1
\$\begingroup\$

Can a Kineticist benefit from Surprise Weapon trait bonus with Telekinetic Blast?

Telekinetic Blast

You throw a nearby unattended object at a single foe as a ranged attack. The object must weigh no more than 5 pounds per kineticist level you possess. If the attack hits, the target and the thrown object each take the blast’s damage. Since the object is enfolded in strands of aether, even if you use this power on a magic weapon or other unusual object, the attack doesn’t use any of the magic weapon’s bonuses or effects; it simply deals your blast damage. Alternatively, you can loosen the strands of aether in order to deal damage to both the object and the target as though you had thrown the object yourself (instead of dealing your normal blast damage).

You substitute your Constitution modifier for your Strength modifier if throwing the object would have added your Strength modifier on the damage roll, and you don’t take the –4 penalty on the attack roll for throwing an object that wasn’t designed to be thrown. In this case, the object’s special effects apply (including effects from its materials), and if the object is a weapon, you must be proficient with it and able to wield it with one hand; otherwise, the item deals damage as a one-handed improvised weapon for a creature of your size.

Surprise Weapon

You are skilled at fighting with objects not traditionally considered weapons. You gain a +2 trait bonus on attack rolls with improvised weapons.

Aether Kineticists "Telekineticists" are almost always within range of something they can use as projectile with their Telekinetic Blast. Majority of these things are not weapons and are as mundane as the dressing of the environment such as furniture in a room or rocks outdoors. Does the Kineticist have access to the +2 to attack bonus from the Surprise Weapon trait when using non-weapons as projectiles when using Telekinetic Blast?

Does the +2 to attack from Surprise Weapon also work with Kineticist's Foe Throw Kinetic Blast infusion which function much like Telekinetic Blast?

Foe Throw

Your telekinetic blast can throw a Large or smaller creature instead of an unattended object; you can increase the burn cost by 1 to affect a creature of a larger size. If the creature you attempt to throw succeeds at a Fortitude save, it negates the blast entirely.

Otherwise, if your blast hits, both the thrown creature and the target take the full amount of damage from your telekinetic blast, and the thrown creature falls prone in the last unoccupied space along its path. If your blast misses, the thrown creature can choose to occupy any space within 30 feet of the target, it doesn’t fall prone, and it takes half the normal amount of damage from your blast. The movement doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.

\$\endgroup\$

1 Answer 1

2
\$\begingroup\$

No, for default Telekinetic Blast and Foe Throw. Depends, for the alternative attack.

Kinetic blasts count as a type of weapon for the purpose of feats such as Weapon Focus. The kineticist is never considered to be wielding or gripping the kinetic blast (regardless of effects from form infusions; see Infusion), and she can’t use Vital Strike feats with kinetic blasts.

Improvised Weapons: Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat. Because such objects are not designed for this use, any creature that uses an improvised weapon in combat is considered to be nonproficient with it and takes a –4 penalty on attack rolls made with that object. To determine the size category and appropriate damage for an improvised weapon, compare its relative size and damage potential to the weapon list to find a reasonable match. An improvised weapon scores a threat on a natural roll of 20 and deals double damage on a critical hit. An improvised thrown weapon has a range increment of 10 feet.

Telekinetic Blast is a physical, simple Kinetic Blast and as such is considered a weapon of type Kinetic Blast as far as feats are concerned. Since it is a type of weapon it does not fit the definition of an improvised weapon.

Infusions come in two types, each of which changes a kinetic blast differently: a substance infusion causes an additional effect, while a form infusion causes the kinetic blast to manifest in a different way.

For Foe Throw, the rules for Form Infusions say that they change the manifestation of the Kinetic Blast, but it is still a Kinetic Blast and the ability provides specific rules regarding the saves made and the damage dealt, rather than using the improvised weapon rules.

Alternatively, you can loosen the strands of aether in order to deal damage to both the object and the target as though you had thrown the object yourself (instead of dealing your normal blast damage). You substitute your Constitution modifier for your Strength modifier if throwing the object would have added your Strength modifier on the damage roll, and you don’t take the –4 penalty on the attack roll for throwing an object that wasn’t designed to be thrown. In this case, the object’s special effects apply (including effects from its materials), and if the object is a weapon, you must be proficient with it and able to wield it with one hand; otherwise, the item deals damage as a one-handed improvised weapon for a creature of your size.

This alternative use of Telekinetic Blast is confusing because it is still a kinetic blast, but uses the thrown weapon rules or improvised thrown weapon rules depending on what you threw. It says to act "as though you had thrown the object yourself". This was said in the context of damage, but since the special rules go on to address both attack penalties and proficiency I think it is reasonable to infer that it refers to the whole attack and not just the damage.

So using the alternative Telekinetic Blast on a non-weapon object is still technically a Kinetic Blast type attack, but says to instead resolve the attack as if you had thrown the object yourself. Therefore it would act as an improvised throwing weapon and benefit from Surprise Weapon in that specific case.

\$\endgroup\$

You must log in to answer this question.

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