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Shadowherd (3.5e Class)

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Shadowherd
Shadows and gloom gather about the shadowherd, whose very armor and weapons are made from the shreds of shadows.
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Status: Done
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Shadowherd[edit]

Shadowherds have some sort of established connection to the Plane of Shadow. They may have traveled the Plane of Shadow at some point in their early youth, perhaps an ancestor spent too much time on the Plane of Shadow and its toxic effects altered the family bloodline. Whatever the reason, this connection causes and affinity between the Shadowherd and denizens of the Plane of Shadow who are referred to by the shadowherds as "shadow shreds". Shadow shreds have an affinity for beings whose blood is tainted by the Plane of Shadow, subscribes to an identical alignment, and who has a fascination with the magical nature of shadows. Shadow shreds that feel attracted to the shadowherd tirelessly struggle to enter the material plane to be near the shadowherd, and once within the material plane will cling to the shadowherd's body, which provides them refuge from even strong sunlight.

Shadowherds may wear clothing, but have no need of it. The clinging shadow shreds themselves cloak the shadowherds body, and even form armor for her.

Being intrinsically magical, the shadow shreds are able to confer magical enhancements upon the shadowherd. Because the shadow shreds feel a deep connection with the shadowherd that approaches adoration, they love to fulfill the shadowherd's wishes and will allow the shadowherd to employ their abilities as the shadowherd sees fit.

Shadow shreds can augment the shadowherd in a multitude of ways, including: increasing a statistic, providing bonuses to armor or a weapon, adding physical features to the character and more.

Having the highly magical shadow shreds in constant contact with the shadowherd's body does have its costs. For some reason, the magic of the shadow shreds does not react well with magic items, in general, and there may be dire consequences for the shadowherd or the item of a shadowherd attempts to use it.


Making a Shadowherd[edit]

The shadowherd's key abilities are geared toward martial combat. While the shadow shreds endow certain magical gifts, they are mostly to increase her combat prowess. The flexibility allowed the shadowherd via her shadow shreds allow her many options when it comes to deciding what sort of fighting she will engage.


Abilities: Charisma, Strength, and Dexterity are important abilities to the shadowherd. A high charisma attracts bonus shadow shreds, in addition to affecting certain class skills. Consult table 1.1 in the Players Handbook to determine how many bonus shadow shreds a shadowherd attracts. Shadow shreds are treated as 1st level spells on this table for purposes of determining bonus shred shadows. At each advancement in level, the shadowherd attracts this number of bonus shadow shreds in addition to base number of shreds attracted. Shadowherd A shadowherd's strength and dexterity determine her attack and defense bonuses.


Races: Shadow shreds are "color blind" when it comes to race. Any race may become a shadowherd.

Alignment: Lawful, True , or Chaotic Neutral. The shadow shreds, who come in the same varieties of neutral (chaotic being the most common), can only establish affinities with beings of identical alignment.

Starting Gold: 1d10

Starting Age: Moderate

Table: The Shadowherd

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Shadow Shreds
Attracted
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Shadow Shreds, Shadow Arms and Armor,
Dark Immiscibility
1
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Shadow Thrust 1
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Gear Shift 1
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 Shadowflage 1
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Shadow Steed 1
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 Shadow Warp 2
7th +5 +5 +5 +2 2
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +2 Shadow Reconfiguration, Spell Resistance +10 2
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +3 2
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +3 Bonus fighter feat 2
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +3 2
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Shadow Step 3
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 3
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +4 Shadow Walk 3
15th +11/+6/+1 +10 +9 +5 3
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Shadowy Body 3
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 3
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 4
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 4
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Bonus fighter feat 4

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Perform (Shadow Puppets (ala Dance)) (Dex), Ride (Dex), Tumbling (Dex)

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Shadowherd.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A shadowherd is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields (not including tower shields).

Shadow Shreds (Su): A shadowherd's background, alignment and fascination with shadows attracts wispy entities from the Plane of Shadow. These so-called shadow shreds become enamored with the shadowherd and forsake their home plane to be their chosen one. Because the Plane of Shadows has a deep rooted connection to the Negative Energy Plane, the Plane of Shadow teems with creatures corrupted by negative energy. Thus, shadow shreds, which are aligned in the Neutral spectrum, seem almost content when faced with leaving their shadowy dens to brave the brightly-lit dangers of the material plane. The shadowherd's essence or aura seems to provide shadow shreds with a sanctuary from even the brightest daylight.

Shadowherds may employ the shadow shreds that cling to her. Each shred willingly allows the shadowherd to assign it a purpose. Once assigned, that shred is dedicated to its purpose tirelessly until such time as the shadowherd dies or re-assigns it. More powerful magical abilities may be achieved by combining the efforts of more than one shred. For example, the vorpal ability may be added to a weapon if 10 sprites are assigned to the job. Certain magical effects may not be created by shadow shreds. Effects that cause light or heat are impossible. Shadow shreds may be stacked. For instance, it takes one shadow shred to create a +1 bonus to shadow armor. Assigning a second shred to the same task causes the armor bonus to raise to +2. Shadow shreds need not receive an assignment upon their union with their shadowherd. The shadowherd may wait until she has found it a worthy purpose.

Table: Sample Shadow Shred Assignments
Shadow Shred Effects Number of Shreds Required
Form a one-handed melee weapon 1
Form a 2-headed or 2-handed melee weapon 2
Form a shield (AC 2 shield bonus) 1
Form shadow shred armor (AC 5 natural armor bonus) 1
+1 bonus to shadow weapon, shield or shuriken (total bonus may not exceed total character level/4) 1
+1 AC natural armor bonus to shadow armor 1
+1 to statistic 1
+1 to saving throw 1
+1 category of weapon/armor hardness 1
+5 to class skill 1
Increment Damage Reduction 1/+1,fire 1
+10 movement rate to one mode of locomotion (fly requires wings, swim requires tail) 1
Transform minor body parts: claws, horns, hooves, etc. 1
Darkvision +30' increment 1
Spell resistance +1 1
Blindsense +10' increment 1
Enhance a flight category by one (if wings) 1
One Bonus Fighter Feat 1
Add major body parts: wings (retractable,base move,poor maneuverablity), arms (pair), prehensile tail (d4 whip) 2
Offensive weapon effect (e.g., d6 cold, electricity or acid damage, keen, ghost touch, etc) 2 shadow shreds per bonus point listed on tables 7.14 and 7.15 in the DMG
Ring of Feather Fall 2
Specific weapon effects Consult DM
Armor special abilities 1 shadow shred per bonus listed on table 7.16 in DMG
Regeneration (per ring of) 4
Ring of Freedom of Movement 4
Add vorpal ability to shadow weapon 10
Items at DM's discretion Consult DM

Shadow Arms and Armor (Su): The shadow shreds that cling to the shadowherd may be used to form clothing or armor. One shadow shred may be used to create shadow armor which provides an AC bonus of 2. The armor class bonus of the shadow armor may be increased by dedicating more shadow shreds to that purpose. The nature of the shadow shreds causes the appearance of the clothing/armor to fluctuate periodically. The shadow get restless and must alter their shape. Shadow shred armor weighs 5 lbs (no matter the bonus), has a max dex bonus of 6, and AC -1 check, and arcane spell failure chance of 10%.

The shadowherd can create weapons from shadow. A Shadowherd is able to employ a shadow shred to form a solid one-handed weapon (or shield) with the equivalent solidity of steel. W-headed weapons require 2 shadow shreds to form. Forming the shadow weapon's initial shape takes time. Shadows by nature are transient. To persuade the shadow shreds to become firm and then to help them understand the weapon's physical boundaries takes a full day. The shadowherd may shape her shadow weapon into any weapon of her choosing.

Shadow arms must be size proportional to the character. They have a hardness of steel. They are considered non-magical (unless augmented -- see below). The are always considered light weapons, no matter the weapon's shape (consequently making them finesse-able and treated as light for two-weapon fighting should the weapon have 2 striking ends). The shadowherd may only ever have one shadow weapon. Holding two shadow arms, one in each hand is not a possibility for a shadowherd. It is beyond the ability of the shadow shreds to perform such a feat. Once the shadow shreds have been "trained" in the physical form of a weapon, that weapon may be called upon as a move action by the shadowherd. When this happens, it appears as if the shadowy armor donned by the shadowherd streams a portion of itself into the shadowherds hands where the weapon then coalesces.

A shadowherd may reform her weapon into a new shape whenever she chooses, but it takes a full day of concentration to retrain the shadow shreds.

Shadow arms may be augmented in various ways by the addition of more shadow shreds. Magical enhancements, hardness enhancements, even special abilities may be applied according to the Shadow Shreds Assignment table.

Dark Immiscibility (Su): Handling magical items for any length of time beyond a round or two may cause the item to become permanently mundane. The item must be in the possession of the shadowherd. Merely standing inside an Instant Fortress, for example, would not be a threat to the item. However, trying to invoke the Instant Fortresses command word is another matter. Attempting to use any power of a magical item creates an 85% chance that the item will lose its powers permanently. If the item is intelligent, an artifact, or culturally significant, then its powers will only be temporarily suppressed for a duration equal to 5 minutes times the shadowherd's class level.

A shadowherd attempting to purposely use a magical item not connected to the Plane of Shadow may cause a magical backlash that will force all her shadow shreds back into the Plane of Shadow. The effect of the disconnection from her shadowy companions causes the shadowherd to lose consciousness for 2d4 rounds, and it will take 2d12 hours for her shadow shreds to relocate themselves to her.

There may be some exceptions to dark miscibility. Rumors circulate amongst Shadowherds that certain magic items that have a connection to the Plane of Shadow may be usable. It is thought that if the item has characteristics of the Plane of Shadow, then its use might be possible. If its properties rely on shadows to perform, such as hiding, or extinguishing lights or fires, then many shadowherds would attempt its use in hopes of widening their tools at hand. A famous case where a shadowherd donned the shadowy looking armor of a conquered thief resulted in disaster for the armor, because it immediately lost its powers to hide its wearer and became bleach white. Shadowherd's speculate that the armor held other properties besides its ability to hide its wearer, and thus the Shadow magic it possessed was not pure enough to interact with shadow shreds. Whatever the reason, shadowherds occasionally may attempt to use an item that seems a good candidate. It is commonly known that tomes wherein the powers of self improvement are contained function normally for a shadowherd. The theory is that these tomes perform no magic whilst reading, but that the magic is activated by the reader caused by the learning from new experiences.

Shadow Thrust (Ex): From the shadows come ranged weaponry. The shadowherd uses a small portion of the shadow shreds who cling to her to form shadow shuriken. At 2nd level, with the flick of the wrist the shadowherd may throw her shuriken shaped shadow which flies from her finger tip toward her target. The shuriken has all the characteristics (range, damage, etc.) of a steel shuriken that is size appropriate for the shadowherd. At subsequent levels, the Shadowherd may form additional shuriken each round. The total shuriken formed past the first (the first has no preconditions) may not exceed her charisma modifier. At 4th level, her ability to create shuriken allows her to throw 2 such shuriken at the same time. At 6th level she may create and throw 3 shuriken, and at 8th level she may create and throw 4 shuriken. At 10th level, with her off hand, she gains a 5th shuriken. If she does throw shuriken from her off hand, all her shuriken throws are subject to the rules of two-weapon fighting. Like her primary hand, at every other level after 10th, the shadowherd gains one more shuriken until she has one for each finger (besides the thumb).

At the end of each round, these shurikens fade, transitioning into the shadow plane, whereby they travel back to the shadowherd instantaneously and re-enter the material plane prepared for the next round.

Shadow thrust shurikens may be augmented by employing a shadow shred to create an enhancement, much the way shadow arms may be. Effects such as +1, or a greater hardness than steel get applied to all shurikens created in a round. However, special effects (such as cold or acid) only count toward one of the shuriken. In short, all the shuriken on one hand get treated as a single weapon (one roll to hit, one damage roll, one strength modifier applied, damage reduction, etc.).

For example, Shraven is level 6 and has a 17 charisma. He therefore qualifies for 3 shadow shuriken per round. Additionally, he's assigned a shadow shred to enhance his shadow shuriken for +1. He rolls one attack roll for all 3. It hits, so he calculates his damage by rolling 3d2 and comes up with 4. To this he adds his strength modifier of 2 as well as the +1 enhancement for a total of 7 damage.

Gear Shift (Su): At 5th level, for ten minutes per class level the shadowherd can cause her armor shadows to reshape themselves to any kind of clothing for which she has first hand knowledge. When utilising this power, the shadowherd gains an bonus to disguise checks equal to her charisma (in effect, doubling the charisma modifier for disguise). The AC bonus of the armor may be compromised if the disguise does not cover vital areas at the DM's discretion.

Shadowflage (Ex): At 4th level, a shadowherd's shadow shreds blur the edges of the shadowherd's physical body, endowing her with a +3 circumstance bonus to Hide when conditions are shaded, gloomy or dark. At 8th level the Hide bonus increases to +6 and grants a 20% concealment when fighting defensively. At 12th level the accumulation of shadow sprites causes even greater distortion of the shadowherd's figure, grants a +9 bonus to Hide and 40% concealment when fighting defensively. By level 16, the Hide bonus is +12 and concealment is 50% when fighting defensively. At 19th level, these bonuses can be applied to another creature of the same size or smaller who occupies a square next to the Shadowherd with no penalty. Light spells do not counter this, nor does Faerie Fire or similar effects. However, sunlight, or a Sunlight spell negates shadowflage.

Shadow Steed (Sp): At 3rd level, shadowherds may summon a shadowy steed from the Plane of Shadow once per day. This spell functions as the Phantom Steed spell, where the caster level is the shadowherd's class level.

Shadow Warp (Sp): At 6th level, the shadowherd gains the ability to reshape shadows present in her environment once per day. She can shorten or lengthen shadows, make them appear as something else, or even disappear all together (perhaps to see something better). Two square feet of shadow per charisma modifer of the shadowherd may be doubled in size, diminished to nothing, and/or altered for up to a number of minutes equal to the shadowherd's level.

Shadow Reconfiguration (Ex): At 8th level, the shadowherd may re-purpose a number of her shadow shreds equal to her charisma modifier. Shadow shreds are ephemeral by nature, however, once they have been assigned a purpose, they tend to cling to that purpose as a person's shadow might cling to the person. Therefore, only occasionally may a few shreds be persuaded to a new assignment. Every four levels after 8th, the shadowherd may again re-assign a number of shadow shreds equal to her charisma modifier.

For example, after just advancing to 8th level, Shraven the shadowherd has just attracted 2 unassigned shadow shreds. He would like to create a Ring of Freedom of Movement, but it would require 4 shadow shreds dedicated to that purpose. At previous levels, he had put a total of 5 shadow shreds into his AC. Shadow reconfiguration allows him to remove1 2 shadow shreds from his AC add them to his 2 new ones to get a total of 4, which is the cost of the ring. Without shadow reconfiguration, Shraven would have had to leave his AC as is, and wait to level again to attract enough shadow shreds to create his ring.

Shadow Step (Sp): Due to her accumulation of shadow shreds, entering the Plane of Shadow becomes possible for short durations. At 12th level once per encounter, as a move action, the shadowherd may fade into the Plane of Shadow travel a few steps and reappear in the material plane. Because travel on the Plane of Shadow is faster than on the material plane, and because her shadow shreds aid her, the shadowherd can appear move instantaneously up to a distance that is a product of her normal movement rate multiplied by one half her charisma modifier (rounded up) before reappearing on the material plane.

For example, Shraven, who has a move of 30 and a charisma of 17 and thus a modifier of 3, is able to shadow step 60 feet: one-half her modifier or 3/2=1.5 rounded up to 2 times her normal movement rate of 30. Travel through the transient Plane of Shadow is inexact, thus the shadowherd has a 10% chance to land in a random square adjacent to the intended one. If she ends up in a square occupied by a foe, then she is subject to an attack of opportunity, as usual. If she appears in her intended destination, she gains surprise on any creature who had been focusing elsewhere. Leaving a threatened square to enter into a shadow step does not cause an attack of opportunity.

Spell Resistance 10 (Su): The shadowherd's power combined with her accumulation of shadow shreds has a deleterious effect on magical spells cast at or around her per the normal rules of spell resistance. Any shadow shreds assigned to increase spell resistance get added to this figure.

Bonus fighter feat: At levels 10 and 20, a Shadowherd is allowed to pick a feat from the fighters feat list.

Shadow Walk (Sp): At 14th level the shadowherd may use the spell shadow walk once per day with the modification that the duration is equal to her charisma modifier multiplied by 1 hour.

Shadowy Body (Su): At 16th level, once per day the shadowherd may become as insubstantial as a shadow itself for a number of minutes equal to her shadowherd class level plus her charisma modifier. As a shadowy body, shadowherds lose their corporeal form, gaining incorporeal traits. She may traverse any shaded or darkened area, even vertical surfaces. She is unable to attack in this form, and may revert back to her normal form at any time as a swift action. Becoming corporeal in a threated square causes an attack of opportunity, unless surprise was acheived. A Sunlight spell will cause her to revert from her shadowy body back to normal.

Ex-Shadowherds[edit]

If a shadowherd's alignment becomes either good or evil in any way, the shadow shreds will flee her person for the shadow plane and she will become an Ex-shadowherd. The character will still maintain her base attack bonuses, feats and skills earned from her past experiences, but will lose the following special abilities: Shadow Shreds, Shadow Arms and Armor, Dark Immiscibility, Shadow Thrust, Gear Shift, and Shadowflage (which all depend upon the shadow shreds for success). Furthermore, any equipment or enhancements gained from the assignment of the shadow shreds will also be lost. Ex-shadowherds are able to use all magic items safely. Should the Ex-shadowherd's alignment swing back to neutral, then her shadow shreds will quickly find their way back to her.


Epic Shadowherd[edit]

Table: The Epic Shadowherd

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st 4 bonus shadow shreds
22nd 4 bonus shadow shreds
23rd 4 bonus shadow shreds
24th 5 bonus shadow shreds
25th 5 bonus shadow shreds
26th 5 bonus shadow shreds
27th 5 bonus shadow shreds
28th 5 bonus shadow shreds
29th 5 bonus shadow shreds
30th 6 bonus shadow shreds, Shadow Dragon Form, Bonus fighter feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Shadow Dragon Form: (Su): Shadow shreds fear the dragons residing on Plane of Shadow more than any other creatures. Thus, once/day for a number of hours equal to the shadowherd's charisma modifier, they are able to draw on their intimate knowledge of these creatures to create an exact replica of these dreaded foes. This replica surrounds the shadowherd such that the shadowherd's movements get translated to the apparitions. She is capable of flight and making the natural attacks of a dragon with an equal number of hit dice. The shadow shreds can simulate the look of a Shadow Dragon's breath weapon, but because of their feelings toward negative energy, refuse to faithfully reproduce the dragons breath weapon attack. Instead, creatures caught in the faux shadow dragons's breath are beset by a SRD:Phantasmal Killer spell. The save DC for this breath weapon is 10 + shadowherd-class-level/2 + CHA. The Shadow dragon retains the shadowherd's original statistics.

Human Shadowherd Starting Package[edit]

Weapons/Armor: Shadow Shred Longsword d8

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier. Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Perform (Shadow Puppets) (Dex), Ride, Tumbling

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Check
Penalty
Bluff 4 CHA
Climb 4 STR
Disguise 4 CHA
Hide 4 DEX
Intimidate 4 CHA
Jump 4 STR
Knowledge (The Planes) 4 INT
Perform (Shadow Puppets) 4 DEX
Ride 4 DEX
Tumbling 4 DEX

Feat: Improved Shield Bash

Bonus Human Race Feat: Power Attack

Gear: Shadow Shred Shield AC 2, Shadow Shred Armor AC 6

Gold: 6g

Shadow Shred Assignments: Assign Cha + 1 shadow shreds: 1 weapon, 1 armor, 1 shield

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Shadowherd[edit]

Religion: Shadowherd's have no particular religion in common, since they may come from a variety of cultures and races. They may have no religion at all, and if they do, they tend toward dieties representing balance, justice, or travel. The Shining Citadel, a fabled city of the Plane of Shadow, is something of a holy grail to the shadowherd, who will pursue rumors of its location with zeal.

Other Classes: The shadowherd's connection to another plane, combined with her inter planar companions tend to make a shadowherd's personality initially seem odd or quirky. However, two aspects of the shadowherd generally garner them adventuring invitations. First, her high charisma quickly overcomes the any reservations or prejudices new acquaintances may have, thus her creepy shadowy visage starts to seem more cool than creepy. Second, because shadowherds have little interest in magical treasure, many an adventuring party is happy to have them along for the shadowherd rarely, if ever, has a “need” to put before the greed.

Combat: Shadowherds are typically melee combatants, however, they may also be useful in missions requiring stealth or, at higher levels, quick travel.

Advancement: Career development for shadowherds is as varied as shadows flitting by a campfire. Most shadowherds tend towards making some aspect of their class overpowered. But many find that their depth comes at much sacrifice to their breadth. Multi-classing is difficult. Because shadowherds may not use magical items, keeping gear up the standards of the rest of an adventuring party may be a challenge when multiclassing.

Shadowherds in the World[edit]

As a child plays with his shadow shall I play upon the fears of those who wish to disturb the tranquil blanket enfolding the world we call night.
—excerpt from "Darkest Knight: A Word on the Shadowherd", by Shazzer, Human Bard
A dark and gloomy sewer? What are we waiting for!!??
—Starna, Half-orc Shadowherder

Daily Life: Shadowherds often take an interest in politics; not necessarily out of a passion to forge policy, but because balance and justice are important to a shadowherd. And because a shadowherd thinks nothing of taking action, even vigilante action, behind the scenes, shadowherds often find themselves embroiled in local political struggles. Goodie two-shoes who are attempting to push their ideals on their subjects and corrupt officials are especially irksome to the shadowherd, and as such find themselves suffering from the shadowherd's clandestine missions to achieve balance.

When it comes to leisure, shadowherds tend to fall into one of two camps. There is the outgoing shadowherd who entertains young and old alike with stories and legends through shadow puppetry. And then there is the introspective variety who enjoy long meditations in which they explore the complexities of the magical rapport held between the shadowherd and her shadow shreds.

Notables: Braxian, who sacrificed himself by possessing an artifact that was keeping open a door that allowed demons to freely enter the material plane. His Dark Miscibility caused the artifact to malfunction long enough for his allies to permanently neutralize the threat. However, Braxian himself was destroyed in the act.

Hironea is also well-known by those with knowledge of the planes. She had gathered extensive knowledge on the rumored city of light nestled somewhere in the Plane of Shadow. One day, she set forth into the Plane of Shadow never to return. Many believe that she finally found the shining citadel, but has no desire to return. Although others more acquainted with the dangers of the shadow plane remain skeptical.

Organizations: Shadowherds are sufficiently rare that they do not organize or even socialize as a group.

NPC Reactions: Initially, they may be a bit creeped out by the "goth" appearance of the shadowherd. However, shadowherds are quick to leverage their charisma in persuading new acquaintances of their approachable nature. In the end, most people keep a healthy emotional distance from a shadowherd, but admire or envy them.

Shadowherd Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (The Planes) can research shadowherds to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
5 Shadowherds perform magical shadow puppet shows.
10 Shadowherds can change shadows.
15 To become a shadowherd, one must have some connection to the Plane of Shadow.
20 Powerful shadowherds may become powerful dragons for short durations.

Shadowherds in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: This class is inspired by the Bringer of Darkness. Perhaps looking at that class will also give ideas on how to adapt this class.

DM Notes: It is advisable to adjust the number of shadow shreds gained per level based on the abundance of treasure in your adventures. Or, alternatively, adjust the starting AC of the shadow armor up or down. Doing these things are preferable to ruling out the class as too powerful or too underpowered. Also, if you find your shadowherd augmenting themselves in one area in extreme ways, then start throwing things at them that exploit their weakness. For example, a shadowherd could arrange things so that at level 20 she had a 50+ DR, but her weapons might be mundane, she wouldn't be able to attack anything that required magical weapons, nor would she have any spell resistance, or a variety of other things. It's not hard to see how the universe might nudge the assignment of shadow shreds in a more balanced way.

Because it's easy with this class to plan out what you get when, the normal excitement players feel at the treasure reward might not be there. One strategy to spice it up would be to allow players to roll for the shadow shreds attracted (e.g., instead of being awarded 2 at level 6, perhaps a player could roll 1d3 to see how many shadows she attracts).

As for allowed abilities not listed in the table of Shadow Shreds Effects, consider the Plane of Shadows. It's environment is toxic to material plane creatures. It's dark. Travel there is faster. Light and fire effects are dampened. Any special ability a shadowherd seeks not included her repertoire should be considered in terms of these criteria. Also consider the magical nature of the life force of the shadow shreds. Because shadow shreds have an investment in their shadowherd, they are willing to do things like regenerate, which can be conceived as a slow transfer of their own life force to the shadowherd's.


Sample Encounter: An NPC shadowherd challenges the player characters.

You stumble outside through the door of the Wet Dog Tavern to begin your short walk back to your villa when you hear a velvety voice originating from a rare shadow cut through the considerable cacophony of your tromping troop.

"You've gone too far, now. Everburning torches throughout the city was one thing. It left people some privacy. But now, permanent light spells blanketing the city? Some of the things that happen in darkened lanes are too important to the healthy function of the city to completely eclipse them in this way. I warn you, reverse this decision, or there will be consequences."

A masked woman steps from a shadow that seems to exist in an impossible position: just below a street light. She reaches the glowing ball atop its pole and yanks it down. Its light immediately begins to falter, and when she holds it above her head, the light fades completely and is gone. The ball, now just another rounded rock rolls from her hand to the now darkened street. She proceeds to the next street light, bringing her but 10' away from you.


EL 8:

Briessa

CR 8

Female half-elf Shadowherd 8
TN Medium humanoid (half-elves)
Init/Senses +3/Darkvision 30', Blindsense 10',; Listen +1, Spot 1
Languages Common
AC 20, touch 13, flat-footed 17; +6 natural armor (1 shadow shred armor augmented once)
hp 57 (8 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +8/+9/+2; +2 against enchantment
Speed Walk 30 ft., Fly 30 ft.
Melee +2 shadow sword (short) +12/+7 (1d6+5/19–20) or
Melee +2 shadow sword (short) +10 (1d6+5/19–20)
Ranged +1 shadow shuriken 4 +6/+1 (4d2/20)
Base Atk/Grp +6/+1/+9/+4
Atk Options Shadow Thrust 1/round
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th):
Abilities Str 16, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 19
SQ Dark Immiscibility, Gear Shift, Shadow Arms and Armor, Shadowflage, Shadow Reconfiguration, Shadow Shreds, Shadow Warp
Feats Quick Draw, Weapon Focus (sword(short)), Two-Weapon Fighting
Skills Balance +5, Bluff +9, Climb +6, Diplomacy +8, Disguise +14, Disguise (Act in character) +16, Gather Information +6, Hide +14, Hide (in shadows) +20, Intimidate +12, Jump +9, Ride +6, Spot +1
Possessions 1000pp

Total Shadow Shreds Attracted and Assigned = 15: 6 (3 each) swords, 2 armor, 1 ranged, 2 CHA, 2 Wings, 1 Blindsense 10', 1 Darkvision 30'



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Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewNPCsECL 8


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