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For some, darkness is not a hindrance, but a powerful ally. Quietly stepping between shadows, nightblades are experts of stealth and subtlety, blending agile combat with potent magic to outwit and overwhelm their foes. Nightblades excel at using shadow art in innumerable ways, making them adaptable and unpredictable.

The nightblade is an archetype of the ninja class.

Limit Break (Su)

At 1st level, the nightblade receives the Limit Break (Shadowy Mists).

Shadowy Mists (Su): This Limit Break allows the nightblade to envelop a 30-ft.-radius area in a shroud of dark fog, centered on herself. This grants the nightblade and any allies within the area of effect total concealment for a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four ninja levels after 1st. Allies must be within 30 feet of the nightblade while this limit break is in effect to receive the concealment bonuses.

This ability replaces the Limit Break (Missile Barrage).

Shadow Surge (Su)

At 2nd level, the nightblade gains the ability to create a condensed reserve of energy from the Plane of Shadow which she can expend to great effect, but creating the reserve takes effort. The nightblade can spend a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity to gain a single shadow surge. When she does this, her shadow becomes darker and more distinct as it is infused with the planar energy. The shadow surge is an expendable resource that the nightblade can use to fuel her various abilities. She cannot have more than one surge at a time, but there is otherwise no limitation on how many times a day the nightblade can create or use shadow surges. The nightblade has these surges indefinitely until she expends them, though she loses her surges if she is ever unconscious, asleep, or killed. The nightblade can expend a shadow surge as a free action when making a Stealth check to enshroud herself in darkness, letting her roll twice and take the better result. The nightblade can gain new ways to use shadow surges as she grows in skill, typically through gaining a nightblade art (see below).

This ability replaces ki pool.

Nightblade Art

As a nightblade gains experience, she learns a number of techniques and powers that enhance her combat skill. Starting at 3rd level, a nightblade gains one nightblade art. She gains an additional nightblade art for every three levels of ninja attained after 3rd level. A nightblade cannot select a particular art more than once. If a nightblade art calls for a saving throw, the DC is equal to 10 + half of the ninja’s level + her Charisma modifier. A nightblade can choose from any of the following nightblade arts:

Beckoning Shadows (Su): The nightblade gains the ability to forcibly shadow shift another creature. As a standard action, the nightblade can target a single creature within 50 feet and teleport it in any direction to another location within 30 feet she can see, following the same limitations as her shadow shift ability. The destination must be on solid ground, and the teleportation cannot end in a space that is by nature hazardous to the creature the nightblade is teleporting. A Will save by the target negates the effect. The distance the nightblade teleports a creature with beckoning shadows counts triple against her total daily distance she can teleport with her shadow shift ability. Prerequisite: Nightblade 15

Combat Art (Ex): The nightblade gains a combat feat as a bonus feat.

Dark Resurgence (Su): The nightblade can quickly recover her shadow powers. Once per day as a free action, the nightblade can gain all of her shadow surges back, up to her maximum amount. Prerequisite: Nightblade 6

Disguising Veil (Sp): The nightblade can mask her appearance, as disguise self, for a number of minutes per day equal to her ninja level. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but must be spent in 1-minute increments. The DC to disbelieve the disguising veil is equal to the nightblade’s art DC, rather than the normal DC for disguise self.

Dusk Strike (Su): The nightblade gains the ability to slip her weapon between dimensions, if only for a moment. By expending a shadow surge as a swift action, the nightblade’s melee, ranged, or natural weapon shifts partially into the Plane of Shadow, bypassing a target’s defenses. The next weapon or natural attack the nightblade makes resolves against touch AC, rather than the target’s normal AC. If the nightblade doesn’t make the attack before the start of her next turn, the effect is wasted. Prerequisite: Nightblade 9

Fall of Night (Su): The nightblade can spend a shadow surge as a swift action when she confirms a critical hit to flood her target with shadowy energy. The nightblade can choose one of the following effects to inflict: blinded for 2d4 rounds, staggered for 1 round, or exhausted. A successful Fortitude save negates the effect. Prerequisite: Nightblade 15

Flexible Art (Ex): The nightblade gains a bonus feat. Prerequisite: Nightblade 12

Hidden Stride (Ex): The nightblade can move at full speed while using the Stealth skill without penalty. When in dim light, the miss chance due to concealment against the nightblade increases to 50% (rather than 20%); this does not grant total concealment, it just increases the miss chance.

Penumbral Aegis (Ex): The nightblade can use shadowstuff to redirect attacks that would normally bypass her defenses. The nightblade adds her Charisma modifier (minimum +0) as a bonus to her touch AC. This cannot make her touch AC exceed her normal AC. Prerequisite: Nightblade 12

Shadow Motion (Su): The nightblade can bend the space she is in by partially moving into the Plane of Shadow. This allows her to spend a shadow surge as a free action when making an Acrobatics, Climb, or Swim check to roll twice and take the better result.

Shadow Run (Su): The nightblade’s legs become shadowy wisps that bend and flow around the terrain. As a swift action, the nightblade can spend a shadow surge to be unaffected by difficult terrain for a number of rounds equal to her Charisma modifier (minimum 1). In addition, the nightblade adds her Charisma modifier to her CMD against attempts to trip, bull rush, reposition, or otherwise move her from her current space for the duration. Other penalties associated with moving over difficult terrain (such as damage) still apply. Prerequisite: Nightblade 6

Shifting Focus (Su): The nightblade can shift an extra 100 feet each day using her shadow shift</em ability. The nightblade can also take other willing creatures that are adjacent to her with her when she shadow shifts. She must spend an equal amount of distance for each creature brought along. Prerequisite: Nightblade 12

Void Sight (Su): The nightblade can grant others the ability to see in even the darkest of shadows. As a standard action, the nightblade can grant willing creatures within 30 feet the benefits of both a darkvision spell and a see invisibility spell, using the nightblade’s level as her caster level for each effect. The nightblade can affect one willing creature per three ninja levels she has, to a maximum of 6 creatures. The nightblade can use this ability once per day. Prerequisite: Nightblade 6

Warp Strike (Su): The nightblade can shift her weapon into the Plane of Shadows, distorting the distance between herself and her target. By expending a shadow surge as a swift action, all of her melee weapon attacks or natural attacks made during her turn have their reach increased by 5 feet. At 12th level, the range increases to 10 feet. She may also perform this with a single melee touch attack made on her turn. Alternatively, she can spend her shadow surge as a swift action to reduce the penalty on ranged attack rolls due to distance by 2 until the end of her turn. At 12th level, the penalty is reduced by an additional 2.

These abilities replace ninjutsu.

Nighteye (Ex)

At 2nd level, the nightblade gains darkvision out to 30 feet. At 8th level, this distance increases to 60 feet. If the nightblade already has darkvision, its range is increased by these amounts. She also gains Blind-Fight as a bonus feat. If she already has this feat, she can choose any other feat she qualifies for.

This ability replaces no trace.

Twin Surge (Su)

A nightblade of 8th level or higher can store up to two shadow surges at once. She can gain both surges with a single full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity or gain one surge as a standard action as normal.

This ability replaces a ninja trick gained at 8th level.

Shadow Shift (Su)

At 10th level, the nightblade gains the ability to travel between shadows as if by means of a dimension door spell. The limitation is that the magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least some dim light. The nightblade can shift 30 feet per level each day in this manner. This amount can be split among many shifts, but each one, no matter how small, counts as a 10-foot increment. This ability functions as if casting a dimension door spell for the purpose of qualifying for and using feats such as Dimensional Agility. She cannot bring other creatures along.

This ability replaces a ninja trick gained at 10th level.

See in Darkness (Su)

At 12th level, a nightblade can see perfectly in natural or magical darkness out to any distance.

This ability replaces a master trick gained at 12th level.

Triple Surge (Su)

A nightblade of 14th level or higher can store up to three shadow surges at once. She can gain all three surges with a single full-round action or can gain a single surge as a standard action.

This ability replaces a master trick gained at 14th level.