Long story short, I'm a DM and one of my players was given the 'Living shadow' Dark gift from Van Richtens Guide to Ravenloft. The party, assuming that it was a threat, shot it with a crossbow bolt enchanted with light.

Would this work? There's nothing in the gift text itself that would imply it would, but at the same time it never says that the shadow is sustained magically or anything.

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    – Someone_Evil
    Jun 7, 2021 at 18:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by "enchanted with light"? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 7, 2021 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


Nothing happens.

The living shadow is not a creature. It doesn't have hit points or an armor class, and most importantly, it always persists and there are no end conditions listed in its description:

The shadow you cast is animate and ever-present, even when lighting conditions would otherwise prevent it.

There isn't much else to say here, there is just nothing in the gift description that gives any indication that firing a crossbow bolt at it, enchanted or otherwise, will do anything.

The shadow probably isn't an eligible target for an attack.

The rules for making an attack require that we first select a target:

Pick a target within your attack's range: a creature, an object, or a location.

The rules give no indication that the shadow is a creature or an object, despite the shadow exhibiting some behaviors we might see from a creature. So at best, we could declare our target to be something like "the shadow's current location on the ground", but as mentioned previously, the rules for the living shadow give no indication that this would have any effect.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If I were the DM, I'd describe the shadow as pantomiming an overly dramatic death scene before thumbing its nose as at the attacking character. \$\endgroup\$
    – Σ of eDπ
    Jun 15, 2021 at 23:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SumofeDpi Too comic. The book says to try to avoid making jokes. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Jun 16, 2021 at 6:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 The book can't tell the DM what to do, or not do, it can only provide guidelines. SumofeDpi's suggestion is, in my view, an excellent idea ... for a table that likes little flourishes like that. At other tables, it will perhaps break the dark, brooding mood that Ravenloft tries to evoke. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 20, 2021 at 15:14

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