General Prestige Class : Cerebrex

by Andrew M. Scott, Dragon #317

The third apprentice of Joskovi was Sumar D'Tan Pelal. At first glance, Pelal seemed a poor choice for an apprentice for any craft, much less magic. She certainly did not appear to be worthy of the sacred task of expanding the human mind to its full potential. She was a ragged waif, thin and angular, barely sixteen years of age, so innocuous and undistinguished that people trod on her feet as they passed - not out of malice, but because she had no presence at all. Unkempt and unwashed, her face always sported at least one bruise, a legacy of her innumerable clumsy mishaps.

Joskovi saw beneath Pelal's surface. She saw that Pelal bruised herself because her mind was elsewhere, always at work upon questions that most humans could not conceive, much less determine the answers. Pelal would walk off a cliff so long as she was promised she would learn the answers to six previously unsolvable enigmas on the way down. Her command of mind, magic, and strategy was so profound she could have ruled the world - if she saw the point. Ruling the world would only get in the way of her studies.

Pelal found the path to enhance the human central nervous system - not merely the brain, but the eyes, the spine, and the senses - using magic. It is a tribute to the difficulty of the problem that she spent almost a year on it.

Since then, those who have followed in her path become known as great thinkers and problem solvers. They are respected and feared for their ability to control not only their own minds, but also the minds of others. Cerebrexes are typically seen as aloof, absent-minded, and unaware of their surroundings. In fact, they are often so aware of their surroundings and have remembered so many facts that they simply forget, or do not care, to interact with the people around them.


To qualify to become a Cerebrex, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The cerebrex's class skills are Appraise, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Disable Device, Forgery, Heal, Knowledge (all), Listen, Profession, Search, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Spot, and Use Magic Device.

Skill Points at Each Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the cerebrex prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cerebrexes gain no additional proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spells Per Day: At each even-numbered level gained in the Cerebrex class, a character gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of rebuking or controlling undead, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on), except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Cerebrex, she must decide to which class she adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

Enigma's Bane (Ex): A Cerebrex knows the way to the heart of any mystery. When confronted by a puzzle, enigma, code, or riddle, she gains a circumstance bonus equal to her cerebrex level to any Intelligence checks or Intelligence-based skill checks necessary to solve the problem.

Scent (Su): At 2nd level, the cerebrex gains the scent ability.

Aggression Mastery (Su): At this point in her development, the 3rd-level Cerebrex has mastered the areas of the brain responsible for aggression. Once per day, as a standard action, the cerebrex may either cause herself or another creature to enter a rage (as a barbarian), or alternatively to force a barbarian out of a rage. Non-barbarians rage as a 1st-level barbarian, while barbarians rage as normal. The cerebrex must touch the creature, which provokes an attack of opportunity, to use this ability. An unwilling target can make a Will save (DC 10 + one-half cerebrex level + Charisma bonus) to negate the effect.

Symphony of Nerves (Su): A 4th-level cerebrex's neural networks are now highly sensitized. Once per day, as a free action, she gains an enhancement bonus to Dexterity equal to one-half her cerebrex level. This effect lasts one round per cerebrex level.

Blindsense (Ex): At 5th level, the cerebrex's heightening senses grant her blindsense to 30 feet.

Telepathic Immunity (Su): A Cerebrex of 5th level is now also immune to all forms of telepathy or mind reading. She may suppress and reactivate this immunity at will, as a free action.

Eidetic Memory (Ex): At 6th level, the Cerebrex reaches the next level of her evolution: memory. She has perfect recall of events in all five senses. This grants her a competence bonus to all Intelligence checks and Intelligence-based skill checks equal to half her cerebrex levels.

Clairaudience/Clairvoyance (Sp): By concentrating for 1 minute, a 7th-level Cerebrex may expand her senses to such an extent that she can perceive an unseen area as per the clairaudience/clairvoyance spell. This ability is as the spell of the same name, as cast by a sorcerer of the cerebrex's class level.

Blindsight (Ex): An 8th-level cerebrex gains blindsight to 60 feet.

Twist the Neural Skein (Su): The 9th-level Cerebrex knows the neural "shapes" of spells in her own mind so well that she can sense the traces of memorized spells in the minds of her opponents and tear them from their minds. Twice per day, as a standard action, a Cerebrex can watch a known spellcaster and attempt to guess a spell that caster still has memorized. She must succeed at a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level + opponent's Intelligence modifier) to guess the spell correctly. The amount the check result exceeds this DC determines the highest level of spell she can guess. The higher the Spellcraft check, the higher the spell level the cerebrex can determine. She knows one randomly determined memorized spell of the appropriate level (or lower), and can attempt the check again to learn of a different spell. Multiple uses of this ability will never show the same spell more than once, and will only show spells of the same name multiple times if it is memorized more than once.

The cerebrex may attempt to overload the paths of the spell caster's memory, making a discerned spell inaccessible, as if it had been cast. This requires the cerebrex to succeed at a touch attack against the opponent. She and her opponent then both make opposed Will saves. If the cerebrex wins the opposed roll, the spell is lost. If her opponent wins, the spell is retained, but the cerebrex may try again (including another attempt that round, if she can make more than one attack per round).

This ability has no effect on spellcasters who don't prepare their spells, such as bards and sorcerers.

Neural Glimpse (Su): By this final level of her development, the cerebrex can detect minute indicators of a humanoid's intended actions even as that being itself becomes aware of them. She can guess a being's intention by noticing how it shifts Its weight, the slight bulge of its veins filling with blood, and how the being's muscles twitch slightly in anticipation. The cerebrex can use this ability on a number of humanoids or monstrous humanoids equal to her Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) within 30 feet of her. In combat, this translates into an insight bonus equal to the cerebrex's Intelligence modifier to her Armor Class against attacks made by the creatures she is using the ability on. Outside of combat, the cerebrex gains an insight bonus equal to her Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) when using the following skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive. She may use this ability once per day for a number of rounds equal to her cerebrex class level.

Inscrutable Mind (Su): Also at 10th level, the cerebrex has become so aware of her own mind that she gains a +4 bonus to all saves made against mind-affecting, fear, and sleep effects. In addition, whenever a cerebrex makes a saving throw against an illusion, she gains a circumstance bonus equal to her Intelligence bonus.

CerebrexHit Die: d4
CLBABFortRefWillSpecialSpells per Day
1+0+0+0+2Enigma's Bane-
2+1+0+0+3Scent+1 level of existing class
3+2+1+1+3Aggression Mastery-
4+3+1+1+4Symphony of nerves+1 level of existing class
5+3+1+1+4Blindsense, telepathic immunity-
6+4+2+2+5Eidetic memory+1 level of existing class
8+6+2+2+6Blindsight+1 level of existing class
9+6 +3+3+6Twist the neural skein-
10+7+3+3+7Neural glimpse, inscrutable mind+1 level of existing class

Source: Dragon #317
Dragon Compendium Vol. 1

General Prestige Classes