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Shadow Rogue New Progression Ideas

Idea 1: Paths

2 paths the shadow rogue can take: INT based(Called Adroit Mind) or CHA based(Called Gilded tongue). At certain levels you gain class abilities based on your chosen path(Same idea as the ranger twf/ranged supremacy progression).

Remove the following class features outright:

Move/Make the following features for both paths

  • Shadow Step/Improved Shadow Step
  • level 9 & 15 abilities (work smarter not harder, whistle while you work, mind over matter, grin and bear it)
  • Level 6- Shadow Boxing: When you have an opponent with their back against a wall, you may use their shadow against them to let you flank.
  • Level 12- Shadow Grapple: At level 12 a shadow rogue can grapple the shadow cast by an enemy, rather than the actual enemy. The shadow has the same base attack bonus and size modifier as the opponent, but only half the Strength score (rounded down). For example, Ulric, the 8th level human Fighter with 18 STR, would have a shadow with a base attack bonus of +8, no special grapple size bonus, and a Strength score of 9. Ulric's Grapple bonus would be +12, his shadow's would be only +7. When grappling a shadow, you must be in the same square as the shadow, and adjacent to the person casting the shadow. All other rules for grappling apply as normal.
  • Level 18- Shadow Trip: At 18h level a shadow rogue has gained the power temporarily disrupt shadows. He may utilize this to "pull the shadow out from under someone" and make a trip attempt. He must be within 30 of the target, and have line of sight, to attempt this. A shadow trip is a standard action that provokes an attack of opportunity only from the target. If he loses, the defender may not to try to trip him in return.

Paths

Adroit Mind

Table: The Shadow Rogue

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Clever Strike, Sneak Attack +1d6, Trapfinding
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Uncanny Dodge
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 See in Darkness, Evasion
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Sneak Attack +2d6
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Shadow Step
6th +4 +2 +5 +2
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Sneak Attack +3d6
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Light Blade+1
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Work Smarter, Not Harder, Improved Uncanny Dodge
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Sneak Attack +4d6
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Improved Shadow Step
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Sneak Attack +5d6
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Light Blade +2
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Mind Over Matter
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Sneak Attack +6d6
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Light Blade +3
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Sneak Attack +7d6
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Light Blade +4

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

1- Clever Strike (Ex): At 1st level a Adroit Mind shadow rogue has studied and measured a single weapon, and fully understands its physical potential. Because of this, the Adroit Mind Shadow Rogue may use their Intelligence modifier in place of Strength (or Dexterity) for any single weapon's Attack and Damage rolls. The Shadow Rogue may choose the Light Blade as their chosen weapon, in which case this ability is dormant until level 8.

9-Work Smarter, Not Harder (Ex): At level 9 an Adroit Mind shadow rogue can use their INT mod instead of their STR mod for trained skills that normally require STR.

15-Mind Over Matter (Ex): At level 15 an Adroit Mind shadow rogue can use their INT mod instead of their CON mod for FORT Saves.

Gilded tongue

Table: The Shadow Rogue

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Sly Strike, Sneak Attack +1d6, Trapfinding
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Uncanny Dodge
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 See in Darkness, Evasion
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Sneak Attack +2d6
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Shadow Step
6th +4 +2 +5 +2
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Sneak Attack +3d6
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +2 Light Blade+1
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +3 Whistle while you work, Improved Uncanny Dodge
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +3 Sneak Attack +4d6
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +3 Improved Shadow Step
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +4 Sneak Attack +5d6
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +4 Light Blade +2
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +5 Grin and Bear it
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Sneak Attack +6d6
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +5 Light Blade +3
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +6
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +6 Sneak Attack +7d6
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +6 Light Blade +4

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), Use Rope (Dex).

1-Sly Strike (Ex):At 1st level a Gilded tongue shadow rogue has practiced flourishes and ornate maneuvers with a single weapon. Because of this, the Gilded Tongue Shadow Rogue may use their Charisma modifier in place of Strength (or Dexterity) for that weapon's Attack and Damage rolls. The Shadow Rogue may choose the Light Blade as their chosen weapon, in which case this ability is dormant until level 8.

9-Whistle while you work (Ex): At level 9 a Gilded tongue rogue can use their CHA mod instead of their STR mod for trained skills that normally require STR.

15-Grin and Bear It (Ex): At level 15 a Gilded tongue rogue may use their CHA mod for FORT saves, instead of their CON mod.


Common abilities: *Ignore levels as mentioned in text, follow tables*

Sneak Attack: If a Shadow Rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from his attack, he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. The Shadow Rogue's attack deals extra damage any time his target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the Shadow Rogue flanks his target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every three Shadow Rogue levels thereafter. Should the Shadow Rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.

Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a Shadow Rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. He cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

A Shadow Rogue can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies—undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The Shadow Rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A Shadow Rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

Trapfinding: Shadow Rogues can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20.

Finding a nonmagical traps has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic traps has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

Shadow Rogues can also use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magical trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.

A shadow rogue who beats a trap’s DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with his party) without disarming it.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a shadow rogue can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

Evasion (Ex): At 3rd level and higher, a shadow rogue can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the shadow rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless shadow rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion. Furthermore, A shadow rogue of 12th level or higher may take this opportunity to use a shadow slide and leave the area of effect, assuming it is within the range of their standard slide, should they choose (ie. A 14th level shadow rogue who successfully avoids a Fireball Spell may jump to the outer edge of the blast, as a free immediate action, because the maximum range of his jump is 55 feet, and the diameter of the fireball is only 40 feet. He may also jump to the side of a 100' line of lightning, but as 100' is further than his maximum jump, he may not jump to the end of the line of lightning. He may not jump to another point within the area of effect, or to an occupied space under any condition. He may also choose to stay within the area of effect and take no damage, should he wish.).

See in Darkness (Su): At 3rd level Shadow Rogue can see in darkness of any sort, even magical darkness.

Shadow Step (Sp): At 6th level, a Shadow Rogue can use dimension slide as a spell-like ability at will. This works just like the psionic power, except that they must start and end in a shadow conceivably large enough for them to fit through (ie. A Half-orc shadow rogue could not expect to jump into or out of the shadow cast by a common house cat, unless the lighting was just so). A shadow rogue can start in their own shadow and end in someone else's shadow. It is equally possible to dive into a moving shadow(like one cast by a galloping horse), or come out of a moving shadow. It is up to the DM to discern the appropriate check for such an event(Failing such a check would imply that you "missed" the shadow, and therefore remain standing, or prone, where the shadow was. It is impossible to "miss" the exit shadow.). Should an acceptable shadow not be within range, nothing happens. At 12th level a shadow rogue gets Improved Shadow Step. This functions as Shadow Step, but is a move action, as opposed to a standard action.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A Shadow Rogue of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked. This defense denies another rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more Shadow Rogue levels than the target does. Levels in classes that provide Uncanny Dodge, like Barbarian and Rogue can be counted as Shadow Rogue levels for determining the required level to flank a shadow rogue(ie a 12th level Rogue/Barbarian could flank an 8th level shadow rogue) . If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a different class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge at level 2, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum Shadow Rogue level required to flank the character.

Light Blade (Su):: Naturally, shadows cannot exist without illumination, and at higher levels the shadow rogue gains the ability to create a special weapon, the Light Blade. As a swift action usable once per round, he can create a Light Blade (two if he has Two-Weapon Fighting). To do this, he must have at least partial illumination(the light of a torch, candle, or even 0 level light spell will suffice). With a flourish of his hands he grabs a piece of the light, and breaks it off into a blade. He automatically has proficiency with this weapon. A Light Blade has a reach of 5' and deals 1d6 slashing damage for medium, large, and small characters alike. A Light Blade threatens a critical on an 18-20 and has a critical multiplier of ×2. Light Blades have a range increment of 10', and melt 1 round after they hit a target, or the ground, assuming they have not been picked up by the wielder. Light blades also instantly dissipate the effects of any darkness spell, whether cast by the shadow rogue, an ally, or an enemy. Furthermore, they also provide light as if light had been cast on a standard weapon. This cannot be suppressed until the light blade as been dropped or thrown(and subsequently melted). Light blades will only function for their creator; if someone else tries to wield one it loses its solid nature and returns to particles of light, thereby losing all abilities. As a Light Blade wielder, you may choose one of the following special properties when you get the "Light Blade" ability, and additional ones as noted by the +X (ie a Shadow Rogue who has taken Light blade with Explosive Light, Absorption, and Blinding Offense has a Light Blade +3). The special properties may be taken in any order, unless otherwise noted:

  • Explosive Light: As a move action, the wielder of a Light Blade can enhance any nearby light, causing all within 30' to make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ character level + Dex modifier) or be blinded for 3 rounds. Creatures with light sensitivity take a -4 penalty to their save and are permanently blinded if they fail the save. If they pass, light-sensitive creatures are dazzled for three rounds.
  • Absorption: As an immediate action, you may make an attack against any ray fired at you. If your attack roll beats the attack roll used to hit you, your blade absorbs the ray and the next successful hit made with the blade deals 1d8 damage, rather than 1d6. On a confirmed critical hit any Light Blade augmented with an absorbed ray deals 2d8, rather than 2d6 or 1d8+1d6. You may absorb an infinite number of rays with this effect, but the damage dice never increases more than 1(In essence, the ray is simply negated).
  • Blinding Offense: Enemies count as flat-footed against any attacks you make with your Light Blades.
  • Refraction: If and only if the Shadow Rogue has taken "Absorbtion" as a special property, they may choose to "refract" the ray cast, and increase the damage dice of one character's weapon within 30 feet, rather than increasing the damage of their own attack. This effect can only be cast onto melee or ranged weapons, and only lasts for one successful hit. A Shadow rogue can give this benefit to any number of characters, but the effects do not stack (ie 4 allies may simultaneously have the benefit, but no one may upgrade their damage dice by more than one).
  • Prism Splash: As a standard action, a Shadow rogue may use his light blade(s) to cast Scintillating Pattern once per day, however the duration is instantaneous. Prism Splash may only be taken if the Shadow Rogue has taken Explosive Light at a previous level.
  • Handy Halo: A shadow rogue may keep their light blade form encounter to encounter. Normally, a light blade dissipates 1 minute after leaving combat, but with "Handy Halo" a light blade remains for a number of days equal to levels of Shadow Rogue. Furthermore, a Light Blade with "Handy Halo" will return to the shadow rogue's hand after being thrown. Outside of combat, the glow of a Handy Halo Light Blade can be effortlessly suppressed and activated as free actions at will. When the light feature is suppressed, the light blade looks like a dull gray shadow.


Pros and Cons

  • Shadow Step happens at a level sooner (+)
  • one less "empty level" (+)
    • "Empty level" only occurs when BAB& ALL THREE saves improve (+)
  • No more Shadow Strike (-)
  • No more Darkness (-)
    • Darkness wasn't particularly powerful, and was /very/ limited
  • Improved Uncanny Dodge happens a level later (-)
  • Level nine path ability almost totally worthless (Better than nothing, so +)
    • Amounts to a +2, or at most +4, on at most 3 skills (Climb, Jump, Swim).
  • Current Shadow rogue gets almost no bonus at level 9(+1 to FORT and WILL), this fixes that oversight (+)
  • I'm not sure how I like the path idea
    • It's hardly a choice, it's the same effects, one just happens to use CHA and the other INT
  • Reduces the dependence on multiple ability scores, opening up optimization avenues
    • Nothing wrong with optimization
      • Assuming you make INT or CHA your 2nd highest stat Multi-classing to wizard/sorc is very possible (but wise?)
        • Is the Light blade and sneak attack progression good enough to keep SRs SR, and not multiclass to Wiz/Sorc? I think so
    • Lots of things wrong with Munchkin'ing
      • Only a real problem in a point buy system, I suppose
        • Lots of people use Point buy systems
    • Does it really reduce ability dependence?
      • Assuming you specialize in 1 weapon (the Light Blade, duh), by level 9 you're only using STR for misc checks and load limits
        • What party makes the rogue do the misc STR checks?
        • Every rogue takes Weapon Finesse, right? None of them use STR for attacks anyway
    • Still depend on: 2 high stats, 2 decent, 2 dump stats?
      • STR (3 skills before level 9, Misc checks, load(carrying) limits, damage on all but 1 weapon )
      • DEX(AC, Attacks, skills, REF Saves)
      • CON (HP, FORT saves < level 15)
      • INT See CHA; pick INT or CHA
      • WIS (6 skills, WILL saves)
      • CHA (one weapon, 8/7 skills [11/10 after level 9] skills, FORT saves > level 15)

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