B&T Lost Classes: The Shadowdancer

The shadowdancer is an interesting little class. While I don’t think of it being an archetype of fantasy fiction (at least not the old stuff I read), one can imagine it fitting in well with Gygax’s concept of a “shadow plane” and even with some of the mythology surrounding the ninja. Ultimately, I don’t know where this class fits in, but I do know that somebody out there could have a good time playing one, and that’s good enough for me.


Silhouette from Telecanter

Shadowdancers are characters akin to thieves and assassins, with mystic powers related to the mysterious shadow plane.

Requirements: Shadowdancers must have dexterity and charisma scores of 13 or higher.

Hit Dice: d6 (+2 hit points per level from 10th to 20th).

Armor: Padded and leather armor.

Shield: Bucklers.

Weapons: Club, crossbow (any), dagger, dart, light mace, morningstar, punching dagger, quarterstaff, rapier, sap, shortbow and short sword.

Skills: Balance, decipher script, disguise, escape, hide, jump, legerdemain, listen at doors and move silently.


Shadowdancers are so at home in the darkness that they gain darkvision to a range of 60 feet. They are so skilled at hiding in shadows that, as long as there are shadows within 10 feet, they gain a +3 bonus to all hide attempts as the shadows seem to flow over their bodies. Furthermore, a shadowdancer can use the spell deeper darkness three times per day.

At 2nd level, a shadowdancer can create visual illusions per the spell silent image once per day, but only if in a shadowy area.

At 3rd level a shadowdance learns to separate her own shadow into an independent entity. Unlike a normal shadow, this shadow’s alignment matches that of the shadowdancer and the creature cannot create spawn. The summoned shadow cannot be turned, rebuked, or commanded by any third party. This shadow serves as a companion to the shadowdancer and can communicate intelligibly with the shadowdancer. Every third level gained by the shadowdancer adds +2 HD to her shadow companion.

If a shadow companion is destroyed, or the shadowdancer chooses to dismiss it, the shadowdancer must attempt a Fortitude save. If the saving throw fails, the shadowdancer loses 200 experience points per shadowdancer level. A successful saving throw reduces the loss by half, to 100 XP per class level. The shadowdancer’s XP total can never go below 0 as the result of a shadow’s dismissal or destruction. A destroyed or dismissed shadow companion cannot be replaced for 30 days.

At 4th level, a shadowdancer gains the ability to travel between shadows as if by means of a dimension door spell. The limitation is that the magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least some shadow. A shadowdancer can jump up to a total of 20 feet each day in this way; this may be a single jump of 20 feet or two jumps of 10 feet each. Every two levels higher than 4th, the distance a shadowdancer can jump each day doubles (40 feet at 6th, 80 feet at 8th, and 160 feet at 10th). This amount can be split among many jumps, but each one, no matter how small, counts as a 10-foot increment.

Starting at 6th level, once per day, when a shadowdancer would be reduced to 0 hit points or less by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), she can attempt to roll with the damage. She makes a Reflex saving throw and, if successful, takes only half damage from the blow. She must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive roll.

At 8th level, the shadowdancer can cast the blacklight spell once per day.

At 10th level, the shadowdancer can cast the shadow conjuration spell once per day. Their use of the blacklight spell increases to three per day, and they can use deeper darkness and silent image five times per day.

At 12th level, the shadow dancer can cast the shadow evocation spell once per day. Their use of shadow conjuration increases to three times per day, they can use blacklight and silent image five times per day and cast deeper darkness at will.

2 thoughts on “B&T Lost Classes: The Shadowdancer

  1. Yeah, it's kinda weird and cool, but not really an archetype. I've tried to design B&T so that Referees can pick and choose what they'll allow in their campaign.


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