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RoyalProtector's Shadowdancer Overhaul (ZS_ShadowdancerOverhaul)


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This mod is my personal take on the Shadowdancer kit. It's been my favorite kit, conceptually, since BeamDog introduced it to me. Functionally I did not like it as much.

Here's the GitHub link to download it

Some highlights:

  • You can summon a loyal shade creature now. This shade grows in power up to level 40, from a humble Shadow to a Nighthaunt.
  • Hide in plain sight is no longer implemented into the Hiding ability, but as a innate invisibility spell that lasts for a brief time, and that you can cast at will every x number of rounds. Hiding works exactly as it does with any other Thief.
  • Gain new HLA's: Self Concealment and Shadow Power (defensive and offensive buffs)
  • Shadowstep is now called Shadow Jump and becomes the ultimate tool for either defensive maneuvers or backstabbing prowess, if so wish. Read the known issues in the readme.
  • ToF users can pick new feats: Shadow Conjuration (allows casting a selection of wizard spells, which includes Teleport without error, Vampiric Touch, Dire Charm,  Darkness, Shadow Door, among others), Extra Use: Shadow Jump, Extra Use: Shadow Illusion. This is not implemented yet and it wholly depends on David's collaboration on this endeavor.
  • Existing SD HLAs are improved a little bit.
  • Can speak to the Shadow to rethink tactics. It's not functioning yet though, but it's a future idea. The idea is to tell it not react, or attack automatically, and other things.

The rest of details are in the readme found in the provided link. If you do try it, I would like to know if you found the summoned shade overpowered. I suspect it might be at high levels (28-40). Cheers.

I used various references for inspiration (plus my own imagination, of course):
https://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/prestige-classes/core-rulebook/shadowdancer/
https://nwn.fandom.com/wiki/Summon_shadow
https://nwn.fandom.com/wiki/Shadow
https://nwn.fandom.com/wiki/Epic_shadowlord_(summon)
https://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/SRD:Self-Concealment
https://www.aonprd.com/PrestigeClassesDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Shadowdancer

Edited by RoyalProtector
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Aren’t shadows immune to normal weapons? That seems OP under level ~10. (Totemic druid summons are immune to normal weaps at level 10… those might be a good comparison.)

The whole thing seems interesting, but as a pure thief? Put next to other thief kits, it definitely seems the odd one out. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, subtledoctor said:

Aren’t shadows immune to normal weapons? That seems OP under level ~10. (Totemic druid summons are immune to normal weaps at level 10… those might be a good comparison.)

As stated in the readme, immunity to normal weapons is not part of the Shadow initially, for balance purposes. Later on they get that, but it's at the point where enemies that present a problem would be using magical weapons already anyway. You can think of it as if it's a lesser version of the real thing. This is true of other things such as strength sapping (only 5 rounds in duration, can't kill).

2 minutes ago, subtledoctor said:

The whole thing seems interesting, but as a pure thief? Put next to other thief kits, it definitely seems the odd one out.

I don't know what you mean by that.

Edited by RoyalProtector
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5 hours ago, RoyalProtector said:

I don't know what you mean by that

Sorry, I misread and thought you asked if it seemed OP. I’m just looking at all that next to a plain thief and considering if this is a trade-off, or thief+. I guess traps? Does this kit do traps? (I never use traps, so I tend to forget to factor them in to power comparisons.)

Sorry, don’t mean to sound too critical. Just when people ask for advice on how a kit sounds, my brain switches to analysis mode. 

Edited by subtledoctor
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Posted (edited)

My shadow actually gets immunity to normal weapons when character level is 20. I actually completely forgot that Totemic summons were immune to normal weapons that early. Maybe I should rethink it. I was afraid to break the game too early. Frankly I don't even remember the game in terms of armament used against the player too well.

In a way it makes some sense to delay it more, if only because Thieves level up much faster...

Edited by RoyalProtector
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Oh, nice. I don't think any kit mods around have tried to overhaul it.

One thing though, it won't install in BG1 (and possibly IWD1). Seems it looks for a ohdrod.itm, which is an item that exists in BG2 item but not BG1.

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On 6/23/2024 at 11:54 PM, subtledoctor said:

I guess traps? Does this kit do traps? (I never use traps, so I tend to forget to factor them in to power comparisons.)

Cannot use traps, same as in the original, or pick HLA traps. It's been enhanced offensively with things like Shadow Jump enhancing backstab gameplay, the Shadow Summon, of course, and an HLA that adds critical hit and backstab effects. There's also plentiful defensive enhancements.

All kit specific HLA were improved (though I'm not touching the general thief hlas) as well.

It is definitely more powerful than before, and more powerful than vanilla thieves though it is still has the same backstab multiplier reduction.

I would definitely suggest other mods that improve Thief gameplay generally speaking. And honestly I would suggest mods to improve every vanilla class, if only to make them less boring and more varied in abilities, outside arcane spellcasters.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, megrimlock said:

So should this be installed before or after Rogue Rebalancing, for instance?

Before or after shouldn't matter, RR won't affect this mod, as it doesn't touch shadowdancers, but it will improve other HLAs and other thief related tweaks should apply. It will have access to those HLAs.

I highly recommend using it (or any other mod that overhauls thieves and other rogues really).

Although now that I think of it, I think RR introduces new HLAs which will probably not be added to this kits HLA table. If someone can confirm this, please tell me.

If it doesn't work, I'll add compatibility, in which case this mod will need to be installed after RR.

Edited by RoyalProtector
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1 hour ago, RoyalProtector said:

Although now that I think of it, I think RR introduces new HLAs which will probably not be added to this kits HLA table. If someone can confirm this, please tell me.

If it doesn't work, I'll add compatibility, in which case this mod will need to be installed after RR.

 I'll have a go using this with RR, ToF and Epic Thieving.

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