Shaman (3.5e Class)

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The Shaman[edit]

If a cleric’s basic creed is that the handiwork of the deities is everywhere, a shaman’s simple assertion is that the deities themselves are everywhere. Shamans are intermediaries between the mortal world, realm of spirits and the dreamscape—the vast multitude of living beings that infuse the entire world with divine essence. Shamans play a vital role in the world of Oriental Adventures—communicating with ancestor spirits, demons, nature spirits, and the most powerful of spirits, who might be considered deities. The shaman offers sacrifices, prayers, and services to the spirits, and in return gains the favor of patron spirits who bestow spells and other magical abilities upon him. With the exception of certain Lion clan “spirit talkers” of the Kitsu family, shamans are not found in Rokugan; shugenjas fill this role instead.

Adventure: Shamans often go on adventures not because of any desire of their own, but as a direct result of their unique relationship with the spirit world. Ancestor spirits often have their own agendas—deeds left undone or wrongs unavenged—and call on their shaman descendants to carry them out. Peasants and nobles alike often summon shamans if evil spirits or undead monsters cause trouble. Even nature spirits, normally unconcerned with the affairs of humanity, might request assistance from a shaman if an evil influence (such as a bajang or buso) troubles the natural world. Shamans who traffic with evil spirits are often driven to commit heinous deeds. Shamans are both blessed and burdened by their gifts, and may sometimes feel like pawns in the games and machinations of the spirit world.

Characteristics: Shamans use divine magic, much like the druids of the Player’s Handbook. In addition to healing, shaman spells naturally include means of contacting and communicating with spirits, winning favors from them, or warding against their influence. Shaman spells are also more strongly oriented toward nature than druid spells. A shaman’s spells are granted by spirits and oneiros rather than deities. Shamans have some power over undead, but not as great as clerics have. Nor are they as fearsome in combat as clerics, although they learn unarmed combat techniques as they advance in level.

Alignment: Most shamans are of good alignment, cooperating with kindly ancestor spirits and opposing evil spirits and undead. A few shamans, however, side with the evil spirits, using the power the spirits bestow to increase their own power in the world.

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 Dreamscape 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 and oneiric energy, can.

Background: Individuals are often drawn to the shaman class because they possess a natural gift for dealing with spirits, rather than the other way around. As with sorcerers, this gift typically manifests at puberty, though sometimes even young children display an unusual ability to see and communicate with spirits. The transition from a gifted child or young adult to a powerful shaman, however, is not easy. Typically, a shaman-to-be spends months in the wilderness, fasting and communing with the spirits, until finding two spirits to serve as patrons in a formal and ritualized relationship. These two spirits grant the character his first spells, at which point he truly becomes a shaman.

Races: Shamans are typically found among all the races, although their approach to the spirits may vary. Most shamans are human, because the human race is less in tune with the spirit world and therefore most in need of intermediaries who can communicate with spirits. Hengeyokai and spirit folk consider themselves spirits, and sometimes see little need to venerate the spirits. Hengeyokai shamans, who are quite rare, form partnerships with spirits based more on equal respect than on service and veneration. Spirit folk shamans are somewhat more common, and revere both human ancestors and nature spirits. Vanaras are quite commonly shamans, because they hold the spirit world in great respect. Nezumi and korobokuru shamans are rare, but quite similar to human shamans in their practices.

Other Classes: While no adventurer will begrudge a shaman’s power to heal and otherwise help an adventuring party, most adventurers view shamans with at least a hint of fear, awe, or wonder. A shaman’s powers are otherworldly, and the spirits that grant those powers often manifest in ways that make mundane-minded fighters and rogues more than a little uncomfortable. The shaman occupies a unique and sometimes dangerous position on the border between the spirit world, the dreamscape and the mortal world, and many characters find that position unnerving. For their part, shamans tend to look kindly on members of most other classes, humbly offering their powers for the good of the party as a whole.

Role: The shaman is strong physically and mentally. Capable of changing his form into a large bear to fight, navigate the dreamscape and defeat his enemies in their dreams, as well as heal the wounds of his allies of him. Although it is not necessary for a shaman to follow a deity, he can gain the power of the domains that nature, spirits, and oneiros bestow upon him.

Game Rule Information[edit]

Shamans have the following game statistics:

Abilities: Charisma determines how powerful a spell a shaman can cast, how many spells the shaman can cast per day, and how hard those spells are to resist. To cast a spell, a shaman must have a Charisma score of 10 + the spell’s level. A shaman gets bonus spells based on Charisma. The Difficulty Class of a saving throw against a shaman’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the shaman’s Charisma modifier. A high Constitution improves a shaman’s hit points, and a high Charisma improves the shaman’s saving throws.

Alignment: Any

Starting Age: Complex

Starting Gold: 1d4 gp

Table: The Shaman
Hit Die: d6
Level Base
Attack Bonus
Special Spells per Day
0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Turn or rebuke undead, Animal companion 3 1+1
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Spirit sight 4 2+1
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Dreamtelling 4 2+1 1+1
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Bonus feat 5 3+1 2+1
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Spirits’ favor 5 3+1 2+1 1+1
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Wild shape(1/day) 5 3+1 3+1 2+1
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Oneiromancy 6 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Bonus feat 6 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Wild shape Large 6 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Improved Oneiromancy 6 4+1 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Wild shape(2/day) 6 4+2 4+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Bonus feat 6 4+2 4+2 4+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Wild Shape (Elemental) 6 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+1 3+1 2+1; 1+1
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Shifter’s speech 6 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 3+1 3+1 2+1
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Wild shape (Huge) 6 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 3+1 2+1 1+1
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Bonus feat 6 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 3+2 3+1 2+1
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Wild Shape (Plant) 6 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 3+2 2+1 1+1
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Extraordinary Wild Shape 6 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 3+2 3+2 2+1
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Wild Shape (Gargantuan) 6 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 3+2 3+2
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Bonus feat 6 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+2

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level; ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana, religion, spirit, planes, nature) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Scry (Int), Tumble(Dex).

Class Features[edit]

The following are class features of the shaman:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shamans are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor. Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Pick Pocket, and Tumble. Also, Swim checks suffer a –1 penalty for every 5 pounds of armor and equipment carried.

Spells: A shaman casts divine spells according to Table 2–3: The Shaman. A shaman may prepare and cast any spell on the druid spell list (see Players Handbook) and exclusive shaman spells (see Chapter 7: Magic and Spells), provided he can cast spells of that level. (Alignment restrictions mean that casting some spells may have unpleasant consequences.) The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a shaman’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the shaman’s Charisma modifier. Shamans do not acquire their spells from books or scrolls, nor prepare them through study. Instead, they meditate or pray for their spells, receiving them as gifts from the many spirits (nature spirits, animal spirits, ancestor spirits, oneiros and others) with whom the shaman deals. Each shaman must choose a time at which he must spend an hour each day in quiet conversation with the spirits and oneiros to regain his daily allotment of spells (typically, this hour is at dawn or noon for good shamans and at dusk or midnight for evil ones). Time spent resting has no effect on whether a shaman can prepare spells. In addition to his standard spells, a shaman gets one domain spell of each spell level, starting at 1st. When a shaman prepares a domain spell, it must come from one of his two domains (see below for details).

Spirits, Domains, and Domain Spells: Choose two domains for your shaman. Each domain represents an individual spirit with which you have a special relationship—a spirit of the dead (usually one of your ancestors), an animal spirit, or a nature spirit. Each spirit gives you access to a domain spell at each spell level, from 1st on up, as well as a granted power. Your shaman gets the granted powers of both domains you select. With access to two domain spells at a given spell level, a shaman prepares one or the other each day. If a domain spell is not on the Shaman Spells list, a shaman can only prepare it in his domain slot. Domain spells and granted powers are given in Shaman Domains (see Oriental Adventures).

When a shaman reaches 7th level, he can choose a third domain and fourth domain to 11th. Also gains access to the spells and granted power of these domains. Each day, he can prepare two domain spells of certain spell levels, as shown on Table 2–3.

Spontaneous Casting: Good shamans can channel stored spell energy into healing spells that they haven’t prepared ahead of time. The shaman can “lose” a prepared spell in order to cast any cure spell of the same level or lower (a cure spell is any spell with “cure” in its name). For example, a good shaman who has prepared bless (a 1st-level spell) may lose bless in order to cast cure light wounds (also a 1st-level spell). Good shamans can cast cure spells in this way because they are especially proficient at wielding positive energy.

An evil shaman, on the other hand, can’t convert prepared spells to cure spells but can convert them to inflict spells (an inflict spell is one with “inflict” in the title). Such shamans are especially proficient at wielding negative energy. A neutral shaman can convert spells either to cure spells or to inflict spells (player’s choice), depending on whether the shaman is more proficient at wielding positive or negative energy. Once the player makes this choice, it cannot be reversed. This choice also determines whether the neutral shaman turns or rebukes undead (see below).

A shaman can’t use spontaneous casting to convert domain spells into cure or inflict spells. These spells arise from the particular powers of the shaman’s chosen spirits, not divine energy in general.

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: A shaman can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed to his own. A good shaman cannot cast evil spells, and vice versa. Spells associated with the alignments of chaos, evil, good, and law are identified as such on the “School, Subschool and Descriptors” line of the spell description.

Animal Companion: A 1st-level shaman may begin play with an animal companion. This animal is one that the shaman has befriended with the spell animal friendship. It can have up to 2 Hit Dice. (While the shaman is 1st level, this particular animal is loyal enough to stay with him, even though an adventuring shaman usually can only maintain animal friends whose Hit Dice total up to his level.) Alternatively, the shaman may have more than one animal companion provided the animals’ total Hit Dice don’t exceed 2. The shaman can also cast animal friendship in play (see the spell description in the Player’s Handbook).

As the shaman's level progresses, so do the abilities of the animal companion. 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 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
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 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.

Turn or Rebuke Undead: Starting at 1th level, a shaman gains the supernatural ability to turn or rebuke undead. He may use this ability a number of times per day equal to three plus his Charisma modifier. Neutral shamans must choose to either turn or rebuke undead (see Spontaneous Casting above).

Spirit Sight: A shaman of 2nd level and above can see ethereal creatures (including spirits) as easily as he sees material creatures and objects. The shaman can easily distinguish between ethereal creatures and material ones, because ethereal creatures appear translucent and indistinct.

Dreamtelling: When a shaman reaches 3rd level, he gains Dreamtelling. You can use your Knowledge (the planes) skill to interpret your dreams or the dreams of others, thus gleaning useful information and insights. You can interpret the basic symbolism of a dream to fi gure out what sorts of concerns or fears are likely to have inspired it.

Dream Being Interpreted

Features obvious symbolism DC 10

Involves cultural details or concepts with which you are not very familiar DC 15

Represents memories of past events with which you are not familiar DC 20

Both the previous conditions are true DC 25

Attempting to garner insight into future events, or events occurring elsewhere, by reading the prophetic images of a dream adds +10 to +20 to the base DC, depending on how obscure the omens are.

The DM must decide if a dream contains prophetic imagery; a suffi ciently high roll might glean some information even if the dream was not overtly oracular. Making the DC required to interpret a dream grants information comparable to an augury spell (see page 202 of the Player’s Handbook). Exceeding the required check by 10 or more offers infor-mation comparable to a divination spell (see page 224 of the Player’s Handbook). Exceeding the required check by 20 or more offers information comparable to a commune spell (see page 211 of the Player’s Handbook).

Even if your result was not high enough to enable you to read prophetic images, the result might be sufficient to interpret basic symbols and events. Thus, a check result of 18 is insuffi cient to foretell the future but still grants some information about cultural details or concepts. You can use this feat to determine what effect injuries received in a dreamscape are likely to have on you once you return (DC 15), or whether an item or location was created by the dreamer or brought in from outside (DC 20); see Heroes of Horror, Chapter 3 for information on adventuring within dreamscapes.

Finally, this feat allows Knowledge (the planes) to function in place of Survival when used within a dreamscape. This skill can be used to retrace your steps and return to a known person’s dream, or to attempt to track a creature across the dreamscape.

Action: Dreamtelling requires careful analysis of bizarre images and events. If you are trying to interpret your own dream, you must cogitate on it for a number of minutes equal to 30 minus your Intelligence modifi er. If you wish to analyze someone else’s dream, that person must first describe it to you in great detail, adding an additional 10+1d10 minutes to the process.

Try Again: No. The check represents your ability to interpret that particular dream. You can attempt to interpret other dreams the same individual has later, but you get only one attempt per dream. Similarly, you have only one attempt to determine whether an item is native to a particular dream.

Special: Most campaigns are not set up to interact with the dream world. Hence, this feat is only available if the DM specifi cally states that he or she has decided to allow it in his or her campaign.

Bonus Feat: At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, a shaman gains a bonus feat. The shaman must choose these feats from the following list: Dodge, Mobility, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Combat expertise, Savage Empathy, Natural Bond, Companion Spellbond, and Metamagic Feats.

Spirits’ Favor: A shaman of 5th level or higher applies his Charisma modifier (if positive) as a bonus on all saving throws.

Wild Shape: At 6th level, a shaman gains the ability to turn herself into any Small or Medium animal and back again once per day. Her options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type (see the Monster Manual). This ability functions like the polymorph spell, except as noted here. The effect lasts for 1 hour per 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.

The form chosen must be that of an animal the shaman is familiar with. For example, a shaman who has never been outside a temperate forest could not become a polar bear. A 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. (The normal sound a wild parrot makes is a squawk, so changing to this form does not permit speech.)

A shaman can use this ability more times per day at 11th, as noted on Table 2–3: The Shaman. In addition, she gains the ability to take the shape of a Large animal at 9th level, a Huge animal at 15th level, and a Gargantuan animal at 19th level. The new form’s Hit Dice can’t exceed the character’s shaman level. For instance, a shaman can’t take the form of a dire bear (a Large creature that always has at least 12 HD) until 12th level, even though she can begin taking Large forms at 9th level.

At 13th level, a shaman becomes able to use wild shape to change into a elemental (air, earth, fire, or water) twice per day, with the same size restrictions as for animal forms. These elemental forms are in addition to her normal wild shape usage. In addition to the normal effects of wild shape, the shaman gains all the elemental’s extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities. She also gains the elemental’s feats for as long as she maintains the wild shape.

At 17th level, a shaman becomes able to use wild shape to change into a plant creature, such as a shambling mound, with the same size restrictions as for animal forms. (A shaman can’t use this ability to take the form of a plant that isn’t a creature, such as a tree or a rose bush.)

Oneiromancy: Starting at 7th level, a shaman may take oneiromancy as a feat. Oneiromancy grants you a number of interrelated bonuses.

First, when casting spells in a nightmare realm, your spellsvalways work as normal; you do not risk the same mishaps that other casters experience.

Second, while in the dreamscape, you are considered to have Spell Focus (enchantment) and Spell Focus (illusion), due to your ability to manipulate the thoughts of dreamers and the stuff of dreams. If you already have Spell Focus in one or both of these schools, the DC bonus to saves stacks so long as you remain within the dreamscape.

Third, you can target your offensive spells at a target’s dream self, rather than his physical form. Because this deals mental damage only, it transforms all damage dealt by that spell into nonlethal damage, but if you kill in the dreamscape the physical body dies. This effect functions only on creatures that both sleep and dream: Constructs, plants, undead, and elves are immune to this effect. Only spells that target a single creature or specific number of creatures benefit from this effect; you cannot apply it to spells that target an area.

Special: Because you are more tightly connected to the world of dreams, you are more susceptible to certain types of mental manipulation. You take a –1 penalty on saves against enchantment and illusion spells and effects when in the physical realm. If you are slain while mentally traveling the dreamscape, your physical body dies, whether or not this is the case for most travelers.

Other inexperienced casters in nightmare realms have a chance of mishap when casting spells. In some instances, those who die in the dreamscape experience effects other than death in the real world.

Improved Oneiromancy: At 10th level a shaman spell list expands to include a number of dream-related spells, regardless of what sort of caster you might be. You must still learn or prepare these spells normally; they are added to your class list, not necessarily to the list of spells you personally know.

1st Level: restful slumber 4th Level: dream walk, manifest desire, manifest nightmare 5th Level: dreaming puppet 7th Level: dream sight

Shifter´s Speech: At 14th level, a shaman maintains her ability to speak normally (including verbal components of spells) regardless of the form she takes. Furthermore, he can communicate with other creatures of the same kind while in wild shape, as long as such creatures are normally capable of communicating with each other using natural methods.

Extraordinary Wild Shape: Starting at 18th level, a shaman gains all the extraordinary special qualities, supernatural and extraordinary abilities and spell-like abilities of any form she assumes with wild shape.

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.

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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