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The Ultimate Magic spell shadow step seems to be a watered-down version of the classic dimension door. This seems not only redundant, but odd, as shadow step seems weaker and more restricted than dimension door in every way - shorter range, self only, somatic component, only along a path of shadows... Yet they're of the same spell level.

Is this meant as some kind of "poor man's dimension door" for spellcasters barred from conjuration/teleportation? Is it intended primarily for the new Witch class? Or am I missing some advantage that shadow step has over dimension door?

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The two primary differences:

  1. The Witch can cast it.

  2. There is no period of disorientation after the spell ends.

I'd imagine the witch having access to it is it's primary purpose. Particularly since the shadowy theme fits in well with the witch.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comment semi-argument thread deleted. Please offer alternate answers or use comments for suggesting concrete improvements to this one. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Nov 7 '13 at 4:56
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You can still cast Shadow Step while being affected by the Dimension Anchor spell

The Shadow Step spell also lacks the teleportation subschool that Dimension Door has. Teleportation goes through the astral plane as stated in the definition of the teleportation subschool (emphasis mine):

Teleportation: a teleportation spell transports one or more creatures or objects a great distance. The most powerful of these spells can cross planar boundaries. Unlike summoning spells, the transportation is (unless otherwise noted) one-way and not dispellable.

Teleportation is instantaneous travel through the Astral Plane. Anything that blocks astral travel also blocks teleportation.

In case of Dimension Door, this subschool prevents you from casting the spell while being affected by a Dimensional Anchor spell.

The Shadow Step spell however, does not have a subschool that states it travels through another plane, nor does it mention any kind of planar travel. This means you can still cast Shadow Step while being affected by a Dimension Anchor spell because there is no dimensional travel.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ -1 for being incorrect: The dimensional anchor spell does not care whether a spell has the teleportation descriptor. The teleportation descriptor just indicates that a spell involves instantaneous travel via the astral plane; Plenty of spells allow travel via other planes, but are still forbidden by dimensional anchor. Shadow walk and blink, for example. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Aug 10 '17 at 21:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ His reason may be incorrect, but Anchor does not block Shadow Step. There is no extra-dimensional travel happening. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Aug 10 '17 at 22:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, movement using a spell with the teleportation subschool is blocked by "Anything that blocks astral travel" according to the definition of the subschool. Thats why it's relevant and I specifically called it out. Sorry for being unclear. \$\endgroup\$ – Snappie Aug 10 '17 at 23:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Snappie As currently worded, your answer sounds like it's saying that dimensional anchor only blocks spells with the teleportation descriptor and that the teleportation descriptor is necessary for a spells to involve planar travel. You should edit your answer such that it no longer gives this impression; Comments do not last. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Aug 11 '17 at 23:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe I wrote the anwser while in line for a ride in an amusement park :P. Thanks for telling me what was wrong with the answer, I editted it for clarity \$\endgroup\$ – Snappie Aug 12 '17 at 16:55
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It's an illusion spell, wizard specialists that forbid conjuration can take it without spending twice the spell slots, and Pride wizards (sin magic) can still teleport without conjurations spells.

There are other classes that have access to shadow step and not dimension door as well, like Qinggong monks and Shadow oracles.

For Qinggong monks, it is available 2 levels earlier and costs half the ki points of abundant step, which is available on the same level of Shadow Walk, so they have to take one or the other.

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