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The dark nemesis of light, a dark mage is an eldritch wielder of dark magic and illusion, wrapped in shadowy armor and cloaked in black robes, lurking in the darkness. They are deadly combatants, steeped in the knowledge of the dark arts, striding forth from the shadows to strike without warning.

The dark mage is an archetype of the black mage class.

Dark Secrets (Su)

At 1st level, a dark mage learns the hidden secrets surrounding the casting of shadow spells. He can add a number of spells from the illusionist spell list equal to his Intelligence modifier to his spell list. He can add only illusion spells from the shadow subschool or spells with the dark school to his list of spells known in this manner. Each time he gains a black mage level, he can choose to replace one of these spells for a new appropriate spell on the illusionist spell list.

This ability replaces cantrips, but the dark mage gains the detect magic and read magic cantrips. He can cast either of these as 1st-level spells.

Dark Magery (Su)

A dark mage gains access to the following black magery in replacement of elemental mastery.

  • Dark Mastery: This increases the dark mage’s caster level by 1 for all spells from the dark school.

This ability replaces elemental mastery (black magery).

Tenebrous Magic

A dark mage receives Tenebrous Spell as a bonus feat at 1st level, and can apply its effects to his spells without increasing their effective MP cost. In addition, if the spell has the dark school or is of the illusion (shadow) subschool, the spell’s effective caster level and any associated save DCs are increased by 2 (instead of 1), and any attempts at dispelling the spell in darkness or dim light take a –4 penalty on the dispel check (instead of –2).

This ability replaces spell proficiency.

Channel Darkness (Su)

At 2nd level, a dark mage, rather than channeling holy or shadow energy, instead channels the power of eternal darkness. This ability is similar to channeling shadow energy, but instead of healing undead and dealing damage to living creatures, this blast of shadowy power can only harm creatures and create darkness.

Channeling darkness causes a burst that affects all creatures in a 30-foot radius centered on the dark mage. Living creatures take 1d4 points of damage, increasing by 1d4 at every two levels beyond 2nd (to a maximum of 10d4 at 20th level). Undead creatures are not healed by this energy, but are instead staggered for 1 round by the overwhelming power. Creatures in the burst receive a Will saving throw to negate the effects.

Instead of harming creatures with this energy, a dark mage can instead use channel darkness to snuff out light sources within the burst. Non-magical light sources such as torches, lanterns, or sunrods are automatically extinguished. Any 0th level spell with the light descriptor in the area is dispelled (as dispel). The level of light spells that can be dispelled with channel darkness increases by 1 for every two levels beyond 2nd, up to being able to dispel 9th level or lower light spells at 20th level. Whether the magical effects are dispelled or not, the illumination level in the area drops by 1 step, as the spell darkness, for 1 minute. At 10th level, the light level drops by 2 steps. At 15th level, it drops by 3 steps, and areas of dim light or darkness become supernaturally dark (even creatures with darkvision cannot see within it). The shadows created by channel darkness is treated as a darkness spell equal to the level of light spell it can dispel (0th at 2nd level, increasing by 1 level for every two dark mage levels after 2nd).

A dark mage may channel darkness a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier. Doing so is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A dark mage must present her symbol to use this ability.

For the purposes of feats that affect channel energy, this ability counts as channeling shadow energy. If the feat changes the way the dark mage channels or deals damage with his channeling, use the amount of damage this ability harms living creatures to determine the damage-dealing potential of the affected ability. For instance, if a 5th-level dark mage takes the Channel Smite feat, his channeling deals an additional 3d4 points of damage to living creatures on a successful hit (though they may save to negate the damage).

This ability replaces elemental shield.

Bolt of Darkness (Su)

At 2nd level, as a ranged touch attack up to 30 feet, a dark mage can cause a creature’s vision to be fraught with shadows and darkness. The creature touched treats all other creatures as if they had concealment, suffering a 20% miss chance on all attack rolls. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to half his black mage level (minimum 1). He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier.

This ability replaces a mage talent gained at 2nd level.

Cloak of Darkness (Su)

At 4th level, a dark mage conjures a cloak of shadowy darkness that grants him a +4 armor bonus and a +2 circumstance bonus on Stealth checks. At 8th level, and every four levels thereafter, these bonuses increase by +2. He can use this cloak for 1 hour per day per black mage level. The duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be spent in 1-hour increments.

This ability replaces elemental seal.

Penumbral Casting (Su)

At 4th level, whenever a dark mage casts a dark spell when he is in dim light or darkness, the spell takes effect at a +1 caster level. In addition, if the dark mage casts a dark spell that has one or more metamagic feats applied, he reduces the total MP cost to the spell by 1 from metamagic feats (minimum 0).

This ability replaces a mage talent gained at 4th level.

Dark Shifter (Su)

At 6th level, a dark mage can expend MP equal to the spell level as a move action to change the target of an ongoing spell effect with the illusion (shadow) or a dark school spell. The new target must be within the spell’s original range, and uses the dark mage’s level as the effective caster level for the purpose of determining the maximum distance the effect can be moved from the dark mage. If the spell effect he is moving originated from another creature, he must succeed at a caster level check to reposition the effect (DC = 11 + the effect’s caster level). Failure wastes his move action, but doesn’t expend MP.

This ability replaces counter magic.

Shade Sight (Sp)

The dark mage gains a bonus on Perception checks to locate invisible or incorporeal creatures equal to half his black mage level (minimum 1). At 6th level, as a standard action, the dark mage can look into shadows to see out of another area of darkness nearby. This functions as clairaudience/clairvoyance, but only for sight (not hearing). The dark mage must be in an area of dim light or darkness to use this ability, and can only scry upon another area of dim light or darkness. A creature’s shadow counts as dim light for this purpose, but if the creature moves from its current space the effect ends. Unlike with clairaudience/clairvoyance, his low-light vision, darkvision, and see in darkness abilities function through the sensor (if the dark mage has them). The dark mage can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to his black mage level, but these rounds do not need to be consecutive.

This ability replaces a mage talent gained at 6th level.

Eyes of Darkness (Su)

At 7th level, a dark mage’s vision is not impaired by lighting conditions, even in absolute darkness and magic darkness. He can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to half his black mage level. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

This ability replaces arcane knowledge.

Wings of Darkness (Su)

At 7th level, as a swift action, a dark mage can manifest a set of translucent, inky wings that grant you a fly speed of 60 feet with good maneuverability. He can use these wings for 1 minute per day per black mage level. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be spent in 1-minute increments. At 11th level, he can use these wings to fly as if with the flight spell once per day. Used in this way, the ability lasts for up to 1 hour per level, and counts as his total use of this ability for the day.

This ability replaces new arcana.

Shadow Step (Su)

At 8th level, the dark mage can use this ability to walk through the Shadow Plane and reappear as a move action. The dark mage can travel up to 30 feet per black mage level per day in this fashion, either in a single round or broken up across multiple shadow steps. This movement must be used in 5-foot increments and does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Travel through the Shadow Plane is imprecise; when the dark mage arrives, he re-enters 1 square off target, as per the rules for thrown splash weapons. If this would place the dark mage in an occupied square, he instead arrives in the nearest safe location. When the dark mage arrives, he is cloaked in shadow and gains concealment as the blur spell for 1 round. The dark mage may bring other willing creatures with him, but he must expend an equal amount of distance for each additional creature brought with him. They likewise re-enter off target (roll location for each creature) and are cloaked in shadow for 1 round.

This ability replaces a mage talent gained at 8th level.

Impenetrable Darkness (Ex)

At 9th level, the dark mage adds +2 to the Difficulty Class of all saving throws against his spells that cause darkness or blindness. This bonus stacks with the Spell Focus or Greater Spell Focus feats when casting such spells. He also gains a +2 enhancement bonus when attempting to bypass spell resistance when casting such spells.

This ability replaces school power.

Blackest Night (Su)

At 10th level, a dark mage conjures an area of intense shadows, the mixture of darkness and shadow energy ravaging creatures within. He can create one 10-foot cube of darkness per black mage level. These cubes can be arranged in any pattern he desires, but each cube must be adjacent to another and one must be adjacent to him. Any creature caught in the darkness when he uses this ability takes 1d8 points of shadow damage per black mage level plus an additional 1d6 points of Strength damage as the destructive energy tears at them. A Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the black mage’s level + his Intelligence modifier) halves both the shadow damage and Strength damage. At 15th level, the Strength damage increases to 2d6. He can use this ability once per day plus an additional time per day at 15th and 20th level.

This ability replaces doublecast.

Dweller in Darkness (Sp)

At 11th level, once per day, a dark mage casts his psyche into the void of space to attract the attention of a terrible otherworldly being. The dweller in darkness behaves in all ways as if he had cast phantasmal killer. At 17th level, the dweller in darkness can be perceived by more than one creature, as if he had cast weird. The dark mage uses his Intelligence for determining the spell DC for both spells.

This ability replaces loremaster and bypass spell resistance.

Dark Wizard (Su)

Upon reaching 20th level, a dark mage’s body becomes permanently suffused with the essence of the Shadow Plane. He gains regeneration 5 while in dim light or darkness and immunity to ice damage, shadow damage, critical hits, and sneak attacks. His regeneration is suppressed while in any level of illumination brighter than dim light. In addition, any spells he casts of the shadow subschool or with the dark school are automatically enlarged without affecting their MP cost. In addition, his cloak of darkness ability is now permanent and only temporary stops working in broad daylight or while under the daylight spell.

This ability replaces black wizard.