5E "Shadowblade" (modified soulknife) - feedback requested

pukunui

Adventurer
Hi all,

I'm gearing up to start a new campaign soon, and one of my players has presented me with a modified version of the soulknife rogue subclass from the recent psionic subclasses UA. He's refluffed the whole thing with a shadow theme, and has made the following changes:

*Shadow Blades: Can be either a single d8 weapon or two d6 weapons. (I suggested this, although I'm thinking the d8 weapon shouldn't be throwable.)
*Stepping into the Shadows: Instead of the Psionic Enhancement bennies, he's gone for a misty step usable a number of times equal to 1/2 Int mod (minimum 1) per long rest. (I might be inclined to make it usable once per short rest instead.)

Otherwise it's the same as the soulknife.

Assuming the link works, you can read the full write-up here: https://www.dndbeyond.com/subclasses/350779-shadowblade


As an aside, does anyone have any idea why the soul knife's level 17 Rend Mind feature's save DC is based on 10 instead of the usual 8?


To sum up: I'd like some feedback as to whether the above changes are reasonable/balanced. Would this be a homebrew class you'd allow in your campaigns? If not, why not, and what changes would you require to make it allowable?

Thanks in advance!
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
*Shadow Blades
That's probably fine. Are they going to retain the finesse, light properties as well? Either way I don't think it's too crazy. I might not let either of these versions be throwable. Maybe. I'm not sure how unbalancing that is or isn't in play really.

*Stepping into the Shadows
That seems... pretty good. 1/2 IntMod/Long Rest is pretty limited, which jives with the current Psionic Enhancement abilities.

As an aside, does anyone have any idea why the soul knife's level 17 Rend Mind feature's save DC is based on 10 instead of the usual 8?
I hadn't noticed that, but it has to be a typo. I'd revert it back to 8+Proficiency+IntMod if I had a player wanting to play it.
 

pukunui

Adventurer
I've suggested that he make misty step usable 2/day, since, as written you can't get to two uses unless you get your Intelligence up to 18 or 19, which seems somewhat unlikely given it's a secondary stat.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
He seems quite happy with the 2/day misty step.
I'd probably shift it to 1/Long Rest/IntMod honestly.

For most Rogues, Int is a secondary or tertiary stat. For Soul Knifes it's almost certainly Secondary, but if they can get their Int to 16, having 3 misty step's per long rest doesn't seem unbalanced to me. I guess I'm assuming they're going to prioritize pumping Dex first still, so the earliest Int might get to 16 would be 8th level or so, but still.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
I'd probably shift it to 1/Long Rest/IntMod honestly.

For most Rogues, Int is a secondary or tertiary stat. For Soul Knifes it's almost certainly Secondary, but if they can get their Int to 16, having 3 misty step's per long rest doesn't seem unbalanced to me. I guess I'm assuming they're going to prioritize pumping Dex first still, so the earliest Int might get to 16 would be 8th level or so, but still.
Assuming point buy, a human (or any other Dex/Int race) shouldn't have trouble getting a Dex 16/Int 16/Con 14 right off the bat. I don't know if it's a huge problem, but it's a little stronger for level 3 than for level 6 or 8.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Assuming point buy, a human (or any other Dex/Int race) shouldn't have trouble getting a Dex 16/Int 16/Con 14 right off the bat. I don't know if it's a huge problem, but it's a little stronger for level 3 than for level 6 or 8.
True. I suppose I play so many games where stats are Standard Array that it colors my POV.

I still don't think it's too out of bounds considering that it's a Subclass ability.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
True. I suppose I play so many games where stats are Standard Array that it colors my POV.

I still don't think it's too out of bounds considering that it's a Subclass ability.
It's pretty difficult to break anything by short-range teleporting too much. :)
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
Regarding the weapon-throwing, the thing is, once you've thrown your weapon, that's it--you can't retrieve it until it's safe to go near the thing you threw it at. So unless your combats are usually over in 1-2 rounds, that's a pretty powerful reason to think twice about throwing your weapons.
 

Weiley31

Adventurer
Regarding the weapon-throwing, the thing is, once you've thrown your weapon, that's it--you can't retrieve it until it's safe to go near the thing you threw it at. So unless your combats are usually over in 1-2 rounds, that's a pretty powerful reason to think twice about throwing your weapons.
Unless he unsummons the mind(Shadow blade) back and resummons it in hand.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
Unless he unsummons the mind(Shadow blade) back and resummons it in hand.
Oh, I didn't realize shadow blades could do that. What sort of action does that take, though--action, bonus action, reaction? It might still be enough of a tradeoff to balance out.
 

pukunui

Adventurer
Thanks for the continued feedback, folks.

Just to address a few things:

1) The campaign I am preparing is the Greek-themed Odyssey of the Dragonlords. I am allowing players to choose either standard array or point buy. One of the playable races is a satyr, which grants +2 Dex and +1 Cha. The player who came up with the "shadowblade" is thinking of choosing satyr as his race, so I don't think he'll be getting a 16 Int early in the game.

3) As per the UA, the psychic blades can be manifested as a bonus action, and they disappear after you throw them (regardless of whether they hit or miss). You then have to use another bonus action to recreate them. This is the reason I hesitate to allow the proposed d8 weapon to be thrown. (I once gave a barbarian PC in a previous campaign a throwable magic greataxe with the returning property. I almost instantly regretted it as the player preferred to avoid melee and just threw her d12 axe at every opportunity instead.)
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
This is the reason I hesitate to allow the proposed d8 weapon to be thrown.
It has a range of 30'/60' long and you're only going to get one attack with it per round since you have to use a bonus action to summon a new one for d8+Dex + potentially sneak attack. But if they use their Bonus action to summon the blade again, then they can't use their bonus action from Cunning Action to hide again to get sneak attack the next round, etc.

I don't think a d8 thrown weapon is going to break the combat. It's literally +1 of average damager more than a d6 thrown weapon, which is the base ability from the UA. A far cry from a d12 axe anyway.

Plus I think a sneaky shadow telepath person would be more inclined to throw their weapons and hide in the shadows than charge into melee anyway.
 
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jayoungr

Adventurer
Yeah, I've been playing a rogue lately, and I can attest that there is a lot of competition for what to do with your bonus action in any given round. Though it's worth pointing out that hiding isn't an issue if someone in the party is within 5 feet of the target, since that gets you sneak attack without having to hide.
 

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