Role Play: Shaman roleplay in Legion
Everything that is, is alive. Including, as it turns out, that planet you’re standing on.
Shaman roleplay in Legion is interesting, largely because of the major revelations discovered at the onset of the expansion. As a Shaman, your character has always fought for the world – in Cataclysm that became a major necessity. Deathwing’s emergence from Deepholm set the elements of the world into chaos. But Legion’s a little different, because the world is in peril like never before.
No matter where your Shaman originated, they have a deep affinity with the elements of the natural world. Your character is a spiritual guide of sorts, not to the people around them, but to the very elements themselves. Left to their own devices, the elements are naturally chaotic. They’ll fight against each other with little regard for the natural consequences.
As a Shaman, you’re the person that brings harmony to the elements. You’re almost a moderator of sorts between these elemental forces, bringing balance to the chaos. It’s a heavy role, but a rewarding one – a respected Shaman has those same elements working for them in ways most mortals could never dream of.
And it doesn’t matter where your Shaman came from – they all share that same duty. The Shaman of the Draenei are the newest members of the Earthen Ring. They didn’t really discover the ways of the Shaman until after the creation of Outland, when Nobundo learned how to speak with the elements. Other races practice Shamanism in different ways, but the essence of the job role is still there – bring harmony, one way or another.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Goblins practice Shamanism, but they approach it differently than most other races. Goblins aren’t typically into anything for purely altruistic reasons – there has to be something in it for them. With Shamanism, their bargaining skills come into play in a different way. They make deals with the elements in exchange for their power. It’s a different approach, but it’s one that works for the Goblin race.
In Cataclysm, we were introduced to the Dark Shaman. Formed from the remnants of the fallen Twilight’s Hammer, these Shaman don’t seek to mediate balance between the elements at all. Instead, they’re in for one purpose: Power. To that end, they enslave the elements, forcing them to act on their behalf. It’s something that is antithetical and just plain wrong to pretty much every other Shaman out there.
Despite their more unusual way of dealing with the elements, Goblins are as much a part of the Earthen Ring as any other race. They don’t want to harm the elements, after all. But Dark Shaman work against everything a Shaman usually stands for. While most of these Dark Shaman were dealt with in Mists, it’s entirely possible that some still remain. If you’re looking for a villain role for your Shaman character, a Dark Shaman suits that role nicely, and keeps your character appropriately class-thematic.
Shaman in Legion
In Legion, all of our characters learn that Azeroth itself is a Titan – a she, according to Magni Bronzebeard. For most characters this is going to be a shock, but it holds special meaning to a Shaman. All of those elements that your character has been trying to keep in balance? They’re part of something much, much larger – a planetary ecosystem, a living creature much, much larger than your character could even begin to comprehend.
That’s a little mind-blowing, to say the least. All that careful balance your character has been working towards establishing is in fact for a far nobler goal than they could’ve ever imagined. Your character isn’t just trying to protect a world anymore – they are trying to protect a living thing.
Which may make some Shaman characters wonder – when they were communizing with the spirits, were they really talking to the spirits, or were they talking to the world herself? It also makes protecting that world even more important than ever before. The Burning Legion is invading, and wants to destroy that world – that creature you’ve only just discovered.
The Shaman Class Hall campaign has your character set out on a pretty important quest. You’re trying to re-establish the four Elemental Lords – two of which you’ve very deliberately taken down in your time on Azeroth. These Elemental Lords may have clashed in ancient history, but you’re trying to bring them together for a greater purpose now.
In a way, it’s the most delicate act of elemental mediation you’ve ever tried to accomplish. The Elemental Lords are easily the most powerful elements you’ve ever encountered in your life. You’re not just trying to reestablish their dominance over their fellow elements, here. You’re trying to get them to work together, and use their powers to help you defend the world.
Because when you boil it all down to the basics, that’s what your Shaman is all about – protecting and establishing balance and order in the natural world. Although that might sound similar to what a Druid tries to accomplish, the methods are two entirely different things. You’re speaking with the building blocks of creation, getting them to work together. It’s a monumental task.
Shaman roleplay in Legion
With all that said, Shaman roleplay in Legion has your character learning more than ever about the world they protect. How did your character react to the reveal that Azeroth is a titan? Were they shocked? Were they humbled? Does it change their approach to Shamanism at all? Is it something they discuss with other people, or something they keep to themselves?
Thrall was a very visible leader for the Earthen Ring, but the elements turned from him at the beginning of Legion. It’s an event your character witnessed firsthand. Did those events have an effect on how your character looks at the elements? Did it teach your character anything about themselves? How does your character feel about Thrall? Did they view Thrall’s abrupt dismissal by the elements as a warning, a lesson in humility?
Obviously, your character has a vested interest in ending the Burning Legion’s assault. Is your character strengthened by their connection to the elements? Does your character view themselves as a powerful creature, a force to be reckoned with? Or are they terrified by the weight of the duty that rests on their shoulders? After all is said and done, will they look at themselves and the elements in the same way? What do they take from what they’ve learned so far?
Shaman have a tremendous duty to the world as it stands. The only thing that’s changed is the knowledge of what that world is. For some characters, that revelation may have them doubting themselves like never before – and for others, they now have good reason to fight all the harder in the days to come.
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