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Xallace
2008-12-19, 10:39 AM
The Backstory
Hey, Expanded Psionics Handbook, why so glum?

Oh, I have this class called the "Soulknife." It was a pretty cool idea, but I'm afraid it just didn't turn out the way it should have.

Aw, that sucks to hear. Anything I can do to help?

Naw, it's cool... the rest of me is completely awesome, so I can deal.

*Later that day*

Hey, Magic of Incarnum, you look sad. Wanna talk about it?

Well, I'm a fantastic magic system, but I'm afraid there's a class I have that just isn't working out.

Oh?

The "Soulborn." It's like the Incarnum version of a paladin... it was a neat concept, but I don't think anyone plays them.

Anything I can do to help?

No, I guess it's alright... I mean, I am freakin' Magic of Incarnum, after all.

True that.

*That Evening*

Wait a second... Soulknife... Soulborn... Eureka! I have a solution! And for once it doesn't involve attempting to hold down two dates in hilarious sitcom style! Hooray!

THE SOULBLADE
Alignment: Any but True Neutral. Incarnum requires some amount of dedication to a moral or ethical outlook in order to function properly, but soulblades do not require quite as much dedication as the primary meldshaping classes.
Hit Die: d10
{table=head]Level| BAB| Fort| Ref| Will| Special |Blade Damage
1| +1| +0| +2| +2| Aura, Detect Opposition, Soul Blade |1d6
2| +2| +0| +3| +3| Incarnum Defense, Throw Blade |1d6
3| +3| +1| +3| +3| Smite Opposition +1d10 |1d6
4| +4| +1| +4| +4| Chakra Binds (Hands, Arms) |1d8
5| +5| +1| +4| +4| Free Draw |1d8
6| +6/+1| +2| +5| +5| Blade Rebind 1/day |1d8
7| +7/+2| +2| +5| +5| Enhanced Soulblade Capacity +1 |1d8
8| +8/+3| +2| +6| +6| Smite Opposition +2d10,Soul-Rending Smite |1d10
9| +9/+4| +3| +6| +6| Chakra Binds (Feet, Crown) |1d10
10| +10/+5| +3| +7| +7| Bladewind |1d10
11| +11/+6/+1| +3| +7| +7| Incarnum Defense |1d10
12| +12/+7/+2| +4| +8| +8| Chakra Binds (Brow, Shoulders) |2d6
13| +13/+8/+3| +4| +8| +8| Smite Opposition +3d10, Weave-Shearing Smite |2d6
14| +14/+9/+4| +4| +9| +9| Double Bind |2d6
15| +15/+10/+5| +5| +9| +9| Blade Rebind 2/day |2d6
16| +16/+11/+6/+1| +5| +10| +10| Chakra Binds (Throat, Waist) |2d8
17| +17/+12/+7/+2| +5| +10| +10| |2d8
18| +18/+13/+8/+3| +6| +11| +11| Smite Opposition +4d10, Spirit-Shattering Smite |2d8
19| +19/+14/+9/+4| +6| +11| +11| Enhanced Soulblade Capacity +2 |2d8
20| +20/+15/+10/+5|+6| +12| +12| Chakra Binds (Heart) |2d10[/table]
{table=head]Level |Soulmelds |Essentia |Chakra Binds
1| 0| 1| 0
2| 1| 1| 0
3| 1| 2| 1
4| 1| 3| 1
5| 2| 3| 1
6| 2| 4| 2
7| 2| 5| 2
8| 3| 6| 2
9| 3| 6| 2
10| 3| 7| 2
11| 4| 8| 3
12| 4| 9| 3
13| 4| 9| 3
14| 5| 10| 3
15| 5| 11| 3
16| 5| 12| 4
17| 6| 12| 4
18| 6| 13| 4
19| 6| 14| 4
20| 7| 15| 4[/table]
Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcane) (Int), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).
Skill Points per level: 4 + Int modifier (x4 at 1st level)

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A soulblade is proficient in all simple weapons, the soul blade created by the Soul Blade class feature, light and medium armor, and shields (but not tower shields).

Aura (Ex): A soulblade of a chaotic, evil, good, or lawful alignment has a particularly powerful aura corresponding to that alignment (see the detect evil spell for details).

Detect Opposition (Sp): The soulblade gains the ability to detect creatures of an alignment opposing his own as the Detect Evil spell. For example, a Chaotic Good soublade can detect both Lawful and Evil creatures, while a Neutral Evil soulblade can detect creatures of a Good alignment.

Soul Blade (Su): As a move action, the soulblade can create a semi-solid blade composed of incarnum. This blade is identical (except visually) to a short sword of a size appropriate for its wielder. For instance, a medium soulblade materializes a soul blade that he can wield as a light weapon, and the weapon deals 1d6 points of damage (critical 19-20/x2). The wielder of a soul blade gains the usual benefits to his attack and damage roll from a high Strength bonus.

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

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

A soulblade’s soul blade improves as the character gains higher levels. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, the soul blade’s base damage increases as shown on the table. The values given are for medium-sized soulblades.
A soulblade can invest essentia into his soul blade as though it were a soul meld. Each point of essentia invested adds a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus to the blade’s attack and damage rolls.

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

Meldshaping: Beginning at 2nd level, the soulblade gains the ability to shape incarnum soulmelds, which are drawn from the Soulborn soulmeld list (page 56 of Magic of Incarnum). You know and can shape any soulmeld from this list.

The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Soulblade soulmeld is 10 + number of points of essentia invested in the soulmeld + your Constitution modifier. Your meldshaper level is equal to your Soulblade level.

A Soulblade can shape only a certain number of soulmelds per day. Your base daily allotment is given on the table above.

Chakra Binds: Beginning at 3rd level, you can bind your soulmelds to your chakras, granting you new powers based on the soulmeld and the chakra chosen. Binding a soulmeld to a chakra closes the body slot associated with that chakra (see Chakras, page 50 of Magic of Incarnum), so that you cannot also benefit from a magic item worn on the body slot associated with that chakra.

The number of chakra binds that you can have active at any one time depends on your level (see the Chakra Binds column on the table). Beginning at 3rd level, you can bind soulmelds to your arm or hands chakras. At 9th level, you can bind soulmelds to your crown or feet chakras. At 12th level, you can bind soulmelds to your brow or shoulders chakras. At 16th level, you can bind soulmelds to your throat or waist chakras. At 20th level, you can bind a soulmeld to your heart chakra. You never gain the ability to bind a soulmeld to your soul chakra.

For more information on chakra binds, see page 51 of Magic of Incarnum.

Soul Blade Binding: Because of the soul blade’s association with the hands and arms, soulblades gain the ability to bind soulmelds to their arms chakra sooner than other meldshapers do. Once the soulblade is able to bind hands and arms chakras, he gains the ability to bind his soul blade to one of these chakras as he would a soulmeld. This may be done when the soulblade is shaping his soulmelds for the day, and cannot be changed until the soulblade is able to change soulmelds again. Binding the soul blade to a chakra alters the soul blade when the soulblade chooses to manifest it.

When the soulblade binds his blade to the hands chakra, he manifests two soul blades; one in each hand. He fights with these blades as though fighting with two light weapons, but with reduced penalties: the soulblade takes no penalty for fighting with his main hand, and only a -2 penalty on attack rolls for attacking with his off-hand. Essentia invested in the soul blade affects both blades equally. For instance, a soul blade bound to the hands chakra with 2 points of essential invested would grant both soul blades a +2 enhancement bonus. When the soul blade is bound to the hands chakra, its damage die is reduced by one step.

When the soulblade binds his blade to the arms chakra, the soul blade becomes a two-handed weapon. The soulblade adds double his Strength bonus on damage rolls (rather than 1-1/2 his strength bonus).


Each time you gain access to a new chakra bind, you gain the ability to bind your soulblade to that slot. Your blade changes form when bound to each slot, providing numerous abilities:

Crown: While bound to your crown chakra, your soulblade curves and spikes, allowing you to make Trip and Disarm attempts with the weapon. For each point of essentia invested into your soul blade, you gain a +2 bonus to your Trip or Disarm check.

Feet: While bound to your feet chakra, your soul blade broadens, but tapers off to a point. You can set your soul blade against a charge, and you deal triple damage when doing so. For each point of essentia invested in your soul blade, you deal an additional 2 points of damage against a charging opponent.

Brow: While your soul blade is bound to your brow chakra, it becomes razor-edged. You score a critical hit on a roll of 18-20, and your soul blade's critical modifier changes to x3.

Shoulders: While bound to your shoulders chakra, the soul blade lengthens. It becomes a reach weapon. Unlike most reach weapons, a soul blade can be used to attack adjacent squares.

Throat: While bound to your throat chakra, your soul blade becomes more whip-like. You ignore cover and concealment with your attacks, though not total cover or concealment.

Waist: While bound to your waist chakra, you can form a one-handed sword and a shield when manifesting your soul blade. The shield takes up your free hand, and provides a +2 shield bonus to AC. Each point of essentia invested in your soul blade also increases the bonus to your AC by 1.

Heart: While bound to your heart chakra, your soul blade leaves a trail of insubstantial blades when you swing it. Any attack made with your soul blade is becomes a touch attack.


Binding the soul blade to a chakra slot does not close that chakra slot off to other soulmelds, although it does count against the number of chakra binds the soulblade may have active at once.

Incarnum Defense (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, incarnum starts to infuse your form and make your mind more resilient to certain effects. The specific effects are determined by the ethical component of you alignment, as follows:

Chaotic: You become immune to Charm and Compulsion effects.

Neutral: You become immune to effects that would damage or drain your Wisdom score.

Lawful: You become immune to Fear effects.

At 11th level, your body becomes further enhanced by the souls that flow through you. The benefit gained from this ability is determined by the moral component of your alignment, as follows:

Good: You become immune to Fatigue and Exhaustion.

Neutral: You become immune to being Sickened or Nauseated.

Evil: You become immune to effects that would damage or drain your Strength score.

Throw Blade (Ex): A soulblade of 2nd level or higher can throw his soul blade as a ranged weapon with a range increment of 30 feet.

Whether or not the attack hits, a thrown soul blade then dissipates.

Smite Opposition (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, the soulblade gains the ability to channel incarnum that harms creatures of an alignment opposite his own. He can use this ability (3 + the soulblade’s Wisdom modifier) times per day.

When the soulblade uses this ability, he makes a normal melee attack against the target with his soul blade. The attack adds the soulblade’s Wisdom modifier as a bonus on attack rolls and deals an additional 1d10 points of damage. At 8th, 13th, and 18th levels, the extra damage increases by an additional 1d10, as shown on the table above.

This ability only affects creatures of alignments opposing your own. For instance, a Chaotic Good soulblade can smite creatures of Lawful or Evil alignments, while a Neutral Evil soulblade can smite creatures of a Good alignment.

As the soulblade increases in level, he can choose to substitute the normal smite effect for an alternate ability. These alternate abilities are not restricted to only affecting creatures of opposing alignments.

Free Draw (Ex): At 5th level and higher, the soulblade is able to manifest his soul blade as a free action. He may still only attempt to manifest one blade per round, however.

Blade Rebind (Ex): Beginning at 6th level, the soul blade gains the ability to unbind his soul blade from a chakra, and bind it to a new one if so desired. As a full-round action, the soulblade may choose to bind the soul blade to either his hands or his arms chakra. If the soul blade is already bound to a chakra, it automatically unbinds from that chakra as part of the action. The soulblade may also simply choose to unbind his blade from any chakra, if so desired.

This ability is usable once per day. At 15th level, the soulblade gains an additional daily use of this ability.

Enhanced Soulblade Capacity (Ex): At 7th level, the soulblade increases the essentia capacity of his soul blade by 1, over and above the normal limit. At 19th level, the capacity increases by 1 again, for a total enhanced capacity of 2 points of essentia.

Soul-Rending Smite (Su): Beginning at 8th level, when you make a Smite attack using your soul blade, you can choose to attack the target's spiritual self rather than their physical form. You can choose to substitute Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma damage (your choice) for extra dice of damage. For each die of damage you give up, you deal 1 point of damage to the ability point you choose. You can combine extra damage dice and ability damage in any combination.

Bladewind (Su): A soulblade of 10th level (or higher) can momentarily fragment his soul blade into a number of shards when he attacks. When the soulblade throws his soul blade, he may choose to treat the attack as a melee attack. This means that the soulblade adds his Strength modifier to the attack and damage rolls, and can combine the attack with the Power Attack feat and other abilities that would require a melee attack. Additionally, the soul blade may now make a full-attack with his thrown mind blade; the blade fragments dissipate after the full-attack action is resolved.

A soulblade may only use this ability while his soul blade is not bound to a chakra.

Weave-Shearing Smite (Su): Beginning at 13th level, when you make a Smite attack using your soul blade, you can choose to cut through a magical effect rather than apply extra damage dice. The target of your attack also becomes the target of a targeted Greater Dispel Magic effect, with a caster level equal to your class level.

Double Bind: At 14th level, you gain the ability to bind your soul blade to two chakra points at once. Neither chakra point is closed off, and binding your soul blade only counts as one chakra bind for the purpose of your limit.

Spirit-Shattering Smite (Su): At 18th level, when you make a Smite attack using your soul blade, you can choose to sever the target's physical self and metaphysical self. You do not apply the extra damage from your smite attack, instead paralyzing the creature in place. At the end of each round, the target can make a Will Save (DC10 + 1/2 your class level + your Wisdom modifier) to remove the effect. Creatures immune to paralysis are not immune to this effect.

Xallace
2008-12-19, 10:48 AM
So yeah, this is me trying to take two classes I like, but aren't up to par, and turn them into a great class that is up to par. The question is: Did I succeed.

You may note that I kept number of abilities from each class, but altered them. Bladewind now combines "Multithrow" with a new ability (honestly I felt it was a better fit for the name), while "Smite Opposition" is a combination of Psychic Strike and Smite.

On the meldshaping side, I tried to boost up the works without putting it quite at the level of the Totemist and Incarnate; it's not supposed to be, so it shouldn't be. But it is a full-meldshaper, with a bit more essentia, soulmelds, and chakra binds.

I stuck with Soulknife for the name because I couldn't think of anything better, and also because Soulborn didn't seem to fit particularly well. I'm not sure how being "Born of Soul" really makes you... this.

Changes to the mind blade were what I thought to be the logical extension of combining the concept with incarnum. I do plan on adding in a "Soul Blade Enhancment" feature, but I need to pick out the appropriate enhancements first. The soulknife list is very psionic, so it needs a change.

Hmm... yeah, I think that's it. I'll add more as I think of it. Please review! I'd love to here some comments.

togapika
2008-12-19, 11:41 AM
I like the idea. Incarnum always seemed to need more love, and we won't even get into the years of repressed problems of the soulknife.....

DracoDei
2008-12-19, 01:55 PM
Haven't read the actual class yet... but based on your intro (about talking to the books) and the 2nd message....

How about "The Soulborn Blade" for the name? More unique, and... eligant...

Wreckingrocc
2008-12-19, 02:02 PM
Looks a little overpowered.

d10 hit dice, Full BaB, two good saves, average skill points, weapon damage improvement, plus the Smite Opposition.

wadledo
2008-12-19, 02:27 PM
This is sooooooooo awesome.
On name, I like soul-sword.

4 things:

1. I'd bring the 'meld progression forward 1, so that at first you get 1 meld but no essentia.

2. Making it so that a true neutral character couldn't get into this class would both fit the idea and make it a slight bit more balanced.

3. What melds does it have access to?:smallconfused:

Edit: The soulborn list seems very good for this.

4. If you took a few bits from the Incarnum blade, I don't think it would over-power this in the least.
Actually, you could just copy/paste the blademeld chakra bind section.

There's an idea for a PrC.

Kellus
2008-12-19, 05:41 PM
I think making the soulknife incarnum-based instead of psionic-based is an excellent idea that fits the theme of the class much more. I haven't really taken a look at it yet (will do so) but I love the idea.

Xallace
2008-12-19, 05:47 PM
Alright! Thanks for the replies folks!


I like the idea. Incarnum always seemed to need more love, and we won't even get into the years of repressed problems of the soulknife.....

Thanks! I agree on both counts.


Haven't read the actual class yet... but based on your intro (about talking to the books) and the 2nd message....

How about "The Soulborn Blade" for the name? More unique, and... eligant...

Elegant indeed. I shall consider the option!


Looks a little overpowered.

d10 hit dice, Full BaB, two good saves, average skill points, weapon damage improvement, plus the Smite Opposition.

What are you comparing it to in terms of balance? I suppose it is a high-damage dealer, but I thought it was generally agreed upon that direct HP damage isn't the best choice? Let us discuss further!


This is sooooooooo awesome.
On name, I like soul-sword.

4 things:

1. I'd bring the 'meld progression forward 1, so that at first you get 1 meld but no essentia.

2. Making it so that a true neutral character couldn't get into this class would both fit the idea and make it a slight bit more balanced.

3. What melds does it have access to?

Edit: The soulborn list seems very good for this.

4. If you took a few bits from the Incarnum blade, I don't think it would over-power this in the least.
Actually, you could just copy/paste the blademeld chakra bind section.

There's an idea for a PrC.

First off: Thanks bunches! Glad you like it.

I'm guessing, from the suggestions so far, that a name combining "Soul" with something slashy (other than knife) would be best.

Onto the suggestions!

1. Well, I think the soul blade is about the same as a free soul meld... it was designed to be, anyway. I will consider this option, certainly.

2. And also keeps more of the Soulborn in the mix. I like it, and it removes some of the unnecessary stuff I had to throw in. Awesome. I'll have to fix that when I get home, though, I'm "working" right now.

3. Well, it's based partially off of the Soulborn, so I kept that much.

4. I actually considered this. Maybe I'll consider again!

Fax Celestis
2008-12-19, 06:37 PM
Hm. Weird progression of new binds, but that's tolerable. Use the Soulborn list: there's a lot there, and frankly the blade is the main feature of the class so the melds should take back seat--Soulborn melds will do that nicely.

As far as overpowered, as was mentioned above, I don't think so. You've got limits on most of the class features, which is offset by the unlimited use of the binds, which means they'll always have something to do. Sure, they're better than a fighter...but who isn't?

Xallace
2008-12-19, 07:26 PM
Huh, there seems to be some confusion here. I am using the Soulborn soulmeld list. It's in the first sentence of the Meldshaping section. I suppose that part is kinda lost in all the other text, but it is there.

Maybe you all did see that and I'm the one misreading? I dunno, but here's the clarification anyway.

Xallace
2008-12-20, 08:04 PM
I went and looked up some synonyms for "Blade" and "Knife."
I almost went with Souledge until I realized, well, that's a videogame.
Soulscythe sounded cool, but I think that ends up with more implications than I intended.
Soulshank was hilarious for several reasons. (One of which is that it should have been Soulshiv in this context, which is what I'm officially calling my Mind/Soul blade from now on).
Soulsabre was kinda neat.
Soultickler? What?


That aside, I've changed the class so that it cannot be True Neutral. I've additionally considered adding the benefits of wielding a Soulbound Weapon into the relevant chakra binds for the soul blade... minor benefits, and would make sense I think.

Krazddndfreek
2009-12-21, 05:11 PM
I think naming the class Soul Blade or Soulsword wouldn't be a bad idea. I don't know much about Incarnum, but I do have the book.

Apologies for the necro-bump. I'm going to read Magic of Incarnum so I can better contribute to this class, as it looks like a very good idea.

Lapak
2009-12-21, 05:20 PM
I really like this for two reasons: I think it's sound mechanically, and it salvaged two interesting ideas at once.

Very well done!

Optimystik
2009-12-21, 05:21 PM
Seconding Soulblade.

Nate the Snake
2009-12-21, 05:39 PM
Thirding Soulblade.

Also, maybe you could tweak the Incarnum Blade PrC so it advances the soul blade, to give Soulblades a prestige option.

Xallace
2009-12-21, 07:03 PM
Uh, cool. Thanks guys. :smallbiggrin:

I certainly didn't expect to see this wandering into the homebrew forum.


Also, maybe you could tweak the Incarnum Blade PrC so it advances the soul blade, to give Soulblades a prestige option.

That shouldn't be much of a problem. Continued increasing Soulblade damage and the Soulblade becomes compatible with the class' features? Not sure what else would need tweaked; then again, I haven't looked at the Incarnum Blade in a long time.

EDIT: Also, Soulblade it is.

EDIT PART DEUX: Looking back over the class now, I realize several almost truly "dead" levels and a lack of ability to add weapon enhancements. I feel like these could be rectified at the same time.

UserClone
2009-12-22, 12:46 AM
For the record, the Playstation (1) version of the arcade hit Souledge was called (you guessed it) "Soulblade." Therefore, my support goes to "Soul Sword" or "Spirit Blade."

Arbitrarious
2009-12-22, 06:46 AM
Fantastic concept. I really like the direction you are taken it, then again I am fond of Incarnum in general so I may be biased. A couple things I'd like to ask though.

Weapon special abilities, how were you planning on doing them? You could make it so that the Soulblade itself has 2 essentia recepticles one for enhancement and one for special abilities, but then you would need to figure out how you could pick them. Perhaps when you shape the Soulblade meld you pick the weapon special abilities and when you invest enough essentia into the ability receptacle (2 points for +2 ability) it activates.

Any thoughts on adding an enhanced capacity class feature for the Soulblade meld? Even adding a +1 will let them to get to +5 without taking up a feat slot.

Lastly, the binds are an intresting way of handling the weapon function, but I think you could improve it. While the adding benefit each chakra gives is nice I don't know if it's worth closing off a bind and it's really not worth it for the sole sake of changing the weapon from 2h, 1h, dual wield. Especially when you can't change the type but once or twice a day. I know weapon flexibility isn't necessarily a huge issue, but it was nice as Soulknife to reshape my weapon whenever I wanted. It was mentioned early that the Incarnum blade had the blade meld and I think that would definitely be something to look at. They do binds for their blade meld that don't close the chakra to other binds IIRC.

Mulletmanalive
2009-12-22, 08:59 AM
I'd like to request a point of Essentia at first level without having to buy a feat for it: One simple reason, the usual complaint about the Soulknife is that it's primary class feature is the amazing ability to have a shortsword... most fixes and even this don't really address this issue.

I'd suggest that a nice +1 weapon would be spiffy: The essentia could be moved around and you'd only need to make it 1 essentia at level 1, still 1 at level 2, that way it becomes more of a consideration as to what to do with it.

I dunno, i like Incarnum as an idea but found it a bit off that you could make any meld in the universe without error, even if you'd never heard of it before...not really sure how i'd alter that though.

Xallace
2009-12-22, 09:39 AM
I've looked over the suggestions so far, weighing options. Thanks a lot everybody! Every critique helps this class! For pennies each day, you can save two great classes...

For the time being, I've added Enhanced Soul Blade Capacity at 7th and 19th levels; hey, if your schtick is weaponry, then darnit, your weaponry is gonna be better. I don't think anyone will have an issue with a +6 2d10 weapon around level 20, eh? There was a time in my life, before the internet...

I also fixed a small typo in the table (Blade Rebind was listed as 1/day twice).

EDIT: Added 1 point of essentia at 1st level, and binding your soul blade doesn't close off the slot to other soulmelds, though it does count against your limit of active binds. As an aside, a quick ctrl + F reveals that my first post now contains 119 instances of the word "soul."

With that done, I'd like to address a couple other points directly.

For the record, the Playstation (1) version of the arcade hit Souledge was called (you guessed it) "Soulblade." Therefore, my support goes to "Soul Sword" or "Spirit Blade."

Darnit Konami!

Weapon special abilities, how were you planning on doing them?

Your's is a good idea, and one I'm certainly considering. My first instinct was to have weapon enhancements come with Chakra Binds, though that sounds like it would require quite a bit of revision (not something I'm adverse to, necessarily...).

Lastly, the binds are an intresting way of handling the weapon function, but I think you could improve it.

Indeed, I don't think closing off the chakra point would be too powerful.

I'd like to request a point of Essentia at first level without having to buy a feat for it: One simple reason, the usual complaint about the Soulknife is that it's primary class feature is the amazing ability to have a shortsword... most fixes and even this don't really address this issue.

Heh. "20 levels of having a magic sword," I think Djinn said? Well, I like to think the addition of meldshaping took some of the weight off of that, but what else...

I don't think that should be a problem, though races like Azurin would have an extra point of essentia that they wouldn't know what to do with... unless they took Incarnum Feats... yeah, OK. 1 Essentia at level 1 it is!


I dunno, i like Incarnum as an idea but found it a bit off that you could make any meld in the universe without error, even if you'd never heard of it before...not really sure how i'd alter that though.

Well, you have a small list you can choose from as a soulblade; the soulborn's meld list isn't exactly robust.

UserClone
2009-12-22, 12:16 PM
Could the feat Expanded Soulmeld Capacity apply to the Blade?

Bodez
2009-12-22, 03:10 PM
Love the Soul blade Binding mechanic, it's too cool for words. Especially with Blade Rebind, just imagine a guy wielding a big sword in one second, then in next a pair of swords, and in a few seconds after again big sword :smallcool:

Xallace
2009-12-22, 05:16 PM
Could the feat Expanded Soulmeld Capacity apply to the Blade?

I dunno, you're already getting +6 and as-yet-undetermined bonus magical powers... Would it be too much?


Love the Soul blade Binding mechanic, it's too cool for words. Especially with Blade Rebind, just imagine a guy wielding a big sword in one second, then in next a pair of swords, and in a few seconds after again big sword :smallcool:

Oh, he doesn't just switch; dude rips the sword apart into two, and then smashes them back together to form the big one. And suddenly, Incarnum becomes pure machismo.

Arbitrarious
2009-12-22, 06:55 PM
I dunno, you're already getting +6 and as-yet-undetermined bonus magical powers... Would it be too much?



Oh, he doesn't just switch; dude rips the sword apart into two, and then smashes them back together to form the big one. And suddenly, Incarnum becomes pure machismo.

Well to put in perspective an Incarnate gets 2 expanded capacity abilities for all soulmelds and can use the feat with Incarnate Weapon so I don't see why not. It's slightly more powerful then weapon focus by itself but does still require the essentia to work. I think it's fair game. However it should only effect 1 side if you choose to do a split receptacle.

Tavar
2009-12-22, 07:26 PM
Remember the biggest problem with the soulknife is that your entire class can be summed up as "I have a magic sword". Really, if your class revolves around having a sword, then it should be the best damn sword in existence, not something that everyone can just get if they have the cash.

DaTedinator
2009-12-22, 11:32 PM
Really, if your class revolves around having a sword, then it should be the best damn sword in existence, not something that everyone can just get if they have the cash.

QFT. Keep in mind that if someone takes 20 levels in this class, that's some intense dedication. Wishes and Miracles are happening, swordsmen are flying killing twenty people with a single attack roll, and rogues are only seen when they want to be seen, dealing absurd amounts of damage with an absurd number of attacks. All the effort that spellcasters have been putting into spells, this guy has put into his magic sword. It needs to be worth it.

Xallace
2009-12-23, 12:07 AM
Well to put in perspective an Incarnate gets 2 expanded capacity abilities for all soulmelds and can use the feat with Incarnate Weapon so I don't see why not. It's slightly more powerful then weapon focus by itself but does still require the essentia to work. I think it's fair game. However it should only effect 1 side if you choose to do a split receptacle.

Sounds reasonable to me.


Remember the biggest problem with the soulknife is that your entire class can be summed up as "I have a magic sword". Really, if your class revolves around having a sword, then it should be the best damn sword in existence, not something that everyone can just get if they have the cash.

QFT. Keep in mind that if someone takes 20 levels in this class, that's some intense dedication. Wishes and Miracles are happening, swordsmen are flying killing twenty people with a single attack roll, and rogues are only seen when they want to be seen, dealing absurd amounts of damage with an absurd number of attacks. All the effort that spellcasters have been putting into spells, this guy has put into his magic sword. It needs to be worth it.

I'm guessing the class' other soulmelds aren't worth much, huh? I was hoping that they would help push away from "the magical sword guy" stigma and move it closer to "the magical armory guy", or so. I mean, this "soulknife" is making more than just weapons, after all. Gauntlets, helms, boots, gloves, familiars...

UserClone
2009-12-23, 12:24 AM
I'd personally not only allow Expanded Soulmeld Capacity to work for the blade meld, I'd let it work normally on the hand-bound version, and give it as a bonus feat (in addition to the two times you already did).

Xallace
2009-12-23, 10:16 AM
Here's an idea for the blade enhancement:

To be added to the Soul Blade class feature: For every 2 points of essentia you invest in your blade, you may choose a magic weapon property equivalent of a +1 bonus and add it to your weapon. For example, a 6th-level Soulblade investing 2 points of essentia into his weapon (to make it a +2 Weapon) could add the flaming property to the soul blade.

If you invest 4 or more points of essentia into your weapon, you can forgo any number of +1 properties to gain a single weapon property of the equivalent bonus. For example, a 20th-level soulknife invests 6 points of essentia into his weapon; he could choose three +1 properties, one +2 property and one +1 property, or one +3 property.

DaTedinator
2009-12-23, 11:01 AM
I'm guessing the class' other soulmelds aren't worth much, huh? I was hoping that they would help push away from "the magical sword guy" stigma and move it closer to "the magical armory guy", or so. I mean, this "soulknife" is making more than just weapons, after all. Gauntlets, helms, boots, gloves, familiars...

It helps, but the thing is with incarnum that with chakra binds, you're closing off magic item slots, thus making him need to have better items than everyone else too. It helps, but more by diffusing the problem; you don't need to make his sword incredibly freaking awesome, you just need to make all his gear freaking awesome.

Tavar
2009-12-23, 11:06 AM
Agreed. The soulmelds do help, but they aren't enough on their own.

Xallace
2009-12-23, 11:18 AM
Well in that case, let's not boost up the +X's any more. I think +6 is fine and dandy, +7 if you take the Enhanced Capacity feat. Brainstorming:


Don't use "normal" weapon enhancements; no flaming, shocking etc. Soulblade gets his own list of enhancements that no one else gets.
As the soulblade levels, other chakra binds stop taking up slots.
As the soulblade levels, he can bind his weapon to other chakra points (much like the Incarnum Blade several other Playgrounders mentioned), eventually gaining the ability to bind to multiple slots at once.
Add other "soul equipment"; soul armor, soul shields, etc.



I like 1 and 3, personally.

Tavar
2009-12-23, 11:24 AM
Number three is definitely good. Number 1 would be a bit trickier to implement, but I think it could work well if done right.

appending_doom
2009-12-23, 12:40 PM
Binding the sword to chakras ought to scale (which the incarnum blade does not do), as well, I think.

DaTedinator
2009-12-25, 12:37 AM
Number one is obviously spiffy, and three is dandy. I actually *really* like four, too. Like, an inordinate amount. Wouldn't have to be *too* complicated either, just give him a couple unique soulmelds?

Mulletmanalive
2009-12-28, 03:29 PM
I vote other equipment too.

I think part of the problem with the Soulknife from EPH was that it SEEMED to be a class of having a magic sword, which never seemed the point of the class in the flavour.

I'd prefer wall running, backflipping and chameleonic blending to vorpal weapons any day. My core request would be a dispelling strike, simply because that seems like the kind of thing that weapons made of soul would do...

DragoonWraith
2009-12-28, 03:43 PM
This is awesome, and your intro makes me incredibly happy.

That said, I'm somewhat saddened by the lack of a Knife to the Soul ability. From a flavor perspective, that is the defining feature of the Soulknife.

Lapak
2009-12-28, 07:34 PM
I agree with the need for more abilities revolving around the main weapon, and I like the idea of defensive abilities. Maybe use this as a capstone?

Interpose the Blade
When the Soulblade has his weapon bound to a Chakra, he can redirect a harmful effect so that it damages his soulblade rather than his body or mind. He might physically place the blade between himself and harm, or he might channel a magical effect out through the chakra bind to avoid its influence. Either way, he is protected but left temporarily defenseless.

If the Soulblade currently has his soul blade bound to a chakra, he can choose to negate any one attack, spell or effect that targets him directly. Doing so automatically unbinds and dematerializes the soul blade. The Soulblade may wait until any attack rolls or saving throws normally allowed are resolved before choosing to use this ability. The Soulblade cannot avoid area effects with this technique, and he cannot Interpose the Blade if flatfooted.

(Rebinding the blade would, of course, require a use of the class' Rebind the Blade ability.)

Xallace
2009-12-28, 09:35 PM
Dragoon and MulletMan: Ask and ye shall receive.

Now, currently I'm working on improved effects based on other chakras. Rough ideas currently. How do these sound, folks?

Crown: While bound to your crown, the soul blade can be used to make trip and disarm attempts, with a bonus the attempt increasing with each essentia invested.
Feet: While bound to your feet, you can set your soul blade against a charge, with a damage bonus increasing with each point of essentia invested.
Brow: While bound to your brow, your soul blade can make critical hits on a roll of 18-20, and has a critical modifier of x3.
Shoulders: While bound to your shoulders, the soul blade becomes a reach weapon. Unlike most reach weapons, you can attack adjacent creatures with your soul blade.
Throat: I honestly have no idea.
Waist: While bound to your Waist chakra, you can form a shield from your essentia. When you invest essentia in to your blade, the shield provides an equivalent enhancement bonus to your AC.
Heart: While bound to your Heart chakra, you can make attacks with your soul blade as melee touch attacks.


And around level 17, you could choose to bind your soul blade to 2 chakra points at once. It would count as two chakra binds for the purpose of your limit, but would not close off the slots.

EDIT: Also, once this is finished, would anyone be opposed to me updating the soulbow to fit with the class, and perhaps an additional PrC or two?

Raiki
2009-12-30, 12:29 PM
EDIT: Also, once this is finished, would anyone be opposed to me updating the soulbow to fit with the class, and perhaps an additional PrC or two?

I really don't think you need to worry that people would ever oppose new material. Especially for a class this cool.

Anyway, I say go for it. This class needs as much love as possible.

~R~

Tavar
2009-12-30, 12:44 PM
I'd say that you could lower the second bind, and add a third in as well. Of course, if you do that you should probably increase the number of binds the class gets as a whole. I'm playing it in a game right now, and the limited number of soulborne melds, binds, and essentia is one of my least favorite things about it.

Xallace
2009-12-30, 12:47 PM
I'm playing it in a game right now

You... you are!? [/ecstatic]

Mind telling me how it's working out? Nothing like playtest for balance issues!

Alright, I had said ~17th to try and fill in a dead level. No problem on lowering it, though. 14 is also a dead level. Could be lower than that though.

EDIT: I still have no idea what a throat bind would do.

Lapak
2009-12-30, 01:06 PM
I still have no idea what a throat bind would do.Throat is roughly equivalent to amulet, yes? Protection and discernment? And it is one of the last they get, so it should be good...

Let's say discernment, since you already have a shield... perhaps it would allow the binder to ignore miss chances with the soul blade?

Xallace
2009-12-30, 01:27 PM
Throat is roughly equivalent to amulet, yes? Protection and discernment? And it is one of the last they get, so it should be good...

Let's say discernment, since you already have a shield... perhaps it would allow the binder to ignore miss chances with the soul blade?

I went with it.

TOTAL UPDATES SO FAR

Expanded Essentia capacity on the soul blade
Ability to bind soul blade to other chakras for different effects.
Ability to bind soul blade to multiple chakras at once.
Smite bonus damage can be swapped out for different effects, such as dispelling and a "Knife to the Soul" effect.

Tavar
2009-12-30, 02:25 PM
Well, it's a bit odd, since it's gestalt, but so far it's nice. Here (http://www.coyotecode.net/profiler/view.php?id=7500) is my sheet, but it's going pretty well so far. Granted, having a +11 to hit at level 4 helps quite a bit.

Are you still considering adding the ability to add special qualities to the blade?

Oh, and does the Spirit-Shattering Smite have a duration?

Xallace
2009-12-30, 02:30 PM
It lasts until they succeed on the save, currently.

EDIT: I'm actually not sure, I tossed most of the non-normal weapon properties I could think to add into the Chakra Binds and alternate smite features.

Mulletmanalive
2010-01-01, 11:24 PM
I'm going to point out that I'd like to keep what i consider a sane power level involved [which can usually be summarised as "So what about Wizards, they're another problem?"] but hopefully Tavar and I can agree.

My present thoughts on the secondary stuff is as follows [from a little musing and some re-reading of MoI]:

If the Totemist is a 3/4 progression and has a close in spread of melds with a 2-9 meld progression, a 1/1 progression class should probably have half that, rounded up generously: Thus, i'd probably place this around 1-6 by top level. This would mean that you'd actually have a meld at level 1. This has the standing advantage of giving you a choice of what to do with that level one Essentia too.

I'd say that the blade Chakra binds should be used to cover weapon qualities and it seems a waste to ignore the Essentia in the blade for this. Energy qualities can be added using Melds so that's less of an issue.

The downside here is that high essentia in the blade is something of a no-brainer, unfortunately, as there is nowhere else worth putting it, for the most part, or at least nowhere as worthy.

I'd suggest that certain qualities of weapon should be tied to certain chakras and the essentia placed in the blade be used to buy the functions. A simple way of doing it may be to have a +1, a +2 and a +3 to each and require 2 essentia per + to ride. In the case of a double-bind, perhaps the prices could drop to one essentia per + but the costs must be split evenly...

Edit: Woops, just realised that i'd managed to lose part of my point. I reckon that the blade, as a manifestation of soul, should have effects from its binds that aren't limited to the weapon's qualities. Bindings to the feet might enhance manoeuvring, speed and flanking, while those in the brow might grant skill in misdirection or even limited ranged ability [drawing on certain yogic traditions at least], perhaps even perception.

Melds do some of this stuff, but they may leave some very specific gaps. Perhaps if we were to compare the lineup and then think what would improve it for an enjoyable combat experience rather than universal effectiveness...?

Tavar
2010-01-01, 11:34 PM
I agree with Mulletmanalive. And keep in mind that the +11 is due to Weapon focus, the weapon enhancement bonus, and the +1 due to my Incarnate Avatar Soulmeld(I have a level of Incarnate in there). The rest is simply A full BAB class plus a 16 str. So even with out pumping things into my to hit, I'd have a comfortable +8 or 9(depending on putting Essentia into my blade).

Mulletmanalive
2010-01-01, 11:56 PM
Another thought that just occurred is some kind of "Piggyback bind"

Melds provide a number of functions that are enhanced by essentia and would take up a lot of the work from the blade on weapon qualities and so forth. Possibly gaining the ability to bind the blade OVER another meld to enhance its abilities is the way forward?

I had this idea while looking through a few of the Souldborn bits and thinking that simply being able to share the blade's enhanced pool with Disruption Bracers, not to mention the possibility of enhanced threat range etc, was really spiffy.

May not be perfect but i reckon it could solve some considerations and surely there's a meld/bind combo somewhere that allows you to attack the mind?