Posted by : David Guyll March 06, 2011


Today's Heroes of Shadow excerpt pertains to shadow magic, and all that that entails. I like that it specifically addresses what exactly differentiates it from arcane magic (or really, any other power source). Where arcane magic often requires rigorous study (warlocks are lazy), shadow magic involves using various rituals to exchange part of your soul, or simply embracing the dark side.

Wait, shadow scholarship? Scratch what was said before, as it looks like some still have to study in order to use shadow magic. Also, it involves negative emotions and the "darker aspects of arcane/divine" power. So, more or less the grim-dark of arcana. Since this is how it operated in past editions, I'm not too disappointed, just confused by an almost immediate contradiction.

As an added bonus, the table of contents is also available for download. It's not much, but does give us some more insight into, well, the contents.


Chapter 1 looks to be entirely flavor content, featuring information on shadow magic and the Shadowfell. Since I'm planning a campaign based around Orcus, undead, and the Shadowfell, any information is handy to have.

Chapter 2 will have the executioner, blackguard (paladin), vampire, binder (warlock), and extra options for the cleric (including the death domain for warpriests), warlock (including the gloom pact for hexblades), and of course necromancy and nethermancy schools for mages. The vampire paragon path is called the vampire noble, and since the two bloodlines (beguiler and stalker) are mentioned at the end, I'm guessing the vampire is going to be "Essentials" style. This is fine, as I'd rather have a vampire class with a narrow focus that works, as opposed to a broad implementation that doesn't.

Chapter 3 is has several pages of content each for the revenant, shadw, vryloka, dwarf, eladrin, elf, halfling, and human. Dusk elves is listed, which makes me wonder if its going to be a subrace (like the winterkin eladrin or that other elf article).

Chapter 4 features ten paragon paths (including the shadow dancer), four epic destinies, feats (with only an Adventurer category mentioned), and equipment.

{ 8 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. so they have made the necromancer a school for the wizard?

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  2. Really interested to see how this Vampire class will work out. Never played earlier editions much, so have no clue how it worked before. Also: Love the new layout!

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  3. Hey Rain, I have some questions for you. Can you send me your email addy?

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  4. Also, to answer your questions:

    @Victor: They have both necromancy and nethermancy, but they are for the mage (Essentials wizard). However, the spells should be portable between both mages and wizards, so I suppose the answer would be a tentative yes.

    @Rain: Vampirism, like lycanthrope, was in 3rd Edition ironically a blessing. You got a bunch of ability score/skill bonuses, regeneration, and special abilities. The only drawback was not being able to go into the sun, but I'm sure there were magic items and spells (along with mundane methods) that could circumvent that.

    If you wanted to start as a vampire, there was a Level Adjustment, but otherwise if you could get it, why not? You could argue about social role-playing conflicts, but because good vampires DO exist a player could just as easily handwave that by stating that they're trying to be good and fend off their urges to feed and do generally bad things.

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  5. @Antioch: at least my dread necromancer class is still usable. I wonder if they will do the same for lyconthrope characters as they did with the vampire, and i know that if you want to play a lycanthrope you can always play a shifter, but we know alot (or maybe a few) of people may argue that its not the same.

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  6. [co="purple"]@Antioch:[/co] I wonder how they are going to handle the daylight weaknesses as well, in 3e there was a ring that suppressed the weakness for a certain amount of hours in a day.

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  7. The rumor is that the werewolf will be in the Feywild heroes book. I've tried making a werewolf character using existing content, but even a shifter/druid makes things hard because you can still cast spells (and are in fact required to take at least one), which doesn't fit the default werewolf archetype.

    As for the daylight problem? Some vampires (particularly minions) are destroyed, while others only take damage each round or lose their regeneration. Perhaps as they progress through tiers of play sunlight will affect them less and less.

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  8. http://wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ex/20110311

    There is a bunch of info on them. Just came out. They have vul. 5 Radiant and res. 5 Necrotic
    EDIT: OH SNAP! These guys look awesome! Bonus for cloth or no armor, bunch of really unique features. This is going to be keen. I'm still wondering how you would do this as a Warforge...

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