View Full Version : [3.5] Spirit Shaman? (CDiv)

2008-07-10, 01:56 PM
Friend of mine asked how I would build this class, and I'd never looked at it. At first glance, I can't tell how it stacks up. Spontaneous druid with very few known spells, but they can swap them out every day like a cleric anyway, so they aren't really that limited.

So now I'm thinking the flavor of this class seems to go well as an NPC opponent for my swashbuckling evils (shaman leader of tribe of cannibals maybe?) and I'm wondering if anyone's ever tried playing this class and has any pointers.

2008-07-10, 02:24 PM
I haven't played one, but I've DM'd in a group where one was played (level 7-10, roughly). I think that the PC Prestiged into Stormlord or some such.
I remember that the relatively low number of spells that could be cast per level limited some of the utility ("No, I can't cast Flame Strike today, I had to Reincarnate you, remember?"), but the character still contributed reasonably well.

The class abilities saw only occaisional use (for some reason, there just aren't that many fey in Ravenloft:smallbiggrin:), but were very useful when they were available.

I recall that the PC played it as more of a pure caster than most Druids... which is probably a good thing, with the PrC designed to improve some of their martial prowess (though mostly sticking to thrown javelins, IIRC).

The key aspect of most spontaneous casters in my experience is spell choice (being able to swap daily makes this more flexible), with an emphasis on spells that can be cast repeatedly over the "best" spells. Metamagic feats are nice ways to get more mileage out of a higher level slot with only one spell known of the given level, but that's a style decision.

I'd play it more as a caster, with an appropriate focus. I'd consider the additional class abilities too situational to focus on (unlike the druid), but useful when they show. Prestige classes (mostly any full caster) seem like a nice way to boost the class.

I hope I've added something useful... but as I've seen it played rather than played it myself, I don't know all of the work that he put into considering what route to pick.

2008-07-10, 08:43 PM
We recently completed the Red Hand of Doom, and one of our party was a Spirit Shaman. After playing alongside him, I must say it's a grand old class. Certainly more 'balanced' than a well optimized druid or cleric. Although their chastise spirits ability isn't as powerful as turning undead, in some ways, it still came in handy.

For the most part, he helped us get around, increasing the durability of our mounts, predicting and improving the weather for travel (or hampering our enemies), and generally bending nature to his whim. In a campaign with little focus on the wilderness, they may fall behind. A druid would be fine with wildshape to fall back on, but a spirit shaman would wind up pretty much as a heal bot with limited options.

2008-07-10, 09:03 PM
For the most part, he helped us get around, increasing the durability of our mounts, predicting and improving the weather for travel

Try fighting Ulwai Stormcaller in a stormy weather and you'll realize just how much of an advantage that is. :smallbiggrin:

2008-07-10, 10:21 PM
I have a player playing one currently, at least, sort of.
Most of their abilities just fell useless until I actually tried to focus on just that PC. It felt like a rather limited part blaster/part utility sorcerer while DMing over it.
So, I scrapped most of the class features and provided my player of playing with a set of alternative class features to work within.

Anyways, as an NPC, I think they would work very well. Not overtly overpowering, and can change rather often (if they are recurring, they may leave your players with a "huh?" as to their day to day flexing.)
As a PC, meh.

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-11, 01:04 AM
I'm surprised that the class is balanced. I thought it's skills looked poor due to being so specialised, and I hate the idea of playing a class which needs a secondry spellcasting mental stat for save DCs (I can't see the justification from a fluff perspective, and it means neglecting other stats, which can cause problems if you're rolling and you get a relatively poor selection of stats, unless you want to limit yourself to spells which don't need saves, which admittedly could work well). Incidenally, is there a Favoured Soul or Sorcerer-like class which uses Druid spells?

2008-07-11, 02:22 AM
I'm currently playing one at a 19th level campaign: Here's my character. (http://www.thetangledweb.net/forums/profiler/view_char.php?cid=14822) We haven't been to battle yet, but I think that it's a fairly well balanced class, with some extremely good class features. Especially the one that let's your spirit guide maintain concentration for free is nice. I would also propose that you will invest in taking the Spontaneous Summoner feat, that let's you convert spells into summon nature's ally.

Personally, I like it. Make good use of the Spellstaff spell - you can have any spell in reserve from the druid list, just for the bad day. I have Tsunami.

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-11, 02:34 AM
I would ask if MAD is a problem, but it looks as though you're pretty much covered that.:smalltongue:If you were starting at level 1, would playing as a Spirit Shaman which avoids using spells with saving throws be practical? (I'd never want to start a character at anything younger then the lowest age due to hating the ageing penalty systm in D&D).

2008-07-11, 03:30 AM
I can't see why not. It does limit your offensive spells, but at low levels, you don't really have that many spells known. Spell compedium is extremely useful here. I would recommend stuff like Aspect of the Wolf and Lesser Vigor as first level spells. The Aspect spell will let you go to melee as well.

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-11, 03:34 AM
Aspect of the Wolf was mentioned in frosty's thread about which race to use for a Wizard (we got onto cheesy races, so Anthromorphic Bats came up, and someone mentioned that spell as being useful for overcomming their abysmal land speed). What are Killorens like? I can't find any information on their racial bonuses.

2008-07-11, 03:41 AM
They're from Races of the Wild. No ability modifiers, but they're fey and have three nice aspects they can use, one at a time, though. One gives smite-attack, one gives boni to various skills and +2 to initiative, and one gives bonus to Knowledge, nature and +2 against enchancement spells. They can also live indefinitely and do not age after the Old age category. Mostly took it for fluff reasons.

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-11, 03:49 AM
Thanks for telling me (ironically, I found it on Crystal Keep just after I asked about it). Also, what is the race like from a fluff perspective?

2008-07-11, 04:00 AM
No, I don't think they can die of old age.

2008-07-11, 04:20 AM
Thanks for telling me (ironically, I found it on Crystal Keep just after I asked about it). Also, what is the race like from a fluff perspective?

They're basically fey guardians of nature, but as a PC-orientated race, with a more aggressive and pro-active bent to them.

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-11, 04:23 AM
Thanks for telling me (they look like an interresting choice of race). Getting back OT, what sort of spells other then healing spells and summoning spells would be useful later on for a non-DC orientated Spririt Shaman?

2008-07-11, 05:13 AM
I think I've included many of the best in my spell selection, at least at late levels. Shapechange, certainly, some buffing spells, Deadfall and Sunbeam for offensive - Deadfall gives no save against the damage, has no attack roll, and may render enemies prone. Sunbeam just rules against undead. Updraft is one of the best late-level low-level spells - it gets you 200 feet up in the air as a swift action. Superior resistance is good if you don't want to waste magic item slot and money for a cloak of resistance. Cocoon is an excellent reviving spell - it costs no XP or constitution, and is fast too, if you keep reincarnation at reserve.

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-11, 06:27 AM
How long does Cocoon take to cast, and does it have any cost at all? http://www.imarvintpa.com/dndlive/spells.php?ID=6130 doesn't mention the casting time. Is Deadfall that good, though? It appears to have a lot of saves ( http://www.imarvintpa.com/dndlive/spells.php?ID=4673 ).

2008-07-11, 06:53 AM
Cocoon is a standard action, I think. And in my Spell compedium, it doesn't mention the stun at all, and it grants no save against the damage, only against getting knocked prone.

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-11, 07:00 AM
I'm guessing the website must have got the Deadfall details wrong. Isn't Reincarnation in battle a liability, though? I was just thinking about the possibility of a character being reborn as a creature which wouldn't fit their armour or clothing, or a creature that would be too big or small to use their equipment (if it's free to cast, i would be a great option for becomming immortal). Does it also reset the target's age and does are there any limits other then it needin a standard action to cast?

2008-07-11, 07:11 AM
The idea of Cocoon is to first cast it, and later, preferably out of combat, have someone cast Raise dead or equivalent. The Cocoon alone takes a week to Reincarnate the target; it's major benefit is that the subject does not receive any penalties from raise dead.

Tempest Fennac
2008-07-11, 07:14 AM
Thanks for the clarification (I thought when you said it was quick that it revived the target after a few moments). Just thinking: being as the spell has no cost to the target or anyone else (excluding 1 week), could it be used to randomly change someones specise without killing them first?

2008-07-11, 07:18 AM
Well... It does have a cost: 250 XP from the caster, and you can only cast it your CL rounds from the death. And it can only be cast on dead.