Shadowcaller (5e Subclass)

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Wizard tradition

Only the wisest of sages and the most learned of wizards realize how utterly mistaken most people are about the nature of light and dark. Darkness isn’t the mere absence of light, but a force unto itself. Creeping. Primal. Endless. And you have come to understand that only the bravest of those wizards dare seek mastery over the first element and first power that is shadow itself.

The tradition of the shadowcaller is rare, combining elements of conjuration, illusion, and necromancy with other threads all its own, and viewed with mistrust by most who know of it. You know, however, that that it is potentially the most potent practice of magic in existence. What you do with that power, whether you prove them all right or wrong in their doubts and fears, is up to you.


When you choose this tradition at 2nd level, you gain darkvision to 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, its range increases by 30 feet. This is a magical effect.

Flickering Candle

Also at 2nd level, you learn the dancing lights cantrip. If you already know this cantrip, you learn a different wizard cantrip of your choice. The cantrip doesn’t count against your number of cantrips known.

When you cast dancing lights, you have the additional option of combining all four into a single hovering mass of unreal flame. If you choose this option, the “light” they shed can dim the ambient light as well as brighten it, allowing you to lower bright light to dim light in the area or brighten darkness to dim light.

Mysteries of Shadow

Starting at 6th level, you develop the ability to infuse some of your spells with the essence of shadow. You can use this ability twice between short or long rests.

Using Mysteries of Shadow requires a bonus action. Choose one of the following two effects:

  • Conjure Shadow: By casting major image before the end of your next turn, you can duplicate the effect of any conjure [creature] spell, such as conjure animals or conjure woodland beings, instead of major image’s usual effects. The spell slot used to cast major image must be equal to or greater than the level of the conjure spell you wish to duplicate. For instance, if you are duplicating conjure woodland beings, a 4th-level spell, you must cast major image in a spell slot of 4th level or greater. The creatures you summon in this fashion are only partially real, made up of illusion and the essence of shadow. They deal half normal damage, possess half their normal hit points, have half the normal carrying capacity, and suffer disadvantage on all Strength checks.
  • Evoke Shadow: The next damage-dealing spell you cast, before the end of your next turn, is infused with shadow. Half the damage it deals is of the spell’s normal type; the other half is shadow damage. If the spell affects only a single target, you can choose to attempt to knock that target out rather than kill it, as though you were making a melee weapon attack.

“Shadow,” as a damage type, is a mixture of cold and necrotic. A target’s vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities apply to shadow damage only if they affect both cold and necrotic damage.

Sprawling Shadow

Also at 6th level, you gain additional power over, and within, darkness and shadow. You acquire the following powers and benefits:

  • The range and area of effect of the darkness spell is doubled when you cast it.
  • As a bonus action, you can cause your darkvision to function even in magical darkness. This ability lasts for one minute, and you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest.
  • When casting any illusion spell, or any spell modified by your Mysteries of Shadow abilities, you gain a benefit based on the amount of light around you. If you stand in bright light, the spell’s range increases by half. If you are in dim light, you do not suffer disadvantage for casting the spell while adjacent to an enemy. If you are in darkness, you gain advantage on Constitution saves to maintain concentration on that spell.

Deeper Mysteries

At 10th level, you can use your Mysteries of Shadow ability three times between rests, rather than two. In addition, you gain a third potential use of your Mysteries:

  • Caul of Shadow: When you cast an illusion spell, or any spell modified by Conjure Shadow or Evoke Shadow, before the end of your next turn, you can also change the light in your vicinity. In a 20-ft. radius around you, the area becomes brightly lit, dimly lit, or dark, as you prefer, regardless of other light sources. This effect lasts for one minute, unless you choose to end it sooner. Although magical in origin, this is not “magical darkness” per se; darkvision and similar abilities function within. If you are under the influence of an illusion spell with a target of “self,” you can use Caul of Shadow as an action without needing to cast a spell.

Lingering Shadow

Also at 10th level, any objects you create via the creation spell last twice as long as listed.

Supreme Mysteries

Upon reaching 14th level, you can use your Mysteries of Shadow ability four times between rests. In addition, you gain a fourth potential use of your Mysteries:

  • Shadow Reality: Other than its requirement that you spend a Mystery of Shadow usage to invoke, this is identical to the Illusory Reality ability granted by the School of Illusion: By 14th level, you have learned the secret of weaving shadow magic into your illusions to give them a semi-reality. When you cast an illusion spell of 1st level or higher, you can choose one inanimate, nonmagical object that is part of the illusion and make that object real. You can do this on your turn as a half action while the spell is ongoing. The object remains real for 1 minute. For example, you can create an illusion of a bridge over a chasm and then make it real long enough for your allies to cross.

The object can't deal damage or otherwise directly harm anyone.

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