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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting PEACH]

    Magic and Adventure on the High Seas.
    The really, really High Seas.

    The world of Aether is an unusual place to find life, let alone civilizations. After all, Aether has no solid ground; it is a gas giant. Yet, it hosts many unique cultures and sentient beings, clinging to the islands of stone on which these creatures live their lives, suspended in the endless, wind-swept skies by a lighter-than-air substance called Aetherstone. A sparkling, world-spanning ring and four large moons accompany this massive, gaseous planet, exerting their supernatural influence from the Heavens while the crushing, alien depths of the Abyss span like a hungry maw below.

    For the inhabitants of this strange world, it is a time of exploration and discovery. Only recently has air travel been reliable enough to pursue on a large scale, and trade routes have opened up between the continents and their disparate peoples. With increased contact comes increased tension, however, and disputes over race and nations are on the rise. As if the threat of war were not enough, the dynamic nature of the omniverse has forced Aether into a kind of spiritual ice age, causing Aether to slide away from the domains of the Father and Mother and allowing sinister quasi-divinities to emerge and begin expanding their empires.

    Still, the expansive and mysterious skies call to those who will listen, and many are drawn to the secrets that lay concealed within the clouds. New discoveries are uncovered on a near-daily basis, and the revelation of previously unknown islands and creatures begs the question...

    What else is out there?


    Winds of Aether is a campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, but will likely be adapted to Pathfinder as well in the future. It is heavily a work-in-progress, and any comments or critiques are welcome, and are, in fact, desired. Note that grey text with a red strikeout is a deletion, while black text with a green underline is an addition. This allows you to quickly browse through sections you're interested in and spot the changes made.

    The History of Aether


    (Click for a much larger version)

    What follows is an exceptionally brief outline of the history of Aether. It is by no means a definitive historical source, and merely covers points of major interest.

    ⊕ 4,000 PE - 3,000 PE Primitive humanoids begin worshiping the spirits. Kobolds quickly discover and understand arcane magic, while humans begin practicing agriculture and domesticating animals.
    ⊕ 3,000 PE - 2,000 PE Kobolds begin building with stone. The continent of Koganzaria splits into what will become present-day Koganerand and Tzukaria. Humans and hobgoblins begin to grasp and utilize arcane magic. Near the end of the millennium, the spirits reveal the existence of Boross and Avindia to mortals.
    ⊕ 1,000 PE - 0 PE Humans breed domesticated dogs. Saimirans begin working with copper and bronze. Primordial Epoch ends.
    ⊕ 0 IE Ishen appear and quickly assume a position as the dominant species of Aether. Ishenian Era begins.
    ⊕ ~ 400 IE Humans begin using copper. Saimirans begin using arcane magic.
    ⊕ ~ 2,000 IE Strictland rises from the Abyss. It is quickly colonized by Ishen and their human slaves.
    ⊕ ~ 2,200 IE Kobolds domesticate float fungus. Saimirans begin using iron.
    ⊕ ~ 2,400 IE Eclipse recorded by humans and hobgoblins, as well as a mass hysteria referred to as "The Madness."
    ⊕ ~ 2,550 IE Hobgoblin city-states band together to fight the Ishen, but the uprising meets a crushing defeat.
    ⊕ ~ 2,800 IE Humans begin using iron.
    ⊕ ~ 3,200 IE The six hobgoblin nations begin using iron. Humans domesticate the float fungus.
    ⊕ ~ 3,700 IE Ishen experiment with half-humanoid golems. It was quickly abandoned.
    ⊕ ~ 4,000 IE Kobolds experiment with flying machines. Saimirans first record the existence of the Devil's Maw.
    ⊕ ~ 4,370 IE Warlord Dagr of the hobgoblins unites city states, forming the Rekhil Empire. Hobgoblins invent war chariots.
    ⊕ ~ 4,430 IE Kobolds succeed in creating a flying machine, though it is little more than an airborne raft.
    ⊕ ~ 4,400 IE Master Imoo of the kobolds makes pact with the Ishen, trading kobolds and hobgoblin captives in exchange for technology, favor, and magic. The Circle of Six is formed. Sheevra arrive in Kisiwamit, quickly befriending the oppressed saimirans.
    ⊕ ~ 4,500 IE Rekhil Empire battles Ishen, successfully warding off a harvest. The Ishen focus their power to reduce the empire to ruins in retaliation. Saimiran monarchy breaks apart, forming two countries which quickly go to war.
    ⊕ ~ 4,800 IE The War of the Seqoi reaches its height. Saimirans discover Ishen device, which, when used, lays waste to an entire island of northwestern Kisiwamit. The two warring countries quickly come to an truce, fearing their own self-destructive tendencies. The Two Thrones of Kisiwamit are born.
    ⊕ ~ 5,200 IE Ishen vanish from history. Sentient species free to initiate the Age of Exploration.
    ⊕ 282 AE King Tatius is born in Augustinia.
    ⊕ 300 AE King Tatius assumes the throne, and quickly begins a campaign to expand Augustinia's control.
    ⊕ 346 AE Most of Floriferland and Praedany are conquered by Augustinia. Augustian Empire officially declared.
    ⊕ 373 AE King Tatius dies. His three children assume the thrones of the three kingdoms under his control.
    ⊕ 492 AE Floriferland breaks away, becoming its own country.
    ⊕ 520 AE Kobolds invade Tzukaria, meet heavy resistance from the hobgoblins.
    ⊕ 583 AE Praedany declares its independence from Augustinia.
    ⊕ 625 AE Hobgoblins discover gunpowder, and begin using explosives. Kobolds retreat to Koganerand, while the hobgoblins follow.
    ⊕ 633 AE Floriferland begins exploratory campaign, colonizing Strictland and harvesting natural resources.
    ⊕ 636 AE Circle of Six "transcend", becoming the first liches.
    ⊕ 645 AE Natives of Strictland declare war on Floriferland.
    ⊕ 648 AE Saimirans and Sheevra arrive in Strictland. Natives try to convince saimirans to aid them against Floriferland, but fail. Saimirans begin a campaign to establish peaceful relations.
    ⊕ 651 AE Master Kzi, a warlock, assumes the throne, and leads kobolds on a successful campaign, once again taking large swaths of Tzukaria.
    ⊕ 667 AE Humans arrive in Tzukaria. Initially recieve major resistance from the hobgoblins.
    ⊕ 670 AE Peaceful relations are formed between Floriferland and Strictland.
    ⊕ 675 AE Humans become involved in the war in Tzukaria, joining against the kobolds.
    ⊕ 688 AE Circle of Six discover corrupt magic.
    ⊕ 718 AE Rehu achieves dominion. Simultaneously, the Circle of Six performs the corrupt spell Apocalypse from the Sky, obliterating large sections of eastern Tzukaria, killing thousands of hobgoblins and kobolds, and sending the island of Kuliot into the Abyss.
    ⊕ 720 AE Saimirans, humans, hobgoblins, and some kobolds band together to destroy the Circle of Six, forming the Light Brigade. For the first time, the saimirans break their non-aggression pact.
    ⊕ 722 AE Circle of Six conjures the Black Tower. The Light Brigade storms the tower and, after a bloody battle, destroys the Circle of Six.
    ⊕ ~800 AE Deva and Asura begin to appear.
    ⊕ 910 AE The Veli appear in Unemar and Gaelos, set up missionary outposts.
    ⊕ 923 AE The Veli begin to enslave the Yeenash when the refuse to follow the Mistress of Shards.
    ⊕ 982 AE Kobolds and Hobgoblins reach an uneasy truce, ending the Goblin-Draconian War.
    ⊕ 984 AE The Veli appear in Koganerand, set up missionary outposts.
    ⊕ 1065 AE Kobolds push out the Veli before they manage to achieve a foothold.
    ⊕ 1209 AE Saimirans and Humans reach Yonvland. Initial contact is unpleasant, and made worse that some humans take Yeenash as slaves.
    ⊕ 1274 AE Yeenash manage to push back the Veli, who retreat to their mysterious land to the East.
    ⊕ 1454 AE Empress Serafina IX assumes the throne of Praedany.
    ⊕ 1468 AE Present Day.


    {TABLE="width=100%"]
    |
    [/table]
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-09-30 at 06:09 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Humans

    Humans

    Humans in Aether are widespread. Indeed, due to the race's relatively fast breeding rate and natural curiosity and exploration, they are the only race that can be commonly found anywhere. It is this amazing flexibility which the humans pride themselves on, though the other races chide them for their lack of evolutionary specialization and inability to make up their collective minds.

    Personality: More so than any other race, humans run the spectrum. Some are disagreeable, some are kind, some are disorganized, some are zealots. In general, humans tend to be relatively friendly and accommodating, as well as curious. They are more prone to vices of excess than other races, such as gambling, gluttony, and greed.

    Physical Description: Humans vary in height, but are typically around five feet to six feet tall, with builds varying from skeleton-thin and fair to heavily muscled and obese. Larger or smaller specimens are not uncommon. Hair colors range from white to red to brown to black, with particularly rebellious or exotic individuals acquiring new colors through magic or expensive dyes. Eyes can be found of nearly any color. The skin of humans is a light tan, though darker and lighter individuals are not uncommon.

    Relations: Humans are on semi-friendly terms with the other races. They have touchy relations with the hobgoblins and kobolds, but have a flourishing trade agreement with the Saimirans. The yeenash are also somewhat fond of them, moreso than they are of the other races, at least.

    Alignment: Humans can be found of any alignment. They have no particular lean toward any one, not even neutral.

    Human Lands: Human lands tend to be bustling places of commerce and cultural exchange. Like the humans themselves, their countries vary in appearance and style. Human lands, particularly Augustinia, have a very definite and wide boundary between social classes, with the wealthy on one side and the poor on the other. Political power and monetary wealth go hand in hand with humans.

    Humans favor divine right monarchies, though Strictland breaks this tradition by having a republic instead.

    Religion: Humans can be found worshiping any supernatural entity. They have no particular preference for Boross or Avindia, and can be commonly found worshiping either, or both. They also have an unusually high rate of Sovereign worship.

    Language: Language is fluid, and no one proves that better than the humans. Human languages are constantly in a state of flux, with new lingo and figures of speech springing up like weeds. Humans also like to learn the language of races with which they frequently deal, as well as supernatural languages, sometimes just for the novelty.

    Names: Human names vary greatly, with some humans bearing names from the other races. It is not uncommon to find men with hobgoblin names, for instance.

    Adventurers: Adventuring is a natural extension of the human's inborn creativity and curiosity. It is the fastest method to learning about the world, and ones' self. For humans, adventuring is a common activity, though the scale and danger of these "adventures" varies greatly depending on who you ask.

    Human Racial Traits

    Medium: As Medium creatures, humans have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    Human base land speed is 30 feet.
    1 extra feat at 1st level, because humans are quick to master specialized tasks and varied in their talents.
    4 extra skill points at 1st level and 1 extra skill point at each additional level, since humans are versatile and capable. (The 4 skill points at 1st level are added on as a bonus, not multiplied in.)
    Automatic Languages: Common and either Augustian, Florian, Praedish, or Strictlish.
    Favored Class: Any. When determining whether a multiclass human takes an experience point penalty, her highest-level class does not count.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-11 at 01:20 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Deva

    Deva

    Charged with guidance and touched by the embodiment of peace, the Deva are a supernatural offshoot of humans.

    Personality: Deva tend to be more tranquil and serene than humans, who they see as locked in a needless hurry. They frequently speak in poetic and sometimes cryptic ways, a trait others may find annoying. Deva have no concept of time as a boundary, and prefer to take as much time as they need on a task in order to do it right the first time. They do not worry or fret about what they cannot control.

    Physical Description: Deva are exactly like humans, being merely offshoots. They have a tendency to have blonde hair and green eyes, however.

    Relations: Deva are treated just like normal humans, as many people cannot tell the difference.

    Alignment: Due to their steady and serene nature, deva tend toward law, but not necessarily good or evil.

    Deva Lands: Deva have no lands of their own, and live perfectly integrated into human society. Sometimes deva will collect together into small hamlets, but this is rare.

    Religion: Deva almost unanimously worship Boross, their creator god.

    Language: Deva speak the same languages humans do.

    Names: Being creatures of peace, deva prefer flowery or poetic names, particularly those that mean tranquil, serene, or calm.

    Adventurers: Deva may adventure as a kind of higher calling, pulled by a desire to spread their philosophy to those who are in distress. Others may adventure simply out of intrigue.

    Deva Racial Traits

    Medium: As Medium creatures, deva have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    Devan base land speed is 30 feet.
    Touch of Peace (Sp): A deva may use the spell Calm Emotions as a spell-like ability at will, except with a range of touch and only affects the touched creature.
    Touch of Creation: A deva with a Charisma score of 12 or higher can heal wounds (her own or those of others) by touch. Each day she can heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to her character level × her Charisma bonus. A paladin may choose to divide her healing among multiple recipients, and she doesn’t have to use it all at once. Using this ability is a standard action. Alternatively, a deva can use any or all of this healing power to deal damage to undead creatures. Using touch of creation in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. The deva decides how many of her daily allotment of points to use as damage after successfully touching an undead creature. This ability is identical to the paladin's lay on hands ability. If the deva also has lay on hands, the pool of hit points granted by the abilities stack.
    +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks.
    Serenity: A deva suffers only half the listed amount when affected by a morale penalty (round down). She is also treated as shaken whenever she would normally be frightened, and she is frightened whenever she would normally be panicked.
    Automatic Languages: Common and either Augustian, Florian, Praedish, or Strictlish.
    Favored Class: Cleric. When determining whether a multiclass deva takes an experience point penalty, her cleric class does not count.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Asura

    Asura

    Asura are the twins of the deva. They were created by Avinida, the goddess of conflict, to help guide humanity.

    Personality: Asura are rowdy and proud. They are excitable and eager to perform any task, no matter the difficulty, simply to prove to themselves and to others that they can do it. Asura do not like to be controlled, and prefer to have things their way. They have no concept of appeasement and rarely compromise.

    Physical Description: Because they are simply god-touched offshoots, asura look just like humans. They tend to have dark or red hair and brown eyes, however.

    Relations: The other races treat asura just like they do humans, because they cannot typically tell the difference.

    Alignment: Asura lean towards chaos. They have little respect for established conventions and challenge them when they feel the need.

    Asura Lands: Asura have no lands of their own. They are instead perfectly integrated into human society. They may sometimes collect together in clubs or even small towns, but this is rare.

    Religion: Avindia is the creator of the asura, and they worship her almost exclusively.

    Language: Asura speak the same languages as humans.

    Names: Asura prefer strong names that carry pride. They frequently adopt hobgoblin names, since the two species have similar naming schemes.

    Adventurers: Adventuring is natural for asura, who are driven by their human side's curiosity and their god-touched side's sense of duty. They typically adventure to right perceived wrongs or to rally oppressed people. They fight for freedom, both of themselves and others.

    Asura Racial Traits

    Medium: As Medium creatures, asura have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    Asuran base land speed is 30 feet.
    Touch of Conflict (Sp): An asura may use the spell Rage as a spell-like ability at will, except with a range of touch and only affects the touched creature.
    Touch of Destruction: An asura can cause wounds with a successful touch attack. Each day he can deal a total number of hit points of damage equal to his character level x his Charisma bonus. An opponent subjected to this attack can make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 character level + asura's Cha modifier) to halve the damage dealt. Alternatively, an asura can use any or all of this power to cure damage to undead creatures, just as an inflict wounds spell does. This power otherwise functions identically to the paladin's lay on hands ability. If the asura has the paladin of tyranny or slaughter's deadly touch ability, the abilities stack.
    +2 racial bonus on Bluff checks.
    Tempest: An asura gains half-again the listed amount when affected by a morale bonus (round down).
    Automatic Languages: Common and either Augustian, Florian, Praedish, or Strictlish.
    Favored Class: Paladin. When determining whether a multiclass asura takes an experience point penalty, his paladin class does not count. Chaotic asura usually take the Paladin of Freedom variant class.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default The Atmosphere

    The Atmosphere



    The atmosphere of Aether is divided into layers, based on composition, temperature, and ability to sustain life. Most islands are found in Middle Sky, with the frequency of islands becoming less and less as one moves farther up or down. Areas beyond Upper or Lower Sky are lethal, and require special gear and ship equipment to venture into. They do, however, contain exotic and undiscovered creatures and locations.

    The Heavens

    The Heavens extend from 23,000 feet up. Despite its lofty and welcoming name, it is highly lethal.

    Because of the severe cold, an unprotected character must make a Fortitude save once every 10 minutes (DC 15, +1 per previous check), taking 1d6 points of nonlethal damage on each failed save. A character who has the Survival skill may receive a bonus on this saving throw and may be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well. Characters wearing winter clothing only need check once per hour for cold and exposure damage.

    The thin atmosphere of the Heavens does not contain enough oxygen to sustain life. In addition to high altitude fatigue as described in Upper Sky, a character must also deal with altitude sickness. Altitude sickness represents long-term oxygen deprivation, and it affects mental and physical ability scores. After each 6-hour period a character spends at an altitude of over 15,000 feet, he must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1 point of damage to all ability scores. Creatures acclimated to high altitude receive a +4 competence bonus on their saving throws to resist high altitude effects and altitude sickness, but eventually even seasoned adventurers must abandon these dangerous elevations.

    Upper Sky

    Upper Sky extends from 7,500 feet to 23,000 feet above Altitude 0. The air is colder than normal, and not nearly as thick.

    A creature exposed to Upper Sky must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15, +1 per previous check) every hour. On the first failed save, the creature is fatigued. A fatigued creature that fails a subsequent save becomes exhausted for as long as it remains in the thin air. After 1 hour of complete, uninterrupted rest in a normal atmosphere, an exhausted creature becomes fatigued. After 8 hours of complete, uninterrupted rest, a fatigued creature is no longer fatigued. After spending 3d4 days in Upper Sky, a character has acclimated and no longer suffers this effect. If he leaves for more than two weeks, he loses this acclimation.

    An unprotected character in cold conditions must make a Fortitude save each hour (DC 15, + 1 per previous check) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. A character who has the Survival skill may receive a bonus on this saving throw and may be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well.

    Middle Sky

    Middle sky occupies the area 7,500 feet to -7,500 feet above and below Altitude 0.

    There are no special rules that govern middle sky. It is likely to be where adventurers spend most of their time, as this is were nearly all islands are found.

    Lower Sky

    This area extends from -7,500 feet to -23,000 feet.

    Because of the thickness of the atmosphere at this depth, a creature exposed to Lower Sky must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15, +1 per previous check) every hour. On the first failed save, the creature is fatigued. A fatigued creature that fails a subsequent save becomes exhausted for as long as it remains in the thin air. After 1 hour of complete, uninterrupted rest in a normal atmosphere, an exhausted creature becomes fatigued. After 8 hours of complete, uninterrupted rest, a fatigued creature is no longer fatigued. After spending 2d4 days in Lower Sky, a character has acclimated and no longer suffers this effect. If he leaves for more than a week, he loses this acclimation.

    The Abyss

    The Abyss is defined as anything below -23,000 feet.

    Dark clouds swirl at this depth, concealing all below them. These clouds are poisonous and corrosive, dealing 1d4 points of acid damage per round to unprotected creatures. Objects receive this damage hourly, regardless of hardness. These clouds contain an inhaled poison identical to burnt othur fumes (Fortitude DC 18, primary effect: 1 point of Constitution drain; secondary effect: 3d6 Constitution damage).

    The thickness of the atmosphere is debilitating. This functions just like the fatiguing effect of Lower Sky, except the base DC is 20 instead of 15, and a character can never become acclimated.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-11 at 01:25 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default The Moons

    The Moons

    {table=head] |
    Rehu
    |
    Agni
    |
    Budha
    |
    Shani
    |
    Ketu

    Title | The Dead | The Chariot | The Giver | The Shepherd | The Unspeakable
    Alignment | Chaotic Evil | Lawful Evil | Chaotic Good | Lawful Good
    Ascension | Autumn Equinox | Winter Solstice | Spring Equinox | Summer Solstice
    Color | Steel Blue | Red | Blue-Green | Gold/Blue | Black
    [/table]

    Each of the four moons follow a predictable orbit. Most of the year, the moons are roughly equal in distance from Aether, and so exert no noticable influence. During the solstices and the equinoxes, however, one moon is significantly closer than the others, pouring its light onto the world and enriching or corrupting the skies with its influence. For the three days in which this lasts, that moon is said to be in ascension.

    While a moon is in ascension, Aether gains the mild alignment traits associated with the moon. This causes creatures whose alignment is opposed to the moon's on one axis to suffer a -2 penalty on Charisma-based checks. Being opposed on both axises increases this penalty to -4. For instance, while Rehu is in acension, all non-good lawful characters or non-lawful good characters suffer a -2 penalty, while lawful good characters suffer a -4 penalty.

    On rare occasions, slight changes in the orbits can cause a moon to block the sun momentarily. This is a phenomenon called dominion. While the eclipse lasts, Aether gains the strongly aligned traits associated with the moon. All those who do not share the moon's alignment on one axis suffer a -2 penalty on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma-based checks. Those who do not share the moon's alignment on both axises suffer a -4 penalty instead.

    Spells with an alignment descriptor opposed to the moon's cannot be cast during the eclipse, as if negated by an antimagic field. Spells with an alignment descriptor that matches the moon's are automatically maximized, widened, and enlarged, without any increase in level or casting time.

    Rehu

    Cold and uncaring, Rehu is the Chaotic Evil moon that governs the autumn equinox. The Festival of the Dead is held during its ascension, where the dearly departed are honored and the restless dead wander the countryside, envigorated by the unholy light of this sinister moon. It is ascendant on the 30th and 31st of Reaping, and the 1st of Harvest.

    Agni

    Agni, the Chariot, is Lawful Evil. She holds power over the Winter Solstice, during which time the Festival of Arraignment is held. Under her blood-red light, sins are cleansed, debts are paid, and revenge is had, finalizing the year and allowing the new one to begin fresh. She is ascendant on the 30th of Darkness, as well as the 1st and 2nd of Frost.

    Budha

    This pleasant and cheerful blue-green moon is Chaotic Good and governs the Spring Equinox. The Festival of Rebirth is held during Budha's ascension, a time to celebrate life both old and new. Families, friends, and complete strangers exchange gifts to honor the lives we share. Budha is ascendant on the 30th of Sowing, as well as the 1st and 2nd of Planting.

    Shani

    Shani the Shepherd is the Lawful Good moon that holds sway over the Summer Solstice. She is ascendant on the 30th of Sun, as well as the 1st and 2nd of Fire. The Festival of Lights is held under her glow, during which candles are placed in paper balloons and sent off into the air, carrying wishes scrawled on scraps of paper.

    Ketu

    Historical records contain references to a few eclipses for which the astrometry of the other moons cannot account. Some scholars theorize that a jet-black moon, dubbed Ketu, could be responsible for the eclipses but would otherwise be nearly impossible to notice. Ketu is never ascendant and has no alignment. Mass hysteria sometimes called "The Madness" is linked with its dominion, though whether this is caused by the moon itself or simply apocalyptic beliefs that spring up around an unexpected and unexplained darkening of the sun is unknown.

    The Aetherian Calendar

    The standard Aetherian calendar is based on the phases of the moons and the seasonal changes. It has twelve months, each with either thirty or thirty-one days.

    {table="width=80%;head"]|
    1st
    |
    2nd
    |
    3rd
    |
    4th
    |
    5th
    |
    6th
    |
    7th
    |
    8th
    |
    9th
    |
    10th
    |
    11th
    |
    12th

    Name | Frost | Life | Sowing | Planting | Blossom | Sun | Fire | Reaping | Harvest | Stocking | Shadow | Darkness
    Days | 30 | 31 | 30 | 30 | 31 | 30 | 31 | 31 | 30 | 30 | 31 | 30
    [/table]

    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-13 at 12:38 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Sheevra

    Sheevra

    Sheevra are mysterious beings renowned for their skill with both arcane and divine magic, particularly illusions, and for their persistent child-like stature. Despite their seemingly immature mindset, they are popular as innovators, scouts, and messengers. The Sheevra hail from a mobile mass of trees and vegetation, devoid of any true solid ground, on which they live in Escher-esque arboreal communities. While sheevra have no difficulties traveling to and from their enchanted isle, outsiders cannot find it without a sheevra guide.

    Personality: Sheevra are inquisitive, and child-like. They enjoy learning new things and usually like to share what they know, leading many to be talkative and outgoing. They are notorious for their penchant for tricks, though the exact nature of these tricks depends on the sheevra and his/her alignment.

    Despite their immaturity, sheevra have a deep appreciation for the natural world, an appreciation and understanding they claim is beyond the grasp of the other races (except for perhaps the Yeenash, they concede). They may enjoy learning about the ways of technology, but they prefer to live in balance with nature instead of fighting it.

    Physical Description: Sheevra are roughly 3 feet tall and very light, weighing only 20 to 30 pounds. Their skin is typically a woody tan, but can sometimes be lighter or darker. Sheevra eyes and hair can be of any color, though they are always the same in any particular individual. They have child-like body proportions, such that their head is somewhat large relative to the rest of their body when compared to an adult human's proportions.

    Sheevra have an innate magical ability to sprout supernatural wings. These wings are merely illusory, and are not needed for flight. The appearance of the sheevra's wings is unique, however, like a fingerprint, and can range from bird-like feathered wings to dragonfly wings or bat wings. They are often transparent.

    Relations: Sheevra get along with nearly all races, but their personalities often clash with the hobgoblins, who view them as annoying pests. Since the hobgoblins enjoy strict laws, technology, and iron, the sheevra can find no common ground on which to engage their taller counterparts, and the two races continue to remain distant. They appreciate the respect for nature yeenash and saimirans share with them, and find the ingenuity of the kobolds and the creativity of the humans fascinating.

    Alignment: As free spirited as the winds, sheevra are almost always chaotic. Lawful sheevra are exceptionally rare and usually found integrated with other races. As long as they can remember, the sheevra have been divided on the moral axis, separating into two camps: the Seelie and the Unseelie sheevra.

    To humans, the debate appears to be about whether or not successfully tricking another creature indicates superiority over the tricked creature, but the sheevra claim it is much more than that. The division extends to an entire philosophy. To most of the other races, the distinction is simple, though perhaps oversimplified: the Seelie are good, the Unseelie are evil.

    It is possible to find neutral and evil Seelie and neutral and good Unseelie, but the two camps tend to lean in opposite moral directions.

    All sheevra belong to one of the two camps; switching sides is acceptable (though frowned upon), but remaining politically neutral is not.

    Sheevra Lands: These fey creatures live in small, hamlet-sized communities, led by the eldest sheevra. These communities are pleasant, friendly places filled with a festive atmosphere, but the sheevra as a society are lazy and stagnated. Invention and technological progress are nearly nonexistent.

    Religion: Sheevra favor Avindia, The Tree of Life, or the Principles, due to the chaotic and natural aspects of the three, though many of them find the tranquility Boross offers to be appealing. Unseelie sheevra may, on occasion, traffic with the Sovereigns, but this is frowned upon even by the Unseelie.

    Language: The language of the sheevra has divided into two dialects, simply known as Seelie and Unseelie. Both sound nearly identical, but the meaning of words is very different. To a sheevra, the opposite language is word salad in their own.

    Names: Sheevra like flowery names, but most of all, they like names that are fun to say. When going amongst non-fey, they will often adopt a "traveling name" that is easier for their companions to pronounce, usually common words like "Lily" or "Eden."

    Adventurers: Naturally curious and, because of their long lives and absence of natural predators, lacking a strong survival instinct, sheevra are natural explorers. Many leave the safety of Elphsain to experience non-sheevra life, and to see the world beyond their friendly neighborhoods.

    Sheevra Racial Traits
    -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution. Sheevra are lightning fast, but weak and frail of frame.
    Small: As small creatures, sheevra gain a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks to hide, and take a -4 penalty to grapple checks. They must use smaller weapons, however, and their lifting and carrying capacity is three-quarters that of a medium character.
    Fey Type: A Sheevra is a fey, not a humanoid. This changes how spells and abilities affect her.
    Sheevra base land speed is 20 feet.
    Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day - Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation, Ghost Sound, as cast by a sorcerer of the sheevra's character level. A sheevra with a charisma score of 15 or higher can also use Mirror Image once per day.
    Low-Light Vision: Sheevra can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    +2 racial bonus on saves against spells and spell-like effects.
    +2 racial bonus on saves against illusions.
    +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
    Fey Winds: A sheevra may sprout magical wings, allowing her to fly at her base land speed, with good maneuverability. Activating or deactivating this ability is a free action. This is a supernatural ability.
    Iron Sensitivity: Sheevra have an innate aversion to iron, which is poisonous to them. When struck with an iron weapon, a sheevra takes an additional 1 point of damage. Furthermore, she takes a -1 penalty to attack rolls made with iron weapons. This aversion includes weapons made primarily of iron, such as cold iron, steel, and moonsteel weapons. If the sheevra, for whatever reason, dons iron armor, she suffers a -1 penalty to all attack rolls, saves and checks until she removes the offending armor. The penalty for wielding an iron weapon and wearing iron armor are cumulative.
    Automatic Languages: Common and either Seelie or Unseelie.
    Favored Class: Druid. A multiclass sheevra's druid class does not count when determining whether she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-20 at 09:44 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Ohio, USA
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    Default Yeenash

    Yeenash

    The yeenash are a recently discovered race of humanoids, hailing from a distant land and charged with the protection of the Tree of Life. They are notorious for their ability to assume the form of an animal at will. Despite the resemblance, they are not related to lycanthropes nor are they particularly vulnerable to silver.

    They are valued by the other races as guardians, scouts, and laborers... sometimes against their will.

    So far, there are four types of known yeenash, divided into various societies based upon their animal form; the bears, the tigers, the bats, and the falcons. While the yeenash claim to be aware of no other kinds, their ancient legends speak of lions, doves, and reptiles. Whether or not these actually exist is unknown.

    Personality: The yeenash have personalities reminiscent of their animal heart; a bear yeenash may be stoic and stubborn, slow to make decisions but impossible to persuade otherwise. Tigers are known for their ferocity and courage, while the bats are notorious for their cowardice, or, as they say, "caution." The falcons tend to be proud, even arrogant, but their undisputed superiority in the air leads others to let them stick their beaks up from time to time.

    Like the other races, however, yeenash individuals have varying personalities, but it is unusual for one to show absolutely no stereotypical qualities of their particular breed.

    Physical Description: Yeenash appear largely human, with the exception of animalistic features such as pointed ears, tails, wings, abundant body or facial hair, markings, or pointed teeth. Their eyes are like that of an animal, however. When they change shape, they appear to be a typical member of that animal type, albeit with the unique markings, scars, or tattoos of the individual yeenash.

    Bears and tigers are taller than humans and heavier, usually between 5˝ - 7 feet tall, with bears being the largest. They are frequently well-muscled, with tigers being lean and bears typically having a noticeable layer of body fat. They frequently weight between 200 and 300 pounds. Falcons, on the other hand, tend to be the same height as humans but somewhat lighter, usually around 120 - 140, and lean.

    Bats are shorter, about 4 - 5 feet tall, and weigh significantly less than typical humans, usually around 70 - 90 pounds.

    Relations: Because of their unique physical abilities and semi-human nature, yeenash are commonly taken as slaves. This causes relations with other races to be rather rocky, with the exception of the sheevra and saimirans. They view sheevra as kindred spirits, while keeping saimirans at a respectful distance and the other races at a disrespectful distance.

    Still, attempts are made to smooth the gaps between the peoples, though it looks to be a long and difficult road towards peaceful relationships.

    Alignment: Like nature, yeenash tend toward neutrality, but individuals may slide towards good or evil. Unexpectedly, yeenash tend toward law more than they do chaos, likely because of their strict devotion to their people and to their deity.

    Yeenash Lands: The continent on which the yeenash live is divided into four sectors, with each species owning their own sector. Yonvland is owned by the bears, Unemar the tigers, Gaelos the falcons, and Valois the bats.

    The yeenash have a strong spiritual culture involving self-discovery, meditation, and integration of their dual nature into what they consider to be a perfect self. While only a dedicated few actually pursue the path of spiritual cultivation, who are often referred to as cenobites, the practices and teachings of their zen-like religion penetrate all aspects of their society.

    Despite their ferocious demeanor, they have a peaceful and technologically sound, if somewhat impaired, civilization, who build with clay, stone, and living plants tended and grown into a desirable shape.

    They are led by a spiritual leader called an Archon, who is usually an accomplished cenobite.

    Religion: Yeenash almost exclusively worship the Tree of Life, though the devotion differs through the sub-species. Bears and tigers are often extremely religious, while falcons are casual and bats tend to not really care about the Tree or the Old Ways. Bats are most likely to be found experimenting with other religions.

    Language: Because of their two forms, yeenash have two different languages. All yeenash speak the same language, simply referred to as "yeenash", which is capable of transmitting concepts as well as any other spoken language. When in their animal forms, however, yeenash are not capable of nuanced vocal intonation and instead transmit meanings through tone and body language. This is relatively inefficient and limited in its capacity, which is the primary reason yeenash spend most of their time in humanoid form.

    Names: Yeenash enjoy descriptive names, and often have several. Yeenash have clan names, family names, friend names, traveling names, and intimate names, depending on the relationship the speaker has to the individual. For a yeenash to teach its intimate name to another creature, particularly those who are not yeenash, is a sign of strong trust.

    Adventurers: When encountered outside of their country, yeenash are typically either emissaries, mercenaries, explorers, or slaves.

    Chiroptic Yeenash Racial Traits

    -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
    Medium: As medium creatures, yeenash have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
    Yeenash base land speed is 30 feet.
    Shapechanger: All yeenash have the shapechanger subtype.
    Blindsense: A chiroptic yeenash automatically senses the presence and location of any creature within 10 feet. This ability does not grant precise information, and so the yeenash still suffers the normal penalties for attacking a creature he cannot see. Blindsense is based on hearing, and is lost if the yeenash is deafened.
    +2 racial bonus to Perception checks. This bonus is lost if Blindsense is lost.
    Gliding (Ex): A chiroptic yeenash can use his wings to glide, negating damage from a fall of any height and allowing 20 feet of forward travel for every 5 feet of descent. Yeenash glide at a speed of 40 feet (average maneuverability). even if a yeenash's maneuverability improves, he can't hover while gliding. A yeenash can't glide while carrying a medium or heavy load. If a yeenash becomes unconscious or helpless while in midair, his wings naturally unfurl and powerful ligaments stiffen the wings. The yeenash descends in a tight corkscrew and takes only 1d6 points of falling damage, no matter what the actual distance of the fall.
    Low-Light Vision: Yeenash can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    Alternate Form: A chiroptic yeenash may assume the form of a small bat as a standard action. This is a supernatural ability. Unless the character has levels of the appropriate yeenash class (Bat, in the case of a chiroptic yeenash), changing shape does not grant any abilities of a bat beyond what the yeenash already possesses. It does grant a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to impersonate a bat, however. Because this ability is of limited use, most chiroptic yeenash choose to take levels of bat in order to gain the full abilities of their secondary form. Shifting back to human form is a standard action, and occurs automatically if the yeenash is slain.
    Vulnerability to Black Magic: Because of their innate attachment to nature and the Tree of Life, chiroptic yeenash are particularly vulnerable to the corruption of the natural order. Chiroptic yeenash suffer a -2 morale penalty to AC against attacks made by the undead, as well as suffering a -2 morale penalty to saves against the supernatural or spell-like abilities of the undead.
    Automatic Languages: Common and Yeenash.
    Favored Class: Bat. A multiclass yeenash's bat class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.

    Ursine Yeenash Racial Traits

    +4 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
    Medium: As medium creatures, yeenash have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
    Yeenash base land speed is 30 feet.
    Shapechanger: All yeenash have the shapechanger subtype.
    +2 racial bonus on Athletics and Survival checks.
    Ursine yeenash have Endurance and Run as bonus feats.
    Low-Light Vision: Yeenash can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    Alternate Form: An ursine yeenash may assume the form of a medium-sized brown bear as a standard action. This is a supernatural ability. Unless the character has levels of the appropriate yeenash class (Bear, in the case of an ursine yeenash), changing shape does not grant any abilities of a bear beyond what the yeenash already possesses. It does grant a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to impersonate a bear, however. Because this ability is of limited use, most ursine yeenash choose to take levels of bear in order to gain the full abilities of their secondary form. Shifting back to human form is a standard action, and occurs automatically if the yeenash is slain.
    Vulnerability to Black Magic: Because of their innate attachment to nature and the Tree of Life, ursine yeenash are particularly vulnerable to the corruption of the natural order. Ursine yeenash suffer a -2 morale penalty to AC against attacks made by the undead, as well as suffering a -2 morale penalty to saves against the supernatural or spell-like abilities of the undead.
    Automatic Languages: Common and Yeenash.
    Favored Class: Bear. A multiclass yeenash's bear class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.

    Tigrine Yeenash Racial Traits

    +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma
    Medium: As medium creatures, yeenash have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
    Yeenash base land speed is 30 feet.
    Shapechanger: All yeenash have the shapechanger subtype.
    +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Stealth checks.
    Tigrine yeenash have Run and Alertness as bonus feats.
    Low-Light Vision: Yeenash can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    Alternate Form: A tigrine yeenash may assume the form of a medium-sized tiger as a standard action. This is a supernatural ability. Unless the character has levels of the appropriate yeenash class (Tiger, in the case of a tigrine yeenash), changing shape does not grant any abilities of a tiger beyond what the yeenash already possesses. It does grant a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to impersonate a tiger, however. Because this ability is of limited use, most tigrine yeenash choose to take levels of tiger in order to gain the full abilities of their secondary form. Shifting back to human form is a standard action, and occurs automatically if the yeenash is slain.
    Vulnerability to Black Magic: Because of their innate attachment to nature and the Tree of Life, tigrine yeenash are particularly vulnerable to the corruption of the natural order. Tigrine yeenash suffer a -2 morale penalty to AC against attacks made by the undead, as well as suffering a -2 morale penalty to saves against the supernatural or spell-like abilities of the undead.
    Automatic Languages: Common and Yeenash.
    Favored Class: Tiger. A multiclass yeenash's tiger class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.

    Falcine Yeenash Racial Traits

    +2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom
    Medium: As medium creatures, yeenash have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
    Yeenash base land speed is 30 feet.
    Shapechanger: All yeenash have the shapechanger subtype.
    +4 racial bonus on Perception checks involving sight.
    Falcine yeenash gain Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat.
    Alternate Form: A falcine yeenash may assume the form of a medium-sized falcon as a standard action. This is a supernatural ability. Unless the character has levels of the appropriate yeenash class (Falcon, in the case of an falcine yeenash), changing shape does not grant any abilities of a falcon beyond what the yeenash already possesses. It does grant a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to impersonate a falcon, however. Because this ability is of limited use, most falcine yeenash choose to take levels of falcon in order to gain the full abilities of their secondary form. Shifting back to human form is a standard action, and occurs automatically if the yeenash is slain.
    Vulnerability to Black Magic: Because of their innate attachment to nature and the Tree of Life, falcine yeenash are particularly vulnerable to the corruption of the natural order. Falcine yeenash suffer a -2 morale penalty to AC against attacks made by the undead, as well as suffering a -2 morale penalty to saves against the supernatural or spell-like abilities of the undead.
    Gliding (Ex): A falcine yeenash can use his wings to glide, negating damage from a fall of any height and allowing 20 feet of forward travel for every 5 feet of descent. Yeenash glide at a speed of 40 feet (average maneuverability). even if a yeenash's maneuverability improves, he can't hover while gliding. A yeenash can't glide while carrying a medium or heavy load. If a yeenash becomes unconscious or helpless while in midair, his wings naturally unfurl and powerful ligaments stiffen the wings. The yeenash descends in a tight corkscrew and takes only 1d6 points of falling damage, no matter what the actual distance of the fall.
    Low-Light Vision: Yeenash can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
    Automatic Languages: Common and Yeenash.
    Favored Class: Falcon. A multiclass yeenash's falcon class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-20 at 09:45 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Revised Skills

    Revised Skills

    Some skills have been combined into a single, master skill. These conglomerate skills can be used in any way that their components could, and are a class skill if any of their components are.

    Acrobatics (Dex) includes Balance, Escape Artist, and Tumble.
    Athletics (Str) includes Climb, Jump, and Swim.
    Diplomacy (Cha) includes Diplomacy and Gather Information.
    Disable Device (Dex) includes Disable Device and Open Lock.
    Perception (Wis) includes Listen and Spot.
    Stealth (Dex) includes Hide and Move Silently.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-15 at 11:30 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    Yes, yes, YES. I love this campaign setting already because it reminds me so much of Skies of Arcadia, a game of which I have nothing but fond memories. I need to take more time to read what you've written here, but I'm a fan already.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    The one thing that jumps out at me is the map seems odd. Those continents would be very very large, and very very far apart. An equatorial band of smaller islands would seem better suited.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    Yes, yes, YES. I love this campaign setting already because it reminds me so much of Skies of Arcadia, a game of which I have nothing but fond memories. I need to take more time to read what you've written here, but I'm a fan already.
    That game may or may not have helped to make me want to do a floating islands campaign setting.

    The one thing that jumps out at me is the map seems odd. Those continents would be very very large, and very very far apart. An equatorial band of smaller islands would seem better suited.
    The map's scale is something that I apparently left out, so I'll be sure to modify it. That's actually a map of an earlier incarnation, but it's also the prettiest so I decided to post it up.

    Also, note that Aether, like all gas giants, have wind bands, alternating currents of wind moving in opposite directions. This map is only for one section of one band. There are likely to be undiscovered lands to the east and west.

    Because the winds move in opposite directions, they create massive turbulence (marked as a white line on the top and bottom of the map), a storm which is impenetrable to current airships.

    I vaguely recall calculating that Aether should have 14 total bands.

    Hopefully that helps a bit with perspective. If I remember correctly, Praedany is roughly the size of Great Britain. They are still quite large, and its possible that some people in Aether live their entire lives never seeing the Abyss below them, but they're all still very small by continental standards.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    For the sake of flavor, I would suggest simply not mentioning the real 'science' stuff off the world. Since this is a realm of magic we don't need our preconceptions of what a gas giant is clashing with what you are telling us about Aether. Describe it from the point of view of the players, not the gods. This approach also gives you more leeway in the future if you change your mind or want to introduce something new.

    This is shaping up to be a very cool setting. Any interest in collaborators to help you fill it out?

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    I was a bit concerned about the science+magic aspect of my descriptions, but this setting is somewhat influenced by my sci-fi campaign I ran. I want Aether to have an internal consistency, and I want to avoid "IT'S MAGIC!" or "THE GODS DID IT" as much as possible.

    Also, I have yet to get into it, but Aether has Renaissance-level technology, and I wanted to explore how technology and magic are utilized together, instead of remaining completely separate like they are in some settings. For instance, I find it hard to believe that there are divinations that allow a character to see into the past or the future, or to alter reality as they see fit, but nothing that will let them zoom in on microbes or planets in the distant sky.

    I'm not very big on collaborators, but suggestions or requests on something you want me to focus on would be appreciated, and even questions or complaints are enjoyed.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Divinity

    Divinity


    When the beings that crawled the islands first acquired sentience, they naturally began to wonder about their place in the world. Seeking meaning and direction to their lives in a world which they did not understand, they began to worship the moons as deities. This practice continued for quite some time. It was with the arrival of the sheevra that the other species understood the existence of spirits, which they then began to worship instead. The spirits, eager to assist the growing world, taught their mortal followers magic. This was at first a dangerous and nearly cataclysmic practice, but soon the beings grasped the concepts, then mastered them.

    With the mortals firmly accustomed to the unseen realms, the spirits felt that it was now time that their followers finally learn the truth of divinity. The spirits introduced the mortals to the Father and the Mother, the twin deities responsible for all that exists.

    Because Boross and Avindia are essentially all that exists, they have no alignment. They are beyond such categorizations. Their followers may be good, evil, lawful, chaotic, or anywhere in between, depending on how the teachings of the divine are understood by the individual who reads them.

    Boross

    The God of Peace. The Pacifist. The Green. The Breeze. These are the titles of the deity that embodies peace, calm, and tranquility. He is a calm and thoughtful deity. He teaches his followers to be serene and to accept the world for what it is, not what one wants it to be. When contacted through magic, Boross tends to be cryptic or confusingly poetic, requiring time to decode his message. This can be exceptionally frustrating for those who are not timeless, immortal beings.

    Worshipers

    The Church of Peace is commonly found in areas of commerce. They are exotic, decorated buildings that are often use for group activities and town gatherings when not occupied by a sermon. Priests of Boross are tranquil and frequently poetic, as well as kind, and constantly available to assist those who seek their aid, albeit at a leisurely pace.

    Boross's favored weapon is the quarterstaff. He provides access to the domains of Good, Healing, Knowledge, Law, Luck, Magic, Sun, and Travel. His holy symbol is an open book superimposed on the image of a sun.

    Avindia

    The Goddess of Conflict. The Warrior. The Red. The Tempest. These are the titles of the deity that embodies conflict, self-improvement, and innovation. She teaches her followers to strive against problems and to meet obstacles head on. Through conflict, her followers strive for self-improvement and a better understanding of the world. She is very direct, and has little qualms against contacting her followers directly should she desire a particular course of action.

    Worshipers

    The Church of Conflict is usually found near military bases and government offices. They are practical buildings that often serve dual-purposes as a supply store and a militia training facility. Priests of Avindia frequently offer free lessons in self-defense, weaponry, and armor, believing that a well-armed and well-defended populace is a safe and responsible populace. Her priests are usually not interested in trivial matters and will become frustrated with patrons who distract them.

    Avindia's favored weapon is the longsword. She provides access to the domains of Chaos, Good, Luck, Magic, Protection, Strength, Travel, and War. Her holy symbol is a winged sword, with blade pointed up.

    Spirits

    In this world, and according to the teachings of Boross and Avindia, everything that exists has a soul. Most of these souls wander intangibly, breathing life and essence into the world. Clerics and druids call upon these spirits and ask them to perform tasks on their behalf: Clerics work with the spirits embodying concepts, while druids work with the spirits embodying the physical, natural world.

    Wizards ignore these spirits, finding them too constraining, and instead manipulate magic directly. It is hard work and quite straining, but they are rewarded for their efforts with limitless potential.

    Sorcerers are people gifted by a patron spirit. This spirit typically manifests as a small animal, and assists the sorcerer in manipulating the raw energy of the universe. Because of this, sorcerers can cast their spells easier and without the toil associated with wizardry, but are limited by what spells their spirit knows.

    Clerics can revere the spirits themselves, and need not fear ever being distant from their patron. Because the spirits are weaker, however, a cleric of the spirits may only select one domain.

    The Cardinals

    Cardinals are spirits that directly interact with Boross and Avindia, and represent ideas, feelings, and intangible connotations. They are Neutral Good, embodying positive ideals. A Cardinal of Fire, for instance, represents the abstract idea of warmth and the pleasant feelings that a fire on a cold night can bring. Cardinals offer the domains of Air, Animal, Chaos, Earth, Fire, Good, Healing, Knowledge, Law, Luck, Magic, Plant, Protection, Strength, Sun, Travel, War, and Water. They favor the morningstar, and their holy symbol is an eight-pointed star.

    The Principles

    The Principles are spirits that embody the physical, natural state of something. They are morally neutral, having no positive or negative connotations. A principle of fire, for instance, merely represents the concept of fire as a concrete thing. Some clerics revere these entities because they are free of preconceptions; they accept things as they are, not what one wants them to be. They favor the sickle. The spirits of the land offer the Air, Animal, Earth, Plant, and Water domains. Their holy symbol is a simple stone or wooden sphere.

    The Sovereigns

    Sovereigns are spirits that have been created, indirectly, by sentient beings. As dictated by the gods, everything imaginable has an associated spirit. Sovereigns are embodiments of greed, anger, hatred, malice, sorrow, pain, jealousy, and other dark emotions and thoughts. They are the opposite of the Cardinals, and are Neutral Evil. Few clerics are brave or foolish enough to make deals with them, but those who do find that their powers know little bounds. Sovereigns favor any simple or martial weapon, selected by the cleric. Once this selection is made, it cannot be changed. They offer the domains of Air, Animal, Chaos, Death, Destruction, Earth, Evil, Fire, Knowledge, Law, Luck, Magic, Plant, Protection, Strength, Travel, Trickery, War, and Water, and their unholy symbol is a skull of a sentient creature missing its jaw.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default The Circle of Magic

    The Circle of Magic


    Like the twin deities responsible for all that exists, the supernatural foundation of the omniverse is composed of dualities: pairs of energies that oppose one-another. Through different mixtures of these arcane energies, all that we see can exist.

    Magic is created by altering the balance and manipulating the raw building blocks of existence, but this is difficult and requires complicated calculations to avoid one energy overpowering the others, or the caster.

    For most spellcasting characters, these calculations are performed for them by the spirits on their behalf, in the case of a cleric or druid, or by their patron spirit, in the case of a sorcerer. Because wizards lack a patron, however, the circle of magic, a diagram of the relationships of arcane energies, is a very real and very important aspect of their career.

    The energies are divided along two axises, much like alignment. These are Life and Death, and Material and Ethereal. Energies may either be pure or composed of two types, but never composed of opposites.

    The practices of manipulating these powers, called Schools of Magic, are divided into eight disciplines:
    Abjuration, Pure Life, the manipulation of life force to protect or, occasionally, to bind.
    Enchantment, Ethereal Life, the manipulation of a living creature's ethereal aspect.
    Illusion, Pure Ethereal, the manipulation of quasi-real matter and energy to create things that do not truly exist.
    Evocation, Ethereal Death, the manipulation of quasi-real, temporary energies to destroy.
    Necromancy, Pure Death, the manipulation of dark energies to destroy life or create macabre undead creatures, but also sometimes to remove these dark energies themselves.
    Divination, Material Death, the manipulation of dead spirits to bridge the gap between them and our world in order to extract information or borrow their supernatural eyes.
    Transmutation, Pure Material, the manipulation of existent matter, and the alteration of its substance or qualities.
    Conjuration, Material Life, the manipulation of life force and matter to create previously non-existent matter, or to transfer creatures to a new plane of existence.

    There exists a ninth school, called Universal, which is composed of all eight other energies. Because they are balanced and in relatively small portions, they are exceptionally easy to control, and so require little skill to master beyond general proficiency with magic. Universal spells may be cast regardless of specialty.

    To help alleviate their study load, some wizards choose to focus their studies in a particular direction. These are called psuedo-specialists. A psuedo-specialist follows the rules for a specialist wizard, as dictated in the Player's Handbook. All must be within balance, however, and the extra power in a particular school causes a sacrifice on the other side. The psuedo-specialist loses the school directly opposed to their chosen specialty, called the School of Opposition, as well as one of the schools directly adjacent to their School of Opposition. For instance, a specialist of Evocation, called an Evoker, automatically loses Conjuration, and must choose to either sacrifice Abjuration or Transmutation.

    Some arcanists, however, go overboard, devoting themselves entirely to one discipline. These are called true specialists, and are exceptionally rare. They sacrifice all schools except for their specialty school and the schools adjacent to it. For instance, a true specialist of Necromancy, called a Specialist Necromancer, sacrifices all schools except for Necromancy and the schools next to it: Evocation and Divination. Though they miss out on quite a bit of spells and options, they gain undisputed mastery of their chosen school of which cosmopolitan wizards can only dream.

    A true specialist may still access Universal spells.

    Changes to the Magic System
    Dispel Magic now belongs to the Universal school, instead of the Abjuration school.
    Antimagic Field now belongs to the Universal school, instead of the Abjuration school.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-12 at 09:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    I was a bit concerned about the science+magic aspect of my descriptions, but this setting is somewhat influenced by my sci-fi campaign I ran. I want Aether to have an internal consistency, and I want to avoid "IT'S MAGIC!" or "THE GODS DID IT" as much as possible.

    Also, I have yet to get into it, but Aether has Renaissance-level technology, and I wanted to explore how technology and magic are utilized together, instead of remaining completely separate like they are in some settings. For instance, I find it hard to believe that there are divinations that allow a character to see into the past or the future, or to alter reality as they see fit, but nothing that will let them zoom in on microbes or planets in the distant sky.

    I'm not very big on collaborators, but suggestions or requests on something you want me to focus on would be appreciated, and even questions or complaints are enjoyed.
    I have to say, I enjoy it when someone decides to use science to augment the D&D experience. A lot of people say that they're mutually exclusive, but it's nice to know that some of us think otherwise.
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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    I wouldn't say they're necessarily mutually exclusive, but when physical laws of the universe have no set rules due to the manipulation of just about everything by magic, science is by default not science as we know it because it wouldn't have consistent results. Pseudo-sciences like alchemy and astrology suit that sort of universe much better. Once you pass up the steam/clockwork/electricity levels of scientific advancement, technology becomes much less visual(and thus less interesting/approachable), overpowered (construct: nuclear device?) or null due to magic being able to cancel out any of its effects. Space-shuttles using solid fuel rockets just doesn't quite jive with a universe where someone can hop on the back of a dragon and make a magic forcefield around them to attain the same heights. The most effective sci-fantasy universes are usually so far beyond us technologically that their tech may as well be magic, just with a different look to it. Either that or magic is very rare, difficult to use and limited in scope.

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    Default Languages

    Languages

    Languages in Aether are typically based on region, not race, with the exception of the supernatural languages.

    {table="width=50%;head"]
    Language
    |
    Typical Speakers
    |
    Alphabet

    Arcane | Wizards, sorcerers, magical creatures | Arcane
    Augustian | Humans, deva, and asura of Augustinia | Augustian
    Druidic | Druids, nature spirits | Druidic
    Florian | Humans, deva, and asura of Floriferland | Augustian
    Kiwandan | Saimirans | Kiwandan
    Koganian | Kobolds | Koganian
    Praedish | Humans, deva, and asura of Praedany | Augustian
    Seelie | Good sheevra | Druidic
    Solarian | Clerics, good spirits | Solarian
    Strictlish | Humans, deva, and asura of Strictland | Augustian
    Tzukarian | Hobgoblins | Reklish
    Unseelie | Evil sheevra | Druidic
    Wraith | Clerics, evil spirits, undead | Wraith
    Yeenash | Yeenash | Yeenash
    [/table]
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-20 at 10:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    Science is quite simply the study of how something works, and technology is using that knowledge to get it to do something you want. Magic is constrained by science. Sure, magic adds its own dimension to the physics of a universe, but magic itself still has laws and consistencies within itself. If magic had no discernable laws of behavior or rules governing it, it would be impossible to work with, and arcanists would never exists in the first place. The principles of science can be applied to studying magic. To us, magic is something different, something "tacked on," but to a character in a universe with magic, it's just more fundamental laws of physics.

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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    The laws we know may change, like gravity and time, but there is always a higher law or reason.
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    Thumbs up Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    I like this setting a lot already, & I can tell that you have quite a bit of ambition. I'll be keeping an eye on this one, to be sure.

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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    It seems intriguing and you have obviously put forth a great deal of work into it. I need to do a more complete read through later, but from a quick read I have to say excellent work.

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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    Thanks for the comments.

    I'm most worried about balancing the Yeenash, and the arrangement of the schools in the circle of magic. Some of them really bug me but I tried to make it so there wasn't going to be some kind of obviously beneficial specialty, like sticking Evocation and Divination as opposing schools. I tried to make it so the heavy hitting schools like Conjuration and Evocation were spaced out by more non-combat and utilitarian schools, but this failed in the case of Enchantment. I plan on making some enchantment attack spells, however, to make it a bit tougher for the true specialist enchanters, as well as divination to make it a school that actually matters.

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    Default The Seasons

    The Seasons

    The elemental forces of Aether ebb and flow in much the same way that the moons approach and recede from the world. During the heart of a season (15 days on either side of the equinox or solstice) the appropriate element is considered to be ascendent. Spells of that element are automatically enlarged and extended, as if those metamagic feats had been applied, but without an increase in casting time or spell level. The opposing element is rescindent; to cast a spell of the opposing element, a caster must make a Spellcraft check (DC 10 + the spell's level). Failure indicates the spell does not function, but is still lost as if cast.
    From Sowing 15 to Planting 16, Lightning is in ascendancy. Acid is rescindent.
    From Sun 15 to Fire 16, Fire is in ascendancy. Cold is rescindent.
    From Reaping 14 to Harvest 15, Acid is in ascendancy. Lightning is rescindent.
    From Darkness 15 to Frost 16, Cold is in ascendancy. Fire is rescindent.
    Wind (Sonic/Concussive) is never ascendant, nor is it ever rescindent. It is essentially a neutral element. Quintessence is similarly neutral.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-16 at 01:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuma Kode View Post
    Thanks for the comments.

    I'm most worried about balancing the Yeenash, and the arrangement of the schools in the circle of magic. Some of them really bug me but I tried to make it so there wasn't going to be some kind of obviously beneficial specialty, like sticking Evocation and Divination as opposing schools. I tried to make it so the heavy hitting schools like Conjuration and Evocation were spaced out by more non-combat and utilitarian schools, but this failed in the case of Enchantment. I plan on making some enchantment attack spells, however, to make it a bit tougher for the true specialist enchanters, as well as divination to make it a school that actually matters.
    It is commonly believed that the most powerful schools are Conjuration & Transmutation (with the former being slightly more versatile). Evocation & Enchantment are most often cited as the weakest schools. That said, I don't how you could arrange the schools in another way that would make any more sense than what you've already done.

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    Default Re: Winds of Aether [3.5 Campaign Setting]

    Looks really good.

    Thanks,

    Sigurd
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    Default Hobgoblin

    Hobgoblins

    Hobgoblins are a fierce race of territorial and imperialist humanoids. They hail from the desert continent of Tzukaria, and are known for their military strength and strong pride in their nation.

    Personality: Hobgoblins are stern, and have little time for games. They are not emotionless, but merely practical. The fact that their entire society is organized as if it were a military force causes them to avoid vices of excess and focus on what is important for their community, and to heighten themselves to a constant state of vigilance. Hobgoblins are perpetually suspicious of the motives of others and are quick to display their capabilities, particularly if they are insulted. For this reason, hobgoblin travelers are given their distance, to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Unfortunately, because of their xenophobia, hobgoblins frequently see insults where none exist.

    Physical Description: Hobgoblins are slightly larger than humans, and frequently display better muscle definition. They have dog-like eyes and vaguely canine faces, with a jutted jaw and large, pointed teeth. Their ears are similarly pointed, and men have a propensity for abundant body and facial hair. Female hobgoblins are not noticeably smaller or thinner than males, though they possess less body hair. Hobgoblins of both genders enjoy tattoos and scars, almost always bearing special significance as to an achievement or milestone in the individual's life.

    Relations: Because of their close proximity and differing views, hobgoblins never get along with kobolds, who they view as scaly, parasitic rats. They can come to a mutual respect with any other race, though Sheevra and hobgoblins lack any similarity and so finding common ground between them is difficult. They view humans as smaller, weaker cousins with less discipline, and saimirans as oddly interesting.

    Alignment: The line between military and civilian life in hobgoblin nations is blurred, and the need for conservation and discipline is apparent in their desert nation, leading hobgoblins to cultivate an overwhelmingly lawful attitude. Those who are not typically have trouble fitting in, and are likely to leave society and live life as a traveler or hermit.

    Hobgoblin Lands: Tzukaria is a wasteland, cursed with poor soil and bad winds. Through strict regulation of themselves and their society, hobgoblins have no only managed to survive, but have managed to thrive. Hobgoblin cities are scattered liberally around the continent, built up in sections like a fortress. Despite their reputation as ruthless mercenaries, they have one notoriously bright aspect: they are socially gender-blind. Hobgoblins are the only sentient species to be truly egalitarian, and females can be found in any role in society. Hobgoblins judge each other simply by their capabilities. Similarly, hobgoblins have no cultural taboo against homosexual behavior, likely because such relationships do not produce children, and increases the population's ratio of capable adults to resource-consuming offspring.

    Religion: Hobgoblins worship Avindia almost exclusively.

    Language: The hobgoblin language is simple and efficient, streamlined to avoid unnecessary chatter. Flowery concepts and artistic expression are poorly done in this language, but most technical or military manuscripts are written in Tzukarian for its unambiguous text and concise prose.

    Names: Hobgoblins carry descriptive names. Like some humans, they possess two names: an individual name, and a clan name. No two clan names are the same, and no two individuals in the same clan have the same name, allowing the hobgoblin's name to be a unique identifier of him or her. Admittedly, however, there is no true means to enforce this non-duplicate policy, and so it is possible two hobgoblins may actually possess the same name.

    Adventurers: Hobgoblins encountered away from their homeland are likely on a mission, either secular or religious, or chaotic individuals who could not stand the rigid expectations of their people. Hobgoblins, because of their reputation, are also likely to be found as hired mercenaries or bodyguards.

    Hobgoblin Racial Traits
    +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom. Hobgoblins are tough, but are focused and accustomed to taking orders.
    Medium: As medium creatures, Hobgoblins have no special bonuses or penalties due to size.
    Hobgoblin base land speed is 30 feet.
    +3 racial bonus on saving throws against Fear.
    +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
    +2 racial bonus on Pilot checks.
    Weapon Familiarity: Hobgoblins may treat the bastard sword and spiked chain as martial weapons.
    +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against Kobolds. Hobgoblins frequently meet these creatures in battle and have learned special tricks for fighting them.
    Automatic Languages: Common and Tzukarian. Smart hobgoblins frequently learn Koganian as well.
    Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass hobgoblin's fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-20 at 09:46 PM.

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    Default Quintessence

    Quintessence

    The manipulation of the raw forces of life and death, positive and negative energy, is a secret known only by the gods and the spirits themselves. Only divine casters may command these forces, but only through their supernatural proxies. Arcane casters, particularly necromancers, have always been jealous of their counterpart's abilities to heal and harm through the very basis of living energy.

    Necromancers have managed to make an arcane equivalent of negative energy through the forceful manipulation of an element known as quintessence. This power is feared throughout Aether as it is a direct attack against another's essential being, bypassing many forms of resistance.

    All arcane spells that wield negative energy now wield quintessence instead. Quintessent damage is considered an elemental energy, bypassing damage reduction but being vulnerable to quintessence resistance, such that can be afforded by Protection from Energy. Spells that block negative energy in particular do not block quintessence, but a modified version of such spells can be learned that is geared towards the new element, such that a cleric may learn and cast both Death Ward (for negative energy) and Spirit Ward (for quintessence).

    Quintessent damage harms negative energy undead, while healing a quintessent undead. Unless specifically created by an arcane caster, an undead creature is powered by negative energy. Quintessent undead are likewise harmed by negative energy like a living creature.

    Effects of arcane spells linked to negative energy, such as the negative levels caused by Enervation, remain. They are, however, quintessent in nature, and can harm negative energy undead.

    Undead creatures created by an arcane caster gain the Quintessent subtype, which changes how energy affects them.

    Quintessent Subtype

    A subtype applied only to undead. This subtype indicates an undead that has been created through arcane means.

    Traits
    Harmed by positive energy, just like normal undead.
    Harmed by negative energy, as if they were living.
    Turned by both turn and rebuke attempts.


    Last edited by Kuma Kode; 2010-07-16 at 11:47 PM.

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    Default Re: Quintessence

    I was displeased with the fact that arcane casters, like divine casters, could manipulate negative energy, but for some reason they could not manage even a 1st level spell of positive energy. Quintessence is an attempt to reconcile the apparent discrepancy while giving arcane necromancers a way to stand apart from their otherwise superior divine counterparts.

    Also, yes, "quintessent" isn't actually a word, it just sounds a bit more menacing than "quintessential."

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