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Lord Vampyre
2011-04-02, 03:19 PM
Edit: New Version
2nd Edit: Added Shadow Empathy
3rd Edit: Added a limitation to the Shadow Companion ability

Penumbral Hierophant

Penumbral Hierophants blend shadow magic and divine magic with an emphasis on nature. They see shadows as part of nature, and a perfect balance between the light of day and the darkness of night.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: LN, NG, TN, NE, or CN
Skills: Know (nature) 7; Know (the planes) 5
Feats: Shadow Familiar
Mysteries: Ability to cast 2nd-level mysteries
Spellcasting: Ability to cast 2nd-level divine spells
Special: Animal companion, darkvision, wild empathy
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level): Concentration, Craft, Handle Animal, Hide, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (the planes), Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Spellcraft, Spot, Survival.

Hit Die: d6

PENUMBRAL HIEROPHANT
{table=head]Level|
BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells/Mysteries

1st|
+0|
+2|
+0|
+2|Shadow Companion, Wild Shape, Shadow Empathy, Body of Shadow, Bonus Fundamental|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

2nd|
+1|
+3|
+0|
+3||+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

3rd|
+1|
+3|
+1|
+3||+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

4th|
+2|
+4|
+1|
+4||+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

5th|
+2|
+4|
+1|
+4|Bonus Fundamental|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

6th|
+3|
+5|
+2|
+5||+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

7th|
+3|
+5|
+2|
+5||+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

8th|
+4|
+6|
+2|
+6||+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

9th|
+4|
+6|
+3|
+6|Bonus Fundamental|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

10th|
+5|
+7|
+3|
+7||+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

11th|
+5|
+7|
+3|
+7|Unlimited Fundamentals|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

12th|
+6|
+8|
+3|
+8||+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

13th|
+6|
+8|
+3|
+8|Bonus Fundamental|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

14th|
+7|
+9|
+3|
+9||+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user [/table]

Mysteries/Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new mysteries and spells per day and increase in caster level (and mysteries or spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in both your mystery-using class and your divine spellcasting class. You do not gain any other benefits a character of these classes would have gained, except as listed below. If you had more than one mystery-using or divine spellcasting class before becoming a penumbral hierophant, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells/mysteries known.

Shadow Companion: Upon becoming a penumbral hierophant, you must dismiss your shadow familiar. You retain your animal companion. You add your penumbral hierophant class level to your druid or ranger level for purposes of determining your animal companionís bonus Hit Dice, natural armor adjustment, and Strength/Dexterity adjustment.

In addition, your animal companion gains the dark creature template and many of the abilities that your shadow familiar would normally possess. You add your penumbral hierophant class level to your mystery-using class level, and determine the Intelligence bonus and special abilities of your animal companion accordingly.

The bond between a Penumbral Hierophant and his Shadow Companion is much stronger than the bond of a Druid and his Animal Companion. If a Shadow Companion is slain the Penumbral Hierophant will suffer from a negative level for 24 hours. At the end of 24 hours, he must make a DC 20 fortitude save or the negative level becomes permanent. If a Shadow Companion is slain it can be resurrected without losing a hit die.

The Penumbral Hierophant can dismiss his Shadow Companion at any time without having to make a fortitude save. However, if the Shadow Companion is dismissed or slain the Penumbral Hierophant will not be able to summon another one for 1 year and a day. During this time the Penumbral Hierophant will be able to summon an Animal Companion adding its druid level to its penumbral hierophant level when determining its abilities.

Note: This ability works much the same way the Companion Familiar ability from the Arcane Heirophant, except as noted above.

Shadow Empathy: A penumbral hierophant gets a +2 bonus to their wild empathy checks when dealing with animals that are from the plane of shadow.

Wild Shape: A penumbral hierophant adds their druid level to determine their wild shape ability. If a penumbral hierophant does not have any levels in druid, then they are treated as a druid of the penumbral hierophantís level for the sake of using Wild Shape.

When a Penumbral Hierophant gains the ability Wild Shape (elemental), they add shadow elemental to the list of elemental forms that they are able to take.

A Knowledge (Nature) check can be used to discern a Penumbral Hierophant using Wild Shape. The DC is 40 - the character's penumbral hierophant level.

Body of Shadow: The penumbral hierophant becomes increasingly more attached to the plane of shadow as they rise in level. Their bodies take on various physical alterations. The bonuses the Penumbral Hierophant recieves from the Body of Shadow ability are added to all forms the penumbral hierophant takes using Wild Shape.

At 1st level, a penumbral hierophant gains an inherent +1 bonus to Move Silently and Hide. This bonus increases by 1 at 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th level.

At 2nd level, a penumbral hierophantís body has changed so much that they only eat 1 meal per week, and only have to sleep 1 hour a day. This also renders them immune to magical sleep effects. They are still required to get 8 hours of rest to replenish their spells and mysteries.

At 4th level, a penumbral hierophant has become so used to the cold emanating from the plane of shadow that they receive Cold Resistance 5. If they already have Cold Resistance, then their Cold Resistance increases by 5.

At 6th level, a penumbral hierophantís movement increases by 10 ft.

At 8th level, a penumbral hierophantís vision has become so accustomed to the darkness that their Darkvision increases by 30 ft, and allows them to see in magical darkness up to the range of their Darkvision.

At 10th level, a penumbral hierophant becomes immune to poisons and diseases.

At 12th level, a penumbral hierophant gains the Hide in Plain Sight ability (except in daylight).

At 14th level, a penumbral hierophantís connection to the plane of shadow has become so strong that they cease aging, and cannot be aged magically. They no longer possess the need to sleep, eat, or breathe.


Old Version:
Penumbral Hierophant

Penumbral Hierophants blend shadow magic and divine magic with an emphasis on nature. They see shadows as part of nature, and a perfect balance between the light of day and the darkness of night. Penumbral Heirophants perform most of their rituals during dusk and dawn.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: LN, NG, TN, NE, or CN
Skills: Know (Nature) 7; Know (Arcana) 7
Feats: Shadow Familiar
Mysteries: Ability to cast 2nd-level mysteries
Spellcasting: Ability to cast 2nd-level divine spells
Special: Animal companion, darkvision
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level): Concentration, Craft, Handle Animal, Hide, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (the planes), Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Spellcraft, Spot, Survival.

Hit Die: d6

PENUMBRAL HIEROPHANT
{table=head]Level|
BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells/Mysteries

1st|
+0|
+2|
+0|
+2|Shadow Companion, Bonus Fundamental|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

2nd|
+1|
+3|
+0|
+3|Shadow Shape 1/day, Sustaining shadow (eat 1 meal/week)|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

3rd|
+1|
+3|
+1|
+3|Shadow Shape 2/day|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

4th|
+2|
+4|
+1|
+4|Shadow Shape 3/day|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

5th|
+2|
+4|
+1|
+4|Shadow Shape (Large), Bonus Fundamental|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

6th|
+3|
+5|
+2|
+5| Sustaining shadow (sleep 1 hour/day)|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

7th|
+3|
+5|
+2|
+5|Shadow Shape 4/day, |+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

8th|
+4|
+6|
+2|
+6|Shadow shape (Tiny), Umbral Sight (darkness)|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

9th|
+4|
+6|
+3|
+6|Shadow Shape (Plant), Bonus Fundamental|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

10th|
+5|
+7|
+3|
+7| Sustaining shadow (immune to poison/disease)|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

11th|
+5|
+7|
+3|
+7|Shadow Shape 5/day, Unlimited Fundamentals|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

12th|
+6|
+8|
+3|
+8|Shadow Shape (Huge), |+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

13th|
+6|
+8|
+3|
+8|Shadow Shape (shadow elemental 1/day), Bonus Fundamental|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user

14th|
+7|
+9|
+3|
+9|Timeless Shadow|+1 level of existing spellcasting class/+1 level of existing mystery-user [/table]

Mysteries/Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new mysteries and spells per day and increase in caster level (and mysteries or spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in both your mystery-using class and your divine spellcasting class. You do not gain any other benefits a character of these classes would have gained, except as listed below. If you had more than one mystery-using or divine spellcasting class before becoming a penumbral hierophant, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells/mysteries known.

Shadow Companion: Upon becoming a penumbral hierophant, you must dismiss your shadow familiar. You retain your animal companion. You add your penumbral hierophant class level to your druid or ranger level for purposes of determining your animal companionís bonus Hit Dice, natural armor adjustment, and Strength/Dexterity adjustment.

In addition, your animal companion gains the dark creature template and many of the abilities that your shadow familiar would normally possess. You add your penumbral hierophant class level to your mystery-using class level, and determine the Intelligence bonus and special abilities of your animal companion accordingly.

Note: This ability works much the same way the Companion Familiar ability from the Arcane Heirophant.

Shadow Shape: This ability works as per the Druidís wild shape ability with the following addendums. When using the shadow shape ability, the penumbral hierophant adds the dark creature template to whatever form he is taking. The effect lasts for 1 hour per character level or until he changes back. The new forms Hit Dice needs to be equal to or less than the character's level.

At 13th level, the penumbral hierophant is able to take the form of a shadow elemental 1/day.

Sustaining Shadow: As per the Shadowcaster ability.

Umbral Sight: At 8th level, a penumbral hierophant gains the ability to see in magical darkness up to the limit of their darkvision. This ability does not grant darkvision, but augments a penumbral hierophantís existing darkvision.

Timeless Shadow: At 14th level, a penumbral hierophantís connection to the nature of shadow becomes so strong that they no longer need to eat, sleep, or breathe. He also ceases to age, and cannot be aged magically.

peacenlove
2011-04-03, 04:10 AM
Alright, there really isn't anything new or spectacular about this class, and most of it is really just a variation on other abilities. I guess what I'm worried about most is balance.


There is nothing problematic with this class balance wise. Also it has no real differences from the arcane hierophant power wise (although continuing shadowcaster abilities makes up for the lost channeling.
Arcane Hierophant was weaker than straight druid 20 so this class is ok (maybe weaker due to the entrant being a shadowcaster).

Lord Vampyre
2011-04-04, 02:08 AM
Thanks. I wasn't sure, since I added the dark template to the companion and to the druid's wild shape. The Arcane Heirophant really was my balance point. I really just wanted to modify it enough to get the flavor right for my next character. Now, I just need to get it past the DM.

Benly
2011-04-04, 02:43 AM
Personally, I feel like it could survive having a lower shadowcaster requirement - shadow magic doesn't bring nearly as much to the table as arcane does. It's not a dealbreaker, but even moreso than most theurges this guy won't really come together until well into the mid levels.

Shadow Shape is tasty but not gamebreaking - Dark is a very nice template, but what it adds in this case is extra breadth of utility, not so much an enhancement of power. Once she gets rolling, this would be a very interesting class to play. It's just that she doesn't "get rolling" until around level 9-10, which is always a little frustrating.

Lord Vampyre
2011-04-04, 12:36 PM
Hmm. It's tempting, but it would be hard to pass a dual progression PrC by most DM's with an earlier entry requirement. Even I would be hard pressed to agree to it. Also, it would give races that already have darkvision a much larger advantage.

Benly
2011-04-04, 01:15 PM
Hmm. It's tempting, but it would be hard to pass a dual progression PrC by most DM's with an earlier entry requirement. Even I would be hard pressed to agree to it. Also, it would give races that already have darkvision a much larger advantage.

It's understandable. The thing is that losing three casting levels means that, for quite some time, you don't operate as a primary caster. With level 2 spells at character level 7, you're closer to a paladin in your casting than you are to a primary caster class - but you have caster hit points, BAB, armor, and so on. If you have to play through those levels, a theurge-type character can feel like a real load for that reason. In this case, it's amplified by shadowcasting not being terribly impressive to begin with.

It's very impressive when you look at level 20 and see those dual 9s, but you also need to look at the levels where you're likely to do most of your playing. If you're likely to do a lot of playing below 9-10, it'd be hard to recommend this class.

One footnote: A druid normally can give up a lot more casting than other classes and stay functional as long as its non-spellcasting features are staying on par. That's one reason this class works as well as it does above 9-10: you're getting Wild Shape back and keeping your animal companion along with some nice added features. The problem is that since the only reasonable entry is Druid 3/Shadowcaster 3, you're not actually getting Wild Shape at all until the PrC gives it to you. From character levels 4-7, the only reasonable option that comes to mind is to take the Natural Bond feat, hide behind your animal companion with whatever buffs and debuffs you can scrape together, and hope that's enough.

(I can actually see that being potentially viable - Share Spells + Steel Shadows could help make a startlingly tanky animal companion on top of Barkskin and other lowish buffs, although it's hard to think of what else you could get out of level 1 and 2 mysteries to contribute much to this. Caul of Shadow too, I guess - every little helps.)

Lord Vampyre
2011-04-04, 04:32 PM
Thanks for the insight. It'll help optimize the character in the long run.

Benly
2011-04-04, 04:53 PM
Oh, one technical note that comes to mind: you need to clarify what to use to calculate the duration and HD maximum of Shadow Shape. Personally I'd recommend calculating it from the character's total of druid, hierophant, and shadowcaster levels - you could go with druid + hierophant alone, but I feel like full strength on it is reasonable.

Lord Vampyre
2011-04-04, 05:05 PM
Alright, I'll take a look at it when I get home tonight.

Lord Vampyre
2011-04-05, 01:26 AM
Ok, I updated the Shadow Shape to read: "The new form's HD needs to be equal to or less than the character's level."

jiriku
2011-04-05, 01:57 AM
I'd recommend you tack on something at 1st level to help get you over that "not a full caster yet" hump that Benly described. Maybe something similiar, like granting Shadow Shape and all of its evolutions one level sooner, and then tacking on an additional ability at a higher level to fill in the gap.

You'll definitely want to consider Extra Wild Shape up front, as the dark animal forms are going to be a big help when you're at that point where your spells are all weak with short durations and low save DCs.

Benly
2011-04-05, 02:24 AM
You'll definitely want to consider Extra Wild Shape up front, as the dark animal forms are going to be a big help when you're at that point where your spells are all weak with short durations and low save DCs.

It's a harsh tossup between that and Natural Spell. You won't qualify for either until your level 9 feat. If retraining is available I'd almost consider taking Extra Wild Shape first and retraining to Natural Spell after you've got a few uses naturally. Remember that by the time you get it, your wild shape will last for eight hours and you can probably afford an item to let you talk in animal form - I'm not usually a fan of the "all-day bear" druid, but it'll probably last you through a couple of fights at least if you're in a danger zone.

For 1-6 feats, Natural Bond is a no-brainer (your companion is going to be your strongest point from levels 4-8 and stays high on there afterwards) and Practiced Spellcaster is a very strong option. For a small race, Mounted Combat could be an interesting choice. Darkstalker to capitalize on your eventual Dark template is a nice option too - buying Hide and Move Silently on those low skill points is a pain, but shadowcrafters do require a moderate amount of Int anyway.

Between those ideas, I'd almost want to try something like a strongheart halfling with this PrC - at low levels he scouts and rides his dinosaur in a fight, and at higher levels he's the world's sneakiest bear. (I would probably want to use the designer's amendments to the class as well, posted here (http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/184955-shadowcaster-fixes-mouseferatu.html).)

Lord Vampyre
2011-04-05, 12:12 PM
I'd recommend you tack on something at 1st level to help get you over that "not a full caster yet" hump that Benly described. Maybe something similiar, like granting Shadow Shape and all of its evolutions one level sooner, and then tacking on an additional ability at a higher level to fill in the gap.

My only problem is that it would change the balance between this class and the Arcane Hierophant. Granted the Arcane Hierophant is based on two Tier 1 classes.

It would be good to ensure that the class received a few more fundamentals. Although, I always considered those inherent in the Shadowcaster's casting progression to begin with (kind of like the Sorcerer's progression with cantrips).


It's a harsh tossup between that and Natural Spell. You won't qualify for either until your level 9 feat. If retraining is available I'd almost consider taking Extra Wild Shape first and retraining to Natural Spell after you've got a few uses naturally. Remember that by the time you get it, your wild shape will last for eight hours and you can probably afford an item to let you talk in animal form - I'm not usually a fan of the "all-day bear" druid, but it'll probably last you through a couple of fights at least if you're in a danger zone.

I'll probably just get the Natural Spell feat. By 9th level, he will already have 2 uses of the Shadow Shape ability per day. Also, the character isn't meant to be very combat oriented, with the d6 hit die and the poor base attack progression. Although at 8th level he is about as combat oriented as the Arcane Hierophant, unless you use the fractional method.


For 1-6 feats, Natural Bond is a no-brainer (your companion is going to be your strongest point from levels 4-8 and stays high on there afterwards) and Practiced Spellcaster is a very strong option. For a small race, Mounted Combat could be an interesting choice. Darkstalker to capitalize on your eventual Dark template is a nice option too - buying Hide and Move Silently on those low skill points is a pain, but shadowcrafters do require a moderate amount of Int anyway.

At 6th level, I'll need to take the Shadow Familiar feat. Beyond that I hadn't made very many decisions. Which books are the Natural Bond and Darkstalker feats in?


(I would probably want to use the designer's amendments to the class as well, posted here.)

Although the designer's amendments really seem to help the class, I'm probably not going to use most of them.

Benly
2011-04-05, 02:23 PM
At 6th level, I'll need to take the Shadow Familiar feat. Beyond that I hadn't made very many decisions. Which books are the Natural Bond and Darkstalker feats in?

Hah, I blanked on the Shadow Familiar req for a moment there. Mea culpa.

Natural Bond is in Complete Adventurer. It essentially increases your druid level by 3 for purposes of your animal companion ability, to a max of your character level. On a PH, it means you'll have a full-strength animal companion - fairly important, as that's about the only full-strength anything you'll have from levels 4-7.

Darkstalker is in, of all places, Lords of Madness. It lets you use Hide and Move Silently normally against creatures with blindsense, blindsight, tremorsense, and scent, all of which normally automatically defeat Hide without requiring a Spot check. Lenient DMs will also let it apply to weirder senses like Mindsight, Lifesense and so on (the way the flavor text describes it makes it seem like it should). Since the biggest advantage you get from the Dark template is the combination of huge sneaking bonuses and Hide In Plain Sight, it's nice to be able to use those abilities even against more troublesome enemies. Since your companion has the familiar's Share Skills and the dark template as well, it should also be nicely sneaky - ask your DM if the companion can take the feat, too, so that you can be the two sneakiest bears in the world. :smallsmile:

Lord Vampyre
2011-04-05, 04:45 PM
Thanks, I don't have Lords of Madness, but I should be able to get it.

Lord Vampyre
2011-05-02, 07:23 PM
I've made a number of changes to this PrC. Most of them seem fairly superficial to me, but I may of made of mistake and allowed power creep.

Garryl
2011-05-02, 09:18 PM
What do the Bonus Fundamental and Unlimited Fundamentals abilities do? They aren't listed.

Benly
2011-05-03, 01:58 AM
I like the new Body of Shadow ability, although you should probably make clear that it works in Wild Shape.

On the whole I think it's a buff, but not a problematic one - anything that encourages druids not to spend all their dang time in Wild Shape is okay by me, and granting the dark benefits in human shape as well does that to an extent.

Lord Vampyre
2011-05-03, 12:13 PM
Thanks, I was hoping that by spreading the abilities granted by the Dark Creature template that it would be a little more versatile. I'll work on the wording a little, so its clear that it's usable in Wild Shape.

Lord Vampyre
2011-05-11, 12:47 PM
What do the Bonus Fundamental and Unlimited Fundamentals abilities do? They aren't listed.

Sorry, I missed this comment.

But to answer your question, the Bonus Fundamental and Unlimited Fundamentals are as per the Shadowcaster abilities as described in the Tome of Magic. I should probably state that.

Hazzardevil
2011-06-12, 12:56 PM
I have a question about the Shadow Companion class feature. Why does it have to be a Animal Companion with shadow familiar abilitys and not a shadow familiar with animal companion abilitys?

Lord Vampyre
2011-07-29, 06:10 PM
I have a question about the Shadow Companion class feature. Why does it have to be a Animal Companion with shadow familiar abilitys and not a shadow familiar with animal companion abilitys?

Sorry, I didn't notice this post until now.

To answer your question:

The Shadow Companion class feature is a derivative of the the Companion Familiar class feature for the Arcane Hierophant. However, since it is quite possible for you to get a smaller animal companion as a druid with your DM's approval, it is quite possible to use one of the standard animal familiars as your Shadow Companion.

Now, here is the main restriction on how it is worded. You can not use this ability to turn a non-standard familiar recieved from improved familiar or another feat to give that type of familiar the increased hit dice and Natural Armor of the Animal Companion ability. This is in order to place limits upon the ability and to give your DM less of a headache when trying to maintain game balance.

Although, it does allow you to place shadow template on a non-standard animal companion and give it the properties of a familiar.

As a side note: I have been meaning to rewrite that particular ability. I want to make the Shadow Companion more closely tied to the Penumbral Hierophant, giving him penalties if something should ever happen to his Shadow Companion. Unfortunately, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Lord Vampyre
2011-08-17, 01:48 PM
Alright, I've made a few minor changes to the class. I've added Shadow Empathy, which gives the Penumbral Hierophant a small bonus when dealing with animals from the plane of shadow.

I've also added a statement to the Body of Shadow ability at 2nd level. This makes the Penumbral Hierophant immune to magical sleep effects. This seems like a fairly minute addition since by the time the character gets it, he'll be 8th level. It seemed somewhat reasonable since he will be sleeping less than an elf by this point.

Let me know what you think. I'm planning on adding a limitation to the shadow companion that will make it detrimental to the Penumbral Hierophant if he loses it. I just want it to be tied more closely to him than an animal companion is to a typical druid. I'm still working on the wording and will probably get around to it in a few days.

Lord Vampyre
2011-08-18, 11:59 AM
I added the following statement to the Shadow Companion ability. Let me know what you think.


The bond between a Penumbral Hierophant and his Shadow Companion is extremely close. If a Shadow Companion is slain the Penumbral Hierophant must make a DC 20 Fortitude Save or lose a level as if they had been effected by an energy drain attack. On a successful save, the Penumbral Hierophant must take a -1 to all rolls for the next 24 hours. The Penumbral Hierophant can dismiss his Shadow Companion at any time without having to make a fortitude save. However, if the Shadow Companion is dismissed or slain the Penumbral Hierophant will not be able to summon another one for 1 year and a day.

Garryl
2011-08-18, 12:56 PM
Why not use existing mechanics? Giving a negative level (DC 20 to remove after 24 hours) will do just about the same thing without forcing the player to recalculate everything in the middle of combat (and not force everyone else to wait for him).

I don't see why you need to apply the penalty and the resummoning restriction, though. Animal Companions don't hurt you if they die, and they're designed to be interchangeable (especially since you get bigger and better options every 3 levels). Even familiars are easy to replace after you've soaked the xp loss (itself only 10-20% of a level).

Lord Vampyre
2011-08-18, 05:33 PM
Why not use existing mechanics? Giving a negative level (DC 20 to remove after 24 hours) will do just about the same thing without forcing the player to recalculate everything in the middle of combat (and not force everyone else to wait for him).

I'll look at rewording the loss to being closer to the existing mechanics. Unfortunately, I'm away from books at the moment. I wrote it up from how I felt it should affect the character.


I don't see why you need to apply the penalty and the resummoning restriction, though. Animal Companions don't hurt you if they die, and they're designed to be interchangeable (especially since you get bigger and better options every 3 levels). Even familiars are easy to replace after you've soaked the xp loss (itself only 10-20% of a level).

Shadow Companions are meant to be much closer to a familiar than an animal companion with this restriction. If you reread the Summon Familiar entry in the PHB, it states the Sorcerer must wait a year and a day after losing a familiar before he is able to summon another one. Now, if there is a sufficient amount of down time in the campaign for some reason, then the character won't have an issue. Part of this is to force the character to be rather particular when choosing his Shadow Companion in the first place.

However, I did make it slightly more painful in some ways. The DC for losing a familiar is 15. Although this seems reasonable since the Penumbral Hierophant has good saves in Fortitude and Will, where as the Sorcerer has a poor fortitude save. I did consider making the DC 25, but figured that really would be excessive. Also, losing a full level is quite a bit more than just 200 xp/level, especially at higher levels. This is meant so the Penumbral Hierophant is careful when using the Shadow Companion as a meat shield.

However, I should probably clarify that resurrecting the Shadow Companion is similar to resurrecting a familiar.