Psionic Augmentation Striker: The 4e Soulknife

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Soulknife: The Psionic Augmentation Striker

 

 

{sblock="Broken Links"/}Class DescriptionHeroic Tier Powers   |  Paragon Tier Powers  | Epic Tier Powers

 

 

Paragon Paths: Blur, Disciple of the Perfect Strike, Psionic Assassin, Soulsteel Knight

 

 

Epic Destiny:  Soulforged Ascendant


Soulknife Feats  |  Hybrid SoulknifeDiscussion Thread{\end sblock}

 



Hey everyone!

I decided that the lack of a striker with psionic augmentation needs to be fixed so I made one!  It's a 4e re-imagining of the Soulknife who focuses on speed and damage and plays like a mix of the battlemind and ranger.  Let me know what you think!  Is this a class you would play?  Anything seem overpowered/underpowered/boring?

A few notes for those giving feedback:

1.  I ran the math and compared powers to other psionic classes and other strikers.  The DPR for the class is good but is not meant to do more than existing strikers.

2.  As an add-on to the above, you'll notice many of multi-attack powers seem worse than other classes' on the surface to make up for the Soulknife's high static damage bonuses.  If you take that into account, the powers are roughly as good as multiattacks that other classes get.

3.  The themes for this class are quick attacks, evasion, mobility, and a psionic feel.  Most of the powers try to reinforce at least one of those themes.

4.  These powers are all the class has, so I tried to give each level at least 3 viable options.  I wanted to give the player good choices for damage, defense or mobility.

 


The links above are all broken due to the site "update."  I have uploaded the complete class as a word doc here.  Enjoy!

 

Updated 10/6/13

 

Note: Before you read the below post, keep in mind that how much I like something is directly proportional to how much I want to fiddle with it.  In my case, alteration is the sincerest form of flattery.  I've had people take posts like this personally, but in fact it means I really really like it.

This looks very promising.

Damage seems a bit low, with many of their augmentations staying at 1[W] damage.  For a power like "Attack on the Wind" I'd think 2[W] would be more appropriate, or maybe leave it at 1[W] but have it target 1, 2, or 3 creatures you become adjacent to during the shift.  I haven't read all the powers, but there are others that could use a damage boost at augment 2, like Psychic Opening.

Generally, I think this class has a lot of potential as a versatile striker, creating whatever weapon best suits the situation at hand, perhaps even more than just blades. 

As you've written the feature, it's just a clearer, better written version of the Hexblade IMO.  That's fine, of course; the hexblade is overcomplicated and needs improvement, but I think much more can be done with the concept.  Especially since many of the best mechanical/thematic matches for this class (elves, eladrin, githzerai) have racial weapon proficiencies/enhancement feats would be a shame to waste.  Even dwarves, as mechanically inept as they would be for this class, could become interesting simply due to the fact that they would go around manifesting mind-hammers.


Further, there's some danger of this class just being seen as "The Jedi" with high-mobility, mind tricks, and a lightsabre.  That's not a terrible thing, but some other schtick would un-niche that a bit, and my suggestion to unlimit the nature of the soulblade would help, I think.


Light Shield expertise is okay thematically and mechanically very relevant, but I think it fits the flavor better if it's a part of the whole psionic manifestation theme.


Here would be by suggested rewrite:

Armor Proficiencies: Cloth, Heavy Shield
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple Melee Weapons, Military Melee Weapons

...

Mind Blade

As a free action once per round, you manifest a weapon or shield you are proficient with in a free hand.  This weapon or shield ceases to exist at the end of any turn you are not holding it, and you may also dismiss this object as a free action.  You deal additional psychic damage equal to your charisma modifier when you hit with an attack using a weapon created in this way.  This bonus increases to your charisma modifier +2 at 11th level and to your charisma modifier +4 at 21st level.  Thrown weapons created in this way return to your hand after the attack is resolved, and missile weapons created in this way do not require ammunition.


In addition, whenever you take a Weapon Expertise feat, you can take a second weapon expertise feat of your choice for free.



Generally, very similar to what you've written, but instead of morphing into special weapons you need to invent for it, it uses whatever weapons he's proficienct with.  (Mind-flails are cool too!)  Why can't there be mind-bows or mind-spears?  Saves you some work and leaves room for interesting options.  I removed the restriction of manifesting more than one at a time, mostly because I don't see the harm, and it could be cool.  I made it a 1/round to prevent possible redraw abuses, with all the added versatility.  ie, otherwise there would be little downside to manifesting a fullblade to attack then switching to a sword/shield combo to defend, but the limit it to 1/round means he has to accept the trade-off of more damage or adequate defense.


Another minor change was, instead of all the untyped damage being psychic, only the bonus damage is.  This means psychic resistant/immune enemies wouldn't totally shut down the class, but they'd be just as effective versus psychic vulnerbility.  It also means a hypothetical attack that has no untyped damage would still deal a little psychic damage.


I added the shield provision both for flavor, since mind shields are cool too, and because it allows a user to switch to a two-handed weapon upon occasion without dealing with the standard-action shield redraw.  Note the change from leather+light shield to cloth+heavy shield: this further encourages the use of one-handed weapons by placing more of his defense into his off-hand.  Keep in mind he'll almost never be using a physical heavy shield: it will just be an awesome glowing mind-shield.  He could use a real one if he wanted, but there's no reason for him to do so.  Cloth+Heavy Shield yields 1 less point of AC than Leather+Light Shield, but this puts him on par with rogues and monks.  Strikers with more AC tend to not have dex as a primary score, which is why Avengers' get +3 from their feature while monks get +2.  Obviously, there are exceptions, and some strikers have more AC than others.  In my mind, the extreme mobility built into this class should keep it at the lower tier of standard striker AC.  


The bonus expertise feat is my major change here, made for the sake of the weapon-use versatility I think the class could adopt as the thing that makes it functionally different.  This way, an Eladrin Soulknife could take both spear and heavy blade expertise and manifest either a Longsword or Spear without feeling like they have to use whichever they took the expertise for.  A elf soulknife could take a melee weapon expertise while still keeping the option for bow expertise.  (And yes, an elf could manifest mind-bows, since they have a racial proficiency for them, which seems kind of neat to me)


This approach also makes Soulknives more viable multi-classers and hybrids as well.  A Soulknife|Rogue could manifest a dagger to take advantage of rogue attacks/features that benefit from that weapon and still use heavy blades when he wants to be a soulknife, while a Soulknife|Ranger could manifest a bow for fighting at range.


...


Free Wild Prodigy is a great touch, btw.


I would suggest expanding to two builds. Maybe switching out Dex for Int (as the class is more reliant on the raw mental energy the character can manifest). One build would key off of Charisma for a secondary, and be geared toward light blades, with powers targetting multiple enemies (like a Warlock), while the other could be keyed off of Constitution (or Wis, or Int if you keep Dex primary), with powers targetting one enemy, but doing a lot more damage (like a Barbarian).


Keying off of Dex, with Cha/Con as secondary makes Halflings and Revenants the iconic races (as they have the perfect stats for both builds). Keying off Dex with Cha/Wis secondary makes Drow the consumate soulknives, while keying off Dex with Cha/Int would not have any one "perfect" race across the whole build (not a bad thing). Keying off Int with Cha/Con would have the same effect, while Int with Cha/Wis would give it to Shardminds (interesting symmetry).


I think that's a good thing to keep in mind when you're designing the mechanics and builds of a class. Ask yourself, "what races do I see being the most iconic/legendary members of this class?"

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

I would vote for INT as a main stat as well. The soulknife has always screamed INT to me. Also it gives us an INT based striker which is something new. Dex Cha is so old and over used. I agree with Cohen that Int+Wis/Cha would be the best "flavor" wise. It makes the racial choices interesting, Eladrin, Githserai, Sharminds, Elves etc, and it lets the class fill some nice gaps in the party.

Also you have a feature that boosts "intiative", which is sort of odd when this class is DEX primary.  

Also I think borrowing the Warlock's "Elthral Sidestep" might be a good idea, as this class would seem to be a natural teleporter. Maybe give it a at-will that teleports 1, but can be augmented to teleport more/be a interrupt.

One more thing...while the striker mechanic "works", it could be more flavorful. The +dmg is just sort of bland. I suggested this for a "striker" swordmage, but I like it better here. Give the soulkinfe a "mark" he uses on one enemy. That enemy gains vulnerable X to the Soulknifes attacks. This serves the same purpose, but has some fun flavor to it.

Overall I really like this, and it looks very similar to the Soulknife I was working on.
Wow!  So many great ideas already.

Damage seems a bit low, with many of their augmentations staying at 1[W] damage.  For a power like "Attack on the Wind" I'd think 2[W] would be more appropriate, or maybe leave it at 1[W] but have it target 1, 2, or 3 creatures you become adjacent to during the shift.  I haven't read all the powers, but there are others that could use a damage boost at augment 2, like Psychic Opening.



On further inspection, I think that powers like Attack on the Wind could use a damage boost.  I was looking at rogue encounter powers and battlemind augments for reference, which both are lower damage than normal.  I'll up a couple of the augments up.  Psychic Opening is a bit of a weird case in that I intentionally lowered the damage because it lets you use the striker feature more than once per round, being a minor action attack.  Taking that into account, is it still not damaging enough?  I wanted it to be close in power to Painful Strike.


Here would be by suggested rewrite:

Armor Proficiencies: Cloth, Heavy Shield
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple Melee Weapons, Military Melee Weapons

...

Mind Blade

As a free action once per round, you manifest a weapon or shield you are proficient with in a free hand.  This weapon or shield ceases to exist at the end of any turn you are not holding it, and you may also dismiss this object as a free action.  You deal additional psychic damage equal to your charisma modifier when you hit with an attack using a weapon created in this way.  This bonus increases to your charisma modifier +2 at 11th level and to your charisma modifier +4 at 21st level.  Thrown weapons created in this way return to your hand after the attack is resolved, and missile weapons created in this way do not require ammunition.


In addition, whenever you take a Weapon Expertise feat, you can take a second weapon expertise feat of your choice for free.




 


I really like this idea.  It gives a lot more versatility to the class than my original hexblade-like idea.   I'm just wondering whether the expertise bonus is necessary with feats like Master at-Arms and the upcoming Ki Focus Expertise, which I imagine will serve a similar function.   I like your simpler summoning mechanic but I wanted the Soulknife to be able to attack from stealth without giving himself away with the light from his weapon.  I'm thinking about reformatting this class feature into a power for clarity.


Also, the leather/small shield was a throwback to the 3.5 e proficiencies.  Cloth and heavy shields would result in AC one point lower for base class but with the ability to boost it by two with feats.  I get that you want to make shields a big choice vs. just manifesting a two-handed weapon but I'm on the fence about this change.




 Free Wild Prodigy is a great touch, btw.


 




Thanks!



I would suggest expanding to two builds. Maybe switching out Dex for Int (as the class is more reliant on the raw mental energy the character can manifest). One build would key off of Charisma for a secondary, and be geared toward light blades, with powers targetting multiple enemies (like a Warlock), while the other could be keyed off of Constitution (or Wis, or Int if you keep Dex primary), with powers targetting one enemy, but doing a lot more damage (like a Barbarian).


Keying off of Dex, with Cha/Con as secondary makes Halflings and Revenants the iconic races (as they have the perfect stats for both builds). Keying off Dex with Cha/Wis secondary makes Drow the consumate soulknives, while keying off Dex with Cha/Int would not have any one "perfect" race across the whole build (not a bad thing). Keying off Int with Cha/Con would have the same effect, while Int with Cha/Wis would give it to Shardminds (interesting symmetry).


I think that's a good thing to keep in mind when you're designing the mechanics and builds of a class. Ask yourself, "what races do I see being the most iconic/legendary members of this class?"





I would vote for INT as a main stat as well. The soulknife has always screamed INT to me. Also it gives us an INT based striker which is something new. Dex Cha is so old and over used. I agree with Cohen that Int+Wis/Cha would be the best "flavor" wise. It makes the racial choices interesting, Eladrin, Githserai, Sharminds, Elves etc, and it lets the class fill some nice gaps in the party.




"Original Reasons for Dex/Cha

I wanted the class to have a strong mental statistic due to its psionic nature.  However, I felt like it made more sense for the psionic power of the character to be represented in the strength of the mind blade they can manifest, therefore pushing me to tie the mental statistic (Int, Wis, or Cha) to damage.  I wanted the class to be good at physical skills and be one of the "fastest" classes.  It always bothered me how battleminds were flavored as being lightning quick but not having great initiative, reflex defenses, or being good at skills which required fast reactions.  Therefore I decided on Dexterity to be the other statistic for the class.  Therefore, I ended up with a Dexterity primary class with a mental statistic secondary.  I wanted the class to be focused on single target damage to set it apart from the monk more, and because I like single-target strikers better.

That second mental statistic was originally intelligence, but I worried about the class having two bad defenses.  I thought about a class feature allowing the class to use Intelligence in place of Charisma or Wisdom for thier Will defense, but in the end, I wasn't sure if the flavor was that different so I stuck with Charisma. 


I honestly didn't think much about races when I made the class.  I suppose it might be good if the strongly psionic flavored races like Kalashtar, Githzerai, and Shardminds be good at the class but it wasn't really something I'd considered.  This would be a good reason to make the class Int primary.

Edit:  Upon further reflection, I decided I liked the idea of making the class Int primary with a class feature improving physical skills see below for details.


Also you have a feature that boosts "intiative", which is sort of odd when this class is DEX primary.  

Also I think borrowing the Warlock's "Elthral Sidestep" might be a good idea, as this class would seem to be a natural teleporter. Maybe give it a at-will that teleports 1, but can be augmented to teleport more/be a interrupt.

One more thing...while the striker mechanic "works", it could be more flavorful. The +dmg is just sort of bland. I suggested this for a "striker" swordmage, but I like it better here. Give the soulkinfe a "mark" he uses on one enemy. That enemy gains vulnerable X to the Soulknifes attacks. This serves the same purpose, but has some fun flavor to it.



I wanted to reinforce the idea that this was the fastest moving class so I gave them bonuses to things I thought of as fast.  It might have been unnecessary.  However, if I end up changing it to Int primary, than I would definitely keep it.

I was thinking the class could start getting more teleports in paragon.  I was also thinking of a feat which let you teleport with all soulknife powers that let you shift.

I originally experimented with something like the 3.5 edition version, where you charged up your mind blade every turn, but in play I thought it would get extremely tedious and annoying to remember.  My next idea was to have the bonus damage tied to the mind blade, which is what I went with.  I like your idea's originality but I'm worried it would be adding complexity that would end up playing exactly the same.  This is also a class which likes to have its minor actions free to use utility powers like psychic empowerment or extra attack powers like psychic opening.

Great feedback so far.  Thank you so much.


Edit:

Here's what I'm planning on changing.

1.  Make class Int primary/Cha or Wis secondary.
2.  Add Class Feature:

Psychometabolism

You have learned to harness your psionic power to boost your physical skills.  You may use your Intelligence modifier in place of your Strength or Dexerity modifier when making Acrobatics or Athletics checks.

3.  Change the mind blade class feature significantly to grant an at-will conjuration power and take in changes suggested by Damon_Tor.
4.  Upping damage on some augments.
5. Thinking about ways to add more teleports to the class.
 

You could easily change the level 9 at-will shift to a teleport, its the same level as the warlock equivalent.

Also if you want any help I would be happy to lend a hand, I have been kicking around a house-rule class like this for awhile. For paragon paths you could possibly have paths that each focus on individual weapons.
Posted an update of the class features.  Let me know what you think.

I kept proficiencies to blades to encourage iconic build but allowed for easily using another weapon.  I plan for a feat that allows ranged mind weapons.  I thought powers like Throw Mind Blade would look silly if you could just conjure up a bow.  I tentatively added another build but I need ideas on how to differentiate between them beyond "generally offensive" and "mildly defensive."
On Armor Profs
The change to hide proficiency, combined with light shield proficiency and a dex or int primary class results in AC that's likely too high for a striker, at 17-18 at level 1 depending on stats, or 18-19 for a Weapon of Light soulknife... ie, defender level AC.  Melee strikers should max out at around 17 AC, which particularly mobile or versitile strikers coming in at a bit less.  Leather+Light Shield gets you top-tier striker AC of 16-17.

At very least you should reduce armor proficiency to leather.  As I noted before though, because of the mobility of the class, cloth+heavy shield would result in a more appropriate AC for a very mobile striker.


On Ability Scores
Int as your primary score is... okay... but I didn't have a problem with dex, thematically.  After all, even though you do use your mind to create your weapon you are still using your body to get that weapon into the other guy.  Psionics is a very diverse power source remember: all the existing psionic classes use a different primary score for different reasons.  Intelligence is reserved for classes that come about their power through study, and that doesn't really seem to fit this class.  If anything, charisma makes more sense, since charisma best represents the ability to manifest one's will externally, which is why it's the primary score for sorcerers.

This class doesn't have a lot of precedent in fantasy, but of the fictional characters I can think of who manifest weapons of various sorts, intelligence doesn't seem to be the overriding factor.  Psylocke of the X-Men is the archtypical Soulknife IMO, and I'd call her Dex/Cha.  I'd say the same thing of any of the various characters in Bleach, who manifest weapons which are generally more physical than ephemeral, so there's a similarity (though admittedly my knowledge of the anime is limited, and my knowledge of the manga, nonexistent.)

I do see room for a Dex/Int build by the way, as long as the class feature also adds +3/+5/+7 to will power at heroic/paragon/epic.


Other
Other changes look good.  I actually like limiting initial proficiencies to blades, making "Soul Axes" possible, but unusual, and retaining the flavor of the class. 

On defenses, I'd be tempted to make it +2 to will over +1 reflex +1 will.  Consider the fact that you'll not only have int as a primary score (or dex, if you follow your first and IMO correct instincts) but you'll also have some form of shield proficiency, which will mean he won't need any help with his reflex score.  There are many classes that have NAD bonuses that reinforce and already strong score, but I can't think of one that combines Int or Dex primary, shield proficiency, AND a nad bonus to reflex.  Look at the Assassin for example: +1 to relfex would make thematic sense, but because he's dex primary and has light shield prof, he has +1 con, +1 will instead.

I didn't get a chance to look over the powers, but I'll try to a bit later.
The armor proficiency seems weird.
Did you mean cloth, leather, hide, and light shield? 

The pure blade and the blade of light also bug me, dazing on a crit seems a little too different from moving well with a shield for my taste. I'd advise that the abilities granted by build be brought into some sort of parallel, either both do something fun on a crit, or they both mod proficiencies, as it is they hard to balance against each other.

Next, I'm a little concerned about the shedding of light aspect, makes stealth very difficult. So you're sneaking up on this orc, and as you prepare to strike you give away your position to his buddies and get speared in the face. Seems like a bad business plan. I'd make the light optional.

Now I know the class is called the soulknife, but is restricting them to heavy and light blades for military weapons really necessary? What about 1 military weapon proficiency of their choice?

Next up, implements I get the ki-focus, but what about being able to channel the blade through a held rod? Like Kuwabara from YuYu Hakusho, when used in such a manner the hand holding the rod is also holding the weapon, so a Soulknife with a rod can use a two handed weapon or a one-hander and a shield.


While I'm sure it's unecessary, here's a big list of the 4e attempts at the Soulknife class on these forums.  Wink  Note that the majority of these don't use power points - but hey, potential inspiration, right?

Soulknife Character Theme (Greatfrito) - Uses power points, but is modeled as a theme, rather than a class (which means power point use is... odd).

The Soulknife (FaustianPengiun) - Uses power points, but really just a base framework.

A Quick Soulknife (Greatfrito) - Spoiler Alert - It's a monk!  Really, it's just an optional feature for the existing Monk class.  This has been my favorite approach (I've used it in play) - but take that with a grain of salt (as I wrote it).

The Soulknife as Feats (calronmoonflower) - It's mostly a conversion of feats published elsewhere, but it does a good job.  Another "different approach".  No power points.

Soulknife Conversion (Tsithlis) - A pre-PH3 conversion, so no power points.  Never really got off of the ground.

Soulknife - Psionic Striker (Greatfrito) - The only completed soulknife class I'm aware of.  It's a pre-PH3 design, so no power points.

----------------------------------------------------------------

And, besides all that, the only major input I would offer is: there's really no reason to stick with the "blade" conceit - except flavor.  If you feel strongly about it, keep it as just a blade.  I always do.

But, as a compromise, it's probably best to include some kind of option for changing the "blade"'s shape into something else.  I think a feat works fine - you just have to make it a balanced choice (it has to give a real benefit - swapping to a different but essentially equivalent weapon isn't a benefit).
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
And, besides all that, the only major input I would offer is: there's really no reason to stick with the "blade" conceit - except flavor.  If you feel strongly about it, keep it as just a blade.  I always do.

But, as a compromise, it's probably best to include some kind of option for changing the "blade"'s shape into something else.  I think a feat works fine - you just have to make it a balanced choice (it has to give a real benefit - swapping to a different but essentially equivalent weapon isn't a benefit).



I think he's hit on a good balance.  They can only create weapons they're proficienct with, and they're only proficient with blades by default.  However, if they spend a feat on a weapon proficiency they can summon that one as well.  Other means of getting weapon proficiency work too though, so elf soulknives could summon longbows, and dwarf soulknives could summon hammers.
The proficiency method works well, yes.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I think I should raise a question about the armor proficiencies.  They are proficient with Cloth and Hide but not Leather?  That is a strange combination without precedent in 4E.  To date, every class that is proficient with any sort of armor has been proficient with all lighter types as well.
Thanks for the refrences Greatfrito!  The search functions in this forum leave something to be desired so I appreciate it.

The hide armor was a typo.  Should have been leather.  Changing it back now.

I'm still on the fence between Int and Dex as primary.  Having drawn up both options, the Dex option certainly looked cleaner, though I like the Int based races slightly better for flavor.  I might also make it Dex/Int with a will defense boosting feature.  I'll look over the other versions and take inspiration from there.

I'm not really sure what to do with the builds.  I was thinking the radiant build could blind on a crit, but the builds just feel too similar thematically to me.  I may just write out one build for now and write the other once I've played it a bit and see what would be cool to see more of.

Thanks for all the responses!
Well honestly I'm not a real fan of either special ability, what if you leave the difference at dealing diffrent bonus damage types, and using different stats until you get an idea, or just make different feats for them?
Yeah, I think I'm going to put off differentiating the builds for a while and work on powers.  Leaving the class Dex based for now for simplicity.
Making one build dex/int based would be interesting. maybe if you gave it a class feature along the lines of "use int for will" you could get it to work out. Either that or something like the mink boosts.
Primary Ability
I prefer Dex-primary, for what it's worth - though I can see how nearly any could work just fine.  Even though we already have a Dex-primary Psionic Striker, I think what you're putting together is... no... okay, no, now that I think of it that way, it would probably help to differentiate this more if it didn't share so many basic qualities with the Monk.  You're already dealing with the powers making it highly agile and mobile (which are Monk qualities as well), so I think taking a few steps to further differentiate the class would be a good idea.

I actually quite like Charisma as the primary ability - kind of a "force of personality channeled into physical weapon" vibe.

But, really, all of that aside: I think the concept inherently overlaps with the Monk's concept.  I think it did in 3.5, and I think it does in 4th.  It's likely something that just should be accepted and moved on with (if you want to make the SK its own class, and not a monk build).  In which case, Dex-primary really is just fine - augmentation alone will go a long way toward differentiating the two classes.

BuildsI don't feel that the psionic classes generally do a very good job at differentiating their builds anyways - so don't feel bad if yours don't seem that different.  Concentrating on powers is probably the best way to go.  Use the secondary ability scores associated with the builds quite liberally, and really differentiate them with power flavor and mechanical theme.

Differentiating souknife builds is a pain in the ass, just because there wasn't a lot to build from.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Well that depends on how you define the soulknife, and which mythologies you draw from. IF you use strictly 'people with energy swords' then you're a touch limited on build options. However Cu Chulain's spear of light, or even zues's thunderbolts could be soulknife inspiration.

Instead of a blade you form a lance or javelin, this build could focus on ranged attacks, and radiant energy.
I just wanted to give this a thumbs up.  I enjoyed the idea of the soulknife in 3, and I like what you're doing here with the power point striker.  Good stuff.
Some quick notes:

Soul Disciples - Needs a duration (though the "end of encounter / 5 minutes" duration is always implied when one isn't stated, if I remember correctly).  I'm assuming it's until the end of the encounter.  It would just be nice to say it.

Psychometabolic Response - I don't think the name resonates with the power's effects at all.  It's pretty potent (due to how power point scaling works - the 2-pnt version will likely get used most), but I don't think it's problematic.

Soul-Shattering Cut - Unaugmented, it's kind of ass.  For an epic power, I expect a bit more, honestly.  It's augments are a lot more useful.

Strike Twice as Fast - Silly name.  Like the above, unaugmented, it's really not that impressive (twin strike!  Only... less good, at that level).  I dunno - it's probably just fine (because of the static bonuses), but it still just sits wrong with me.

Pure Mind, Pure Blade - Seems extremely potent.  But again, I dunno - it might be just fine.



Err, actually, in general, are you concerned about the damage?  You've opened it to two-handed weapons, and are not requiring the use of two one-handed weapons for your biggest multi-attack powers - this all on top of a better static damage bonus than a Ranger.  Are you concerned about them outstripping the Ranger on damage?
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Err, actually, in general, are you concerned about the damage?  You've opened it to two-handed weapons, and are not requiring the use of two one-handed weapons for your biggest multi-attack powers - this all on top of a better static damage bonus than a Ranger.  Are you concerned about them outstripping the Ranger on damage?



On this note: this class could benefit a lot from requiring different weapon configurations for different augmentation levels.  For example, a power might have no weapon limitation as an at-will, but at augment level 1 it could require two weapons, while another power might require a two-handed weapon at augment level 2, and other might require a shield at an augment level.  Another power might even be a melee weapon power at-will, but when augmented becomes a ranged-weapon power.  This would encourage the player to manifest many different weapons over the course of a fight, and would make for very interesting a dynamic gameplay.
I'm not sure how the part of my post you quoted pertained to what you said, but alright.

Anyways, I think that suggestion sounds like... a mess.  Forcing players to swap weapons (in order to actually make use of their "encounter" powers) seems like a bad idea.  If you really wanted something similar though, you could go with rider effects along similar lines.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I'm not sure how the part of my post you quoted pertained to what you said, but alright.

Anyways, I think that suggestion sounds like... a mess.  Forcing players to swap weapons (in order to actually make use of their "encounter" powers) seems like a bad idea.  If you really wanted something similar though, you could go with rider effects along similar lines.



I quoted the part above because it was relevant, in the sense that the solution to your problem (adding weapon restictions to a a multi-attack power) could be turned into an interesting and tactical play experiance for a class whose schtick is being able to change weapon modes at the drop of a hat by summoning weapons with their mind.

Further, "forcing" the weapons swaps is signifigantly less problematic for a power points class than one with more regular encounter powers: if you're in an encounter where it just is not appropriate to drop your shield for a round, well you ignore the augmentation that requires you to do so, doubling up on another power's augmentation, or firing off that same power's less restrictive half-power augmentation twice instead.  Power Points inherently create a plethora of options, I think having a few of those options come with some restrictions to get some interesting use from their class feature is a nice bonus.

After all, what's the point in creating a class that can "bzzew bzzew" out different weapons all over the place if you don't give them a reason to do so?
I am worried about balancing multiattacks with two-handed weapons and the damage boost.  I tried to make the attacksworse than what rangers get at that level to make up for the better damage.  I may need to run some math and double check it.  Epic is harder to balance.  I don't think a player would actually use the unaugmented powers very often at that level anyway, likely at least using the Augment 2.  One of my goals with the epic tier powers was to make them worth trading out lower level powers for.  I'll review the powers and make some changes.  I agree some of the names could change.
I've altered the multiattack powers to be less comperable to twin strike and allow a little less cheesiness with stacking modifiers.  The augments and the daily multiattacks are designed to be slightly less powerful than the ranger's already so I think they should be fine.  I altered the names of some powers to better fit thier flavor and seem less silly.

The class has the flexibility to create different weapons, but that's not the feel I wanted.  I originally designed the class to be more like the Hexblade in that each build only got a certain mind blade but I changed it to allow more flexibility.  Still, while the class can technically switch weapons every round, I didn't want to force players into it or encourage it too much beyond the tactical decision of being able to choose between a shield or two-hander on the fly.  Being able to conjure the perfect weapon for the moment is enough of an incentive to do so without explicitly requiring it of people who like using one weapon and don't want the adding compliaction of switching thier character's attack numbers every round.
The class has the flexibility to create different weapons, but that's not the feel I wanted.



Fair enough.  I still like the concept though: right now I'm thinking of an elemental striker that can craft weapons and shields out of fire, stone, ice, and lightning.  Could be cool.  Maybe my next project.
I've put up the first couple paragon paths.  More to come soon.  I'll be updating the first post to link better.
Now that job, moving and vaction craziness is over, I finally had time to finish this class.  The first post has been updated with all the relevent links which I am also duplicating below.  Constructive criticism welcome.


Soulknife: The Psionic Augmentation Striker


Class DescriptionHeroic Tier Powers   |  Paragon Tier Powers  | Epic Tier Powers


Paragon Paths: Blur, Disciple of the Perfect Strike, Psionic Assassin, Soulsteel Knight


Epic Destiny:  Soulforged Ascendant


Soulknife Feats  |  Hybrid SoulknifeDiscussion Thread
Wow.  I'm impressed.  I've been looking for a good soulknife since PHB3 came out, and this is it.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Glad to see this get finalized!  I got a wee impatient, so I hammered out an Essentials version of a similar concept, alot of which came from things we talked about in this thread.  I'd love your opinion on it, if you're willing.

The nice thing about Essentials, it takes maybe 20% of the time to write a class for it.  Wink
Update:  I've built some characters and run some playtests and I've made a couple changes, mostly to the epic tier powers.

Changes


Epic Level Powers:

Faster than Light: movement upped and changed to move action.
Soul Disciples: Updated wording to reflect intent.  Added sustain clause for power level reasons.
Soul Shattering Cut: Damage reduced in augment 2 for power level.  Updated to be useable only 1/turn to prevent abuse.
Vanishing Threat: Augment 2 damage reduced for power level.
Soulsteel Tempest: Reduced area and added sustain clause for power reasons.  Burst 5 proning and high damage every turn was a bit too good.

Paragon Paths:
Blur: Modified Level 16 encounter power, which when played resulted in total concealment too often.   Now mostly just enables stealth which has more limitations and enemies have more ways to get around.


Feedback is still always welcome!
Flat damage bonus as striker mechanic should scale at 5/15/25.  That's the only thing the hexblade got right. Frown
Flat damage bonus as striker mechanic should scale at 5/15/25.  That's the only thing the hexblade got right.



Can you explain your logic a bit here (math)?  The flat bonus seems fine to me, especially since the class is often getting it more than once per round.  I did give it a better weapon focus feat which raises thier damage above that of the hexblade, which I think puts it on par with most other strikers.  I see it as very competitive, especially at higher levels.
Flat damage bonus as striker mechanic should scale at 5/15/25.  That's the only thing the hexblade got right.



Can you explain your logic a bit here (math)?  The flat bonus seems fine to me, especially since the class is often getting it more than once per round.  I did give it a better weapon focus feat which raises thier damage above that of the hexblade, which I think puts it on par with most other strikers.  I see it as very competitive, especially at higher levels.



Actually, that's a good point.  It might be because ability scores scale so slowly, I keep thinking that strikers using that sort of mechanic kinda get the raw end of the deal compared to ones that get extra dice or (heaven forbid) extra attacks. Embarassed

Gonna see if I can get a proper playtest going when my DM gets back from South America, tho.  Really want to get a proper feel for it now. Laughing 
Man this looks great!

Sort of sad to see it become another Dex/Wis class though.
Man this looks great!

Sort of sad to see it become another Dex/Wis class though.



I waffled between making this class Int primary or Dex primary and I ended up going with Dex because I felt it fit the feel I wanted slightly better.  However, there's still the option of taking the Full Psychometabolism feat if you want to go Int/Wis or Int/Cha.  Or, since it's a homebrew class, feel free to just switch out ability scores if you prefer.
I just posted some new Ki Foci for the soulknife on my blog.

Found something!  Soulknife's skill pool is a tad restrictive compared to other classes that get the same number of skills.  Usually, the list is 1+(2*trained skills).  Might I recommend adding Insight and Intimidate to the list?