Shaman (Ideas)

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Dimirag
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Shaman (Ideas)

Post Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:20 pm

Ok, yesterday has come to my mind some ideas for this class.
Note: This are just ideas and not the complete class...

Shaman: Cleric sub-class.

Description: Shamans are spiritual leaders of tribal clans. They work with those spirits surrounding the clan, helping those in need and expelling evil ones.

-Prime Req: Wis 9, Cha 9.
-Hit Dice: d6 (same as cleric).
-Attack Bonus Progression: As Magic Users.
-Saving Throws Progression: As Clerics.
-Weapon Restrictions: Any "Tribal" Weapon except for those of a "fighter characteristic" (dagger, hand axe, short sword, lance, YES.
-Armor Restriction: Up to Leather.

Special Abilities:

-Sense spirit: Starting at first level. 10ft radius. Needs concentration.
--Glance spirit: At 3rd level. Same as above but the Shaman can vaguely see the spirit. Sense Spirit increase to 30' radius.
---See spirit: At 6th level. Same as above but the Shaman can see the spirit as if where manifested. Sense spirit and Glance spirit increase to 300' and 100' respectively.

-Contact Spirit: Same as the Turn Undead Cleric ability. But the Shaman can interact with spirits. He can:
--Halt [paralyze (Turn)] or Expel [The spirit return to it's original plane for a period of time (Destroy)] evil spirits.
--Negotiate [The spirit will hear the Shaman as a "neutral" NPC, helping only if necessary or "paid". (Turn)] Befriend [The spirit will consider the Shaman as someone deserving a little help]

-Spirit Patron: Each Shaman has a couple of spirits that guides and serves him.
At first level the Shaman choose one type of spirit. As the Shaman grows in power (Level) he can add new spirits and the power of the spirits will grow alongside the Shaman's power.

----------------------------------Spirit Power
Chaman Level-----First Spirit---Second Spirit---Third Spirit
---- 1-4 ------------- Lesser -------- None --------- None
---- 5-8 ------------ Medium ------ Lesser -------- None
---- 9-12 ------------ Great -------- Lesser -------- Lesser
--- 13-16 ------------ Great ------ Medium ------- Medium
--- 17-20 ------------ Great------- Great ---------- Great

Type of Spirits
--Spirits of the Dead: Fighters, liders, etc...
--Animal Spirits: Bear, frog, turtle, eagle, etc...
--Spirits of Nature: Wind, earth, water, trees, etc...

Spirit Patron Effect:
Mod: Depending on the spirit power and type the Shaman receives a modifier to related Task.
Lesser: +1.
Medium: +2.
Great: +4.
The Mod can be used in: Attack, Damage, AC, Reaction Rolls, Saving Throws. Skill Checks, etc.

-Spiritual Magic: The Spirit Patrons allow the Shaman for Spellcasting. They progress like a Magic User. The Spirit Power limit the Max Level for spirit related spells
--Lesser: Up to 2nd Level spells.
--Medium: Up to 4th Level spells.
--Great: No restriction.

The Shaman can cast any spell related to his Spirit Patron, he doesn't need to pray in advanced.
The Spell List: Each Spell must be classified as: Animal, Dead, Nature or any combination. Some effects must be related to the Specific Spirit Patron.
Last edited by Dimirag on Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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SmootRK
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Re: Shaman (Ideas)

Post Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:49 pm

Looks interesting, and using a very different style to abilities that I have not seen before.

I did notice you give d8 HD (like cleric). Default BFRPG clerics are d6. (but I use ad&d style hd, so for me it would match up that way).

I think you need to detail out the weapons that they can use (at least those from core rules). As is, your allowed weapons is rather subjective.

I think some thought might be given to re-skin some spells to fit different types of spirits. For instance, a Strength Granting Spell cast with spirit related to Animal might have some look/feel that is reminiscent of a Bull or Elephant (perhaps the recipient is shrouded by a hazy aura with a anthropomorphic bull shape. The same spell could be re-skinned to be Nature (fire), the recipient's muscles bulge greatly and gets very hot to the touch (non-damaging), and what seems to be steam issues from ears, nose, etc. (but all the while still just grants strength).
Similar re-skinning could be done throughout the spell lists, which would give a lot of special vibe to a shamanistic/totemistic spell caster.
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Joe the Rat
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Re: Shaman (Ideas)

Post Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:04 am

There are some interesting ideas here. There are a few things to tidy up (as is the case with quick ideas), but I see some good potential here.
Dimirag wrote: Shaman: Cleric sub-class.

Description: Shamans are spiritual leaders of tribal clans. They work with those spirits surrounding the clan, helping those in need and expelling evil ones.

-Prime Req: Wis 9, Cha 9.
-Hit Dice: d8 (same as cleric).
-Attack Bonus Progression: As Magic Users.
-Saving Throws Progression: As Clerics.
-Weapon Restrictions: Any "Tribal" Weapon except for those of a "fighter characteristic" (dagger, hand axe, short sword, lance, YES.
-Armor Restriction: Up to Leather.
Good balance - the restrictions fit the tribal background, and de-emphasize their combat ability - these are the ones who stand behind the fighters to offer support and guidance. BF Clerics are d6 Hit Dice, not d8.
Special Abilities:

-Sense spirit: Starting at first level. 10ft radius. Needs concentration.
--Glance spirit: At 3rd level. Same as above but the Shaman can vaguely see the spirit. Sense Spirit increase to 30' radius.
---See spirit: At 6th level. Same as above but the Shaman can see the spirit as if where manifested. Sense spirit and Glance spirit increase to 300' and 100' respectively.

-Contact Spirit: Same as the Turn Undead Cleric ability. But the Shaman can interact with spirits. He can:
--Halt [paralyze (Turn)] or Expel [The spirit return to it's original plane for a period of time (Destroy)] evil spirits.
--Negotiate [The spirit will hear the Shaman as a "neutral" NPC, helping only if necessary or "paid". (Turn)] Befriend [The spirit will consider the Shaman as someone deserving a little help]
This is where the most work needs to be - what the spirits are, and what they do. Are there monsters that would count as spirits? Are spirits undead? Are noncorporeal undead spirits? Are spirits and undead exclusive? Do all extraplanar entities count as spirits? Could a cleric turn an ancestor spirit? What are their powers? What does it take to manifest?

I love the Halt/Expel function - not only does this let you drive away hostile spirits, but this could be used as a means of exorcism. Of course, being able to drive out possessions means GMs may have more things that can take possession of someone.

The spirit negotiation is one of those things that requires a steady hand from the GM. Information is an incredibly valuable commodity, so the spirits shouldn't be too free with it. As a free power (less whatever payments the spirits demand), think about what a spirit could provide in relation to what could be learned from divination spells accessible at that level.
-Spirit Patron: Each Shaman has a couple of spirits that guides and serves him.
At first level the Shaman choose one type of spirit. As the Shaman grows in power (Level) he can add new spirits and the power of the spirits will grow alongside the Shaman's power.

----------------------------------Spirit Power
Chaman Level-----First Spirit---Second Spirit---Third Spirit
---- 1-4 ------------- Lesser -------- None --------- None
---- 5-8 ------------ Medium ------ Lesser -------- None
---- 9-12 ------------ Great -------- Lesser -------- Lesser
--- 13-16 ------------ Great ------ Medium ------- Medium
--- 17-20 ------------ Great------- Great ---------- Great
It's not entirely clear here, but is the idea the Shaman gets stronger spirits as they advance, or that their patron spirits are getting stronger? The second one has some interesting implications - the spirit grows in power with the shaman. I can see this for shamans working with personal nature and animal spirits, but it seems off for shamans of tribal totems or ancestors. Perhaps their connections are becoming stronger?
Type of Spirits
--Spirits of the Dead: Fighters, liders, etc...
--Animal Spirits: Bear, frog, turtle, eagle, etc...
--Spirits of Nature: Wind, earth, water, trees, etc...

Spirit Patron Effect:
Mod: Depending on the spirit power and type the Shaman receives a modifier to related Task.
Lesser: +1.
Medium: +2.
Great: +4.
The Mod can be used in: Attack, Damage, AC, Reaction Rolls, Saving Throws. Skill Checks, etc.
I like this idea - bonuses to actions related to aspects of the spirit involved. Is this a constant bonus, or is this something they need to call upon their spirit patron for strength/guidance/etc.? If this is an activated effect, is there a specific duration, or limit to the number of uses? Could this be activated for a tribe member rather than on the shaman? Or a party member? Instead of bonuses, would minor powers be allowable, or would this overbalance?
-Spiritual Magic: The Spirit Patrons allow the Shaman for Spellcasting. They progress like a Magic User. The Spirit Power limit the Max Level for spirit related spells
--Lesser: Up to 2nd Level spells.
--Medium: Up to 4th Level spells.
--Great: No restriction.

The Shaman can cast any spell related to his Spirit Patron, he doesn't need to pray in advanced.
The Spell List: Each Spell must be classified as: Animal, Dead, Nature or any combination. Some effects must be related to the Specific Spirit Patron.
Spell ability may need a second look. They do have more limited base abilities compared to a vanilla cleric, but they also have some additional powers (Spirit Patron Effect, having the option to "command" (in a loose sense) spirits within their power range). Now we add MU progression (level 1 casting), with no memorization. How limited will the spell lists for each spirit be? Are there any "universal" shaman spells that every spirit gives?

Put together, how does it compare to the standard cleric? Do we need to adjust the XP table?
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Metroknight
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Re: Shaman (Ideas)

Post Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:16 am

Shamanism is an anthropological term for a range of beliefs and practices relating to communication with the spiritual world. Shamanism encompasses the belief that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds.

What about reskinning the druid subclass since that class is more nature bent already then making a completely new subclass? Tweak a power here and there or add something new while limiting or removing something else.

Shamanism links (there are many but this two looked interesting)
http://www.crystalinks.com/shamanism.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamanism
Knights of the Written Word 2 is group that is focused on text based gaming on roll20.
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Dimirag
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Re: Shaman (Ideas)

Post Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:10 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Yes, HD it's d6 (I edited this error, I'm an AD&D player...).
I give some subjective ideas in order to tailor the Shaman to GM taste and to have different cultural feeling...

Suggested Allowed Weapons:
-Hand Axe
-Shortbow?
-Dagger
-Shortsword
-Club/Walking Staff
-Quarterstaff
-Sling
-Spear

SPIRITS: Spirits are those that inhabit the spirit world, normally they fit the Spirit Types, so Demons and undead are out of the list, excepting if the Undead are created by possession and the Demons comes from spiritual planes. But as BF doesn't relate monster to places/planes of origins it's up to the GM's setting.
Normally they are invisible, or can turn invisible at will (otherwise "Sense/Glance/Perceive Spirit would be of little use).

Spirit Negotiation: Yes, it gives a lot of power or control to the GM (that's the idea). Its purely a "help roleplay mechanic". For Example a Forest Spirit will know everything about the forest it dwells, but things beyond that knowledge is out of reach.
If the Shaman wants to know if the orcs they are following are inside the forest he must:
-Find the spirit. Or maybe use a "Call Spirit (Nature)".
-The Spirit will be: Unfavorable.
-Success using Contact Spirits will make it Favorable (Negotiate) or Very Favorable (Befriend result)
--An Unfavorable Spirit will not hear any request an can become angry (attack) depending on PC Party's actions.
-- A Favorable Spirit will hear the plea and help with some condition or "payment" (Like not using axes -they are a tree enemy, or helping clean the cascade, etc...-.

The Idea of the Spirit Patron is that each Shaman starts with a lesser spirit from its tribe. The great ones remain in the Village and probably they are the Master Shaman's personal spirit, or they just lives there. This allows to any village to have "wandering shamans" without loosing they spirits. The Spirit Patrons follows its shaman master (like in Shaman King). It's their link to a Shaman's soul that allows them to grow in power. -Gods are stronger, they does not depend on the spirits of their followers and can use their power on unlimited people.

Spell progression: Being poor fighters, and the somehow limited effects of their "Spirit Negotiation" ability I chose the MU progression hopping to give them an extra hand in effectively.

Spells:
Detect Magic
Detect Evil?
Protection From Animal/Nature/Dead
Remove Fear
Resist Cold/Fire/Poison
Charm
Hold animal/element/person
Speak With Animals/the death/element
Growth of animal
Remove Curse
Wall of Fire -> Elemental Wall/Wall of the Dead/Wall of Animal?
Animate Object

Other Spells:
Summon animal/elemental/spirit of the dead
Possession
Spirit Attribute
Spirit Shape
Astral Travel
Transform into spirit (Polymorf)

The bonus its constant but I would limit it to a "one bonus per action per round".

Druids & Shamans: A Druid can be seen as an specialized Shaman working with nature an its spirits rather than the spirits itself.

XP: This should be the last thing to do, as its reated to all the abilities and benefits.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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Dimirag
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Re: Shaman (Ideas)

Post Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:40 pm

Something I found while cleaning my pc...
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chaman001.jpg
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Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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Joe the Rat
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Re: Shaman (Ideas)

Post Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:55 am

There's your artwork!
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Dimirag
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Re: Shaman (Ideas)

Post Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:19 pm

Thanks, it looks a little weird because the original its about twice its size...
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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