When a character becomes a 10th level Alienist (prestige class), the following change is said to occur (emphasis mine):

Alien Transcendence (Su): A 10th-level alienist, because of long association with alien entities and intense study of insane secrets, transcends her mortal form and becomes an alien creature. Her type changes to outsider. Additionally, she gains damage reduction 10/magic and resistance to acid 10 and electricity 10. Upon achieving alien transcendence, an alienist undergoes a minor physical change, usually growing a small tentacle or other strange feature, such as an extra appendage, organ, eye, or enigmatic lump. An alienist can hide this abnormality in a robe or hood, but the alien growth is not under the alienist's control and sometimes moves, twitches, opens, or otherwise animates of its own accord. This applies a —4 penalty on Disguise checks an alienist makes to conceal her true nature. Anyone who shares an alienist's predilection for study of the Far Realms immediately recognizes her transcendent nature, and she gains a +2 circumstance bonus on all Charisma- based skill checks and ability checks when interacting with such beings. She gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Intimidate checks involving any other creatures to whom she reveals her abnormal nature.

So the character becomes an outsider. d20srd describes outsiders as such:


An outsider has the following features.

  • 8-sided Hit Dice.
  • Base attack bonus equal to total Hit Dice (as fighter).
  • Good Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saves.
  • Skill points equal to (8 + Int modifier, minimum 1) per Hit Die, with quadruple skill points for the first Hit Die.


An outsider possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

  • Darkvision out to 60 feet.
  • Unlike most other living creatures, an outsider does not have a dual nature—its soul and body form one unit. When an outsider is slain, no soul is set loose. Spells that restore souls to their bodies, such as raise dead, reincarnate, and resurrection, don’t work on an outsider. It takes a different magical effect, such as limited wish, wish, miracle, or true resurrection to restore it to life. An outsider with the native subtype can be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected just as other living creatures can be.
  • Proficient with all simple and martial weapons and any weapons mentioned in its entry.
  • Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Outsiders not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Outsiders are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.
  • Outsiders breathe, but do not need to eat or sleep (although they can do so if they wish). Native outsiders breathe, eat, and sleep.

For one, I would tend to believe the character is a native outsider at this point, because it not only has ancestors in the material plane, it was born on it. Am I right?

Now, more importantly, what benefits does the alienist gain from becoming an outsider? Here are a few that they could possibly gain:

  • More HP. If so, are all Hit Dice from previous character levels rerolled as d8, or is it only from that level onward?
  • The same base attack bonus as the Fighter's, along with the extra attacks that come with it. If so, is this for total character levels or only from this level onward?
  • Improved saving throws (if so, by how much?)
  • More skill points (8 + int instead of 2 + int). If so, does the character get skill points from previous levels or is it from that level onward?
  • Darkvision (60 ft / 12 spaces)
  • Impossible to resurrect unless using true resurrection, wish or miracle if not a native outsider (see above)
  • Proficiency with all simple and martial weapons
  • No need to eat or sleep if not a native outsider (see above)
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Super helpful, not quite a duplicate though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 4:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I'm still somewhat confused though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ariane
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 4:57

1 Answer 1


The Features of a type are specifically features of racial hit dice for creatures of that type. Since the alienist (presumably) has no racial hit dice, none of those apply.

So that means no change in HP, BAB, or skill points.

The Traits, on the other hand, do, so the alienist gets all of those (and loses the Traits of his or her previous type).

Moreover, despite the definition of Outsider (native), you only get the native subtype if the thing says you get it, and alienist doesn’t (because you have become so alien that you no longer count as native).

So that means darkvision, simple and martial weapon proficiency, and yes, both difficulties being resurrected and no need to eat or sleep.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Features vs Traits. My DM will be very interested in knowing those things as well. Thank you very much. :) What if the character had a race with a level adjustment of +3? Would they gain 3 levels' worth of Features? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ariane
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 5:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ariane No, level adjustments are not real levels, just an adjustment to your actual level. They never have any features of any kind. Which is why they are pretty much always awful. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 5:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ So what does happen to the LA? The LA is usually put there because the race has some pretty strong traits or abilities. Now that they've been swapped out... \$\endgroup\$
    – Pitzy
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 5:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Pitzy no, racial traits stay. Type traits are swapped. Which can still stuck if you paid LA for a strong type (Construct or Undead, typically), and you lose that. But racial traits stay. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 5:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think you get any changes even if you have racial hit dice. It doesn't say all your hit dice change (like e.g. Skeleton does), just that your type does. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 0:11

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