Martial Soulknife Variant (3.5e Class)

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Martial Soulknife (Soulknife Variant)[edit]

Adaptive fighters that pride themselves in a razor-edge balance between martial and psionic prowess, Martial Soulknives lend themselves well to skirmish-styled combat and are never caught off guard. Being unarmed is a foreign concept to a martial soulknife, and his devotion to his blade and its usage on the Sublime Way are unmatched.

Making a Martial Soulknife[edit]

Martial Soulknives are good at catching opponets off guard, and is never without his blade. However, while one can stand toe-to-toe in melee combat with most combatants, once their repertoire of manuvers is depleted they are best off letting their allies move in.

Abilities: Strength is the most important ability for a martial soulknife, modifing both their attack and damage rolls. Intelligence is nearly as important, as it increases the effectiveness of their manuvers. Dexterity may be useful to some Martial Soulknives, as they are proficient only with light armor.

Races: Martial Soulknives may come from any race, though humans tend to be fond of their adaptability. Some Half-Orcs may find the mental demands too challenging.

Alignment: Any

Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Martial Soulknife

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Manuvers
Known
Manuvers
Readied
Stances
Known
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +0 +2 +2 Discipline Specialization, Mind Blade, Shape Mind Blade, Wild Talent 1 1 1
2nd +2 +0 +3 +3 Bonus Feat 2 1 1
3rd +3 +1 +3 +3 Speed of Thought 2 2 1
4th +4 +1 +4 +4 Mind Blade +1, Shape Mind Blade (Split) 3 2 1
5th +5 +1 +4 +4 Psychic Strike +1d8 3 2 1
6th +6/+1 +2 +5 +5 Evasion, Twin Disciplines 4 2 2
7th +7/+2 +2 +5 +5 Mind Blade +2 4 3 2
8th +8/+3 +2 +6 +6 Mind Blade Enhancement +1 5 3 2
9th +9/+4 +3 +6 +6 Superior Discipline Specialization 5 3 2
10th +10/+5 +3 +7 +7 Mind Blade +3, Psychic Strike +2d8 6 3 2
11th +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +7 Mind Blade Enhancement +2 6 4 2
12th +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +8 Improved Evasion 7 4 3
13th +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +8 Mind Blade +4 7 4 3
14th +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +9 Mind Blade Enhancement +3 8 4 3
15th +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +9 Psychic Strike +3d8 8 5 3
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +10 Mind Blade +5 9 5 3
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Mind Blade Enhancement +4 9 5 3
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Knife to the Soul 10 5 4
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 10 6 4
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Mind Blade Enhancement +5, Psychic Strike +4d8 11 6 4

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Martial Soulknife.


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Martial Soulknives are proficient with all simple weapons, with their own mind blades, and with light armor and shields (except tower shields).


Manuvers: See Tome of Battle, pg. 37. A martial soulknife's manuvers are very limited. He chooses one discipline to specialize in at first level and only is able to learn manuvers from that discipline. At sixth level a martial soulknife chooses a second discipline. The martial soulknife is then able to learn manuvers from both those disciplines, but is never able to learn from the third (without aid of feats). For example, a 6th level martial soulknife with Discipline Specialization (Shadow Hand) and Twin Disciplines (Diamond Mind) is able to learn any manuver from both the Shadow Hand and Diamond Mind disciplines that he meets the prerequisites for, but may not ever learn from the Devoted Spirit discipline.

The initiator level for a martial soulknife's manuvers are equal to his levels in martial soulknife plus 1/2 of the levels he has in other classes. For example, a martial soulknife 12, monk 2 would have an initiator level of 13. He also is unable to recover manuvers in battle, instead he must spend at least one minute in meditation after an encounter to recover all of his expended manuvers.


Discipline Specialization: A martial soulknife selects one of his three available disciplines (Devoted Spirit, Diamond Mind or Shadow Hand). While wielding one of that dicipline's weapons or while your Mind Blade is shaped into one of that discipline's weapons you gain +1 to attack rolls.


Mind Blade (Su): As a move action, a martial soulknife can create a semisolid blade composed of psychic energy distilled from his own mind. The created blade may be shaped as any weapon that may benefit from your Discipline Specialization. For instance, a Medium martial soulknife with Disipline Specialization (Shadow Hand) materializes a Medium dagger mind blade that he can wield as a light weapon, and the blade deals 1d4 points of damage (crit 19–20/×2). Martial Soulknives who are smaller or larger than Medium create mind blades appropriate for their size, with a corresponding change to the blade’s damage. The wielder of a mind blade gains the usual benefits to his attack roll and damage roll from a high Strength bonus.

The blade can be broken (it has hardness 10 and 10 hit points); however, a martial soulknife can simply create another on his next move action. The moment he relinquishes his grip on his blade, it dissipates. A mind blade is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

A martial soulknife can use feats such as Power Attack or Combat Expertise in conjunction with the mind blade just as if it were a normal weapon. He can also choose mind blade for feats requiring a specific weapon choice, such as Weapon Specialization. Powers or spells that upgrade weapons can be used on a mind blade.

A martial soulknife’s mind blade improves as the character gains higher levels. At 4th level and every three levels thereafter, the mind blade gains a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls (+2 at 7th level, +3 at 10th level, +4 at 13th level, and +5 at 16th level).

Even in places where psionic effects do not normally function (such as within a null psionics field), a martial soulknife can attempt to sustain his mind blade by making a DC 20 Will save. On a successful save, the martial soulknife maintains his mind blade for a number of rounds equal to his class level before he needs to check again. On an unsuccessful attempt, the mind blade vanishes. As a move action on his turn, the martial soulknife can attempt a new Will save to rematerialize his mind blade while he remains within the psionics negating effect.


Shape Mind Blade (Su): A martial soulknife gains the ability to change the form of his mind blade. As a full-round action, he can change his mind blade in to any other weapon that benefits from your Discipline Specialization.

Alternatively, at fourth level or higher, a martial soulknife can split his mind blade into two identical weapons, suitable for fighting with a weapon in each hand. (The normal penalties for fighting with two weapons apply.) However, both mind blades have an enhancement bonus 1 lower than the martial soulknife would otherwise create with a single mind blade. For example, a +1 Mind Blade when split would become two identical Mind Blades with no bonus attack or damage.


Wild Talent: A martial soulknife gains Wild Talent as a bonus feat. (This class feature provides the character with the psionic power he needs to materialize his mind blade, if he has no power points otherwise.)


Bonus Feat: At second level, a martial soulknife may take a bonus feat from the following list: Devoted Bulwark, Evasive Reflexes, Rapid Assault, Shadow Blade, Sudden Recovery or Unnerving Calm


Speed of Thought: A martial soulknife gains Speed of Thought as a bonus feat at 3rd level.


Psychic Strike (Su): As a move action, a martial soulknife of 5th level or higher can imbue his mind blade with destructive psychic energy. This effect deals an extra 1d8 points of damage to the next living, nonmindless target he successfully hits with a melee attack. Creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are immune to psychic strike damage. (Unlike the rogue’s sneak attack, the psychic strike is not precision damage and can affect creatures otherwise immune to extra damage from critical hits, provided they are living, nonmindless creatures not immune to mind-affecting effects.)

A mind blade deals this extra damage only once when this ability is called upon, but a martial soulknife can imbue his mind blade with psychic energy again by taking another move action.

Once a soulknife has prepared his blade for a psychic strike, it holds the extra energy until it is used. Even if the soulknife drops the mind blade (or it otherwise dissipates), it is still imbued with psychic energy when the martial soulknife next materializes it.

At every five levels beyond 5th (10th, 15th, and 20th), the extra damage from a soulknife’s psychic strike increases as shown on the Table above.


Evasion (Ex): At 12th level and higher, a martial soulknife can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the martial soulknife is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless martial soulknife does not gain the benefit of evasion.


Twin Disciplines: Select an availible discipline (Devoted Spirit, Diamond Mind or Shadow Hand) that you do not have Discipline Specialization with. You may now use your Shape Mind Blade ability to shape your mind blade into a favored weapon for this new discipline. Shaping your mind blade into a weapon outside of your specialized discipline does not provide the +1 attack that specialized weapons gain.

Additionally, you may now learn manuvers from your selected discipline as well as the one chosen for Discipline Specialization


Mind Blade Enhancement (Su): At 8th level, a martial soulknife gains the ability to enhance his mind blade. He can add any one of the weapon special abilities on the table below that has an enhancement bonus value of +1.

At every three levels beyond 8th (11th, 14th, 17th and 20th), the value of the enhancement a martial soulknife can add to his weapon improves to +2, +3, +4, and +5, respectively. A martial soulknife can choose any combination of weapon special abilities that does not exceed the total allowed by the martial soulknife’s level.

The weapon ability or abilities remain the same every time the martial soulknife materializes his mind blade (unless he decides to reassign its abilities; see below). The ability or abilities apply to any form the mind blade takes, including the use of the shape mind blade class ability.

Weapon
Special Ability
Enhancement
Bonus
Value
Defending +1
Ghost Touch +1
Keen +1
Ki Focus +1
Lucky +1
Merciful +1
Mighty cleaving +1
Psychokinetic +1
Sundering +1
Thundering +1
Vicious +1
Collision +2
Disruption +2
Mindcrusher +2
Psychokinetic burst +2
Suppression +2
Wounding +2
Bodyfeeder +3
Mindfeeder +3
Soulbreaker +3
Speed +3
Vorpal +5

A martial soulknife can reassign the ability or abilities he has added to his mind blade. To do so, he must first spend 8 hours in concentration. After that period, the mind blade materializes with the new ability or abilities selected by the martial soulknife.


Superior Discipline Specialization: At 9th level, a martial soulknife may add his intelligence modifier to damage done while performing manuvers when wielding a weapon favored by a discipline he has Discipline Specialization in or a mind blade in the shape of favored weapon.

This ability can only affect living creatures with discernible anatomies—undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to the bonus damage granted by Superior Discipline Specialization.


Improved Evasion (Ex): At 12th level, a martial soulknife’s evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless martial soulknife does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.


Knife to the Soul (Su): Beginning at 18th level, when a martial soulknife executes a psychic strike, he can choose to substitute Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma damage (his choice) for extra dice of damage. For each die of extra damage he gives up, he deals 1 point of damage to the ability score he chooses. A martial soulknife can combine extra dice of damage and ability damage in any combination.

The soulknife decides which ability score his psychic strike damages and the division of ability damage and extra dice of damage when he imbues his mind blade with the psychic strike energy.

Epic Martial Soulknife[edit]

Table: The Epic Martial Soulknife

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st Mind Blade +6
22nd
23rd Bonus Feat
24th Mind Blade Enhancement +6
25th Psychic Strike +5d8
26th Bonus Feat, Mind Blade +7
27th
28th Mind Blade Enhancement +7
29th Bonus Feat
30th Psychic Strike +6d8

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Mind Blade At 21st level and every five levels thereafter, the martial soulknife gains an additional +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls (+6 at 21st, +7 at 26th, and so on).


Mind Blade Enhancement: The epic martial soulknife’s mind blade gains additional powers as the martial soulknife gains epic levels. At 24th level and every four levels thereafter, the martial soulknife can improve the value of the weapon special abilities on his mind blade by 1 (+6 equivalent bonus at 24th, +7 at 28th, and so on). As noted in the martial soulknife class description, reassigning qualities still takes 8 hours of concentration.


Psychic Strike: The epic martial soulknife’s psychic strike progression continues past 20th level, continuing to grant an additional die (d8) of damage every five levels higher than 20th (+5d8 at 25th, +6d8 at 30th, and so on).


Bonus Feats: The epic martial soulknife gains a bonus psionic feat every three levels higher than 20th (23rd, 26th, and so on).

Human Martial Soulknife Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Mind Blade

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Check
Penalty
Autohypnosis 4 Wis
Concentration 4 Con
Knowledge (psionics) 4 Int
Tumble 4 Dex

Feat: Weapon Focus (Mind Blade)

Bonus Feat: Improved Initiative

Gear: Leather Armor, Backpack, Bedroll, 3 Days' Rations, Waterskin, 100 ft. Hempen Rope, Torch, Crowbar, Flint and Steel

Gold: 5d4


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