Shade (3.5e Class)

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Flavor Paragraph

Making a Shade[edit]

Abilities: Charisma is the most important ability for the Shade's abilities and magic. Charisma enhances the number of times a Shade can use his abilities and the number of spells he can cast in a day. Because of his gifts he is able to weave himself in and out of situation but dexterity is still important as the shade is not proficient with armor

Alignment: Any

Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate (As fighter)

Table: The Dawnbringer

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Sneak Attack, Magus Spells, Spell Combat 3 1
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Jaunter's Hop, Evasion 4 2
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Sneak Attack, Spell Strike 4 3
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Shade Ability 4 3 1
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Sneak Attack, Improved Sneak Attack 4 4 2
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Cloaked Casting 5 4 3
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Sneak Attack 5 4 3 1
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Shade Ability 5 4 4 2
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Sneak Attack 5 5 4 3
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Improved Sneak Attack, Improved Evasion 5 5 4 3 1
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Sneak Attack, Blessing of Shadows 5 5 4 4 2
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Shade Ability 5 5 5 4 3
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Sneak Attack 5 5 5 4 3 1
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Hide in Plain Sight 5 5 5 4 4 2
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Sneak Attack, Improved Sneak Attack 5 5 5 5 4 3
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Shade Ability 5 5 5 5 4 3
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Sneak Attack 5 5 5 5 4 4
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Deadly Strike 5 5 5 5 5 4
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Sneak Attack 5 5 5 5 5 5
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Shade Ability, Master Strike 5 5 5 5 5 5

Class Skills (8 + Int
Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str). Use Magic Device (Cha),

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Shade.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shades are proficient with all simple and one handed martial weapons, but not armor or shields

Magus Spells: A shade casts arcane spells drawn from the magus spell list. A shade must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time.

To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the magus must have an Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a magus’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the magus’s Charisma modifier.

A shade can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Shade. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

A shade may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the magus decides which spells to prepare.

Cantrips: A shade can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table: Magus under “Spells per Day.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.

Spellbooks: A shade must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook except for read magic, which all shades can prepare from memory. A shade begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level magus spells plus three 1st-level magus spells of his choice. The magus also selects a number of additional 1st-level magus spells equal to his Charisma modifier to add to his spellbook. At each new shade level, he gains two new magus spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new shade level) for his spellbook. At any time, a shade can also add spells found in other spellbooks to his own.

A shade can learn spells from a wizard’s spellbook, just as a wizard can from a magus’s spellbook. The spells learned must be on the magus spell list, as normal. An alchemist can learn formulae from a magus’s spellbook, if the spells are also on the alchemist spell list. A magus cannot learn spells from an alchemist.

Sneak Attack: If a shade can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The shade’s attack deals extra damage anytime his target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the shade flanks his target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two shade levels thereafter. Should the shade score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a shade can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. He cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The shade must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A shade cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

Spell Combat(Ex): At 1st level, a shade learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the shade must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Charisma bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.

Jaunter's Hop(Su): Each day, the shade gains a pool of supernatural motes of shadow equal to three plus her shade class level. Using a mote of shadow does not provoke an attack of opportunity nor does teleporting.

You can use these motes to perform a number of effects but you can only use one ability each round.

Instant Liberation: As a swift action, the shade can expend a mote of shadow to instantaneously teleport to a standing position from prone position or whisks himself out of a grapple losing the grappled and pinned conditions and is teleported to the nearest unoccupied square the shade chooses.

Instant Escape: The shade automatically expends a mote of shadow to instantly blink to avoid any confirmed critical hit or any attack that would reduce her to 0 hit points or less, this ability only operates if the shade chooses to avoid the critical hit. Avoiding the hit requires a successful Reflex save (DC 10 + ½ the attack bonus or the DC of the spell/effect) though he adds his Charisma modifier to this save rather than her Dexterity modifier. In the case of a damaging spell or ability that would reduce the character to 0 hit points or less, this effectively grants the shade a second saving throw to negate the spell or effect. This ability expends a mote of shadow even if the shade has used one already for this round, however this ability can only function once per round. If you the shade is at least 10th level he does not need to spend a mote of shadow to use the narrow escape ability; he needs to have at least one point in his mote of shadow pool.

Dimensional Hop: As a move action the shade can expend a mote of shadow to instantaneously teleport to any other spot within 25 ft. + 5 ft./2 shade class levels. If the spot the shade chooses is within line of sight, he arrives there unerringly. If the destination is not in line of sight, the shade must be able to visualize the spot or state the direction and distance to it, but the hop has a 25% chance of a mishap and the shade cannot take any further actions until his next turn. No matter what the shade’s destination, you can transport only himself and a maximum 100 lbs. (or your maximum load, whichever is less) of objects you carry or touch. You cannot transport any creature and if the shade suffers a mishap or arrives in a place already occupied by a solid body, the shade and any creatures he teleports into takes 1d6 points of damage and the shade becomes staggered for 1d4 rounds. The shade is shunted to closest random open space on a suitable surface of the intended location. If the shade is at least 8th level this can functions as dimension door instead.

Evasion: At 2nd level the shade gains evasion as a rogue.

Spell Strike(Su): At 3rd level, whenever a shade casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a sneak attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell. If the shade makes this attack in concert with spell combat, this melee attack takes all the penalties accrued by spell combat melee attacks. This attack uses the weapon’s critical range (20, 19–20, or 18–20 and modified by the keen weapon property or similar effects), but the spell effect only deals ×2 damage on a successful critical hit, while the weapon damage uses its own critical modifier. Sneak attack damage is not multiplied by critical strikes as normal.

Shade Ability (Su): At 4th level and every 4 levels after the Shade learns a new way to use his motes of shadow. Each ability can only be chosen once and once learned it cannot be changed. Abilities are listed below.

Improved Sneak Attack (Su): At 5th level when the shade rolls damage for sneak attacks he may expend a spell slot from any level above 0 when he does so. If he does, then he re-rolls all dice that have a result equal to or lower than the level of the spell slot. For example, if the shade expends a level 3 spell slot, all sneak attack dice that resulted in a 3 or less are re-rolled once. The shade must take the second result even if it's worse and the spell slot must be expended before rolling sneak attack dice.

At 10th level, the shade may choose to expend a spell slot from any level above 0 and instead count all dice rolled to result in the value of the spell level if it was lower. For example, if a third level spell slot was expended then all all dice that were 1's and 2's will count as if they were 3's. This may be done after rolling sneak attack damage.

At 15th level, the shade gets one bonus dice for every 6 he rolled during his sneak attack. These new dice cannot be re-rolled again if they result in a 6. This ability cannot be used if the shade expended a 6th level spell slot to treat all dice rolled as a result of 6.

Cloaked Casting(Ex): At 6th level, the shade is able to use his subtlety and precision to enhance his spells. When the shade catches an opponent flatfooted or by surprise he increases the save DC of his spells against them by 1. This bonus increases by 1 every 3 levels after 6 up to a maximum of +5 at level 18.

Impproved Evasion: At 10th level the shade learns improved evasion. This works like evasion, however a successful save results in no damage and a failed save results in half damage.

Blessing of Shadows: At 11th level the Shade is bestowed power by the forces of shadow. He gains the Shadow Creature Template immediately, however, his type is counted as Native Outsider.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): At 14th level the shade can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as he is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, a shade can hide himself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind. He cannot, however, hide in his own shadow.

Deadly Strike (Ex): At 18th level, whenever the shade sneak attacks an opponent in the surprise round they automatically take the maximum damage of the sneak attack. If a 6th level spell slot is expended during the attack the shade can roll his sneak attack dice as extra damage. This can only be done once per round.

Master Strike (Ex): At 20th level, a shade becomes incredibly deadly when dealing sneak attack damage. Each time the shade deals sneak attack damage, she can choose one of the following three effects: the target can be put to sleep for 1d4 hours, paralyzed for 2d6 rounds, or slain. Regardless of the effect chosen, the target can attempt a Fortitude save to negate the additional effect. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the shade’s level + the shade’s Charisma modifier. Once a creature has been the target of a master strike, regardless of whether or not the save is successful, that creature is immune to that shade’s master strike for 24 hours. Creatures that are immune to sneak attack damage are also immune to this ability.

Shade Abilities[edit]

Jaunter's Strike: The shade can teleport as a cloud of shadows to a location he can see up to 25' + 10'/level as a move action. He has enough time to make one attack action or take one standard action and then returns back to where he started at the end of his turn. Jaunting this way does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If initiating combat, the target must make a reflex save DC 15 or be surprised. The target gets a cumulative +5 to his check for future attempts within the same day. This ability costs 1 mote of shadow to activate.

Shadowmeld: The shade or an ally he chooses melds into darkness. This effect causes the shade and all his equipment to become insubstantial and untargetable by any spell or effect that does not also produce light or affect shadow. While melded into his shadow the shade is not able to attack or interact with objects, and can only move up to his speed. This ability costs 1 mote of shadows for the shade and another mote per ally. This effect lasts up to 1 minute/level.

Jaunter's Juxtaposition: As a move action the shade can jaunt to a location occupied by another and switch places with them. The target must be no more than 30' + 5' per level and the shade needs to see where he is going. This can be done freely if the target is willing, but if not then they must make a DC check (10 + 1/2 level + charisma modifier) to not swap places. This ability costs 2 motes of shadow to activate.

Shadow Craft: The shade is able to make simple objects using his motes of shadow. These objects can be anything from thieves tools to blacksmithing hammers and have the same durability and half the hardness of its real counterpart. These items cannot be complex items such as locks or clockwork mechanisms or any other object with moving parts. Because shadow crafted items are not wholly real they cannot be used as consumables of any type. Making a simple object costs 1 mote of shadow and can last indefinitely. The motes that are expended are not regained the next day if the objects are still in existence.

A shade can make armor and weapons from his motes of shadow as well. These weapons and armor crafted from shadows have half the hardness of their real life counterparts. The motes that are expended in their creation are not regained the next day if the objects are still in existence. After their creation the objects exist until destroyed or the shade wills them to be gone. The shade can then summon and dismiss the items into his shadow as a full round action. A shade can enchant shadow crafted weapons and armor like normal weapons. He counts as having the craft magic arms and armor feat and uses his class level as his caster level as well as his ranks in craft for the purposes of shadow crafting only. Only one shadow craft weapon and armor can exist at a time and can only be used by the shade.

Shadow crafted weapons wielded by the shade grant him a +1 competence bonus to attacks for every 4 shade levels. Creating a shadow craft weapon requires 1 mote of shadow if it is a one handed melee weapon and 2 motes if it is a two handed melee weapon. Ranged weapons cannot be created by shadow crafting. A weapon can be molded into a different weapon of the same type by spending 1 mote of shadow. However, if the weapons is molded into a different type than an enchantment it has on it then the enchantment cannot be used in that form.

Shadow crafted armors are much more light than usual armors. As a result, light armors confer no armor check penalty or spell failure chance for the shade. Medium and heavy armors confer only half the armor check penalty and half the spell failure chance. The max dexterity bonus of each armor is increased by the charisma modifier of the shade. Once an armor is crafted this way it cannot be changed to a different type. Shades automatically do not automatically gain proficiency with the armor they create. Creating a light armor costs 1 mote of shadow, medium costs 2 and heavy costs 3.

Cloak: The shade cloaks himself in darkness, obscuring sight in his way. The cloak persists for 1 round/level and grants the shade 20% concealment and fast healing equal to his charisma modifier. This shroud cannot be removed and cannot be seen by anyone without the ability to see through magical darkness. If he is slain while this ability is active he may choose to stay corporeal or disintegrate into a plume of shadows leaving his gear, depriving his enemies access to his remains. This ability costs 3 motes of shadow. The Shade may spend additional motes of shadow to increase the concealment by 10% at the time of activation.

Extend Shadows: The shade can cloak his allies in shadows to help them sneak through the shadows. This ability allows the shade to make one stealth check for himself and everyone he targets. Every ally must be within 60 ft of the shade and be willing. This ability costs 1 mote of shadow plus 1 for every ally he designates when activating this ability.



Epic Shade[edit]

Table: The Epic

Hit Die: d

Level Special
+ 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: .

Shade Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: .

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

Skill Ranks Ability Armor

Feat: .

Bonus Feats: .

Gear: .

Gold: .

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Shade[edit]

Religion: .

Other Classes: .

Combat: .

Advancement: .

Shades in the World[edit]


Daily Life: .

Notables: .

Organizations: .

NPC Reactions: .

Shade Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in can research 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 .
10 .
15 .
20 .

Shades in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: .

Sample Encounter: .

EL : .

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