Shadowdancer, Tome (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Once I was afraid of the dark; now I am the reason to be afraid.

Shadowdancers are creepy guys and gals who hang out in the shadows. Occasionally, they jump out of them and stab people in the face. Why? You'd have to ask the specific Shadowdancer.

Becoming a Shadowdancer[edit]

The Shadowdancer is a prestige class meant for Rogues. It should allow them to do fun Roguish things with the shadows, such as jumping out of other people's shadows. Which is a pretty good trick to do at a party.

Entry Requirements
Skills: Hide 8 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks, Perform(dance) 5 ranks.
Special: You must spend a lot of time hanging out in the shadows.
Table: The Shadowdancer

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Shadow Slide ,Hide In Plain Sight, Shadow Aura, Embodiment of Shadows
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Shadow Tendrils,Improved Shadow Slide, See in Darkness , +1d6 sneak attack
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Shadow Pounce, Darkness
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Improved Shadow Pounce, Shadow Molding , +2d6 sneak attack
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Deeper Darkness, One With Shadows
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Improved Shadow Molding, Shadow Servent , +3d6 sneak attack
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Shadow Vanish, Defensive Roll
8th +6 +2 +6 +2 Steal Shadow, Shadow Walk , +4d6 sneak attack
9th +6 +3 +6 +3 Shadow Fiend, Mirrorshard Blade
10th +7 +3 +7 +3 Shadow Form, Phantasmal Killer, +5d6 sneak attack

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier each 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).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the shadowdancer.

Shadow Aura: A shadow forms around you making you harded to see and hear, granting you a +5 to hide and move silently.

Embodiment of Shadows: At first level, a Shadowdancer learns the power of the shadows, using it to their advantage. The Shadow Thief gains +4 to Dexterity during night, or when within shadows or any form of darkness.

See in Darkness (Ex): At 2nd level, a shadowdancer can see in darkness of any sort, even magical darkness.

Shadow Slide (Sp): At 1st level, a shadowdancer can use dimension door as a spell-like ability as a 9th level caster 1/day per Dex Mod. This works just like the psionic power, except that you must start and end in a shadow. You can start in your own shadow and end in someone else's.

At 2nd level, you can do this as a move action.

Darkness (Sp): At 3rd level, the shadowdancer can use darkness as a spell-like ability 3/day. The shadowdancer can do this an additional time per day for every 2 class levels (2/day at 4th level, 3/day at 6th level, etc.).. At 5th level, this upgrades to deeper darkness and she gains the ability to use darkness as a swift action.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): At 1st level, a shadowdancer can use the Hide skill even when being observed.

Shadow Tendrils: at 2nd level, a Shadowdancer use of darkness further assists their thieving tendencies as tendrils made of darkness extend from their fingers on command. These tendrils can be manipulated and stretched, yet still grab and move solid objects; however, they are not natural weapons. The Shadow Thief gains a +5 competence bonus to Disable Device, Escape Artist, Open Lock, Pick Pocket, and Sleight of Hand checks.

Sneak Attack: This is exactly like the Rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 every other level (2nd, 4rd, 6th, 8th, 10th) . If a shadowdancer gets a sneak attack bonus from another source, the bonuses on damage stack.

Shadow Molding (Su): At 4th level the shadowdancer has gained such extraordinary manipulation over shadows that they can literally grab up the stuff of Shadow and mold it into a useful item. Such items are limited to simple creations not to exceed 1 cubic foot per shadowdancer level, can not have any complex or moving parts and are non-magical in nature. While they appear to be made of an unusual substance and black in color, they otherwise have the same strengths and weaknesses as the normal item they represent (such as a hammer, a rope, a dagger, etc.). Molded items will exist for a time of 1d4 hours before “evaporating” back into their Shadow component.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4th level, the shadowdancer gains Uncanny Dodge. If she already has Uncanny Dodge, she gains Improved Uncanny Dodge.

Shadow Pounce (Ex): At 3rd level, the shadowdancer can make a full attack action after using any of her Shadow movement abilities. This improves at 4th level to allow you to split your movement to move before and after you attack as long as the total distance is not greater then your speed. Attacking in this way does not provoke an attack of opportunity from person being attacked.

One With Shadows: Your Embodiment of Shadows is now effctive at all times.

Improved Shadow Molding (Su): At 6th level the shadowdancer’s ability to mold Shadow has increased to the point where they can now create complex items such as a lock or a crossbow with bolts. In all other respects these items are just like those created with the Shadow Molding ability.

Deeper Darkness (Sp): At 5th level the shadowdancer’s Darkness ability enhances to Deeper Darkness. Uses per day progression continues to follow that as listed for Darkness. Furthermore, the shadowdancer can control how large or small an area the Deeper Darkness will affect (up to the spell’s normal maximum of a 60 foot radius).

Shadow Vanish (Sp): At 7th level, a shadowdancer can cast greater teleport as a spell-like ability at will. They can only take themselves and up to 50 pounds of objects, however. When disappearing, a shadowdancer seems to shrink and vanish into her own shadow and when reappearing she seems to explode in a burst of shadows.

Shadow Friends (Su): At 6th level, a shadowdancer can create a shadow friend. This works like the unseen servant spell, except the shadowdancer can see through the eyes and hear through the ears of her shadow friend. She may only have one such "friend" at a time.

Defensive Roll (Ex): The rogue can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than she otherwise would. Once per day, when she would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the rogue can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the rogue must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC=damage dealt). If the save succeeds, she takes only half damage from the blow; if it fails, she takes full damage. She must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive roll—if she is denied her Dexterity bonus to AC, she can’t use this ability. Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Reflex save for half damage, the rogue’s evasion ability does not apply to the defensive roll.

Shadow Fiend (Su): At 8th level the shadowdancer can turn a target’s own shadow against them. By successfully making a touch-based attack against the enemy creature as a full-attack action, the shadowdancer can command the target’s shadow to attack its previous owner (Fortitude save negates - DC = 10 + shadowdancer level + shadowdancer dexterity bonus). The target’s shadow becomes a Shadow (as per the Monster Manual) ignoring all other creatures (except to defend itself) and relentlessly seeks to destroy its previous master. It has the same Hit Dice as it’s original owner but only half the Hit Points as the owner’s normal full allotment (follow normal Advancement progression as per the Monster Manual). If the target has at least 9 total class levels or Hit Dice, the Shadow is instead considered a Greater Shadow. The Shadow will remain in existence until either the death of the original owner, they are dismissed by the shadowdancer (as a free action), or a number of rounds passes equal to the shadowdancer’s class level + 1d6. Shadows created in this fashion are considered “summoned creatures” and are thus subject to any benefits and/or penalties normally associated with such creatures. However, they are not subject to turning or control by any being other than the shadowdancer who created them. Note that if the target has had their shadow stolen per the Steal Shadow ability, they are effectively immune to this ability unless their shadow has previously been returned.

Steal Shadow (Su): Beginning at 8th level, the shadowdancer gains control over the shadows of other creatures. By successfully making a touch-based attack against the enemy creature as a full-attack action, the shadowdancer can literally rip the shadow from it’s owner (Fortitude save negates - DC = 10 + shadowdancer level + shadowdancer dexterity bonus). Stolen shadows remain missing until either the shadowdancer willingly returns it (as a free action), or 24 hours have passed. While under the effects of a stolen shadow, the target suffers the following effects: -2 Strength, - 2 Constitution, -2 Dexterity, can not benefit from magical or mundane healing and half spell resistance (if any). Also, though it has no real affects, the target feels a cold chill they just can not shake. A creature can not have it’s shadow stolen a second time before it is returned.

Mirrorshard Blade (Su): What is a shadow without a light to cast it? At 9th level, the shadowdancer gains further power through meditation on this enlightening topic. She gains the ability to create a special weapon, the Mirrorshard Blade. As a free action usable once per round, she can create a Mirrorshard Blade (two if she has Two-Weapon Fighting). To do this, she must have a mirror or piece of a mirror on hand. She automatically has proficiency with this weapon. A Mirrorshard Blade has a reach of 5' and deals 1d8 slashing damage, as well as one point of Constitution damage, and has an enhancement bonus equal to 1/3 the total character level. A Mirrorshard Blade threatens a critical on an 18-20 and has a critical multiplier of ×2; the Constitution damage is also multiplied on a critical. Mirrorshard Blades have a range increment of 10', and instantly return to the hand of the user when thrown. Mirrorshard Blades also have the following special properties:

  • Blinding Light: As a move action, the wielder of a Mirrorshard Blade can reflect any nearby light, causing all within 30' to make a Fortitude save (DC 15 + 0.5 ½ character level + Dex modifier) or be blinded for 3 rounds. Creatures with light sensitivity take a -4 penalty to their save and are permanently blinded if they fail the save. If they pass, light-sensitive creatures are dazzled for three rounds.
  • Mirror: As an immediate action, you may make an attack against any ray fired at you. If your attack roll beats the attack roll used to hit you, you reflect the ray back at the caster.
  • Reflections: The wielder of a Mirrorshard Blade always has a single mirror image. The images created by this ability, if destroyed, can all be reformed once per round as a free action.
  • Reflective Offense: Enemies count as flat-footed when attacking with th Mirrorshard Blade

Phantasmal Image (Sp): At 10th level, a shadowdancer can use major image as a spell-like ability at will. The images are made from real shadow pulled from the Plane of Shadow, and as such are not mind-affecting figments and are not foiled by true seeing.

Shadow Form (Su): At 10th level, the shadowdancer’s mastery over Shadow is complete to such an extent that they can now turn themselves (along with all equipment) into a being composed of pure Shadow, remaining in such form for a maximum of 120 minutes per 24 hour period, divided up as the shadowdancer sees fit. As a living shadow, they blend perfectly into any other shadow, vanish in darkness and appear as an unattached shadow in areas of full light. While in such a form, the shadowdancer is two-dimensional only and moves across surfaces as a normal shadow would. As such, they are not subject to things like gravity and can move at normal speed on any surface, including walls and ceilings, as well as across the surfaces of liquids - even up the face of a waterfall. However, the shadowdancer is not incorporeal so can not move through things like solid surfaces. While in shadow form, the shadowdancer gains damage reduction 10/magic, is immune to extra damage from critical hits, ability damage, disease, drowning, and poison and takes only half damage from acid, electricity, and fire of all kinds. While affected by this power, the shadowdancer can be detected by powers that read thoughts, life, or presences (including true seeing), or if they make suspicious movements in lighted areas. The shadowdancer cannot harm anyone physically or manipulate any objects, but can use touch based or other powers normally and can still do things like activate items they possessed when turning into their shadow form. Doing so may attract notice, but if they remain in a shadowed area, they get a +15 bonus on Hide checks to remain unnoticed.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Shadowdancer[edit]

Combat: Shadowdancers do almost the exact same thing as a Rogue. What they don't get is more Trap Sense or Rogue special abilities.

Advancement: Presumably, Shadowdancers will continue advancing in Rogue or another Roguish prestige class when they finish with this one.

Resources: Varies. Shadowdancers are generally lone wolf types, but it's not inconceivable that there's an organization or guild full of them out there somewhere.

Shadowdancers in the World[edit]

Shadowdancers are rarely drawn from the ranks of the common street Rogue. The prestige class grants several spell-like and other magical abilities; it is very likely that any given Shadowdancer will have had a great deal of contact with some sort of magic in his or her past.

NPC Reactions: For their ability to jump out of someone's shadow without warning and stab them in the face, Shadowdancers are fairly well feared by the peasant masses. That's not to say that people or creatures higher up on the food chain don't fear them, but they are more likely to put aside the fear to employ the services of one.

Shadowdancer Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can research Shadowdancers 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
11 Shadowdancers are strange Rogues with the ability to teleport through shadows.
16 Shadowdancers can step out of their own shadows into the shadows of others.
21 Shadowdancers can command the shadows, allowing them to do feats like attacking someone with their own shadow and creating extremely realistic illusions.
26 Shadowdancers also learn how to control the light, to better be able to control the shadows.

Shadowdancers in the Game[edit]

It should be extremely easy to make a Rogue PC into a Shadowdancer. PCs are exposed to magic almost constantly. With NPCs, you'll generally want to only make upper- or middle-class NPCs into Shadowdancers. They are the ones more likely to be exposed to magic, and the ones with the time to study and meditate on the shadows. Lower class NPC Rogues are probably spending all their time pickpocketing people.

Adaptation: Shadowdancers are pretty generic. You can make some weird organization made up of all Shadowdancers if you want, but there's really no problems with occasionally having your upper-class Rogue be a Shadowdancer.

Sample Shadowdancer:


CR 7

Male human Rogue 5/Shadowdancer 2
CN Medium humanoid (human)
Init/Senses +9/Listen +10, Spot +10
Languages Common, Elven, Dwarven
AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 16
hp 34 (7 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +3/+12/+2
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Base Atk/Grp +4/+4
Atk Options Darkness, Rapid Shot, Shadow Slide, Shadow Strike, Two-Weapon Fighting
Abilities Str 10, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 14
Feats Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Two-Weapon Fighting
Skills Bluff 10, Diplomacy 5, Disable Device 10, Hide 10, Listen 10, Move Silently 10, Sense Motive 5, Sleight of Hand 10, Spot 10, Use Magic Device 5, Use Rope 5
Possessions +1 Mithril Shirt, masterwork Shortbow, Gloves of Dexterity +2, masterwork thief's tools, 20 vials of Acid, 20 vials of Alchemist's Fire, 2 shortswords

Armir is the son of a nobleman who fell from grace. He spends his time stealing well-guarded objects from the castles and manors of other noble families.

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