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The Humanoid Spellcastersby Jim Bobb
Good eve all of ye. 'Tis been a few seasons since my last visit and once again I find myself with a few minutes of peace to collect my thoughts. On my last venture to the choked jungles of Northern Davania the smallish group of adventurers I had "attached" myself to had several harrowing encounters with members of a particular tribe of Orcs, methinks they escaped all the way 'cross the Sea of Dread from the Orc's Head Peninsula and the Dragon Overlord that dwells therein. In particular, the groups were led by shaman and wokan. As for myself, I know not much of the matters of savage workers of the Arts, but a few oddities worth mentioning are on the tip of my mind.
Most seasoned adventurers know that savage spellcasters are restricted in their selection of spells, probably because of their limited minds and survive-at-all-costs lifestyle. (1) Sadly this is not the case. I've gleaned from observing a wokan for a few days that his selection of magic is limited only by what he can gain from raiding and trading. His main selection of magic is based on useful and flashy spells to cow any that would try to take his place, such as apprentices. (2) Shaman and wokan also have a slightly different selection of weapons and armour that their civilised counterparts. Both types may use any weapon considered a tribal weapon, in addition to the favoured weapons of their tribal Immortal (if the tribe has one). Shaman may well wear any armour available unless their tribal Immortal prohibits certain types, while wokan are still unable to wear armour. (3) Because of their increased mental capacity (4), shaman and wokan usually act as 'advisers' to their tribe's chief or king. Because growing up in a society where you move up in the pecking order by eliminating the competition would take time away from learning to harness the magical and divine, shaman and wokan are more secretive and behind the scenes, pulling strings on puppet rulers. Savage spellcasters are prohibited from ever learning and casting any spells that could raise or revive the dead, as humanoid society thrives on elimination of the weak. Although most humanoid spellcasters seem weak, many that have survived are the smartest and most powerful. (5) There ye have what little knowledge I've gained. Mayhap I'll have time enough to study them over the next few months. 'Till then may your spells strike true and your blade never need leave its sheath.
(1) Because they must survive their tough lifestyle, all humanoid spellcasters gain 1d6+2 hit points per level.
(2) The spells listed in the Rules Cyclopaedia p216 are the most commonly known for humanoid spellcasters. Unfortunately, it is a gross misconception of humans that humanoids are limited to just those spells.
(3) In addition to their normal selection of weapons and armour, shaman and wokan should be allowed to use any weapon considered a tribal weapon or favoured by the Immortal Patron of the tribe (if any).
(4) Humanoid spellcasters must have a minimum intelligence or wisdom of 9 for their respective class, and many have higher scores. See the Rules Cyclopaedia p214. Consider a creature race's average wisdom to be equal to it's intelligence.
(5) The Rules Cyclopaedia p216 lists the maximum levels of shaman and wokan of various races. Members of exceptionally high wisdom (for shaman) and intelligence (for wokan) should be able to achieve 1 bonus level for a score of 13-15, 2 bonus levels for a score of 16 or 17 and 3 bonus levels for a score of 18 or more. So a Kobold shaman with a 13 wisdom would have a maximum level of 7 instead of 6 because of his high wisdom score.