Death Shadow

Death shadow brigades typically form around a single, core death shadow attached to an army or other large organisation with paramilitary needs. This single individual searches out other psionics with strong psychoportation gifts to teach them his secrets. The army bears the cost of this search, as well as the incredible costs associated with the training. In return, they receive a cadre of warriors capable of moving like shadows though the world, killing at will.

Training in the way of the death shadow starts with basic military training, then moves on to more advanced topics of terrorism, sabotage and assassination. They also receive specialised psychoportation training, focusing on the development of teleportation, displacement and movement powers. After graduation, most death shadows repay the military with at least five years of compulsory service.

Once the period of service ends, the death shadow is theoretically able to seek employment elsewhere. However, most governments have little interest in allowing such a dangerous free agent in their borders. Nor do they wish to see the death shadow offer his services to another country. The lengths to which his former employers go to insure that the death shadow does not cause undue problems depends entirely on how much of a fuss the death shadow makes. If he moves quietly into the private or adventuring sectors they will just keep an eye on him. If instead he makes a fuss by becoming a mercenary or ‘consultant’ to a foreign government, he may find himself on his former comrades’ target list.

Hit Die: d6


To qualify to become a death shadow a character must fulfil all of the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +3 or higher.
Base Power Points/Day: 15+ (not including bonus power points).
Skills: Hide 8 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks.
Special: The character must serve the organisation that trained him for five years. If violated, this agreement can lead to the character being hunted throughout the known world by forces interested in keeping him quiet.

Class Skills

The death shadow class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (wis), Move Silently (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex) and Use Rope (Dex). See the SRD for skill descriptions.
Skill points at each level: 4 + Int modifier

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the death shadow prestige class.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A death shadow is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. A death shadow is proficient with light and medium armour as well as with all shields (except tower shields). Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a –1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armour and equipment carried.

Surprise Attack (Ex): When the death shadow teleports into a space adjacent to a target, his target must make a Reflex save (DC 15 + the death shadow’s class level) or be flatfooted until their next action.

The Longest Step (Su): One time per day the death shadow gains the ability to ‘skip’ teleport for a number of rounds equal to his Dexterity modifier. These skip teleports take the place of a normal movement action, have a maximum range of 30 feet and can only take the death shadow to a place that he can see. At 5th level the death shadow may activate this ability twice per day. At 8th level the death shadow may activate this ability up to three times per day.

Sneak Attack (Ex): If a death shadow can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from his attack he can strike a vital spot for extra damage. Any time the death shadow’s target would be denied his Dexterity bonus to AC (whether he actually has a Dexterity bonus or not) or when the death shadow flanks the target, his attacks deal extra damage. The extra damage is +1d6 at 3rd level, +2d6 at 6th level, and +3d6 at 9th level. This ability stacks with the sneak attack abilities gained from other classes. Ranged attacks only count as sneak attacks if the death shadow is within 30 feet of his target.

Cloak of Displacement (Su): At 3rd level the death shadow learn how to use his psionic powers to displace himself slightly in space. So long as he has 7 or more power points in his power point pool all targeted attacks have a 20% chance to miss him completely.

At 5th level this chance increases to 30% so long as he has 9 or more power points in his power point pool. At 7th level the miss chance increases to 40% so long as he has 13 or more power points in his power point pool. At 10th level he learns the final secrets of the cloak of displacement, giving all targeted attacks a 50% chance to miss him so long as he has 15 or more power points in his power point pool. The cloak ceases to function at full effect when the character falls below the power point threshold for his level but will function at a lower level so long as sufficient power points remain. For example, a 9th level death shadow with 9 power points can manifest a cloak that provides a 30% miss chance.

The cloak of displacement appears as a blurred aura around the death shadow. It obscures his physical features. Invoking or disabling the cloak is a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

The Death Shadow

Class LevelBase AttackFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1+0+0+2+0Surprise attack
2+1+0+3+0The longest step (1x per day)
3+2+1+3+1Sneak attack +1d6, cloak of displacement (20%)
5+3+1+4+1The longest step (2x per day), cloak of displacement (30%)
6+4+2+5+2Sneak attack +2d6
7+5+2+5+2Cloak of displacement (40%)
8+6+2+6+2The longest step (3x per day)
9+6+3+6+3Sneak attack +3d6
10+7+3+7+3Cloak of displacement (50%)