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By Mat Smith

Master of Shrouds

The master of shrouds is an evil spellcaster who magically seizes incorporeal undead and sets them to do her bidding. Plucking vile creatures such as wraiths and shadows from their restless haunts, she summons them to her presence and commands them to work her will. Furious at their forced servitude, the wrathful undead spread fear and death in their wake.

Most masters of shrouds have experience as clerics. Paladins never become masters of shrouds, though ex-paladins may do so, particularly if they turn far enough from their lawful good roots to become blackguards. Multiclass clerics are also common followers of this path, including cleric/fighters and cleric/rogues. A small number of cleric/necromancer/mystic theurges take up the role of master of shrouds at their highest levels.

NPC masters of shrouds operate in secret, pursuing their evil plans under cover of darkness. They may work individually or in groups, depending on their alignment. They rarely stay in one place for long, and rarely work in groups larger than four, to avoid attracting too much attention from paladins and good clerics, not to mention hunters of the dead.

Hit Die: d8.

Requirements

To qualify to become a master of shrouds, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any nongood.
Base Save Bonus: Will +5.
Skills: Concentration 5 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks.
Feats: Augment Summoning, Spell Focus (conjuration).
Spells: Able to cast protection from good as a divine spell.
Special: Able to rebuke undead.

Class Skills

The master of shrouds's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the master of shrouds prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Masters of shrouds gain no proficiency with any weapons, armor, or shields.

Spells per Day/Spells Known: Beginning at 2nd level, a master of shrouds gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if she had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class to which she belonged before adding the prestige class level. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (metamagic or item creation feats and so on; but see Rebuke Undead, below). If she had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming a master of shrouds, she must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day and spells known.

Extra Rebuking (Ex): A master of shrouds may use her rebuke undead ability four additional times per day.

Rebuke Undead (Su): Master of shrouds class levels stack with levels of all other classes that grant the ability to rebuke undead for the purpose of determining the character's effective cleric level for rebuking. See Turn or Rebuke Undead, page 159 of the Player's Handbook. For example, a 7th-level cleric/5th-level master of shrouds rebukes undead as a 12th-level cleric.

Summon Undead (Sp): At 2nd level and higher, a master of shrouds can summon one or more incorporeal undead creatures a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier (minimum 1). This ability is otherwise identical to the summon monster spells, except that a master of shrouds adds her Charisma modifier (if positive) to the duration of the effect.

At 2nd level, a master of shrouds can summon a single shadow. At 4th level, she can summon one wraith or two shadows. At 6th level, she can summon one spectre, two wraiths, or four shadows. At 8th level, she can summon one greater shadow, two spectres, four wraiths, or four shadows. At 10th level, she can summon one dread wraith, two greater shadows, four spectres, four wraiths, or four shadows.

Improved Summoning (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, a master of shrouds summons more powerful undead creatures than normal. Whenever she casts a summon undead spell or when she uses her summon undead class ability, the summoned creature gains a +2 enhancement bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls.

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