Shadow Hand

The Shadow Hand discipline teaches the arts of stealth, deception, and ambush. Its maneuvers allow a warrior to take on a shadowy aspect or to channel dark energy to sap an enemy’s strength. This discipline’s preferred weapons are the dagger, sai, short sword, spiked chain, siangham, and unarmed strike. Its key skill is Stealth.

ASSASSIN’S STANCE
Shadow Hand (Stance)
Prerequisite: BAB +5, Stealth 8 ranks, One Shadow Hand maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: Stance

As your foe struggles to regain his defensive posture, you line up an exacting strike that hits with superior accuracy and deadly force. A shadow cast by a gap between two armored plates or a crease in a creature’s thick hide calls to your weapon, allowing you to strike with deadly accuracy against an unprepared opponent.

While you are in this stance, you gain the sneak attack ability, if you do not already have it, which deals an extra 2d6 points of damage. If you already have the sneak attack class feature, your existing sneak attack ability deals an extra 2d6 points of damage. See the rogue class feature for a complete description of sneak attack.

BALANCE ON THE SKY
Shadow Hand (Stance)
Prerequisite: BAB +15, Stealth 18 ranks, Three Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: Stance

With arms spread wide, you step onto the air. You gain the ability to use air walk on yourself only. You must keep at least one hand empty while using this stance. Moving upward requires you to spend 10 feet of movement for each 5 feet of elevation you gain. You gain the benefit of air walk only while you maintain this stance. If for some reason your stance ends while you are in midair, you fall to the ground. This stance is a supernatural ability.

BLOODLETTING STRIKE
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +9, Stealth 12 ranks, Two Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial

Spinning your blade in a butterflylike pattern, you administer a dozen precise cuts in an eyeblink. Blood flows from your foe’s opened veins.

As part of this maneuver, you make a single melee attack. If this attack hits, your opponent takes 4 points of Constitution damage in addition to your attack’s normal damage. A successful Fortitude save (DC 15 + your Dex modifier) reduces this Constitution damage to 2 points, although the foe still takes full normal melee damage.

CHILD OF SHADOW
Shadow Hand (Stance)
Prerequisite: BAB +1, Stealth 4 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: Stance

As you move, shadows flutter and swarm around you. Even under the bright desert sun, you are difficult to spot as long as you remain in motion. As an initiate of the Shadow Hand school, you learn to channel and control dark, shadowy energies. This energy flows around you like a concealing robe, hiding you from your opponents as they attempt to strike you.

If you move at least 10 feet during your turn, you gain concealment against all melee and ranged attacks until the start of your next turn. You also gain the standard benefits of concealment, but you cannot use this stance to hide in plain sight; you must still use some other terrain feature that normally allows you to use the Stealth skill. The fluttering shadows make it difficult to specifically target you, but your enemies are aware of your position. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

CLINGING SHADOW STRIKE
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +1, Stealth 4 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial

Your weapon transforms into solid darkness. When it strikes home, it discharges in a swirling orb of shadow that engulfs your foe’s eyes.

As part of this maneuver, you make a single melee attack. If it hits, you deal an extra 1d6 points of damage, and your opponent must make a successful Fortitude save (DC 11 + your Dex modifier) or suffer a 20% miss chance on all melee and ranged attacks for 1 round. A successful save negates the miss chance, but not the extra damage. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

CLOAK OF DECEPTION
Shadow Hand (Boost)
Prerequisite: BAB +3, Stealth 6 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: End of turn

The shadows around you seem to surge forward and engulf you. For a brief moment, they render you invisible.

When you initiate this maneuver, you turn invisible, as the greater invisibility spell. You remain invisible until the end of your current turn. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

DANCE OF THE SPIDER
Shadow Hand (Stance)
Prerequisite: BAB +5, Stealth 8 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: Stance]

Black, shadowy energy covers your hands and feet, allowing you to scuttle across the walls and ceiling like a lurking spider.

While you are in this stance, you gain a benefit similar to the spider climb spell. You gain a climb speed of 20 feet. You do not need to make a Athletics check to traverse a vertical or horizontal surface, even if you attempt to move across a ceiling. You retain your Dexterity bonus to AC while climbing, and you must have at least one hand free to support yourself while you climb. You do not take any penalties, nor do your opponents gain any bonus when attacking you, while you climb. You cannot move flat-out while climbing in this manner.

DEATH IN THE DARK
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +13, Stealth 16 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial

You catch your foe unaware, allowing you to deal a single, deadly strike that slays her instantly.

This maneuver functions only against a flat-footed opponent. As part of this maneuver, make a single melee attack. If this attack hits, you deal normal damage and the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 17 + your Dex modifier). If the target fails this save, she takes an extra 15d6 points of precision damage. If her save succeeds, she takes an extra 5d6 points of precision damage.

DRAIN VITALITY
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +3, Stealth 6 ranks, One Shadow Hand maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates

A faint nimbus of sickly gray shadow surrounds your weapon. When you attack, this shadowy aura flows into the wound you inflict, sapping your opponent’s strength, vitality, and energy.

As part of this maneuver, make a single melee attack. If this attack hits, you deal normal melee damage and the target must make a successful Fortitude save (DC 12 + your Dex modifier) or take 2 points of Constitution damage. A successful save negates the Constitution damage but not the normal melee damage.

ENERVATING SHADOW STRIKE
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +15, Stealth 18 ranks, Three Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates

Your weapon becomes cloaked in an inky, black nimbus. As you strike your opponent, that energy flows into the wound and leaves him pale, weak, and shaking.

As part of this maneuver, you make a single melee attack. If this attack hits, the target must make a successful Fortitude save (DC 18 + your Dex modifier) or gain 1d4 negative levels. You gain 5 temporary hit points for each negative level your enemy gains. Temporary hit points gained in this manner last until the end of the encounter. The effects of any negative levels bestowed by this strike disappear in 24 hours. If the target has at least as many negative levels as Hit Dice, it dies. Each negative level gives a creature a –1 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, and effective level (for determining the power, duration, DC, and other details of spells or special abilities). Additionally, a spellcaster loses one spell or spell slot from her highest available level. Negative levels stack. In addition to the negative levels, your attack deals normal damage, even if the target succeeds on the saving throw.

This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

FIVE-SHADOW CREEPING ICE ENERVATION STRIKE
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +17, Stealth 20 ranks, Five Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 minute
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial; see text

With a single lunge, you pierce your enemy to the core. A shadow of ultimate cold falls over his heart and begins to worm through his veins to the five points of his body.

As part of this maneuver, you make a single melee attack. If you hit, you deal normal melee damage plus an extra 15d6 points of damage, and a shadow spreads out from your enemy’s heart, freezing the blood in his veins. Roll a d20 and refer to the information below to determine toward which point of his body the freezing shadow spreads. This effect functions even if your opponent is not humanoid; once you have struck your foe’s heart, the shadow produces the same effects even in a creature with a different anatomy.

Result of 1–7: Spreads out to legs. Ability damage: 2d6 Dex. Special effect: Speed is reduced to 0 feet.
Result of 8–14: Spreads out to arms. Ability damage: 2d6 Str. Special effect: –6 penalty on attack rolls and Concentration checks.
Result of 15–20: Struck in the heart. Ability damage: 2d6 Dex, 2d6 Str. Special effect: 2d6 points of Constitution damage.

A foe struck by this attack must make a successful Fortitude save (DC 19 + your Dex modifier) to resist its effects. On a successful save, the target ignores any special effect from the attack and takes half the indicated ability damage (but still takes normal melee damage as well as the extra 15d6 points of damage). Each of the special effects lasts for 1d6 rounds. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

GHOST BLADE
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +11, Stealth 14 ranks, Three Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature

A smile brightens your foe’s eyes; he has dodged your blow. But that was merely the ghost blade. The real blade is cutting swiftly from underneath, and yet he still smiles…

As part of this maneuver, you make a melee attack. As you strike at your opponent, you create an illusory double of your weapon. This double slashes at your opponent, tricking him into mistaking it for your attack. In truth, the illusion cloaks your real attack. Your opponent is caught flat-footed against this strike, as the hidden attack from a new direction ruins his defenses. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

HAND OF DEATH
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +7, Stealth 10 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 1d3 rounds
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates

You reach out and tap your foe with a single finger. Her look of puzzlement turns to fear as black energy spreads across her body, rendering her helpless.

You draw upon the power of shadow to render a single foe helpless. By touching a specific nerve center and channeling your ki, you leave your enemy’s muscles cold, locked, and useless.

This maneuver functions only against flat-footed opponents. As part of this maneuver, you make a melee touch attack against your opponent. If this attack hits, your opponent must make a successful Fortitude save (DC 14 + your Dex modifier) or be paralyzed for 1d3 rounds.

ISLAND OF BLADES
Shadow Hand (Stance)
Prerequisite: BAB +1, Stealth 4 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: Stance

You cloak yourself in a swirling nimbus of shadow energy. These shadows spin and flow around you, preventing any creature near you from being able to anticipate your attacks.

Your turn your enemies’ strengths against them, improving your combat ability as well as that of an ally. When you and a comrade move to attack an opponent, you time your attacks and position yourself to frustrate your opponent’s defenses. If both you and an ally are adjacent to the same creature, the two of you gain the benefit for flanking that opponent. You can gain this benefit against multiple opponents at the same time, as can your allies. If both you and an ally are adjacent to the same two creatures, the two of you gain the benefit of flanking against both creatures.

OBSCURING SHADOW VEIL
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +7, Stealth 10 ranks, Two Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial

As you strike your opponent, you summon the fell energies of the Shadow Hand school to rob your foe of her sight. Inky, black energy burrows into her eyes, rendering her blind for a few critical moments.

As a standard action, you can make a single melee attack. If it hits, your opponent takes normal melee damage plus an extra 5d6 points of damage. She must also make a successful Fortitude save (DC 14 + your Dex modifier) or suffer a 50% miss chance on all melee and ranged attacks for 1 round. A successful save negates the miss chance, but not the extra damage. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

ONE WITH SHADOW
Shadow Hand (Counter)
Prerequisite: BAB +15, Stealth 18 ranks, Three Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 immediate action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: See text

You fade into the raw essence of shadow, turning transparent, then insubstantial. As an immediate action, you become incorporeal. You gain all the benefits of the incorporeal subtype, along with the drawbacks. All of your gear becomes incorporeal, although you cannot grant this state to a living creature that you touch or carry. You remain incorporeal until the beginning
of your next turn.

SHADOW BLADE TECHNIQUE
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +1, Stealth 4 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature

You weave your weapon in an elaborate pattern, creating an illusory double that glows with white energy. As you make your attack, both your true weapon and the illusion slash at your foe.

This maneuver allows you to create a mystical double of your weapon. As you attack, your foe must decide which weapon to defend against. In most cases, the illusory weapon distracts your foe and allows your true attack to hit. In some cases, both attacks strike home. In this case, the shadow blade discharges its magic and imbues your attack with cold energy.

As part of this maneuver, you make a single melee attack against an opponent. Unlike on a normal attack, you roll 2d20 and select which of the two die results to use. If you use the higher die result, resolve your attack as normal. (Your mystic double misses, but your true attack might hit.) If you use the lower die result, or if both die results are the same, your attack deals an extra 1d6 points of cold damage as both the mystic double’s attack and your true weapon strike home.

This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

SHADOW BLINK
Shadow Hand [Teleportation]
Prerequisite: BAB +13, Stealth 16 ranks, Two Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: 50 ft.
Target: You

In the blink of an eye, you disappear and emerge from a mote of shadow energy across the battlefield.

This maneuver functions as the shadow jaunt maneuver, except that it can be initiated as a swift action.

SHADOW GARROTE
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +5, Stealth 8 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: 60 ft.
Target: One living creature
Duration: See text
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial

With a subtle gesture, you carve a slice of shadow from the air around you and cast it toward your foe. It wraps around the creature’s neck and squeezes the life from it.

As part of this maneuver, you create a strand of shadow that you hurl at an opponent. The strand wraps around the target’s throat and chokes it. As part of this maneuver, you make a ranged touch attack against a creature within range. If your attack is successful, your opponent takes 5d6 points of damage. In addition, it must make a successful Fortitude save (DC 13 + your Dex modifier) or become flat-footed until the start of its next turn. This strike has no effect against nonliving creatures, such as constructs and undead. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

SHADOW JAUNT
Shadow Hand [Teleportation]
Prerequisite: BAB +3, Stealth 6 ranks, Two Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: 50 ft.
Target: You

A cloud of shadow energy engulfs you, spins into a tiny mote, and disappears. A moment later, this shadowy cloud appears across the battlefield and expels you from it.

As part of this maneuver, you disappear in a cloud of darkness and teleport up to 50 feet away. You must have line of sight and line of effect to your destination. If you attempt to use this maneuver to move into an occupied space, you do not move, and the maneuver is expended but has no effect.

SHADOW NOOSE
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +11, Stealth 14 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: 60 ft.
Target: One flat-footed living creature
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial

As you foe struggles to ready his defenses, you make a subtle gesture in the air. A noose formed of shadow drops from above him, wraps around his throat, and hoists him aloft. His limbs flail as he struggles to free himself from the strangling noose.

As part of this maneuver, you form a noose of shadow that wraps around your target and strangles him. This maneuver works only against a flatfooted target. As part of this maneuver, you make a ranged touch attack against a flat-footed creature within range. If it hits, your opponent takes 8d6 points of damage. In addition, he must make a successful Fortitude save (DC 16 + your Dex modifier) or be stunned for 1 round. A successful save negates the stun, but not the extra damage. This strike has no effect against nonliving creatures, such as constructs and undead. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

SHADOW STRIDE
Shadow Hand [Teleportation]
Prerequisite: BAB +9, Stealth 12 ranks, Two Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 move action
Range: 50 ft.
Target: You

You dissipate into a puff of black shadow. A moment later, the shadow coalesces, and you appear fifty feet away.

This maneuver functions as the shadow jaunt maneuver, except that it can be initiated as a move action.

STALKER IN THE NIGHT
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +11, Stealth 14 ranks
Initiation Action: 1 full-round action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature

You slide through the dark like a bird of prey, emerging only to strike down your foe before sliding back into shadow’s welcoming embrace.

As part of this maneuver, you move up to your speed and make a single melee attack at any point during your movement. If you were hidden before initiating this maneuver, you can keep the results of your previous Stealth check even though you move and attack. As long as you end your turn in a spot that allows you to hide, your foes must make Perception checks as normal to discern your presence. Your movement and this maneuver’s attack have no effect on your Stealth results.

STEP OF THE DANCING MOTH
Shadow Hand (Stance)
Prerequisite: BAB +9, Stealth 12 ranks, Two Shadow Hand maneuvers
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: Stance

You focus your inner reserve of ki energy to generate fl owing shadows that lift you off the ground. You walk across the roughest ground, even water, with ease.

While you are in this stance, you can walk up to 5 feet above the ground. Your speed becomes 20 feet while you are in this stance, and you cannot run. You ignore any terrain feature that fails to project more than 5 feet above the ground, such as difficult terrain, burning lava, water, and so forth. In addition, you ignore the standard penalties on Stealth
checks for moving quickly.

STRENGTH DRAINING STRIKE
Shadow Hand (Strike)
Prerequisite: BAB +5, Stealth 8 ranks, One Shadow Hand maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 standard action
Range: Melee attack
Target: One creature
Saving Throw: Fortitude half

Liquid, black energy covers your weapon. As you strike your opponent, this material flows into the wound, spreads along his veins, and leaves him weakened.

As part of this maneuver, you make a single melee attack against an opponent. In addition to dealing normal melee damage with the attack, you deal 4 points of Strength damage. A successful Fortitude save (DC 13 + your Dex modifier) halves this Strength damage, but has no effect on the normal melee damage you deal with the strike. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

Shadow Hand

Characters on hold The_Social_Moth