Many shamans can come from barbarian tribes, rather than savage tribes. A multiclass barbarian/shaman would be the ultimate berzerkir (real-world legendary figures who raged in animal form). As such, the GM might want to rule that barbarian shamans can have any nonlawful alignment, rather than any neutral alignment.
Skinchanger shamans goes a step farther in their relationships with the spirits: rather than summoning spirit guidse to fight at their sides, they let the spirit possess them, becoming powerful beasts and intermediaries with the incorporeal world.
Bonus Spells: In addition to the spells learned as the skinchanger gains levels, the shaman also learns extra bonus spells related to his or her chosen animal spirits. These spells are added as soon as the shaman is capable of casting them and cannot be exchanged for different spells. If a druid domain for the chosen animal exists, that domain’s spells are added to the shaman’s spells known. Spells for other animal spirits are given here.
The houngan is nearer than other shamans to otherworldly and divine forces, yet even a houngan doesn’t fully understand these forces. This shaman keeps in contact with the world of the dead, delivering messages and seeking advice–and sometimes making the dead rise to fight again. This might not always be seen as an evil act, depending on the shaman’s alignment, deity, and motives.
Again, the woman stood in front of the dhampir, her wooden armor beautifully carved with fish and flower motifs. Her blonde hair danced as she shook her head at him.
“I told you,” the dhampir said to her. “I’m not changed.”
“So you say,” she answered. “And I can see what you’re doing. I can’t approve it. Neither can I be a part of it. But I know that you’re doing it not for evil, but for love.”
He shrugged. “That’s what you think,” he said. “Remember: I was born corrupted, and corrupted I am still. You had hopes for me. When will you admit that you were wrong? I still relish in inquity. And I always will.”
“So you say,” she repeated. “But I know you lie—even to yourself. May the One be with you, because I will always be.”
Then she was there no more. Only a blue wavelet flowing away in the nearby river indicated her receding presence.
The ragged houngan smiled darkly and resumed his work, closely watched by the quasit on his shoulder. The tribe needed defense: the dead warriors he was exhuming would have provided that. It was an evil job. But it was necessary. And someone had to do it.
Shamans are varied in their powers as in their manners and clothing, each with a unique way of relating to spirits and their fellow mortals. No two shamans look or act the same—and we can only try to describe some of their infinite and bizarre ways. In this web series, we present four shaman archetypes, each emphasizing an aspect of this mysterious class: the relationship with ancestral spirits, plants, beasts, or the frightful world of the dead.