The shaman is a spiritual adviser found primarily in primitive, countryside, and wilderness settings. That said the shaman is not a loner; she serves a particular community and often in a leadership capacity. A shaman does not rely on spell books nor pray to distant deities; instead, the shaman considers the immediate needs of her community and asks the spirits that are currently listening for assistance.
Adventurers: A shaman adventures for a variety of reasons. Most seek to protect their communities, whether confronting a spirit that plagues them or seeking out spirits that could become a threat later. In this latter case, shamans often go into ruins and dungeons expecting to find spirits that need to be dealt with.
Characteristics: A shaman is a spiritual leader filled with the wisdom of her ancestors. She is at home in the outdoors, preferring to sleep under the stars than in a warm bed. She follows practical rules modeled on survival and finds most civilizations too artificially codified for her liking. Such societies rarely follow the will of the spirits; how can they when they live so packed together that it’s difficult to hear them?
Alignment: Shamans tend to reject artificial or impractical laws. This outlook keeps them away from lawful alignments. Neutral shamans see value in some laws, especially when the community needs them to survive. Chaotic shamans tend to teach their communities that self-help is the key to survival. On the other axis, shamans can be good or evil. Good shamans attempt to help those in need, while evil shamans use their contacts within the spirit world for their own benefit.
Background: Shamans tend to come from rural and primitive societies. Noble and urban characters tend to become priests or clerics, although there have been a few instances of an aristocrat or tradesperson eschewing the society she was raised in and becoming a shaman.
Races: As perhaps the first of the divine classes, shamans are found amongst all races. Perhaps only the dwarves lack shamans in great numbers, as their underground civilizations require a stratified society more suited to priests and clerics. Half-orcs are more commonly shamans than any other divine class.
Role: While an advisor or leader in her own community, a shaman will rarely lead an adventuring party unless it is primarily made up of “rural folk.” Instead, the shaman will act in a supporting role, providing the party with that extra measure of divine power.
Alignment: Any non-lawful.
Hit Die: d8.
The shaman's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the shaman.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Shamans are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor interferes with a shaman's gestures, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail (see Arcane Spells and Armor).
A shaman casts divine spells, which are drawn from the druid spell list. Her alignment may restrict her from casting certain spells opposed to her moral or ethical beliefs; see Chaotic, Evil, Good, and Lawful spells.
To cast a spell, the shaman must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty class for a saving throw against a shaman’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the shaman’s Wisdom modifier.
A shaman prepares her daily spells by communing with her spirit guide for an hour each day. The time of day is chosen at the start of the shaman’s career and remains the same throughout. The shaman may select a number of spells from the druid spell list as according to Table: Shaman Daily Spells Known. Like a sorcerer, the shaman need not assign these spells to her daily slots. She may use any spell on her daily spells list provided that she has a spell slot available. The shaman may burn a higher level slot for a lower level spell.
A shaman can’t cast spells of an alignment opposed to his own. Spells associated with particular alignments are indicated by the chaos, evil, good, and law descriptors in their spell descriptions.
Shamans often come from primitive cultures that don’t have distinct divisions within a particular pantheon; the shaman attempts to placate them all. Through his spirit guide, a shaman may ask for extra assistance from a particular domain each day. For that day, a shaman gains the domain’s granted powers accorded to a cleric of the shaman’s level as well as access to domain spells. Domain spells do not grant extra daily spells known, although the shaman may select them as part of his daily spell list. A shaman can select an alignment domain (Chaos, Evil, Good, or Law) only if his alignment matches that domain.
A spirit guide can take any shape or form but exists only in the shaman’s head. It is a roleplaying tool; nothing more. The GM should feel free to use the spirit guide to communicate messages to the shaman while in communion with him (this is a great way to get a party back on track if they’ve lost focus).
Shamans can learn a number of orisons, or 0-level spells, each day. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. A Shaman has access to any of the orisons, every day.
A shaman’s bonus language options include Celestial, Abyssal, and Infernal (the languages of good, chaotic evil, and lawful evil outsiders, respectively). These choices are in addition to the bonus languages available to the character because of his race.
Through communion with the spirit world, the shaman can channel energy like a cleric, except that she only affects spirit creatures. This energy can be used to cause or heal spirits. Unlike a cleric, the shaman cannot heal or harm other types of creatures.
Shamans can choose to heal or deal damage to spirit creatures, the choice is often dependent on the alignments involved as well as the situation at hand. Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all spirit creatures within 30 feet of the shaman. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two shaman levels above 1st. Spirits that take damage from spirit energy receive a Will save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + ½ the shaman’s level + the shaman’s Charisma modifier. Spirits healed by spirit energy cannot exceed their maximum hit point total – all excess healing is lost. A shaman may channel spirit energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
At 2nd level, the shaman can detect spirits at will. This functions as detect undead but covers spirits instead.
At 6th level the shaman can see invisibility at will.
At 8th level any weapon or armor that the shaman is holding or wearing is treated as having the ghost touch ability. The shaman must be in physical contact with the item and proficient in its use. Missile weapons can be ghost touched, but they lose this ability after the shaman hits or misses his target (she may, of course, re-ghost touch the missile by picking it back up).
A shaman that embraces law or otherwise offends the spirits loses all spells and shaman abilities (except for weapon and armor proficiencies). She cannot thereafter gain levels as a shaman until she atones (see atonement spell description).
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.
Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.