Tome of Magic introduces three new magic subsystems for the D&D game. Any or all of these systems can easily be inserted into a campaign. Pact magic gives characters the ability to channel lost souls, harnessing their abilities to gain supernatural powers. Shadow magic draws power from the mysterious Plane of Shadow. Truename magic gives characters that learn and properly use the true name of a creature or object immense power over it. All three systems introduce new base classes and spellcasting mechanics. Also included are new feats, prestige classes, magic items, and spells.
The excerpts below include information about each of the three new systems, a couple of vestiges, the noctumancer prestige class, a weapon special ability, the Lexicon of the Evolving Mind list, and a creature. For more from the main introduction in this book, check out the February 2006 Preview.
New Weapon Special Ability: Shadow Striking
Although mystery users are not normally martial combatants, they have developed the shadow striking weapon special ability to aid them and their companions in battle.
A shadow striking weapon takes on the properties of a creature it hits, developing the ability to overcome damage reduction.
Description: A shadow striking weapon is an unreflective jet black. It seems almost to ripple on occasion, like an object viewed under a thin layer of uneasy water. It is uncomfortably cold, but not painful, to the touch.
Prerequisite: The striking surface of a shadow striking weapon must be made of metal. Weapons that are made entirely of wood cannot be shadow striking. Bows, crossbows, and slings cannot benefit from the shadow striking ability, but metal ammunition can.
Activation: A shadow striking weapon automatically attunes itself to the target. When it strikes a target that has damage reduction, it adjusts itself to overcome the damage reduction of that creature.
Effect: Shadow striking weapons draw on the reflective nature of shadow to alter their nature and overcome damage reduction. A shadow striking weapon can adjust to emulate any alignment or substance required to overcome damage reduction.
A shadow striking weapon's attunement to a particular sort of damage reduction fades 1d4 minutes after the last time it made contact with the appropriate creature.
Aura/Caster Level: Moderate universal (shadow). CL 9th.
Construction: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creation of the weapon must take place on the Plane of Shadow.
Price: +3 bonus.