Shamanism (5e Subclass)

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Design Note: This subclass is a primitive version of modern classes. It is intended to be less powerful than other subclasses, especially in combat where a magical arms race has created much more dangerous spells.


Cleric Subclass, Druid Subclass

Cleric or Druid?
Shamans are primitive spellcasters that existed before clerics and druids. As shamans became more advanced and organized, they split into two different classes, clerics and druids. A shaman can be a subclass of either cleric or druid. You are a primitive form of cleric or druid, therefore:
  • if you are a subclass of cleric, you do not get extra domain spells.
  • if you are a subclass of druid, you may not take the form of a beast greater than CR 1/2.
  • There are theories that all forms of spell casting, not just cleric and druid, had a shamanism origin.
Shamanism Magic
  • You specialize in ritual magic performed within a shamanic hut. Casting time lasts 1 hour while you reach out the source of your power for knowledge and wisdom about how to perform the spell.
  • You have your own spell list rather than the druid or cleric spell list.
  • You may cast spells as a cleric or druid normally would.
  • As you do not technically worship anything directly, you have an entirely different list of spells than cleric or druid.
  • Shamans have a tendency toward psychic, planar, and healing magic.

Shamanism Ritual[edit]

  • Shamanic Hut - All shamanism rituals must be cast inside a shamanic hut. First you must build a shamanic hut. This will take 8 hours to build in the wild or at the edge of inhabitation. A room in a dungeon, town, ship, or tower may be converted to a shamanic hut over a period of 24 hours. You may reuse your hut for up to 1 month after building it. To refurbish a hut you have already created for another month takes 1 hour.
  • Shamanism Trance - You may cast any of your spells as a ritual lasting 1 hour during which you ingest various herbs and enter a trance. A ritual may have only one spell you focus on. You may not cast cantrips as shamanism rituals.
  • Targets - Any targets for these rituals must be with you inside your shamanic hut for the entire casting time.
  • Free Spells - While you are in your shamanism ritual you may cast any of these spells on the following list that you already know for free: Control Flames, Druidcraft, Thaumaturgy, Comprehend Languages, Detect Evil and Good, Detect Poison and Disease, Detect Magic, Detect Thoughts, Life Transference, Banishment, Mislead, True Seeing. You do not need to have prepared them. Their duration does not extend beyond the time of the ritual. They may not affect anything outside your hut. Any other spell must be the focus of the ritual.
    • Shamanism rituals for these free spells or for the focus spell of the ritual do not use spell slots.
  • Casting Time - The casting time for any spell that you cast using a shamanism ritual is 1 hour.
  • Forced Concentration and Duration - After your ritual, you require 1 hour of forced concentration to fully recover to the real world. While recovering, you can move and act normally except you can not cast any other rituals or any spells requiring concentration. You are in forced spell concentration on the spell you just cast with a shamanism ritual. This concentration can not be broken except by death.
    • If the spell's normal duration is greater than 1 minute and less than 24 hours, it's duration is the 1 hour during your forced concentration following your ritual.
  • Required Rituals - Spells that normally require 1 hour casting time, require a shamanism ritual to perform them. These spells are: Antipathy/Sympathy, Astral Projection, Create Homunculus, Planar Binding, Raise Dead, Reincarnate, Resurrection.

Shamanism Subclass Features[edit]

Primitive Magic
Starting when you choose this subclass at level 1, you gain one cantrip of your choice from any spell list, cleric, druid, bard, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard except: You may Not choose vicious mockery, word of radiance, thorn whip, mage hand, fire bolt, or true strike.
  • This feature is rumored to be the origin of all spell casting.
Shamans Do Not Use Shields
Even though shamanism is a subclass of cleric and druid, and even though characters of both of these classes use shields, shamans do not. Shields confuse their primitive magic.
  • Shamans make up for this deficit by being able to use a blowgun.
Natural Recovery
Starting at level 2, you can regain some of your magical energy by sitting and communing with nature. During a short rest you choose which expended spell slots to recover. The spell slots can have a combined level that is equal to or less than half your cleric+druid level rounded up. No slot may exceed 6th level. You may use this feature again once you have completed a long rest.
  • This is the origin of the Land Circle feature 'Natural Recovery'.
Determine Thoughts
Starting at level 6, you can use the detect thoughts spell in combination with the charm person spell once per day to read the surface thoughts of a creature and probe deeper.
  • If the creature fails its save vs the probe, then you may attempt to charm them with advantage.
  • If the creature makes it save you may attempt to charm them with disadvantage.
  • You must complete a long rest before you can determine thoughts again.
  • Determine thoughts uses no spell slots.
  • If you and your target are inside your hut, your detect thoughts probe has advantage.
  • This feature is the origin of the Knowledge Domain feature 'read thoughts'.
Natural Ward
Starting at 8th level, you can't be charmed of frightened by fey, undead, or fiends, and you have resistance to poison and disease.
  • This feature is the origin of the Land Circle feature 'Nature's Ward'.
Clear Sight
Starting at 14th level, as a reaction, you can sense the source of the magic power of a magic effect or spell cast within 30 ft or targeted within 30 ft.
  • If the source is a creature you can sense what kind of creature it is: celestial, fiend, fey, monstrosity etc.
  • If source is not a creature you can sense what plane the magic power comes from.
  • The creature must actually use its magic power for you to employ clear sight, and you must employ it as an immediate reaction.
  • You know when a spell is going off within 30 ft or targets within 30 ft even if you can not otherwise sense it.
Rechannel Magic Power
At 20th level, as a reaction, you can rechannel the power of a magic effect or spell, cast within 60 ft or targeted within 60 ft, into a spell you know as follows:
  • If the spell slot is less than fourth level, you may rechannel the power into cure wounds at the spell slot of the rechanneled spell.
  • If the spell slot is fourth level or greater you may rechannel it as one of these six spells: Cure Wounds, Magic Weapon, Mass Healing Word, Banishment, Blight, Conjure Woodland Beings at the spell slot of the rechanneled spell.
  • If the spell slot is seventh level or greater you may rechannel the spell into these additional spells: Contagion, Etherealness, Finger of Death, Harm, Heal, Insect Plague, Mass Cure Wounds, Plane Shift, Reverse Gravity, Sequester, Soul Cage.
  • If the spell slot is ninth level, you may rechannel the spell into any spell you know that has a casting time of an action, bonus action, or reaction.

If you want to use both the clear sight and rechannel features on the same spell or magical effect, you must rechannel magic first and then use clear sight on the rechanneled spell.

Your True Master[edit]

As a shaman, you gain your power from a malevolent entity but do not realize this if you are a good or neutral creature. You believe that the source of your power is 'nature' or 'the planes', 'ancestors' or 'animal spirits', which ever way the malevolent entity chooses to portray themselves. If your are a good or neutral shaman the entity will pretend to be good and occasionally manipulate spell results to the detriment of you or your target. If you are an evil shaman, the entity may choose to reveal themselves, or remain behind its facade.

When you reach 9th level, you gain the commune, contact other plane, and legend lore spells and begin to discover the truth. You gradually realize you have been duped. Usually it turns out to be something malevolent and was just playing you. As you advance in levels beyond 8th, you have a progressive falling out with the source of your power. This is why the number of spells above 5th level declines.

  • New Source of Power: During this time you find a new source of power that is not malevolent. Sometimes this new source is the structure of the planes. Sometimes it is the true power of nature.
  • 8th level peril: Sometimes your original source of power will get you killed before you reach 9th level in order not to be found out.

Shamanism Spell List[edit]

You do not have the Cleric or Druid spell list. Instead you have this list:

10 cantrips
1) Control Flames, 2) Druidcraft, 3) Eldritch Blast, 4) Infestation, 5) Message, 6) Primal Savagery, 7) Poison Spray, 8) Shillelagh, 9) Spare the Dying, 10) Thaumaturgy
11 Spells of 1st Level
1) Animal Friendship, 2) Ceremony, 3) Charm Person, 4) Comprehend Languages, 5) Cure Wounds, 6) Detect Evil and Good, 7) Detect Poison and Disease, 8) Detect Magic, 9) Disguise Self, 10) Healing Word, 11) Identify
12 Spells of 2nd Level
1) Animal Messenger, 2) Augury, 3) Beast Sense, 4) Darkness, 5) Darkvision, 6) Detect Thoughts, 7) Gentle Repose, 8) Healing Spirit, 9) Lesser Restoration, 10) Locate Object, 11) Magic Weapon, 12) Prayer of Healing
13 Spells of 3rd Level
1) Clairvoyance, 2) Dispel Magic,3) Life Transference,4) Mass Healing Word, 5) Meld into Stone, 6) Nondetection, 7) Remove Curse, 8) Speak with Dead, 9) Spirit Guardians, 10) Leomund's Tiny Hut, 11) Tongues, 12) Water Breathing, 13) Water Walk
14 Spells of 4th Level
1) Arcane Eye, 2) Aura of Life, 3) Aura of Purity, 4) Banishment, 5) Blight, 6) Find Greater Steed, 7) Conjure Woodland Beings, 8) Death Ward, 9) Divination, 10) Freedom of Movement, 11) Guardian of Faith, 12) Locate Creature, 13) Polymorph, 14) Shadow of Moil
15 Spells of 5th Level
1) Commune, 2) Commune with Nature, 3) Contact Other Plane, 4) Contagion, 5) Dream, 6) Greater Restoration, 7) Insect Plague, 8) Legend Lore, 9) Mass Cure Wounds, 10) Mislead, 11) Modify Memory, 12) Planar Binding, 13) Raise Dead, 14) Reincarnate, 15) Telepathic Bond
12 Spells of 6th Level
1) Create Homunculus, 2) Druid Grove, 3) Find the Path, 4) Flesh to Stone, 5) Forbiddance, 6) Globe of Invulnerability, 7) Harm, 8) Heal, 9) Magic Jar, 10) Planar Ally, 11) Soul Cage, 12) True Seeing
9 Spells of 7th Level
1) Etherealness, 2) Finger of Death, 3) Mirage Arcane, 4) Plane Shift, 5) Regenerate, 6) Resurrection, 7) Reverse Gravity, 8) Sequester, 9) Teleport
6 Spells of 8th Level
1) Animal Shapes, 2) Antipathy/Sympathy, 3) Feeblemind, 4) Maze, 5) Mind Blank, 6) Telepathy
3 Spells of 9th Level
1) Astral Projection, 2) Psychic Scream, 3) Time Stop
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