Inspired by my work on Ghosts I have begun work on Shamanic magic for Violence Spells Gods and Politics.

   The spells and catastrophes related to the Shamanic discipline are intended for mediums with the spirit plane. While Runequest is an obvious inspiration, I am putting my own spin on the concept for my Arnheim setting. My process was to list a number of things that the discipline should be able to do, and then write up some potential catastrophes for when it all goes wrong. Afer that I began writing spells.


  • Speak with dead
  • Detect/read spirit connection
  • Summon spirit
  • Sever spirit connection
  • Exorcism
  • Astral projection
  • Imprison/Bind spirit
  • Cause/heal SPIRIT damage
  • Cause/remove fear
  • Bestow/Remove curse on one's soul
  • Awaken soul
  • Shield soul


  1. The soul of the person who caused the catastrophe or that of someone nearby splits into two. (MAX SPIRIT reduced by half.) The other half shares all the talents, memories and knowledge of the first half at this moment in time, although it is now a fully independent entity, a unique ghost unconfined by the spirit plane, free to move about the material plane at will until the original person dies.
  2. The target or area of the magic effect becomes a conduit between the Spirit and Material planes. The boundaries between the two planes are eliminated on the target. All ghosts with connections to the target immediately manifest as do some other things "near" them in the spirit plane.
  3. Transform nearby souls in ways that result in monstrous physical expressions of the internal changes for each individual.
  4. The soul of the world is ripped away from the landscape, nearby inanimate objects, and non sentient creatures. The ripped away soul becomes an independent and immortal entity and absorbs all of the effected living and non-living matter.
  5. Nearby sentient and non-sentient beings form new connections with random disembodied spirits. Roll these up at random.
  6. The soul of the world in this area wakes. All non-sentient creatures in the area awaken to sentience, and take on the physical characteristics of their dream counterparts. To return to the dreams of the world, they will seek a solution from the person who caused the catastrophe, possibly devouring them if disappointed.

Following is an example spell of what I have written so far.

Song of the Dead
TargetStringed Instrument
RangeShaman's vocal and auditory range to instrument.
Cost1 per hour
   Casting the spell weaves a temporary magical effect upon a stringed instrument like a harp which responds to connections with the spirit plane. Neither the caster nor the controller of the effect need to hold the musical instrument, but one’s voice must resonate on the strings. Muting the strings momentarily quiets the “Song of the Dead” on the instrument, but does not end the magical effect. To revive the “Song of the Dead” on a previously muted instrument, the effect’s controller must hum a musical phrase from the song over the strings. Control of the effect requires full concentration. Ending the effect must include silencing the strings on the instrument.

   The effect may be attuned to one being or thing at a time. This takes one round. Depending upon to whom or what the instrument is attuned, the uses of the effect are as follows:

  1. Beings and things on the material plane: On each round after attunement to a being or thing, one string will begin to vibrate and glow for each connection to a disembodied spirit. The order in which the connections are revealed depends on most recent manifestation and strength of connection. If the instrument does not have enough strings, only some of the connections will be revealed.
  2. Connection to a disembodied spirit: The controller may ask one question a round about the connection. The question is sung and must be 16 syllables or less. The answer is vocalized by the strings on the instrument on the following round, and as many after as it takes to complete the answer. The spirit may notice the interrogation. Difficulty to notice is 16 (14) + MAGIC of the effect. Roll for each question and add the spirit’s SPIRIT +1 for each question asked after the first.
  3. Disembodied spirit: When the controller attunes the instrument to a disembodied spirit, the spirit forms a permanent connection to the instrument. The controller and the spirit may communicate freely through the instrument while the effect is active.

   The controller may also attempt to permanently link one of the instrument’s strings to a disembodied spirit. The difficulty of the SPIRIT resistance roll is 11+MAGIC of spell. If successful whenever the string is plucked, the spirit will feel it and may choose to manifest. Further the magic of the string if invoked will compel the spirit to manifest near the instrument even if it is possessing another body.