A digression of topic on another thread inspired me to make a rudimentary attempt at the following...Illithid
[FONT="Palatino Linotype"]Nightmarishly alien refugees from a doomed time, desperately struggling to find a different path to a better future.[/FONT]
. Average Height: 5 x ' 6"-6' 2"
. Average Weight: 130 x -200 lbs.
. Ability Scores: +2 x Intelligence, +2 Charisma
. Size: Medium
. Speed: 6 x Squares
. Vision: Darkvision
. Languages: Deep Speech, telepathy 5 x , choice of one other.
. Skill Bonuses: +2 x Bluff, +2 Dungeoneering
. Aberrant Origin:Your ancestors are alien beings from a future dominated by the Far Realm, so
. . . . you are considered an aberrant creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature
. . . . origin.
. Psionic Nature: You gain a +5 x racial bonus to saving throws against charm effects.
. Psychic Resistance: You gain resist psychic 5 x + one-half your level.
. Mind Blast: You can use mind blast as an encounter power.
.Mind Blast . . . . . . . . Illithid Racial Power
[FONT="Palatino Linotype"]In a storm of pure destructive mental power, you unleash a psychic assault on your foes.[/FONT]
Encounter # Psychic
Minor Action . . . . . Close blast 3
Target: All creatures in area
Attack: Intelligence + 2 x vs. Will, Wisdom + 2 vs. Will, or
. . Constitution +2 x vs. Will
Hit: 1 x d4 + Wisdom modifier psychic damage.
. . Increase to +4 x bonus and 2d4 + Wisdom modifier psychic damage
. . at 11 x th level, and +6 bonus and 3d4 + Wisdom modifier psychic
. . damage at 21 x st level.
Special: When you create your character, choose Intelligence, Wisdom,
. . or Charisma as the ability score you use when making attack rolls
. . with this power.
Now, to explain why they are the way they are.
First, they can't go around eating people's brains, that's just not very heroic...even if they're evil people's brains. So these Illithids are "vegetarians" to borrow from that abomination known as Twilight. They only eat animal brains. The consequence of this is that while they can still be potent psionic characters (if they go into a psionic class), they are no longer inherently psionic as they otherwise would be. They're [s]no longer naturally telepathic, no longer have Mind Blast, and are no longer immune to Mind Blasts of other Illithids. Animal brains are enough to survive on, but it costs them.
Next...by all rights, comparing them to the MM they should be dominant in Dex and Cha...but after looking over other PHB races in the MM, the stats in the book have nothing to do with the race's propensities, so I went back to Savage Species for inspiration. I figured Int/Cha was better than Int/Wis.
They should have Psionics as a skill...but there's no such skill yet, probably won't be even in the PH3. In terms of what can be done with them...religion is nothing compared to arcana. So I gave the Bluff (because they need it, frankly) and Arcana (because it just makes sense).
[s]Normally they don't speak common, but I figured if these Illithids are trying to make their way in the upper world, they must at least know that much. In return for sacrificing telepathy, and owing to their still significant intellect, they get to pick an extra language, too. Took out common and gave them telepathy back. It's not that bad, and it just makes more sense.
Edit: For the time being, I'm offering a choice between tentacles and mind blast. Not in the sense of the drow's choice...you get to use one version of the race or the other. Too many people wanna keep mind blast.
Edited Edit: Tentacles is no longer a power...just a flat bonus to grab attempts and a tad more.
Now, as for WHY Illithids might take up this lifestyle? Simple, in all honesty, their current methods are far from intelligent. They're not inscrutably alien or incomprehensible. There can be only one outcome...their failure to survive. How they could've possibly dominated the future in the first place does, admittedly, defy description. That's more because it's simply stupid than unknowably weird. Excessive altruism is weak, but the degree of selfishness of most evil races is far far more futile.
So...these PC Illithids are those rare few who have managed to see beyond their race's supposed goals, and somehow have shaken off the will of the elder brains, and have thus taken up the path of the hero. Perhaps these Illithids would have become elder brains themselves eventually, and somehow managed to survive to be implanted in hosts...thus giving them greater freedom than other Illithids. Forced to flee for survival, they've come to understand that things often work quite well without the sociopathic influence of the Mind-Flayers.
Honestly...it's all up to DMs and Players, since this is just homebrew. I just wanted to show it could be done...even if it still might need work. Feel free to comment or adapt it as you see fit. I'm not likely to go much farther with the project...it's just a demonstration to some naysayers.