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Thread: Shadow Initiate

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Oct 2016

    Default Shadow Initiate

    Hello everyone, here is my first attempt at putting together a class for 5E. This is sort of a roguish, stealth based class. Many similar features. One thing I wanted to go with was a class that has abilities that scale with the class level. The abilities are mostly re-skins of existing abilities such as Shadow Strike = Sneak Attack, Shadow Step is the same as the Shadow Monks Shadow Step and Shadow points are the re-skin of Ki points. I created htis class on what I think is a balanced concept, some of you may not. When looking this over, have constructive critisism and not just "This class is over powered (but no basis provided)" or "This class sucks" This is a class that I beleive would fit well in a group of players that are interested in role-playing. In my original games I associate the class with the Raven Queen (Mistress of Shadowfell), but that is just the way I put the conection together.... I have omitted that part so it could be a more generic world class





    Shadow Initiate
    Shadow Initiates gain their powers by catching a glimpse of this plane. The Shadowfell is a mirrored reflection of the material plane that weaves into it. This plane is almost completely void of light or life. Those who do look into it are never the same, leaving the essence of darkness on them. Those who have peeked into this plane have been known to go completely insane, or even been sucked in never to return.
    Creating a Shadow Initiate
    When creating a Shadow Initiate, think about why and how your character looked into the Shadow Plane. Was it an experiment gone wrong, seeking the power of the darkness, or just wrong place wrong time. Also consider if they understand their power, where it comes from, what it does to them. Do they try to suppress it or let the darkness consume them?
    Quick Build
    First make Strength or Dexterity your highest Ability Score, followed by Charisma, and you should have a good constitution. Next, choose the hermit background
    Class Features
    As a Shadow Initiate you gain the following class features.
    Hit Points
    Hit Dice: 1d8 per Shadow Initiate level
    Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
    Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Shadow Initiate level after 1st
    Proficiencies
    Armor: Light Armor
    Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons (light or finesse weapons only)
    Tools: Thieves Tools
    Language: Primordial
    Saving Throws: Dexterity, Charisma
    Skills: Choose 3 from Acrobatics, Deception, Intimidation, Perception, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Stealth
    Equipment
    You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
    (a) a martial weapon or (b) two simple weapons
    (a) a shortbow and 20 arrows or (b) 2 daggers
    leather armor, cloak and hood

    Table: Shadow Initiate
    Level Proficiency
    Bonus Features Shadow Strike Shadow Points
    1st +2 Mantle of Darkness I, Expertise, Umbral Sight
    2nd +2 Shadow Strike, Umbral Gear 1D6
    3rd +2 Shadow-blessed 3
    4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Shadow’s Gift +1 4
    5th +3 Swiftness of Shadow, Sustaining Shadows I, Shadow Blessed II 2D6 5
    6th +3 Mantle of Darkness II, Expertise, Shadow’s Essence 6
    7th +3 Shadow Breaker, Shadow Blessed III 7
    8th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Resist cold/necrotic energy or effects 3D6 8
    9th +4 Sustaining Shadows II 9
    10th +4 Shadow’s Gift +2 10
    11th +4 Mantle of Darkness III 4D6 11
    12th +4 Ability Score Improvement, 12
    13th +5 Sustaining Shadows III, 13
    14th +5 Mantle of Darkness IV 5D6 14
    15th +5 Shadow’s Gift +3 15
    16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 16
    17th +6 Sustaining Shadows IV 6D6 17
    18th +6 18
    19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 19
    20th +6 Shadows Gift +4 7D6 20

    Mantle of Darkness
    Your contact and association with the Shadowfell has left its essence upon you, granting you several benefits. At 1st level, you have the ability to see in the dark out to 60 ft, (extend it by 30 ft. if you possess darkvision). At 3rd level, while in dim light or darker, you have advantage on stealth checks. At 6rd level you gain Devil’s Sight out to your darkvision limit. At 11th level you get advantage on attack, while in dim or darker light. At level 14 the darkness aids you in overcoming your foes; you add your proficiency bonus to damage rolls.

    Expertise
    At 1st level you gain expertise in one of your skill proficiencies and your proficiency with thieves' tools. Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses either of the chosen proficiencies. At 6th level, you can choose one more of your proficiencies to gain this benefit.


    Umbral Gear
    Beginning at 2nd level, as an action while in an area of dim light or darkness, you can coalesce wisps of shadow into a quasi-real, functional item. You can choose whether to make a crowbar, 50 feet of silk rope, a glass cutter, a light melee weapon with which you are proficient, a reversible cloak, thieves’ tools, or a wire saw; the GM may allow other similar items. The shadow initiate can use such items for a number of minutes per day equal to her shadow initiate level. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be used in 1-minute increments.

    Shadow Strike
    Beginning at 2nd level, you know how to use the shadow’s to exploit a foe’s distraction. Once per turn, you can deal an extra 1D6 damage to one creature you hit with an attack if you have advantage on the attack roll. The attack must use a finesse or a ranged weapon. You don’t need advantage on the attack roll if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn’t incapacitated, and you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll. The amount of the extra damage increases as you gain levels in this class, as shown in the Shadow Strike column of the Shadow Initiate table

    Shadow blessed
    Starting at the third level you gain the ability to use “Shadow Points” to activate specific abilities. You have a number of shadow points equal to your Shadow Initiate level. When you spend a shadow point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended shadow points back into yourself. You must spend at least 30 minutes of the rest meditating to regain your shadow points. Some abilities require the target to make a saving throw. The DC is equal to 8+your proficiency bonus + your CHA modifier. You gain the following abilities at the following level:
    Level 3: 1 shadow point – Clinging Darkness, Mystic Reflections, Steel Shadows
    Level 4: 1 shadow point – Bend Perspective, Flicker, Umbral Hands
    Level 5: 1 shadow point – Cloying Darkness, Concealing Shadows, Shadow Image
    Level 6: 1 shadow point – Dancing Shadow, Dark Path, Piercing Shadows
    Level 7: 1 shadow point – Queen’s Benediction, Raven’s Lullaby, Shadow’s Retribution,
    Level 8: 2 shadow points – Shadowed Flesh, Sharp Shadows
    Level 9: 2 shadow points –Grasping Shadows, Sickening Shadows
    Level 10: 2 shadow points – Dark Bolt, Shadow Leech, Umbral Touch
    Level 12: 3 shadow points – Unveil

    Sustaining Shadows
    At 4th level, you begin to draw sustenance directly from the Plane of Shadow. You now need to eat only one meal per week.
    At 8th level you draw stamina from the Plane of Shadow, now requiring only one hour of sleep per day.
    At 12th level your connection grants you immunity to all disease and poison, and the poisoned condition.
    At 17th you can go without the need to breathe for 1 hour +1 hour/con bonus daily. This can be taken in 1 minute intervals.

    Swiftness of the Shadow
    At level 5 you can spend 1 shadow point for an additional action. This action can be used for any of the actions described in page 192 of the Player’s Handbook. At level 14 you gain up to a third action (2 shadow points). Regardless of the action taken, you will be unable to cast more than one mystery (or spell) with a casting time of one action.

    Shadow’s Essence
    At 6th level you can call forth darkness, as the spell, once per long rest. Additionally, when casting darkness, you can immediately attempt to hide (per page 192 of the PHB). You also gain Shadow Step, when in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action you can, teleport up to 5ft per level (capping at 100 ft. at 20th level) to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness. After the shadow step you have Advantage on the first Attack you make, if any, before the end of your Turn.

    Shade Breaker
    At 7th level when you land a critical you may use your reaction to break their shadow off of them for 2 Shadow points. Their shadow breaks off, and takes the form of a shadow creature (drake, mastiff, or feline which is friendly to you and your companions, for a number of hours equal to your level. A shadow creature made by this process adds your Shadow initiate level, to its hit points, and your proficiency bonus to its attack, damage, and stealth rolls. The shadow creature has its turn immediately after yours in combat, and does as you command such as attack an enemy or defend itself, guard an area or person, or go and retrieve something. If on an attack in which you score a critical and the second roll would also have hit, the shadow creature becomes a permanent familiar. This functions like the spell “Find Familiar” with the exception that the creature makes its own attack without you giving up one of yours. You can send your familiar back to the realms of shadow and spend a shadow point to call it forth. You can only have 1 creature at any given time.
    While your shadow creature is within 100 feet of you, you can communicate with it telepathically. Additionally, as an action, you can see through its eyes and hear what it hears until the start of your next turn, gaining the benefits of any special senses that the familiar has. During this time, you are deaf and blind with regard to your own senses.

    Resistance to cold/necrotic energy or effects
    Starting at 8th level as long as you have shadow points remaining, you have resistance to Necrotic and Cold energy or effects.

    Lingering Shadows
    At level 15, when using Darkness or shadowstep, you may leave a decoy for 3 shadow points, with 2x your proficiency bonus health, upon its destruction (or when you will it) it explodes, dealing 6D8 necrotic damage in a 15 ft radius.

    Master of Shadows
    At 20th level you wreathe yourself in the aura of shadow and your skin becomes black with a dark aura seeming to emanate off of you. This form last for one hour and is activated as a bonus action and can be dismissed as a bonus action. While in this form you gain the following benefits. Your movement speed is increased by 30. You are considered amorphous - can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing. You gain immunity to non-magical attacks. You become immune to cold and necrotic energy as well as the following conditions: exhaustion, grapple, paralyzed, petrified, and restrained. While in this form you can use a shadow point to drain strength as the Strength Drain ability of a shadow. You can use 2 or 3 shadow points to drain 1d4+2 or 1d4+4 strength respectively.
    At this level you also gain the ability to regain shadow points at the rate of 1 per minute while in dim or darker areas.

    Ability Score Increase
    When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 10th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

    Raven Queen’s Gift
    At level 4th the Raven Queen grants you a shadow shard, a unique finesse weapon (melee or ranged) of your choice. This weapon is formed from shadows and you can call it forth as a bonus action and dismiss it at will. This weapon is treated as magical for the purposes of by-passing resistance. For ranged weapon that uses ammunition, you can complete a 15-minute ritual in which you can place the ammunition in the Shadowfell. This will work for magical and non-magical ammunition. You still have to keep track of your ammunition and you can store up to 10 units per Shadow Initiate level in this fashion. As long as you have ammunition in the Shadowfell, drawing the weapon, loads it. Ammunition can be in the form of stones, bullets, bolts, arrows, etc.
    At the following levels, you can complete a task for the Raven Queen to gain one of the level benefits to your weapon.

    Level 7:
    General - Dark Savagery - Your weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.
    Melee - Soul siphon - On a critical hit you are healed for your proficiency bonus in D4s (3d4 up to 8, 4d4 at 9, 5d4 at 13, 6d4 at 17)
    Ranged – Shadows Touch -Any creature you hit when you use the ammunition that you pull from the Shadowfell will take an extra d4 necrotic damage. The extra damage will not work if you use ammunition that you did not store in the Shadowfell as noted in ammunition above.

    Level 10: (Choose one from here or one from Level 7) Weapon is a +1
    General - Swift Shadow – You can make an extra attack when you take the attack action.
    Melee - Shadow-Fire –Treat as flame tongue, but does 2d6 necrotic fire damage, with flames being cold and black that do not shed light. Weapon could decrease the light level to the inverse that the flame tongue increases light?
    Ranged - Shadow’s Oath – When you draw your bow and whisper, “For the Queens Justice” The target of your attack becomes your mark until it dies. When you make a ranged attack roll with this weapon against your mark, you have advantage on the roll. In addition, your target gains no benefit from cover, other than total cover, and you suffer no disadvantage due to long range. If the attack hits, your mark takes an extra 2 die of the weapon damage.

    Level 14: (Choose one from here or one from Level 10) Weapon is a +2
    General - Arcane Siphon – You complete a ½ hour ritual in which you can absorb one ability from a magical weapon and imbue your Shadow Shard with that ability. This does not allow you to absorb the abilities of weapons as you attack or allow you to place more than one ability when you use it.
    Melee - Second Death - When you hit an undead with this melee weapon, that creature takes an extra 2d6 damage. If the target has 25 hit points or fewer after taking this damage, it must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be destroyed. On a successful save, the creature becomes frightened of you until the end of your next turn.
    Ranged – Shadow’s Force – When you use your ranged weapon (that uses ammo) you can elect to draw on the power of darkness and shadow to create your ammunition. This will create a piece of ammo that will deal 2 die force damage of the weapon type.

    Level 18: Weapon is a +3
    Slashing Shadow - When you attack a creature with this melee weapon and roll a critical on the attack roll, that target takes an extra 4d6 slashing damage. Then roll another d20. If you roll a 20, you lop off one of the target's limbs, with the effect of such loss determined by the GM. If the creature has no limb to sever, you lop off a portion of its body instead. (re-skin of sword of sharpness)
    Shadow’s Heart – when you hit with this weapon the target takes 2d6 necrotic damage. If the target is undead, they take an additional 2d6 Necrotic damage on top of the 2d6 (4d6 total).
    • If you get a killing blow on an undead, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Charisma Save. On a success, nothing happens. On a failure, 1 physical (Str, Con, or Dex) or 1 mental (Int, Wis, Chma) stat is increased by d4 points.
    • On a long rest, the blade's manifested power rests, your stat score returns to its original value, however, if you temporarily increase your stat by 10 points above it's normal score, you gain a permanent bonus of +1 to that stat to a maximum of 22.
    *** General abilities can be applied to melee or ranged weapons, Melee abilities can only be applied to melee weapons, and ranged abilities can only be applied to ranged weapons. In this case ranged weapons are those weapons that require ammunition, melee weapons that have a range increment, such as dagger, hand axes, javelins, etc., are not considered range weapons for these abilities.


    Shadow Initiate Spell-like abilities


    Bend Perspective
    1st level Divination
    Range: 60 ft
    Duration: 1 minute
    You send your vision through shadows, altering your point of view
    Your vision shifts as if you were standing in a different spot. Choose a point within 60 feet, this point cannot be through solid barriers but it can be around corners or in the air to gain a bird’s eye view. You can switch between your perspective and the new one and then back again as bonus action. While you are viewing you can move this perspective at a rate of 10 feet per level, but doing so requires your action.

    Clinging Darkness
    1st level Conjuration
    Range: 90 feet
    Duration: 1 minute
    Shadow oozes out of the floors, the walls, even the air, filling area with wisps of writhing blackness. Creatures in the area become coated with these clinging shadows. All enemies entering or starting turn within a 20 ft. square must succeed on a strength save or become restrained for up to one minute. Restrained targets can spend an action to make a strength save to free themselves.

    Cloying Darkness
    1st-level necromancy
    Range: 60 feet
    Duration: 1 round
    You reach out with a hand of decaying shadows. Choose one creature that you can see within range to make a Constitution saving throw. If it fails, its visual organs are enveloped in shadow until the start of your next turn, treating it as blindness. On save the target is stunned until the end of your next turn. You can spend additional shadow points to target a second creature. 2 shadow points for the 2nd creature and 3 more shadow points for up to a 3rd creature.

    Concealing Shadows
    2nd level Illusion
    Range: Self only
    Duration: Concentration, 1 hour
    You become invisible until the spell ends. Anything you are wearing or carrying becomes invisible as long your person. The spell ends when you attack or casts a spell.

    Dancing Shadow
    2nd level Illusion
    Range: Self
    Duration: 1 minute
    Your body becomes blurred by shadows, shifting and wavering to all who can see you. For the duration, any creature has disadvantage on attack rolls against you. An attacker is immune to this effect if it doesn’t rely on sight, as with blind-sight, or can see through illusions, as with true-sight.
    Darkbolt
    3rd level evocation
    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: 60 feet
    Duration: 1 minute
    You say a quick invocation to create a black nimbus around your hand, then hurl three rays of darkness at one or more targets in range. The rays can be divided between targets however you like. Make a ranged spell attack for each target (not each ray); each ray that hits deals 1D8 necrotic damage and affects the creature(s) as follows: An affected target’s speed is halved, it takes a -2 penalty to AC and Dexterity saving throws, and it can’t use reactions. On its turn, it can use either an action or a bonus action, not both. Regardless of the creature’s abilities or magic items, it can’t make more than one melee or ranged attack during its turn. If the creature attempts to cast a spell with a casting time of 1 action, roll a d20. On an 11 or higher, the spell doesn’t take effect until the creature’s next turn, and the creature must use its action on that turn to complete the spell. If it can’t, the spell is wasted. A creature affected by this spell makes another Wisdom saving throw at the end of its turn. On a successful save, the effect ends for it.


    Dark Path
    2nd-level conjuration
    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: 30 feet
    Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
    You conjure a shadowy road between points to create a bridge or path where there was none before. This can bridge a chasm or create a smooth path through difficult terrain to speed movement. The dark path is 10 feet wide and up to 100 feet long. It can support up to 500 pounds of weight at one time. A creature that adds more weight than the path can support sinks through the path as if it didn’t exist.

    Flicker
    3rd level Conjuration
    Casting time: 1 action or Reaction
    Range: Self
    Duration: Instantaneous as a reaction, 1 minute as an action (Concentration)

    You flash through the Plane of Shadow, once per round as a bonus action or reaction you can teleport 10 feet. If you use this as a reaction to being the target of a spell or attack, the attack is made at disadvantage, and if the spell requires a saving throw, you can instead attempt a charisma saving throw to teleport before being affected by the spell.

    Grasping Shadows
    4th level Conjuration
    Range: 90 ft.
    Duration: concentration up to 1 min
    Stalks of shadows burst from the ground, as though desperate to escape the bonds of the earth, and immediately flail at everyone nearby. This spell functions as the spell Black Tentacles, except it deals 4d6 necrotic damage, and creatures grappled by the tentacles must make a wisdom save, or be blinded. Blindness caused by this effect lasts for the duration of the spell, but if the creature escapes the area of effect, they can attempt a new wisdom saving throw every round on their turn to remove it.

    Mystic Reflections
    Cantrip Divination
    Range: 30 ft
    Duration: Concentration, up to 10 minute
    For the duration, you sense the presence of magic within 30 feet of you. If you sense magic in this way, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature or object in the area that bears magic, and you learn its school of magic, if any.

    Piercing Sight
    2nd level Divination
    Range: Self
    Duration: 1 hour
    You peer at the shadow of the world around you, seeing what was hidden. This spell functions as the spell See Invisibility

    Queen’s Benediction
    3rd level Abjuration
    Range: Self (45 foot radius)
    Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
    You call upon the Raven Queen to grant you and your allies special favor and to curse your foes.
    As long as you continue to beseech the Raven Queen, your allies that are within range gain +1 to attack and damage, +1 to AC. At the same time your enemies have their hit point totals reduced by 3d4 which are transferred to your allies. If that reduces your enemies hit point totals to 0, they fall unconscious. This spell continues for as long as you chant, up to 1 minute. If you take damage, you must make a Constitution saving throw (DC equal to 10 or half the damage you take, whichever is higher) to be able to continue chanting. Likewise, if you are silenced through magical or mundane means, this spell ends.

    Raven’s Lullaby
    2nd level necromancy (ritual)
    Range: Touch
    Duration: 10 days
    You touch corpse or other remains, for the duration, the target is protected from decay and can't become undead.
    The spell also effectively extends the time limit on raising the target from the dead, since days spent under the influence of this spell don't count against the time limit of spells such as raise dead.

    Shadowed Flesh
    2nd level Necromancy
    Range: 30 ft
    Duration: 1 Minute
    You point at a creature within 30 ft of you which becomes a shadow of its former self. Attempt a ranged spell attack, if it hits, the subject takes a -4 penalty to strength, a -4 penalty to dexterity, or a -4 to constitution. A creature cannot have more than one type of ability damage from this mystery, and ability damage from this mystery does not stack.

    Shadow Images
    2nd level Illusion
    Range: Self
    Duration: 1 minute
    Three illusory duplicates of yourself appear in your space. Until the spell ends, the duplicates move with you and mimic your actions, shifting position so it’s impossible to track which image is real. You can use your action to dismiss the illusory duplicates.
    Each time a creature targets you with an attack during the spell’s duration, roll a d20 to determine whether the attack instead targets one of your duplicates. If you have three duplicates, you must roll a 6 or higher to change the attack’s target to a duplicate. With two duplicates, you must roll an 8 or higher. With one duplicate, you must roll an 11 or higher. A duplicate’s AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier. If an attack hits a duplicate, the duplicate is destroyed. A duplicate can be destroyed only by an attack that hits it. It ignores all other damage and effects. The spell ends when all three duplicates are destroyed.
    A creature is unaffected by this spell if it can’t see, if it relies on senses other than sight, such as blindsight, or if it can perceive illusions as false, as with truesight.

    Shadow Leech
    2nd level Necromancy
    Range: Self
    Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
    The touch of your shadow-wreathed hand can siphon life force from others to heal your wounds. Make a melee spell attack against a creature within your reach. On a hit, the target takes 3d6 necrotic damage and you regain hit points equal to half the amount of necrotic damage dealt.

    Shadow’s Retribution
    1st level Evocation
    Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take in response to being damaged by a creature within 60 feet of you that you can see
    Range: 60 feet
    Duration: Instantaneous
    You point your finger, and the creature that damaged you is momentarily surrounded by dark shadows. The creature must make a Constitution saving throw. It takes 2dl0 necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

    Sharp Shadows
    3rd level Abjuration
    Range: self
    Duration: 1 minute
    You cloak yourself in sharp spikes of darkness. Although they’re weightless and do nothing to impede you, your foes soon discover they’re not so lucky. Whenever a creature makes a melee attack against you, it takes 1D6 necrotic damage. This damage is not applied to creatures attacking with reach weapons (natural weapon with reach does not count) are not affected unless they attack within 5 ft. of you

    Sickening Shadow
    3rd level Conjuration
    Range: 60 ft
    Duration: 1minute
    An oily black smoke rolls out of nowhere, obscuring sight and sound. It leaves a distasteful residue on everything within, and the scent is one of open sewers and putrefied flesh.
    Create 20 ft radius sphere of Darkness within 60ft. Any creatures starting their turn within or entering the area must make constitution save or spend their action retching and reeling for that turn and are poisoned for up to one minute. They can attempt a new save when they start their turn outside of spell’s area to be rid of the poisoned condition. Creatures that remain in the cloud or fail their constitution save for three turns are incapacitated for the duration of the spell. Furthermore all sound within the sphere is blocked as per the spell Silence.


    Steel Shadows
    1st level Abjuration
    Range: Self only
    Duration: 8 Hours
    Shadows form around you then harden like steel, protecting you from harm. The AC of the caster is increased by 2 if wearing light or no armor.

    Umbral Hand
    1st Transmutation
    Range: 50 feet
    Duration: 1 minute
    You clench your hand, and a shadowy hand mirrors your movements. This functions as the spell Mage Hand.

    Umbral Touch
    3rd Conjuration
    Range: self
    Duration: concentration up to 10 min.
    Darkness surrounds your hand, turning it into deadly weapon.
    One of caster’s hands is infused with shadow energy. For duration of the mystery, you’re armed and can make melee spell attacks with Umbral Touch, dealing 5d6 necrotic damage and forcing target to make constitution save or be affected with spell Slow. As long as the ability is active, you can use it to make opportunity attacks. Each successful hit reduces duration by 1 minute.

    Unveil
    5th level Divination
    Range: touch
    Duration: instant
    Reaching out into shadow of the creature, you grasp the shadows of the deleterious things that affect it and tear them away. This spell immediately ends any following conditions: blinded, diseased, poisoned, incapacitated, paralyzed, frightened, or deafened. In addition, it functions as Remove Curse spell and reduces the level of exhaustion by 1.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    thoroughlyS's Avatar

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    Default Re: Shadow Initiate

    After glancing over the class features, the major issue I see is that this class seems to be composed of major class features cherry-picked from other classes. While some of them have a slower progression, in most cases it seems that they have full progression. This is a major red flag for homebrew design as it seems to indicate the creation of a build, rather than a class. Making a class should mean allowing for several concepts to be created. This seems like a roguish archetype at most, and a character build at worst.
    Class Features
    The basics are pretty standard, but seem nearly identical to the rogue.
    Mantle of Darkness
    This starts off as half of a gloom stalker's Umbral Sight, two levels earlier. This becomes slightly worse Devil's Sight at 6th. In fairness, the 11th and 14th level abilities are fairly unique and seem fairly balanced for Tier 3.
    Expertise
    This is pretty much identical to the rogue, except that you have to include Thieve's Tools.
    Umbral Gear
    The concept behind this is pretty interesting, but I feel the exact mechanics could be refined to be simpler:
    Beginning at 2nd level, you can bend and weave shadow into your tools of trade. As an action, you can create one of the following items in your empty hand:
    • a cloak
    • a crowbar
    • a light melee weapon
    • a set of thieves' tools
    • 50 feet of silk rope
    This item disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more.
    You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
    Shadow Strike
    This is just Sneak Attack, but slightly slower. How much slower? You start roughly one die behind and slip behind by another die at 7th and 13th level.
    Shadow blessed
    This is effectively Ki Points, except that you rapidly gain more ways to use them than a Monk.
    Sustaining Shadows
    I don't really see the connection between the Shadowfell theme of the class, and these abilities. These seem more like a Monk than anything else.
    Swiftness of the Shadow
    This ability is straight-up broken. It is far and away better than Action Surge. Who cares that it takes five levels to get? It's five times as valuable as two levels in Fighter.
    Shadow’s Essence
    Stealing the signature feature of Way of the Shadow, and then stapling on an easy way to activate it?
    Shade Breaker
    Flavorful but convoluted, once again. I've always been a fan of familiars so I'm probably biased about this one. I'm not exactly sure how it fits into the theme of the class as a whole.
    Resistance to cold/necrotic energy or effects
    This seems perfectly reasonable.

    There's more to it, but I'm currently writing this at 1:30 AM, and I need to go to bed. I'll probably pick this up later.
    Last edited by thoroughlyS; 2018-05-29 at 07:13 PM.
    Goblin in the Playground

    Most 3.5 thing I've ever seen: RAW on RAW. Love you, Curmudgeon.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Oct 2016

    smile Re: Shadow Initiate

    Thanks for your input. One thing that maybe is not coming across is that all these abilities need to be used with the shadow points for them to work.


    Swiftness of the Shadow
    This ability is straight-up broken. It is far and away better than Action Surge. Who cares that it takes five levels to get? It's five times as valuable as two levels in Fighter.

    This only works for the attack given, so at level 5 you only have 5 shadow points, if you use a shadow point for the extra attack you get that one extra attack only on that turn, not for the duration of combat or the day. SO if the character wants to try and controll the field, he/she has less points to use. All the abilities that use shadow points are for that effect at that time, unless it is a spell like ability (mysteries) they won't last long.

    As I originally mentioned,I wanted to look towards a roguish stealth like character. A class that can be used more for scouting, espionage,sabotage in an RP style setting. I will look over the ideas that you (and hopefully others) provide and continue to tweak it.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Shadow Initiate

    Action Surge is considered one of the best abilities in the game.

    You get five per short rest at level five. Fighter gets one at level two, and a second at level seventeen.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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    The ability doesn't do the same as action surge, it allows one (and only one) extra action. Since the class only gets one attack, using this you will get a chance to make a second attack. If you use it 5 times, then you can use any of your other abilities because you would be out of points. At 5th level a fighter get 2 attacks, with action surge he would get 4 attacks. At 5th level a Shadow Initiate gets one attack, if he/she decides to spend a shadow point for an extra attack, they make only one extra attack (total 2), but would be down to 4 points. If the SI needed to cast Steel Shadows to help with AC,down to 3. Now an encounter happens and he needs soem defense he may cast Shadow Images and now he is down to 2 points. I didn't realize how it worked for fighters, but it would make sense to either just leave it as one extra action at level 5 and remove the other one at level 14. Originally that is what I intended... working with a friend he encouraged to have another one, but I could just remove the "At 14th level" bit.


    The Sustaining Shadows is a pull from one of the last WOTC 3.5 books "Tome of Shadows" in which several classes that had an association with shadows had something similar.

    Just in case I have been working on this since summer of last year, just kept updating, changing, editing, taking away, and adding to the class concept.

    Once again, thenks for the feed back :-)

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    Default Re: Shadow Initiate

    Quote Originally Posted by mage4fun View Post
    The ability doesn't do the same as action surge, it allows one (and only one) extra action. Since the class only gets one attack, using this you will get a chance to make a second attack.
    A character who already has Extra Attack could take five levels in Shadow Initiate to get five Action Surges per short rest. If a Fighter 5 does it, they can use Action Surge and Swiftness of Shadow on the same turn. That is six attacks in one turn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thoroughlyS View Post
    A character who already has Extra Attack could take five levels in Shadow Initiate to get five Action Surges per short rest. If a Fighter 5 does it, they can use Action Surge and Swiftness of Shadow on the same turn. That is six attacks in one turn.
    I see your point, if someone wants to cheese this they can :-( Wasn't my intent, I ususally don't try to min/max so I tend to not see how someone can break it. Maybe this could be an ability that can only be used once per long rest instead of using shadowpoints, that way it can't be spammed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mage4fun View Post
    I see your point, if someone wants to cheese this they can :-( Wasn't my intent, I ususally don't try to min/max so I tend to not see how someone can break it. Maybe this could be an ability that can only be used once per long rest instead of using shadowpoints, that way it can't be spammed.
    At that point it becomes yet another example of cherry-picking other class's signature features.
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    Default Re: Shadow Initiate

    I'm just now reading through the options for Shadow Blessed, and they are ridiculous. Practically all of them replicate a spell (often times being better), and usually cost 1 shadow point. Effectively, you can cast more spells per long rest than a full caster at every level. You also learn spells faster than a full caster like the bard (or have more spells prepared than a druid, your choice) This is on top of the sneak attack and bonus actions.

    Below are a few examples of how these abilities are better than their equivalents:
    • Clinging Shadows is better than entangle, because creatures who enter the area can become restrained too
    • Steel Shadows is better than mage armor because it stacks with Studded Leather armor (easily acquired by 3rd level) for 14 + Dex AC
    • Cloying Darkness is better than hold person, because it stuns on a successful save — WHAT?!


    To reemphasize, this class is strictly superior to its two closest comparison points, the Shadow Monk and Arcane Trickster. It can outcast a 20th level Wizard. "Let me just cast hold monster twenty times per short rest... oh, they actually failed their saving throw and are just blind? Then I'll just sneak attack them in the same turn."

    I seriously recommend trying to convert this into a Rogue subclass. Those are easier to balance than an entire class. Maybe even just tweak Arcane Trickster:

    Shadow Initiate
    Some rogues live in the darkness for so long that they almost seem to mingle with it, letting it flow through them and bending it to their will. Sometimes called umbral stalkers, lurks, or dark scions, these rogues spend countless hours meditating on the darkness around them and fostering it within.

    Spellcasting
    When you reach 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast spells. See chapter 10 of the Player’s Handbook for the general rules of spellcasting and below for the shadow initiate spell list.
    Cantrips. You learn two cantrips of your choice from the shadow initiate spell list. You learn another shadow initiate cantrip of your choice at 10th level.
    Spell Slots. The Shadow Initiate Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
    Spells Known of 1st-level and Higher. You know three 1st-level spells of your choice from the shadow initiate spell list.
    The Spells Known column of the Shadow Initiate Spellcasting table shows when you learn more shadow initiate spells of 1st level or higher. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 7th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
    Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the shadow initiate spells you know with another spell of your choice from the shadow initiate spell list. The new spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
    Spellcasting Ability. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your shadow initiate spells. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a shadow initiate spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
    Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
    Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier


    Shadow Initiate Spellcasting
    Rogue
    Level
    Cantrips
    Known
    Spells
    Known
    1st 2nd 3rd 4th
    3rd 2 3 2
    4th 2 4 3
    5th 2 4 3
    6th 2 4 3
    7th 2 5 4 2
    8th 2 6 4 2
    9th 2 6 4 2
    10th 3 7 4 3
    11th 3 8 4 3
    12th 3 8 4 3
    13th 3 9 4 3 2
    14th 3 10 4 3 2
    15th 3 10 4 3 2
    16th 3 11 4 3 3
    17th 3 11 4 3 3
    18th 3 11 4 3 3
    19th 3 12 4 3 3 1
    20th 3 13 4 3 3 1

    Slip through Shadows
    At 3rd level, you gain the ability to step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action you can teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness.

    Umbral Gear
    Beginning at 3rd level, you can bend and weave shadow into your tools of trade. As an action, you can create one of the following items in your empty hand:
    • a cloak
    • a crowbar
    • a finesse or ranged weapon
    • a set of thieves' tools
    • 50 feet of silk rope
    This item is obviously magical, and appears to be made of solid darkness. It disappears if it is more than 5 feet away from you for 1 minute or more.
    You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Wisdom modifier. You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

    Mantle of Darkness
    Starting at 9th level, you can see normally in darkness, both magical and nonmagical, to a distance of 120 feet.
    You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by an area of dim light.

    Shadow Assault
    At 13th level, you learn to use your shadow as a weapon. When you are in bright light or dim light, as an action you can make a ranged spell attack against a creature you can see within 60 feet of you. On a hit, the target takes necrotic damage equal to your sneak attack dice + your Wisdom modifier.
    Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

    One with the Darkness
    At 17th level, you gain the ability to become a living shadow. As an action, you can wreathe yourself in a cloak of darkness, gaining the following benefits for 1 minute:
    • You gain a fly speed of 50 feet, and you can hover.
    • You have immunity to necrotic damage.
    • You can’t be grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, or restrained.
    • You can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
    Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

    Shadow Initiate Spells
    Cantrips (0 Level)
    chill touch
    gust
    mage hand
    message
    sword burst
    toll the dead

    1st Level
    cause fear
    detect magic
    disguise self
    entangle
    find familiar
    inflict wounds
    mage armor
    silent image

    2nd Level
    blindness/deafness
    blur
    darkness
    invisibility
    mirror image
    ray of enfeeblement
    see invisibility
    shadow blade

    3rd Level
    fear
    gaseous form
    haste
    nondetection
    phantom steed
    stinking cloud
    thunderstep
    vampiric touch

    4th Level
    banishment
    evard's black tentacles
    greater invisibility
    hallucinatory terrain
    phantasmal killer
    shadow of moil
    Last edited by thoroughlyS; 2018-09-28 at 03:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Shadow Initiate

    Wow, I like the idea of making it a sub-set of the rogue. Thank you very much for your feed back :-)

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