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Shadow becomes available to Swordsages at level 3. It allows the player to teleport 50 ft. as a standard action. If they spend a full round recovering, they can teleport 50 ft. every 12 seconds right? And all at level 3?

Crazy! Level 2 spells do not have this kind of power. I might be wrong, but casters don’t access to Dimension Door until a few levels later.

Is the ToB Manuever Shadow Jaunt overpowered/broken?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there a question here? It seems to be a statement of the rules and then some incredulity. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Feb 14 '18 at 2:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess I left the question in the title. I’ll edit. \$\endgroup\$ – FrancisJohn Feb 14 '18 at 2:09
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Shadow jaunt is distinctly limited versus other teleportation effects:

You must have line of sight and line of effect to your destination.

Most teleportation effects require neither. That means that darkness, clouds, fogs, mist, to say nothing of walls and other barriers, all block shadow jaunt. Shadow jaunt is an effective way to climb cliffs and/or cross chasms, provided that neither is greater than 50 feet, but at this same level things like spider climb can also do that.

The fact that shadow jaunt can be used every other round very rarely, if ever, actually matters. In combat, using up three rounds jaunting, recovering, and jaunting means the fight’s already over by the time you finish. Out of combat, it’s probably faster than just climbing but unless the party faces a series of chasms or cliffs, you’ll probably only use it a few times. And if the party is facing a series of chasms and/or cliffs, hey, abilities are allowed to shine every now and then.

Also, keep in mind that 3rd level is when 2nd-level spells and powers come online. Spider climb can be used for a lot of the things that shadow jaunt can, albeit slower (but without the 50-foot limitation). Dimension hop is actually a 1st-level teleport, though it is limited to only 10 feet (20 feet if you spend 3 power points on it, as if it were a 2nd-level power). For that matter, at 3rd level, anklets of translocation are affordable, and those grant a swift-action 10-foot teleport 2/day. These things are all comparable to shadow jauntshadow jaunt is a bit longer, and can be used more often, but these are “real” teleport effects and therefore able to bypass a lot more obstacles than shadow jaunt can.

And on top of those, the conjurer’s abrupt jaunt from Player’s Handbook II is a (Int bonus)/day immediate-action 10-ft teleport. That blows shadow jaunt out of the water. That, in reality, is overpowered.

So shadow jaunt is good—even very good. But it is not overpowered in the sense that it completely outshines comparable options at the same level. It’s just competitive with them—which it should be.

To my mind, the only really weird thing about shadow jaunt is that it’s Extraordinary, not Supernatural. Commonly house-ruled, though I think the intent is that the “teleportation” is actually a combination of incredible speed, stealth, and acrobatics (hence not actually traveling through walls), and that’s why it’s Extraordinary. Not really that much of a balance concern, though it certainly may surprise a beholder!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, a shout-out to the totemist's blink shirt (and available to almost anyone with a pulse via the feat Shape Soulmeld) for at least 10 ft. teleport as a standard action (that ends your turn, but still) every round at level 1. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 14 '18 at 4:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ given line of effect rules (if there is a 1 square foot hole in the obstacle, you have line of effect), could you possibly shadow jaunt through a fence? \$\endgroup\$ – Karrion42 Jun 11 '20 at 0:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Karrion42 Yeah, you probably could. Makes the Ex harder to justify, but doesn’t otherwise affect this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 11 '20 at 0:57

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