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Shamans depend on the spirits to cast magic spells, but they can also accomplish much on their own. What defines a shaman is the ability to appeal to the spirits, definitely, but also his knowledge of the world around him, his potential to work with it and to change it with sheer determination.
In this chapter, you will find how shamans, and any other characters who wish to try, can use existing skills in new ways, along with new feats that allow for a greater level of personalization for a shaman character, and new rites to channel the shaman’s power to ask favours from the spirits.
Shamans are a varied lot, since the spirits’ call does not discriminate between professions and careers. However, once set in the path of the animae, shamans learn new uses for old skills, gaining a deeper understanding of the everyday world at the same time as they delve into the secrets of the invisible one.
The shaman is a master of self-discipline, and he can use his Concentration for more than casting spells under duress.
Trance: You can enter trance states to study matters of the Spirit World and to perform rituals that will attract the animae. Shamans can search for answers to dilemmas they face by dreaming a way into the Spirit World, asking questions from either their guardian spirit or seeking another spirit that might hold the answers.
By use of this skill, you only get one question and a general answer or none at all. More elaborate consultations require the enactment of rites, the casting of spells or the activation of certain special abilities
The trance can also reduce your need for sleep, resting only 4 hours like elves do, or only 2 hours if already an elf.
A failed check means that no spirit answers, that sleep time is normal or that your mind is not focused enough, penalizing any following rite roll with a –2 circumstance penalty.
|12||Ask a question to the Guardian Spirit|
|15||Reduce sleep time|
|20||Add +2 to Perform (rituals) checks in order to enact rites.|
|15+spirit’s spell level||Ask a question to another spirit|
Dealing with spirits requires tact, and a careless tongue could very well get the shaman killed, cursed, or at the very least mocked. Characters dealing with spirits roll Diplomacy checks against a base DC of 10 plus the spirit’s spell level. For example, Chezik is trying to cajole a forge spirit into performing a simple task. The spirit is quite minor, able to cast spells not more powerful than 2nd level, so Chezik must roll 12 or more. On the other hand, asking the anima of Darkmist Forest (a spirit with 8th level spells) to grant safe passage requires a roll of 18 or higher. After all, when you are one of the forces of Creation, you can afford to be haughty. Spirit Diplomacy checks can be modified by circumstances under the Games Master’s judgement: the spirit could be offended by something mortals did and the checks suffer a –2 penalty, or the shaman can know the spirit’s True Name (see Knowledge below) and gain a +5 bonus.
Knowledge (Int; Trained only)
The shamanic tradition may be based on intuition, but that does not mean that lore is not accumulated and transmitted, and that the character will not enjoy the benefits of learning and acquiring knowledge.
Spirits: You learn the distinctions between the different kinds of spirits, the rules that govern them and the powers they can grant. This area of knowledge is particularly useful when trying to summon a spirit in order to convince it into being your spirit ally, or to gain insight into its preferences in order to appease it. You gain a +2 synergy bonus if you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (The Planes).
Offerings involve the destruction, usually by fire, of foods, plants or objects related to the spirit’s function, and sacrifices involve the slaying of specific creatures in honour of the spirit. Note that certain powerful and evil spirits may require humanoid sacrifices. The Divine Focus is an item that echoes the spirit’s nature and pleases its sensibilities; the shaman can use any Divine Focus he defines to cast that spirit’s spell, but using its favoured Focus in the summoning will ensure a positive disposition, or at the very least a good mood.
|DC||Information||Bonus to Diplomacy/Perform checks|
|11||The spirit’s Domain||+1|
|13||Auspicious/inauspicious time of day/month/year||+2|
|15||Favoured/hated offerings||+1 each|
|25||Favoured Divine Focus||+3|
The Spirit World: Knowledge of the Spirit World is a more specialized field of knowledge of the Planes. Being aware of the inhabitants and pitfalls of the Spirit World can greatly help when you gain the power to leave the material world and travel onwards, whether in dreams, visions or even physically.
Special: You gain a +2 synergy bonus in this Knowledge’s checks if you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (The Planes).
Herbalism: You are trained to recognize the special properties of plants, not only their mundane properties, but also any magical or spiritual property. A successful check allows you to find the herbs that attract or repel spirits, induce trances, cure diseases and brew potions.
Special: Shamanic herb knowledge is vast and profound, and if you have 5 or more ranks in this Skill, you gain a +2 synergy bonus on Heal, Alchemy, and Profession (Apothecary).
The shaman’s role in a community requires him to convey the lore and legends of his people, but there is a more vital task that the Perform skill plays in shamanic duties: the ritual.
Rituals: You know the dances and chants that attract the spirits’ attention, and can enact the rituals to summon, awake and dismiss them. While anyone can perform the moves and utter the songs, only the shaman can empower the ritual to appeal to the animae. Different rites have different DCs, and most are modified by the spirits’ spell levels as well as their current attitude. The Perform check can be further modified if you have procured the proper tools and offerings (See Knowledge).
Profession (Apothecary) (Wis)
As master herbalists, shamans take well to the apothecary profession. Their brand of medicine can take a more exotic turn, with dried herbs hanging from doors replacing cataplasms. Apothecaries can also concoct non-magical medicines and antidotes, helping characters resist or shrug off the effects of poison and disease. With all available ingredients (which includes having dried or treated the herbs previously), making one of these herbal drugs takes a few hours. With inadequate ingredients, all DCs raise by +5. If the apothecary does not have the ingredients, he must procure them first with a successful Wilderness Lore or Knowledge (Herbalism) check (DC set by the GM) or purchasing them in a town or city. All herbal drugs are one-shot items; they dry up or drain with a single use.
Special: You gain a +2 synergy bonus to your check if you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (herbalism).
Selecting any of the following feats further individualizes a shaman’s unique powers, but non-shamans may also pick some of these feats if they meet the prerequisites; maybe they ignored the call of the animae at some point in their life, or the spirits took notice of them and blessed them with a minor gift, free of charge.
This new feat category encompasses special gifts that only people attuned to the Spirit World can enjoy. The basic prerequisite for all spirit feats is that the character must be able to perceive spirits, either because he belongs to the shaman class or other prestige classes in this book, or because he enjoys the benefits of The Sight, a general feat described below. Spirit feats work because the character can project his will into the Spirit World, and the animae heed the call for aid or feel that he is somehow special.
Additional Favour (Spirit)
Your rituals are so good that more spirits lend you their power each day.
Prerequisite: Charisma 15+, 6 ranks in Perform (rituals).
Benefit: You can select two additional allies as your favoured spirits for the day regarding Domain power invocation.
Normal: You select a limited number of allies per day as your favoured spirits, determined by your Wisdom modifier.
Bind Spirit (Item Creation)
You can craft inexpensive, temporary magic items using a spirit’s power, not your own.
Prerequisite: Any Item Creation feat except Brew Potion, ability to summon spirits.
Benefit: When creating a magical item with another Item Creation feat, you do not need to pay the listed cost of masterwork or high quality components: you only pay the price of a normal item as shown in the SRD, or even use self-crafted items. You must summon a spirit as described in the Spirit Magic chapter, but instead of convincing the spirit to be your ally, you convince it to inhabit the item and endow it with a spell the spirit possesses. Caster level is the minimum required to cast the spell in question, and the shaman only spends half the XP he would have needed to craft the item without the spirit’s help. The downside is that the item is only usable for a limited number of times equal to twice the shaman’s Charisma modifier; after the last ‘charge’ is used, the spirit leaves. Spirits cannot be bound in order to brew potions.
Your guardian spirit is actually part of your own soul.
Prerequisite: Strong Guardian, Wisdom 18+
Benefit: When creating your guardian spirit, you use your own stats as the base creature for the Spirit template. Your level advancement echoes in your guardian spirit, and its personality is a reflection of yours. In addition to this, the guardian has all the power of a spirit and grants you the advantages all guardian spirits bestow on the shamans as described under the shaman class. Skill maximums for Bestow Skill still apply, and Bestow Ability effectively doubles your Ability modifiers for the duration of the effect.
Normal: The guardian spirit is a normal creature or NPC with the Spirit template applied to it.
Special: The Bestow special abilities work differently for a Broken shaman. Since he already possesses the feats his Broken soul can offer, the guardian can Bestow feats for which the shaman possesses a prerequisite feat. For example, Tarik has the Point-Blank Shot feat, so his guardian can bestow on him either Far Shot, Precise Shot or Rapid Shot, and give him a taste of what he could do if he chose that feat later.
Eerie Presence (General)
You have an air of strangeness around you that disquiets your opponents (and your friends)
Prerequisite: Charisma 15+, 5 Ranks in Intimidate, ability to cast 1st level spells.
Benefit: Anyone attacking you in hand-to-hand range must succeed in a Will save (DC 10 + half your level, rounding up) or suffer a –1 morale penalty to his attack and damage rolls for the rest of the encounter. This is a supernatural ability and does not affect constructs, undead and other creatures immune to fear effects.
Special: You also suffer a –2 penalty to any check that involves social interaction.
Ghost Magic (Metamagic)
The spirit is able to work its magic in the material world.
Prerequisite: Access to the Spirit Domain, Wisdom 15+, caster level 7th.
Benefit: The spellcaster can make a spell cross the boundary between the ethereal plane and the material world. A spell cast in this manner takes effect in the ethereal plane if the caster is in the material world, and vice versa. A ghost magic spell uses up a spell slot three levels higher than the spell’s actual level.
Normal: Spells only affect targets in the same plane as the caster.
Special: Force spells affect both the material and the ethereal plane and gain no extra benefit from this feat.
Large Entourage (Spirit)
Spirits talk about you, and they are willing to give you additional assistance.
Prerequisite: Spiritual Magnet.
Benefit: You can have two additional Allies in your retinue above your total, with full access to their spell lists and Domains.
Normal: Shamans can have a maximum of Allies defined by their level and Charisma modifier.
Natural Healing (General)
Your way of life has made you healthier.
Prerequisite: Great Fortitude, Endurance, Wisdom 15+, 3 Ranks in Heal.
Benefit: You recover hit points equal to your level plus your Wisdom modifier each time you rest.
Normal: Characters can only recover their level in hit points when resting.
Prerequisite: Ability to summon spirits, 5 ranks in Concentration.
Benefit: You can enact four additional rites per day above the normal limit.
Normal: Shamans can only enact one rite per day per level.
You have good control of your subconscious mind.
Prerequisite: Wisdom 13+, Iron Will.
Benefit: You have a +2 bonus to your saving throws against illusions and mind-affecting effects.
Spiritual Magnet (General)
You have a powerful presence in the eyes of the animae.
Prerequisite: Charisma 15+
Benefit: You have a +2 circumstance bonus to all your dealings with spirits.
Strong Guardian (Spirit)
Your guardian spirit is more powerful than normal, granting you additional power.
Prerequisite: The ability to summon a guardian spirit.
Benefit: Your guardian is generous enough to grant you access to an additional Domain of your choosing, though it must be appropriate to the nature of your guardian. You must invoke the granted power from this Domain if you wish to use it, but you can cast its spells spontaneously, like the spells from your guardian’s original Spirit Domain.
Normal: Guardian spirits only grant access to the Spirit Domain.
The Sight (General)
Even if you are not a shaman, you get glimpses of the invisible world.
Prerequisite: Wisdom 13+
Benefit: When an active spirit is within 60ft. of your position, you make a Spot check (DC 20) to see it and guess its nature and intentions.
Normal: Uninitiated characters are blind to the spirits.
Special: Shamans, certain shamanic prestige classes and clerics with the Spirit Domain gain this feat for free at 1st level as part of the Spirit Domain’s granted power. The GM is at liberty to roll for the character to see spirits in his vicinity; sometimes they are not pretty, and some of them want to be noticed.
Shamans automatically learn and develop rites as they advance in experience, but they are not limited to that list. The following are alternate rites that a shaman can learn in addition to the ones he receives when reaching an appropriate level.
Rites are powerful tools, and they require that the shaman advance on the spiritual path before learning them. These alternate rites have a caster level requisite that the character must meet in order to add any of them to the ones he already knows. When a shaman gains a level, he can choose to spend three skill points to acquire a rite for which he qualifies instead of buying skill ranks with them.
Rites are spell-like effects that take ten minutes to enact, and the shaman cannot be interrupted or the rite automatically fails. The Difficulty Class for the Perform (rituals) check is listed on each rite’s description. A failed check means that the spirits do not answer the shaman’s plea, and a roll of 1 means that he offended the spirits, and his next rite will suffer a –2 penalty on the Perform check.
Rite of Atonement
Required Caster Level: 7th
Target: 1 living creature inside a ritual circle
You appeal to the spirits, reminding them of their function as the messengers and intermediaries between mortals and gods and beseeching them for intervention on behalf of another creature. By enacting this rite, you can help the recipient to atone for sins and misdeeds, provided he is truly repentant. It works like the atonement spell, but each use carries a different Difficulty Class:
|Reverse magical alignment change||15|
|Restore class||10 + last level gained in lost class|
|Restore cleric or druid spell power||20|
|Apologize to spirits||15 + offended spirit’s spell level|
The rite cannot be used to convince a creature to change alignment to yours.
Apologize to spirits: This use of this rite begs the spirits to forgive an offence by a shaman or any other creature. Spirits hold collective grudges when one of them is offended, and it is the offended spirit that establishes the rite’s DC. Success in atoning with the offended spirits works for all the others who oppose the recipient for that offence, but other insults and impasses must be dealt with individually. Atoning with the spirits removes any curse, illness or penalty that originates from offended spirits, including the –2 penalty to rites and dealings with them.
Rite of Cleansing
Required Caster Level: 6th level
Target: 10ft. per level
Duration: 1 day per level
You can clean an area of the presence of evil. This rite attracts spirits aligned with the forces of good and compels them to protect the area of effect. All evil creatures in the material and ethereal planes must make a Will save with a DC equal to your Perform (rituals) check result or leave the area. Even if successful, the creatures must make the saving throw each round they remain in the area, and also if trying to enter it from outside. If people inside the area of effect are possessed, charmed or under the influence of mental powers, they are allowed a second saving throw to shrug off those effects, using your Perform check result in place of their roll if, after rolling, it proves to be better. If the person fails the saving throw and remains under outside control, he must leave the area as if he were an evil creature.
Rite of Counsel
Required Caster Level: 3rd
Duration: 1 week
Commonly known as the vision quest, this rite allows you to consult the spirits on an issue at hand. Your mind travels to the spirit world and begins asking questions of any and all spirits you encounter. You receive visions that pertain to whatever is troubling you at the moment, or about courses of action you wish to take. You emerge from the rite’s trance with ambiguous signs and portents in your memory, hard to recognize or interpret until you encounter the situation about which the spirits advised you.
This rite gives you a number of d20 dice equal to your Wisdom modifier. During the next week, you can roll one or more of these dice along any normal roll, and you get to keep the result you want on any of the dice rolled (because there are times when you may want a low result…) You can only use each of these extra dice once, and if any die remains after a week passes, it is wasted. You cannot enact this rite again as long as you have an extra die unrolled. You could enact this rite every week of the month, but it is not advisable to abuse the spirits’ gifts. The GM can think of nasty ways for the spirits to teach you to fend for yourself.
Rite of Cursing
DC: 15 + victim’s HD
Required Caster Level: 12th
Target: 1 creature
Duration: Until dispelled or lifted Inciting a shaman’s anger is not a wise move, for he has allies that no magic can see, and may turn the world against the target of his ire. The rite of cursing requires you to possess an item that once belonged to your intended victim, or the rite will not work. This item becomes the rite’s focus, and it will affect the victim regardless of distance and even plane; the spirits are nothing if not relentless.
You inflict a curse on a target creature and, if you succeed in your Perform (rituals) roll, the victim gets no saving throw and begins to feel the effects of your curse immediately. The target can stave off temporarily some of the effects with different saves, with a DC equal to your Charisma score. Typical shamanic curses are:
† Victim contracts a wasting disease that drains a temporary ability point each day. Healing magic dispels the effect for one day only, and the symptoms resume where they left off the following morning. The disease leaves the victim at 1 in every ability.
† The target suffers from constant nightmares; he must make a Will save to attempt any dangerous action. If a spellcaster, the target must also make a Fortitude save to be able to prepare spells owing to the lack of sleep.
† The target has a –2 penalty to every roll owing to distractions by spirits manifesting in the corner of his eyes. After a few months of this treatment, he must start making Will saves at the GM’s discretion or start losing Wisdom owing to growing insanity.
† Target must make a Will save if he wishes to tell a lie, or to tell the truth.
† During 1d4 hours each day, the character is under the effects of the blink spell. He always starts vanishing at the most inopportune moments.
† The target can see his surroundings as if he was in the ethereal plane, but he remains in the material world.
You are free to come up with new curses, taking the above as guidelines and subject to the GM’s approval. Remove curse, break enchantment and limited wish block the curse’s effect for a full day only. It can only be permanently removed by miracle or wish. Destroying the focus you used with which to inflict the curse with can also break it.
Rite of Defilement
Required Caster Level: 5th level
Target: 10ft. per level
Duration: 1 day per level
This rite works exactly like the rite of cleansing, except that it drives away good-aligned creatures, and does not allow possessed or controlled creatures a second saving throw.
Rite of Healing
DC: 10, the same as the disease, or 5 + target ability score
Required Caster Level: 5th
Target: 1 Huge or smaller creature touched
Your power becomes enough to drive away illness or restore the balance on a creature’s body. The rite has three different supernatural effects: The first application (DC 10) can raise the target creature’s hit points to 1 if they dropped below 0 and after being successfully stabilized by a Heal check. The second use (DC is the same as the disease’s or the condition that brought the disease) removes a disease as per the remove disease spell. The last effect can restore ability points lost to temporary or permanent ability score loss from any source, with a DC equal to 5 + the ability score to be restored. For example, a poisonous snake bites Chezik during his training, reducing his Strength score from 14 to 10. Telzun needs the boy healthy for a ritual the day after, so he enacts the healing rite. His DC to restore Chezik to full health is 5 + 14 (Chezik’s original score) = 19. Had Telzun chosen to leave the young apprentice a little weaker to remind him to be more careful, his DC would have been lower (from 16 to 18), depending on how hard a lesson he wanted the apprentice to learn.
Rite of Initiation
DC: 10 + spirit’s spell level
Required Caster Level: 8th
Target: 1 intelligent humanoid inside a ritual circle
Duration: 1 day per level or permanent An experienced shaman can teach his craft to apprentices and, when he deems them ready to take on the shamanic path, he can enact the rite of initiation, by which he opens a person’s senses to the spirit world. The person subject to the rite must be already in a trance state (Concentration check DC 15). If the subject of the initiation wants to resist the rite’s effect, he can make a Will save with a DC equal to your Perform (rituals) check result. If successful, he will wake up from the trance, and have the denizens of the Spirit World greatly disappointed. Should he fail the saving throw, the rite continues, and the spirits will teach him the price of defying them. The first effect of the rite is to bestow on the subject with an immediate awareness of the spirits around him. He gains the equivalent of the Sight feat for the duration of the rite. After that, a spirit arrives to act as the subject’s guardian spirit for 1 day for each level he has in the shaman class. During that time, the subject enjoys all the benefits of having a guardian spirit. At the end of the duration, the subject must make the choice between following the shamanic path (gaining his first level in the shaman class the next time he gains a level) or abandon it, at which time the spirit leaves.
A second initiation rite must be enacted to awaken fully the subject’s skills. The subject summons all available animae aided by the now firmly established guardian spirit, and they rip the subject’s soul to pieces, and then put him back together. This is a deeply symbolic process, and the new shaman can emerge not only with the abilities of the new class, but also armed with appropriate feats and skills if his level allows.
Rite of Protection
Required Caster Level: 5th
Target: 1 creature inside a ritual circle
Duration: 1 hour per level
By enacting this rite, you ask the spirits to favour a single creature with their protection, the subject included. The spirits will closely watch over the recipient of this rite for the duration of the effect, and bestow on him a +2 deflection bonus to AC and +2 resistance bonus to saves. These bonuses apply against attacks from non-neutral creatures. In addition, non-neutral summoned or conjured creatures cannot make bodily contact with the recipient of this rite: all natural attacks fail and the creature recoils from the protected creature. This second effect ends the moment the recipient attacks the creature or forces the spirits’ protective aura against it. Spell resistance can allow a creature to overcome this protection and touch the recipient of the rite.