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Renaming Fantasy Shamans/Shamanism (+)


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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Okay y'all presented some excellent ideas, so this is what I've got so far.

First, more of the system, for reference. THere are two "holy person" skills (three if you count divination), that the "shaman" currently specialises in. Shamanism contains communion, restoration, and astral projection, while Sacramancy contains blessing, cleansing, and rebuking. I wouldn't be opposed to combining them into one skill, as long as nothing was lost, but it also fits the system to have the holy person need 2-3 skills to be a holy person, before we even get into Influence and Perception. The action resolution of the system is very simple, and part of that simplicity is underpinned by characters having a broad skillset to draw upon, and generous latitude in how to interpret their use.

Anyway, what I'm thinking at the moment, though I'm still open to other ideas, is;

Bridger

Inherent Skills: (the game term for an archetype's main skills that they get a special bonus with) Animism, Sacramancy.

Ya know...binding spirits falls under Hex magic, which makes a classic animist priest need like 6 skills to do the job. I'm gonna review Animism and Sacramancy to see if Sacramancy can be made part of Animism.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Okay, so Hex has Binding, Curses, and Invocation. Invocation is kinda loosely defined as yet, but it's kinda has to do with bring the power of things into yourself, or into someone else.

Sacramancy has Blessing, Cleansing, and Rebuking.

Animism has Communion, Restoration, and Spirit Walking/Astral Projection.

Putting them all together like this makes it pretty clear that Sacramancy is not needed, and it's presence kinda implies that Animism isn't proper sacred magic, which isn't right. So, even if it means eventually changing the name of Hex, I think that Rebuking can live in Binding, and Blessing and Cleansing are redundant with Restoration.


So, new question:

What are some good names for Hex, and the "go into the spirit world or project your spirit out into the world without your body" skill. Astral Projection is too long to fit in the space skill names fit into on the character sheet, and also feels very New Age woo, to me, no matter how much I tell myself it isn't.

Spirit Walker is...well, I don't know that it is actually appropriation, but it doesn't come across well.


I'd perhaps use something like Loquitur Manes/Lares/Spirites
I thought about Vox, and I think that some common titles for Animists will be Vox, Loquitur, Venerator, Keeper, and some others suggested in this thread.
Trance is used to travel to and navigate the spirit world
Trance would probably work, especially with the goal of skills giving generous freedom for interpretation by the player.
 

Esau Cairn

Explorer
So "shaman" isn't to be used for indigenous people of another continent because of ethnolinguistics, but re-titling a collective word by use of Greek and Latin terms is okay...?

Our long-term play group member and close friend is res-born and as full-blooded as such people are, and his word-choice has always been "medicine man/woman" for specific individuals and (gasp! eek!) shamanism for the collective healer experience. But cutesy re-naming that is deemed appropriate by folks not of the culture nor belief-system is quite an internet past time.
 

MGibster

Legend
Our long-term play group member and close friend is res-born and as full-blooded as such people are, and his word-choice has always been "medicine man/woman" for specific individuals and (gasp! eek!) shamanism for the collective healer experience. But cutesy re-naming that is deemed appropriate by folks not of the culture nor belief-system is quite an internet past time.
Eh, it's a + page. Personally, I can't think of any game where any type of magic using character was referred to as a shaman other than World of Warcraft. I know D&D has used the term for NPCs, though maybe at some point they had a PC class called a Shaman, but I don't think I've played any other game with a shaman class or character type in it.

Personally, I prefer that a game doesn't invent whole cloth an interesting or cutesy name that either I or my players will have trouble remembering. But there are plenty of other words one might use in place of shaman. Shadowrun has magicians and adepts, and there's old classics including sorcerer, wizard, seer, and enchanter.

I take it back about the whole cloth thing. Sort of. If this new and interesting word is tied into the setting I don't mind so much. It worked for Dune. But if the author is just inventing a new word for the sake of inventing a new word I find it annoying. Like reading a fantasy novel where they start adding unnecessary apostrophes and vowels to character's names just to make it seem more fantastic I guess.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Eh, it's a + page. Personally, I can't think of any game where any type of magic using character was referred to as a shaman other than World of Warcraft. I know D&D has used the term for NPCs, though maybe at some point they had a PC class called a Shaman, but I don't think I've played any other game with a shaman class or character type in it.

ADnD and 3e both used the term Shaman in Mystaras Atruaghin Clans, in Oriental Adventures and in Complete Divine. Shadowrun has Street Shaman, and RIFTS had a Shaman OOC.
 

MGibster

Legend
ADnD and 3e both used the term Shaman in Mystaras Atruaghin Clans, in Oriental Adventures and in Complete Divine. Shadowrun has Street Shaman, and RIFTS had a Shaman OOC.
I don't know how I could have forgotten about Shadowrun. For Rifts, well, they had about a million OCCs and RCCs to choose from. And for Oriental Adventures, it's been more than 30 years since I've read through that. But you've confirmed it's been used more than I thought in some games I've actually played. So thanks for that.
 

niklinna

Looking for group
Eh, it's a + page. Personally, I can't think of any game where any type of magic using character was referred to as a shaman other than World of Warcraft. I know D&D has used the term for NPCs, though maybe at some point they had a PC class called a Shaman, but I don't think I've played any other game with a shaman class or character type in it.
4E has a shaman class.
 

niklinna

Looking for group
Recently I put out the animist class, as when I was doing my research, animism was the best term that covers shamanism but without the regional/cultural identifiers. Stay away from spirit talkers or spirit animal terms (indigenous appropriation)
Where is your animist class? I saw your thread here developing it but it's a couple months old.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So "shaman" isn't to be used for indigenous people of another continent because of ethnolinguistics, but re-titling a collective word by use of Greek and Latin terms is okay...?

Mod Note:
This is a "+" (meaning "positive") thread. That notation means it is for input or discussion from folks who are on-board with the basic premise. If you aren't, this thread isn't for you, and we ask that you not argue against it, to shut down the discussion. You are free to disagree with this premise, but if you want to state that, you should do it in a separate discussion. Thanks.


Our long-term play group member and close friend is res-born and as full-blooded as such people are, and his word-choice has always been "medicine man/woman" for specific individuals and (gasp! eek!) shamanism for the collective healer experience. But cutesy re-naming that is deemed appropriate by folks not of the culture nor belief-system is quite an internet past time.

Your group clearly should use the language your friend prefers.

But, a thing to remember is that under-represented communities are not monoliths with only one opinion. Your friend has preferred language, but we have seen others request other terminology.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Mod Note:
This is a "+" (meaning "positive") thread. That notation means it is for input or discussion from folks who are on-board with the basic premise. .

I wasn’t aware that + threads were a thing, so thank you for the information :)
Certainly something worth noting for future +
 

TheSword

Legend
Sybil
Seer
Acolyte
Adept
Hedge Witch
Incanter
Auger
Soothsayer
Haruspex

I think my favorite in the list is Seer, Adept and Hedge Witch. Both suggest secret knowledge of things most folks can’t see, which is the essence of a shaman.
 

Argyle King

Legend
But what are some terms that can be used to refer to the act of contacting and negotiating with spirits, calling upon them to aid you or others, driving out evil spirits, healing spiritual ailments, and the people who specialize in these practices?

Anyone got any good latin or greek words that have a good ring to them? What would the greek -mancy terminology be?

•Medium
•Geistermancer (if you don't mind German influence)
•Onimancer (...Japanese...)
•Augur (though, this would imply reading omens)
•Spiritologist (In a world where spirits are real and tangible forces to understand, dealing with them could be viewed as a valid science.)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sybil
Seer
Acolyte
Adept
Hedge Witch
Incanter
Auger
Soothsayer
Haruspex

I think my favorite in the list is Seer, Adept and Hedge Witch. Both suggest secret knowledge of things most folks can’t see, which is the essence of a shaman.
Seer has weight, for sure.

Hedge Witch is actually really close to the title of a story i'm working on set in the world of my game, the protagonist is a "petty dabbler" in magic, a decent but out of practice athlete, and the only thing special about him is circumstance, and a high learning intelligence, ie ability to learn new skills fairly quickly. Nothing remotely superhuman, but good. He was introduced to the hidden world (in game terms this is his Catalyst, which is what caused him to become Wise to the supernatural) by way of a demon trying to kill him, and he did some research, sketched out a binding spell, and managed to just barely get it done and survive. Now he is trying to catch up, learn everything he needs to know, and help people along the way, including his best friend who he recently learned is actually a dryad from another world. He is a Hedge Mage, because he has a knack for magic but very little training, and often puts more ritual and such into his workings than are actually needed, and finds overly complex solutions that any trained practitioner would know how to do very simply.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
•Medium
•Geistermancer (if you don't mind German influence)
•Onimancer (...Japanese...)
•Augur (though, this would imply reading omens)
•Spiritologist (In a world where spirits are real and tangible forces to understand, dealing with them could be viewed as a valid science.)
Those are interesting, for sure. Augur is a fun variant of See or Oracle.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Eh, it's a + page. Personally, I can't think of any game where any type of magic using character was referred to as a shaman other than World of Warcraft. I know D&D has used the term for NPCs, though maybe at some point they had a PC class called a Shaman, but I don't think I've played any other game with a shaman class or character type in it.

Personally, I prefer that a game doesn't invent whole cloth an interesting or cutesy name that either I or my players will have trouble remembering. But there are plenty of other words one might use in place of shaman. Shadowrun has magicians and adepts, and there's old classics including sorcerer, wizard, seer, and enchanter.

I take it back about the whole cloth thing. Sort of. If this new and interesting word is tied into the setting I don't mind so much. It worked for Dune. But if the author is just inventing a new word for the sake of inventing a new word I find it annoying. Like reading a fantasy novel where they start adding unnecessary apostrophes and vowels to character's names just to make it seem more fantastic I guess.
D&D has never started with shaman as a core class (well, maybe in 4E) . . . but almost every edition did get a full 20-level shaman class at some point, sometimes multiple different versions. I look at the shaman the same way I look at the psion . . . it's popular enough to show up each edition, but the designers haven't figured it out yet, to push it to being a PHB Day 1 class.
 

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