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Rathwellin the Bard

Soulknife changes

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SOULKNIFE:This sort of thief, a being possessed of potent psionic power, recognises his or her own mind as the most beautiful and deadly thing in all creation. With practice, they have learned to forge their mental strength into a semisolid blade of pure psychic energy. This weapon, known as a mind blade, means that even when unarmed the soulknife is but a thought away from a deadly strike.

 

Advantages:

-  Can achieve Mastery in short swords

-  Can manifest a Mind Blade once per day per 10 levels. This short sword is a psionic weapon that lasts for 1 round/level, and counts as being of enchantment 1 higher than it is when determining what it can hit, to a maximum of +5. Each hit heals the Soulknife 1HP. Thac0 bonus and damage improve by 1 per 5 levels, to a maximum of +5 at level 25. Range improves by 5 every 5 levels to a maximum of 25 at level 25.

 

Disadvantages:

-  Cannot set traps

-  Only gets 15 skill points per level

 

OK this is cool. I'm a huge Soulknife fan.

 

However I have to ask what the point would be in playing with this Kit in BGII?

 

You sacrifice skill points and traps and all you get is a normal enchanted weapon? A vanilla thief wielding the Firetooth Dagger would be far more deadly than this guy.

 

I think that the Soulknife blade needs to have some more umph. Maybe it could cause confusion, grant an extra attack, be throwable, or something more than just being a +x weapon.

 

I also suggest giving the Soulknife some sort of resistance to psionics. That could be MR, limited free action, or something else. However it makes sense to me that he should be able to have a slight advantage vs the Illithids over a non-psi character.

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The Soulknife's blade increases in range. 25 range is, I think, slightly shorter than the range of an arrow. Having said that, once per day per 10 levels is rather rare for something that sounds like it'd be a primary means of attack.

 

And yeh, I think psionic characters should have greater resistance to other psionic attacks.

Edited by SimDing0

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What'd you suggest, then, a bonus to savs vs. spells or something?

 

Also, about the blade usage - I would agree with that. Once per day per 5 levels, or even more frequent?

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The 3.5 XPH Soulknife basically uses his weapon all the time. I think that the BGII Soulknife should be the same.

 

IMO the weapon should be coded as a real undroppable weapon that permanently occupies the character's first primary hand weapon slot. The Mind Blade should improve by level as you mention. At 5th level the Mind Blade should gain different 'modes' like the Firetooth Dagger or Throwing Axe (ie melee or thrown mode). It also needs some sort of special ability (or abilities) that make it 'competitive' with enchanted weapons of a given level. I.E. the Soulknife should 'want' to use his Mind Blade more that he would want to use another weapon in most circumstances.

 

One suggestion would be to give the Mind Blade or Soulknife a few 'spell like abilities' that could be accessed via the Item or Special Ability buttons. These could be touch spells that cause a bit of elemental damage or an effect like Hold, stun, or confusion if the blade hits. As an alternative to making the Mind Blade having melee or thrown forms create a 'Knife to the Soul' attack that is useable a few times per day at range and has some nasty effect (either a lot of damage, stat drain damage, etc.).

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And how would you suggest balancing that out?

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Have the Soul Knife weapon upgrade at around the same time he'd gain access to similarly powerful weapons.

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How about:

 

- Allowing manifestation once per 5 levels, instead of once per 10.

- Giving a +1 bonus to save vs. spells (or something else to mimic mental strength)

- From level 14, allowing a 'Knife to the Soul' attack (this is the name of a pnp ability they get). This would work similarly to the Finger of Death spell, probably.

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mmmm, Finger of Death. Yum. Once per day on that? or once per manifestation of the knife?

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It'd be per day. It'd probably be easier to have it as a separate ability (like an innate spell) than have it linked to the mind blade.

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I didn't think the coding for that would be easy. :) So, it's a sort of psionic backstab.... I think it's OK, considering how little other thief skills they've got.

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Well...

 

In 3E the Soulknife was a Prestige Class. In 3.5E it is a Core Class, and I think it works a lot better.

 

However, in 3.5E it becomes apparant that it is better suited to the Fighter than the Thief if it were to be made a kit. Therfore, I am debating whether to deprecate this kit from the mod and release a Fighter alternative at some point, or to try and make the kit stay a Thief by further tweaking it.

 

In essence, the 3.5E one could be implemented as a Fighter something roughly like this:

 

Advantages:

- Manifests a Mind Blade at will. This is treated as a Short Sword with an enchantment of +1 at level 4, +2 at level 8 and so on.

- At level 5, a Long Sword can be manifested instead. Then either at this level or a higher one (I forget offhand), a Bastard Sword or pair of Short Swords can be manifested. These have the same enhancement bonus as the single Short Sword as above. (I might even allow a Two-Handed Sword to complete the spectrum, as in pnp the Bastard Sword is used two-handed if you don't have a certain feat).

- Mind Blade can be thrown as a returning weapon from a certain level.

- Mind Blade can be imbued with psionic energy doing extra damage at a certain level.

- Mind Blade gains a special power at a certain level.

- A 'knife to the soul' power at high levels which does serious damage.

 

Disadvantages:

- thac0 progression as a Rogue (as they have the same attack progression as Rogues/Clerics etc in 3.5E)

- Only place 1 star in weapons other than Short/Long/Bastard/Two-Handed swords and fighting styles (they don't have many proficiencies in 3.5E)

- Limited to Studded Leather and lighter armour (in 3.5E they only have Light Armour Proficiency)

 

I think something like that would suit the persona of the kit much better. The only flaw is they tend to be stealthy and the fighter can't use that skill.

 

So, if I make it a Fighter it will be similar to the above. If I keep it as a Thief I'll try and implement some of those abilities - however, other thieving stuff will have to be hurt. Perhaps a 10% penalty on all skills as well as a total loss of backstab.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter? :)

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I see the logic in your fighter suggestion.

 

The 3.5 Soulknife is an odd hybrid fighter/thief. The Psychic Strike acts like an alternative sneak attack (backstab) and the Soulknife has Hide & Move Silently as class skills. However he lacks any sort of trap disabling ability. He has medium BAB (like a rogue or cleric) and can only use ‘simple’ weapons and light armor without spending feats.

 

Yeah, he plays more like a skirmisher fighter than a rogue and has d10 HP, but in terns of translating this to BGII his armor and weapon restrictions would probably look more like a thief or bard than a fighter.

 

My thinking is that as a fighter kit the Soulknife would have stinky thief THACO but balance that out by getting multiple attacks per round. As a thief kit he would have sneaky skills instead of extra attacks.

 

My suggestion would be to keep this a thief kit like this:

 

Advantages:

- Add +1 to THACO every 10 levels.

- Can achieve Mastery in short swords and long swords

- Can max out all weapon fighting styles (i.e. three stars in Two Weapon Fighting, two stars in Single Weapon Style, etc.)

- Manifests a Mind Blade at will. This is treated as a Short Sword with an enchantment of +1 at level 4, +2 at level 8 and so on to a maximum of +6 at 24th level.

- At level 5 a Long Sword or pair or Shortswords can be manifested instead.

- Psychic Strike useable once per every 5 levels. This ability infuses the mind blade with incredible power causing all strikes to inflict maximum damage for 1 turn.

- Mind Blade gains the following special powers at a levels 6, 14, 22, & 30.

* Can be thrown like a returning weapon (level 6)

* Does an extra 1d3 magic damage (level 14)

* Adds 1 extra attack per round (level 22)

* Dispel Magic per the Holy Avenger or Staff of the Magi (level 30)

- A 'knife to the soul' HLA which does serious damage.

 

Disadvantages:

- Cannot set traps

- Only gets 15 skill points per level

- No Backstab

- May only dual class to Fighter

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Yeh, something like that sounds good, actually... I guess people will have to live without Bastard Sword manifestation. :)

 

I'd probably slightly alter it, though, to better fit 2E/BG2 style progression and the game engine:

 

Advantages:

- Gains a +1 THAC0 bonus every 10 levels

- Can achieve Grand Mastery in Short Swords and Long Swords

- Can place the maximum number of proficiency slots in all fighting styles

- May manifest a Mind Blade at will. This is treated as a Short Sword with an enchantment of +1 at level 4, +2 at level 8 and so on to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

- From level 5, may choose to manifest a Long Sword or pair of Short Swords instead of a single short sword

- May imbue a melee weapon including his Mind Blade with a psychic strike once per every 8 levels. This ability causes the weapon to deal 1d8 extra magic damage for 3 rounds

- From level 6, a Mind Blade (single Short Sword or Long Sword forms only) can be thrown like a returning weapon

- From level 10, a Mind Blade does an extra 1d3 magic damage

- From level 14, a Soulknife using a Mind Blade fights with an extra attack per round

- From level 20, a Mind Blade will dispel magic on targets it hits

 

Disadvantages:

- May not set traps

- Only gains 15 skill points per level to spend on thieving skills

- May not backstab

- May only dual class to Fighter

 

I'd add an HLA like Knife to the Soul too, when I/someone gets round to HLAs. ;)

 

Another option I had toyed with was making alignment restrictions - any Lawful or any Chaotic (as the handbook says most Soulknives are Lawful or Chaotic).

Edited by Andyr

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I'd favour the range continuing to increase, rather than allowing the blade to be thrown.

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Well, the existing ranges suck a bit as it's too far, too fast. Why would you prefer increasing range? Thrown would be essentially the same, except for a fixed range.

 

 

And that's how pnp does it (though you don't like that. :))

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