Soulknife Undead Hunter (3.5e Optimized Character Build)
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This came forth after a discussion[See: Arguement] in where I was defending the 'underpowered, lame class'. I decided to build this using my actual character sheet in my DM's undead heavy campaign.
A slow-starting build that will be able to hold it's own in any undead-centric campaign, especially mid-level and beyond.
Dungeon Master's Guide(DMG)
Expanded Psionics Handbook(EPH)
No additional magic items or armor were used here. Currently equipped with a masterwork chainshirt, two daggers[in case of arrest, his daggers will be taken. That is their entire purpose], a backpack, some bedrolls, a lantern, and candles.
Items that boost STR, CHA, attack bonus, and the like will be of value to this build.
Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments):
STR: Needed for your to hit bonus, damage bonus. This is primarily a melee class. I'd recommend 15+
WIS: Used primarily for your Auto-hypnosis skill. Grants power points for Psychic Warrior Class. You want at least a 13 to qualify for some of the feats.
CON: Boost in health and some skills. I'd recommend 13+
CHA: Pumps up the save DC for your Illumine Soul abilities. So long as the modifier is +0 or greater by character level ten, it's all good.
INT: Boosts your Know(Psionics), you need 8 true ranks here, and 4 in Know(Religion) to qualify for Illumine Soul.
DEX:Boosts AC and skills such as Tumble. Useful for avoiding AoO's
You can swap STR and DEX if you plan on getting Weapon Finesse for your mind blade. I'd recommend against it, as you're already hurting for feats as is.
Starting Racial Traits:
Human: Bonus Feat
Dwarves: +2 CON, have plenty of useful combat traits and resistances.
Gnomes: +2 CON, innate magical ability, allowing for more tricks in and out of combat.
Halflings: +2 DEX, +1 for thrown weapons, Great when using the throw mind blade class feature
|1st||Soulknife1||+0||+0||+2||+2||Psionic Body*; Up The Walls*; Weapon Focus(Mind Blade)^; Wild Talent^||Mind Blade||Mind Blade manifests as short sword|
|2nd||Soulknife2||+1||+0||+3||+3||N/A||Throw Mind Blade||N/A|
|3rd||Soulknife3||+2||+1||+3||+3||Mind Cleave*||Psychic Strike +1d8||Move action to imbue, Mind Blade retains charge until successful attack; Affects all living, non-mindless creatures|
|4th||Soulknife3/ Psychic Warrior1||+2||+3||+3||+3||Psionic Meditation*||Force Disc**||Ability Point(Rec: STR; CHA; or WIS)|
|5th||Soulknife3/ Psychic Warrior2||+3||+4||+3||+3||Mind Strike, Focused*||Skate**||N/A|
|6th||Soulknife3/ Psychic Warrior2/ Illumine Soul1||+3||+6||+3||+5||Improved Initiative*||+1 Mind Blade; Psychic Strike +2d8||Improved Mind Blade; Positive Energy Conduit(Psychic Strike now affects all undead as well as living, non-mindless creatures)|
|7th||Soulknife3/ Psychic Warrior2/ Illumine Soul2||+4||+7||+3||+6||N/A||Positive Energy Ray; Death Ward||Positive Energy Ray: Deals 2d6 damage per class level(max 10d6) upon successful ranged touch attack against single undead target|
|8th||Soulknife3/ Psychic Warrior2/ Illumine Soul3||+5||+7||+4||+6||N/A||Mind Blade Enhancement +1; Undead Mind Bane||Ability Point(Rec: STR; CHA; or WIS); Mind blade is permanently enhanced with undead bane(DMG p.224)|
|9th||Soulknife3/ Psychic Warrior2/ Illumine Soul4||+6/+1||+8||+4||+7||Psionic Weapon*||Psychic Strike +3d8; Positive Energy Healing||Positive Energy Healing: When dropped to 0 or few HP, you are automatically healed for 5d8+5 HP. This action is automatic, and timely enough to prevent you from dying, so long as it leaves you with -9 HP or greater.|
|10th||Soulknife3/ Psychic Warrior2/ Illumine Soul5||+6/+1||+8||+4||+7||N/A||+2 Mind Blade; Positive Energy Flare||Positive Energy Flare: Deals 2d6 damage per class level(max 10d6) to all undead within 30' of you when activated. Will save(DC 10+Illumine Soul Class levels+CHA mod) for half damage|
|11th||Soulknife3/ Psychic Warrior3/ Illumine Soul5||+7/+2||+8||+5||+8||N/A||Expansion**||N/A|
|12th||Soulknife3/ Psychic Warrior4/ Illumine Soul5||+8/+3||+9||+5||+8||Practiced Manifester*||Hustle**||Ability Point(Rec: STR; CHA; or WIS)|
|13th||Soulknife3/ Psychic Warrior5/ Illumine Soul5||+8/+3||+9||+5||+8||Expanded Knowledge*||Dimension Hop**; Dimension Swap**||Expanded knowledge grants one additional power|
|14th||Soulknife4/ Psychic Warrior5/ Illumine Soul5||+9/+4||+9||+6||+9||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|15th||Soulknife5/ Psychic Warrior5/ Illumine Soul5||+9/+4||+||+||+||Mind Empowerment*; Shape Mind Blade^; Free Draw||Mind Blade Enhancement +2||N/A|
|16th||Soulknife6/ Psychic Warrior5/ Illumine Soul5||+10/+5||+10||+7||+10||Speed of Thought^||N/A||Ability Point(Rec: STR; CHA; or WIS)|
|17th||Soulknife7/ Psychic Warrior5/ Illumine Soul5||+11/+6||+10||+7||+10||N/A||+3 Mind Blade; Psychic Strike +4d8||N/A|
|18th||Soulknife8/ Psychic Warrior5/ Illumine Soul5||+12/+7||+10||+8||+11||Greater Psionic Weapon*||N/A||N/A|
|19th||Soulknife9/ Psychic Warrior5/ Illumine Soul5||+12/+7||+11||+8||+11||Greater Weapon Focus(Mind Blade)||Bladewind; Mind Blade Enhancement +3||N/A|
|20th||Soulknife10/ Psychic Warrior5/ Illumine Soul5||+13/+8||+11||+9||+12||N/A||N/A||Ability Point(Rec: STR; CHA; or WIS)|
- Feats marked with the carat(^) are granted by the class
- Feats Marked with the asterisk(*) are my recommendations
Reasons for my choices:
Autonomous: Boosts Autohypnosis and Know(Psionics)
Up The Walls: Ability to run on walls and ceilings
Mind Strike, Focused: Expend Psionic Focus when imbuing mind blade with psychic strike to deal additional 1d8 damage on psychic strike
Psionic Meditation: Meditate to regain Psionic Focus as a move action instead of a Full-Round Action
Mind Cleave: Automatically Recharges your psychic strike when you drop a non-mindless foe
Mind Empowerment: Same as Mind Cleave, but for three rounds, or until next successful attack(whichever occurs first), gain additional 1d8 damage on Psychic Strike
Psionic Weapon: Expend focus to deal an additional 2d6 damage on next attack, additional damage is lost if attack misses
Psionic Body: +2HP for every Psionic feat you have or obtain, including this one
Greater Psionic Weapon: Expend focus to deal an additional 4d6 damage on next attack in place of Psionic Weapon's +2d6, additional damage is lost if attack misses
The order in which the feats are taken really only depend on when you qualify and some personal preference. You could take Psionic Body earlier, or you could also swap out one feat early on for Armor Proficiency: Medium to be able to better take a hit, but then again, your focus in combat is more along the lines of not getting hit, as opposed to soaking.
Another idea is to pick up the run feat, allowing you to move along the walls or ceiling at an accelerated rate, then Flaring to take out the center mass of huddled undead without provoking AoO's.
This build works on the idea of destroying undead. Not fighting, not defeating, but destroying, obliterating. At higher levels, you may see yourself having a contest of skill reminiscent of Gimli and Legolas' ongoing arguement with your cleric or paladin. If anyone in your group is playing an undead or necromancer, well... Y'all'll have problems, plain and simple.
Instead of Prestiging with Illumine Soul, you could multi with Fighter for a large amount of feats and combat boosts, basically becoming the death tank.
If anyone else sees opportunity I missed, please, add it here. Yocu can also prestige with manifest soul if there is no undeads in your campaign.
If you're coming up on a room full of undead, Run to the center and Flare. You'll soften up most, if not all of the corpses, maybe destroying some at the same time. Then it's just a matter of straight combat.
Range isn't too limiting of a factor, thanks to the Throw Mind Blade ability. Any areas with mindless, non-undead creatures, however, are your downfall.
First and fore-most: Magic-Psionics Transparency. Allow anti-magic field and null psionics field to
effect their own and the other interchangeably.
Mindless, living creatures(constructs, oozes, slimes, etc.) take away the edge this build has. Massive swarms of really low level undead can take out the Sk/IS, even at higher levels(local necromancers and Lichs getting mad at him? Have them all team up to swarm him.).
If anything is noticed...