Either through intentional imbuement to powerful illusion rites or exposure to the wild energies of the transitive planes, shadow-traced creatures can innately weave semi-real potential into copies to defend themselves and harry their foes.
A shadow-traced creature looks similar to its normal counterparts, although it skin or scales are typically of duller hue or may have a slight gray cast to them. Once in battle, it becomes difficult to discern it from its duplicates.
“Shadow-traced” is an acquired template that can be added to any intelligent corporeal creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A shadow-traced creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +2.
Type: A shadow-traced creature gains the extraplanar subtype if the base creature did not already have it. Do not recalculate base attack bonuses, saves, or skill points.
Defensive Abilities: A shadow-traced creature gains damage reduction 10/magic but loses any other DR it has. Additionally, a shadow-traced creature gains energy resistance cold 10 and SR equal to 10 + its total HD. A shadow-traced creature loses any immunity to mind-affecting effects.
Although not a true hive mind, a shadow-traced creature’s mind is buffered among its traces. If the creature or one of its traces is affected by mind-affecting spell or effect, the other traces (or creature, if a trace was affected) may attempt the same saving throw 1 round later at the same DC, as the slippery mind rogue talent, and the affected creature or trace succeeds if any of the others succeed on this additional chance. Rolling a natural 1 on a saving throw against a mind-affecting spell or effect precludes the use of distributed mind against that effect.
When a shadow-traced creature would be brought to below 0 hit points, and it has at least one shadow trace, it may switch places with the trace and negate the damage from that attack or effect as an immediate action, at the cost of that trace being dismissed as if it were destroyed. A shadow-traced creature can use this ability once a round.
Speed: Each of the shadow-traced creature’s speeds increases by +10 feet.
Special Attacks: A shadow-traced creature retains all the base creature’s special attacks and gains those described here.
A shadow-traced creature can bend weaker magic to its will. If a hostile spell effect fails to break its spell resistance, all active shadow traces heal that effect’s effective spell level in hit points.
At will a shadow-traced creature may create three independent semi-real copies of itself as an immediate action. Shadow traces act on the base creature’s initiative and each has half the base creature’s hit points. Traces have duplicates of the base creature’s abilities, magic, and equipment, but such equipment is semi-real: weapons disarmed from a trace vanish after 1 round and ammunition fired by a trace vanishes after use. If any of the traces are reduced to 0 hit points it is destroyed. Destroyed traced cannot be recreated unless all of the traces are dismissed or destroyed. If all traces are destroyed, the shadow-traced creature is staggered for 1 round and he cannot create more traces for 24 hours; otherwise, they last until the end of combat or until the creature takes a full-round action to dismiss them.
While at least one trace is active shadow traces mirror but weaken the spellcasting ability and spell-like abilities of the base creature. All magical effects from the traces or their base creature are considered illusion effects with the shadow subschool and are only 50% real if affected creatures make a Will save to disbelieve the illusion.
Abilities: Wis –2, Cha +2.
Environment: As base creature or the Plane of Shadow
Advanced Bestiary, Copyright 2014, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Author Jeff Hersh, Developer Owen K.C. Stephens