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War Soul (Soulknife Archetype)

Note: This archetype uses rules available in Path of War by Dreamscarred Press.

Some soulknives have more extensive training in the arts of combat than others, and this lends to them the talents and abilities of the martial disciples who follow the Path of War. By dismissing some of their esoteric studies with their mind blades, they instead focus on the mastering of martial disciplines to make themselves a perfected weapon.

Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Autohypnosis (Wis), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Maneuvers

A war soul begins his career with knowledge of three martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to him are Broken Blade, Sleeping Goddess, Solar Wind, Thrashing Dragon, and Veiled Moon. In addition, he can trade one of his available disciplines for the Riven Hourglass, Scarlet Throne, or Tempest Gale discipline. If he does not have that discipline’s associated skill as a class skill, he gains it as a class skill. Once he knows a maneuver, he must ready it before he can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by a war soul is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. His maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and he does not provoke attacks of opportunity when he initiates one. He learns additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on Table: Archetype Maneuver Progression. The war soul must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it.

Upon reaching initiator level 4th, and at every even numbered initiator level thereafter (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), the war soul can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one he already knows. In effect, the war soul loses the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. The war soul need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. He can choose a new maneuver of any level he likes, as long as he observes his restriction on the highest-level maneuvers he knows. The war soul can swap only a single maneuver at any given level. A war soul’s primary initiator attribute is Wisdom, and each war soul level is counted as a full initiator level.

This ability replaces the psychic strike class feature and the blade skill at 10th level.

Maneuvers Readied

A war soul can ready all three of his three starting maneuvers, but as he advances in level and learns more maneuvers, he must choose which maneuvers to ready. He readies his maneuvers by meditating over his mind blade for 10 minutes. The maneuvers he chooses remain readied until he decides to repeat this again and change them. War souls do not need to sleep or be well rested to ready their maneuvers; any time he spends 10 minutes in meditation, he can change his readied maneuvers. He begins an encounter with all readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times he may have already used them since he chose them. When the war soul initiates a maneuver, he expends it for the current encounter, so each of his readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (until they are recovered, see below).

War souls may recover their maneuvers in one of two ways. The war soul may concentrate on his mind blade to recover an expended maneuver from its psychic projection as a standard action and recover one maneuver. Alternatively, he may flood his being with martial knowledge as a full-round action, becoming psionically focused and recovering a number of expended maneuvers equal to his war soul initiation modifier (minimum 2). While recovering maneuvers, the war soul’s mental state makes him react violently to those who would attack him. When attacked, he may make an immediate counter-attack against his attacker at his full base attack bonus; he may only make one counter-attack against a given enemy per round, and he may make no more counter- attacks then his 1 + his Wisdom modifier per round.

Stances Known

War souls begin play with knowledge of one 1st level stance from any discipline open to them. At the indicated levels on Table: Archetype Maneuver Progression, the war soul selects an additional new stance. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended and he does not have to ready them. All the stances he knows are available to him at all times, and he can change the stance he is currently using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description. Unlike with maneuvers, the war soul cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one he already knows.

Martial Blade Recovery (Su)

At 4th level, psionic channels established during manifestation of a mind blade may allow reclamation of bursts of foreign psychic energy caused by the defeat of an opponent. These bursts of energy can be used to invigorate the mind of the war soul and restore his resolve and skill. If the war soul reduces a living opponent (possessing 1/2 HD or more and an Intelligence score of 3 or higher) to 0 hit points or less, as a swift action the character may recover either a single expended maneuver or his psionic focus. The war soul must be using a mind blade to recover maneuvers in this fashion. This class feature replaces the blade skill gained at 4th level.

New Blade Skills

The following blade skills may only be taken by the war soul.

Broken Blade Attitude (Su)

While maintaining psionic focus and manifesting his mind blade, the war soul’s combat intuition focuses him towards the deadly end that the Broken Blade adherent pushes for. While in a Broken Blade stance, the character gains a +1 dodge bonus to his AC for every five class levels (minimum of +1), and may use his Wisdom modifier in place of his Dexterity modifier when using the Acrobatics skill or making a Reflex save. The war soul must be wearing medium or lighter armor.

Discipline Blade Shapes (Su)

The martial knowledge of the war soul supplements his ability to generate his mind blade. The war soul may manifest his mind blade into the shape of a weapon from a known discipline’s associated weapon groups, and he may shift between these discipline forms as a move action or as part of a swift action when assuming a stance of that weapon’s discipline. While in the shape of a discipline weapon, the mind blade functions exactly like that weapon and gains the weapons damage, damage type, special properties (such as brace or reach), and critical range and multiplier for a weapon sized appropriately for the war soul. The war soul is always considered to be proficient with his mind blade, regardless of its form. Ranged weapons that use ammunition generate their own standard ammunition out of the mind blade’s current shape, or may use non-psychically generated ammunition as normal.

Martial Throw Mind Blade

A mind blade is the perfect expression of a war soul’s martial talent and desire for a perfect weapon. With a mighty throw and a powerful will empowering it, the character may expend his psionic focus while throwing his mind blade to initiate a martial maneuver with a range of melee as a ranged attack instead, and resolve the maneuver as per normal at close range (25-ft + 5-ft / 2 initiator levels).

Riven Hourglass Approach (Su)

The war soul is capable of such fine manipulations of time that he seems prophetic. While he maintains a Riven Hourglass stance, the war soul can use his Wisdom modifier instead of his Dexterity modifier for Reflex saves and initiative checks.

Scarlet Throne Nobility (Su)

The war soul has mastered how to best use a single weapon to defend himself and read the actions of his opponents. While he maintains a Scarlet Throne stance and wields a mind blade in one hand while holding nothing in the other hand, the war soul gains a +1 dodge bonus to his AC and a +1 insight bonus on Sense Motive checks to resist feint attempts or oppose uses of the Bluff skill. These bonus increase by +1 at 5th level and every five levels thereafter.

Sleeping Goddess Empowerment (Su)

By increasing his internal psionic potency within through mastery of the Sleeping Goddess discipline, the war soul is able to infuse great psionic power and understanding within his mind blade. While he maintains a Sleeping Goddess stance, he can charge his mind blade with psionic energy as a move action. He can release this energy as a free action when he hits with a strike to deal an additional 1d8 points of damage. This additional damage increases to 2d8 at 12th level and to 3d8 at 18th level, and counts as psychic strike for the purposes of meeting prerequisites and for blade skills and other abilities that require psychic strike. A war soul must be at least 6th level to select this blade skill.

Solar Wind Mentality (Su)

The war soul’s mind blade is infused with the light and fire that is the hallmark of the Solar Wind discipline. Whenever using the mind blade as a ranged weapon in a Solar Wind stance, the mind blade gains the flaming weapon property, and increases its range increment by +10-ft. Finally, the war soul may use his mind blade to generate light as a torch when manifested. The war soul must be 4th level to select this blade skill.

Tempest Gale Trick (Su)

The techniques of the Tempest Gale discipline improve the war soul’s ability to use thrown mind blades. While he maintains a Tempest Gale stance, the war soul adds his Wisdom modifier on combat maneuver checks and Sleight of Hand checks made using a mind blade or equivalent weapon at range (such as a deadly fist’s psychokinetic discharge, a psychic armory’s panoply of blades or a soulbolt’s mind bolt).

Thrashing Dragon Assault (Su)

The fluid and deadly dance of the Thrashing Dragon war soul brings a level of graceful savagery to battle. While in a Thrashing Dragon stance and using his mind blade as two separate weapons to two-weapon fight, the war soul gains a +1 circumstance bonus to attack rolls. This bonus improves at 5th level to +2, and increases by an additional +1 every five war soul levels.

Veiled Moon Mystery (Su)

The deadly mystery of the Veiled Moon shadows the actions of these war souls, and aids them in their understanding of the discipline. While in a Veiled Moon stance, the character may choose to use his Wisdom modifier in place of his Dexterity modifier when using the Stealth skill and gains the hide in plain sight special ability. The soulknife must be at least 8th level to select this blade skill.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Path of War, © 2014, Dreamscarred Press.

Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.