Shaman Totem Proficiencies

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Sable Wyvern
Joined: 2019-10-21 23:36
Shaman Totem Proficiencies

The Players' Handbook states:

While the totem animal is alive, the shaman receives the animal’s totem benefit. The totem benefit is a bonus proficiency related
to the totem. For example, a shaman with a cobra totem animal has the Combat Reflexes proficiency so long as he is within 30'
of his totem animal.

Would I be correct in assuming that the bolded is a mistake?

First, if the 30' limit is intended, it seems redundant to start the paragraph by mentioning the bonus only applies while the totem animal is alive. ACKS doesn't strike me as the sort of game where anti-ruleslawyering pedantry is written into the text, "oh, I still get the bonus, Ratsy's corpse is still within 30' of me, and it doesn't say it only applies while the totem animal is alive". Neither the warlock nor Familiar entries add this proviso to the saving throw benefit, instead assuming common sense will be applied.

Many totem animals are also far less "portable" then normal familiars, making a 30' limitation extremely limiting.

Finally, it makes the bonus proficiency for a Horse Shaman almost entirely useless. "Ooh, great, I get a bonus 30' movement .. as long as I'm within 30' of my horse, in which case I would be better of riding it for a bonus 120' movement ."

I spotted this last night, and had already decided I was going to change it to applying as long as the totem animal is alive, before discovering that appears to actually be the intent anyway.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

It's a mistake. I've never run it that way and I'm the designer :-) You have the bonus proficiency while your totem animal is alive. I think RAW doesn't reflect RAI.