1879: Professions High Tiers: The Shaman

A spirit-worker with spellcasting abilities, the Shaman grows in power in both fields as they rise to Warden. Glyph of Unweaving allows them to pick apart spells and enchantments and wards, more time consuming than Dispel Magic but much more reliable than just tossing astral dynamite and hoping it’s enough. Spirit Command replaces Willpower in a Contest of Wills, much like Willforce replaces Willpower in the Effect Test of a spell, giving the shaman considerably more power over the spirit world. When combined with a Summoning Circle, the shaman has enough base power stacked to control high Force Rating spirits without resorting to augmentations that run up against the Rule of Three. At the same time, the Shaman becomes more of a religious leader to their people, being able to Inspire Others, negotiate with Diplomacy, and direct with Leadership. They lead through example, ignoring insults with Resist Taunt, fear attacks with Lion Heart, and psychic attacks with Safe Thought. Finally, the shaman gains the ability of Astral Projection, and can enter the spirit world themselves for brief periods. The uses of this are complex and varied, well beyond a blog post to discuss.

The Master Shaman is sometimes consulted by the culture’s lawgivers, to discern the Truth Through Lies in a difficult case, or if needed to resort to a Memory Probe to gain the truth. Harming a Master Shaman with a magical attack becomes extraordinarily difficult, as if they see it coming, they can put up a Glyph of Shielding and survive the arcane equivalent of artillery shells. Their Bardic Voice and Oratory combine with Leadership to command the attention and direct the actions of their culture. More than that, though, the Shaman has become a Big Name in the Spirit World, truly coming into their own as spirit workers and commanding the same presence in the astral as in the physical world.

Skills and Abilities

  • Warden
    • Core Skills
      • Glyph of Unweaving, Lion Heart, Spirit Command, Summoning Circle, Thought Link
    • Optional Skills
      • Diplomacy, Inspire Others, Leadership, Resist Taunt, Safe Thought
    • Abilities
      • The character gains +1 to their Mystic Defense.
      • The character gains +1 to their Social Defense.
      • The character gains +1 Recovery Test per day.
      • Astral Projection: The Shaman’s spirit can leave their body for brief periods of time. The Shaman makes a Willforce Test against the Damage Step of astral space in the area (see the Astral Damage Table on p.XX of the 1879 Gamemaster’s Guide), and takes half the Damage Step in Strain to cross the boundary. The Shaman’s effective Force Rating is equal to their Professional Rank. The Shaman may project astrally for a number of minutes equal to their Profession Rank. Each minute after that time limit expires, the Shaman takes damage equal to their Wound Threshold, including a Wound. See the Astral Denizens chapter of the 1879 Gamemaster’s Guide for more on astral projection, astral travel, and the requisite game mechanics.
  • Master
    • Core Skills
      • Astral Survey, Glyph of Shielding, Memory Probe, Soul Aegis, Truth Through Lies
    • Optional Skills
      • Bardic Voice, Lion Spirit, Oratory, Perfect Focus, Second Chance
    • Abilities
      • The character gains +2 to their Mystic Defense.
      • The character’s Max Karma increases by 15.
      • Big Name in the Spirit World: The Shaman has gained considerable reputation among the spirits. The character spends 5 permanent Damage points to gain this ability, which grants +5 Steps to all spirit-related Skills in the Core and Optional lists (Summon, Spirit Hold, Spirit Talk, Orbiting Spy, Spirit Dodge, Spirit Command, Summoning Circle). This bonus counts under the Rule of Three.