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Shaman


Shamans understand that everything in nature carries a living spirit—every animal, plant, and rock. Even the very sky and the earth each have a spirit. Shamans form deep connections with these spirits and draw strength and knowledge from them. Sometimes feared and misunderstood, shamans have unparalleled understanding of both the natural and spirit world that grants them shapeshifting abilities, the guidance and aid of animal spirit guides, and the ability to serve as intermediaries and messengers between mortals and spirits. The greatest shamans separate their spirits from their bodies to undertake vision quests.

Shamans are also skilled healers, calling on other spirits to soothe the wounds of those around them.

Role: Shamans tend to be recluses, since they seek knowledge in a realm beyond the natural world. They are just as resourceful in the natural world as druids, though, and can serve a similar role in a group.

Alignment: Any neutral.

Hit Die: d8.

Starting Wealth: 2d6 × 10 gp (70 gp average.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The shaman’s class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Shaman
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spells per Day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Animal spirit guide, nature lore, orisons, totem secret, wild empathy 3
2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 Woodland step 4
3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Shaman’s touch, totem secret 5
4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Wild shape 1/day 6 3
5th +3 +4 +1 +4 6 4
6th +4 +5 +2 +5 Wild shape 2/day 6 5 3
7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Totem secret 6 6 4
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Wild shape 3/day 6 6 5 3
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Spirit dance 6 6 6 4
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Wild shape 4/day 6 6 6 5 3
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Totem secret 6 6 6 6 4
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Wild shape 5/day 6 6 6 6 5 3
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Spirit step 6 6 6 6 6 4
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Wild shape 6/day 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Totem secret 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
16th +12/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Wild shape 7/day 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Vision quest 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Wild shape 8/day 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Totem secret 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Spirit dance / wild shape no daily limit 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the shaman.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the shaman.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Shamans are proficient with all simple weapons and with all natural attacks (claw, bite, and so on) of any form they assume with wild shape (see below).

Shamans are proficient with light and medium armor but are prohibited from wearing metal armor; thus, they can wear only padded, leather, hide or other non-metal armor. A shaman can wear wooden armor altered by the ironwood spell to function like steel. Shamans are proficient with shields (except tower shields) but must use only those crafted from wood or other non-metal materials. A shaman who wears prohibited armor or uses a prohibited shield cannot cast spells or use any of his or her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter.

Spell Casting

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

Shamans cast divine spells drawn from the druid spell list. They can cast any spell they know without preparing it ahead of time. A shaman’s alignment may restrict him or her from casting certain spells opposed to that shaman’s moral or ethical beliefs (see “Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells”). To learn or cast a spell, a shaman must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The saving throw DC against a shaman’s spell is 10 + the spell’s level + the shaman’s Charisma modifier.

Shamans can cast only a few spells of each level per day. Their base daily spell allotment appears on Table: Shaman. In addition, they receive bonus spells per day if they have a high Charisma score. Shamans also receive a particular totem spell known from the bond each has with his or her animal spirit guide.

Unlike other divine spellcasters, a shaman’s selection of spells is extremely limited. Shamans begin play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of their choice. At each new shaman level, they gain one or more new spells, as indicated on Table: Shaman Spells Known. Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a shaman knows is not affected by his or her Charisma score; the numbers on Table are fixed.

On reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered shaman level thereafter, shamans can learn a new spell to replace one they already know, losing the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell must be of the same level as the spell being replaced. Shamans can swap only one spell at any given level, and they must choose to swap the spell when they gain new spells known for that level. They cannot swap the spell gained from a spirit bond.

Unlike a druid or cleric, shamans need not prepare spells in advance. They can cast any spell they know at any time, assuming they have not yet cast all spells per day for that spell level.

Shamans need no divine focus to cast spells, even for ones with divine focus (DF) listed as a component.

Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful Spells: Shamans cannot cast spells of an alignment opposed to their deity’s (if they have one). Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the Chaos, Evil, Good, and Law descriptors in their spell descriptions.

Orisons Shamans can cast orisons, or 0-level spells, each day as noted on Table: Shaman under “Spells per Day.” The orisons are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and can be used again.

Bonus Languages

Shamans gain a bonus language, and the options include Sylvan, the language of woodland creatures. This choice is in addition to the bonus languages available to shamans because of race.

Animal Spirit Guide (Su)

At 1st level, shamans form a bond with an animal spirit—a nature spirit taking the physical form of an animal. Shamans begin play bonded to an animal listed in “Animal Spirit Guides”.

An animal spirit guide’s Hit Dice, abilities, skills, and feats advance as the shaman advances. If a shaman releases his or her spirit guide from its bond, the shaman can gain a new one by performing a ceremony requiring 24 uninterrupted hours of fasting and solitary meditation in a natural environment. This ceremony requires materials and offerings costing 100 gp. Such a ceremony can also replace an animal spirit guide that has perished.

Nature Lore (Ex)

Shamans gain a +2 bonus to Knowledge (nature) and Heal checks.

Totem Secret

At 1st level, 3rd level, and every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, and so on), shamans unlock a new secret about the natural or spirit world that grants them additional powers and abilities. Shamans must select a totem secret from the list below; some are not available until higher levels. If a totem secret is chosen at a later level, the shaman gains all of the abilities and bonuses granted by that totem secret based on his or her current level. Unless otherwise noted, activating a totem secret is a standard action. The DC to save against these totem secrets is equal to 10 + 1/2 the shaman’s level + the shaman’s Charisma modifier.

Blood Divination (Ex): Shamans can read the future in the entrails of a freshly killed animal or humanoid. If a shaman spends 10 minutes studying the entrails of an animal or humanoid killed in the last hour, he or she gains an insight bonus equal to his or her Charisma modifier on one saving throw. At 10th level, shamans can study the entrails of any animal, regardless of the time dead, for the same effect. Alternatively, by observing and interpreting the flights of birds for 10 minutes, shamans can apply a +10 competence bonus to any one skill check. Finally, by spending 10 minutes charting marks in dirt or stone or observing the patterns of sand thrown into the wind, shamans gain a +4 insight bonus to one initiative check. These bonuses must be used in the next 24 hours, and shamans must declare they are using the bonus before rolling the check or saving throw. Shamans can use blood divination (in any combination) 1/day plus 1/day for every four shaman levels.

Invisibility (Su): As a standard action, the shaman becomes invisible (as the invisibility spell). Shamans can remain invisible for 1 minute/day per shaman level. This ability must be used in 1-minute increments, but these minutes need not be consecutive. Starting at 9th level, this ability acts as the greater invisibility spell, though each round spent this way counts as 1 minute of the shaman’s normal invisibility duration. The shaman must be at least 3rd level to select this totem secret.

Protective Spirits (Su): Shamans can call spirits to form a shield around them that blocks attacks and grants them a +4 armor bonus. At 7th level, and every four levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +2. At 9th level, shamans can apply armor, natural armor, and shield bonuses to their AC against incorporeal touch attacks. At 13th level, arrows, rays, and other ranged attacks requiring an attack roll gain a 50% miss chance when targeting shamans. Shamans can use this ability for 1 hour/day per shaman level. This duration need not be consecutive, but it must be used in 1-hour increments.

Speak with Animals (Ex): Shamans can speak with animals corresponding with their animal spirit guide’s physical form, as if under the effects of speak with animals. Shamans can communicate with an additional kind of animal for every three shaman levels.

Spirit of Nature (Su): Whenever shamans drop to negative hit points while in a natural setting on their home plane, they automatically stabilize. At 5th level, shamans gain fast healing 3 for 1d4 rounds whenever they are reduced to negative hit points. At 10th level, this ability works everywhere, even in urban or wholly artificial realms. At 15th level, shamans gain fast healing 5 for 1d6 rounds when reduced to negative hit points.

Spirit Sight (Su): A shaman’s vision extends into the spirit realm, allowing them to see astral, ethereal, or incorporeal creatures as a supernatural ability.

Spirit Touch (Su): With a touch, shamans can empower a weapon to affect incorporeal creatures. A normal weapon touched deals half damage to incorporeal creatures or full damage for a magic weapon (instead of the usual half). This benefit lasts for a number of rounds equal to the shaman’s levels in this class. Shamans can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + their Charisma modifier.

Spirit’s Warning (Ex): The spirits constantly warn shamans of danger. A shaman can add his or her Charisma modifier, instead of Dexterity modifier, to AC, Reflex saving throws, and CMD. Any condition that removes their Dexterity modifier to their armor class instead removes the Charisma modifier to AC.

Summon Spirit (Sp): Shamans can call a spirit to perform simple tasks for him or her, as if they had cast unseen servant. At 8th level, this spirit can fight for them, as if the shamans had cast spiritual ally. The spirit resembles the physical form of the shaman’s animal spirit guide. The spirit attacks with natural weapons, has a threat range of 19–20, and critical modifier of ×2. A shaman can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his or her Charisma modifier.

Tempest of Spirits (Su): At 7th level, shamans can summon the spirits to attack in a ghostly barrage—the fury of the spirits creates physical wounds on creatures in the area. The tempest has a range of 100 ft. and is a 20-ft.-radius burst. Objects and creatures in the area take 1d8 force damage per shaman level. A successful Fortitude save halves the damage. Shamans can use this ability 1/day, plus one additional time per day at 11th level and every four levels thereafter.

Trance (Su): Shamans can enter a deep meditation, blocking out visual and auditory stimuli and allowing them to concentrate on a single problem, philosophical issue, or memory. This trance lasts 1d6 rounds, during which time the shaman must remain still and take no actions. When shamans come out of a trance, they can make a single Intelligence-based skill check with a +20 circumstance bonus. Shamans can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + their Charisma modifier.

Whispers of the Spirits (Su): Shamans are so attuned to spirits’ voices that they can use them to communicate with allies. Shamans can communicate with allies for a number of rounds per day equal to their shaman level as if using telepathic bond. These rounds need not be consecutive. Shamans can designate a number of creatures as allies equal to their Charisma modifier. Designating a creature is a standard action that requires a touch. At 10th level, shamans can use these spirit whispers to cast a touch spell on a designated ally once per day.

Wild Empathy (Ex)

Shamans can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The shaman rolls 1d20 and adds his or her shaman level and Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.

To use wild empathy, the shaman and the animal must be within 30 ft. of each other under normal conditions. Influencing an animal this way takes 1 minute, but it might take more or less time. A shaman using wild empathy on a creature of the same type as his or her animal spirit can do so as a full-round action with a +4 bonus.

Shamans can also use this ability to influence magical beasts with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but they take a –4 penalty to the check.

Woodland Step (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, shamans can move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at their normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect them. In addition, shamans leave no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. They can still choose to leave a trail if desired.

Shaman’s Touch (Sp)

Beginning at 3rd level, shamans can heal the wounds of those they touch. This acts as a cure light wounds spell.

At 6th level, this increases to cure moderate wounds.

At 9th level, this improves to cure serious wounds. At 12th level, this acts like cure critical wounds. All such cure spells use the shaman’s caster level. Shamans can use this ability a number of times per day equal to the shaman’s Charisma modifier. Alternatively, shamans can use this healing ability to deal damage to undead creatures. Using the ability in this way requires a successful melee touch attack.

Wild Shape (Su)

At 4th level, shamans gain the ability to turn into any Small- or Medium-size animal and back again 1/day. Their options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type. This ability functions like the beast shape I spell, except as noted here.

The effect lasts for 1 hour per shaman level, or until the shaman changes back. Changing form is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Shamans can take only the form of an animal they have seen.

Shamans lose the ability to speak while in animal form, because they are limited to the sounds that a normal, untrained animal can make, but they can communicate normally with other animals similar to their new form. (A wild parrot normally squawks, so this form does not permit speech.)

Shamans can use this ability an additional time per day at 6th level and every two levels thereafter, for a total of 8/day at 18th level. At 20th level, shamans can use wild shape at will.

As a shaman gains levels, the shaman can take on the form of larger and smaller animals, elementals, and plants. Each form expends one daily use of this ability, regardless of the form taken.

At 6th level, shamans can also use wild shape to change into a Large or Tiny animal or a Small elemental. When taking animal form, a shaman’s wild shape functions as beast shape II. When taking an elemental form, the shaman’s wild shape functions as elemental body I.

At 8th level, a shaman can use wild shape to become a Huge or Diminutive animal, a Medium elemental, or a Small- or Medium plant creature. When taking animal form, a shaman’s wild shape now functions as beast shape III. When taking an elemental form, the shaman’s wild shape now functions as elemental body II. When taking the form of a plant creature, the shaman’s wild shape functions as plant shape I.

At 10th level, a shaman can also use wild shape to become a Large elemental or a Large plant creature. When taking elemental form, the shaman’s wild shape functions as elemental body III. When taking the form of a plant, the shaman’s wild shape functions as plant shape II.

At 12th level, a shaman can also become a Huge elemental or a Huge plant creature. When taking the form of an elemental, the shaman’s wild shape now functions as elemental body IV. When taking the form of a plant, the shaman’s wild shape now functions as plant shape III.

Spirit Dance (Su)

At 9th level, shamans can perform a ritual dance 1/day to persuade the spirits to augment their magic. Performing a spirit dance requires 3 full rounds of stylized movements, chanting, and the beating of a small drum or the shaking of a totem bead rattle. If anything interrupts the shaman during these rounds, including damage from an attack, he or she must make a concentration check or have the spirit dance disrupted. If disrupted, the shaman can attempt the spirit dance again, requiring 3 new rounds. If a shaman has ranks in Perform (dance), he or she can add those ranks as a bonus to the concentration check.

On completion of the spirit dance, any spells cast by the shaman, for a number of rounds equal to half the shaman’s level (round down), are augmented in the following ways. These effects stack.

At 9th level, treat the shaman as two caster levels higher when calculating all spell effects and spell durations. In addition, all spell DCs receive a +2 bonus.

At 11th level, shamans can apply any one metamagic feat they know to any spell they are about to cast. This does not alter the level of the spell or the casting time. Shamans cannot use this ability to cast a spell whose modified spell level would exceed the level of the highest-level spell that they can normally cast.

At 13th level, the shaman receives a +4 bonus to caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. This bonus stacks with feats such as Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration.

At 15th level, shamans can now apply any two metamagic feats they know to their spells without altering the level of the spell or the casting time.

At 20th level, a shaman can perform a spirit dance as often as desired.

Spirit Step (Su)

At 13th level, shamans can become ethereal as a standard action, as if using ethereal jaunt. They can remain ethereal for a number of rounds per day equal to their shaman level. These rounds need not be consecutive.

Vision Quest (Sp)

Once per day, shamans of 17th level or higher can release their spirits from their bodies and embark on a spiritual quest for enlightenment and knowledge. After 24 uninterrupted hours of fasting and meditation, treat the shaman as under the effects of astral projection.

If desired, shamans also gain the effect of legend lore with a casting time of 24 hours, regardless of how much information is already known about the subject in question. They use their shaman levels as the caster level for both of these spell-like effects.

Ex-shamans

A shaman who ceases to revere nature and the spirit world or changes to a prohibited alignment loses all spells and shaman abilities (including his or her animal spirit guide, but not including weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies). The shaman cannot thereafter gain levels as a shaman until he or she atones (see the atonement spell description).

Archetypes & Alternate Class Features

When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.

A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

New Paths Compendium. © 2013 Open Design LLC; Authors: Marc Radle, Crystal Frasier, John Ling, Jr., and Jerall Toi.