Brilliant Mind (3.5e Class)

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Author: Leziad (talk)
Date Created: 16th March 2021
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Brilliant Mind[edit]

A ‘mundane’ fighting in the midst of magicians and warriors, the brilliant mind is a witty combatant who uses prep time and ludicrous plans to win her fights. While not as skilled in combat as a fighter or barbarian and not able to navigate dungeons and sneak like a rogue, the brilliant mind shows herself a worthy opponent through flawless execution of plans and nigh prescience.

Making a Brilliant Mind[edit]

A brilliant mind is a class that relies on trickery, smart use of items and perfectly timed moves. They do not have readily accessible magic, nor are they able to ready and initiate maneuvers. As a result they use their fresh wit and quick thinking to gain an advantage in combat. Unlike a fighter, a brilliant mind has lesser level of proficiency and cannot master weapons as well and they are less skilled than a rogue. However they learn from a wide pool of tricks, allowing them to pull ahead and even an uneven fight.

Abilities: The most important ability score for a brilliant mind is her Intelligence. Two other ability scores of high importance is her Constitution for her hit point and survivability and her Charisma for her ability to deceive others. A good Dexterity is handy for a high AC and ranged combat while a good Strength is useful for melee combat.

Races: Any race can become a brilliant mind, although the path to planning and trickery is one that is usually favored by the adaptable human.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: As Rogue.

Starting Age: Simple.

Table: The Brilliant Mind

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Cunning Initiative, Retroactive Action, Trickster
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Brilliant Trick, Perfectly Timed Blow
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Nimble +1, Trusted Friend
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Brilliant Trick
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Maneuver Training +2, Rapid Retroactive Action
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Brilliant Trick, Nimble +2
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Improved Delay
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Brilliant Trick, Successive Perfectly Timed Blow (1st)
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Maneuver Training +4, Nimble +3
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Brilliant Trick, Right Under Your Nose (1/Day)
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Retroactive Gambit
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Brilliant Trick, Nimble +4
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Miraculous Survival
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Brilliant Trick, Maneuver Training +6
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Nimble +5, Successive Perfectly Timed Blow (2nd)
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Brilliant Trick
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Intense Retroactive Action
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Brilliant Trick, Nimble +6
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Improbable Escape, Maneuver Training +8
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Brilliant Trick, Right Under Your Nose (At-Will)

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Control Shape (Wis), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Brilliant Mind.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A brilliant mind is proficient with all simple and martial weapons as well as light armor. She is not proficient with any shields. Additionally, a brilliant mind can choose between a single exotic weapon proficiency or the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.

Cunning Initiative (Ex): A brilliant mind is best able to pull ahead when she act first, she add her Intelligence modifier to her initiative in addition to her Dexterity modifier.

Retroactive Action (Ex): A brilliant mind’s greatest ability is her impossible level of planning and forethought. As a free action at the start of her turn she may declare a retroactive action. The amount of time she is able to ‘go back’ is based on class level, starting at 1 round at 1st level. A retroactive action must be standard, move or swift action and it does not affect the brilliant mind’s current turn action nor the turn she takes her retroactive action in. The brilliant mind may only attempt a single retroactive action once per round.

A retroactive action must follow the following prerequisites to be legal. If an action is illegal at the time of declaration it fails but the brilliant mind may attempt another. If the action becomes illegal as it is initiated the action never happens and the attempt is wasted, preventing the brilliant mind from attempting another retroactive action. The prerequisites for a retroactive action to be legals are:

Rule 1 Leeway
The GM should grant some leeway on the completion of Rule 1, especially to retroactive action taking place multiple rounds in the past, given that tracking positioning through multiple rounds can be very difficult. In general, it is recommended that some amount of flexibility be given to a player or NPC using retroactive action on their positioning.
  • Rule 1: The brilliant mind must have been reasonably within range and have the capacity to perform the retroactive action at the past round the retroactive action is attempted.
  • Example: A brilliant mind is attempting to unlock a door 3 rounds ago, she must have been adjacent or at least close to that door on that round or the retroactive action is illegal.
  • Rule 2: The result of the retroactive action must be unperceived and unnoticed by anyone but herself present on the current round. This prevents any attack that deals immediate damage (but delayed damage is allowed), healing or altering an object being observed without a successful sleight of Hand check.
  • Example: A brilliant mind may attempt to open a locked door with her retroactive action. However if any creature attempted to use the door between her retroactive action and current round the action is illegal. If an alarm spell was on the door and unlocking the door triggers it the action becomes illegal, wasting the attempt. Similarly if she triggers a trap and that trap is observed by another creature the action becomes illegal.
  • Rule 3: The use of retroactive action is not time travel, the brilliant mind cannot use any exact information she learned since the turn the retroactive action is attempted, similarly she cannot use any items she acquired after that round during her retroactive action. She can use precise information like the current position of a creature.
  • Example: The door is triggered by a password, which is learned. The brilliant mind cannot use retroactive action/1 hour to open that door with the password she learned after the fact.

A brilliant mind never learns any information from a failed attempt to use retroactive action. Thus if the door in the above example is trapped or under an alarm spell which renders her retroactive action illegal, she does not learn that information.

Once a retroactive action is successfully used she must wait 5 rounds to perform another. At 5th level the brilliant mind can attempt a retroactive action 2 rounds in the past, which increase by 1 round at 9th level and each 2 levels thereafter. Alternatively, a Brilliant Mind may attempt a retroactive action without incurring a cooldown or if her retroactive action is already on cooldown, however she must spend a standard action explaining her retroactive action instead of activating it as a free action.

Trickster (Ex): A brilliant mind uses her class level instead of her BAB to determine her bonus on combat maneuver checks and for the purpose of meeting prerequisites. She counts as having Combat Expertise for the purpose of meeting prerequisites. Finally a brilliant mind gains half her class level as a bonus on Bluff and Sleight of Hand checks.

Brilliant Trick (Ex): A brilliant mind is a master of strategy, deceit and frankly ludicrous plans. At 2nd level and each even levels thereafter she learns a brilliant trick. A brilliant trick can usually be used at-will unless noted otherwise. The DC for a brilliant trick is 10 + ½ class level + the brilliant mind”s Intelligence modifier. The brilliant mind selects her brilliant trick from the list below, she cannot take the same brilliant trick twice unless it specified otherwise.

Perfectly Timed Blow (Ex): A brilliant mind is capable of amplifying the strength of each of her attacks using well-memorized weak points, complex martial art or just quick thinking. Once per round, the brilliant mind may declare one of her attacks a Perfectly Timed Blow. Such attacks gain a +2 bonus to attack and deal extra damage equal to the brilliant mind’s Intelligence bonus. If the target of a Perfectly Timed Blow is flat-footed, the brilliant mind also adds her class level to damage.

At 8th level and 15th level, the brilliant mind can declare another attack each round a Perfectly Timed Blow. The bonus to attack granted by Perfectly Timed Blow increases by +2 at those levels as well.

Nimble (Ex): At 3rd level, as long as the brilliant mind wear light or no armor and is carrying a light load she gain a +1 dodge bonus to her AC and a +1 bonus to her Reflex save. This bonus improves by +1 at 6th and each 3 levels thereafter.

Trusted Friend (Ex): At the start of each day, the brilliant mind of 3rd level or higher can choose a single ally creature she knows for more than a week. For the remainder of that day, that creature does not count against the observation rule (rule 2) for Retroactive Action. This ability automatically includes any animal companion, familiar or similar creature the brilliant mind has.

Rapid Retroactive Action (Ex): At 5th level, the brilliant mind may use her Retroactive Action as an immediate action. This ability can be used once per encounter.

Improved Delay (Ex): A brilliant mind of 7th level may delay her action in one round without compromising her Initiative in the next round.

Maneuver Training (Ex): At 5th level the brilliant mind chooses a single type of combat maneuver (grapple, trip, bull rush) and gains a +2 bonus to that type of combat maneuver. At 9th level and each 4 levels thereafter she increases that bonus by +2 and chooses another type of maneuver to apply the bonus to.

Right Under your Nose (Ex): Once per day, a brilliant mind of 10th level can use her Retroactive Action to perform an action while observed with the exception of attacking, such as moving. Somehow through deception the action is perceived by nobody except the brilliant mind. If the action allows her to attack in the current round the target of the attack is flat-footed against her. She can use this ability at-will at 20th level.

Miraculous Survival (Ex): Once per day, whenever the 13th level brilliant mind would be killed she is able to work a last second plan to barely save her own life as a nonaction. She is left at 0 hit point with all non-lethal damage she took converted to lethal damage by the blow. This can save her from [Death]-effect but does not remove her from harm’s way, such as by falling in lava.

The brilliant mind can attempt a Bluff check opposed by Sense Motive against all creatures that can see her, she gains a +8 bonus on her Bluff check against the creature that ‘defeated her’. If a creature fails to beat her bluff with her sense motive, they believe that the brilliant mind is dead. This lasts until they are shown proof that the brilliant mind isn’t dead, such as checking their vitals or the body moving.

Retroactive Gambit (Ex): At 11th level the brilliant mind can attempt a retroactive action 1 hour in the past, this does not cause her normal retroactive action to go on cooldown. A retroactive action performed in this length of time is not limited to a standard action, move action or swift action but must be achievable within 10 minutes. You must have been able to taken the prerequisite time to perform the chosen action retroactively. She can use this ability once per day at 11th, and an additional time per day at 15th and 19th level.

Quick Retroactive Action (Ex): A 17th level brilliant mind alters the cooldown of her Retroactive Action class feature from 5 rounds to 1d4 rounds.

Improbable Escape (Ex): At 19th level, a brilliant mind is able to evade even the most certain of death. When she dies but saves her life as part of MIraculous Survival she can disappear. This removes her of all harm and can allow her to escape an otherwise inescapable situation. She reappears 1d4 days later to her closest allies, at 1 hit point. She explains her impossible survival with a ludicrous conclusion. She can use this ability once per year.


Awestruck (Ex): As a standard action after successfully using Retroactive Action, a brilliant mind can explain her plan or talk down to a creature that can hear her. That creature must make a Will save or become Dazed for 1 round and Staggered for 1 round after. If the Retroactive Action did not affect the targeted creature in the least it gains a +8 bonus on its saving throw. If it was only minimally affected it gains a +4 bonus on it save. If it was severely affected it takes a -2 penalty it saves.

Brilliant Companion (Ex): A brilliant mind who select this trick gain an Animal Companion as a Ranger.

Combat Trick (Ex): A brilliant mind who selects this trick chooses vigilante talentPathfinder she meets the prerequisites of, using her class level as her vigilante level. She may select this trick any number of times, choosing a new vigilante talent each time she selects it. For the purpose of vigilante talents, a brilliant mind counts as an avenger vigilante.

Gentleman Agreement (Ex): As a standard action the brilliant mind may replicate the effect of forbid action for up to 1 round per level. However if her opponent fails the save she is also prevented from taking that action for the duration. If she chooses casting she cannot use any of brilliant tricks or her retroactive action ability in addition to any casting she might have. She or the target can dismiss the agreement as a free action at the end of their turn.

Jiu-Jitsu (Ex): A brilliant mind with this trick gains a Monk’s Unarmed Strike progression and gains an Unchained MonkPathfinder using her class level as her effective monk level. The brilliant mind gains a style strike at 6th level, 12th level and 18th level.

Furious Counterstrike (Ex): After being struck by a melee or ranged attack, a brilliant mind with this trick can use an immediate action to halve the damage of the attack and make an attack of opportunity against the attacking creature. The creature is flat-footed against this attack. The brilliant mind can use this brilliant trick once per day per creature.

Magic Bomb (Sp): By spending 10 minutes of work, a brilliant mind can create a powerful magical bomb. This bomb behaves as a fireball spell with a caster level equal to the brilliant mind’s class level. She can arm the bomb as a standard action and stick it to a hard surface or throw (range of 10 ft.) it with the same action. The bomb explodes 1 round later, or up to 1 minute chosen when the bomb is armed. Any creature adjacent to the bomb when it explodes does not gain a saving throw. A well hidden bomb could be used with Retroactive Action. A brilliant mind must be 4th level or higher to select this brilliant trick.

Perfect Timing (Ex): A brilliant mind with this trick can move the initiative of one her willing ally right after hers as a move action. If the ally is to arrive on the battlefield within 5 rounds, she may have it arrive immediately. This ability can be used once per allies per day.

Reflection Trick (Ex): Whenever a brilliant mind with this trick is within 10 feet of a mirror or other reflective surface she may attempt a misdirection as an immediate action after being attacked by a ranged or melee attack. The attacker has a 50% chance to target the real brilliant mind or her reflection. Even so, because of hesitation if she targets the real brilliant mind she takes a -4 penalty to her attack roll. This trick can only be used once per day per reflective object.

Social Trick (Ex): A brilliant mind who selects this trick can choose a single social talentPathfinder she meets the prerequisites of, using her class level as her vigilante level. She may select this trick any number of times, choosing a new social talent each time she selects it. For the purpose of vigilante social talents, a brilliant mind does not have a vigilante identity and is always considered to be in her social identity.

Tragic Misdirection (Ex): Once per encounter as an immediate action, a brilliant mind with this trick can redirect a targeted spell or ability at her to one of the caster’s allies within the spell or ability’s range. She must succeed at a Bluff check opposed by the caster’s Sense Motive or else the ability fails. If no valid targets are within range, the brilliant mind cannot use this ability. She cannot redirect any spell or ability back at the caster.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A brilliant mind that select this trick gain Uncanny Dodge as a Barbarian. If she already had uncanny dodge or takes this trick again she gains Improved Uncanny Dodge instead.

Under a Rock (Ex): The brilliant mind with this trick gains Hide in Plain Sight as an assassin. The brilliant mind must be 8th level or higher to select this Brilliant Trick.

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Leziad's Homebrew (3859 Articles)
Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorLeziad +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionModerate +
Class AbilityOther +
Class Ability ProgressionOther +
Fortitude Save ProgressionGood +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
RatingUndiscussed +
Reflex Save ProgressionPoor +
SkillAppraise +, Autohypnosis +, Balance +, Bluff +, Climb +, Concentration +, Control Shape +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Disable Device +, Disguise +, Escape Artist +, Forgery +, Gather Information +, Handle Animal +, Heal +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Open Lock +, Perform +, Profession +, Ride +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Speak Language +, Spot +, Survival +, Swim +, Tumble +, Use Magic Device + and Use Rope +
Skill Points6 +
TitleBrilliant Mind +
Will Save ProgressionGood +