Revised Shaman Discussion


Class Discussion

201 to 250 of 348 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This has probably been mentioned before about familiars but I didnt see it, and personally I think its much more thematically in keeping:

The Tattoeed Sorcerer archetype has the perfect template for a "spirit animal" shaman, from the text:

Quote:
Unlike most familiars, her familiar can transform itself into a tattoo that she carries in her flesh. Transforming into a tattoo or back to normal familiar form is a move action for her familiar. In tattoo form, the familiar looks like a stylized version of itself, but does not count as a creature separate from the tattooed sorcerer. In tattoo form it continues to grant its special familiar ability, but otherwise has no abilities and can take no actions except to transform from tattoo into creature. A familiar tattoo cannot be erased or dispelled.

To me THAT sounds perfect (with tweaking), this way the shaman can protect their spirit animal during battle, but if they need a scout or anything they can "summon" it forth.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
What aspects of the spell list are you looking for feedback on?

Its not really something I can crowd-source. Basing it off druid just does not feel right, despite the fact that it is a reasonable fit for the theme. I am still mulling it over, weighing options.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

I really think the player should get to choose Cleric or Druid list upon character creation.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I really think the player should get to choose Cleric or Druid list upon character creation.

I'd say the next question then is: Is there a power difference between the cleric and druid spell list? Like, would one give more advantage over the other?


LadyWurm wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I really think the player should get to choose Cleric or Druid list upon character creation.
I'd say the next question then is: Is there a power difference between the cleric and druid spell list? Like, would one give more advantage over the other?

Druid has more offensive casting. Cleric has better buffs. They're relatively evenish.

Right now I think the Shaman has a strictly better spell list than the Cleric due to the spell list additions. And Spirit Magic.


Scavion wrote:
LadyWurm wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I really think the player should get to choose Cleric or Druid list upon character creation.
I'd say the next question then is: Is there a power difference between the cleric and druid spell list? Like, would one give more advantage over the other?

Druid has more offensive casting. Cleric has better buffs. They're relatively evenish.

Right now I think the Shaman has a strictly better spell list than the Cleric due to the spell list additions. And Spirit Magic.

I would agree. The shaman is definitely making good progress, but it still doesn't feel like it's as good as the cleric, druid or witch. I dunno. What's your opinion Scavion?


LadyWurm wrote:
Scavion wrote:
LadyWurm wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I really think the player should get to choose Cleric or Druid list upon character creation.
I'd say the next question then is: Is there a power difference between the cleric and druid spell list? Like, would one give more advantage over the other?

Druid has more offensive casting. Cleric has better buffs. They're relatively evenish.

Right now I think the Shaman has a strictly better spell list than the Cleric due to the spell list additions. And Spirit Magic.

I would agree. The shaman is definitely making good progress, but it still doesn't feel like it's as good as the cleric, druid or witch. I dunno. What's your opinion Scavion?

I think if the class loses the Divine Power from the list, I'd be happy. As a Caster its more powerful than both the Druid and Cleric. If it keeps Divine Power, then as a Caster is has potential to become an even more devastating potential melee combatant than a Druid OR Cleric.

I honestly don't know where to place the Shaman other than that.
Comparatively to each class,
Cleric- I get all your awesome buffs, Life Spirit gives me your condition removals, I have 3/4ths BAB, and Medium Armor. To kick sand in your eyes, I get to pick which of my Spirit/Domain spell it is for the day on the fly. Also I actually get class features. *Gripes a little about clerics*

Druid- Till high levels, pretty even casting. Wildshape grants the Druid a level of combat versatility I wont be able to match. High levels while abusing the Lore Spirit tremendously, I can burst my combat potential slightly higher, but doing so expends a great deal of my resources. At these high levels however, I am also a more versatile(Read more powerful) caster.

Witch- I haven't played a Witch ever. I can see a little of the hex thing going on with the Heavens penalty to attack rolls. The Shaman hasn't robbed enough of the Witch to make it feel awkward yet.

I absolutely adore Divines. Cleric remains one of my favorite classes. The Shaman before the update, I've run 3 playtests with. After the update, I've unfortunately had no time to play. To get to the point, I saw the Shaman as a potential substitute for playing a more casting oriented Cleric. Now I see it stepping all over everyone's toes.

I think it needs to take a step back, and find something to do that isn't bothersome to everyone else. I think being THE divine caster is it.

Every Druid can double as a melee combatant with Wildshape.
Every Cleric is hardwired with buff spells and little to no damage spells.

I think the Shaman should be the "wizard" of Divine Casting.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scavion wrote:

I think if the class loses the Divine Power from the list, I'd be happy. As a Caster its more powerful than both the Druid and Cleric. If it keeps Divine Power, then as a Caster is has potential to become an even more devastating potential melee combatant than a Druid OR Cleric.

I honestly don't know where to place the Shaman other than that.
Comparatively to each class,
Cleric- I get all your awesome buffs, Life Spirit gives me your condition removals, I have 3/4ths BAB, and Medium Armor. To kick sand in your eyes, I get to pick which of my Spirit/Domain spell it is for the day on the fly. Also I actually get class features. *Gripes a little about clerics*

Druid- Till high levels, pretty even casting. Wildshape grants the Druid a level of combat versatility I wont be able to match. High levels while abusing the Lore Spirit tremendously, I can burst my combat potential slightly higher, but doing so expends a great deal of my resources. At these high levels however, I am also a more versatile(Read more powerful) caster.

Witch- I haven't played a Witch ever. I can see a little of the hex thing going on with the Heavens penalty to attack rolls. The Shaman hasn't robbed enough of the Witch to make it feel awkward yet.

I think it needs to take a step back, and find something to do that isn't bothersome to everyone else. I think being THE divine caster is it.

I think you're definitely hitting the nail on the head here. The real problem with the shaman right now is that it doesn't have a "thing". A niche. That thing that makes you say "I want to play a shamsn so I can do X, because I really can't get X without playing a shaman". The shaman is trying to be everything it seems, and doing better at it than some of its more balanced predecessors. You look at warpriest and see Sacred Weapon, you look at bloodrager and "I can rage and cast spells!", you look at swashbuckler and see a melee gunslinger ginsu knife. They have a "thing".

This class seems to have less of a "thing", and more of a "hey, how would you like to do all the cool stuff those other classes can do?" :P


LadyWurm wrote:
Scavion wrote:

I think if the class loses the Divine Power from the list, I'd be happy. As a Caster its more powerful than both the Druid and Cleric. If it keeps Divine Power, then as a Caster is has potential to become an even more devastating potential melee combatant than a Druid OR Cleric.

I honestly don't know where to place the Shaman other than that.
Comparatively to each class,
Cleric- I get all your awesome buffs, Life Spirit gives me your condition removals, I have 3/4ths BAB, and Medium Armor. To kick sand in your eyes, I get to pick which of my Spirit/Domain spell it is for the day on the fly. Also I actually get class features. *Gripes a little about clerics*

Druid- Till high levels, pretty even casting. Wildshape grants the Druid a level of combat versatility I wont be able to match. High levels while abusing the Lore Spirit tremendously, I can burst my combat potential slightly higher, but doing so expends a great deal of my resources. At these high levels however, I am also a more versatile(Read more powerful) caster.

Witch- I haven't played a Witch ever. I can see a little of the hex thing going on with the Heavens penalty to attack rolls. The Shaman hasn't robbed enough of the Witch to make it feel awkward yet.

I think it needs to take a step back, and find something to do that isn't bothersome to everyone else. I think being THE divine caster is it.

I think you're definitely hitting the nail on the head here. The real problem with the shaman right now is that it doesn't have a "thing". A niche. That thing that makes you say "I want to play a shamsn so I can do X, because I really can't get X without playing a shaman". The shaman is trying to be everything it seems, and doing better at it than some of its more balanced predecessors. You look at warpriest and see Sacred Weapon, you look at bloodrager and "I can rage and cast spells!", you look at swashbuckler and see a melee gunslinger ginsu knife. They have a "thing".

I definitely see where you are coming from with this, to me personally the feel of the Shaman should be more animal powered and spirit and totem related. Annoyingly the thing that I think would be great for shamans is taken by another class (Hunters animal focus). If I was to rewrite the shaman class from the ground up some vague points I would like them to have:

Base classes: Druid and Oracle

Tattooed Familiar: As I mentioned previosly their spirit animal becomes a part of them which functions much like the tattoed sorcerer.

Animal Focus: While the hunter studies animals the Shaman embraces their spirit and channels their power, gaining their abilites for a short time.

Spellcasting: Main focus to be buffs or divinations derived from animalistic methods, eg spells that let you know where things are based on the combined feelings of nearby insects, or that lets you see through the eyes of any single bird within a mile etc.

I know this is very vague, but I guess my point is that I would like them to move more towards the idea of something similar to but very different than a druid. They dont just love nature above all else, they instead respect its awesome powers and embrace them.

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think that this class would do well as the "Divine Wizard".

Drop its BaB and HD down to d6 and let the Shaman choose its spells daily from both the Cleric AND Druid lists. Let this be the definitive "divine caster".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I think that this class would do well as the "Divine Wizard".

Drop its BaB and HD down to d6 and let the Shaman choose its spells daily from both the Cleric AND Druid lists. Let this be the definitive "divine caster".

d6, low BAB, but all divine spell access? I think you and Scavion are definitely on the right track with that. It's something we don't have, it would give the shaman a "thing", and it makes sense for the class.

I'll third this idea.


D6, low BAB , light armor , and divine access sounds awesome. Add a few arcane spells from the witch list and some hexes like misfortune ( not core hexes like slumber ,exactly as someone above mentioned).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:

Somewhere, Stephen is sitting back and thinking to himself, "Good, yes, good. Cry your sweet, succulent tears, fans of the Shaman. Your woeful pleas will sustain me long after you have drawn your last worthless breath."

... what? You're using an Antipaladin avatar. Of course that's what people are going to think!

Part of me feels this way only due to the lack of dev activity the Shaman has received through both parts of this playtest so far. For example go wandering through the Brawler or Hunter discussion and most pages have 1-2 dev responses. Shaman has stayed strangely quiet aside from the occasional "we are listening". I mean I like that they're listening, but I'd rather have interaction and guidance and which ideas the community is offering are being listened to or tossed aside.

Sticking with the Brawler example someone made a post about brawler disciplines and Sean made a wonderful and insightful response from the development side as to why the idea, while not a bad one, would wind up being superfluous.

Grand Lodge

Priest = D6 divine wizard
Shaman != D6 divine wizard

Yes we need an armorless cleric, is this the venue? Not so much.


A pure priest would be a fairly limited class from a flavor stand point, only able to fill one style of divine caster while the shaman could easily include a priest archetype.


Zero_Magi wrote:
D6, low BAB , light armor , and divine access sounds awesome.

My major issues with d6 HD/low BAB/light armor only are:

1) They'd have to be significantly better at support than a cleric/oracle to justify all those reduced stats.

2) I think the reason that none of the divine classes currently have those stats is because, once you run out of spells or don't need to buff anyone/heal anyone one round, what are you supposed to do?

3) It also invalidates a lot of the existing spirits. Who would take Battle for extra AoOs and weapon specialization if you can't hit anything?


Wolfism wrote:
A pure priest would be a fairly limited class from a flavor stand point, only able to fill one style of divine caster while the shaman could easily include a priest archetype.

There's at least as many things you can do with a noncombatant "Priest" divine character as you can do with a traditional cleric. Yet the only option we have for doing this in-game is to play a Cleric or Oracle who doesn't wear armor and never picks up a weapon. Some of us feel this is a worthy design space to explore.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reducing BAB or taking away Divine Favor would make the Battle shaman pretty useless, before even considering its effects on combat-oriented shamans in general. If a given culture in Pathfinder is deemed to be mainly shamanic, you're vastly limiting what an be done with the class. I'm actually more in favor of the "one martial weapon" concept.

I actually liked the first iteration of the shaman, a lot. What it lacked was breadth and flavor. I think reworking the spirits as sources of spells and ""hexes" rather than pseudo-Mysteries makes sense. In fact, it would mean that any new Mysteries published could be used for the shaman, and simply wouldn't come pre-loaded with additional "hex" choices. With the right choices, a Nature shaman with a Flame wandering spirit should be able to cover the "nature/elemental" archetype without strain. If it can't, then rework the spirits a little. I feel strongly that a Bones shaman with a Battle wandering spirit is just as valid a shamanic concept, and does not work well with the druid spell list.

In my mind, the shaman's schtick is covering a wide variety of empowered archetypes, from the traditional spirit-talker to the visionary to the "freelance oracle." Unlike an oracle, a shaman isn't a passive conduit, unleashing a mysterious divine power. A shaman actually goes out there and FINDS power, bargains with it, perhaps even steals it, and bends it to his own purposes. Most shamans are community-oriented, while a few are war-curse-oriented. For the most part, shamans are not going to be dangerous, antisocial loners who curse and ruin people, that's really the schtick of more aggressive witches. Some shamans, by the nature of their associations, are going to pack a nasty punch, but that's equally as true for clerics or oracles.


Craft Cheese wrote:
Wolfism wrote:
A pure priest would be a fairly limited class from a flavor stand point, only able to fill one style of divine caster while the shaman could easily include a priest archetype.
There's at least as many things you can do with a noncombatant "Priest" divine character as you can do with a traditional cleric. Yet the only option we have for doing this in-game is to play a Cleric or Oracle who doesn't wear armor and never picks up a weapon. Some of us feel this is a worthy design space to explore.

If you dump Strength and stick with light armor (for mobility), you're 80% of the way there already. If you go Cleric/Loremaster, focusing on metagmagic, by the mid-levels, you're pretty much there. I'm not saying that there isn't design space for a casting "Priest," but that is one option that currently exists and works.


Being able to be effective when you run out of spells is exactly what hexes should be good for. Having a spirit or archetype that trades out the spirit companion for domains makes for a great priest.

Anyone who wants to make a melee shaman is going to want to take the battle spirit anyway so use the battle spirit to add fewer spells but add features that add to their BAB and make them an effective combatant. I like the idea of them channeling spirits into their allies in a bard like way but maybe adding feats to their allies from the knowledge of the spirits inhabiting them.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
LadyWurm wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I really think the player should get to choose Cleric or Druid list upon character creation.
I'd say the next question then is: Is there a power difference between the cleric and druid spell list? Like, would one give more advantage over the other?

Actually I'd give the edge to the cleric, but they both have their merits. Full casting is pretty darn snazzy. There are some key things, like clerics have some alignment based things and druids rely on having nature nearby them sometimes to function. Druids don't get to summon in outsiders or spirits but clerics can almost become one depending on your spell choices. Druid list also can't raise the dead, but clerics can take that gig and run with it and in a number of ways different way than arcane casters can. There's a lot of stepping on toes in any direction because oracle has a lot of voodoo, cursing, and combat built into it, and druid has a lot of the nature and lycanthropancy built into it. Of course in the future when you think shaman you might not think about that 3pp product or lunar oracle or druid, you might think of this guy! Oracle stole a lot of roles in the same way from the cleric, but whether that's good or bad is a whole different story.

Another thing to consider is "why would I play this"(I'm not the first to say that!). I'd have trouble playing a shaman with druid list because druid can already do so much. There are a lot of classes with cleric casting(5 with ACG) but I'd actually still play the shaman from the first draft instead of a lot of those, especially if they were tweaked to have more options. YMMV of course, I'm biased because I dislike the cleric but like the idea of being shamanistic. They also still don't share much with that witch... He's just kinda' hanging in the background, but neither cleric nor witch really have much to give to the class unfortunately beyond concept. Witch and Cleric aren't big on having options imo, while oracle is loaded with many, though with some clunkers thrown in every mystery. Personally I was hoping for a divine caster like the arcanist to fill that niche, because the arcanist is looking pretty lonely and the best way to back up having so few spells was having a plethora of all-day options, which this guy looks like he was going to offer.


Wolfism wrote:

Being able to be effective when you run out of spells is exactly what hexes should be good for. Having a spirit or archetype that trades out the spirit companion for domains makes for a great priest.

Anyone who wants to make a melee shaman is going to want to take the battle spirit anyway so use the battle spirit to add fewer spells but add features that add to their BAB and make them an effective combatant. I like the idea of them channeling spirits into their allies in a bard like way but maybe adding feats to their allies from the knowledge of the spirits inhabiting them.

I see it more that the guys who want to make a melee shaman would likely first go Nature and then follow it up later with taking the Battle Wandering Spirit. Yeah, you'd get less AoO. You'd also have better AC/CMD, and have made a less MAD character to get close to the same effect. And if you feel like doing something with less melee, you don't have to feel married to that choice by picking a different Wandering Spirit.

@RJGrady: I think you hit the nail on the head as to the Shaman's schtick. It should be the active conduit for divine power, someone who wheels and deals for the powers they command. And as such, they can't look weak to their prospective spirit companions.

Let's look at the fact that the baseline for practically all Divine Casters is d8 HD and 3/4 BAB. These classes are given power by a deity/nature/empyreal lords to act as a defender/spokesperson of their will. Not a one is going to settle for someone who can't fight back competently, either out of concern for the person or just plain ego. They have to be strong in spirit and body to wield the power these divine/profane forces bestow upon them. Granted, this is more of a generalization of why Divine casters tend to have that baseline.

If we work under that generalization, then why shouldn't the Shaman be the same way? The will of nature as a whole may empower Druids to be their overall champions, but someone's got to take care of the marginal issues that really do need to be dealt with too. The gods may empower their clerics to form a church to convert the people to their cause, but the souls of the dead may want someone to speak for them and defend their faith. If the Shaman was weak, it's doubtful that any of those kinds of spirits would want to barter with him.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

SHAMAN. :D

I'm unable to check at the moment, but does the shaman have perform/* and knowledge/history on their list of class skills? Shamans often recited histories orally, or would perform them in some way to keep alive the tales of a community or to share histories.

Anyhow, I realize also that there are some editing/tweaking issues here and there from the change in spell lists. That's no small undertaking.

Congrats on all the hard work.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Craft Cheese wrote:
I'm sticking to my first suggestion: Get rid of the idea of "main" spirits, make all of them wandering. Let the Shaman pick new hexes each day, and gain more spirits at once as they level up. It'll be much easier to rebalance the spirits under these assumptions.

This is the class I want to play. Balance would need to be looked into, but with this mechanic the Shaman would still be less versatile than the Arcanist.

For the spell list, I suggest Witch as the base list and then add thematic spells from both the Cleric and Druid lists. This puts more Witch into the class, gives access to Witch-only spirit-themed spells, and still doesn't require a fully unique list.


Pandora's wrote:
Craft Cheese wrote:
I'm sticking to my first suggestion: Get rid of the idea of "main" spirits, make all of them wandering. Let the Shaman pick new hexes each day, and gain more spirits at once as they level up. It'll be much easier to rebalance the spirits under these assumptions.

This is the class I want to play. Balance would need to be looked into, but with this mechanic the Shaman would still be less versatile than the Arcanist.

For the spell list, I suggest Witch as the base list and then add thematic spells from both the Cleric and Druid lists. This puts more Witch into the class, gives access to Witch-only spirit-themed spells, and still doesn't require a fully unique list.

Also love the all-wandering idea. Very evocative, and plays into my undying love of prepared everything.

I could see witch working out. I'm still more in favor of Cleric+ than Witch+, but either is better than Druid+. Both from a pure Shaman flavor standpoint and a "It's a friggin witch/oracle hybrid class, where do you get druid?" standpoint.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Kalvit wrote:
Knight_Druid wrote:

I like the idea of the shaman, but as others have said the class seems to be all over the place. How exactly does the spirit companion work? Is it an arcane familiar or an actual animal companion?

Spirit Animal (Ex): At 1st level, a shaman forms a close
bond with a spirit animal tied to her chosen spirit. This
animal is her conduit to the spirit world, guiding her
along the path to enlightenment. The animal also aids
a witch by granting her skill bonuses. This spirit animal
functions like a familiar using the wizard’s arcane bond
class feature, except as noted in the Spirit Animal section.

I'm thinking it's an animal companion that aids with bonuses and aids in physical combat, but I'm not sure. If it did this would probably be my new favorite class.

It's a familiar, though a Nature spirit focused shaman could turn it into an animal companion at 16th level. Sorry if that disappoints you.

So then my next question is this: why not have the spirit companion have the ability to manifest on the material plane and aid the shaman in combat? Perhaps the spirit companion is able to deliver touch attacks via the shaman? If not in the shaman class now then maybe an archetype later on? Just my two cents :)

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

13 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey there all,

I've been a bit quiet on this thread, as I have been weighing options and considering the course to take with this class. I still feel that it has a lot of problems that need resolution and in some cases, that is going to mean some significant changes to the class. Here are a couple of thoughts (some of which are inspired by the excellent discussion in this thread).

1. The more I think about it, the more this class needs a unique spell list. I am also thinking that your spirit choices should play a bigger part in augmenting this list.

2. The familiar took a step toward a spirit animal concept, but I dont think that goes quite far enough. I am beginning to think that it might need to go off in a different direction.

3. The witch definitely needs a bigger impact on this class. I am starting to think that hexes (which might be renamed) need to play a bigger role in general. I like the idea of a base list of hexes available to all, with the spirits augmenting that list.

4. Taken together, I think this means that the shaman has a lot of base components, many of which get more heavily augmented by the spirits chosen.

5. As a small aside, try not to get too hung up on real world "shamans" and similar terms. We are drawing some inspiration there, but I don't think emulating any of them directly is a good idea for the game. We are shooting for something a little closer to the fantasy understanding of the term.

These are just some of my thoughts right now. Time is running out on the playtest, but I think you guys are providing me with the information I need to shape this class into the role is needs to fill.

Keep it up, I am listening.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Pandora's wrote:
Craft Cheese wrote:
I'm sticking to my first suggestion: Get rid of the idea of "main" spirits, make all of them wandering. Let the Shaman pick new hexes each day, and gain more spirits at once as they level up. It'll be much easier to rebalance the spirits under these assumptions.

This is the class I want to play. Balance would need to be looked into, but with this mechanic the Shaman would still be less versatile than the Arcanist.

For the spell list, I suggest Witch as the base list and then add thematic spells from both the Cleric and Druid lists. This puts more Witch into the class, gives access to Witch-only spirit-themed spells, and still doesn't require a fully unique list.

I'm good with the idea of all wandering spirits...although a little concerned about that much flexibility being unbalancing.

I also like they idea that they gain a new spirit at the same interval an oracle would gain a revelation (set after choosing), and can pick either a "blessing" (aka revelation) from the new spirit, or a curse (aka Hex) in addition to new spell list options.

I do think that "spirit magic" needs to be re-looked at.
I would rather see your choice of spirits have more of an impact, and one free casting from the spirits list really just doesn't seem that big of an impact to me.

If that was expanded upon, then I think the witch spell list is fine, and then your choice of spirits to ally with would round out the rest of your spell list.

Contributor

Thanks for the insight on the Lore Warden today, Jason. Allow me to chime in with some ideas:

Quote:
1. The more I think about it, the more this class needs a unique spell list. I am also thinking that your spirit choices should play a bigger part in augmenting this list.

You already have a base shaman spell list; its the bonus spells that all shaman receive. What if you keep that idea of an extremely limited spell list (even smaller than the witch's spell list), then have the shaman's primary spirit decide what other spell list the shaman uses?

Cleric Spell List: Battle, Life
Druid Spell List: Flame, Stone, Waves, Wind
Witch: Bones, Juju

And so on.

Quote:
2. The familiar took a step toward a spirit animal concept, but I dont think that goes quite far enough. I am beginning to think that it might need to go off in a different direction.

Communing with a spirit animal is cool. That said, the Spirit Animal class feature is pretty lame. Some of the bonuses aren't worth it, and when you think "Spirit Animal," things like wolves and bears come to mind. Personally, I think the Nature Spirit boon of merging Animal Companions and Familiars together is the right way to go. Its cool, its flavorful, and its something we've never seen before. Plus I'd love to play a shaman with a fox spirit animal that beats up people.

Quote:
3. The witch definitely needs a bigger impact on this class. I am starting to think that hexes (which might be renamed) need to play a bigger role in general. I like the idea of a base list of hexes available to all, with the spirits augmenting that list.

The Devil is in the Details. Much of the problem lies in that the Shaman uses the name "Hex" but the hexes themselves are copy/pastes of Oracle Revelations. Most of the Hexes aren't anything new; they're recycled Oracle revelations. This is specially true for the Life spirit.


Where were Jason's comments on the Lore Warden?


Jason Bulmahn wrote:
As a small aside, try not to get too hung up on real world "shamans" and similar terms. We are drawing some inspiration there, but I don't think emulating any of them directly is a good idea for the game. We are shooting for something a little closer to the fantasy understanding of the term.

I'm afraid I'm probably the "prime offender" here....and I feel like I'm not making myself very clear.

I'm not looking for a "historically accurate" class per say, so much as hoping that the finished product will feel like a shaman, and not just a re-worked witch or oracle, or some class called a shaman because it is a cool name.

I'm fine with the fantasy understanding of a shaman.

I'm just not interested in the new age/neo-pagan version...it strays to far afield from the concept.

The Sarkoris entry in Lost Kingdoms is a perfect example of the kind of cultural thinking that would produce a shaman....and where I am gaining much of my inspiration, and probably expectation from.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Keep it up, I am listening.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Very glad to hear that....I'm very excited to see how this all turns out.

August is going to be a VERY long time to wait however :P


Does anyone remember the specifics of the 3.5 Hexblade "Dark companion" class feature ???

I think it was an alternate class ability...and was wondering if something like that would mechanically make a good replacement for the familiar.

It certainly fit's flavor wise.


nighttree wrote:

Does anyone remember the specifics of the 3.5 Hexblade "Dark companion" class feature ???

I think it was an alternate class ability...and was wondering if something like that would mechanically make a good replacement for the familiar.

It certainly fit's flavor wise.

I do. Would need to be expanded upon though, it was a very simple class feature. Essentially you summoned a companion that couldn't be targeted and handed out debuffs to those it sat next to.


MrSin wrote:
nighttree wrote:

Does anyone remember the specifics of the 3.5 Hexblade "Dark companion" class feature ???

I think it was an alternate class ability...and was wondering if something like that would mechanically make a good replacement for the familiar.

It certainly fit's flavor wise.

I do. Would need to be expanded upon though, it was a very simple class feature. Essentially you summoned a companion that couldn't be targeted and handed out debuffs to those it sat next to.

I just remember someone using it in a game...and that it was a spirit he summoned to help him in combat.

I got rid of all my 3.5 stuff (except my Dragonlance) when I switched to Pathfinder :(
Might have been a bit hasty of me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
Where were Jason's comments on the Lore Warden?

It was Sean, Cheapy.

here in the brawler thread


Virgil Firecask wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Where were Jason's comments on the Lore Warden?

It was Sean, Cheapy.

here in the brawler thread

Yep, I remembered that, but was curious if there was additional talk about the Lore Warden by Mr. Jason "Don't Say Armor Spikes" Bulmahn.


@Kalvit Shamans shouldn't need to be physically strong to be respected by the spirits, their wheelhouse is manipulating souls, living or dead, and that is power in this sort of world.

The hexblade dark companion was a sorry of mobile debuff that put the hexblades curse on anything adjacent to it. Having something like that on your spirit animal would be a great ability for some if the darker spirits.

@Jason
Thank you for listening in on our discussion, I hope that done of the flavor inherent in the word Shaman won't be left behind just to keep it in the witch/oracle hybrid box, it has so much to bring to the table it self.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I've been a bit quiet on this thread, as I have been weighing options and considering the course to take with this class. I still feel that it has a lot of problems that need resolution and in some cases, that is going to mean some significant changes to the class. Here are a couple of thoughts (some of which are inspired by the excellent discussion in this thread).

1. The more I think about it, the more this class needs a unique spell list. I am also thinking that your spirit choices should play a bigger part in augmenting this list.

2. The familiar took a step toward a spirit animal concept, but I dont think that goes quite far enough. I am beginning to think that it might need to go off in a different direction.

3. The witch definitely needs a bigger impact on this class. I am starting to think that hexes (which might be renamed) need to play a bigger role in general. I like the idea of a base list of hexes available to all, with the spirits augmenting that list.

4. Taken together, I think this means that the shaman has a lot of base components, many of which get more heavily augmented by the spirits chosen.

5. As a small aside, try not to get too hung up on real world "shamans" and similar terms. We are drawing some inspiration there, but I don't think emulating any of them directly is a good idea for the game. We are shooting for something a little closer to the fantasy understanding of the term.

These are just some of my thoughts right now. Time is running out on the playtest, but I think you guys are providing me with the information I need to shape this class into the role is needs to fill.

Keep it up, I am listening.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Thank you for the update on where things are heading. It sounds very good.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I've been a bit quiet on this thread, as I have been weighing options and considering the course to take with this class. I still feel that it has a lot of problems that need resolution and in some cases, that is going to mean some significant changes to the class. Here are a couple of thoughts (some of which are inspired by the excellent discussion in this thread).

1. The more I think about it, the more this class needs a unique spell list. I am also thinking that your spirit choices should play a bigger part in augmenting this list.

2. The familiar took a step toward a spirit animal concept, but I dont think that goes quite far enough. I am beginning to think that it might need to go off in a different direction.

3. The witch definitely needs a bigger impact on this class. I am starting to think that hexes (which might be renamed) need to play a bigger role in general. I like the idea of a base list of hexes available to all, with the spirits augmenting that list.

4. Taken together, I think this means that the shaman has a lot of base components, many of which get more heavily augmented by the spirits chosen.

5. As a small aside, try not to get too hung up on real world "shamans" and similar terms. We are drawing some inspiration there, but I don't think emulating any of them directly is a good idea for the game. We are shooting for something a little closer to the fantasy understanding of the term.

These are just some of my thoughts right now. Time is running out on the playtest, but I think you guys are providing me with the information I need to shape this class into the role is needs to fill.

Keep it up, I am listening.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

1. Unique spell list is ok in my book, I really like the idea of the Spirits sort of defining the spells you have. That would mean increasing the number of spirits you have at one time though so I can understand not wanting to go that route.

2. I'm relatively unconcerned one way or the other on this as long as it doesn't become a total liability for the character where it's better to lock it in an adamantine box for safety.

3. AGREED!!! I still think the easiest fix is to call Shaman Hexes what they are which are Revelations. which makes sense that Spirits would offer Revelations of power to those who beseech them. And then maybe tack on the Witch Hex class feature giving them like 1 at level 3, 7, 11, 15, 19. 5 Hexes over 20 levels isn't anything to sneeze at you could go lower but that opens up a world of Weirdness that can customize these characters who IMO really should be all about the weird powers/blessings they get from their connection to the Spirit World.

4. The Spirits definitely feel like they should be the central focus/defining feature of this class. Even though it's a hybrid class these hybrids aren't just mechanical/flavor blendings. They are specifically designed to fill a niche or character concept unfillable without multiclassing/hybridization. With that in mind it's ok if they wind up walking their own path and if this one walks away having all sorts of Spirits that define what they are from day to day as you swap them around that'd be absolutely wonderful in my book.

5. I feel the whole etymology, not sure that's the word I want but I'm sticking with it, oriented discussion detracted from the first Shaman thread and was likely a solid cause as to why our beloved Devs avoided us Shaman enthusiasts. I'm stoked to see us getting our day in the sun with some community and Dev time.

One of the biggest concepts that I would love to be able to pull off with this class is an almost L5R Shugenja. I want to have multiple spirits and beseech the Kami to grant me their gifts and have that expressed through Revelations, Hexes, and to an extent Spells. I think this class could really exemplify that sort of character. I just personally love when I can get my hands on Mechanics that support my Flavor choices.

Edit: As an aside Mr. Bulmahn I had no intention of trying to come across as ungrateful in my earlier post. The fact that Paizo responds to the community and lets them participate in the development process through the playtests at all is literally THE BEST STUFF EVER. I was just getting slightly depressed seeing the class I have the most excitement for, have the lowest page count and least amount of interaction. So personally from the bottom of my heart thank you for taking the time to come here and interact with us.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
2. The familiar took a step toward a spirit animal concept, but I dont think that goes quite far enough. I am beginning to think that it might need to go off in a different direction.

I'd like to reiterate a suggestion for giving Shamans a bonded object as a "fetish" in lieu of having a familiar as a "spirit animal," or at least giving that as an option. The Scarred Witch Doctor's "fetish mask" could be a loose model for what this would look like. It gives the class a little more variability, including providing an option for those with flavor concerns about spirit animals. Obviously, the specifics of how it works would change the further you guys go from the familiar, but I think the Shaman is a class where a bonded object could really fit the theme.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
4. Taken together, I think this means that the shaman has a lot of base components, many of which get more heavily augmented by the spirits chosen.

I agree, but I think the more heavily spirit selection influences the class, the more important it is to use the wandering mechanic for all the spirits. First, makes the spirits easier to balance, which is more important the more central spirits are to the class; the more influential spirits are, the more extreme the disparity between good and bad spirits will be. Second, unless the general utility of each spirit is considerably broadened (which I'm not saying it should be) it will be important for a Shaman to be able to change spirits so as not to end up pigeonholed to a pretty narrow role by an early selection; spirits focused on healing or a specific element could end up pretty crippling down the line, if they determine a lot of class abilities and spell access.

EDIT: I just wanted to make it clear that I didn't mean this post to come across as a complaint, or anything. I really appreciate you listening, and you seem to be hearing our input and really taking it to heart. My response was just more focused on (potential) problems because I figured that's the area where comments are needed; the rest of the stuff all looks great. Thanks again for your work and attention.

Contributor

Cheapy wrote:
Where were Jason's comments on the Lore Warden?

Oops, sorry. Some context.

I asked him if he agreed with Sean this afternoon on Facebook. He did, but I wasn't expecting any different. They're a team, after all.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For comment number four, how about combining the familiar alterations and manifesting fluff currently in play? I think both ideas bring some really great flavor to the class, but if the familiar is falling a little flat, those ideas can still be cannibalized. The spirits won't use the animals as a vessel, they use the shaman as a vessel. Instead of having a familiar it would look something like this for the bones spirit:

Quote:

A shaman who selects the bones spirit are cadaverously thin, with sunken eye sockets and dead eyes that stare off into the distance. Their bodies have a faint smell of the grave.

When they use a special ability of this spirit, a strange ghostly wind seems to whip their hair and cloths about, and their unpleasant stench grows more prominent. The shaman ghostly glows and seems nearly transparent. The shaman is under the effects of a blur spell for a number or rounds equal to the shaman’s class level.

If desired, what triggers the effect could be more specific. Instead of special ability, perhaps specify hex or spell.


That reminds me.....
I did like the fluff descriptions of possible appearance for a shaman working with specific types of spirits.

It's not as fleshed out as oracle curses...but really add's flavor to your spirit choices ;)

Grand Lodge

Well one would expect that the different spirit choices are different "types" of spirits.

The fire, wave, wind and stone spirits being elemental spirits ect ect ect.

I think a lot of the problem is that this class, the name, and the concept can be executed in SO many ways.

I like the idea of the fetish alot, but I'm not sure it should be a direct gateway to hex like abilities.

Level 1: Pick animal or fetish, animal is a wizards familiar that grants access to hexes. Fetish gives hexes and [Blank]?

Kinda like a wizard choosing his bond...


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

1. The more I think about it, the more this class needs a unique spell list. I am also thinking that your spirit choices should play a bigger part in augmenting this list.

2. The familiar took a step toward a spirit animal concept, but I dont think that goes quite far enough. I am beginning to think that it might need to go off in a different direction.

3. The witch definitely needs a bigger impact on this class. I am starting to think that hexes (which might be renamed) need to play a bigger role in general. I like the idea of a base list of hexes available to all, with the spirits augmenting that list.

4. Taken together, I think this means that the shaman has a lot of base components, many of which get more heavily augmented by the spirits chosen.

5. As a small aside, try not to get too hung up on real world "shamans" and similar terms. We are drawing some inspiration there, but I don't think emulating any of them directly is a good idea for the game. We are shooting for something a little closer to the fantasy understanding of the term.

Yes to all of that. :)


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Maybe the class could be made more witchy by making the patron mechanic present/stronger in it.

Perhaps each Shaman chooses a patron, this patron then gives access to a number of spirit companions, and the wandering companion could have to be chosen from the same list.

Ex: Have a knowledge patron and they would grant access to lore, heavens, death.

Or maybe it might work better to choose a spirit companion and then hat companion is tied to a limited number of patrons which are chosen at creation.

Ex: Say you want a lore spirit, the patrons associated with it could be things like knowledge, time, heavens, wisdom ect...

This could also allow for some interesting archetypes allowing mixing and matching of different companions with different patrons.

I also think the shaman needs more hexes, either through feats or class feature. But I do love hexes so maybe I'm being unreasonable.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I care more about playing a fun character than making it tied to Witch, so I'd rather not start restricting spirits by patrons.

As it stands, you can take the Extra Hex feat. Shaman meets all the prerequisites.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I thought the entire point if this class was to be a witch/oracle hybrid. I also believe that Jason wanted more witch in it. Just trying to brainstorm some ideas.

I wonder what would happen if we made the spirit companion the patron? That could be really cool witch flavor and increase the importance of the familiar.


I absolutely love the flavor of the Shaman, and can't wait to see the full class realized. However, I think there is a real opportunity being missed here to fill one of the last vacant niches in the class lineup.

CASTERS
Full arcane (prepared) - Wizard
Full arcane (spontaneous) - Sorcerer
Full divine (prepared) - Cleric
Full divine (spontaneous) - Oracle
Full nature (prepared) - Druid
Full nature (spontaneous) - ?????

HALF-CASTERS
Half-Divine - Inquisitor
Half Arcane - Magus
Half Nature - Hunter ***

QUARTER-CASTERS
Quarter divine - Paladin
Quarter nature - Ranger
Quarter arcane - Bloodrager (limited spell list, but still close)

On top of these options we've got various hybrid type casters that snipe from different lists or mix and match like the bard, the witch, the summoner, etc. The one real gap that is still completely unfilled, however, is the spontaneous full nature caster.

I'd love to see the class features and abilities of the shaman stay the same, but change the spell usage and progression to a sorcerer or oracle setup and let spells be spontaneous.

***
NOTE: Not trying to open a min/maxing discussion on how spontaneous casters are terrible or any of that sort of thing. I know lots of people either love or hate prepared/spontaneous casting. I'm just talking about filling a needed niche in the game.
***


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Just because there's a vacancy doesn't mean it's a good idea to fill it. (We also don't have any d6 classes with no magic.) Consider the Druid spell list. Go through, and try to pick the spells that you would want to cast every. Single. Day. Several times a day. Sorcerer gets Sleep or Color Spray. Oracle gets Bless. Druid gets… Entangle? Gonna suck if you're, say, on a boat. Or in a dungeon. It's not a spell list I'd ever want to cast from spontaneously because most of the spells are pretty situational.

(I should note that I love spontaneous casters, other than their slow start. Sorcerer is one of my all-time favorite classes, and Oracle is my favorite divine caster.)


Would "Animal Spirits" be limited to only animals? I was thinking small elementals would be really cool too. Wind, Earth, Fire, Water elemental spirits along with your customary nature spirits.

201 to 250 of 348 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Advanced Class Guide Playtest / Class Discussion / Revised Shaman Discussion All Messageboards