Shadow Monarch, 2nd Variant (5e Class)
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A man steps out of a gloomy alley, seeming to appear out of nowhere. He sets his sights on a high elf walking through a crowded market place. Following the elf silently, the man draws a dagger that was concealed in his sleeve. For a brief second, the mans's eyes turn black. Then, shadows begin to creep slowly over his blade, turning it as dark as his eyes. He takes aim, and hurls the dagger in the direction of the elf. The weapon speeds toward the elf, somehow slipping in between the people that fill the street, never even grazing a single one of them. The moment before it can strike the elf, she turns down a side street, out of the dagger's path. But just at the last moment, the dagger curves impossibly, following the elf down the side street and embedding itself in her heart. An instant later, and the weapon appears in the man's hand. He turns, and walks away as if nothing has happened, disappearing once again into the shadows of the alley.
A woman walks alone through a darkened forest, moving effortlessly through the thick undergrowth. Suddenly a twig snaps. She stops, and stares hard into the darkness. All around her, pairs of glowing eyes begin to appear, and the once-quiet forest is filled with the sound of low, menacing growls as the pack of wolves closes in. Seemingly unafraid, the woman calmly raises her arms, and her shadow, somehow still present despite the lack of light, begins to writhe, blacker than the night itself. Out of it rises a figure, then another, then another. Clad in armor of darkness, the slits in their armor glow blue. The woman waves her hand, and the figures advance towards the wolves, drawing long spears of shadow out of the air. The figures set about their work, and the night is filled with the screams and agonized howls of their victims.
Shadow Monarchs are individuals who are capable of calling upon and controlling the ancient powers of darkness. They use this power as a source of magic, with which they can cast spells, cloak themselves in shadow to hide, or to attack unseen. Shadow Monarchs can even use their powers to raise and control the dead themselves.
Creating a Shadow Monarch
Like sorcerers, Shadow Monarchs are born with their power; born with shadow and darkness within their hearts. However, most Shadow Monarchs are unable to access their power at first, usually requiring an awakening based on some strong emotion or other method. When making a Shadow Monarch, ask yourself what happened to your character to cause them to awaken their power. Also ask yourself what going through that experience has done to them mentally and emotionally. Has it left them scarred and twisted, causing them to use their abilities to make others suffer what they have suffered? Will they use their power for good, so no one else has to feel what they have? Or maybe they will simply use it for their own gain.
As a Shadow Monarch you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor, Medium armor, and shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, Rapiers, Scimitar
Tools: Alchemy kit
Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom
Skills: Choose four from Arcana, Deception, Insight, Investigation, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) A quarterstaff or (b) A rapier or (c) A Scimitar
- (a) A shortbow and 20 arrows or (b) A light crossbow and 20 bolts
- Leather armor or Scale Mail and shield
- (a) A dungeoneer's pack or (b) An explorer's pack
- An alchemy kit
|Features||Army Size||Cantrips Known||Spells Known||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|2nd||+2||Shadow Extraction, Spellcating||1||3||2||2||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||Dark Amorphous Shadow Revitalization||1 1/2||3||3||3||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||2||3||3||3||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||Ruler's Reach Improvement||2 1/2||3||4||4||2||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||Shadow Improvement 1||3||3||4||4||2||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||4||4||5||4||3||—||—||—|
|11th||+4||Shadow Exchange||5 1/2||5||7||4||3||3||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||6||5||7||4||3||3||—||—|
|15th||+5||Shadow Improvement 2||7 1/2||6||9||4||3||3||2||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||8||6||9||4||3||3||2||—|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||9 1/2||7||11||4||3||3||3||2|
At first level, you can manifest your power to create a shadow hand or fist extending from inside a creature's shadow. Using your Wisdom modifier instead of Strength for both attack roll and damage, you can use your Attack action to strike a foe, provided the creature is in darkness or you can see its shadow, and your attack is within the reach of the creature's shadow per the table below. When striking a creature that occupies a space in dim light or darkness the damage is increased. The damage and range of this attack increases as you gain levels in this class and is listed below. The Damage Type is Necrotic and you use your spellcasting ability as your attack and damage modifier.
|Level||Range||Carry Weight||Normal light||Dim Light||Darkness|
|5th||30 feet||10 lbs||1d6||1d8||1d10|
|9th||35 feet||20 lbs||1d6||1d8||1d12|
|13th||40 feet||30 lbs||1d8||2d4||2d6|
|17th||45 feet||40 lbs||1d10||2d6||2d8|
|20th||50 feet||50 lbs||2d6||2d8||2d10|
At 5th level you can create 2 hands, attacking twice on one creature or 1 each on 2 creatures in range when taking an Attack action with the Ruler's Reach feature.
Starting at 2nd level, you can Extract the shadowy essence of fallen creatures and keep them as soldiers to fight under your control. As an action, you can attempt to extract the shadow of a creature within 5 feet of you that has been dead for no longer than 1 hour, and that is not a construct or undead. You must make a Wisdom check. The DC for the check this check equals the creature's challenge rating x 2 plus its proficiency bonus. If the creature does not have a challenge rating and instead has a level, the DC equals its level x 2 plus its proficiency bonus. You have three attempts to succeed on this check. After three failures, you can no longer extract the creature's shadow. On a success, the creature's shadow separates and manifests as a Shadow Soldier, who's rank is determined below by its previous challenge rating/level (cannot exceed maximum manifested Army Size CR, so store your Shadow Soldiers before attempting to extract a new shadow or it might fail and count against your attempts):
- CR or level of 2 or lower: Rank 1 (New CR: 1/2)
- CR or level of 3-6: Rank 2 (New CR: 2)
- CR or level of 7-10: Rank 3 (New CR: 3)
- CR or level of 11 or higher: Rank 4 (New CR: 5)
Links to the Shadow Soldier stat blocks are provided at the end of the class.
Your shadow Soldiers are immune to being charmed or otherwise manipulated to attack you or an ally you have not told them to attack. Any impossible level of manipulation attempting to cause this will instead cause the Shadow Soldier to instantly reach 0 hit points and become stored in your shadow. The shadows can still be affected by magical sleep and other similar effects.
You can issue orders telepathically to your Shadow Soldiers as long as they are within 1 mile of you, and they follow all of your commands unquestioningly. If given no commands, they will simply defend themselves and await your next orders. Shadow Soldiers or rank 2 and 3 can telepathically communicate their intent and images they can perceive and send them to you within 1 mile. Rank 4 can also communicate verbally with yourself and others in any language you know. In combat your Shadow Soldiers will act on their own initiative.
There is a limit to the number of Shadow Soldiers you can have under your control at a time. The maximum total challenge rating of all your manifested Shadow Soldiers is listed in the Army Size column of the Shadow Monarch table above an is listed as a total CR. For example, at level 4 you can manifest and control a rank 2 Shadow Soldier(CR 2), or 4 rank 1 Shadow Soldiers(CR 1/2). At higher levels you can actively command any combination of Shadow Soldier ranks up to your max Army Size CR, thus suiting your Army to your current need.
As an action, you can choose to store or manifest any number of controlled Shadow Soldiers within 60 feet of your personal shadow. Stored shadows will remain in your shadow until you use an action to summon them again. When you do, they appear in unoccupied spaces you can see within 60 feet of you. If one of your manifested Shadow Soldiers is ever reduced to 0 hit points, it retreats back into your shadow and cannot be summoned again for 24 hours, after which it is restored to full hit points, but must be called manually by you. You may store a number of shadows equal to your current Shadow Monarch level x 4 and as an action you may release any shadow from your control, freeing room for new or more powerful shadows. The freed shadows dissipate, losing form and agency, no longer able to affect the world.
In addition, whenever you cast a spell that creates undead, such as the Animate Dead spell, you can choose for those undead to instead become rank 1 Shadow Soldiers which follow the same rules as your other Shadow Soldiers. You cannot do this, however, if the added challenge rating of these new Shadow Soldiers would exceed your challenge rating limit.
When you reach 2nd level, you gain the ability to use the power of the shadow stored within you to cast spells. See chapter 10 of the Player's Handbook for the general rules of spellcasting.
- Spell Slots
The Shadow Monarch table shows how many spell slots you have of 1st level or higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a spell slot of that spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots after you finish a long rest.
- Spells Known of 1st Level and Higher
You know two spells of your choice from the Shadow Monarch spell list, which is detailed at the end of the class.
The Spells Known column of the Shadow Monarch table shows when you may learn Shadow Monarch spells of your choice. Each of these spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 5th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the Shadow Monarch spells you know and replace it with another spell from the Shadow Monarch spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
- Spellcasting Ability
Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your Shadow Monarch spells. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a Shadow Monarch spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
At 3rd level, you can blend in with the shadows and become somewhat incorporeal. While in a shadow, dim light or darkness, your speed increases by 10 feet. In addition, you can fit through a space as narrow as 1 inch without squeezing as long as both you and the space are in dim light or darkness.
Beginning at 3rd level, you can expend your own magical energy to heal your Shadow Soldiers. As a bonus action, you can choose a Shadow Soldier you can see within 60 feet of you, then expend a spell slot of 1st level or higher. That Shadow Soldier regains a number of hit points equal to 5 times the spell's level.
Ability Score Improvement
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. Using variant rules you can instead take a feat. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Ruler's Reach Improvement
Upon reaching 5th level you have gained the ability to manifest a second hand, attacking twice on one creature or 1 each on 2 creatures in range when taking an Attack action with the Ruler's Reach feature. Additionally you have learned to use your shadow hands in a more consistently solid form, and can thus carry or otherwise manipulate items or creatures (similar to the Mage Hand cantrip). The range and carry weight are as listed in the Ruler's Reach table and are applied for each hand separately. When using your reach the hands are visible as a semi-solid mass of shadow that, in dim or normal light, appear as if extending from the ground or other nearby solid surface. When using your reach to carry or manipulate items or creatures you cannot simultaneously use the same hand or hands as your attack action.
Shadow Improvement 1
As your power grows, so does that of your Shadow Soldiers. At 5th, your Shadow Soldiers gain the following benefits:
- They gain a + 1 bonus to AC
- They gain a + 1 bonus to attack and damage rolls they make.
- You may now equip your Shadow Soldiers Rank 2 and above with weapons and armor that can follow them into your shadow when you store the soldier. Doing this will permanently turn this item into shadow and it cannot be retrieved except by divine intervention or the wish spell.
- While in dim light or darkness, their speed increases by 10 feet.
- While within 60 feet of you, they have advantage on saving throws against any effect that would turn undead.
Beginning at 7th level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon's fiery breath or an Ice Storm 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.
At 10th level, you can cloak yourself in darkness, seeming to fuse with the shadow that surrounds you. As long as you are in shadows, dim light or darkness, you can use and action to become invisible. You remain invisible this way until you attack or cast a spell, or until you move more than 5 feet in a single turn or enter an area that is not in dim light or darkness.
Beginning at 11th level, as an action, or as a reaction in response to being hit by a weapon attack, you can instantly exchange positions with one of your summoned Shadow Soldiers. To do so, the Shadow Soldier must be within 1 mile of you, and must be on the same plane of existence as you. If you use this ability as a reaction in response to being hit by a weapon attack, that attack instead hits the Shadow Soldier that took your place. Once used, this feature can't be used again until you finish a long rest.
Starting at 14th level, spells that target you have a disadvantage on spell attack roll and you have an advantage on every DC against spells that exclusively target you.
Additionally you begin to fade out of existence. You can use an action to become a truly incorporeal shadow, during which time you can't be sensed by normal means. When you pass through solid objects and creatures treat them as if they were difficult terrain. Creatures under the effect true seeing can still perceive you. This effect ends after 10 minutes or immediately upon taking any form of damage. If you are inside any solid object when turning solid again you and any relevant creature will take 3d10 true damage with no applicable resistances and you shift your position to a random open position within 5 feet(or the nearest open area if nothing is open within 5 feet). You may use this feature 2 times per long rest, or regain 1 use upon a short rest.
Shadow Improvement 2
Your Shadow Soldiers have now reached their full potential. Starting at 15th level, your Shadow Soldiers gain the following benefits:
- Their hit point maximums are increased by 10.
- They gain an additional +1 to AC (total +2).
- They gain an additional + 2 to attack and damage rolls they make (total +3).
- Their weapon attacks count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistances and immunities.
- You can now store items separate from your soldiers in your shadow without them turning the items to shadow. Allowing your Shadow Soldiers to use these items will still turn them to shadow and lose them permanently from the material world. Shadow stored items lose all weight, are not affected by time, temperature, or weather, and cannot be manipulated in any way until pulled from your shadow. Storing or removing items will take a full action. You can store any item you are actively holding. You can remove any item from your shadow into any open place within 60ft of you.
At 18th level, your body is now sustained by shadow. Parts of your figure seem to flicker with darkness when you move, and wispy tendrils of shade curl from your form. You gain the following benefits:
- You no longer need to eat, sleep, or drink.
- You stop aging and are immune to being aged magically.
- You are immune to necrotic and poison damage, as well as the poisoned condition.
When you reach 20th level, you can sacrifice your own Shadow Soldiers to preserve your life. If you are ever reduced to 0 hit points, you can choose to sacrifice one of your Shadow Soldiers (no action required). If you choose to sacrifice it this way, it ceases to exist and cannot be summoned again. Then, you regain a number of hit points equal to the sacrificed Shadow Soldier's current hit points before it died. To do so, the Shadow Soldier must be within 1 mile of you, and must be on the same plane of existence as you. Once used, this feature can't be used again until you finish a long rest.
Shadow Monarch Spell List
Blade Ward, Message, Minor Illusion, Vicious Mockery, Guidance, Spare the Dying, Shillelagh, Chill Touch, Friends, Eldritch Blast
- 1st Level
Cause Fear, Chromatic Orb, Detect Magic, Disguise Self, Expeditious Retreat, Fog Cloud, Grease, Hex, Jump, Magic Missile, Silent Image, Unseen Servant, Which Bolt
- 2nd Level
Blindness/Deafness, Blur, Darkness, Darkvision, Gust of Wind, Hold Person, Invisibility, Knock, Locate Object, Misty Step, Ray of Enfeeblement, Rope Trick, See Invisibility, Shadow Blade, Spider Climb
- 3rd Level
Animate Dead, Blink, Dispel Magic, Fear, Feign Death, Fly, Haste, Life Transference, Nondetection, Slow, Vampiric Touch,
- 4th Level
Blight, Confusion, Evard's Black Tentacles, Greater Invisibility, Hallucinatory Terrain, Locate Creature, Phantasmal Killer, Shadow of Moil
- 5th Level
Dance Macabre, Dream, Enervation, Far Step, Geas, Hold Monster, Mislead, Negative Energy Flood, Seeming, Steel Wind Strike.
Shadow Soldier Stat Blocks
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Shadow Monarch Class class, you must meet these prerequisites: 13 Wisdom and 13 Intelligence.
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into a Shadow Monarch, you gain the following proficiencies: Light armor, Simple weapons, Shortswords, Rapiers