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rferries
2017-10-09, 02:41 AM
Here's an alternate take on the (in)famous Elder Brains, making them somewhat Kraken-like, and a PC-worthy mind flayer race (with psionic affinity and brain-eating that has been relegated to flavour rather than combat utility).

https://i.imgur.com/xrH1UBH.jpg
ELDER MINDCOLOSSAL ABERRATION (Aquatic, Psionic)
Hit Dice: 20d8+200 (290 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: Swim 5 ft. (1 square)
Armor Class: 22 (-8 size, +20 natural), touch 2, flat-footed 22
Base Attack/Grapple: +15/+41
Attack: Tentacle +17 melee (2d8+10)
Full Attack: 8 tentacles +17 melee (2d8+10)
Space/Reach: 30 ft./20 ft. (80 ft. with tentacle)
Special Attacks: Constrict 2d8+10, improved grab, psionics
Special Qualities: Collective consciousness, darkvision 60 ft., hive mind, telepathy
Saves: Fort +16, Ref +6, Will +22
Abilities: Str 30, Dex 10, Con 30, Int 30, Wis 30, Cha 30
Skills: Autohypnosis +35, Concentration +33, Diplomacy +35, Intimidate +33, Knowledge (any eight) +33, Knowledge (psionics) +35, Psicraft +35 (+37 power stones), Sense Motive +33, Swim +18, Use Psionic Device +33 (+35 power stones)
Feats: Boost Construct, Extend Power, Improved Initiative, MindsightLOM (https://dndtools.net/feats/lords-of-madness--72/mindsight--1960/), Overchannel, Psionic Meditation, Quicken Power
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or community (1 plus 10-100 mind flayers)
Challenge Rating: 20
Treasure: Triple standard
Alignment: Always lawful (usually evil)
Advancement: 21-48 HD (Colossal)
Level Adjustment: -
LOMLords of Madness

The mind flayers lead your party to a great chamber sculpted from pure marble, adorned with graceful columns and alien statuary. Dappled light flows over the walls and ceiling, reflected from a tremendous pool of gleaming, phosphorescent ichor that dominates the place. Within the radiant waters you glimpse many writhing tentacles around a gigantic, skull-like cephalopod. A voice speaks telepathically in your mind - overpowering, all-consuming, far more forceful than any of the illithid guides'...

*WE ARE THE-MANY-WHO-ARE-ONE. STATE YOUR PROPOSITION*

An elder mind is the heart, leader, and deity of a mind flayer community. Mind flayers grow from tadpoles generated by the elder mind, and after their deaths their spirits join its collective consciousness - the illithid equivalent of the afterlife. The elder mind conducts negotiations too important (or with creatures too powerful) for the mind flayers to handle themselves, and serves as a repository of knowledge for questing adventurers. Although elder minds and illithids are not necessarily evil, their inscrutable plots are often amoral at the very least.

An elder mind resembles a colossal octopus, with tentacles reaching 80 feet in length and a malevolent, quasi-skeletal visage. It speaks Common, Undercommon, and at least ten other languages, but generally communicates telepathically.

Combat
An elder brain is aware of almost all creatures within range of its telepathy, via its Mindsight feat. Creatures that wish to ambush it must therefore either have protection from telepathy or access to teleportation.

Elder minds believe in preparation. Once combat begins, they follow a strict regimen when manifesting powers to protect themselves (an example of such a regimen is given below for the sample elder mind). It is assumed for this regimen that the elder mind was caught by surprise, otherwise it can manifest its powers at its leisure without need for temporal acceleration or quickened powers.

Powers denoted with * have been enhanced with the Overchannel feat.
Before Combat: astral seed, inertial armour (23 pp*), personal mind blank (13 pp), psionic overland flight (11 pp)



Round
Power
Quickened/Swift-/Immediate-Action Power


1
true metabolism (15 pp)
Extended temporal acceleration (21 pp*, 6 rounds)


2
thicken skin (22 pp*)
power resistance (9 pp*)


3
force screen (21 pp*)
psionic true seeing (15 pp)


4
defensive precognition (22 pp*)
psionic freedom of movement (13 pp)


5
animal affinity (23 pp*)
schism (15 pp)


6
biofeedback (21 pp*)
energy adaptation (11 pp)


7
vigour (23 pp*)
Extended mental barrier (23 pp*)



Total power points expended: 254
Total Overchannel damage: 21d8 - 70 (true metabolism) = average 24 damage
An elder mind that has completed this regimen has the following statisitics:
Hit Dice: 20d8+240 (421 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: Swim 5 ft. (1 square), fly 40 feet (average)
Armor Class: 64 (-8 size, +2 Dex, +8 insight, +15 armour, +28 natural, +9 shield), touch 12 (36 vs. incorporeal touch), flat-footed 54
Base Attack/Grapple: +15/+43
Attack: Tentacle +19 melee (2d8+12)
Full Attack: 8 tentacles +19 melee (2d8+12)
Space/Reach: 30 ft./20 ft. (80 ft. with tentacle)
Special Attacks: Constrict 2d8+10, improved grab, psionics
Special Qualities: Collective consciousness, damage reduction 8/-, darkvision 60 ft., fast healing 10, freedom of movement, hive mind, mind blank, power resistance 35, resistance to acid 30, cold 30, electricity 30, fire 30, and sonic 30, schism, telepathy, true seeing
Saves: Fort +26, Ref +16, Will +32
Abilities: Str 34, Dex 14, Con 34, Int 30, Wis 34, Cha 34
Skills: Autohypnosis +37, Concentration +35, Diplomacy +37, Intimidate +35, Knowledge (any four) +33, Knowledge (psionics) +35, Psicraft +35 (+37 power stones), Sense Motive +35, Swim +20, Use Psionic Device +35 (+37 power stones)

Psionics: 189 pp, save DCs: 22 + power level.
Once it returns to the normal timeframe, it lashes out with Quickened offensive psionic powers (especially energy wave, psionic dominate, psionic disintegrate, and ultrablast) and its tentacles. The schism mind replenishes the mental barrier after 10 rounds and otherwise manifests Boosted, Overchanneled astral constructs (favouring those with the constrict, extreme deflection, natural invisibility, power resistance, and rend special abilities). The elder mind uses fate of one and reality revision as appropriate (even resorting to psionic greater teleport to flee with its entire mind flayer community if necessary).

An opponent can attack an elder mind’s tentacles with a sunder attempt as if they were weapons. An elder mind’s tentacles have 40 hit points each. If an elder mind is currently grappling a target with the tentacle that is being attacked, it usually uses another limb to make its attack of opportunity against the opponent making the sunder attempt. Severing one of an elder mind’s tentacles deals 20 points of damage to the creature. The creature regrows severed limbs in 1d10+10 days (or sooner, via true metabolism).

Collective Consciousness (Ex)
An elder mind's consciousness is an amalgamation of the knowledge and spirits of all mind flayers from its community, both living and dead. It may make any skill check untrained and is immune to any effect that specifically targets a single soul (soul bind, trap the soul, a devourer's trap essence attack, etc.). Whenever it uses a teleportation or temporal (e.g. suspend life, time hop) effect on itself, it may choose to include any number of unattended objects and willing mind flayers within 50 miles in that effect.

Constrict (Ex)
An elder mind deals automatic tentacle damage with a successful grapple check.

Hive Mind (Ex)
All mind flayers within 50 miles of their elder mind are in constant communication. If one (either a mind flayer or the elder mind) is aware of a particular danger, they all are. If one in a group is not flat-footed, none of them are. No mind flayer or elder mind in a group is considered flanked unless all of them are.

Improved Grab (Ex)
To use this ability, the elder mind must hit with a tentacle attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can constrict.

Psionics (Ex)
An elder mind manifests powers as a 20th-level psion (power points/day: 443, powers known: 36, save DC: 20 + power level). To manifest a power, an elder mind must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the power’s level. An elder mind's bonus power points per day are determined by its Wisdom score, and the save DCs of its powers are determined by its Charisma score. It draws its powers known from the psion list and all psionic disciplines, generally preferring clairsentience and telepathy powers.

1st: astral construct, defensive precognition, force screen, inertial armour, thicken skin, vigour
2nd: animal affinity, biofeedback, concussion blast, energy push
3rd: dispel psionics, mental barrier, telekinetic force, telekinetic thrust
4th: energy adaptation, psionic dominate, psionic freedom of movement, schism, telekinetic maneuver
5th: power resistance, psionic plane shift, psionic true seeing
6th: psionic disintegrate, psionic overland flight, temporal acceleration
7th: energy wave, fate of one, personal mind blank, ultrablast
8th: astral seed, hypercognition, psionic greater teleport, true metabolism ,
9th: metafaculty, psychic chirurgery, reality revision
Telepathy (Su)
An elder mind can communicate telepathically with any intelligent creature within 50 miles whose presence it is aware of.

Skills
An elder mind receives skills as though it were a fey creature. It has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.



https://i.imgur.com/viEuOL7.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/5vaGBA9.jpg



Mind Flayers
The alien race known as illithids are often as ambitious and uncaring as they are brilliant. Fleeing the destruction of their vast empire in another plane (or in the distant future, according to some rumours), they have come here to rebuild. The vast majority of their kind adhere to their rigid communal hierarchy and follow the commands of the elder minds, but there are some who take up adventuring out of curiosity, lust for power, or even benevolence.

Although it is true that mind flayers relish the taste of brain matter, they are quite capable of living off of standard fare.

Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Charisma, +2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom. Mind flayers have forceful personalities and genius-level intellects.

Size: Mind flayers are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Type: Mind flayers are aberrations with the psionic subtype.

Speed: Mind flayers have a base speed of 30 feet.

Darkvision (Ex): A mind flayer has darkvision out to 60 feet.

Hive Mind (Ex): All mind flayers within 50 miles of their elder mind are in constant communication. If one (either a mind flayer or the elder mind) is aware of a particular danger, they all are. If one in a group is not flat-footed, none of them are. No mind flayer or elder mind in a group is considered flanked unless all of them are.

Limited Telepathy (Su): Mind flayers can mentally communicate with any creatures within 30 feet with whom they share a language. Conversing telepathically with multiple creatures simultaneously is just as difficult as listening to multiple people speaking.

Psionics (Ex): A mind flayer manifests powers as a 3rd-level psion. To manifest a power, a mind flayer must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the power’s level. A mind flayer's bonus power points per day are determined by its Wisdom score, and the save DCs of its powers are determined by its Charisma score. It draws its powers known from the psion list and all psionic disciplines, generally preferring clairsentience and telepathy powers.

Racial Hit Dice: A mind flayer begins with three levels of aberration, which provides 3d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +2, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +1, Ref +1, and Will +3.

Racial Skills: A mind flayer’s aberration levels give it skill points equal to 6 × (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1). Its class skills are Autohypnosis, Concentration, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Psicraft, Sense Motive, and Use Psionic Device.

Racial Feats: A mind flayer’s aberration levels give it two feats.

Languages: Mind flayers begin play speaking Common and Undercommon. Mind flayers with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Abyssal, Aquan, Celestial, Draconic, Elven, Infernal, and Sylvan.

Favoured Class: Psion.

Level Adjustment: +1

Mind Flayer Feats
Telepathy
Your mental prowess allows you to speak without words.

Prerequisites
Psionic subtype or limited telepathy special quality, character level 6th.

Benefits
You gain telepathy out to close range (25 feet + 5 feet per two character levels).

Special
A character may gain this feat multiple times. Each time, it increases the range of the telepathy one step: medium (100 feet + 10 feet per character level), long (400 feet + 40 feet per character level), 1 mile, +1 mile thereafter.

nonsi
2017-10-09, 09:34 AM
.
Glad to see you've removed "Extract Brain" from the equation. I'm sure there are elements in the history of D&D that are equally stupid, but I can't think of any right now.

Looking at the images of Mind Flayers, it seems within reason that they'd have primary claw attacks (1d3) and a secondary bite attack (1d4).
One thing that bothers me with your version, is that they're shoehorned into playing psions, because that's the only class that would not cost them their racial HD in class levels.

I'm thinking of creating a non-psionic version of Mind Flayers for my overhaul. Not sure yet what direction they'd take.

rferries
2017-10-09, 03:50 PM
Ha well the Extract Brain is their classic attack, but so long as they have it or Mind Blast they're far too powerful to be low-level PCs.

I kept psionics so that they weren't totally stripped of their classic flavour; they can be psions or gishes or theurgists but yeah their options are limited otherwise.

Natural attacks are plausible but I'll avoid them for now, I prefer them to use powers over melee. They'd work well in your non-psionic version (for which I'd also suggest ditching the RHD, keeping mental ability bonuses, and maybe granting short-range telepathy automatically rather than as a feat tax).

Caelestion
2017-10-09, 06:31 PM
I like what you've done here, but I'd agree that they should get close-range telepathy automatically, with a feat to pick up Mindsight and/or increase their range to medium.

rferries
2017-10-09, 06:56 PM
I like what you've done here, but I'd agree that they should get close-range telepathy automatically, with a feat to pick up Mindsight and/or increase their range to medium.

The problem is, Mindsight is just so incredibly good that it has to be delayed somehow.

Caelestion
2017-10-10, 04:25 AM
Making a potential player pay a ludicrous feat tax to have their expected telepathy is hardly the sensible thing to do if what the real problem is is the Mindsight feat.

rferries
2017-10-10, 12:26 PM
True. .. but telepathy is arguably overpowered on its own in some campaigns (free tongues). I'd like to keep them at an unquivocal LA+1. Plus the telepathy feat can be taken multiple times for better and better effect, so it's not a traditional feat tax.

Caelestion
2017-10-10, 12:39 PM
Well, the Hive Mind ability doesn't affect their LA, unless somehow the character spends a great deal of time near 'home'. Other than that, they have 3 RHD, +6 to stats and 3 innate caster levels with significant MAD built in. Quite frankly, unless there's something I'm missing, their LA shouldn't even be +1 as it is.

rferries
2017-10-10, 07:38 PM
The ability scores somewhat (but not completely) negate the MADness, but the real key is that they have access to all disciplines (basically the equivalent of giving them a bunch of free Expanded Knowledge feats haha). LA+1 may be harsh but I bet there are loads of ways to abuse that kind of access.

Caelestion
2017-10-10, 08:46 PM
Then don't give them that access. Why cut out telepathy for fear of abuse and then give them a different abusable power, which you then 'justify' with an unnecessary level adjustment?

rferries
2017-10-11, 12:53 AM
Well, because this is the interpretation I like :) Telepathy abuse is more direct too (via Mindsight), whereas power access requires a bit of creativity. My ultimate point is, since I want to keep them at LA+1 I can't justify (IMHO) giving them BOTH telepathy and power access, so I choose to give them power access.

I fully admit this rewrites mind flayers so much as to be unrecognizable from the standard interpretation; this could easily be refluffed as a new race.

Knitifine
2017-10-11, 01:24 AM
Easy solution, give them:
Limited Telepathy, as the starfinder ability. It allows you to communicate telepathically, but only with creatures that share a language you understand.]

rferries
2017-10-11, 01:56 AM
Easy solution, give them:
Limited Telepathy, as the starfinder ability. It allows you to communicate telepathically, but only with creatures that share a language you understand.]

Intriguing solution! And that wouldn't allow Mindsight access?

Knitifine
2017-10-11, 02:48 AM
Intriguing solution! And that wouldn't allow Mindsight access?By RAW, no. The limited telepathy racial trait would not be be the same as the telepathy special quality. Some DMs might allow it to qualify, but I would say it's against designer intention as well as RAW so it's their problem if they do.

rferries
2017-10-11, 02:53 AM
Voila, added (and thanks for the suggestion!). I feel like it's a bit of a cheat ("telepathic, but not so telepathic that they can use Mindsight" :D) but it's a nice compromise.

Caelestion
2017-10-11, 05:02 AM
Another version would be to grant them Mindlink as a (Ps) power - Close range, up to 3 people, lasts for up to 30 mins each time. What's more, you can't even pretend that that counts as the Telepathy special quality by RAW.

I don't get why you want them to have access to all psionic powers, regardless of discipline. Why not just say that each pseudo-illithid can choose which single discipline they have access to, which then determines their discipline when they inevitably take psion levels?

Knitifine
2017-10-11, 10:45 AM
I'm of the opposite mind set, I would remove the access to any discipline specific power list, since they already gain other benefits from their aberration hit dice.

rferries
2017-10-11, 02:07 PM
Another version would be to grant them Mindlink as a (Ps) power - Close range, up to 3 people, lasts for up to 30 mins each time. What's more, you can't even pretend that that counts as the Telepathy special quality by RAW.

I don't get why you want them to have access to all psionic powers, regardless of discipline. Why not just say that each pseudo-illithid can choose which single discipline they have access to, which then determines their discipline when they inevitably take psion levels?

Another clever solution, I think I'll leave it to the mind flayer to select as one of their powers though.

A pet spellcasting mechanic of mine is a) MAD spellcasting (Cha for DCs, Wis for spell slots/points, Int for spells known/max spell that can be learned) and b) access to all spells from all lists. The mind flayers (as the pinnacle "psion" race) seemed like a good fit for introducing that mechanic in racial form. Plus, I really like the idea of being able to pick and choose astral construct, psionic charm, etc without needing to take Expanded knowledge a bunch of times. Compare it to naga/dragon/etc sorcerer spellcasting, where they get spells from the cleric list and cleric domains too,


I'm of the opposite mind set, I would remove the access to any discipline specific power list, since they already gain other benefits from their aberration hit dice.

Compared to a 3rd-level psion of a LA +0 race, the aberration HD grant:

-+6 hp
-+1 BAB
-proficiency with all simple weapons (instead of club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, quarterstaff, and shortspear)

And that's it! Not really worth LA+1 by themselves (e.g. compare a psion 3/warrior 1 human to a base mindflayer to see how behind the mind flayer is, without the special power access).

rferries
2017-10-11, 02:10 PM
Anyhow, what do people think of the Elder Mind? I wanted a boss that can handle a lot of damage without being too threatening (e.g. relatively weak tentacle attacks, simple attack regimens).

Caelestion
2017-10-11, 05:28 PM
When you say it's not really worth +1 LA, I think it would be more accurate to say that it's barely even +0!

rferries
2017-10-11, 06:06 PM
Ha yeah, without the psionics their only advantage is the mental ability boosts.

Knitifine
2017-10-11, 06:28 PM
Compared to a 3rd-level psion of a LA +0 race, the aberration HD grant:

-+6 hp
-+1 BAB
-proficiency with all simple weapons (instead of club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, quarterstaff, and shortspear)

And that's it! Not really worth LA+1 by themselves (e.g. compare a psion 3/warrior 1 human to a base mindflayer to see how behind the mind flayer is, without the special power access).Sure, but the mindflayer also has +1 to all Will Saves (from wisdom bonus), +1 to all UMD checks (from Charisma), no negative ability modifier and complete immunity to spells and powers that effect only humanoids. All of which, on their own are worth +1 LA (comparing to Aasimar, Tiefling and other LA +1 Races)

Therefore, the fact it gets full caster progression without any of the casting penalties (save bad skill points) leads me to argue that it's basic casting should be limited, only allowing specialization once they've committed to pursuing Psion. (Plus, if there's something from level 1 powers they REALLY don't wanna miss on their first chance to get it, they can just take Expanded Knowledge with their 3rd level feat.)


When you say it's not really worth +1 LA, I think it would be more accurate to say that it's barely even +0!

Ha yeah, without the psionics their only advantage is the mental ability boosts.

Advantages outside of Hit Dice bonuses:
Two additional +2 ability scores, no -2 penalty (compare Aasimar ability scores)
Beneficial typing that provided immunity to base level humanoid targeting spells, and also isn't specifically targeted by a whole swath of anti-outsider divine tech (compare Aasimar typing)
Darkvision (Compare Aasimar vision)
Limited telepathy (Compare Aasimar spell-like)

The only thing they 'miss out' on is a bonus to a couple of skill bonuses compared to standard races.
This is squarely LA +1, and the racial HD should be treated as it's own prescribed class levels and therefore compared to the vanilla version, over which it has a clear early game advantage.


Anyhow, what do people think of the Elder Mind? I wanted a boss that can handle a lot of damage without being too threatening (e.g. relatively weak tentacle attacks, simple attack regimens).The mad casting on it seems to be... poorly thought through? Because all it's mental ability scores are the same so it's largely pointless since the only thing effected will be ability damage or boosts will be the DCs anyways. Which will either serve as an un-fun "gotchya!" moment for players trying to do Int damage, a pointless specification for players already familiar with this idea, or most often... not brought up at all.

I like the idea of moving it away from the 'brain in a vat' look, but I'm not too sure there's incentive to do anything but like... spam psionic dominate against the party as per usual.

nonsi
2017-10-12, 06:46 AM
The problem is, Mindsight is just so incredibly good that it has to be delayed somehow.

You could houserule it to 6HD, when 1st Mindbender level is accessible.

nonsi
2017-10-12, 06:56 AM
Anyhow, what do people think of the Elder Mind? I wanted a boss that can handle a lot of damage without being too threatening (e.g. relatively weak tentacle attacks, simple attack regimens).

I'd be glad to see how an elder mind is created. I'd imagine it doesn't sprout into being the way it is.
Would be interesting if you could come up with a way for an illithid (or a group of illithids) to transform into an elder mind, or maybe if one could start as a "mindling" :smallbiggrin:

Caelestion
2017-10-12, 11:16 AM
Advantages outside of Hit Dice bonuses:
Two additional +2 ability scores, no -2 penalty (compare Aasimar ability scores)
Beneficial typing that provided immunity to base level humanoid targeting spells, and also isn't specifically targeted by a whole swath of anti-outsider divine tech (compare Aasimar typing)
Darkvision (Compare Aasimar vision)
Limited telepathy (Compare Aasimar spell-like)

The only thing they 'miss out' on is a bonus to a couple of skill bonuses compared to standard races.
This is squarely LA +1, and the racial HD should be treated as it's own prescribed class levels and therefore compared to the vanilla version, over which it has a clear early game advantage.

That analysis of course assumes that the aasimar and tiefling deserve to be +1 LA.

rferries
2017-10-13, 01:40 AM
Sure, but the mindflayer also has +1 to all Will Saves (from wisdom bonus), +1 to all UMD checks (from Charisma), no negative ability modifier and complete immunity to spells and powers that effect only humanoids. All of which, on their own are worth +1 LA (comparing to Aasimar, Tiefling and other LA +1 Races)

Therefore, the fact it gets full caster progression without any of the casting penalties (save bad skill points) leads me to argue that it's basic casting should be limited, only allowing specialization once they've committed to pursuing Psion. (Plus, if there's something from level 1 powers they REALLY don't wanna miss on their first chance to get it, they can just take Expanded Knowledge with their 3rd level feat.)

Advantages outside of Hit Dice bonuses:
Two additional +2 ability scores, no -2 penalty (compare Aasimar ability scores)
Beneficial typing that provided immunity to base level humanoid targeting spells, and also isn't specifically targeted by a whole swath of anti-outsider divine tech (compare Aasimar typing)
Darkvision (Compare Aasimar vision)
Limited telepathy (Compare Aasimar spell-like)

The only thing they 'miss out' on is a bonus to a couple of skill bonuses compared to standard races.
This is squarely LA +1, and the racial HD should be treated as it's own prescribed class levels and therefore compared to the vanilla version, over which it has a clear early game advantage.

The mad casting on it seems to be... poorly thought through? Because all it's mental ability scores are the same so it's largely pointless since the only thing effected will be ability damage or boosts will be the DCs anyways. Which will either serve as an un-fun "gotchya!" moment for players trying to do Int damage, a pointless specification for players already familiar with this idea, or most often... not brought up at all.

I like the idea of moving it away from the 'brain in a vat' look, but I'm not too sure there's incentive to do anything but like... spam psionic dominate against the party as per usual.

0) Strictly by pre-existing creature balance, yes you are correct and the revamped mind flayers should be LA+1 simply by virtue of their ability scores. However, I'm a great fan of rewriting current LA (as seen in this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?532012-The-LA-assignment-thread-III-Now-in-HD!)) to reflect actual power levels.

1) The +2 Cha/Int/Wis and aberration type should be compared to the goodies you get for being a LA+0 race. Humans (bonus feat) and grey elves (+2 Int) are both LA+0 yet would arguably make better psions of equal level to a mind flayer (the grey elf in particular doesn't need to worry about the MADness when benefiting from Int).

Aberration type = alter self abuse, which should be banned, and immunity to a few select effects (compare again to grey elf sleep immunity and save vs. charm).

Darkvision = compare low-light vision of grey elf

Limited Telepathy = entirely a flavour benefit (thanks to you there's no chance of Mindsight abuse! :) ), if it works as I think it does. Some roleplay applications but nothing that couldn't be accomplished by whispering or speaking a language your allies know but your enemies don't.

And the mind flayer misses out on all the other little bits and bobs that core races get (weapon familiarity, etc.)... again, a level of warrior (second-worst class in the GAME) is almost enough to match a 3rd-level psion to a mind flayer.

2) Re: Elder Brain - ah fair enough! It ain't easy being a psychic kraken some days :D

The MAD casting is my pet mechanic, I admit. I like it because it "feels" more realistic - you have to have enough Int to understand complex spells, enough reserves of mental strength (Wisdom) to power the spells, and enough willpower to force reality/your enemies to submit to your magic (Cha). And it has the nice effect of weakening spellcasters so lower-tier classes get to shine a bit.


You could houserule it to 6HD, when 1st Mindbender level is accessible.

I wish I'd thought of that at the start! I try to balance around Core anyways,shouldn't have worried about Mindsight haha.


I'd be glad to see how an elder mind is created. I'd imagine it doesn't sprout into being the way it is.
Would be interesting if you could come up with a way for an illithid (or a group of illithids) to transform into an elder mind, or maybe if one could start as a "mindling" :smallbiggrin:

I quite like the official lore that the mind flayers came to our time from the distant future... it could be a closed loop where the elder minds have always existed, travelling in perpetual circles through time. Or there could be an epic psionic power involved to create new ones, more likely.


That analysis of course assumes that the aasimar and tiefling deserve to be +1 LA.

Ha! Hear, hear!