the ability to take burn normally to be better at reducing burn costs, but instead you become worse at it. This might be better if you always use up every last point of burn you can take and never have anything to put into the buffer, but that usually won't happen.

Overwhelming Power

Finally, you trade out elemental overflow for a slightly weaker version that doesn't cost you any burn. The bonus scales at the same rate (with only half as much of a bonus to damage), but you don't need to have any burn. Since taking burn is what allows you to actually use a lot of your class features, the cost of elemental overflow was already negligible.


Everything the Overwhelming Soul gets is a step down from a normal kineticist. It's not much of a step down since the kineticist doesn't really have anywhere to go, but it mostly just gives up the versatility that a normal kineticist would have for a little bit more consistency. Not being able to take on any burn removes a lot from a kineticist, and the only thing that you actually get in exchange that a normal kineticist wouldn't have is two more class skills. Is a +3 bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy worth giving up elemental overflow's size bonus and any utility talent that has a burn cost? No.


It's not gonna change your tier

If you are playing the kineticist as tier 4:

You are essentially trading the ability score modifiers from Elemental Overflow for increased social skills. This somewhat lowers your damage output from Kinetic Blade, but not by enough to ruin things. You have to make up the difference via increased utility from your social skills.

Not being able to take burn isn't a real loss because you set burn to Elemental Overflow's cap and then never take any more at the beginning of each day anyways.

If you are playing the kineticist as tier 6ish:

Kineticist “at-will” blasting (1d6 per two levels) is not enough to meaningfully fight enemies with a challenge rating near the character’s level, and kineticist daily-limited blasting only deals slightly more damage, without the debuffs (or even ability to keep blasting through multiple encounters) that spellcasters get with area energy blasting.


So, without blasting, what does a non-kinetic-blade kineticist have? Proficiency in simple weapons. Trading size bonuses at 6th and higher levels for Bluff and Diplomacy as class skills at first level is not a terrible trade. Needing Cha in addition to Str, Dex, and Con is bad, but not that much worse than needing Str, Dex, and Con in the first place (viz. the difference between a SAD character and one with two necessary stats is bigger than a character that needs 3 stats relative to a character that needs 4).

In any case, you are already at the very bottom of the barrel. With a party of tier 6 characters, the GM has to carefully tailor every encounter to keep y'all from being useless anyways, ala This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman but where the entire party as a whole is Aquaman. Having a little more social skills and a little less physical ability score modifiers isn't going to significantly change that.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you recommend not playing Kinticist, how would you implement that character fantasy for people who don't care about power level and Tiers as much? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Feb 21, 2020 at 1:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not saying not to play kineticist, I'm just trying to address both of the ways of doing that presented in the answer I link. I'm not sure what is meant by the kineticist character fantasy-- a character that uses pretty much exclusively offensive magic attacks? A character that gets elemental-themed stuff? A character whose most important stat is Con? A character who damages themselves to push past their limits and do extra good at stuff? -- So I don't know that there's any single build I would recommend in a comment. Kineticist is fine, though, if you don't care about balance. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 21, 2020 at 17:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .