Character Classes


As a soulborn, you use incarnum to enhance your natural combat ability. You can also share the power of incarnum with your allies, making you a valuable member of any adventuring group. You have the ability to shape soulmelds, though you have less meldshaping power than an incarnate or totemist.

The soulborn combines strong combat abilities with a limited ability to manipulate incarnum. She can also enhance her allies' prowess, making her a good battlefield leader.


As a soulborn, you serve an adventuring party as a strong melee combatant. Your soulmelds and related abilities serve to enhance your performance in battle without distracting you from striking at an opponent just about every round of combat.

Soulborns rely heavily on Strength and Constitution because of their usefulness in combat. Constitution is also crucial for the soulborn's meldshaping ability. Charisma contributes to the soulborn's smite opposition class feature.

Any race that traditionally emphasizes combat and physical prowess could include soulborns, including dwarves, half-orcs, and especially humans. Of the new races presented in this book, azurins are drawn most strongly to the life of the soulborn, and some rilkans also find themselves suited for the class. Among savage humanoids that have any knowledge of incarnum, soulborns are far more common than other soulmeld classes. Such groups are known to include tribes of lizardfolk, gnolls, and hobgoblins.

Soulborns are polarized in their alignments, hewing to strong convictions of morality and ethics. As such, they can only be lawful good, chaotic good, lawful evil, or chaotic evil.


Soulborns view adventures from a military perspective and refer to them as "missions" or "assaults." An adventure is a combat exercise, an opportunity to put your prowess to the test against new foes. You might have a variety of reasons to adventure, whether the mercenary craving for gold or a desire to protect a community from marauders.

Soulborns are drawn to the same deities as fighters: Heironeous, Kord, Hextor, or Erythnul. Although St. Cuthbert is popular among fighters, he is less favored by soulborns because of his lawful neutral alignment. Many soulborns have no religious ties at all, viewing their power as something from outside the realm of divine control.

Soulborns particularly enjoy the company of other martial characters, particularly fighters and barbarians. Most soulborns are concerned enough with strategy that they seek out companions whose strengths complement their own - they appreciate the contributions that characters of other classes make to the success of an adventuring party. They can work well with similarly aligned incarnates, though heated debates as to the particular ethics or morality of a situation can come about between incarnum-wielding characters of similar but not necessarily identical alignments.

A soulborn's place is at the front of the party, wading into melee combat with your enemies. You are most at home when engaging foes of the opposite alignment, allowing you to bring your smiting ability to bear.

At 4th level, when you start shaping soulmelds, you suddenly have a wider variety of options before you - but all these options fundamentally serve to improve what you're already good at, which is combat. Meldshaping is just one more weapon in your arsenal for you to wield against your enemies. You might like to wade into combat girded with armguards of disruption, or use thunderstep boots to bolster your attacks. You might instead use your soulmelds for personal defense, shaping a flame cincture and impulse boots.

Every aspect of combat is receptive to improvement, so choosing your soulmelds is really a question of resource management: How can you best use the few soulmelds you can shape to maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses? You can use soulmelds such as fearsome mask and hunter's circlet to improve skills that are already strong, or lucky dice and a crystal helm to bolster weaker saving throws.

Most soulborns come from military backgrounds. You might have been a soldier who stumbled upon incarnum by accident and uncovered its secrets by trial and error. You might be a noble warrior whose skill at arms earned you indoctrination into a royal order of soulborns, where a superior officer trained you in the use of incarnum. Perhaps you undertook a great quest to learn the ways of a soulborn from a mysterious master in some remote region. However you came to this class, you pursue it with single-minded devotion, spending most of your free time in studying the ways that incarnum can shape the world to your advantage in combat.

Though your meldshaping ability is a secondary feature, your choice of soulmelds each day has a significant impact on your character's capabilities. As a combat-oriented character, select feats that enhance your preferred style of battle, such as Power Attack or Dodge. General combat feats such as Weapon Focus and Improved Critical are also appropriate for your character. Picking up a couple of incarnum feats can improve your meldshaping ability, your combat prowess, or both.


Soulborns seem to exist to do battle, like eternal crusaders against the alignment forces that oppose their own. If incarnates exemplify the principles of their alignments, soulborns hammer principles of two alignments together and hone them into a keen-edged blade - then use that blade to smite the opposing alignments. Soulborns are the paladins and blackguards of the incarnum world, stripped of religious trappings and whittled down to the combat essentials.

Many soulborns, even those of chaotic alignment, live the rigidly disciplined lives of soldiers, honing their martial skills through regular practice and moderation in all things. Others rely on innate strength and the practice of regular action in combat, spending the intervals between battles in drinking and debauchery.

Odravan the Red is a legendary soulborn, a war hero who began his career as a mercenary soldier, rose to command his company, then took command of a military battalion and rose to rule a large kingdom. Soulborns of all alignments point to Odravan as an example of what can be attained through dedication to the martial way of life. In contemporary times, the well-known soulborns include Ghereff vin Callar, who held the walled city of Mordant against the hordes of the Lich Lord Angkath, and Lidyae the Occluded, who gained notoriety as a driving force behind those undead hordes.

Soulborns do not form their own society, but naturally gravitate toward other organizations that welcome characters with their martial skills and inclinations. Such groups include the churches of deities of war (Heironeous, Hextor, Erythnul, and, to a lesser extent, Kord), as well as mercenary companies, military units, knightly orders, and even gladiatorial schools.

Depending on one's perspective, a soulborn is either a heroic defender of one's community or a threat - actual or potential - to that community. A soulborn defending a city is a hero to the people of that city. A soulborn leading an army to the gates of that city is quite the opposite. A mercenary soulborn between campaigns could be either - or just another annoying drunk at the local tavern.

In general, NPCs greet soulborns with indifferent reactions unless they have reason to feel differently. As with incarnates, people who feel strongly about their own alignment greet soulborns of a similar alignment with warmer reactions and those of an opposed alignment more coldly.


Characters with Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (the planes) can research soulborns to learn more about them.

DC 10: Soulborns are a bit like paladins, but they're not all lawful good. And instead of divine magic, they draw magical power from a mysterious soul-energy called incarnum.

DC 15: Soulborns use this soul-energy to hone their skills in combat. It gives them some protection, lets them smite their foes, and turns their eyes strange colors. Some of them can also shape incarnum into objects almost like magic items.

DC 20: Soulborns are dedicated to alignment extremes - lawful good, chaotic good, lawful evil, or chaotic evil - and they can smite creatures of opposing alignment. At higher levels, they can shape incarnum into soulmelds, which grow more powerful when bound to the power centers of the body. They also learn to share their protective powers with their allies.

DC 30: Information about notable soulborns, drawn from the section above.


If you use incarnum in your campaign, soulborns are an important part of the system - though not as central as incarnates. It is certainly possible to revise the history of your campaign world so that important paladins and blackguards have actually always been soulborns, but it is equally possible to stipulate that soulborns are a new arrival in the world. Incarnum Campaigns offers more concrete suggestions for incorporating all things relating to incarnum into an ongoing campaign.

In some ways, soulborns are trickier to manage in a campaign than incarnates. A player with an incarnate character will always feel like he's using the new system presented in this book - he brings plenty of his own incarnum to the table. A player with a soulborn character could feel like he might as well have played a paladin or even a fighter, particularly at lower levels, unless the rest of the campaign has plenty of incarnum-wielding NPCs, monsters, and other elements involved.

Soulborns could be recast as amoral soldiers of incarnum, wielding their powers in the service of whatever martial cause claims their allegiance. In this model, the class's smite opposition feature would become a simple smite ability, similar to the granted power of the Destruction cleric domain; soulborns might literally become simply champions of destruction. They need not be evil, but they would certainly have a more sinister cast to them than the current class does, which might require some fundamental changes to the nature of incarnum as presented in this book.

It is best to introduce NPC soulborns after an adventuring party has already had a brush with at least one incarnate - incarnates are stronger examples of the variety of powerful capabilities that incarnum makes possible. On the other hand, the PCs might encounter one or more soulborns who are simply agents of a powerful incarnate, giving them a slight taste of incarnum's powers before unleashing the more powerful soulmelds of the incarnate.

Alignment: Lawful good, chaotic good, lawful evil, or chaotic evil.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

The soulborn's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge(arcana) (Int), Knowledge(the planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Swim (Str).

A lawful good soulborn adds Diplomacy (Cha) to the soulborn class skills listed above. A chaotic good soulborn adds Gather Information (Cha) to the list. A lawful evil soulborn adds Bluff (Cha) to the list, and a chaotic evil soulborn adds Intimidate (Cha) to the list.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Soulborn

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Meldshaping
Soulmelds Essentia Chakra Binds
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Aura, smite opposition 1/day 0 0 0
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Incarnum defense 0 0 0
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Bonus feat 0 0 0
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 1 0 0
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Smite opposition 2/day 1 0 0
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 1 1 0
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Bonus feat 1 1 0
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Chakra binds (crown, feet, hands) 2 2 1
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Share incarnum defense 1/day 2 2 1
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Smite opposition 3/day 2 3 1
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Bonus feat 2 3 1
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 3 4 1
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Share incarnum defense 2/day 3 4 1
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Chakra binds (arms, brow, shoulders) 3 5 2
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Smite opposition 4/day 3 5 2
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 4 6 2
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Share incarnum defense 3/day 4 7 2
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Chakra binds (throat, waist) 4 8 3
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Timeless body 4 9 3
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Smite opposition 5/day 5 10 3
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the soulborn.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Soulborns are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with light, medium, and heavy armor, and with shields (except tower shields).

Aura (Ex): As a soulborn, you have a particularly powerful aura corresponding to your alignment (see the detect evil spell for details).

Smite Opposition (Su): Once per day you can channel the power of your incarnum-fueled convictions to attempt to smite a foe with a melee attack. You add your Charisma bonus (if any) to your attack roll and deal 1 extra point of damage per soulborn level. These bonuses apply only against creatures whose alignment opposes at least one component of yours - a lawful good soulborn smites chaotic and evil foes (any creature whose alignment includes either chaos or evil), while a chaotic good soulborn smites lawful and evil foes. If you accidentally smite a creature of the wrong alignment, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day.

At 5th level and every five levels thereafter, you can smite opposition one additional time per day to a maximum of five times per day at 20th level.

Incarnum Defense (Su): Your incarnum-fused soul dramatically affects your body and mind. At 2nd level, this manifests as a visible change in your appearance, as well as a particular immunity. The appearance and effects of this fusion depend on your alignment:

Lawful Good: Your eyes become orbs of solid gold in color, with no visible pupil or iris. You gain immunity to fear.

Chaotic Good: Your irises turn emerald green. You gain immunity to paralysis.

Lawful Evil: Your pupils display an unholy red hue. You gain immunity to exhaustion (effects that would cause exhaustion render you fatigued instead).

Chaotic Evil: Your eyes become solid orbs of shadowy blackness, with no visible pupil or iris. You gain immunity to any penalty, damage, or drain to your Strength.

Bonus Feat: At 3rd, 7th, and 11th levels, you gain a bonus incarnum feat for which you meet the prerequisites.

Meldshaping: Beginning at 4th level, a soulborn gains a limited ability to shape soulmelds, which are drawn from the soulborn soulmeld list. You know and can shape any soulmeld from this list (but see Aligned Soulmelds, below).

The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a soulborn soulmeld is 10 + number of points of essentia invested in the soulmeld + your Constitution modifier. Your meldshaper level is equal to one-half your soulborn level.

A soulborn can shape only a certain number of soulmelds per day. Your base daily allotment is given on Table: The Soulborn. The maximum number of soulmelds that you can have shaped simultaneously is equal to your Constitution score minus 10 or the number of soulmelds on the table, whichever is lower. At 4th level, you can shape one soulmeld at a time (assuming you have a Constitution score of at least 11). As you advance in level, you can shape an increasing number of soulmelds.

At 6th level, you gain access to your personal pool of essentia, which can be invested into your soulmelds to increase their power. Your essentia pool's size is shown on Table: The Soulborn. Your character level, as noted on Table: Essentia Capacity, determines the maximum quantity of essentia that you can invest in any single soulmeld. As a swift action, you can reallocate your essentia investments in your soulmelds every round (see Essentia).

A soulborn does not study or prepare soulmelds in advance, but must have a good night's rest and must meditate for 1 hour to shape her soulmelds for the day (see Shaping Soulmelds).

Aligned Soulmelds: You cannot shape soulmelds with an alignment descriptor that does not match your own. For example, if you are a chaotic good soulborn, you cannot shape soulmelds with the lawful or evil descriptors.

Chakra Binds: Beginning at 8th level, you can bind your soulmelds to your chakras, granting you new powers based on the soulmeld and the chakra chosen. Binding a soulmeld to a chakra closes the body slot associated with that chakra (see Chakras), so that you cannot also benefit from a magic item worn on the body slot associated with that chakra.

The number of chakra binds that you can have active at any one time depends on your level (see the Chakra Binds column on Table: The Soulborn). At 8th level, you can bind soulmelds to your crown, feet, or hands chakras. At 14th level, you can bind soulmelds to your arms, brow, and shoulders chakras. At 18th level, you can bind soulmelds to your throat or waist chakras. You never gain the ability to bind a soulmeld to your heart or soul chakras.

For more information on chakra binds, see Chakra Binds.

Share Incarnum Defense (Su): Starting at 9th level, once per day you can share your incarnum defense ability with a single ally, providing that character with the same immunity that you enjoy. This requires you to touch the ally to be affected (a standard action). No component of the ally's alignment may be opposed to yours; for example, a lawful good soulborn can affect creatures of lawful good, neutral good, lawful neutral, or neutral alignment, but cannot share the incarnum defense with a chaotic or evil ally. The effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.

You can use this ability one additional time per day for every four levels gained above 9th (2/day at 13th level and 3/day at 17th). You can never use this ability on more than one ally at a time; sharing your incarnum defense with a second ally automatically ends the effect on the first.

Timeless Body (Ex): Upon attaining 19th level, the presence of incarnum within your body becomes so prevalent that your aging process changes dramatically. You no longer take penalties to your ability scores and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that you have already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, penalties continue to apply, and you still die of old age when your time is up.


If you change alignment, you lose most of your class abilities unless your new alignment is compatible with the soulborn class. If it is not, you lose your aura, smite opposition, incarnum defense, and meldshaping abilities. You may not progress any further in levels as a soulborn. You regain all your abilities and advancement potential if you return to your previous alignment and receive an atonement spell. If your alignment shift still qualifies you for the class - a change from lawful evil to lawful good, for example - you retain your soulborn levels and your class features change to match your new alignment.


Variant Classes
Alternative Class Features
Substitution Levels
Dwarf Soulborn
Elf Soulborn

Dwarf Soulborn

A dwarf soulborn has a strong link to the souls of his ancestors and gains special benefits from their knowledge. Unlike most soulborns, the dwarf soulborn pays particular homage to a deity - in this case, Moradin Soulforger, the god of the dwarves. Believing that incarnum is a precious gift from Moradin, a dwarf soulborn prefers to wield the same weapon as his deity and is rewarded for this choice.

Hit Die: d12.


To take a dwarf soulborn substitution level, a character must be a lawful good dwarf about to take his 1st, 3rd, or 9th level of soulborn.

Class Skills

Dwarf soulborn substitution levels grant the same class skills as the standard soulborn class, plus Knowledge (dungeoneering). Dwarf soulborns display an uncanny ability to recognize and identify the denizens and hazards encountered below the surface of the world.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier (or four times this number as a beginning character).

Table: Dwarf Soulborn Racial Substitution Levels

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Meldshaping
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Aura, smite opposition 1/day Same as soulborn
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Stoneborn insight Same as soulborn
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Share incarnum defense 1/day Same as soulborn
Class Features

All of the following are features of the dwarf soulborn racial substitution levels.

Smite Opposition (Su): A dwarf soulborn can deliver smite attacks just as a normal soulborn. However, if he delivers the smite with a warhammer, he can increase the bonus on the attack roll by 1 (as if his Charisma were 2 points higher). This ability reflects his innate link to the Hammer of Souls wielded by Moradin.

This effect augments, but does not replace, a standard soulborn's ability to smite opposition.

Stoneborn Insight: A dwarf soulborn's channeling of incarnum invests him with the insights of his ancestors, both in matters of stoneworking and combat. This ability takes the form of an insight bonus equal to the number of soulmelds he has shaped on the following checks and rolls.

  • Appraise and Craft checks regarding stone or metal.
  • Search checks related to his stonecunning racial trait.
  • Damage rolls made against orcs, goblinoids, or giants.

This benefit replaces the standard soulborn's bonus feat gained at 3rd level.

Share Incarnum Defense (Su): Moradin recognizes that a dwarf soulborn is one of the god's champions in the world and a faithful servant of the dwarf people. As such, he is rewarded with greater ability to bolster his dwarf allies. A dwarf soulborn can share his incarnum defense with any dwarf within 30 feet that he can see as a free action (rather than by touch as a standard action).

This benefit augments, but does not replace, the standard soulborn's share incarnum defense class feature.

Elf Soulborn

To those who do not recognize her special gift, an elf soulborn might appear unnaturally tranquil and patient. Her special contact with the souls of her people perpetually reminds her of the value of a long-term outlook. Even if she fails in her tasks, she knows that her soul will inform those who come after her of what has come before. As befits their heritage, they tend to be keen-eyed archers.

Hit Die: d10.


To take an elf soulborn substitution level, a character must be a chaotic good elf about to take her 1st, 2nd, or 7th level of soulborn.

Class Skills

Elf soulborn substitution levels grant the same class skills as the standard soulborn class, plus Search and Spot. Regardless of her other talents, an elf soulborn tends to keep her powers of vision strong as a measure of respect for her ancestors.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier (or four times this number as a beginning character).

Table: Elf Soulborn Racial Substitution Levels

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Meldshaping
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Aura, smite opposition 1/day Same as soulborn
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Incarnum defense Same as soulborn
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Vigilance of the ancestors Same as soulborn
Class Features

All of the following are features of the elf soulborn racial substitution levels.

Smite Opposition (Su): An elf soulborn's link to the master archers of her race allows her to charge her bow attacks with the power of incarnum. She can deliver smite attacks just as a normal soulborn. However, she can deliver this smite attack with either an arrow fired from a bow or with a melee attack (unlike the normal smite opposition attack, which can only be delivered with a melee attack). The foe to be smited must be within 30 feet of her to deliver the smite attack by an arrow.

This effect augments, but does not replace, the standard soulborn's ability to smite opposition.

Incarnum Defense (Su): The incarnum that fuses to an elf soulborn's being changes her mind and body as well. This manifests at 2nd level, when her eyes become solid orbs of deep forest green, with no visible pupil or iris. She gains immunity to enchantment (charm) effects.

This benefit augments, but does not replace, the standard soulborn's incarnum defense class feature.

Vigilance of the Ancestors (Ex): As a side effect of channeling incarnum, an elf soulborn benefits from the inherent vigilance of her people. The range of her low-light vision improves to triple normal human sight.

Whenever a soulmeld occupies an elf soulborn's brow chakra, she gains improved visual acuity. She gains an insight bonus on Search and Spot checks equal to twice the invested essentia.

If a soulmeld is actually bound to her brow chakra, the range increment of any bow she uses increases by one-half.

This benefit replaces the standard soulborn's bonus feat gained at 7th level.