Jack o' Shadows

Jacks o' Shadows are bards who have learned to tap into the Shadow and use it to enhance their music. Their songs and stories are dark and moody, often depressing or downright horrifying, though they also know a good number of more upbeat tunes. Through the power of their music, they can create illusions infused with Shadow, manipulating them as easily as a Shadowfane. They serve as spies, performers, and assassins, using their illusions and bardic music to delight audiences or terrify victims.

Despite what many think, Jacks o' Shadows are not always dark and moody, but the constant contact with the Shadow tends to darken one's outlook; those of good alignment have too much light in their souls to become Jacks o' Shadows.

Bards make up the vast majority of Jacks o' Shadows, but some rogue/shadow mages have been known to join the ranks. Some also take levels in Assassin or (more often) Shadowdancer before or in addition to those in Jack o' Shadows.

Hit Die: d6.

Requirements

To qualify to become a Jack o' Shadows (JoS), the character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any non-good

Skills: Perform 7 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 5 ranks, Stealth 3 ranks

Spellcasting: Ability to cast 2nd level arcane spells.

Special: Must have made a trip to the Plane of Shadow lasting at least one day.

Class Skills

The Jack o' Shadows' class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills)(Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Points Per Level: 8 + Int modifier



Table 1: The Jack o' Shadows
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special Spells Per Day
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Bardic music, bardic ability, subsonics
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Song of dreams +1 level of existing class
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Mask of shadows
4th +2 +1 +4 +1 Song of fear +1 level of existing class
5th +3 +2 +4 +2 Smoke and mirrors
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Song of confusion +1 level of existing class
7th +4 +2 +5 +2 Shadow puppet
8th +5 +3 +6 +3 Song of loss +1 level of existing class
9th +6 +3 +6 +3 Shadow double
10th +6 +4 +7 +4 Song of weakness +1 level of existing class


Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Jack o' Shadows.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Jacks o' Shadows gain no additional weapon or armor proficiencies.

Bardic Music: At first level, the Jack o' Shadows gains the bardic music ability if he did not already have it. All the bardic music effects become available immediately, subject to level and Perform requirements.

Bardic Ability: The Jack o' Shadows' class levels stack with his levels of bard for purposes of determining total bard level for bardic music effects.

Subsonics (Ex): Jacks o' Shadows have mastered the ability to sing or play very quietly, nearly below the range of human hearing. When using any of their bardic music abilities, including those gained from bard levels, they can play so softly that anyone trying to hear it suffers a -20 penalty to the Perception check unless he actually sees the Jack performing. This has no effect on the character's abilities – his songs still affect allies and enemies normally.

Spells Per Day: At the indicated levels, the character gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of controlling or rebuking undead, metamagic feats, etc.), except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If the character had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming a Jack o' Shadows, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.

Song of Dreams (Su): A Jack o' Shadows of 2nd level or higher who makes a DC 21 Perform check can put those around him to sleep with his music. He can affect any creature up to his character level in HD in a 30-foot radius; all affected creatures must make a Will save (DC 10 + Jack's class level + Cha modifier) or fall into a deep slumber for as long as he plays (up to 1 minute per effective bard level), +1d4 rounds. Song of dreams is a sonic, mind-affecting ability.

For every 5 points by which the Perform check exceeds DC 21, the save DC is increased by +1.

Mask of Shadows (Su): Three times per day, the Jack o' Shadows can manipulate the shadows around to mask his true appearance, giving him the guise of another being, as per the disguise self spell. Because the Jack is using shadowstuff to supplement the disguise (effectively providing tactile elements as well as visual), simple interaction does not grant a Will save to pierce the illusion, though true seeing and similar effects still work normally. The disguise lasts for ten minutes per class level or until dismissed.

Song of Fear (Su): A Jack o' Shadows of 4th level or higher who makes a DC 25 Perform check can infuse his singing with such darkness and horror that it instills fear in all those within 30 feet who hear it. Creatures who fail a Will save (DC 10 + class level + Cha modifier) become frightened of him (as the fear spell) and seek to flee if at all possible. The effect lasts as long as the creatures can hear the playing, +1d6 rounds; the Jack can keep up the song for 1 round per effective bard level.

For every 5 points by which the Perform check exceeds DC 25, the save DC is increased by +1.

Smoke and Mirrors (Su): Three times per day, a Jack o' Shadows can create illusionary doubles from the shadows around him. In order to use this ability, he must be in dim light (torchlight or a light spell will do); he spends a standard action to create 1d4 shadow doubles of himself, as the spell mirror image. Since these doubles are created from shadow essence, they are partially real – they have 10% of the character's hit points and a +1 deflection bonus to Armor Class. Eliminating the shadows by increasing the ambient light (a daylight spell, e.g.) does not dispel the illusions, since they have already been created. This ability is otherwise identical to the mirror image spell.

Song of Confusion (Su): A Jack o' Shadows of 6th level or higher who makes a DC 29 Perform check can cause darkness and shadows to cloud the minds of those around him, in effect confusing them, as the spell. This ability works on up to one living being per class level in a 30-foot radius; they can make a Will save (DC 10 + class level + Cha modifier) to resist the effect. An affected being that moves out of the area of effect, or who is cut off from the sound of the music (rendered deaf, or under a silence spell) can make a new save each round to shake off the effects. The confusion otherwise lasts for as long as the Jack o' Shadows plays (up to one round per effective bard level), +1d4 rounds.

For every 5 points by which the Perform check exceeds DC 29, the save DC is increased by +1.

Shadow Puppet (Su): Once per day, the Jack o' Shadows can create an exact illusionary duplicate of another creature up to Huge size he can see that is within 50 feet. The duplicate is partially formed from shadow – it has 20% of the original's hit points – and otherwise acts, feels, and even smells like the original, but it is under the character's control. The double has nonmagical versions of the original's equipment (though they can appear magical – flaming on command, glowing with light, etc.), and can't cast spells or manifest psionic abilities. The double lasts for 1 minute per class level or until destroyed/dismissed.

Song of Weakness (Su): A Jack o' Shadows of 8th level or higher who makes a DC 32 Perform check can sap the strength of those around him by infusing their souls with the essence of Shadow. He can affect up to one living being per class level within 20 feet; each affected person must make a Fort save (DC 10 + class level + Cha modifier) or suffer 1d6 points of Strength drain. Beings that are immune to negative energy or ability damage/drain are not affected.

For every 5 points by which the Perform check exceeds DC 32, the save DC is increased by +1; for every 10 points over the DC, victims suffer an additional point of Strength drain on a failed save.

Shadow Double (Sp): Three times per day, as a standard action, a Jack o' Shadows can create an illusionary double of himself from Shadow, as the project image spell. The double lasts for one round per effective bard level.

Song of Loss (Su): A Jack o' Shadows of 10th level or higher who makes a DC 35 Perform check can call up shadows of loss to obscure the memories of one living being. He can erase up to one hour's worth of memories per point of his Cha bonus in the manner; the victim must be within 30 feet and gets a Will save (DC 10 + class level + Cha modifier) to resist the effect. This is a sonic, mind-affecting effect.

For every 5 points by which the Perform check exceeds DC 35, the save DC is increased by +1.

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