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Drow live between shadows and everything they do is covered by darkness, so it was only natural that their wizards and sorcerers found a way to tap into the power of the dark.

The Quintessential Elf

Author Alejandro Melchor
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002

The black arts of the darksoul draw power from the Plane of Shadow and from negative energy to empower their castings. The lure of darkness has trapped other creatures outside of the drow caverns, and every elf succumbing to the shadows is a small victory for the darksouls. These dark spellcasters gather in small cults, barely acknowledged by other drow except where female clerics are involved. Some drow venture up to the surface to head cults formed by members of different races, educating them into the shadow arts and disbanding them when their education is complete, so that they can spread their taint like a virus.

Darksouls come from the ranks of wizards and clerics, but talented sorcerers can channel the power of shadows easily, especially if it is from there that their power comes from. Other spellcasters, like bards, evil rangers and blackguards are not as focused in their art, even if they benefit greatly from the abilities of a darksoul. Drow spellcasters have no trouble surrendering to the power of the dark, and no compulsions about spreading their knowledge. Grey elves are the most susceptible to heeding the call of the evil art with the promise of empowering their magic, while high elves follow close. The rest of the elven subspecies are not as interested in magic to feel they need anything to make it more powerful.

As Non-Player Characters, darksouls on the surface head cults that have infected other spellcasters, masterminding crimes and atrocities before moving on. In drow communities, darksoul clerics manage to Climb to high positions by the advantages they get from their abilities.

Hit Die: d6


Race: Drow elf or half-drow.
Alignment: Any evil.
Knowledge (Arcana): 8 ranks.
Knowledge (the planes): 5 ranks.
Spells: The character must be able to cast 2nd level spells.

Class Skills

The darksoul’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Alchemy (Intelligence), Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Hide (Dexterity), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Intelligence), Move Silently (Dexterity), Profession (Wisdom), Scry (Intelligence, exclusive skill), and Spellcraft (Intelligence).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier

The Darksoul
LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialSpells per day
1+0+0+0+2Death touch+1 level of existing class
2+1+0+0+3Shadow casting+1 level of existing class
3+1+1+1+3Taint spell +1d6+1 level of existing class
4+2+1+1+4Power of darkness+1 level of existing class
5+2+1+1+4Taint spell +3d6+1 level of existing class

Class Features

  • Armour and Weapon Proficiency: Darksouls are proficient with all simple weapons. They are proficient with light armour but not with shields. Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a -1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armour, equipment, or loot carried.
  • Spells: At every level, the darksoul gains additional spell slots as if he had gained a level in the Spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. However, he does not gain any other benefits a character of that class would have gained with level advancement (hit points, feats, special abilities, etc.) beyond an effective level of spellcasting. If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a darksoul, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.
  • Death Touch (Su): Once per day per darksoul level, the character can channel negative energy as a spell-like ability that is a death effect. By scoring a melee touch attack against a living creature, the character can roll 1d6 per darksoul level. If the total at least equals the creature’s current hit points, it dies.
  • Shadow Casting (Su): The darksoul envelopes any of his spells in the stuff of shadows, making them harder to resist. He can raise the DC of any spell he casts by +1 for every point of subdual damage he suffers. This damage cannot be avoided, and he cannot raise the DC of a spell by more than +3.
  • Taint Spell (Su): The character can lace any spells that deal damage with negative energy, dealing +1d6 extra points of unholy damage. At 5th level, the amount of extra damage increases to +3d6.
  • Power of Darkness (Su): By allowing himself to suffer one point of temporary Constitution damage, he can raise the caster level of any spell he casts by one. This affects amount of damage, duration, range and any other parameter in which caster level has an effect, including dispelling attempts. If the character uses this ability more than three times per day, he must roll a Will save (DC 15 + level of highest spell enhanced by darkness) or permanently lose the Constitution damage he incurred.
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