Tamlin Cooper, Child Shaman

An Altay shaman beating a gong. Music was one ...

No, this doesn’t actually frighten evil spirits. It’s just that they don’t usually take out the band.

In the small villages, the children play at being adventurers. They pretend to be mighty warriors, noble knights, holy priests, clever tricksters, and learned wizards. Most, of course, grow up to practice more mundane professions. A few do learn the basics of such professions – but the vast majority of THEM never achieve any great power. They soon settle down into practicing hedge wizardry, careers as village priests, as skilled crafters and as guards and soldiers.

A few, of course, do indeed go on to become powerful adventurers – allowing yet another village to put up a small sign announcing so-and-so had been born in this very hut and had, if they were lucky, come home a couple of times save the village (or at least to spend lots and lots of money there).

The children don’t normally play sorcerer – or prophet, or shaman, or any other form of magic-wielder who’s power may come upon them intuitively, without training – and at a very young age.

That particular dream is exciting – and occasionally fatal. Precocious children with power all too often destroy themselves, or those around them – often entirely by accident or out of ignorance. Failing that, they are a prime prey for ambitious lordlings wanting spellcasters that they can easily control, dark spirits who see someone too young to exercise proper caution, and enemies who see an easily-eliminated potential danger.

Even if they survive, where will the arrogance and intoxication of such easy power take them?

And with wild magic, dreams too often come to a dreadful, twisted, reality. Better that any traces of such wild power be firmly discouraged in the young, to later be channeled into the reliable – if minor – magics that keep civilization going.

Tamlin’s power awoke when a friend of his was trapped in a burning building – and the spirits of air and water lent him their aid to locate his friend and to protect him from the flames when he ran inside.

The entangling vines that popped up during a game of tag, the sudden hole (and the resulting broken ankle), the noodle incident, and all the other magical accidents were not so welcome. The elemental spirits that visited Tamlin were far TOO obliging at times – especially when their power was being funneled through a small boy.

Fortunately, the village was able to trade a few favors to the fey to place young Tamlin in their custody until they could teach him some control. What would have been a few years of endless small disasters (and possibly larger ones) for a simple farming village was of little note to the long-lived and magically-powerful fey – and they could always use another emissary to the lands of men. Men might indeed be less powerful as individuals – but there were always far more of them then of the slower-living fey.

Placing him – even if he was still fairly young, even as mortals reckoned time – with the court of a mortal king might let them smooth over some troublesome incidents and it would give them a useful eye at court.

Tamlin Cooper

Level Two Shaman for the Children’s Crusade campaign.

Personal Disadvantage: Unarmored. Tamlin feels that armor interferes with his communion with the elemental spirits of nature, and declines to use it. (Alternatively, he could be treated as having obligations to the fey).

Basic Attributes: Str 10, Int 14, Dex 12, Wis 12, Con 14, Cha 16 (18).

Basic Purchases:

  • Warcraft (BAB): +1 (6 CP).
  • Hit Dice: Level One: 12 (L1, d12, 8 CP) +6 (L2, d8, 2 CP) +2 (Extra d6 HD, 10 CP) +6 (3x Con Mod) = 26 HP.
  • Proficient with Simple Weapons (3 CP)
  • Armor Class 10 (Base) +4 (Mage Armor) +1 (Dex) = 15
  • Initiative +1
  • Save Bonuses: +1 Reflex (3 CP), +2 Will (6 CP). This gives him Fortitude +2, Reflex +2, and Will +3.
  • Skill Points: 4 (Purchased, 4 CP) +10 (Int Mod x 5) +15 (Fast Learner) = 29 SP.
  • Skills: Knowledge/Nature +7 (5 SP), Heal +6 (5 SP), Diplomacy +9 (5 SP), Spellcraft +7 (5 SP), Disguise +9 (5 SP), Knowledge/Arcana +3 (1 SP), Knowledge/Nobility and Royalty +3 (1 SP), Knowledge/Religion +3 (1 SP), and Knowledge/The Planes +3 (1 SP).

Other Abilities:

Companion Creature (Pseudo-Dragon, 6 CP).

Herbal Healing: Healing Touch with Improved, Switch, Empower, and +4 Bonus Uses (of the Improved effects) ad +4 Bonus Uses of the basic Healing Touch, Specialized and Corrupted/requires several minutes work (and rare herbs at the option of the game master when curing curses, diseases, and other special curatives), only one special cure may be applied to a given individual per day (12 CP).

  • May cure (Cha Mod x Character Level x5) = 40 HP of damage per day by touch, splitting the total up as desired.
  • May use Cure Serious Wounds, and the special cures of Remove Disease, Lesser Restoration, Remove Blindness/Deafness, Remove Curse, Neutralize Poison, or Restoration (Level/3 + 4) = five times per week.

Spiritual Master: Innate Enchantment (6 CP, for an effective value of up to 5000 GP). His effects include Spiritual Guardian (Mage Armor, 1400), +2 Charisma (Enhance Attribute, 1400), Lesser Healing Hand (Cure Light Wounds, up to (Cha Mod/2 + 1) times per day per recipient, 2000), and Detect Magic (1/day, 200). Also, Immunity to the XP cost for Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial, only covers L0 and L1 effects, 2 CP).

Helpful Spirits: Reflex Training (three extra actions per day variant), Specialized and Corrupted/only to invoke defensive spirit magics (2 CP).

Rapid Healer: Reflex Training (three extra actions per day variant), Specialized and Corrupted for triple effect/only to use his Lesser Healing Hand ability on someone (allowing him to use the ability three times on those within reach as a reflex action) (6 CP).

Shamanic Magic:

At the moment, he can call on Plant, Water, Air, Celestial, Life, and Earth spirits for magic, and can collect a pool of up to three levels worth of spell “credit” with each. These can be expended on spells of up to level two. His effective caster level is three, and the save DC’s are currently 15 for L1 effects and 16 for L2 effects.

Path of the Dragon/Shaping (Specialized: only as a prerequisite, 3 CP).

Path of the Dragon/Pulse and Heart of the Dragon (1 spell level per round, may shape effects of up to L1, 16 CP). Specialized and Corrupted for double effect and two-thirds cost (effects of up to level two): the user must call on spirits for magic other than Spirit Sight and Spirit Contact effects. He or she may designate up to (Cha Mod + Level/2, 12 maximum) specific entities or general types of spirits to call on for appropriate types of magic, but each type may only be called on for a total of (Level + Cha Mod)/2 spell levels worth of magic before the user must rebuild his or her “pool” of “favors”. Worse, the user may only renew such “pools” slowly. The user regains [Cha Mod + Level/2] points per day through minor rituals and respect for their spiritual patrons. They user may also regain [Cha Mod] points by:

  • Fulfilling a special request from the Spirits. For example, fire spirits might want the user to arrange a fireworks display, while water spirits might want a spring cleaned out and purified. The user may simply ask the GM each day about possible tasks; there will usually be two or three available, but there’s no guarantee that any of them will be even remotely practical.
  • By enacting a ritual in honor of some type of spirits. You might sit out in a storm meditating on it’s power for a night in honor of the air spirits, burn rare woods, incense, and oils in honor of the fire spirits, or conduct a religious ceremony in honor of outer-planar spirits.
  • Promising to undertake a later mission for the appropriate group of spirits. It’s wise to take a few rounds to find out what they’re going to want you to do, but sometimes people are just desperate.
  • Simply talking the spirits into it. This requires 1d4 hours of quiet meditation and a DC 18 Diplomacy or Knowledge/Religion check and can only be done once per day.

In any case, the saving throw DC’s against such effects are based on the shaman’s Charisma and they overcome magic resistance with a roll of (1d20 + the user’s number of hit dice + Cha Mod). Exorcisms (“Turning”) are L2, creating minor supplies costs 1 SL/2 GP and is permanent, and counterspells are always specifically tuned, requiring a spell of only (target spell level – 2).

Privilege/Blessing of the Little Gods (3 CP): This is a ritual invocation of the spirits, asking them to watch over something. This lasts for at least a year, and often permanently – but is too subtle for game mechanics. A fallen candle may quietly snuff itself, rather then starting a fire, in a blessed house. Fields yield more, suffering less from pests and weather. Children are healthier, have fewer and milder accidents – and are far more likely to reach adulthood. Farm animals have more offspring, spinning thread snags less often, and artists are more inspired. The scale of the rite depends on the scale of the blessing; kids only take a minute, a city might take a three-day festival honoring the relevant Kami. As there are always kids, flocks, infertile couples, marriages, etc, in need of blessings, the Spirit-Touched can usually expect a welcome anywhere.

I happen to like the Shamanic Magic Package. It avoids all those spell books and pre-selecting spells for NPC’s, it explains where the magic comes from, it recovers slowly and so presents a nice challenge in resource management, and it is an ENDLESS source of minor quests, missions, and enjoyable role-playing moments. .

Tamlin is built using Eclipse: The Codex Persona and The Practical Enchanter.

Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in a Freeware PDF Version, in Print, and in a Paid PDF Version that includes Eclipse II (245 pages of Eclipse races, character and power builds, items, relics, martial arts, and other material) and the web expansion.

The Practical Enchanter can be found in a Print Edition (Lulu), an Electronic Edition (RPGNow), and a Shareware Edition (RPGNow).  There’s an RPGNow Staff Review too.

Tamlin is a character for the Children’s Crusade game (The Children’s Crusade: The advantages and disadvantages of playing with youthful characters and/or youthful players. Part I (basics, world laws, and sample characters – a mystic warrior and a healer), Part II (setting up for party unity and sample characters – a blademaster and a knight of flame), Part III (Fostering and a sample character – a skillmaster and lesser magician), Part IV (advantages for the game master and sample characters – a superheroic archer)) and so is set up with the following world laws in effect:

To keep things simple, all Children’s Crusade character’s

  • Are basically human (although cosmetic variations occur), and have an attribute array of 16, 14, 14, 12, 12, 10 (32 point buy).
  • Begin with two bonus feats at level one, rather than one and gain an additional bonus feat at every odd level thereafter.
  • Have identical character point totals. They all have Duties to their Liege (+2/Level), +12 (for their two level one bonus feats) +6 (for their racial bonus feat) + 72 (the level two base allotment) + 10 (for the three allowable disadvantages) = 104 CP.
  • Have one disadvantage is unique to themselves, as well as Obligations (bodyguards to the young royals) and Valuable (they’re good for ransom or for political pull on their parents and royal friends).
  • Thanks to intensive training from one source or another, all of these characters are spending the points from their racial bonus feat on Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills – thus raising their effective racial skill point bonus from +1/Level (four at level one) to +3/Level, (twelve at level one). This is a cheap way to get more skill points, but it fits in well – and leaves them with a base of 98 CP to spend. Characters can normally only have fast learner once, but humans have it built into their race, and so can have it twice.
  • Many of the Children’s Crusade characters use some Innate Enchantments. Unless otherwise specified, all of those effects are spell level zero or one, caster level one, unlimited-use use-activated, and personal-only (where applicable) – for a net effective “cost” of 700 GP per L0 effect and 1400 GP per L1 effect.
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One Response

  1. […] / trickster mage), Part IV with Nikoli Verburger (mystic archer), Melinissa (a ghostly dybbuk), and Tamlin Cooper (youthful […]

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