Shadowcaster, Variant (3.5e Class)
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BEFORE READING: This is a variant of the original class. Specifically, it's adjusted in a way that makes it less powerful overall, but more consistent. The previous class had only 1 encounter it could be useful, so I changed it in such a way that it's more consistent in it's unique mechanic, but less powerful, thus still being a balanced class.
This Class is strongest at night. Shadowcasters draw their power from the dark, using it against those that might try their evil acts in the night. They might be a would-be Paladin who feels drawn to the night. Because shadowcasters do not follow social norms, they must take laws with a grain of salt. They work in the time where the public laws are most difficult to enforce, and in a way they become their own law.
Making a Shadowcaster
Shadowcasters are open-minded, and so they get along with most classes, though many may view their ways with suspicion.
Abilities: Because Shadowcasters draw their magic from the night, they are often nocturnal in nature. Though they gain great power at night, their magic is weak during the day or in any area of bright light.
Races: Any race that has a natural affinity for the night time or the dark would do well as a Shadowcaster, however any race can become a Shadowcaster.
Starting Gold: 2d4gp
Starting Age: Complex
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Dark Vision, Dark Casting, Detect Evil, Sneak attack +1d6||3||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Create Darkness 1||3||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+3||Share Vision, Sneak attack +2d6||4||2||-||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Sneak attack +3d6, Create Darkness 2||5||3||1||-||-||—||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||Improved Shadow Meld||5||3||2||1||-||-||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||Sneak attack +4d6||5||4||2||1||-||-||-||—||—||—|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+6||+6||Sneak attack +5d6, Shadow Jump||5||5||3||2||1||-||-||-||-||—|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+7||Greater Shadowmeld, Create Darkness 3||5||5||4||3||2||1||-||-||-||-|
|11th||+8/+3||+3||+7||+7||Sneak attack +6d6||5||5||4||3||3||1||-||-||-||-|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Sneak attack +7d6||5||5||5||4||4||3||1||-||-||-|
|14th||+10/+5||+4||+9||+9||Hide in Plain Sight||5||5||5||4||4||3||2||1||-||-|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+5||+9||+9||Sneak attack +8d6, Create Darkness 4||5||5||5||4||4||4||2||1||-||-|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Sneak attack +9d6||5||5||5||4||4||4||3||2||1||-|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+6||+11||+11||Improved Uncanny Dodge||5||5||5||4||4||4||3||3||2||1|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+11||Sneak attack +10d6||5||5||5||4||4||4||3||3||2||1|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+12||Create Darkness 5||5||5||5||4||4||4||3||3||3||2|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Shadowcaster.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Proficiency with simple weapons, hand crossbow, rapier, shortbow, short sword light armour, but not with shields.
Spells: To prepare or cast a spell, a Shadowcaster must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Shadowcaster’s spell is 13 + the spell level + the shadowcaster’s Wisdom modifier at night, and 5 + the spell level + the Shadowcaster's wisdom modifier during the day. This is due to the Dark Casting ability.
In order to cast spells, a shadowcaster needs access to her spell book. Casting from the book is a standard action and does not require preparation, but you are limited to only using certain number of spells per day, as seen in the spell per day chart. The God/dess worshipped will update the Grimoire with the spells available for the caster's domain for the levels known. Every level the caster has the ability to use one of her spell slots to permanently memorize one of her spells known. These spells permanently take up the spell slot used when memorizing them. They are always prepared and do not require a spell book to cast. You do not need to immediately memorize a spell, but once a spell has been memorized, it cannot be changed. For example, if a Shadowcaster does not choose to memorize a spell at level one, she can memorize two spells at level two, but if she chooses two spells to memorize at level two, those spells can never be changed.
Shadowcasters choose a domain which they study at level one, and then choose spells from the spell list of that domain:
Defense Domain: 0— Resistance, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Mending, Message
1st— Alarm, Protection from [Alignment], Shield: Invisible, Erase, Expedius Retreat, Feather Fall, Cure Light Wounds, Divine Favour, Obscuring Mist, Sanctuary
2nd— Obscure Object, Resist Energy, Locate Object, See Invisibility, Blur, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Cure Moderate Wounds, Owl's Wisdom, Spider Climb, Make Whole, Zone of Truth
3rd— Dispel Magic, Non-detection, Deep Slumber, Suggestion, Displacement, Illusory Script, Blink, Secret Page, Slow, Water Breathing, Cure Serious Wounds
4th— Fire Trap, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability, Remove Curse, Arcane Eye: Invizable, Detect Scrying, Charm Monster, Crushing Despair
5th— Break Enchantment, Dismissal, Prying Eyes, Interposing Hand, False Vision, Mirage Arcana, Permanency
6th— Anti-magic Field, Dispel Magic, Globe of Invulnerability, Guards and Wards, Repulsion, Contingency, Forceful Hand, Mislead, Mass Owl's Wisdom
7th— Banishment, Spell Turning, Mass Hold Person, Power Word Blind, Grasping Hand, Ethereal Jaunt, Limited Wish
8th— Cures Moderate Wounds, Mass, Word of Recall, Dispel Magic, Greater, Invisibility Sphere, Mast Hold Monster, Wind Walk, Divination
9th— Astral Projection, Cures Serious Wounds, Mass, Greater Spell Immunity, Energy Drain, Foresight
Offence Domain: 0— Detect Magic, Read Magic, Flare, Ray of Frost, Mage Hand, Acid Splash, Inflict Minor Wounds
1st— True Strike, Burning Hands, Magic Missile, Shocking Grasp, Erase, Expedius Retreat, Jump, Spiritual Weapon, Magic Stone, Inflict Light Wounds, Divine Favour
2nd— Locate Object, Scorching Ray, Cat's Grace, Spider Climb, Zone of Truth, Flaming Sphere, Inflict Moderate Wounds
3rd— Hold Person, Illusory Script, Keen Edge, Greater Magic Weapon, Secret Page, Slow, Lightning Bolt, Fireball, Inflict Serious Wounds
4th— Arcane Eye: Invisible, Crushing Despair, Phantasmal Killer, Shadow Conjuration, Wall of Ice, Wall of Fire
5th— Dismissal, Prying Eyes, Dominate Person, Hold Monster, Cone of Cold, Nightmare, Shadow Evocation, Baleful Polymorph, Telekinesis, Permanency
6th— Heroism, Chain Lightning, Contingency, Forceful Hand, Mass Cat's Grace, Acid Fog
7th— Spell Turning, Mage's Sword,Greater Shadow Conjuration, Ethereal Jaunt, Statue, Limited Wish, Finger of Death
Support Domain: 0— Detect Poison, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Dancing Shadows, Ghost Sound, Open/Close
1st— Detect Secret Doors, Identify, Disguise Self, Silent Image, Ventriloquism, Erase, Expedius Retreat, Divine Favour
2nd— Detect Thoughts, Locate Object, Magic Mouth, Misdirection, Alter Self, Fox's Cunning, Knock, Levitate, Rope Trick, Spider Climb, Whispering Wind, Zone of Truth
3rd— Magic Circle Against [Alignment], Arcane Sight, Lesser Telepathic Bond, Tiny Hut, Illusory Script, Major Image, Secret Page, Slow
4th— Arcane Eye: Invisible, Crushing Despair, Phantasmal Killer, Shadow Conjuration, Wall of Ice, Wall of Fire
5th— Dismissal, Mage's Private Sanctum, Contact Other Plane, Prying Eyes, Telepathic Bond, Sending, Dream, Persistent Image, Seeming, Fabricate, Passwall, Permanency
6th— Analyse Dweomer, Probe Thoughts, True Seeing, Mass Greater Suggestion, Contingency, Mislead, Permanent Image, Mass Fox's Cunning, Transformation
7th— Spell Turning, Greater Arcane Sight, Greater Scrying, Vision, Project Image, Ethereal Jaunt, Limited Wish
Dark Casting: At night or in Shadow Caster's Create Darkness ability, the shadowcaster's save DC is 13 + the spell level + the shadowcaster’s Wisdom modifier. If a Darkness spell is cast while the conditions would already allow the Dark Casting ability to work, then Dark Casting continues to work, however, if Darkness is cast when it is daytime, the Darkcasting ability gains penalties as normal. Casting in a well lit area at night or casting in overcast situations gives no bonuses to casting (10+ spell level+ wisdom). Casting during the day time lowers Spell save DC by 5 (5+spell level+wisdom).
Create Darkness (Sp): At level 2, a Shadowcaster can cast Darkness 1/day + Wisdom modifier. At levels 5, 10, 15 and 20 the Shadowcaster gets an additional cast per day. Unlike the spell, the shadow caster's Dark Casting ability works in this magical darkness.
Share Vision (Sp): At level 3, Shadowcasters are able to share their dark vision. This ability can be used once per day and lasts 1d4 hours + caster level. Note that the granted ability is spell-like, while their own dark vision is extraordinary.
Shadow Meld (Su): At level 4 you become more attuned with the night. Your edges blur and your appearance darkens until you are barely noticeable among the shadows. Gain a +10 competence bonus to hide when in dark shadow or night. Low light vision and dark vision do not negate this ability. Torchlight disrupts this ability.
Improved Shadow Meld (Su): At level 6, when within shadow you may move twice your normal speed when within a shadow (Three times if running). This can be used 1 round per class level per day. You also get an additional +5 competence bonus to hide. Torchlight disrupts this ability.
Uncanny Dodge (EX): Starting at 8th level, a shadowcaster retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) regardless of being caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. (She still loses any Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.) If a character gains uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below).
Shadow Jump (Su): At 9th level, a shadowcaster gains the ability to travel between shadows as if by means of a Dimension Door spell. The limitation is that the magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least some shadow. A shadowcaster can jump up to a total of 20 feet each day in this way; this may be a single jump of 20 feet or two jumps of 10 feet each. At 12th, 14, and 16th levels, the distance a shadowdancer can jump each day doubles (40 feet at 12th, 80 feet at 14th, and 160 feet at 16th). This amount can be split among many jumps, but each one, no matter how small, counts as a 10-foot increment.
Greater Shadowmeld (Su): At 10th level you gain invisibility within shadows, with no penalty to move silently check result (against listen check to detect invisible creature) when moving at full speed and a -2 penalty when running). This can be used 1 round per class level per day. When in torch light you gain a +5 competence bonus to hide.
Smite Evil (Su): Once per day at 13th level, a shadowcaster may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee attack. She adds her Charisma bonus (if any) to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per Shadowcaster level.
Hide in Plain Sight (Su): At 14th level a Shadowcaster can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, a shadowdancer can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.
Slippery Mind (EX): At 16th level, if a shadowcaster is affected by an enchantment and fails her saving throw, 1 round later she can attempt her saving throw again. She only gets this one extra chance to succeed at her saving throw. If it fails as well, the spell’s effects occur normally.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (EX): At 18th level, a shadowcaster can no longer be flanked. This defense denies rogues the ability to use flank attacks to sneak attack the shadowcacster. The exception to this defense is that a rogue at least four levels higher than the shadowdancer can flank her (and thus sneak attack her).
If a character gains uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge, and the levels from those classes stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.
A Shadowcaster whose alignment changes to anything besides non-lawful good loses all class spells and abilities except for armour and weapon proficiencies and cannot gain any more levels in this class until they atone (as Paladin).
+ Int modifier skill points per level.
Bonus Feats: The epic gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic bonus feats) every levels after 20th.
Epic Bonus Feat List: .
Shadowcaster Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Bonus Feats: .
Playing a Shadowcaster
Religion: A Shadowcaster cannot worship a deity related to the sun or light. While a shadowcaster may worship a non-night or moon related deity, it is uncommon. A Shadowcaster's deity also must be non-lawful good. Corellon Larethian or Kord are two of the more likely Gods from the player's handbook that a Shadowcaster might worship, though a god or goddess similar to the Greek Hecate or Seléne would be more fitting. A shadowcaster might otherwise have a strong draw to the night and worship it in the abstract along with having a strong sense of morality. It might help a player to know that this class is loosely based off of nocturnal wicca.
Other Classes: This class is very tolerant of others, and will seek to convince those of an evil alignment to right their ways before seeking battle. They can co-exist with any non-evil, though they may vocalize their disagreement. This tolerance allows them to get along with any easy-going class. Clerics with simmilar alignments will feel comfortable adventuring with Shadowcasters, since they also derive their power from the divine. Paladins may adventure with shadowcasters, though they will never truly see eye to eye. A neutral good shadowcaster is far more likely to adventure with a paladin than a chaotic good shadowcaster.
Combat: The shadowcaster is often the first of a party to attack, using surprise to do a great deal of physical damage before the enemy sees them, but then slips into the background to become a support character. At higher levels a shadowcaster can use the speed they gain in shadows to attack and retreat in one turn.
Advancement: A shadowcaster is not likely to multiclass because of their strong beliefs and connection to the night, however they may take a few ranks in rogue or eventually go into a prestige class such as Shadowdancer to enhance their shadow-related abilities.
Shadowcasters in the World
|“||"The night is mine, I walk where others fear to tread and bring good to the places your light dares not wander."||”|
|—Lorathyra Nithwundor, Elf Shadowcaster|
Shadowcasters can come from any society. Often they have been outcasts their whole lives, and have found that they have had some draw to the night. They are often nocturnal, and sleep during the day to get the most out of the night hours.
Daily Life: This class is not active during the daylight hours for the most part. The majority of people in this class take to adventuring and questing because of the distrust they usually receive in their home towns, however they may be missionaries of their particular deity's church, or wander
Organizations: Shadowcasters are occasionally a part of a specific church and act as a missionary of sorts, but they do not have an organization of their own.
NPC Reactions: Most people distrust the dark, and in turn distrust shadowcasters. If the NPC knows that shadowcasters are invariably good they are more likely to be helpful than if they only know that
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Religion) can research Shadowcasters to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Shadowcasters deal with the night and darkness.|
|10||Shadowcasters are non-lawful good divine casters.|
|15||Shadowcasters can blend with shadows and are weak during the day.|
|20||Characters who achieve this level of success can learn more specific details of the class features and it's workings.|
Shadowcasters in the Game
Shadowcasters make great mysterious characters whose alignment can remain a mystery for some time. They can be vigilantes, or might even retire to become a Priest or Priestess for their god or goddess. As a player character a Shadowcaster may be travelling in the name of their god or goddess trying to stop thieves and others who give the night a bad name, or you might be employed by the town guard to use your special skills to keep the streets safe at night.