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    Default Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Based on changes I made for a class in my Magipunk campaign setting (to be posted here eventually) which used identical mechanics. Originally posted here.

    SHADOWCASTER

    Class Skills
    The Shadowcaster's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Spot (Wis).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int) x4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int

    {table=head]Level | BAB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
    1 | +0 | +2 | +0 | +2 | Fundamentals of shadow, mysteries (apprentice) | 1 | — | — | — | — | — | — | — | —
    2 | +1 | +3 | +0 | +3 | Control light, discerning eye | 1 | — | — | — | — | — | — | — | —
    3 | +1 | +3 | +1 | +3 | Umbral sight (darkvision 30 ft) | 1 | 1 | — | — | — | — | — | — | —
    4 | +2 | +4 | +1 | +4 | Bonus fundamental | 1 | 1 | — | — | — | — | — | — | —
    5 | +2 | +4 | +1 | +4 | Bonus feat (see text) | 1 | 1 | 1 | — | — | — | — | — | —
    6 | +3 | +5 | +2 | +5 | Sustaining shadow (eat 1 meal/week) | 1 | 1 | 1 | — | — | — | — | — | —
    7 | +3 | +5 | +2 | +5 | Mysteries (initiate) | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | — | — | — | — | —
    8 | +4 | +6 | +2 | +6 | Bonus fundamental | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | — | — | — | — | —
    9 | +4 | +6 | +3 | +6 | Umbral sight (see in darkness 60 ft) | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | — | — | — | —
    10| +5 | +7 | +3 | +7 | Sustaining shadow (sleep 1 hour/day) | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | — | — | — | —
    11| +5 | +7 | +3 | +7 | Improved discerning eye | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | — | — | —
    12| +6/+1 | +8 | +4 | +8 | Bonus fundamental, duplicity | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1 | — | — | —
    13| +6/+1 | +8 | +4 | +8 | Mysteries (master) | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | — | —
    14| +7/+2 | +9 | +4 | +9 | Sustaining shadow (immune to poison & disease) | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | — | —
    15| +7/+2 | +9 | +5 | +9 | Creep of darkness | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | —
    16| +8/+3 | +10| +5 | +10| Bonus fundamental | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | —
    17| +8/+3 | +10| +5 | +10| Sustaining shadow (no need to eat, breathe, or sleep)| 3 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1
    18| +9/+4 | +11| +6 | +11| Greater discerning eye | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1
    19| +9/+4 | +11| +6 | +11| Deeper duplicity | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1
    20| +10/+5| +12| +6 | +12| Bonus fundamental, concentrated shadow | 3 | 3 | 3 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 1[/table]

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A shadowcaster is proficient with simple weapons, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with your gestures, which can cause your mysteries to fail when they function as spells.

    Fundamentals of shadow (Su): A shadowcaster must master certain basic powers before proceeding to the deeper secrets of shadow. These powers, known as fundamentals, function as supernatural abilities usable at will as a standard action. A shadowcaster begins play with three fundamentals and gains an additional fundamental at 4th level and every four additional levels beyond 4th. A shadowcaster can, when gaining a new level, choose a new fundamental in place of another mystery (see below). The save DC of any fundamental is equal to 10 + the shadowcaster's Int modifier. When choosing a fundamental, a shadowcaster can “relearn” an already known fundamental, which increases the save DC and the caster level for that fundamental by 1.

    Mysteries and paths: A shadowcaster does not cast spells as other classes do, but instead invokes mystical secrets called mysteries. A shadowcaster knows one mystery at 1st level and gains one additional mystery every class level. Up to 6th level, a shadowcaster can learn only apprentice mysteries; at 7th level, she gains access to initiate mysteries, and at 13th level she becomes able to use master mysteries. A shadowcaster can choose her new mystery at each level from any category she has access to (including fundamentals). For instance, at 8th level, a shadowcaster could select either a fundamental, an apprentice mystery, or an initiate mystery.

    Within a category of mysteries (apprentice, initiate, or master), a shadowcaster can only learn mysteries of a new level if she has learned at least two mysteries of the previous level, but she need not know all previous mysteries within a path to select a mystery from that path. A shadowcaster can always select the first mystery in a path of a category she has access to, even if she didn’t complete the lower category paths. At 4th level, and every even level after (6th, 8th, etc.), a shadowcaster can learn a new mystery in place of a mystery she already knows of the same level.

    Mysteries represent thought patterns and formulae so alien that other spells seem simple in comparison. As a shadowcaster progresses, however, her connection to the Plane of Shadow grows stronger, and her mysteries become more ingrained in her essence. When a shadowcaster is capable of casting only apprentice mysteries, she casts them as though they were arcane spells. They all have somatic components, armor-based spell failure, and are subject to interruption, though they do not require material components, foci, or verbal components. Whenever a shadowcaster casts a mystery as an arcane spell, observers can make a DC 15 Spot check to note that her shadow is making different gestures from the ones she makes when she casts the mystery.

    At 7th level, when a shadowcaster becomes capable of casting initiate mysteries (whether or not she chooses to learn any), her apprentice mysteries become so much a part of her that they now function as spell-like abilities, and they no longer require somatic components. The shadowcaster's new initiate mysteries (when she learns them) function as arcane spells and follow the rules described above.

    When the shadowcaster reaches 13th level and becomes capable of casting master mysteries, another change occurs. Her master mysteries now function as arcane spells, and her initiate mysteries function as spell-like abilities. The shadowcaster's apprentice mysteries become supernatural abilities, and no longer provoke attacks of opportunity. They are not subject to dispelling, counterspelling, or spell resistance, though they still do not function in an antimagic field.

    A shadowcaster can learn a mystery more than once; each time she relearns a mystery, she gains another set of uses of that mystery per day, and the save DC and caster level of that mystery each increase by 1. A shadowcaster can cast each mystery she knows a certain number of times per day depending on whether it is cast as a spell (once), a spell-like ability (twice), or a supernatural ability (thrice). The allotments per level are given on the table above, but only apply if she is able to cast mysteries of the level indicated.

    A shadowcaster gains bonus uses of her mysteries for a high Intelligence score just like a spellcaster; however, each bonus daily use a shadowcaster is granted applies to all of her mysteries of the appropriate level. For example, a shadowcaster with an 18 Intelligence would gain an additional daily use of each of her 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-level mysteries.

    Although a shadowcaster does not prepare spells, she must rest for 8 hours and meditate for 15 minutes each day to regain her 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, a shadowcaster must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the mystery's level. The save DC for a shadowcaster's mysteries which are cast as spells or spell-like abilities equals 10 + mystery level + her Int modifier, while the save DC for mysteries cast as supernatural abilities is equal to 10 + 1/2 shadowcaster level + Int modifier. Even though a shadowcaster does not “cast spells” in the traditional sense, her levels in this class count for the purpose of determining her overall caster level.

    Control light (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a shadowcaster learns to control the light and shadows around her. This works exactly like the control light psionic power, with a manifester level equal to her shadowcaster level; she can use this ability at will.

    Discerning eye (Ex): At 2nd level, a shadowcaster's vision becomes much more acute than a normal person's. She gains a bonus equal to half her shadowcaster level on Spot checks, as well as saves vs being blinded and to defeat illusions with a visual component.

    Umbral sight (Su): Upon reaching 3rd level, a shadowcaster's vision extends slightly into the Plane of Shadow. She gains darkvision out to 30 feet. If she already has darkvision, or gains it from some other source, the effective distance of that vision is increased by 30 feet. At 9th level, she becomes able to see perfectly in complete darkness, even magical darkness, out to 60 feet.

    Bonus feat: A shadowcaster of 5th level or higher gains a bonus feat of her choice for every path she completes. If the shadowcaster changes one of her known mysteries (at an even level) and in doing so "un-completes" a path, she loses access to the bonus feat granted by that path, unless she chooses that feat as a normal feat or a bonus feat from completing a different path. The shadowcaster must meet the prerequisite (if any) in order to select a feat as a bonus feat. The list of feats she can select includes any metamagic feat, Favored Mystery, Greater Path Focus, Nocturnal Caster, Path Focus, Shadow Vision, and any metashadow feat.

    Sustaining shadow (Ex): By 6th level, a shadowcaster's bond to the Plane of Shadow allows her to absorb dark energies, mitigating certain biological needs. She need eat only a single meal per week to maintain health. At 10th level, she only needs 1 hour of sleep per night (but must still rest for 8 hours to regain her mysteries for the next day). At 14th level, she gains immunity to nonmagical diseases and poisons. Finally, at 17th level, she no longer needs to breathe, and need never eat or sleep.

    Improved discerning eye (Ex): At 10th level, a shadowcaster's vision has become so acute that she can see things other people can't, by noticing visual cues that aren't apparent to the untrained. The shadowcaster gains blindsense out to a range of 10 feet times her Wisdom modifier.

    Duplicity (Su): Beginning at 12th level, a shadowcaster can follow up a mystery with an additional, less-powerful mystery. Whenever the shadowcaster casts an initiate or master mystery in a round, she can follow with an apprentice mystery in the same round as a move action as long as she has a move action to spare. Using this ability does not count against the daily uses of the chosen apprentice mystery. The shadowcaster can use this ability a number of times per day equal to her Intelligence modifier.

    Creep of Darkness (Su): At 15th level, a shadowcaster draws strength from the workings of shadow perpetuated by others. Whenever the shadowcaster is subject to a spell with the Darkness descriptor, or one from the Shadow subschool, she heals a number of hit points equal to the caster level of the spell. The spell must have been cast by a non-shadowcaster (other than herself) for her to gain the benefit of this ability.

    Greater discerning eye (Ex): Upon reaching 18th level, a shadowcaster's senses are finely-tuned instruments of detection. She gains blindsight out to a range of 5 feet times her Wisdom modifier.

    Deeper duplicity (Su): Starting at 19th level, a shadowcaster can follow up her most potent mysteries with additional mysteries of lesser strength. Whenever the shadowcaster casts a master mystery in a round, she can spend a use of her Duplicity ability to immediately follow with an initiate mystery as a move action and/or an apprentice mystery as a swift action, as long as she has such actions to spare. Using this ability does not count against the daily uses of either the apprentice or initiate mystery.

    Concentrated shadow (Su): At 20th level, a shadowcaster is an unparalleled master of shadow. She can cast two mysteries simultaneously in the same action. The shadowcaster cannot use both this ability and Duplicity or Deeper Duplicity in the same round. She can use this ability a number of times per day equal to her Intelligence modifier.
    Last edited by sirpercival; 2012-10-07 at 09:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    My only complaint is that adding full class level to Spot checks seems really, really high. I'd be a lot happier if it was half class level.

    It is not often that I have so few complaints! This looks like a good fix.
    Last edited by Vadskye; 2012-08-21 at 10:51 AM.

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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    My only complaint is that adding full class level to Spot checks seems really, really high. I'd be a lot happier if it was half class level.

    It is not often that I have so few complaints! This looks like a good fix.
    I know what you mean, except that the only thing that Spot really helps with is (a) feinting in combat, which few people do at all, and (b) detecting Darkstalkers. A shadowcaster who was ganked by a Darkstalker seems like a poor shadowcaster to me, you know?

    But if it really bothers everyone, I can change it :)
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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Feinting in combat is opposed by Sense Motive, not Spot. Spot is used to determine a wide variety of things, including the distances at which encounters start, the ability to read lips, and the ability to see through Disguise checks. Massively pumping Spot will do more than you seem to expect, I'm afraid.

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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Feinting in combat is opposed by Sense Motive, not Spot. Spot is used to determine a wide variety of things, including the distances at which encounters start, the ability to read lips, and the ability to see through Disguise checks. Massively pumping Spot will do more than you seem to expect, I'm afraid.

    Oops, my mistake. But yes, I suppose you're right. I'll reduce it to level/2.

    Anything else that strikes you from this?
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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    They are really, really SAD, with both Duplicity and save DC based off of Int. I think it's generally better design to have more of a tradeoff there, given that the class (as a full caster) can already ignore most ability scores anyway. The original shadowcaster liked Cha, as well; what do you think about basing Duplicity uses off of Cha?

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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    They are really, really SAD, with both Duplicity and save DC based off of Int. I think it's generally better design to have more of a tradeoff there, given that the class (as a full caster) can already ignore most ability scores anyway. The original shadowcaster liked Cha, as well; what do you think about basing Duplicity uses off of Cha?
    Well, note that Greater Umbral Sight is based of Wisdom... ;)

    I had removed the MAD in the casting because even with being beefed up here, the options for a shadowcaster mystery-wise are depressingly few... I'll consider, though.
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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    They are really, really SAD, with both Duplicity and save DC based off of Int. I think it's generally better design to have more of a tradeoff there, given that the class (as a full caster) can already ignore most ability scores anyway. The original shadowcaster liked Cha, as well; what do you think about basing Duplicity uses off of Cha?
    Something to note is that, even with this version of shadowcaster, being SAD isn't going to mean it suddenly becomes an unstoppable juggernaut. First, there are not that many mysteries. There are only 69 mysteries total, with 9 fundamentals. Of those 69, 26 are in the 1-3 range, 21 are in the 4-6 range, and 21 are in the 7-9 range. 9 of those mysteries are found in an online supplement, and so I wouldn't count on them. Frak, I bet the wizard's Enchantment spell list is longer than the shadowcaster's complete list.

    Wizards would still be godlike if forced to be care about 2 scores for their spells, and shadowcasters don't suddenly become as good as sorcerers or wizards just because they can dump CHA now. And remember, shadowcasters are not flexible. If a level 10 sorcerer needs to cast a spell multiple times in a day, there is no problem, while the shadowcaster is out of luck and possibly dead.

    Edit: Oh yes, I want to note that I quite like this rework. At-will fundamentals from level 1 onwards, and free control of the illumination level are both nice things for the shadowcaster to have, to say nothing of Duplicity.
    Last edited by Vauron; 2012-08-21 at 05:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vauron View Post
    Something to note is that, even with this version of shadowcaster, being SAD isn't going to mean it suddenly becomes an unstoppable juggernaut. First, there are not that many mysteries. There are only 69 mysteries total, with 9 fundamentals. Of those 69, 26 are in the 1-3 range, 21 are in the 4-6 range, and 21 are in the 7-9 range. 9 of those mysteries are found in an online supplement, and so I wouldn't count on them. Frak, I bet the wizard's Enchantment spell list is longer than the shadowcaster's complete list.

    Wizards would still be godlike if forced to be care about 2 scores for their spells, and shadowcasters don't suddenly become as good as sorcerers or wizards just because they can dump CHA now. And remember, shadowcasters are not flexible. If a level 10 sorcerer needs to cast a spell multiple times in a day, there is no problem, while the shadowcaster is out of luck and possibly dead.
    Yes, this is just about exactly what I was trying to say. I will point out, though, that you also get bonus uses per mystery from high Int, so you should be a little more flexible than an old-style crappy shadowcaster.

    Edit: Oh yes, I want to note that I quite like this rework. At-will fundamentals from level 1 onwards, and free control of the illumination level are both nice things for the shadowcaster to have, to say nothing of Duplicity.
    Yay! Thank you :)
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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by sirpercival View Post
    Yes, this is just about exactly what I was trying to say. I will point out, though, that you also get bonus uses per mystery from high Int, so you should be a little more flexible than an old-style crappy shadowcaster.
    Ah, I missed that bit. That does help with the 'hope you don't need to do something twice' thing that shadowcasters had to work around.

    You might want to look at the largest repository of shadow magic in general: The Descent of Shadows.
    Last edited by Vauron; 2012-08-21 at 05:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vauron View Post
    Something to note is that, even with this version of shadowcaster, being SAD isn't going to mean it suddenly becomes an unstoppable juggernaut. <other good points>
    Oh, absolutely. I'm not saying this from a power level perspective. I'm just saying that, from a design perspective, I like seeing some sort of give and take with class features like this, for the same reason that I like that the class bases its senses off of Wisdom (which is a good decision, by the way, that I neglected to mention). Clerics have to keep Charisma high if they want to turn undead, and that forces them to make decisions with their ability scores (and magic items that boost ability scores). I think that makes it feel more special, and I think Duplicity is a sufficiently powerful ability that a shadowcaster would want a Charisma to use it.

    What I'm saying, sirpercival, is basically that you're not making a bad decision by making it Int-based. It's just preference.

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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    This is a solid rework with an emphasis on spellcasting and I am tempted to convert it to Pathfinder as a shadowcaster archetype if I have your permission ofcourse.

    Some points to consider:

    Greater discerning eye (Ex): Upon reaching 18th level, a shadowcaster's eyes are finely-tuned instruments of detection. She gains blindsight out to a range of 5 feet times her Wisdom modifier.

    Maybe replace eyes with senses? then this high level ability won't be shutdown by a 2nd level spell or a called shot.

    Concentrated shadow seems a little off. It is disconnected to all the other abilities a shadow caster has, even having separate uses from its would be predecessor, the Duplicity line of abilities. It is certainly powerful and worthy of a 20th level ability.
    But this is only a fine tuning point.

    Supernatural ability DC should be 10 + 1/2 CL + casting mod (usually charisma but intelligence is ok too). Fundamentals wont break the game if their dc is 33 instead of 23 at 20th level.

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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    This is a solid rework with an emphasis on spellcasting and I am tempted to convert it to Pathfinder as a shadowcaster archetype if I have your permission ofcourse.
    Thanks! And of course you have my permission.

    Some points to consider:



    Maybe replace eyes with senses? then this high level ability won't be shutdown by a 2nd level spell or a called shot.
    Hm. OK, that's not a problem. Though technically, blindness won't hurt them (since they have blindsight), and get major bonuses to saves against it...

    Concentrated shadow seems a little off. It is disconnected to all the other abilities a shadow caster has, even having separate uses from its would be predecessor, the Duplicity line of abilities. It is certainly powerful and worthy of a 20th level ability.
    But this is only a fine tuning point.
    I see what you mean -- they are mechanically related, but not identical. I could see connecting them, though... What do you suggest? Having it cost a use of Duplicity?

    Supernatural ability DC should be 10 + 1/2 CL + casting mod (usually charisma but intelligence is ok too). Fundamentals wont break the game if their dc is 33 instead of 23 at 20th level.
    I was confused for a minute, because I was looking at the DC for supernatural mysteries, which follows your formula. I forgot that the fundamentals had a separate DC clause. I guess the problem with that is that by relearning the same fundamental over and over, you get to double-dip (or really, one-and-a-half dip) your DC increases since you also get a boost to CL. I guess I could tie it to shadowcaster level instead of caster level like I did for the supernatural mysteries, though... Hmm. Let me think about it.
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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Any reason that Duplicity and Greater Duplicity work as both Quicken and an extra slot? That is, why do they not count against your uses or the lesser, faster mystery?
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    Default Re: Shadowcaster Fix (PEACH)

    Hey, G! Nice to see you around here too ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by Garryl View Post
    Any reason that Duplicity and Greater Duplicity work as both Quicken and an extra slot? That is, why do they not count against your uses or the lesser, faster mystery?
    Well, it makes them significantly less attractive as options if they kill your uses of the lower-level mysteries... but I guess you're less likely to use those anyway, since when you get duplicity & such going your low-level mysteries aren't as powerful (though the DCs are still relevant)...

    How much does it reduce the power of those abilities to make it count for the uses? I know breaking action economy > more slots, I'm just curious.
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