-image is La Grande Odalisque by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, crudely photoshopped
You seek to hide in shadows and deceptive magic? I see. - Tara Brighteyes, noted Illuminati
People have been aware of sunlight for a long time (aside from those in the Underdark, of course.) Sunlight reveals what really exists to eyesight. To those with the right eyes sunlight can reveal secrets. These people are the Illuminati.
Becoming an Illuminati
Keen eyed scouts and explorers sometimes see magical flickers at the edges of their vision. Further research can lead them to discover a mentor or a text or some other clue to the Illuminated Path.
8 ranks in Spot
8 ranks in Sense Motive
Special: Must have survived for at least a month in a desert, tundra during long days, or another strongly sunlit region
The Illuminati's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str),Knowledge (geography) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str)
Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + int
Hit Dice: d8
1st|+0|+0|+2|+2|Revealing Light:Light the Heritage, Dazzle
2nd|+1|+0|+3|+3|+1d6 Sneak Attack, Spotlight
3rd|+2|+1|+3|+3|Revealing Light: Light the Training, Guiding Light
4th|+3|+1|+4|+4|+1d6 Sneak Attack, Light the Truth
5th|+3|+1|+4|+4|Revealing Light: Light the Technique, Burning Light, Double Vision
6th|+4|+2|+5|+5|+1d6 Sneak Attack, Light the Multitude, Light Sense
7th|+5|+2|+5|+5|Revealing Light: Light the Mystic, Radiant Shield
8th|+6|+2|+6|+6|+1d6 Sneak Attack, Ray of Light
9th|+6|+3|+6|+6|Revealing Light: Light the Future
10th|+7|+3|+7|+7|+1d6 Sneak Attack, Revealing Light: Light the Whole, Inner Sun
Weapon Proficiencies: The Illuminati gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.
An Illuminati wields the revealing and destructive power of sunlight. As it is inconvenient to only act in sunlight, the first lesson an Illuminati learns is to catch and store sunlight internally. An Illuminati can store one photon, which is the unit of sunlight they use, per class level plus an additional photon per point of Wis bonus they have(Wisdom penalties do not reduce the maximum amount of photons available). For example, a hypothetical Ranger 5/Illuminati 3 with a 15 Wisdom can hold up to 5 photos: 3 from class levels and 2 from wisdom modifier. An expended photon can be regained by spending one minute in sunlight: this takes no active thought by the Illuminati so this recovery can happen during sleep, combat, marching, or other activities as long as they are in sunlight. Sunlight is used for a number of abilities: most of the class features of the Illuminati requires a photon or several to power them.
Revealing Light: Light the Heritage(Su):Sunlight's most obvious property is its ability to reveal things to sight. One of the most obvious things to see in another being is its race. As a swift action which costs one photon, an Illuminati can determine the race of any one creature within sight. If the creature is hiding its race with a disguise check, this gives the Illuminati a bonus on the spot check to see through the disguise equal to their Illuminati class level. If the creature is hiding its race with magic, the Illuminati must succeed on a spot check opposed by the caster level of the magical effect plus 10.
Dazzle(Su):Sunlight can be too bright to allow sight. As an immediate action, an Illuminati can give an opponent who is attacking them a penalty on the attack roll equal to the Wisdom modifier of the Illuminati. This penalty lasts for the attack which the immediate action interrupted. If the Illuminati is at least sixth level, the penalty lasts for the opponent's entire turn.
This is the sort of thing that would be effortless in Magic: The Gathering's rule set but D&D doesn't support interrupting actions as well.
Sneak Attack(Ex): Insight into the workings of people and things can help you hurt them. Illuminati gain sneak attack, as the rogue ability of the same name, at the levels indicated on the table (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10).
Spotlight(Su):The sunlight wielded by an Illuminati has some side benefits. As long as he has at least one photon in reserve, an Illuminati gains an insight bonus on spot checks equal to his class level as a constant effect. This aids with various Spot checks called for in uses of Revealing Light against people who are using the disguise skill.
Revealing Light: Light the Training: The way people move and react can be very revealing. As a swift action which costs one photon, an Illuminati can learn what classes a person has levels in. An eight level Illuminati also learns how many levels a person has in each class they have. If someone is in a mundane disguise, the Illuminati must succeed on a spot check against their disguise for this ability to work. If someone is magically disguised or altered, the Illuminati must succeed on a Spot check versus the caster level of the magical effect plus 10 or else this ability has no effect.
Guiding Light(Su): Sunlight in the hands of a more skilled Illuminati reveals not only features, but possibilities. A simple application of this revelation enhances one's combat prowess. As a swift action which costs one photon an Illuminati gains an insight bonus on one attack roll equal to his wisdom modifier.
Light the Truth(Su): Sunlight reveals not just features of persons, but behaviors and mannerisms. An Illuminati with at least one photon left unspent gains an insight bonus on Sense Motive checks equal to his class level as a constant effect. At eighth level, an Illuminati with at least one photon available is entitled to a saving throw upon first seeing or otherwise experiencing an illusion, without the need for interaction with it first.
Revealing Light: Light the Technique(Su): Certain tactics and tricks leave visible marks on experts of them. Those who draw weapons in an eye-blink have scars from fumbled practices. The fleet of foot move more lightly than others. Even the ability to alter magic leaves subtle signs on the practitioner. As a swift action which costs one photon, an Illuminati can see the feats their target possesses. If someone is in a mundane disguise, the Illuminati must succeed on a spot check against their disguise for this ability to work. If someone is magically disguised or altered, the Illuminati must succeed on a Spot check versus the caster level of the magical effect plus 10 or else this ability has no effect.
Burning Light(Su): Every child who has played too long outdoors knows that the sun can not only warm, but cook people. As a swift action which costs one photon, an Illuminati may add fire damage equal to twice their class level to their next attack, whether it be ranged, melee, or a spell with an attack roll. At ninth level, an Illuminati has the option of making the fire damage instead untyped damage, which ignores DR and energy resistances.
Double Vision(Su):Sometimes more information is needed now, not in six seconds. Experienced Illuminati can discern more with every glance; an Illuminati of at least fifth level can use two Revealing Light techniques as part of the same swift action. Each technique must be paid for separately.
Light the Multitude(Su): Water in the sky can diffract sunlight into brilliant rainbows. Proper control and focus allows the Illuminati to similarly spread out their powers. An Illuminati may target a number of creatures up to their Wisdom modifier with the same Revealing Light ability as part of the same swift action. This costs an additional photon. It is possible to combine this with Double Vision, but the costs also add up: seeing two features on one creature and one of those two features on many creatures costs three photons, and seeing two features on many creatures costs four photons.
Light Sense(Su): Those who cloak themselves in invisibility do so by bending light around themselves. Those with the eyes to see can pierce such protections. An Illuminati with at least one photon in their pool can see invisible, as the spell, as a constant effect. The caster level of the effect is equal to the Illuminati's character level, and if it is dispelled it returns in 1d4 rounds.
Revealing Light: Light the Mystic(Su): Persons with magical talents can deceive the eye and appear harmless. Light can be attenuated to transmigrate through their magical field and... it's too complicated to explain to a non-Illuminati. The end result is that an Illuminati can see what spells a target has available to cast. This includes spell like abilities, but not supernatural or extra-ordinary abilities. If someone is in a mundane disguise, the Illuminati must succeed on a spot check against their disguise for this ability to work. If someone is magically disguised or altered, the Illuminati must succeed on a Spot check versus the caster level of the magical effect plus 10 or else this ability has no effect.
Radiant Shield(Su): The power to dazzle one attacker for a short time is only a fraction of what defenses sunlight is capable of. As a swift action which costs two photons, or as a move action which still costs two photons, an Illuminati can protect themselves with a Radiant Shield. A Radiant Shield lasts for a number of turns equal to the Illuminati's wisdom modifier, and gives every attack against the Illuminati a 50% miss chance. This miss chance also applies to targeted spells, but not area of effect spells. A Darkness or Deeper Darkness spell cast against the Illuminati dispels the Radiant Shield if the caster succeeds on a caster level check against the Illuminati's character level plus ten.
Ray of Light(Su): Veteran Illuminati do not need to use weapons or spells to carry the power of sunlight to their foes. As a standard action, an Illuminati may fire a beam of sunlight at a foe. This is a touch attack with a range increment of 100'. It does 1d10 damage per photon used to power it; half of this damage is fire and the other half is untyped.
Revealing Light: Light the Future(Su): Light is nearly omnipresent in the world, at least near civilized creatures. This connection can be exploited. As a full round action which costs three photons, an Illuminati can cast Divination or Legend Lore as a spell like ability with a caster level equal to the character level of the Illuminati. This ability cannot be used with Double Vision or Light the Multitude.
Revealing Light: Light the Whole(Su) Mastery of light allows complete illumination of others. An Illuminati may, as a swift action which costs two photons, learn all of the game statistics of the target: classes, feats, skills, spells, etc. This does not show equipment or backstory. If someone is in a mundane disguise, the Illuminati sees right through it. If someone is magically disguised or altered, the Illuminati sees right through that too.
New Feat: Focused Light:
Some Illuminati are less than gifted at insights and willpower. Extra exertion and many weeks of rising at dawn for private meditation let them overcome their innate limits in some small way.
Prerequisites:Revealing Light class feature.
Benefits: Your wisdom modifier for purposes of Illuminati class features is treated as two higher than it actually is, or as +2, which ever is higher, which has the side benefit of allowing you to hold two additional photons as well as affecting many other class features.
The second clause is there to help characters with less than 10 wisdom still get benefits from this class. The first clause is an effective +4 wis because a feat is expensive and should be worth more than +2 wis.
Playing an Illuminati
An Illuminati, strangely, acts in combat mostly like a rogue. They have fewer skills and are mostly interaction skill based, but they have some tricks and specialties which make them particularly good at ferreting out true identities and intentions.
Combat: Your swift actions are money. Use them for Dazzle to reduce damage, use them for Guiding Light to hit folks, use them for Burning Light for a little damage boost. Or use them to find out who/what you are fighting so you can change tactics accordingly.
Advancement: You have sneak attack, 3/4 BAB, and social skills. It's not a bad idea to go for more rogue or rogue PrC's. Other options are also available: warrior themed PrC's could benefit from the extra knowledge this class provides. You are kind of far behind if you want to take up spellcasting after finishing this class, and the first few levels don't really provide anything a spellcaster would really enjoy.
Resources: There is no over-arching organization of Illuminati. Forget what you have
read in the newsstand heard in shadowy corners of bars from faceless men in robes.
Illuminati in the world
I thought I could get past the checkpoint, but one of the guards... he looked right through me... - Darius Grim, imprisoned smuggler
Illuminati are hard to hide in daily life, as most of their powers shine brightly. They fit in more easily than expected though, because other people of their skill level can cleave through walls, fly, call upon other worldly monsters, and generally make a scene.
Daily Life: Illuminati make above-average body guards, customs officials, and investigators. Their necessary combat prowess is kind of wasted as anything but an adventurer though.
Notables: Tara Brighteyes was known in the kingdom of Hralfgar for rooting out dopplegangers and their minions. Her calling card was a burned out corpse of an abomination left on the steps of the town court house. Azrael Darkflame, possibly in revenge for his parents naming him something so absurd, ran a successful operation of thieves who could pick out targets ill-equipped to defend themselves.
Organizations: The church of Pelor works with some good Illuminati to root out evil and corruption where it can be found. These acolytes are called Dawn Seekers, and have a special badge to identify themselves to Pelorites.
Although sages and learned folks know better, the powers wielded by the Illuminati make common folk and uneducated monsters think they are spellcasters. As such, they are often met with suspicion and fear like other spellcasters are. It is a well-known fact among many races which face adventurers that one should "geek the mage" first, which can cause problems for the Illuminati.
Illuminati in the game
They're rogues with super discernment powers and a per-encounter resource... which can turn in to a per-day resource if the party is underground. They also have a few useful defensive tricks: Radiant Shield will probably see constant use once it is available.
Adaptation: This class could become a pelor-themed cleric PrC, in which case it should drop the sneak attack and some of the other abilities in exchange for partial casting. The idea of a pool of points which refreshes in certain conditions could be used for a dwarven underground class that recharges in rock and has earth-themed powers.
Encounters: The Illuminati are not well equipped for solo fights against PCs, but they make excellent tools for learning more about player characters. They also are strange and alien in some of their abilities, which could be useful for an exotic group of sun-worshipers or desert nomads.
A scout 5/Illuminati 10 leads a warband of elite goblins who have sworn vengeance against the PCs for their depredations on goblin villages many levels ago. Her unique information gathering abilities are used before the climactic showdown to prepare the goblins to counter the PCs.