Shadow Mage

Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Sub-Classes: Illusionist
  • Ability Requirements: Health 15, Willpower 16
  • Alignments: Any Neutral (LN, NG, TN, NE, CN)
  • Starting Cash: By class

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: By class
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Allowed Weapons: By class
  • Allowed Armors: By class

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Gather Information, Hiding, Planes Lore
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Astrology, Blind-Fighting, Bribery, Etiquette, Occult Lore, Dark Sense, Direction Sense, Fire-building, Intrigue, Mental Armor, Mental Warmth, Navigation, Netherworld Knowledge, Somatic Concealment, Spellcraft
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Overview: The Shadow Mage draws his power directly from the Plane of Shadow (sometimes known as “The Black”). The shadow mage uses his shadow-inspired powers for espionage and to provide protection by hiding those he defends. Shadow mages must possess exceptional insight in fortitude in order to withstand the mental and physical rigor of reaching into the dimension of darkness.

Shadow mages are always cold to the touch, even in the heat of a summer day. As long as a connection to the Black exists within 10 feet of a shadow mage, he has access to its energy. These connections exist wherever light forms shadow. In complete darkness, there can be no shadows, so no connection to the Black is possible. They spend a portion of each day basking in shadow, and they tend to stick to shadowy places most other times. They always wear robes or cloaks full of folds and shadows, even on the hottest days. The shadow mage walks the narrow path between, always with one foot in the Black. To accomplish this, a shadow mage sacrifices a portion of himself to the Black, becoming part living shadow. In many ways, the robes they wear are to hide this sacrifice from others who would misunderstand and fear such a sight.

Role-Playing: Shadow wizards have been around for many centuries, though never in large numbers. They are mystics who have reached out and touched the Black, one of the dimensions that separates the Realms from the rest of the multiverse. They tap the cold power of this dimension for the energy they need to cast their spells. More over, they use darkness and light—and the shadows they cast—to understand the meaning of existence by examining what is missing.

Shadow mages have trained themselves in stealth techniques, and they take pride in their abilities to observe, listen, and gather information unnoticed. Except for those who know of them and their work, most believe that those connected to The Black are evil beings. This isn’t an accurate assessment by any means, but their characteristics make such beliefs understandable. Shadow mages are cold, distant, with a tendency toward neutrality. They believe in balance, for without light there can be no shadow.

Most shadow mages belong to the Obscure, a society of wizards who operate in the twilight of society, moving like specters through the world of humans. They consider it a sacred duty to uncover secrets and shed light on the darkness that hides portions of the world. Using their spells and abilities granted by their connection to the Black, the shadow mages became spies and investigators of great mystery and renown. This small order of wizards holds fast to its sacred duty. When someone absolutely needs to gather information or root out a secret, if a shadow mage is available, the job goes to him.

Special Abilities:

  • Shadow Mages treat all spells that create or manipulate light, darkness, or shadows as if they were Illusion spells for the purpose of their specialist benefits. This includes all spells from the Path of Darkness, Path of Shadows, Lorloveim’s Path, Nystul’s Path, The Black Road, and the Shining Path. The Shadow Mage may select one of these paths as a bonus path at 1st level.
  • At 3rd level, a portion of the shadow mage’s body becomes living shadow. This portion is equal to 20% of the wizard’s body. Each level thereafter, another 5% portion turns to living shadow, spreading every level advancement until 50% of the wizard’s physical form has been replaced. This shadow is constantly cold to the touch, and allows the shadow mage to cast chill touch once per day per level.
  • At 7th level, the shadow mage gains the shadow form ability. This works just like the psychometabolic science of the same name, but doesn’t require the expenditure of power points. The wizard can assume shadow form and remain in it for a number of turns per day equal to his level (broken up into one turn increments).
  • At 7th level, the shadow mage gains the ability to communicate with all shadow creatures. They may not heed him, but they will understand him and he them.
  • At 9th level, the shadow mage’s body has become 50% living shadow. At this time, the wizard gains a +5 bonus to his armor class, as half of his body is immune to normal weapons. This stacks with all other AC bonuses, including that from armor (if the wizard is capable of using such). Enchanted weapons are able to strike his shadowy body normally and ignore this bonus. In addition, the shadow mage becomes immune to the cold of the Plane of Shadow. This includes damage caused by the touch of a Shadow and the chill touch spell.

Special Disadvantages:

  • The shadow stain spreading over the shadow mage and the chill air that hangs around them give these wizards a reaction check penalty equal to -1 per three levels (round up). In addition, the first time any character sees the shadow stain, that character must make a saving throw vs. petrification or flee in terror (possibly raising an alarm).
  • In total darkness or otherwise in the absence of shadow, a shadow mage is cut off from the Black. Granted powers are diminished and the shadow mage must make a Health check with a -2 penalty to withstand the sudden absence of the chilling cold. A failed check indicates that the wizard immediately suffers 1d4 points of damage.
  • When a shadow mage accesses the Black in order to prepare his spells, he must make a Health check to withstand the physical and mental chill of the shadow dimension. The wizard isn’t actually entering the plane, just opening a conduit through the use of his magical training. A failed check inflicts 1d6+1 hp damage. He can make a second attempt, but if that fails as well he suffers another 1d6+1 hp damage and no memorization occurs that day. The obscure can’t memorize new spells until 24 hours have passed.

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Shadow Mage

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