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Art credits for the scene and the 3 characters?


So standard triaxians have been retconned into ryphorians in the same way standard vercites have been retconned into verthani. Good move. It would be awkward to say "oh THIS is a triaxian from Triaxus. But THAT is not a triaxian, that's just a Dragonkin native to Triaxus--a Triaxian Dragonkin, not a Triaxian triaxian."


Who's the artist for that lashunta mechanic up there? (She is a lashunta right?)


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This is great, just a really interesting setting. I had a great time reading through it on a long trans-Atlantic flight this weekend.

I'm probably still going to go with Starfinder as my system later this year, but I might make this my setting. Or I'll weave this setting into the Starfinder setting. Remains to be seen. What's impressive is that weaving the two settings together shouldn't be too hard, yet the Aethera system is still vibrant and unique. Here's some thoughts of mine on meshing the fluff from Aethera with the overall Starfinder universe (we'll have to see about crunch later but I'd buy a system conversion guide in a heartbeat):

Spoiler:
The planes are all about the same for the Starfinder universe. Elemental Plane of Wood is new, so we say it's still way smaller than Water and Earth and no rifts/portals to Plane of Wood and the Pact Worlds have formed yet. Pretty much no conversion necessary. The Elemental Plane of Aether itself is a speculatory idea in-universe, but there's so much aether that it riddles the Aethera system. The Progenitors created a lot of friction in the Ethereal Plane when they froze the powerful connections between the Elemental Planes and the Material Plane within their star system. Paizo lore calls the element of aether the result of interaction between the Ethereal Plane and the Elemental Planes. Put the two concepts together, and it sounds like there was such a buildup of aether within the Elemental Planes (perhaps enough to create that the Aether Subplane, but it doesn't matter) that it spewed into the Aethera Star System within the Material Plane after the Collapse (another effect that would not have rippled out to the Pact Worlds yet). That pretty much all jives.

The River of Souls article in Paizo's Mummy's Mask AP describes how souls trickle into the Positive Energy plane from the Maelstrom, flow through the Material Plane & Ethereal Plane & Outer Planes in that order, and eventually are reabsorbed by the Maelstrom. The First World of the Fey is basically a closed loop. Well the Aethera Campaign Setting describes the Aethera System as somehow a closed loop as well. Like water in one of those sealed terrariums. No GM fiat needed to combine the two lore systems.

Humans? Well they're on Golarion, Androffa, and Earth by Paizo lore, each of those three planets being in three different galaxies even. Whatever seeded humans there could also seed them in the Aethera star system.

Evermorn is just a region of the First World that happens to align with the Aethera system. Easy.

Tech levels sound comparable between Aethera system and the Pact Worlds, at least as far as weaponry and such goes. The Vercites have been flying longer in their aetherships than the Akasaatis. No idea if Vercite aetherships harness the element of aether, but it makes sense; it's probably not mined from aetherite deposits on the Material Plane though. Not sure if Pact Worlds comm-tech is better than Aethera farcasters. Aetheran aetherships definitely have way slower cruising speeds (decades to cross the system vs weeks) than ships in the Pact Worlds (even when they use conventional thrusters instead of their Driftdrives while in-system); aetheric currents help by an of magnitude, which is still way slow. However, Gates Hubs allow for interplanetary journeys in minutes rather than the days it takes by either thrusters or Driftdrives in the Pact Worlds.

If the Aethera star system happens to be within the same galaxy as the Pact Worlds system, could they be reached? They would probably be in the Vast rather than a part of the Near Worlds, though the preview about the Drift made it seem as if Drift Beacons could be placed within a Vast system to move it to the Near Worlds. But would the bubble which cuts off the Aethera system also cut off travel via Triune's Drift dimension? We'd have to say no to make it work; the Drift basically sounds like an artificial demiplane anyway even if it is comprised of stolen chunks of the Outer Planes, so maybe that's good enough to circumvent the barriers around the Aethera system. It is interesting how much more efficient intrasystem travel via Folded Space is intrasystem than travel via the Drift; I bet Triune would be extremely intrigued.

The Score, or how denizens of the Aethera system musically conceptualize the order of the universe, is described as mathematical throughout the book. It's a blueprint, and when diviners derive prophesies from the Score they supposedly determine how something might happen rather than would something happen. Easy to tie into Paizo lore by saying Triune also sees that blueprint to the universe in the form of some complex code, which is how they knew to create the Drift.

Energy-based economy of Aethera would be thrown out of whack if integrated into a Pact Worlds game. Like the crunch, I wouldn't know how to fix that until I saw the Starfinder core book. But overall the fluff/setting of Aethera shouldn't be hard to slot into a Starfinder game.


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Always fun to see a seed you've planted start to germinate.

I think combining the paizo races you've given treatment to with your own original races would be smart. Gives you a bigger pool to pull from. Say you were just working with the 12 races from the Advanced Compendium and you set yourself a goal of at least 1 new archetype (from the Occult six, Vigilante, or Shifter) per race with each of those 8 classes represented at least once (plus items, spells, favored class bonuses). You wouldn't want to feel forced to make an occultist archetype if it just wasn't a good fit for any of those 12 when you could make a spooky mask-wearring occultist for the Reaper.

(That said, picture a Samsaran Occultist that can choose to swap out implement schools for focus-activated packages of past-life abilities [Warrior life, Naturalist life, Mage life, Priest life, Thief life, etc.]. Might be too complicated though)


Hey, thanks for responding!

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Argendauss wrote:
2. Magic clothing, garments, and jewelry reshape rather than meld when using animal shape. So notZorro with a magic rapier, magic chain shirt, magic bandana, magic cape, and Ring of Protection could turn into an otter with just a magic bandana, magic cape, and Ring of Protection (the rest being on the ground)? By garments and clothing, you mean wondrous items and never armor, right?

"Garments, clothes, and jewelry" should be taken to mean any type of clothing or jewlery that is magical, yes. Armor is not a garment.

NotZorro would turn into an otter, his chain shirt and rapier would fall to the ground in his space, while his bandana, cape, and ring would meld into his form.

Oh sorry, I meant for the Gear Merge adaptation to be in scenario #3 but not #2 (#2 was setting #3 up while getting a firm nope on leather/padded/any light armors being considered garments by your intent). So I figured in #2 the language under Change Shape (Su) ("Magical garments, clothing, and jewelry adjust themselves to fit her new form but otherwise do not meld into it") would apply then. And if it doesn't meld, the language in the Core Rulebook about melded gear not giving AC bonuses wouldn't apply.

That was a nice, balanced touch, I figure (compare Shapeshifter [scaling Savage AC + animal shape natural armor + magic items] to Swashbucklers [scaling Nimble AC + light armor + magic items] or Monks [scaling Bonus AC + WIS + magic items]). It also evokes dandy mice from Redwall even if they can only claw and bite.


Ok after looking at Paranormal Classes, I see you're of the slam = body slam school of thought, so ignore my quibble there.

Which ups the max attacks in this book to 6 or so (still same tier as an optimized alchemist or barbarian), maybe more if you're something with a rare natural attack like a lizardman or Aasimar while in hybrid form.

Another question:
For the purposes of what "base ability" a hybrid shaoe can poach from an animal shape, are kingdom abilities considered base abilities? I.e. can shapechangers using the Hybrid shape adaptation get pounce at lvl 15 if their chosen animal shape is a biped dino or feline?


I really like this shapeshifter class. I've been poring over it and have not looked at anything else yet. Hopefully Paizo tapped you for their Shifter in Ultimate Wilderness, but I guess being cut off at the knees by first-party material a couple years later is just how it goes (or does homebrew=1stParty and paizo=2ndParty?)

I like that you made adapations 1 per shape, otherwise I would have a very large ant with 8 attacks. I think the class is an interesting and useful natural attacker without being the next big cheese like Kraken Caller. Looks like Shapeshifter alone is capped at 5 attacks with pounce at L15, and the ability to get 2 more via Potion of Tail Strike and either VMC Barbarian, Ring of Rat Fangs, and possibly Helm of the Mammoth Lords.

The ape kingdom statistics are a little screwy with extra limbs. Also maybe we have different ideas on what slams are, but I think it's odd that Apes get either 2 claws or 1 slam, and mutable attacks adaptation gives a slam without any caveats on available limbs (as opposed to claws, talons, and hooves).

Questions about gear melding:
1. Am I correct that with the hybrid shape adaptation, the first option that allows you to keep stuff dependent on your true form while being in the special hybrid animal shape includes keeping your armor or mundane gear?
2. Magic clothing, garments, and jewelry reshape rather than meld when using animal shape. So notZorro with a magic rapier, magic chain shirt, magic bandana, magic cape, and Ring of Protection could turn into an otter with just a magic bandana, magic cape, and Ring of Protection (the rest being on the ground)? By garments and clothing, you mean wondrous items and never armor, right?
3. If notZorro from above turned into an otter with the gear merge adaptation, It reads as if he has no choice about what melds. So while the magic chain shirt would meld instead of falling to the ground the Ring of Protection which previously reshaped would meld as well (thus losing its bonus as melded items with persistent armor bonuses typically do with polymorph)?


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Argendauss wrote:
From the perspective of someone who has the individual components of this compendium via your big bundle sale going on now, does this compendium have any new stuff or is it all compiled for convenience?
The Racial Technology Appendix as well as the spell lists, an index of all spells, archetypes, magic items, feats, etc is all catelogued.

So 12x the convenience! Thanks.


Late to the party here, but I agree that the Urisk are better balanced now.

Some of their fluff for fighter and monk adventurers mentions fighting with hooves, though they don't get hoof natural attacks anymore except via the carprine bloodline, and I see a reference to the horn and hoof trait.

I think it could be interesting and balanced to add hoof attacks back in as a feat gated by trait and level, maybe in a "Heroes of" book like one for the Holdfast of Celestial Parishes.


From the perspective of someone who has the individual components of this compendium via your big bundle sale going on now, does this compendium have any new stuff or is it all compiled for convenience?

I think a short companion piece to this adding some traits, feats, spells, archetypes, etc. for these some of these races to work with the new classes from Ultimate Intrigue and Occult Adventures would be neat and a good buy. Maybe you could even hold off until Ultimate Wilderness drops and have some tie-ins to the Shifter class in that, riding the wave of interest that will generate!


Hey, really love the flavor of the new horse companions for cavaliers and such!

I saw one quirk with the crunch:

Genie-Touched Horses of the Istaheq breed get Scion of Stone, which among other things states that they have 10 nat armor instead of the regular 8.

Distinctly different than the above, Genie-Touched Companions of the Istaheq breed have the stats of a regular horse companion, plus certain goodies including the Scion of Stone ability. The Scion of Stone language for "natural armor bonus of +10, instead of the typical +8" doesn't work so much for the Genie-Touched Companion (Istaheq) like it does for the Genie-Touched Horse (Istaheq). The easy GM fix is saying Scion of Stone increases the base nat armor bonus by +2; is that in line with how you intended it?


The FAQs Darksol posted shut and close it. Otherwise I would agree that TWF and iteratives are in the same boat in that they require a nonspecific full-round action to enact, which spell combat would be.


Also, you'll need to pick thus up at lvl 5 when you get a feat or retrain your lvl 1 or 3 feat for 5 days at lvl 4. I can't think of a way to get a non-combat, non-teamwork feat at 4.


croftstr wrote:


Oh, so the brawler's flurry would never apply to the natural attacks for something like: bite, claw/claw (from flurry), and other claw?

If I'm understanding you right, no. Flurry specifically excludes adding natural attacks as secondaries after your iterative flurry attacks. Feral combat training does nothing to change that and never did (and was nerfed even further insofar as it was errata'd to only apply to feats and a special case of monks treating selected nat weapons as monk weapons).


croftstr wrote:

"Lazarus, come out!"

Just for clarification...

If you have three natural attacks (say from Feral Mutagen) along with Brawler's Flurry and Feral Combat Training say at level 4, how many attacks can you make as a full-round action?

Taking the FCT entry in Ultimate Combat alone, brawlers aren't included.

Taking the FCT FAQ alone, the feat really just makes the claw or whatever a monk weapon, so it does work for brawlers flurry.
Taking them together, the FAQ is merely explaining the mechanism by which the entry (which still is specific to monks) works. Arguably.

But that's silly. All those rules are pre-Brawler and pre Sacred Fist and Elemental Ascetic and such. In a home game, I say it works; under that home rule which is arguably aligned with RAI, 4 Brawler with three natural weapons could have in a full-round attack:
- 2 attacks using flurry, any of which can be the natural attack chosen by FCT.
- 3 attacks, all natural, primary or secondary as prescribed by their type
- 4 attacks, the first being a manufactured/unarmed weapon and the other three being your 3 nat attacks as secondaries
- 5 attacks, the same as above but you have to get two-weapon fighting from something other than flurry (like martial flexibility) and the off-hand is at half STR damage


Yes and every. Kinetic blade/whip just changes the blast but isn't said to be a form infusion (i.e. it's analogous to metamagic), so it should stack. All of the attacks using kinetic blade or whatever other infusion like that are a part of the same blast. One blast that manifests itself as a energy weapon you swing using iterative attacks; one cost as far as metakinesis, composite blasts, substance infusion, etc.


Yeah man, I think you misread it when you picked out that you can only have form infusions. It says you have to have a form infusion, which is different.


For sure it's not a natural attack regardless of of how innate it is for a kineticist.


Assuming you have a class ability or feat that allows the simultaneous use of multiple styles, as folks said, you can apply as many as allowed by that ability. If they make sense with Ascetic Style.

Yeah Pummeling Style is pretty specific, but I'd argue something like Dragon Style or Panther Style is less specific than Ascetic Style.
If that is the case, a Free-style fighter of appropriate level could wield a 9-ring broadsword and use Ascetic Style, Swordplay Style, and Panther Style simultaneously.


alexd1976 wrote:
Argendauss wrote:

They cost the same RP in the ARG. It's up to your GM but it's not unreasonable.

ARG wrote:

Medium (0 RP)

Medium races have no bonuses or penalties due to their size. A Medium creature has a space of 5 feet by 5 feet and a reach of 5 feet.

Small (0 RP)

Small races gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty on combat maneuver checks and to their CMD, and a +4 size bonuson Stealth checks. Small races have a space of 5 feet by 5 feet and a reach of 5 feet.

And don't forget weapon damage dice go down a step for small characters. That's the real disadvantage some folks aren't accounting for.
On average, losing one or two points of damage per attack... of course, for casters it doesn't matter...

Yeah damage dice increase is a small difference--as are the rest of the adjustments on both sides. One's more optimized for a martial character, the other for a caster. Fair trade without templates being involved.


They cost the same RP in the ARG. It's up to your GM but it's not unreasonable.

ARG wrote:

Medium (0 RP)

Medium races have no bonuses or penalties due to their size. A Medium creature has a space of 5 feet by 5 feet and a reach of 5 feet.

Small (0 RP)

Small races gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty on combat maneuver checks and to their CMD, and a +4 size bonuson Stealth checks. Small races have a space of 5 feet by 5 feet and a reach of 5 feet.

And don't forget weapon damage dice go down a step for small characters. That's the real disadvantage some folks aren't accounting for.

The young template shreds your stats. Totally different ballpark compared to the changes between medium and small (during race building).


Melkiador wrote:
CampinCarl9127 wrote:
Nope, you can only have one familiar from the wasp description. You basically just lose the other two.
Here's another interesting thing. Wasp familiar limits you to one familiar, but doesn't specify that "the one" has to be the wasp. I could choose the tumor as my "one".

It doesn't have to say it. It's inherent. But you could just combine features. Like if you were a duettist bard with the wasp feat, that wasp would have imp stats and be able to perform with dance or whatever.


Wasp familiar explicity rules out having other familiars. Clear.
Wasp and bloodline familiars both reference the arcane bond class feature which specifies that levels in sources that grant familiars stack with each other. Clear.
The tumor familiar does not directly reference the arcane bond feature, but all familiars share the same mechanics which are determined from that section anyway. Supporting that reading, see SKR's answer to #5. But forum posts not being RAW, less clear.
As for how high effective wizard levels (or other class levels that grant familiars) can stack, that is not determined by RAW. GM fiat. Capping at character level unless something like Huntsmaster says otherwise seems reasonable to me. And Russ Taylor.

So as I'd rule it, if you have all three abilities, while you cannot have all 3 familiars, I'd say they share traits in the same way that a (lawful) Divine Commander 5/Paladin 5 could have an EDL=10 mount with both the resolute and celestial templates. In your case, that's a funky fleshwasp with the stats of a modified imp familiar at EWL=CL that can squeeze through things.


James Risner wrote:


Argendauss wrote:
The rules and FAQs don't speak to whether you can get credit for a level twice if you have different sources of effective class level.
I think they do, but hey should that subject get answered in FAQ I'm confident of the outcome. Are you?

I haven't speculated on that mythical what-if, and I'm not inclined to.


The rules and FAQs don't speak to whether you can get credit for a level twice if you have different sources of effective class level. Can't double dip into the same stat normally, per James Jacobs, but you can't extrapolate that to class levels.

Ascetic Strike and Monastic Legacy are different sources of effective monk levels. For #1, treat it similarly to how you would treat multiple sources of effective druid level for animal companions--which is again not a situation addressed by rules, just forum posts. This is relevant. Capping any effective class level at character level is reasonable.

Edit: wrong second link


Gauss & Goddity, thanks for affirming that this is no more complex than an error. I'd answered my question about WIS and CHA before I posted, but this discrepancy had raised a new one to replace it!


David knott 242 wrote:

Oops -- I forgot that the actual spells are wisdom based, and that the Solar's wisdom bonus is one point higher than the Planetar's. So that means that the error is far less systematic than I originally thought.

I'm still not seeing that brother. Looking at earthquake SLA for example, if WIS were a factor that'd be 10+spell level 8+WIS bonus 8 = DC 26. But it's 25. Astral Deva is another good example of how even SLAs from the Cleric list aren't WIS based. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you.


Goddity wrote:
It could just be an exception to the rule. It doesn't always have to be perfectly accurate.

I'm good with saying it's an exception or error. That's probably more likely than a thing altering this one SLA.

David knott 242 wrote:

The Solar appears to have all of its save DCs one point too high for no apparent reason.

I thought so too, but imprisonment (sorc/wiz 9) and earthquake (cleric/druid 8) work with Solar's +7 CHA at DC 26 and DC 25 respectively. Holy smite too. Prismatic spray. Haven't checked them all though.


So I had read on these forums that the DCs of spell-like abilities for monsters were spell level + CHA bonus. I was spot-checking that in Bestiary 1 and for the most part it looks correct. It works for an Aboleth's hypnotic pattern and veil. It works for the Astral Deva Angel's holy smite and holy aura and the Planetar's and Solar Angel's earthquakes (doesn't appear to use the WIS bonus even though those are cleric spells).

I'm wondering why the Planetar Angel (Cha 24, +7) has a DC of 20 for Discern Lies (Cleric 4, Paladin 3) when a Solar Angel (Cha 25, also +7) has DC 21 for that same SLA.

Is the Planetar figuring off the Paladin spell level while the Angel is figuring off the Cleric spell level? Both also have cleric spells in addition to these SLAs im wondering about. Like I said I think we can rule out WIS, else the Astral Deva (+4 WIS, +6 CHA) would SLA holy aura (Cleric 8) at DC 22 instead of 24. Did I leave out a rule in determining the DC or is it maybe an error in the Bestiary?


This is a two-parter. I understand that certain abilities can give a mount or other companion or familiar templates and that if you manage to get multiple different ones they can stack. So:

1. If I'm, say, an Aasimer Divine Commander of Iomedae 6 with Celestial Servant, and I chose to add the resolute template to my celestial mount via Blessed Mount, what would that yield as far as resistances? I'm thinking 10 resist acid, cold, electricity, and fire (no stacking the overlapping resistances). DR 5/evil and chaotic. Smite evil and smite chaos, not smite evil & chaos. Anything special about getting Darkvision twice? Tell me if I'm off.

2. What are my other options for getting a celestial resolute mount? (or other tempates. For fun as opposed to optimizing). I could multiclass vanilla Paladin and Divine Commander Warpriest. Or Divine Hunter. Any neat feats that add companion templates?

I appreciate the time y'all!

Edit: added some relevant links


I want to tread lightly with the Summoner to make sure it's not OP to advance those class features, but I'm just not as familiar with that class as I ought to be. That said, seems that UnArcaneElection's suggestion of locking acquisition of higher-level evolutions would have the benefit of keeping all the bells&whistles with the pure Summoner, leaving this theurgic adept summoner with a still-functional buddy.

Occult origins has an Occultist archetype with divine spells, so I plan on looking into that class too.

Winter S Jackson wrote:
Seems a nice idea and I'm definitely interested. Minor thing- I don't think you explicitly say how the stats of the familiar and the companion interact. If the int becomes that of a familiar, as I suspect, that could be restated just in case. Apart from that, love the class!

Thanks and good call. I made it more explicit that the familiar's intelligence bonus was added instead of his intelligence. Also there's an example in a tooltip that I hope will answer more questions than it'll invite.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Wild -- first time I have looked at a Google Docs document while somebody was in progress at editing it -- saw a moving pink cursor and stuff changing before my eyes.

Anyway, I think you could put Summoner in there. Theurgic Adept would progress spellcasting, the Summon Monster SLA, and Eidolon, but Eidolon progression would be with respect to Hit Dice, total Evolution Points, and other things on the Eidolon table, but not with respect to what Evolutions the Eidolon could qualify for (that is, for anything that says you need Summoner Level {whatever} to qualify for it, that is, you only count actual Summoner levels).

I wasn't doing that to give you a seizure I swear! I might put that particular text aside in a box to clean up the rules.

Thanks! I totally forgot about Summoner when I set out to actually get this done. Your suggestion will be the jumping off point when I revisit today or tomorrow. Luckily that still works for Arcane Armor Training, though I guess it's well enough a summoner will not qualify for companion familiar (without some more multiclassing; not sure I'd that's worth shutting down).


After looking at the Arcane Hierophant from 3.5, I was inspired to design a theurge prestige class for divine and arcane casters that normally top out at 6th level spells (6/9 casters). Here's the initial version of the Theurgic Adept:

Google docs

Short summary:
7th level entry for characters with either 3 Hunter, Inquisitor, or Warpriest AND either 3 Magus, Bard, or Skald.
12 total levels (for now)
d8, 0.75/lvl BAB, 0.5/lvl F, 0.33/lvl R, 0.5/lvl W
Dual progression in divine and arcane spells, always one spell-level behind from lvls 4-18. 6/5 at lvl 19, 6/6 at lvl 20 if you go back to base classes after lvl 18.
Certain base abilities of the entry classes advance as levels in theurgic adept are taken. Language encourages GMs to consider replacing those abilities to match that of archetypes taken.
Companion Familiar similar to that from Arcane Hierophant; gained iff character had both animal companion and familiar from class features.

Guidelines/paradigms I thought about while designing:

  • 6/9 casters are unfit for traditional theurge prestige classes; they rely on class abilities more than 9/9 casters.
  • Depending on their power, I usually chose two class features to advance with theurgic adept. One tended to advance completely while the other advanced without gaining extra features. E.g., theurgic adept levels may stack with magus level for arcane pool and for the effect of magus arcana, but they do not stack with magus level for feating for new arcana. Also e.g. theurgic adept levels may count as effective druid level for hunter's animal companion and may stack with hunter levels for animal focus, but they do not grant a second animal focus.
  • I love flexibility, but the best I could do for archetypes was say "GM may approve" of swapping out class abilities advanced by theurgic adept.
  • Still regarding flexibility, I wanted to say something about like "pick two arcane class features and two divine class features and stack your theurgic adept levels for them" to allow for both archetype and homebrew flexibility for folks, but that's too hard to balance even when limited to just 6/9 caster classes.
  • Companion familiar from Arcane Hierophant is like my favorite thing, and animal companions need help at higher levels anyway.

Considering that there's no early entry (and thus slow spell progression and an early-level hump), only 12 levels in the class, and prestige-class-trash saves (edit: and MAD), I hope that balances out having certain features from a couple classes advance along with dual spell disciplines. I can always tweak the entry level and/or prestige max levels to buff the class. Conversely, I can drop some class abilities if folks think it needs nerfing.

Thanks for reading, y'all. I won't presume to ask you to test it, but how do you think it looks as a theurge option for Pathfinder's existing gish classes?