Breaking all the Shaman APG rules


Rules Questions


Just to get some attention in the FAQ on Shaman rules:

Extra/Split/Etc hexes used by Shamans?

Yes or No on Improved Familiar?

Unsworn shaman lack Hex as a class ability yet can take hexes from the witch and various spirits as they level, per the RAW. Do they ever get to select Shaman hexes?

Unsworn can technically take new spirits of the same type but of different variables every day. On Day one I can summon my Lore Armidillo with (CHA bonus wizard/sorceror) spells and the next day my Lore Hawk with a different inventory of spells. Great variety but extended bookkeeping. I can also summon as level allows multiple of the same spirit type, Minor Battle, Wandering Battle, etc.

5th level Shaman spell "Imbue Hex" allows a hex to be transferred to the touched party. If I cast Secret or Fetish Hex upon myself, is the duration forever since its technically a feat or is it a one shot nelly?
"Once it uses the hex, the spell ends (though any effects of the hex still last for the full duration)"

If I use this with Secret, cast Imbue Hex:Secret/Toppling on myself with an intention of someday having a need for Toppling, I could have one shot of every metamagic ability, with the only restriction being the level of spell slot used.

Within the same vein, with my Unsworn having multiple familiars I could put Imbue on them with my underused witch/shaman/spirit-wandering hexes and have them available as well.


Ugh, my original post got eaten. So this is an even shorter version:

Extra Hex - Yes, its in the ACG. Note that RAW you can only get Spirit Hexes with it. Note - Unsworn don't qualify.

Split Hex - No. Requires 10th level Witch.

Accursed Hex - Yes, Shaman's have the Hex Class feature. Note - Unsworn don't qualify.

Unsworn never gets Shaman Hexes. It is a terrible Archetype. You also never get Spirit Hexes, so you can never do Arcane Enlightenment tricks. Again, terrible archetype.

Imbue Hex + Secret or Fetish - This requires an FAQ. RAW is murky and uncertain here. Once again, note that Unsworn never gets flexible Shaman list hexes. That being said, regular Shamans never get flexible Shaman Hexes either, just flexible Spirit Hexes via Wandering Hex and Spirit Talker.

The real FAQ question for Shamans is:

Does the Human/Half Orc/Half Elf favored class bonus that adds Cleric spells to spells known, run afoul the Spells Known FAQ.

Hope this helps.


My post was to list and clarify glaring rules issues regarding Shamans as I've noticed them in play so far. Since I've been playing an Unsworn, my GM(And I) have had to almost entirely rewrite the archetype. Errors in game design and language within the class deserve clarification.
Unsworn Shamans technically can gain flexibility via variety in summonng every day a different minor/wandering spirit.
In that vein, there are no "unsummoning" spirits or related skill, apparently they have to be slain or eaten by their betters for you to resummon them the next morning. They can be kept past the next days rest period.
Also, no clarity on scale and construction of Minor or Wandering Spirits if they vary from traditional Shaman spirits (Familiars).
My point with existing feats such as Split Hex is that as the Shaman is a derivative of Witch and Oracle, the ACG should state that either existing feats can or cant be used by Hybrids related to the main class.


If it has the line saying "count brawler as monk levels and fighter levels for feats and etc..." then they can be used. If you have the ability like "Hex class feature" then you can have feats with that prereq. If you don't have the line or the ability than you can't take those feats. I don't know what feats you're still having problems deciding if you can use it, but if you'd like to share those we can look into it.


Heimdall666 wrote:

My post was to list and clarify glaring rules issues regarding Shamans as I've noticed them in play so far. Since I've been playing an Unsworn, my GM(And I) have had to almost entirely rewrite the archetype. Errors in game design and language within the class deserve clarification.

Unsworn Shamans technically can gain flexibility via variety in summonng every day a different minor/wandering spirit.
In that vein, there are no "unsummoning" spirits or related skill, apparently they have to be slain or eaten by their betters for you to resummon them the next morning. They can be kept past the next days rest period.
Also, no clarity on scale and construction of Minor or Wandering Spirits if they vary from traditional Shaman spirits (Familiars).
My point with existing feats such as Split Hex is that as the Shaman is a derivative of Witch and Oracle, the ACG should state that either existing feats can or cant be used by Hybrids related to the main class.

I think you might be very confused. A spirit is not a spirit animal. Your spirit animal does not change every time you get a new spirit. They are different things. An Unsworn Shaman still gets the Spirit Animal class feature (though it will not have any Spirit Abilities at level 1 and only gain them at level 2; see below). It has absolutely nothing to do with your minor Spirit. It only has to do with your Wandering Spirit in the sense that you can pick which Spirit abilities it gains each day. IE. If you pick the Bones spirit as your wandering spirit your Spirit Animal will gain the effect of a constant Blur. If you change your Wandering Spirit to Wind tomorrow, your Spirit Animal will lose the constant Blur from Bones and instead gain the ability to shed light like a candle and Electricity Resistance 10.

I feel I should also note that the Minor Spirits do not require construction; they are just abilities. Ie. your Minor Spirit is the Slumber Hex or Charm Hex. Likewise, Spirits are the Shaman Spirit list and require the same amount of construction as domains, which is to say none. You simply pick the Spirit whose abilities and spirit magic you would like to have each day.

Edit: I feel this might need an example:

Jack is a level 10 Unsworn Shaman. Back at level 1 he got a Spirit Animal, specifically a Racoon named Rocket. It is the start of a new day, so Jack needs to pick his Minor Spirits and his Wandering Spirits.

First, Jack picks his Wandering Spirits. He decides to go with Lore as his first Wandering Spirit and Stone as his second wandering Spirit. Since Jack is level 10 he gets both the regular Spirit Ability for Lore (Monstrous Insight) and the Greater Ability (Automatic Writing). However, Jack only gets the Spirit Ability for the Stone Spirit (Touch of Acid). Jack also has both Spirits list of spells for his Spirit Magic. Jack must now decide which of their Spirit Animal abilities Rocket gets. Jack picks Stone, so Rocket gets DR 5/Adamantine.

Now Jack must pick 3 Minor Spirits (Gained at levels 1,4 and 8). Jack picks the Slumber Hex off the Witch Hex List, the Metal Curse Hex off the Stone Spirit, and the Benefit of Wisdom Hex off the Lore Spirit. These are abilities that can (and must) be reselected each day.

Does that help?

You do not need to rewrite the archetype at all for it to function (see above), but keep in mind that while it is not poorly written, it is a definite downgrade from the regular Shaman for the most part. The only "advantage" is that you get a completely flexible list of Witch Hexes that you can change from day to day and at second level Hexes from your Wandering Spirit. I mispoke up above, Unsworn Shamans do get Wandering Spirit Hexes, so you are good for Arcane Enlightenment tricks. They do not however get access to the Shaman Hex list so no access to Secret or Fetish.

However, do note that you get significantly less hexes; only 6 Flexible Hexes by level 20 compared to a regular Shamn who gets 8 Fixed Hexes and 2 Flexible ones. You are trading literally twice the number of Fixed Hexes to get half the number of Flexible ones. You are also locking yourself out of Extra Hex and Spirit Talker.

All of the rules regarding Unsworn Shamans are pretty clear and do not require any rewriting. However, the archetype is simply not very strong.

I hope that cleared it up some for you.

Grand Lodge

I'd really like to see a FAQ on Improved Familiar. It's a copy/paste from 3.5, and it seems pretty clear that the "Arcane Caster Level" requirement is intended to be "Effective Wizard Level." But it's still ambiguous both ways (whether a non-familiar caster level is meant to qualify, and whether Effective Wizard Levels from a familiar feature is meant to qualify.)


Markov Spiked Chain wrote:
I'd really like to see a FAQ on Improved Familiar. It's a copy/paste from 3.5, and it seems pretty clear that the "Arcane Caster Level" requirement is intended to be "Effective Wizard Level." But it's still ambiguous both ways (whether a non-familiar caster level is meant to qualify, and whether Effective Wizard Levels from a familiar feature is meant to qualify.)

RAW it's not really ambiguous. Only Arcane casters of a certain level can get an Improved Familiar.

Shadow Lodge

I hope Split Hex was an oversight.

John


For the familiar, it seems it's intended to stay a "base familiar ++":

ACG, Shaman wrote:
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. 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.

And it makes sense with the crunch, IMO.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What if they have Improved Familiar from another class?


Heimdall666 wrote:


5th level Shaman spell "Imbue Hex" allows a hex to be transferred to the touched party. If I cast Secret or Fetish Hex upon myself, is the duration forever since its technically a feat or is it a one shot nelly?
"Once it uses the hex, the spell ends (though any effects of the hex still last for the full duration)"

Fetish - Once you craft an item... it ends and if the items requires multiple days to craft, multiple castings should be required I would think.

Secret Hex - again, once you use the meta-magic feat, the duration of the spell ends.

Heimdall666 wrote:


If I use this with Secret, cast Imbue Hex:Secret/Toppling on myself with an intention of someday having a need for Toppling, I could have one shot of every metamagic ability, with the only restriction being the level of spell slot used.

Imbue Hex:

You transfer a single hex you know to the target, and give that target the ability to use the hex. The transferred hex's variable characteristics function according to your level, not the level of the recipient. Only a creature with Intelligence and Wisdom scores of at least 9 can receive this effect. To use this hex, the target must be able to speak and move freely. Once it uses the hex, the spell ends (though any effects of the hex still last for the full duration). You can transfer only a hex—not a major or grand hex—with this ability.

You keep indicating that you gonna use the spell to give yourself the hex, but the spell REQUIRES you to know the hex in order to use it..

IE in order to grant the use of Secret / Toppling you HAVE to know Secret / Toppling.

[Edited to correct typo]


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

But most classes that grant familiars say that you count as a wizard of your level for the purposes of your familiar - I would say that qualifies you for improved familiar in most cases.


Rycaut wrote:
But most classes that grant familiars say that you count as a wizard of your level for the purposes of your familiar - I would say that qualifies you for improved familiar in most cases.

Counting as a wizard allows you the normal advancements for a familiar. That does not grant you an arcane caster level and therefore you do not meet the requirements for most (not all) improved familiars if you are not already an arcane caster.

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