While the primitive Hsunchen tribes of Glorantha are the primary worshippers of Hykim & Mikyh, their focus is solely through their one totemic animal. However, some barbarian cultures have
continued to worship the Animal Father and Mother in a more general, ritualistic, and organized fashion offering their Shamans an alternative path of development.
The Beast Cult of Hykim & Mikyh is a variant path for worshippers who have reached the level of Shaman. Upon completing the normal requirements to become a Hykim & Mikyh Shaman,
if the candidate also knows Craft (Butcher) at 50% and the Spirit Magic Spell Peaceful Cut, they may choose to become a Beast Shaman (instead of the usual Spirit Shaman).
As explained in more detail in the attachment, it's not immediately an exclusive choice. An existing Shaman may choose to walk the path of the Beast, or a shaman who formerly chose the Beast way may choose to abandon it to become a more canonical 'standard' Spirit Shaman. This "respeccing" then becomes exclusive - the character only gets to change their mind once. Once a shaman has actually turned away from either the path of Spirit or the path of Beast, they cannot go back to it.
Comments and notes: We had a player that wanted the possibility of a character that could change forms, and while we'd actually first tried to script sorcerous rules for it, it just neither worked (requiring silly amounts of mp available) nor felt right thematically. So this is version 2 and it worked astonishingly well. Characters start out with limited forms and the limited uses/long transform time lowers the early-game utility substantially. However, with frequent use (I limit the amount of form-changing to 8 hours total a day in down time) accumulated familiarity mitigates a lot of the early-form constraints.
Ultimately while the changes, frequency, and duration of forms can pretty much go away as constraints, the ultimate limiting factor is that at their toughest, they're still mundane animals. By the time (likely) their party helps them kill something massive and scary like a Triceratops - the other party members themselves will probably be of a comparable power level and in any case there's a question of "how many contexts - really - is it useful to be a Triceratops"? A bar brawl? Not really. In a tomb? Nope. On a ship? Ha ha ha. Now, again with familiarity buildup they can keep getting re-rolls of the 'version' of the beast form they inhabit (we have a rq3 monster generator in excel, so rerolling and printing a half-dozen new bear forms takes about that many seconds). Coupled with some strategic enhancements/spells like STR, they can be comparable to other 'seasoned' Rune Lord caliber toons.
In our play experience now of several months, I think everyone at the table - from me as a GM, to other non-shaman players, to the player who's using this now - we all feel it's rather surprisingly well balanced, with a pretty interesting set of choices for the player in terms of ongoing character development. He enjoys it a lot, and the other players don't feel it's OP...so for me as the GM it's a success.
Note: this was designed and written in the context of our heavily houseruled RQ3 game; I was holding this back in case we'd decided to shift straight over to RQG but since we've decided to stick with our own rules for now, there's no reason not to put it out there. In any case it should be trivial to correct to/for any other RQ/BRP variant including RQG.
Enjoy. Questions or comments to Styopa1(at)gmail.com