Tribal Spell Casters
Witch Doctor
Character Spells

<><make table: less scrolling><sorry about this page: make links to default stat blocks : hint, hint>

These spell casters are divided into two types, shamans && witch doctors.
A tribe will have either shamans or witch doctors, but not both <(except cavemen)>.<unlimited shaman advancement?>
It is suggested that you include these figures into those tribes you personally determine, not random groups.

Tribal spell casters are found amongst the following races of creatures:
BUGBEARS [s5 - wd5.2],
CAVEMEN <[? - wd?.4]>,
ETTINS [s3],
GIANTS <note or link> [s7],
GNOLLS [s5 - wd5.2],
GOBLINS [s7 - wd7.2],
HOBGOBLINS [s7 - wd7.4],
KOBOLDS [s5 - wd5.4],
LIZARD MEN [s7 - wd7.2],
OGRES [s3],
ORCS [s5 - wd5.4],
and TROLLS [s3].

Shamans are tribal clerics of 7th level or under.

Shamans have only the following spells (and the reverse, if applicable) which they are able to cast:
First Level Second Level Third Level Fourth Level
cure light wounds augury cure blindness divination
detect evil chant cure disease exorcise
detect magic detect charm dispel magic neutralize poison
light resist fire locate object tongues
protection from evil snake charm prayer -
resist fear speak with animals remove curse -

Note that wisdom does [not] affect the number of spells of tribal clerics,
and the number of spells any such tribal cleric possesses is determined as if the shaman were a character of the appropriate level. There is a limit according to the race of the shaman as to how many levels of experience he or she can possess:
3rd level maximum 5th level maximum 7th level maximum
ettin bugbear giant (hill, stone, fire, frost only)
ogre gnoll goblin
troglodyte kobold hobgoblin
troll orc lizard man

Witch doctors are tribal cleric/magic-users.

In addition to the max. level of clerical ability noted above,
witch doctors of various races are able to use the following spells (and the reverse, if applicable):
First Level Second Level
affect normal fires audible glamer
dancing lights detect invisibility
identify invisibility
push levitate
shield magic mouth
ventriloquism scare

The maximum level of magic-user is dependent upon the race of the witch doctor:
2nd level maximum 4th level maximum
bugbear caveman*
gnoll goblin
kobold hobgoblin
lizard man orc

    * Cavemen tribes have normal clerical members.


HD and Attack Rolls: If a tribal spell caster is of 1st level,
it will have the HP and HD of a normal creautre of
that kind. Each additional level in its highest spell casting class
grangs +1d6 HP and a bonus of +1 on "to hit" rolls, so an orcish
witch doctor who is a 5th/4th level cleric/magic-user will have
1d8+4d6 HP and attack at +4 "to hit" relative to his or her fellows.

Giants: In campaigns with a very Norse flavour, certain giants
may have illusionist rather than clerical powers. Use the rules
for a tribal shaman as described above, but grant the giant
phantasmal spells rather than divine ones. In this case, the
giant may USE any phantasmal spell in his || her spellbook;
this overrides the restrictions on tribal spellcaster magic as
described above.

- OSRIC.190

DMPrata wrote:
Hey Gary, I have one quick AD&D® question, and then I promise to stop misusing my time and get back to work.  Did you intend for non-human shamans and witch doctors to be able to turn/command undead, or was that ability restricted to "actual" clerics only?

I always envisaged the power of turning Undead to be restricted to clerics, not held by shamans and witchdoctors.
The latter would have spells that proscribed Undead from areas, but not the capacity to turn/destroy them by their very presence.

Now keep your promise and get to work detailing Yggsburgh!


Hi Greg, <?>

The limited spells for primitive spell casters is both logical and something that I personally stuck to when DMing.

In special circumstances I would create new magic items for them--such as a ferish, mask, rattle, drum.
bone whistle, skin painting, or madicine bag that had either protective or offensive capacity, or perhaps both.
Thus the special primitive spell caster(s) encountered were a definite challenge for strng PC parties.