Shadowknife (3.5e Class)

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Author: Eiji-kun (talk)
Date Created: 5-9-18
Status: Complete
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A shadow themed soulknife, it has more of a stealth and ambush focus and some manifesting support. 20 0 Moderate Poor Good Good Psionics Partial


These psychic fighters draw on the power of the Plane of Shadow, shaping objects from the dark.

Making a Shadowknife[edit]

Abilities: Wisdom is the key ability score for their class abilities and powers. As a melee combatant in light armor, Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution are always important. Intelligence can round up skills, leaving Charisma for those who want social function.

Races: Any.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).

Starting Age: As fighter.

Table: The Shadowknife

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Power
Maximum Power
Level Known
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 Shadow Blade, Shadow Manifesting 1 1st
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 Bonus Feat, Decrease Light, Umbral Sight (Darkvision 30 ft) 3 1st
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Psychic Shadowstrike +1d8 6 1st
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Sustaining Shadow (Food & Drink) 9 1st
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 Bonus Feat, Umbral Sight (Darkvision 60 ft) 11 2nd
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Dark Mirror (Scouting) 17 2nd
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Psychic Shadowstrike +2d8 22 2nd
8th +6 +2 +6 +6 Sustaining Shadow (Breath), Umbral Sight (Darkvision 90 ft) 27 2nd
9th +6 +3 +6 +6 Bonus Feat, Penetrating Dark 32 3rd
10th +7 +3 +7 +7 Shadow Deathstrike 37 3rd
11th +8 +3 +7 +7 Psychic Shadowstrike +3d8, Umbral Sight (Darkvision 120 ft) 46 3rd
12th +9 +4 +8 +8 Dark Mirror (Solid), Sustaining Shadow (Sleep) 55 3rd
13th +9 +4 +8 +8 Bonus Feat, Shadow Phase 64 4th
14th +10 +4 +9 +9 Umbral Sight (See in Darkness) 73 4th
15th +11 +5 +9 +9 Psychic Shadowstrike +4d8 82 4th
16th +12 +5 +10 +10 Sustaining Shadow (Life) 95 4th
17th +12 +5 +10 +10 Bonus Feat, Vanishing Blade 108 5th
18th +13 +6 +11 +11 Dark Mirror (Transposing) 121 5th
19th +14 +6 +11 +11 Psychic Shadowstrike +5d8 134 5th
20th +15 +6 +12 +12 Dark Reflection, Sustaining Shadow (Critical Hits, Sneak Attacks) 147 5th

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Profession (Wis), Psicraft (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex), Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Shadowknife.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shadowknives are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor and shields (except tower shields).

Power Points/Day: A shadowknife’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: Shadowknife. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Wisdom score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points). His race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.

Powers Known: A shadowknife does not actually have powers known. Instead they use Shadow Manifesting to effectively have all metacreativity and psychokinesis powers on their class list, subjected to the limitations of shadow manifesting.

Maximum Power Level Known: This column determines the highest level power shadowknife can learn at this level.

To learn or manifest a power, a shadowknife must have an Wisdom score of at least 10 + the power’s level.

Shadow Blade (Su): Shadowknives can form weapons out of shadowstuff, stabilized by their mental abilities. With the same action used to draw a normal weapon they can form a shadow weapon of any weapon they are proficient with. If they have Two-Weapon Fighting they can draw two shadow weapons as part of the same action. They are considered normal masterwork items that count as magic weapons for bypassing damage reduction and interacting with incoporeality, with hardness 10 and 10 hp. They can be sundered, though they can just be reformed by drawing them again. In addition the shadowknife can enhance themselves as if enhancing a weapon, and these weapon enhancements apply to all shadow blade weapons drawn if applicable. Dropped or thrown shadow blade weapons vanish after 1 round.

A shadowknife can use feats such as Power Attack or Combat Expertise in conjunction with the shadow blade just as if it were a normal weapon. He can also choose shadow blade for feats requiring a specific weapon choice, such as Weapon Specialization. Powers or spells that upgrade weapons can be used on a shadow blade.

You may use either your Strength or Dexterity with your shadow blade for attack and damage. You count as having Weapon Finesse for pre-requisites.

The shadowknife is maintained by subtle psychic energy. Even in places where psionic effects do not normally function (such as within a null psionics field), a shadowknife can attempt to sustain his shadow blade by making a DC 20 Will save. On a successful save, the shadowknife maintains his shadow blade for a number of rounds equal to his class level before he needs to check again. On an unsuccessful attempt, the shadow blade vanishes. As a move action on his turn, the shadowknife can attempt a new Will save to rematerialize his shadow blade while he remains within the psionics negating effect.

Shadow Manifesting: Shadowknives are a strange manifester, for they tap into the Plane of Shadow to fuel their abilities. This gives them untold versatility, yet a crippling weakness as their powers have only a partial effect on the world. Rather than possessing a powers known list they have shadow manifesting, which allows them to duplicate any metacreativity or psychokinesis power up to the maximum power level known, spending power points as normal to manifest or augment it. However the power obtains the [Shadow] tag for the purpose of interacting with other spells and effects. Any effects which affect non-willing creatures offer a Will save in addition to any other saving throws. If the save is successful the power only deals half damage before any other saves, or only have a 50% chance of working if not an hp altering effect. Created or summoned objects have a 50% chance of being present when interacted with, and creatures have 50% health and deal 50% damage.

Shadow manifesting always has a save DC of 10 + 1/2 power points spent (minimum 1) + Wis modifier, regardless if the power can normally be augmented to do so.

Decrease Light (Ps): A 2nd level shadowknife can duplicate the decrease light function of control light as a psi-like ability up to their Wisdom modifier times per day (minimum 1). This form of control light lasts for Concentration + 1 round/level, and the area is changed to a 20 ft radius sphere centered on the shadowknife.

Bonus Feat: At 2nd level, 5th level, and every four levels beyond (9th, 13th, etc) the shadowknife gains a fighter bonus feat. They must still qualify as normal.

Umbral Sight (Ex): The shadowknife at 2nd level adapts to the darkness. They gain darkvision 30 ft, or increase existing darkvision by 30 ft. At 5th level this rises to 60 ft, then 90 ft at 8th level, and 120 ft at 11th level. Finally at 14th level the ability is supplanted by the See in Darkness ability of a devil.

Psychic Shadowstrike (Su): As a move action, a shadowknife of 3rd level or higher can imbue his shadow blade with destructive psychic energy. This effect deals an extra 1d8 points of damage to the next living, nonmindless target he successfully hits with an attack. Creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are immune to psychic shadowstrike damage. (Unlike the rogue’s sneak attack, the psychic shadowstrike is not precision damage and can affect creatures otherwise immune to extra damage from critical hits or more than 30 feet away, provided they are living, nonmindless creatures not immune to mind-affecting effects.) The effect of darkness makes the psychic shadowstrike easier to produce making it a swift action in shadowy illumination and a free action in total darkness, though you are still limited to producing it once per round.

A shadow blade deals this extra damage only once when this ability is called upon, but a shadowknife can imbue his shadow blade with psychic energy again by taking another move action.

Once a shadowknife has prepared his blade for a psychic shadowstrike, it holds the extra energy until it is used. Even if the shadowknife drops the shadow blade (or it otherwise dissipates, such as when it is thrown and misses), it is still imbued with psychic energy when the shadowknife next materializes it.

At every four levels beyond 3rd (7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th), the extra damage from a shadowknife’s psychic shadowstrike increases as shown on the Table above. This ability counts as psychic strike for the purpose of pre-requisites.

Sustaining Shadow (Ex): A 4th level shadowknife draws sustenance and energy from the Plane of Shadow to make up for what they need. They no longer need to eat or drink, all of their sustenance drawn slowly from the darkness itself. At 8th level the shadows replace their need to breathe, and at 12th level not even sleep is required. The shadowknife becomes immune to sleep effects as a result.

At 16th level, the shadowknife's life force is bound to the plane of shadow. If they die they can choose to shift their corpse to the same place in the Plane of Shadow, even if their body on their original plane had been destroyed. They are immune to any effects which would affect the soul as their soul is displaced elsewhere. At their whim they can choose to "die" as a standard action spending as long as they wish as a undecaying lifeless body until they wake up again as another standard action (the only action they can take in such a state). While "dead" they are an object and their senses are limited to 30 ft, and if their body is mauled or destroyed they will die for real on their return.

Finally at level 20, the shadow effectively replaces their internal structure with darkness. They bleed blackest shadow, and they become immune to critical hits and sneak attacks.

Dark Mirror (Su): Shadowknives of 6th level and higher can meditate as a standard action with duration of concentration, and let their mind wander through the darkness in the form of a shadow clone that appears in the nearest empty space. They can send this shadowy copy of themselves forward with their senses and abilities to scout, trigger traps, or other effects. This shadow copy is clearly unreal and cannot perform any attacks or manifest any powers, though they might incur a dangerous situation by other actions such as intentionally triggering a trap. The clone immediately pops if it takes any damage, and said damage is relayed to the shadowknife as nonlethal damage. Non-damage effects are not transferred, but mind-affecting effects are. The clone can be dispelled as if it were a power of your manifester level.

While meditating the shadowknife is unable to act and flatfooted but not helpless. Your real self is unable to benefit from healing as long as you are concentrating. The shadow clone can get out to 1 mile away before blinking out of existence.

At 12th level their shadow clone is more real and solid than before. Their shadow clone also no longer is obviously false though detect psionics will reveal an aura of metacreativity of manifester level equal to your level. It can now survive multiple attacks without popping, though you still take nonlethal damage and you are still unable to attack.

At 18th level the shadowknife and their clone are but one in the same. As a standard action the shadowknife can vanish and take the place of the location of their shadow clone (this ends the clone). This counts as a [Teleportation] effect.

Penetrating Dark (Su): The 9th level shadowknife can phase through reality to get to their target, even if they need to pass through the Plane of Shadow to do so. As a standard action they may make a touch attack with their shadow blade.

Shadow Deathstrike (Ex): At 10th level, the shadowknife can induce a fatal psychic cascade in targets caught unaware. This function's as an assassin's death attack, except the DC is 10 + 1/2 level + Wis modifier and it only functions on creatures that psychic shadowstrike functions on rather than those only susceptible to sneak attacks. Creatures struck either must make a save or die as their neural pathways are fried, or become paralyzed for 1 minute as you overload their senses.

Shadow Phase (Su): A 13th level shadowknife can blend into the darkness more than visually. When in shadowy illumination or darker the shadowknife benefits from a 20% miss chance as if they were incorporeal. Effects which bypass incorporeality bypass this ability.

Vanishing Blade (Su): Shadowknives of 17th level seem to make the very matter around them unreal. When a shadowknife destroys or kills something they can choose to delete it from existence instead, reducing the body to mere shadow. Their attacks counts as disintegrate for the purpose of interacting with force effects and other abilities.

Dark Reflection (Su): The 20th level shadowknife can briefly empower their dark mirror shadow clone to almost full reality for a short time. They can conjure their shadow clone as a standard action without meditating or needing to concentrate. The clone is as real as you are with all active effects as the original at time of creation, and may take all the same actions as the original. You and the clone share a pool of hit points (but you do not share status effects taken after you have split). You also share limited use resources with the clone such as power points and items.

It matters not which is the original and which is the clone when the duration runs out (or if one of them dies). The original is always the last one existing.

You can keep this up only for a moment, up to 10 rounds each day. The duration of the shadow reflection need not be consecutive rounds.

Human Shadowknife Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Shadowknife weapon.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 7 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Concentration 4 Con
Hide 4 Dex -1
Knowledge Psionics 4 Int
Knowledge The Planes 4 Int
Move Silently 4 Dex -1
Psicraft 4 Int
Tumble 4 Dex -1

Feat: Dodge.

Bonus Feats: Mobility.

Gear: Mwk Chain Shirt.

Gold: 0 gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Shadowknife[edit]

Religion: Shadowknives might be religious. If they are, they are worshipers of rogue deities, craven gods of darkness, trickery, and illusion.

Other Classes: Most probably see you as some sort of magic rogue. It's pretty accurate. Your versatility is your greatest asset, though you are always behind in what level of powers you can take and suffer a small power point pool.

Combat: You are something of a magic rogue type. You always have the right power at the job (as long as it is metacreativity or psychokinesis), and you are a fair fight in melee. Your ideal situation is in the dark and unseen until it is too late.

Advancement: Anything which helps soulknives helps a shadowknife. And they need the help.

Shadowknives in the World[edit]

The Shadowlord sends his regards.
—The Sable Knight, Half-Orc Shadowknife

Daily Life: You are probably a night owl. The darkness always suited you best.

Organizations: Shadowknives are often associated with assassins, due to their versatility, love of the dark, and ability to sneak in weapons that don't exist until you need it.

NPC Reactions: Many NPCs would probably find your power set unnerving. They are right.

Shadowknife Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge Psionics or Knowledge The Planes can research Shadowknives to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge Psionics or The Planes
DC Result
10 Shadowknives have a powerful ability to product [Shadow] powers, powers which are only half real but can be called up at a whim.
15 Shadowknives wield dangerous shadow weapons, and they draw power and safety from the darkness which they make their home.
20 Powerful shadowknives are half-shadow themselves and can produce clones of themselves or banish others to a deadly fade as motes of darkness drifting in the void.
30 Those who get this result can research specific shadowknives, their behaviors, motives, trivia, and other lore.

Shadowknives in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: You could replace soulknives with these. Soulknives are terrible.

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Eiji-kun's Homebrew (5607 Articles)
Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorEiji-kun +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionModerate +
Class AbilityPsionics +
Class Ability ProgressionPartial +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level0 +
RatingUndiscussed +
Reflex Save ProgressionGood +
SkillAutohypnosis +, Balance +, Bluff +, Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Disable Device +, Disguise +, Escape Artist +, Forgery +, Hide +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Open Lock +, Profession +, Psicraft +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Spot +, Tumble + and Use Rope +
Skill Points6 +
SummaryA shadow themed soulknife, it has more of a stealth and ambush focus and some manifesting support. +
TitleShadowknife +
Will Save ProgressionGood +