Author Topic: Shamanistic Beliefs - Roleplay Resources  (Read 2556 times)

MAB77

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Shamanistic Beliefs - Roleplay Resources
« on: October 03, 2023, 08:31:28 PM »
Unlike other entries in the Religions and Faiths RP resources, this one does not define a particular faith but provides guidelines as to the various shamanistic beliefs documented in D&D lore.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2023, 10:47:21 AM by MAB77 »
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MAB

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MAB77

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Basic Rules
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2023, 08:32:56 PM »
Basic Rules

Our shaman class is adapted from the D&D 3rd edition Oriental Adventures sourcebook and its update to D&D 3.5 as described in Dragon Magazine #318. It was also supplemented with roleplay elements from the spirit shaman class presented in Complete Divine, a class that is very similar in spirit and intent.

This class serves as the base template for all types of shamans in our module. In a pen & paper game, a shaman on Ravenloft would likely have to deal with spirits daily but game engine limitations force us into some adjustments. These basic rules apply to all shaman characters:
  • The Dark Powers lessen the abilities of the shaman to see into the Spirit World and to interact with spirits. This explains the adjustments to the Spirits Sight ability.
  • Except for the spirit ally spells, a shaman player does not control the actions of any spirit.
  • Only a DM may impersonate a patron spirit or any other type of spirit. Shaman players are invited to describe their patron spirits in their characters' backgrounds.
  • You may not gain any in-game knowledge through the interaction of a spirit without DM oversight.
  • A shaman character does not feel the presence of its patron spirit. A normal fact for a native Ravenloft shaman, a distressing one for an outlander shaman.
  • If the patron spirit is the servant of a deity, the spirit loses contact with its god just as it is for Outlander clerics. How this will affect the patron spirit is at the DM's discretion.
  • Native shamans from Ravenloft cannot select a patron spirit that is subservient to a deity.
  • The animal companion of the shaman is not the incarnation of the patron spirit.
Core Principles of Shamanism

These are the basic tenets of the shaman class as per the source material. They apply to all shaman characters. Players are free to incorporate elements of any other iterations of a D&D shaman class in their roleplay, but if any contradiction arises, these core beliefs take precedence.
  • They believe that the world is coterminous with the Spirit World and that it represents the vast multitude of living beings that infuse the entire world with divine essence.
  • They believe their role is to act as intermediaries to spirits, communicating with ancestor spirits, demons, nature spirits, and the most powerful of spirits, who might be considered deities.
  • They offer sacrifices, prayers, and services to the spirits, and in return gain the favors of patron spirits who bestow spells and other magical abilities upon them.
  • Spirits of all kinds are known to have their own agendas and may call on a shaman to carry them out.
Note on the Spirit Sight ability

The Spirit Sight ability of shamans enables them to better see invisible beings in the Near Ethereal which incidentally includes the spirits of dead player characters. This does not confer them any ability to communicate with these spirits as they are only static impressions of the PCs at the moment of their deaths. The rules regarding PC Spirit roleplay therefore remain unchanged.

This ability to perceive spirits is also what draws spirits to them. At the discretion of dungeon masters, shamans may be perceived by spirits in the Near Ethereal as if they were within the Spirit World themselves. These creatures may be drawn to a given shaman out of curiosity, desperation, or even malice.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2023, 11:15:01 AM by MAB77 »
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MAB

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The Spirit World
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2023, 08:33:18 PM »
The Spirit World of the Multiverse

The Spirit World is a realm brought into sharp focus. Colors are brighter, sounds more distinct, and every sense is more keenly aware of its surroundings. Some of its denizens say that the Material Plane is just a pale reflection of the Spirit World's vibrancy. It is a dimension of ultimates.

The Spirit World is a pan of a cosmology radically different from the Great Wheel. In this cosmology, there are spirits for everything, from the greatest mountain to the smallest flower, as well as spirits of ancestors and objects long passed into history. The Spirit World is the plane where the spirits of all things, living and unliving, make their homes. The Spirit World is a Transitive Plane that replaces the Astral Plane of the Great Wheel cosmology. Unlike that plane, the Spirit World is both coexistent with and coterminous to the Material Plane, matching its terrain. A valley in the Spirit World corresponds to a valley on the Material Plane, and where there is a waterfall in one, there is a waterfall in the other. In the case of the Spirit World, however, the waterfall is higher, its water more pure, and its sound more pleasing than that of its equivalent on the Material Plane.

The Spirit World's waterfall would likely be the home of a water elemental that serves as the spirit of the waterfall. Living creatures and their structures, from beaver dams to palaces, do not necessarily have direct analogs. However, where a citadel stands on the Material Plane, a similar citadel (though greater and stronger) may stand in the Spirit World, occupied by the spirits of revered ancestors of the Material Plane citadel's ruler.

The Spirit World has a normal gravity. In the Spirit World, creatures do not hunger, age, or thirst. Days and nights pass within the Spirit World as they do on the Material Plane. However, the nights are ebony black and set with brilliant stars, while great clouds arching across a sky of purest blue dominate the days. The Spirit World is of infinite size unless the Material Plane has the finite size trait, in which case the Spirit World does too. Changing things in the Spirit World does not directly affect the Material Plane, and changes on the Material Plane aren't necessarily reflected in the Spirit World right away. It does not normally have Elemental or Energy Traits, however, particular locations within the plane may have those traits. A smith's forge on the Material Plane, for example, may have an equivalent in the Spirit World with the fire-dominant trait. It is mildly neutral-aligned. Specific locations may have other alignments; the Spirit World equivalent of a haunted graveyard might be mildly evil-aligned, for example.

All divine spells are extended and empowered on the Spirit World. Arcane magic, which comes from knowledge as opposed to proper veneration, is unaffected.

The Spirit World is coexistent with the Material Plane, and movement on one is equal to movement on the other. A traveler who enters the Spirit World walks three miles north and then returns to the Material Plane is three miles north of the walk's starting point. Travelers reach the Spirit World through the Ethereal Plane, which forms a border region between the Material Plane and the Spirit World. A character on the Ethereal Plane can see both the Material Plane and the Spirit World: the Material Plane clearly and the Spirit World as a faint echo. By concentrating on the echo, a traveler can move to the far side of the Ethereal Plane and enter the Spirit World.

Because the Spirit World replaces the Astral Plane, spells that allow access to the Astral Plane use the Spirit World instead. The Plane of Shadow does not connect to the Spirit World, so spells that use the Plane of Shadow do not function in the Spirit World.

The Spirit World leads to other planes, in particular the homes of whatever great powers oversee the operation of the known universe. A traveler through the Spirit World finds portals to the great palaces of these deities, as well as unique heavens and hells. A traveler seeking the Duke of Storms, for example, would find a portal to his palace occupying the same general location as storm-wracked peaks on the Material Plane.

The Spirit World is home to a variety of creatures, including fey, elementals, undead, outsiders, and dragons. Those with access to the plane shift spell visit the Material Plane under their own power, and spellcasters use summoning spells to bring other Spirit World creatures to the Material Plane. Still, other Spirit World creatures find natural portals between the planes.

Settled areas of the Material Plane are particularly dangerous in the Spirit World because these places are where the spirits of ancestors dwell. These spirits are extremely protective of their descendants; an assassin who pops into the Spirit World to infiltrate a local duke's reception hall will be confronted by one or more ghosts of the duke's predecessors. This is one reason that rulers live in the same palace for generations: They enjoy the protection of their ancestors.


The Spirit World of Ravenloft

The nature of the Spirit World on Ravenloft is unclear. While it might often just act as it does in the rest of the multiverse, at other times it seems that shamans actually refer to the Near Ethereal when speaking of the Spirit World. The Near Ethereal is known by many names in the Lands of the Mists. It is the Other Side in Mordent, the Gray Realm in Darkon, and is called the Spirit World in many mystical traditions. The Near Ethereal is a land of lingering memories and of the dead, where incorporeal undead linger, unable or unwilling to move on to their final rest. The nature and form of the Spirit World are likely to differ from one domain to another according to the prevalent beliefs of the population. The Spirit World of I'Cath would likely be reminiscent of that of Kara-Tur, whereas that of Darkon would always and only be the dreary Gray Realm.

The Ethereal plane of Ravenloft does not allow escape to other planes of existence, it is therefore likely that the Spirit World of Ravenloft and the Near Ethereal be somehow intertwined together more importantly than elsewhere in the Multiverse. When a spellcaster projects his consciousness or travels through the Spirit World, that person is still considered within the Near Ethereal and subject to the usual limitations affecting that plane. Divine spells are neither extended nor empowered, but spells connected to the Plane of Shadow will work. Any portals that may be found within the Spirit World of Ravenloft are seemingly unusable to escape the Demiplane of Dread. Such locations are also often guarded by malcontent spirits and creatures that are likewise trapped and are best left alone. If the Spirit World of Ravenloft acts as a replacement for the Astral Plane, the Dark Powers still stifle the connection to it, and all magic related to the Astral Plane remains subject to usual limitations despite the presence of this transitive plane.


The Spirit World of Toril

The Spirit World of the Multiverse described above is coexistent with and coterminous to the Material Plane, but only in Kara-Tur. Each deity of Kara-Tur's Celestial Bureaucracy has a small realm attached to the Spirit World. Because it is a transitive plane, the Spirit World replaces the Astral Plane in Kara-Tur.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2023, 12:59:27 PM by MAB77 »
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MAB

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Shamans of Ravenloft
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2023, 08:33:43 PM »
Shamans of Ravenloft

Several domains are inspired by cultures or drawn from worlds where shamanism is practiced. Others are confirmed to have a shamanic tradition in Ravenloft sources.


I'Cath - The Celestial Bureaucracy

The domain of I'Cath is drawn from an undisclosed nation of Kara-Tur. Considering that the city of I'Cath was conquered by a colonizing force and that the culture is that of the Shou, it is likely that this city was located along the border of Shou Lung and T'u Lung, or within the islands of the Warring States to the south. The people of I'Cath would therefore share the Shou's beliefs in the Celestial Bureaucracy. It is described in greater detail in the Shamans of Other Settings section below, with the following factors to be taken into consideration.

In the waking world, shamans and other priests no longer perform the duties they used to. All civic order has collapsed. Whatever strength and power shamans have left is entirely used toward survival all the while having to contend with angry spirits that cannot be placated.

In the dream world, shamans and priests are endlessly toiling to perform the endless sacred rites that Queen Tsien Chiang sees as necessary in her vision of the perfect city. There is no reprieve. Another ritual starts as soon as another ends. While these rituals are meant to obtain divine support, they are empty litanies. The gods and spirits of the Celestial Bureaucracy have abandoned I'Cath long ago.


The Nightmare Lands - Abber Shamanism

There are very few generalities that can be said about the form of shamanism practiced by the Abber in the Nightmare Lands. Not much is known of their practices and they likely differ from a shaman to another. Most Abbers have no faith in the permanency of anything, including other beings, but a small percentage reject this philosophy. This minority strives to understand what governs the Nightmare Lands. Other Abbers view this as insanity and cast these individuals out. However, all Abbers believe that insanity can grant insight, so the outcasts become, in effect, tribal shamans.

These shamans are the holy men and women of the Abber nomad tribes. The shamans, like the rest of the Abbers, dwell in the dread Nightmare Lands, specifically in the Forest of Everchange. However, the mad paths that the shamans walk make them outcasts among outcasts, cut off from the rest of Abber society. Their curiosity and bizarre habits attract too much attention from the denizens of the Nightmare Lands for the rest of the tribe to feel safe. Shamans dress in hides taken from fantastic dream creatures and horrifying nightmare beasts, giving them a surreal appearance. They wield weapons made from wood and stone such as spears, and decorate the few possessions they carry with colorful feathers.

The spirits of the Nightmare Lands are as impermanent and unpredictable as the land, blinking in and out of existence all the time, and having peculiar behaviors as maddening as the landscape they hail from. No one but an Abber shaman is likely to understand or make sense of these spirits. Abber shamans recognize the members of the Nightmare Court as the most powerful entities of the land, but rightfully fear and avoid them as best as possible. Especially Morpheus and Mullonga, who sometimes search out shamans for their amusement.

Abber shamans carry bizarre talismans called dreamcatchers. A dreamcatcher consists of a wooden staff topped by a circle of woven vines, straw, and feathers arranged in a mystic pattern. It is said that with these talismans, Abber shamans or other wanderers can safely exit a dreamscape through a nether portal and arrive wherever they want to go in the Terrain Between.


Rokushima Táiyoo - Worship of the Kami

The inhabitants of Rokushima Táiyoo, the Rokuma, are reverent toward the kami, the spirits that are believed to dwell in all things. They worship at breathtaking natural shrines. Serene shrines both magnificent and humble dot the islands; located on sites of natural beauty and power, they are identified by the sacred torii gates. The kami represent a wide variety of beings, embodying divinities, spirits, mythological, spiritual, natural phenomena, or holy powers. They can be elements of the landscape, forces of nature, beings and the qualities that these beings express, or the spirits of venerated ancestors.

To the Rokuma, the most powerful of the kami are the deities of the Japanese pantheon. They serve as the patron deities of clerics, and sometimes, druids. While Rokuma shamans also honor and respect these kami, they get their powers from their dealings with minor kami such as ancestors or natural spirits.


Sithicus - Wild elves shamanism

The Kagonesti elves of Sithicus are a feral reflection of their Krynnish counterparts. They believe the gods abandoned them so they abandoned their worship in turn. A few scattered ruins dot the land, but whatever names they once bore were stricken off, their statuary and icons seemingly blasted by lightning. They follow animist shamanistic beliefs. Most Kagonesti strongly feel that the world is full of spirits, and every animal, tree, creek, river, spring, rock, hill, and mountain has a spirit of its own. Their spiritual leaders therefore take the paths of the druid or shaman. They are known to tattoo themselves and partake in ritual scarification. They do not have a written language but use a form of pictographic writing that serves as a mnemonic device for their storytellers and shamans.


Sri Raji - The Brahmins

In the exotic domain of Sri Raji, shamans are part of the Brahmin, the highest and most respected class of the society, formed by priests and other spiritual leaders. They are rarely seen by the masses, their station affording them the best commodities and a sheltered life. As in other lands, they tend to the rituals which honor the gods and their divine servants. They are priests on equal footing with clerics, just performing different but equally important spiritual duties. Rajian beliefs are further discussed in the The Rajian Pantheon - Roleplay Resources thread.


Shamans in other Domains

While other domains may not have shamanic traditions in the sense of a widespread organized religious belief, the ability to interact with spirits is not limited to that context. The gift, or curse, of being able to interact with spirits has been witnessed in most domains of the Demiplane of Dread giving rise to people with the abilities of the shaman in all but name. Like the witchcraft of Halans, it may be a form of mysticism passed down in secret among a family or a close circle of intimates. Just as someone may have gained awareness of the spirit world following a harrowing brush with death. So long as a character abides by the core principles of shamanism, one can claim the shaman class regardless of the title used. One's reputation in its native domain will vary greatly depending on the shaman's discretion or social constraints.

The domain of Souragne deserves a particular mention. Through cultural influence, Souragniens that develop the ability to interact with spirits harness their powers through the practice of voodan. Shamans are virtually absent from the domain. It is important to note that voodan is not considered shamanism. They share similarities but have different sets of beliefs and practices. Note that there is no rule preventing a player from being a shaman from Souragne, it would just be a rare oddity. The loa of voodan cannot be selected as patron spirits for shamans.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2023, 08:31:19 AM by EO »
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The Shamans of Other Settings
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2023, 08:34:05 PM »
The Shamans of Other Settings

These are details available from official D&D sources about shamans in other settings. It is important to note that the term shaman does not necessarily mean the class itself and that it may have been used as a title for clerics. Not all shaman classes in the annals of D&D follow the same rules, especially those of earlier editions. Some adjustments may be required but their beliefs may still be used to complement your character's roleplay. This list is not exhaustive, is limited to shamans for races supported on the server, and does not claim to encompass all types of shamans ever listed in official D&D settings or books.


Dark Sun

Elemental Shamans

Elemental shamanism is observed among douars of the nomadic herdsmen roaming the Tablelands and several other sentient races, including the tareks as well as in the halfling communities of the Forest Ridge. The same elemental spirits that empower druids and voodan are the most common patrons for Athasian shamans. The local environment usually dictates to which element the shaman allies himself. A tribe that lives on the shoals of the Sea of Silt would perish without a silt shaman, while those who wander freely would most likely be accompanied by a shaman of the air. The role of the shaman is to be an alchemist, medicine man, spiritual leader, and witch doctor, all combined in one mysterious, and often frightening, person. He or she is expected to provide healing, watch over births, be the guardian of tribal customs and rituals, conduct funeral ceremonies, act as an advisor to the chief, and generally provide for the tribe.

Tarek shamans always revere the element of Earth. These tareks constantly commune with nature, and thus live near to but outside the tarek community they are attached to. This lends them an air of mystery which helps strengthen their role in the tribe. They serve as advisors to tribal chiefs and leaders, direct the spiritual life of their tribes, teach tribal legends and traditions, and act as medicine men for their communities. They also direct the rituals and ceremonies that make up much of the tribal lifestyle.


Dragonlance

Shamans of the Gully Dwarves

Reorx, the high god of all dwarves, failed the gully dwarves. While other folk live lives of luxury, gully dwarves live in squalor. It's not that they mind, but it only proves Reorx forgot them. So gully dwarves in turn do the same. They have discovered that the only people you can truly rely on are your own friends and family. To this end, the gully dwarves tend to worship their ancestors. They believe their loved ones are watching and guiding them. Giving thanks now and again can improve your fortune. Aghar also believe inanimate objects can be given true magical powers. This usually coincides with some personal event and an object they are holding at the time.

A tribe usually has a shaman of some sort, a wise-dwarf who has ideas and grasps the concept that there are numbers beyond two. Sometimes these shamans claim to speak with the spirits of the dead. In the Age of Mortals, several gully dwarf shamans have found that the dead have started talking back.

Shamans of the Kagonesti

Kagonesti faith in any of the gods tends to be a shamanistic faith. To the Kagonesti, the gods aren’t entities separate from nature—they are nature. They see the Mother of Forests when they look at a mighty oak. They see the Blue Phoenix when they look at a trout-filled mountain stream. They hear the sweet voice of Astra when the wind blows through the leaves of the trees. They see the wrath of the Red Condor when the grizzly attacks a village without provocation.

In addition to respect for the gods, a great deal of animism colors Kagonesti beliefs. Most believe strongly that the world is full of spirits, and every animal, tree, creek, river, spring, rock, hill, and mountain has a spirit of its own. Ordinary Kagonesti are as likely to offer a prayer to the local spirits to aid them in their tasks as they are to pray to the gods. Many humans often assume animism of this sort might lead people to disdain hunting and consuming meat. Quite to the contrary, Kagonesti revere the hunt. They believe every mortal creature has its rightful place in life's grand circle, and as some are fated to be predators, others are fated to be prey; the Kagonesti embrace their role as predators.


Eberron

Shamans of the Eldeen Reaches

Described in Complete Divine, spirit shamans are divine spellcasters with a close connection to the spirits of the natural world. In the Eldeen Reaches, they are viewed as closely related to druids, and they belong to the same sects as the druids and rangers of the Reaches. Spirit shamans are most likely to join the Gatekeepers, the Greensingers, or the Wardens of the Wood.


Forgotten Realms

Shamans of the Island Kingdoms (Kara-Tur)

Spirits abound in the island kingdoms. The Bavanese have five categories for spirits: memedis (frightening spirits), lelembuts (possessing spirits), tujuls (familiar spirits), demits (place spirits, associated with holy locales such as temple ruins), and danjangs (guardian spirits, similar to demits). These categories are not so much types of spirits as descriptions of the context and content of supernatural encounters. Any particular spirit might be considered a memedi or a lelembut, for example, depending on the situation.

In practice, the concepts are also used as colorful metaphors. For example, rather than say a man has suddenly become wealthy, one can say that he has acquired a tujul; this implies that he now has a spirit to steal money or rice for him. (Whether this is the case might require the services of a witch and is not usually regarded as being worth the effort; it's easier to explain the matter by assuming there's a tujul.)

To placate the many spirits that dwell on the islands, the natives have a special ceremonial feast, called a slametan. This important ritual feast is performed on every important occasion, even if one has no reason to fear spirits; it has evolved into the common denominator of religious tradition on the islands.

Shamans of the Korobokuru (Kara-Tur)

The korobokuru and their ishikorobokuru cousins do not have priests, as such; the head of the household performs religious services. There are members of korobokuru society who might be best described as shamans, however. They are called tusu. Most tusu are female, but males are not unknown and figure prominently in legends. The tusu's main function in the community is to be the communication channel of spirits. Their method involves a careful ceremony to appease the spirit. This ceremony is almost always conducted with the assistance of the village chieftain (especially since he is the one seeking advice or information).

Shamans of the Living Jungle (Kara-Tur)

In the jungle of Malatra, shamans directly worship the spirits of the jungle, their holy symbols are of all varieties, even within a tribe: rattles, small drums, preserved snakes, bones, and virtually any totem or fetish imaginable.

Shamans of the Northern Wastes (Kara-Tur)

In the Northern lands, shamans play a very important role as advisers, protectors, and spiritual guides to the community. The core of their belief is animism. The original tenet of animism is a belief that natural phenomena (which can include flora, fauna, inanimate objects, places, and even weather) have souls or spirits or are the incarnations of gods. The word “animism” comes from anima, which means “spirit.” One form of animism is druidism.

Beliefs of specific animistic creeds vary. For example, some hold that bears are the only animals with souls; others see spirits in every living creature, or even inanimate objects; and still others believe in pantheons of divine figures that manifest themselves in nature. Rituals and taboos spring from these beliefs and vary accordingly. But all animists are unified by their respect for nature; their philosophies emphasize working with it, cooperating with rather than exploiting their natural environment.

Shamans of the Shou (Kara-Tur)

The people of Shou Lung and T'u Long have a strong shamanistic tradition. Their beliefs are rich and complex, centered around the Celestial Bureaucracy. They believe that each deity, as well as numerous forces, spirits, and entities, were appointed a role to play by the Celestial Emperor. Prayers are not offered to a single deity, but to the correct entity in the right situation. They also have a deep respect for their ancestors.

There are two religions in the land of Shou Lung; the Path of Enlightenment, and the Way. In addition, there is a “faith” of custom; a philosophy of the Nine Travelers, which, through the years, has become the guiding principle behind the mandarinate scholars.

Ancestors
When a mortal dies in the Celestial Empire, he is judged by the Lords of Karma as to his relative merit. If his merit is very high, he is elevated to the level of a Lesser Immortal, if less, he may become a sage. If he has merely lived a good and merit-filled life, he is granted eternal existence in the Heaven of the Ancestors. In this land, there is no pain, suffering, or infirmity. There is always delicious food to eat and fine clothes to wear. The ancestors have one responsibility, and that is to advise their descendants. To this end, each ancestor has a secret name, known only to the most trusted of his children, the invoking of which requires his attention.

Spirits
There are two kinds of spirits; those of the dead, which include all baijang, gaki (or hungry ghosts), bisan, and the like; and those of nature —kami, harooga, and other aspects of the material world. The spirits of the dead are descended from those who lived evil or unfulfilled existences when they were alive. For this, they have been judged by the Lords of Karma to eternally walk the Earth as spirits, forever in torment. By day, they are shut away from the eyes of men in the darkness of the Underworld, where the black caverns echo with their screams of anguish. By night, they haunt the earth, often in evil, forbidden places, or near the place where they died or were buried. This, by the way, is why it is safe to approach a Shou graveyard by day, but extremely dangerous to do so by night.

Twisted by the pain of unfulfilled dreams, visions of vengeance for past wrongs, or hatred and evil, the hungry spirit is a creature of horror, feared by all men. As in all things of the Celestial Empire, they too have their duties, among which is to serve as a terrifying example of the result of evil practices. To accomplish this, most hungry spirits have supernatural powers and abilities, many of which are as deadly as they are frightening.

Equally powerful, but not as twisted, are the spirits of nature. These creatures exist as forces of the material world, moving through it to provide life and motion. Some spirits, such as the kami of place, are the guardians of sites and treasures. One legendary example of this is Harooga, the spirit of Akari Island. Others, such as kami of elements, move the winds and waters in the direction of the great dragons of Heaven. There are also spirits of stone and beasts, serpent and fowl, who also guard and protect powerful places in the world. It is these spirits of Wind, Air, and Water that the Chung Tao priests of T’u Lung call Nature Cods.

Shamans of the Tuigan Hordes (Faerûn/Kara-Tur)

As a nomadic society, the tribesmen of the steppe have simple religious beliefs. Two gods, both elemental lords, are central to their beliefs. The most powerful and respected is Teylas, lord of the sky and storms (Akadi in Faerun). Teylas is the god of heaven. He watches over the nomads, sends rains, gives the people blessings, and protects them from evil spirits. When he is angry he sends powerful thunderstorms to strike down his enemies. The other major god is Etugen, the goddess of the earth (Grumbar in Faerun). She is the source of many of the blessings on the people. She causes herds to increase and protects against some diseases. She provides good pastures.

In addition to these two, the tribes believe in several lesser gods and spirits. The beast cult of horses is particularly important. An aspect of Eldath is venerated since water is so important. Selune is known for her connection to the moon. Malar, the god of the hunt, is known. Important places (mountain peaks and oases) also have spirits who must be venerated. The nomads have no evil gods. Misfortunes and ills are either the work of evil spirits or the result of displeasing a god. Many of the tribesmen's customs and taboos are intended to ward off evil spirits.

Oboos, altars to the gods of Sky and Earth, are holy sites to the nomads. They are used by the shamans and lamas for important ceremonies or when commune type spells are cast. It is believed the power of the oboo increases the effectiveness and potency of these spells.

Shamans of the Uthgard Tribes (Faerûn)

The Uthgardt generally revere Uthgar as their chief deity. Each tribe has a totem beast representing the aspect of Uthgar it reveres most, an ancestral mound that holds the tribe’s sacred magic and spirits, and an ancient ritual enemy that the tribe's rangers choose as a special enemy. They believe that shamans' otherworldly abilities originate from their deceased ancestors.

The surly Northmen are not what one would call a religious people. They pay grudging homage to several gods only because those powers have control over things the Northmen do not. Tempus, the god of battles, is the only deity who receives more than cursory piety. Likewise, the earthly agents of the gods, normally shamans, are treated with similar callousness, having a lower status than warriors.

Within the Uthgardt, all deities are allied to a central religion focusing on beast totems. Each tribe has its own totem. All other deities, including adopted foreign gods, are secondary and subservient to the beast gods. The Uthgardt barbarian tribes each worship one of the beasts whose powers were taken by Uthgar. The totem cult encompasses the worship of the tribes ancestors, including Uthgar, his sons, and long-dead chieftains and shamans. These cults include the Sky Pony, Blue Bear, Great Worm, Elk, Grey Wolf, Red Tiger (Snow Cat), Black Lion, Thunder Beast, Griffin, and the Tree Ghost.

Uthgardt shamans dress in barbarian garb, but their clothing is decorated with magical symbols and relics fortified with holy power and prayer. When a shaman dies, his relics are buried with him in his ancestor mound. The holiest of these relics is the shaman's sacred bundle, an enchanted leather satchel containing spell components and objects too holy for others to see. These objects have been gained by the shaman at the request of his ancestral spirits. It is said that each sacred bundle is protected by a guardian spirit who appears from the bag if it is opened by anyone other than its owner.

Each tribe has an ancestor mound where they worship their totems (and other gods) each fall during the Runemeet. Several share mounds with other tribes, while some mounds are lost or abandoned. These are the holiest sites of the Uthgardt barbarians. Most tribes believe their tribal founders to be buried in their ancestor mound. Although there are many lesser burial mounds and shrines revered by smaller clans within the tribes, it is to these large mounds devoted to their most ancient and holy ancestors that the Uthgardt tribes return each fall to spend their winters near the protection of their ancestors.

The ancestor mounds are all roughly similar. Two mound rings called cairn rings surround a large central mound called the altar mound. The ancestor mounds of large tribes may also be sur#rounded by smaller, nondescript burial mounds. Usually all mounds are formed of turf-covered earth. The spaces between the rings and the altar mound are called vales. They are as wide as a cross section of a cairn ring (about 40 to 45 feet) and are known as the inner and outer vales.

The cairn rings often echo the shape of the altar mound, but many are circular. The outer cairn ring is usually bare, and still serves as a burial ground. Four large stone menhirs are set at the four cardinal directions (N, E, S, W) on the more holy inner ring. The rest of the inner ring is spiked and thickened with tall wooden poles. The top of each pole is grotesquely carved, depicting fierce human faces, monsters or clan totems.

The altar mound in the centre of the ancestor mound is often shaped like a tribal totem beast (though this is often difficult to discern from the ground). A fifth large stone, usually low to the ground marks the altar. There is no writing here, but arcane symbols on the stone are renewed yearly. Most Uthgardt are superstitious about their ancestor mounds. They both fear and revere them. In the cairn rings surrounding the altar mounds, they have buried their mightiest chieftains with treasures and luxuries for the world beyond life. They believe that the spirits of dead ancestors protect the graves from harm.


Masque of the Red Death

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The Masque of the Red Death setting takes place in the 1890s. On this server, characters native to Gothic Earth must come from its past. They can be from any period between the Bronze Age and the early Renaissance. The year 1650 CE is the latest a character may be from. See the Gothic Earth PC Information Thread for further details.

The shaman of Gothic Earth is a mystic from a tribal society, referred to as "primitive" by many. In so labeling the shaman, most people have no idea that the shaman's affinity for nature and the wild places of the world constitutes a far greater talent than the supposedly civilized people of Gothic Earth could ever guess. This affinity for wild things and the vibrant energies of life give the shaman the power to cast mystic spells.

Whether a Native American, an Australian Aborigine, an African tribesman, or any other indigenous tribe member, the shaman represents a force that should not be underestimated. His outlook on life is not tainted by the creature comforts common to the inhabitants of Europe. Indeed, he looks at the people of the Western world with pity, for they have broken their ties with nature. To live like they do would certainly kill him, for theirs is a discordant culture.

The beliefs and practices of shamans differ wildly between cultures and periods. The title of shaman can designate both members of the druid or shaman character classes. Shamanism counts as a form of mysticism (see the Gothic Earth Resource Thread). A shaman would know how to cast spells before arriving in the Mists. On Gothic Earth, a shaman casts spells by performing ritual dances, making sacrifices, singing ancient chants, and otherwise appealing to magical forces to answer their call. Because the Red Death is not present on Ravenloft, a Gothic Earth shaman would quickly notice that magic just became much faster and seemingly safer to use once on Ravenloft.


Mystara

Shamani of the Athruaghin

The shamani are a powerful, yet humble, people. They are the most influential of the Children of Atruaghin, for they claim to be in touch with his personal energies. It is through the shamani, the tribes believe, that Atruaghin speaks his will. Thus, the voice of a shamani is always treated with respect, even awe, by any member of the tribes. Shamani are similar to the clerics of the Known World as they oversee the mystical practices of the Atruaghin Clans. In addition, they have much in common with the mysterious druids that are found in dark and secluded wildernesses. They are not trained in combat but do manage to keep themselves in shape due to the nature of many of their devotions. Shamani are blessed by Atruaghin and, thus, can employ some very powerful magical spells. Shamani limits themselves to only wearing leather armor and their choice of weapons is guided by the customs of their clans. This is both for cultural and technological reasons.

Shamans of the Ethengar Khanate

"The World Yurt was made by the Immortals. That is obvious, for how else could it have come to be? The Immortals have many forms and all are mighty. We, the people of the Sea of Grass, know that only by honoring the Immortals and the spirits who serve them can we expect to live the way the Great Ones intended. Clerics of other lands are not wrong in their beliefs. Their Immortals give them strength and so the rightness of their ways is proven. The druids of the southern lands are also powerful and are attuned to the ways of the world. All beings have a place. Does not the lion hunt to preserve the balance of nature and we in turn hunt the lion so that we may gain its strength? All is one, and one is all. That is the way of the world. The way of the shaman is not a path we choose, we are born with it, and it grows within us. The time comes when the spirit within us makes itself known. It is not a welcome gift, for it brings illness with it. In this time we fall into a trance for as long as nine days. It is then that we become aware of our spirit guide, the spirit that leads us through life and enables us to enter the Spirit World. Because of our knowledge of the spirits, our advice is sought in such things as when is the best time to make and break camp, to warn of natural disasters, and to determine the best time for organizing hunts and to make war. We are also the memory of our people, the storytellers who relate the tales of the Great Khans and of the Spirit Lords. It is our task to keep the world strong and to guide our people along the best path to the World Mountain. More than this we cannot do, and more than this no one should ask."
~ Kaunchi, Ethengar shaman on the ways of the spirits.

A shaman mediates between the Ethengars and the Spirit World, striving to keep the World Yurt in harmony with the Spirit World. Shamans ensure that animals are not killed unnecessarily, that suffering is not inflicted on animals, and that the spirits of the World Yurt are appeased. Shamans are not opposed to hunting, but they seek to prevent hunts that greatly reduce the animal population. All hunts are carried out with the consent of a shaman who watches over the proceedings and intervenes if the hunters kill too many animals. A shaman's knowledge of the spirits enables him to know whether a site is suitable for a camp and what rituals are required before a camp is made. The spirit guide acts as the conscience of the shaman, evincing displeasure if the shaman does not behave in a manner that fits the character's shamanistic beliefs. A spirit guide may show its disfavor by withholding some benefits, or spells, or by reducing the shaman's spellcasting abilities. These powers may be returned only after the shaman has performed a dangerous quest or carried out actions to appease the spirit guide.

Shamans either dress in clothing made from their totem animal or wear items derived from the animal. The spirit guide of any shaman is therefore obvious by looking at the shaman. Shaman with horse spirit guides are likely to have horse tails attached to their hats, tunics, and skirts. One with a tiger spirit guide is likely to wear a tiger skin cloak, etc. To emphasize their relationship with the spirits, shamans often paint their faces with fierce designs, giving the impression of extremely slanted eyes and hollow cheeks. To add to their fierce appearance, long fangs are drawn at the sides of their mouths, which they outline in red ochre.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2024, 01:29:33 AM by MAB77 »
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Setting Agnostic Shamans
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2023, 08:34:57 PM »
Setting Agnostic Shamans

This section presents 3 types of shamans as presented in the AD&D 2nd edition sourcebook Shaman. They serve as examples of what a shaman could be, but shaman players are certainly not limited to these interpretations. It is worth noting that this sourcebook also has an interesting section on the Spirit World. While this version is not considered canon for our module and will not be reproduced here, it may still serve as an inspiration for the beliefs of your character.


The Tribal Shaman

"When you are shaman, you will know one thing from another, and tell all what those things are. You will say when the dead are dead and when the living are trespassing against their spirits, you will say who might rightly marry whom, and who owes allegiance to which clan; in this, you have power over all men, for only you, a Shaman, can make it clear who is who and what is what."
~ Ryambe, tribal shaman

The tribal shaman is the intermediary between the people of his tribe and the spirits. He is a religious functionary (offering sacrifice to the spirits), an oracle (determining the spirits' wills), a loremaster, and an advisor to the tribe. He is respected by all and expected to provide moral guidance by example and word. Depending on the nature of the tribe and the spirits they worship, the tribal shaman may be part of a rigid hierarchy, may be alone or a member of a small group of shamans at a shrine or village, or may wander from settlement to settlement.

Tribal shamans are sources of moral and religious authority, sources of explanation, and guardians of the tribe's traditions and status quo. He is also the one who conveys the will of the spirits to the tribe.

The spirits with which a shaman deals are invariably the spirits of his or her tribe, and each tribe has a different array of spirits that they traditionally venerate. In some tribes, spirits are seen as being everywhere - in trees and streams, rocks and beasts, in the air and the earth. Other tribes do not venerate nature spirits, but the tribe's forebears. Some tribes worship a small number of greater spirits, each associated with specific elements - for example, water and fire.

In most tribal religions, the spirits are seen as the causes of all hardship and good fortune. If crops are abundant, and the people are in good health, then thanks are given to the spirits. If there is a bad harvest, if a woman is barren, or if a son is ill, the spirits are considered to be responsible, and the people need to know why the spirits have struck them down.

It is their role as mediators between the spirits and the people that makes the shamans important, for often it is only through them can the cause of misfortune be identified and the suffering alleviated. Moreover, some shamans are believed to be able to call down the spirits' wrath on the wicked.

In this way, the spirits (and thus the shamans) maintain the tribe's social order. The spirits demand that the people behave in certain ways. The shamans then must instruct the people as to what is right and what is wrong.

Each tribe has its procedures for selecting and training shamans, and these methods are firmly rooted in longstanding traditions. The process is the same from generation to generation and often originates from laws given to the tribe by the spirits. A typical selection process might be as follows: A child is first chosen according to an omen a sacred bird lands on the roof of his or her hut on a certain holy day, for example). The boy or girl is taken to live with the shamans on the edge of the village, where he or she works as a servant for them, helps with ceremonies, and so on. When the child reaches puberty, he or she is sent to a sacred cave, with water but no food, and must stay there until the spirits come, accept the new shaman, and bestow a new name upon him or her.

Many tribal shamans are severe, humorless sorts, acutely aware of the great responsibility which they bear. They have been trained to safeguard the tribe, both its morals and its actual safety and cannot take this lightly. The role of the tribe shamans demands that they must speak out boldly for what is right, and yet when dealing with important members of the tribe they must learn tact and control. Committed to serving ancient spirits and maintaining tribal traditions, they are usually extremely conservative, fiercely resisting any sort of religious or social change. They are not by nature questioners, as they have taken on trust what their elders taught them. Now, they expect others to accept the same teachings on trust from them. Most try to make themselves paragons of moral respectability, strictly adhering to the standards that the spirits demand the tribe follow. Few are so strong-willed that they have no human failings, but their tribes usually expect them to live exemplary lives and may cease to respect them if they do not. More importantly, the spirits themselves are often determined that the shamans should live blamelessly and may punish those who stray.

The ritual of contact
This ritual allows the shaman to speak with the spirits, and can only be used in sacred areas. He may specify which spirit they wish to speak with (especially wise if malign spirits might be nearby) or may attempt to contact any available spirit. The shaman performs a dance, beats a drum, sings a chant, or performs some other function to attract the spirits' attention, usually beginning energetically, and slipping into a light slumber if the spirit comes to speak with him or her.

The conversation takes place telepathically. The shaman sees himself as if in a dream, standing with the spirit in the spirit world, talking as normal. There are no dramatics, no levitating objects, and no oozing ectoplasm. Often the interaction is both informal and public, with friends and assistants of the shaman loitering nearby. The shaman usually mutters as if talking in his or her sleep, but the spirit's side of the conversation remains inaudible to spectators.

The ritual of introduction
This rite is usually performed at the edge of one tribe's lands when entering the territory of another. The shaman buries at least one day's worth of food and drink and entreats the spirits of the area to accept the offering and believe that he or she has no ill intent.

All spirits of the area thereafter react to the shaman more favorably. Suspicious or hostile spirits tolerate the stranger, and indifferent spirits become friendly. However, if the shaman betrays the promise and attacks or harms the people or spirits of the area, all of the territory's spirits immediately become hostile, and any subsequent ritual of introductions fails to appease them.

The ritual affects all spirits linked with the territory entered, such as ancestors, hero spirits, and any other spirit traditionally worshipped by the people) and any spirits bound to the area (tree and animal spirits, etc.). It does not affect spirits who are incidental inhabitants of the area.


The Solitary Shaman

"Every raindrop lives its life, falling through the sky, born of a cloud and killed as it strikes the ground, and the things that it sees and hears it will remember, and it will sing to you if you listen hard enough. And as the wind whistles through the branches it tells of the places it has been and what it has felt there; and as the leaves rustle the tree talks with the wind and tells you its story, too. Stay with me, then, and I will teach you how to hear. It will not take so very long to learn, a few years perhaps; no more than the fall between clouds seems for the raindrop."
~ Mariella, solitary shaman.

Solitary shamans are rarely concerned with politics or personal gain, they are recluses, hermits who live apart from society and usually lack the will or means to threaten anyone.

Most solitary shamans lead simple self-sufficient lives and avoid contact with others. They have no use for riches, luxuries, or power. A few solitaries are known to locals as hermits worthy of respect (wise men" or "wise wise women"), and the rustics sometimes go to them with their problems - to have a dream interpreted, an illness cured, and so on. Some, through choice or circumstance, play a more active role. A threat to their wilderness habitat or the spirits within it may lead to their abandoning their cozy existence. The advance of a group of orcs or other violent creatures into the area, the presence of a malign wizard, or the erection of an evil temple pose obvious threats to any solitary living nearby.

There have always been people who despise the trappings of civilized society and yearn for a simpler (if harder) life. From their ranks come a scattering of people who can perceive more of the natural world than normal folk. These are the solitary shamans, people who hone their senses through practice and contemplation so that they come to see the spirits and other hidden things around them. Usually, this requires the aid of a tutor), but some exceptional individuals have gained these skills unaided, or have even been born with them. Once a solitary shaman has gained his first powers, he usually leaves his tutor to find a secluded spot to settle down.

Rarely coming into contact with other people, most solitaries are introverted and quiet. Relishing the beauty of nature, they have no interest in art or craftsmanship. They live quiet, gentle lives, and rarely want anything more: what little they have, they explain, they appreciate to its fullest, while normal people fail to appreciate the greater things that they have. This quiet, reflective life fosters a great sensitivity in them, while their harsh and often impoverished lives prevent them from becoming sentimental. Indeed, while solitary shamans are famed for their ability to understand and empathize with the natural world, they are not as passionate as other folk and rarely display any strong emotion. Solitaries rarely understand or show an interest in politics or the dogmas of religions often seem absurd and petty to them. Of course, some solitaries were brought up with strong political or religious views before they retired to the wilderness and may carry these prejudices with them throughout their lives. But most are tolerant and naive, narrowly concerned with the health of their wilderness homes and the spirits who dwell there, and disinterested in wider issues.


The Spiritualist

"Who were they? Well, I introduced them all, didn't I? There was Crow, who was once a god, the Rat Totem and...oh, what were they? They were just spirits, that's all. Ghosts of the dead, memories of the living, things that might have been in another time, how should I know? But, I will tell you this; stick with me, and I'll teach you how to make them your friends, your servants, and your deadliest weapon. The chant I performed - it's not begging, pleading, and threatening, it's a dance! It's a seduction! It's reaching out to Death and stroking her and cuddling her and leading her where you want her to go."
~ Karalach, spiritualist

The spiritualists are the descendants of tribal shamans whose tribes were destroyed, and now they manipulate the spirits for whatever grim purpose they please.

When cultures have been subsumed by expanding empires, their sacred sites ploughed over, and the people dispersed amongst the burgeoning cities, the shamans continued to practice their arts. They sometimes pass on their skills to the younger generations, who develop new spells and rituals to suit their situations. From here, emerged the spiritualists. Shamans without tribes, the spiritualists have no obligations to fulfill, no moral standards to uphold, and little to direct their own values except the bitter memories of the respect and honor speaking with spirits brought their predecessors.

Spiritualists, as a group, do not share any particular set of objectives. Many are completely self-serving, although a minority have goals and ambitions that are motivated by selfless considerations (such as concern for a social or ethnic group). Some, remembering the religions of their forbears, attempt to set up religious movements to resurrect these forgotten spirits. A few succeed, but others find that the ancient spirits have faded away, or become the dupes of other supernatural powers. Alternatively, rather than set up genuine religious movements, they use their powers to set up fake cults, hoping to manipulate the gullible or shear them of their cash.

Most churches and religious institutions condemn the spiritualists' activities (particularly their dealings with malign or evil spirits) and teach that such blasphemers are damned to hideous, eternal punishment. Spiritualists vary in their responses to such condemnation: Some develop guilt complexes and have little self-esteem; others embrace any religion that forgives, overlooks, or condones their practices; others reject the notion that they are the ones in the wrong, and become obsessed with avenging themselves upon the culture that absorbed their own.

As mentioned above, the spiritualist shaman is the product of the displaced people from a shattered culture. Therefore, it is no surprise that the training of a spiritualist shaman resembles a twisted version of the training of a tribal shaman. Spiritual shamans are often found in the most destitute areas of the world's cities, and there they keep an eye out for young people, ideally of their ethnic background, who seem suited to carry on the legacy they have begun. This generally means the shaman watches for ruthless, angry youngsters, tests them for sensitivity to the spirit world, and then coaxes or coerces the youngster to enter training. The relevant knowledge that most spiritualists possess rituals, lore, and so on - could be taught in a matter of weeks. In practice, however, spiritualists tend to stretch the instruction over several years, using the pupil as a servant, guard, and guinea pig for the duration of the training.

On becoming full spiritualists, most pupils move away from their masters, so their interests don't conflict. Some, however, may be bound to continue to serve their masters, or simply by threatening the pupil with the powers of other spirits or mortal allies, the master may force the younger to serve him or her for decades. In some cases, one spiritualist even manages to direct several such proteges. Usually, it is only fear of the leader's power that maintains these groups, and the younger spiritualists are often keen to break free from their elder's control. When large groups exist, the leader may take steps to ensure that the younger members do not know of each other, as this prevents them from conspiring together against him or her.

Spiritualists are concerned with the manipulation and control of spirits and mortals. They therefore tend to be manipulative, insensitive, and unscrupulous in their dealings with other, living people. Life to the spiritualist is cheap and disposable in the face of the eternal spirits. Spiritualists rarely take death seriously, either as a personal threat or an abstract concept, and rarely understand why others make such a big deal of it.

Often studying magics of which society disapproves, spiritualists usually pursue sordid, grubby lifestyles. Surviving in poverty or struggling to gain power in the cities' toughest quarters, they tend to be hardheaded, practical people, with little time for idealists or dreamers, an attitude that frequently clashes with their dreams of past glories. Nonetheless, spiritualists are usually intuitive, and good judges of people, but rarely develop interests in such abstracts as art or academia. As spiritualists' activities put them outside of respectable society, their objectives usually serve the interests of those outside of the mainstream. Some side with the poor, with rebel movements, or with persecuted minorities; others become involved in dark cults or the criminal underworld.

Commune with Spirits
Seeking out a quiet and secluded area, away from prying mortal eyes, a spiritualist may perform a ritual to invite nearby spirits to speak with him. Each spiritualist has a personal ritual, which reflects his or her alignment and temperament, which he or she may easily perform. If the spiritualist is prevented from using his or her own personal ritual (due to a lack of props or physical components), an alternative impromptu ritual may be attempted, but this will take longer and may have unexpected side effects.

If a ritual is correctly performed, the spiritualist sends out a psychic invitation to all spirits in the area, attracting them to him or her. No spirit is bound to respond to this invitation, but most are at least curious to understand why the spiritualist wishes to commune with them. Those nearby spirits wishing to commune with the shaman appear, visible to all who are present, as ghostly images of what they were in life, and converse normally. They appear separately, not en masse, each spirit or groups of spirits coming to him or her in turn; there is no order of precedence the first to answer appears first, and later arrivals approach the spiritualist when these have departed. A spirit who answers the call stays to speak with the spiritualist for as long as it wishes. Most depart if the spiritualist asks them to do so, but some may refuse. In this instance, the only way that the spiritualist can get rid of them is to terminate the ritual.

Most spirits consider this communion to establish a kind of truce. Even if hostile to each other or the spiritualist, they rarely attack; only the most chaotic ignore the truce and assault their enemies. Conversely, the spirits expect the spiritualist to honor the truce and are usually appalled if he or she violates it.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2023, 08:34:06 AM by EO »
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MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
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Guide to Patron Spirits
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2023, 08:35:32 PM »
Guide to Patron Spirits

Spirits form the vast multitude of living beings that infuse the entire world with divine essence. Unlike the gods of the multiverse or even the Loa of voodan, patron spirits are not defined entities and may come in a wide variety of forms and nature. The nature of your patron spirit is left at your discretion but should make sense in the context of your character's background and setting of origin. A patron spirit may be of any creature type, with the spirits of ancestors or of nature being the most common.

What few mortals realize is that the spirit world is as fraught with intrigue as may be the material world. Spirits do compete between themselves to gain preeminence. Your patron spirit is likely to have its own goals and agency, prodding you to indirectly help him through actions in the material world. Your spirit's goals should be defined in your character's background and serve as a roleplay tool to guide your actions.

You are reminded that, beyond its own goals, your patron spirit is not concerned with the material world and knows little of it. You may not gain any knowledge about the in-game world, or perform any action beyond the limits of the game engine, through your patron spirit without DM oversight.

Your chosen alignment at character creation defines your patron spirit's alignment. You bonded because you share a similar philosophy. The spirit's alignment will never change and will thereafter serve as the condition by which a shaman may fall from grace. As with clerics and voodan, your alignment must remain within 1 step of your patron spirit's, or else your actions will have caused your patron spirit to abandon you. Fallen shamans may either seek to atone and redeem their ways in the eyes of the patron spirit or may quest to find a new patron with a philosophy matching the shaman's new outlook on life.

The clerical domains you select should reflect the nature of your patron spirit. A shaman has access to the same clerical domains as clerics but must comply with the following requirements. The first domain must be tied to nature, the cycle of life and death, or its corrupted form, undeath. The second domain can be chosen from all remaining clerical domains, except those restricted to particular faiths.

- First domain selection: Air, Animal, Death, Earth, Fire, Healing, Plant, Repose, Sun, Undeath or Water.
- Second domain selection: Chaos, Curse, Darkness, Destruction, Dream, Evil, Good, Knowledge, Law, Luck, Magic, Protection, Strength, Time, Travel, Trickery or War.

Set up your patron deity at character creation, or use the @deity command before reaching level 3. Enter your patron spirit details in the following format: Name (Type of spirit, alignment). Example: Pyropheles (Volcanic spirit, CN).

Examples of patron spirits    Suggested domains
Ancestral spirit (Benign)Healing, Protection
Ancestral spirit (Warlike)Fire, War
Beast spiritAnimal, Strength
Celestial spiritGood, Sun
Eldritch spiritDeath, Magic
Fiendish spiritDeath, Evil
Mountain kami / Earth spiritEarth, Law
Nightmare Lands spiritDream, Plant
River kami / Water spiritTrickery, Water
Spirit of FateLuck, Repose
Storm kami / Air spiritAir, Travel
Sun spiritSun, Time
Undead spiritDarkness, Undeath
Vermin spiritDestruction, Plant
Volcano kami / Fire spiritDestruction, Fire
Wrathful spiritCurse, Death
« Last Edit: December 20, 2023, 09:30:41 AM by MAB77 »
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MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.

MAB77

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Sources and recommended readings
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2023, 08:35:58 PM »
Sources and recommended readings

D&D Basic
GAZ12 - The Golden Khan of Ethengar
GAZ14 - The Atruaghin Clans

AD&D 1st Edition
Oriental Adventures
Kara-Tur, the Eastern Lands

AD&D 2nd Edition
Dark Sun Revised Campaign Setting
Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium II
Earth, Air, Fire & Water
Shaman
The Horde
The Nightmare Lands
The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier
Web of Illusion

D&D 3e/3.5e
Complete Divine
Eberron Player's Handbook
Manual of the Planes
Oriental Adventures
Player's Guide to Faerun
Races of Ansalon
Ravenloft Player's Handbook

D&D 5e
Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
« Last Edit: October 12, 2023, 08:34:47 AM by EO »
Best Regards!
MAB

Dev. Relationist for the Dark Powers.
1 Castle Road, Castle Ravenloft, Village of Barovia.