Wizard School: Shadow Wizard

In the monochrome cities of Illinoir, Shadow Wizards are the Monocrat’s secret police. Operating beyond the reach of Sun’s bright rays and holy gaze, the Shadow Wizards are the last word in enforcing the Colorfast Decree.

Theirs is a dangerous life, because not only do they have to contend with the Pigment Mafia, but some of their own cannot be trusted: not only have some turned coat in exchange for gilded coins and lush hues, but the shadows themselves are intelligent and resentful of their subordinate condition, and never rest in trying to seize control or at least hurt their controllers.

Perk: When not in direct, blight light, your face is clothed in shadow, making it unrecognizable.

Drawback: You cannot cast spells in bright light (stronger than torchlight). If you cast spells in total darkness, then you trigger a Mishap for every 6 that you roll, even if you use only one MD, and rolling doubles (any number) will trigger your next Doom.

Cantrips

  1. With concentration, you can move your shadow independently of you. It still cannot be separated from you.
  2. You can speak with shadows. They hate the tangible world, though, so you’ll need to make it worth their while.
  3. With a flick of your wrist, you can dim or extinguish all non-magical light sources within 10′.

Shadow Wizard Spell List

  1. Gloom
  2. Rend Shadow
  3. Treacherous Umbrage
  4. Shadow Veil
  5. Darkvision
  6. Quench Light
  7. Dark Side
  8. Pin Shadow
  9. Abyssal Gorge
  10. Dark Pockets
  11. Umbral Path
  12. Shadow Puppet

Mishaps

1Until a dawn and a dusk have passed (in any order), your MD only return on a 1-2.
2Your shadow attacks you, dealing 1d6 damage.
3Your shadow develops a random mutation, which is reflected in your physical form except when you are in bright light (stronger than torchlight). After 1d6 rounds, Save vs Mutation. If you pass, the mutation fades from your body, but either way it will remain in your shadow.
4All light sources within 30′ are extinguished.
5For the next hour, you get disadvantage in bright light (stronger than torchlight).
6Panic for 1d6 rounds, as if you failed a Save vs Fear.

Dooms

1You are possessed by your shadow for 1d6 rounds, as though you were affected by the spell Dark Side.
2You are possessed by your shadow for 1d6 hours. Its first priority is keeping you alive (so that you will someday incur the Third Doom); its second is destroying everything you hold dear.
3Your shadow seizes permanent control of your body. Mutations which your shadow has developed are manifest on your physical body at all times, even if you passed your Save vs Mutation.

Your shadow is not a Shadow Wizard, but has abilities corresponding to Abyssal Gorge, Darkvision, Dark Pockets, Shadow Veil, and Treacherous Umbrage. It may use one of these abilities every ten minutes, as though it had used 1 MD (if it becomes a wizard of some sort, it may not invest additional MD, because these are not actually spells).

Gloom

R: 50′; T: area; D: [sum] minutes

Darkness descends upon a sphere of [dice] x 10′ radius at a point you designate. It drowns most light sources but can be dissolved by very strong light.

You may also pick one of the following options for each [die] invested after the first:

  • You can see normally through the darkness.
  • Anything in the darkness moves at half speed.
  • Anything in the darkness takes a -4 penalty to Attack and Defense.
  • Anything in the darkness takes a -4 penalty to Save.
  • You can spend an action to move the darkness up to 10′.

Rend Shadow

R: 30′; T: [dice] creatures; D: [sum] rounds

You can deal damage to the target by attacking their shadow. You get a +4 attack bonus when you attack them, both because they are a larger target and because most people are not accustomed to treating their shadow as something which has to be defended. 

Treacherous Umbrage

R: 200′; T: creature; D: 0

The target is attacked by their own shadow. They take [sum] + [dice] damage, no Save.

Shadow Veil

R: 0; T: self; D: concentration, up to [sum] minutes

Shadows shroud you. Select [dice] senses. You cannot be perceived with these senses.

Darkvision

R: 30′ per [die]; T: self; D: [sum] hours

You can see perfectly in shadows and even total darkness, but bright light may blind you.

Quench Light

R: 10′ per [die] radius; T: area; D: concentration

Within the area of effect, you can dim non-magical light as much as you want, so long as it is not totally extinguished. This spell can be used even on bright light, so long as you are not personally illuminated.

Dark Side

R: touch; T: living creature; D: [die] rounds

The target is temporarily possessed by their shadow, in an inversion of the more complex shadow puppet spell. 

Roll a d6 every round determine what the shadow does with its brief period of freedom: 

12 The shadow attacks the target’s closest friend.
34The shadow bites off its new fingers or performs some other gruesome mutilation (1 damage, but lose 2d6 fingers, an eye, or something similar)
56The shadow tries to inflict grievous injury on its new body (roll damage as if the host were attacking itself).

Whatever the case, the object of the shadow’s actions is to hurt the target. It knows that it does not have long before it loses control of this body, and it wants the target to suffer as it has suffered. 

If [sum] was greater than the target’s CHA, then the effect is permanent. Every round, roll a d6: 

12The shadow attacks the target’s closest friend.
34The shadow attacks you, out of a feeling of comradeship with your own shadow.
56The shadow flees. Stop rolling. It is going to build a new life for itself.

The target’s shadow does not have the target’s classes or levels. 

Pin Shadow

R: special; T: [dice] shadows; D: permanent (see below)

By driving a sharp object (hereafter “pin”) into the ground and through the target’s shadow, you can trap them in place. The target can thereafter move only in such a way that their shadow does not move beyond the pin. . 

The spell is permanent until the pin is removed from the ground. If [sum] is 12 or greater, then the target cannot personally remove the pin.

Abyssal Gorge

R: 30′ radius; T: area; D: [dice] minutes

All shadows in the target area become [sum]’ deep pools of shadow-stuff. The shadow-stuff behaves a bit like quicksand, but can be breathed normally.

Anyone trapped within the shadows when the spell expires will disappear and later wander back from a random shadow.

Dark Pockets

R: touch; T: objects; D: [dice] hours

You may access [sum] extra inventory slots by inserting the items you wish to store into any shadow. The stored items are undetectable and none of their harmful effects affect you. As the spell expires, any items still stored will be found in a nearby shadow.

Umbral Path

R: [sum] x 10′; T: two shadows; D: [dice] rounds

You link two shadows within your range into a portal, even if they are on opposite sides of a wall.

Shadow Puppet

R: 100’ radius; T: self; D: concentration, up to [sum] turns. 

You close your eyes in concentration and let your consciousness flow into your shadow. As your helpless body remains standing behind, you take full control of your shadow and grant it a measure of physical substance. 

Your shadow-body is invulnerable to most attacks, and can attack for 1d4 piercing damage. Remember that you have left behind your real body, which is completely helpless. Attacks against your real body may break your concentration and end the spell prematurely. Spells which produce light (e.g. Light, Prismatic Ray) require you to Save vs. Magic or take 1d4 damage, if they hit your shadow-body.

Credit

Originally developed by Red Kangaroo.

Design

Mishaps, Dooms, Drawback, and even some spells have been reworked. The idea that unifies them is that our shadows have volition, they don’t like being “our” shadows, and your shadow in particular is now in a position to do something about that. Most of the spells have been renamed, too, so that they aren’t largely “Shadow Something-or-Other.”

I am surprised that they ended up as “supernatural law enforcement” again. That wasn’t intentional, just a consequence of “clearly the Shadow Wizards will be big in the monochromatic country” and “Illinoir is defined by its Color Prohibition, so…”

Playtest

This version of the Shadow Wizard has been (mostly) playtested over a dozen-plus sessions. I’ve changed the drawback a bit, so I’m not sure how that will work.

1 thought on “Wizard School: Shadow Wizard

  1. Pingback: GLOG Class: Wizard | WMB Saltworks

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