Hello, part of ZU I rarely visit. Today I've come to see you courtesy of the game I'm designing. I'm trying to work out the benefits of a totem system for shamans.
Each totem spirit, when taken, provides either a martial or a mystic benefit to the character bonded with it. Martial benefits are either purely physical or distinctly combat-related, whereas mystic benefits are either purely spiritual or distinctly magical. There are also two methods of getting a special benefit from a totem: one is a feat that can only be taken once, and the other is through a high-level class feature that a character may benefit from only once. Special benefits are exceptionally powerful and can be either martial or mystic in nature.
Any given power provided by a totem must be related to the totem animal itself, whether it's the physical or literal nature of the animal, or it relates to some legend or mythology of the animal. There should be very few, if any, overlapping benefits.
In the event that anyone here would wish to help me come up with ideas, here's what still needs to be done...
Totems needing martial benefits
Totems needing special benefits (most of the animals)
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Don't worry if you feel you don't know enough about the game to contribute. I can adapt nearly any suggestion you can provide, so get as creative as you please. The more creative, the better. Just don't be throwin' things at me from way off in left field.