Author Topic: thoughts on Spirit Shaman  (Read 243 times)

Offline RobbyPants

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thoughts on Spirit Shaman
« on: November 06, 2019, 08:29:14 AM »
What are your overall thoughts on the Spirit Shaman class from Complete Divine?

It gets spells off the druid list. It has an odd casting mechanic that gives it a lot of flexibility. Sadly, it comes with dual-stat casting, which sucks. Other than that, it gets a weird set of class features as opposed to Wild Shape and Animal Companion.

If the casting were just based on Wisdom, how good would the class be?
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Offline skydragonknight

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Re: thoughts on Spirit Shaman
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 08:39:55 AM »
Being able to concentrate on a spell and cast new ones has some niche uses. Though the Druid spell list didn't really have many of those. I have played the class when I wanted to play a divine blaster and didn't want to deal with making statblocks for wild shape. Not having to prepare does have it's uses, and you can use wand healing just fine even if you never take the spells.

At higher levels Domain staves help a lot. The two stat thing isn't the worst if you don't mind getting you 19 Wis partly through magic items since it increases your Will saves and spot and listen checks (and they can will the role of scout in a pinch). You don't need Str or Int really at all and Dex is for leftovers. Making it single stat is actually better for Favored Soul since they tend to value all their melee stats more due to the nature of Cleric spells, but it would help some for bad rolls/lower PB.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 08:52:24 AM by skydragonknight »
Hmm.

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: thoughts on Spirit Shaman
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2019, 09:07:32 AM »
Generally I like the class - it does have the negative of the dual casting, but otherwise is a solid caster that can, within some notice, grab any useful spell off the druid list. Its abilities are a bit weird, but have a few niche uses here and there, and in general will fit nicely into a caster role in any party.

Offline Arz

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Re: thoughts on Spirit Shaman
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2019, 03:22:28 PM »
I play one every Xmas for a holiday theme night. Warforged + Landforged Walker = Xmas tree. Also they put a full stop on spirit encounters and hence stopped many a Xmas past.

Offline Nanashi

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Re: thoughts on Spirit Shaman
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2019, 03:31:53 PM »
Spirit Shaman is essentially a 5E caster or PF Arcanist. That's close enough to tier 1 with a good spell list. Problem is: Is the Druid list strong enough for them to be Tier 1 without cheese and the druid's class features? The list struggles to invalidate encounters that aren't animals or natural obstacle based. I know Wu Jen, Shugenja, and Witch (PF)  aren't generally considered tier 1 despite being prepared casters of 9th level spells because their lists aren't that great, while Beguiler/Dread Necromancer know cast ninth level spells off fairly narrow lists but are only tier 3, and Healer/Warmage have narrow and bad lists that make them only tier 4.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 03:38:01 PM by Nanashi »

Offline Argent Fatalis

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Re: thoughts on Spirit Shaman
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2019, 03:56:15 PM »
So I started working on a project for the Spirit Shaman a while back and found that it probably is what is a low Tier 2, high Tier 3. Druid spellcasting by itself is not exceptional but it isn't terrible and it has a decent plethora of prestige classes it can hop into and can pull a number of tricks dedicated spellcasting druids can but the lack of Wild Shape and an Animal Companion definitely take a chunk out of it.

The weird way of acquiring spells and how it can easily cycle through them or find some niche to occupy makes it highly versatile and it can do something like holding its own with spontaneous conversion feats to be a summoner with more summons per day than a druid, but that doesn't really compete with what the druid can do. However, it has some really, really novel passive benefits which are game changers when relevant but pretty narrow in interest otherwise.

The split casting attributes is liveable, it really just depends if you plan on using things that give saving throws or not and how you feel about some.secondary class abilities. Even then, still salvageable to play, downside being there are even fewer options for dump stats and no real easy way to make up for them outside of the usual magic user answer of "More spells!" If it were purely Wisdom based it would improve but I don't think it would budge anywhere on the tier list and I do not think anything about it would break even slightly.

Offline Nanashi

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Re: thoughts on Spirit Shaman
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2019, 06:37:25 PM »
The biggest ways I know of for getting more spells are arcane specific outside of getting an extra domain, rainment of the four (MIC), and BoED/BoVD's special spells, all of which are pretty limited

Offline skydragonknight

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Re: thoughts on Spirit Shaman
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2019, 08:31:09 AM »
My last Spirit Shaman had a domain staff for extra spells.
Hmm.