Half Shade (5e Class)
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A young man, in his rage, calls upon spirits as his master had taught him. The bandits stand, leering over the body of his dead master, their weapons dripping blood. In his impulsive call of a spell, the young man forgot a vital lesson his master taught when summoning the aid of spirits...
Never summon spirits stronger than you can tame.
In a frenzy of energy from the incoming spirits, the young man feels his body and soul split almost as the spirits fought for control of his body. If they took him, they would automatically turn him into a full shade. But he fights it, fights to keep sane.. fights to keep his... body...
There are those who are unfortunate enough to become victims of a partial possession. These are half shades. They sometimes are victims of circumstance that spirits try to pry into and possess, only to be met with fierce resistance. Others call upon spirits in ignorance only to be attacked back and nearly forcibly ejected from their own body. A half-shade is not so weak to have been fully possessed as their soul remains intact. But their body now houses a foreign being that also cannot leave now and so the two are trapped with one another. Half shades are able to accomplish amazing feats due to the other spirit in their body, which is often of magical nature. It is thus different than just two spirits jammed in a body, as the fusion usually leaves the souls in a state of coexistence. They become one of halves.
The best way to think of this is if you acquired a new invasive personality one day. It flares and takes control every once in a while. However, it becomes an indispensable part of you. Some are unable to live without their shades physically, perhaps having taken on a shade when near-death, letting the spirit live inside them in exchange for saving their lives. Others are just irrevocably fused.
Creating a Half Shade
|Kaine and her inhabiting shade, Tyrann. Image from Nier|
How did your character happen upon a shade? Were they forcibly or consensually possessed? What kind of relationship do they have with their shade? How does this affect their relationship to others? Are they irritable, convinced they can never have a real relationship outside that with their shade? Or are they needy, desiring others to distract them from their possession? Keep in mind half shades are completely capable of rational thought and emotions as well as free will, but they may be hampered every once in a while when their shade nature flares.
- Quick Build
You can make a Half Shade quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Charisma. Second, choose the Shade Fanatic background, from Rage of Demons.
As a Half Shade you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Weapons: Martial melee weapons
Tools: Herbalism kit
Saving Throws: Dexterity and Charisma
Skills: Choose three from Persuasion, Insight, Acrobatics, Medicine, Survival, Arcana and Performance
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) 2 shortswords or (b) a longbow with a quiver of 20 arrows and a dagger
- an arcane focus
- (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
- If you are using starting wealth, you have 3d10 gp in funds.
|Features||Shade Points||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Shade Points, Fleeting Shade||3||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||6||3||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||8||4||3||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||12||4||3||3||—||—|
|14th||+5||Shade Armor improvement||15||4||3||3||1||—|
|15th||+5||Shade Empowerment improvement||15||4||3||3||2||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||15||4||3||3||2||—|
|18th||+6||Shade Armor improvement||18||4||3||3||3||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||18||4||3||3||3||2|
|20th||+6||Possession improvement, Symbiotic||20||4||3||3||3||2|
Calling upon the shade's power inside, you gain momentary bursts of amazing power, ranging from magic to superhuman feats of strength or agility. Your access to this energy is represented by a number of shade points. Your half shade level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Shade Points column of the table. You can spend these points to fuel various shade powers. You start knowing Shade Burst. You learn more powers of shades as you gain levels in this class and come to master and synchronize with your inner shade more.
When you spend a shade point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which your control over the shade's power replenishes. You must spend at least an hour of the rest meditating and conversing with the shade mentally to regain the points.
Some of your powers require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:
Shade save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
- Shade Burst
- By expending a shade point, you may make an especially powered attack with your weapon with a bonus action. Upon hit, the attack deals its normal damage plus necrotic damage equal to your half shade level.
Your body is slightly compromised with a shade occupying it. It helps you move faster, since some of the matter is converted to wispy black material emanating from your body. Your base movement speed increases by 10 feet at 1st level. At 10th level, it increases by another 10 feet and your jumping distance and height are doubled. You gain the additional shade power of Shade Dash.
- Shade Dash
- By expending one shade point, you can Disengage and Dash with a bonus action. When you Dash using this feature, your dash distance is doubled.
You gain the power to use magic through the shade's energies. As such, you do not use a normal spellcasting venue, but rather the power of the shade within.
- Casting Spells
The Half Shade table shows how many spells you know at each level (by number of slots, since you don't use them). To cast one of these spells, you must expend shade points equal to the spell's level (e.g., a level one spell requires one point and a level five spell needs five points). You do not need to prepare spells and you may cast them through your focus by channeling your shade energy through it.
- Learning Spells of 1st Level and Higher
Each time you gain access to a new level of spell, you learn spells chosen from the half shade spell list of the appropriate level, detailed at the end of the class description. The Half Shade table shows how many spells you know at each level (by number of slots, since you don't use them).
- Spellcasting Ability
You use Charisma as your spellcasting ability for your spells, since the power of your spells relies on your ability to synergize with your shade and effectively put out both your wills onto reality. You use your Charisma whenever a spell calls for your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a mage spell cast and for setting an attack roll for one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
By projecting the shade's power about yourself, you can gain immutability and become temporarily impervious to many things. The shade doesn't want you to die after all, since it would die with you, so it lends protective qualities to your body. While you wear no armor, your Armor Class is equal to 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Charisma modifier. In addition, you learn the power of shades to guard.
- Shade Guard
- You may expend 5 shade points to use this feature. When you are successfully attacked, you may use a reaction to halve the damage you take from the attack once.
Starting 14th level, your shade armor repels mental influences as well. You learn the power of shades to bolster your mental immunity to foreign influences.
- Shade Ment
- You may expend 10 shade points to use this feature. When you are targeted by an effect that requires you to make a Wisdom saving throw, you may roll once with advantage.
Starting 18th level, the armor you possess is stronger and more flexible than any other.
- Shade Gird
- When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity or Charisma saving throw to take only half damage, you may use 15 shade points to take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and half damage if you fail.
Ability Score Increase
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
The power of the shade not only protects you, but also helps coat your attacks and give them extra bite. It can also help bolster your body in the heat of battle and give you access to incredible stores of power or even protect you passively with its shade aura. Starting 6th level, if you are making a Athletics or Acrobatics check, you may roll with advantage. You regain use of this feature after you finish a short or long rest.
Starting 15th level, you learn two more powers of the shade to aid you.
- Inner Monster
- By expending one shade point, you may use a bonus action to call in your shade's powers to shrug off otherwise crippling effects, ending a condition of your choice on you. You cannot use this feature if you are incapacitated, unconscious, or asleep.
- Burst Strike
- When you successfully hit a creature, you may expend 10 shade points to have the attack become a critical hit.
As you get stronger, so does the shade half of you. It can manifest at times to provide huge amounts of power, but also possesses you in doing so and can leave you with side effects. Starting 7th level, you allow the shade control of one part of your body to enhance its capabilities. By expending a bonus action, you may choose one of the following body parts and have their corresponding effect take place for their specified duration:
- Arm:: You may expend one shade point to have your shade's arm project out as a bonus action. A dark, spectral, arm and hand appears attached to you. The arm lasts for the turns equal to 1 + your Dexterity modifier and Charisma modifier or until you dismiss it as a bonus action. The arm can reach up to 60 feet away from you.
- You can use your action to control the arm. You can use the hand to manipulate an object, open an unlocked door or container, stow or retrieve an item from an open container, or pour the contents out of a vial. You can move the hand up to 60 feet each time you use it. The hand can Attack, and deals damage equal to your own unarmed strikes + your Charisma modifier. It can activate magical items, but cannot carry more than 10 pounds.
- Legs:You may expend one shade point to have your shade's legs possess your own and grant them strength. For the next minute, you gain a climbing speed equal to your walking speed and can move freely along vertical surfaces and ceilings without using your hands. You also are unaffected by difficult terrain and can move through them as though normal.
Starting 11th level, your shade can take your entire body to its limits and break them. If you would be reduced to 0 hit points, you may instead drop to 1 hit point. You regain use of this feature after finishing a long rest.
Starting 20th level, your shade, and your own mind meld to become one and your two halves are a whole which machinates your body to new heights. When a creature targets you with divination magic they receive the visage of the shade contained within and must make a Wisdom save or be frightened until the start of their next turn. The DC for this saving throw is equal to 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus. On success, they cannot be frightened this way for the next 24 hours.
Your body takes on more properties of that of your shade half, making you less of the living. You no longer age and cannot die of age. You also no longer need food or water for sustenance. Your souls also begin to merge much more prominently as your emotions may start to get erratic and your mind filled with the shade's thoughts as well. This does help keep third parties out, however. You are immune to the charmed and frightened conditions. Your eyes can now see differently with the shades influence. You gain advantage in checks to discern illusions.
You are a half shade. Your shade half and yourself are two halves of the same coin and you depend on each other. The result of cooperation and coordination as you two go through the twists and tumbles of life is a strong bond which lends you immeasurable strength and control over mind and body. At 20th level, you can spend 1 minute bargaining with your shade for a burst of power, to regain all your expended shade points from your Shade Points feature. Once you regain shade points with this feature, you must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.
Half Shade Spell List
You can learn the following spells on the basic Half Shade spell list.
- 1st Level
- 2nd Level
- 3rd Level
- 4th Level
- 5th Level
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Half Shade class, you gain the following proficiencies: Two martial weapons of your choice and one language of your choice