Excerpts: Heroes of Shadow, Shadow Classes

Assassin blah blah paladin blah blah, vampire. Finally, we get a peek at their level 1 capabilities.

Vampires are shadow strikers keyed to Dexterity and Charisma, which was what I'd expected. Likewise, it utilizes the Essentials progression model, giving you lot of class features at level 1, but without any choice on the matter, and aside from a Utility Power gained at level 2, seems to dictate basically everything else about you as well. That being said, let's see what a newly created vampire has at her disposal.

While At-Will Powers is listed, none are featured. That sucks. The daily power has the implement keyword, but no mention as to which they will use, or if they can use weapons (or are supposed to). Also, the table of contents mentioned two separate builds, which might mean that you might get abilities not mentioned here (like how warpriests and mages get bonus shit based on their domain or school). It might also function like the knight/slayer, in that there will be two entirely separate sections. We'll have to wait and see.

That being said, here's the featured features.
  • Child of the Night: You're undead, so you don't need to breathe and you don't age, but you do have to sleep. You also have darkvision, resist 5 necrotic, vulnerable 5 radiant, and both take radiant damage and are weakened when in sunlight without some kind of protective covering, like a cloak (which is what I guessed yesterday). So far, so good. I don't mind being immune to sunlight so long as you meet such a simple condition. It would make it very difficult being a vampire otherwise. I know some people are going to be pissed off about this, but just fucking change it so that being in direct sunlight hurts you no matter what.
  • Blood is Life: You can snack on an ally while taking a short rest to regain hit points equal to two of your healing surges. I don't know why it repeats the benefit. Also, if you end a short rest with more healing surges than you're supposed to have, you lose all of the excess ones, but regain all of your hit points. Very nice.
  • Enduring Soul: You gain regeneration equal to your Charisma modifier when bloodied. Wow, especially given that Cha is a secondary stat, it's going to scale pretty damned high at later levels. Kinda makes me not want to play a shifter with this, however.
  • Hidden Might: You gain a scaling damage bonus to all your vampire attacks equal to your Charisma modifier. This is basically their striker bonus, and is on par with a sorcerer, so nothing new here.
  • Vampiric Reflexes: This gives you a small AC boost when you are wearing cloth armor/no armor, and aren't carrying a shield around. Basically keeps you on par with other strikers. I'm guessing they won't start with any armor proficiencies, either. 
  • Blood Drinker: An encounter attack that lets you automatically deal bonus damage on a hit with another attack, and you gain a healing surge. This is basially power strike by another name, with a small bonus. Seeing as it doesn't require you to have grabbed a creature on the previous round, I highly approve.
  • Swarm of Shadows: A daily close blast 3 attack that turns you into a swarm of shadows, deal lots of damage (plus ongoing damage), teleport, and become invisible for a bit. This looks very brutal, especially because it only targets enemies.
And then the excerpt wraps up with something about warlocks and the other classes that we already knew. I'm really liking the vampire, and it provides a foundation for building other monstrous classes. It reminds me of having Savage Species "back in the day", and I'm looking forward to seeing what custom classes others make.


  1. i hope it includes suggestions on how to integrate vampires as heroic characters.

  2. So why no March of the Phantom Brigade, Week 7 (or 6)?


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