Akashic Mysteries (PFRPG)

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Harness a new and different source of magical power!

Drawn from a more primal magical force that exists everywhere, akasha is a deep well of magic from which those who hold the right knowledge, can draw almost limitless power. Shaping this essence into magical veils that surround their body, binding them to ancient chakras, these veilweavers open up new avenues of abilities and possibilities.

Following in the same footsteps as Psionics Unleashed, Akashic Mysteries is a Pathfinder RPG game supplement that present an alternative to conventional magic, inspired by Arabian and Indian myths and mythology. Characters of all classes can access the mysteries through the use of feats, traits and items, while veilweaving classes unlock the full potential of the Akashic Mysteries.

Included in Akashic Mysteries you will find:

  • Three new base classes: the daevic, the guru, and the vizier
  • New archetypes and class options for core classes, psionic classes from Ultimate Psionics, and more!
  • Two new prestige classes: the amplifier and black templar
  • Three akashic races: the gamla, the sobek, and the suqur
  • Over forty new feats!
  • The veilweaving system of magic
  • Akashic items including new weapon special abilities and new wondrous items
  • Akashic monsters
  • And more!
This 96-page tome contains everything you need to use Akashic Mysteries in your Pathfinder RPG campaign.

Written by Michael Sayre, with artwork by Joe Shawcross, Gordon Napier, Juan Diego Dianderas, Eric Lofgren, and Storn Cook.

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The best 3pp purchase I've ever made

*****

Amazing. As flat and lifeless as incarnum was, Akashic Mysteries is vibrant and exciting. From the near-east flavor (which works very well, but it by no means required) to the simplified mechanics, this book is a home-run. I liked Dreamscarred's take on psionics, but felt that Path of War missed the mark. This new book, however, has already become my favorite 3pp resource. Viziers, gurus and daevics are a great alternative to bards, monks and paladins -- they take the game in different directions without breaking it, opening it up to such interesting possibilities. So far, we're having a blast with these classes, and they're integrating seamlessly into our existing game. The new races aren't as interesting, but are decent. There are some great feats and archetypes in the book also (but no archetypes for the new classes -- hopefully we'll get those soon). I seriously was not expecting to like this so much. I'm blown away.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

It has been coming for a long time - the completed Akashic Mysteries book, which clocks in at a mighty 97 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisement, leaving us with 92 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, what is this? The simple reply would be "fixed incarnum with a Silk Road flavor." If that does not ring any bells, let me reiterate. Akasha is a type of magic that is utilized most commonly via veils that are channeled through conduits in the body called chakra. Every creature is supposed to have a finite amount of essence in their being, which is called essence pool. Essence is typically not expended, but veils and other akashic effects require it for activation and thus, essence needs to be assigned to a specific function. This is done by investing essence into the receptacle, which can be a veil, an akashic feat (more on these later) or ability. Reallocating or investing essence, unless otherwise noted, is a swift action. The process of harnessing veils is called veilweaving and thus, the classes here are known as veilweaving classes. Progressing in these unlocks new chakras, which allow for veils or function of veils or other akashic abilities to be used in ways that are based on the veil in question. Each veil is associated with a chakra and veils do not interfere with magic items worn in that slot, but no two veils can occupy the same chakra. However, some veils may be employed in different chakra, often with different effects depending on the chakra used...however, one veil may not be in use for two or more different chakras. You can only ever have one veil of a given type in effect atone time. The general chakra available are Hands, feet, Head, Wrists, Shoulders, Headband, Neck, belt, Chest, Body - though some classes can gain unique chakras. Veils interact with magic as though they were magic and SR applies against most effects, but not versus auras or AoE abilities unless otherwise noted. Veils overcome their own SR automatically. Veils manifest as physical constructs that may temporarily be sundered and suppressed, with hit points and hardness of the veils depending on the level of the veilweaver.

Concise rules are provided regarding descriptors, identifying veils, etc. Now there are a couple of more basic terms we need to cover: Some feats and veils require the binding, rather than the investment of essence - this means that the essence is "stuck" in the receptacle for 24 hours or until the user shapes veils anew after resting. If such a receptacle is sundered or disjoined, the user takes essence burn equal to the total of the invested essence. Essence burn eliminates essence and requires 1 minute of quiet contemplation per point of essence burn to recover. Temporary essence points, if granted by anything, are burned first and may not be recovered. Veils do not require active concentration to maintain, but upon the veilweaver falling unconscious, they are suppressed until he regains consciousness. Veils sundered while the veilweaver is unconscious are destroyed and cannot be redeployed until he has rested. Finally, there would be essence capacity, which denotes the number of essence points that can be invested in any given veil, feat, class feature, etc. - these would be 1 for the first 5 levels and then increase by +1 at 6th and every 6 levels thereafter.

Veils are generally described in a format, that provides their name, descriptor(s) (if any), class that may form it, slot(s), saving throws, a brief fluff text and then the benefits of the veil, followed by an essence benefit section for invested/bound essence. The Chakra Bind section denotes the chakra and the class level at which it becomes available for the class in question (very handy reference!), which minimizes page-skipping. (G20 for Guru 20, for example.) Kudos!

Okay, the first thing you'll note is that that the terminology has been cleaned up when compared to the earlier WIPs - the respective verbiage makes sense, is self-explanatory and if this sounds complicated, rest assured that it isn't necessarily once you have grasped it: Basically, you have points that you move around to make magic stuff. Sometimes, you need to fix the points, sometimes you temporarily lose them, but generally, you'll be pretty flexible in moving around your points of magic stuff. The veils can be powered by the magic stuff and you learn to use them in more ways as you gain experience. Much like a cool button or temporary tattoo, the effects of veils depend where you wear them. That's about as simple as I can explain it.

Anyways, we obviously need to re-evaluate the 3 akashic base classes released so far in order to ascertain whether/how they have improved. If you are not interested in this section, skip ahead. The text is modified, where appropriate, to reflect the changes made (quite a few!), but if you're already familiar with the akashic classes and don't care about the nit and grit, go ahead. It should be noted, though, that the classes have changed quite a bit since their original iterations.

***Class Breakdown-section***

Daevics gain d10, 4+Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and martial weapons, all armors and shields (but not tower shields), full BAB-progression and good Fort- and Ref-saves. The veilweaving here is different from the other two classes, but there are similarities - the DCs, if appropriate, is DC 10 + number of essence invested in the veil + Cha-mod (making Charisma the governing attribute here and decreasing the DC from the WIP to more generally palpable levels), but there is a crucial difference to default veilweaving - the veils granted at 1st, 4th, 9th and 15th level must be selected from the list of the chosen passion, whereas the other veils gained operate like standard veils, meaning the progression is from 0+1 to 4+4 over the 20 levels of the class. Essence is gained at 1st level, increases at 3rd and scales up to 10 for a net of every 1/2 progression. Chakra binds begin at 2nd level and scale up to 6, with progression being Feet, Hands, Wrists, Shoulders, Belt, Neck, Chest. On the minor engine-tweaks, 5th level nets +1 to saves versus enchantments, which scales up by +1 every 3 levels thereafter.

Now I noted the existence of passions - these are chosen at first level. When a daevic invests essence into a veil of a passion (called passion veils), it counts as being invested in all passion veils, meaning that the very scarce essence pool makes investing points here more efficient. However, at the same time, power escalation is prevented by an explicit rule that forbids synergy with veil-specific feats, effects or catalysts, though you CAN also bind them as normal veils and circumvent these restrictions (but also foregoing the passion veil benefits), adding a further dimension to these veils. Three sample passions are provided, and all modify the list of available passion veils to choose from, the class skill list and all ultimately change how the class plays, so what are they?

The first passion would be desire - which allows 3rd level daevics to use Charisma for Appraise and may replace both Dex and Int as prereqs with Cha for the purpose of feat-prerequisites, offsetting some, but not all strain that would otherwise be burdened MAD-wise on a full BAB character. The in-game rationale for this, while not perfect, at least is sufficient for me - why do I mention this? Because I get pimples from the default "I'm so good-looking I hit foes"-rationale employed by some abilities out there. So kudos! Bonus-feat-wise, they gain Precise Shot and Willful Throw. An interesting option - at 6th level, a passion mutates into one of 2 choices - here, this would be love or avarice. Love provides an NPC-companion that is pretty powerful (-2 levels or -3 CR for less humanoid ones...) - but it does not stack with Leadership. Furthermore, as a balancing caveat, eidolons and similar creatures are dismissed on behalf of the paramour and the character thus chosen may not be a full spellcaster (or full-spellcasting equivalent class like the veilweaver). Daevics that follow the passion of avarice add the returning and called abilities if within the daevic's possession for more than 24 hours - however, the abilities are lost again upon willingly giving them to another creature. On the nitpicky side, there are some minor formal glitches here. At 12th and 18th level, this ability improves regarding action economy and adds unnatural lust to the weapon thus thrown, respectively.

The second passion to choose would be dominion, which focuses on two-weapon fighting with a shield. (TWF at 3rd, Improved Shield Bash at 5th, Shield master at 8th, if you want to know the details.) The 6th level selection allows for the choice of either benevolence or tyranny, with the former providing a scaling, temporary teamwork-feat-granting ability, while the latter provides demoralize support as swift actions with scaling bonuses.

The final passion, wrath, has some nasty tricks: Whenever the daevic bull rushes or overruns a foe, he may execute an AoO against the foe before moving the foe, though this powerful effect is somewhat countered by the lack of gained bonus feat - instead CMB and CMD increase at 5th level and every 3 levels thereafter. Wrath may transform into justice or vengeance at 6th level, with justice providing access to the vital strike feat-chain...and the option to execute the Bull Rush/overrun-granted AoOs with Vital Strikes added. As for vengeance:1/round full-attack against a target when succeeding a Bull Rush or Overrun, but only with natural weapons and only against said target. This ultimately boils down to a meat-grinder -only shreds and gooey bits remain in the path of such a daevic. The changes to the passions made here are unanimously awesome and help keeping the daevic powerful sans being too strong. Absolutely beautiful, as far as I'm concerned.

At 9th and 15th level, the essence capacity of the passion increases by a further +1.

The Blood Bind ability's write-up fails to mention that it's gained at 12th level (which one glance at the table confirms, but still a minor aesthetic hiccup) - but it *is* interesting: It provides essentially an additional slot, into which the daevic can bind Neck, Head, Headband and Body slot veils, but whenever he does that with a non-Blood veil, he takes twice the essence invested damage each round and when reassigning veils, which means it can't be abused. Nice! The capstone is a boring native outsider-apotheosis and can reassign veils via 1-hour meditation. Odd - the daevic gains the body-slot at 20th level, which means that prior to this level, he can bind body veils only to the blood slot.

All in all: Vast improvement over the original iteration. Let's move on to the guru, shall we?

The Guru base-class gets d8, 6+Int skills per level, proficiency with light armor and simple weapons, but not shields and enhance these based on class choices made - more on that later. Chassis-wise, the guru receives a 3/4 BAB-progression and good Ref- and Will-saves. They begin play with 1 veil and scale that up to 8 and 1 essence, which increases to up to 20. The veilshaping of the guru has the DC equal to 10 + points invested in the veil + Wis-mod, making Wisdom the governing attribute.

I really enjoy the first level ability gentle touch - if a guru invests at least one point of essence into this ability, all damage he does with a weapon becomes nonlethal, but also receives + Wisdom-modifier bonus damage, rewarding not killing everything that crosses the PC's path. A guru may invest into this ability as a swift action, and for each point assigned, the nonlethal damage inflicted increases by +1d4, though it can only be used in conjunction with weapons granted proficiency-wise by the philosophy of the guru...one of which contains shuriken. Because that didn't yet have enough exploits. Then again, the ability specifically says "a weapon" - singular. Which would mean ONE shuriken...and I'll stick with that reading...in dubio pro reo and such...

1st level Gurus also choose a philosophy,. which grants a linear progression of abilities at 1st level and every 3 levels thereafter. Philosophy abilities tend to burn essence points, which means that the essence cannot be used or reassigned until the guru has had a chance to meditate, providing a complex game of resources between flexibility and power - you can't write player agenda in larger letters. Additionally, gurus of first level get stunning fist, but with some tweaks - the benefits can be applied to weapon attacks made with gentle touch and the guru can burn three essence to regain 1 use of stunning fist 1/day, +1/day at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter. 2nd level nets chakra bind in the progression of Hands, Feet, Head, Headband, Neck, Belt, Body. 4th, 10th and 19th level increase the essence capacity of chakras by +1.

At 2nd level, gurus learn to sunder veils particularly efficiently, allowing them to expend stunning fist uses in conjunction with gentle touch to suppress veils/spells and deal damage to undead or constructs, in spite of them being usually immune to nonlethal damage.

The 3rd level guru may interrupt the chakras of foes when executing an attack - this works as a standard action pretty much akin to vital strike and has a DC of 10 + Wis mod, +2 per essence invested in gentle touch, which allows for a pretty nasty escalation of DCs - penalizing one attack mode, decreasing movement rate, decreasing shield and Dex-bonuses and high-level blinding, stunning and exhausting foes can be found amidst these effects. These last for Wisdom modifier rounds and a single target may only be affected by one such disruption at any given time.

7th level nets an autohealing ability determined by the amount of essence bound, though essence invested in this limited-use ability cannot be reinvested until rest. So yeah, no abuse! Yay! 8th level allows gentle touch to act as sunder-attacks that ignore 1/2 hardness AND allows for the damaging of constructs. As a minor nitpick, we once again have to consult the table, since the ability doesn't say the level it's gained. 16th level provides the option to expend Stunning Fist uses when attacking foes to double as what amounts to a single-target disjunction that leaves items intact. As a minor complaint here: The pdf sports several spells not italicized and captalizes gentle touch here as though it were a feat, not an ability...but this is aesthetics and doesn't impede the book's worth.

The capstone provides healing and even temporary essence to the guru when e.g. disjoining foes - cool and surprisingly powerful!

Now I mentioned philosophies - a total of 3 are provided, with each granting its own set of uncommon weapon proficiencies. The first of these would be the Akasin. When meditating in an area of bright light, they can gain a pool of temporary essence that is burned first by the respective philosophy abilities and amounts to 1/2 class level, which it may never exceed. Essence burn taken to activate an ability nets this guy 5 times the burn taken temporary hit points. In addition, the akasin can take 1 essence burn to execute veil of positive energy as an SP at full caster level. At 4th level, healing blindness is possible via 1 essence burn, as is shooting rays - which deal an untyped damage that is more potent vs. the undead. Not a fan of the untyped damage here, but the save to negate blindness and halve damage is neat. Higher level akasins further marginalize the poor shield bonus to AC, bypassing it alongside 2 points of AC with blades of light - it should be noted that expenditure of stunning fist uses can further upgrade this ability with brilliant energy. As a pretty cool note, though - the mirrored property does help against this, which eases my grumbling.

Part II of my review can be found here!


Player-Tested, GM-Approved!

*****

Akashic Mysteries has grown to become my favorite Dreamscarred supplement. I never quite dug Bloodforge or most of the Psionic books, and I absolutely love Path of War. But Akashic Mysteries hits a very good balance that I feel the other books, save maybe the Psionics books, don't hit. However much I love Path of War, I feel that it sort of leaves GMs out in the cold. GMs using Akashic Mysteries are much better-equipped: the races and monsters feel like a natural addition to almost any setting, the monsters are very cool additions or extensions of existing monsters (such as a Rakshasa that uses Veils).

The flavor of the book is decidedly different than most mainline Pathfinder, and that does a lot to endear me. It draws from Egyptian, Middle-Eastern, and Indian styles, which I feel is definitely a niche not tapped into enough. However, it doesn't feel alien to your 'normal' fantasy, like bringing in a samurai would be (not that I'm knocking it!), the Akashic material can fit right in.

There are downsides. The Daevic's Passions are hyperfocused on a handful of fighting styles. The archetypes of the book definitely show its age; a fighter archetype that gives up Weapon and Armor Training, an archetype for the non-Unchained summoner to me are Exhibit A of that. But a few duds in any Pathfinder book is nothing to cause an uproar about, I am just disappointed because I want to like everything in this book.

Overall, it feels different enough from baseline Pathfinder for me to like it. Psionics just felt like a different way to mostly do the same things, Path of War, while I firmly believe it's awesome, feels like a different approach to martials, while Akashic Mysteries genuinely feels like something that has not been tapped.


Review coming soon

*****

I dont have time to write a full review right now, but I will say that I've played two characters up to 9 with this book and love it.


Incarnum gets the DSP treatment!

*****

DISCLAIMER: This review focuses on the problems of the original Magic of Incarnum (MoI from now on) book for 3.5 D&D and the improvements done by Dreamscarred Press (DSP) for their Akashic Mysteries (AM)

During the last years of the third (point five) edition of D&D, Wizards of the Coast started getting crazy not only with tons of new classes (must of them sucky), and trying new magic systems (from the everyday blasts of the warlock to the martial magic of the Initiators). One of this was MoI, a system of everyday magic with a few twists. Unlike many of its peers, Incarnum was maligned for specific reasons. When Pathfinder came out, a lot of people started converting stuff, fans and 3rd party publishers alike. One of them was Dreamscarred press, who made a complete revision of the psionic system, much like Paizo did with the core book. Unfortunately, most of the stuff released wasn’t part of the SRD, which dictated what things could be worked on by 3rd party publishers. Some devilish review of the OSR brought the fact that you can’t trademark rules, and that’s the reason we now have binders, initiators and, with the release of AM by DSP, incarnum in Pathfinder! Which in my opinion benefited some of these systems by getting away from the fluff or restrictions of the originals.

Ok, so what problems did MoI had? What improvements did DSP make? Read on!

FLUFF: Incarnum’s fluff wasn’t that bad, it was the distilled energy of souls from the past, present and future. This was OK unless your campaign didn’t have souls as a concept. Reincarnation? Dual or multipart souls? AM gets away from the souls trap and uses a concept more like Chi or Od. It is a form of truly ancient magic that combines the user’s own magical energy with the magic of the world. Of course, any fluff can get a cosmetic lift, but here it impacted the crunch: Incarnum was tied to the alignment system. A lot of the powers were closed to users just because of their alignment and two of the three classes had strict alignment requirements. Not so with AM.

Next we have the nomenclature. While magic used standard fantasy and psionics a kind of sci-fi, MoI was… odd. Meldshaper? Essentia? Chakra? Incarnate? Soulborn? Not very cohesive if you ask me. AM adopts the one Middle-East reference (chakra) and runs with it. We have more flavourful Veils, Veilweavers, Viziers, Gurus, Essence etc.

Finally, and MoI greatest flaw is… that it was blue… no, not sad (well in a way yes), but everything from the races to the melds, items and even the frigging FEAT NAMES was a kind of blue! MoI: 50 shades of blue… It is worse when you consider that blue has a Lawful connotation in D&D (see alignment auras), and it’s worse even when you take into account the whole system has most of its weight in alignment. Why not vary the colors?

CORE: After the fluff, the core of the rule system, had its share of problems. First we have 3 base classes, which were the Incarnate, a ½ BAB class master of the subsystem, with an ugly alignment requirement: neutral something, so only 4 of the 9 alignments permitted; the Totemist, coolest fluff of the bunch and the only one without an alignment restriction, who had ¾ BAB and derived power from magical beats and yes, even the tarrasque; finally we had the Soulborn, a full BAB class who couldn’t be any neutral, leaving again 4 possibilities from the 9 alignments. The incarnate was ok, but the soulborn sucked beyond belief, even the fighter using its normal feats for incarnum was better at everything than a soulborn, and we are talking about D&D 3rd edition fighter, who also sucked.
AM has 3 classes too. The Vizier replaces the Incarnate and really feels like an akashic wizard, it can even dabble in item creation! The Guru replaces the Totemist as the ¾ BAB class and gets away from the magical beast flavor, instead going a more monkish route. Finally, the Daevic replaces the Soulborn as the full BAB class and does so with style. My personal favorite and one of the few mystical melee classes done right, it can veilweave from level 1! Not even the Pally nor the Ranger do that!

Apart from the new classes, we get archetypes for many Paizo classes and some DSP too. There is even an animal companion archetype! Of note are the Dread and Summoner archetypes, who really embrace the new system with high-concept archetypes. The Dread loses all psionic power and gets veilweaving, and the summoner gets a variant eidolon with veilshaping instead of the normal evolutions. This two archetypes really change the way you play these classes! After the archetypes we get the Amplifier PrC, a “theurge” that mixes veilweaving with either spellcasting or psionics, nothing too fancy and one already present in MoI. The second PrC, the Black Templar, echoes the second coolest thing in MoI after the Totemist, the Necrocarnate, by focusing on draining life and control his victim’s corpses. I dislike the name and will use the 2nd edition D&D wizard’s kit’s name from Al-Qadim’s The Complete Sha’ir’s Handbook: Ghul Lord.

Next, the races. MoI had three races (four really), two that shared a racial history and had some reptilian origins, but really were humans with scales in the throat or spines in the arms. The third one was a fey race for the sake of being fey. The only salvageable one was a variant human, who had a point of essential instead of a skill bonus and lived less… big deal. AM takes a note on the Egyptian gods and presents us with 3 (9 if you take into account racial variants). The only problem is that they are all furries, so if you have a problem with that, just don’t use them. Here is the only place where I would have liked more variety, maybe a subrace for another more standard one or an exotic versions of races like the Vyshkanya, Catfolk, Tengu or Vanara if you wanted to go the furry way.

Then we get to the powers. AM not only gets away from skill bonuses, it really goes wild with what you can do with your characters, and again tinges them with Middle-East flavor. Of course some of them overlap with spells or are even spell-like abilities, but believe me they ooze flavor. Some of them work well for other classes, so if you dabble in akasha via feats or multiclass you are in for a surprise.

Finally we get to the monsters. MoI had a lot of sad… sorry, blue monsters that were just plain bad. We had monster entries for the new races, blue incarnum dragon and giant with meldshaping, blue incarnum zombies and oozes, constructs with souls (which sounds cool but campaign dependent) and not much more. The only redeeming grace were the lost, a template for creatures infected by a combination of strong emotion and incarnum. HOWEVER, the monsters from AM run again with the Middle-East motif, my favorite being the new daeva outsiders. They are a new type that, unlike any other outsider race out there, are not related by alignment. They are a race of symbiotic outsiders that feed on emotions, and there are many of them. Since they can make a symbiosis with other creatures, you can get a nasty, or pleasant, surprise after killing/defeating a rival or foe and having one of these appear. Along the many type of daeva comes a single akashic dragon, the amphibian-looking Vitra. The only thing I disliked is that a couple of these monsters were a shade of blue, and gave me some unpleasant flashbacks LOL. The furry theme continues, with at least two of the daeva being anthropomorphs. We at last have Apsaras in D&D, which are a kind of Hindu nymphs.

[RANT] The only thing I disliked from the original Psionics Handbook and MoI books AND that DSP maintained is one personal problem I have with feats. Some Pisonic and Incarnum feats were unusuable if you didn’t really invest in them, so if you wanted a taste of psionics or incarnum, taking a single feat was normally a bad idea. Unless you had psionic focus or invested essential in the feats, they did nothing… not even a meager bonus. DSP missed the opportunity to change that, and some feats are worthless unless you really invest in them.[/RANT]

What do you get from buying this book? For me, a strong core system of non-Vancian magic with plenty of options for those who just want to dabble in akasha, and three new akashic-focused base classes that really get away from the norm in a good way and a new race of outsiders ripe for storytelling, and all of these spiced with the exoticism from the Middle-East. A worthy purchase and hopefully the beginning of a new series of products by DSP! Now, if someone updated the Totemist and the Lost…


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When he last mentioned it he said that he wanted to see his next playtest begin by the end of January.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hmm, was fiddling around with a vizier, and had a question...coward's boots, when bound to the feet, says, "As long as this veil is bound you gain the use of the Essence of Movement feat..." Does this include the extra point of essence you would normally gain from taking the Essence of Movement feat? My gut says no, that's dumb, but I don't see anything stating one way or the other...or am I missing something?


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Nope, at least judging from how similar feats in Psionics etc. are handled - you gain the benefits of the feat, but don't actually have it and thus do not gain the essence/powerpoint-increase-benefits associated with having. I agree that a slight wording clarification would have been neat.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Nope, at least judging from how similar feats in Psionics etc. are handled - you gain the benefits of the feat, but don't actually have it and thus do not gain the essence/powerpoint-increase-benefits associated with having. I agree that a slight wording clarification would have been neat.

That's how it's supposed to work, yes. The lack of the bonus point of essence is part of why essence invested in the veil automatically counts as essence invested in the virtual feat.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Alright, good to know my gut was right on that one, and thanks for the quick responses, Endzeitgeist and Ssalarn. Gotta say, I like the stalker's tabi bound to your feet, but the coward's boots are really great, especially when you're a seer and sharing that with all your allies plus the additional five foot boost to speed a seer grants everyone. Do wish there was a reliable way of manufacturing your own darkness to use with the coward's boots; currently my sample vizier is lugging around a harvesting lens and a telescope (x10) in his handy haversack, along with a few vials to replace any tossed vials of dark matter by 7th level...and the Knowledge ranks to make him an amateur astronomer. Makes for fun flavor, though! Using riven darts to toss 'stars' at enemies, flavoring light whip as comets, robe of the forgotten deity and stalker's tabi helping for the night sky theme, and sentinel's helm to help with scanning the night sky...


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That sounds damn cool, Luthorne! I'll actually use that as an NPC-concept in my game, with your permission!


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Endzeitgeist wrote:
That sounds damn cool, Luthorne! I'll actually use that as an NPC-concept in my game, with your permission!

You're more than welcome to! At higher levels, I was considering using the ahnd cannons to represent an asteroid to be used against single enemies, while making use of riven darts against groups of smaller enemies...but it's definitely a fun theme regardless of how you build it.

In retrospect, a good ol' wand of darkness is definitely something I would add to a higher level version, though...given the advantages viziers can get when investing some essence in a wand...


So the Akashic Catalyst, is the extra point of essence it provides subject the essence capacity that would limit it?

Case in question is my Level 5 Vizier using it to boost the Riven Gauntlets. So I normally get a max of 1 from character level, then +1 from Vizier extra capacity for 2 capacity. So does the akashic catalyst effect let me bypass this number when I've invested 2 essence of my own?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Yes, akashic catalysts can allow you to exceed your normal investment cap.


What body slot would you place a veil which appears as a large mandala floating behind the veilweaver?


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Milo v3 wrote:
What body slot would you place a veil which appears as a large mandala floating behind the veilweaver?

Pants.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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For anyone who may have missed it, Akashic Mysteries is #7 on Endzeitgeist's Top 10 of 2016!

"Michael Sayre’s Akashic Mysteries [...] has camel-people, amazing flavor and ranks as one of my favorite subsystems for any d20-based game ever."

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Milo v3 wrote:
What body slot would you place a veil which appears as a large mandala floating behind the veilweaver?

Probably Shoulders, but it would depend on the function of the veil to a certain extent.


Out of curiosity, can undead use Akashic magic if they have veil weaving classes? A quick ctrl+f search (for "undead") didn't find anything saying they couldn't.

Getting the opportunity to use DSP's Deathless Ghost monster class and want the 17 levels after the monster class to be Vizier.


Artemis Moonstar wrote:

Out of curiosity, can undead use Akashic magic if they have veil weaving classes? A quick ctrl+f search (for "undead") didn't find anything saying they couldn't.

Getting the opportunity to use DSP's Deathless Ghost monster class and want the 17 levels after the monster class to be Vizier.

Nothing prevents undead from using akashic magic.


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Milo v3 wrote:
Artemis Moonstar wrote:

Out of curiosity, can undead use Akashic magic if they have veil weaving classes? A quick ctrl+f search (for "undead") didn't find anything saying they couldn't.

Getting the opportunity to use DSP's Deathless Ghost monster class and want the 17 levels after the monster class to be Vizier.

Nothing prevents undead from using akashic magic.

Excellent. TYVM. Undead Vizier it is :).

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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We have some additional rules clarifications added in Lords of the Night covering akashic magic and undead. Undead absolutely can use akashic magic, and any akashic feats or abilities that reference Constitution use the undead's Charisma modifier instead.

Also, since I'm here, I thought I'd let anyone who's interested know that I'll be part of a Kickstarter for a book called City of Seven Seraphs that will go live on the 9th of this month. My contribution will be a new planar-themed veilweaving class called the Nexus, and I'll be dropping more details in a blog post the same day the Kickstarter goes live.


Interesting. Any idea if the class will appear in a separate PDF?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
...Also, since I'm here, I thought I'd let anyone who's interested know that I'll be part of a Kickstarter for a book called City of Seven Seraphs that will go live on the 9th of this month. My contribution will be a new planar-themed veilweaving class called the Nexus, and I'll be dropping more details in a blog post the same day the Kickstarter goes live.

This sounds very interesting!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Wraithguard wrote:
Interesting. Any idea if the class will appear in a separate PDF?

Unclear at this time. I do know that the class will be published regardless of the success of the Kickstarter, though I wouldn't take that as a reason not to back it. City of Seven Seraphs is shaping up to be a really awesome sourcebook with a kick-ass team working on it, and some absolutely amazing artwork already completed. We haven't teased the Nexus iconic artwork yet, but it's just as amazing as this Veilweaving Lizardfolk Aegis.

Kcinlive wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
...Also, since I'm here, I thought I'd let anyone who's interested know that I'll be part of a Kickstarter for a book called City of Seven Seraphs that will go live on the 9th of this month. My contribution will be a new planar-themed veilweaving class called the Nexus, and I'll be dropping more details in a blog post the same day the Kickstarter goes live.
This sounds very interesting!

Not to use hyperbole or or over-hype the product, but as you may know since finishing Akashic Mysteries back in early 2015 I've worked on a lot of new products for various companies, and the one thing that I think every designer learns pretty early on is that regardless of how well a product is received or how cool an idea is, there's always room to grow. The Nexus is something that I think is really, really awesome and which may quickly become one of the best-received veilweaving classes to date. It's also coming with 50 new veils, and all three original classes will have access to right around 25 of these new veils each.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

I mentioned I'd be dropping more details on the Nexus and City of Seven Seraphs in my blog, so I thought I'd link the article in here.

Additional information about what the City of Seven Seraphs has in store beyond the new Nexus base class can be found at Lost Sphere's blog, or the Co7S Kickstarter page.


So.. Out of curiosity how does a veil like Riven Darts interact with construct's magic immunity?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Artemis Moonstar wrote:
So.. Out of curiosity how does a veil like Riven Darts interact with construct's magic immunity?

A golem's immunity applies against anything spell resistance would apply to. In the Akasha and Magic section it says that most targeted effects from veils grant spell resistance, with the exception of veils that grant or enhance a weapon. It doesn't apply to veil-based area effects or auras. So spell resistance would apply to the attacks from Riven Darts, but not an attack from the Crimson Totem, since that veil creates a physical weapon you can wield, or to the breath weapon granted by Gorget of the Wyrm, since that's an area effect.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

For anyone who missed it, the City of Seven Seraphs Kickstarter is now 62% funded with just over two weeks remaining. The new akashic class, the Nexus, is available immediately for backers along with 50 new veils, every single one of which is available to at least one of the original akashic classes. You can read what people have been saying about it here!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Just to let everyone know, City of Seven Seraphs is officially funded and into stretch goals, so that means the book will be published and it will include-
1) Updated and expanded rules for veilweaving and akashic magic.
2)Three new akashic classes: The Nexus, a planar knight that can take on the abilities and powers of various outsiders, the Radiant, an akashic healer that can invest essence directly into her allies to strengthen them and draw the essence back out to remove negative status conditions, and the Eclipse, a shadowy veilweaver who combines dark akashic magic with high skill facility and assassination techniques.
3) Over 100 new veils!
4) New vizier mystic attunements, new guru philosophies, and new daevic passions.

And maybe a few things more that we're waiting until final funding to lock in.


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Ssalarn wrote:

Just to let everyone know, City of Seven Seraphs is officially funded and into stretch goals, so that means the book will be published and it will include-

1) Updated and expanded rules for veilweaving and akashic magic.
2)Three new akashic classes: The Nexus, a planar knight that can take on the abilities and powers of various outsiders, the Radiant, an akashic healer that can invest essence directly into her allies to strengthen them and draw the essence back out to remove negative status conditions, and the Eclipse, a shadowy veilweaver who combines dark akashic magic with high skill facility and assassination techniques.
3) Over 100 new veils!
4) New vizier mystic attunements, new guru philosophies, and new daevic passions.

And maybe a few things more that we're waiting until final funding to lock in.

I pledged for that. I was overextended in my fun money (because of starfinder), so getting that took a bit. I knew the Nexus was there. I would unhesitatingly have dropped the money on a second Akashic Mysteries book with 3 classes and 100 new veils, with enhancements for the older classes. You sir, have made my day. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
And maybe a few things more that we're waiting until final funding to lock in.

Friend. Know that I've had five hours sleep in the last 48. I'm... suboptimal. Please forgive...

Thog have money. Thog not have comprehension. Thog want book. Thog want PDF. Thog see book $49. Thog see PDF $21. Thog see option for book plus PDF now only $100. Thog disinclined make purchase because typical yada yada Kickstarter limited/timed/whatever tiers. Thog disinclined read typical Kickstarter wall of text.

Thog asking help.

You explain like am five year old.

Am mistaken? If mistaken, where click buy book plus PDF not cost $100 but include much product not-what-want-buy?

Much thanks.

Also, long time no talk. Good see you.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Apparently the pledge for the HC and .pdf without the back catalogue was dropped early for some reason. Christen added a $70 "Blackblade" level back in for the final hours which includes the book and .pdf without the bag of extras.


Anguish wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
And maybe a few things more that we're waiting until final funding to lock in.

Friend. Know that I've had five hours sleep in the last 48. I'm... suboptimal. Please forgive...

Thog have money. Thog not have comprehension. Thog want book. Thog want PDF. Thog see book $49. Thog see PDF $21. Thog see option for book plus PDF now only $100. Thog disinclined make purchase because typical yada yada Kickstarter limited/timed/whatever tiers. Thog disinclined read typical Kickstarter wall of text.

Thog asking help.

You explain like am five year old.

Am mistaken? If mistaken, where click buy book plus PDF not cost $100 but include much product not-what-want-buy?

Much thanks.

Also, long time no talk. Good see you.

The 70 dollar combined level ended a few hours early for some reason. Recreated as "Blackblade" for last second use.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Well, looks like I missed it. My apologies.


Ssalarn wrote:

Just to let everyone know, City of Seven Seraphs is officially funded and into stretch goals, so that means the book will be published and it will include-

1) Updated and expanded rules for veilweaving and akashic magic.
2)Three new akashic classes: The Nexus, a planar knight that can take on the abilities and powers of various outsiders, the Radiant, an akashic healer that can invest essence directly into her allies to strengthen them and draw the essence back out to remove negative status conditions, and the Eclipse, a shadowy veilweaver who combines dark akashic magic with high skill facility and assassination techniques.
3) Over 100 new veils!
4) New vizier mystic attunements, new guru philosophies, and new daevic passions.

And maybe a few things more that we're waiting until final funding to lock in.

I saw the 'Shadewalker/Eclipse' listing in the full race/class reveal and was a bit confused by the name change. Now I find out that this Shadowcaster/Lurk inspired class will be a veilweaver, and I am positively vibrating with excitement!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Bahumut wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

Just to let everyone know, City of Seven Seraphs is officially funded and into stretch goals, so that means the book will be published and it will include-

1) Updated and expanded rules for veilweaving and akashic magic.
2)Three new akashic classes: The Nexus, a planar knight that can take on the abilities and powers of various outsiders, the Radiant, an akashic healer that can invest essence directly into her allies to strengthen them and draw the essence back out to remove negative status conditions, and the Eclipse, a shadowy veilweaver who combines dark akashic magic with high skill facility and assassination techniques.
3) Over 100 new veils!
4) New vizier mystic attunements, new guru philosophies, and new daevic passions.

And maybe a few things more that we're waiting until final funding to lock in.

I saw the 'Shadewalker/Eclipse' listing in the full race/class reveal and was a bit confused by the name change. Now I find out that this Shadowcaster/Lurk inspired class will be a veilweaver, and I am positively vibrating with excitement!

It actually wasn't going to be originally, but after Christen and I talked about a few things it made a lot more sense to convert certain aspects of the class over to the veilweaving system to minimize the amount of new rules language backers would need to parse through. I think it's a really positive change overall, and creates a strong "trinity" of new akashic classes that give us the Light, the Dark, and the Nexus (which was basically the sentence that convinced us transitioning to an akashic class was the right move). If enough people really want a new stand-alone shadowcasting system though, we might end up supporting that as well, so we'll see where the future takes us!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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I thought I'd pop in to let anyone who hadn't heard know that I've been working with Lost Spheres Publishing to add a bunch of new materials to the akashic system as part of their new planar campaign setting, City of 7 Seraphs. As of right now, anyone one who backed Co7S at the .pdf level or higher should have access to the playtests for all three new akashic classes (Eclipse, Nexus, and Radiant), as well as scores of new veils! If you missed out on the Kickstarter, you can still gain access to these goodies by preordering through Backerkit! Access to the playtest docs can take up to a week from the time you place your preorder since Lost Spheres needs to manually push the playtest packets out after they receive the payment confirmation notification.

Paizo Employee

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For anyone who's interested, there is now a 57 page .pdf full of amazing art, three new akashic classes, and tons of new veils available here!

If you happen to be a backer of the City of Seven Seraphs Kickstarter at a level where you should be receiving a copy of the final book, check your e-mail because it's possible you already have a download link for the Akashic Trinity .pdf as part of your Kickstarter rewards.


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Having read the classes, I strongly suggest that everyone should check this out - the new akashic classes are mega-impressive.


So is Akashic Trinity the akashic stuff from the planar city thing minus anything that isn't akashic?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
So is Akashic Trinity the akashic stuff from the planar city thing minus anything that isn't akashic?

It's the three new akashic classes and all of their associated veil sets. The City of 7 Seraphs campaign setting will still have some akashic materials not included in the Akashic Trinity .pdf, like new akashic races and class options.

I should probably add that Akashic Trinity is now available here at Paizo as well!


Drats... I bought the trinity thinking it would include all akashic stuff since I have little money to spare right now... The classes themselves look cool but I have a couple of issues with some abilities, which I will mention in my review soon.
Is the material in finished form? or can we still give some input?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

There's even more akashic goodness in my latest release from Lost Spheres Publishing the Zodiac! Able to summon the constellations in the form of magical equipment or powerful companions, the zodiac release includes not just the new zodiac class, but new akashic feats, veils, traits, and more. The zodiac should be available on the Paizo webstore soon, but on the off chance that you just can't wait to get your hands on it, you can purchase it through the link above.
If you happen to be attending PaizoCon and won one of my events in the lottery, the zodiac will be not one, but two of the pregens available for my employee special "Broken Lattice", an 8th level planar adventure.


I just realized something: the nameer never replace Sweeping Tail. Is this intended?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
I just realized something: the nameer never replace Sweeping Tail. Is this intended?

Yep. It's more of a hook and flick than a proper sweep since they've got cat tails and not gator tails, but I left it intentionally.


Michael Sayre wrote:
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
I just realized something: the nameer never replace Sweeping Tail. Is this intended?
Yep. It's more of a hook and flick than a proper sweep since they've got cat tails and not gator tails, but I left it intentionally.

Still it deals damage independent of the trip; that's some muscular tiger tail.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Michael Sayre wrote:

There's even more akashic goodness in my latest release from Lost Spheres Publishing the Zodiac! Able to summon the constellations in the form of magical equipment or powerful companions, the zodiac release includes not just the new zodiac class, but new akashic feats, veils, traits, and more. The zodiac should be available on the Paizo webstore soon, but on the off chance that you just can't wait to get your hands on it, you can purchase it through the link above.

If you happen to be attending PaizoCon and won one of my events in the lottery, the zodiac will be not one, but two of the pregens available for my employee special "Broken Lattice", an 8th level planar adventure.

Seeing Endzeitgeist's update on his seal-of-approval review for the zodiac reminded me that most of the pregens I mentioned in the above post can now be viewed in the xiao's akashic characters thread here, so I thought I'd share those with anyone who might be interested.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Just wanted to take the opportunity to pop up and say that my experience so far with the Akashic system has been really fun. I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for something new that'll keep you busy thinking every round.


Seconded here, Anguish! Akasha is really a great system that keeps every round interesting!


On a personal level, I like it when classes and systems allow players to make meaningful choices about what to do each round. You don't want to paralyze people with too many options, but I feel like important choices are the real core of the game. If it's always one thing, then you might as well be an NPC, y'know? I think a lot of third-party systems - including this one - do a good job of emphasizing the value of choice. ^^

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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GM Rednal wrote:
On a personal level, I like it when classes and systems allow players to make meaningful choices about what to do each round. You don't want to paralyze people with too many options, but I feel like important choices are the real core of the game. If it's always one thing, then you might as well be an NPC, y'know? I think a lot of third-party systems - including this one - do a good job of emphasizing the value of choice. ^^

I'm getting a pretty significant body of work built up for this subsystem too!

Between Akashic Mysteries, Akashic Trinity, The Zodiac and the additional content in the final version of City of 7 Seraphs as well as the upcoming Akashic Realms, I think we'll have cracked the 200 mark for veils alongside significant feat and class option support for 7 classes.
There's also some additional akashic materials that Dreamscarred has continued producing, but I'm less familiar with those.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
Between Akashic Mysteries, Akashic Trinity, The Zodiac and the additional content in the final version of City of 7 Seraphs as well as the upcoming Akashic Realms, I think we'll have cracked the 200 mark for veils alongside significant feat and class option support for 7 classes.

That's awesome.

I don't know if I mentioned how I'm micromanaging my character. I printed all the veils (templated up a format in CorelDRAW!) on parchment paper at about 4x6" then laminated them. I've already got the parchment and laminator from my Path of War cards creation.

Then I got some cheap 4x6" flat magnetic backing sheets. Just add a pack of 48 clear "push-pin" style magnets to denote essence investment, and a pack of 48 mixed-colour magnets to denote binds or an akashic catalyst, and I'm good to go. All the veils are in a plastic box, except the most common ones. One magnet sheet per veil I can shape, lay the shaped veil on top, and pop magnets on top of that, move as re-investing.

Sure, I'm kind of spread out at the end of the table with seven currently shaped veils, but it's just a 6" strip and I keep the box of veils at my feet. Fun.


One of my players is having a lot of fun running a vizier. It's a pretty versatile class. I think this system of magic better represents a Doctor Strange type sorcerer.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Brother Fen wrote:
It's a pretty versatile class.

Agreed. While not actually having direct access to spells, it's got this weird ability to make me feel like a kid in a candy store, with responsible parents... I want that, and that, and that and one of those and oooh, I need that too! Only I have to pick a sensible subset, sometimes each round.

The math behind things is also pretty amazing. At 7th level, I worked things out. With our basic build rules (25-point buy), my mostly-melee vizier's damage-per-hit is within .5 hit points of an optimized, raging, Power-Attacking barbarian. That said, her to-hit isn't as high because she's not Strength-based, so the math leaves her 20-25% less likely to hit. Which is really reasonable. But finding the per-hit damage to be so accurate was a pleasant surprise. Michael knows his stuff.

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