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[Encounter Table Publishing] The Aethera Campaign Setting


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Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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The Aethera Campaign Setting brings space opera to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. You'll be able to experience the unique biomes of six totally new alien worlds, each with their own highly detailed histories, cultures, conflicts, and threats. Aethera is being designed with a distinct 1920s-1930s retro-futuristic art style, tempered by the presence of magic. Its diesel-punk meets magical technology, meets elements of traditional fantasy. You'll have paladins, sorcerers, and wizards working as a team to explore asteroid dungeons where they'll encounter lost technology from before the collapse of stellar civilization. Or maybe you'd like to explore the tense post-war political environment of the human mega-city arcologies on the barren world of Akasaat, where you'll stalk the shadows of mile-high cities uncovering a vast conspiracy surrounding an ancient prophetic song broadcast by one of the Aethera system's dying stars.

In the Aethera Campaign Setting, you'll soar to asteroid outposts and ancient high-tech ruins on a ship powered by crystallized magic, journey to worlds populated by intelligent plant bio-engineers, musically prophetic technocrats, human-souled robotic war veterans, and alien shamans, all suddenly threatened by interstellar raiders. Aethera is a Pathfinder RPG compatible science -fantasy setting.

In the Aethera Campaign Setting you can battle kytons that live in the shadowy spaces-between-spaces, live in terror of raids by the enigmatic taur: spacefaring minotaur in planetoid-sized maze ships, survive in the lightless realm of the Darkwild deep below the canopy of the forest world of Kir-Sharaat, brave the icy tundra of the dust-shrouded world of Orbis-Aurea and unearth mysteries of the long-lost Progenitors, or race into the heart of the Amrita Asteroid Belt to run a smuggling operation with the other scoundrels and rabble rousers living beyond the reach of the Hierarchy!

There's so much to see and experience in the Aethera Campaign Setting that we have to create a whopping 400-page hardcover in order to contain it all!

The Aethera Campaign Setting will include the following content:

Chapter 1: Races 14 pages of content for Aethera's core races; human, erahthi (plant-like creatures), phalanx (bio-mechanical constructs), okanta (giant-blooded), and the infused (victims of magical experimentation with latent telekinetic powers) as well as information on how other races fit into the Aethera Campaign Setting.

Chapter 2: Classes 100 pages of content! We introduce the cantor, a divine spellcasting bard-like class. We also discuss how the core, base, hybrid, and occult classes fit into the setting. Then we provide you with 4 pages of new archetypes for the cantor, and 65 pages of new archetypes for nearly every existing class!

Chapter 3: Cosmology 128 pages of setting lore about the six worlds of the Aethera Campaign Setting, from its twin stars Ashra and Aethera, to the human homeworld of Akasaat, the forest world of Kir-Sharaat, the lawless Amrita Asteroid Belt, the ruin-shrouded gas giant Seraos, the frozen wastes of Orbis Aurea, and a detailed look at Aethera's outer planes.

Chapter 4: Feats & Skills 32 pages of new skill unlocks that enhance the new aethership combat rules and other unique aspects of the Aethera Campaign Setting. 15 pages of feats bring new ideas and concepts to the table, like growing plant symbiotes or crafting automata prosthetics!

Chapter 5: Gear & Magic 76 pages of new mundane and magic items, a new classification of item called aethertech (technology fueled by crystallized magic), aetherships (magic-technology hybrid starships) and the rules for aethership combat in space and in-atmosphere, artifacts, and new spells including the warping subschool of transmutation!

Chapter 6: Bestiary 45 pages of the most unusual, horrific, and fascinating monsters that inhabit the Aethera Campaign Setting. From the cannibal taur, to the psychic flesh-warping Azaka, to the terrifying kytons of the Machine Choir, and much, much more!

The Aethera Campaign Setting is being designed by industry professionals with a standard you've come to expect from top-of-the-line publishers. Take a look at some samples of the art and layout quality you can expect to see in the Aethera Campaign Setting!

Check out the Aethera Campaign Setting Kickstarter to make this book a reality!

You can also check us out at AetheraRPG.com, and on Facebook, and Twitter!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Will Aethera have adventure support? This has been a limitation of many otherwise great settings (and game systems), since a big chunk of the RPG market has jobs and such.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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Yep! We have one 1st level adventure that will come with one of the huge her-level backer rewards, and if we exceed our funding our first stretch goal is a three adventure book written by some surprise Pathfinder authors that we'll reveal closer to the goal.

Additionally, if we can secure the funding for the campaign setting, our next Kickstarter will be for a six-part adventure path that explores one of the large mysteries of the campaign setting. We want to ensure there's great support for the worlds, not something that gets abandoned.


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Pledged!

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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What a delightful Slaad!


Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay, sorry to bring this unfair question to you but I have a lot of space, scifantasy and science fiction 3pp material for Pathfinder. I just made a post about the things that I wind up using the most. and another post looking at a few things individually just a couple of minutes ago. With such a diverse landscape of third party products tackling the subject of space opera or science fiction elements what is this product promising that makes it stand out?

Now I understand that there's little way you can directly compare an unfinished product with a ton of previous finished products and some other unfinished products, which is one reason for the second post, but its something I feel I really need to ask.

That said I'm always on board for some space opera, I'm just jumpy when talking about new products because I have more than a few products that fall into the folder of unused material that I pick bits and pieces from and heavily modify them to make that element useful.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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That's actually a totally fair question! The entire campaign setting is outlined and I can speak with authority to the content.

One of the big takeaways I think you can have from the get-go is that it isn't hard SciFi, it's Science-Fantasy, which I think the easiest analogue to that is Star Wars (things in space but clearly the Force is magic!) More to that point, the Aethera Campaign Setting introduces a system of fast-paced space combat where you can have an entire crew of characters together in a single vessel working as a team.

The ships and other vehicles in the setting (aetherships; starships primarily fueled by and designed with magic) operate on a new rules system not like the vehicle rules in Ultimate Combat, which are clunky at best, and are customizable with a large array of unique parts and components. They can even be outfitted with magic armor, magic weapons, and some classes (cavalier, most notably) will be able to get vehicle bonds instead of mounts.

The other thing this book does is that it's a fully integrated setting. It's six worlds that all have a connected over-arcing story and metaplot that in the future will be explored through supplements and adventures (much in the way Paizo explands Golarion.) The setting also is more contemporary and modern-day. For the human civilizations it's more comparable to 1920's earth, so you've got a little different flavor. Harry Dresden style occultists unraveling arcane mysteries in the shadows of skyscrapers built inside of ancient arcologies.

We've also thrown out the book on a lot of the standard fantasy races (elves, dwarves, etc) and replaced those mainstays with four setting-unique races that have a very specific niche in the world. They're not stand-ins for elves and dwarves, either, so they have a different texture and feel. You can see some of their history over at our website.

Even if you picked up the setting book and threw out the actual setting material you'd still have material for designing starships and running space combat, rules for plant-based symbionts that are like living magic items, rules for building technology powered by magic (imagine a "magitech" version of the technology guide, and a 32-page bestiary of unique monsters you could plug into any Pathfinder game without much conversion needed at all. Plus support material for spells, feats, and skill unlocks that relate to some of the new technology and rules.

If you've got some more specific questions I'd be pleased to answer them!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

@ Robert Brookes, in regards to your response;

With new vehicle rules comes a obstacle for classes and characters that interact with vehicle rules. There aren't too many of those in Paizo material and you have no obligation to third party material but how transferable would interactions with vehicle rules be? For example in numerous third party materials a new skill is introduced centered around piloting or driving to replace the skill check by propulsion type that normal vehicle rules use. I tend to re-insert skill check by propulsion type because eventually I ended up with multiple propulsion types for mecha, ships and personal transports that would logically have different operating systems. (Handle Animal for living ships, Knowledge Engineering for mechanical ones, Knowledge Arcana for magical ones and Fly or Ride for 'intuitive OSs'.) The reasons for this is that new skills tend to choke on third party classes. If I were to, say, use an Outrider from Anachronistic Adventures, would the following still work?

*The Outrider can attempt a ride check to negate an attack to a piloted vehicle.

*The Outrider gains a bonus to vehicle mounted weaponry.

Also do the new vehicle stat blocks have an entry for propulsion, base save, CMD/CMB, and ramming damage that can be interacted with via class features?

How far are the featured planets from each other and is the space between them 'civilized'/fully explored? I saw mention of jump gates so I presumed that the space in between was for the GM to fill with whatever.

Will there be ships other than aetherships or will all ships in the setting be assumed to be magical? Related: Is aethertech generally arcane or are there distinctions between primal and divine magics?

Holes in rules that I have to ask about:

Mechs? Hardsuits? Melee aethertech weapons?

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

These are all excellent questions! Without getting too deep j to the weeds of the actual vehicle rule mechanics they're going to operate in some capacity based off of crew members statistics with bonuses and penalties. They'll have CMD/CMB, armor class and other stats that mesh fluidly with all other Pathfinder rules. We want space combat to be able to capitalize on your character's skills and abilities just as much as any other part of the game. . Propulsion will have an entry and there will be acceleration. Ship vs ship combat will work slightly different ly than say, people on foot vs ship. If you ever played Star Wars Saga edition there's some similarities to be found there.

The planets. Are all in the same star system (the Aethera system) and are about as far aprt as you'd expect planets in our own Solar system to be. There is no faster than light travel, so all interplanetary travel is facilitated by massive gate stations in orbit around each planet. These gates complexes allow for fast interplanetary travel (though not always safe!) as you might imagine there's conflicts regarding these gates and mysteries surrounding them as well. Other magic to facilitate fast travel (like ships that traverse the plane of shadow) also exist.

Since there's no FTL travel there's a lot of unexplored space out there. One region--the Amrita asteroid belt--is made up of the remains of a world destroyed during a cataclysmic ancient event. Only a small portion of the belt has been explored. That said, not even every world is fully known to its inhabitants. There's a lot of room for mystery, discovery, and exploration. And that's without getting into interplanar travel!

All ships in this setting are assumed to be fueled by magic in some way. Aethertech runs off of a crystallized magic born of destroyed Ley lines (this crystalline material is also the settings primary currency rather than gold, but for sale of conversion we calibrated the values of items to line up.) Nearly all ships are powered by aetherite, except for those belonging to the Taur (extrasolar minotaur spaced arête who have invaded the system from somewhere else), who use shadow-powered ships to traverse the plane of shadow.

Aethertech equipment does not make distinction between divine and arcane magic, much as magic items don't. He setting assumes a presence of psychic magic (Occult Adventures) but makes it very easy to fit in other kinds of magic or Psionics from other 3pp publishers.

Aethertech covers a wide variety of items, from powered armor, to magical firearms (the setting also has modern firearms suitable for a 1920s era environment), space suits, cloaking devices, kinetic swords (melee weapons forged of energy like fire, electricity, aether, etc) and more. There's also radio broadcasting technology (music plays a strong thematic role in the setting). Aethertech covers similar ground to what you'd see in the technology guide, but is solely magical in nature and crafted like magic items.

Mechs are something that aren't in the setting but is something I've thought about pursuing in future publications. But that's much further down the line.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am liking what I am hearing on this. I will be curious to see what you do with nature magic in this. I am already a backer. This will be quite the toolbox for what I have had in my head for quite some time.


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Pledged...this looks interesting. Only complaint would be how close to the holidays this will end...

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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Glad to hear you pledged! We've got some cool previews coming tonight for those already backing or following the Kickstarter. If you have any questions regarding the setting or the rewards feel free to ask here. I'll try to respond quickly!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a few subsets of questions. Numbered for ease of reference;

1) Fifty grand is pretty ambitious, do you think you can get to that goal by the end of the campaign? Granted this is a pretty ambitious book, with an all star team and probably the first time I've seen the subject tackled where I'm as interested in the art and fluff as much as I am in the crunch I could use, but still, looking back at older kickstarters I feel like half as much would have been a big number. I pledged high and shared on facebook (and later today my blog) but I do feel like I'm doing so out of wishful thinking to some extent.

2) I notice the delivery estimate is Feb 2016, How much is the book is virtually done? Again looking at past paizo third party kickstarters, including ones that I've backed this seems incredibly fast, especially considering that I'm seeing books 2012 that haven't seen the light of day yet.

3) Any more information about the Cantor? I'm surprised that it's described as a divine bard-like class. What does it add to the game that other classes don't? Or rather, what does it add that relates to the setting?

4) With aethertech covering similar ground as the Technology Guide, does that mean that it will or will not be consistent with the charges and power point system in Paizo's Technology Guide? Will you need labs to craft them? How well does the Technology Guide integrate into the setting? What would happen if you replaced an aethertech engine, or whatever powers an aethertech ship, with a power generator as per the Technology Guide

5)Odd but important, will there be pre-existing ship stat blocks and how many pages does each occupy? I ask because I sometimes give vehicles to players by handing over the stat blocks printed on a sheet of paper so that they don't have to reference the book all the time? In fact are you offering any other tools to combat book re-referencing, such as character sheets for ships, printable tables or tracking sheets?

6) What are the dangers of space here? Are there spaceborne monsters? Space Pirates?

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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1) Absolutely ambitious! Part of the promise I made before taking on this project was to deliver as professional a product as possible. Part of that comes from offering industry-standard compensation for my writers (no one is getting shorted at half a cent per word). Another is hiring the absolute best concept artists in the industry to bring Aethera to life. Mohammed Muhktar, the first artist we brough ton board, is a professional video game concept artist out of the UK. His style is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to the professional and slick level of visual quality we want to have.

Additionally, we're printing a hardcover, 400-page book. Even printing/shipping from China, that's a very expensive product. And to adhere to my rules on quality, above, I wanted to be absolutely certain that the printing quality is the best possibly (glossy, heavy weight paper). I hold myself and my work to an extremely high level of quality. You're getting absolutely every penny worth in production quality.

2) When you said that I went back and checked the delivery dates to confirm, and it looks like I didn't carry down the descriptions from some of the other items. The preview PDF and some of the other backer goals will ship in February of 2016. Our goal for the setting PDF and hardcover is May 2016. We may wind up having to ship through to June, depending on the number of orders we're fulfilling. Of course, if there's any changes to that schedule we'll be sure to update our backers. I'm as comitted to fulfilling this book's delivery as I am its production quality. I'm also making a note to myself to clarify the phasing of the delivery times more.

3) It's a little early to talk in too much detail about the cantor, but what I can say is that it operates on principles similar to a bard (it has a music-specific performance ability) and combines some hex-like mechanics for special supernatural effects that can be added ad-hoc to a performance (called verses.) There'll be a much bigger preview of the cantor coming up.

4) Aethertech is being designed to dovetail right into the Technology Guide. Much of the mechanics you see there (charges, cimpcumption, crafting labs) all carry over to Aethertech. The primary difference is that the power source (aetherite) is a natural resource in the setting, and one that has a baked-in consequence of use and a history with the setting's conflicts and peoples. In-world, aethertech was designed to boot-strap onto more traditional technological devices that lacked power. So, if you wanted to introduce high-tech items to Aethera you could without issue, they'd just be a different power source. The "wiring", in a sense, is pretty similar. One core conceit of the setting is that the old sources of power just don't exist any longer.

5) We're planning to have some sample ships statted up (think of them maybe a little like Eidolon base forms?) and then you can pick and choose upgrades for them. Ships will be tracked on their own character sheets, which are something we're still working the details of out. Ideally we'll be able to include some free character/aethership sheets right in with the book deliveries. But it's a little early to be able to make that promise. If nothing else we'll have those sheets avaiable as a free download shortly after the book's release, or coinciding with it.

6) Many! We're going to cover the bestiary chapter of the book in a future update, so I don't want to spoil too much here, but I'll name drop some tantalizing beasties: aetherwarped creatures, kytons of the machine choir, taur raiders, azaka hive masters, an insectile creature template, corrupted elementals, and a lot more!

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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I realize I skipped over part of the first question. I'm confident we'll reach our goal because we have a dedicated team working hard to get the word out, and I've received some great advice and made some great contacts since we launched. It'll be a hard fought battle, but I believe we'll come out on top.


What kind of system will you have for ship to ship combat in space? Will you borrow from PF, or do you have your own rules in mind?

EDIT: I see this has already been asked, my bad.


Hi Robert, sorry I haven't posted earlier.

This is the most elegant Campain Setting Kickstarter to have a link grace this subforum.

The passion is evident, the video is very professional and the artwork on show is all both on theme and of a similar aesthetic - there are no weak items in this.

Moreover, I'm actually interested in it. ;)

Thematically, I haven't found a concept herein I didn't like - the races are well-thought out and the integration/dovetailing of central cinematic tenets of the genres (on ship- and ship-to-ship combat) to PF rulesets is very attractive.

I have followed your RPGSS showing and followed the earlier iterations of your fan/free homebrew, so I feel confident that you know what is entailed.

* I am a little put off by the first corebook physical reward tier - is there a possibility of streamlining a tier just for the physical corebook without comic, PDFs etc?

* The recent Hypercorps Kickstarter shot out of the gates with several Free PDFs to both explain the CS and garner interest - is there any chance you could rustle up similar?


Are there any plans in the corebook to integrate Dreamscarred's Psionics Unleashed / Ultimate Psionics into the setting?

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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@oceanshieldwolf: I could create a separate backer level that is just the hardcover book. I'm exploring some backer levels that will have options to get multiple hardcover copies as well. I'll post here when those become available.

There will also be some free PDFs available here at Paizo and on a couple other distributors TBD that will go up within a week. We're still hammering out some details on that.

@Ambrosia Slaad: There isn't any plan as of yet, we wanted to design Aethera to only require a few hardcovers to play, specifically from Paizo. However, I'm of the mind that support for 3pp is important. If we fund I think it would be quite easy to do some blog posts about how the DSP Psionics integrate into the setting as a free web enhancement. I'm a big proponent of free.

As for print/PDF support that's something we're not actively pursuing but would consider in the future with additional supplements.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I used to play d20 Modern and d20 Future, and one feature I hated about it was ship-to-ship combat. Pretty much just the pilot, and possibly a gunner and/or engineer, got to do anything.

How are you going get a whole party involved with ship-to-ship combat?

Also, there were A LOT of dice involved in that system, which really slowed down combat when you had to add up half a dozen 24d10 laser cannons. Are you going to avoid that?


SmiloDan wrote:

I used to play d20 Modern and d20 Future, and one feature I hated about it was ship-to-ship combat. Pretty much just the pilot, and possibly a gunner and/or engineer, got to do anything.

How are you going get a whole party involved with ship-to-ship combat?

To be fair, this is also a problem in Shadowrun, where usually the party only has a single rigger PC controlling the main vehicle and drones (vehicular and gun emplacements) while the rest of the party is off dealing with other threats. As a GM, I always found it tough getting anyone to play the rigger (or the decker/hacker), and next to impossible to get other party members to allocate skill points and cyberware as gunners and assistant riggers.

So... maybe have the weapons and other ship systems be quasi-smart systems? Just spitballing here: from a RAW mechanics perspective, ranged weapon skills aren't really that different from heavy weapons/gunnery skills. Directing animal companions/eidelons/cohorts isn't that different from directing ship drones. Maybe the ship/vehicle/base systems are semi-smart enough to translate a meat ("wetware") user's reflexes, target-differentiation, training, tactics into usable commands? Sure, your elven archer may not be optimally trained to fire rail guns, but he understands enough (tactics, cover, targeting, ammo control, coordinating with teammates, etc.) that the the ship's semi-smart system can translate his mental commands into rail gun attacks. That way, the team can still contribute in ship actions without the PCs dropping too many resources into those skills/feats that are useless on away teams/off ship. And if a PC (or NPC) wants to dedicate themselves by taking specialized ship training/feats/archetype, they can be even better than most at the job (while understanding they'll be less optimal in off-ship encounters).


I just checked out you're kickstarter page. 50 grand by the end of November is a pretty big if, what happens if you don't meet the goal?

On a side note, my next spending pay I totally plan on backing this, so I am hoping you guys make it!

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

@SimloDon: That's an excellent question! I talked a little about the concept upthread and right now we're still designing the full space combat rules, so we're taking hopes on how the system will function into account.

That said, the core design philosophy hasn't changed much. What we're doing is making space combat no different from ordinary combat, though positioning and tactical movement will be handled in a more streamlined fashion. A traditional grid map isn't going to be of much help when you're traveling at hundreds of miles per hour or more.

In essence the aethership becomes a character or--if you liek ananlogoes--kind of like a really big mount. The entire party moves with the starship and each party member gets a turn just like in regular combat. The pilot maneuvers the ship, uses CMB and CMD and other checks to evade enemy ship maneuvers or perform offensive maneuves themselves, and largely helps the team not be shot or rammed to pieces. Any player will be able to man a defense system (like a turret, for example). Spellcasters can buff the ship they're on or the crew, or even cast spells at the enemy ship provided they're in the right range category (which gets a little more into the specific mechanics than if like to right now, since it's still being designed.) Other crew members can enact repairs, aid another on checks, or in the case of battles with larger vessels even attempt a boarding.

With boarding combat continues seamlessly. If you make it aboard the enemy vessel you're fighting in the custom map for their ship and the gridless starship combat is happening all around you. Maybe yor barbarian thinks that a dogfight is boring and gets the party wizard to dimension door him into the enemy ship while they're both traveling at breakneck speeds. Maybe the rogue drops out of a fighter ship down onto a city-sized cruiser and disable devices her way into an airlock. All of this will play smoothly into the space combat rules. Our lead designer for these rules--Thurston Hillman--is a highly experienced author with Pathfinder and brings experience with wargaming to the table too.

We want starship combat fast, furious, and exciting.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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@kaiser_bruno: We're hoping that we will successfully fund, and we're exploring other opportunities should it not succeed. One option is to revisit the book and portion it up into smaller books, but I am a proponent of "one book to rule them all" when it comes to setting material. Plus a single book is cheaper for everyone in the long term.


Robert Brookes wrote:
@kaiser_bruno: We're hoping that we will successfully fund, and we're exploring other opportunities should it not succeed. One option is to revisit the book and portion it up into smaller books, but I am a proponent of "one book to rule them all" when it comes to setting material. Plus a single book is cheaper for everyone in the long term.

I agree that one book is better long term. If you guys cant do a print copy would a pure pdf be doable?

Im not meaning to sound like a pessimist as I think what you have looks amazing and I want it on my shelf, just trying to see if we can still get Aethera if worst comes to worst.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

That'd reduce costs some, yes. I'm still not sure if that's precisely the direction we'd want to go, but it's a possibility. The costs are pretty evenly distributed between printing, words (writing, editing) and art (illustrations and layout). So it could reduce roughly a third of the costs. It's something we'll consider as a future plan should the current goal not be met. But I think a restructuring strategy will be a more concerted effort and require more internal meetings to settle on, too.

Right now we're committed to the present! We've got some good new coverage coming up that I think will help reach new markets. We're thriving on shares and word of mouth, of which we're infinitely thankful to the communities that are supporting us. I think it's just a matter of reach and visibility right now.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In general I prefer fat hardcovers than PDFs because sharing player information is finicky when it comes to electronic sharing. Plus table referencing still happens.

I guess the best we can do is share it on social media and hope for the best.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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I wanted to stop by to mention that yesterday we previewed another racial iconic for the campaign setting!

Arakhu, iconic okanta!

We also have an article on io9 comimg up later this week!


Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That's interesting. io9 exposure may make the goal much more realistic as I mainly rely on these forums to stay up to date on kickstarters.

Grand Lodge

The io9 article brought it to my attention and got me and a few friends to sign up as backers. I hope you guys are successful as this looks awesome.


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For anyone who's interested, the io9 article is here.

Please share this with anyone you can!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

well it jumped by six grand since this morning so there's that.

Grand Lodge

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Robert Brookes wrote:

There will also be some free PDFs available here at Paizo and on a couple other distributors TBD that will go up within a week. We're still hammering out some details on that.

Hopefully that will help to generate more buzz, but frankly Robert I'm very impressed by how open and honest you've been in answering people's questions (even the hard ones) on this thread. It really shows your passion and that alone should make people interested in this project.

Honestly everything I've read so far has got me supper excited. I've long been trying to cobble together my own Sci-Fi or Sci-FY setting for Pathfinder. But with a 3 year old, health issues, working on my own start up business, athletic pursuits and my other hobbies/pastimes, I barely have the time to GM my group's games as it is, let alone having the time to create a campaign setting from the ground up that incorporates various 3rd party supplements, my own rules and conceptual elements and established Pathfinder rules in any sort of usable format. I've tried it before, creating my own 300+ page 3.0 setting. It's was a huge undertaking which, when I finished, I had no urge to run as all my creative energy had gone into creating the setting in the first place....derp! lol

Pregenerated campaign settings (that I can tweak and add my own crap to, rather then create from the ground up) are all that adult life have left me the time for. Aethera sounds like an awesome place, one that I want to read and learn more about. I am hoping for a successful KS campaign as I can't wait to start reading and writing up a new campaign and new adventures for my group.


Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just love how focused people are on the 'powered armor Skittles'. Although honestly I guess it makes sense. What else are you going to eat on long away missions. I just imagine there's a tube in the helmet so you can get your nutrient ball without taking your helmet off. That said I'm more concerned that it reminds me of Samus.

Grand Lodge

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Isabelle Lee wrote:

For anyone who's interested, the io9 article is here.

Please share this with anyone you can!

Yeah, I have been posting the link and a link to the kickstarter page on every RPG facebook page/group and RPG forum that I'm a member of.


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Malwing wrote:
I just love how focused people are on the 'powered armor Skittles'. Although honestly I guess it makes sense. What else are you going to eat on long away missions. I just imagine there's a tube in the helmet so you can get your nutrient ball without taking your helmet off. That said I'm more concerned that it reminds me of Samus.

Those aren't skittles; they're dehydrated Martians. :)

Scarab Sages

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The Know Direction interview was great!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

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I'm a freelancer working on aspects of this project...and as excited as I am about what I have written, I am even more excited to see what other contributors have come up with!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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I think people are really going to dig this project. Robert and his core team did a great job of creating the initial concept and making a world that feels both sci-fi and the classic RPG you know.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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We are closing in on the half-way mark. If you liked Zombie Sky Press's "It Came from the Stars," you'll dig this. Were the former was a toolkit, Aethera is a fully fleshed out sci-fi fantasy galaxy! I was a designer on ICftS and I'm looking forward to contributing sci-fi goodness to this project.


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Aethera Backer Level Update:
By popular demand we've increased the number of $155 "Paragon" backer levels from 30 to 50! We won't be increasing this backer level again, so get your limited-edition Aethera GM screens while you can!

At the Paragon level you get all 7 of the lower backer rewards, plus a special-edition Aethera GM screen with easy-to-access rules for space combat and other unique subsystems.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/89095698/aethera-campaign-setting/post s/1407252


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We are sitting at $25K+ now with a little under 2 weeks to go. Space Opera is one of those genres that is kind of like a drug to me that in that I am near constantly looking for my next fix. I have backed this as much as I can right now and am looking forward to its funding. If we can hit a stretch goal or three along the way I'll be quite happy but I am not about to put the cart before the horse so to speak.

I love Spelljammer and Dragonstar as campaign settings and still retain much of the material from both. I already have a number of ideas on what to do with this and the Zombie Sky book. I am just that into space opera.

One other 3rd party book that I feel deserves mentioning in possible use with this is Spheres of Power from Drop Dead Studios if for no other reason than one of the illustrations in the book itself which has a kind space theme to it. Now granted by using spheres of power the lines between arcane, divine and psionic/psychic magic blurs or even disappears entirely but I do think it has the potential of really shaking things up in a good way. I know I will be using it conjunction with all of this hopefully for the best although if the way the last con session went is any indication it could be quite nice when all is said and done.


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I'm a bit surprised this thing is still at the half-way mark, I thought for sure it would have been over the line by now. I pledged, and I will never be more upset if I don't end up having to pay.

Robert, I was a huge fan of DragonStar d20. I understand you kicked the DnD fantasy races out in favor of Sci-Fa ones, but how else does this setting compare and contrast to that one, if you are familiar with Dragonstar?

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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Hello thread! It's been a wild few days. I've been working with our freelancers developing a 32-page preview PDF that we're hoping to have available here on Paizo.com in the next few days. This is a distinct document from the early-access PDF you get at some backer levels.

That said, I see some questions unanswered!

@Kain: Dragonstar was a great setting, though its focus was a lot more broad than Aethera's and left parts of it feeling a little disconnected for my tastes.

Aethera focuses on a single solar system with no real interplanetary "empire" of any sorts. Even the most prolific civilization, the humans of the Akasaati Hierarchy aren't as totalitarian as the dragon empire of Dragonstar was. This setting has more in common with things like Firefly and Babylon 5, which have distinct political and societal factions quarreling with one-another.

Another thing about Aethera is that it's technically a post-apocalyptic setting. Though it falls into that genre of post-post-apocalyptic. Civilization fell, everything went to garbage, and people have dragged themselves up out of the wreckage and bootstrapped a new civilization onto the battered chassis of the old. Some of the greatest mysteries to explore in the setting are historical ones related to the civilization prior to the "Collapse" and the events surrounding that interplanetary apocalypse.


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Malwing wrote:

Okay, sorry to bring this unfair question to you but I have a lot of space, scifantasy and science fiction 3pp material for Pathfinder. I just made a post about the things that I wind up using the most. and another post looking at a few things individually just a couple of minutes ago. With such a diverse landscape of third party products tackling the subject of space opera or science fiction elements what is this product promising that makes it stand out?

Now I understand that there's little way you can directly compare an unfinished product with a ton of previous finished products and some other unfinished products, which is one reason for the second post, but its something I feel I really need to ask.

That said I'm always on board for some space opera, I'm just jumpy when talking about new products because I have more than a few products that fall into the folder of unused material that I pick bits and pieces from and heavily modify them to make that element useful.

Well, for one, if you like the charges thing in the technology guide, I took that as a jumping off point for the shiny new rayguns and such. ^_^


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What sort of weapon/armor tech levels are there? What about travel? Magic/psionics?


How will you be integrating (if at all) Dreamscarred Press' Psionics?


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Prolific reviewer Endzeitgeist said "[Aethera] looks ambitious in all the right ways." on his blog

Endzeitgeist wrote:

-The Aethera Campaign Setting by Encounter Table Publishing:

So, as you may know, I’m pretty much a sucker for science-fantasy – I love the diversity and concepts the mixing of genres provides. What we have here may seem problematic, a setting-book as the first of a new company. However, I am willing to believe that this one is awesome: For one, Robert Brookes, the lead-author, is someone who has scored several highly-rated products by yours truly. Secondly, the artwork is gorgeous and, from the discussions I’ve seen, this one does look very concise and well-rounded. The campaign has only 20 days to go and a lot of funding still required – probably, in part, due to a lack of exposure. So please take a look and contemplate supporting this one – it looks ambitious in all the right ways.


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Quintain wrote:
How will you be integrating (if at all) Dreamscarred Press' Psionics?

Not sure if you saw this:

Robert Brookes wrote:
@Ambrosia Slaad: There isn't any plan as of yet, we wanted to design Aethera to only require a few hardcovers to play, specifically from Paizo. However, I'm of the mind that support for 3pp is important. If we fund I think it would be quite easy to do some blog posts about how the DSP Psionics integrate into the setting as a free web enhancement. I'm a big proponent of free.


I'll add that, if Dreamscarred psionics are as close to 3e's psionics as I recall, they would fit into Aethera just fine. ^_^

Kain Darkwind wrote:
What sort of weapon/armor tech levels are there? What about travel? Magic/psionics?

I haven't seen all the tech team's work yet, so I can't give an exact statement on technology. That said, expect most non-aethertech to be around the early 20th-century level, including certain advanced firearms. Planetside travel will generally involve either walking or aethercraft of various sorts, from personal speeders to larger craft. Aethercraft are also used for interplanetary travel, although on a larger scale. These aethercraft will be heavily customizable - Paizo contributor Thurston Hillman is in charge of that, so it's in good hands.

The setting places a higher emphasis on occult magic. The other types still exist, but not always in the same context - for example, at least two spellcasting classes simply aren't present in Aethera. However, the preview PDF will include a look at the all-new cantor base class - a divine spellcaster with certain performance-like abilities.

Also - the preview PDF will give more details on this, but at least one type of magical travel is unavailable in Aethera. There are alternatives, of course... although handling the potential dangers could be its own adventure!

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