Shaman Spirits / Witch Patrons


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


While nothing in the shaman/witch description actually states how or even if a shaman can displease their spirit or witches their patron, other sources make allusions to just that. For example, the Spirit Summoner says that some spirits and eidolons are incompatible up to GM discretion, but specifically calls out Heavens and Fiend-like (i.e. devil subtype etc.), implying a Heavens shaman can't be Evil. The Unique Patrons (think Wildblooded sorcerer for witches) effectively turn witches into arcane clerics, and name shaman spirits as one of the entities that are patrons, which in turn implies that shaman spirits will withhold spells and hexes from shamans as well if displeased.

What I find interesting is that nothing in the Unique Patrons write-up says how a witch can regain favor with her patron if lost (effectively making witch levels useless), and that shamans don't have access to the atonement spell except through the FCB of some races.

Until now, I was under the impression that shamans and witches, like oracles, possess their divine/arcane abilities come what may, since the source of their magic has some long term goal far beyond their comprehension, or simply doesn't care what they do with its power. Also, most manifestations state that “the shaman becomes a/the spirit of [name of primary spirit]”, implying that 20th level shamans can grant shaman spells to others (and possibly themselves), which would also turn them into a possible witch patron.

Any thoughts?

Shadow Lodge

VarisianViscount wrote:
While nothing in the shaman/witch description actually states how or even if a shaman can displease their spirit or witches their patron, other sources make allusions to just that. For example, the Spirit Summoner says that some spirits and eidolons are incompatible up to GM discretion, but specifically calls out Heavens and Fiend-like (i.e. devil subtype etc.), implying a Heavens shaman can't be Evil.

Not at all. The restriction on the summoner only affects the eidolon - an evil summoner could therefore have the Heavens spirit as long as their eidolon was an elemental, inevitable, protean, or other suitable creature. There's no indication that the spirit can revoke power based on the summoner (or shaman)'s personal behavior.

Thematically, I would interpret this as indicating that bonding with an eidolon and spirit both involve mystical energy, and those bonds can interfere with each other if the energy is "incompatible".


Witches get spell knowledge from their patron, for one spell per level. Loss of a patron's goodwill does not affect a witch much, as they can gain spells via feeding their familiar.

RAI may be that the patron's assistance also plays a part in the spells learned during level-up, and even may be involved in how the familiar works. But I don't see any RAW saying that.

Since wizards have just as much power than a witch, with no patron, I see no need to require a patron's interaction just for day-to-day spell casting.

The big thing about divine magic is that the patron provides easy access to all spells. I don't know how shamans work, but I am sure they follow one of these plans.

/cevah


It's my understanding that a witch's Patron is only a teacher- it teaches a witch how to use power, but the power belongs to the Witch, it is not granted. So if you annoy your teacher, they may not teach you anything else, but they can't keep you from doing what you already know how to do.

As for "getting back on the good side of one's Patron", that's probably best handled as an RP situation- the witch has to realize why the Patron is mad and make amends somehow.


Dang. Missed the edit window.

Make that Witches get spell knowledge from their patron, for one spell per spell level.

/cevah


@Weirdo: Good catch about that. Eidolons being within one step of the summoner's alignment escaped me somehow.

@Cevah, PossibleCabbage: But the witch needs her familiar (who answers only to the patron) to prepare her spells, and Unique Patrons take them away. For example, if a witch with a Celestial Agenda patron ceases to be good, she looses her familiar and thus the ability to prepare witch spells. While it also says they loose hexes and spellcasting, I'd be inclined to say that hexes come from the witch's own power and that a mystic theurge could still prepare spells from her divine class in her witch slots.

Yes, a patron merely teaches a witch, but in such a way that she is dependent on the patron.

As for shamans, since the Unique Patrons equate shaman spirits (and other entities) to possible witch patrons, it is only logical that, for example, a Celestial Agenda Heavens spirit would require the shaman to be of good alignment as well. That doesn't mean that all Heavens spirits are also Celestial Agenda patrons, but I hope you see my point.

Also, what about 20th level shamans granting shaman spells?


VarisianViscount wrote:

But the witch needs her familiar (who answers only to the patron) to prepare her spells, and Unique Patrons take them away. For example, if a witch with a Celestial Agenda patron ceases to be good, she looses her familiar and thus the ability to prepare witch spells. While it also says they loose hexes and spellcasting, I'd be inclined to say that hexes come from the witch's own power and that a mystic theurge could still prepare spells from her divine class in her witch slots.

Yes, a patron merely teaches a witch, but in such a way that she is dependent on the patron.

Unique Patrons is a specific choice a witch can make. If they don't choose to have such a specific patron, then they don't suffer spell loss, hex loss, and familiar loss when they loose the Unique Patron.

As to the familiar I saw:
SRD

Witch wrote:
Some gain power through study, some through devotion, others through blood, but the witch gains power from her communion with the unknown. Generally feared and misunderstood, the witch draws her magic from a pact made with an otherworldly power. Communing with that source, using her familiar as a conduit, the witch gains not only a host of spells, but a number of strange abilities known as hexes.

This text is in the fluff part of the class description, and not the rules section. While it implies the patron is involved with the familiar, it is contradicted by the following:

SRD

Witch’s Familiar wrote:
By forging strange bonds with unnameable beings, witches gain the service of a mystical adviser, a familiar to both serve her and reveal to her secrets unknown to most mortals. A familiar is an animal chosen by a witch to aid her in her spellcasting and grant her special powers. This uses the same rules as the wizard’s arcane bond class feature, except as noted below.

This states the familiar acts like the wizard's arcane bond with some changes. None of the changes mention or relate to patrons.

/cevah

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