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> Making a Native American shaman, looking for advise and information
Wombat
post Mar 4 2009, 07:05 PM
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One of my players is making a Native American shaman in the Seattle area and is looking for more information on it. Personally, I haven't seen too much about the Native Americans in the Seattle area. So, I was hoping that some of you might be able to offer some advice or point us in the right direction.
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BlueMax
post Mar 4 2009, 07:09 PM
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QUOTE (Wombat @ Mar 4 2009, 11:05 AM) *
One of my players is making a Native American shaman in the Seattle area and is looking for more information on it. Personally, I haven't seen too much about the Native Americans in the Seattle area. So, I was hoping that some of you might be able to offer some advice or point us in the right direction.


Do you have Native American Nations? (volume 1 I think)? This would be most helpful. If not, I can help tonight when I get home and have access to my copy.
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Wombat
post Mar 4 2009, 07:19 PM
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QUOTE (BlueMax @ Mar 4 2009, 11:09 AM) *
Do you have Native American Nations? (volume 1 I think)? This would be most helpful. If not, I can help tonight when I get home and have access to my copy.


No, I didn't even know that there was a NAN book, I started playing the game late in SR3, and have been dedicated to SR4 since it came out. I'm working on getting a copy of many of the SR3 splat books right now.
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TBRMInsanity
post Mar 4 2009, 08:31 PM
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There is also some information in Shadows of North America (if you have that). An entire chapter to the Salish-Shidhe council that may be helpful (starting pg 113).
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pbangarth
post Mar 4 2009, 08:49 PM
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If you are looking for some background ethnographic information, see if you can get a hold of a -great- book, "The Faith of a Coast Salish Indian" by Diamond Jenness.

A more 'personal, experiential, hallucinatory' vein can be found in something by Michael Harner.
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Kanada Ten
post Mar 4 2009, 09:24 PM
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I guess I don't understand what you're looking for... Just background information? Tradition flavor or religions? A lot of NAN judges are Awakened, using their magical powers to find the truth in various court cases. Sioux Wildcats are cybered combat shamans. The Crying Masks are a terrorist group that employee shamans (they're a splinter of another group). The Koshari are the PCC's syndicate, not all Awakened or anything, but more like the Triads than the Mafia in that department. Then there's the Comanche Mob, Ute syndicate. The First Nations are a Seattle gang made up of Amerindians (though they work for the Yaks, go figure). In the books, Man-of-Many-Names is a (powerful) shaman who can summon some crazy shit spirits, he walks around in a suit with tres chic moccasins. There's Scorpian shamans in the Mojave who call themselves the Anasazi. The Cascade Crows are the less scrupulous ork and troll tribe in the Cascades.
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Degausser
post Mar 4 2009, 10:55 PM
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Well, If you are looking for a bit of fluff info, I live in the Northwest and I have taken a few anthropology and Native American classes myself (though I am not Native American by decent.)

One thing to remember is that, just like you and I, Native Americans are first and foremost, PEOPLE (Duh) so you don't want to stereotype them. I have met Native Americans who deeply revered their ancestral way of life and continued on their traditions, and I have met guys who thought it was all a crock. If your player wants his character to be deeply spiritual, here are some suggestions. If not, then he could be whatever, even a hermetic mage.

Most traditional NA tribes in this area have SIMILAR philosophies, but they are by NO means the same. What I mean by this is that they would encounter each other, sometimes trade or talk, but the kept their own culture. So naturally, some ideas were passed around, but some were kept within the tribe. Some tribes in the region that you might want to look up are the Spokane tribe, the Cour d'alane, the Nez Pierce, and any others you find in this same area.

In northwest culture, it is the coyote who is typically the trickster, and not the raven. The raven was, if I recall correctly, the messenger. The bear typically represented strength but also wisdom, for he posessed great strength but knew when to use it.

A NAN shaman would probably be a mystic, and I would recommend some skill in First Aid (or Medicine), Artisan (either dance, artwork, or tapestries), and/or Negotiation/ettiquite. It would be good to have knowledge skills in history or anthropology, as well as 'Magical Shamantic practices' (the Shamantic version of hermetic magic theory.) If you want to go overboard, levels of survival might be called for, but not strictly required. The NAN is as technologically advanced as the rest of the world.

As for Talisma and Foci, the Native Americans in this region tend to use lots of beadwork to form intricate patterns. Other ideas include clothes as foci, or small items of sentimental value, such as bags with embroidery or dolls. Weapons foci would probably be knives, as I believe they were the most common weapon in the northwest.
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Dream79
post Mar 5 2009, 07:57 AM
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Outside of superstitions and general religious belief, which like Degausser said is not universal, the 'traditional' mystical practices of many native cultures are more intuitive then part of a set system of practice like hermeticism. Outside of traditional superstitions of a given people (which from what I've read were not followed by all members of even the same community even back in the early 19th century) how this all applied to the mystic practitioners was on a personal level.

If you are making a NAN shaman, it's pretty much wide open. You can incorporate whatever folk beliefs you want or none at all and be 'correct'. The basic idea is that the shaman has gained the patronage and protection of a mentor spirit (much like SR4 puts it) and is largely not a learned skill that can be passed along. A shaman would likely learn the superstitions and observances of the community and be taught the use of native medicines, but the 'power' the mystic possessed came from the mentor spirits aid and teachings in concept. This means that you can pretty much do it however you want. There's no hard rules to NA mystical practices, especially since like Degausser said about having met Native Americans who deeply revered their ancestral way of life and continued on their traditions, and met guys who thought it was all a crock.
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