[Encounter Table Publishing] The Aethera Campaign Setting


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

Congrats!

Scarab Sages

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Great! Glad to see it funded!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Woohoo take ma money!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

$52K and 2 hours left. Is there time enough to hit at least 1 stretch goal? I sure hope so. The fact that this is now a live campaign is definitely helping to breed confidence in those thinking of backing this. I look forward to seeing this setting thrive. May this do so much more than its funding once all is said and done so that the potential is there that making the races and treasury books down the line becomes feasible. Even if that means another kickstarter next year. I like what I am seeing of this and want to support it as much as possible.


So, now that we're over the hump, I have some other questions.

1) So how much of the book is virtually done? The kickstarter was starting to look like a photo finish but it has some really great art attached to it which you have had to have gotten your hands on already meaning something is already done.

2) Related; How much of the book do you have to go?

3) Is the black with blue text from the preview pdf final? If it looks okay in print I'm all for it but it looked pretty squinty on my tablet.

4) Whats the ETA on everything? Or rather what's your hopeful timetable?

5) Are you going to be holding public or backer playtesting for the crunch?

6) I have a campaign that's going into a mine with a crashed ship underneath starting on the first Sunday of January. They'll spend a few levels before they find a Mcguffin that causes them to leave the planet so they'll be leaving around March. Will I have any test or final material to have them gate to the human world of the Aethera system and interact with it by then?

7) Have you seen any other scifi, scifantasy or space supplements from other companies to know what you expect to interact well with Aethera? This includes Paizo's Technology Guide.


Just seen this Kickstar project from email I received from Paizo this weekend. I always interested in genre that combines fantasy and sci-fi together.

I seen the backers options, but have not seen an all only PDF collection, without additional printed versions. Liz and others at Paizo have come to know of the huge hassles of getting paper versions into my country, considering the postal services has become defunct in the last few years. All the RPG stuff I buy these days are solely PDFs.

Is there a plan to have an all only PDF option (without any printed material), including the adventures?


Bummer! Just noticed this was already closed and funded yesterday. I will keep an eye out on when the PDFs get released.

Sadly notification of this kickstarter was so late, close to end date and time.

I been reading the Preview PDF I downloaded today. The blue writing with black border on coloured image is rather difficult to read, eye strain. I would try to avoid placing writing on a coloured image for easier readability.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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DarkOne the Drow wrote:
I been reading the Preview PDF I downloaded today. The blue writing with black border on coloured image is rather difficult to read, eye strain. I would try to avoid placing writing on a coloured image for easier readability.

We will be going with a light background and dark text for the final campaign setting. That was very much a rush job to make sure people got some content out. We'll be aligning the visual design of our website and campaign setting aesthetic to match and make things easy on readers eyes, while still maintaining a strong design. :)

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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And some questions!

Quote:
1) So how much of the book is virtually done? The kickstarter was starting to look like a photo finish but it has some really great art attached to it which you have had to have gotten your hands on already meaning something is already done.

I commissioned two artists (Mohammed Mukhtar and Jayd Ait-Kaci) before we even started brainstorming the book to produce some concept art/comic art that we could use for the Kickstarter and related promotions. The book's development is, I'd say, a little more than 1/3rd completed. We began working in September with a month-long brainstorming and discussion period, then assignments went out to individual authors in October. The writers' first "milestone" check-in was during the Kickstarter, which I'm working on giving feedback to over the course of this week. Our final turnover date for completed manuscripts is towards the end of January next year. Then we go into development, editing, and layout. Hope that helps explain where we're at!

Quote:
2) Related; How much of the book do you have to go?

The above should probably cover that, but if you have more questions related to this just ask!

Quote:
3) Is the black with blue text from the preview pdf final? If it looks okay in print I'm all for it but it looked pretty squinty on my tablet.

That was a layout we were testing out in the preview guide, but won't be the style we use for our final product. We're going to go for a more traditional dark text on a light background.

Quote:
4) Whats the ETA on everything? Or rather what's your hopeful timetable?

Some rewards are available in February (the early-access PDF, etc) The PDF of the campaign setting should be available to backers by May, and we're still trying to figure out the timing on distribution of the print media. I'd love for the book to be available for purchase at Paizocon in May, but I don't know how realistic that is yet.

Quote:
5) Are you going to be holding public or backer playtesting for the crunch?

The free preview guide will contain a great deal of the mechanical elements, and we'll be encouraging people who play with these rules to report to a playtest threat here on Paizo.com. More on that early next year.

Quote:
6) I have a campaign that's going into a mine with a crashed ship underneath starting on the first Sunday of January. They'll spend a few levels before they find a Mcguffin that causes them to leave the planet so they'll be leaving around March. Will I have any test or final material to have them gate to the human world of the Aethera system and interact with it by then?

If you backed the Kickstarter and got the early-access PDF, you'll have rules for the races, the cantor class, aethertech, and some other fun tools in February.

Quote:
7) Have you seen any other scifi, scifantasy or space supplements from other companies to know what you expect to interact well with Aethera? This includes Paizo's Technology Guide.

I'm familiar with Legendary Planet, It Came From the Stars, and the Technology Guide and I think Aethera could work well with them all. If you're going to include worlds beyond the Aethera system you'll need to determine how that affects society, since they've not yet discovered extrasolar civilizations. The technology guide will dovetail with the aethertech rules perfectly. So much so that you could make any advanced tech into aethertech (and vice-versa) with very little work.


What races are there? The preview document has, Phalanx, Infused and Okanta, but I saw some dragon-looking dudes somewhere. Info needed because I'm likely to get the stuff before the campaign ends so I should set up some pre-Aethera System stuff. (In this case the Aethera System is the human home system who's galactic gate was destroyed by war so the rest of the quadrant has not been able to access them for centuries.)


The phalanx, infused, and okanta are three of the five races of Aethera. Humans and the plant-like erahthi are the other two. There are no draconic races (at present; the setting has space for new races in the future).

The set-up you have there may conflict with some of the setting's fluff. I'm not sure how much detail I can provide at this time...

Liberty's Edge

Isabelle Lee wrote:

The phalanx, infused, and okanta are three of the five races of Aethera. Humans and the plant-like erahthi are the other two. There are no draconic races (at present; the setting has space for new races in the future).

The set-up you have there may conflict with some of the setting's fluff. I'm not sure how much detail I can provide at this time...

When will the product webpage be "more" than it is currently? I think that it would be beneficial to be more than just a blogspot-type of page.


Noven wrote:
Isabelle Lee wrote:

The phalanx, infused, and okanta are three of the five races of Aethera. Humans and the plant-like erahthi are the other two. There are no draconic races (at present; the setting has space for new races in the future).

The set-up you have there may conflict with some of the setting's fluff. I'm not sure how much detail I can provide at this time...

When will the product webpage be "more" than it is currently? I think that it would be beneficial to be more than just a blogspot-type of page.

Hard to say. I'll be sure to pass your question along, though. ^_^

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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Now that we're funded I'll be moving along with a more proper website design. The first priority is book development, however, but we are working on our own house so to speak.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any updates?


We've been putting up a lot of the concept art on our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AetheraRPG/) for the moment; it's moving along well, though! I can assure you there's a hell of a lot of work going on, and it's looking -fantastic-.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As a backer of Aethera, I'm wondering how the announcement of the new Starfinder Role-Playing Game will impact Aethera.

Will it draw sales away, or will you be able to incorporate Starfinder material into the setting, increasing synergy?


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Haladir wrote:

As a backer of Aethera, I'm wondering how the announcement of the new Starfinder Role-Playing Game will impact Aethera.

Will it draw sales away, or will you be able to incorporate Starfinder material into the setting, increasing synergy?

From the Kickstarter:

Robert Brookes wrote:

You may have heard it already, but if not, Paizo announced their Starfinder space fantasy RPG that is compatible with Pathfinder! Both myself and Aethera co-creator Jacob Thomas were in attendance at Paizocon and I have had a wonderful series of conversations prior to the announcement with Stephen Radney-McFarland and Wes Schneider regarding Aethera and Starfinder! We are very early in talks but we are working together to ensure that Aethera is the best product representative of our original design intention, and that we leverage our expertise to help make Starfinder excellent as well. Paizo is committed to utilizing the best authors in the industry and nobody knows Pathfinder in space better than the Aethera team!

There will be more exciting announcements to come in the future as we know and can share more. But now that we can publicly speak about this exciting new development there will be much more to discuss!

Right now this doesn't change anything for the Kickstarter, however we will keep you all up to date as that changes. We're still editing and developing as we speak and hosting games at Origin and GenCon!
More to come! Keep your eyes on the stars!


The real questions are;

1, Will Aethera be mechanically compatible with Starfinder?

2, Will we have to wait until GenCon 2017 got get Aethera?


Well, Origins 2016 is Jun 15-19 and Gen Con is August 4-7, so I imagine we'll probably hear something more definite at one of them, or after they're both over. At this point, I'm not sure Paizo has even compiled an early rules/alpha test of Starfinder for the Aethera/ETP team and other 3PPs to look at yet.


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Kickstarter backers got the email link to the PDF yesterday - I have my PDF copy! It's beautiful, and well worth the wait. Now, to figure out what campaign idea to run first...


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GM Lamplighter wrote:
Kickstarter backers got the email link to the PDF yesterday - I have my PDF copy! It's beautiful, and well worth the wait. Now, to figure out what campaign idea to run first...

It really is a beautiful book. And archetypes. So many archetypes.

Silver Crusade

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I've been waiting for this to drop and I have not been disappointed in the slightest. There's so much to take in, especially since it clocks in at over 500 pages. I probably won't really be able to go through it all until this weekend, but what little I have read has been nothing short of amazing.

Silver Crusade

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Well, Origins 2016 is Jun 15-19 and Gen Con is August 4-7, so I imagine we'll probably hear something more definite at one of them, or after they're both over. At this point, I'm not sure Paizo has even compiled an early rules/alpha test of Starfinder for the Aethera/ETP team and other 3PPs to look at yet.

They did get to look things over with regard to Starfinder, but decided not to hitch on to that particular wagon. I think it's a good move on their part, as it leaves it open for them to put out a supplement for those who might want to do that with their own games. As it stands, knowing that I don't have to parse information in Aethera for Starfinder-based mechanics makes going over the pdf easier.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malwing wrote:

The real questions are;

1, Will Aethera be mechanically compatible with Starfinder?

2, Will we have to wait until GenCon 2017 got get Aethera?

To preface, I'm not actually involved in the project, other than being a backer at the Cantor level.

Re: Point #1:

In Kickstarter Update #40 (26-Aug-2016), Robert Brookes wrote:

First, I'll get this out of the way, we've decided to not support the Starfinder rules with the Aethera Campaign Setting. After a series of talks with the wonderful folks at Paizo and a little eye in to the game mechanics, we're certain that as of right now it appears that Starfinder is going in a direction that we don't want to take Aethera, play-wise, and if we do wind up offering support for Starfinder it will be in a limited conversion-guide capacity to start some time in the indeterminate future.

Starfinder looks wonderful, but it isn't Aethera and we don't want to compromise on our vision and sell all of you folks short on the awesome book you all helped make...

Re: Point #2: In the most recent KS update, Robert said that they made the decision to have the book printed in China, and that they expect to have the physical product available for sale in late summer (i.e. August). He didn't say whether or not they'll have the book ready for GenCon, but the timing looks to be really tight in that regard.


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Landon Winkler wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Kickstarter backers got the email link to the PDF yesterday - I have my PDF copy! It's beautiful, and well worth the wait. Now, to figure out what campaign idea to run first...
It really is a beautiful book. And archetypes. So many archetypes.

Got my PDF yesterday too. Just skimmed it so far, but it looks amazing. And those kytons!

Silver Crusade

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Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Landon Winkler wrote:
GM Lamplighter wrote:
Kickstarter backers got the email link to the PDF yesterday - I have my PDF copy! It's beautiful, and well worth the wait. Now, to figure out what campaign idea to run first...
It really is a beautiful book. And archetypes. So many archetypes.
Got my PDF yesterday too. Just skimmed it so far, but it looks amazing. And those kytons!

Yeah... those kytons.

Contributor

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*shudders*
Yeah, those kytons are...a thing. Something something Event Horizon.
I'm glad everybody's enjoying the PDF, and this is the point where I ask for feedback on the layout specifically. I added a few things in that hopefully make it more usable for GMs and players alike, and I'd like to hear what does/doesn't work for you.

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

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Liz Courts wrote:

*shudders*

Yeah, those kytons are...a thing. Something something Event Horizon.
I'm glad everybody's enjoying the PDF, and this is the point where I ask for feedback on the layout specifically. I added a few things in that hopefully make it more usable for GMs and players alike, and I'd like to hear what does/doesn't work for you.

The PDF looks lovely, Liz!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am liking it so far, but I really would like to see a graphical representation of the solar system besides the "artistic" version.

I assume that someone will make spreadsheets for building aetherships eventually. MOAR MATH!

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

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The secret is out - Encounter Table Publishing and Legendary Games join forces to present the amazing AETHERA CAMPAIGN SETTING!

Robert Brookes and I have worked together on a number of products before and have developed a great working relationship, and the more we talked about this project and others the more it made sense to team up. If you love mixing your sci-fi and fantasy, wish a dose of cosmic horror, magical fantasy, and mystical noir, we are the companies for you!

For Pathfinder, Starfinder, Starjammer, Legendary Planet, or any kind of campaign, you've gotta check it out. And the price is so, so right- just $29.99 for almost 600 PAGES of sheer, unmitigated awesomeness. You also can preorder the print volume or print/PDF bundle, which we hope to have ready in time for GenCon in August.

You can get it next Friday in wide release, but right now, the ONLY place you can get it is the Legendary Games webstore. Grab your copy today!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For Kickstarter backers, will it eventually be added to our Paizo library? Also, I don't get why you guys teamed up with Legendary Games. Nothing against them, but did you need them for distribution or something?


Michael Monn wrote:
For Kickstarter backers, will it eventually be added to our Paizo library? Also, I don't get why you guys teamed up with Legendary Games. Nothing against them, but did you need them for distribution or something?

Regardless of their size or distribution network, it makes thematic sense for both companies given the Legendary Planet AP product line.

For Encounter Table: Adventure Path great to use with the Aethera Campaign Setting.
For Legendary Games: Extra rules and a Campaign Setting into which to insert the AP.


Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

Regardless of their size or distribution network, it makes thematic sense for both companies given the Legendary Planet AP product line.

For Encounter Table: Adventure Path great to use with the Aethera Campaign Setting.
For Legendary Games: Extra rules and a Campaign Setting into which to insert the AP.

Wouldn't then it make sense to search for synergy with d20pfsrd.com? They recently released their very popular and thematically relevant Starjammer book and also own the open gaming store.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I noticed the Legendary Games logo on the back cover of the PDF.

Legendary has been publishing sword-and-planet stuff for a few years now. They've been publishing highest-quality 3PP material for much longer.

D20PFSRD only announced Starjammer earlier this year, and their overall product line is much younger.

Business plans like this usually take months to negotiate. It would not surprise me to learn Encounter Table negotiated a partnership deal with several 3PPs, and Legendary was the best fit.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Michael Monn wrote:
For Kickstarter backers, will it eventually be added to our Paizo library? Also, I don't get why you guys teamed up with Legendary Games. Nothing against them, but did you need them for distribution or something?

Some folks covered a little bit of it above, but the answer is actually really straightforward. Our crew is relatively small and none of us are full-time game developers. Everyone on the Aethera core team still holds down a day job, so our limitations to engage on social media, do marketing, and especially push our stuff at cons is limited by that.

Jason and I talked about hitching our wagons together and it made perfect sense. By partnering with Legendary we're able to leverage their marketing arm, distribution options, convention presence, and most importantly expertise. Jason is a good friend and I also trust his judgment and business savvy. While I could've done something with d20pfsrd I don't really know John Reyst and at the end of the day I prefer partnering with people I know and trust.

We're already reaping the benefits of the partnership, too. You'll see Legendary-run Aethera adventures at Paizocon and future conventions. This is also the way we'll be getting our content out to GenCon as well, which is huge.

So it's a great partnership with a ton of benefits. Jason and his folks are awesome people and they're gonna help get all out future Aethera books out to you all with much greater precision than the handful of us at Encounter Table could've hoped to on our own. :)

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

As for the backers question I'm honestly not sure. PDFs have already been distributed to backers and the print copies--when they're back from the printer--will hopefully be available around August and we're shipping them directly to backers.

If there's a benefit to you having them in your Paizo resources (and that's a thing we can do with licensor/tech limitations) let us know and we'll take it under advisement.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The benefit on having it in the Paizo library is if I lose the backer PDF. It has happened before, and having an online library has saved my bacon.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Love the product though! Between this, Starjammer and Starfinder, we have our plates full!


Michael Monn wrote:
The benefit on having it in the Paizo library is if I lose the backer PDF. It has happened before, and having an online library has saved my bacon.

Didn't you get as a DriveThru download? I know all of my kickstarters came from there, so pdfs are in my DriveThru library.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
necromental wrote:
Michael Monn wrote:
The benefit on having it in the Paizo library is if I lose the backer PDF. It has happened before, and having an online library has saved my bacon.
Didn't you get as a DriveThru download? I know all of my kickstarters came from there, so pdfs are in my DriveThru library.

No, it was distributed via DropBox.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My gaming PDFs are scattered all over the place (vendors' sites like Paizo, Legendary Games, Frog God Games, Green Ronin), plus DriveThru, plus a few that were distributed by direct DropBox download.

After they're downloaded onto my laptop's hard drive, I always make two backups: One on my external hard drive. I also put all of my gaming PDFs on my Google Drive, so that I can access them from any computer.

(Yes, I pony up $2/month for 100 GB of storage there.)

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

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Luthorne wrote:
necromental wrote:
Michael Monn wrote:
The benefit on having it in the Paizo library is if I lose the backer PDF. It has happened before, and having an online library has saved my bacon.
Didn't you get as a DriveThru download? I know all of my kickstarters came from there, so pdfs are in my DriveThru library.
No, it was distributed via DropBox.

The files are now loaded to DrivethruRPG in preparation for wide release (they're closed to the general public until Friday), so if anybody who has already gotten their backer copies via Dropbox would like to have your PDF resent to you via DrivethruRPG let me know at makeyourgamelegendary@gmail.com and we'll be happy to drop it to you via that route so you've got an extra backup.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Nelson wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
necromental wrote:
Michael Monn wrote:
The benefit on having it in the Paizo library is if I lose the backer PDF. It has happened before, and having an online library has saved my bacon.
Didn't you get as a DriveThru download? I know all of my kickstarters came from there, so pdfs are in my DriveThru library.
No, it was distributed via DropBox.
The files are now loaded to DrivethruRPG in preparation for wide release (they're closed to the general public until Friday), so if anybody who has already gotten their backer copies via Dropbox would like to have your PDF resent to you via DrivethruRPG let me know at makeyourgamelegendary@gmail.com and we'll be happy to drop it to you via that route so you've got an extra backup.

That is incerdibly generous. Offer accepted and email sent. Maybe I need to give Legendary Games another look due to awesome customer service.

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

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Michael Monn wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
necromental wrote:
Michael Monn wrote:
The benefit on having it in the Paizo library is if I lose the backer PDF. It has happened before, and having an online library has saved my bacon.
Didn't you get as a DriveThru download? I know all of my kickstarters came from there, so pdfs are in my DriveThru library.
No, it was distributed via DropBox.
The files are now loaded to DrivethruRPG in preparation for wide release (they're closed to the general public until Friday), so if anybody who has already gotten their backer copies via Dropbox would like to have your PDF resent to you via DrivethruRPG let me know at makeyourgamelegendary@gmail.com and we'll be happy to drop it to you via that route so you've got an extra backup.
That is incerdibly generous. Offer accepted and email sent. Maybe I need to give Legendary Games another look due to awesome customer service.

Happy to be of assistance. Our customer service is just as Legendary as our products! :)

You may find that our Metal Gods and Legendary Planet lines play very nicely with the theme and style of Aethera. Two great tastes that taste great together!

Silver Crusade

The Taur are positively terrifying. And I mean that in the most sincere way possible. I do have a couple of questions, though I think I should spoiler them just in case:

Spoiler:

Are there plans to reveal more about the Paragons through game mechanics? Those guys immediately caught my attention and I would love to turn them loose on some players. Would I be correct in thinking that androids were left out due to not being in any of the listed bestiaries? Because I was thinking of using them to represent the Paragons until more is revealed about them.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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We'll be revealing more about the Paragons in future products. The upcoming Intrigue Manual has a section on Orbis Aurea that delve more into their politics and internal/external struggles.

We're also looking at including the full (and terrifying) stats for all of them in our first Bestiary.

For home games, I'd estimate Paragon CR as around that of a 23-26. They're unique, large humanoids with the aether subtype that share many qualities with the infused but share none of their weaknesses. Each one will have not only class levels and mythic tiers, but also unique abilities.

As for androids, we left them out because they're not really the right "fit" for the setting. Phalanx basically replaced androids role entirely. An android could come from outside of the Aethera System (you could even tie it in to the Iron Gods AP by having it be a lost research vessel from Androffa). How androids and phalanx interact with one-another would be absolutely huge, since they both are artificial and possess souls.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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Also let me just say that Jason does not screw about with A+ customer service.

Silver Crusade

Robert Brookes wrote:

We'll be revealing more about the Paragons in future products. The upcoming Intrigue Manual has a section on Orbis Aurea that delve more into their politics and internal/external struggles.

We're also looking at including the full (and terrifying) stats for all of them in our first Bestiary.

For home games, I'd estimate Paragon CR as around that of a 23-26. They're unique, large humanoids with the aether subtype that share many qualities with the infused but share none of their weaknesses. Each one will have not only class levels and mythic tiers, but also unique abilities.

As for androids, we left them out because they're not really the right "fit" for the setting. Phalanx basically replaced androids role entirely. An android could come from outside of the Aethera System (you could even tie it in to the Iron Gods AP by having it be a lost research vessel from Androffa). How androids and phalanx interact with one-another would be absolutely huge, since they both are artificial and possess souls.

Looks like I need to set aside some funds for those books.

I imagine that a phalanx and an android would have very different outlooks concerning the natures of their existence. Thanks for the information. I'll try to take that into consideration.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

They absolutely would, yeah. Most notably is that phalanx are more emotional and socially adaptable than androids. This is represented by the phalanx's +2 Cha bonus. They're gregarious, soulful, and emotional machines. They're very much two sides of the same coin, though. While androids are more obviously biological, phalanx are the more "human" in mindset. I'm sure they'd have stunning debates on philosophy!

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