View Full Version : The Shadow Savant (Psionics/Shadowcasting class)

PairO'Dice Lost
2008-12-05, 06:56 PM
I've always been a fan of both alternate magic systems and Mystic Theurge-esque classes that combine more than one system. This class is an attempt to combine the original "alternate magic" system, psionics, with an underappreciated system, shadow magic--psionics doesn't get enough support besides "As X spell, but psionic" and the shadowcaster is widely seen as being too underpowered for use.

This was previously posted on the Wizards forums, but it's been a long time since I did so; after I showed it to one of my players, he wanted to try it out, and I wanted to get some more feedback before it actually sees play. It's been tweaked from its original incarnation, streamlining some of the mechanics and adjusting the layout, so if you saw it over on the other boards it might be worth another look. :smallwink:

Shadow Savant

"Yes, I do use my mental talents, yes, I manipulate the power of shadow, no, I do not use that crutch commonly called arcane magic. Congratulations, you have discovered the arts of the shadow savant. I must tell you, though, that my talents are not for the faint of heart...if you object to the manipulation of shadow, I suggest you remove any critical thoughts from your mind before I remove them for you."

—Davrais of the Black Mind, shadow savant extraordinaire

There are three things that mostly everyone believes to hold true concerning psionics and magic—psionicists must use focus and discipline to manifest powers, powers draw on the Astral Plane and the Astral Plane only, and manipulating shadow is only done by arcane casters. Well, the first assumption is broken by wilders, the second by any psion with plane shift, and the third by many non-arcane classes, but only the shadow savant flies in the face of all three—a psionic class that draws on instinct, emotion, and shadow to power its abilities. The source of power for shadow savants is the id, the subconscious realm of instinct, emotion, and all of the basest urges of the psyche. Where psions keep a tight rein on their minds to manifest powers and the wilder channels his emotions, the shadow savant gives in completely to the maelstrom of unconscious desires that is the id to gain power.

However, this does not come without a price—the darker nature of this part of the mind links a shadow savant to the Plane of Shadow where any other manifester uses the Astral Plane. From the first time a shadow savant manifests a shadow power, the raging chaos of the mind combined with the insidious power of shadow works a slow transformation on him—a portion of his mind, that portion that deals with emotion, empathy, and everything that makes him able to interact with others, splits off into a dark reflection of his own mind, and as this dark self sucks his humanity into itself, the shadow savant gradually takes on the traits of shadow creature until the subconscious is independent and the shadow savant is a cold, analytical shell of his former self.

Making a Shadow Savant
Shadow savants aren’t made, but rather born. It is not well understood how one becomes a shadow savant—there is simply some “mis-wiring” in a prospective psionic character and the soon-to-be shadow savant connects with the deeper recesses of his mind. The first time he manifests a power, he connects with the Plane of Shadow, and the rest is inevitable. Shadow savants have more versatility than power, as they have the traditional telepathic and transportive powers of a psion combined with the more subtle arts of the shadowcaster, with a few stranger abilities mixed in.

A shadow savant doesn’t have the firepower to blast through waves of enemies, but his familiarity and facility with shadow gives him an uncanny insight into the minds of others; he specializes in manipulation and subtlety rather than displays of power. Like a shadowcaster, a shadow savant works best in a support role, but his array of psionic powers gives him some staying power.

Abilities: Wisdom is the most important ability score for a shadow savant, as it determines the Difficulty Class for any saving throw of one of his powers. Constitution is also important, both for the extra hit points and the fact that many class abilities depend on gaining and holding a psionic focus and Concentration’s key ability is Constitution.

Races: Surprisingly, none of the psionic races have a tendency to become shadow savants; perhaps their natural psionic talent insulates them from the power of shadow and channels them onto the normal psionic path. Of the common races, no one race favors shadow savants over any other, though many subterranean versions of them embrace shadow savants.

Alignment: Most shadow savants come in two types—those who start out chaotic, having given into their primal instincts to gain power and later encountering shadow, and those who have already become emotionless and shade-like who draw on their id only unconsciously. As time goes on, shadow savants become more and more dead emotionally, meaning mustering feelings of charity and respect for others becomes more and more difficult--regardless of his ethical bent, a shadow savant is focused on himself too much to be good and altruistic, although if he already had good tendencies he might be able to resist becoming evil.

Starting Gold: 5d4 x 10 (125 gp).

Starting Age: As sorcerer

Any nongood

Hit Die

Table: The Shadow Savant
{table]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|PP/Day|Powers Known|Max Level
1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Link to Shadows, Shadow Consciousness|2|1|1st
2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Fundamental Mysteries of the Mind|6|1|1st
3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Apprentice Mysteries of the Mind|10|2|1st
4th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Id Reinforcement|15|3|2nd
5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Shadow Servant|21|4|2nd
6th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Apprentice Mysteries of the Mind|29|5|3rd
7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Augmented Mysteries of the Mind|38|5|3rd
8th|+4|+2|+2|+6|Mental Shroud|47|6|4th
9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|Influence of the Id|57|7|4th
10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Initiate Mysteries of the Mind|68|8|5th
11th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Creeping Darkness|82|9|5th
12th|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Improved Mental Shroud|97|10|6th
13th|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Embrace the Darkness|112|11|6th
14th|+7/+2|+4|+4|+9|Shadow Conduit|128|11|7th
15th|+7/+2|+5|+5|+9|Master Mysteries of the Mind|143|12|7th
16th|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Shadow Affinity|166|13|8th
17th|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Perfect Darkness|188|14|8th
18th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Dissociative Identity|210|15|9th
19th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Id Liberation|238|16|9th

Class Skills
The shadow savant’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (psionics, arcane, the planes) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), and Psicraft (Int).

Skill Points at 1st Level
(4 + Int modifier) ×4

Skill Points at Each Additional Level
4 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All the following are class features of the shadow savant:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Shadow savants are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor does not, however, interfere with the manifestation of powers.

Power Points/Day
A shadow savant’s ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points he has available. His base daily allotment of power points is given on Table: The Shadow Savant. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Wisdom score.

Powers Known
A shadow savant begins play knowing one power of your choice. Each time he achieves a new level, he unlocks the knowledge of new powers. Powers known must be chosen from the Clairsentience, Metacreativity, Psychoportation, or Telepathy discipline, and may be drawn from the psion/wilder power list, the Clairsentience, Metacreativity, Psychoportation, and Telepathy discipline lists, or psionic mantles. The Expanded Knowledge feat does not allow a shadow savant to learn powers from the lists of other disciplines, but he may use it to learn powers from other disciplines on the normal psion/wilder list or from mantles; if he learns powers that deal energy damage, the shadow savant may only use acid or cold damage.. A shadow savant can manifest any power that has a power point cost equal to or lower than his manifester level; the number of times a shadow savant can manifest powers in a day is limited only by his daily power points.

The Difficulty Class for saving throws against shadow savant powers is 10 + the power’s level + the shadow savant’s Wisdom modifier. A shadow savant begins play with the ability to learn 1st-level powers; as he attains higher levels, he may gain the ability to master more complex powers. To learn or manifest a power, a shadow savant must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the power’s level.

Link to Shadows (Ps)
While psions and wilders draw ectoplasm from the Astral Plane, the shadow savant’s subconscious connection to the Plane of Shadow fuels his powers; any psionic effect that would normally draw on the Astral Plane instead draws on the Plane of Shadow for a shadow savant, from teleportation to creating “astral” constructs. Shadow savant powers have different displays than a psion’s powers do; these are described below. In addition, the different qualities of a shadow savant’s powers make them more difficult to identify: the DC of Psicraft checks made to identify powers (or the results of powers) manifested by shadow savants increases by 5, and the DC of Psicraft checks to identify a shadow savant’s power by its display increases by 10.
Auditory: A discordant, minor-key chord just above the threshold of hearing issues from the shadow savant’s vicinity or in the vicinity of the power’s subject (shadow savant’s choice). The sound is slightly piercing, becoming more and more discordant and irritating until everyone within 100 feet can feel their skulls aching from the noise. At the shadow savant’s option, the sound can be limited so that it can be heard only within 15 feet with a successful DC 10 Listen check. Some powers describe unique auditory displays.
Material: The subject or the area is briefly coved by ephemeral, shadowy tendrils—if someone stares at the tendrils for a few moments, they seem to twist and shimmer as if alive. The shadows fade away and disappear after 1 round, regardless of the power’s duration, though during the power’s duration any colors on the target seem dimmer and flatter. Characters with the Psicraft skill can recognize the shadows as being a result of a shadow savant’s power with a DC 10 Psicraft check.
Mental: The minds of creatures within 15 feet of either the shadow savant or the subject (at the shadow savant’s option) become clouded for an instant, causing their senses to be numbed and giving them a momentary headache; neither effect is severe enough to cause any mechanical penalties. At the shadow savant’s option, the effects can persist during the power’s duration as long as the affected creatures are in an area of bright light. Some powers describe unique mental displays.
Olfactory: The pungent, cloying scent of ether causes creatures within 20 feet of the shadow savant to feel drowsy. The odor originates from the shadow savant and spreads to a distance of 20 feet, then fades in less than a second; however, the source of the scent is difficult to pin down, and affected creatures feel slightly colder for the power’s duration.
Visual: The shadow savant’s eyes fade to complete blackness while the power remains in effect. As the power is manifested, the surrounding light within a 5-foot radius dims slightly, suddenly becoming utter darkness the instant the power takes effect and then returning to normal light levels, unless a unique visual display is described.

Shadow Consciousness (Su)
A shadow savant’s connection with the Plane of Shadow has warped his emotions and subconscious enough to create an alternate consciousness inside him. Although most alternate minds, such as those of the synads or schismed minds, are wholly separate, this shadow consciousness is initially still in contact with and dependant upon the shadow savant’s own mind. As such, the shadow mind cannot act independently but can only act in concert with the shadow savant.

For the shadow savant, the psionic focus does not represent intense concentration but rather a link with his shadow consciousness; as such, both the shadow savant himself and his shadow mind may each draw benefits from psionic foci. Mechanically, the shadow savant may maintain two psionic foci at one time. (The shadow savant may use his focus and his shadow mind’s focus interchangeably, but the shadow savant expends his own focus first rather than his shadow mind’s focus by default.) The psionic focus of the shadow consciousness is hereafter referred to simply as the shadow savant’s “shadow focus” and the psionic focus of the shadow savant himself as his “psionic focus.”

Because all of the shadow savant’s emotions and instincts are concentrated in his shadow focus, the shadow savant’s shadow focus is more powerful than a regular psionic focus and so he gains more benefits when expending this focus: When expending his shadow focus, the shadow savant may “take 15” on a Concentration, Psicraft, Move Silently, or Hide check instead of just on a Concentration check.

Fundamental Mysteries of the Mind (Ps)
At 2nd level, the shadow savant learns to tap into his instinctual subconscious, the “id.” The shadow savant uses this connection to manifest his powers; where psions, and to a lesser extent wilders, draw on the ego and superego to control their manifesting, a shadow savant bypasses even the limited control a wilder has to channel the raw power of emotion and instinct through shadow. The trademark ability of the shadow savant is his ability to duplicate the abilities of shadowcasters in drawing energies from the Plane of Shadows—a shadow savant learns a limited number of mysteries that he may manifest as powers.

An enexperienced shadow savant’s connection with shadow is tenuous at best. A 1st-level shadow savant knows a number of fundamental shadow mysteries equal to twice his Wisdom bonus; as he levels, he learns more fundamental mysteries if his Wisdom improves but does not lose mysteries if his wisdom drops below its original score. Instead of paying power points, the shadow savant manifests fundamentals by expending his shadow focus, but they are still treated as powers for purposes of power resistance and other effects that effect powers. Fundamental mysteries manifested as powers gain a mental display

Apprentice Mysteries of the Mind (Ps)
As the shadow savant's hold on his subconscious is refined, a shadow savant gains the ability to manifest more powerful mysteries as powers. At 3rd level, and again at 6th level, a shadow savant chooses one school of apprentice mysteries to learn their mysteries as powers. The shadow savant learns all three mysteries of a given school as powers upon choosing the school, though he might not be able to manifest a given mystery if its level is too high. Mysteries learned do not count against the shadow savant’s maximum number of powers known.

Apprentice mysteries are manifested as normal powers, paying power point costs appropriate to the level of the mystery; they gain both a mental and an audible display. initiate powers gain mental, audible, and visual displays, and master powers gain mental, audible, visual, and material displays.

Id Reinforcement (Ex)
The shadow savant can draw additional power from his subconscious to enhance his vision. At 4th level, as long as a shadow savant maintains his shadow focus, he gains darkvision out to 60 ft. or his existing darkvision range is increased by 60 ft. With this darkvision, the shadow savant may even see through magical darkness. He also gains low-light vision at all times whether he maintains his shadow focus or not. This is an extraordinary ability.

Shadow Servant (Ps)
A 5th-level shadow savant gains the ability to form a twisted version of an astral construct from shadow: a shadow servant. The shadow savant adds astral construct to his list of powers as normal, but he draws his constructs from the Plane of Shadow rather than the Astral Plane.

If he expends his shadow focus when manifesting astral construct, he can replace up the normal menu abilities as follows: Instead of gaining an ability from Menu A, a shadow servant gains the dark template from Tome of Magic; instead of gaining an ability from Menu B, a shadow servant gains the shadow creature template from Manual of the Planes; and instead of gaining an ability from Menu C, a shadow servant gains both templates. Because the shadow material composing them is more volatile, constructs created with this ability are created as if the shadow savant spent two fewer power points to manifest the power (for instance, a shadow savant spending 3 power points could only create a 1st-level astral construct) and the duration is halved.

Augmented Mysteries of the Mind (Ps)
At 7th level, the shadow savant gains the ability to add special augments to his powers (both normal powers and mysteries manifested as powers) by paying additional power points:
If the shadow savant spends an additional 3 points, the power is manifested as if it were affected by the Shadow Cast feat. The shadow savant need not know the Shadow Cast feat to use this ability.
If the shadow savant spends an additional 6 points, the power is manifested as if it were affected by the Line of Shadow feat. The shadow savant need not know the Line of Shadow feat to use this ability, and the normal daily use restriction on Line of Shadow does not apply.
If the shadow savant spends an additional 10 points, the power is manifested as if it were affected by the Burrowing Power feat. The shadow savant need not know the Burrowing Power feat, but if he does not know it, this ability may only be applied to mysteries he manifests as powers.
To use these augments on a power, the shadow savant must expend his shadow focus, regardless of whether he uses one, two, or all three of them.

Mental Shroud (Ps)
An 8th-level shadow savant gains the ability to protect his conscious mind with his subconscious mind to prevent hostile effects from affecting him. As long as he maintains his shadow focus, the shadow savant may expend his psionic focus to gain an extra save against any mind-affecting effect of 3rd level or lower targeting him, taking the better of the two results. At 12th level, as long as he maintains his shadow focus a shadow savant may expend his psionic focus to gain an extra save against any mind-affecting effect of 6th level or lower.

Influence of the Id (Ps)
A shadow savant learns to influence the id of others by affecting them with his own. By expending his shadow focus, a shadow savant may manifest a double-range id insinuation as a swift action, even if he is dazed, confused, nauseated, or stunned. (Effectively, the power is treated as if affected by the Unconditional Power, Enlarge Power, and Quicken Power feats even if the shadow savant does not have those feats and even though id insinuation is normally not a valid target for the Unconditional Power feat.) The shadow savant must still pay power points to manifest the power, but only needs to pay power points equal to the normal cost of id insinuation rather than the cost of an enlarged, quickened, unconditional id insinuation (17 PP). A shadow savant may augment this power as normal for id insinuation. This ability may be used a number of times per day equal to 2 + the shadow savant’s Wisdom bonus.

Initiate Mysteries of the Mind (Ps)
With more experience, the shadow savant's connection with shadow is further refined. At 10th level, a shadow savant chooses one school of initiate mysteries to learn their mysteries as powers. This ability functions as the Apprentice Mysteries of the Mind ability, except that initiate powers gain mental, audible, and visual displays.

Creeping Darkness (Ex)
As the shadow savant taps more deeply and more frequently into his subconscious and into shadow, he becomes more like a being of shadow as more and more of his emotions are focused in his shadow consciousness rather than in his own. An 11th level shadow savant takes a -4 penalty on all Charisma-related skills and Charisma checks, but gains resistance to fire 10 and resistance to cold 10, as well as DR 5/magic.

Embrace the Darkness (Ex)
The shadow savant loses more of his humanity (or dragon-ness, or outsider-ness, or whatever) as he takes on more shadow characteristics. A 13th level shadow savant takes a further -4 penalty on all Charisma-related skills and Charisma checks (for a total of -8), but no longer needs to sleep, eat, drink, or breathe and takes only half damage (rounded up) from energy drain, ability damage, and ability drain effects.

Shadow Conduit (Ps)
At 14th level, the shadow savant gains the ability to draw power from the Plane of Shadow to duplicate powers in the same way arcane casters may use the shadow conjuration and shadow evocation line of spells. As a standard action, the shadow savant may expend his shadow focus and attempt to manifest a power (or manifest a mystery he does not know as a power) that is not one of his powers known. The shadow savant must pay the normal power point cost for the power, but like shadow conjuration and shadow evocation, there is a chance that the powers will not manifest because they are only figments drawn from the shadow savant’s subconscious. Powers manifested through this ability have a base percentage chance to manifest of 20%, with a 5% increase in the chance to manifest per 2 extra power points spent on the power beyond its base cost.

For example, if a shadow savant pays 19 points to try to manifest a 1st level power, it has a 65% chance of working (20 + 5*((19-1)/2)) whereas if he tries to manifest a 9th level power by paying 19 power points, it will have only a 25% chance of working (20 + 5*((19-17)/2). If the power in question has any numeric effects, those effects are reduced to the appropriate percentage of the total; if it has any all-or-nothing effects, they have the appropriate percentage chance to take effect. Whether or not the power manifests successfully, the shadow focus is expended, and the target(s) have a save as normal against the power manifested.

Master Mysteries of the Mind (Ps)
At 15th level, the shadow savant's psionic control over darkness has reached its apex. The shadow savant chooses one school of master mysteries to learn their mysteries as powers. This ability functions as the Initiate Mysteries of the Mind ability, except that master powers gain mental, audible, visual, and material displays.

Shadow Affinity (Ex)
As time progresses, a shadow savant becomes better able to manipulate shadow to his will. In an area of shadowy illumination, a 16th-level shadow savant gains three benefits. First, he gains the ability to Hide in Plain Sight like a rogue. Second, he gains a +3 deflection bonus to AC and a +3 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls and rolls to confirm a critical threat. Third, he gains a +2 morale bonus on all saves except those against abilities with the light descriptor, against which he takes a -2 morale penalty.

Perfect Darkness (Ex)
At last the shadow savant becomes one with shadow, losing all vestiges of emotion and empathy as his id becomes an entirely independent mind within him. A 17th level shadow savant takes a further -4 penalty on all Charisma-related skills and Charisma checks, for a final total of -12, but automatically makes his save against Illusion spells and spell-like abilities, takes only half damage from abilities with the [shadow] or [darkness] descriptors, and gains immunity to flanking.

Dissociative Identity (Su)
When a shadow savant reaches 18th level, his subconscious id has grown into a full-fledged independent personality. As 2 consecutive full-round actions, a shadow savant may separate his shadow consciousness from himself to form an independent being. The shadow savant must expend his shadow focus to do so and may not recover it while the shadow consciousness is separated from him. The shadow consciousness has the stats of an undead greater shadow, with the following changes: it lacks undead traits, the create spawn ability, and the strength damage ability; it has neutral alignment; it has id insinuation, thought shield, and telekinetic thrust as at-will psi-like abilities; it is continuously sense linked to the shadow savant (vision and hearing); and it may not attack physically.

If the shadow consciousness is destroyed while it is outside the shadow savant, the shadow savant takes 4 points each of Wisdom and Charisma damage and he may not regain his shadow focus or use this ability for 1 hour; otherwise, the shadow savant may use another 2 consecutive full-round actions to recall the shadow consciousness to him as long as they are within 1 mile of each other. There is no duration limit for this ability, but for every hour they are separated, the shadow savant takes 2 points of Wisdom damage and his shadow consciousness takes 2d6 damage; as long as they can continue healing this damage, they can stay separated. After the shadow savant reincorporates his shadow mind, he may not use this ability for 5 minutes per hour (or fraction thereof) that they remained separated.

Id Liberation (Ps)
Now that the shadow consciousness has gained a measure of freedom and separation from the shadow savant’s own mind, the shadow savant can work together with it to enhance the shadow savant’s reflexes and instincts better than the shadow savant’s conscious mind could. As long as he maintains his shadow focus, the shadow savant is treated as being under the effects of a schism power. In addition, he gains the ability to manifest hypercognition, catfall, synesthete, sustenance, and psychofeedback on himself at will as psi-like abilities if he expends his shadow focus.

Apotheosis (Su)
While the shadow savant had already become like a denizen of shadow, at 20th level he literally becomes a shadow creature. A 20th-level shadow savant gains the outsider (native) type, immunity to any effect targeting emotions, and elemental immunities, though he may still be resurrected as a creature of his previous type. In addition, a shadow savant radiates shadowy illumination in a 5-ft radius around himself in any conditions brighter than torchlight, and when he is in shadow his square is treated as being in an area of magical darkness for purposes or determining whether darkvision can detect him.

Playing a Shadow Savant
Shadow savants are driven to move, to fight, to conquer, to explore, all because of the insidious shadow-self that their powers create. The internal conflict between the chaotic emotional storm and the oppressive, cloying numbness of shadow warring inside them leaves them restless and wanting to keep active

Religion: Religion is the last thing on a shadow savant’s mind (no pun intended). Like shadowcasters, their powers tap into an impersonal power source that does not want, need, or acknowledge worship; like psions, their attention is mostly focused inwards.

Other Classes: Shadow savants get along very well with manifesters and mystery users, as well as any arcane or divine casters who can cast shadow spells—this doesn’t mean, however, that the feeling is mutual. Shadowcasters and those like them just don’t “get” shadow savants, because shadow seems to use them rather than the other way around. Manifesters look down on them with sympathy, not understanding that their shadow connection is a symptom of, rather than a crutch for, their powers. Arcane casters don’t care either way, and divine casters all too often assume shadow savants are irredeemably evil because of their personality and abilities, not realizing that shadow magic isn’t inherently evil. Other classes are fine with shadow savants as long as they’re allies rather than enemies.

Combat: Although you don't cast mysteries as well as a shadowcaster or manifest powers as well as a psion, you have the ability to do both. In terms of combat, you probably work like a rogue, manifesting opportunistically from the shadows while tanks and casters stand out in the open. Though your offensive abilities are limited, you have many options other than direct attack: Your mind-affecting abilities are formidable, and you have many esoteric abilities no one would think to counter.

Advancement: Continuing development isn’t so much a function of improving your abilities as one of your abilities improving you—your shadow mind is constantly growing, expanding, granting new abilities and spurring you on to new heights, and you just have to survive the journey.

Shadow Savants in the World
"I once ran into one of those dark psionicists. Now I know what I’m doing, usually; I make a career of taking down rogue magic-users and psionicists. I figured, well, he looks like a shadowcaster, he acts like a shadowcaster, he casts like a shadowcaster, he must be a shadowcaster. This was all very well and good, until I tried to read his thoughts—I looked in there and...nothing. Roiling darkness where his emotions should have been, and it looked like his mind itself sensed me. Then he whipped around, smashed me into a wall with his mind, and almost froze me to death. If you’ve got any sense at all, you won’t mess with them either."

—Assassin wishing to remain anonymous

Daily Life: The life of a shadow savant is unpredictable at best. Shadow savants have to deal both with their shadow mind’s insistent urges to do or find something and the fact that as their personalities change they become more alien and their priorities change. No two shadow savants are alike.

Notables: Because shadow savants have the traits of both shadowcasters and psions, it is rare for a given shadow savant to be recognized as such unless a witness is very familiar with either class and realizes that the shadow savant doesn’t quite match up to expectations. Having said that, some famous shadowcasters and psions were actually shadow savants trying to blend in.

Organizations: Shadow savants have no organization of their own, instead joining other organizations that appreciate their talents. Because a shadow savant of a given level only knows the mysteries of a shadowcaster of much lower level, they are frequently underestimated by other mystery users, which helps immensely when climbing up the ranks.

NPC Reactions: There is no common opinion about shadow savants, as there are no common shadow savants. NPCs are likely to simply mistake a shadow savant for either a shadowcaster or a wilder and treat him accordingly.

Shadow Savant Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (psionics), Knowledge (the planes), or Knowledge (arcane) may research shadow savants to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs. Bardic Knowledge checks reveal the same information.

DC 10: Shadow savants are a strange type of psion, drawing on the Plane of Shadow rather than the Astral Plane. The side effects of their powers are different from those of a normal psion.

DC 15: Shadow savants have the ability to use shadow mysteries like shadowcasters, although they manifest them as powers.

DC 20: Shadow savants connect to the Plane of Shadow using their subconscious or “id”, which eventually splits off into a separate personality.

DC 30: Because a shadow savant’s id splits off from his own mind, he gains benefits from the emotional, instinctual portion of his mind while becoming more cold and analytical due to the influence of shadow, eventually taking on the traits of a shadow creature.

Shadow Savants in the Game
Shadow savants are reclusive and secretive, as they are frequently misunderstood and their unique talents tend to create loners anyways. Because of this, shadow savants are simple to bring into your game as long as you already have psionics or shadow magic; you can retrofit psions or shadowcasters to be shadow savants, and even a wizard who tends toward Illusion(shadow) spells could have been a shadow savant.


There it is. Any and all feedback appreciated.

PairO'Dice Lost
2008-12-07, 03:57 AM
30 views and no replies? Aw, surely this isn't that bad. :smallwink: No one has anything to say about it, even something negative?

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-01-06, 06:56 PM
One more bump for feedback....

Fax Celestis
2009-01-06, 07:03 PM
Honestly, I've got no feedback. I like it, despite it's near-Erudite-lite-ness: I have a soft spot for shadowcasting. PS: you might like my Penumbracarnate.