The Dragonlance Nexus

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Arcane Shaman

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Raggart_Knug

Arcane Shaman (Wizard)

Highly respected but feared members of nomadic societies, arcane shamans are true wizards taught and raised among the uncivilized societies of Krynn. They offer insight and knowledge to those who seek it, and help defend their people in times of crisis. While many of the common members of their tribe may confuse them with the divine shaman (often an adept, cleric or druid), their outlook and self-perceived role in their culture is very different. While a divine shaman seeks to guide the spiritual heart of their people, an arcane shaman records their culture, knowledge and traditions.

Arcane Shamans are often outsiders in their own societies, and seldom become leaders in their own right. Most tribes have only one true Arcane Shaman at a single time, who takes on a single apprentice during the course of his lifetime. The apprentice is typically adopted by the shaman at a young age, and is often a physically weak boy who shows strong intellectual potential. From that point on the apprentice resides apart with his mentor, returning only for holiday celebrations and other special events. This leads to a strong bond between shaman and apprentice, and while the shaman normally has a strong affinity to his tribe, he does not share that affinity with any particular members of the tribe.

The tribe typically views the shaman with a mixture of reverence and suspicion. The shamans are renowned for their nature lore and their ability to give good advice, but their advice is often rough and difficult to accept. Shamans typically do not engage in inter-tribal warfare, but in dealing with outsiders their arcane abilities are prized. Differing tribes may have other social duties for the shaman to participate in.

Because of the shaman's strong bond with his tribe, an adventuring shaman is fairly rare. A shaman who chooses to leave his tribe may have been expelled for some offense, ordered to participate in some quest with other tribe members, or had his tribe decimated by an outside attack. Alternatively, a young apprentice may have completed his training and been ordered by his mentor to prove his worth before returning to the tribe.

Arcane Shamans and the Orders of High Sorcery: Despite their uncivilized backgrounds, Arcane Shamans appreciate the need for the Orders. Shamans of sufficient ability willingly undergo the test, although it is often undertaken in secrecy. While they rarely wear robes, they often wear the colors from the Order that selects them in their attire. Arcane Shamans are particularly prized as Dreamshapers within the Orders (per Towers of High Sorcery).

Hit Die: d4


To take a Arcane Shaman substitution level, a character must be about to take his 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, or 20th level of wizard.

Class Skills

Arcane Shaman substitution levels have the class skills of the standard wizard class plus Handle Animal and Survival. The Arcane Shaman loses access to all Knowledge skills except for Arcana, Geography, and Nature.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Arcane Shaman Substitution Levels
Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Summon Familiar, Wild Empathy
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Wild Shape (1/day)
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Wild Shape (2/day)
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Wild Shape (3/day)
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Wild Shape (4/day)

Class Features

All of the following are features of the Arcane Shaman substitution levels.

Spellbook: An Arcane Shaman uses a spellbook, just as a Wizard, although the construction is often more primitive. Depending upon the environment, this could include layers of bark, strips of hide, tree roots, stone disks, rods staffs or staves, or intricate tattoos. Unearthed Arcana contains rules for some alternate spellbooks.

Wild Empathy (Ex): The Arcane Shaman gains the Wild Empathy class feature, per the Druid base class.

This ability replaces the standard wizard's Scribe Scroll bonus feat at 1st level.

Wild Shape (Su): The Arcane Shaman gains the ability to wild shape once per day. This ability functions the same as the Druid wild shape ability, with the exception that the Arcane Shaman does not gain access to the greater variety of forms (e.g., Large, Huge, Tiny). Each time this ability is taken, the arcane shaman can wild shape one extra time per day.

This ability replaces the standard wizard's bonus feats at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level.

Summon Nature's Ally: The Arcane Shaman replaces all Summon Monster spells on his spell list with Summon Nature's Ally. The spell is identical to the divine spell of the same name, with the exception that it is considered an arcane spell when cast by an Arcane Shaman.

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