AD&D Shadow Magic – Part 1

As promised, here are the 2nd edition spells I wrote up for the school of shadow magic. Feel free to use them in your own campaigns if you want. D&D spells are pretty easy to convert between editions, so have at it. I’ll post the second half of the spell list later on.

Burning Shadows
Level: 0 (Cantrip)
Range: 5 yards / level
Duration: 2 rounds / level
AE: 30 foot radius
Components: VS
ST: None
CT: 1

As Affect Normal Fires but the wizard cannot cause the fires to expand or brighten. If used to extinguish all fire in the area, the flames vanish but the shadows they were casting linger for 1d3 rounds. Thus the shadow of a burning tree would continue to burn for a time after the physical flames were quenched.

Brighten Aura (Reversible)
Level: 0 (Cantrip)
Range: Touch
Duration: 1d4 hours
AE: One creature
Components: S
ST: None
CT: 1

This spell confuses any Detect Alignment spells (or similar magic) into revealing that the target is one step closer to Good than they actually are. The reverse of this spell, Darken Aura tricks divination into revealing that the target is one step closer to Evil.

Gloom
Level: 0 (Cantrip)
Range: 0
Duration: 2 turns
AE: 10-foot-radius globe
Components: VS
ST: None
CT: 1

This spell dims the light in the area of effect by up to 5% per level (maximum of 95% darkness at level 19). The wizard can choose the amount of dimming (a 3rd level wizard could dim the light by either; 5%, 10%, or 15%). This spell does not cancel Light spells, it reduces their effectiveness.

The Black Hand
Level: 0 (Cantrip)
Range: 0
Duration: 2 rounds / level
AE: The caster
Components: S
ST: None
CT: 1

This spell wreaths the caster’s hands in black flame. While the duration lasts he may make unarmed attacks to sap the life force of his target. For each successful attack he deals an extra 1d6 damage, half of which transfer to him as healing. This healing may never exceed his maximum HP.

Mantle of Doom
Level: 0 (Cantrip)
Range: 0
Duration: 1 hour
AE: The caster
Components: S
ST: None
CT: 1

If the wizard dies while this spell is in effect, it allows him to return from the dead as a vengeful spirit. When the wizard dies, roll percentile dice. If the result of the percentile roll is “01” the caster is transformed into a Shade. If the result is below the caster’s Wisdom Score, he is transformed into a Revenant. Otherwise, the Wizard turns into a Shadow. If a “00” is rolled the caster’s soul is destroyed permanently and a magical fumble automatically results. He may never be raised from the dead or resurrected if this occurs. The wizard must have a soul for this spell to work. If the spell succeeds the caster’s spirit is compelled by a Geas to seek vengeance upon his killers or those that he believes to be most responsible for his death.

Black Death
Level: 0 (Cantrip)
Range: 0
Duration: 1 day
AE: The caster
Components: VS
ST: None
CT: 1
As long as this spell is in affect the wizard is able to will himself dead as a free action. If Mantle of Doom is also active it takes effect instantly. Otherwise, the wizard’s soul is drawn into the Plane of Shadows and may never be raised from the dead or resurrected.

Refracted Libram
Level: 1
Range: Special
Duration: 2d4 days
AE: One Spellbook
Components: VSM
ST: None
CT: One turn

The wizard casts this spell on a silver mirror and a crystal mirror. He places the silver mirror between the pages of a spellbook. He must choose which spell within the book the mirror is facing before this spell is cast. As long as he has the crystal mirror he can memorize that spell without the spellbook being present. Only cantrips and 1st level spells may be selected. Higher level spells require more than one page to record and this spell only works on a single page of a spellbook. The special mirrors cost 100 GP to acquire, but may be reused.

Shadow Teeth
Level: 1
Range: 60 yards + 10 yards / level
Duration: Instant
AE: 1 or more creatures
Components: VS
ST: None
CT: 1

This spell launches a barrage of negative energy missiles that strike 1d4+1 enemies automatically for 1 point of damage each.

Emblem of Flaying
Level: 1
Range: Touch
Duration: Special
AE: 1 emblem
Components: VSM
ST: Special
CT: 1 hour

This spell creates a pictogram of a faceless torturer brandishing a knife on any flat surface. Anyone touching the emblem (other than the wizard) must make a saving throw verses spells to avoid having a piece of their skin ripped off and disintegrated. The spell targets a random body location. The size of the piece of skin flayed depends upon its location. A week of bed rest or a Cure Serious Wounds spell is required for the wound to heal properly. If the generative organ is permanently damaged a Regenerate spell is required to heal the damage.

Location Effect
2 Forehead 1d4 damage, cannot wear a helmet until the wound heals.
3 Left arm 1d6 damage
4 Left hand 1d4 damage, -1 to all attacks made with the left hand & cannot wear gauntlets until the wound heals.
5 Right arm 1d6 damage
6 Right hand 1d4 damage, -1 to all attacks made with the right hand & cannot wear gauntlets until the wound heals.
7 Chest 1d8 damage & cannot wear armor until the wound heals.
8 Left leg 1d6 damage
9 Left foot 1d4 damage, half movement until the wound heals.
10 Right leg 1d6 damage
11 Right foot 1d4 damage, half movement until the wound heals.
12 Generative organ 1d12 damage, system shock roll to avoid passing out. Constitution check to avoid permanent damage to the reproductive system.

The material components of this spell are a knife used by a professional torturer, a lodestone, and a pinch of dust.

Black Blood of the Earth
Level: 2
Range: 20 yards
Duration: 6 rounds
AE: 20 sq. feet / level
Components: VSM
ST: None
CT: 1 round

This spell functions in all respects as Evard’s Black Tentacles but it only creates 1d2+1 tentacles per level. The tentacles drip a noxious oil-like liquid. Each attack inflicts 2d6 additional poison damage.

Displace the Soul
Level: 2
Range: Touch
Duration: 2 rounds
AE: 1 creature
Components: VSM
ST: Neg
CT: 7

This spell allows the wizard to temporarily rip the soul out of a victim’s body. For the duration of the spell the target is considered under the effects of the Astral Projection spell.

Enslave Shadows
Level: 2
Range: 0
Duration: 1d3 turns
AE: 60 feet
Components: VSM
ST: None
CT: 5

This spell allows the wizard to command any uncontrolled Shadows in the area as though he were an evil priest. The Shadows remain bound to the wizard until they are turned, commanded, or destroyed by another. This spell confers no power over Paladins or other undead. The spell expires in 1d3 turns at which point the bound Shadows become uncontrolled. The material components for this spell are a defaced holy symbol and a small length of fine silver chain.

Sacrament of Blood
Level: 2
Range: Touch
Duration: Special
AE: One bound and helpless sacrifice
Components: VSM
ST: None
CT: 1 round

This spell may only be cast as the Wizard is ritually slitting the throat of a sacrificial victim (either human or animal). All of the victim’s Hit Points (before the Coup de Grace) are transferred to the caster, but they do not heal any of the caster’s damage. Instead they become a pool of temporary HP, fading at a rate of one per round. Each round while the temporary Hit Points last, the caster may touch one creature and heal it for 1d6 HP. All such healing is subtracted from the Wizard’s temporary Hit Points. The material component for this spell is an obsidian dagger.

Icy Black Hand of Death
Level: 2
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent
AE: 5 foot radius / 3 levels
Components: VSM
ST: Special
CT: 2d4 hours

This spell allows the wizard to trap a physical object. When touched by someone not designated by the Shadow Mage a black spectral limb erupts from the object and attacks the victim. Unless the target has witnessed it before, the hand’s first attack receives a +2 surprise bonus. The Icy Black Hand of Death can stretch anywhere within the area of effect and manipulate physical objects. It will attack anyone who attacks it, but it will try to focus its attacks on the creature that disturbed it. Treat it as a 4 HD monster with an AC of 14. It deals 1d4 cold damage and 1d4 force damage on a successful unarmed attack. For each successful hit it inflicts on its victim it has a chance to grapple them like an Evard’s Black Tentacle. The Icy Black Hand of Death returns to its dormant state one round after all of the creatures fighting it are dead or have left the area of effect. A Continual Light spell cast directly on the hand instantly kills it. Dispel Magic will force it into its dormant state for 1d4 rounds. If it is reduced to zero HPs it dies and the spell ends. Destroying the object it is bound to dispels it. It heals lost HPs at a rate of 4 per day.

Black Serpent Sigil
Level: 2
Range: Touch
Duration: Special
AE: 1 sigil
Components: VSM
ST: Special
CT: One turn

This spell functions exactly like Sepia Snake Sigil but the serpent is a shadowy blue-black cobra that injects poison if the attack hits. The victim is allowed a saving throw verses poison to negate the poison’s effect. The material components for this spell are 100 GP of powdered jet, writing ink, a cobra fang, and a dose of the type of poison that the spell will deliver (it is the wizard’s choice). The poison is mixed with the ink and used to draw the sigil.

Stygian Fireball
Level: 2
Range: 10 yards + 10 yards / 2 levels
Duration: Instant
AE: 20-ft. radius
Components: VSM
ST: ½
CT: 3

This spell is a Fireball made of black shadow fire. The wizard casts the spell and points at the target. All of the shadows in the area rush to the target, forming a 20 foot sphere of dark flames. All creatures inside the Stygian Fireball must save vs spells or suffer 1d4 points of negative energy damage per caster level. Those that make the save only take half damage. The shadow fire only affects living creatures and will not cause flammable materials to ignite. Unlike regular Fireball this spell reaches partially into the Ethereal Plane and will affect creatures that are ethereal, out of phase, or under the effects of Wraithform or similar spells. The material components for this spell are a hand full of ash and a chip of obsidian.

Shadow Box
Level: 2
Range: Special
Duration: 33 days
AE: 1 chest or box of up to 2′ x 2′ x 3′ size
Components: VSM
ST: None
CT: 3 turns

This spell creates an extra-dimensional space inside of a specially prepared wooden box or chest. The extra-dimensional space is the exact size of the interior of the chest. Their are two spaces inside the chest that can be switched back and forth with a command word. If the spell is not renewed before the duration expires the extra-dimensional space collapses, scattering its contents throughout the Demi-Plane of Shadows.

Rune of Eyeball Melting
Level: 2
Range: Touch
Duration: Special
AE: 10-foot radius
Components: VS
ST: Neg
CT: 2 hours

This spell functions exactly like Explosive Runes except that the explosion is minuscule and centered on the target’s organs of sight. If the target fails a saving throw against spells, 1d2 of his eyeballs explode in his skull dealing 1d6 fire damage per eyeball. The target must make a system shock roll to avoid passing out from the pain. If the target has lost both eyes it is blinded and suffers a -4 penalty to attack rolls. Its opponents gain a +4 bonus to their attack rolls against it.

Web of Burning Shadows
Level: 2
Range: 5 yards / level
Duration: 3 rounds / level
AE: Special
Components: VSM
ST: Neg. or 1/2
CT: 1

This spell is a full strength version of Burning Web* with the following addition, each round a victim is caught inside the web it has 1 HP drained from it and transferred to the mage. The life force is drawn through ethereal black strands that connect the caster to the web. Concentration is not required but if the wizard breaks line of sight the spell ends.

*This was a custom spell in my DM’s game. I don’t have the stats for it, but it was basically a short duration Web spell with fire damage added in. His fire mages weren’t very original when it came to custom spell research. They’d just take a standard spell and slap some fire onto it. My favorite was Burning Teleport.

Steal the Dying Breath
Level: 3
Range: Touch
Duration: Permanent until broken
AE: 1 Creature
Components: VSM
ST: Neg
CT: 1

As the wizard incants this spell he holds a Spirit Gem to the mouth of a dying creature so that its final breath fogs the surface of the crystal. The creature receives a saving throw to avoid having its soul trapped within the gem. If the wizard speaks the victim’s True Name as he casts the spell, no saving throw is allowed. As long as the creature’s soul is bound within the gem it cannot be raised from the dead or resurrected. Only creatures that possess a soul may be targeted by this spell. The material components for this spell are a Spirit Gem and a pinch of diamond dust (worth 100 GP / HD of the target).

Leech Magic
Level: 3
Range: 60 yards
Duration: 1 round / level
AE: 30-ft. cube
Components: VS
ST: None
CT: 4

All spells cast inside the area of effect operate at half effectiveness with regards to damage. Illusion and Demi-Shadow spells function normally.

Embrace of the Upper Dark
Level: 3
Range: 30 yards + 10 yards / level
Duration: 1d6 rounds + 1 round / level
AE: 10 yard radius + 10 yards / 2 levels
Components: VS
ST: None
CT: 3

This spell removes all of the air within the area of effect and keeps any air from returning for the duration of the spell. Creatures within the area of effect may hold their breath for rounds equal to their Constitution score. Each round thereafter they must succeed at a Constitution Check or begin to die of asphyxiation. Use whatever drowning rules come with your game of choice.

Transverse Shadows
Level: 3
Range: 0
Duration: 1 turn
AE: The caster
Components: VS
ST: None
CT: 1

As Shadow Walk but the wizard cannot enter the Plane of Shadows itself or take passengers with him.

Bestow Life
Level: 3
Range: Touch
Duration: 2d4 rounds
AE: 1 creature
Components: VSM
ST: None
CT: 3

The spell transfers one of the wizard’s Hit Points per round to the target. Temporary HP counts as regular HP for the purposes of this spell.

Black Blade
Level: 3
Range: Touch
Duration: 1 turn
AE: One sword
Components: VSM
ST: None
CT: 3 rounds

This spell temporarily binds a Shadow into a sword. The weapon becomes +1 and all damage it deals transfers to its wielder as healing. This spell does not grant temporary HP. Anyone the caster designates during spell casting can use a Black Blade. If anyone else picks up the sword they receive 1d3 damage per round until they drop it. Permanency works on this spell. The material components for this spell are a Shadow (either bound in a magical receptacle or controlled by the wizard), powdered lime, carbon, and a bit of smoky quartz.

Lesser Shadow Magic
Level: 3
Range: 20 yards + 10 yards / level
Duration: Special
AE: Special
Components: VSM
ST: Special
CT: 5

As Shadow Magic but it only replicates 1st level evocation spells.

Devour Sorcery
Level: 3
Range: 10 yards / level
Duration: Special
AE: one spell
Components: VSM
ST: None
CT: 1

This spell allows the wizard to dispel a single spell or spell-like effect as though he had cast Dispel Magic. The targeted spell’s energy is leeched away and used to power the next spell that the wizard casts. The next round the wizard may cast a spell whose level does not exceed half that of the spell that was drained (round down). The spell that he casts is not forgotten. The material components are brain tissue from a magic-user and one dose of spell ink. The spell ink cannot have been purchased by the caster, it must have been stolen.

Shadow Blast
Level: 3
Range: 15 yards + 10 yards / level
Duration: Instant
AE: 30-ft. radius
Components: VSM
ST: ½
CT: 3

This spell is a more powerful version of Stygian Fireball. All creatures inside of the Shadow Blast must save vs spells or suffer 6d4 points of damage plus one per caster level. This spell’s damage counts as both fire and cold. Those that make the save only take half damage. Those that fail the save are blinded for 1d4 rounds (-4 to attacks, saves, and AC) as writhing tendrils of shadow cling to their eyes and face. The shadow fire only affects living creatures and is unlikely to cause flammable materials to ignite. Unlike regular Fireball this spell reaches into the Ethereal Plane and will affect creatures that are ethereal, out of phase, or under the effects of Wraithform or similar spells. Ethereal creatures affected by this spell must save or be blinded for 1d6+1 rounds in addition to the normal effects of the spell. The material components for this spell are a handful of ash and a piece of obsidian.

Shadow Gate
Level: 3
Range: 10 yards
Duration: 1 turn
AE: Special
Components: SM
ST: None
CT: 1 round

This spell is a low level version of Summon Shadow. When it is cast a rectangular slab of darkness rises from the ground and 1d4 Shadows emerge. Unlike Summon Shadow this spell imparts no control over the Shadows. Anyone who peers into the shadow gate must make a Magic Save or suffer the effects of a Nightmare spell the next time they sleep. The Shadows are considered summoned creatures. The Shadow Gate itself only remains for one round, but anyone stepping through it is forever lost in non-dimensional space. The material component for this spell is a rectangular piece of rune etched black marble (worth at least 100 GP).

Mantle of Shadows
Level: 3
Range: Touch
Duration: One day / level
AE: 1 creature or item.
Components: VS
ST: Special
CT: 4

This spell functions as Misdirection with the following addition, if the wizard or cleric casting the detection spell succeeds in discerning the truth about the target, they are instantly subjected to a Forget spell.

Contact Shadowland
Level: 3
Range: 0
Duration: Special
AE: Special
Components: V
ST: None
CT: 1 turn

As Contact Other Plane but only the Demi-Plane of Shadow can be reached. The Chance of Insanity is 20%. The Chance of Knowledge is 33% (or 90% for questions that pertain to shadows). The Chance of Veracity is 60% (75%). If this spell is cast in a brightly lit area the shadows are offended and the Chance of Veracity becomes: 30% (45%).

Lesser Shadow Walk
Level: 3
Range: Touch
Duration: 3 turns / level
AE: Special
Components: VS
ST: None
CT: 1

As Shadow Walk but with the above changes. The wizard may enter the Plane of Shadows but cannot cross into other planes.

Mass Bestow Life
Level: 3
Range: 40 yards
Duration: 2 + 1d4 rounds
AE: 10-ft. radius / level
Components: VS
ST: None
CT: 1 round

This spell works like Bestow Life but transfers the HP to every designated creature in the area of effect. Each round that this spell persists, the wizard can choose to take damage equal to the number of affected creature, if he does so they all receive 1 HP of healing. The wizard cannot change who is designated once the spell is cast and anyone designated by the spell that leaves the area of affect is no longer considered designated. The wizard may end this spell at will and it will never drain his last Hit Point.

Tenebrous Egregore
Level: 4
Range: Special
Duration: Permanent
AE: Special
Components: VSM
ST: None
CT: Special

An Egregore is an entity of pure thought that draws its substance from the minds of each member of a coven of wizards. This spell takes the rudimentary thought-form of such a group of like-minded wizards and infuses it with the essence of living shadow. It becomes an artificially created intelligence operating on the boarder of the Ethereal Plane. The Egregore can allow the wizards bound to it to communicate telepathically with each other (though this is often unreliable). It offers protection from certain spells (particularly death magic) in the form of a Saving Throw bonus, and it can be used by the coven’s Hierophant to inflict a potent curse on any member who breaks their vows to the order. If the Egregore becomes powerful enough it may become self-aware. If this happens it can be contacted by its members with 1d3 hours of prayer and ritual to answer a specific question. The Egregore has the knowledge of all of its members, but its answer will be determined by a reaction roll. After the Egregore’s creation all members of the coven are required to spend the entire night during each dark of the moon performing a special ritual that feeds life force to the Egregore. This ritual deals enough damage to reduce the member to 1 HP.

To cast this spell the coven must meet the following requirements:

• The Hierophant must be of sufficient level to cast this spell.
• The coven must have a minimum of 13 members, all of whom must be spell casters.
• The coven must have a set of vows that all members swear during their initiation. These vows can be anything that the Hierophant decides and the members agree on. Breaking any vow allows the Hierophant to invoke the curse.
• One of the vows must state: “I swear to devote every night of the dark moon solely to the contemplation of our Egregore’s Sigil and the ritual chanting of his name.”
• These vows must include a final clause stating something to the effect of: “If I break these solemn vows may I be bound by the Curse of the Outer Dark, may it rot the flesh from my bones and devour my still beating heart. May the curse strike me like a lightning bolt no matter where I flee. If I break these solemn vows I accept this as my fate and welcome my coming destruction that it might restore my blackened honor.
• All members involved in the casting of this spell must have sworn the aforementioned vows.

To create an Egregore the Hierophant must cast this spell during a new moon with the assistance of at least twelve other coven members. During the ritual the Egregore is given a name and a special sigil that will forever after represent it symbolically. To receive the protection from death magic the members must wear the Egregore’s Sigil as a ring or pendant.

The ritual takes 2d12 hours and leaves the participants drained. They must give their life force to power the spell. The Hierophant loses a point of Constitution and a randomly determined member loses a point of Intelligence. After it is cast all of the wizards involved are reduced to 1 HP. Calculate the total amount of HP damage suffered by all members involved in the casting. The total number of Hit Points channeled into the Egregore determines if it survives its “birth”. The spell Sacrament of Blood may be cast prior to the ritual to boost the number of Hit Points available. If a 1d100 roll results in a number that is less than or equal to the total number of Hit Points plus the total levels of all participants, the spell succeeds and the Egregore is born. It has no corporeal existence. It has HD equal to the average of all of its member’s levels. Its Intelligence and Wisdom are equal to the average of those scores among its members. Each time a member levels up or dies recalculate the Egregore’s statistics.

As long as the members wear the Egregore’s sigil they have a bonus to all magical saving throws equal to one fourth of the Egregore’s HD. Against death spells the bonus is equal to half of the Egregore’s HD. The sigil inscribed objects must be present during the casting of this spell or the protection is not granted.

Members can communicate telepathically as long as both the sender and receiver are wearing their sigils. This requires one round of concentration and if successful allows a message of up to 20 words to be sent. Both the members must succeed on a Wisdom check for the message to pass between them.

After the Egregore is created this spell may be cast in two variant forms: Initiatory and Curse of the Outer Dark.

The Initiatory Rite lasts for 2d6 hours and binds new coven members to the Egregore. After it is complete the new initiates are reduced to 1 HP. Thereafter they gain all of the benefits and restrictions of being bound to an Egregore. Recalculate the Egregore’s HD, Intelligence, and Wisdom to account for the new members. Each time this variant of the ritual is cast there is a cumulative 1% chance that the Egregore becomes self-aware.

The Curse of the Outer Dark is typically cast by the Hierophant and it only works if the target is a member of the coven who has broken one of their vows. Because the target is telepathically linked with the Hierophant the curse has an unlimited range as long as the target is on the same plane. If the target is on another plane there is a percent chance that the curse succeeds anyway. Subtract the number of planes between the Hierophant and the victim from the HD of the Egregore. If the caster rolls under this number on a d100 the curse succeeds. If the Hierophant is the one who has broken a vow, the entire coven can invoke the curse against him, but one of them must know this spell and be able to cast it.

The curse acts like a Finger of Death spell. Because the target has ritually accepted the curse as a penalty for breaking his vows he does not receive a saving throw or the benefits of magic resistance. It is treated as though he voluntarily lowered his resistance. If the Hierophant can retrieve the body before three days pass he can perform a ceremony costing 1500 GP to raise it as a Ju-Ju Zombie.

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