Shaman (5e Class)

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Shaman

While travelling through swamps, forests and deserts a young human receives directions from the spirits. An elf concentrates in its meditation, the spirits around her come forth, to protect her against preying beasts. A half-elf holds one of his shamanic foci, his enemies laugh, thinking this is an easy kill, when suddenly from the focus comes a bolt of lightning, fulminating the unsuspected enemy.

Shamans are magic users that gain their powers through spirits. They are the bridge that connects the material world and the ethereal world. They can cast spells or use the very spirits to help them in and out of combat, so much so, that being surrounded by spirits is a common occurrence for them.

Bridge Between the Two Worlds

Shamans connect with the dead ancestors and the unborn children who dwell amongst us, through meditation, rituals and study. In this way they connect with the world around them, attracting spirits, which they form bonds with to gain power and knowledge of the past and future of the land and its peoples. As Shamans are so connected with the spirit realm, they may seem otherworldly and have difficulty with more practical day-to-day aspects of society, for example they may confuse the past with the present or refer to people using their ancestor's names. Shamanism is a secret art, even more so than druidism, taking people years of rigorous training and concentration to contact spirits, and even more so to take their power for themselves. But all of that hard work tends to truly pay off, since often the spirits tend to gravitate towards the shaman, granting them assistance.

Creating a Shaman

383_ca_shaman.jpg
"You really shouldn't have thrown all that waste in the sea!"

Intertwined With Nature

Shamans must connect with nature in order to contact the spirits. That is why there are so few shamans in cities and other places where civilization has uprooted it. The gentle quiet of a forest or a distant mountainside may help foster deeper meditation and communion with the spirits, though on the other hand, a shaman capable of connecting with the nature in a city has the advantage of being surrounded by a great number of spirits. When creating a shaman, this is of great importance, because you must decide how your shaman views the civilized world, most shamans tend to not like grand civilizations and its people, seeing as they destroy nature to expend, but on some cases after interacting with them they may come to enjoy the company of some people. Think about this and also about how was your training and why you went through it. Are you from a family of shamans? Were you found by a master shaman in the past and they decided to train you? Or were you the one to find the shaman and ask to be trained? What do you use your powers for? To protect nature? To help the people you care about? To pass judgment on the ones who destroy nature?

Quick Build

You can make a shaman quickly by following these suggestions. First, Wisdom should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the hermit background.

Class Features

As a Shaman you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Shaman level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Shaman level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, blowguns, nets
Tools: Herbalist Kit
Saving Throws: Strength, Wisdom
Skills: Choose two from Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Religion, and Survival.

Equipment

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) Two simple weapons or (b) One simple weapon and a shield
  • (a) Any simple weapon or (b) An herbalist kit
  • Leather armor, an explorer's pack, and a druidic focus

Table: The Shaman

Level Proficiency
Bonus
Features Cantrips Known —Spell Slots per Spell Level—
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +2 Spellcasting, Sixth Sense, Spiritual Animal 3 2
2nd +2 Spiritual Possession 3 3
3rd +2 Shamanistic Ascencion 3 4 2
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Ability Score Improvement 4 4 3
5th +3 4 4 3 2
6th +3 Shamanistic Ascension Feature 4 4 3 3
7th +3 Spiritual Possession improvement 4 4 3 3 1
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement, Ability Score Improvement 4 4 3 3 2
9th +4 4 4 3 3 3 1
10th +4 Shamanistic Ascension Feature 5 4 3 3 3 2
11th +4 5 4 3 3 3 2 1
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement, Ability Score Improvement 5 4 3 3 3 2 1
13th +5 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
14th +5 Shamanistic Ascension Feature 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1
15th +5 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement, Ability Score Improvement 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
17th +6 Bridge Between Worlds 5 4 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 1
18th +6 Vengefull Spirits 5 4 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement, Ability Score Improvement 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 1
20th +6 Grand Shaman 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1

Spellcasting

At 1st level, you gain the ability to cast spells. You prepare the list of shaman spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the shaman spell list below. When you do so, choose a number of shaman spells equal to your Wisdom modifier + your Shaman level + 1 (minimum of one spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

Spellcasting through shamanism is an "interesting" thing to see. Like a druid they must study magic, they meditate as much as possible, so they can commune with nature. But the act of casting a spell is as spontaneous as a sorcerer's magic. The shaman's magic comes from the spirits around them, they take the energy of the spirits and turn it into pure magic, creating a spell on the spot.

Spell Slots

The shaman table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these shaman spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.

Spellcasting Ability

Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your shaman spells, since the power of your magic comes from your connection with the spirits. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a shaman spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Ritual Casting

You can cast shaman spells as a ritual if the spell has the ritual tag and it is prepared.

Spellcasting Focus

You can use a shamanic focus (found on the table below) as a spellcasting focus for your shaman spells.

Item Cost Weight
Totem 1 gp -
Spirit Pipe 1 gp -
Dreamcatcher 2 gp -
Headdress 5 gp -
Pelt from Spirit Animal 10 gp 1 lb

Sixth Sense

Begining at the 1st level, you can see and speak with spirits. You can see up to 60 ft into the Ethereal Plane while in the Material Plane, and vice versa. You can also gain some benefits after communing with nature for 1 minute.

  • When you forage alone, you find twice as much as you normally would.
  • You can move stealthily at a normal pace.
  • You are aware of recent events in the region, like storms, landslides, etc.

Spiritual Animal

At 1st level, you can cast the "Find Familiar" spell as a ritual. Your familiar is always an undead. Your familiar is a spirit, which means it can see 60 ft into the Ethereal Plane while in the Material Plane and vice versa, it can pass through other creatures and objects (it takes 1d10 force damage if it ends its turn on an occupied space), it doesn't have a walking speed, instead, it has a flight speed of 40 ft and it can hover (familiars that already have flight speeds keep their value, but lose their walking speed like the others) and it can become invisible with an action.

Spiritual Possession

At 2nd level, you can use your action to enter a trance and allow a beastly spirit to possess your body, giving you the abilities of the spirit. You can use this feature twice. You regain expended uses when you finish a short or long rest. (Optional Rule: the Shaman must have collected the spirit of the animal you wish to channel. to collect you must be aware of the spirit of a creature that meets the requirements and succeed on an animal handling check. When using this rule some monstrosities such as winter wolf may be allowed)

Your shaman level determines the spirit that can possess you. You can be possessed by the spirit of a beast with a CR of no more than half your shaman level (rounded down). When you channel you do not gain lair actions or legendary resistances.

You can maintain the possession by a number of hours equal to half your shaman level (rounded down). You then end the possession unless you expend another use of this feature.. You can also end the possession with a bonus action in your turn. You automatically end the possession if you fall to 0 hit points, or die.

While you are possessed, the following rules apply:

  • Some of your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast whose spirit is possessing you. Those being, its Strength, Dexterity and Constitution scores, its attacks, its senses and any other personal features. You don't gain its hit points, AC, or any special types of movement (like flight).

Note: changes in Dex or Con do not effect your AC or HP and only apply for the sake of checks, saves, and attacks.

  • When you use your action to make an attack from your possessing spirit it appears as a spectral apparition of the attack, and while you deal the damage type and dice of the attack, you still use your weapon on the attack, so, if you use a ranged weapon, like a bow, you can still make any attack from your spirit, like a bite attack. Also, any extra damage, or bonus to attack rolls you gain from magical weapons still affect your spirit attacks.
  • Your spirit's senses overlap yours, so you lose any senses you possess that your spirit doesn't posses with exception to your ethereal sight.

At level 7 your spirit's attacks are considered magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity against nonmagical damage and attacks.

When you reach 11th level, you gain temporary hit points equal to your shaman level when you become possessed. These hit points last until the end of the possession.

Shamanistic Ascension

At 3nd level, you choose a Shamanistic Ascension that show how to you use your connection with the spirits: Totem of Elements and Totem of Spirits. You gain additional features from your shamanistic ascension at levels 6, 10, and 14.


Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of you choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Bridge Between Worlds

Starting at 17th level you can, once every long rest, with your strong spiritual power, create a number of totems equal to your wisdom Modifier + 2. These totems can be used by your allies, connecting them with the Ethereal Plane, allowing them to see what you see. The totems can be activated with a bonus action. For 1 hour your allies, who activated their totems, can see into the ethereal plane just like you.

Vengeful Spirits

At level 18 when targeting a creature with a spell that forces them to make a Wisdom saving throw you can choose to loose angry spirits along with the spell. Once per short rest, you can use this feature to make the target make their initial Wisdom saving throw at disadvantage. On a failed saving throw the spirits torment the target's mind, causing the spell to deal double damage, or last twice as long, your choice if the spell has a duration and causes damage. On a success, nothing happens.

Grand Shaman

At 20th level, you can use your Spirit Possession an unlimited number of times. Additionally, you can ignore the verbal and somatic components of your shaman spells, as well as any material components that lack a cost and aren’t consumed by a spell.

Shamanistic Ascensions

Your shamanistic ascensions determine which path you will take, to master your shamanic powers. You may choose to follow the totem of elements and connect with the spirits of nature. Or, you might become a shaman from the totem of spirits, and strengthen your bond to them.

Totem of Elements

Shamans that follow the ascension of the Totem of Elements are deeply connected to nature, and use their totems to create a variety of elemental effects. Or even summon elementals to their side.

Totemic Magic

As a totem of elements, at 3rd level, you learn to channel the spirits of the elements into totems. You can summon these totems to help you in battle with a bonus action.

The totem(s) appear in a point of your choosing within melee range. They are each 1ft tall and are considered tiny for size. They have an AC of 12 and hit points equal to 5 + shaman level. The totem(s) last for 1 minute or until you dismiss them. They require a bonus action to cast down and are dismissible with a free action. When you use your totemic call, all totems you have are called down in simultaneously, i.e. at 10th level, summoning your totem(s) brings down 3 totems around you. When you gain a new totem in this class you can choose a totem you know and replace it with another totem of the same level.

At 3rd level, you choose one totem between the 1st level totems. At 6th level, you choose one of the 2nd level ones. At level 10 you pick a level 3 totem. And at level 14 you pick a 4th level totem. At levels 6, 10 and 14 you can change one of the totems you previously chose by another of the same level.

First Level Totems
  • Fire Totem: Flames burn around your weapons. While within 60 ft of your totem you add 1d4 fire damage to your weapon attacks. This damage increases to 1d6 at 7th level, 1d8 at 11th and 1d10 at 15th level.
  • Earth Totem: Earth and rocks cling to your skin, like a new skin. You gain temporary hit points equal to your shaman level at the start of your turns while within 60 ft of your totem. After 11th level, you add your Wisdom modifier to the temporary hit points. These temporary hit points don't stack with each other, if your shaman is at 12th level and has a Wisdom score of 16, uses this feature, they would gain 15 hit points, if they lose 12 hit points, on their next turn they would only regain 12 more hit points, to go back to 15.
  • Water Totem: You body feels more fluid. You gain a +1 to your AC while within 60 ft of your totem.
  • Air Totem: The air around you picks up speed. While within 60 ft of your totem, ranged nonmagical attacks have disadvantage against you.
Second Level Totems
  • Ash Totem: Ash covers your enemies eyes. Choose a single target within 60 ft of your totem when you summon it. The target must make a Constitution saving throw against your spell DC. On a failure, they become blinded for the totem's duration. The target can make a save at the end of each of it's turns to end the effect. On a success, they have disadvantage on Perception checks that rely on sight.
  • Magma Totem: Your totem blasts your enemies with burning hot magma. The closest enemy to your totem, within 60 ft, must make a Dexterity saving throw at the start of your turns. On a failure, they take 2d6 fire damage or half damage on a success.
  • Ooze Totem: As ectoplasm sprouts around your enemies armors, their defenses become open. Choose a target when you summon your totem, that's within 60 ft of it. This creature has their AC reduces by 1 for the totem's duration.
  • Ice Totem: Icy cold winds run through a creature. Choose a target within 60 ft of your totem when you summon it. This creature must make a Constitution saving throw, on a failure they become stunned until the end of your next turn. A creature automatically succeeds in this save if it has immunity against cold damage, and has advantage in it if it has resistance.
Third Level Totems
  • Fiery Heart Totem: The fire burns in your heart, and the flames give you strength. You can’t be charmed or frightened while this totem is active and within 60 ft of you.
  • Stone Mind Totem: The stoic stubbornness of stone and earth fills your mind and body, strengthening your will. You can choose to have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage. As long as you are within 60 ft of this totem.
  • Aerial Spirit Totem: The spirits of the wind enters your mind, showing you the opportune times to strike and to move. You do not provoke opportunity attacks, and you can use your reaction to make an attack any time another creature makes an attack against a target other than you. You must be within 60 ft of this totem.
  • Fluid Body Totem: The spirits of water flow in waves across your body and make you fluid. You can't be grappled or restrained. And you have advantage against effects that paralyze or petrify creatures. As long as you are within 60 ft of this totem.
Fourth Level Totems
  • Flame Totem: Flames sear the body of your enemies. Choose a target within 60 ft. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target is set on fire. At the beginning of each of its turns, whilst it remains on fire, the target takes 2d8 fire damage. To put the flames out requires either an action of rolling on the floor for a whole round or other logical situation (DMs discretion). On a successful save, there is no effect. It requires a bonus action to re-cast this totem.
  • Rock Prison Totem: Rock form around your targets, imprisoning them. Choose a target within 60 ft. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save the target takes 1d8 bludgeoning damage and is restrained. The target may attempt to break free, requiring Strength check against you spell DC. The target may attempt to slip out with a Dexterity check against your spell DC. On a successful save, there is no effect. It requires a bonus action to re-cast this totem.
  • Choking Air Totem: The air turns into poison around your targets. Choose a target within 60 ft. The target must make a Constitution saving throw against your spell DC. On a failed save, the target takes 2d6 poison damage. On a successful save the target takes no damage. The target makes the Constitution save at the start of each of its turns unless this totem is destroyed.
  • Drowning Totem: You trap your enemies in water to drown them. Choose a target within 60 ft. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw against your spell DC. On a failed save a bubble of water surrounds the target’s head. They are considered drowning; the target remains fine for a number of rounds equal to their Constitution modifier (minimum of 1 round) as they hold their breath. After this point, if they have not removed the ball of water, the target takes 4d8 damage at the beginning of their turn and are considered stunned. They may attempt to remove the ball of water on their turn. To remove the ball of water requires a whole turn spent attempting to remove it, making a Dexterity saving throw (DC 10 + the number of rounds they have had the water on their head). On a successful save, there is no effect. It requires a bonus action to re-cast this totem.

You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier. After expending all uses of this feature, you regain uses by taking a long rest.

Elemental Protection

At 6th level your connection with the elements grows, when you make a saving throw against something that would cause you cold, fire, lightning or thunder damage you take only half damage on a failure and no damage on a success.

Elemental Totem

At 10th level you learn how to make a totem based on an elemental.

With an action you can spend two uses of your totemic magic to summon an elemental anywhere within 30 ft of you. This elemental acts on your initiative and obeys your commands as best as it can. If you fall unconscious your elemental protects you as best as it can. It stays with you for 1 hour, but if you fall unconscious, and isn't stabilized for 4 rounds it dissipates and disappear. The elemental can't have a CR higher than 5.

This feature can be used once, and to use it again you must take a long rest.

Elemental Shaman

At 14th level you achieved the pinnacle of control over the spirits of the elements. While you are within range of at least 2 of your totems, any damage you deal that causes cold, fire, lightning or thunder gains 1 additional dice of damage. You can also change your totems for others of the same level at the end of your long rests.

Totem of Spirits

When you choose the shamanistic ascension of the Totem of Spirits, you wish to deepen your connection to the spirits around you, surround yourself in their presence, and count on them to help you.

Mortuary Totem

At 3rd Level, you have a totem that serves as a mortuary tablet, where your spirits can reside. You can use your Spirit Possession with a bonus action, rather than your action.

Also, once per long rest, you can swap your current spirit and be possessed by a different one. This change doesn't affect the duration of the possession (so, if there were only 3 minutes left, your new spirit stays in you for only 3 minutes). A sudden change like that is very taxing, you gain 1 level of exhaustion after your possession ends if you used this feature during it.

Spiritual Medium

At 6th level, you have learned a way to strengthen your bond with your spirits. If you have a medium that connects a spirit to its original existence (like bear claws for a bear spirit), you can use it to draw out more power from it.

Your spirit gains a more physical form, the aura around you becoming denser. Your spirit's attacks' damage type becomes force damage. And you can spend spell slots to increase this damage. You gain 1 more dice of damage per level of spell slot used this way (black bear's bite with a 4th level spell slot would deal 5d6 force damage, instead of the normal 1d6). This increase in damage lasts until the end of your current turn.

Spirit Senses

At level 10 you are able to detect the presence of spirits even at great distances. As an action you allow your connection to the ethereal plane guide your senses to these creatures. For 10 minutes you know the location of any creature of the undead type within 100 ft of you. With another action you can increase your focus and learn 2 things:

  • The exact number of creatures you're sensing.
  • You gain a glimpse of their power. The DM gives tells you if the creature is: weak (CR 0 to 1), average (CR 2 to 4), strong (CR 5 to 9), powerful (CR 10 to 15), fearsome (CR 15 to 20), terrifying (CR 21 to 26), monstrous (CR 27 to 30).

You can use this feature once per short or long rest.

Spiritual Armor

Starting at level 14 you are able to create a special totem, that is able to condense your possessing spirit into a much denser aura. With a bonus action you activate this form that lasts for 1 minute. While in this form you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your shaman level times your Wisdom modifier, to a maximum of 5 (if your modifier is higher than 5, treat it as a 5 when calculating these hit points).

This feature can be used once. To use it again you must finish a long rest.

Spell List

A shaman can learn a variety of spells to help protect nature, and uses it's resources to their fullest.

Spell Lists
Cantrips chill touch, control flames, infestation*, light, mage hand, magic stone, mending, minor illusion, mold earth, prestidigitation, primal savagery, ray of frost, shape water, spare the dying, toll the dead
1st absorb elements, alarm, bane, bless, burning hands, create or destroy water, cure wounds, earth tremor, entangle, false life, healing word, ice knife, identify, inflict wounds, purify food and water, speak with animals, witch bolt
2nd alter self, animal messenger, augury, beast sense, blindness/deafness, continual flame, dragon's breath*, dust devil, earthbind, gentle repose, enhance ability, enlarge/reduce, heat metal, ray of enfeeblement, shatter, spider climb, spiritual weapon
3rd animate dead, bestow curse, call lightning, chain heal, conjure animals, daylight, fireball, life transference*, lightning bolt, tidal wave, revivify, sleet storm, speak with dead, speak with plants, spirit guardians, wall of sand, wall of water, water breathing, water walk, wind wall
4th blight, conjure minor elementals, conjure woodland beings, control water, dominate beast, giant insect, lava burst, locate creature, polymorph, shadow of moil*, stoneskin, stone shape, storm sphere, watery sphere, wall of fire, dimension door
5th awaken, commune, commune with nature, conjure elementals, contagion, geas, dominate person , hold monster, insect plague, legend lore, modify memory, raise dead, reincarnate, seeming, skill empowerment*, tree stride, wall of stone, wrath of nature*
6th chain lightning, create undead, disintegrate, eyebite, investiture of ice, investiture of stone, investiture of wind, magic jar, move earth, primordial ward*, sunbeam, transport via plants, wall of thorns
7th divine word, etherealness, finger of death, fire storm, mirage arcane, plane shift, regenerate, resurrection, symbol, whirlwind
8th abi-dalzim’s horrid wilting, animal shapes, clone, control weather, dominate monster, earthquake, healing rain, illusory dragon*, incendiary cloud, sunburst, tsunami
9th astral projection, imprisonment, power word kill, psychic scream*, storm of vengeance, true resurrection, wish
  • spells from Xanathar's Guide = *

Multiclassing

Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the shaman class, you must meet these prerequisites: 13 Wisdom

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the shaman class, you gain the following proficiencies: Clubs, Daggers, Darts, Javelins, Quarterstaffs, Shortswords, Slings and Spears. You also gain proficiency in Arcana and Nature



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