Never caught unarmed, the soulknife is the literal interpretation of using the power of the mind as a weapon. Creating a mind blade is the core of the soulknife, and with it, she is a deadly combatant. Versatile and varied, the soulknife can be found in all shapes and sizes, wielding blades unique to the wielder and customized to fit the needs of the soulknife. Fluid in function, the soulknife has mastered how to alter her mind blade to fit the situation, bringing power and versatility into any combat.
Role: As a wielder of a weapon first and foremost, the soulknife excels as a front-line combatant on the battlefield. Her limited armor options and defensive abilities can be a hindrance, but her varied blade abilities can make her an excellent mobile warrior or battlefield controller.
Hit Die: d10
Starting Wealth: 5d6 ×10 (average 175 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Soulknives and Prestige Classes
Sometimes, a soulknife may qualify for a prestige class with “+1 level of existing manifesting class” as a class feature. This increased psionic training helps those who follow the path of the mind blade as well as the path of the manifester. At each level where a manifester level would increase by one, treat the soulknife as if he had gained a level of soulknife for the purposes of Enhanced Mind Blade. The soulknife does not gain any other benefits from an increased level (blade skills, etc.).
It’s less common, but sometimes a multiclass soulknife enters one of these prestige classes with a bit of manifesting talent. In high psionics games, for this special case, each indicated level of the prestige class advances both the soulknife’s Enhanced Mind Blade, as above, and his existing manifester level by one level. In games that are not high psionics, choose one or the other to increase, but not both.
All of the following are class features of the soulknife.
A soulknife is proficient with all simple weapons, with her own mind blade (regardless of form), with light and medium armor, and with shields (but not tower shields).
As a move action, a soulknife can form a semi-solid weapon composed of psychic energy distilled from her own mind.
A soulknife must choose the form of her mind blade at 1st level. She can either form it into a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon. Once chosen, her mind blade stays in this form every time the soulknife forms her mind blade. The light weapon deals 1d6 points of damage, the one-handed weapon deals 1d8 points of damage, and the two-handed weapon deals 2d6 points of damage. All damages are based on a Medium-sized creature wielding Medium-sized weapons; adjust the weapon damage as appropriate for different sized weapons. In all forms, the mind blade has a critical range of 19-20/x2. A soulknife with powerful build or any similar ability forms an appropriately-sized mind blade dealing the size-appropriate amount of damage. If the soulknife’s chosen form is a light weapon, she may choose to form two light weapons when forming her mind blade if she so chooses, but she suffers the standard penalties for two-weapon fighting.
Regardless of the weapon form a soulknife has chosen, her mind blade does not have a set damage type. When shaping her weapon and assigning abilities to it, the soulknife chooses whether it will deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. The soulknife may change the damage type of an existing mind blade, or may summon a new mind blade with a different damage type, as a full-round action; otherwise, the mind blade retains the last damage type chosen every time it is summoned.
The blade can be broken (it has hardness 10 and 10 hit points); however, a soulknife can simply create another on her next move action. The moment she relinquishes her grip on her blade, it dissipates (unless she intends to throw it; see below). A mind blade is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and is considered a masterwork weapon.
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. She can also choose her mind blade for feats requiring a specific weapon choice, such as Weapon Focus and Improved Critical. Powers or spells that upgrade weapons can be used on a mind blade. The soulknife can use feats such as Weapon Finesse that work on light weapons with her mind blade, but such feats only work on mind blades in a light weapon form.
Even in places where psionic effects do not normally function (such as within a null psionics field), a soulknife can attempt to sustain her mind blade by making a DC 20 Will save. On a successful save, the soulknife maintains her mind blade for a number of rounds equal to her class level before she needs to check again, although the mind blade is treated for all purposes as a non-magical, masterwork weapon while in a place where psionic effects do not normally function. On an unsuccessful attempt, the mind blade vanishes. As a move action on her turn, the soulknife can attempt a new Will save to rematerialize her mind blade while she remains within the psionics-negating effect. She gains a bonus on Will saves made to maintain or form her mind blade equal to the total enhancement bonus of her mind blade (see below).
The soulknife chooses the appearance of her mind blade, although its shape must reflect the selections the soulknife has chosen: a bludgeoning mind blade would be blunt, slashing would have an edge, etc.
The soulknife’s mind blade retains the last chosen form every time it is formed until the soulknife reshapes it. If the soulknife chooses to reshape her blade, it requires a full-round action to do so. She may also re-assign the type of damage dealt as part of reshaping her mind blade if she so chooses. A soulknife can reassign the ability or abilities she has added to her mind blade; see below. To do so, she must first spend 8 hours in concentration. These cannot be the normal 8 hours used for rest, even if the soulknife does not require sleep. After that period, the mind blade materializes with the new ability or abilities selected by the soulknife.
All soulknives have some knowledge of how to throw their mind blades, though the range increment varies by form and the largest of blade forms cannot be thrown. Light weapon mind blades have a range increment of 20 ft. One-handed weapon mind blades have a range increment of 15 ft. Two-handed weapon mind blades cannot be thrown without the Two-Handed Throw blade skill. Whether or not the attack hits, a thrown mind blade then dissipates.
The soulknife gains Wild Talent as a bonus feat at 1st level. This provides her with the psionic power necessary to manifest her mind blade. A character who is already psionic instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.
1 New option detailed here.
2 A keen mind blade gains its benefits no matter the assigned damage type.
3 Ranged mind blades only.
Beginning at 2nd level and every even soulknife level thereafter, a soulknife may choose one of a number of abilities to add to her repertoire. Some blade skills have prerequisites that must be met before they can be chosen. All blade skills may only be chosen once and require the soulknife to be using her mind blade unless otherwise stated in the skill’s description.
Editors Note: A complete list of Blade skills can be found here, Blade Skills
A soulknife’s mind blade improves as the character gains higher levels. At 3rd level and every odd level thereafter, the mind blade gains a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus that she may spend on an actual enhancement bonus or on weapon special abilities. A soulknife’s level determines her maximum enhancement bonus (see Table: The Soulknife). The soulknife may (and must, when her total enhancement is higher than her maximum bonus) apply any special ability from Table: Weapon Special Abilities instead of an enhancement bonus, as long as she meets the level requirements. A soulknife can choose any combination of weapon special abilities and/or enhancement bonus enhancement bonus before assigning any special abilities. If the soulknife shapes her mind blade into two items, the enhancement bonus of her mind blade (if any) is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0). If this would reduce the enhancement bonus on the mind blades to 0 and weapon special abilities are applied, the soulknife must reshape her mind blade to make the options valid. Both mind blades have the same selection of enhancement bonus that does not exceed the total allowed by the soulknife’s level, but she must assign at least a +1 and weapon special abilities (if any). This penalty does not apply when using the Mind Shield blade skill.
As a move action, a soulknife of 3rd level or higher can imbue her mind blade with destructive psychic energy. This effect deals an extra 1d8 points of damage on any attack she wishes to activate it on (as long as the attack is made with her mind blade). A soulknife may hold the charge as long as she likes without discharging. It does not go off on any attack unless she chooses to use it, and the charge is not wasted if an attack misses. Mindless creatures are immune to this damage, although non-mindless creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are affected by this damage as normal. (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.) A mind blade deals this extra damage only once when this ability is called upon, but a soulknife can imbue her mind blade with psychic energy again by taking another move action. Additionally, she may recharge it as a swift action by expending her psionic focus.
Once a soulknife has prepared her blade for a psychic strike, it holds the extra energy until it is used (whether the attack is successful or not). Even if the soulknife drops the mind blade (or it otherwise dissipates, such as when it is thrown), it is still imbued with psychic energy when the soulknife next materializes it.
If the soulknife forms her mind blade into two weapons, she may imbue each mind blade with psychic strike as normal. If she reshapes her mind blade into a single weapon form, the additional psychic strike imbued into the additional weapon is lost. At every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, etc), the extra damage from a soulknife’s psychic strike increases by 1d8.
A 5th level soulknife may manifest her mind blade as a free action, though she may still only attempt to do so once per round (unless throwing the weapon multiple times using the Multiple Throw blade skill).
At 20th level, a soulknife reaches the pinnacle of her art and her connection to her blade is so strong it cannot be severed. She no longer requires a Will save to maintain her mind blade in a null psionics field, although it still loses any enhancement bonus and special abilities. In addition, she may change the configurations of her mind blade’s special abilities at will as a full-round action, which also resets any penalties that may have accrued from the Fluid Form and Improved Fluid Form blade skills.
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have soulknife as their Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.
When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.
A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.
Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.
Psionics Unleashed. Copyright 2010, Dreamscarred Press.