Soulknife from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is the Best Heist Rogue in 5E D&D
Heist movies are a staple of cinema. They’re fun, smart and the thrill of danger is ever present. Heist encounters in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons scratch a similar itch and the rogue is an obvious contender for the class players should consider when pulling a high stakes heist. When it comes to heist rogues Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything offers arguably the best Roguish Archetype for the job — the Soulknife. Let’s look closer at this fun new subclass for the 5E D&D rogue and hopefully by the end I’ll convince you to bring one to your next heist themed escapade at the table.
Soulknife rogues are downright dicey
Beginning with the Soulknife’s first feature — Psionic Power — this 5E D&D subclass feels like it belongs in a heist, granting special dice to roll in the form of psionic dice. These dice let you do some really interesting things making this rogue even better at the things in which rogues already excel. If you fail an ability check you can add one of your psionic dice to the roll potentially turning it into a success. What’s even better about this amazing feature is there’s no gamble with this attempt. If you still fail the roll, you don’t expend that psionic die.
As if this first use for the psionic dice weren’t enough of a reason to take the Soulknife subclass you can also spend the dice to establish a telepathic bond with your party as long as everyone remains within a mile. This hits those heist movie vibes because every good heist party has secret telecommunicators planted on them, capisce?
On the cutting edge
Flash! “What was that — Ah! The blackjack’s bleeding!” “But how?”
Ever wish you could throw a punch and have a blade flash over your fist for a split second? Just when you thought 3rd level as a Soulknife was premier you get the ability to manifest psionic blades a la Psylocke from X-Men. Weapons are not likely to be allowed in a casino, royal party or any other place one might heist something. With the Psychic Blades feature you can enter a location unarmed, do your business then remain unarmed as you leave through the front door among the panicked crowd. Pretty devious.
If your psionic dice didn’t have enough usefulness wait until 9th level when your Soul Blades feature lets you roll them to modify your Psychic Blades attack rolls. Like before you can roll the dice all day long but until you succeed the dice aren’t expended. For even more roguish goodness sure to strike terror into the hearts of your foes you can throw a Psychic Blade and then BAMF! — you teleport to the blade’s location. Just let this set in for a minute. You throw a blade then just teleport, appearing there as a bonus action.
What you can’t see can absolutely hurt you
At 13th level when a Soulknife gains the Psychic Veil feature this subclass really starts feeling like a World of Warcraft rogue. You get to turn invisible for up to an hour. Of course we’re sticking with this psionic dice theme by allowing you to expend them to use this feature again. Picture wading through the crowds of the Queen’s Gala invisibly and armed with Psychic Blades no one knows you possess until it’s too late. Lord Everthorn never saw it coming.
Because Soulknife rogues aren’t powerful enough…
As your Soulknife capstone you get to rend the minds of your targets with the appropriately named Rend Mind feature at 17th level. This works much like a monk’s Stunning Strikes and it is so incredibly powerful — and it lasts for a minute, solid! This minute could very well be the difference between being apprehended by the oaf you stunned and making it cleanly out of the gate before anyone knows who stole the priceless jewel from its display case.
Putting it all together
Taking a look at the completed picture you can establish a mile radius truly silent communication network among your companions prior to attending said heist event. You can invisibly sneak your way into the party, possibly even to your quarry. If you choose to stride into the event more nonchalantly this is totally feasible because *wink wink* you’ve got no weapons on you.
Suppose the Dungeon Master tries to throw a wrench in your plans or you fail a crucial roll of the d20. Simply expend a psionic die to potentially turn the failure into a success. If the DM is really hellbent on having you get caught make an attack against the bodyguard and then stun them with your mind rending blades of doom. Once all is said and done simply stroll through the party calmly or hide amidst the ensuing chaos. Leave the heist without looking back because cool rogues don’t look at explosions.
In all seriousness I absolutely love the Soulknife Roguish Archetype. It does so much to make the 5E D&D rogue even better at what the base class is built to accomplish. This subclass offers narrative and flavor reasons for your character to essentially adhere to video game logic in the most roguishly delicious ways. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything really knocked it out of the park with this subclass and I’ll be surprised if this isn’t a new favorite within the community at large. It’s already a staple favorite among my own gaming group.
*Featured image — A halfling Soulknife as seen in the 5E D&D Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. [Image courtesy Wizards of the Coast]