Aethera Campaign Setting (PFRPG)

***** (based on 4 ratings)
LGPACS0000001PFE

Add Print/PDF Bundle $79.99

Add Hardcover $59.99

Add PDF $29.99

Facebook Twitter Email

Amazing Adventures Among the Stars!

Experience the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game like never before! Discover worlds where magic and technology exist together, where powerful spacefaring vessels called aetherships ply the skies and the stars. The Aethera Campaign Setting features a binary star system with multiple inhabited worlds that have only just survived a century-long war, and even now live in the shadow of an impending intergalactic invasion! Inside this massive 576-page tome you will find:

  • Four new races: Erahthi, plant-like entities with ties to a mysterious verdant elemental plane. Infused, survivors of magical experiments that possess a psychic network and telekinetic abilities. Okanta, giant-blooded humanoids endowed with powerful bestial traits and remarkable cunning. Phalanx, bio-organic constructs with living souls capable of tapping into past-life memories.
  • A new base class: the cantor, a divine spellcaster that uses the prophecy and song to debilitate enemies and enhance themselves and their allies.
  • Six new worlds to explore: The twin stars of Aethera and Ashra, the wasteland world of Akasaat, the jungle planet Kir-Sharaat, the Amrita Asteroid Belt, the gas giant Seraos, and the shrouded ice world of Orbis Aurea.
  • New rules for exciting, fast-paced vehicle combat that involves the entire party and allows you to build and captain your own ships.
  • New hybrid magical technology—aethertech—from mechanical prosthetics to unstoppable powered armor.
  • Dozens of new class archetypes, feats, spells, and MUCH, MUCH MORE!
  • Product Availability

    Print/PDF Bundle: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of Print/PDF Bundle. Will be added to your My Downloads Page when your order ships.

    Hardcover: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

    PDF: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

    Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

    LGPACS0000001PF


    See Also:

    Average product rating:

    ***** (based on 4 ratings)

    Sign in to create or edit a product review.

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    *****

    This colossal tome of a campaign setting clocks in at a HUGE 583 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 3 pages KS-backer thanks, 2 pages of introduction, 3 pages of ToC, 3 pages of SRD, 1 page table/sidebar-index, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 568 pages of content.

    568 pages. Yeah, I won’t be able to dive into the details and nit and grit of every component of this colossal book, at least not without bloating this pdf beyond any form of usefulness. Got that? All right, so, first things first: This book is BEAUTIFUL. I mean it. You’ll flip open the book and see a layout, crafted by Robert Brookes, Liz Courts and Loren Sieg, and see borders that evoke at once science-fiction and art deco aesthetics, providing a rather unique visual identity for the book.

    The next thing you’ll note after the introduction, is that the chapters actually sport thematically-fitting comic-strips as lead-ins – 1 -2 pages each. Now, unlike many a campaign setting, Aethera spans obviously multiple worlds, and as such, comments on variant races and can carry pretty much an infinite amount of supplemental races. That being said, the book contains a total of 4 fully-depicted racial write-ups for new races, all of which come with age, height and weight-tables. It is in these write-ups that your jaw will likely hit the floor, as the artworks throughout this book are absolute premium-level quality. Absolutely gorgeous. The first of the races depicted herein are Erahthi, who hail from ancient forests. Born from massive fruit, they are creatures that blend the aesthetics of plants and elemental powers, and before you ask, they do have a skeletal structure. Indeed, the pdf presents relatively detailed notes for the respective societies and relations of the respective races presented. Erahthi get +2 to Con and +2 to one other ability score of their choice, are native outsiders, Medium, have darkvision and camouflage in forest terrain as well as +1 natural armor. They are treated as both plants and native outsiders for purposes of bane et al., get +4 to saves vs. mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison and stun effects and they are immune to sleep. Non-magical undergrowth does not affect the erahthi and since they breathe through their skin, they have some cool tricks: One hand above water can keep them from drowning! However, this also imposes a -2 penalty to saves versus inhaled fumes, poisons, smoke and the like. Erahthi with Cha 11+ also get 1/day speak with plants. We get balanced FCOs for the druid, monk, shaman and slayer classes. Unique, flavorful, balanced – and before you ask, the bonus types are concisely presented throughout all races.

    Now, it should be noted that humans get a really nice, fully detailed write-up, obviously sans stats, but yeah – nice! The next new race would be the infused, basically an attempt to create a super-soldier Übermensch via the infusion of aether, these beings had suffered horrid losses in both numbers and previous identities, with the transition being often rather traumatic, with infertility and a shortened lifespan being most notable. The project that gave life to them has seen its day, and thus, to a degree, these are the twilight years for this race. Favored class option-wise, we get notes for brawler, fighter, cavalier, sorcerer, psychic and kineticist. The infused get +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Con, are humanoids with aether and human subtypes. While in zero gravity or affected by levitate, the infused gain a fly speed equal to ½ their land speed. Minor complaint: No maneuverability is given. I assume average as a default. Infused with a Charisma greater than 11 gain at-will mage hand and open/close as well as 1/day shield as SPs. They also begin play with Arcane Strike as a bonus feat and immunity to aetheric radiation. They can create a psychic bond with another creature with the aether subtype, which requires skin contact for 1 minute. Unwilling targets can attempt a Will-save to avoid the bond, with the DC scaling with the infused’s HD and Cha-mod. After a successful bond, both creatures get a +4 racial bonus to Sense each other’s Motives and to Bluff checks to pass secret messages. 1/day, an infused may share thoughts with one or more bonded creatures as per mindlink and an infused may maintain a psychic bond with up to 3 + Cha-mod creatures. Okay, one question: Can the infused end such a bond willingly? The lack of duration makes me think that it’s permanent and an inability to end such a bond by ways other than death would mean a rather large difference in how the race behaves.

    The third new race herein would be the animal-look-alike race of the Okanta, who look basically like anthropomorphized animals with massive horns – the artworks depict a bear- and a lion-based okanta, both of which manage to look actually badass. Their favored class options cover fighter, cavalier, paladin, shaman and spiritualist, as befitting of their culture. Racial traits wise, they may freely choose to assign +2 to one of the ability scores other than Strength: The +2 bonus to Strength is ficed. They are Medium humanoids with the okanta subtype and low-light vision as well as a +2 bonus to saves versus fear effects. Their horns grant them a 1d6 gore attack (would have been convenient to have the natural attack type classified here – as provided, you need to resort to the default). 1/day, an okanta can observe a creature that has a skill the okanta doesn’t have. After the 1 hour studying period, the okanta treats the skill as a class skill with ranks equal to the okanta’s level, but does not qualify the okanta for skill unlocks. Still, cool one! They also get powerful build, but suffer from light sensitivity.

    The Century War that gave rise to the creation of the infused also influenced the creation of the phalanx: Unearthed and reverse-engineered bio-mechanical constructs that actually gained sentience and soul. Suffice to say, many are war veterans today, and while gender-neutral, some phalanx have chosen to adopt gendered identities. The race comes with favored class options for monk, ranger, sorcerer, wizard and rogue. Phalanx gain +2 Con and Cha, -2 Wis, and are constructs with the phalanx subtye. They have a Con-score and don’t get bonus HP depending on size. They are Medium, with darkvision and Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. They get +4 to Diplomacy to gather information and +1 natural armor. They can also tap into the lingering memories of their souls: 1/day as a move action, they may grant themselves a feat for which they meet the prerequisites. A phalanx’ body is powered by aetherite: They must consume at least 1 au per day to avoid starvation. A phalanx remains functional for 3 + Con-mod days sans aetherite – after that, they fall unconscious and remain so indefinitely, until fed aetherite. Notice something? Yeah, robot-detectives. The artworks btw. enhance this angle and the somewhat noiresque sleuthing. Aethera predates it, but in light of Altered Carbon et al., that made me smile. As an aside: The massive construct immunities make these fellows pretty strong – but *usually* when a construct race gets its immunities, those are explicitly noted once more in the racial presentation. Their absence here means that you can kinda have your cake and eat it, too: Conservative GMs can make them behave less like constructs and ignore immunities, while those who enjoy more potent playstyles can run with them. Not ideal, mind you, but yeah. On another side, the setting assumes a level of discrimination aginst both infused and phalanx, so that should help even things out.

    The racial chapter, as a whole, provides a rather interesting array of options. Much to my joy, the races feel fresh and interesting and, more importantly, refrain from the annoying “XYZ….IN SPAAAACE”-pitfall, instead opting for unique tricks. I also like the notes for classic PFRPG-races, acknowledging what’s here without just rehashing everything.

    All right, the massive racial chapter done, we now move on to the discussion on classes in the campaign setting, which begins with a new base class, the cantor. Cantors get d8 HD, 6 + Int skills per level, ¾ BAB-progression as well as good Will-saves. They are proficient with light and medium armor as well as shields, excluding tower shields. The cantor is basically a divine bard and as such gets divine spellcasting of up to 6th level, with Wisdom as governing spellcasting attribute and the instrument as a spellcasting focus – which may mean that a cantor’s body can qualify as such. Contrary to paradigm, the cantor is a spontaneous caster and draws his spells from his own unique spell-list, which is provided with full hyperlinks for your convenience. The bardic performance equivalent, divine performance, follows the design paradigm of the bard’s performance, but does not qualify as such for the purposes of bardic masterpieces. 4 + Wisdom modifier rounds are provided at first level, with each subsequent level yielding another +2 rounds. Starting a divine performance is a standard action, until 7th level, where it may be started as a move action instead. Unlike bardic performance, the divine performance is more limited, with base uses covering countersong and fascinate, and the third use providing a reroll for an attack or save before results are made known, though this potent option has a 1 hour-cool-down. 7th level extends that ability to allies and 13th level to nearby foes, with the interactions with the cooldown noted precisely, though both such upgraded uses are immediate actions, something that changes at 19th level, where it becomes a free action, though one that can still only be taken 1/round.

    Now, you can probably glean from this reduced flexibility that this is not where the class ends. Instead, the cantor chooses a hymn at 1st level – these behave very much like e.g. bloodlines. The respective hymns are associated with planets and planes and they bestow a class skill as well as bonus skills and spells. Each of the hymns nets a new divine performance and at 3rd level, we get a so-called hymn verse, with 8th and 14th level providing the greater and superior verse for the hymn instead.

    Now, there is an interconnection between the hymn chosen and the verse class feature: At 2nd level and 6th level as well as at 8th, 12th, 14th, 18th and 20th level, the character gains an additional verse, which may be used even when maintaining a performance. Using a verse is a standard action and Wisdom governs the save DC, if any. 7 verses are provided, which, as a whole, made me wish we’d get a few more. They are per se interesting and solid. Then again, there is an important reason for the relative lack of choice here: At 3rd level, the cantor may replace the hymn verse with another verse when regaining spell slots, which also grants the selected hymn’s divine performance. At 9th level, 2 such repertoire hymns may be chosen. At 4th level, the class gains the basic verse granted by each hymn currently chosen as a repertoire hymn, with 10th and 16th level adding the greater and superior hymns of the respective repertoire hymns. Starting at 5th level, the cantor can cast a spell from a rehearsed hymn by spending a spell slot of the proper level 1/day; at 8th level and every 3 levels thereafter, the class feature may be used an additional time per day.

    8th level unlocks 5 general greater verses and 14th level yields 4 different superior verses, which are not assigned to a hymn. The 11th level ability allows the cantor to start a second divine performance while maintaining one, at the cost of twice the rounds for the second performance, for a total of 3 rounds cost. This cost is reduced to only one round of cost per performance at 17th level. 15th level allows the character to 1/day change a repertoire hymn with 10 minutes of meditation. The capstone provides divine performance maintenance without round expenditure, delimiting the performance. It should be noted that a total of 11 hymns are provided for your convenience. So yeah, the class provides player agenda and choices and its variable hymn-engine is interesting. All in all, one of the better hybrid-y classes out there and I’d probably be singing higher praises here, were it not for my love of Jason Linker’s Ultimate Composition class of the same name. We get favored class options for the new aethera races as well as the human race. Archetype-wise, the cantor gets 4 modifications: Divine dancers represent basically an engine tweak; orthodoxists get clouded vision, but also fate-themed abilities. The song councilor is a healer-specialist, capable of transferring damage. The song seeker, finally, is the repertoire specialist. All in all, decent archetypes and tweaks, but not exactly super exciting. Still, as a whole – the cantor presented herein ranks as one of the more compelling classes I’ve seen within the context of a campaign setting.

    From there, we move on to the class option array, which contains a vast plethora of different new archetypes and tricks: Bioengineer alchemists are specialists of summoning animals with the aetherwarped template, with higher level providing detonating critters. The combat medic alchemist is a pretty cool idea, using stims to mitigate negative conditions while boosting allies. Cool one! The Wastelander is a pretty typical scavenger etc. and is pretty bland; there are also two discoveries – one for plasma bombs and one for negative energy bombs. Arcanists may elect to become rift breakers, who generate elemental rifts and further modify these, with surges and upgrades etc. – the archetype is pretty complex and unique, spanning multiple pages, but as a whole, I felt like it would have been better represented as an alternate class. Bards may elect to become aether weavers, who get to create eidolons, with the Perform skill used to create them infusing their stats. Warsingers are bard/kineticist crossovers and vox riders are the political firebrands and demagogues. Theme-wise, I loved the last of these most, as it is the most unique one. The blue-shifted bloodrager has aetherite-infused bloodlines and as such gets some telekinetic skills, including the simple blast. The colossus brawler is focused on forming an aetherite shield, while the titan archetype gets a grit-based engine.

    You can find part II of my massive review here!


    Out of this World

    *****

    Get it? Out of this world? Space RPG? Ah-ha-ha!

    I don't write a lot of reviews, but this book warrants one, as it needs to have more love. I was concerned that Aethera would be overshadowed by Starfinder, but this game is completely different. Rather than being the traditional D&D-in-Space sort of gameplay, this campaign setting has a feel that is singularly unique.

    Within Aethera, there are a significant amount of campaign points that could be used as story arcs. The writing is top-notch, and it's easy to find some bits and bobs that you could potentially use in a campaign. It's even easy enough to use fairly toss-away ideas as the bases for whole campaigns.

    Between the dieselpunk-style technological development with the political structure that addresses colonialism, imperialism, and authoritarianism vs. individualism, it's easy to create just about any sort of campaign that you want. Each planet in the Aethera system, and each location and story arc allows for a different type of science fiction - which I feel is probably the most interesting aspect of this campaign setting. If you want to play a game that's built around political intrigue set in a sci-fi post-war environment, you could easily do that; likewise if you wanted to play a Fallout-like post-apocalyptic style game, that's available as well -- just head on down to the human homeworld of Akasaat -- and likewise, the human homeworld has hive-like arcologies of people that exist on top of each other with glitzy, powerful entities living at the top of the heap.

    There's something for everyone in this book. I highly, highly suggest it.


    An Ehn's Gaming Foundry Review

    *****

    An Ehn's Gaming Foundry Review

    The Aethera campaign setting was one that I’d had my eye on after I’d heard about it from others, and I’ve had some talks with its creator even before everything came out. But right now, I’d like to get into this slick sci fi setting to see if it’s the place to be for Starfinder, or if the Golarion System will reign supreme.

    We start by with an introduction by the creator talking about the genesis of the setting, and honestly, it brought a smile to my face to see how things were set into motion. It very much humanizes the writing staff and creator, Robert Brookes.

    From here, we jump straight into races (not counting the small comics which serve as chapter openers, which do a good job of setting the tone of the setting), which is actually quite a bit jarring. This may be the only large issue that I have with the book, but I would have preferred a section in which we were better introduced to general terms and concepts that we would be seeing in Aethera. We’re going into races where I feel like there’s terminology and ideas that I’m expected to know but can’t because we’re just getting into things.

    But the races? Oh man, these are great. We start off with the Erahthi, which could have easily been more ‘big slow plant people’ but have such elegant designs (the art here is amazing, the entire book’s art is first rate, don’t ask me to expand on that because we’ll be here for days) that even just through visual representation they feel different. The explanations behind their physiology and other things like that is very well done, and they feel like they could be transplanted (PUN) into other settings rather easily.

    Infused struck a chord with me, as the entire concept behind them is something I find fascinating; a created human-like race. The racials, mechanics, and other features of them manage to make the infused feel different from both a gameplay and setting perspective, something that I very much appreciate.

    Personal preference is that I don’t like animal races, but the Orkanta manage to show off a large variety of different animal like traits and background that I’d actually be quite okay adding them to my games despite my aversion to their concept.

    I’ve saved the best for last though, as the Phalanx? Top tier. I’m a sucker for machine races, and just the sample picture for them sold me 10 times over. The thing I really like about this race? They make sense in the world, and they would make sense in other settings as well (as long as you allow robot people, that is). The striking art is enough to win me over, although their construct typing with constitution gives them a lot of benefits that may be difficult to balance in your group. Either way though, I love these things, and I will marry the first one that will have me.

    The rest of the core races and such get a small write up too, enough to integrate them into the setting, and it feels as though care was taken to place them among the playable roster, meaning that tieflings won’t feel out of water next to Erahthi or Phalanxes.

    We get to classes, and here we get to one of the unique things about the setting (which I actually like); no gods. This means clerics and warpriests are kind of out of luck here, and while content is given to help you play one here (as well as options for clerics of beliefs), this is an interesting bit of mechanical fidelity with storyline that I really enjoy. It’s rare that we see mechanical consideration for things like this, and while some people won’t like it, it’s something that I actually applaud.

    In their place, we get the Cantor, and I’m not the biggest fan here. There’s no real problem with it, it’s mechanically fine, but even the flavor calls it out as a divine bard, and the mechanics only reinforce that. For that concept it’s fine, but for how daring the rest of the book has been, this is an oddly safe choice. I will say that the hymns are the best part of this class, and where it gets most of its identity. This would be a great class feature to jack for other classes too! I’m sad I don’t like it, as it’s a very plot integral class, but it’s just a touch too bland, even with hymns.

    The rest of the classes get the Aethera treatment here too, being given their place in the world. A lot of the flavor here is over the top in a good way, really driving home just how easily these classes can be played in Aethera. You can really tell there was care given to make sure that they can fit into your games, even for something as simple as the fighter who kinda works everywhere without need for explanation. The fact that they go as far as to include the hybrid and occult classes and newcomers like the vigilante speaks volumes (even if the vigilante’s section is small) to the commitment to make sure everything jives in this setting.

    The archetypes all felt very in tone with the setting (3 alchemist archetypes kills me, please let this class rest), with quite a few interesting discoveries for the haggard class. Personally, the alchemist archetypes felt more tepid to me, with bioengineer feeling like a warmed over preservationist, combat medic being a little confusing and kind of cliche (it’s a very well covered topic), and the wastelander feeling like filler.

    Rift Breaker particularly has some interesting concepts behind it that feel a touch too ambitious, but I’d rather see something going 110% and failing than doing 80% perfectly (God, I wish I could repost some of the art from this…) I will say that due to the nature of a lot of these, they don’t transfer to other settings AS well due to some of the unique properties of the Aethera setting, but it’s not really fair to count that against them, as they work well for the setting.

    As there’s a lot of setting specific archetypes, the power level is all over the place, and there’s quite a few archetypes I myself can’t see using, but it’s fine for a setting book especially to have some NPC archetypes, things that are more for flavor than mechanical power. With the wide variety of archetypes though, there’s at least a few your eyes will glaze over.

    Seriously, the amount of archetypes is shocking, and it shows that Robert went to the best in the industry when he assigned them, as while there may be small issues here and there, most of them read very well and take close consideration of the rules. Things like Aethertech Pilot are nearly class hacks rather than archetypes (not that I have a problem with class hacks…not at all…), but when the class in question is the cavalier, I’m not here to complain about making it better.

    To me, things like the Thornslinger most represent what can’t be pulled out into other settings, but at the same time, it’s just…awesome. Like the mechanics for it are sound, it’s a fused gun, and just…it’s awesome. It’s such a unique concept that I can’t help but love it. I seriously need to get off of talking about archetypes, but there’s just so many and so many of them deserve attention. We need to get onto the meat of the setting, the setting itself.

    As expected from a space setting, we’re dealing with an entire star system here rather than just a planet or even just a continent. This is where we get to yet another interesting point of the setting, no outer plains. I can understand why this is done, to keep a tighter focus on the more developed part of the setting, and it’s something I can appreciate. It’s here that we get the history of Aethera, something that takes up quite a bit of the book.

    For history, we get a basic set up of an ancient civilization that went kaboom, which is an okay way to start off any campaign setting. What we do get is an interesting ancient race in the progenitors who are basically a race of macguffins, but we get enough info on them to make them a nice set piece. The collapse itself is well explained with the vagueness needed for GMs to draw their own conclusions, giving the tritarchs to help seed that information if needed. The lore of the world is engaging enough to draw one in, and that’s coming from someone who’s not big on sci fi stuff as a whole.

    Something interesting that the history section does is separates different parts from the perspective of different races, giving an entire section to the erahthi and tritarchs before moving back to humans and other races. This is an interesting way of pacing things, and I’d say it partially works. It does let you focus in on races you like, but at the same time, in a straight read through, it causes the narrative to jump around too much for my liking.

    The way that the century’s war is presented feels like it’s coming from an organic place, and the escalation of tensions within manage to feel real, giving it a lot of weight. This was the point in the history where I was the most ehngaged, and ‘maze ship’ is just a great visual. A lot of this feels like it would have been good to put before the race section, as after reading it, everything about races makes more sense. For a regular book, this would have been fine, preferable even. But for a campaign setting, I feel like I couldn’t appreciate the races as much before reading over the history section.

    The locations given are enough to give plenty of adventure seeds, as the Ebon Knight had me thinking of adventure hooks to bring people to it just upon reading it. While not all of them hold the same potential, it’s safe to say that there’s some very enticing locations that would make for some great adventures. The lore of the Century’s War is a strong enough backdrop while having strong parallels to other settings I enjoy, giving the entire setting a very ‘grey’ vibe.

    On the economy, I’m not 100% sure if I love it, but I do find it very intriguing how money works in this setting. The slot system itself is a nice take on the caste system seen before, and it helps make for a different style than I’ve seen in other settings. What I’m really appreciating though is the way that the lore and history of the setting works with the adventure hooks, giving a very complete feeling to things.

    The alternative skill uses are all fairly standard, they help for corner cases in which the setting requires its own unique rules, which is appreciated, even coming with skill unlocks. I particularly like the Heal skill unlocks, which really open up the skill a lot. I do feel that the Performance skill unlocks are more limited than I would like for how much investment they require, but the rest feel fine.

    Some of the feats have the same issue, feeling too limited for that’s being required, like Aria of the Soul or Cleansing Bridge being once per day. Body Muffle is another that while interesting isn’t worth a feat to me; as a trait, it’d be pretty great though. Cunning Mechanic is another I could see being downgraded to a trait, as stat swaps have basically hit the realm of traits in power level. Destined Choices is pretty great though, opening up a lot of options for Cantors. Same with Esoteric Arts; it’s a real game changer for Incantor. Really, the feats vary wildly on great options to not worth it, making them a mixed bag.

    The gear is more of the standard stuff you’d expect, although there’s a little variety in it, like the instrument weapons. I will admit that I do really like the drug section, as each one feels like a fun addition to the setting, even if like most drugs they’re generally debuffs in the long run. Kind of odd the armored long coat is cheaper and better than the light trooper armor with a better max dex bonus, but I do appreciate armor mods, as I really enjoy customization in my gear. This gives me the feel that I could use multiple armor sets, which is a plus in my book.

    We’re back to using normal Paizo firearm rules here, which I think is a mistake myself. I mean I appreciate the ‘guns everywhere’ rule to make guns not stupid, but with this setting, I’d probably just say treat guns as any other ranged weapon, as I don’t think they need the same distinction they have in other settings. I also don’t think the recoil additional rule is needed, as guns still don’t have the power to disrupt a game, so it’s a huge penalty that only serves to help ‘realism’. What I can say here is the fidelity with different types of clips is very nice to see, adding a lot more variety to firearms than I was expecting. Firearms are actually kept in relatively obtainable terms as far as price goes, making starting with one far more reasonable, and unique ammo is kind of a drug for me (hellbore is just…god).

    Moving onto aethertech, we see what are effectively magic items, but with an associated cost and duration. Really, the change in what is a resource in this setting by making a lot of things require aetherite will be a jarring change to some, and it really does change a lot of assumptions about what to do with your atherite. We get a lot of fun things here, like farcaster stats, which I was interested in myself. Most things listed right away are survival/flavor items, but they’re strong additions to the setting.

    Automata, or prosthetics, follow a very similar formula for not letting you go over your ‘humanity’ when decking yourself out in cyber gear, although certain races like phalanx or infused can cheat this somewhat. Automata are also another place we can spend aetherite for effects, adding to the list of things this wondrous material can do. I am slightly sad that implanting a firearm makes it a full-round action to reload, as this does hurt its usefulness. Strength boost too requiring a swift action to activate rather than a free action. Quickstrider legs also don’t really give an amount of AU needed to use their effects, which isn’t great.

    I’m also not sure what ‘plasma’ damage is, I do wish it was listed as half fire/elec here for the arc cutter. But now we’re getting to the only thing that matters, power armor. The power armor itself isn’t that exciting, but where the fun really lies is the accessories for it, helping you customize it into whatever you’d like it to be. I do wish each set had more usage slots or the enhancements took less space, as I don’t feel like I have enough space to really tune out a mark I or II suit, instead having to wait until mark III before I can really open it up. Mark III is where power armor starts feeling proper, which while isn’t a problem, does make me a little sad. I’d also like to eventually see power armor mark V or higher, as I feel limited by ending at mark IV.

    And now we get to another section I was anxious to see, aetherships. From here, we see that the crew is of the utmost importance, as their skills directly tie into the ship, which is a nice way of avoiding having a junk ship always lose against a larger one. The rules for ship are a slog, but that’s not really the book’s fault; this is an entirely new way of doing things, and I’d rather see these rules be long instead of incomplete. The use of existing mechanics rather than reinventing the wheel is very much appreciated in a lot of sections. I especially like the dogfight section, as it gives a fun few ways to initiate this iconic scenario.

    Separating atherdrives and shells was something else that I thought allowed for more customization, and this feels like the kind of thing that in the future could be expanded upon greatly. The plant fighter in particular has a very unique ability, and the amount of single pilot ships is just enough for me to be happy. Capital ships start to get a bit too complex, and while I understand why they work the way they do, this is the point where the system starts to lose me.

    Now we get to some of the special materials, but there’s less utility here than I would have hoped, as singing steel’s the only truly interesting material here (with a shout out to aeronite ammo which for some reason doesn’t have a price listed). What I do like here is the plant symbiont section, as it feels robust and rife with chances to create your own creature that will serve your needs.

    Continued on post 124 of the product discussion.


    I don't typically do reviews...

    *****

    I want to just gush and rave about this product, but I basically decided to just say this instead: This is a setting that deserves to be supported. There's so much content contained within and all of it is good. It's not a lot. I understand this, but I honestly don't think I could properly convey to anyone reading this just how great the Aethera Campaign Setting is. So since my words can't begin to this product justice, then all that is left for me to do is urge anyone reading to find out for themselves by buying this product.


    1 to 50 of 156 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
    Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

    5 people marked this as a favorite.

    576-page monster of a campaign setting. Now Available!

    Liberty's Edge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Totally worth it people; I am a kickstarter backer and I endorse this product.


    11 people marked this as a favorite.

    My first project, finally out in the wild! ^_^

    Silver Crusade

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

    Yay!

    Sczarni Canadian Maplecakes

    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    Ahhhhhh! So excited for this to be released!

    Players & GMs alike can consume the crazy rules for aethership combat that I designed alongside Robert Brookes. Also, former demon-worshiping space minotaurs. OH! And the whole gas giant planet filled with elemental breaches and...

    Basically, just get this book; it's pretty amazing.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I'll get it. But it'll have to wait until after Tekko. I need to see how much I'll have left after the convention.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    So excited to see this on Paizo!


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Dumb question time, as I did not follow the Kickstarter.

    Does this use the Starfinder rules, or the Pathfinder rules for things like combat, magic, skills, etc.? Or does it have its own rule set that can be used with either?

    thanks -- david


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    It's based on Pathfinder, although (depending on how Starfinder's system works) it could probably be easily converted to work with the new system. ^_^


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Cover looks awesome. Sounds interesting.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Isabelle Lee wrote:
    It's based on Pathfinder, although (depending on how Starfinder's system works) it could probably be easily converted to work with the new system. ^_^

    Thank you kindly for the response.

    It is in my cart now. Need to make up my mind. I think that I will wait for the reviews first.

    -- david

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Oh man, this looks like an amazing product written by heroic people. People should probably buy this a lot.

    Spoiler:
    John Napier 698 wrote:
    I'll get it. But it'll have to wait until after Tekko. I need to see how much I'll have left after the convention.

    Hearing people talk about Tekkoshocon outside of my area always feels weird, one of these years I should go back to it.

    Contributor

    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    I'm exceptionally happy to see this finally be released into the wild!

    I had way too much with my own portions of the setting, and I got to see some spectacular work by both other veterans and some people relatively or completely new to freelance work. Really unique stuff and I'm proud to have been a part of it! :D

    Let's just say that I was able to inject some lovely bits of weirdness and open mystery into my portions, and I had fun working on a lovely variant cosmology entwined with the setting's history as to why it's the way it is. Suffice to say that while they're strange and frankly suffering, shipwrecked in a static, physical reality of the Aethera system, outsiders stranded there on the material plane are uniformly in agreement that something has gone hideously wrong with reality. >:)

    Contributor

    7 people marked this as a favorite.
    Rick Kunz wrote:
    576-page monster of a campaign setting. Now Available!

    580. >.>

    If I could describe Aethera's setting, it's like if you mashed Firefly, Ice Pirates, and Krull together, and spiced it up with some Dune, Final Fantasy VI, and Fallout.


    5 people marked this as a favorite.

    And Event Horizon.

    Contributor

    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    Isabelle Lee wrote:
    And Event Horizon.

    I was trying to forget about the Kytons...but they won't forget about me... *hears music*


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Krull! :)

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Papa-DRB wrote:

    Dumb question time, as I did not follow the Kickstarter.

    Does this use the Starfinder rules, or the Pathfinder rules for things like combat, magic, skills, etc.? Or does it have its own rule set that can be used with either?

    thanks -- david

    As Isabelle stated above, this is 100% Pathfinder. It requires no conversions and allows you to use all your material (save for some cleric related options explained in the book.) Everything else you need is here: feats, races, new uses for old skills, equipment mundane and magical, archetypes, symbionts, power armor, an entire solar system with a detailed history and gazetteers, and a huge bestiary.

    I've done a lot of work with Pathfinder over the years and I'm extremely proud of how this book came out.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    It's priced well too. ;)


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Liz Courts wrote:
    Isabelle Lee wrote:
    And Event Horizon.
    I was trying to forget about the Kytons...but they won't forget about me... *hears music*

    Actually, Kytons are more Hellraiser than Event Horizon, but that's just my opinion.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    John Napier 698 wrote:
    Liz Courts wrote:
    Isabelle Lee wrote:
    And Event Horizon.
    I was trying to forget about the Kytons...but they won't forget about me... *hears music*
    Actually, Kytons are more Hellraiser than Event Horizon, but that's just my opinion.

    Normal kytons are. The Choir of the Machine has made... advancements.

    (I was specifically asked to check out Event Horizon for this project.)


    Oooh! Perhaps I can get by with one less DVD this year. Provided the DVD could be ordered elsewhere later.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I may not be able to get this before the middle of May. But I am putting a pin in this one.

    Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Lemartes wrote:
    It's priced well too. ;)

    Robert was steadfast on that point. It's an INSANE amount of awesomeness for the price! You'd be crazy not to buy it! :)


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Any plans for a print edition?

    Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Tectorman wrote:
    Any plans for a print edition?

    The print edition has been sent to the printers and *should* be ready by summer; we are hoping to have it available at GenCon.

    You can preorder the print version or print/PDF bundle now at the Legendary Games webstore, which will put you in the first wave of shipments to go out once the books arrive.

    We will have it for sale here at Paizo, but because of GenCon it's likely it will not be processed into their warehouse system until after the con, so likely early September.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    I'm getting the physical proof of the book on Monday, so provided that all goes well printing will start next week. We're on track for GenCon!

    Silver Crusade

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
    Isabelle Lee wrote:
    John Napier 698 wrote:
    Liz Courts wrote:
    Isabelle Lee wrote:
    And Event Horizon.
    I was trying to forget about the Kytons...but they won't forget about me... *hears music*
    Actually, Kytons are more Hellraiser than Event Horizon, but that's just my opinion.

    Normal kytons are. The Choir of the Machine has made... advancements.

    (I was specifically asked to check out Event Horizon for this project.)

    *huggles the poor Isabelle*


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Rysky wrote:
    Isabelle Lee wrote:
    John Napier 698 wrote:
    Liz Courts wrote:
    Isabelle Lee wrote:
    And Event Horizon.
    I was trying to forget about the Kytons...but they won't forget about me... *hears music*
    Actually, Kytons are more Hellraiser than Event Horizon, but that's just my opinion.

    Normal kytons are. The Choir of the Machine has made... advancements.

    (I was specifically asked to check out Event Horizon for this project.)

    *huggles the poor Isabelle*

    Yeah. Not a good movie to watch alone, in the dark.

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    There are so many things here that I love, but I think my favorite have to be the Taur, especially given their connection to the Choir of the Machine.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    In hindsight, maybe I should have waited to get all of those D20 Traveller RPG PDFs.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    I didn't have too much trouble with Event Horizon or Hellraiser, to be honest. (Even in the dark.)

    I still can't get past the Prison in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, though. There's something about an interactive experience that amplifies the terror.


    True. But for me, seeing an "excessive" amount of gore makes me physically ill.


    John Napier 698 wrote:
    True. But for me, seeing an "excessive" amount of gore makes me physically ill.

    That's valid - I don't tend to like that stuff either. (There's various parts of those films I kind of zone out for.) I categorize it as revulsion rather than fear, though.

    In any case, we're wandering off from the product discussion. ^_^


    Fair enough. Back on topic then. :)


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    How detailed are the ship / vehicle construction rules?

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    John Napier 698 wrote:
    How detailed are the ship / vehicle construction rules?

    That's one of the largest sections of the book. We start with a full breakdown of how vehicle combat works in Aethera--which is more like creature-based combat. If you know how to handle a flying dragon you can run aetherships combat with little learning curve.

    The ships themselves come in a variety of "base hulls" that represent different archetypal aetherships types from single pilot speeders and fighters to mile-long flying cities like the dreadnaught.

    Customizing ships comes from gear, just like a PC, and we have dozens of pages of ship modules and weapons. Each ship has a number of hardpoints that work like body slots for magic items, so you can mix and match hardware.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    We'd also love to see reviews form folks too :)


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Very Nice. I've been designing ships, especially Warships, ever since Classic Traveller. I've become very good at it. I'm glad that the ship design rules will be very detailed. :)

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    My biggest concern was that it not only be detailed, but also easy to use Thurston Hillman wrote and designed the entire ship section and it's phenomenal. He did an amazing job and built not only a robust but easy to use and fast-paced system for ship combat.

    AND you can even use your ships against non-vehicular opponents. Starship vs GIANT space whale? Go for it!


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    "Target the enemy Infantry formation at Grid NZ-11358879. Begin the bombardment, Lasers in effect. Fire." Sorry, had a Classic Traveller flashback. :)

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    So let me ask some questions to the writers here; what was your favorite part of the book? What points of the setting are the most unique? What was parts of the book that turned out differently than you originally envisioned?

    The Exchange

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    You know, you're all going really hard on me. Between FGG's Starfinder kickstarter, the Legendary forest kickstarter, this one and a lot of other stuff I could name, you 3PPs produce way too much awesome stuff for me to consume (and worse, for me to spend money on).

    And especially you, LG: you made me suffer for two long months with your "60 products for 30 $ sale" which I conciously decided to stay away from, and now that this cloud has finally gone, you decide to torture me with your next project? Really? REALLY?

    Well, ok, you won. Seeing that Shemeshka the Marauder had her hands (claws?) on this thing was the final nail to the coffin (which I now probably can't afford anymore ;) )

    Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    WormysQueue wrote:

    You know, you're all going really hard on me. Between FGG's Starfinder kickstarter, the Legendary forest kickstarter, this one and a lot of other stuff I could name, you 3PPs produce way too much awesome stuff for me to consume (and worse, for me to spend money on).

    And especially you, LG: you made me suffer for two long months with your "60 products for 30 $ sale" which I conciously decided to stay away from, and now that this cloud has finally gone, you decide to torture me with your next project? Really? REALLY?

    Well, ok, you won. Seeing that Shemeshka the Marauder had her hands (claws?) on this thing was the final nail to the coffin (which I now probably can't afford anymore ;) )

    Ha! We could be Calistrian priests with the sweet sting of that tortured lure that is Too Much Good Stuff!

    Always.
    Be.
    Awesome.

    It's one of our key company values. :)

    The Exchange

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Well, you certainly are (awesome that is). I kinda hate myself for not having participated in your last sale, but I still need to read a lot of stuff from your sale before, so I was kinda trying not to add to the slush pile. But as I've yet to see a product from LG that I really don't like, so it was really hard not to take the offer.

    I am really looking forward to read this one, though.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    Fave parts to write? Erahthi society. I wasn't expecting to like them at first. The initial nugget I was handed felt way too clean - very close to Roddenberry-esque perfect society. So I got to muddy them up a *lot* and pull in historical influences from jazz age migration patterns to cities, generation gaps, post-war cultural impact (see if you can spot the zoot suit reference) ... just lots and lots of pieces to make for a complicated culture off of the nugget I had.

    Most surprising / unique part: gotta be the superheros! Seriously. Imagine if the Shadow fought for justice in an ice pirate space colony... and that's Complex Four.

    Different is hard to say though - it was a collaborative effort, with a lot of peering over each other's shoulder to see how the moving parts fit together as a team. So really we got to see each other's work in development and didn't get caught by surprise much in the end.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    I'm going to let other authors chime in as they see this before I go and blab on about what I loved about this labor of love project.

    That said, I received the proof of the print copies today (a test print of the finished book I can check for formatting errors, etc) and it looks fabulous. It's also heavy enough to double as your own personal mjolnir if you want. Drop it in front of your players and see who is worthy.

    Dark Archive

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Ah, I remember wanting to get this from kickstarter but not having enough money at the time :'D Dunno if I missed some exclusive material due to that, kinda reason why I don't like rpg kickstarters much if they do have backer exclusive content...

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    There were some limited edition comics and GM screens but no actual game content was paywalled behind the Kickstarter :)

    Contributor

    5 people marked this as a favorite.
    WormysQueue wrote:


    Well, ok, you won. Seeing that Shemeshka the Marauder had her hands (claws?) on this thing was the final nail to the coffin (which I now probably can't afford anymore ;) )

    Oh my claws were all over some parts of this. Lots of planar content, some monsters, the section on Aethera and Ashra, and an archetype. I had oh so much fun working on it all. :D

    1 to 50 of 156 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
    Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Aethera Campaign Setting (PFRPG) All Messageboards

    Want to post a reply? Sign in.