A silhouette of what once walked as a man now walks in permanent shadow. Its eyes burn from the darkness with a compelling, ravenous hunger.
Language: Celestial, Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven
Power Points/Day - Psion Powers Known (ML 11th): 6th - mind switch (DC 22)*; 5th - metaconcert, power resistance, psychic crush (DC 21), tower of iron will; 4th - energy adaptation, psionic dimension door, psionic dominate (DC 20)*, trace teleport; 3rd - body adjustment, dispel psionics, energy burst (DC 19)*, hostile empathic transfer (DC 19)*; 2nd - brain lock (DC 18)*, ego whip (DC 17)*, energy push (DC 18)*, psionic tongues; 1st - crystal shard, detect psionics, inertial armor, mindlink, psionic charm (DC 17)*; *The save DCs for these powers might increase with the use of augments
Energy Drain (Su): Living creatures hit by a spectral savant's slam attack (or any other natural weapon the spectral savant might possess) gain one negative level. For each negative level bestowed, the spectral savant gains 5 temporary hit points that last for up to 1 hour. A spectral savant can use its energy drain ability once per round.
Siphon Power (Su): A spectral savant can make a touch attack once per round and drain a number of power points from a living psionic character or creature, equal to its HD or lower. For creatures that possess only psi-like abilities, the spectral savant drains one use of the highest-level ability available to that creature, gaining a number of power points appropriate to the ability plus any augmentations, based on the manifester level of the creature. If the number of power points that the spectral savant would receive exceeds 11, the remaining power points are lost to the spectral savant. A spectral savant cannot attempt to draw more than its HD in power points in a single attack, from a creature that normally uses power points, simply to make them unavailable to that creature.
A spectral savant is an undead psion who has discovered the means to extend his life unnaturally. While spectral savants retain the powers they had in life, they no longer have a pool of power points to draw upon. They must instead, siphon power points from living psionic characters and creatures.
Strategies and Tactics
Any given spectral savant has amazing array of psionic power and abilities at its disposal. Since each spectral savant is unique, tactics and strategies in combat vary. However, a tried and true strategy for those with telepathic compulsion powers is to entrap the minds of their victims, then order them to stand still as they siphon life and power points (if any) away.
Creating A Spectral Savant
"Spectral savant" is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid creature (referred to here-after as the base creature), provided it can complete the transformation ritual (see below).
A spectral savant has all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Size and Type: The creature's type changes to undead. Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged. The creature gains the incorporeal subtype.
Hit Dice: Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.
Armor Class: A spectral savant has a deflection bonus to Armor Class equal to 5 + its Charisma modifier.
Attack: A spectral savant has a touch attack that it can use once per round. The touch attack deals 1d6 points of cold damage, and affects the victim with energy drain and/or (against a psionic foe) siphon power.
Full Attack: As above.
Special Attacks: A spectral savant retains all the special attacks of the base creature and gains those described below. Saves have a DC of 10 + 1/2 spectral savant's HD + spectral savant's Cha modifier unless otherwise noted.
Energy Drain (Su): living creatures hit by a spectral savant's slam attack (or any other natural weapon the spectral savant might possess) gain one negative level. For each negative level bestowed, the spectral savant gains 5 temporary hit points that last for up to 1 hour. A spectral savant can use its energy drain ability once per round.
Siphon Power (Su): A spectral savant can make a touch attack once per round and drain a number of power points from a living psionic character or creature, equal to its HD or lower. For creatures that possess only psi-like abilities, the spectral savant drains one use of the highest-level ability available to that creature, gaining a number of psionic power points appropriate to the ability plus any augmentations, based on the manifester level of the creature. For example, if a spectral savant were to drain the single use of mind thrust that a cerebrilith receives in a day, it would receive 9 power points, since the cerebrilith manifests that power at 9th level (normally requiring 9 power points to do so). If the number of power points that the spectral savant would receive exceeds its maximum (spectral savant's HD), the remaining power points are lost to the spectral savant. A spectral savant cannot attempt to draw more than its HD in power points in a single attack, from a creature that normally uses power points, simply to make them unavailable to that creature.
Special Qualities: A spectral savant retains all the base creature's special qualities and gains those described below.
Resistances (Ex): A spectral savant has resistance to cold 10 and electricity 10.
Turn Resistance (Ex): A spectral savant has turn resistance +4.
Undead Traits: A spectral savant is immune to mind-affecting spells and abilities, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. It is not subject to extra damage from critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage to its physical ability scores, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or death from massive damage. It cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Dex +2, Int +2, Wis +2, Cha +4. As an undead incorporeal creature, a spectral savant has no Strength score and no Constitution score.
Skills: Spectral savants have a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot checks.
Environment: Any, usually same as base creature.
Organization: Solitary, pair, or troupe (1-2 plus 3-5 psion/psychic warrior pupils).
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +2.
Advancement: By character class.
Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +4.
Spectral Savants As Characters
The process of becoming a spectral savant on purpose is extraordinarily taxing. No good-aligned creature undertakes the process willingly. Sometimes spectral savants spontaneously arise when a psion is killed in a particularly egregious fashion, or when a psion is killed prior to accomplishing an important quest. When savants arise in this fashion, they are not automatically evil. If they drain energy or siphon psionic power from three or more good-aligned creatures, however, their alignment shifts to evil.
A spectral savant retains all class abilities it had in life, except it can no longer recover power points simply by resting.
The Transformation Ritual
The transformation ritual first requires that the psion or erudite obtain or create a cognizance crystal capable of storing 17 power points, plus acquire a number of mundane crystals whose combined value is no less than 10,000 gp. The character must also be able to manifest 6th-level psionic powers. Once the prerequisites are met, the character can begin the ritual. Once the ritual begins, the mundane crystals are destroyed over the course of one night and the cognizance crystal is subsumed into the body of the character. The character also expends 4,500 XP to complete the ritual. When the character finishes the ritual, he arises as a spectral savant, at which time his power points are totally expended. He must find another psionic character or creature to gain additional power points as described above.
Spectral savants exist in all manner of locations and planes, each one seeking to fulfill its own ambitions. As undead creatures, they are technically immortal until slain.
Typical Physical Characteristics: Height and weight varies from creature to creature, depending on what race the creature was in life.
Within the scope of the game, a spectral savant has a number of potential roles. A non-evil spectral savant can serve as a guide to a living psionic character, siphoning off power points (and withholding its energy drain) only after making a deal with the character ahead of time. Some spectral savants even agree to instruct lesser psions or erudites in return for daily power point transfers. On the other hand, evil spectral savants seek out other psionic creatures and ambush them, siphoning off their power points and killing them simultaneously.
Alignment: A spectral savant's alignment varies, but most are (or become) evil.
Spectral savants carry no treasure with them, though one can have a cache of treasure appropriate to its Challenge Rating in the home it had while living.
Spectral Savant Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (psionics) or Knowledge (religion) can learn more about spectral savants. When a character makes a skill check, the following lore is revealed, including information from lower DCs.
|15||Spectral savants are undead monsters.|
|20||Spectral savants are capable of draining psionic energy from their victims.|
|25||Spectral savants are not automatically evil (though more are evil than are not).|
|30||Spectral savant eye color is determined by alignment: good (silver), neutral (jade), evil (green).|