The prestige class shadowcraft mage (Races of Stone 120–2) at level 3 gains the supernatural ability shadow illusion that says that the creature can
infuse [its silent image, minor image, major image, persistent image, and programmed image spells]… with material from the Plane of Shadow, making them partially real. The subschool of these spells changes from figment to shadow. A shadowcraft mage can use the altered spell to mimic any sorcerer or wizard conjuration (summoning), conjuration (creation), or evocation spell at least one level lower than the illusion spell. The altered spell functions identically to the shadow conjuration or shadow evocation spell, except that the spell’s strength equals 10% per level of the figment spell used. (122)
(Emphasis mine.) This is followed by two examples:
- "[A] shadowcraft mage who uses silent image to create an acid splash would deal 10% of the normal damage to a creature that succeeds on its Will save to disbelieve the shadow.
- "If [a shadowcraft mage] used programmed image to mimic summon monster V, the creature would have 60% of the hit points of a normal creature of its kind, and its damage would be 60% normal against a creature that succeeds on its Will save to disbelieve." (ibid.)
I'm struggling with the second example. Despite the description of the supernatural ability shadow illusion saying that "the altered spell [can] mimic [a] spell at least one level lower than the [altered] illusion spell," the "altered spell functions identically to the shadow conjuration or shadow evocation spell." However, the second example's shadowcraft mage uses the 6th-level Sor/Wiz spell programmed image [illus] (Player's Handbook 265) to mimic the 5th-level Sor/Wiz spell summon monster V [conj] (PH 286, 287), which should be impossible: the 4th-level Sor/Wiz spell shadow conjuration [illus] (PH 276) says that it "can mimic any sorcerer or wizard conjuration (summoning) or conjuration (creation) spell of 3rd level or lower," hence excluding the spell summon monster V.
That is, the description says both that the altered spell can mimic any Sor/Wiz conjuration (summoning), conjuration (creation), or evocation spell at least one level lower than the illusion spell and that the altered spell is identical to the spell shadow conjuration—therefore inheriting all that spell's limitations—or the 5th-level Sor/Wiz spell shadow evocation [illus] (PH 277) that has similar limitations. (Taken as whole, for example, a shadowcraft mage may still want to alter the spell programmed image to mimic the 4th-level Sor/Wiz spell wall of ice [evoc] (PH 299) so that the now-shadow wall of ice spell effect is 60% real if disbelieved.)
In short, according to the text, in the description of the supernatural ability shadow illusions is the second example mistaken?
Note: I know I'm late to the party here. It's likely this topic was already discussed to death on the lost-and-lamented Wizards of the Coast forums, but those discussions are now difficult to reach. Discussion of the dangerous of effects of the ability shadow illusions not being limited by the shadow conjuration and shadow evocation spells is in this answer.