Bullet Points: 7 Feats for Shamans (PFRPG) PDF

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Sometimes rules supplements read like the world-setting bible of frustrated novelists. While solid world- building is a useful skill, you don't always need four paragraphs of flavor text to tell you swords are cool, magic is power, shadows are scary, and orcs are savage. Sometimes a GM doesn't have time to slog through a page of history for every magic weapon. Sometimes all that's needed are a few cool ideas, with just enough information to use them in a game. Sometimes, all you need are bullet points.

Bullet Points are a line of very short, cheap PDFs each of which gives the bare bones of a set of related options. It may be five spells, six feats, eight magic weapon special abilities, or any other short set of related rules we can cram into about a page. Short and simple, these PDFs are for GMs and players who know how to integrate new ideas into their campaigns without any hand-holding, and just need fresh ideas and the rules to support them. No in-character fiction setting the game world. No charts and tables. No sidebars of explanations and optional rules. Just one sentence of explanation for the High Concept of the PDF, then bullet points.

High Concept: Seven feats designed to augment the options and utility of shamans from The Genius Guide to the Shaman. If shamans aren’t used in your game, these feats can instead be used by classes that have the shaman class name or archtype, with any feats that grant bonuses to spirit companions applied instead to animal companions or cohorts.

Note: For the purposes of the feats below, a spirit is any creature with the incorporeal subtype.

The seven feats included are:

  • Ghost Sight: Spirits cannot hide from your attacks.
  • Rebuke Spirit: Focusing your anger, you can damage all spirits around you.
  • Spirit of the Ancestors: You have a spiritual tie to a great shaman from the past and the spirit totem they were allied with.
  • Spirit of Retribution: As a final act of vengeance, your spirit companion deals damage to the enemy that destroyed it.
  • Spiritual Blessing: Your connection with the spirits allows you to bolster nearby allies.
  • Spiritual Eyes: Your spirit companion grants you superior perception.
  • Strength of the Spirits: Your tie to the spirits around you can strengthen your mind and willpower against hostile magics.

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An Endzeitgeist.com review


All right, you know the drill by now - 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1 page content, this time offering supplemental feats for Marc Radle's spontaneous casting shaman class, so let's take a look!

-Ghost Sight: Your nonmagical attacks versus incorporeal spirits deal 50% damage and magic attacks deal 100% damage.

-Rebuke Spirit: As a standard action, cause all spirits within 30 feet to take 1d4 damage per class level, will for halved damage. Useable 3+cha-mod times per day.

-Spirit of Ancestors: This one is complex, since its benefits depend on the shaman's totem; Gaining animal empathy, +2 when devoted to a single task (but -2 when spreading attention), better perception/appraisal and ferreting out dirty secrets, quicker see spirits and bonus to saves versus illusions, +1/2 class level to knowledge-checks (with a penalty for all non-class non-knowledge skills), a bonus versus fear but incur the surprised penalty for two rounds instead of one or the option to net allies bonuses on successful cha-checks at the cost of arrogance-related penalties. Per se cool ideas of further distinguishing the respective totems, though I'm not sold on the extended surprise round - I assume that being flat-footed is part of the penalties, but since the wording is a tad bit opaque, I'm not sure. Anyways, it feels a bit off when compared to its benefits.

-Spirit of Retribution: When your companion is destroyed, the creature that deals the final blow incurs HD times 1d4 damage - will-save for half. Unfortunately, the feat does not specify against which DC the save is - I assume something akin to either the standard for spell-like abilities, but I'm not sure.

-Spiritual Blessing: When using a healing spell or healing class ability on an ally, other allies within 10 ft of the target get 2+cha-mod temporary hit points. I assume these cannot be dispelled and last until used up since the feat doesn't specify otherwise. Problematic here - in theory shamans might use their 0 level spells to buff up allies every day prior to combat. While temporary hit points from one source don't stack (which would have rendered this one broken), a good cha-score and 0-level spells suddenly deliver quite a bunch of hp. Personally, I don't like the thought of my group's charismatic Shoanti shaman adding 5 temporary hp to all allies prior to any battle - 5 times per day. Your mileage may vary, but further clarification it doesn't work with 0-level spells could help.

-Spiritual Eyes: +4 to perception when with spirit companion in 30 ft, +8 when having more than 10 ranks. Okay, but feels a bit like filler.

-Strength of the Spirits: Reroll saves versus mind-affecting magic as an immediate action. Does not stack with other rerolls. Weird: Prerequisite specified 5th level, but the feats mentions "At 5th level, if you are targeted..." - why? Was there a benefit cut here?


Editing and formatting are good, but by far not up to SGG's excellent track record - duplicated information and slightly less concise writing than usual plague unfortunately this pdf. Layout adheres to the elegant 3-column landscape-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

I really like the shaman and my player was looking forward to more fodder for it and this pdf does deliver - though with more rough edges and ambiguities than I've come to expect from Super Genius Games. Idea-wise, these feats are cool and awesome, but in execution, their benefits seem a bit off, some minor incongruities remain..and in spite of offering some cool options, as a reviewer, I can't go higher than 3 stars - were the content not that nice, I probably would have gone lower.

Endzeitgeist out.

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Any chance of a redesign of the Shaman class? It hasn't held up as well as some of the other SGG classes.

Scarab Sages Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

It's certainly possible. It is our FIRST Pf class, and it came out before... well anything but the core rulebook. :)

Minister of Propaganda, Super Genius Games

Caedwyr wrote:
Any chance of a redesign of the Shaman class? It hasn't held up as well as some of the other SGG classes.

Right now the redesign is just a series of notes, but it is something I'm working on, it's just going slower than I'd like.

I'm glad to hear that. In the meantime, how well do you think these feats could be slotted into the Spirit System from Pact Magic or the Expanded Shaman products?

Scarab Sages Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

The feats are designed to largely be stand-alone, though tied to shamanistic concepts. So you should be able to add them to a broad range of appropriate classes, though some are more tied to specific rules (like animal companions) than others.

Liberty's Edge

Caedwyr wrote:
I'm glad to hear that. In the meantime, how well do you think these feats could be slotted into the Spirit System from Pact Magic or the Expanded Shaman products?

Wow, I didn't know Super Genius even *had* a shaman class!

Sounds like the SGG Shaman and the Kobold Press Shaman need to get in a good old fashioned cage match and settle who is the better shaman once and for all! :)

OK, in all seriousness, I've not seen these feats, but from what Owen said above, it sounds like at least some of them might work with Kobold Press' Expanded Shaman

Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

Liberty's Edge

Hey End! Very interesting review.

One point of order though ... unless I am mistaken, this Bullet Points was not actually written for Kobold Press's Expanded Shaman. This is intended to compliment the Shaman that SGG published.

Yeah, I noticed that as well - but since the shaman by Kobold Press seems to be more popular and since its content could fit that one as well, I figured it would work just as well... Bluff skill check = natural 1.


Ok, got me.

I know the pdf was written for SGG's shaman. I only noticed that particular factoid AFTER writing my first draft. That being said, upon noticing, I duly went back and checked SGG's shaman...and as written, I think the feats work well for either class. So I went and checked the feats against the background of BOTH classes and, if you take a look at the review, you'll notice that my gripes are universally directed at wordings/balance/etc., not necessarily connections with the base class mechanics. And my group's shaman-PC (uses the one you wrote) actually uses a feat from this pdf...so yeah, as far as I'm concerned, this is the expansion for "your" shaman. I didn't fix the wording in the review since I'm atm hard-pressed for time. That being said, if someone from SGG (or from the fine folk here at paizo) thinks I should rectify that, drop me a line.

Scarab Sages Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

No, I think it's fair. Hyrum originally wrote this to be much more solidly tied to our shaman, but I worked on it in development to give it broader appeal. In general, i think there are more serious criticisms than balance (I don;t see anyone overpowering a campaign with a build using these rather than some of the best core rules stuff), but that's a subjective call and well within a reviewer's purview.

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