First of all shadows use a touch attack which is a new kind of attack which didn't exist in ADOM. Touch attacks work like this:
- Touch attacks ignore the positive DV modifiers of all protective items worn by the attack target (except for shields).
- The logic here is that for a touch attack it is enough to connect in some way to the target to be effective (like e.g. a shocking grasp). Thus positive DV modifiers do not help except for those provided by shields as that extra barrier helps blocking the attacker.
JADE differentiates between physical and magical attacks.
Physical attacks are attacks that work as in ADOM: PV reduces the damage.
Magical attacks use one of the new stats in JADE: MR (look in the stats display - it's been there since the very first version) reduces the damage.
Shadows now possess a magical touch attack that causes a little damage and drains strength points. Now go figure :-)
As a side discussion we talked about cloaks of displacement which obviously should be effective against touch attacks. The first idea from the community was that cloaks of displacement provide a plain DV modifier. Which seems logical at first and might be an appropriate implementation of the displacement effect technically. But that's not the way how it works in JADE as then touch attacks would be able to bypass displacement effects. Displacement effects in JADE are modeled as reducing the attack roll of the attacker - which is different from increasing the DV of the defender.
What I love about JADE is that doing such stuff is trivial thanks to the overall infrastructure.
As a result I am almost finished with shadows (attribute drain still needs to be added), touch effects are in the game and cloaks of displacement have been added as well as necklaces of protection from touch attacks.