Kage (5e Class)

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Translating to “shadow”, Kages are unstoppable assassins and opportunists who strike while unseen.


A group of bandits are ravaging the poor area of a city, robbing and murdering the citizens there. A good-willed Kage sees a group of these bandits in an alley attacking a mother and her children. He swiftly shadow steps in, takes out a few before the rest start running away saying. A the mother starts screaming for help looking at this shadowy scene he disappears with no witness. This is what a Kage is capable of.

Creating a Kage

A kage, waiting for the ideal time to strike down his opponent.

By Josh Corpuz

Are you a mercenary, just looking for money, or a psychopath, who kills for the fun of it? Or are you a hero, who kills the corrupt and wealthy to help the poor, or tyrants oppressing the people? Are you possibly a revolutionist,or just an arse who can't keep friends longer than a prostitute's relationship, who wishes for a new government? Do you do this for yourself, or for others, or maybe both? Are you part of a guild, a party, a private organization, a hound for the government, or nobody but yourself? Why did you turn to the art of shadows? These are all questions you should consider when making a Kage.

Quick Build

You can make a Kage quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Wisdom. Second, choose the Criminal Background.

Class Features

As a Kage you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Kage level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Kage level after 1st


Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, Finesse weapons, Ranged weapons
Tools: Thieves' tools
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Wisdom
Skills: Stealth, choose three skills from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, and Sleight of Hand


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) Longbow with 20 arrows or (b) Hand crossbow with 20 bolts
  • (a) (2) Dagger or (b) Hand Crossbow with 20 bolts
  • (a) Burglar's pack or (b) Explorer's pack or (c) Dungeoneer's pack
  • Reaper's Dojigiri, Thieves' tools, Cloak of Midnight, Leather Armor
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 3d4 x 10 gp in funds.

Table: The Kage

Level Proficiency
Features Sneak Attack Damage
1st +2 Reaper’s Dojigiri, Sneak Attack, Thieves Cant, Cloak of Midnight, Expertise 1d6
2nd +2 Shadow Step, Acute Deceit 1d6
3rd +2 Life and Death, Dark Path 2d6
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2d6
5th +3 Slay, Swift Reaction 3d6
6th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Expertise 3d6
7th +3 Evasion, Dark Path feature 4d6
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Advanced Shadowstep 4d6
9th +4 Life and Death 2 5d6
10th +4 Reaper's Muramasa, Cloak Archetype 5d6
11th +4 Reliable Talent 6d6
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement, Life and Death 3 6d6
13th +5 Dark Path feature 7d6
14th +5 Ability Score Improvement, Shadow Body 7d6
15th +5 Shadow Speed 8d6
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 8d6
17th +6 Dark Path feature 9d6
18th +6 Absolute Shadow Step, True Death 9d6
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 10d6
20th +6 Reaper's Masamune 10d6

Sneak Attack

You are able to strike subtly to exploit a foe's distraction. When you have advantage on the attack roll, are attacking an opponent that is surprised, or an enemy is within 5 feet of an ally, you deal extra damage as shown on the table. In order to deal this extra damage, you must be wielding a ranged weapon, a finesse weapon, or your Reaper’s Weapon. You may only deal this extra damage once per turn.

Thieves’ Cant

You have learned thieves' cant, a secret mix of dialect, jargon, and code that allows you to hide messages in seemingly normal conversation. Only another creature that knows thieves' cant understands such messages. It takes four times longer to convey such a message than it does to speak the same idea plainly.

In addition, you understand a set of secret signs and symbols used to convey short, simple messages, such as whether an area is dangerous or the territory of a criminal guild, whether loot is nearby, or whether the people in an area are easy marks or will provide a safe house for criminals on the run.

Reaper’s Dojigiri

You have been given a special katana from the reaper himself, as proof of your killing prowess. This is a magical melee weapon that deals 1d10 slashing damage and has the finesse and two-handed properties. This weapon is constantly emitting shadows, no matter the light, which gives advantage on intimidation checks towards anyone who can see the weapon and doesn’t know you personally, and you may use your Wisdom modifier when making intimidation checks. While wielding this, you gain advantage on saving throws against being frightened. While wielding this, you can’t be holding any other weapon or a shield, and if you do for more than 20 seconds, that weapon or shield bursts into shadows and is destroyed. You can’t cast any spells while wielding this weapon. If this weapon is destroyed, lost, or wielded by another creature for more than 5 seconds, your weapon will burst into shadows, and reappear after a long rest.

Cloak of Midnight

You have a cloak made of the pure darkness of the night. This cloak allows you to blend in very well in the darkness. When you are in dim light or darkness, you gain +2 to all stealth checks. You can see in darkness as if it were dim light up to 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, your range for this feature increases to 90 feet. This cloak is bonded to you and cannot be removed against your will. If this cloak is ever damaged, lost, or destroyed, it bursts into shadows, and reappears completely intact the next time the sun sets. At level 10, the cloak increases in power to benefit a circumstance. You choose one cloak archetype.

Cloak Archetypes

Covert: Your cloak can blend into almost anything. You gain your Cloak of Midnight stealth bonus even in bright light. Additionally, this bonus increases to +4, and you gain this bonus when making sleight of hand checks, and checks with your thieve's tools.

Shadow's Guard: While you are wearing this cloak, you gain a bonus to AC equal to 1/2 of your Wisdom modifier (rounded down). You can't gain a bonus to AC from this feature if you also have the Unholy Avoidance feature.

Shadow Recovery:The cloak fills you with an ability of restoring. When you deal sneak attack damage to a target, you regain health equal to 1/2 of the sneak attack damage dealt.


At 1st level, you may choose any two skills that you are proficient in, or your thieves' tools and one skill. Your proficiency bonus for the selected items are doubled.

At 6th level, you may choose two more skills, or your thieves' tools and one skill, to double your proficiency bonus for those skills.

Shadow Step

At level 2, you have learned to walk in and out of shadows. While you are in an area of dim light or darkness, you may use your bonus action or reaction to teleport into another area of dim light or darkness within 60 ft.

After you have used this feature a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus, you must finish a short or long rest to regain all expended uses.

Acute Deceit

At level 2, you've gotten deceit down to a formula. When making a deception check, you may choose to make it with your Wisdom modifier instead of your Charisma modifier.

Life and Death

At level 3, you have sacrificed durability for attack power. Your constitution score is permanently reduced by 1, but you gain +1 to all attack and damage rolls.

Dark Path

At level 3, you choose an archetype to focus your skills as a master of the shadows. At level 3, choose Path of the KenSai, Path of the Shikaku, or Path of the Kesshin. These paths grant you features at level 3, as well as levels 7, 13, and 17.

Ability Score Increase

When you reach 4th level, and again at 6th, 8th, 10th, 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. You can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.


At level 5, when you attack a surprised creature and the attack hits, that attack is an automatic critical.

Swift Reaction

At level 5, your base movement speed is increased by 10 and you have advantage on initiative rolls. Also, on your first turn during combat, you have advantage on attack rolls and deal +4 damage with your Reaper's Dojigiri against creatures that have not yet made an action.


At 7th level, your instinctive agility lets you dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a blue dragon's lightning breath or a fireball spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

Advanced Shadow Step

At level 8, your Shadow Step improves. When you use Shadow Step, You can now teleport to a dark area, area with dim light, or something that casts a shadow, even if you are not in shadow.

Life and Death 2

At level 9, you have further increased your attack power, in exchange for durability. Reduce your Constitution score by another 1, and add an extra +1 to all attack and damage rolls.

Reaper’s Muramasa

At level 10, your Reaper’s Dojigiri has evolved into a more powerful blade: the Reaper’s Muramasa. This weapon retains all of the features of the Reaper’s Dojigiri, except its damage is increased to 1d12 slashing damage, and it scores a critical on a roll of 19-20.

Reliable Talent

At level 11, you have refined your chosen skills until they approach perfection. Whenever you make an ability check that lets you add your proficiency bonus, you can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10.

Life and Death 3

At level 12, your ability to attack in exchange for weakened defenses increases further. Add another +1 to attack rolls and +1 to damage rolls, but decrease your Constitution score by another 1.

Shadow Body

At level 14, your body has further merged with the shadows, making it so you don’t experience the frailty of old age, and you can’t be aged magically. In addition, you no longer need food or water. You do not age, and you can’t be aged magically

Shadow Speed

At level 15, you have become even more merged with shadows which make you harder to hit. Your AC increases by +1, and your speed increases by 10 feet. You can only gain this benefit when you are wearing light or no armor, and you are not incapacitated.

Absolute Shadow Step

At level 18, you have mastered the art of the Shadow Step. The range you can Shadow Step is increased to 90 ft. You no longer need to teleport into dim light or darkness. You may use this feature an unlimited amount of times.

True Death

At level 18, your ability to disregard defense in exchange for offense has capped. You gain +2 to all attack and damage rolls, but your constitution score is permanently decreased by 1.

Reaper's Masamune

At level 20, your Reaper’s Weapons has evolved into its final form. This weapon retains all of the features of the Reaper's Muramasa, but its damage is increased to 2d8 slashing. When you this weapon is on you, you gain +4 to your Dexterity score and the maximum for your Dexterity score is increased by the same amount. You get a critical on a roll of 18-20. Now you can summon this weapon into your hand at any time as a bonus action.

Dark Paths

Path of the KenSai

Choosing this path means devoting yourself entirely to the sword. Your goal is to become a more skilled user of the blade, by any means necessary. You focus almost entirely on improving your skills in duels.


At level 3, your combat style begins to focus more on dueling singular opponents. When you make an attack roll against a target, and there are no creatures within 5 feet of you other than your target, you may deal sneak attack damage to the target, as long as you don't have disadvantage on the attack roll. Additionally, if your target's size is greater than yours, you have advantage on the attack roll.

Unholy Avoidance

At level 3, you have mastered avoiding your opponent’s attacks in battle while you aren’t weighed down. When you are attacked by an opponent you can see, and you aren’t surprised, you are wearing your Cloak of Midnight you gain an unarmoured AC of 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.

Sonic Slash

At level 7, your attacks with your blade have become so fast, it almost becomes hard to see them, making them nearly impossible to dodge. When you make an attack with your Reaper’s Blade as an action, you gain +2 to your attack and damage rolls, and you can't have disadvantage on the roll, if your dexterity score is higher than your target’s.

Extra Attack

At level 7, you may attack twice, instead of once, when you take the attack action on your turn.


At level 13, you've learned to exploit your opponent's moment off balance after a strike. When an opponent within 5 feet of you makes an attack and misses, you may immediately make an attack against your opponent as your reaction.

The Occult

At level 17, you have learned the greatest sword technique you can master - The Occult. As an action, you may perform the Occult. You make 7 separate attack rolls against one target. Each attack must be performed consecutively, and if you kill your target while using this feature, your action ends. You hit a critical on a roll of 17-20, and you may add an additional damage dice to your critical rolls. You have 2 uses for this feature, and you must finish a long rest to regain all expended uses.

Path of the Shikaku

By taking this path, you are choosing the path of the shadows, the path of assassination, and the path of death. By choosing to go this way, you are likely condemning yourself to a path of darkness and bloodshed.

Shadow Execution

At level 3, you have learned to slay an enemy using the powers of the shadows themselves. When you are in darkness or dim light and you hit a creature with an attack roll, you deal bonus damage equal to 1d6 necrotic damage. This increases to 2d6 necrotic damage at level 13.

Unbound Agility

At level 3, your speed no longer follows physical rules. Increase your movement speed by 10 feet while you aren't wearing medium or heavy armor. Additionally, you can take the disengage, dash, and hide actions as bonus actions.

Shadow's Retreat

At level 7, you've mastered the ability to hit and retreat without being seen. If you kill an enemy, you may immediately move up to your movement speed without provoking any opportunity attacks. Additionally, if you end your turn in darkness, you can immediately attempt to hide. If this is not within the first turn of combat, you make your hide attempt with disadvantage.

Disabling Strike

At level 13, you've improved at targeting a creature's weak points with your attacks. When you make an attack roll that succeeds the target's AC by 5 or more points, you may force the target to make a dexterity saving throw with a DC equal to (12 + the value of your attack roll - the target's AC). If the target fails this saving throw, the target is stunned until the end of it's next turn.

Invoke Shadows

At level 13, you have learned to manifest shadows into a visible form. As a bonus action, you can cast the spell Darkness, dispelling any light created by a spell 6th level or lower. You may use this feature a number of times equal to 2 + your Wisdom modifier, minimum of 3 uses. After you have finished a long rest, you regain all expended uses of this feature. Additionally, when you are in darkness, you gain blindsense in any darkness within 90 feet.


At level 17, you have become the perfect assassin. When you hit a creature with an attack while you're in darkness, or the the target is surprised, you may force the creature to make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your proficiency modifier. If the target fails this saving throw, the damage of the attack is multiplied by 2.

Path of the Kesshin

By choosing this path, you are going down the path of the defender and the path of resilience. You must be able to dodge or take almost any attacks, as well as know healing techniques to stay alive.

Shadow’s Safeguard

At level 3, you’re able to take more punishment than usual. When you gain the features Life and Death, Life and Death 2, Life and Death 3, and True Death, you don’t lose any points to your Constitution Score. Additionally, you gain 2 more hitpoints from every future level-up.

Vanguard of Death

At level 3, you’re experienced with using the shadows to protect yourself and your allies. As a reaction, you may impose disadvantage on an attack roll against any ally within 5 feet of you. You must be wielding your Reaper’s Dojigiri to use this feature.

Shadow’s Protection

At level 7, you have the blessing of the shadows to avoid danger. When you are not wearing medium or heavy armor, blinded, exhausted, deafened, or incapacitated, you gain advantage on all Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom saving throws. Also, you gain proficiency in Constitution saving throws.

Uncanny Dodge

At 7th level, you have learned to use your superior speed to dodge foes attacks. When an attacker you can see hits you with an attack and you aren't incapacitated or grappled, you may use your reaction to halve that attack's damage against you. If you use this feature against a Multiattack, the damage of every attack is halved.


At level 13, you can use your blade to absorb the essence of other creatures and restore your own health. When you attack a creature with your Reaper’s Muramasa, after the attack roll but before the damage roll, you may choose to regain hit points equal to ½ the damage dealt from the attack. You have 3 uses of this feature. After you have finished a long rest, you regain all expended uses.

Grim Resolve

At level 17, you have learned to always maintain your skill, especially in the direst of circumstances. When you are below 60% of your maximum hit points, you gain a +4 bonus to your AC and saving throws, and a +7 bonus to your attack and damage rolls.


Kage are beings with no regard to societal law, and a lack of mandatory personal codes to conduct themselves by. Therefore, if you wish to multiclass into kage and your alignment is lawful, your alignment immediately becomes neutral upon multiclassing. Additionally, if you had proficiency in heavy armor, you lose that proficiency.

Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the kage class, you must meet these prerequisites: Dex 15

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the kage class, you gain the following proficiencies: Simple Weapons, Finesse Weapons, Ranged Weapons, Light Armor, Stealth, one skill from the class's skill list

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