PDA

View Full Version : Overall thoughts? Optimizing Soulknife as RAW as possible.



Karen Lynn
2010-01-18, 05:22 AM
Yup. I argue the belief that the Soulknife is a terrible class. This one Prestiges into Illumine Soul[My DM running an undead heavy campaign]. The link to my build is here:

http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Soulknife_Undead_Hunter

Yes... I built a wiki page just for the one class, and am trying as RAW as possible. I know there's no such thing as 100% RAW, being minor discrepancies in interpretation, but I try.

Kelb_Panthera
2010-01-18, 06:31 AM
I too think the soulknife needs less tweaking than most, but this is probably gonna be received as just-this-side-of troll-bait. Also expect many responses to contain variations on the phrases "a class shouldn't need to prestige to X" and "20 levels of a 'I have a magic weapon'" and "psywar does it better with the acf from the minds eye article" The fact that the monk also "sucks" will be mentioned at least once, not including this post.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-18, 07:07 AM
Well, my character's back story involves home and family being harassed by undead. He gains an ability to wield a weapon forged of his mind, and later on in his life[adventuring] learns to tap into pure positive energy to destroy the undead. I would like people's feedback on my projected character build, and how feasible it is.

Optimystik
2010-01-18, 07:49 AM
First, advice for your build:

You are starved for skill points, especially since you're taking Know (religion) cross-class to enter Illumine Soul. Also note that your last two levels are totally dead - they grant nothing of value. Finally, you have power points (like all soulknives) but they are completely useless.

Two psychic warrior levels near the beginning of your build will solve all three problems. You can take Able Learner as your human feat (making all knowledge skills class skills) and still take Autonomous as your first Psywar bonus feat if you want it. You can also pick a race other than human if you want more power points - Synad has favored class (any), Xephs have favored class (Soulknife) and Half-Giants have favored class (Psywar) if your DM enforces XP penalties. If you start with 14 Wisdom, you'll gain two bonus power points, bringing your total to 4 before racial bonuses. And you'll have two powers known to spend your power points on - good choices include Hustle (gives you more move actions to recharge your mind blade) and Vigor (5 bonus HP/pp spent.) Practiced Manifester will up the durations of both powers after level 6. Finally, you get medium and heavy armor proficiency, as well as martial weapon proficiency, for free - all without losing a single point of BAB.

Take the Soulknife ACF from Mind's Eye here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20070214a) - it will trade Wild Talent for Hidden Talent, which is strictly better as it actually gives you another power with the 2 PP - from ANY class list. Now you can pick up Stygian Discernment (CPsi) which fits your character concept like a glove - detect undead and negative energy auras nearby.

General commentary:

Illumine souls do not fix the soulknife, because they don't address the soulknife's most key problems. You still need to waste move actions recharging your psychic strike, which means no full attack. PS damage only gets applied to one hit, so full attacks don't add much effectiveness anyway. They are geared towards being stealthy characters (no medium or heavy armor prof, Speed of Thought etc.) but receive no support for doing so (very poor skill points, no benefit to striking unaware.) They still have power points for no discernible reason. They still have 3/4 BAB.

The problem with Illumine Souls is their narrow focus. They shine (no pun intended) against undead, but are are not very useful against any other enemy type.

Illumine Souls do have their advantages in an undead-heavy campaign. Both their Death Ward and Positive Energy Flare abilities are at-will by RAW, and their Death Ward kicks in whenever you expend your psionic focus for any reason. It lasts 10 rounds, so by judiciously reacquiring and expending your focus you can keep it active indefinitely. Keep in mind, however, that it can be dispelled. PEF deals 10d6 damage (will half) to all undead within 30 feet, and triggers your death ward, forming a combo. You can use your move action to recharge your psychic strike or to position yourself for the nova. Sadly, the save DC relies on Charisma. (Why??) And of course, getting healed instantly for 5d8 +5 when you fall below zero hp is a nice ability, even if it can only happen 1/day.

@ Kelb: I understand your bitterness, but anticipating a thread will go wrong is a self-fulfilling prophecy if you don't actually try to contribute to it.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-18, 08:08 AM
I can see a few advantages to having two ranks in PsyWar. That's two powers to manifest whenever, and inertial armor seems like one that'd prove useful, more so than the force disc. Thank you for pointing out a potential boost. It also looks like I'll be able to get some much needed feats that route. *goes off to crunch numbers*

Optimystik
2010-01-18, 08:13 AM
Make sure you still go with soulknife at level 1 though - you need the skill points.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-18, 08:15 AM
Oh, That's already done. I've just reached level three with this character. I can take the next two ranks in PsyWar, and still be ready for Illumine Soul Immediately after level five. Whether or not I choose to do that is still up to be seen, though.

Edit: As I peruse the books, I see I would lose 1d8 from my psychic strike and my +5 Mind Blade would drop to +4, the latter loss being made up for in the BAB being boosted, also being dropped by another by the loss of 2 BABs from Soulknife...

-2BAB, -1 to the Mind blade, -1d8 Psychic Strike
+1BAB, +3 Fort BsB, full armor proficiency, two feats, two first level powers...

Definitely worth the trade off.

Edit2:
I can take it whenever, now, both at once, one now one later, etc. But to work it into the optimized build I have listed, I'll need time to reflect on this and find the best timing, while still getting quick access to the important things... Shape Mind blade, in my opinion, is one of the most important features granted by the soulknife early on for this triplicate build...

Kelb_Panthera
2010-01-18, 03:18 PM
@ Kelb: I understand your bitterness, but anticipating a thread will go wrong is a self-fulfilling prophecy if you don't actually try to contribute to it.

yeah, sorry for that. But after you've seen so many threads about soulknife/monk degenerate into a bash-fest against both classes it gets to the point where it seems a forgone conclusion. Who knows, maybe, in getting it out of the way on the second post, I'll have actually helped to prevent/ slow the progression of such degeneration.

His build does look okay for an undead campaign, though a touch of psywar or the hidden talent acf would definitely help quite a bit. If it's allowed, kalashtar get absolutely wonderful soulknife options. (good monk stuff too, incedentally.)

Karen Lynn
2010-01-18, 04:14 PM
So, any suggestions on the two powers? I'm looking at Metaphysical weapon[not sure if it stacks], skate[I have up the walls, and soon will have speed of thought. Picture a soulknife skating on the walls and ceiling xD], hustle[extra move? Yes!]. Those are what I'm thinking right now. No longer sure about inertial armor, as I can now wear all armors. Then again, to instantly gain glowy armor at +4, with no encumbrance or ACP, that'd be cool. Feel free to put forth your favorite/most useful/most hilarious choice/combination for two first lever PsyWar powers.

sonofzeal
2010-01-18, 04:18 PM
Taking both Expansion and Compression can be.... fun. Confuses the heck out of people, but fun. =)

Karen Lynn
2010-01-18, 04:28 PM
I see it now... "Malik, what are you doing?" "I use up the walls and run to the ceiling above the foe, then use expansion to increase my size and weight. I fall on him."

Holy crap... New death from above tactic.[Yes, I just augmented something I did last session...]

1d6 damage for every 200lbs that falls 10 feet.

1320 pounds... 30 feet.... 21d6; Maxes out at 20d6 damage... Tumble to stand without provoking AoO... Oh no... Those poor Koboolds/Lizardmen...

Fenix_of_Doom
2010-01-18, 04:32 PM
-2BAB, -1 to the Mind blade, -1d8 Psychic Strike
+1BAB, +3 Fort BsB, full armor proficiency, two feats, two first level powers...


Tip: use fractional bab, the way bab was meant to be, and you won't lose any bab because psywar end soulknife are both 3/4 bab classes.

Optimystik
2010-01-18, 04:49 PM
yeah, sorry for that. But after you've seen so many threads about soulknife/monk degenerate into a bash-fest against both classes it gets to the point where it seems a forgone conclusion. Who knows, maybe, in getting it out of the way on the second post, I'll have actually helped to prevent/ slow the progression of such degeneration.

Had he started the thread off with "Soulknives are great and I don't see what all the fuss is about" then such a reaction would have rightly happened. But the OP made it clear he was aware of their limitations, and wanted to play the class anyway, in a very niche role.


So, any suggestions on the two powers? I'm looking at Metaphysical weapon[not sure if it stacks], skate[I have up the walls, and soon will have speed of thought. Picture a soulknife skating on the walls and ceiling xD], hustle[extra move? Yes!]. Those are what I'm thinking right now. No longer sure about inertial armor, as I can now wear all armors. Then again, to instantly gain glowy armor at +4, with no encumbrance or ACP, that'd be cool. Feel free to put forth your favorite/most useful/most hilarious choice/combination for two first lever PsyWar powers.

Hustle is very useful to your build, but I mistakenly thought it was a first-level power. You'll sadly need two more psywar levels to take it, at which point you may as well take one more for the bonus feat.

Burst is a poor man's hustle but can at least help you position for a flare, or retreat. Compression and Expansion are probably your best bets, as zeal pointed out - they give you many options in combat.

Psionic Endure Elements (CPsi) can protect you from elemental attacks and environmental hazards. You can also cast it on your party members. It also lasts all day, even at level 1.

Stygian Discernment might be a good one for roleplay purposes, allowing you to pinpoint invisible undead.

If you go up to Psywar 5, you get Hustle, another 2nd level power, 9PP before racial and ability score bonuses, and another bonus feat. You now have access to highly useful powers like Concealing Amorpha, Psionic Lion's Charge, Dimension Swap, and Psionic Scent.

Soulknife 1/PsyWar 2/Soulknife +2/Illumine Soul 5/Psywar +3/Soulknife +7

So you trade Knife to the Soul (sucks) and 1d8 Psychic Strike for the ability to gain additional move actions, as well as swap places with your allies, or full attack on a charge. Fair trade, imo.

If you'd rather have the 1d8 of psychic strike, go only Psywar 4 and Soulknife +8 instead, bringing you to SK 11. You'll only have a slot for Hustle though.

Also, YES, use fractional BAB.

Prime32
2010-01-18, 04:51 PM
I see it now... "Malik, what are you doing?" "I use up the walls and run to the ceiling above the foe, then use expansion to increase my size and weight. I fall on him."

Holy crap... New death from above tactic.[Yes, I just augmented something I did last session...]

1d6 damage for every 200lbs that falls 10 feet.

1320 pounds... 30 feet.... 21d6; Maxes out at 20d6 damage... Tumble to stand without provoking AoO... Oh no... Those poor Koboolds/Lizardmen...
Warforged + Adamantine Body + Flaw: Obese + Willing Deformity (obese) = very heavy.


Oh, and no-one's mentioned soulbow yet? Wis to damage is pretty nice with Zen Archery.

Sophismata
2010-01-18, 06:13 PM
Consider replacing PsyWar with Ardent, too. Freedom mantle gives you Hustle (as a level 2 power), Force mantle grants the AC bonuses you wanted, Conflict gives you Metaphysical Weapon, Psionic Lion's Charge... it's all good.

Plus, taking practiced manifester will let you unlock higher level powers much sooner.

Gorbash
2010-01-18, 06:55 PM
Well, my character's back story involves home and family being harassed by undead. He gains an ability to wield a weapon forged of his mind, and later on in his life[adventuring] learns to tap into pure positive energy to destroy the undead. I would like people's feedback on my projected character build, and how feasible it is.

Then go Soulknife 1/Cleric 19. Problem solved.

Kelb_Panthera
2010-01-18, 07:30 PM
Alternately, take 1 level of ardent, then practiced manifester, then another level of ardent. As long as that second level of ardent is at level 5 or higher, you immediately get one power known of up to 3rd level from one of your chosen mantles. This is, so far, pretty much the way to get a power of a decent level with only 2 levels of a manifesting class. After using this trick you can take expanded knowledge for any must have 1st or 2nd level powers.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 04:48 AM
The biggest thing, however, is that I _WILL_ have all five levels of Illumine soul by mid-game[12, 13-ish]. The point of this isn't, as one poster said above, to be a mindblade wielding cleric. I am trying to optimize my character as a Sk/IS, playing in an undead centric campaign with a DM who is not a fan of psionics. He's not a fan because he has broken the game with them.

*Don't really see how a Sk/PsyWar/IS is game breaking. Already have a paladin, necro, dragon shaman, etc., in the same party.

I am now a Sk3/PsyWar2, have 6 powerpoints, and two powers: Force screen and Deflection Field. My AC is now pumped whenever I want/need it to be, I got two bonus feats[Psionic Meditation and Mind Cleave], Think I'll get Mind empowerment next level, going to pour through the books and update my build to reflect this.

This is ongoing, so continuous feedback is appreciated.

Edit:Just realized, if I'm willing to lose knife to the soul, I could take a third rank in PsyWar, get Inertial Armor, and truly be a self sufficient combatant.

Edit2: Realizing more and more, that as I continue to talk about optimizing, I sound more and more like a power gamer... *is not a munchkin!*

Edit3: By taking a third rank in PsyWar, I lose out on Mind Blade Enhancement +4... And no longer have Knife to the soul... Thoughts on this last bit?

Kelb_Panthera
2010-01-19, 06:54 AM
The biggest thing, however, is that I _WILL_ have all five levels of Illumine soul by mid-game[12, 13-ish]. The point of this isn't, as one poster said above, to be a mindblade wielding cleric. I am trying to optimize my character as a Sk/IS, playing in an undead centric campaign with a DM who is not a fan of psionics. He's not a fan because he has broken the game with them.

Oh..... :smallredface: in that case don't use what I said about the ardent. Save it until your DM is more comfortable with psionics. If you use it now, the ban-hammer will be wielded and your options for character creation drop a touch, something that I believe is a horrible thing indeed.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 07:00 AM
I think I have it almost right. Think y'all could take another peek and see what y'all think now? I've still another feat to choose, and now I'm not sure what to select. I could get more power points, and manifest more often; I could select feats elsewhere[Toughness, anyone?], but all in all, I think I optimized it beyond my scope. Comments?

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 07:34 AM
The biggest thing, however, is that I _WILL_ have all five levels of Illumine soul by mid-game[12, 13-ish]. The point of this isn't, as one poster said above, to be a mindblade wielding cleric. I am trying to optimize my character as a Sk/IS, playing in an undead centric campaign with a DM who is not a fan of psionics. He's not a fan because he has broken the game with them.

*Don't really see how a Sk/PsyWar/IS is game breaking. Already have a paladin, necro, dragon shaman, etc., in the same party.

Regardless of how "broken" he believes psionics to be, you are using combining the weakest psionic class (SK) with the one of the two most balanced ones (Ardent and Psywar.) I can't see how he'd be upset at your choices.


I am now a Sk3/PsyWar2, have 6 powerpoints, and two powers: Force screen and Deflection Field. My AC is now pumped whenever I want/need it to be, I got two bonus feats[Psionic Meditation and Mind Cleave], Think I'll get Mind empowerment next level, going to pour through the books and update my build to reflect this.

I would have left Mind Cleave until later - if you're fighting mindless undead now, your Psychic Strike is useless, so spending feats on it should wait until after you enter Illumine Soul. Though of course you'll be doing so next level, so maybe you can stick it out.


Edit:Just realized, if I'm willing to lose knife to the soul, I could take a third rank in PsyWar, get Inertial Armor, and truly be a self sufficient combatant.

Edit2: Realizing more and more, that as I continue to talk about optimizing, I sound more and more like a power gamer... *is not a munchkin!*

Edit3: By taking a third rank in PsyWar, I lose out on Mind Blade Enhancement +4... And no longer have Knife to the soul... Thoughts on this last bit?

1) It goes without saying that one can optimize without being a "munchkin."

2) Knife to the Soul sucks. Horribly. Even ghouls have good mental scores. While you're plinking away at them, not only are you not slowing them down in the least, you're also not contributing to the rest of the party who is likely doing HP damage. And even if you do render an undead opponent helpless with ability damage, you still have to waste actions finishing them off (Illumine Soul still doesn't let you CDG undead.)

And all that's assuming your DM even allows ability damage to work on undead. Avoid like the plague.

If you're going to Psywar 3, go Psywar 5 instead - 2 level 2 powers (Hello Hustle), more fort (you'll probably be making a lot of fort saves in an undead campaign) and another bonus feat.


I think I have it almost right. Think y'all could take another peek and see what y'all think now? I've still another feat to choose, and now I'm not sure what to select. I could get more power points, and manifest more often; I could select feats elsewhere[Toughness, anyone?], but all in all, I think I optimized it beyond my scope. Comments?

Did you update the wiki linked in the first post? I'm still seeing your old Soulknife 15/Illumine Soul 5 build.

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 07:59 AM
1) How high do you expect this campaign to go?

2) You still have a dead level at the end - I hate dead levels - another level of Psywar will give you Hustle.

3) Why are you entering Illumine Soul so late? You can enter at ECL 5 (SK 3/Psywar 2). 5 + 3 = 8, half of 8 is 4. You're human, so you can take Able Learner at level 1 to pick up 4 ranks in Know (Religion) early and save some skill points, or just take it cross-class, though that will eat up your skill points.

So with this build I posted first - SK 1/PsyWar 2/SK +2/Illumine Soul 5 - at level 10, you will have full Illumine Soul abilities, +3d8 PS, a +2 mind blade with +1 enhancement capacity, 3 PP before wisdom, and 2 first-level powers (one of which should be psionic endure elements.)



The loss of fort base from cutting two ranks in Sk offsets the two ranks in PsyWar's boost to fort save.

I'm not seeing that - fort is a weak save for Soulknives, and a strong save for Psywars. Perhaps it depends on where you drop it? the difference is negligible either way, it's just something to think about.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 07:59 AM
I would have left Mind Cleave until later - if you're fighting mindless undead now, your Psychic Strike is useless, so spending feats on it should wait until after you enter Illumine Soul. Though of course you'll be doing so next level, so maybe you can stick it out.


And we're 1xp from next level, which means Undead are soon to tremble.



Knife to the Soul sucks. Horribly. Even ghouls have good mental scores. While you're plinking away at them, not only are you not slowing them down in the least, you're also not contributing to the rest of the party who is likely doing HP damage. And even if you do render an undead opponent helpless with ability damage, you still have to waste actions finishing them off (Illumine Soul still doesn't let you CDG undead.)


Hence why I chose one more level in PsyWar for a BAB boost and extra power.



If you're going to Psywar 3, go Psywar 5 instead - 2 level 2 powers (Hello Hustle), more fort (you'll probably be making a lot of fort saves in an undead campaign) and another bonus feat.

The loss of fort base from cutting two ranks in Sk offsets the two ranks in PsyWar's boost to fort save. The extra powers... Hmmm.... The feat...

My DM would so hate me for using Dimension Swap...

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 08:06 AM
1) How high do you expect this campaign to go?


My DM says he's wanting to reach epic levels, so...



2) You still have a dead level at the end - I hate dead levels - another level of Psywar will give you Hustle.

3) Why are you entering Illumine Soul so late? You can enter at ECL 5 (SK 3/Psywar 2). 5 + 3 = 8, half of 8 is 4. You're human, so you can take Able Learner at level 1 to pick up 4 ranks in Know (Religion) early and save some skill points, or just take it cross-class, though that will eat up your skill points.


Yeah, Looking over all at everything, I can see your point. Though I do have extra skill points to burn[High INT mod].



So with this build I posted first - SK 1/PsyWar 2/SK +2/Illumine Soul 5 - at level 10, you will have full Illumine Soul abilities, +3d8 PS, a +2 mind blade with +1 enhancement capacity, 3 PP before wisdom, and 2 first-level powers (one of which should be psionic endure elements.)

That would be more rapid to the important things, Thus more optimal. *goes back to trudge through editing*

I don't want to take too many levels in PsyWar, as that would defeat the purpose of basing the build on Soulknife, methinks. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 08:36 AM
I don't want to take too many levels in PsyWar, as that would defeat the purpose of basing the build on Soulknife, methinks. Correct me if I'm wrong.

You'll still be a soulknife with just 4-5 levels in Psywar. What you have to look at, is what the 5th level gains you vs. what you give up.

Soulknife 11 Illumine Soul 5 gives you a +4 Mind blade. That's it.

Soulknife 10 Illumine Soul 5 gives you a +3 Mind Blade. In exchange, you get a free feat, 2 more PP, plus your choice of switching places with an ally, gaining concealment, making your soulknife a reach weapon, ignoring concealment as a swift action (full attack!), or full attacking at the end of a charge - all in addition to giving yourself extra move actions via Hustle.

(Dimension Swap, Concealing Amorpha, Extend Reach, Moment of Insight, Psionic Lion's Charge, respectively.)

All of those are worth more than just another +1 to attack and damage, I think.

You're still swinging a light saber around, so you're still a soulknife. You just have very useful tricks.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 08:40 AM
Love the lightsaber comment.

Yeah, you're right. Thanks for really taking the time to point these all out for me. I'm a little thick skulled right now. :thog:

Edit:

About when would you get PsyWar to rank 5? By the looks of things, I need it there before lvl16, maybe sooner. Maybe 14, or even 13? What say you?

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 09:41 AM
Love the lightsaber comment.

Yeah, you're right. Thanks for really taking the time to point these all out for me. I'm a little thick skulled right now. :thog:

You're welcome :smallsmile:


Edit:

About when would you get PsyWar to rank 5? By the looks of things, I need it there before lvl16, maybe sooner. Maybe 14, or even 13? What say you?

The key to multiclassing is opportunity cost. What do you give up, and what do you get?

Soulknife +2 vs. Psywar +2

At level 10, you will be just finishing Illumine Soul. You count as a Soulknife 8 for Psychic Strike and Mind Blade purposes, but still just SK 3 for everything else. Because you already got the SK 4 mind blade enhancement, adding SK here becomes a dead level - thumbs down. Another SK gets you to 5, giving Free Draw and Shape Mind blade. Free Draw is useless (see below for details.) Shape Mind Blade turns your short sword into a longsword - whoopty-do, 1d6 to 1d8.

Enhancement-wise, those same 2 levels make you count as a Soulknife 10, which gives +2 enhancement capacity to your blade, giving you the awesome Suppression (targeted dispel on strike.) This is the best reason to go SK +2 when you're done with Illumine Soul, but I'm not sold yet.

So to summarize, you gain:

- An increase to +2 enhancement
- Free Draw
- Shape Mind Blade (you'll most likely go with Longsword if you have a nice shield - and you should, since you have no ACF to worry about.)

In the same 2 levels as a Psywar, you get:
- 4 more power points (bringing your total to 6 before ability score and racial bonuses.)
- Hustle (which obviates Free Draw - if your mind blade gets sundered and you're under pressure, give yourself another move action and remake it.)
- An new 1st-level power of your choice. If you already have Compression and Expansion, a good one to take here would be Vigor (bonus HP) or Synesthete (cannot be blinded or deafened, and you get a circumstance bonus on spot and listen checks - circumstance is rare, so it stacks with others (like competence from Bards.) You can also take Burst, which negates the need for Speed of Thought (see below.)

Personally I prefer the latter, but a suppression blade is useful.

To aid in your decision, think about ECL 12, where you've made one of the above choices: +2 SK or +2 PW. So now your choice would be SK +3 or PW +3.

What does one more level of each get you?
+1 Soulknife at this point gives you SK 6, which counts as SK 11 for your blade (giving you another psychic strike.)

So you get:

- 1d8 Psychic Strike
- Speed of Thought.

Not too impressive to me. One more level of Psywar on the other hand:

- Bonus Feat. I don't have to tell you - feats are good. A great one to spend it on is Practiced Manifester, giving you 9 ML with your Psywar abilities (making them last a lot longer, and able to be augmented higher.)
- Another 2nd-level power. This is where you go bananas, choosing if you want to teleport to your allies' defense, full attack on a charge, the other cool things I mentioned, etc. Needless to say, being able to full attack on charges and ignore concealment will probably add a lot more damage to your attacks than a mere 1d8.
- 2 PP. now you can use your tricks more times before resting, and even afford to augment some.

So to answer your question, I think you should head right into Psywar 5 and then go back to Soulknife afterward.

Now if you're asking me how I would build it - I would make it far more of a psywar build than a Soulknife one. Powers are excellent, powers give options. But you want more of a soulknife flavor and I respect that.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 10:02 AM
Well, I am at Sk3/PsyWar2 right now, going IS in literally 1EXP. My first two powers are Force Disc(+4 Shield bonus to AC) and Deflection Field(+4 Deflection bonus to AC). I'm making my third power Inertial Armor(+4 AC, non-stacking with worn armor). This will obviate the need for any forms of armor, cutting encumbrance, removing my ACP, and removing my max dex mod limit. I'm thinking of Hustle and Dimension Swap as my 2nd level powers. How do you think of this setup? I agree with getting PsyWar to 5 immediately after IS. I stop taking that class earlier, why wait until end game to be able to use my powers?

Edit:
Enlarge power would increase the range in which I could use Dimension Swap at no additional power point cost. Seemingly situational, as my group tends to stay within thirty feet-

Epiphany, mid edit: Speed of thought, enlarge power, up the walls. Full out sprint along the walls with increased speed to place myself at the back of a group, say near a caster, or on a ledge out of reach of opponents. DS with my own caster if on a ledge, or with the group paladin, dragon shaman, or one of our fighters if by the enemy caster... Talk about tactical mobility :smallcool:

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 10:29 AM
What's your Dex mod? (In fact, list your stats if you could please.) I think that's too many powers geared toward getting the same bonuses armor and a shield would give you.

By level 10, you will have magic armor - +4 AC is easily within reach - inertial armor becomes redundant. Likewise with Force Disc, and a magic shield (though Force Disc comes in handy if you use a 2-handed mind blade later.)

You're not a skill monkey - armor check penalties shouldn't matter to you, and you of course have no ASF due to psionics.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 10:35 AM
STR 16
DEX 17
CON 18
INT 12 [Like I said, High enough INT]
WIS 14
CHA 9

ACP do matter to me, as I have to swim, tumble, hide, move silently, etc. And yes, I've put to use each of those and more already.

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 10:54 AM
Even if that is the case, you are going to epic levels, leading me to believe you can get your hands on mithral. Mithral medium = light, so you can pick up +4 armor bonus to AC fairly easily, without blowing a precious power known on IA.

The deflection one I'm not sure about either. It's duration concentration, and I can't remember if you can actually take other actions/full attack while doing that.

Defensive Precognition might be more useful - insight bonus (stacks with just about everything) boosts your saves as well, and augmentable to a +3 and a swift action with PM.

You can also take Expanded Knowledge with one of your bonus feats, and pick up Dimension Hop. Travel 10 feet as a swift action per PP spent.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 11:05 AM
Maintaining a spell/power is a free action, after it's been cast/manifest.

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 11:08 AM
Very well, so keep that one (it will help with your touch AC as well; are their incorporeal undead in your campaign? Seems likely.) But my point on mithral armor vs. IA still stands.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 11:12 AM
Yes to the incorporeal. The DM's already threatened us with ghosts at level five, knowing we have nothing to combat them. But that was a touch of railroading to prevent us from wasting time looting a decimated city.

As for the powers... Most of the first level PsyWar powers seem circumstantial, utilitarian, or for an RP aspect. The three powers that each boost different bonuses to AC for instance, tie in great with the RP aspect of my character, and actually have a mechanical boost to his AC. Unless of course you have better suggestions on the powers. I'd like to see your three choices in these shoes.

Edit: That wasn't snarkiness. I mean it, I honestly want to know which three powers you'd choose, and why. Disregard all aspects of RP for my character/story.

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 11:25 AM
As I said, IA becomes a wasted slot at higher levels; because you don't have reformation to swap it out, anything is a better choice.

I would personally go with Expansion instead. You gain 10ft. reach, a 1d8 mindblade before Shape, you take up more space (increasing the range of your PE Flare) and the strength bonus cancels out the attack penalty. Besides which, turning into a giant with a blazing sword is bound to impress your party.

At late levels, after you learn how to shape your mindblade, this power will stay useful by scaling up with your blade's shape. You make it a longsword, it goes up to 2d6. You make it a bastard sword, it becomes 2d8. With Force Disc, you can wield your bastard mind blade two-handed (for the 1.5x Str bonus) and still have a shield. Meanwhile IA doesn't scale at all.

EDIT: No offense taken, don't worry

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 11:29 AM
Expansion does seem like a logical one. Any others you'd consider getting? I really would like to see more of your thoughts on this.

Edit:

PsyWar5 has 2nd level powers... Does this mean he is a fifth level manifester, or second level manifester? I'd like to be able to blow a portion of my then 33 power points on augmenting the powers. Still thinking of the metapsionic feat to expand the range...

Kylarra
2010-01-19, 11:43 AM
PsyWar5 has 2nd level powers... Does this mean he is a fifth level manifester, or second level manifester? I'd like to be able to blow a portion of my then 33 power points on augmenting the powers. Still thinking of the metapsionic feat to expand the range...
He's a 5th level manifester, just like a bard casting second level spells would be at least a 4th level caster.

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 11:49 AM
Expansion does seem like a logical one. Any others you'd consider getting? I really would like to see more of your thoughts on this.

The other two are fine (Deflection and Disc.) You sound like you're (one of) the party tanks, so AC is key. If you anticipate getting a good shield though, consider swapping Force Disc for Vigor - giving yourself 45 extra HP

Expanded Knowledge (Dimension Hop) would be a very useful trick. Swift action teleporting for only 1 PP/pop is extremely powerful, and I think you had a blank feat in your build. Blink 10 feet to caster undead, initiate grapple... charge Psychic Strike, blink 10 feet, attack, etc. Proper use of this power means you won't need either PLC or 'ally swap' as your other 2nd-level power. That frees you up for the other good 2nd-level powers I mentioned earlier.

Other good ones include Prowess (free AoO) and Levitate.

EDIT to Kylarra: If he takes Practiced Manifester (which he should, he has enough feats) he will become ML 9.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 11:58 AM
Half the point of Force disc is that it's made of force, therefore affects incorporeal creatures/objects, the other half of the point of it being no hand, +4 Shield bonus. I was planning on using the bastard sword for the increased damage/attack bonus.

I'm looking into getting Practiced Manifester later. I'm checking all of my feats right now before I re-up the wiki.

As for DS['ally swap'], I'd be using that to get one of our primary casters out of jams. He spent a small portion of the last session getting nommed on by a crocodile. xD

Kylarra
2010-01-19, 11:59 AM
EDIT to Kylarra: If he takes Practiced Manifester (which he should, he has enough feats) he will become ML 9.
Well, yes, I concur, I was just overwhelmed with a horrible case of literalism.:smallredface:

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 12:06 PM
It's made of force, but its still just a shield bonus - it does not stop touch attacks by RAW. You need to be sure which way your DM falls on the issue before you waste a PK slot on it.

While the Bastard Sword + Shield viewpoint is valid, remember that the best use of spells/powers for a gish is to do things that equipment can't do. You can always get a shield bonus from a good shield - bonus HP, immunity to blindness etc. are harder to come by.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-19, 01:10 PM
Alright. I think I've got it as close as I will for the time being. If y'all'd be so kind as to take another look?

Optimystik
2010-01-19, 01:52 PM
Looking much better now, but there's still a dead level at the end grating on me. One fighter level there (even if you wait until level 20 for it) will give you a free feat, and a bump of BAB. Good uses for this feat include:

Exotic WP - to hold your bastard mind blade in one hand;
Combat Reflexes - 3 AoOs per round;
Improved Initiative - Never a bad choice;
Tower Shield Proficiency - If you find one, could come in handy. Plus you can hide behind it and make your DM's head explode. :smallwink:
Weapon Specialization - really only good early on, but still worthy of consideration.

Alternatively: if your DM enforces multiclass penalties, and you expect the game to go for a while past 20, then take another Psywar level to get 2 more PP and a new power. Empathic Transfer might be a good one there, to help save your allies' lives, especially since you autoheal if yours gets too low.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-20, 02:16 AM
I don't really see the point in multi'ing again, since if we do go epic, I can just pump my Sk and PsyWar further. At 21, I'd take Sk to get Psychic Strike again as well as getting the +4 Mind blade. I'd Grab another feat, maybe another Expanded Knowledge, but that should be held off unless you know of another good level one power, or a different feat I should select. Hmmm... *looks up the psionic dimensional pocket*

Edit:
Thinking about it, at level 21, a boost to BAB and the three saves, plus four more pp, and one more second level power, as well as the next feat could be nice.

Zaq
2010-01-20, 04:28 AM
Maintaining a spell/power is a free action, after it's been cast/manifest.

If your GM houserules that way, then awesome, but that's not (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#duration) what's actually in the rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicPowersOverview.htm#concentrationDuration).


Concentration

The spell lasts as long as you concentrate on it. Concentrating to maintain a spell is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Anything that could break your concentration when casting a spell can also break your concentration while youíre maintaining one, causing the spell to end.

You canít cast a spell while concentrating on another one. Sometimes a spell lasts for a short time after you cease concentrating.


Concentration

The power lasts as long as you concentrate on it. Concentrating to maintain a power is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Anything that could break your concentration when manifesting a power can also break your concentration while youíre maintaining one, causing the power to end. You canít manifest a power while concentrating on another one. Some powers may last for a short time after you cease concentrating. In such a case, the power keeps going for the given length of time after you stop concentrating, but no longer. Otherwise, you must concentrate to maintain the power, but you canít maintain it for more than a stated duration in any event. If a target moves out of range, the power reacts as if your concentration had been broken.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-20, 04:33 AM
Ah, Thank you. I had a lot of trouble finding that, and appreciate you citing your reference.

Optimystik
2010-01-20, 07:18 AM
If your GM houserules that way, then awesome, but that's not (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#duration) what's actually in the rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicPowersOverview.htm#concentrationDuration).

Ah, that's what I thought; you can't attack while manifesting Deflection Field. Dump it and move Expansion to its spot, then for your third level one power pick up Skate, Synesthete or Burst.

Karen Lynn
2010-01-20, 07:23 AM
Alright... First level powers really aren't too useful, are they?

Edit: Oh... Burst and Speed of thought Stack. Heh, movement speed of fifty. :smallbiggrin:

Edit2: What about Prevenom weapon?

Optimystik
2010-01-20, 07:45 AM
Edit: Oh... Burst and Speed of thought Stack. Heh, movement speed of fifty. :smallbiggrin:

Skate is far more useful actually. It's the same bonus as Burst (enhancement) so it also stacks with SoT (competence), giving you a 55 ft. move speed, 70 downhill. It also lasts a LOT longer, min./level vs. 1 round.

Finally, you can manifest skate on allies, even fallen ones (allowing you to drag them more quickly.)


Edit2: What about Prevenom weapon?

Aren't you in an undead campaign? It's not a very good fit thematically either. :smallsmile: