While most shadows steal strength from their victims, rare variants may drain different aspects of a target’s vitality. A variant shadow’s chilling touch may induce paralysis and numbness (Dexterity damage) or a kind of slow decay of the flesh (Constitution damage). The mere touch of a shadow can cause idiocy (Intelligence damage), madness (Wisdom damage), or an unnerving deadening of the victim’s personality (Charisma damage). Any or all of these could also be preludes to the shadow’s true theft of Strength, further weakening a target and making it easy prey. Other variants include the following.
Distorted Shadow (CR +1): Not bound by the limitations of physical creatures, some shadows can flicker and distort like their namesakes, stretching out to touch victims over much greater distances. These shadows possess the Advanced creature simple template, but instead of gaining a bonus to natural armor, increase their reach with their incorporeal touch by 10 feet.
Hidden One (CR +1): While all shadows are stealthy, some are especially effective at concealing themselves in areas of dim and shifting light. Rather than making Stealth skill checks, these shadows simply have partial or even total concealment among normal shadows, adding a 20% miss chance to their already formidable ability to shrug off many mundane sources of damage.
Plague Shadow (CR +1): Plague shadows appear as Medium-sized shadows of animals associated with disease—typically rats or bats. Rather than simply draining a victim’s Strength on a hit, plague shadows also inflict a dreaded curse known as shadow blight. Victims of this supernatural disease quickly weaken and die, at which point they spawn new plague shadows to further spread the contagion. A plague shadow has the Advanced creature simple template, but does not gain a natural armor bonus to its AC. Shadow blight: curse and disease; save Fortitude DC 16; onset 1 minute; frequency 1/day; effect 1d8 Strength damage, upon death, the victim becomes a plague shadow; cure successfully casting both remove curse and remove disease within 1 minute of each other.
Shadetouch Shadow (CR +0): Shadetouch shadows are infused with partially real shadowstuff from the Shadow Plane. They treat the Shadow Plane as their home plane (and thus gain the “extraplanar” subtype on the Material Plane). A shadetouch shadow lacks the typical shadow’s incorporeal touch—instead, it possesses two claw attacks that each deal 1d8 points of damage on a hit, in addition to the normal amount of Strength damage shadows inflict.
Vanishing Shadow (CR +1): Shadows dwelling in a place of strong negative energy or with a connection to the Shadow Plane can develop the ability to shadow slip through the Shadow Plane, vanishing into the darkness and reappearing some distance away. These shadows have the Advanced creature simple template—while they do not gain the bonus to natural armor that this template typically imparts, vanishing shadows possess blink as a constant spell-like ability.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Undead Revisited. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC. Authors: Eric Cagle, Brian Cortijo, Brandon Hodge, Steve Kenson, Hal Maclean, Colin McComb, Jason Nelson, Todd Stewart, and Russ Taylor.