This is a Shaman oriented class, a friend of nature and spirits, to which it can bind. The Shaman of Sarran are melee combatants, focused on tanking and controlling the enemies and supporting his allies, rather than just dishing out damage. It makes use of totems and beasts and is an adept at dreamwalking, a feature which enables him to gain various powers, granted to him when he is awake.
Originally, this was a class designed for a world based on the Upper Paleolithic period, but can easily be reskinned to fit any other fantasy based world setting, I guess.
But I need feedback, guys, as I'm pretty new at this. I'm pretty limited in terms of playtesting the class at the moment, and I'm pretty sure some features need nerfing, whilst others need buffing, so if anyone can read or even playtest it for a bit and let me know their opinions, it would be super appreciated. The text is also in beta, and any grammatical errors (or otherwise) will be eliminated in the final version.
Take it for a spin and have fun! If you have any questions in regards to the class, I'm happy to answer them all.
This is some awesome work! I haven't had a lot of time to dig in, but it does look like a really solid class. If at all possible, I would try and stack a party with high level versions of all the different paths to compare them to each other.
I've made three attempts to balance this Shaman into a 5e class.
It can't be done.
You've got at least 2 distinct class concepts here:
I re-imagined your class as a Druid/Bard and a Ranger/Warlock.
The Druid/Bard would handle totems & inhabiting beasts.
The Ranger/Warlock would link spirits & soul leashes.
Both would work with a paleo deity/patron.
I made both of them use the Warlock spell progression. This makes sense if spell casting is granted by primitive deities that don't have a full clerical tradition. I called them Gifts and Lore, and for Druid/Bard it works identical to Warlock. Ranger/Warlock invents a half-warlock progression.
The Ranger/Warlock gets incantations instead of invocations. These are any variety of abilities, some combat some support, that the Warden gets access to. Most of the abilities described in your class pdf would work as incantations - they mimic a spell, give proficiency or effect, or enhance an attack.
I balanced the Totem ability against Bardic Inspiration. The uses are capped by Int mod. The die increases with levels. Totems may be carved in a short rest at level 5, just as Bardic Inspiration upgrades. It was unbalanced before to have them be area effect, ally-excluding buffs and debuffs. One of the archetypes should be a Totem master. This archetype would focus on improving the totems to the additional functions- using them at range, giving them an area of effect. The Totem specialist should gain access to new, different types of totems like the lava & flood. A level 3 ability should be the ability to detonate a totem to regain a spell slot. This archetype should be focused on casters.
I changed the CR for various beast things to match with the Druid Wildshape and the Beastmaster path for Revised Ranger. These mechanics work well and scale.
The Sarran's Gift seems like worging so I went in that direction. There should be a dedicated Dreamwalker archetype that focuses on linking to elemental spirits. The spirits should have capabilities to guard and ward the unconscious shaman while they inhabit a beast. These should upgrade as effects of the bound elemental spirit that unlock at higher levels. The elemental capabilities should not all arrive as soon as the class has access.
For the Warden, took an approach of having a Dream Guide for the subclass - Beastmaster, Yoke Herder, and Hunt-Mistress.
Used the Revised Ranger beast master as a template for what a beast spirit can do. It's exactly the same.
The Yoke Herder should focus on leashing abilities and have an elemental type familiar. Similar to Pact of Chain, the Soul Blast should be an 10th level invocations for example. Other leash abilities also incantations.
For the Hunt-Mistress, the heavy martial abilities go here. This should follow example of Ranger Champion subclass. Certain abilities from this sub-class could be fueled by spell slots.
You can carve a supernatural talisman (totem) using your totem making kit.
You perform this feature by carving totems as part of a long rest. You may not carve more totems than your Intelligence modifier (a minimum of one). At 1st level you only know the rites particular 2 of the 4 basic elements.
You must use particular materials such as wood or bone to carve into a totem. Materials can be easily found in nature, such as branches from trees, bones from dead animals or skeletons, rocks or pebbles. During the carving, you recite a specific chant in your mind, to bind an element to the totem. Each totem is no bigger than your fist, and represents a crudely carved representation of nature's aspect.
The totem can by used by yourself or tossed to an ally within 30ft. The totem's effects begin immediately upon a command word and last for 1 minute, or until destroyed. The effect requires concentration by the user. Once the effects have worn off, the totem crumbles to a fine mist.
Totem Effect Component
1d6 temporary hit points
1d6 bonus on Con saves and checks
1d6 bonus on Dex saves and checks
1d6 fire damage to attacker within 5ft.
1d6 bonus fire damage on attack
1d6 bonus acid damage on attack
1d6 bonus lightning damage on attack
1d6 bonus cold damage on attack
Your Totem die changes when your each certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d8 at 5h level, a d10 at 10th level, and a d12 at 15th level.
While asleep during a long rest you can enter a state of lucid dreaming, enabling you to tear a crack into the Lands of Forever. Whilst there, you can pursue a number of activities. Once awake, you are granted various boons, depending on the endeavors pursued during your sojourn.
Explore When dreamwalking, you may wander the Lands of Forever in order to know more about it, and through it, know more about the Living World. When you awaken, you have proficiency with Nature or History skill (choose one). The proficiency is lost if not renewed on the next dreamwalk as your memory of slumber slips into mist.
Commune When dreamwalking, you may seek a specific soul of a dead person at the request of someone alive. The dead soul must have been a relative of the person alive, no matter how far in the line. You can take a message of 25 words from the dead soul back to the relative in the Living World, or vice versa.
Saran's Guidance When dreamwalking, you can seek guidance of Saran itself, the warden of the gates between the World of the Living and the Lands of Forever. When you awaken, you gain a 1d6 bonus die. Once within the next 24 hours, you can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw. You may wait until after you roll the d20 before deciding to use the Dreamwalk die, but must decide before the GM says whether the roll successds or fails. Once the Dream die is rolled, it is lost. The die is lost if not renewed on the next Dreamwalk as your memory of slumber slips into mist.
Starting at 2nd level, you learn how to shift into the body of a beast that you can see. You can use this feature twice. You regain expended uses when you finish a short or long rest.
You can inhabit the beast for a number of hours equal to half your shaman level (rounded down). You then revert to your own body unless you expend another use of the feature. You can revert to your own body earlier by using a bonus action on your turn. You automatically revert if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die. Once you have shifted out it, the beast resumes its existence as if it were unaware of what has happened though it may have lost hit points or be unconscious.
Whilst inhabiting a beast, the following rules apply:
Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature's bonus instead of yours. If the creature has any legendary or lair actions, you can't use them. When you inhabit the beast, you assume all of the creature's hit points and Hit Dice. When you revert to your own body, you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed. However, if you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form. For example, if you take 10 damage in beast form and have only 1 hit point left, you revert and take 9 damage. As long as the excess damage doesn't reduce your own body to 0 hit points, you aren't knocked unconscious. You can't cast spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of the beast. Transforming doesn't break your concentration on a spell you've already cast or an active totem, however, or prevent you from taking actions that are part of a spell, such as call lightning, that you've already cast. You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them in the creature's body if it is physically capable of doing so. However, you can't use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless the creature body also has that sense. Your body remains quite vulnerable while you inhabit a beast. Your body has the Unconscious condition.
Your shaman level determines the beasts you can inhabit, as shown on the Sarran's Gift Table.
Bind Elemental Spirit
Beginning at 3rd level, you may Dreamwalk in search for an elemental spirit. When you have successfully binded to the spirit, you may choose to bind to it from the physical world. You can then summon the elemental spirit. Once summoned, the elemental spirit will take its action immediately, and then disappear.
Elemental Spirits All elementals summoned appear vaguely humanoid, lacking distinctive features such as eyes or mouths, or even limbs, and seeming completely engulfed in the element they represent. They do not walk, but float at a short distance from the ground. They cannot exist for long in the Living World, thus each elemental disappears back to the Lands of Forever after it takes its action.
You may only bind an elemental spirit as part of a long rest. To summon the elemental spirit uses your action. You point the location at which you wish to summon this elemental, up to 15ft away from you. The location must be unoccupied.
Earth Elemental The Earth elemental appears and solidifies in its place. A faint, orange glow envelops it, and red cracks appear across it, with lava oozing out of them. The elemental stays in place for 1 minute, unable to move, or to act.
You may use your reaction while the elemental is in place to aborb magical attacks against you or any single allied creature you can see. The elemental capacity to soak magic is based on the spell level of the attack. The elemental may absorb 2d6 levels of spell attacks before it disappears. Cantrips are considered 1st level spells for this effect. It cannot absorb any area of effect spells.
Air Elemental Once summoned, the elemental spins around you until it morphs into a gentle wind that rushes above and around all allied creatures, causing light enough objects to lift up into the air. The wind dissipates after a short while and you and all of your allies have been granted Air's protection.
You may use your reaction while the elemental is present to deflect or absorb ranged wepaon attacks against you, or any single allied creature you can see. Each deflection reduces the damage taken from the attach by 1d10 + your Intelligence modifier + your shaman level. Non-damaging ranged weapon attacks, such as web and nets, are repelled entirely. The elemental may deflect a number or ranged attacks equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1).
If the damage received by the ranged weapon attack is reduced to 0, it can be used to make a ranged attack with that weapon or ammunition as part of the same reaction. You make this attack with proficiency, regardless of your weapon proficiencies. The attack has a normal range of 20ft and a long range of 60ft.
Water Elemental Once summoned, the elemental appears as if from thin air, by using the moisture in the air and any bodies of water in its vicinity to take shape. Thin tendrils form up in the air, spinning slowly into each other, forming threads, which meet other threads and so on, until the elemental is fully formed. It spins faster and faster, splashing all creatures around it in a 60ft radius with water and then crashes to the ground, leaving a pool of water which slowly seeps into the ground, as it disappears.
All enemy creatures splashed with the elemental waters have been hexed. Any spell attack that deals damage, the caster may re-roll a number of damage dice equal to your Intelligence modifier. The result of the re-roll must be accepted. For spells such as Magic Missile, only the first magical "projectile" is considered for the bonus.
The number of spells cast that receive this bonus is equal to your Intelligence modifier. Affected spells can be cast be any allied creature, including yourself, provided that you or your ally have been splashed by the elemental's water.
Fire Elemental Once summoned, the air around the location combusts, giving shape to the Fire Elemental as it materializes into this world. Floating above the ground, the elemental, although eyeless, seems to stare at the enemy with the intensity only Fire can muster. Flaming beams of incandescent light sprout from all over it after a short time, lashing at the creatures it previously gazed at. Once all of the creatures in a 10ft radius sphere range have been touched by the flames, the elemental snuffs itself out and disappears.
All creatures marked and touched by the flaming beams make a Wisdom save or become frenzied, as their insides start boiling. On their turn, they make a melee attack against a randomly determined creature within reach, friendly one or otherwise. The creature suffers disadvantage to each of its attacks.
The spell requires concentration, up to 1 minute. During the frenzied state, the affected creatures cannot cast any spells. At the end of each of its turns, an affected target can make a Wiscom saving throw. if it successdes, this effect ends for that target.
Beginning at 1st level, you have significant experience studying, tracking, hunting, and even talking to a certain type of enemy commonly encountered in the wilds. Choose a type of ward-sworn foe: beasts, fey, humanoids, or monstrosities. You gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with weapon attacks against creatures of the chosen type. Additionally, you have advantage on Wisdom (Survival) checks to track your favored enemies, as well as on Intelligence checks to recall information about them. When you gain this feature, you also learn one language of your choice, typically one spoken by your foe or creatures associated with it. However, you are free to pick any language you wish to learn.
At 6th level, you are ready to hunt even deadlier game. Choose a type of greater ward-sworn foe: celestials, elementals, fiends, or unead. You gain all the benefits against this enemy that you normally gain against your ward-sworn foe, including an additional language.Your bonus to damage rolls against all your foes increases to +4. Additionally, you have advantage on saving throws against the spells and abilities used by a greater foe.
Guided by the Beastmaster
Beginning at 3rd level in this archetype, you receive a new activity you can pursue during dreamwalking. You can roam the Lands of Forever in search for beast spirits. Roll a d4 to see what kind of beast you find and refer to the table below. Before sleep, 50 gp worth of incense, herbs, special preparations and rituals must be performed. When you have found a beast spirit, you can attempt to bind its soul to yours.
Upon waking, you can compel the beast spirit to come to your aid. The beast's CR must not be higher than 1/4. The beast spirit is hidden and incorporeal, but appear at your side when you enter combat.
The manifested beast spirit gains a variety of benefits while it is linked to you. The beast spirit loses its Multi-attack action, if it has one. The beast spirit obeys your commands as best it can. It rolls for initiative like any other creature, but you determine its actions, decisions, attitudes, and so on. If you are incapacitated or absent, the beast spirit retreats to in-corporeality. The beast spirit has abilities and game statistic determined in part by your level. Your beast spirit uses your proficiency bonus rather than its own. In addition to the areas where it normally uses its proficiency bonus, a beast spirit also adds its proficiency bonus to its AC and to its damage rolls. Your beast spirit becomes proficient in all saving throws. For each level you gain after 3rd, your beast spirit gains an additional hit die and increases its hit points accordingly.
You cannot have a beast and and an elemental spirit linked at the same time. If you have one link already, it is dismissed upon binding to a new spirit. Once bound to an animal spirit, you cannot bind to another one without performing the ritual during a long rest.
Roll Beast type 1 associated with forests and jungles 2 associated with mountains 3 associated with bodies of water 4 associated with underground locations
Guided by the Yoke-Driver
Leash Elemental Spirit
At 3rd level, you may Dreamwalk for the purpose of binding an elemental spirit to you. There are 4 elemental spirits, Earth, Water, Air, and Fire, which you can encounter whilst inside the Lands of Forever. Before sleep, 50 gp worth of incense, herbs, special preparations and rituals must be performed particular to the type of elemental spirit you seek. When you awaken, you have bound the incorporal and undetectable elemental spirit.
Once bound, the elemental spirit grants you damage resistance particular to that elemental. Additionally, your weapon damage die becomes 1d6 damage of the type particular to the elemental.
Outside of combat, the bound elemental also grants you resistance to harsh weather and natural disasters based on the element you are bound to. For example, a rock avalanche will only damage you half as much as it would have otherwise, when you are bound to an Earth elemental. Likewise, the negative effects of storms, floods, lightning and thunder, and all other extreme weather phenomena, are halved when you are bound to their respective elemental spirit.
When you reach 5th level, you can leash your soul to another living creature's. Sarran's powers manifest through the leash and confers a boon or a hex. This feature requires a action to perform.
You may leash an allied creature. While leashed, you may use your reaction to negate 1d6 damage received by the creature, and they may use their reaction to provide you the same benefit.
You may leash an enemy creature. While leashed, you may use your Intelligence modifier on attack rolls made against that creature. You may use a bonus action after a successful attack against that enemy creature to add your Intelligence modifier damage roll.
Beginning at 11th level, during combat, whilst you have an active leash, you can use Soul Blast to detonate it, affecting you as well as your leashed creature. Once detonated, you cannot leash another creature until completing a short rest. This feature requires a bonus action to perform. After the 13th level, you can leash a 2nd creature, regardless whether you have detonated your 1st leash or not.
Detonating the leash between yourself and a friendly creature creates an invisible shield around each of you, which provides advantage against the next spell that targets either of you. If the save is made, the spell reflects back to the caster.
Detonating the leash between yourself and an enemy creature damages the creature whilst healing you for the amount. The damage and the heal is equal to three times your shaman level.
Once used, Soul Blast cannot be used again until you have completed a short rest.
Guided by the Hunt-Mistress
At level 3, you can raise your shield to defend yourself against any incoming projectiles. You receive +2 bonus to your AC when defending against any physical ranged attacks for the next 6 seconds (1 turn)
At level 7, you have learned how to put your might behind the shield. As an action, on your turn, you can attempt to bash a target with your shield and render it prone. Make a normal weapon attack for your shield. You may add the shield's AC class bonus to the roll. If you are not in melee range of your target, and have not moved yet this turn, you can charge it from a distance up to your maximum speed and add a further +1 to your attack roll for every 10ft traversed. If you have successfully attacked the target, you do not deal any damage to it, but you render it prone instead and get a free attack against it, with your weapon.
The targeted creature must be maximum one size larger than you.