Revised Shaman Discussion


Class Discussion

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Also, Question: Should the Shaman be able to get Pages/Rings of Spell Knowledge of other Spirits to be able to cast in their Spontaneous Spirit slot? That's pretty limited honestly, but at least for low level spells it seems something that might be nice at least for utility.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Doesn't the Nature Spirit have a hex or ability that uses wisdom instead of des for AC? That would allow a person to make a nice mêlée build.

Say 20 point buy and before racial modifiers

str 14
dex 8
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 16
Chr 12

You could dump dex and int more if needed to get a higher charisma. Put your racial into wisdom and you are good to go.


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Another thought that occurred to me as I'm playing with abilities I feel are "must have" for a shaman.

What about something that allows them to deal with "haunts" better than most.
Maybe something that allows them to disable haunts the way a rouge would disable traps ???

It certainly fit's the theme :)


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
nighttree wrote:
Hrothgar The Spirit Caller wrote:

I see the mechanical validity of "Hex or Revelation" but it doesn't fit the design template.

That template being.

"Some from this, some from that, one new"

Take a look at the Arcanist...which they have done at job by the way. It really isn't following that template.

They used the Sorcerer and Wizard as a "jumping off point" to create something new...and that's how I feel it should be.

I agree with this approach. Perhaps if the base Shaman spell list consisted of only those core spells to define the envisioned nature of the class - such as divination, healing, blessings, curses, and otherworldly spirit manipulations... Then the selection of a spiritual path (nature, ancestors, The Great Beyond, elements, etc.) could provide access to a more specialized smaller list of spells and powers, similar to an Oracle's mystery. Each path could have a set of iconic spirit guides associated with it, such as the animal totems, Loa, elementals, fey creatures, etc. Choosing your spirit guide provides access to a specific set of spells and abilities, similar to a Witch's patron. The current Wandering concept could be restructured and restricted to a single path. The guide can further help define how you interact with other spirits - binding, coercing, banishing, allying, etc. The guide defines how you gain your power, the path determines your destination - your "capstone". I dislike the idea of tying the power of this class to a "combat companion", like a Druid's animal companion. I can see that option as an archetype for the class, but not a requirement.


nighttree wrote:

Another thought that occurred to me as I'm playing with abilities I feel are "must have" for a shaman.

What about something that allows them to deal with "haunts" better than most.
Maybe something that allows them to disable haunts the way a rouge would disable traps ???

Archetype only please. Some of us don't touch haunts with a ten foot pole. Great idea! But the implementation can be anywhere between amazing thing that adds to the adventure and TPK machine... kinda' like traps.

Trapfinding has a lot of criticisms itself.


MrSin wrote:
nighttree wrote:

Another thought that occurred to me as I'm playing with abilities I feel are "must have" for a shaman.

What about something that allows them to deal with "haunts" better than most.
Maybe something that allows them to disable haunts the way a rouge would disable traps ???

Archetype only please. Some of us don't touch haunts with a ten foot pole. Great idea! But the implementation can be anywhere between amazing thing that adds to the adventure and TPK machine... kinda' like traps.

Trapfinding has a lot of criticisms itself.

+1


MrSin wrote:
On the other hand, the familiar, especially for the witch, is something too precious to be used for most people.

Solved with a stone familiar. Sure, you still have to wait and replace the animal, but you don't lose your spells.


haunts sounds good to me...

next is a class-specific back slot item with attached rod shooting ectoplasm to trap ghosts into a little box.

no, seriously, dealing with undead, demonic infestations, trickster fey, and extraplanar abominations should be this guy's piece of cake.


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MrSin wrote:
nighttree wrote:

What about something that allows them to deal with "haunts" better than most.

Maybe something that allows them to disable haunts the way a rouge would disable traps ???
Archetype only please. Some of us don't touch haunts with a ten foot pole. Great idea! But the implementation can be anywhere between amazing thing that adds to the adventure and TPK machine... kinda' like traps.

Depends on the implementation. I don't think there needs to be something UBER specific on a haunt mechanism, but you can look at Rage Prophet (ALSO 'SPIRIT' THEME CLASS) and see they happen to get bonuses vs. an array of creatures like Fey, Undead, Outsiders, and Incorporeal creatures. Something similarly broad, but tuned to be useful for Caster purposes more than Martial could do wonders with this Class. (I would say the same list of Creature Types is appropriat here, worded to be applicable to Haunts... and I would also include Possessions by Demons etc)


Buri wrote:
MrSin wrote:
On the other hand, the familiar, especially for the witch, is something too precious to be used for most people.
Solved with a stone familiar. Sure, you still have to wait and replace the animal, but you don't lose your spells.

You also have to pay to get the stone familiar, replace the familiar, and its a Band-Aid. I don't like Band-Aids that I have to pay for myself. I like fixes. Other casters have to pay to have the familiar removed, and in both cases you lose the benefits of having it in the first place. The point was that its hard to send the sucker out, and that it is not so expendable you should consider doing it regularly.

Quandary wrote:
no, seriously, dealing with undead, demonic infestations, trickster fey, and extraplanar abominations should be this guy's piece of cake.

Imo, that's best left to an archetype. I always thought archetypes should do the specific stuff better rather than make the core specific and hope for archetypes that do what you want. If the core is versatile it allows more players to meet their concept.


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Rage Prophet gets scaling Guidance vs. Fey, Outiders, Undead, Incorporeal.
That is a "competence bonus on a single attack roll, saving throw, or skill check".
With Shaman we don't need the attack roll, so it could be on Caster Level Checks, and also include Ability Checks along with Saves & Skills?
(not to mention any mechanics more creative than aping Guidance/Rage Prophet Spirit Guide)


Quandary wrote:

Rage Prophet gets scaling Guidance vs. Fey, Outiders, Undead, Incorporeal.

That is a "competence bonus on a single attack roll, saving throw, or skill check".
With Shaman we don't need the attack roll, so it could be on Caster Level Checks, and also include Ability Checks along with Saves & Skills?
(not to mention anything more creative)

I wouldn't mind seeing an archetype that specializes in banishing malign spirits myself. The power to bypass SR, banish, and control are all viable in some way or another. Even command other spirits to do combat like pokemon... Okay, maybe not the last one, we don't have to be that crazy.


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I would say that set of enemies is precisely the core competency of a traditional definition of Shaman, dealing with Haunts, Possessions, magical Fey/Outsider beings, and malevolent spellcasters.

EDIT: Kami and Yokai should also be included amongst the Fey/Outsiders.

I would say that Shaman should always have access to Outsider languages, Sylvan, Senzor (Kami/Yokai), and Aklo.

EDIT2: That dealing with a potentially broad array of malevolent casters is within their core competency reinforces to me that getting spells from relatively wide sources: Druid + Cleric + Wizard + Witch, is great... They are unlikely to outshine any of those casters in any one area, but that they can have an unpredictable broad array of tools at their disposal is kind of their schtick, I feel.


Banish:Pokemon! ;-)


MrSin wrote:
You also have to pay to get the stone familiar, replace the familiar, and its a Band-Aid. I don't like Band-Aids that I have to pay for myself. I like fixes. Other casters have to pay to have the familiar removed, and in both cases you lose the benefits of having it in the first place. The point was that its hard to send the sucker out, and that it is not so expendable you should consider doing it regularly.

Like anything else in a character it comes down to build. If you really don't want it to die get an improved familiar with regeneration. Wizards don't get guaranteed protection for their spell books. Don't expect guarantees for your storage mechanism.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I had an idea that might be interesting. What if instead of having class spell list you assembled your spell list using patrons. At level 1 you get a patron, then at level 4 and every 4 levels after you get another patron. And then probably be a spontaneous caster as the spirits are casting and it not you prepping.


Mahtobedis wrote:
I had an idea that might be interesting. What if instead of having class spell list you assembled your spell list using patrons. At level 1 you get a patron, then at level 4 and every 4 levels after you get another patron. And then probably be a spontaneous caster as the spirits are casting and it not you prepping.

This has been suggested before. I think it sounds like an idea that would offer some pretty cool flavor but have the potential to be really troublesome, logistically; if you give patrons enough spells that it isn't crippling at low levels, it's probably going to be broken at high levels.


Mahtobedis wrote:
I had an idea that might be interesting. What if instead of having class spell list you assembled your spell list using patrons. At level 1 you get a patron, then at level 4 and every 4 levels after you get another patron. And then probably be a spontaneous caster as the spirits are casting and it not you prepping.

that's why i suggested what i did, because i don't think anyone is gonna bat an eye at someone casting 8-12 6th level spells a day at 18+ level. it may seems like alot at first glance, but sorcs and wizards can both do more than that.

with all that said, however, this idea does have some merit. knifechief has a point, but i think it could still be pulled off with a bit of adjusting. overall, though, i like the universal plus deity/patron/mystery specific list that seems to be paizo's school of thought for casters. the main benefit is that it let's two members of the same class, even two people who follow the same god/mystery/patron etc. play differently.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I love familiars, and I can see the idea of a spirit animal familiar as awesome, but honestly I could do it better with a wizard.
There are spells that can be used by familiars like Shadow Projection, possibly Possess Object and Magic Jar that I think give a more spirit animal flavor.
If there is a Familiar progression, perhaps these could be abilities it can pick up? Along with the Improved Familar options and Become Animal Companion mentioned earlier?
A 9th level witch can cast Magic Jar. If their familiar can possess animals at 9th it doesn't seem too bad.

I really liked the idea mentioned earlier where the Shaman gets multiple Patrons.


Quandary wrote:

I would say that set of enemies is precisely the core competency of a traditional definition of Shaman, dealing with Haunts, Possessions, magical Fey/Outsider beings, and malevolent spellcasters.

EDIT: Kami and Yokai should also be included amongst the Fey/Outsiders.

I would say that Shaman should always have access to Outsider languages, Sylvan, Senzor (Kami/Yokai), and Aklo.

EDIT2: That dealing with a potentially broad array of malevolent casters is within their core competency reinforces to me that getting spells from relatively wide sources: Druid + Cleric + Wizard + Witch, is great... They are unlikely to outshine any of those casters in any one area, but that they can have an unpredictable broad array of tools at their disposal is kind of their schtick, I feel.

Exactly....

I don't want to have to rely on archetypes and PrC to actually make a shaman..... feel like a shaman.


nighttree wrote:
I don't want to have to rely on archetypes and PrC to actually make a shaman..... feel like a shaman.

Neither do I, which is why I like a more open base class and specific archetypes.


Quandary wrote:

I would say that set of enemies is precisely the core competency of a traditional definition of Shaman, dealing with Haunts, Possessions, magical Fey/Outsider beings, and malevolent spellcasters.

EDIT: Kami and Yokai should also be included amongst the Fey/Outsiders.

I would say that Shaman should always have access to Outsider languages, Sylvan, Senzor (Kami/Yokai), and Aklo.

EDIT2: That dealing with a potentially broad array of malevolent casters is within their core competency reinforces to me that getting spells from relatively wide sources: Druid + Cleric + Wizard + Witch, is great... They are unlikely to outshine any of those casters in any one area, but that they can have an unpredictable broad array of tools at their disposal is kind of their schtick, I feel.

I like the idea of drawing from multiple lists, maybe do something like mystic theurge but as a base class


nighttree wrote:

Exactly....

I don't want to have to rely on archetypes and PrC to actually make a shaman..... feel like a shaman.

I think that any haunt abilities kinda have to be archetype stuff from a game design standpoint. Haunts are an optional ruleset from the Gamemastery guide. If they were core or even APG I'd agree, but they're not, so archetype.


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What about a very limited spell list and spells they can cast but each spirit you connect with, one every few levels based on witch patrons can be called out or summoned as a familiar like being that can cast the spells from the patron list separately from the shaman, so he is making the spirits use their powers rather than relying purely on their own magic.

Though that takes away from the stronger animal companion like spirit that I also really like.

Also having a bonus against haunts if it's included as a part of bonuses against allot of other things of a useful nature as mentioned above should be just fine and is flavorful. Then you don't take up room with an archetype that's useless to most people because it's based purely on something so limited.


KramlmarK wrote:
I think that any haunt abilities kinda have to be archetype stuff from a game design standpoint. Haunts are an optional ruleset from the Gamemastery guide. If they were core or even APG I'd agree, but they're not, so archetype.

You have a point there :(

We use them, so I had forgotten they are optional.

They would need to be more of an "In addition to" thing.

Although I still think the shaman needs a suite of abilities dealing with spirits...like spirit sight, spirit touch, etc....specific to the shaman class itself.

Shadow Lodge

I would suggest that for the Nature Spirit the Nature's Whispers ability be bumped up to a hex, meaning the soonest it could be chosen is L2.

Currently it is based on the Oracle's Nature Revelation (and/or Sidestep Revelation from Lore Mystery). While the Oracle revelation is selectable at L1, the Oracle comes part and parcel with a curse, which mitigates any advantage from a one level dip. However, a WIS based class could dip one level in Shaman for a pretty nifty ability with very little downside. By bumping it up to a hex, it is a two-level commitment and deters dipping.

If it stays as is, it becomes one-level "must dip" for monks as they can dump dex and pump WIS (for WIS + WIS on AC and WIS + STR on CMD). And god-forbid they be they Sensei or Zen Archer archetypes.

(note the Sensei gets WIS for +hit at L2 and the Zen Archer at L3)

As it is, my Monk 7/Inquisitor 1 who uses WIS AC (monk), +hit (Zen Archer), social skills (Conversion/Infiltrator) and disable device (Wisdom in the Flesh) could take one level of Shaman and boost his AC to near frontline tank levels.

Basically, it can lead to the old 3.5 dip-a-bunch-of-things.

Dark Archive

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Starfinder Superscriber
KramlmarK wrote:
nighttree wrote:

Exactly....

I don't want to have to rely on archetypes and PrC to actually make a shaman..... feel like a shaman.
I think that any haunt abilities kinda have to be archetype stuff from a game design standpoint. Haunts are an optional ruleset from the Gamemastery guide. If they were core or even APG I'd agree, but they're not, so archetype.

This would be very useful to those that play in PFS. The writers' for the scenarios seem to love throwing haunts in them.


DragoDorn wrote:
KramlmarK wrote:
nighttree wrote:

Exactly....

I don't want to have to rely on archetypes and PrC to actually make a shaman..... feel like a shaman.
I think that any haunt abilities kinda have to be archetype stuff from a game design standpoint. Haunts are an optional ruleset from the Gamemastery guide. If they were core or even APG I'd agree, but they're not, so archetype.
This would be very useful to those that play in PFS. The writers' for the scenarios seem to love throwing haunts in them.

Actually there aren't that many with haunts. I've only run into 5 of them myself in PFS play, and they weren't the interesting add to the story kind either, they were the exact same as a trap that does damage and you forget about type.


"Shaman may not have the witch's mechanics, but it certainly nails the witch's theme. Witches barter with patrons. Shaman barter with spirits. The witch is definitely in this class." [/QUOTE wrote:

I agree that it's in there as a theme, but the mechanics are completely missing and take out "Barter with spirits" and the familiar, make it a normal animal companion and "friend of spirits" and you've got druid/oracle completely. The mechanics need to match the theme and feel, otherwise they clash.

Grand Lodge

I think only nature spirit shamen should get a full on animal companion.

What I would like to see is a class with a familiar that isn't "OMG KEEP IT HIDDEN OR IT WILL DIE!"

Familiars are dreadfully difficult to keep around if you start using the for anything other than providing alertness -_-

Class abilities that 1: Make it hard to kill your spirit animal, given that it should be an outsider and thus impossible to kill outside its home plane and 2: make the familiar capable of getting some of those nifty familiar feats that Paizo put out like spell sponge.

That way it could survive, be useful as a delivery agent for hexes and powers, and not get gacked instantly for it.


Yo, uh, if you're planning on giving it a unique spell list, let's maybe give it better support than the bloodrager's trainwreck of unique list?

Silver Crusade

My short test with a stone/life shaman, level 6, I had fun, but the touch should scale, maybe add a hinder effect, or rounds per level, aside the additional damage, or be able to choose added damage or hindered?

Loved having a familiar choose improved and picked earth elemental, he worked for some things, like touching spells! As a party buffer/healer it was useful to stay out of range, and have pet do the touching

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think Shaman's inability to deal with haunts should be addressed. These are THE spirit guys after all.


they can deal with haunts currently the same way that all divine casters can, namely positive energy. assuming that they notice it (perception is super useful) and can act before it, they can neutralize it with positive energy. haunts have hp=2x their cr, with no save for half on positive energy. on average, a cr 5 haunt should be neutralized by a cure mod doing average damage. and that's only assuming that one person made the perception check and beat it in init.

Haunts suck, but I've only ever seen one character die to one, and that was due to poor dice rolls more than anything else.

Scarab Sages

Okay so the wording for Spirit Animal is as fallows:
"A spirit animal is a creature chosen by a shaman to commune with her spirit and grant her special powers. This is treated as a familiar, and it uses the same rules as the wizard’s arcane bond class feature except as noted below. A shaman uses her level as her effective wizard level when determining the abilities of her spirit animal. A shaman can select any familiar available to wizards to serve as her spirit animal, although her spirit animal is augmented by the power of her chosen spirit (as noted below). Once selected, the spirit animal cannot be changed. Although a shaman’s spirit animal uses the statistics of a specific animal, it is treated as an outsider with the native subtype for the purposes of spells and abilities that affect it."

Does this mean that the creatures on the Improved Familiar list are viable options as well because they are technically available to wizards (though be it they have to take a feat for it for wizards) with out having to take the feat?

Would really appreciate it if a Developer weighed in on this, because right now it is a topic of debate between me and a few other friends that are play-testing shamans.

Dark Archive

The class feels empty and dead to me for a long time. We get a hex at level 2 and cannot get another till level 6. Yes, I know they get access to 2 new spel levels and wandering spirit ability between but it still deals a little dead on class features. I also dislike that the first spirits we choose from require us to go unroll level 8 before we can get anything from them again. Can extra hex or wondering hex get us another hex from our primary spirit faster then level 8?

I feel That the vast majority of hexs are so poor that they were not even worth the time to read. Reminds me how summoners/eidolons have a reputation for being easy to pick optimal options because it is so clear to differentiate between powerful versus garbage. I only like 4 hexes in the whole document. Two from battle: battle master & eyes of battle. Ok, I will give battle ward an honerable mention. I also loved brain drain & life leach, even though both of those are very weak with a will save to negate and such a slow scaling rate, the benifit sounds great. I hope you make more of these options worth while.

The druid list sounds like.it might be interesting. It would be.nice to have another caster on that list, so darn many wiz/clr list casters already.

Please remove that horrible joke of stabilizing 6 people at a time.

I really do not care for most of the.class but definitely want to play it at least once using the.hexes mentioned about with a heirloom reach weapon. So even though I think poorly of most of the.class, I do want to play it once. Other than warpriest, I am not interested in Amy of the others, at leSt not more than maybe a level dip or two of them.


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I'm going to combine a couple of the ideas tossed around in this thread and try to put them together into something cohesive.

This shaman starts with a ½ BAB a d6 hit dice and a very limited spell list (only those spells particularly thematic to the most basic idea of a shaman, communing with spirits, divining the future and tending to spiritual and physical ills, everything else is added by the spirits chosen, see spirit magic). But don't worry! She has a variety of ways to expand on each of those to become a very versatile class able to cast potent spells or mix it up in melee as needed.

Shaman:

Spirit
At first level the Shaman makes a pact with one of the various spirits that inhabit the world, chosen from the list of spirits, gaining additional spells, boons and hexes associated with that spirit.

Spirit Magic
Each spirit from the list below lists three witch patrons associated with that spirit. The Shaman adds all spells from those listed for the patrons to her spell list. When the Shaman gains the Wandering Spirit class feature she may select one patron from her primary spirit and replace it with one of those from her wandering spirit. She otherwise prepares spells as a divine caster.

Spirit Pact
This pact can manifest in one of four different forms chosen from the list below. At 1st level and every four levels there after (4th, 8th, 12th) up to 12th level the Shaman can select an additional pact. The Shaman can only maintain one pact at a time until she gains the Wandering Pact class feature. Beginning a pact is a full round action as the Shaman channels her chosen spirit into one of the following forms. The pact ends immediately if the hit points of the spirits current form are reduced to zero, if that happens the Shaman can no longer summon the spirit into that form until the next time she rests and prepares her spells. The Shaman may end any of the pacts herself as a free action, but the next time she summons her spirit in that form it remains at the same hit points until she rest and prepares spells.

Spirit Companion
When the Shaman selects this pact she gains a spirit companion. This companion takes the form of a familiar as chosen from the list of wizard familiars with some additional abilities based on the chosen spirit. If the spirit companion is attacked or attacks a foe it immediately grows into a dangerous malevolent spirit as described in the individual spirits below. While in it's malevolent form it retains all of the special abilities and it's intelligence score but has all of the statistics and abilities of the form describe by the spirit. (Ex: Nature gets an animal companion, Elemental Shamans get an elemental that grows in size with level, Battle gets an ancestor spirit somewhat like spiritual ally, Bones gets an undead companion, and so on.)

Spirit Infusion
When the Shaman selects this pact she learns to channel her spirit into herself allowing her to enter combat with the protection of her spirit. The Shaman gains a number of temporary hit-points equal to her wisdom modifier + 2 times her Shaman level. While these temporary hit-points last she gains an insight bonus on attack rolls equal to ¼ of her Shaman level (minimum 1). She also gains any bonuses granted by the spirit she is using for this pact.

Wild Spirits
When the Shaman selects this pact she asks the greater spirit she has bonded with to send several of it's lesser servants to assist her. These take lesser spirits have the base statistics of a familiar for a Wizard of equal level except that it only has hit-points equal to twice the Shamans level. Unlike the other pacts summoning one of these lesser spirits only takes a standard action. There are three lesser spirits, one for each of the patrons associated with the spirit. Each spirit must be summoned separately and the pact only ends when all three of the lesser spirits have been reduced to zero or fewer hit points or the summoner decides to end the pact. If one of the spirits is killed she cannot re-summon it until the next day.
Each of the lesser spirits can act as a conduit for the Shamans magic, she can cast spells with the range of touch through them and cast hexes from their locations. The lesser spirits also have the ability to cast a single spell from their patron's spell list once per day of a level no higher than one below the highest level the Shaman knows. This improves to twice per day at 10th level and three times per day at 15th level. The Shaman must be at least 5th level to select this pact.

Spirit Fetishes
When the Shaman selects this pact she learns to create special fetishes and totems that allow her to manipulate the power of her spirits to better suit her will. These fetishes are temporary creations that can be made using found objects and the various unsundries found in a spell pouch. They can take the form of masks, headdresses, jewelery, elaborate war paints, bundles of feathers and fur hanging from the Shaman or her weapons or any other simple creation to please the spirits.
When she first selects this pact the Shaman learns one metamagic feat that she qualifies for. When preparing spells for the day the Shaman can create a fetish associated the that feat and with a single patron associated with her spirit.
While maintaining this pact the Shaman may sacrifice any spell of an equal or greater level to spontaneously cast a spell from the patron's spell list. The Shaman can choose to use the metamagic feat chosen for the fetish with this spell. If she does the casting time is not extended and the spell level increased by the metamagic feat is reduced by one (this does not stack with any other metamagic reducing abilities except spell perfection and can never lower a spells level).
At 7th level and again at 13th level the Shaman can create one new fetish, learning a new metamagic feat with each one. Each fetish must be associated with a different patron. She can change the patron associated with the fetishes each morning when she prepares her spells.
(There should then be some bit here about the fetishes hit points but I don't have a good grasp of hardness vs. object hit-points vs. sundering rules to know how it should probably work. This is the one pact that should be the least likely be broken by enemies throughout the day so that the Shaman can always default back to being a potent caster.)

TLDR:
The Shaman gets four pacts to select from as she levels, infusing her spirit into her companion, her self, her items or into several wild spirits each letting her take on a different role but only lasting as long as the spirit can maintain that form.

Comments:
Each of these four pacts could be expanded on with an archetype that gets rid of the other three pacts and just focuses on the one. This would let players who really want to focus on one aspect of the Shaman be just that while letting the base Shaman be very versatile in it's play style. It should be relatively safe from dipping due to the pacts scaling with level. This would all then be in addition to various spirit power and hexes from the different individual spirits which would have to be balanced in kind. I'm hoping those powers start to move away from the oracle revelations they're associated with and really come into their own.


Vrog Skyreaver wrote:

they can deal with haunts currently the same way that all divine casters can, namely positive energy. assuming that they notice it (perception is super useful) and can act before it, they can neutralize it with positive energy. haunts have hp=2x their cr, with no save for half on positive energy. on average, a cr 5 haunt should be neutralized by a cure mod doing average damage. and that's only assuming that one person made the perception check and beat it in init.

Haunts suck, but I've only ever seen one character die to one, and that was due to poor dice rolls more than anything else.

Speaking of perception, why was it pulled from the class skill list on the revised document? I am assuming it was for mechanics and not flavor?

@Wolfism, I like the flexibility and customization you have suggested.


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.

I agree. I wrote an idea in line with this up thread, but I'm not sure how to expand on it at this point. The only change I might suggest is that the idea of benevolent spirits/spells vs. malevolent spirits/spells doesn't necessarily have to be tied to the Shaman's alignment of good vs. evil. It could be separate, so you can have good shaman who associate with malevolent spirits and are more offensive and vengeance driven, while you may have evil shaman who associate with benevolent spirits to provide boons for their minions.

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 never liked the idea of a Shaman having a Witch-like familiar. It just doesn't feel like a "spirit animal" to me. Instead I think the Shaman should pick an animal from a mix of more Druid/Ranger-like animal companion type animals as well as familiar type animals. However, I don't think the animal should be a physical animal at all but rather an actual spiritual animal. This spirit could still guide the Shaman in spell selection for the day, much like the Witch's familiar might; however it won't be a physical creature. As the Shaman grows in power this Spirit Animal could grant them different boons, buffs, protections and so forth rather than gaining the typical animal companion or familiar progressions.

The list to me should include things like: Ape, Baboon, Jaguar, Leopard, Bear, Elk, Fox, Wolf, Eagle, Owl, Roc, Boar, Horse, Deer, Badger, Rabbit, Mongoose, Snakes (viper/constrictor), Hyena, Mountain Lion, Etc... This is, of course, not an exhausted list. Also the list could be divided into two sets, one set of animals which typically associate with benevolent spirits and a separate list for animals which typically associate with malevolent spirits. There could even be a third list of neutral animals that may be selected as a spirit animal guide by both benevolent and malevolent Shaman.

And perhaps when the Shaman reaches a certain level the spirit animal can grant more powerful abilities based on whether it's a more animal companion type creature or a more familiar type creature. Perhaps Shaman with larger spirit animals can have an X/per day ability to summon their Spirit Animal as a true, physical manifestation of itself to help them in combat, much like an animal companion, for a number of rounds. Perhaps Shaman with smaller familiar type animals could gain an X/per day ability that grants a significant boon, for instance the rabbit could grant Haste X/per day for X rounds. Additionally the Shaman might learn to "Scry" through their Spirit Animals senses as they gain more levels.

This is obviously a rough idea but it might be a good direction for the Spirit Animal to take.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
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.

You could rename the Shaman's hexes to Totems, Charms, Jinxes, or Runes.

...

Voodoo: You could introduce the Shaman's hex ability as a new-ish mechanic only loosely based on the Witch's hexes. Bring it in as Voodoo and have them carry around two or more fetish items (spell focus) such as voodoo dolls, one representing themselves and allies for boons/charms and another representing enemies for curses/jinxes. A neutral or base list of Voodoo boons and curses could be taught to every Shaman as part of their tradition and a more unique/specific sets of benevolent boons and malevolent curses could be taught to them by the spirits they associate with.

...

Another alternate, rather than voodoo, could be to introduce the Shaman's hex ability as a direct function of the spirits they associate with. What I mean by that is, not only do the spirits teach hexes to the Shaman, they actually ARE the hexes. For instance, benevolent spirits might be compelled by the Shaman to envelope the Shaman or his ally in a protective manner, acting almost like a guardian angel. This would grant a protective or buffing boon of some sort, a positive hex. On the other hand a malevolent spirit might be compelled by the Shaman to possess an enemy, crippling their mind or body in various ways creating the curses and negative, witch-like, hexes.

There could still be a neutral or base list of hexes taught to every Shaman uppon initiation. This base list could represent boons and curses the Shaman is able to use by tapping into the power of their OWN spirit. Or the spirits of dead relatives.

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 still think a choice of benevolent vs melevolent should be made at creation. This should affect their spell list, as well as their list of boons or hexes. I also still think the Wandering Spirit and Wandering Hex abilities are excellent bridges between the two sides once a Shaman has become powerful enough to resist the influence of the other side. This would allow a benevolent Shaman to associate with a malevolent spirit or a malevolent Shaman to associate with a benevolent spirit.

Grand Lodge

Can my spirit animal be Adam West?

Please?

Purty please?

I love the idea of a spirit animal.

I don't think it should be as overtly powerful as an animal companion, but still strong enough to assist in the shaman doing his thing.

It should be able to deliver touch spells and hexes, but not have the physical stats and offensive power of the druid pet.

Sort of halfway between familiar and animal companion.

He can throw down, but not for long, and he has the utility of the familiar.


Hrothgar The Spirit Caller wrote:
Can my spirit animal be Adam West?

Yes. Alternatively you could always make your spirit animal a bat.

Oh! You mean this shaman? Who knows. An intelligent animal companion doesn't sound too bad to me. One of the weird things about moving from familiar to animal companions is that your spirit guide just got a whole lot dumber.


I hadn't even noticed that. Assumed you kept all the familiar abilities on top of the animal companion stuff, but gods that's ugly.


I support dropping BAB and HD to 1/2 and d6 (dropping Armor to Light?), with a corrolary strengthening of the general casting and other magical abilities.

As part of that, I think the spell-list can be improved alot, broadening it's range to perhaps approximate a 'single class Mystic Theurge' (as somebody here put it). Using Druid as the base to add to seems fine, but I think adding more Wizard spells (including non-Witch) is the priority, mostly utility type ones (Etherealness, Plane Shift, See Invisible), but Ennervation and Soul Jar type spells also seem apropo. More Witch spells could also be added, and even some more Cleric ones as well.

As far as the Spirits, I don't think adding spells to the list needs to be a major goal of the Spirit mechanic, I'd prefer if their non-spell abilities were buffed/expanded and remain a major aspect... I see a problem in aiming for each Spirit to add lots of spells to the spell list, in that coming up with a large amount of thematically relevant spells for each Spirit, that are balanced with other Spirits, may not be easy. (and that is amplified if and when any new, future Spirits are published)

As far as their Spontaneous Casting, I think it is fine if some of the Spontaneous Spirit Spells in fact ARE on the normal Shaman list, just like some Bloodline/Domain spells are on their respective lists... That keeps the focus on the inherent benefit of Spontaneous Casting, even if that spell is already on the base list (I'm fine with allowing a few spells from off-list, like Domains/Bloodlines, but I don't think it needs to be every spell they do for every spell level).

I do think the Ethereal Ghost Familiar thing, with one for each Spirit (such that you get multiple Familiars) feels cool... Regardless, the current RAW where their power is so hugely effected by death of a single Familiar needs to be addressed.


Probably a little late, but whatever.

I like the class on paper.

I don't see the witch in here beyond the revelations that have been rebranded as hexes and the fact that you can't prep spells without your familiar. Coming from playing a witch, the hexes that are available don't feel very witchy to me.

Maybe that's something for an archetype, I don't know.


Looks like the playtest is wrapping up.

I'm a strange mix of excited and concerned to see what happens with this class next fall....it's gunna be a LONG wait.


I do believe that paizo will improve the shaman , the revised version was better than the first one. Simply by :

- lowering BAB to 1/2
- keeping d8
- and light armor only

would be great for the class and make shaman more ''witch-like'' because atm i do not see the witch part a lot

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

Hey there Folks,

As the playtest wraps up, I just want to say thanks to the folks in this thread for all of your ideas and feedback on the Shaman. I am still combing through comments (and will be for days), and I am excited to showcase the final version when this book is released in August.

Thanks again

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


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Since this is the last opportunity, I'd like to repeat my comments.

1) I really like the core mechanics for the class. Spirits feel like they're similar to parent class features but are different enough to be something new and interesting.
2) The hexes have swings in actual utility and don't feel like Witch Hexes at all. These need more work, and some of the traditional Witch options should be integrated into various Spirits.
3) The elemental spirits are kinda dull, and I could really see a single elemental spirit sufficing for this role (similar to the Draconic bloodline). I'd really like to see some Witch Patrons as spirits, and some of these could combine easily with Oracle Mysteries. Ancestors, for instance, springs to mind.
4) I understand the reasons why printing new spell lists would be problematic, but I honestly feel that the Shaman needs one more than the Bloodrager does.

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