Soulknife, True (3.5e Class)
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The Soulknife possesses a unique ability to manifest a weapon referred to as the Mind Blade. As a Soulknife progresses, the weapon becomes more practical. The degree of flexibility in the Soulknife's progression offers a handful of potential functions: From crowd control to sniper to scout to front line attacker. At its core, it is best suited as a front line attacker.
(Admittedly, class features are a back port from Pathfinder's 'Psionics Unleashed' book, along with a wizard's web alternate class feature for Wild Talent)
Making a Soulknife
Soulknife is best as a fighter never without a weapon. Its high BAB and ability to manifest the Mind Blade even in situations where the psionics don't function make it very useful. Add in its potential as a ranged weapon and natural stealth applications, this class has a bit of bend and flex. Its major downside is its reliance on power points while having very little. Have power points hit 0 and no more mind blade manifestations. Feats can correct this, but one would be reliant on alternate means to gain power points. It also carries only a single, 1st level power that can be gained. It's more intended to not be a manifester but a front-line combatant though so this is more a moot point.
Abilities: Strength is its number one attribute. Like other melee combatants, a strong Strength score is for delivering attacks. A high Dexterity or Constitution benefits since this is more intended as a front-line attacker, though options exist to use it in a ranged capacity which could replace Strength with Dexterity. Wisdom and Charisma are almost unnecessary and can be 'dump stats' as desired.
Races: Any race that has sufficient Intelligence and ties to psionics would be likely candidates for the Soulknife. The bare minimum is the ability to be able to become psionic.
Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).
|Saving Throws||Special||Maximum Enhancement Bonus|
|1st||+1||+0||+2||+2||Bonus Feat, Form Mind Blade, Hidden Talent, Shape Mind Blade, Throw Mind Blade||0|
|3rd||+3||+1||+3||+3||Enhanced Mind Blade (+1), Psychic Strike (+1d8)||+1|
|5th||+5||+1||+4||+4||Enhanced Mind Blade (+2), Quick Draw||+1|
|7th||+7/+2||+2||+5||+5||Enhanced Mind Blade (+3), Psychic Strike (+2d8)||+2|
|9th||+9/+4||+3||+6||+6||Enhanced Mind Blade (+4)||+3|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+3||+7||+7||Enhanced Mind Blade (+5), Psychic Strike (+3d8)||+3|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+4||+8||+8||Enhanced Mind Blade (+6)||+4|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+5||+9||+9||Enhanced Mind Blade (+7), Psychic Strike (+4d8)||+5|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Enhanced Mind Blade (+8)||+5|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+11||Enhanced Mind Blade (+9), Psychic Strike (+5d8)||+5|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+12||Blade Skill, Mind Blade Mastery||+5|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Never caught unarmed, the soulknife is the literal interpretation of using the power of the mind as a weapon. Creating a mind blade is the core of the soulknife, and with it, they become a deadly combatant. Versatile and varied, the soulknife can be found in all shapes and sizes, wielding blades unique to the wielder and customized to fit the needs of the soulknife. Fluid in function, the soulknife has mastered how to alter their mind blade to fit the situation, bringing power and versatility into any combat. All of the following are class features of the Soulknife (True).
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Soulknives are proficient with all simple weapons, with their own mind blade (regardless of form), with light and medium armor, and with shields (but not tower shields).
Form Mind Blade (Su): As a move action, a soulknife can form a semi-solid weapon composed of psychic energy distilled from one's own mind. A soulknife must choose the form of their mind blade at 1st level. She can either form it into a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon. Once chosen, the mind blade stays in this form every time the soulknife forms it. The light weapon deals 1d6 points of damage, the one-handed weapon deals 1d8 points of damage, and the two-handed weapon deals 2d6 points of damage. All damages are based on a Medium-sized creature wielding Medium-sized weapons; adjust the weapon damage as appropriate for different sized weapons. In all forms, the mind blade has a critical range of 19-20/x2. A soulknife with powerful build or any similar ability forms an appropriately-sized mind blade dealing the size-appropriate amount of damage. If the soulknife’s chosen form is a light weapon, they may choose to form two light weapons when forming the mind blade if the soulknife so chooses, but she suffers the standard penalties for two-weapon fighting. Regardless of the weapon form a soulknife has chosen, her mind blade does not have a set damage type. When shaping her weapon and assigning abilities to it, the soulknife chooses whether it will deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. The soulknife may change the damage type of an existing mind blade, or may summon a new mind blade with a different damage type, as a full-round action; otherwise, the mind blade retains the last damage type chosen every time it is summoned. The blade can be broken (it has hardness 10 and 10 hit points); however, a soulknife can simply create another on her next move action. The moment she relinquishes her grip on her blade, it dissipates (unless she intends to throw it; see below). A mind blade is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and is considered a masterwork weapon. A 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. She can also choose her mind blade for feats requiring a specific weapon choice, such as Weapon Focus and Improved Critical. Powers or spells that upgrade weapons can be used on a mind blade. The soulknife can use feats such as Weapon Finesse that work on light weapons with her mind blade, but such feats only work on mind blades in a light weapon form. Even in places where psionic effects do not normally function (such as within a null psionics field), a soulknife can attempt to sustain her mind blade by making a DC 20 Will save. On a successful save, the soulknife maintains her mind blade for a number of rounds equal to her class level before she needs to check again, although the mind blade is treated for all purposes as a non-magical, masterwork weapon while in a place where psionic effects do not normally function. On an unsuccessful attempt, the mind blade vanishes. As a move action on her turn, the soulknife can attempt a new Will save to rematerialize her mind blade while she remains within the psionics-negating effect. She gains a bonus on Will saves made to maintain or form her mind blade equal to the total enhancement bonus of her mind blade (see below). The soulknife chooses the appearance of her mind blade, although its shape must reflect the selections the soulknife has chosen: a bludgeoning mind blade would be blunt, slashing would have an edge, etc.
Hidden Talent (Ps): This ability grants 2 power points, the power points needed to form a Mind Blade. This feat also allows for choosing a single 1st level power from the Psion/Wilder or Psychic Warrior Power list. Manifester Level equal to Soulknife Level (Rounded Down, minimum 1).
Shape Mind Blade: The soulknife’s mind blade retains the last chosen form every time it is formed until the soulknife reshapes it. If the soulknife chooses to reshape her blade, it requires a full-round action to do so. She may also reassign the type of damage dealt as part of reshaping her mind blade if she so chooses. A soulknife can reassign the ability or abilities she has added to her mind blade; see below. To do so, she must first spend 8 hours in concentration. These cannot be the normal 8 hours used for rest, even if the soulknife does not require sleep. After that period, the mind blade materializes with the new ability or abilities selected by the soulknife.
Throw Mind Blade: All soulknives have some knowledge of how to throw their mind blades, though the range increment varies by form and the largest of blade forms cannot be thrown. Light weapon mind blades have a range increment of 20 ft. One-handed weapon mind blades have a range increment of 15 ft. Two-handed weapon mind blades cannot be thrown without the Two-Handed Throw blade skill. Whether or not the attack hits, a thrown mind blade then dissipates.
Blade Skills: Beginning at 2nd level and every even soulknife level thereafter, a soulknife may choose one of a number of abilities to add to her repertoire. Some blade skills have prerequisites that must be met before they can be chosen. All blade skills may only be chosen once and require the soulknife to be using her mind blade unless otherwise stated in the skill’s description.
Alter Blade: The soulknife gains the ability to shape her mind blade into different weapon forms. She may change her blade’s form to the light weapon, one-handed weapon, or two-handed weapon forms any time she forms her mind blade. Additionally, the soulknife may choose to form her mind blade into a one-handed weapon and a light weapon instead of two light weapons.
Bladestorm: As a full attack, when wielding her mind blade, the soulknife can give up her regular attacks and instead throw one mind blade at her full attack bonus at all opponents within 30 feet, ignoring the normal range increments for throwing a mind blade. Regardless of the number of attacks she makes, she only provokes attacks of opportunity as though she made a single ranged attack. The soulknife must possess the Bladewind blade skill to take this ability, this ability may not be used if the mind blade is in a two-handed weapon form, and the soulknife must be at least 16th level to choose this blade skill.
Bladewind: The soulknife gains the ability to momentarily fragment her mind blade into numerous identical blades, each of which strikes at a nearby opponent. As a full attack, when wielding her mind blade, a soulknife can give up her regular attacks and instead fragment her mind blade to make one melee attack at her full base attack bonus against each opponent within reach. Each fragment functions identically to the soulknife’s regular mind blade. When using bladewind, the soulknife can choose to expend her psychic strike if an attack miss to reroll that attack, but none of the bladewind attacks deal any extra damage from psychic strike. When using bladewind, a soulknife forfeits any bonus or extra attacks granted by other feats or abilities (such as Cleave or haste). The mind blade immediately reverts to its previous form after the bladewind attack. A soulknife must be at least 8th level to choose this blade skill.
Combat Slide: Upon successfully striking an enemy in melee, the soulknife may immediately make a 5-foot step (even if she’s already moved in the round, but not if she’s taken a 5-foot step). In addition, when someone misses the soulknife with a melee attack, she may spend an immediate action to take a 5-foot step.
Deadly Blow: The soulknife’s mind blade critical multiplier increases by 1. A soulknife must be at least 10th level to choose this blade skill.
Dual Imbue: When utilizing multiple mind blades, the soulknife may charge both blades with her psychic strike ability at the same time (including when expending her focus to charge her psychic strike). However, her psychic strike damage is reduced by 1d8 when using this option. Damage remains normal when each weapon is charged separately.
Enhanced Range: The soulknife’s range increment when throwing her mind blade in any form doubles.
Exploding Critical: When a soulknife confirms a critical hit, she can expend her psionic focus to deal her psychic strike damage, even if her mind blade was not charged with psychic strike, and even if she already dealt psychic strike on the attack. A soulknife must be at least 12th level to choose this blade skill.
Extended Strike: A soulknife may, as a standard action, make a single attack as if her reach was 5’ longer. This blade skill may be combined with the twin strike blade skill. A soulknife must be at least 12th level to choose this blade skill.
Fluid Form: The soulknife may expend her psychic strike as a swift action, but deal no psychic strike damage, to make a minor modification to her mind blade. She may remove up to one weapon special ability (if any) from her mind blade’s configuration, and add the ability’s value to the mind blade’s enhancement bonus. She may also add up to one weapon special ability to her mind blade’s configuration, and subtract the ability’s value from the mind blade’s enhancement bonus. Once she had made either or both of these changes, the mind blade suffers a -1 penalty to its enhancement bonus; this penalty is cumulative with each time this blade skill is used, and lasts until the soulknife rests for 8 hours or spends 8 hours in concentration to reconfigure her mind blade. This blade skill may not be used if this would reduce the mind blade’s enhancement bonus below +1, or if the final enhancement bonus would be above the soulknife’s maximum.
Fluid Form, Improved: When the soulknife uses the Fluid Form blade skill, she may change all of her mind blade’s weapon special abilities simultaneously. The mind blade still suffers a cumulative -1 penalty to its enhancement bonus when the Fluid Form blade skill is used. A soulknife must have the Fluid Form blade skill to choose this blade skill.
Full Enhancement: When forming her mind blade into multiple items, the soulknife suffers no reduction in enhancement bonus.
Furious Charge: A soulknife with this ability deals an additional 2 points of damage on every attack made at the end of a charge. The increased damage is only 1 per attack for off-hand attacks, but becomes 3 per attack when using the two-handed form of the mind blade.
Furious Charge, Improved: A soulknife with this ability can expend her psychic strike while making a charge to make an additional attack with her main hand, albeit at a -5 penalty on the attack roll, at the end of a charge action. If the soulknife is wielding two mind blades and has the Twin Strike blade skill, she may instead make an additional attack with each mind blade, but each of these additional attacks suffers a -5 penalty on the attack roll in addition to the penalties for attacking with two weapons. The soulknife does not apply the expended psychic strike’s damage to her attacks. The soulknife may only gain the benefit of this blade skill once on any charge. The soulknife must have the Furious Charge blade skill and be at least 8th level to choose this blade skill.
Gruesome Riposte: The soulknife may expend her psionic focus as an immediate action to attack an enemy who has successfully struck her in melee. This attack is assumed to happen after the successful attack, so she cannot use this ability if the attack would put her below 0 hit points, nor does dropping her enemy below 0 hit points prevent the attack from hitting. A soulknife must be at least 10th level to choose this blade skill.
Improved Enhancement: The soulknife’s enhancement bonus on her mind blade increases by 1. This increase may be used to increase the actual enhancement bonus of the mind blade (to a maximum of +5) or be spent on weapon special abilities, as normal. A soulknife must be at least 12th level to choose this blade skill. Knife to the Soul: The soulknife gains the knife to the soul ability. When a soulknife with knife to the soul executes a psychic strike, she can choose to substitute Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma damage (her choice) for extra dice of damage. For each die of extra damage she gives up, she deals 1 point of damage to the ability score she chooses. A soulknife can combine extra dice of damage and ability damage in any combination, so long as no more than half of the soulknife’s extra dice of damage are converted to ability damage. Knife to the soul may only be used once per round. Unlike the base psychic strike ability, knife to the soul is entirely reliant on the creature’s mind, and cannot be used on creatures immune to mind-affecting abilities. The soulknife decides which ability score her psychic strike damages and the division of ability damage and extra dice of damage when she imbues her mind blade with the psychic strike energy. A soulknife must be at least 12th level to choose this blade skill.
Mind Daggers: The soulknife may form one or a pair of mind daggers in place of her normal forms. Mind daggers have a range increment of 30 ft when thrown, deal 1d4 points of damage (type assigned in the same manner as other forms) and have a critical range of 19- 20/x2. She may switch between mind daggers and her chosen blade form at will as a free action, including in the middle of full attacks, and it can be done more than once per round (this is an exception to the full-round action normally required to shape a mind blade). She cannot switch between the daggers and the two-handed mind blade form unless only forming a single dagger. Mind daggers have the same enhancement configuration as the soulknife’s current mind blade configuration.
Mind Shield: The soulknife gains a +2 shield bonus to Armor Class, as long as her mind blade is not in a two-handed form.
Multiple Throw: The soulknife can throw a number of mind blades per round equal to the number of melee attacks she could make. A soulknife must be at least 14th level to choose this blade skill.
Powerful Strikes: The soulknife’s psychic strike deals an additional 1d8 damage.
Reaching Blade: The soulknife may expend her focus to increase her reach with her mind blade by 5 feet until the start of her next turn. Unlike normal reach weapons, a soulknife may also attack adjacent opponents with her mind blade. A soulknife must be at least 8th level to choose this blade skill.
Reaper’s Blade: A soulknife with this ability automatically recharges her psychic strike ability if she reduces an enemy’s hit points to below 0 with a melee attack using her mind blade. If her blade was already charged, her next psychic strike deals 1.5 times the damage rolled. A soulknife must be at least 10th level to choose this blade skill.
Rending Blades: Hooks extend from the soulknife’s mind blade, dealing an additional 1d6 bleed damage on a critical hit, and giving a competence bonus on Climb checks equal to the enhancement bonus of the mind blade.
Toppling Strike: If the soulknife’s mind blade has the Trip special feature, she may use it to make a single attack at her full base attack bonus as a standard action. If the attack hits, it deals damage normally and the soulknife can make a free trip attack (using her full base attack bonus) against the same foe. She does not provoke an attack of opportunity for this trip attempt. A soulknife must have the Weapon Special blade skill before selecting this blade skill.
Toppling Strike, Improved: If the soulknife’s mind blade has the Trip special feature, she may use it to make a single attack at her full base attack bonus as a standard action. If the attack hits, it deals damage normally and the soulknife can make a free trip attack (using her full base attack bonus) against the same foe. If she successfully trips that foe, she may make an additional trip attack (using her full base attack bonus) against another foe within reach and adjacent to the first foe. As long as she successfully trips her foe, she may continue to make trip attempts against foes adjacent to the previous foe, so long as they are within her reach. She does not provoke attacks of opportunity for these trip attempts. A soulknife must have the Toppling Strike and Weapon Special blade skills before selecting this blade skill.
Trade Blows: When the soulknife uses the total defense action, she may make a melee attack at her normal attack bonus on anyone that makes a melee attack against her, regardless of whether the opponent’s attack hits. This attack is resolved immediately after the opponent’s attack. The soulknife may make one such attack for each attack made against her. If multiple opponents attack the soulknife, each attack she makes must be against the enemy that triggered it. All such attacks are made with a -4 penalty on the attack roll, and are an exception to the rule that you cannot attack during the total defense action. A soulknife must be at least 10th level to choose this blade skill.
Twin Strike: When making a single standard attack and wielding two mind blades, the soulknife may attack with both of her mind blades at the normal penalties for two-weapon fighting. She may also utilize this ability when making attacks of opportunity, but not for any other special attacks, unless specifically stated otherwise. The soulknife must be at least 8th level to choose this blade skill.
Two-Handed Throw: The soulknife gains the ability to throw her mind blade if it is in two-handed form, with a range increment of 10 ft.
Weapon Special: The soulknife may assign one of the following specials to her mind blade when she shapes her mind blade: brace, trip, or disarm. She may change the assigned ability by reshaping her mind blade. This blade skill may be taken more than once, allowing the soulknife to assign multiple abilities at once.
Wing Clip: As a standard action, the soulknife may make a single melee attack against a single creature. If she hits, instead of dealing damage, the vibrations in her mind blade damages the creature’s ability to move, rendering it unable to move for a number of rounds equal to the soulknife’s Strength modifier (minimum 1). A successful Fortitude save negates the effect. The DC of this save is 10 + the soulknife’s base attack bonus.
Enhanced Mind Blade: A soulknife’s mind blade improves as the character gains higher levels. At 3rd level and every odd level thereafter, the mind blade gains a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus that she may spend on an actual enhancement bonus or on weapon special abilities. A soulknife’s level determines her maximum enhancement bonus (see Table Above). The soulknife may (and must, when her total enhancement is higher than her maximum bonus) apply any special ability from the table below instead of an enhancement bonus, as long as she meets the level requirements. A soulknife can choose any combination of weapon special abilities and/or enhancement bonus that does not exceed the total allowed by the soulknife’s level, but she must assign at least a +1 enhancement bonus before assigning any special abilities. If the soulknife shapes her mind blade into two items the enhancement bonus of her mind blade (if any) is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0). If this would reduce the enhancement bonus on the mind blades to 0 and weapon special abilities are applied, the soulknife must reshape her mind blade to make the options valid. Both mind blades have the same selection of enhancement bonus and weapon special abilities (if any). This penalty does not apply when using the Mind Shield blade skill.
|Weapon Special Ability||Enhancement Bonus Value||Minimum Character Level|
|Coup de Grace||+5||15|
Psychic Strike (Su): As a move action, a soulknife of 3rd level or higher can imbue her mind blade with destructive psychic energy. This effect deals an extra 1d8 points of damage on any attack she wishes to activate it on (as long as the attack is made with her mind blade). A soulknife may hold the charge as long as she likes without discharging. It does not go off on any attack unless she chooses to use it, and the charge is not wasted if an attack misses. Mindless creatures are immune to this damage, although non-mindless creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are affected by this damage as normal. (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 or more than 30 feet away). A mind blade deals this extra damage only once when this ability is called upon, but a soulknife can imbue her mind blade with psychic energy again by taking another move action. Additionally, she may recharge it as a swift action by expending her psionic focus. Once a soulknife has prepared her blade for a psychic strike, it holds the extra energy until it is used (whether the attack is successful or not). Even if the soulknife drops the mind blade (or it otherwise dissipates, such as when it is thrown), it is still imbued with psychic energy when the soulknife next materializes it. If the soulknife forms her mind blade into two weapons, she may imbue each mind blade with psychic strike as normal. If she reshapes her mind blade into a single weapon form, the additional psychic strike imbued into the additional weapon is lost. At every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, etc.), the extra damage from a soulknife’s psychic strike increases by 1d8.
Quick Draw: A 5th level soulknife may manifest her mind blade as a free action, though she may still only attempt to do so once per round (unless throwing the weapon multiple times using the Multiple Throw blade skill).
Mind Blade Mastery: At 20th level, a soulknife reaches the pinnacle of her art and her connection to her blade is so strong it cannot be severed. She no longer requires a Will save to maintain her mind blade in a null psionics field, although it still loses any enhancement bonus and special abilities. In addition, she may change the configurations of her mind blade’s special abilities at will as a full round action, which also resets any penalties that may have accrued from the Fluid Form and Improved Fluid Form blade skills.
|21st||Enhance Mind Blade (+10)|
|23rd||Enhance Mind Blade (+11), Psychic Strike (+6d8)|
|25th||Enhance Mind Blade (+12)|
|27th||Enhance Mind Blade (+13), Psychic Strike (+7d8)|
|29th||Enhance Mind Blade (+14)|
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Enhanced Mind Blade: Bonuses continue to accumulate as indicated on the table. Maximum Enhancement Bonus is still +5.
Blade Skill: Soulknives continue to gain Blade skills from the list provided prior.
Psychic Strike: Increases to Psychic Strike continue to accumulate as indicated on the table.
Human Soulknife Starting Package
Weapons: Mind Blade (Dagger).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Feat: Psychic Talent.
Bonus Feats: Psionic Body.
Gear: Studded Leather Armor, Backpack with waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, sack, and flint and steel.
Playing a Soulknife
Religion: Soulknives may worship deities similar to fighters or other psionic types. There is no real set rule with Soulknives.
Other Classes: The Soulknife tends to interact with other character classes similar to a Fighter. They do get along well with Psions and other Manifesters given what they have in common.
Combat: As was mentioned before. Soulknives make excellent front line attackers. Though they can also make decent scouts. Stealth is also possible given the mind blade can be hidden. Pair that up with Psychic Strike for added damage and the initial attack could leave a target feeling the pain.
Advancement: If a soulknife were to multiclass, Duskblade would be the likeliest (Player's Handbook II). The reason being for the ability to channel arcane touch spells through the mind blade, boosting the damage that can be dealt. Prestige classes would likely be Illumine Soul and Soulbow as they are almost exclusively for this class.
Soulknives in the World
Soulknives fit in as scouts or even soldiers. In campaigns that stress psionics, these could easily take the place of fighters altogether.
Daily Life: A Soulknife typically starts the day readying any preparations of the mind blade necessary (enhancment attributes, etc.), from there it's usually on to guard duity or scouting if such is the training. Soulknives specializing in training may seek out means of improving the mind blade's range (and stumble onto the Soulbow).
Organizations: Congregations and Assemblies of this class would more occur during wartime or such similar situations.
NPC Reactions: Most NPCs may mistake the Soulknife for a mere unarmed fighter until the mind blade is manifested. Otherwise, nothing special.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Psionics) can research Soulknives to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Soulknives are warriors able to summon a weapon at will.|
|10||Soulknives can shape their weapon into a variety of forms.|
|15||Soulknives have just a single power they can manifest. At best, this single power is only used once.|
|20||A particular soulknife's last location.|
Soulknives in the Game
As mentioned before, soulknives fit best as fighters would. Soldiers or mercenaries would be the typical. Given the stealth applications, assassins and scouts are also possible, but not as common as soldiers or mercenaries. Some also do fit well for closer ranged combat, protecting archers and the likes from direct attacks.
Adaptation: Severely reducing the number of blade skills and replacing Hidden Talent with a small manifestation ability is a possible idea. Adding 'Bonus Feat' to Blade Skill's list (with a limit as to how many times it can be taken) is another option.