"Using the Shadowdancer's level"


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Shadow Illusion wrote:
When a shadowdancer reaches 3rd level, she can create visual illusions. This ability functions as silent image, using the shadowdancer's level as the caster level.
Summon Shadow wrote:
This shadow has a number of hit points equal to half the shadowdancer's total. The shadow uses the shadowdancer's base attack bonus and base save bonuses.

Is this referring to the Shadowdancer as a character; or just the Shadowdancer portion of the character? I always thought it only counted the strictly Shadowdancer levels, but I saw people discussing it as though it referred to the entire character in question, and all their class levels and everything. But then I thought of Rogue magic talents and how it would be strange if a few Rogue levels let you cast those spells at max power, more than you can do multiclassing a spellcaster.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The second one is very clearly referring to total character level; the first could go either way as worded.


Revan wrote:
The second one is very clearly referring to total character level; the first could go either way as worded.

Eh, that doesn't really make sense to me; if "shadowdancer's level" isn't definite then neither is "shadowdancer's total [hp]" etc, fundamentally. It gives a strong lean and raises some questions but, I could easily enough see them using it to refer to only Shadowdancer hp/BAB/Saves. If they wanted to say that, it would still be about the simplest way to do so; and makes the most sense in terms of game balance. It's not "very clearly"; I'm sick of flimsy subjective pseudo-logic. But thanks for responding at least.


Both refer to your full character level stats. The shadow is related to Familiars mechanically


Rinny wrote:
Shadow Illusion wrote:
When a shadowdancer reaches 3rd level, she can create visual illusions. This ability functions as silent image, using the shadowdancer's level as the caster level.
Summon Shadow wrote:
This shadow has a number of hit points equal to half the shadowdancer's total. The shadow uses the shadowdancer's base attack bonus and base save bonuses.
Is this referring to the Shadowdancer as a character; or just the Shadowdancer portion of the character? I always thought it only counted the strictly Shadowdancer levels, but I saw people discussing it as though it referred to the entire character in question, and all their class levels and everything. But then I thought of Rogue magic talents and how it would be strange if a few Rogue levels let you cast those spells at max power, more than you can do multiclassing a spellcaster.

You would use the Shadowdancer's total hitpoints to determine the Shadows HPs. You would use the Shadowdancers total BAB to determine the Shadows total BAB.

As for the Shadow Illusion technically you would use the Shadowdancer's Shadow dancer level, though that kind of sucks as it's at most a 10 level class. If it had sad use the Shadowdancer's character level of HD etc.. then you would use the total of all class levels etc...


I believe you are mistaken about Shadow Illusion Kalyth.

It could easily had read: "CL equals your SD levels".

But instead it refers to the character and states to use that level as CL.

"the shadowdancer's" encompasses the whole character, whom is a Shadowdancer, and not solely your shadowdancer levels.


Xraal wrote:

I believe you are mistaken about Shadow Illusion Kalyth.

It could easily had read: "CL equals your SD levels".

But instead it refers to the character and states to use that level as CL.

"the shadowdancer's" encompasses the whole character, whom is a Shadowdancer, and not solely your shadowdancer levels.

As written and not being definite. You would generally rule in favor of the character, being the nature of Pathfinder.

Both of them would use the character's full HD and HP.


Rinny wrote:
Shadow Illusion wrote:
When a shadowdancer reaches 3rd level, she can create visual illusions. This ability functions as silent image, using the shadowdancer's level as the caster level.
Summon Shadow wrote:
This shadow has a number of hit points equal to half the shadowdancer's total. The shadow uses the shadowdancer's base attack bonus and base save bonuses.

The first is referring to the shadowdancer's shadowdancer level (i.e. 3rd at the start) the default for spell like abilities is character level.

The second is the character's base attack bonus and base save bonuses.

Hope this helps,

James

Scarab Sages

In class entries, when the term "uses *class*'s level" appears, it refers to the particular class in question.

The first quote thus refers to the characters' levels in the shadowdancer prestige class. third level as the caster level if you have three levels in shadowdancer.

Your second quote doesn't specify a class. Instead it refers to the shadowdancer in general. When "class" isn't specified, you use the total number from all classes combined.

Also, the summon shadow ability is usually either way too good, or completely useless :p

Shadow Lodge

Magicdealer wrote:

In class entries, when the term "uses *class*'s level" appears, it refers to the particular class in question.

The first quote thus refers to the characters' levels in the shadowdancer prestige class. third level as the caster level if you have three levels in shadowdancer.

Your second quote doesn't specify a class. Instead it refers to the shadowdancer in general. When "class" isn't specified, you use the total number from all classes combined.

I agree, though it could have been worded more clearly. Unless it calls out "levels in Shadowdancer" or "Shadowdancer Class Level," though I would assume they reference character level. Especially since doing otherwise would make for a rather weak CL for a PrC.

The shadow abilities definitely refer to the character's full hp or full BAB. Same as familiars


Xraal wrote:

I believe you are mistaken about Shadow Illusion Kalyth.

It could easily had read: "CL equals your SD levels".

But instead it refers to the character and states to use that level as CL.

"the shadowdancer's" encompasses the whole character, whom is a Shadowdancer, and not solely your shadowdancer levels.

So when a listing for a domain power states "Using the cleric's level as the caster level" the cleric gets to include his figher levels?

Or a Paladin special ability stating "Using the pladin's level as the caster level" then he can include his wizard levels?

I thought it was specifically called out that all class abilites used only levels in those classes unless it specifically called out "Character Level".

Shadow Lodge

Kalyth wrote:
Xraal wrote:

I believe you are mistaken about Shadow Illusion Kalyth.

It could easily had read: "CL equals your SD levels".

But instead it refers to the character and states to use that level as CL.

"the shadowdancer's" encompasses the whole character, whom is a Shadowdancer, and not solely your shadowdancer levels.

So when a listing for a domain power states "Using the cleric's level as the caster level" the cleric gets to include his figher levels?

Or a Paladin special ability stating "Using the pladin's level as the caster level" then he can include his wizard levels?

I thought it was specifically called out that all class abilites used only levels in those classes unless it specifically called out "Character Level".

Good examples. Damn. It'd be great if they could specify each time. For those, it clearly makes sense to use the class level. The PrC spell like seems weak for its level if not given the character level... though I suppose only duration is really impacted.

I'm too lazy to look up how assassin DCs are worded... wait, no I'm not, now I'm too curious.

PRD wrote:


DC 10 + the assassin's class level + the assassin's Int modifier

That does it for me. I put the vagueness of shadowdancer to the side of character level.

Scarab Sages

Huh? Isn't that like comparing apples and oranges? A spell like ability versus an extraordinarily ability? A caster level versus a save against death?

Anyways, a closer look at shadow illusion gives us the following lines:

"Using the shadowdancer's level as the caster level."

"use this ability once per day for every two shadowdancer levels she has attained"

So, by one interpretation, a 10th rogue, 3rd shadowdancer would fire off six silent images with a caster level of 13?

Or one silent image with a caster level of 3.

Shadow Lodge

Magicdealer wrote:

Huh? Isn't that like comparing apples and oranges? A spell like ability versus an extraordinarily ability? A caster level versus a save against death?

Anyways, a closer look at shadow illusion gives us the following lines:

"Using the shadowdancer's level as the caster level."

"use this ability once per day for every two shadowdancer levels she has attained"

So, by one interpretation, a 10th rogue, 3rd shadowdancer would fire off six silent images with a caster level of 13?

Or one silent image with a caster level of 3.

The abilities are worlds apart, the language dependency isn't.

No reason why they would call out assassin class level in one and not the other... though your second example is a better argument against that.

It also leads me to believe they meant character level for caster level, and class level for times/day.

Otherwise it would have been "shadowdancer level" both times instead of "shadowdancer's" the first

Scarab Sages

Interesting... based off my quote, I would be led to believe that class level would be applicable both times instead of character level.

Language dependency is entirely referential to the subject at hand. When dealing with something like a DC to a keystone class ability, it makes sense that the focus would stand on being exact.

Shadow Illusion: shadowdancer's level
Shadow Call: shadowdancer's level
Shadow Power: shadowdancers' level

The shadow jump ability says:
"Every two levels higher than 4th, the distance a shadowdancer can jump each day doubles."

If level = character level, then a 10th rogue, 6th shadowdancer would have a jump range of 2,560 feet. For this particular ability, the chart actually tells us that with 6 levels of shadowdancer, the distance is set at 80 feet. This proves that that particular usage of level specifically refers to levels in the shadowdancer prestige class.

We can thus extrapolate that meaning to all "level" in the prestige class entry. Which fits with the general rule that level refers to a specific class unless explicitly stating it refers to more.

Ladies and gentlemen, you've been a great audience! Don't forget to tip your waiters, and goodnight!


I have only so much faith in Pathfinder rulebook semantics, though I understand there's only so much to go on. However to make another stab at the spirit of the words I want to take a look at the 'familiar' thing; to those who said Summon Shadow is familiar-based and thus goes by character level, I'm wondering what you're going by cause this is what I see in the PRD:

PRD: Wizard wrote:
All familiars have special abilities (or impart abilities to their masters) depending on the master's combined level in classes that grant familiars, as shown on the table below. The abilities are cumulative.

I hope you are right that familiars are character level -based for my shadow's sake, but I honestly doubt it based on balance alone. So do familiars truly offer a precedence for character level -basis or no?

(Also, even then, familiar does not equal companion. Otherwise I could get Improved Share Spells (it doesn't have Share Spells as a prerequisite xD). "[A]nimal companion, eidolon, familiar, [and] special mount" apparently fall under the umbrella term 'companion', but unfortunately something simply designated as a 'companion' is none of these things and is evidently not subject to the same things. The term is used loosely in Shadowdancer and I don't particularly see it employed as a term elsewhere.)

But regardless at the end of the day I'll bat my eyes and ask my kind DM what he thinks the book's wording means and he'll probably say it's total character level and I'll say 'oh okay~' :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rinny wrote:
Revan wrote:
The second one is very clearly referring to total character level; the first could go either way as worded.
Eh, that doesn't really make sense to me; if "shadowdancer's level" isn't definite then neither is "shadowdancer's total [hp]" etc, fundamentally. It gives a strong lean and raises some questions but, I could easily enough see them using it to refer to only Shadowdancer hp/BAB/Saves. If they wanted to say that, it would still be about the simplest way to do so; and makes the most sense in terms of game balance. It's not "very clearly"; I'm sick of flimsy subjective pseudo-logic. But thanks for responding at least.

There's no way to separate out your HP from Shadowdancer levels from HP not from Shadowdancer levels unless you've been keeping very careful track, and BAB is, for any given number, a single number summing the bonus from all class levels. Same for saves. Certainly, there is nowhere else in the rules which separates out bonuses to HP/Saves/Base Attack. With the possible exception of Monk pseudo-BAB, and everyone agrees that's silly.

On the other hand, there is a clear and well-defined distinction between 'class level' and 'character level' which is left slightly ambiguous here, because it uses the possessive form in referring to levels, so we don't know if it means the character's levels, or the class' levels. The likelihood is that it refers to Shadowdancer levels specifically, but I might prefer to read it as character levels.

Or, shortly: the ambiguity only makes a difference in the case of the Caster Levels.

As to familiars: they gain a number of special abilities and bonus which are dependent on levels specifically in familiar-giving classes. However, their HD, HP, Saves, Skills, and BAB increase according to their master's character level, regardless of whether those levels are in a familiar or non-familiar class.


Revan wrote:
There's no way to separate out your HP from Shadowdancer levels from HP not from Shadowdancer levels unless you've been keeping very careful track,
Well I noticed my character sheet kept track but it's a good point; game creators fundamentally prefer to avoid that messiness.
Revan wrote:
and BAB is, for any given number, a single number summing the bonus from all class levels. Same for saves. Certainly, there is nowhere else in the rules which separates out bonuses to HP/Saves/Base Attack. With the possible exception of Monk pseudo-BAB, and everyone agrees that's silly.

Lack of precedence fair enough, but I find this loosely outlined, and termed, 'companion', in a prestige class, exceptional if nothing else.

Revan wrote:
As to familiars: they gain a number of special abilities and bonus which are dependent on levels specifically in familiar-giving classes. However, their HD, HP, Saves, Skills, and BAB increase according to their master's character level, regardless of whether those levels are in a familiar or non-familiar class.

Yeah my bad I toats overlooked that. How Familiar lays out HP, Saves, and BAB in a way that completely resembles Summon Shadow, strongly convinces me to that side. Mm that's nice. Pretty darn potent though. And Shadow's 'special ability' (STR damage) scales with everything else; but on the other hand it does require 3 levels in a prestige class with fairly undesired prerequisites, so it compares ok. Anyway thanks.

Quite an interesting scenario overall; in the process a lot of existing ambiguity was highlighted and somewhat addressed.

Dip in Wizard is haaaaax -_-


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Actually... It would appear that every situation it says "shadowdancer's" level, it means character level.

And everywhere it just says "shadowdancer" it means SD class levels.

If you check, that rule eliminates the crazy results and leave tolerable results.


Xraal wrote:

Actually... It would appear that every situation it says "shadowdancer's" level, it means character level.

And everywhere it just says "shadowdancer" it means SD class levels.

If you check, that rule eliminates the crazy results and leave tolerable results.

Ah I see I see. The fact that that goes along with other considerations makes it all good, as far as I'm concerned. I'm glad that consistency is there after all.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / "Using the Shadowdancer's level" All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.