View Full Version : Building a better Soulknife (again)

2010-10-14, 12:21 AM
Okay, so a lot of people have tried this, but really I want to take a stab at it. Why? Because a class who can materialize weapons of coherent power is just inherently badass, and making them made of fail is a travesty I shall not permit to continue.

It seems to me that there are some glaring problems with the Soulknife. To whit:

1) It's a primarily a melee striker class... with 3/4 BAB

2) It's a psionic class... that has almost no PP and no powers to manifest

3) The primary class feature can be duplicated easily within the WBL of any given level

4) Psionic Strike sucks.

5) Not enough skill points and not a large enough class skill list to be a good skillmonkey.

So basically, it's like Arcane Archer... on first blush it sounds cool, then you realize that most of the class features can be duplicated with a single spell... Greater Magic Weapon. Granted, the Soulknife does get enhancements free, which makes it a notch better than AA, but still nothing you can't throw WBL at.

Now then, other striker classes have a 3/4 BAB. The Rogue, the Swordsage, and the Psionic Warrior all have a 3/4 BAB. However, all of them have other means of making themselves hit things easier. Therefore the solution here isn't necessarily to give them a full BAB, but to give them more options in combat. To this end, I'm leaving them 3/4 BAB, but giving them a bonus feat progression, but may only purchase [Psionic] feats. Not Fighter bonus feats, not Metapsionic feats, just Psionic feats. This gives them an edge, without being too over the top.

WotC argued, when it came out, that the mind blade was the 'power' which the Soulknife had. Personally, I think this needs some revision. Now, I don't see them getting even as many powers as the PsiWar had, but they should be able to pick up some. I'm also wanting to change the Enhancement Bonus to a Psionic Bonus, which would then stack with other Enhancement Bonuses, such as from Greater Magic Weapon. This makes the bonuses much more valuable.

For Powers, I think I'm going to steal the Warlock's Powers Known chart, and give them 12 powers known over 20 levels, and up to 4th level PsiWar powers. Maybe also draw from the Psionic Rogue power list. Except for Personal Mind Blank, I can't see a Soulknife wanting any 5th or 6th level PsiWar powers anyways. They would likely have fewer PP than a PsiWar as well.

I was also looking at giving them 6+Int skill points, and a larger skill selection. Give them all three sensory skills plus move silently and hide to make them a decent scout, plus some others. Maybe an ACF to pick up Trapfinding and Disable Device.

I was also going to completely revamp Psionic Strike. I was going to allow it to be able to deliver status effects that were considered to be Mind Affecting, and to be able to channel a power through the mind blade. Using this ability to produce status effects would cost PP. Knife to the Soul would be a logical advancement to this, and would cost PP per stat point of damage. The PP cap of manifester level would be in affect for this ability.

I was going to get rid of some of the extraneous fluff which was cluttering up the class. Weapon Focus/Greater Weapon Focus as bonus feats? Blarg. Bladewind? So a gimped version of Whirlwind Strike, which everyone agrees sucks anyways... no. This clears the way for the Psionic feat progression I mentioned earlier. Probably at 2nd and every 3 levels thereafter (5th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th, 20th)

I haven't written up the chart yet, because it's late, and I haven't had a chance to. But I wanted to get this written down so I didn't forget it, and get some feedback from the rest of the Playgrounders to see how well it would be received.

2010-10-14, 12:39 AM
I like the cut of your jib.