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Can shadows turn off their strength damage?


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In a home game, I have a player who wants to use Shadow Projection (which essentially makes you into a version of the monster Shadow) to make himself harder to kill. The problem is that he is a buffing mystic theurge and I am not sure if he would do strength damage to the other players if he delivered a range touch spell on them. The Shadow's strength drain ability is marked as a Supernatural Ability. Can SU be turned off?


ComicViolence wrote:
In a home game, I have a player who wants to use Shadow Projection (which essentially makes you into a version of the monster Shadow) to make himself harder to kill. The problem is that he is a buffing mystic theurge and I am not sure if he would do strength damage to the other players if he delivered a range touch spell on them. The Shadow's strength drain ability is marked as a Supernatural Ability. Can SU be turned off?

Not any more than the draining effect of a succubus' kiss.

Here's a hint. you really don't want to allow your spellcasters to make themselves invulnerable. The Shadow Projection effect has no text within the spell description that would allow for spellcasting. Don't let your player argue otherwise. The only use of the shadow projection effect is stealth and combat.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks Drahliana. I already thought about keeping him from casting spells but all of his spells are silent (deaf oracle curse), he has eschew materials from the sorcerer side, and the still metamagic feat (he has been planning on doing this for a while apparently). I kind of feel like it is hard to tell the guy he cant cast spells if they don't have any components. Plus I don't think of him as invulnerable because a lot of the things he is likely to fight have magic weapons, at which point he is taking half damage which is effectively what Displacement ends up being.


ComicViolence wrote:
Thanks Drahliana. I already thought about keeping him from casting spells but all of his spells are silent (deaf oracle curse), he has eschew materials from the sorcerer side, and the still metamagic feat (he has been planning on doing this for a while apparently). I kind of feel like it is hard to tell the guy he cant cast spells if they don't have any components. Plus I don't think of him as invulnerable because a lot of the things he is likely to fight have magic weapons, at which point he is taking half damage which is effectively what Displacement ends up being.

If you allow him to do anything other than combat in shadow form, you will regret it. I'm extremely practised in keeping spellcasters alive through hit denial tactics, the extra protections of a shadow form would simply be icing on the cake.

It's not the same as being Displacement. Displacement involves a spell with limited duration, as well as the action economy of casting it during a battle. And it's bypassable by true seeing and various other means.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

This came up in another thread in days gone by:

James Jacobs wrote:
FiddlersGreen wrote:

Hey James, I was wondering if you could shed some light on how this spell operates (but not too much, given the spell in question!).

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/s/shadow-projection

1. Can you perform verbal and somatic components whilst a shadow?
2. Can you access your feats and use spell-like or supernatural abilities whilst you are a shadow?
3. Can you even speak whilst you are a shadow?
4.Do you use your own stats, only your mental stats or none of your own stats when you are a shadow?

The answer to all these questions is more or less no. When you cast this spell, you basically "turn off" your character and "turn on" a shadow, as detailed in the Bestiary. You'd still use your own skills (not modified by the shadow's stats) and your own hit points, but the rest is pretty much "just use the shadow stat block." It's meant to mostly be a scouting out an area spell first and a fighting spell second.

The original post is here


For what you asked: No it can't be turned off. But as a ranged touch it wouldn't deal the strength damage anyway. Just normal melee touches.

For what you didn't ask: There aren't many ways to become incorporeal. Shadow Body is a 7th level spell that grants it with a few limits, and specifically states it allows spellcasting. It lasts minutes. Undead Anatomy IV is an 8th level that can grant the ability. For rounds. Sonic Form is a 6th level that has a coupla restrictions on the incorporealness. Minutes. Point is, having that aspect alone is incredibly useful. It seems tough to believe that a 4th level spell lasting hours is meant to be that powerful.

If you don't mind the power level, or think it's roughly even with the party, or whatever, tis cool. But offhand he'll be halving damage from most attacks (including magical) for the rest of the game, and outright being immune to plenty. Non damage spells won't affect him half the time either. Not to mention immunity to countless conditions, including some CMB effects. It's an awful lot.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for all the advice guys :-) I usually don't like to tell my players outright that they can't do stuff, instead I will try to make it increasing difficult. Between not being able to touch people to deliver a lot of his spells, not being able to carry or touch any gear, and occasional paladins and clerics of Pharasma trying to attack him (bwahahahaha), I think I can deter him from using it ... at least all of the time. And if he is willing to endure all of that to get his spell on him all the time ... I feel like he probably deserves it.

Plus I have mostly given up on giving these powergaming min/maxers good combat, now I just try to give them good roleplaying and this seems like this could lead to some fun rolplaying.

It might not come up very much anyway. He is now talking about casting the spell on his familiar instead. Would a creature being tiny sized affect the strength damage that it would deal while under Shadow Projection?

Scarab Sages

Honestly, I think Shadow Projection is poorly written and needs some more rules grounding it. Its description certainly does not match James Jacobs opinion on the matter.

But, no, size does not affect a shadow's touch. No more so than size affects spell damage.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks Lorewalker.

Liberty's Edge

I have one more question about this. My player wants to know if he has a ghost touch gauntlet if he could deliver touch spells with the gauntlet without doing the strength damage. I am not 100% on the rules for this, but I inclined to say no.

Can one of your wise knowers of rules advise me either way?

Scarab Sages

You should just rule that a shadow has to specifically attempt to do their strength drain attack for it to function. Makes everything easier.

Note that a shadow does not do its damage while moving through a creature. Thus it does not have anything to do with randomly touching a shadow. It is a specific attack that requires a standard action to perform and is not a regular attack(Also you do not gain an extra touch attack from haste).

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