Shade Blade (3.5e Class)
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Shade blades aren't born, but choose or stumble upon the gems bestowing their powers. In the darkest corners and deepest levels of the world, the Shadowfell bleeds into the Prime Material. In these places, dreadful and terrifying things occasionally find a way to pass through, bringing fear and death to everything they encounter. Less noticed though are the immediate surroundings of these tears, mostly withered and rotted away with time. Ink-black and cold as ice, Shadowgems have come to be from the energy of the Shadowfell flowing through for untold centuries to permeate the crystals forming in the area. Considering the nature of the the areas surrounding Shadowgems, the real question is how many have come across them to begin with..
Making a Shade Blade
A Shade Blade has many offensive skills, though lacks many defensive ones. Very good as an assassin, due to appearing unarmed almost anywhere it went. Though helpful in many fights with their abilities, were they to cross paths with a wielder of Light spells and abilities, they could sorely lose the upper hand.
Abilities:Intelligence is the most important ability for the Shade Blade. It determines the understanding and power of his shadow weapon as well as useful skill points. Dexterity is also good for Shade Blades, as most wear light or no armor in order to retain their stealthy abilities.
Races: Any race may become a Shade Blade, but the most common are elves and humans. Truly though, many an enslaved person is candidate.
Alignment: Any but Lawful, as the abilities and experiences of Shade Blades generally cause distrust of any laws set forth by others. Others would not be entirely incorrect in considering many Shade Blades paranoid of most establishments.
Starting Gold: 3d6 ×10 gp (105 gp).
Starting Age: As rogue.
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+2||Shadow Weapon, Shadow-Vision, Shadow Gem|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+3||Shadow Secret Lesser|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+4||Shadow Secret Lesser|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+5||Shadow Secret Lesser, Shadowstep 2/day|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+5||Shadow Secret Moderate|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+7||Shadow Secret Moderate|
|12th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||Shadow Secret Moderate, Shadowstep 4/day|
|14th||+10/+5||+4||+9||+9||Shadow Secret Greater|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||Shadow Secret Greater|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+6||+11||+11||Shadow Secret Greater, Shadowstep 6/day|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+7||+12||+12||Shadow Mastery, Shadow Storm|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Shade Blade.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shade blades are proficient with all simple weapons, short bow, long bow, dagger, long sword, their shadow weapons, and with light armor. Shade Blades are not proficient with shields. They are not allowed to wear anything heavier than light armor. If they do, then abilities aside from Shadow Weapons can't be used as the Shade Blade must be unencumbered and able to concentrate.
Shadow Weapon (Ex): A Shade Blade wields weapons crafted from their Shadowgem. As a swift (mental) action, a Shade Blade may create any simple or martial, light or one-handed weapon. This weapon is considered weightless and is considered magical for the purpose of damage reduction. The Shade Blade applies his Intelligence bonus (if any) to all attack and damage rolls with his shadow weapon instead of Strength. The Shadow Weapon can't be dispelled by dispel magic and similar spells as it is in essence a piece of the Shadowfell brought to bare. If the Shadow Weapon leaves the Shade Blade's hands it dissipates in 2 rounds. A Shade Blade may dismiss the Shadow Weapon as a free action if still in his grasp, but must then wait a round before being able to recreate another. A Shadow Weapon that has dissipated cannot be recreated for 1d6 rounds. The Shade Blade may choose to take a standard action to change the shape of his Shadow Weapon to another appropriate weapon, but this provokes attacks of opportunity.
Shadow-Vision (Ex): A Shade Blade gains darkvision out to 60ft and is able to see through any darkness they cast.
Shadow Gem (Ex): Every Shade Blade has a Shadowgem embedded somewhere on his body (usually the wrist or back of the palm), that powers his Shadow Weapon and abilities. If the gem is ever removed, the Shade Blade loses his abilities and becomes a Fading Blade until it is retrieved (see below). The removal itself does 1 point of Constitution damage as the gem is deeply embedded in the Shade Blade. For every day after the first, the Fading Blade loses another 1 point of Constitution. Upon reaching 0 points of Constitution this way, the Fading Blade dies. This ability loss is not reversible in any way save retrieving the Shadowgem or a wish spell. If a Shade Blade is killed the shadow gem always remains. The gem itself gradually grows in power with the wielder upon use of the abilities it bestows.
Upon 5th level, the Shadowgem gains the ability of Sentient Revival. The following day after the Shade Blade's death, the Shadowgem will reveal it's sentience to the holder. It functions as an intelligent object with ability scores equal to the previous wielder. The gem only gains telepathy with the one carrying it and can only provide information the Shade Blade knew in life. The Shadowgem can also be used to resurrect the Shade Blade as if the full body were present and dead only 6 hours with a Resurrection spell. The Shade Blade can only be resurrected in this way Inside of a month of Sentient Revival's activation and only on the night of a new moon. Should the Shade Blade fail to do so, their sentience is wiped from the gem and it becomes as it was before it was first placed into the Shade blade.
Upon 8th level, the Shadow-gem gains Continual Shadow. Darkness follows your every movement, your presence causing shadows to emanate anywhere you go. While you have this power active, you emit darkness in a 5ft/per 2 level radius around you. This functions like a Darkness spell centered on you. You may suppress or unsuppress this ability as a swift action, or even choose a depth of darkness in between equivalent to an Obscuring Mist spell. Any light spell of equal or greater level suppresses this powers effect. Continual Shadow dispels and counters any light spell of lower level.
At 13th level, a Shadowgem gains Dark Resurrection. The Shadowgem has reached a level at which magic can feed the Shade Blade's resurrection. The Shadowgem can now absorb vast amounts of magic to rebuild the body of a shade blade who has died. The gem does not absorb all magic in an area around it, but rather captures magic cast at it. The holder of a Shadowgem can use it to absorb a spell targeted only at the holder, but this doesn't work against spells which would affect an area or the mind. The amount of magic required is equivalent to 50 levels of magic spells. By this it means it would take 50 level one spells, 25 level 2 spells, 17 level 3 spells, 13 level 4 spells, etc. to store the required amount of magic to rebuild a Shade Blade's body in this way. The Shade Blade can then come back to life when placed in an area of complete darkness at night.
Shadow Secret (Ex): Upon reaching 2nd level and every even level beyond that up to 18, the Shade Blade learns special abilities known as Shadow Secrets. These secrets come in ranks of lesser, moderate, and greater. The first 3 Shadow Secrets a Shade Blade learns come from the Lesser Secrets list. The 4th, 5th, and 6th secrets come from the Moderate Secrets lists. The 7th, 8th, and 9th secrets are learned from the Greater Secrets list. Once a secret is learned it cannot be reversed. The secret's lists are as follows:
- Lesser Secrets
Darkness The Shade Blade may use Darkness as a spell-like ability 2 times per day. This secret may be learned multiple times.
Returning Shadow Weapon The Shade Blade's shadow weapon gains the ranged Returning properties (returns via shadow teleportation) for rounds equal to his class level up to 2 times per day. The range increment is 10ft + 5ft/point of Int. bonus. If the weapon already has a range, this is added to it.
Meld Into Shadow The Shade Blade can become incorporeal for rounds equal to half his class level 3 times per day. This secret may be learned multiple times.
Exotic Shadow Weapon This secret allows the Shade Blade to choose one light or one-handed exotic weapon. He may now form this weapon as a Shadow Weapon. He does not gain the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat for the actual weapon, only its shadow form. This secret may be learned multiple times.
Weapon Focus (Shadow Weapon) The Shade Blade gains Weapon Focus (Shadow Weapon) as a bonus feat.
Cleave (Shadow Weapon) The Shade Blade is considered to have the Cleave feat when attacking with his Shadow Weapon.
Dual Shadow Weapon The Shade Blade can form one Shadow Weapon in each hand. He is considered to have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat when fighting with his Shadow Weapon. The off-hand Shadow Weapon is always considered light.
Ranged Shadow Weapon The Shade Blade can form a short or long bow with his Shadow Weapons, including 10 arrows in a quiver, which takes his move action to focus on crafting arrows as well as the Shadow Weapon itself. In order to generate 10 more arrows, the Shade Blade must use another move action. This still uses the Dex mod to hit, but does retain the Int mod to damage. Arrows fired dissolve after 4 rounds.
Shadow Healing The Shade Blade has learned to heal with the very shadows around them. Once per day, they can heal themselves or an ally 1d8 per/3 levels plus Int mod of hit points. This cannot be done in sunlight or bright light.
- Moderate Secrets
Shadow Infusion Once per day, the Shade Blade may take 4 hours (at night only) to slowly infuse a weapon with the essence of the Shadowfell. This weapon is then subject to all Shade Weapon feats and abilities, but cannot be dissolved or changed like a normal Shadow Weapon. It is still subject to sunder/disarm, but will not dissipate after leaving the users grasp. This ability can only be used on one weapon at any time, and in order to infuse a new weapon, the current shadow infused weapon must be destroyed or spend 8 hours in direct sunlight (unsheathed) to lose its infusion. The weapon gains hardness/hp bonus equal to a +1 magic item per 4 levels. Example: Level 4 Shadow infused weapon is considered a +1 magic weapon in these terms, level 8 is +2, and so on..
Dancing Shadow Weapon Once per day the Shade Blade can choose to give a Shadow Weapon the dancing ability for a number of rounds equal to half his class level. While this effect is active, the Shadow Weapon will not dissipate until 2 rounds after the dancing ability wears off. During this time, the Shade Blade cannot create another shadow weapon unless he has the Dual Shadow Weapon secret. This secret can be learned multiple times.
Shadow Protection The Shade Blade coalesces the shadows in the area around their body, gaining protection from damage like a Mage Armor spell. This ability gives the Shade Blade natural armor equivalent to his Int Mod. This ability is not active in direct sunlight or in the presence of a light spell of higher level than 1/2 the Shade Blade's level.
Spring Attack (Shadow Weapon) As long as the Shade Blade is holding only shadow weapons, he is treated as having the Spring Attack feat.
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (Shadow Weapon) The Shade Blade is treated as having the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat while wielding two Shadow Weapons. The Shade Blade must have the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat or it's shadow version to gain this secret.
Great Cleave (Shadow Weapon) The Shade Blade is considered to have the Great Cleave feat while wielding shadow weapons. The Shade Blade must have either the Cleave feat or the shadow version to gain this secret.
Shade Portal The Shade Blade can make a portal to transport themselves and any other who passes through into the Shadowfell, but it can only be done once every 2 days (a portal to enter and exit are included in this)
Grasping Shadows Like Snare spell, but not in direct sunlight.
Bountiful Secrets The Shade Blade can instead learn 2 lesser secrets.
- Greater Secrets
Whispering Shadows Once per/5 levels per day, the Shade Blade may triple his Int bonus for a number of rounds equal to half his class level rounded down. This secret does not stack with other ability raising effects.
Spell Reflection (Shadow Weapon) The Shade Blade may use his shadow weapon to reflect a spell targeting himself back at the caster. The Shade Blade uses their reflex save to attempt reflection. The maximum spell level reflected is equal to half his class levels. So at level 14, a Shade Blade can reflect a spell of 7th level.
Greater Shadow Weapon The Shade Blade gains Greater Weapon Specialization (Shadow Weapon) and Greater Weapon Focus (Shadow Weapon) as bonus feats. The Shade Blade must have Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization (Shadow Weapon) to gain this secret.
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (Shadow Weapon) While wielding two Shadow Weapons, the Shade Blade is considered to have the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat. The Shade Blade must either have the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat or it's Shadow Weapon version to gain the secret.
Whirlwind Attack (Shadow Weapon) The Shade Blade is considered to have Whirlwind Attack as long as he holds only Shadow Weapons. The Shade Blade must have the Spring Attack feat or it's shadow version to gain this secret.
Bountiful Secrets See above but as moderate or lesser (excluding Bountiful Secrets on Moderate Secrets list.)
Shadowstep (Su): Using their move action, a Shade Blade can step through the shadows into any shadowy area nearby, equivalent to 5ft per intelligence modifier. This can be done be done twice per day per class level.
Shadow Storm (Sp): Upon reaching 20th level, a Shade Blade, as a standard action, may create a storm of Shadow Weapons to engulf his foes. The storm has a 60ft radius centered on any point within 100ft of the shade blade. The Shade Blade must choose one Shadow Weapon he is capable of creating. The storm deals damage equal to the Shadow Weapons damage plus one dice for every point of Intelligence bonus for a number of rounds equal to the shade blades Intelligence bonus at the time of using this spell-like ability. Example: Rotsi has an Intelligence score of 18 (+4 bonus). He creates a storm of scimitars that deals 5d6 +4 slashing damage per round for 4 rounds. Anything within the area of the storm is entitled a reflex save (DC 20 + 1/point of Int bonus) for half damage. The Shade Blade may move the storm 10ft/round. The Shadow Storm only deals half damage to allies within the storm, before accounting for reflex save. The storm never hurts the Shade Blade. During the storm, the Shade Blade cannot create Shadow Weapons and can't do so for 1d6 rounds after the storm is gone.
Shadow Mastery (Ex): Upon reaching level 20, the Shade Blade may choose any 3 secrets from any list to add to her secrets known.
Epic Shade Blade
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Shade Blade Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Bonus Feats: .
Playing a Shade Blade
As a shade blade, you are a support character taking place of the Rogue or Scout.
Religion: Shade blades usually don't worship any deity. When they do, Good and Neutral characters may worship Mask or Brandobaris, while Evil characters may worship Vhaerun or Shar.
Other Classes: The shade blade has troubles getting along with many classes. Sorcerers are more accepting of shade blades than most, due to the mysterious nature of their own abilities, so they tend to make faster friendships. Rogues vary one to another but generally seem to get along with a shade blade because of the common skills shared between their lines of work. Paladins, Druids, and even some clerics tend to avoid a shade blade simply due to the nature of their abilities.
Advancement: Due to the nature of a shade blades abilities, they cannot cross class or prestige into anything that doesn't include shade, shadow, or some variation of these abilities. Once a Shadowgem has been embedded, it is a life sentence and the Shade Blade cannot walk away from their new nature.
Shade Blades in the World
My power is my curse. My curse is my life. My life is power.
Shade Blades tend to be secretive, with anyone around you potentially being one. A few guilds are thought to be in some major citys employing or even being ran by Shade Blades. While not all Shade Blades had their abilities forced upon them, a majority of them obtained their abilities because they were (or still are) slaves raised to ranks of guards, hunters, etc generally by the denizens of the Underdark or even Shadowfell who've deemed them worthy of something more than regular toil and death.
Daily Life: Shade Blades come from many walks of life so your local smithy, bartender, even inn keeper could be one.
Notables: Pasha Taalak, leader of the Kalobe Thieves guild (of fourth standing in the city) of Lemauria is rumored to retain many of the abilities of a Shade Blade..
Organizations: Shade blades are believed to be in thieves guild when it comes to Organizations, with most who choose to do so working alone.
NPC Reactions: Most NPCs don't know when they're around a Shade Blade. Nothing about a Shade Blade generally stands out, short of their gem (if it's in a very noticeable place on their body). When someone does know they're around a Shade Blade, it's often death or fear of the night that keeps them from sharing that secret..
Characters with ranks in Knowledge(Planes) can research Shade Blades to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|15||They are secretive and reclusive in nature, their abilities aren't even known of but to those of higher learning and access of knowledge.|
|20||Many are driven or forced into becoming a Shade Blade (running from the law, moneylenders, or forced into the role as slave)|
|25||Shade Blades are not easily found as their abilities can be suppressed and most keep their Shadowgem hidden from view. (character learns name and general description of a specific Shade blade, friendly or otherwise)|
|30||Shade blades generally have a safe house or join a thieves guild in larger cities, to start looking for them (give general location within quarter mile or 3 city blocks of guild hall)|
Shade Blades in the Game
Sample Encounter: .
EL whatever: .