UA Soulknife Rogue character

vulcan_idic

Explorer
So I love the Soulknife Rogue! I enjoyed the Mystic Soulknife, but I feel like the Rogue version is a lot more exciting to me.

I'm thinking of a new character that I'm making at level 1 with the idea of using in a game if/when I find a game in my new area with a DM who will hopefully approve of the use of UA material.

My basic idea is a infiltrator/spy/face/skill character with a little bit of assassiny-ness in the back pocket just in case.

Race: Changeling

Classes: Soulknife Rogue and probably Lore Bard (bringing a skillfulness that will enable me to try to have a decent chance of impersonating a broad range of people with different skill sets)

Abilities (Standard array, pre-Changeling ability score application):
STR: 8
DEX: 14 (Changeling +1)
CON: 10
INT: 15
WIS: 12
CHA: 13 (Changeling +2)

I'm not sure if in the end this would be more of a Rogue with a Bard dip or a Bard with a Rogue dip or what. I'm pretty decided on the first level character creation being a 1st level Rogue with the Entertainer backgroud (a hint that in some respects they are already a Bard) who is a brand new initiate/recruit for a Harpers-type organization that will mentor and train me to become the skilled spy I will eventually become.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance! :)

Josh
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Abilities (Standard array, pre-Changeling ability score application):
STR: 8
DEX: 14 (Changeling +1)
CON: 10
INT: 15
WIS: 12
CHA: 13 (Changeling +2)
if you're going Rogue/Lore Bard... why are you putting Int as your highest stat?

I'd think this array would be better:
Str: 8
Dex: 15+1 = 16
Con: 10 (eh if you want... no Con mod makes me weary, but...)
Int: 14
Wis: 12
Cha: 13+2 = 15

Even more would be:
Str: 8
Dex: 15+1=16
Con: 10
Int: 13
Wis: 12
Cha: 14+2=16

That focuses you stat bonuses on the things you're really good at, and it frees up your 4th level ASI for a feat like Observant or something to move your Int to 14.

That's what I'd do anyway.
 

vulcan_idic

Explorer
if you're going Rogue/Lore Bard... why are you putting Int as your highest stat?
Because the Soulknife Rogue has abilities that key off the Int modifier including an ability that can increase HP by Int modifier +Rogue level as well as establishing the saving throw for some higher level Rogue (Soulknife) abilities. Also after applying the Changeling ability mods Intelligence would no longer be the highest Ability but rather coequal with Dex and Cha.

At some point I might also be interested in the Telepathic and Telekinetic Feats presented in the UA. I see myself more as a skillful/face character than a caster of any sort or even a warrior. The casting from Bard is more of a sideline I think.
 
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Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Because the Soulknife Rogue has abilities that key off the Int modifier including an ability that can increase HP by Int modifier +Rogue level as well as establishing the saving throw for some higher level Rogue (Soulknife) abilities. Also after applying the Changeling ability mods Intelligence would no longer be the highest Ability but rather coequal with Dex and Cha.

At some point I might also be interested in the Telepathic and Telekinetic Feats presented in the UA. I see myself more as a skillful/face character than a caster of any sort or even a warrior. The casting from Bard is more of a sideline I think.
Hmm, good point.

I guess I just really don't like odd #'s on stats, it messes with my mind or something and your current plan has you with
Str 8
Dex 15
Con 10
Int 15
Wis 12
Cha 15

So you're... ok at quite a few things, but not great anywhere. Maybe consider this as a change? It would still leave you free to take the Telekinetic/Telepathic feat at 4th for a +1 Int to get you to 16

Str 8
Dex 13+1=14
Con 10
Int 15
Wis 12
Cha 14+2 = 16
 

vulcan_idic

Explorer
OK, thanks for the input, I'll think about that! My initial thought about having three 15s, each one point away from a bump, was that being proficient with a large number of skills with Expertise in several I was trying to spread the abilities broad and even rather than specializing - a jack of all trades rather than a master of one. This isn't usually the best way I think but in this case it seemed to fit - a changeling trying to be good enough at a lot of different things to be able to fool people into thinking they're better than they actually are when the situation demands.
 

vulcan_idic

Explorer
BTW Salthorae, any thoughts on class mix - Rogue dipping bard, Bard dipping Rogue, or more or less equal class levels?
 

RogueJK

It's not "Rouge"... That's makeup.
50/50 won't work all that well. You'll need to focus more on one or the other.


If you're wanting to be a Soulknife with a few Bard levels to add to your skills and character flavor, I'd do no more than 3 level of Lore Bard. That gets you extra Expertise and skill proficiencies, Jack of All Trades, plus a few Cutting Words/Inspiration dice per day, and a smattering of spells. In that case, I'd leave Charisma at something like 12+2 racial, and just stick to utility spells (Invisibility, Detect Magic, Feather Fall, etc.), since utility spells won't rely on attack rolls or save DCs. You'll still have Proficiency/Expertise in the Face skills to make up for your middling CHA modifier. Take all the rest of your levels in Rogue, focusing on DEX and then INT. This will allow you to be the most effective Soul Knife possible, while still dipping Bard for a few more skills and a few spells.


Otherwise, if you're wanting to be a Bard with a little Soulknife flavor, dip 4 levels of Rogue with the rest Bard. Focus on CHA as primary (starting 15+2) and DEX secondary. INT can stay at 12 or 14. You're more like a standard Bard, although you'll be a solid 2 spell levels behind a single class Bard. But you'll have a few nifty psionic tricks like mind swords and either a bit of extra speed or telepathy (since a +5ish HP boost won't make much difference), plus a little Sneak Attack and Cunning Action, as well as an extra skill proficiency and two extra Expertise.


Neither one will be super optimal, since both Bards and Rogues benefit greatly from staying single-classed. But I understand the flavor you're going for. Of the two, the former (Rogue dipping Bard) is the better choice, and also gets you the most Soulknife-ness.


However, understand that you can achieve 99% of the same character by simply making a single-class Soulknife Rogue with a moderate CHA, and taking some specific skill proficiencies (Deception, Performance, etc.) and a background like Entertainer or Charlatan, plus maybe a feat like Skilled or Actor along the way. That would be the most optimal way to do it, and you can still be the bard-like psychic spy/assassin without cramping your Soulknife progression.

That would look something like:

Changeling Soulknife Rogue
STR 8
DEX 15+1
CON 10
INT 14
WIS 12 or 13
CHA 13+2 or 12+2

Racial proficiencies: Deception, Persuasion
Class proficiencies: Stealth, Insight, Perception, Investigation, Thieves Tools
Background: Entertainer - Acrobatics, Performance, 1x musical instrument

Level 1: Expertise - Deception, Persuasion
Level 4: ASI - DEX +2
Level 6: Expertise - Perception, Stealth
Level 8: ASI - DEX +2
Level 10: Feat - Actor +1 CHA (if started with 13 CHA) or Observant +1 WIS (if started with 13 WIS)
Level 12: ASI - INT +2
Level 16: ASI - INT +2
 
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vulcan_idic

Explorer
50/50 likely won't work all that well. You'll need to focus on one or the other.


If you're wanting to be a Soulknife with a few Bard levels to add to your skills, I'd do no more than 3 level of Lore Bard. That gets you extra Expertise and skill proficiencies, Jack of All Trades, plus a few Cutting Words/Inspiration dice per day, and a smattering of spells. In that case, I'd leave Charisma at something like 12+2 and just stick to utility spells (Invisibility, Detect Magic, Feather Fall, etc.), since you'll still have Proficiency/Expertise in the Face skills to make up for your middling CHA modifier, and utility spells won't rely on attack rolls or save DCs. Take all the rest of your levels in Rogue, focusing on boosting DEX and then INT. This will allow you to be a more effective Soul Knife melee combatant, while still dipping Bard for a few more skills and a few spells.


Otherwise, if you're wanting to be a Bard with a little Soulknife flavor, dip 3-4 levels of Rogue with the rest Bard. Focus on CHA as primary (starting 15+2) and DEX secondary. You're more like a standard Bard, although you'll be a solid 2 spell levels behind a single class Bard. But you'll have a few nifty psionic tricks like mind swords and either a bit of extra speed or telepathy (since a +6ish HP boost won't make much difference), plus Sneak Attack and Cunning Action, as well as an extra skill proficiency and two extra Expertise.


Neither one will be super optimal, since both Bards and Rogues benefit greatly from staying single-classed. But I understand the flavor you're going for. Of the two, the former (Rogue dipping Bard) is the better choice, and also gets you the most Soulknife-ness.

However, understand that you can achieve 99% of the same by simply making a single-class Soulknife Rogue with a moderate CHA, and taking some specific skill proficiencies (Deception, Performance, etc.) and a background like Entertainer or Charlatan, plus maybe a feat like Skilled or Actor. That would be the most optimal way to do it.
Thank you for your thoughts RogueJK! I think I'm most tempted by 2-3 levels of Bard (Lore if 3) and the rest Soulknife Rogue - the Jack of all trades seems especially good for an infiltrator type, and extra Expertise, extra skills, and Cutting Words (which seems to me a little better use for inspiration die for a dip Bard) is so juicy.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
BTW Salthorae, any thoughts on class mix - Rogue dipping bard, Bard dipping Rogue, or more or less equal class levels?
I think Rogue dipping bard is the way I'd go with this. I'm not sure how many levels you'll be able to play this character.

From a 20 level look, I'd aim for Rogue 17/Bard 3.

That would get you all of the Soul Knife subclass features while also getting all this from just 3 levels of Lore Bard:
  • Jack of all Trades
  • Song of Rest
  • Bardic Inspiration
  • +1 skill from bard multiclass
  • Expertise on 2 more skills
  • Cutting Words
  • 3 more skill proficiencies
  • 2 cantrips, 4x 1st level spells, 2x 2nd level spells (detect thoughts, enhance abilities)
 

RogueJK

It's not "Rouge"... That's makeup.
the Jack of all trades seems especially good for an infiltrator type, and extra Expertise, extra skills, and Cutting Words (which seems to me a little better use for inspiration die for a dip Bard) is so juicy.
Juicy, perhaps... But at the steep cost of delaying your Soulknife Rogue progression by 3 levels. Not a huge deal if you're jumping into a campaign at something like 10th level. But you'll certainly feel it if stating at Level 1.
 

vulcan_idic

Explorer
Starting at level one I won't even start being a soulknife until level 3 at least... and I know the wait will be hard, but I think I'll rp it as a junior recruit working hard to "graduate"... flavoring it that way I might alternate levels and delay the soulknife until at least level five. Gives a nice flavor of the loads of training necessary to learn the power as well as the time and effort building trust with my organization/mentor to earn it - like a 3/2 BA/MBA program (my academic librarian identity is showing sorry). Also that way by the time I hit Soulknife all, or almost all, of the Bard levels are out of the way and I can more or less advance as pure Soulknife after that. Not optimal, but I feel like it hits a really tasty flavor. It would work especially well if the other characters had similar education/induction storylines through the first several levels.
 

vulcan_idic

Explorer
Editing RogueJK's suggestion here for new thoughts based on all of the great recommendations! Thank you again!

Changeling Soulknife Rogue
STR 8
DEX 15+1
CON 10
INT 14
WIS 12
CHA 13+2

Racial proficiencies: Deception, Persuasion
Class proficiencies: Stealth, Insight, Perception, Investigation, Thieves Tools
Background: Entertainer - Acrobatics, Performance, 1x musical instrument

Level 1: Expertise - Deception, Persuasion
Level 4: Feat - Telepathic (INT +1 and 30 foot telepathy (so I can have telepathy and speed or HP) + Intimidation)
Level 6: Expertise - Perception, Stealth
Level 8: Feat - Telekinetic (INT+1 and invisible no-VSM mage hand that can Force Push enemies)
Level 10: Feat - Actor +1 CHA (if started with 13 CHA)
Level 12: ASI - DEX +2
Level 16: ASI - DEX +2
 

RogueJK

It's not "Rouge"... That's makeup.
Pretty cool. I like the inclusion of the Psionic half-feats. But I'd do DEX +2 ASAP. As a melee Rogue, you'll want that 18, and eventually 20, sooner rather than later. You can hang with a 16 in your primary stat in Tier 1 (Level 1-4), but not much past that. So I'd suggest bumping the two Tele- feats to 8 and 10, or 10 and 12, and take at least one +2 DEX ASI earlier.
 
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