Shadow Caller (5e Class)
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In a cave of night, ere came a group of adventurers who stumbled upon many bones and bodies littering the floor at their feet. From the dark, appeared almost a face, and a voice omnipresent around them. Their light source seemed useless all of a sudden and the voice entered their heads.
I will give you this chance to leave. Now. Any word of this place will mean your untimely demise.
The adventurers hastened to leave. But one among them did not believe the threat and so reported to the guild of the strange cave. In the mere span of a night, his whereabouts were lost. None could say what happened to him, and his companions surmised the worst. Plucking up their courage, they returned to the cave, reasoning it had to have something to do with his disappearance. Once again, they came upon that dark cavern of corpses. They asked for their friend, and a pale corpse was deposited before them, much to their horror.
|“||I had given you a chance. I am guardian of this here gateway to the realms of darkness. And I do not tolerate repeat offenders.||”|
A Dark Servitude
The entrancing power of darkness is one that has led many astray before. Those held in its thrall vie for the endless power that lies in the spectrum without light. Shadow callers are what they are called, those who dance in the powers reviled and feared by others. Among them, there are shadow blenders, formers, and threshers. All "call" upon the shadowy powers in some way, but manifest them in different forms. The blenders infuse shadow essence into themselves to empower their abilities, formers coalesce shadows into physical objects and creatures, and threshers use shadows to lash out at foes and assist in melee combat. Shadow callers are by no means evil so much as they are simply eccentric. In the typical setting, they of course draw their power from Shadowfell and worship such entities like the Raven Queen.
Creating a Shadow Caller
Consider the following when you make your shadow caller: What is alluring to your character about this power? Do they seek empowerment for something, a purpose of their own? This is not commonly known magic, and not an appealing one either. Those drawn to it usually have a host of their own demons dwelling within their soul. What kind of caller are they, blender, former, or thresher? Blenders seek to boost their own abilities with the power of shadow, and they often boast horrid experiences of their past failures in doing so. Formers could be lonely people longing for company, even turning to the darkness to achieve it. Threshers are warriors who are often consumed by rage or grief, tapping into the shared lamentations of those who inhabit the Shadowfell. Shadow callers are known for being willful, one way or another. This allows them to exert the necessary force on their bodies to bend shadows and the power to their whim.
- Quick Build
You can make a Shadow Caller quickly by following these suggestions. First, Charisma should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the criminal or acolyte background.
As a Shadow Caller you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d8 per Shadow Caller level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Shadow Caller level after 1st
Armor: Light armor, Medium armor
Weapons: simple weapons
Saving Throws: Charisma, Constitution
Skills: Choose three from Stealth, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Religion, and Arcana
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) two daggers or (b) a spear
- (a) a light crossbow with a case of 20 bolts or (b) a shortbow with a quiver of 20 arrows
- a shadow charm (you can decide how it looks)
|1st||+2||Shadow Core, Dark Link, Tenebrous Dweller||2||1|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||4||1|
|6th||+3||Ebon Art feature||6||2|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||8||2|
|10th||+4||Ebon Art feature||10||3|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||12||3|
|14th||+5||Ebon Art feature||14||4|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||18||4|
|18th||+6||Ebon Art feature||20||5|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||20||5|
Starting at 1st level, from your very soul is a font from which shadow energy leaks forth. As you call upon its power, it pries open more and gushes forth with the tenebrous energy. Your access to this energy is represented by a number of shadow points. Your shadow caller level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Shadow Points column of the shadow caller class table. You can spend these points to fuel various shadow features. You start knowing two such features: Shadow Step and Shadow Blast. You learn more shadow features as you gain levels in this class.
- Shadow Step
You can spend 1 shadow point to delve into your own shadow as a bonus action. You reappear, through teleportation, in the shadow of another creature you can see within 20 feet of you, in an unoccupied space adjacent to the creature. If the target is bonded to you by your Dark Link feature, it can be up to 60 feet away.
- Shadow Blast
Immediately after you hit a creature with an attack on your turn, you can spend 1 shadow point as a bonus action to further sap them of their life, dealing 3d4 necrotic damage. You regain hit points equal to the amount of damage dealt.
When you spend a shadow point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which you replenish the well of shadow inside yourself. You must spend the rest in shade away from bright light to regain your shadow points.
Some of your shadow features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature's effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:
Shadow save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
You have a bond with shadows and this increases with the amount of them around you which are tethered and mirrored to the living. Starting at 1st level, you can spend part of a short or long rest bonding with a single willing creature that has a shadow. Through this bonding ritual, you gain a link to their shadow. You can bond with one additional creature at 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th levels, as shown under the links column of the class table. If you create more links than your level allows, your oldest link is broken. You can break a link as a bonus action.
While you and a linked creature are on the same plane of existence, you know what direction it's in and how far. You also receive information about its condition. You know if it is healthy, below half its hit point maximum, has 0 hit points, or is dead. You also know whether it currently has any levels of exhaustion. Additionally, you can communicate telepathically with it while it remains within 60 feet of you.
Living alongside shadows, you have gained their eyes. Starting at 1st level, you have darkvision with a range of 120 feet.
Additionally, you can beckon the darkness for aid when you need to see more clearly. You can spend 1 Shadow Point without expending an action on your turn. Doing so grants you the ability to see in darkness as if it were bright light for 1 minute. You still can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
The three main groups of shadow callers practice different forms of this ebon art. At 2nd level, choose the Shadow Blender, Shadow Former, or Shadow Thresher subclass, each detailed at the end of the class description. You gain features from your selected art at 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th and 18th levels.
The nature of darkness is to be anti-life. Starting at 3rd level, you benefit from this likewise. As a bonus action, you can choose one of the creatures with which you have a Dark Link and have them lose hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. You regain hit points equal to the amount they lose and cannot gain more hit points than your hit point maximum.
Because this is a dangerous effort, creatures linked to you may reject your Dark Link as a result. If the creature you use the siphon on is unwilling, they can make a Charisma saving throw against your shadow save when the effect concludes. On a success, they break the link you have with them. On a failed save, they remain tethered to you.
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.
You spread darkness and its tendrils worm their way into those it binds to. Starting at 5th level, when you would regain hit points you can alternatively have one of the creatures with whom you have a Dark Link regain it instead. Additionally, you can now use an action to choose one of your linked creatures. Until the beginning of your next turn, that creature has advantage on the first attack roll they make. If the attack hits, you regain 1 expended shadow point.
Starting at 7th level, you can channel and evoke a dark projectile to strike and cripple an enemy. As a bonus action, you can spend 1 shadow point to make a ranged spell attack against a creature you can see within 60 feet, using your Charisma as the modifier. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 necrotic damage and has disadvantage on their attack rolls until the end of their next turn.
Shadow beings are known for being alien, both in mind and body. Beginning at 9th level, you receive the following benefits:
- You have resistance to psychic damage.
- You have advantage in saving throws to avoid having your mind read.
- You can communicate telepathically with creatures bound by your Dark Link while they are on the same plane of existence.
Starting at 11th level, you can better share your gifts with those whose shadows are linked to you. Without expending an action, you can use 1 shadow point to perform one of the following effects:
- All your Dark Links gain your resistances for 1 minute.
- All attacks of those linked to you deal additional necrotic damage equal to your Charisma modifier until the end of your next turn.
- The shadows of one of your Dark Links bursts into blades, dealing 1d4 psychic damage to every creature within 5 feet of it.
Starting 13th level, you can call and store things in your shadow. When doing so, the item seems to drop into your shadow as if it is a dark space. Placing and retrieving an object in your shadow follows the normal rules for interacting with objects. When you reach into your shadow for a specific item, the item is always magically on top. Creatures cannot be stored in your shadow, and only one item can be removed or placed in your shadow at a time.
Starting at 15th level, you can manipulate the necrotic energies inherent in shadows to reveal their secrets and empower yourself. By expending 2 shadow point as an action, you can cause one of the following effects:
- You cast speak with dead without requiring material components.
- You choose a corpse that has died no less than a day ago within 60 feet of you and melt its body and residual anima into the shadows as an offering, allowing you to regain hit points equal to your Charisma modifier + the CR of the creature. A corpse destroyed this way cannot be resurrected by anything less than a wish spell.
- You cast knock. It can only be heard from 50 feet away.
Your power over dark bondage increases and you can force it onto others. Starting at 17th level, you no longer need the target creature to be willing to make them a Dark Link. As a 1 minute ritual, you expend 5 shadow points and can force a creature with a shadow within 60 feet of you to make a Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, it is restrained as the shadow ritual begins to bind your entities. On a successful save, the creature isn't affected. A creature can choose to fail this save and instantly become one of your links.
A creature restrained by this feature must make another Charisma saving throw at the end of each of its turns to will itself and break away from the link. If it successfully saves against this feature three times, the effect ends. If it fails its saves three times, it is forcibly made into one of your links. The successes and failures don't need to be consecutive; keep track of both until the target collects three of a kind.
Starting at 20th level, you can draw power quickly from the darkness to replenish your control over shadows. When you begin your turn in dim light or darkness, and you have no shadow points remaining, you regain 1 shadow point.
As a blender of shadow, you infuse yourself with its very darkness, filling your body and soul with its aura. Calling upon its power for you is to evoke it with your own body as a conduit.
- Shadow Junkie
When you indulge in the power of shadows, you gain an unbelievable rush that blurs the lines between you and darkness. Starting at 2nd level, when you use a shadow feature that costs at least 1 shadow point, your movement speeds all increase by 10 feet, you gain a +2 bonus to your AC, and you ignore difficult terrain until the start of your next turn.
- Dark Dose
Starting at 6th level, you can draw on the darkness more to increase your power when you steal from others. When you use your Dark Siphon feature, you may choose to gain shadow points instead of hit points of the same amount. You cannot gain more shadow points than allowed for your level with this feature.
- Baptism of Darkness
Starting at 10th level, you bathe in the darkness and rejuvenate yourself through immersion. When you use your Shadow Step feature, you gain temporary hit points equal to your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier. These points last until the end of a short or long rest.
- Umbral Strength
Starting at 14th level, you can share the boons of shadow with whom you are tethered. When you use the Waxing Dark feature, the target creature regains additional hit points equal to your Charisma modifier. Additionally, when you use Darkest Extend, you gain the additional option to perform the following effect for 2 shadow points:
- All attack rolls of those linked to you can use your Charisma modifier instead of their normal modifiers until the end of your next turn.
Starting at 18th level, you can manifest the omnipresence of darkness to create a magnificent persona. As a bonus action, you expend 3 shadow points to gain the following benefits, which last for 1 minute, or until you dispel it as a bonus action:
- If you are smaller than Large, you become Large, along with anything you are wearing. If you lack the room to become Large, your size doesn't change.
- You are immune to necrotic damage and you gain resistance to nonmagical slashing, piercing and bludgeoning damage.
- Once on each of your turns, one of your attacks with a weapon or an unarmed strike can deal an extra 1d8 necrotic damage to a target on a hit.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.
Formers of shadow give shape to the amorphous darkness. To call upon shadows is to bring them from formless chaos into a powerful being that will do their will and bidding.
- Object Shaper
Giving form to what was once without, you can create basic things. Starting at 2nd level, as an action, you create a simple, non-magical object that appears in your hand. This object cannot exceed a value of 1 sp, a weight of 1 pound, or take up more than 5 feet in any direction. This object disappears after 1 minute, you dismiss it with a bonus action, or if you use this feature again. This object, made of shadows, appears with no color and is pitch black.
- Abominable Shadows
Starting at 6th level, you can utilize the life force of others to summon creatures that flock to your command. When you use your Dark Siphon feature, instead of regaining hit points, you may expend a number of shadow points to summon shadowlings to empty spaces adjacent to you. The number of shadowlings you summon is equal to the amount of shadow points you use, with a maximum being the amount of hit points you would have regained. The stat block for the shadowlings is provided below. They all share one turn in battle and obey your orders to their best of their ability, being friendly to you and creatures allied with you. When they drop to 0 hit points, they collapse back into shadowy matter which dissipates. This summon lasts for up to 1 minute or until they have been killed.
Small undead, unaligned
Armor Class 12
Skills Stealth +6
Shadow Agility. While in dim light or darkness, the shadowling can take the Hide or Disengage action as a bonus action.
Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the shadow has disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) slashing damage.
Shadowlings are brief manifestations of life force that has taken a shadowy form. They are minions usually to those who command the shadows, as well as necromancers.
- Echoes of Darkness
Starting at 10th level, you can channel your Dark Links and conjure their shadows to your aid. As an action, you can spend 3 shadow points to magically manifest a dark persona of one of your Dark Links in an unoccupied space you can see within 15 feet of you. This persona is a magical, shadowy form of the linked creature that lasts for 1 minute, until it is destroyed, until you dismiss it as a bonus action, until you manifest another persona, or until you're incapacitated.
The dark persona has AC 14 + the linked creature's proficiency bonus, 1 hit point, the linked creature's movement speeds, and immunity to all conditions. If it has to make a saving throw, it uses the linked creature's saving throw bonus for the roll. It occupies its own space and acts on its own turn. The persona has one basic weapon attack from the linked source creature, but none of their features or magic spells if any. It moves of its own free will, extrapolated from the personality and demeanor of the linked creature. It is friendly to you and your linked creatures.
- Abyssal Impalement
Using the dark space in your control, you can attack enemies by summoning its contents. Beginning at 14th level, you can expend 1 shadow point as an action to target one creature within 30 feet of you. They must make a Dexterity saving throw. Choose up to three weapons within your Shadow Reserve. On a failed save, the creature takes the weapon damage of each selected weapon. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage. If the target is in dim light or darkness, they attempt this save with disadvantage.
- Shadow Infusion
Beginning at 18th level, you can reanimate bodies using the natural necrotic properties of shadows. As an additional option when you use your Skeleton Key feature, you may touch a corpse that has been dead for no more than 10 days. The corpse becomes a ghoul under your control. This creature acts on its own turn and is friendly to you and creatures allied with you. You cannot control more than one ghoul at a time.
As a bonus action on each of your turns, you can mentally command this creature you created if the creature is within 120 feet of you. You decide what action the creature will take and where it will move during its next turn, or you can issue a general command, such as to guard a particular chamber or corridor. If you issue no commands, the creature only defends itself against hostile creatures. Once given an order, the creature continues to follow it until its task is complete.
The creature is under your control for 1 hour, after which it returns to being a corpse as the animating shadow energy is spent. To maintain control of the creature for another hour, you must use this feature on the corpse again to animate it.
As a thresher of shadows, you have learned to manipulate the darkness that falls from your weapons and your allies to your advantage. They are the most aggressive of shadow callers, often channeling their power through intense emotions.
- Umbral Warrior
Starting at 2nd level, you gain proficiency in using shields and you can use your Charisma modifier instead of Strength or Dexterity for the attack and damage rolls of weapons you have proficiency with.
Additionally, you can spend shadow points when you make an attack roll while you or the target is in an area of dim light or darkness to gain advantage on the roll. You spend 1 shadow point when both you and the target are in dim light or darkness, or 2 shadow points when only one or the other is.
- Shadow Wrest
Starting at 6th level, you can use your reaction when a creature bound by your Dark Link reaches 0 HP to rip their shadow from their body and bring it under your control. You create a shadow in the space of the bound creature. It takes its turn after yours, follows your commands, and is considered to be linked to you via your Dark Link feature. This link does not count against your maximum number of linked creatures and you are still linked to the original creature. Without commands, it only defends itself and the creature it came from. If you, the shadow, or the creature it came from dies, the shadow returns to the body. It also returns if the creature it came from regains any hit points or if you sever the link to the bonded creature. This shadow does not cause additional shadows to rise from the corpses of non-evil humanoids it kills.
- Gloam Blade
Starting at 10th level, you can weave the power of darkness into a weapon of your choosing. You touch a weapon and until the end of your next long rest, attacks made with it deal an additional 1d6 psychic damage on a hit. The effect ends early if you imbue another weapon in this way. When you or a creature bound by your Dark Link feature attacks with the weapon and hits, you can spend 1 shadow point to cause the target to take additional necrotic damage equal to your proficiency bonus.
- Dark Reach
Starting at 14th level, you can strike foes with the shadow of a melee weapon you wield, bending it as needed. When you wield a melee weapon you have proficiency with, your attacks with it have an additional 5 feet of reach. Additionally, when you make a melee weapon attack while you or the target of the attack is in dim light or darkness, you score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.
- Wrath of Dusk
Starting at 18th level, you can sever any number of your Dark Links as a bonus action by spending 1 shadow point for each link. When a link is broken in this way, it forms a dark tendril that sprouts from your shadow and remains under your control for 1 hour or until you dismiss them as an action. You gain 1 tendril for each severed link, and each tendril counts as a simple melee weapon you are proficient with. When you take the attack action, you may choose to attack with your tendrils, making one attack for each tendril you control. Your tendrils have a reach of 30 feet, you use your Charisma modifier for the attack roll, and the attack deals your choice of necrotic, psychic, or slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Charisma modifier on a hit. When you attack with your tendrils, you can make one weapon attack with a different weapon you are wielding as a bonus action.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the shadow caller class, you must meet these prerequisites: Charisma 14, must have been either in contact with a shadow creature or the Plane of Shadow
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the shadow caller class, you gain the following proficiencies: Arcana and dagger
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