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[PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterMind Become Matter: A Pathfinder Soulknife Guide
For those who prefer Google Docs.
Table of Contents
2. Building a Soulknife
3. The Soulknife Class
4. Archetypes, Part 1
5. Archetypes, Part 2
6. Archetypes, Part 3/Traits/Feats, Part 1
7. Feats, Part 2
8. Multiclassing/Prestige Classes, Part 1
9. Prestige Classes, Part 2
10. Weapons and Armor
11. Other Magic Items/Acknowledgments
IntroductionWhat is a soulknife?
The soulknife is a psionically empowered martial class who uses their mind to create a blade of psychic energy. Originally created in D&D 3.0, then updated to 3.5, the soulknife was one of the many classes created by WotC with a ton of flavor but the mechanical ability of a flaming pile of garbage. With Dreamscarred Pressí adaptation to Pathfinder, the soulknife may now rise above the follies of its predecessor and actually walk alongside the rest of the martial characters, instead of wallowing in self pity.
Why should I play a soulknife?
You think coalescing a weapon from your mind into your hand is the greatest thing ever! Your DM never gives you enough money to get a good weapon and you want to stick it to them. The mere thought of technically being above WBL excites you in ways you never thought possible. You spend endless nights thinking of the dizzying number of weapon special ability combinations possible but despair as you will never be in enough games to try them all.
This guide will use the same star/color system that is used in most current guides, popularized by Treantmonk, to show the value of certain choices available to players:
RED*: An almost universally poor choice. These options are extremely situational, useless, or even detrimental.
ORANGE**: A usable, but not necessarily good, choice. Options in orange are beneficial, but there are options that are either strictly superior or less restrictive.
GREEN***: A solid, dependable choice. Any selection in green will go far in your journey as an adventurer, though it may be somewhat lackluster.
BLUE****: An excellent choice. You canít go wrong with a selection here.
PURPLE*****: The best choices. If you can select this, do it.
Last edited by Battleship789; 2021-04-08 at 12:13 AM.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterBuilding A SoulknifeAbility Scores (Choosing your fighting style)
Soulknives are primarily martial characters, despite being a psionic class, with a heavy combat focus and a sprinkling of out of combat utility. Thankfully, the soulknife can excel in multiple combat styles, with five different abilities available to act as the combat stat: Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. (While a soulknife can technically use Charisma as their primary combat stat, the archetype that allows this, Brutality Blade, also grants Strength boosting abilities. Thus, Strength will usually still be the superior option for a Brutality Blade.)
Two Handed*****: The classic go-to for melee fighting and soulknives are no different. Two handing your mind blade will likely be the best option for a Strength-based soulknife.
Sword and Board****: The Shielded Blade archetype gives a scaling shield and weapon, which yields itself towards a defensive style of play, best utilized with a reach weapon. However, a Dexterity or Wisdom-based soulknife will probably do better with this style.
Unarmed****: The default soulknife has some support for unarmed combat and the Deadly Fist archetype turns the soulknife into a good unarmed combatant. There is a debate to be had over whether this style is better with Str or Wis.
Natural Weapons*****: The Moonlight Meditant is a werewolf-themed soulknife that is unmatched with natural weapons, gaining accelerated enhancement bonuses relative to the other archetypes and a number of powerful abilities that assist this style. If werewolves aren't your thing, there are two other options: the mediocre archetype that grants natural weapons, the Feral Heart; and the unarmed archetype, Deadly Fist, which is surprisingly good when fighting with natural weapons. The Feral Heartís abilities only work with the natural weapons produced by the archetype, which is limited to a pair of claws and a bite. However, a Deadly Fist can apply the features of their archetype to all natural weapons they possess.
Grappling*: Soulknifes make for poor grapplers, with very little support for the style.
Throwing*: While mind blades can be thrown, the blade skill that allows iterative attacks comes online at 14th level, so your damage output beyond 5th level is abysmal in comparison to a different class. Stick to throwing your mind blade as a last resort. If you are dead-set on throwing your mind blade, look under Wisdom Styles.
Finesse Melee****: Soulknives have proficiency in medium armor, but there are many advantages to a high dexterity score. As a mind blade is finesse-able in its light form (and blade skills can expand the finesse-able options) and it is easy to get Dex to damage either via a feat (Deadly Agility) or a mind blade special ability (Agile weapon), a Dexterity-focused melee build is quite strong.
Sword and Board*****: Dex-focused soulknives will still be able to reap the benefits of Weapon Finesse/Deadly Agility while wielding their shield, while focusing on AoOs. This style is best used with a reach weapon, and soulknives have multiple ways of getting a finesse-able reach weapon.
Two Weapon Fighting*****: Similarly to the Finesse Melee style, dexterity to damage is easily available and using two mind blades is supported quite well. (Note that there is also some support for creatures with greater than two hands.)
Two Shield Fighting*: Even Shielded Blades cannot manifest two mind shields, making this unfeasible. Leave two shield fighting to another class.
Ranged*****: Both the Soulbolt archetype and the Soul Archer prestige class make excellent ranged characters, and being able to change weapon special abilities with about a dayís worth of preparation (or less with the right blade skills) gives flexibility over other ranged classes.
Throwing*: See the Strength Styles description above.
Two Handed****: The Champion role of the Living Legend is a very powerful melee combatant and the best weapon choices for your storied blade are all two handed. This plays out very similarly to the Strength version of the style, though the damage will be lower by some degree.
Sword and Board*****: The Guardian role is amazing at this defensive style of fighting, with Combat Reflexes that scales off of Intelligence, a no drawback reach mind blade, and a number of supportive class features.
Intimidate/Non-Lethal****: The Hierophant role excels at intimidation and the large number of supporting feats makes the style quite strong. This style can be combined with the Two Handed or Sword+Board styles, though the later can get very feat intensive.
Ranged*****: The Archmage role has a very powerful ranged attack that is well suited for combat, comparable to a heavy crossbow with none of the major drawbacks. As such, ranged Living Legends perform quite well.
Two Weapon Fighting***: While the Trickster role gives this style some support, Dexterity focused builds will have a much easier time meeting the prerequisites.
Throwing*****: As mentioned above, a throwing style is horribly gimped for the standard soulknife. However, the Psychic Armory archetype changes the game substantially by making Wisdom the ability score in control of both accuracy and damage, giving a plethora of abilities that enhance the throwing style, and allowing multiple attacks at level one!
Unarmed****: Getting Wisdom to melee attack and damage requires a blade skill but there are a large number of synergies with Wisdom for soulknives. This is expanded on even more with multiclassing.
Sword and Board*****: As with the Unarmed style, there is a ton of Wis-synergy with defensive styles of combat, especially AoO + tripping, which S&B excels at. Donít expect this style to do a ton of damage, but it can lock down opponents with the best of them.
Other Melee***: While Wis-based soulknives use melee attacks about as well as a Finesse Melee Dexterity-focused soulknife, it is rated lower due to the blade skill tax required to get Wisdom to attack and damage for a normal soulknife. If you are planning on a melee build that is not unarmed or S&B, go with a Str or Dex-based soulknife instead.
Strength*****: If Strength is being focused, pump this baby to the max. Otherwise, this is a dump stat, especially since a soulknife does not need to worry about the weight of a weapon.
Dexterity*****: If this is being focused, max it. If not, try to keep this at a decent level. With good Reflex Saves and medium armor proficiency, it isnít imperative that Dexterity be a high stat, though a good Initiative check is always welcome and two of your best skills use Dex.
Constitution****: The d10 hit die suggests that Constitution isnít necessarily required, but the poor Fortitude save suggests otherwise. Like most classes, try to keep this as high as possible, especially if you plan to be primarily in melee.
Intelligence**: With a mediocre-at-best skill list and enough skill points to get all of the good ones, this can probably be dumped to a 10 or lower, though be careful of feat prerequisites. If you plan on prestige classing, make sure you actually get enough skill points to grab all of the prerequisites. (As your combat stat, the Living Legend archetype has this rated Purple*****.)
Wisdom*****: If this is your combat stat, max it. Otherwise, good Will saves make this less attractive, though if you gain a scaling ability it will key off Wisdom, as do two of your better skills.
Charisma*: Dump city. While Intimidate is a class skill, soulknives have very little native support for the skill. Plus, there are ways of working around a low Charisma for Intimidate builds. (This is Green*** for Brutality Blades or soulknives with the Daring Hero prestige class, as they replace Wisdom with Charisma for their scaling soulknife abilities.)
In summary, the priority for your abilities should be:
Strength Based: STR***** > CON**** > WIS*** > DEX*** > INT** > CHA*
Dexterity Based: DEX***** > CON**** > WIS*** > INT** > CHA* > STR*
Intelligence Based: INT***** > CON**** > DEX*** > WIS** > CHA* > STR*
Wisdom Based: WIS***** > CON**** > DEX*** > INT** > CHA* > STR*
The main thing to look for in a race is a boost to your combat stat and, if possible, Constitution or Wisdom. Additional abilities or modes of movement are also quite useful, as that will save precious blade skill slots.
SpoilerDwarf**: A decent but not amazing choice for a soulknife, with bonuses to Wis and Con and a penalty to Cha. No favored class bonus is a bit of a bummer, too. The 20ft movespeed really hurts their viability for melee, though they make a surprisingly good choice for a Psychic Armory***.
Elf*: The bonus to Dex is nice, though the bonus to Int is basically wasted and the penalty to Con hurts. Their favored class bonus is bad (the mind blade can just be reformed as a move/free action) and their Weapon Familiarity clashes with the soulknifeís main class feature. Due to the Int bonus, Elves are slightly better for the Living Legend** archetype, but their other problems are still present.
Gnome*: Bonuses to Con are always appreciated and the Strength penalty is mostly a non-factor, as Strength-based builds are rare for Small races, though their Cha bonus is wasted. Small size hurts mind blade damage alongside a 20ft movespeed and they donít have a favored class bonus.
Half Elf***: A floating stat bonus is amazing, but their remaining abilities donít really contribute much to a soulknife. Their favored class bonus is either awful (Disarm) or extremely situational (Overrun).
Half Orc****: Another floating stat bonus and slightly better racial features than the Half Elf (mostly Ferocity). Their favored class bonus is actually useful, unlike most of the other favored class bonuses. Sadly, Psychic Strike is usually the #1 option to be traded out when selecting an archetype.
Halfling***: A Dex bonus is good, and the Str penalty is irrelevant. The Charisma bonus is wasted, as with the gnome, but, unlike the gnome, the Halflingís poor movement speed can be saved with the Fleet of Foot alternate racial trait. Their favored class bonus is even helpful, though it will mostly be counteracting the halflingís small size and Strength score. For Dex-based builds, a solid choice.
Human*****: As usual, humans are top of the pile. A floating stat bonus is great for any combat style, and if the extra skill point isnít needed there are a number of good alternative racial traits to trade it for. And, to top it off, they get the best favored class bonus by a mile.
SpoilerBlue***: Very similar to the halfling, though a bonus to Int is slightly better than a bonus to Cha. Also has some synergy with Stealth. A solid choice for the Living Legend**** archtype.
Dromite**: Similar to halfling, but their low speed and lack of favored class bonus hurts them in comparison.
Duergar**: Very similar to dwarves, but with some psionic flavoring. Expansion is a solid power to have access to. Also makes a good Psychic Armory***.
Elan*****: Another floating stat boost but with actual racial features! More power points would normally be fairly lackluster without an archetype, but Elans get multiple, useful, ways to spend those power points. Immediate actions to reduce damage by a decent amount or even gain a large bonus on saving throws for a round is huge. Critical focus for a favored class bonus is icing on the cake.
Forgeborn***: The Str bonus is nice and the Cha penalty is negligible, but the Int bonus doesnít do much (outside the Living Legend archetype) and they are slow (though, this may be replaced with an alternative racial trait.) No favored class bonus is annoying, but for a Str or Int soulknife they are passable.
Half-Giant*****: Bonuses to Str and Wis are great but the penalty to Dex hurts. Powerful Build is amazing for a Str build (which you were likely going with those stat bonuses) and a bonus to sunder/overrun for the favored class bonus is decent. Throw on some psionic flavoring to cap off a great Strength or Wisdom-based soulknife.
Maenad****: Floating bonus is good, as usual, and they have some good synergy with Str-based builds with their Outburst racial ability (this becomes close to permanent if you can wring out enough power points in your build). Their favored class bonus is half useful (resisting trip) and half useless (disarm), which is better than most.
Noral***: Con and Wis bonuses like dwarves and duergar, but with a Dex penalty and no reduced speed. Their racial features are fairly lackluster, with the exception of Symbiotic Surge, which is basically an Eberron Action Point or Star Wars Force Point. Their favored class bonus is the same as the half orcís, which isnít bad. Very good choice for a Wis-based soulknife****.
Ophiduan*****: Bonuses to Dex and Wis with a penalty to Cha is amazing, their racial abilities are solid, and their favored class bonus will actually get good mileage. A great choice.
Xeph****: A Dex bonus is good, but the Cha bonus is wasted and the Str penalty may hurt at early levels. Their racial abilities are interesting, giving them a movement edge over other soulknives, which is strengthened by their favored class bonus (remember that it only produces mechanical results after every 5 selections). Good option for a Dex-build.
SpoilerAasimar**: A bonus to Wis is good, but Cha is wasted. Their other racial features are passable, but donít do enough to make them stand out above other races. However, both Archon-Blooded**** (Wis and Con) and Garuda-Blooded**** (Dex and Wis) Aasimar make much better use of two stat boosts without any drawbacks. Angel-Blooded***** (Str and Cha) Aasimar are also notable due to their alter self SLA and their stat boosts are perfect for a Brutality Blade.
Catfolk**: Dex bonus is good, but the Cha bonus is wasted and the Wis penalty can hurt. Their racial features are also somewhat underwhelming for a soulknife.
Dhampir*: Similar to catfolk, but with an even worse stat penalty (Con) and similarly underwhelming racial qualities. The variant dhampir have poor stat distribution, though the Jiang-Shi-born** (+Str, +Int, -Dex) and Vetala-Born** (+Dex, +Int, -Wis, for Living Legends) are probably the most usable of them.
Drow*: Basically Dhampir with slightly different, but still underwhelming, racial qualities.
Fetchling***: The same stat distribution as catfolk, but with some fairly useful shadow-based SLAs.
Goblin*****: +4 Dex is amazing, and penalties to Str and Cha arenít too noticeable. Small size with 30ft movement is pretty nice, as are the large bonuses to Stealth checks, making them among the best Dex-focused soulknives.
Hobgoblin*****: Excellent ability bonuses (both Dex and Con), a racial bonus to stealth, and no downsides make hobgoblins solid Dex soulknives.
Ifrit*: Same bonuses as the catfolk and drow, with poor racial qualities.
Kobold*: Unlike their fellow small, monstrous brethren, goblins, the koboldís Dex bonus is not sufficient to make up for their massive Str penalty, Con penalty, and no particularly strong racial traits.
Orc****: A +4 bonus to Str is almost unmatched, even with the penalty to all mental stats. Their racial features arenít amazing, though Ferocity has some feat-related support.
Oread****: Str and Wis stat bonuses are a good start, and the penalty to Cha means they are basically free. Their remaining racial features are not exciting for a soulknife, which holds back their great stats.
Ratfolk*: A bonus to Dex is good and the Str penalty will only hurt at low levels, but the bonus to Int isnít giving much. Slow movement speed and poor racial traits (unless you are running with multiple ratfolk rogues?) make this race a hard pass. Living Legend** makes this race slightly more passable, but the 20ft movement is still a pain.
Sylph*: Stat bonuses like the Drow/Dhampir but with a bonus to Int instead of Cha. Combined with lackluster racial features for a soulknife make sylphs a poor option. Slightly better as a Living Legend**.
Tengu**: Getting both Dex and Wis is great, but at the cost of Con. The skill bonuses are pretty good, but the remainder of the tenguís racial abilities donít mesh particularly well with soulknife.
Tiefling**: Dex is good and a Cha penalty doesnít hurt, but the Int bonus feels meh (except for Living Legends***.) Their racial features are decent but, like their celestial counterparts, donít give much for a soulknife. For alternate heritage Tieflings, The Asura-Spawn**** (+Dex, +Wis, -Int), Demon Spawn*** (+Str, +Cha, -Int, Brutality Blades only), Demodand-Spawn*** (+Con, +Wis, -Int), Devil-Spawn**** (+Con, +Wis, -Cha), Oni-Spawn***** (+Str, + Wis, -Cha), and Qlippoth-Spawn***** (+Str, +Wis, -Int) are all much better options than the default tiefling, with better stat distributions, spell-like abilities, or both.
Undine***: Starting off strong with bonuses in Dex and Wis with a penalty in Str, undines have similar problems to their elemental cousins, the oread: none of their racial features (other than a swim speed) make them stand above their similarly stated counterparts. However, if you are in an aquatic/nautical campaign they easily become the best race.*****
Last edited by Battleship789; 2021-04-08 at 12:13 AM.
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- Sep 2008
Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterThe Soulknife ClassThe Chassis
HD****: With a d10 hit die, you are in a pretty great place.
BAB****: Unlike the 3.5 version, you have full BAB. Isnít being able to hit things nice?
Fort**/Ref****/Will****: Good Will and Reflex saves is pretty nice, but a low Fortitude save can really end your day in a hurry.
Skill Points***: 4 + Int mod is meh, but it is enough to grab all of the good skills off of your crappy list: Acrobatics, Autohypnosis, Climb, Craft, Intimidate, Knowledge (psionics), Perception, Profession, Stealth, and Swim
Proficiencies****: Normally, missing out on martial weapons would hurt, but you have your mind blade. Getting light and medium armor plus shields is pretty good, too.
Bonus Feat***: Starting off with the choice of three okay to good combat feats isnít too shabby.
Form Mind Blade****: This is the reason you chose this class. So why is it only rated blue? At this level, this ability is basically giving you a free weapon; shortsword (light form, may summon two of them to dual wield), longsword (one-handed form), and greatsword (two-handed form) are effectively the weapons you are given access to here. You may choose the damage type (bludgeoning, piercing, slashing) when shaping your weapon (see the next ability) and it takes a move action to call the weapon into your hand(s). If you lose/throw your mind blade you can re-summon it with a move action. Note that there isnít any penalty or condition requiring you to dismiss your mind blade after combat; it is worthwhile to keep your mind blade active when you may be in danger to save the move action.
Shape Mind Blade**: This ability is very useful, being able to change your mind blades basic stats and abilities at will. However, this is rated orange because of the time required. It is a full round action to change the form your blade takes (light, one, or two-handed, and the damage type) and 8 hours to reassign abilities gained from the Enhanced Mind Blade feature. Oh, and it canít be the same 8 hours used for rest.
Throw Mind Blade*: With this ability, you can actually hit things out of your reach! There are some problems, though. One, the range is awful (and it is a thrown weapon, so you only get 5 range increments). Two, if you are using the two-handed form of the mind blade it cannot be thrown without spending a precious blade skill slot, and then the range is absolutely abysmal. Three, you must re-summon your mind blade after each attack, which is a move action until level 5. But wait, you said you canít use iteratives until level 14! Thatís right, you canít use iteratives with this until you get a specific blade skill at 14th level. What about the Quick Draw class feature you get later? There is a specific clause that prevents it. Oh. Only use this if you have no other option.
Wild Talent***: It opens up psionic feats and grants you the ability to be psionically focused. Not much more to say.
Blade Skills*****: Here we go, good class features! Blade skills are gained every even level and contain a wide variety of abilities and mind blade improvements/changes, some good, some bad. Some blade skills are exclusive to certain archetypes, so Iíll cover them under their own entries in the archetype section.
Enhanced Mind Blade*****: The real reason why you took soulknife. This feature gives a scaling enhancement bonus to your mind blade, from +1 all the way up to +9 (this may be increased further with blade skills or archetypes), which can be modified with the Shape Mind Blade ability. The enhancement bonus may be applied as a true enhancement bonus (up to a maximum +5 bonus, as usual, and a minimum of +1), and the remaining bonus is spent on weapon special abilities from a very large (but not exhaustive) list. If you split the mind blade into two weapons, both weapons use the same setup as the single blade, but with a penalty on its enhancement bonus. With that said, a normal weapon doesnít have any restrictions on its special abilities, so a given mind blade may actually be weaker than a corresponding physical weapon. One way this feature gives the soulknife a leg up is versatility: with the Shape Mind Blade feature you can swap the abilities on your weapon to better fit a situation (with enough preparation, of course.) However, the true versatility this class feature gives is from the money you save by not needing to purchase a weapon. A primary weapon can take anywhere from a quarter to a third of your WBL; a not insignificant sum. Use this extra cash to shore up on the soulknifeís weaknesses (of which there are many); use the overwhelming might of money to force your way through obstacles.SpoilerAbsorbing Blade*****: Starting off with a bang, this blade skill allows you to expend your psychic strike to absorb a spell, SLA, power, or PLA that would affect you. While the effect is limited in level to the number of dice your psychic strike does (which hurts) and cannot absorb supernatural effects or spells/powers that ignore SR/PR, it is still a great defensive tool. By expending your psionic focus you can easily get an extra use out of this skill per encounter, which makes this ability even better. The text is unclear if this requires an action to use or if it is just automatic, so check with your DM. Note that this ability cannot be used with a mind bolt.
Additional Configurations****: You can hold two different configurations for your mind blade and when dual wielding mind blades each blade may have a separate configuration (note that each weapon gets two different configurations, for a total of 4). A great boost in versatility, this blade skill allows for a main configuration and a backup that gives more situational weapon enhancements like ghost touch, the alignment type abilities, or brilliant energy.
Alter Blade*: This is a poor blade skill, as most builds will have a specific blade form they want to use at all times, and transforming between the different forms is not particularly useful after level 1 or 2. The two weapon fighting benefit from this amounts to about 1 extra damage on your primary hand. Not worth a blade skill slot.
Blade Rush*****: A swift action + psionic focus to move your speed without AoOs? Amazing, especially for melee soulknives, even if it is limited by your psionic focus. If you can easily get psionically focused, this becomes even more insane, as it enables repeatable AoO-free movement + full attacks.
Blade Rush Frenzy**: If you are against a huge number of enemies clustered together or have an extremely high movement speed, this might be worth the action and penalty to hit. As is, you will likely get far more use out of a normal Blade Rush + full attack.
Bladestorm**: Similar to Blade Rush Frenzy, being able to attack all enemies within 30 feet sounds like a pretty cool ability, but situations where it will be useful are extremely rare, you provoke attacks of opportunity, and you cannot even use the highest damaging weapon form.
Bladewind**: Effectively Whirlwind Attack without the prerequisites and the potential for a reroll on an attack. If you have a ton of reach/size, this may be useful but for most soulknives I donít think it is worth a slot.
Caltrop Spray*: While this is an interesting idea for battlefield control, the caltrops last for a very short amount of time when they actually matter (levels 2-6ish), donít affect a very large area (one 5 ft square per die of psychic strike damage...really?), and quickly become worthless as everything learns to fly.
Cleave Space***: Getting at will dimension door is pretty good, even with the requirement to expend your psionic focus. Being able to use it as a move action later is also great. However, the prerequisite for this blade skill does it better, making this blade skill somewhat redundant, unless you need the extra distance provided by Dimension Door.
Combat Slide****: Free repositioning in battle is pretty sweet, though it is unfortunate that the slide cannot be used if youíve already taken a 5-ft step.
Dazzling Blade*: The dazzling status is a very weak debuff, though the Fortitude save for the effect scales well.
Deadly Blow****: If you are crit fishing, this makes all of your crits that much stronger. Without crit fishing, this is not worth taking.
Deceptive Blade**: Gaining Bluff as a class skill is okay, as is the ability to form your mind blade and enhance it with psychic strike in the same action. However, feinting isnít the greatest combat style and the soulknife doesnít have any support for it outside of this blade skill. Cannot be used with mind bolts. However, this blade skill much better when used with the Ashen Blade**** prestige class, which does get support for feinting.
Devastating Blade****: Being able to target any ability score and deal 2 points of ability damage per psychic strike die is quite strong, though it is still limited to half of your psychic strike dice. With a few applications of this ability, it is easy to incapacitate many enemies, especially those with lower than average scores in a stat (Dex for dragons, Int for animals, etc.).
Dispelling Strike*****: Using both psionic focus and psychic strike to remove one effect is a steep cost, but if it removes a strong buff/ongoing effect this is well worth it.
Disrupting Strike*: Another pseudo whirlwind attack, but this does no damage, is limited solely to adjacent enemies, and applies a minor debuff to damage. At lower levels this is pretty amazing, effectively granting anyone who is attacked by those affected DR 5/-, but it falls off HARD as the game progresses. This is passable for a tanky soulknife***. Canít be used with mind bolt.
Dual Imbue**: This allows for easier recharging of psychic strike during combat for a TWF, but losing a die of damage on an already poorly scaling ability hurts. If you have the action available it is probably worth the loss in damage, but most of the time you would be better off full attacking or moving into position to full attack. If you have a way to easily regain your psionic focus or psychic strike, this changes to blue****, due to how the damage adds up for TWF.
Dueling Blade**: Free AoO whenever you are missed in melee while fighting defensively or using the Combat Expertise feat. Having to give up your psionic focus is annoying, as is the requirement to fight defensively or use Combat Expertise. If you are going tanky, this becomes quite strong****, but is otherwise not worth the cost.
Empowered Fist***: Gain the empowered strikes class feature and IUS. Not a bad pickup, but if you were planning on getting empowered strikes and IUS, why not just go Deadly Fist?
Emulate Melee Weapon****: The great part about this blade skill is you can pick ANY melee weapon to emulate. Want a random exotic or martial weapon that makes your build hum? Go ahead and take it because you are always proficient with your mind blade! This ends up as a slight improvement on the default mind blade; usually a weapon with slightly better crit threat/multiplier, damage, or a special ability like reach is picked up. Cannot be used with mind bolt.
Enhanced Range*: Double the range increment when throwing your mind blade. As throwing your mind blade is garbage, this, by extension, attempts to double the range of garbage. Skip it.
Energized Shield*: Produce a pseudo fire shield effect as an immediate action by spending your psionic focus. The damage on this isnít too bad, it is just sad that it only lasts for single attack.
Expand Shield*: Create a tower shield when fighting defensively. If you badly need a defensive option, this isnít the worst thing ever, but if you really want to use a tower shield, use the Tower Mind Shield blade skill instead.
Exploding Critical***: Spend your psionic focus to deal psychic strike damage on a confirmed critical. If you are crit fishing, this gives decent damage, though you will need a way to easily recharge your psionic focus if you want to get good mileage out of this ability.
Extended Strike*: Making a single attack with +5-ft reach as a standard action is pretty awful. And you have to be 12th level to even take this.
Fire Blade**: Do fire damage instead of normal damage and expend your psionic focus for a tiny damage boost. I suppose this is decent if you know you will be fighting a large number of enemies with fire vulnerability or enemies with high damage reduction that you canít bypass.
Firestorm*: On the off chance you actually expended your psionic focus to deal that extra 1d10 damage with Fire Blade AND the enemy you hit is still adjacent to you, deal an extra 1d10 damage to the target and every enemy within 10 feet of the target. Wow, this is awful.
Fluid Form****: Expend your psychic strike as a swift to add and/or remove a weapon special ability from your mind blade, gaining a -1 penalty to its enhancement bonus that lasts until you rest for 8 hours or take 8 hours to reconfigure the mind blade. Multiple uses of this ability stack the penalty to the enhancement bonus. The only way to quickly change your mind bladeís special abilities/enhancement bonus until level 20, though the penalty is pretty steep.
Fluid Form, Improved****: Modify ALL weapon special abilities, but still take the cumulative penalty to enhancement bonus when this ability is used multiply times. Being able to change all special abilities on the fly is pretty nice.
Flurry of Fists*: Hurrah, you can get Flurry of Blows, sorta. As this only works when attacking unarmed, this is pretty bad. Unless you are a Deadly Fist, then it is great*****.
Flurry of Fists, Improved*: Same as before, and still great on Deadly Fist*****.
Flurry of Fists, Greater*: Still the same, though another attack at a -10 penalty isnít as good as the previous two for a Deadly Fist****.
Focused Defense**: Getting Wis to AC while maintaining psionic focus is pretty good, too bad you have to fight defensively or use Combat Expertise to get it. As you may have noticed so far, you usually need to use your psionic focus if you want to do anything cool with blade skills. If you are going for a more defensive build, or have a way to always maintain psionic focus, this is amazing*****.
Focused Offense*****: Swapping Str for Wis to attack and damage while psionically focused is pretty good, but there are a lot of things you can do with that psionic focus that may inhibit how often you actually get to use this bonus. For non-Psychic Armories who want to use Wisdom, this is required, as is a way to either quickly regain psionic focus or gain multiple psionic foci.
Full Enhancement*****: If you are TWF or going Sword and Board, there is no substitute. Note this also works with the Armored Blade archetype. Otherwise, skip it.
Furious Charge***: A minor damage boost while charging that works with multiple attacks. Sadly, most soulknives wonít get pounce to get full value out of this blade skill and the damage is very small. For those that do, this is probably blue****.
Furious Charge, Improved****: Expend your psychic strike to get a two attack pounce (three, if you are dual wielding). Your third and fourth attacks were likely going to miss anyway, so this ends up being pretty good. Too bad this doesnít work with effects like haste.
Freezing Ice***: Like Firestorm, your opponent must still be adjacent to you. At least the Ice Blade effect means your target is much more likely to still be adjacent to you, and the new effect is much better than that of Firestorm (not a hard bar to pass). Interestingly, you can lockdown someone with this if you can recharge your psionic focus each round, making this an excellent choice for tanky soulknives****.
Ghost Step*****: Move action teleportation, that eventually may be done as a swift action! And it works with the Dimensional Agility line of feats! However, the Blade Rush skill allows for similar movement w/full attack capabilities, does not provoke AoOs, and does it without a feat. Consider if the teleportation movement of Ghost Step is worth the extra hassle for using this as a combat option. Even without the Dimensional Agility feats, this still provides great movement utility and is certainly worth 5 stars.
Gruesome Riposte**: While not as insane as some of the other AoO retaliation abilities in PF, this is passable. Since you have to take damage to use this ability, it is far better on tanky soulknives.
Ice Blade****: Poor Fire Blade. This is so much better: it uses a less resisted element and the psionic focus effect is actually useful instead of adding a piddling amount of damage!
Improved Enhancement****: Sadly this can only be chosen once, so no breaking the +10 barrier. However, it is still a great choice to pick up, as more enhancements on your mind blade are always welcome.
Improved Mind Shield*: Increases the shield bonus of your mind shield. Sadly, this is half as effective as taking the normal Mind Shield blade skill, you still need to have a hand free to use it, and it takes up a blade skill slot. Not worth it, unless you are a Shielded Blade**.
Knife to the Soul***: Being able to do ability score damage is good, though having to expend psychic strike and being limited to half of the psychic strike damage hurts this a lot. Mind-affecting creatures are also immune, sadly. Its upgraded form, Devastating Blade, is much stronger, so if you want to use that, pick this up.
Lightning Arc*: Like Firestorm, the effect is just awful AND your opponent has to be willing to stand next to you for a turn. At least the damage is just bad, instead of insultingly bad.
Lightning Blade***: Better than Fire Blade, but not as good as Ice Blade. Electricity damage is even less likely to be resisted than fire or ice, and the small debuff is decent.
Mark of the Challenger*: A standard action to make your allies less tantalizing targets, but it is only a -2 penalty that lasts a single round. If you really want to draw aggro, use Ice Blade and Freezing Ice instead.
Mind Blade Finesse***: This is an interesting option for Finesse Melee soulknives, and allows for some silly builds when combined with Emulate Melee Weapon. Most of the time, this will equate to 2ish extra damage, a better crit range, and perhaps a special weapon quality like reach, but any/all of those can be useful for a Dex soulknife.
Mind Daggers****: Another option to shape your mind blade into, but this can be swapped with your normal mind blade as a free action. This gives you a viable throwing attack (30 ft range is passable, and you can throw as many as you need to in a round), though the damage is obviously quite low. It is worth noting that the daggers donít take the enhancement bonus penalty for being split into multiple mind blades, so this may be worth picking up for TWF, at least until you can grab Full Enhancement.
Mind Shield*: +2 AC when you have your hand free is bad for most soulknives but passable for a Psychic Armory*** or Soulbolt***. The Shielded Blade gets a better version of this blade skill for their main class feature.
Mindflayer***: Your mind blade is now a whip. If you really want to use a whip, it works well enough, and the psionic focus + psychic strike effect is actually quite strong, with a decently scaling save DC (targeting Fort, which is hit and miss).
Multi-Blade Manifestation*: For most characters this is useless, but if you have multiple limbs capable of fighting, this obviously goes to purple*****, especially when combined with Full Enhancement or Mind Daggers.
Multiple Throw*: If this came online 8 levels earlier, it might be worth getting. Use Mind Daggers or Telekinetic Bolt if you need a ranged weapon and Psychic Armory if you want to throw your mind blade.
Power Reserve*****: For most soulknives this is useless, passable when multiclassing with a manifester (as it is limited to soulknife level), and insane on Gifted Blades, greatly helping their poor power point reserves.
Powerful Strikes****: If you want to get more mileage out of psychic strike, this is required, as the damage scaling for psychic strike is quite poor. It also allows the Devastating Blade blade skill to do 6 ability damage per use, with is pretty good. Sadly, it may only be taken once.
Psicrystal Affinity****: On its own, a psicrystal isnít that useful. However, it unlocks a TON of options that greatly help the soulknife. Whether you get this in a feat or with this blade skill, you should get a psicrystal. This blade skill is better than the feat, except for Gifted Blades, because it effectively removes the manifester level requirement from other Psicrystal feats. Generally speaking, the best personality for a soulknife is Jittery, for that sweet +4 Initiative bonus.
Psionic Grapnel**: Ectoplasmic Grapnel is, at best, an okay power. At least it gives some mobility and is spammable?
Psionic Training**: Most blade skills are better than feats, even psionic ones, but this gives a bit of versatility if you really need a specific psionic feat. The restriction is to prevent looping of Extra Blade Skill and Psionic Training for feats like Psionic Body (infinite hp).
Psychic Net**: Entangling Ectoplasm is a decent power and additional methods of attack are useful to the soulknife. Having to spend your psionic focus is annoying, but it does allow this ability to be used multiple times per day if needed.
Psychic Platform****: This gives a lot of movement versatility, allowing for double jumps, arresting falls, partial spider climb, and more. This ability is only limited by your imagination.
Psychic Strike**: There are many archetypes that trade out psychic strike for other class features and this will allow you to gain that ability back. Unfortunately, it wonít scale at all, so only grab this is if you want to use another blade skill that requires psychic strike but doesnít depend on its damage.
Psychic Toolkit*: This gives a bunch of utility to the mind blade, but most of the time you will just carry these kinds of tools in a backpack. If you are in a minimalist game, or your DM likes to steal stuff, this is for you!
Psychokinetic Armor***: Gain the main feature of the Armored Blade archetype, with a few caveats. While this saves you even more money, as you no longer need to buy armor, if you are determined to run mind armor, you would probably be better off actually using the Armored Blade archetype, as this doesnít become available until 4th level. For mind armor-specific blade skills, check out the Armored Blade archetype.
Psychokinetic Blast**: Do a small AoE by expending your psychic strike. With how poor psychic strike scales in damage and the infrequent situations where this skill will be useful, Iím hesitant to believe this will serve you well. However, it doesnít cost anything extra over the normal psychic strike, so if you will be fighting hordes of enemies it might be good.
Psychokinetic Grenade***: Turning your mind blade into a grenade is a cool visual and the ability to attach Ice or Thunder Blade to the grenade makes for nice crowd control. The damage is somewhat poor and the splash radius is not large, but this is a passable option.
Reaching Blade***: Expend psionic focus to gain 5 ft reach for a turn. While not even close to the awfulness that is Extended Strike, having to spend your focus to use this is a rough cost. With a way to refresh your focus every round this becomes blue****, though it will limit how frequently you use other abilities that require your psionic focus. If you want reach constantly, it is probably be better to get Emulate Melee Weapon for a reach weapon. However, this blade skill will stack with Emulate Melee Weapon, so it may be worthwhile to grab both.
Reaperís Blade***: Refreshing psychic strike on a kill is a decent ability, as it allows psychic strike to be used more frequently during combat and the extra damage if it was already charged is useful for building up damage on weaker enemies to kill stronger ones. If you have the Dual Imbue blade skill, this skill should recharge both of your blades, making it a strong option for TWF****.
Reflective Blade****: Reflecting a touch attack spell/power back at the caster is great (note this covers both melee and ranged touch attacks), though the spell/power level is still capped by the number of dice psychic strike deals.
Rending Blades*: Low bleed damage on a crit. Doesnít stack with itself or the higher damaging Bleeding Critical feat. Whoopee...
Resounding Thunder**: The final member of the Firestorm-like blade skills, this does an okay amount of sonic damage and the staggered condition means there is a decent chance the person you hit is still adjacent to you.
Stunning Blade***: Similar to the daze ability of the Mindflayer blade skill, you expend psychic strike and psionic focus for a chance to stun. As the effect is only limited by psychic strike being applied and being psionically focused, this ability is fairly spammable, though it does take some prep time. Stunning Fist has some support in Pathfinder as well.
Telekinetic Athleticism***: Gain two psionic feats and spend psychic strike instead of psionic focus to power them. Not bad.
Telekinetic Bolt****: Gain the Soulboltís main class feature, mind bolt. If you plan to focus on ranged attacks, just go Soulbolt. If you need a backup ranged attack, this is a pretty solid option.
Telekinetic Edge****: The ability to ignore damage reduction or hardness for a turn is amazing, especially since soulknives have a hard time dealing with material-based damage reduction.
Telepathic Gift***: Telepathy is pretty sweet, as is the ability to detect other telepathy users.
Thunder Blade****: Staggered is a nasty condition and sonic damage is rarely resisted. Losing half of your damage sucks, though. This ability is probably best on a tanky soulknife who wonít care about the damage loss.
Toppling Strike***: Getting a free trip attempt after an attack is great, especially since it doesnít trigger an AoO. Unfortunately, this ability cannot be used as part of a full attack action, which hurts its viability at later levels.
Toppling Strike, Improved****: 3.5 style Great Cleave, but for tripping! A pretty solid blade skill if you have a huge reach or want to focus solely on tripping. Just like the normal version, it doesnít work as part of a full attack action, but it does give great control over anything in reach. Amazing on tanky soulknives.
Tower Mind Shield*: This does not give proficiency with tower shields and soulknives do not have proficiency normally. Hard pass unless you are a Shielded Blade**, where this is slightly better.
Tower Shield Skill*: Reduce the armor check penalty of the Tower Mind Shield by 1 if the mind shield is in tower shield form. Still no proficiency, and reducing an ACP of 9 by one point seems pretty awful.
Trade Blows*: A tanky soulknife option, giving counterattacks for every melee attack directed at you. The biggest problem with this ability is that you donít threaten anything while using total defense, so intelligent creatures will just go around you and attack your teammates. If you have some method of forcing foes to attack you or are fighting dumb enemies, this becomes amazing*****.
Twin Strike**: Make two attacks when using a standard action attack, or on AoOs. This is somewhat useful at early levels, when it is difficult to pull off full attacks, but at later levels you really need a much more reliable way to set up full attacks (like the Blade Rush or Ghost Step blade skills). If you want to use a TWF AoO build, be my guest, but a single reach weapon is likely to be far better at it.
Two-Handed Throw*: You can pretend to have a reach weapon, but use Dex to hit instead! I just love taking a -8 penalty to try and hit things 50 ft away! Awful.
Vampiric Blade**: Only healing for half of your psychic strike damage is pretty bad, but it is fairly spammable.
Weapon Special****: Give your mind blade the brace, trip, or disarm weapon special. All good choices, though trip is the obvious standout. If you take this more than once, you can give your mind blade a combination of the above.
Whiplash*: Throw your mind shield with a 10 ft range increment, and bring it back with psionic focus to deal damage. While the visual is pretty cool, the range is awful and the damage is poor.
Wing Clip****: Stop a creature from moving with a standard action melee attack. A Fort save with good scaling and it lasts for Str mod rounds, making for a good Str soulknife blade skill.
Psychic Strike****: As a move action (or a swift action by expending your psionic focus) you can give your mind blade a charge that can be released to deal extra damage. The damage scaling is kinda bad, but you can charge it outside of battle and hold onto the charge for as long as you want, so it works decently to boost your first attack of an encounter. With dual wielding, you can charge both of your mind blades, noting that it will take two move actions to do so. Without any other abilities enhancing this, psychic strike is generally pretty awful. You will use it once, maybe twice an encounter at most (unless you find yourself with literally nothing better to do), and it does pitiful damage. However, there are a decent number of blade skills and feats that enhance psychic strike to the point where it becomes a fairly steady source of damage, and it is the number one ability (outside of Form Mind Blade) that will be swapped out for archetypes.
Quick Draw***: Not bad, being able to manifest your mind blade as a free action once per round. Still canít use Throw Mind Blade more than once per turn for another 9 levels, though.
Mind Blade Mastery****: As a capstone, this ability is somewhat underwhelming, though being able to fully change your mind bladeís settings as a full-round action is quite strong. I wish the time reduced more gradually as you leveled, instead of jumping from 8 hours to 1 round at level 20.
Last edited by Battleship789; 2021-04-08 at 12:34 AM.
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- Sep 2008
Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterArchetypes, Part 1
Armored Blade**: The Armored Blade gains the ability to form a suit of mind armor in addition to their mind blade. Most other soulknife abilities are unchanged, though they gain access to some new blade skills. The Armored Blade archetype is compatible with the Cutthroat, Gifted Blade, Shielded Blade, War Soul, and Xephyr archetypes.
Final Verdict**: Honestly, this archetype is very underwhelming. The reduced scaling for the mind blade is painful, the exclusive Blade Skills are only okay, and, worst of all, the Psychokinetic Armor blade skill gives all of the abilities of the archetype, but doesnít hurt your mind bladeís scaling and can be combined with any other archetype. The only benefits this archetype gives over Psychokinetic Armor is that it may be taken at level 1 and the Improved Enhancement blade skill applies to both mind blade and armor.SpoilerForm Mind Armaments****: The reason for taking this archetype, create a suit of armor as a move action. The armor may be light, medium, or heavy armor and is treated as a masterwork chain shirt, chainmail or splint mail, respectively. Armored Blades are always proficient with their mind armor.
Shape Mind Armaments**: Effectively the same as the normal soulknife ability, but mind armor must be reshaped separately (full round action to change the type of armor and 8 hours to change enhancements.)
Enhanced Mind Armaments**: The scaling for both the mind blade and mind armor is worse than the default soulknife (reaching a maximum enhancement bonus of +7 instead of +9) and the soulknifeís armor is not affected if the mind blade is shaped into two weapons. The enhancement options are limited, but there are some good abilities available.
Blade Skills***: Armored Blades may choose any of the normal blade skills and gain access to the following blade skills:
- Improved Armor****: Improving the form of the various armor options is a nice ability, with the ability to wear the light armor and be treated as unarmored being the standout here, though the other two options are also great.
- Improved Mind Armaments*****: Forming both mind armor and mind blade in the same action is close to required for this archetype to function and this ability is welcome.
- Stealth Armaments*: Hiding your mind armor as a mundane outfit is not worth a blade skill slot.
Augmented Blade****: A break from the traditional soulknife, an Augmented Blade does not distill their mind blade from their mind, but instead attaches a psicrystal to a normal weapon, augmenting the weaponís abilities. Augmented Blade is compatible with the Gifted Blade and War Soul archetypes.
Final Verdict****: The Augmented Blade is a strong archetype with a variety of options that diverge from the normal soulknife class. While the overall power of the class is fairly similar to the standard soulknife, the ability to easily change between weapons and their special abilities gives a large amount of versatility to the archetype. This archetype changes the ďfeelĒ of the soulknife class the most, but still sticks true to the main features of the soulknife.SpoilerWeapon and Armor Proficiencies*****: Augmented Blades get proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor, and every shield but tower shields.
Augmented Bladeworks***: Slightly better choices than the default bonus feat, and the ability to choose ďmind bladeĒ for feats that require a specific weapon choice is useful.
Psicrystal Affinity****: See the Psicrystal Affinity blade skill. The backbone of the Augmented Bladeís abilities and a good feat on its own.
Psicrystal Augment*****: The reason for taking this archetype, the augmented blade attaches their psicrystal to a physical weapon, bonding with it as a move action. This action overrides any magical or psionic enhancements on the weapon, though the weapon retains any material/masterwork bonuses, and grants the weapon the enhancement bonus and special abilities of a normal soulknifeís mind blade. This ability allows the Augmented Blade to make any weapon immediately useful, provided she is proficient with the weapon. This ability is also far more flexible than the normal mind blade, as enhancement bonuses and weapon special abilities may be changed every time this ability is used. This also has an odd interaction with intelligent, cursed, and artifact weapons, as they should lose all abilities.
Blade Skills*****: Augmented Blades lose the ability to select a large number of blade skills, mostly centered around the creation/destruction of a mind blade, but gain the following options:
- Augmented Armor****: Kicking the Armored Blade while he is down, the augmented armor doesnít have a reduced progression for enhancement bonuses, using the normal progression. Unfortunately, an Augmented Blade has to use his psicrystal on either his armor or weapon. This can be fixed with the Split Crystal blade skill, making this skill much stronger.
- Augmented Item*: Bonuses to a number of poor skills and not being able to use your main class feature on your weapon at the same time makes this blade skill a massive dud.
- Augmented Psyche**: A much better selection of skills than Augmented Item, but losing your weapon augment still hurts. This becomes slightly more useful with Split Crystal.
- Augmented Shield****: Augmented Armor, but for shields. A poor ability until the Split Crystal blade skill is chosen.
- Improved Psicrystal Augment*****: Gain access to any weapon special ability, as long as it is on the weapon you augment AND add +1 to the enhancement bonus of said weapon. An amazing ability.
- Psicrystal Power Source*****: This allows you to power magical/psionic items with your power points. Most soulknives wonít have enough power points to get a lot of mileage out of this blade skill, but this is very potent when combined with the Gifted Blade archetype or a manifesting class.
- Split Crystal****: Effectively required to use most of the extra blade skills granted by Augmented Blade. Splitting your crystal more than once or twice is probably not worth the loss in enhancement bonus, but enhancing your armor, shield, or another weapon, for dual wielding, is a solid choice.
Weapon Training****: As the fighter class ability. This is a good attack and damage boost for your most common weapons. Not much else to say.
Fighter Training***: There are some good fighter-exclusive feats, and this gives you access to them.
Brutality Blade****: A Brutality Blade can make a mind blade like a normal soulknife, but they may fall to the Dark Side of the Force and transform this weapon into a rage blade. The Brutality Blade is compatible with the Cutthroat, Gifted Blade, and Shielded Blade archetypes.
Final Verdict****: Another strong archetype, the Brutality Blade has a lower floor than the default soulknife, but a higher peak. Their abilities strongly support a Str-based, melee fighting style (with a dash of Charisma), but the risk and limited duration of the rage blade will likely turn some away.SpoilerSoul of Wrath***: Use Charisma instead of Wisdom for soulknife abilities and the abilities of prestige classes that advance mind blade. This is an interesting ability, as it allows Brutality Blades to be Cha-based combatants when combined with the Focused Offense blade skill. Even though the class has very little support for the option, Brutality Blades make decent use of Intimidate with the increased support for Charisma. All that said, Brutality Blades will almost always prefer to focus on Strength for their combat stat due to their Raging Surge ability, with Charisma simply replacing Wisdom as the main secondary stat for Brutality Blades.
Manifest Rage Blade*****: Brutality Blades gain access to the normal mind blade, though with a slower enhancement bonus progression and the inability to throw their mind blade. However, for a limited number of rounds per day (4 + Con mod + 2 per level after 1st), their mind blade(s) may be transformed into a single weapon, a rage blade. When manifested, the rage bladeís enhancement bonus is increased even further and the mind bladeís enhancements can be changed without penalty. When the rage blade is dismissed, the Brutality Blade is fatigued for 1d4+1 rounds, loses psionic focus, and cannot regain psionic focus until the fatigue has worn off. The defining feature of this archetype, the rage blade grants a huge amount of flexibility and power over a standard mind blade, but is limited in duration and has some hefty drawbacks.
Psychic Enervation*: When a rage blade is manifested, the Brutality Blade has a 10% chance of taking 2 times Brutality Blade level in damage. As this is solely detrimental, this ability is rated poorly.
Enhanced Mind Blade****: As mentioned above, the mind blade of a Brutality Blade progresses at a slower rate than the standard soulknife. This is countered by an overall faster progression due to the rage bladeís extra enhancement bonuses.
Wrath Augments*****: Brutality Blades gain access to the follow unique blade skills
- Blade Geyser**: Yet another Whirlwind Attack-like ability. At least the imagery is super cool.
- Body of Rage***: Another ability that creates an amazing visual, as you increase in size, gain two claws/light manufactured weapons that use your rage bladeís special abilities and enhancements, and grow similarly enhanced armor spikes. The enhancement bonus penalty is annoying and the armor spikes will probably be useless, but this is the only way for a Brutality Blade to dual wield their rage blade.
- Destroyerís Will****: Rerolls of your worst save (Fort) or the save with the most potential to screw you (Will) are very welcome.
- Fountain of Blood*****: For crit-fishing and TWF, this is one of the best damage boosting abilities in Pathfinder. Applying a decent number of d4 bleed on a critical or psychic strike would be a decent damage gain on its own. However, the bleed damage STACKS! Pick up this, the Wounding weapon ability, and Bleeding Critical to dish out some hefty, stacking bleed damage.
- Hand of Hatred****: Grant the benefits of Raging Euphoria to all allies within 30 ft. The range is somewhat restrictive, but the bonuses are nice.
- Raging Euphoria****: Gain a scaling morale bonus to attack and damage rolls while your rage blade is manifested. A nice boost.
- Rend the Body***: Extra attacks are always nice, but the trigger of using your psychic strike and needing to expend psionic focus hurts this ability some.
Instantaneous Wrath***: Manifest the mind blade as a free action, if it is manifested as a rage blade. Even though this ability is technically worse than the default quick draw ability, you will almost always want to use your rage blade in a fight.
Wrath Perfected****: Very similar to the normal soulknife capstone, the biggest differences are the removal of quickly switching between mind blade enhancements (though, this is covered by the rage blade) and no more danger of Psychic Enervation when manifesting a rage blade.
Cutthroat***: Cutthroat soulknives are masters of stealth and subterfuge, gaining abilities that amplify their prowess in those fields. Cutthroat is compatible with the Armored Blade and Brutality Blade archetypes.
Final Verdict***: The Cutthroat is a role-switching archetype, pushing the soulknife towards a stealthy build that focuses on Dex. However, the benefits of the archetype donít push it above the normal soulknife, only shifting the direction of the class.SpoilerCovert Training**: Cutthroats gain two more skill points per level than a normal soulknife but lose medium armor and shields. Unfortunately, their class skill list is barely changed, causing the extra skill points to lose some of their luster.
Cunning***: Gain a scaling bonus on Bluff and Stealth checks while maintaining psionic focus and double that bonus when expending psionic focus. Bluff and Stealth are skills that are fairly easy to increase, but any extra bonuses are always welcome.
Blade Skills****: Cutthroats gain access to the following unique blade skills
- Advanced Talents****: Gain one of three advance rogue talents
SpoilerConfounding Blades**: A longer lasting Slow Reactions, but the extra duration is probably not necessary.
Crippling Strike****: Stacking Strength damage can add up fast, especially for TWF. This can quickly cripple low Strength enemies and slow down high Strength enemies.
Stealthy Sniper*****: For a ranged Cutthroat this is probably required, but it is otherwise useless.
- Evasion****: As the rogue class feature, but can be used in medium armor. Amusingly, Cutthroats lose proficiency with medium armor. If wanted, this can be remedied by combining Cutthroat with the Armored Blade archetype or Psychokinetic Armor blade skill.
- Improved Evasion***: As the rogue class feature, but can be used in medium armor. Generally less useful than the normal Evasion blade skill or ability, as soulknives get a good Reflex save.
- Rogue Talent***: Choose a rogue talent from the following list
SpoilerBefuddling Strike**: Effectively +2 AC against targets you hit with a sneak attack. While this does allow you to base with enemies more easily, there are superior options.
Fast Stealth*****: As a Cutthroat, you will want to move around the battlefield at full speed while Stealthed. This is required.
Slow Reactions***: A solid option for a Cutthroat, too bad it is limited to melee attacks. If your DM likes running enemies with a ton of AoOs or if your party is filled with melee characters, this is amazing.
Sniperís Eye**: Being able to use ranged sneak attack on targets in concealment is useful, but the Improved Precise Shot feat or the Seeking weapon ability allow you to outright ignore the concealment, which is strictly superior.
Surprise Attack***: Guaranteeing sneak attack damage in the first round of combat is great, as the first round is usually the hardest round to get into flanking position. However, with your Dex-focus, you will likely being going first most encounters.
- Trapfinder****: Gain Disable Device as a class skill and the Trapfinding rogue ability. Getting Disable Device as a class skill is excellent if you need to be your partyís skill monkey and the Trapfinding ability helps you do your job better.
Deadly Fist****: A soulknife focused on unarmed combat, the Deadly Fist envelopes his body in psionic energy to fight. Deadly Fist is compatible with the Gifted Blade and War Soul archetypes.
Final Verdict****: The Deadly Fist does what it purports to, change the default soulknife into an unarmed combatant. Its abilities do not really bring it above the normal soulknife, merely redirecting the focus of the class into an unarmed style. However, the greatest strength of the archetype, which helps to push it over other unarmed classes, is scaling weapon abilities and the ability to deal any type of physical damage. Interestingly, the Empowered Natural Weapons blade skill makes this archetype better at natural attacks than the Feral Heart.SpoilerEmpowered Strikes****: After a move action, your unarmed attacks deal 1d6 (or the normal unarmed damage, if higher) bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. The ability to deal different damage types as an unarmed combatant is a great advantage over other unarmed classes at low levels.
Enhanced Strikes*****: Exactly the same as Enhanced Mind Blade, but for unarmed attacks. This is arguably better than the normal soulknife ability, as unarmed strikes cannot be enhanced normally and an Amulet of Mighty Fists can only get a total enhancement bonus of +5.
Unarmed Assault****: Get IUS as a bonus feat and the Flurry of Fists blade skill. This is a level in monk under a different name. Do note that Flurry of Fists does not stack with a monkís flurry or any other effects that grant extra attacks on a full attack.
Psychokinetic Discharge*: When empowered, your unarmed attacks can be made at range. The range is awful and the normal recharge time is required, making this just as bad as the ability this replaces.
Blade Skills***: Deadly Fists gain the following unique blade skills
- Empowered Natural Weapons***: Any natural weapons you possess gain the effects of the Empowered Strikes ability and may be used with the Flurry of Fists blade skill. For characters attempting to use natural attacks, this is actually pretty good.
- Improved Psychokinetic Discharge***: Increasing the range of psychokinetic discharge and allowing full attacks (with Flurry of Fists) at a much earlier level than the Multiple Throw blade skill is good, but donít expect to use this ability too often.
Feral Heart**: A Feral Heartís psionic energy does not form a mind blade, but instead creates bestial claws and gains a bestial transformation. The Feral Heart is not compatible with any other soulknife archetype.
Final Verdict**: This archetype is a pretty big disappointment. If the Enhanced Claws ability would apply to all of the Feral Heartís natural weapons, or if there were blade skills to increase the number of natural attacks beyond a simple pair of claws and a bite, this archetype would be much better. As is, the archetype fails to support a natural weapons style enough to make it overcome the massive loss of Blade Skills. If you want to use a natural weapon focused soulknife, use Deadly Fist with Empowered Natural Weapons.SpoilerForm Claws**: The Feral Heart gains the ability to form two 1d4 slashing and bludgeoning damage claws as a move action. A strict downgrade from the standard soulknife, as the ability to change damage types is one of the soulknifeís best advantages over other classes at low levels. The damage is pitiful, with a worse critical threat range. Being forced to activate the ability if damage is taken makes it even worse, though the Will DC is low.
Improved Claws**: This brings the claw damage up to par with light mind blade damage, but you lose the normal bonus feat.
Tenacious*: This ability gives almost no temp hp when it matters most, though it can be used more frequently once the Feral Heart reaches 5th level and has a way of easily refreshing psionic focus. With how many options soulknives get with their psionic focus, this ability is awful in comparison.
Feral Roar****: Make an Intimidate check to demoralize as a move action, and it can be used as part of a charge. Pretty good.
Blade Skills**: Feral Hearts have a very limited list of blade skills they may choose, but gain the ability to choose Cutthroat blade skills and the following exclusive blade skills
- Bite****: Gain a bite attack with the same abilities as the claws, but at a reduced enhancement bonus. This is the only other natural weapon that scales with the Enhanced Claws class feature, so it is required.
- Pounce*****: An amazing ability, but it is unfortunate that the Feral Heartís class features only scale off of natural attacks gained from the class.
- Quick Shift***: Form all Feral Heart natural attacks as a free action. This is gained for free at 5th level, but it can be selected earlier, if desired.
- Rake**: Raking is a good way of applying damage to a grapple, but Feral Hearts donít get much more support for grappling.
- Rend****: Rend is a great ability, too bad this blade skill comes around so late.
- Thick Skin***: +2 natural armor is alright.
- Thick Skin, Improved**: Improving the natural armor bonus of Thick Skin by only 1 is not the greatest, but Feral Hearts donít get many choices for blade skills.
Feral Transformation****: A pseudo rage, with bonuses to Strength, Dexterity, and Intimidate checks but penalties to all mental scores. Replacing psychic strike with this is pretty good.
Quick Shift***: See the Quick Shift blade skill. If you choose to pick this blade skill up earlier, this becomes a free blade skill.
Gifted Blade*****: Gifted Blades can not only manifest a mind blade, but also a small collection of psionic powers. The Gifted Blade is compatible with Armored Blade, Augmented Blade, Brutality Blade, Deadly Fist, Nimble Blade, Psychic Armory, Shielded Blade, Soulbolt, and Xephyr archetypes.
*****NOTE: For DMs who want to run a ďHigh PsionicsĒ campaign, it is suggested that the default soulknife be given all of the abilities of this archetype AND psychic strike. Basically, soulknives greatly benefit from the powers granted by this archetype, while having powers and psychic strike at the same time is not something that will unbalance your campaign, even if psychic strike is then used to qualify for another archetype. Soulknives can use all the help they can get, so if you can convince your DM to do this, great!*****
Final Verdict*****: Gaining access to powers from a good list will almost always be superior to psychic strike, and that list can be broadened with Expanded Knowledge. Plus, this archetype opens up the soulknife to a number of good prestige classes.SpoilerManifesting*****: Gain Ranger/Paladin-level manifesting from a specific power list at the cost of psychic strike. An amazing trade. Even with the limited powers available, and even more limited number of powers known, this greatly increases the utility and flexibility of a soulknife.
1st Level Powers
- Astral Traveler*: Far too situational to pick up as a known power. If you really need this, get it in a power stone or dorje.
- Bestow Blade**: Make a copy of your mind blade that lasts for a min per level, but with its enhancement bonus reduced by one. The blade can be given to another person and the augments include increasing the range and making a second weapon. A passable power, but most of the time your allies will already have a weapon they prefer to use and you can split your mind blade into two weapons by default.
- Biofeedback*****: Scaling, unbreakable DR with a passable duration. An excellent in-combat buff.
- Burst***: Sometimes, you gotta go fast. The enhancement bonus wonít stack with most forms of movement increases, but, for a swift action, this is pretty good.
- Call Weaponry*: Utterly worthless, unless you are an Augmented Blade** who desperately needs a weapon. The 1 round casting time is incredibly painful and the duration is poor.
- Chameleon***: Enhancement bonuses to skills are pretty rare and the duration is good, so this is an excellent buff for stealthy soulknives. The bonus is large enough that it can even assist soulknives who arenít specializing in Stealth.
- Charge Psychic Strike****: As a move action, charge your psychic strike with +1d8 extra damage (or add a normal 1d8 psychic strike, if you donít posses the feature). The augments are passable, and for Gifted Blades who donít have to give up psychic strike, this gives a good damage boost to their psychic strike.
- Conceal Thoughts*: While this power can be very useful, leave this to another class who can afford to spend powers known on utility.
- Deaden Attack*: This combos well with the Enforcer feat, but the duration is poor, the merciful weapon ability is on the mind blade list, and Cornugon Smash is usually a better option for soulknives wishing to Intimidate their targets.
- Detect Psionics*: Another useful power that should be left to another class.
- Distract*: Your selection of social skills is practically zero. Skip this.
- Elfsight*: LLV and a bonus to Perception checks isnít too bad, but you really canít afford to know powers with limited utility.
- Empty Mind***: A Gifted Bladeís Will save should be their highest, but there are times where boosting your saving throw even higher is required. A passable option.
- Expansion*****: A soulknifeís job description is ďHit Things.Ē This power makes you much better at that job. Take this at some point, unless you are Dex-focused.
- Float*: The duration for this power is pitiful and the benefit is not particularly useful unless you are in a campaign that takes place solely at sea. Skip this.
- Force Screen****: For most soulknives this is a strong combat buff. +4 AC is a pretty good amount at low levels, but the duration prevents it from being amazing.
- Fortify*: While this can give a very large Resistance bonus to saves with augments, it wonít stack with a Cloak of Resistance and the duration forces this into a single combat buff. Skip it.
- Grip of Iron*: Grappling is not well supported for soulknives, skip this.
- Inertial Armor*: With light and medium armor proficiency, this power will usually be worse than just wearing armor, especially when armor enhancements become available.
- Metaphysical Weapon****: Almost completely useless at the level this becomes available, as a soulknifeís mind blade will be a +1 weapon. At higher levels, this power becomes stronger, as all but one of your mind bladeís enhancement bonus can be applied towards special abilities, with this power shoring up the actual bonus to attack and damage.
- My Light*: Again, Gifted Blades gain far too few powers known to select a power with such limited utility. Get a torch or pick a race with Darkvision.
- Precognition, Defensive****: Insight bonuses are fairly rare and the augment is relatively cheap. A great in-combat buff option.
- Precognition, Offensive****: As Defensive Precognition, but for attacks.
- Precognition, Tactical**: Both the duration and the bonus are too small to make this power worth taking for anyone other than dedicated trippers or dirty trick users.
- Prescience, Offensive****: As Defensive and Offensive Precognition, but for damage.
- Prevenom Weapon*: This power only lasts for a single attack and deals two points of Con damage if the target fails both saves. Not worth a power.
- Skate*: Burst will almost always be a better option for increasing movement speed; the standard action manifesting time really kills this power.
- Synesthete****: A power with amazing utility, this is versatile enough to actually warrant a power known, unlike most other options at this level.
- Thicken Skin****: Barkskin, but psionic. An excellent defensive buff. The 10 minute per level duration is gravy.
- Vigor*****: One of the best defensive buffs with an amazing augment. Take this.
- Body Adjustment*: Out of combat healing is better suited to wands or dorjes. Skip it.
- Body Equilibrium*: This power has cool visuals, but will generally not be useful. For a campaign taking place at sea, this is much better****.
- Body Purification**: Ability score damage can be very crippling, but other classes are better at removing it. Leave this to another class.
- Cloud Mind*: Your saving throw DCs likely wonít be as high as a full caster and this power is mind-affecting. If you want to sneak past something, invest in your Stealth check instead.
- Concealing Amorpha****: Concealment is a great defensive buff and benefits stealthy soulknives even more. The standard action manifesting time is annoying, but can be worked around.
- Defy Gravity**: The extra mobility provided by this power is restrictive and the penalties for attacking are harsh, but it does the job as a weaker Fly. Generally, one of the mobility-providing blade skills, a friendly casterís spell, or an item will be superior.
- Detect Hostile Intent*: While an interesting effect, this is far too situational to be taken as a known power. Leave this to other classes.
- Dimension Swap***: Need to save your squishy ally from that powerful melee enemy? What about shuffling around your allies to force your opponents into harder choice for their AoEs? A nice tactical ability, but the standard action casting time prevents this power from being truly amazing.
- Dissolving Weapon*: 4d6 acid damage for a standard action would be great when most classes would gain this power, but Gifted Blades donít get this until 7th level and the augmentís scaling is poor.
- Endorphin Surge*: A low-powered barbarian rage with an awful duration. Skip it.
- Energy Adaptation, Specified****: Energy resistance that does not require extra power points for scaling for a solid duration is great. Being able to use this power as an immediate action for 4 more power points is just gravy. With the duration of 10 minutes per level, even the restriction to your active energy type is mostly neutered.
- Feat Leech*: While this power allowed for some ridiculously broken combos in 3.5, psicrystals donít gain feats in Pathfinder, removing the majority of the stupid things this could do. Additionally, stealing feats from your allies is both rude and a bookkeeping nightmare.
- Heightened Vision**: Darkvision is a good ability and the duration is substantial at an hour per level. However, this may not be worth taking a power for. Most soulknives will be better served by picking up an ioun stone or getting darkvision via their race.
- Mindscramble**: Perform a single attack that deals extra nonleathal damage and stuns on a failed Will save. Targeting Will for a stun isnít too bad, but needing to get through power resistance alongside your poorer-than-a-full-manifester save DCs hurts this power.
- Prowess***: Gain an additional AoO, even if your allotted number is used. Most AoO-focused builds get plenty of AoOs from Combat Reflexes, but occasions may arise when they are all exhausted. A passable option.
- Psionic Scent*: Scent is a good tracking ability, but soulknives donít get Survival natively and needing to track a target is a rare occurrence. Skip this.
- Sustenance*: This is better as a power stone or dorje, not as a power known.
- Thought Shield**: Power resistance 13 is laughable by the time this power is available, though the augment scales fairly well. However, the Empty Mind power will likely serve you better.
- Wall Walker**: While this power is somewhat situational, relying on walls or ceilings, the extra mobility it provides is nice. Like Defy Gravity, there are far better options for improving your mobility.
- Concealing Amorpha, Greater****: A shorter duration than the standard version of the power, but with a much better defensive bonus. Honestly, both powers donít last long enough to be considered anything but in-combat buffs, so the reduced duration isnít too big of a deal.
- Dimension Slide*: The Ghost Step blade skill is superior in every way but requiring your psionic focus. Take that instead.
- Ectoplasmic Grapnel**: A decent mobility power with some utility. The biggest problem with this power is that the ectoplasm can only be shot once, heavily reducing the mobility it could provide.
- Empathic Feedback*: Mind-affecting, a Will save, and power resistance heavily reduces the viability of this power, on top of it requiring you to get hit in the first place. Skip it.
- Escape Detection**: The ability to ignore some methods of magical detection is nice for a stealthy soulknife, but this should be left to another class who gets more powers.
- Evade Burst***: (Improved) Evasion is a good defensive ability, but with a good Reflex save and a solid hp pool, most Reflex-based attacks shouldnít be hurting you too much. The ability to manifest this as an immediate action both helps and hurts this power: if it was a medium duration buff (say 10 mins/lvl) this power would be very strong, but if it was a short duration buff, the power would be substantially worse.
- Form Astral Armor*****: Gain a suit of astral armor, like the Aegis class, with 5 customization points. Gain customizations for the astral armor using your manifester level in place of Aegis level. The casting time is annoying and the duration isnít great, but this grants a ton of versatility. Astral armor customization can grant a large number of benefits, and the ability to get even more customization points via augmentation is great!
- Graft Armor**: Increasing max Dex by 1 and reducing the ACP by 1 for 24 hours is an okay effect, but it is probably not worth the power known.
- Graft Weapon*: Five power points for what amounts to a +1 competence bonus on attacks and damage is not a good trade. Skip this.
- Hustle*****: One of the best powers printed for a martial character: gain a move action at the cost of a swift action.
- Mental Barrier*: The duration of this power is very short and the bonus will not stack with a Ring of Protection, which you better have by the time this power becomes available (11th level). For low-wealth campaigns, this is much better****.
- Physical Acceleration*****: Haste is a great defensive/offensive buff, and the ability to augment it to a swift action is even better. The only reason to not take this is if your friendly caster is willing to use their action to cast it.
- Psionic Lionís Charge*****: Pounce is an amazing ability and the augment can add damage onto charges very quickly.
- Sharpened Edge***: Keen is an ability on the mind blade list and wonít stack with this. However, if you were going to select Keen anyway, this frees up another point of enhancement bonus.
- Ubiquitous Vision****: Immunity to flanking and a bonus to Perception checks for 10 minutes a level is a solid buff.
- Vampiric Blade***: Free healing on attacks is nice, but both the healing and duration are small. This is better the larger your soulknife becomes, which combos well with the Expansion power.
- Energy Adaptation****: Exactly the same as the Specified version of this power, but the energy type is chosen at the time of manifesting, instead of your active energy type. Generally speaking, the level two version will be superior, as the ability to ignore your active energy type is not worth four more power points. Both are solid options, however.
- Fold Space*: The Cleave Space blade skill is superior in all aspects other than requiring psionic focus. Save your power points and powers known: take the blade skill if you want a longer range teleport.
- Immovability*: This power could lead to the defining moment of your campaign, but it will more likely rot away in your powers known list, unused, as the situations where this power will shine are few and far between.
- Inertial Barrier***: Biofeedback provides one less DR for the same power point cost and can scale beyond this power. The only benefit this power has over Biofeedback is the longer duration.
- Psychic Reformation*****: One of the best powers in the game for its ability to swap options that are amazing at low levels, but fall off as the game progresses, with high level powerhouses. Learn this power once it is available and use it to reassign your options to better fit the current level, removing it from your powers known list at the same time. This power is not worth keeping in your known list. If you need to use it again, wait till you add a new power to your list or use a power stone.
- Slip the Bonds*****: Freedom of Movement under another name. An excellent option.
- Steadfast Perception****: A weaker True Seeing effect without the expensive material component and a similar duration. An excellent buff.
- Tactile Telekinesis***: Gain a large circumstance bonus to Str for weight capacity or breaking objects, gain the rock throwing special ability, and a bonus to attack and damage. The Str bonus will usually not be particularly useful, and the rock throwing ability is hilarious, but the big reason to use this power is for the circumstance bonus to all attacks and damage for a minute per level. A passable buff power.
- Truevenom Weapon**: The swift action manifesting time saves this power from standing alongside its level one counterpart in the dumpster pile, but the Constitution damage adds up very slowly, to the point where any target that can fail the Fort saves will likely be pulped by normal attacks over the same duration.
- Weapon of Energy**: This power stacks with the energy damaging weapon special abilities, but the low duration and pitiful damage makes this an unattractive choice for most soulknives. The crit damage makes this passable*** on crit fishing builds.
- Astral Construct*****: Like a summon monster spell, but far more versatile. One of the most flexible powers ever printed.
- Battle Transformation*****: Gain a luck bonus to attack/damage/Str checks, temp hp, and an extra attack when full attacking. An insane buff with a number of very good augments.
- Circumstance Shield****: An insight bonus to Initiative that lasts an hour per level, with the option to discharge the power to gain a bonus to a single Reflex save.
- Flight***: Does what is says on the tin, though the duration is short and the power isnít available until level 15 for a Gifted Blade.
- Inevitable Strike****: True Strike, but may be manifested as a swift action for a smaller, but not insignificant, attack bonus.
- (Minor) Metamorphosis*****: An excellent buff power with a great selection of bonuses. A very flexible power.
- Quintessence*****: Quintessence freezes in time objects coated by it. The options provided by this is pretty crazy, but most of them will be up to DM adjudication. Still, the stuff is pretty cool.
- Schism*****: Split your mind into two pieces. Your second mind can take a standard action every round, as long as the action is purely mental, which includes manifesting powers (albeit at a manifester level penalty). Additionally, the Psionic Meditation feat allows your second mind to gain psionic focus. An excellent power, even with the short duration.
- Sidestep****: Being able to no-sell a single melee attack for 3 power points can be very nice.
- Share Pain*****: When combined with a psicrystal and the Vigor power, this creates an amazing combo that greatly increases the survivability of the soulknife. This is best illustrated by an example: consider a tenth level Gifted Blade with exactly 100 hp, giving her psicrystal 50 hp. She manifests Vigor, augmenting the power to its maximum 8 power points, gaining both her and her psicrystal 40 temp hp via the Share Powers ability. With Share Pain active, half of the damage taken by the Gifted Blade is given to the psicrystal. The first 80 damage taken in a fight would be split between her and her psicrystal, removing only the temp hp granted by Vigor. The next 100 damage would also be split, saving the Gifted Blade from death at the cost of her psicrystal, with the Gifted Bladeís hp still mostly intact at 50. Not to mention, the Gifted Blade could always manifest Vigor again, before the psicrystal perished, effectively gaining 80 hp again. If your DM allows the psicrystalís hardness to be applied to the damage redirected by this power, this power becomes even better. Note that even AoE spells, powers, and abilities will likely be redirected by this power, as psicrystals come with Improved Evasion and use their masterís saves.
- Strength of My Enemy****: Deal Str damage on every attack, gaining a corresponding enhancement bonus to your Str. The duration for this power is very short, but one of the augments allows it to be manifested as a swift action.
- Wind Strike*****: Only an option if you multiclass into Marksman for at least a level, but WOW! Activate a use of the Wind Reader class feature and manifest this power as a swift action to make all successful ranged attacks this round daze the target, with no save! The daze duration of one round doesnít stack, so this is best used to target multiple opponents with a ranged Whirlwind Attack-type of ability. Soulknives have access to a number of Whirlwind Attack effects, so this can basically give a free round to your allies! Even knocking out the boss and a henchmen or two for a round with a full attack is almost certainly worth the power points for this power.
- Zealous Fury*****: Reduce the penalty to hit on iteratives by 5 for a round. Soulknives like to full attack, which this power helps greatly. The augments for this power are also great.
- Mental Power****: Learn an additional power from the gifted blade power list and gain 2 more power points. Extra learned powers are always nice, especially with how few powers the Gifted Blade knows.
Last edited by Battleship789; 2021-04-08 at 12:47 AM.
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- Sep 2008
Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterArchetypes, Part 2
Ghostblade***: Members of the Ghostblade archetype forge their mind blades from the spiritual energy of spirits of the dead, both positive and negative. The Ghostblade is compatible with the Armored Blade, Augmented Blade, Deadly Fist, Nimble Blade, Psychic Armory, Shielded Blade, Soulbolt, and Xephyr archetypes.
Final Verdict***: The biggest benefit to this archetype is the ability to use positive or negative energy for attacks. Still, the remaining abilities are not very strong, with the possible exception of Shadow Critical for parties with a good deal of positive/negative energy damage.SpoilerClass Skills***: Ghostblades gain Knowledge (religion) as a class skill. Knowledge (religion) is pretty useful for identifying undead and religious symbols, but not the best skill overall.
Spiritís Blade***: Psychic strike deals negative energy damage or positive energy damage against undead. This is a strange ability, as the standard psychic strike does untyped damage, which is almost universally better than negative/positive energy. Still, in a campaign with a large number of undead, this can be pretty strong.
Blade of Life and Death*: As a move action, expend psionic focus and psychic strike to heal an ally for psychic strike damage. A creature may only benefit from this effect once per day. Free healing is nice, but psychic strike scales poorly and this can only be used once per day per creature. Not worth the blade skill you lose.
Blade Skills*****: Ghostblades can choose any of the standard blade skills, plus the following unique blade skills
- Brilliant Flash*: Like the Firestorm line of blade skills, but for Light Blade. If a creature struck by the psionic focus portion of the Light Blade blade skill is still adjacent to you at the beginning of your turn, blind it and every enemy within 10 ft until the end of your next turn, with a Fort save reducing the blind to a dazzle. Blind is a passable condition to inflict, but a Fort save and still requiring the target to stay adjacent to you makes this ability absolutely garbage.
- Dark Curse*: Like the Firestorm line of blade skills, but for Night Blade. If a creature struck by the psionic focus portion of the Night Blade blade skill is still adjacent to you at the beginning of your turn, all enemies (including the original target) with 10 ft of the target take 1d6 extra negative energy damage from all attacks until the end of your next turn, with a Will save preventing the effect. While potential better than Firestorm, the Will save to negate the effect is a big downgrade. And the target has to still be adjacent to you! An awful blade skill.
- Shadow Critical*****: On a successful critical hit, expend psionic focus to give the target vulnerability to positive or negative energy until the end of the next turn. This is a pretty sizable damage boost for the Spiritís Blade feature when used in conjunction with the Improved Psychic Strike feat, or with the Light/Night Blade blade skills.
- Light Blade***: Normal attacks with the mind blade can deal positive energy damage and expend psionic focus to dazzle a creature for no save and heal psychic strike dice worth of damage. Dazzle is a very weak status and healing for psychic strike in exchange for psionic focus is not worth the cost.
- Night Blade****: Mind blade attacks can deal negative energy damage and expend psionic focus to deal 1d6 extra negative energy damage until the end of your next turn. Negative energy will usually be more useful than positive energy, and extra damage is better than a dazzle + small heal.
Living Legend*****: A Living Legend knows that the greatest stories are a power unto themselves, and use their bodies as a vessel for the powers of those legends. The Living Legend is not compatible with any other soulknife archetype.
Final Verdict*****: Living Legend adds a ton of features to the default soulknife in exchange for psychic strike and a few blade skills. An easy trade to make in my opinion. The various storied blades are quite good, with numerous features that can improve a soulknife.SpoilerClass Skills****: Living Legend is an Int-focused archetype, and the additional class skills help to bolster the lackluster soulknife list, gaining all Knowledge skills, Linguistics, and Perform.
Scholar****: Use Intelligence instead of Wisdom for soulknife abilities, as well as soulknife-related prestige classes. Like the Brutality Blade, this allows a Living Legend to be very Int-SAD by taking the Focused Offense blade skill. However, unlike the Brutality Blade, the Living Legend does not have abilities that encourage it away from the mental stat. In fact, Living Legend promotes Intelligence heavily, with a number of class features that scale off the stat.
Protagonist****: Living Legends channel the very archetypes of stories, using them as a ďtemplateĒ for their powers. After an hour of concentration, study, and meditation in a ritual called a seance, the Living Legend takes on two of the following mythological roles: the Archmage, Champion, Guardian, Hierophant, Marshal, Overmind, and Trickster. These two roles stay with him for 24 hours or until expelled as a full-round action. The Living Legend has a passive and active role, and may switch them as a swift action. The active role bestows a number of powers (with ratings of Lesser at 1st, Intermediate at 4th, Greater at 10th, and Supreme at 16th), but both roles provide Narrative benefits, as well as taboos that must be avoided. If a taboo is broken, a -2 penalty on attacks, damage, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws for 1 hour is applied to the Living Legend. While the various abilities of the roles are quite strong, the seance must be completed for access to the roles, and anything that prevents the hour required for a seance nullifies the vast majority of the Living Legendís class features.
Storied Blade*****: Each of the roles available to the Living Legend has a unique mind blade, with different abilities and forms. Unless noted, the mind blades can be used like any other mind blade, with damage type and handedness determined like a normal soulknife. The Archmage, Champion, and Trickster forms of the mind blade may not be shaped to different mind blade handedness, but the others may all be changed as if the Living Legend possessed the normal Shape Mind Blade class feature.
Shape Mind Blade****: As a full-round action, change the form of the mind blade between the active and passive blade forms. When switching forms as a swift action, the mind blade of the to-be active form may be shaped for free. When performing a seance, the Living Legend may change the enhancement bonus of his various mind blades. A pretty nice upgrade over the standard soulknife.Spoiler
- Archmage*****: The Mystic Might of the Archmage is a purely ranged mind blade with a range increment of 60 ft that deals 1d10 piercing/bludgeoning/slashing with a 19-20/x2 crit. The weapon adds your Intelligence modifier to damage normally, and adds Int to attack with the Focused Offense blade skill. Additionally, you may make as many attacks as you are able to in a round, with no restrictions.
- Champion*****: The Thousand Blades of the Champion takes the form of any melee weapon you are proficient with, except for technological weapons. This weapon form may be changed once per round as a free action, but only one weapon may be materialized at a time (double weapons are allowed.)
- Guardian****: The Dependable Steel of the Guardian is a normal mind blade, but with its reach increased by 5 ft.
- Hierophant*****: The Sacred Relic of the Hierophant is a normal mind blade, but it only deals nonlethal damage. Very strong for Intimidate-focused Living Legends, but unnecessary for other soulknives.
- Marshal***: The Brilliant Banner of the Marshal is a normal mind blade, but it glows with a light that only your allies can see. All allies within 20 ft gain a bonus on saving throws vs mind-affecting effects equal to the mind bladeís enhancement bonus. The untyped bonus is nice, but this blade form is fairly forgettable.
- Overmind*: The Pristine Brand of the Overmind is a normal mind blade that absorbs psionic power. As a swift action, charge the mind blade with psychic strike. If psychic strike is not possessed, the blade deals no extra damage, but is still counted as charged for the purpose of feats, abilities, and prerequisites that require psychic strike. By default, the Living Legend does not gain psychic strike, which sort of defeats the purpose of being able to charge it as a swift action.
- Trickster****: The Invisible Blade of the Trickster is one or more light or one-handed mind blades, but are nearly invisible. While wielding this mind blade, Bluff checks to feint and the dirty trick combat maneuver may be made as move actions. If the ability may already be used as a move action, use them as a swift action instead. Swift action dirty tricks is pretty sweet.
Protagonistís Portrayal*****: Gain the benefit of a different feat, depending on the current active form. Additionally, all of these feats may be used as prerequisites, but any associated abilities/feats may only be used when the Living Legend is in the active role with the prerequisite feat. If the Living Legend already knows one of the form feats, he may select a new one to replace it, but it must be the same type of feat as its predecessor (general, combat, psionic, etc.)
Blade Skills****: The Living Legend loses access to a number of blade skills, mostly different forms of the mind blade, and many other blade skills are adapted to only work with the Living Legendís default or form mind blades. Many of the blade skills lost are fairly good, so this is a bit of downgrade.Spoiler
- Archmage*****: Precise Shot
- Champion*****: Power Attack
- Guardian*****: Combat Reflexes (Based on the higher of Dexterity or Intelligence)
- Hierophant*****: Enforcer
- Marshal**: Lookout
- Overmind***: Psionic Weapon
- Trickster****: Dirty Fighting
Legendary Stunts*****: The Living Legend gains a number of unique blade skills that may be chosen at any time a normal blade skill could be chosen. However, they only work when the Living Legend is inhabited by a role:
- Defenderís Oath*****: While psionically focused, as a swift action mark an opponent. The opponent takes a -2 penalty on all attacks that do not target the Living Legend and all saving throws have their DCs reduced by 2 if they do not target the Living Legend or include them in the area, with the penalties scaling up to 5 at 20th level. Additionally, while in the Guardian role, deal extra damage equal to half class level on every successful attack against the marked target. Only one target may be marked at a time. A very powerful challenge ability.
- High Wizardís Fury****: As a standard action, expend psionic focus to shatter the Living Legendís mind blade into a cone of mental energy. The cone has a range of 5 ft per two class levels and deals 1d6 piercing and slashing damage per class level, with a Reflex save for half damage. When in the Archmage role, the damage may be the same type as the active energy type. A short ranged cone isnít the greatest damaging shape, but it can still be useful.
- Mark of the Heretic***: As a standard action, expend psionic focus and make a single attack with a mind blade. On a successful hit, deal damage as normal and brand the opponent, forcing a penalty to attacks, damage, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws for one hour. Once per day, while in the Hierophant role, the brand and penalty can be made permanent until a Remove Curse spell is cast on the target. The permanent brand is super annoying, but not crippling.
- Now You See Me*****: While psionically focused, the Living Legend can hide himself as long as a shadow (not his own) is within 10 ft. While the active role is the Trickster, the Living Legend can use the Stealth skill while being observed. Very nice for a stealthy soulknife!
- Paint the Target**: As a free action after successfully hitting an opponent with a mind blade, expend psionic focus to mark the target that only the Living Legend and his allies may see. The mark lasts for Int mod round and any attacks during that time frame may activate the mark as a free action, making the attack as a touch attack. While the Living Legendís role is Marshal, the mark also casts light as a torch for allies of the Living Legend, and the marked cannot use Stealth to hide from the Living Legend and their allies. The touch attack is nice, but the other parts of this blade skill are sadly lacking.
- Secret Techniques****: Gain the benefits of a combat feat while a role is inhabiting the Living Legend. Additionally, if one of the Living Legendís roles is the Champion, the feat can be changed after 10 minutes of training drills. A floating combat feat is pretty good.
- Tap Potential****: Gain a power from the Psion/Wilder list as a PLA, and additional PLAs as the Living Legend increases in strength, with manifester level equal to class level, usable once per day. While the active role of the Living Legend is the Overmind, increase the manifester level of the PLAs by his mind bladeís enhancement bonus. Being limited to once a day per PLA is annoying, but this does grant some flexibility and utility.
Quick-Change****: Switch the passive and active roles as a free action, up to Int mod times a day, on any turn.
Written Into History**: As long as a spellcaster knows of the Living Legendís story and deeds, they can be brought back to life with raise dead, resurrection, etc. with no material components, corpse, or even a piece of his body, with no negative levels. A very cool ability, but it only works when you are already dead.
SpoilerArchmage*****: The arcane/ranged combat role of the Living Legend.
- Narrative*****: While psionically focused, the Archmage gains an insight bonus on Intelligence checks and Intelligence-based skills equal to the maximum enhancement bonus of the Living Legendís mind blade. Free bonuses to skill checks are always appreciated!
- Taboos**: Select one of the following taboos
- *Cannot be a willing target of divine spells/abilities and must make saving throws against all divine spells/abilities. An awful taboo. Never take this.*
- ***Cannot pass up the opportunity to learn a nontrivial piece of information with a Knowledge DC 20 or higher. This can be distracting, but it isnít crippling like the previous taboo.***
- **Must use a magical or psionic solution to a challenge if possible, even if a mundane solution would be easier or more feasible. Annoying, especially if your party is trying to be stealthy, but not too bad.**
- Wizardry (Lesser)***: Use spell completion/spell trigger items as a Wizard of your class level. Additionally, the Mystic Might of the Archmage mind blade can deal your active energyís type.
- Adept Analysis (Intermediate)*****: Based on your Knowledge check to identify a creature, gain a scaling insight bonus to attack and damage vs creatures of that type. Knowledge Devotion from 3.5 is back!
- Arcane Artillery (Greater)**: When wielding the Mystic Might of the Archmage mind blade, as a swift action, expend your psionic focus to give your ranged attacks a 5 ft radius burst for one round. Usually, enemies wonít be clustered together enough for this to work.
- Legendary Archmage (Supreme)*****: Once per day, cast any spell on the Sorcerer/Wizard list, up to a level equal to your maximum mind blade enhancement, with caster level equal to your class level. All expensive material components have to be provided, but this gives insane flexibility, even with the once per day restriction.
- Narrative***: As the Archmage, but for Strength. Also gain proficiency with a single melee weapon. Not as useful as the Archmageís narrative, but not bad.
- Taboos***: Select one of the following taboos
- *Cannot be a willing target of arcane spells/abilities and must make saves against all arcane spells/abilities. An awful taboo, though not quite as bad as the divine version.*
- *****Choose a weapon group to favor. If a weapon outside the group is used, the taboo is broken. The mind blade is always considered to be in the group chosen, unless it is in the form of a specific weapon (the Thousand Blades of the Champion mind blade.) This is probably the hardest taboo to break, making this the best choice for a taboo.*****
- **Accept any and all challenges to prove your prowess in battle, with no exceptions. Annoying and potentially fatal if you come across someone stronger than you.**
- Grounded (Lesser)*****: Gain a bonus on saving throws vs. all magical effects (powers, spells, PLAs, SLAs, supernatural abilities) equal to one quarter class level. Also, expend psionic focus as a free action to make a second saving throw against a magical effect affecting you. Effectively the benefits of the Superstition rage power with none of the drawbacks.
- Combat Mastery (Intermediate)****: Once per round, when striking an opponent, make free bull rush, disarm, sunder, or trip attempt that does not provoke AoOs. Free combat maneuvers!
- Lightning Rush (Greater)*****: While psionically focused, move up to your speed as a swift action (still provoking AoOs), but expend your psionic focus to move as a free action that does not provoke AoOs. Repeatable swift/free action movement!
- Legendary Champion (Supreme)*****: Once per day, expend psionic focus to create a zone of dead magic, emulating the Null-Psionics Field power that lasts for half your class level rounds and does not impede you at all. Hostile effects on you are suppressed, while beneficial effects, items, and abilities are not impeded. For 8 to 10 rounds you become an Initiate of Mystra from 3.5!
- Narrative*****: While psionically focused, gain temp hp equal to twice your class level, resetting after regaining psionic focus. An insane amount of durability can be gained with this ability and any way to easily spend/regain psionic focus.
- Taboos****: Select one of the following taboos
- ***You must always protect others from danger, including defeated enemies. Potentially problematic, but not too far away from your normal operation.***
- ****You must never let your comrades die, breaking this taboo every time an ally drops below 0 hp. Hopefully your allies donít make a habit of dying...****
- *****You must defend a specific group or type of people, based on the role you are playing. This is pretty easy to use with the proper group selection.*****
- Unyielding Shield (Lesser)****: While wielding a mind blade, a psionic shield floats near you, granting a shield bonus to AC (and touch AC) equal to 2 + your mind bladeís enhancement bonus. This shield doesnít require a hand to use. An excellent defensive ability.
- Absorb Blow (Intermediate)****: Gain DR/- and resistance to acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic damage equal to half your class level. Expend psionic focus as an immediate action to grant the DR and resistances to an ally within 30 ft for one round. A very nice defensive ability, but it is a shame the elemental resistances scale so slowly.
- Interpose (Greater)**: Whenever an ally would be hit by an attack/effect, expend psionic focus as an immediate action to move up to your speed to the ally, not provoking AoOs. If you end adjacent to the ally, the attack/effect targets you instead. While it would be better to negate the effect outright, you can take it, right?
- Legendary Guardian (Supreme)*****: Once per day as an immediate action, ignore an attack against you. Much better than Interpose, and they can even be used in conjunction!
- Narrative****: As the Archmage, but for Wisdom. Also, gain an alignment aura, like a cleric.
- Taboos*****: Choose one of the following taboos
- *****Must follow a code of conduct appropriate to a deity or philosophy tied to your current role. Depending on your DM/deity/philosophy, this can either be extremely easy to follow, or a massive pain in the rear.*****
- **May not speak any deliberate lies. While not very difficult in principle, there is a high chance this taboo will be broken on accident.**
- *****You may not tolerate blasphemy, of any sort. Depending on your campaign, this may be either easy or very difficult to follow.*****
- Power of Faith (Lesser)****: Chose a cleric domain or subdomain, gaining the domainís granted power as a cleric of your Living Legend level, using Intelligence instead of Wis/Cha. Depending on the choice of (sub)domain, this can be a very useful ability.
- Energy Font (Intermediate)***: Channel Energy as a cleric of your class level a number of times equal to 1 + Int mod per day. Choose whether to use positive or negative energy when performing the seance to inhabit the role and your mind blade is treated as a holy symbol for Hierophant abilities while in the Hierophant role.
- Denounce (Greater)**: 3/day expend psionic focus to banish an extraplanar creature, as with a Dismissal spell. Situationally useful.
- Legendary Hierophant (Supreme)*****: Once per day, gain the effects of a Miracle spell that does not require powdered diamond. Miracle is extremely powerful, even when limited to the no-cost list.
- Narrative***: As the Archmage, but for Charisma. Also, you may use aid another as a move action.
- Taboos**: Choose one of the following taboos
- **You and your allies must allow retreating enemies to leave. This taboo depends heavily on convincing your allies to follow your taboo. Try to stay away from that.**
- *You may never leave an ally behind or sacrifice another ally, including summons. You would think this taboo would be passable, but the summons line cripples this.*
- **You must spread your own legend, even if it would be inappropriate. Annoying and potentially dangerous.**
- The ďIĒ in Team (Lesser)****: While psionically focused, share 1 (or 2 at 10th level) teamwork feat(s) you know with all allies within 30 ft. Teamwork feats can be quite strong, but it can be a hassle to get your allies to take them. This bypasses that problem!
- Inspiring Call (Intermediate)****: As a standard action, all allies who can see and hear you gain a competence bonus to either saves or attack and damage equal to half the maximum mind blade enhancement bonus for one round. This gives a fairly sizable bonus to the stats in question, but the action time is a problem until higher levels, where it reduces to a move/swift action. Higher levels also allow a dedicated support to use both the attack/damage and save versions by spending two actions, as the ability has no limit to its uses.
- Decisive Strike (Greater)****: 3/day, expend psionic focus as a swift action to grant an ally a free melee or ranged attack. Or use a standard action to give a standard action to the ally instead.
- Legendary Leader (Supreme)*****: Once per day, as a standard action bring an ally back, as with the Resurrection spell. A standard action Resurrection with a range of ďSoundĒ and no material components is pretty insane.
- Narrative**: Gain the Unlocked Talent feat, using Int instead of Cha. At early levels, this is pretty useful, gaining access to a 1st level power that can be changed every day. However, it will fall off as your level increases, as the manifester level does not increase beyond 1.
- Taboos**: Choose one of the following taboos
- ***Always speak your mind and never stay silent. Usually this will be fine, but if you find yourself in a political situation, things can get hairy.***
- **Cannot back down from a mental or willpower contest/challenge. Like the physical contest, this can be extremely dangerous.**
- **Your psionic powers must be used to their fullest and cannot be hidden. Do not take this if stealth must be required!**
- Mentalism (Lesser)***: Similar to the Archmage role, use psionic items as if you were a Psion of your class level. Additionally, gain access to telepathy with a range of 5 ft per class level.
- Telekinetic Blade (Intermediate)***: Gain the benefits of the Two-Handed Throw blade skill, or increase the range increment of thrown mind blades by 50%, if the blade skill is already known. While psionically focused, your mind blade does damage as a weapon one size larger. At 10th level, once per round expend psychic strike as a free action to increase the critical multiplier of the mind blade by 1 for a round. Throwing your mind blade is pretty bad, as we have already discussed, but the other effects of this power are fine.
- Mindís Eye (Greater)*****: While psionically focused, if a creature with 3+ Int is within line of effect its position is automatically known, except for creatures with immunity to mind-affecting effects or spells/effects like Mind Blank. Not quite Blindsight, but pretty close.
- Legendary Overmind*****: Once per day, no sell an effect that would kill you, whether outright or by hp damage, and move to any spot within 100 ft, healing half of your max hp.
- Narrative****: Like the Archmage, but for Dexterity. Additionally, Disable Device can be used to disarm magic traps, like a Rogue.
- Taboos*: Choose one of the following taboos
- *You cannot reveal your true identity, and if you arenít disguised you must answer to a false name. This is really easy to screw up.*
- *You can never tell the whole truth. Just like never telling a lie, this is way to easy to accidentally break.*
- **If offered more money for a task, you must accept. Potentially damaging to your party, but if you are towards the more evil/chaotic side of the spectrum, this is fine.**
- Tricksterís Edge (Lesser)****: Two skills of your choice become class skills and gain free skill ranks equal to your class level in them (up to a maximum of character level.) These skills may be changed after every seance.
- Sneak Attack (Intermediate)****: Gain 1d6 sneak attack damage at 1st level, scaling by 1d6 every 3 levels after.
- Transfer Magic (Greater)****: Up to once per round, three times per day, make a melee touch attack with your mind blade in place of any other attack to steal a spell of the highest spell level effecting the target, and take it for yourself.
- Legendary Trickster (Supreme)**: Once per day, while making a skill check, choose the d20 result (you get a free 20 on the result.) Additionally, change into another individual as with a Greater Polymorph spell at will. What a letdown after the other Supreme powers.
Moonlight Meditant*****: Some who are infected by lycanthropy manage to control the disease with precise, measured applications of psionic power. The Moonlight Meditant is not compatible with any other soulknife archetype.
Final Verdict*****: The Moonlight Meditant does the natural weapon soulknife right, unlike the Feral Heart, with incredibly scaling for ALL natural weapons and a number of very strong class features.SpoilerTranscendent Werewolf****: Moonlight Meditant canít become a lycanthrope, but gains the shapechanger subtype and a free shifting feat that may be changed after every 8 hours rest. Shifting feats are passable, and a floating feat is always good.
Moonsilver Blade****: Instead of a normal mind blade, the Moonlight Meditant creates a bite or two claws, chosen when the mind blade is formed, that are treated as silver for the purpose of overcoming DR or vulnerabilities. At 6th level, the Moonlight Meditant gains both bite and 2 claws when forming the Moonsilver Blade. A slight downgrade on the normal mind blade, as a bite or 2 claws will usually be weaker than the two-handed mind blade or dual wielding the light mind blade, but there are a large number of synergies with natural weapons that improve this ability.
Savage Pursuit*****: Move up to 5 ft, without provoking AoOs, before each attack with the Moonsilver Blade, increasing the distance moved as the Moonlight Meditant grows stronger. Free movement, with no AoOs, is an amazing ability! And it can be used between every attack!
Blade Skills****: Like the Living Legend, the Moonlight Meditant loses access to a number of blade skills that modify the mind blade.
Enhanced Mind Blade*****: All of the Moonlight Meditantís natural weapons gain a free enhancement bonus, starting at +1 at 3rd level and increasing by 1 ever third level to a maximum of +5 at 15th, in addition to the normal mind blade progression. Thus, a 3rd level Moonlight Meditant has +2 weapons (+1 enhancement bonus and +1 enhancement in special abilities) and a 20th level Moonlight Meditant has +14 weapons (+5 enhancement bonus and +9 enhancement bonus in special abilities.) And the enhancement bonus is fully granted to all natural weapons, with no penalty for multiple mind blades! An excellent class feature!
Moonsilver Body***: Gain DR 1/silver at 3rd level and improve it by 1 every 4 levels. The DR is alright, but it doesnít scale very well.
In Wolvesí Clothing*****: When the mind blade is active, a shell of psychic energy surrounds the Moonlight Meditant, granting temp hp (equal to 2 x class level) and a +10 bonus to all movement types. As long as the Moonlight Meditant has 1 temp hp, gain a deflection bonus of Con mod to AC. Every successful attack with the mind blade restores Con mod temp hp, up to the max (2 x class level.) Also, gain a bonus to Str and Dex and the ability to increase in size as a free action (up to 3 categories at 16th level.) A super packed ability! All of the benefits are insane, though the size increase does not change attributes and does not stack with any other size increases.
Quick Draw****: Like the standard soulknife, but for all blades, and it improves at 15th level to be usable on any turn.
Controlled Composition****: Gain another bonus to Str or Dex, a fly speed with good maneuverability, a swim speed, and a climb speed at the same amount as the land speed. A nice boost in movement versatility, though it does come a little late.
Nimble Blade***: This archetype specializes the soulknife into a Dex-focused path, with abilities that accentuate this. The Nimble Blade is compatible with the Gifted Blade archetype.
Final Verdict***: The only true standout from this archetype is Adaptive Form, the remaining abilities can all be gained via proper feat or blade skill selection. For a Dex soulknife, this is a passable archetype, but the inability to combine this archetype with any of the others (aside from Gifted Blade) is probably its biggest drawback.SpoilerWeapon Finesse****: Gain Weapon Finesse at 1st level. Not much more to say.
Mind Blade Finesse****: Lose proficiency with medium armor and shields, but gain the Mind Blade Finesse blade skill. For a Dex-focused soulknife, this is probably a worthwhile trade, as you can now finesse the two-handed form of the mind blade from the beginning of the game without using a blade skill, while medium armor will have a hard time keeping up with your Dex score.
Piranha Strike***: Piranha Strike is a good feat, but losing access to your first blade skill hurts.
Agile Blade**: Gaining Dex to damage is great, but this is late to the party at level 7. Usually, the Deadly Agility feat will be a superior choice for Dex soulknives and can be chosen as early as 1st level.
Adaptive Form*****: Having a flexible blade skill is amazing, as there are many blade skills that are far too limited in versatility to take up a slot permanently but can still be useful.
Psychic Armory****: A Psychic Armory cannot condense her mental focus into a singular mind blade. Instead, a swirling panoply of blades float around her, which she telekinetically throws to fight. The Psychic Armory is compatible with the Gifted Blade and War Soul archetypes.
Final Verdict****: The Psychic Armory is one of the few ways to competently play a throwing character in Pathfinder, with many abilities that reduce or remove the penalties for the combat style, on top of great blade skills.SpoilerForm Panoply of Blades*****: Instead of a single blade, the Psychic Armory produces 1 + Wis mod floating light and one-handed mind blades, adding the same number of two-handed blades at 2nd level. For each weapon type formed, the Psychic Armory may select the damage type (bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing) and can change the type of any or all members of her panoply as a full round action. The psychic strike class feature charges all of the weapons in her panoply, but it may only be discharged once. The ability to put different damage types on each weapon class helps immensely at early levels and the damage is the same as the normal mind blades. The weapons from the Psychic Armoryís Panoply of Blades are treated as thrown weapons for the purpose of feats, but do not provoke AoOs, threaten all adjacent squares, and use Wisdom for attack/damage. The weapons have a range of 20 ft, 15 ft, and 10 ft, respectively. When thrown, the blades disappear from the panoply, reforming at the start of the Psychic Armoryís next turn. Throwing done right, removing most of the penalties for using thrown weapons, though the range is still very poor. Psionics Augmented Compilation 2 changes this slightly, by not allowing two-handed blades without the Two-Handed Throw blade skill and uses Dexterity to hit instead of Wisdom, though Wisdom to damage is kept (this is changed to Wisdom to hit with the Focused Offense blade skill, like the Living Legend.)
Bonus Feat***: Gain Point Blank Shot or Weapon Focus as a bonus feat. Par for the course.
Blade Skills*****: Psychic Armories lose access to a small number of blade skills and gain access to the following unique blade skills via the Armory Tactics feature
- Hungry Blades****: Threaten an additional 5 ft with your panoply with no drawbacks. Not bad.
- Increased Range*****: This at least triples the range of your panoply with no drawbacks, and the Mind Daggers version has the longest range in the game (outside of spells).
- Mind Daggers*****: Selecting this blade skill as a Psychic Armory adds 1 + Wis mod Mind Daggers to the panoply, instead of being able to manifest them as melee weapons. The thrown range is the same as normal (30 ft), as is the damage. This gives the Psychic Armory a fourth group of blades in her panoply.
- Panoply Counter*****: Psychic Armories should have very high attack bonuses with full BAB, being nearly Wis-SAD, and a large number of abilities that can increase their bonus. Being able to negate any melee or ranged attack, including spells/powers, is amazing.
- Panoply Drive****: A well-scaling, spammable AoE is pretty nice, too bad it allows a Reflex save and the range is somewhat low.
- Panoply Eruption***: This blade skill is an awesome visual, but the times where this will be better than just full attacking are pretty rare. Combined with some form of crowd control, like tripping, this becomes better, but still probably worse than just full attacking.
- Psychic Fortress***: The ability to create terrain at any time is pretty useful, but the wall is fairly squishy and not very large.
- Swirling Panoply*****: The superior option to Panoply Drive, as a 20 ft burst at medium range is better than a 60 ft line.
- Two-Handed Thrower**: Gain the feat, even without meeting the prerequisites. A passable damage boost, assuming this increases the Wisdom damage dealt by the panoply for the two handed mind blade. Otherwise, going from 1d8 to 2d6 with a 10-ft range increment is probably not worth a blade skill slot.
Swift Panoply***: A Psychic Armory may form their panoply as a swift action. Basically unchanged from the default version.
Mastery of the Armory*: A strict downgrade of the normal capstone, as Psychic Armories may not fully reconfigure their Panoply as a full-round action, nor does the (Improved) Fluid Form blade skill lose its penalties.
Shielded Blade***: Shielded Blades get a superior version of the Mind Shield blade skill that scales alongside their mind blade. The Shielded Blade is compatible with the Armored Blade, Gifted Blade, and War Soul archetypes.
Final Verdict***: A very short archetype, but if Sword and Board is your goal for a soulknife, this is probably the best way to do it.SpoilerForm Mind Shield****: Replacing your starting bonus feat with a scaling heavy steel shield is a pretty good trade off and the shield does not have any of the normal drawbacks. The list of shield special abilities available is pretty good, though the shield does suffer the same enhancement bonus penalty as splitting the mind blade into two weapons.
Improved Shield**: Neither Improved Mind Shield or Tower Mind Shield are amazing blade skills (though Tower Mind Shield is more palatable for a Shielded Blade, due to the ďalways proficient with mind shieldĒ clause) and losing your first blade skill for one of them hurts.
Blade Skills****: Shielded Blades gain access to all of the standard blade skills, plus the following unique blade skills
- Deadly Shield***: Gain the ability to use weapon special abilities and apply the enhancement bonus of your mind shield towards attacks. For those who want to focus on shield bashing, this is a strong option, but most other Shielded Blades wonít really want this.
- Grasping Shield***: Free combat maneuvers with no drawbacks are always nice, even if disarm is more restrictive than some.
- Interrupting Throw**: This effectively gives reach to your mind shield for AoOs. Usually, wielding a reach weapon or increasing your size is the superior option.
- Ranged Shield Block****: Being able to block a ranged attack with an attack roll is pretty good, too bad this canít be used on touch attacks.
- Shield Block****: Block a melee attack with an opposed attack roll by expending psionic focus. Pretty good, though it is unfortunate that melee touch attacks cannot be blocked.
Last edited by Battleship789; 2021-04-08 at 01:12 AM.
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterArchetypes, Part 3
Soulbolt****: The Soulbolt does not form a blade from her mind, but a bolt of energy that can be launched at a distance. The Soulbolt is compatible with the Gifted Blade and War Soul archetypes.
Final Verdict****: For ranged soulknives, the Soulbolt does an admirable job, with good support for the style, including a number of strong blade skills. Sadly, the mind bolt is generally inferior to most of the best ranged weapons, but that can be remedied with the appropriate blade skill.SpoilerBonus Feat***: Both feats are appropriate choices for a ranged character. On par with the normal soulknifeís feat choices.
Form Mind Bolt****: As a move action, form a mind bolt that is either long (100 ft), medium (60 ft), or short (20 ft) range, dealing 1d6, 1d8, or 1d10 damage, respectively, with a 19-20/x2 crit. The mind bolt deals bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing damage, determined when the weapon was last formed, and can be changed as a full round action, along with the range. The ranges for the different forms are decent, though many manufactured weapons have superior range and damage combinations. Note the short range form gets Str to damage, like a thrown weapon.
Shape Mind Bolt**: Like the normal mind blade, mind bolts take a full round action to change the damage and weapon type, and 8 hours to reassign enhancements.
Launch Mind Bolt****: Unlike normal mind blades, the mind bolt does not need to be reformed after being fired, so feats/effects that use multiple shots may be used normally, e.g. Rapid Shot.
Blade Skills*****: Soulbolts lose access to some blade skills, mostly revolving around throwing the mind blade, and gain access to the following blade skills
- Alter Mind Bolt***: More useful for Soulbolts than normal soulknives, as the engagement range for a fight is usually decided during the first round of combat and a Soulbolt will want to maximize the damage they can deal without taking range penalties.
- Arresting Shot*: While this is a cool ability, why on earth would you want to get into melee as a ranged character? The only time I can see this being useful is if this pulls an enemy spellcaster or ranged character into your teamís melee fighters.
- Charged Shot*: Dealing a single attackís damage in a very tiny area, with a Reflex save to halve the damage, would only be useful when fighting multiple, very weak, creatures. Stick to just shooting them.
- Close-Range Expert*****: The Point Blank Master feat when psionically focused, without the prerequisites. Amazing.
- Close-Range Expert, Improved*****: Getting both the Snap Shot featís benefit and no longer needing to be psionically focused to gain the benefits of Close-Range Expert is great.
- Double Shot**: At early levels, this is passable, but it quickly falls off when full attacking becomes commonplace.
- Emulate Ranged Weapon****: This allows the mind bolt to take the form of a specific ranged weapon (other than firearms), without needing proficiency. The best options for this are Composite Longbow (1d8, 110 ft range, 20/x3), Orc Hornbow (2d6, 80 ft range, 20/x3), and most of the Heavy Crossbow variants (1d10, 120 ft range, 19-20/x2), with a note that the crossbow will require a few feats to be at its best (due to reload times). All of these have superior damage, range, and/or crit to the standard mind bolt and can be used with the Manyshot feat (other than the crossbows.) If the Minotaur Double Crossbow from Classic Monsters Revisited is allowed, it becomes the best option for this blade skill with the Crossbow Mastery feat.
- Freezing Bolt*****: Exactly the same as the Ice Blade blade skill, but the speed reducing effect does not require expending psionic focus, forcing the Fort save on every successful hit! Even though the duration does not stack, this means your target will almost surely be moving at half speed for as long as you continue to shoot them.
- Mind Daggers***: Less useful for Soulbolts than normal soulknives, as the main reason for taking this is the extra range for throwing. Still, this gives the Soulbolt access to a melee weapon.
- Rain of Arrows*: The area effected is slightly better than Charged Shot, but still not worth a blade skill slot due to pitiful damage and a Reflex save.
- Telekinetic Blade***: Gain the ability to shape your mind bolt into a mind blade. Not a bad ability by any means, though most Soulbolts will prefer to only use their mind bolt.
- Thousand Blades*****: Being able to full attack without any penalties on iterative attacks is great! Usually, the last two or three attacks will miss due to the -10 and -15 penalties. This is the equivalent to the Zealous Fury power augmented to 12/17 power points and can be spammed far more easily by simply refreshing psychic strike.
War Soul*****: The War Soul archetype incorporates the maneuver system introduced in Path of War with the soulknife. War Soul is compatible with the Armored Blade, Augmented Blade, Deadly Fist, Psychic Armory, Shielded Blade, and Soulbolt archetypes.
Final Verdict*****: Maneuvers offer the soulknife so much versatility and power, and the extra blade skills are all decent, if not amazing, options. For anyone wanting to use a soulknife when Path of War is allowed, this is an amazing archetype.SpoilerManeuvers*****: War Souls have access to the Broken Blade, Sleeping Goddess, Solar Wind, Thrashing Dragon, and Veiled Moon disciplines, one of which may be traded for Riven Hourglass, Scarlet Throne, or Tempest Gale. Their initiating modifier is Wisdom and gain full initiator level for their War Soul levels. Replacing psychic strike and one blade skill for the ability to use up to 6th level maneuvers is amazing, even with the relatively limited number of maneuvers gained by War Souls.
Maneuvers Readied***: Neither of the War Soulís recovery methods are very good, but the full-round action version recovers psionic focus and provides free counter attacks, which is nice.
Stances Known****: War Souls do not get many stances, gaining five total. However, they gain enough to select one stance each time new stances become available. If more stances are needed, grab the Advanced Study feat.
Blade Skills*****: War Souls have access to all of the normal blade skills, plus the following unique options
- Broken Blade Attitude***: This can make a soulknife even more Wis-SAD, but the dodge bonus is fairly small.
- Discipline Blade Shapes****: An excellent way to gain access to weapon special properties or different damage/crit stats, and makes Discipline Focus a more attractive feat option. You can even gain access to Firearms via Solar Wind or Tempest Gale, or any weapon (including Technological Weapons) from the Foolís Errand discipline. HOWEVER! Be careful when using Technological Weapons; most DMs will feel uncomfortable about a soulknife pulling out a Rocket Launcher or Vortex Gun at 2nd level (and they will be correct, for most tables.)
- Martial Throw Mind Blade****: Being able to initiate melee strikes at close range is a great ability for melee-focused War Souls.
- Riven Hourglass Approach***: Similar to Broken Blade Attitude, this makes War Souls very Wis-SAD, but it may not be worth the cost of a blade skill.
- Scarlet Throne Nobility***: Sense Motive can be a useful skill, but soulknives donít have many abilities that sync with it. The dodge bonus is nice, but not amazing.
- Sleeping Goddess Empowerment****: Gain back psychic strike that is only usable when in a Sleeping Goddess stance. As this scales with levels, it is superior to the Psychic Strike blade skill if you want to use psychic strike with a War Soul.
- Solar Wind Mentality***: Increasing the range of your weapons is nice, as is a free Flaming weapon enhancement. A passable blade skill.
- Tempest Gale Trick****: Gaining Wisdom on top of the normal modifiers for ranged combat maneuvers is a pretty nice, though the Sleight of Hand bonus is pretty useless.
- Thrashing Dragon Assault*****: For TWF, this attack bonus is pretty great, negating the penalty for TWF by level 5 and only growing from there. However, this blade skill provides no benefit for non-TWFs.
- Veiled Moon Mystery****: More Wis-SADness and gain hide in plain sight. Pretty good for stealthy War Souls.
Xephyr**: A Xeph-exclusive archetype focused on speed, Xephyr soulknives use the quick nature of their species to fuel their abilities. Xephyr is compatible with the Armored Blade and Gifted Blade archetypes.
Final Verdict**: While the Xephyr is an interesting idea, the mechanics of the archetype are severely lacking. Burstís duration of 3 rounds and low number of daily uses heavily cripples most of the abilities granted by this archetype, on top of the fairly mediocre bonuses. The only reason to use this archetype is for the ability to use two xephyr knives for TWF, which may not even be possible due to the wording of the ability.SpoilerMind Knife****: TWF for free is nice, as is the ability to form their mind blade into a xephyr knife. Xephyr knives are exotic weapons, similar to daggers but with 1d6 damage and 18-20/x2 crit. However, it is not mentioned if the knives can be split in two, like the normal light version of the mind blade. If this is possible, Xephyrs become one of the best crit fishing soulknives*****, with the great crit range of xephyr knives beating out a normal mind blade.
Defensive Burst**: When using the burst racial ability, gain a scaling dodge bonus to AC (capping at +3). Also, gain an additional use of the burst ability per day. Most blade skills are better than this, especially with how limited the burst ability is (4/day with this ability and each only lasts 3 rounds).
Psychic Strike**: Lose damage on psychic strike when moving less than 10 ft and gain damage when moving over 30 ft (*note that xephís only have . For the first round of combat the extra damage will likely be in effect, but the rest of combat will likely be effected by the reduced damage. Most soulknives only get psychic strike damage off on their first attack, as the action cost required to refresh it is prohibitive, so this ability isnít too bad. For those who wish to focus on psychic strike, this is far less useful, as it will be hard to both refresh psychic strike and move over 30 ft in the same round.
Reflex Burst**: Gain an extra use of burst (up to 5/day now) and gain a scaling bonus (up to +3) to Reflex saves. Reflex saves should be no problem for a soulknife, but the extra use of burst is passable.
Precise Strike***: Another use of burst per day and gain a scaling bonus (up to +3 again) to attack rolls while under the effects of burst that does not scale with haste-like effects. While more useful than most of the other burst-related abilities, a poorly scaling attack bonus is not better than most blade skills.
Burst Attack****: Gain another use of burst (7/day). Also, gain an extra attack while making a full attack action while under the effect of burst (does not stack with haste-like effects). Alternatively, when striking an enemy with both weapons (assuming the Xephyr is TWF) gain an extra attack in exchange for a use of burst. This ability can only be used once per round. The most useful of the burst effects, but the limited duration and limited uses of burst severely hampers the usefulness of this ability.
Contest of Blades (combat)***: While the initiative bonus is great, the free Intimidate check is a bit of a waste. This can be amazing on Intimidate-focused Brutality Blades*****.
Mind Blade Dancer (psionic)*: Perform (Dance) is a poor skill, unless you plan on using Mithral Current (which gives you the skill for free), and crystal light is a poor power. Skip this.
Mischievous Blade (combat)*****: For soulknives going the dirty trick route, this is amazing.
Natural Blade (psionic)*****: Half of the Fighterís Blade feat. A must for multiclass soulknives.
Personalized Trick (psionic)*****: Adding any weapon, armor, or shield special ability to the Enhanced Mind Blade table is amazing. Some specific weapon options:
- Bane***** is amazing if you know what the main enemy type for your campaign will be. Otherwise it can be extremely situational or even useless.
- Dancing and Flying** can be amusing but the enhancement bonus cost tends to be too high.
- Dissipater***** is ridiculously good if you will be fighting tons of ectoplasm-based opponents, but is near worthless in most games.
- Dueling***** weapons, from the Pathfinder Society Field Guide, apply double the weaponís enhancement bonus as a luck bonus to CMB and CMD for a number of combat maneuvers. Specifically, both trip and dirty trick are called out, which are the primary maneuvers soulknives use.
- Lesser Designating**** adds a bonus to attack and damage for melee allies. Greater Designating***** adds a ridiculous bonus to attack and damage for melee allies.
- Leveraging**** is a strong option for AoO trip builds, doubling the weaponís enhancement bonus for trip attempts.
- Fortuitous**** is amazing for AoO-focused builds, granting extra AoOs at a -5 penalty after a successful AoO.
- Heart-Piercing** is a decent option for ranged soulknives, though the restrictions are somewhat harsh and a +5 enhancement bonus cost can be prohibitive.
- Interfering**** gives a 30 ft threaten area for ranged soulknives, though any single movement action only triggers one AoO.
- Nimble Shot**** is the same as the Point Blank Master feat, but it will come online pretty late in the game at a +4 enhancement cost.
- Psibane* does great damage against psionic creatures, but you will be effected by the negative level.
- Quaking**** is an amazing special ability for trip-based soulknives.
- Second Chance**** gives an attack reroll once per round for ranged weapons.
- Sniping**** is close to required for Sneak Attacking ranged soulknives, but useless for anyone else. (Note, this is the Magical Marketplace version of the Sniping enhancement.)
- Tailwind*** is passable on Psychic Armories, increasing the range of their Panoply of Blades by 60 ft.
- Training** can be useful, but the combat feat must be selected when the trait is taken and you must fulfill the prerequisites.
- Truthful**** is a strong ability, as magical concealment is a very common form of defense for mid to high level enemies.
- (Greater) Vampiric***** is a good effect, but the restriction on the normal ability to 2 HP per hit die is annoying. Go with the Greater version.
- Advancing**** gives free action movement that does not provoke AoOs when an opponent is defeated. An excellent option.
- Balanced**** is limited to medium armor but is a solid choice. Do note that the Guardian weapon special ability is very similar but it applies the enhancement bonus to all saves. Balanced is still a worthwhile option as its ability may be triggered as an immediate action.
- Bastion**** is a good defensive option. Most late game fights are fairly short, so being able to suppress a potentially encounter ending effect for even a few rounds is worth the cost.
- Bolstering*** is a solid defensive choice as circumstance bonuses to saving throws are rare.
- Dread Wing** is a super cool ability, but it is an expensive way to get a 60 ft fly speed with average maneuverability and the armorís bonus to AC is cut if half.
- Folding** allows a mind shield to become a buckler, opening some buckler-based feats.
- Fusing*** is a solid option for those soulknives with mind armor, reducing the ACP and increasing Max Dex.
- Gleaming*** is an excellent defensive bonus and provides a lot of utility for a stealthy soulknife.
- Murmuring*** is an interesting choice for a party with no spellcasters/manifesters as a penalty to concentration checks can be very strong. The Greater version is not worth the extra enhancement cost.
- Quickness** is a decent effect, gaining 5 ft in movement isnít too bad.
- Time Buttress*** is an insane effect, but the standard action to use it is problematic.
- Unbowed***** is an insane ability for mind armor users, as the armor can just be reformed on the soulknifeís next turn.
Clairsentient Talent (psionic)**: Constant detect psionics is potentially useful, but you will probably be better off letting another class hold this niche.
Mental Discipline (psionic)*: Soulknives get Autohypnosis automatically and a +1 bonus to the check is rather useless.
Metacreative Talent (psionic)*: A weaker version of your main class feature. Skip it.
Perceptive Talent (psionic)****: A bonus to initiative and Sense Motive while psionically focused is pretty useful.
Psigifted (psionic)*: Even for a Gifted Blade, this isnít really worth using.
Psionic Item Familiarity (psionic)****: Use Magic Device is a great skill, even though you will likely be dumping Cha. Does not stack with Dangerously Curious.
Psionic Knack (psionic)*****: Practiced Spellcaster for manifesters, take this if you are multiclassing with a manifesting class or are a Gifted Blade (this brings the Gifted Blade up to manifester level = class level.)
Psionic Monster Familiarity (psionic)**: While a bonus to identify creatures is nice, Knowledge (Psionics) isnít the highest priority skill for a soulknife.
Psionic Power Focus (psionic)**: If there is a power that is amazing when you are psionically focused, this is passable.
Psionic Theory (psionic)*: Spellcraft is not a class skill. Leave this to another class.
Psychokinetic Talent (psionic)**: There may be times where is very useful, but you can do better.
Psychoportive Talent (psionic)*****: Expend your psionic focus as an immediate action to take a five foot step. An excellent way to avoid enemy attacks at any level.
Telepathic Talent (psionic)***: A bonus vs mind-affecting powers and psi-like abilities is good, but your Will save should be very high.
Path of War Traits
Agile Dancer (social)***: If you plan on using Mithral Current and want to dump Cha, this is a solid trait.
Combat Training (combat)****: This gives a good amount of versatility for a low level soulknife, depending on the maneuver chosen. For higher level characters, this isnít as useful.
Practiced Initiator (combat)*****: If you are multiclassing with an initiator or as a War Soul, this is an excellent option for keeping your initiator level capped.
Unorthodox Method (regional, any)*****: Swap one of the War Soulís disciplines for one of your choice. An excellent way to personalize your soulknife.
I direct you to this amazing trait guide for Paizo traits, but Iíll highlight a few below.
Armor Expert (combat)*****: For Armored Blades or soulknives with the Psychokinetic Armor blade skill, this reduces the ACP of their armor. An amazing option.
Reactionary (combat)*****: The gold standard of initiative-based traits.
Resilient (combat)*****: A bonus to the soulknifeís worst save? Excellent.
Threatening Defender (combat)*****: If you want to run a defensive build with Combat Expertise/Martial Power, this is amazing. Skip it otherwise.
Dangerously Curious (magic)****: Use Magic Device is a great skill, even though you will likely be dumping Cha. Does not stack with Psionic Item Familiarity.
Adopted (social)*****: There are a number of very good racial traits and this lets you pick any of them.
Feats, Part 1
Your feat selection will depend heavily on your chosen combat style, but Iíll try to recommend generally useful feats as well.
Soulknife & Psionic Feats
Aligned Attack [Psionic]*: You can select aligned weapon special abilities for your mind blade that give all of the bonuses of this feat.
Blade of Terror**: A slight benefit for soulknives who want to multiclass with Dread. Too bad it advances neither soulknife or Dread abilities.
Body Fuel [Psionic]*: You donít need power points that badly; certainly not at the cost of ability score damage.
Brutal Surge**: Treat your rage blade enhancement bonus as if it was the Wild Surge class feature (from the Wilder), spending a rage blade round to use the feature. For Gifted Blade + Brutality Blade soulknives, this is a passable feat, but there are easier ways to boost your manifester level.
Cloak Dance***: Being able to gain concealment or total concealment at any time in combat is quite useful if you are using stealth. A must for stealthy soulknives.
Combat Manifestation [Psionic]****: Usually useless, but good for the Gifted Blade archetype or when multiclassing with a manifester.
Crippling Assault [Psionic]*: While paralysis is a nasty status, the target already has to have an awful status active (except for flat-footed) and the saving throw is Fort. This is more passable as a Psychic Armory***, as Wisdom will be your highest stat.
Critical Imbuement [Psionic]****: Great for crit fishing builds. This should also combo with Dual Imbue for TWF.
Critical Refocus [Psionic]*: If you always regained your psionic focus for confirming a crit, this would be worth a feat. As is, it is far too situational.
Deadly Imbuement [Psionic]****: Slaying an enemy recharges your psychic strike. Not bad, and should work with Dual Imbue.
Deadly Throw [Psionic]*: As throwing is pretty bad (see above) unless you are a Psychic Armory, who use Wisdom for attack and damage, this feat will not be very useful.
Deep Focus [Psionic]*****: Having two psionic focuses really helps use the large number of blade skills that require psionic focus. You may also leave your subconscious permanently focused to receive the benefits of certain abilities and feats. Doesnít stack with Psicrystal Containment, sadly.
Deep Impact [Psionic]***: Touch attacks are always nice, and it may be used on any melee attack.
Empowered Shot [Psionic]**: Effectively the Distance weapon ability with an extra use. This may not be super useful, as there are a large number of abilities that require expending your psionic focus and the Distance property is on the list of mind blade enhancements if you really need it.
Enervation Fortitude****: For Brutality Blades, this reduces the damage from psychic enervation by 50%.
Expanded Knowledge [Psionic]****: For most soulknives this is useless, but the Gifted Blade archetype benefits greatly from the additional powers.
Extra Blade Skill [Psionic]****: Blade skills are usually better than feats, which makes this a good trade off.
Extra Power Known [Psionic]****: The Gifted Bladeís spell list is pretty short, but there are some gems.
Fell Shot [Psionic]***: Deep Impact, but for ranged weapons.
Fighterís Blade*****: Practiced spellcaster, but for mind blades! Basically required if you want to multiclass*****, but useless otherwise.
Hawkeye****: For ranged builds, this is a pretty nifty feat, providing a scaling Perception bonus and increasing the range of many abilities from 30 to 45 ft.
Imbuement of the Phantom Weapon [Psionic]*: Being able to charge another weapon with psychic strike is not a good use for a feat. The only archetype that uses normal weapons can use psychic strike with them anyway.
Improved Psychic Strike [Psionic]*****: Finally, a way to make psychic strike not worthless after level 5! With a way to recharge psionic focus every round and the Swift Imbuement feat, this can be used every round to great effect!
Intuitive Fighting [Psionic]*: Only adds Wis to attack rolls, not damage, and requires psionic focus. Just go Psychic Armory or take the Focused Offense blade skill instead.
Intuitive Shot [Psionic]****: This require psionic focus, but the bonus damage from this can be very good with a high Wis score. And it stays useful up until you can get the greater version at 6 BAB.
- Greater Intuitive Shot [Psionic]*****: Exhausting your psionic focus gives Wis mod damage for a round on ranged attacks. Amazing on Psychic Armory and still fairly strong on Dex-based ranged builds****, assuming you didnít dump Wisdom.
Mental Leap [Psionic]*: This feat is okay at lowish levels for the huge boost to jump checks, but it becomes useless later. The War Soul archetype likes this feat a bit more, as two of the disciplines use Acrobatics and a third may be traded for. If you really want it, get the Telekinetic Athleticism blade skill instead.
Metapsionic Knife [Psionic]**: Deliver touch powers with your mind blade. While this should remove any risk of casting in melee range, it also changes touch attacks into normal attacks, which is generally a poor trade. It also costs your psionic focus, which you have better things to use for.
Mind Sniper***: Combines marksman and soulknife levels for marksman abilities. Sadly, Fighterís Blade or Nimble Blade is required if you wish to continue progressing your mind blade.
Negative Energy Affinity [Psionic]****: For most soulknives, this is fairly poor. However, Living Legends who use the Archmage role will like the option to deal negative energy damage with their mind blade and the High Wizardís Fury blade skill.
Open Minded*: Your skill list is pretty bad, so extra skill points arenít really needed.
Pattern Blade*: Combines cryptic and soulknife abilities. Doesnít advance class features for either class, and cannot be used except as a standard action, removing it from full attacks or AoOs.
Persistent Focus [Psionic]***: This feat can be used to power any ability that requires you to be psionically focused to receive its benefits. Thus, its usefulness is based solely on what ability/feat you power with it.
Psionic Body [Psionic]***: Gain extra hp for taking more psionic feats. There are a pretty good selection of psionic feats, so this may be worth grabbing for some more surviveability.
Psionic Charge [Psionic]**: Turn during your charges by expending psionic focus. Very good if you can get some form of pounce****.
Psionic Critical [Psionic]****: If you are crit fishing, this is an acceptable boost in damage. If not, skip it.
Psionic Fist [Psionic]***: Small damage boost while psionically focused with unarmed attacks. Not bad, but you can probably do better. Gives a nice damage boost at low levels, though.
- Greater Psionic Fist [Psionic]***: More damage when psionically focused. Unfortunately, there are a lot of useful abilities that require expending your focus, so this may not be up all of the time. The extra damage from spending your psionic focus isnít too bad, averaging out to 14 damage.
Psionic Precise Shot [Psionic]*: While this is an interesting ability, it is unlikely that a single attack through a barrier will change much AND you have to spend your psionic focus. Skip it.
Psionic Shield Bash [Psionic]****: Forcing shaken saving throws on every shield bash attack almost guarantees that one will stick eventually, then the stun effect is more likely to be successful. A must for Shielded Blade soulknives who want to use their shield offensively.
Psionic Shot [Psionic]***: As Psionic Fist but with ranged weapons.
- Greater Psionic Shot [Psionic]***: Same as Greater Psionic Fist.
Psionic Trip [Psionic]****: Out of all the psionic maneuver feats, this one is the best, dealing damage on successful trips and being able to throw your target after tripping them. If you have a lot of reach, you can throw enemies closer to you, making it harder to escape your area of control.
Psionic Unarmed Strike [Psionic]*: Similar to Psionic Precise Shot but with far easier prerequisites, this is still not worth taking.
Psionic Weapon [Psionic]***: As Psionic Fist but with melee weapons. Does this stack with Psionic Fist if you are fighting unarmed?
- Greater Psionic Weapon [Psionic]***: Same as Greater Psionic Fist.
Ready Response [Psionic]****: Soulknives already have a large number of uses for their psionic focus, but never being surprised or taking a full round action during a surprise round is an excellent ability.
Rebounding Throw [Psionic]**: A bouncing attack in exchange for your psionic focus is okay on a Psychic Armory, but there are better uses for your psionic focus. For other soulknives, who should never be throwing anything, skip this.
Reckless Offense**: Accuracy will usually not be a problem for you, but this has some synergy with Power Attack as a mini Shock Trooper effect.
Return Shot [Psionic]*: This feat would be pretty good on a defensive soulknife if it werenít for the ranged feat prerequisites. This may be passable on a Psychic Armory***.
Returning Throw [Psionic]*: A useless ability for a soulknife without expending your psionic focus and this attempts to make viable a garbage option. Again, if you want to use thrown weapons, go with Psychic Armory.
Ricochet [Psionic]*: An awesome idea in theory, allowing you to shoot around corners. However, it takes your psionic focus to use this for a single projectile, so it is unlikely this ability will do enough damage to be worthwhile, and you have to know where the opponent is to even take a shot at them. Cool, but far too impractical.
Sidestep Charge***: While the prerequisites are a bit of a bummer, this is a good option for defensive soulknives.
Soul Warrior****: Essentially the Natural Blade and Psionic Knack traits rolled into one, with a small buff tacked on. Do note, the bonus manifester level does not improve the powers known by the Psychic Warrior.
Speed of Thought [Psionic]**: Gaining extra movespeed, as an insight bonus, while psionically focused and not in heavy armor is pretty good, but if you really want this pick up the Telekinetic Athleticism blade skill instead.
Staggering Shot [Psionic]*: Like Crippling Assault, staggered is a very strong status to inflict but requiring the target to already be under one of three conditions to use this feat is far too restrictive.
Swift Imbuement [Psionic]****: If you want to use psychic strike a lot, this is required.
Twin Throw*****: Multishot, but for thrown weapons. A must for any Psychic Armory. Note that psychic strike is not precision damage, and is thus doubled for this feat.
Unavoidable Strike [Psionic]***: Deep Impact, but for unarmed characters.
Up the Walls [Psionic]**: While this gives a decent amount of mobility, having to end your movement on a level surface is annoying. This is much better when combined with with the Psychic Platform**** blade skill, allowing for Spider Climb-like movement.
Wounding Attack [Psionic]*: Doing one point of Con damage in exchange for your psionic focus is not a good use of your focus.
These feats are only useful for Gifted Blades or those soulknives who multiclass with a manifesting class. Thus, the ratings for them will only reflect those options.
Echoing Power****: Many powers on the Gifted Blade list are limited by their short duration to in-combat buffs. This power allows the manifester to reuse a power later in the day for only 4 more power points, which is a bargain for some of the stronger buffs with short durations.
Extend Power [Metapsionic]****: Gifted Blades will benefit greatly from this feat, as most of their power list is buffs and the maximum number of power points you may spend is based on your manifester level, not the highest level of power you may manifest. Other soulknives can skip this.
Hustle Power [Metapsionic]*****: Useless for many soulknives, but incredible on a Gifted Blade. With this, Quicken Power, and Deep Focus/Psicrystal Containment, you can fire off three standard action powers in a single round.
Metapsionic Mastery [Psionic]****: Saving your psionic focus at the cost of more power points can be useful on a Gifted Blade, as your psionic focus wants to be used by other abilities.
Quicken Power [Metapsionic]*****: For Gifted Blades or those multiclassing with a manifesting class, this is a very useful feat, as any strong round per level buffs will need to be cast in combat. For other soulknives, this does literally nothing.
Cortex Strike [Psionic]**: Gaining sneak attack damage when using the Psionic Weapon feat is okay for a sneak attack invested soulknife, but you should be able to apply Sneak Attack frequently enough that this feat would be mostly superfluous.
Flexible Personality [Psionic]*: Most psicrystal personalities amount to the Skill Focus feat, so it isnít worth a feat to be able to switch between them.
Greater Empowerment [Psionic]**: Make the PLAs of your psicrystal stronger and can be taken multiple times. While the Empowered Psicrystal has some decent PLAs, it probably isnít worth spending a feat to give them +2 manifester level.
Improved Cortex Attack [Psionic]*: No extra damage over Cortex Strike, but it does effect creatures immune to sneak attack. Get other abilities that allow you to go through sneak attack immune creatures, this is far too costly.
Improved Psicrystal [Psionic]*: Most of the time, this feat is the same as Skill Focus, which is generally a poor feat choice.
Psicrystal Affinity [Psionic]****: See the Psicrystal Affinity blade skill. Most of the time the blade skill is the superior choice, except for Gifted Blades, due to the removal of the manifester level requirement. Generally speaking, the best personality for a soulknife is Jittery, which gives a bonus to Initiative.
Psicrystal Body [Psionic]*: The Psionic Body feat, but for your psicrystal. If your psicrystal is being destroyed that often, look into the Superior Psicrystal feat instead.
Psicrystal Containment [Psionic]*****: Part 1 of how psicrystals help you use psionic focus. Store a psionic focus in your psicrystal. Now you can have two psionic focuses ready to go! Note this is strictly superior to Persistent Focus, as the psicrystal can keep your abilities that require psionic focus up and running. Doesnít stack with Deep Focus, which is virtually the same feat.
Psicrystal Reservoir [Psionic]*****: Ridiculously amazing. Now, abilities that expend psionic focus can be used at least once per round.
Psicrystal Strike Focus [Psionic]****: If you are using the psicrystal weapon variant of the Superior Psicrystal feat, this gives free psionic focus to it on kills, which may then be used by you. Not bad.
Retain Charge [Psionic]*: Cleave and Great Cleave are underwhelming feats after the first few levels, so this feat falls off pretty hard.
Strike the Heart River [Psionic]*: Just pick up the Crippling Strike rogue talent instead.
Superior Psicrystal [Psionic]*****: You gain a special psicrystal, chosen from the following list:
- Attuned Psicrystal**: You may make attacks through your psicrystal. While this ability gives a melee soulknife a bit of range, it has very limited daily uses and encourages your opponents to attack your psicrystal, which is not something we want.
- Cognizance Psicrystal*****: This effectively doubles your power point reserve, which is very good for Gifted Blades or manifester multiclassed soulknives. Otherwise, this is useless.
- Crystallized Creature**: Turns your psicrystal into an animal companion. Useful, but not exceptionally so for a soulknife. Do not take with the Augmented Blade archetype.
- Empowered Psicrystal***: Your psicrystal gains three level 1 psi-like abilities usable 2 times a day, organized into groups, and manifested at Ĺ your character level. While there are some good PLAs granted by this crystal, none of them are truly gamechanging enough to rate this higher. The best available are probably Expansion (under the Beast Warrior list) and Biofeedback (under Hardened).
- Implanted Psicrystal*****: For most soulknives, this is easily the best option of the group. Your psicrystal cannot be targeted, may roll twice on a non-physical skill check once per day, gain a scaling Initiative bonus equal to half your character level (rounded up), improve your psicrystalís personality bonus, and gain the ability to shove a failed mind-affecting effect into your psicrystalís consciousness instead. This psicrystal does not work with the Augmented Blade archetype, nor does it work with the Share Pain-Vigor combo mentioned under the Gifted Blade archetype
- Psicrystal Weapon****: Utterly useless for most soulknives, this is useful if your DM allows the Augmented Blade abilities to be used with the weapon. Most of the abilities are somewhat weak, but there are enough good abilities for this to be mentioned.
Last edited by Battleship789; 2019-09-08 at 04:41 PM.
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- Sep 2008
Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterFeats, Part 2
Path of War Feats
Advanced Study*****: The only way for War Souls to get above level 6 maneuvers.
Deadly Agility*****: Dexterity to damage on finesse-able weapons. If you are a Dex soulknife, this is required.
Defensive Expertise****: An excellent choice for Shielded Blades, as touch AC is hard to raise.
Discipline Focus***: War Souls will get the most mileage of this feat by selecting Sleeping Goddess, but the bonuses are good enough to select this feat for most disciplines. Even better with the Discipline Blade Shapes blade skill or Weapon Group Adaptation feat.
Discipline Mastery***: The ability to take 10 on a skill check is pretty good and a decent number of skills on the soulknifeís list can benefit from the skill. If your build depends on a skill succeeding, like Stealth, this is a worthwhile investment.
Enduring Protector***: While situational, the temp HP you can gain from this feat gives insane surviveability.
Extra Readied Maneuver*****: This feat is amazing for War Souls, as they have a very limited number of maneuvers readied.
Giant Slayer**: For soulknives who charge frequently, this feat is passable for immunity to AoOs. However, most large enemies are easier to hit than their smaller compatriots and there are other ways of getting into range of an opponent without taking AoOs.
Greater Unarmed Strike****: For an unarmed soulknife this is a strong choice, giving a scaling increase to damage.
Haft Strike***: For most soulknives this wonít be necessary, but it may be needed for those soulknives who pick up a reach weapon with Emulate Melee Weapon. Note, ask your GM if this allows you to attack adjacently, as the wording is a little vague. (The flavor text for the feat suggests you should be able to attack, for what its worth.)
Lightning Recovery***: Your maneuvers are pretty limited as a War Soul and your recovery mechanic is not the greatest, so this feat can patch up that weakness.
Lurker in Darkness*****: For a Stealth-based soulknife, the ability to hide from non-standard senses is amazing. Other soulknives can ignore this feat.
Martial Power****: A good alternative to the Combat Expertise feat, gaining temp HP instead of AC.
Martial Training****: For a soulknife who canít go War Soul, the flexibility provided by maneuvers is incredibly strong. However, this chain takes a large number of feats to finish, reducing its viability.
Pikemanís Training****: For S&B soulknives this is an excellent way to gain reach while still using a shield. The only problem with this feat is it will require the Emulate Melee Weapon blade skill to use.
Pinning Arrow****: The Reflex save scales with damage dealt, which can get very high (especially if psychic strike is used). A strong option for Ranged soulknives who want a bit of utility.
Polearm Dancer****: An excellent option for Dex-based AoO builds, this feat requires the Emulate Melee Weapon blade skill to be useful. However, it saves a blade skill slot on Mind Blade Finesse.
Prodigious Two-Weapon Fighting*: An amusing alternative to Dex-based TWF. The ability to treat one-handed weapons as light weapons is wasted, as two one-handed weapons cannot be summoned by any soulknife feature. If your Str is high enough to do this, save a feat and settle for the two-handed form of the mind blade. This feat is worth taking on a Brutality Blade that wants to use TWF with the Body of Rage Wrath Augment*****.
Ricochet Weapon*: Again, thrown weapons are not a good style for the standard soulknife. Leave this to the Psychic Armory.
Seize the Opportunity***: For AoO focused builds, this opens up extra options, most notably dirty trick. Do note that tripping and disarming is allowed on AoOs without this feat.
Tactical Rush****: For a War Soul with an applicable maneuver, this grants no drawback swift action movement. However, the Blade Rush and Ghost Step blade skills, along with some maneuvers, grant repeatable swift action movement.
Unhindered Way [Psionic]****: Not being impeded by medium or heavy armor is nice. This feat is worth getting as an Armored Blade, but probably not for most other soulknives.
Variable Wind****: Fire damage is the most commonly resisted elemental damage, so if you are a War Soul focusing on ranged attacks and Solar Wind, this feat is a godsend.
Victorious Recovery*****: More restrictive to use than Lightning Recovery, but killing things is your job as a soulknife and the extra maneuvers recovered make it much better.
Weapon Group Adaptation****: For War Souls, this allows their mind blade to be used as a discipline weapon for all of their disciplines.
Zealous Blade****: Add Zealot levels to soulknife levels for the purpose of mind blade enhancements and qualifying for blade skills. Do note that most of the Zealotís abilities scale off Charisma, which may make it difficult to use all of their abilities to the fullest, unless you choose to play the Brutality Blade archetype.
Combat Style Master****: If you want to use a combat style, this feat is close to required. Freeing up your first swift action of combat is worth the cost. The prerequisites are kinda steep, causing the rating drop. Much easier to get with an unarmed soulknife.
Fuse Styles**: Combat Style Master is a much better feat if you plan on using style feats and stances, since you must enter a combat style at the beginning of combat. If you donít want to wait for the prerequisites of CSM, this is a passable alternative.
Style Shift****: For Moonlight Meditants with style feats this is a must.
Dragon Style***: A good damage boost early for Str-based unarmed soulknives, with some other benefits.
- Dragon Ferocity*****: For Str-based unarmed soulknives, this is basically required. The Stunning Fist requirement may be circumvented with a dip into Monk (preferably Master of Many Forms) or the Stunning Blade blade skill.
- Dragon Roar*: Soulknives donít get stunning fist natively and the ability is rather bad.
- Pummeling Bully****: Free trips are pretty good, and you can add trip to your mind blade with the Weapon Special blade skill.
- Pummeling Charge*****: Pounce! It comes later than one would hope, but this is a very strong feat.
- Dancing Shadow Waltz [Psionic]**: Gaining total concealment as a full round action was pretty painful, but the movement granted here helps soften the blow of giving up your turn.
- Dancing Shadow Retribution [Psionic]****: Pretty amazing ability for the capstone of this style chain, giving reactive attacks of opportunity from enemy attacks when gaining full concealment. This makes the Cloak Dance abilities far less painful to use in the middle of a fight.
- Black Seraphís Malevolence*: Again, it is hard for a soulknife to apply fear effects or deal profane damage. After errata, this does literally nothing.
- Black Seraph Annihilation*: As with the previous feats, this is hard to use, though this allows Intimidate to be used on anything*****.
- Broken Blade Crush**: The free sunder is nice, but it also destroys loot.
- Broken Blade Rhythm****: Getting what is usually a monster ability once per round is great.
- Chimera Soul Spikes**: The range is great, but the spikes do low damage and you have to expend a maneuver to use the ability.
- Chimera Soul Dominance****: Select three of the DR options to bypass, including adamantine. If the DR can be bypassed, you will be able to break it.
- Cursed Razor Plague*****: Extra curses are very strong for a character who can apply them frequently, but Cursed Razor may not mesh with every soulknife.
- Cursed Razor Massacre***: Extra attacks are good, but having to use the attack on another enemy, who is also cursed, makes this somewhat situational.
- Elemental Flux Shift**: A small damage boost when changing your active element on a single attack. Meh.
- Elemental Flux Explosion**: The elemental burst effects are generally considered to be among the worst weapon special abilities, but getting the effect for free is passable.
- Eternal Guardian Oath*: Most counters are superior to a -4 penalty on attacks.
- Eternal Guardian Endurance*: Free maneuver recovery is great, but this style does not mesh well with the soulknife. Leave this to another class.
- Golden Lion Charge**: Free attacks are good, but it does require an opponent to miss one of your allies. Generally speaking, a tanky character wants to prevent that from happening in the first place.
- Golden Lion Command*****: This gives your allies an insane amount of survivability, assuming you full attack. You donít even need to hit the target! If youíve invested this much into Golden Lion, this feat is worth it. Amusingly, this feat is best with TWF.
- Iron Tortoise Shell**: Evasion is an excellent defensive ability, but you are limited to wearing light armor to benefit from this feat.
- Iron Tortoise Snap**: Free attacks are nice, but this requires TWF investment.
- Mithral Current Flow****: Out of turn movement with no drawbacks is pretty nice.
- Mithral Current Slice***: This is a good damage boost for Mithral Current strikes, but there is no way to make your mind blade a silver weapon, heavily reducing the damage potential of this feat.
- Piercing Thunder Push***: You may also pick up the brace quality via the Weapon Special blade skill, but the extra ability this grants is quite useful on tanky soulknives. This does require Emulate Melee Weapon to use.
- Piercing Thunder Trample**: Free combat maneuvers are nice, but bull rush and overrun arenít the greatest. Additionally, this clashes with the AoO style most Piercing Thunder soulknives would use.
- Primal Fury Slash**: Free extra attacks are nice, but they have to be along your charge path.
- Primal Fury Leap**: Charging against a flying enemy is pretty nice and an amazing visual, but this comes along late to the party. If you havenít gotten some method of flight before this point, you are in trouble.
- Riven Hourglass Eternity*****: Extending a boost, spell, or power by an extra round in exchange for a readied maneuver can be a life-saving ability.
- Riven Hourglass Rewind*: While not bad on paper, this ability cannot remove most of the truly nasty statuses, as you wonít be able to take the immediate action necessary. Instead, pick up Temporal Body Adjustment (level 4 Riven Hourglass counter) which completely removes the condition instead of stalling it for one minute.
- Scarlet Throne Dignity***: Many counters are superior to just negating a single attack, but this is still a good ability.
- Scarlet Throne Riposte****: Free AoOs when negating an opponentís attack. Solid.
- Shattered Mirror Waltz*: By 7th level difficult terrain should be a non-issue.
- Shattered Mirror Duality****: Soulknives like to full attack and getting advantage on every attack is amazing, especially for crit fishing. Eating your swift action hurts this ability, as it may be difficult to get in place without a swift action movement.
- Silver Crane Feathers***: Depending on what ability is targeted or how low your party wizardís hp is, this feat can be very useful.
- Silver Crane Wing****: Much better, as your Will save can be incredibly high with good Wisdom synergies and a good Will save.
- Sleeping Goddess Slumber***: Confusion is an okay debuff and this ability may be used after any attack, increasing its versatility.
- Sleeping Goddess Strike**: A penalty to saving throws against your maneuvers is good, but you have to hit them before the maneuver does. A bit cumbersome to set up.
- Solar Wind Flash**: Blinded is an okay status, but the targets you would like to effect the most (melee combatants) tend to have good Fort saves.
- Solar Wind Inferno****: Being able to beat elemental resistances/immunities is very strong, even though you wonít be able to fully punch through it. For those heavily invested into Solar Wind.
- Steel Serpent Fangs*: Most soulknives have no need for the opponent to be flat-footed.
- Steel Serpent Venom****: This ability triggers on every attack that deals damage, uses a very strong debuff in nauseated, and the ability score damage can be from any effect. Very strong.
- Tempest Gale Haze****: Always active miss chance against any ranged attack is great.
- Tempest Gale Storm*: Having to use this feat as a standard action is a deal breaker. If this applied to every ranged attack, it would be amazing.
- Thrashing Dragon Pounce***: Free damage for single attack strikes. Usually full attacking will deal more damage, but this is a fine damage boost.
- Thrashing Dragon Whirlwind**: Yet another pseudo Whirlwind Attack for soulknives to not take.
- Veiled Moon Shunt*****: Forceful teleportation once per round is great; send your opponents over the edge of a cliff or into an allyís ongoing spell or ability.
- Veiled Moon Warp**: This shuts down most opponents who use physical attacks for a round and forces them to use an action to pick up their weapon when they come back (if they use normal weapons). Most of the time you will be better off using a normal strike or full attacking, so most soulknives can pass on this.
Abomination Shift***: Gain limited fortification for 10 minutes, but can also gain a bonus to CMB/CMD by reducing the shift duration. Not bad, and extra shifting feats give better fortification, an untyped bonus vs mind-affecting abilities, immunity to flanking, and bonuses vs some annoying effects. A passable option for a shifting soulknife.
Beasthide Shift**: Minor natural armor bonus that lasts for two rounds. Extra shifting feats apply varying amounts of your natural armor to your touch AC. This feat would be great were it not for the limited duration for this shift.
Chameleon Shift*****: For Moonlight Meditants who want to be stealthy, giving bonuses to Stealth checks, removing stealth penalties for high movement, and an extremely strong version of Hide in Plain Sight. Amazing for Stealth-based characters, especially with the 1 hour duration, but worthless otherwise.
Deathsting Shift**: Gain a tail that boosts Acrobatics checks for an hour or reduce the duration to two rounds for a sting attack with a weak Strength poison. Additional shifting feats give the tail more functionality, while the stingerís poison becomes stronger. A bonus to Acrobatics is alright and extra natural attacks are nice, though the two round limit is very annoying.
Extra Shifting**: One extra shift per day. You should get enough shifts per day naturally, though this is somewhat useful at lower levels when your shifts are more limited.
Identity Shift*: A bonus on Disguise checks for an hour, with extra shifting feats granting some rather unique effects to disguise checks. While an interesting idea, the mechanical benefits of this feat are rather poor.
Longstride Shift****: Gain bonus movement speed for an hour. Extra shifting feats allow moving/charging through difficult terrain, and an ability very similar to the Blade Rush blade skill. Extra movement is always nice, especially the swift action movement granted at 5 shifting feats.
Magnitude Shift**: Shrink 1 size category for 10 minutes or grow 1 size category for 1 minute, with extra shifting feats changing these to 2 size categories. Sadly, the changes do not affect your ability scores and do not stack with other size changing effects, which greatly reduces the effectiveness of this feat.
Rapid Shifting****: Shift as a free action, instead of a swift, with more shifting feats improving the action time even more. Removing the action cost from shifts is very nice.
Sensory Shift****: Gain a bonus on Perception checks for an hour and get another group of bonuses if you reduce the duration to one minute. Additional shifting feats grant scent, blindsense, and uncanny dodge. Bonuses to Perception are always welcome and the other abilities are certainly usable.
Strongclaw Shift***: For one hour gain a bonus to Climb checks, while changing the duration to 2 rounds grants two claws. Extra shifting feats add climb and burrow speeds, a rend attack for the claws, and bypassing most DR and Regeneration with the claws. Like most of the other natural weapon shifting feats, the duration of two rounds really cripples the natural weapons. However, a burrow speed is a very useful movement type, making this feat passable.
Swiftwing Shift*****: Gain a bonus on Fly checks for an hour, but more shifting feats give a fly speed. Flight is pretty amazing, even if the speed is limited to your land speed. Works well with Longstride Shift.
Wavelord Shift***: Bonuses to swim checks for an hour and a bite attack when reducing the duration to two minutes. Extra effects include a swim speed, overcoming most types of DR with the bite attacks, and the Trip ability for the bite. For an aquatic campaign this is passable, but pretty poor for most other characters.
Additional Traits****: There are many strong traits worth choosing and this allows you to pick up two more.
Dazing Assault*****/Stunning Assault****: Being able to daze/stun with any attack is a very powerful effect. The penalty to hit is annoying, but the effects are worth the sacrifice. Stunning Assault is rated lower purely for the BAB requirement.
Dimensional Agility*****: A required feat if you want to use Ghost Step or Cleave Space in combat.
- Dimensional Assault**: Usually, teleporting next to your opponent and full attacking will be better than a charge attack. If you have pounce, this ability is much better*****.
- Dimensional Dervish***: Again, teleporting next to your target and making a full attack is usually better than this ability. This feat is better when combined with some way of disabling your opponents on every attack, like the Dazing Assault feat or a combat maneuver.
- Dimensional Maneuvers**: The bonus on combat maneuvers is okay, but most characters who specialize in combat maneuvers wonít need the extra boost.
- Dimensional Savant*: Free flanking for yourself and others is okay, but not worth the extra feat.
- Dogpile***: For tripping builds this is a passable debuffing option.
Great Fortitude/Improved Great Fortitude***: Your Fortitude save will likely be your lowest, so these feats are worth considering. If you plan on choosing two or more psionic feats, go with Psionic Stamina instead.
Hammer the Gap****: Soulknives like to full attack and have a few ways to increase the accuracy of their iterative attacks. This increases the damage of those attacks.
Improved Critical***: A decent boost in damage for most soulknives, this is needed for a crit fishing build.
- Critical Focus**: The bonus is okay, but the reason to take this is for the feats that have it as a prerequisite.
- Bleeding Critical****: A nice damage boost on criticals, only take this on a crit fishing build.
- Staggering/Stunning Critical****: For a crit focused build, these are the best options of the apply a status on a crit group of feats.
Lunge****: Extra reach for a small penalty to AC. Very nice.
Moonlight Stalker***: While situational, this gives a nice accuracy and damage boost to Stealth-based soulknives. Combos well with the Cloak Dance and Dancing Shadow Style feats.
Quick Draw*: For most soulknives this is worthless, but it is good for an Augmented Blade****.
Rabid Bite***: Forcing a Fort save on every bite attack is nice, though fatigue is not the strongest condition.
- Superior Rabid Bite*****: Always fatigue the bite target (nice!) and the Fortitude save now causes the target to attack the nearest creature. Getting the target to attack its allies or just stick to attacking you is a good ability, especially with the Moonlight Meditantís excellent mobility.
Weapon Focus**: Soulknives generally donít have a huge problem hitting things, so this can be skipped. If you really want it, select it at first level with your soulknife bonus feat.
Power Attack*****: Do you want more damage? Of course you want more damage. Take this.
- Furious Focus***: Ignoring power attack penalties for your first attack in a round can be very useful against targets with high AC, though this falls off as you gain extra attacks.
- Improved Furious Focus*****: There we go! No penalties while using Power Attack with a weapon wielded in 2 hands, except on off turn attacks, like AoOs.
Intimidate: A subclass of Strength melee, as most of the best Intimidate feats have Strength requirements or synergies.
Cornugon Smash*****: Probably the best way to demoralize an opponent and it can be triggered multiple times per turn with full attacks.
Dazzling Display****: While this takes a full round action, the ability to demoralize every enemy within 30 ft can turn the tide of battle with enough fear boosting. It also unlocks a number of cool feats.
- Disheartening Display****: If an opponent is already feared, Dazzling Display increases the fear by one step, though it can only be successfully used once per 24 hours against a single creature. Combine this with any other method to apply a fear effect and reap the benefits!
- Shatter Defenses****: If you hit an enemy who is feared, they become flat-footed until the end of your next turn against your attacks. If you are a Cutthroat soulknife, this a fine option, but most other soulknives can skip it, as flat-footed isnít a strong enough condition to warrant a feat for those who cannot sneak attack.
- Violent Display*****: Upon sneak attacking or confirming a critical, you may use Dazzling Display as an immediate action. The biggest drawback to Dazzling Display is the action cost, and this sidesteps that nicely.
Enforcer*****: Whenever you deal nonlethal damage, make a free demoralize check to apply the shaken condition for a number of rounds equal to the damage dealt, with crits inflicting the frightening condition for a round, followed by shaken rounds equal to the damage dealt. The duration of this fear can get insane and soulknives have native access to the merciful weapon ability, though requiring nonlethal damage is a bit of a bummer.
Hurtful***: Whenever an opponent is successfully demoralized within your reach, make a free attack as a swift action. This combos nicely with Cornugon Smash, though it is sadly limited by your swift action.
Intimidating Prowess****: Strength to Intimidate for that sweet scaling. However, this stacks with your Charisma bonus (or penalty) and does not replace it, which is either good (if you have a good Charisma score; Brutality Blades only) or bad (if your Charisma score is bad; most soulknives). However, a 1 level dip into Dread (Fearmonger) changes Intimidate to a Wisdom skill, which makes this feat good all Strength-based soulknives.
- Fearsome Finish**: If you slay a foe in combat, gain a +4 untyped bonus to Intimidate against opponents can see you and the foe you slew. A nice bonus, but it may not be worth a feat.
Two Weapon Fighting/Improved Two Weapon Fighting/Greater Two Weapon Fighting*****: The two weapon fighting feat tax. Greater can be skipped on some builds, as another attack at -10 to hit is unlikely to hit frequently.
- Two Weapon Defense*: A poor AC boost, this can be skipped.
- Double Slice****: This works with Dexterity if you have the Deadly Agility feat, and can provide a sizable boost in damage for your off-hand weapon depending on your Dex stat.
- Two Weapon Rend*****: Free damage for hitting with both of your weapons. This also works with the Deadly Agility feat.
Piranha Strike*****: Power Attack, but for Dex builds. You should take this. If you are TWF think about taking this, as the accuracy penalty can make your full attacks into full misses but the damage potential is enormous. Do note, this feat only works for light weapons, so you may still need to take Power Attack for decent damage.
Point Blank Shot/Precise Shot/Rapid Shot/Deadly Aim*****: The ranged character feat tax. Take these.
Circuitous Shot*: An expensive way to negate total cover, this feat is not worth the cost to take it.
Clustered Shots***: Ranged attacks can get destroyed by DR and soulknives have problems bypassing material-type DR.
Distant Thrower**: For Psychic Armories only. This is a superior option to Far Shot, allowing no penalties for two range increments, which is where most combat will be fought.
Far Shot*: Most ranged attacks have sufficient range to not worry about range increment penalties and the Distance property is on the Enhance Mind Blade table. This can be safely ignored.
Improved Precise Shot****: Ignoring everything up to total cover and total concealment is pretty nice, but the prerequisites can be hard to hit for Wis-based soulknives. The Seeking weapon special ability is very similar to this feat and only costs a +1 enhancement bonus.
Manyshot*****: Check with your DM if this will work with mind bolt. By RAW it does not. You can circumvent this restriction by taking Emulate Ranged Weapon, entering the Soul Archer prestige class, or using a Crystal Bow focus item. Note that psychic strike damage is applied twice, as it is not precision damage. Also, this does not work with crossbows. For the Psychic Armory, take Twin Throw instead.
Point Blank Master****: If you can get around the prerequisites, this is a very useful feat. Not needed on Psychic Armories.
Rapid Reload**: Reduce the time to reload a crossbow, but not to the point where iteratives can be used. However, this is a prerequisite for the much better feat below.
- Crossbow Mastery*****: Reload (almost) all crossbows as a free action. Yaaay, iteratives! If you wish to fight with a crossbow, this is required. Note that some crossbows still don't get iteratives with this feat.
- Improved Snap Shot***: Extra threaten range with a ranged weapon is nice, ensuring an opponent will take an AoO if they try to melee you.
- Greater Snap Shot****: Your ranged attacks of opportunity do extra damage and confirm criticals more easily. This feat would be great on a Psychic Armory, but the other feats in this chain do not help them.
Agile Maneuvers****: For Dex-based builds this is a must. Otherwise, skip it.
Combat Expertise**: While not particularly useful, this feat is a prerequisite for many good feats. If you can, grab this feat through multiclassing to ignore the Intelligence prerequisite.
Improved Dirty Trick***: Dirty tricks apply a single condition, drawn from a list. They range from annoying to debilitating and can be useful in almost any situation, unlike tripping (flying enemies, enemies with multiple legs, oozes, etc.)
- Quick Dirty Trick***: The biggest drawback to dirty tricks is the action cost requirement (a standard). This allows dirty tricks to be used during full attacks. However, they still cannot be used on AoOs. Pick up the Seize the Opportunity feat to enable that.
- Greater Dirty Trick****: Having dirty tricks last for a base amount of 1d4 rounds and requiring a standard action to remove is amazing.
- Dirty Trick Master*****: If you use a dirty trick on an enemy who is already under the effects of certain dirty tricks, the condition is worsened and the duration extends even further. Dazed and nauseated are the best conditions to inflict, as creatures affected do not have the ability to remove the dirty trick (no standard action available). This is incredibly powerful, but it can lead to DMs throwing books at you, so be wary if you decide to go down this route.
- Greater Trip****: Your trips are better and you get free AoOs from successful trips!
- Stand Still***: This would be an amazing feat, but it only works when the enemy is adjacent to you, not in your reach. It is probably worth picking this up anyway, on the chance that it can prevent enemies from reaching your backline.
- Greater Combat Reflexes***: If you are investing into AoOs this is probably worth getting.
Improved Shield Bash*: Shielded Blades gain the benefits of this feat with their mind shield, so this feat is not necessary.
Shield Focus**: Boosting your shield AC by one is pretty meh, but this is a prerequisite for better feats.
- Greater Shield Focus**: Another boost of your AC by one. Meh.
- Shield Brace****: Use a two handed weapon with a shield, as long as it is from the polearm or spear weapon group. An alternative to Pikemanís Training and an excellent option for S&B soulknives, though this does require Emulate Melee Weapon.
- Stumbling Bash***: Effectively +2 to attack for you and all of your allies against someone you shield bash. Sadly, this requires Improved Shield Bash, which is a dead feat on Shielded Blades.
- Unhindering Shield*: Form Mind Shield can only create a heavy steel shield, or a tower shield with the right blade skill, and cannot create a buckler.
Last edited by Battleship789; 2019-01-26 at 02:49 AM.
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterMulticlassing
Like most Pathfinder classes, soulknives generally do not like multiclassing or prestige classes. Almost all of their abilities scale with levels in soulknife and not with ability scores or skill points. However, the Fighterís Blade feat and the Natural Blade trait can keep your mind blade on par with a straight classed soulknife and there are some prestige classes that progress soulknife class features. In order to obtain the full mind blade progression, 19 levels of soulknife must be accounted for (18 levels for the reduced scaling of the Armored Blade or Brutality Blade archetypes). Fighterís Blade and Natural Blade can provide 6 levels of scaling, so any multiclassing/prestige classing needs to allow space for at least 13 (12) levels of soulknife. This number can be reduced further via feats that enable specific multiclass options (Soul Warrior, Zealous Blade, etc.) or with prestige classes that grant mind blade progression.
Fighter 1 or 2****: Soulknives tend to be feat starved, so a one or two level dip into Fighter is an excellent way to shore up on combat feats, and the good Fort save is a nice bonus. As the Bravery class feature of the Fighter is not the best ability for a soulknife, the Archer (for ranged soulknives, +1 to Perception and slightly increased ranged increment with bows), Blackjack (+1 to Will vs compulsion), Cad (+1 on dirty tricks), and Lore Warden (free Combat Expertise) archetypes grant the best replacement ability without the loss of a bonus feat. For Soulknives who want to add some Path of War abilities, the Myrmidon**** archetype is a fine alternative to the standard fighter, though losing the 2nd level Fighter feat hurts. All that said, a 1 or 2 level dip into Psychic Warrior is probably a better option.
Monk 1***** or 2***: For unarmed soulknives, a dip into Monk is an excellent idea. Flurry of Blows is not compatible with the Flurry of Fists blade skill, so any archetype that trades it out is good (Master of Many Styles***** is by far the best of these archetypes for a soulknife.) Stunning Fist is a prerequisite for the Dragon Style feats, so Str-focused unarmed soulknives may not want to trade it out, but others can freely replace the feat: Karmic Monk**** (Bonus to hit and damage against enemies who hit you first, does not stack with MoMS) and Sohei***** (Act in surprise round and gain Ĺ monk level to initiative) are the best options here. An extra level in Monk to pick up evasion and a bonus feat is fine, but you may want to get back into soulknife as soon as possible.
Rogue (Thug) 1*****: For soulknives who want to Intimidate, this is probably required. Other soulknives can skip this dip.
Aegis 3*****: Take 3 levels of Aegis and the Student of the Astral Suit feat to gain 10 customization points for the Astral Suit. For most soulknives, the best customizations this gives access to are Flight (at 5th level, 2 points), Powerful Build (1st level, 2 points), Reach (7th level, 3 points), and Stalwart (2nd level, 1 point), but there are a large number of very useful customizations to choose from. Because your astral suit cannot be given an enhancement bonus natively, the best option will usually be to wear the suit in its Astral Skin configuration with a normal suit of armor on top (or mind armor, for Armored Blades), and reap all of the benefits granted by the suit. Still, all three options for the suit are fine at early levels. Just pick the one that fits your Dexterity score the best until you can purchase magical armor.
Cryptic*: While Psionics Augmented: Soulknives added a feat to combine some Cryptic and soulknife abilities, the two classes do not mesh well together. Cryptics are Int-focused manifesters, which does not combine with the Wisdom (or Charisma, for Brutality Blades) focus that soulknives have. On top of that, the PA:S feat is awful, advancing neither soulknife or Cryptic features. A hard pass.
Dread 3****: If you want to use Intimidate, this dip is very useful. At least 3 levels is optimal, specifically for gaining access to Aura of Fear, which gives a penalty to saving throws against fear effects and REMOVES immunity to fear within 10 ft. The remaining class abilities arenít too great for a soulknife, though a small bonus to Intimidate, Channel Terror with the appropriate Terror choice (Incite Fear, Overwhelming Fear, or Terrified Escape), and some low level powers are nice features. The Dread/Soulknife multiclass feat, Blade of Terror, does not advance soulknife abilities at all, but it does add half your soulknife level to Terror DCs, as well as regaining psychic strike as a free action any time a fear effect is successful (up to once per round.)
Dread (Fearmonger) 1 or 3****: For the soulknife who wants to Intimidate but still dump Charisma, this archetype is for you! It changes every Dread class feature to run off of Wisdom, including Intimidate! Now you donít have to be a Brutality Blade or use an attribute that is mostly worthless to you to be scary! The single level dip is for those starting at a high enough level to use another method of bypassing fear immunity (like Black Seraph Annihilation) who want to use Wisdom for Intimidate.
Marksman 2***: A full BAB, 4th level manifesting class with a Wisdom focus, the Marksman is a good option for ranged soulknives, with PBS at 1st level, the ability to gain Wisdom to hit on ranged attack for a round (3 + Marksman level/day), a Favored Weapon group that gives a scaling competence bonus to attacks, and a Style Technique at 2nd level (the Volley Style is the best option, gaining an additional attack on a full attack by expending psionic focus). The soulknife/Marksman feat, Mind Sniper, is passable, counting the mind blade/mind bolt as a Favored Weapon, no matter what group was chosen, and levels in soulknife count as levels in Marksman for determining the Favored Weapon bonus.
Marksman (Shroud) 2****: Trade out the Wisdom to hit feature for the ability to become invisible for Wis modifier rounds 3 + Marksman levels per day, as well as a number of stealthy features.
Psychic Warrior 1, 2*****, or 3****: One of the main options for a soulknife who wants to multiclass for manifesting, due to the Wisdom synergy. The Psychic Warrior has a very nice power list, gains a bonus combat/psionic feat at both 1st and 2nd level, a good Fort save, and the Warrior Path abilities are quite nice, with the Archer Path (for stealthy, ranged soulknives), Ascetic Path (1 level for quick access to Awakened Blade via Defensive/Offensive Precognition), Dervish Path (TWF, must take at least 3 levels), Gladiator Path (combat maneuver specialists with 3 levels), Interceptor Path (good powers at 1st level, and a good trance/maneuver), Survivor Path (Vigor power at 1st level, plus DR, constant Endure Elements, and Mettle at 3rd level), and Weaponmaster Path (good powers at 1st, with a useful trance) being the best options for a soulknife. Additionally, the soulknife/Psychic Warrior feat, Soul Warrior, is excellent, improving manifester level and soulknife level (for the purpose of mind blade enhancement) by 2, though it does require at least 3 levels in Psychic Warrior.
Vitalist*: A 9th level manifesting class that is keyed off Wisdom, which would normally make this one of the best classes to grab for manifesting. However, the Vitalistís power list and abilities do not mesh well with a soulknife. If you want a 9th level manifesting class, keyed off Wisdom, use the Contemplative archetype for the Wilder.
Wilder 1****: A 9th level manifesting class that is keyed off Charisma. For Brutality Blades, this is the best class for manifesting, due to the Charisma synergy. The best surge choices are either Raging Surge (rage like a Barbarian for 3 + Cha mod rounds per day and only lose hp on psychic enervation) or Studentís Surge (gain Psicrystal Affinity feat and become dazzled/lose manifester level in power points).
Wilder (Contemplative) 1*****: This Wilder archetype changes the Wilderís manifesting to Wisdom and can rotate her powers known every time the Wilder rests to restore power points (though not from powers gained by means other than the standard Wilder powers gained through leveling), alongside the Overchannel and Talented feats. An upgrade to the standard Wilder, and it even gets Wisdom-based manifesting!
Mystic 3****: One of the two Path of War base classes who use Wisdom for their initiating, the Mystic has access to many of the best disciplines in Path of War, a pool of Animus that may be used to augment maneuvers, a bonus feat at 2nd level, an ally-boosting Elemental Glyph that can grant a number of beneficial effects, and one of the better ways to refresh maneuvers. The Aurora Soul***** archetype is focused on unarmed combat, gaining Improved Unarmed Strike at 1st level, Wisdom to AC at 2nd level (that stacks with everything!), and Greater Unarmed Strike at 3rd level.
Stalker 3*****: The other Path of War class with Wisdom-based initiating, the Stalker has a number of good disciplines, a ki pool with some functionality, extra damage on and after critical hits, Wisdom to initiative and Reflex saves, and a good selection of Stalker Arts, which are similar to blade skills. The best Stalker Arts for a soulknife are Combat Precognition (spend a point of ki to force an opponent to reroll attacks, taking the lowest), Critical Edge (increase crit threat range by 1), Fear Monger (gain Cornugon Smash and Dazzling Display as bonus feats, but prerequisites must be met), Killerís Implements (Weapon Finesse and Deadly Agility for a single melee weapon, even if it could not normally benefit), Murderous Insight (spend a point of ki to roll twice on one attack each round, taking the higher roll), Phantom Reach (the next melee strike can be made at close range), and Precocious Step (ignore AoOs for Wis mod rounds at the cost of a point of ki).
Stalker (Privateer) 1*****: While the disciplines available from this archetype are generally worse than the standard Stalker and the firearms proficiency is wasted on a soulknife, the big benefit here is using the 1st level Stalker Art to select the Salt in the Wound Privateer Ploy, which grants both the Improved and Greater Dirty Trick feats for free, bypassing their somewhat painful prerequisites. Also, the maneuver recovery mechanic for this archetype counts as Dazzling Display for prerequisites, which fits nicely into an Intimidate build.
Warder (Ordained Defender) 1*****: For defensive soulknives who want to be Wis-SAD. The biggest benefit of this dip is gaining Combat Reflexes that scales off of Wisdom instead of Dexterity, but gaining maneuvers and the Aegis class feature is pretty nice. You can take more levels in Warder if you wish, but after a certain point it is just better to keep taking Warder instead of soulknife.
Warder (Fiendbound Marauder) 1*****: This Warder archetype allows the Warder to manifest giant spectral claws, called a Fiendís Grip, as a move action. The claws are a light weapon that deals 1d8 bludgeoning or slashing damage (with a 20/x2 crit), have the grapple and reach properties, as well as the grab monster ability, and also threaten adjacent foes. For most soulknives, this would not be particularly useful, but the Fiendís Grip can use the any magical properties of the (spiked) gauntlet used as a focus. Thus, an Augmented Blade can attach their psicrystal to the gauntlet and enjoy the full benefits of their Psicrystal Augment feature on a Fiendís Grip. As the Fiendís Grip is a light weapon, it is finesse-able, so Dex-based AoO builds will LOVE this dip. Or combine with Ordained Defender and the Focused Offense blade skill to become extremely Wis-SAD. If you really want, you can even TWF with the Fiendís Grip!
Warlord (Privateer) 1*****: For Brutality Blades who want in on the Salt in the Wound and Dazzling Display party, but want to use Charisma for initiating.
Zealot*****: The Zealot is a psionic, Charisma-based initiating class from Path of War. The combination feat for the soulknife/Zealot multiclass, Zealous Blade, is quite good, adding Zealot level to soulknife level for the purpose of enhancing mind blade and the effects/prerequisites of blade skills. However, the Charisma focus of the Zealot clashes with soulknife, unless you play a Brutality Blade. For a Brutality Blade, a dip into Zealot grants a ton (TON!) of features. The only problem with taking Zealot levels is that they tend to be better than normal soulknife levels, especially with the Zealous Blade feat advancing your mind blade. However, the Zealotís playstyle is very different from your standard soulknife: Zealots like to use single action strikes and AoOs for offense, saving their move action for aid another (as it refreshes their maneuvers and powers many abilities) and their swift action for counters, supporting their allies, while most soulknives prefer to full attack whenever possible to quickly slay their opponents. For a more offense-oriented Zealot dip that removes some (but not all) of the ally supporting abilities, consider taking 3 or 4 levels of the Void Prophet***** archetype, Zealots who forcibly add enemies to their collective. However, if you are interested in a more traditional Zealot with a splash of soulknife, consult Castiloniumís Guide to the Zealot.
Prestige Classes, Part 1
***** A note on Prestige Classes: Some of the psionic prestige classes were given changes that make them far more attractive to soulknives in Psionics Augmented: Soulknives. Additionally, for ďHigh PsionicĒ campaigns, Prestige Classes that solely advance either mind blade or manifesting normally, advance both for Gifted Blade soulknives. I will mention the changes in the remainder of the guide, but just wanted to note it before starting.*****
Adaptive Warrior****: Adaptive Warriors study their opponents in battle, mimicking their opponentsí battle style.
Final Verdict****: A pretty solid set of features make Adaptive Warrior an attractive option (only with the PA:S changes, though), but bouncing after level 6 is probably for the best, as the later features just donít benefit a soulknife much.SpoilerPrerequisites***: Improved Feint, and potentially Combat Expertise, is a feat tax, but the remainder of the prerequisites are very easy to meet. Just remember to put ranks into Sense Motive.
Chassis****: Full BAB, d10 hit die, and good Fort/Ref progression are great! 2 + Int mod skills, not so much. Soulknives usually donít get much out of their skills, so this isnít crippling.
Manifesting**: Normally, the Adaptive Warrior gives 8/10 manifesting levels, missing only levels 1 and 6, which obviously doesnít help soulknives much, especially since the prerequisites can be filled without any manifesting. However, PA:S gives the following options:
- Normal Soulknives*****: Advance both mind blade and blade skills for each level of the class (no new blade skills), but do not advance any manifesting.
- Gifted Blades*****: Advance mind blade and Gifted Blade manifesting at the 8/10 rate. There is no blade skill advancement with this option.
- War Souls*****: Advance mind blade and War Soul maneuvers at the 8/10 rate, with no blade skill advancing.
Counter Fighting Style****: Gain a competence bonus on attack and damage equal to half your class level for one minute, until your psionic focus is expended, or until the Examine Technique ability is used on another target, against all opponents targeted by Examine Technique. At 4th level, one may expend psionic focus to automatically threaten a critical hit on a successful hit. A scaling damage boost is a nice benefit, as is the ability to auto-crit, but the only drawback to the ability is very annoying: the benefits of the skill come the round AFTER you use Examine Technique.
Mimic Skill**: Copy any skill that uses Str/Dex/Con that has been used within the last minute by a creature under the effects of Examine Technique (the skill user must be trained in that skill to gain the benefit of this ability), gaining skill points equal to Adaptive Warrior level. This ability is passable, usually as a way to guarantee Aid Another on your allies or pass very basic checks, as the number of skill ranks gained by the ability is too low to overcome high skill DCs.
Mimic Proficiency*: Extremely situational, especially for a soulknife, who should always have a weapon available.
Block Attack*****: While psionically focused, as an immediate action, block any non-touch attack made by an opponent who is under the effects of Examine Technique with an opposed attack roll plus class level. Amazing! This ability does not require the expense of psionic focus, can be used as long as you have swift actions, and should work against any attacks, including spells/powers. Not being able to use this ability against very large opponents is a slight drawback, but this ability still offers a ton of defensive utility.
Accelerated Combat*****: As part of a full attack action, expend psionic focus while attacking an opponent under the effect of Examine Technique and gain two! additional attacks at your highest attack bonus. And it stacks with Haste-like effects! Being limited to once every ten minutes is a bit of a downer, but that effectively means this can be used once per encounter, which is still pretty great. Oh, and you get a small circumstance bonus to AC until your next turn. A great ability!
Extended Memory**: Change the time limit of most Adaptive Warrior abilities to one hour instead of one minute. Also, as a swift action while psionically focused, recall a single fighting style, skill, proficiency, or feat by making an Autohypnosis roll. The Autohypnosis DC scales very fast, at 15 + the number of rounds since the effect was used, but it allows for the use of psionic focus without losing most of your class features. The time limit change is mostly useless, as most of the abilities will be used in combat, which usually does not last beyond a minute.
Extended Examination*: By spending a full-round action to examine a single creature, gain class level instead of half class level on Counter Fighting Style for the next round. The action cost for this ability is far too steep, and the effect only lasts a single round.
Mimic Feat**: This is potentially useful, but the best feats for your soulknife should be taken normally, not relying on this ability to give you access.
Combine Fighting Styles**: For a capstone, this ability is very underwhelming for a soulknife. The only soulknives that greatly benefit from flat-footed are Cutthroats, and every other archetype doesnít really care.
Dark Tempest*****: The Dark Tempest prestige class combines manifesting and the mind blade together, in a similar fashion to the Gifted Blade, with an emphasis on psychic strike.
Final Verdict*****: While nothing the Dark Tempest provides is exceptional, it advances almost everything the soulknife wants, alongside full manifesting and mind blade progression, and even gives some blade skills. The prerequisites are so easy to meet that it may be worthwhile to dip one, four, or even seven levels of this prestige class for the faster psychic strike scaling and Power Strike.SpoilerPrerequisites*****: Very easy to meet. The skill requirement is a piece of cake, and the psionic requirements can be met by either multiclassing soulknife with any manifesting class (with Psychic Warrior or Wilder (Contemplative) being the top picks, due to Wisdom manifesting), or with the Gifted Blade archetype.
Chassis**: d10 hit die and a good Fort save is a great start, but ĺ BAB, poor Reflex/Will saves, and 2 + Int skills put this below the normal soulknife chassis.
Manifesting*****: Full advancement for every level of the prestige class.
Mind Blade*****: Full advancement of the mind blade.
Diverse Training*****: Dark Tempest levels are treated as soulknife levels for blade skills and feats, as well as being able to use Call Weaponry items as a mind blade. The first part is great, but the second half is basically worthless. Call Weaponry is far too slow, and you already have a mind blade.
Psychic Strike*****: Exactly the same as the soulknife ability, but it scales much faster, gaining four dice of damage over 10 levels (compare this to five dice over 20 levels for the normal soulknife.)
Expanded Power List****: Dark Tempests add a number of powers to their manifesting classí list. The majority are offensive powers, which does not mesh overly well with a soulknife, but include some fairly useful ones. Do note that those who qualify for the class with Gifted Blade will not gain access to the 5th and 6th level powers.
Power Strike****: When expending psychic strike on a successful hit, instead manifest a known power, from the Expanded Power List, as a swift action (that does not provoke AoOs) for free, up to 2 power points per die of psychic strike damage, based on Dark Tempest level. Being limited to the Expanded Power List is very annoying, but there are some gems to attach:
- 1st Level: Energy Ray and Mind Thrust
- 2nd Level: Ego Whip and Swarm of Crystals
- 3rd Level: Energy Bolt and Hostile Empathic Transfer
Power Critical****: On a successful critical hit, manifest a power as a swift action. Once again, this power does not provoke AoOs but must include the target who was critically struck. Also, the Power Strike ability is now only limited by the number of psychic strike dice, opening up the option for all 6 levels of the Expanded Power List.
Elocater**: Masters of movement and teleportation, Elocaters flit about the battlefield with extreme ease, defeating their foes with superior positioning.
Final Verdict**: Almost all of the Elocaterís most unique features come at first level but are locked behind the very painful prerequisites. Most soulknives will get more use out of their blade skills than the later features granted by this prestige class, so if you must take this, heavily consider skipping out after one level and donít go beyond 7th or 8th level.SpoilerPrerequisites*: The BAB and skill requirements are laughably easy, but the feats required are horrible. PA:S gives an option to replace the manifesting prerequisite with a mind blade enhancement of +1 and the Ghost Step blade skill. Note that these changes do not change the awful feat requirements.
Chassis**: Good Reflex and Will saves are useful, as are the 6 + Int skill points, but a poor Fort save, ĺ BAB, and a d8 hit die make this weaker than the standard soulknife.
Manifesting***: The Elocater advances manifesting 7/10 levels, with gaps at 1st, 5th and 9th level. The PA:S alternative rule gives mind blade enhancement over those same levels instead of manifesting. Losing three levels is painful, but it can be made up for with the Fighterís Blade feat.
Aerial Acrobatics****: Add ranks in Acrobatics as a bonus to any Fly checks, and ranks in Fly to Acrobatics checks. If you are invested in Fly, this is a great bonus to Acrobatics, and vice versa, but this also allows an Elocater to almost completely dump Fly if they donít have enough skill points.
Personal Gravity****: Permanent Spider Climb is pretty nice.
Scorn Earth*****: While near the ground, this is mostly a fluff ability that allows the Elocater to ignore difficult terrain. However, the ability truly shines as a weak Fly spell; being able to move 10 ft in any direction is a pretty solid mobility boost, even with the penalties from defy gravity.
Terminal Velocity****: Never take fall damage again! Nice.
Free Running****: Circumstance bonuses to movement speed are pretty rare, and this scales well.
Spatial Awareness***: Gain a scaling insight bonus to attack and damage when attacking from high ground or flanking, and enemies no longer gain bonuses from high ground. Pretty good, but the ability is situational and only works on the first attack each round.
Dimension Step***: Gain the ability to use Fold Space a limited number of times per day. Fold Space is fine, but the Cleave Space blade skill is not limited to daily uses.
Flanker**: Flank with your allies in strange places. A passable ability, but this becomes much better when used with a Cutthroat or an allied rogue****.
Dimension Swap**: Swap places with an ally within 60 ft that costs a use of the Dimension Step. Not an awful ability, but it is limited by the Dimension Step abilityís daily uses.
Transporter**: Learn both psychoport and planar travel as level 3 powers. Pretty great, but then your mind blade isnít being advanced by this prestige class. With PA:S, this ability grants the Cleave Space blade skill*** or another blade skill, if Cleave Space is already known.
Capricious Step****: Gain an extra 5-foot step per round. Pretty great for moving around the battlefield.
Dimension Spring Attack**: Use Dimension Step in conjunction with Spring Attack, teleporting up to 60 ft to a target, attacking, then teleporting back. Not a horrible ability, but Dimension Stepís very limited uses rear their ugly head again.
Accelerated Action***: For up to 5 rounds a day, in 1-round increments, select one of the following options, in addition to your normal actions for the round:
- Full Attack: Whenever you make a full-attack action, gain an extra attack at the full base attack bonus.
- Move: Move up to your speed, gaining a 30 ft enhancement bonus to movement.
- Power: Manifest a power with a manifesting time of 1 standard action or less, as long as you havenít manifested a power yet.
Metaforge**: Effectively a theruge for the soulknife and Aegis, the Metaforge allows the blending of the two classesí biggest features: mind blade and aegis armor.
Final Verdict**: I am heavily tempted to rate this prestige class as red, at least from the perspective of a soulknife. Transfer Enhancement reduces the effectiveness of your main class feature and the activation time is abysmal (upgrading to passable at 10th level), Dual Summon is very situational, and Crystallized Mind Bladeís duration is garbage. By far the best ability of the Metaforge is full progression of both mind blade and astral suit. Frankly, I think a 3 level dip into Aegis (combined with the Student of the Astral Suit feat) for the astral skin form to wear underneath your normal armor, and then taking normal soulknife levels or another prestige class for the remainder of your career, is far better than this prestige class (potentially combined with the Armored Blade archetype or the Psychokinetic Armor blade skill). Or use the Form Astral Armor power from the Gifted Blade power list.SpoilerPrerequisites****: The Craft requirement is fairly easy to meet, though both of the other prerequisites normally require at least three levels in both soulknife and Aegis. The Augmented Blade archetype actually qualifies with only a single level of soulknife, allowing entrance to this prestige class at level 5.
Chassis***: A slight downgrade from the standard soulknife, with everything the same except for a poor Reflex save and an even worse class skill list.
Mind Blade/Astral Suit*****: Full advancement of both astral suit (including DR, customization points, and Aegis level to qualify for customizations) and mind blade (does not advance soulknife level for blade skills) for every level of Metaforge. Excellent.
Crystallized Mind Blade***: The Metaforgeís mind blade is harder to break, and, as a swift action, can be charged with power points to increase its enhancement bonus for a single round. The improved hardness and hit points of the mind blade is not needed, but the ability to increase the mind bladeís enhancement bonus is good. Too bad it only lasts a single round.
Transfer Enhancement**: Spend a minute to reduce the enhancement bonus or weapon special abilities of the mind blade to grant an equivalent armor special ability to the astral suit, limited by Metaforge level, that lasts until the Metaforge spends a minute to either revert the mind blade to full power or change the armor special ability. The time requirement is annoying, as is taking away your mind bladeís enhancement bonus or special abilities, but there are times where armor special abilities will be a superior option.
Dual Summon**: Summon both astral suit and mind blade with the same action while psionically focused, but the action to summon them is the longer of the two abilities. Alternatively, expend psionic focus to summon them with the shorter action of the two abilities. This ability should only be useful when you are ambushed while sleeping (where you canít be psionically focused) or are required to hide your armor/weapon, as there are no penalties to having either your astral suit or mind blade active constantly.
Swift Transfer***: Being able to transfer the enhancement bonus as a standard action, instead of a minute, is a nice boost to the Transfer Enhancement ability, but needing to take away the enhancement bonus of the mind blade is still very annoying.
Mystic Archer***: An archery focused class that gains extraordinary types of sight.
Final Verdict***: The biggest drawback to this prestige class is the lack of mind blade progression. As the prestige class is only 7 levels long, it is possible to get full mind blade progression by using both Fighterís Blade and Natural Blade alongside 13 levels of soulknife (or other prestige classes that fully advance mind blade.) If that can be fit into your build, this is a solid prestige class that great improves your senses. However, the lack of offensive improvements (outside of a garbage sneak attack or passable psychic strike progression) limits Mystic Archer from being a great prestige class. Also, the early levels are pretty awful, making Mystic Archer a poor dip choice.SpoilerPrerequisites****: The prerequisites are very easy to meet for a ranged soulknife, though Intuitive Shot may be a feat tax for a Dex-focused soulknife. PA:S allows entry to this class for melee characters, replacing the feat requirements for Blind-Fight, Intuitive Fighting, and Psionic Weapon, noting that the Focused Offense blade skill can be substituted for Intuitive Fighting. The melee prerequisites are much harsher**, as Blind-Fight eventually becomes worthless.
Chassis***: Almost exactly the same as the normal soulknife, just a worse skill list and 2 + Int skills.
Inevitable Strike***: Gain Inevitable Strike as a psi-like ability a few times per day. Not a bad ability by any means, especially as Inevitable Strike can be used as a swift action, but the daily limit is low.
Blindsense****: Blindsense in a 30ft radius as long as psionic focus is maintained. Blindsense is probably the weakest of the supervision abilities, but it is still quite good.
Ranged Sneak Attack*: Gain a poorly scaling sneak attack that only works on ranged attacks within 30ft. For soulknives who focus on sneak attack, this is marginally better**, but most ranged combat takes place at ranges beyond 30 ft and it is harder to activate sneak attack on ranged attacks. Melee soulknives who enter Mystic Archer through the PA:S prerequisites instead progress psychic strike****, at around the same rate as the normal psychic strike progression. If you are a ranged soulknife, beg your DM to allow the psychic strike progression instead of the sneak attack.
Heightened Senses*****: Improve the range of the super senses granted by this prestige class, as well as increase the range of ranged sneak attack. The scaling is fairly nice, at 5 ft per level (+25 ft at 7th level), and it should stack with the Hawkeye feat for ranged sneak attack, if you are desperate to make a ranged sneak attack build.
Tremorsense****: Gain tremorsense in a 30 ft radius as long as psionic focus is maintained. While superior to blindsense, tremorsense does not work on flying enemies, which should be in abundance by the time this ability comes online at 10th level.
Blindsight*****: The best vision type in the game in a 30 ft radius, as long as psionic focus is maintained. Amazing.
Unhindered Vision*****: Use Pierce the Veils as a psi-like ability every ten minutes for a one minute duration. Pierce the Veils is a very strong power, being psionic True Sight, and it allows your blindsight to be used to its full capability.
Phrenic Slayer*****: A psionic ranger prestige class that focuses on slaying psionic enemies and resisting the attacks of psionic creatures.
Final Verdict*****: Many of the abilities are restricted to the Favored Enemy gained by the class, which is incredibly annoying. Also, Phrenic Slayer does not natively advance mind blade, which limits the number of builds that can fit in levels. For most builds, bouncing out at level 6 for Cerebral Blind is by far the best option, though campaigns who are focused on a single, psionic enemy type will absolutely LOVE this prestige class.SpoilerPrerequisites****: Skill Focus (Survival) is a feat tax, but the remaining requirements are easy to meet.
Chassis***: Almost identical to the normal soulknife, but with a poor Ref save.
Manifesting****: Phrenic Slayers progress manifesting at a 9/10 rate, only losing out at first level. For most soulknives this is not useful, but Gifted Blades will love it, especially if in a ďHigh PsionicsĒ campaign*****, where this will progress both manifesting and mind blade at the 9/10 rate.
Favored Enemy**: Choose a Favored Enemy from a specific list and gain the same bonuses as the normal ranger ability, scaling at a very fast rate. However, the bonuses only work if the Favored Enemy ALSO has the psionic subtype and only a single Favored Enemy may be selected. This ability is very narrow, needing the enemy to be both psionic and a member of your Favored Enemy creature type, which offsets the incredibly fast scaling. If your campaign takes place in an area where there will be a single creature type and almost every member of that creature type is psionic, this becomes amazing*****, but this ability will likely not do much for your average character.
Enemy Sense**: If a member of your Favored Enemyís creature type is within 60 ft, you automatically detect their presence. Not bad, but it also falls under the same heavy limitations of the Favored Enemy class feature. At least they donít have to be psionic for this ability to work.
Brain Nausea**: Whenever a mind-affecting ability targets you and you successfully save against it, the enemy must make a Will save or become sickened/nauseated/stunned for a short duration. However, it must be from a member of your Favored Enemyís creature type, which, once again, severely limits this abilityís usefulness.
Lucid Buffer****: Gain a scaling competence bonus on saving throws against compulsions and mind-affecting effects. Competence bonuses to saves are fairly rare and compulsions/mind-affecting effects are among the most nasty abilities to fail a save against. Also, it isnít limited to your Favored Enemy!
Power Resistance**: Gain 13 + Phrenic Slayer level power resistance, but only against your Favored Enemy. The scaling isnít the greatest and it is still limited to your Favored Enemy.
Cerebral Blind*****: Gain protection against everything that attempts to detect your location, with the exception of the Metafaculty power, while psionically focused. An amazing defensive ability, and the best feature of this prestige class.
Breach Power Resistance***: While psionically focused, every successful melee attack made against a Favored Enemy with power resistance reduces that resistance by 1 (stacking with itself), and lasts for 12 hours. The restriction to your Favored Enemy really kills this ability, as it would be absolutely amazing without it.
Cerebral Immunity****: While psionically focused, gain a +10 resistance bonus against all mind-affecting powers and effects. The bonus is huge, but it wonít stack with most save boosting items/spells/powers, which reduces its strength somewhat.
Rebound Attack***: Expend psionic focus when targeted by an effect that is subject to power resistance to rebound the effect back to the source, up to 3 + Wis mod times per day. However, it may only be used against your Favored Enemy, which reduces the viability of the effect.
Pyrokineticist**: Pyrokineticists use their psionic ability to cause fires of all shapes and sizes, controlling the very heat of their bodies.
Final Verdict**: Without the PA:S changes, this prestige class is unsalvageable. The best benefits of the class are 2d6/4d6 fire damage on all attacks, the fire resistance/immunity, and, if one has enough power points, the Firewalk ability. If the Pyrokineticist does not advance mind blade, those few benefits do not come even close to just taking normal soulknife levels. Even with mind blade scaling, normal soulknife levels are almost certainly better, as most blade skills are better than every ability this prestige class can grant.SpoilerPrerequisites*****: Extremely easy to meet, with the Craft (alchemy) rank the only prerequisite that most soulknives will have to go out of their way to meet.
Chassis**: Good Fort and Reflex saves, but ĺ BAB, a d8 hit die, and even less skill points/class skills than the normal soulknife is a downgrade overall.
Fire Lash**: Create a 15-ft whip of fire as a move action. The lash does 1d8 of fire damage and can be used as normal whip. Soulknives who possess the Altered Blade blade skill can use the Fire Lash as a mind blade, gaining all benefits normally granted by the mind blade. Alternatively, PA:S gives an option where the Altered Blade blade skill is not needed to use the Fire Lash as a mind blade. Sadly, fire damage is the most resisted damage type in Pathfinder and there are no options to change the damage type of the lash (though, it may be possible with the *element* Blade blade skills).
Manipulate Blaze**: As a standard action, up to 3/day, a Pyrokineticist may manipulate a source of fire within close range, immediately extinguishing the normal fire and creating either Fireworks (all creatures within 120 ft, Will DC 10 + Ĺ class level + Cha mod or be blinded), Healing Heat (healing 2-5 hp per power point spent, depending on level), or Smoke Cloud (20 ft radius, lasting 1 round per level, and inflicting -4 to Str and Dex with a Fort DC 10 + Ĺ level + Cha mod to negate). The save DCs scale very poorly and rely on the Cha modifier, usually a dump stat for soulknives, so Healing Heat is usually the best option. However, non-Gifted Blade soulknives have very few power points, so even Healing Heat may be a poor option.
Fire Adaptation****: Gain a large, untyped bonus for all saving throws against fire or heat spells and effects, in addition to scaling fire resistance. Fire is also the most used elemental energy type against PCs, so this ability will be quite useful.
Hand Afire**: As a move action, engulf your hands in flame, dealing 2d6 (4d6 at 8th level) fire damage with every unarmed attack. There isnít a listed duration for this ability, so it lasts forever? For unarmed soulknives, this is a pretty nice damage boost****, but most soulknives wonít bother with unarmed attacks. The PA:S option removes this ability in exchange for full mind blade enhancement, which is amazing*****.
Bolt of Fire***: As a standard action, shoot a bolt of fire as a touch attack at a target within 60 ft, dealing 1d6 damage per Pyrokineticist level. The damage scales reasonably well, and the range is passable, making this an okay ranged attack.
Weapon Afire****: Like Hand Afire, but for any attacks. A solid damage boost for most soulknives, even if it is fire damage.
Nimbus**: Once per day, as a move action, flames engulf the Pyrokineticist, raising Charisma by 4, gaining DR 5/magic, a 2d6 fire damage melee touch attack, and any opponents who striker her in melee take 2d6 fire damage. The damage upgrades to 4d6 at 8th level and lasts for 1 minute per Pyrokineticist level. Only usable once per day, with a poor duration, and okay damage, the biggest benefit to this ability is the untyped boost to Charisma, which does almost nothing for a soulknife.
Firewalk****: Expend psionic focus to move normally through air, at the cost of 1 power point per round. Effectively a Perfect fly speed equal to your normal move speed, this is a great ability for characters with a large number of power points. However, most soulknives do not have many power points and wonít be able to use this ability much.
Leech Heat*: Deal a small amount of cold damage and heal for an even lower amount, with a poorly scaling save DC. An awful ability.
Penetrating Fire***: Fire attacks made by the Pyrokineticist reduce the fire resistance of the target by the Pyrokineticistís level. Unfortunately, this doesnít bypass immunities and the reduction is fairly small, but it will allow your class features to actually do damage to some enemies.
Heat Death*: Spend psionic focus and take a full-attack action to raise the internal temperature of a living creature within 30 ft. The Fortitude save is abysmal, the damage is laughable, and you have to maintain concentration as a standard action each round for it to last beyond a round. One of the worst abilities ever printed.
Conflagration**: As a standard action, deal 15d6 fire damage in a 30 ft burst emanating from you. A poorly scaling Reflex save halves the damage, and anyone who fails the save must make a Fort save at the same DC or die. The damage and area for this ability are passable, but almost no one should fail the saving throw(s), due to the horrible scaling.
Fire Soul****: Gain immunity to fire and fire-based effects and use Nimbus two additional times per day. The extra Nimbus uses are alright, but fire immunity is a pretty good defensive bonus.
Last edited by Battleship789; 2019-03-04 at 01:15 AM.
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- Sep 2008
Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterPrestige Classes, Part 2
Soul Archer****: The Soul Archer forms their mind blade or mind bolt into a mind arrow, using the mind arrow as a normal archer would wield a longbow.
Final Verdict****: For ranged soulknives, Soul Archer is a good prestige class. Its class features emulate the normal soulknife progressions, but also add a few new abilities, even if some of them are relatively narrow in scope, effectively making it Soulknife+ for ranged characters. The prestige class does not dip well, as its only good, exclusive ability comes at level 10, and Form Mind Arrow can be simulated with the Emulate Ranged Weapon blade skill.SpoilerPrerequisites*****: Any ranged soulknife will automatically fulfill the prerequisites.
Chassis***: Almost identical to the standard soulknife, but with a poor Will save.
Mind Blade****: Advances mind blade at a 9/10 rate, missing out at 1st level.
Form Mind Arrow*****: Shape the mind blade or mind bolt into a mind arrow as a free action. The mind arrow is treated like an arrow being shot out of a composite longbow in all ways, except it adds extra damage equal to the Soul Archerís Wisdom modifier instead of Strength. The reason to take this class, this ability works with any feat or special ability that requires the use of a bow, such as the Multishot feat, and can be used to make iterative attacks.
Ranged Blade Skill*****: Select any blade skill that a Soulbolt could normally select, at the same rate as a normal soulknife, and treat levels in Soul Archer as levels in soulknife for prerequisites. Excellent.
Ranged Feat****: Gain a feat that has Point-Blank Shot as a prerequisite. Sadly, it doesnít remove prerequisites.
Ranged Psychic Strike****: Increase psychic strike by 1d8 damage at 4th and 8th level, but only while the mind blade is in mind arrow form. This is a slight downgrade from the normal psychic strike, but Soul Archers will likely be attacking at range exclusively, mitigating the restriction.
Reflexive Shot*: Threaten attacks of opportunity with mind arrows. However, using those attacks of opportunity still threatens attacks of opportunity in retaliation, which makes this ability near worthless without Point Blank Master.
Phasing Shot*: Similar to the Psionic Precise Shot feat, but as a touch attack that does not ignore magical/psionic barriers. Still awful.
Empowered Shot****: When expending psionic focus to power a feat that works on a single attack, instead apply the effects of the feat to every attack in a full-attack action, with the caveat that the feat must only work on ranged attacks. The best applications of this ability are either Fell Shot, to make every attack a touch attack, or Greater Psionic Shot, for 4d6 damage on every attack. With a method of easily recovering psionic focus, this becomes amazing*****.
Telekinetic Weaponmaster***: The Telekinetic Weaponmaster uses telekinesis to fight with their melee weapons.
Final Verdict***: While most of the abilities of the Telekinetic Weaponmaster range from awful to moderately less awful, Telekinetic Reach is very strong, and possibly worth taking this prestige class for. Going beyond 1st level, however, is a terrible idea.SpoilerPrerequisites***: The majority of the prerequisites are pretty easy to meet, but being able to manifest far hand or telekinetic force can be a major stumbling block. The easiest way to meet this requirement is to pick up far hand via the Psychokinetic Talent trait or the Access Psionic Talent feat. Dipping a manifesting class that gains far hand is also a fine option.
Chassis***: Slightly worse than the standard soulknife, with a poor Will save, 2 less skill points, and a worse class skill list.
Manifesting****: Advance manifesting at a 4/5 pace, missing 1st level. For most soulknives, this doesnít help, but Gifted Blades or multiclass soulknives will enjoy the scaling.
Telekinetic Reach*****: Gain the reach quality for a weapon being wielded, or increase your reach by 5 ft more while psionically focused. Amazing, especially for larger soulknives!
Telekinetic Throw*: Expend psionic focus to throw a melee weapon 30 ft. Almost always worse than the standard Throw Mind Blade, which is already garbage.
Telekinetic Block**: Gain a +1 deflection bonus to AC while maintaining psionic focus, or expend psionic focus to gain a +4 bonus instead. The bonus to AC wonít stack with a Ring of Protection, which heavily reduces the usefulness of this ability.
Dual Kinetic Mastery*: Use a weapon telekinetically within 20 ft of the Telekinetic Weaponmaster. This weapon can make normal attacks and AoOs as if the Telekinetic Weaponmaster was in that square, but the telekinetic weapon cannot be used to make iterative attacks. For most soulknives, this ability should only work with the double light form of the mind blade, and it is questionable if that would even work. Even if the ability does work, it is far better to dual wield the light weapon or use another blade form. Leave this ability to another class.
Telekinetic Whirlwind**: Another Whirlwind Attack for soulknives, this time being used at a small range! Just as meh as the other options.
War Mind*****: War Minds use ancient techniques called the chains of war to enhance their fighting abilities.
Final Verdict*****: Without the PA:S changes, this is still a fairly solid option for a soulknife, though Strength soulknives will benefit the most from the prestige class, and only up to level 7 at most, to keep full mind blade progression. With the PA:S changes, this is an excellent option for Strength soulknives, and a passable option for other soulknives.SpoilerPrerequisites****: Very easy to meet for a soulknife, with the Knowledge (history) ranks being the only prerequisite that a soulknife will have to go out of their way to obtain.
Chassis***: A side grade from the normal soulknife, swapping a good Will save for a good Fort save and slightly worse skills.
Manifesting/Warriorís Journey****: War Minds gain manifesting from the Psychic Warrior list or advance Psychic Warrior manifesting. PA:S replaces this ability with the following options, depending on the archetype used,
- Normal Soulknife*****: Fully advance soulknife for both blade skills and mind blade.
- Gifted Blade*****: Advance mind blade and manifesting at an 8/10 rate, missing out on 1st and 10th level.
- War Soul*****: Advance mind blade and War Soul maneuvers at an 8/10 rate, skipping 1st and 10th level.
Chain of Defensive Posture****: As a free action, gain an insight bonus to AC for one minute, up to three times a day. Basically the same as the previous ability, but for AC. Solid.
Enduring Body***: Gain scaling, unbreakable DR. While the DR is fairly small, there arenít any downsides to it.
Well of Power****: Gain extra uses of the various Chain abilities by spending power points. Gaining extra uses of the Chain abilities is pretty nice, and the power point cost is fairly low. If any of the PA:S options are used, this ability is instead a blade skill*****.
Sweeping Strike*****: On every melee attack, a War Mind can select two, adjacent squares within reach, and attack any creatures in those squares. When enemies are adjacent to each other, this ability effectively doubles the number of attacks a War Mind can make in a round. However, the enemies do have to be adjacent to use this ability, making this ability somewhat situational.
Chain of Overwhelming Force**: As part of a melee attack, once per day, deal an extra 10d6 damage. The damage is decent, adding 35 on average, but it is underwhelming as a capstone that is usable once per day.
Ashen Blade****: Masters of both stealth and subterfuge, Ashen Blades are cunning assassins who utilized psychic strike to end their foes.
Final Verdict****: Ashen Blade advances most of the abilities a stealthy soulknife would want, but its main class feature, Augmented Strike, is rather poor, with a few exceptions. Still, the rest of the class is solid, and a worthwhile option to consider.SpoilerPrerequisites***: Most of the requirements arenít too bad, with Sleight of Hand the only skill that is not natively a class skill for soulknives, Mind Daggers is a solid blade skill, and psychic strike/covert training is easy to acquire. Sadly, Improved Feint and (possibly) Combat Expertise are a feat tax.
Chassis**: A more skill-monkey focused class skill list is nice, but they donít gain any extra skill points, have a d8 hit die, 3/4 BAB, and their only good save is Reflex.
Manifesting*****: The Ashen Blade gains Gifted Blade manifesting at an accelerated rate, or advances manifesting at a 10/10 rate. Full manifesting advancement is great, and accelerated Gifted Blade manifesting on its own is still pretty good.
Augmented Strike*****: 5 + Wis mod times a day, as a swift action to empower your next attack. At 4th and 7th level, additional augments can be applied as part of the swift action, and extra Augments are available for use. Sadly, the Augmented Strike runs out at the beginning of the Ashen Bladeís next turn, so it cannot be used before combat. The Augment options are sorted into three categories (basic, adept, and master), with the augments becoming available at 1st, 4th, and 7th level.
- Increased Psychic Strike (basic)*****: Deal extra psychic strike damage, starting at +1d8 damage, and increasing at a rate of +1d8 damage per two power points. Even though the power points you can spend is limited by your Ashen Blade level and this will only apply to a single psychic strike, this is still the best way to increase psychic strike damage in the game. This is best when used in conjunction with a blade skill that is dependent on your psychic strike damage, especially Knife to the Soul and Devastating Blade.
- Focus-Destroying Blow (basic)*: Force your opponent to lose psionic focus with a garbage scaling Will save. The save is so low, almost no one who cares will be able to fail it.
- Stunning Strike (basic)*: Stun your opponent for a round with an even worse Fort saving throw. DC 10 + Wis mod? Seriously? No one who matters will fail that.
- Bypass Concealment (basic)***: Next attack ignores miss chance provided by (total) concealment. Not bad, especially since this works against spells/powers that are treated as concealment, like Displacement.
- Mental Assault (adept)***: Deal 2 points of Int or Wis damage on your next attack, scaling by 1 point per two power points spent. Not bad on its own, though it is difficult to truly incapacitate anyone with just this ability, other than animals. However, in conjunction with Increased Psychic Strike and Knife to the Soul/Devastating Blade, this can one shot many enemies.
- Ghost Breaker (adept)***: Until the next turn, your weapons are treated as if they had the ghost touch weapon special ability. Frees up a slot on your mind blade.
- Psychic Vampire (adept)***: Steal power points equal to half of the damage dealt, which can be used in the next round. Not bad, but you have to be fighting an opponent with power points which limits the usefulness of this ability.
- Life Quencher (master)**: Apply 1d4 negative levels for 1 round, with a Fortitude save to reduce the negative levels to 1. The negative levels only last a round (and can only be increased to a maximum of 3 rounds with power points), and the save DC is still very low.
- Synaptic Disruptor (master)**: Your target cannot cast spells, manifest powers, or use SLAs/PLAs for a round unless it makes a successful Will save. This augment would be amazing, but targeting Will with a poorly scaling DC means this augment will rarely work against threats that actually need to use their abilities.
Fast Knives****: Feint as a swift/free action when using mind daggers, and deal 1d6 sneak attack damage if the feint is successful. For Cutthroat soulknives or those who multiclass with Rogue, this enables easy sneak attack damage after just a single level when combined with the Greater Feint feat. After 6th level there is no drawback to feinting on every attack you make.
Psychic Strike****: Gain extra psychic strike damage at 1st, 5th, and 8th level. Faster scaling than the normal soulknife is always nice.
Cunning***: Gain a small bonus to Bluff and Stealth while psionically focused, and double that bonus by expending psionic focus. Untyped bonuses to your most used skills are always nice, but the bonuses arenít very large
Blade Skill*****: New blade skills, with no restrictions. One of your best class features as a soulknife, and you get them here!
Master of Ashes*****: Use Augmented Strikes an unlimited number of times per day, and recharge psychic strike or psionic focus after slaying a slightly competent enemy. Both abilities here are excellent and freely recharging psychic strike or psionic focus after killing an enemy combos well with the Deadly Imbuement feat and/or the Reaperís Blade blade skill.
Marvel****: Marvels use their mastery of psionics to strengthen their bodies while psionically focused.
Final Verdict****: An excellent option for Strength soulknives, and a passable option for other soulknives, the Marvel gains a number of useful abilities, though nothing gamebreaking.SpoilerPrerequisites****: Fairly easy for most soulknives to meet, but Telekinetic Athleticism is not the greatest blade skill, and the feats needed are average.
Chassis****: d12 hit die and a good Fort save are amazing, but losing good Ref and Will saves hurts. The class skill list is pretty good, and 4 + Int skill points is fine. Overall, a net positive.
Manifesting***: Advance manifesting for 9/10 levels, only missing at 1st. However, it only improves Gifted Blade or Psychic Warrior manifesting and does not grant any manifesting on its own, unlike the Ashen Blade.
Marvel*****: Count Marvel levels as soulknife levels for mind blade advancement and blade skill scaling, as well as Psychic Warrior trance and maneuver abilities.
Gift of Power****: While psionically focused, add Wis mod to Strength as an insight bonus (up to a maximum of Marvel level), full Wis mod to Strength for determining carrying capacity and to break objects, and the rock throwing special ability. An interesting ability, this benefits Strength soulknives with good Wisdom scores (or Charisma for Brutality Blades), but is fairly limited otherwise. The rock throwing ability is hilarious and a great visual, but it will likely not be very useful.
Telekinetic Armor***: Gain a scaling natural armor bonus while psionically focused. Not bad, but not amazing.
Psychic Strike***: Psychic Strike progression at a slower rate than the standard soulknife, which already scales poorly.
Gift of Flight****: While psionically focused, as a swift action gain a 60 ft fly speed with good maneuverability. The Marvel can use this for class level + Wis mod minutes per day, in one minute increments. Flight is great, but the relatively low duration, psionic focus requirement, and activation time reduces the greatness of this feature. Just wait a few more levels...
Gift of Durability***: While psionically focused, gain DR 5/adamantine. DR 5 is small, but not insignificant, and adamantine is relatively rare, so this ability is passable.
Blade Skill*****: Another blade skill! Too bad you only get one...
Gift of Potency*****: While psionically focused, all attacks overcome DR. Absolutely amazing! Soulknives have problems with many types of damage reduction, even with the ability to change around their mind bladeís enhancements, so the ability to completely ignore it is great!
Marvelous Flight*****: While psionically focused, the Gift of Flight ability becomes permanent, with no activation time. No drawbacks, 60 ft fly speed with good maneuverability is great!
True Marvel****: All Marvel features that require psionic focus no longer need it, gain the Outsider (Native) type, DR 10/-, immunity to disease/bleed, and heal at twice the normal rate. Removing the need for psionic focus opens up many other soulknife abilities, DR 10/- is great, and the Outsider type is nice. A solid capstone.
Primarch*****: Primarchs focus their psychic energies into elemental powers, reforging their mind blades into the perfect weapon.
Final Verdict*****: Telekinetic Edge is by far the best blade skill to enter this class with, and the benefits for it are enough to push the Primarch to purple*****. As poor as the other blade skill options are, the Reformative Blade Skills ability, alongside the general soulknife scaling, is enough to keep Primarch green***, but the lack of great features for the other blade skills really hurts, especially for Fire Blade entry.SpoilerPrerequisites***: Sadly, this prestige class can only be entered at 8th level at the earliest, as mind blade enhancement +3 requires 7 levels of soulknife. The other prerequisites arenít too difficult, though the ranks in Intimidate may be taxing for soulknives who want to dump Charisma. Your choice of blade skill also heavily determines the benefits gained from this prestige class, with rankings of Fire Blade*, Ice Blade***, Lightning Blade***, Thunder Blade***, and Telekinetic Edge*****.
Chassis***: Very similar to a soulknife, but with good Fortitude saves, poor Reflex and Will saves, and a passable class skill list.
Primacy of the Blade*****: Full mind blade progression, and levels of Primarch stack with soulknife for the effects/prerequisites of blade skills. Additionally, Gifted Blade manifesting is fully advanced. Everything you could really want, other than a ton of new blade skills.
Psychic Epiphany***: Gain an ability for the mind blade, determined by the blade skill used to enter Primarch: Fire Blade gains the flaming enhancement, Ice Blade gains the frost enhancement, Lightning or Thunder Blade gain the shocking enhancement, and Telekinetic Edge mind blades are treated as adamantine. The benefits here are fairly small, but free weapon enhancements are pretty useful.
Reformative Blade Skills*****: Once per encounter, up to 3 + Wis mod times per day, swap out one blade skill for 1 minute. This improves to two blade skills at 4th level, and three blade skills swapped at 7th level. Finally at 10th level, gain a variable blade skill that may be selected at the beginning of an encounter. Very strong, as blade skills are generally the strongest class feature available to a soulknife, and the ability to change them on the fly is amazing!
Blade Skill*****: Gain new blade skills at 2nd and 6th level. Worse progression than the normal soulknife, but some is better than none!
Psychic Strike***: Psychic strike, advanced at about the same rate as the normal soulknife, but with awkward placing, gaining only 2d8 damage over the 10 levels.
Psychic Awakening*****: Gain new abilities at 4th and 7th level, based on the blade skill used to enter Primarch, with ability DCs equal to 10 + Primarch level + Wis mod:
- Fire Blade*: Improve flaming damage to 2d6, and expend psionic focus to manifest Energy Ball as full round action (4th level) or Energy Retort as a standard action (7th level).
- Ice Blade**: Improve frost damage to 2d6, and expend psionic focus to manifest Energy Stun as a full round action (4th level) or Modify Matter as a full round action (7th level).
- Lightning/Thunder Blade**: Increasing the shocking damage to 2d6, and expend psionic focus to manifest Energy Bolt as a full round action (4th level) or Telekinetic Force as a standard action (7th level).
- Telekinetic Edge*****: Bypass all damage reduction and hardness, and expend psionic focus to gain the benefits of the Improved Sunder feat and deal 1d6 extra damage to objects (4th level, but with no listed duration?). At 7th level, expend psionic focus to change all attacks with a mind blade to touch attacks for a round.
Psychic Defense***: While maintaining psionic focus, gain energy resistance 10 (20 at 9th level) against the associated energy type for fire/cold/electricity, or DR 5/adamantine and +2 natural armor. Passable defensive bonuses, though it is unfortunate they never reach outright immunity or unpassable DR.
Singularity of War***: Gain new abilities based on the blade skill used to enter Primarch, with DCs equal to 20 + Wis mod:
- Fire Blade*: As a full round action, expend psionic focus and psychic strike to manifest firestorm as a PLA.
- Ice Blade*: As a full round action, expend psionic focus and psychic strike to manifest polar ray as a PLA.
- Lightning/Thunder Blade**: As a full round action, expend psychic strike and psionic focus to manifest whirlwind as a PLA.
- Telekinetic Edge***: Expend psychic strike and psionic focus to gain the benefit of Whirlwind Attack, attacking everything within reach (for a melee weapon) or everything within the first range increment (ranged weapons), with the attacks causing bleeding damage, as with a wounding weapon.
Strategos*****: Strategos create a psychic bond with their allies, wielding their mind blade and psychic powers through this bond.
Final Verdict*****: This prestige class is probably best for an NPC, but it becomes more feasible for a PC the larger your party grows. At the standard party size of 4, there are likely better options for a soulknife PC, but as party size increases, the abilities granted by the Strategos become increasingly powerful, especially Improved Share Blade Skill and Collective Eruption. Remember, any ally with a Wisdom score greater than 1 can be added to the collective, which includes psicrystals, familiars, eidolons, animal companions, and many summoned animals/monsters, but the penalties for a member of your collective dying can be very annoying, so plan appropriately.SpoilerPrerequisites**: On the surface, the prerequisites look fairly tame, with Metapsionic Knife and 6 ranks in Spellcraft the biggest hurdles to overcome. However, spending two of your very limited known powers on telepathy discipline powers may be painful, as most soulknives prefer powers from other disciplines. The easiest way to qualify for this prestige class is with 7 levels of Gifted Blade (6 with the Psionic Knack trait), but it is also possible to enter the class with 2 levels of soulknife and 5 levels of a full manifesting class.
Chassis**: A downgrade from the normal soulknife, with a d8 hit die, ĺ BAB, a poor Reflex save, and a class skill list more suited to a party face character.
Manifesting****: Advance manifesting for 9/10 levels, missing 1st level. However, Gifted Blades gain a different progression; see the next ability.
Telepathic Blade*****: Full mind blade progression and every level of Strategos counts as a level of souliknife for blade skill prerequisites and scaling. Gifted Blades who enter Strategos gain full manifesting advancement, and can select powers from the Tactician list. Additionally, when using the Metapsionic Knife feat, you may choose to expend psychic strike instead of psionic focus to power the feat. Almost everything a soulknife could ask for.
Collective***: Gain access to a collective, similar to the Tactician, Vitalist, or Zealot abilities, with up to Wis mod or Strategos level members, whichever is higher. On its own, this isnít the greatest ability, limited to knowing whether your allies are alive, as well as manifesting some powers to any member of the collective regardless of range. However, many of the later abilities will greatly benefit the members of your collective and the penalty for a member of your collective dying isnít too steep.
Telepathic Defense***: Gain an insight bonus to AC equal to manifesting attribute (up to a maximum of Strategos level) against enemies whose thoughts you can detect. Insight bonuses are fairly rare, but the bonus is capped by your Strategos level and it doesnít work against mind-affecting immune creatures.
Bladed Collective***: As a standard action, make an attack from a square that a member of your collective is in. Alternatively, grant an ally a copy of your mind blade to an ally from your collective as a free action, but every mind blade given out this way reduces the enhancement bonus by one. The first part of this ability is fine, especially since it can be used with abilities that augment attacks, like combat maneuvers, martial strikes, etc. The second half is more of an NPC ability, as most of your allies should have their own weapons and it quickly reduces your mind bladeís enhancement bonus.
Collective Skill*****: At 3rd level, and every odd level after, select one of the following, unique, blade skills
- Collective Armaments***: Share mind armor and/or mind shields through the collective. If you already have access to mind armor or mind shields, this is a fine option.
- Collective Protection****: As a move action, swap locations with an ally by using the Ghost Step blade skill. Basically the Dimension Swap power, but with a move action cost.
- Collective Psychic Strike*: Charge the collectiveís mind blades with psychic strike with the normal action cost. Sadly, this charge may only be used once and the collective cannot hold multiple charges.
- Collective Reading (Defensive)****: Allies in the collective gain a scaling insight bonus to AC and Reflex saves against creatures whose surface thoughts can be read. As you are your own ally, this also gives the Strategos the AC and Reflex save bonuses, but the AC bonus from this ability will likely not be larger than that of the Telepathic Defense ability (noting that the two abilities wonít stack.) A good defensive buff for you and your party.
- Collective Reading (Offensive)****: Allies in the collective gain a scaling insight bonus to attack and damage rolls, once again limited to creatures whose surface thoughts can be read. A nice bonus to attack and damage for the whole party.
- Collective Threat*****: Whenever an ally in your collective could make an attack of opportunity, the Strategos may also make an AoO, counted against the normal limit of AoO for the Strategos, even if the ally elects to not make their AoO. For AoO-focused builds, this is amazing. The Strategos should get to make extra AoOs on their normal AoOs, due to you being treated as your own ally, but you should probably check with your DM before trying it (especially if it is legal to chain the AoOs together, using all of your AoOs off a single trigger.)
- Improved Bladed Collective**: When you share your mind blade with your collective, the enhancement bonus is still reduced by 1, but the penalty is not cumulative. Again, this feels like an NPC ability, but it is situationally useful.
- Share Blade Skill****: As a move action, grant a blade skill to all members of your collective. This blade skill remains available until the Strategos changes it. A nice utility or damage boost for your collective, depending on the blade skill shared.
- Improved Share Blade Skill*****: As a move action, allies in the collective may now select a single blade skill you know at the beginning of their turn to use for the round. Each ally may select a different blade skill. An amazing upgrade over the standard Share Blade Skill.
Telepathy Focus**: A bonus to the DC of telepathy powers you manifest and a similar bonus to resist telepathy powers. There are some strong telepathy powers, but most Strategos wonít be able to manifest them and needing to resist those powers will be highly situational, unless most of your opponents are manifesters.
Improved Uncanny Dodge***: As the rogue ability.
Collective Eruption*****: As a full round action, expend psionic focus to make an attack from every ally in your collective. Depending on the number of allies in your collective, that are in range of your target(s), this ability is either ridiculously amazing (10+ attacks, depending on your manifesting stat, at full BAB against a single target is ridiculous for a damage focused build), or completely worthless (you only have a melee mind blade and none of your allies are in range of an enemy.) This ability is very strong for ranged soulknives and large parties, but it will likely be a downgrade from a full attack action for most soulknives (at the standard party size of 4, this ability results in only 3 attacks).
Awakened Blade*****: The only initiating prestige class that also grants mind blade progression, Awakened Blades look into the future to enhance their offensive and defensive capabilities.
Final Verdict*****: Honestly, this is probably the best prestige class in Pathfinder. Every feature is, at worst, a positive, and most are incredibly strong, alongside full maneuver progression, 8/10 manifesting, and mind blade advancement! The only downside to this prestige class are its prerequisites, but they can be easily met with a little planning.SpoilerPrerequisites**: The skill rank requirements are large, requiring 15 skill points, but the only skill that requires a soulknife to reach for is Knowledge (martial). Psionic Body is passable, but Psionic Meditation is great, Offensive and Defensive Precognition are decent buff powers, and 2nd level maneuvers arenít too hard to get. Notably, for soulknives in a ďHigh PsionicsĒ campaign, this prestige class can be entered by a single class soulknife at level 5 by using the Gifted Blade and War Soul archetypes together. Other soulknives will require multiclassing. One method of gaining access for a soulknife is 3/4 levels of Gifted Blade, the Extra Power Known feat or the Mental Power blade skill, and 2/1 levels of Mystic, Stalker, or Warder (Ordained Defender). The maneuver requirements are met by taking a level of the initiating class at either 4th or 5th level, and selecting a second level maneuver and stance with your initiator level of 3. A different path is to take 4 levels of War Soul and 1 levels of Wilder (Contemplative) or Psychic Warrior with the Extra Power Known feat (or the Ascetic Path), or 2 levels of the manifesting class without the feat. Another option is 5 levels of Gifted Blade and 1 level of a full initiating class, taken when their initiator level would be 3+. More options include a single level of soulknife, 3 levels of Wilder (Contemplative) or Psychic Warrior, and 1 levels of an initiating class, or even 1 level of soulknife, 1 level of full manifesting with the Extra Power Known feat, and 3 initiator levels. While these last two combinations give the best manifesting/initiating, these methods of access will not grant the Enhanced Mind Blade feature until 7th level (after two levels of Awakened Blade), and may not ever grant Enhanced Mind Blade, depending on your reading of the Path of the Warrior ability. As such, consult with your DM before attempting the last two multiclass combinations. A level of Psion can be taken in exchange for 2 levels of Wilder or Psychic Warrior (or 1 level with the Extra Power Known feat), due to Psions knowing 3 powers at first level, but Psion does not have any attribute synergy with Soulknife, being Int-based.
Chassis***: Another soulknife side grade, but with a poor Reflex save.
Maneuvers*****: Add Riven Hourglass or Sleeping Goddess, both of which are great for a soulknife, and gain 5 maneuvers known, 3 readied, and 3 stances over the 10 full initiator levels.
Manifesting****: Gain 8/10 manifesting progression, with gaps at 1st and 6th level.
Situational Awareness****: Add half Awakened Blade level as an insight bonus to initiative and as a dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves against traps. At 3rd level, gain Uncanny Dodge, and Improved Uncanny Dodge at 9th level. An amazing set of defensive abilities!
Deep Focus*****: Gain the Deep Focus feat for free. An excellent feat, though it is superfluous if the Psicrystal Containment feat is taken.
Path of the Warrior*****: Full advancement of mind blade and psychic warrior trances/maneuvers, but not blade skills.
Stance of the Inner Eye*****: Gain access to a school-less martial stance that grants a scaling insight bonus to AC, attack, damage, CMB, and all saving throws, that also gives precision damage at higher levels! Even though this stance cannot be used with another martial stance (yet), the sheer number of bonuses this gives is insane!
Bonus Psionic Feat****: Contrary to the name, this gives either a psionic feat OR a combat feat at 4th and 8th level. Soulknives can be feat starved, depending on their fighting style, so this is a great boon.
Precognitive Defenses*****: Expend psionic focus to initiate a counter, even if an immediate or swift action has already been used this round. Amazing! An extra counter make it even harder to harm you, and, with Deep Focus or Psicrystal Containment, you can use 3 counters in a round!
Hypercognitive Focus*****: Once per round, when recovering one or more maneuvers, regain psionic focus. Alternatively, when manifesting a psionic power, expend psionic focus to recover an expended maneuver. Another excellent ability that works with ANY method of maneuver recovery, including the Lightning Recovery and Victorious Recovery feats, though the second part to this ability is moderately less useful.
Clairsentient Counter****: As an immediate action, expend a readied maneuver and psionic focus to gain the use of a standard or move action that must be used immediately. Costly, but the ability to use a strike (or other ability that requires a standard/move action, including powers!) in response to an attack can be very strong, especially if the ability can negate the attack.
Pretercognitive Mind*****: You always gain the benefits of Stance of the Inner Eye, and can use another martial stance at the same time. Use Stance of the Inner Eye, with all of its ridiculous bonuses, alongside another stance. An amazing capstone on an amazing prestige class.
Evangelist***: The only Paizo prestige class to be included in this guide, Evangelists are dedicated followers of a specific deity, with backgrounds as widely varied as the many deities they serve.
Final Verdict***: Most soulknives will be perfectly fine skipping this prestige class, but it does offer a nice options for a religious soulknife. Mechanically, the greatest benefits the class offers are the 9/10 soulknife progression, Spiritual Form, and whatever abilities can be squeezed out of Divine Boon, with Erastilís tier 3 boon the largest standout.SpoilerPrerequisites****: Hilariously easy to meet, with the only mechanical restriction for a soulknife in the form of a feat tax: Deific/Fiendish Obedience towards the deity of your choosing. Do note, this prestige class is normally ONLY available to followers of the traditional Golarion gods (Desna, Irori, Sarenrae, etc.) or the fiendish deities found in the Book of the Damned supplement, due to a lack of support for other deities. However, many DMs may be willing to create the necessary mechanics for another deity if you ask nicely. The only mechanics that will need to be created for this are a daily obedience and the three divine boons granted by the deity.
Chassis**: A very skill-monkey focused chassis, with d8 hit die, ĺ BAB, 6 + Int skills, and a good Reflex save, but a very poor selection of class skills. A downgrade from the standard soulknife.
Obedience**: This ranges from crippling to manageable, depending on how difficult your deityís daily obedience is to perform. As such, be careful of your choice of deity.
Skilled***: Add two free skills to your class skill list. With those extra skill points, you could certainly use some more class skills!
Aligned Class*****: The largest reason to consider this prestige class: advance ALL class features of a previous class for 9/10 levels, missing out at 1st level. This includes everything except the stuff found in the Chassis entry above. For soulknives this means full mind blade enhancement scaling, new blade skills every two levels, psychic strike, War Mind/Gifted Blade progressions; all of it.
Protective Grace***: Gain a small dodge bonus to AC. Dodge bonuses stack with everything, but the bonus is pretty small.
Divine Boon*****: Gain Divine Boons from the Deific/Fiendish Obedience feat much sooner than normal. Each deity has a collection of three boons given out, normally at levels 12, 16, and 20. Most Evangelists, on the other hand, gain boons at 8th, 11th, and 14th level, respectively. The first boon is a single SLA, chosen from a list of three options. The second and third boons do not have any particular order to them, but can grant anything from more powerful SLAs to summoning monsters, or even fairly sizable numerical bonuses. I will link you to this excellent guide by WalterGM from the Paizo forums for ratings of the individual boons, with a note that the best deities to follow for a soulknife are Erastil (his tier 3 boon adds Wis to hit and damage with longbows), Iomedae (her granted spell like abilities are nice and her tier 3 boon grants access to the holy weapon ability 3/day), Irori (his obedience is very useful, and both his tier 2 and 3 boons are excellent abilities, though the 2nd tier ability is for unarmed characters only), Nethys (all three of his boons grant useful SLAs), or Norgorber (solely for his tier 3 boon: a 1/day 1 min per level Greater Invisibility that grants a number of bonuses), with a special note on Pharasma (her obedience is great for mind dagger users, but her boons are pretty bad for a normal soulknife.)
Gift of Tongues***: Gain a new language known at 4th and 8th level. A nice, if not incredibly useful feature.
Multitude of Talents**: Gain a +4 bonus on any skill checks attempted untrained. An interesting idea, but most of the time this will just allow the Evangelist to use aid another on an allyís check, as the DCs of most skill checks start to heavily outscale a simple +4 bonus by the level this feature is obtained.
Spiritual Form****: As a standard action, for a number of minutes per day equal to the Evangelistís character level, assume a spiritual form that grants 100 ft telepathy, a +4 untyped bonus to an ability score, and either wings (granting a 40 ft fly speed with good maneuverability), gills (breathe underwater and a 30 ft swim speed), or a single natural attack. A fairly strong capstone that gives good combat maneuverability and some out of combat utility.
Last edited by Battleship789; 2019-01-26 at 02:06 AM.
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterWeapons and Armor
Your mind blade, duh! Seriously speaking, the correct choice of weapon is dependent on your build:
Two Handed Weapons
Two-Handed Mind Blade****: The standard mind blade in its two-handed form is still an excellent weapon, with 2d6 damage of any type and a 19-20/x2 crit.
Greatsword****: For Augmented Blades, this will be the standard weapon for fighting two-handed.
Nodachi****: An alternative to the greatsword, the Nodachi is good for crit fishing with its 18-20/x2 crit and slightly higher, but more swingy, damage than the falchion. Can be used with Pikemanís Training.
Lucerne Hammer****: For Augmented Blades who want a reach weapon but donít care about tripping, this is a the best martial option. Can be used with Pikemanís Training.
Horsechopper*****: For Augmented Blades, this the best martial weapon with both reach and trip. Can be used with Pikemanís Training.
Butchering Axe (exotic)*****: For Str 19 or higher soulknives with the Emulate Melee Weapon feat only, this is the highest damage weapon in the game at 3d6 for a medium character.
Elven Branched Spear (exotic)*****: A finesse-able reach weapon that grants a bonus to attack rolls for AoOs. Sadly, the damage is somewhat poor compared to the other exotic options. Can be used with Pikemanís Training.
Elven Curve Blade (exotic)****: For Dex soulknives who want to wield a damaging two-handed weapon with Emulate Melee Weapon, as the elven curved blade is finesse-able by default.
Fauchard (exotic)*****: For the Emulate Melee Weapon feat, this weapon has both the reach and trip properties alongside good damage and an 18-20/x2 crit. Can be used with Pikemanís Training.
Flying Blade (exotic)****: Another option with reach and good damage (1d12, 20/x3), the flying blade is heavily focused on AoOs, receiving a -2 penalty on all attacks but AoOs, which gain a +2 bonus to hit instead.
Meteor Hammer (exotic)****: Similar to the Fauchard, but with less damage, worse crit range (20/x2), a +1 shield bonus to AC, and the ability to drag foes closer to you on successful trips, instead of knocking them prone.
One-Handed Mind Blade****: At 1d8 damage of any kind and a 19-20/x2 crit, the one-handed mind blade is a decent weapon, though those who wish to S&B will want to grab Pikemanís Training and a polearm/spear as soon as possible to use a two-handed weapon, as the options for one-handed weapons are pretty bad.
Longsword***: Basically the best martial one-handed weapon, but still not a great option.
Estoc (exotic)****: Slightly better damage than the other exotic 18-20/x2 one-handed weapons gives the estoc the edge over the competition (katana, rhoka sword, spiral rapier, and urumi.)
Gnome Flick-Mace (exotic)****: Notable for being a one-handed weapon with both reach and trip, though the damage and crit are poor compared to the two-handed exotic weapons.
Light Mind Blade****: Effectively a short sword, with 1d6 damage and 19-20/x2 crit, but the ability to change damage types is very useful. For most soulknives who want to TWF, this is probably your only option.
Mind Knives***: Slightly worse than the light mind blade for TWF, due to the lower damage, but a passable option for those waiting on the Full Enhancement blade skill.
Kukri*****: The TWF crit-fisherís dream, with 18-20/x2 crit. The base damage is poor, but you wonít care after enough bonuses are added on.
Spiked Gauntlet*****: Not here on its own merits, the spiked gauntlet becomes an amazing weapon with the Fiendís Grip feature of the Fiendbound Marauder Warder archetype.
Unarmed****: A classic option for many combatants and soulknives are no different, though the damage will be poor without Greater Unarmed Strike or lots of size boosting.
Drow Razor/Elven Leafblade (exotic)*****: If you can convince your DM to allow the Emulate Melee Weapon blade skill to create two light weapons, these are upgrades over the standard kukri, with the drow razor dealing 2 precison damage on crits and the elven leafblade gaining a +2 bonus to confirm critical hits.
Wakizashi/Xephyr Knife (exotic)*****: Two other options for the Emulate Melee Weapon blade skill (or the Mind Knife feature of the Xephyr archetype, if it actually gives two xephyr knives), these are slight upgrades to the Kukri (1d6 vs 1d4).
Mind Bolt**: The various versions of the mind bolt are passable ranged weapons, but are overshadowed by the other weapons here.
Composite Longbow*****: The gold standard by which all other ranged weapons are judged.
Orc Hornbow (exotic)*****: A damage upgrade over the normal longbow, but with slightly lower range.
(Repeating) Heavy Crossbow (exotic)***: This is a midpoint between the longbow and hornbow, but the reload times and feats required to reduce those reload times make crossbows a far less desirable option.
Minotaur Double Crossbow*****: If your DM allows the Classic Monsters Revisited version, the Crossbow Mastery feat allows full iteratives with this weapon, which can lead to absurd damage when two bolts are fired with every attack roll. For more restrictive DMs who say the APG weapon supersedes the CMR version, the weapon is hot garbage.
Because the majority of the weapon enhancements for a soulknife will come from the Enhanced Mind Blade class feature, lets go through a quick rundown of every enhancement available for that feature, updated from the PA:S supplement. A number of other weapon enhancements, not on the whitelist, are listed under the Personalized Trick trait for your perusal, should you want an option not on the standard list.
+1 to +5 Enhancement Bonus****: Yeah, it is boring, but extra damage and accuracy is nothing to sneeze at. If you can, get the majority (as you have to have at least a +1 bonus to select any other ability) of this from a spell (Greater Magic Weapon) or power (Metaphysical Weapon) so you can add more special abilities! That said, if you canít find a special ability that fits in your enhancement bonus budget, donít feel bad about allocating the excess to this.
Agile***: Dexterity to damage for finesse-able weapons. Usually, the Deadly Agility feat is a superior option, especially because this wonít be available till level 5 for most soulknives.
Allying*: Transfer the enhancement bonus from your weapon to an ally. If your allyís weapon isnít enhanced enough, give them some cash, not part of your main class feature.
Benevolent**: Aid another is nice, but soulknives donít have much support for the feature. Leave this to Zealots.
Conductive*: Using two uses of a spell-like or supernatural ability to apply it once through a weapon is not the greatest, especially for a soulknife, who donít get many offensive SLAs or supernatural abilities natively.
Corrosive***/Flaming**/Frost***/Psychokinetic****/Shock***: Extra elemental damage is usually a poor choice for two-handed soulknives, but ranged/TWF soulknives will enjoy the extra damage. Psychokinetic is notable for not being elemental damage, but the damage is one die smaller.
Countering*: Sunder and disarm are practically worthless against a soulknife after 5th level, which is when this ability would come online. Skip it.
Courageous*****: After errata, this ability is mostly worthless. If your DM allows the pre-errata version, multiclass soulknives with any Rage-granting class or Brutality Blades will absolutely love the improved bonuses of their morale bonus granting abilities.
Cruel****: For Intimidate-focused soulknives this effect is very easy to apply and the temp hp is nice. Other soulknives can skip it.
Cunning*: Soulknives donít get enough Knowledge skills for this to be useful, except in a psionics-heavy campaign.
Defending**: Sacrificing your enhancement bonus for a slight boost to AC is alright, but you will usually be better off just trying to kill your opponents with the full bonus.
Distance****: Double the range increment of a ranged weapon. This is mostly for Psychic Armories or Soulbolts without Emulate Ranged Weapon, but the benefits are still useful for any ranged soulknife.
Dueling*****: Specifically, the Ultimate Equipment version. This grants a +4 enhancement bonus to Initiative, provided the weapon is drawn and in hand. Going first is always nice, and there are no penalties for having your mind blade always out. This may be better on a +1 spiked gauntlet you wear, but it is strong enough to consider using a slot from your mind blade on it.
Furious*****: For most soulknives, this is useless, but soulknives who possess a Rage ability will greatly appreciate it, especially Brutality Blades.
Ghost Touch***: Situational, but when you need it, you will need it badly.
Guardian*****: Transfer some of your weaponís enhancement bonus to all saves. Unlike defending, this is a very useful ability, as the bonus from the weapon will stack with the standard resistance bonus.
Huntsman*: Soulknives canít track very well. Skip it.
Keen*****: The mind blade has a respectable crit threat range and this doubles it. Dedicated crit fishers will eventually want to grab the Improved Critical feat, but this is a nice fill-in until 8th level is reached.
Lucky***: 1/day reroll a failed attack roll. A pretty nice ability, though it is sadly limited to once per day, though the Fluid Form blade skill can be used to refresh the use.
Menacing****: For sneaky soulknives or soulknives with a Rogue ally. This can be probably be skipped for other soulknives.
Merciful*****: Normally, swapping your damage to nonlethal would be a poor decision. However, in combination with the Enforcer feat, this allows for extremely easy Intimidation checks.
Mighty Cleaving*: Cleave is not a particularly good feat, and this attempt to salvage it is not enough. Skip it.
Planar**: Soulknives do have a hard time bypassing material DR, so this can be useful for fighting outsiders. However, it is probably too situational to leave on your mind blade at all times.
Seaborne*****: For aquatic/seafaring campaigns, this is amazing. But in many campaigns this ability will never get any use.
Seeking*****: Ignore concealment for a +1 enhancement bonus. Easily worth the cost for ranged soulknives.
Sundering*: Sundering is very strong, but it is generally a poor idea to destroy potential loot. Take at your own risk.
Thundering***: Similar to the other elemental abilities, but this only deals damage on a crit. The secondary effect is strong, but the DC is laughably low. Passable on a crit fisher.
Vicious*****: 2d6 extra damage is nothing to bat an eye at, even with the 1d6 damage in retaliation. Heavily consider taking this.
Advancing**: Extra 5-ft steps are always nice, but this does take your swift action. Consider how often you will be using your swift actions before applying this enhancement.
Anarchic/Axiomatic/Holy/Unholy****: The alignment-based enhancements all deal a good amount of damage to their targets and have the added benefit of bypassing DR. The choice for your soulknife depends heavily on your campaign, but you should almost certainly choose at least one to go on your mind blade.
Collision*****: A flat 5 extra damage that is multiplied by criticals. Whatís not to love?
Corrosive***/Flaming**/Icy***/Psychokinetic****/Shocking Burst***: Combine the standard elemental enhancements with the thundering critical effect. For crit fishers, these are passable, but most soulknives will just prefer to stack the standard versions.
Cyclonic*****: Ignore weather effects for ranged attacks. Weather can completely shut down ranged attacks, so this is essential for ranged soulknives. Note that this ignores magical environmental factors, too!
Defiant**: Donít drop your weapon when panicked, stunned, or unconscious, and gain bonuses vs. a variety of ongoing conditions. Most of the best benefits of this enhancement come from extra uses of feats with awful prerequisites. Thus, this can likely be skipped.
Glorious*: The weapon shines with the light of a Daylight spell and critical hits force a Will save or inflict blindness for a few rounds. Sadly, the save DC is pitifully low.
Invigorating**: After defeating a foe, remove fatigue, change exhaustion to fatigue, or gain a morale bonus to attacks and a 10 ft movement bonus. Soulknives do like to defeat their foes, but this seems a little too situational for such a small bonus.
Linked Striking*****: The damage from this ability adds up extremely fast, especially for TWF, as most soulknives prefer to focus their attacks on a single target until it is dead. AoO-focused soulknives, on the other hand, will very rarely get much use out of this ability.
Mindcrusher*: Forcing power point loss is pretty good, but the loss is limited to half of the base weapon damage, which is awful. Even a butchering axe can only force a loss of 9 power points, at best.
Phase Locking*****: Any target struck by your weapon is effected by Dimensional Anchor for a round. As long as you can hit them, they arenít getting away.
Suppression*****: A free, targeted Dispel Psionics on every attack. This is amazing on any soulknife with manifesting levels, such as a Gifted Blade, though the low dispel check prevents non-manifesters from getting the best benefit. Sadly, this can only be used 3/day for ammunition-based attacks, limiting this to melee soulknives or Psychic Armories.
Wounding***: For most soulknives, 1 bleed damage is not very good, even if the bleed stacks. Crit fishing soulknives who want to use bleed damage, on the other hand, can get a decent amount of mileage out of this.
Wrenching*: Being able to pull any target you hit closer to you is alright, but you wonít be dealing damage while using it. Pass.
Bodyfeeder*****: On a critical hit, gain temp hp equal to the damage dealt. This is an insane boost in survivability for crit fishers, while other soulknives can still enjoy the benefits.
Dislocator*: 3/day on a successful hit, forcibly teleport the target 1-100 miles in a random direction. While the effect is hilarious and quite strong, the DC to avoid the effect is low.
Mindfeeder*****: On a critical hit, gain temp power points equal to the damage dealt that last for 10 minutes. For Gifted Blades or multiclass soulknives with manifester levels, this is a potentially insane boost in versatility and power. Other soulknives will likely not benefit from the extra power points.
Nullifying*****: Any successful attacks reduce the targets SR by one for one minute, and the effects STACK! And the SR reduction is multiplied on a crit! For manifesting soulknives or soulknives with spellcasting/manifesting allies, this is required!
Repositioning*: Reposition is an interesting combat maneuver, but not particularly strong. Skip this.
Speed*****: Soullknives like to full attack, and this makes full attacks better. Do note that it does not stack with similar effects, like Haste, Temporal Acceleration, etc., so make sure you or your allies canít use them before applying this ability.
Soulbreaker*****: On a critical hit, apply a negative level to the target. For crit fishers, this can stack up very fast and to great effect, as negative levels can quickly become crippling or fatal.
Brilliant Energy*: Against heavily armored enemies, this would be passable if it werenít for the enormous enhancement cost. Skip this and stick to other abilities.
Great Dislocator*: 3/day on a successful hit, forcibly move the target to another plane. Just like the standard version, this is a hilarious way to say ďScrew you!Ē but the DC is too low for this to be treated as anything other than a gimmick.
Greater Energy**: As a free action, change the ammunition of a weapon to pure energy (cold, fire, or electricity.) As the ability can be turned on and off, this isnít awful, but the choices of energy type are far too limiting for a +4 bonus. Only use this if you know your opponents have a vulnerability to one of the energy choice, or if you possess some way of forcing vulnerability.
Coup de Grace*****: On a successful critical hit, the target must make a Will save or be paralyzed for a round. Paralysis is a very nasty condition and the save DC is actually high enough to not be a joke! Crit fishing soulknives will absolutely love this, even with the expensive +5 cost.
Vorpal**: Autokills are very nice, but the heavy restriction on targets, as well as the very limited chance for the effect to activate (only on Nat 20s, not critical hits), reduces the effectiveness of this ability.
The general rule of thumb for armor is to select the maximum AC bonus gained from armor + Dex (limited by the max Dex score of the armor.) While there are some other considerations that can be made, that is basically what it boils down to.
Armored Blades or soulknives who choose the Psychokinetic Armor blade skill are limited in their choices, restricted to a chain shirt, chainmail, or splint mail at 1st level, while the Improved Armor blade skill changes these to chain shirt (but treated as being unarmored), breastplate, and full plate, respectively. Simply select the armor with the best AC bonus that your Dex score allows.
As soulknives do not natively gain access to heavy armor, the best starting medium armor is lamellar (steel) armor**** with +6 AC and a +3 Max Dex for 150 gp. A breastplate***** is the best option, but it is likely too expensive for 1st level soulknives, with its 200 gp price tag. A slightly cheaper option at 1st level is Four-mirror armor****, with +6 AC but only a +2 Max Dex for 125 gp.
The best starting light armor is either a chain shirt**** (+4 AC, +4 Max Dex for 100 gp), parade armor**** (+3 AC, +5 Max Dex for 25 gp), or leather armor**** (+2 AC, +6 Max Dex for 10 gp) depending on how high your starting Dex is, as you save money but get the same AC bonus with the higher Max Dex armors.
For soulknives with high Dex or restrictions that require them to wear light armor, the end goal is to get Celestial Armor*****, +3 chainmail that is treated as light armor with an insane Max Dex bonus of +8. For almost every other soulknife, the end goal should be Celestial Plate Armor*****, +3 full plate that is treated as medium armor with a Max Dex of +6. Soulknives who gain access to heavy armor should also consider the Celestial Plate Armor*****, but adamantine full plate***** is also an acceptable option. Unarmored soulknives should get the Improved Armor blade skill version of the light mind armor*****, as armor is a good thing.
As with the weapons, Iíll quickly cover the standard armor enhancements available to soulknives via the Armored Blade archetype or Psychokinetic Armor blade skill, and additional options are located under the Personalized Trick trait.
+1 to +5 Enhancement Bonus****: As with weapons, this is boring, but strong, linearly increasing AC. The only way to skip out on paying this tax is with the Magic Vestment spell, as there isnít a psionic version.
Benevolent (+1)**: Again, leave this to a class that does it better.
Deathless (+1)****: A 25% chance to ignore negative levels is pretty nice, as is positive/negative energy resistance 10. And healing is still fine!
Light Fortification (+1)****: Critical hits kill adventurers and sneak attacks can be very painful. A small chance to negate them is great.
Mirrored (+1)***: The biggest benefit to this ability is adding the shieldís enhancement bonus to touch AC against rays, as the gaze attack features are far too situational.
Staunching (+1)*: Bleed damage is very rare. Far to rare to make this special ability useful.
Rallying (+2)*: Fear effects are annoying, but not +2 enhancement bonus annoying. Leave this to a bard.
Spell Resistance (13, +2)**: SR 13 is far too low to be of much benefit, especially as a +2 bonus. The only reason to take this is for that 5% chance your opponent rolls a 1 on their caster level check and you have run out of other options.
Delving (+3)****: Gaining a burrow speed of any amount, even the 10 ft granted from this ability, opens up a number of tactical options.
Energy Resistance (+3)*: Energy resistance 10 is not worth a +3 bonus unless you are certain you will fight enemies that will only use attacks with that energy type.
Ghost Touch (+3)***: Like the weapon version of this ability, when this is needed, it is very strong. But it can be safely skipped for most soulknives.
Invulnerability (+3)*: DR 5/magic would be useful...at level 1. As a +3 enhancement cost, this is hilariously bad.
Moderate Fortification (+3)*****: A coinflip to ignore crits and sneak attacks? Take it!
Spell Resistance (15, +3)*: 2 more SR for another enhancement bonus? No thanks.
Improved Energy Resistance (+4)**: Energy resistance 20 for a +4 bonus is a little more palatable, but only if you are fighting an enemy that uses a specific energy type.
Spell Resistance (17, +4)*: It was bad the previous two times, and it is still bad now.
Greater Energy Resistance (+5)**: See the Improved Energy Resistance entry.
Heavy Fortification (+5)****: A 75% chance to ignore crits/sneak attacks is great, but the extra 25% might not be worth it over the medium version for another +2.
Spell Resistance (19, +5)*: By the time this is accessible at level 15, an opposing spellcaster of equal level has a paltry 15% chance to fail this check, assuming literally no effort was made to improve their caster level. And if you are fighting a higher level spellcaster, or one with the Spell Penetration feat, the only way to fail is with the native 5% chance of rolling a 1. If you want to roll that die, just use the cheapest version of SR 13.
Unlike armor, shields are pretty straightforward. If you want one, get a heavy wooden/steel shield and donít look back. For special materials, look at darkwood (improve ACP by 2 and cuts the weight in half) or living steel (weapons that roll a natural 1 against you have to make a Fortitude save or gain the broken condition.) Luckily, the Shielded Bladeís mind shield is treated as a heavy steel shield with no ACP or arcane spell failure, so that is already covered.
Here is a quick rundown of the armor enhancements available to the Shielded Blade archetype. See the Personalized Trick trait for a list of good shield enhancements outside the standard options for a soulknife.
+1 to +5 Enhancement Bonus****: Exactly the same as the armor version.
Arrow Catching (+1)**: Gain a small deflection bonus vs. ranged weapons, and any attacks that target adjacent creatures targets you instead, ignoring miss chance. This good for standing near your allies, but HORRIBLE for a melee warrior with ranged allies, as your alliesí attacks will change targets to you! Luckily the ability can be turned on and off with a command word, but be very careful! Sadly, the deflection bonus will not stack with a Ring of Protection, which means this ability is almost solely useful for the protecting allies benefit, which is rather situational.
Bashing (+1)***: Shield bash damage increases by two size categories. For soulknives who want to shield bash, this is a fine ability.
Blinding (+1)*: 2/day flash a bright light at all creatures within 20 ft, forcing a Reflex save or be blinded for 1d4 rounds. Like most other weapon and armor special abilities, the DC for this ability is sorely lacking.
Clangorous (+1)*: When you are struck by an attack, activate this ability as an immediate action to create a thunderstone effect (DC 15 Fort or deafened for an hour) or, if the attack was a critical, the Sound Burst spell (1d8 sonic damage, DC 13 Fort save or be stunned for a round.) Sadly, the DCs for this ability are poor, as usual, and it requires an immediate action to use.
Light Fortification (+1)*****: See the armor description, though you really donít have many other options. For those with both armor and a shield, taking extra Fortification enhancements is quite strong, effectively forcing your attacker to roll twice and take the worse result on sneak attacks and critical hits.
Mirrored (+1)***: See the armor description.
Ramming (+1)*: When making a charge with a shield bash, add the shieldís enhancement bonus to attack and damage, gaining a bull rush attempt for a swift action if the attack hits. Use the (Improved) Deadly Shield blade skill if you want to fight with a shield.
Arrow Deflection (+2)***: Gain the Deflect Arrows feat, but with a shield! Not a bad option, especially due to the soulknifeís good Reflex save.
Rallying (+2)*: See the armor description.
Spell Resistance (13, +2)**: See the armor description.
Energy Resistance (+3)*: See the armor description.
Ghost Touch (+3)***: See the armor description.
Moderate Fortification (+3)*****: See the armor description.
Spell Resistance (15, +3)*: See the armor description.
Improved Energy Resistance (+4)**: See the armor description.
Spell Resistance (17, +4)*: See the armor description.
Greater Energy Resistance (+5)**: See the armor description.
Heavy Fortification (+5)****: See the armor description.
Spell Resistance (19, +5)*: See the armor description.
Last edited by Battleship789; 2019-01-26 at 02:38 AM.
- Join Date
- Sep 2008
Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become MatterOther Magic Items
Ring of Chameleon Power (12700)****: For stealthy soulknives, the versatility this provides is impressive.
Ring of Evasion (25000)****: Evasion is a good defensive ability, and quite possibly worth a ring slot.
Ring of Freedom of Movement (40000)*****: Continuous Freedom of Movement. Ignore all of the annoying things that try to slow you down!
Ring of Invisibility (20000)****: Stealthy soulknives will enjoy the permanent invisibility, even though many actions will break the effect.
Ring of Protection +X (2000 to 50000)*****: A classic for a reason, as deflection bonuses are the best AC bonus in the game, applying to basically every type of attack. Almost every soulknife should get one, unless you can gain a sizable deflection bonus from another source.
Ring of Sustenance (2500)***: Sleeping in armor is nice for soulknives without mind armor (it automatically dissipates when you fall unconscious), as is the ability to only sleep 2 hours a day. There are other methods of gaining the benefits of this ring, but it is hard to beat the price.
Ring of Regeneration (90000)***: Unlimited out-of-combat healing and immunity to bleed, but at an immense cost.
Belt of (Physical Stat) +X (4000 to 36000)*****: For soulknives dependent on Strength or Dexterity, this is required. For other soulknives, a bonus to Constitution never hurt anyone.
Belt of Physical Perfection +X (16000 to 144000)***: This is extremely expensive, but there are times when a bonus to all 3 physical stats is very useful.
Belt of Physical Might +X (10000 to 90000)*****: Still expensive, but much more practical than the Belt of Physical Perfection, as most soulknives who use Strength or Dexterity generally dump the other stat. This gives your choice of Str or Dex, and throws Con on as a bonus.
Anacondaís Coils Belt (18500)***: Grappling is pretty rare for a soulknife, but those who dip Fiendbound Marauder for the Fiendís Grip may enjoy the constrict granted by this belt.
Shadowform Belt (110000)***: For Dex soulknives, this expensive belt gives a +6 bonus to Dex and lets you become incorporeal for up to 10 rounds a day. A nice defensive/escape tool or breaking and entering enabler.
Body Wrap of Mighty Strikes +X (3000 to 147000)*: Unlike all of the fools who took other classes, this item is not necessary for unarmed soulknives, thanks to the Empowered Strikes feature of the Deadly Fist. Point your fingers (all fully enhanced!) at those who dared to mock the soulknife before!
Robe of Infinite Twine (1000)****: A dirt cheap item that produces an unlimited supply of rope or twine. This will serve you well during the early parts of your career and it can even be quite useful at later levels.
Monkís Robe (13000)**: Unlike the 3.5 version, this is just a slight bonus to AC and unarmed damage.
Otherwordly Kimono (67000)****: With how bare the body slot is for soulknives, this is a fairly strong option. Gain a sizable resistance bonus to saves and a bonus to caster level checks (this should work for manifesters, as well), and the ability to use Maze once per day to trap a target into the kimono. While a creature is trapped in the kimono, the resistance bonus and caster level bonus both increase. Maze does not allow a saving throw, and the DC 20 Intelligence check to escape is very difficult for many characters to make. Take that brutish warrior, wise sage, or charismatic leader and toss them into your kimono while you beat the tar out of their allies. This also frees up a slot where your resistance to saves item would normally be.
Quick Runnerís Shirt (1000)*****: This was one of the best items in Pathfinder before the errata hammer smacked it into uselessness. If your DM allows you to use the pre-errataíd version, even with the ďmust wear for 24 hoursĒ clause, do it! Otherwise, toss this trash into the garbage, where it belongs.
Spectral Shroud (26000)****: Permanent See Invisibility and the ability to become incorporeal for 10 rounds 1/day.
Corset of Delicate Moves (2000)***: Replace a move action for an additional swift action once per day. There may be times where you need an additional swift action in a round, and this can fit the bill.
Mantle of Immortality (50000)**: For soulknives who are starting at a higher level, this allows a soulknife to ignore the physical ability penalties of old age, while still enjoying the superior mental scores.
Unfettered Shirt (10000)****: 1/day Freedom of Movement for 10 minutes. The biggest problem with this item is that it must be activated and some of the effects Freedom of Movement is designed to deal with prevent that activation. Just activate the item before combat starts or during the first round, if there appears to be a target(s) that could cause problems.
Corset/Vest of Resistance +X (1000 to 25000)*****: While not a part of the standard Pathfinder items, the chest slot is so weak for a soulknife that you should beg your DM to allow this. Steelforge 1, from DSP, has the corset version, for those who want a better reason than ďSome guy on the internet who wrote a guide said I had to have this!Ē
Goggles of Far Sight (4000)****: For ranged soulknives, this allows the wearer to ignore the first range increment penalty, but take a -1 penalty to AC.
Eyes of the Eagle (2500)*****: Gain a +5 competence bonus to Perception checks. Perception is the most rolled skill in the game, so this will get a lot of mileage.
(Greater) Sniperís Goggles (20000, 50000)***: For ranged Cutthroats, this allows sneak attacks to be used at any range, and grants extra damage when within 30 ft. The greater version adds a bonus to accuracy on all ranged sneak attacks.
Swordmasterís Blindfold (80000)***: Blindsight is the best extrasensory ability in Pathfinder, but being blind outside of your melee reach is pretty annoying. The Locate Weakness effect is nice, but it will usually not result in a large damage boost.
Truesight Goggles (184800)***: The incredible cost of this item prevents it from being ranked higher, as permanent True Seeing is a very useful ability.
Aware Third Eye (10000)*****: A +10 competence bonus to Perception checks. Twice as good as the Eyes of the Eagle.
Boots of Striding and Springing (5500)****: Extra movespeed is always welcome, with the bonus to Acrobatics checks along for the ride.
Boots of Speed (12000)*****: 10 rounds of Haste per day. An excellent ability, but wait till you see the soulknife-exclusive version.
Winged Boots (16000)***: Fly, as the spell, 3/day for up to 5 minutes at a time. Flight becomes a very important ability as your level rises, but we are looking for something a bit more permanent.
Greaves of Mehsim (34020)*****: As a swift action, convert a psychic strike charge for the benefits of Physical Acceleration, lasting a number of rounds equal to the psychic strike dice. No daily limit, though the swift action activation is kinda annoying.
Boots of Temporal Acceleration (43200)****: 1/day gain the effect of a 2 round Temporal Acceleration. Two rounds of Time Stop is pretty sweet, especially for soulknives with manifesting.
Gauntlets of the Skilled Maneuver (4000)****: Either a +2 untyped bonus to trip or dirty trick checks. Okay, it actually applies to any single combat maneuver, but those two are the only ones a soulknife will realistically use.
Gloves of the Beast (625 to 22000 each)*****: Gain a natural weapon that deals damage based on the cost of the gloves, up to a maximum of 6d6 damage. Up to 4 may be worn, two on the hands and two on the feet, with any selection of natural weapon, though sharing the same natural weapon grants a +1 circumstance bonus to attacks. For Deadly Fists with the Empowered Natural Weapons blade skill, these gloves are the highest base damage weapons in the game, beating out a number of colossal monstersí natural attacks.
Gloves of Reconnaissance (2000) ****: These gloves allow the wearer to see and hear through solid material at most 5 ft thick 1/day for 1 minute. Useful, but the pre-errata version could be used in 1 round increments and could see/hear through up to 15 ft of material.
Cap of the Free Thinker (12000)***: Once per day, when the wearer fails a saving throw against a mind-affecting effect, reroll the save and take the second result. Failing a save against a mind-affecting effect can be very dangerous, both for you and your party.
Circlet of the Sheltered Mind (7500)***: For Brutality Blades, this item reduces the chance of psychic enervation by 5%.
Crystal Mask of Detection (10000)*****: Gain a +10 competence bonus to Perception checks. Just as good as the Aware Third Eye.
Crystal Mask of Dread (10000)****: Gain a +10 competence bonus to Intimidate checks.
Crystal Mask of Insightful Detection (10000)*****: Gain a +9 insight bonus to Perception and Sense Motive checks. Notable for the insight bonus.
Crystal Mask of Mindarmor (10667)*****: Soulknives already have a pretty good Will save, but a +4 insight bonus to Will saves is quite good.
Synaptic Mask (9000)*****: Gain up to a +10 competence bonus on any skill by inserting a Shard into the mask. Shards are consumable items that grant a competence bonus to a single skill for up to 10 rounds (at a cost of 10 x bonus squared gp, maximum of +10), but become permanent when placed into the mask.
Headband of (Mental Stat) +X (4000 to 36000)*****: Most soulknives will want at least a +2 Wisdom version of this (or Charisma, for Brutality Blades), though soulknives who use Wisdom for their offensive stat will want to max this as soon as possible.
Headband of Fortuneís Favor (7700)***: Gain a +1 luck bonus on saving throws and any effect that provides a luck bonus or explicitly increases the wearerís good luck lasts for a round longer than normal. A passable option for soulknives who donít need a boost to a mental stat.
Amulet of Natural Armor +X (2000 to 50000)****: Another classic item, get a bonus to natural armor.
Amulet of Mighty Fists +X (4000 to 100000)*****: Just like the Body Wrap of Mighty Strikes, you get to laugh at all of the peons who have to purchase this item. However, this is still a strong option for unarmed soulknives, as weapon special abilities from the item should stack with your mind blade enhancements and can allow you to pick up enhancements that aren't normally on the mind blade list.
Amulet of Hidden Strength (9000)****: As a swift action, make an attack at your highest attack bonus. For soulknives who multiclass with Stalker, this also allows a way to regain ki by focusing as a full-round action.
Amulet of the Blooded (Fey) (10000)*****: Use a Greater Invisibility effect for up to 9 rounds a day, in one round increments. Additionally, 3/day make a melee touch attack to cause a creature to lose all actions but their move action with no save! 9 rounds of Greater Invisibility for 10000 gold is a great boon for sneaky soulknives, and the action loss touch attack a nice bonus.
Torc of Power Preservation (36000)****: For soulknives with manifesting, this reduces the cost of all powers manifested by 1, which saves the Gifted Blade or multiclass manifester a lot of power points over the duration of the adventuring day.
Cloak of Resistance +X (1000 to 25000)*****: Yet another classic item, granting a resistance bonus to all saves.
Cloak of Elvenkind (2500)***: At low levels, the +5 competence bonus to Stealth this cloak grants is quite useful, but it is outpaced by stronger magic items.
Gunfighterís Poncho (14000)***: Gain a +2 luck bonus to touch AC, and once per day, as an immediate action, negate a single ranged touch attack.
Minor Cloak of Displacement (24000)*****: A permanent 20% miss chance is an excellent defensive bonus. Sadly, the major version of this item is a major disappointment, only working for 15 rounds per day. Stick to the minor version.
(Lesser) Wings of Flying (22000, 54000)*****: Flight at a 60 ft speed with average maneuverability. (Constant) Flight is required at higher levels, and this provides that, albeit at a bit of a price. The lesser version grants 30 ft flight with poor maneuverability, but is much cheaper.
Bracers of Archery, Lesser (5000)* or Greater (25000)****: Gain a competence bonus to attack (for both versions) and damage (Greater version only) when using a bow. The bonuses are fairly small, but they do add up over many attacks. The biggest problem with the Lesser Bracers is their price, as a Cracked Pale Green Prism Ioun Stone grants a +1 competence bonus to ALL attacks for 1000 gp less than the Lesser Bracers.
Longarm Bracers (7200)***: 3/day as a swift action, increase your reach by 5 ft for a round. The penalty to attack rolls is pretty steep, but it does not apply to unarmed strikes or natural weapons. Thus, this is a good option for Deadly Fists.
Blade Bangles (16500)*****: For the low cost of 16500 gp, gain a specific blade skill! You do have to meet the prerequisites of the blade skill to gain the benefits, but hey, another blade skill! The description of the item seems to imply that you can wear multiple Blade Bangles at the same time, but double check with your DM before buying too many of them.
Unlike other item slots, up to three psychoactive skins may be worn at the same time. However, you may only benefit from one at a time.
Psychoactive Skin of Proteus (84000)*****: Wearing this ectoplasm ďskinĒ continously grants the wearer the effects of the Metamorphosis power. Metamorphosis is an excellent power, and the continuous duration makes this item amazing.
Psychoactive Skin of the Troll (61200)****: Wearers of this skin are treated as under the effect of a continual True Metabolism power, but only healing 5 hp per minute. Half the effect of a Ring of Regeneration at 2/3 the cost, but without a ring slot.
Psychoactive Skin of the Blade (25500)*****: Gain the Psychokinetic Armor blade skill and the Enhanced Mind Armaments class feature for the enhancement bonus of the armor. At 25500 gp this is a bargain. Who knew it was so cheap to buy an archetype?
Psychoactive Skin of the Chameleon (18000)****: Gain a +10 enhancement bonus to Stealth. Perfect for the stealthy soulknife who wants to save on other item slots.
Universal Solvent (50)/Sovereign Glue (2400)****: If you havenít ever had some fun with magical super glue and its partner, magical goo-gone, its time to get on board.
Ioun Torch (75)****: 75 gp for a hands-free, everburning torch. Everyone without Darkvision should get one.
Ioun Stones (varies)*****: There are a large number of very useful ioun stones, of all prices. Addtionally, many of them receive more benefits from being placed inside a Wayfinder (500)*****, a relatively cheap item that is basically a compass and flashlight with a slot for an ioun stone.
- Clear Spindle (4000)***: Remove the requirement to eat and drink to survive. A good ability, but the Ring of Sustenance also reduces the need to sleep to 2 hours.
- Cracked Dark Blue Rhomboid (400)****: For the low level adventurer, a +1 competence bonus to Perception and Sense Motive is worth the 400 cost. Placing this ioun stone in a Wayfinder allows the wearer to no longer take penalties on Perception checks for being asleep or distracted.
- Cracked Dusty Rose Prism (500)*****: +1 competence bonus to initiative. For 500 gp. BUY IT! The Wayfinder bonus is a +1 insight bonus to CMB/CMD. Before errata, this gave a +2 bonus!
- Dusty Rose Prism (5000)*****: +1 insight bonus to AC for the price is very nice, though soulknives do have a few ways of getting insight bonuses to AC. See the Cracked version for the Wayfinder bonus.
- Iridescent Spindle (18000)***: You no longer need to breathe to survive. The Wayfinder grants Endure Elements, alongside immunity to vacuum and underwater pressure.
- Cracked Opalescent White Pyramid (1500)*****: For Augmented Blades, this is a cheap way to gain proficiency with any weapon. Other soulknives will still need to use the Emulate Melee/Ranged Weapon blade skill. The Wayfinder bonus is Weapon Focus for the weapon the ioun stone is keyed to.
- Cracked Pale Green Prism (4000)*****: A +1 competence bonus to either attacks or saving throws. At 4k a pop, buy one of each! Placed in a Wayfinder, 2/day either remove the fatigued condition or reduce exhaustion to fatigue.
- Flawed Pale Green Prism (28000)***: A +1 morale bonus to attacks, saves, skills, and ability checks. Much more expensive than the cracked version, but with the same Wayfinder ability.
- Pale Green Prism (30000)***: As the Flawed version, but the bonus is competence instead of morale.
- Flawed Pale Orange Rhomboid (12000)****: A one time get out of jail free card is almost certainly worth 12000 gold, especially since the cost of a True Resurrection is 25k gold, and Resurrection + Restoration to remove the negative level is 11k gold but takes 13 rounds of casting.
- Thorny (8000)****: Gain a +2 competence bonus on a specific combat maneuver.
- Green and White (12000)*****: Gain an additional power known from your class list! Effectively the Extra Known Power feat in item form, but this is a great boon for Gifted Blades or multiclass soulknives, as the number of powers known is usually quite low. For level 1 or 2 powers, a Mind Stone (see below) is a more cost efficient option, and only one Green and White ioun stone may be used at any time.
Marvelous Pigments (4000)****: Anything mundane that you can draw becomes real! Become Wily E. Coyote! While somewhat expensive, the pigments are one of the most versatile magic items ever created and well worth the investment, even if you have to sink some skill points into Craft (painting) to use them well.
Mind Stone (2000 to 162000)*****: Similar to the Green and White Ioun Stone, these stones add a power from the class list to your powers known while they are carried, but one may only benefit from a mind stone after 24 hours of attuning, and if the number of powers known is double the number of stones to be used. The level 1 and 2 stones are reasonably priced, but a Green and White Ioun Stone is far cheaper for powers above level 3. Greater versions of the mind stone cost double, but do not have the restrictions of the normal stones.
Cognizance Crystals (1000 to 81000)****: Cognizance crystals act as batteries, carrying a small reservoir of power points that a manifester can draw on to manifest powers, and the manifester can refill the crystal by giving up their power points. As Gifted Blades and most multiclass soulknives with manifesting levels have low power point reserves, the extra power points from cognizance crystals can greatly help the soulknife use powers throughout the day. Note that cognizance crystals may only be used to manifest powers, not any other abilities.
Broom of Flying (17000)/Carpet of Flying (20000 to 60000)****: Relatively cheap ways of obtaining flight (with the 10 ft by 10 ft carpet being an exception), but they are more easily targeted for destruction than other methods of flight and you can be knocked off. Not to mention the weird rules problems involved.
Exclusively for soulknives, crystalline focus items improve the enhancement bonus of a manifested mind blade, with different focus items for each method of forming a mind blade. These items are a way of increasing the total enhancement bonus of a mind blade, allowing more special abilities to be attached.
Crystal Bookmark/Bow/Gauntlets/Hilt/Ioun/Setting +1/2/3 (11200, 44800, 100800)*****: The weapon crystalline focus items. For a storied blade (Living Legend), mind bolt (Soulbolt), empowered fists or form claws (Deadly Fist, Feral Heart, or Moonlight Meditant), standard mind blade (two hilts are needed to dual wield), panoply of blades (Psychic Armory), and augmentation crystal (Augmented Blade), respectively.
Crystal Grip/Spaulders +1/2/3 (5600, 22400, 50400)*****: The armor crystalline focus items. For a mind shield (Shielded Blade) or suit of mind armor (Armored Blade)/astral suit (Aegis), respectively.
Thanks to Psyren, the creator of the original Pathfinder soulknife guide, which I referenced many times while making this guide.
Castilonium, whose Zealot guide I cribbed for many combos and formatting.
Elricaltovilla, more cribbing of formatting and ideas from his many Path of War guides.
Novawurmson, for this Aegis guide, which I dove through to find more information about the Aegis, as I had never gotten a chance to look through the class before.
Dragonamedrake, author of this Traits guide.
Gee-Chan, creator of this Cryptic guide, another class I was completely unaware of before writing this guide.
PsyBomb, author of a Dread guide, yet another class I was unfamiliar with.
Le Petite Mort, author of an Intimidation guide for PFS play that helped me see Intimidate in another light.
WalterGM, who created the Deific Obedience guide referenced during the Evangelist section of this guide.
Dreamscarred Press, for creating this much-improved version of a classic class!
And thanks to you, the reader, for taking the time to go through this guide! Happy adventuring!
Last edited by Battleship789; 2019-01-18 at 05:44 AM.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Just in case I decide to actually work on a dedicated maneuver/stance section.
Questions, comments, suggestions? Post Away!
Last edited by Battleship789; 2018-08-20 at 01:35 PM.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Fantastic guide for one of my favorite classes.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
You did forget one really -neat- archetype in the Living Legend! The guide otherwise looks amazing though, thank you!
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Last edited by Battleship789; 2018-08-20 at 04:37 PM.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Excellent work. This is very impressive.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Nice job! It has already been mentioned it is missing living legend and Ghostblade, but it is also missing Moonlight Mediant from Lords of the Wild which is probably the best natural weapon archetype.
While I don't think it is necessarily great, it is probably worth the mention of the negative energy affinity feat from the 7th path. When combined with the Living Legend, I believe that it allows the Archmage mindblade to fire off Negative energy blasts (might be good if you have a bunch of damphirs in the party). Granted you need to be able to manifest a energy power which would require taking the advanced Overmind blade skill, grabbing the psionic acid splash 0 level through feats, or being allowed to have gifted blade and snagging it at 7th if you grab the specialized energy adaption power.
Do blade bangles allow one to get access to blade skills that are locked to an archetype? Like the Light and Night blade skills of the Ghostblade, or the advanced blade skills of the living legend.
Edit: Also it may be more work than you are willing to put it, it may be nice to color code compatible archetypes on how well they go together. Also fixed some grammar and elaborated on the negative energy affinity feat a bit. The INT blade may add some fun races too the mix too like Androids, Wyrmwood, and Ratfolk.
Also it is round about but a Wyrmwood should be able to heal itself with a negative energy mindblade and the hollow soul conduit feat, though this wouldn't come online until late (level 9).
Last edited by Cyrocloud; 2018-08-20 at 06:03 PM.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
I'll have to revamp the races a lot, and the multiclass options a bit (mostly for Psion), to account for Int-focused soulknives. As a soulknife can be run with any attribute except Con as their primary combat stat, it means basically every race that doesn't lose Con is fair game, even if the Brutality Blade probably prefers Strength over Charisma.
Blade Bangles require that any prerequisite blade skills be met for the item to be used, but it makes no mention of any other restrictions, including archetypes. I'd assume that it isn't intentional, but as far as I can tell that would work. Unless the archetype blade skills aren't available due to being listed listed under another name like Legendary Stunts for the Living Legend, or Wrath Augments for the Brutality Blade.
I'll consider color coding how the archetypes fit together. I'm not sure how busy I'll be over the next few days.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Neat, but you missed a neat trick; Because the Fool's Errand discipline treats all weapons as discipline weapons, a War Soul with Discipline Mind Shapes and the Fool's Errand discipline can make their mind blade into any weapon, including the ones from the Technology Guide. And since it's a mind blade, you don't need ammo.
Heck, a War Soul|Deadly Fist can do it at first level if they spend their first level fear on Additional Blade Skill.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Top notch job! Since you cribbed my guide for formatting, I might do the same, because yours is better in a lot of places!
What do you think about adding the Daring Hero prestige class to the guide? It opens up a lot more multiclassing potential by making all class features of initiating classes cha-based.
As for regular multiclassing, don't forget the Medic. Triage is great for swift-action movement, Invigorating Touch gives a ton of healing even with only 1 level of medic, and Sanguinist gets wis-to-damage with unarmed strikes at level 1.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Almost done with the Living Legend write up. Not sure if I will update the guide now or wait till I finish up the rest of the new info.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Firearms are already available through Solar Wind, but Weapon Group adaptation should let you start pulling Rail Guns and Vortex Guns out of your War Soul's psionic behind, if you don't want Fool's Errand. Assuming your GM is insane enough to allow it.
Last edited by Andor13; 2018-08-21 at 10:27 PM.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Wasn't Psychic Armory rendered useless a while ago?
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
- A Psychic Armory must have hands free to throw the panoply.
- A Psychic Armory uses DEX to attack and WIS for damage when throwing the panoply (the Focused Offense blade skill allows for use of WIS to attack).
- Light weapons have a 20 ft. range, one-handed weapons have a 15 ft. range, and two-handed weapons may not be thrown without the Two-Handed Thrower feat (giving them a 10 ft. range).
- A Psychic Armory no longer gains the Swirling Panoply ability natively, with it instead becoming a blade skill.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
So I was looking at living legend a bit, and does your class just stop working in an anti-magic field? The protagonist feature is supernatural, also if you are not hosting at least one spirit/archetype (Either through 24 hrs passing or expelling them) do you not have a mind blade? It the wording seemed rather murky too me, unless you can have access too 3 different mindblades at all times (Regular one, and two storied blades).
Last edited by Cyrocloud; 2018-08-22 at 08:34 PM.
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter
Question: If I have a low Strength, but high Dexterity than is stacking the Armored Blade and Shielded Blade Archetypes to circumvent Carrying Capacity good? Mind Armaments and Mind Shield don't weigh anything right?
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Re: [PF/DSP] The New Soulknife Handbook: Mind Become Matter