Totem Sister

Base Requirements

  • Races: Any (female only)
  • Sub-Classes: Cleric
  • Ability Requirements: none
  • Alignments: Any
  • Starting Cash: 2d8 x10gp

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: By class
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Allowed Weapons: Club, Dagger, Javelin, Knife, Longbow, Quarterstaff, Shortbow, Sling, Spear
  • Allowed Armors: None

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: -1 slot
  • Available Categories: By class, plus Pastoral
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Artistic Ability, Runecraft, Tracking, Weather Sense
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Alertness, Animal Handling, Animal Lore, Animal Training, Astrology, Ceremony, Dancing, Direction Sense, Fire-building, Healing, Herbalism, Navigation, Pottery, Prayer, Religion, Sacred Legends, Seamstress/Tailor, Singing, Spellcraft, Survival, Swimming, Vision Quest, Weaving
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Priest Spheres: These replace the standard Cleric spheres.

  • Major: All, Divination, Animal, Combat, Healing, Protection, Summoning
  • Minor: Creation

Overview: Totem-sisters are members of orders that worship the spirit aspects of animals in addition to their chosen deity. Each animal may have good and bad aspects and so there are both good and evil priestesses of the same animal aspect. Typically found in small, rural villages, these priestesses care for the spiritual well-being (or temporal power if evil) of their people. They provide advice to leaders and commoners alike. The spirits of the animal archetypes are, in legend, the servants of gods both evil and good. They are messengers of the gods and convey the gods’ will to their servants on earth. They tell their priestesses why a certain man has fallen on evil luck and what she can do to atone for the sin that has brought upon him the disfavor of the gods.

Totem-sisters are practitioners of the ancient secrets of totemic magic. These mysterious women create small wood or stone charms inscribed with pictorial symbols, which can pass special magical abilities on to their owners. Totem-sisters are also considered wise women and sages, often consulted on important issues.

The Totem-sister picks a normal wild mammal, reptile, or bird as her totem. This creature cannot be larger than a bear or smaller than a mouse. Some common choices include the crow, hawk, coyote, fox, otter, raccoon, rabbit, lynx, mountain lion, or bear. Certain deities may have specific requirements of what creatures are allowed as totem animals.

Description: Totem-sisters tend to dress in a manner typical of other priests of their religion. In addition, they always wear some representation of their totem animal, usually on a large wooden or stone amulet, but occasionally as a carving on a weapon-haft.

Role-Playing: These women craft beneficial totemic images for their village and are considered great sources of wisdom and comfort. They attend births, bless young children, help with planting and harvest, and bless warriors going into battle. Particularly successful totem-sisters are sought out by other villages, and aspiring totemic practitioners for advice and counsel. In a party, the Totem-sister acts as the advisor as to the suitability of their actions in the eyes of the gods and protect others from the wrath of their animal spirit.

Totem-sister tend to adopt characteristics associated with their totem animal. They feel especially protective of their totem animal in the wild and want to befriend the creatures. A Totem-sister acts to promote the interests of the totem species and its individual members. Even if her totem is traditional prey (a deer, for example), a Totem-sister never hunts the animal herself, nor does she eat its meat. While she usually does not try to ban hunting of her totem (except in the case of endangered species), she opposes cruel or wasteful hunting practices.

Special Abilities:

  • Totem-sisters are trained in the use of totemic magic and inscription. This works identically to a Runecaster’s rune magic. A totem-sister learns one rune of
    her choice per level of experience, but never gains bonus runes for a high Wisdom score. She can use and cast these runes exactly as a Runecaster of equal level.
  • The Totem-sister is able to cast wizard spells from the Divination school as priest spells of the same level. All spells that fall exclusively into the Divination school are available to the priestess, regardless of Paths.
  • The Totem-sister receives a +4 bonus to any Healing, Animal Training, Animal Lore, or Animal Handling proficiency checks related to her totem animal. A Totem-sister who doesn’t have one of these proficiencies may behave as though she did when dealing with her totem animal, but does not apply the +4 bonus.
  • At 3rd level, the Totem-sister is able to use speak with animals at will with her totem species.
  • At 5th level, the Totem-sister can charm animals of her totem species. She can affect up to 1 HD of animal per level each day. Affected creatures are allowed a saving throw vs. spells to resist the effect, as per the charm person/mammal spell.
  • At 9th level, Totem-sister gains the ability to summon up to 1 HD of totem animals per level each day. If the creature has more hit dice than the priestess has levels, she may not summon one until her level equals the hit dice of the animal. The creatures serve until dismissed, slain, or 10 turns have elapsed.
  • A Totem-sister can shapechange into the form of her totem animal, as the druid’s shapechange ability, except that she does not regain hit points when shapechanging into or out of the totem form. The Totem-sister takes the form of her totem animal, including all statistics of the animal (except she retains her own hit point total). These statistics remain the same, regardless of the priestess’s level. Any Totem-sister slain in animal form must successfully save vs. death magic or also die in her natural form. If the saving throw is successful, she does not die, but lies in a coma for 2d4 days. The frequency and duration of her change increases with level, according to the following chart.
Level Frequency Duration
1 Once/3 days 2d6 hours
2-3 Once/2 days 2d10 hours
4-6 Once/day 2d20 hours
6-10 Once/day 3d20 hours
11+ At will Indefinite

Special Disadvantages:

  • Totem Sisters do not gain the Clerical ability to Turn Undead, regardless of their religion.
  • Totem Sisters may not wear armor of any kind, or carry a shield. A Totem Sister’s weapon and armor restrictions override those of their Religion.
  • A Totem-sister may never harm an animal of the type chosen as her totem unless it is in self defense and no other non-damaging options are available. If she harms such a creature in the above manner she must atone for her sins in a manner decided by the DM. If she kills such an animal without just cause, she loses her spellcasting ability and powers permanently.

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Totem Sister

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