The Illithid Savant
I haven't been able to find a guide or even mildly comprehensive resource for the Illithid Savant anywhere. Since it's one of my favorite classes, I figured I could make this reference for anyone interested.
Illithid Savant Class AbilitiesLore:
- v.0.85 (2/5/09): Added Quickness to SAs, quoted Emy's Zhentarim Skymage build. Changed premade builds slightly to reflect new and better combos.
The savant can make a Lore check two times per day to recall esoteric knowledge from the brains he has consumed. Treat as a bardic knowledge check. The number of times this ability can be used goes up by two uses at 2nd, 5th, and 9th level.This ability is pretty lackluster compared to the rest of the class. It can come in handy sometimes though, and it makes for excellent roleplay, especially for finding new abilities that synergise with your old ones.Acquire Skill:
An illithid savant can acquire one skill known by a creature whose brain the savant ate. He permanently gets all ranks in that skill, and it becomes a class skill for the Savant. He can gain a skill in this way at levels 1, 4, 6, and 8.Also pretty lackluster, until you bring in various skills like Iaijitsu Strike, Autohypnosis, and Truespeak. Since this skill stacks with itself, you can buff up one skill to astronomic levels without difficulty.Acquire Feat:
An illithid savant can permanently acquire one feat from a creature whose brain it has eaten, provided he meets the feats prerequisites. He can gain a feat in this way at level 2, 4, 6, and 8.Meh. Since the savant needs to meet the feat's prereqs, consider these bonus feats. Handy, but not amazing.Acquire Class Features:
An illithid savant can permanently gain one class feature of a consumed brain's owner, as a character of that creature's level in that class. If the character was a spellcaster, the illithid savant is able to cast one spell per level available to the character as well as any bonus spells provided by the savant's ability scores. The savant can gain a feature in this way at level 3, 7, and 10.Aha...here we start getting into the good stuff. Skip taking levels in a class: just grab the feature you want. Make sure it doesn't rely on other class features to be effective!Acquire Special Attack of Special Quality:
An illithid savant can permanently gain one special attack or special quality of a consumed brain's owner. The chosen ability must not rely on a physical attribute of the consumed creature. If the ability allows a saving throw, the savant uses his own ability scores to determine the DC. The savant can gain an ability in this way at level 5 and 9.Wow. This is where the savant's holy shit power comes from.Good Abilities to Steal
Not all abilities are created equal.Class Features
This is where you get your can of whoopass.Tough as Bone (Pale Master):
Immunity to stunning, disease, and nonlethal damage. Pair with a Regeneration ability taken from somewhere, and you are immune to most (if not all) damage! Otherwise, useless.Deathless Mastery (Pale Master):
Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, death effects, critical hits, ability drain, energy drain, and damage to his physical ability scores. Aptitude Focus (Chameleon):
I love the chameleon class. Taking this will give you a whole lot of versatility, even though you don't get Double Aptitude (which might be worth taking as well), or Ability Boon.Shadow Pounce (Teflammar Shadowlord):
No more ridiculous prereqs! Works well with Blink Dog's dimension door
once per round as a free action.Supernatural Spell (Dweomerkeeper):
Less good if you can't cast wish
. Eat the brain of a 20th level wizard or something, maybe.Acquire Special Ability (Illithid Savant):
This is sort of cheap, and cannibalistic. It is also pretty cool, since most special abilities are better than class features.Special Abilities
The awesomesauce on your whoopass-can. (Don't ask what it's made of.)Regeneration (Various):
This is incredible combined with Tough as Bone (above). The best I can find is War Troll regeneration: 9 hp per round, and they only take damage from acid. Get some acid immunity and you're set!Immunity to Acid (Black Dragon):
There now. That wasn't so hard, hmm?Consume Identity (Greater Doppleganger):
This is sort of like aptitude focus on crack. You could have the brains (and therefore all of the powers) of, you know...whatever (just not clerics). Try to consume Lawful Evil people, because if you act against their alignment, you are forced out of their form for 1d10 rounds. Still pretty ridiculous; like a party in a can.Phaerimm Spellcasting (Phaerimm):
Wow! Cast all spells as SLAs...that means no material, somatic, verbal, or EXPERIENCE components. Like Supernatural Spell, but for everything.Spellcasting (Various):
You'll have to get your DM in on this one, but a lot of creatures have the ability "Spellcasting". Whether this counts as a class ability and so is subject to the one slot per level rule, or whether it is a special attack (and so is not) is up to your DM.Quickness (Choker)
: You can take one extra standard or move action per round. This ability is good but not broken on the scale of some other potential Savant combos. Recommended if you have nothing else to take.Notes on Polymorph:
Polymorph (that ever-useful spell), can be used to eat the brains of any monster that normally doesn't allow it (constructs, elementals, undead, anything without brains), as outlined below:
and no, not to gain entry to Illithid Savant. This use of polymorph is quite similar to one I was thinking of for a rebuking character, except that this one is more likely to work. (Let me know if you think it won't.)
- Polymorph does not offer a save or SR. It only requires a willing target. Well, unconscious = willing for purposes of targeting spells.
- It changes the creature's type, and physical qualities.
- It inherits the following from alter self: "You retain all supernatural and spell-like special attacks and qualities of your normal form, except for those requiring a body part that the new form does not have (such as a mouth for a breath weapon or eyes for a gaze attack)"
Actions needed to take advantage of this (example given is an Ice Weird):
1) Get the ice weird unconscious. It doesn't matter how. Ego whip it repeatedly or have the beatstick attack it (its regeneration will turn the damage into nonlethal).
2) Turn it into a newt with polymorph.
3) Before, the target was an elemental mass of ice. Now it's an animal. A a fleshy animal with some abilities you might want... and a tasty, tasty brain.
4) Consume brain, receive either the ability to control any number of (ice or water) subtyped elementals indefinitely, or the ability to use a number of divination spells (including contact other plane
, foresight, and greater scrying) at will as a free action
6) Profit.I am having too much fun with formatting, at this point.
If a creature can be rendered unconscious and is not immune to polymorph, you can gain its racial supernatural or spell like abilities
even if it does not normally have a brain.
Mmmm. Skills. The crunchy...bite-sized...hunks of uber in your awesomesauce? I don't know. Need better metaphors!Diplomacy:
I almost typed that Diplomancy, because that is basically what you are doing. If you put all of your Acquire Skills into this, you can easily get 60-80 ranks from the Savant ability alone.Use Magic Device:
No-brainer. Easy to get a whole lot of ranks, therefore, easy to use any magic item.Truespeak:
Well, consume a truenamer's brain for their utterances, then stack this...could work well. [further examination necessary]Iaijitsu Strike:
Always nice to have a lot of ranks in this (sort of like free sneak attack dice). Good for a combat-oriented Savant, not so good for a caster. Can be nice to break things though.Autohypnosis:
If I remember correctly, this can be used to resist poisons and such? Maybe worth investing.Concentration:
All-round handy for spellcasters.Any Skill your Party Needs:
If you need to, you can take on the role of Skill Monkey with no problem. This is an important thing to remember; skills such as Disable Device, Decipher Script, various Knowledge skills...all no problem.Premade Setups
These are recommended organizations of the Savant's Acquire abilities. The savant has a lot of versatility, though, so feel free to do as you like.
[spoiler=Balgok'Urdead: The Destroyer of Campaign Worlds]Skills:
Use Magic Device +13, Use Magic Device +16, Diplomacy +18, Diplomacy +21Feats:
Epic Skill Focus (Diplomacy) x4Class Features:
Acquire Special Ability (Illithid Savant) x3Special Abilities:
Regeneration (War Troll), Phaerimm Spellcasting, Consume Identity (Greater Doppleganger), Undead Traits (any undead), Immunity to Acid (Black Dragon)
This guy rocks face. He prepares ALL of his spells as SLAs, so he has no xp or material cost. Aptitude Focus gives him 6th level arcane or divine spells, and his Spellcasting class feature lets him cast Wish with no XP cost. UMD combined with Wishes let him create and use any magic item in the game with no issues whatsoever. As if that wasn't enough, he is immune to all hitpoint damage(!)
, poison, disease, stunning, sleep effects, paralysis, death effects, critical hits, ability drain, energy drain, and damage to his physical attributes.
Did I mention he has +79 Diplomacy? Yeah, that too.
[spoiler=Zhentarim Skymage]This setup is designed as an example for use with a zhentarim skymage build, where you can get over 20 HD on your illithid. This particular build is designed around a 31-HD Illtihid Savant.Savant AbilitiesSkills:
Use Magic Device +23 x2, Spellcraft +23 x5Feats:
Epic Spellcasting, Epic Skill Focus (Spellcraft) x6Class Features:
Acquire Special Ability (Illithid Savant) x5Special Abilities:
Consume Identity (Greater Doppleganger), Regeneration (War Troll), Phaerimm Spellcasting (Phaerimm), Immunity to Acid (Black Dragon), Immunity to Spells (Iron Golem), Undead Traits (Undead), Abomination Traits (Infernal), Time Regression (Phane), Null Time Field (Phane)Justifications:
I used the polymorph trick to gain immunity to spells from an iron golem and undead traits from an undead thing. The Special Abilities are listed vaguely in order of acquisition based on difficulty of the being to be killed.Benefits:
Epic Spellcasting and +175 to Spellcraft DC (use unlimited wishes to create Rods of Excellent Magic, so you can make the spells without paying exp).
Immunity to any spells requiring SR, undead traits, and immunity to all physical damage means you're basically unkillable.
Use Consume Identity on a 20th level wizard, a 20th level archivist, and a 20th level fighter guy. Now you can play any part of a party. Phaerimm Spellcasting (all spells cast as SLAs) + access to wish
means that money is no longer an object.
Finally, you have Abomination Traits which includes blindsight 500', telepathy 1000', and true seeing at will. There is also time regression and null time field from the phane
An early-qualification build, courtesy of Emy and her Symbiotic Petal Zhentarim Skymage:
Guest: Sparkly McUber, Venerable Symbiotic Incarnate Dustform Petal Conjurer 5 / Zhentarim Skymage 5 / Legacy Champion 10 (Initial LA +5, reduced to +3 with Incarnate Construct, reduced to +0 with buyoff.)
Host: Tentacled Thing From The Forest, Symbiotic Greenbound Half-Fey Illithid Illithid Savant 10 / X 2 / Illithid Savant +7 (LA doesn't matter. Only its number of Hit Dice.)