Alienist (3.5e Class)
From D&D Wiki
Follower of the outer gods and great old ones, the Alienist is a powerful wizard who focus on conjuring monsters to fight for his bidings. They are mainly great followers of the great old ones and outer gods, seeking power, knowledge and recognition from their deities, but could also be wizards who seeks answers amongst the stars, scholars who thirst for power or adventurers who dwelled among outsiders for too long.
Making an alienist
As an alienist, you will mainly act as a support spellcaster early on. Your goal is to summon monsters to help your allies while fulfilling the ranged caster role for your team. Your Summon monster spell will be your main asset, as it will be empowered as your character evolve, bringing powerful allies on your side of the battlefield. On the other hand, you are an easy target if not prepared, and will be easily taken down. As such, you should be surrounded by allies to take the frontline and give you cover.
Abilities: You are a spellcaster who channels arcane powers, so intelligence should be your highest ability score. A high intelligence score will help you cast more spells and make them deadlier, while harder to resist. You should consider wisdom and charisma as secondary abilities, as wisdom will help you gain more intelligence through the deeper madness special ability, trading itself to reach higher intelligence peaks. Charisma Will be useful later on, since you will be manipulating outsiders and other beings of extraplanar nature.
Races: Any races who favors spellcasters are a good choice for the alienist, and humans are always good followers of the great old ones and outer gods. If you choose a race with specific alignement or deities restrictions, consider that an alienist cannot be of lawful good nature, but does not need to be a follower of outer gods since he could only be a conjurer seeking extraplanar powers.
Alignment: Chaotic evil, lawful evil, chaotic neutral, true neutral, chaotic good.
Starting Gold: 3d4×10 gp (75 gp).
Starting Age: Simple.
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Deeper madness, Summon alien, Summon familiar, Scribe scroll||3||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Alien blessing, True strike 1||4||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+3||Extend spell, Extra summoning||4||2||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Mad certainty, True strike 2||4||3||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Extra summoning, Repeat spell||4||3||2||1||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||+2||+2||+5||Crazed certainty, True strike 3||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||+2||+2||+5||Extra summoning, Persistent spell||4||4||3||2||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+4||+2||+2||+6||Insane certainty, True strike 4||4||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|9th||+4||+3||+3||+6||Augment summoning, Timeless body||4||4||4||3||2||1||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Alien transcendence, Spontaneous casting||4||4||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—|
|12th||+6/+1||+4||+4||+8||Alien gift, Terror strike||4||4||4||4||3||3||2||—||—||—|
|13th||+6/+1||+4||+4||+8||Horrific truth, Improved alternate form||4||4||4||4||4||3||2||1||—||—|
|14th||+7/+2||+4||+4||+9||Astral projection, Blood ritual||4||4||4||4||4||3||3||2||—||—|
|15th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+9||Summon epic alien 1||4||4||4||4||4||4||3||2||1||—|
|17th||+8/+3||+5||+5||+10||Summon epic alien 2||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||3||2||1|
|18th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+11||He who knows all||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||3||3||2|
|19th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+11||Summon epic alien 3||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||3||3|
|20th||+10/+5||+6||+6||+12||He who masters all||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||4||4|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Alienists draw their powers from extraplanar beings. All of the following are class features of the alienist.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Alienists are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with the alienist movements, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail..
Spells: The alienist casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the wizard spell list. An alienist must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time. : To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the alienist must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level (Int 10 for 0-level spells, Int 11 for 1st-level spells, and so forth). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an alienist spell is 10 + the spell level + the alienist Intelligence modifier.
Like other spellcasters, an alienist can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The alienist. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score.
Alienists may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting a good night’s sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the alienist decides which spells to prepare.
Bonus language: Since they heavily rely on summonings, alienists studies languages that are most common to their minions. An alienist may choose abyssal, celestial or infernal as a bonus language depending on their alignement and favored summonings.
Deeper madness (Ex): Manipulating the dark secrets and powers of the astral sea comes with a price. At 1st level and every odd alienist levels afterwards, the alienist has to lose 1 point of wisdom, which he then attribute to his intelligence score.
Summon alien: Whenever an alienist would use any summon monster spell to summon a creature, he instead summons a pseudonatural version of that creature. For example, by casting summon monster IV, he could summon a pseudonatural dire wolf. This adds the pseudonatural template to the summoned creature. An alienist gives up the ability to summon nonpseudonatural creatures with a summon monster spell. For instance, the alienist cannot summon any creature without adding this template. The following template is a variant of the pseudonatural template offered by d&d 3.5 edition, and so this variant only shall be consulted. Bonus varies depending on the summoned creature HD, as seen on the table below, and also gains the following:
Alternate form at will, which lets the creature take the form of a grotesque, tentacled mass (or other appropriately gruesome form). This is a standard action if you chose to summon it without the alternate form, or a free action if you chose to activate alternate form while casting summon monster. Other creatures receive a -1 morale penalty on their attack rolls against pseudonatural creatures in this alternate form.
The tentacle rakes attacks damage type made by the creature are treated as epic for the purpose of calculating damage reduction. A tentacle rake attack roll is rolled with the highest creature total attack bonus and bonus rake attacks are applied to standard and full-attack. Tentacle rakes attacks deal damage equal to 2d8 + Str modifier.
The creature speed doubles for all movement types
Gains Improved grab as a feat, which give the creature the option to attempt a grapple check as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity if a Tentacle rake hit.
Blur, dimension door, shield and unhallow as spell-like abilities according to the creature hit dice.
Rotting constriction beginning at 8 HD. Once the creature has a hold of an opponent, each successful grapple check it makes during subsequent rounds temporarly drains 2d4 points of Constitution, healing the creature as much hit points as the opponent previous Constitution ability modifier X the number of temporary Constitution damage dealt.
Pseudonatural template Table
|Hit dice||Electricity and
|1-3||15||5/epic||1||15||Alternate form, Blur|
|8-11||25||10/epic||3||25||Dimension door, Rotting constriction|
|each 4 more HD||+5||15/epic||+1||+5|
Summon familiar: An alienist can obtain a familiar in exactly the same manner as a sorcerer can. See the sorcerer description and the accompanying Familiars sidebar for details.
Scribe scroll: At 1st level, an alienist gains Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat.
Spellbook: An alienist must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook, except for read magic, which all alienists can prepare from memory.
An alienist begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells (except those from his prohibited school or schools, if any; see School Specialization, below) plus two 1st-level spells of your choice and Summon monster 1. For each point of Intelligence bonus the alienist has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new alienist level, he gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new alienist level) for his spellbook, but must choose Summon monster 2, Summon monster 3, Summon monster 4, Summon monster 5, Summon monster 6, Summon monster 7, Summon monster 8 and Summon monster 9 as one of his two new spells as soon as he has access to them. At any time, an alienist can also add spells found in other wizards and alienists spellbooks to his own.
School specialisation: The alienist is a conjurer, which means he is specialised in the magic school of conjuration (see school specialisation). For his intense work in this specific school, he neglected some of them to ease his learnings. An alienist must choose two other schools of magic which he can't use, other than divination and universal magic.
Alien blessing (Ex): An alienist who attains 2nd level gains a +2 insight bonus on all saving throws, but permanently loses 1 point of wisdom.
True strike (Sp): An alienist who attains 2nd level gains the True strike spell as a spell-like ability once a day, which he can only use to upgrade his summons attack rolls. He then gain another use at 4th, 6th and 8th level, for a maximum of 4/day true strikes at level 8.
Extend spell: At 3rd level, an alienist gains the extend spell metamagic feat, regardless of prerequisites, which can only be applied on his Summon monster spells.
Extra summonning (Ex): At 3rd, 5th and 7th level, alienists gains extra spell slots for casting Summon monster spells. These spell slots are prepared as usual when the caster wants to prepare spells, and can be used to prepare any Summon monster spell the alienist knows in his spellbook.
Mad certainty (Ex): At 4th level, an alienist's mad certainty in the power of entities beyond the reach of normal space and time lend him an unnatural fortitude and command over his creatures, granting him an additional 3 hit points, as well as an insight bonus of 3 on all attack rolls made by his monsters summonned by Summon monster spells. However, constantly dwelling on such beings is mentally corrosive, and the alienist's mind begins to fracture. He now takes a —4 penalty on all Bluff, Diplomacy, Handle Animal and gather information checks made to influence nonpseudonatural or non-outsider creatures. The hit points and insight bonus grows at 6 and 9 at 6th and 8th level, as well as the penalty on Bluff, Diplomacy and Handle Animal checks, taking a -7, then -10 penalty at 6th and 8th level (Crazed certainty at level 6, Insane certainty at level 8).
Repeat spell: A 5th level alienist gains the Repeat spell metamagic feat, regardless of prerequisites, which can only be applied on his Summon monster spells.
Persistent spell: At 7th level, the alienist knowledge over pseudonatural creatures grants him a last metamagic feat as a gift for his devotion. He gains Persistent spell, which can only be applied on his Summon monster spells.
Augment summoning: Alienists who reach 9th level gains the Augment summoning feat.
Timeless body (Ex): At 9th level, an alienist learns the secret of perpetual youth. He no longer takes ability penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged (see Table 6—5, page 109 of the Player's handbook). Ability score bonuses from aging still accrue, and any penalties the alienist might have already taken remain in place. An alienist is stolen away by horrible entities when he dies by any means other than aging, and he is never seen again, lost in the astral sea. A trip to the astral sea could lead a party to their lost friend body, but such a task prove itself to be near impossible for unprepared adventurers.
Alien transcendence (Su): A 10th-level alienist, because of long association with alien entities and intense study of insane secrets, transcends his mortal form and become an alien creature. His type, as well as his familiar type, changes to outsider. Additionally, they gains damage reduction 10/magic and resistance to acid 10 and electricity 10. Upon achieving alien transcendence, an alienist and his familiar undergoes a minor physical change, usually growing a small tentacle or other strange feature, such as an extra appendage, organ, eye, or enigmatic lump. An alienist can hide this abnormality in a robe or hood, but the alien growth is not under the alienist's or familiar control and sometimes moves, twitches, opens, or otherwise animates of its own accord. This applies a —4 penalty on Disguise checks an alienist makes to conceal his true nature, while his familiar his automatically seen as an outsider by everyone. Anyone who shares an alienist's predilection for study of the Far Realms immediately recognizes his transcendent nature, as the alienist gains a +2 circumstance bonus on all Charisma- based skill checks and ability checks when interacting with such beings. He gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Intimidate checks involving any other creatures to whom he reveals his abnormal nature. Additionnaly, his new form restore some of his sanity, giving him back 3 points of wisdom. Finally, his alien nature gives him mastery over his metamagic feats. Preparing a spell with a metamagic feat only uses one spell slot higher than the prepared spell cost. This doesn't apply to the alienist Extra summoning prepared spells, which can now all be prepared with a single metamagic feat as if they didn't had one.
Spontaneous casting: A 10th level alienist can channel stored spell energy into summoning spells that he hasn’t prepared ahead of time. He can "lose" a prepared spell in order to cast any Summon monster spell of the same level or lower.
Madness delight (Su): At 11th level, an alienist can kill one of his active Summon monster as a standard action to heal himself as much hit points as the remaining hit points the creature has. Doing so prevents the alienist from using Summon monster to convoke the sacrificed creature for a number of rounds equal to the Summon monster spell level used to convoke that creature.
Alien Gift (Ex): Starting at level 12, the alienist develops a sixth sense, for his studies of far realms gave him better understanding of his alien nature. The alienist gains 5 permanent hit points and 5 insight bonus to AC.
Terror strike (Sp): A 12th level alienist summons now have the Fear spell as spell-like ability that they can use for a free action only after a succesfull grapple check.
Horrific truth (Ex): A 13th level alienist now inspire fear in non-outsider creatures, giving them a -5 moral penalty to attack rolls against him only.
Improved alternate form (Su): At 13th level, Moral penalty given to other creatures attack rolls against your summonings is upgraded to -5 from -1.
Alien Planewalking (Sp): From now on, the 14th level alienist can use the Astral projection spell as a spell-like ability once a day, only for the purpose of projecting his spirit in the astral sea, which looks like black empty space, lightened enough for standard vision by other realms afar. While in the astral sea, time goes incredibly slowly, letting you accomplish tasks that would take at maximum an entire day in one hour of the physical world. You must choose a task before entering the astral sea and stick to it for the entire duration of the spell, or go back to your physical body if you wish to stop, putting an end to the spell and consuming its daily use normaly. Tasks could range from preparing your spells, wander randomly, scribing scrolls and such, as long as it does not exceed the maximum task duration and is accepted by the game master.
Bleeding ritual (Su): A 14th level alienist can sacrifice half his total hit points rounded down to recharge one of his Extra summoning prepared that day. Each time you do so, you reduce your total hit points by 5 for the remaining of the day (until you get extended rest). Doing so while having less than half your total hit points would lead to your instant demise.
Summon epic alien: Starting at level 15, you gains the ability to summon an epic pseudonatural creature per day. This exploit needs preparation and careful planning, which results in complicated summonings. In battle, three full rounds must be spent to convoke such a being, and doing so leaves your character unconscious for a number of rounds equal to the convoked creature corresponding Summon monster spell level. An epic pseudonatural creature has the pseudonatural template, with the following : +22 str, +10 dex, +10 con, +10 wis, int at least 3, +35 natural armor bonus to AC, +15 insight bonus to attack rolls (instead of the usual +9 from insane certainty), and an upgraded challenge rating depending on its base hit dice (+16 for 6 HD and less, +13 for 7 to 15 HD, +10 for 16 HD and more). You gain another use per day at level 17 and 19.
Outsider tongue (Ex): At 16th level, alienist understands and speaks fluently to any outsider and pseudonatural creatures intelligent enough to understand any kind of speech. Doing so will result in an incomprehensible discution between you and the creature for others around you, unless they use the spell comprehend language or such to understand. Also, any Bluff, diplomacy, handle animal and gather information checks made in interaction with pseudonatural or outsider creatures are made with a +10 cha skill check bonus (in contradiction with the usual -10 cha skill check penalty against nonpseudonatural or non-outsider creatures).
He who knows all (Ex): While using your Astral projection spell-like ability at level 18, you are now given the choice to ask Yog-Sothoth, the all seeing and omnipotent outer god any question as your task. Doing so will result in you being given the answer you seek at the expanse of momentary sanity loss, since only peeping at him for a normal human would be enough to lead to instant madness for life. Depending on the amount of precision you seek in the answer, the answer will be longer, and take away more of your sanity. For a very generic answer, you will take 2 temporary points of wisdom damage for the day. For a more precise information, it will be 4, and for the most precise and wise answer, it will be 6.
He who masters all (Ex): As the pinnacle of the alienist powers, alienists who attains 20th level gains the ability to retain every creature they see as new summonable monster in their bestiary (a new section in his spellbook). With approval of your game master, each time you see a creature, you can add it as a 15 minutes action in your bestiary for small creatures, 30 minutes for medium, 1 hour for large, 2 hours for huge, 4 hours for gargantuan and 1 day for colossal. This action is a complex procedure that needs concentration, since the alienist will be taking notes, draw portraits of the creature, take time to aknowledge its habits and attacks, and so forth. Doing so will give you the ability to summon the creature as a Summon monster spell, using a 9th level spell slot or Extra conjuration spell slot, no matter what the creature or its challenge rating is. Additionnaly, summoning a monster who has less than 30 HD make you conjure that monster with 30 HD instead of his usual.
An alienist cannot keep his powers and gifts if he has access to other spells given to him by other entities, such as gods. The outer gods and physical world gods are not in good terms, and thus the alienist cannot wield both. Trying so will lead to being rejected by the outer gods, forever marked as an heretic with no way back, taking away every single special abilities they lended you (thus becoming a conjurer wizard with your new divine powers). In the same pattern, spellcasters like clerics and paladins cannot access both classes, and trying to do so intentionnaly will lead to your god forsaking you forever (leaving you as a spell-less cleric/paladin with level 1 alienist arcane powers).
2 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Bonus Feats: The epic Alienist gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic wizard bonus feats) every 3 levels after 20th.
Epic alienist Bonus Feat List: Augmented Alchemy, Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Combat Casting, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Epic Rod, Craft Epic Staff, Craft Epic Wondrous Item, Efficient Item Creation, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Familiar spell, Forge Epic Ring, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell, Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Scribe Epic Scroll, Spell Focus, Spell Knowledge, Spell Mastery, Spell Penetration, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Spell, Tenacious Magic. In addition to the feats on this list, the wizard may select any item creation feat or metamagic feat not listed here.
Human alienist Starting Package
Armor: None (speed 30 ft.).
Weapons: Quarterstaff (1d6/1d6, crit X2, 4 lb., two-handed, bludgeoning).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.
|Knowledge (the planes)||4||Int||-|
Feat: Iron Will.
School specialization: Conjuration.
Spellbook: All 0-level spells, plus obscuring mist, shield and summon monster 1, plus one of these spells of your choice per point of Intelligence bonus (if any): grease, mage armor, mount and unseen servant.
Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day's trail rations, bedroll, sack, and flint and steel. Ten candles, map case, three pages of parchment, ink, inkpen. Spell component pouch, spellbook.
Gold: 5d6 gp.
Playing an alienist
Religion: Typically, alienist worships the great old ones and the outer gods. However, some of them may worship another deity while studying the pseudonatural ways, but this deity cannot have lawful good restrictions, or any good alignement restrictions, and must be in accord with the alienist way (seeking power amongst the stars, convoking deformed creatures and not be bothered by sacrifices and blood rituals).
Other Classes: Other classes like clerics and paladins tend to see alienists as evil cultists or scholars who manipulate dark powers. Some druids and rangers would believe the alienist manipulate creatures and make them suffer through horrible transformations if they do not understand the extraplanar nature of his summons, while other classes are usually reticent towards his overall cult and thirst for alien knowledge. Characters with good alignement won't get in pretty good terms with alienists, particularly lawful good PC's, while neutral and evil characters tend to get along easily with him.
Combat: Try to stay behind your team while you summon hordes of monster to aid them. Use clouds, grease and other control spells to give your team the advantage.
Advancement: The alienist has multiple tools and powerful abilities, so 20th level should be a priority before prestige. After that, Malconvoker can be a powerful prestige to take, or any class that benefits an arcane spellcaster.
Alienists in the World
World setting: Depending on your game master style of role playing, this class can fit in more casual fantasy settings, as well as mixted fantasy and lovecraftian stories.
Daily Life: The alienist is a meticulous scholar who dedicate his life to uncover alien secrets. This is represented by his quest of power and knowledge amongst his teamates. You will often see the alienist revising his spellbook, try to decipher scripts in dungeons and seek other spells to add to his spellbook.
Organizations: Alienists can reunite in organized patterns each month as secret organisations, sharing their knowledge and praising their gods. Such reunions could be for sacrifices, organising evil schemes or sharing their bestiary.
NPC Reactions: At low levels, an alienist should keep low profile and use as little as possible his spells in public. The higher the alienist level is, more will he be insane and inhuman, until he becomes an outsider. At this point, interaction with NPC's is greatly limited and trying to hide your true nature become an heavier task. Robes, masks and disguises are recommended.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (religion) can research alienists to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|15||Alienists are scholars who studies far realms.|
|20||Alienists are conjurers who summons extraplanar creatures.|
|25||Alienists believe in the existence of outer gods who shaped the astral sea, giving them knowledge and powers.|
|30||Every month, alienists gather together for multiple purpose (see organization). Alienists of higher potential follow an ascension to become one with outsider creatures, leaving behind their former racial heritage.|
Alienists in the Game
Alienists tend to stay quiet and collected, and they prefer their allies talk to other characters and NPC's instead. In a party of players, the alienist is most commonly the quiet one, but could be the ill mannered and weird cultist who rambles stories about his deities. He will be the specialist in deciphering, recognising conjuration spells through Spellcraft and give planar knowledge to his team.
Adaptation: Lastly, I do want to remind you this is a complete rework of an official prestige class in d&d 3.5 edition, which I do not own, as a base class, and is entirely for personnal entertainment. This class and script can have flaws and such, and i'll be more than happy to receive feedback on this personnal favorite of mine. Feel free to share your comments and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.