While clerics function as priests and mouthpieces of the gods, shamans speak for the spirits of the world. A multitude of living beings inhabit and infuse the entire material world beyond the realm of mortal kin, and shamans function as their intermediaries. Playing a vital role in some societies, shamans fill the spiritual needs of a community, offering sacrifices, prayers, and services both to the spirits and to their mortal followers. In return, the shaman gains the favor of the spirits, receiving spells and magical abilities to aid him on his journey. Shamans function between the worlds of the cleric and the druid.

Adventures: Shamans rarely adventure due to their own desire. Rather, they have a unique relationship with the spirit world which often propels them into a life of adventure. Ancestor spirits often have deeds left undone or wrongs to avenge, calling upon their shaman descendants to accomplish their agendas. When evil spirits or undead foul a holy site, a shaman is summoned to exorcise the monstrosities and cleanse the locale. Even nature spirits might seek assistance from a shaman should the natural world become unbalanced. Some shamans even traffic with evil spirits and are driven to commit heinous deeds. Blessed and burdened by their gifts, sometimes becoming merely pawns in the machinations of the spirit world.

Characteristics: Shamans use divine magic, much like the clerics 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 cleric spells. A shaman’s spells are granted by spirits 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 these spirits bestow to increase their own power in the world.

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 may be found among most races of Playground. Most shamans are Thri-kreen, because they are very in tune with nature and have little use for the demanding deities of the other races. Elves often have a few shamans as well, though they prefer to worship their own racial deity. Half-Elves are almost never shamans, refusing to enter into any kind of agreement with a spirit that could be mistaken for a deity; however, they have been known to occasionally succumb to the temptations of evil spirits. Humans and other 'Invader' races, having come from another world, are discordant to the spirit realm of Playground, and are incapable of becoming shamans.

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. Unlike clerics, who have a defined, and distant, deity, they never know when one of the spirits with whom the shaman consorts is around. The shaman occupies a unique and sometimes dangerous position on the border between the spirit world 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. Shamans look kindly on druids, seeing them as following a path similar to their own, but they feel pity for clerics who are forced to follow a single god, ignoring the spirit world around them. They have an extreme distaste for benders who forcefully twist the natural world to their will, which sends disruptive ripples through the spirit world.

Using Shamans: Shamans are suggested primarily for use in a campaign as an alternative to the cleric for a race who practices ancestor or spirit worship more often than organized religion, such as the Kreen Thri-kreen. Shamans are generally well suited towards martial characters perhaps a little better than clerics, but their martial prowess is almost exclusively with unarmed combat.
    In an adventuring group, shamans fill a role similar to that of the cleric. They generally server as the primary healer, but their domain selections will affect exactly how their role is defined. As essentially a variant of cleric, DMs should disallow multiclassing with cleric as they would between different types of specialist wizard.
    In Playground, shamans are almost unheard of outside of the nomadic Thri-kreen nations of Da'tek-luk or the jungles of the Scylgris; however, there are also a good number of Shamans among the Deathwarden Dwarves of western Xiua and the peoples of far northern Ramua.

Game Rule Information

Shamans have the following game statistics.

Abilities: Wisdom 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 Wisdom score of 10 + the spell’s level. A shaman gets bonus spells based on Wisdom. The Difficulty Class of a saving throw against a shaman’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the shaman’s Wisdom modifier. A high Constitution improves a shaman’s hit points, and a high Charisma improves the shaman’s saving throws.
Alignment: Any, though they tend towards Good or Neutral.
Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills: A shaman’s class skills (and the key ability for each) are Balance (Dex), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nature), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Tumble (Dex). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player’s Handbook for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at 1st level: (4 + Int modifier) × 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

The Shaman

Base FortRefWill Unarmed Spells per Day1
Level Attack Bonus SaveSaveSave Special Damage  0  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +0+0+2 Unarmed strike, animal companion,
spirits of healing or harming
1d6 31+1
2nd +1 +0+0+3 Spirit sight 1d6 42+1
3rd +2 +1+1+3 Turn or rebuke undead 1d6 42+1 1+1
4th +3 +1+1+4 Bonus feat 1d6 53+1 2+1
5th +3 +1+1+4 Spirits’ favor 1d6 53+1 2+1 1+1
6th +4 +2+2+5 1d6 53+1 3+1 2+1
7th +5 +2+2+5 1d8 64+1 3+1 2+1 1+1
8th +6/+1 +2+2+6 Bonus feat 1d8 64+1 3+1 3+1 2+1
9th +6/+1 +3+3+6 1d8 64+1 4+1 3+1 2+11+1
10th +7/+8 +3+3+7 1d8 64+1 4+1 3+1 3+12+1
11th +8/+3 +3+3+7 Third domain 1d8 64+2 4+1 4+1 3+12+11+1
12th +9/+4 +4+4+8 Bonus feat 1d8 64+2 4+1 4+1 3+13+12+1
13th +9/+4 +4+4+8 1d10 64+2 4+2 4+1 4+13+12+11+1
14th +10/+5 +4+4+9 1d10 64+2 4+2 4+1 4+13+13+12+1
15th +11/+6/+1 +5+5+9 1d10 64+2 4+2 4+2 4+14+13+12+11+1
16th +12/+7/+2 +5+5+10 Bonus feat 1d10 64+2 4+2 4+2 4+14+13+13+12+1
17th +12/+7/+2 +5+5+10 1d10 64+2 4+2 4+2 4+24+14+13+12+11+1
18th +13/+8/+3 +6+6+11 1d10 64+2 4+2 4+2 4+24+14+13+13+12+1
19th +14/+9/+4 +6+6+11 2d6 64+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+24+14+13+13+1
20th +15/+10/+5 +6+6+12 Bonus feat 2d6 64+2 4+2 4+2 4+2 4+24+14+14+14+1
1In addition to the stated number of spells per day for 1st- through 9th-level spells, a shaman gets a domain spell for each
spell level, starting at 1st. The “+1” on this list represents that. These spells are in addition to any bonus spells for having
a high Wisdom.

Class Features

The following are class features of the shaman.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shamans are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor.

Spells: A shaman casts divine spells according to the associated table. A shaman may prepare and cast any spell on the druid spell list, provided he can cast spells of that level. (Alignment restrictions mean that casting some spells may have unpleasant consequences.) The DC for a saving throw against a shaman’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the shaman’s Wisdom 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, 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 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 cleric 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 cleric domain spell at each spell level, from 1st on up, as well as a granted power. Your shaman also gains the granted powers of both domains you select. With access to two domain spells at each spell level, a shaman prepares one or the other each day. If a domain spell is not on the druid list, a shaman can only prepare it in his domain slot. New domain spells and granted powers are given in Chapter 15: Domains.
    When a shaman reaches 11th level, he can choose a third domain, and gains access to the spells and granted power of this domain. Each day, he can prepare two domain spells of certain spell levels, as shown on the table.

Good and Evil Spells: A shaman can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed to his own. A good shaman cannot cast spells with the [evil] descriptor, nor can an evil shaman cast spells with the [good] descriptor.

Unarmed Strike: Shamans gain Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat at 1st level.

Animal Companion: A 1st-level shaman may begin play with an animal companion. Treat the Shaman as a Druid of his class level for the purposes of determining the abilities of his companion and the type of companion he may have.

Spirits of Healing/Harming (Su): Shamans can channel the positive energy of the spirits around him into healing. The energy a shaman draws from the spirits obeys his command, and he can dispense it with a simple touch.
    A shaman may draw enough energy from the spirit world to heal an amount of damage equal to 5 × (1 + your shaman level) hit points per day, after this, the spirits are temporarily drained of their extra energies. You can use this energy with a touch, expending as much or as little of it at a time as you wish in much the same way as a paladin does with her lay on hands ability. The energy automatically replenishes when you prepare spells for the day. You can also deal out this positive energy with a melee touch attack against any creature vulnerable to positive energy (such as undead), damaging it as if you had cast a cure spell upon it.
    An evil shaman channels the negative energy of the evil spirits around him to inflict harm on others in the same way a good shaman uses healing. Treat an evil shaman's ability as if he were casting an inflict spell.
    A neutral shaman can channel energy to either cure or inflict damage, depending on whether the shaman is more attuned to good or evil spirits. Once the player makes this choice, it cannot be reversed. This choice also determines whether the neutral shaman turns or rebukes undead (see below).
    Prestige classes which advance the divine spellcasting of a shaman count as levels of shaman for determining the healing amount per day of this ability.

Spirit Sight (Su): 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.

Turn or Rebuke Undead: When a shaman reaches 3rd level, he 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. He turns undead as a cleric of two levels lower would. Neutral shamans must choose to either turn or rebuke undead (see Spirits of Healing/Harming above).

Bonus Feat: At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, a shaman gains a bonus martial arts feat for which he meets the requirements. The shaman must choose these feats from the following list: Choke Hold, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Defensive Strike, Defensive Throw, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Earth’s Embrace, Expeditious Dodge, Falling Star Strike, Grappling Block, Great Throw, Freeze the Lifeblood, Improved Grapple, Improved Natural Attack (unarmed strike), Improved Trip, Karmic Strike, Pain Touch, Stunning Fist, Superior Combat Expertise, or Unbalancing Strike.

A Shaman may select Stunning Fist as his 4th level bonus feat, even if he doesn't meet the prerequisites. A shaman who selects this feat may attempt a stunning attack a number of times per day equal to one half his shaman level plus one, plus one more time per day for every four levels he has in classes other than shaman. If he is multiclassed with a monk, he may attempt a stunning attack a number of times per day equal to his monk level, plus one half his shaman level, plus one more time per day for every four levels he has in other classes, plus one. For example, a shaman 4 may attempt a stunning attack (4/2) + 1 = 3 times per day, and a shaman 4 / monk 2 / fighter 4 may attempt a stunning attack (4/2) + 2 + (4/4) + 1 = 6 times per day.

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

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