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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Ultimate Ethermagic (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER! ...itty bitty power pool!

A trio of "warlocks" for the Pathfinder generation!

It can be rather unsettling to learn that our infinite universe is but one of many, a miniscule dot on the roadmap of creation. These universes follow vastly different laws of physics and are prone to annihilating each other if they should ever touch. Though these events do happen, they are quite rare thanks to a weightless and almost completely elastic extrauniversal fluid known as the ether.

There are some puny and insignificant organic creatures who find themselves attuned to this background noise of the multiverse, this infinite source of energy that surrounds them and suffuses the void beyond the edge of everything. Finding they have the ability to communicate with the extrauniversal fluid and to draw from its raw, shapeless energy to do as they will, these ethermancers tend to fall into two camps. Some believe that the universe chose them to carry its greatest gift and use it to protect this tiny speck of creation. Others feel it is a perfect excuse to lord it over everyone. Given humanoid nature, the latter tends to be far more common.

Ultimate Ethermagic is part of Strange Magic, an upcoming hardcover book that will contain three newly-expanded magic systems: ethermagic, musical composition, and truename magic.

Ultimate Ethermagic takes equal parts Douglas Adams and H. P. Lovecraft to produce an “all day long” system of magic with a cosmic flavor. Spiritual successors to the warlock base class of the 3.5 days, the ethermagus, ethermancer, and etherslinger base classes seek to have improved playability by offering the ability to mix and match spell effects to make custom evocations on the fly. Whereas the warlock simply blasted, the ethermagician can ask, “How hard?”, and can even choose to be an interesting hybrid class rather than a pure-blooded caster.

Thanks to the advent of a rapidly-regenerating spell point pool, players must choose whether or not to spend more than they will regenerate next turn. Incredibly potent effects are indeed possible, but firing them off without a care in the world will reduce the player to single-target ranged touch attacks in a hurry!

Product Features:

  • Three base classes, the full-caster ethermancer, the melee ethermagus, and the cosmic firearms etherslinger
  • Eight archetypes, three of which, the healing etherfuser, the insane mad evangelist, and the stealthy void stalker, are complex enough to be new classes in their own right!
  • Favored Class options for all common races, as well as most featured races
  • Innovative spell point system allows for a spellcaster balanced like a martial class with the ability to “burst” like a classic spellcaster
  • Rules for detecting ethermagic, countering ethermagic, and qualifying for classic arcane spellcaster prestige classes as an ethermancer
  • 225+ spells, or “manifestations”, in six schools, or “etherhearts” spanning a 45-page spellbook
    • lesser blast – low cost, moderate damage evocation
    • greater blast – high cost, high damage evocation
    • alteration – defensive spells for self only
    • bestow – defensive and offensive spells for anyone but the caster
    • genesis – permanent creation of objects from pure energy
    • voidmeld - on-the-fly weapon enhancement
  • Greater manifestations system allows an ethermagician to retard lateral growth in exchange for massive once-per-day effects, including one spell so modular that it takes up three full pages all on its own (and is supported by 3 of the book's 39 feats)!
  • 39 feats
  • Complete nested bookmarking, including all sidebars and tables

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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I love this book of cosmic power!


I supported the Strange Magic kickstarter a while ago, when I saw that it was going to include Ethermagic. I always enjoy 3rd party content for Pathfinder RPG. This was no different. When I saw the updates about the pdfs being finished for each section and that the supporters can go and download them, I was intrigued. I downloaded just Ultimate Ethermagic just to see what I was getting in this new book when it comes out.

I was not disappointed at all. It is 94 pages long! Holy crap! That is 47 double sided printed pages. I am glad that the inside of the document is only black and white, with a color cover, because this would be hard to print out if it was all in color. I understand color is awesome, but I was not disappointed in the black and white art inside.

I read the entire thing, and WOW, this supplement (which is only 1/3 of the entire book) is amazing!

I don’t intend on going into as much details at Endzeitgeist did in his review (a very comprehensive review), but I will give you what I thought was really fantastic, and what could have been a little better.

Ethermagic is a renewable unlimited source of cosmic power that these three new classes can manipulate for their own benefits.

The 3 classes are:

1. Ethermagus (an adventurer who uses voidmeld Ethermagic to create melee weapons)

2. Ethermancer (an adventurer who can utilize Ethermagic in the largest of variety of ways to best assist them. They mostly utilize Ethermagic to support their unique form of spellcasting)

3. Etherslinger (an adventurer who uses Ethermagic in conjunction with enhanced firearms to become one bad ass ranged weapon specialist)

There are archetypes for the Ethermagus and the Ethermancer, but no archetypes for the Etherslinger. BOO. After reading all the cool archetypes for both of the other classes, I was a little disappointed not even to see one for the etherslinger.

After all 3 classes and archetypes, came a section on feats for all 3 classes. I kept saying to myself, reading the classes, I bet the feats are going to be good, and they are. I liked that all 3 classes got feats that support them.

Next came up manifestations and greater manifestations. Manifestations are things that alter the effect that the class is trying to utilize. Think of the manifestations like the condiments to any sandwich. They just make the sandwich much better. I guess I never got into the mechanics of the classes (again, because Endzeitgeist describes this much better), but each class gets a number of points to support their abilities. These points regenerate each turn. These Ether points also are needed to add on the manifestations.

Lastly the Greater manifestations are AMAZING. I would only allow them for the Ethermancer. They are super powerful and I love them. The Ethermancer has to give up an ability that he gets multiple times during the 20th level progression to get one of these. Clockwork Universe is so cool. It is unique, and different and I would love to see it utilized in play. I think it provokes such cool imagery.

I loved Ultimate Ethermagic. Three unique classes, with a variety of ways that they can be played. I do wish the Etherslinger got at least 1 or 2 archetypes, but that is a minor detail. The only other thing that I can criticize is that these classes are complex in the details. I am not sure that a novice player could understand all of the multifaceted things that these classes can do. I kept thinking, as I read these, that if any of my players wanted to try one of the classes, I would suggest to them to have different color notecards that they can write their main abilities on, and plain white ones to write their manifestations on. This would simplify the need to keep going back to reference the pdf and see what the ability does, and trying to minimize slowing down the game.

Side note: I am getting the Giant slayer adventure path and I was wondering how a party of adventurers using Ethermagic and other 3rd party classes would fare Against the Giants?

I rate Ultimate Ethermagic 5 out of 5 stars.

An review


This massive book clocks in at 94 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, leaving us with a massive 91 pages of content, so let's...wait. First, here's my

DISCLAIMER: I have a history with ethermagic. When Bradley Crouch first made the ethermancer, I was skeptical - another warlock-style "blast all day"-class? Urgh. In my experience, they boiled down to inflexible blasters that at the same time made logic for the very existence of bows et al. tenuous at best, were utterly OP OR resulted in plain boring gameplay. Upon diving into the class, I realized two things - a), it is a complex class indeed and b), I'd have to playtest it to properly judge it. And oh boy, did it playtest well! One of my players fell totally in love with the class and wrote an optimization guide for it. The only reason I did not completely gush about it was the existence of quite a few options that did not make much sense for the ethermancer. Fast forward to the Strange Magic Kickstarter, of which this is the first release. At this point, I had seen half a year of ethermancer in action in my main campaign and started tinkering with the system to expand it. When Bradley asked me to join the KS as a guest author alongside Jason Linker, I jumped the chance. I feel obliged to mention that I was compensated for my work on this book. However, there are significant bunches of content I had no hand in whatsoever. Additionally, I have before criticized products I contributed to and thus, will do my best to analyze, break, etc. this system, just like in all my other reviews. I felt obliged to mention this and should you consider my involvement a conflict of interest, feel free to tell me so - I am confident, however, that analysis of this book will suffice to prove the validity of the points I make in this review.

All right, that out of the way, let's dive in! If you are familiar with the basic ethermancer, you'll be surprised to see that the first class herein is NOT the old one, but rather Jason Linker's Ethermagus. But before I jump into the meat of the 3 classes, let me explain how ethermagic works, all right?

Ethermagic can be explained as pricking a whole into the fabric of reality, channeling the very stuff that separates planes and realities in a unique manner - the ability to channel this power is measured in etherpoints, or EP - so far, so common. However, unlike many similar resources, EP regenerate each round, depending on the formula of the respective base class. The EP regeneration rate is also featured for convenience's sake in the respective class-feature-tables. Ethermagic is generally treated as evocation magic and tight rules for counterspelling ethermagic are provided - though regular caster should be advised not to try to outcast an ethercaster. Additionally, much like spells, manifestations are grouped by level - the higher your level, the higher the level of manifestation you may learn. Wait, what? Manifestations? Well, yes. Etherspells have two components - the etherheart and the manifestations applied to it. Etherhearts are gained at specific levels in the class progression and allow the respective class to do different things - think about them as a chassis, to which manifestations can be applied. To use a manifestation, an ether-using class needs to have at least a cha of 10+manifestation-level and the save DC is 10+highest manifestation level used + charisma modifier, analogue to spells. However, not all etherhearts become available to all classes. Let me give you a run-down:

The most basic of etherhearts would be the lesser blasts - these have a close range and constitute touch attack rays that deal 1d3+cha-mod bludgeoning damage, +1d3 for every caster level beyond 1st for the ethermancer. Ethermagi and etherslingers have significantly less scaling at 1/2 and 1/4 class level respectively. Up to 3 manifestations can be applied to them and there is no minimum number of manifestations.

Greater blasts, exclusively available to the ethermancer, have the same range, but deal 1d10+cha-mod damage, +1d10 for every 2 caster levels beyond the first. Like its lesser brother, a total of 3 manifestations can be added and there is no minimum number of manifestations.

A further, pretty basic etherheart available to all ethermagic users would be the alteration etherheart - this can be considered the utility/defense etherheart with a range of personal and a duration of 1 min/level. Duration deserves special mention here - with the exception of one etherheart, etherspells cannot be dismissed. Additionally, alterations can be modified by exactly one manifestation and only one alteration can be in effect at a given time.

The Bestow etherheart would in effect be similar to the alteration etherheart in that it sports a duration, requires exactly one manifestation to be added to it, but unlike alteration, bestow etherhearts in effect reduce the maximum EP-pool for as long they persist - essentially, the EP used in maintaining the etherspell are only regenerated once the etherspell has run its course. Unlike alteration etherspells, those cast via the bestow etherheart need to be delivered via a touch attack and cannot be targeted at the ethermagic-using class.

The Genesis etherheart, available for ethermancer and etherslinger, conjures objects out of thin ether - once again, exactly one manifestation can be added to the etherheart. The effect is permanent, as long as the object remains within close proximity of its creator, however, like bestow effects, EP remain reduced for as long as the genesis etherspell exists. Unlike any other etherheart, a genesis etherspell can be dismissed at any given time.

The ethermagus' exclusive etherheart, Voidmeld, also has a personal range and applies to the void blade of the ethermagus (more on that later). It also reduces the ethermagus' maximum EP analogue to Bestow for as long as it persists, but unlike it, voidmeld etherspells can be dismissed by dismissing the void blade upon which they're cast. Unlike all other etherhearts, voidmeld etherspells have a base casting time of only a swift action, as opposed to the default standard action. (Which can be superseded by manifestations applied - only the highest casting duration counts.) Another peculiarity of the voidmeld etherheart would be the fact that one may apply as many manifestations as one likes, provided the total of their combined levels remains below the highest manifestation level the ethermagus knows. Once again, only one voidmeld can be in effect at a given time.

You may have noticed that obviously, etherspells seem to scale with levels and this is reflected in their cost - to cast an alteration etherspell, for example, one has to pay the base cost of the etherheart, plus the EP-cost of the manifestation applied. The base EP-costs of the etherhearts scale with levels - in the case of alteration, the base cost would be 1+ 1/4 caster level, rounded down. There is one more restriction imposed on ethermagic - you cannot learn more manifestations for a given etherheart than you have at a lower level - if you for example know 2 3rd level blast manifestations, you can't learn another manifestation unless you have at least 3 2nd level blast manifestations - think of it as a pyramid rule for each etherheart.

While all of this may sound complex (and the math behind it *is* complex, believe me...), it's really easy to understand once you wrap your head around it - whether by a manabar or pool or by cooldown timers, the ways to visualize the system are plentiful.

Okay, before I go into the basics of manifestations, let's take a look at all the classes and goodies herein, all right?

The ethermagus comes with a 3/4 BAB-progression, good fort and will-saves, d8, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and light armor (and no spell failure chance in light armor), a maximum manifestation level of 5 and an ether regeneration rate that scales up from 1 EP per round to 7 at 20th level. An ethermagus has access to the voidmeld etherheart at 1st level, learns the lesser blast etherheart at 2nd level and the alteration etherheart at 5th level. Ethermagi learn up to 12 voidmeld manifestations, 13 lesser blast manifestations and 9 alteration manifestations over the course of their 20-level progression. At 10th level, lesser blasts executed by the ethermagus receive a damage-bonus equal to 1/2 class level.

Additionally, starting at 1st level, ethermagi can manifest void blades drawn from the ether - these can be either light or medium one-handed weapons that deal either slashing or piercing damage, chosen upon the manifestation of the blade. The entry also features information on hardness and hit points. Starting at 4th level, all void blades receive a +1 enhancement bonus, +1 every 4 levels thereafter and at 11th and 20th level, their damage dice increase by one step. At 7th level, the void blade receives the defending quality and at 9th level, the ethermagus may expend 3 EP to temporarily entangle targets hit by your blade.

At 2nd level, ethermagi may execute so-called etherstrikes, delivering lesser blast etherspells with their void blade analogue to spellstrike - and yes, the wording gets it right. At 3rd level, the ethermagus can regain 1 EP whenever he reduces a target creature of at least 1/2 class level HD to 0 HP or below via an attack with the void blade or a lesser blast etherspell. Particularly interesting, at 11th level, the improved ether surge allows for the addition of one non-stacking additional non-shape manifestation to the next lesser blast he executes.

At 5th level, the thoroughly solid ether variant of spellcombat (sans concentration penalty-ambiguity!) is gained. At higher levels, the ethermagus additionally receives a bonus to concentration checks made in ether combat and at high levels, double the opted penalty is received as a bonus instead.

Continuous exposure to ether hardens the ethermagus' musculature and thus, the class receives a +2 bonus to one physical attribute at 13th level, another +2 to a score not chosen at 13th level at 17th and at 15th level, the ethermagus may 1/day knock a foe prone and pin the foe; +1/day at 20th level, where this can also be executed with blasts. A decompressing shock can be used with EP to end this prone condition/pinning, but deal nasty damage. The capstone, beyond aforementioned effects, can now also be shaped and create/dismiss the void blade as a swift action.

The class comes with excessive FCOs for core races, plane-touched races, puddlings, orcs, hobgoblins, drow, kobolds, vishkanya, kitsune and vanara.

Kickstarter backer Mathew Duckwitz has sponsored the Mad Evangelst archetype, who replaces spellcombat and its follow-up abilities with a metamorphosis pool of class level + cha-mod. Upon slaying targets, the mad evangelist may expend metamorphosis points equal to the slain creature's HD to revive it as a zombie under the control of the evangelist after creature's HD rounds. To maintain the revived creature, the evangelist has to spend the points again upon their regeneration, essentially making this a kind of minion pool. At 3rd level, these revived creatures may be modified at metamorphosis pool cost via an array of so-called "Aspects of the Master" - an array of options that becomes expanded at 6th level and every 3 levels thereafter by +1 aspect. Some of these aspects have the [variant] descriptor, denoting that only one such piece can be applied to a given zombie - somewhat akin to tinker designs.

From touchy cilia to flanking prevention sores, applying various templates (aforementioned variants) and similar tricks, the aspects allow for some damn cool modifications...and they have rather cool synergy with the base class - think of it as a cooler version of the Battlefield Defiler archetype for the magus, with truly unique, customizable zombies.

Instead of aberrant musculature and bonus feats, the evangelist also may choose from an array of gifts from beyond - from developing a vast plethora of eyes, to fast healing and even an ether powered gaze attack, these gifts are pretty damn awesome - mostly due to simply not being boring - want an example? Well, fast healing sounds bland, right? Well, this kind of fast healing can be activated reflexively to e.g. survive the effects of being vorpal'd as a severed head - if the head is healed to max HP within one minute, it regrows the body and is fine; Otherwise it dies - now come on, is that a unique, cool last-second save mechanism or what? Or what about a whippy tentacle that can be used to deliver voidmeld manifestations as an exception to the void blade only rule? Yeah, pretty awesome! Also rather interesting from a mechanical standpoint - at 14th level, the mad evangelist becomes immune to either fear, disease or poison - but at the cost of susceptibility to the other two!

The second archetype would be the Void Stalker, essentially a more roguish ethermagus with increases skills per level. In addition to light and medium weapons, these guys may select double weapons as void blades and receives sneak attack at 2nd level, +1d6 every 3 levels thereafter, but pay for these tricks with the lesser blast ether heart, etherstrike and ethercombat. Rather cool - they can dim the lights (at the cost of 1 EP per round and no ether regeneration), greatly boosting stealth and even providing a miss chance at higher levels instead of ethersurge. The void stalker also receives a rogue talent at 4th level (advanced talents at 13th level) and every 3 levels thereafter, but may not choose the same talent twice and cannot select ninja tricks, but pays for this flexibility with the alteration etherheart - which is good, since the combo-potential would have been pretty insane - but don't fret: The iconic ultraviolet shift is gained at 10th level (in a unique modification with reduced costs, analogue to the stealth-enhancer mentioned above) and uncanny dodge, evasion etc. should help get over the absence of this etherheart. The vorpal capstone is also nice.

Next up hereafter would be the voidstar - instead of a voidblade, 3+1/2 class level void star shuriken constitute the targets of the voidmelds of this archetype and receives an increased limit of voidmeld manifestations to apply to these shurikens, scaling up to +3 at 13th level. Instead of etherstrike, 5th level grants the ability to treat said stars as either silver, cold iron or adamantine for the purpose of bypassing DR and instead of void shield, this one receives keen shuriken - while this looks nasty on paper, the math checks out - nice, kind of ninja-ish/halfling-ish throwing specialist.

Ethermancers are the full casters of the bunch and since I have already written a more than excessive review on them AND already explained the basics of ethermagic, I will refrain from going through this guy in detail - though it should be noted that the previously somewhat uneven multiuniversal philosophies (the taking of which also determines the capstone!) have been streamlined and expanded - limited x/day reduction of EP-costs for bestow etherspells, increased raw damage output for less- or unmodified greater blasts, resistance reduction - these class features have been upgraded from "well, that exists, too" to cool enhancers that can be used to increase the effectiveness of various playstyles - increased hit points, limited instant EP-regeneration equal to cha-mod etc. - so much choices and by now, they're actually pretty hard and diverse, eliminating one of my gripes with the original iteration of the class. A fortification-like scaling effect and a 1 immune, 2 susceptible choice is still in the ring. The FCOs are more diverse than before as well!

Part II of the epic review ca be found as post #7 in the product discussion. See you there! Gift Certificates
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