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View Full Version : A Shadowcster Fix THAT ACTUALLY FIXES THE SHADOWCASTER (hopefully) (WIP) (PEACH)



Rolep
2013-06-08, 02:07 AM
MOST RECENTLY UPDATED: 9/6/13

Announcement: The Mysteries per day have had a major overhaul. PEACH ASAP! Thanks (for PEACHing and allowing me to write a sentence entirely in acronyms (next target: backronyms))!

This is a major fix of the class with my favourite fluff. It is intended for around Tier 2. Please inform me whether I have it this mark, and general critique will be much appreciated. Thanks!

I do know about DoS. I think that it is an excellent piece of work. However, it does little to actually fix the shadowcaster itself. Ideally, this fix can be used in conjunction with its ideas.

I am currently fixing: Mystery list and PrCs.
I have overhauled the mysteries per day system.
I have changed shadowcraft so that fewer lbs. worth of items can be made, and they cannot be armour or of a special material.
I have allowed the mystery users to swap out some mysteries in the same way that a sorcerer swaps out spells known.
I have weakened the overpowered shadow elemental familiar so that its powers develop more slowly.
I have changed fundamentals of shadow so that the abilities that it affects remain supernatural, and thus affect incorporeal creatures, but they function within an antimagic field, like extraordinary abilities.
I have modified cold resistance, sustaining shadows & umbral sight so that they are provided as bonuses for folloowing a path.
I may also make concealing shadows and slippery shadows obtainable in this manner.

I am currently working on an extensive list of mysteries to provide it will more options. I would laso like to revise shadow feats, and I have several ideas for PrCs. I intend to update this page as I finish these tasks.

Introduction: Why I Have Created this Fix
The Shadowcaster. Where to begin? Its fluff is spot on. The concept was perfect and was developed beautifully, to create a uniquely deep and exciting class. Few deny this. However, it is catastrophically let down by it lack of lustre. The mechanics of mysteries are very interesting, but, because of the lack of uses per day, narrow choices available and fixed pattern of preparation, they are woefully weak. Its other abilities do not make up for this: they are devoid of any power and add next to nothing to the character. The fluff should not be wasted like this. It is in dire need of a fix.

There are many of them out there. Even the creator of the class has posted one. However, I feel that these do not do enough; the shadowcaster is still resigned to the low tiers. Some may be happy with this, but I feel that it should be up with the other casters in tiers 1 and 2. To achieve this, it needs more than a few editor lines: it need a major revision.

But where to begin?

Brainstorm: The Powers for my Fix and the Ideas behind Them
I decided to start by finding the shadowcaster more flavour abilities. Not getting hungry and seeing in the dark, while a start, do not provide enough to create a unique, darkness-based character. It did not take me long to find a source: the shadow prestige classes. These gain a multitude of interesting and flavour-rich abilities. I cherry-picked my favourites: cold resistance, a shadow elemental familiar and the ability to make weapons from shadows. I chose these because they are constant, whereas some others like invisibility, blur, incorporeality, shadow jump and innate counterspell would function more appropriately as mysteries.

The next stage was to modify these for the class. I started by expanding the umbral sight ability to provide see invisibility and true seeing at higher levels, thus making it more useful while keeping with the theme that a shadowcaster can see through shadows, and since illusions are in their own way shadows it can see through them. Sustaining shadow and cold resistance merely needed a change of scale: they were fine as relatively weak abilities that decrease the shadowcaster’s susceptibility to hostile environments.

For the shadow elemental familiar, I decided that it should be gained as early as possible. Level 4 seemed about right, as below this incorporeal creatures are virtually untouchable, so it would have been too powerful. To allow it to grow in power it would increase in size as the shadowcaster gained levels, since this provides extra HD, Int and general power. A few familiar-like abilities would be added to flesh it out, but power-wise it is looking more like a druid’s animal companion. As for fluff, I was struck by the idea that it could be the shadowcaster’s own shadow brought to life, and this would allow it to hide as its master’s shadow when stealth was required.

This familiar provided some combat ability, and shadowcraft could expand this. I felt that the essence of this ability should be to create weapons and shields from nowhere that do not impair casting. This would give the shadowcaster some mediocre combat abilities which, combined with the shadow elemental familiar, could be quite effective in a pinch, while not detracting from the shadowcaster’s role as a primary spellcaster.

I debated changing BAB and HD. However, while from a mechanics perspective this might be OK, from a fluff perspective it was unfitting with the idea of a spellcaster that loves shadows. This causes problems with the effectiveness of shadowcrafted weapons, so I decided that past a certain level they only require a touch attack to hit. They still do not do as much damage as a full fighter, and so do not usurp his role, and they also do not aid survivability, but it makes them more usable and less like a glorified ray of frost.

This issue about survivability is still on my mind. If it is to have any use as a supporting fighter, it must be able to take hits as well as give them. This leads to another problem that I have with the base class: I have always seen shadowcasters as people who could bend the shadows to dodge attacks that they should not be able to dodge. A good reflex save does not fit with the spellcaster, though, so instead I decided to supply it with some of the rogue’s dodging abilities.

At various levels it would gain uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, mettle, slippery mind & defensive roll. These help the image of unnaturally avoiding attacks, and they also provide it with some resistance to spellcasters and rogues. I also feel that it should have enhanced stealth abilities, so adding charisma to hide and move silently and supplying Hide in Plain Sight seemed a good idea. Finally, to increase its resistance to spellcasters and to round off this attack-dodging business I gave it slippery shadows: a bonus to AC and saves based on charisma.

Looking at what this class now has, I would say that it has changed much on the surface and very little deep down. Its resistance to cold and sustaining shadows have a very narrow usage, and shadow elemental familiar and shadowcraft raise its fighting skills very little; most secondary fighters are more skilled in this department. Umbral sight is somewhat more powerful, but its abilities can be replicated by any caster. The real difference comes from the rogue abilities and Slippery Shadows. These, at their heart, make the Shadowcaster more powerful against rogues and spellcasters. They do not infringe on the rogue because a rogue is significantly more combat-able and gains more skills (though a shadowcaster’s skills have been raised to 4+int).

At its heart it is still a primary spellcaster. However, it has three niches that need to be explored: mage-slayer, rogue-slayer, and stealth fighter. If any of these are to grow, however, it needs real power to support them. A shadowcaster’s real power comes from its mysteries, so it is to there that we must turn our attention.

First and foremost the casting stats should be unified so that it now casts entirely off charisma. This allows for higher save DCs, and I feel that the shadowcaster should have a strong personality, and need not be intelligent. Also, as a primary caster, it should get abilities all the way up to 9th level: to make it Gish would be to stray too far from its origins.

Now to turn our attention to what it needs. Due to the swathe of extra abilities that a shadowcaster has, their spellcasting should be slightly weaker than that of other primary spellcasters. However, as it is, it is far too weak, and needs strengthened. There are three things that could be strengthened: mystery selection, uses per mystery and flexibility of mysteries, all of which are too harsh as they are. Mystery selection is easy to fix, and lack of options should never be a mitigating factor with a spellcaster in 3.5, so more mysteries will be created. These will include ones that reveal hidden foes, create diversions and hide allies to help with the rogue-resistance; ones that impede casting, dispel and counterspell to help with the mage-resistance; ones that weaken and distract foes to aid stealth-fighting; and finally the general array that any caster should possess. The other two mitigations require more thought.

A key aspect of mysteries is that the uses per day are pre-allocated to each mystery, and can never be changed. I feel that this should be played out as the mitigating factor, leaving the overall mysteries per day much like any other spellcaster. The first step is gaining bonus mysteries based on charisma. At early levels, this will vastly enhance the playability. As many people have commented, the main focus of the shadowcaster is the ability to use low-level powers many times per day, so low-level mysteries will be modified to be at-will and quickened.

Now we return to the mitigating factor. I deem that the set selection of mysteries and their uses should be adequate enough, and that forcing the progression in paths is too great. I removed this, but I am left with a problem: for what are paths? I decided to remove the bonus feats for multi-pathing – since strict path progression has been removed this will provide to many feats and actively encourage not following paths – and add a pre-set bonus for each path that scales as you take more mysteries in the path. To fit with this, paths were extended to progress all the way from 1st to 9th level.

To round this fix off, I removed fundamentals, since the class already possesses enough ‘fluff’ abilities, they are too weak to provide any use even at low levels and if they were made stronger they would contest with mysteries. An extra touch allows the shadowcaster to change the illumination around her, like light, darkness and dusk and dawn combined and made at will.

The Shadowcaster: My Fix
{table=head]The Shadowcaster|Uses/Mystery
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special
1st|
+0|
+2|
+0|
+2| Mysteries, Dusk & Dawn, Shadowcraft, Concealing Shadows
2nd|
+1|
+3|
+0|
+3|
3rd|
+1|
+3|
+1|
+3|
4th|
+2|
+4|
+1|
+4|Uncanny Dodge, Shadow Elemental Familiar
5th|
+2|
+4|
+1|
+4|
6th|
+3|
+5|
+2|
+5|Slippery Shadows
7th|
+3|
+5|
+2|
+5|
8th|
+4|
+6|
+2|
+6|
9th|
+4|
+6|
+3|
+6|Improved Uncanny Dodge
10th|
+5|
+7|
+3|
+7|Hide in Plain Sight
11th|
+5|
+7|
+3|
+7|
12th|
+6/+1|
+8|
+4|
+8|Eyes of Shadow
13th|
+6/+1|
+8|
+4|
+8|Defensive Roll
14th|
+7/+2|
+9|
+4|
+9|Slippery Mind
15th|
+7/+2|
+9|
+5|
+9|
16th|
+8/+3|
+10|
+5|
+10|
17th|
+8/+3|
+10|
+5|
+10|
18th|
+9/+4|
+11|
+6|
+11|
19th|
+9/+4|
+11|
+6|
+11|
20th|
+10/+5|
+12|
+6|
+12|Fundamentals of Shadow
[/table]|{table=head] 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9
1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|
1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|
1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|
1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|
2|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|
2|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|
2|2|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|
2|2|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|
∞|2|2|1|1|-|-|-|-|
∞|2|2|1|1|-|-|-|-|
∞|3|2|2|1|1|-|-|-|
∞|∞|2|2|1|1|-|-|-|
∞|∞|3|2|2|1|1|-|-|
∞|∞|3|2|2|1|1|-|-|
∞|∞|∞|3|2|2|1|1|-|
∞|∞|∞|3|2|2|1|1|-|
∞|∞|∞|∞|3|2|2|1|1|
∞|∞|∞|∞|3|2|2|1|1|
∞|∞|∞|∞|∞|3|2|2|1|
∞|∞|∞|∞|∞|3|2|2|1|
[/table][/table]

Starting Gold: as Wizard
Starting Age: As Wizard

Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d6

Class Skills: Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Disguise, Forgery, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (The Planes), Listen, Move Silently, Profession, Sense Motive, Spellcraft & Spot.
Skill Points at First Level: (4 + Int Modifier)*4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int Modifier

Weapon & Armour Proficiency: Shadowcasters are proficient with all simple weapons, light armour and light shields. Armour of any type interferes with the arcane gestures required to cast newly-learned mysteries, which will cause these mysteries to fail.

Mysteries: A shadowcaster does not cast spells as other classes do, but instead invokes mystical secrets called mysteries. You know two mysteries at 1st level and gain one additional mystery at every even-numbered class level and two additonal mysteries at every odd-numbered level. You may never learn a mystery of a level greater than one-half your level (rounded up).
Mysteries are organised into paths, which contain one mystery of each level from 1st to 9th and represent a specific area of learning. You do not need to learn the spells in a path in order, nor do you need to stick to a path once you learn a mystery from it: they do not restrict the learning of mysteries in any way. However, they each provide a bonus to you that grows more powerful the more mysteries from that path you know. Should you gain a mystery from that path, the bonus increases as indicated in its description, and should you lose one by replacing mysteries the bonus likewise decreases.
Mysteries represent thought patterns and formulae so alien that other spells seem simple in comparison. As you progress, however, you connection to the Plane of Shadow grows stronger, and your mysteries become more ingrained in your essence. When you are capable of casting a mystery only 1/day, you cast them as though they are arcane spells. They all have somatic components, armour-based spell failure chance, and are subject to interruption (but they do not require material components, foci, or verbal components). Whenever you cast a mystery as an arcane spell, observers can make a DC 15 Spot Check to note that your shadow is making different gestures from the ones you make when you cast the mystery.
When you become able to cast a mystery 2/day, it becomes so much a part of you that it now functions as a spell-like ability, and it no longer requires somatic components
When the mystery becomes useable 3/day, another change occurs: it becomes a supernatural ability.
When a mystery become useable at will, it remains a supernatural ability. However, it casting time is reduced to a swift action, regardless of what it was originally.
You can learn a mystery more than once. Each time you relearn a mystery, you gain another set of uses of that mystery per day. Treat the two identical mysteries as different for the purposes of determining whether it is a spell, spell-like or supernatural ability.
You gain additional uses per mystery per day as a spellcaster gains extra spell slots. These extra uses do not count towards whether a mystery is a spell, spell-like or supernatual ability. The number of extra uses per mystery per day is based off charisma. Although you do not prepare spells, you must rest for 8 hours and meditate for 15 minutes each day to regain use of mysteries, just as a sorcerer or bard must rest and meditate to regain use of spell slots.
In order to cast a mystery, you must have a Charisma score of at least 10 + the mystery's level.
The save DC for your mysteries depends on how they are cast. When cast as arcane spells, the DC equals 10 + mystery level + your Cha modifier. When cast as spell-like abilities, the DC equals 10 + ˝ your caster level + your Cha Modifier. When cast as supernatural abilities, the DC equals 10 + ˝ your HD + your Cha modifier.
Even though as a shadowcaster you do not "cast spells" in the traditional sense, your levels in this class count for the purposes of determining your overall caster level, which can be used to qualify for prestige classes (see tome of magic p117 for details).
At every even-numbered level, you may replace one of your msyteries known with another mystery of an equal or lower level. This must be done as soon as you obtain the level, and may not be saved for later.

Dusk and Dawn (Su): The most basic ability of a shadowcaster is to manipulate the shadows about himself. At will and as a free action, you may change the illumination within 5 feet per class level of yourself, calling unnatural shadow or light into an area. You may change daylight into shadowy illumination and shadowy illumination into daylight or darkness. Darkness, as an eternal force, may not be made brighter in this way. This is the equivalent of an Evocation [light] spell with a level equal to ˝ your HD and a caster level equal to your HD for the purposes of determining how other Evocation [light] spells and dispel magic affect it. Should the ability be supressed or dispelled, even partially, you must wait for 5 rounds before using it again.

Shadowcraft (Su): A shadowcaster claims dominion over the power of shadows, and can shape them to his whim. As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you can create a simple tool or weapon from shadow. To successfully craft the item you must succeed on a craft check with a DC equal to the DC required to craft the item normally.
The item remains in existence for a number of minutes equal to your class level, and may be destroyed early as a free action. You can never have more than your class level + your Cha modifier lbs. worth of items crafted at any point, and the shadowcrafted item must remain in contact with you at all times. Shadowcrafted items may not be magical, except as noted below, and they may not be made out of any special material. Armour of any type cannot be crafted in this way.
At a -5 penalty to the craft check, the items may be crafted as a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. At a -10 penalty, they may be crafted as a swift action. At a -15 penalty, they may be crafted as an immediate action.
The eternal shadow mystery may make a shadowcrafted item permanent; the permanency spell does not. A permanent shadowcrafted item does not disappear if it breaks contact with you.
A shadowcaster is treated as having proficiency with any weapon, armour or shield crafted in this manner. This is because the shadowcrafted item shifts it balance and weight to suit the shadowcaster’s style. For the same reason, these items impose no armour check penalty, max Dex bonus or arcane spell failure chance.
These items may not be dispelled; however, any spell that affects magic items affects shadowcrafted items in the same manner.
At 4th level, you can imbue your shadowcrafted items with an enhancement bonus equal to Ľ your class level, rounded down. A weapon provides this bonus to attack and damage rolls, a suit of armour or a shield provides it to AC and a tool for using a skill provides it to skill checks. All other items cannot gain this bonus, but they are considered magically treated for the purpose of determining damage done to them.
At 6th level, your shadowcrafted items become ephemeral. Any shadowcrafted weapon now requires only a touch attack to hit. Any shadowcrafted armour or shield adds its armour or shield bonus to touch attacks. This ability fades when a shadowcrafted item is made permanent.
At 10th level, any shadowcrafted item gains the ghost touch enhancement: it affects incorporeal creatures and objects as if they are corporeal.
At 14th level, any weapon made by shadowcraft gains the frost ability.
At 18th level, any weapon made by shadowcraft gains the shadow striking ability.

Concealing Shadows (Su): A shadowcaster can shape the shadows to hide his movement, muffle his footfalls, twist his form and change his voice. You add your Cha modifier to Bluff, Disguise, Hide, Intimidate and Move Silently checks.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4th level, a shadowcaster can feel subtle movements in nearby shadow. You gain the uncanny dodge ability detailed on p50 of the Player’s Handbook.

Shadow Elemental Familiar: At 4th level, a shadowcaster gains such control over his own shadow that he bestows it with life. You gain a shadow elemental familiar that obeys you absolutely. When it is dormant, it resides as your shadow, but when it is active it can move completely independently. When it is active, you do not possess a shadow. In shadowy illumination, a DC 15 spot check is required to notice this; in bright light, the DC is 5.
The shadow elemental’s size depends on your class level. At 4th level, it is small; at 8th level, it is medium; at 14th level, it is large and at 18th level, it is huge.
The familiar receives the benefits of any supernatural or extraordinary ability that you possess as a direct result of your shadowcaster levels, including Fundamentals of Shadow but excluding mysteries.
(Su): The familiar shares a telepathic link with you as long as you are on the same plane, and issuing it orders is a free action. As long as this link is active, any mystery that affects you may also affect your familiar for free, and, when you use a mystery that requires a ranged or melee touch attack, the familiar is treated as the caster for the purposes of determining touch attack rolls, reach & line of sight.

Slippery Shadows (Su): At 6th level, a shadowcaster sways and shifts like shadow when he wills, allowing him to avoid that which would otherwise harm him. He may add his Cha modifier, if any, to Fortitude, Reflex & Will saving throws, and as a dodge bonus to AC.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 9th level, a shadowcaster’s feel for the tides of shadow is so great that he can keep track of what is going on immediately about him at all times. You gain the improved uncanny dodge ability detailed on p50 of the Player’s Handbook.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su): At 10th level, a shadowcaster can step into the folds of shadow about him, blending in with the shades and shadows of his surroundings. You may use the hide skill even while being observed at no penalty, but only when within shadowy illumination. You may use Dusk and Dawn to create such a shadow, but the moving area of shadow that this will create will be very noticeable in certain situations.

Eyes of Shadow (Su): A 12th level shadowcaster possesses such a strong link with their familiar that they can look through it. As a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, you may shift your consciousness to your familiar and look through its eyes, seeing, hearing, smelling & tasting as if you are it. You may make spot and listen checks based on your own ranks in this way, and you still gain the benefit of mysteries that improve your vision. Shifting back is also a move action.

Defensive Roll (Ex): At 13th level, a shadowcaster can direct the tides of shadow to carry him away from harm. You gain the defensive roll ability detailed on p51 of the Player’s Handbook.

Slippery Mind (Ex): At 14th level, a shadowcaster can draw the tides about himself to ward off mental manipulation. You gain the slippery mind ability detailed on p51 of the Player’s Handbook.

Fundamentals of Shadow: At 20th level, a shadowcaster understands that there is nothing supernatural about darkness: it is the fundament of the universe and therefore completely natural. Your supernatural shadowcaster abilities function within an anitmagic field.

Evaluation: My Opinions of the Final Fix and Advice on How It Should Be Used

The shadowcaster appears to have worked out as I hoped: a primary caster that, though inhibited in versatility, makes an acceptable secondary fighter and a good weapon against rogues and mages. It is exceptionally stealthy, but lacks the other abilities of a rogue. Its spells are primarily focused on illusion, enchantment, abjuration and conjuration, with little in the damage dealing department. At high levels its uses per day of low level mysteries rapidly increase to the point where they are at will, meaning that the shadowcaster does not need to be so miserly over its powers.

As a caster, it lacks the versatility that spell-or-power-users possess. However, it is, generally speaking, more powerful with the spells that it does cast. This takes after its original intention as stated in the Tome of Magic. After its spells, its strongest powers are probably its shadow elemental familiar, which can be a potent weapon if used correctly, and slippery shadows because of the colossal rise that it provides to survivability. The others provide little more than filler and character. There is strong encouragement to take a shadowcaster all the way to 20th level, because many of its abilities reach their zenith at this point.

Charisma is the most important ability score, as all of a shadowcaster’s mysteries and special abilities are based on it. After this, it is the typical spellcaster’s fare: Dex for AC, Con for HP & Int for skill points. An interesting build could be strength-based and focus on buffs and shadowcraft, but this may not suit a more spell-focused build.

Here is a table of the uses of all of a shadowcaster’s mysteries per day, assuming that they start with 18 charisma and improve it with level, and that they always take the highest level mystery available.

{table=head]Optimal Uses per Day
{table=head]Level | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
1st | 4 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - |
2nd | 6 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - | - |
3rd | 6 | 4 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - |
4th | 6 | 6 | - | - | - | - | - | - | - |
5th | 9 | 6 | 4 | - | - | - | - | - | - |
6th | 9 | 6 | 6 | - | - | - | - | - | - |
7th | 9 | 9 | 6 | 4 | - | - | - | - | - |
8th | 12 | 9 | 6 | 6 | - | - | - | - | - |
9th | ∞ | 9 | 9 | 6 | 4 | - | - | - | - |
10th | ∞ | 9 | 9 | 6 | 6 | - | - | - | - |
11th | ∞ | 12 | 9 | 9 | 6 | 2 | - | - | - |
12th | ∞ | ∞ | 9 | 9 | 6 | 3 | - | - | - |
13th | ∞ | ∞ | 12 | 9 | 9 | 3 | 2 | - | - |
14th | ∞ | ∞ | 12 | 9 | 9 | 3 | 3 | - | - |
15th | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | 12 | 9 | 6 | 3 | 2 | - |
16th | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | 12 | 9 | 9 | 3 | 3 | - |
17th | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | 12 | 9 | 6 | 3 | 2 |
18th | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | 12 | 9 | 6 | 3 | 3 |
19th | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | 12 | 6 | 6 | 5 |
20th | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | ∞ | 12 | 6 | 6 | 6 |
[/table][/table]

DMs facing a shadowcaster player should create situations where its powerful mysteries get to play and situations where they don’t, as shadowcasters are very powerful when working within their favoured field, and are still able to contribute a little when outwith it. DMs using a shadowcaster as a monster should keep to the shadows, throwing the party into disarray with illusions and enchantments before finally launching its offensive spells. For PCs planning to take out a shadowcaster, surprise is essential, as with surprise the casters will get time to operate and the rogues will be able to pull off a sneak attack. Try to disarm its mysteries and engage it in melee as these are two weaknesses; consider using an antimagic field. You may wish to load up would PC with the following buffs: immunity to cold, death ward, mind blank, freedom of movement & true seeing. These provide immunity to almost all of a shadowcaster’s powers. However, remember that shadowcasters are very proficient at dispelling, so this will only work when the caster levels are fairly equal.

Rolep
2013-06-08, 03:59 AM
Resrerved for Mysteries, Paths & Feats.

Rolep
2013-06-08, 04:00 AM
PrCs

Shadowsmith
Fluff Coming Soon!

Requirements: Shadow Elemental Familiar, Shadowcraft, Ability to Use 2nd Level Mysteries, Craft Homunculus, A Craft Reserve, Item Creation, Ability to Use 2nd Level Infusions

HD: d6
Skill: 4 + Int

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Infusions|Mysterie s
1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2|Combined Proficiency, Shadow Infusion|+1 level of existing infusing class|+1 level of existing Mystery-Using Class
2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|Amass Shadows, Shadowcraft Magic Item 1/day|+1 level of existing infusing class|+1 level of existing Mystery-Using Class
3rd|
+1|
+1|
+1|
+3|Residual Shadow, Sustain Shadowcrafted Item 1/day|+1 level of existing infusing class|+1 level of existing Mystery-Using Class
4th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|Shadowcraft Magic Item 2/day|+1 level of existing infusing class|+1 level of existing Mystery-Using Class
5th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|Sustain Shadowcrafted Item 2/day|+1 level of existing infusing class|+1 level of existing Mystery-Using Class
6th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|Shadowcraft Magic Item 3/day|+1 level of existing infusing class|+1 level of existing Mystery-Using Class
7th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|Sustain Shadowcrafted Item 3/day|+1 level of existing infusing class|+1 level of existing Mystery-Using Class
8th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+6|Shadowcraft Magic Item 4/day|+1 level of existing infusing class|+1 level of existing Mystery-Using Class
9th|
+4|
+3|
+3|
+6|Improved Residual Shadow, Sustain Shadowcrafted Item 4/day|+1 level of existing infusing class|+1 level of existing Mystery-Using Class
10th|
+5|
+3|
+3|
+7|Shadowcraft Magic Item 5/day, Mass Shadow Infusion|+1 level of existing infusing class|+1 level of existing Mystery-Using Class [/table]

Combined Proficiency: You may add your intelligence modifier to your caster level in a mystery-using class, your charisma modifier to your infusor level and your levels in shadowsmith to the following: your levels in a shadowcrafting class for determining the maximum weight created by shadowcraft and the duration which shadowcrafted items last, your levels in a class with a craft reserve for determining the size of your craft reserve, and your level in a class with item creation for the purposes of determining your effective class level for purposes of the ability.

Shadow Infusion: You may use a single infusion as a free a free action when you create a shadowcrafted item, on the condition that the infusion must be used on the shadowcrafted item.

Amass Shadows: You may, as a free action, spend a number of craft reserve points to be able to create as many extra lbs. of shadowcrafted items for 24 hours.

Shadowcraft Magic Item (Su): Every time you use this ability, you craft a magic item using all of the normal rules of shadowcraft, except that you may use your item creation ability to enchant it, making Use Magic Device checks and spending XP as normal.

Residual Shadow: When you use a mystery, you may immediately, as a free action, shadowcraft the residual power in the form of an orb that weighs 1lb. for each level of the mystery and hovers about your head. You may, as a standard action, sacrifice an infusion of a level equal to or lower than the mystery and destroy the shadowcrafted residual power to use the mystery again, without having to expend a use of that mystery.

Sustain Shadowcrafted Item (Su): As a swift action, you sustain one of your shadowcrafted items, so that its duration increases by 24 hours.

Improved Residual Shadow: You may, when sacrificing infusions as part of residual shadow, sacrifice two infusions. Their combined level must be equal to or greater than 4/3 the level of the mystery.

Mass Shadow Infusion: When using shadow infusion, you may infuse the shadowcrafted item with a number of infusions equal to your intelligence modifier. However, none of them may be of a level greater than your charisma modifier.

peacenlove
2013-06-08, 05:23 AM
I disagree with the T2 mark for shadowcaster (for me it should be high T3) but my comments will try to be as neutral and detached as possible.


It is intended for around Tier 2. Please inform me whether I have it this mark,

If you keep the same mystery list, all you did is make a frustratingly difficult to kill and counter caster. That replaces a multitude of roles. Planar binding/gate, celerity + arcane fusion, shapechange and its ilk define T 1/2. However I will reserve judgment until I actually see it. IMO reduce the number of abilities you give him (they could be buffs, I personally made them Path Masteries) and improve his mystery list.
Also some of the abilities feel like being there just for the sake of it. Why a full caster needs to be both a competent warrior, being able to tank the best of them, and have rogue tricks and a better than an animal companion and ... you see where I am going. Especially if you beef up his casting chassis.



Mysteries are organised into paths, which contain one mystery of each level from 1st to 9th and represent a specific area of learning. You do not need to learn the spells in a path in order, nor do you need to stick to a path once you learn a mystery from it: they do not restrict the learning of mysteries in any way. However, they each provide a bonus to you that grows more powerful the more mysteries from that path you know. Should you gain a mystery from that path, the bonus increases as indicated in its description, and should you lose one by replacing mysteries the bonus likewise decreases.

You gain additional mysteries as a spellcaster gains extra spell slots.
Bonus to what?
Its Mystery Uses unless you actually grant mystery selections.


Fundamentals of Shadow: At 20th level, a shadowcaster understands that there is nothing supernatural about darkness: it is the fundament of the universe and therefore completely natural. Your supernatural shadowcaster abilities become extraordinary.

And your incorporeal opponents dance in joy since they are immune to extraordinary abilities. :smallbiggrin: Just let them bypass antimagic areas, since this is arguably the best benefit of an (Ex) ability.

Rolep
2013-06-08, 06:08 AM
If you keep the same mystery list

I am revising the mystery list.


IMO reduce the number of abilities you give him (they could be buffs, I personally made them Path Masteries)

What do you mean by path masteries? You do have a point, though: there are quite a lot. Cold resistance, sustaining shadow & umbral sight will become benefits for following paths. I may cut down of the rogue abilities too (see below).


Why a full caster needs to be both a competent warrior, being able to tank the best of them, and have rogue tricks and a better than an animal companion and ... you see where I am going. Especially if you beef up his casting chassis.

Because the Shadowcaster as-is is cringingly underpowered, and the fact that its spell selection is pre-defined is a HUGE mitigating factor. However, I see what you are saying. It was more inteneded to add flavour as shadowcraft, shadow elemental familiar & the rogue abilities embody aspects that I felt that the class should have. Also, I think that you may be overrating its tanking & fighting abilities. D6 HD, 1/2 BAB, inability to wear armour and cast its most powerful spells, a gaping weakness in its ref saves...I do undertsnad where you are coming from, but could you be a little more specific?


Bonus to what?
Its Mystery Uses unless you actually grant mystery selections.

The bonus changes depending on the path.
It is additional mystery selections.


And your incorporeal opponents dance in joy since they are immune to extraordinary abilities. Just let them bypass antimagic areas, since this is arguably the best benefit of an (Ex) ability.

Good point. I will fix this.

peacenlove
2013-06-08, 09:22 AM
What do you mean by path masteries? You do have a point, though: there are quite a lot. Cold resistance, sustaining shadow & umbral sight will become benefits for following paths. I may cut down of the rogue abilities too (see below).


Path Masteries (originally invented by Realms of Chaos, a homebrewer in these forums, I changed the way you get them due to Pathfinder's power creep) are powers granted when you complete a path. They are used in my pathfinder shadowcaster.



Because the Shadowcaster as-is is cringingly underpowered, and the fact that its spell selection is pre-defined is a HUGE mitigating factor. However, I see what you are saying. It was more inteneded to add flavour as shadowcraft, shadow elemental familiar & the rogue abilities embody aspects that I felt that the class should have. Also, I think that you may be overrating its tanking & fighting abilities. D6 HD, 1/2 BAB, inability to wear armour and cast its most powerful spells, a gaping weakness in its ref saves...I do undertsnad where you are coming from, but could you be a little more specific?

Shadowcaster is ok at 7+ level. With unlimited fundamentals he becomes good at level 1-2.
It needs more varied mysteries. More material. Some bug fixing (example: a way to grant him bonus mysteries without unbalancing him. Better metashadow) The same 69 mysteries get boring. Also reliable stealth measures so you shoot your mysteries without retaliation (since they are undetectable).
A buffed shadow elemental, which size and power changes when you level is equal or better than an animal companion (depending on campaign and / or usage. For instance it has average intelligence and can take a variety of skills / feats an animal companion could not have. It is incorporeal. It has blindsight 60')
Rogue abilities are ok by me. Mettle is not. Cleric doesn't have it and some archetypes deserve it.
As written shadowcrafted mithril full plate is doable at level 2 (25 lb). A more realistic level would be 5-6 when you buy a hammer of the armorsmith (which gives +10 to craft armorsmithing). You then upgrade it to adamantite. Or better yet oerthblooded +anything I want adamantine. It doesn't impose any penalty whatsoever.
You don't list how many times per day it is usable. If it is at will, it is far from flavorful. It breaks WBL. It cannot be countered or dispelled.
Combine it with charisma to touch AC (your main stat) and you can see the tanking capability a full caster should not have, at low levels, reliably and instantly.

On an unrelated note eyes of shadows is kinda redundant since you can scry on the familiar anyway at this level (I think).

Rolep
2013-06-08, 10:48 AM
Path Masteries (originally invented by Realms of Chaos, a homebrewer in these forums, I changed the way you get them due to Pathfinder's power creep) are powers granted when you complete a path. They are used in my pathfinder shadowcaster.

That is similar to what I am doing with the bonuses for continuing to take a path.


It needs more varied mysteries. More material. Some bug fixing (example: a way to grant him bonus mysteries without unbalancing him. Better metashadow) The same 69 mysteries get boring. Also reliable stealth measures so you shoot your mysteries without retaliation (since they are undetectable).

I have given him HIPS, stealth-based mysrteries & more Mysteries in general (once I make them). I have been toying with giving him more mysteries per level, as well.


A buffed shadow elemental, which size and power changes when you level is equal or better than an animal companion (depending on campaign and / or usage. For instance it has average intelligence and can take a variety of skills / feats an animal companion could not have. It is incorporeal. It has blindsight 60')

I will raise the level when it gets size upgrades, and possibly provide it a bit later.


Rogue abilities are ok by me. Mettle is not. Cleric doesn't have it and some archetypes deserve it.

Thanks for making that clear. Will fix.


As written shadowcrafted mithril full plate is doable at level 2 (25 lb). A more realistic level would be 5-6 when you buy a hammer of the armorsmith (which gives +10 to craft armorsmithing). You then upgrade it to adamantite. Or better yet oerthblooded +anything I want adamantine. It doesn't impose any penalty whatsoever.
You don't list how many times per day it is usable. If it is at will, it is far from flavorful. It breaks WBL. It cannot be countered or dispelled.
Combine it with charisma to touch AC (your main stat) and you can see the tanking capability a full caster should not have, at low levels, reliably and instantly.

I will disallow special materials and decrease the maximum weight. I may even make armour completely unmakeable (as was my original idea: it would just make a weapon and a shield). I thought that the weight limit would fix it, but evidently I am being too kind.
Also yes, it is useable at will. Its intent is to slightly increase the shadowcaster's capability when outwith the area which his mysteries cover, since this happens to him a lot more than other spellcasters.
EDIT:I believe that you have misinterpreted Cha modifier for Cha score; reasonably, you could only about 13 pounds worth of items at level 2. Still, this is enough for a mithril chain shirt, so your point still satnds.


On an unrelated note eyes of shadows is kinda redundant since you can scry on the familiar anyway at this level (I think).

That ability is normally gained at 13th level, and a shadowcaster's familiar does not get the normal benefits of a sorcerer/wizard's familiar anyway.

Rolep
2013-06-15, 01:30 PM
Bump.

I know that there are other classes out there, but I would like to see some feedback on the mysteries-per-day system and the extra abilities. Are they enough to achieve tier 1/2?

EdroGrimshell
2013-06-16, 10:03 AM
To me, this doesn't feel like a shadowcaster, but rather, a shadowmancer. Someone that controls shadows for various purposes. If you cut down the number of mysteries and give it a better chassis you could have this as an entirely new base class that is a Jack-of-All-Trades amongst shadow users.

Add in RoC's Descent of Shadows (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74519) project and you have a fairly good setup to begin with. As said by peacenlove, the only thing holding the shadowcaster back was the lack of mysteries they could choose (and that it only had one class to use them), RoC fixed that problem with his project.

However, I do like this class, if you just took off a few mysteries and gave it a medium BAB instead of poor and a good Reflex Save instead of poor, you'd have a shadowcaster version of the factotum or bard right here.

Rolep
2013-06-16, 12:29 PM
To me, this doesn't feel like a shadowcaster, but rather, a shadowmancer. Someone that controls shadows for various purposes. If you cut down the number of mysteries and give it a better chassis you could have this as an entirely new base class that is a Jack-of-All-Trades amongst shadow users.
Defintiely an interesting idea, but I will have to put that to one side, as I am trying to fix tyhe shadowcaster.

the only thing holding the shadowcaster back was the lack of mysteries they could choose (and that it only had one class to use them)
I strongly disaree with this. Its fixed assignment of a small range of mysteries with cringingly few uses per day always felt like the main crippler to me. As it was before, no matter how many mysteries it had to choose from, it was still outdone in every way by almost every other spellcaster in the game.

However, I do like this class, if you just took off a few mysteries and gave it a medium BAB instead of poor and a good Reflex Save instead of poor, you'd have a shadowcaster version of the factotum or bard right here.
Thanks! Am touched:smallbiggrin:.

I think that, looking at your feedback, that this class is not the answer. I think that I will make it a shadowmancer, but this leaves the problem of the shadowcaster itself. I do feel that it needs more than just more mysteries to choose from, yet I do see how I went worng from that angle here. In a similar manner to the tenebrist, I have created a new, shadow-based class. Any advice on fixing the shadowcaster itself would be much appreciated.
EDIT: Thinking of changing up the mysteries for the actual shadowcaster, though I don't know what this means yet.