D&D (2024) How should the Shaman be implemented in 1DnD?

mellored

Legend
No. That is not voodoo, but a Hollywood misunderstanding (?) of the Nikisi N' Kondi, a Kongo protective power figure which made its way along the African diaspora.
It's a cool trope that would be fun.

Feel free to rename it to someone more culturally appropriate.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Mephista

Adventurer
I think of druids and primal magic in general as "spirit magic" to use a more commonly used phrase. I also think that they're going to merge the Feywild and Shadowfell with the Elemetnal Planes to reform the old octohedron Inner Planes, and these fey, elementals and ghosts will serve as the animistic spirits Primal priests rely on for their magic. Which means that the Ethereal will probably choke full of mephit, sprites/pixies, and ghosts hanging around, waiting for a Primal priest to say something.

Heck. Even the druid's Wildshape? That's based on a tradition of donning invoking an animal spirit into your body, reshaping it. Which... is actually kind of why I didn't mind the elemental animal forms of moon druid UA. But that's neither here nor there. If the druid went with a summon-focused build as the shaman, then I would like to see something akin to the Wildfire druid circle's summon for their Channel Nature ability.

As animistic spirits are just feywild+shadowfell+elemental... I can't help but feel that the warlock and sorcerer already are touching on them - wild sorcerer is supposedly feywild-touched, and there's plenty of elemental themed sorcerers. Warlock has fey, genie and shadow pacts already too.

Which brings us to the Shaman. How do we differentiate this class from just a summon-based druid, warlock, or primal sorcerer? Honestly... not sure yet. I kind of want to see what summon spells look like first. But... I am leaning towards a kind of... primal paladin-ranger thing?

Okay, let me explain a bit better. I would want Shaman to have Channel Nature and be a priest. That much is too heavily associated with the name Shaman for me to really accept it otherwise. Full caster + Channel Nature is already covered by the druid. So, that means we can think of Shaman as a primal half-caster with Channel Nature instead of the paladin with divinity.

Half-caster with a focus on weapons is a bit too close to Ranger, so I'd like to emphasize pets and being support instead of using fighting styles and marks or smites.

That's what I would do, anyways.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
When I think Shaman I think ritual magical user. It would be, in my opinion, really cool for there to be a class which was based purely on pre-encounter rituals (different from the current rituals) which come into play for that encounter. So a host of options to choose from, but just a few you can use in each encounter based on the rituals you performed last. But a lot of uses, possibly cantrip-type uses, of those spells/abilities during the encounter.

So for example, perform a ritual to summon a wind spirit to fight for you. Perform a ritual to gain the spirit of your ancestor warrior. Perform a ritual to gain the powers of the trickster hero of legend. Essentially, a high utility versatile spellcaster who must prepare for each encounter in advance rather than spontaneously cast with an action.

They could still have a few spontaneous abilities, but the primary ability would be something like one minute specialized rituals.
 

Which brings us to the Shaman. How do we differentiate this class from just a summon-based druid, warlock, or primal sorcerer? Honestly... not sure yet. I kind of want to see what summon spells look like first. But... I am leaning towards a kind of... primal paladin-ranger thing?

Okay, let me explain a bit better. I would want Shaman to have Channel Nature and be a priest. That much is too heavily associated with the name Shaman for me to really accept it otherwise. Full caster + Channel Nature is already covered by the druid. So, that means we can think of Shaman as a primal half-caster with Channel Nature instead of the paladin with divinity.
On the other hand I would expect a shaman to be a strong caster and we already have a primal half-caster in the form of the ranger. Unless you go pact you're going to run either ranger or druid fairly close.
 

Mephista

Adventurer
On the other hand I would expect a shaman to be a strong caster and we already have a primal half-caster in the form of the ranger. Unless you go pact you're going to run either ranger or druid fairly close.
All new classes beyond the core 12+artificer are going to be repeating the themes of the 13. Hells, sorcerer is practically already defined as "metamagic-based Arcane/Divine/Primal/Psionic full caster." Its all just a question of how we want the mechancis, and thus the playstyle, to be meaningfully different from the old classes.
 

All new classes beyond the core 12+artificer are going to be repeating the themes of the 13. Hells, sorcerer is practically already defined as "metamagic-based Arcane/Divine/Primal/Psionic full caster." Its all just a question of how we want the mechancis, and thus the playstyle, to be meaningfully different from the old classes.
And part of my point is that "How is full primal caster different from druid?" is no different an argument to "how is half primal caster different from ranger?" And I can't see the thematic reason to put the shaman's casting on par with a ranger not a druid. (As I've said earlier the Pact-casting progression at least moves it out into its own thing).
 

Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
@Gorck came up with an excellent idea; make the Shaman effectively the "primal warlock" with a pact-magic style approach to spells, and instead of Invocations they get Spirit Summonings of different types.
If anyone is interested, I put together a little Homebrew version of my suggestion. I took my existing Shaman, which was a fullcaster that conjures totems, and converted it to a Warlock Pact Magic-style caster that summons spirits. It's in a PDF, but I don't know where to post it (this thread, another forum, another website altogether). I also haven't playtested it, so who knows if it is even properly balanced. It is currently 5e compatible, but can be altered to One D&D by switching from my hand-crafted spell list to the primal spell list, and adjusting the Subclass ability levels to align with the new levels. Also, since my original Shaman was initially created for my own campaign, I simply googled relevant artwork for it and, therefore, have no clue who the artists are for crediting purposes.
 


Stalker0

Legend
Probably the best design space for the Shaman is "Pokemon Trainer".

And before people snicker I am referring to the concept of a class where the "trainer" is relatively weak, but has access to very powerful summons. This is a design space that has rarely seen a lot of fruit in dnd.

You could also see this class evolve a series of "spirit forms", perhaps become a focused "shapeshifter" rather than a caster/shifter like the druid.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top