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Shadow of a Murder [3.5: Winner, GitP PrC XX] (PEACH)

Game design for the d20 system

Shadow of a Murder [3.5: Winner, GitP PrC XX] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:13 pm

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"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague.
Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"

_ "The Premature Burial", Edgar Allan Poe


It is the ritual of most assassin clans to induct only those who have proven their dedication to the arts of death by killing one completely innocent and defenseless, for no purpose than to prove their willingness to do so. A great deal of thought and preparation often goes into the processes, means, and target of the ritualistic kill, but less often do the assassins consider what happens afterward.

Witnessing such wanton destruction changes a person. Instills a darkness, a sensitivity to the vagaries of fate, festering within one's soul. Life is followed by death, but not all death is ordained. To those knives in the dark, even greater darkness shadows every step. Some of the assassins have begun to understand, to learn that leaving a corpse behind from their ritual is unwise, for the murder of crows that descend upon it in the morning is an ill omen indeed, for this signifies that their Murder has gained a Shadow.

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The Shadow of a Murder is the response to the ritual killing of the Assassin. Anyone who witnesses it cannot shake the sense of dread that buries itself within their souls. But for some, this dread becomes consuming, and they become one with it, becoming the Shadow of the Murder they witnessed, and their vengeance flies swift on dark wings.

Prerequisites
  • Feats
    • Darkstalker (Lords of Madness).
  • Skills
    • Disguise 8 ranks.
    • Gather Information 10 ranks.
    • Hide 8 ranks.
    • Listen 10 ranks.
    • Sense Motive 8 ranks.
    • Spot 10 ranks.
  • Special
    • Must have been the first to come across the body of one murdered for the solely so that the killer could become an assassin. Witnessing the murder would also qualify.

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Hit Die
d6.

Skills
Class Skills: The class skills of the Shadow of a Murder (and the key ability modifier for each) are Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty) (Int), Knowledge (The Planes) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (N/A), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points per Level: 6 + Int.

Table 1: The Shadow of a Murder
LevelBABFortRefWillSpecial
Secret
Attack
Fund.Myst.Appr.1st2nd3rdInit.4th5th6th
1st+0+0+2+2An Unkindness (1 Swarm), Bird's Eye Viewing, Secret Attack
+0
3
2
Sp
1--
_\
---
2nd+1+0+3+3A Conspiracy (Murders only), Darkvision
+0
3
3
Sp
11-
_\
---
3rd+2+1+3+3An Unkindness (Ravens), Apprentice Mysteries (Supernatural)
+0
4
4
Su
22-
_\
---
4th+3+1+4+4A Conspiracy (Anything), Shadowy
+1d6
4
5
Su
222
_\
---
5th+3+1+4+4An Unkindness (2 Swarms), Unlimited Fundamentals
+1d6
4
6
Su
222
_\
---
6th+4+2+5+5Initiate Mysteries (Spell-like), Becoming the Shadow
+1d6
4
7
Su
222
Sp
1--
7th+5+2+5+5Apprentice Mysteries (Extraordinary)
+2d6
5
8
Ex
333
Sp
1--
8th+6+2+6+6An Unkindness (3 Swarms), A Conspiracy (A View to a Kill)
+2d6
5
9
Ex
333
Sp
11-
9th+6+3+6+6Initiate Mysteries (Supernatural), Shaded Mind
+2d6
6
10
Ex
333
Su
22-
10th+7+3+7+7Murder
+3d6
6
11
Ex
333
Su
222

_\ Armor and Weapon Proficiencies _ The Shadow of a Murder gains no new proficiencies.

_\ Shadow Magic _ The Shadow of a Murder selects his Mysteries, including Fundamentals, from the Shadow of a Murder Paths and Mysteries list.

_\ Fundamentals of Shadow (Su) _ As the Shadow of a Murder, one becomes one with the darkness, and certain basic secrets are known to you. These powers, known as Fundamentals, function as Supernatural abilities, each usable three times per day. A 1st level Shadow of a Murder knows three fundamentals, and gains a bonus Fundamental at 3rd, 7th, and 9th. Beginning at 5th level, each Fundamental may be used at will an unlimited number of times per day. The save DC of any Fundamental is 10 + the Shadow of a Murder's Dexterity modifier.

When the Shadow of a Murder begins to cast Mysteries as Extraordinary abilities (see below), his Fundamentals also become Extraordinary. At this point, their save DC is calculated as 10 + half their Caster Level + his Dexterity modifier.

_\ Paths and Mysteries _ The Shadow of a Murder can inflict his dark vision upon reality through secrets known as Mysteries. Initially, the Shadow of a Murder knows only Apprentice Mysteries, but at 6th level and above he gains knowledge of Initiate Mysteries. Casting a Mystery follows the same rules as that of a Shadowcaster (Tome of Magic, pg. 112-113), with the following exceptions:

  • The Shadow of a Murder knows two Mysteries at 1st level in addition to his three Fundamentals (above), instead of only one as with the Shadowcaster. He learns a new Mystery every level, just as the Shadowcaster, and at every level he may also select any Mystery of a level he can cast, as listed in Table 1, including Fundamentals, again mimicking the Shadowcaster. The Shadow of a Murder does not gain Master Mysteries.
  • In order to select a Mystery of a given level, he must have either a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the Mystery's level, unlike the Shadowcaster who must use his Intelligence score to determine his highest level Mysteries.
  • The DC for any saving throw offered by the Shadow of a Murder's Mysteries are based on Dexterity instead of Charisma. The Shadow of a Murder's skill lies in how deftly he can manipulate the shadows, rather than his force of personality.
  • The Shadow of a Murder has a Caster Level equal to his class levels in Shadow Magic classes (including Shadowcaster, the Shadow of a Murder, and any prestige classes that progress his Mysteries), plus half his levels in all other classes.
  • The Shadow of a Murder's Mysteries are always one category "ahead" of a Shadowcaster: they are initially Spell-like Abilities, not Arcane Spells, and then become Supernatural and then Extraordinary. Despite this, their uses per day and what they qualify for are that of a Shadowcaster: Mysteries cast as Spell-like Abilities are 1/day, not 2/day as they would be for a Shadowcaster, and anything that a Shadowcaster could qualify for with Mysteries cast as Spell-like Abilities actually requires Supernatural Mysteries for the Shadow of a Murder.
    For example, a level 3 Shadow of a Murder has Supernatural Apprentice Mysteries, but they are only castable twice per day, and any requirement that reads "Able to cast Mysteries as Supernatural Abilities" is barred to him; he qualifies only as "Able to cast Mysteries as Spell-like Abilities".
  • The Shadow of a Murder is an agent of fate and a force of nature. Where mere "magic" can be considered tampering with reality, the Shadow of a Murder is the harshest reality of all. At the highest level of skill, his Mysteries become Extraordinary Abilities, as noted above, and are no longer sujbect to petty magics such as Antimagic Field. Mysteries cast as Extraordinary Abilities function in an Antimagic Field and similar effects, but are otherwise identical to Mysteries cast as Supernatural Abilities.
  • The Shadow of a Murder does not get Spell-like Initiate Mysteries at the same time as he gains Supernatural Apprentice Mysteries, or Supernatural Initiate Mysteries when he gains Extraordinary Apprentice Mysteries. See Table 1, above, for details.
  • The Bonus Feats that the Shadow of a Murder gains for his exploration of the Paths of Shadow Magic may also include Ambush feats and the Nocturnal Caster, Shadow Cast, and Shadow Vision feats, along with the regular options (Tome of Magic, pg. 113).

    A Shadowcaster who becomes the Shadow of a Murder may treat his Apprentice and Initiate Mysteries from being a Shadowcaster as advancing to the type of casting that the Shadow of a Murder has for those same Mystery categories, gaining additional uses per day as appropriate (starting as 2/day as Spell-like Abilities, then 3/day for Supernatural Mysteries, and finally 4/day when Extraordinary). He does not, however, gain additional Shadowcaster Mysteries from his Shadow of a Murder class levels. These upgrades do not count towards any prerequisites beyond that which the Shadow of a Murder Mysteries would qualify, either.

_\ An Unkindness (Su) _ Though often referred to as a murder of crows or a conspiracy of ravens, flocks of either bird may be known as an "unkindness". This appellation reveals how the dark portents that these birds bear has seeped into the very culture of the world. The Shadow of a Murder is very unkind, indeed.

The Shadow of a Murder becomes tainted by the death he has witnessed, and the darkness within his soul can become manifest, suddenly transforming him into a flock of birds - birds with black feathers, black beaks, black talons. As a Swift action, he may take on the form of an Unkindness, with the following stats:
  • Size and Type _ While in the form of an Unkindness, the Shadow of a Murder's size becomes Tiny and his type becomes Magical Beast (Swarm). Do not recalculate his hit points, base attack bonus, base saving throw bonuses, or skills.
  • Movement _ An Unkindness has a Fly speed of 40 ft. with Average maneuverability, and a Land speed of 10 ft.
  • Abilities _ An Unkindness has 1 Strength, but otherwise has the same Abilities as the Shadow of the Murder had before changing.
  • Items and Equipment _ All of the Shadow of a Murder's items and equipment meld into his new form, and cannot be used.
  • Attack _ Swarm (1d6)
  • Space / Reach _ 10 ft. / 0 ft.
  • Special Attacks _ Blinding, Distraction
  • Special Qualities _ Half damage from Piercing or Slashing, Low-light Vision, Swarm traits
The Shadow of a Murder may choose who within his space he attacks with his Swarm attack. Swarm attacks occur automatically after a Swarm has moved, and do not require an action.

Unlike many swarms, an Unkindness is hindered in its attacks by its flying maneuverability. An Unkindness must move at least 20 feet each round, it can turn 45 degrees only after moving 5 feet or sacrificing 5 feet of movement, and it cannot turn more than 90 degrees in one place. Abiding by these rules allows an Unkindness to fly in a small circle, always keeping one square of its space covering a single 5-foot square.

The Shadow of a Murder may return to his normal form as a Swift action. In addition, the Shadow of a Murder may, as a Free action, choose to disperse the Swarm. When he does so, he becomes a singular crow or raven from within the Swarm, and may travel as a single bird. However, in order to return to his own form, he must find a group of similar birds, with whom he can form a new Swarm, and then revert to his natural state. While inhabiting the body of a single bird, he only has a maximum of one tenth his usual hit points (minimum 1), but when joining a new Swarm his maximum reverts to its usual value. Any damage taken while a single bird is applied to whatever amount of health he had before dispersing the Swarm.

If the Shadow of a Murder is driven to 0 or fewer HP, but is not yet dead, he immediately and automatically reverts to his normal form if possible. If not, he is treated as performing strenuous actions for as long as he remains in the form of an Unkindness. If killed in this form, the Swarm disperses, each bird carrying with it a fraction of his soul, and a True Resurrection, Miracle, or Wish is required to return him to life.

The Shadow of a Murder may cast Mysteries while in the form of an Unkindness, but only by casting defensively and succeeding on the Concentration check, as organizing the entire flock into warping reality is quite difficult. His Secret Attack (see below) applies to his Swarm attack so long as there is an appropriate target for it within his space.

Transforming into an Unkindness is a Supernatural ability, but remaining in this form is not - the Shadow of a Murder who, as an Unkindness, enters an Antimagic Field, not only does not revert, cannot. When the Shadow of a Murder gains Extraordinary Mysteries, however, even the transformation process can occur within an Antimagic Field.

Until 3rd level, an Unkindness is comprised of crows, which cannot speak. However, at 3rd level, the Unkindness includes ravens as well, and through these the Shadow of a Murder can speak.

Beginning at 5th level, when taking on the form of an Unkindness, the Shadow of a Murder can become two separate Unkindnesses, and at 8th level, this increases to 3 such Swarms.

The Shadow of a Murder who becomes multiple Unkindnesses may, as a move action, move each independently as normal for their speed and maneuverability, and deal damage to targets in their squares as normal, but he may only take his Swift and Standard actions, and any non-movement Move actions, from one of the Swarms. Which Unkindness he acts from may change from round to round.

The Unkindness(es) must begin such that one square of each is where the Shadow of a Murder was before transforming, and any time the Swarms share a space, their Swarm damages do not stack. No matter how many Unkindnesses he becomes, the Shadow of a Murder's HP total is shared between them. If the Shadow of a Murder disperses the Swarm when he has multiple, all of the Swarms disperse at once, and he becomes one of the birds from any of the Unkindnesses.

_\ Bird's Eye Viewing (Su) _ At will, the Shadow of a Murder can call upon any regular crow or raven in his vicinity to aid his powers of observation as a Full-Round Action. (Use the statistics for a raven regardless of the creature’s form.) The Shadow of a Murder has complete control over its actions, and he can see what it sees and hear what it hears.

Use the bird’s skill checks to determine the results of its actions and observations (for example, Bluff, Search, Spot, Listen), but use the Shadow's skill bonuses to derive information from its observations (for example, Knowledge, Sense Motive, or Spellcraft to identify a spell). If he has the Trapfinding ability, the Shadow of a Murder can use the bird to find traps so long as doing so doesn’t require it to manipulate an object.

The bird cannot talk. Calling upon the bird is a Supernatural action, but if the bird enters an Antimagic Field the control is only suppressed; as soon as it leaves again, the Shadow of a Murder regains control over it. Once the Shadow of a Murder gains Extraordinary Mysteries, this ability too becomes Extraordinary, and the Shadow of a Murder can control the bird even within an Antimagic Field. The Shadow of a Murder can control only one bird in this fashion at a time, but may do so for as long as they like. Releasing control occurs automatically if the Shadow of a Murder controls a new bird.

_\ Secret Attack (Su) _ Whenever the Shadow of a Murder attacks anyone with Cloaked Casting, Sneak Attack, Sudden Strike, or similar types of abilities that hinge on attacking foes unawares (other forms of precision damage, such as Skirmish or Precise Strike, do not qualify), the Shadow of a Murder may make a Gather Information check equal to 10 + the target's total class levels in classes that grant such damage. If successful, he gains extra damage equal to the extra damage that the target could deal with such features. If they have more than one type of such damage, the damages stack (and so do the class levels for determining the Gather Information DC). For Cloaked Casting and other features that do not actually deal damage, treat the foe as having the Sneak Attack damage of a Rogue equal to their level in the class that grants the ability.

This damage is not precision damage, and functions perfectly well against those with Fortification or immunity to critical hits. When the Shadow of a Murder gains Extraordinary Mysteries, this ability also becomes Extraordinary.

For the purposes of applying Secret Attack damage, any Mystery which negatively affects a target may qualify, such that Mysteries that normally deal no damage gains some. This damage does not qualify the Mystery itself as damage-dealing, for effects that only work with damage-dealing Mysteries. Mysteries that effect an area deal Secret Attack damage to each target in the area as appropriate for each target's ability to deal Sneak Attack or similar damage.

When in Unkindness form, the swarm's Secret Attack damage against all targets is determined by the highest damage of any one of the targets within the swarm.

At 4th level, he may add 1d6 additional damage to his Secret Attacks, in addition to the amount it would normally do against the target. He only deals this extra damage if he could use Secret Attack against the target at all, however. Every three levels thereafter (that is, at 7th and 10th), he adds another 1d6 damage to the total.

Secret Attack may be used to qualify for anything that requires Sneak Attack; the Secret Attack is treated as Sneak Attack of 1d6 more damage than the Secret Attack adds on to its extra damage (so at 4th level, the Shadow of a Murder had a +1d6 Secret Attack, which would qualify as Sneak Attack +2d6 for prerequisites). Secret Attack may be used for Ambush feats, and the Shadow of a Murder may sacrifice damage dice derived from his target's damage bonus if he wishes.

_\ A Conspiracy (Ex) _ Black birds of ill omen flock about the Shadow of a Murder once he has reached 2nd level, and such a grouping is known to some as a "conspiracy" of crows or ravens. These birds do not fly about the Shadow, nor do they stay particularly close or act in any way unusual. It merely seems that any location in which the Shadow of a Murder stays for more than a day or so gradually gains a massive increase in the crow and raven population, and once he has left, so too do the birds, albeit again slowly. Because the birds will be everywhere - all over a town, or throughout a forest - it is very difficult to recognize that they are with the Shadow. They do not move as a group, either, so no tell-tale flock follows the Shadow. They merely begin to arrive when he rests, and gradually accumulate until it seems that there are crows and ravens perched on every available space.

In any location in which his Conspiracy has taken up residence, the Shadow of a Murder is acutely attuned to death. Any time a murder takes place, if a crow or raven witnesses it, the Shadow of a Murder knows that it has happened. He does not know where, nor whom, but nonetheless he knows it has been done. Whether or not there is a raven or crow to witness the event depends on how long the Shadow of a Murder has been in town, and where exactly the murder takes place, but the birds are very observant about such things.

When seeking information about a murder, the Shadow of a Murder gains a bonus on his Knowledge (Local) or Gather Information checks, depending on how long he has been in a location, as indicated in the following table. No matter how long he has been in a location, however, this bonus cannot exceed his class level. So long as he has at least a +1 bonus in his current area, he may use Knowledge (Local) for that area untrained.
TimeBonus
1 day+1
3 days+2
1 week+3
3 weeks+4
1 month+5
3 months+6
6 months+7
9 months+8
1 year, or longer+10

In addition to these bonuses, the Shadow of a Murder may use his Wisdom score in place of his Intelligence or Charisma scores for the sake of Gather Information or Knowledge (Local) checks.

Beginning at 4th level, he may gain this bonus on any Knowledge (Local) or Gather Information checks relating to the area he has been, even if it has nothing to do with murder.

Beginning at 8th level, when the Conspiracy witnesses a murder, the Shadow of a Murder sees the moment of the murder as it happens, though it is in black and white and blurred, as if viewed through smoked glass. Recognizing the victim or killer is extremely difficult, requiring a DC 25 Spot check just to see any details like a face. Generally speaking, the glimpse does not last long enough to attempt more than one Spot check. This glimpse can trigger a DC 10 Concentration check if it occurs in the middle of casting a Mystery or similar concentration-intensive task, but generally does not impede the Shadow of a Murder.

_\ Darkvision (Ex) _ Beginning at 2nd level, the Shadow of a Murder gains Darkvision out to 60 ft. If he already has Darkvision, his existing Darkvision improves by 30 ft.

_\ Shadowy (Ex) _ The Shadow of a Murder gradually becomes closer to the darkness he stalks, and at 4th level, takes only half damage from Piercing and Slashing weapons, even when not in the form of an Unkindness.

_\ Becoming the Shadow (Ex) _ As the Shadow of a Murder darkens, his flesh becomes less and less important, ignoring wounds that would kill or cripple another. At 6th level, he becomes immune to Critical Hits.

_\ Unkind Mind (Ex) _ The Shadow of a Murder exists as a conglomeration of creatures, a swarm of fate and dread fortune. As such, he cannot be understood or pinned down, and gains a +4 bonus against mind-affecting or scrying effects. Whenever he makes a save against such an effect, he may make a Gather Information check with a DC of 10 + the Caster Level (or equivalent) of the effect. If successful, he gains a glimpse of the one who targetted him, and for this glimpse he is treated as under the effects of True Seeing.

_\ Murder (Ex) _ Beginning at 10th level, anyone whom the Shadow of a Murder has glimpsed in the middle of a murder, even whom the Shadow does not recognize, is always subject to a Secret Attack, even if they have no ability to cause such damage. The damage of this Secret Attack is equal to that of a Rogue with as many class levels as the target has hit dice, or the actual amount of Sneak Attack or similar damage they are capable of dealing, whichever is higher, plus the +4d6 that the Shadow of a Murder adds to all Secret Attacks.

In the case of a hired killer, assassin, or hit man, the one who hired the killer or ordered the murder is also subject to this damage. If the Shadow of a Murder does not recognize the target, the first time he makes such an attack against the target he knows which murder(s) the target is associated with.

At this point, the Shadow of a Murder has finally become a true force of retribution, and is almost more a part of the world's reality than an individual. The Shadow of a Murder becomes an Outsider considered native both to his home plane, and to the Shadow Plane. He is further immune to banishing and calling effects, and may be raised from the dead without impediment due to his new type. He retains this type even when in the form of an Unkindness; he merely gains the Swarm subtype then.

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You are a force of dark vengeance, born of needless violence; the Shadow of a Murder is not a happy sort. Shadows tend to lose their own identity - they don't forget, but become consumed by their retribution of killers, to the point where some cease to even be people, becoming more like an Inevitable their almost mechanical response to murder. Despite their hatred of murderers, Shadows of Murders are terrible forces of death, and many Shadows are initially conflicted about this. As they become more and more a Shadow, and less whoever they once were, however, such hesitations are often forgotten.

As a player character, you want to avoid this fate. The Shadows of Murders are drawn towards this, and you will feel that, but an identity-less machine of vengeance is barely a character at all, much less a player character. In many situations, this end would be as sure as death, if not worse for lack of redemption, so you will probably struggle to avoid it. As you do so, you may become more haunted, but ultimately if you are successful, you may continue your life as before.

_\ Combat _ Whether or not to take the form of an Unkindness can be a difficult question; the form gives many benefits, but its lack of strength and inability to use items can make things difficult. In addition, the swarm will never attack a target more than once per round, which can be inefficient. Your Mysteries are useful, but ultimately limited, so investing in ways to attack physically is worthwhile; with your high Dexterity, dual wielding can be especially attractive.

_\ Advancement _ Shadowcaster can provide a bonus to your Caster Level, and benefits some from your Shadow of a Murder casting, but ultimately you will not make an especially good Shadowcaster since your progression is separate. Sneaky, skilled classes may fit better, with the Factotum and Swordsage being especially interesting options.

_\ Resources _ Your Conspiracy is an extended information-gathering network, and can provide you with innumerable insights. However, it is also not under your direct control, and so relying on it can be more about luck than anything else, so you'll need to use Bird's Eye Viewing to have a more personal control over the information you gain. Otherwise, though, you are the ultimate loner - sometimes almost closer to a force of nature than an actual person.

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"When we learned what we had done, it was too late. The ritual was complete, and we had gained a Shadow, and it has killed everyone. Everyone but me... Even now, I do not know what to do, but I know it is hunting me, and I suspect our order will soon come to an end with my death."
_ Dram, a Drow Assassin


Shadows of Murders are not well known, at all. The chance occurrence that creates one is rare, and even among those poor souls who have witnessed an assassin murder, or come across the body, most simply live with the darkness that sits in the depths of their souls. Even most orders of assassins have never heard of them, since most that learn of them do so when they gain one, and at that point in time, the order's days are numbered.

_\ Daily Life _ It is generally rare for the Shadow of a Murder to not be hunting down a murderer. Being without a target can make one feel directionless, without meaning. Those Shadows of Murders who have not allowed themselves to become pure shadows, mirroring the killers they hunt, however, often take up some form of morning routine just to keep their minds disciplined, to avoid losing themselves.

_\ Notables _ It is believed by some scholars that the sad story of Kitty Genovese ended with her Murder gaining a Shadow, and some suspect that the Shadow was somehow Kitty herself. This poor soul had cried out for help time and time again, but no person answered her calls. Though many saw, no one so much as called the guard. They all just watched as Kitty was being stabbed to death in broad daylight. They watched as her assailant walked away.

And her murderer went on to kill many more; those were dangerous days, and the streets were filled with violence. But suddenly, the violence started to find the violent. Suddenly, the killers were getting killed. Many theories for these crimes were made then and now, but scholars familiar with the case and with the Shadows of Murders believe this to be the most likely situation: Kitty Genovese, killed as she was, could not rest, her spirit could not find peace. In this way, she witnessed her own murder, and became its Shadow. Soon, she stalked the alleys and the dark forests outside town where gangs took their dirtiest business. And very soon, much to the anxiety of the populous, violent crime was very definitively decreased.

The other notable individual associated with the Shadows of Murders may not be one at all, but the similarities bear mentioning. The Morrigan, a goddess of death and war, often takes the form of a crow, or a murder of crows, and is closely associated with omens and signs. The specific connection between the Crow Goddess and the Shadows of Murders is unclear, but many believe that one exists.

_\ Organizations _ Two Shadows of Murders in a generation is rare; two in the same place has never happened, as far as the records can show. What would happen is a matter of some debate - but not very much. After all, so few know of the Shadows to begin with...

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A player character who becomes the Shadow of a Murder is obviously going to avoid losing his identity - since to do so would mean the character would be almost impossible to play as anything but an NPC - and therefore is going to likely continue as he once did, though he may gain a haunted quality, and begin to refuse to give murderers any mercy, even when it would be for the greater good. The Conspiracy feature in particular is intentionally left up to DM discretion: this feature is intended to be an obvious way to throw plot hooks at the players, or provide atmosphere for a particularly violent city. The DM is advised to allow this ability to function when appropriate, and not otherwise - but remember to have villains perpetrate their crimes somewhere out of sight of the birds, if the Shadow is not to learn of it.

_\ Adaptation _ Ari Marmell, the author of the Shadow Magic section of Tome of Magic, recommends these changes to the Shadowcaster. If playing with these changes, the Shadow of a Murder's bonus slots should be gained according to their Intelligence or Charisma score, whichever is higher, and they should be able to swap Mysteries at every even level (not waiting until 4th as with a Sorcerer). Finally, the change to save DC calculation for the Shadowcaster's Supernatural Mysteries should be reserved for the Shadow of a Murder's Extraordinary Mysteries. Otherwise, simply incorporate these changes directly into the Shadow of a Murder.

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Shadows of Murders are vigilantes, and this makes them dangerous. They are born of hatred for killers, but in their hatred they become killers themselves. The Shadow of a Murder who embraces this becomes evil, and a dire threat to any location that it haunts. Having the players go on an investigation into a string of murders - always of bad people, but murders nonetheless - could easily lead them to the Shadow of a Murder.

_\ CR 12 _ This Shadow of a Murder has completely lost herself, but has not yet become indiscriminate: she hunts murderers, assassins, and similar scum tirelessly. But the streets are quieter now, and the people fear what will happen with the hunter runs out of prey. Speaking with her may be difficult, but destroying her might be impossible.

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Kitty Genovese
Female Human Ghost LA +5/Factotum 3/Shadowcaster 4/Shadow of a Murder 3
LN Medium Undead (Incorporeal)
Init. _ +4, Senses _ Darkvision 90 ft., Listen +10, Spot +10
Languages _ Common, Undercommon, Elven, Orc

AC _ 17, touch 17, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +4 Deflection)
HP _ 65 (10 HD)
Fort +8, Ref +13, Will +12

Speed _ 30 ft. (6 squares) Flying (Perfect)
Melee _ +9 Corrupting Touch (1d4 Ability damage, self-heal 5 hp)
Melee _ +9 Draining Touch (1d4 Ability drain, self-heal 5 hp)
Melee _ +9 +1 Ghost-Touch Kukri (1d4+1)
Full Attack _ +7/+2 +1 Ghost-Touch Kukri (1d4+1), +7 +1 Ghost-Touch Kukri (1d4+1)
Base Atk _ +6/+1, Grp _ +6
Atk Options _ Cunning Insight, Cunning Defense, Secret Attack +1d6
Special Actions _ Corrupting Gaze, Frightful Moan, Horrific Appearance, Malevolence, Arcane Dilletante (1 spell), Extend Mystery, Empower Mystery, Bird's Eye Viewing
The Shadow of a Murder Mysteries Known _ Caster Level 8th
_\ Fundamentals (Su) _ Arrow of Dusk (3/day), Cadaver Removal (3/day), Quiet Entrance (3/day), Sight Obscured (3/day)
_\ Apprentice Mysteries (Su)
  • As the Crow Flies _ A Secret Not to be Told (2nd, 2/day)
  • Never Known _ Secret Magic (1st, 2/day), Hidden Loyalties (2nd, 2/day)
  • Move Unnoticed _ Shadowsound (2nd, 2/day)
Shadowcaster Mysteries Known _ Caster Level 4th
_\ Fundamentals (Su) _ Black Candle (3/day), Liquid Night (3/day), Mystic Reflections (3/day), Umbral Hand (3/day)
_\ Apprentice Mysteries (Su)
  • Dark Terrain _ Carpet of Shadow (1st, 3/day), Dark Fire (2nd, 3/day)
  • Ebon Whispers _ Voice of Shadow (1st, 3/day)
  • Shutters and Clouds _ Shadow Skin (2nd, 3/day)
Supernatural Abilities _ Corrupting Gaze, Corrupting Touch, Draining Touch, Frightful Moan, Horrific Appearance, Malevolence, Manifestation, Telekinesis, Umbral Sight, An Unkindness
Extraordinary Abilities _ Turn Resistance +4, A Conspiracy, Darkvision

Abilities _ Str 10, Dex 16, Con -, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 16
SQ _ Undead Traits, Rejuvenation, Turn Resistance +4, Darkvision 60 ft.
Feats _ Darkstalker, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse, Extend Mystery, Empower Mystery
Skills _ Bluff +8, Concentration +13, Disguise +13, Gather Information +16, Hide +22, Knowledge (Local) +16, Listen +20, Move Silently +11, Search +11, Sense Motive +10, Spot +20, and all skills with Strength or Dexterity as a key ability modifier also add Kitty's Intelligence modifier to their checks (this bonus is included in the above skills).
Possessions _ two +1 Ghost-Touch Kukris

When in the form of an Unkindness, Kitty has the following altered statistics.
Size / Type _ Tiny Magical Beast (Swarm)
Space / Reach _ 10 ft. / 0 ft.
Abilities _ Str 1
Movement _ Fly 40 ft. (Average), Land 10 ft.
Attack _ Swarm 1d6
SQ _ Swarm traits.
Possessions _ None.

Image
_\ "The Shadow of a Murder" image adapted from "Murder of Crows" by NathanHenry, © 2008-2010. All credit to him for the image.

_\ "Kitty Genovese" image adapted from "The Morrigan" by Hideyoshi, © 2009-2010. All credit to him for the image.
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Re: Shadow of a Murder [3.5 Anti-Assassin PrC] (PEACH)

Postby DragoonWraith » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:17 pm

ImageImage
The following Mysteries are available to the Shadow of a Murder.

Fundamentals
_\ Arrow of Dusk _ Ray deals 2d4 nonlethal damage with a x3 critical.
_\ Black Wings _ As the spell Feather Fall: objects or creatures fall slowly.
_\ Caul of Shadow _ Shadows grant deflection bonus to AC.
_\ Cadaver Removal _ As the spell Dead End: remove the spoor of one dead creature per level.
_\ Hazards of the Dark _ As the spell Caltrops: conjure a square of caltrops to hinder foes.
_\ Quiet Entrance _ As the spell Silent Portal: a door or window makes no sound.
_\ Raven Eyes _ As the spell Ebon Eyes: see through magical darkness.
_\ Shadow Hood _ Subject takes -1 penalty on attack rolls and Dexterity-based checks.
_\ Sight Obscured _ +5 bonus on Hide, Sleight of Hand, or other checks to conceal your movements, actions, or presence.
_\ Sound of the Shade _ As the spell Ghost Sound: create figment sounds.
_\ Venom Trace _ As the spell Detect Poison: detects poison in one creature or small object.

Apprentice Mysteries
_\ Along Comes a Spider
  • Creepy Crawler (1st) _ As the spell Spider Climb: gain the ability to walk on walls and ceilings.
  • Web of Lies (2nd) _ As the spell Briar Web or Web: create difficult terrain that harms foes, or fill space with sticky webs.
  • Widowbite (3rd) _ As the spell Spider Poison: deals 1d6 Strength damage now, and again a minute later.

_\ As the Crow Flies
  • Ill Omens (1st) _ As the spell Bane: curse gives a -1 penalty to attack rolls and saving throws vs. Fear.
  • A Secret Not to be Told (2nd) _ As the spell Marked Object: gain a bonus to track a specific being.
  • Murder of Crows (3rd) _ As the spell Implacable Pursuer: as long as the prey moves, you know where he is.

_\ Cloak of Shadows
  • Steel Shadows (1st) _ Gain +3 armor bonus and +3 shield bonus to AC.
  • Sight Eclipsed (2nd) _ Hide even when observed.
  • Sharp Shadows (3rd) _ Foes striking you take piercing damage.

_\ Dark Deception
  • Illusion of Being (1st) _ As the spell Disguise Self: illusions change your appearance.
  • Sculting Shadows (2nd) _ As the spell Alter Self: assume form of similar creature.
  • Deception of Sight (3rd) _ As the spell Greater Invisibility: subject becomes invisible, even while attacking.

_\ Eyes of Darkness
  • Bend Perspective (1st) _ Change point of view, as though you were standing elsewhere.
  • Piercing Sight (2nd) _ Gain darkvision 60 ft. and see invisible creatures.
  • Killing Shadows (3rd) _ Gaze attack that deals damage.

_\ Infiltration by Night
  • Instant Infiltrarion (1st) _ As the spell Instant Locksmith or Instant Search: make Disable Device, Open Lock, or Search check at +2 as a Free action.
  • Concealed Weaponry (2nd) _ As the spell Absorb Weapon: hide a weapon, gain a Bluff check at +4 to feint when drawn.
  • Invite Thyself (3rd) _ As the spell Glibness: gain +30 on Bluff checks made to lie.

_\ Move Unnoticed
  • Shadowstep (1st) _ As the spell Lightfoot or Pass Without Trace: movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity, or your movement cannot be tracked by nonmagical means.
  • Shadowsound (2nd) _ As the spell Iron Silence: armor touched has no armor check penalty on Hide or Move Silently for 1 hour per level.
  • Shadowshape (3rd) _ As the spell Amorphous Form: subject becomes puddlelike and can slip through cracks easily.

_\ Never Known
  • Secret Magic (1st) _ As the spell Magic Aura or Undetectable Alignment: change or hide magic auras, or make your alignment impossible to discern by magical means.
  • Hidden Loyalties (2nd) _ As the spell Misdirection: mislead divinations about one creature or object.
  • Avoid the Pursuit (3rd) _ As the spell Nondetection, but without the material component: hides subject from divination.

_\ Night's Long Fingers (Urban Magic)
  • Quicker than the Eye (1st) _ Gain bonus on Sleight of Hand checks; use Sleight of Hand at a distance.
  • Trail of Haze (2nd) _ Touched target emits a trail of mist only you can see.
  • Umbral Fist (3rd) _ Make special attacks at a distance.

_\ Tools of the Trade
  • Ebony Blade (1st) _ As the spell Critical Strike: for 1 round gain +1d6 damage, doubled critical threat range, and +4 on rolls to confirm critical hits.
  • Wield Fire and Ice (2nd) _ As the spell Fire Shuriken or Ice Knife: create a magical shuriken that deals 3d6 fire damage, or a magical shard of ice deals 2d8 Cold damage plus 2 Dex damage, or deals 1d8 Cold damage in 10 ft. radius burst.
  • Spiritshard (3rd) _ As the spell Spectral Weapon or Wraithstrike: either a quasi-real weapon can be used to make touch attacks, or your real weapon can be used to make touch attacks.

_\ Touch of Twilight
  • Life Fades (1st) _ Deal nonlethal damage and cause fatigue.
  • Flesh Fails (2nd) _ Deal minor ability damage.
  • Umbral Touch (3rd) _ Deal damage and Slow with a touch.

_\ Undreamt Danger
  • Awaken Never (1st) _ As the spell Sleep, but puts up to 2 HD worth of creatures per level into a magical slumber.
  • Facing the Nightmare (2nd) _ As the spell Phantom Foe, but without material components: subject is always flanked by one creature.
  • Impossible Dreams (3rd) _ As the spell Major Image: figment creates visual, sound, smell, and thermal effects.

_\ Way of Shadows
  • Shun the Light (1st) _ As the spell Darkness: creates an area of shadowy illusion.
  • Join the Dark (2nd) _ As the spell Veil of Shadow: darkness grants you concealment.
  • Shadowmeld (3rd) _ As the spell Shadow Phase: subject becomes partially incorporeal.

Initiate Mysteries
_\ Body and Soul
  • Bolster (4th) _ Grant subject temporary hit points.
  • Languor (5th) _ Shadows weigh subject down.
  • Shadow Investiture (6th) _ Grant subject cold resistance 15, Evasion, and Darkvision.

_\ Darkened Alleys (Urban Magic)
  • Fearful Gloom (4th) _ Area of shadow causes fear in all who enter.
  • Sickening Shadow (5th) _ Area of shadow causes illness in all who enter.
  • Deadly Shade (6th) _ Area of shadow enhances or dampens damage dealt within.

_\ Death Row
  • Steel Curse (4th) _ As the spell Cursed Blade or Heart Ripper: wounds dealt by weapon cannot be healed without Remove Curse, or kills living creature with up your level in HD.
  • Gallows Mist (5th) _ As the spell Doomtide: black mist obscures sight, dazes those inside.
  • Mask of the Executioner (6th) _ As the spell Imperious Glare or Opalescent Glare: cause subjects to cower in fear, or kill creatures with a look.

_\ Ebon Roads
  • Step into Shadow (4th) _ Short-range travel through shadow.
  • Pass into Shadow (5th) _ As the spell Plane Shift, but must involve Plane of Shadow.
  • Voyage into Shadow (6th) _ As the spell Shadow Walk, but faster.

_\ Life in the Dark
  • Enter Night (4th) _ As the spell Shadow Form: gain +4 on Hide, Move Silently, and Escape Artist checks, and Concealment; with Escape Artist ranks, can move through obstacles.
  • Exit Light (4th) _ As the spell Shadowfade: Opens a portal to the Plane of Shadow.
  • Gripping Darkness (6th) _ As the spell Shadowy Grappler: illusory force grapples with target.

_\ Veil of Shadows
  • Shadow Vision (4th) _ Subject takes penalties on most actions and has 50% miss chance.
  • Curtain of Shadows (5th) _ Block line of sight and deal cold damage.
  • Unveil (6th) _ Remove many adverse conditions.

_\ Was It All a Dream?
  • Memory Manipulation (4th) _ As the spell Modify Memory: changes 5 minutes of subject's memories.
  • Sleepwalker (5th) _ As the spell Dream Sight: in sleep your spirit rises to travel about and observe the world.
  • Dreamcatcher (6th) _ As the spell Dream Casting or Probe Thoughts: alter subject's dreams to produce desired results, or read subject's memories, one question per round.
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