Dread shadows exist in the terrible half-life of undead creatures. Like normal shadows, they are sentient pools of darkness and negative energy that drain strength and life from living creatures. As the lords of their kind, however, dread shadows can command lesser shadows and leap from darkness to darkness at will. A dread shadow makes no sound and seeks only to harm the living.
A dread shadow looks like a darker version of the original creature. Its form is composed of shade and darkness.
“Dread Shadow” is an acquired template that can be added to any living, intelligent creature with a Charisma score of 15 or higher (referred to hereafter as the base creature) that was killed by a shadow or dread shadow. A dread shadow uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +2.
Alignment: Any evil.
Hit Dice: Change all of the base creature's racial HD to d8s.
Speed: A dread shadow loses all the base creature's speeds and gains a fly speed equal to the base creature's highest speed with perfect maneuverability.
Attacks: A dread shadow loses any attacks with manufactured weapons and its natural attacks become incorporeal touch attacks, retaining the same primary or secondary status they had for the base creature. A dread shadow gains a primary incorporeal touch attack if it has no other natural attacks.
Special Attacks: A dread shadow loses all special attacks that require corporeal contact, but gains those described here. A dread shadow cannot cast spells that require material components unless it has the Eschew Materials feat.
Any creature with a Charisma score of 15 or higher that is killed by a dread shadow rises as a dread shadow in 1d4 rounds. Any other creature slain by a dread shadow instead rises as a normal shadow. A shadow or dread shadow created in this manner is under the command of its creator (as dominate monster) and remains so until either it or the creator is destroyed.
A creature struck by a dread shadow's incorporeal touch attack takes Strength damage depending on its size: Fine-Tiny: 1d4 Str, Small-Large: 1d6 Str, Huge-Colossal: 1d8 Str. This is a negative energy effect. A creature dies if this Strength damage equals or exceeds its actual Strength score.
Abilities: Dex +4, Int -4, Wis +2, Cha +4. As an incorporeal creature, a dread shadow lacks a Strength score, and as an undead creature, it has no Constitution score. If the base creature's Intelligence is reduced below 1 by application of its template, it becomes mindless, loses all skill points and feats, and has no Intelligence score.
Special Qualities: The dread shadow retains all the base creature's special qualities that do not require corporeal contact with another creature, and it gains those described here.