Apologies for how late this one is coming out to you today; had a lot of general life stuff going on today that took longer than anticipated, but I still wanted to get out the post for this week. Even though the Kickstarter campaign is closed now, we’ll still be doing some sneak peeks at some of the material coming up in the Fort Alice Sourcebook.
What I’ll be sharing today made it’s debut during FreedoniaCon as one of the player characters during our exhibition of this year’s Gencon demo. We’ll be taking a look at one of the Zulu Professions, specifically the Isangoma. For further explanation, I’ll leave it to the description from the book’s text:
Isangoma are healers, in multiple senses of the word. They see to the health of both individuals and the community at large, seeing to bodily injuries, illness, and spiritual wellness and harmony. They will often commune with spirits and use this communication to aid those under their care and to root out causes for problems that affect the wider population. They will also utilize ritual performances in their work, which may include singing, dancing, and prayer.
Taking such a broad approach to healing, they have learned to consider each aspect to be parts of a larger whole, just as individuals are parts of their larger community. They recognize that when one part of the whole is ill, the other parts suffer. Whether this is an injury to a limb that weakens the body, a physical ailment that causes the spirit to suffer, or a single ill person that weakens their community by being unable to contribute, each falls under the same concept. With this in mind, despite their practices being rooted in tradition and mysticism, Isangoma are quite willing to mesh their techniques with those of modern medicine and practices of other cultures, as they also see these differing approaches to all be parts of a greater whole.
Mechanics-wise, they are a variant based off of the Medium, which means limited access to a pool of spells that are taken and used as skills. This meshes quite well both thematically for a Profession focused on healing, where quick, direct action is often the deciding factor, as well as mechanically where they only need a specific handful of spells to focus on. Outside of healing, much of their abilities focus on either warding against harmful magic or navigating social situations, as befitting their broader approach to healing, looking not only at physical wounds, but mental and emotional ones as well.
I’ll let the list of Skills speak for itself from here:
Important Attributes: PER, WIL
Profession Skill: Empathic Sense
Awareness, Dispel Magic, First Impression, (Spell slot), (Spell slot)
Acting, Missile Weapons, Magic Theory, Research, Wilderness Survival
Astral Sight, Danger Sense, Impressive Display, Spirit Talk, (Spell Slot)
Emotion Song, Distract, Physician, Melee Weapons, (Spell slot)
Hypnotize, Resist Magic, Steely Stare, Summon, True Sight, Willforce, (Spell slot)
Avoid Blow, Animal Talk, Knowledge (Botany), Inspire Others, Evidence Analysis, Slough Blame, (Spell slot)
Lifesight, Spirit Command, Spirit Hold, Thought Link, (Spell slot)
Lion Heart, Resist Pain, Safe Thought, Truth Through Lies, (Spell slot)
Memory Probe, Perfect Focus, Second Chance, Soul Aegis, (Spell Slot)
Astral Survey, Diplomacy, Resist Taunt, Summoning Circle, (Spell Slot)
Role-playing wise, this Profession has a lot of potential both in what they can bring to a group and the drives for playing such a character. Aside from the simple motivation going around and finding people that are banged up and need to be put back together, Isangoma are interested in learning more about other cultures and their methods, techniques, and resources for healing, and incorporating them into their own repertoire. They see healing in a broader sense and understand the interconnectedness individuals within their communities, and further extrapolated can see the same pattern with other communities and cultures connected to each other. They’d be just as likely to seek knowledge of healing from a Native American medicine man, a high street chemist, a psychiatrist, a surgeon, a pathologist, or a magician repairing damage to a person’s aura. As they advance, they’ll be better able to bring all of these ideas together into a unified whole, and see how problems in one aspect can affect the others.
This one is definitely a favorite of mine from some of the new developments coming out, and I hope it’ll be one of yours as well. How do you think an Isangoma might fit into your group’s dynamics, and what sort of motivations might you have if you were to play one? Let us know in the comments below and on Discord, and we will catch you next week with another post!