Wandering Monsters: Dwellers in Shadow

Wandering Monsters
Dwellers in Shadow

By James Wyatt

James explores the history of the shadar-kai in this week’s Wandering Monsters, plus he asks for your input on how to handle these creatures.

Talk about this column here.

Fairest of Them All

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I would like to locate and high-five the three people who voted for "Just Githyanki, not Githzerai" in the "Which gith should be playable?" poll.

I think one interesting solution to cases where different editions have conflicting mythologies is to just  have in-world conflicting mythologies. Maybe some people say the Shadar-Kai are the warped descendents of humans who traded light for a reprieve from death; maybe other people say that they're former fey creatures (or mortals) who got the bad end of a shadow curse gone wrong. Maybe other people say something else, and maybe various nethermancers (and the Shadar-Kai themselves) point to various features they possess as evidence for one theory or another, or even to stranger theories. Maybe both things happened, and nobody's really sure - not even the Shadar-Kai - whether they're the remnants of one or the other, or maybe even the miscreated offspring of the commingling of those groups.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I agree, throw them in a blender, pour the mixture out, and create a creation-story schism.
Two sects, two stories, let them fight it out.

Also, Githyanki always struck me as more likely to produce PCs.
Seriously, the -zerai sit there, staring at their navels... how inspiring... 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
Personally, i prefer Shadar-kai as transformed humans that pleaded with Shadow to stave off their fear of death and were transformed as a result. Their curse pulls them to the Plane of Shadow, and some have gone willingly and become servants of the power they bargained with. They hurt themselves and wear tattoes and piercings in a wicked attempt to stave off the despair and ennui of the Shadowfell. Their Shadow Jaunt ability doesn't have to be an insubstantial teleportation necessarily and could enable them to hide in plain sight. Lastly i think its important that Shardar-kai be allowed player character Race and not just monster or NPC.


 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I thought that 4e shadar-kai were deliberately modelled on the cenobytes from Hellraiser and it gave me a much stronger idea of what they might be like than the shadar-kai from 3e.  However, I don't see why they need to be restricted to humans though if that's purely cosmetic.
I think one interesting solution to cases where different editions have conflicting mythologies is to just  have in-world conflicting mythologies. Maybe some people say the Shadar-Kai are the warped descendents of humans who traded light for a reprieve from death; maybe other people say that they're former fey creatures (or mortals) who got the bad end of a shadow curse gone wrong. Maybe other people say something else, and maybe various nethermancers (and the Shadar-Kai themselves) point to various features they possess as evidence for one theory or another, or even to stranger theories. Maybe both things happened, and nobody's really sure - not even the Shadar-Kai - whether they're the remnants of one or the other, or maybe even the miscreated offspring of the commingling of those groups.

+ all of the numbers

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
One interesting solution to cases where different editions have conflicting mythologies is to just  have in-world conflicting mythologies. Some people say ... other people say ... Maybe both things happened.


Yeah, multiple competing myths make the setting richer.

Even in a world of magic where divination is possible, or even asking ancient beings who were there is possible - magic itself can obscure clear answers. When planes and alternate realities collide, who can say? When magic changes future fates, seemingly past causes get reworked.

The shadar-kais have got a splatterpunk look, and I like it, they are cool.

I don´t mind the canon background, because I can change it they way I want but...

I imagine them like a fay race with a dark and sinister background, as if they were characters from tales of "Conan the Barbarian" (like the Stygians) or the Others from Song of Fire and Ice.

In my settin shadar-kais are cousins of elves, eladrins (elves with blood of outsider ancestors from Faywild) and drows (and the oriental shens). They have lived in the demiplane "dessert of ashes", a sunny (really cloudy) but cold (but dry) dessert like a "lighter" version of shadowfell (or like the cold version of Arthas, the world of Dark Sun). 

---



Shade, PC race from "Heroes of Shadow".



Leevoth the shade. (Fogorten Realms Campaign Guide).



 
When I hear about a humanoid race bonded to plane of shadow, I imagine the shadowswyft
 from Planar Handbook or the shades. That is the reason I don´t like the bond between shadar-kais and shadowfell. The shadar-kais can live in the plane of shadow, but the link ought to be optional.

Only I hope the plane of shadow wasn´t necesary for the racial traits of shadar-kais.



Khayal, shadow genie (Tome of Magic: Pact, shadow and Truename).

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

“Shadow” and “Death” dont mean the same thing.

When 4e combined them, there was significant confusion between what constituted “stealth” and what constituted “necromancy”. For example, the Shadow Dancer. Shadow and Death have little to do with each other.

I hope 5e avoids the 4e conflation.



After a review of the 5 Elements, across different reallife cultures: A Buddhist tradition views the Fifth Element, Ether, as empty void, space.

So, D&D “Shadow” seems most like the Fifth Element, Ether, in its aspect of Space, whence insubstantial ethereality. Note, Ether can also be in its aspect of light - namely the positivity of celestial Radiant energy. Mystic light is also ethereal. (Literally, electromagnetic light can be understood as waves thru insubstantial ether.)



So, do the Shadar-Kai merge with Death? Or do the Shadar-Kai merge with empty Space? These are two different things.
I agree Shadow and Necrotic energy ought to be two different concepts.

The shadowcasters from Tome of Magic aren´t necromancers. And the sangrommancers (blood mages) aren´t really necromancers (only too close).

---

I imagine my version of shadowfell like a demiplane without necrotic energy...(but some dessert zones by defiler magic), where there isn´t normal light (sometimes only as if it was full moon) but only ultraviolet light can be detected by naive fauna and flora and only there is living colours in the closest zones to light. (In the deep sea the red color can´t be seen for long distances).

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

They could be humans who turn into some shadowy half-fey. Since they are now part fey and part shadow, their souls wish to leave them so they must tether their own souls to themselves.. The constantant pull on their sould makes them grim and gloomy and they inflict pain on themselves to feel alive.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Maybe some petitioner souls could go to the faywild (and later become eladrins) or to the shadowfell, and they can breed new generations. The sons would be true fays.

* Why shadar-kais aren´t like shadowswifts or shades? 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

As usual, I really like the compromise ideas.  I think it is a great way to make the game feel as inclusive as possible.  People will read the description of the Shadar-kai and subconsciously supply the missing details.  For example, a 4E player (with no knowledge of the 3E history of the race) will read, "made a pact with a dark power" and think, "Raven Queen". 

Letting the art decide the ear issue is a great idea.  I honestly don't mind either way (regarding human or fey), and in fact I don't think I would mind pointed ears even if they used to be human.  After all, their skin and eyes changed, so why not ears?

I prefer the "They pleaded with Shadow to stave off their fear of death and were transformed as a result" choice.  The other one seems too similar to the Tiefling story: making a bargain with a dark power in order to vanquish enemies and getting cursed as a result.

A power like Shadow Jaunt would be fine for leaders and witches.  It could also simply be a sidebar power in the monster manual.
I thought that 4e shadar-kai were deliberately modelled on the cenobytes from Hellraiser and it gave me a much stronger idea of what they might be like than the shadar-kai from 3e.  However, I don't see why they need to be restricted to humans though if that's purely cosmetic.



That was the first thing I thought when I saw 4E Shadar-Kai...ooh, Cenobytes! Cool! Where's Pinhead and Chatterbox?
I also don't know why they would be limited strictly to humans. I can easily see Eladrin Shadar-Kai (or Dwarven...or Thri-Kreen).
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
I like most of the compromise ideas for the Shadar-kai – inclusion is incredibly important, but the dark pact to smite enemies is tired and lends itself to a more "always evil" or at least Tiefling-esque dark-past to the race, which is problematic and not actually useful for inclusiveness. 

It also makes the Raven Queen almost necessarily evil, which was not the case at all in 4e – she was more like the Lady of Pain in that she was quite unknowable and inconceivable (in many ways, you could argue she was evil and villainous, but in many other ways, you could argue she was actually good and a protector and an ally of justice.)  This is the same problem with the Reaper Cleric kit being basically made for Evil PCs rather than a broader bent (it doesn't allow for Raven Queen Clerics that are dark and connected with death, but hate undead and turn them). 

Instead, I would take the Raven Queen plead idea, but make it one of several possible dark pacts.  Shar is fine too – Shades are essentially a related race in Faerûn – but in my view, the SK and the Shade are almost antitheses of each other.  The Shadar-kai and the Shade may be two separate cultures within the race.  The Shade embrace the darkness and the power that comes with it, the Shadar-kai try to stave it off with pleasure, pain, and technique. 

I can't go without saying the "Ravenloftian" elements of the Shadar-kai story.  In 4e, many areas of the Shadowfell are actually regions of the world that were pulled into it and turned into Domains of Dread.  This connection is important because the Shadar-kai are essentially similar to Domain denizens in that they're driven by an extreme condition.

There are Shadowborn humans in 4e, and Shadar-kai as well.  The difference, in many ways, is that Shadowborn humans are much more recent generations, and haven't felt the draining power of the Shadowfell as much.  I would gut that, and talk about the Plane of Shadow or Shadowfell or Domains of Dread as doing as much as what the Shadar-kai feel.  They can make pacts with darkness and embrace it (like FR Shades), or they can try to resist the ennui with pain and pleasure (like 4e Shadar-kai).     

The ability to turn into shadows is absolutely necessary for the Shadar-kai, but the Jaunting isn't – though it would be a great ability for a Shadar-kai Witch or other Shadar-kai leaders. 

I feel ambivalent over whether Shadar-kai as former humans or fey, and think it would be great to let the better art design decide this.  One interesting idea would be to make the Shadar-kai a hodge-podge mixture of former races, much like the Vistani, before being transformed by the Dark Powers that rule the Shadow Realm.  You could have Eladrin-descended Shadar-kai and Human-descended Shadar-kai living alongside one another.  This would embrace the fusion of Shadowborn races with Shadar-kai, and it would also make it less of, "Only Humans can make the pact to become Shades" as 4e indicated in Heroes of Shadow.   

Finally, I PLAY SHADAR-KAI.  Don't cut the race.  That would be a very mean move. 

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Do the Shadar-kai even need an article based on them?

Yes they appeared in 4e, but I never had the sense that they had gained any sort of traction whatsoever, both overall and compared to some of the creatures that originally appeared in the 3e FF.

If anything, out of the creatures created in that source, I would have greatly preferred the ethergaunts or the kaorti. Those two were awesome, while the shadar-kai... didn't strike me as anything special, and I don't really care to have something as seemingly evil as the shadar-kai attached to Shadow as a major presence. But 4e's design team liked the shadar-kai, so they had more done with them.

I just don't really see shadar-kai as anything remotely resembling iconic for the Shadow Plane. I'm largely ambivalent about them, but if 5e heavily pushes their 4e origins (the meta-origin of the Raven Queen ruins it for me to an extent) it isn't going to do the edition any favors IMO.

Shadow deserves denizens, but the shadar-kai aren't anywhere near the top of the list in my opinion.
Shemeska the Marauder, Freelancer 5 / Yugoloth 10
* We should rebember the Raven Queen isn´t canon in Fogorten Realms nor Greyhawk. 

* The key is they are cursed, infected or tainted by a dark mistyc power. Maybe they escaped from Demiplane of Dread or they were slaves by a evil archfay, or they are getting reading for a future war againt a faction of le-Shay (powerful feys from Book of Epic Levels)) for a empire in the shadowfell. 

* Maybe they need feel pain sometime to active the touch sense because if they don´t it the nerves would sleep, and littles injuries would help their death-touched bodies don´t forget the power of natural healing.

* I would like the standard racial traits for shadar-kais could allow me alternative background, withouth links with the shadowfell or plane of shadow. 

---

Almost off-topic:

* The siths are shadow feys who rule the Shadow Rift (Ravenloft). Could the sith be a "prestige class" for dark feys? 



Ups!!, wrong franchise!! (sith race from Star Wars)

* Are there dark ones in the shadowfell? I guess territorial conflicts with other shadowborn humanoids (shadowswifts, shades andshadar-kais).

* The sluaghs were a undead monster from Birthright settin. I would like suggest the retcon of D&D sluaghs like a gothic fay (almost) undead. A mixture of vampire and the main character from movie "warn bodies". A fey revenant.  



"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

It wasn't until this article that I realized how little I actually care about Shadar-kai. LOL

That being said... whatever the fans want, I stand behind.

Danny

Odd that he mentions the Plane of Shadow, and the Shadowfell, yet only mentions the Feywild, not The Plane of Faerie (which they mentioned in the first packet).

The Shadar Kai are okay (prefer the original version), but such a trendy, 90's angst-Goth type or what-have-you.


Makes me think of South Park.
Good article overall, but there are some points:
There is good and cool information about shadar-kais in the 4e Monster Manual and especially in 4e Manual of the Planes. I've just reread them, it is cool information and material to be drawn from.
shadar-kai should be a playable race somehow, even if it is in the back of the MM.
Most important: A same creature doesn't need to be the same in different settings. I mean, your proposed solution is good, but it is completely fine for the same creature be different in different settings. If the 4e setting (Nentir Vale / Points of Light / World Axis Cosmology) will have support in D&D Next, which I think it should, they should resemble the 4e version. Same thing with the 3.X version of it.


Do the Shadar-kai even need an article based on them?

Yes they appeared in 4e, but I never had the sense that they had gained any sort of traction whatsoever, both overall and compared to some of the creatures that originally appeared in the 3e FF.

They're quite popular amongst the play-groups in my area and I know of at least a good handful of people who would be sad if the Shadar-kai were to be excluded from the next iteration of D&D as a playable race.  I know at least one guy who found them a perfect fit for a character he wanted to model after the Necromongers from Chronicles of Riddick.

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Shadar-kai nigh-perfectly model one of my favourite characters. 

Please don't kill the PC race version.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Very interesting that the polls favoured combining Githyanki and Githzerai into one race 2-1 to keeping them separate. I would've thought that such a dramatic change would be opposed, but then again, the article definately pushed for the idea, and the poll results usually agree with what the article suggests.


Shadar-kai, to me, are a great addition to help fill out a very dead plane. In 3ed, I think the Shadar-kai and Illumians were the only living races to be found in the Negative Plane, and those were introduce in splatbooks. I'm really glad that James Wyatt and the 4ed world team introduced mortal races for the Shadowfell from the start: Shadar-kai and Dark Creepers. 

The Shadar-kai is one of those subtle planar races, one that adopts the millieu of the plane but doesn't hit you over the head with its appearance. Compare Genasi and Tiefling to Shadar-kai: the first two have their patron planes advertised very easily, but their personalities don't necessarily reflect the society of the outsiders that reside there. Shadar-kai could just be Goths from the Material Plane, but their cultural background really fits for a plane of gloom and death. That whole fight-off-ennui is something unique to D&D, and is a great hook to make NPCs with. They're definately villianous material, but they also have great potential for anti-hero, certainly more than Drow.

And they're definately human. Even the 3ed entry doesn't really strike me as being Fey. I agree with other posters that it feels more vindictive and Tiefling than fey, who would usually do something spitefully than genocidal.    

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

While I have preferences for various fluff, it really isn't a very big deal for me.  My DM will make a lot of his own fluff anyway because thats his way.  I never trust that I know much about the monsters in his world just because I've read the monster manual.  

 

The Shadar-kai is one of those subtle planar races, one that adopts the millieu of the plane but doesn't hit you over the head with its appearance. 



That's exactly what I think they do "...look at how angst, yet apathy-ridden, tattooed, and pierced we are, aren't we cool!"

Seems like a race designed by teenagers to me. 

The Shadar-kai is one of those subtle planar races, one that adopts the milieu of the plane but doesn't hit you over the head with its appearance. 

That's exactly what I think they do "...look at how angst, yet apathy-ridden, tattooed, and pierced we are, aren't we cool!"

Seems like a race designed by teenagers to me. 

Sounds great for a game that needs to draw in more teenagers to stay alive.  But in reality, the Shadar-kai have a lot more depth that you are superficially giving them credit for. 

@mikemearls The office is basically empty this week, which opens up all sorts of possibilities for low shenanigans

@mikemearls In essence, all those arguments I lost are being unlost. Won, if you will. We're doing it MY way, baby.

@biotech66 aren't you the boss anyway? isn't "DO IT OR I FIRE YOU!" still an option?

@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.


The Shadar-kai is one of those subtle planar races, one that adopts the milieu of the plane but doesn't hit you over the head with its appearance. 

That's exactly what I think they do "...look at how angst, yet apathy-ridden, tattooed, and pierced we are, aren't we cool!"

Seems like a race designed by teenagers to me. 

Sounds great for a game that needs to draw in more teenagers to stay alive.  But in reality, the Shadar-kai have a lot more depth that you are superficially giving them credit for. 




I agree, they do have some depth, there are some cool aspects, like the whole fey-pact with the Plane of Shadow to cause an eternal twilight (a bit illithidian).

Just the South Park thing can get to me; but I definitely want them included.


The shadar-kais are like Elric of Melibone with piercings.

* Maybe there are different subraces of shadar-kais because the each faction did the ancient pact was done with different  power (the Raven Queen, a Vestige...). And a subrace really has got the strongest link to the plane of shadow, but other subrace all the opossite. Maybe each subrace is linked to a type of power (shadow, necromancy, pact, primal). I would like the option of shadar-kais without shadow powers because I wish create a alternative background for my settin. 

Maybe a shadar-kai subrace is really elf, with bond to a primal power. 

* Can a link between shadow elves (Mystara) and shadar-kais be possible?



* shadar-kais injurie themselfs? Social Status, the scares and other samples of body modification would be a the prove to resistance to pain (and having got higher willpower). And that art is one of their most ancient tradition from tribal times. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 


The Shadar-kai is one of those subtle planar races, one that adopts the millieu of the plane but doesn't hit you over the head with its appearance. 



That's exactly what I think they do "...look at how angst, yet apathy-ridden, tattooed, and pierced we are, aren't we cool!" 



What I meant is that Shadar-kai, compared to Shades, don't look like ambulatory parts of their planes. Their culture has a sensible connection to their environment and background. The spiked chain thing makes sense with the 4ed version (self-flagelation) as opposed to the 3ed version (because we have high DEX).

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Shadar-kai can have sub-races.  Or rather, race origions.

One can teleport.  They where origionally fey.
One can turn insubstantial.  They where origionally human.
One can hide in plain sight.  Offspring of the two.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

You can probably add 4e shade, and 4e revenant in here too.


Shade - new shadow recruits, they can hide in plane sight.
Revenant - embrace pain, they don't fall unconcious while below 0. 



So basicly shardar-kai is anyone who sold themselves to darkness.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.