Psion Class : Soulknife

A soulknife recognizes his own mind as the most beautiful - and the most deadly - thing in all creation. With this understanding and through extended practice, a soulknife learns to forge his mental strength into a shimmering blade of semisolid psychic energy.

Each soulknife's personal blade, referred to as a mind blade, differs in color and shape according to his personality, mental strength, and even mood. Although no two mind blades look alike, all share the same lethal qualities. Because soulknives turn the power of their minds to such weaponry, they are notorious for their violence.

Adventures: While caution and forethought go into a soulknife's preparation for adventure, most have a hard time restraining their natural bravado and showmanship. After all, how many adventurers can dispatch opponents with a blade materialized from pure thought? Thus, for many soulknives, adventuring presents an opportunity to do what they love most: Wield the idealized blade wrought of their innermost desires.

Characteristics: More than any other psionic class, the soulknife fights with psionic power directly in both melee and ranged combat. Strength, combat prowess, and psionic talent allow the soulknife to claim equal footing - at least - with any other combat-oriented class on the field of battle.

Alignment: Despite their inborn showmanship, soulknives are often lawful, utilizing a disciplined mindset to idealize and materialize their mind blades. Chaotic-aligned soulknives rely on strength of spirit instead of rigid discipline to materialize their mind blades. Characters who are neutral with respect to law and chaos rarely become soulknives.

Religion: Soulknives who prefer to worship sometimes choose deities such as St. Cuthbert (deity of retribution) or Heironeous (deity of valor). Evil soulknives often follow Erythnul, delighting in their ability to slaughter with the power of their minds.

Background: Many who have the ability and desire to mix the manifestation of psionic power with military might become psychic warriors, but for those with the right mix of talent and skill, the way of the soulknife is more alluring.

Soulknives are trained for the most part by older, more experienced soulknives.

Races: The inborn gift for psionics is unpredictable, and it can show up in any of the common races. Of the races with a penchant for psionic ability (those described in Chapter 1 of this book XPH), xephs seem especially likely to end up as soulknives.

Among all other creatures, virtually no opportunity for soulknife training is available.

Other Classes: Soulknives are most comfortable with those who have similarly aggressive bents, such as monks, fighters, and paladins. They are less comfortable with psychic warriors (perhaps due to a feeling of competition), spellcasters, psions, and wilders, though a soulknife can discipline himself to manage most any relationship.

Game Rule Information

Soulknives have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Strength is an ideal ability for a soulknife, augmenting his melee prowess. Dexterity provides better defense and bonuses on ranged attacks, and is useful in the arts of stealth, at which many soulknives excel. Constitution upgrades the soulknife's toughness.

Alignment: Any.

Class Skills

The soulknife's class skills are Autohypnosis, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (psionics), Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Spot, and Tumble.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at each additional level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are class features of the soulknife.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Soulknives are proficient with all simple weapons, with their own mind blades, and with light armor and shields (except tower shields).

Mind Blade (Su): As a move action, a soulknife can create a semisolid blade composed of psychic energy distilled from his own mind.

The blade is identical in all ways (except visually) to a short sword of a size appropriate for its wielder. For instance, a Medium soulknife materializes a Medium mind blade that he can wield as a light weapon, and the blade deals 1d6 points of damage (crit 19-20/x2). Soulknives who are smaller or larger than Medium create mind blades identical to short swords appropriate for their size, with a corresponding change to the blade's damage (see Weapons). The wielder of a mind blade gains the usual benefits to his attack roll and damage roll from a high Strength bonus.

The blade can be broken (it has hardness 10 and 10 hit points); however, a soulknife 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 mind blade is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

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

A soulknife's mind blade improves as the character gains higher levels. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, the mind blade gains a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls (+2 at 8th level, +3 at 12th level, +4 at 16th level, and +5 at 20th level).

At every four levels beyond 3rd (7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th), the extra damage from a soulknife's psychic strike increases as shown on the Soulknife table.

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

Weapon Focus (Mind Blade): A soulknife gains Weapon Focus (mind blade) as a bonus feat.

Wild Talent: A soulknife gains Wild Talent as a bonus feat. (This class feature provides the character with the psionic power he needs to materialize his mind blade, if he has no power points otherwise.)

Throw Mind Blade (Ex): A soulknife of 2nd level or higher can throw his mind blade as a ranged weapon with a range increment of 30 feet. Whether or not the attack hits, a thrown mind blade then dissipates. A soulknife of 3rd level or higher can make a psychic strike (see below) with a thrown mind blade and can use the blade in conjunction with other special abilities (such as Knife to the Soul; see below).

Psychic Strike (Su): As a move action, a soulknife of 3rd level or higher can imbue his mind blade with destructive psychic energy. This effect deals an extra 1d8 points of damage to the next living, nonmindless target he successfully hits with a melee attack (or ranged attack, if he is using the throw mind blade ability). Creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are immune to psychic strike damage. (Unlike the rogue's sneak attack, the psychic strike is not precision damage and can affect creatures otherwise immune to extra damage from critical hits or more than 30 feet away, provided they are living, nonmindless creatures not immune to mind-affecting effects.)

A mind blade deals this extra damage only once when this ability is called upon, but a soulknife can imbue his mind blade with psychic energy again by taking another move action.

Once a soulknife has prepared his blade for a psychic strike, it holds the extra energy until it is used. Even if the soulknife drops the mind blade (or it otherwise dissipates, such as when it is thrown and misses), it is still imbued with psychic energy when the soulknife next materializes it.

Free Draw (Su): At 5th level, a soulknife becomes able to materialize his mind blade as a free action instead of a move action. He can make only one attempt to materialize the mind blade per round, however (if, for example, he must make a Will save to materialize it within a null psionics field).

Shape Mind Blade (Su): At 5th level, a soulknife gains the ability to change the form of his mind blade. As a full-round action, he can change his mind blade to replicate a longsword (damage 1d8 for a Medium weapon wielded as a one-handed weapon) or a bastard sword (damage 1d10 for a Medium weapon, but he must wield it as a two-handed weapon unless he knows the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword) feat). If a soulknife shapes his mind blade into the form of a bastard sword and wields it two-handed, he adds 1-1/2 times his Strength bonus to his damage rolls, just like when using any other two-handed weapon.

Alternatively, a soulknife can split his mind blade into two identical short swords, suitable for fighting with a weapon in each hand. (The normal penalties for fighting with two weapons apply.) However, both mind blades have an enhancement bonus 1 lower than the soulknife would otherwise create with a single mind blade. For example, a 12th-level soulknife normally creates a single +3 mind blade, but he could use this ability to instead materialize two +2 mind blades.

Mind Blade Enhancement (Su): At 6th level, a soulknife gains the ability to enhance his mind blade. He can add any one of the weapon special abilities on the table below that has an enhancement bonus value of +1.

At every four levels beyond 6th (10th, 14th, and 18th), the value of the enhancement a soulknife can add to his weapon improves to +2, +3, and +4, respectively. A soulknife can choose any combination of weapon special abilities that does not exceed the total allowed by the soulknife's level. For example, an 18th-level soulknife could add two +2 weapon special abilities, or one +1 weapon ability and! one +3 weapon ability.

The weapon ability or abilities remain the same every time the soulknife materializes his mind blade (unless he decides to reassign its abilities; see below). The ability or abilities apply to any form the mind blade takes, including the use of the shape mind blade or bladewind class abilities.

Weapon Special AbilityEnhancement Bonus Value
Mighty cleaving+1
Psychokinetic burst+2
Body feeder+3

A soulknife can reassign the ability or abilities he has added to his mind blade. To do so, he must first spend 8 hours in concentration. After that period, the mind blade materializes with the new ability or abilities selected by the soulknife. For example, a 10th-level soulknife might have initially chosen to imbue his weapon with psychokinetic burst, a +2 weapon special ability. Every time he materializes the weapon, it is a +2 psychokinetic hurst mind blade. However, on learning that he may face a mind flayer the next day, he could take 8 hours to change his mind blade's special ability from psychokinetic burst to mindcrusher.

Speed of Thought: A soulknife gains Speed of Thought as a bonus feat at 6th level.

Bladewind (Su): At 9th level, a soulknife gains the ability to momentarily fragment his mind blade into numerous identical blades, each of which strikes at a nearby opponent.

When using bladewind, a soulknife forfeits any bonus or extra attacks granted by other feats or abilities (such as the Cleave feat or the haste spell).

The mind blade immediately reverts to its previous form after the bladewind attack.

Greater Weapon Focus (Mind Blade): A soulknife gains Greater Weapon Focus (mind blade) as a bonus feat at 9th level.

Knife to the Soul (Su): Beginning at 13th level, when a soulknife executes a psychic strike, he can choose to substitute Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma damage (his choice) for extra dice of damage. For each die of extra damage he gives up, he deals 1 point of damage to the ability score he chooses. A soulknife can combine extra dice of damage and ability damage in any combination, so a 19th-level soulknife could choose to strike for 3 points of Charisma damage and an extra 2d6 points of damage.

The soulknife decides which ability score his psychic strike damages and the division of ability damage and extra dice of damage when he imbues his mind blade with the psychic strike energy.

Multiple Throw (Ex): At 17th level and higher, a soulknife can throw a number of mind blades per round equal to the number of melee attacks he could make. Thus, a 17th-level soulknife could throw two mind blades, with a base attack bonus of +12/+7. If he had used shape mind blade to materialize a mind blade for each hand and thus fight with two weapons, he could throw four mind blades in a round.

SoulknifeHit Die: d10
1st+0+0+2+2Mind blade, Weapon Focus (mind blade), Wild Talent
2nd+1+0+3+3Throw mind blade
3rd+2+1+3+3Psychic strike +1d8
4th+3+1+4+4+1 mind blade
5th+3+1+4+4Free draw, shape mind blade
6th+4+2+5+5Mind blade enhancement +1, Speed of Thought
7th+5+2+5+5Psychic strike +2d8
8th+6/+1+2+6+6+2 mind blade
9th+6/+1+3+6+6Bladewind, Greater Weapon Focus (mind blade)
10th+7/+2+3+7+7Mind blade enhancement +2
11th+8/+3+3+7+7Psychic strike +3d8
12th+9/+4+4+8+8+3 mind blade
13th+9/+4+4+8+8Knife to Soul
14th+10/+5+4+9+9Mind blade enhancement +3
15th+11/+6+5+9+9Psychic strike +4d8
16th+12/+7+5+10+10+4 mind blade
17th+12/+7+5+10+10Multiple throw
18th+13/+8+6+11+11Mind blade enhancement +4
19th+14/+9+6+11+11Psychic strike +5d8
20th+15/+10/+5+6+12+12+5 mind blade

Epic Soulknife

The epic soulknife is adept at channeling the entirety of his psychic might into the creation of an increasingly potent blade of mental energy.

Hit Die: d10.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Mind Blade: At 25th level and every five levels thereafter, the soulknife gains an additional +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls (+6 at 25th, +7 at 30th, and so on).

Mind Blade Enhancement: The epic soulknife's mind blade gains additional powers as the soulknife gains epic levels. At 22nd level and every four levels thereafter, the soulknife can improve the value of the weapon special abilities on his mind blade by 1 (+5 equivalent bonus at 22nd, +6 at 26th, and so on). As noted in the soulknife class description, reassigning qualities still takes 8 hours of concentration.

Psychic Strike: The epic soulknife's psychic strike progression continues past 20th level, continuing to grant an additional die (d8) of damage every four levels higher than 19th (+6d8 at 23rd, +7d8 at 27th, and so on).

Bonus Feats: The epic soulknife gains a bonus psionic feat every three levels higher than 20th (23rd, 26th, and so on).

Source: Expanded Psionics Handbook

Psionic Classes
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