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#1
Old 02-22-2008, 02:00 AM
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Advice needed on Shadowrun shaman totem

Hey all, figured I'd break in the new category with a small quandry. I've been invited into a Shadowrun game, and I'm flummoxed with a small bit of character creation.
I've decided to play a shaman, and I've further decided that the guy is going to be really into 'understanding deeper mysteries'- he's going to be nuts about magical theory and all the research he can get his hands on.
I was considering a thief-type totem, but it doesn't really fit; he's not about stealing things, he's about gaining knowledge and figuring things out. I'm a little lost as to what type of totem, if any, fits well with that. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
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#2
Old 02-22-2008, 09:33 AM
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The first thing I thought when you mentioned research and gaining knowledge was an owl. That may be too cliche', though.

I may just be inventing this, but I seem to recall that some groups of Native Americans look at the raccoon as a wise and clever animal.
#3
Old 02-22-2008, 10:53 AM
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If it's about knowledge you should pick something that lives a long time, Like a tortoise.
#4
Old 02-22-2008, 11:03 AM
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List of totems and associations

another (scroll down)

probably the most comprehensive

I'm not saying that's exhaustive or 100% historically accurate, but hey, it's the internets. You get what you pay for.


PS a quick browsing of those links (esp. the last) suggests you might consider the magpie.
Quote:
Originally Posted by some web page
Intelligence. Adaptability. Resourcefulness. Able to live in the light and the dark.
#5
Old 02-22-2008, 11:08 AM
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Which edition?

In 4E, the most recent, Shamans don't need to have a particular totem (and other magic traditions can have one).
#6
Old 02-22-2008, 11:18 AM
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Here's some good choices from the 4E core:

Quote:
Cat
Cat is honored in cultures around the world. Cat is often
seen as the guardian of mystical secrets, oft en involving the afterlife.
She certainly knows many secrets, but rarely decides to share
them, and never with anyone less than worthy. She is stealthy, sly,
and arrogant. Cat toys with her prey—threatening, taunting, and
confusing—rather than going directly for the kill.
Advantages: +2 dice for Illusion spells, +2 dice to either Gymnastics or Infi ltration Tests (character must choose one).
Disadvantages: Cat magicians toy with their prey. Unless the
Cat magician makes a Willpower + Charisma (3) Test, she
cannot make an attack that will incapacitate her target (ie.,
a Combat spell must be cast with a Force/damage level that
will not disable). If the magician is wounded, all this playing
around stops.
Quote:
Snake
Snake is wise and knows many secrets. She is a good counselor,
but always exacts a price for her advice. Snake characters fight only to protect themselves and others. They are obsessed with learning secrets and take great risks in order to do so.They trade their knowledge to others for whatever they can get in exchange.
Advantages: +2 dice for Detection spells, +2 to Binding Tests.
Disadvantages: –1 die for Combat spells.
Raven and Fire-Bringer are also worthy contenders, though Fire-Bringer is a mechanically poor choice for Shamans (he gives a bonus for Fire spirits, which Shamans can't do).
#7
Old 02-22-2008, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menocchio
Raven and Fire-Bringer are also worthy contenders, though Fire-Bringer is a mechanically poor choice for Shamans (he gives a bonus for Fire spirits, which Shamans can't do).
Magic in the Shadows fixes the Fire-Bringer thing (gives him spirits of man). Can you give me the low-down on Raven? Can't find a listing for it.
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#8
Old 02-22-2008, 06:11 PM
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Must resist urge to unleash hell upon this thread!
#9
Old 02-22-2008, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArrMatey!
Magic in the Shadows fixes the Fire-Bringer thing (gives him spirits of man). Can you give me the low-down on Raven? Can't find a listing for it.
Raven's more of an oppurtunistic trickster. +2 Dice for Manipulation Spells and Spirits of Air, Must make a Willpower + Charisma test to avoid taking advantage of others.
#10
Old 02-22-2008, 07:14 PM
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What about Anansi, the spider? He's a cunning trickster who freed the stories from the Sky Lord. He had to undertake 3 quests to do it. Definitely the kind of guy who is interested in knowledge.

ETA I have only one Shadowrun book (Anarchist's Guide To Life or something similar) and so have to go by actual folklore rather than Shadowrun books.
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Last edited by DocCathode; 02-22-2008 at 07:18 PM.
#11
Old 02-22-2008, 07:47 PM
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Carp

"The old tale of the carps jumping and crossing over "Dragon Gate" to transform into the dragon reminds us of the ability to resist hurdles and achieving success. The carp is a tough fish that could resist big currents in China's ancient Yellow River and they portray perseverance and determination. They are able to persistently resist hardship, swim upstream and rapidly jumping above the water to reach heaven to symbolize great achievements in ones pursuit or high ambitions of a lifetime. Although the carp is often being associated to scholastic success and literary luck, but it is also a potent emblem of happy outcome, joyful marriage, sufficient fortune and prosperity"

Continuing to look eastward we get

The Bull- In Zen tradition, the bull represents great spiritual wisdom. The Quest For The Bull is the quest for such wisdom. I've got a copy in my book Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.

A friend recommends the Rat. Remember that Ganesha rides a rat. They can overcome any obstacle.

She also recommends the Deer. Apparently in some cultures it's antlers and pointy ears are seen as antenna drawing in wisdom from the universe.

What about the elephant? Last time I checked, they represented wisdom to the Buddhists of India. Rudyard Kipling (whose stories are centuries old by the time of Shadowrun) gave the African Elephant the quality of insatiable curiosity.
#12
Old 02-22-2008, 07:55 PM
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The Ibis

Because of it's association with the Thoth, the Egyptian god of knowledge.
#13
Old 02-23-2008, 08:20 AM
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If it's a mystic thief you wan, then this laddie is it--

Quote:
Coyote's Wisdom Includes:

* Understanding that all things are sacred--yet nothing is sacred
* Teaching that only when all masks have fallen will we connect with the Source
* Intelligence
* Singing humans into being
* Childhood trust in truth
* Teaching us how to rear our young
* Brings rain
* Ability to laugh at one’s own mistakes
* Placing the North Star
* Shape-shifting
* Teaching balance between risk and safety
* Illumination
* Stealth
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#14
Old 02-23-2008, 07:27 PM
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See, that's the thing.. While just about every PC in Shadowrun is, basically, a thief, I'm really looking for more of an intellectual, delver-into-mysteries totem. A lot of these have good possibilities, and my GM has said that, should I find a totem that's not an 'official' Shadowrun one, he'll help me work on putting together a rules frame for it.
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