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Dread Shadow (CR +2)

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.

Creating a Dread Shadow

“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 the base creature +2.

Alignment: Always chaotic evil.

Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead with the appropriate augmented subtype, plus the incorporeal subtype if the base creature did not already have it. Do not recalculate base attack bonuses, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice: Change all racial Hit Dice 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.

Armor Class: The base creature’s armor, shield, and natural armor bonuses no longer apply, but the dread shadow gains a deflection bonus to Armor Class equal to its Charisma bonus or +1, whichever is higher. Dread shadows cannot use or carry equipment of any kind.

Attack: The dread shadow retains all the base creature’s natural attacks, and its weapon and armor proficiencies. However, all its attacks become incorporeal touch attacks, retaining the same primary or secondary status they had for the base creature. The dread shadow gains a primary incorporeal touch attack if it has no other natural attacks. A dread shadow uses its primary incorporeal touch attack when making an attack action. Because an incorporeal creature has no Strength score, its Dexterity modifier rather than its Strength modifier applies to all its attack rolls.

Full Attack: A dread shadow uses all its incorporeal touch attacks during a full attack.

Damage: The dread shadow’s natural attacks no longer deal normal damage. Instead, each incorporeal touch attack deals Strength damage, as indicated on the following table.

Size Strength Damage
Fine to Tiny 1d4
Small to Large 1d6
Huge to Colossal 1d8

Special Attacks: The 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.

Command Shadows (Su)

A dread shadow can automatically command all normal shadows within 30 feet as a free action. Normal shadows never attack a dread shadow unless compelled.

Create Spawn (Su)

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 in 1d4 rounds. A shadow or dread shadow created in this manner is under the command of its creator and remains so until either it or the creator is destroyed.

Strength Damage (Su)

A creature struck by a dread shadow’s incorporeal touch attack takes Strength damage as given on the Damage table. A creature reduced to 0 Strength dies.

Special Qualities: The dread shadow retains all the base creature’s special qualities that do not require corporeal contact with another creature and gains channel resistance +3. The dread shadow also gains the following ability.

Shadow Slip (Su)

At will, a dread shadow can use dimension door as the spell (caster level 7th) as a move action. It must move from a place of darkness or shadow to another place or darkness or shadow that it can see. Using this ability does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Abilities: Dex +4, Int –4 (minimum 0), Wis +2, Cha +2. As an incorporeal creature, a dread shadow lacks a Strength score, and as an undead creature, it has no Constitution score, but uses it's Charisma for bonus hit points and Fortitude save.

Environment: Any.

Organization: Solitary, pair, gang (3–5), or swarm (6–11).

Treasure: None. Dread shadows cannot use equipment.