The Shaman Class for D&D 5th Edition Preview

Ever since I put together a Western themed D&D game, I’ve been focused mainly on the guns of the Wild West. Movies have inspired me like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Lone Ranger, Once Upon a Time in the West, and Shane.

But lately I have started working on a tribal class for someone that would want to tap into the spiritual side of the game with a Native American Shaman. I went with two archetypes that are very similar, but focused on different aspects: ancestral spirits & nature spirits. I took a lot of information from things I found researching shamans, the TSR Boot Hill game, and some ideas that others have put together to create the game mechanics behind a shaman class that would work with my Western D&D game. This class takes a western themed campaign into the spiritual world and adds magic and other ideas. But because of the primal nature of this class, I think it can be used in any D&D game type.

Here is a short preview for the shaman class that is coming out this week:

…in the form of spells and aide to the natural world. Ancestral spirits request deeds to be completed or wrongs to be avenged, while Nature spirits request help when trouble afflicts the natural world. Great blessings that shamans receive are also a great burden, as a spirits from the Spirit World may use shamans for their own agenda.

Many shamans possess the ability to go directly to the Spirit World fully, leaving their body and entering the supernatural world to search for answers. They acquire knowledge and power by performing rituals that honor their tribe. Shaman provide advice and service to all members of their tribe by warding away bad spirits, and by guarding traditions and hard-earned wisdom. They offer physical and spiritual healing to members of the tribe.

Creating a Shaman

The shaman lives in between two worlds; a world of spirituality and the natural world. They don’t see
the two as being separate, just that others are blind to what they can easily comprehend. They connect
with the Spirit World to bring forth great power against the wrong doings in the world. Remember that
your character has a close bond to their tribe and to the Spirit World. You have a constant connection to
the Spirit World and that place is always on your mind.

Why would you leave your Tribe to become an adventurer? Perhaps you’ve made a bargain to right a
wrong, or your tribe has been attacked and you need to find the source. You may have been captured
and trying to find your way back to your home after winning your freedom. Perhaps you have been
replaced by another shaman and you have to go out into the world as part of your tribe’s custom to
learn from the larger world outside of your tribe.

Quick build

You can make a shaman quickly by following these suggestions. First, put your highest ability score in
Wisdom, followed by Constitution and Strength. Second choose the outlander background….

I really think you’re going to like the class, and please let me know if you’d like to add to it. I do have another archetype that I am testing for it, and will add it to the online document once I have it completed. All of our patrons will receive a copy, and it will be available for purchase on DriveThruRPG/RPGNow soon.

Thank you for your patronage and support 🙂

– Michael



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