The Genius Guide to the Shadow Assassin (PFRPG) PDF

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This release introduces the Shadow Assassin, a new core class designed for use with the PFRPG. It is a stealth-oriented class, with an emphasis on fighting effectively with light or exotic weapons, powers designed to strike down a single foe, and mystic control of shadows that greatly increases the character's power in dim lighting and total darkness.

More than just killers, shadow assassins are masters of secret combat techniques focused on light and exotic weapons, tactics designed to single out and slay a single foe in direct confrontation, and of course a mystic connection to and manipulation of shadow. Traditionally trained in clans with histories going back centuries, shadow assassins may try to conceal their existence from the common population, or may be legendary enforces of specific religions or rulers. Shadow assassins must train for years in the same kinds of conditions monks and wizards do, and for most their path is a lifelong dedication to mastering the darkness and overcoming any lone target.

Super Genius Games is proud to announce a new line of products for use with the Pathfinder RPG. The Genius Guide series of products are short electronic books that feature new templates, classes, spells, prestige classes and/or magic items. For use by players and GMs, each Genius Guide is low-priced and ready to be dropped into your game.

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"Super Kill Guy Mode," Why You Should Buy This Class, and Other Things.


I have played, played with, or DMed for innumerable third party classes over the last ~12 years that I have been playing 3rd, then 3.5th Edition D&D, then Pathfinder, and I have to say that the Shadow Assassin is among my all-time favorites.

The greatest thing about this class is its versatility. With two different sets of customizable class features ("Shadow Styles" and "Shadow Talents"), there are dozens, possibly into the hundreds of different, viable builds for this class, particularly because it multiclasses so well in addition to being a fun and unique blend of abilities when played all on its own.

Two of the favorites in my group so far are to play this class as a lightweight ranged Fighter, focusing on consistent, high single-target damage output with their many abilities that can be used to boost the damage of shurikens, or as an elusive and shadowy Rogue-replacement, capable of moving practically undetectably through darkness with a high base speed and many acrobatic tricks, or flight at higher levels, passively perceiving and rapidly disabling traps, and detecting just about anything with their ability to gain low-light and darkvision as class features and a Feat option for +Perception and, later, Blindsense in dark areas in the supporting "With a Bullet" product.

What makes the Shadow Assassin truly bemusing to witness is their signature "Deadly Focus" and "Greater Deadly Focus" abilities, however. 1-3 times per day, with Greater Deadly Focus, even a completely utility-built character can activate what the first DM in my group to run for one of these bad boys coined as, "Super Kill Guy Mode," and unleash more DR Bypassing damage on that annoying BBEG than anybody ever saw coming. It is truly an awe-inspiring and giggle-inducing moment the first time you see it in action.

The Shadow Assassin was the first Super Genius product I ever used, and since then I have become a dedicated fan - they are now by far my most-owned 3PP publisher, in fact, I would wager I own more of their products than any tabletop manufacturer except Paizo themselves, and I love every single one of them.

What lurks in the shadows isn't always just your imagination.


Alright the Shadow Assassin is a 3/4 bab class with two good saves, that excels at one on one combat while focusing on light weapons. It even makes shuriken a useful weapon for more than just a carrier for poisons.

It is quite possibly one of my favorite pathfinder class. It allows you to play a shadowy killer without necessarily being evil. From creating weapons formed of pure shadow to creating phasing in and out of the shadows like an avenging specter. Formless but for the steel of your blades.

I'd hit it.


I'm going to hafta give this one a try. Looks pretty fun, drops the "Evil" requirement of the standard assassin class, drops the poisons, picks up a lot of "Ninja" talents.

A assassin with mystic shadow powers.


This product is 9 pages long.

d8, 6 skills, medium BaB, weapons and armor like a rogue.

Class abilities mostly deal with using and mastering shadows. They also get a few talents similar to rogues and a choice of fighting styles. With Daggers, bolas and shuriken they add a bonus to hit/dmg as they level (up to a +4), also deadly focus add wis mod to hit/dmg(if the assassin kills them they can reuse the power after a 15 min break, otherwise they can not use it till the next day), they can learn to by pass DR. Those are a few example abilities they get.

Closing thoughts, If you want a assassin with a mystic/supernatural bent with shadow powers then this is a very interesting class. All and all i liked the class but felt it makes a more interesting challenging NPC class than PC class. I am revisiting some of my older reviews and fix my rating system to match. With that said I am giving this a 3.5 star review.

Very fun - very different from the standard assassin


At first glance, you can see the work that went into this PDF - it's clean, easily understood, good-looking, well-edited, and the illustrations of the "iconic" shadow assassin are eye-pleasing and evocative.

As for the mechanics - I made a 5th level elven shadow assassin, and played him in two sessions of the CotCT campaign I'm in.

I had a lot of fun making the character - so many of the class features are pick and choose, similar to the rogue's talents. You can easily customize the feel of the class via ability selection. There are some abilities that all shadow assassins get that focus on 1-on-1 fights, and the pick-and-choose abilities are based around things like mobility, stealth, minor spells, or combat.

I decided to give my PC an ability that kept him always armed, as well as one that helped him hinder spellcasters. My idea was that he'd be a scout and a support combatant. It worked out fairly well. In a fight with a "boss" spellcaster, I was able to provide consistent damage and spell disruption, and good mobility meant I could pursue the BBEG and chase him into a corner. In that kind of fight, I was right up with the tanks in combat contribution.

In non-combat encounters, I was still able to participate. I didn't have rogue trap skills or ranger tracking skills, but decent skill points and shadow-related bonuses let me do some good scouting.

The class does have a 1-on-1 combat focus, but it lacks an "instant kill" kind of ability (no death attack or sneak attack) which may disappoint some folks. It's also very dependent on context - if your GM isn't willing to provide opportunities for your PC to shine, you won't be as effective. Basically, this means including areas of darkness/shadow and at least one solo or boss enemy to fight - not that tall an order for a typical adventure.

tl;dr - A very versatile stealth-based class. An excellent supporting class. I will be playing this one again.

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Scarab Sages Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

havoc xiii wrote:


So....err...ummm any word on the rumored shadow warrior?


What who's there? Not me nope nothing to see here....


It continues to await my time to free up a bit.

Awesome glad to hear its still alive. :)

So any plans for Shadow Assassin archetypes?

Scarab Sages Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Plans? No, nothing so firm as to be called plans. if I read between the lines that means you've got ideas, thoughts,or half formed mental pictures?

Scarab Sages Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

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That's a fair description. :)

Basically once I finally get Shadow Warrior out the door, I'll be turning to the possibility of doing a Genius Options: masters of Shadow book, in the same basic style as Genius Options: Masters of Time.

Yes. That. Now.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

That's a fair description. :)

Basically once I finally get Shadow Warrior out the door, I'll be turning to the possibility of doing a Genius Options: masters of Shadow book, in the same basic style as Genius Options: Masters of Time.

It's like you say these things just to tease me. You know how I feel about the warrior.

Wonderful review, Draeth Darkstar! I agree that this is a stellar class, and I can't wait for the shadow warrior :)

And the Masters of Shadows.

Minister of Propaganda, Super Genius Games

Thanks for the wonderful review Draeth Darkstar!

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

My pleasure! Certainly the least I could do after all the fun I've had playing Super Genius products and all the questions I've pestered Owen with. :P

Semi-related, I could die happy if that Shadow Warrior class ever sees the light (hah!) of day.

Scarab Sages Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Draeth Darkstar wrote:
Semi-related, I could die happy if that Shadow Warrior class ever sees the light (hah!) of day.

It's still on the docket. :D

Is eagerly awaiting the day I can see the Shadow Warrior.

Impatient Havoc is impatient.

Hey, you know what I worked on today?

Owen KC Stephens wrote:
Pathos wrote:

I do have a few questions though...

1)Shadowblade Style: Can a SA create more than one weapon at a time for the purposes of dual wielding? If so, is the enhancement bonus divided between the two weapons? Or is he limited to a single weapon?
Since the property says he can form "a weapon" and later refers to "the weapon" I'd say the power can only be used to create a single weapon at a time with RAW. If I...

I have an NPC that I am about to create and would like to use the shadow assassin. I wanted to make him a dual wielder then discovered that, by RAW, he cannot create two shadowblades. With your comment above could I add an addendum to the ability, something like this:

Shadowblade (Su): As a swift action the shadow assassin can create a weapon made of solid shadows (this can be any light weapon with which he is proficient). This weapon is treated as magic for purpose of bypassing DR, and has an enhancement bonus to attack and damage equal to +1 for every three full levels of the shadow assassin class. It has the same hardness and hit points as a normal magic weapon of its type, and dissipates at the end of any round it is not held in the shadow assassin’s hand. A shadow assassin may dissipate the weapon at will. If the shadow assassin chooses to summon forth two shadow blades he must divide the enchanement between the two weapons.

If this shadow style is selected a second time, the weapon counts as a force effect. If selected a third time, the shadow assassin can form a shadow weapon as a free action.

I was also going to homebrew (read: rewrite a soulknife blade talent) up a feat:

Shadowblade Mastery
The character's control over shadows and death allow him to summon powerful deadly implements.

Prerequisites: Shadowblade style, bab +6.

Benefits: When forming his shadowblade into multiple weapons, the shadow blade suffers no reduction in enhancement bonus.

Does this seem unbalanced? All comments/suggestions are welcome.


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I really love this class... ive been playing d&d for 25 years and this is by far my favorite assassin (compared to rogue, ninja, shadow dancer, assassin, etc...)

Are there any plans to revise the class? For example i see rogues and ninjas now have option to take shadow assassin styles as their talent would be nice if shadow assassin could also access their talents (for more versatility). Also you had mentioned a shadows options book, any updates on that?

Thank you :)

I noticed that there have not been any updates/discussion on the class since 2014. I do feel like the class is balanced but i also feel like with the unchained rogues/ninja that now have Finesses training (dex to hit and dmg) and other boosts that the shadow assassin is a bit weaker comparatively. Also the the rogue and ninja can select shadow style powers now.

Would it make sense giving finesse training to the shadow assassin? Or at the very least make it as one of the shadow style powers someone could select? (To avoid the 2 feat tax to do so). Also since ninja/rogue can access all shadow style powers would it make sense for shadow assassin to also be able to select rogue talents or ninja tricks as well?

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