As I mentioned above, nethermancy is the magic of darkness. A skilled nethermancer can draw shadowstuff from the Shadowfell and mold it into whatever form he or she likes. A nethermancer might use shadow energy to drain a creature’s strength and vitality, shroud the battlefield in darkness or summon a flailing monstrosity made from solid shadow into his or her enemies’ midst. Nethermancy lets you command shadow magic in its purest and possibly even deadliest form, shaping it to whatever ends you can imagine.

Nethermancy became the magic of darkness, and its powers involved magnifying fears, creating and manipulating darkness, and forming it into monstrous forms.”

The shadowcaster understands the true, primal power of darkness, attunes herself to the Plane of Shadow, and learnsgreat shadow mysteries the equal of any mundane spell. These dark casters are workers of alien magic, possessingan occult understanding of the world and magic that even
other spellcasters find disturbing. They are masters of a dark
power—and perhaps, as some worry, its servants as well

You are a master of arcane secrets far greater than anyother—or at least you will be. You understand what others
do not: All power stems from darkness. All reality is a façade,
and everything is symbolism; by changing a thing’s reflec-
tion—its shadow—you change the thing itself. Other forms
of magic, and other religions, aren’t necessarily inferioror worthy of scorn; it’s simply that they see only a part of the whole, the first layer of a deeper truth. You rarely takeanything at face value or make snap decisions. You might be
inclined to see conspiracies where none exist, so accustomed
are you to looking for the shadows behind the obvious.Mostly, you adventure to perfect your understanding and
mastery of shadow. You likely prefer endeavors that allow you
frequent use of your mysteries and other abilities, or those
that promise access to ancient lore. You might have personal
goals as well, and it’s not uncommon for shadowcasters toadventure for the sake of riches, to avenge a past wrong, orfor any other “standard” adventure motive

You possess fewer overtly damaging powers than spellcast-
ers. Against a single foe, you are quite capable of dealing
damage on par with any wizard, assuming you have selected
the proper mysteries. Against a larger number of enemies,however, your area-affecting abilities are better suitedtoward weakening or impeding your foes so that yourcompanions can finish them off—at least until you reachhigher levels.If you have selected any of the perception-related mys-teries, you are particularly adept in arranging ambushes,flanks, and other tactical maneuvers involving surprise. Your abilities to see the battlefield from all angles, or in thedark, allow you to position your companions for maximumeffectiveness.At high levels, you can often call forth weapons and min-
ions of darkness, enabling you to turn many battles through
sheer weight of numbers, without putting yourself directlyin harm’s way. Consider gaining proficiency in armor andwearing it at this point. Only your master-path mysteriesrisk spell failure from wearing armor, and magic armorwith a low arcane spell failure chance minimizes that. Amagic shield is a particularly good option because it can beset aside when casting master-path mysteries but held in allother situations.

A shadowcaster is perhaps the most frightening magic user the
PCs might run across. Her abilities are strange and dark, shecan do things no other class can, and she practices magic inways unfamiliar to even the most learned wizard. As villains,shadowcasters should terrify even confident parties. As PCs,
they allow players to approach the use of magic in new and excit-
ing ways. Perhaps most important for DMs, the shadowcaster is
a walking plot hook; from the fearful and hateful reactions of those who do not understand her, to her innate connection to
the mysterious Plane of Shadow, a single shadowcaster provides
fodder for an entire series of adventures

When not adventuring, shadowcasters spend the majority of their time in study, meditation, and contemplation. No less
so than wizards, shadowcasters must constantly research newdiscoveries regarding their powers and the sources thereof andmust review formulae and esoteric concepts so thoroughly that
they burn them into their minds. This is not to say that shad-owcasters have no life outside their mystical pursuits, simplythat they have little time to devote to other endeavors.

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