View Full Version : The Competitive Shadowdancer (Pathfinder, PEACH)

2013-10-05, 04:46 PM
One of the things I love about Pathfinder, and by extent D&D in general, is that Prestige Classes are a flavourful way to specialise in certain things that you wouldn't normally get - For instance, the Shadowdancer's whole 'Shadow Jump' thing.

However, when playing my own Shadowdancer, I found it somewhat lacklustre. Sure, I was able to stealth an impressive amount, but it surprisingly meshed badly with the Rogue base class, and I found myself falling behind with regards to damage. The Shade class feature was awesome, but annoyingly that was the main way I was contributing in fights, since I dropped Sneak Attack dice to take Shadowdancer levels. In addition to that, I would have gotten Improved Evasion massively late, and I couldn't chose Advanced Rogue Talents until a very high level.

While this upgrade is designed to make a Shadowdancer a bit more effective, it does it by emphasising on the Shadowdancer's shadow-manipulation mastery, and enhancing the stealth capability a little.

Also included are the Dimensional Feats, since I'm not actually sure if you need them for Shadow Jump or not, or if they can enhance them at all. If anyone knows I'm wrong and you don't need them, just say and I'll take them out and replace them with something.

The Shadowdancer's Caster Level is equal to their Class level. All Spell-like abilities use the Shadowdancer's Caster Level and Charisma modifier to determine the Concentration check, and 10 + their Charisma modifier+ spell level to determine the DC.

I feel that's a little low, since Caster Level maxes at 10. Should it be total hit dice?

All requirements, hit dice and skills and skill points remain the same, and can be found in the link below to the SRD.

Shadowdancer (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/prestige-classes/core-rulebook/shadowdancer)
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+0| See in Darkness, Evoke Darkness

+1| Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, Shadow Jump

+1| Rogue Trick, Shadow Illusion, Summon Shadow

+1| Shadow Call, Hide in Plain Sight

+2| Dimensional Agility, Improved Uncanny Dodge

+2| Rogue Trick, Defensive Roll

+2| Slippery Mind, Dimensional Assault

+3| Shadow Power, Dimensional Dervish, Improved Evasion

+3| Rogue Trick, Reality Crafting, Dimensional Manoeuvres

+3| Dimensional Savant, Shadow Master[/table]

See in Darkness
The Shadowdancer gets Darkvision 60ft. If they already have Darkvision, it increases by 30ft. At third level, they may see in magical darkness of any level. At fifth level, they get Blindsense 60ft, and at tenth they get Blindsight 60ft.

Because Shadowdancers being blind in shadows at first level only is silly. Minor boost at higher levels because it makes thematic sense that they start to rely less on their eyes in total darkness.

Evoke Darkness
The Shadowdancer may cast Darkness once per day per level in Shadowdancer. At third level, this may be cast as Deeper Darkness instead.

The Shadowdancer doesn't actually have a way to create shadow for it to use unless you use Shadow Power, which is severely wrong in my opinion. A maximum of ten times per day might seem like a lot, but it is only a second (and then third) level spell.

At second level, the Shadowdancer gets Evasion, as a Rogue. If they already have Evasion, they may choose a Rogue Talent or Ninja Trick they qualify for (see below).

Because if you're a Rogue, one of the logical base progression choices, you will hate second level normally. This gives Rogues and Ninjas a little compensation.

Uncanny Dodge
At second level, a Shadowdancer cannot be caught flat-footed, even by invisible foes. They still lose their Dexterity bonus to their AC if immobilised or feinted. If the Shadowdancer already has Uncanny Dodge, they instead get Improved Uncanny Dodge.

Same as normal.

Shadow Jump
At second level, the Shadowdancer may cast Dimension Door as a spell-like ability, except the Shadowdancer may only travel a total of 40ft per day with this ability, doubling every two levels, up to 640ft per day at 10th level. Each jump counts as a ten-foot increment, no matter how small. This is part of a move action, and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Here's the second big change for the Shadowdancer. They get Shadow Jump two levels early, and one more doubling of amounts per day. I did this because it is the main thing a Shadowdancer does, and it seemed like waiting four levels for it was disappointing.
Also, I have it here as casting Dimension Door, whereas Pathfinder's Shadowdancers move as if by Dimension Door spells. I'm not entirely sure if there's a difference here.

Rogue Trick
At third, sixth and ninth level, a Shadowdancer learns a Rogue Talent or Ninja Trick, chosen from relevant lists. If they have any Rogue or Ninja levels, these stack with the Shadowdancer levels for determining if the Shadowdancer may certain Rogue Talents or Ninja Tricks with a minimum level or Advanced Rogue Talents or Master Ninja Tricks.
At tenth level, the Shadowdancer learns an Advanced Rogue Talent or Master Ninja Trick.

Three guesses as to how I named this ability. So this was pretty much to fix the disconnect between Shadowdancer and Rogue abilities. This lets Rogue 5/Shadowdancer 6 characters choose Advanced Talents. Ninja Tricks were given because really it depends on what sort of Shadowdancer you want to be.

Shadow Illusion
At third level, the Shadowdancer may cast Silent Image a number of times per day equal to one plus half their Shadowdancer levels rounded down. At fifth level, this becomes Minor Image. At eighth level, this becomes Major Image.

Silent Image is nice, but again it's just a first level spell. You're meant to be an illusion specialist, in a way, skilled in trickery and so on. As such, this way you can actually stand on a decent level compared to Wizards and their higher tier Illusion spells. Overall, this gives you six uses per day of a third level spell at tenth level.

Summon Shadow
At third level, the Shadowdancer is able to turn their shadow into an undead Shade. As the Shade is actually a part of the Shadowdancer, it cannot create spawn and its alignment matches the Shadowdancer's. The Shade receives +4 on Will Saves against Positive energy, and takes half damage from non-Force magic. It cannot be turned or commanded. At level 7, this bonus increases to +8.

The Shade is a part of the Shadowdancer, and so they have the same Base Saves and BAB. The Shade has the ability scores and skills listed in the bestiary. The Shade has 1/2 the HP of the Shadowdancer. The Shade and Shadowdancer are one being, and so they can instantly share knowledge, vision and so on. The Shade gets +10 to its Disguise check to pretend to be the Shadowdancer's shadow.

If the Shade dies or is dismissed, the Shadowdancer gains a permanent negative level, Fort Save DC 15 to negate. The Shadowdancer is then without a shadow for the next thirty days, after which they may make a Shade once more.

There isn't much reworking here, other than the flavour aspect of the Shade being the Shadowdancer's own shadow, and the lack of a shadow for thirty days after it dies. It gets a little bigger bonus at higher levels against Positive energy, and that's it.

Shadow Call
At fourth level, a Shadowdancer can use Shadow Conjuration once per day, plus an additional time at sixth, eighth and tenth level. At seventh level, this becomes Greater Shadow Conjuration.

Only change here is level seven instead of ten for Greater Shadow Conjuration. Overall, four uses of a seventh level ability at level 10, as normal

Hide in Plain Sight
At fourth level, a Shadowdancer can use the Stealth skill even while being observed, as long as they are at most 10ft away from an area of dim light or total darkness.
In addition, while in an area of dim light or darkness, any magic items that the Shadowdancer is wearing or carrying cannot be discovered with Detect Magic, or with Arcane Sight, regardless of if the Shadowdancer is making a Stealth roll or not.

Next big change, level four for HiPS. This helps spread the really interesting stuff around and make you want to take the class a bit longer. It's no longer a dip, but something you have to think about more. The additional bit just helps the Shadowdancer hide from casters a bit better.

Dimensional Agility (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/dimensional-agility)
At fifth level, the Shadowdancer gains the Feat of the same name.

Again, say if I don't need.

Improved Uncanny Dodge
At fifth level, the Shadowdancer cannot be flanked, unless the attacker has four more Rogue levels than the target has Shadowdancer levels. If the Shadowdancer already has Improved Uncanny Dodge from another class, those class levels stack to determine the minimum Rogue level.

No changes here guv'ner

Defensive Roll
At sixth level, the Shadowdancer gets the Advanced Rogue Talent of the same name. If they already have this Talent, they may select another (or a Ninja Trick) that they qualify for. In addition, they get +2 to their Reflex Save.

A Reflex Save boost because Defensive Roll is quite situational. Also, a minor interesting note - The standard Shadowdancer can use Defensive Roll as the Rogue talent of the same name. This means they can also take the Rogue Talent and use it twice per day. Just interesting. Here, that potential question is avoided. It's also one level later, just because that's how things worked when spaced out.

Dimensional Assault (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/dimensional-assault)
At seventh level, the Shadowdancer gets the Feat of the same name. In addition to this, whenever the Shadowdancer uses Shadow Jump and appears next to an enemy, that enemy is counted as flatfooted against the Shadowdancer until that enemy's next turn.

While the Feat may not actually be needed in the end, the rest helps the Shadowdancer get Sneak Attacks if they're a Rogue or Ninja, or just hit if they're not. Because you're going to be pretty surprised if someone appears next to you like that.

Slippery Mind
At seventh level, the Shadowdancer gets the Advanced Rogue Talent of the same name. If they already have this Talent, they may select another (or a Ninja Trick) that they qualify for. In addition, they get +2 to their Will Save.

Another meh Advanced Rogue Talent that gets a minor boost in this reworking. Same point as Defensive Roll though, a Rogue could potentially take it twice. Why not just give them the Advanced Rogue Talent instead of saying 'it works the same'?

Shadow Power
At eight level, the Shadowdancer may use Shadow Evocation twice per day, plus an additional time at tenth level. At tenth level, this becomes Greater Shadow Evocation.

One extra use per day, since I thought just twice was a little disappointing, and Greater because it's not exactly gamebreaking. A Sorcerer can do so much worse and cast it more often. Overall, three uses of a seventh level spell per day.

Dimensional Dervish (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/dimensional-dervish)
At eighth level, the Shadowdancer gets the Feat of the same name.

Maybe these weren't needed, but because my Shadowdancer casts Dimension Door, they now are? Shrug.

Improved Evasion
At eighth level, the Shadowdancer gets the Advanced Rogue Talent of the same name. If they already have this Talent, they may select another (or a Ninja Trick) that they qualify for.

Slightly earlier because waiting until at least 15th level for Improved Evasion hurts, especially for Ninjas and Rogues.

Dimensional Manoeuvres (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/dimensional-maneuvers)
At ninth level, the Shadowdancer gets the Feat of the same name.

Same as usual

Reality Crafting
At ninth level, the Shadowdancer becomes more skilled with illusory spells. They become 20% more real, to a maximum of 80% real. This applies to Shadow Evocation, Shadow Conjuration and their Greater forms, no matter whether they are the Shadowdancer's class abilities, spells, or cast from a successful UMD check.
In addition, they get the Spell Focus: Illusion Feat, and can apply the bonus to spell-like abilities gained with the Shadowdancer class.

This helps differentiate the Shadowdancer's illusions from the standard fare, buffing them slightly to help against being made irrelevant by the party spellcaster.

Dimensional Savant (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/dimensional-savant)
At tenth level, the Shadowdancer gets the Feat of the same name.

Last of the Dimensional Feat tree. This ability is gold for a Rogue - You can flank with yourself!

Shadow Master
At tenth level, whenever the Shadowdancer is in an area of dim light or lower, they gain DR 10/- and a +2 luck bonus to all Saves. In addition, they may use the Evoke Darkness class feature as a swift action, and whenever they score a critical hit against a foe in an area of dim light or darkness, that foe becomes blinded for 1d6 rounds.

Same as normal, except for the Evoke Darkness-as-swift-action clause.

So, what do people think? Hopefully this makes the Shadowdancer an interesting and potentially worthwhile choice, able to compete against Pathfinder's buffed base classes.

If it's too powerful, please tell me why you think so. It is quite a bit more versatile with regards to spell-like abilities, but if you think it's too much, or perhaps invalidates going straight-Rogue or something, tell me what you think could be done to fix it.

I would have liked to include Perform (Dance) in there somewhere, but I honestly have no idea how I could do that. If people have any ideas, let me know.

2013-10-05, 04:55 PM

Immediately After Posting:

Fixed that bloody table. Forgot the ending tag.
Some minor fixes made that were small oversights when typing it out.

2013-10-07, 03:52 AM
It seems nifty, but not really overpowered at all. Two mechanical things: I would explicitly call Evoke Shadow's spells SLAs, and the shadow companion is a little bit strange for 3.5e esque mechanics. Does it have the SRD feats, or your feats? Since it has your HD, it would make sense to me if it used your feats and skill ranks, but its own racial skill bonuses and ability scores.

While it gives you a lot of mobility with your charges and full attacks, and doesn't deny you a lot of the rogue options, there isn't much real melee damage potential here that I can see (at least compared to the utility of something like a Pouncebarian dip with the Twisted Charge skill trick). Sneak attack dice or Shadow Hand maneuvers could deal with that if it ends up being a problem, but in a lot of games it might be fine.

Take this with a grain of salt, as I don't know much about PF specifically.