I am currently planing to build an air kineticist for our Kingsmaker campaign. I really like the flavor and the "Avatar" feel of it, despite being a quite unliked class in forums.
While building, I came across a question I cannot find an answer to:
What is the max range of an air kineticist?
Per default, you have a range of 30 feet.
With the infusion extended range, you get 120 feet.
With the infusion extreme range, you get 480 feet.
Now as an air kineticist, you can take the wild utility air's reach, which doubles the range AFTER the infusion, making it 960 feet. (at level 6!)
When using air blasts, air wild talents, or composite blasts that include air, double the blast’s effective range. This effect applies after altering the range due to effects such as the extended range infusion. This doubles only the blast’s effective range, not the area of effect for infusions like cloud and cyclone.
Let's compare it to fireball: 400ft + 40ft/Level.
That makes it 640 feet at level 6 and at level 20 a whopping 1200 feet without any kind of penalties.
But: Fireball is a spell. Kinetic blast is a spell like ranged (touch) attack.
Therefore, a fireball does not need an attack role but has a saving throw, and vice versa for the kinetic blast.
By this ruling, all forums, guides etc agree, that a kinetic blast is considered as a ranged attack & weapon.
They benefit from point-blank shot, they need precise shot for ranged attacks into melee and can count as a ranged weapon for all these talents.
Physical blasts are ranged attacks that deal an amount of damage equal to 1d6+1 + the kineticist’s Constitution modifier, increasing by 1d6+1 for every 2 kineticist levels beyond 1st. Spell resistance doesn’t apply against physical blasts.
Energy blasts are ranged touch attacks that deal an amount of damage equal to 1d6 + 1/2 the kineticist’s Constitution modifier, increasing by 1d6 for every 2 kineticist levels beyond 1st.
Every ranged weapon can attack beyond its normal range. With a -2 attack roll penalty you can increase it up to 10 times for projectiles. This can give a crossbow with a normal range of 120 feet a range of 1200 feet with a -20 penalty.
Ranged Attack Range Increments
With a ranged weapon, you can shoot or throw at any target that is within the weapon’s maximum range and in line of sight. The maximum range for a thrown weapon is five range increments. For projectile weapons, it is 10 range increments. Some ranged weapons have shorter maximum ranges, as specified in their descriptions.
By interpreting this as "every ranged weapon which must take an attack roll can extend its range" (which would exclude spells like fireball), you can apply this to the kinetic blast. With that, if you take a -20 penalty, it would make the total range of a kinetic air blast 9,600 feet! (nearly 3 kilometers)
What are your takes on this?
My thinking is, that if you apply the rules of the ranged weapons on it regarding the talents AND the attack roles instead of saving throw, this must apply, too.
Maybe I apply the range increment at a false spot?
Make it the base 30 multiplied by 10 increments plus the difference from the doubled air's reach extreme range 930 makes it 1230. But that just doesn't seem intuitive, and for a ~300 feet range increase, the -20 penalty isn't worth it (at that point).
Only using the increment on extreme range and thinking of air's reach as an "eleventh" increment: 480 * 11 = 5280 feet (1.6 km or 1 Mile!)
I know, I know, every GM would outlaw this (especially considering you can attack as a touched ranged attack), but my point still stands. (Rules as written)
And with that kind of power, you can just fly up to whatever height you want and bombard everyone below you, without even using burn or spell slots. (Flight is also available at level 6 for an air kinetic)
Another point to consider is line of sight. But I couldn't find any value related to this besides "limited by fog, terrain, etc.". Am I missing something here?