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Message no. 1
From: The Wyrm Ouroboros <aalberdk@******.SAN.UC.EDU>
Subject: Submissions: Totems, mine and others'.
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1993 12:07:31 -0400
As a note -- I know only 'Panther' to be a balanced totem. The Rainbow
Serpent promises much, as I have done some in-game testing of the totem,
but no serious gametesting of any of the others has been performed, to
my knowledge. Feel free to flex.

As well, there comes the mention of the MDI; I have rules for it as
well, created by Keith Henry; when I get a chance to retype them into
the computer, I'll send them along. (The MDI .is. a well-created
concept -- just the thing for 'accidentally' running into in the Aussie
Outback. Or any other 'wild/untamed/uncontrolled' place.)

The (Dead) Wyrm of the .Net

Creator: The (Dead) Wyrm Ouroboros
Totemic Identification -Panther- (Africa, South America)

Characteristics : Panther is quiet, subtle, but a warrior nonetheless.
She is curious as well, which often leads her into danger greater
than she can handle on her own. She is a great believer in 'smoke
and mirrors', the use of the unknown and the mysterious to defeat her
enemies. This is not to say that she will not fight -- indeed,
threaten her kin and prepare for death. She believes in a swift,
deadly fight, and spends as little time in battle as she can.

Environment : Forest and Prairie (i.e. jungle and savanna).

Advantages : +1 die for Combat and Illusion spells; +2 dice for
conjuring Forest and Prairie spirits.

Disadvantages : -2 dice for Health spells. Panther often exhibits
a remarkable lack of good sense -- not to mind self-preservation --
when it comes time to satisfy her curiosity. She is not unlike Snake
in this aspect, risking much to discover that which is hidden. Unlike
Snake, she is a fighter -- in fact, in order to use any but the most
lethal method at her disposal, a Panther shaman must make a Willpower
Test with a Target Number of 6, with wound and drain modifier

However, she is not a strong fan of prolonged firefights. Indeed, for
every round after the first, the shaman must make a Willpower test vs.
a target # equal to the number of rounds the shaman has been in combat.
This number is, naturally, subject to wound and drain modifiers. If
the test is failed, then the shaman will depart by any means possible,
concentrating on escape and defense. (This doesn't mean that they'll
charge blindly into fire -- if they have Ram Touch, they'll use it on
the old door, and leave that way.) In order to return, the shaman
must make a Willpower test, unresisted (just like before -- sorry),
against the target number they failed on, minus the number of rounds
they've been out of the fight. Obviously, wounded and tired Panther
shamans will stay out of the way for longer periods of time.

If trouble finds .them. and they fail that return Willpower test,
Panther will 'spook' and take off a-running, again.

Creator: Keith Henry
Totemic Identification -Dingo- (Australia)

Characteristics : Dingo is the one of the great plains wanderers. He
is similar to the western worlds "coyote" in many ways, though he is
not as transient in his nature. Dingo is protective of his own, and
will defend his kin, but not necessarily to the point of death. He
also is not bound to anything, except perhaps his word.

Environment : Plains and/or Prairie

Advantages : +2 Dice to Detection and Health Spells. +2 Dice
for Conjuring Prairie Spirits.

Disadvantages : Dingo is often considered to be a coward by others
around him. If given the opportunity, he will opt for retreat, so
as to deal with the situation from a better vantage point. He is not
a coward in the true sense of the word, but is often misunderstood
by others. A Dingo Shaman must make a willpower test with a target
of 4 to remain in a given position/situation, or else he pull back
to get a potentially better advantage. Dingo is also easily tricked
and/or manipulated by others. He suffers a -2 to all his negotiation
attempts, IF the other party is attempting to "pull the wool" over

Totemic Identification -Wild Dog- (Africa)

Characteristics : The comparison to the western world's WOLF totem
has been made repeatedly in the past. Wild Dog is a very pack oriented
creature, and will usually operate within a pack like environment.
Do not underestimate him however, for he is capable of independence
if left to himself.

Environment : Any Land, not inhabited by Man

Advantages : +2 Dice to Combat and Detection Spells. +2 Dice
to Conjuring Spirits of Land (not Desert).

Disadvantages : A Shaman of Wild Dog will prefer to work in a group
environment, and in fact gains a "moral boost" when doing so. All his
spellcraft (Conjuring, Sorcery, and Theory) gains a +1 to the die roll
in question (5's are 6's, etc...). However, if left to himself, he
often flounders somewhat, thus lowering his moral standing with himself
(lower ALL target numbers, mundane or not, by 1).

Totemic Identification -Koala- (Australia)

Characteristics : Koala is NOT a fighter, though she is quite capable
of defending herself and her kin. Her affinity for nature has allowed
her to remain in touch with the natural balance of life, and indeed is
the most powerful of the known Totemic Healers. If cornered, she will
retreat to the safety of the trees, and remain there until the danger
has passed.

Environment : Any Land

Advantages : +3 Dice to all Health Spells AND +1 to all Health
spell die rolls. +2 Dice to Conjuring Spirits of Sky and Waters.

Disadvantages : Koala is not a fighter. A Shaman of this totem
will often try and find peacable solutions to any situation. They
also abhore violence in any form, thus ALL combat related actions
suffer a -3 penalty to the die roll (firearms, gunnery, armed or
unarmed combat, spells, etc.). This penalty is NOT incurred when
defending themselves or another being. In fact, if defending another
or themselves, they get a +1 to all their die rolls (mundane or not).

[GM's Note- An Initiate of the Koala Totem has all the numbers for his/her
advantages modified by grade. Thus, a grade 4 Koala Shaman would have
+7 dice to all Health spells, and a +5 to all health spell die rolls.
Their defense ability however is NOT modified, so no the Grade 4 does
not get to add +5 to all their defense die rolls.]

Totemic Identification -Ant Eater- (Australia & Africa)

Characteristics : Ant Eater, or Snout Tongue, is the great ravager
of the insect world. He is also one of the most purposeful totems
of the Sixth World. He is naturally inquisitive, and often can
sniff out trouble, or those in trouble, with little difficulty.

Environment : Any Land

Advantages : +2 Dice to Detection and Manipulation Spells.
+2 Dice to Conjuring Spirits of Land (not desert).

Disadvantages : Ant Eater is often slow to thinking and often times
very stubborn. A Shaman of this totem requires a willpower test with
a target of 4 to break off from his current action, be it attacking
reading a book, swimming, etc... It is an unresisted test however,
making it a little more "merciful" on the Shaman in question. He
also is always looking for a meal, and will VERY rarely turn down an
offer to eat, of any kind (same willpower test above to avoid or turn
down the offer).

[GM's Note- Ant Eater has an additional set of advantages as well. He is
a MAJOR opponent of Insect Spirits of all kinds. He gains an additional
+1 modifier to his die rolls in ALL actions against any insect form, as
well as against Spider and her related machinations. This includes
resistance tests against ALL attacks, as well as ALL attacks made against
an "insect form." This number however is NOT cumulative with the effects
of Initiate Grade.]

Totemic Identification -the Rainbow Serpent- (Australia & Africa)

Characteristics : The Rainbow Serpent is the bearer of the Earth
Spirit and Keeper of its Lifewaters. He controls the power of the
earth itself, and always communes with its deepest spirits. He has
control of his surroundings and the surroundings of others.

Philosophy : The Rainbow Serpent knows that in time, all things
are possible. He has great patience and will NEVER enter a situation
without first investigating it thoroughly. He is an ageless creature
and views all things as younger than himself. He is never caught by
surprise twice by ANYTHING. If someone or something manages to do so
he will study it in great detail, then continue onward with his

Environment : Anywhere not inhabited by Man

Advantages : +3 Dice to ALL Spellcraft (Sorcery, Conjuring,
Enchanting, Thoery, etc.). They also get DOUBLE their Intelligence
and Grade attributes (if any) for purposes of Astral Projection and
Astral Pools (not Astral Quickness however). They also get DOUBLE
their standard dice pool when dealing with Spirits of ANY kind.

[GM's Note- the bonuses a Shaman gets when dealing with spirits on
the Astral and Metaplanes ARE CUMULATIVE.]

Disadvantages : A Shaman of the Rainbow Serpent is not going to
rush anything in their lives. They view quality over productivity
in all things. They never rush studying, enchanting, or spellcraft
in any way. Thus, they will not learn any Increase variation of
Health spell, and in fact view such sorcery as "cheating." Though
they do get the time reduction bonuses for casting permanent spells,
such as a Healing spell, they do not view it particularly necessary
except in the preservation of life. They do not accept any means of
"short cuts" and will usually walk EVERYWHERE they go. They only
rarely invoke the Spiritual Power of Movement, except where the
necessity of another is required. A Shaman of the Rainbow Serpent
will not wish to aquire any reduction in Karmic expenditure for
purposes of Initiate advancement, though group reductions are still
permitted as it is considered wise to learn from the experience of

Additional Notes : If a Shaman of the Rainbow Serpent were to attain
Grade 9 or higher, they will cease to physically age. They can still
be killed by normal means, they will simply no longer suffer the
effects of time (reduction in attributes if any, mental failures, etc.)
Concerning the effects of success vs. reduction of time. A Shaman
of this category will not spend Karma to reduce the effects of time,
though they do get the standard modifiers to reduction do to level of
success (say enchanting a focus, they get 4 success, thus reducing the
base time appropriately).

Rainbow Shamans and the MDI Manifestations-

An additional note of interest here is required. For some reason the
Rainbow Snake Shaman's are immune to the malign effects of MDI storm
manifestations. They cannot control them any better than the next person,
that is to say no one can, but they are just not effected by them. The
high winds do not bother them any more than a breeze might, lightning
that may strike them simply "washes" over them harmlessly, etc... If a
Rainbow Shaman were to be within an object and/or structure that is being
subjected to the effects however, then they could be effected as a result
of the object/structures exposure to the storm.

They NEVER suffer the negative side effects of malign background count,
either in a Manastorm or anywhere else on the globe. Toxic Spirits and
Toxic Shamans to them are the ultimate in disease however, and will result
in an immediate reaction, usually the destruction and/or cleansing of the
poisoned subject. There apparently CANNOT be a Toxic Shaman of this
Totemic variant either. The one historical record that mentions where a
shaman of this variety was going to the "poisoner side" state that the
individual was struck down by a suddenly arrising MDI manifestation. It
is uncertain as to the cause of this, but definitely lends respect to the
class of individual.
Key: MDI -- Manafield Distortion Influx, or 'manastorm'. These are the
wild distortions of magic and reality that sweep through the
Australian Outback, which has become known for them. MDI mani-
festations have been reported elsewhere, including but not
limited to the Bermuda Triangle and other large areas of pre-
Awakening mysterious phenomena.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about Submissions: Totems, mine and others'., you may also be interested in:


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