View Full Version : "Aether" Help

2013-05-14, 12:26 PM
“The Aether” - Apothecary Marco

“The Aether is the Nexus's plaything. Whimsical, multicolored mist that dances around conduits of it. It is simply the form of someone's life force. Aether, while in the Nexus, dances visibly around it's vessel, the player and NPC's. There is a lot to be learned, and already known about the Aether, but, let's leave that to the most studied, shall we?”

“The Vessels” - Apothecary Marco

“Aether takes many forms. For us in the Nexus, that form is, well, us. It clings to our soul, or rather, engulfs it. It seems to use that to take up our latent forms, which, for us, is our form just before our untimely demise. The Aether makes up our form, and the rest? It just sort of dances around us. It's easy to see through, that is, if it actually got in our faces. No, Aether seems to just dance far above us in some form of circular motion in the top of the Nexus. As we walk out, it joins us, turning translucent on the physical plain.”
“A little bit of the Aether, though, clings to us even if it can't solidify, and this gains a color! An interesting fact. For me, it was a brown, though, I'm not exactly sure what that means. All the more reason to study!”
“Aether seems to be related to... something. I'm not quite sure, but I do have a perfect example! 2 new arrivals came in today, and they are the same color! This is wonderful. I'll just study them in secret till I learn what their differences and things are.”
“Funny thing about these 2. While I'm not one to point fun, they're aura's color is... pink. The closest I can come to a conclusion is that they're simply lovers. It would seem that the Aether's color coincides with a person's deepest personality traits. Lovely!”
“A new person came today... This is one of those few rare cases that were brought in not by the keepers, but, one of our own. Sebastian was out looking for his trinkets again, and he found this tall, foreboding fellow. His Aether is black. I don't even need to study him to know that that doesn't bode well for anyone, but, physical harm is impossible in the Nexus. I can breathe easy with that.”

“The Aether and Invulnerability” - Apothecary Marco

“Struck gold today. Very happy to learn this, as it allows me to be more astute with my studies and brewing. I'm invincible! Or rather, untouchable. Wasn't watching where I was going today as I was lost in thought as to why the newcomers were both pink, and I accidentally walked through Bagrin! Literally, too. My conscious stayed as it was and I merely kept walking through him. It was astounding! We both sort of... Disintegrated as we walked, and then regained ourselves a few seconds later.
Bagrin kept on walking, as I'm sure it hadn't been his first time with that, but me! I was astonished!”
“Can't touch a single other person. Now, that's not a bad thing, mind you, but it looks like the magic distance is 1 inch away before things start to come apart. Weapons especially. Rodrick was nice enough to try and stab me in the face when I told him I didn't know what weapons did as Aether. He cut me off on did. He laughed heartily, but... who does that?”

“The Aether and Magic” - Apothecary Marco

“So the Aether disintegration thing brought up a lovely question. How am I standing on these stones? I've gotten significantly better as a wizard these last few days, so I decided to cast one of my newer spells, Arcane sight. Oh my word... just... the things you see. I was blinded in one eye from the amount of magic, and I had to immediately cease the spell, but... everything. I know these floors are merely barriers. They have illusions, and the colors of the Aether in here is just... I won't be casting that again. It was a waste of a spell In my book, but, just 1 casting of it taught me so much so quickly. It might have been worth an eye.”
“Keeper Argus apparently realized what I'd done. He asked me to do it again, and I said it was dangerous. He assured me otherwise. Casting it again, he had placed a nonmagical aura on just about everything. The Aether isn't enough to hurt my eyes, but there's nothing magical about it. However, it is very beautiful to look at.”

“The Aether and the Soul” - Apothecary Marco

“Once again, Bagrin died today. I asked him what it was like, and if it had any detrimental effects. It was about this time I learned that we weren't as invincible as I'd hoped. He'd attempted to reach the Duke's quarters, again, and apparently some... monstrosity of a beast stopped him from doing so. Anyways, I learned that the Aether can't handle the fatal harm of it's vessel, and actually escapes into nearby vessels upon death.”
“A Vessel is anything that contains Copious amounts of resealed Aether, which, at the moment is anyone in the Nexus, and that's all. Regular, living creatures and people, if there are any people, can't gain it. Bagrin once died defending someone from the Nexus, Rodrick or Sebastian, I believe. Maybe the new healer? Not sure, but, part of his Aether joined her, and well, she got stronger? I'm not sure how to put it. She said it was as if all of her teachings had accelerated, or, massive amounts of insight befell her. Needless to say, the Aether apparently augments our abilities and accelerates our learning processes. Perhaps we gain it over time? I wonder how much I have...”
“The loss of Aether is a substantially awful thing, as, in my desire to learn what it was like, I... kind of got killed. Yes, it was in the Chilling pass of Argosol. Mind you I wasn't actually trying to die, no, I was simply looking for ingredients to put towards potions. It just so happened that I'd happened to run into one of that damned Lich's vicious sentries.
Anyways, upon death I... lost something. Potion ideas, knowledge, skill, prowess, everything. I lost experience, for lack of a better word. The Aether apparently is experience given form, and, well, if you lose all of the things you've ever done, well... poof.”

“The Aether and Equipment” - Apothecary Marco

“The blacksmith, Arcus, has apparently learned how to do something rather remarkable. He can shape a person's Aether, if they're willing. Now, this is something I've only seen him do, but apparently it's rather easy once you get the hang of it.”
“A weapon composed of Aether, when separated from a tangible source of a person's Aether, will disperse immediately, provided that person is dead. The Aether from this weapon will then cling to nearby conduits, effectively giving them experience.”


Alright, fancy wordings and NPC dialogue aside, here's the short and skinny of my problem.

This "Aether" stuff is the currency in my next game, and it's basically the conversion of a player's experience into pretty much everything. It can be used for pretty much dam well everything.

So let's look at something: Level 2: 2120 experience total. You want a full plate, and that costs 1500 gold, or rather, 1500 Aether. That's enough to not only set you back to level 1, but set you over 1400 exp from level 2.

Therein lies the problem, for me. I want to make Aether hurt the experience bar, but I don't want it to devastate the experience bar. I thought about giving more "Experience" for all of these things, but, that might make it far too easy to level.

The way my tiny brain sees it, is I either make monsters give tons more experience despite their level and keep all of the items as they are, or, by percentiles, cut down the amount of gold (Aether) stuff will cost. Care to help a guy out? Also, this "Apothecary Marco" is a guy who's been in this "Nexus" for a very long time, and has pretty much devoted himself to the study of the whimsical stuff.

2013-05-14, 12:30 PM
Seems like the easiest way to do this would just be to take whatever they would have gotten in gold, and give them that much extra xp instead. That having been said, is there a reason for this other than flavor? I've personally found that anything that drops my xp enough to make me lose a level is always more of a headache than I want to deal with (losing spells, reduced hp, refiguring b.a.b., etc. etc.).

2013-05-14, 12:37 PM
Well, the character's have effectively recently died, and the "Keepers" of this area, convert the most prominent of heroes back to life by attaching Aether to their souls as they fly up through a font, dead.

Essentially they catch them right below purgatory, and go from there. The ones that are allowed to go on just keep going.

It's very story-entwined.

Essentially everything they can get their hands on can be converted into this "Aether" including gold, which still exists, and can still be used as currency on the physical plain. Useless in the Nexus, though.

2013-05-14, 01:56 PM
When a weapon is destroyed, it dissolves entirely into Aether, and it's cost is divided among all present players into experience. This can be shared with NPC's as well, so unless you're feeling generous, don't break anything near them.

A weapon's cost in gold is it's cost in Aether, so, a weapon that costed a total of 1200, if lost due to death, will give the surrounding 4 players 400 experience. Unfortunately that's a lot of experience for just breaking a sword, so I may mitigate the total gains. Maybe 10%? Not sure.

When a player dies, they lose an entire level's worth of Aether, this experience breaks off from them and travels to the other people within 50 feet.

Killing something grants Aether. A Schir demon is Cr 4 and worth 600 experience, so upon dying, all 4 players are immediately awarded 150 Aether, which also counts as experience. I still need to fiddle with what goes into weapons.

Let's take for example, a club. A +1 club. For a person to, at the moment, completely fashion this from Aether, would cost them 2305 Aether. That's more than level 1, ladies and gentlemen.

I've thought about halfing the prices, or rather, quartering all of the prices in the book, but, that's dangerous, no?

2013-05-15, 08:54 AM
i was thinking make it to where you spend the experience but don't lose the level so if you wanted full plate and were level 2 you lose 1500 exp but don't get dropped to level 1

2013-05-15, 11:23 AM
Not a bad idea. It'd still set you back, and if you died you'd revert back to that level... hmm.

There's just so many things that revolve around Aether in this game that it's kind of intense.

Dieing makes you lose every experience point you have of your current level. This means that if a level 1 dies, he stays dead, and raise dead doesn't work on an Aetherling as your soul makes up for lost time and zips straight to the boneyard.

Fortunately I put a rather large amount of thought to that, and figured that being reverted back to level 1 was plenty enough.

The act of dieing looks like this: 1280/2000 experience, dies, 0/2000 still alive, but level 1. And then no amount of dieing can go below level 1.

I also found a simple enough solution for the experience issue: White Aether.

When a creature dies, some of it's Aether goes into the players, while the rest of it's *white* Aether, simply attaches to them and follows them to the nexus.

This white Aether is always in a pool with the rest of the white Aether in the upper dome of the Nexus, though it's not a lot, starting out.

A schir demon can give 600 experience, and to 4 people, that's 150 "Soul" Aether each, which is a fancy way of saying experience. Soul Aether is converted to white Aether upon death, and only upon death. White Aether is simply the gold worth of all the crap they find, including gold.

500 gp of loot converts to 500 gp of White Aether, and White Aether can be converted into soul Aether, which is experience, though only at a 10 to 1 ratio.

How does all this sound?