Psionic Rogue: Soulknife explained by Jeremy Crawford – Unearthed Arcana

3 thoughts on “Psionic Rogue: Soulknife explained by Jeremy Crawford – Unearthed Arcana

  1. Michael Toth says:

    After watching that video explaining the Soulknife I can honestly say my experience is different then what is explained in this video. I would like to see the classed not be so heavily handicapped so it can stand on par with other Archtypes for one.

    1. Soulknife stabs the soul leaving no marks or wounds…. well sounds like this attack should ignore armour and yet it does not? On top of that the weapons never improve making them lack luster and weak. I would rather dual wield two normal magical weapons with +3 bonus to hit and damage then use my knives…. seems like a major oversight to me on balance. So my thought is either make it ignore armor or give a magic rating of +1/+2/+3 each time the psychic dice improve at level 5/11/17. Also make the offhand a d6 as a level up improvement… again I can get better weapons otherwise and this weapon is supposed to be why you play a Soulknife not why you avoid it…

    2. Psychic Blades do not work with spells that enhance weapons like Booming Blade…. yet another win for this rogue that is supposed to be deadly… Feels like they really don;t want you to use these things…

    3. This one is a question, when used in range is the Psychic Blade a thrown weapon or a ranged weapon… I know the term thrown is used, but there is also a description for ranged. I feel ranged is more appropriate myself as the blades are physically attached to the PC and targeting an enemy feels more like a projected spell then actually throwing it.

    I know this might seem like a harsh review, but I’m just exhausted playing this class while everyone has no restrictions. I would really like some sort of official feed back on question #3 as it is currently an issue with our game and how dnd beyond handles it as well.

  2. Don says:

    The only bonus to the Soulknife that I can see is the nature of the damage type. Very few things encountered by adventuring parties have resistance to psychic damage. Getting whacked with sneak attack levels of that damage type every round can be beneficial, not to mention alarming to a raging barbarian.

    I do agree that the “off hand” damage should increase with each “Psionic Die” increase to eventually match the damage of the original blade.

  3. There are 15 monsters in the MM with resistance to magical piercing damage (since piercing is the most common rogue weapon damage, it’s easier to judge based on this). 10 of those are swarms, 5 of those just being different varieties of insect swarms. There are then 6 in Volo’s (2 are swarms again). Mordenkainen’s adds none. All the other settings and campaign books combined add 15, 5 of which are swarms again.

    So total across every officially published 5e source, there are 36 creatures with resistance to magical piercing damage. Nearly half of these (17) are swarms, which make up the bulk of their issue. Nothing is immune to magical piercing. One creature in the MM is potentially vulnerable to it, though- the Rakshasa. 4 if you include the 3 extra varieties from Eberron.

    Meanwhile, psychic is resisted by only the Revenant in the MM. Volo’s adds only 1 extra. Mordenkainen’s also adds 1. All the other settings and campaign books combined add 21. There is no real ‘rhyme’ here to a common type, but it doesn’t look bad yet, right? Next, immunity- there’s 10 in the MM (5 are constructs). Volo’s added none. Mordenkainen’s added 8 (2 are constructs). All the other settings and campaign books combined add 53, 42 of which are constructs.

    So 24 creatures resist psychic damage, and 71 creatures are flat out immune to it. Of those, 49 are constructs, the psychic type’s biggest issue. Also, bizarrely, nothing is vulnerable to psychic damage. At all. Though the Rakshasa thing for piercing isn’t often going to be useful for rogue players and they’re kind of rare anyways, so I’ll give it a pass.

    A normal rogue with a +1 dagger would struggle against 36 possible creatures, most notably swarms, while a Soulknife would struggle against 95, most notably constructs which are entirely immune to their primary weapon. And again, all objects are immune to psychic damage as well- no manipulating your environment with your laser fist, that’s something only a physical weapon can do. And the normal rogue with a magic weapon is never in a hopeless fight where they can’t deal damage. A Soulknife can only overcome 71 of their problems by switching to a normal weapon.

    And that’s the big rub right there- a Soulknife really needs to keep a magic weapon on them at all times to overcome their weakness. The thing that none of their fancy Soulknife powers interact with at all. In some fights it’ll just be for teleporting.

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