Shade (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Alignment Always Nongood
Image image
Publication history
Source books Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, shades are humanoids who have merged with the essence of the Plane of Shadow. In Third Edition, a shade is created by applying a template to a humanoid creature.

Publication history[edit]

The shade first appeared in first edition in the original Monster Manual II (1983).[1] The shade was further developed in Dragon #126 (October 1987).[2]

The shade appeared in second edition in Dragon #213 (January 1995). The shade appeared in the Forgotten Realms setting in Powers & Pantheons (1997),[3] and reprinted in Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four (1998).[4]

The shade appeared in third edition for the Forgotten Realms setting as a template in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (2001),[5]:314 and as a player character race in Races of Faerûn (2003).[6] and Dragon #307 (May 2003). The shade creature appeared in Dragon #322 (August 2004).

The shade appeared in fourth edition for the Forgotten Realms setting in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (2008).


Shades grow more powerful in areas of darkness or shadows, including the ability to leap from shadow to shadow, to create shadowy duplicates of themselves, and even become entirely invisible. They can also decrease the amount of light in an area, and can see through darkness, even of the magical variety.

In the Forgotten Realms[edit]

In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, many Shadovar (citizens of the City of Shade) are shades. They are a group of Netherese wizards who fled Faerûn for the Plane of Shadow before Karsus's Folly. The City of Shade was one of five cities to survive the cataclysm.

The famous assassin Artemis Entreri absorbed the life force of a Shadovar shade using his vampiric dagger. Due to this absorption, Entreri's skin has taken on a grayish hue and his aging has slowed if not stopped altogether.

Erevis Cale, the butler of the Uskrevan family, was transformed into a shade in the Erevis Cale Trilogy. Drasek Riven also became a shade in The Twilight War trilogy after obtaining a piece of Mask's divine essence of shadow.

In other media[edit]


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  2. ^ Salas, Dan. "The Ecology of the Shade." Dragon #126 (TSR, 1987)
  3. ^ Boyd, Eric L. Powers & Pantheons. Renton, WA: TSR, 1997
  4. ^ Pickens, Jon, ed. Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four. (TSR, 1998)
  5. ^ Greenwood, Ed, Sean K Reynolds, Skip Williams, and Rob Heinsoo. Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
  6. ^ Reynolds, Sean K., Forbeck, Matt, Jacobs, James, Boyd, Erik L. Races of Faerûn (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)

External links[edit]