Totem Shaman (3.5e Class)

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The Shaman[edit]

Those few who would find it in them to become Shamans feel the pull of nature. Without regard for their own wellbeing do they follow their own path. Their crafts are the direct result of deity worship and their personal devotion, placing their bodies in the hands of the Gods who in turn empower them with divine magic. This knowledge of spells is not innate, nor does it come easy, and the investiture of spells is a process both rapturous and baleful. A gift of the gods, the trees, the water, the stone, the sun, the moon, beast and man are not to be treated lightly, and many have succumbed in their quest for this power. The ancient, primitive craft of shamanism rewards those who are true of character and commit themselves to the spiritual journey.

Adventure: Most Shamans are a reclusive breed, and therefore have little need to adventure. They do, however, live out a nomadic existence, as their spiritual journey often takes a lifetime. The most accomplished Shamans who stand the test of time and nature return to their tribes as an old man, to relegate their wisdom to the young. Before this time, however, Shamans travel the world high and low, and adventure on account of personal intuition. They may join a party that they feel allows them to commit to the Journey.

Characteristics: Even when in a party, shamans tend to distance themselves from other members in order to contemplate their life-long quandary in silence and isolation. When others talk and drink together, he observes the stars, the winds, and the movement of animals, the waves of the water, the sway of the grass, the weave of life itself. Shamans, despite the augurious nature of their craft, are often powerful of build, as their craft requires them to be exceptionally healthy. This health, they say, is required for the Journey. When the party enters a conformation of civilized society, the shaman usually takes the rear in contemplative silence.

Alignment: At one side, the shaman's life is one of commitment, devotion and sacrifice. At the other, he requires the conviction to maintain personal standards, the intuition to read omens in all facets of nature and the inclination to follow his own personal Journey. They then must possess either ethical extreme in equal measure in order to gain his superhuman link with life itself.

Religion: Wise shamans know more than anybody else that life itself is one large journey, and they devote all of their life to what they call 'The Journey'. This Journey is to understand, but they know that understanding is much more than seeing. This Journey never ends, and it takes a lifetime for most shamans to understand this and what is truly important, to learn the ways of the Four Winds and to understand what is truly worth protecting. They do not value material wealth, but they do not look down upon taking what is rightfully theirs, if all expenses are incurred in favor of means that allow them to better pursue the Journey. The most important thing, however, that for all intents and purposes he regards life and nature as sacred. Although some Shamans make their journey at the behest of a deity, a devotion is not always necessary. Shamans can treat nature itself as a deity. Though no living creature can impart divine spells, nature itself, being such a massive formation of spiritual energy, can.

Background: In almost any case, a Shaman's background can be traced to a tribe or otherwise primitive society. Societies that bring forth shamans do not have a written alphabet.

Races: Iconic as they are to primitive societies, very few members of a race known to have a sophisticated civilization ever become shamans. Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes and Halflings very rarely become shamans. Humans and half-elves that hail from primitive lands however regularly become shamans. Shamans are however really prominent character choices between the creatures known for their savagery. Half-Orcs, Orcs, Ogres, Minotaurs, Trolls and other such creatures often become shamans.

Other Classes: If there is any class that Shamans are likely to get along with well, it's the Druid as they very often share the same personal conviction towards nature and things assorted. As they share the Barbarian's more primitive origins as well as their illiteracy, shamans are favorable towards them as well. To most other classes however, the shaman is reasonably straight-forward. They do not share the intellectual upbringing of Wizards, nor do they understand the need for deception and sophistry that marks the specialization of Rogues.

Role: The shaman is not very adept at combat, but depends on his great health in order to last the fight. He gladly protects those that are more frail, and is at the forefront not to deliver killing strokes, but to heal and support the front with buffing and calling

Game Rule Information[edit]

Shamans have the following game statistics:

Abilities: The most important abilities for a shaman are Wisdom and Constitution, as the former allows him to cast spells, and the latter gives him good health and allows him to cast them without suffering ill consequences.

Alignment: NG, N, NE

Starting Age: Complex

Starting Gold: 1d4 gp

Table: The Shaman
Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Spells per Day
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Animal spirit guide, nature sense, wild empathy 3 2
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 4 3
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Woodland stride 5 4 1
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 6 5 2
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Shamanic Fortitude +1, trackless step 6 6 3
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Spirit guide companion 6 6 4 1
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Resist nature's lure 6 6 5 2
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 6 6 6 3
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Augment Summoning +1 6 6 6 4 1
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Shamanic Fortitude +2 6 6 6 5 2
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Spirit guide wild shape 6 6 6 6 3
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 6 6 6 6 4 1
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 True Spirit Guide Companion 6 6 6 6 5 2
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Augment Summoning +2 6 6 6 6 6 3
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Shamanic Fortitude +3 6 6 6 6 6 4 1
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 6 6 6 6 6 5 2
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Timeless body 6 6 6 6 6 6 3
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Shamanic Syphon 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 1
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Augment Summoning +3 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 2
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Shamanic Fortitude +4, 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 3

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level; ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha),Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis}, Jump (Str), Knowledge (geography, nature) Int, Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Int), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str) Tumble(Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Shaman:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shamans are proficient with all simple weapons, with their staff and with light armor. They are however not proficient with any form of shield.

Spells: A shaman casts spells which are drawn primarily from the shaman spell list. A shaman however need not prepare any spell in advance. Once a shaman has learned the spell, he may cast it without preparing it. To learn or cast a spell, a shaman must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell level. Also, to cast a spell without incurring physical harm, a shaman must have a Constitution score of at least 10 + the spell level. A shaman that does not have a sufficient Constitution score takes 1d6 backlash damage per spell level and must furthermore succeed in a Concentration check to see if the spell functions correctly at all. This damage cannot be prevented in any magical or nonmagical way. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a shaman’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the shaman’s wisdom modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a shaman may only cast only a certain number of spells of each level per day. His daily allotment is given on Table: The Shaman. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. He however cannot receive bonus spells of a level higher than 7th. A shaman may know any number of spells, although keeping track of too many will present its own predicaments and 'learning' shaman spells is a time consuming task. He does not need to prepare his spells and may call upon any spell he is imparted with as many times as he has spell slots of a sufficiently high level.

Spontaneous Casting: Like a druid, a shaman is able to spontaneously convert his spells to summon nature's ally spells.

Gaining Spells and the Shaman's Staff: Like a wizard carries her spellbook, so carries a shaman his staff. It is his staff through which he channels the rapturous and often dangerous divine energies required for his spells. A staff is considered as a simple weapon made out of wood, bone or any other material that occurs in nature. For a medium creature, a Shaman's Staff is considered to be a six to seven feet long, straight object with the same martial qualities as a quarterstaff. Through the hands of a shaman, and his spiritual devotion, his staff possesses powerful currents of divine energy.

The staff is the means by which the shaman inscribes the spells that he learns, and like a spellbook has pages, a staff has inches. Five feet of a staff belonging to a medium creature can be used to inscribe spells. A 1st level shaman is imparted with all 0-level spells and a number of 1st level spells equal to his Wisdom modifier, and need not inscribe those. Five feet in this case equals 60 inches of staff that can be utilized for the inscription of spells, where the inscription of a spell costs one inch per level of the spell. For shamans of other sizes, the units of staff that can be inscribed with spells is also always 60.

At every level that the shaman gets access to a new level of spells above 1st, he gains a free spell of that level, which he does not need to inscribe on his staff (at 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th and 18th level respectively). One level after each of these levels, he may inscribe a second free spell of a level he can cast on his staff (at 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th and 16th level respectively). For any other spell that the shaman wants to gain, he will need to undergo a ritual called Spell Investiture.

The Ritual of Investiture: Spell investiture is a ritual in which the shaman makes himself receptive to a desired new spell. Shamanistic knowledge is gained through hardship. For the passing of the knowledge, certain preparations have to be made. The ritual of investiture is done in several steps.

  1. To learn a spell, a shaman may choose to adopt the charge of a shaman of higher level, whose purpose is to guide the younger shaman on his path as he continues on his Journey. To begin the ritual, the shaman needs to build the equivalent of a sweat lodge, where he can isolate himself from all external influences. Incense is required to propagate the ritual, which costs 100 gp per bundle.
  2. The shaman - and, if applicable, his charge - go into a meditative state of chanting and praying, during which they light the incense, and occasionally douse water over the flames to fill the sweat lodge with a pungent atmosphere. When this is done, the shaman can begin 'learning' the spell.
  3. Learning the Spell: The process of learning the spell is represented by a series of Constitution checks against DC 15 + the spell's level. Every check that is made in this manner represents 8 hours of time. Only a number of successful checks equal to the level of the spell will allow the shaman in training to successfully learn that spell, and the process of learning the spell takes as much time as required for the shaman to make sufficient successful saves. These successful saves need not be consecutive and the shaman may fail any number of saves in between of making the required number of successful saves. Shamans can only meditate for spells 8 hours every day; further meditation does not entitle them to a second Constitution check, but meditation to replenish their spell slots may still occur normally.
  4. When the shaman in learning is accompanied by a more experienced shaman to guide his mind on his spiritual journey, he gains a +2 on his Constitution checks to learn new spells.
  5. Once the save is made, the shaman may inscribe the spell on his staff. He now knows the spell.

Animal Spirit Guide: A shaman has an unusual connection to a certain animal, usually from birth. It is this particular animal that, according to beliefs, guides him on his path on the Journey. The animal's spirit presses him on to respect nature, and keep its health intact. Shamans have a great understanding when it comes to the type of animal in question. They gain +4 on Handle Animal checks in regards to animals of their spirit guide type. Although they can not speak with the animals, they share a deep understanding. Creatures of his animal spirit guide's species are literally able to guide him, and they can 'converse' wordlessly, allowing the creature to give advice. They can exchange knowledge and skills, even senses. When encountering and communing with animals for advice or guidance, the shaman gets temporary abilities that depend on the animal. These abilities and bonuses last only one minute/level after they have communed with the animal.

Base Totem Caller (Level 1)

The Shaman can drop one totem per half his class level at once. (Minimum 1)

Ground totem – Party members within 20ft of the totem get +2AC. lasts 4 turns plus the Shaman’s level

Air totem – Party members within 40ft of the totem get a +1 attack bonus to hit and a +1 to Dex Modifier. lasts 4 turns plus the Shaman’s level

Searing totem – Using the shaman’s base attack bonus to hit plus the Shaman’s Wisdom modifier, the

searing totem finds the nearest target within 20ft and tries to hit them for 1d6 damage. Flammable enemies may catch fire. lasts 4 turns plus the Shaman’s level

Spring totem – Heals 1hp per turn to anyone who drinks from it.

Nature Sense: A shaman gains a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks.

Wild Empathy: A shaman can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The shaman rolls 1d20 and adds his shaman level and his Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result.

The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.

To use wild empathy, the shaman and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

A shaman can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a -4 penalty on the check.

If the shaman has levels in another class that grants him Wild Empathy, like a druid, then he adds the number of those levels to the roll as well.

Woodland Stride: Starting at 3rd level, a shaman may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect him.

Shamanic Fortitude: This feature spells the shaman's superhuman toughness, and continued immersion in the Journey grants him a physique that learns to adapt more readily to the rigors of being a shaman. The bonus for Shamanic Fortitude becomes +1 at 5th level, and increases by 1 at each further level divisible by 5 (+4 at 20th). Shamanic Fortitude bonus applies to the following:

  • Bodily Health: The shaman receives his Shamanic Fortitude bonus on Fortitude saves against poison, disease and death effects.
  • Investiture: The shaman gains his Shamanic Fortitude bonus as a bonus to Constitution checks made to continue a taxing activity (like running or swimming) and to Constitution checks made to learn new spells.
  • Natural Armor: The shaman gains a bonus to his natural armor equal to his Shamanic Fortitude bonus.

Trackless Step: Starting at 5th level, a shaman leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Spirit Guide Companion: At 6th level, the Shaman's bond to his animal spirit guide deepens even more, at which point he may adopt an animal of his spirit guide's species as a permanent companion. This animal is usually very sturdy, and eventually gains abilities way above its norm. Below follows a list of creatures that can be adopted, tied to the shaman's spirit guide.

1. Only in water dominant areas.

As the shaman's level progresses, so do the abilities of the creature in question. It becomes stronger and more acute, and seems unusually well trained for a creature. But, the shaman would not permit himself the audacity of calling himself its master. As described below.

Table: Shaman Spirit Guide Companion

Class Level Bonus HD Natural Armor Adj. Str/Dex Adj. Bonus Tricks Special
6th-7th +0 +0 +0 1 Link, Share Spells
8th-10th +2 +2 +1 2 Evasion
11th-13th +4 +4 +2 3 Devotion
14th-16th +6 +6 +3 4 Multiattack
17th-19th +8 +8 +4 5
20th +10 +10 +5 6 Improved Evasion

Spirit Guide Companion Basics: Use the base statistics for a creature of the companion’s kind, but make the following changes.

Class Level: The character’s shaman level. The shaman’s class levels stack with levels of druid for the purpose of determining the companion’s abilities and the alternative lists available to the character.
Bonus HD: Extra HD (d8), each of which gains a Constitution modifier, as normal. Remember that extra Hit Dice improve the animal companion’s base attack and base save bonuses. An animal companion’s base attack bonus is 3/4 of the shaman's class level. An animal companion has good Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whose level equals the animal’s HD). An animal companion gains additional skill points and feats for bonus HD as normal for advancing a monster’s Hit Dice.
Natural Armor Adj.: The number noted here is an improvement to the animal companion’s existing natural armor bonus.
Str/Dex Adj.: Add this value to the animal companion’s Strength and Dexterity scores.
Bonus Tricks: The value given in this column is the total number of "bonus" tricks that the animal knows in addition to any that the shaman might choose to teach it (see the Handle Animal skill). These bonus tricks don’t require any training time or Handle Animal checks, and they don’t count against the normal limit of tricks known by the animal. The shaman selects these bonus tricks, and once selected, they can’t be changed.
Link (Ex): A shaman can handle his animal companion as a free action, or push it as a move action, even if he doesn’t have any ranks in the Handle Animal skill. He gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding an animal companion.
Share Spells (Ex): At the shaman’s option, he may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) he casts upon himself also affect his animal companion. The animal companion must be within 5 feet of him at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the animal companion if the companion moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the animal again, even if it returns to the shaman before the duration expires.
Additionally, the shaman may cast a spell with a target of "You" on her animal companion (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself. A shaman and his animal companion can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the companion’s type (animal).
Evasion (Ex): If an animal companion is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, it takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw.
Devotion (Ex): An animal companion gains a +4 morale bonus on Will saves against enchantment spells and effects.
Multiattack: An animal companion gains Multiattack as a bonus feat if it has three or more natural attacks and does not already have that feat. If it does not have the requisite three or more natural attacks, the animal companion instead gains a second attack with its primary natural weapon, albeit at a -5 penalty.
Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, an animal companion takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and only half damage if the saving throw fails.

Resist Nature's Lure: Starting at 7th level, a shaman gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey.

Augment Summoning: Starting at 9th level, a shaman can cast summoning spells as if they were 1 level higher. At 14th, he can cast summoning spells as if they were 2 levels higher and at 19th, he can cast summoning spells as if they were 3 levels higher. For instance, a summon nature's ally I spell becomes a summon nature's ally II at 9th level, a summon nature's ally III at 14th and a summon nature's ally IV at 19th level. The shaman does not need to expend higher level spell slots for these summonings, however, and Augment Summoning eventually gives the shaman access to all nine levels of summon nature's ally spells. If he so desires, the shaman may still choose to cast a summoning spell at its usual level.

Spirit Guide Wild Shape: At 11th level, a shaman gains the ability to turn himself into the same species of animal as his spirit guide, and back again a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier. This ability functions like the alternate form special ability, except as noted here. The effect lasts for 1 hour per shaman level, or until he changes back at will. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. Each time you use wild shape, you regain lost hit points as if you had rested for a night.

Any gear worn or carried by the shaman melds into the new form and becomes nonfunctional. When the shaman reverts to his true form, any objects previously melded into the new form reappear in the same location on his body that they previously occupied and are once again functional. Any new items worn in the assumed form fall off and land at the shaman's feet.

A shaman loses his ability to speak while in animal form because he is limited to the sounds that a normal, untrained animal can make, but he can communicate normally with other animals of the same general grouping. The new form's HD equals the character's shaman level. The size of the wild shape depends on the largest size category in the spirit guide's base creature Advancement column. Spirit Guide Wild Shapes can be preternaturally tough and may for the purpose of attaining wild shape be advanced beyond the maximum HD represented in the base creature's statistics. For example, a 15th level shaman with a spirit guide whose base creature has Advancement 5-8 HD (Medium), 9-12 HD (Large) has 15 HD and is Large while in Wild shape.

True Spirit Guide Companion: At 13th level, a shaman's spirit guide companion becomes an incorporeal creature. It acquires the incorporeal subtype, gains a sacred bonus (or a profane bonus in the case of an evil shaman) to AC equal to its natural armor and loses its Strength score. Its base Charisma score becomes equal to 10 plus the value in the natural armor column of Table: Shaman Spirit Guide Companion. It does extra damage with its natural weapons equal to its Charisma bonus. Unlike normal incorporeal creatures, a true spirit guide companion cannot fly unless the creature it is based on has a fly speed. It can however phase through objects normally. If the base creature has a fly speed, it is doubled, and its maneuverability becomes perfect.

Timeless Body: At 17th level, a shaman no longer takes penalties to his ability scores due to aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties that have already been incurred remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the shaman still dies when his time is due.

Shamanic Syphon : At 18th level, non magical damage dealt to the shaman is treated as nonlethal damage. The shaman automatically heals nonlethal damage at a rate of 1 damage point per 4 shaman levels per round. Certain attack forms, typically fire, bleeding and acid, deal lethal damage to the creature, which doesn’t go away. A regenerating shaman that has been rendered unconscious through nonlethal damage can be killed with a coup de grace. The attack cannot be of a type that automatically converts to nonlethal damage. An attack that can cause instant death only threatens the shaman with death if it is delivered by weapons that deal it lethal damage.

Attack forms that don’t deal hit point damage ignore regeneration. Regeneration also does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation. A regenerating shaman can regrow lost portions of their bodies in 1d10 minutes and/or can reattach severed limbs or body parts, this may be done in 1d4 turns. Severed parts that are not reattached wither and die normally.

A shaman must have a Constitution score to have the regeneration ability.










The Epic Shaman[edit]

Table: The Epic Shaman
Hit Die: d8

Level Special
24th Staff Totem +6
25th Shamanic Fortitude +5
26th Bonus Feat
28th Staff Totem +7
30th Shamanic Fortitude +6

Skill Points Per Level
4 + Int modifier per level).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Epic Shaman:

Spells: The shaman’s caster level is equal to his or her class level. The shaman’s number of spells per day does not increase after 20th level.

Spirit Guide Companion: The epic shaman’s spirit guide companion continues to increase in power. At every three levels higher than 20th (23rd, 26th, 29th, and so on), the companion gains +2 bonus Hit Dice, its natural armor increases by 2, its Strength and Dexterity increase by 1, and it learns one additional bonus trick.

Bonus Feats: The epic shaman gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic shaman bonus feats) every six levels after 20th.

Epic Shaman Bonus Feat List[edit]

Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Energy Resistance, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Fast Healing, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Multispell, Perfect Health, Permanent Emanation, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity.

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