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This is the archetype I wrote in response to Lord Morham's review of the golden legionnaire. Many thanks, Lord Mhoran. I left out the tables becasue I could not figure out how to format them decently, the full article can be found here.
The soulforge is the ultimate expression of the psionic ability to be self-reliant. Creating tools, weapons, and armor out of ectoplasm, the soulforge disdains mundane gear, especially for combat.
I wrote this archetype as a response to a review challenge I had made, but I must admit that my grasp of the psionics rules is not that tight. The class might well be off, especially on how many power points or customizations it gets.
This is a hybrid class and a prestige archetype, a combination of aegis, soulknife, and metaforge.
Starting Age: The soulknife is a semi-educated class and starts play in the middle age bracket for their race.
Hit Die: d10.
Starting Wealth:1d6 × 10 gp (average 35 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
Acrobatics (Dex), Autohypnosis* (Wis), Climb (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (psionics)* (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), Use Magic Device (Cha).
*New skill or expanded use of existing skill, see Psionics Unleashed. Copyright 2010, Dreamscarred Press.
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Soulforge Class Features
The following are class features of the soulforge.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies
Soulforges are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are proficient with light armor but not with shields. Armor does not interfere with the soulforge's class features.
Power Points/Day: An soulforge's ability to manifest some of her abilities is limited by the power points she has available. Her base daily allotment of power points is given on Table: The Soulforge. In addition, she receives bonus power points per day if she has a high Intelligence score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points), treating her manifester level for the purposes of bonus power points as equal to her class level. Her race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.
Ectoplasmic Gear (Su)
The soulforge can create personal gear for her own use. This includes clothing, basic tools, and everyday items such as a small tent and even a lantern or torch. These items function as mundane items but have an other-wordly sheen to them, and mundane people usually refuse to have anything to do with such spooky things. There is no limit on the number of items created or their duration, but no single item can weigh more than the soulforge's Intelligence modifier in pounds and any part of an ectoplasmic item that ends up more than ten feet from the soulforge immediately disappears. Ectoplasmic gear cannot duplicate any object with a value in gold pieces greater than the soulforge's level + Intelligence bonus, and can never duplicate combustibles (including wood for fuel), consumables (not even drinkable water), or any item requiring a Craft check with a DC above 10 to create.
Form Astral Suit (Su)
Every soulforge learns to draw forth ectoplasm and form an astral suit around their form. The soulforge can select from three different types when forming her astral suit— skin, armor, or juggernaut. An soulforge is always considered to be proficient with her astral suit, even if she does not have the appropriate armor proficiency. The amount of time forming this astral suit takes depends on the type of suit being formed. Different astral suit forms grant different free customizations. These free customizations never count against the soulforge's total number of customization points spent on her astral suit.
The soulforge chooses the appearance of her astral suit, although its shape must reflect the selections the soulforge has chosen: astral skin would cover the soulforge like a psychoactive skin (see Psionics Unleashed. Copyright 2010, Dreamscarred Press), astral juggernaut would appear to cover the soulforge like plate armor, etc.
An astral suit can be dismissed as a free action.
An soulforge gains a pool of points equal to her class level that she can use to customize her astral suit, molding it to suit her needs. Modifying the customization points spent on an astral suit requires 8 hours of concentration. An soulforge may choose to leave customization points free when she sets her customization choices, allowing her to customize her suit on the fly. If she does so, setting a customization in this fashion takes one minute of concentration and that customization cannot be changed until the soulforge spends another 8 hours modifying the astral suit.
Each astral suit provides certain free customizations; these are provided on top of whatever customizations the soulforge pays for with customization points, and are not subject to the usual level prerequisites or increased costs. If the soulforge changes the type of her astral suit and the free customizations would take the suit over the maximum limit (such as switching from an Astral Armor with 3 Nimble customizations to Astral Skin, which grants an additional Nimble customization), the excess customizations go inert until the astral suit is changed to make the selections valid (by reconfiguring the customization points via 8 hours of concentration or Reconfigure ability or switching the astral suit type).
The soulforge can only use certain customizations. Customizations are grouped by their cost in customization points. An soulforge only gains the benefits of a customization when she is wearing her astral suit. Unless specified otherwise, a customization may not be selected multiple times.
These customizations are available to the soulforge:
1-Point Customizations: Darkvision, Energy Resistance, Evasion, Extra Arms, Lesser, Flexible Suit, Harness Power Stone, Harness Shard, Power Stone Repository, Pull, Push, Retaliate, Speed, Spoked Carapace, Stalwart, Swim, Underwater Breath.
2-Point Customizations: Adhesive Feet, Brawn, Chameleon, Climb, Energy Resistance, Improved, Extra Arms, Flight, Fortification, Hardy, Harness Power Stone, Improved, Increased Size, Nimble, Power Resistance, Powerful Build, Ram, Retaliate, Improved, Tremorsense, Unlock Psionics, 3-Point Customizations, Blindsense, Burrow, Diehard, Extra Arms, Greater, Frightful Presence, Harness Power Stone, Greater, Quickened Attacks, Reach.
4-Point Customizations: Blindsight, Energy Immunity, Extra Passenger, Harness Power Stone, Superior, Improved Evasion, Improved Stalwart, Increased Size, Improved.
Form Mind Blade (Su)
As a move action, a soulforge can form a semi-solid weapon composed of psychic energy distilled from her own mind.
A soulforge must choose the form of her mind blade at 1st level. She can either form it into a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon. Once chosen, her mind blade stays in this form every time the soulforge forms her mind blade. The light weapon deals 1d6 points of damage, the one-handed weapon deals 1d8 points of damage, and the two-handed weapon deals 2d6 points of damage. All damages are based on a Medium-sized creature wielding Medium-sized weapons; adjust the weapon damage as appropriate for different sized weapons. In all forms, the mind blade has a critical range of 19-20/x2. A soulforge with powerful build or any similar ability forms an appropriately-sized mind blade dealing the size-appropriate amount of damage. If the soulforge's chosen form is a light weapon, she may choose to form two light weapons (or more if she has additional arms) when forming her mind blade if she so chooses, but she suffers the standard penalties for two-weapon fighting.
Regardless of the weapon form a soulforge has chosen, her mind blade does not have a set damage type. When shaping her weapon and assigning abilities to it, the soulforge chooses whether it will deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. The soulforge may change the damage type of an existing mind blade, or may summon a new mind blade with a different damage type, as a full-round action; otherwise, the mind blade retains the last damage type chosen every time it is summoned.
The blade can be broken (it has hardness 10 and 10 hit points); however, a soulforge can simply create another on her next move action. The moment she relinquishes her grip on her blade, it dissipates (unless she intends to throw it; see below). A mind blade is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and is considered a masterwork weapon.
A soulforge can use feats such as Power Attack or Combat Expertise in conjunction with the mind blade just as if it were a normal weapon. She can also choose her mind blade for feats requiring a specific weapon choice, such as Weapon Focus and Improved Critical. Powers or spells that upgrade weapons can be used on a mind blade. The soulforge can use feats such as Weapon Finesse that work on light weapons with her mind blade, but such feats only work on mind blades in a light weapon form.
Even in places where psionic effects do not normally function (such as within a null psionics field), a soulforge can attempt to sustain her mind blade by making a DC 20 Will save. On a successful save, the soulforge maintains her mind blade for a number of rounds equal to her class level before she needs to check again, although the mind blade is treated for all purposes as a non-magical, masterwork weapon while in a place where psionic effects do not normally function. On an unsuccessful attempt, the mind blade vanishes. As a move action on her turn, the soulforge can attempt a new Will save to re-materialize her mind blade while she remains within the psionics-negating effect.
The soulforge chooses the appearance of her mind blade, although its shape must reflect the selections the soulforge has chosen: a bludgeoning mind blade would be blunt, slashing would have an edge, etc.
Shape Mind Blade (Su)
The soulforge's mind blade retains the last chosen form every time it is formed until the soulforge reshapes it. If the soulforge chooses to reshape her blade, it requires a full-round action to do so. She may also re-assign the type of damage dealt as part of reshaping her mind blade if she so chooses.
Throw Mind Blade (Su)
All soulforges have some knowledge of how to throw their mind blades, though the range increment varies by form and the largest of blade forms cannot be thrown. Light weapon mind blades have a range increment of 20 ft. One-handed weapon mind blades have a range increment of 15 ft. Two-handed weapon mind blades cannot be thrown without the Two-Handed Throw blade skill. Whether or not the attack hits, a thrown mind blade then dissipates.
Beginning at 2nd level and four levels thereafter, a soulforge may choose one of a number of abilities to add to her repertoire. Some blade skills have prerequisites that must be met before they can be chosen. All blade skills may only be chosen once and require the soulforge to be using her mind blade unless otherwise stated in the skill's description.
The soulforge use blade skills as a soulforge of her class level. Until level 4, the soul forge cannot use blade skills tat require the psychic strike ability. At level 4 and higher, blade skills that consume uses of the psychic strike ability instead consume power points equal to the limit of the soulforge's crystallize ectoplasm ability, and functions as a psychic strike with a number of damage dice equal to the enhancement bonus granted by crystallize ectoplasm.
The following blade skills are not available to soulforges: dual imbue, exploding critical, flurry of fists (all versions), full enhancement, improved armor, improved enchantment, knife of the soul, and reaper's blade.
A soulforge's astral suit and mind blades improves as the character gains higher levels. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, any astral suit or mind blade the soulforge creates gains a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus.
Crystallize Ectoplasm (Su)
From 4th level on, the soulforge is able to crystallize any astral suit or mind blade she has created. This can be done as a free action on the soulforge's turn, but requires the soul forge to have a manifested astral suit or mind blade to crystallize.
The item's hardness and hit points are increased by 1 for each level the soulforge has. In addition as a swift action, the weapon can be charged with 1 power point, increasing its enhancement bonus by 1. At 8th level, the weapon can instead be charged with 2 power points, increasing its enhancement bonus by 2. At 12th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the soulforge can increase the enhancement bonus by an additional point at the cost of one additional power point, to a maximum of 5 points for a +5 increase in enhancement bonus at level 20. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves. Each use of this ability lasts a number of rounds equal to the soulblade's Intelligence modifier.
When crystallizing a soul blade, these bonuses can be used to add any of the weapon properties from Table: Soul Blade Special Properties. As the maximum enhancement bonus of a soul blade is +5, she must do so at level 12 and above or lose some of the potential of this ability. Each property also has a minimum level. When crystallizing an astral suit, these bonuses can be used to add any additional customizations in the same way.
Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier or customization point cost. These properties are added to any the soul blade or astral suit already has, but duplicates do not stack. These bonuses, properties, and customizations are decided when the power point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the soulforge uses this ability.
Invigorating Suit (Su)
An soulforge of at least 4th level wearing her astral suit gains a +4 bonus on the following checks and saves: Swim checks made to resist nonlethal damage from exhaustion; Constitution checks made to continue running; Constitution checks made to avoid nonlethal damage from a forced march; Constitution checks made to hold breath; Constitution checks made to avoid nonlethal damage from starvation or thirst; Fortitude saves made to avoid nonlethal damage from hot or cold environments; and Fortitude saves made to resist damage from suffocation.
Starting at 5th level, an soulforge can reconfigure up to her Intelligence modifier in customization points on her astral suit once per day as a standard action. Every four levels thereafter, she can use this ability an additional time per day.
A 5th level soulforge may manifest her mind blade as a free action, though she may still only attempt to do so once per round (unless throwing the weapon multiple times using the Multiple Throw blade skill).
Crystal Shards (Su)
At 6th level, when scoring a hit with a crystallized soul blade, the soul forge can expend her psionic focus to cause the blade to shatter as an immediate action. This inflicts 1d8 of damage on the target for every four levels of the soulforge. This damage is of the same type as that of the shattered soul blade, and is multiplied on a critical hit.
At 20th level, a soulforge reaches the pinnacle of her art and her connection to her astral constructs is so strong it cannot be severed.
She no longer requires a Will save to maintain her mind blade in a null psionics field, although it still loses any enhancement bonus and special abilities. In addition, she may change the configurations of her mind blade's special abilities at will as a full-round action, which also resets any penalties that may have accrued from the Fluid Form and Improved Fluid Form blade skills.
Her suit cannot be dispelled or removed against her will by any means, although her astral suit ability still does not function within areas where psionics do not work, such as a null psionics field.
In addition, the soulforge can spend two daily uses of her reconfigure ability to alter all of the customizations on her astral suit.