Character Themes: Born from Shadow

Only two themes, this time? Oh well, at least they are shadow-oriented. Now if only I was able to run a L.A. Noire-type campaign that takes place in Gloomwrought (or hell, Eberron) I would be in business. I think WotC should do some sort of compilation and throw it in a book, perhaps with one of those random-background generator tables.

Student of Evard starts you out with essence of death, which deals scaling bonus damage against an adjacent creature that you hit with an attack. The damage is nice, but you also take some damage. To make matters worse, it also scales. At level 5 you gain a bonus on skill checks related to nethermancy and necromancy, and you can also use the Last Sight Vision ritual once a day for free. At 10th-level the skill bonuses double, and you also gain an attack bonus with shadow powers for the first round of combat.

  • Dark Focus: A level 2 daily utility that lets you burn a healing surge for a reroll. Kind of like arcane defiling, but only you pay the price.
  • Shadow Vision: A level 6 encounter utility that grants you dark vision for a turn. Lame.
  • Dread Blessing: A level 10 daily utility that is similar to dark focus in that you burn a surge for a reroll, but this one targets allies, grants a bonus, and if the reroll still fails you do not expend it. Very nice.
Gloomwrought emissary starts you out with strike from shadows, which lets you lump on weakened when you hit a creature granting combat advantage with a melee or ranged attack. As a minor bonus you can also shift a short distance. Level 5 gives you a staple bonus to Diplomacy and Streetwise, while level 10 lets you reroll a Charisma-based skill once per day. Eh...could be better, but at least it fits the theme.

  • Jibber Feint is a level 2 encounter utility that lets you automatically cause one enemy to grant combat advantage for the next attack levied at it.
  • Ghostwalker is a level 6 encounter utility that renders you insubstantial for a turn, and lets you fly before your turn ends.
  • Noble's Decree is a level 10 encounter utility that basically lets you double your Charisma modifier for a Diplomacy or Intimidate check.

Student of Evard is pretty nice, and while the Gloomwrought emissary is thematic enough it just feels underwhelming in the same way that a 3rd Edition bard was mostly good for auto-winning Diplomacy checks.

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