Shadow Runner (3.5e Class)

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Shadow Runner[edit]

The Shadow Runners are a class of rogue who favour mobility and have mastered the ability to teleport in battle. They excel at thievery and hit and run combat.

Making a Shadow Runner[edit]

The Shadow Runner excels at moving in and out of combat and hard to reach places.

Abilities: Dexterity is vital, it determines the effectiveness of most class features, boosts AC and applies to attack rolls. A high intelligence improves many class features, including AC bonus and Damage,as well as boosting skill points. Constitution is important to all classes, though less so with Shadow Runners who avoid close combat through teleporting in and out of the field.

Races: Humans, Elves, Gnomes and Halflings make great Shadow Runners. While not unheard of; Dwarven and Half-Orc Shadow Runners are rare.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 6d4×10 gp (150).

Starting Age: Moderate.

Table: The Shadow Runner

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special AC Bonus Speed Bonus
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Trapfinding, AC bonus, Shadow Step, Shadow Strike (+1d6) 0 +0 ft.
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Evasion 0 +0 ft.
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 0 +10 ft.
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Acrobatics (+2), Insightful Strike, Shadow Strike (+2d6) 1 +10 ft.
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Stealth (+2) 1 +10 ft.
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Steady Stance 1 +20 ft.
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Fast Acrobatics, Shadow Strike (+3d6) 1 +20 ft.
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Agile Fighting 2 +20 ft.
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Acrobatics (+4) 2 +30 ft.
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Stealth (+4), Teleport (1/day), Shadow Strike (+4d6) 2 +30 ft.
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Shadow Step (Swift) 2 +30 ft.
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Hide in Plain Sight 3 +40 ft.
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Acrobatic Skill Mastery, Shadow Strike (+5d6) 3 +40 ft.
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Teleport (2/day), Shadow Pounce 3 +40 ft.
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Acrobatics (+6) 3 +50 ft.
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Stealth (+6), Shadow Strike (+6d6) 4 +50 ft.
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Shadow Step (At will) 4 +50 ft.
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 4 +60 ft.
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Greater Teleport, Shadow Strike (+7d6) 4 +60 ft.
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 5 +60 ft.

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Climb (str), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Local)(Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

The Shadow Runner's class features focus on mobility, Shadow Step being their signature ability.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Shadow Runner is proficient with all simple weapons, kukri, shortswords, scimitars, sai, shortbows, and bucklers. They are not proficient in any armor or shields other than bucklers; losing many of their class abilities if they wear these heavier armors and shields.

Running Light: A Shadow Runner is considered to be 'Running Light' when they carry no more than a light load and are wearing no armor or shields other than bucklers.

Trapfinding: A Shadow Runner can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and they can use Disable Device to bypass a trap or disarm magic traps. See the rogue class feature, page 50 of the Player’s Handbook.

AC Bonus (Ex): A Shadow Runner adds their Intelligence bonus (if any) to their AC. In addition, they gain a +1 bonus to AC at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four class levels thereafter (+2 at 8th, +3 at 12th, +4 at 16th level and +5 at 20th). It also applies to touch and flat-footed AC as well and is equivalent to the Monk ability. The Shadow Runner may not use this ability if they aren't Running Light. It does not stack with the monk's ability to add their wisdom bonus to their AC or similar abilities.

Shadow Strike (Su): When the Shadow Runner jumps through limbo they build up a charge of magical energy which, when released during an attack, makes their strike are more deadly. The Shadow runner applies this bonus damage to attacks made on their turn after they have used a teleportation ability including, but not limited to; the Shadow Step and Teleport class abilities. If the attacks are not made in that turn, the effect is wasted. This damage is not like sneak attack damage and may still affect undead and constructs, but may be used to apply for prestige classes that require one or more dice of sneak attack. The extra energy causes the attack to deal force damage rather than physical damage.

Shadow Step (Su): As a move-equivalent action a Shadow Runner may teleport up to their speed in any direction, provided they have a line of sight. They can use this ability a number of times a day equal to their Shadow Runner level + their Int modifier. Despite its name; shadow step doesn't require the presence of shadow and may be used regardless of the light level (provided there is a line of sight). At 11th level, they may Shadow Step as a swift action rather than a move, however, this ability is still considered movement; meaning you can't take a 5' step as well as use this ability. At 17th level, they can use this ability at will as a free action, however, this still counts as their movement and cannot exceed their movement speed.

Evasion (Ex): When making a reflex save to take partial damage for an effect, a Shadow Runner takes no damage on a successful save. They still take full damage on a failed save. The Shadow Runner may not use this ability if they aren't Running Light.

Fast Movement (Ex): At third level, and every three levels afterward the Shadow Runner's base land speed is increased by 10ft. This is equivalent to the Monk ability. The Shadow Runner may not use this ability if they aren't Running Light.

Acrobatics (Ex): The Shadow Runner gains a +2 bonus to Balance, Climb, Jump and Tumble skills. In addition; they may use their Dex modifier in place of Str for the Climb and Jump skills. This bonus increases by +2 at 12th and 20th levels. The Shadow Runner may not use this ability if they aren't Running Light.

Insightfull Strike (Ex): A Shadow Runner may add their Int modifier to their damage rolls.

Steady Stance (Ex): A Shadow Runner isn't considered flat-footed when climbing or balancing and may add their class levels/4 as a bonus to remain standing after taking damage when balancing or climbing.

Fast Acrobatics (Ex): A Shadow Runner may ignore the -5 penalty for moving at full speed while balancing and tumbling. They may also climb at their full speed provided they begin and end their turn on a flat surface.

Stealth (Ex): The Shadow Runner gains a +2 bonus to hide and move silently checks. This amount doubles when in areas of shadowy illumination or darkness. It increases by 2 at 16th and 20th levels. The Shadow Runner may not use this ability if they aren't Running Light.

Agile Fighting (Ex): can fight in any stance or position. She takes no penalty on AC or melee attacks for fighting prone and can move up to her speed with a DC 20 tumble check, rolling while prone

Teleport (Sp): Once per day the Shadow Runner may teleport as the spell, caster level equal to their Shadow Runner levels. At 14th and 19th levels, you gain one more use of the ability. Additionally; at 19th level, this ability is treated as the Greater Teleport spell.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su): The Shadow Runner gains the ability to hide in plain sight. They can hide without penalty even when being observed, he can do this as long as there is cover or shadow (except his own) within 10ft.

Shadow Pounce (Ex): At 14th level a Shadow Runner is able to convert some of the energy siphoned from limbo into speed. When he teleports the Shadow Runner is able to execute a full attack upon arriving at his target destination. He must have a line of sight to any targets of his attack before he teleports.

Epic Shadow Runner[edit]

Table: The Epic Shadow Runner

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
21st Speed Bonus (+70ft)
22nd Bonus Feat, Shadow Strike (+8d6)
23rd Acrobatics (+8)
24th Bonus Feat, AC Bonus Increase, Speed Bonus (+80ft)
25th Stealth (+8), Shadow Strike (+9d6), Bonus Feat
26th Bonus Feat
27th Speed Bonus (+90ft), Bonus Feat
28th Bonus Feat, Attribute Increase, Shadow Strike (+10d6)
30th Bonus Feat, Sealth (+10), Acrobatics (+10) Speed Bonus (+100ft)

6 + Int modifier skill points per level.

AC Bonus: At level 24, and every four levels thereafter, the AC bonus increases by one.

Shadow Strike: Increase the damage by 1d6 at level 22 and every three levels after that.

Speed Bonus: Increases by ten at 21st Level and every three levels after.

Acrobatics: At level 23 the Epic Shadow Runner gains a +8 Acrobatics bonus, this bonus increases to a +10 at level 30

Stealth: At level 25 the Epic Shadow Runner gets a +8 Stealth bonus, this bonus increases to a +10 at level 30

Bonus Feats: The epic Shadow Runner gains an epic bonus feat every 2 levels after 20th.

Human Shadow Runner Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Shortsword (1d6, 19-20/x2, 2 lb., Piercing) Light Crossbow (40 Bolts) (1d8, 19-20/x2, 8 lb., Piercing) Armour: Buckler (+1 AC, -1 Check Penalty, 5 lb.)

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Balance 4 Dex -1
Climb 4 Str -1
Disable Device 4 Int
Hide 4 Dex -1
Jump 4 Str -1
Listen/Spot 4 Wis
Move Silently 4 Dex -1
Search 4 Int
Tumble 4 Dex -1
Use Magic Device 4 Cha

Feat: Improved Buckler Defence.

Human Bonus Feat: Improved Initiative.

Gear: Adventurer's Gear.

Gold: 150gp

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Shadow Runner[edit]

Religion: Shadow Runners are most likely to worship deities of travel and trickery.

Other Classes: Shadow Runners get along well with the roguish classes, though are often envied for their prowess at stealth and 'Jumping'. Most fighters look down on their guerilla warfare tactics.

Combat: The Shadow Runner is best at using their superior mobility to shadow step into melee, strike and retreat quickly; keeping out of harm's way.

Advancement: Shadow Runners loose a lot from multiclassing.

Shadow Runners in the World[edit]

”I swear M'lord; he was tied up tighter than a tight thing, and he just disappeared come nightfall.”
—Alain, Jailer

Shadow Runners fill the role of master thief, able to break into many securely locked up places.

Daily Life: <-day in the life of a character of this class->.


Organizations: There are no formal organisations of Shadow Runners, the training being passed down to students that show promise. Usually a Shadow Runner learns of their power during a stressful situation and then refines their new found abilities. They are prized members of thieves and assassin guilds, using their unique abilities to pull off great robberies.

NPC Reactions: NPCs generally distrust Shadow Runners, seeing them only as thieves out to get their gold.

Shadow Runner Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge[Local] can research Shadow Runners 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 Shadow Runners are renown thieves and burglars.
10 They are able to teleport short distances.
15 Their powers have nothing to do with shadows, their name coming from their preference to strike at night.
20 They absorb magic from limbo when they teleport, discharging it when they strike.

Shadow Runners in the Game[edit]

Shadow Runners are prized throughout the thieves and assassin's guilds; their ability to shadow step and acute acrobatic skill allows them to get almost anywhere they want.

Adaptation: <-Possible variant conceptions of this class.->.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.

EL 9: <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.

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