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    Default Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    I was interested in taking some Soulknife levels in a recent game, and I spent a bit of time with the DM hashing out potential tweaks that didn't depart too far from the RAW. The character wound up not working out, but I still liked what I came up with, so... maybe enjoy? At some point I might go back and rewrite this into a fuller class with soul-armor and the like. Not terribly original, but hey. Changes below:

    • Chassis: Upgrade their BAB to full, grant Medium armor proficiency, and add Psicraft, Balance, and Swim to the class list.
    • Mind Blade: You can form your mind blade as a free action, once per round. It takes the form of any simple or martial weapon, or of a pair of light simple or martial weapons. You may choose a new form every time you form your blade. If you shape your blade into a projectile weapon like a longbow, you freely generate ammunition as well, without the usual limit. Mind-arrows fired this way vanish after striking their foe.
    • Feat Changes: Weapon Focus at 1st, Speed of Thought at 6th, and Greater Weapon Focus at 9th can be replaced with any Fighter or [Psionic] feat you qualify for.
    • Psychic Strike: When psionically focused, you may use your Wisdom modifier in place of Strength or Dexterity when making attack rolls, and you may add it to damage rolls with your mind blade and to combat maneuvers made using your blade. Additionally, while focused you may charge your blade as a swift action.
    • Free Draw: You no longer have a limit on how many times you may attempt to form your mind blade per round, and null psionics fields cannot shut it off. You may even re-form your mind blade between strikes in a full attack.
    • Shape Mind Blade: Your Mind Blade can take the form of any weapon or pair of light weapons-- simple, martial, or exotic.
    • Mind Blade Enhancement: Add Brilliant Energy, Distance, Dissapater, Ghost Touch, Power Storing, Seeking, and Speed and to the list of options. You may pick a new enchantment every time you form your blade.


    That makes a decent T4ish character, methinks. You've got some decent skills, a bit of a damage bonus, and you can switch between melee and ranged combat with moderate effectiveness. You can whip out a range of fun, weird weapons with situational bonuses, too, which is fun.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2017-11-07 at 05:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    Take a look at the Ultimate Psionics and Psionics Augmented: Soulknives books for Pathfinder. They experiment with the class in substantial ways, including bolting on different mechanic progressions to it, changing up the fundamental focus from melee to ranged artillery, and giving about a million and one alternate telekinetic whatevers you can form (armor, tools, even bedrolls).

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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    - 8 skill points, add Scout's skill list.
    - Change the "psychic strike" mechanic to be Skirmish damage (no Move-action to charge, you get the damage if you move at least 10 ft. instead).

    With just those two changes, the class is viable... as a Scout-replacement.

    You can add full BAB if you want, too.

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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
    Take a look at the Ultimate Psionics and Psionics Augmented: Soulknives books for Pathfinder. They experiment with the class in substantial ways, including bolting on different mechanic progressions to it, changing up the fundamental focus from melee to ranged artillery, and giving about a million and one alternate telekinetic whatevers you can form (armor, tools, even bedrolls).
    The DSP Soulknife is great, no question. The only reason I didn't use it was that my DM didn't want to rewrite a whole class with content from another edition. If I do a full rewrite, I'm definitely thinking mind-armor is going to be a major factor in things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    - 8 skill points, add Scout's skill list.
    - Change the "psychic strike" mechanic to be Skirmish damage (no Move-action to charge, you get the damage if you move at least 10 ft. instead).

    With just those two changes, the class is viable... as a Scout-replacement.

    You can add full BAB if you want, too.
    But I... don't want a Scout-replacement? I feel like I've seen you suggest this before, and I really don't see the connection between "manifests weapons out of mind-energy" and "fast-moving wilderness expert," either mechanically or conceptually. Am I missing something obvious?
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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    But I... don't want a Scout-replacement? I feel like I've seen you suggest this before, and I really don't see the connection between "manifests weapons out of mind-energy" and "fast-moving wilderness expert," either mechanically or conceptually. Am I missing something obvious?
    The class features of the 3.5e Soulknife are generally built around being a skirmisher. It's done very poorly -- it's not a good skirmisher -- but it's what they did.

    Light armor + Tumble. Get into melee and out of it again. Don't tank.

    Bad Fort save. Don't tank.

    Bonus feat Speed of Thought. You're supposed to go fast.

    Psychic Strike takes a Move action to charge up, so apparently you're supposed to be hitting, running, then re-charging and repeating.

    Throw Mindblade is a short-range missile attack. Again, skirmisher implied, not constant toe-to-toe melee.


    Maybe I'm missing something -- how do you see those features fitting together? You're not seeing a skirmsiher, so what do you see?

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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    I guess I can see that. Mostly I see what should have been, at most, a five level PrC turned into a full base class without having extra ideas attached. It looks like a "medium BAB+special powers" class without its powers. Still, precision damage feels a bit wrong...

    Actually, you know what it's really starting to look like, on further thought? The base for a psionic Warlock. Hmm...
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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I guess I can see that. Mostly I see what should have been, at most, a five level PrC turned into a full base class without having extra ideas attached. It looks like a "medium BAB+special powers" class without its powers. Still, precision damage feels a bit wrong...
    It's a skirmisher, but it's not precision damage.

    It's mind-affecting damage which you get when you move before attacking.

    If you need a hand-wave, I dunno... maybe you translate kinetic potential into mental trauma, channeling the impossible geometries of your movement into your telekinetic blast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Actually, you know what it's really starting to look like, on further thought? The base for a psionic Warlock. Hmm...
    Heh, one easy way to do that would be to take a Psionic Warlock and either add Mindblade as a not-Invocation, or use the Soulknife-as-Feats in conjunction.

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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    I've wanted to write a skirmisher kind of Soulknife for a while now, since it gets those movements feats, but honestly, it's pretty hard to make work. First idea would be to give it a lot more bonus damage dice, some kind of speed bonus and spring attack as a prerequisite bonus feat, but that wouldn't make the most interesting class, I feel.Mainly because tactical movement is rarely that big a thing in games, so a skirmisher who could run up walls or over impossible surfaces and so on wouldn't actually be relevant for that long. Maybe make it short-range teleporting later.

    The other thing I've wanted to make for a while was a martial maneuver soulknife, but that would be even bigger.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2017-11-09 at 04:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    It's a skirmisher, but it's not precision damage.

    It's mind-affecting damage which you get when you move before attacking.

    If you need a hand-wave, I dunno... maybe you translate kinetic potential into mental trauma, channeling the impossible geometries of your movement into your telekinetic blast.
    Not literal Skirmish, but charging your Psychic Strike when you move? That's kind of neat. I like the kinetic energy thing. (Also, how did I never notice Psychic Strike was mind-affecting? Bah!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I've wanted to write a skirmisher kind of Soulknife for a while now, since it gets those movements feats, but honestly, it's pretty hard to make work. First idea would be to give it a lot more bonus damage dice, some kind of speed bonus and spring attack as a prerequisite bonus feat, but that wouldn't make the most interesting class, I feel.Mainly because tactical movement is rarely that big a thing in games, so a skirmisher who could run up walls or over impossible surfaces and so on wouldn't actually be relevant for that long. Maybe make it short-range teleporting later.

    The other thing I've wanted to make for a while was a martial maneuver soulknife, but that would be even bigger.
    I mean, the one good...ish? thing about the Soulknife is that it's so weak that it's really easy to graft the key element onto any other class you want, via ACF or feats or what have you. Make a Swordsage ACF that trades Disciple Focus for mind blades! Have a Scout that trades Battle Fortitude and Trackless step for mind blades! Let the PsyWar give up a few bonus feats for mind blades! Want a Factotum that swaps Opportunistic Piety for a laser sword? Why not.

    I made a pretty good high-speed movement class a while back; you could graft mind blades onto that easily enough, though the fluff is wonky...
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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    You could drop the mind-affecting thing from the Mindblade easily enough. Sadly, the Kineticist name is already taken, or I'd be tempted to just scrap... everything really about this class and make it a Monk who gets bonus damage for moving quickly due to being telekinetic.
    Its honest. What our religion tells us, the part that is a religion, is that the gods created life to try and make meaning. Its ultimately hopeless, and even gods die, but the effort is real. Will always have been real, even when everything is over and no one remembers.
    -The Litany of Earth, Ruthanna Emrys

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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    You could drop the mind-affecting thing from the Mindblade easily enough. Sadly, the Kineticist name is already taken, or I'd be tempted to just scrap... everything really about this class and make it a Monk who gets bonus damage for moving quickly due to being telekinetic.
    The fact that Kineticist was already taken didn't stop those filthy Pathfinder name-thieves.

    Don't let it stop you, either.

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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    Windrunner?
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Windrunner?
    Psyloche.

    Spoiler: Psyloche
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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    I suppose Windrunners are actually pretty close to Soulknives in general idea, with their magical swords of light and armor.

    An alternative approach to soulknives, then: let them summon all shapes of weapons, including two handed ones, and also psionic armor, then give them some tanky abilities.
    Its honest. What our religion tells us, the part that is a religion, is that the gods created life to try and make meaning. Its ultimately hopeless, and even gods die, but the effort is real. Will always have been real, even when everything is over and no one remembers.
    -The Litany of Earth, Ruthanna Emrys

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    Default Re: Quick-but-fun Soulknife tweaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I suppose Windrunners are actually pretty close to Soulknives in general idea, with their magical swords of light and armor.

    An alternative approach to soulknives, then: let them summon all shapes of weapons, including two handed ones, and also psionic armor, then give them some tanky abilities.
    Damnit, do you know, I just finished rereading those books in preparation for Oathbringer, and I still missed that association. I'd been thinking "Edgedancer" sounded like a good name for a fast monk type, but the powers didn't match.

    Soul-armor would definitely be the next step.
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