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Pathfinder Dusk

Ok, guess it does. Try that.


I've released the Pathfinder Edition of Dusk over on ENWorld

http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?334562-The-Pathfinder-edition-o f-Dusk-is-now-available

Nearly half the book is spell system related and can be dropped into any campaign.

Posted in the hopes it will be useful to someone.


LazarX wrote:
Charender wrote:
Yes. The truth is that I cannot be 100% sure that I actually exist.

Let me introduce you to my friend Descartes. His famous statement means that you can prove your existence... TO YOURSELF. Just not to anyone else.

Not the statement by itself, but the treatise entirely.


The simple answer is no - refusing to believe in something's existence in no way affects its ability to affect you. It's as illogical as giving a character damage resistance to metal because metal doesn't exist. Or for a modern world parallel having a belief that electricity doesn't exist would somehow give you the ability to grab a high voltage cable safely.

It's b~+%&~~s.

Past the question the multiple posters of this thread consistently conflate the two primarily questions of theology, as most do. Those questions are:

The theism question - Does God (or gods) exist?
The gnostic question - Can the existence of God (or gods) be proven or disproven.

These questions give you four basic belief structures.

Gnostic Atheists believe gods don't exist, and believe they can prove it and/or believe the lack of scientific proof is verification enough that they don't exist.

Agnostic Atheists believe gods don't exist, but are either open to being proven wrong or conceed that you can't prove they don't exist anymore than you can prove any other negative. Scientific doctrine however demands the claimant prove the claim, never the other way around. See also Russel's Teapot.

Gnostic Theists believe gods exist and they can prove it.

Agnostic Theists believe gods exist but they can't prove it. Their belief often comes down to Pascal's Wager.

These four theological vantage points exist in the real world - and I see no reason why they wouldn't exist in a fantasy world. But the bars of credibility to each claimant are different. A D&D universe has spells like commune and contact other plane, gate, planar ally, et al; and if that's not enough a deity walking down main street is not an unknown occurrence every year or so.

Under these circumstances denying the existence of gods strains all bounds of credibility to become flat earth level lunacy. I distinctly remember when a topic similar to this came up on the old D&D mailing list in 1995 or so and Gary Gygax himself chimed in to say much the same, and some had the temerity to argue the point with him.

Denying the existence of the entities that call themselves gods is right out -- but what about denying their divinity? That, I think, is fully possible, and occurs in my world setting. That is, there are characters who concede that entities that call themselves gods do exist - but they are nothing more that extremely powerful magic users on a major ego trip. They are "auto-theist" - the believe divinity is contained in each person and that it can be honed and expanded. With patience and work anyone can become a 'god' - so why confer any special status on the current claimants to the title? Especially when they are so petty and self serving?

Anyway, that's all I have on the subject. Since this touches on real world belief structures I've cited them. It's not been my intent to offend but rather to accurately portray.


My solution was to make it somewhat easier for the other classes to heal themselves outside of combat, so that the pressure to just heal isn't so intense on the cleric.

Characters can take a full round action to get a second wind. When they do they roll any number of their hit dice and gain that many hit points. This action can be taken as long as their are hit dice remaining, but the dice aren't regained until characters get a full rest.

Characters recover all hit points after any full rest.

Hit point damage that has driven the character into negative hit points isn't recovered this way - instead this represents real damage that must be cured by magic or very slowly by natural means.


This spell I wrote up a few moments ago to more fully fill the hole created by pulling Holy Word, Dictum, Word of Chaos and Blasphemy out of the game. Those spells (especially holy word and blasphemy) by their very names have a hero/villain light, and I want spell casters of all alignments to be able to be villains or heroes as necessary.

When considering balance keep in mind that any given character will have only one of these modes. Druids can use the Aboran version of this spell. The Valra and Sodra modes match up almost exactly with Holy Word and Blasphemy respectively.

Rebuke
Evocation (Invocation) [sonic]
Level: Clr 7, Drd 7
Components: V
Range: 40'
Area: Creatures which have any other alignment than yours in a 40' radius spread centered on you.
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will partial

You must be have only one alignment to cast this spell. You issue words of rebuke in the name of your divine patron that harm your foes.

Rebuke itself is actually five spells, one for each alignment, and the alignment of the rebuke determines its effect. You can only use the form of rebuke that matches your alignment. Rebuke replaces blasphemy and holy word in the core rules - what constitutes these terms is in the ear of the listener and the speaker.

When you are on your home plane outsiders within range of rebuke are banished unless they are from the plane of your alignment. This effect occurs whether they hear the rebuke or not. Creatures banished this way cannot return for at least 24 hours. This effect allows a will save to negate with a -4 penalty.

Rebuke inflicts up to four statuses on the creatures who hear it which have alignments differing from yours. A successful will save negates or reduces these statuses, but for each alignment they have directly opposed to yours the save has a -2 penalty (-4 if they have both your opposed alignments). The effects are cumulative and based on relative hit dice as follows:

HD -- Effect
Equal to caster level -- Minor
Up to caster level -1 -- Major
Up to caster level -5 -- Severe
Up to caster level -10 -- Deadly

Creatures whose hit dice exceed yours are unaffected by rebuke. For those affected the effects are as follows:

Abora
Minor: The creature is stunned for 1 round but defends itself normally.
Major: The creature is staggered for for 2d6 rounds, save for half.
Severe: The creature is paralyzed for 1d10 minutes, save to reduce to 1 round
Deadly: The creature is destroyed if undead or a construct (even a golem), living creatures are permanently polymorphed into a squirrel or similar harmless varmit. Save negates.

Balcra
Minor: The creature is dazed for 1 round but defends itself normally. Save negates
Major: The creature is fascinated for up to 2d6 rounds, save for half.
Severe: The creature is paralyzed for 1d10 minutes, save to reduce to 1 round
Deadly: The creature is feebleminded. Save negates, but the creature is dealt 3d6 damage + 1 point / caster level (max +25)

Shunra
Minor: The creature is dazed for 1 round but defends itself normally. Save negates
Major: The creature is shaken for 2d6 rounds, save for half.
Severe: The creature is confused for 1d10 minutes, save to reduce to 1 round
Deadly: The creature is petrified. Save negates, but the creature is dealt 3d8 damage + 1 point / caster level (max +25)

Sodra
Minor: The creature is dazed for 1 round but defends itself normally. Save negates
Major: The creature is weakened, its strength score dropping by 2d6 points for 2d4 rounds, save for half of each.
Severe: The creature is paralyzed for 1d10 minutes, save to reduce to 1 round
Deadly: The creature is killed if living, Undead and constructs are unaffected. Save negates, but the creature is dealt 3d8 damage + 1 point / caster level (max +25)

Valra
Minor: The creature is deafened 1d4 rounds, save negates
Major: The creature is blinded 2d4 rounds, save for half
Severe: The creature is paralyzed for 1d10 minutes, save to reduce to 1 round
Deadly: The creature is killed, or destroyed if undead. Constructs are unaffected. Save negates, but the creature is dealt 3d6 damage + 1 point / caster level (max +25)


One of the spells in the document that has been a source of amusement in game time and again.

Donate
Transmutation [Balcra, Metamagic]
Level: Wiz 3
Range: Touch
Target: A spontaneous caster
Duration: 10 minutes / level (D)
Saving Throw: Will Negates (Harmless)

You must expend a spell preparation as an additional cost to cast this spell. The targeted creature may cast this spell as if the spell was on their list of known spells so long as it is on their class spell list and they are high enough level to cast it. (If either of these conditions isn’t true, donate has no effect).


I am quite disappointed and discouraged at the reception (or lack thereof) of this.


By the way folks (if anyone other than Jezai is reading this), I'm wondering which type line works best.

School [Descriptor]

This is the current standard. Since spell alignments are descriptors this can work.

{Ritual} School [Descriptor]
Example: Ritual Necromancy [Death, Metamagic, Sodra]

This is what I'm currently using. Whether or not something is a ritual is vitally important as it governs whether the spell can be cast by non spell casters using spell craft of a sufficient rank (twice the spell's level, so non spellcasters can start casting rituals at level 2).

{Ritual} Alignment School [Descriptor]
Example: Ritual Sodran Necromancy [Death, Metamagic]

This puts emphasis on the alignment of the spell. All spells have an alignment in the setting. I'm leaning towards going through and applying this format, but figured I'd check for public opinion.


Jezai wrote:


1. You can move out of range of a thrown rock with a single move action if you aren't in close quarters. And a thrown rock can be deflected through other methods (monster throws it back, wind wall, etc) It needs a will save

Both of them need a will save. Abeyance does 1 thing that silence does, hence it is 1st level to silence's 2nd.

Jezai wrote:
It would still be better if there was some kind of way to determine how much food feeds how many people. I don't want to bust out a calculator to determine if x tribe still goes hungry or not. It would be easier to use if everything was just kept and in addition a line was added that said how many people were fed per caster level that would be good.

I'm not trying to be mean, but I can only see the most pedantic of players and GM's having a problem with this spell leaving this out. That degree of nit picking just makes the whole experience of role playing a pain in the ass that I won't tolerate or cater for.

Jezai wrote:
Guards and wards still covers an aburation ideal, protecting something. Acid rain would probably be one of the best blast spells in the game (its strictly more powerful then a intensified fireball) and would be a slap in the face to evocation.

You've made your point - It's level will be raised one step.

Jezai wrote:
addle- Yes, it hits them and then what? The wizard blows one level one spell and then hits you with a level five one. At low levels he'll blow a level one spell and then hit you with his level two spell. Its never worth it. Even without a will save.

Change to

Quote:
Aggravated assault- I take a lesser rod of quickening and fill all my seventh level slots with quickened version of it and I give my imp familiar with UMD a wand of it. Its not balanced.

Disagree - I've seen that trick played, and it just gets the imp hit with a kill spell in record time. The spell will stay, mainly because it's one of the spells that wasn't changed on this pass and its not been broken in games I've ran for the better part of 10 years.

Besides, if you think aggravated assault on a wand with an imp is bad, try an imp packing a wand of counterspell.

Quote:
Alluring scent- Maybe, but still its a spell that might be good for one or two encounters (Maybe three?) and when it comes down to it a bard has to pick spells that she will be using every day. I could totally see this being used, just not by a bard (unless they used a scroll)...

Drop to 1st level, change bonus to +2 / level (max +10)

And it's not just saving space - reading "components: v, s" repeatedly bothers me. Also, I print these out for personal use on lulu.com so yes, printed length does matter.


Jezai wrote:

I've looked over all the spells that start with A and B and you have quite a bit of work to do.

Although the spells have flavor, and there is a clear effort to create unique and interesting spells, they are wildly out of balance. Almost every spell I saw had issues and almost all of them have formatting errors. The entire document needs a solid shakedown and look over.

Thanks for taking the time to do this. Responses

Abeyance - No, quite on target, you forget how powerful Silence is. Silence has a longer range, stops over 95% of the spells in the game, can be cast on an object and thrown at the target to disrupt a spell mid casting with no save or spell resistance roll allowed.

Abundance - Goodberry can feed two to eight people. Abundance can feed two to eight HUNDRED people, possibly more, by passing the container around. The spell is based on the miracle of the loaves and fish from the Bible. It's not going to be used frequently (which is why its a ritual) by adventurers, but in a famine struck area it could be used to alleviate a lot of suffering or, conceivably, keep a small village from going under.

Accelerated Decay has a duration of 1 round / 2 levels because it deals out 2 dice of damage each round - this works out to 1d8 / caster level for a 3rd level against a specific range of targets. Changing it's duration to 1 round / level will double its damage and put it far out of scope with pretty much every spell in the game. Also, the spell is a druid answer to undead - while better than no answer it shouldn't eclipse clerical answers.

Acid Rain won't be the only spell that slides out of school in certain modes. Guards & Wards holds the record for most over the map craziness in this regard.

Addle - "Shunra" or "Balcra" will almost certainly nail a wizard every time; "Valra" will hit a cleric, "Abora" will hit a druid. "Sodra" is chancy unless your dealing with a wizard or cleric known to love undead. While you can pick the other descriptors, the five tend to be the most effective. That said, the spell is still relatively weak, especially since it's a willpower save. Removing the saving throw is one possibility, but feels heavy handed.

Afflict exists to show the low level base line of these type of effects.

Aggravated Assault is only broken if the campaign is broken. It's very much a litmus test against the balance of other factors in the game. If your game is balanced it's a niche spell - because circumstances where your own character's actions aren't worth as much as another character's actions should be rare (aggravated assault on the party fighter while fighting an iron golem is nice). However, I know the spell can get out of hand with a 5th level caster alongside a 10th level target for the spell, but I'll counter that isn't the spell's fault - rather the circumstances themselves are broken and unfun and the spell is only the messenger, not the guilty party.

Alluring Scent to 1st level perhaps? Its interaction with stinking cloud (countering it) is what prompted it's initial level assignment.

Arc Lighting does have reflex for half - this fact isn't repeated because it clearly states "As lightning bolt..." That means you start from lightning bolt's description and then apply the changes outlined therein. Redundant information, like the saving throw type, is omitted.

Speaking of ommission - You probably noted the components are, more often than not omitted, as is spell resistance. The reason is that to save space components are "V, S" unless the entry says otherwise, and spell resistance is "yes" unless it says otherwise, finally the casting time is "1 standard action" unless it says otherwise.

Armor of Thorns - 2d6 then?

Attunement - Mnuemonic enhancer takes 10 minutes to cast. Attunement is 1 action. Mnuemonic enchancer gives you a 3rd level spell, a 2nd and a 1st level spell, or 3 1st level spells. Attunement can get you an 8th level spell on the fly at its high end, and when you first can cast it then it can give you 2 new 3rd level spells in ONE ACTION at a cost of 2 4th level spells. There's a very big difference in the scope of these spells. Attunement likely needs to be toned down to be honest, but it's been left alone because its never been popular as is.

Befoul - I'll admit this one is funny to read more than practical. If a creature is hit by it the key effect is nauseated - that takes them out of the fight and makes all the other effects largely irrelevant. At the end of the day that's what this spell amounts to - fort save or be punched out of the fight.

Blade storm - directing spells with movable elements is a move equivalent action in general (see flamesphere) but that should be added to the spell's description - good catch.

Blinding light - justify too powerful. This is a light spell that can blind creatures vulnerable to it - but there's darkness at 2nd level that does the same thing in the same area of effect. This is a 4th level spell which adds a 1 round dazzle and effective darkness to light sensitive monsters on top of the effects of a 3rd level spell - daylight. As 4th level spells go I'd say its on the weak side.

Blood Pet - Yeah, the spell definitely needs to make the pet worth creating - but the flavor of losing hit points to create the beastie should remain. Ideas?

Break Slumber - No, 3rd level we have dispel magic which can dispel anything. That forces this spell to be 2nd because it is strictly worse than dispel magic - Fatigue effects are a very small subset of spells, this one is fine. Also, while it is true this has other applications, so does dispel magic and those applications (target dispel, counterspell) are generally more useful than dispelling natural fatigue.

Brute Resolve's primarily purpose is to be illustrative of Shunra's nature - of preferring strength and action to intelligence and contemplation. Exactly how to use it though is left open - all the uses you mention are valid.

Buried Alive - Digging out? That's at least a DC 30 check, more if the rock is heavier. As for a stone floor - earth means earth - not stone, wood or the like - so that needs to be clarified.


In the setting all magic ultimately comes from one of five deities known as the exarchs. They are sort of like Ao from the Realms in that they don't receive direct worship or have any dealings with mortals. Their touch is felt however in that there are five outer planes, and there are five alignments and everything is aligned.

The descriptors of these alignments are:

Aboran or “green” spells are concerned with driving the forces of natural growth. Commoners often beseech druids and other casters of this magic to use their powers to insure a good harvest or to stave off nature’s wrath. However Abora can also invoke such wrath and will often do so to destroy the forces it views as enemies. Aboran philosophy is concerned with birth, growth, and renewal, and as such most of the spells that enhance living creatures belong to it.

Balcran magic doesn’t commonly enter the thoughts of the commonfolk, for it is the magic of thought and possibility – and with that comes illusions, divinations and other highly subtle spells. If this was all Balcran magic could do it would quickly fall behind the other types in power, but oddly a Balcran wizard is the one all others are loathe to fight a spell duel with for this philosophy has the some of the most powerful metamagic spells at its disposal giving it the ability to quickly adapt its already flexible spell selection to the needs at hand. It is also readily able to dispel or counterspell the threats opponents raise against it.

Shunra: The often fiery magics of Shunra are known as “red magic.” Among commoners these spells rank right up with violet magic as being the most feared of spells. While Shunra is denounced as a magic of destruction, it is reality a magic of unbridled passion. It is active, energetic, primal and when need be it is furious. Easily the most offensive minded of the alignments when it comes to spell application, Shunran magic isn't especially good at protection or dispelling threats.

Sodra's magic is the most feared since it is the magic of death, fear and darkness. While Sodran philosophy is centered around the individual, the magic of Sodra consists of the very forces which constrain an individual and forces to transcend them, such as the magic of undeath. Many claim Sodra's spells are inherently evil and cannot be used for good, but the proponents of the philosophy have never been ones to concern themselves with such outmoded concepts as good and evil.

Finally, the philosophy of Valra, that community is pre-eminent, shines through in its magic with an abundant selection of spells to ward and heal members of the community. Spells which invoke the wills of the deities worshiped in the community tend also to be Valran. Valran magic is sometimes called yellow or gold magic.

If you aren't interested in this alignment system - inspired by a certain collectible card game - you can ignore it for most of the spells in the PDF. There are a few however that care about spell alignment.

While those are the most obvious 5 descriptors, here are some of the other new ones in brief:

Abjuration spells are divided evenly between two subscools - dispel and ward.

Divination spells are divided between Insight, Sensory and Scrying.

Enhancement spells enhance something about the target - an ability score or saving throw - or confer an ability - like the shocking weapon property.

Evocation has a new subschool - Invocation - which are the spells that channel a deity's personal power or authority.

Metamagic spells alter the casting ability of creatures or the spells themselves. Imbue with Spell ability is a core rules example.

Time spells alter time - Time Stop, Slow, Haste from the core are here.

Finally wild spells are wild magic.

INCANTATIONS & RITUALS
In short, a spell with a full round casting time or less is an incantation, otherwise it's a ritual. Wizards cast rituals directly from their spellbook, Sorcerers must use a scroll or a ritual book, Clerics must refer to a prayerbook and so on. Rituals simply take too long to memorize any significant part of them, and the longest rituals can take many hours to cast.

The sorcerer class is the most affected by this change. Spells like scrying and sending are now available to sorcerers without occupying one of their precious spells known slots.

A character can perform any number of rituals so long as their spell levels do not exceed her character level. So a 9th level character can perform a 5th level ritual and a 4th level ritual in the same day, or a 4th level ritual and 5 1st level rituals in one day, and so on.

Non-spellcasters may also attempt rituals if they have a spellcraft skill. They may perform a ritual if they have more ranks in spellcraft than twice the spell's level (a 5th level spell takes 10 ranks in spellcraft to cast). The combined level of the rituals performed cannot exceed half the character's ranks in spellcraft. Hence a 10th level fighter with 10 ranks in spellcraft can perform one 5th level ritual. For purposes of this rule divine and arcane spellcraft are separate skills. The character's caster level is their ranks in spellcraft.

Some incantations can be cast as rituals for greater effect, usually in terms of their duration. When this is the case the spell description will have notes for its use as a ritual. When a spellcaster has an incantation prepared or knows it as a spell they may choose to use the spell slot to cast the ritual instead of having it count against their rituals limit for the day.

X LEVEL SPELLS
A spell with a level of X has a scaling effect depending on what level they where prepared at or cast from. If they have a minimum level they can be cast at it will be noted as "4+X" for a spell with a minimum level of 5. X can never be 0 for these spells. Wizards learn these spells normally, but they take up space in their spell book equal to the highest level the wizard can cast them at.

When a sorcerer learns an X level spell he chooses a spells known slot for it and may cast the spell at that level or lower. Whenever he gains a level he may promote the X level spell into recently gained spells known slots and immediately choose a replacement for it in the slot it occupied - this is in addition to any other spell swaps he may be entitled to perform at that level.

X spells go a long way towards creating true parity between sorcerer and wizard, but their major purpose is to streamline scaling spell descriptions. Pain Touch and Oathbind are the two most illustrative spells of this.

Keep in mind this document is a first draft. There will be bugs (I know of a few already)


So, I've finished re-evaluating my setting spells and rebalancing them for Pathfinder - at least through to a 1st draft. I need help spotting for errors or play balance problems - and with this many spells there's got to be at least one.

The spells are in a PDF document here..

https://www.facebook.com/download/148525221966408/Pathfinder%20Spells%20-%2 0Draft.pdf

There is a group there to join for discussion on the spells if you wish. I'll watch for posts over here for at least awhile.

The spells individually should work on any setting.

To save space, if the casting time is omitted, it's "1 standard action" If the components are omitted, its "V, S" and for divine casters "DF" as well.


I'm currently revising my setting for complete Pathfinder compatibility, with a net release. The area from them that most GM's will find useful are the spells. While I'm working on them (there's around 300 of them I think) I'll preview some of the more fun ones in this forum. I am looking for concerns and feedback on them.

First up two spells from enemy alignments - Valra's Circle of Hands and Sodra's Dark Ritual.

Circle of Hands
Ritual Transmutation [Metamagic, Valra]
Level: (9), Clr 9
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: [see text]
Targets: Up to 1 creature / level
Duration: [see text]

“In Union, power.” ~ Aurnonian teaching.

All creatures to be affected by this ritual join in a circle of hands. Each of the spellcasters in this group may cast one spell of touch or personal range upon all in the circle instead of one target. These spells do not take effect immediately - instead at the conclusion of the circle each recipient has one day to activate the spells they received from the circle - their durations then play out normally on that recipient.

Dark Ritual
Ritual Necromancy [Sodra, Death, Metamagic]
Level: (1), Clr 1
Components: V, S, M, L
Casting Time: 1 night
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: Until next dawn.

“If there is such a thing as too much power, I have never discovered it.” ~ Ciranu.

This sinister ritual drains the lifeforce from a creature and converts it to spell energy. At the conclusion of the ritual you prepare spells as a character of level equal to the creature's level or hit dice, or two levels higher than your own level, whichever is higher. Until the following sunrise your spell casting level is also elevated.

The victim must remain bound to an altar during the whole of the ritual. They receive no saving throw or spell resistance to avoid the ritual, but the ritual doesn't provide any means to bind them or prevent them from disrupting the casting in any way.

Material Component: The creature to be sacrificed, which must be sentient. Especially pure victims (paladins, clerics, unicorns, infants, virgins, etc) may yield more energy than their character level or hit dice would otherwise indicate.

Location: This spell can only be cast on unhallowed ground.


Yeah, it has been a long time hasn't it? Over 10 years. I'd reckon the setting is all but forgotten. Still, that means that for those following the thread this is all new.

Dusk is very alignment driven. Everything in the setting has an alignment. But the catch is, this isn't law/chaos, good/evil alignment. Instead the setting uses chromatic alignment. There are five such alignments and they are named for their planes of origin, and nicknamed for their colors - Yellow, Blue, Violet, Red and Green. Each alignment is sympathetic (or at least apathetic) to two other alignments, and antithetic to two others. The lines of these relationships form a pentagram inset into a pentagon.

While this balance principle draws much on Magic: The Gathering some of the principles stretch back far, far further, such as the principles of Chinese alchemy (Wood, Metal, Stone, Air, Water) and similar five element models, like Legend of the Five Rings.

Here's a cliff notes version of what the five alignments are.

Valra
Valra is the alignment of community, law, structure, subservience and civilization. It clings tightly to the old proverb, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." It is an alignment which calls upon individuals to give up their individuality to serve the community at large. Its adherents seek perfect harmony between all individuals even if those individuals must mute themselves significantly. Valran spells glow yellow under the scrutiny of detect magic.

Valra is opposed by Sodra, which represents individuals and whose adherents champion the individual rights and freedoms that Valra seeks to quash in order to bring about harmony. It is also opposed by Shunra, an alignment which shuns the massive complexity of Valran law and structure and would prefer a simpler life.

Valra is sympathetic to Balcra, an alignment that shares with Valra a love of knowledge. If only Balcra would learn that some facts and theories must not be explored for the sake of society. Valra also finds an ally in Abora since both have a love of communal structures, though Valra doesn't approve of the more viscious forms Abora's natural community sometimes takes.

Balcra
Balcra is the alignment of knowledge, order, purity, and the physical elements air and water. It is a champion of both the gathering and the spread of knowledge and science. It is an alignment of endless inquiry, curiousity and seeks to take the world apart to understand it better. Its adherents seek only to know all that which can be known. Balcran magic glows blue under the scrutiny of detect magic.

Balcra is opposed by Shunra which is illogical, irrational, chaotic and impulsive, all things Balcra despises. Balcra is opposed to Abora since that color holds that the world cannot be understood piecemeal by only holistically - further Balcra chafes at the Aboran notion that people are born to destiny and fate - concepts Balcra soundly refuses to believe in.

Balcra is sympathetic to Sodra since they both crave knowledge. But Sodra seeks knowledge to advance the self, where Balcra passes no such judgement on knowledge. Likewise Valra is endeared to Balcra as well, but this lack of passing judgements on knowledge infuriates Valran thinking just as much.

Sodra
Sodra is the alignment of the Individualism, Independence, Strife, Acquisition, Confidence and Mortality. Sodra's adherence are very much into the idea of being all that they can be and not backing down from any challenge to prove themselves. Sodran magic glows violet under the scrutiny of detect magic.

Valra calls Sodra selfish, Sodra sees Valra as tyrannical and loathsome because it seeks (in Sodra's eyes) to take away the very freedom which make life worth living. Abora calls Sodra irresponsible but Sodra refuses to buy into the idea that nature is unable to adapt to the actions of men, nor is it willing to buy into the idea that both its opposed alignments put forward that communities are more important than individuals. They are not to Sodra - communities exist to serve their people, and unless everyone gains from them they serve no purpose.

Sodra finds Balcra comforting since its pursuit of knowledge can be used to strengthen and educate the self. If only Balcra wasn't so willing to shed off the things that make being alive so much fun in that pursuit. In Shunra the alignment of Sodra sees a celebration of freedom and life, but Shunra should learn to temper its impulses more.

Shunra
Shunra pursues simplicity, emotion, passion, and is associated with the physical elements fire and earth and the magic of Shunra is well known for its violence. While Shunra's adherents aren't stupid, they aren't plodding thinkers either. The are quick to anger but quick to forgive, constantly acting, constantly in motion. Those who don't understand the alignment use the term Chaotic to describe it, but Shunra doesn't act without any reason, though as often as not whim is the only reason it has. Under detect magic shunran spells glow red.

Shunra dislikes Balcra because it is a coldly logical, inactive, plodding, plotting alignment. The conflict of these colors isn't so much philosophical as tempermental. Shunra dislikes Valra because it seeks to control Shunra and dictate to Shunra what it can and cannot do through law. While Shunra might abide with some basic guidelines - don't kill, don't steal, the complicated laws and arrangements of Valra are just so much nonsense it would rather be free.

Shunra sees in Sodra a fellow seeker of freedom. If only Sodra would live a little more and not be so obsessive with this idea of personal perfection. Shunra sees in Abora a lover of nature and passions, but Abora also just needs to unwind a bit and not worry so much with maintaining things.

Abora
Abora is the alignment of nature and the physical world. Where the other four seek change in the world, Abora likes the world as it is and wants it to remain without change. Abora believes in fate, destiny and that the will and way of the world will have its say before any individual will can. Such things Abora perceives as illusory. Aborans hold that we are born to our fate and nothing will change that. Under the analysis of detect magic the spells of Abora glow green.

Abora is opposed to Balcra because it puts forth this idea that the world can somehow be subdivided and modeled. The whole Abora argues is more than the sum of the parts. Further, Balcra holds that knowledge allows someone to become more than they are, but Abora holds that such will is an illusion - that learning won't occur unless the capacity was already there. Abora isn't so much opposed to Sodra as it sees its transient concerns as being inconsequential. Why worry with the self when the self cannot endure. Only communities, only the world itself endures - why not work to build these things up instead.

Abora is sympathetic to Valra's push for harmony, but it is unwilling to see passion and instinct quashed for that goal. Further it finds Valra's willingness to explore some of Balcra's crazier ideas to be disturbing. Abora tolerates Shunra much like a parent tolerates a violent child, hoping one day Shunra learns to reign itself in and not give into self serving indulgences.

Alignment in Play
As with the standard alignment system, players choose an alignment above and play their character as someone who holds the values of that alignment to be true and important. Alignments tend to label the values of opposed alignments as immoral or outright evil. The values of allied alignments are inconsequential to them.

Unlike the standard alignment system, if a player has a character do something consistent with another alignment either in a momentous act or slowly over time the character does not lose the alignment they had. Instead they pick up the new alignment. It is possible to play a character with any number of alignments, though most characters will have only one or two. They need not be allied alignments - a character who is both Valran and Sodran is possible, though their thoughts and actions will have a lot of cognitive dissonance to them. Characters can lose an alignment over time though this is rare and usually occurs due to an atonement spell.

Speaking of spells, the alignment based spells of the Dusk setting are rewritten to take these alignments into account. A character counts for all the alignments they have, and if there are multiple effects the spell acts in the worst possible way for the target. (so a spell that heals 1d8/level to Valra and deals 1d8/level to Sodra will deal 1d8/level to a character with both alignments).


This spell came up last session...

Quote:

Limited Resources

Abjuration (Ward) [Valra]
Level: (6), Clr 7
Area: 20' radius burst.

Spells and supernatural abilities have their minimum possible effect in the area.

Anti magic shell is the reference spell for this one's level.


Today, Halflings, the only race in the setting that doesn't work as in the core.

Now that I'm home and have access to my books I can post the whole entry for the race.

Halfings
“The world can be a big place for one as small as I, but being small gives you a proper prespective.” - Geldasin

The halflings of Carthasana call themselves the "oyasini." They lie between the world of elves and pixies, similar to each race but directly tied to neither.

Physiology: Oyasini are the smallest of the kindred races, standing 3’ tall at the most with some as short as 2 ½’. Their skin ranges from chalk white to a light blush hue - their silk fine hair runs the gamut of red and blond shades, although on rare occasion light cyan and white are seen among their number. Oyasini eyes are blue, pink, violet or steel grey.

Like elves, Oyasini have somewhat exaggerated eyes, but they don’t share the larger race’s inability to move their eyeballs. They have much the same bone structure as elves, but since they are smaller they don’t suffer the slow growth effects of the larger race. In some sense they have the best of both worlds.

Oyasi (the females) have a pregnancy of 7 months and childhood for the oyasini is only 10 years, though many act socially childish well into their thirties. Player character Oyasi are assumed to be around 20 at which time they’ve developed a bit more common sense.

Oyasini differ from the halflings of other worlds because the females have wings that, while too small to allow true flight, can allow them to fall safely from any height. These wings grow out up to 6’ when extended, but they can retract down and be hidden under flowing robes and gowns.

Personality: Oyasini are infamous for their senses of curiousity. Some are all too willing to parrot an near endless series of “why’s” to anyone foolish enough to answer the question. A popular game among the oyasini is the question game – where every response is phrased as a question. This said, oyasini are only truly irritating when they want to be – most are wise enough to understand that the bigger races don’t appreciate the endless interrogation.

Still this irritation stems a bit from something deeper. Oyasini always question things. They are patient to a fault and want to make sure that they all their options are understood. So despite their nimble forms, oyasini society and individuals tend to be a bit plodding when plotting courses of action.

Description & Clothing: Oyasini prefer flowing gowns above all other types of dress, and both the males and females are unlikely to be found in any other type of garment while among their own kind. Their dress is not colorful - usually it is a single white or with a hint of color. When traveling among humans or elves they favor the use of cloaks and other garments that break up their outline.

Relations: Oyasini lack the size to easily defend themselves in a head to head conflict, so they prefer to act as peacemakers, particularly when travelling in foreign lands. Their easy-going nature makes them welcome among all of the kindred races, though their reputation for picking things up or outright stealing makes sure they are usually well watched.

Marriage & Family: Oyasini practice polyandry - which is to say that one wife will have multiple husbands. Three is the usual number, though rich matriarchs with as many as twenty husbands are not unknown. Part of the reason for this practice is that females only account for one-third the population of race. Males are expendable - females are not. While matriarchy may tinge some of the other cultures so far explored in this book, it is firmly entrenched in Oyasini society and the status quo. Females wield great political power within the numbers of oyasini. They hold all the priestly and administrative positions of the clan hold government and their rule is largely unquestioned.

Oyasini Lands: Oyasini prefer to live near to the sea or in commerce centers where news travels quickly. Their homelands are the Great Kristobal Forest in the south of Losineris. There giant trees hold whole cities miles off the ground. Oyasini, regardless of where they are, prefer to sleep as far off the ground as practical.

Religion: Oyasini religion is purely monotheistic. They believe that the goddess Ooyas-shandra created the world for them and then created spirits to administer her world. Oyasini tend to classify the gods of other religions as mere spirits that have gone renegade and forgot their true place in the world.

Language: The oyasini language is similar in most respects to elven (silvani) save that it contains plosive sounds. Oyasini use a modified version of the elven alphabet for their writings.

Names: An oyasi will have 3 main names – her own is first, then her mothers and then her clan’s. An oyasoi (male) will have 4 – as listed above and his “maiden” name since lineage in oyasini society is traced by matriarchy. Among humans oyasini tend to use whatever nicknames their friends have given them.

Adventurers: Most oyasini adventure to sate their endless curiosity.

Statistics
Male Oyasini, the oyasoi, use the entry for halflings in the core rules. Female Oyasini, the oyasi, have the following racial traits:

+2 DEX, +2 WIS, -2 STR. Oyasi tend to be less outgoing and more introspective than the oyasoi.

Winged: From puberty onward Oyasi grow a set of wings each spring which sloth off in winter like the antlers of deer. Each year the wings become larger and more colorful, starting from white, moving to phosphorescent at sexual maturity, then slowly becoming more translucent each year until they are all but transparent among the venerable. As a result fly is always a class skill for the oyasi.

Oyasi cannot fly outright without the aid of a levitation spell or stronger flight magic, but they can glide short distances on a DC 15 fly check

Small: Oyasi are small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.

Keen Senses: Oyasi receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.

Weapon Familiarity: Oyasi are proficient with spears and treat any weapon with the word “oyasin” in its name as a martial weapon.

Base Speed (Slow Speed): Oyasi have a base speed of 20 feet.

Languages: Oyasini begin play speaking Dalsundri and Oyari. Oyasi with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Kilrasic, Silvani, Sylvan or Kort.


Warning you now - campaign settings are the most popular RPG product to write but invariably they are the poorest selling product you can possibly write. The reason is time investment - it takes awhile for another GM to read your notes - almost as long as it would take him to write his own. So most elect to write their own unless there's either a large amount of it out there or an established player base that will come to the table wanting to play *that* setting, such as Greyhawk or the Realms.

It's nice to be able to put stuff out there under the OGL, but getting a profit back on it isn't likely.


Back in May I restarted my long dormant game with my current play group at their insistence - I hadn't ran at all for 3 years. My setting, Dusk, has been setting on the shelf a long time. One of the nice parts of Pathfinder is I don't need to do massive changes to the rules to get things to work, and with a 320 page book and far less time to tinker than I had 12 years ago I suppose that's a good thing. But over the last three months the play balance of some of the pieces has went askew. PF is, honestly, power creeped a couple notches over the base line the setting book was written for. That isn't a bad thing, but it does involve re-evaluating a lot of materials. So I figure a thread would be a good place for this.

So what will follow over the next few months is odds and ends. I'll post something each day to look at. Might be a spell, a feat, a race. Mostly items that I feel need looking at, and in some discussion why. We'll start with a spell and, since it's rather simple in what it does, I'll look at some of my thoughts in simplifying and cleaning the spell header blocks.

Quote:

Counterspell

Immediate Abjuration (Dispel) [Balcra]
Level: (4), Sor/Wiz 5

Counter target spell.

"Can the strong be denied by one so weak? Yes - for strength is nothing; timing is all." - Telisindria

So, as to the missing information. School and casting time are part of the type line for the spell. In this case "Immediate Abjuration (Dispel) [Balcra]". Immediate is one of three casting times, the other two are Ritual and single action. A ritual spell can't be cast in combat. Immediate spells can be cast as long as you aren't flat footed, up to one per turn. Other spells don't have their casting time explicitly stated - it gets redundant to call out a spell as having 1 standard action since most spells have that casting time.

The descriptor of [Balcra] means the spell's energy is drawn from the outer plane of Balcra. This is the alignment of the spell, and all spells in my setting have an an alignment in the manner of Magic: The Gathering, though over the years the implementation has drifted far from the card game, though not far enough to be unrecognizable.

Dispel is one of Abjuration's two sub-schools. The other is Ward.

The level line remains and has a new bit of information the number after in parenthesis - "(4)". This is the root level of the spell. While a given class may learn the spell at a higher level, no class will learn a spell at a level lower than the root. The root level is given mostly as a GM and new spell creator's reference. In the case of counterspell Sorcerers and Wizards pick up the spell at 5th. There is a prestige class that can use it at 4th but that's the lowest level the spell should ever appear at.

Components are assumed to be verbal and somatic - most spells have these. If a spell has a material component it will have to mention it in the description text anyway, rendering this line redundant.

Ranges are assumed to be encounter - roughly equivalent to medium - and basically encompassing all the area on a normal tactical map. Close is simplified to just 25'. Touch is also possible. When spells with other ranges are encountered the range line is included unless the spell is a ritual. The range of rituals is also unstated since their casting time is assumed to be in terms of minutes or even hours, so they almost always will be touch affairs.

The target line is omitted on nearly all spells because it is cleaner to call it out in the description.

The duration is omitted here because it's instantaneous, and again, a spell's duration is assumed to be either instantaneous or for the encounter - which should be apparent from reading the description.

Saving throws and spell resistance are only called out when they are applicable. In the case of counterspell, they aren't, so they are omitted.

All of which brings us to the terse effect line which is now identical to the inspiring card: "Counter target spell." We have a (normally) 5th level spell that, as an immediate action, blocks the casting of any other spell - no level check, no saving throw, no spell resistance.

Which in and of itself should open up some debate, but for the moment I'll step from the floor.


Ah, beer and pretzels makes anything better.


Didn't mean to touch off a discussion of gamer dining habits. I have banned computers from the table (other than my own) but food never seemed to be a distraction.


What themes pervade your game? What rituals does your group have?

In my current Pathfinder game I chose out this song to start off each session. The players are to listen to it and get their minds into character before we start...

You're Not Alone (You Tube)

Quote:

LYRICS:

COPYRIGHTED 2008 by katethegreat19

Lost in darkest blue
Endless labyrinths weaving though
Will you stagger on,
with no star to light your way?
Share with me your tears
All your troubles and deepest fears
I remember when
you chased all my shadows away

Won't you take my hand?
Come away with me from this land
Let me give to you
all that you have given to me
Fly horizon bound
Find the moon behind darkening clouds
Even far apart,
know our souls together will be

When the storm draws nigh
Dreams will shatter before your eyes
Know that you're not alone
When the battle starts
I will comfort your restless heart
You'll know that you are home

When your stars stop shining
Endless vines around you winding
Know that you're not alone
I will give my all
So your tears will no longer fall
Down, down on sorrow's stone

Look into my eyes
All eternity you will find
In this fragile heart,
know that you will always belong
Shout into the night
Show the darkness that you will fight
Hopeless you may feel,
but inside I know you are strong

Keep me in your heart
So we'll never be far apart
Let the bonds of love
break these chains imprisoning you
Always you will find
Shadows lingering close behind
Lift your spirits now,
We shall be together soon

When the storm draws nigh
Dreams will shatter before your eyes
Know that you're not alone
When the battle starts
I will comfort your restless heart
You'll know that you are home

When your stars stop shining
Endless vines around you winding
Know that you're not alone
I will give my all
So your tears will no longer fall
Down, down on sorrow's stone

Many of the themes of the story I'm telling with the players are repeated there - the encroaching darkness "When the storm draws nigh Dreams will shatter before your eyes." Next session is the 10th, and each session has ran an average of 8 hours. They are 900 XP short of 4th level and my plans run well beyond 20th level this time.

Another little ritual is the fact each session has a chapter name.

Thoughts?