Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Technology Guide (PFRPG)

4.30/5 (based on 17 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Technology Guide (PFRPG)
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Ray Guns and Rocket Packs!

It’s one thing to face a dragon armed with a longsword and a suit of magic plate mail, but what if you had an atom gun and powered armor? How many zombies could you blow up with a rocket launcher? What happens if you’re standing next to a graviton reactor when it explodes? All of these questions and more are answered within the pages of the Technology Guide—an invaluable manual of items, hazards, and character options for use in science-fantasy settings like Golarion’s Numeria, land of savagery and super-science!

Within this book, you’ll find:

  • Rules for dozens of new technological items, including weapons, armor, force fields, hologram generators, grenades, cybernetic implants, nanotech devices, remote controls for robots, and more!
  • New feats, spells, and archetypes for technologically savvy characters, along with rules for how your skills interact with super-science.
  • Extraordinarily powerful scientific items and artifacts, such as extinction wave devices, powered armor, and nuclear reactors!
  • The technomancer prestige class, which allows you to use magic to command robots and power your technology .
  • Rules for artificial intelligences, the effects of the passage of time on technological items, the dangers of radiation, the seven skymetals of Numeria, technological traps, and more!

The Technology Guide is a must-have for GMs running the Iron Gods Adventure Path or anyone looking to introduce super-science into any Pathfinder adventure or campaign setting.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-672-0

Technology Guide Errata
Last Updated - 12/16/2014

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paper quality is bad

4/5

Nice book with a lot of sci-fi items,, something like Wizardry in Golarion .. I woud like to give this book 5/5, but I cant. Reason why I cant do like that is simple, the quality of paper is just terrible. Paper Quality of Paizo books is going down, what is sad .. for me 4/5


Essential for Adding Tech to Pathfinder

4/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

The Technology Guide provides gamemasters with the information and items they need to add technology into their fantasy games. It's not particularly exciting or innovative, but that's not really its point. Instead, it forms the necessary baseline for other books to build upon, much like the Core Rulebook provides the baseline rules for the entire game. If you want technology in your games, it's a book you really can't do without.


Meh

2/5

There are some interesting items in here but having sci-fi with magic breaks the immersion for me.


Pretty damn cool

4/5

I picked up this as a pdf because it looked interesting, and I was not disappointed. I used it to write an adventure (crashed UFO in a fantasy setting), and it led to the most fun I have ever had running a game. It would be useful if it had suggestions for other books containing some of the referenced monsters (such as certain types of monsters which I found on the pfsrd), but all in all it does exactly as promised.


Yes. Get it.

5/5

If you have any interest at all in genre fusion in your adventuring, this book is a must buy.


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

Another interesting thought could be, if invisibility can make you immune to a laser, and invisibility is an illusion, does that mean that you could potentially use a spell like illusory wall or even silent image to block or diffuse a laser? Then again, you could probably argue that anything that allows disbelief the laser would probably ignore, acting as if it had successfully disbelieved the illusion...and invisibility can't be disbelieved in, so that works fine. Probably what I would go with as a ruling, myself.

With the darkness issue, the argument is based around the section that reads, "Nonmagical sources of light, such as torches and lanterns, do not increase the light level in an area of darkness," I believe? Interesting, I might be tempted to consider them acting like fog or smoke...though you could also make an argument that they wouldn't be effected at all, since what darkness does is prevent them from increasing the light level...and not actively snuffing the light in question. With this interpretation, the laser would actually be totally invisible and still hit to do normal damage, the darkness acting to contain the light rather than eradicating it. Still, the fact that it inhibits the spread of light in any way certainly leads into arguments for some degree of diffusion...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Billzabub wrote:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

- Arthur C. Clarke

That problem with that statement is that it is assuming magic does not exist at all(I am pretty sure ACC stuck to sci-fi). And if in Golarion magic is just science I am going to probably either ignore it or just go find another world to play in.

It is just annoys me that this statement often used to fool masters of magic in worlds with them both...it kinds like telling a car mechanic that your hi-tech bike is really a car.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Doesn't Darkness also dim nonmagical sources of light, though? Like sunlight or torchlight?

It doesn't just dispel (Light) descriptor spells, it also absorbs nonmagical light. Which a laser would be.


but what if it is a magical laser

Paizo Employee Developer

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A laser is not a source of light. It provides no illumination. It is a ray just like scorching ray and acid arrow, it's just made of super-focused light rather than magical fire or conjured acid.


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itt: laser armor spikes on a pouncing cat robot mount with a rider wielding a laser lance in darkness


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Again... it's not the word "light" that interacts with darkness spells... it's spells with the "Light" descriptor (note the capitalization). Lasers don't have the Light descriptor, so they function normally in darkness like any other ranged weapon.

I don't think this is entirely true. The darkness spell also interacts with non-magical light sources, such as a torch, by canceling their effects, and these kind of of light sources do not have the "light" descriptor.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Mark, it seems.


James Jacobs wrote:
Tels wrote:

I was asking about magical darkness, as from the spell darkness or deepers darkness. While the word 'light' may be just fluff text, the way that 'light' interacts with 'darkness', magical or not, isn't fluff.

If one were to be in an area that is at a natural 'normal' light level (such as under a forest canopy during the day), and cast darkness, the light level would drop to dim light. If you were to light a sun rod, or a torch, or a lantern, or all three of them, it would still be dim light because, "Nonmagical sources of light, such as torches and lanterns, do not increase the light level in an area of darkness."

So if a laser is made of 'focused light', fluff text or not, people are going to argue about how it interacts with darkness spells.

Obscuring Mist, fog and other effects interfere with lasers because they interfere with light. It would stand to reason then, that darkness spells would also interfere with lasers because they are made of light. A non-magical source of light at that.

When it comes to regular darkness there is no problem. Non-magical sources of light brighten up areas of non-magical darkness. It's the areas of magical darkness that is the problem.

How does a laser, a non-magical light effect, interact with an area of magical darkness?

Again... it's not the word "light" that interacts with darkness spells... it's spells with the "Light" descriptor (note the capitalization). Lasers don't have the Light descriptor, so they function normally in darkness like any other ranged weapon.

The word 'light' does interact with darkness spells though. If one were to bring 10,000 lit torches into the area of a darkness spell, they have no effect. Why? Because the darkness spell says they don't.

If 10,000 torches have no effect on the spell, then the laser should have no effect, or reduced effect, on the people in the area of the spell.

The darkness spell even reduces light in areas lit by the sun.

I feel it's something that should be addressed in the book. Even a line as simple as, "Laser weaponry are not affected by areas of magical darkness." Such a line would stop any such debate, though I imagine people will still argue about what they 'think' the interaction should be.

This isn't some convoluted logic jump here either. Darkness spells prevent non-magical sources of light from working in the area. A laser is a non-magical source of focused light. Logically, this would mean it would not work in an area of magical darkness.


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That darkness spell doesn't prevent those torches from causing fire damage so since a laser is energy as well as light it would still do fire damage in an area of magical darkness.


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Will this book cover hoverboards?

How about auto-strapping high tops?


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biff travels back in time to make his younger self place a bet on Aroden dying, becomes ruler of Golarion with the winnings

omg spoilers


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Lamontius wrote:

biff travels back in time to make his younger self place a bet on Aroden dying, becomes ruler of Golarion with the winnings

omg spoilers

And then he loses the sports almanac and Pharasma gets mad and omg that's how prophecy on Golarion got broken D:


Dragon78 wrote:
That darkness spell doesn't prevent those torches from causing fire damage so since a laser is energy as well as light it would still do fire damage in an area of magical darkness.

That's a good point about torches still dealing fire damage, however, the torches are fire, and fire emits light. Sure, the darkness spell prevent slight from working, but it doesn't interact with fire outside of the light it emits.

A laser, however, is 100% light. It's focused light, to be sure, but it's still light. If darkness spells prevent light spells and light effects from functioning normally in such an area, then, logically, it must have some sort of effect on lasers as well.

Now, personally, I could see it going either way. Perhaps because the light in a laser is 'focused' that it isn't affected by darkness spells. Makes sense to me. Kind of like how sunlight passes through a windows harmlessly, but a laser beam damages the glass.

Conversely, it also makes sense to me that lasers are affected by darkness spells, because people inside fog clouds or effects gain both cover and concealment in such areas when targeted by lasers. Why does this happen? Well, here we have to put on our Real World(TM) caps and we know that when light passes through smoke, mist, or other such effects, it gets scattered and less focused.

So if a fog cloud grants both cover and concealment from laser weaponry, logically, magical darkness should then have some sort of effect on laser weaponry as well.

To me, both sides make equal sense.


Similar to the darkness question, how will lasers interact with mirrors? Can you reflect a laser with a mirror or other reflective surface?

What if someone has a highly polished suit of armor? Would the armor reflect the laser if lasers can indeed be reflected?

Might make that bag of everlasting dung useful because you can smear that Paladin in poop, and then shoot him with lasers.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

man what

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Samy wrote:

Doesn't Darkness also dim nonmagical sources of light, though? Like sunlight or torchlight?

It doesn't just dispel (Light) descriptor spells, it also absorbs nonmagical light. Which a laser would be.

In any event... it's pretty obvious that we'll need to talk about how lasers and darkness spells interact in the book, so Mark's above clarification will be in there. Never fear!


John Kretzer wrote:
Billzabub wrote:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

- Arthur C. Clarke

That problem with that statement is that it is assuming magic does not exist at all(I am pretty sure ACC stuck to sci-fi). And if in Golarion magic is just science I am going to probably either ignore it or just go find another world to play in.

It is just annoys me that this statement often used to fool masters of magic in worlds with them both...it kinds like telling a car mechanic that your hi-tech bike is really a car.

Thank you.

I admit this book fills me with mixed squirmy bits of slithering confusion in regards to feelings. I have have had science and magic mix well in stories before. My very first weird character's BBEG was a red dragon cursed to human form who used the crashed remains of a spaceship to regain her form and boost her power to seek revenge on the son of her enemy aka my character.

However a club upside the head is still a club upside the head even if the club is plastic that looks like wood but not actually wood. I've had that mentality and that quote in particular used to belittle or down play things i've played or worked on its become a bit of baggage for me.

All in all however I have to say I am curious to see the the finished product and how it turns out.

Also, there are times when I would sell Mikaze's soul for Clarke to never have said that.


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Umbral Lasers!


James Jacobs wrote:
Samy wrote:

Doesn't Darkness also dim nonmagical sources of light, though? Like sunlight or torchlight?

It doesn't just dispel (Light) descriptor spells, it also absorbs nonmagical light. Which a laser would be.

In any event... it's pretty obvious that we'll need to talk about how lasers and darkness spells interact in the book, so Mark's above clarification will be in there. Never fear!

Thanks!

Also, I missed his clarification, so thanks for pointing it out.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lamontius wrote:
Umbral Lasers!

Yes! Since magical darkness is not just the absence of light, but something that radiates out from a source, it should be possible to create a laser-like weapon that bundles this darkness radiation into a tight beam the same way a normal laser bundles light. Of course this would be a...

DASER!

It probably would deal cold damage, considering a light-based laser deals fire damage.

Webstore Gninja Minion

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Speculation regarding Light, Darkness, and lasers should probably go to a different thread than this product's discussion page.


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The above speculation was mostly me arguing that interactions with lasers and darkness should be addressed in the book. James has no indicated it will be addressed, so anything after that is basically off-topic.

Paizo Employee Developer

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It's a good thing that particular discussion happened here, where both James and I noticed it, as the deadline by which we can no longer make changes to this book is quickly approaching. But yes, further rules discussion should take place in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting boards. Feel free to link to such discussions here, but conduct them in full elsewhere.


If I see Umbral Lasers(TM) in the book after this I am going to be so mad


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Lamontius wrote:

If I see Umbral Lasers(TM) in the book after this I am going to be so mad

Well...

Since lasers are monochromatic, if Darkness only affected the visible spectrum, or some amount not all of it, one could make an infrared laser or ultraviolet ones that functions in a Darkness area. Perhaps dealing less damage or having some sort of variant effect.


or they could just make them magic

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
A laser is not a source of light. It provides no illumination.

I dare you to use a high powered laser in a dark room. It SO provides illumination. Just try it.

Quote:
It is a ray just like scorching ray and acid arrow, it's just made of super-focused light rather than magical fire or conjured acid.

This is not mutually exclusive with the above. A laser is *both* a source of light and illumination, *AND* it is a ray of super-focused light.

Now, I'm not trying to be contrary here, but I want to help you find a way to word it that makes sense. Because saying, "a laser is not a source of light -- it's a ray" is like saying, "a sword is not made of steel -- it's a slashing weapon". It makes no sense. And it would cause so many arguments among players and nobody wants that.

Now, assuming that the goal you guys are aiming at is, "lasers should not be hindered by Darkness or Deeper Darkness", then I would suggest a sidebar that goes something like:

How lasers and darkness spells interact

Spells with the darkness descriptor and similar magic prevent nonmagical sources of light such as torches and lanterns from shedding light. Though lasers are also a nonmagical source of light, their unique focused nature causes darkness spells to have less of an effect on them. Lasers within an area of darkness magic are prevented from shedding any illumination, but they will still cause any applicable fire damage normally.

Edit: Sorry, I was writing the post while the word came down. Is there a new thread in the CS boards yet that I should copy this to?

Dark Archive

Are we going to get robot minions?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Or can we at least be Cl4p-tr4p's minion?


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Samy wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
A laser is not a source of light. It provides no illumination.

I dare you to use a high powered laser in a dark room. It SO provides illumination. Just try it.

"Lisa, we need to buy a high powered laser for research purposes. If we turn it into a blaster for you later, can you buy it for us?"


2 people marked this as a favorite.
brad2411 wrote:
Are we going to get robot minions?

Oh god, a small robot minion with an integrated traveler's any tool and rogue levels nicknamed R2...


Cheapy wrote:
Or can we at least be Cl4p-tr4p's minion?

I spent the better part of a year of my video gaming life as his minion, I'd rather not do so again.


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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Can't believe Iron Gods already needs an obituary thread.. ;p

Maybe they're using character creation rules from the Traveller RPG? Supposedly, your PC can die during character creation.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Can't believe Iron Gods already needs an obituary thread.. ;p
Maybe they're using character creation rules from the Traveller RPG? Supposedly, your PC can die during character creation.

I believe Rolemaster did as well, as did the background generator for Cyberpunk 2020.

Grand Lodge

Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Can't believe Iron Gods already needs an obituary thread.. ;p
Maybe they're using character creation rules from the Traveller RPG? Supposedly, your PC can die during character creation.

True story.

SM

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Davick wrote:
Lamontius wrote:

If I see Umbral Lasers(TM) in the book after this I am going to be so mad

Well...

Since lasers are monochromatic, if Darkness only affected the visible spectrum, or some amount not all of it, one could make an infrared laser or ultraviolet ones that functions in a Darkness area. Perhaps dealing less damage or having some sort of variant effect.

Honestly, that's probably going to be the default anyway. UV lasers are much more likely to functional as weapons than lasers in the visible frequencies due to the higher energy levels. And we know that darkness only affects visible-spectrum light, because darkvision gets around it.

(Gods I love that I'm getting to have this kind of conversation on a fantasy RPG forum. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS BOOK)

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Will this book also contain support for "sorting technology" into tiers, to distinguish the tech level between civilizations? So that you for example have a list of "renaissance" weapons and a list of "high medieval" weapons and armor?
Nope; that kind of thing is beyond the scope of this book. This book is really pretty much all about the super-science technology of Numeria and not about how to do various levels of technology for various worlds.

Well, that's a little bit disappointing.

On the bright side, I've played in "sci-fi crashed into my fantasy" before and enjoyed it. We were playing steppe nomads and eventually came into contact with the survivors of a Stargate/Immortel sort of crossover. They had cloning technology (a la magic jar/clone spells) and laser guns. Pretty scary for us.The battle against Buddha in his flying chariot with his animal-headed guards was intense. At the end of the campaign half the PCs left the planet in their spaceship, after we crashed their capital into a volcano we technologically awakened.

The book you're hoping for is better suited as a hardcover rulebook that's world-neutral, frankly, and that's not something we're really ready to risk/try out with the hardcover rulebook line. If Iron Gods and its support books (like this one) do well though... that's one way we'll feel less nervous about perhaps doing a world-neutral book more akin to what you're looking for... but even then, we're still pretty much all about Golarion and fantasy Pathfinder, so no promises there either.

It's good to know this.

I've decided I'm still quite interested in this product, precisely because it's a bit wacky. I think writing a nice mix of "medieval" fantasy and science fiction is not something I could do well, but it might be fun playing with it, if someone else managed to do it well.

Sovereign Court

Regarding the darkness/light thing: I think this is a warning sign about other physics-related rules questions.

Most of the time, you can quash rules arguments about how magic would interact with physics by saying it's a fantasy world and that arguing about modern technology isn't appropriate. But if you bring (post)modern technology to the game, you'll get a LOT more of these arguments. Advice on how to deal with such arguments might be useful to GMs using this book.


Congrats, Paizo Staff -- Iron Gods and related products will finally coax me out of my subscription torpor, and it didn't even take a Diablerie to do it. :)

Liberty's Edge

Quick questions: Will this book have lightsabers?


Fantasy + Real Physics

On topic: Add me to the list of people really looking forward to this one.

Webstore Gninja Minion

3 people marked this as a favorite.
ENHenry wrote:
Congrats, Paizo Staff -- Iron Gods and related products will finally coax me out of my subscription torpor, and it didn't even take a Diablerie to do it. :)

*hides Totally Not Magic Tome*

Dark Archive

Hopefully this was an april fools joke.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
BOCFiend wrote:
Hopefully this was an april fools joke.

Nope!

Better get back to work on my homebrew setting. This book is going to be very useful. :D


BOCFiend wrote:
Hopefully this was an april fools joke.
Liz Courts wrote:

YOU WILL HAVE OUR SCI-FI PEANUT BUTTER IN YOUR FANTASY CHOCOLATE AND LIKE IT.

Or not—not everybody's gaming tastes are the same. :D


Tirisfal wrote:
BOCFiend wrote:
Hopefully this was an april fools joke.
Liz Courts wrote:

YOU WILL HAVE OUR SCI-FI PEANUT BUTTER IN YOUR FANTASY CHOCOLATE AND LIKE IT.

Or not—not everybody's gaming tastes are the same. :D

I tried having peanut butter and chocolate together once.

It was terrible.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

<redacted>

Damn forum rules.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alleran wrote:
Tirisfal wrote:
BOCFiend wrote:
Hopefully this was an april fools joke.
Liz Courts wrote:

YOU WILL HAVE OUR SCI-FI PEANUT BUTTER IN YOUR FANTASY CHOCOLATE AND LIKE IT.

Or not—not everybody's gaming tastes are the same. :D

I tried having peanut butter and chocolate together once.

It was terrible.

Well the stuff in Reese's is peanut butter loaded with sugar and some other stuff to turn it into candy (you can do this at home if you find a good recipe). I can't see straight peanut butter working so well. But I choose to believe that the metaphor has broken down by this point. :)


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I like peanut butter with melted chocolate. And honey.

Course, my favorite comfort food is toast with strawberry jam on one side, butter on the other, and super sharp cheddar cheese in the middle. :D


2 people marked this as a favorite.

...wait, how do you get cheese into the middle of a slice of toast?? Or is this like a grilled cheese sandwich with jam on top?

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