“Big deal, you can make yours a sword. Mine lets me fly.”
The mind blade is a deadly instrument in the hands of a capable wielder. Yet even in the hands of a superior combatant, it is still but a blade, with its sole purpose combat and defeating enemies. Over the years, some of those who learned to harness their psionic energy into a mind blade also discovered other ways to shape the energy, creating more adaptable applications of the energy.
BECOMING A VERSATILE BLADE
Due to the requirements to become a versatile blade, most entrants are soulknives or multiclass soulknife characters. Most of these individuals seek ways to expand the options of the mind blade, instead of being restricted to simply a weapon.
To qualify to become a versatile blade, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Base Attack: +4
Skills: Knowledge (psionics) 8 ranks
Feats: Exotic Mind Blade
Special: Shape mind blade class feature
GAME RULE INFORMATION
Hit Die: d8
The versatile blade’s class skills are Autohypnosis, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (psionics), Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Spot, and Tumble. Skill Points per level: 2 + Int modifier
A master of the mind blade, the versatile blade learns to use his weapon in a variety of other fashions, rather than purely as a weapon. All of the following are class features of the versatile blades.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Versatile blades do not gain any additional weapon or armor proficiencies.
Mind Blade: At each level indicated, versatile blades are treated as one level higher for purposes such as the mind blade and mind blade enhancement class features. This does not grant them additional progression in other abilities, such as psychic strike or knife to the soul.
Shape the Blade (Ex): A versatile blade is able to manipulate the psychic energy of his mind blade into different shapes. Initially, this allows a versatile blade to shape his mind blade into small items, such as tools, instead of in the form of a weapon. Items emulated in this fashion cannot have moving or flexible parts, so while a versatile blade could shape his mind blade into the form of a crowbar, he could not shape it into the form of a rope or a lock. A versatile blade can shape his mind blade into one item weighing a number of pounds up to twice his class level, or two items whose total weight does not exceed that limit. Reshaping the mind blade in this fashion is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Bladeshield (Su): At 2nd level, a versatile blade learns to extend his mind blade into a shield-like defense, protecting him from attacks. A versatile blade gains a +2 shield bonus to his armor class by reducing the enhancement bonus on his mind blade by 1. A versatile blade cannot reduce the enhancement bonus of his mind blade below 0. The bonus granted from bladeshield increases to +4 at 5th level and +6 at 8th level.
Armor of the Mind (Su): Upon attaining 4th level, a versatile blade is able to extend his mind blade into a defensive suit of armor while maintaining the form of his mind blade. Shaping the mind blade in this fashion grants a +2 deflection bonus to Armor Class, but lowers the enhancement bonus of the mind blade by 1. A versatile blade cannot reduce the enhancement bonus of his mind blade below 0. Maintaining armor of the mind is more strenuous than simply shaping a mind blade. The versatile blade must maintain psionic focus to keep his armor of the mind active. The deflection bonus from armor of the mind increases to +4 at 7th level and +6 at 10th level.
Shape Wings (Su): By harnessing his psionic power, a versatile blade of 6th level or higher may shape his mind blade into a pair of wings, granting him a flight speed of 40 ft with a maneuverability of poor. A versatile blade must maintain psionic focus to use this ability. If he loses psionic focus, he immediately falls as the wings dissipate.
Varied Form (Su): At 10th level, a versatile blade has truly mastered the ability to alter the shape of his mind blade. By expending his psionic focus, he may alter the size and shape of his mind blade during an attack to catch his opponent off guard. This versatile blade may treat his opponent as flatfooted for that attack.
PLAYING A VERSATILE BLADE
Many players expect a soulknife to be extremely combat-focused, as their class features revolve around neutralizing enemies. It can sometimes be a surprise to others when a versatile blade manages to sprout wings of light or change his form without taking levels in a manifesting class.
Truly an expert when using a mind blade, versatile blades do not shy from combat, having spent much of their early career wielding their mind blade as a weapon. However, a cunning versatile blade will use his mind blade and his new abilities to achieve tactics most standard soulknives could not hope to use without outside aid, such as flying over the combatants.
As your talent with the mind blade grows progressively more varied, you may find yourself more prone to take non-combat feats or options that grant you increased flexibility. By learning to use your mind blade in ways other than combat, you expand your options beyond any normal soulknife. As you gain the ability to shape your mind blade into a protective form or a disguise, you might consider some of the choices more disposed to subtlety.
Being a versatile blade does not typically bring any extra aid with it, except the increased flexibility your newfound abilities grant. As such, it is through your own actions that you will find help from others, such as organizations that you have
aided or individuals who owe you favors for services rendered.
VERSATILE BLADES IN THE WORLD
The variety of options a versatile blade has when shaping the mind blade makes the character more likely to be capable of handling any given situation when other characters might be out of ideas. Many versatile blades are simply adventurers seeking new and unusual ways to apply their mind blade to any particular situation.
Some versatile blades take up the call of the other devotees of Javan, godmind of the mind blade. However, not all choose this path, feeling that the doctrine that these organizations adhere to is too strict, feeling that the mind blade need not simply be used as a weapon, instead being an instrument to be used as appropriate to the situation.
Truly a master of the mind blade, the versatile blade often dazzles and surprises the populace, turning a deadly weapon into a variety of tools and implements. Even other soulknives might be shocked and amazed at just what a versatile blade is capable. Many might believe that the versatile blade is actually a multi-classed soulknife/wilder due to the variety of abilities at his disposal through shaping his mind blade.
VERSATILE BLADE LORE
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (psionics) can attempt to research versatile blades to find out more about them. When a character makes a Knowledge (psionics) check, use the phrases or variations of them from below, including any information from lower DC checks, should there be any.
- DC 10: I’ve heard of soulknives who can fashion armor out of thin air.
- DC 15: A versatile blade is not simply the knifewielder that most soulknives are. They are able to reshape their blades into a variety of functions.
- DC 20: By mastering the energy and process of shaping a mind blade, a versatile blade is able to fashion a variety of instruments for use outside of combat.
VERSATILE BLADES IN THE GAME
Most soulknives are purely combat-oriented characters, given the limited options available to a single-class soulknife. The versatile blade offers these players an option of utility abilities rather than purely combat focused choices. Some soulknives may only take a few levels in this class, gaining the defensive and item-shaping abilities granted, while only losing a minimal in combat training and mind blade abilities. It is not uncommon for versatile blades to continue for a full progression in the class, gaining the enhanced combat ability at the pinnacle of altering the mind blade.
Versatile blades should easily fit within any game that allows psionic rules. Without any tie to a particular deity, godmind, organization, or nation, the versatile blade drops in with little trouble or work required.