[RPG] Soulknife vs Soulbow


On one hand, we have the Soulknife, who is able to conjure blade weaponry at will and throw them for ranged attacks. On the other, we have the Soulbow, which specializes in throwing attacks, but uses a separate projectile that has its own damage values separate from the blade. Is Soulbow really worth it? Is there really a particular advantage of taking levels in Soulbow beyond being able to apply archery feats to your attacks (e.g. Point Blank Shot and Manyshot), or would it just be better going full Soulknife and taking feats to enhance throwing ability?

Best Answer

The main problem with Soulbow is that the projectile is always fired from mundane longbow (Complete Psionic, p36):

The bolt is identical in all ways (except visually) to an arrow shot from a composite longbow. For instance, a Medium soulbow materializes an arrow that speeds toward the specified target, and if it hits, deals 1d8 points of damage (crit ×3) plus extra damage equal to the soulbow's Wisdom modifer.

While Wis to damage is nice, inability to enchant the bow (be it weapon enchantment, oil, spell or artificer infusion) nor to fire your mind arrow from a physical bow is somehow crippling. Even bonus feats don't really offset this circumstance, which makes Soulbow to perform even worse than plain Soulknife, unless you want to focus on the archery (in which case Soulbow is better).

You also may want to consider Soulbound weapon ACF for the psychic warrior featured in this article. It allows to retain the flavor and to increase performance significantly. At the very least, consider Hidden Talent and Bonus Feats ACF featured in the same article.

If you absolutely must create an archer based on a Soulbow, make him SAD.

  • Wisdom already adds to damage
  • Wisdom to attack via Zen Archery
  • Wisdom to AC via monk, unarmed swordsage, Tashalatora feat and/or Moon-warded ranger substitution level (Dragon Magazine #340, p55, indexed)
  • Wisdom again to attacks/damage via Shiba Protector (Oriental adventures p222) if you manage not to get hit with DMG to the head
  • Wisdom to saves via Serenity feat (replaces stat for paladin's smite and divine grace) (Dragon Compendium p106)
  • Wisdom to attack via ranged smite paladin ACF and aforementioned Serenity feat
  • Use your Lucky arrows. Free attack rerolls rock!
  • whatever else strikes your fancy
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