Campaign of the Month: June 2012
For the time being, this class is only available as an NPC class.
Description: Shamans are passionate followers of a path that often lies at an oblique angle to the pursuits of other people. While the pursuit of wealth, knowledge, and creature comforts is what drives most people, shamans have an insight into a world where the ambition is to help others, and in doing so, to progress towards a personal state of heightened spiritual awareness. In essence, shamans are people who love people. Shamans are compassionate healers, both in a physical and a spiritual sense. While the focus of most shamans is other people, they also respect nature. Nature provides the tools necessary for shamans to do what they do and shamans aspire for total harmony with the spiritual and physical worlds.
Adventures: A shaman adventures for spiritual enlightenment, and through their experiences, they gain a greater measure and knowledge of the spirit world. Many return home and 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 occasionally go into ruins and dungeons expecting to find spirits that need to be dealt with.
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 to follow a path of enlightenment, becoming a shaman.
Races: 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: Shamans can be found anywhere there are other people. Shamans in small villages act as the healer and spiritual leader of the people they serve. Shamans who dwell in larger cities often have regular jobs and pursue matters of the spirit in their dealings with the people they encounter and those with whom they pursue friendships. A shaman is not a job title; rather, it is a description of where the heart lies. Anyone, whose ambition is to help others, and become better at helping others in doing so, can become a shaman.
Abilities: Charisma is the most important ability for the shaman. Not only is a high Charisma score beneficial, but so is control over that Charisma. At times, the shaman needs to sway the emotions of participants and onlookers of certain rituals. At other times, the shaman needs to be a quiet healer. Still at other times, the shaman must use his Charisma to battle spirits and control them. Clearly, the charisma used in these cases is not always the same as the kind of charisma associated with a bard, politician, or used-cart dealer. Rather, it is a measure of leadership, persuasiveness, and personal strength.
Becoming a Shaman
While most shamans have formal teaching, anyone can encounter the kind of spiritual re-birth that makes a person a shaman. The process of this re-birth is as follows: The Spiritual Awakening, A Search for Answers, The Pursuit of Guidance, The Vision Quest, and The Spiritual Journey. The Spiritual Awakening occurs at a time in the shaman’s life when she realizes that the pursuits of this world are empty, and that there is more to this existence than material needs. Then, the Search for Answers can lead a shaman to the ends of the world or the shaman can encounter the answers she seeks in an instant. Once the shaman has discovered that all beings are more than the sum of their intellect and physical forms, then begins the Pursuit of Guidance. This guidance can come in the form of ancient texts, direct contact with a spirit or deity, and or the teachings of another shaman.
After the shaman has received the proper guidance, she goes on a Vision Quest. A Vision Quest is what opens the shaman’s eyes to the spirit realm; matters of the spirit are seen as clear as matters of the physical world. A vision quest can take the form of fasting, meditation, hallucinogenic drugs, or a combination of any number of techniques for opening the spiritual eyes of the shaman. The process of a spiritual rebirth, up to this point, can take a shaman an entire lifetime. Most people never have a Spiritual Awakening; from the few that do, fewer still ever find the answers they seek.
A true shaman is someone who is on the path of her Spiritual Journey. The Spiritual Journey never comes to an end. Even after death, the shaman’s spirit continues to progress toward perfection.
Alignment: Any non-lawful
Hit Die: d8.
The shaman’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (spirits) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Survival (Wis).
Skill Points per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
|1||+0||+2||+0||+2||Detect spirits, Communicate with Spirit, Domain|
|13||+9/+4||+8||+4||+8||Spirit Heal, Mass|
All of the following are class features of the shaman.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Shamans are proficient with all simple weapons, light armor, and shields (but not tower shields).
Detect Spirits (Sp)
At 1st level, the shaman can detect spirits at will. This functions as detect undead but covers spirits instead.
Communicate with Spirit
While anyone can communicate with willing Tethered, Summoned, and Controlled Spirits, only a shaman using the Communicate with Spirit class ability may communicate with a free-roaming spirit. In addition to these statuses, a shaman with this ability can communicate with all types of spirits – living, deceased, and unembodied. The Communicate with Spirit ability also allows a shaman to communicate with spirits on a deeper level. A shaman who is communicating with a spirit through this ability is “in tune” with the spirit; understanding its history, motives, essence, insight, and desires. This ability comes from an awareness of the spiritual realm that a shaman develops and hones through practice, understanding, and experience. Tethered and Summoned spirits are free to choose whether or not to reveal themselves to, or communicate with anyone. If a Tethered or Summoned spirit does not reveal itself, only a shaman using the Detect Spirits class ability can see it. Even if seen, the spirit is still free to choose not to cooperate with the shaman. If this is the case, the shaman will have to force the spirit to communicate by using the Control Spirit class ability (see below). All spirits are free to choose not to communicate, unless they are controlled and commanded to communicate. Communication with spirits comes in the form of verbal or telepathic communication – depending on what the situation warrants and at the GM’s discretion.
If a spirit is willing to communicate, success is automatic. It gets tricky when a shaman tries to convince an unfriendly or even hostile spirit to communicate. In these cases, the shaman will need to perform a ritual to appease or otherwise influence the spirit to communicate.
To influence a spirit, the shaman must make a Perform (Ritual) check and compare the result to the NPC Attitude Chart as described for the Diplomacy skill. For success, the result must move the spirit to Indifferent status, or better. Unembodied spirits have an Initial Attitude of Indifferent, Deceased spirits go by their attitude towards shamans in life, or even in the afterlife, and spirits associated with a deity go by the deity’s attitude towards shamans or the shaman in question. If the spirit is completely unwilling to deal with the shaman (which is extremely rare), or if the shaman fails his check, the shaman will have to control the spirit in order to gain information. Success for Communicate with Spirit is automatic when used on controlled spirits.
Table: DCs for Communicating with Spirits
|15||Persuade an indifferent spirit to communicate|
|15||Persuade an unfriendly spirit to communicate|
|15||Persuade a spirit associated with a deity that is unfriendly towards shamans to communicate|
|20||Persuade a hostile spirit to communicate|
|25||Persuade a spirit associated with a deity that is hostile towards shamans to communicate|
The shaman, once per day, may spend an hour in trance and meditation, calling forth a nearby free roaming spirit, to act that day as their spirit guide. This ritual takes one hour, and may only be performed after getting sufficient rest (8 hours). Through his daily 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. The Shaman may prepare (by appeasing the spirit) only Domain spells from one cleric domain, which she may cast during the day as if she were a cleric, with her Charisma modifier determining the saving throws, cast at her Shaman level. These spirits do not otherwise grant daily spells known, or bonus spells. A shaman can select an alignment domain (Chaos, Evil, Good, or Law) only if his alignment matches that domain.
A spirit guide is unseen, and cannot communicate, unless the shaman uses her Communicate with Spirit ability. The nature of available spirit guides conform to the surroundings under which the shaman performs her meditation ceremony. If she wishes to call a spirit from somewhere other than the immediate location, she must first perform a Summon Spirit ritual (see below). The DM has final say on what spirit guides are available.
At 2nd level a shaman has formed a bond with the spirit of an animal similar to that available to druids. He may chose an animal from the same list as druids. This spirit animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the shaman on his adventures as appropriate for its kind.
A 2nd-level shaman’s companion is completely typical for its kind except as noted below. As a shaman advances in level, the spirit animal’s power increases as shown on Table: Animal Companion Base Statistics. If a shaman releases his companion from service, he may gain a new one by performing a ceremony requiring 24 uninterrupted hours of ritual. This ceremony can also replace an spirit companion that has perished.
At 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, 18th, and 19th level, a shaman gains a bonus feat. At each such opportunity, he can choose a metamagic feat, an item creation feat, or one from the following list:
Alertness, Animal Affinity, Deceitful, Endurance, Diehard, Fleet, Great Fortitude, Improved Great Fortitude, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Improved Iron Will, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Persuasive, Self-Sufficient, Spell Penetration, or Greater Spell Penetration.
The shaman must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including caster level minimums. These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels.
Summoning a spirit takes 10 minutes. During this time the shaman must be free to move about and petition the spirit for its aid. At the end of the summoning ritual, the shaman makes a Perform (Ritual) skill check, with a +1 circumstance bonus for every 10 extra minutes he spends in petition. If he succeeds, the desired spirit shows up. If he fails, nothing happens. If he rolls a 1, something unexpected and unfriendly appears. A spirit summoned by a shaman will remain for 20 minutes unless the shaman controls it within that time (see Control Spirit below).
The DC for summoning different types of spirits varies by circumstance. To summon a spirit, the shaman must make a Perform (Ritual) check and compare the result to the NPC Attitude Chart as described for the Diplomacy skill. For success, the result must move the spirit to “Friendly” status, or better. Unembodied spirits have an Initial Attitude of “Indifferent”, Deceased spirits go by their attitude towards shamans in life, or even in the afterlife, and spirits associated with a deity go by the deity’s attitude towards shamans or the shaman in question.
DCs for summoning spirits
|5||Summon any spirit – shaman doesn’t care what type or status|
|10||Summon an unembodied spirit of a non-particular spell effect|
|15||Summon an unembodied spirit of a particular spell effect|
|20||Summon an unfriendly deceased spirit|
|25||Summon any type of spirit associated with a deity unfriendly towards shamans|
|30||Summon any type of spirit associated with a deity hostile towards shamans|
To control a spirit, a shaman must overcome the spirit and bend it to his will. This is accomplished by the shaman making a Perform (Ritual) check, the check must overcome a DC equal to 15 plus the spirit’s Charisma ability score.
Deceased spirits are treated as having the same Charisma as the highest natural Charisma score they had in life. An unembodied spirit is treated as having the same Charisma as the required caster level for the spell granted by that spirit. Living spirits cannot be controlled. A controlled or tethered spirit can use its power a maximum of once per round. If duplicating a spell effect, casting times still apply.
If the Shaman overcomes the spirit, the spirit is controlled. If the spirit wins, the spirit can leave the area or try to possess the offending Shaman. If the spirit leaves, the shaman cannot attempt to control another spirit for 6 minus Charisma modifier hours. If the spirit tries to possess the Shaman, both the spirit and the shaman must make opposed Charisma ability checks. If the shaman wins, the spirit leaves. If the spirit wins, all of the shaman’s controlled spirits are freed and the spirit possesses the shaman.
A shaman may release controlled spirits at any time, including when battling a spirit trying to possess the shaman. (This will immediately raise his Temporary Charisma score and allowing him to better fight off the invading spirit. If the possessing spirit is a Deceased Spirit, or an Unembodied Spirit with an Intelligence score of 1 or higher, the spirit might decide it likes having a body, and stick around for a while. An Unembodied Spirit lacking an Intelligence score will most likely get bored soon and leave on its own. Only a shaman of higher level can exorcise the spirit from the shaman’s body. When a shaman is possessed, the spirit controls his body and he is just along for the ride. (In other words, the shaman is now an NPC controlled by the GM.)
Effects of controlling spirits
Controlling a spirit forces it to cooperate if it doesn’t want to communicate, become tethered, or cause supernatural effects. A shaman can control a number of spirits equal to the Charisma score of the shaman. A spirit costs the shaman one point of Charisma per point of Charisma of the spirit. The shaman gets any spent temporary Charisma points back when the controlled spirit is released. Additionally, the shaman’s Charisma score is reduced, which affects all other charisma related abilities and skills accordingly.
Example: Kish the shaman has a Charisma of 12, and already controls two spirits with Charisma scores of 3 and 4, respectively – Kish’ can only control a spirit with a Charisma score of 5 or less unless he decides to release one. If Kish attempts to control another spirit, he would be at a penalty on his perform of a total of -4 for the reduced Charisma, for having an adjusted score of 5)
Spell Level of Equivalent Spirit’s Charisma / Shaman Level Spell Effects
|Spell Level||Spirit’s Charisma|
Controlled unembodied spirits are not much use for information, but they can perform supernatural acts for the shaman. Controlled spirits only work for the shaman who controls the spirit. What sorts of spells they bestow is dependent upon whether the unembodied spirit is free roaming or associated with a deity. With a successful Knowledge (Spirits) check (DC 15 plus spell level) the shaman can find a spirit with the spell he wants.
Usually, free-roaming spirits provide effects that imitate Arcane Magic and spirits associated with a deity provide effects that imitate Divine Magic in the spheres associated with their deity. In order to control a spirit, a shaman must be at least the minimum required caster level for the spell effects caused by that spirit.
Some deceased spirits can also temporarily grant a particular feat that they were known for in life. This temporary feat will last for 1 round plus the level of the shaman.
Example: Kish the shaman is about to explore a deep dark cave. Knowing that he could lose his light source when in a fight, he decides to summon Hardack the Barbarian, who was known to be able to fight in the dark. The shaman pits his Perform (Ritual) skill against Hardack’s Charisma and succeeds. Hardack then bestows upon Kish the feat for which he was known: Blind Fight, which lasts for 8 rounds. (1 +7, Kish’s level).
Shamans must research and learn of deceased spirits and their tales. In the example above, Kish had learned of Hardack from his father and was therefore able to summon and control him. In a pinch, the shaman can attempt to find a specific spirit with the needed feat. In order to find such a spirit the shaman must succeed at a Knowledge (Spirits) check with a DC of 30. This takes d4+2 rounds.
Shamans may use the Control Spirit class ability to cause supernatural effects or to temporarily gain the use of feats a number of times per day equal to twice the number of levels the character has in the shaman class.
Example: Kish the shaman is 7th level and has under his control Hardack the Barbarian (a spirit that grants him the Blind Fight feat) and a spirit that gives him the calm emotion spell effect. He can use his spirits 14 times per day in any combination. (ie: Hardack seven times and the calm emotion seven times, or Hardack 14 times, etc.)
At 4th level, a ghost guide can see invisibility at will as a supernatural ability, allowing him to see ethereal and invisible spirits (among other things). It is difficult to be evaded by spirits, even living spirits.
Spirit Heal allows a shaman to call on the surrounding spirits in order to heal a target. A shaman can heal one target a number of hit points equal 1d6 per shaman level. A shaman can use Spirit Heal a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier +2.
Spirit Walk allows a shaman to suppress the tether to his own body. The tether is not broken, just allowed to stretch out in order to allow the spirit of the shaman to leave the immediate vicinity of the body. While the Detect Spirits class ability allows a shaman to see into the spirit realm, Spirit Walk allows the shaman to see the physical world as though from a different location. The distance the spirit can travel from the body, is limited to 50 yards per level of the shaman. When a shaman is Spirit Walking, the physical world does not appear as clear as when viewed with physical eyes. As in dreams: details, facial features, texts, and often spoken words can be unclear. A shaman is not subject to possession by other spirits during the time his spirit is away from his body, but he is subject to the (mis) use of the Break Tether class ability, by another shaman. Also, for every ten minutes he spends away from his body, there is a cumulative 10% chance that the tether will break on its own. If the tether to the shaman’s body is broken, the body is now subject to possession by spirits. A shaman with a broken tether to his body will need another shaman to summon his spirit and tether his spirit back to his body, as well as exorcise any spirits that have inhabited it.
Ghost Touch (Sp)
At 11th 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).
Spirit Heal, Mass
This functions like Spirit Heal however now the shaman can affect all allies in a 30 foot radius.
A tether is like a light seen from the spirit realm. Spirits cannot see the mortal realm clearly, and most of what goes on there is unimportant to them, anyway. A tether attaches an importance to an item or location that is seen by one or more spirits in the spirit realm. In other words, making an item a tether is like giving an item Spiritual Significance for a particular spirit. Spirits bound by a tether are separate entities and are not actually the item in question. The item is not the spirit – the spirit is the spirit. However, the tether can be the item itself. In other words, the item is not distinct from the tether; the item is what the spirit sees and follows. The spirit itself cannot be said to have any physical relation to the tether-item (i.e. above, next to, around, etc.), rather it sees and knows the item for what it is: a tether. Viewed from the spirit realm, the mortal realm is like flipping through a billion television channels at lightning speed; chaotic, uninformative, and rather boring. The tether is like the shaman stopping on one channel and the spirit then watches what goes on. The tether item itself, and what interacts with the item, is what the spirit sees and knows. The spirit dwells in the spirit realm and inhabiting the item itself or viewing it from ten miles away are meaningless concepts to the spirit. An example might be a spirit tethered to a spear. The spirit is aware of the owner of the spear, previous owners, and the entire history of the spear since the spirit was tethered to it. That means the spirit is aware of who the spear has killed, time the spear spends involved in a hunt or centuries piled in a dragon’s treasure horde. The spirit is even aware of intersections with other spirits.
Example: Kish the shaman owns a spear with a tethered unembodied spirit that he calls “Swift”. Swift gives Kish a +1 to hit when he throws the spear at a target. Kish also owns a medallion found in a dungeon. The medallion is a tether to a spirit of Aid, whom Kish calls “First”. First and Swift are aware of each other and can communicate with one another, if they both possess Intelligence, and as long as the medallion and spear share a common link (in this case, Kish).
Unembodied spirits gain 1 point of Intelligence after being tethered for 100 years and rise one point of Intelligence every 50 years thereafter. Deceased spirits have the same Intelligence as the highest Intelligence score they had in life.
Example: First was tethered to the medallion for 987 years before Kish found it in a dungeon. Kish and First (Intelligence 9) can communicate about the history of the medallion and the former priest who owned it. However, Kish just recently tethered Swift, a free-roaming spirit to his spear. Since Swift was a free-roaming spirit before Kish summoned him, and enough time hasn’t passed, Swift has no Intelligence.
If a tether item is broken, and destined to be remade (time is meaningless in the spirit realm), the spirit is still tethered to the pieces and can watch them – even if they are separated by great distances (distance is also meaningless in the spirit realm). During the time the item is dismembered, no one can communicate with the spirit. If the item is destined to not be re-made however, (for instance, if a tether sword was to get melted down) the spirit immediately loses sight of the tether, as the tether is destroyed with the item’s destiny.
An item that is a tether is magical and radiates magic when detect magic is used. A spirit that is tethered can grant its effects a number of times per day equal to the level of the shaman that tethered it in the first place. However, powerful spirits can limit but not increase this amount at the discretion of the GM.
Example: A wish spirit tethered to a lamp can choose to only grant a maximum of three (3) wishes regardless of how powerful the shaman was who tethered it. The final choice of how many times it can be used however, is left up to the Game Master.
What Does a Tether Do For a Spirit?
Shamans, priests, certain heroes, certain buildings, shrines, gardens, certain trees, and certain groves, can all be seen in the spirit realm, but do not have reference to one another. A temple with Spiritual Significance near a garden with similar significance would be separate as seen from the spirit realm. They might as well be miles apart, unless the path connecting them was also significant. For instance, if the path were part of a ritual or a quest, then the temple, path, and garden would be seen as one location, separate from other locations. A tether is the kind of significance that can be seen in the spirit realm infused into an object or location. A tether is neither beneficial nor detrimental to a spirit; it is merely there. It gives it something to “hang on to” as the landscape in the mortal realm appears to shift and move when seen from the spiritual realm (time has no meaning, so what is terra-firma to inhabitants of the physical world, looks like complete chaos to a spirit). Add to this the fact that an item can be carried great distances, and it would be inevitable for a spirit to get “lost” without a tether to follow.
What Can a Tether Do For Me?
If a deceased spirit is tethered, a shaman or deity could have tethered the spirit on purpose. Or the spirit can be tethered simply because of the circumstances surrounding their life or death. A monk who dedicated his whole life to the cultivation of a garden sanctuary might become tethered to that location upon his death and make appearances on occasion healing and bestowing blessings upon visitors to the garden. Alternately, a paladin on a mission of mercy who is waylaid, beaten, robbed, raped, tortured, and murdered by some especially evil bandits, might be tethered to the sword they stole from him and pawned for liquor money. As with controlled deceased spirits, tethered deceased spirits are useful for providing information about their lives, as well as bestowing feats for which they were known in life. Deceased spirits lose contact with the deities they serve and other deceased spirits upon becoming tethered – the item to which they are tethered becoming the sole focus of their existence. Tethered unembodied spirits are useful for providing information about the history of the thing they are tethered to, provided they have been tethered long enough to gain Intelligence. The scope of their knowledge is limited to the thing or place to which they are tethered however. Tethered unembodied spirits also bestow supernatural effects in the same way as controlled unembodied spirits, except they do not first need to be summoned or controlled. Tethered spirits work for anyone who controls the item to which they are tethered, as though the owner were using the Control Spirit shaman class ability. Tethering a spirit who is sent by, or summoned from a deity, without the deity’s permission, is not a wise thing for a shaman to do. The shaman can tether spirits once he has reached the higher stages of his craft. This, of course, follows summoning and controlling a spirit. A spirit that does not wish to be tethered to an item must first be controlled. Once a spirit becomes tethered, it cannot be summoned or controlled by another shaman until the tether is broken – either through the destruction of the item, or the use of the Break Tether special class ability. Tethering a spirit to an item costs the shaman one point of permanent Charisma for every 4 points of Charisma the spirit has (round down, minimum of 1). Deceased spirits are treated as the same Charisma as the highest natural Charisma score they had in life. An unembodied spirit is treated as having the same Charisma as the required caster level for the spell equivalent to the effects caused by that spirit. A shaman must be at least the same level as the required caster level in order to tether the spirit. 0-level spells cost 1 point of permanent Charisma, since a character must be 1st level to cast cantrips or orisons.
Spell Level of Equivalent Spell Effects Spirit’s Charisma
|Spell Level||Spirit’s Charisma|
This allows the shaman to see through any illusion in the vicinity, for typically, illusions are not connected to any particular spirit. This does not cancel the illusion, but allows the shaman to easily perceive that it is not real.
The shaman has a limited ability to restore the dead, provided that the subject has not been dead for too long. The healer must make a Heal check with a DC of 15, plus the number of minutes the subject has been dead. If the check is successful, the subject is restored to -1 hit point and stabilized, capable of healing normally. If the check fails, the subject cannot be revived by a Heal check and must be restored to life using magic. A creature revived using the Heal skill does not lose a level or a point from their Constitution, although the other effects of death (such as loss of prepared spells) do take place.
Note that for cultures who revere the Maker and his gifts, the spirit will depart the body after three minutes. If this happens, the shaman must summon the spirit back to the body. In any case, if the Heal check is successful, the recipient does not lose a gift.
At 19th level, a shaman becomes completely immune to possession or Enchantment spells or abilities used by spirits.
Breaking a tether is an ability that allows a shaman to aid a spirit in its spiritual journey. It doesn’t harm either the spirit or the item or location to which it is tethered. There is no cost to the shaman for performing this ritual, except time – a small price to pay for helping a spirit. To break a tether, the shaman must succeed at a DC 20 Perform (Ritual) check.
Example: After 13 years of adventuring, Kish decides that 1000 years is enough time for First to spend as a medallion. First has an Intelligence of 10 and Kish is sure First is ready to progress and do better things in the spirit realm. Kish performs the ritual and sends First on its way, thanking it for years of faithful service.
Shamans must keep their bodies pure in order to maintain the kind of spiritual purity that is required to see, communicate with, and control certain forces of the spiritual realm. Therefore, practicing shamans may only eat foods that are rich in “prana”. Prana is the energy that inhabits all living things. It is what enables cells to multiply, seeds to sprout, plants to grow, and animals to live, breathe, digest, and grow. This means that shamans must avoid processed and preserved foods. The longer food sits, aging, brewing, or cooking, the more its prana is diminished. Therefore, shamans must avoid pickled foods, alcohol, cheeses, aged or dried meat, baked goods, and long-cooked foods such as stews and soups. Honey, since animals process it, is neither rich nor lacking in prana; other sweets are to be avoided, since sweetening food involves processing it.
A shaman who consumes food that is processed or preserved, whether intentionally or unknowingly, loses all shaman special class abilities for 24 hours.
Shamans are free to suspend their pursuit of spiritual matters to focus on broadening their knowledge. They can use the shaman Special Class abilities at any time, provided they haven’t abandoned their prana-rich diet. An ex-shaman, who has become impure for more than one month, must go on a Vision Quest. This Vision Quest serves to re-purify the shaman in order to regain the use of shaman Special Class abilities.
Types Of Spirits
The type of spirit determines what the spirit knows, what it can do, and how it can interact with people. A spirit can be Unembodied, Living, or Deceased. Unembodied Spirits are NPCs and Living Spirits are played by the GM if the spirit is an NPC, and played by players if the Living Spirit is that of a PC. If a Deceased Spirit was a PC, the player who played the character plays the spirit. If a Deceased Spirit was an NPC, the GM plays the spirit (unless he wants a player to play the spirit).
Unembodied spirits are beings that never occupied a living body. Rather, they are the beings that embody the spirits of nature, spell spirits, elemental spirits, spirits of stone, darkness, or occurrences that cannot be explained through normal, physical means.
Living Spirits are those spirits that are born into a living being. The definition of a living being can include animals or plants, depending on the campaign setting. All Living Spirits are tethered to the body they occupy, and only death can break this tether. More than one spirit can occupy a body, as in the case of possession, and this is also a tether. A shaman with the Break Tether class ability can break the tether of a possessing spirit (see the rules for the Break Tether above).
A description of Living Spirits is included only as a matter of definition. Since shamans cannot break the tether of a Living Spirit (except through killing – which most shamans detest because it upsets the natural progression of that spirit), there is little to be done with Living Spirits, aside from guiding them on their spiritual journey.
A Deceased Spirit is a spirit whose tether to its living body has been broken. Deceased spirits are useful for providing information about their lives and deaths, the deity they serve (if they are affiliated with a deity after death), other deceased spirits (“Oh spirit, tell me how my long-lost husband Claude is doing…”), and other information about the spiritual or divine realms.
Upon the death of a being, all tethers to the body are broken. Possessing spirits become free roaming, and the spirit of the deceased being stays at the location of the bodily remains, and is treated as “summoned” for three days after death. After three days, the spirit of the deceased becomes free roaming or goes to be with a deity if the being was a worthy follower in life.
Deceased and Unembodied spirits can be either free roaming, with a deity, summoned, controlled, or tethered. Living spirits cannot be free roaming, with a deity, summoned, or controlled. No spirit can be tethered to more than one item or body; therefore a living spirit, which is tethered to its own body, cannot be tethered to anything except its own body, unless the tether to its body has been broken. (see Tether Spirit above).
Free-roaming spirits have a vague and limited understanding of the happenings of the material and divine realms. The material world is constantly “scrolling” by and direction makes no sense when viewed from the spirit plane. Inhabitants of the material realm might use mountains, buildings, rivers, forests, or cities as reference points. Beings inhabiting the spirit realm don’t see those things in the same way we do; they cannot see a tree, building, rock, person or anything that doesn’t hold Spiritual Significance.
Spirits that are with a deity are aware of major happenings in the divine realm (divine politics, expulsions from paradise, fallen beings, etc.), as well as the spiritual condition of other Unembodied and Deceased followers of the deity they serve.
Spirits that are summoned, controlled, or tethered are aware of what goes on in the immediate surrounding area of the material world, for the duration of those statuses. In the case of the controlled and tethered spirits, this can be a long time. A summoned spirit is aware of happenings in the surrounding area for the duration of the summoning (usually 20 minutes).
Free-roaming, deceased or unembodied spirits, are those with no affiliation to a deity, not controlled by a shaman, or those not attached to a body, or item with a tether.
Associated With A Deity
A deity can send a spirit to a follower to grant them a supernatural effect, or to give or gather information. Spirits sent by a deity are treated as controlled spirits in game terminology; there are no restrictions on how long a spirit sent by a deity will remain with the being or location to where the deity has sent the spirit. If a deceased spirit is with a deity, the deity can allow or disallow a shaman to summon and communicate with the spirit, at the deity’s discretion.
If the deity allows the shaman to summon a deceased spirit, the spirit is still free to decide whether to cooperate with the shaman (unless the deity has sent the spirit specifically to do so).
Spirits and the Undead
Spirits normally detest the undead since their spiritual progress has been stunted. However, the process that creates undead, and the existence of spirits are two separate things and shaman have no special power against the undead.