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Thread: Soulknife

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Soulknife

    What's the general Consensus on the Soulknife class?

    It seems interesting, but I thought I'd ask people's opinions.

    Looking at Githzerai Soulknife, ECL 22. (Soulknife 20)

    TWF chain
    Weapon Finesse

    feat suggestions are welcome. I believe i have 2-3 Feats I'm still Hemming on.

    STR: 11
    DEX: 26
    CON:14
    INT:11
    WIS:14
    CHA:10

    Reprinted from below:
    CAMPAIGN POINTS OF NOTE: Epic level(obviously), extrememly low wealth campaign.

    Added:
    First: I thank you all for your opinions, observations, and suggestions. I'll keep the suggestions in mind when I get back to my books(so Complete Psion Isn't a waste of time. Good.).

    Second: The group I play with are not optimizers.

    None of them care if I have a class that isn't t3h ub3r. (We have a Monk. I figure I'll at least be more effective than him.)
    Last edited by Blackfang108; 2009-02-04 at 05:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    You don't get much. A +9 weapon that you can throw around. You don't get enough to compliment it, in my opinion.
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    The Soulbow PrC, however, does help redeem it, IIRC.
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    Playable, but not impressive.

    Biggest issue it faces is wealth by level. If the party gets lots of extra treasure or really shiny weapons, your free weapon won't be as shiny. In a low-treasure or low-magic-item campaign, however, the free weapon is really nice.
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    same as above, also, if you have a wizard or sorceror capable of casting Greater Magic Weapon, you're even less shiny.

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    Default Re: Soulknife

    The class is terrible.

    That much should be pretty clear: it's a melee class without full BAB. Its damage source is a mediocre weapon and a couple d8s which can be tacked onto a single attack per encounter. It has few to no class abilities outside its weapon. This thing is down there with the Samurai as one of those classes that shouldn't be.

    And its weapon isn't even very good. If you have a spellcaster of any sort in the party, Greater Magic Weapon makes half the class's weapon enchantments pointless. And the weapon can be a Shortsword or a Bastard sword, period. This means no reach, no tripping, not even a Disarm bonus.

    And as an additional insult, the Psychic Warrior gets Call Weaponry at level 1. If you want to be a guy who pulls a sword out of his brain, PW, Warmind or some other Psigish is the way to go.

    To make this a class playable alongside the likes of Clerics and Warblades, I would just tack the entire Wilder class on top of it, dropping nothing. Even then the class would be nothing to write home about.

    If you want to play it as-is, Complete Psionic has a ton of sorta-kinda-okay Soulknife feats and Prestige classes, the best being Soulbow. The Kensai from Complete Warrior boosts weapon enhancements faster than the Soulknife class can.

    As is, I can't see any role for the Soulknife. Maybe some sort of specialized Lurk, ToB or Duskblade gestalt, but even then it sucks. I think this class is just a lost cause.

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    Default Re: Soulknife

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    ... It's a melee class without full BAB. Its damage source is a mediocre weapon and a [5] d8s which can be tacked onto a single attack per encounter.[and can be dropped to do Mental Ability Damage at a 1:1 ratio.] It has few to no class abilities outside its weapon.

    And its weapon isn't even very good. If you have a spellcaster of any sort in the party, Greater Magic Weapon makes half the class's weapon enchantments pointless.[Ok, i'll grant you that. On the other hand, saving resources is usually a priority in our group. That's one less spell the buffmonkey(that sounds wrong) has to cast.] And the weapon can be a Shortsword, [2 shortswords at -1 enhancement, a longsword], or a Bastard sword, period. This means no reach, no tripping, not even a Disarm bonus.[Improved Trip isn't only for weapon trips.]

    If you want to play it as-is, Complete Psionic has a ton of sorta-kinda-okay Soulknife feats and Prestige classes, the best being Soulbow.[I'll check those out, thanks]...
    once per encounter?

    Reread the description. It takes a move action to recharge. Most encounters I know take a lot longer than one round.

    And by extension, the rogue is a terrible Melee class, right? And the Monk...Wait, Monk actually is fairly poor. (REALLY good Ability rolls can save it, but that's it.)

    CAMPAIGN POINTS OF NOTE: Epic level(obviously), extrememly low wealth campaign.

    My Duskblade's weapon is a +1 Keen Ghost Touch Halberd. His armor is a +2 Chain Shirt. He has some of the best(current) armor/weapons in the group.

    The last person to have a level appropriate weapon had it stolen from him while he was unconsious during a siege of our castle.

    A pair of +4 PK Burst Wounding Shortswords that I cannot lose seem REALLY tempting in compairson. 1 CON damage per hit seems like a lot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    I think it's playable, but you're definitely going to feel shafted if you take all 20 levels in it. It's one of those "PrC out of ASAP" classes, because you won't get much done if you just stick to what it can give you.

    The best use for Soulknife, IMO, is as a class for psionic villains. I once had a plan for Shadow Flayers (MM5) with enough Soulknife levels to give them the bastard sword mind blade. Sith Illithids FTW. :D
    Last edited by AslanCross; 2009-02-04 at 05:45 PM.


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    Default Re: Soulknife

    Use Incarnum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackfang108
    Reread the description. It takes a move action to recharge. Most encounters I know take a lot longer than one round.
    If you're doing less than 22 damage with your combined 5+ itinerative attacks at level 22, something is very very wrong. Using your move action for mobility or a full-round attack is almost certain to be a better choice (unless you're using Hustle shenanigans somehow).

    And if TWF and mental ability damage are things you want to be good at with a psionic character, I should probably point you at the Lurk in CPsi. As a Swift action it deals up to 13 Intelligence or Wisdom damage per round, no save and it gets a couple sneak attack dice and an actual power progression. Expanded Knowledge (Call Weaponry) will keep the same fluff.

    CAMPAIGN POINTS OF NOTE: Epic level(obviously), extrememly low wealth campaign.
    Since extra wealth for magic gizmos and armor are the Soulknife's biggest advantage, this is probably going to hurt members of that class more than help. Again, a Psychic Warrior or some other Psigish (one with mobility and defensive options as well as offensive boosters) is going to be more helpful than this.

    And by extension, the rogue is a terrible Melee class, right?
    If it weren't for their 380+ sneak attack damage per round schtick, absolutely. The Soulknife has no such damage source.

    [edit:]Actually, you might want to look at the Psychic Assassin. It's a Sneak Attacking Psionic Intelligence-damager and it meshes well with Slayer. Ranger 2/Egoist 4/Slayer 9/Psychic Assassin 5 would be far more effective than Soulknife 20 without doing much to its fluff.
    Last edited by Temp.; 2009-02-04 at 06:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackfang108 View Post
    once per encounter?

    Reread the description. It takes a move action to recharge. Most encounters I know take a lot longer than one round.

    And by extension, the rogue is a terrible Melee class, right? And the Monk...Wait, Monk actually is fairly poor. (REALLY good Ability rolls can save it, but that's it.)

    CAMPAIGN POINTS OF NOTE: Epic level(obviously), extrememly low wealth campaign.

    My Duskblade's weapon is a +1 Keen Ghost Touch Halberd. His armor is a +2 Chain Shirt. He has some of the best(current) armor/weapons in the group.

    The last person to have a level appropriate weapon had it stolen from him while he was unconsious during a siege of our castle.

    A pair of +4 PK Burst Wounding Shortswords that I cannot lose seem REALLY tempting in compairson. 1 CON damage per hit seems like a lot.
    A single casting of Greater Magic Weapon would turn a weapon into a +5 and costs no money at all. This obviates half your class features.

    In fact, in a campaign as you described, I'd pull out my DMM Chain ClericZilla who would buff up the whole party with GMW and Magic Vestments at the beginning of every day, and be ready for a Chain Reach Death Ward and Chain Reach Freedom of Movement for situational requirements. That way, everyone's gear is +5, which takes the sting out of equipment.

    To be honest, you do more damage going straight Rogue. At least they get more opportunities to apply their precision-based damage. I'd have two levels of Swordsage tossed in, one at 2nd level and one at 9th level, to be able to pick up Shadow Blade (dex to damage) Weapon Finesse (dex to attack), Island of Blades (much easier to flank), Assassin's Stance (+2d6 Sneak Attack), and Pouncing Strike (jump check to make a full attack on charge) with full TWF chain. At Rogue10, I would choose Skill Mastery with UMD as one of the skills I master, so I can use Wands without needing to worry about rolling anything (not that it is necessary at level 22), and have Wand Sheaths for Wand of Golembane (750 gp) and Wand of Gravebane (750g) so I can sneak attack just about everything.

    In other words, the Monk will probably out-perform you in every regard. He has Ki Strike: Magic, so he can hit creatures which have DR/Magic. He will have a higher base attack, more attacks due to Flurry, more damage per hit, better saves, better AC, and in general, better everything.
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    Quote Originally Posted by wadledo View Post
    Use Incarnum.
    +1. Make a Totemist. Totemist killed Soulknife LONG ago and took all his stuff, transmuted it into REALLY SWEET STUFF, and now sits contently on a T3 throne. Better thus than the T5 garbage that is Soulknife.

    And Rogue sucks compared to Soulknife like Focus sucks compared to Mustang. While they both get medium BAB, Rogue gets SA, 8+ skills, and class abilities that aren't replicated by....a 3rd level spell. Sure, there are better cars out there than a Mustang (Wizard=Ferari), but its still leaps and bounds ahead of a poorly designed, unreliable, cheaply produced compact.

    And really? If its that low magic? Play a Wizard. In games where magic stuff is limited, having spellcasting is even more imba. Take Craft Wonderous Item, and transmute gold into win. Simple as that.
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    If you don't have access to Incarnum, which seems likely (it's a pretty rare book), then I'll throw my lot in with those who are saying you can make a decent "Soulknife" by re-fluffing the Psychic Warrior.

    Get Metaphysical Weapon/Claw, and you don't need the party caster to cast Greater Magic Weapon for you -- you can do it yourself. Ha, this is even better in Epic -- there's no cap on the enhancement bonus you can give your weapon, like there is with GMW. So in a normal-wealth epic campaign, when the other warriors would be able to afford, like, +6 weapons, the PsyWarrior can enchant his up to like +8 or +9. Costs a lot of power points, but still potentially very powerful.

    Huh, I've never really looked at Epic PsyWar before, but I like what I see. Epic Manifestation brings him up to speed on PP/day pretty well, maybe better than other psionic classes (since he doesn't need as many PP as them, and gets more bonus feats). Epic might actually destroy the one disadvantage the PsyWarrior has always struggled with! (Although if Epic Spellcasting/Psionics are allowed, all bets are off and the Psion is again king.)

    Choosing between a weapon and claws is tough. A weapon can still be enchanted with other cool stuff like Wounding on top of a moot +1 bonus. And it can do cool stuff like have reach. But Claws of the Beast can be augmented up to massive base damage (see King of Smack builds), and they can't be stolen or disarmed or sundered. You can protect your non-claw weapon from being stolen or disarmed with the Graft Weapon power (or by calling it with the Call Weaponry power mentioned earlier, but then you get a normal weapon rather than one with cool enchantments).

    If you need CON damage and you pick claws (so no Wounding), don't dispair. Prevenom is an awesome power that will let you poison your claws over and over again for just 1 PP. Sure they get to save against this 2 CON damage, but still. If you go this route (or, heck, even if you don't!), make sure to pick up the Schism power via Expanded Knowledge, so your second mind can constantly be manifesting cool self-buffs while you are busy fighting.

    If you go Claws, make sure you don't overlook Claws of the Vampire. Yikes. If you go for a held weapon, you might want to think about the Slayer PrC for 9 levels, for the sake of your BAB. Extra skill points and free constant Mind Blank don't hurt, either. The big problem with Slayer is that it will delay your ability to get Epic Bonus feats, though you can still pick up Epic Manifestation via your regular every-third-level feats.

    If you don't go Slayer and you liked the Soulknife's skills-and-mobility shtick, you could even go into Elocator after you're already epic.

    Basically, the Psychic Warrior is terribly easy to re-flavor in any way you like, and is an excellent warrior class all around. If you have any objections, we can probably figure out ways around them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74
    ...make sure to pick up the Schism power via Expanded Knowledge, so your second mind can constantly be manifesting cool self-buffs while you are busy fighting.
    Another approach to this is combining Link Power (a metapsionic feat from CPsi), Hustle and Psychic Meditation.

    Linking Powers to Hustle means that when you manifest Hustle (a swift action), you set a second power to come into effect the following round without any further actions on your part. Since it's metapsionic, you lose Psionic Focus. Using Psychic Meditation and the Move action from the Hustle Power, you regain focus and still have a full round's worth of actions to spare. In short this combination provides a +3 PP Quicken with a 1-round delay, available at level 5, useable each round until you run out of PP.

    'Course this can be used with Schism too if you really want to crank out the powers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wadledo View Post
    Use Incarnum.
    ZOMGWTFyes. Totemist for hella natural attacks, or Incarnate if you feel like maintaining that "I make a weapon from nothing" shtick (which, btw, they can do with Incarnate Weapon). Don't let the 1/2 BAB fool you: Incarnates can be vicious combatants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    ZOMGWTFyes. Totemist for hella natural attacks, or Incarnate if you feel like maintaining that "I make a weapon from nothing" shtick (which, btw, they can do with Incarnate Weapon). Don't let the 1/2 BAB fool you: Incarnates can be vicious combatants.
    The other alternative, if you don't like learning a good system, but you want to keep the "You make me mad? I cut you. I cut you with my brain!" schtick, is to use Warlock. Eldrich Glaive for a ghost-touch glaive that deals way too many d6, as long as you have the proper investment.
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    If you want to go Soulknife, may I suggest you also go Vow of Poverty? Together, the two of them will more than make up for it being below WBL, and you'll be one of the more solid party members.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seffbasilisk
    If you want to go Soulknife, may I suggest you also go Vow of Poverty? Together, the two of them will more than make up for it being below WBL, and you'll be one of the more solid party members.
    It hurts me to second this, but in your case I have to. If you're using what, 9th level wealth, at ECL 22, this is going to pay off. Especially if you're killing things with mind bullets and brain swords.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    mind bullets and brain swords
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    I second the Warlock.
    low wealth means no UMD goodness,
    but he'll still be able to do lots of fun stuff with his invocations.
    that is, more than a Soulknife would.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SydneyLosstarot View Post
    I second the Warlock.
    low wealth means no UMD goodness,
    but he'll still be able to do lots of fun stuff with his invocations.
    that is, more than a Soulknife would.
    Actually, with a two-level dip in Chameleon, he could do all the magic item crafting as well! With a two level dip in Chameleon, he gets a Feat that he can reassign on a daily basis. Combine this with a Warlock's 12th level ability to emulate any spell for purposes of crafting, and you have the ability to make any item in the game.

    Then it wouldn't matter if it is a low magic item campaign, he can make them himself.
    Last edited by ShneekeyTheLost; 2009-02-04 at 08:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    Make sure to look at complete psonic, for the Mind Cleave and something else feats. Basically it lets you get a free charge of your psychic strike when you deal the final blow to a creature, also the other increases your physic strike by 1d8

    Additionally playing a Kalkashri, or wtf ever they are called from eberron allows you to take Soulblade Warrior, which increases the effective level of your soulknife by 2. You can use it to take a 2 level dip into something else or merely as a boost.

    By feel and play i had an awsome time playing one, Ignore the munchkins, you can make a very playable character out of the class. Personally i went for the bastard sword morph and the cleave line and make a great pleb cleaner. plus slotting a bastard sword charge with physic strike into someone in the form of a ranged attack is just win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    The Soulbow PrC, however, does help redeem it, IIRC.
    This +1. The Soulbow prestige class from Complete Psionic rocks your socks. It gains you Wisdom to damage with your soulbow, several impressive bonus feats, plus the continued progression for enhancements for your weapon.

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    Default Re: Soulknife

    It occurs to me that a Soulknife/Soulbow//Scout/Ranger/+1 LA Dvati with swift tracker would be a good way of abusing the free weapon, especially if you convince your DM to let you manifest the Splitting ability.
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    ZOMGWTFyes. Totemist for hella natural attacks, or Incarnate if you feel like maintaining that "I make a weapon from nothing" shtick (which, btw, they can do with Incarnate Weapon). Don't let the 1/2 BAB fool you: Incarnates can be vicious combatants.
    Backing this up, especially since both of these have good fort saves and Soulknives don't. (Seriously, Wizards?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik
    (Seriously, Wizards?)
    They were all sneak attacky in 3.0...

    Maybe they were supposed to be Psychic Rogues? Maybe the reason they suck so badly is that Wizards made a typo that left out their 7d6 sneak attack and 6+Int skill points? And Trapfinding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    They were all sneak attacky in 3.0...

    Maybe they were supposed to be Psychic Rogues? Maybe the reason they suck so badly is that Wizards made a typo that left out their 7d6 sneak attack and 6+Int skill points? And Trapfinding?
    And stealth and UMD and...

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    Default Re: Soulknife

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    Maybe they were supposed to be Psychic Rogues?
    Psychic Rogues? You mean Lurks?

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    Default Re: Soulknife

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp. View Post
    Another approach to this is combining Link Power (a metapsionic feat from CPsi), Hustle and Psychic Meditation.

    Linking Powers to Hustle means that when you manifest Hustle (a swift action), you set a second power to come into effect the following round without any further actions on your part. Since it's metapsionic, you lose Psionic Focus. Using Psychic Meditation and the Move action from the Hustle Power, you regain focus and still have a full round's worth of actions to spare. In short this combination provides a +3 PP Quicken with a 1-round delay, available at level 5, useable each round until you run out of PP.

    'Course this can be used with Schism too if you really want to crank out the powers.
    Yes, I actually have a favorite Ardent build that uses this very combo. I like it. (He picks up Schism with his Level 18 feat, too, just for overkill. ) But I thought that Schism was much easier to explain to someone!

    The beauty of the Linked Power/Hustle/Psi.Med. combo is that you can also use Linked Power for plenty of other powers, if you don't mind losing your Psionic Focus. (My Ardent most often Links buffs to Adrenaline Boost -- only 1 PP, and it's a decent effect even without the whole "quicken another power" aspect.) And you can also use Hustle (aka Pounce Lite) for plenty of other things. Otherwise, without all this flexibility, this combo wouldn't be worth the two feats it requires.

    Quote Originally Posted by KKL View Post
    Psychic Rogues? You mean Lurks?
    Nope, Psychic Rogues. Better than Lurks.
    Last edited by Draz74; 2009-02-05 at 03:30 AM.
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    Default Re: Soulknife

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackfang108 View Post
    What's the general Consensus on the Soulknife class?
    Second: The group I play with are not optimizers.

    None of them care if I have a class that isn't t3h ub3r. (We have a Monk. I figure I'll at least be more effective than him.)
    Im not the General Consensus (they are all fixated on Optimization)

    The Soul Knife is a ok class, on roughly the same level as any of the other 2nd Line types (Monk, Rogue, Ranger, Duskblade etc)

    If the rest of the group are normal players then be a normal player


    (While Not currently as its on Hold) I play in a Group that has a Soul Knife in it and he does fine, Other members being a Druid, Cleric, Wilder, Psion and Ranger

    (of Course we're all normal players and not worried about tweaking a PC to the max or is its performing the most DPS, the Psion has a +2 LA for instance)
    Thankyou to NEOPhyte for the Techpriest Engiseer

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Just play the character you want to play. Don't feel the need to squeeze every point out of the build.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    take this virtual +1.

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