Role: A shadowcaster understands the true, primal power of darkness, attunes herself to the Plane of Shadow, and learns great shadow mysteries the equal of any mundane spell. This dark caster is a worker of alien magic, possessing an occult understanding of the world and magic that even other spellcasters find disturbing. She is a master of dark power—and perhaps, as some worry, its servant as well.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Dice: d6.

A shadowcaster’s class skills are Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Stealth (Dex).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

A shadowcaster has the following class features:

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Fundamentals of shadow, apprentice mysteries
2 +1 +3 +0 +3
3 +1 +3 +1 +3 Umbral sight (darkvision)
4 +2 +4 +1 +4 Bonus fundamental
5 +2 +4 +1 +4 Bonus feats, sustaining shadow (food)
6 +3 +5 +2 +5
7 +3 +5 +2 +5 Initiate mysteries
8 +4 +6 +2 +6 Bonus fundamental
9 +4 +6 +3 +6
10 +5 +7 +3 +7 Sustaining shadow (sleep)
11 +5 +7 +3 +7 Umbral sight (see in darkness)
12 +6 +8 +4 +8 Bonus fundamental
13 +6 +8 +4 +8 Master mysteries
14 +7 +9 +4 +9
15 +7 +9 +5 +9 Sustaining shadow (poison/disease)
16 +8 +10 +5 +10 Bonus fundamental
17 +8 +10 +5 +10
18 +9 +11 +6 +11
19 +9 +11 +6 +11
20 +10 +12 +6 +12 Bonus fundamental, sustaining shadow (all)

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A shadowcaster is proficient with all simple weapons. She is not proficient with any type of armour or shield. Armour interferes with a shadowcaster’s gestures, which can cause her mysteries to fail when they function as spells.

Fundamentals of Shadow (Su): A shadowcaster must master certain basic powers before proceeding to deeper secrets of shadow. These powers, known as fundamentals, function as supernatural abilities usable at will. A shadowcaster begins play with three fundamentals and gains an additional fundamental at 4th level and every four additional levels beyond 4th. She can, when gaining a new level, choose a new fundamental in place of another mystery. When choosing a fundamental, she can relearn an already known fundamental, thus gaining another set of uses of that fundamental per day. The save DC of any fundamental is equal to 10 + 1/2 her class level + her Cha modifier.

Mysteries and Paths: A shadowcaster does not cast spells as other classes do, but instead invokes mystical secrets called mysteries. She knows one mystery at 1st level and gains one additional mystery every class level. Up to 6th level, she can learn only apprentice mysteries. At 7th level, she gains access to initiate mysteries, and at 13th level she becomes able to use master mysteries. She can choose her new mystery from any category she has access to (including fundamentals). For instance, at 8th level, she could select either a fundamental, an apprentice mystery, or an initiate mystery.

Shadow magic progresses within very specific paths, but a shadowcaster may jump around between them, and she need not complete a path if she does not wish to. Within a category (apprentice, initiate, master), she can only learn mysteries of a new level if she has learned at least two mysteries of a previous level, but she need not know all previous mysteries within a path to select a mystery from that path. For example, she cannot learn congress of shadows (the second mystery of the ebon whispers path) until she knows at least two 1st-level mysteries, but neither of them must be voice of shadow (the first mystery of that path). Additionally, she can always select the first mystery in a path of a category she has access to, even if she didn’t complete any lower category paths. For example, she could learn the shadow vision mystery—the first mystery (4th level) in the initiate-category veil of shadows path—even if she knows no 3rd level mysteries (all of which are in the apprentice category).

Mysteries represent thought patterns and formulae so alien that other spells seem simple in comparison. As a shadowcaster progresses, however, her connection to the Plane of Shadow grows stronger, and her mysteries become more ingrained in her essence. When she is capable of casting only apprentice mysteries, she casts them as though they were arcane spells. They all have somatic components, armour-based spell failure chance, and are subject to interruption (but they do not require material components, foci, or verbal components). Whenever she casts a mystery as an arcane spell, observers can make a DC 15 Perception check to note that her shadow is making different gestures from the ones she makes.

At 7th level, when she becomes capable of casting initiate mysteries (whether or not she chooses to learn any), a shadowcaster’s apprentice mysteries become so much a part of her that they now function as spell-like abilities, and they no longer require somatic components. Her new initiate mysteries (when she learns them) function as arcane spells and follow the rules described above.

When a shadowcaster reaches 13th level and becomes capable of casting master mysteries, another change occurs. Her master mysteries now function as arcane spells, and her initiate mysteries function as spell-like abilities. Her apprentice mysteries become supernatural abilities.

A shadowcaster can learn a mystery more than once. Each time she relearns a mystery, she gains another set of uses of that mystery per day.

A shadowcaster can use each mystery she knows a certain number of times per day depending on whether it is cast as a spell (once), a spell-like ability (two times), or a supernatural ability (three times). Like a spellcaster, she gains bonus castings of mysteries per day if she has a high Charisma score (Core Rulebook, pg. 17, table 1-3). For example, if she has a Charisma score of 20, each day she may choose any two 1st level mysteries she knows and cast them each an additional time, or choose one 1st level mystery and cast it an additional two times, in addition to choosing 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th level mysteries to each receive an additional casting (provided she knows a mystery at each appropriate level).

To learn or cast a mystery, a shadowcaster must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the mystery’s level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against most of her mysteries is 10 + the mystery level + her Charisma modifier, but apprentice mysteries cast as supernatural abilities instead use the formula 10 + 1/2 her class level + her Charisma modifier. Even though as a shadowcaster she does not cast spells in the traditional sense, her levels in this class count for the purpose of determining her overall caster level.

Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered shadowcaster level after that (6th, 8th, and so on), a shadowcaster can choose to learn a new mystery in place of one she already knows. In effect, she loses the old mystery in exchange for the new one. The new mystery must be of a level that meets her requirements of having access to two mysteries of each level within each category in order to have access to a mystery of the next higher level. For example, if she chooses to lose one of her only two 2nd level mysteries and she knows at least one 3rd level mystery, she must choose a different 2nd level mystery to replace the one she lost. Otherwise, she may choose any mystery to which she legally has access. A shadowcaster may swap only a single mystery at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the mystery at the same time that she gains her new mystery for the level.

Unlike a wizard or a cleric, a shadowcaster need not prepare her mysteries in advance. She can use any mystery she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her daily allotment of castings for that mystery.

Umbral Sight (Su): When she reaches 3rd level, a shadowcaster’s vision extends slightly into the Plane of Shadow. She gains darkvision out to 30 feet. If she already has darkvision, or gains it from some other source, the effective distance of that vision is increased by 30 feet. At 11th level, she becomes able to see perfectly in complete darkness, even magical darkness, out to 60 feet.

Bonus Feats: Beginning at 5th level, a shadowcaster gains bonus feats equal to the total number of completed paths she has access to. Thus, she has a choice: fully master fewer paths and gain access to more feats, or branch out into more paths and gain more versatility. Fundamentals do not apply for the purpose of bonus feats.

A shadowcaster must meet the prerequisites (if any) in order to select a feat as a bonus feat. The list of feats she can select includes any metamagic feat, Empower Mystery, Enlarge Mystery, Extend Mystery, Favoured Mystery, Greater Path Focus, Line of Shadow, Maximize Mystery, Nocturnal Caster, Path Focus, Quicken Mystery, Reach Mystery, Still Mystery, and Umbral Vision.

Sustaining Shadow (Ex): When she reaches 5th level, a shadowcaster’s bond to the Plane of Shadow allows her to absorb dark energies, mitigating certain biological needs. She need only eat a single meal per week to maintain health. At 10th level, she only needs 1 hour of sleep per night (but she must still rest for 8 hours to regain her mysteries for the next day). At 15th level, she gains immunity to nonmagical diseases and poisons. Finally, at 20th level, she no longer needs to breathe and need never eat or sleep.

Darkness spreads, and night overcomes the day. Experienced spellcasters who turn their efforts toward shadow might find their connection to primal darkness growing swiftly, at the expense of their previous abilities.

When a multiclass sorcerer or wizard gains a new shadowcaster level, she can choose to sacrifice a preexisting level of sorcerer or wizard, in exchange for an additional shadowcaster level. For instance, a 3rd level wizard/4th level shadowcaster who attains a new shadowcaster level becomes either a 3rd level wizard/5th level shadowcaster, or a 2nd level wizard/6th level shadowcaster. A character can exchange only one such level at a time.

When swapping levels, make the following changes:

  • When exchanging sorcerer levels, a shadowcaster must also remove an appropriate number of spells from the sorcerer’s list of spells known. A wizard who exchanges a level does not lose spells from her spellbook, though some spells might no longer be available.
  • Leave skills gained at that level as they are; these classes have the same number of skill points, and many skills in common.
  • When replacing any wizard level at which a shadowcaster gained a bonus feat, she loses that feat.
  • When replacing any level at which a shadowcaster gained one of the following feats as a normal feat (not a class-related bonus feat), she swaps it out as follows: She trades metamagic feats for similar metashadow feats, Spell Focus (Core Rulebook, pg. 134) for Path Focus, and Greater Spell Focus (Core Rulebook, pg. 125) for Greater Path Focus.
  • A shadowcaster can’t lose a feat or class ability that you would make her ineligible for any other feat or prestige class she already has, even if this means she can no longer take advantage of the creeping darkness feature.

This notion of creeping darkness does more than add an alien element to shadow magic. GMs who introduce shadow magic into an ongoing campaign can use this as a way of allowing players to embrace the new material without having to abandon their existing characters.

Arrow of Dusk
Black Candle
Caul of Shadow
Liquid Night
Mystic Reflections
Shadow Hood
Sight Obscured
Umbral Hand
Widened Eyes


1. Steel Shadows
2. Sight Eclipsed
3. Sharp Shadows

1. Carpet of Shadow
2. Black Fire
3. Clinging Darkness

1. Voice of Shadow
2. Congress of Shadows
3. Flicker

1. Bend Perspective
2. Piercing Sight
3. Killing Shadows

1. Quicker Than the Eye
2. Trail of Haze
3. Umbral Fist

1. Dusk and Dawn
2. Shadow Skin
3. Dancing Shadows

1. Life Fades
2. Flesh Fails
3. Umbral Touch

1. Mesmerizing Shade
2. Thoughts of Shadow
3. Afraid of the Dark


4. Warp Spell
5. Echo Spell
6. Flood of Shadow

4. Bolster
5. Languor
6. Shadow Investiture

4. Shadow Evocation
5. Feign Life
6. Greater Shadow Evocation

4. Fearful Gloom
5. Sickening Shadow
6. Deadly Shade

4. Step Into Shadow
5. Pass Into Shadow
6. Voyage Into Shadow

4. Aura of Shade
5. Dark Air or Water
6. Shadow Storm

4. Shadows Fade
5. Unravel Dweomer
6. Greater Shadows Fade

4. Shadow Vision
5. Curtain of Shadows
6. Unveil


7. Greater Life Fades
8. Greater Flesh Fails
9. Ephemeral Storm

7. Ephemeral Image
8. Umbral Body
9. Shadow Time

7. Prison of Night
8. Tomb of Night
9. Consume Essence

7. Truth Revealed
8. Far Sight
9. Reflections of Things to Come

7. Dark Soul
8. Soul Puppet
9. Shadow Surge

7. Summon Umbral Servant
8. Shadow Plague
9. Army of Shadow

7. Grasping Shadows
8. Menagerie of Darkness
9. Black Labyrinth


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