City of 7 Seraphs: Akashic Trinity (PFRPG) PDF

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Harness the Power of the Planes!

Ever wanted to wield the deadly demon-spores of a vrock? To fly on the wings of angels? To weave the veils of fey majesty around yourself? Now you can. Building on concepts from the Akashic Mysteries system, Akashic Trinity presents three new planar-themed classes that can bring the power of the multiverse to the players at your table!

An early glimpse at the worlds beyond in the upcoming City of 7 Seraphs book, these classes couldn’t be contained. Get your hands on the living convergences of the Nexus, spy with the shaded occultation of the Eclipse, or weave the light of life itself with the Radiant!

Bring this planar power to your game table today!.

City of Seven Seraphs - A Planar Campaign Capstone is a sourcebook for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Inspired by epic adventures in the Planes of the 2nd Edtion of the World's Oldest Fantasy RPG, The The City of Seven Seraphs will bring a home to planar adventure for the Pathfinder gaming community and infuse existing campaigns with a new level of otherworldly reality.

(While compatible with Akashic Mysteries, it is not required to use this product.)

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An review


This collection of new akasha classes clocks in at 57 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages blank (one of them only lists a few favored class options), leaving us with 51 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Full Disclaimer: While I did contribute material to the City of 7 Seraphs Kickstarter, I did not have a hand in any way, shape or form in the creation of this pdf. The material was already done before I got on board.

Now, much of this may be familiar for those familiar with Michael Sayre’s excellent work on Akashic Mysteries, but this pdf very much works like a stand-alone – it explains akasha, so you do not need to get Dreamscarred Press’ Akashic Mysteries-book. So yeah, since this works as a stand-alone book, let me quickly reiterate:

Akasha is basically a primal form of power that can enhance magic or psionics, for example, but it is also distinct from it. Mechanically, it could be described as “Incarnum that doesn’t suck.” Flavorwise, akasha manifests as veils, upheld by the focus of their wearer. Practitioners of akashic arts are known as veilweavers, for this reason. Veils are powered by essence, and this resource, while *usually* not expended, is invested into a receptacle – this can be a veil, an akashic feat or other ability. Investing essence or changing it is a swift action. When a character gains access to a veilweaving class, they have the potential to manifest and utilize any veil of that class. However, there is a limit here beyond the essence: Every veil is associated with a chakra, even if it is not bound to it. Chakras are points on the body that conduct magical energy, and veils do not interfere with magic items worn in the respective chakra slot. Veils manifest as translucent, eldritch constructs surrounding the body part. The slots are Hands, feet, head, wrists, shoulders, headband, neck, belt, chest, body. Some veils may be manifested to more than one slot, and some classes may yield additional slots or unique veils not usually available. Veils can be bound to a slot to increase their potency once a character has reached a certain level. In order to unleash a veil’s most potent abilities, this is what you have to do. Most veils are subject to SR, though exceptions do exist. Veils may be sundered, though reforming them is pretty quick, and they may be targeted by abjuration magics. Being ephemeral, they are easy to disguise…unless essence is invested in them, at which point they become less than subtle.

Some abilities and feats require that you bind essence in them. It is important to note the difference between “binding” and “investing” essence – invested essence can be quickly redistributed, while bound essence remains “locked” in place for 24 hours or until the veilweaver next shapes veils, which happens after the usual resting period. Critters summoned by veils may not be dismissed, but sundering the veil immediately gets rid of the critter. Veils have descriptors like spells, and some abilities cause essence burn – this essence becomes basically expended until the character has rested. However large the essence pool of a character may be, they can only invest a fixed amount of essence into a given receptacle. This limit is strictly governed by character level, and is known as essence capacity: The value starts at 1 and increases to 2 at 6th level, and by a further +1 every 6 levels thereafter, for a maximum of 4 at 18th level. This is extremely important for balancing akashic arts.

Veils do not require conscious effort to maintain, per-day abilities are note, and similarly, stacking, temporary hit points and weapon-like veils are covered: It should be noted that the latter are assumed to be proficient for the veilweaver manifesting them. If this system sounds complex to you, believe me, that it really isn’t – it has a lot of moving parts you can play with, but the basic ideas are easy to grasp and its functionality fits on a mere two pages, accounting for even esoteric components.

Now, it should be noted that this pdf focuses on the veils and 3 classes designed for the City of 7 Seraphs – this is basically the book that nets you the classes sans setting etc., and this is how I will rate it.

The first class would be the Eclipse. The eclipse gets d8 HD, 6 + Int skills per level, ¾ BAB-progression and good Fort- and Ref-saves. The class begins with 1 veil and essence and increases that to 7 veils and 20 essence, at 20th level. Eclipses get proficiency with simple weapons, hand crossbow, longsword, rapier, sap, shortbow, short sword shuriken and sword cane as well as bucklers. The save DC for their veilweaving is 10 + essence invested + Intelligence modifier. The class begins play with darkvision 60 ft., or otherwise increases darkvision by 30 ft. The eclipse may invest essence in this ability to increase the range of darkvision by a further 20 ft., and at 4th and 12th level, the essence capacity of this ability increases by 1. At 4 points of essence invested, the eclipse may see through supernatural darkness, while at 7 points invested (possible due to increased essence capacity), we have immunity to being blinded or dazzled and a properly typed, hefty bonus to saves vs. gaze attacks.

The other first level ability provided would be occultation, which, as a standard action, creates a shadowy copy of the eclipse. This copy manifests in an adjacent square, sharing the eclipse’s statistics (including height and weight!), items and veils, excluding consumables. This copy is immediately destroyed if it takes any damage or fails a save versus any spell or effect. An eclipse may freely switch perceptions between their self and the occultation, though the occultation only has a single move action per turn and can threaten enemies, make AOOs, etc. – AoOs executed count towards the per-round limit of the eclipse. It should be noted that the reference regarding attacking through the occultation becomes relevant at 11th level – explicitly stating this would be didactically more sensible, as this can create temporarily confusion prior to reading the advanced ability upgrade gained later. The eclipse may never move more than 50 ft, +50 ft. per class level, away before blinking out. When not having an active occultation, the eclipse gets +1/2 class level as a competence bonus to Stealth and as armor bonus to AC.

Occultation improves at 5th, 11th and 17th level: 5th level increases the range at which the occultation can spawn and also nets the occultation a perfect fly speed of 60 ft.; 11th level adds a second copy and lets the eclipse use an attack action or ability that would require a standard action to activate through them. 17tth level makes defeated occultations collapse into a miniature black hole that can cause massive damage to those nearby that fail their saves. This black hole is VERY damaging, and the lack of limit on this particular ability is troubling – I’d strongly suggest making the black hole effect require essence burn.

Second level nets trapfinding as well as Enigma. These may be used whenever the eclipse uses an attack action, including a targeted veil (i.e. non-AoE-veils that require choosing one or more targets) against an opponent (this prevents use for ally-buffs/personal veils), versus an opponent that is flat-footed, flanked or denied Dex-bonus to AC, or unaware of the eclipse’s presence. If the veil/attack misses, the enigma effects are wasted, and if multiple attack rolls are executed, only one needs to hit to deliver the enigma. Only one enigma may be applied to an attack action of veil activation. Additional enigmas are granted every 2 levels after 2nd, and 12 enigmas are provided. These include scaling cold damage, scaling Wisdom damage, a disrupting attack, a Strength/Dex-buff + Wisdom debuff…these are per se nice. I loved how the disrupting attack can make you lose martial or psionic focus (yes, this is Spheres of Might-compatible!). That being said, there is an enigma that is broken and needs a cap: Draining blow can replenish essence burn (which is super strong) AND also would allow you to replenish power points, ki points, grit points etc. – you know, LIMITED RESOURCES. Bear in mind that enigmas have NO DAILY LIMIT. This utterly delimits several limited resources, so let me grab my bag of kittens, while my occultation sets up flanking…let the slaughter begin.

This guffaw is uncharacteristic for the designer. The ability needs a hard cap. Bonuses, a high-level echo – the other enigmas are solid and the save-or-die assassination strike is relegated to a high enough level. Chakra-binding is unlocked at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, in the sequence: Hands, feet, Head, Wrists, Shoulders, Belt. At 7th level and every 6 levels thereafter, the class gets improving shadow armor: At 7th level, this translates to Hide in Plain Sight; 13th level nets dimension door between dimly lit or darker places, and 1/day shadow walk as a SP, +1/day for every 3 levels thereafter. 19th level nets a cool one: When reduced below 0 hp, as an immediate action, the eclipse can grant 60 hp, but prevents further occultation creation – why is this relevant? Well, all these shadow armor abilities only work while you have no occultation deployed! This is pretty clever! 8th and 14th level increase all essence capacity of receptacles by 1. From 10th level onward, eclipses may shape an additional veil on either feet or hands, chosen anew each day. When binding them to a hand, you can attack with two-weapons as a single attack action, at -2 to atk. Two veils on feet increase movement rate by 20 ft. If no two veils are shaped in either slot, the eclipse treats veils as 1 more point of essence invested; this explicitly allows the eclipse to exceed the usual limits. The capstone is called, probably as a nod to ole’ Ravenloft, Darklord, and allows for the binding of all darkness-descriptor veils, regardless of slot. Additionally, we have an apotheosis of sorts – no breath, no dying from old age, as well as a minor defense bonus in areas of dim light or less, get a nightshade’s darksense and may detect living beings and health with a combined blindsense and nondetection.

A veil list is included and we get favored class bonuses for dhampir, drow, dwarf, fetchling, gnome, halfling, human, orc, oread, sylph and undine.

The second class within would be the nexus, who gets d8 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as light and medium armor and shields, excluding tower shields. The class gets ¾ BAB-progression and good Fort- and Will-saves. Veilweaving is governed by Charisma, and we start at 1 veil and essence, and increase that to up to 10 veils and 20 essence at 20th level. 3rd, 9th and 15th level provide improved essence capacity, increasing the essence receptacle limit by 1 each. 2nd level nets chakra bind, with every 2 levels thereafter providing the next in the sequence of hands, feet, head, wrists, shoulders, headband, neck, belt, chest, body.

The nexus, flavor-wise, is attached to more than one plane and as such may channel destructive planar energies. This is exemplified by the planar detonation ability gained at first level: This is a ranged touch attack with close range that inflicts 1d6 piercing damage, +1d6 for every 2 class levels beyond 1st. (As an aside – feats to change physical damage types or an integrated switch would make sense here…) The nexus may take essence burn to increase that damage to 1d6 per class level + ½ Charisma modifier. When wielding a weapon-like veil, the nexus may make a single attack as a full-round action, adding planar detonation to the damage inflicted. Starting at 6th level, this may be done as a standard action. The capstone nets outsider apotheosis as well as a kind of pretty strong authority, depending on one choice that is based on the defining class feature of the class, the so-called convergence.

At 1st level, 4th and every 4 levels thereafter, the nexus becomes more attuned to a single plane. The nexus may choose to be treated as though of the plane’s alignment for the purpose of alignment-based effects (cool), and the nexus may either choose a new convergence at the respective levels, or advance an already existing one. Convergence ability saves are DC 10 + ½ class level + Charisma modifier, and identical benefits from two convergences actually *do* stack. Each convergence has 4 tiers of ability progression, but we do not get the full outer plane spectrum within – we do get 5 convergences, which at 4 tiers each, does provide for quite an array of choices, though. Theme-wise, we get Hell, Elemental, Heavens, Abyss, Underworld. Minor formatting nitpick: The Abyss’ convergence’s “Tier 1”-header is not properly bolded. Convergences unlock energy types for the damage caused by the planar detonation blasts, and the abilities allow for essence burn to generate shaped AoEs instead, summon forth outsiders, grant powerful SPs or add weapon qualities – At 4th tier, for example, any slashing weapon wielded by a Tier-4 nexus is considered to be vorpal! Ouch! Heaven’s 4th tier nets you a 1/week auto-resurrection…these are really cool, easy to design, and I certainly hope we’ll get more! Favored class option-wise, we get aasimar, dhampir, elf, fetchling, gnome, human, ifrit, oread, sylph, tiefling and undine.

The third class among the akashic classes within would be the one that perhaps looks blandest on paper, but plays much better than it looks: The radiant gets d6 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, proficiency with simple weapons and light armor,1/2 BAB-progression, good saves in all 3 categories, and they begin play with 1 veil and 1 essence, and increase that to 8 and 30, respectively. The veilweaving of the class is governed by Wisdom, and 3rd, 9th and 15th level increase essence capacity. Chakra binds are granted at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, in the sequence hands, head, headband, neck, belt, body. The radiant may reclaim and invest essence into allies within 60 ft. – the ally can move out of this range, but doing so makes reclaiming essence invested cause essence burn equal to the reclaimed essence. If the ally reenters the 60 ft. range, this essence burn is not taken. For each point of essence invested in an ally, the ally gets 5 temporary hit points as well as a +1 insight bonus on all saves. The temporary hit points replenish once per minute while the ally has essence invested. If the ally suffers from the diseased, poisoned or fatigued condition while essence is invested in them, the radiant may draw out this condition as part of reclaiming essence. The radiant gets a save versus the condition, if any. This ability is known as the akashic bond, and it is the cornerstone of the radiant.

Part II of my review can be found here!

Trinity, my love (no, not The Matrix’)


Akashic Trinity is a kind of preview product for the Pathfinder planar campaign setting/add-on, the greatly expected The City of Seven Seraphs, both by Lost Spheres Publishing. As the name indicates, it is a follow-up product for the awesome Akashic Mysteries by Dream Scarred Press. Both were penned by Michael Sayre. It includes 3 new veil-shaping base classes plus tons of veils for both the new and old akashic adventurers.

What’s inside?
Without counting cover, credits, intros and other stuff, we get 51 pages of akashic content for 12/10 bucks (It is on discount right now), which include:

-3 veil-shaping base classes, the roguish Eclipse, the warlockish Nexus, and the feyish, clerical Radiant. Like the other akashic classes, they have a high-fantasy feel and may not be very at home in low-magic or magic-less campaigns. They share a couple of things regarding their veil-shaping: they get increased essence limits and chakra binds, they get a veil class list, and include favored class bonus for races that make sense (not all core races are included for all classes for example).

The Eclipse would fill the role of the akashic rogue, a greatly-asked-for addition to the akashic subsystem. They get simple armor proficiency plus a couple of other rogue-like weapons, plus the buckler (no other armor proficiency), and have a d8 HD, medium BAB, 2 good saves (Fort and Ref), plus a nice rogue-like skill list paired with a generous 6 skill points per level. It is worth noting that their veil-shaping score is Intelligence, which more often than not will increases the skill repertoire of any Eclipse. They also can find traps at 2nd level, including magical ones. Here is where the mundane part of the class ends.

Like other akashic classes they are veilshapers. They get the least veils shaped (and bound) during their progression of any of the veil-shapers (but see Dark Intensity), although they gain essence at the same rate as Gurus, leaving plenty of points for some of their other essence receptacles. Apart from veilshaping, they get several wondrous abilities, the first one being the weirdest (and more awesome) of them all: Occultation. Basically, Eclipses can create a shadow clone of themselves next to them, who have all the stats of the Eclipse (except for consumables and limited use items), although only getting a single move action per turn and being destroyed with any successful attack, when failing a saving throw or getting to far from their creators. Eclipses can proxy their attacks and powers through their clones! (it must have been a nightmare to balance).

At 5th, the clone can be created farther, can fly, and can teleport in dark areas. At 11th, Eclipses can create 2 clones, each with all the abilities as normal, including having only a single move action, but Eclipses can now use their swift action to proxy their attacks and abilities, and I suppose they can still use their standard actions to proxy through their other clone (or act themselves), but it is not mentioned. Finally at 17th level, when a clone is destroyed it creates a very damaging blackhole. I don’t know if this part is balanced, since there is no limit on how many clones can be destroyed and create a blackhole, and I can think of one or two ways to cheap this ability.

When the clone is not in existence, Eclipses are shrouded by darkness and get an Armor bonus and a competence bonus to their Stealth score. At 7th level, this shroud gives them Hide in Plain Sight; at 13th, they can travel through darkened areas as if using Dimension Door, and also Shadow Walk (as the spell) one time per day (more at higher levels). Finally, at 19th level they can kind of “absorb” this shroud to cheat death, but this use prevents both the active and inactive use of occultations until the Eclipse can rest for 8th hours.

They also get a Darkvision ability that can be invested with essence to increase its range and power. They also gain and increased essence limit for this ability, apart from their general essence limit increase common to all veil-shapers, upping the cap for this ability to 8 essence. At 4 essence (usable at 8th level), Eclipses can see in magical darkness, and at 7 essence (usable at 14th level) they become immune to the blinded and dazzled condition and get a bonus to gaze attacks.

They also get a kind of offensive talent called Enigma, at every even level, from a list of 13. Some have level requirements. All Enigmas have a couple of things in common. First, they can only be used against foes that are flat-footed or flanked, have lost their Dexterity bonus to AC, or are unaware of the user. Second, they must be used as part of an attack or a targeted veil effect (if multitarget, only one target is affected). Finally, only one Enigma can be added per attack or veil effect, but there is no mention if you can change Enigmas for iterative attacks. Effects range from cold or negative energy damage, draining (be it ki, grit, spells, power points etc.), profane bonus to attack rolls etc.

At 10th level, Eclipses get to shape and bind two veils in either their feet or hands chakras, getting an extra ability on top of both veils (two weapon attack as a standard action or extra speed). This veil counts as normal for their maximum, and any essence invested in any of the two veils is done separately. If no double veil is shaped, Eclipses can treat either a veil shaped in their feet or hands as if invested with one extra point of essence.

As a capstone, Eclipses add all veils with the darkness descriptor to their lists, and are able to shape and bind them even if they can’t normally do so (because of a unique veil slot, like ring or blood). They cannot age and also don’t need to eat or breath. While in darkened areas, they become more powerful and get enhanced senses (true seeing and deathwatch).

The Nexus would be the akashic warlock/kineticist. They get all simple and martial weapon proficiencies, plus light and medium armor, along medium BAB and d8 HD, good Will and Fort saves, with 4 skill points and a skill list focused on interaction and scholarship. Their veilshaping is charisma-based, with one essence per level like Eclipses. They get 10 veils over their carrers, only behind Viziers, and get all 10 chakra binds, making them very powerful at shaping and binding veils.

Beyond their powerful veilshaping, they get two abilities, first of which would be Planar Detonation. This is very similar to a Kinetic Blast, but is a basic piercing attack that can be modified with their Convergences (see below). They can burn essential to double their damage output, and can as a full-round action (later standard), channel this blast through a weapon-like veil. I was going to rant about their damage output and how they can burn essence to amp it, but note that essence is what make veils and akashic feats more powerful, and it still regenerates at a rate of one point per minute, so while you could leave many points to blast away, you would leave other essential receptacles dry, which makes essential management a tactical decision for every Nexus.

Their second ability is called Convergence, which has a kind of planar bloodline flavor. Unlike bloodlines, you aren’t tied to one progression, instead being able to choose from 5 flavors (with 4 tiers each) for each instance of the ability, which is gained at 1st level and supposedly every multiple of four, but in the table level 20th doesn’t mention a new Convergence. The 5 flavors would be Heaven, Hell, Abyss, Elemental and Underworld, the last two representing Chaos and Law for some undisclosed reason.

Convergence tiers share some things in common. Tier one makes Nexus resistant to two, three or four types of energy, and get a new damage type (with an added effect) for their Planar Detonations. Tier two give Nexus a new area blast option when using their special damage type by burning essence. The (im)possibility of both increasing damage and using area attacks is not mentioned, so I suppose it is possible to do both. Tier three gives you an interactive ability with the plane in question, giving you different abilities like summoning demons, bind creatures in a devilish contract, and negotiating with the powers of death to return a creature to life! Finally, tier gives Nexus a powerful magical ability, from channeling a Balor’s vorpal sword for any slashing weapon wielded, to be able to Resurrect once per day when slayed by an evil creature.

Planar Attunement is their capstone, making them being treated as natives of the chosen plane, no longer aging, and gaining a magical ability to command devils or demons, summoning a planetar, getting treated as friendly by creatures of one of the elemental planes, or getting many psychopomp-y abilities. For some strange reason, this ability is independent of your Convergences, so you could potentially have Convergence tier 3 in both the Abyss and Hell and suddenly getting attuned with Heaven. I would at least require a Convergence tier of 3 (or even 2) in the planar attunement you want as a capstone.

The Radiant would be the akashic cleric/druid/vitalist (this last one from the psionic rules by Dream Scarred Press) that inherited many concepts from the Vedist, a long-awaited akashic healing class that the author teased not long after the . It has the most unusual flavor among the classes, since while light, nature, fey and life are common themes, all them together is not. They have a typical caster chassis: proficiency with simple weapons and light armor only, low BAB with d6 HD (but see Mind over Matter), ALL GOOD SAVES, and 4 skill points with a skill list focusing on nature and scholarship. Their veilshaping is Wisdom-based, getting lots of essence like Viziers, but not as many veils and chakara binds (topping at 8 veils and 6 chakra binds).

At first level they get Mind over Matter, a seemingly-random ability that adds their Wisdom bonus to their Fort saves, HP per level, and negative HP maximum (but see below).

Their main ability would be Akashic Bond, an ability that feels very similar to the psionic Collective. By investing essence in their allies, Radiants give their invested allies a slowly regenerating temporary hit point pool and a bonus to saves. A Radiant that has invested an ally that suffers from poison, disease or fatigue, can reclaim the invested essence and not only absorb the condition, but getting a NEW SAVE (if any). The list of conditions that can be absorbed increase with level progression, and some conditions are instantly cured at higher levels!

At every even level, Radiants learn a Vivification, an extra ability that can be granted to invested allies. One Vivification can be granted for each point of essence invested, with the option of choosing the same Vivification more than once to increase its effects! Abilities go from enhancements to ability scores, damage reduction, bonus to damage or skill checks, and ability damage healing.

While all this maybe gives the impression that Radiants are martyrs, at fourth level they can invest enemies with essence! This forced bond debuffs enemies and lets Radiant transfer any negative condition they can normally absorb to their foes!

At 19th level they get the ability to restore life by burning 6 essence points. As capstone they become immune to aging. They also gain immunity to death effects and share this immunity with invested allies.

-83 new veils. Each is available to at least one of the old classes and one of the new classes, and of course the vizier is among many of them. In the original Akashic Mysteries book, the only thing that somewhat grouped the veils was their descriptors, and perhaps the Daevic’s Passion Veil lists. Here, we have each veil belonging to a thematic list, which range in number from 4 to 10. It is important to mention that the 5 lists that have 10 veils occupy different chakra slots and correspond to each of the five Convergence flavors of the Nexus who, having a normal maximum of ten veils shaped (and bound), could potentially have all the veils from one list shaped and bound at the same time, making specialization in a Convergence possible. Also, some of the favored class bonuses reference these lists. This is design decision I applaud, since it makes choosing veils easier for both players and game masters.

As in Akashic Mysteries, the veils themselves cover a wide variety of effects, from energy attacks, defenses, summons, weapon-like creations, vehicles etc. I found quite a few that wowed me, like Reaper’s Scythe’s positive damage against undead and negative against the living, Duxandu’s Icy Gaze take the idea of giving a cold glare literally, Nymph’s Visage which gives Radiants and Viziers a reason not to dump Charisma (or Daevics and Nexus a reason to take the Shape Veil feat), and the Efreeti’s Scimitar critical effect when bound to the wrists.

There were some weird instances where a veil would be available to a certain class, but in the chakra bind description the class is not mentioned. And in some, ANOTHER class that is not mentioned in the class list of the veil IS mentioned in the chakra bind section. Hyandil’s Flowered Regalia, for example, is available to Guru, Nexus, Radiant and Vizier, but in the chakra bind section, it doesn’t mention Guru and include Daevic instead. At first I thought that maybe the D for daevic suggested the access to the veil via feats, but that would have to be included to all veils for all the classes that get that chakra bind. My best guess is that it’s a typo.

Of Note: Holy sheet of paper Batman! Just when I thought akashic magic went to the right direction of getting away from the alignment flavor of the original Incarnum system, here comes the Nexus and retakes that idea, but well done. The three classes have a very high-magic, distinct feel, and make the idea of an akashic party a reality. And the idea of grouping the veils by theme is just plain awesome!

Anything wrong?: While not bad, the three classes share the capstone of not aging, which takes away a little of the oomph that immunity normally gives. I thoughts that Radiants would get an ability to transfer their HP after reading their description texts and Mind over Matter ability, but if they want to heal they have to use essence and veils I suppose. Some abilities alert my spider-sense(TM), making me feel a bit uncomfortable because of their power level, like the blackhole created when Occultations are destroyed, Halo of Holy Light’s ability when bound to the headband chakra, Cloak of Darkness unlimited shadow conjurations (I don’t remember correctly if you can have more than one conjuration effect at the same time, but if you don’t, I would add this caveat to the ability). Also, tying Convergences to planes is cool, but unless there is a campaign-specific reason to tie the elemental planes to chaos (which sadly remind me of 4th edition “Maelstrom”) or the “underworld” to law, some people might have a problem with that, as will people using different planar cosmologies. That, and the possible typos in the class lists/bound lists of the veils mentioned above.

What I want: I don’t know if there are going to be feats in the final book, but the veil theme lists could/should/must be used beyond favored class bonuses. What about a feat that gives you something for every veil shaped from that list? This would reward a Nexus who shapes veils from their Convergences (maybe Convergences could count as a veil for this purpose?). Also, of course I have to mention it: I WANT CONVERGENCES FOR ALL THE PLANES WITH THEIR ACCOMPANYING 10 VEEEEILS! There, I said it and had to be said LOL.

Apart from that, the original triad have a choose-able theme, be it Passion, Philosophy, or Path, so new archetypes were not as much needed as say, new of those options. Eclipses and Radiants, however, would really benefit from some archetypes. When I was reading the book, I kept imagining an Eclipse focused on Occultations or their dark shroud, and a Radiant focused in debuffing through their forced bond.

[Rest of the review in the comments section]

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Paizo Employee

the xiao wrote:
Did you just released a 1.2 version? what happened?

Zodiac got added to the Paizo site here (previously only available on DriveThruRPG and other OBS sites), and Christen pushed through some minor edit/formatting notes I sent him on the PDF, so I'm assuming one of those two things is what you're seeing.

it is! (further discussion of the zodiac in its product page)

And after a few weeks of this release, they announce extra Nexus content as part of a Kickstarter for the book of many things!

Here is a tread to share your akashic characters, so feel free to share!

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Part II of my review:

Starting at 4th level, the radiant may spend a standard action to attempt to invest essence into an unwilling target, risking essence burn if the target makes the save. Such targets then take a -1 penalty to atk and damage per point invested. Additionally, while an enemy has at least one point of essence invested in them, the radiant may attempt to redistribute a condition to this target instead of herself. This ties in with the linear martyr’s renewal ability-tree: At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, the radiant learns to draw more negative conditions out of targets, and also is automatically cured of an ever-increasing array of conditions when drawing them out of her allies.

Starting at 2nd level and every even level thereafter, the radiant also gets a vivification, of which 10 are provided. These add further numerical bonuses to essence invested in allies. These include attribute bonuses, DR, damage boosts, ability damage healing (and drain to damage conversion), etc.

Oh, and if you’re concerned about HD-based fragility: The radiant adds Wisdom modifier to Constitution modifier for the purpose of determining Fort-saves and for determining hit points – but only when leveling in the radiant class! Nice catch to prevent dipping-abuse. Wisdom modifier is also used to determine the maximum number of negative hit points prior to dying. At 19th level, the radiant may return a fallen ally to life at maximum hit points as a standard action – this does cost 6 essence burn and requires that at least 50% of the body’s still there. The capstone makes the radiant and allies invested with essence immune to death effects while the radiant is conscious. Additionally, when an ally would be killed, the radiant may, as an immediate action, take essence burn to negate 10 points of damage per essence burned. The radiant also doesn’t die of old age anymore and is immune to age-modifying effects as a byproduct of this capstone. The favored class options encompass aasimar, elf, gathlain, ghoran, gnome, human, ifrit, oread, ratfolk, sylph and undine.

All right, so far so good! The second half of the book is devoted to a ton of new veils – though there is a difference here. These veils don’t just come as unrelated series of options – instead, they feature 12 different themes, like “Angelic Armaments” – this one alone does encompass 10 different veils! The total section included more than 80 (!!) veils, vastly expanding your options. And yes, the section does note not only the new classes: Viziers, gurus and daevics are mentioned in the respective lists. There are a few minor inconsistencies here. It should be noted that this pdf does a better job at descriptor-ing the respective veils. And yes, the veils do now, as you can glean from the alignment-themes, alignment-based descriptors. So yes, mechanically, I consider these to be neat: Ever wanted to have angelic wings, a halo, a flaming sword and vambraces inscribed with holy scripture? What about a halo? Yeah, I do want to go “avenging angel” on evil doers! There is a set of veils modeled after Charon – the feet-bind effect of boatman’s ferry lets you glide across liquid and makes you a deadly adversary, and there are inter-veil combos here! Charon’s five rivers amulet, for example, adds doom marks to those that dare attack you. The whole set’s veils have additional effects when vanquishing foes with doom marks on them! For maximum synergy effects, you may need to do some thinking, but that’s the beauty of the system – you can get basic functionality out of these, then discover the veil-combos (further enhanced by the set-leitmotifs) and then discover even more combos!

Vampiric healing, halting ongoing effects via partial stasis in time, shrouding yourself in a flowery regalia (though Daevic is missing from the list of classes that get the veil here, even though the class seems to be supposed to do so)…what about a cloak of thorns or the Heart of Yggdrasil, djinn-themed veils, ones that focus on the eternal darkness, blasting foes with light, become the lurker in light (which ENHANCES your Stealth in light!), attack foes with hellish pitchforks, manifest barbs…some pretty cool ones. There is one ability that could be used to cheese essence burn, demon lord’s hunger: While it requires 18th level to bind, the ability allows you to inhale souls, which boils down to save or die and minor essence regeneration. Granted, a target can only be affected once per 24 hours by it…but I have a whole bag full of delightfully fluffy kittens…On the plus side: Healing is tightly kept in check and in line, including other abilities like flight etc. – the ability-dispersal does speak of a firm grasp of not only overt, but also of covert design paradigms. An exception to this would be unicorn feathering’s neck chakra bind, which nets a burst-y heal whenever you or the unicorn allies called confirm a crit (18 -20/x3 due to the veil’s modifications). This should have a fixed cap. That being said, I’m calling these out since the material otherwise is really refined and diverse…and sports some awesome visuals. Oh, and it may be a small thing, but I like that every veil gets a small flavor-description.


Editing and formatting are very good – I noticed a few very minor formatting glitches and rules-oversights…but frankly, many public playtests fail to deliver such a concise and dense system at this level of quality. This is impressive. Layout adheres to a really nice two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks. The artworks within are full-color, original, and frickin’ fantastic. Inspiring, with their very own, internally-consistent style. This is a beautiful supplement.

Michael Sayre is one of the crunch-designers that doesn’t screw around. There is no blandness, no mediocrity here – just high-concept, complex, math-heavy design, clad in inspiring fluff. If you already own Akashic Mysteries, then you need to get this by virtue of the veils alone – they are worth the asking price on their own.

That being said, let’s discuss the classes: The radiant is a unique playing experience and has, chassis-wise, a ton to offer – the class can actually help party-tanking capability greatly and makes for a really unique defender-style character. The nexus also has its own niche: The class, once you know the akashic system, makes for a super-easy to make blaster. It doesn’t try to out-kineticist or out-ethermage the complex blaster list, instead representing a great beginner’s class: It’s viable from the get-go, even if you don’t yet understand the akashic system and is superbly noob-friendly. In short: It’s the warlock-y blaster that works for gritty games without being invalidated in high-power games. It also won’t bore experienced gamers, courtesy of the akashic engine. Your character died? Make one of these, start blasting away, and slowly get into the akashic system. Impressive. The eclipse is also inspired in its own way – while I am weary of two of its abilities (which should get a nerfbat-whack), it has its unique role: An akashic killer who does the disposable shadow-clone angle really well, and in a way that should even work for lower-powered games. In short, I consider all of these classes to be inspired in some way.

Now, there is one thing to note: Each class will leave you wanting more. More convergences, more vivifications, archetypes – it is within the nature of this pdf and its intent as a decoupling of classes from setting, but DAMN, did I want more! As far as rules-integrity is concerned, I can name a TON of files that do not attempt even remotely anything as complex as this one does, which do worse. Summa summarum, I came up with a grand total of 3 potentially problematic components, and none of them is a deal-breaker. While I do maintain that the essence burn-healing of eclipse and the veil should be limited, I still consider this to be an inspired file. And you get a LOT of really dense, high-difficulty rules for the price-point.

How to rate this? Well…here things get tricky. I really like the akashic system, and I like the classes herein more than the original 3 classes. I like the veils more…but at the same time, the very few minor blemishes do drag this down from the lofty praise I’d otherwise bestow upon it. I also found myself wishing we’d have gotten a single book for each class, with more options per class…but hey, there’ll be expansions in C7S, and perhaps we’ll get to see even more! Still, as a reviewer, I have to take these factors into account, and they are what drags this down to 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform. I will still add my seal of approval to this gem, though – If you like akasha or even remotely are interested in it, get this asap!

Reviewed first on, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS, etc.

Endzeitgeist out.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Endzeitgeist wrote:
[A very detailed review]

Thank you for the review!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just as a heads up for anyone wondering if Lost Spheres was going to continue providing support for this product line in PF1...
The answer is yes! Akashic Realms Volume 1: Emperors and Einherjar is now available on DrivethruRPG and the Open Gaming Store! I expect we'll have it up for purchase here on Paizo sometime in the next week.

Akashic Realms: E&E includes a new Eclipse veil set forged on the umbral battlefields of the Dark Shogunate, the Asgardian Saga veil set allowing you to ride Sleipnir into battle while wielding the mighty spear Gungnir, and the Kingdom of the Five Emperors introduces an entire new set of constellations for the zodiac!

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