[Ascension Games] Path of Shadows, a book about shadow and darkness magic, has been released on the Paizo store!


Product Discussion


Hey everyone!

My name is Christopher Moore, designer and creator of Ascension Games, LLC. I've been doing game design for several years, including plenty of homebrew for Pathfinder. I recently decided to put my skills to test and take the next step to creating and publishing my own material for Pathfinder. After six long months of work, Path of Shadows was created! The book is a little over 80 pages when including the cover/credits/etc., and focuses on shadow magic and darkness magic. The book's been out for a while on other sites, but now that it's available on Paizo's store, I wanted to make an announcement here.

Shadow magic as a spell subschool has always been a favorite of mine, but it's spell list is rather small at just over 20 spells among Pathfinder Roleplaying Game material. This book doubles the number of shadow spells and triples the number of darkness spells in Pathfinder, with spells such as shadow necromancy, curse of the lightless, grasp of darkness, and illusory strike. It also adds a new, in-depth class called the Nightblade which showcases the numerous capabilities of shadow magic.

Path of Shadows has several features, including:


  • The nightblade, a new 20-level base class that focuses on shadow and darkness magic. Choose from several specializations to cater the class to your liking, such as the deceptive Twilight Veil or the destructive Ravaging Void.
  • Variants and options for a dozen existing Pathfinder Roleplaying Game classes, such as the new Darkness mystery for oracles, the stygian striker magus, or the monk of the eclipsing moon.
  • Twenty-five new feats for characters of all stripes such as Terrifying Ambush and Lingering Shadows, including new racial feats for Fetchlings and Wayangs, the playable races that hail from the Plane of Shadow.
  • Nearly seventy new spells for almost every spell caster, from the lowly grasp of darkness and shadow necromancy to the terrifyingly powerful maw of the nightwave and entropic storm.
  • Several new magic items and weapon and armor properties, such as the necrotic weapon property or the mighty twilight reaver

And it's all for just $10! You can find it here on the Paizo store.

Hope everyone here likes it! If you have any comments or questions about the book post it here. Thanks a bunch!

Chris Moore
Ascension Games, LLC


Hey,

How is this similar to the Shadow Assassin or Shadow Warrior from Rogue Genius? How is it different?

Do they have a main class ability? Are they a 6th level caster?

The shadowy-type character is one of my favorite archetypes, so I'm quite interested.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:

Hey,

How is this similar to the Shadow Assassin or Shadow Warrior from Rogue Genius? How is it different?

Do they have a main class ability? Are they a 6th level caster?

The shadowy-type character is one of my favorite archetypes, so I'm quite interested.

It's actually already up on PFSRD over here, so you can see the answer to that for yourself, though obviously there's a lot more in the book than just the nightblade.


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Cheapy wrote:

Hey,

How is this similar to the Shadow Assassin or Shadow Warrior from Rogue Genius? How is it different?

Do they have a main class ability? Are they a 6th level caster?

The shadowy-type character is one of my favorite archetypes, so I'm quite interested.

It's very different from either of those, though if you are a fan of Rogue Genius's tendency to add tons of options to choose from you'll feel right at home. The class has five specializations, forty-five "arts" to choose from, plus a lengthy spell list and five archetypes to better customize the class.

The nightblade is an 0-6 caster. It's primary ability score is Charisma, which it uses for the majority of its abilities and its spellcasting. A high Dexterity score is probably what most people would go for considering its focus on stealth and evasion, but Strength builds are certainly doable.

The three main mechanics the nightblade has are its path, shadow surges, and nightblade arts.

Each nightblade has a "Path" representing its specialization within shadow magic; since shadow magic can basically do anything, the nightblade has to choose one aspect to focus on (both for flavor and balance reasons). The five Paths are Bloodied Chain (fear), Darkened Fortress (conjuration, armor/weapons), Eternal Night (death and negative energy), Ravaging Void (evocations), and Twilight Veil (illusions and deception). Each path determines a number of class features, namely its Path Power (an ability usable 1/day plus additional uses as you level, similar to Smite Evil or Judgment), its techniques (core abilities gained at 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels), and also more nightblade arts to choose from.

Shadow surges are the class's resource mechanic. At first, it takes a standard action to gain one and you can only have one at a time, but there is otherwise no limit to how many shadow surges that can be gained and used in a day. Eventually you can have up to three surges at once. The surges can do a variety of effects based on your chosen nightblade arts and your path.

Nightblade arts are much like magus arcana. She gets one at 3rd level and every three thereafter. The effects are pretty wide and often involve expending shadow surges, doing things like extending your reach, rolling twice on certain skill checks, or creating an extraplanar cache on the Plane of Shadow to hold your equipment.

The class gets some other features that fit in with shadow magic and darkness, such as shadow shift (functions similar to shadowdancer's shadow jump), see in darkness, and hide in plain sight.


I bought it over on drivethrurpg a few days ago, when it was brought up in another thread. It is an enjoyable read and if our group wasn't as open to 3pp stuff as it is, we'd probably make frequent use of it. It is very on par with existing classes "power" wise, it has its schtick(s) and does it well without being too good.

I like the idea of the "tanky" aspect caster but 2 of the others caught my attention as well.


Hey Christopher,

I just posted a comment/review on PoS in this thread here:

http://paizo.com/products/btpy9cv1/discuss?Path-of-Shadows#23

Again, thank you. PoS was a real treat to read. Both as aesthetic eye candy and top-tier, balanced/creative game mechanics.

Oddly enough, my big kick came from what you'd probably consider to be a more secondary or tertiary support role for PoS. That being, the provision of additional arcane spells of the Illusion (Shadow) category. Of which I think you've got the best PF 3PP supplement on the market for such a category. My 2 gaming groups have been playing 3.X & PF since 2002. And we've always had an immense draw (for players and DMs alike) for Illusionists. So we all tend to comb the 3PP and OGL companies for Illusion spell offerings as often as possible.

Since PoS has been such a big hit for both our groups, we hope that any future supplements that are PoS flavored ... will continue the tradition of offering more of your outstanding Illusion (Shadow) spells.

Thank you!


Crai wrote:

Hey Christopher,

I just posted a comment/review on PoS in this thread here:

http://paizo.com/products/btpy9cv1/discuss?Path-of-Shadows#23

Again, thank you. PoS was a real treat to read. Both as aesthetic eye candy and top-tier, balanced/creative game mechanics.

Oddly enough, my big kick came from what you'd probably consider to be a more secondary or tertiary support role for PoS. That being, the provision of additional arcane spells of the Illusion (Shadow) category. Of which I think you've got the best PF 3PP supplement on the market for such a category. My 2 gaming groups have been playing 3.X & PF since 2002. And we've always had an immense draw (for players and DMs alike) for Illusionists. So we all tend to comb the 3PP and OGL companies for Illusion spell offerings as often as possible.

Since PoS has been such a big hit for both our groups, we hope that any future supplements that are PoS flavored ... will continue the tradition of offering more of your outstanding Illusion (Shadow) spells.

Thank you!

I'm glad you liked the book! Shadow magic is one of my favorite forms of magic as well, hence why I started with Path of Shadows. While I don't think another shadow-based book is on its way any time soon, once I have finished the main line of my intended "Path" series (with Iron, Elements, and Blood being the remaining three) I may revisit shadow magic supplements. And of course, if I can find a good way to incorporate new material for the Nightblade into those books, then I certainly will.


Is there anywhere we can follow your work, other than keeping an eye on this forum? I really enjoyed Path of Shadows and I'm looking forward to whatever you come up with next.


proletarii wrote:
Is there anywhere we can follow your work, other than keeping an eye on this forum? I really enjoyed Path of Shadows and I'm looking forward to whatever you come up with next.

Any big announcements will be posted:

Sovereign Court

Here is my review, by the way
Path of Shadows

I should have the review on drivethrurpg and d20pfsrd by the end of the day.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would also like to post the review on my blog, with your permission.


Lorathorn wrote:


I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would also like to post the review on my blog, with your permission.

Absolutely! You wrote the review, you can do what you want with it. Glad you liked the book.

Sovereign Court

Ok, blog post here.

I have yet to post on D20pfsrd, but it will happen soon.

Sovereign Court

Lorathorn wrote:

Ok, blog post here.

I have yet to post on D20pfsrd, but it will happen soon.

The review is up on D20pfsrd, after a manner... the character restriction on that site is maddening, so I had to use the space to give brief praise and a link to my blog.


Reviewed and posted.


I originally bought this book mostly because of the title. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. As it turns out, this book is one of the best 3rd party tomes out there! Once I started reading I couldn't stop. It's superb in it's execution, fluff and mechanics! A truly magnificent start to a neophyte publisher. I can't really say anything negative about it other than ... MOAR paths please.:p

Going to be trying one of these fellow out soon and wanted to build a "tanky" front-liner. This seems pretty forward to me but I wanted to check here if maybe there was a bit more that I could do or possibly that I forgot to include something.

The build is a human nightblade (Path of the darkened fortress) wielding a scythe. Gonna grab a ring of spell knowledge (shield) as well as Penumbral Aegis to ensure that I have a solid AC/Touch AC (should be especially good when using the surge ability!). Some key spells would be false life, Blur, Umbral Berserker, Displacement, Umbral Defender, and Greater False Life. Anything I am missing here? Maybe pick up toughness and mithral breastplate for my go-to armor.

Cheers
Volf


Volvogg wrote:

I originally bought this book mostly because of the title. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. As it turns out, this book is one of the best 3rd party tomes out there! Once I started reading I couldn't stop. It's superb in it's execution, fluff and mechanics! A truly magnificent start to a neophyte publisher. I can't really say anything negative about it other than ... MOAR paths please.:p

Going to be trying one of these fellow out soon and wanted to build a "tanky" front-liner. This seems pretty forward to me but I wanted to check here if maybe there was a bit more that I could do or possibly that I forgot to include something.

The build is a human nightblade (Path of the darkened fortress) wielding a scythe. Gonna grab a ring of spell knowledge (shield) as well as Penumbral Aegis to ensure that I have a solid AC/Touch AC (should be especially good when using the surge ability!). Some key spells would be false life, Blur, Umbral Berserker, Displacement, Umbral Defender, and Greater False Life. Anything I am missing here? Maybe pick up toughness and mithral breastplate for my go-to armor.

Cheers
Volf

Nightblades in general do not have a strong defense unless they are using magic, and even then most of those spells are short-lived or pierced with things like true seeing. You've already mentioned most of the staple illusion defenses, and the night shield and night armor spells within the book can provides some decent defense for ranged-heavy encounters. At high levels, I'd recommend greater sensory deprivation to make sure your defensive illusions work, though it is a 6th level spell for nightblades and, other than removing divination effects, doesn't directly reduce the creature's power and requires a saving throw. But when it works, it works very well.

I personally feel the better way to approach a "tanky" nightblade would be making enemies worse, rather than buffing yourself. You can make enemies have a 50% chance to hit you with displacement, sure, but if you use blindness/deafness the target has a 50% chance to hit your entire team, and you gain benefits when attacking them, as well. Also, area-denial spells help tremendously if used well, like wall of ice and stinking cloud. If your enemy is unable to attack you, then it doesn't matter if your AC is 50 or 15.

On a side note, you mention taking a mithral breastplate, but nightblades don't get medium armor proficiency unless you take the shadowstriker archetype or use the dwarf favored class bonus, so you'll have to burn a feat on it.


Seginus wrote:
Volvogg wrote:

I originally bought this book mostly because of the title. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. As it turns out, this book is one of the best 3rd party tomes out there! Once I started reading I couldn't stop. It's superb in it's execution, fluff and mechanics! A truly magnificent start to a neophyte publisher. I can't really say anything negative about it other than ... MOAR paths please.:p

Going to be trying one of these fellow out soon and wanted to build a "tanky" front-liner. This seems pretty forward to me but I wanted to check here if maybe there was a bit more that I could do or possibly that I forgot to include something.

The build is a human nightblade (Path of the darkened fortress) wielding a scythe. Gonna grab a ring of spell knowledge (shield) as well as Penumbral Aegis to ensure that I have a solid AC/Touch AC (should be especially good when using the surge ability!). Some key spells would be false life, Blur, Umbral Berserker, Displacement, Umbral Defender, and Greater False Life. Anything I am missing here? Maybe pick up toughness and mithral breastplate for my go-to armor.

Cheers
Volf

Nightblades in general do not have a strong defense unless they are using magic, and even then most of those spells are short-lived or pierced with things like true seeing. You've already mentioned most of the staple illusion defenses, and the night shield and night armor spells within the book can provides some decent defense for ranged-heavy encounters. At high levels, I'd recommend greater sensory deprivation to make sure your defensive illusions work, though it is a 6th level spell for nightblades and, other than removing divination effects, doesn't directly reduce the creature's power and requires a saving throw. But when it works, it works very well.

I personally feel the better way to approach a "tanky" nightblade would be making enemies worse, rather than buffing yourself. You can make enemies have a 50% chance to hit you with...

Excellent advice, most points you've made I have already thought of implementing.:) Although the blindness/deafness is nice as far as the group is concerned. It can be negated with a save for this reason my go to is blur/displacement. Also, gonna pick up Power Attack + Cornugon Smash + Hurtful + Cruel weapon for awesome automatic debuffing.

Thanks!
Volf


I really enjoyed this product. I feel some of the Nightblade archetypes could've been handled differently, as some of them rob the paths of their signature abilities.

Other than that, I'd love to see a sequel with some additional ways to use darkness and shadow. I'd love to see Nightblade paths dedicated to moving and teleporting through shadows and one dedicated to creating all kinds of constructs and tools like an umbral Green Lantern (Darkened Fortress was more geared toward the standard shadow weapons and armor).


TheDisgaean wrote:
Other than that, I'd love to see a sequel with some additional ways to use darkness and shadow.

This might be sooner than you think...

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