Should a Shadowdancer have Sneak Attack? (PFS)


Advice


After waffling back and forth on how to use a recent Race boon, I've finally settled on a Vishkanya Gloomblade (Fighter) / Shadowdancer. Aside from being an unusual style of Fighter, Stealth is highly emphasized, but the way I see it, that's more of an out of combat thing unless you have Sneak Attack.

So from my original plan of 7 levels of fighter and 4 levels of Shadowdancer, is it worth it to dip 1 level in Unchained Rogue to pick up Sneak Attack (and perhaps grab Accomplished Sneak Attack at some point)?


Nah. Use blind-fight feats and focus on finding a way to create darkness and deeper darkness and disable your opponents through their lack of ability to see.

You don't need Sneak Attack to make this viable. Besides, 1d6 of sneak attack isn't worth it in the overall build.


So, I'm thinking something like this, going for Scrolls/Oils/Wands of Darkness/Deeper Darkness. The character basically dances around the battlefield being as much of a pain-in-the-ass as possible with darkness, poison, and a shadow companion.

Shadow Weapon means I don't have to carry anything too cumbersome except if I choose to forgo Shuriken for a better Ranged Attack. It also lets me change from Bludgeoning to Slashing, to Reach, to Piercing, etc. whenever I need to. It also frees up a bunch of Gold to go elsewhere. The main downside is that it's always a Move Action to make them.

I do realize my Will Save is terrible, so not only will I need to invest in a Cloak of Resistance early, but I may swap out Improved Initiative for Iron Will.

Vishkanya Gloomblade (Fighter)/Shadowdancer

Poison Resistance
Keen Senses Sensual
Limber Deceptive (If I'm reading this correctly, I keep Stealth)
Low-Light Vision
Poison Use
Toxic
Weapon Familiarity

Reactionary (Combat)
Dangerously Curious (Magic)

STR/14
DEX/16 (14+2)
CON/14
INT/14
WIS/6 (8-2)
CHA/14 (12+2)

1st: Fighter1 - Shadow Weapon, Power Attack, Weapon Finesse
2nd: Fighter2 - Bravery+1, Combat Reflexes
3rd: Fighter3 - +1 Shadow Weapon, Sleep Venom
4th: Fighter4 - Dodge, +1CON
5th: Fighter5 - Shadow Weapon Training+1, Mobility
6th: Shadowdancer1 - Hide In Plain Sight
7th: Shadowdancer2 - Evasion, Darkvision, Uncanny Dodge, Blind-Fight
8th: Shadowdancer3 - Assault Leader Talent, Shadow Illusion, Summon Shadow, +1CON
9th: Fighter6 - +2 Shadow Weapon, Bravery+2, Improved Initiative, Two-Weapon Fighting
10th: Fighter7 - Dual Shadow Weapons/Special Abilities
11th: Shadowdancer4 - Shadow Call, Shadow Jump 40ft, Extra Rogue Talent (Cloying Shades)


Is the Gloomblade Fighter part negotiable? It's not really pulling a lot of weight here. I feel like you'd get much more mileage from other archetypes or classes.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Is the Gloomblade Fighter part negotiable? It's not really pulling a lot of weight here. I feel like you'd get much more mileage from other archetypes or classes.

Admittedly this is still very much a work in progress, but yes, I wish to play a Vishkanya Gloomblade. I'll also admit that Shadowdancer is more for flavour than anything. They can already create weapons out of Shadowstuff, now they can create (un)life.

Perhaps pure Gloomblade would be better...I have a difficult time staying pure, I love multiclassing.

The character themselves will almost never be serious. They're going on these ridiculous missions and putting themselves in harm's way for the lolz. Pulling a sword out of their pocket or, if female (I haven't decided yet), a halberd from their bosom is all part of the fun.


If you can fit Gloomstorm somewhere you can summon the weapons as a free action a few rounds per day. I'm just saying this because it can be useful if you need to move and attack.

To create darkness effects there are multiple options*:

  • 1. Umbral Arcane Mark- 10 ft lv 0 darkness effect.
    Con: You need to find someone to cast it. (Not sure how it works in PFS)
  • 2. Eclipsed Continual Flame- same as continual flame but darkness.
    Con: You need to find someone to cast it. (Not sure how it works in PFS)
  • 3. The wand of darkness as you mentioned.
    Con: Limited number of uses and requires a UMD check.
  • 4. A Voidlight Lantern (30k gp)- lowers lighting in 20ft radius, darkness becomes deeper darkness.
    Con: Expensive, might require buying oil (not too bad but meh)

* These are only some options, you may like other options better, like the Deadened Shadows Cloak which effectively mutes you, a Dusklight Lantern which uses Shadowcloy as fuel, etc.

The Exchange

if you create darkness, how will this effect the rest of the party? I have seen this tried and fail because no one else can see.


Well if the party hasn't made counter measures for darkness by the time its lv10 I see a lot of problems happening; and it's not just from the Shadowdancer.

The Exchange

Temperans wrote:
Well if the party hasn't made counter measures for darkness by the time its lv10 I see a lot of problems happening; and it's not just from the Shadowdancer.

those counters involve light, not seeing in darkness and definitly not deeper darkness.


Okay, I agree with the deeper darkness bit, but I assumed it was an anti daylight solo mode thing.


Jeff Morse wrote:
if you create darkness, how will this effect the rest of the party? I have seen this tried and fail because no one else can see.

It requires tactical thinking and perfect timing. Two examples I've personally done:

Core Fighter/Cleric/Shadowdancer/Barbarian casts Darkness on one end of the room, engulphing one enemy creature, and dives in alone to hold it off while her Shadow and the rest of the party deal with the other enemy. Once that's done, she would have led the thing back out so that her party could finish it off. Unfortunately, she forgot that the room was pitch black inside before the party brought their light with them...the enemy also had darkvision, and so she died cold and alone in the dark.

On a better note, a party member was on a stair landing with an enemy who had concealment from them while they had no such luck. Because of the way the stairs were set up, no one else could get in there to help him and were forced to shoot into melee with a creature with concealment. Not going well. Then it dawns on someone to return the favor and the Pregen I was playing at the time, Harsk, had just the right item for the job: A Smokestick. Toss it onto the landing. Sure the party member is blinded by the smoke, but that's no different than what he had before. But now the enemy can't fully see him either, so they both had concealment from each other. It was a very long fight on that staircase, but we emerged victorious partially because of Harsk's timely Smokestick.

Temperans wrote:
Well if the party hasn't made counter measures for darkness by the time its lv10 I see a lot of problems happening; and it's not just from the Shadowdancer.

The problem with most of those countermeasures is that they COUNTER the Darkness, making it a waste to have even put it up in the first place.


'Counters' is only for casting and counterspelling.

After a light/darkness spell is cast, the opposing spell either raises/lowers the light condition, temporarily negates both effect (natural light), or can be used to dispel it. I dont think allies would try to dispel it, and if they do, that's like casting Zone of Silence on the Wizard, without silent spell.

Daylight:
...Daylight brought into an area of magical darkness (or vice versa) is temporarily negated, so that the otherwise prevailing light conditions exist in the overlapping areas of effect....

Darkness*:
...Magical light sources only increase the light level in an area if they are of a higher spell level than darkness....

*Deeper Darkness works like Darkness but stronger.

******************
Anyways it's better to just look at one the lighting threads for more detail information of how light/darkness spells interact.

Shadow Lodge

Remember, the OP is creating this character for PATHFINDER SOCIETY play, which means he will be partnered with a fairly random team each session: The odds of everyone having the ability to see in darkness without actually countering/dispelling the darkness entirely is fairly low.

If you sat down at a table with me and said 'I drop darkness all over the battlefield' I would probably ask if you could possibly bring a different character...

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