A Sundered World: Shaman Playbook Draft

We have shown you quite a few locations within A Sundered World, so this time I figured we would change gears and give you a preview draft of the shaman playbook (note that there are level 6-10 moves, but I want to get the initial stuff hammered out first).

Before the Sundering spirits inhabited all manner of objects, from rocks to trees to rivers to mountains. When the Sundering hit many of these spirits many went insane when they were not outright destroyed. A number survived, though most were wounded by the event. Shamans discover these weakened spirits and give them a new home: their bodies. In exchange the shaman is empowered by the spirit, able to do things that she could never do otherwise.

Your maximum HP is 8+Constitution.
Your base damage is d8.

Starting Moves
Choose either dwarf, elf, halfling, or human, then choose a spirit companion.

Spirit Companion
You have made a bond with a spirit companion. It can speak any languages you do. Unlike an animal the spirit is about as intelligent as a human. Normally the spirit dwells within you, offering you its strength and sharing your senses, but it can also manifest itself to act independently. Choose one of the following spirit archetypes:

[ ] Bear
Bear is strong and tough. When your spirit is withheld your Armor increases by 1 and your melee attacks gain the Forceful tag.

[ ] Snake
Snake is fast and slippery. When your spirit is withheld you take +1 to evade danger, slip past someone, or escape from someone’s grasp.

[ ] Tiger
Tiger is swift and ferocious. When your spirit is withheld you can run as fast as a horse, and your melee attacks gain the Messy tag.

[ ] Wolf
Wolf is a stalwart warrior and companion. When your spirit is withheld you take +1 when you stand in defense of a person or you and an ally attack the same enemy.

Your spirit's aspect determines what sort of benefits it grants while manifested in the world. Choose one aspect:
  • Might: When the spirit aids someone in combat, they deal +1 damage.
  • Tough: When the spirit protects someone, they gain +1 armor.
  • Tracker: When the spirit helps someone track a creature or detect the presence of creatures or objects using its sense of smell, take +1.
  • Wise: When the spirit imparts its wisdom, take +1 to Spout Lore.
You start with these moves:

Summon Spirit Companion
You can conjure your spirit companion at any time, causing it to manifest itself nearby. While it is manifested you lose the benefits of your Spirit Companion archetype, but you and others can gain the benefits of its aspect. Due to your spiritual connection you both share the same hit point total.

Spirit Healing
When your spirit invests a bit of its energy to heal you or someone else, roll+CON. *On a 10+ the target regains 1d6 hit points. *On a 7-9 the target regains 1d4 hit points, but your spirit is exhausted. Choose one:

  • Take -1 ongoing to use this move until you rest for the night.
  • You cannot summon your spirit companion for the next hour or so.
  • You take 1d4 damage.
  • You draw unwelcome attention or put yourself in a spot. The GM will tell you how.

Speak With Spirits
You are capable of hearing the voices of the spirits that inhabit the Sundered World. When you attempt to communicate with the spirits of the world, roll+CHA. *On a 10+, they are helpful and will provide you with information about the surrounding region that they know. *On a 7-9 they will help you, but want something in return. The GM will tell you what. *On a miss the spirits of the general area are offended; take -1 ongoing to use this move until you leave or you make amends.

Choose an alignment:

Adhere to the traditions of your clan or the tenet's of your spirit companion.

Willfully break or violate your clan’s traditions, or disregard your spirit's teachings.

Help an animal or spirit of the wild.

Your load is 9+STR. You start with dungeon rations (5 uses, 1 weight), and a totem symbolic of your animal spirit, tribe, or clan. Choose your clothing:
  • Loose-fitting leathers (0 armor, 1 weight) and 5 coins
  • Thick hide armor (1 armor, 1 weight)
  • Carved wooden shield (+1 armor, weight)
Choose your armament:
  • Rune-carved staff (close, two-handed, 1 weight)
  • Massive club (close, +1 damage, two-handed, 2 weight)
  • Spear (reach, thrown, near, 1 weight)
  • Pair of claw bracers (hand, +1 damage, two-handed, 2 weight)
Choose one:
  • Adventuring gear (1 weight)
  • Poultices and herbs (2 uses, 1 weight)
  • Halfling pipeleaf (0 weight), 3 antitoxin (0 weight)
Fill in the name of one of your companions in at least one:
____________ helped me find my spirit, either intentionally or accidentally.
____________ does not get along with my spirit.
____________ could benefit from the spirit's wisdom.
Your spirit knew one of ____________'s ancestors. Did they have a good or bad relationship?

Advanced Moves
When you gain a level from 2-5, choose from these moves.

When you summon your spirit and immediately have it aid someone in combat, that person takes +1 forward.

Chimeric Spirit
Choose another spirit archetype. You can only gain the benefits of one spirit archetype at a time, and it takes a few minutes of meditation to change the archetype.

Cunning Spirit
Choose one move from the ranger class list.

Dual Nature
Choose another aspect for your spirit. It can bestow either benefit to you or your allies.

Heightened Senses
While your spirit is withheld take +1 to Discern Realities made to spot something, and you can see in the dark.

Imposing Spirit
Your spirit gains the Large tag, and your size increases a bit as well. In addition when your spirit is withheld you deal +1 damage, and when it it manifested it deals +1d4 damage.

Improved Aspect
The bonus from one of your spirit's aspects increases by 1.

Mentor Spirit
Maybe your spirit is encouraging, or maybe it is overly critical of your every move. Regardless when you try to do something and miss, take +1 forward the next time you attempt that action.

Nurturing Spirit
When you use Spirit Healing, on a 10+ it heals 1d8 hit points, otherwise it heals 1d6 hit points (even on a miss).

Restraining Attack
Your spirit’s attacks are capable of pinning enemies down, whether by grabbing, constricting, or tackling. When your manifested spirit aids someone in combat, on a 10+ the target is also restrained until the spirit lets it go or it manages to escape.

Spirit of the Land
Choose one move from the druid class list.

Shielding Spirit
When your spirit surrounds a creature to shield it from harm, the target gains 2 armor and any damage to the target is instead dealt to you.

A big problem was trying to figure out the mechanical benefits of the spirit companion. I wanted it to be different from the ranger's animal companion and hirelings, as well as not be as complex as another character (one version had the spirit companion able to use basic moves). Obviously there could be more archetypes and aspects, but I want to see if this is something that people even like before adding more.


  1. I'm assuming this is for Dungeon World?

    I like the new flavor. The reason my group doesn't use Shamans in 4e is because of the religion flavor, but his new flavor about sheltering the spirit in your body as more of a companion than a religion... it may or may not work.

    I love ASW, but I have a hard time explaining it to my group so they're not too keen on it.
    sadness :(

  2. Yep. For the 4th Edition campaign setting we will still use the same flavor, as well as some new shaman powers thematic to at least the World Serpent.

    As for explaining it, we are going to have a section that sums up what A Sundered World is about. Think those "10 things you need to know about x" sections for Eberron and probably Dark Sun.

    Sorry to hear that your group is not too keen on it. What sort of adventures/settings do they normally play in?

  3. I run an Eberron game, and my sister is getting started as a DM with a Feywild game that we're all excited about.

  4. Well, there are big cities, as well as regions where the Feywild is a dominant force. The main difference is that they can be scattered across numerous chunks of rock, and the Astral Sea instead of the sky.

  5. yeah, I have no idea why they don't get it. Of course, I'm in no hurry to end the current campaign.


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