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Welcome to the A.T.L.A.S. database entry, your ultimate guide to the fascinating creatures of Dungeons and Dragons 5e. In this installment, we delve into the enigmatic and chilling world of Shadows. Discover their distinctive characteristics, unravel their eerie behavior, and uncover effective strategies for confronting these formidable incorporeal undead beings. Whether you’re a scholar or an adventurer, this guide will provide valuable insights on how to face a Shadow.


Confront the enigmatic Shadow, an ethereal being that shrouds itself in darkness. These elusive creatures appear as shapeless, intangible entities, seemingly formed from the very essence of shadows themselves. Shadows exude an aura of eerie mystique, their presence invoking a sense of foreboding and trepidation.


Shadows possess unique abilities that harness the power of darkness. They have the uncanny capability to meld with and traverse through shadows, allowing them to move undetected and surprise their unsuspecting victims. Shadows are notorious for draining the life force of their targets, enveloping them in an icy grip that saps their vitality.

These insubstantial beings can weaken their opponents by diminishing their strength, making them susceptible to harm. Shadows also possess a chilling touch that can chill the bones and drain the very life essence from those unfortunate enough to come into contact.

Threat Level Analysis: 

A.T.L.A.S. designates Shadows as a moderate-threat entity, considering their ability to drain life force and diminish the strength of their adversaries. Their Challenge Rating (CR) reflects their capacity to inflict harm upon unsuspecting individuals.

Engaging with Shadows requires utmost caution, as their intangible nature and life-draining abilities pose a significant risk. Seek the expertise of A.T.L.A.S. agents who specialize in combating supernatural entities when confronted with Shadows. Proper magical defenses and radiant energy-based attacks are crucial for countering their insidious powers.

Shadow’s Stat Block

Medium undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 12

Hit Points 16 (3d8+3)

Speed Walk 40ft.

STR 6 ( -2)

DEX 14 (+ 2)

CON 13 (+ 1)

INT 6 ( -2)

WIS 10 (+ 0)

CHA 8 ( -1)

Saving Throws Str -2, Dex + 2, Con + 1, Int -2, Wis + 0, Cha -1

Skills Stealth +4,

Damage Vulnerabilities radiant

Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks

Damage Immunities necrotic, poison

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)

Amorphous. The shadow can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.

Shadow Stealth. While in dim light or darkness, the shadow can take the Hide action as a bonus action.

Sunlight Weakness. While in sunlight, the shadow has disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws.


Strength Drain. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) necrotic damage, and the target’s Strength score is reduced by 1d4. The target dies if this reduces its Strength to 0. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest. If a non-evil humanoid dies from this attack, a new shadow rises from the corpse 1d4 hours later.

Characteristics of Shadows:

Shadows are ethereal undead creatures that exist in a state between the Material Plane and the Shadowfell. They possess a sinister aura and are most active in dark environments, where their shadowy forms blend seamlessly with their surroundings: in particular, they become more visible in bright light areas, revealing their dark, amorphous figures.

Driven by an intense hatred for life and light, Shadows aggressively and swiftly attack living creatures. Their chilling touch weakens their victims, draining their strength with each contact. Shadows feed on negative energy, but their insatiable craving for the vitality of the living can drive them into a frenzied state if denied for too long.

Behavior and Habitat:

Shadows harbor a particular animosity towards beings who lead morally good lives. They take pleasure in targeting innocent creatures and relish the opportunity to extinguish the light of goodness. Shadows often lurk in the darkest corners, hidden from sight, waiting to ambush unsuspecting victims. Their incorporeal nature allows them to pass through narrow cracks and move swiftly through the air.

While Shadows are typically encountered alone or in small groups, reports have indicated instances of shadow swarms, where multiple Shadows work together to overwhelm their prey. These eerie creatures can be found in various locations, such as dark hiding spots, buried ruins, and crypts. In addition to their presence on the Prime Material plane, Shadows can also be encountered in other planes, including the Domains of Dread and Palpitatia in the Abyss.

Confronting Shadows: Strategies and Examples

Confronting Shadows requires careful planning and precise execution. Here are some effective strategies to employ when facing these ethereal undead beings:

  1. Illuminate the Area: Shadows are most vulnerable in brightly lit environments. Utilize light sources, such as torches, spells like Light or Daylight, or magical items that emit radiant energy. Flooding the area with light can diminish their ability to hide and weaken their ethereal forms.
  2. Positive Energy: Shadows are weakened by positive energy. Channel positive energy through spells like Cure Wounds or the power of positive-aligned weapons. Holy water or radiant-based attacks can also effectively repel Shadows, as they disrupt the negative energy that sustains these undead creatures.
  3. Disrupt their Shadowy Touch: Shadows inflict harm with their chilling touch, draining their victims’ strength. Protect yourself and your companions with defensive spells, such as Protection from Evil and Good or Death Ward. These spells can provide resistance or immunity to the Shadow’s draining effects.
  4. Group Tactics: Shadows are formidable opponents when encountered individually. Employ teamwork and coordinated attacks to increase your chances of success. Focus fire on a single Shadow to eliminate it quickly before moving on to the next. Flanking maneuvers can also provide advantages, as Shadows have no physical form to defend themselves effectively.
  5. Magic and Divine Abilities: Certain spells and divine abilities can help combat Shadows. Spells like Turn Undead or Banishment can temporarily force Shadows back to the Shadowfell. Radiant-based spells, such as Sunbeam or Dawn, can significantly damage and disrupt their ethereal nature.


Shadows are chilling and elusive undead creatures, fueled by their hatred for life and light. This A.T.L.A.S. database entry has provided valuable insights into their characteristic traits, behavior, and effective strategies for confrontation. 

With this knowledge, adventurers and scholars alike can confidently navigate the shadows. Approach cautiously, illuminate their darkness, and may your encounters with Shadows be met with triumph and resilience.


The Shadows is a DnD 5e Creature from the Monster Library.

  1. Learn more about the Shadow Creature
  2. Discover more creatures from the Arkane Atlas
  3. Here is the source of the cover illustration

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