Shamans of Altera


  • Casting Style: Staff Spell Foci, Spells are delivered with weapon swings, never thrown
  • Strengths:  Mind Effects and Damage
  • Weakness:  All spells must be spell struck, limited spell choice
  • Casting Roleplay Method: Ritual Staff Carving

Callum sat by the fire, carving a new line of runes and shapes.  Pain spoke to him, along with Sorrow about the evil he must face in the morning.  Callum ignored them, as he often did.  They were excellent teachers, as the dead went, but distractions he could not afford so close to finishing.

As he applied the final rubbing of ash into the wood, a deep red flame raced up the runes.  It was done.  The lesson he had to teach tomorrow would be harsh and potentially deadly, but fools often needed such teaching.  And maybe then, he could get a good nights rest without having some vision of bandits and killers on the road ahead.

Placing the new staff on the ground, Callum decided that tonight he would sleep with his mind protected from the powers of the anguished and place an ancient looking sculptured branch into his bedroll.  Old power would shield him and hide him for a time.

And tomorrow would come, and lessons given – and if he survived, new students to find.

Cost Summary

Shaman Tiers Pre-Req Activation Cost Abilities
1st, 10 XP 5 XP/Activation Battle Runes 1;
Spell Flux, 8 XP each
2nd, 10 XP 3 Activations 7 XP/Activation Counterspell, 10 XP each
3rd, 15 XP 6 Activations 10 XP/Activation Battle Rune 2
4th, 15 XP 10 Activations 13 XP/Activation
5th, 20 XP 15 Activations 15 XP/Activation Battle Rune 3

Shaman Rules Summary

  • Foci:  Staff
  • In-Play Verbals: No
  • Soul Mark: No
  • Book/Text Prop: No

Shamans channel the magic created as the forces of the world collide with each other.  This chaos creates a steady stream of friction and energy that the Shamans can tap into and channel through their staffs.  By weaving those energies into runes held on their staffs they channel those forces into constructive shape.  The runes absorb the energy from conflicting forces until the shaman releases that power in devastating displays of might.  Like the other styles of magic that tap into elemental forces Shamans understand the need for balance however rather than seeking to maintain that balance or to control it they understand the simple truth of this world.  There is no balance.  Power swings from one extreme to the other and back again.  All that humans can hope to do is provide a controlled release for that power when it grows too great.

Some shamans may physically carve runes into their staff that is normally for mundane show.  What is important is the slow and methodical tracing of the runes by the shaman’s will directly into the core of their staffs.  These runes may be changed at any time but in order to do so the Shaman must remove all the enchantments from the staff and begin weaving them all over.  There are no partial attempts with a shaman.  There is no removing only one spell.  The path of a shaman is the path of all or nothing.  If one rune needs to be changed then they all do.  If one rune needs to be activated then they are all activated.

Each staff can support up to eight runes.  These can be inscribed directly onto the staff phys rep but can also be drawn onto two separate 3 foot lengths of fabric or ribbon.  Each rune should take up about 9 inches of space with the spell name on the back of the ribbon.  If the shaman wants to change what spells are accessible through their staff the ribbons must be untied and new ribbons must be drawn with the correct runes.

Shamans have a limited number of times the runes on their staff can be activated each day.  Once active the runes on the staff will remain charged with magic until all the runes have been used.  Each rune empowers one spell and each spell must be delivered as “spellstrikes”.  As such all spells must be delivered through direct melee combat instead of ranged combat like most mages.

Learning New Runes

Runes are not something that can just be found and immediately used.  Each rune must be studied and internalized so that the Shaman understands the deepest truth of the rune they will inscribe.  Runes may be found in play, copied from other Shamans, and researched like most any other spell however it takes time and effort to have the Rune truly committed to memory.  Shaman’s have a secondary character card that lists the runes they have personally mastered and can inscribe.  This spell list may be added to in play with the supervision of a plot member or it can be memorized between games once you discover new runes.  This does not require the use of a BGA however must be recorded on the checkout form.  No more than one rune can be learned per BGA period and no more than one rune can be learned during a single event.

Battle Runes

Battle Runes are special runes that remain active once Staff Activations is spent.  They are typically minor battle magics which recharge as a “per combat” effect.  Normally battle runes do not take up more space than any other rune however it is possible for extremely rare or powerful battle runes to require such elaborate inscription work that they would require a larger area, up to the entire staff, to maintain.

Phys-Rep Requirements

  • Staff: Must be a legal boffer-safe staff as outlined in the by the rules for weapons
  • Runes: All staffs that Shamans use have carved runes represented by a ribbon, cloth, tape or materials that is safe to use on a combat active weapon and has drawn pictographs placed on them. It needs to be no more than 3 feet (36 inches) long and 3 inches wide.  We recommend attaching the ribbon to the middle of the grip area. Ribbons can be changed out if a Shaman wishes to alter the mix of spells on his staff.  We also allow certain tapes to be stuck to the staff if it can be done without affecting the safety of the weapon.

Magic of Shamans in Stories

Lighting Strike

By using the power of Air the shaman is able to charge their staff with intense power

Element: Air

Effect: 1 Spell Strike Lightning Shard 3

No Passage

By Focusing a full staffs activation through this rune the caster may generate a wall of ice that last as long as the caster holds his position. The wall is exactly as long as the staff so if the staff is not able to create a full barrier the enemy can walk around it. This rune may only be used once per staff activation and consumes another staff activation.

Element: Water/Ice

Effect: Activate Magic Ice Wall

Brush of Juniper

With a brush of the Staff, the Shaman may heal the the injured by drawing on the Earth and Water that flows through all living things.

Element: Elemental

Effect:   Magic “Heal Wounds 2”

Tears of Pain

By tapping into the Pain of the spirits of the world, the Shaman can teach those who decided to fight against them a strong lesson.

Element: Shadow

Effect: 1 Spell Strike Shadow Torment per combat

Twisted Roots

The Shaman can channel minor bits of power to cause roots or other obstacles to catch an opponent’s foot temporarily immobilizing them.

Element:  Earth

Effect:  1 Spell Strike Snare Foot per combat


The Shaman can channel minor bits of power to channel a quick snap of winter through their staff causing minor damage.

Element:  Ice

Effect:  1 Spell Strike Ice Shard 1 per combat

Inspiration Images