Some soulknives choose to focus on ranged attacks, launching a mind bolt at their enemies instead of wielding a blade of energy.
move action, a soulbolt can form a semi-solid ranged weapon composed of psychic energy distilled from her own mind. This mind bolt appears inside of or enveloping the soulbolt's hand.
A soulbolt must choose the form of her mind bolt at 1st level. She can either form it into a short range, medium range, or long range bolt which determines the weapon's range increment and base damage. Once chosen, her mind bolt stays in this form every time the soulknife forms her mind bolt. The long range bolt form is the smallest of forms and deals 1d6 points of damage and has a 100 ft. range increment. The medium range bolt form deals 1d8 points of damage, with a 60 ft. range increment, and the short range bolt form is the largest and heaviest form and deals 1d10 points of damage with a 20 ft. range increment. A soulbolt adds her Strength modifier to damage rolls when using the mind bolt in the short range form. All damages are based on a Medium-sized creature wielding Medium-sized weapons; adjust the weapon damage as appropriate for different sized weapons. A soulbolt with powerful build or any similar ability forms an appropriately-sized mind bolt dealing the size-appropriate amount of damage. Regardless of form, the mind bolt has a 19-20 critical threat range, has a maximum range of 10 range increments, and is treated as a projectile.
The form of the soulbolt's mind bolt also determines how many hands must be used to form and manipulate the mind bolt. If the mind bolt is in long range form, both of the soulbolt's hands remain free to hold other items such as a shield or a weapon. If the mind bolt is in medium range form, the soulbolt must have at least one hand free to form and manipulate the mind bolt. If the mind bolt is in short range form, the soulbolt must have both hands free to wield and launch the mind bolt.
A soulbolt can wield a buckler without penalty regardless of the form of her mind bolt.
Regardless of the weapon form a soulbolt has chosen, her mind bolt does not have a set damage type. When shaping her weapon and assigning abilities to it, the soulbolt chooses whether it will deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. The soulbolt may change the damage type of an existing mind bolt, or may summon a new mind bolt with a different damage type, as a full-round action; otherwise, the mind bolt retains the last damage type chosen every time it is summoned.
The bolt can be broken (it has hardness 10 and 10 hit points); however, a soulbolt 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 bolt is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and is considered a masterwork weapon.
A soulbolt can use feats such as Rapid Shot or Precise Shot in conjunction with the mind bolt just as if it were a normal ranged weapon. She can also choose her mind bolt 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 bolt. The soulbolt can use feats such as Weapon Finesse that work on light weapons with her mind bolt, but such feats only work on mind bolts in a light weapon form, such as using the Mind Daggers blade skill.
Even in places where psionic effects do not normally function (such as within a null psionics field), a soulbolt can attempt to sustain her mind bolt by making a DC 20 Will save. On a successful save, the soulbolt maintains her mind bolt for a number of rounds equal to her class level before she needs to check again, although the mind bolt is treated for all purposes as a non-magical, masterwork ranged weapon while in a place where psionic effects do not normally function. On an unsuccessful attempt, the mind bolt vanishes. As a move action on her turn, the soulbolt can attempt a new Will save to rematerialize her mind bolt while she remains within the psionics-negating effect. She gains a bonus on Will saves made to maintain or form her mind bolt equal to the total enhancement bonus of her mind bolt (see below).
The soulbolt chooses the appearance of her mind bolt, although its shape must reflect the selections the soulbolt has chosen: a bludgeoning mind bolt would be blunt, slashing would have an edge, etc.
This ability replaces the Form Mind Blade class feature normally gained by soulknives.
The soulbolt's mind bolt retains the last chosen form every time it is formed until the soulbolt reshapes it. If the soulbolt chooses to reshape her bolt, it requires a full-round action to do so. She may also reassign the type of damage dealt as part of reshaping her mind bolt if she so chooses. A soulbolt can reassign the ability or abilities she has added to her mind bolt; 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 soulbolt does not require sleep. After that period, the mind bolt materializes with the new ability or abilities selected by the soulbolt. This ability replaces the Shape Mind Blade class feature normally gained by soulknives.
Soulbolts are greater masters at making ranged attacks with their weapon than their soulknife counterparts. Unlike a soulknife, a soulbolt does not need to reform her mind bolt after throwing it. This means that the soulbolt can make use of all iterative attacks available, or multiple attacks such as those gained from Rapid Shot, without the need for abilities such as the Multiple Throw blade skill.
This ability replaces the Throw Mind Blade class feature normally gained by soulknives.
The following blade skills cannot be used with the Mind Bolt: Alter Mind Blade, Bladestorm, Bladewind, Dual Imbue, Extended Strike, Furious Charge (and Improved), Gruesome Riposte, Multiple Throw, Reaching Blade, Rending Blades, Trade Blows, Twin Strike, and Two-handed Throw. The soulbolt may additionally select blade skills from the list below.
Alter Mind Bolt: A soulbolt gains the ability to shape her mind bolt into different weapon forms. She may change her blade's form to the long range weapon, medium range weapon, or short range weapon forms any time she forms her mind bolt.
Arresting Shot: As a standard action, the soulbolt can make a ranged reposition attempt against an enemy within one range increment. If the attempt is successful, the enemy is repositioned to directly adjacent to the soulbolt, occupying the space in the most direct path from the target to the soulbolt. The soulbolt must have the wrenching special ability applied to her mind bolt to use this blade skill. The soulbolt must be at least 12th level to select this blade skill.
Charged Shot: As a standard action, the soulbolt can make a single ranged attack with her mind bolt. If the attack is successful, the mind bolt bursts with psionic energy upon impact, dealing its base weapon damaging to all creatures within a 5-ft. radius of the creature struck. A successful Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 soulbolt level + Wisdom modifier) halves the damage taken.
Close-Range Expert: When making ranged attacks with her mind bolt, a soulknife does not provoke attacks of opportunity as long as she maintains psionic focus.
Close-Range Expert, Improved: The soulbolt threatens adjacent squares when wielding her mind bolt and does not need to maintain psionic focus to gain the benefit of the Close-Range Expert blade skill. The soulbolt must have the Close-Range Expert blade skill and must be at least 12th level to select this blade skill.
Double Shot: As a standard action, a soulbolt can expend her psychic strike to make two ranged attacks with her mind bolt. The attacks do not deal the additional damage from psychic strike.
Freezing Bolt: The soulbolt may, as a free action, have her mind bolt deal cold damage instead of its selected damage type. In this form, the mind bolt bypasses any damage reduction, although it is subject to resistance to cold damage, and is similarly augmented by cold vulnerability. If the mind bolt successfully deals cold damage, the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 soulbolt level + Wisdom modifier) or have its speed reduced by half for one round. Multiple attacks with a freezing bolt in the same round do not extend this duration.
Mind Daggers: If a soulbolt selects the Mind Daggers blade skill, she gains the option to form her mind bolt into dagger form, dealing 1d4 points of damage, with a critical threat range of 19-20, a critical multiplier of x2, and a range increment of 30 ft. When making ranged attacks with the mind bolt in dagger form, a soulbolt adds her Strength modifier to damage rolls. When forming her mind bolt into dagger form, the soulbolt may either make a single mind bolt or a pair of mind bolts, so long as both are in dagger form. The mind bolt suffers the standard penalty for forming two items. The soulbolt may additionally use the mind bolt in dagger form to make melee attacks, but this may render some of the mind bolt's weapon special abilities non-functioning if they do not apply to melee attacks (such as the Distance special ability; see Enhanced Mind Bolt below).
Rain of Arrows: As a standard action, the soulbolt may fire off her mind bolt and have deal damage to all creatures within a 10 ft. cube within one range increment. A successful Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 soulbolt level + Wis modifier) halves the damage. A soulbolt must have the charged shot blade skill and be at least 10th level in order to select this blade skill.
Thousand Blades: When making a full attack, the soulbolt may expend her psychic strike. She deals no psychic strike damage, but all of her attacks use her highest base attack bonus before factoring in other modifiers to attack rolls. A soulbolt must be at least 12th level in order to select this blade skill.
A soulbolt's mind bolt improves as the character gains higher levels. At 3rd level and every odd level thereafter, the mind bolt gains a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus that she may spend on an actual enhancement bonus or on weapon special abilities. A soulbolt's maximum enhancement bonus follows the same progression as a soulknife. The soulbolt may (and must, when her total enhancement is higher than her maximum bonus) apply any special ability from the table below instead of an enhancement bonus, as long as she meets the level requirements. A soulbolt can choose any combination of weapon special abilities and/or enhancement bonus that does not exceed the total allowed by the soulbolt's level, but she must assign at least a +1 enhancement bonus before assigning any special abilities. If the soulbolt shapes her mind bolt into two items, such as using the Mind Daggers blade skill, the enhancement bonus of her mind bolt (if any) is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0). If this would reduce the enhancement bonus on the mind bolt to 0 and weapon special abilities are applied, the soulbolt must reshape her mind bolt to make the options valid. Both mind bolts have the same selection of enhancement bonus and weapon special abilities (if any).