Shadow Plane Monsters

“After-Images”

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Carrion eaters are not known for leading enviable lives, but those who feast on the recently-dead or dying humans (or any sentient beings) are cursed to live a tainted existence, with a foot in both worlds. Having consumed a part of the soul as it left for the afterlife, the eater now casts an “after-image” on the Shadow Plane.

This personal shadow has its own statistics and acts and fights as if it were its own creature. However, it will still follow its host creature as the host moves through the Material Plane. Additionally, although hit points are not shared, any condition that is applied to one will carry over to the other, including death.

To give a brief example, a CR 1/8 Rat (MM) is typically little threat in and of itself. Should this rat partake in a meal from a freshly-buried corpse, however, it may begin casting an afterimage of a CR 1/2 Carcass Eater (MM4) on the Shadow Plane–a somewhat more formidable foe.  An adventuring party may have to take care if it encounters these in any number.

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Recognizing an “eater of dead” is a simple task for those with the right vision (True Sight, being a restless spirit, etc.)  A creature with a shadow after-image will appear to have completely ink-black eyes, devoid of any whites or pupils.

One should take care whenever encountering one of these creatures.  Fueled by death, after-images may be similar, but far more powerful, than the creatures they represent.



The “Outsider” Template

As opposed to “after-images,” which are more like shadows cast by living things on the material plane, the next two classes of monster are independent, living creatures in their own right. As such, they gain a modified Outsider template, in addition to whatever class they already have.

Outsider Type

An outsider is at least partially composed of the essence (but not necessarily the material) of some plane other than the Material Plane. Some creatures start out as some other type and become outsiders when they attain a higher (or lower) state of spiritual existence.

An outsider has the following features. A creature with the Outsider type retains all its regular class features, including Hit Dice, Base attack bonus progression, etc.

Traits

An outsider possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

  • Darkvision out to 60 feet.
  • Unlike most other living creatures, an outsider does not have a dual nature—its soul and body form one unit. When an outsider is slain, no soul is set loose. Spells that restore souls to their bodies, such as raise deadreincarnate, and resurrection, don’t work on an outsider. It takes a different magical effect, such as limited wishwishmiracle, or true resurrection to restore it to life. An outsider with the native subtype can be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected just as other living creatures can be.
  • Proficient with all simple and martial weapons and any weapons mentioned in its entry.
  • Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Outsiders not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Outsiders are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.
  • Outsiders breathe, but do not need to eat or sleep (although they can do so if they wish). Native outsiders breathe, eat, and sleep.


“Echoes”

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The first type of Outsider that one might encounter on the Shadow Plane is an “echo.”

The Shadow Plane is as much of a reflection of the material realm as it is its own world. Places of great meaning (or psychic power) will leave their mark on the same location on the spirit realm, though their concepts are usually distorted or magnified in some way.  A university, for example, might become a grove of blossoming saplings on the Shadow Plane; where a brothel of ill repute might become a shadowy slaver’s den.

Just like places, objects that have been given particular meaning by their owners can come to life on the Shadow Plane.  A statue of a notable celebrity in the town square may suddenly answer questions posed it, and religious symbols or totems may be imbued with their own special power.  Conversely, a shadow asylum will likely be guarded by the crazed fears of those kept there; and the scene of a horrible massacre might be plagued with the last thoughts of those who died there, vestiges who attack trespassers in blind, confused rage.

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Native Residents

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Lastly, like any other plane, the Shadow Plane has its own native inhabitants–creatures arising entirely in darkness and with their own mysterious ecosystems. Many are simply scavengers, feasting on the rich crumbs of life spilling over from the physical world nearby. Others are predators in their own right, hunting other shadow creatures–or even those of the physical world–on their own soils.

Tales exist too of entire civilizations buried deep in the Plane of Shadows, far beyond the barrier between life and death and never seen by mortal eye.  For now, at least, such stories remain only that–old wives’ tales for the superstitious.

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