The City of 7 Seraphs (PFRPG) PDF

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"When we first saw the Radia, we were certain we had slipped from Shadow into the Heavens.
But what we found was far more precious and strange, the energies of Light and Dark balanced on a pin…”

A fully-realized Planar Metropolis, the City of Seven Seraphs includes:

* 4 Planar Organizations: The Parities, which focus on the core Dualities of the Multiverse. Each Parity entry outlines history, key NPCs, and signature mechanics including Archetypes, Prestige Classes, feats and more.
* 8 Distinct City Districts: Explore the secrets of the Archives, the fey-magic of the Orchard, or the shattered temporal zones of the Crowns district.
* Planar Mechanics: Dozens of Feats, Spells, and Archetypes to support the Parities and allow your characters to take on the powers of the planes both in the City and in the worlds Beyond.
* Bestiary & NPC Codex: Dozens of foes and allies statistics for easy use in your planar games. Varied CRs from ranging from 1–20+.
* 8 New & Revised Base Classes: New veilweaving classes, revised third-party favorites, and the Aethernaut, a bold explorer of the Planes with location-based powers unlike any other class.
* 8 New & Re-imagined Playable Species and fresh takes OGL Classics Races: 7 New species like the judow - inevitable-spawned humaoids twisted by kyton, fiend-caging xodai, and the arachnid veryx!
* Worlds of the Lattice & Campaign Toolkit: Rules for planar adventure, intrigue and advice on how the City connects to your existing campaigns and links them to each other!
* Expanded Compatibility: Full Support for both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Occult Adventures system AND the Ultimate Psionics system from Dreamscarred Press. Optional support for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Mythic Adventures and Ultimate series expanded rules.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

LSPCO7S7E


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An Endzeitgeist.com article


So, this massive hardcover clocks in at 609 pages. Yes, 609 pages of content – this is already minus the usual editorial, ToC, SRD, etc. And there is a LOT of text on each page. This is literally one of the most densely-packed books I’ve read in a long while.

Why did I not call this “campaign setting”? Because there is more to this.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The first thing you have to know, is that I have contributed to this tome – I’ve written a race and an archetype for this massive book, the Rhyzala and the Mycorrhizal Networker radiant archetype , to be more precise. As such, this discussion of the book will NOT have a traditional final rating.

At the same time, I genuinely feel that I have to talk about this – and supporters of my patreon asked me to discuss this tome. Why did this take so long? Well, I print out most pdfs I cover, and reading a book of this size on screen? Just not gonna happen. So yeah, this review is based primary on the massive hardcover.

Considering the vast scope of this massive tome, there are quite a few things to cover, and as such, I will diverge from my usual reviewing template. It should be noted that this can be approached as either a crunch book, or a campaign setting – or as it is intended, as both.

The first thing I noticed when this book arrived, was its bulk, quality and size. Offset printing, glossy pages, and then you flip it open, and your jaw pretty much hits the floor: This book is CHOCK-FULL with phenomenal, high-quality original artwork that manages to adhere to a concise aesthetic. Liz Courts’ layout is also just stunning, using icons for factions and generating a book that is truly impressive to just show off. I maintain that this book looks better than a lot of official 1st party products, and if you’re interested and can find a copy of it, I’d strongly suggest getting this massive beast in print. The book also came with a special card that unearths secrets of the city – check twitter, hashtag #SecretsofCo7S for more of those – love that! I should also mention that the book, so far, has withstood rather well my habit of dragging it around. So yeah: Physical copy? Highly recommended.

Anyhow, you’re more interested in the content. In the most simplistic of terms, this is a planar metropolis setting somewhat akin to Planescape’s Sigil in function, in that it can act as a meta-setting to transition into. It’s also a massive book of rules-relevant material, of crunch. Both of these summaries, however, are woefully inadequate in describing this book properly. It’s very hard to summarize this tome in a satisfying manner, so let me frame a couple of basic questions for you:

1) How hardcore a Pathfinder 1st edition fan are you? And how permissive are in your game?
If you’re like me and have literally dozens of folders of printed pdfs, whole shelves devoted to 3pp material, if several, perhaps all of your players use 3pp material, then you’ll ADORE this book. Because it is a love-letter to some of the best third party offerings out there. The book contains, among other things, material that works for Drop Dead Studios’ Spheres of Power, Spheres of Might and Champions of the Lost Spheres. There is Kobold Press’ theurge class and much-beloved shadow fey race herein; there is the aegis by Dreamscarred Press (classes used with permission); there is material for Rogue Genius Games’ classic time thief and time warden; there is material for Purple Duck games’ phenomenal Ultimate Covenant Magic system, and for the amazing Lost Spheres classes Echo and Shadow Weaver. There even is material for Purple Duck Games’ criminally-underrated Illuminatus chaos mage, for Aethera’s cantor, for the amazing Skinchanger by Legendary Games…and so on. Even in the instance of reprints, we have modifications and refinements to classes, making e.g. the echo work much more smoothly. This massive book offers a metric ton of supplemental material for some of the best 3pp materials produced for Pathfinder – and yes, these include Ultimate Psionics and Path of War. HOWEVER, do not think that you need to own all of those – even if you e.g. dislike a given subsystem or use it only for a narrow set of stories, this book works perfectly on its own. If you’re like me and generally tend to e.g. use Path of War only sparingly, you won’t have to fear that this book will force any of those subsystems down your throat.

There is one exception to this, and that would be akasha, which is a crucial component of the book – if you ignore akasha, you are missing out on quite a lot of content. Michael Sayre’s revision of the Incarnum rules is perhaps one of the most mathematically-impressive sub-system I’ve seen for Pathfinder, and it checks out VERY well and is finely-tuned. Akashic Mysteries may well be my favorite book from Dreamscarred Press, on par with the all but required Ultimate Psionics. That being said, this book is essentially Akashic Mysteries II – we have the new base-classes from Akashic Trinity included herein – and, unlike the teaser-standalone release of those, we have plenty of complex archetypes that change how they play. I LOVE akasha, and I hated Incarnum with a fiery passion. And honestly? I consider the akashic material herein to be even better than the first Akashic Mysteries release.

Of course, as any GM with a long-term experience with permissive GMing can attest to, there is the question of internal balancing to contend with in the face of so many different options. And interestingly, this book, in spite of its massive scope, manages to generally find a pretty concise line regarding a high power-level that remains still within the frame that makes the math not crumble to bits. I’ll return to the grand balancing question later.

For now, let us take a look at the list of authors. Beyond Christen N. Sowards, we have Kate Baker, Wolfgang Baur, Clinton Boomer, Savannah Broadway, Robert Brookes, Tytiana Browne, Matt Daley, Scott Gladstein, Sasha Laranoa Harving, N. Jolly, Michael Lefavor, Colin McComb, Ron Lundeen, Richard Moore, Andrew Mullen, Jessica Redekop, David N. Ross, Michael Sayre, Jaye Sonia, Todd Stewart, Brian Suskind, George “Loki” Williams, and last and probably least, ole’ me.

If you know about Pathfinder, you’ll recognize a lot, perhaps all of these names, and you’ll notice that they have one thing in common: High concepts. All of these authors are, in some way or another, known for not settling on the mundane, and this shows, big time. If you know about pathfinder, you’ll also note, though, that there are some people here, which I’d consider to be primarily designers, while others, I’d think of more as authors. This does show in the crunch of this book, and it might be more evident than in comparable tomes, because this has a seriously wicked amount of top-tier rules. As noted, thinking of this as Akashic Mysteries II is a way to appreciate the book for that aspect – and frankly, it might be even better than the first akasha tome – and that one made my top ten list. You just have to start reading N. Jolly’s kyton-spawned, somewhat inevitable-like judow race to start salivating, and same goes for genuinely cool concepts like the mirrorkin, a race that pushes the boundaries of the engine; I obviously hope my own rhyzala also inspire folks out there. For example, Oathbound 7 (Kudos if you own that obscure book!) had introduced the brilliant psychic, telekinetic jellyfish race Ceptu, which is part of the City. However, if you’re familiar with Oathbound 7, you’ll know that rules aren’t exactly the strong suit of the authors of that tome, and thus, the ceptu will require some GM calls to use in a concise manner. I *think* the original verbiage was maintained for the purpose of faithfulness, but the race imho needs clarification of how e.g. its telekinetic fighting ability precisely operates. This is NOT a dealbreaker, but there are a few instances where a dip in rules-integrity is evident, particularly since the book otherwise delivers top-tier echelon material.

That being said, even if you take those, and the inevitable formatting oversights here, the missing bonus type there into account, you’ll still be left with a book that has a far above-average quality of rules, concepts and designs – and EVERYBODY will find something to their tastes. The tome is littered with archetypes, prestige classes, occult rituals, mythic support (with warning caveats and GM guidance), feats that feel like a loveletter to Rite Publishing’s Martial Arts Guidebook, psionic powers, veils – there is just so much amazing stuff here, and the vast majority of the material is meticulously precise. What about e.g. feats that are activated as a free action on your turn, as an immediate action when it’s not your turn? You know you want to take a feat that’s called “Soul of the Stormbolt, Flesh of the Thunderstroke”, right? I know I do! In short: Unlike many massive crunch-books I’ve reviews (and I genuinely think I haven’t covered a crunch-book of this size before), both editing and formatting are much better than anticipated; indeed, some might say than what an indie production like this, with some many different authors would make you hope for.

So yeah, while in some sections uneven, this book breathes the tradition of Lost Spheres Publishing, in that it does not settle for bland – the ambition regarding the rules is evident throughout. This may not be perfect, but even when divorced from its setting, I consider this book to be well worth its asking price – it is one of the most ambitious rules books I have ever read, and contains a lot of top-tier material.

This is NOT the entire mechanical/permissive appeal; there is more to this book in that regard, but to understand the imho biggest achievement of this tome, you will need to take the campaign setting into account as well, and that’s what we’ll do.

The second grand question this poses would be:

2) Do you want something genuinely new?
I have seen comparisons with the obvious grandmother of planar metropolises, Planescape’s Sigil. I’d genuinely argue in favor that these comparisons, while apt, might be considered to be a disservice to just how incredibly SMART this book is. I will need to embark on a few digressions, so please bear with me – I promise all my rambling will have a point in the end.

Start of academic digressions here!

If you do have the book in front of you, I’d suggest that you read the creation myth of the city, the start of the book, first – and then flip to the end and read the GM advice that explains leitmotifs etc., for the creation myth is indeed a mythology; it is deliberately couched in terms of vagueness and speculation, and it feels like a narrative of a place that never was; unlike many a book or setting, it does not borrow from real-world mythology in the strictest sense, though it does intersect with it.
What do I mean by this? Well, the City of 7 Seraphs is defined by a form of duality, between the Radia, a massive planar storm of luminal (ethereal, astral, dream, etc.) planes crashing in a vast, pulsing blaze, and the Occlusion, the plane of shadow’s quasi immune-response – it is literally a city balanced precariously on the tip between light and dark, and either of these extremes threaten to annihilate the place. This is a HUGE simplification, but it is a crucial component of the book, so until you read the whole myth, let’s just operate on this simplification.

I won’t surprise anyone when I’m stating that light tends to be connotated and conflated with good, darkness with evil, right? As Jacques Derrida famously observed, Western thinking tends to operate in dichotomies that value presence over absence; this is, in part, obviously due to the influence of the Abrahamic religions, gender-roles, power-structure, etc. – once you’ve understood this, you’ll see it everywhere, in all those little micro-appraisals and judgments we engage in on a daily basis, many firmly rooted in our language’s conventions. I don’t have to explain to you that the fact that we tend to value one part of the dichotomy over the other is problematic; moreover, however, the implication is more insidious. The dichotomy implies an either/or state, a simplified Kierkegaardian “enten/eller” that we engage with on a daily basis, when that’s not at all what truly correlates to the complex realities we face in reality.

In a way, gaming might be escapism, but we all know, on a deep level, that extremes of dichotomies are bad writing and gaming. A utopia bereft of threats is boring…and so is a grimdark world, where everything good and pure inevitably turns to s*&&. It’s why Ravenloft is compelling to me – the deck is stacked against heroes, but even the dark lords of that place suffer; they are not one-dimensional villains, but complex entities condemned to their fates and eternal punishment by character flaws. Almost every GM out there had, at one point, an insufferable paladin whose fanaticism and extreme interpretation of what being good means, required either conforming to rigid and unpleasant simplifications of complex problems, whose commitment to this nebulous notion of “lawful goodness” potentially made them a martyr…or fall from grace, as the line between good and evil, between the extremes, actually is pretty fluid. There is a reason for my well-documented HATE for the alignment system in any game, for the presence of the plethora of lawful stupid memes, for the countless threads of GMs struggling how to negotiate alignments of different characters. On the other hand of the spectrum, a person who is just evil for the sake of being evil…is a Saturday morning cartoon cliché; it does not resonate, and nobody will empathize or consider the like interesting. Engaging in grimdark misery stockpiling just numbs you.

To give you all another well-known example of a mythology that is very much founded on an either/or-scenario: Dark Souls. It’s a “you lose either way”-scenario, a nihilistic catch-22. City of the 7 Seraphs, with its light/dark-theme could have easily ripped off the Dark Souls franchise’s mythology, but elected to go another route with this leitmotif, and one that is EXTREMELY relevant for us all, even beyond the gaming sphere.

You see, the City needs to balance its position in order to thrive – there can’t even be just light, there can’t ever be just dark; it is a city of twilight, of dark, of light, and all the shades in-between. Both Occlusion and Radia, ultimately, promise annihilation; the city can only thrive while these two forces are in balance; they are extremes, absolutes – and they exist as demarcation lines for concepts – but life? Life thrives between. Why is this relevant? I am, as you probably all know, from the United States, and when I see how the political system is geared towards enforcing a dichotomy, it breaks my heart; over the last couple of years, I’ve seen an increase in hostility, an increase in communication breakdowns for not being on the “right” side of the political spectrum; I’ve witnessed a radicalization of per se important concepts. And I think that this deep division, this wound, is the result of dichotomous thinking. I, for example, do not believe that most Republicans are Nazis, even though I’ve seen this sentiment echoed time and again. Nor do I think that most Democrats are hippies. But that’s the level of discussion we can witness, time and again on social media. That, and guilty by association – not blocking the “right” people on social media can already be construed as an attack on a given person’s entire being.

For Part II of this massive text, click here!


Great planar capstone setting for any campaign & system!

5/5


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Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Woohoo!
We've already started building characters for our Co7S game! Zodiac, Eclipse, Radiant, and Daevic using the new Knowledge (Secrecy) passion.

Contributor

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I just want to play the radiant PC from your PaizoCon game again, Michael!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Kate Baker wrote:
I just want to play the radiant PC from your PaizoCon game again, Michael!

If you happened to lose her character sheet, it just so happens that I linked it here along with most of the other characters from that game (except Andrew's spider, since it's a thread for akashic characters and the spider wasn't akashic).

Contributor

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Woo hoo! So happy to see this out in the wild.

Paizo Employee Developer

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Hooray! I was so glad to be a part of this!

Contributor

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This was one of my first gigs ever, and it’s so cool to see it out and about!
Now you, too, can be a spider that hides vrock giblets in her supernatural extradimensional space :D

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Andrew Mullen wrote:

This was one of my first gigs ever, and it’s so cool to see it out and about!

Now you, too, can be a spider that hides vrock giblets in her supernatural extradimensional space :D

HAHAHAHAHA!!!

Oh man, I had almost forgotten about that. Worry not though, it has been vividly rebranded upon my mind.

...

The funny part is that that isn't even the weirdest thing that happened during that game.

Contributor

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I think the one fella slam dunking a demon into the ground takes my personal cake!


I got this, and while I'm not done reading it yet, I am enjoying it a lot! I'm very much looking forward to reading it in detail now.

(Though, the OGL at the end could use another pass-through before the book goes to print, assuming it hasn't been finalized. There's a LOT of repeated stuff in the second half, and I think enough could be removed to free up a whole page for something else - maybe a personal message to backers?)


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey... this came to see the light of day. I missed backing the Kickstarter, but I'll be unhesitatingly buying it right now.

Afterthought... is there going to be a print version available to the public?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Anguish wrote:

Hey... this came to see the light of day. I missed backing the Kickstarter, but I'll be unhesitatingly buying it right now.

Afterthought... is there going to be a print version available to the public?

I'd particularly like to hear what you think of the vizier's Path of the Scholar, the guru's Shabti philosophy, and the daevic's new Knowledge passion. You've been following my akashic stuff for a long time and I'm really curious to hear your thoughts on the options for the OG akashic classes.

I'll ping Christen about the print version so he can answer.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
Anguish wrote:
Hey... this came to see the light of day. I missed backing the Kickstarter, but I'll be unhesitatingly buying it right now.

I'd particularly like to hear what you think of the vizier's Path of the Scholar, the guru's Shabti philosophy, and the daevic's new Knowledge passion. You've been following my akashic stuff for a long time and I'm really curious to hear your thoughts on the options for the OG akashic classes.

I'll take a look, probably tomorrow night.

For what it's worth, my vizier got sidelined because plot, but returned this weekend to participate in a side-quest, and her new unicorn friend was really awesome at the table. She's definitely one of my top three favorite characters ever. So. Many. Fiddly. Bits!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh, incidentally, proofreading-wise... there's already some issues with the table of contents. It says classes start on page 382, but they actually start on 384. The ToC is important, so hopefully this gets one last proofreading pass before going to print.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Anguish wrote:
Oh, incidentally, proofreading-wise... there's already some issues with the table of contents. It says classes start on page 382, but they actually start on 384. The ToC is important, so hopefully this gets one last proofreading pass before going to print.

Christen is aware and will have it fixed before the print proof is finalized.

Contributor

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I had such fun contributing to this, and now that it's out in the wild everyone else gets to play around in this awesomeness!

Contributor

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I guess I should also mention that I worked on this! I wrote the planet Cricozarn and a few magic items.


Well of course this book comes out while I'm too broke to buy it. :(

I know about the Radiant, Eclipse, and Nexus, so would anyone be kind enough to give a synopsis of what the Aethernaut is like?

Or the new goodies for the Aberrant Aegis, Echo, and Theurge?

I like to know what I'm missing, you see.

Wayfinders

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm so glad I got to work on this! I wrote the Knight of Three Roads paladin, the Jekyllian Knight cavalier, the Collegiate Barista investigator, the Spark of Brilliance veils, the feats supporting those, and the music box feats!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can't wait for my print copy to show up!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Meraki wrote:
Can't wait for my print copy to show up!

Me too!

This book is the kind of pretty that deserves to be on a shelf where it can be easily examined and perused.

Plus my players are 100% more likely to use something if it's in print form, regardless of whether or not they have the PDF.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
vizier's Path of the Scholar

Academy Trained This is an interesting different take on flexibility. With the Path of the Crafter, obviously there's the angle of gaining access to abilities through physical items you make (indeed, my vizier owns one magic item aside from an ioun torch and an akashic catalyst). Here's a way to directly gain access to the useful abilities your veils might not produce. Suddenly a vizier could potentially - at a cost - work as a secondary caster. Especially condition-removal for a cleric, where the caster level of a scroll doesn't necessarily matter. Neat.

Expert Veilshifting With veilshifting in general, there's an awesome feeling of "oh, oh, I know a trick that can help with this circumstance", but there's always the ever-increasing cost of functionality due to losing bindings. This is a flavorful way of working around that to a degree, and easing up on the "oh, man, I can't do this very often today... don't want to get stuck in a situationally-specific veil set" worry. Neat.

Akashic Records It's a mind palace! With minions. And now you don't need to carry around the masters for scribing scrolls. This has all the cool aspects of the Autohypnosis skill (which comes into play at our table as often as people can justify), only (much) better. Even if it's only used as a get-out-of-a-bad-combat-situation ability, it's great. Neat.

Quote:
guru's Shabti philosophy

Aura of Calm Kind of like a bard's fascination, only theoretically can work in the middle of combat. I'm suddenly envisioning The Dude as a guru. Neat.

Enhanced Calm I'm going to have to ruminate on this one for a bit. On the surface it looks neat, but I haven't figured out yet how to (ab)use it. I mean, suppressing fear effects and confusion is more-than-awesome for your allies, but the suppression of everything else seems redundant. A foe who can't take violent acts can't benefit from rage or bless and so on. Unless I'm misunderstanding and this is an additional benefit of the aura which isn't subject to the Will save and isn't subject to being ended if the foe is attacked.

Calming Touch Oh, now that's just mean. I'm laughing here. "Buddy, just... take a moment to reflect. No need to fight." <Boot to the head> "No, no, man, that was just a misunderstanding. Just chill for a minute, yeah?" <Boot to the head> "Oh, sorry, my feet sometimes have a mind of their own. My bad." Awesome. Bonus for not having to wait until capstone levels to get this.

Rest For the Wicked At first glance, it's slumber hex, only not a 1st-level ability, so beyond reproach. But then the healing rest portion makes it very cool. Given gurus can manufacture hit points (slowly) without cost by using a specific veil and feat combination, it's not at all broken. Hopefully a feat shows up some day that lets the healing rest be used more times a day. Neat.

Slumbering Palm Stunning Fist only a Will save. Unfortunately undead are immune to sleep effects so this doesn't work around that. Still... neat.

Peaceful Returns This is cool because at the very least it can be used to encourage the rest of the party to stop outright killing things. I envision the party wizard investing in Merciful Spell immediately and joyously. I mean, yeah, free non-lethal Maximized fireballs. Okay. The level makes it reasonable, and the action-economy cost underscores that. Neat.

Swords To Plowshares This is brilliant. I wish there was a clause (or a feat?) in there to nerf natural attacks as well, but only because this is so right. The philosophy opened with a statement of flavor and each feature just kept amping it up. Very good job sticking to the theme. Neat.

Quote:
daevic's new Knowledge passion.

Eidetic Cache Neat multiclassing trick. Would love to use in a gestalt campaign.

I'll have to reread the 6th-level education feature a few more times to decide for sure, but I'm thinking that a daevic with fellow party member who does have memorized spells would be able to use those to fuel the spell-like ability functionality of the cache. Forget multiclassing. At 12th it looks like this goes both ways.

The secrecy ability has a cool vibe to it, similar to a cryptic. Infiltrate, obtain, destroy. Oh, and eat some traps. At 12th-level, it's time to start making people forget their own name. And at 18th it's time for your enemies' minions to forget who their boss is. Which is awesome. Especially since it works at a distance. OMFG, this is a totally wicked thing to put on a BBEG who gets introduced to the party early in the campaign. The players have spent a campaign building up allies and friendships... people to call upon for assistance. Only... nobody remembers them anymore, and nobody cares to get to know them. "Captain Marvel who?!? Stop bothering me." Very neat.

===

This is deliberately not a "review" in the classic sense. It's just my initial ruminations. I want to take a moment to compliment you (again). Having read most of the available Akashic discussion threads, and having actually played some of the material, two things are abundantly evident to me. First, your grasp of balance (mathematical and other) is top-notch. I was pleasantly shocked to analyze the damage potential of my vizier and kept coming up with numbers very, very close to anyone else fitting her role. Second, your ability to find niche, themed roles and build mechanics nobody else ever has is impressive. I've always been a huge fan of Sean K. Reynolds for his rules-fu, but over the last few years you've eclipsed him in my eyes. A bit of depression I have regarding PF2 is that we're back to the basics again, with rules for "hit it with a stick" and "hit it with a ball of fire", for the umpteenth time. I'm just hoping you get the opportunity to take a whack at the rules and pump out some unique out-of-the-box stuff like all of this, for that ruleset.

Thanks for all the fish.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm out of time for tonight, but... formatting stuff always jumps out at me. It's hugely difficult to get right during layout and it's hard to flip back and forth between reading content versus form, so I totally get it. When and if I have time for a deeper pass, I will, but for now...

pg 469
Aura of the Long Night. First two references to darkness aren't italicized or linked.

pg471
Essential Supply. "Veilweaver" in prerequisites line should be capitalized.
Extra Discovery. "Aethernaut" in prerequisites line should be capitalized.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Anguish wrote:
*Path of the Scholar Stuff*

Glad it went over well! When I finished this one I really found myself wishing it had been right in AM alongside the core class, it seemed so natural and obvious. But I think it benefits a lot from being here in this book as well.

Anguish wrote:
*Shabti Stuff*

:D I had a theme in mind, and I felt like once it got going it basically wrote itself. Swords to Plowshares is something I really want to throw on an NPC at some point in one of my longer-running games; I really want to tell a player who didn't know it was coming that Wyrmburner, their +5 dragon-bane, holy, flaming burst greatsword is now a mop.

Anguish wrote:

*Daevic of Knowledge stuff*

I gave up a whole additional vizier path and guru philosophy for this one because it required so much text, but I really like it. Being able to share and poach spells and information with and from party members, erasing yourself or others out of existence... I picked Knowledge because I thought it was a more interesting option than a few other things I could have done, and then I put exactly zero limitations beyond "keep it balanced" for what I was going to do with it. I'm glad you're digging where it ended up.

Anguish wrote:

*Sayre stuff*

Thanks :)

Well, I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised about where the new edition of Pathfinder is going. There's been a lot of changes I'm excited about, I've already been working on things that will be in upcoming products, and there's a lot of passion, energy, and creativity at Paizo. I expect this edition to have lots of cool and interesting stuff that I wouldn't consider "basic" pretty much right out of the gate, and I think the framework allows for some cool growth and evolution in ways that would be difficult to implement in the current edition.

Worst case scenario, there's two more books in this product line that I've already written and submitted to Christen with new akashic stuff, and at least one more in the pipeline, so maybe that'll give you something to do while the new edition grows to the point where it can grab your interest again.

Contributor

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So happy to see this out and available! I was responsible for most of what you see in the Archives district, including the drugs, the spellwyle, and Ms The Weird. :>


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So happy to see this one be revealed to the world! I'm responsible for the rhyzalla and related material, just fyi! :)

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Endzeitgeist wrote:
So happy to see this one be revealed to the world! I'm responsible for the rhyzalla and related material, just fyi! :)

I really like the time shroom people.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

So... Ceptu. Pg323. This is off-the-map in terms of original and different, but does lead to a couple questions. If there's somewhere better I should be taking these questions, please let me know.

It doesn't actually say that telekinetic fighting uses the range of minor telekinetics but that seems the only thing that makes sense.

There's also no guidance regarding moving a controlled weapon. Can a Ceptu simply relocate a weapon from anywhere in their range to anywhere in their range, and if so is this an action or free?

It would also be useful to have clarity regarding positional implications of such a weapon. Does the weapon occupy a full square? Can anyone else occupy that square? Does the weapon provide flanking (in which case amusingly the Ceptu can be their own flanking partner due to their sting)? Hello Ceptu rogue!

What happens if a weapon is relocated (by the Ceptu) in terms of provoking attacks of opportunity? I imagine they'd be subject to Sunder attempts frequently if so.

What happens if the Ceptu is moved out of the range of their weapons, for instance by a Bull Rush maneuver?

Does the Ceptu need line-of-sight or line-of-effect to control their weapons. Despite hovering, a nice create pit is all that required to disarm a Ceptu, depending on the answer.

Speaking of which, presumably the weapon itself threatens for purposes of AoO? Meaning that if someone moves away from the weapon, the Ceptu can then use it to make an AoO on that someone?

How does it work when a Ceptu wields a shield? If it's in the Ceptu's square, that seems obvious. But what if it's not? Does the Ceptu still get its shield bonus to AC? It seems they shouldn't, but who knows since this is such an odd species.

There are probably dozen other questions that I haven't thought of yet, but I figure these alone add a half-page of rules legalese.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Just chiming in to mention that if your nightmares (or waking worlds) are haunted (or titillated) by the Kyton Exarchs, I am the responsible party. =D


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Anguish wrote:

So... Ceptu. Pg323. This is off-the-map in terms of original and different, but does lead to a couple questions. If there's somewhere better I should be taking these questions, please let me know.

It doesn't actually say that telekinetic fighting uses the range of minor telekinetics but that seems the only thing that makes sense.

There's also no guidance regarding moving a controlled weapon. Can a Ceptu simply relocate a weapon from anywhere in their range to anywhere in their range, and if so is this an action or free?

It would also be useful to have clarity regarding positional implications of such a weapon. Does the weapon occupy a full square? Can anyone else occupy that square? Does the weapon provide flanking (in which case amusingly the Ceptu can be their own flanking partner due to their sting)? Hello Ceptu rogue!

What happens if a weapon is relocated (by the Ceptu) in terms of provoking attacks of opportunity? I imagine they'd be subject to Sunder attempts frequently if so.

What happens if the Ceptu is moved out of the range of their weapons, for instance by a Bull Rush maneuver?

Does the Ceptu need line-of-sight or line-of-effect to control their weapons. Despite hovering, a nice create pit is all that required to disarm a Ceptu, depending on the answer.

Speaking of which, presumably the weapon itself threatens for purposes of AoO? Meaning that if someone moves away from the weapon, the Ceptu can then use it to make an AoO on that someone?

How does it work when a Ceptu wields a shield? If it's in the Ceptu's square, that seems obvious. But what if it's not? Does the Ceptu still get its shield bonus to AC? It seems they shouldn't, but who knows since this is such an odd species.

There are probably dozen other questions that I haven't thought of yet, but I figure these alone add a half-page of rules legalese.

Anguish, thanks for you questions! The Ceptu are one of two reprient OGL races we used for the setting and originally came from Oathbound 7 from Epidemic Books. As OGL content we tried to maintain their original wording as much as possible for mechanical abilities but your questions certainly have merit!

We recommend the following:

* Ceptu Telekinetics generally should be close range supernatural abilities determined by HD.
* Effects that disrupt line-of-effect or range (such as Bull Rush or the pit spell and yes it can make them easier to disarm than many creatures)
* Generally the weapon should be considered to be wielded as though the Ceptu was in the square in question and so can provide flanks and the like.
* Re-positioning weapons should take a move action in range per weapon, this will reduce the action economy of rogues etc. and result in a more balanced trade off for self-flanks etc.
* The can still be sundered and otherwise are immune to targeting effects.
* Weapon squares should be considered occupied but we recommend that creatures substantially larger than the weapon (at least one size category larger than the Ceptu) don't stop the weapon from moving through their squares nor are hindered by it.

Hopefully this helps.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Lost Spheres Publishing wrote:

Anguish, thanks for you questions! The Ceptu are one of two reprient OGL races we used for the setting...

Hopefully this helps.

That's a very valid reason, and those are all great answers. I'm not in desperate need for details immediately or anything... I'm just trying to spend some time proofing the book before it goes off to print, and my particular prejudices are precise rules wording and formatting. I'm 100% fine with winging it as a GM and negotiating with a GM as a player, but I figure if I bring up anything obvious before the proof is off to the printer, it's in everyone's best interest.

By the way, thanks for this. I've only had an hour or so but this thing is really, really flavorful.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Here's a thing worth knowing.


Proofreading Note: The end of the Power of Purification feat is cut off on page 173.


Rednal wrote:
Proofreading Note: The end of the Power of Purification feat is cut off on page 173.

Thanks for the catch!


(As a different proofreading note, I mentioned above that a lot of stuff is repeated in the OGL, especially in the second half. Definitely consider a quick run of that to smooth it out and free up a little space. Who knows? Maybe you can add a message to backers, an advertisement for other products, or something else there without really changing the printing costs. ^^)


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AH! I convinced a friend to buy this pdf and he "forgot" his tablet at my home I will try to do a broad review since this is a humongous tome!


Rednal wrote:
(As a different proofreading note, I mentioned above that a lot of stuff is repeated in the OGL, especially in the second half. Definitely consider a quick run of that to smooth it out and free up a little space. Who knows? Maybe you can add a message to backers, an advertisement for other products, or something else there without really changing the printing costs. ^^)

Thanks for this call out. We will see what can be done. If you have any other notes please send them to: herowithin@lostspherespublishing.com so we can take action before we run out of time for the final print file.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

This is so chock full of awesome, I don't know where to begin. It just screams, "Planar!" So much, yes.


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Michael Sayre wrote:
Here's a thing worth knowing.

:-O Dear lord I've not finished with this one and you are releasing another? Please stop it (no, don't)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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the xiao wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Here's a thing worth knowing.
:-O Dear lord I've not finished with this one and you are releasing another? Please stop it (no, don't)

I won't :)

Akashic Realms will be an ongoing series of handbooks. Emperors and Einherjar will be first, but we've also got Akashic Realms: The Quiet Lands in queue behind it with another zodiac cosmology (with a unique new [Dismiss] ability), new akashic races, and new akashic feats. Both releases also have new animal companions (because there were a couple constellations I wanted animal companions for that didn't have appropriate options available).


Michael Sayre wrote:
Both releases also have new animal companions

Yeah, I remember the capricorn.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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the xiao wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Both releases also have new animal companions
Yeah, I remember the capricorn.

I try to make sure there's something for everyone in every book, and that every book has some value as a standalone product.

Besides, the distinct lack of giant hare and sheep animal companions was a gap I felt a strong desire to fill :P

Dark Archive

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I have some trouble imagining how the Radia and Occlusion look like. Is the city in a bubble, with Occlusion forming the sides and Radia the top?


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nightflier wrote:
I have some trouble imagining how the Radia and Occlusion look like. Is the city in a bubble, with Occlusion forming the sides and Radia the top?

Not as much trouble as you think because that is essentially exactly correct. The "bubble" flexes and pulses though perhaps more subtly than the Radia's light above. A playtester described it as "fishbowl of the Occlusion" shot through from above by the light of the Radia above and the Lattice "roads" at widest points of the "dome". We asked a few artists to try a visualization but the effort proved very hard to convey the right look.

To adventurers traveling the Shadow Plane from outside the city it most often presents as a massive sphere or dome (if on the Lattice) with a shaft of shimmering multicolored light raising high above it. Some claim that beyond the light of the Radia they can see the silhouettes of massive branches or roots.

Once inside the darkness of the Occlusion, the inner surface of the dome seems to shift from darkness at eye-level in the Farring, moving through overlaid night skies, and drawing at last toward a mounting aurora of colors which brightens in the City's center.

Dark Archive

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Thanks! I'm moving my campaign from Midgard by Kobold Press to C7S this Monday :)


Have you seen any in depth reviews?


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As an owner, I can confirm it's a pretty good book, though it covers a lot of ground - this is not a small product. XD


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Scum of Dunwall wrote:
Have you seen any in depth reviews?

Endz hasn't reviewed this one yet, but you can see various elements that went into the book reviewed at the (awesome) Endzeitgeist's site.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Scum of Dunwall wrote:
Have you seen any in depth reviews?

What Rednal said. I haven't had the time I wish I had to dig in, but a} the akashic stuff has been around for a while and is excellent and b} everything else I've found the time for has been very flavorful and fun to read.

The PDF is cheap for what it is. I can't recommend it enough.


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@Elorebaen:

Thank you for the shout-out! And yep, I've reviewed components of this.

I will, probably sometime this sumemr, get around to covering this, but it'll be rating-less, as I've contributed a race (the Rhyzalla) I'm super proud of to this tome.

If any freelancer's reading this: Working with Christen was a phenomenal experience.

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