Alternate Class - Spirit Shaman

Master of the spirit world, the spirit shaman follows a different divine tradition than the cleric or the druid. Her world is filled with powerful, living spirits, some helpful and some malign. By bargaining with these spirits, the spirit shaman gains power over the natural world and mighty divine magic with which to aid her comrades or smite her enemies.

Adventures: Spirit shamans exist to mediate between the human world and the spirit world and make sure that humans (and dwarves, elves, orcs, and all other humanoid races, of course) respect the spirits as is only right and proper. Spirit shamans adventure to advance the causes of whichever spirits they favor. Those who venerate helpful spirits seek to assist people deserving of the spirits' protection. Those who revere dark and vengeful spirits promote the chaos and suffering in which their patrons delight. Through their actions, spirit shamans prove the power of their patron spirits and earn prestige and status in the spirit world.

Characteristics: Spirit shamans cast divine spells much the same way druids do, though they get their spells from powerful spirits of nature. Their spells, like the druid's, are oriented toward nature and animals. In addition to spells, spirit shamans gain an increasing array of spirit powers as they advance in level.

Alignment: Spirit shamans, in keeping with the indifference of the spirits, tend toward some measure of dispassion. Unlike druids, they are more tribal than solitary, and involve themselves in the affairs of their fellows. Most spirit shamans are neutral on at least one alignment axis, but it is not uncommon to find a spirit shaman who has become so caught up in the affairs of the living that she has lost her distance from human concerns.

Religion: A spirit shaman reveres the essence of religion more than the practice. She gains her magical powers from the spirits that inhabit all things, living and dead, animate and inanimate. She combines ancestral worship with animal and nature worship. The typical spirit shaman, like a druid, pursues a mystic spirituality of transcendent union with nature rather than devoting herself to a divine entity. Still, some spirit shamans give honor to deities of nature such as either Obad-Hai (god of nature) or Ehlonna (goddess of the woodlands).

Background: Spirit shamans are first taught by older shamans. When a tribe's spirit shaman feels that the time is right, she chooses a potential successor from among the young folk of the tribe. Taking the youth into her own home, she spends years teaching her student the ways of both the natural world and the spirit realm. Typically, when the young spirit shaman is ready, the older shaman then sends her student out to wander the world for a time in order to gain the wisdom and experience necessary to serve as the tribe's spirit shaman on his return. Sometimes, a young shaman impatient with an overly cautious master strikes out on his own to seek out the knowledge he feels his master is withholding.

Races: Halflings, humans, and half-orcs are the races that more commonly give rise to the tribal cultures in which shamans flourish. While rare groups of barbaric dwarves, elves, or gnomes favor a shamanic tradition instead of a cleric or druid one, these communities are uncommon at best.

Other Classes: Spirit shamans perceive a world that no other class truly understands. As such, they feel it is their duty to advise their comrades and protect them from the wrath of the spirits. Spirit shamans respect druids and get along well with them, but they feel that clerics do not pay sufficient respect to the spirit world, and often form long and bitter rivalries with clerics they meet.

Role: The spirit shaman is only a mediocre melee combatant, but she can hurl spell after spell in a combat situation. No other character matches her ability to study a situation and customize her spell selection for offense, defense, or special purposes. like the druid, she can serve as a party's healer, but she is best in settings where she does not need to devote many of her spell choices to healing and can maximize spell choices that provide offense for the party and aid her companions in battle.

Game Rule Information

Spirit shamans have the following games statistics.

Abilities: Wisdom determines how powerful a spell a spirit shaman can cast and how many spells she can cast per day. Charisma determines how hard those spells are to resist (see Spells, below). like a druid, the spirit shaman benefits from high Dexterity and high Constitution due to the fact that she begins with proficiency with only light armor.

Alignment: Any.

Class Skills

The spirit shaman's class skills are Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), Listen, Profession, Ride, Spellcraft, Spot, Survival, and Swim.

Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at each additional level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the spirit shaman.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A spirit shaman is proficient with the club, dagger, dart, hand axe, javelin, longspear, quarterstaff, shortspear, spear, sling, shortbow, throwing axe, and with light armor and shields. These are the weapons commonly used by the tribal societies in which spirit shamans are found.

Spells: A spirit shaman casts divine spells from the druid spell list. She can cast any spell she has retrieved, much like a bard or sorcerer can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time.

To retrieve or cast a spell, a spirit shaman must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell level (Wisdom 10 for 0-level spells, Wisdom 11 for 1st-level spells, and so on). The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a spirit shaman's spell is 10 + the spell level + the spirit shaman's Charisma modifier.

like other spellcasters, a spirit shaman can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on the table The Spirit Shaman. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score (see Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).

Like a sorcerer, a spirit shaman knows only a small number of spells. However, each day a spirit shaman may change the spells she knows. When a spirit shaman meditates to regain her daily allotment of spells (see below), she sends forth her spirit guide to bargain with the spirits and retrieve knowledge of the specific druid spells she will be able to use that day. She can cast any spell she has retrieved at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her spells per day for that spell level. For example, a 3rd-level spirit shaman can retrieve three 0-level, two 1st-level, and one 2nd-level druid spells. She can cast 0-level spells five times, 1st-level spells four times, and her 2nd-level spell two times in the course of the day. She might end up using the same 0-level spell five times, or one 0-level spell two times and another 0-level spell three times, or any combination that adds up to five uses of any of her 0-level spells.

If a spirit shaman knows any metamagic feats, she applies them to her spells when she retrieves her spells for the day. For example, a spirit shaman might choose to retrieve an empowered flame strike by using a 6th-level spell retrieved slot. Any time she uses flame strike during the ensuing day, she must use a 6th-level spell slot to cast it, and it is always empowered. A spirit shaman could use a 4th-level spell slot and a 6th-level spell slot to retrieve flame strike and empowered flame strike if she wanted to have both spells available to her in a day. A spirit shaman cannot choose to alter her spells with metamagic feats on the fly, as other spontaneous casters do. Spirit shamans using metamagic feats do not have an increased casting time as sorcerers do.

Each spirit shaman must choose a time at which she must spend 1 hour in quiet meditation to regain her daily allotment of spells and bargain with the spirits for the specific spells she knows on that day.

Spirit Guide: All spirit shamans have a spirit guide, a personification of the spirit world. In some sense a spirit shaman and her guide are one being, both knowing and seeing and experiencing the same things. Unlike a familiar, a spirit guide is not a separate entity from a spirit shaman. She is the only one who can perceive or interact with her guide. It exists only inside her own mind and soul. The spirit shaman's spirit guide confers greater awareness of her surroundings, and grants her the Alertness feat. The spirit guide grants additional abilities at 5th and 10th level (see Follow the Guide and Guide Magic, below).

Spirit GuideCharacteristics
BadgerOrderliness, tenacity
BearStrength, endurance
BuffaloAbundance, good fortune
CougarBalance, leadership
CoyoteHumor, trickiness
CraneBalance, majesty
CrowIntelligence, resourcefulness
EaglePerception, illumination
ElkPride, power, majesty
FoxCleverness, discretion
HawkAwareness, truth
Otterjoy, laughter
OwlWisdom, night
RabbitConquering fear, safety
ScorpionDefense, self-protection
SnakePower, life force, potency
SpiderInterconnectedness, industry
TurtleLove, protection
VultureVigilance, death
WolfLoyalty, interdependence

The exact form of the spirit guide is chosen by the spirit shaman at 1st level, usually for the qualities it represents, as shown above. The exact form of a spirit guide is purely personal preference, and confers no special advantages or disadvantages.

Wild Empathy (Ex): Guided by her insight into animal spirits, a spirit shaman can use body language, vocalizations, and demeanor to improve the attitude of an animal (a monster of the animal type). This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The spirit shaman rolls 1d20 and adds her spirit shaman level and her 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 spirit shaman and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute (as with influencing people, use of this ability might take more or less time).

A spirit shaman cannot use this ability to influence a magical beast.

Chastise Spirits (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, a spirit shaman can use divine energy granted by her patrons in the spirit world to damage hostile spirits (see the What is a Spirit? sidebar).

Chastising spirits is a standard action that deals 1d6 damage/shaman level to all spirits within 30 feet of the shaman. The affected spirits get a Will save (DC 10+ shaman level + Cha modifier) for half damage.

When using this ability against incorporeal creatures, a spirit shaman does not have to roll the normal 50% miss chance - the effect hits the spirits automatically. A spirit shaman can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier.

Detect Spirits (Sp): The spirit shaman's spirit guide perceives nearby spirits. At will, the spirit shaman can use detect spirits as a spell-like ability. It functions just like detect undead, except it detects creatures that are considered spirits.

Blessing of the Spirits (Sp): Starting at 4th level, a spirit shaman can perform a special rite to gain a special blessing. The shaman goes into a meditative state in which she travels to the spirit world. Performing the rite requires 10 minutes; the spirit shaman can only ward herself with this ability and cannot perform the rite for anyone else. The blessing functions just like protection from evil, except it protects against spirits and lasts until it is dismissed or dispelled. If this ability is dispelled, the spirit shaman can recreate it simply by taking 10 minutes to do so.

Follow the Guide (Su): At 5th level and higher, a spirit shaman's spirit guide helps her maintain control of her mind, if a spirit shaman is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails her saving throw, she can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. She only gets this one extra chance to succeed on her saving throw.

Ghost Warrior (Su): Beginning at 6th level, a spirit shaman confers the ghost touch special ability to any weapon she holds for as long as she holds it. She also becomes resistant to the touch attacks of incorporeal creatures, and may use her normal Armor Class (not her touch AC) against any touch attack delivered by an incorporeal creature.

Warding of the Spirits (Sp): Starting at 7th level, a spirit shaman can perform a special rite once per day to ward herself and her companions against hostile spirits. Performing the rite requires 1 minute. The warding lasts for 10 minutes per level and otherwise functions like magic circle against evil, except it protects against spirits.

Spirit Form (Su): At 9th level and higher, a spirit shaman learns how to temporarily transform herself into a spirit. Once per day, as a standard action, she can make herself incorporeal for up to 1 minute.

While incorporeal, a spirit shaman gains all the advantages of the incorporeal subtype, including immunity to all nonmagical attack forms, a 50% chance to ignore damage from any corporeal source, and the ability to enter or pass through solid objects. The spirit shaman loses any armor or natural armor bonus to AC, but gains a deflection bonus equal to her Charisma modifier (minimum +1).

She has no Strength score against corporeal creatures or objects and cannot make physical attacks against them, but she gains the ability to make a melee touch attack (add the spirit shaman's Dexterity modifier to her attack roll) that deals 1d6 points of damage to a corporeal target. This effect is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

At 15th level and higher, a spirit shaman can use her spirit form twice per day. Ar 20th level, she can use this ability three times per day.

Guide Magic (Su): Starting at 10th level, as a free action, a spirit shaman can assign her spirit guide the task of concentrating on a spell or spell-like ability that is maintained through concentration. The spirit shaman can act normally while her spirit guide concentrates on the spell. A spirit guide can concentrate on only one spell at a time. If necessary to maintain the spell, the spirit guide makes Concentration checks for the spirit shaman, using the spirit shaman's normal Concentration modifier. A spirit guide does not have to make Concentration checks for circumstances such as the spirit shaman taking damage. The spirit itself is not present for anyone to interrupt or otherwise interact with.

Recall Spirit (Sp): At 11th level, a spirit shaman gains the ability to call back the spirit of a dead creature before the spirit of the deceased has completely left the body. Once per week, she can reconnect a spirit to its body, restoring life to a recently deceased creature. The ability must be used within 1 round of the victim's death. This ability functions like raise dead, except that the raised creature receives no level loss, no Constitution loss, and no loss of spells. The creature is only restored to -1 hit points (but is stabilized).

Exorcism (Su): Starting at 13th level, as a full-round action, a spirit shaman can force a possessing creature or spirit out of the body it inhabits (for example, a ghost with the malevolence ability). To exorcise a possessing creature, she makes a class level check (also adding her Charisma modifier, if any), against a DC of 10 + the possessing creature's HD + its Charisma modifier (if any). If her result equals or exceeds the DC, she succeeds in forcing the possessor from the body, with the normal results based on its method of possession. A spirit so exorcised cannot attempt to possess the same victim for 24 hours.

Weaken Spirits (Su): At 16th level and higher, a spirit shaman can choose to strip spirits of their defenses instead of damaging them with her chastise spirits ability. When a spirit is weakened, it loses its spell resistance and any damage reduction overcome by magic weapons, silver or cold iron weapons, and aligned weapons (but not damage reduction overcome by adamantine weapons or not overcome by anything). In addition, an incorporeal spirit loses its immunity to nonmagical attack, its 50% chance to ignore damage from corporeal sources, and its ability to move into or through objects.

To weaken spirits, a spirit shaman uses her chastise spirits ability but chooses to do less damage in exchange for weakening the spirits for a short rime. For each 3d6 of chastise spirit damage the spirit shaman forgoes, the affected spirits are weakened for 1 round. For example, a 16th-level spirit shaman chastising two dread wraiths deals 16d6 points of damage to each dread wraith, but she could choose to deal 7d6 points of damage to each wraith and weaken them for 3 rounds. Spirits that make their Will save against the chastise spirits damage are unaffected by the weakening effect (but still take half the damage).

Spirit Journey (Sp): A spirit shaman knows how to vanish bodily into the spirit world beginning at 17th level. This ability functions like the spell shadow walk, except that a spirit shaman can only transport herself. She need not use the ability in a shadowy area, and she travels through the Plane of Spirits, nor the Plane of Shadows. A spirit shaman can use this ability once per day.

Favored of the Spirits (Sp): At 19th level, a spirit shaman learns how to perform a special rite that guards her from death. Performing the rite requires 8 hours, and the spirit shaman must bargain away part of her life force, expending 1,000 experience points. The rite's effect lasts until it is dismissed or discharged.

While under the protection of this rite, a spirit shaman instantly receives the benefit of a heal spell (caster level equal to her spirit shaman level) if she is reduced to 0 hit points or lower or has any ability score reduced to 0. The spirit shaman receives the spell's effect immediately, even if reduced to -10 hit points or lower by an enemy attack, and thus may survive a blow that otherwise would have killed her. The rite's protection is discharged once it is triggered, and the spirit shaman must perform a new rite to use this ability again.

Spirit Who Walks (Ex): At 20th level, a spirit shaman becomes one with the spirit world. She is forevermore treated as a fey instead of a humanoid for purposes of spells and magical effects. Additionally, she gains damage reduction 1/cold iron.

Spirit ShamanHit Die: d8Spells per day
1st +0+2+0+2Spirit guide, wild empathy32--------
2nd +1+3+0+3Chastise spirits43--------
3rd+2+3+1+3Detect spirits542-------
4th +3+4+1+4Blessing of the spirits653-------
5th+3+4+1+4Follow the guide6642------
7th +5+5+2+5Warding of the spirits66642-----
9th +6/+1+6+3+6Spiritform 1/day666642----
10th+7/+2+7+3+7Guide magic666653----
15th+11/+6/+1+9+5+9Spirit form 2/day666666642-
16th+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Weaken spirits666666653-
17th+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Spirit journey6666666642
19th+14/+9/+4+11+6+11Favored of the spirits6666666664
20th+15/+10/+5+12+6+12Spirit form 3/day, spirit who walks6666666665
Spirit Shaman Spells Retrieved Per Day

Aquatic Variation

The spirit shaman, a divine mediator between the natural and spirit worlds, can exist just as comfortably in an aquatic environment as on land. Spirit shamans are particularly talented at dealing with the hazards created by unfriendly fey or elementals native to the oceans. A spirit shaman in an aquatic setting usually chooses a spirit guide appropriate to that environment, such as albatross, sea snake, or turtle, though some specifically select landbound creatures to reaffirm their terrestrial origin.

What Is A Spirit?

Several of the spirit shaman's abilities affect spirits. For purposes of the spirit shaman's ability, a "spirit" includes any of the following creatures:

In the spirit shaman's worldview, elementals and fey are simply spirits of nature, and incorporeal undead are the spirits of the dead.

Source: Complete Divine

Alternate Character Classes
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