The Dragonlance Nexus

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Dreamshadow (Template)

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by James O'Rance

Dreamshadows are illusory creatures of dream that take the appearance of any real person or creature known to the dreamer or to anyone experiencing the dream. They are quite believable and appear to be the actual person or creature in all ways. Dreamshadows are normally encountered as the result of a mindspin spell.

Dreamshadows interact with one another as they would in the waking world; for example, a dreamshadow farmer might be tending a flock of dreamshadow sheep. However, dreamshadows only appear to eat, drink, and sleep, for their physiological functions are all illusory.

Creating a Dreamshadow

"Dreamshadow" is a template that can be added to any creature or character. The creature (hereafter referred to as the "base creature") is usually a beast, humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or undead. The dreamshadow uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Damage: The dreamshadow inflicts damage equal to that of the base creature, but of an illusory nature.
Special Attacks: A dreamshadow retains all of the special attacks of the base creature, although they are of an illusory nature.
Special Qualities: A dreamshadow has all of the special qualities of the base creature and type, although they are of an illusory nature, and gains those below.

Spell Resistance (Ex): SR 13

Saves: Same as the base creature.
Abilities: Same as the base creature, except that a dreamshadow has an Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma score equal to that of the dreamer.
Skills: Same as the dreamer rather than the base creature. This can lead to some dreamshadows possessing very unusual capabilities for their apparent form.
Feats: Same as the base creature.

Climate/Terrain: Same as the base creature.
Organisation: Solitary, or same as the base creature.
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1
Treasure: Same as the base creature, but illusory.
Alignment: Same as the base creature.
Advancement: Same as the base creature.

Dreamshadow Characters

A dreamshadow has no meaningful existence beyond that as experienced by the dreamer. Hence, even if a dreamshadow survives an encounter with a group of characters, for all practical purposes it ceases to exist when the dream has ended.

Sample Dreamshadow

This example uses an owlbear as the base creature, and a 5th-level human sorcerer as the dreamer.

Large Beast (illusory)
Hit Dice: 5d10+20 (47 hp)
Initiative: +1 (Dex)
Speed: 30 ft.
AC: 15 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural)
Attacks: 2 claws +7 melee, bite +2 melee
Damage: Claws 1d6+5, bite 1d8+2 (illusory)
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab
Special Qualities: Scent, SR 13
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +2
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 12, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 16
Skills: Concentration +12, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Spellcraft +8
Climate/Terrain: Temperate forest
Organisation: Solitary, pair, or pack (5-8)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
Advancement: 6-8 HD (Large); 9-15 HD (Huge)


A dreamshadow owlbear attacks in a similar fashion to a normal owlbear, but displays exceptional intelligence and perceptiveness for its kind. The dreamshadow will recognise the effects of spellcasting and seek to disable obvious spellcasters or ready attacks to disrupt their spells. Such tactics might provide a hint to perceptive characters that something is amiss with the creature.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the dreamshadow must hit with a claw attack. The grapple deals only illusory damage.

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