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D&D 5E Could the Sorcerer get a Shaman subclass

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
No. Shaman should be a druid. Shamans commune with nature spirits and are often known to shapeshift into animal form. That's a druid. In fact, in the real world shapeshifting is far more strongly associated with shamanism than with druidism.
Do druids commune with nature (the spirit of nature) or with individual nature spirits individually. They feel like very different things to me, and I'd like each one to be a thing. In some worlds I don't have separate spirits for everything and some I do. And how do they relate with Kami and Dryads/Nymphs/etc.al.?
 

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Do druids commune with nature (the spirit of nature) or with individual nature spirits individually. They feel like very different things to me, and I'd like each one to be a thing. In some worlds I don't have separate spirits for everything and some I do. And how do they relate with Kami and Dryads/Nymphs/etc.al.?
That sounds like setting detail minutiae. But personally I feel it makes more metaphysical sense if there are multiple spirits of nature the druid communes with in animistic way, because if there is just a one universal spirit of the nature, now is that spirit not then the god of nature, and the druid thus a cleric?
 

cbwjm

Hero
I wouldn't worry too much about the MtG distinction of shaman since that's a recent change to the game where they're trying to codify the colours and spellcasters for each of them. I think it's something like cleric (white), wizard (blue), druid (green), shaman (red), warlock (black), though I could be wrong on those exact distinctions. There used to be plenty of crossover but by making each colour's class somewhat distinct they can probably create cards that interact with them in some way.

As for the shaman subclass, it can fit into plenty of classes: sorcerer, druid, cleric (I actually created a shaman domain a while back), warlock, bard, could probably fit artificer in there somehow (I think the designers even brought that one up). It all depends on how you want the shaman to work.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
That sounds like setting detail minutiae. But personally I feel it makes more metaphysical sense if there are multiple spirits of nature the druid communes with in animistic way, because if there is just a one universal spirit of the nature, now is that spirit not then the god of nature, and the druid thus a cleric?

Because its nature of this plane and not outer planes being granted spells.
 




On the one hand I feel like making it a Sorcerer Subclass would work fine... but on the other...

Shaman contains just -oodles- of concept. From spirit-speakers to runecasters to tribal priests.

I feel like it could use it's own class with subclasses, rather than just being one Shaman Aspect tied to the Sorcerer Chassis.

And then make the shapechanging Druid one of those subclasses....
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I'm not sure I quite follow...

I can imagine something that worships the god of nature that lives on the outer planes and gets powers from there (Cleric), something that communes with and/or summons nature spirits (Shaman), and something that is in tune with nature itself and can draw from it (Druid?). Which doesn't fit with Druids worshipping nature gods, but does have that distinct power source. I can picture a world where any one of those things might be missing (maybe no Gods that answer prayers, maybe no nature spirits, maybe no way to just be attuned with nature and have things happen).
 


Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Just make new classes. Subclasses are really just a big pile of nothing.
Why go to that trouble when subclasses are the meat and potatoes of 5e?

Classes are notoriously hard to balance, and need to not step on each others' toes. If it steps on the toes of another class, it belongs as a subclass doing so (essentially, multiclassing through subclasses).

Class needs a clearly defined concept that can handle a dozen of subclasses that are each their own archetype.

Shaman doesn't meet this criteria. So it should be a subclass.

Heck we already have an "Animal Spirits" Patron from the D&D Adventurer's League (Icewind Dale season). I don't know if we need anything else for a Shaman!

Narrative has to come first. Mechanics for mechanics sake is how you get 3.5e splat cruft.
 

Vael

Hero
I tend to go with the 4e identity for Shamans, so they are a Primal caster, like Druids and some Rangers/Barbarians. And I've wanted a Primal Sorcerer as a complement to the Divine Soul. So this isn't a horrible mismatch to me, one could draw out possible Shaman options from both the Druid or the Sorcerer. Like the Gish, this is a cat that can be skinned a couple of ways.
 

Why go to that trouble when subclasses are the meat and potatoes of 5e?
Meat and Potatoes implies a lot more body than they have. It won't feel like a Shaman if you build it on a Sorcerer or Druid Chassis. It will feel like a Sorcerer or Druid with a couple of different bits.
 

Meat and Potatoes implies a lot more body than they have. It won't feel like a Shaman if you build it on a Sorcerer or Druid Chassis. It will feel like a Sorcerer or Druid with a couple of different bits.
The basic druid chassis already feels very much like a shaman, so there is no problem. You can of course enhance it further via a subclass.
The shepherd druid is pretty much a perfect archetypal shaman.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
This is a very difficult question...

I am not sure what would be the source of a shaman's "spirit magic" knowledge. Note that I say knowledge i.e. how did they learn their kind of spellcasting: Wizards studied, Sorcerers were born with that, Warlocks bargained, Clerics devoted their life to a deity. Depending on what you think those spirits should be, it could fit all these classes... Can you identify a single spirit powerful enough for a pact or would you allow a collective to grant a pack? Warlock! Would you consider shamanism a worship and spirits a pantheon (or have a deity of spirits)? Cleric! Someone who was born with affinity to spirits? Sorcerer! I also don't see why a Wizard couldn't choose to study spirit-oriented spells, there are already many, owever the other spells get in the way... as soon as the player start giving up and add Fireball or similar spells because they are convenient, it's breaking the archetype. And Druids of course could work because of many things although I am not sure all shamans should have wildshape.
 

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