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Ask a player what monster he or she fears most, and some will say dragons, demons, or dark elves. Some are bothered by beholders, and a few are terrorized by the tarrasque.
But deep down, in places they don't like to talk about at parties, every player knows only one monster whose appearance, tactics, and pure reason for existence can send a shudder through the most powerful archmage or warlord . . . the dreaded illithid.
Among the mind flayers, a few gain power from the consumed brains of their victims. The illithid savant learns the very tricks of its enemies, in turn using those tricks to gain more sustenance, and more power, and so on, and so on . . .
Making an Illithid Savant:
Other Options: If the illithid savant has pursued a more unorthodox selection of victims, just about any feat in the book can come in handy, from Combat Archery to Epic Weapon Focus to Unholy Strike.
Hit Die: d4.
To qualify to become an Illithid savant, a character must fulfill all fo the following
Race: Mind Flayer Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) 10 ranks Special: must have consumed the brain of a creature of CR 9 or greater>
Class Skills: The Illithid savant's class skills (and the key ability score for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (any) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Scry (Int, exclusive skill), Search (Int), Sense Motives (Wis), and Spot (Wis).
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special 1) +0 +0 +0 +2 Acquire Skill 1, Lore 2/day 2) +1 +0 +0 +3 Acquire Feat 1, Lore 4/day 3) +1 +1 +1 +3 Acquire Class Feature 1 4) +2 +1 +1 +4 Acquire Skill 2, Acquire Feat 2 5) +2 +1 +1 +4 Acquire Special attack or special quality 1, Lore 6/day 6) +3 +2 +2 +5 Acquire Skill 3, Acquire Feat 3 7) +3 +2 +2 +5 Acquire Class Feature 2 8) +4 +2 +2 +6 Acquire Skill 4, Acquire Feat 4 9) +4 +3 +3 +6 Acquire Special attack or special quality 2, Lore 8/day 10) +5 +4 +4 +7 Acquire Class Feature 3 11) +5 +4 +4 +7 Lore at will 12) +6 +4 +4 +8 Acquire feat 5, acquire skill 5 13) +6 +5 +5 +8 Acquire class feature 4, acquire special 3 14) +7 +5 +5 +9 Acquire feat 6, acquire skill 6 15) +7 +5 +5 +9 -- 16) +8 +6 +6 +10 Acquire class feature 5, acquire feat 7, acquire skill 7 17) +8 +6 +6 +10 Acquire special 4 18) +9 +7 +7 +11 Acquire feat 8, acquire skill 8 19) +9 +7 +7 +11 Acquire class feature 6 20) +10 +7 +7 +12 Acquire feat 9, acquire skill 9
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Illithid savants neither gain nor lose proficiency with any weapons and armor, or shields by gaining levels in this class.
Acquire Skill (Ex): At 1st level, an illithid savant can acquire one skill known by a creature whos brain he has consumed, chosen at the time of consumption. He permenently gains all of the creature's ranks in that skill (but not racial or ability score bonuses of the skill modifier) even if his new total is more ranks thank the illithid savant's current character level would normally allow. This skill becomes a class skill for the Illithid savant, and he may buy more ranks in the skill if the new ranks do not cause him to exceed his maximum ranks in the skill. At 4th, 6th, and 8th level, the illithid savant can acquire and use one additional skill from a brain.
Lore (Ex): At 1st level, an Illithid savant gains the ability to make a special lore check twice per day t recal esoteric information from the brains of those he has consumed. Just as with a bardic knowledge check (see chapter 3 of the Player's Handbook for more information on this ability and typical check DCs), the Illithid savant adds his level in this prestige class and his Intelligence modifier as bonuses on any attempt to learn something unusual. At 2nd, 5th, and 9th, the Illithid savant can make a special check twice aditional times per day.
Acquire Feat (Ex): At 2nd level, an Illithid Savant permently acquires one of the feats of a consumed creature, provided he meets that feat's prerequisites. At 4th, 6th, and 8th level, the Illithid Savant can acquire and use one additional feat from a consumed brain.
Acquire Class Feature (Ex): At 3rd level, an Illithid Savant permanently gains one class feature of a consumed brain's owner, as a character of that creature's level in that class. If the former character was a spellcaster, the Illithid Savant is able to cast one spell of each level available to the character (if the victim was a wizard, the mind flayer must still consult a spellbook or learn from a scrolls), as well as any bonus spells provided by the Illithid Savant's ability scores. If the Illithid Savant already has spellcasting levels, these spells are in addition to those granted by the Illithid Savant's spellcasting class level. At 7th level and again at 10th level, the Illithid Savant can gain another class feature from a consumed brain.
Acquire Special Attack or Special Quality (Ex): At 5th Level, the Illithid Savant permanently gains one specail attack or special quality of a consumed brain's owner. The chosen ability must not rely on a physical feature of the consumed creature, such as a gaze attack, a breath weapon, flight, or a natural weapon with an appendage not possessed by the mind flayer. If the ability allows a saving throw, the Illithid savant uses his own ability score modifier to determine the DC. At 9th level, the Illithid Savant can gain another special attack or special quality from a consumed brain.
Lore (Ex): Beginning at 11th level, the illithid savant may use its lore ability at will.
Acquire Skill (Ex): The epic illithid savant can acquire and use one additional skill from a consumed brain at every even-numbered level above 10th.
Acquire Feat (Ex): The epic illithid savant can acquire and use one additional feat from a consumed brain at every even-numbered level above 10th.
Since an illithid savant may acquire a feat from a devoured brain only if he meets the feat's prerequisites, an illithid savant cannot acquire an epic feat before character level 21.
Acquire Class Feature (Ex): The epic illithid savant can gain one additional class feature from a consumed brain for every three levels gained after 10th.
An illithid savant below 13th level cannot gain the ability to cast spells higher than 9th level. Beginning at 13th level (the first level at which an epic illithid savant can acquire a class feature), it can gain the ability to cast spells higher than 9th level if it consumes the brain of a creature who has the ability to cast such spells.
An illithid savant cannot gain the ability to cast epic spells unless he has selected (or acquired) the Epic Spellcasting feat. If an illithid savant with the Epic Spellcasting feat devours the brain of a creature who knows one or more epic spells, the illithid savant gains the ability to cast one of those spells, chosen by the illithid savant.
Acquire Special Attack or Special Quality (Ex): The epic illithid savant can gain another special attack or special quality from a consumed brain for every 4 levels gained after 9th.
Bonus Feats: The epic illithid savant does not gain any bonus feats for its illithid savant class levels. It still gains bonus feats for other class levels as appropriate, as well as the normal feat gained every 3 levels.