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    Default [3.5/PF] The Darkling, a soulknife / shadowcaster [LoB, PrC, Psionic]

    (Authors Note: Items in parenthesis are for PF)

    The Darkling


    “You may be lost and alone with nothing to defend yourself in the dark, I refuse to be defenseless.”
    -Erickson Amyl master of the night

    The Darklings first appearance was in the mighty kingdom of Galifar. Before King Jarot’s death, Erickson Amyl a shadow caster with a talent for psionics was separated from his troops, alone lost in the night a shadowy figure crossed his path and warned him that the path to Galifar would be soaked in blood and a great darkness would fall upon this world… the figure told Erickson he could help him survive what was to come but he would have to pay a great sacrifice, in return for new found power Erickson would have to not only attune to the plane of shadows as he did so many years ago but he would have to attune his mind to the shadowy figures as well, a task he might not be able to with stand.

    Few have what it takes to fully embrace the night, to attune your mind as well as your body. Darklings are shadow casters who have attuned their bodies to the plane of shadows as well as their minds to the creatures who live there, to become a darkling one must first learn to manifest a mind blade and then learn to control the arcane forces of shadows, once this is done the shadow caster must then give his mind to the darkness, to fully embrace the realm of shadows.
    Hit Die: d8 (d10 PF)

    Requirements:
    Skills: Knowledge (planes) 6 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks, Stealth 8 ranks
    Feats: Weapon Finesse, any metashadow feat
    Maneuvers: Must be capable of initiating maneuvers, including a 1st level strike and stance.
    Mysteries: Caster level 5th
    Special: Mind blade, Throw Mind blade, Umbral sight.

    The Darkling
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Mystery Use

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2(+1)
    |
    +2(+1)
    |
    +0
    |Shadow blade, umbral sight|+1 level of mystery-using class

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3(+1)
    |
    +3(+1)
    |
    +0(+1)
    |Free draw shadow blade, blade of night +1d8|+1 level of mystery-using class

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3(+2)
    |
    +3(+2)
    |
    +1
    |Embrace the shadows|+1 level of mystery-using class

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4(+2)
    |
    +4(+2)
    |
    +1
    |Shadow consumption I|+1 level of mystery-using class

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4(+3)
    |
    +4(+3)
    |
    +1(+2)
    |Hide in plain sight|+1 level of mystery-using class

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +5(+3)
    |
    +5(+3)
    |
    +2
    |Blade of night +2d8|+1 level of mystery-using class

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +5(+4)
    |
    +5(+4)
    |
    +2
    |Shadow consumption II|+1 level of mystery-using class

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +6(+4)
    |
    +6(+4)
    |
    +2(+3)
    |Terror in the dark|+1 level of mystery-using class

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +6(+5)
    |
    +6(+5)
    |
    +3
    |Shadow consumption III|+1 level of mystery-using class

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +7(+5)
    |
    +7(+5)
    |
    +3
    |One with the dark, blade of night +3d8|+1 level of mystery-using class[/table]

    Maneuvers
    {table=head]Level|Known|Readied|Stances
    1st|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0

    2nd|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    0

    3rd|
    0
    |
    1
    |
    0

    4th|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    0

    5th|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    1

    6th|
    1
    |
    1
    |
    0

    7th|
    0
    |
    0
    |
    0

    8th|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    0

    9th|
    0
    |
    1
    |
    0

    10th|
    1
    |
    0
    |
    0
    [/table]

    Skills: (PF:Acrobatics, Intimidate, Knowledge (the planes, psionics, arcana), Perception, Stealth)
    (3.5) Balance, Concentration, Craft, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (the planes, psionics, arcana), Listen, Move Silently, Spellcraft, Spot.
    Skill Points: 2 + Int mod

    Class Features:

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The darkling gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

    Maneuvers Known and Readied: At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th level, a darkling gains new maneuvers known from the Black Heron, Steel Serpent, and Thrashing Dragon disciplines. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. You add your full darkling levels to your initiator level to determine your total initiator level and your highest-level maneuvers known.
    At levels 3rd, 6th and 9th, you gain additional maneuvers readied per day.

    Stances Known: At 5th level, you learn a new martial stance from the Black Heron, Steel Serpent, and Thrashing Dragon disciplines. You must meet the stance’s prerequisites to learn it.

    Mysteries: At each level, a darkling gains additional mysteries per day and access to new mysteries as if he had also gained a level in whatever mystery-using class he belonged to before he added the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus feats, metashadow or item creation feats, and so on). This essentially means that he adds the level of darkling to the level of whatever mystery-using class the character has, and then determines mysteries per day, mysteries known, fundamentals, how his mysteries are cast (spells, spell-like abilities, or supernatural abilities), and caster level accordingly.
    If a character had more than one mystery-using class before he became a darkling, he must decide to which class he adds the new level of darkling for the purpose of determining mysteries per day, mysteries known, and caster level.
    If the character did not belong to a mystery-using class before taking this prestige class, he does not gain caster levels.

    Shadow Blade (Su): The darkling’s mind is permanently connected to the Plane of Shadow by his bond with the essence of a creature of darkness and fear. His mind blade is profoundly affected by this, resulting in it forever becoming a blade of ephemeral shadow and writhing smoke. This supernatural change results in the shadow blade inflicting an additional 1d6 points of cold damage when used. In other aspects it functions as a traditional mind blade in regards to prerequisites for abilities, feats, or prestige classes. The darkling may add his class level to his soulknife level to determine the potency of his mind blade’s enhancement bonus and weapon qualities, as well as for the purposes of gaining the shape mind blade class feature. As the shadow blade is comprised of both his mental energies and the energies that he wields as a shadowcaster, he may add his Intelligence modifier to the weapon’s damage in addition to his Strength modifier, and may always use Weapon Finesse with his shadow blade.

    Umbral Sight (Su): Levels in darkling progress the character’s Umbral Sight class feature from his previous levels in shadowcaster.

    Free Draw Shadow Blade (Su): As the soulknife class feature, free draw mind blade. See XPH.

    Blade of Night: As the darkling’s mind blade becomes a conduit for darkness and shadow, he is capable of opening a dread gateway within his mind to cause this darkness to surge through him and through the open conduit that is his shadow blade. The darkling may charge his shadow blade with this power as a move action, and later when needed, he may release this power as a swift action as part of an attack or a full round attack. This bonus damage applies on each attack the character makes for one round. This class feature supersedes and replaces the darkling’s psychic strike class feature, stacking with that class feature (if they possess it) to determine the number of dice that Blade of Night adds to the damage of an attack. Unlike psychic strike, this hungry and chilling darkness inflicts cold damage, and can injure creatures that are otherwise immune to mind-affecting abilities or creatures that are normally not subject to extra damage from sneak attack or critical hits. Additionally, Blade of Night is added to each attack that the character makes during the round it is activated on, and is treated as psychic strike for any prerequisite conditions.

    Embrace the Shadows (Su): At 3rd level, the darkling learns a signature stance of his new existence being half in shadow. This ability is a supernatural ability and a stance of 3rd level. To enter this stance requires a swift action, and the character forgoes any stance that the character currently is using to use Embrace the Shadows. While in this stance, the character’s form and features change, his skin becoming mottled heavily with inky black shadow and his eyes, hair, nails, and teeth turn pitch black. He gains a +1 circumstance bonus per darkling level to his Intimidate checks due to his fearsome appearance and he automatically fails any Handle Animal check he makes due to his unnatural form. Additionally, this stance improves the darkling's natural armor bonus to AC by +2, and he gains a +2 bonus to saving throws as his form becomes very resilient. Lastly, he gains a +2 circumstance bonus to Stealth checks per darkling level while in this stance, and due to the shadow altering his mental energies into a cold, alien mindset, his mysteries use his Intelligence modifier to determine their saving throw DC. This stance is tiring for the mind to maintain, however, as the strain of maintaining one’s sanity while having a shadowy alien consciousness so close to one’s own mind challenges the darkling. He may only maintain this stance for a number of rounds equal to his Wisdom modifier +5 per encounter; if this is exceeded, the character does not release from this stance but instead acts as if under a confusion spell until the end of the encounter.

    Shadow Consumption (Su): As the darkling continues to further his delving into the darkness of the Shadow Plane through the open conduit in his mind, his form becomes infused with its essence. While in Embrace the Shadow stance, as the darkling’s connection to the Shadow Plane intensifies so does the merits he receives. At 4th level, his vital processes become suspended partially, transmuting his blood into thick, shadowy fluid. He uses his Intelligence modifier in place of his Constitution modifier for hit points and Fortitude saves. At 7th level, his flesh becomes more insubstantial, allowing him to slip through reality ever so slightly to appear and disappear at his discretion; the darkling permanently gains the use of the Flicker mystery at will. Finally at 9th level, the darkling gains the use of the Umbral Body mystery at will as his flesh takes on the ephemeral nature of shadow itself.

    Hide in Plain Sight (Su): As per the ranger class feature, save that it is a supernatural ability. The darkling pulls concealing shadow to bend perception around them.

    Terror in the Dark (Su): The darkling’s power lies in his ability to strike with shadow and fear both, rending mind and body with his actions to feed the entity the terror it craves. This is a 6th level stance, and to enter it requires a swift action, forgoing whatever stance he is currently in. While in this stance, the darkling may Hide as a swift action and he may cast one mystery per round (as a swift action) as part of full attack action or during the initiation of a martial strike.

    One with the Dark: Upon reaching 10th level, the darkling’s bond to the plane of Shadow is complete, as the shadow that he controls consumes him, reshaping him as a being of that world. The shadowy, alien mind that has been intruding into his own mind has formed an understanding at last, and the danger to the darkling’s sanity is gone. The character’s type changes to Outsider (native), and he gains the benefits of being in his Embrace the Shadow stance at all times (he loses Embrace the Shadows as a stance and gains its abilities and his shadow consumption abilities as racial traits instead, without fear of sanity loss). Additionally, he gains cold resistance of 10 and DR 10/silver. He is considered a native of both his home plane and of the plane of Shadow.
    ---

    This is a prestige class using the Libram of Battle that a friend and myself created, using a variant of the Soulknife we're using in our games. We add the Warblade's maneuver progression and recovery mechanic, for simplicity's sake, and grant it access to Steel Serpent, Thrashing Dragon, Riven Hourglass, and Solar Wind. Additionally, they get bonus fighter feats or psionic feats on 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels and Wisdom to AC while in Light armor or no armor at 2nd level.

    As for Shadowcasters, we use Mouseferatu's fix. Change skills, give it mysteries in light armor without ASF. Done. Simple and easy.
    Last edited by ErrantX; 2010-11-27 at 11:43 AM.
    Chris Bennett
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF] The Darkling, a soulknife / shadowcaster [LoB, PrC, Psionic]

    I really like the concept. I like the shadowcaster fluff and I love the soulknife. If not for the custom disciplines, I'd weave this into my game.

    Well, the name is kinda sucky as well.
    Last edited by true_shinken; 2010-11-25 at 09:49 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5/PF] The Darkling, a soulknife / shadowcaster [LoB, PrC, Psionic]

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    I really like the concept. I like the shadowcaster fluff and I love the soulknife. If not for the custom disciplines, I'd weave this into my game.

    Well, the name is kinda sucky as well.
    Well, give the custom disciplines a chance man, you may actually like em If that's not your bag, then replace them with: Diamond Mind, Shadow Hand, and Tiger Claw. Simple as that. Could easily get a lot of good mileage out of it.

    As far as the name... yeah, I don't like it either. My friend who provided the concept of it named it. Suggestions on new nomenclature?

    -X
    Chris Bennett
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF] The Darkling, a soulknife / shadowcaster [LoB, PrC, Psionic]

    So a prestige class that is the fusion of 2 weak classes, I lose 4 shadowcaster levels and 5 soulknife levels (but who cares about them )...

    This prestige class seems incredibly weak with its 2 dying levels (7th and 9th, more bonus fundamentals and unlimited use of them are not a *real* class ability).
    Also a shadowcaster continues to progress his fundamentals even when he advances in a prestige class, whenever he gains a caster level, so these abilities are redundant.

    What is the power level you are aiming for?

    As for the name consider Bleak Warrior (or something along those lines, all good names are taken anyways )

    Also why does this class require a non-good alignment? The plane of shadows is neutral in alignment, not evil (not to mention, it was retconned a lot from 2nd edition to 3rd )

    What is this class's Hit Die value? (unless i am so blind as to miss it)

    Consider giving to this class the Still mystery feat, since they will be using light armor most of the time.

    Is the cold damage from the dark blade ability measured in d6's or in d8's? The table and the text differ.

    Why the low fortitude save? He is supposed to be in melee range and anyway shadowcasters have good fortitude saves.

    Blade of night is a nice fusion of the Psychic strike and the shadowcaster fluff. However does it benefit from Psychic strike feats? (especially Mind Cleave)

    Also this class suffers from severe MAD in 5 out of 6 ability scores
    Dexterity for melee attack rolls and AC ( Frontline melee warrior, feat tax of Weapon Finesse)
    Constitution (those shadowcaster d6's won't save you in melee)
    Intelligence (must be at least 18 at the end for casting 8th level mysteries)
    Wisdom (For AC bonus of your soul knife variant)
    Charisma (For DC of mysteries)
    Consider using some mental abilities to help his physical ones.

    Consider folding the Embrace the shadows stance into the Umbral sight ability of the shadowcaster, and allowing this class's levels to stack for the progression of Umbral Sight.

    Lastly i am interested in how did you convert the shadowcaster in the Pathfinder Rule system. Is this work available online?
    Last edited by peacenlove; 2010-11-26 at 04:16 PM.

    Complete Shadow Magic! for Pathfinder Rules. (Google Docs PDF)
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF] The Darkling, a soulknife / shadowcaster [LoB, PrC, Psionic]

    Major update to the class, please just throw out what you know and reread the whole thing. Lots of changes per peacenlove's suggestions. Give it a go over again and tell me what you think.

    -X
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF] The Darkling, a soulknife / shadowcaster [LoB, PrC, Psionic]

    Much, MUCH better, and this class is viable even in high level play now (due to his incorporeality). Only 2 comments now.

    Embrace the Shadows (Su): At 3rd level, the darkling learns a signature stance of his new existence being half in shadow. This ability is a supernatural ability and a stance of 3rd level. To enter this stance requires a swift action, and the character forgoes any stance that the character currently is using to use Embrace the Shadows. While in this stance, the character’s form and features change, his skin becoming mottled heavily with inky black shadow and his eyes, hair, nails, and teeth turn pitch black. He gains a +1 circumstance bonus per darkling level to his Intimidate checks due to his fearsome appearance and he automatically fails any Handle Animal check he makes due to his unnatural form. Additionally, this stance grants the darkling a +2 natural armor bonus to AC (or improves his existing natural armor by 2?), and he gains a +2 bonus to saving throws as his form becomes very resilient. Lastly, he gains a +2 circumstance bonus to Stealth checks per darkling level while in this stance, and due to the shadow altering his mental energies into a cold, alien mindset, his mysteries use his Intelligence modifier to determine their saving throw DC. This stance is tiring for the mind to maintain, however, as the strain of maintaining one’s sanity while having a shadowy alien consciousness so close to one’s own mind challenges the darkling. He may only maintain this stance for a number of rounds equal to his Wisdom modifier +5 (per day or per encounter?); if this is exceeded, the character does not release from this stance but instead acts as if under a confusion spell until the end of the encounter.
    Last edited by peacenlove; 2010-11-27 at 02:39 AM.

    Complete Shadow Magic! for Pathfinder Rules. (Google Docs PDF)
    Newest: Shadowcaster Archetypes
    WIP:Wordcasting Shadowcaster:

    Awesome Avatar by Serpentine! Thanks a lot!
    I am willing and able to critique homebrew material. PM me a link if you want a critique. If this applies to you too, put this in your sig.
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    Default Re: [3.5/PF] The Darkling, a soulknife / shadowcaster [LoB, PrC, Psionic]

    Fixed both of those.

    Thank you so much for the suggestions, peacenlove.

    -X
    Chris Bennett
    Lead Designer (Path of War)
    Dreamscarred Press

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