School of Shadow Magic Wizard (v1)

The phrase “seeing is believing” is the bread-and-butter of the illusionist, who plies their trade in false truths and visible lies. But some take the study even farther, eschewing normal illusions for far tougher stuff, woven out of the shadowy essence of another plane. Halfway between illusion and conjuration, practitioners of Shadow Magic can make an illusory blade hurt just like a real one… as far as you know, anyway.


Check below for more on the School of Shadow Magic!

School of Shadow Magic Wizard

You can also find the PDF version here.


Shadow Magic is an old idea from earlier editions of D&D where Illusionist specialists couldn’t use a lot of damage spells because they were from opposition schools. This, while thematic, was a bit problematic as well – and so shadow magic was born.

A wizard who specializes in shadow magic excels at illusions, but focuses much of their energy on perfecting the art of making others believe in the illusions so deeply that they can have real effects. One cannot create reality from nothing, however, and so many of these effects draw on the otherworldly power of the Shadowfell as fuel for their power.



  • Create illusory fire so convincing that it really burns!
  • And what’s a good offense without a little defense? Weave shadows to protect your identity or presence as well!
  • The culmination, of course, is the summoning of powerful (and totally real) creatures bound to your service!
  • Past that and all’s left is to master the Shadowfell itself to move through shadows and animate your own to aid you!



  • This is another of my older ‘brews which has primarily seen a visual upgrade rather than a mechanical one. In fact, I’ve recently come to the opinion that any “Shadow Mage” in 5e should be a prestige class rather than a subclass, but a friend convinced me to post this anyway.
  • The central theme of the subclass is faking other schools of magic with illusions. The first two features let you fake Evocation spells, while Arcane Phantasm moves towards faking Conjuration magic. Along with disguise self, this subclass really lends itself to a playstyle where you pretend to be another class that you aren’t.
    • A lot of this class was inspired by a character I played a while back who used the warlock’s disguise self Invocation to pretend to be a paladin named Sir Aelfric Goldenheart. It took two whole sessions for the rest of the party to figure it out.
  • As I’m thinking of re-working this to be a prestige class, I’m unsure of whether or not I’ll ever update it. That being said, I’m going to be heavily consulting any feedback I’ve ever gotten about this while making the prestige class, so comments are still very welcome!


Thanks for reading!

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