The Atlantean Shadow

Atlantean Shadow

Prime Requisite: DEX and INT
Requirements: INT 9, WIS 9, CHA 9
Hit Dice: 1d4
Maximum Level: 10

Atlantean shadows are the heirs of the traditions of the mysterious orders of spies and assassins that once served the Atlantean Emperors. They use illusions and other magic to elegantly and reliably accomplish the tricks that mundane thieves attempt with crude muscle and gadgets.

Shadows are trained combatants, although not as skilled as fighters. At first level, shadows hit an unarmored foe (AC 0) with an attack throw of 10+. They advance in attack throws and saving throws by two points every four levels of experience (i.e. the same as thieves). They may use any missile weapons and any one-handed melee weapons. They are not trained to use shields, or fight two-handed, but they may dual wield weapons. Shadows cannot wear armor heavier than leather.

A shadow can backstab and hear noise as a thief of his level.

A shadow can learn and cast arcane spells as a mage of two-thirds his shadow level, as summarized on the Spell Progression table above. Like a mage, the shadow’s spell selection is limited to the spells in his repertoire. A shadow’s repertoire can include a number of spells up to the number and level of spells listed for his level, increased by his Intelligence bonus. Shadows can use any magic items that are available to mages or thieves.

Like all Atlantean spellcasters, the Atlantean shadow was taught the art by a demonic Atlantean familiar. This companion spirit looks like a 1′ – 1 ½’ tall imp or gargoyle, but can use illusions to disguise itself as a bat, cat, rat, raven, or small snake, or an animate puppet, doll, or ventriloquist’s dummy, or a 1′ tall evil clown. The Atlantean familiar has AC 2. It can fly [90(30)], and walk [60(20)], but prefers to ride about on its Atlantean’s shoulder. The familiar’s HD & hp are equal ½ its Atlantean’s HD & hp, and its INT equals its Atlantean’s INT. The familiar has a number of general and class proficiencies equal to its Atlantean and chosen from its Atlantean’s class list. The Atlantean familiar speaks Infernal and understands all languages spoken by its Atlantean. The Atlantean familiar can teleport to Hell or to its Atlantean’s side at will. It grants its Atlantean a +1 bonus on all saving throws when it is within 30′, but it usually teleports to Hell as its first action in any combat situation. The Atlantean familiar is obligated to teach its Atlantean magic (serving as a master who teaches spells until the Atlantean reaches 9th level), but it rarely obeys commands or grants requests (roll on Reaction to Hiring Offer chart each time; -1 if its Atlantean is Neutral, -2 if Lawful), If the familiar spirit is slain, the Atlantean must succeed on a CON save or immediately take damage equal to the familiar’s maximum hp. The familiar isn’t really destroyed, just banished to Hell for a year and a day, like any other demon, or until its Atlantean gains a level, at which point its obligation to teach its Atlantean overrides its prohibition on returning to the mortal plane after its physical manifestation was destroyed.

An Atlantean shadow is a master of illusions. When he casts illusion spells, calculate the effects as if the shadow’s caster level were 2 levels higher than it is. Attempts to disbelieve illusions created by the shadow are at a -2 penalty on the saving throw. The shadow may also conduct magical research into illusion spells as if his caster level were two levels higher than it actually is. In addition, the shadow’s familiarity with illusion magic renders him resistant to illusions created by others. He gains a +4 bonus to disbelieve magical illusions.

All shadows can magically accomplish simple illusions and sleight of hand tricks suitable for impressing peasants, such as lighting a candle or shuffling cards, at will. To cast these prestidigitations, the shadow must be able to perform the task physically, and be free to speak and gesture. He may use magical sleight-of-hand to pick pockets as a thief of one half his class level.

The Atlantean shadow has several spell-like abilities. Most notably, once per hour, the Atlantean may spend one turn to cloak himself only with invisibility or inaudibility. He may also, once per hour, spend one turn to magically open a lock or other method of preventing access, as per the knock spell. At will, the shadow can spend one turn to grant himself only the power to spider climb for 3 turns, or to detect traps for as long as he does nothing except concentrate on this power (including move).

Like all Atlanteans, the shadow has been taught to speak, read, and write Atlantean, Draconic, Goblysh, and Infernal, as well as the common tongue of the continent where he was raised. Much of the Atlantean’s training has been at the hands of demonic spirits, rendering him inexorable in the face of horrors that terrify normal men. He is immune to all natural and magical fear effects.

The shadow may rely upon ancient pacts of service and obedience by which the lords of Atlantis bound the dark powers of the world, which grant all Atlanteans a +2 bonus to reaction rolls when encountering intelligent chaotic monsters. Intelligent chaotic monsters also suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws against any charm spells cast by an Atlantean.

Finally, Atlanteans grow in power “after the flesh”, as they call it. If transformed into intelligent undead, Atlanteans retain their racial powers and any class abilities. Once transformed, the Atlantean may continue to advance in Hit Dice without limit, even past his class’s maximum level. A 1 HD undead Atlantean shadow requires 4,500 XP to advance to 2 HD, and the amount of XP required to advance as an undead doubles with each HD thereafter (round values greater than 20,000 XP to the nearest 1,000). All of the Atlantean’s class abilities will continue to progress without regard to his class’s maximum level, to a maximum of 14th level.

However, because of their dark souls, the grim embrace of death holds special perils for Atlanteans. Whenever a deceased Atlantean rolls on the Tampering With Mortality table, he suffers a penalty on the 1d20 roll of -1 per level of experience.

When he reaches 7th level, the Atlantean shadow may begin to research spells, scribe magical scrolls, and brew potions as if he were a 5th level mage.

When he reaches 9th level, the Atlantean shadow may construct a hideout. When he builds a hideout, the shadow lord will gain 2d6 1st level Atlantean shadows as apprentices, come to learn from a master of the ancient art. Atlantean shadows are able to hear noise as a thief of their level so they can be assigned carousing hijinks. They can also use their invisibility power to perform assassinating and spying hijinks with the same chance of success as an assassin of their shadow level.

Atlantean Shadow Proficiency List: Acrobatics, Alchemy, Alertness, Battle Magic, Black Lore, Blind Fighting, Bribery, Combat Reflexes, Combat Trickery (disarm, incapacitate), Contemplation, Contortionism, Elementalism, Fighting Style, Lip Reading, Loremastery, Magical Engineering, Mystic Aura, Precise Shooting, Quiet Magic, Running, Sensing Power, Skirmishing, Sniping, Soothsaying, Swashbuckling, Unarmed Fighting, Unflappable Casting, Wakefulness, Weapon Focus, Weapon Finesse

The Atlantean Shadow was built as follows:

Atlantean (Zaharan) Value: 3 = 2075 xp
Hit Die Value: 0 = 0 xp
Fighting Value: 1 (1 trade-off) = 500 xp
Thievery Value: 3 (8 thief skills traded off for custom powers) = 500 xp
Divine Value: 0 = 0 xp
Arcane Value: 0 = 0 xp

The Atlantean classes I have yet to publish are listed below. If there is one you are interested in that you would like me to publish next, let me know.

Atlantean Mentalist: A martial artist and magician.
Atlantean Sorcerer: A powerful magic-user.
Atlantean Swordsmage: A wizard-knight.
Atlantean Tycoon: A wizard with business sense.

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