The Master of Forms—Expanded: Shadow and Darkness (PFRPG) PDF
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"Bending" elements meets contracts with nebulous outsiders from alternate realities.
Funded by Patreon "Sugar Daddy" tier backer Alex Ross, and Endzeitgeist's Top 10 of 2015 nominee, The Master of Forms adds a plethora of brand new archetypes and the new shadow element to what was already acclaimed as a "flawless victory of a martial base class."
The Shadow Element
In The Master of Forms elemental cosmology, shadow is both stealthy (as one would expect), but also the glue that holds everything else together. The practitioner of shadow forms knows when to fade into the background, and when to obscure his very elemental lineage by tapping into whatever seems useful from the other elements. Slipping into shadow-based stances merely enables rapid shifting to another stance; in short, shadow's identity is that of no identity. To obscure all and to embrace all are the two paradoxical tenets of its followers.
- Drifting One: Understanding the nature of the world is critical for Masters of Forms, for it is a deep understanding with the elements that allows for the powerful forms that make up the greatest of his repertoire. A combination of martial artist and cosmological politician, the drifting one affects a manner that attracts the elements, but never stays in one place long enough for the shallowness of his understanding to become fully known. The drifting one constantly shifts from element to element, constantly one step ahead of the primal forces that would disown him were they ever to reveal the nature of his game.
- Elemental Partisan: Though the elements exist in harmony, those who seek to understand them may believe one to be superior. The elemental partisan locks out one element in order to grant a small subset of new forms to another element, allowing for deeper character customization.
- Unbalanced Master: Similar to the elemental partisan, the unbalanced master finds one particular element easier to understand. No element is completely turned away, for the unbalanced master still attempts to embrace all, but the greatest powers among the other elements are permanently shut out to him. In recompense, the deeper understanding afforded to his favored element grants a unique pool ability based on the favored element chosen.
- Vessel of Darkness - It is said that a system is only defined when it is observed. Who, or what, observes when nobody is around? The Darkness does. It lurks in the far corner beneath your bed, in the deepest of the ocean's depths, and within the void of interstellar space. It is the unknown personified, an entity so alien that it flees before mere baryonic observation, let along direct opposition. It is not good or evil. It is the eye of Elsewhere, and, for purposes unknown, it seeks to understand its neighbors.
Masters of Forms count Darkness as one of the primal powers of the universe, equal in import to fire, ice, and their peers, but the nature of the Darkness ensures it stays at arm's length, and a true understanding eludes most. Rarely, however, Elsewhere reaches out to specific baryonic entities, and if an accord is met, when the baryonic looks into the Darkness, the Darkness, unblinking, always observing, can look back.
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