Hero Spirits

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd EditionCampaign Setting Logo

Hero Spirits
Climate/Terrain: Sacred mountains/tribal lands
Frequency: Uncommon
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Sacrifices
Intelligence: 15
Alignment: Any lawful or good
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 0
Movement: 12
Hit Dice: 10
THAC0: 11
No. of Attacks: 2
Damage/Attack: By traditional weapon
Special Attacks: Causes fear in all opponents of 3rd level or less (effects
Special Defenses: +3 or better to hit , plus see below
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: M
Morale: Fanatic (18)
XP Value: 5,000

Hero spirits are figures of myth and epic legends - founders of tribes, great warriors who saved an entire people, and so on. They are inevitably perfect examples of manhood or womanhood, physically flawless, fit and muscular, and embodying all that their people consider virtuous and praiseworthy.

Where people venerate their ancestors, hero spirits often lead the ancestors, but just as often the hero spirits strike out alone, patrolling the tribal lands. Stories tell of contemporary heroes receiving warnings, aid or guidance from these mythic figures in times of crisis.

Like the ancestors, hero spirits embody traditional values and disapprove of innovation. They also admire courage, strength, skill and panache.

Combat: Hero spirits attack twice per round with whatever weapons legend states they preferred in life. Once per round, instead of attacking, the hero spirit may automatically make one dramatic defense, such as snatching an arrow from midnight, leaping over the head of an assailant, and so on. This forces a morale check in characters 5th level and lower.

Accepted Alignments: Any good and lawful neutral.

Familiarity: Most shamans must build a shrine and dedicate an additional 100 gp worth of sacrifice to the spirit to win its familiarity. Shamans of 8th level or higher do not have to make any effort to establish relations, as all hero spirits automatically recognize them as outstanding mortals, worthy of their attentions.

Demands: Shamans must ensure that 500 gp worth of sacrifice is directed to the hero spirit per year (from the shaman personally or from others), must maintain a shrine to it, and must successfully defend the hero's people/descendants. Moreover, the spirit insists that the shaman proclaim that his or her own deeds are only accomplished with its aid, and promote stories of its heroism above those of other hero spirits. (Shamans cannot, therefore, serve two hero spirits simultaneously.) When a shaman reaches 8th level, he or she needs no longer attribute success to the hero spirit: The spirit now accepts the shaman's achievements as the deeds of an equal. Still, the hero spirit expects the shaman to work for the safety of the tribe, and relate the tales of its deeds to the young tribe members.

Hero spirits do not accept worship and sacrifices from common people. However, they do accept the worship of living heroes, and look favorably upon the sacrifice of any member of the tribe who has reached at least 5th level. Minimum sacrifice is usually cattle or similar animals worth 1,000 gp per year, but heroes who have nothing - because they have worked selflessly for the good of the tribe - need not make sacrifice.

Benefits: Hero spirits can sponsor any spell from the tribal shaman's spell list, as well as any Ist-level priest spell. A supplicant of 8th level and above also gains the ability to perform one act of impossible dramatic heroism per week (such as stunning a dragon with a punch). The limits of the power are determined by the DM.