Classes >Core Classes >Bard >Archetypes >Bard Archetypes – Rite Publishing >

Umbral Weaver

The umbral weaver is a master at manipulating and listening to the forgotten secrets of shadows. Rather than the passive approach to combat that his brethren take, the umbral weaver livens combat up with a variety of tricks.

Bardic Performance

The umbral weaver does not gain the bardic performance ability or any of its performance types.

Wisps of Dusk (Sp)

At 1st level, the umbral weaver learns how to create miniature globs of shadows that act like dancing lights in all ways except as follows.

Rather than each light illuminating as a torch, each wisp reduces the light level by one step within a 20 foot radius. Several wisps of dusk do not stack to reduce the light level of an area more than once. At 7th level, activating this ability is a move action. At 13th level, activating this ability is a swift action.

Whispered Lore

The umbral weaver adds a number of spells to class list. These are not automatically added Umbral Weaver to the umbral weaver’s spells known.

0th – dim*, shadow snag*; 2nd – shadow ribbons*; 3rd – deeper darkness; 6th – greater shadow conjuration

The umbral weaver also automatically adds a select few spells to his spells known when he first is able to cast spells of their level. These spells known do not count against their limit of spells known.

trifling image* (cantrip); silent image (1st); minor image (4th); major image (7th); hallucinatory terrain (10th); persistent image (13th); permanent image (16th). Spells marked with an asterisk (*) are detailed below.

Finally, an umbral weaver’s spells may be affected by Silent Spell and do not have a verbal component unless the spell normally has one.

Shadow Weave (Su)

The umbral weaver’s mastery of shadows allows him to manipulate shadows in ways others can only dream of. At 1st level, the umbral weaver may create a shadowy weave and have it hinder his enemies as it subtly restricts the target’s movement.

The tendrils generally appear on the body of those affected by them. He may use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + his Charisma modifier.

At each level after 1st, he can use this ability an additional 2 rounds per day.

Activating the shadow weave requires a standard action, but it can be maintained each round as a free action. The shadow weave cannot be disrupted, but it ends immediately if the bard is killed, paralyzed, stunned, knocked unconscious, or otherwise prevented from taking a free action to maintain it each round. An umbral weaver cannot have multiple shadow weaves at once. At 7th level, activating the shadow weave requires a move action. Ending the shadow weave is a free action.

Each enemy within 60 feet of the umbral weaver takes a -1 penalty to hit and damage, as shadows slightly hinder their movements. This penalty increase by 1 at 5th level and every 6 levels thereafter (11th and 17th) to a maximum of -4 at 17th level. The umbral weaver must be aware of an enemy to have the enemy be affected by the shadow weave.

While potent in its own right, the true power of the shadow weave is the ways in which the umbral weaver can suddenly concentrate the entire weave to affect one or more enemies, as detailed below.

This ability counts as bardic performance for feats and traits that modify the number of bardic performance rounds available to a bard (i.e. Extra Bardic Performance), but not for anything else (i.e., Lingering Performance).

Darkvision (Ex)

At 2nd level, an umbral weaver gains darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. At 6th level and every four levels thereafter (10th, 14th, and 18th), the umbral weaver’s darkvision range increases by 30 feet, to a maximum of 180 feet at level 18. If the umbral weaver already has darkvision when he gains this ability at 2nd level, the range increases by 30 feet. At 12th level, your darkvision even works in magical darkness.

This ability replaces versatile performance and well-versed.

Dwimmerlaik (Su)

As the umbral weaver grows in his understanding of the shadows, he learns how to suddenly concentrate his shadow weave on one or more enemies. Activating a dwimmerlaik requires a swift action, unless specified otherwise in the dwimmerlaik’s ability. The target of a dwimmerlaik must be affected by the shadow weave. If a dwimmerlaik requires a saving throw, the DC is equal to 10 + half the umbral weaver’s level + their Charisma modifier. Using a dwimmerlaik ends the current shadow weave, and may also require additional rounds of the shadow weave to be spent.

Barbed Ward: The shadow weave wraps loosely around the designated enemy in a manner that does not restrict movement. If the enemy makes a successful Will saving throw, they are not affected. When the enemy deals successfully attacks an ally of the umbral weaver, tiny barbs protrude from the wrap, dealing 1d6 + your Charisma modifier points of damage. At 7th level and every 4 levels thereafter (11th, 15th, and 19th), these barbs deal an additional 1d6 points of damage. This dwimmerlaik uses one round of your shadow weave ability, and lasts for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier.

Grasping Shadows: The shadow weave reforms beneath a designated enemy, and they must make a Reflex saving throw or else be entangled for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier. At 11th level, instead of designating an enemy, this dwimmerlaik affects all enemies in a 10 foot burst. The center of this burst must be within the shadow weave.

Phantasmal Tapestry: The shadow weaver briefly forms in front of a designated enemy in the form of their greatest fear. You may use this dwimmerlaik to make an Intimidate check to demoralize. This is a fear effect.

Umbral Shock: The shadow weave coalesces and launches itself at a designated enemy casting a spell or using a spell-like ability. As an immediate action, make a ranged touch attack against the target. On a successful hit, the target must make a Will saving throw or take 1d6 + your Charisma modifier points of damage. At 7th level and every 4 levels thereafter (11th, 15th, and 19th), this attack does an additional 1d6 points of damage. On a successful saving throw, the creature takes half damage. Due to taking damage while casting a spell, the creature must also make a concentration check. This dwimmerlaik uses four rounds of your shadow weave ability.

Subtle Illusions (Su)

At 5th level, creatures using divination spells to detect magical auras, such as detect magic and arcane eye must make a Will save versus the original DC of the spell or else not detect the umbral weaver’s illusions as magical.

Blinding Weave (Su)

At 8th level, the umbral weaver gains an additional dwimmerlaik to choose from. This dwimmerlaik allows the umbral weaver to designate one target, blinding them unless they make a Will save.

Infused Illusions

At 8th level, the umbral weaver gains Infused Illusions (detailed below) as a bonus feat.

Illusory Weakness (Sp)

The umbral weaver is able to create illusions that make it seem like an ally is opened to attacks and currently showing weaknesses, fooling on-lookers into striking him and allowing the ally to retaliate with ease. At 14th level, the umbral weaver can use this ability on himself or an ally within 60 feet. While affected by this illusory effect, creatures attacking the ally with melee attacks provoke attacks of opportunity from the affected ally. While affected by this ability, the ally may make one additional attack of opportunity a round, but only for attacks of opportunities provoked by this ability. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the umbral weaver’s Charisma modifier. At 16th level, and every 2 levels thereafter, the umbral weaver may use this ability one additional time per day.

Shades (Sp)

At 18th level, the umbral weaver may cast shades once per day. At 20th level, they may cast it one additional time per day. This is treated as a 9th level spell.

Living Shadow (Su)

At 20th level, the umbral weaver becomes one with shadows. The umbral weaver gains immunity to cold damage, and whenever he is in an area of dim or darker light, he gains DR 10/—. In addition, the umbral weaver can become incorporeal for a number of minutes equal to her class level. These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but must be used in 1 minute increments. Becoming incorporeal is a move action, and ceasing to be incorporeal is a free action.

New Feat

Infused Illusions

With a mix of practice and innate talent, you are able to interlace your illusions with subtle weaves of shadowstuff that make them all the more real.

Prerequisite: Spell Focus (illusion), caster level 10

Benefit: Your figment and glamer spells always require a saving throw, even if a creature would normally not be affected by such illusions, such as by true seeing. Such creatures receive a +4 bonus to their saving throw. In addition, even if a viewer disbelieves an illusion created by an illusionist using this variant and communicates the details of the illusion to other creatures, those other creatures do not receive the normal +4 bonus on their saying throws to disbelieve the illusion. Furthermore, even when presented with incontrovertible proof that the illusion isn’t real, creatures must still succeed on a Will saving throw to see objects or creatures that the illusion obscures, although they get a +10 bonus on the saving throw.

New Spells


School evocation [darkness]; Level bard 0, cleric 0, druid 0, sorcerer/wizard 0


Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S


Range touch
Target object touched
Duration 10 minutes (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no


This spell creates an aura that hampers normal, non-magical light sources. The spell must be cast upon an object, which then radiates the dimming aura. All light sources within a 100-ft. radius cast only half as much light as they normally would, reducing both the normal and shadowy light radius cast by the source by one-half.

This spell has no effect on magical light sources of any level. The effect is immobile, but it can be cast on a movable object. Spells with the light descriptor of any level counter and dispel this spell.

Shadow Ribbons

School illusion (shadow); Level bard 2, sorcerer/wizard 2


Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S


Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect One or more rays
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes


You blast your enemies with clinging ribbons of shadow.

You may fire one ray, plus one additional ray for every four caster levels beyond 3rd (to a maximum of three rays at caster level 11). Each ray requires a ranged touch attack and inflicts the entangled condition upon a successful attack.

Entangled creatures can attempt to break free as a move action, by making a Strength or Escape Artist check. The DC for this check is equal to the DC of the spell. The rays may be fired at the same or different targets, but all rays must be aimed at targets within 30 feet of each other and fired simultaneously.

Shadow Snag

School enchantment (compulsion); Level bard 0, sorcerer/wizard 0


Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (a black glove)


Range touch
Target one creature that casts a shadow
Duration 1 round/lvl.
Saving Throw Will dispels; see text; Spell Resistance Yes


You make a touch attack against the target’s shadow as part of the spellcasting action. If the attack succeeds, and the subject fails its save, it gains the entangled condition (though it can still move). Entangled creatures can attempt to break free as a move action, making a Strength or Escape Artist check. The DC for this check is equal to the DC of the spell. (The touch AC of the target’s shadow is the same touch AC as the target, subject to modification at GM adjudication.)

Trifling Image

School illusion (figment); Level bard 0, sorcerer/wizard 0


Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S


Range close (25 ft. +5 ft./2 levels)
Area: one sq. ft.
Duration 1 hr./level
Saving Throw Will disbelief (if interacted with); Spell Resistance no


This spell creates a very small, immobile illusion of any object, force, or creature you visualize. The illusion does not create sound, smell, texture, or temperature, nor does it move. The resulting illusion matches your visualization exactly, even if the image in your mind differs somehow from the real object, force, or creature—if such exists at all.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Secrets of Tactical Archetypes © 2012 Steven D. Russell; Authors: Will McCardell and Benjamin Rombeaut