For the various shaman archetypes (such as Bear Shaman) in the druid class, your domain choices and animal companion choices are restricted.

Are the Animal and terrain domains valid selections for a Shaman archetype for druids, as they are meant to be for

druids whose focus is more specific than the Animal, Plant, Weather, or elemental domains

and would this decision be valid for Pathfinder Society?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Reference to OP's cross post on paizo, for reference: paizo.com/threads/… might be especially interesting for PFS. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Sep 24 '14 at 9:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yea I wanted to make sure I covered all the basic bases since PFS wouldn't necessarily get indexed well for a bit for the question but StackedOverflow might not be considered a "cannon" response without documentation. \$\endgroup\$
    – TechImp
    Sep 24 '14 at 13:59


Every type of Shaman specifically lists which domains are valid choices for Nature Bond. For example,

the wolf shaman must choose from the Animal, Community, Liberation, and Travel domains.

None of the Animal and Terrain domains are listed here, and the list was never updated to incorporate them since Ultimate Magic came out.

Without any special rulings by Mike Brock regarding PFS, the combination is not therefore not PFS legal.

As a Houserule: Highly sensible

Of course, as always in a home game, the GM should be open to houseruling this, especially given the silliness of a Wolf Shaman being unable to take Wolf Domain.

The Terrain domains are not as clear though. If it were me, I'd allow for domains associated with the animal in question (or a subtype of that animal), such as Plains for the Lion Shaman, or, barring corresponding character fluff, the Arctic domain for the Bear or Wolf Shaman.

But you shouldn't be surprised if you are denied your choice of domain by some GMs. No matter how much sense it makes, these are houserules.


Each shaman druid type has the domains aviable to him explicitly listed. E.g. for the bear shaman, thats "If choosing a domain, the bear shaman must choose from the Animal, Earth, Protection, and Strength domains."

So the terrain domain and its subdomains are not aviable to him by RAW.

However, this is different for the animal subdomains. While they are not explicitly listed, the paizo FAQ states Druids (and Inquisitors) can indeed "...select any one subdomain appropriate to a domain available to his or her class." So the animal subdomains - and in the case of the bear shaman subdomains of Earth, Protection and Strength, can be selected.

FAQ Reference: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fn#v5748eaic9nd9 (In case the link gets deleted: "A character who does not worship a deity (such as some druids and paladins) may select any one subdomain appropriate to a domain available to his or her class.")

RAI, it also wouldn't make much sense to not allow an eagle shaman to choose the animal subdomain Eagle.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! Edited my answer to stand on its own and added the reference content. \$\endgroup\$
    – ptstone
    Apr 19 '17 at 7:50

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