Iconic Design: Shadowy Little Devil

Welcome to Iconic Design, Private Sanctuary’s source for innovative and evocative character builds for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, we’re going to be looking at a build for a shadow oracle wayang.

Alas, we’re finally here. The end of the Dynastic Races month. And who better close out my Kickstarter-promoting series than the small, shadowy wayangs?

Absolutely no one, that’s who’s better!

So let’s get cracking with a wayang built this instant!

Build Concept

We’re going to need the following to build our shadowy little buddy.

  • Wayang: Duh.
  • Oracle: WHY YES WE ARE DOING ANOTHER BUILD THAT THE RACE HAS POOR ABILITY SCORE MODIFIERS FOR DON’T JUDGE ME! X-|
  • Shadow Mystery: Hey, I wrote that!

Let’s get started, shall we?

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: oracle 7
  • Feats: Augment Summoning (1st), Superior Summoning (3rd), Spell Focus: illusion (5th), Greater Spell Focus: illusion (7th)
  • Abilities: mystery (shadow), oracle’s curse (haunted), revelations
  • Revelations: army of darkness (1st), dark secrets (3rd), wings of darkness (7th)
  • 3rd-Level Oracle Spells Known (2): deeper darkness; bestow curse, cure serious wounds, summon monster III
  • 2nd-Level Oracle Spells Known (3): invisibility; alter summoned monster, cure moderate wounds, darkness, summon monster II
  • 1st-Level Oracle Spells Known (5): blurred movement; bless, cure light wounds, divine favor, shadow trap, summon monster I, touch of blindness
  • Orisons (7): bleed, create water, detect magic, guidance, light, read magic, stabilize

The shadow mystery has a few really neat options built into it, my favorite of which is army of darkness. Not only does this revelation count as Spell Focus: conjuration for the purpose of taking Augment Summoning and Superior Summoning, but it allows you to put the shadow creature template on your summons instead of celestial or fiendish. Is this the strongest option ever? Nope, but it is certainly thematic and fun. So much so that I took alter summon monster at 2nd level just to describe how may shadowy creatures are warping and changing form as I manipulate the raw shadowstuff that they are made from. Fun. So much fun.

Dark secrets is another neat option; it basically allows you to nab illusion (shadow) spells from the sorcerer/wizard spell list, the best of which are the shadow school spells. Things like shadow evocation, shadow transmutation, and shadow conjuration will all allow you to flexibly cast spells that you wouldn’t normally have access to as an oracle, which is very cool. Of course, this choice doesn’t really start shinning until around 8th level, so if you want to push this revelation back to your 7th level pick and take something else instead, I understand. I just really like wings of darkness and want to take it as soon as it’s available.

Other then that, this is a pretty general oracle build. The shadow mystery provides you with a ton of neat utility spells and tricks, so its up to you to figure out what you’re going to do in combat. I picked up lots of summon spells, then rounded out my list with some general “I win you suck” spells for combat.

Let’s see how this build evolves in the mid levels, shall we?

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: oracle 14
  • Feats: Augment Summoning (1st), Superior Summoning (3rd), Spell Focus: illusion (5th), Greater Spell Focus: illusion (7th), Spell Penetration (9th), Greater Spell Penetration (11th), Solid Shadows (13th)
  • Abilities: mystery (shadow), oracle’s curse (haunted), revelations
  • Revelations: army of darkness (1st), dark secrets (3rd), wings of darkness (7th), Shadow Mastery (11th)
  • 7th-Level Oracle Spells Known (1): mass invisibility; mass cure serious wounds, summon monster VII
  • 6th-Level Oracle Spells Known (2): shadow walk; mass cure moderate wounds, harm, summon monster VI
  • 5th-Level Oracle Spells Known (3): vampiric shadow shield; breath of life, mass cure light wounds, summon monster V, ANY ONE
  • 4th-Level Oracle Spells Known (4): shadow step; cure serious wounds, divine power, master’s escape, poison, summon monster IV
  • 3rd-Level Oracle Spells Known (4): deeper darkness; bestow curse, chain of perdition, cure serious wounds, dispel magic, summon monster III
  • 2nd-Level Oracle Spells Known (5): invisibility; alter summoned monster, blindness/deafness, cure moderate wounds, darkness, summon monster II, ANY ONE
  • 1st-Level Oracle Spells Known (5): blurred movement; bless, cure light wounds, divine favor, shadow trap, summon monster I, touch of blindness
  • Orisons (9): bleed, create water, detect magic, guidance, light, read magic, stabilize, ANY TWO

There are two key aspects to this build’s fun factor here in the mid levels: the Solid Shadows metamagic feat and the shadow mastery revelation. Both essentially do the same thing—they improve the “realness” of your shadow spells if your target disbelieves them. Note that while you definitely should take the Solid Shadows feat, you probably want a metamagic rod or two of this stellar option as well. (If your GM will allow it, there’s also a stellar staff in Realm of the Fellnight Queen that has a similar power.) Using this feat, you can essentially bump a “standard” version of any of these shadow spells to rival that of a “greater” version in terms of realness, and if you can get the metamagic rod we talked about before, your “Greater” shadow spells will actually be 100% real at 20th level, meaning that it doesn’t really matter if your foe disbelieves or not. (You can reach 100% sooner if you have that staff I mentioned.)

So, let’s check out the end game, shall we?

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: oracle 14
  • Feats: Augment Summoning (1st), Superior Summoning (3rd), Spell Focus: illusion (5th), Greater Spell Focus: illusion (7th), Spell Penetration (9th), Greater Spell Penetration (11th), Solid Shadows (13th), FREEBIE (15th), FREEBIE (17th), FREEBIE (19th)
  • Abilities: final revelation, mystery (shadow), oracle’s curse (haunted), revelations
  • Revelations: army of darkness (1st), dark secrets (3rd), wings of darkness (7th), shadow mastery (11th), shadow projection (15th), living shadow (19th)
  • 9th-Level Oracle Spells Known (3): shades; energy drain, mass heal, summon monster IX
  • 8th-Level Oracle Spells Known (3): greater shadow evocation; divine vessel, mass cure critical wounds, orb of the void, summon monster VIII
  • 7th-Level Oracle Spells Known (3): mass invisibility; destruction, mass cure serious wounds, summon monster VII, umbral strike
  • 6th-Level Oracle Spells Known (3): shadow walk; mass cure moderate wounds, harm, summon monster VI
  • 5th-Level Oracle Spells Known (4): vampiric shadow shield; breath of life, mass cure light wounds, summon monster V, ANY ONE
  • 4th-Level Oracle Spells Known (4): shadow step; cure serious wounds, divine power, master’s escape, poison, summon monster IV
  • 3rd-Level Oracle Spells Known (4): deeper darkness; bestow curse, chain of perdition, cure serious wounds, dispel magic, summon monster III
  • 2nd-Level Oracle Spells Known (5): invisibility; alter summoned monster, blindness/deafness, cure moderate wounds, darkness, summon monster II, ANY ONE
  • 1st-Level Oracle Spells Known (5): blurred movement; bless, cure light wounds, divine favor, shadow trap, summon monster I, touch of blindness
  • Orisons (9): bleed, create water, detect magic, guidance, light, read magic, stabilize, ANY TWO
  • Pretty standard spellcasting stuff all around. You have tons of summoning, lots of utility, decent healing, and plenty of save-or-suck spells. You even have a few options for wading into combat. All around, this build is a great generalist with some very, very nasty tricks.

What do you think? What would you have changed in this build if you were playing it? Leave your questions and comments below, and I’ll see you back next week for the month of July! Also, if you were thinking about pledging to my Dynastic Races Kickstarter, it ends at 3:00pm EST on Wednesday, June 30th. If you’re able to help, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.

Alex Augunas

Alexander Augunas lives outside of Philadelphia, USA where he tries to make a living as an educator. When he's not shaping the future leaders of tomorrow, Alex is a freelance writer for esteemed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game publishers such as Paizo, Inc, Radiance House, Raging Swan Press, and more, and also acts as a co-host and blogger on the Know Direction Network, where he has earned the nickname, "The Everyman Gamer." Recently, Alex has forayed into the realm of self-publishing through his company, Everyman Gaming, LLC. If you like Alex's writing and are interested in supporting him while getting professional-quality material for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game while doing so, check out the Everyman Gaming, LLC catalog, which is listed under Rogue Genius Games at the following locations: http://drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/6101/Rogue-Genius-Games/subcategory/19574_25289/Everyman-Gaming-Catalog

We Con When You Can't
We Con When You Can't

5 Comments

  1. Alex, today happens to be my birthday and I’m just brassy enough to ask a present from a man i don’t know! Isn’t that fun?
    Some time ago I recommended a build for the Wing wielding angels seen in the (rather lackluster) film “Legion”. Having just seen “Age of Apocalypse” I kick myself for not realizing i should have asked for a build on the horsemen version of the X-man Angel. I’d love to see what you come up with!
    Cheers

  2. I really like the shadow mystery and this look like a fun way to play it. Since it doesn’t really benefit from the wayang stats, it might be more fun to play it as a kyton-spawn tiefling instead, while being equally thematic.

    • Alex Augunas Reply to Alex

      I agree about the stats, but I also don’t usually take stats into consideration with my builds. I find that the difference between a +3 and a +4 is pretty small, or even a +2 and a +4 is pretty small. I think its more important to play what’s fun rather than to optimize race.

  3. I agree, that is why my wayang is a bard.

    Wayang oracles do have a very nice advantage that you didn’t mention in this build, and that is their favored class bonus lets them add extra wizard illusion spells to their spells known. Hm, an oracle with shadowy mirror images? Yes please.

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