Shadowswyfts are a minor planar race hailing from Dungeons & Dragons, and one of several such races included in the Planar Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition. Very little is known about this race of weird-looking humanoids, other than that they descend from beings that migrated to the Plane of Shadow.
Shadowswyfts little resemble other races. Tall and slender, they have skin ranging in hue from medium brown to lustrous black and almost completely black, slanted eyes. Their dark coloring and light build make them very adept at hiding in shadows and moving quietly. The average male shadowswyft stands more than 6 feet tall and weighs about 165 pounds, with females somewhat shorter and lighter. Shadowswyfts reach adulthood at about the same age as a half-orc, but it's rare for a shadowswyft to live beyond age 60. This is not helped by their mercurial temperament or their limited tolerance for boredom; a shadowswyft delights in action and in acting now, and is irritated by delay or inactivity. A common shadowswyft idiom is that "n the amount of time it takes to formulate and evaluate a plan, worlds could be won or lost." Needless to say, shadowswyfts are as chaotic as any diabolus, with their short attention span and love of action without thought for its consequences making lawful alignments pretty much alien and incomprehensible to them.
Needless to say, adventure attracts shadow swyfts as a candle does moths. Most feel the pull to adventuring careers. They relish the variety and diversity of activity. An adventuring life is one filled with action and change, and thus is well suited to the shadowswyft's temperament. This is aided by their complete lack of xenophobia; to a shadowswyft, one's actions are much more important than one's species. Shadowswyfts will associate with chaotic creatures of all kinds. These alliances rarely last long, but they usually end amicably with the shadowswyft moving on to journey with other people in far-flung places.
Since shadowswyfts can see very well in low light and in darkness, their language utilizes sound and kinesics (body language including body movements, position, and facial expressions). To convey the full extent of meaning in written works, a variety of symbols are used. It's not unusual for a single word to be accompanied by three or four symbols to help show its connotations and subtleties. Shadowswyft names tend to be short, usually monosyllabic, and accompanied by a signifying gesture. When a name is accurately translated into another language, it becomes a much longer sobriquet that shadowswyfts are apt to shorten.
- Male Names: Bhear, Bhah, Brot, Flah, Flaht, Fraa, Pohl, Phaer, Prag.
- Female Names: Gheer, Gree, Graf, Grif, Mhi, Mheer, Mrak, Tap, T'Har.
- Signifying Gesture: Blink, bow, nod, lower hands, point left index finger, point right index finger, raise hands, shake head, shrug, touch chin, or wink.
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution. Shadowswyfts are limber, but not very healthy.
- Outsider (Extraplanar): Shadowswyfts are native to the Plane of Shadow, and thus have the outsider type. They gain the extraplanar subtype when not on the Plane of Shadow. They are not subject to spells or effects that affect only humanoids, such as charm person and dominate person.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, shadowswyfts have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- A shadowswyft's base land speed is 40 feet.
- Shadowswyfts have darkvision out to 120 feet and lowlight vision.
- Light Blindness (Ex): Abrupt exposure to bright light (such as sunlight or a daylight spell) blinds a shadowswyft for 1 round. On subsequent rounds, it is dazzled as long as it remains in the affected area.
- +2 bonus on initiative checks: Shadowswyfts have quick reactions.
- Skills: Shadowswyfts have a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks.
- Automatic Languages: Shadowswyft, Common. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Celestial, Elven.
- Favored Class: Rogue.
- Level Adjustment: +1.