View Full Version : [D&D 3.5 feats] Vows of Shadow [WiP]

2013-08-16, 10:45 PM

Just as there are those who devote themselves to the concepts of good, evil, law, and chaos, there are those who devote themselves to shadow itself and the creatures born from it.

Table 1-1: Feats
Shadow Vow|-|+2 perfection bonus on Hide checks

You have willingly sworn yourself to plane of shadow, be it the plane itself or a powerful entity shaped by it.
Benefit: You gain a +2 perfection bonus on Hide checks.
Special: This feat serves as a prerequisite for several other feats.



Table 2-1: [?]
Character Level|Benefit
The goal: I want to create feats simular to the sacred vow feats of BoED, including one similar to vow of poverty which will grant progression and mystery access similar to that of the shadowcaster. In all honesty, I feel I need some help on this. I can come up with the concepts of each vow, but coming up with an appropriate benefit escapes me.

2013-08-17, 10:32 AM
Well, you have the seeds of a good idea here, but I think the specifics need some more thought, and possibly a different approach from what you've started on here. Even assuming the benefits would be useful, the restrictions for nearly all of these feats are vaguely worded and far too easily violated.

The Vows of Deception and Obscurity in particular could pose a great deal of trouble, especially Deception. If you're in a fight, and one of your allies shouts, "Can you get to Aethric in time?"--where the obvious answer is "yes" or "no"--are you instead supposed to say, "I dunno, maybe?"

It could be incredibly problematic. I recognize there's a strong sense on the Playground that the BoED vows are also problematic, but this seems to go well beyond, and for a benefit that's not yet specified.

Vow of Reflection seems incredibly constraining, all the more since each party member should ideally contribute something unique, both to combat and to problem-solving in general. And preventing a character from taking an action, if no one else has done it within the past minute, is a restriction I can't imagine anyone ever accepting. Even if someone does, it could lead to an endless series of frustrated arguments around the gaming table.

Vow of Sympathy is extremely vague, and could also be quite problematic. Following this literally would lead to the character simply sitting in one place trying to commune with everything he sees. Granted, that's reductio ad absurdum, but it's hard to see what would distinguish that approach from something less extreme. --Also, there doesn't seem to be much of a natural, intuitive connection between shadows and sympathy.

In fact, there isn't much of a shadowy connection for most of these. Shadows may conceal, but they don't outright lie, which is what deception involves--a conscious attempt to alter someone's perception and belief with some sort of falsehood. Actual, natural shadows are quite innocent by comparison. Obscurity is more thematic, but it's hard to imagine someone taking this outside of an Underdark campaign, or maybe in an extremely specialized campaign setting like Midnight. Reflection seems to have nothing to do with shadow whatsoever.

I don't mean to be completely negative here; I think the basic notion is worth pursuing, but after the initial Shadow Vow the remaining feats seem to have little or no affiliation with shadows per se. Definitely needs a lot more work, and quite possibly a completely different approach.

2013-08-17, 10:51 AM

Well, I appreciate the feedback. Its why I posted this here in this state and not completed. My rational for each can be explained, but I know they are not perfect. I need help, definitely. The vows are meant to constrain to a degree, but also need benefits that balance out or even surpass the constraint.

Deception: An extension of Reflection, while the plane of shadow is the reflection of the material plane, it is twisted. It displays a twisted, or false, view of the world. The connection is shaky but it was a thought.

Obscurity: Simply drawing off the notion that light and shadow are opposed.

Reflection and Sympathy: These are both mentioned in the first page of the chapter on shadow magic in ToM. These are both fundamental elements to shadow magic I felt made sense to have as vows. The exact approach for these vows, I'm not certain. I recognize they are flaws, sympathy needing more detail and reflection being more flexible.

If you, or anyone else, have advice as far as vows, how to approach them, and their benefits.. I could use it.

2013-08-17, 11:15 AM
I've never read Tome of Magic, so wasn't aware those were established aspects of shadow magic. It seems...peculiar to me, at the least.

My suggestion would have been to step away from the books, and get out into the world--into a patch of woods near where you live, or simply your own backyard or neighborhood--and look at how real shadows behave, and try to draw some inspiration there. Maybe even set up some globes and flashlights in a dark room at night, just playing around with light and shade yourself.

If ToM has some different, more formalized approach to "shadow' in the game sense, well, not sure I can help much with that.