Your magic comes from a place drained of color, where light fights a losing battle against the relentless encroachment of darkness.

Darkness brings a tingle to the spine, reminding us of a time when we felt trapped without light and the darkness itself seemed a companion to fear.

When the light goes out, the hair on the back of your neck stands up. Was that the wind, or is something lurking in the dark, waiting to attack you? When nature’s deadliest predators hunt in darkness, their ability to see when we can’t makes us feel weak against their power.

Shadow magic can lend a sinister feel to an NPC, or cast a player character as a cursed hero who uses the power of darkness for good—at the cost of his or her soul. Spellcasters who manipulate shadow draw this mysterious, unsettling energy from alien dimensions and turn it to their own uses.

Taint of Shadow

Your magic always acts a bit differently from that of other casters. Your magical fire burns with a deep purple flame that sheds little light but casts inky shadows. The influence of shadow magic can be seen in every manifestation of your work, whether it takes the form of shadowy bonds tightening around the target of a hold person spell or the shadows that swirl like storm clouds inside your dimension door. When you choose this origin at 1st level, you darkvision out to 60 feet. Within that range, you can see in magical darkness as if it were dim light.

Evil Eye

Also starting at 1st level, you can gaze at one creature within 60 feet of you and by using a bonus action, you mark that creature with darkness. The marked creature has disadvantage on its next attack roll or skill check involving sight, unless it makes a successful Charisma saving throw. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

Dark Illusions

Starting at 6th level, you have advantage on saving throws against illusion magic. You can also cast blur or mirror image by spending 2 sorcery points.

Passage Through the Dark

At 14th level, you gain the ability to traverse between patches of darkness. When the area you occupy is lightly or heavily obscured, you can use a bonus action to step through a shadow and emerge from another shadow up to 200 feet away. You can stay inside the shadow connection for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1); while there, you are invisible, nothing can affect you, and you can’t affect anything else. Each use of this ability costs you 4 sorcery points.

Tainted Shadows

Beginning at 18th level, by spending 4 sorcery points, you radiate an aura of shadow that causes everything within 15 feet of you to become lightly obscured because of dim lighting. Any portion of that area that’s already dimly lit becomes dark instead. An enemy that starts its turn inside this aura takes 10 necrotic damage and must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or become frightened. The effect lasts until the start of your next turn.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Deep Magic for 5th Edition © 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors: Dan Dillon, Chris Harris, and Jeff Lee.