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    Default Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

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    Because I like Psionics as a flavor, I wanted to make this. See this post for a companion class.


    Soul Knife (Way of the Mind)
    The intense mental and physical disciplines required of the Monk's martial arts training allows one to perform amazing feats of the body. With only a slight change of focus, one can channel this incredible focus into different pathways. A Monk of the Way of the Mind hones their mind as much as their body into a weapon. They learn to harness their mental energies to create psionic weapons, read minds, and eventually command reality through sheer force of will.

    Soul Knife
    You are able to manifest your will as a psionic weapon called a Soul Knife crafted from your own mind. Starting at 3rd-level when you take this archetype, you can use your bonus action to create a Soul Knife in your empty hand. This weapon takes the form of a dagger, and possesses all the same weapon traits. This weapon uses your Martial Arts die, and its damage type is Force Damage. Your Soul Knife disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more. It also disappears if you dismiss the weapon (no action required), or if you die. You may have up to two Soul Knives at one time, each using a Bonus Action to manifest. You may use your Soul Knife in place of unarmed strikes made through the Martial Arts and Flurry of Blows feature while manifesting two Soul Knives.

    Your Soul Knife increases in power as you do. At levels 6, 11, and 17, each manifested Soul Knife receives a +1 magical bonus, to a maximum of +3 at level 17.

    Psychic Surge
    Also at 3rd-level, whenever you successfully hit an enemy with either your Soul Knife or unarmed strikes, you may spend any number of Ki Points up to 5. You deal an additional 1d6 Force Damage per Ki Point spent this way.

    Psionic Arts
    Starting at 6th-level, you are able to spend a little extra effort in order to tap into your latent psionic talents. As an Action you can spend 2 Ki Points in order to cast Detect Thoughts, Enhance Ability, Gust of Wind, or Phantasmal Force, without needing material components. Wisdom is your spellcasting stat for these spells. Additionally, you know the cantrip Mage Hand if you didnít know it already.

    Mind over Matter
    Your Soul Knife grows in power and ability. At 11th-level, your Soul Knife or Psionic Weapon can be commanded to move on its own. You can, as an Action, release your Soul Knife and command it to float in an empty adjacent space. While separated, your Soul Knife occupies its own 5ft space as though it were a creature. You may split your movement up between yourself and your Soul Knife as you choose. You can also split any attacks you may make between yourself and your Soul Knife, including ones granted by Extra Attack or Flurry of Blows. You can only have one Soul Knife separate from you in this way. You can instantly return your Soul Knife or Psionic Weapon to your empty hand at no action cost.

    Additionally, you may spend 5 Ki Points to cast Telekinesis.

    Soulrend
    Your Psionic powers now impose your reality upon the world. At 17th level, you can spend one Action and 5 Ki Points to cast Antimagic Field on yourself. Magical items you are attuned to and spells you allow to target you are unaffected by this field.

    In addition, spellcasters suffer psychic damage equal to half your Monk level when they first enter your Antimagic Field or begin their turn within it.
    Last edited by Ninjadeadbeard; 2017-02-13 at 06:11 PM. Reason: modifying soul knife
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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    I would suggest allowing them to use a wielded Soulknife for bonus action attacks from Martial Arts and Flurry of Blows starting from 3rd level. As it always uses the same damage die as an unarmed attack, the only real differences there would be the additional attacks getting Psychic Surge and possible bonuses from a magic weapon. I'd say it could get a bit more at 3rd level, and that addition doesn't seem like it'd be that powerful to me. It's just flavourful. If you've got a magic dagger, created entirely from just your own psyche, I don't see why you wouldn't be using it for all of your attacks.

    Maybe just let them use Martial Arts/Flurry with their Soulknives when they have both manifested? I mean, right now there's not much point having an additional one manifested until 11th level, as if you try to dual-wield them you aren't able to add your ability modifier to the bonus attack from that, so why bother wasting the bonus action?

    Also, would the floating Soulknife from Mind Over Matter count as a creature for the purposes of whether or not a Rogue gets Sneak Attack against a target adjacent to it?
    Last edited by Sicarius Victis; 2017-02-11 at 04:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sicarius Victis View Post
    I would suggest allowing them to use a wielded Soulknife for bonus action attacks from Martial Arts and Flurry of Blows starting from 3rd level......Maybe just let them use Martial Arts/Flurry with their Soulknives when they have both manifested? I mean, right now there's not much point having an additional one manifested until 11th level, as if you try to dual-wield them you aren't able to add your ability modifier to the bonus attack from that, so why bother wasting the bonus action?
    Oooh, I thought I was clear that you could use the SK for Martial Arts/Flurry attacks? If not, I'll fix that straight away.

    Also, would the floating Soulknife from Mind Over Matter count as a creature for the purposes of whether or not a Rogue gets Sneak Attack against a target adjacent to it?
    Yes. I know that makes it a bit more powerful, but it also makes the most sense to me.

    Thanks for responding! Did you like the rest of the class?
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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    Oooh, I thought I was clear that you could use the SK for Martial Arts/Flurry attacks? If not, I'll fix that straight away.
    Alright. Personally, I still think it might be best to only let them use the SK for Martial Arts/Flurry when dual-wielding, as otherwise they don't really have a reason two manifest more than one at a time. I suppose if they've bonded with two weapons with different enhancements, they might want to be able to switch between them, but otherwise there's not much point to it.

    How does the "bonding to a weapon" bit work exactly, anyways? Can they only bond to daggers, or can they do it with any weapon?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    Yes. I know that makes it a bit more powerful, but it also makes the most sense to me.
    Eh, it's not like it's that hard to get Sneak Attack anyways. This won't make too much of a difference, honestly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    Thanks for responding! Did you like the rest of the class?
    In fact, I really did. I've always liked the "Soulknife" idea, and I feel you implemented it pretty well here. I like the features it gets, and I like the minor spellcasting as well. I particularly like Soulrend, as it's both unique and flavourful. It's honestly not a concept I've seen used often for this kind of character, but it's still good.
    Last edited by Sicarius Victis; 2017-02-11 at 06:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sicarius Victis View Post
    Alright. Personally, I still think it might be best to only let them use the SK for Martial Arts/Flurry when dual-wielding, as otherwise they don't really have a reason two manifest more than one at a time. I suppose if they've bonded with two weapons with different enhancements, they might want to be able to switch between them, but otherwise there's not much point to it.

    How does the "bonding to a weapon" bit work exactly, anyways? Can they only bond to daggers, or can they do it with any weapon?
    I've now clarified that you can manifest 1 or 2 Soul Knives, but you can also give up 1 and only 1 soul knife in exchange for getting a bonded weapon like a Warlock's Pact Weapon. SK and Psionic Weapons benefit from the same class features, but you can't use a Psionic Weapon in place of Soul Knife for Mind over Matter.

    Eh, it's not like it's that hard to get Sneak Attack anyways. This won't make too much of a difference, honestly.
    Fair enough. I'll revert the wording back.

    I've always liked the "Soulknife" idea, and I feel you inplemented it pretty well here. I like the features it gets, and I like the minor spellcasting as well. I particularly like Soulrend, as it's both unique and flavourful. It's honestly not a concept I've seen used often for this kind of character, but it's still good.
    Thanks for the encouragement! I also really love Psionic classes in general, and since I have zero faith in the Mystic ever being good, this is my little contribution to the hobby.
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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    I've now clarified that you can manifest 1 or 2 Soul Knives, but you can also give up 1 and only 1 soul knife in exchange for getting a bonded weapon like a Warlock's Pact Weapon. SK and Psionic Weapons benefit from the same class features, but you can't use a Psionic Weapon in place of Soul Knife for Mind over Matter.
    My personal suggestion would be this: Instead of bonding a single Psionic Weapon instead of one of their Soulknives, perhaps allow them to transfer the properties of magical weapons they find to their Knives, through a ritual similar to the bonding one. That way, they would just stick with their Soulknives, but without falling behind other party members who actually get magic items. In addition, that could reasonably allow them to get both their Knives enhanced, without anything getting overpowered.

    Of course, each Knife could only have an enhancement taken from a single weapon, and you'd have to enhance them each individually. I'd say that feels about reasonable.

    Of course, this is your homebrew, not mine, so if that's not how you want to do it feel free to go ahead and ignore what I suggested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    Thanks for the encouragement! I also really love Psionic classes in general, and since I have zero faith in the Mystic ever being good, this is my little contribution to the hobby.
    Well, there should be a Soulknife subclass for the Mystic, next time it comes out. There are supposed to be six Orders for it, with four of them already mentioned: Awakened and Immortal - which have already been implemented - as well as Knife, which should be Soulknife, and Unseen Hand, which would be telekinesis. The Mystic isn't a great class, but it's not too bad, and since they're still working on it, it should turn out half-decent. With how long they've been working on it for, it would be almost a miracle for it to end up being too badly-made.
    Last edited by Sicarius Victis; 2017-02-11 at 07:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sicarius Victis View Post
    Instead of bonding a single Psionic Weapon instead of one of their Soulknives, perhaps allow them to transfer the properties of magical weapons they find to their Knives, through a ritual similar to the bonding one.
    I think, perhaps, instead of that I should grant a statistical bonus at one or more levels? Seems neater and less prone to abuse by players craftier than I.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sicarius Victis View Post
    Well, there should be a Soulknife subclass for the Mystic, next time it comes out. There are supposed to be six Orders for it, with four of them already mentioned: Awakened and Immortal - which have already been implemented - as well as Knife, which should be Soulknife, and Unseen Hand, which would be telekinesis. The Mystic isn't a great class, but it's not too bad, and since they're still working on it, it should turn out half-decent. With how long they've been working on it for, it would be almost a miracle for it to end up being too badly-made.
    Never bet against a group of people doing stupid things. At no point during the development of the Mystic have I seen anything other than a broken, Overpowered mess of a class.
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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    I think, perhaps, instead of that I should grant a statistical bonus at one or more levels? Seems neater and less prone to abuse by players craftier than I.
    That would definitely work. Perhaps +1 at 6th level, +2 at 11th level, and +3 at 17th level? I think that's about in line with the recommended magic items you'd get at those levels, though I may be wrong about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    Never bet against a group of people doing stupid things.
    Fair enough, I can't honestly argue there.

    "There's too many men, too many people, making too many problems..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    At no point during the development of the Mystic have I seen anything other than a broken, Overpowered mess of a class.
    Well, Mystical Recovery and Strength of Mind are certainly overpowered. Beyond that, though, I wouldn't say the latest version is too bad. Though, some of the benefits from the disciplines are just stupid. Third Eye's Psychic Focus feature, for example
    Last edited by Sicarius Victis; 2017-02-11 at 07:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sicarius Victis View Post
    That would definitely work. Perhaps +1 at 6th level, +2 at 11th level, and +3 at 17th level? I think that's about in line with the recommended magic items you'd get at those levels, though I may be wrong about that.
    Wrong or not, this has now been added, and the ability to bond magical weapons has been removed.

    Well, Mystical Recovery and Strength of Mind are certainly overpowered. Beyond that, though, I wouldn't say the latest version is too bad. Though, some of the benefits from the disciplines are just stupid. Third Eye's Psychic Focus feature, for example
    I seem to recall one version granting the Mystic everything the Fighter had up to 5th level, at first. Might be misremembering though.
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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    Wrong or not, this has now been added, and the ability to bond magical weapons has been removed.
    Alright. Personally, I'd say the scaling seems reasonable. And at the moment, I can't think of anything else that I think particularly needs looking at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjadeadbeard View Post
    I seem to recall one version granting the Mystic everything the Fighter had up to 5th level, at first. Might be misremembering though.
    AFAIK, there have been two attempts at the Mystic so far. Beither of them were great, but I don't think they were quite that bad. I don't have access to a copy of the first attempt, though, so I might be misremembering.
    Last edited by Sicarius Victis; 2017-02-11 at 08:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Alright, fair enough. When it comes out I'm sure I'll give the Mystic a try.

    Until then, I'll keep making stuff like this.
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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Just to clarfiy, is the intent for Mind over Matter to grant an additional attack with the floating weapon, making it essentially Extra Attack (2)?

    Also, have you actually played a mystic or been in a game with one? Having had three in campaigns I play in, they're far from OP. I'd say they're pretty comparable to Clerics- strong support abilities and buffs (mostly self-only for mystics) but not a ton of offensive power.

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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    Quote Originally Posted by PotatoGolem View Post
    Just to clarfiy, is the intent for Mind over Matter to grant an additional attack with the floating weapon, making it essentially Extra Attack (2)?
    Yes, although now that you say that, it does sound bad. I'm removing it now.

    Also, have you actually played a mystic or been in a game with one? Having had three in campaigns I play in, they're far from OP. I'd say they're pretty comparable to Clerics- strong support abilities and buffs (mostly self-only for mystics) but not a ton of offensive power.
    I am a judgmental person on the Mystic, because it made a very poor first impression with me. It was such a bad impression that I felt offended by its existence when it came out. I might take a look when the new one shows up, but until then I simply refuse to acknowledge its existence.
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    Default Re: Way of the Mind - Soulknife Archetype for Monks

    I really really like what you had started here. I also love psionics flavored classes. I had been trying to figure out a Soul Knife-like monk and your Homebrew idea was very useful in getting me started. Specifically, I'm trying to create a Monastic Tradition that makes more sense for a Githzerai monastic order -- which should be psionically focused. I went a little different direction with much of it. First off, I wanted the monk to remain an unarmed combat specialist, so I made the my Mind Blades concept with this in mind. I went for a level 17 ability that is effectively a different approach to Quivering Palm. I drew heavily from the description of the Soul Knife found here: on a wiki that I can't post yet called Dandwiki. There was a lot of what they did that didn't make sense to me, so I only kept what I think I can make work. Now I'm just trying to whittle it down to a playable of class that isn't too overpowered or underpowered. Here's what I have so far in all it's long-winded glory. Thoughts and suggestions are welcome:

    The Way of the Mind Blade:

    Conjure Mind Blades
    At 3rd level a monk choosing the Way of Soul Blade can now create semisolid blades composed of pure psychic energy that they have distilled from their minds. These blades typically extend from the monk's hands or fists by default, but can also be instantaneously transferred to their feet or whatever part of the body they are using for unarmed strikes at that moment (elbows, knees, etc.) By default Mind Blades are 6 inches in length. They can be lengthened or shorted by 6 inches at will, for a maximum of 1 foot and a minimum of 0 feet. (A 0 foot Mind Blade still exists right at the surface of the skin on the monk's hand, foot, etc.) The Mind Blade glows phosphorescently in the color of their soul, and sheds dim light in a 5 feet radius. Strikes with these mind blades count as unarmed strikes and follow the monk's unarmed attack progression in every way, with the exceptions that they deal piercing/slashing damage, may offer slightly increased reach and are not physically part of the monk's body. The blades last until the monk dispels them or loses consciousness. The monk can choose to throw one of their mind blades per round as a ranged weapon with a range of 30/60 feet. They use their Wisdom modifier to making such attacks. Whether or not the attack hits, the mind blade then dissipates and must be reformed by the monk. Mind Blades function as magical weapons for the purpose of hitting targets resistant to non-magical attacks.

    The monk can manifest and use two Mind Blades at a time, typically one extending from each hand or fist. In addition, the monk has the ability to infuse their Mind Blades with destructive psychic energy. By spending 1 ki point (one 1 ki point per Mind Blade if they so choose), they can charge their Mind Blades and on the next successful attack the Mind Blade deals an extra 1d6 psychic damage to the target. This psychic damage increases by a 1d6 when they reach 7th level (2d6), 12th level (3d6), 17th level (4d6).

    Mind Blade Enhancement:
    At level 6 the monk's Mind Blades gain a bonus of +1 to attack and damage rolls and are treated as +1 magical weapons. This bonus increases to a +2 at level 11 and a +3 at level 17.

    In addition, the monk gains the ability to absorb enchantments from magical weapons and permanently infuse them into their Mind Blades. To do this, the monk must take one hour during a long rest focusing on absorbing the enchantments from any magic weapon they are attuned to, then infusing it into their Mind Blades. All of the weapon's magical properties are permanently transferred into their Mind Blades. They can only have one infusion at a time affecting both mind blades equally. If the monk attempts to infuse the enchantments of another magical weapon, the previous Mind Blade enchantments are defused and permanently lost. Once used, the magical weapon permanently loses all of it's magical properties and enchantments. This ability only functions on magical weapons and will not work on other magical items. The Mind Blades effective enchantment bonus can exceed, but may never drop below its level based magical bonus: So +1 at level 6, +2 at level 11, +3 at level 17. For example, a level 17 Way of the Mind Blade monk absorbing a Scimitar of Speed +1 would result in both of their Mind Blades becoming Mind Blades of Speed +3.

    The monk also gains the ability to alter their Mind Blade's form. The monk can spend one full round to mentally reform both mind blades into any weapon they are proficient with. The Mind Blade will continue to glow phosphorescently and will remain the color of the monk's soul. The monk can reform his Mind Blades into either two one-handed weapons or one two-handed weapon. As long as the monk maintains passive focus and is within 60 feet of it, the Mind Blade will remain in the chosen form for as long as they want it to. Loss of focus (example: going to sleep or losing consciousness) causes the weapon to dissipate, just like the Mind Blades it was formed from. The monk must reform the weapon if he wants it back again.

    Due to the rigorous mental training and increased affinity with their Mind Blades, at level 6 monks following the Way of the Mind Blade gain resistance to Psychic damage and advantage in all saving throws against fear, charm, mind control effects and any affect that would attempt to alter your mind.

    Power Of The Soul:
    Starting at 11th level, a Mind Blade monk can use their soul to conjure additional effects onto your attacks. When their attack hits, they can spend 1 ki point to choose one effect to add to their attack. The monk can use this ability a number of times equal to their Wisdom Modifier + their Proficiency Bonus, and regain all uses at the end of a long rest.
    • Flames of Hatred: The monk's attack damage type becomes fire based and the target must make a Dexterity Saving Throw against your Mind Blade DC or be set on fire, a target that is on fire takes 2d10 fire damage at the start of their turn until they or another creature uses an action to douse the flames. This damage increases to 3d10 at level 17. Creature making a successful save takes half damage and is not set on fire.
    • Soul of Ice: The monk's Soul Blade attacks are infused with icy cold. The target must make a Constitution save or take 3d6 cold damage and is slowed for 1d4 rounds. This damage increases to 4d6 at level 17. Targets making a successful save take half damage and are not slowed.
    • Touch of of the Thunder God: The monk's Mind Blade is infused with electricity. The target must make a Strength save against the Mind Blade DC or take 2d10 electrical damage, be knocked back 15 feet and be knocked prone. Damage increases to 3d10 at level 17. Successful save to take half damage and not be knocked back or knocked prone.
    • The Sun God's Rebuke: The Mind Blade is infused with radiant solar energy, dealing 2d8 radiant damage, or 3d8 if the target is undead or otherwise adversely weak against radiant energy. The undead and denizens of the lower planes failing their save will be dismissed the Shadowfell or to their plane of origin. Charisma save for half damage and to avoid dismissal.
    • Calm Waters: Target must make a Wisdom Saving Throw against your Mind Blade DC or be put to sleep for up to 1 minute, if the target takes any damage during this time it wakes up or if another creature uses its action to wake the creature. This time increases to 2 minutes at level 10 and 3 minutes at level 17.
    • Freedom of Will: Upon making physical contact with a friendly target or successfully hitting a hostile target with a Mind Blade strike, the monk may remove one status effect from the target or themselves.
    • Fury of the Gods: Target must make a Wisdom Saving Throw against the monk's Mind Blade DC or become enraged. An enraged creature must spend its turn moving towards the nearest creature, friend or foe, and attack it if possible. It repeats the save at the end of each of its turns.
    • Spirit Command: Target must make a Wisdom save or be dominated, per the Dominate Person spell.
    • Wave of Terror: Mind Blade emits a blast of psychic terror. The target and every creature with equal or fewer total hit dice within 30 feet who can see the monk must make a Wisdom saving throw or become terrified of the monk until the end of their next turn.
    • Baneful Strike: Choose an item that the target is holding, it must make a Constitution Saving Throw against your Mind Blade DC or drop the item.


    Rend the Soul:
    At 17th level the Mind Blade monk gains the following ability. Once per day, on a successful attack with one of their Mind Blades, the monk can choose to spend 5 ki points to unleash powerful soul-crushing energies into the target. The target must make a Constitution saving throw or have its soul permanently torn from its body, reducing them to 0 Hit Points and killing them. This ability also affects soul-less beings like the undead and magical constructs. An undead creature failing it's save will have its ties to the Negative Material Plane severed, destroying it. When used on a magical construct like a golem, upon a failed save the magical energies maintaining and animating the construct are unraveled, and the construct is unmade. If the target is pure spirit, astral or ethereal, it is reduced to 0 Hit Points and destroyed. In all cases, on a successful save, the target survives and instead takes 10d10 psychic damage.

    Unbreakable Mind
    After reaching 20th level, the mind of the monk following the Way of the Mind Blade has become so powerful that no creature can tamper with it. They are now immune to fear, charm, mind control effects and any other affect that would attempt to alter their mind.

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