The description for kinetisists wild talents says

Wild talents are typically spell-like abilities (though some are supernatural abilities), and take a standard action to use unless otherwise noted.

But many other classes get spell like and supernatural abilities as well as the ability to mimic spells rouges get the minor and major magic talents, many ninja tricks are supernatural abilities, and qigong monks can mimic spells as ki powers so there’s obviously ways to do magic stuff without being without being a mage.

Ninja Tricks

As a ninja continues her training, she learns a number of tricks that allow her to confuse her foes and grant her supernatural abilities. Starting at 2nd level, a ninja gains one ninja trick. She gains one additional ninja trick for every 2 levels attained after 2nd. Unless otherwise noted, a ninja cannot select an individual ninja trick more than once. Tricks marked with an asterisk (*) add effects to a ninja’s sneak attack. Only one of these tricks can be applied to an individual attack and the decision must be made before the attack is made. A complete listing of ninja tricks can be found here: Ninja Tricks

Major magic rogue talent

Prerequisite: Intelligence 11, minor magic rogue talent Benefit: A rogue with this talent gains the ability to cast a 1st-level spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list two times a day as a spell-like ability. The caster level for this ability is equal to the rogue’s level. The save DC for this spell is 11 + the rogue’s Intelligence modifier.

Under ki powers of qigong monk

Spells: These ki powers duplicate the effects of a spell, and are spell-like abilities. A qinggong monk’s class level is the caster level for these spell-like abilities, and she uses Wisdom to determine her concentration check bonus.

Kinetisists feel way more magical than the above examples do but they don’t play like a typical caster what with the absence of spell slots. On the other hand just like casters they are almost entirely reliant on their magical stuff for lack of better words.

So the question is are kinetisists considered a magic class in the sense that do they use “magic” and have a magic focus by pathfinders definition of “magic”

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ For this to be really answerable, you need to define "mages". \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Jul 3 '20 at 3:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman I thought about requesting exactly that info before answering, but 'mage' hasn't been a defined term in Pathfinder or D&D since AD&D, so I figured it's the colloquial definition only. And kineticists are different enough from anything you'd normally call a 'mage' I felt there was room for my answer. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 3 '20 at 4:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman hopefully my edit clears up any confusion I was half asleep when I wrote this so I couldn’t think of a proper term or definition. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 3 '20 at 14:41
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This feels like it’s asking what a kineticist’s role is/how one is played, which feels like it’s best answered by this Q&A, which becomes almost a duplicate? \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jul 3 '20 at 18:32

Yes, spell-like abilities go under the heading of “magic” in Pathfinder; antimagic field, dead magic zones, and other things that refer to “magic” interact with spell-like abilities, including the kineticist’s. And the kineticist as a class focuses on their spell-like abilities heavily. They aren’t a rogue or whatever that has a few magic tricks that augment their mundane skills; their magic tricks are close to all they are.

However, kinetcists certainly aren’t “spellcasters”—they don’t cast spells. Spell-like abilities are (as the name might suggest) similar in some ways to spells, but (contrary to the name) specifically unlike spells in a number of important ways. In any event, when the game says “spell” it means “spell” and not “spell-like ability.” And a “spellcaster” casts “spells.” Spell-like abilities don’t qualify.

Of course, as gatherer818 well points out, it’s very, very likely that the overwhelming majority of people, untrained in magical things, will not be able to readily distinguish a kineticist from other forms of magic, spellcasting included. A peasant may well call all types of magical folks, including kineticists, “wizard”—or even “mage.”

Kineticists are, for the record, “occult” or “psychic,” and their magic—though it isn’t spells—falls under the category of what PF 1e calls “psychic magic” and PF 2e calls “occult magic.”


They're not considered wizards, that's for sure. They don't use words or gestures to do their "magic", other than needing one hand free to aim their blasts. With their lack of required components and ability to (learn to ) use any armor, they probably don't often get confused for magic-users unless someone sees them actually doing their thing. People who do see them manipulating the elements could easily confuse them for sorcerers with elemental-themed bloodlines if those onlookers aren't educated on magic....

...and if someone who does know the basics of how magic works sees a kineticist working their mojo and realizes it's nothing at all like "real" magic, they might think they're some kind of demon or witch. But definitely not any of the things most people think of when they hear the word "mage".


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