Aethera Campaign Setting (PFRPG)

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Amazing Adventures Among the Stars!

Experience the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game like never before! Discover worlds where magic and technology exist together, where powerful spacefaring vessels called aetherships ply the skies and the stars. The Aethera Campaign Setting features a binary star system with multiple inhabited worlds that have only just survived a century-long war, and even now live in the shadow of an impending intergalactic invasion! Inside this massive 576-page tome you will find:

  • Four new races: Erahthi, plant-like entities with ties to a mysterious verdant elemental plane. Infused, survivors of magical experiments that possess a psychic network and telekinetic abilities. Okanta, giant-blooded humanoids endowed with powerful bestial traits and remarkable cunning. Phalanx, bio-organic constructs with living souls capable of tapping into past-life memories.
  • A new base class: the cantor, a divine spellcaster that uses the prophecy and song to debilitate enemies and enhance themselves and their allies.
  • Six new worlds to explore: The twin stars of Aethera and Ashra, the wasteland world of Akasaat, the jungle planet Kir-Sharaat, the Amrita Asteroid Belt, the gas giant Seraos, and the shrouded ice world of Orbis Aurea.
  • New rules for exciting, fast-paced vehicle combat that involves the entire party and allows you to build and captain your own ships.
  • New hybrid magical technology—aethertech—from mechanical prosthetics to unstoppable powered armor.
  • Dozens of new class archetypes, feats, spells, and MUCH, MUCH MORE!
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    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    5/5

    This colossal tome of a campaign setting clocks in at a HUGE 583 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 3 pages KS-backer thanks, 2 pages of introduction, 3 pages of ToC, 3 pages of SRD, 1 page table/sidebar-index, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 568 pages of content.

    568 pages. Yeah, I won’t be able to dive into the details and nit and grit of every component of this colossal book, at least not without bloating this pdf beyond any form of usefulness. Got that? All right, so, first things first: This book is BEAUTIFUL. I mean it. You’ll flip open the book and see a layout, crafted by Robert Brookes, Liz Courts and Loren Sieg, and see borders that evoke at once science-fiction and art deco aesthetics, providing a rather unique visual identity for the book.

    The next thing you’ll note after the introduction, is that the chapters actually sport thematically-fitting comic-strips as lead-ins – 1 -2 pages each. Now, unlike many a campaign setting, Aethera spans obviously multiple worlds, and as such, comments on variant races and can carry pretty much an infinite amount of supplemental races. That being said, the book contains a total of 4 fully-depicted racial write-ups for new races, all of which come with age, height and weight-tables. It is in these write-ups that your jaw will likely hit the floor, as the artworks throughout this book are absolute premium-level quality. Absolutely gorgeous. The first of the races depicted herein are Erahthi, who hail from ancient forests. Born from massive fruit, they are creatures that blend the aesthetics of plants and elemental powers, and before you ask, they do have a skeletal structure. Indeed, the pdf presents relatively detailed notes for the respective societies and relations of the respective races presented. Erahthi get +2 to Con and +2 to one other ability score of their choice, are native outsiders, Medium, have darkvision and camouflage in forest terrain as well as +1 natural armor. They are treated as both plants and native outsiders for purposes of bane et al., get +4 to saves vs. mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison and stun effects and they are immune to sleep. Non-magical undergrowth does not affect the erahthi and since they breathe through their skin, they have some cool tricks: One hand above water can keep them from drowning! However, this also imposes a -2 penalty to saves versus inhaled fumes, poisons, smoke and the like. Erahthi with Cha 11+ also get 1/day speak with plants. We get balanced FCOs for the druid, monk, shaman and slayer classes. Unique, flavorful, balanced – and before you ask, the bonus types are concisely presented throughout all races.

    Now, it should be noted that humans get a really nice, fully detailed write-up, obviously sans stats, but yeah – nice! The next new race would be the infused, basically an attempt to create a super-soldier Übermensch via the infusion of aether, these beings had suffered horrid losses in both numbers and previous identities, with the transition being often rather traumatic, with infertility and a shortened lifespan being most notable. The project that gave life to them has seen its day, and thus, to a degree, these are the twilight years for this race. Favored class option-wise, we get notes for brawler, fighter, cavalier, sorcerer, psychic and kineticist. The infused get +2 Dex and Cha, -2 Con, are humanoids with aether and human subtypes. While in zero gravity or affected by levitate, the infused gain a fly speed equal to ½ their land speed. Minor complaint: No maneuverability is given. I assume average as a default. Infused with a Charisma greater than 11 gain at-will mage hand and open/close as well as 1/day shield as SPs. They also begin play with Arcane Strike as a bonus feat and immunity to aetheric radiation. They can create a psychic bond with another creature with the aether subtype, which requires skin contact for 1 minute. Unwilling targets can attempt a Will-save to avoid the bond, with the DC scaling with the infused’s HD and Cha-mod. After a successful bond, both creatures get a +4 racial bonus to Sense each other’s Motives and to Bluff checks to pass secret messages. 1/day, an infused may share thoughts with one or more bonded creatures as per mindlink and an infused may maintain a psychic bond with up to 3 + Cha-mod creatures. Okay, one question: Can the infused end such a bond willingly? The lack of duration makes me think that it’s permanent and an inability to end such a bond by ways other than death would mean a rather large difference in how the race behaves.

    The third new race herein would be the animal-look-alike race of the Okanta, who look basically like anthropomorphized animals with massive horns – the artworks depict a bear- and a lion-based okanta, both of which manage to look actually badass. Their favored class options cover fighter, cavalier, paladin, shaman and spiritualist, as befitting of their culture. Racial traits wise, they may freely choose to assign +2 to one of the ability scores other than Strength: The +2 bonus to Strength is ficed. They are Medium humanoids with the okanta subtype and low-light vision as well as a +2 bonus to saves versus fear effects. Their horns grant them a 1d6 gore attack (would have been convenient to have the natural attack type classified here – as provided, you need to resort to the default). 1/day, an okanta can observe a creature that has a skill the okanta doesn’t have. After the 1 hour studying period, the okanta treats the skill as a class skill with ranks equal to the okanta’s level, but does not qualify the okanta for skill unlocks. Still, cool one! They also get powerful build, but suffer from light sensitivity.

    The Century War that gave rise to the creation of the infused also influenced the creation of the phalanx: Unearthed and reverse-engineered bio-mechanical constructs that actually gained sentience and soul. Suffice to say, many are war veterans today, and while gender-neutral, some phalanx have chosen to adopt gendered identities. The race comes with favored class options for monk, ranger, sorcerer, wizard and rogue. Phalanx gain +2 Con and Cha, -2 Wis, and are constructs with the phalanx subtye. They have a Con-score and don’t get bonus HP depending on size. They are Medium, with darkvision and Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. They get +4 to Diplomacy to gather information and +1 natural armor. They can also tap into the lingering memories of their souls: 1/day as a move action, they may grant themselves a feat for which they meet the prerequisites. A phalanx’ body is powered by aetherite: They must consume at least 1 au per day to avoid starvation. A phalanx remains functional for 3 + Con-mod days sans aetherite – after that, they fall unconscious and remain so indefinitely, until fed aetherite. Notice something? Yeah, robot-detectives. The artworks btw. enhance this angle and the somewhat noiresque sleuthing. Aethera predates it, but in light of Altered Carbon et al., that made me smile. As an aside: The massive construct immunities make these fellows pretty strong – but *usually* when a construct race gets its immunities, those are explicitly noted once more in the racial presentation. Their absence here means that you can kinda have your cake and eat it, too: Conservative GMs can make them behave less like constructs and ignore immunities, while those who enjoy more potent playstyles can run with them. Not ideal, mind you, but yeah. On another side, the setting assumes a level of discrimination aginst both infused and phalanx, so that should help even things out.

    The racial chapter, as a whole, provides a rather interesting array of options. Much to my joy, the races feel fresh and interesting and, more importantly, refrain from the annoying “XYZ….IN SPAAAACE”-pitfall, instead opting for unique tricks. I also like the notes for classic PFRPG-races, acknowledging what’s here without just rehashing everything.

    All right, the massive racial chapter done, we now move on to the discussion on classes in the campaign setting, which begins with a new base class, the cantor. Cantors get d8 HD, 6 + Int skills per level, ¾ BAB-progression as well as good Will-saves. They are proficient with light and medium armor as well as shields, excluding tower shields. The cantor is basically a divine bard and as such gets divine spellcasting of up to 6th level, with Wisdom as governing spellcasting attribute and the instrument as a spellcasting focus – which may mean that a cantor’s body can qualify as such. Contrary to paradigm, the cantor is a spontaneous caster and draws his spells from his own unique spell-list, which is provided with full hyperlinks for your convenience. The bardic performance equivalent, divine performance, follows the design paradigm of the bard’s performance, but does not qualify as such for the purposes of bardic masterpieces. 4 + Wisdom modifier rounds are provided at first level, with each subsequent level yielding another +2 rounds. Starting a divine performance is a standard action, until 7th level, where it may be started as a move action instead. Unlike bardic performance, the divine performance is more limited, with base uses covering countersong and fascinate, and the third use providing a reroll for an attack or save before results are made known, though this potent option has a 1 hour-cool-down. 7th level extends that ability to allies and 13th level to nearby foes, with the interactions with the cooldown noted precisely, though both such upgraded uses are immediate actions, something that changes at 19th level, where it becomes a free action, though one that can still only be taken 1/round.

    Now, you can probably glean from this reduced flexibility that this is not where the class ends. Instead, the cantor chooses a hymn at 1st level – these behave very much like e.g. bloodlines. The respective hymns are associated with planets and planes and they bestow a class skill as well as bonus skills and spells. Each of the hymns nets a new divine performance and at 3rd level, we get a so-called hymn verse, with 8th and 14th level providing the greater and superior verse for the hymn instead.

    Now, there is an interconnection between the hymn chosen and the verse class feature: At 2nd level and 6th level as well as at 8th, 12th, 14th, 18th and 20th level, the character gains an additional verse, which may be used even when maintaining a performance. Using a verse is a standard action and Wisdom governs the save DC, if any. 7 verses are provided, which, as a whole, made me wish we’d get a few more. They are per se interesting and solid. Then again, there is an important reason for the relative lack of choice here: At 3rd level, the cantor may replace the hymn verse with another verse when regaining spell slots, which also grants the selected hymn’s divine performance. At 9th level, 2 such repertoire hymns may be chosen. At 4th level, the class gains the basic verse granted by each hymn currently chosen as a repertoire hymn, with 10th and 16th level adding the greater and superior hymns of the respective repertoire hymns. Starting at 5th level, the cantor can cast a spell from a rehearsed hymn by spending a spell slot of the proper level 1/day; at 8th level and every 3 levels thereafter, the class feature may be used an additional time per day.

    8th level unlocks 5 general greater verses and 14th level yields 4 different superior verses, which are not assigned to a hymn. The 11th level ability allows the cantor to start a second divine performance while maintaining one, at the cost of twice the rounds for the second performance, for a total of 3 rounds cost. This cost is reduced to only one round of cost per performance at 17th level. 15th level allows the character to 1/day change a repertoire hymn with 10 minutes of meditation. The capstone provides divine performance maintenance without round expenditure, delimiting the performance. It should be noted that a total of 11 hymns are provided for your convenience. So yeah, the class provides player agenda and choices and its variable hymn-engine is interesting. All in all, one of the better hybrid-y classes out there and I’d probably be singing higher praises here, were it not for my love of Jason Linker’s Ultimate Composition class of the same name. We get favored class options for the new aethera races as well as the human race. Archetype-wise, the cantor gets 4 modifications: Divine dancers represent basically an engine tweak; orthodoxists get clouded vision, but also fate-themed abilities. The song councilor is a healer-specialist, capable of transferring damage. The song seeker, finally, is the repertoire specialist. All in all, decent archetypes and tweaks, but not exactly super exciting. Still, as a whole – the cantor presented herein ranks as one of the more compelling classes I’ve seen within the context of a campaign setting.

    From there, we move on to the class option array, which contains a vast plethora of different new archetypes and tricks: Bioengineer alchemists are specialists of summoning animals with the aetherwarped template, with higher level providing detonating critters. The combat medic alchemist is a pretty cool idea, using stims to mitigate negative conditions while boosting allies. Cool one! The Wastelander is a pretty typical scavenger etc. and is pretty bland; there are also two discoveries – one for plasma bombs and one for negative energy bombs. Arcanists may elect to become rift breakers, who generate elemental rifts and further modify these, with surges and upgrades etc. – the archetype is pretty complex and unique, spanning multiple pages, but as a whole, I felt like it would have been better represented as an alternate class. Bards may elect to become aether weavers, who get to create eidolons, with the Perform skill used to create them infusing their stats. Warsingers are bard/kineticist crossovers and vox riders are the political firebrands and demagogues. Theme-wise, I loved the last of these most, as it is the most unique one. The blue-shifted bloodrager has aetherite-infused bloodlines and as such gets some telekinetic skills, including the simple blast. The colossus brawler is focused on forming an aetherite shield, while the titan archetype gets a grit-based engine.

    You can find part II of my massive review here!


    Out of this World

    5/5

    Get it? Out of this world? Space RPG? Ah-ha-ha!

    I don't write a lot of reviews, but this book warrants one, as it needs to have more love. I was concerned that Aethera would be overshadowed by Starfinder, but this game is completely different. Rather than being the traditional D&D-in-Space sort of gameplay, this campaign setting has a feel that is singularly unique.

    Within Aethera, there are a significant amount of campaign points that could be used as story arcs. The writing is top-notch, and it's easy to find some bits and bobs that you could potentially use in a campaign. It's even easy enough to use fairly toss-away ideas as the bases for whole campaigns.

    Between the dieselpunk-style technological development with the political structure that addresses colonialism, imperialism, and authoritarianism vs. individualism, it's easy to create just about any sort of campaign that you want. Each planet in the Aethera system, and each location and story arc allows for a different type of science fiction - which I feel is probably the most interesting aspect of this campaign setting. If you want to play a game that's built around political intrigue set in a sci-fi post-war environment, you could easily do that; likewise if you wanted to play a Fallout-like post-apocalyptic style game, that's available as well -- just head on down to the human homeworld of Akasaat -- and likewise, the human homeworld has hive-like arcologies of people that exist on top of each other with glitzy, powerful entities living at the top of the heap.

    There's something for everyone in this book. I highly, highly suggest it.


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    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Todd Stewart wrote:
    WormysQueue wrote:


    Well, ok, you won. Seeing that Shemeshka the Marauder had her hands (claws?) on this thing was the final nail to the coffin (which I now probably can't afford anymore ;) )
    Oh my claws were all over some parts of this. Lots of planar content, some monsters, the section on Aethera and Ashra, and an archetype. I had oh so much fun working on it all. :D

    Todd, the sooner you start writing Planes of Aethera, the happier I will be. You guys killed it with this project!


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Isabelle Lee wrote:
    John Napier 698 wrote:
    Liz Courts wrote:
    Isabelle Lee wrote:
    And Event Horizon.
    I was trying to forget about the Kytons...but they won't forget about me... *hears music*
    Actually, Kytons are more Hellraiser than Event Horizon, but that's just my opinion.

    Normal kytons are. The Choir of the Machine has made... advancements.

    (I was specifically asked to check out Event Horizon for this project.)

    I feel stupid for it, but I never realized until I read my backer copy how Borg-like the Kytons are. And how g!~@#%n terrifying it would be to have them lurking just out of reach in every shadow. That is very much a compliment, First Contact left me in tears as a child. Aethera finally convinced me to put my heart into moving the Kyton's primarily from being on Baator to the Plane of Shadow for Planescape.

    And then adding the Taur ships on top of that...


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Oh...I want this...but I need to save my money for other things...sigh.

    Any idea how much the print copy will be?

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Print copy will be $59.99, about the same as the Starfinder CRB I believe.


    Sigh I am going have to wait on this one.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Many things about this are great. I am not sure how I feel about "the score" yet.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Michael Monn wrote:
    Many things about this are great. I am not sure how I feel about "the score" yet.

    The Score was created as both a storytelling and GM's tool, and also to help differentiate our setting from a place like Golarion, where concepts like prophecy and predestination are minimized. It's strongly inspired by the Draconic Prophecy from Eberron, in that it's more of a living road map that can be altered or misread.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

    The Exchange

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Robert Brookes wrote:
    It's strongly inspired by the Draconic Prophecy from Eberron

    Have to read about it yet (so far I'm just reading the human entry in the races section), but I love Eberron , so any inspiration you got from there is really appreciated

    Liberty's Edge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Robert Brookes wrote:
    Michael Monn wrote:
    Many things about this are great. I am not sure how I feel about "the score" yet.

    The Score was created as both a storytelling and GM's tool, and also to help differentiate our setting from a place like Golarion, where concepts like prophecy and predestination are minimized. It's strongly inspired by the Draconic Prophecy from Eberron, in that it's more of a living road map that can be altered or misread.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

    Thanks for the clarification on the score. It just seems weird to have the solar system shut off in a pocket so other gods or divine magic be restricted. To me it is not good or bad, just different.

    I guess maybe I am trying to see how well Aethera can mesh with Starjammer, and with the system shut off in like a pocket, it might be difficult to incorporate aspects from Starfinder.

    I imagine all these are not problems if you run the Aethera game vanilla, and at this point I am just collecting all the ideas I can for a future game.

    Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Robert Brookes wrote:
    Print copy will be $59.99, about the same as the Starfinder CRB I believe.

    You can preorder the hardback (by itself or as a print/PDF bundle) right now at the Legendary Games webstore, to make sure you get in the first wave of books we ship out.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Robert Brookes wrote:
    Michael Monn wrote:
    Many things about this are great. I am not sure how I feel about "the score" yet.

    The Score was created as both a storytelling and GM's tool, and also to help differentiate our setting from a place like Golarion, where concepts like prophecy and predestination are minimized. It's strongly inspired by the Draconic Prophecy from Eberron, in that it's more of a living road map that can be altered or misread.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

    I picked up on that right away! Given that The Prophecy is one of my favourite aspects of Eberron, it is a welcome addition.

    Paizo Employee Canadian Maplecakes

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Michael Monn wrote:

    I guess maybe I am trying to see how well Aethera can mesh with Starjammer, and with the system shut off in like a pocket, it might be difficult to incorporate aspects from Starfinder.

    I imagine all these are not problems if you run the Aethera game vanilla, and at this point I am just collecting all the ideas I can for a future game.

    Having written a fair bit for the 'Beyond Aethera' section of the book, I'll come in with some expectation management. The focus of the game is primarily on the Aethera system, but there's also a lot of things pulled in from beyond the solar system. One of the setting's primary antagonists, the taur, are a species who've come from outside solar systems and had their entire race changed as a result of entering a system where divine powers are cut-off.

    I think there's A LOT of material to mine from the Aethera setting, even if you're just looking for inspiration for a home run Pathfinder in space / Starfinder game. Also, I'd say the reverse is true, and you'd be able to include a lot of Starfinder material (races being a prime example) into the Aethera setting.

    Hopefully that's some additional encouragement!

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    5 people marked this as a favorite.

    One of the other things we're committed to, given the huge success we've had, is continuing to explore and develop the setting's metaplot. The reason for the severance from the Astral and Outer planes, where the taur came from (and what they want), what happened to the moon Thycalese, and other mysteries will be delved into and flayed open to give GMs lots of options for their own games in future supplements.

    We have at least one more book on the docket for 2017 (the Intrigue Manual) and we've pulled some astounding talent for that. We have an entire section in there on running an intrigue game and using subjective storytelling by none other than the creator of Dragon Age, David Gaider.

    So, if you like what we have now, there's more to come.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    When they showed you the Starfinder early material, why did you guys choose to stay with Pathfinder rather than go with Starfinder? Without violating NDA or anything else, was there just a mechanical reason or something else?

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    A number of reasons that I can't really get into without violating NDA.

    The core of it was that we decided it was best to stay a Pathfinder product. Aethera was designed for Pathfinder and with its classes in mind both mechanically and in lore.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    I know that Aethera wouldn't be the same for me if it didn't have content from Occult Adventures.

    The Exchange

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Thursty wrote:
    I think there's A LOT of material to mine from the Aethera setting, even if you're just looking for inspiration for a home run Pathfinder in space / Starfinder game.

    That's probably exactly what I will do. It poses some problem for my homebrew, because it is kinda cut off from the rest of the material plane for some reason, but as this state will probably be transient, it will be good to have something prepared when it finally happens.

    Then there's Starfinder and I can totally imagine putting the Aethera system in it, especially as you can never have enough planets to explore and interact with

    By the way, that might be totally unknown in the U.S., but here in Germany we have this ongoing science fantasy series named Perry Rhodan which has existed since 1961 and has just reached #2900. That series has accumulated a wealth of cosmology and planetary systems probably surpassing Star Wars and Star Trek combined, so as far as that goes, I think I'm covered for starters.

    And then there's of course the possibility that Aethera wows me so much that I decide to run it and insert material there as I find the need to.

    Silver Crusade

    Thursty wrote:
    Michael Monn wrote:

    I guess maybe I am trying to see how well Aethera can mesh with Starjammer, and with the system shut off in like a pocket, it might be difficult to incorporate aspects from Starfinder.

    I imagine all these are not problems if you run the Aethera game vanilla, and at this point I am just collecting all the ideas I can for a future game.

    Having written a fair bit for the 'Beyond Aethera' section of the book, I'll come in with some expectation management. The focus of the game is primarily on the Aethera system, but there's also a lot of things pulled in from beyond the solar system. One of the setting's primary antagonists, the taur, are a species who've come from outside solar systems and had their entire race changed as a result of entering a system where divine powers are cut-off.

    I think there's A LOT of material to mine from the Aethera setting, even if you're just looking for inspiration for a home run Pathfinder in space / Starfinder game. Also, I'd say the reverse is true, and you'd be able to include a lot of Starfinder material (races being a prime example) into the Aethera setting.

    Hopefully that's some additional encouragement!

    I think there's a dark nebula within a certain spiral galaxy of stars ruled by an empire of dragons that this setting can be placed in... and I'm looking forward to doing just that.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Is there a player option in the book to play as a Paragon that I have not seen? The Paragon Marshals are pretty neat (and have Mythic levels to boot!).

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    Paragons are unique creatures with racial hit dice and other baked-in abilities. Think of them like a giant from a bestiary with class levels and mythic ranks. They'll all be statted in our first Bestiary and will be getting a little more attention in the upcoming Intrigue Manual.

    As for playing a Paragon, they are basically advanced infused. They have the same minklink abilities and other such qualities. If you took an infused and made them Large and gave them enough Hit Dice and class levels and mythic tiers to put them in a CR 25-29 range, you'd have an idea of what a Paragon looks like, mechanically.


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    WormysQueue wrote:
    By the way, that might be totally unknown in the U.S., but here in Germany we have this ongoing science fantasy series named Perry Rhodan which has existed since 1961 and has just reached #2900. That series has accumulated a wealth of cosmology and planetary systems probably surpassing Star Wars and Star Trek combined, so as far as that goes, I think I'm covered for starters.

    Perry Rhodan is obscure but not totally unknown. When I was a kid in the 1970s, I recall seeing Perry Rhodan books in American bookstores, but they were already a couple of hundred volumes into the series so I never got started. I haven't seen any Perry Rhodan books in this century.

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Robert Brookes wrote:

    Paragons are unique creatures with racial hit dice and other baked-in abilities. Think of them like a giant from a bestiary with class levels and mythic ranks. They'll all be statted in our first Bestiary and will be getting a little more attention in the upcoming Intrigue Manual.

    As for playing a Paragon, they are basically advanced infused. They have the same minklink abilities and other such qualities. If you took an infused and made them Large and gave them enough Hit Dice and class levels and mythic tiers to put them in a CR 25-29 range, you'd have an idea of what a Paragon looks like, mechanically.

    I imagine that if they were created, they could be created again... =)

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Michael Monn wrote:
    Robert Brookes wrote:

    Paragons are unique creatures with racial hit dice and other baked-in abilities. Think of them like a giant from a bestiary with class levels and mythic ranks. They'll all be statted in our first Bestiary and will be getting a little more attention in the upcoming Intrigue Manual.

    As for playing a Paragon, they are basically advanced infused. They have the same minklink abilities and other such qualities. If you took an infused and made them Large and gave them enough Hit Dice and class levels and mythic tiers to put them in a CR 25-29 range, you'd have an idea of what a Paragon looks like, mechanically.

    I imagine that if they were created, they could be created again... =)

    There's quite a lot of war crime-related minds thinking that exact same thing in the setting ;)


    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Did someone say war crimes?

    As for the Paragons, I know of some particularly brilliant bioengineers who might be able to offer help...

    Silver Crusade

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Giant Kytons.... as in giants that have been made into kytons.

    I'm terrified and excited all at once.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    I see somebody found my second favorite sidebar.

    When we get around to a bestiary you'll be seeing more of that.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Robert Brookes wrote:

    I see somebody found my second favorite sidebar.

    When we get around to a bestiary you'll be seeing more of that.

    Yay! We're all gonna die!

    The Exchange

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    David knott 242 wrote:
    Perry Rhodan is obscure but not totally unknown. When I was a kid in the 1970s, I recall seeing Perry Rhodan books in American bookstores, but they were already a couple of hundred volumes into the series so I never got started.

    I was lucky enough to get into the series with the fifth edition, when it was still relatively young. Also we have here a series of books that retells the story from the very beginnings, so it's easy to get into it from the start. But yeah, this series has a continuity spanning over several thousand years now (the actual plot plays in the year 5138), so while they start new mainplots every 100 issues within this continuity, there's an awful baggage of lore that can make it difficult to understand a lot of details.

    Interestingly enough, they are writing an alternative storyline for newer readers that re-imagines the old stories for a modern audience (but is alread at #145 again, so it seems to be quite successful as well).

    As far as I know, it never got much traction internationally, though it is actually very well written regarding the format (dime novel)

    Silver Crusade

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    I have to ask... were the Infused inspired by the Shinra SOLDIER Program from Final Fantasy VII? Because that's the first thing my mind went to while reading about them, with that notion being reinforced once I read the aether soldier fighter archetype (even though the archetype can be used by a fighter of any race).

    Dark Archive

    Starfinder Superscriber

    Will there be a Print/PDF bundle on Paizo?

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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    Blayde MacRonan wrote:
    I have to ask... were the Infused inspired by the Shinra SOLDIER Program from Final Fantasy VII? Because that's the first thing my mind went to while reading about them, with that notion being reinforced once I read the aether soldier fighter archetype (even though the archetype can be used by a fighter of any race).

    FFVII is an old favorite of mine so there's undoubtedly unconscious inspiration there. Because now that you point t out I totally see it, but it wasn't on my mind at the moment. That's absolutely a good touchstone to build a character concept or home campaign out of though.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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    DragoDorn wrote:
    Will there be a Print/PDF bundle on Paizo?

    I don't see why not. But that's more of a Jason question since Legendary is handling those logistics.

    Silver Crusade

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Robert Brookes wrote:
    Blayde MacRonan wrote:
    I have to ask... were the Infused inspired by the Shinra SOLDIER Program from Final Fantasy VII? Because that's the first thing my mind went to while reading about them, with that notion being reinforced once I read the aether soldier fighter archetype (even though the archetype can be used by a fighter of any race).
    FFVII is an old favorite of mine so there's undoubtedly unconscious inspiration there. Because now that you point t out I totally see it, but it wasn't on my mind at the moment. That's absolutely a good touchstone to build a character concept or home campaign out of though.

    FFVII is one of my favorites as well, almost as much as FFVI, so it wasn't that hard to pick up on.

    And you're right about the character concept... I plan on fully taking advantage of this very thing in the near future.

    The living idol template is pretty neat. It answers the question of what happens to outsiders called to the system, given that the Astral is sealed off and prevents them from returning to their native planes (summons work normally).

    I don't typically do reviews, but I had to write one up. It was ready to be posted, but my computer ate it, so I'll have to work on another one. Hopefully I'll have by Monday.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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    That's fantastic! I can't wait to see the review! Also good to know I'm not the only casualty of the board eating posts all the time ;)

    Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

    Robert Brookes wrote:
    That's fantastic! I can't wait to see the review! Also good to know I'm not the only casualty of the board eating posts all the time ;)

    I too have known this pain. So say we all. :)

    Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

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    Robert Brookes wrote:
    DragoDorn wrote:
    Will there be a Print/PDF bundle on Paizo?
    I don't see why not. But that's more of a Jason question since Legendary is handling those logistics.

    It will be available in print and print/PDF bundles on Paizo once the physical books are received by us and then delivered to Paizo, which will probably be around the beginning of August. Because of GenCon, they might get processed into their system until after the con, so we don't know for sure when they'll be live on the site here.

    We do encourage people who want to buy print copies and print/PDF bundles, however, to purchase them directly through us at the Legendary Games webstore, where you can preorder them now for one very simple reason: print books sold through Paizo.com are subject to a 50% consignment fee.

    That means if you buy an Aethera hardback here for $59.99 or a $79.99 print/PDF bundle, half of that price goes to us and half goes to Paizo, vs. sales through our own site that involve only credit card/Paypal processing fees (around 5%). We love having Paizo as a partner for getting our products out to people who might otherwise see them, and for hosting a great community of fans and 3rd-party publishers, but if you want to maximize the amount of your gaming dollar that gets into the hands of the people creating the products, it's a far better thing to buy direct whenever you can.

    Liberty's Edge

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    Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    This is gonna be awesome! So glad I backed this!

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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    Corerue wrote:
    This is gonna be awesome! So glad I backed this!

    You have my eternal gratitude for doing so :)


    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    Just bought the pdf on DriveThruRPG. Reading through it actually makes me want to halt my Dark Heresy game and come back to Pathfinder (which I haven't touched in over a year).

    This project is defitenly a breath of fresh, creative life into the game and I will defitenly try and get an Aethera game ready to go at some point in the future. I wish I had been able to back this but I was laid off at the time the kickstarter was going on. Eager to get my hands on a print copy.

    I'll write an actual review in a few days but my intial impression of this is nothing less than amazing. It's definitely worth every penny, just for ideas alone.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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    That's absolutely phenomenal! I'm glad you're enjoying the material. Those authors loses as contributors in the credits poured their hearts into this book and it shows :)

    Liberty's Edge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Any plans or hopes on Hero Lab files?

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

    Jason and I have discussed it and it sounds like there's some demand. We're deliberating on how best to go forward with it since we have some options.

    Silver Crusade

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    I posted my review, but it was somewhat lacking due to illness. So I went back and tried to make it better. Like I said, I don't review products. If I like it, I use it and go on with my life. But I don't want to see this lost in the shuffle given all the fuss that's going to be made about Starfinder. And since Aethera allows me to run using what I have with only a few changes here and there, I'll be sticking with this over the other.

    Something tells me this would have made for a much better review than the one I wrote.

    Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

    We greatly appreciate you taking the time to write a review, Blayde, and I'm glad you're liking what you see with Aethera!

    Silver Crusade

    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Thank you for helping Robert and the others put out such a fine product. I like space fantasy a lot, and aside from Dragonstar back in the day, nothing else really delivered (though the Monstrous Arcana trilogy of modules "A Darkness Gathering", "Masters of Eternal Night", and "Dawn of the Overmind" by Bruce Cordell based off his work "The Illithiad" comes closest) in the way the I wanted. Eberron had those elements but not enough, and while I liked Spelljammer well enough, that didn't do it for me either. But Aethera is pretty much everything I could I ask for in a setting.

    While I'm thinking about it... will there be a supplement for aethership construction coming in the future? I'd be really excited to see such a product expand on what the setting book gives us.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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    I'm a HUGE fan of the illithiad and Dawn of the Overmind. I'm really glad you made those comparisons because they're some of my favorite works from 2e.

    As for more Aethership rules, there will be new ship frames and modules in the Intrigue Manual (all espionage-themed) and in the forthcoming Aethertech Manual even more. The Intrigue Manual will be out this year. We haven't nailed down a release date for the Aethertech Manual yet.

    Silver Crusade

    I loved Bruce Cordell's work on fleshing out the illithid, mainly due to the science he brought to give them a truly creeptastic feel and turned them into one of my favorite monsters to use against my players.

    Yes! More ship frames and modules and more aethertech. Can't wait for those to drop.

    I loved reading about Orbis Aurea and the okanta seem way more interesting than I had thought them initially to be, as, of the races introduced, they were the ones I felt kind of 'meh' about. Learning about their homeworld, however, caused my interest to in them to be piqued past that level, though.

    Will there be plans for presenting traits that are Aethera-centric, or even something like campaign traits? Also, are there plans to release the stats of the Aethera Iconics in pdf format at some point? I've seen jpegs of them, but nothing else at this point.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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    We've discussed traits internally and we want to introduce them in a book that focuses on the races of Aethera, but that's much further out right now that I can foresee on our product schedule. As for Campaign traits, that will have to wait until our first adventure path, which is also a little ways out.

    However, the iconics?

    Keep an eye out. There's an announcement coming of another new product that might very well interest you :)

    Silver Crusade

    I'll definitely keep an eye out for that announcement.

    How would wyrwoods fit within the context of the Aethera setting? I'm thinking that they could possibly be of erahthi origin, much like the ghoran were. But they could just as easily have been a stage of Hierarchy development project alongside the reverse-engineering of the phalanx.

    Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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    Wyrwoods would make a perfect fit as an erahthi experiment of the Builder caste, probably toward the very end of the Century war. Sort of their "answer" to the phalanx, but production on them never really finished by the time the war ended, leaving any surviving wyrwood in a precarious position. Maybe the erahthi try to scrap the project but some Riders find out about it and try to rescue the wyrwood, maybe the wyrwood escape and wind up in the Darkwild. There's a lot of ways you could take tha.

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