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 How to become a Shade as unwilling elf?
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Copper Elven Vampire
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  06:01:51  Show Profile  Visit Copper Elven Vampire's Homepage Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Okay... in the campaign I'm Dm'ing, a C/N gold elf of Erevan Ilesere is going to un-willingly become a shade.

PLEASE... can you all give me as many in-game possibilities as you all can? In battle would be best for our game, but I'll take ANYTHING right now. Thank you all for the help.

CEV.

Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  07:28:08  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AD&D (1E) only says this:
quote:
MM2, Shade

All knowledgeable authorities agree that shades are, or were, normal humans who through arcane magic or dark sciences have traded their souls or spirits for the essence of shadowstuff ... The true native shade is unknown, and no one knows if shades are connected with the shadow (q.v.) or some power or substance from the Plane of Shadow. The method of transmutation from living being to unliving shade life has been lost.

Any human or demihuman, if the formula is rediscovered, can become a shade. Dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves, halflings, humans, and an occasional half-orc, are known to have forsaken goodness for the dark lure of shadowstuff.

Subsequent editions focus on the abilities of shades but don't elaborate on the process to become one.

This WotC archive (related to this 4E product) states:
quote:
... shades are humans who trade part of their souls for a sliver of the Shadowfell's dark essence ... each shade undergoes a dark rebirth that transforms him or her ... In exchange for the twilight powers granted to shades, the Shadowfell taints their souls with dark thoughts and a darker disposition.

A human who chooses to become a shade is reborn into shadow through a transformative ritual that draws on the ambient magic present at shadow crossings - places where the veil between the world and its dark echo is thinnest. Known in scholarly circles as the Trail of Five Darknesses, this arduous ritual is as likely to slay its practitioner outright - obliterating body and soul - as it is to grant the ability to wield shadow magic.

The wiki sites only say "shades are humanoids who have merged with the essence of the Plane of Shadow". 3E shade templates for PCs can be found in FRCS (2001), Races of Faerūn, and Dragon #307.

I'm inclined to think the process cannot normally be done unwillingly; giving up part of your own soul is the sort of thing which usually requires very deliberate preparation and effort. The overall concept seems vaguely similar to liches transferring their souls into phylacteries, and (aside from one freak incident in ancient Netheril) liches are never made involuntarily or accidentally. The Gygaxian wording in the 1E entry (referring to a "secret formula") is similar to the language used when describing preparation for lichdom. Of course evil necromancers can violate the living and the dead and those caught between in all sorts of unimaginably vile ways, they might conceivably tear a victim's screaming soul out and feed into the hungry darkness.

Eat lots of garlic. It keeps elves and vampires away.
Don't stick your sword into dragons. You don't know where they've been.
Avoid stepping on halflings. They'll stick to your boots and smell awful, and you'll never really scrape them off.
[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 30 Mar 2012 07:35:12
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Copper Elven Vampire
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  07:35:58  Show Profile  Visit Copper Elven Vampire's Homepage Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What about a Shadow Adept (said Gold elf above), casting Vampiric touch on a shade while the shade slipped from life to death and recieved the essence?? Too far fetched?
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Ayrik
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  07:53:31  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Your DM's call is not less valid than mine.

I am a bit curious about who the quoted "knowledgeable authorities" and "scholarly circles" familiar with shade-making might be, and how they possess this knowledge. Prior to the return of the Shadovar there may have been no more than a few handfuls of shades in all Faerūn, they were much rarer than liches.

Eat lots of garlic. It keeps elves and vampires away.
Don't stick your sword into dragons. You don't know where they've been.
Avoid stepping on halflings. They'll stick to your boots and smell awful, and you'll never really scrape them off.
[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 30 Mar 2012 07:54:37
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Quale
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  08:02:41  Show Profile Send Quale a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He could find Charon's Claw
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Diffan
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USA
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  11:19:53  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Copper Elven Vampire

What about a Shadow Adept (said Gold elf above), casting Vampiric touch on a shade while the shade slipped from life to death and recieved the essence?? Too far fetched?



That's actually a great idea. Keep in mind that you don't need to have any official rulings as to how this might work, and 'winging' it is a great way to go. Of course, if the PCs doesn't want to be a shade and it's something that your trying to infect him with, then I'd allow him a Will saving throw when the deed happens. But if he wasnt to become a shade, then it's an excellent idea.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Erik Scott de Bie
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  16:29:02  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Keep in mind that a person can also be tricked into accepting the shade-ness willingly, if he doesn't realize the cost or full consequences, or thinks (correctly or incorrectly) that they are less important than the goal. Sacrificing part of himself to help another or accomplish his goals is a definite possibility.

Or perhaps he got a little too far into a scheme and he got caught up in a shade-making ritual before he could escape?

Being captured and subjected to dark rituals is also a possibility.

I wouldn't recommend a DM force something so profoundly altering on a character unless the player is on board with the change.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

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Icelander
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  18:11:16  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie


I wouldn't recommend a DM force something so profoundly altering on a character unless the player is on board with the change.


Would you apply that reasoning to any of the following; PC death, PC crippling, PC petrification or PC polymorphing?

If so, you clearly play very differently than I do, but I recognise that what falls under the umbrella 'RPGs' are really a lot of related hobbies springing from a common source and a lot of gamers really have few things in common when it comes to what they want and like from their campaigns.

I want there to be meaningful risk and non-preordained outcomes for everything, with player decisions and task-resolution results (dice rolls) coming into conflict with some (hopefully) interesting events of the game world and whatever happens then being the narrative, no matter whether it's what anyone intended or not. Others prefer to select outcomes, in part or whole, with the enjoyment being in playing out the characters on the way. Others prefer other things, almost as many as the number of gamers. And that's a-okay, viva le différence!

If you do apply the results of dice roll impartially when the result in some outcomes, but not others, however, I'd like to hear your reasons for making that distinction. I've heard other DMs say that they would not allow X or Y to happen to a character without player approval, but feel completely differently for violent death or other permanent damage. I don't think I've ever gotten an answer for why, though, so I felt I should find someone who did that and ask flat out. You may be it.

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Kilvan
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Canada
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  18:41:01  Show Profile Send Kilvan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, a character could be unwilling and unknowing, but the players totally knows and agrees with it. After all, more players would prefer to be a Shade than not. It is possible to create a situation where the character is forced into the transformation, but the player goes with it for RP reasons. Maybe becoming a Shade would allow him to navigate the Shadow Plane to rescue a loved one for example.

As for the recipient being Elf, we know from the description that it is possible (as noted above), after all Hadrhune was an elf once. It is certainly against nature, like resurrection or undeath, something that most elves are repulsed with.

Oblivion loomed on every side, the offspring lived, basking in the realization that each moment could be the last moment.
--This was the beauty of chaos
--This was the beauty of Lolth
--This was the doom for all, but one

Quote from "Extinction"
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  18:55:41  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This gold elf Temple Raider of Erevan Ilesere is not dissimilar to Galaeron Nihmedu. Galaeron evolved into a Shadowcaster PrC but he might have just as easily become an actual shade, possibly against his will or (in hindsight) against his better judgement.

Erevis Cale became a shade and his tales often explore aspects of what this cost in terms of his essential humanity. Drasek Riven also became a shade but it doesn't seem to bother him as much, he was always mechanically efficient and didn't really have a lot of humanity to lose before his transformation anyhow, although it seems like he clings half-desperately to what little he has left. A minor character from the Twilight Trilogy, Tamlin Uskevren, eagerly seeks to become a shade and is even willing to "deal with the devil" (blindly hand half of Sembia over to his dubious new Shadovar allies) as payment - but he eventually learns that the real price is far more intangible and profound than he naļvely expected. Rivalen has been a shade for millennia, and although perhaps the most passionate and "alive" of the Princes Shade he is almost incapable of remembering or experiencing living joy, his introspection invariably focusses upon his greatest moments of suffering, anger, and betrayal; he is in many ways a mindlessly autonomous automaton serving Telamont and Shar.

Such characters are quite literally shadows of the men they used to be. They can still think and act and feel as they did in life, but their passions seem hollow and meaningless, they view the world in dark tones, they are often acutely aware of their inhumanity yet oblivious to penetrating how their swirling unreadable depths constantly affect them and those close to them, their perceptions are attuned to darkness instead of the bright tastes and smells and pleasures of life. Their unlife is not unlike that of vampires and liches; their new instincts and capacities inexorably erode what they once were, they seem to constantly live vicariously through themselves, like mannequins made of shadow. The living instinctly (if subconsciously) recoil from shades, recognizing them as somehow unnatural and wrong, a pact with darkness, a violation between life and death.

Eat lots of garlic. It keeps elves and vampires away.
Don't stick your sword into dragons. You don't know where they've been.
Avoid stepping on halflings. They'll stick to your boots and smell awful, and you'll never really scrape them off.
[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 30 Mar 2012 19:22:45
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Hawkins
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Posted - 30 Mar 2012 :  19:20:59  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think that if he were to be taken to the Fane of Shadows (a la Ervis Cale Trilogy) and forcibly restrained on the alter that Cale used to become a Shade that might work.

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Copper Elven Vampire
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256 Posts

Posted - 31 Mar 2012 :  04:37:13  Show Profile  Visit Copper Elven Vampire's Homepage Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quick overview of said Gold elf.

A rogue/wizard who heard the calling of Erevan Ilesere, was beginning to specialize in the sub-school of shadow. (Illusion, darkness, phantasms). After several years of constant study on the shadow sub-school, he was sent a vision by Erevan in his sleep in which Erevan had stolen a strand of Shar's Shadow Weave and handed it to said gold elf. Upon waking he knows his connection to the sub-school of shadow has deepened. Within days he is casting spells as a Shadow Adept with the full understanding that his god had chosen him to weild such magic for events to come in the future.

So now he's Rogue/Wizard/Shadow Adept of Erevan Ilesere.

To make a very, very long story short... Shar's upset beyond belief. The Shadovar, her loose clergy and The Vampiress Dutchess of Venom herself all want him dead for his gods theft of the shadow weave. SOMEWHERE in all this I have to find a way for said gold elf to become a Shade unwillingly in service to his god, Erevan Ilesere.

Any thoughts??
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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 31 Mar 2012 :  16:27:43  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Given that we know at least three or four different ways that individuals can become Shades, it's left up to DM's fiat, since an any number of other ways to do so- easy or hard- can exist.

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Fellfire
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Posted - 31 Mar 2012 :  16:51:00  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

quote:
Originally posted by Copper Elven Vampire

What about a Shadow Adept (said Gold elf above), casting Vampiric touch on a shade while the shade slipped from life to death and recieved the essence?? Too far fetched?



That's actually a great idea. Keep in mind that you don't need to have any official rulings as to how this might work, and 'winging' it is a great way to go. Of course, if the PCs doesn't want to be a shade and it's something that your trying to infect him with, then I'd allow him a Will saving throw when the deed happens. But if he wasnt to become a shade, then it's an excellent idea.



I think it was in Realms of Shadow RAS wrote a short story where Artemis Entreri unintentionally absorbed the essence of a shade with his magical life-draining vampiric dagger.

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TBeholder
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Posted - 31 Mar 2012 :  16:51:34  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Starting from known cases?
The easiest way is by accident, just like Artemis Entreri. All it took is one vampiric dagger and one dead shade, after all. The subject doesn't even need to knowingly possess a vampiric weapon! Just run into a fight with some shades, lose his old weapon, grab a recently found, but not identified yet (it's obviously something enchanted, but not aligned as such) weapon or simply the nearest pointy thing dropped by an already killed shade and - surprise.
A more convoluted way: Galaeron Nihmedu became an elven Shadow Weave user voluntarily. There's unlikely to be followers, but this depends on just how desperate they can be - phaerimm are Very Bad News, after all. Then one magical mishap, and...

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Delwa
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USA
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Posted - 31 Mar 2012 :  18:10:01  Show Profile Send Delwa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My main PC (wood elf rogue) became a shade by means of a wish, though he wasn't wanting to become a shade, he was wishing for the power over darkness to get revenge on the drow that murdered his family. He had a Luck Blade with one wish left in it, and my DM looked at me when the wish was done and said, "congratulations, you're a shade"

- Delwa of Tangled Trees
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jerrod
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Posted - 31 Mar 2012 :  19:42:07  Show Profile Send jerrod a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my most humble opinion, a situation similar to. The case with the shadowstone( Artifact ) would be ideal. One touch and you are hooked! Devious are the methods of the drow!lol

I haven't been here in years but I used to be DARKFLAME MILLITHOR(DROW ARCHMAGE of wildmagic
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Copper Elven Vampire
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Posted - 01 Apr 2012 :  08:51:56  Show Profile  Visit Copper Elven Vampire's Homepage Send Copper Elven Vampire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jerrod

In my most humble opinion, a situation similar to. The case with the shadowstone( Artifact ) would be ideal. One touch and you are hooked! Devious are the methods of the drow!lol



LOVED that book. Shadowstone.
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