Beast Shaman (3.5e Class)
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- Beast Shaman Version 0.1.0
The animal soul is one that finds itself buried deep within the innumerable mortal races that traverse each and every realm, owing from a time when each was not too distant from their truly animal cousins, whom often still roamed upon fours, and do to this very day. In this primal time, long before any wizard, before any druid, and even then before the barbarian, there was only mortal and beast; magic, an element of the world, was still unknown and truly arcane to even the most awakened of these simple, savage peoples, who would quake at its mere presence. Over years innumerable, this close simplicity between mortal and beast drew ever more thin until it became truly severed; it was some great span of time beyond here that magic enabled that connection once more, but never as it was prior when mortal and beast walked side by side.
Beast Shamans are the ones who never quite lost that connection.
Making a Beast Shaman
Those who are Beast Shamans are not those of meager fortitude, might, agility nor innate knowledge; they are ferocious combatants who take on animal aspects to rake with claw, and bite with fang, or strike with raw force of spirit. Their martial prowess stems from perfect understanding of instinct, that which is rationalized by mortal thought and applied when appropriate rather than on natural impulse, yet this same unfathomably deep understanding of animal will grants them a well of power to draw upon, that of the animal soul. Already able to draw from this source like any predator of the wild, a Beast Shaman draws even more upon it, enabling supernatural achievements well beyond that which a mere mortal could achieve otherwise.
Abilities: Both Strength and Wisdom are of tremendous importance to a Beast Shaman, for their uncanny acts of martial supremacy rely on pure, unrivaled might in the form of Strength, yet Wisdom provides many of their most important defenses such as Armor Class and bonuses to Will saves, along with determining their supernatural prowess. Without Constitution, however, a Beast Shaman is particularly vulnerable to attacks which target their hit points or Fortitude, but it is not nearly as paramount as Strength and Wisdom.
Races: Like Champions of the Ferine, Beast Shamans are few and far between, but are primarily humans, elves, and Shifters. Humans, often carrying sparks of their frequently forgotten animal nature, can find that feral soul rekindled unexpectedly; mere contact with the right beast, or even seeing it, can evoke a long buried desire to come closer to predatory nature. Elves that do return to the wilderness for extended periods of time may find themselves suddenly reverting to primitive mannerisms, mimicking the ideals of predators they respect and ultimately becoming accepted among them. Shifters, however, face a torn fate as Beast Shamans; the urge to dabble in twisted mortal magics, like those that ultimately gave rise to their race, is always a threat when the connection to the animal soul is reestablished. Just as is the desire to return to their true, bestial nature before their lycanthropic progenitors arose, and take on purely animal forms and losing themselves in the process. Yet Shifters who avoid both find a satisfaction previously unknown to them and countless among their race as they freely alter between mortal and bestial tendencies.
Alignment: Answering to no mortal or divine authority unless absolutely required, Beast Shamans act as their instinct guides them, without care for morally right or wrong behavior short of their own personal convictions. A Beast Shaman must be Neutral on at least one alignment axis, but may be any combination of alignments that satisfy this requirement.
Starting Gold: 4d4x10
Starting Age: Simple.
|Saving Throws||Special||Maneuvers Known||Maneuvers Readied||Stances Known|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+2||Unarmed Strike, Two-Weapon Fighting (Unarmed), Predator's Step, Object of the Animal Soul||7||4||1|
|2nd||+2||+3||+0||+3||AC Bonus, Primal Wisdom||7||4||1|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+3||Scent, Ancient Empathy||7||4||1|
|4th||+4||+4||+1||+4||Uncanny Dodge, Hunter's Heart||7||4||2|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+2||+5||Beast Shape (3/day), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (Unarmed)||8||5||2|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+3||+7||Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (Unarmed)||9||6||3|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+4||+8||Might of the Wild||9||6||3|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+5||+10||Beast Shape (6/day)||10||7||4|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+6||+11||Animal Mettle (3/day)||11||7||4|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Beast Shaman.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Beast Shaman is strictly proficient with her unarmed attacks and the quarterstaff. All natural attacks (claw, bite, and so forth) of any form she assumes or by any virtue of her being a Beast Shaman she is automatically proficient with.
Beast Shamans are not proficient with any armor or shields.
When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a Beast Shaman loses her AC Bonus, as well as her fast movement gained from Predator's Step.
Maneuvers: A Beast Shaman begins her career with the knowledge of four primal schools of maneuvers. The disciplines available to her are the Path of the Tiger, Path of the Wolf, Path of the Bear and Path of the Primeval. The Beast Shaman's available maneuvers can be found here.
Once a Beast Shaman knows a maneuver, she must ready it before she can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver used by a Beast Shaman is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in the description. Her maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and she does not provoke attacks of opportunity when she initiates one.
A Beast Shaman learns additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown in the table above. She must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it.
Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered Beast Shaman level after that (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), a Beast Shaman can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one she already knows. In effect, she loses the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. She can choose a new maneuver of any level she likes, as long as she observe her restriction on the highest-level maneuvers she can know; she need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching 10th level, a Beast Shaman could trade in a single 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as she meets the prerequisite of the new maneuver. She can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.
Maneuvers Readied: A Beast Shaman can ready all five of the maneuvers she knows at 1st level, but as she advances in level and learns more maneuvers, she must choose which maneuvers to ready. Beast Shamans ready maneuvers by entering an intense trance-like focus for 5 minutes, in which they go on a mental journey as various beasts; during this duration, a Beast Shaman is entirely aware of their surroundings and may act and react as normal. The maneuvers a Beast Shaman chooses remain readied until she decides to focus again and change them. She need not sleep or rest for any long period of time in order to ready her maneuvers; any time she spends 5 minutes focused, she may change her readied maneuvers.
A Beast Shaman begins an encounter with all of her readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times she might have already used them since she chose them. When a Beast Shaman initiates a maneuver, she expends it for the current encounter, so each of her readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (unless she recovers them, as described below).
All Beast Shamans have two means of recovering their maneuvers, the first being the slowest and least efficient method, but one which costs very little of them compared to the second.
A Beast Shaman may recover her expended maneuvers by using a full round action to enter her focus once more, tuning out the combat around her. Doing this does not provoke attacks of opportunity nor in any way jeopardize her; she is still entirely capable of defending herself, but she takes no other actions. If the Beast Shaman completes her meditation, she may choose one discipline of maneuvers to refresh. All maneuvers of that school (which she knows) are available for her use that subsequent round.
The second means a Beast Shaman may recover her expended maneuvers is by spending a use of her Beast Shape for that day; as a swift action, a Beast Shaman may convert one of her daily uses of Beast Shape into a power source of primal energy, which allows her to completely refresh all of her expended maneuvers. If a Beast Shaman has risen to the 20th level and thus has the benefit of the Wild Perfection class feature, she may, to a maximum of 6 times a day, draw pure animal energy from the environment and her soul to preform this action, seeing as she no longer has a daily limit to her uses of Beast Shape.
Stances Known: A Beast Shaman begins play with knowledge of one 1st-level stance from any discipline available to her. At the 4th, 11th, and 16th levels she may choose additional stances to learn. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and a Beast Shaman does not have to ready them. All the stances a Beast Shaman knows are available to her at all times, and she can change the stance she currently is using as a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description. Unlike with maneuvers, a Beast Shaman cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one she already knows.
Unarmed Strike (Ex): At 1st level, a Beast Shaman gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A Beast Shaman's attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a Beast Shaman may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. A Beast Shaman may apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all of her unarmed strikes, even those which are part of her Two-Weapon Fighting (Unarmed) feature.
Usually a Beast Shaman's unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
A Beast Shaman’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
A Beast Shaman also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would. A Small Beast Shaman deals less damage than the usual amount with her unarmed attacks, while a Large Beast Shaman deals more damage; see Table: Beast Shaman Unarmed Damage by Size for the damage dealt based on size and level.
Two-Weapon Fighting (Unarmed) (Ex): A 1st level Beast Shaman gains the benefit of the Two-Weapon Fighting feat while fighting unarmed as a bonus feat, and may apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for those which are part of her Two-Weapon Fighting (Unarmed) feature.
Predator's Step (Ex): A 1st level Beast Shaman gains a bonus to her land speed. For every 1 point of her Wisdom modifier beyond 0, she gains +5 feet to her land speed. In addition, the DC to track a Beast Shaman by any means in a wilderness environment (such as a forest, mountain range, jungle, grassy plains, etc) is increased by +4 for each point of Wisdom modifier value beyond 0. Should her Wisdom modifier be a value lower than 0, she receives no bonus to land speed or difficulty in being tracked, but does not take any penalties.
She may also move through any sort of undergrowth (such as thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment.
A Beast Shaman in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses these benefits.
Object of the Animal Soul (Ex): A Beast Shaman is intimately tied at their very core to the animal soul, and it is through this that Beast Shaman never need fear what lies beyond the grave for them; there is no unknown for what becomes of them when they die, the result is specific and explicit. Beast Shamans, by any means, cannot have their soul destroyed, removed, corrupted or otherwise contained. Effects which attempt to sever soul from body, outright destroy it, or otherwise subvert it in some manner, do not succeed in doing so, albeit they do destroy the Beast Shaman's body (if appropriate). In any event where a Beast Shaman's soul would be parted from their body, or subject to any of the scenarios presented above, their spirit instead becomes part of the animal soul itself, integrating into it and becoming one with the same source it originated from. A Beast Shaman may, however, be resurrected or returned to life as normal, as the animal soul is willing to return its agents to life to further its goals.
Additionally, any attempts to transform a Beast Shaman into an undead creature, during their life or after their death, immediately fails. Beast Shamans cannot be raised as the undead, and any attempts to do so simply fail with no ill effect on the individual attempting to raise them or the Beast Shaman.
AC Bonus (Ex): At the 2nd level, when unarmored and unencumbered, the Beast Shaman adds her Wisdom bonus (if any) to her AC. In addition, a Beast Shaman gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five Beast Shaman levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when she is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, when she carries a shield, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.
This AC bonus applies even while she is Beast Shaped.
Primal Wisdom (Ex): At the 2nd level, a Beast Shaman may add one half of her Wisdom modifier as a bonus to all of her skill checks which are increased by Wisdom. Her Charisma score no longer determines the effectiveness, or adds bonus or penalty to, her Handle Animal checks, and her Intelligence score no longer determines the effectiveness, or adds bonus or penalty to, her Knowledge (Nature) checks, and both are instead determined by her Wisdom score's modifier plus the bonus from Primal Wisdom.
Scent (Ex): A Beast Shaman of 3rd level gains the benefit of Scent, and may utilize the qualities provided by the Track feat only in conjunction with her Scent extraordinary ability. She is otherwise treated as having Track as a bonus feat.
Ancient Empathy (Ex): A 3rd level Beast Shaman can improve the attitude of any feline, canine or ursine animal or magical beast. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The Beast Shaman rolls 1d20 and adds her character level and her Wisdom modifier to determine the check result. If she is Beast Shaped into an animal of the same kind or similar in species, such as using Ancient Empathy whilst in a tiger Beast Shape when communicating with leopards, she gains a +4 circumstance bonus to the check result.
To use Ancient Empathy, the Beast Shaman and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another. Influencing an animal or magical beast in this manner takes a full-round action. Unlike a regular Diplomacy check however, she may reattempt her Ancient Empathy at a -4 penalty within 10 minutes of the first failure; she may continue each of these attempts every 10 minutes, accumulating an additional -4 penalty each time for doing so. She must wait a complete 24 hours from her last Ancient Empathy attempt if she desires to influence the same creature again without a penalty at a later date.
Unlike when a Druid uses Wild Empathy to influence a magical beast, a Beast Shaman takes no penalty in doing so.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a Beast Shaman can react to danger before her mortal companions can thanks to animal insight. She retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
Hunter's Heart (Ex): At the 4th level a Beast Shaman comes to better understand her wild nature, embracing more the power it has granted her as a natural huntress. A Beast Shaman utilizing the Survival skill to hunt and forage for food always gains a +5 bonus to the roll.
Natural Resilience (Ex): At the 5th level, a Beast Shaman gains the benefit of Fast Healing 2. She also receives the benefit of permanent bonuses to her saving throws against all poison and disease effects in addition to abilities that behave like or similarly to either. This bonus to saving throws is equal to her Wisdom modifier and she may attempt an additional saving throw against each poison or disease or like effect ailing her each hour. She may also take 20 (treating her save as a 20 on the dice, plus any of her relative bonuses to saving throws) against a poison, disease or similar effect provided she has one uninterrupted minute to concentrate on bolstering her immune system.
The Fast Healing granted by Natural Resilience increases by 2 for every five Beast Shaman levels thereafter (4 at 10th, 6 at 15th, and 8 at 20th level, and so on, including epic levels).
Beast Shape (Su): At 6th level, a Beast Shaman gains the ability to turn herself into an animal within one size category of her normal size and back again three times per day. Her options for new forms include all feline, canine and ursine animals. This ability functions like the alternate form special ability, and a Druid's Wild Shape, except as noted here.
The effect lasts for 1 hour per Beast Shaman level, or until she changes back. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. Each time a Beast Shaman uses Beast Shape, she regains lost hit points equal to the value she would have gained if she had rested for a night.
Any gear worn or carried by the Beast Shaman melds into the new form and becomes nonfunctional; equipment the Beast Shaman is not proficient with, but she is wearing, falls to the ground around her when she uses Beast Shape instead of melding into her new form. When the Beast Shamans reverts to her mortal form, any objects previously melded into the animal form reappear in the same location on her body that they previously occupied and are once again functional. Any new items worn in the assumed form fall off and land at the Beast Shaman's feet.
A Beast Shaman loses her ability to speak while in animal form because she is limited to the sounds that a normal, untrained animal can make, but she can communicate normally with other animals of the same general grouping as her new form.
All Beast Shaman class features, except for the following, carry over into her Beast Shape; any maneuvers she knows which do not include the "Beast Shape" keyword may not be utilized while she is Beast Shaped, and she does not gain the benefit of her unarmed attacks nor Two-Weapon Fighting features for her unarmed attacks.
When a Beast Shaman is immobilized, or otherwise unable to move normally at her land movement speed, the act of assuming or leaving her Beast Shape immediately frees her from those effects as if she had succeeded in the appropriate DC to be rid of them until the start of her next turn.
A Beast Shaman can use this ability more times per day at 16th level, to a maximum of six times a day, and as many times as she desires per day at 20th level.
Fierce Resolve (Ex): At 7th level a Beast Shaman may continue to fight without penalty even if she is disabled or dying. When reduced to 0 or less hit points, a Beast Shaman can act as if she was not disabled, and she does not lose 1 hit point for performing a standard or otherwise strenuous action while at 0 or less hit points. When reduced to -1 to -9 hit points, she does not fall unconscious nor does she automatically lose 1 hit point each round when at -1 to -9 hit points. When the Beast Shaman's current hit points drop to -10 or lower, she immediately dies.
This class feature is instead treated as Shifter Ferocity for Shifter Beast Shamans of the 7th level as if it were a bonus Shifter feat, however it functions the same as listed here in place of its normal qualities.
Enchanted Hide (Su): An 8th level Beast Shaman may enchant her Beast Shape's animal form as if it were a piece of armor and a weapon, assuming its benefits whenever she takes on her Beast Shape. Enchanted Hide allows her to place magical enchantment effects usually used for armor on her self, and magical enchantment effects usually used for weapons. These enchantments do not receive an increase to cost based on the item's base value (a Beast Shaman's feline, canine, or ursine form's pelt has no given value and thus is considered free) and are paid at the normal, base amount for the enchantment itself, but otherwise function and are priced as normal.
However, any enchantments which regularly effect her outside of Beast Shape do not apply in her Beast Shape if an enchantment is placed upon her Beast Shape for that same slot unless she has a Wilding Clasp (or similar effect). For example, a Beast Shaman with a +1 Flaming Necklace of Natural Weapons uses her Beast Shape, but her Beast Shape has the +1 Seeking enchantment, she may only use the +1 Seeking enchantment while Beast Shaped unless she has a Wilding Clasp on the +1 Flaming Necklace of Natural Weapons, in which case she may choose between the enchantments whenever she makes her attack roll but before the success or failure of the attack is decided. This quality of Enchanted Hide applies to all appropriate magical equipment that might effect her in or out of her Beast Shape.
Enchanted Hide increases the Beast Shaman's armor class while Beast Shaped by +2, and advances all the damage dies of her natural attacks in that form by one step.
If the Beast Shaman is a Shifter, they also gain Shifter Multiattack as a bonus Shifter feat, ignoring any prerequisites.
Superior Shape (Ex): When having reached 10th level, a Beast Shaman permanently gains the Shapechanger Subtype regardless of any form she takes, and while using Beast Shape, she gains immunity to all undesired Transmutation and Polymorph effects.
Might of the Wild (Ex): A 12th level Beast Shaman receives an increase of natural endurance and physical might, permanently increasing her Constitution and Strength scores by +2. When she utilizes her Beast Shape class feature, Might of the Wild's bonuses transfer over and added to the new form, but are increased to +4 bonuses rather than +2. Assuming Beast Shape is no longer a standard action and is now a swift action.
Additionally, a Beast Shaman gains Damage Reduction 2/-, but when she assumes her Beast Shape this Damage Reduction is increased to 5/-, and the damage dies of her natural attacks in Beast Shape are all advanced by one step.
Primal Strike (Su): A 14th level Beast Shaman may add her Wisdom modifier as bonus damage to her melee damage rolls, even those that deal magical damage, so long as they are a melee attack or part of one. In addition, prior to rolling a melee attack roll, she may change the damage type of her melee attack to piercing, slashing, or bludgeoning damage, regardless of the normal damage type for that attack. The exception to her changing the damage type of her attacks is when she utilizes a maneuver that specifies otherwise, such as a Path of the Tiger technique that mentions the maneuver only deals its damage as slashing.
Retributive Form (Su): At the 15th level a Beast Shaman who is a target to a spell or effect that attempts to alter her shape, such as a Polymorph spell from the Transmutation school, may enact instantaneous revenge if she desires. As an immediate action, she may deal her character level plus her Wisdom modifier in unerring force damage to the attacker; the subject of the retributive attack must make a Concentration check with a DC equal to the damage dealt by Retributive Form or lose one of their highest level spell slots for that day as if they had expended a spell of that level.
The Beast Shaman is treated as having automatically succeeded against the spell's effect (handled as a natural 20 on the dice) and suffers no secondary or ill effects from the attempted, forceful change of her shape.
Animal Mettle (Ex): Upon assuming the 18th level, a Beast Shaman adds her Wisdom modifier to all of her saving throws.
Additionally, any saving throw made by her that comes up as a natural failure (1 on the dice) grants her a free and immediate re-roll by Animal Mettle using the same bonuses (and penalties) she did initially at the original DC. Doing so expends one use of her Animal Mettle for the day should she take such an action.
Even if she expends all of her uses of Animal Mettle for the day the Wisdom bonus to her saving throws still applies.
Wild Perfection (Ex): Having reached 20th level, a Beast Shaman becomes the perfect apotheosis of mortal soul and primal spirit. She may now utilize her Beast Shape class feature indefinitely and as many times per day as desired, and now adds the physical ability scores of her Beast Shape to those of her base ability scores whenever she assumes her Beast Shape.
While Beast Shaped she is under the continuous effects of Speak with Animals and True Seeing, and she gains the benefit of Darkvision out to 120 ft, along with Blindsense out to 60 ft. Further, Beast Shape becomes a free and immediate action, allowing the Beast Shaman to assume her Beast Shape at any time she so desires, even if it is not her turn or when she is otherwise unable to act.
She no longer takes ability score penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any penalties she may have already incurred, however, remain in place.
Bonuses still accrue, and the she still dies of old age when her time is up.
A Beast Shaman who ceases to revere the ferocious beasts of nature or changes to a prohibited alignment loses access to all of her class features until she atones. She must return to a proper alignment and seek out someone to cast an Atonement spell for her in addition to completing an appropriate quest to reconnect herself with her predatory nature.
A character may not multiclass into a Beast Shaman; she must begin play as a Beast Shaman. She may, however, multiclass into other classes and or prestige classes as normal.
Epic Beast Shaman
|21st||Greater Might of the Wild|
|25th||Animal Mettle (6/day)|
|30th||Echo of the Beasts of Legend|
5 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Greater Might of the Wild (Ex): A 21st level Beast Shaman's Might of the Wild class feature progresses from +2 Strength and Constitution while not Beast Shaped to +4, and while she is Beast Shaped the benefits are increased to +6 Strength and Constitution instead of +4.
Additionally, her Damage Reduction improves from 2/- to Damage Reduction 5/-, and is further advanced when she assumes her Beast Shape, increasing her Damage Reduction while Beast Shaped from 5/- to Damage Reduction 10/-. All damage dies of her natural attacks in Beast Shape are further advanced by one step.
Beast Rend (Ex): At the 23rd level a Beast Shaman learns how to rend creatures while she is in her Beast Shape whenever she strikes with multiple melee attacks. If the Beast Shaman in Beast Shape hits an opponent with at least two melee attacks in the same round, she may automatically rend the opponent. This deals additional damage equal to the base damage of her smaller damage die plus 1 and 1/2 times her Strength modifier; the base damage includes an enhancement bonus on damage, if any. The Beast Shaman can only rend once per round, regardless of how many successful attacks she makes.
Improved Multiattack (Ex): A 27th level Beast Shaman gains the Improved Multiattack feat as a bonus feat, ignoring any prerequisites, while she is Beast Shaped.
Echo of the Beasts of Legend (Ex): Upon reaching the 30th level, a Beast Shaman becomes an echo of the ancient Beasts of Legend and gains the following benefits.
Even while not Beast Shaped, a Beast Shaman may be treated as a animal or magical beast, in addition to her regular type whenever it is beneficial to her; she does not, however, find herself subject to any hostile effects which regularly target these types. For example, a 30th level Beast Shaman is immune to effects such as Charm Animal, but she can benefit from Animal Growth spell. Her Strength, Dexterity and Constitution scores are increased by +6 when she is Beast Shaped, and she may increase her size category by one step whenever she assumes her Beast Shape (a Medium Beast Shaman can become a Huge tiger rather than a Large tiger for example), if she so desires, and she gains a +2 Sacred bonus to all of her saves.
The damage dies of all of her attacks while Beast Shaped are advanced by one step, and have their critical range and damage multiplier doubled, stacking with any like effects. Any attack by the Beast Shaman, melee or not, is now treated as if it was benefiting from a Ghost Touch enhancement.
Finally, the Beast Shaman gains the benefit of Frightful Presence while she is Beast Shaped; all hostile creatures within 50 ft that have equal to or fewer HD than the Beast Shaman are Shaken whenever she roars, growls, charges, attacks or otherwise takes an action that would make her appear intimidating in some fashion. The Shaken effect lasts until the unnerved creature is more than 50 ft away. Upon a successful save, the target is immune to the Beast Shaman's Frightful Presence for 24 hours. The DC to avoid becoming Shaken by the Beast Shaman is her character level + her Wisdom modifier + her Intimidate skill versus Will.
Frightful Presence applies to creatures who are regularly immune to fear as a supernatural, rather than extraordinary, effect.
Playing a Beast Shaman
Religion: Beast Shamans follow no particular deity, and in fact, many readily resent the divine intervention by countless forces beyond the animal realm, viewing such intrusions as breaking the natural order which is already established. Though some do choose to worship a power alongside their devotion to the animal spirit, such is often a relic of their more civilized time or out of cultural expectation, yet those that do worship tend to favor the deities Obad-Hai and Ehlonna, but never exclusively surrender themselves to their deity's will; a Beast Shaman is forever a paragon of the true wild. Though there is no standard doctrine among Beast Shamans, it is universal that each and every member puts the benefit and expansion of the animal kingdom, particularly its predators, before their own well being and that of others. While not zealots, Beast Shamans are exceptionally firm in their standing and will never willingly part with their spiritual conviction to improve the state of each and every feline, canine or ursine predator.
To those outside the minds and spirits of Beast Shamans, the open defiance to any deity's influence or direct action is often a subject of tension for the more religious types, who frequently view them as nothing more than exceptionally dangerous animals and false seers. A Beast Shaman is often the subject of unfair treatment by the most practiced and lawful schools of religion such as those of Heironeous, Yondalla, and St. Cuthbert, whose followers may view a Beast Shaman as a defiant to their law. In truth, Beast Shamans tend to follow the laws of the land when it does not interfere with the progress of their favored animal spirits, and will at times even practice regional or religious customs out of courtesy.
Other Classes: Beast Shamans are frequently lone travelers due to an instinct to roam and scour both the wilderness and civilization alike for opportunities and expansion, but it is not a truly rare event for a Beast Shaman to take up fist, claw and fang alongside a traveling band. Though often an unusual member to an expedition, Beast Shamans have a natural affinity for those who follow an instinct very close to their own, and often spend their time with the party's Druid and or Ranger, providing insight and talent both lack in exchange for similar favors. It is not unusual, for example, for a Beast Shaman to be the offspring of a Druid or Ranger, and to interact with an individual who is much alike their family offers a sense of home, even in foreign environments.
Whilst getting along well with those of the animal and natural vein, Beast Shamans are weary, with reason, of those who dedicate their lives to the name of some god. Clerics and Paladins frequently represent the polarity to a Beast Shaman, often displaying exceptionally pious manners for the laws and domains of a deity, whereas the Beast Shaman answer solely to animal will; pure instinct. Though not at odds, the subject of religion or divine intervention is a subject best skirted as differences of opinion, and source of inspiration, tend to lead to more than just disagreements with words.
Those of the Arcane domain, namely the studious types such as Wizards, often find Beast Shamans a particularly intriguing presence among a group; a relic of a long forgotten past, the source of their power is only occasionally named, and far more rarely viewed. Just as Champions of the Ferine are a subject of interest for their unusual ties to a power source otherwise impossible to truly tap, the Beast Shaman is unique thing to be learned from. The more charismatic individuals of the Arcane, Bards and Sorcerers, contrastingly take little interest in their significantly more savage counterpart, and may make them the subject of belittlement or humor from time to time, or generally ignore them.
For those of martial talent, the Fighters, Rogues, Barbarians and martial adepts, a Beast Shaman is an ally to be welcomed on the front line of battle; their powerful animal forms providing much needed distraction and offensive potential, combined with their agility and mobility, makes them crucial implements for devastating any enemy they might come across. While a Beast Shaman may not wield a blade with any finesse, the raw strength of their melee strikes is worthy of a toast now and then, and it is hardly uncommon for the Beast Shaman's martial compatriots to enjoy an occasional harmless skirmish with them for the sake of fun. To any Beast Shaman, a mock fight is seldom different from the experience most young predators enjoy with their siblings, and offers potential for bonding with their traveling companions and establishing a rapport.
Combat: Combat for a Beast Shaman revolves entirely around their ability to strike fast and multiple times; a flurry of blows much akin to a Monk's, a Beast Shaman has great reason to favor making a full-attack whenever possible against an enemy. However, some of a Beast Shaman's maneuvers do not allow her to strike with all of her bonus attacks gained through her Two-Weapon Fighting technique, but often offer significantly more utility than her regular melee attacks, particularly when the enemy requires more dedication to defeat than usual.
Unlike the majority of martial classes, a Beast Shaman is not without the ability to strike from afar with attacks very similar to spells; though unlike spell-like abilities, she unleashes her power through supernatural means, causing powerful magic-like effects to occur. Her tactics vary with the needs of the battle, and its not uncommon for a Beast Shaman to cast an arcing blast of Spirit Lightning to cripple and harm a cluster of foes before she enters the fray, just as much as it is not uncommon for her to rush into the heat of the conflict and strike foes with startling speed in her new bestial form.
Beast Shamans in the World
|“||It is in this connection to the deepest roots of animal power that we, as the embodiment of it, understand there is more than just divinity and mortality.||”|
|—Arkash Wildborne, Shifter Beast Shaman|
Often the children of Barbarians, Rangers and Druids, Beast Shamans as children immediately take on spiritual connection and empathy toward animals, primarily those that are within the greater triumvirate, those animals which are feline, canine and ursine. It is of little surprise, most often, to their parents and families that such is the result, but over time it becomes evident they are more than an individual with latent Druidic talent. Whereas Champions of the Ferine manifest haphazardly and without clear reason as to why, short of an immense will power and animal affinity, Beast Shamans are those who are more or less bred into existence; there is no Beast Shaman in existence without blood that has come close to the wild. Shifters, of all races, are the sole exception, for their lycanthropic heritage bleeds through directly, resulting in the possibility of Beast Shaman offspring even if both parents lack any direct connection to the wild or even slightest of contact; a Shifter Sorcerer and Shifter Crusader can very well produce a Shifter child who has the talents of a Beast Shaman without any interaction with an animal in their life.
Significantly more rare of Beast Shamans are those who are of elven descent. For reasons not well understood, even by powerful and elder Beast Shamans, most elven children who have the latent blood within them necessary for them simply being Beast Shamans are never brought anywhere near term while others are instead stillborn; those that do survive however, are subjects of great discussion. It is believed by many, erroneously, that it is a punishment placed upon the elves by ancient beasts of tremendous power, those who now make up the animal soul, for the Elves drifting away from the wilderness that they so claim to love. In reality, the few scholars who have expended years of their life in the study of the animal soul recognize that it is a force which does not readily resent or hold grudges, no matter the transgression, and willingly forgives even grievous errors provided the individual truly atones and surrenders to its power once more. As such, an elven Beast Shaman is an unusual sight to behold and are very easily recognized by their feral glare and golden eyes along with a much more pronounced build.
Humans, of the three primary Beast Shaman races, are the most common. The unique malleability of the human beast makes them a common candidate for eventual contact with sources of animal power; it is rumored that even being in the presence of a Champion of the Ferine can impact a human enough that their child could be a Beast Shaman, but this has yet to be proven. Given what is known about the animal soul and its agents, such is not an outlandish possibility, but it is highly unlikely. Most human Beast Shamans are from Barbarian tribes or the results of pairings of Druids; to their families, and their siblings, a Beast Shaman is a welcome member. The contrary sadly occurs in environments where civilization rules where their families, and the young Beast Shaman are shunned and, occasionally, feared; becoming a pariah, they seldom remain for long within their home and seek out the surrounding wilderness.
Born into their power by blood, Beast Shamans are wanderers and rarely keep company other than those who are quite similar in goals and powers. A Beast Shaman among Druids or a tribe of nomadic Barbarians is where one can find them if they find them among any numbers. As adventurers, however, that lure of exploring the unknown and the opportunity to further their convictions is something that cannot, and does not, go ignored by them. When presented the opportunity to join others, provided there is little conflict in personality and purpose, a Beast Shaman has no issue with heading off into the unknown.
Daily Life: Most Beast Shamans live like their closest cousins in spirit; like great cats of the wild, they prowl the evening hours, or even the dead of night, stalking through forests or across tundra on the hunt for their sustenance. Or like the wolf, they take on that predator's aspect and hunt along side a pack they introduce themselves into, chasing down their prey and eating along side their animal brothers and sisters. Some take up the habits of the bear and forage throughout the day, spending their time by a stream and catching with but their hands, or paws, trout and salmon or enjoying the sweetness of gathered wild berries. Highly ascetic, Beast Shamans have little to their name, and what they do bring with them often has much personal importance; such goods can range from simple jewelry to elaborate totems, even water polished stones or items of awesome magic power that appear otherwise mundane. What they do own, they are highly protective of, and only share its simple beauty to those they are most close to.
Notables: Of all names only that of Arkash Wildborne have any value to a Beast Shaman. Arkash, a Razorclaw Shifter, is one of the few Beast Shamans accepted by society for his association with Sylania Andonai, the lead envoy to most elder Druids. One of her companions, like Aeron R'roth, Arkash Wildborne is a heroic Beast Shaman who opposes the undead, aberrations and demons of the world, and fights to the death for those who do the same in the name of preserving the beasts of the wild.
Organizations: Beast Shamans have no dedicated organization or faction to which they belong; each and every member is unique, but can be easily recognized by one another without any verbal communication being required. A Beast Shaman can look another in the eye and understand who, and what they are as a Beast Shaman despite any outward discrepancies. Because of this, and their exceptional rarity, there is no need for congregating without some greater purpose.
As aforementioned, a Beast Shaman's only organization might be the Barbarian tribe they were born in, or wandered into, or a closed circle of Druids who find the unique personality and insight of a Beast Shaman a powerful, and worthy companion. Others yet are merely wanderers among a band of roaming adventurers who seek treasure, fame and glory, while the Beast Shaman longs for furthering the power of the animal soul in the world.
NPC Reactions: Outcasts in the majority of the world, most Beast Shamans are barred from entering cities without simple disguise; unable to roam freely, if they so wished, in a town as their more familiar beast form, they are unjustly the subject of fear. In most civilizations, Beast Shamans, thanks to the awesome animal power they wield, are feared for the ability to control, command and communicate with animals, primarily because they have, in the past, destroyed similar cities using such means. Other reasons for this fear is the iconic supernatural feat of a mighty Beast Shaman, Unleash the Animal Soul, a direct touch of the animal soul itself which ferociously and violently transforms its victim into a savage animal. Though such a power would rather be used to free those willing from their mortal bonds and grant them the peace of mind and body in their new bestial form, it too is a weapon, one which is spoken of in hushed tones in the presence of a Beast Shaman, if at all.
Often posing as Monks, Beast Shamans, should they disguise themselves, rarely engage in the vices of city life; they find no want for drink or comfort, nor need for gambling. Their business is often short, but should it find itself extended, they frequently examine the world around them in great detail, taking time to understand as best they can of what this other side of the coin offers, and thus wander the streets and businesses.
Beast Shaman Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Nature) can research Beast Shamans to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Beast Shamans are adepts of martial and animal spirit who fight with hand and fist over blade and spell. Able to take on animal forms like Druids, Beast Shamans are exceptional, if not limited, shapeshifters.|
|16||There is no career into becoming a Beast Shaman; it is not something that is learned, it is something that is bestowed unto them before birth. All Beast Shamans have inherited their powers through blood that in some manner has been influenced by the animal soul.|
|21||Long before the mortal races diverged completely from their animal cousins, most every race in existence at some point had been inspired by the animal soul, but with time, this spark has faded and all but dulled by interference from forces like those of the divine or outer realms. Beast Shamans are those who retain and exemplify this long lost spark.|
|26||Beast Shamans are, at heart, minute fragments of the long dead Beasts of Legend embodied in mortal forms. Their humanoid spirits part of the animal soul itself, they are able to manifest their powers by supernatural appointment, one that not even deities can interfere with.|
Beast Shamans in the Game
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