Shaman are Spiritual leaders and advisers who typically operate in the wilder places of the Realm of Strife, though they can sometimes be found on the fringe of civilized society as well. Unlike traditional practitioners of the Spiritual arts, a Shaman communicates directly with elemental spirits as the source of their power. In some ways this makes them more akin to men and women of Faith rather than practitioners of the Spiritual arts. Within a tribal context they are often viewed as a religious figure of sorts. This translates well into acting in a support or utility role on the battlefield.
Their ability to communicate with elemental spirits makes their approach to Spirit powers unique, both when casting and learning new powers. However, elemental spirits see the world through different eyes, possessing their own will, so working with them has its own innate risks. The fury of the elements is well known. Shaman are accustomed to embracing that fury and channeling it to improve their casting potential. By seeking to understand and embrace this fury also makes them very dangerous both at range and in close combat. While they avoid the arcane, when it comes to elemental or natural powers there are few who can rival the might of a Shaman.
Typical Roles: Support/Utility, Melee Damage, Ranged Damage
Damage Types: Physical, Spirit (Elemental or Natural)
Class Mechanic: Fury and Spirit
Available Races: Wild Elf, Human, Half-Elf, Dwarf, Orc, Half-Orc, Minotaur
Initial Gold: varies by race from 104.5 to 165.0
During Character Creation you may choose to use the Default Stat Line, before racial modifiers, instead of rolling for stats, or if after rolling ten sets of stats you don’t like the results
Natural Armor Proficiency: Cloth, Leather
Trainable Armor Proficiency: Mail
Natural Weapon Proficiency: Knives, Bludgeons, Axes, Staves, Wands
Trainable Weapon Proficiency: Bludgeons (2H), Hand Weapons, Whips
See Equipment section for details. When using a weapon that your class is not proficient with, see Combat Penalties. There is no level or title prerequisite to train in a new proficiency, however you must receive the appropriate Training.
Primary Skills: Spirit
Upon character creation, Shamans choose one School of Magic that is a hereditary birthright or instinctual predisposition. This is a primal connection with the spirit world, thereby restricting them to the Natural or Elemental Domains. Though Arcane powers are also spiritual in nature, they are beyond the grasp of Shamans and therefore can never be wielded, learned, or tamed in any way.
After gaining additional Titles, Shamans may choose to remain dedicated to single School of Magic or to branch off into other Natural or Elemental Schools of Magic. If choosing to diversify, instead of ranking up an previously existing school they start each new School of Magic at Tier 1. This means that Shaman with sufficient Titles to learn three different Schools of Magic, will have access to learn only lower Tier powers, while a Shaman dedicated to a single School would be able to learn higher Tier powers. For the purposes of establishing the Shaman’s “Tier of Caster” or for powers that increase in effectiveness by Tier, use the combined total of all Tiers (i.e. a Shaman with T3 Fire and T2 Earth is still considered a T5 Caster overall, despite not being able to actually learn Tier 5 powers).
Communing with Spirits
To learn new Spirit Powers Shamans commune directly with the spirits that they see as the source of their powers, whether elemental or natural. As such, they have no need for scrolls, spell books or even mentors or teachers. Instead, in the early stages (Tier 1-2), Shamans enter a trance-like state where they can walk with the Spirits within themselves. In later stages (Tier 3+) they can choose to talk directly to Spirits without the need for a trance. If they can locate a Spirit capable of using the power they seek, they may request that the elemental or natural spirit teach them the word or phrase in the Elemental or Primal tongue to activate and gain Mastery over that particular power.
Some Spirits will ask the Shaman to complete some kind of task or quest in return for the knowledge. Tasks vary from very minor to extremely complex depending on the Tier and/or Spirit cost. A spirit that its pleased with a particular Shaman may even go so far as to gift them with a Talisman that can be used to easily commune with that spirit at any time.
However, some spirits may be less cooperative and decide they are not willing to share their knowledge with an undeserving Shaman. In these cases the Shaman may decide to forcibly wrestle the knowledge from the spirit by defeating it in combat. Some shamans go a step further, seeing appeasement of the Elemental or Natural spirits as a waste of time and effort, and therefore always choose to force the spirits into submission. This can be a rewarding path to power, but it is also a dangerous one. Disrespecting the spirits quickly earns the distrust of other Shamans and ire of the elemental and natural spirits alike. Typically this leads the Shaman down the path to becoming an outlaw among his own kind, the wild Untamed or the reviled Dervish.
For a particular shaman the spirits take the form of the associated power they seek. For Elemental Shamans, this would be the Elementals, or in the case of Wild Shamans they take the form of Treants. Celestial Shamans are very rare and commune with Celestial beings embodied in the Constellations. The relative power of these spirits in these forms is as follows:
- Tier 1: Elemental Spawn or Treant Sapling or Star Spawn
- Tier 2: Lesser Elemental or Lesser Treant or Lesser Celestial Being
- Tier 3: [Middling] Elemental or [Middling] Treant or Greater Celestial Being
- Tier 4: Greater Elemental or Greater Treant or Star Child
- Tier 5: Elder Elemental or Elder Treant or August Celestial
- Tier 6: Prime Elemental or Ancient Treant or Celestial Ancient
See Codex of Creation – Denizens for more details.
An elder Shaman (i.e. Spirit Teacher of the appropriate level) can act as an advocate during communication with the spirits. The presence of an advocate will often convince the elemental spirits to waive any required task or combat. However, sometimes the spirits ignore the advocates or deem the younger Shaman not worthy of the elder Shaman’s endorsement. As such there is a 10% chance per Tier that spirits ignore the advocate and demand a task be completed none-the-less, or simply refuse to teach the Shaman. At that point the Shaman must choose to accept the spirits wishes or challenge it in combat without the assistance of the advocate.
Mastery of Spirits
Shamans do not memorize powers in the conventional sense, but rather gain mastery over them through their communion with Elemental or Natural Spirits. There is a finite number of powers that a Shaman can have Mastery over, dependent on their level (see Level Ups table below). When a Shaman has reached the maximum Mastery available, learning a new power will result in a previously mastered power being removed. In this way, the spirits with which they commune can almost be considered as a sentient spell book, from which they can always learn or swap powers.
Due to the Shaman’s direct connection with Elemental or Natural Spirits, which they invite to reside within themselves, “casting from health” can anger the Spirits. As such, when Shamans cast from health there is a 10% chance per Tier that the fury of the spirits will possess the caster with an enraged elemental, treant spirit or celestial being (as per the power used). While possessed by the enraged spirit, the caster always attacks (or moves to do so) the nearest target, friend or foe, and has all the additional powers of an elemental, treant or celestial being of the same Tier (see later section on ‘Communing with the Elements’). The effect must be dispelled or the Shaman knocked unconscious to quell the Spirit. At their second title Shaman’s gain a free-cast instant ability called Spirit Drumming that if used prior to casting from health will appease the spirits and prevent them from becoming enraged.
Shaman casting methods require the use of both a verbal/vocalized component and a physical component (see Methods of Casting). The verbal component, often referred to as “speaking the ancient words” requires the Shaman to speak or chant a word or phrase in the Elemental or Primal Tongue taught to them by the spirits. This is accompanied by ritualistic gestures that mimic the movements or characteristics of the elemental or primal spirits that empower them (i.e. Water magic typically involves fluid and graceful motions, where as Earth magic involves sharp and abrupt movements). If these components are not paired together properly, the powers not function or will ultimately fail.
Primary Skills: Fury
Shamans embrace the fury of the elements and the savagery of the natural world, channeling it into their combat prowess. In addition to the typical methods of fury gains a shaman also gains fury from both inflicting and receiving damage from spirit powers.
|Gain +1 Fury for every killing blow||Dealing Normal Damage||Dealing Crit Damage||Taking Normal Damage||Taking Crit Damage|
|Physical Attack w/ 1 Handed Weapon||+1 Fury||+2 Fury||+1 Fury||+2 Fury|
|Physical Attack w/ 2 Handed Weapon||+2 Fury||+4 Fury||+2 Fury||+4 Fury|
|Spirit Power||+1 Fury||+2 Fury||+1 Fury||+2 Fury|
While learning new Spirit Powers is an intricate and involved process, learning new Fury Skills is relatively simple, and follows the standard methods of training. Typically Shamans operate within a tribal context and therefore most often receive fury training from other warriors, barbarians, or berserkers in their tribes. If an elder shaman is available they may take on the responsibility to train the younger shaman, but this is more often a loose association rather than a formal apprenticeship.
New fury skills require training unless they are upgrades (i.e. Berserker Strike -> Improved Berserker Strike), see Learning New Fury Skills for details.
Shamans use the following chart for leveling up:
- When rolling for Spirit don’t forget to add bonus spirit gain from intellect modifiers if applicable
- Spirit Powers Mastered is the maximum number of Spirit powers “known” at any given time, but does not include Tier 0 powers
- Re-calculate Fury Max each level
Specializations are recommended for advanced players only, and are accomplished through the Secondary Skill system (see Specialist Skills). Shamans may choose to specialize their skills in up to one weapon use, one combat style and/or one spirit study, but can not have more than two specializations in total.
- Max one Weapon Specialist skill (choose from: Knives, Bludgeons, Axes, Staves, Wands, Hand Weapons, Whips)
- Max one Combat Specialist skill (choose from: Freehand, Great Weapon, Paired Weapon, Freestyle, Mounted)
- Max one Spirit Specialist skill (choose from: Devastation, Destruction, Conjuration, Alteration, Fortification)
Shamans gain titles by directly communing with the elements or the natural world, also known as the Rites of the Shaman. As most Shaman do not operate in conclaves or councils, the Rites of the Shaman represent a process by which Shamans can grow in power and discipline. The Rites of the Shaman are a largely solitary affair though they are often administered by an elder Shaman. Some Shaman grow so powerful that they can attune themselves to the very will of the Elemental or Natural Spirits they serve, gaining sight into the spirit world and becoming a Seer. This is a path to unrivaled power, however seeing multiple worlds at the same time can cause a disassociation with the mortal world.
The standard Rites based title ups for Shaman are as follows:
|Title||Level||Qualifications||Rewards & Consequences|
|Spirit Walker||2||Rite of the Spirit Walker: select 1 type of Elemental or Primal (natural) spirit to “walk” with||Gain Tier 1 Powers with chosen School of Magic
+1 hit w/ Spirit powers
Survival Instincts (passive)
|Spirit Drummer||4||Rite of the Spirit Drummer: demonstrate the ability to tame the fury of the spirits within||Gain Tier 2 Powers of the same School of Magic
+2 hit w/ Spirit powers
Spirit Drumming (Tier2 Spirit Power)
|Spirit Speaker||7||Rite of the Spirit Speaker: demonstrate the ability to converse with the spirits in the Elemental Tongue||May “walk” with up to two types of Elemental or Primal (Natural) spirits
+1 Tier of Powers to a single School of Magic (i.e. T3 with 1 School or T2/T1 split with 2 Schools)
Overall still counts as a T3 Caster
+2 hit w/ Spirit powers
+1 Survival Secondary Skill Point
|Tribal Shaman||10||Rite of the Tribal Shaman: ceremonial passing of mantle from one tribal Shaman to another||May “walk” with up to two types of Elemental or Primal (Natural) spirits
+1 Tier of Powers to a single School of Magic (i.e. T4, T3/T1, T2/T2)
Overall still counts as a T4 Caster
+2 hit w/ Spirit powers
Tribal Power (passive)
|Elder Shaman||15||Rite of the Elder Shaman: must demonstrate ability to lead and guide other Tribal Shaman||May “walk” with up to three types of Elemental or Primal (Natural) spirits
+1 Tier of Powers to a single School of Magic (i.e. T5, T4/T1, T3/T2, T3/T1/T1)
Overall still counts as a T5 Caster
+3 Fury Max
+2 hit w/ Spirit powers
|Seer||17||Rite of the Seer: must demonstrate that you can see the immediate will or needs of the Elemental and/or Natural spirits you serve, often before they themselves do||
May “walk” with up to three types of Elemental or Primal (Natural) spirits
+1 Tier of Powers to a single School of Magic (i.e. T6, T5/T1, T4/T2, T3/T3, T4/T1/T1, T3/T2/T1)
Overall still counts as a T6 Caster
+5 Fury Max
+1 hit w/ Spirit powers
Can see into Elemental and Natural Realms of Origin
|Farseer||19||Rite of the Farseer: must demonstrate that you can see the long term will or needs of the Elemental and/or Natural spirits you serve, often before they themselves do
Must have only ever focused on a Single School of magic
|Tier 7 Powers
high risk of becoming so engrossed in the will of the Elements as to dissociate with mortal life
Some Shamans will ignore the Rites of the Shaman, either out of ignorance of the ancient traditions, or arrogantly believing they do not need them. Those who do so walk a dangerous path that disrespects the elements and potentially leaving them vulnerable to possession by powerful elemental spirits.
The Untamed are Shamans who do not follow the traditional Rites of the Shaman. The most significant identifier of an Untamed, is that they have not learned (or refuse) to tame the fury of the spirits within them, the Rite known as Spirit Drumming. This makes them more susceptible to being possessed by Elemental Spirits (see Additional Rules for Casting from Health as a Shaman). As the Untamed grow in power this can become extremely dangerous, and be a significant liability to anyone allied with them should they lose control. Despite the inability to tame the fury of the spirits within, the Untamed still adhere to the laws of the Spiritual Powers as they pertain to Shaman, saving them from the worst of the Mage Wardens scrutiny.
The Untamed learn powers the same as any Titled Shaman, but at the minimum required level, also unlocking any other Title reward with the the exception of the Spirit Drumming instant ability. This means that they must commune with Elemental Spirit to learn new powers. While the untamed may avoid much attention from the Mage Wardens this does not necessarily save them from the ire of some of the more powerful Elemental beings, who upon discovering that they are communing with an Untamed, may decided to punish them for attempting to learn new powers from them without first mastering the fury within.
A Dervish is similar to the Untamed, however they further disrespect the laws of Spiritual Powers, and the Elements themselves by ignoring any restrictions on powers, making them powerful but extremely unstable forces to be reckoned with. While the Untamed may avoid much attention from the Mage Wardens, a Dervish certainly does not. They are hunted relentlessly lest both the Dragons and Elemental Lords intervene.
|Outlaw Title||Qualifications||Rewards & Consequences|
|Untamed||Tap into Tier 2 Spirit Powers without having gone through the Rite of the Spirit Drummer remain aligned with a single type of Elemental or Natural Spirits||Gain Tiers at the minimum level requirement for non-outlawed titles retain any other title rewards gained prior to becoming Untamed Gain +5% Critical Cast and +5% Critical Failure chance with Spirit Powers|
|Dervish||Tap into Tier 2 Spirit Powers without having gone through the Rite of the Spirit Drummer do not align with any one type of Elemental or Natural Spirits||Gain Tiers at the minimum level requirement for non-outlawed titles retain any other title rewards gained prior to becoming a Dervish may learn powers from any Elemental or Natural School of Powers however Elemental spirits will not willing grant their powers to a dervish and must be defeated first will be relentlessly hunted by the Mage Wardens Gain +5% Critical Cast and +5% Critical Failure chance with Spirit Powers|