Shaman are capable of accessing spells granted by powerful spiritual entities, manifesting these entities into the physical realm, or imbuing equipment with their power. Some shaman have a symbiotic relationship with their bound spirits, accepting voluntary service in exchange for help protecting a region or furthering the otherworldly aims of the spirits. Some shaman surround themselves with clan totem spirits, ghosts of fallen ancestors, and other spirits who offer their powers freely out of principle or long standing pact. Other cultures bind spirits forcefully to service, using them to serve their own goals. Whatever the case, a shaman is a gifted individual who can see into the Spirit World, a shadowy realm beyond and overlaying the material world. When choosing a new spirit, a shaman player has several options.
Shamanism is focused on interaction with Ghosts, Draconic Spirits, Animal Totems, and Elementals. These beings are native to a shadowy realm overlaying the mortal realm known as the Spirit Realm. Shaman are capable of perceiving the edges of this realm as it crosses into our own. The conscious mind provides barriers to seeing fully into this world, so many shaman use drugs or deep meditation to free their conscious mind and perceive the Spirit World. A shaman focused in this manner might see strange trees, structures, or spiritual beings other characters are not aware of. Meditation to achieve this state requires a minimum of 5 minutes and a successful Intelligence or Willpower roll. Drugs vary in how quickly they take effect, but it requires at least a Rank 2 drug to perceive the Spirit World. The benefit Spirit Sight can grant this insight without relying on drugs or meditation.
Locations within the Spirit Realm do not necessarily correlate with those in the physical realms, and a bound spirit's true location may be anywhere within a mile of their shaman at a given point in time.
Choosing a Path
Shamanism can be learned in different ways. This is reflected by choosing a Path which corresponds to the manner in which your character learns control over spiritual powers.
The Path of Knowledge
Some shaman learn their art by careful practice and study known as the Path of Knowledge. They learn the roots and herbs of the forest, and the many names of spirit and beast alike. Their powers derive from carefully practiced methods passed down from shaman to shaman. Those who follow this path use Intelligence as their primary casting statistic. When casting Shaman spells roll Shamanism + Intelligence + Spirit Rank.
The Path of Nature
Some shaman derive their mastery of shamanism through a deep connection to nature and force of will alone. This is commonly known as the Path of Nature. Shaman following this path often have eclectic or disjointed training, spent more often in practical implementation than burying their noses in books. Those who follow this path use Willpower as their primary casting statistic. When casting Shaman spells roll Shamanism + Willpower + Spirit Rank.
Shamanism Casting Roll
Casting Stat: Intelligence OR Willpower + Shamanism Skill + Spirit Rank
When selecting the Shamanism Source during character creation, players gain a Rank 2 Spirit of their choice. Each type of Spirit has different spells they may learn and different bonuses they can provide. Higher ranks and new Spirits may be purchased at the cost of 5 GXP per rank. Increasing the rank of an existing Spirit grants that Spirit improved attributes while manifested and a special power unique to that spirit, as well as providing the shaman with a single spell of the shaman’s choice at the new rank associated with the spirit. Additional spells at or lower than the spirit's rank may be purchased for 2 GXP per rank.
When a shaman binds a spirit they attach that spirit to a physical item they possess. This may be any item, but is most commonly a weapon, shield, or set of armor. The bound spirit provides access to its known spells, and bonuses to the imbued item which increase with the spirits Rank.
As a Standard Action, the shaman may allow a bound spirit to manifest in the physical world. Manifestation is the transference of a spirit's energy into the physical realm, and the shaping of that energy into a magical construct or likeness of the spirit which its consciousness can inhabit and control. More than a mere shell, it is not actually a body of flesh and blood but spiritual energy. The more skilled a shaman is (the higher rank, or more experience they have invested in developing a particular spirit), the more dense and focused the energy would be, resulting in a more powerful, lifelike and less-translucent construct. Shaman are always limited in what they can channel of their spirit through the barrier between the physical and spirit realms, and as such their manifested spirits lack the special powers that may be found in myriad spirit-creatures throughout the world.
When Manifesting, the spirit flows out of the imbued item within reach of the caster and may immediately move and act. A manifested spirit still grants spells (unless otherwise specified), and can also attack or manipulate physical objects. While manifested, spirits do not grant their imbue bonuses to the caster's equipment, and may not move more than 10 yards/rank away from their shaman.
Only one spirit may be manifested at a time. In combat, a spirit moves on its shaman's turn. Should the shaman not be present for the initiation of combat, then the spirit's own initiative modifier will be utilized.
Spirits may be returned to their imbued item in the following ways:
- As a Free Action, the shaman may dismiss the spirit back into the imbued item.
- If a manifested spirit is reduced to 0 Health, it is forced back into the imbued item and may not be manifested for 24 hours.
- If the caster loses consciousness, the spirit is forced back to the imbued item.
Shaman are granted access to spells by their bound spirits, however they must spend mana to power the spells. Each type of spirit is different and will have access to a list of spells they can learn. When a spirit gains a rank, the player may select one spell from that spirits spell list. A shaman may buy additional spells for a spirit later for 2 GXP x Rank.
Bound Animal Spirits are the spirits of naturally-existing creatures that have become totems or guardians of certain environments. They are often chosen for their ferocity and hunting skills. Shaman who bind these spirits tend to be tribal hunters or warriors. Animal spirits imbue the shaman's body itself with Totem Powers rather than physical objects.
Bound Dragon Spirits are more than mere animals. They have souls like mortals although they are not gathered to the Goddess of Death when they are slain. Their energies permeate Lorithandar and are eventually reborn anew. The most rare shaman learn to bind these spirits to their service.
Elementals are powerful spirits that embody the natural elements of Lorithandar. They are drawn to manifestations of their nature, and often become protectors of regions.
Air Spirits are often called zephyrs and live on wind swept plains or high in the mountains. They embody both the brutal power of storms and the gentle breeze of spring. Their personalities are often mercurial and they can be unpredictable. They may be playful and energetic, but anger them at your peril as they make deadly foes. The wielders of air spirit magic tend towards agility and intelligence, solving problems with speed and wits over brute force. They are most often seen with ranged weapons.
Earth Spirits are creatures of habit who become guardians of their chosen regions. They grow deep roots in the stone and dirt of the world and resent intrusion at the best of times. If the intrusion is hostile they are implacable foes. Shaman who control earth spirits are often tribal guardians or protectors. The nature of earth spirit magic is methodical preparation and defense.
Fire Spirits are unpredictable, dangerous and fickle. The shaman who bind them often tend to have something of that nature as well. While they have a reputation for pyromania and mercurial tempers many Fire Shaman believe that fire is simply a part of the world and good for natural environments. They are fierce fighters, and unwilling to be bullied.
Water Spirits are among the most diverse spirits in Lorithandar ranging from happy nymphs inhabiting a peaceful brook to cruel and deadly ice spirits of the Northern Wastes. As such, shaman who bind such creatures vary wildly as well.
Ghosts are the spirits of formerly living mortals who have since passed on to the spirit realm, but refused to retire to the Realm of the Dead, clinging to the memory of their life or unfinished business in the mortal plane. These tragic spirits are often bound to a person, place, or item relating to the unfinished business. Shaman who bind these spirits may be seeking aid from honored elders spirits, or trapping unfortunate mortal souls in eternal servitude.
|Shamanism Type||Description||Missing/Incomplete Powers||Missing Spirits||Needs Revision||Playtested|
|Animal Shaman||Animal Shaman are in tune with the creatures of the wild places of the world, often hunters and rangers.||0||No||No||No|
|Dragon Shaman||Dragon shaman draw their power from draconic spirits of the ancient world.||0||No||No||No|
|Air Shaman||Air shaman wield wind and lightning, and gain some control over the weather.||3||No||Yes||No|
|Earth Shaman||Earth Shaman serve as guardians for chosen areas and have a unique bond with nature and plant life.||0||No||No||No|
|Fire Shaman||Fire shaman create and consume flames, drawing strength from them and incinerating their enemies.||6||No||No||No|
|Water Shaman||Water shaman prepare powerful defenses, and create potent elixirs with a variety of effects.||0||No||No||No|
|Ghost Shaman||Ghost Shaman gain their power from death and gain benefits when near places of spiritual significance.||0||No||Yes||No|