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Kurotowa

Legend
Also worth noting, that the point of comparison for the two abilities including the knives in the touchstone Subclass, the Thief, is Fast Hands or Second-Story Work: if anything, the Soul Knife as presented is a bit OP, but is hasn't had the balance pass yet

Which is really a design flaw with Rogues as an entire class, isn't it? No subclass features between 3rd and 9th Level leaves very little budget for a really transformative subclass. At least, not until you've reached those higher tiers of play.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The action economy is fairly important in most combats, as are weapon resistances.
It’s a very minor change to the action economy. It won’t change the course of any combat.
Also, it doesn’t return, I was overestimating it from memory. It takes a bonus action to manifest a new one after throwing it.
Also worth noting, that the point of comparison for the two abilities including the knives in the touchstone Subclass, the Thief, is Fast Hands or Second-Story Work: if anything, the Soul Knife as presented is a bit OP, but is hasn't had the balance pass yet
No, The thief is just exploration focused. The designers go back to the phb, not to the “touchstone subclass”.

Instead, compare the AT or the Swashbuckler.

The AT comes out ahead, while the Swashbuckler is about even with it, if not a bit ahead. Yeah, bonus to Init, easy SA every round, easy escape without disengage action. If I just wanted to kill stuff very well, Soul Knife is number 3 on my list.

Maybe if it could SA against any target it has hit with its knives since the last round or something, I’d put it above SB.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It’s a very minor change to the action economy. It won’t change the course of any combat.
Also, it doesn’t return, I was overestimating it from memory. It takes a bonus action to manifest a new one after throwing it.

No, The thief is just exploration focused. The designers go back to the phb, not to the “touchstone subclass”.

Instead, compare the AT or the Swashbuckler.

The AT comes out ahead, while the Swashbuckler is about even with it, if not a bit ahead. Yeah, bonus to Init, easy SA every round, easy escape without disengage action. If I just wanted to kill stuff very well, Soul Knife is number 3 on my list.

Maybe if it could SA against any target it has hit with its knives since the last round or something, I’d put it above SB.

Each Class has one Subclass that they use as the baseline when designing a new Subclass: the Thief for the Rogue, the Champion for the Fighter, Devotion for the Paladin, etc. That's how they avoid power creep, they keep each Subclass in line with the one in the SRD (source: listening to Mearls do this live on air and explain the standard design process a couple dozen times).

It doesn't need to return, and two can be equipped with just a single bonus action, which is a significant boost on the standard rules for drawing two weapons. Fairly comparable to being able to climb really good.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Which is really a design flaw with Rogues as an entire class, isn't it? No subclass features between 3rd and 9th Level leaves very little budget for a really transformative subclass. At least, not until you've reached those higher tiers of play.

Not really: the thought behind Classes that choose a Subclass at third-level is that the Subclasses aren't supposed to be transformative of the Archetype, whereas firet-level choice Subclasses are supposed to put more emphasis on Subclass. Might not be to all tastes, but, working as designed. I'd say have every Class choose at first, but this is what was intended.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Violating the WotC design structures and expanding the comparison, however, the Assassin at Level 3 gets advantage and hence Sneak Attack on anybody who hasn't taken a turn yet, and auto-critd when having advantage (and a couple Proficiency additions), which is nice but I'd wager works out being if equal mathematical value in GO over the long term.

The A cane Trickster gets some Cantrips and a few neat tricks with Mage Hand, which are admittedly delightful and useful, but comparable.

The Swashbuckler gets some movement and Initiative tricks, and a new way to get Sneak Attack, which is awesome, but still comparable.

Inquisitive gets some Skill till boni and a new way to Sneak Attack. Comparable to changing the dynamics of the drawing action.

The Mastermind gets some skills, a mimicry ability and Help as a Bonus Action. Handy, but not better.

Finally, the Scout gets some Proficiency with extra Expertise, and the ability to move as a reaction. Comparable in my book.

It's a pretty solid set of Subclasses, but if anything the Soil Knives are maybe OP in the long-term math.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Each Class has one Subclass that they use as the baseline when designing a new Subclass: the Thief for the Rogue, the Champion for the Fighter, Devotion for the Paladin, etc. That's how they avoid power creep, they keep each Subclass in line with the one in the SRD (source: listening to Mearls do this live on air and explain the standard design process a couple dozen times).

It doesn't need to return, and two can be equipped with just a single bonus action, which is a significant boost on the standard rules for drawing two weapons. Fairly comparable to being able to climb really good.
Um, no. Rewatch the happy fun hour. He uses various PHB subclasses as comparison to avoid power creep, not just the ones in the SRD.

Compared to the PHB magical subclass, it’s not that good.

And even compared to the thief...it’s not great. Bonus action to re-equip means it cannot make bonus action attacks on the same turn it gets its weapons out. It’s a worse action economy benefit for the rogue than that of the Dual Wielder feat, because it precludes being a remotely effective ranged dual wielder.

If it returned, at least it wouldn’t be effectively bound to Melee combat.

So, it’s almost worse than getting those brackets that let you throw two daggers as an action, and I only say almost because it’s d6 psychic damage.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Um, no. Rewatch the happy fun hour. He uses various PHB subclasses as comparison to avoid power creep, not just the ones in the SRD.

Compared to the PHB magical subclass, it’s not that good.

And even compared to the thief...it’s not great. Bonus action to re-equip means it cannot make bonus action attacks on the same turn it gets its weapons out. It’s a worse action economy benefit for the rogue than that of the Dual Wielder feat, because it precludes being a remotely effective ranged dual wielder.

If it returned, at least it wouldn’t be effectively bound to Melee combat.

So, it’s almost worse than getting those brackets that let you throw two daggers as an action, and I only say almost because it’s d6 psychic damage.

He brings in other Subclasses later, after using the base Subclass as the primary junction.

It still remains infinite ammo, and an unusually early way to get access to magic resistance piercing weaponry. It does seem primarily based around Melee combat, but that's kind of the Soul Knife's traditional schtick, and still bring able to equip two items on a bonus action is better than the base rules assumption with no Feats or other abilities, which would require an Action to unsheath more than one weapon in one round. In a standard 2-3 round combat of knife throwing, assuming no Feats, this can add up in favor of the Soul Knife rather easily in a sticcato rhythm.

I'm not saying you should like it if you don't, or that it couldn't maybe use some tweaking, but as a third level Rogue Subclass ability, it ain't bad.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
He brings in other Subclasses later, after using the base Subclass as the primary junction.

It still remains infinite ammo, and an unusually early way to get access to magic resistance piercing weaponry. It does seem primarily based around Melee combat, but that's kind of the Soul Knife's traditional schtick, and still bring able to equip two items on a bonus action is better than the base rules assumption with no Feats or other abilities, which would require an Action to unsheath more than one weapon in one round. In a standard 2-3 round combat of knife throwing, assuming no Feats, this can add up in favor of the Soul Knife rather easily in a sticcato rhythm.

I'm not saying you should like it if you don't, or that it couldn't maybe use some tweaking, but as a third level Rogue Subclass ability, it ain't bad.

No. The comparison is simply not alwaysto the SRD subclass. In fact, most of the Fighter stuff he looked at compared to the Battlemastwr or EK. The one time he was looking at a long rest resource subclass for Fighter, he went straight to the EK.

The rest is just circles. I’m not interested. I’ve stated why it’s a lackluster ability that could stand to do something more (like return when thrown or have better range than a dagger), you disagree, discussion done. 🤷‍♂️
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
No. The comparison is simply not alwaysto the SRD subclass. In fact, most of the Fighter stuff he looked at compared to the Battlemastwr or EK. The one time he was looking at a long rest resource subclass for Fighter, he went straight to the EK.

The rest is just circles. I’m not interested. I’ve stated why it’s a lackluster ability that could stand to do something more (like return when thrown or have better range than a dagger), you disagree, discussion done. 🤷‍♂️

Most of the Fighter stuff he did was for more complex stuff, it's true. But he did make a point of calling out for every Class there was one base Subclass that he always used as the measure for power creep.

OK, and you might be right: but the point of comparison in the PHB is for fairly low-powered abilities at Level 3, though signature in use (being able to pull off neat tricks with Mage Hand isn't exactly OP, either). Seems in the neighborhood of about right, but YMMV.
 
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generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
Most of the Fighter stuff he did was for more complex stuff, it's true. But he did make a point of calling out for every Class there was one base Subclass that he always used as the measure for power creep.

OK, and you might be right: but the point of comparison in the PHB is for fairly low-powered abilities at Level 3, though signature in use (being able to pull off neat tricks with Mage Hand isn't exactly IP, either). Seems in the neighborhood of about right, but YMMV.
Yeah, the daggers are less powerful than the Assassin level three ability, but seem balanced, if a little boring, to me.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yeah, the daggers are less powerful than the Assassin level three ability, but seem balanced, if a little boring, to me.

Like a lot of the Level 3 Subclass abilities, both are conditioned by situational utility, but for my money the Assassin is probably the most potent of the Rogues if played right.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
It still remains infinite ammo, and an unusually early way to get access to magic resistance piercing weaponry. It does seem primarily based around Melee combat, but that's kind of the Soul Knife's traditional schtick, and still bring able to equip two items on a bonus action is better than the base rules assumption with no Feats or other abilities, which would require an Action to unsheath more than one weapon in one round. In a standard 2-3 round combat of knife throwing, assuming no Feats, this can add up in favor of the Soul Knife rather easily in a sticcato rhythm.

I'm not saying you should like it if you don't, or that it couldn't maybe use some tweaking, but as a third level Rogue Subclass ability, it ain't bad.

The thing is, this isn't 3e. There's no long list of monsters with DR against physical attacks that aren't the right specialized material type, such that doing magical damage to sidestep the issue is an advantage. If you've got a magic weapon you're good for nearly every situation. Psychic damage, on the other hand, may be rarely resisted but both objects and most constructs are flat out immune. So "a weapon that does psychic damage" isn't much of a net gain IMO. Not unless you're in a very non-standard campaign where "a weapon that doesn't leave physical wounds" is important, and even then it doesn't matter much if only one PC in the group has one.

So that leaves you with "a short sword you can throw with a weaker Returning property that takes a Bonus Action to retrieve". That's not weak, but it's not strong either. And more importantly it's not doing anything special. For what's supposed to be your signature weapon you might as well be an Assassin with a shortsword for all the effect it has on gameplay. Heck, if your party finds a +1 Shortsword you'd be better off in every way using that until you get Terrifying Blade at 9th Level.

If I roll a Soulknife it's because I want my Psychic Blade to be my weapon of choice, the signature flourish for the character. That means I need a reason not to replace it for the first magic finesse weapon that comes along. Which means it has to be a conduit for other class features that add either raw combat power or unique special attacks. The problem with this draft is that there's only two of those and you get them at 9th and 17th Level. That's a lot of campaign time before the Psychic Blade gives you a real incentive to use it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Most of the Fighter stuff he did was for more complex stuff, it's true. But he did make a point of calling out for every Class there was one base Subclass that he always used as the measure for power creep.

OK, and you might be right: but the point of comparison in the PHB is for fairly low-powered abilities at Level 3, though signature in use (being able to pull off neat tricks with Mage Hand isn't exactly OP, either). Seems in the neighborhood of about right, but YMMV.

Mage Hand as a bonus is really good, especially in addition to a couple cantrips and spells.

But like I said, we view the balance differently, no big.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The thing is, this isn't 3e. There's no long list of monsters with DR against physical attacks that aren't the right specialized material type, such that doing magical damage to sidestep the issue is an advantage. If you've got a magic weapon you're good for nearly every situation. Psychic damage, on the other hand, may be rarely resisted but both objects and most constructs are flat out immune. So "a weapon that does psychic damage" isn't much of a net gain IMO. Not unless you're in a very non-standard campaign where "a weapon that doesn't leave physical wounds" is important, and even then it doesn't matter much if only one PC in the group has one.

So that leaves you with "a short sword you can throw with a weaker Returning property that takes a Bonus Action to retrieve". That's not weak, but it's not strong either. And more importantly it's not doing anything special. For what's supposed to be your signature weapon you might as well be an Assassin with a shortsword for all the effect it has on gameplay. Heck, if your party finds a +1 Shortsword you'd be better off in every way using that until you get Terrifying Blade at 9th Level.

If I roll a Soulknife it's because I want my Psychic Blade to be my weapon of choice, the signature flourish for the character. That means I need a reason not to replace it for the first magic finesse weapon that comes along. Which means it has to be a conduit for other class features that add either raw combat power or unique special attacks. The problem with this draft is that there's only two of those and you get them at 9th and 17th Level. That's a lot of campaign time before the Psychic Blade gives you a real incentive to use it.

It could be tweaked, certainly: but again, the point of comparison is being able to climb well or Use an Object on a Bonus Action.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Mage Hand as a bonus is really good, especially in addition to a couple cantrips and spells.

But like I said, we view the balance differently, no big.

Oh, for sure, the Mage Hand is pretty good: and I'm not trying to be argumentative (though I might be succeeding, sorry?). I'm just throwing out ways in which the Soul Knife has some pros for a Level 3 ability as is, might still need a bit more something (the non-blade ability options are pretty cool, as well).
 

Kurotowa

Legend
It could be tweaked, certainly: but again, the point of comparison is being able to climb well or Use an Object on a Bonus Action.

Which brings us back to my original point, where most classes have a pretty weighty initial 3rd Level subclass package and have gotten two more subclass features by 10th Level. Rogues meanwhile have a lower budget 3rd Level package and only get one additional subclass feature by 10th Level. Though I do agree with others that you're selling the Thief package a little short and not considering how strong Assassinate or Arcane Trickster Spellcasting is. There really ought to be room to spice Psychic Blade up a little bit somehow.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Which brings us back to my original point, where most classes have a pretty weighty initial 3rd Level subclass package and have gotten two more subclass features by 10th Level. Rogues meanwhile have a lower budget 3rd Level package and only get one additional subclass feature by 10th Level. Though I do agree with others that you're selling the Thief package a little short and not considering how strong Assassinate or Arcane Trickster Spellcasting is. There really ought to be room to spice Psychic Blade up a little bit somehow.

Yeah, possibly, but it's not that bad as is. It's not that the other Subclasses are weak, but their low level abilities are similarly limited in one way or another.

The Rogue as a Class is getting a lot of material in the same space, and the Class is meant to be the star, not the Subclass.
 

If you consider Shadow Blade a "Psychic Spell" (and why wouldn't you, it does psychic damage), you can make a better "soul knife" out of an arcane trickster.

You could build a more interesting Psychic Rogue by refluffing The Revived, which I suspect was also poorly received.

Mention of "Vader" seems to be important - these classes seem to lack any clear vision for who a psychic character is.

Personally, I liked the weird powers, like body alteration, from 1st edition. The Mystic made a better attempt at these, but tried to do too much and too complex. But they could go back and look at "Immortal" Mystic subclass for psychic warrior inspiration.
 
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I see no particular reason to suspect either has been poorly received: WotC has the data, and we'll see how it shakes out.
I think you might need to look up the meaning of the word "suspect". Synonyms: "hunch", "gut feeling", "guess".

If you have the data, you cannot suspect something, because you would know.
 

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