General Prestige Class : Shadowcraft Mage
Illusionist is one of the most popular spellcasting classes among gnomes due to their natural affinity for illusions. Some gnomes have an even greater affinity for illusions than the average representative of their race, resulting in the prestige class known as the shadowcraft mage.
Gnome society has a great call for individuals who can make one thing look like another for the purpose of decorating, costuming, or playing pranks on people. Shadowcraft mages have a more practical attitude about illusion and focus on the daily application of their powers.
Wizards and sorcerers are natural fits for the shadowcraft mage prestige class. Bards also find it a natural extension of their magical leanings, making for diverse backgrounds among those with this profession.
In general, an NPC shadowcraft mage only reveals herself when she wants to be found - even then, she rarely shows her true form. Dealing with a shadowcraft mage means peering through layer after layer of misdirection and deception. Among the most powerful shadowcraft mages, illusion becomes an effective substitute for reality, with shadowcraft conjurations and evocations functioning almost as well as their standard counterpart
Adaptation: A cabal of non-gnome illusionists could certainly use this prestige class; simply replace the racial requirement with a requirement that shadowcraft mages be members of the cabal. The requirement for a 4th-level spell from the shadow subschool restricts this class to arcane spellcasters. If not for that requirement, clerics with the Trickery domain could qualify more easily than wizards and sorcerers.
To qualify to become a Shadowcraft Mage, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Race: Gnome
- Skills: Bluff 4 ranks, Hide 4 ranks
- Feats: Spell Focus (illusion),
- Spells: Able to cast at least three illusion spells, including at least one shadow spell of 4th level or higher.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the shadowcraft mage prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shadowcraft mages gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Spells per Day/Spells Known: At each level, a shadowcraft mage gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class before adding the prestige class level. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of turning or destroying undead, metamagic or item creation feats, and so on). If she had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a shadowcraft mage, she must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.
Cloak of Shadow (Su): A shadowcraft mage can cloak her form in shifting shadows. This ability provides her with a variable amount of concealment depending on her level.
While her cloak of shadow is active, attacks against a shadowcraft mage have a miss chance equal to 15% + 5% per class level to a maximum of 40% at 5th level). Darkvision and low-light vision offer no help in piercing the cloak of shadow, although any creature that can see in magical darkness can ignore the miss chance, as can a creature with true seeing. A shadowcraft mage can dismiss or resume this effect as a free action. While her cloak of shadow is active, a shadowcraft mage can make Hide checks as if she had concealment.
Cloak of shadow doesn't function in daylight, and it is the equivalent of a 3rd-level darkness effect for the purpose of interacting with light spells.
Silent Illusion (Ex): After a shadowcraft mage reaches 2nd level, all spells from the illusion school that she casts no longer require a verbal component, as if the Silent Spell feat had been applied to them. The levels and casting times of these illusion spells don't change, however. If a shadowcraft mage casts illusion spells that can't be affected by the Silent Spell feat (for instance, if the character casts bard spells), this ability has no effect on those spells.
Shadow Illusion (Su): Beginning at 3rd level, a shadowcraft mage is able to infuse some of her figments (see the list below) with material from the Plane of Shadow, making them partially real. The subschool of these spells changes from figment to shadow. A shadowcraft mage can use the altered spell to mimic any sorcerer or wizard conjuration (summoning), conjuration (creation), or evocation spell at least one level lower than the illusion spell. The altered spell functions identically to the shadow conjuration or shadow evocation spell, except that the spell's strength equals 10% per level of the figment spell used.
For example, a shadowcraft mage who uses silent image to create an acid splash would deal 10% of the normal damage to a creature that succeeds on its Will save to disbelieve the shadow. If she used programmed image to mimic summon monster V, the creature would have 60% of the hit points of a normal creature of its kind, and its damage would be 60% normal against a creature that succeeds on its Will save to disbelieve.
A shadowcraft mage can apply shadow illusion to any of the following figment spells: silent image, minor image, major image, persistent image, and programmed image.
Extended Illusion (Ex): After a shadowcraft mage reaches 4th level, the duration of any illusion spell she casts or and spell-like ability from the illusion school that she uses is doubled, as if the Extend Spell feat had been applied to it. The levels and casting times of these spells and spell-like abilities don't change, however. This ability stacks with the effect of the Extend Spell feat, which still changes the spell's effective level.
Powerful Shadow Magic (Su): When a shadowcraft mage reaches 5th level, the strength of the effects created by her shadow conjuration, shadow evocation, greater shadow conjuration, greater shadow evocation, and shades spells increases by 20%. That is, these spells are an additional 20% likely to affect disbelieving creatures and deal 20% more damage.
This bonus also applies to figment spells transformed into shadow spells via the shadow illusion power (see above).
|Shadowcraft Mage||Hit Die: d4|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Cloak of shadow||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Silent illusion||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+3||Shadow illusion||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Extended illusion||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Powerful shadow magic||+1 level of existing spellcasting class|
Source: Races of Stone