Shadow Warrior

Where some rogues use arcane power to feed their mischievous and curious nature, you possess a natural connection to the realms of shadow. Whether you were born with this connection, gained it through forbidden study, or were the victim of cruel experimentation, you are never alone in the darkness.

Who or what the whispers are is subject for debate, but the ethereal creatures you’ve befriended have taught you secrets from long ago and far away. You carry exotic weapons and have learned unique fighting styles not seen in generations, or from cultures you’ve yet to meet.


When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast a limited number of spells per day.


You gain the minor illusion cantrip, and two additional cantrips from the following list: blade ward, chill touch, dancing lights, friends, mage hand, message, shadow whip*, or true strike. At 10th level, you may choose one additional cantrip from the above list.

Spell Slots

The Shadow Warrior Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have available to cast your spells, as well as how many spells you know of 1st-4th level. When casting one of the spells you know, you must use a spell slot equal to the spell’s level or higher. You regain all of your used spell slots after a full rest.

Spells Known

When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you know three 1st level warlock spells. The Shadow Warrior Spellcasting table shows you when you gain access to new spells of each level. You may replace one of the warlock spells you know with a different spell of equal or lower level each time you gain a level in the shadow warrior class.

Spellcasting Ability

Shadow warriors empower their fighting style and magic through harnessing their connection to the planes of shadow. To do so, they must learn to face their own fears and master their own darkness. Your spellcasting ability for your warlock spells is Charisma. The DC of your spell’s saves equals 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus. Your attack bonus with spells equals your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Exotic Weapon Training

When you select this archetype at 3rd level you gain proficiency with nets and whips.

Choose a melee weapon with which you are proficient. The weapon you choose may not have the heavy property. You may replace the weapon’s normal damage type with bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage.

In addition, you may add one of the following properties to that weapon if it does not already possess it: finesse, reach, thrown (20/60), versatile (increase damage die by 1 when used two handed). This weapon property is the result of your training as well as the unique design of the weapon. The weapon loses this additional property while being used by a character that isn’t trained in its use (subject to GM’s approval).

You possess one weapon of this type at 3rd level. If the weapon is broken or lost, you may repair or replace the weapon during downtime activities in a city of appropriate size or nature (such as a trade port), or by using the appropriate tool kit, or by instructing a skilled smith in the weapon’s design.

You continue to train in exotic weapons as you advance in level. You may use this class feature again at 8th, 13th, and 18th level, gaining up to four exotic weapons.

Many shadow warriors train in the use of spiked or weighted chains as weapons. Adding the versatile property to a whip and changing the damage type to either piercing or bludgeoning creates a two-handed chain weapon that benefits from a dexterous user. Untrained individuals use the statistics for a normal whip (though it will deal the new damage type). Other examples include a bladed throwing ring (shortsword with the thrown property), a three-section staff (quarterstaff with the reach property), or a flexible and strong spear (spear with the finesse property).

Shadow Step

At 9th level, you gain the ability to slip through cracks in the material plane to the plane of shadow and back again. You may use a bonus action to teleport up to 30 feet from one area of dim light or darkness to an unoccupied space that is also in an area of dim light or darkness. You may attempt a Hide action at the end of the teleport as part of the bonus action.

Touch of Darkness

At 13th level, you can empower your weapons or unarmed strikes with arcane energy from the Plane of Shadow. When you hit a creature with a successful attack, you may spend a spell slot to force the target to make a Constitution save against your spell save DC. On a successful save, the target suffers disadvantage on Strength ability checks and saving throws for 1 round per level of spell slot you expend. On a failed save, the target also deals half damage on weapon attacks and natural attacks for the same duration.

Table: The Shadow Warrior
Level Cantrips Known Spells Known 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
3rd 3 3 2
4th 3 4 3
5th 3 4 3
6th 3 4 3
7th 3 5 4 2
8th 3 6 4 2
9th 3 6 4 2
10th 4 7 4 3
11th 4 8 4 3
12th 4 8 4 3
13th 4 9 4 3 2
14th 4 10 4 3 2
15th 4 10 4 3 2
16th 4 11 4 3 3
17th 4 11 4 3 3
18th 4 11 4 3 3
19th 4 12 4 3 3 1
20th 4 13 4 3 3 1

Between Worlds

At 17th level, you may take 1 minute to attune yourself to the shadows between realms. After the minute is complete, you are considered under the effects of an etherealness spell for up to 1 hour. You may dismiss the effects as a bonus action, returning to the Material Plane in the location you currently occupy. As an action, you may name a destination within the Plane of Shadow or the Plane of Faerie, such as a city, lake, or forest, and appear there in a specific location determined by your GM. If you use this ability in the Plane of Shadow or the Plane of Faerie, you return to the location from which you left the Material Plane. Once you use this ability, you may not use it again until you take a full rest.

New Spell: Shadow Whip

Illusion cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V, S, M (area of dim light or darkness)
Duration: Instantaneous

A tentacle of semi-solid shadow lashes out at a target within range. On a successful melee spell attack, the tentacle deals 1d6 cold damage and, if the target of Large size or smaller, it gains the grappled condition until the beginning of your next turn.

The damage of this spell increases by 1d6 at 5th level, then again at 11th and 17th level to a maximum of 4d6 cold damage.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5e Options: Rogue Archetypes Shadow Warrior ©2015, Rogue Genius Games. Designers: Owen K.C. Stephens and Rich E. Howard.