Has anyone seen any interesting alternative Shadow Mage prestigue
class descriptions? I like the one in the FRCS but it's far too
intimately attached to the setting to be of any use in my campaign
(No, I don't use The Weave).
"Somewhere in the darkness, we are waiting. And the
darkness can always find you."
Alright, the Shadowcaster. The Shadowcaster suffers from a lot of
things, which is sad because it's a really cool concept. Multiple
attribute dependency, lack of endurance (seriously, at best, it
has two powers that are at all equivalent to level-appropriate
spells, which it can use once per day each), and a lack of actual
understanding as to what it's actually supposed to do are its
worst problems. Fixing the last requires a complete rewrite,
which can also fix the first two, so that's what I'm going to
do here. The Shadowcaster is supposed to be a stealthy mage who
is also the primary user of Shadow Magic. That means that they
can sneak around and that they have magical abilities that make
them good at everything Shadow Magic is supposed to be good at.
Shadow Magic already, before the Tome of Magic, included creating
quasi-real illusions and darkness effects, and was described in
the Tome of Magic as being good at manipulations of other magic.
So that's what the Shadowcaster will be good at, making them a
kind of magic ninja with the option of taking powerful antimagic
Shadowcasters enslave their shadow and force it to work for them.
They are also able to turn others' shadows against them through
their mysteries, and wield formidable magical powers. However,
their endurance with their mysteries, their most powerful magic,
is harshly limited.
Playing a Shadowcaster
Shadowcasters have a variety of powers, but have to play subtle to
make best use of them. They have an advantage over other mages of
being able to use their spells from hiding without giving away their
position, and their magic allows them to hide in ways that others
can't. They also have cool vision powers. This gives them a great
deal of versatility as a scout.
Abilities: The highest level Mystery a shadowcaster can learn is
based on her Intelligence, and the save DCs of her Mysteries are
based on Intelligence. Dexterity helps, too, as Shadowcasters
often need to be stealthy and engage in close combat.
Shadowcasters come in all alignments. More align
themselves with the Plane of Shadow than any other plane, although
most are scattered across the Great Wheel.
Shadowcasters come from all races. Shadow Genasi produce a
substantial contingent, as do Gnomes, due to their affinity for
illusion, and, naturally, Humans, on account their curiousity and
greed for power. Goblins, Drow, and Tieflings also frequently become
Shadowcasters, due to their affinities for darkness. Most Shadow
Magic organizations accept all races, and many Shadowcasters live
in areas where being a Shadowcaster is illegal.
Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp).
Starting Age: As wizard.
Table: The Shadowcaster
Hit Die: d6
Level BAB Saving Throws Special
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Mysteries, Essentials, Gaze into Shadow, Shadow Weaponry (Arrows)
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Scavenging Shade
3rd +2 +1 +1 +3 Evasion, Shadowsight
4th +3 +1 +1 +4 Shadow Weaponry (Sword)
5th +3 +1 +1 +4 Attach Shadow, Stomach of Shadow
6th +4 +2 +2 +5 Umbral Eye, Shadow Guide (1/day)
7th +5 +2 +2 +5 Greater Mysteries
8th +6 +2 +2 +6 Shadow Weaponry (Two Swords)
9th +6 +3 +3 +6 Shadow Blood, Revealing Shadows
10th +7 +3 +3 +7 Eternal Shade
11th +8 +3 +3 +7 Penumbral Soul, Shadow Guide (At Will), Lesser Mysteries (Supernatural)
12th +9 +4 +4 +8 Beshadowed Heart Shadow Weaponry (Damage Reduction)
13th +9 +4 +4 +8 Improved Evasion, Deep Mysteries
14th +10 +4 +4 +9 Sorcerous Perceptions
15th +11 +5 +5 +9 Ubiquity of Shadow
16th +12 +5 +5 +10 Shadow Weaponry (Quality)
17th +12 +5 +5 +10 Greater Mysteries (Supernatural)
18th +13 +6 +6 +11 Eyes of Eternal Midnight
19th +14 +6 +6 +11 Speed of Shadow
20th +15 +6 +6 +12 Grand Shadow
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, selected individually) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex).
All of the following are class features of the Shadowcaster class.
Anything that asks for a nonspecific shadow does not refer to her
own shadow. Nothing in this class refers to the Shadow monster.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Shadowcasters are proficient with all simple weapons and with light
armor. They are also proficient with their Shadow Weaponry (see
below). They are not proficient with any kind of shield. Nothing bad
happens to them if they use any of these save that arcane spell
failure applied to their mysteries with Somatic components.
A shadowcaster casts Shadow Magic mysteries, chosen from the
Mysteries List (below). A shadowcaster learns one new mystery per
class level, of a level up to half their Shadowcaster level, rounded
up. Mysteries are spell-like abilities that, unlike other spell-like
abilities, have somatic components. If the Shadowcaster is touching
her shadow, then she can force her shadow to make the somatic
components for her; otherwise, she suffers from arcane spell failure
chance if wearing armor.
Each mystery of her highest two levels of available mysteries is
usable once per day unless otherwise noted. Each lower level mystery
can be recharged. A shadowcaster of at least 11th level may use
Lesser mysteries as supernatural abilities at will, and a
Shadowcaster of at least 17th level can use Greater mysteries as
supernatural abilities at will. When used as supernatural abilities,
mysteries lack somatic components. If a mystery can be recharged,
it can be used once, and then used again provided that in between
the uses the shadowcaster spends at least one consecutive minute
not using any mysteries.
When the shadowcaster has her shadow make the somatic components of
a mystery, others who aren't specifically looking for it but are
aware of and paying some attention to her (being in combat against
her is enough) can notice that she's moving differently from her
shadow with a DC 15 Spot check. Those watching her directly need
only make a DC 10 Spot check, as does anyone who makes a Spellcraft
check to identify the Mystery being cast.
Mysteries are grouped into Paths. Every time a Shadowcaster
completes a path, she learns a new manipulation of her Shadow Magic.
Select a Metamagic feat. She may apply that Metamagic Feat to any
applicable Mystery as she casts it. Each such ability can be used a
number of times per day dependent on the number of Paths she has
completed and the number of levels the metamagic feat would normally
No levels added: At will
One level added: Once per completed path
Two levels added: Once, plus once per two completed paths, or
twice per three completed paths, whichever is more
Three levels added: Once per two completed paths
Four levels added: Once per three completed paths
Six levels added: Once per six completed paths
All shadowcasters know a number of essential
mysteries that form the basics of their craft. All essentials can be
used as supernatural abilities at will:
?Eyes of Magic: As the spell Detect Magic.
?Hand of Shadow: As the spell Mage Hand.
?Shadows Recede: As the spell Light.
?Vague Dimness: As the spell Darkness, except that it sets light
levels to shadowy illumination even if they are already darker.
While in an area of Vague Dimness, everything casts a shadow if a
nearby surface is available.
Gaze into Shadow (Su): All shadowcasters have low-light vision due
to long hours of practice in the shadows. If they have low-light
vision from another source, they can add another increment to the
range of light. For example, an elven shadowcaster would be able to
see 60' in torchlight as though it was brightly illuminated.
Shadow Weaponry (Su): A shadowcaster can force her shadow to form
certain kinds of weaponry for them out of other shadows. Doing so
requires that she be in contact with her shadow, and that there be
other shadows within five feet per level. At 1st level, she can
create arrows that can only maintain their substance briefly.
Creating such an arrow is part of the action of attacking with it;
these arrows neither need nor benefit from any kind of bow or other
launcher, although they do require a free hand. They require a
ranged touch attack to hit, and inflict 2d4 damage with a x3
critical multiplier. They may inflict either lethal or nonlethal
damage, at the shadowcaster's option. She can make multiple attacks
per round with these arrows as a Full Attack action, if her base
attack bonus allows it or she conjures them from both hands.
At 4th level, she may conjure a sword as a swift action. This sword
hits with a touch attack, deals 1d6 damage for a medium
shadowcaster, and has a critical threat range of 18-20/x2. It has
an enhancement bonus to attack and damage rolls of 1/3 of the
shadowcaster's character level. She may only conjure one sword at
a time, and it disintegrates instantly on leaving her hand.
At 8th level, she may conjure two swords as a single action. She
still may not have more than two swords at a time. When fighting
with these two swords or with her Shadow Arrows, she need take only
a -2 penalty to allow her a full series of off-hand attacks and
off-hand attacks of opportunity, the latter with the swords only.
At 12th level, all of the shadowcaster's shadow weapons ignore
damage reduction as though they were made of any special material
of the shadowcaster's choice. The special material they are made
of is chosen when the weapon is created, or can be changed as a
At 16th level, all of the shadowcaster's shadow weapons gain a
single moderate quality (see the Book of Gears) of her choice when
she creates them. She may choose between Frost, Lifestealing, Sharpness, and Wounding. Different weapons can be created with
Scavenging Shade (Ex): A shadowcaster of second level or higher can
send her shadow to gather food and water for her from the Plane of
Shadow, reducing her needs. She need only eat one meal per week, and
may drink a tenth what she normally must.
Evasion: A shadowcaster of 3rd level or higher gains evasion, as
the rogue ability of the same name.
Shadowsight (Su): A shadowcaster of 3rd level or higher can see
clearly through shadows. She can treat any area of shadowy
illumination (even those that she can only count as shadowy due to
her low-light vision) as fully illuminated. Also, her Gaze into
Shadow ability becomes Extraodinary instead of Supernatural.
Attach Shadow (Su): As a swift action, a shadowcaster touching her
shadow may attach it at the point of contact (usually her feet).
Such a shadow remains stuck to her even if there is no directional
light to cast it or no surface to cast it on.
Stomach of Shadow (Ex): A shadowcaster of 5th level or higher can
sustain herself off the shadows within her body. She no longer need
eat or drink, and a single hour of sleep provides her with the
benefits of a full night's rest, although she still needs to not
adventure for eight hours to recover her mysteries.
Also, her bodily fluids become inky. Her blood, sweat, saliva, and
similar fluids are usable as black ink. At her option when releasing
the ink, it may glow as bright as a candle in any sufficiently
ominous color when in darkness. Sweat, saliva, tears, and similar
fluids are water-soluble. The ink in her blood, however, is not.
Umbral Eye (Su): A shadowcaster of 6th level or higher can see in
any kind of darkness, even magical darkness, out to a range of
Shadow Guide (Sp): A shadowcaster of 6th level can cast Shadow Walk
once per day as a spell-like ability. Her group moves five miles
per hour per character level of the shadowcaster.
At 11th level, this ability improves to be usable at will and allow
movement at doubled speed. It also allows her to choose to arrive
anywhere outdoors on the material plane, with perfect accuracy,
when she exits the shadow plane. Finally, she may cast a version of
Dimension Door that passes through the shadow plane, at will.
Shadow Blood (Ex): A shadowcaster of 9th level or higher needs not
sleep and is immune to poisons and diseases that don't specifically
target shadow creatures. She also has a reduced need for breath,
and can hold her breath for a minute per point of constitution.
Revealing Shadows (Su): A shadowcaster of 9th level or higher can
see invisible creatures as though she benefitted from a permanent
See Invisibility spell. Also, her Shadowsight ability becomes
Eternal Shade (Ex): A Shadowcaster of 10th level forever remains,
as she is then, a immense shadow of her former self. She stops
aging and will no longer die when she reaches her maximum age.
Penumbral Soul (Ex): Whenever a shadowcaster of 11th level or higher
is not on the Plane of Shadow or a plane coexistent to it, a
demiplane almost exactly like border shadow exists coexistent to
her out to a radius of 10' per class level. The plane's traits are
the same as those of the Plane of Shadow, except that it inherits
the elemental and energy traits, and adds the magic traits, of the
plane the Shadowcaster is on. This demiplane connects to Deep Shadow
the same way as Border Shadow does and can be accessed by any effect
that accesses the Shadow Plane. If the shadowcaster enters it or the
Plane of Shadow, the demiplane remains where it is until the
shadowcaster leaves for another plane, at which point any creatures
still in it are deposited into the plane it was coexistent to. The
shadowcaster can take this plane with her when Shadow Walking across
another plane. If she dies, the plane remains around her body,
grave, or the place where her body is destroyed, whichever is more
workable and dramatically appropriate.
Beshadowed Heart (Ex): A shadowcaster of 12th level or higher needs
not breathe and is immune to negative levels and death effects.
Improved Evasion (Ex): A shadowcaster of 13th level gains Improved
Evasion, as the rogue ability of the same name.
Sorcerous Perceptions (Su): A shadowcaster of 14th level can see
magic auras, as the Greater Arcane Sight spell, permanently. Her
Umbral Eye ability becomes extraordinary.
Ubiquity of Shadow (Ex): A Shadowcaster of 15th level or higher is
at home anywhere shadows exist. She is immune to any effect that
targets an extraplanar creature as long as she is in a shadow.
Additionally, if barred from a plane, she may still enter the plane
as long as she is never in an area of bright illumination (which she
can feel as if a solid wall). If she ever finds bright illumination
forced upon her while in a plane she is barred from entering, she
is immediately shifted to the Plane of Shadow, which is her home
plane for purposes of all magical effects.
Eyes of Eternal Midnight (Ex): A shadowcaster of 18th level's vision
cannot be blocked out by magical interference. Her Sorcerous
Perceptions and Revealing Shadows abilities become extraordinary.
Speed of Shadow: Shadows can move faster than anything else in the
universe, and shadowcasters can exploit this effect. At 19th level,
a Shadowcaster may cast a mystery usable as a supernatural ability
as a swift action. Each mystery may be cast in this manner once per
Grand Shadow: At 20th level, a shadowcaster learns a spell to cause
shadow to become the ascendant force of the multiverse. If she uses
this ability, the entire multiverse becomes its shadow reflection.
Having the ability to decide the fate of the multiverse in a single action means the shadowcaster wins D&D.
A Shadowcaster may take any Mysteries from Wizards of the Coast's
Tome of Magic (Apprentice Mysteries there become Lesser, Initiate
Mysteries become Greater, Master Mysteries become Deep), plus the
following, which are designed to be sufficient to play a
Shadowcaster for those without access to the Tome of Magic. The
first spell listed on a Path is the lowest level in its category
(1st for Lesser, 4th for Greater, 7th for Deep); the second and
third are each one higher than the previous. Note that Mysteries
are just an alternate way of accessing spells, and will be treated
?Black Writings: Inscribe, Secret Page, Illusory Script
?Clouds of Night: Obscuring Mist, Blacklight, Blindness/Deafness
?Draining Dark: Ray of Enfeeblement, Chill Touch, Ray of Exhaustion
?Flickering Spell: Greater Dispel Magic*, Touch of Idiocy, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability
*at will?Ominous Form: Change Size*, Human Form, Gaseous Form
*Enlarge Person or Reduce Person, chosen on casting.?Penumbrous Force: Unseen Servant, Summon Swarm*, Phantom Steed
*Sumoned swarm is made of solid shadows.?Seek the Shadows: Short Invisibility, Obscure Object, Greater Invisibility
?Speed of Darkness: Expeditious Retreat, Blur, Haste
?Treacherous Night: Minor Image, Mirror Image, Lesser Shadow Conjuration
?Arcane Shade: Slashing Dispel, Feeblemind, Spell Turning
?Cup of Shadow: Resilient Sphere, Telekinesis, Wall of Force
?Deception's Hand: Illusory Wall, Mirage Arcana, Programmed Image
?Dusk's Visage: False Vision, Permanent Image, Mislead
?Eyes of Darkness: Scrying, Dream, Legend Lore
?Furtive Grasp: Enervation, Passwall, Sieze Magic
?Night Terrors: Phantasmal Killer, Nightmare, Eyebite
?Twilight Mists: Solid Fog, Cloudkill, Arctic Fog*
*As Acid Fog, but does Cold damage instead?Unseen Way: Dimensional Anchor, Mage's Private Sanctum, Mislead
?Language of Darkness: Symbol of Stunning, Symbol of Insanity, Power Word: Kill
?Planes of Night: Banishment, Dimensional Lock, Imprisonment*
*or Freedom, chosen when casting?Sculpted Twilight: Greater Shadow Conjuration, Trap the Soul, Shades
?Shadows of the Self: Project Image, Simulacrum, Astral Projection
?Unsought Soul: Sequester, Mind Blank, Foresight
1.Jump up ? Spell Compendium
2.Jump up ? Player's Handbook II