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    Default Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    This is my attempt to re-write Soulknife as a feat chain, because the whole awful class grants about what you'd expect from a few feats. Please PEACH honestly.

    = = =

    Mindblade Feats

    Mindblade [Psionic]
    Benefit: You can manifest a Mindblade, an extension of your killing intent embodied in a psychic blade. You can form a blade as a Move action. (If your BAB is at least +1, you can form a blade as part of another Move action, exactly as if you were drawing a weapon.) This blade is mechanically identical to a non-magical short sword appropriate to your size: for example, it deals 1d6 slashing damage if you are Medium, and threatens a critical hit on 19-20. You are proficient with your Mindblade. Any feat which can apply to a specific weapon can be taken to apply to your Mindblade.

    Each time you form a blade, you can choose its minor visual characteristics, including making it appear obviously magical (up to glowing like a torch), or like nothing more than a crude club of crystal, or like a mundane short sword, or anything in between.

    The blade can be sundered, and you can be disarmed of the blade. If sundered or loosed from your grip, the blade disintegrates, but you can form a new blade on your turn by spending a Move action.

    Spoiler: Design Notes
    Show
    This is basically Improved Unarmed Strike, plus 19-20 threat range and light cantrip, but with some drawbacks: it can be Sundered and Disarmed, and you can't use it without a free hand (e.g. you can't use this feat to kick someone while holding on to a rope with both hands).


    Enhanced Mindblade [Psionic]
    Prerequisite: Mindblade, BAB +3
    Benefit: Your Mindblade is considered magical weapon for the purpose of penetrating damage reduction. Furthermore, you can spend power points to grant your Mindblade an enhancement bonus to attack and damage, limited by your BAB and Manifester level as follows:
    BAB +3 / 1 pp: +1 bonus
    BAB +6 / 3 pp: +2 bonus
    BAB +9 / 5 pp: +3 bonus
    BAB +12 / 7 pp: +4 bonus
    BAB +15 / 9 pp: +5 bonus
    This enhancement bonus lasts for ten minutes.

    Spoiler: Design Notes
    Show
    This is Ki Strike (Magic) for people who get bonus feats instead of class features (i.e. a Psychic Warrior). It looks pretty nice for a Psion until you see that it has a BAB requirement for actually use the best benefit. This is solidly aimed at Psychic Warrior and Warmind.


    Shape Mindblade [Psionic]
    Prerequisite: Mindblade, BAB +1
    Benefit: As a full-round action, you can change your mind blade to replicate a longsword (damage 1d8/19x2 for a Medium weapon wielded as a one-handed weapon) or a bastard sword (damage 1d10/19x2 for a Medium weapon, but you must wield it as a two-handed weapon unless you have the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword) feat). If you shape your mind blade into either of these forms and wield it two-handed, you add 1.5 times your Strength bonus to damage rolls, as usual for a two-handed weapon.

    Alternatively, you can split your Mindblade into two identical short swords, suitable for fighting with a weapon in each hand. (The normal penalties for fighting with two weapons apply.) If you apply an enhancement bonus to your Mindblade while it is split, both blades benefit equally.

    Spoiler: Design Notes
    Show
    This supports variant combat styles. It's intended to be available at level 2 for a Str-based Psiwar, since a short sword is suboptimal for a Str-based character. It might be balanced to allow different weapon types which grant different damage types & features, but I note that Monks don't get different damage types for their unarmed strikes.


    Rapid Mindblade [Psionic]
    Prerequisite: Mindblade, BAB +1
    Benefit: You can form a Mindblade as a Free action instead of a Move action.
    Special: If you also have Throw Mindblade and the ability to make multiple attacks with a Full Attack action, this feat enables you to create as many Mindblades as you can throw.

    Throw Mindblade [Psionic]
    Prerequisite: Mindblade, BAB +1, manifester level 3rd
    Benefit: Your Mindblades are treated as a throwing weapon with a range increment of 30 ft.

    Spoiler: Design Notes
    Show
    Note that throwing a mindblade ends whatever enhancements were placed on it. This is a lot like a [Reserve] feat in that it gives you a cheap thing to do all day at mid-range, except it costs you a Move action, or it costs you two feats. This feat also allows entry into the Soulbow PrC, which is like the Arcane Archer of psionics, except halfway decent.


    Psychic Hunter [Psionic]
    Prerequisite: Mindblade, Enhanced Mindblade, Favored Enemy
    Benefit: When you form a Mindblade, pick one of your Favored Enemies. Your Mindblade has the Bane special ability with regards to that Favored Enemy.

    If you have levels of Ranger and Psychic Warrior, you may count your levels of Psychic Warrior as Ranger levels for the purpose of advancing the Ranger's Favored Enemy class feature. You may count your levels of Ranger as Psychic Warrior levels for the purpose of gaining bonus feats.

    Spoiler: Design Notes
    Show
    This is both a shout out to the Slayer PrC, and a dual-class hybrid balance feat.



    Epic Feats

    Epic Mindblade [Psionic, Epic]
    Prerequisite: Mindblade, Enhanced Mindblade, BAB +15, level 21+
    Benefit: Your Mindblade is considered an epic weapon for the purpose of penetrating damage reduction. Whenever you form a Mindblade, it always has a +5 enhancement bonus.
    Special: You can take this feat multiple times. Each time you take it, the granted enhancement bonus increases by +1.

    Spoiler: Design Notes
    Show
    This is [Epic] Improved Ki Strike for Mindblades.


    == == ==

    ... and that's it.

    Most of the rest of the Soulknife features, like adding a non-enhancement special ability to a weapon, are already handled by Psychic Warrior powers (e.g. weapon of energy). Adding a few more powers which give a choice of ~4 different enhancements each would be a nice expansion for this niche.

    Alternately, let players use the Mind Blade Gauntlet item type from the Magic Item Compendium.

    Also note that I'm not adding Psychic Strike, because feats like (Greater) Psionic Weapon and Deep Impact already exist, and those can be used to inflict damage which won't get ignored by half* the monsters in the game.

    Thoughts? Thanks! --N


    *) Your game may vary.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Well, up front I can say that this buffs the Psychic Warrior quite a bit. Impossible to disarm weapons, free enhancement bonuses AND a pile of weapon options? You just made Psychic Warrior amazing in intrigue and subtlety focused campaigns, because they now have the choice to never show their weapon outside of combat. Oh, and the money saving is totally worth the two feats and PP it takes up. Three, for ranged builds.

    More specifically? It's somewhat more complicated than most feat chains, but it overall makes some much stronger builds possible as you are basically trading feats for features of Soulknife. Although missing the bow feat is a noticeable downside, as that makes some setups work quite a bit better. You can lock it behind the Throwing Mindblade feat, like the PRC that gives it to the normal Soulknife.

    Also, what the heck does PEACH mean?

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Well, up front I can say that this buffs the Psychic Warrior quite a bit. Impossible to disarm weapons, free enhancement bonuses AND a pile of weapon options? You just made Psychic Warrior amazing in intrigue and subtlety focused campaigns, because they now have the choice to never show their weapon outside of combat. Oh, and the money saving is totally worth the two feats and PP it takes up. Three, for ranged builds.
    They already had most of that with Claws of the Beast.

    Also: this weapon CAN be disarmed / sundered / etc., unlike the Claws. But you can just make a new one.

    The enhancement bonuses are NOT free, you have to pay PP every time. (There are ways to get free PP, of course, but those can be removed by DM whimsy -- and if they're allowed, they are probably better used on things like manifesting powers.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    More specifically? It's somewhat more complicated than most feat chains, but it overall makes some much stronger builds possible as you are basically trading feats for features of Soulknife. Although missing the bow feat is a noticeable downside, as that makes some setups work quite a bit better. You can lock it behind the Throwing Mindblade feat, like the PRC that gives it to the normal Soulknife.
    Not sure what "the bow feat" means here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Also, what the heck does PEACH mean?
    "You are allowed to criticize this content."

    If you don't put it on a thread, people will only say nice things -- or nothing at all.

    (Very strange custom IMHO, but it's a thing here.)

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Nifty, I rather like the exicution, but I haven't done the math to see if it's that crazy strong as to disallow it. The only glaring thing I don't like is Rapid Mindblade, since you draw it like a weapon normally why not just let quick draw help it out there rather than having g the possibility of having to take two near identical feats if there were ever something neat to come out of quick draw that you wanted to take.

    PEACH specifically means Please Examine And Critique Honestly, IIRC.
    Last edited by nikkoli; 2016-12-29 at 09:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    They already had most of that with Claws of the Beast.

    Also: this weapon CAN be disarmed / sundered / etc., unlike the Claws. But you can just make a new one.

    The enhancement bonuses are NOT free, you have to pay PP every time. (There are ways to get free PP, of course, but those can be removed by DM whimsy -- and if they're allowed, they are probably better used on things like manifesting powers.)

    Not sure what "the bow feat" means here.
    When I say cannot be disarmed, I mean that nothing can keep the weapon away.
    When I say free, I mean no GP cost.
    When I say "bow feat," I mean ripping off the Soulbow's thing in a feat form. Which is the option to use a bow as a Mindblade shape. Only it's not phrased that way, making it horrible because the Mindblade goodies aren't available.
    "You are allowed to criticize this content."

    If you don't put it on a thread, people will only say nice things -- or nothing at all.

    (Very strange custom IMHO, but it's a thing here.)
    Finally... I guess this explains why I don't get a lot of comments on my homebrew attempts... I've been working on several class's worth of features packed into a framework base class, and have yet to get any comments on it. The idea behind it is to be a framework for the basic melee/caster gish, but it is entirely able to use damn near any ability set you want because all the base version of the class has are Extra Attacks and one feature that rips off both Arcane Archer and Duskblade by doing what both do, when it's plugged into casters in the intended way. I've spent the last two hours on two more subclasses. Defining a spell list is time consuming... That's why I made the first two have their casting literally just be "(casting feature), counting your (class) level as 1/X your (this class) level." Then again, those two are made to be the basic stuff of two different classes made to be the fill in for the frame gish class.

    The Warlock one can pull nine Eldritch Blasts in one turn, for a full minute... The Sorcerer one can use metamagic on basic attacks for stuff like attacking as a bonus action, or hitting two enemies with each attack. Those are the capstones, though. Both get one subclass feature and the level 1 subclass things from their 'filler' class, as well as a class feature beyond basic casting stuff. Granted, the Warlock class feature is altered to fit the gish better.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2016-12-29 at 10:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    When I say cannot be disarmed, I mean that nothing can keep the weapon away.
    When I say free, I mean no GP cost.
    When I say "bow feat," I mean ripping off the Soulbow's thing in a feat form. Which is the option to use a bow as a Mindblade shape. Only it's not phrased that way, making it horrible because the Mindblade goodies aren't available.
    Yeah, no GP cost, and you are a move-action away from having a sword again. (Still not as good as Improved Unarmed Strike, though -- that literally can't be disarmed, even if you lose both arms.)

    And again, this is a capability they already had via claws of the beast, which lasts for hours, and can be suppressed & resumed as a Swift action.

    ---

    The Soulbow could be a feat or two, maybe.

    Or I could re-work it to be an Arcane Archer type thing (but NOT based on the core Arcane Archer).



    But the Soulbow isn't really my concern here.

    I'm much more interested in hearing if there's anything broken about the feats as-is.

    Once the foundation is solid, then we can build stuff on top of it.

    Thanks, -N

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Well, the Soulbow replication feat could be as simple as just letting you pick one of some number of ranged weapons as Mindblade shapes, maybe with a feat for doing weird stuff with the arrows, like replicating the effect of Seeker Arrow or some of the arrow manipulating spells as Concentration spending or low-PP things. At which point you have accidentally started creeping in on the Arcane Archer with feats and are edging towards a pseudo pointbuy where you use feats as currency for many character defining abilities.

    In terms of balance, it seems a bit overpowered because of how low the cost is. You only need two feats to have everything a Psychic Warrior could want out of this, unless you are wanting thrown weapons. The PP cost is just a tiny tax, especially because of the fact that you don't need it for the basic version. Not everyone needs a magic weapon to wreak massive amounts of face, after all. Granted, it only seems OP. In terms of the actual tier effect, it might turn Psychic Warrior into high t3, but not quite t2 because of the lack of casting. For the most part, it just disables a lot of the normal DM crippling and frees up WBL for more important things.

    Might I suggest making the Shape Mindblade feat the start of a tree for general Mindblade-type equipment? Like armor, ammo for non-mindblade weapons, ranged mindblade weapons and a researchable feat for getting any single armor/ammo/weapon wanted, with a prerequisite of the associated general set? Maybe that would work better for a Soulknife overhaul...

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    In terms of balance, it seems a bit overpowered because of how low the cost is. You only need two feats to have everything a Psychic Warrior could want out of this, unless you are wanting thrown weapons. The PP cost is just a tiny tax, especially because of the fact that you don't need it for the basic version. Not everyone needs a magic weapon to wreak massive amounts of face, after all. Granted, it only seems OP. In terms of the actual tier effect, it might turn Psychic Warrior into high t3, but not quite t2 because of the lack of casting. For the most part, it just disables a lot of the normal DM crippling and frees up WBL for more important things.
    You're going to need to justify the tier increase argument, and explain why you think this weapon is so much better than claws of the beast + metaphysical claw.

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    You're going to need to justify the tier increase argument, and explain why you think this weapon is so much better than claws of the beast + metaphysical claw.
    Well, for one, Metaphysical Claw has a direct weapon equivalent. Second, there are magic item enhancements a hell of a lot better than the damage increase of Claws of the Beast. *points at +2d6 damage and +2 to-hit and damage on a +1 enhancement* Bane is a hell of a buff... It even acts as a normal +1 against things that aren't it's target! For one PP, these mindblades get the power of a 7 PP Claws of the Beast and last as long as the user wants. Granted, there are other Claw powers that have no easy enhancement bonus counterparts.

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Well, for one, Metaphysical Claw has a direct weapon equivalent. Second, there are magic item enhancements a hell of a lot better than the damage increase of Claws of the Beast. *points at +2d6 damage and +2 to-hit and damage on a +1 enhancement* Bane is a hell of a buff... It even acts as a normal +1 against things that aren't it's target! For one PP, these mindblades get the power of a 7 PP Claws of the Beast and last as long as the user wants. Granted, there are other Claw powers that have no easy enhancement bonus counterparts.
    A single-class Ranger has a spell which causes his weapon to become Bane vs. one of his favored enemies. Any weapon, not just a short sword.

    This spell does NOT increase the Ranger's tier.

    Explain why a feat which emulates this spell is tier-worthy. (I think it's not.)

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    A single-class Ranger has a spell which causes his weapon to become Bane vs. one of his favored enemies. Any weapon, not just a short sword.

    This spell does NOT increase the Ranger's tier.

    Explain why a feat which emulates this spell is tier-worthy. (I think it's not.)
    It makes it so that one build can do a larger number of combat things. And it's not just Bane, it's also Ghost Touch, Holy, Axiomatic, Flaming, Freezing, Shocking and so on. It's the key feature that makes Artificers bull**** with weapons with the restriction of "only weapons" added. All of the enhancement equivalent bonuses are on call, possibly including the often ignored Psionic pluses which remove the need for several Psychic Warrior powers of situational use. It doesn't bring the class to t2, but to the upper end of t3 by making one build do all the direct damage combat things with added access to the +bonus equivalent enhancements for no GP cost. Soulknife was t4 due to not really working, but strap those abilities to the t3 Psychic Warrior and you have someone who can do several types of melee, can also pull ranged and has a bunch of things to exploit these weapons.

    Like I said, it doesn't make the Psychic Warrior t2, it brings them to the upper end of t3 by giving them higher combat versatility. After all, Weapon Focus (mindblade) applies to all mindblade shapes, so your Weapon Focus feat is applying to a two hander, ranged and TWF all at once. And because you don't have to suffer the GP cost of enhancements, TWF is a lot more practical. t2, in my opinion, is "can do anything" while t1 is "can do everything." t2 can choose to be a combat monster, can heal or make healing unneeded, can be the party face and generally can to anything with some proficiency, but not everything with one build. T1, however, can to literally everything to a significant extent in one build. I think that Psion is actually higher than Wizard because they have fewer things to grab. Instead of 6 attribute buff spells, they have one attribute buff power. Most of their blaster options let you pick from four or so different damage types, which cost Wizards either a lot of DM arguing, digging through piles of source books or precious metamagic that raises spell slot level needed.

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    It makes it so that one build can do a larger number of combat things. And it's not just Bane, it's also Ghost Touch, Holy, Axiomatic, Flaming, Freezing, Shocking and so on. It's the key feature that makes Artificers bull**** with weapons with the restriction of "only weapons" added.
    What? None of those are given by these feats except Bane, and that's only given if you take the multiclass Ranger feat.

    I think you're mis-reading something.

    Where do you see access to enhancement-equivalent abilities being granted?

    If there's an ambiguity in my language, I'd be happy to clear it up.

    Thanks, -N

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    What? None of those are given by these feats except Bane, and that's only given if you take the multiclass Ranger feat.

    I think you're mis-reading something.

    Where do you see access to enhancement-equivalent abilities being granted?

    If there's an ambiguity in my language, I'd be happy to clear it up.

    Thanks, -N
    Not ambiguity, actually, but rather thinking strictly in terms of "soulknife as feats." The Enhancement bonus ability's Soulknife version gets an advancement that lets you trade the bonus for proper enhancements, including Defending, Keen and some Psionic things. Sorry for the confusion...

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    Default Re: Nifft's Soulknife as Feats [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Not ambiguity, actually, but rather thinking strictly in terms of "soulknife as feats." The Enhancement bonus ability's Soulknife version gets an advancement that lets you trade the bonus for proper enhancements, including Defending, Keen and some Psionic things. Sorry for the confusion...
    As long as there's no ambiguity about what the feats actually do, it's no problem.

    However, I'm not going to defend the feats against accusations that they would be too strong if they did other stuff (which they don't do).

    If it would be possible to re-direct the conversation towards what the feats currently do, and if what they currently do is balanced -- that would be great.

    Thanks, -N
    Last edited by Nifft; 2016-12-30 at 07:00 PM. Reason: grammar

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