When the Player’s Handbook 3 came out, we got our first psionic classes. While the monk is a great class, it felt a bit shoehorned into the power source and I felt the conspicuous absence of a striker with psionic augmentation. Now, over a year later, I set out to fill this gap. I present to you my version of the Soulknife, a striker with psionic augmentation. Comments are welcome.
Soulknife: The Psionic Augmentation Striker
Epic Destiny: Soulforged Ascendant
“Keep your flimsy swords. My mind forms a stronger weapon by far.”
It starts when a young soulknife discovers strange talents. The psionic powers manifest naturally and he finds strange ways to manipulate the world through his mind. Perhaps a wandering master found him and taught him the way of shaping the blade from pure thought, but it is much more likely he had to approach it alone. The isolation from other psionic talents hardens the soul to be fit for a blade.
To be a soulknife is to be as razor sharp as the keenest sword. Only those of focused soul can meld it into the blade that’s the trademark of this class. Ardents run wild with their emotions, Psions ponder over their books, and Battleminds work with mundane martial tools. The soulknife does none of these, instead working directly with tangible psionic energy.
A soulknife’s mind weapon is a reflection of themselves. Most mind weapons take the form of heavy or light blades but they can show up in diverse colors and forms limited only by a soulknife’s imagination. What they all have in common is an edge sharper than a dragon’s tooth and substance harder than its scales. A mind weapon is a soulknife’s biggest pride and biggest burden. Keeping one’s soul hard enough to form a weapon requires a soul with rigidity and harshness that few can achieve without a price.
The mind weapon isn’t the only manifestation of a soulknife’s power. Like battleminds, soulknifes are constantly channeling psionic energy through their bodies. However, unlike battleminds, they turn that speed into a devastating offense rather than keeping any pretense of normal combat rules. This too has a cost for a soulknife. Most soulknives channel that energy so instinctively that they get jittery if forced to sit still for too long and often move with superhuman speed to accomplish even the most mundane of tasks.
Soulknives often are found as spies or assassins, as they carry a weapon anywhere they go. They tend to hide in plain sight until the moment is ready to strike. They generally possess a pride and showmanship that outdoes any other class. Some soulknives become wandering masters, seeking more of their own kind to foster. Still others sell their exquisite skills to the highest bidder, acting as elite soldiers in mercenary armies. They are found among all races, though the most numerous are humans, eladrin, shardminds, and githzerai.
Creating a Soulknife
Many types of soulknives are present in the world, but the most common follow the path of the pure blade. All soulknifes rely on Dexterity to deliver pinpoint strikes to thier foes. The Pure Blade uses Charisma to mold his blade to the purist of psionic power and the Weapon of Light infuses his weapon with psionic radiance using his Wisdom.
Pure Blade Soulknife
Psionic energy can be formed into many different forms but a soulknife whose mind weapon takes the form of the Pure Blade dispenses with alterations to the pure psionic essence, preferring not to diffuse or corrupt its pure power and strength. They strengthen their mind weapon with force of personality. Pure Blade soulknifes are often the most brash, pulling off dazzling feats of showmanship while fighting. Their mind weapons often take the form of rapiers or other light blades. They also are adept at disguises and telling tall tales of their travels. Still, like all soulknifes, they keep their souls disciplined, never letting their irreverence and pride weaken their resolve.
Suggested Features: Pure Blade
Suggested Feat: Light Blade Expertise
Suggested Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Bluff, Thievery
Suggested At-Will Powers: Attack on the Wind, Throw Mind Blade
Suggested Daily Power: Mind Blade Flurry
Weapon of Light Soulknife
To be a Soulknife is to be disciplined but only those of the greatest focus are able to manifest the Weapon of Light. Those soulknifes who can create the weapon of light are able to temper out every element from their mind weapons that would reduce their inner radiance and augment the pure psionic energy of their weapon with ambient light. The soulknifes who can manifest the weapon of light move as fast as their more flashy peers, but instead of moving constantly wildly, they tend to make calculated bursts of speed. They tend to favor more defensive powers and their mind weapons tend towards heavy blades.
Suggested Features: Weapon of Light
Suggested Feat: Toughness
Suggested Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Arcana, Perception
Suggested At-Will Powers: Blurred Strike, Disciplined Speed
Suggested Daily Power: Accelerrating Slash
Soulknife Class Features:
Soulknives are known for their trademark mind blades. They can control their power through psionic augmentation, posses incredible psionic speed, and retain the wild talents that first marked them as psionic prodigies.
The signature power of a Soulknife is the ability to form weapons and shields of pure psionic energy. You gain the Shape Mind Weapon power. When a power or feature refrences your Mind Weapon, it is referring to any weapon you create with this power.
|Shape Mind Weapon||Soulknife Utility
|You shape a shard of your soul into the perfect armaments.
|At-Will ♦ Conjuration, Psionic
|Free (1/round) - Personal|
Effect: You manifest up to two weapons and/or shields composed of pure psionic energy into your free hands. You may create any type of weapon or shield that you are proficient with. You may have the items shed bright light in a 3 square radius. You may dismiss the items as another free action and they cease to exist at the end of any turn you are not wielding them. They otherwise function identically to mundane weapons and shields.
Mind weapons created by a soulknife gain strength and power far greater than steel. You may choose one method of enhancing your mind blade: either the Pure Blade or the Weapon of Light. The Pure Blade distills their mind blade into pure psychic energy, allowing the blades to cut at the minds of their foes even as they slice at their bodies with bravado. The Weapon of Light infuses their mind blade with psionic radiance drawn from great inner discipline. You gain the following feature associated with your chosen mind weapon type:
You deal extra psychic damage on all attacks using your mind weapons equal to your Charisma modifier. This damage increases to your Charisma modifier +2 at 11th level and your Charisma modifier +4 at 21st level. Also, when you score a critical hit with your mind weapon, the target is also dazed (save ends).
Weapon of Light
You deal extra radiant damage on all attacks using your mind weapons equal to your Wisdom modifier. This damage increases to your Wisdom modifier +2 at 11th level and your Wisdom modifier +4 at 21st level. Also, when you score a critical hit with your mind weapon, the target is blinded (save ends).
See the Player’s Handbook 3 for a full description of this class feature.
The psionic energy coursing through you allows you to manipulate your body to perform feats of strength and speed that seem impossible. You gain a +2 bonus to speed and you may use your Dexterity modifier in place of your Strength modifier when making basic attacks.
A soulknife gains Wild Talent Master (Dark Sun Campaign Setting) as a bonus feat.
Soulknives have no implement powers, yet they are rely on Ki Foci to focus their psionic energy and strengthen their mind weapons. A magical ki focus unlocks potential that was otherwise laying untapped in a soulknife. A soulknife can use the enhancement bonus, powers, and properties of his Ki Focus with any of his weapon powers using his mind weapon. Therefore, finding magic key foci represents the same value to a soulknife as finding a magic sword is to a fighter or a magic staff for a mage. Some soulknives undertake dangerous and lengthy quests for the chance of finding a powerful ki focus to help them unlock their true inner potential.
Soulknife: The Psionic Augmentation Striker
Epic Destiny: Soulforged Ascendant