Shadowdancer

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Hazard
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Shadowdancer

Post by Hazard » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:44 am

Hello

Rambling about my experience:
I'd just like to say the little updates shadowdancer has gotten are really cool, and it's made me want to roll up another and try them out again. I'm having a lot more fun with my abilities on cooldown. There's just a few things I think still need improvement.

My own build will be using 17 levels of SD so that I can get maximum SD bonuses. I've done it before on a character and I know it isn't 'pvp optimal' but it works quite well as an RP build and in PvE. The build I'm using has pretty poor AB compared to the current powerbuilds, has essentially no AC and terrible saves/hp.. but it has the toys I want so I'm pretty happy. It's a happy accident that the new shadowdaze DC is based off of my int! Neat :) No real big issue here.

There's still the problem of permanently losing your summon shadow ability until you rest, every time you go across a server to server transition. I think this might be fixed by adding a second/third charge to summon shadow as a backup? Or- Maybe not. I don't know. The CD timer just doesn't seem to begin. This means sometimes I need to unsummon my shadow and wait a few minutes before transitioning, or I need to guzzle alcohol to make myself tired and rest on the other side of the transition. This isn't always possible because of PvE/PvP.

Unfortunately sometimes I still get the bug where my shadow does not grant me sneak attack damage, but it is very rare. More commonly though the shadow does not grant me sneak attacks, even though the enemy is not attacking me. Weird! Summons still ignore the shadow and destroy my poor SD too.

Overall I think shadowdancer is definitely improving, but it could still use a bit more love until it's caught up to how awesome rogue and assassin are. Currently I feel like assassin is just better in every way and I sort of regret not making one, but my character is chaotic good so it wasn't ever really an option. Maybe next time on another character.

Some ideas:
To me the class fantasy of a shadowdancer is very appealing. They are mysterious and sneaky. Vanishing before your very eyes and controlling the shadows. I think this could be improved by granting +1 ms to SDs for each level in SD in addition to hide. I think they should also be allowed to move much more quickly in the shadows. It feels strange to me that a rogue can move quicker using mundane stealth (physically sneaking) than a shadowdancer using a supernatural ability. I feel like it should be the other way around, and shadowdancers should be the ones who can move quickly while stealthed.

I love my shadow summon, but for the shadow of a Hide/MS focused character it sure is bad at stealth. I'd like if it copied the hide/MS of the player so that we both could go undetected. I'd also like it if the sneak attack bonus was baked into my own character rather than relying on proximity of the shadow. I already need the shadow near me if I want to survive (because of the AWESOME -guard mechanic that I love and is a lot of fun) but if the shadow isn't present, I don't like being unable to fight at all. I think it isn't unreasonable to want my character to be able to sneak attack without having a summon out. Maybe additional AB when near the shadow would help.

Additional abilities could help add some flavor. Darkness+Ultravision. Shadow stepping. A built in ability to take you to the plane of shadow without needing to find a door. Not leaving tracks when stealthed. Being able to run while stealthed.

Do other people have any thoughts and ideas on what could be done to make dedicated shadowdancers more shadowy?
Last edited by Hazard on Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Opustus
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Opustus » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:10 am

Hey! Sorry to be a partypooper, but suggestions aren't being received at the moment: "The suggestion board is still locked, and while I understand the frustration I would ask that those using the Feedback thread to post suggestions please refrain from doing so."
By server Papa Smurf, Irongron: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=22157

I don't think that stops us from discussing the subject amongst ourselves or coming up with ideas, right?

I personally think Shadowdancers are bonkers good. The recent change that gives them effectively permanent +4 AC and 50% concealment is... it's just stupid how powerful it is. I would not seek to increase their power level. As is, they already get a tonne of goodies. In my humbledore, HiPS is a great tool for PvP as well. Conerning the summon's PvP viability; it's still a very burly summon and it grants the attacker those sweet sweet sneak dice.

Onto matters of k3wl, I would love to see some implementation of Shadowstep/Shadow jump. Many groan that the class is too oriented on the summon, that it's too OP for PvM, and that its importance should be reduced to make room for different kind of gameplay. I personally agree with that appraisal of the class in its current state.
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Hazard
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Hazard » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:58 pm

Opustus wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:10 am
Hey! Sorry to be a partypooper, but suggestions aren't being received at the moment: "The suggestion board is still locked, and while I understand the frustration I would ask that those using the Feedback thread to post suggestions please refrain from doing so."
By server Papa Smurf, Irongron: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=22157

I don't think that stops us from discussing the subject amongst ourselves or coming up with ideas, right?

I personally think Shadowdancers are bonkers good. The recent change that gives them effectively permanent +4 AC and 50% concealment is... it's just stupid how powerful it is. I would not seek to increase their power level. As is, they already get a tonne of goodies. In my humbledore, HiPS is a great tool for PvP as well. Conerning the summon's PvP viability; it's still a very burly summon and it grants the attacker those sweet sweet sneak dice.

Onto matters of k3wl, I would love to see some implementation of Shadowstep/Shadow jump. Many groan that the class is too oriented on the summon, that it's too OP for PvM, and that its importance should be reduced to make room for different kind of gameplay. I personally agree with that appraisal of the class in its current state.
Edit* To make clearer my thoughts

Yes, sorry. I know the suggestion section is closed. This was my own feedback and am hoping others could contribute theirs. I only have experience playing one type of shadowdancer and I'm sure there are a bunch of other styles out there.

The class certainly does feel powerful in PvM in some dungeons. Others though, entirely ineffective. I wouldn't say it's too OP. There are plenty of classes far more capable. Summons, AoE, Perma True Seeing, Sneak Immune, Damage Shields, are all quite common and a hard counter to a heavy SD invested build in PvE. This is why I chose to invest into trap skills on my SD, so that if I should come up against something super super hard I can at least figure out some clever way of getting it to explode.

I'm interested in seeing more flavor come to SD. Like the mentioned stealth speed when compared to rogues. Being a master of shadows that can't throw a darkness spell. Shadow door/jumping. Maybe baking in some of the benefits of the summon shadow into the actual SD because of how unreliable the game can be in terms of bugs and AI.

And thanks for being the first to contribute and get the thread rolling :)
Last edited by Hazard on Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:54 pm

My lvl 10 character can get 40 ac. There are multiple massively wrongs things you must be doing to be pulling less than 30 ac. Its hard to balance or discus your personal experience when you are not even Playing half of your class. Equip ment and potions alone with tumble coukd have your ac over 30 without Expertise and a negative dex score.

Hazard
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Hazard » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:23 pm

malcolm_mountainslayer wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:54 pm
My lvl 10 character can get 40 ac. There are multiple massively wrongs things you must be doing to be pulling less than 30 ac. Its hard to balance or discus your personal experience when you are not even Playing half of your class. Equip ment and potions alone with tumble coukd have your ac over 30 without Expertise and a negative dex score.
Try not to get distracted by the AC of my build. Yes, I know there are ways to build a SD with more AC. That isn't really the point of this thread.

When I say to make SD 'better' or as 'awesome' as rogue and assassin I don't necessarily mean as mechanically powerful. I mean flavor and fun. There is a lot that could be added to make shadowdancers feel more like masters of shadows, and the problems they do have aren't that they're mechanically weak but that the game can be unreliable when depending on a summon. Sometimes it just won't function, an example being when a summoned creature attacks you or when the shadow decides to just not guard you. It doesn't happen all the time, but I think with some good ideas we could figure out a way to mitigate these issues without needing to buff/nerf anything at all.

I was just talking about my own silly build, which is .. yes.. a silly build. I made it for fun and for RP, so that my rogue/SD can have most of the rogue skills while still being a dedicated shadowdancer at the expense of not being very powerful in a fight.

Hazard
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Hazard » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:28 pm

I've gone and made some edits because it seems I was sending the wrong message to people. Hopefully now it is clearer.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by CosmicOrderV » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:43 pm

Until the summon ditches auto-guard, probably not much is gonna change.

A shadow-jump would be cool. Maybe SD levels stacking with rogue for stealth speed. Once we get HAKs, too, seeing Bluff added to their class skills would be dope.

As for your build specifically, i have to wonder about your skill allotment.

(6*17)+(6*2)+(7*8)+3+(5*30)= 333 skill points

33 Hide, 33 MoSi, 33 Disc, 30 Tumb, 15 UMD, 33 OpLo, 22 Disab, 22 SetT, 15 Search, 33 Heal, 33 Bluff, 31 PP.

You can get everything you want, so long as you dont put more than needed in each skill.
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Richørd
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Richørd » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:05 pm

Awww damn. Here we go again.

I think by now repeating that SDs should be a less summon-centric class is like beating a dead horse.

SDs are cool on the server, no doubt. But I've always been advocating for a rework of the class, one that makes it a proper shadow-trickster-manipulator instead of the current summon based beatsneak. The shadow does only a few things but does those few things exceedingly well.
Absolutely ridiculous tank summon for any PvE encounter that isn't spell based? Check.
Strength drain nuisance that will make a lot of 1 on 1 PvP encounters against other melees without high AC a cakewalk? Check.

Can the shadow actually sneak like a real sneaky lad?
Lol no what r u expecting, the shadowdancer's literal shadow being able 2 sneak, r u mad bro?

The furthest I have ever gotten with getting someone to reply to any requests to have the Shadowdancer be looked into was a reply that was somewhat among the lines of "the guy who made the current Shadowdancer would have to rework it".
A strange response I think.


Sidenote to all those people that think the recent change to Shadow Evade has been "too good".
You clearly haven't played a Shadowdancer before, or at least not for long enough, if you think that those buffs to Shadow Evade made it actually any stronger than it used to be.
Literally all it did was improve builds that put a lot of emphasis on the SD class or as I'd call it : You only profit from it if you put at least 16 levels into the prestige class.
Why? Because previously Shadow Evade had a duration of 3 rounds per CL if I remember correctly. That'd equal to a 51 rounds duration at 17 SD levels. That is a whopping 5 minutes and 6 seconds.
Now look at that. 5 minutes and 6 seconds. What a neat coincidence that the new cooldown is exactly 5 minutes. :)
Basically now you do have a "permanent" Shadow Evade once you put 17 levels into the class. Though I'd have still prefered it if they simply scripted Shadow Evade to become a toggle-ability after the 17th level so you'd not have to refresh it after exactly 5 minutes to avoid running out of it's duration.
Previously you instead had, at 17 levels, effectively 15 minutes of Shadow Evade uptime with it's three charges per day system. At lower levels this was obviously more practical due to being able to judge when and how exactly to use those 3 charges, perhaps even back to back, instead of "oh snap, I have only a few levels in SD, yet my Shadow Evade is about to run out but I'm not nearly done with this dungeon. Guess I'll just sit around and wait for my edgy shadowpowers to be ready again."

Further the up to +50% concealment that Shadow Evade gives you now does nothing. You still are most likely to have UMD or an item that gives you proper concealment until you reach the 16th level of that class (if that's even a thing you've planed to do with your build). At most that change is a QoL one that will save you some money and time at higher levels, that's about it.

Hazard
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Hazard » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:35 pm

CosmicOrderV wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:43 pm
As for your build specifically, i have to wonder about your skill allotment.

(6*17)+(6*2)+(7*8)+3+(5*30)= 333 skill points

33 Hide, 33 MoSi, 33 Disc, 30 Tumb, 15 UMD, 33 OpLo, 22 Disab, 22 SetT, 15 Search, 33 Heal, 33 Bluff, 31 PP.

You can get everything you want, so long as you dont put more than needed in each skill.
Oops. I'm used to running a very similar SD build that had less int, and during my time away from the game I guess I confused myself into thinking that was this build. No, you're right. I have enough skill points for all the toys I need. That must be why I invested so heavily into int in the first place. I guess I'm not as dumb as I thought I was, except for the part about forgetting which build I'm using.

Does anyone remember the 'fly widget' some servers used to use? I'm pretty sure I played a server without haks that had it. You would use the item and 'fly' over to somewhere else, by just teleporting. What do people think about shadow dancers being given an item like that they can use? Obviously with cool shadowy wooshing noises and effects. With a fair cooldown that could be a nice way to simulate shadow jumping. For added flavor, if it's anything like the darkness widget we have, line of sight won't matter (which doesn't for shadow jumping iirc), so you could use it to go through walls! Would be a bit of an honor system to make sure people aren't using it in brightly lit areas, but that toy alone would be massive.

Too much? I dunno. Sounds fun as heck in my head though.
Last edited by Hazard on Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

The Greater Good
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by The Greater Good » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:39 pm

It would be cool if there was an option to put some of the benefits on the SD instead of the shadow. Trade a weaker shadow for sneak progression, maybe some of the shadow conj style powers, and more uses of their already extant powers per level. I've played both str and dex high sd builds, and I find them less fun, even though they're pretty easy, than a high rogue build.
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Peppermint » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:22 am

FWIW, when I implemented the current version of the Shadowdancer (with the summon update), I never intended for the shadow to serve as more than a temporary band-aid fix for what was a useless class. As many have said, the class' reliance on an auto-guard shadow is indeed rather clunky, and the class does need a rework at some point down the line.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Nevrus » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:31 am

Hazard wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:35 pm

Does anyone remember the 'fly widget' some servers used to use? I'm pretty sure I played a server without haks that had it. You would use the item and 'fly' over to somewhere else, by just teleporting. What do people think about shadow dancers being given an item like that they can use? Obviously with cool shadowy wooshing noises and effects. With a fair cooldown that could be a nice way to simulate shadow jumping. For added flavor, if it's anything like the darkness widget we have, line of sight won't matter (which doesn't for shadow jumping iirc), so you could use it to go through walls! Would be a bit of an honor system to make sure people aren't using it in brightly lit areas, but that toy alone would be massive.

Too much? I dunno. Sounds fun as heck in my head though.
They have it on Arelith. It's just only in the hands of certain 5% characters.
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Zavandar » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:05 am

i don't know 5% characters with this because of the huge imbalance issues it could present, like flying to unreachable areas and getting into quarters
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Hazard
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Hazard » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:12 am

Zavandar wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:05 am
i don't know 5% characters with this because of the huge imbalance issues it could present, like flying to unreachable areas and getting into quarters
That's a good point. I can't think of any areas, but there's probably some where it could be abused. Maybe giving it Line of Sight is a good idea after all.
Nevrus wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:31 am
Hazard wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:35 pm

Does anyone remember the 'fly widget' some servers used to use? I'm pretty sure I played a server without haks that had it. You would use the item and 'fly' over to somewhere else, by just teleporting. What do people think about shadow dancers being given an item like that they can use? Obviously with cool shadowy wooshing noises and effects. With a fair cooldown that could be a nice way to simulate shadow jumping. For added flavor, if it's anything like the darkness widget we have, line of sight won't matter (which doesn't for shadow jumping iirc), so you could use it to go through walls! Would be a bit of an honor system to make sure people aren't using it in brightly lit areas, but that toy alone would be massive.

Too much? I dunno. Sounds fun as heck in my head though.
They have it on Arelith. It's just only in the hands of certain 5% characters.
Sweet! Giving it to SDs is possible then. With some modifications like, maybe 1 use/day, line of sight, secret NPC to get it in the shadow plane that needs a certain hide/ms threshold for the conversation. Stuff like that? Could add a LOT of fun and flavor to the class without buffing it.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Nevrus » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:14 am

It should be noted that sometimes if you ask very nicely and the stars align and you're a good little angel the DMs will help you shadow jump if you have an interesting plot-related reason to do so.

This should not be an expectation, to all those that I have just piqued the interest of.
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Hazard » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:26 am

Nevrus wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:14 am
It should be noted that sometimes if you ask very nicely and the stars align and you're a good little angel the DMs will help you shadow jump if you have an interesting plot-related reason to do so.

This should not be an expectation, to all those that I have just piqued the interest of.
Ohhh. That's really good to know! I absolutely love it when DMs allow stuff that isn't supported mechanically.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:53 am

Speed boost for SD sneaking is the only change id care to see. Everything else being enhanced the way it is actaully fits the theme of the pnp class. Giving raw sneak seems to betray the actaul intent of the class what what it is supposed to give. Having a super summon just makes it mote pw compatible while sticking with themes.

Hazard
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Hazard » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:27 am

malcolm_mountainslayer wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:53 am
Speed boost for SD sneaking is the only change id care to see. Everything else being enhanced the way it is actaully fits the theme of the pnp class. Giving raw sneak seems to betray the actaul intent of the class what what it is supposed to give. Having a super summon just makes it mote pw compatible while sticking with themes.
I think the speed boost is the most important change I'd like to see too. They're dancing through the shadows, not just mundanely sneaking along.. yet a rogue is faster than them! Makes me jealous :P

Not saying rogue should be slowed down, but I think SD should be faster.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Taerl » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:19 pm

Personally I wish they would remove haste from rogues and not give it to SD's. Otherwise folks will start asking for rangers to get haste with sneak in natural settings........may as well break out the merchant selling boots of haste.

Would really hate to see this server go the route of everyone having haste. Not that it's there yet but seems it's going that direction. Of course this is just my point of view.

But SD is a class I want to try next I think. Seems interesting and I'd like to give it a go. But I'm not one to use animal companions much at all if playing a ranger so thinking I won't want to use the summons much either.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by malcolm_mountainslayer » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:47 pm

Taerl wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:19 pm
Personally I wish they would remove haste from rogues and not give it to SD's. Otherwise folks will start asking for rangers to get haste with sneak in natural settings........may as well break out the merchant selling boots of haste.

Would really hate to see this server go the route of everyone having haste. Not that it's there yet but seems it's going that direction. Of course this is just my point of view.

But SD is a class I want to try next I think. Seems interesting and I'd like to give it a go. But I'm not one to use animal companions much at all if playing a ranger so thinking I won't want to use the summons much either.
Not having as much if a speed penalty while stealthing is not haste. In PnP you could run while stealthing, but with considerable penalties. There were classes that also removed this penalty in 3.5.

In pathfinder, which we are almost like sometimes with all our buffs to various classes, a mere talent pick allows one to fast sneak without penalty.

The fact that one is stuck stealthing at a slow speed regardless of how epic one's stealth skills are is kind of a damper. I mean we don't even have the option of taking the -10 penalty even if we wanted too.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Taerl » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:16 pm

malcolm_mountainslayer wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:47 pm

Not having as much if a speed penalty while stealthing is not haste. In PnP you could run while stealthing, but with considerable penalties. There were classes that also removed this penalty in 3.5.

In pathfinder, which we are almost like sometimes with all our buffs to various classes, a mere talent pick allows one to fast sneak without penalty.

The fact that one is stuck stealthing at a slow speed regardless of how epic one's stealth skills are is kind of a damper. I mean we don't even have the option of taking the -10 penalty even if we wanted too.
I'm all for being able to move quicker in stealth up to running speed with penalties applied if possible. I remember PNP and 3.5 but never got into Pathfinder enough unfortunately. I spose the rogues fast walk in stealth immulates moving quick and up to a normal running pace. Guess it just looks silly to me since it's in walking form. Looks more monkish to be which I don't like.

So yea I guess what I really meant to say is actual haste form I am against. But being able to be able to move at a natural pace in stealth with penalties I would love, if possible.

But yes you are of course correct in your response.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by The Greater Good » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:42 pm

For flavor: Shadow conj at SD 9, Greater at 11, and Shades with Epic Shadowlord, on cooldowns?

Bandaid on a bandaid: When the Shadow dies or is unsummoned, the Shadowdancer is automatically Shadow Evade'd, and their next-to-shadow sneak attacks linger for 1 round per SD level. (Increase to 2 round per SD level with epic shadowlord.)

While still mostly reliant on the shadow, they could at least hold their own for a little bit once the shadow is downed.
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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Richørd » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:02 am

The Greater Good wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:42 pm
For flavor: Shadow conj at SD 9, Greater at 11, and Shades with Epic Shadowlord, on cooldowns?

Bandaid on a bandaid: When the Shadow dies or is unsummoned, the Shadowdancer is automatically Shadow Evade'd, and their next-to-shadow sneak attacks linger for 1 round per SD level. (Increase to 2 round per SD level with epic shadowlord.)

While still mostly reliant on the shadow, they could at least hold their own for a little bit once the shadow is downed.
Giving the SD any Shadow Conj. (Standard or Greater) does not sound like a good idea.
Same goes for Shades.
Giving them an automatic Shadow Evade sounds like a change that's only usefull to lower-level Shadowdancers. The lingering sneak attacks sound a bit ridiculous for epic level SDs.

Furthermore these are suggestions.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Cerk Evermoore » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:30 pm

Stealth movement speed along with access to rogue grenades would be a nice start. Perhaps access to the rogue pre-epic feats to gain access to edodge without cross class?

However, stealth is very powerful in the meta atm. I just feel sds need a reason to go beyond the hips dip.

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Re: Shadowdancer

Post by Richørd » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:29 am

Cerk Evermoore wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:30 pm
Stealth movement speed along with access to rogue grenades would be a nice start. Perhaps access to the rogue pre-epic feats to gain access to edodge without cross class?

However, stealth is very powerful in the meta atm. I just feel sds need a reason to go beyond the hips dip.
There are plenty of reasons to go beyond the 5th level HiPS dip.

Further improving the later-level SD feats and goodies won't solve that issue. Rather I believe that the HiPS dip can be traced back to other builds taking it just to boost their own sneakyness. HiPS is a usefull tool for literally any sneaking class.

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