Shadowfall Acolyte (3.5e Class)
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Casters of an unheard of magic - Acolytes seek to bring people to the realization that shadow is the first, and shall be last force of existence. Their abilities focus on clearing out large groups of enemies with their magic rather than single combat. Feared, renowned, lusted after.. The Shadowfall Acolyte is always an enigma to those about them.
Making a Shadowfall Acolyte
Shadowfall Acolytes face opponets with dull, effective magic. It is not flashy, and it is not impressive, and it's effects are normally unseen. Nonetheless, if a party chooses to take on an enigma of a caster, they've choosen wisely.
Abilities: Charisma is important for a Shadowfall Acolyte as it determines their the diffculty to resist their spells. Intelligence is also important as it determines the highest level mystery a Shadowfall Acolyte can cast. A high dexterity is an asset as well, as they rarely wear armor other than of their own shadowy design.
Races: Humans and Half-elves are most likely to become Shadowfall Acolytes. Dwarves tend to view them as servents of evil, albiet unwitting ones. Elves don't imparticualrly see them as 'evil', but find shadow unnatural, thus undesired. Gnomes are unimpressed by the dull displays of a Shadowfall Acolyte's abilities, and tend to avoid and ignore them. Halflings fear their dark power, but envy their ability to travel in dark places. And Half-Orcs commonly lust after a Shadowfall Acolyte's power, but few possess the talent or mental capacity to become one.
Alignment: Any, typically any neutral.
Starting Gold: 1d4×10 gp (25 gp).
Starting Age: Complex.
|1st||+0||+2||+0||+2||Fundamentals of Shadow, Apprentice Mysteries, Shadowborne (+1/-1)|
|3rd||+2||+3||+1||+3||Shadow Craft (Basic)|
|6th||+4||+5||+2||+5||Shadow Craft (Enchant)|
|7th||+5||+5||+2||+5||Apprentice Mysteries (Spell-like), Iniatiate Mysteries|
|9th||+6/+1||+6||+3||+6||Shadow Craft (Quickened)|
|13th||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||Apprentice Mysteries (Supernatural), Iniatiate Mysteries (Spell-like), Master Mysteries|
|14th||+10/+5||+9||+4||+9||Shadow Craft (Shadow Striking)|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||Unlimited Fundamentals of Shadow|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+12||+6||+12||Bonus Fundamental, Shadowborne (+5/-5), Shadowed Jaunt|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
The Shadowfall Acolyte's abilities function best at night, as planes are closest the the plane of shadow at that time.. All of the following are class features of the Shadowfall Acolyte.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Shadowfall Acolyte is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with your gestures, which can cause your mysteries to fail when they function as spells.
Spells: A Shadowfall Acolyte does not cast spells as other classes do, but instead invoke mystical secrets called mysteries. The Shadowfall Acolyte knows one mystery at 1st level and gains one additial mystery every class level. Up to 6th level, a Shadowfall Acolyte can only learn apprentice mysteries. At 7th level, a Shadowfall Acolyte gains access to initiate mysteries, and at 13th level she becomes able to use master mysteries. A Shadowfall Acolyte can choose her new mysteries from any category you have access to (including fundamentals). For instance, at 8th level, a Shadowfall Acolyte could select either a fundamental, an apprentice mystery, or an initiate mystery. Shadow magic progesses in very specific stages. A Shadowfall Acolyte may not "jump ahead" in a path, although she need not complete a path if she does not wish to. Within a category (apprentice, initiate, master), a Shadowfall Acolyte can only learn mysteries of a previous level, and she must know all previous mysteries within a path to select a mystery from that path. For example, a Shadowfall Acolyte cannot learn congress of shadows (the second mystery of the Ebon Whispers path) until she knows at least two 1st-level mysteries, one of which must be voice of shadow (the first mystery of that path). However, a Shadowfall Acolyte can always select the first mystery in a path of a category she has access to, even if she didn't complete the lower category paths. For example, she could learn the shadow vision mystery, the first one (4th level) in the Initiate Veil of Shadows path, even if she knew no 3rd level mysteries (all of which are in the Apprentice category).
Mysteries represent thought patterns and formulae so alien that other spells seem simple in comparison. As a Shadowfall Acolyte progresses, however, her connection to the Plane of Shadow grows stronger, and her mysteries become more ingrained in her essence. When she is capeable of casting only apprentice mysteries, she casts them as though they were arcane spells. They all have somatic componets, armor-based spell failure chance, and are subject to interruption (but they do not require material componets, foci or verbal componets). Whenever a Shadowfall Acolyte casts a mystery as an arcane spell, observers can make a DC 15 Spot check to note that her shadow is making different gestures from the ones she makes when she casts the mystery.
At 7th level, when a Shadowfall Acolyte becomes capable of casting initiate mysteries (whether or not you choose to learn any), her apprentice mysteries become so much a part of her that they not function as spell-like abilities, and they no longer require somatic componets. Her new initiate mysteries (when you learn them) function as arcane spells and follow the rules described above.
When a Shadowfall Acolyte reachs 13th level and become capable of casting master mysteries, another change occures. Her master mysteries now function as arcane spells, and her initiate mysteries function as spell-like abilities. Her apprentice mysteries become supernatural abilities.
A Shadowfall Acolyte can learn a mystery more than once. Each time she relearns a mystery, she gains another set of uses of that mystery per day.
A Shadowfall Acolyte can use each mystery she knows a certain number of times per day depending on whether it is cast as a spell (Once, a spell-like ability (two times), or a supernatural abilitiy (three times). Unlike spellcasters, a Shadowfall Acolyte does not get bonus mysteries for a high ability score. Although she does not prepare spells, she must rest for 8 hours and meditate for 15 minutes each day to regain her use of mysteries just as a sorcerer or bard must rest and meditate to regain use of spell slots.
In order to cast a mystery, a Shadowfall Acolyte must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the mystery's level. The save DC for her mysteries equals to 10 + mystery level + her Charisma modifier + 1/2 her Shadowfall Acolyte level. Even though a Shadowfall Acolyte does not "cast spells" in the traditional sense, her level in this class counts for the purpose of determinging her overall caster level.
Shadowborne (Ex): Due to the connection that the planes have with the plane of shadow, the Shadowfall Acolyte gains a +1 bonus to all rolls and DC's during the night. Alternativly the Shadowfall Acolyte suffers a -1 penalty to all rolls and DC's during the daylight hours. This ability improves at fifth level and every five levels after fifth. The Shadowfall Acolyte need not be outside for this ability to function.
Shadowed Jaunt (Ex): Once a Shadowfall Acolyte has reached the 20th level, her bond with the plane of shadow becomes so strong that once per day as a standard action she may shift to the plane of shadow for 1 round/level. This ability functions as a Plane Shift spell, with the execption of the plane of shadow being the only possible destination, along with it requiring no verbal, somatic componets nor foci, and only the Shadowfall Acolyte may travel in this method. At the end of the duration of this ability, the Shadowfall Acolyte is placed back on the plane of the ability's use. Any distance traveled in the plane of shadow is also covered on the origional plane. The Shadowfall Acolyte 's caster level for this ability is equal to her Shadowfall Acolyte level.
Shadow Craft (Su): As of 3rd level, a Shadowfall Acolyte can create small items, such as tools or weapons, from shadow. She need merely place her hands into any shadow and draw forth the desired item. It cannot possess moving or flexible parts, so she could not create a crossbow, a rope, a flail or a cabinet. A Shadowfall Acolyte can create nearly any other weapon, simply tool, or small item, however.
She can create one item weighing a number of pounds up to twice her Shadowfall Acolyte level, or two items whose combined weight does not exeed that limit. Using shadow craft is a standard action. If the item leaves the Shadowfall Acolyte's possession, it fades away in 1d4 rounds. Otherwise, it lasts for 1 hour per class level. Shadow craft is useable a number of times per day equal to one-half the Shadowfall Acolyte's class level. Items created by shadow craft cannot be employed as material componets or foci in spellcasting. If a Shadowfall Acolyte wants to create an item that mimics a specific item she has seen, she must succeed on a DC 20 craft check of the appropriate sort (weaponsmithing, for instance).
At 6th level, a Shadowfall Acolyte can enchance her creations. She can imbue a shadow-crafted weapon with an enhancement bonus equal to 1/3 her class level, rounded down. At 9th level, a Shadowfall Acolyte quickens her shadow crafting. She needs only a standard action to create enhanced items and only a swift action to create nonmagical ones. At 14th level, a Shadowfall Acolyte may apply the shadow striking ability to any magic weapon she creates through shadow craft. Further, you do not need to craft the item on the plane of shadow, as is normally the case with shadow striking weapons.
Epic Shadowfall Acolyte
|27th||Iniatiate Mysteries (Supernatural), Master Mysteries (Spell-like), Epic Mysteries|
|30th||Shadowborne (+7/-7), Bonus Fundamental|
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Mysteries: The Shadowfall Acolyte's caster level is equal to her class level. The Shadowfall Acolyte's number mysteries of per day increases after 20th level, due to her mastery of even the most diffcult of them. Every other time the Shadow Acolyte achieves a new level, he or she learns one new mystery of any level that he or she can cast (according to his or her new level).
Shadowborne: A Shadowfall Acoltye's shadowborne ability continues to improve past level 20.
Bonus Feats: The epic Shadowfall Acolyte gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Shadowfall Acolyte bonus feats) every 4 levels after 20th.
Epic Shadowfall Acolyte Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Empower Mystery, Enlarge Mystery, Extend Mystery, Expanded Shadowlore, Epic Path Focus, Epic Prowess, Great Charisma, Improved Nocturnal Caster, Improved Shadow Cast, Improved Shadow Crafting, Line of Shadow, Maximize Mystery, Quicken Mystery, Reach Mystery, Still Mystery.
Playing a Shadowfall Acolyte
Religion: Shadowfall Acolytes typically do not follow gods, finding them temporal, and thus less than shadow's eternity. However, the few that do often serve gods of darkness of shadow iteself.
Other Classes: The Shadowfall Acolyte typically are a closed group with anyone but their own, distrusting of outsiders. However, those that have earned their trust - or are members of their order are treated like brothers and sisters.
Combat: An Acolyte typically gains the overview of a battle, deciding on which side to take, if to participate at all. If she does, she rains terror upon her enemies at a distance, dispatching them quickly before they get within melee range. Should such happen, they either tear them apart with more powerful mysteries, or retreat from battle to assail them from afar again.
Advancement: Shadowfall Acolytes rarely multiclass. If they do, rogues or shadowdancers are not an unheard of choice.
Shadowfall Acolytes in the World
|“||"Behind the fire, between the worlds, in all the empty spaces, at the end of all things, we are there. Matter, light, life - these things are fleeting. Shadow, only shadow, is eternal."||”|
|—Eddas Coradran, Lord of the First House, Parliament of Shadows, Human Shadowcaster|
Daily Life: When not adventuring, shadowfall acolytes spend the majority of their time in study, meditation, and contemplation.
Notables: Shadow magic does not lend itself to flashy displays. As a result, few are known, and none famous.
NPC Reactions: Few people understand shadowfall acolytes, and even fewer trust them. The common association of darkness with evil is simply too hard to shake, particularly since a goodly number of shadowfall acolytes are evil, or at least uncaring of others.
Shadowfall Acolyte Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research shadowfall acolytes to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Little is known about their mysterious close-gathered organazation, and they tend to keep to themselves.|
|10||Shadowfall Acolytes are magic uses who focus on the powers of darkness and shadow.|
|15||Shadowfall Acolytes draw their power from the Plane of Shadow, shaping it into magic both familiar and alien to other practitioners. They believe that shadow, as both the reflection of the material world and the substance between worlds, is the only eternal force in existence.|
|20||Shadowfall Acolytes grow inextricably linked to the power of night and it's attachment to the Plane of Shadow, and as a result are far more powerful in the night than in the day.|