Darkbringer (3.5e Class)

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A Darkbringer summoning power for his Shade Blast ability.


Darkbringers are a caste of magicians and warriors who draw upon magic that deals with shadow, darkness, and it's next of kin. As such, they are often percieved as evil, though the class itself doesn't hold any such grudges between members.

Making a Darkbringer[edit]

Darkbringers bring a powerful type of magic to any adventuring group, and a small amount of martial prowess as well. However, their major abilities come from their special ability to deal out magical damage.

Abilities: Darkbringers require a high Strength, and Intelligence score. After that, Darkbringers require a high Dexterity score to offset their low Armor Class, and they also benefit from a higher Constitution. Wisdom and Charisma tend to be low, as they have less uses to this particular class.

Races: Many races feel the draw towards the power of "Darkness". As such, the Darkbringer is a class much races capable of evil, or sinister thoughts can join, but it is also filled with good people who experiment. As such, many different races could take levels in the class.

Alignment: Darkbringers often participate in rites that one could see as opposing the law, however this does not make them pro-chaotic. Darkbringers may be of any alignment.

Starting Gold: As Sorcerer.

Starting Age: Simple

Table: The Darkbringer

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Summon Darkness, Shade Blast, Vision Through The Shadows 4 3
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 4 4
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 4 4 2
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 4 5 3
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Enriched Shade Blast 4 5 3 1
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Tome of Shadows 4 6 3 1
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 4 6 4 2
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Shadow's Guidance, Two-Handed Shade Blast 4 6 5 2
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 4 6 5 3 1
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Summon Shade 4 6 5 4 1
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 4 6 5 4 2
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 4 6 6 4 2 1
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 4 6 6 4 3 1 -
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 4 6 6 5 3 2
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Shade Explosion 4 6 6 5 3 2 1
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Dual Shade Blast 4 6 6 5 3 2 2 1
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 4 6 6 5 4 3 2 2 1
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Summon Evolved Shade 4 6 6 5 4 4 3 2 2
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 4 6 6 5 4 4 3 3 2 2
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Shadow Form 4 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Disable Device (Int), Hide (Dex), Profession (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

Darkbringers have a proficiency for spell-casting and some small amount of martial prowess. All of the following are class features of the Darkbringer.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Darkbringers gain Simple Weapons, and one Martial Weapon in weapon proficiency, while they have no proficiency in armor or shields. Wearing armor affects their ability to cast spells, and use their Shade Blast ability.

Spells: A Darkbringer casts arcane spells which are drawn primarily from the Darkbringer spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. Like other spellcasters, a Darkbringer can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Darkbringer. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score.

Shade Blast (Sp): A Darkbringer may channel darkness into a Ray attack that deals Xd6 damage, half in Cold damage, and half in Negative Energy, where X is equal to one half of the Darkbringer's class level (Minimum of 1d6). This is a ranged touch attack, and a Darkbringer can choose to convert all damage from the Shade Blast into Negative Energy damage to heal any Undead allies. Shade Blast is a Standard Action that grants iterative attacks, and any feats that effect Ray spells also effect Shade Blast. Once used, the Darkbringer must wait 1d8 rounds before using this ability again

Summon Darkness (Su): The Darkbringer constantly exudes shadows, and darkness. This ability grants Darkbringers a +2 circumstantial bonus to Hide checks when made in shadows, and allows them to always hide when they enter into a shadow. This ability also powers a Darkbringer's Shade Blast, and in areas where this ability would not function, so too would Shade Blast not function.

Vision Through The Shadows: Darkbringers gain an enhanced Darkvision out to 60 feet, allowing them to see through all kinds of Darkness, including Magical Darkness

Enriched Shade Blast: At 5th level, a Darkbringer's Shade Blast ability gains 1d6 extra damage. At 10th level, the damage from Shade Blast increases to d8s. At 20th level, the damage increases to d10s.

Tome of Shadows: At 6th level, a Darkbringer may construct a Tome of Shadows within which they can store Symbol spells, or an extra spell per every 4 levels in Darkbringer. These extra spells work as if they were inscripted into the book, and are cast from it, like a scroll. Casting a spell from the book requires a command word for the book's pages of the spell, and any materials or XP penalties associated. A Darkbringer may have only one Tome of Shadows at a time, and require a full day and 300GP of materials, to create their own personal Tome of Shadows.

Shadow's Guidance: Darkbringers of 8th level gain the ability to cast a spell through darkness, or deeper darkness, and target any creature inside, even if they would normally be outside the effect of the spell. Artificial Light disrupts this spells ability to find it's mark, and it is ineffective in broad daylight. (Example: A Darkbringer casts Darkness in the corner of a hallway, which allows him to use Shadow's Guidance to cast any offensive spell around that corner without exposing himself to harm.))

Two-Handed Shade Blast (Su): A Darkbringer may choose to invoke a more powerful Shade Blast through using both hands in conjunction. If a Shade Blast is performed in this way, it's damage increases by one extra dice level, but requires a full-round action, and both hands free to complete. ((Example: d8 to d10s.))

Summon Shade; (Sp): At 10th level, a Darkbringer can summon 1d4 Shadows 1/day, which improves at 18th level, when he instead summons Evolved Shadows. Creatures summoned by this effect cannot create Spawn.

Shade Explosion; (Sp): A 15th level Darkbringer can summon a large blast of shadows and negative energy, dealing d10x1/2HD damage, half in Cold damage, half in Negative Energy damage to all creatures within 20 feet of the Darkbringer. He may choose to deal all of this damage in Negative Energy, so as to heal any nearby Undead allies.

Dual Shade Blast (Su): At 16th level, a Darkbringer may choose to deal half damage from a Shade Blast roll to two seperate creatures. The damage of this attack is still treated as a Cold/Negative Energy hybrid in damage.

Shadow Form (Ex): At 20th level, a Darkbringer may choose to enter Shadow Form, becoming entirely composed of Shadows, and gaining one of the following benefits:

  • Shadow Concealment: While in Shadow Form, a Darkbringer who enters Shadows, Darkness, or Deeper Darkness is effectively Invisible, and is undetectable save for a true seeing spell.
  • Shadow Armor: While in Shadow Form, a Darkbringer inflicts opponents who attempt to attack it in melee with a 50% miss chance.
  • Shadow Body: While in Shadow Form, a Darkbringer may not use weighted, or mundane equipment. It can use any magical, or ghost-touch equipment that is attuned to itself, however. A Darkbringer may use any spells, or it's Shade Blast ability while within Shadow Form normally.

Darkbringer Spell List:

0— mending, detect magic, ray of frost, ghost sound, disrupt undead

1st— bane, cause fear, command, doom, obscuring mist, sanctuary, sleep, chill touch, ray of enfeeblement

2nd— darkness, death knell, hold person, silence, obscure object, fog cloud, daze monster, touch of idiocy, blindness/deafness, ghoul touch, scare, spectral hand, darkvision

3rd— deeper darkness, nondetection, deep slumber, blacklight, halt undead, ray of exhaustion, vampiric touch, armor of darkness

4th— death ward, black tentacles, solid fog, crushing despair, ice storm, wall of ice, shadow conjuration, enervation, fear

5th— greater command, symbol of pain, symbol of sleep, true seeing, cone of cold, dream, nightmare, shadow evocation, waves of fatigue, permanency

6th— symbol of fear, acid fog, freezing sphere, shadow walk, circle of death, eyebite

7th— destruction, symbol of stunning, symbol of weakness, sequester, mass hold person, greater shadow conjuration, finger of death, waves of exhaustion

8th— symbol of death, symbol of insanity, polar ray, screen, greater shadow evocation, horrid wilting

9th— crushing hand, shades, etherealness, wail of the banshee

Epic Darkbringer[edit]

Table: The Epic Darkbringer

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
24th Bonus Feat
25th Dark Expulsion 1/day
28th Bonus Feat
30th Dark Expulsion 2/day

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Bonus Feats: The epic Darkbringer gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic feats, or Metamagic feats) every 4 levels after 20th.

Dark Expulsion (Ex): At 25th level, a Darkbringer may perform a kamikaze style attack, draining half of it's HP to deal equal damage to all enemies in radius 3. At 30th level, a Darkbringer may use this attack twice per day.

Human Darkbringer Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Warhammer

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Concentration 4 Con
Disable Device 4 Dex
Hide 4 Dex
Spellcraft 4 Int

Feat: Improved Initiative and Dodge (If Dex is higher than 13, if not, Silent Spell or Still Spell).

Gear: Darkbringer's Garb, Hooded Lantern, Silk Rope 50ft, Bedroll, Tent, Flint and Tinder.

Gold: 52GP

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Darkbringer[edit]

Religion: Darkbringers typically seek religions who focus on the darker, shaded aspects of life. Vecna for his worship of secrets, or even Gods and Goddesses of Death like Nerull, and others.

Other Classes: Darkbringers get along well with Rogues, and Assassins. Other classes who keep to themselves, or take pleasure in a stealthy, silent approach find themselves a fond friend in the Darkbringer. However, flashier, or more bold characters like the Fighter, Wizard, Druid, or Bard clash with this class, and may often lead to disputes.

Combat: Darkbringers function well as spell-users in a group, they effectively leave enemies blind, and subject to an array of magical effects, not to mention their Shade Blast ability. They can also function as an excellent healer for a group greatly composed of Undead.

Advancement: Darkbringers who seek more magical ability might pursue a career into Necromancy, while others who wish to devote themselves to a higher power might multi-class into the Cleric ranks. A particularly bloodthirsty Darkbringer might become an Assassin, or Rogue. A Darkbringer is more likely to pursue the Arcane path of magic than the Divine, however, and armor and large weapons interfere with their spellwork, making heavier armored classes worthless prospects.

Darkbringers in the World[edit]

"I send word from the darkness, your time comes!"
—Amerilla Nelfanten, Human Darkbringer

Daily Life: Darkbringers devote themselves to shadows, and the darkness of the night. As such, they often avoid going out in the middle of the day, and prefer to spend their time at night. As such, many tend to be prominent only in the local pub, or tavern, otherwise they likely spend their time perusing spellbooks, and magical objects, looking for new avenues of power.

Notables: Amerilla Nelfanten, Assassin of Blackstone.

Organizations: Darkbringers do not tend to gather just within themselves, and as such are more often found amidst a larger school of magus. They are just another group amidst Wizards, Sorcerors, and their kind. However, there is a certain kinship between Darkbringers, and Necromancers, and as such they are often seen together.

NPC Reactions: Some NPCs, who have particularly strong moral values, find Darkbringers distasteful, and shun them. However, other have no particular issue with the group as a whole, and treat them no differently than another spellcaster.

Darkbringer Lore[edit]

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

Knowledge (Arcana)
DC Result
5 Darkbringers are a caste of Arcane spellcasters who focus on spells that cover the land and the air around them in an unending darkness.
10 Darkbringers learn the ability to summon Shadows as they grow in strength.
15 Darkbringers, and Necromancers are very friendly amongst each other...
20 Any character who makes this DC freely recollects any major Darkbringers, organizations, or strongholds that exist within it's area.

Darkbringers in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: Darkbringers function just like other Arcane spell-casting classes, and as such are just as adaptable.

Sample Encounter: ECL 5 (Group of 4)

EL 6: Amerilla Nelfanten serves the Assassin's Guild of Blackstone, completing tasks and trials with relative ease thanks to her unique and powerful gifts. The party may encounter her on an assassination of a target they protect, or with her assisting their own task. When prepared, she may be found with two bodyguard assassins, both LV4 Human Fighters.

  • Amerilla Nelfanten
  • HP 28
  • Medium Humanoid (Human)
  • Chaotic Neutral Darkbringer LV6
  • AC 17 (With bonus from Armor of Darkness), Touch 13, Flatfooted 10
  • Intiative +7
  • STR 12 DEX 16 CON 8 INT 17 WIS 14 CHA 11
  • Base Attack Bonus: +3
  • Fort 1 Reflex 5 Will 7
  • Feats: Weapon Focus (Ray), Improved Intiative, Weapon Finesse, Silent Spell
  • Shade Blast, Summon Darkness, Vision Through the Shadows, Enriched Shade Blast, Tome of Shadows
  • Starts with 4 0-level spells, 7 1st-level spells, 4 2nd-level spells, and 2 3rd-level spells thanks to her Tome of Shadows.
  • Assassin's Garb, Spell Component Pouch, +1 Rapier (Coated with 1d4 STR damage injury poison), +1 Dagger (Coated with 1d4 CON damage injury poison), 214GP, and trinkets and gemstones worth 500GP combined.

Amerilla prepares for all fights with a use of Armor of Darkness, and liberal abuse of her spells that give her the greatest advantage in combat, generally casting enemies into disarray with a quick obscuring mist or darkness before opening combat the next round with a burst of her Shade Blast ability. She engages in melee when forced to, but uses her spells per day to use hold person, Ghoul Touch, Doom, and Command to allow herself distance to pummel her enemies with Shade Blast, and uses her final 3rd level spell slot to use vampiric touch when she becomes bloodied to continue the fight.

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