by Trotsky

Special Note: The following description is written for use with the Harnmaster rules. 1st edition rules are marked 'HM1', while the 2nd edition rules from Harnmaster Religion are marked 'HMR'. For those of you without these rules, a guide to terminology is provided. Translation rules for RuneQuest (3rd ed.) are also available.

Circles & Offices

Kath shamans are graded into five Circles, based on Ritual ML. Use the following table:

Circle ML Office RML Office
1st 26+ 1+ adult
2nd 41+ 21+
3rd 61+ shaman 51+ shaman
4th 76+ 71+
5th 86+ 86+


Kath are marked out as future shamans at a young age, due to strange behaviour, omens or other peculiarities. Somewhat outside the mainstream of Kath culture, they are encouraged to learn different skills than most of their brothers and sisters.


The potential shaman gains the following skills:

Ritual/2, Survival/3, Foraging/2, Herblore/2, Awareness/1, Dagger/1

The character then gains three option points to be expended to improve his or her skills or open appropriate elective skills. For each year spent in training, the character may improve their Ritual skill by half SB.

Shaman status

When a person eventually learns to enter the spirit world, they become a full-fledged shaman and leave their band to travel alone, following the whim of the spirits. Shamans survive partly by their own skill, but also by providing services to Kath bands that they may encounter, such as dismissing evil spirits, divination or other magical assistance, as well as putting their knowledge of herblore to good use.

Most shamans are initially associated only with their own, heriditary totem, and can only gain powers linked to that animal. However, the greatest shamans may also learn powers from other totems, especially Eagle. Attempting to do so is very difficult, however; the shaman cannot pick a second totem until he reaches fourth circle, and can gain one additional totem at fifth circle. Shamans may not gain more than two additional totems.

Ritual Invocations

The table below lists the invocations available to a Kath shaman, and the totems they are associated with. Those listed as 'all' are available to all shamans, regardless of which totem they follow. Note that no shaman can start off as a follower of the Eagle totem.

Totem Invocation Cost
Wolf Courage IV/15
Stag Cure III/20
(all) Curse IV/15
Eagle Divination V/20
Boar Endurance IV/30
(all) Exorcism III/25
Eagle Skinchanging V/35
(all) Spirit Walking III/15
Cougar Stealth III/20
(all) Summoning V/30
Bear Weapon Charm IV/15
Goat Woodscraft III/25

SPIRIT WALKING (New Invocation)

This invocation allows the shaman to leave his body, becoming non-corporeal and invisible. In this state, he cannot interact with the physical world, but can interact directly with ethereals. This effect is brief, lasting ten minutes with a marginal success, and twenty minutes with a critical success. For the duration of the effect, the shaman's body is unconscious and vulnerable to attack, although the shaman may return to it at any time. The shaman must take tasparth or a similar drug before using the invocation.

SKINCHANGING (New Invocation)
       by Eric Anderson

This invocation allows the shaman to create an enchanted animal pelt. The pelt must belong to a non-magical wild animal familiar to the shaman, but otherwise there are no restrictions on its nature, so long as the pelt is reasonably intact and in a good condition. The ritual takes several hours to complete, during which the shaman must not be interrupted.

Once the pelt has been created, the Shaman may use it to alter his or her form by wearing the pelt and expending 15 fatigue. Only the shaman who created the pelt can use it in this way. The transformation takes 1 minute to complete, during which the Shaman is unaware of his/her surroundings. The Shaman will fully take on the form of the animal from which the pelt was taken, including its natural abilities, physical characteristics, etc. and will be unable to use any specifically human abilities such as speech.

The shaman must make a Will x3 roll (Will x5 on a CS result) to retain his own mental characteristics for the duration of the spell, otherwise he must employ those of the animal. The transformation lasts as long as the shaman's ritual SI in hours (x3 on a CS result).

To the Kath religion page

This document was last updated 31st August 1998 by Jamie 'Trotsky' Revell. Comments are welcome.