Shamans and Spellcasting

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Shamans and Spellcasting

Postby Irondrake » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:31 am

I've been reading up on the Shaman class, which was introduced in GAZ12 The Golden Khan of Ethengar. On page 16 of the player's guide, it states that "Shamans may cast any of the following spells, as their spirit guides empower them with the correct knowledge once they attain the required level." Am I to take that as shamans can cast any spell they have access to as long as they have a spell slot unused for the day? As shamans don't get their spells from the Immortals, but from their spirit guides, there is no mention of the shaman having to meditate each morning for spells. Any help clearing this up would be welcomed.
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Re: Shamans and Spellcasting

Postby Cthulhudrew » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:22 am

Presumably they cast their spells in the same manner as clerics and druids, ie, they need to prepare them in advance although they have access the entire spell list once they reach a level that can cast them (as opposed to a magic-user who needs some means of finding spells to put into his spellbook).

That said, the Gaz is certainly vague enough on the mechanics that you could potentially rule it any way you want. Having the Ethengarian Shaman (or "Spirit Shaman" as I refer to it) cast its spells in a manner similar to the Sha'ir from 2E Al-Qadim is kind of a cool idea, really. It would certainly differentiate it from other spellcasters. If you want them to be able to cast whatever spell they need from the list at will rather than prepare it, though, you might want to consider a limitation of some sort- such as a potential delay in the Spirit being able to retrieve the spell requested (such as 1 round per spell level being retrieved; note that would also kind of change the gameplay of the class, as the player would need to exercise a bit more forethought in his character's per round actions.)

Maybe you could even do something along the lines of allowing them a combination of the two- ie, they can prepare as many spells per day ahead of time as they like, up to their maximum, or they can leave some slots open (up to the maximum, again). Those open slots could then be used to cast any spell of that level that day, albeit with the "lag time" required to send their spirit to retrieve the spell and provide the shaman with the knowledge to cast it.
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Re: Shamans and Spellcasting

Postby Tom Bulls Eye » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:09 pm

I always assumed that meditating to become one with your inner spirit guide (the spirit journey) was what shamaism is all about, so I’ve always required meditation from any magic-user/cleric, irrespectively of the origin of his/hers powers.
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Re: Shamans and Spellcasting

Postby Big Mac » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:12 pm

There are versions of the Shaman for other editions of D&D. Perhaps you can infer something from looking at other shaman rules. The Shaman (Dungeons & Dragons) article on Wikipedia gives you a list of books to look in.
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Re: Shamans and Spellcasting

Postby Lord Sheriff Takari » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:43 pm

Shamans are the more primitive form of Cleric or Druid in the Fantasy realms
while they do operate like the above classes there are limits to what a Shaman can do with regards to their spirit or Totem
meditation is a good way to go about acquiring one's spells and usually done with special herbals or incense forming the pathway to connect to the spirit

accessibility of spells is and always will be a deciding factor on one's desire to play a shaman.
in a lot of cases, spell access is more limited
<a list of approved nature or healing spheres with respect to the Totem chosen> which is vastly different
from a conventional Cleric <but even Druids have sphere access limits regarding spells>
many Shamans also have a Spell level restriction due to the limits of the Spirit Totem which are far less powerful than the greater Divinity used by clerics.

does this make a shaman any less useful?
not by a long shot! a well built and played shaman is every bit as fun as a Druid or full cleric.
the challenges associated due to the limits will make the player think ahead, but a Shaman can be an invaluable addition alongside a Cleric.
bolstering the party's healing capability and allowing the party cleric to choose a greater amount of utility or offensive magics.

most DM's I've played under have allowed Clerics & Druids to swap out any spell they chose ahead of time for a same level Cure, Remove/Neutralize or Healing spell.
I can easily see a Shaman having this same ability making them as versatile.
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Re: Shamans and Spellcasting

Postby Irondrake » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:50 pm

Thanks all for the feedback and clarification. I have decided to go with shamans meditating each morning (as clerics and druids do) to select their spells for the day.
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