From Cf

The shadow is a master of stealth and deception. He can fill a variety of roles and fit a number of generic types. Thief, spy, rogue and assassin are some of the most common archetypes of the shadow character class.



The shadow uses his wit, charm, stealth and guile to complete his goals. He can gain entry to secure areas, through deception or furtiveness. He can manipulate people to part with vital information, or using disguise to mask his own true appearance and identity. If need be, the shadow can kill, silently and efficiently. In an adventuring group, the shadow can function as a party spokesperson and supportive combatant.


Dexterity and Charisma are the shadow's most important abilities. His Dexterity is the source of his stealth, his ability to strike silently, and when he carries light or no armor, it adds vital bonuses to his armor class. His Charisma powers his social skills; his ability to befriend, decieve, bluff, manipulate and gain information from the people around him. His Intelligence is also important, as several of his skills are based on that ability score.

Game Rules

Hit Die


Class Skills

The scout’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are:

Skill Points

  • First level: (8 + Int. modifier) x4.
  • Additional levels: 8 + Int. modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the shadow.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A shadow has the following weapon and armor proficiency feats:


A shadow gains Stealthy as a bonus feat.

Sneak Attack

If a 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. The shadow’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 flanks his target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every three shadow levels thereafter. Should the shadow 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 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 can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomies. Non-living, non-biological or incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The shadow 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 cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.


At 2nd level shadows can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20. Finding a trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Shadows can use the Disable device skill to disarm traps. A shadow 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.

Poison Use

Shadows are trained in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a weapon or other object.

Trap Sense

At 3rd level, a scout gains an intuitive sense that alerts him to danger from traps, giving him a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise to +2 when the scout reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level. Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.


At 2nd level and higher, a shadow can avoid certain special 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 is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless scout does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Uncanny Dodge

Starting at 4th level, a shadow 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. If a shadow already has uncanny dodge from a different class he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.


A shadow knows how to size up an area and get the lay of the land in a single sweep of his or her eyes. This sweep provides a +4 circumstance bonus on Spot checks and covers an area out to 30 feet away from the shadow. The shadow can use this bonus at the start of an encounter. Anything not concealed can be spotted in a sweep with a successful check (DC 10). The DC for concealed or less obvious threats is equal to their Hide check result.

Without a Trace

At 5th level, when a shadow uses any of the following skills: Balance, Climb, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Hide, Move Silently, and Sleight of Hand, those using Investigate, Listen, Search, or Spot to detect the Shadow's activity take a –4 penalty.

Death Attack

If a shadow studies his victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the additional effect of possibly either paralyzing or killing the target (shadow’s choice). While studying the victim, the shadow can undertake other actions so long as his attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect the shadow or recognize the shadow as an enemy. If the victim of such an attack fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the shadow’s class level + the shadow’s Int modifier) against the kill effect, she dies. If the saving throw fails against the paralysis effect, the victim is rendered helpless and unable to act for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the shadow. If the victim’s saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal sneak attack. Once the shadow has completed the 3 rounds of study, he must make the death attack within the next 3 rounds.

If a death attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes her save) or if the shadow does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before he can attempt another death attack.

Improved Uncanny Dodge

A shadow of 8th level or higher can no longer be flanked. This defense denies another creature the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more class levels in the class giving him the sneak attack ability than the target does.

If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum class level required to flank the character.

Defensive Roll

The shadow can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than he otherwise would. Once per day, when he would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a psionic power or special ability), the shadow can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the shadow must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If the save succeeds, he takes only half damage from the blow; if it fails, he takes full damage. He must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute his defensive roll—if he is denied her Dexterity bonus to AC, he can’t use this ability. Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Reflex save for half damage, the shadow’s evasion ability does not apply to the defensive roll.

Winning Smile

At 10th level, a shadow develops such a force of personal magnetism that he can convince a single target to regard him as a trusted friend. (If the target is currently being threatened or attacked by the shadow or his allies, this ability won’t work.) The target makes a Will saving throw to avoid being persuaded by the shadow's words and actions. The DC is 10 + showdow's class level + shadow's Charisma bonus. This ability doesn’t enable the shadow to control the target, but the target perceives the shadow's words and actions in the most favorable way. The shadow can try to give the target orders, but he must win an opposed Charisma check to convince the target to perform any actions the target wouldn’t normally undertake. The target never obeys suicidal or obviously harmful orders, and any act by the shadow or his allies that threatens the target breaks the mood and clears the target’s head. Otherwise, a target remains won over for 1 minute per shadow level. After the duration expires, the GM determines the reaction and attitude of the target based on what the shadow compelled the target to do. This is a Mind-Affecting ability

Improved Evasion

This ability works like evasion, except that while the shadow still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless shadow does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Improved Sweep

At 11th level, a shadow's ability to get the lay of the land improves. Now the shadow not only spots potential perils with a successful check, he can determine the relative strength of these dangers. A successful check relates the danger’s strength compared to the shadow: stronger (higher level or Hit Dice), on par (same level or HD), or weaker (lower level or HD).

Slippery Mind

This ability represents the shadow's ability to wriggle free from psionic- or special effects that would otherwise control or compel her. If a shadow with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails his saving throw, he can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. He gets only this one extra chance to succeed on his saving throw.

Hide in Plain Sight

While in any sort of natural terrain, a shadow of 14th level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed.

Improved Sniping

When sniping (see the Hide skill), the shadow takes only a -10 penalty to the Hide check following a single ranged attack.

Sow Distrust

A shadow of 17th level or higher can turn one character against another. The shadow must spend a full-round action and know the name of the character he is attempting to persuade as well as the name of the character toward whom the target’s distrust will be directed. The target must be able to hear and understand the shadow. The target makes a Will save. The DC is equal to 10 + shadow’s class level + shadow’s Charisma bonus. If the target fails the save, his attitude toward the other designated character worsens by one step: helpful turns to friendly, friendly to indifferent, indifferent to unfriendly, unfriendly to hostile (see the Diplomacy skill). The target makes a Will save whenever the shadow uses this talent against him. As long as the target continues to fail the Will save, the shadow can continue taking full-round actions to worsen the target’s attitude toward a designated character. When the target’s attitude drops to hostile, he attacks the designated character. A successful Will save doesn’t restore previous attitude shifts, but it does render the target immune for 24 hours to further attempts by the shadow to sow distrust. The Negotiator can’t use this talent on his or her allies. This is a Mind-Affecting ability.

Perfect Sniping

When sniping (see the Hide skill), the shadow takes no penalty to the Hide check following a single ranged attack.

Table: The Shadow:
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Defense Modifier
1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Stealthy, Sneak Attack +1d6 +1
2 +1 +0 +3 +3 Evasion, Trapfinding +2
3 +2 +1 +3 +3 Poison Use, Trap Sense +1 +3
4 +3 +1 +4 +4 Sneak Attack +2d6, Uncanny Dodge +4
5 +3 +1 +4 +4 Sweep, Without a Trace +4
6 +4 +2 +5 +5 Trap Sense +2, Death Attack +5
7 +5 +2 +5 +5 Sneak Attack +3d6 +6
8 +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 Improved Uncanny Dodge +7
9 +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Trap Sense +3, Defensive Roll +8
10 +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Sneak Attack +4d6, Winning Smile +8
11 +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 Improved Evasion, Improved Sweep +9
12 +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Slippery Mind, Trap Sense +4 +10
13 +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Sneak Attack +5d6 +11
14 +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Hide in Plain Sight +12
15 +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Trap Sense +5, Improved Sniping +12
16 +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Sneak Attack +6d6 +13
17 +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 Sow Distrust +14
18 +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Trap Sense +6 +15
19 +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 Sneak Attack +7d6 +16
20 +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Perfect Sniping +16
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