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[Labyrinth Lord] Shaman


Requirements: None
Prime Requisite: INT
Hit Dice: 1d4
Maximum Level: 8

Sometimes called druids (by people who don’t have a clue), witchers, ghostmen, or just wise men/women, shamans learn how to influence the spiritual world. It is not quite clear what sources they draw their powers from really, especially not to them, but their magic is a more primal, more raw understanding of the world beyond our senses. They oftensome of the most important members of their tribes, and their word often is the last, yet sometimes this can lead to conflicts with the real chieftain, who might not be happy to get told off by someone spending half their day in a cave or the woods.
They are limited in their choice of weapons, as they are only able to use their ritual clubs and staffs. They are unable to wear any kind of armour more heavy than thick fur or light leather, but can use shields. Shamans are weak at low levels, and when adventuring they should be well protected.

Shamans memorize their magic with rhymes and songs they get taught by their elders, every day they have to spend some time remembering the songs and rhymes that influence the spirit world and get themselves into the spirit for spiriting.

A shaman may occupy a ritual place, often a cave or other natural formation with specific magic properties, when he reaches level 6. He will then attract apprentices (1d4), who will range from level 1-3.

Shaman Level Progression
Experience Level Hit Dice (1d4)
0 1 1
2,501 2 2
5,001 3 3
10,001 4 4
20,001 5 5
40,001 6 6
80,001 7 7
160,001 8 8

Shaman Spell Progression

Spell Level

Level 1 2 3 4
1 1 – – –
2 2 – – –
3 2 1 – –
4 2 2 – –
5 2 2 1 –
6 2 2 2 –
7 3 2 2 1
8 3 3 2 2

Speaking of Cavemen…

Asia Obscura has a short report about modern day people in Shanxi living in caves. Not too surprising for me, the climate in them lends itself to be lived in I guess. I still remember from work a few years back that being in the cave in summer was not the worst part of it: It was cool there when outside the temperatures were soaring. The real shock came when coming out of the cave.

And when I was working there in the winter the cave at least kept one warm (-er) Well, it still was only 9 Celsius in there, but it was better than sitting outside in the cold. Yeah, my employers didn’t really think people working in  a wooded hut at 10 below freezing might need, well, heat.[1]

People still are using this principle, but as so often the tradition is slowly eroded by modern life: only the old live there now, the young ones having moved away to the big city. Yeah, THEIR children will be back I guess, but then they’ll built their own caves with wireless internet and running water. Or something like that.

Anyway, interesting post about people living in caves, and nice pictures going with it.

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The adventure module I was talking about earlier: Elfenblut was the 11th adventure module in the slowly developing success story that was Das Schwarze Auge in Germany. I just realized when looking at the cover again that it was intended as a adventure for levels 11-15, which means it must have been combat intensive as hell. It technically is a mystery story, but even the detective stories had something to fight back in the early days of the game.

I never actually played or owned this module myself. The sheer amount of modules published for DSA alone barred me from that, in addition to the fact that when I got into roleplaying (the late 90s) many of the earlier adventures were out of print and did not fit into canon anymore. Only a few would get some classic reprints, but many people never saw some of the real classics, mostly because some of the earlier tries were, well, silly.
This one actually qualifies for that as well: as mentioned before the neanderthals on this cover were not supposed to be there. But when the publisher got the art and noticed they already had paid for it they threw in some cavemen into the adventure to make it appropriate.

I’m not really sure WHY, many of the earlier covers of the line had absolutely nothing to do with the contents of the adventure themselves. They looked awesome though.