Animist Shrine Priest/Shrine Maiden (3.5e Class)

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The Shrine Maiden[edit]

Pervasive through the Japanese fuedal era were multiple Shrines, each said to house a specific deity. The caretakers of these shrines were Priests and maidens who cared for both the shrine and the deity it housed. In the Mythology of the campaign, each deity is in fact real, and grants their caretaker with their powers. Sometimes, but only rarely, a shrine will house multiple deities, however one will always be more prominent than the others, and this is the deity that the maiden draws her powers from. Shrine Priests and Shrine Maidens are the premier vassals of their shrine's deity, often performing tasks for them, as well as taking care of any who come to pay worship to the deity and tribute to the priest.

Making a Shrine Maiden[edit]

Shrine Maidens are versatile ranged healers and support characters, much like Clerics of more western cultures. Shrine Maidens are better armed and less armored than their western counterparts, often using Ranged attacks in lieu of the Cleric's melee focus, a position that allows them to use their considerable Divine magic to keep their allies healthy and their enemies on their toes. Shrine Maidens work best behind the front line where their ranged healing and enhanced Divine spells can be used to best effect.

Abilities: Wisdom is important to Shrine Maidens because it gives them more Spells per day and the level of spells she can cast. Charisma is important to increase the save DC of the Shrine Maiden's spells, as well as the range from which she can use certain class features. Dexterity is important to make sure the Shrine Maiden has a decent Armor Class in her light armor so she can avoid damage more effectively.

Races: Shrine Priests are most often Human, having the most interconnected society as well as the most religious, and the shrine priest or shrine maiden often lives in the village, with her shrine part of the town itself. Kitsune are also fairly likely to be Shrine Maidens. A Kitsune estate that worships a shrine deity usually takes that deity along with it when it migrates to a new home, and oftentimes Kitsune estates that worship a shrine deity will raise the female members of the house to become Shrine Maidens. Shrine maidens of other races are extremely rare, especially for Shinigami and Fairies. Shinigami are solely under the command of the Yama, and not a single Fairy would have the time or patience or diligence to commit themselves to caretaking for a shrine deity.

Alignment: Shrine Maidens are disciplined (at least somewhat) and maintain a schedule for taking care of their shrine and deity which they follow... religiously. Shrine maidens can be of any alignment on the Good/Evil axis, often affected by the alignment of their deity, however all Shrine Maidens must be nonchaotic.

Starting Gold: 2d4 gp (5 gp).

Starting Age: Moderate- Shrine Maidens must be well versed in caring for the shrine deity, however they must learn at a very early age, and so often finish their schooling quicker than more western clergy.

Table: The Shrine Priest

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Spells per Day
Fort Ref Will 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0 +2 +2 O-Fuda 3 2
2nd +1 +0 +3 +3 4 3
3rd +2 +1 +3 +3 Tie Seal 1/day 4 3 2
4th +3 +1 +4 +4 Warding seals 5 4 3
5th +3 +1 +4 +4 5 4 3 2
6th +4 +2 +5 +5 Multi-Seal(2), Tie Seal 2/day 5 4 4 3
7th +5 +2 +5 +5 Seal Flight (15ft) 6 5 4 3 2
8th +6/+1 +2 +6 +6 6 5 4 4 3
9th +6/+1 +3 +6 +6 Tie Seal 3/day 6 5 5 4 3 2
10th +7/+2 +3 +7 +7 Channel Deity 1/day 6 5 5 4 4 3
11th +8/+3 +3 +7 +7 6 6 5 5 4 3 2
12th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 Multi-Seal(3), Tie Seal 4/Day 6 6 5 5 4 4 3
13th +9/+4 +4 +8 +8 6 6 6 5 5 4 3 2
14th +10/+5 +4 +9 +9 Seal Flight (20ft) 6 6 6 5 5 4 4 3
15th +11/+6/+1 +5 +9 +9 Tie Seal 5/day 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 3 2
16th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 4 3
17th +12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 3 2
18th +13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Multi-Seal(4), Tie Seal 6/day 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 4 3
19th +14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 4 4
20th +15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Channel Deity 2/day 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 5

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
The Shrine Priest's Class Skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Use Magic Device (Cha).

Class Features[edit]

Shrine Maidens support their allies by channeling the power of their Srine Deity to create a bewildering array of spells that aid allies or hinder opponents. All of the following are class features of the Shrine Maiden.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shrine Maidens are proficient with all Simple and Martial weapons. They are also proficient in Light armor, but not shields.

Spells: Shrine Maidens cast Divine spells just as a Cleric or Druid does. Shrine Maidens gain bonus spells based on their WIS score, which also determines the highest level spell they can cast. the save DCs of a Shrine Maiden's spells is determined by her Charisma score. They do not prepare spells like a Cleric however, instead casting spels spontaneousy like a Sorcerer or Bard. Shrine Maidens Shrine Maidens choose their spells from the following list:

0—Daze, Detect Magic, Resistance, Cure Minor Wounds, Guidance, Purify Food and Drink, Virtue, Flare, Touch of Fatigue, Dancing Lights.

1st—Create Water, Cure Light Wounds, Faerie Fire, Longstrider, Feather Fall, Grease, Hypnotism, Lesser Confusion, Remove fear, Sleep, Bane, Bless, Bless Water, Divine favor, Doom, Endure elements, Entropic Shield, Magic Weapon, Obscuring Mist, Protection from Evil/Chaos/Good, Sanctuary, Shield of Faith, Hold portal, Shield, Mage Armor, True Strike.

2nd—Blur, Cat's grace, Cure Moderate Wounds, Daze Monster, Delay Poison, Eagle's Splendor, Fox's Cunning, Glitterdust, Heroism, Hypnotic Pattern, Invisibility, Mirror image, Shatter, Aid, Align weapon, Augury, Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Gentle Repose, Owl's Wisdom, Remove Paralysis, resist Energy, Lesser Restoration, Shield Other, Spiritual Weapon, Gust of Wind, Protection from Arrows, Fog Cloud, See invisibility, False life, Ghoul Touch, Darkvision, Levitate.

3rd—Blink, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Crushing Despair, Cure Serious Wounds, Daylight, Dispel Magic, Displacement, Lesser Geas, Good Hope, Haste, Invisibility Sphere, Leomund's Tiny Hut, Remove Curse, Slow, Bestow Curse, Blindness/Deafness, Continual Flame, Create Food and Water, Glyph of Warding, Invisibility Purge, Magic Circle against Chaos/Evil/Good, Magic Vestment, Prayer, Protection from Energy, Remove blindness/Deafness, Speak with Dead, Water Breathing, Water Walk, Wind Wall, Remove Disease, Sleet Storm, Fly, Keen Edge.

4th—Break Enchantment, Cure Critical Wounds, Dimension Door, Freedom of Movement, Greater Invisibility, Rainbow Pattern, Air Walk, Control Water, Death Ward, Dimensional Anchor, Dismissal, Divination, Divine Power, Imbdue with Spell Ability, Greater Magic Weapon, Remove Poison, Poison, Restoration, Spell Immunity, Reincarnate, Rusting Grasp, Dispel Chaos, Dispel Evil, Dispel Good, Holy sword, Unholy Sword, Lesser Globe of Invulnerability, Enervation.

5th—Greater Dispel Magic, Greater Heroism, Mislead, Shadow Walk, Atonement, Commune, Mass Cure Light Wounds, Hallow, Righteous Might, Spell Resistance, Symbol of Pain, True Seeing, Unhallow, Control Winds, Teleport, Wall of Force, Overland Flight, Permanency.

6th—Mass Cat's Grace, Mass Fox's Cunning, Mass Owl's Wisdom, Mass Bull's Strength, Mass Eagle's Splendor, Mass Bear's Endurance, Find the Path, Geas/Quest, Heroes' Feast, Banishment, Forbiddance, Greater Glyph of Warding, Heal, Word of Recall, Ironwood, Move Earth, Spellstaff, Antimagic Field, Globe of Invulnerability, Guards and Wards, Repulsion, Contingency, Mass Cure Moderate Wounds.

7th—Blasphemy, Dictum, Holy Word, Mass Cure Serious Wounds, Regenerate, Resurrection, Symbol of Stunning, Symbol of Weakness, Control Weather, Sequestor, Spell Turning, Greater Teleport, Teleport Object, Power Word Blind, Forcecage, Mordenkainen's Sword, Mass Invisibility, Finger of Death, Waves of Exhaustion, Reverse Gravity, Limited wish.

8th—Holy Aura, Unholy Aura, Shield of Law, Mass Cure Critical Wounds, Dimensional Lock, Earthquake, Greater Spell Immunity, Whirlwind, Mind Blank, Prismatic Wall, Protection from Spells, Maze, Trap the Soul, Moment of Prescience, Antipathy, Binding, Sympathy, Scintillating Pattern, Screen, Symbol of Death, Iron Body, Temporal Stasis.

9th—Energy Drain, Gate, Mass Heal, Soul Bind, Miracle, Storm of Vengeance, True Resurrection, Freedom, Imprisonment, Mordenkainen's Disjunction, Prismatic Sphere, Teleportation circle, Foresight, Power Word Kill, Time Stop.

Domains: Devise a name and a theme for your Shrine Deity, and then assign it an Alignment (within 1 step of the Shrine Maiden's) and choose a single Cleric domain from any the DM will allow. The Shrine Maiden gains the granted power of that domain, and can spontaneously cast any Domain spells from that domain provided they are of high enough caster Level

Spells and Alignment: A Shrine Maiden cannot cast spells associated with an alignment opposed to her own or her Deity's.

Table: Shrine Maiden Spells Known
Level Spells Known
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st 5 2
2nd 5 3
3rd 6 3 1
4th 6 4 2
5th 7 4 2 1
6th 7 5 3 2
7th 8 5 3 2 1
8th 8 5 4 3 2
9th 9 5 4 3 2 1
10th 9 5 5 4 3 2
11th 9 5 5 4 3 2 1
12th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2
13th 9 5 5 4 4 3 2 1
14th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2
15th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 1
16th 9 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 2
17th 9 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
18th 9 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
19th 9 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
20th 9 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

O-Fuda : The Shrine Maiden is trained to cast spells by channeling her magic into paper seals known as O-Fuda. These seals are created as needed by the Shrine Maiden, and it takes 1GP and 5 minutes of calm focus to properly make a useable seal. Any spell that a Shrine Maiden knows can be channeled into a seal if its material components are no more than 1 GP (if the spell requires a focus or divine focus, the Seal is a suitable substitute). A spell channeled into a seal uses the seal as its only material components, but if an Experience cost is required for the spell, the caster must pay the experience cost. A spell with a range of Touch that is channeled into a Seal instead has a range equal to 10ft times the caster's Charisma modifier. When a spell is channeled into a seal, the spell effectively becomes the seal.

Tie Seal : At 3rd level, a Shrine maiden learns how to use spells in tandem with her weaponry. Once per day she can take a move-equivalent action to tie a Channeled seal onto her weapon (or the projectile of her weapon). if she makes an attack roll within the next minute, if the attack roll equals or beats the target's Touch AC (regardless of whether the attack roll itself was successful) The spell channeled into the seal is cast on the target, with no Reflex save possible, and the spell automatically hits if it requires an attack roll, such as a Touch spell. The Shrine Maiden gains additional uses per day of this faeature at 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th levels.

Warding Seals : Upon reaching 4th level, the Shrine Maiden learns to permanently apply spells channeled into paper seals to stationary structures. She can apply a channeled spell that effects an area and has a duration other than Instantaneous to any stationary structure that has an interior. The area of the spell becomes the entire interior of the structure, and its duration becomes Permanent. Any structure can only have a single Seal applied to it at any time. A Shrine Maiden cannot maintain more Warding Seals than she has Shrine Maiden levels, and if the number of Warding seals exceeds this, the oldest seals magically combust and become useless until the number of active Warding Seals is within the level limit of the Shrine Maiden.

Multi-Seal : Upon reaching 6th level, the Shrine Maiden learns how to cast duplicates of the same spell rapidly by using her O-Fuda to expedite casting. When channeling a spell into a seal, the Shrine Maiden can choose to take a full round action to channel the same spell twice (expending a spell slot for each spell) into two separate seals, which can then be targeted at any appropriate target. The Shrine Maiden may not, however, choose the same target for both seals. The number of spells the Shrine Maiden can channel with this abilit increases at 12th and 18th levels.

Seal Flight: At 7th level, the range at which the Shrine Maiden can deliver a seal with a spell that has a range of Touch increases to 15ft time Charisma modifier. This bonus increases again at 14th level to 20ft time Charisma modifier.

Channel Deity: When the Shrine Maiden reaches 10th level, she has formed a strong bond with the powers granted by her Deity, and can channel some of it's immense power to augment her spells. Once per day, a Shrine Maiden can channel her Deity. When doing so, the Shrine Maiden selects a spell she knows, and can apply any metamagic feat to the spell (even if she doesn't know it). the shrine maiden then channels her deity until she has enough power to cast the spell. While Channeling, the Shrine Maiden must take no other action each round except to make a single Caster Level check (D20+Shrine Maiden level+Wis+Cha) until the sum of the checks equals or beats twenty times the effective spell level of the selected spell (the level of the spell plus added levels from Metamagic) or lose the channeling, and the spell is wasted. Once the sum of the caster level checks has equaled or beaten the required number, the spell slot that the spell would usually use is used, and the empowered spell is now effectively "Prepared" and must be cast within 1 minute after completing the channeling or be wasted. At 20th level, the Shrine Maiden can channel her deity two times per day.

Ex-Shrine Maidens[edit]

A Shrine Maiden who becomes Chaotic loses the use of the O-Fuda, Tie Seal, Warding Seal, Multi-Seal, and Seal Flight class features, and loses all benefits of her chosen Domain, including granted power and Domain Spells, until she becomes once again nonchaotic. A Shrine Maiden whose Shrine is destroyed treats her Shrine Maiden spells per day as being one Shrine Maiden level lower than normal until the shrine is repaired and the Shrine Maiden receives an Atonement spell to transfer the Shrine Deity back into the new building.

Epic Shrine Maiden[edit]

Table: The Epic Shrine Maiden

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
21st Seal Flight 25ft, Tie Seal 7/day
23rd Bonus Epic Feat
24th Multi-Seal (5), Tie Seal 8/day
26th Bonus Epic Feat
27th Tie Seal 9/day
28th Seal Flight 30ft
29th Bonus Epic Feat
30th Channel Deity 3/day, Multi Seal (6), Tie Seal 10/day

2 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Bonus Feats: The epic Shrine Maiden gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Shrine Maiden bonus feats) every 3 levels after 20th.

Epic Shrine Maiden Bonus Feat List: <-list of bonus epic feats->.

Human Shrine Maiden Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Longbow, 20 arrows.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 2 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Craft (Alchemy) 4 Int
Diplomacy 4 Cha

Feat: Spell Penetration.

Human Bonus Feats: Scibe Scroll.

Gear: Studded leather armor, 50 spell seals, backpack, spell component pouch, bedroll, tent, traveler's clothes.

Gold: 5gp.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Shrine Maiden[edit]

Religion: A Shrine Maiden is not much without her shrine and its deity, no matter how far away they are. A Shrine maiden's typical view of religion is one of devotion to the shrine deity, actively, at least to some extent varying between individuals, acting on the goals and desires of their deity. This will invariably include gathering faith for the shrine in some manner, which is often done by promoting a good reputation if the deity is nonevil, or by subjugation if they are evil. In the end, both work marginally well, however more faith is usually gathered with proximity to a town. Kitsune shrine deities do not fuss with gathering faith, as the faith of the kitsune estate is often plenty and almost equal to that of a small village, so they are often less demanding than their human counterparts, who arent very demanding to begin with.

Other Classes: Shrine Maidens, excelling at improving others, work well with almost any class.

It is worth noting however, that as bringers of the feeling of safety to most human villages, Youkai such as Tengu and Kappas are treated with much disdain by human Shrine Priests
and Shrine Maidens. This has given them a reputation as "Youkai Hunters" leading many to falsely believe it is their main purpose. The truth in this is limited however, as
defeating youkai near the town is nearly a means to an end to keep the peace and ensure faith in the shrine is maintained.

Combat: There is little to question the role of the Shrine priest as both a healer and a powerful controller. The main job of Shrine Priests is to tip the scales of the battle in subtle ways, bolstering their allies and weakening their foes, before unleashing their own attacks to suppliment the party's. An example is a shrine priest who casts Magic Vestment on the fighter and samurai and then uses Crushing Despair on the enemy before pulling out her longbow.

Advancement: Most Shrine Maidens tend to focus on augmenting the party as opposed to themselves. Most either focus on spells that boost their allies or ones that weakens their foes, but both are equally powerful figures when accompanied by others. Most almost always take the chance to learn Cure spells, as they are often in the best position to be healers. If a Shrine Priest multiclasses, it is usually into a skill oriented class or one that provides other buffs, making Bard an ideal choice. more martial priests may take classes in Fighter or Ranger, some may even augment their boosting abilities with more direct spells by taking classes in Sorcerer.

Shrine Maidens in the World[edit]

Shrine priests are found almost anywhere there is a shrine to a deity, which in turn can be found anywhere you can build a roughly house-sized structure with a bit of room for a Zen garden around it. They can either be found mostly either as part of a town or isolated from society. Kitsune shrine maidens can be found wherever there is an estate watched over by a deity.

Daily Life: The daily life of a Shrine maiden usually consists of humble chores and errands, as well as catering to any potential followers. When need be though, a shrine deity may ask their caretaker to perform some journey or quest on their behalf. This almost invariably leads shrine priests on quests like any other adventurer, and some even come to enjoy the adventurer's life, if only for intervals between having to take care of the shrine, unless they can gain permission from their deity.

Notables: Reimu Hakurei, Sanae Kochiya, Kagome Higurashi, Kikiyo, Kaede, Miroku (a stretch).

Organizations: Shrine Maidens and priests almost never have need to gather. Except for bouts of honor between rival shrines to gain faith, any gatherings of shrine maidens are rare and either coincidental, or are preceded by extenuating circumstances.

NPC Reactions: Normal NPCs see a familiar priest to be a welcome sight, and are often pleased to see even an unfamiliar one if they are of the same race, as more often than not a shrine maiden come to town means help has arrived for a problem in the village or a good omen has blessed the town.

Shrine Priest Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Religion) can research Shrine Maidens to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

<-the appropriate skills->
DC Result
5 Shrine Priests are divine spellcasters who hunt Youkai.
10 Shrine Priests are each the caretaker of a particular shrine which houses a deity. They cast spells by channeling them into special seals and using them at range.
15 Shrine Maidens gain their spellcasting power from the power of their deity, and can use it in many different ways.
20 Shrine Maidens are not actually youkai hunters, but instead the threat of Youkai near a town becomes worrisome to townsfolk, and so priests usually take the opportunity to gain faith, which the deity subsists on, for the shrine by slaying or driving off these youkai, merely a means to an end. Shrine Priests are powerful augmenters and are fearsome at range, often calling upon the forces their deity is in control of.

Shrine Maidens in the Game[edit]

Shrine maidens in the PC party are often the ones who pump out buffs and debuffs to allies and foes, respectively. They are powerful at overcoming all sorts of obstacles, including various spellcasting limitations, either by her devoted training or by invoking the power of her deity. NPCs are usually either isolated hermits in a far off shrine, or powerful defenders of a human town or Kitsune estate, depending on race.

Adaptation: This class was developed for use in my own campaign setting with a Japanese Inspired setting and cosmology, however it could easily be adapted to be a more lightly armored version of the cleric, or perhaps a new spin on the bard. It would not be hard as to go so far as to make it a special "Card Tricks" themed class, merely replacing Seals with playing cards (think Gambit from X-Men).

Sample Encounter: As the PCs approach a town, they are immediately alerted to what sounds like fighting in the woods nearby. As the PCS go to investigate, they find a shrine priest battling against a horde of Youkai, at which point the priest throws a set of paper seals towards the party, making them feel empowered as the shrine priest yells for assistance.

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