Father Zastoran

Matthew Shelton's page

608 posts (667 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. 41 wishlists. 2 aliases.

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Kasatha would be the default of course!

But Vesk masks, Ysoki masks, Lashunta masks (with or without antenna attachments)

Seems like it would be a decent seller to go with T-shirts at cons.

This is mainly about saving throws.

It is not essential that Pathfinder 2E, if it really does hold no cows sacred, to have the same people always rolling the dice for a given game effect. Examples in 1E:

Attack rolls: attacker rolls against defender's AC (a DC).

Combat maneuvers: Maneuveror rolls against maneuveree's CMD.

In mmost cases, whoever's turn it is, is the player rolling.

But not with saving throws.

To "unchain" the dice, we can consider any of several approaches:


Traditional Rolls: How 1E does it.


The Actor Rolls: Whosever turn it is will always be the one rolling the dice. Saving Throws get turned into Spell Attack rolls. Whatever your caster's "Spell Save DCs" used to be, that's how they calculate the Spell Attack: d20 + key ability modifier + spell level, plus anything else they can add. On the flip side, saving throws get calculated as Save DCs for the _spell targets_. For example, Fortitude DC = 10 + defender's Fort bonus + defender's Con bonus. (Coincidentally this also means poisons and diseases (or their makers) also make "fortitude attacks" against their victims; the higher the roll, the deadlier or more potent. The same for traps and "Reflex attacks".) As well, spells that must be "aimed" or require a touch attack of some kind will still work as written, using those rules.

That, IMO, would make 2E better, giving spellcasters a stronger feeling of agency. They would get to roll dice as much as the martial players do.


The other two main methods I'll just mention for the sake of completion:

Players Roll Everything: Monsters and NPCs stats get boiled down to DCs for everything. Armor Class for a PC becomes an Armor Defense Roll (d20 + Dex mod + armor bonus + shield bonus + size mod, etc). Fort/Ref/Will for PCs are rolled like the Traditional method. GMs are disadvantaged in having less ability to fudge rolls up or down, and may telegraph actions to the players whenever they make a concealed or secret skill roll for the PCs.

GMs Roll Everything aka The Storyteller method: the opposite of the aforegoing, basically. GMs can fudge basically anything he wants. The players have only their stats, no dice. Useful for play by email or online campaigns, and possibly games where there is very little table space (road trip, etc).


Most of the tangible modifications would appear as differences in design on the character sheet. Each method would have its differences shown visibly in how the calculations are broken down.

Let's say I cast a Wish that undoes a recent misfortune (bullet #10 in the PRD description of Wish). Could my enemy then counter my Wish with a Wish of their own to turn reality back to its original course? What if I then try another Wish to undo that one? And so on until one of us runs out of Wishes, or the situation makes it impossible or irrevelent to continue the Wish duel.

Can I bolster the effect of one Wish by casting another on top of it? For example Wishing for an important NPC to be brought back to life, then a second Wish worded to prevent another being's hostile Wish from undoing the resurrection of the previous Wish? Precautions would need to be taken to prevent assassination by more conventional means, but short of this, can a Wish be used in this way?

I'm hoping for some input for how a hybrid race might be concocted in Starfinder, which might be the result of genetic engineering or something.

I was looking at the RP values assigned to everything thus:

A.R.G. racial traits broken down by RP values

So I had the idea of doing crossbreeds by allowing a certain amount of traits to be swapped over.

The crossbreed chooses one parent to be the 'dominant' heritage, and gets all their traits by default. If there's ever a game effect that affects or does not affect by race, then for purposes of game rules the crossbreed will register as humanoid type of the dominant-parent subtype if it's a positive thing, but the crossbreed will also register as belonging to both racial subtypes if the effect is a net negative. (GM's discretion)

Further, the crossbreed can decide to give up a certain number of traits from their 'dominant' side that add up to a certain number of RP, which they can then spend on traits from their recessive parentage, no more than the listed number of RP.

Traits with a zero or negative value can't be given up nor can they be bought. If either parent has a 'weakness' then you have it regardless, but it doesn't let you buy extra traits from your recessive parent anyway. (example: light sensitivity)

You can't buy a trait from the recessive parent that will 'overlap' with a built-in trait from your dominant parent. Example: you can't get Skill Focus (Perception) from both heritages and expect to double your bonus.

I'm just brainstorming here and I'm sure there's lots of loopholes and things that need more clarification... what's your thoughts?

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After A Year In Space, The Air Hasn't Gone Out Of NASA's Inflated Module

Bigelow Aerospace wants to make a whole space station with this technology. Bubble compartments made of reinforced cloth and fabric linked together sounds like something you'd see in Spelljammer / Starjammer or Starfinder, wouldn't you say? Probably cheaper than boosting a whole lot of metal and plastic into orbit, anyway.

Build one big enough and you could make yourself a self-sufficient bubble greenhouse (under spin gravity, of course). Grow some fresh food and sell it at a good price to all your fellow orbiteers that can't afford to bring up their own food from the surface.

1. "The Machine Awakes" by Steven Bryant

It's been mentioned before, about MX being in a 'future Golarion'.


Now that "Pathfinder Future" will be available this year as Starfinder, it's not an 'IF' but a 'WHEN' someone wants to figure out how to do a mashup.

Xcrawl has its own version of Earth. If we squint really hard we might be able to pretend that the Xcrawl-Earth is the same version that shows up in the older Adventure Paths that visit Earth.

If there is ever contact between worlds again, the Xcrawl sport/LARP and its tabletop Dungeon Battle RPG will eventually get exported to the Pact Worlds.

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I personally would like to wish against the following:

Please no Star trek style transporters--or anything that dematerializes or rematerializes living things from scratch, nonmagically

Please no breathable fantasy space gas--please no phlogiston or outer-space fresh air that allows creatures to walk outside on deck without spacesuits.

Please no subjective directional gravity in either deep space or The Drift.

Please no super-colossal space amoebas, planet-sized robots, or really anything defined as a creature that is large enough for escape velocity (ex) to be relevan, aside from some weird magical ability to create an artificial gravity well or something. Starbases, death stars, mobile cities with onboard hyperdrives, that's different, just no oversized creatures.

Use Ring Gates to mine gasses from gas giant atmospheres. The ring gates themselves are hung from immovable rods to keep them at a constant altitude from the crushing interior. Up to 100 lb of gas may be harvested per gate per day, therefore an entire array of gates is often deployed, all mounted on an immovable rod. One brave soul is assigned to the collector in order to activate the rod at the desired altitude, to bring the array back out of the gravity well when needed, and to monitor the intake for possible problems (such as native windswept fauna getting caught by the array).

What kinds of ideas in this vein would be interesting?


Multiphasic Eldritch Interference Field (antimagic): A device which generates neurological static attuned to the common mental wavelengths of arcane casters, forcing Concentration checks (DC 20 + spell level) to avoiding spell failure when casting. When not casting, the slightly nauseating presence of an active interference field can be detected with a Perception check (DC 25) or Knowledge: Technology (DC 15).

Small portable model (backpack): 30 lb, 30 ft radius
Medium portable model (pillar): 80 lb, 120 ft radius
Large portable model (wagon): 150 lb, 200 ft radius
Small stationary model (10 ft x 10 ft): 1500 lb, 1/2 mile radius
Medium stationary model (20 ft x 20 ft): 5000 lb, 3 mile radius
Large stationary model (30 ft x 30 ft): 12000 lb, 15 mile radius


Brainwave Discriminator (detect good/evil/law/chaos): Shaped like an arch, it will record amd interpret mental impressions and reveal a subject living creature's alignment with 95% accuracy (5% chance of an 'inconclusive' result). A creature with training can make a Bluff check (DC 20) to fake an alignment other than their own (add 5 per step on either axis). Failure by less than 5 yields an inconclusive result. Failure by 5 or more is detectable as an attempt at deception by the machine.


Agony Rod: inflict pain as the spell, and can reduce resistance to Intimidation and Diplomacy checks.

Agony Blaster: Inflict pain, mass, over a 30 ft arc. Attempting to affect a large number of people at once may reduce the blaster's effectiveness.


Hoverdisk: floating disk with antigravity

Shield drone: Shield spell with similar tech as the hover disk; more advanced models have autonomous threat assessment AI and can respond to nonverbal cues of its user.


Planar Projector (searing light, etc): a heavy weapon with a permanent transdimensional tap drawing from a particular energy or elemental plane. The range is 30 ft; Effects are 1d6 at 20-30 ft, 2d6 at 10-20 ft, 3d6 at 0-10 ft. The most common types are Fire, Positive, and Negative, but other types are possible. Planar Projectors are uncommon and risky to use since they can occasionally attract unfriendly entities who get unceremoniously sucked out of their home plane into our reality.


Phase Suit (phase door): A full body suit which allows the wearer + 50 lb gear to temporarily walk through solid matter. Gyroscopes and other safeguards prevent the user from rematerializing inside the floor or other solid matter.

Has such a list been compiled of the number of printings every product has gone through so far?

If so, where would I be able to download it or access it?

What might the spells and alchemy look like, that let you shift into, out of, and through the plane?

There have been a few neat ideas in literature that could be borrowed for flavor or mechanical entertainment.

Hyperspace and some materials in it (gemstones, minerals, metals) have colors that don't exist naturally in the material world or almost anywhere else.

These substances of impossible colors and their intensity help govern how reliably or swiftly ships travel through this realm. A reddish-green impulse crystal of average purity may provide less impulse power than an orangey-blue one, and a golden-purple impulse crystal is more powerful than either.

Windows have to be shut or blacked out in hyperspace, or special headgear worn if exposed to the outside, because anyone who looks into the void begins to develop a variety of mental illnesses and paranoia until they go completely insane and become homicidal maniacs, incurable schizophrenics, or simply become comatose vegetables.

Hyperspace is full of weird stuff that has impossible angles in it (you can't stare directly at the thing because your vision involuntarily slides past it).

In hyperspace, on a ship in motion, visible EM radiation only travels at angles 90 degrees or more away from the direction of travel. This means that anything forward of you is visible, up to a 90 degree offset, but anything aft of you is hidden in nonmagical complete darkness. This would affect lowlight vision but not darkvision, blindsight, echolocation, or magical light sources. (There was a short story I read a long time ago in which the hero had to rescue people out of singularity type incidents. Light was visible but only at angles approaching the center of the singularity field.)

A hyperdrive works by creating an artificial light source in front of the ship, some yards ahead of the bow. It shines on the impulse crystals imbedded in the hull which causes the ship to pull itself forward in the direction of the light source. The 'projecting lens' can be steered in any direction, changing the bearing of the ship with it. For extra speed, many ships are fitted with sails, wings, etc containing additional impulse crystal surfaces.

After watching Star Trek Beyond, I kept thinking to myself, Starbase Yorktown is amazingly beautiful. This is what a space city should look like! I could really get used to having Absalom Station look like Yorktown.

1. If you have multiple wishlists put into a certain order, then add a new wishlist and delete it, the ordering of the existing wishlists will be scrambled up.

2. If, while editing a wishlist, you attempt to move multiple items from one wishlist to another within a single editing session, the database may 'forget' some of your items that have been moved over; they will disappear from both the starting and ending wishlists. I have not had an easy time reproducing this bug and what may be causing it, because I don't want to experiment on my own saved wishlist items. :)

There aren't a lot of feats focused specifically on ammunition. Here are some ideas. Feel free to offer any tweaks or suggestions for improvement.

Ammunition Salvager.
Prerequisites: Craft (Weapons) skill 1 rank.
Benefit: Choose a certain type of ranged weapon (other than firearms or siege weapons) in which you are proficient and which requires ammunition, such as shortbows or heavy crossbows. As long as a supply of relevant raw materials is readily available, such as wood for arrows, or stones or metal for slings, you may make a Craft (Weapons) skill check to repair ammunition of the chosen type that has been destroyed or rendered useless. The DC of the Craft skill check is equal to the normal DC for crafting new ammunition of the given type.
Normal: Generally speaking, ammunition that hits its target is destroyed or rendered useless, while ammunition that misses has a 50% chance of being destroyed or lost.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon. Magical and masterwork ammunition repaired in this way does not retain its magic or masterwork properties, but when repaired becomes an ordinary item of ammunition of its type.


Ammunition Hoarder.
Prerequisites: Craft (Weapons) skill 5 ranks, Ammunition Salvager with selected weapon type.
Benefit: Choose a certain type of ranged weapon (other than firearms or siege weapons) in which you are proficient and which requires ammunition, such as shortbows or heavy crossbows. Ammunition crafted by you for the selected weapon type is only destroyed or rendered useless on impact on a critical hit, and has only a 25% chance of being destroyed or lost on a miss. If the ammunition is masterwork quality, it never destroyed or rendered useless on impact and has only a 10% chance of being destroyed or lost on a miss.
Normal: Generally speaking, ammunition that hits its target is destroyed or rendered useless, while ammunition that misses has a 50% chance of being destroyed or lost.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of weapon. This benefit does not apply to magical or masterwork ammunition of any type.


Ammunition Forager.
Prerequisites: Craft (Weapons) skill 10 ranks, Ammunition Hoarder and Salvager with selected weapon type.
Benefit: Choose a certain type of ranged weapon (other than firearms or siege weapons) in which you are proficient and which requires ammunition, such as shortbows or heavy crossbows. The ammunition available for that weapon is considered unlimited as long as a supply of relevant raw materials is readily available, such as wood (for arrows or bolts), stone or metal (for slings and halfling sling staves), and so on.
Special: This benefit does not apply to magical or masterwork ammunition of any type.


Ammunition Specialist.
Prerequisites: Craft (Weapons) skill 15 ranks; Ammunition Forager, Hoarder, and Salvager with at least one weapon type, plus Ammunition Hoarder and Salvager with at least two other weapon types.
Benefit: The amount of time you need to create or repair any ammunition using the Craft (weapons) skill is reduced to 3 1/2 days from one week’s worth of work, or to 8 hours from a full day’s work of 16 hours. If your Craft (weapons) skill check result × the DC equals double or triple the price of the item in silver pieces, then you've completed the task in one-quarter or one-sixth of the normal time (14 or 10 hours instead of 3 1/2 days, or 4 or 3 hours instead of 16 hours).
Special: This benefit does not apply to Craft skill checks made to create or repair magical or masterwork ammunition of any type.


Ammunition Mastery.
Prerequisites: Craft (Weapons) skill 20 ranks, Ammunition Specialist, plus Ammunition Forager, Hoarder and Salvager with at least three weapon types.
Benefit: The ammunition available for any weapon requiring ammunition (other than firearms or siege weapons) is considered unlimited for you and your party as long as a supply of relevant raw materials is readily available for that ammunition, such as wood (for arrows or bolts), stone or metal (for slings and halfling sling staves), and so on.
Special: This benefit does not apply to magical or masterwork ammunition of any type.


On Amazon and Barnes and Noble there are listings of a few upcoming products stated as published by Paizo, yet I can't find anything about them on Paizo's own website. I only mention these because they are books I would love to get my hands on.

Technology Guide
ISBN-13: 978-1601256720
P. Date: 2014-09-02

People of the Stars
ISBN-13: 978-1601256744
P. Date: 2014-09-02

So, I was just wondering what's going on with Paizo's website not having them listed yet.

A thought experiment.

Theory: Though originally inspired by Tolkien's work, D&D and Pathfinder have selected physical characteristics of what may be considered to be the "major races" of a given campaign setting based on a select few traits. In addition to the standard PC races we are familiar with, excluding humans and hybrids, the choices of common villainous races (which also serve as alternate PC races for some) serve to "fill in the blanks," as it were.

The primary characteristics in question are:
(a) Height,
(b) weight/build,
(c) Morality, and
(d) Hairiness.

These four traits can be mapped to a table of boolean attributes.
Height: {tall | short}
Weight/build: {light | heavy}
Morality: {good | evil}
Hairiness: {hairy | nonhairy}

Mathematically, these four boolean traits allow for up to 16 non-human non-hybrid races. This does not exclude the possibility of making each of these races more distinct by giving them additional traits unrelated to these four basic characteristics, for example giving dwarves stonecunning, or giving elves resistance to enchantment magic.

Here's the breakdown:

Race = (CODE) = (Height) (Build) (Morality) (Hairiness)

Kobolds = 0000 = short, light, evil, nonhairy

Goblins = 0001 = short, light, evil, hairy

? = 0010 = short, light, good, nonhairy

Halflings = 0011 = short, light, good, hairy

Derro = 0100 = short, heavy, evil, nonhairy

Duergar = 0101 = short, heavy, evil, hairy

Gnomes = 0110 = short, heavy, good, nonhairy

Dwarves = 0111 = short, heavy, good, hairy

Drow = 1000 = tall, light, evil, nonhairy

Gnolls = 1001 = tall, light, evil, hairy

Elves = 1010 = tall, light, good, nonhairy

Satyrs = 1011 = tall, light, good, hairy

Hobgoblins = 1100 = tall, heavy, evil, nonhairy

Orcs = 1101 = tall, heavy, evil, hairy

? = 1110 = tall, heavy, good, nonhairy

Centaurs = 1111 = tall, heavy, good, hairy

Of course, a few iconic virtuous and villainous races will inevitably be missed: aasimar, bugbears, ogres, and troglodytes, just to name a few. Certainly a fifth meaningful attribute could be added that might accommodate these and other races remaining in the Advanced Race Guide to expand this table further.

The table above has two significant gaps:

the short-light-good-nonhairy race (SLGNH), and
the tall-heavy-good-nonhairy race (THGNH).

It could be argued that D&D/PF halflings are in fact the SLGNH race, but this only leaves us with the problem of figuring out which race is the short-light-good-hairy race (SLGH).

Now, if you care to depart from established lore, you might have Hobgoblins as a good-aligned or "redeemed" goblinoid race, which will let you fill the tall-heavy-good-nonhairy (THGNH) slot, and allow you to place troglodytes in the tall-heavy-evil-nonhairy (THENH) slot.

That's all I got. Your thoughts?

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I had some ideas for expanding on Pathfinder's combat rules to allow for weapons that come close to early 20th-century technology (i.e., automatic fire, burst fire, strafing, ballistic fire, explosives, and so on) as part of a Steampunk style Pathfinder campaign. This is what I mean by "Third Tier" -- "First Tier" firearms being defined as a primitive or "early" firearms (ex: pepperboxes, pistols, blunderbusses, culverins), and "Second Tier" firearms (ex: revolvers, rifles, shotguns) being defined as intermediate "advanced" firearms. The "third tier" of firearms would mainly consist of automatic firearms and heavy weapons.

I'm hoping these ideas can be made to mesh well with Pathfinder's standard combat rules; I don't want to simply import the firearms rules of d20 Modern, Spycraft, or some other distant d20 cousin, or make these rules look like they were artificially "tacked on" and function inconsistently with the standard ruleset.

Finally, these aren't meant to be full and complete house rules for Firearms, but they are some ideas I had for making more modernish Firearms work for Pathfinder. They are rules for repeating firearms that you might see in a Steampunk campaign which might include other elements of high fantasy such as magic and deadly monsters. More work will be needed to make these rules playable and well-integrated within a Pathfinder campaign.

* * * * *

These homebrew firearms rules are supposed to expand on those from Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Equipment, establishing three tiers of firearms development. Primitives and frontiersmen may be limited to Early and Middle Firearm tech, while royal guardsmen and savvy adventurers will have access to the Modern stuff. The modern tier of firearms development is mainly characterized by the development of automatic fire, of accurate fire at extreme ranges, and the incorporation of ammunition clips, magazines, belts, drums, and other mechanisms which enable efficient reloading.

These are some design principles I want to incorporate into my firearms rules extensions.

* Attacking with a firearm still presents as a single ranged attack roll against a designated target (whether creature or square), but successfully performing a certain "style of attack" (such as a strafe or controlled burst) requires a secondary combat maneuver check to determine whether you were able to perform the special maneuver of your attack, or whether you simply hit the single target and probably wasted a lot of ammunition.

* Different aspects of firearm combat such as covering fire, controlled strafing, controlled short bursts (3 shots), controlled long bursts (5 shots), full auto fire, and so on, are treated like combat maneuvers, but are governed by a character's Firearms Maneuver Bonus (FMB). This is computed as: Base attack bonus + Dexterity modifier + special size modifier (Medium = 0, Small = +1, Large = -1, and so on). Any modifier applicable to an attacker's CMB may also apply to their FMB depending on the circumstances.

* An attacker's Firearms Maneuver Bonus roll is opposed by a defender's Firearms Maneuver Defense score (FMD), computed as: 10 + base attack bonus + Dexterity bonus + special size modifier (medium = 0, Small = +1, Large = -1, and so on). Any modifier applicable to a character's Combat Maneuver Defense may also apply to their FMD, as appropriate.

* Certain Firearms Maneuvers are easier or harder to accomplish than others; represented by bonuses or penalties to the defender's FMD.

* The critical threat range and multiplier for most firearms is 20/X2, although precision weapons (such as sniper rifles) have a 19-20 base crit range and multiplier of X2.

* Assuming your weapon is capable of automatic fire, a controlled short burst increases your critical threat range by 1 and uses 3 shots. A controlled long burst increases your critical threat range by 2 and uses 5 shots. A full auto attack [at a single target] uses 10 shots and increases your critical threat range by 3.

* Covering fire (also known as suppressing fire) consists of a spray of fire against hostiles behind cover or concealment, forcing them to remain immobile and concealed. Covering fire can be a long burst (5 shots) or a full auto attack (10 shots). A long burst of covering fire will suppress an area of hostiles up to 10 ft. on a side, while a full auto attack of covering fire will suppress a group of hostiles occupying an area up to 30 ft on a side. Defenders against suppressing fire gain a +10 circumstance bonus to their FMD because the shots are not well-aimed. Covering fire uses 5 or 10 shots, as described above.

* A strafe attack is a cone-shaped arc of fire (see Core Rulebook page 215) with a length equal to the weapon's range increment X10, and uses 10 shots per attack; if a creature has multiple attacks, it can direct a strafe attack in a different direction for each attack per round, provided it doesn't run out of ammunition. Up to ten targets can be affected by a strafe attack. If more than ten targets are within range of the strafe attack, then ten are randomly selected in some way. Defenders against a strafe attack gain a +2 circumstance bonus to their FMD because the attacker's aim is indiscriminate.

For strafe attacks involving targets at or beyond one range increment, all creatures, structures, other interesting targets (unattended equipment), etc. within the cone of effect and not behind total cover have a miss chance equal to 10 X the number of range increments distant to escape the strafe attack. (Creatures and objects within 1 range increment are automatically vulnerable to the strafe attack unless they are behind total cover). If more than ten targets happen to be selected as vulnerable to the strafe attack, then the targets with the ten lowest miss chance rolls are selected (In case of a tie, the closer target is vulnerable, or else the lower FMD, or the lower Dexterity score, or any other method may be used as the GM sees fit.)

* Area explosives and grenade-like weapons (other than those created and used by alchemists, whose inventions are kind of hinky and follow their own rules) require both an attack roll from the user and a Reflex saving throw from any targets caught in the area of effect. Targets whose ACs are defeated by the attack roll take half damage from the weapon's stated damage (which may be mitigated by distance from the impact square). Targets in the AOE who fail their Reflex save also take half the stated damage, also mitigated for range from the impact square. (It is possible to take full damage if your AC is low enough and you fail your Reflex save.) Evasion and Improved Evasion need to play a part in this but I am not sure how to fit them into these rules without either nerfing them for this type of attack, or making them into forcefields that save their users from all bombs and grenades.

* For simplicity, I don't want to get dragged down into trying to stat out every firearm of a specific make or model (e.g. the steampunk equivalent of AK-47s or Desert Eagles). Campaigns in Golarion do not really make a mechanical distinction between two totally ordinary longswords made in Cheliax and Andoran, except maybe for cosmetic/asthetics differences that will affect the outcome of a Knowledge/local or Craft/Weapons check made to figure out where such a weapon came from or who might have made it. So why let the minor differences between two similar weapons of the same firearms class multiply the number of weapons that all basically fill the same niche?

* The number of dice (not size) to use for a weapon's damage depends on the nature of the weapon. (I am not talking about multipliers for critical hits, just the basic damage roll.) Most melee and ranged weapons use just one damage dice, although some of the more deadly ones use 2 damage dice, such as the greatsword, scythe, or mattock. However, all but the weakest slugthrowers will use 2 damage dice because high-velocity metal projectiles are supposed to be more dangerous than archaic ranged weapons, even if they actually aren't.

* Each class of weapon has 5 'power levels': very light, light, medium, heavy, and very heavy. Generally speaking, every weapon of the same class and power level has standardized stats (such as range, ammo capacity, weight, and damage) although you can enhance your weapons with gadgets (I think Spycraft does the same thing) which can include a larger range increment, a bigger magazine or clip, armor piercing vs. antipersonnel rounds, hardware attachments such as scopes, silencers, and so forth.

Each weapon class uses one of the following damage columns, 'low damage' dice, 'medium damage' dice, or 'high damage' dice.

Low Med High Severe
Very Light : 2d3 2d4 2d6 2d8
Light : 2d4 2d6 2d8 2d10
Medium : 2d6 2d8 2d10 2d12
Heavy : 2d8 2d10 2d12 2d16
Very Heavy : 2d10 2d12 2d16 2d20

* * * * *

Weapon classes.

[hand weapons, may be wielded properly one-handed]

Revolvers (one-handed weapons): Standard capacity of about 6 shots. Uses low damage column.

Derringer (light weapons): Highly concealable single or double-shot firearm, standard capacity varies between 1 and 4 shots. Note: there are no 'lighter' or 'heavier' derringers, only versions with different ammo capacities. All shots do 2d3 damage.

Handguns (1H weapons): More ammo than a revolver, but capable of jamming. Standard capacity of 10 shots. Uses low damage column.

Submachine Guns (can be 1H or 2H): Anything at least as big as a handgun but smaller than a two-handed firearm. Standard capacity is between 20 and 30 shots, uses low damage column.

* * * * *

[longarms, normally requires two hands to wield properly]

Hunting Shotgun: Firearms designed to be shorter range than other two-handed firearms but dealing more damage within that range. Ideal for small, soft targets such as birds and small mammals. Some shotguns can be loaded with slugs instead of shot for taking down larger game, but will not be as accurate as hunting rifles. Standard capacity is either 1 or 2 shots. Uses medium damage column.

Combat Shotguns: Militarized version of the scattergun, used for breaching doors and clearing buildings rather than hunting for food, hides, or furs. Standard capacity is 6 shots, Uses high damage column.

Hunting Rifles: Semiautomatic longarms built for lethality at a longer range than a shotgun, but is not designed for military use, although some older weapons once used by national militaries such as the Mauser or Garand would fall into this weapon class. Standard capacity is 5 shots. Uses medium damage column.

Combat Rifles: The archetypical "assault weapon", most modern armies field some sort of combat rifle as a primary infantry weapon. Combat rifles can be set to single fire, burst fire, or full auto. Standard capacity is about 30 shots. Uses medium damage column.

Sniper Rifles: Design is similar to hunting rifles but is militarized for use against human targets. Most sniper rifles are equipped with some kind of scope rather than simple iron sights. Standard capacity is 5 shots. Uses high damage column.

Machine Guns: Big brothers to the combat rifles, these weapons are less precise but deal more damage in the same amount of time. Standard capacity is either 50 (drum) or 100 (belt). Uses high damage column.

* * * * *

[heavy weapons and explosives, all of these deal damage over an entire area or have a specialized use]

Grenades: Self-explanatory. Uses high damage column unless specifically nonlethal (tear gas, flash-bangs)

Grenade Launcher: Self-explanatory, uses grenades for ammunition.

Explosives: Any kind of pre-placed (not thrown) demolitions device; includes demolition charges, satchel charges, land mines, or IEDs. Uses severe damage column.

Mortars: Indirect-fire weapons which fill the role of portable artillery. Ammo capacity is 1 (at a time). Uses high damage column unless the ammunition is specifically nonlethal (tear gas, flash-bangs)

Cannons: Direct-fire weapons which fill the role of portable artillery; includes bazookas, LAWs, rocket-propelled grenades, and any other weapon intended to penetrate heavy armor or fortified structures. Most cannons are either disposable single-shot weapons or will consist of a reusable tube which can be (slowly) reloaded to prepare for another attack. Uses severe damage column.

* * * * *

Example: a character in a steampunk zombie campaign might come across an abandoned (but not looted) constable's station. A well-equipped armory might have a few revolvers, lots of handguns, and several shotguns. If there is a "special weapons" department there (like 'fringe division' or 'special unit 2' maybe), there might also be some SMGs, some combat rifles, one or two sniper rifles, some explosives, and a couple of grenade launchers with tear gas. Most of these will fall within the "light" or "medium" power range since "heavy" weapons of any class are generally limited to military applications or weapons found in the private collections of gun collectors.


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It makes sense to me that if there can be a paladin class dedicated to good, there should be an anti-paladin class dedicated to evil. While it should be exclusive to NPCs outside so-called 'evil campaign', there should be a fully functional class antithetical to the Paladin.

I also believe it is reasonable to have a holy/unholy warrior for every extreme alignment: LG, CG, LE, or CE. (At first I could not really picture a true-neutral paladin, or "champion of balance", but if one can conceive of a more militant version of the druid, then that is probably the path you should take. I may attempt a paladinish druid one of these days but I think it would look fundamentally different from any other derivative.)

Anyway, I referenced Paizo's paladin and antipaladin and WOTC's "plethora of paladins" variants, did some mashing up of these two sources, and added some extra stuff to make each class a little more unique from one another. There are a few skills and class features that set each lawful and chaotic variant apart in a given pair, as well as a few spells that are only available to either the lawful or chaotic variant in each pair.

Note: the terms "paladin" and "antipaladin" don't refer to specific classes in this context, but refer collectively to paragons and crusaders, blackguards and renegades, respectively. As well, any game effect associated with, restricted to, or specifically targeting paladins (or antipaladins) will function equally for both the lawful and chaotic variant unless there is a lawful or chaotic component to the effect. In such cases, the beneficial effect won't work if the alignments don't match, or the harmful effect may not be as severe. I made these homebrew rules with no consideration for any existing archetypes for paladin (or antipaladin) so if you have a favorite archetype you like to use, you may have to do the work of adaptation yourself.

I've also tried to be thorough in proofreading and make sure there's no obvious or nonsensical inconsistences.

My reasoning for writing out each class in full, with all the duplication (rather than collapsing the crusader and renegade into archetypes that apply to the paladin and antipaladin) is so a player who wants to play an "alt-paladin" or "alt-antipaladin" need only print out the information they actually need in order to play their class (class description plus spell list) without doing all the work of mixing and match unchanged and substitutionary class features.

* * * * *

Feedback, constructive criticism, and suggestions for improvements are welcome. I am mostly happy with the results, although I feel like there should be a new aura ability for each class at 11th level. The existing 11th-level "auras" did not seem like "auras" to me at all, because they were not continuously active powers. So I reworked those abilities to be more straightforward as enhancements to the smite abilities. This left a gap in the progression of auras (with one at 3rd, then one at 5th, and then every 3 levels thereafter). I haven't got any ideas for what to do for this. Maybe someone else?

* * * * *

Introductions and class descriptions follow in replies to this thread.

Counter-Charge combat maneuver

You can attempt to interrupt an opponent's charge with a charge of your own. Your counter-charge must be a readied action against the target of your charge, and your movement path intersect the target's intended movement path within at least one square.

The unhindered movement of the target is played out as normal, up to the last square of uncontested movement (i.e. the final square it can occupy before your paths would cross). Make a Combat Maneuver check against your target's CMD.

If your Combat Maneuver check is successful, the target ends his movement immediately at his last uncontested square, and you can either make your single melee attack as part of your charge against the target, or do anything else (such as a bull rush) permitted in place of that melee attack. You also end your movement in the contested square.

If your Combat Maneuver check fails, your movement ends at your last uncontested square, your opponent gains an attack of opportunity against you, and has the option of also turning his single melee charge attack on you rather than his intended target (assuming you weren't it).

If this is a decent combat maneuver idea, then we can expect improvement feats to go along with it, such as Improved Counter-Charge, Greater Counter-Charge, and so on. Perhaps there is also a niche for a feat that would let you, after a successful counter-charge, continue your movement up to the maximum range allowed for your charge, provided the next square of your movement path is unoccupied or otherwise blocked.

What do you think of these house rules?

This is a system to make it practical for characters to reach beyond 20th level without getting absurdly powerful. This is done by essentially elevating archetypes to work almost like separate classes in their own right. In other words, all the archetypes of a given class are treated as "sub-classes" bound up together under the umbrella of that class, sharing much in common with one another but carrying their own class levels (but without munchkinistic super-high BABs, skill bonuses, or save bonuses).

First, to justify all this kludgery: the main intent is for a would-be "epic-level" character to surpass the conventional 20-level limit on any given class without having to resort to conventional multiclassing, and without expand on the existing class by adding actual new levels (and new class features to fill them up with).

Part of this system is that it makes archetypes mandatory (but without excluding the standard version of any class). When a Paladin with the Hospitaler archetype or a Bard with the Detective archetype levels up, he does so as a Paladin (hospitaler) or as a Bard (detective), not simply as a Paladin or a Bard.

Accordingly, the "standard version" of a given class is treated as just another archetype (referred to as the Standard archetype of that class). Thus, every character with a class is also considered to have an archetype. For example, when a Fighter with the "Standard" archetype (that is, having all the standard abilities of a Fighter) advances in level, he does so as a Fighter (standard), and this is equivalent in scope to gaining levels as a Fighter (archer) or Fighter (brawler).

Now there are two kinds of leveling combinations, the normal kind (multiclassing) and multityping. Multiclassing is the usual combination of two or more classes, say Fighter (mobile fighter) / Rogue (acrobat). Multityping consists of combining of two or more archetypes of the same class, such as Fighter (archer) / Fighter (crossbowman).

Multiclassing follows all the standard multiclassing rules--all basic features stack (that is: hit dice/hit points, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, skill ranks, character feats, and so on) according to every class (not archetype) the character has levels in. Both classes must have an archetype (even if it is only the Standard one for that class). The chief restriction on multiclassing is that a character can only learn 10 total levels of secondary classes ('secondary' defined as any non-favored class one has levels in). The aforementioned Fighter (mobile fighter) / Rogue (acrobat), assuming Fighter is his favored class, can advance in Fighter indefinitely, but can gain only 10 total levels in Rogue (acrobat), or a combination of 10 total levels in Rogue and Wizard, Rogue and Wizard and Cleric, etc. I would also be wary of any proposed game effect that would bypass this 10 level limit for secondary classes. There is a feat that allows humans to gain a second favored (primary) class, and that is far as it should go, I think.

Multityping does not stack basic features within the same class; only the highest-level archetype's features count. (Each archetype's levels still count toward total character level and XP needed to level.) However, a multityped character gains the substituted abilities for both archetypes, even if they would both substitute for the same standard class ability. The normal multiclassing, level-stacking rules lead to huge power imbalances near and beyond 20th level, and the non-stacking restriction is meant to address this. Multityping keeps BAB, saves, etc., more or less under control, while still allowing characters to learn new tricks.

For example, a Fighter (archer) 15 / Fighter (crossbowman) 10 has the BAB, base save bonuses, skill points, hit points, character feat slots, class skills set, and so on of a standard 15th-level Fighter, has all Archer-specific abilities up to 15th level (Hawkeye, Trick Shot, Expert Archer, Safe Shot, Evasive Archer), gains all Crossbowman-specific abilities up to 10th level (Deadshot, Crossbow Expert, Improved Deadshot, Quick Sniper), and of course gains any standard Fighter abilities that both archetypes have in common up to 15th level (in this case Fighter Bonus Feats). There is no limit to the number of total levels a character can gain in different archetypes of his favored class (usually the first class he gains a level in). Taking levels in multiple archetypes of a secondary class still contribute toward the 10-level limit for secondary classes unless the character is allowed two favored classes (such as by a feat or other ability).

Multityping also applies when a character takes levels in a class's Standard archetype in combination with any other archetype of that class, for example Ranger (standard) combined with Ranger (spirit ranger). In these cases, the named archetype's alternative abilities also do not supersede those of the Standard archetype; the multityped character gains both in parallel (as allowed by individual level). For example, a multityped Ranger (standard 4 / spirit ranger 4) can have both an animal companion (or hunting companion bond) and a spirit bond.

Spells gained and spells known do not stack within the same class, but only overlap. A multityped Oracle (stargazer 12 / planar 8) has the spells of a 12th-level oracle, not a 20th-level one.

Under the standard rules, a 20th-level Monk (martial artist) who wants to keep leveling up has to gain levels in *something* that would let him remain true to his character concept (no ki, unarmed combat expert). Core classes such as Fighter or Rogue, or perhaps a Monk-ish prestige class (if he qualifies) would let him add to what he already has while remaining sort of martial artist-y (though with varying amounts of non-Monkish baggage). But if he could simply adopt more Monk abilities that supplemented what he already had, he could stay within his class and remain true to his character concept. Here is where multityping comes in.

Mechanically, the Monk (martial artist) character starts over as a Monk 1 but leveling up as a different archetype, perhaps becoming a Monk (martial artist) 20 / Monk (master of many styles) 1. This Monk character could progress indefinitely through many Monk archetypes, retaining all the basic abilities of a 20th-level Monk but gaining access to all the different alternative class features offered by the various archetypes. But in order to advance his BAB beyond the normal Monk limit of +15, however, he would still need to multiclass into a non-Monk class such as Fighter (and then only up to 10 levels for a secondary class).

To keep even Multityping under control, it has to have its own "soft" limit of 20 levels' worth of basic ability improvements. This means that the Fighter (archer) / Fighter (crossbowman) will stop gaining improvements to his BAB once he has 20 total levels of Fighter archetypes, even though he can learn all the Fighter archetypes in the world if he is able and willing to. Fighter still maxes out at +20 BAB, +12/+6/+6 base save bonuses, 11 fighter bonus feats, and 20d10 base hit points, and that's all there is to it. Only by multiclassing into a secondary class can these limits be surpassed, and multiclassing requires that a character learn whole new ways of thinking versus the minor adaptations required for multityping (hence the 10-level limit).

A couple of campaigns ago, as I was looking at all the different types of "bonus to X and Y skill" feats there were (frex: Alertness, Deft Hands, Self-Sufficient) I hit on the idea of having "skill specialization" feats that would grant a bonus to some specific use of a skill, such as using Handle Animal to "teach an animal a trick" or using Stealth to "create a diversion to hide".

I had also thought about restricting such feats to one such feat per skill, meaning that if there were several specialization feats available to boost a certain specialized task for a given skill, then the character could only ever take one of those. For example, for Use Magic Device there might be a separate specialization feat to activate a device blindly; to decipher a written spell; to use a wand, staff, or other spell trigger item; to emulate a race; and so forth. A character would be able to take just one these feats, but to the exclusion of the rest.

So, what would be an appropriate numerical bonus to make such specialized feats worth the cost of a feat slot? We would have to take into account the likelihood that a character might be taking Skill Focus for the skill (which would stack), and in many cases there will be an Alertness-clone feat to increase a character's bonus still further.

The spell Remove Curse breaks the hold on a creature that a cursed item has, but does nothing to fix the magic item itself.

But is there some spell, short of a miracle or wish, that could remove the curse from a magic item so that it functions as a normal item of its kind?

When I make a wondrous item, how do I judge whether it should appear in a hoard as a 'minor', 'medium', or 'major' item? I can't figure out whether it has to do with the price of the item or its caster level, because the division between wondrous item groups in the Core Rulebook and Advanced Player's Guide are not consistent in either respect.

I've been mulling over some changes to how PF does magic items. There are plenty of D&D 3E sacred cows that need slaughtering throughout the ruleset, and whilst I've been converting some of my old D&D characters to PF rules, I began to think about how I could improve the Rules As Written for my own campaign.

Here is the summary of changes that I like for for magic items (Changes to specific magic items are not included).

The guiding principles behind these alterations are to make the magic item classes more internally consistent, to correct some sections that seem too vague or miswritten to me, to allow middle- and high-level spells to be placed into single-spell containers other than Scrolls and Staves, and to elaborate on some of the basic item creation procedures which will help make magic item classes of a similar appearance to be more easily distinguishable from one another.

Additional notes and explanations are indicated in square brackets.

1. Potions as a magic item class are restricted to spells that target creatures. Brewing a Potion requires at least one fluid ounce of liquid per spell level (or half an ounce for 0-level spells) for a base material.

2. Oils are set apart as their own magic item class. They follow the same rules as Potions but may contain object-affecting spells of up to 6th level. Class-specific prices as follows:

The price of an Oil is equal to the spell level X creator's caster level X 50 gp, plus any added material component cost required for the original spell.

Oil Costs:
Cleric, Druid, Wizard, and Witch spells
0-level Oils: 25 gp
1st-level Oils: 50 gp
2nd-level Oils: 300 gp
3rd-level Oils: 750 gp
4th-level Oils: 1,400 gp
5th-level Oils: 2,250 gp
6th-level Oils: 3,300 gp

Sorcerer and Oracle spells
0-level Oils: 25 gp
1st-level Oils: 50 gp
2nd-level Oils: 400 gp
3rd-level Oils: 900 gp
4th-level Oils: 1,600 gp
5th-level Oils: 2,500 gp
6th-level Oils: 3,600 gp

Bard, Inquisitor, Magus, and Summoner spells
0-level Oils: 25 gp
1st-level Oils: 50 gp
2nd-level Oils: 400 gp
3rd-level Oils: 1,050 gp
4th-level Oils: 2,000 gp
5th-level Oils: 3,250 gp
6th-level Oils: 4,800 gp

Alchemist spells
1st-level Oils: 50 gp
2nd-level Oils: 400 gp
3rd-level Oils: 1,050 gp
4th-level Oils: 2,000 gp
5th-level Oils: 3,250 gp
6th-level Oils: 4,800 gp

Antipaladin, Paladin, and Ranger spells
1st-level Oils: 50 gp
2nd-level Oils: 400 gp
3rd-level Oils: 1,050 gp
4th-level Oils: 2,000 gp

Adept spells
0-level Oils: 25 gp
1st-level Oils: 50 gp
2nd-level Oils: 400 gp
3rd-level Oils: 1,200 gp
4th-level Oils: 2,400 gp
5th-level Oils: 4,000 gp

3. The feat Brew Potion is renamed to Brew Potions and Oils and allows the creation of both.

4. It would take a lot of reconfiguring, but I would like to rework the Ring item class so that it dealt almost exclusively with abilities that involved working with one's hands or which involve movement, defense, or melee combat. Some good examples of this are the Rings of Feather Falling, Climbing, Jumping, Swimming, Protection, The Ram, Force Shield and Telekinesis. Other rings do not really fit this paradigm at all: The Rings of Animal Friendship, X-Ray Vision, Regeneration, Djinni Calling, Three Wishes, Chameleon Power, Sustenance, and Elemental Command function more like Magic Garb or Wondrous Items.

5. Existing Rods which do not emulate a Metamagic feat are reclassified as Wondrous Items, and renamed appropriately. For example: Scepter of Lordly Might, Immovable Bar, Cane of the Python.

6. The function of Rods is also expanded to emulate other spellcasting-related feats such as Eschew Materials, Augment Summoning and Spell Penetration, so that Rods can used to augment spellcasting in many other ways besides metamagic.

7. When a caster desires to recharge a Staff, if any of the spells imbued has a material component worth more than 1 gp, the caster must provide that material component (or whichever material component has the higher cost, if more than one imbued spell has one).

8. Wands can be between 6 and 24 inches in length.

9. Existing Wondrous Items that occupy a body slot are reclassified as a separate magic item class, Magic Garb. Magic Garb items follow the same rules as for Wondrous Items; the main difference between the two item classes is that Magic Garb tends to be more powerful (and therefore are limited in the numbers and subtypes of garb items a character can have active at any one time).

10. The minimum caster level for the Craft Magic Garb item creation feat is 5th level, unlike Craft Wondrous Items which is 3rd level. [ 5th Level is equivalent to Craft Arms & Armor. ]

11. A single casting of a spell of up to 6th level that targets one or more creatures (but not objects) can be imbued into a new magic item class called Manna items. [ Not to be confused with 'mana' which is magical or supernatural energy. I borrowed the name from the miraculous edible substance described in the Bible and Quran. ]

Physical Description: Whereas Potions consist simply of a small amount of sweetened water, wine, or more exotic beverage, Manna items often combine several perishable ingredients prepared in a separate recipe from the actual process of crafting the magic item, and then wrapped up in cloth or stowed in a pouch or other container. Likewise, unlike an ordinary potion, the base material of the Manna item (as befitting its creation from a recipe of different ingredients) can be imbued with a single use each of multiple spells. However, multiple uses of the same spell cannot be imbued in a Manna item.

A Manna item must be made of fresh ingredients consisting of organic base material, which may take any form of solid food, condiment, spice, or dessert: enchanted fruit, wafers, biscuits, cookies, slices of cheese, strips of beef jerky, ginger, cinnamon, cakes, and pies are fairly common examples, although fresh fruit and spices generally are limited to Manna items holding spells of less than 4th level. A Manna item requires at least ounce of base material per spell level (or half an ounce for a 0-level spell).

Typically, the enchantment process must begin no later than two hours after the food item itself has been harvested, baked, ground up, or otherwise prepared (including the completion of any curing or preservative process), although casting Purify Food and Drink on a edible item past the two-hour limit will make it fresh again for another two hours. For example, salted meat that was prepared several weeks ago cannot be used as a base material (unless Purify is cast on it first), though the meat is still mundanely edible. Conjured foodstuffs created by spells such as Create Food and Water or by magic items such as a Sustaining Spoon are never suitable as base materials. The process of enchanting a Manna item includes decorating the object with sigils and calligraphy such as by etching the designs directly into the surface with a sharp tool, by applying some form of icing, glaze, or other flavoring that hardens or seeps into the object's outer layers, or (particularly with spices or condiments) spreading the material out on a clean, flat surface (such as parchment or a slab of glass) and then delicately shaping the grains of the material into the magical symbols needed for the ritual, after which the material can be collected into a container for later use. A Manna item will retain its freshness twice as long as ordinary food of the same kind, as stored under similar conditions. Spoilage and rotting can be forestalled by casting Purify Food and Drink on the item while it is still potent, or by storing the item in some kind of stasis. If age, rot, contamination, pests, poor storage conditions, or other circumstance robs the Manna item of its freshness, its magic is lost.

Activation: Consuming a Manna item requires no special skill. The user merely unwraps the packaging or removes the item from the container and eats or drinks the item (or whatever other food item the Manna item has been mixed into). The following rules govern Manna item use.

Consume a Manna item is a standard action. The Manna item's imbued spell or spells take effect immediately after the first bite or draft is swallowed (the remnant can be consumed by the user, but is not necessary). Using a Manna item provokes attacks of opportunity. An enemy may direct an attack of opportunity against the Manna item or its container rather than against the character. A successful attack of this sort can damage the food item, preventing the character from eating it and ruining the magic item.

A creature must be able to eat or drink the Manna item. Because of this, incorporeal creatures cannot use Manna items. Any corporeal creature can consume a Manna item.

A character can carefully administer a Manna item to an unconscious creature. It takes one full minute to force enough of the Manna item down the the creature’s throat for the imbued spell to take effect.

Special Notes: The effects of cursed Manna items only take effect when the item is consumed, and will usually mimic the effects of a Potion of Poison (75% chance). Otherwise, a cursed Manna item will carry its normal effect but invoke one of the drawbacks listed on PFCR page 538 as a side effect which persists until a Remove Curse is obtained. Listed drawbacks that affect items will instead target a random mundane item in the victim's possession.

Manna items follow all other rules as for Potions except as detailed above.

For Manna items containing a single spell, the price is equal to the level of the spell X the creator's caster level X 150 gp, plus any added material component cost required for the original spell. If a Manna item is imbued with multiple spells, the cost for each spell is calculated separately and then added together to find the total cost of the Manna item. Thus a Manna item that contains a Cure Light Wounds spell (150 gp) and an Aid spell (900 gp) would cost 1,050 gp.

[ I'm not attached to this price level; the Manna item class should be expensive enough so that Potions are not made obsolete, but not so expensive that it becomes an easy decision to choose the Wand version of a given spell over the Manna item version. ]

Manna Item Costs:
Cleric, Druid, Wizard, and Witch spells
0-level Manna items: 75 gp
1st-level Manna items: 150 gp
2nd-level Manna items: 900 gp
3rd-level Manna items: 2,250 gp
4th-level Manna items: 4,200 gp
5th-level Manna items: 6,750 gp
6th-level Manna items: 9,900 gp

Sorcerer and Oracle spells
0-level Manna items: 75 gp
1st-level Manna items: 150 gp
2nd-level Manna items: 1,200 gp
3rd-level Manna items: 2,700 gp
4th-level Manna items: 4,800 gp
5th-level Manna items: 7,500 gp
6th-level Manna items: 10,800 gp

Bard, Inquisitor, Magus, and Summoner spells
0-level Manna items: 75 gp
1st-level Manna items: 150 gp
2nd-level Manna items: 1,200 gp
3rd-level Manna items: 3,150 gp
4th-level Manna items: 6,000 gp
5th-level Manna items: 9,750 gp
6th-level Manna items: 14,400 gp

Alchemist spells
1st-level Manna items: 150 gp
2nd-level Manna items: 1,200 gp
3rd-level Manna items: 3,150 gp
4th-level Manna items: 6,000 gp
5th-level Manna items: 9,750 gp
6th-level Manna items: 14,400 gp

Antipaladin, Paladin, and Ranger spells
1st-level Manna items: 150 gp
2nd-level Manna items: 1,200 gp
3rd-level Manna items: 3,150 gp
4th-level Manna items: 6,000 gp

Adept spells
0-level Manna items: 75 gp
1st-level Manna items: 150 gp
2nd-level Manna items: 1,200 gp
3rd-level Manna items: 3,600 gp
4th-level Manna items: 7,200 gp
5th-level Manna items: 12,000 gp

12. Craft Manna, the item creation feat associated with Manna items, has caster level 5th as a prerequisite.

13. A spell of up to 8th level can be imbued into a new magic item class called Virges, small staff-like implements intended to be intermediate spell containers between Wands and Staves.

Virges contain a single spell of 8th level or lower and has 20 charges when created—each charge allows the use of the Virge’s spell one time. A Virge that runs out of charges is just a stick. If the Virge has a material component cost, it is added to the base price and cost to create once for each charge (20 × material component cost). Table 15–17 gives sample prices for Virges created at the lowest possible caster level for each spellcasting class. Note that some spells appear at different levels for different casters. The level of such spells depends on the caster crafting the Virge.

Physical Description: Most Virges (70%) have a small device or emblem at one end which signify the spell contained therein. A typical Virge is between 2 and 4 feet in length, weighs about 1 or 2 pounds, has AC 8, 8 hit points, hardness 8, and a break DC of 20. A Virge can also be used as a bludgeoning weapon (stats equivalent to a club) and will always be of masterwork quality.

Activation: Virges use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a Virge is usually a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast has a longer casting time than 1 action, however, it takes that long to cast the spell from a Virge.) To activate a Virge, a character must hold it in hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for nonhumanoid creatures) and point it in the general direction of the target or area. A Virge may be used while grappling or while swallowed whole.

Virges hold a maximum of 20 charges. Each spell cast from a Virge consumes a charge. If a Virge runs out of charges, its magic is lost; therefore at least one charge must always be retained. Each morning, when a spellcaster prepares spells or regains spell slots, he can also imbue a Virge with a portion of his power so long the spell cast by the Virge is on his spell list and he is capable of casting it. Imbuing a Virge with this power restores one charge to the Virge, but the caster must forgo one prepared spell or spell slot of a level equal to the level of the spell cast by the Virge. For example, a 5th-level sorcerer with a Virge of Lightning Bolt could imbue the Virge with one charge per day by using up one of his 3rd-level spells. A Virge cannot gain more than one charge per day and a caster cannot imbue more than one magic item per day (whether it be a Virge or some other chargeable item like a Staff). If the spell cast by the Virge requires a material component worth more than 1 gp, that material component must be provided when the item is recharged.

[ Virge costs must be balanced against Wands, so as not to make them obsolete. A good comparison to Virges for purposes of determining a balanced item price is the Spell Storing special ability of weapons which allows a hold a single spell of up to 3rd level; the minimum cost of a Weapon of Spell Storing is 8,000 gp (+1 for the ability and +1 for the basic enhancement bonus). ]

The price of a Virge is equal to the level of the spell X the creator’s caster level X 1,000 gp, plus any added material component costs required for the original spell (X 20 charges).

Virge Costs:
Cleric, Druid, Wizard, and Witch spells
0-level Virges: 500 gp
1st-level Virges: 1,000 gp
2nd-level Virges: 6,000 gp
3rd-level Virges: 15,000 gp
4th-level Virges: 28,000 gp
5th-level Virges: 45,000 gp
6th-level Virges: 66,000 gp
7th-level Virges: 91,000 gp
8th-level Virges: 120,000 gp

Sorcerer and Oracle spells
0-level Virges: 500 gp
1st-level Virges: 1,000 gp
2nd-level Virges: 8,000 gp
3rd-level Virges: 18,000 gp
4th-level Virges: 32,000 gp
5th-level Virges: 50,000 gp
6th-level Virges: 72,000 gp
7th-level Virges: 98,000 gp
8th-level Virges: 128,000 gp

Bard, Inquisitor, Magus, and Summoner spells
0-level Virges: 500 gp
1st-level Virges: 1,000 gp
2nd-level Virges: 8,000 gp
3rd-level Virges: 21,000 gp
4th-level Virges: 40,000 gp
5th-level Virges: 65,000 gp
6th-level Virges: 96,000 gp

Alchemist spells
1st-level Virges: 1,000 gp
2nd-level Virges: 8,000 gp
3rd-level Virges: 21,000 gp
4th-level Virges: 40,000 gp
5th-level Virges: 65,000 gp
6th-level Virges: 96,000 gp

Antipaladin, Paladin, and Ranger spells
1st-level Virges: 1,000 gp
2nd-level Virges: 8,000 gp
3rd-level Virges: 21,000 gp
4th-level Virges: 40,000 gp

Adept spells
0-level Virges: 500 gp
1st-level Virges: 1,000 gp
2nd-level Virges: 8,000 gp
3rd-level Virges: 24,000 gp
4th-level Virges: 48,000 gp
5th-level Virges: 80,000 gp

14. Normally, there is only a 1% chance for a newly-created permanent magic item to spontaneously develop intelligence. The new item-creation feat Craft Intelligent Item enables a caster to deliberately construct an intelligent magical item or imbue an existing permanent item with intelligence. Prerequisites for this feat are: Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 11, and Caster Level 7th. [ Compare to the minimum caster level possible for a 4th-level spell, which is the highest 3/day spell level listed on Table 15-24 and the lowest level of at-will spells on Table 15-26. ]

The creater of an Intelligent magic item can grant as high an ability score to the item as he possesses himself, but need not do so (to avoid Ego conflicts).

Only deliberately-constructed intelligent magical items can have dedicated powers.

15. When the creator of a magic-item fails his magic item creation skill check by 5 or more, he produces a cursed item with randomly-determined flaws. The new item-creaton feat Craft Cursed Item provides three benefits:

(a) You gain a +5 competence bonus to magic item creation skill checks when attempting to create normal magic items.

(b) Whenever you attempt to create a cursed magic item on purpose, you are able to customize the nature of the curse carried by the magic item, going by the tables on PFCR 535-539 as a guide. You can also create any of the specific cursed items listed in the PFCR or APG if you also possesses the appropriate item-creation feat for that item class. (Forge Ring feat for a Ring of Clumsiness, for instance.)

(c) You are always immune to any cursed magic items you create yourself (whether you create them on purpose or not). [ This aspect of the feat provides a great explanation for how cursed magic items get mixed in with seemingly harmless treasure hordes. The spellcaster who can handle his own cursed items without any trouble can put them to excellent use as magical portable traps and snares. Also, I'm pretty sure that the immunity aspect of this feat should not be retroactive. It would be kind of funky to let a character try to use this feat as some kind of 'antibiotic' against an existing curse that he brought upon himself. ]

The prerequisites for Craft Cursed Item are any one other item creation feat and Caster Level 3rd. [ Not CL 1, because you need to know a little more than just enough to get yourself in trouble. ]

16. Most magic items aren't designed to take the kind of physical punishment that occurs in combat, but armor, shields, weapons. and some Magic Garb items are. Magical armor, shields, and weapons are impervious to damage from nonmagical weapons. (Masterwork weapons do not possess this ability, so such items placed within areas of antimagic or dead magic become as vulnerable as any other item of the same sort.)

Armor, shields, and weapons of a given enhancement bonus are also immune to damage from other magical weapons (and shield bashes) having an equal or lesser enhancement bonus. Thus a +4 sword can damage any armor, shield, or other weapon with an enhancement bonus of +4 or less, but is itself vulnerable to damage by a +5 sword. [ These added rules provide a balance against loading up a +1 weapon with fancy energy attacks and such, because a +1 Flaming Burst Wounding Throwing Keen Shock Defending Spell Storing weapon would be vulnerable to damage from a mere +2 sword having no other special powers. So--keep your +1 FBWTKSDSS weapon for killing monsters, but save your dinky little +2 sword for sundering your enemy's own +1 FBWTKSDSS weapons. ]

For purposes of resisting damage from magical weapons, treat Magic Garb items as having an effective enhancement bonus equal to one-third its Caster Level (minimum 1). This imperviousness to nonmagical and inferior magical weapons never translates to providing a bonus to the wearer's Armor Class.

That's pretty much what I have so far. I look forward to your input.

Is there a feat or spell somewhere out there that would allow a spellcaster to 'translate' magic items from one form to another? For instance: convert a scroll (of 3rd level or less) to a potion so that a non-caster ally could use it independently....or convert the charges in a wand to create as many potions of the same spell....

If this took the form of a feat, I'm betting it would require all the associated Item Creation feats as prerequisites, and there would need to be a time constraint (at least half the normal time required to brew a potion or potions. And of course the raw materials would have to be on hand for the process to complete.

If this took the form of a spell, what would be the spell level? Probably there should be a separate spell for scrolls and for wands. It seems interesting to me to have a spell that would let a character 'extract' a charge from a wand, or 'strip' the energy from the inscription of a scroll and imbue a vial of liquid with this energy to create the potion.

As well, it does not seem logical to have a process for conversion in the other direction (i.e. potion-into-scroll or potions-into-wand), so leaving it as a one-way deal seems reasonable.

What's your take?

I posted this on EN World but wanted to get some input on it over on these forums too.


My cosmology retains all of the traditional outer planes from D&D 3.5 (The sixteen outer planes including the “in between” planes of the outer sphere which were eliminated in Pathfinder), except they are not rigidly organized into a “great wheel” arrangement. The good-aligned planes remain “upper” while the evil-aligned ones remain “lower”, but there are a thousand more upper planes besides these well-known ones, and a multitude of other lower planes.

Whereas in D&D 3.5 the layers of a plane were conjoined, in my cosmology the layers of each outer plane exist as their own independent planes, and are not “stacked” as in standard D&D. These “related” planes remain closely interlinked with one another like “clusters” or “archipelagoes” via dimensional portals (thus it is much easier to find a portal on Avernus that leads to Nessus or Dis than one which goes to Pandesmos). The lawful good planes of Lunia, Mercuria, Venya, Solania, Mertion, Jovar, and Chronias each exist as their own upper plane, but the seven planes together form the Seven Heavens, the home planes of all Celestials. Chronias is still the greatest of the Celestian planes and its spiritual center, but it can be reached without having to travel sequentially through the other six. Similarly, what mortals call "The Abyss" is not a singular plane of innumerable layers, but a conglomeration of hundreds (if not thousands) individual lower planes skewed toward chaotic evil and strung together like fiendish prayer beads or the segments of an incomprehensibly vast and vile worm, with the oldest of the Abyssal planes stretching incomprehensibly into the deep.

At any given time, there are exactly 144,000 prime material planes. Every prime is created in a pristine form, like a "garden of eden" without death or defect. A typical prime consists of a single galaxy of stars and associated nebulae within a finite space (For purposes of my cosmology I am going by the obsolete definition of an observable universe in which our galaxy and associated nebulae comprise the entirety of natural existence). Based on eons of observations by Celestian sages, several guidelines of material planar creation can be inferred: a prime may be created with billions or trillions of stars, but only one star system out of millions is seeded with life (and thereby invested with immortal lifeforce).

As for other planes (what are called transitive and inner planes in D&D 3.5), they are not all-pervasive. My cosmology does not deal in “inner planes” and “transitive planes” as such, except for its version of the Astral Plane (the Firmament) as described elsewhere. But each prime has a separate set of “component planes” which are coexistent with it. They serve as the source of the raw materials for that prime material plane’s original creation, as power sources of magic cast within the prime, and as a hyperdimensional “shell” that holds the prime material plane together.

Every prime material plane includes the following twenty-six component planes besides the actual Material Plane that is the actual core of the prime.
Elemental Plane of Air
Elemental Plane of Earth
Elemental Plane of Fire
Elemental Plane of Water
Ethereal Plane
First World (spirit world+plane of dreams)
Negative Energy Plane
Para-Elemental Plane of Dust (air+earth)
Para-Elemental Plane of Magma (earth+fire)
Para-Elemental Plane of Mist (air+water)
Para-Elemental Plane of Ooze (earth+water)
Para-Elemental Plane of Smoke (air+fire)
Para-Elemental Plane of Steam (fire+water)
Plane of Dreams
Plane of Gravity
Plane of Shadows (positive energy+negative energy)
Positive Energy Plane
Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ash (fire+negative energy)
Quasi-Elemental Plane of Grime (earth+negative energy)
Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ice (water+negative energy)
Quasi-Elemental Plane of Lightning (air+positive energy)
Quasi-Elemental Plane of Minerals (earth+positive energy)
Quasi-Elemental Plane of Radiance (fire+positive energy)
Quasi-Elemental Plane of Rainbows (water+positive energy)
Quasi-Elemental Plane of Vacuum (air+negative energy)
Spirit World

A component plane of a particular prime is coterminous with any component plane of like substance of a nearby prime within the multiverse. Thus, one may travel from one prime to another through (for example) their corresponding ethereal planes, or from one prime’s para-elemental plane of mist (air/water) to a nearby prime’s quasi-elemental plane of rainbows (water/positive energy).


In my cosmology, maximum character level tops out at 60th, where levels 21-40 are considered “epic” while levels 41-60 are called “immortal”, immortality being necessary to advance past 40th (of which there are a variety of methods). When created, a prime is infused with enough "immortal lifeforce" to support the ascension of only a limited number of immortals. Among these, it is permitted to exist:

a single 60th-level immortal;
three 59th-level immortals;
five 58th-level immortals;
seven 57th-level immortals;
nine 56th-level immortals;
eleven 55th-level immortals;
thirteen 54th-level immortals;
fifteen 53rd-level immortals;
seventeen 52nd-level immortals;
nineteen 51st-level immortals;
twenty-one 50th-level immortals;
twenty-three 49th-level immortals;
twenty-five 48th-level immortals;
twenty-seven 47th-level immortals;
twenty-nine 46th-level immortals;
thirty-one 45th-level immortals;
thirty-three 44th-level immortals;
thirty-five 43rd-level immortals;
thirty-seven 42nd-level immortals; and
thirty-nine 41st-level immortals

making 400 immortals in all. Additionally, even if one of a plane's immortals is killed, taken in captivity to another plane, suffers permanent negative levels, or otherwise permanently leaves their home plane behind, that immortal's lifeforce does not return to the home plane to be absorbed by another.

In theory, a creature can earn his 60 class levels anywhere in the multiverse, although a prime's immortal lifeforce cannot migrate from one being to another. Thus, if a given prime’s singular 60th-level slot has already been 'taken', no creature, native or extraplanar, can ever advance to 60th level while visiting that specific plane, effectively lowering the level maximum to 59th (or whatever highest-level slot remains available). While creatures are at liberty to travel among the primes seeking their fortune, those who abuse this privilege by hopping around the planes looking for a young world to (in metagame terms) steal their single 60-level slot and then return to their home plane may find their fate intertwined with that young world when it is judged in the distant future—in a metaphysical sense, when one gains a level on a plane, one’s soul also cleaves to the collective spirit of that plane as well. Or worse, he may be paid a visit by the Aeons and either asked to leave or else destroyed or removed by force.


After a prime’s creation follows a short “orientation period” of a few generations of guided development by appointed caretakers, and then its inhabitants are left to exercise their free will and conscience, and to advance in knowledge and power. Outsiders from older worlds (representatives from both upper and lower planes) are permitted to influence and even intervene in their affairs, but there are limits and counters in place (and their enforcers) which prevent evil outsiders from invading and conquering every new prime that appears, and to restrain good outsiders from playing the role of coddling babysitters.

Not all primes are created the same size. Size categories of planes and demiplanes for my cosmology are as follows:

“Tera”: A galactic cluster with multiple galaxies and satellites;
“Giga”: A supergalaxy having trillions of stars and having satellite dwarf galaxies (e.g. Greater and Lesser Magellanic Clouds);
“Mega”: A giant galaxy having greater than 1 trillion stars;
Colossal: A regular galaxy having 1 billion to 1 trillion stars;
Gargantuan: A dwarf galaxy having 1 million to 1 billion stars;
Huge: A globular star cluster having 1,000 to 1 million stars;
Large: An open star cluster having 10 to 1,000 stars;
Medium: A mini-universe containing a complete solar system with outer disc and cometary cloud, possibly with stellar companions (maximum diameter of several billion or trillion miles);
Small: A mini-universe just big enough to contain a single star or brown dwarf with a few inner-system planets and their moons (maximum diameter of about 100 million miles);
Tiny: A mini-universe just big enough to contain a terrestrial planet with its moons. (maximum diameter of about 1 million miles);
Diminutive: A mini-universe just big enough to contain a dwarf planet, a flat-earth continent, or a “hollow world” (maximum diameter of about 10,000 miles);
Fine: A pocket-dimension just big enough to contain a single city, flat or spherical (maximum diameter of about one hundred miles);
“Micro”: A pocket-dimension the size of a country estate (maximum diameter of about ten miles);
“Nano”: A pocket-dimension the size of a small keep and surrounding grounds (maximum diameter of about one mile); and
“Pico”: The smallest of pocket-dimensions, no greater than five hundred feet in diameter, but can be as small as a few feet across or even smaller.

Prime material planes less than Tiny size are virtually unheard of, and it is rather rare to find a prime larger than Colossal.

The Judgment of Planes

Once all the immortal lifeforce of a prime has been “taken up”, the wheels are set in motion for that plane's Judgment (a.k.a. Apocalypse or End Times) which takes place over several years (often as few as three but never more than seven). The plane and its inhabitants are judged according to all the good and evil which was perpetrated—in this sense, a prime acquires a "personality" or "alignment" over its lifetime that coalesces from the collective moral and ethical atittudes of its sentient inhabitants.

Once a plane's final judgment is accomplished and all of the grand "loose ends" are tied up, the plane is given over to the cosmic powers that rule that particular alignment, which in the vast majority of cases is either some variation of good (lawful, neutral, or chaotic) or some variation of evil, and “graduate" to the status of an outerplane, either upper or lower. The plane is remade practically from scratch, condensed to its bare essentials and reshaped into a new realm unique in planar traits from gravity and time to elemental and alignment dispositions. This process is a culmination of the sphere’s evolved personality which in turn may drastically alter its geography, climate, native flora and fauna, and the various balances among its opposing component planes. Thereafter it serves as the afterlife for those natives whose alignments coincide with its own (both moral and ethical), while those of other alignments are either raptured (or banished) to another less hostile outer plane, or (rarely) granted sanctuary on one of the extremely rare "middle ground" planes.

For both upper or lower planes, the greatest immortals whose alignment matches the plane's own are granted the roles of eternal stewardship or tyranny over that plane and its mortal petitioners. All the other immortals of the plane will have already been delivered or purged as described obove.


The cosmology consists of five major components: The Firmament, the Stream, the Mountain, the Vault, and the Pit. These are mortal analogs only and should not be taken in a literal sense more than what is necessary for comprehension of how the multiverse’s components fit together.

The Firmament

The Firmament is simply the empty space that separate the other four components; most mortals call it the Astral Plane although it is not a “plane” as such, but a “space between spaces”. The Firmament also contains countless demiplanes of various sizes, the vast majority of which ranging between Diminutive and Nano.

Most demiplanes in the Firmament were spontaneously formed from the driftmatter left over from newly-formed outer planes from several millennia or even eons in the past; a few may still contain unspeakably ancient artifacts from those far-off times when the primordial ancestors of the Celestian planes first ascended to their eternal glory.

The Stream

The Stream is a great torus within which the 144,000 prime material planes exist in perpetual revolution around the Mountain like an enormous cloud. Twelve spokes diverge from the Stream like tributaries, each one a procession of primes being drawn to the Mountain in anticipation of their final judgments.

The Stream also carries along with it a multitude of demiplanes, many of them created by mortals for their own purposes. Generally speaking, a demiplane begins existence strongly bound to the prime on which its creator was located at creation (which becomes its parent plane). This bond, like any other mortal magic, fades over time and in the course of several centuries a demiplane may begin to drift away from its parent plane. It may be a few thousand years before it is even possible for the portal to the demiplane to malfunction, but given enough time, the distance between demiplane and parent plane and the weakness of the bond becomes significant enough that travel between them becomes unreliable. Magic can be used to bolster and strengthen the portal, but once the portal is left to itself, eventually the binding magic will fail completely , causing the demiplane to cease being coterminous with its parent plane, and permanently sealing any portal between them. Even so, alternative magics can still be employed to recover the position of the demiplane and teleport to it, so long as it remains within the Stream. Beyond this, once a demiplane wanders off into the Firmament, no magic can reach the demiplane from anywhere in the Stream—a creature must venture out into the Firmament itself to locate (let alone visit) the lost demiplane.

The Mountain

Residing at the peak of the Mountain is the Seat of Judgment, where primes are judged and then transformed into outer spheres. It should not be said that the Mountain is infinitely tall, because this suggests that the center of the multiverse lies at an infinite distance from the rest of the multiverse. Rather, it is more correct to say that the base of the Mountain, if it can be said to have one, lies an infinite distance from the peak. Near the peak, orbit a slim handful of planes which have been judged to exist in near-perfect balance between good and evil, and could neither be elevated to the upper planes nor cast down among the lower planes, but were given a place midway between them as a kind of “common ground” between those who abide Above and those who rule Below. Collectively these are known as the Outlands, and their denizens Outlanders. Among these Outland planes are the gear-plane Mechanus and the city-plane of Axis, both primes of supreme law; Limbo, a plane utterly overwhelmed by anarchy; Sigil, a thoroughly urbanized cosmopolitan plane reshaped into a halo or ringworld in imitation of the Stream.

The Vault

The Vault stretches over the Mountain like a canopy and contains all the upper planes of the multiverse. The planes closest to the zenith or center tend most toward lawful good, whereas the further one travels toward the Vault’s horizon, one finds planes which are more strongly aligned to chaotic good. Situated directly above the peak at the zenith of the Vault is the Throne Room, also called The First Plane, thought to be the home plane of The Source which is the supreme being of the multiverse and the creator of every prime. It is a widely accepted theory that the Throne Room fulfills the function of a Plane of Time for the entire multiverse due to the perfectly precise timing of its chief activity (that is, the spontaneous emergence of new prime material planes from the whirlpool of protomatter continuously regenerating itself in orbit around it, and their injections into the Stream). No known magic or portal permits entry into the Throne Room or knowledge of its interior. It is known that certain chosen creatures are granted special dispensations to enter and leave the Throne Room at will, but by what means they are able to travel there is anyone’s guess. Many sages believe the Throne Room is also the home plane of the Aeons and that the Aeons take orders directly from the Source, though no Aeon can be persuaded or threatened into confirming or denying these theories.

The Pit

The Pit is infinite in depth and breadth yet filled with all kinds of depravity and destructive impulse. It is the dustbin of the multiverse, the destination of every lower plane and every lost soul. Once a prime is judged to be damned and then cast down the Mountain as a lower plane, it joins the rest in a steady and irrevocable descent deeper and deeper in the Pit. The Pit can be viewed as consisting of three regions which can be roughly defined according to depth and age (as reckoned from their respective days of judgment).
1. The Dark Planes: These are the planes nearest the edge of the pit, and the least tainted by evil. Most planes in this uppermost region are as pleasant to visit as any prime, though the only native sentients that can be found there are condemned petitioners, the dark gods they worship, and evil beings from further down who have moved in and taken over. Most dark planes are less than a thousand years old.
2. The Tainted Planes: These planes are older than the dark planes and have had time to descend further down into the pit, and most have fallen under the absolute control of one fiendish race or another, or even a particular archfiend. The tainted planes are where the vast majority of demons, devils, and other fiends organize and go to war with one another. Most dark planes are between a thousand and a million years old.
3. The Deep Planes: These are the oldest planes, some millions of years old, others billions or even trillions. The deep planes have descended so far into the pit and been so tainted by corruption as to have been abandoned even by archdevils and demon lords as worthless and uninhabitable. Nevertheless, there are beings who keep to the deepest reaches of the Pit (such as the qlippoth) whose reach extends even to the dark planes and whose threats cannot go unanswered by those who live above them.

The Mountain not only rises out of the Pit but rises above it, standing as a pillar representing the rule of cosmic law and as a testament that good will always triumph over evil. The Mountain also completely dominates the geography of the Pit, denying it a center from which some deific tyrant can set up a capital plane or create an axis of control. Throughout the ages, planar empires have risen and fallen among the uppermost planes of the Pit, where the domination of elder evils is at their weakest extent. This or that quadrant of the Pit may enjoy dominance over the others for a millennium or two, but no single fiendish race or dark lord has ever been able to establish a lasting dominion, let alone pacify or dominate those beings of greater malevolence that exist in the deeper reaches of the Pit.


This multiverse is meant to exist without a beginning or end, but endlessly recapitulating the struggle between good and evil. In my games, it matters a lot more whether a creature is good or evil than if they are lawful or chaotic; therefore the cosmology is built with good vs. evil as its chief concern, although ethical matters of law vs. chaos are not completely ignored. I also like the idea that celestian or fiendish beings that might be thought of as near demigod-like used to be simple mortals like us, but also remember that most mortals on the 144,000 spheres will lack sufficient ranks in knowledge (planes) to have an accurate conception of how the multiverse operates, and will in the presence of an advanced celestian or fiendish outsider will likely cower in abject awe or fear.

-the end-

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Either by omission or failure on my part, I can't seem to find Pathfinder stats on donkeys or mules. I realize there are stats for them in D&D monster manual I, but there are stats for other animals in MM1 which are in the Bestiary.

To put it another way, I would expect to see animal stats in the Bestiary for any pack animal or riding animal in the PFCR if for no other reason than to determine their encumbrance from their Strength score. This can be done with horses and ponies but not for donkeys or mules, even though both are listed for sale in the Equipment chapter.

I picked up Distant Worlds via PDF download the other day, and most of what I read, I liked a lot. The Paizo guys packed a lot of content into just eleven planets, which quite impressed me. I had been developing a PF campaign setting more or less based on the real-world solar system. A few of my ideas paralleled what Distant Worlds did--though instead of placing a fifth intra-Belt planet beyond Mars (or Akiton), I had included a Io-like world after the manner of Le Verrier's hypothetical torch-orbit planet. Otherwise, I had Venus (or Castrovel) as a lush jungle planet, Akiton/Mars as a cold desert planet (with a breathable if harsh atmosphere), and the dwarf planets Ceres, Pluto, and Eris as interesting (if inhospitable) places to visit. Given that the gas giants are so far from the sun, I would have had all the gas giants serve as net heat emitters and at a much greater efficiency than Jupiter (unscientifically exaggerating the effects of gravititional contraction), allowing some of the larger satellites such as Europa, Titan, and Triton to support a wider variety of climates. Jupiter would by far have the greatest heat output, its habitable moons being more like Venus or Mercury, Saturn's moons more closely resembling the temperate regions of Earth, and Uranus' and Neptune's moons mimicking everestine Mars or the global tundra of Ceres.

Before DW was released, I liked having the Elves on Venus as a steamy world of swamps and jungles (a meme known in sci-fi since the early 20th century) while putting the Dwarves on Mars as the steadfast subterranean race that they are: lush beards to ward against the fierce cold of Martian winters and the grit of frequent dust storms, beings obsessed with massive excavation projects and inured to hard labor and heavy burdens, and a race continually at war with and defending against frequent incursions from the enemy races on the surface (giants, orcs, and goblinoids). In other words, each race's innate traits suggest their original homeworld before they lived among the humans on Earth.

Thus, one of the few things I thought DW came up short was a certain planetary origin for all the other core races (not including humans). Probably the author intended only that the elves should be non-native to Golarian, leaving the dwarves, halflings, gnomes, and humans to have arisen on that temperate planet with the line from page 17 "Elves are relatively familiar to Akitonians, thanks to the planet’s connection to Castrovel and Sovyrian, but smaller races such as half lings, dwarves, and gnomes tend to be regarded with unguarded fascination or derision." Though I would like to think, as anthropentric as it might be, that only humans are the true natives of Golarian, and all the other "core" races come from somewhere else.

Except for the passage just quoted, it wouldn't be too great a leap to put the Dwarves' origin on Akiton, with the Shobhad-neh as a primeval racial enemy. An explanation for their presence on Golarian is needed; perhaps some of their kind had unearthed a subterranean portal to the underdark of Golarian? or maybe they were transplanted by a long-forgotten master race which had bred some of them for manual labor, and gave them the ability to remain effective on worlds of stronger gravity than Akiton's?

Given the Halflings' fear resistance, halfling luck, heightened senses, and comparatively greater longevity compared to humans, they would fit well on Triaxus. Their fear resistance (and superior dexterity and charisma) could have arisen as defenses against the tyrranical reptillian rulers of the Drakelands. Their saving throw bonuses may have given them the ability to survive as a race continually active through Triaxus' slow change of seasons, and this same great length of year may have contributed to the halfling's super-human longevity. A halfling's heightened senses (while free from suffering any light sensitivity) might be an adaptation from the necessity to hunt scarce game during the eighty-year winter season.

In most D&D-esque incarnations, Gnomes are posited as distant relatives of the Dwarves. Pathfinder Gnomes are described in the core rulebook as fey rather than dwarf-kin, which lets us be more flexible. We mght say that gnomes are not native to anyplace in Golarian's star system at all, but are rather distant ancestors of extraplanar fey who "went native" a very long time ago. Their journey and subsequent settlement need not be limited to Golarion, as Castrovel, Triaxus, or Verces would all serve as pleasant homes for their kind.

As a natural extension of a Dwarven origin on Akiton, a logical next step might be to place the orcs and all goblinoid races on AKiton too, to explain the martial tactics evolved by the Dwarves against these foes. The light sensitivity trait common to these races may be inferred as a result of being used to the fainter light of the Akitonian sun. I would not expect this rivalry to have originated from an ancient inter-planetary conflict, without also explaining how the technologically backward orc- and goblin-kin could be involved in space travel or portal use, if not as mercenaries or conscripts serving a more advanced and disciplined military power. The ability of orcs to crossbreed with humans (and perhaps other humanoids), may also have been inculcated into them as a generational biological/genocidal weapon by their spacefaring overlords, and could explain their presence on Golarion and other worlds besides Akiton.

Any other playable race could receive similar treatment, retroactively identifying their origin by using their innate racial traits as clues.

If deliberate, it's a funny practical joke...the spell Nondetection is missing from the bookmark structure of the PDF version of the Core Rulebook.

There is a problem in the bookmark structure of the PDF version of Ultimate Combat--specifically for chapter 3. Might there be a chance we could have this problem fixed fairly swiftly, or would we need to wait for an official errata for UCOM?

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I love Pathfinder as what 4th D&D was "meant to be", and the true spiritual successor to D&D 3.5. Pathfinder's class design is rightfully richer and more varied (even for the class-of-feats Fighter) but there is material in D&D 3.5 that is still useful, including the additional classes. I'd like to keep using these as single-class alternatives to multi-classed characters (such as Scout instead of Ranger/Rogue). As well, I've never been comfortable with "only" eleven classes but Advanced Player's Guide, Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat do fill some obvious niches (such as spontaneous divine caster).

The main problem is bringing in classes at the same level of versatility as the core classes of Pathfinder. Even compared to the standard 3.5 classes, some are weak and others are just plain useless. Here is the Tier System of Classes that tries to quantify relative power level in 3.5:

http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?PHPSESSID=3qu08lo8teuq70e 821utcotcl6&topic=5293

Has anyone done some close examination of the 3.5 Complete Class Book classes to judge whether they would be able to compete with the standard Pathfinder classes?

If the Tier System were applied to Pathfinder's version of the core classes, what tiers would they fall into?

After becoming disillusioned with 4E, lately I've been becoming more interested in what Paizo has been doing with Pathfinder, and so far I've been pleasantly surprised with the results in general. I also love the idea of Pathfinder giving new options to the different classes.

One of the things I've never much liked about 3.X is how it handles metamagics. I've played games in which I attempted to make use of them and I've run games in which they were used, and in practice they simply don't work as intended. I attribute this to having to prepare metamagics beforehand. See, what I expected of metamagics is flexibility: flexibility to get that little extra oomph that makes the difference between saving the party's collective butt and having to kiss it goodbye, and metamagics just don't do that. It's easier for a wizard and cleric player just to forgo them completely and use Sudden Metamagic feats instead (which perform as metamagic feats *should*), or use sorcerer or favored soul and metamagic on the fly.

What I have in mind for a house rule is for metamagics for non-spontaneous casters to work sort of like the cleric's spontaneous casting.

- Casters prepare their spells as normal.

- To cast a metamagicked spell, they choose a spell they've already prepared (say, a 2nd-level spell) and a feat (Silent Spell, which is +1 spell level). Instead of expending that 2nd-level spell slot, they sacrifice a spell slot (empty or not) of the metamagicked spell's level to cast the metamagicked spell (assuming they have a slot of that spell level available). They still have that 2nd-level spell slot (and could metamagic it again) and can use metamagic feats as long as they have higher-level spell slots to expend. This makes metamagicking spells more of a viable option for the preparing casters without making them identical to the spontaneous casters (who can freely metamagic their highest-level slots).

- With this paradigm, you could also redefine a cleric's spontaneous casting as something like the Spontaneous Healer or Spontaneous Wounder feats (minus the limited uses per day) granted to clerics as a bonus feat -- or if the cleric player wished, they could exchange it for a different metamagic feat and play a non-healing-type cleric. And if it seems reasonable, the Spontaneous Cure/Inflict feats could be designed so that bards and druids could pick them up, letting them fill the niche of the party healer (or wounder). There's that options thing again...

What do you all think?