Shaman

The shaman is a tribal priest found in savage, barbaric, or nomadic societies. In his homeland, the shaman serves his tribe in much the same way that a cleric would serve the common people of more civilized lands; he acts as a guide, protector, and advisor, using his magical powers to strengthen and defend the tribe. Shamans often serve as the keepers of knowledge and legend for their people, and lead the tribe in the various rites and ceremonies required by the tribe’s belief system. A player character shaman may still be associated with his tribe, or he may be a wanderer or exile who has abandoned his duties.

Base Class Statistics:

  • Ability Requirements: Str 13, Wis 13, Con 12
  • Alignments: Any (see below)
  • Experience Chart: Cleric
  • Hit Dice: d8
    • Maximum Hit Dice: 9d8
    • Additional Hit Points: +2 per level beyond 9th
  • Attack: Priest
  • Saves:
    • Paralyzation/Poison/Death: as Priest
    • Rods/Staves/Wands: as Priest
    • Petrification/Polymorph: as Priest
    • Breath Weapon: as Priest
    • Spell: as Priest
  • Proficiencies:
    • Weapons, Initial: 2
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 4 levels
    • Non-Weapon, Initial: 4
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 3 levels
    • Bonus Proficiencies: Religion, Endurance, Survival, Tracking
  • Allowed Weapons: short bow, blowgun, club, dagger, dart, hand axe, harpoon, javelin, knife, light lance, quarterstaff, sling, and spear
  • Allowed Armor: Chainmail or lighter, Shields

Class Features:

Shamans may use any magical items normally usable by priests. Shamans have major access to the spheres of All, Animal, Protection, Summoning, Travelers, and Wards, as well as minor access to Healing and Plant. Shamans never gain followers or establish strongholds. Good-aligned shamans may turn undead as a Cleric, and neutral or evil shamans may command undead.

The shaman receives his spells as insight directly from his deity (the deity does not need to make a personal appearance to grant the spells the shaman prays for), as a sign of and reward for his faith, so he must take care not to abuse his power lest it be taken away as punishment. In addition to those spells gained by leveling (see the Table below), the shaman gains a number of bonus spells based on his Intuition score. Bonus spells of a given level are not gained until the shaman could cast at least 1 spell of that spell level normally.

Priest Spells
Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
1 1
2 2
3 2 1
4 3 2
5 3 3 1
6 3 3 2
7 3 3 2 1
8 3 3 3 2
9 4 4 3 2 1
10 4 4 3 3 2
11 5 4 4 3 2 1
12 6 5 5 3 2 2
13 6 6 6 4 2 2
14 6 6 6 5 3 2 1
15 6 6 6 6 4 2 1
16 7 7 7 6 4 3 1
17 7 7 7 7 5 3 2
18 8 8 8 8 6 4 2
19 9 9 8 8 6 4 2
20 9 9 9 8 7 5 2

In addition to their priest spells, shamans have a special connection to the spirit world and can call on the spirits for guidance, knowledge, or magical aid. While shamans often function as priests of a tribal deity, their primary concern is the spirit world. To a shaman, the physical world is not the entirety of existence; the spirits of animals, nature, and the tribe’s dead are always near, and interacting with these spirits is the shaman’s greatest duty and responsibility.

Shaman Spirit Powers: A shaman begins play with one minor spirit ally or guide of his choice; it’s assumed that he has already performed the rites to summon this first guide. As he rises in level, he learns the rites necessary to call additional spirits. Spirits are individuals—speaking to a spirit of the dead means the shaman is in contact with one particular deceased individual. There are dozens of spirits for each species of animal, representing every aspect of the animal’s existence, and a near-infinite number of nature spirits. The number of spirits a shaman knows how to contact appears on the Table below.

Level Minor Spirits Major Spirits Great Spirits
1 1
2 1
3 2
4 2
5 2 1
6 3 1
7 3 2
8 3 2
9 4 2 1
10 4 3 1
11 4 3 2
12 5 3 2
13 5 4 2
14 5 4 3
15 6 4 3
16 6 5 3
17 6 5 4
18 7 5 4
19 7 6 4
20 7 6 5

Performing the ceremony to call a spirit for the first time requires a week or more of fasting, prayer, and solitude in the appropriate location—if the shaman is trying to call a wolf spirit, he must find a location frequented by wolves, and if he is trying to call a dead spirit, he should perform the ceremony at the individual’s burial site. At the conclusion of this week-long ceremony, the spirit appears, and the shaman establishes contact with it. From that time forward, the shaman may attempt to contact the spirit anywhere or anytime to seek information or request a favor of the spirit.

Spirits of the Dead: These ancestral spirits are individuals who were renowned for their wisdom, skill, or courage in life. Minor spirits may be recent relatives of the shaman, while major spirits are great heroes and wise men of the tribe. A great spirit of the dead is a chieftain or other personage of legendary standing. While spirits of the dead may seem to be frightening allies, they are actually very protective of their living protégé and bear few grudges against the living.

Spirits of the dead know many things. Naturally, they are familiar with any details or events of their own lifetimes. They are able to perceive the shaman’s future and can offer advice in times of tough choices. Dead spirits can also provide some measure of protection for the shaman and his allies by using their power on the shaman’s behalf. Minor spirits can invoke the powers of augury, feign death, prayer, or speak with dead on behalf of the shaman; major spirits can invoke divination, commune, or find the path for the shaman; and great spirits can invoke raise dead, forbiddance, or astral spell for the shaman. Spells invoked by spirits are cast at the level of the shaman, unless the spell is normally cast at a level higher than the shaman has access to. If the latter is the case, then the spell is cast at the minimum required level of that particular spell. Note that these are spells normally outside the shaman’s spheres of access. In addition, there can be other role-playing effects gained in conversation with the spirits, such as information or guidance in making difficult choices.

Animal Spirits: The shaman lives in a world in which animals are a vital part of human life. Animals provide food, shelter, clothing, and tools for the shaman’s people, and the animal spirits are revered for their wisdom and knowledge. Minor and major spirits are embodiments of an archetype, such as the Old Wolf, the Sleeping Bear, or the Hunting Eagle. Great animal spirits are the leaders of these lesser spirits and contain in themselves everything the animal stands for—the Great Bear, the Great Wolf, and so on.

Animal spirits are powerful, but they’re also less inclined to offer advice or guidance to the shaman. Their interest lies in ensuring that the shaman is respectful towards their species and helps to guide others in dealing with their kin, not in aiding the shaman in his own affairs. The spirits of game animals such as moose or deer don’t mind if the shaman or his people hunt the animal, but they grow angry if the hunting is wanton or disrespectful.
Animal spirits have knowledge of events that have affected their species in the local area and have a number of powers they can use on the shaman’s behalf.

Minor animal spirits can aid the shaman by using animal friendship, speak with animals, or animal summoning I on his behalf. In addition, the animal spirit can grant a limited form of clairaudience and clairvoyance by allowing the shaman to see through the eyes of an animal of that species, with a range of one mile. Animals of the species in question will never attack the shaman or anyone under his protection unless the shaman has angered the spirit or the animals are magically controlled.

Major animal spirits can use animal summoning II on the shaman’s behalf, grant him the speed or movement powers of the animal (flying, swimming, or running at the animal’s base speed), or transform the shaman into the shape of the animal, similar to a druid’s shapechange. Great spirits can use animal summoning III, heal the shaman or one person under his protection, or become tangible and aid the shaman in a form resembling Mordenkainen’s faithful hound.

Spirits of Nature: The most reclusive and powerful spirits are the elemental spirits of nature. These beings represent the physical world around the shaman. The strength or power of the feature the spirit represents determines whether it is considered a minor, major, or great spirit. A stream, copse, or hilltop may be home to a minor spirit; a river, moderate forest, or canyon may be guarded by a major spirit; and a mountain, large forest, or mighty river may be the home of a great spirit. Spirits of nature frequently take on human-like features or characteristics when dealing with a shaman, so a spirit might be known as Old Mountain, River Woman, or Forest Walker.

Spirits of nature are even more distant than animal spirits, but they do feel some attachment for the people and creatures who live nearby. A river spirit is likely to be protective of the village built on its banks, as long as the people show respect to it. Nature spirits often change with the seasons, so a river spirit in the spring flood may be wild, capricious, and dangerous to deal with, while a forest spirit in winter may be sleeping and hard to rouse.
At 5th level, Shotheri gains the power to summon a major spirit. Since he has been spending a lot of time in the forests near his home village, he chooses to befriend the Birch Woman, a spirit of a great belt of birch trees in the forest’s heart.

Spirits of nature are generally well-informed about anything that has taken place in their location and can relate this information to the shaman. Spirits of nature are also capable of using potent powers on the shaman’s behalf; the principle difference between minor and great spirits is the size of the area in which they can be summoned. Minor spirits are bound to one specific site not more than a few hundred yards across, major spirits are limited to five or ten square miles, and great spirits can act in areas the size of small nations. Note that the areas of effect of spell-like abilities remain unchanged—a great spirit is powerful because the region in which he is available to assist the shaman is much larger than a minor spirit’s range.

Spirits of nature can help a shaman by invoking a number of spell-like powers for the shaman. Unlike elementals, spirits of nature include aspects of vegetation and all the elements of their home, so a mountain spirit has influence over earth and air as well as the forests that grow on the mountain’s slopes. The abilities available to spirits of nature are described below.
Land Spirits: entangle, pass without trace, dust devil, trip, meld into stone, snare, speak with plants, commune with nature, stonetell, liveoak, wall of thorns, animate rock, and changestaff. Land spirits may be associated with mountains, plains, forests, plateaus, canyons, mesas, or any other distinct land feature.

Air Spirits: obscurement, call lightning, gust of wind, wind wall, commune with nature, air walk, control winds, weather summoning, control weather, uncontrolled weather, and windwalk. Air spirits are associated with high peaks, windswept plains or valleys, or seasonal winds such as a scirocco or the north wind of the winter.

Water Spirits: wall of fog, fog cloud, water breathing, water walk, lower water, solid fog, reflecting pool, commune with nature, part water, and transmute dust to water. Water spirits are associated with lakes, streams, rivers, or seas.

Calling Spirits:
Once a shaman has performed the initial ceremony that attracts a spirit and establishes a connection to the being, he can summon that spirit anytime to seek the information, favors, and powers described above. The shaman’s location doesn’t matter; a spirit can come to him anywhere, even though spirits of nature may not be able to help him outside their homes.
To summon a spirit, the shaman must chant, pray, and perform a ceremonial dance for at least 1 turn. The base chance of success is 10% per character level, plus 10% for every additional turn the character chants and dances, to a maximum 90% chance of success. If the shaman has already attempted to summon a spirit that day, his maximum chance of success falls by 10% per summoning attempt—a shaman who has called one spirit, tried to call another and failed, and is trying a third summoning has a maximum success chance of 70%, or possibly less if he’s a low-level character in a hurry. In any event, a shaman may attempt no more than one calling per level in the course of a single day. A roll of 96 or higher (91 or higher in the case of spirits of nature) angers the spirit the shaman is trying to call.

If the spirit isn’t angry at the shaman for some reason, it appears with a successful roll. Only shamans can see the spirit or speak to it; other characters may be aware of chills, strange odors, shimmering hazes, unusual gusts of wind, and other signs. The shaman can converse with the spirit for one round per character level, asking one question per round. Asking a favor of a spirit, such as the use of a spell-like ability, requires one round for minor abilities, two for major, and three for abilities that can only be granted by great spirits. During this request the shaman explains what he wishes of the spirit and why the spirit should help him; if the DM thinks it appropriate, the player must role-play this conversation. If the spirit agrees to help, the spell-like effect is granted to the shaman, who may “hold” it for up to one full day until he’s ready to invoke the spirit’s power. A shaman can only hold one favor at a time and can’t request another of any spirit until he has used the held ability.

Spirits as NPCs: Spirits are individuals, and they have long memories. A shaman who takes actions the spirits find offensive, or who asks their help in questionable circumstances, may be denied assistance just because the spirit doesn’t feel like being helpful. The DM may find it useful to refer to NPC Reactions; simply rate the spirit’s frame of mind as threatening, hostile, indifferent, or friendly depending on how the shaman’s been acting and how outrageous the shaman’s request is to the spirit. It’s a good idea to create personalities, motivations, and attitudes for the spirits the shaman deals with most often.
Spirits do not have game statistics; normal mortals have no means of injuring them, although other divine creatures may be able to do so. Only greater spirits can take a physical form, and even then they’re reluctant to do so. Greater spirits of the dead can briefly resume their living form with the appropriate class and abilities; animal spirits can appear as a double-sized version of the normal variety; and spirits of nature can appear as 12 HD elementals. In physical form, spirits can only be injured by +2 or better weapons, and even if they’re “killed,” they only retreat from the scene for a short while.

Angering the Spirits: A shaman can completely alienate the spirits by taking particularly offensive actions. If the offense is temporary or unintentional, the spirit simply refuses to answer any calls for a suitable period of time—one week to a year may be appropriate. If the offense was deliberate or permanent in nature, the spirit severs its connection to the shaman and cannot be called again until the shaman atones for his offense, repairs whatever damage he did and repeats the week-long summoning ceremony.


Totem Animal

In addition to their patron deity, each shaman must select a Totem Animal. Each Totem Animal has its own alignment restrictions and grants access to one or two additional spheres, in addition to those available to all Shamans.

Black Lion:

  • Alignments: Non-Evil (LG, LN, NG, TN, CG, CN)
  • Spheres: Major-Combat, War.

Black Raven:

  • Alignments: Non-Chaotic (LG, LN, LE, NG, TN, NE)
  • Spheres: Major-Charm. Minor-Thought.

Blue Bear:

  • Alignments: Non-Lawful, Evil (NE, CE)
  • Spheres: Major-Combat, War.

Elk:

  • Alignments: Non-Lawful (NG, TN, NE, CG, CN, CE)
  • Spheres: Major-Charm. Minor-Guardian.

Gray Wolf:

  • Alignments: Non-Lawful (NG, TN, NE, CG, CN, CE)
  • Spheres: Major-Combat, War.

Gray Worm:

  • Alignments: Good (LG, NG, CG)
  • Spheres: Major-Charm, Fire. Minor-Thought.

Griffon:

  • Alignments: Non-Evil (LG, LN, NG, TN, CG, CN)
  • Spheres: Major-Combat, War.

Red Tiger:

  • Alignments: Non-Lawful, Non-Evil (NG, TN, CG, CN)
  • Spheres: Major-Combat, War.

Sky Pony:

  • Alignments: Non-Evil (LG, LN, NG, TN, CG, CN)
  • Spheres: Major-Combat, Air.

Tree Ghost:

  • Alignments: Neutral (LN, TN, CN)
  • Spheres: Major-Weather, Water. Minor-Time.

Pakkaan:

  • Alignments: Neutral (LN, NG, TN, NE, CN)
  • Spheres: Major-Sun, Weather. Minor-Creation.

Shaman

Ruins of Adventure Brand_Darklight Brand_Darklight