Labyrinths & Liontaurs



For some, dawn and dusk are mystical times, when day and night dance around each other in passing. These people find beauty, joy, and power in shadows; they delight in the tricks that shadows play and in the mysteries of the gloaming. But some go further, embracing action within shadows, abilities under the full moon, combat by candlelight, dancing at twilight.

Shadowdancers exist in the boundary between light and darkness, where they weave together the shadows to become half-seen artists of deception. They encompass a wide variety of adventuring types who draw strength from gloom. Spellcasters use their abilities to safely cast spells from hiding and then move quickly away, while classes devoted to hand-to-hand combat enjoy the ability to attack foes with the element of surprise. Most take the name of their kind quite literally, becoming eerie and mysterious dancers, finding ways to wield power through performance.

Role: Shadowdancers adventure for a wide variety of reasons. Many adventuring parties find shadowdancers valuable members of their teams due to their incredible stealth and ability to surprise enemies with lightning-quick attacks where they're least expected. For this reason, their services are often sought out by those groups in need of sneakiness, flexibility, and unexpected magic.

Requirements: The Universal System tends to offer the Shadowdancer prestige class to characters who have had remarkable experiences ...

If you have focused on one of these to the point of obsession, or if your experiences have touched on most or all of them, then the Universal System may offer you the use of this prestige class.

Base Attack Bonus: +0.75 / level.

Caster Level: Similar to +0.75 / level, see below.

Will Save: +0.25 / level.

Fort Save: +0.25 / level.

Reflex Save: +1.00 / level.

Hit Die: d8.

Table: Shadowdancer Advancement
LevelBase Attack BonusCaster LevelWill SaveFort SaveRefx SaveSpecial
1st+0.75+1.0+0.25+0.25+1.00Prestige Signature: Shadow Companion
2nd+1.50+2.0+0.50+0.50+2.00Hide In Plain Sight or Jedi Mind Trick
3rd+2.25+3.0+0.75+0.75+3.00Dance With Shadows or Shadow Trip
4th+3.00+3.0+1.00+1.00+4.00Shadow Vision or Versatile Dance
5th+3.75+4.0+1.25+1.25+5.00Prestige Tier Choice
6th+4.50+5.0+1.50+1.50+6.00Master Signature: Aura of Dusk and Dawn
7th+5.25+5.0+1.75+1.75+7.00Throwing Shade or Shadow of a Doubt
8th+6.00+6.0+2.00+2.00+8.00Gloom and Doom or Parasol
9th+6.75+7.0+2.25+2.25+9.00Shadow Jump or Shadow Scry
10th+7.50+7.5+2.50+2.50+10.00Master Tier Choice

Skill Proficiencies

The shadowdancer's proficient skills (and the ability scores used to boost each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Chr), Jump (Str), Perform (Act, Dance) (Cha), Search (Int), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

You are proficient with simple and martial weapons from the Close and Light Blades weapon groups (see the rules for weapon groups in Weapons and Armor). You are proficient with light armor and bucklers.

Spells and Spell Casting

Prestige classes do not add the usual fractional increase to caster level each time you advance. Instead, at some levels you add a full caster level, and at other levels you add none. The spell level of shadowdancer spells varies from shadowdancer to shadowdancer -- see these rules on prestige class spell aquisition. When you cast spells gained through this prestige class, those spells are arcane in nature, and they follow the rules for arcane spells, including the chance of spell failure based on wearing armor. The casting ability score for this prestige class is intelligence, which is used to set shadowdancer spell DCs, and, if it is your highest casting ability score, to set concentration checks and bonus spells per day.

KNOWN SPELLS LIST: When you add a caster level, the spells you add to your known spells list are pre-selected:

Class Abilities


Level 1 Shadowdancer Prestige Tier Signature Ability: Shadow Companion Your own shadow detaches from you and becomes a shadow companion at no cost. Your companion is a strange and incorporeal creature with the outsider subtype. You cannot have a shadow companion if you already have a companion of any other sort. Your choices for your shadow companion's form, as well as special abilities gained at certain levels, are detailed below.

Level 2 Shadowdancer Prestige Tier Interaction Ability (pick one):

Level 3 Shadowdancer Prestige Tier Combat Ability (pick one):

Level 4 Shadowdancer Prestige Tier Exploration Ability (pick one):

Level 5 Shadowdancer Prestige Tier Choice: Select a Shadowdancer Prestige Tier Interaction, Combat, or Exploration ability that you have not yet chosen, or choose a feat from the Intuition or Dash Feat Trees for which you qualify, treating your own tier as if it were one step higher.


Level 6 Shadowdancer Master Tier Signature Ability: Aura of Dusk and Dawn (Su) You emit an aura with a radius of up to 60 feet. Within the aura, bright light conditions are changed to normal light, and darkness (even magical darkness) is changed to low light conditions. At will, you can turn your aura on or off, and change the radius from 5 ft to 60 ft, as a swift action. Within your aura, you are immune to all physical and magical attacks based on light, darkness, and shadow.

Level 7 Shadowdancer Master Tier Interaction Ability (pick one):

Level 8 Shadowdancer Master Tier Combat Ability (pick one):

Level 9 Shadowdancer Master Tier Exploration Ability (pick one):

Level 10 Shadowdancer Master Tier Choice: Select a shadowdancer Master or Prestige Tier Interaction, Combat, or Exploration ability that you have not yet chosen, or choose a feat from the Intuition or Dash Feat Trees for which you qualify, treating your own tier as if it were one step higher.

Shadow Companions

As a companion, your own shadow can animate and detach from you, having a life and will of its own. It is a living thing, an extention of your life, although it does not breathe, eat, or drink. A shadow companion's abilities are determined by your character level, its hit dice, and the general rules for companions. Your companion is a creature of the aberration type and the incorporeal subtype for all purposes. You may want to make a character sheet for your companion. Use the basic statistics as required by the rules listed below. Your companion gains a hit die each time you level.

Here are the details on the statistics for your companion:

In addition to the capabilities above, when your shadow companion gains an even hit die, select one of the Class Special abilities listed below or one in the Companion rules. If the name of these abilities include a roman numeral, it indicates that the prior ones in the series are required before an advanced one can be taken.