Shaman, Variant (5e Class)
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This is a refinement of the Witch Class previously found on this wiki. I give all credit and thanks to the designer whose previous work gave me many of the ideas contained below. It is also a re-introduction to the 3rd Edition Shaman Class contained in the D&D official Same Supplement of the same name.
- 1 Spirit Shaman
- 1.1 The Power of Spirit
- 1.2 Creating a Shaman
- 1.3 Class Features
- 1.4 Path of Power
- 1.5 Path of the Spirit Guide
- 1.6 Multiclassing
A beautiful elf woman draws an obsidian dagger across the sand, drawing arcane symbols which prove difficult to look at. Whispering frightening words of power, the elf issues forth her will and a ghostly apparition rises from the earth as a faintly-glowing silvery mist. Swirling into the vague shape of some sort of animal and you realize that the glowing mist is a spirit, possibly that of a wolf. Or is it a bear? You find the swirling misty figure difficult to identify. It may be the spirit of a man or a demon for all you know. Regardless of what the creature once was, the spirit rises toward the still whispering female. Then, the beautiful elf shaman suddenly inhales deeply and the glowing mist flows into her nose and mouth. Her back arches, her eyes fly open. A pale light, like the light of a full moon, shines from her eyes as she absorbs the spirit’s power.
The Power of Spirit
A Spirit Shaman harnesses the power of the soul and the sprits in order to protect themselves and their allies, and to debilitate their enemies. Some ruthlessly siphon energies of both living and long-departed souls, while others form pacts or gain permission before they use any being’s spiritual power. Others use their connection to the spiritual world in order to gain information and secrets normally not meant for mortal minds. Regardless of his or her motives or methods, a Spirit Shaman manipulates the spiritual energy of both the dead and the living in order gain protection, prescience and power.
- Bonds of Blood
A Spirit Shaman gains his or her abilities through their bloodline. Some ancestor of the Shaman mated with a celestial being, a fey or a demon and The Talent was forevermore introduced to the Shaman’s bloodline. This Talent may come early in life or may not manifest itself until after the Shaman has experienced some traumatic event such as a close brush death. Regardless of when The Talent manifests, the Spirit Shaman understands that their power comes as an inherited trait and they view others with The Talent as brothers and sisters, or at very least as disfavored cousins. Furthermore, the Spirit Shaman understands that a universal connection exists between all beings living and dead; and it this understanding, combined with The Talent, that allows the Shaman to tap the power of the soul. Thus, a Sprit Shaman possesses a driving need to form connections between themselves and others. They commonly form binding pacts, contracts and alliances with others. Some do so fairly and honestly while others seek to twist their agreements so that the Shaman gains everything while risking nothing.
Creating a Shaman
When deciding on the Shaman class, various questions need to be considered. What is the Shaman’s relationship with spirits? Does the Shaman respect the spirits, or does he dominate and enslave them? Is the Shaman a tool that the sprits use in order to touch upon the living world once again, or is the Shaman utilizing the power of the spirits for her own purposes? The answers to these questions are important because Shaman serve as a living link between this world and the next. They are the medium through which the living may communicate with the dead, and they are the conduit through which the dead can alter events within the world of the living. Whether a Shaman is a tribal healer or an eccentric Noble, the Shaman provide a necessary service to both the living and the dead, and they can gain extraordinary powers.
- Quick Build
You can make a shaman quickly by following these suggestions. First, <!-Ability score-> should be your highest ability score, followed by <!-Ability score->. Second, choose the <!-background name-> background. Third, choose <!-elaborate on equipment choices->
As a shaman you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: light armor (may not wear metal armor)
Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: Herbalism kit
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Skills: Choose any two skills from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Medicine, Nature and Survival.
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a light crossbow and crossbow bolts (20) or (b) any simple weapon
- a medicine bag (a decorated pouch filled with bones), or a leather strung with bones. Either of which the Shaman uses as an arcane focus and to complete Ritual Castings.
- (a) a Priest’s Pack or (b) a scholar’s pack
- Any simple weapon and two daggers
|Features||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Spellcasting, Power of the Soul||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||Spiritual Path Feature||4||3||3||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|13th||+5||Spiritual Path Feature||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||—||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||—|
|17th||+6||Spiritual Path Feature||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||4||3||3||3||3||2||1||1||1|
|20th||+6||The World Beyond||4||3||3||3||3||2||2||1||1|
Beginning at 1st level, a Spirit Shaman may cast any 2 cantrips on the druid and cleric spell list. The Shaman receives additional cantrips from these lists at higher levels according to the Druid table shown on page 65 of the Players Handbook.
- Preparing and Casting Spells
As stated above, a Spirit Shaman gain a number of spells according to the Druid table shown on page 65 of the Players Handbook and may prepare a number of spells equal to the Shaman’s Charisma modifier + the Shaman’s level (with a minimum of one spell) from both the Cleric and Druid lists contained in Chapter 11 of the Players Handbook. For example, if you are a 3rd-level Shaman, you have 4 first-level and 2 second-level Cleric or Druid spells of your choice. With a Wisdom score of 16, you may prepare six spells. You may select 4 Cleric spells and 2 Druid spells, 1 Cleric spell, and 5 Druid spells or any combination of your choice. Casting a spell does not remove the spell from your prepared list it only uses up a spell slot. You may change your list of prepared spells after a period of long rest, and preparing a list of spells requires 1 minute of meditation per spell level as the Shaman becomes attuned to the spiritual energies in the area.
- Spellcasting Ability
A Shaman’s spellcasting ability stems from The Talent passed down in the Shaman’s bloodline and directed by Shaman’s force of will, thus a Shaman uses Constitution and Charisma are the two as the primary sources of a Shaman’s spiritual power. The Shaman may be a rugged and handsome Noble Lord or an ugly crone dwelling in a dirty hut in a fetid swamp, it is the strength of the Shaman’s bloodline, the Shaman’s Constitution, which fuels the Shaman’s magic, and it is the force of the Shaman’s personality, the Shaman’s Charisma which directs it. Thus, a Shaman’s Constitution determine saving throws for the spells a Shaman casts, and the Shaman’s Charisma determines the Shaman’s attack modifier for those spells.
- Ritual Casting
At 1st level a Shaman receives a Ritual Book containing any 4 1st-level spells that have a ritual tag from any of the spellcasting spell lists except for Paladin spells. The Shaman DOES NOT need to prepare the spells in advance in order to cast them and casting those spells DOES NOT expend any of the Shaman’s spell slots when cast as a Ritual. As a Shaman, you may add 2 more spells to your Ritual Book for each level you gain as a Shaman. To cast any of the spells written in the Ritual Book as a Ritual by drawing a circle on the ground in some way and spending 10 minutes chanting or meditating in order to summon a spirit. To do this, the Shaman must use his or her own blood and a bone of some sort as material components. Bones may be collected from dead animals or from skeletons and kept in a decorated pouch called a Medicine Bag you must keep around your neck. Spellcasting Focus As a Shaman your spellcasting focus is always the Medicine Bag, or necklace the Shaman must keep around his or her neck and must be continuously tended and refreshed with newly-collected bones.
Power of the Soul
At 1st level a Shaman may tap the power of his own soul, or the power of the souls around him either willing or by force, in order to restore used spell slots. To do this, the Shaman must spend 10 minutes performing a ritual to summon up a spirit. Then, Shaman may use spirit’s energy to restore a number of expended spell slots equal to one half the Shaman’s level. This does not destroy the spirit summoned. It only sends the spirit on to its final rest. However, the spirit may not be willing to be used in this way. The Shaman must either persuade the spirit with a successful Charisma (Persuasion) check, or the Shaman trick the spirit into cooperating with a successful Charisma (Deception) check or the Shaman must force the spirit to cooperate with a successful with a successful Charisma (intimidation) check.
The DC for determining success is 8 + the number of spell slots to be restored.
If the Shaman fails the check, the Shaman may once additional attempt for each level the Shaman has attained.
If that fails, the Shaman may draw upon the energy of the Shaman’s own soul by willingly taking 1d4 HP of necrotic damage for each spell slot restored.
Shaman may only restore expended spell slots up to 5th level in this manner and must complete a period of long rest before performing this rite again.
At 2nd level, you gain the power to cast spells on targets over vast distances beyond what the spell may ordinarily allow. Provided you have an article (blood, hair, clothing or personal item) taken from given to you by the target, may cast any spell that you know which affects a single target and the spell you cast gains an unlimited range so long as the spell does not have to cross a body water or a line of salt or pass through any thickness of iron.
When creating a Spirit Shaman, you may choose a Spiritual Path which will grant your character certain features at 3rd, 7th, 13th and 17th levels. The two types of Spiritual Paths include The Path of Power and The Path of the Spirt Guide which are detailed at the end of the class description.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
At 6th level, you gain the ability to tap into the additional fortitude from the spirit world. You gain 1 hit point per level to add to your maximum hit points, and you gain 1 additional temporary hit point for every spell slot you do not use.
For example, as a 7th level Shaman you have 4 1st-level spell slots, 3 2nd, 3 3rd and 1 4th level spell slots. If you had a Constitution of 14, this would give you a temporary total of 99 maximum hit points if you took the average of 7 each time you advanced a level.
Of course, you would also lose 1 temporary hit point each time you cast a spell. These temporary hit points may be restored only by recovering spell slots, completing a period of rest or by using The Power of the Soul feature as detailed above.
At 10th level, if a living creature dies within 30 feet of you, you may immediately bind its soul to you for 24 hours. The creature you bind cannot be resurrected or raised from the dead during the time it remains bound to you. During this period, you may use the power of the creature’s soul to restore a number of expended spell slots equal to that creature’s CR (minimum of 1). You may use this ability once, after which the soul of the creature is released. You must complete a long rest before you may use this ability again.
At 14th level, you can use your blood to perform increase the potency of spells you cast. By sacrificing 1d8 hit points for each level of the spell cast, that spell gains the equivalent power as if it had been cast using a spell slot one level higher than the spell slot required to cast the spell. Only 8th level spells and lower may be strengthened in this way.
The World Beyond
At 20th level, a Spirit Shaman gains the power to Destroy Undead as if you were a cleric of the same level, sending the disquiet spirits on to their final rest. Also, you gain the ability to perform a Ritual Casting in order to gain insight from the spirit world about an area, event, item or person in the past, present or possible future. This ability functions as if the Shaman had cast a wish spell to request the desired information, although any information gained about what might happen in the future will be cryptic and subject to change by the whims of fate and the actions taken either by the Shaman or by others.
Path of Power
The Path of Power provides you with various features which enhance your Shaman’s spellcasting abilities.
- Spiritual Binding
At 3rd level, you can perform a Ritual Casting to summon a number of spirits equal to one third of your level (rounded down). Thus, a 3rd level Shaman can summon 1 spirit, at 6th level you can summon 2 spirits and so on up to a maximum of 6 spirits at 18th level. You may then bind those spirits to your service for up to 24 hours, until you use their power or until you dismiss them. You must complete a period of long rest before you may use this feature again.
- Spiritual Power
At 3rd level, you may use the power of a spirit bound to you in order to enhance your spells or to regain one additional expended spell slot as detailed in Power of the Soul above.
By tapping the power of a bound spirit you may cast any spell you have prepared as if it were cast with a spell slot one level higher. You may tap the power of any and all other spirits bound to you in the same way and enhance the spell up to a maximum of 6 spell level slots. Once the power of the bound spirits is used to enhance a spell For example, a Shaman may tap one bound spirit to cast a 1st level cure wounds spell as if you used a 2nd level slot and increase the number of hit points healed by the spell by 1d8. The hit points healed by the spell increase by another 1d8 for each spirit you tap. No spell may be enhanced higher than a 9th level spell slot using this method.
You may also use the power of any spirits bound to you to regain ONE expended spell slot for each spirit choose to use in this manner. Thus, you may bind a maximum of 6 spirits at 18th level and use their power to restore a maximum of 6 expended spell slots. This is in addition to the spell slots you can restore using the Power of the Soul feature detailed above, and the same rules apply in order to bind these spirits to you.
- Ghostly Magic
At 9th level, your spells resonate with ominous ghostly whispers and take on visible ghostly forms that others can hear and see. Whenever a creature fails Wisdom save against one of your spells, that creature must make a second Wisdom save or become frightened, stunned or otherwise unable to act one round. (Creatures immune to fear are also immune to this effect.)
- Ghostly Power
At 13th level, the ghostly power of your spells becomes fully manifested. Creatures failing any saving throw against your spells take an additional 1d4 of necrotic damage and must make a second Wisdom save or flee in terror as if affected by a fear spell. In addition, undead or summoned creatures who fail a save against one of your spells must make a second Wisdom save or take 2d6 of additional damage and are turned for 1 minute.
- Other Worldly Power
At 17th level, soul and endurance have developed so that when you perform a Ritual Casting to summon spirits, the spirits that answer your summons are vastly more powerful. As a result, when you prepare your spell list, you may choose any spell from the cleric spell list, druid spell list, sorcerer spell list, warlock spell list or wizard spell list Furthermore, you may tap the power of two bound spirits at once in order to enhance and cast two of your prepared spells at the same time without expending a spell slot to do so. For example, as an 18th level Shaman you may summon and bind your maximum of 6 spirits, and you may prepare Wizard spells if you choose. You may then tap the power of two of your bound spirits in order to cast a 3rd level fireball spell with your left hand and a 3rd level lightning bolt spell with your right hand. As a result, both spells have the same power as if cast with 4th level spell slots. The result would be that the fireball deals a maximum of 9d6 in fire damage instead of 8d6 to its target and the lightning bolt deals 9d6 of lightning damage to instead of 8d6 to its target. Spells cast may be directed to separate targets or to the same target. Using spirits in this way however will drain those spirits of power and you will lose any benefits you had while these sprits were bound to you. You may of course summon and bind other spirits to you after a period of long rest.
Path of the Spirit Guide
The Path of the Spirit Guide provides you with various features which allow you to protect yourself and others, turn and destroy undead, hurt her enemies, or become more versatile.
- Summon Spirit Guide
At 3rd level you gain the ability to expend one spell slot to a Ritual Casting in order to summon a spirit (usually an animal spirit native to that terrain) and absorb its power into you. This spirit’s power stays with you until you take a period of long rest at which point you must perform another Ritual Casting and summon another Spirit Guide. Also, as you advance in levels, you may use higher spell slots in order to summon more powerful spirit guides.
Spirit of Competence: Spirits of Competence grant you uncanny skill. While a Spirit of Competence is bound to you, you gain 1d6 Skill Dice for each level of spell slot used to bind this spirit to you. At any time while the spirit is bound to you, you may expend one of these dice by adding it to one D20 die roll such as saving throws, attack rolls or ability or skill checks.
Spirit of Health: Spirits of Health grant you the ability to recover from injury or to heal others. While a Spirit of Health is bound to you, you receive 2d8 Recovery Dice for each spell level of spell slot you used to bind the spirit to you. You may then expend any number of these Recovery Dice to heal damage against you or someone you can touch.
Spirit of Empathy: Spirits of Empathy force your enemies to share your pain. For as long as a Spirit of Empathy is bound to you, you gain one 1d10 Pain Dice for each the spell slot used to bind the spirit to you. If you receive damage from any attack, your attacker receives one of these Pain Dice in necrotic damage.
Spirit of Protection: Spirits of Protection allow you to enhance your own physical toughness or that of others. While a Spirit of Protection is bound to you, you gain 1d6 Protection Dice for each level of spell slot used to bind the spirit to you. You may then choose to expend one of these Protection Dice as a bonus action by rolling the dice at the end of your turn then and adding the result of to your AC or to the AC of any creature you can touch for the next round. If, for example, rolled a 3 on your Protection Dice and could choose add +1 to your AC and +1 to AC of two other creatures as long as you can touch those creatures (5 ft. range); or you could add +2 to your own AC and +1 to the AC to another creature. You can add all 3 points to your own AC if you choose, but you must grant yourself at least +1 AC before you grant bonus AC to another creature, and this effect lasts only for the next round.
Spirit of Vengeance: Spirits of Vengeance allow you to enhance your physical and magical attacks. For as long as this spirit is bound to you, you gain 1d8 Vengeance Dice for each spell slot you used to summon the spirt. You may expend any or all of the dice you have gained by rolling the number you choose and adding the result to any physical or magical damage roll.
At 3rd level, you gain the ability turn undead as if you were a cleric of the same level. Undead within 30 feet must make a successful Wisdom saving throw or be turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage. You may also perform a Warding as a Ritual by creating a stationary circle 30 feet in diameter with chalk, charcoal, dirt, iron dust, rope or salt and spending 10 minutes in meditation to empower the circle. While inside the warded circle, undead with a CR lower than your level may not enter the circle or do you any harm, you are also cannot be charmed, frightened, or spied upon by divination spells cast by a spellcaster of your level or lower.
At 7th level, you gain the ability to perform a rite of exorcism. This ability allows you to Destroy Undead as if you were a Cleric of the same level. Also, you gain the ability to use the power of your Spirit Guide to cast the spell Banishment as a regular action even if you have not prepared that spell for the day. You must only expend and unused spell slot. You may also take 10 minutes to perform a Ritual and create a 30’ circle of chalk, charcoal, dirt, iron dust, rope or salt which no undead, demon, devil or summoned creature may cross until the circle is broken or until the next sunrise or sunset.
At 13th level, you gain the ability to perform a rite of communion which allows you to regain expended spell slots. Using your Ritual Casting ability, you spend 10 minutes in communion with spirits and regain expended spell slots equal to one half your current level. You may also use this rite of communion to gain knowledge from the spirits as if you cast a Commune or Commune with Nature spell. This DOES NOT require expending a spell slot as it is cast as a ritual. However you may not use this ability again until after a long rest.
At 17th level, you gain the ability to summon and bind two Spirit Guides and benefit from both of those spirit’s powers. While these spirits are bound to you, you may also use either one or both of your spirit guides’ power to become non-corporeal or ghostlike as if you have cast the spell Etherealness. While ghostlike, you are impervious to harm and may pass through walls, rock or other solid objects, walk on air or otherwise move normally unimpeded. However when you use a spirit guide’s power in this way, you drain its energy and lose the benefit that spirit granted you until you can complete a long rest and summon another spirit guide.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the shaman class, you must meet these prerequisites:
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the shaman class, you gain the following proficiencies: