Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Any
- Ability Requirements: Reason 9, Willpower 12
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: By class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Allowed Weapons: By class
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class, plus Psionic
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Illithid Sense, Lucid Buffer, Psionic Detection
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Armorer, Blind-Fighting, Camouflage, Cerebral Blind, Chaos Shaping, Dark Sense, Direction Sense, Dwarf History, Geology, Illithid Track, Mental Armor, Mental Resistance, Portal Feel, Read Qualith, Rope Use, Swimming, Underground Navigation, Weaponsmith
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
Overview: Among the knowledgeable, the Mindstalker discipline is noted for its resemblance to the tenets held by githzerai and githyanki illithid-hunting parties: cleanse illithids and their kin fully from on, below, and between all the worlds of creation. In fact, the mind stalker sect was born soon after a dwarven adventurer named Kulthuven rescued a githyanki illithid hunter from a grisly fate within the confines of an illithid food pen.
Dwarven history records the githyanki survivor’s name as Kairoth of Tu’narath. In gratitude, Kairoth shared with Kulthuven his knowledge of illithid ways, his illithid-taking skills and spells, and even a few astral-forged magical items. Kulthuven quickly gathered other dwarves who shared his fierce hatred for illithids, and to them he passed on this strange new lore. After much study and modeling of the skills, mental disciplines, and magical items of the grateful githyanki—as well as a strong dose of pure dwarven innovation—the Mindstalker sect was born.
The Mindstalker bearing embodies measured patience and calm confidence—a demeanor that follows naturally from their secret skills and strict physical and mental disciplines. Mindstalkers are at their calmest and most confident when an encounter with an illithid or other psionic foe is imminent, and they are violently competent in the midst of an illithid encounter. While the Mindstalker Sect was started by dwarves, it is open to all races that have been troubled by the illithids, which is to say, all races.
Description: Mindstalkers appear and dress as appropriate to their race, class, and homeland, with two exceptions. First, many mindstalkers wear their hair shaved on top except for a long queue, reminiscent of the githyanki hair style. Secondly, experienced mindstalkers often wear one or more shrunken, mummified illithid heads on their harnesses as a mark of their dedication and as proof of past victories.
Role-Playing: The Mindstalker sect cares not whether its members are male or female; however, the sect sometimes pursues illithid spoor into communities where female warriors are an anomaly. In such cases, gender tensions can cause a community to spurn the help offered by the Mindstalker. Female mindstalkers who remain grounded in the discipline of the sect are well armored against this sort of bias.
Those who take up the training to become a Mindstalker are devoted for life. The skills, once learned, cannot be unlearned, and the secret passwords and signs used by fellow members to identify each to the other are also not easily forgotten. What’s more, the sect actively seeks out those among the flock who have been lax in accomplishing their duty. A special quest (to destroy a particular mind flayer infestation, for instance) is given to those whose devotion is found wanting. Those Mindstalkers who accomplish the quest are once again back in good standing with the sect. Those who do not perform the quest, for whatever reason, are marked as rogues, no better than the illithids themselves, and they are treated as fair game by all other mindstalkers. Such rogue Mindstalkers usually live only a short time as a fugitive from their vengeful kindred.
Mindstalkers sometimes work in groups when an illithid community is discovered. Far more often, mindstalkers work apart from the others in the sect. In such cases, the lone Mindstalker travels abroad in search of other potential candidates, seeking to pass on illithid-slaying skills to uninitiated adventurers. Of course, a mindstalker does not only pass along his or her skills but also seeks to apply them whenever possible. Mindstalkers are not averse to traveling with adventuring companies of mixed race and skills, because such companies have a reputation for covering large areas. The Mindstalker realizes that, sooner or later, the group wilt encounter psionic enemies and deal with them.
- A mindstalker’s hatred for illithids and their ilk runs deep. He gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls against any monster with psionic abilities. This only applies to creatures with psionic abilities in their MM entry (such as illithids, aboleths, gith, or yuan-ti), it does not apply to humanoids with psionic wild talents or levels in the psionicist class.
- Because of their exposure to the mind-warping energies of illithids and similar creatures, all mindstalkers possess some level of psionic talent. Each mindstalker starts with one or more psionic wild talents (one free roll). He also gains a +10 bonus when rolling for the normal chance for a psionic wild talent that all characters possess. If the character is also a psionicist, these wild talents are in addition to any powers he would learn normally.
- A Paladin who becomes a Mind Stalker is less restricted by his vow of non-violence than other Paladins. His vow of nonviolence does not apply to creatures that possess Psionic abilities. This exception applies to any creature with a PSP pool, inclding humanoids with levels in the Psionicist class, wild talents, and monsters with innate psionic abilities. The Mind Stalker must accurately identify the creature as psionic in nature (usually via a successful Psionic Detection check) before he may engage in violence against it.
- A mindstalker channels all of his hatred towards illithids and their ilk. A mindstalker who is a Ranger must take a psionic monster as his species enemy. Likewise, a mindstalker that comes from a race that normally gains an attack bonus against specific enemies (such as Dwarves, Gnomes, Kobolds, or Orcs) loses that ability unless his racial enmity is against a species with innate psionic talents.
- When confronted with an opportunity to attack or continue to fight a psionic enemy, the Mindstalker must make a successful Willpower check or be unable to decline the battle. The check can, however, be modified or ignored based on circumstances. For example, no Mindstalker will break cover and blow an ambush to tromp on the first mindflayer to appear when he or she knows that a little patience will mean the chance to kill a lot more of them.
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