Shadow Theurgist (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Author: MisterSinister (talk)
Date Created: 28/06/12
Status: Finished-ish
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Shadow Theurgist[edit]

The powers of the shadows are a complicated issue for those who follow the divine arts. On the one hand, the power that it grants, to both the clergy themselves and to their enemies, is substantial and easy to access. Furthermore, clerics are often guardians and protectors of their communities, or at the very least, tend to have a substantial investment in the direction that they take, which more often than not puts them in touch with those that practice the powers of the shadow magister, seeking the stories that they have kept and collected, possibly without knowing their significance.

The Darkest Shadows answer no prayers and grant no spells, but their magical powers are undeniable - and more dangerously, are easy. Clerics who see it as a force to be harnessed for their cause (or their own advancement) are becoming more and more common, even among deities of light and life. Nearly all churches frown upon the practice (although a few embrace it), which means that those clerics that choose to practice the arts of the Darkest Shadows have to become keen scholars of emotions and empathy, to understand who can be trusted and who can't be. They often seek out knowledge in forbidden tomes and ancient libraries, frequently risking their own careers (or possibly even their lives) to advance their capabilities. Often forced to remain hidden, they nonetheless develop their powers, much like other shadow magisters, and take them in new and unusual directions. Among those that know, they have become known as shadow theurgists.

Since the powers of shadow are fundamentally unaligned with any cause, deities do not seem to deny those that use these powers their spells, which more than one church has taken as clear proof that there is nothing heretical or dangerous about this power. However, this is far from a majority opinion at the moment, and to make matters worse, the easy power granted by the shadows is cause for envy among the clerical peers of the shadow theurgist, forcing them to hide in the shadows that grant them power, and take very great care about who they tell their secrets to. As a result, shadow theurgists nearly always take the Ashen Angel as their personal symbol, as among the Darkest Shadows, it represents the things hidden of necessity, as well as the duality of darkness and light.

Becoming a Shadow Theurgist[edit]

Tome of Prowess
This class is designed to be compatible with the Tome of Prowess rules. Any class abilities that have different rules under Tome of Prowess will be marked by a ToP: label.
Only clerics with some levels in shadow magister can become shadow theurgist. Usually, it's better to have only one level of shadow magister, and the rest in cleric, but you can do what you want.
Entry Requirements
Skills: Psychology 7 ranks. If you're not using the Tome of Prowess for some strange reason, replace this with 7 ranks in Spellcraft instead.
Spellcasting: Must be able to cast divine spells.
Special: Must have access to the shadow companion class feature.
Special: Must have taken the Darkest Shadow Devotee alternate class feature.

Table: The Shadow Theurgist

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Shadow power, spellcasting
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3
3rd +1 +3 +1 +3 Hound of darkness
4th +2 +4 +1 +4
5th +2 +4 +1 +4
6th +3 +5 +2 +5
7th +3 +5 +2 +5 Wings of darkness
8th +4 +6 +2 +6
9th +4 +6 +3 +6 Fortress of shadows
10th +5 +7 +3 +7
11th +5 +7 +3 +7
12th +6 +8 +4 +8
13th +6 +8 +4 +8 Flight of night
14th +7 +9 +4 +9
15th +7 +9 +5 +9 Messenger of shadow
16th +8 +10 +5 +10

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis).

Class Skills, Tome of Prowess Variant (4 per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Arcana (Int), Bluff (Int), Intimidation (Cha), Psychology (Int), Stealth (Dex), Thaumaturgy (Cha)

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the shadow theurgist.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Shadow theurgists gain no new proficiencies in weapons or armour.

Spellcasting: At each level of shadow theurgist, you gain new spells per day, new spells known, and an increase of your cleric level for the purpose of any domain powers as if you had gained a level in cleric. You also get extra mysteries known and any benefits to your shadow companion as if you had gained a level in shadow magister.

Shadow Power (Ex): The power of the Darkest Shadows flows through a shadow theurgist, giving them a strength of magic unmatched by their unaware religious brethren. The caster level for divine spells used by a shadow theurgist is always equal to their character level, and any DCs those spells require are set to 10 + 1/2 of the shadow theurgist's character level + the shadow theurgist's Intelligence modifier.

Hound of Darkness (Ex): At 3rd level, the theurgic powers of the shadow theurgist combine with their knowledge of mysteries to allow them to call into being a more powerful creature than their shadow companion could normally become. In a ritual that takes 8 hours, they transform their shadow companion into a shadow mastiff. It is loyal and obeys the shadow theurgist's commands. It also receives all the benefits of a familiar, using the shadow theurgist's character level to determine what it gets. Otherwise, it gets none of the benefits that a shadow companion receives.

Giving the hound of darkness orders requires a swift action, and it must be able to hear the shadow theurgist to obey. Otherwise, it will default to whatever its intelligence tells it to do (i.e. your GM will have it do things in character with its normal behaviour).

Wings of Darkness (Su): From 7th level, the shadow theurgist can spend a swift action to sprout massive shadowy wings that allow them to fly. If they do, they gain a fly speed equal to double their base land speed (with average maneuverability). With another swift action, the wings can be made to vanish.

If the wings are made to vanish, or stop working for some other reason (such as being inside an antimagic field), the shadow theurgist will float down gently, as if affected by a feather fall spell, with a caster level equal to their character level. This ability is extraordinary (and thus, not affected by stuff like antimagic field.

Fortress of Shadows: At 14th level, the shadow magister learns of an amazing mystery that lets them shape the fabric of the Plane of Shadow (or an equivalent plane in a different cosmology) to act as their new home. By spending 8 hours, they gain a fortress on that plane, staffed by 66 unseen servants (like the ones from the spell). These servants don't dissipate at a distance from the shadow magister, but they cannot leave the fortress. The fortress has furnishings, decorations and similar befitting a decent castle, but if anything is removed from it, it disappears into a shadowy puff. This doesn't apply to things brought into it from outside. If the fortress is destroyed in some way, the shadow magister can perform the ritual again, but while the fortress stands, it can be the only one of its kind for the shadow magister.

The shadow magister can also spend a standard action to tear open a portal to their fortress. This will always take them to their throne room, where there will be an unseen servant, ready for orders. Others can step through the portal, but only if the shadow magister verbally permits them. This is a supernatural ability, and the portal stays open only 1 round.

While inside their fortress, the shadow magister can attempt to tear open a portal to their home plane (or, if their home plane is the same one as the fortress is on, a different plane, chosen when the fortress is formed) as a standard action. This is much less accurate, though - it suffers from the same inaccuracies that the plane shift spell does. Otherwise, it's the same as the portal that takes the shadow magister and his friends to the fortress.

Flight of Night (Sp): From 13th level, a shadow magister becomes able to call down an expression of the Ashen Angel to serve them once per day. This requires a full-round action, brings forth one nightwing (except its alignment is neutral), and lasts 10 minutes. In all other ways, this is identical to a summon monster spell with an effective level of half the shadow theurgist's character level.

Messenger of Shadow (Ex): A 15th level shadow theurgist has gained a perfect understanding of their fusion of shadow and divine magic, and transcends their mortality. They no longer age, and any age penalties they had are reversed. They cannot die of old age, and become immune to disease and poison. Their flight speed doubles and gains perfect maneuverability, and they also gain DR 10/-.

Campaign Information[edit]

Shadow Theurgists in the World[edit]

Shadow theurgists must often spend their lives looking over their shoulders and hiding in the same shadows that they command, especially if they belong to a faith that abhors the shadows and the darkness. For many shadow theurgists, what began as curiosity or research to defeat their enemies becomes an obsession and a need for more power - and the causes aren't always noble. While shadow theurgists can become very powerful in their own right, they also must often walk a very delicate path.

Shadow theurgists rarely work together, unless they happen to worship the same deities. Their philosophical (and often violent) disagreements with other faiths don't simply work themselves out because they happen to have some powers in common. This doesn't mean that some cross-faith dialogue isn't possible on this basis - it's just that it almost never happens in practice.

NPC Reactions: Those that don't know about shadow theurgists would usually view them as they would clerics of whatever god they happen to follow. However, once they display their signature powers, many may become suspicious or even frightened - shadow magic is nothing if not grim and scary. The few who know about the powers of the shadows, however, will probably recognize them quickly as what they are.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewClassesPrestige Classes

MisterSinister's Homebrew (321 Articles)
Allowed AlignmentsLawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +
Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorMisterSinister +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionPoor +
Class AbilityArcane Spellcasting + and Divine Spellcasting +
Class Ability ProgressionOther +
Fortitude Save ProgressionGood +
Identifier3.5e Prestige Class +
Length16 +
Minimum Level4 +
Rated ByLeziad +
RatingRating Pending +
Reflex Save ProgressionPoor +
SkillAppraise +, Concentration +, Craft +, Decipher Script +, Diplomacy +, Disguise +, Forgery +, Gather Information +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Perform +, Profession +, Sense Motive +, Spellcraft + and Spot +
Skill Points4 +
SummaryA doubly for cleric/shadow magister combos. +
TitleShadow Theurgist +
ToP SkillArcana +, Bluff +, Intimidation +, Psychology +, Stealth + and Thaumaturgy +
Will Save ProgressionGood +