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gooddragon1
2012-11-08, 06:48 PM
Shadow Summoner

“Almost anything that walks under the sun casts a shadow and I have power over that duplicate.”
-A random shadow summoner [I'll be taking suggestions on what to put as a name]

As they advance in power, some casters find that the plane of shadow can create illusions that are more real than they seem. The most powerful casters find that these illusions can even take on the form of creatures and emulate their abilities. A shadow summoner specializes exclusively in this form of magic to summon willing servants that mimic the abilities of creatures but are more versatile than their copies in some respects.

GAME RULE INFORMATION:
Abilities: Intelligence is important for the shadow summoner as his primary class feature derives from it. Constitution is useful to keep him alive.
Starting Age: As Wizard.
Starting Gold: As Wizard.

Hit Die: d4
Skills: Shadow summoners have access to the following skills: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Intelligence modifier) x4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Shadow Summoner
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2| Summoning, Enhanced Summons

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|

3rd|
+1|
+1|
+1|
+3|

4th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|

5th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4| Shadow Form

6th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|

7th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|

8th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+6|

9th|
+4|
+3|
+3|
+6|

10th|
+5|
+3|
+3|
+7| Improved Shadow Form

11th|
+5|
+3|
+3|
+7|

12th|
+6/+1|
+4|
+4|
+8|

13th|
+6/+1|
+4|
+4|
+8|

14th|
+7/+2|
+4|
+4|
+9|

15th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+5|
+9| Greater Shadow Form

16th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+5|
+10|

17th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+5|
+10|

18th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+6|
+11|

19th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+6|
+11|

20th|
+10/+5|
+6|
+6|
+12| One with Shadow[/table]

Class Features:
All of the following are class features of the shadow summoner.

Weapon and Armor proficiencies:

Shadow summoners are proficient in the use of all simple weapons, as well as the use of light armor and light shields and bucklers.

Shadow summoners do not risk spell failure as normal arcane casters do. Instead, their effective caster level is decreased by the armor check penalty they have from any armor or shields they use and thus they may not be able to cast their highest level summoning spells in armor that has an armor check penalty.

Summoning (Sp):

A shadow summoner can summon only a finite number of creatures composed of shadow before he must rest and recover them. All creatures generated by this ability have the same alignment of the shadow summoner who generated them.

To summon a creature, the shadow summoner must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + The CR of the creature to be summoned. He must also have a shadow summoner level of double the CR of the creature to be summoned (minimum CR 1 at level 1). Finally, he must have sufficient knowledge of the creature to summon a duplicate of it with an appropriate knowledge check equal to it's HD or CR (whichever is greater) + 10 [actually encountering the creature allows a check with a difficulty reduced by 5 and can allow a reroll for each time the creature is encountered if necessary]. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against abilities of a summoned creature is 10 + 1/2 shadow summoner level + the shadow summoner’s Intelligence modifier.

A shadow summoner's summoning allotment is equal to half his class level + 1. In addition, he receives half his intelligence modifier (minimum +1) in bonus summons per day.

A shadow summoner must rest for 8 hours to refresh his summoning allotment.

Once per day, a shadow summoner may call a creature he would ordinarily summon. This creature persists until killed, dismissed, or a new creature is called by this ability and serves the shadow summoner loyally (it cannot be commanded or controlled by a third party).

Though a summoned creature may use any of it's abilities, if the shadow summoner would command a summon to use a spell like ability with an XP component he must provide that component. If such an ability would normally require a material or focus component he must pay 1/5th the gp cost in XP instead.

The duration of these summons is 1 round per caster level and the summons are treated as a spell level of 1/2 the shadow summoner's class level (minimum 1st). His effective caster level for these summons equals his class level. The casting time is a standard action and the range is close range. If the summoner elects to summon a creature of a CR 1 lower he may choose to instead summon 1d3 creatures or 1d4+1 for a CR lower than that. He may mix multiple different summon creatures of lower CR as long as they are all at least 1 point of CR lower than his maximum for 1d3 instances and all at least 2 points lower for 1d4+1 instances.

A shadow summoner may apply metamagic to his summoning options but he must prepare a potential summoning in advance with this metamagic and reduce the maximum potential CR by the amount that the metamagic would require.

Enhanced Summons (Ex):

Shadow duplicates that a shadow summoner creates have spell resistance equal to his caster level + 10. They may also share damage with any willing creature within 25 feet + 5 feet per 2 caster levels of them in a manner similar to the Shield Other spell (they take half the damage the creature would take though no creature may have more than half of their damage reduced even if it is split among many summons). Finally, shadow duplicates have an intelligence score equal to that of the summoner (though this does not grant them any changes to skill points or feats).

Shadow Form (Su):

At 5th level, a shadow summoner can shift his form to a shadowy version of a creature he has made the requisite knowledge check to summon (though he only gains benefits as though using alter self and he cannot take the form of a creature with HD greater than his caster level). The shadow summoner can take various forms and remain in them for a total number of minutes per day equal to his caster level split up as he chooses (he may change forms as a free action once per round). In addition, the shadow summoner becomes ageless (he does not accrue negative penalties, aging has no effect on him, and he has no maximum age) and does not need to eat or drink to survive (this secondary benefit is an extraordinary ability).

At 10th level, he gains the benefits of the form as though using the polymorph spell. The total duration he may use this ability for improves to 10 minutes per caster level. In addition, the shadow summoner does not need to sleep (this secondary benefit is an extraordinary ability).

At 15th level, he gains the benefits of the form as though using the shapechange spell. The total duration he may use this ability for improves to 1 hour per caster level. In addition, the shadow summoner no longer needs to breathe (this secondary benefit is an extraordinary ability).

At 20th level, he gains all the benefits of the form. The total duration he may use this ability for is removed. In addition, the shadow summoner is no longer affected by poisons or diseases of any kind (this secondary benefit is an extraordinary ability).

As with his summons, a shadow summoner must provide XP in certain cases when using abilities of creatures he takes the form of.

While in shadow form a shadow summoner may still make use of his summoning ability even if his form would be prohibitive towards the somatic and verbal components (though he still generates those components and thus his summoning may still fail if he is impeded from using them appropriately).

Note: A shadow summoner cannot duplicate class abilities derived from class levels of creatures with class levels.

===

NOTES: I'm willing to look over suggestions to the mechanics as necessary. Feel free to critique this class.

Conor77
2012-11-09, 09:14 PM
Hmm. I'm no expert but this class seems rather imbalanced. It could be either extremely powerful, with summoning Spell Resisting creatures at level 1, or extremely weak, especially against a dude with a big axe, or a clever enough caster. In short, this seems like a weak class with the only use being to slam different creatures and templates from all different books into a broken combo. If think it could be improved by giving more and more varied boosts to summons, moving the Spell Resistance up level to somewhere around 12-17, and for pete's sake, getting rid of those dead levels! You should also probably bind the Shadow levels to Hit Dice rather than Challenge Rating (the CR system is rather broken), and give it some small thing to do even when it runs out of summons.

A good idea, but it needs tuning. It needs to be given more varied things to do, while sapping a little direct power. It needs to be given things to do all the way to 20th level, other than shaping itself and summoning things.

gooddragon1
2012-11-10, 07:07 PM
Hmm. I'm no expert but this class seems rather imbalanced. It could be either extremely powerful, with summoning Spell Resisting creatures at level 1, or extremely weak, especially against a dude with a big axe, or a clever enough caster. In short, this seems like a weak class with the only use being to slam different creatures and templates from all different books into a broken combo. If think it could be improved by giving more and more varied boosts to summons, moving the Spell Resistance up level to somewhere around 12-17, and for pete's sake, getting rid of those dead levels! You should also probably bind the Shadow levels to Hit Dice rather than Challenge Rating (the CR system is rather broken), and give it some small thing to do even when it runs out of summons.

A good idea, but it needs tuning. It needs to be given more varied things to do, while sapping a little direct power. It needs to be given things to do all the way to 20th level, other than shaping itself and summoning things.

Hmm, you're right. The premise of this class is too powerful. I'll have to think about it differently and make a fixed version sometime.

Waargh!
2012-11-10, 09:03 PM
Since it does essentially two things maybe it is better suited as a PrC with 5 levels with prerequisites of a caster and enabling the abilities by sacrificing spells slots equivalent to the summon monster X spells and alter self, polymorph and shapechange ones.