Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stabbing You With Their Minds

The last of the three "lost classes" of Blood & Treasure is the soulknife. The soulknife is certainly more gonzo than the classic fantasy archetypes, but they have some cool precedents in sci-fi entertainment, specifically in the form of the ubiquitous light saber and in the redesigned Psylocke (kinda miss the old one, to be honest) and her mind blades. The overall concept is pretty decent, and it was a close one to make it into the final game. I especially liked the idea of illustrating it (or having it illustrated for me, to be precise) as an Indian warrior with glowing katars. So ... the soulknife for Blood & Treasure (which is about a month away from being finished, FYI).

Soulknives are men and women with a natural surplus of psychic energy but no ability to manifest it in the form of psychic powers. Instead, they learn, through rigorous training and meditation, to unlock their chakras and focus their psychic energy into a blade-shaped construct. Soulknives follow a strict warrior code – the Kshatriya Dharma. This states, “Stand straight and never bow down, for this alone is manliness. Rather break at the knots than bend!”

Requirements: Soulknives must have a dexterity and wisdom score of 13 or higher.

Hit Dice: d8 (+3 hit points per level from 10th to 20th).

Armor: Padded, leather, ring mail, studded leather and all shields.

Weapons: Club, crossbows (any), dagger, dart, javelin, mace, morningstar, punching dagger, quarterstaff, rapier, sap, shortbow, short sword, sickle, sling and spear.

Skills: Climb, Find Secret Doors, Hide, Jump, Listen at Doors and Move Silently.


A soulknife can create a semisolid blade composed of psychic energy distilled from his own mind. The blade is identical in all ways (except visually) to a short sword (for medium-sized soulknives), dagger (for small-sized soulknives) or longsword (for large soulknives). The wielder of a mind blade gains the usual modifiers to his attack roll and damage roll from their strength score.

The blade can be broken (it has an AC 15 and 10 hit points); however, a soulknife can simply create another on his next turn. The moment he relinquishes his grip on his blade, it dissipates (unless he intends to throw it; see below). A mind blade is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of hitting monsters only hit by magic weapons.
A soulknife’s mind blade improves as the character gains higher levels.

A soul knife of 2nd level or higher can throw his mind blade as a ranged weapon with a range increment of 30 feet. Whether or not the attack hits, a thrown mind blade then dissipates. A soulknife of 3rd level or higher can make a psychic strike (see below) with a thrown mind blade and can use the blade in conjunction with other special abilities.

A soulknife of 3rd level or higher can spend one round of combat to imbue his mind blade with destructive psychic energy. This effect deals an extra 1d6 points of damage to the next living, non-mindless target he successfully hits with a melee attack (or ranged attack, if he is using the throw mind blade ability). Creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are immune to psychic strike damage.

A mind blade deals this extra damage only once when this ability is called upon, but a soulknife can imbue his mind blade with psychic energy again by taking another round to imbue it with destructive psychic energy.

Once a soulknife has prepared his blade for a psychic strike, it holds the extra energy until it is used. Even if the soulknife drops the mind blade (or it otherwise dissipates, such as when it is thrown and misses), it is still imbued with psychic energy when the soulknife next materializes it.

At every four levels beyond 3rd (7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th), the extra damage from a soulknife’s psychic strike increases by 1d6.

At 5th level, a soulknife gains the ability to change the form of his mind blade. This one full round; he can change his mind blade to replicate a blade one size larger (i.e. dagger to short sword, short sword to longsword or longsword to bastard sword) or smaller. Alternatively, a soulknife can split his mind blade into two identical blades, suitable for fighting with a weapon in each hand.

At 6th level, a soulknife gains the ability to enhance his mind blade. He can add any one of the Class A weapon special abilities on the table below. At 10th level the soulknife can add a Class B ability to his mindblade. At 14th level, the soulknife can add Class C abilities to his mindblade. At 18th level, the soulknife can add two Class B abilities or three Class A abilities to hit mindblade.

Special Abilities
Class A: Defending, keen, lucky, mighty cleaving, psychokinetic, sundering, vicious
Class B: Collision, mindcrusher, psychokinetic burst, suppression, wounding
Class C: Bodyfeeder, soulbreaker

Bodyfeeder: Weapon grants the wielder temporary hit points equal to the damage inflicted on a natural attack roll of ‘20’.

Collision: Weapon increases own mass at end of swing, dealing 5 extra points of damage.

Lucky: Once per day, the wielder can re-roll a missed attack.

Mindcrusher: Spellcasting or spell-using creatures hit by this weapon lose a random ability or spell slot. They must also pass a Will saving throw or lose 1d2 points of wisdom.

Psychokinetic: Weapon deals +1d4 points of ectoplasmic damage to those it hits.

Psychokinetic Burst: As psychokinetic, plus, on a natural attack roll of ‘20’ it deals an additional 1d6 points of damage.

Soulbreaker: On a natural attack roll of ‘20’, the victim loses one level (per a life drain). One day after losing the level, the victim can attempt a Fortitude saving throw to regain the lost level.

Sundering: Weapon provides a +2 bonus to sundering attacks.

Suppression: Creatures hit by this weapon suffer from a targeted dispel magic effect. The wielder makes a dispel check (i.e. Will save with a penalty equal to the level of the spell to be dispelled).

The weapon ability or abilities remain the same every time the soulknife materializes his mind blade (unless he decides to reassign its abilities; see below). The ability or abilities apply to any form the mind blade takes, including the use of the shape mind blade or bladewind class abilities. A soulknife can reassign the ability or abilities he has added to his mind blade. To do so, he must first spend 8 hours in concentration. After that period, the mind blade materializes with the new ability or abilities selected by the soulknife.

Beginning at 13th level, when a soulknife executes a psychic strike, he can choose to substitute intelligence, wisdom or charisma damage for extra dice of damage. For each die of extra damage he gives up, he deals 1 point of damage to the ability score he chooses.


  1. This is kind of an older post, but have you ever considered doing a B&T write-up for the Psychic? Even if it's not in the final book, it'd be interesting to see it fleshed out.

    1. I'm planning to convert all the classes I've published here for B&T at some point - probably in a NOD Companion kind of book.


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