Updated shamanism

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Slloyd14
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Updated shamanism

Post by Slloyd14 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:42 am

In an effort to work on my bronze age rules, I came across an old ad+d book called Shaman. It gives rules and spells for 3 types of shaman - one who is in a tribe, one who lives in nature and one who gets spirits to do mean things. It also has a list of spirits and spirit based adventures. Inspired by this, here are my rules for shamanism and the list of spells for the nature shaman. I will do the others in future posts.

Magic - Shamanism

Spirits are everywhere in the game and they have different levels of powers. Contacting and bargaining with a spirit requires the hero to do a ritual. This requires the Magic – Shamanism skill.

When a hero takes the Magic – Shamanism skill, they must decide what kind of shaman that they will be. There are 3 types of shaman.

Tribal shaman

Tribal shamans obtain their spells from their ancestors. Their powers revolve around the protection of the tribe from evil spirits and for the betterment of the tribe. Due to their improved standing in the tribe, their social scale is 2 points higher.

Nature shaman

Nature shamans are recluses who usually live alone in the wilds and commune with the spirits of animals, plants and the weather. Their powers revolve around nature.

Malevolent shaman

Malevolent shamans take their powers from the evil spirits who seek to harm humans. Their spells are able to weaken their opponents. However, they cannot do direct harm. Malevolent shamans attract several unsavoury spirits and because of this, NPCs may feel uncomfortable around them. All rolls to do with reactions with NPCs (such as trading) are done at a -1 penalty. Since their craft makes them outcast from society, they start with a social scale of 0.


Shamans have a MAGIC score and start with a magic point score equal to 3x their MAGIC score.

They start the game with total spell levels equal to double their MAGIC + their Magic – Shamanism skill.

The shaman’s MAGIC + Magic – Shamanism skill is called the shaman’s devotion.

Shamans cast spells in the same way that wizards do. Shamans cast spells by performing a short ritual to their patron spirits. All shaman spells take at least 10 minutes to cast. There are other modifiers for them.

Shaman situation Modifier

Each 10 minutes of preparation previous to casting. +2
Caster has body part of target (such as hair or blood) +2

Shaman spells cost magic points, but shamans cannot restore magic points every day. Magic points represent the shaman’s relationship with the spirits. To restore magic points, a shaman must perform a ritual lasting at least 30 minutes. Then, they must make an offering. The following things restore 1 magic point:
• 1 stamina points worth of blood, either from the shaman, a volunteer or a sacrifice (animal or human).
• 5gp worth of treasure.
• 15 minutes of worship.

A shaman can get any number of magic points in this way and they may mix and match their offerings. So a shaman who performs 30 minutes of worship and offers 2 stamina points of blood will restore 4 magic points.


Nature shaman spells

Sanctuary (1)

This acts the priest’s Sanctuary spell.

Find Herb (1)

For a number of hours equal to the shaman’s devotion, the shaman gets a +2 bonus to find, identify and prepare herbs.

Clean water (1)
This spell will remove harmful microorganisms and poisonous substances from up to 10 litres of water. Note that this will leave any non-harmful substances in the water so it might taste disgusting.

Repair (1)

This spell can mend clothes, broken or blunted weapons or repair damaged armour.

Charm of Survival (1)

This gives the shaman an innate sense for finding food, water and shelter. Every 1 hour searching allows the shaman to find enough food, water or shelter for 1 person per day. The spell lasts a number of hours equal to the shaman’s devotion.

Good Health (1)

This spell gives the shaman a +2 bonus against disease and poisons for a number of hours equal to the shaman’s devotion.

Robustness (1)

For a number of hours equal to the shaman’s devotion, the shaman will restore 1 extra stamina point when eating a meal and restore 1 extra stamina point through rest. Each adventurer can only gain the benefit of 2 meals and 1 rest per day.

Banish (1)

This works as the Banish priest power.

Rest (1)

The shaman gets the benefit of a long rest with only 4 hours of sleep.

Dream of wisdom (1)

the shaman needs to cast this spell before going to sleep at night. When they do, after a night's sleep, the dreams that they have will have imparted knowledge upon them. They get a +1 bonus to their next knowledge skill test that they do that day. If they don't make a knowledge skill test before they go to sleep again, they lose the bonus. The shaman may spend any number of magic points on this spell up to the number of points that they have in their Magic - Shamanism skill to increase that bonus by that much.

Fertile Soil (2)

This spell can be cast in one of two ways. It can be cast upon a single plant seed to make it grow to full maturity in one week without the need for fertiliser or water.
This spell can also be cast over a large field to make the crops grow 25% faster.

Animal Affinity (2)
This spell behaves like the Speak to Animals wizard spell, except it costs 2 and lasts a number of hours equal to the shaman’s devotion.

Speak to Plants (2)
This allows the shaman to communicate with plants for a number of hours equal to the shaman’s devotion. Note that plants know very little apart from what happens in their surroundings.

Sentry (2)
This spell behaves as the wizard spell.

Darkseeing (2)
This spell behaves as the wizard spell except it lasts a number of hours equal to the shaman’s devotion.

Farsight (2)
This spell behaves as the wizard spell except it lasts a number of hours equal to the shaman’s devotion.

Call Animals (4)
The shaman is able to summon a small animal such as a bird no larger than a crow or a mammal no larger than a dog to serve the shaman for a number of hours equal to their devotion. This works in a similar way to the Familiar talent.

Trackless Step (4)
For a number of hours equal to the shaman’s devotion, the shaman leaves no trace of their travel such as tracks, rubbish or even an aura (this means that find spells cannot detect them)

Invisibility to Animals (4)
For a number of hours equal to the shaman’s devotion, animals completely ignore the shaman. No animal will attack the shaman unless it is magically controlled.

Find (4)
This spell acts as the wizard spell with the same name.

Bounty of the Land (6)
This powerful spell increases the growth of plants and animals over an area of a mile radius for the next month by 33%.

Create Spirit Weapon (6)
This ritual turns a standard weapon to a spirit weapon. A spirit weapon can harm spirits as normal. It takes 24 hours of work and each shaman can only make one spirit weapon at a time.

Commune with Nature (6)
The shaman is able to enter a trance and see, hear and feel everything that every animal and plant does for a mile radius. The shaman has to “look around” each animal or plant and it takes 5 minutes to change perspective. While using this spell, the shaman is helpless and unaware of their surroundings.

Change Weather (6)
This powerful spell can change the weather for a 24 hour period over an area of up to 1 square mile. The shaman can either move the value for cloud cover up or down by 1 and/or the value of the wind speed up or down by 1 (see pages 71-72 of the Heroes’ Companion). The shaman can then make a roll to see if it rains. The weather remains like this for the 24 hour period and the shaman is not able to cast the spell in the same area again until it expires.
Last edited by Slloyd14 on Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by Nuvole! » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:56 am

I like it, but in my head shamanism is more akin to priestly powers, rather than wizardy.
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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:51 am

Nuvole! wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:56 am
I like it, but in my head shamanism is more akin to priestly powers, rather than wizardy.
Agreed, although I would give them a high value in minor magic as well.

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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by Slloyd14 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:10 am

HedgeWizard wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:51 am
Nuvole! wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:56 am
I like it, but in my head shamanism is more akin to priestly powers, rather than wizardy.
Agreed, although I would give them a high value in minor magic as well.
I'm going to change the abilities to priest abilities but create spirits with powers that can aid the shaman if the shaman give them sacrifices.
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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by Slloyd14 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:58 am

Here are the updated rules:

Shamanism

Spirits are everywhere in the game and they have different levels of powers. Contacting and bargaining with a spirit requires the hero to do a ritual. This requires the Magic – Priestly skill.

When a hero takes the Magic – Priestly skill, they must decide what kind of shaman that they will be. There are 3 types of shaman.

Tribal shaman

Tribal shamans obtain their spells from their ancestors. Their powers revolve around the protection of the tribe from evil spirits and for the betterment of the tribe. Due to their improved standing in the tribe, their social scale is 2 points higher.

Nature shaman

Nature shamans are recluses who usually live alone in the wilds and commune with the spirits of animals, plants and the weather. Their powers revolve around nature. Their social scale is not modified.

Malevolent shaman

Malevolent shamans take their powers from the evil spirits who seek to harm humans. Their spells are able to weaken their opponents. However, they cannot do direct harm. Since their craft makes them outcast from society, they start with a social scale of 0.

Shamans cast spells in the same way that priests do. All three shamans have the same basic powers:

Commune
Ward
Banish.

They also have additional powers based on their type. Since their basic powers would be considered weaker than most other priests, their specialist powers are stronger.


Tribal shaman spells

The spirit’s of the tribal shaman’s ancestors accompany them, giving a feeling of courage and purpose to the shaman’s friends. Cohort’s in the tribal shaman’s presence get a +2 bonus to morale. The shaman and their companions get a +2 bonus against fear effects.

Once per day, the shaman can use the Bless priest spell.

Nature shaman spells

Nature shamans will not be attacked by animals unless the animals are magically controlled or if the nature shaman attacks first.

Once per day, a nature shaman is able to call upon a small animal, no bigger than a dog, to perform tasks to help them. This lasts for a number of hours equal to their devotion (this is similar to the Familiar talent).

Malevolent shaman spells

Malevolent shamans are concerned with using the spirit world to their advantage. They get a +1 bonus to all luck tests. However, their spirits make people around them ill at ease, so they get -1 to all reaction rolls.

Once per day, the malevolent shaman is able to use the Ill-Luck priest spell.
Last edited by Slloyd14 on Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by Ruffnut » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:06 pm

This Is Epic!!
He just sits there tapping away all day on a tiny screen. But he tells everyone that he is slaying Orcs.

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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by Robb 1 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:03 pm

very impressed :D

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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by HedgeWizard » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:31 am

Really like the new Shamen rules, clean and to the point.

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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by shintokamikaze » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:53 pm

Great idea, I will be using this at some point.

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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:37 am

Here are rules for spirits which shamans can recruit as hirelings with their Commune spells.

Spirits

Most spirits are incorporeal and can choose to stay that way for as long as they like. A spirit may become corporeal and take on a form that mortals believe that they have. Corporeal spirits can be fought, but they can only be harmed by magic weapons or weapons made from meteoric iron. What is more, spirits are not killed if their stamina is reduced to 0. Instead, they dissipate and reform after 4d6 days.

All spirits have a MAGIC score, magic points equal to 2x their magic score. They also have points in Magic – Spirit Magic.

A spirit’s MAGIC + Magic – Spirit Magic is called their spiritual power score.

Spirits can be treated as hirelings. To recruite a spirit as a hireling, the shaman needs to use their Commune spell.

They can help the shaman but only as long as the shaman provides them with sacrifices.

A spirit’s gold piece cost is equal to its MAGIC rating x2 + the number of points it has in Magic – Spirit Magic. However, the shaman can pay in either blood or worship. A shaman can spend 1 stamina point of blood (either from them or a volunteer) to pay 5gp worth of treasure. They may also worship a spirit for 15 minutes to pay 5gp worth of treasure. Payment is not wasted, so if a shaman sacrifices a 6 stamina deer, they get 30gp worth of payment which can last 2 days for a medium spirit.

A shaman can have as many patron spirits as they can afford. Patron spirits have spells that they can cast to aid the shaman. They can also provide their knowledge to the shaman and if they manifest, they can aid the shaman in combat or with other tasks.

Spirits cast spells on demand. Their spells work as wizard spells with the same modifiers. Spirits restore all magic points when they receive an offering.


Minor spirit

SKILL 4 STAMINA 4 MAGIC 4 MAGIC POINTS 8 MORALE 6
Skills: Magic – Spirit Magic 2

Cost per day: 10gp

Spells: Spirit Power, Watch, Lore of the Spirits, Possess Object

Weapon: Human fist
Armour: None

Medium spirit

SKILL 6 STAMINA 6 MAGIC 6 MAGIC POINTS 12 MORALE 9
Skills: Magic – Spirit Magic 3

Cost per day: 15gp

Spells: Spirit Power, Watch, Lore of the Spirits, Possess Object, Manifest, Magic Shield

Weapon: Small claw
Armour: Light

Strong spirit

SKILL 8 STAMINA 8 MAGIC 8 MAGIC POINTS 16 MORALE 12
Skills: Magic – Spirit Magic 4

Cost per day: 20gp

Spells: Spirit Power, Watch, Lore of the Spirits, Possess Object, Manifest, Magic Shield, Possess Person, Priest Power
Weapon: Large claw
Armour: Medium


Spirit powers

Spirit Power (2)

This spell provides the shaman with a +2 bonus to their devotion for their next spell. The spell lasts for a number of hours equal to the spirit’s spiritual power or until the shaman casts a spell.

Watch (2)

The spirit is able to watch over an area with a 20m radius for a number of hours equal to its spiritual power. If a hostile spirit or person enters, whoever is in the area will get a mental alarm which will wake them up if they are asleep. The spirit is unable to perform any other actions or cast other spells whilst this spell is working.

Possess object (2)

The spirit is able to animate objects by possessing them. This works in the same way as the wizard spell Animate, but the spirit cannot do anything else whilst possessing an object. This spell lasts a number of rounds equal to the spirit’s spiritual power.

Lore of the Spirits (2)

The spirit is able to provide a bonus to the shaman’s special skills equal to the number of points that the spirit has in special skills (see below)

Manifest (4)

The spirit is able to become physical for a number of rounds equal to their Spiritual Power score.

Magic shield (4)

The spirit is able to change the target of a spell that targets its master to itself. This spell covers all types of spells including priest spells and minor spells. IF the spell harms the spirit, it loses 1 point of morale.

Possess person (6)

The spirit is able to possess a person to control them. This works as the wizard spell Command. The person gets a test for luck to resist being possessed. The spirit cannot do anything else whilst possessing a person. This spell lasts a number of rounds equal to the spirit’s spiritual power.

Priest Power (8)

The spirit can restore 1 priest power to the shaman. A shaman can only be the target of this spell once per day.


Spirit special skills

All spirits have special skills. Minor spirits have 2 points of skills, medium spirits have 3 points of special skills and strong spirits have 4 points of special skills. Roll 1d6 for the number of points that a spirit has in the special skill. If you roll the same skill more than once, then the bonus is increased. This is important for the Lore of the Spirits spell.

Die roll Tribal shaman Nature shaman Malevolent shaman
1 Etiquette Animal lore Con
2 Leadership Herb lore Sneak
3 Bargain (Terrain) lore* Disguise
4 World lore Hunting Sleight of Hand
5 Religion lore Fishing Evaluate
6 Law Navigation Trap Knowledge

*This is the terrain that the shaman finds the spirit.
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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by shintokamikaze » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:28 am

Nice, you should write a supplement for an official release.

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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by Nuvole! » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:22 pm

Agree ;)
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Re: Updated shamanism

Post by SkinnyOrc » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:55 pm

Nuvole! wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:56 am
in my head shamanism is more akin to priestly powers, rather than wizardy.
In other RPGs there seems to be pretty much a 50-50 split on whether they should be magic-users or clerics. I'm not sold on that either way but making them AFF2 priests but with magic casting spirits is an inspired way to make them a bit of both.
Slloyd14 wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:58 am
Since their basic powers would be considered weaker than most other priests, their specialist powers are stronger.
It's maybe not just that their common powers are weaker (they don't have Heal but it's arguable if that's weaker) but that their unique powers are each less powerful than other priests. But anyway it doesn't look unbalanced for them to have two unique powers given what the powers are.

There were quite a lot of powers from the original wizard version that could be included in the priest version as possible spells their spirits could cast. Mostly the effects would be on the shaman of course, keeping away mosquitoes isn't that useful for a spirit.

The social scale effects should probably only be in their own region. If they travel to more civilised lands I'd suggest 4 for all of them. I'm thinking of the inevitable shaman PC in a standard Titan campaign there of course :)

It seems like nature shamans wouldn't sacrifice animals except in extreme need but maybe they could persuade them to provide some blood.

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