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Umbral Blade

The discipline of Veiled Moon is one steeped in mystery and legend, and much of its origins are hearsay at best. Some never experience the darker parts of the discipline, and those who have touched upon them often wish they had not. For every moon has a dark side, the legend says, and in that darkness there is something that is waiting for those who are daring enough to tread upon that perilous path. By entering the shadow of the Veiled Moon, the so-called Umbral Blades find that this darkness possesses power at a price, and by making a deal with it, that power can be bought. By the pact and the darkness made manifest in their weapons and in their very flesh, the umbral blade is a force that few dare to harness.

Most umbral blades are stalkers or the occasional warder who has delved too deeply into forgotten secrets. Some ninjas and rogues with the Martial Training feat round out the nature of this path, but are considerably rarer.

Hit Die: d10

Requirements

To qualify to become an umbral blade, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Class Skills

The umbral blade’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Perception (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Stealth (Dex)

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier

Table: The Umbral Blade
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialManeuvers KnownManeuvers ReadiedStances Known
1st+1+0+1+0Shadow blade, umbral sight000
2nd+2+1+1+1Blade of night +1d8100
3rd+3+1+2+1Embrace the shadows011
4th+4+1+2+1Shadow consumption I100
5th+5+2+3+2Shadowblind001
6th+6+2+3+2Blade of night +2d8110
7th+7+2+4+2Shadow consumption II000
8th+8+3+4+3Terror in the dark100
9th+9+3+5+3Shadow consumption III011
10th+10+3+5+3One with the dark, blade of night +3d8100

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the umbral blade.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

The umbral blade gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Maneuvers Known and Readied

At 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th level, an umbral blade gains new maneuvers known. His available disciplines for these maneuvers are Cursed Razor, Steel Serpent, Veiled Moon and two of his previously available disciplines, chosen when he takes his first umbral blade level. He must meet a maneuver’s prerequisites to learn it. He adds his full umbral blade levels to his initiator level to determine his total initiator level and his highest-level maneuvers known.

At levels 3rd, 6th and 9th, he gains additional maneuvers readied per day.

Stances Known

At 3rd level and again at 5th level and 9th level, an umbral blade learns a new stance from any of the disciplines available to him as an umbral blade. He must meet the stance’s prerequisites to learn it.

Shadow Blade (Su)

The umbral blade’s mind is permanently connected to the Plane of Shadow by his bond with the essence of a creature of darkness and fear. His soul is profoundly affected by this, and his pact with this force is bound to his very flesh.

Whenever he wields a weapon from the associated weapon groups of the Veiled Moon discipline, as a swift action the blade may be changed and altered by his promise to this darkness, resulting in it becoming a blade of ephemeral shadow and writhing smoke (when wielding multiple weapons or using a double weapon, both weapons or both weapon ends are enveloped with this darkness when it is called as the same swift action). This supernatural shadow blade inflicts an additional 1d6 points of cold damage when used. In other aspects it functions as a traditional weapon. As the shadow blade is comprised of his soul’s dark energies and the energies that he wields as a Veiled Moon disciple, he may add his initiation modifier to the weapon’s damage in place of his Strength modifier, and may always use Weapon Finesse with his shadow blade due to its lightened weight from its ephemeral nature. This effect ends when the umbral blade is no longer wielding an enveloped weapon or at will (a thrown shadow blade weapon will retain its properties until after it has been thrown, discharging when it comes to rest).

Umbral Sight (Su)

The umbral blade gains the ability to see in darkness as a true creature of the night. He gains darkvision out to 60 ft. If the character already possesses darkvision, its range increases by 30 ft.

Blade of Night

As the umbral blade’s shadow blade becomes a conduit for darkness and shadow, he is capable of opening a dread gateway within his soul to cause this darkness to surge through him and through the open conduit that is his weapon. The umbral blade may charge his shadow blade (be it a single weapon, double weapon, or paired weapons) with this power as a move action, and later when needed, he may release this power as a free action as part of an attack or martial strike. This hungry and chilling darkness inflicts cold damage, and Blade of Night’s bonus cold damage is added to each attack that the character makes during the round it is activated on.

Embrace the Shadows (Su)

At 3rd level, the umbral blade learns a signature stance of his new existence being half in shadow. This ability is a supernatural ability and a Veiled Moon stance of 3rd level. To enter this stance requires a swift action, and the character forgoes any stance that the character currently is using to use Embrace the Shadows. While in this stance, the character’s form and features change, his skin becoming mottled heavily with inky black shadow and his eyes, hair, nails, and teeth turn pitch black. Maneuvers of the Steel Serpent, Thrashing Dragon, and Veiled Moon disciplines have their saving throw DC’s increased by 2. He gains a +2 profane bonus per umbral blade level to his Intimidate checks due to his fearsome appearance and he automatically fails any Handle Animal check he makes due to his unnatural form. Additionally, this stance improves the umbral blade’s natural armor bonus to AC by +2, and he gains a +2 profane bonus to saving throws as his form becomes very resilient. Lastly, he gains a +2 profane bonus to Stealth checks per umbral blade level while in this stance.

Shadow Consumption (Su)

As the umbral blade continues to further his delving into the darkness of the Shadow Plane through the open conduit in his mind, his form becomes infused with its essence. While in Embrace the Shadow stance, as the umbral blade’s connection to the Shadow Plane intensifies so does the merits he receives.

At 4th level, his vital processes become suspended partially, transmuting his blood into thick, shadowy fluid. He uses his initiation modifier in place of his Constitution modifier for hit points and Fortitude saves. Embrace the Shadows is now a 4th level stance.

At 7th level, his flesh becomes more insubstantial, allowing him to slip through reality ever so slightly to appear and disappear at his discretion; the umbral blade gains the use of the blink spell at will as a spell- like ability. Embrace the Shadows is now a 5th level stance.

At 9th level, the umbral blade gains the ability to gain the incorporeal subtype as an at will standard action as his flesh takes on the ephemeral nature of shadow itself. Embrace the Shadows is now an 6th level stance.

Shadowblind (Su)

The umbral blade pulls concealing shadow to bend perception around him, and may hide in plain sight in areas of dim illumination or darker. This allows the umbral blade to roll a Stealth check in dim illumination or darker, even while being observed.

Terror in the Dark (Su)

The umbral blade’s power lies in his ability to strike with shadow and fear both, rending mind and body with his actions to feed the entity the terror it craves. The umbral blade may use the Stealth skill to hide as a swift action.

One with the Dark

Upon reaching 10th level, the umbral blade’s bond to the Plane of Shadow is complete, as the shadow that he controls consumes him, reshaping him as a being of that world. The shadowy, alien force that has been intruding into his own mind has formed an understanding at last, and the danger to the umbral blade’s sanity is gone. The character’s type changes to Outsider (native), and he gains the benefits of being in his Embrace the Shadow stance at all times (he loses Embrace the Shadows as a stance and gains its abilities and his shadow consumption abilities as racial traits instead, without fear of sanity loss). Additionally, he gains cold resistance of 10 and DR 10/silver. He is considered a native of both his home plane and of the Plane of Shadow.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Path of War, © 2014, Dreamscarred Press.

Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.