Aldern Foxglove

Seginus's page

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Part II of the Path of Shadows 5e playtest has arrived! This part of the playtest details class options for existing classes in D&D 5e. The options are:

  • Primal Path - Path of the Ghost Walker
  • Bard College - College of Secrecy
  • Divine Domain - Darkness
  • Druid Circle - Circle of the Stars
  • Martial Archetype - Hexblade
  • Sacred Oath - Oath of Radiance
  • Ranger Archetype - Unseen Warden
  • Roguish Archetype - Shadow Caller
  • Otherworldly Patron - Dream Eater

You can download the playtest document here.

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Everything I write is under the OGL, and in the next few weeks Path of Iron will end up on the d20pfsrd anyway, so use what you want. The only thing I would definitely ask permission for ahead of time (for any publisher) is if you want to use artwork from a book; some artists only want their pieces used in the work it was commissioned for.

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Seginus wrote:

Ascension Games is looking for artists for our upcoming book, Path of Iron!

Project Details: I'm looking for several illustrations of varying sizes, primarily of character(s) performing some action, such as casting one of the new spells within the book. All illustrations will be full-color pieces. Current need is for five pieces but more will be required in the coming weeks (estimating another 8-10).
Pay Rate: Price varies based on complexity and size of each piece. Payment is half upfront, half upon completion, sent via PayPal.
Additional Details: Pieces are assigned one at a time. If the first piece you complete is of good quality and completed in a reasonable time frame I will look into giving you additional work.
Respond by: I will be accepting submissions until all pieces have been assigned to an artist. Please include examples of your previous work and/or a link to an artwork portfolio; submissions without including prior work will not be considered.

Contact: You can email directly to or use the contact form on the Ascension Games website.

This listing has been filled! Thank you to everyone who submitted.

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The Kickstarter campaign for Path of Iron is now live! Create constructs, make deadly traps, and delve into ancient rune magic with Ascension Game's latest Pathfinder Roleplaying Game book. Ascension Games is a relatively new contender in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game market, aimed at bringing fun, balanced, and intriguing material to your gaming table. Well, with my first book, Path of Shadows being so well received, I want to continue forward with an even better product!

Path of Iron Kickstarter Page

A quick sampling of what you'll find within Path of Iron's 150+ pages of content:

  • Three new base classes: the construct-controlling vanguard, the trap master saboteur, and the rune-casting archivist.
  • Dozens of archetypes and options for your favorite classes. Use flurry of blows with a firearm as a Zen Marksman, utilize Spell Combat with a two-handed weapon as the Arcane Marauder magus, or tap into the mysterious souls of iron with the Metal spirit for shamans.
  • Several feats to support all kinds of play styles, as well as brand-new Technique feats to learn specialized methods of combat. Use the Archon Technique to master the tower shield, or the Titan Technique to wield massive weapons against your foes.
  • Over 80 spells for practically every magic user. Conjure innumerable weapons with the field of blades spell, animate a shield to defend you with dancing steel, and steal the power of magic items with the siphon enchantment spell.
  • New magic weapons, armor, wondrous items, and more. Destroy any barrier with the gatecrasher or keep your favorite equipment in good repair with the apprentice's whetstone.
  • Rune magic, a brand new form of magic casting where every spell grants the caster lingering power to strengthen his next spell.

You can check out previous discussion and announcements both here on the Paizo forums and on the Ascension Games website.

Still not sure? Check here for a sample of the book featuring the vanguard base class.

The campaign will run for 30 days. With your help, we can make this massive book a reality!

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Preview time! Check out rune magic and the archivist base class.

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Today's preview is spells! Check out some of the magic in Path of Iron, as well as some information on the new metal descriptor.

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Time for another preview! Check out the second base class featured in Path of Iron, the vanguard!

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proletarii wrote:
Considered any Prestige Classes? Paizo's not much a fan of them, but some of us really miss them.

I've considered them, but not entirely sold on adding them. The book is already shaping up to have a HUGE amount of content, especially with the archivist and rune magic.

I have had some ideas floating around, like a melee-equivalent to the Arcane Archer would be simple, or an item creation focused class like an Artificer. Another idea would be a character that magically animates weapons, and some prestige classes to work with rune magic would be appropriate. But I don't know if I'll have the time and budget for it (since each class needs another art piece to go with it).

I may make it a stretch goal for the book on Kickstarter if enough people seem interested.

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Today's preview: feats! Check it out to learn about the new Technique feat lines being introduced.

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Aleron wrote:
Now that I have a the same person that did the art for Path of Shadows involved in this? That book was gorgeous and while I generally avoid physical copies of 3rd party books, that would look nice on my shelf!

Danielle Sands, the artist who did the cover piece and iconic nightblade, is already working on pieces as I post this. The saboteur and vanguard pieces are ready to go and the archivist is being worked on now.

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A few short months ago, I released my first book Path of Shadows out to the Pathfinder community (which you can find on DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store,, and the Ascension Games website). The book was a huge undertaking and quite the challenge, but at the end of the day the book has been praised across the board for its design and construction. Now, I want to continue on with the "Path" line of books, aiming to meet and exceed the expectations the community has after Path of Shadows with my newest book, Path of Iron!

Much like my last book, Path of Iron focuses on a specific area of magic, in this case, metal. Now, metal is a bit vague compared to shadows and darkness, which are already clearly defined schools and descriptors in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. So, what exactly is metal magic? In this case, I'm focusing on spells and abilities that utilize physical objects and materials, or more specifically, objects made of metal. Spells that conjure storms of blades, powerful constructs, or turn an opponent's armor to slag are just a sampling of what's in store for Path of Iron. I'll also be including options built around combat and warfare, much like Ultimate Combat does at the moment for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. And just like with Path of Shadows, this book will cover all aspects of Pathfinder: three new base classes, dozens of spells and feats, new magic items, a brand new magic system, plus archetypes and options for plenty of existing classes all will be found within the book.

Of course, the details are what's important, right? Here's an overview of what you can expect in Path of Iron:

  • The archivist base class, a scholarly magician who taps into the ancient art of rune magic, a brand new form of magic casting where every spell serves to strengthen the next. Choose from one of six specializations within rune magic, such as Creation and Revelation, to further enhance your powers in a given area.
  • The saboteur base class, a roguish-type that blends arcane spells with clever tricks and traps. The saboteur is an expert of trap making, able to create deadly devices nearly instantly while bypassing those laid by foes with ease. Fooling divinations, assasination, and reading people's minds are just a few of the tricks the saboteur can master to take on any job.
  • The vanguard base class, a martial-magic hybrid whose innate talent and eldritch power manifests through the animation and control of a powerful construct. Create resonances between your construct's magical power and your own to support your allies or hinder foes, and imbue spells into yourself and your companion to come into effect at a later time.
  • Dozens of new archetypes and options for existing classes. Play archetypes like the Zen Marksman monk to flurry with a firearm, or an Arcane Marauder magus to (finally) use spell combat with a two-handed weapon. Options include new ranger combat styles like Quarterstaff, Spear, and Firearm, or choices like the new Metal spirit for shamans.
  • Spells for casters of all stripes. Shapeshift your greatsword into a halberd with the alter weapon spell, or steal magical enhancements from your opponent's armor with the siphon enhancement spell. Strike all nearby enemies with a single blade spiral or have your weapons and armor act on their own with dancing steel. Included is an alternate rule for adding the "metal" descriptor to these spells and to existing Pathfinder spells like iron body, heart of the metal, and molten orb, of which archetypes, feats, and magic items within this book will support.
  • Feats to support a variety of play styles. Who needs a belt of mighty hurling when you can take the Powerful Throwing feat and use your Strength bonus on attack rolls with thrown weapons? This book will also be introducing new Technique feat chains, which are like Style feats for various weapons and wielding styles. Tear your opponent's armor asunder with the Bebilth Technique, or smash your opponents with a tower shield when using the Archon Technique.
  • New magic equipment, weapon and armor properties, and magic items abound. Use the gatecrasher to destroy any barricade, magical or mundane, or create magic items with ease with the aid of the hammer of the forgemaster.
  • Rune magic, a new form of magic casting that is pioneered by the archivist base class. Each spell leaves lingering power in the form of intricate runes upon the caster, which the caster can then consume to supercharge his next spell. This isn't just an extra feature placed on top of the already-existing spells, this is an all-new list of spells built for this system, with abilities, feats, and magic items to support it.

Kickstarter and Playtest for Path of Iron

A project of this size is certainly a daunting one considering I'm the only author, but rest assured that I intend to deliver a consistent, balanced, and high-quality product, as anyone that has read through Path of Shadows can attest to. However, unlike with Path of Shadows, I can't do it alone.

A book of this size and scale needs more input and funding than just one guy, and as such I will be launching a Kickstarter two weeks from today to fund the project on July 10th, 2015. Of course, feedback and input is just as important. A public playtest of the material will be made available once the Kickstarter is complete, which will include all three base classes and the new rune magic system so the community can give their opinion on the design, strengths, and flaws of the book.

In the meantime, feel free to ask questions about the book or my previous work. Every few days leading up to the Kickstarter launch date I'll be posting teasers for each section and class within the book, going into more detail on each (along with some sweet art by lead artist Danielle Sands). Check back every once in a while leading up to the Kickstarter to find out more!

Thanks for your support and I hope you are as excited as I am for Path of Iron!

Christopher Moore,
Ascension Games, LLC

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While I only have one product out at the moment, if anyone wants to review Path of Shadows I'd be more than happy to send you a copy.

The book is mostly focused on rules and crunch involving darkness, shadows, and illusions, and runs the full gamut of classes, archetypes, options, feats, spells, and magic items. No mythic material or monsters, though. I might do mythic in the future, but I admit that my weakest aspect as a designer for Pathfinder is monster creation so I tend to avoid it (also artwork for monsters is expensive >_>).

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WOW! I don't really know how to respond to your review. I'm ecstatic, to say the least, to receive such a glowing recommendation. I'm glad that all that effort came through in the final product, and I definitely need to let my artists know about your love for their work. Now that the bar has been set for my next books, I have to make the next one even better!

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Ever since Direlock V.2 I haven't seen this good a crunch-offering as first product, so yeah. I am impressed. If Ascension Games becomes a teeny bit more experimental, I'll truly be out of things to complain about.

Well, let's hope I can get to that point somewhere in the next few books. One of my classes in the next book has its own magic system involving runes, so that should be interesting. Now to make sure the other two classes have equally interesting designs!

Also, that character sheet is pretty sweet. If my group didn't already have a character sheet we use frequently I'd definitely recommend it to our nightblade player.

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Cheapy wrote:


How is this similar to the Shadow Assassin or Shadow Warrior from Rogue Genius? How is it different?

Do they have a main class ability? Are they a 6th level caster?

The shadowy-type character is one of my favorite archetypes, so I'm quite interested.

It's very different from either of those, though if you are a fan of Rogue Genius's tendency to add tons of options to choose from you'll feel right at home. The class has five specializations, forty-five "arts" to choose from, plus a lengthy spell list and five archetypes to better customize the class.

The nightblade is an 0-6 caster. It's primary ability score is Charisma, which it uses for the majority of its abilities and its spellcasting. A high Dexterity score is probably what most people would go for considering its focus on stealth and evasion, but Strength builds are certainly doable.

The three main mechanics the nightblade has are its path, shadow surges, and nightblade arts.

Each nightblade has a "Path" representing its specialization within shadow magic; since shadow magic can basically do anything, the nightblade has to choose one aspect to focus on (both for flavor and balance reasons). The five Paths are Bloodied Chain (fear), Darkened Fortress (conjuration, armor/weapons), Eternal Night (death and negative energy), Ravaging Void (evocations), and Twilight Veil (illusions and deception). Each path determines a number of class features, namely its Path Power (an ability usable 1/day plus additional uses as you level, similar to Smite Evil or Judgment), its techniques (core abilities gained at 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels), and also more nightblade arts to choose from.

Shadow surges are the class's resource mechanic. At first, it takes a standard action to gain one and you can only have one at a time, but there is otherwise no limit to how many shadow surges that can be gained and used in a day. Eventually you can have up to three surges at once. The surges can do a variety of effects based on your chosen nightblade arts and your path.

Nightblade arts are much like magus arcana. She gets one at 3rd level and every three thereafter. The effects are pretty wide and often involve expending shadow surges, doing things like extending your reach, rolling twice on certain skill checks, or creating an extraplanar cache on the Plane of Shadow to hold your equipment.

The class gets some other features that fit in with shadow magic and darkness, such as shadow shift (functions similar to shadowdancer's shadow jump), see in darkness, and hide in plain sight.

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Lorathorn wrote:
I don't know if this is a good place in which to ask, but do you have other products in development that you are willing to discuss? I am eager to see more of your work.

Sure thing, it's no secret. I've got at least three more themes that I want to tackle in the "Path" series, which should be similar in scope to Path of Shadows, if not larger than it: Iron, Elements, and Blood.

The next one I'm currently working on Path of Iron. So far I've planned out three base classes and probably a few prestige classes. I don't want to give out too much info since it's in the early stages, but at least one of the base classes will focus on the creation and control of a construct companion. I plan on adding several new metal-based spells, along with a new "metal" descriptor which will be added to spells such as molten orb, chill metal, and iron body.

I also want to include more martial options than there were in Path of Shadows, such as archetypes around firearms or creating traps. One of my definite goals is to give new wielding styles to the Magus class, letting it use ranged weapons, two-weapon fighting, or a two-handed weapon.

And much like Path of Shadows, I don't plan on releasing it in several bite-sized chunks. The book will be released in one piece when it's done; no earlier.

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Wow, wasn't expecting a blog post with my first book front-and-center! I hope everyone here enjoys using Path of Shadows as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Lots of other great products coming out, too. I like the new Mythic base class features a bunch, reminds me of the old epic rules.