Shadow Ranger (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Most rangers set out to master the wilderness, but the shadow ranger has a more specific goal - to master shadow. Using the borderland between light and darkness to move around unseen, they become peerless hunters in their mobile range.

Class Information

This is a prestige archetype.

Publisher: Purple Duck Games.

Prestige Class: Shadowdancer.

Build Classes: Ranger

Role: Shadow rangers make excellent scouts, as they are not bound to any one terrain and can move from shadow to shadow with impunity. They make versatile skirmishers and second-line fighters.

Alignment: Any. Shadow rangers tend to be loners or even recluses, but this does not affect their alignment in any way. Observing from the sidelines, they make their own decisions on who is worthy or unworthy of their aid.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

The shadow ranger's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Class Abilities

The shadow ranger has all the ranger's class abilities, except as noted below.


A shadow ranger gains Dodge as a bonus feat at 1st level, without needing to fulfill the prerequisites of the feat. This replaces wild empathy.


A shadow ranger gains Mobility as a bonus feat at 3rd level, without needing to fulfill the prerequisites of the feat. This spells replaces Endurance.

Shadow Home

At 3rd level, a shadow ranger gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when he is within 10 feet of an area of dim light. He does not gain a bonus from his own shadow. A shadow ranger traveling through shadow normally leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though he may leave a trail if he so chooses).

At 8th level and every five levels thereafter, the skill bonus and initiative bonus increases by +2.

This replaces the ranger's first favored terrain.

Additional spells

At 4th level, when the shadow rainger gains a spellcaster level, add the these spells to the shadow ranger's spell list at the indicated levels. This replaces hunter's bond.

  1. shadow weapon, silent image.
  2. darkness, gloomblind bolts.
  3. shadow conjuration, shadow step.
  4. armor of darkness, shadow walk.

Low-light Vision (Ex)

At 7th level, a shadow ranger gains low-light vision. If he already has low-light vision, he gains darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. If he already has both low-light and darkvision, the range of his darkvision increases by 30 feet. This replaces woodland stride.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su)

At 8th level, a shadow ranger can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as he is within 10 feet of an area of dim light, a shadow ranger can hide himself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. He cannot, however, hide in his own shadow. This replaces the ranger's second favored terrain.

Darkvision (Ex)

At 12th level, a shadow ranger gains darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. If he already has darkvision, the range increases by 30 feet. This replaces Camouflage.

Silent Shadow Step (Ex)

At 13th level, when casting shadow step, the shadow ranger can make a Stealth check to hide immediately afterwards, and this Stealth check suffers no penalties for the shadow rangers actions earlier in the round. This replaces the rangers third favored terrain.

Greater Invisibility

At 17th level, add greater invisibility to the shadow rangers spell list as a 4th level spell. This replaces hide in plain sight.

Quick Shadow Step (Ex)

At 18th level, the shadow ranger can cast shadow step as a swift action. This replaces the ranger's fourth favored terrain.

Shadow Master (Su)

At 20th level, whenever a shadow ranger is in an area of dim light, he gains DR 10/— and a +2 luck bonus on all saving throws. In addition, whenever he successfully scores a critical hit against a foe who is in an area of dim light, that foe is blinded for 1d6 rounds. This replaces master hunter.

Table: Shadow Ranger

Special Spells per Day
1 2 3 4
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 1st favored enemy, Dodge, track
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Combat style feat
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Mobility, shadow home
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Additional spells 0
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 2nd favored enemy 1
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Combat style feat 1
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Lowlight vision 1 0
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Hide in plain sight, swift tracker 1 1
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Evasion 2 1
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 3rd favored enemy, combat style feat 2 1 0
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Quarry 2 1 1
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Darkvision 2 2 1
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Silent shadow step 3 2 1 0
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Combat style feat 3 2 1 1
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 4th favored enemy 3 2 2 1
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Improved evasion 3 3 2 1
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Greater invisibility 4 3 2 1
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Combat style feat, quick shadow step 4 3 2 2
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Improved quarry 4 3 3 2
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 5th favored enemy, shadow master 4 4 3 3

Note: What is Shadows?

Shadowdancers and their ilk have several abilities that work in dim light. This means just what it says; the ability works neither in light nor in total darkness, but only in shadows and dim light. GMs are encouraged to allow these abilities to be used in any area of contrasting light and darkness; in the stark shadows cast by bright light and in the mirk of darkness broken by a tiny flame or elusive reflection. As long as it makes sense for shadows to exist, these abilities work.

Summary of Changed Class Abilities

These abilities of the original class are lost or modified in this archetype:

  • Wild Empathy
  • Endurance
  • Favored Terrain (All)
  • Hunter's Bond
  • Woodland Stride
  • Camouflage
  • Hide in Plain Sight
  • Master Hunter
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