Archives of Nethys

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Book of Unlimited Magic

Shadow Magic

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 220
While most types of magic are additive, arising from gaining knowledge or abilities, shadow magic is different—to touch the shadow, a spellcaster must surrender the piece of their spirit that normally keeps the darkness out. This process permanently removes the spellcaster's ability to cast spells of light and warmth but compensates them with an unmatched facility for manipulating the energies of darkness and shadow.

Rarity: Uncommon

This section has options for both spellcasters who use shadow magic and for companions that dwell in the dark.

Shadowcasters sacrifice the magic of light to bind themselves to the darkness.

Shadow companions and familiars can accompany shadowcasters or can join anyone else as shadowy compatriots. These creatures might follow one who's already traveling the path of shadow or might be strange ambassadors to someone of a more conventional stripe. Shadowdancer with companions typically choose these creatures of shadow.

Shadowcaster Origins

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 222
Shadowcasters can come from any tradition of magic, though divine or occult casters are the most likely to attempt to master the power of shadow. Their magic is most entwined with the spirit, and thus they're most easily able to understand and accept the sacrifice necessary to become a shadowcaster. Primal practitioners are rarer, often finding the power of shadow antithetical to their goals and beliefs. Arcane spellcasters are slightly more likely to use shadow magic, but it isn't uncommon for wizards to question the value of the trade, unwilling to give up the ability to manipulate the powers of light in exchange for increased facility with shadow and darkness.

Shadow Companions

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 222
Spellcasters aren't the sole purveyors of shadow magic. Some adventurers are guided on their path by companions with an inherent connection to shadow, whether or not the adventurer is a shadowcaster. Adventurers who would wield shadow should follow the guidance of such beings. Shadowcasters, as well as others who might stumble across this knowledge, have access to the shadow hound animal companion and the shade specialization option.

Shadow Familiars

Source Secrets of Magic pg. 228
Familiars bind themselves to mortals in a symbiotic relationship. Shadowcaster witches are among the most likely to obtain a familiar with the power of shadow, particularly those with the night patron. Others likely to take on shadow familiars include shadow bloodline sorcerers and darkness domain clerics.