Spirit Guides

As noted in the shaman class description, a starting character begins play with one minor spirit ally or guide of his choice. It’s assumed that he has already performed the rites to summon this first guide.

As he rises in level, he learns to rites necessary to call additional – and more powerful – spirits. More details about spirit guides is provided in this post.

Inverse Dots

Calling Spirits

Through special methods known only to shamans, you can attract a spirit and establish a connection to the being. To call a spirit, you chant, pray, and perform a ceremonial dance for at least 1 turn. Then, a manifestation of the spirit appears to the shaman; you must negotiate with it to become your spirit guide.

During negotiation, you must make a saving throw vs. willpower (this is considered a mind-influencing effect); failure indicates that you have angered the spirit. (Specifically, the spirit’s presence changes your general demeanour, and it can force you to perform or refrain from certain actions.) Whether the spirit is angry or not, you are bound to the spirit and gain the powers that it grants. As long as you are bound to a spirit guide, you manifest a specific physical sign of its presence.

You cannot rid yourself of a spirit guide until at least one full day has passed. Any time after that, you may attempt another saving throw vs. willpower to expel the spirit. If the check fails, you must wait another day before attempting again. You can only have one spirit guide at a time, and you are limited by your shaman level in the power of the spirit summoned (minor, medium, or major).

Inverse Dots

Spirit Descriptions

To a shaman, the physical world is not the entirety of existence; the spirits of animals, nature, and the tribe’s dead are always near, and interacting with these spirits is the shaman’s greatest duty and responsibility.

Ancestor Spirits:

  • Minor: Minor spirits can invoke one of the following powers per day on behalf of the shaman: augury, feign death, prayer, or speak with dead. In addition, the shaman can converse with the spirit, asking one question per shaman level per day.
  • Medium: As per minor ancestor spirit, plus can invoke divination, commune, or find the path.
  • Major: As per medium ancestor spirit, plus can invoke raise dead, forbiddance, or astral spell.

Animal Spirits:

  • Minor: Select an animal type. Animals of the species in question will not attack the shaman. Can cast animal friendship, speak with animals, and animal summoning I, each once per day. These spells only affect animals of the selected type.
  • Medium: Select an animal type. As per minor animal spirit, except replace animal summoning I with animal summoning II and the shaman can see through the eyes of the creatures summoned by the spirit.
    In addition, the spirit can grant the speed or movement powers of the animal (flying, swimming, or running), or transform the shaman into the shape of the animal, similar to a druid’s shapechange.
  • Major: Select an animal type. As per minor animal spirit, except replace animal summoning II with animal summoning III and can cast heal (on the shaman or one person under his protection).
    In addition, the spirit grants the powers of a medium animal spirit and can become tangible and aid the shaman in a form resembling Mordenkainen’s faithful hound.

Nature Spirits:

Spirits of nature work differently than other spirits in that their powers only work in the specific location where they dwell. The strength of the feature that the spirit represents determines whether it is considered a minor, medium, or major spirit. A minor nature spirit may dwell in a particular stream, copse, or hilltop; a medium spirit may claim a river, moderate forest, or canyon; while a major spirit could hold sway over a mountain, large forest, or mighty river.

The specific powers granted by a spirit of nature depend on the terrain type. A shaman may invoke one of these powers per day, as long as he is within the specific territory of that spirit. In addition, the shaman can converse with the spirit, asking one question per shaman level per day.

  • Air Spirits: Air spirits are associated with high peaks, windswept plains or valleys, or seasonal winds such as a chinook or the north wind of the winter.
    They possess the following powers: obscurement, call lightning, gust of wind, wind wall, commune with nature, air walk, control winds, weather summoning, control weather, uncontrolled weather, and windwalk.
  • Land Spirits: Land spirits may be associated with mountains, plains, forests, plateaus, canyons, mesas, or any other distinct land feature.
    They possess the following powers: entangle, pass without trace, dust devil, trip, meld into stone, snare, speak with plants, commune with nature, stone tell, liveoak, wall of thorns, animate rock, and changestaff.
  • Water Spirits: Water spirits are associated with lakes, streams, rivers, or seas.
    They possess the following powers: wall of fog, fog cloud, water breathing, water walk, lower water, solid fog, reflecting pool, commune with nature, part water, and transmute dust to water.

Inverse Dots


About K-Slacker

Gamer and 5th-level magic-user.
This entry was posted in House Rules and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Spirit Guides

  1. K-Slacker says:

    Followers of this gameblog may note that spirit guides are adapted from the pact magic rules that I put together last year. Perhaps some particularly dark shamans could even choose a vestige as a spirit guide…

    Also, note that many of the special abilities of spirit guides are based on spell descriptions from D&D 2e.

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