Shadow Geist (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||There are many people who are afraid of the dark. Having spent most of my life in shadows and gaining their power, I can see now that they were right to fear it.||”|
|—Dusk, Human Shadow Geist|
- Geist is German word that means spirit, ghost, or mind given the context in how it's used.
Becoming a Shadow Geist
Characters with this prestige class are essentially quasi-shadow spirits, but retain their existing life. They spend their lives in the shadows to take advantage of an open opportunity against their foes. To become one is a very hard task that virtually no one who is sane will try to undertake. Those who are unlucky to become lost in the Plane of Shadow, and so unfortunate as to be gravely wounded by its denizens, may leave with a little more than just their lives.
|Special:||Must have spent 24 full hours in The Plane of Shadows and leave with less than half health.|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Dimension Slide, See in Darkness|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+0||Sneak Attack +1d6|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+1||Hide in Plain Sight|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Shadow Walk, Sneak Attack +2d6|
|6th||+4||+2||+5||+2||Sneak Attack +3d6|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+2||Aura of Shadow|
|8th||+6||+2||+6||+2||Sneak Attack +4d6|
|10th||+7||+3||+7||+3||Sneak Attack +5d6|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level)
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha).
All of the following are class features of the Shadow Geist.
Dimension Slide (Su): As a move action the Shadow Geist can use Dimension Slide from one shadow to another. He may use his own shadow and go to anothers, though if the effect ends in an opponent's square it provokes an attack of opportunity as normal.
Sneak Attack : This is exactly like the Rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 every other level (2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th). If a shadow Geist gets a sneak attack bonus from another source add the new bonuses.
See in Darkness (Ex):The Shadow Geist gains the ability to see in any form of darkness, even magical. This ignores concealment opponents would have due to darkness, but not though other means such as fog.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): The Shadow Geist can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as he is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, he can hide himself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. It is impossible, however, to hide in your own shadow. You must take a -10 penalty to your hide check to do this. If you take a -30 penalty to your hide check you may use the Hide skill even while being observed regardless of your environment. Good luck with that.
Shadow Walk (Su): 3 times / day the Shadow Geist can use Shadow Walk as a spell like ability. This functions just like the spell except the Geist does not get fatigued from the process.
Shadow Control (Ex): With his bond to the Plane of Shadows and the control he has over it grants the ability to control shadows. Any shadow within an area of 60ft can be moved and stretched to how the Shadow Gesit pleases.
Additionally he may wrestle away control of spells or creatures based on shadow. Examples include Shadow Mastiffs and Shades created from the Illusion school.
If it is a creature then it must make a Will Save (DC 10 + 1/2 character level + wisdom modifier) to not be controlled, otherwise the effect works like Dominate Monster with the exception that it isn't a mind affecting effect. This ability wont work on other Shadow Geists.
If it is a spell then caster must make a spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level) or have the spell be put under control of the Shadow Geist for the rest of the duration. The Shadow Geist can dismiss it at will.
Aura of Shadows (Su): The Shadow Geist rips the shadows around him to form a swirling miasma of darkness that helps him evade attackers. For a number of rounds equal his Shadow Geist level he gains concealment of 10 times his dexterity modifier (maximum 60% miss chance). This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to the Shadow Geist's wisdom modifier + 1 (minimum 1). This effect does not protect against anyone who can see in magical darkness.
Shadow Infusion (Su): By now the Shadow Geist is well attuned to the Plane of Shadow as well as his native plane. When holding an object he can infuse it with the Stuff of Shadow. This has a few effects.
First, with the Shadows aiding the Geist he is able to hide easier than normal. So long as he is standing in shadows (and not his own) he may snipe and hide afterwards at half the normal penalty (-10). And the penalty of hiding another is also reduced to half (-15) so long as those wanting to hide are within 10ft of the Geist.
Second, any object infused emanates the Plane of Shadow thus sources of light are reduced by 1/2. When any spell is cast that generates light or fire that comes within 15ft of the Geist forces the caster to succeed on a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + level of spell) or have the spell be stuffed out. In the case of an area affecting spell, only the 15ft area isn't affected if the caster fails the ckeck. In addition any darkness based effect is increased by 10% including Aura of Shadows (max 70% concealment).
If a weapon is infused it counts as magic in addition to other types for purposes of damage reduction. Only one object may be infused at a time, but this effect can last until the Shadow Geist dies. People will, however, notice that there is a fog of shadows moving around in broad daylight.
If a Shadow Geist goes through a positive energy plane and stays for at least 24 hours the hold the Plane of Shadows has over him fades away. All abilities other than sneak attack are lost until he goes through the process again.
If the Shadow Geist is resurrected there is a 25% chance to lose his class abilities. Under the effects of True Resurrection this chance is increased to 75%.
Playing a Shadow Geist
Combat: Shadow Geists operate much like rogues; patient opportunists. A Shadow Geist is capable of doing as much damage as a rogue but is more focused on infiltration than anything else. The class abilities will help anyone adjacent to the Geist by providing concealment and helping then sneak past opponents.
Advancement: Any melee classes that have a Sneak Attack option, focus on mobility, or could use the abilities of the Shadow Geist are good combinations/base classes.
Resources: While a Shadow Geist is a rare occurrence they don't usually conspire with another, even if they could find each other. The Shadow Geist can fulfill the same rolls as a rogue, but will seldom have the same aspirations. They crave something "more" but rarely know what it is, but will usually side with anyone or anything that can lead them to it.
Shadow Geists in the World
|“||It's amazing to wander in and out of shadows, but every time I do I feel just a little more cold.||”|
|—Ceelia, Elven Shadow Geist|
NPC Reactions: The average peasant would believe the Shadow Geist to be some kind of monster if they witnessed their class abilities. Adventurers may believe that this is due to magical items.
Shadow Geist Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge Planes can research Shadow Geists to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Shadow Geists are beings infused with energies from the Plane of Shadows.|
|15||Several abilities that a Shadow Geist can perform.|
|20||The process to become a Shadow geist.|
|25||Perhaps knowledge on how to keep class abilities and not be connected to the Plane of Shadows.|
Shadow Geists in the Game
Any Shadow Geist characters are likely to be nomads or those seeking a purpose. Usually they look for something to fill and empty spot in their beings that the Plane of Shadow took from them.
Adaptation: This class is a good option for a rogue prestige class and can be a fun player option in a planescape setting.
Sample Encounter: There's been talk of the town becoming haunted. People see shadows moving or placed awkwardly. Moreover, there is a man that seems to affect the shadows when he walks past them in the evening but nobody knows his face. The wizard swears by his life that there's no magic involved. And at night there is an unsettling whisper in the wind.
|Male human rogue 10 / Shadow Geist 5|
|N Medium humanoid (human)|
|Init/Senses||+4/Listen +13, Spot +14|
|AC||20, touch 14, flat-footed 16|
|hp||59 (15 HD)|
|Abilities||Str 10, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 10|
|SQ||Sneak Attack 7d6, Evasion, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Trap Sense +3, Trapfinding, See in Darkness, Hide in Plain Sight, Shadow Control, Skill mastery (Hide, Moves Silently, Tumble, Bluff, Sense Motive), Dimension Slide|
|Feats||Combat Reflexes, Weapon Finesse (short sword), Quick Draw, Deadly Precision, Rapid Reload, throat Punch, Spring Attack|
|Skills||Balance +19, Diplomacy +15, Disable Device +20, Escape Artist +12, Hide +22(+10), Knowledge (local) +7, Listen +13, Move Silently +17, Open Lock +9, Search +13, Sense Motive +13, Sleight of Hand +12(+10), Spot +14, Tumble +21, Use Magic Device +15|
|Possessions||+4 Shortsword, Ghost Strike, Deadly Precision, Maiming, Keen, +3 Studded Armor Shadow, Improved and Silent Moves, Improved, +3 Hand Crossbow Force Revealing|