Prestige Classes


"Even the brightest light must cast a shadow."

-Doomveil, initiate of the Shadow Sun clan

A Shadow Sun ninja is a martial artist who studies the balance between good and evil, light and dark. Founded by a reformed half-fiend, this fighting school teaches its students to find power in balance. A Shadow Sun ninja uses dark energies to drain his foe's life, but then turns and uses the power of light to lend that stolen strength to an ally. A Shadow Sun ninja is a study in contrasts. She knows that evil lurks in the hearts of all living creatures. Even the purest of the pure suffer temptation. By exploring her inner demons, bringing them into the light, and accepting them as part of her soul, she achieves a deeper understanding of herself and the strength within her. A Shadow Sun ninja would argue that denying, rather than accepting, one's base impulses would be the same as refusing to use one's left arm.


Most Shadow Sun ninjas are monks or ninjas who have studied the Setting Sun and Shadow Hand martial disciplines. In some cases, a swordsage enters this class. A rogue or fighter who studied those two disciplines is also eligible for this class, but such characters usually lack the unarmed fighting abilities that this class demands.


As a Shadow Sun ninja, you walk the line between good and evil. You have seen the darkness that lurks within your own heart. As a heroic soul, you know that if darkness rests in you, it must dwell in every mortal's heart. You are naturally suspicious of others and prone to seek out hidden threats. Even while sitting in the midst of your companions in the warmest and welcoming of environments, you feel the darkness clawing at your soul, and you see the lurking evil that waits in the hearts of all creatures.

You pursue good for its own sake. If you arrive in a town beset by evil and drive out or slay the villains, you are likely to leave without saying a word or making any effort to gather acclaim or befriend those you saved. A few months later, you might return and ensure that your good deeds have endured. You know that when evil falls, people who were good and welcoming when you left might have turned to tyranny in your absence.

Once you have completed your training and left the Shadow Sun enclave where you learned the order's secrets, you can expect little contact with other ninjas. The process of joining the Shadow Suns forces you to look at the worst parts of your soul without flinching. Although the ninjas of this order are strong enough to endure such trials, few of them wish to be reminded of them. Shadow Sun dojos are usually austere, isolated places with the ambience of a graveyard or a tomb. Only the Shadowspeaker, the dojo's head trainer and master, dwells there on a permanent basis. A Shadow Sun ninja seeks a Shadowspeaker's advice only under the most pressing circumstances.


In battle, you alternate between stealth and a vicious, frontal assault. Your training focuses on the duality of your soul, and this comes through in your tactics. Many of your abilities shift between light and dark effects. Thus, you might lurk in the shadows to take advantage of darkness abilities, then leap into the fray to bathe your opponents in avenging light. As the shadow returns, you slip away to start the process again.

The Spring Attack feat is an excellent choice for you, as is Blind-Fight. Darkness shrouds you, but you have no special ability to see through it. A magic item that grants darkvision provides you with an important edge. The original Shadow Sun ninjas were half-orcs and half-demons. When they developed this fighting style, they gave little thought to creatures who were blind in the dark.


Those who seek the Shadow Sun path are usually tormented by some deep divide within their personalities. If you join this prestige class, you are likely no different. Half-orcs who struggle to walk a righteous path despite racially motivated hatred and taunts find the Shadow Sun path appealing, particularly if those same individuals already follow the monk's path and make an effort to control the darkness that lies within them.

Once you join the Shadow Sun order and master its basic teachings (in game terms, take 1st level in this class), you are on your own. The path of the Shadow Sun is one meant for the individual. Others cannot help you find the balance between your good and evil natures. Only you can achieve this. Some Shadow Sun ninjas never again cross paths with a member of this order once they leave their dojo.

As mentioned above, Spring Attack and Blind-Fight are excellent feat choices for members of this prestige class. You should also consider gaining ranks in Hide, Move Silently, Tumble, and Balance. These skills allow you to move about the battlefield more easily.


Shadow Sun ninjas rely only upon themselves. Some of them long for the companionship of good, reliable friends. Thus, they frequently join with heroic adventuring bands to fight injustice. However, Shadow Sun ninjas rarely develop deep friendships.

Many Shadow Sun ninjas adopt new names to reflect the path they walk. A ninja uses this name when dealing with others but sometimes, when she forms a particularly close bond with an ally, she might share her birth name. This act shows deep trust and faith. To a Shadow Sun ninja, her old name represents the turmoil that raged within her before she learned to control her dark side. In essence, a ninja is giving her companion the name of the dark twin that resides within her soul. When a Shadow Sun ninja overextends her powers and falls into darkness, the vampire that arises in her place typically uses her birth name.


"The pedestal lies empty because she never told us her name, nor would she sit to allow us to capture her form in stone. Even if she doesn't want to be remembered, we will sing of her deeds. It isn't every year that a hero slays a dragon."

-Ardas Runemorn, Thane of the Eight Peak Spire

Shadow Sun ninjas rarely gather in large numbers, walk the land in anonymity, and train in remote, inhospitable outposts. Thus, adding them to your campaign is relatively easy. They could be active in a region for years, but little lore about them exists aside from tales of nameless strangers who appear, defeat evil, and fade back into the night.

A character who might pursue this path is most likely to discover the Shadow Sun ninjas by accident. For example, a Shadow Sun ninja might, if she sees a prospective member, secretly place a map to the nearest dojo within the possible ninja's possessions. If the petitioner can reach the dojo and survive the training, she becomes a ninja. Many Shadow Sun warriors don't even know the identities of the ninjas who set them along this path.


The Shadow Sun ninjas lack a formal, complex organization. They are wanderers and loners. At times, a Shadowspeaker might send word to all the Shadow Sun ninjas he trained. This event comes to pass only when the Shadowspeaker rests on death's door, in which case the ninjas choose a new Shadowspeaker from among their ranks, or if a great evil has arisen. Such gatherings to defeat an evil being, called shadow hunts, happen perhaps once each century. If an evil power is mighty enough to demand such attention, few of the Shadow Sun ninjas are likely to survive the battle against it.

The Shadow Sun ninjas lack any recorded history, aside from a few rare scrolls that compile information on the enemies they face. In the aftermath of a shadow hunt, the survivors build an elaborate tomb for their fallen comrades, record the events of their deaths, and store scrolls describing the evil they faced for the benefit of future generations. To avoid grave robbers and other despoilers, the Shadow Sun ninjas usually build these tombs far from civilization. If the need is great enough, the ninjas share the location of these tombs with those who would benefit from the information hidden in them.

NPC Reactions

Shadow Sun ninjas rarely provoke an extreme reaction, since few know of their true nature, their powers, and their goals. Members of this order are happiest when they can perform their deeds with few complications and little or no attention. Most common folk regard the ninjas as slightly intimidating. Their quiet, reserved manner, combined with their great fighting talent, makes them vaguely menacing. Some towns and cities drive off Shadow Sun ninjas for fear that they consort with evil powers. The ninjas typically avoid such locations, but should evil arise in one of them, they might simply work in secret.


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research Shadow Sun ninjas to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: Shadow Sun ninjas are loners who fight evil on their own terms.

DC 15: Supposedly, these ninjas use the powers of darkness against their enemies.

DC 20: Shadow Sun ninjas harness both dark and light in battle. This represents the competition in their own souls between their good and evil aspects. They are heroic, but they draw their power by skirting close to the powers of evil.

One does not find a Shadow Sun ninja. Rather, a ninja finds you. Sometimes, gangs of toughs pose as members of this prestige class to strike terror in commoners and other weak folk. Such antics end quickly if a real Shadow Sun ninja hears of them.


A Shadow Sun ninja works well as a mysterious, perhaps untrustworthy NPC who allies with the characters against a powerful, supernatural threat. A wandering ninja might know something about a demon's weaknesses, and the PCs must work with him to overcome the monster. However, the ninja's tendency toward suspicion makes her relationship with the party icy at best. The characters must decide whether to trust the ninja or strike out on their own. A villain might pose as a Shadow Sun ninja, using the order's mysterious nature to cloak his true nature.

This prestige class is a good choice for a player who likes a character with a tragic backstory. Many Shadow Sun ninjas seek to escape a tragedy or mistake in their past. A PC laboring under a dreadful curse, or one who is secretly a reformed villain, is a good match for this class.


The word "ninja" strikes many DMs as an anachronism, or at least a misplaced cultural element, in the D&D game world. This prestige class could also represent an order of monster hunters, a band of good-aligned assassins that strikes down evildoers, or a martial art taught by a specific, isolated monastery. The key trait in this prestige class is the struggle between light and dark that lies at its center. The rest of the description is merely meant to inspire. If the descriptions don't work for you, think of any races, religious orders, and other aspects of your campaign where the struggle between light and dark would be a good fit.

Sample Encounter

The PCs are likely to encounter a Shadow Sun ninja at any time they fight against an evil force that threatens the land.

EL 8: Doomveil (LG female half-orc monk 6/Shadow Sun ninja 2) is a half-orc Shadow Sun ninja who seeks to right the wrongs she committed in the past. Once, she was a member of an evil monastic order dedicated to Hextor. Born and raised in the monastery, she never knew anything beyond combat training, devotional prayers to Hextor, and the occasional raid to quash a peasant uprising in the conquered land around monastery. During one such raid, she met a cleric of Pelor who, recognizing the fundamental spark of good within her soul, convinced her to turn aside her evil ways. Since then, Doomveil has trained as a Shadow Sun ninja. If the characters fight against Hextor and his minions, they might find her lurking at the edge of their struggle. She provides assistance by passing along intelligence she gathers, scouting Hextor's temples in disguise, and so forth. If the characters are close to victory, she offers her direct assistance to aid them.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become a Shadow Sun ninja, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any good.

Base Attack Bonus: +3.

Skills: Hide 8 ranks.

Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike.

Martial Maneuvers: Must know one 2nd-level Setting Sun or Shadow Hand maneuver, one Setting Sun maneuver of any level, and one Shadow Hand maneuver of any level.

Class Skills

The Shadow Sun ninja's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Shadow Sun Ninja

Level Base
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 1 0 0 Monk abilities, touch of the Shadow Sun
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 0 0 0 Flame of the Shadow Sun
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 1 0 0
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 0 0 0 Light within darkness
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 0 1 1 Darkness within light
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 1 0 0
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 0 0 0 Void of the Shadow Sun
8th +6 +6 +6 +6 0 0 0 Child of shadow and light
9th +6 +6 +6 +6 1 0 0
10th +7 +7 +7 +7 0 1 0 Balance of light and dark
Class Features

A Shadow Sun ninja is a stealthy, unarmed warrior who draws on the power of light and dark. Many of her abilities come in two forms. She must use the first form of a power before she can use the second. A Shadow Sun ninja cloaks herself in darkness to hide from her enemies, then leaps from the shadows with a burst of light to blind her foes.

All of the following are class features of the Shadow Sun ninja prestige class.

Maneuvers: At 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th level, you gain one new maneuver known from the Setting Sun or Shadow Hand disciplines. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. You add your full Shadow Sun ninja levels to your initiator level to determine your total initiator level and your highest-level maneuvers known.

At 5th level and 10th level, you gain an additional maneuver readied per day.

Stances Known: At 5th level, you learn a new martial stance from the Setting Sun or Shadow Hand disciplines. You must meet a stance's prerequisite to learn it.

Monk Abilities: Your add your class level to your monk level to determine your class-based AC bonus, unarmed damage, unarmored speed bonus, penalty on your attacks when using your flurry of blows ability, and the number of daily attempts of your Stunning Fist feat.

If you have no monk levels, you gain the AC bonus of a monk whose level equals your Shadow Sun ninja level. In addition, you gain additional uses of the Stunning Fist feat as a monk. (Your non-monk, non-Shadow Sun ninja class levels provide one use per four levels and your monk, and Shadow Sun ninja class levels provide one use per level.)

You do not count your class levels for the purpose of determining when you gain any other monk class features, such as bonus feats, evasion, or other special abilities.

Touch of the Shadow Sun (Su): A Shadow Sun ninja strikes a careful balance between light and dark, good and evil. Although your heart is dedicated to good, you know that the shadow of evil will always be a part of you. This realization, along with careful control of your ki energy, allows you to wield the energy of both the dark and light aspects of your being. This understanding and mastery allows you to deal damage with one attack, then turn and heal an ally with the reverse of that harmful energy.

With a melee touch attack made as a standard action, you can deal negative energy damage equal to your base unarmed damage + your Wis modifier. Note that undead are healed by this attack, since it uses negative energy.

In the round after you use this ability, you can touch a creature as a standard action and heal an amount of damage equal to the damage you dealt with your negative energy touch on the previous round. If the target of this healing touch makes no effort to prevent you from touching him, you can touch the creature as a swift action.

You cannot use both aspects of this ability on the same round, nor can you use the negative energy touch again in a round after you have already successfully used it. After you channel negative energy into a creature, you convert that energy into a positive energy charge that prevents you from using the negative energy aspect of this ability until the positive energy has been discharged.

Flame of the Shadow Sun (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, you can create a protective cloak of negative energy by using your ki. This cloak absorbs cold damage. You can then gather this energy, transform it, and unleash it as a searing attack.

As an immediate action, you can shroud yourself in shimmering, dark energy that provides resistance to cold 10 until the start of your next turn. If this resistance reduces the damage you take from any attack or effect, you can take a swift action on your next turn to hurl a bolt of fiery energy with a range of 60 feet. This bolt requires a ranged touch attack to hit and deals 2d6 points of fire damage.

Light within Darkness (Su): From 4th level on, the darkness cannot muffle your inner light. Rather, the shadows cause it to seethe and roil as the light within you struggles to break free.

If you make a melee attack against an opponent on the round after you make a successful Hide check, you burst into a searing corona of light. All opponents within 60 feet of you that failed to detect you while you were hiding must make Fortitude saves (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Wis modifier) or be blinded for 1 round. Creatures who are aware of the ninja, such as those who made successful Spot checks to notice her, are unaffected by this attack.

Darkness within Light (Su): You know that while light cannot exist without darkness, the opposite is also true. By focusing your ki and closing your eyes, you view the world in a vague, shadowy form. Those also trapped within darkness appear clear and distinct before you.

Starting at 5th level, you can close your eyes and willfully ignore any other senses that confer the ability to pinpoint the location of a creature (such as blindsense, blindsight, and scent). You become effectively blinded, but you gain a special benefit on attacks made against targets that are also blinded or effectively blinded. Against such foes, you ignore the drawbacks for fighting while blinded. Instead, you gain a +4 bonus on melee attack rolls and a +4 bonus on melee damage rolls against such enemies. In addition, if you have the Stunning Fist feat, blinded opponents take a -2 penalty on their saves to resist your stunning attacks.

You suffer the penalties for being blinded and deafened until the start of your next turn. The blindness cannot be negated through any means, magical or mundane, until that time. You gain the benefit of this ability if you willingly turn off your sense of sight or if some effect, such as a blindness spell, robs you of your sight.

Void of the Shadow Sun (Su): You eventually learn to draw upon the power of light to shield you from attacks. Even if an opponent manages to breach this shield, it is not destroyed. Rather than fade away, the shield shifts into an aura of icy cold, black energy that can harm your enemies.

Starting at 7th level, as a swift action you can wreath yourself in a halo of bright, flaming light. You gain a +2 deflection bonus to AC. This ability lasts until the start of your next turn. If an opponent successfully hits you despite your improved AC, you lose the deflection bonus to AC and you cannot use this ability again on your next turn. However, you can project a pulse of frigid, black energy in a 30-foot-radius burst around you as a standard action in the round after your shield is pierced. Enemies in this area take 8d6 points of cold damage, with a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Wis modifier) for half damage.

Child of Shadow and Light (Su): As you learn to harness the power of your ki, you become capable of spilling forth light and dark energy. Beginning at 8th level, you can focus your power, engulfing the area around you in alternating patterns of light and dark.

While you are in a Setting Sun or Shadow Hand stance, you can forgo its normal benefit as a swift action to gain the effect of child of shadow and light. This ability lasts as long as you would maintain the Setting Sun or Shadow Hand stance, or as described below. You can also stop using child of shadow and light and resume gaining the normal benefit of the stance as a swift action.

If you use this ability to exert light energy, the area around you fills with blinding light. All enemies within a 60-foot-radius burst become dazzled for 1 round. This is a 9th-level spell for purposes of determining how it interacts with magical darkness.

If you exert dark energy, the area around you is cast into total darkness for 1 round in a 60-foot-radius burst. This ability is considered a 9th-level spell for the purpose of determining how it interacts with magical light.

As long as you maintain this stance, you alternate between projecting light and darkness. If this ability is active at the beginning of your turn, its effects reverse. If it projects light, it now projects darkness, and vice versa.

You cannot activate this ability in the same round in which you end its effect.

Balance of Light and Dark (Su): As a Shadow Sun ninja, you strive to control your dark side, even as you use it to power your martial arts. Sometimes, particularly when you face a truly daunting foe, you can allow your inner shadow to run rampant. In such cases, you undergo a terrible transformation. When you adopt this wrathful battle aspect, your foes are doomed. Yet, each time you use this ability, you teeter closer to damnation.

At 10th level, once per day as a swift action, you can transform into a creature of pure darkness for 1 minute. Your body and all items you carry when you transform become a deep, inky black. You gain immunity to critical hits, mind-affecting abilities, death attacks, energy drain, and poison. You also gain a +8 bonus on Hide checks. Negative energy attacks, such as inflict spells, heal rather than harm you. You gain a +4 bonus on attacks against creatures in areas of darkness or shadowy illumination.

In addition to these benefits, with each successful unarmed attack you make, you can choose to bestow one negative level on your opponent. You heal 5 points of damage for each negative level you bestow. These negative levels disappear in 1 hour.

If the subject has at least as many negative levels as HD, it dies. Each negative level gives a creature a -1 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks, and effective level (for determining the power, duration, DC, and other details of spells or special abilities). Additionally, a spellcaster loses one spell or spell slot from her highest available level. Negative levels stack.

At the end of your transformation, you take 1 point of Constitution damage per negative level you bestowed. If this damage drops your Constitution to 0 or lower, your body dissipates into an inky cloud. Unless you are restored to life by true resurrection, you rise in 1d4 days as a vampire. Your alignment becomes evil, though your alignment on the law-chaos axis remains the same. You are now a dedicated champion of evil and an NPC. You retain access to all your abilities in this prestige class and lack a normal vampire's vulnerability to sunlight. Your vampiric body forms in the spot where your mortal form perished.

Legend holds that the souls of Shadow Sun ninjas who are corrupted in this manner are imprisoned within the Iron City of Dis, Dispater's capital within the depths of Hell. A successful quest to free the soul from its prison cell destroys the vampire and restores the Shadow Sun ninja to life. Legend holds that several mighty Shadow Sun heroes languish within Dispater's prison, waiting to be freed.