Shades of Shadora
Shamans and Spirits
Quick Link to the Shaman AB and the New Power edges here
Spirits in Shadora
Spirits and Spells
The Totem Spirits
Gaining Totem Spirits
Exorcism and Resurrection Rituals
Totem Spirits and their Powers
“Spirit” is the term used to describe the immaterial servants wielded by shamans and priests. “Ghost” is the term for twisted chaotic counterparts. Spirits and Ghosts have the stats described below except that Spirits don’t generate Fear. Additionally, both spirits and ghosts can initiate spirit combat.
To engage a spirit in combat, a character must locate one or arrange for a priest or shaman to find one for him. If not automatically attacked by the spirit, the character may issue a challenge; a declared challenge will do, since the spirit can read the Spirit (aura) of the character well enough to sense the invitation. A Spirit must manifest itself on the material plane (1 round) to engage a physical combatant. When combat begins, it automatically breaks Mindlinks and temporarily disconnects the combatants from any other bound or allied spirits. If the material combatant is also engaged in melee or some other physical activity, such as running, driving, etc., Spirit Combat counts as an Action and they will incur a MAP.
Each round of Spirit Combat consists of opposed Spirit rolls between the combatants. The winner of a round can choose one of the two following actions:
- A spirit could choose to disengage if combating a physical creature. A physical creature may not disengage.
- A winner may attempt to capture (or banish) the opponent with a second opposed Spirit roll. If the second opposed roll to fails, the Spirit Combat will continue next combat round.
- A hostile spirit will always seek malign possession of the victim.
- A “physical” challenger may choose to banish or bind the captured spirit.
- If the appropriate binding object is available, the spirit may be captured. Captured spirits may be commanded to perform an action when released.
- A banished spirit may not manifest itself on the material plane for 24 hours.
Malign possession occurs as a result of a loss of spirit combat with a hostile spirit. Depending on the state of mind of the spirit, those possessed in this fashion may find themselves falling on their swords or completing some quest for lost bones.
Spirits use possession magic. A spirit must be manifested (1 round) to affect physical targets and casting possession magic is a free action for them. Spirits bound into objects can cast spells on their wielder without manifesting. To affect other targets they must be freed to manifest.
In addition to the normal array of possession magic, Shaman’s have access to more powerful spirits called Totem spirits. These spirits are the ghosts of animals or cult heroes and may be given a command to perform in exchange for a sacrifice. They have the same powers as normal spirits, plus the following additional powers.
- If they possess a person they will raise their totem attribute 1d and grant them a totem edge or monstrous ability and raise their totem skill by 1d. Tales tell of great heroes or blessed nature spirits that have multiple totem abilities.
- They must be appeased thru ritual sacrifice just like regaining spells. If they deem the sacrifice unworthy they may stay in the host and attempt to possess them or wander off and remain unavailable. Appeasing spirits may be done once per day.
Gaining Totem Spirits
To acquire a Totem Spirit the Shaman must take the New Power edge, choose an appropriate place that will impress the spirit and call them through ritual sacrifice, making a Spirit roll, and appropriate gifts of 10T. This may be attempted once per day. A one on the Spirit die, regardless of the wild die calls a Ghost that immediately attacks the Shaman. The Shaman’s Player should describe the spirit they want, the sacrifice they are willing to provide and work with the GM to determine the totem attributes.
When the spirit arrives, the Shaman must convince the spirit to serve them. The GM makes a Reaction roll modified by persuasion as normal. Friendly and Cooperative spirits come willingly. Neutral spirits need convincing via spirit combat and 50T of gifts. Neutral spirits will flee if they win, taking the gifts. Hostile and Uncooperative spirits need convincing via spirit combat and 100T of gifts. Hostile spirits will possess malign if they win and set off on some unfinished quest using the shaman’s body
Totem Spirits are hard to control and the number of Totem spirits a Shaman can handle is limited by: Smarts/2 + Spirit/2 + Charisma + 2
Prerequisites: Legendary, Spirit d10; Healing d10; Beast Bond, Arcane Resistance
Upon reaching Legendary rank and meeting the prerequisites, the Shaman will hear “the Call” to become a Spiritmaster. To become a Spiritmaster, shaman must awaken his Fetch. He must go to a holy place that contains a “portal” to the Spirit Plane and enter into a mystical spirit quest, fasting and praying to the Great Spirit to awaken the powers within him. He remains on his quest for 1d6+1 days. At its conclusion the Great Spirit, the First Shaman, will appear: he will tell the Shaman that it is time to go, and will escort him along the path to Spirit Mastery. Along the path the shaman performs a special ceremony that always includes three stages. If he survives he will become a Spiritmaster and gain the benefits and obligations of his new rank.
Stage 1: The Sacrifice: The Shaman’s Spirit die is permanently reduced by one as a sacrifice to the future fetch. This creates the combined soul that the Fetch and Shaman share. If the shaman fails his spirit quest, these points are lost for good. The Spirit die may be increased in a future advance.
Stage 2: Awakening the Fetch: If a successful Spirit roll is made the fetch is awakened into consciousness with the stats of a normal Spirit. If the roll is a failure, the sacrificed Spirit is lost and no fetch awakens.
Stage 3: The Fight with the Grave Man: Spirit combat with the Grave Man, father of Ghosts, occurs at the journey’s end. This ghost has a Spirit of d12+5, and will spirit combat any Shaman with a Fetch for 2d6 rounds. The Fetch will assist the Shaman in this combat. Questers without a fetch will be fought until the Grave Man is destroyed, or until the living person is possessed.
At the end of the quest, if successful, the Shaman awakens as a Spirit Master. If he fails and lives, he may quest again in a year.
- Board and succor by the tribe;
- Ransom equal to Spirit x 1000T
- Free cult possession magic training;
- Second Sight at will as a free asction
- +2 Charisma when dealing with those who respect Shamans;
- Gains Connections Edge with the tribe.
- Fetch – Allied spirit with additional powers listed below.
- Discorporation – may roam the Spirit Plane
- Spirit Capture – no roll to capture spirits in Spirit Combat
- Exorcism and Resurrection Rituals
- Gains the Hindrance Vow (Major) as Shaman’s are bound by the following strictures. (Sins)
- Minor: Using a gun or other manufactured tool in an emergency; eating food other than that hunted or killed according to the Dagaral’s Ways; traveling by wagon of any kind.
- Major: Using a gun or other manufactured tool except in an emergency; dwelling in an abode manufactured other than according to the Dagaral’s Ways; drinking alcohol
- Mortal: Traveling using a machine; using a mechanical device.
- Must give 50% of his time to the tribe or temple
When magically attacked, the shaman uses both his own and his fetch’s Spirit to resist spells and spirits. Both make Spirit rolls and add the results. However when attacking, a shaman uses only his personal Spirit, not the fetch’s. Furthermore, a discorporate shaman does not use his fetch’s Spirit for defense. The fetch helps the Spiritmaster control his ancestor spirits and raises his max spirit limit to Smarts + Spirit + Charisma + 2. Additionally the Fetch is an Allied Spirit with all of its benefits except that it is not bound into an object or creature. It follows the Spiritmaster’s Aura like a beacon on the spirit plan and manifests as needed.
A Spiritmaster no longer needs a “portal” to enter the spirit plane. They can send their spirit out of their body and wander deep into the spirit plane. This may be done to find a hero with important knowledge, perform resurrection, or locate a powerful healing spirit. During that time the shaman’s fetch is left to guard the sleeping body. The fetch will usually appear as an animal significant to the shaman. The resulting transparent form cannot be Dispelled, Dismissed, or Neutralized.
To discorporate, a shaman must perform a ritual that requires one hour to complete and make a Spirit roll TN 4. Part of the ritual involves tying a loop of silver chain around the waist of the shaman. This represents the link to the physical plane. He must also light a candle, which acts like a homing beacon. If these two items or his inert body are destroyed while discorporate, the Spiritmaster is lost on the spirit plane forever. This is not a spell rather a magical ability – the Discorporation process cannot be Dispelled. If the Spiritmaster wants to bring others onto the spirit plane with him, he may do so provided he has enough silver chain to encircle the group and a candle for each member. The TN for the Spirit roll increases by 1 for each additional traveler.
When the shaman discorporates, his fetch forms on the mundane plane and protects the body awaiting the re-coalescence of the spirit. The fetch can cast any spell available to the corporate shaman, but it cannot move or activate the shaman’s body. It is in Mindlink with the portion of the shaman’s spirit on the spirit plane, as well. When discorporate, the shaman cannot use the fetch’s magic points to defend or attack, though he can use the fetch’s Power Points to fuel spells.
With this ability a shaman can see the auras of living things, as if using the Second Sight Possession spell. No roll is required, only concentration.
Spirits are automatically captured when a shaman battles it in spirit combat and has Spirit die superiority. The Fetch serves as the vessel into which the Spirit is bound. The fetch is limited to a number of captured spirits equal to its Spirit die. Control type spells are not required. They always remain captured without protest until discharged. A captured spirit will perform one deed appropriate to the nature of spirit after which it must be free. This is the only way that a shaman can use most of these spirits. Thus a typical spirit will teach or cast a spell, but it will not attack someone to possess him. A ghost however, would have no problem possessing a target. Capturing Chaotic spirits (ghosts, wraiths, and the like) exposes the Spiritmaster to Corruption. Every time a Chaotic spirit is freed to perform a task, the Fetch must make a Spirit roll. On a 1, regardless of the wild die, the Shaman gains a point of Corruption.
Exorcism and Resurrection Rituals
These long rituals banish evil spirits from a mortal host or restore a dead hero to life. The XP loss and time limits for Resurrection remain the same as the Divine spell, but the mechanism is different. The process takes eight grueling hours, during which time the target must remain within the one yard of the Spiritmaster. The Spiritmaster must make a Vigor roll each hour of the dance or gain a Fatigue. Becoming incapacitated stops the ritual, which must be started again from scratch. At the end of the eight hours, the Spiritmaster makes an opposed roll of his Spirit versus the ghost’s or the departed’s Spirit. If the caster wins, the ghost is banished instantly and forever or the hero is restored to life. On a failure, the host remains possessed or deceased and may never be exorcised or raised by this Spiritmaster. A vampire or lich who is exorcised is laid to rest for eternity.
Totem Spirits and their Powers
|Totem Animal||Attribute||Boon (+2, +4 Raise)||Edge/Power||Ahay Tribe|
|Black Bear||Strength +1d||Grapple||Smite||Yatahay|
|Cat||Agility +1d||Stealth||Cats Eye|
|Centipede||Toughness +2||Stealth||Dark Vision|
|Crab||Strength +1d||Grapple||Water Breathing|
|Fox||Agility +1d||Smarts Tricks||Level Headed||Terahay|
|Goat||Spirit +1d||Survival||Combat Reflex|
|Eagle||Spirit +1d||Notice||Improved Level Headed|
|Lizard||Spirit +1d||Climbing||Wall Walker|
|Octopus||Strength +1d||Swimming||Improved Frenzy|
|Otter||Agility +1d||Swim||Mr. Fix It|
|Owl, Osprey||Smarts +1d||Notice||Fly||Lorahay|
|Parrot||Smarts +1d||Persuasion||Speak Language|
|Raven||Smarts +1d||Notice||Level Headed|
|Snake||Parry +2||Smarts Tricks||First Strike|
|Squirrel||Parry +2||Lock Picking||Speed|
|Thrush||+2 Charisma||Persuasion||Mind Reading|
|Toad||Vigor +1d||Soak Rolls||Hard to Kill|
|Porcupine||Parry +2||Shooting||Bolt, 3d6|