Shadow Monarch, Variant (5e Class)

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Shadow Monarch[edit]

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 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[edit]

Like sorcerers, Shadow Monarchs are born with their power; born with a darkness within their hearts. However, most Shadow Monarchs are unable to access their power at first. Most of the time, their true abilities only awaken after they experience something that causes them to feel some incredibly strong negative emotions, such as anger, sadness, or hatred. When making a Shadow Monarch, ask yourself what happened to you character to cause them to awaken their power. Also ask yourself what going through that experience has done to them. 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.

Quick Build

You can make a Shadow Monarch quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Intelligence. Second, choose the criminal background.

Class Features

As a Shadow Monarch you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

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


Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, Shortswords, Rapiers
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Dexterity, Intelligence
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Arcana, Deception, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth


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

  • (a) a shortsword or (b) a rapier
  • (a) a shortbow and 20 arrows or (b) a light crossbow and 20 bolts
  • Leather armor and two daggers
  • (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack

Table: The Shadow Monarch

Level Proficiency
Features Sneak Attack
1st +2 Dagger Prowess Level 1, Sneak Attack 1d6
2nd +2 Shadow Extraction 1d6
3rd +2 Dark Haste, Shadow Revitalization 2d6
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2d6
5th +3 Shadow Improvement 1 3d6
6th +3 Dagger Prowess Level 2, Shadow Zone 3d6
7th +3 Shadow Infiltrator 4d6
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 4d6
9th +4 5d6
10th +4 5d6
11th +4 Shadow Exchange 6d6
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 6d6
13th +5 7d6
14th +5 Black Heart 7d6
15th +5 Shadow Improvement 2 8d6
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 8d6
17th +6 9d6
18th +6 Shadow Shape 9d6
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 10d6
20th +6 Shadow Sacrifice 10d6

Dagger Prowess Level 1[edit]

You have become an expert when it comes to fighting with daggers, using a combination of skill and magic to wield them with maximum effect. You gain the following benefits:

  • You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls you make using daggers.
  • Damage you deal with daggers counts as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistances and immunities.

Sneak Attack[edit]

Beginning at 1st level, you know how to strike subtly and exploit a foe's distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1d6 damage to a creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack role. The attack must use a finesse or ranged weapon. You don't need advantage on the attack role if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn't incapacitated, and you don't have disadvantage on the attack role. The amount of extra damage increases as you gain levels in this class, as shown in the Sneak Attack column of the Shadow Monarch table.

Shadow Extraction[edit]

Starting at 2nd level, you can resurrect the shadows 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 an Intelligence check. The DC for 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 two attempts to succeed on this check. After two failures, you can no longer extract the creature's shadow. On a success, the creature rises as a Shadow Soldier, who's rank is determined below by its previous challenge rating/level:

  • CR/level of 2 or lower: Rank 1
  • CR/level of 3-6: Rank 2
  • CR/level of 7-10: Rank 3
  • CR/level of 11 or higher: Rank 4

Links to the Shadow Soldier stat blocks are provided at the end of the class. 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. There is a limit to the number of Shadow Soldiers you can have under your control at a time. The total challenge rating of all your Shadow Soldiers cannot exceed half of your Shadow Monarch level rounded up. When you create a new Shadow Soldier, if its added challenge rating would exceed your challenge rating limit, then you must banish one or more of your Shadow Soldiers until their total challenge rating is back within their limit.

As an action, you can choose to store any number of Shadow Soldiers within 60 feet of you in your shadow. They remain there 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 Shadow Soldiers if 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.

Dark Haste[edit]

At 3rd level, you can blend in with the shadows and become somewhat incorporeal. While in darkness, your speed increases by 10 feet.

Shadow Revitalization[edit]

Beginning at 3rd level, you can expend your own magical energy to heal your Shadow Soldiers with a pool of darkness. As a bonus action, you can choose a Shadow Soldier you can see within 60 feet of you to heal. That Shadow Soldier regains a number of hit points up to 5 X your Shadow Monarch level. You may use this ability as many times as 2x your intelligence modifier.

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

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.

Shadow Improvement 1[edit]

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.
  • 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.

Dagger Prowess Level 2[edit]

Your skill with daggers has increased exponentially. Starting at 6th level, you gain the following benefits;

  • Ranged weapon attacks you make with daggers now have a range of 80/120ft.
  • If you make a ranged weapon attack using a dagger, you can afterwards choose to summon it back to your hand (no action required).
  • If you make a ranged weapon attack using a dagger, you can control its trajectory, causing the attack roll to ignore half and three-quarter cover.

Shadow Zone[edit]

Beginning at 6th Level, the darkness now makes way for you and provides a safe space for you, whenever you are NOT in combat you can slip into your shadow and enter a pocket dimension that has an area of 15 feet x 15 feet, height limit of 20 feet. You can place any item in there that you are holding/touching. You cannot bring another creature with you until level 10, at which point the room expands to 30feet x 30feet, height limit of 20 feet, and you can bring in up to 4 people/creatures (including yourself). While in this room, nobody can cast spells, and only you may rest here for up to 24 hours (resets after a long rest outside of the Zone). Once the room expands at level 10, you may rest here for up to 48 hours before a long rest.

Shadow Infiltrator[edit]

At level 7 you get the ability to infiltrate and store your soldiers in the shadow of other people. As an action, you can choose a creature within 30 feet of you and infiltrate a single soldier in his shadow. The soldier is imperceptible to normal senses and in total cover unless you choose his to leave the shadow of the creature or return to you or the target passes a DC 18 Perc check.

As an action you can see what your soldiers see in the perspective of inside other people's shadow, during this time, you are deafened and blinded of your own senses. While in the shadow of another creature, he still counts in the number of your stored shadows. If the shadow is over 5 miles away from you, stay in another creature for over 24 hours or is destroyed, the connection is lost and the Shadow return to your storage (you are aware of this change).

Shadow Infiltrator+: At level 15, the soldier no longer loses the connection after being 5 miles away and can stay in a creature for up to 7 days.

Shadow Exchange[edit]

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 that you can see. To do so, the Shadow Soldier must be within 60ft of 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, and you can only exchange positions with a Shadow Soldier up to 60 away from you. Once used, this feature can't be used again until you finish a long rest.

Black Heart[edit]

At the 14th level, you have spent so much time dealing with shadows/undead and the forces that animate them that you have become partially immune to some of their worst effects. You gain resistance to necrotic, psychic, and poison damage, and your hit point maximum can't be reduced.

Shadow Improvement 2[edit]

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 a + 2 to attack and damage rolls they make.
  • Their weapon attacks count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistances and immunities.

Shadow Shape[edit]

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.

Shadow Sacrifice[edit]

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 Soldier Stat Blocks[edit]

Rank 1

Rank 2

Rank 3

Rank 4


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Shadow Monarch Class class, you must meet these prerequisites: 13 Dexterity and 13 Intelligence.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into a Shadow Monarch, you gain the following proficiencies: Light armor, Simple weapons, Shortswords, Rapiers

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