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    Marcarius5555's Avatar

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    Jan 2019

    Default Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Note: I'm going to build out this thread over the next few days, so please check back in as I complete sections of the Player's Guide. Also, if you want to make questions, comments, and suggestions, I can incorporate those as I go.

    Update: This is now a little over 5,000 words. I'm modeling this on the Player's Guide to the From the Deep AP, which is about 12,000 words when I pasted it into a word doc. I think I have the major points down, and I'm missing the long sections on races and classes since I'm waiting for some feedback from prospective players before I spend inordinate time detailing species no one is going to play and which may not even show up in-game.

    Shadows of the Final Dawn Adventure Path -- Player's Guide:

    Introduction:

    Welcome to the Dreamful City of Syranix, an isolated outpost of civilization in the strange world of Vexagorth, a extremely unusual post-apocalyptic world that derives inspiration from varied sources, including the 2e Dark Sun setting, Monte Cook's Numenera RPG and its Ninth World, the Anthem and Mass Effect video game franchises, the Aliens cinematic universe, especially Prometheus, and the sci-fi classic Farscape, as well as others. The following is a player's guide to the world in which I will tell the story of the Shadows of the Final Dawn AP, where a motely association of protagonists will have the opportunity to learn many of the terrible secrets of Vexagorth's long history and hopefully prevent the resurgence of an ancient darkness.

    Vexagorth is a strange world of purple skies and seas, and endless deserts of white sand strewn with the wreckage of past civilizations and an interstellar war. It is probably more helpful to think of it as a science fiction setting than a traditional fantasy world. Historical memory is almost nil, but it is common knowledge that a very, very, very long time ago, in fact more than 100 million of years in the past, the planet experienced a terrible conflict which drastically altered its peoples and places. Many races went extinct, and the nature of the cosmos was irrevocably altered. In the present age, there are no magical items, and no standard forms of arcane or divine magic, nor are there any gods or any memory of such beings. Instead, psionics is universally present among the present inhabitants of the world, and there are also practitioners of psychic magic and veil weaving. These three sources of power are held to be, respectively, the expressions of the mind (psionics), spirit (psychic magic), and soul (veil weaving), which comprise an important trinity in the cosmological thinking of the present age.

    Syranix is a large city-state which has almost no contact with the larger world of seemingly endless white-sand deserts, purple skies, and violet oceans. It sprawls by the purple waters of the Sunspot Sea at the base of a massive Amethyst plateau which holds the psionic retreat and research center around which the city took shape. The plateau contains psionic energy from previous ages of the world which are released as phantom bubbles of thought that permeate the city. The ametrine dragons, a strange variant of amethyst dragons, and their kobold, goushen, and githyanki servants arrived several thousands years ago to establish a settlement to study the psychic phenomenon of the phantasuds, one of the many names which have been coined for the strange dream-bubbles that constantly effervesce from the faceted acropolis that overlooks Syranix. This small settlement gradually attracted other parties, and over the course of several millennia, a large conurbation has developed in the shadow of the ametrine dragon's retreat.

    Races:

    The most important note about the species present in Syranix is that the traditional races of the CRB do not exist in any way, shape, or form. To be clear, not only are there are no base half-elves, dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-orcs, halflings, or humans, but there are also no variants or subraces of any of these races -- there are no drow, aquatic dwarves, etc. The Heroes of the Jade Oath oriental equivalents of these races also do not exist: Qahngol (Variant Half-orc), Sanesaram (Variant Dwarf), Yueren (Variant Elf). The abundant ruins which are strewn throughout the virtually infinite white-sand deserts of Vexagorth contain evidence that some or all of these races may have existed in a previous era of the planet, but none are currently available as character choices for PCs.

    There is no one majority race in Syranix that comprises more than 50% of the total population. Instead, there are a small number of races that have larger populations compared to other species, and which are the servants of the variant amethyst dragons, known as ametrine or trystine dragons, that rule the city -- these are kobolds, goushen, and githyanki. The remainder of the city's population, essentially those that do not live on the amethyst acropolis that overshadows Syranix, and serve the ametrine dragon ruler of the city-state, are an uncategorizable panoply of thousands of species. However, there are a number of more prominent species among this infinite variety which are discussed below: asherake, blue, cavians, ceptu, chromithian, cynean, dalrean, dover, dromites, elans, enuka, erahthi, faust, forgeborn, infused, kalisans, mandragoran, noral, okanta, phalanx, prymidian, p'tan, sasori, verrick, war valco, wild frey, and xeph.

    It is noted below that Vexagorth does not have standard flora and fauna -- there are no dogs and cats. Any races that are similar to these or other familiar species, such as asherakes, cavians, ceptu, dovers, p'tan, okanta, and war valco, have other features that distinguish them physically from a dog, etc. For instance, a war valco, which are anthropomorphic mountain goats, might have four horns and three eyes. A kitsune would have a non-human anthropomorphic form, and a animal form that resembled an alien fox -- twelve eyes, a scorpion tail, and fur that changed color with the light, or something similar.

    Additionally, all of the races have an 'in-universe' name which is different from that in PF. For example, the kobolds are 'saktivol'. Every character should come up with a similar in-universe name for their chosen race.

    Githyanki (Greesaaj): The githyanki are the secret police, assassins, and black-ops of the ametrine dragons. They perform, with relish, the tasks the kobolds find to difficult or distasteful. They are primarily known as the main species of the psiquisitors, an order of brutal enforcers that dissuade the inhabitants of the lower city from attempting to breach the confines of the Ankh'Chorr, the great amethyst plateau which overshadows Syranix. The Psiquisition also labors to discourage exploration of the history of the planet, the world outside Syranix, and any other matters of interest or concern to the kobold scientists and their draconic masters.

    Goushen (Daijing): The dog-like goushen are the military wing of the ametrine dragon's servants. They serve as guards for the kobold scientists, as well as the githyanki psiquisitors. They believe that the kobolds, operating under the direction of the amethyst dragons, uplifted them from a society of stone-age hunter-gatherers to enjoy the benefits of technological civilization, and thus revere them, rightly or wrongly, as they teachers, guardians, and benefactors. The goushen have a long-standing rivalry with the githyanki of the Psiquisition, who they view as less-loyal to the kobolds, rivals to their place among the servants of the ametrine dragons, and as disreputable blackguards that employ the vilest methods to achieve dishonorable goals.

    Kobolds (Saktivol): The kobolds are the most populous race in Syranix, and are the most loyal servants of the ametrine dragons. They comprise the anchorites that staff the Recumbent Sanctuary of Ethereal Effervescence, the retreat and research center originally created to study the phenomenon of the phantasuds. The kobolds of Vexagorth take on additional features depending on their draconic patrons. In this instance, they possess qualities which derive from their association with the ametrine dragons, such as gem-like skin and highly-developed psionic powers. They are also the chief scientists of Syranix, and are responsible for creating and maintaining the high technological civilization of the city, including such wonders as cortical stacks and re-sleeving technololgy, advanced AI, fleets of mechs designed for both industry and war, nano technololgy, gravity-based, dark matter, and cold fusion generators, and cybernetic enhancements. The kobold archaeologists lead expeditions to explore ruins in the endless white-stand deserts that surround the city. The kobolds are also the emissaries which interface with the faceless men who visit Syranix in submersible vessels from some location far to the east. Collectively, they doubtless know a great deal more about the present state of the world, as well as its strange history, than most any other inhabitant of the city-state.

    I'm providing this list to give a sense of what kinds of races I'm imagining here: robots, plant-people, different furry races, etc. Think weird. I took this list from Dark Sun, Aethera, Oathbound: Domains of the Forged, Ultimate Psionics, Nexexodus: A House Divided. This is just a suggestive list, and not exhaustive. Some of these races will have to be modified to fit the setting (the most significant one is cyneans, who will have to be rejigged as a psionic instead of magical race. The Outer Planes are kaput, so race themed to anything except the Black Tapestry, Limbo, the Far Realm, or one of the Inner or Transitive Planes would be appropriate. In other words, no tielflings, etc.

    I have some more ideas for a few of these races, but I'm generally going to see what recruitees want to play and then flesh out additional information based on those choices.

    Other Races:

    Asherake
    Blue
    Cavians
    Ceptu
    Chromithian
    Cynean
    Dalrean
    Dover
    Dromites
    Elans
    Enuka
    Erahthi
    Faust
    Forgeborn
    Infused
    Kalisans
    Mandragoran
    Noral
    Okanta
    Phalanx
    Prymidian
    P'tan
    Sasori
    Verrick
    War valco
    Wild frey
    Xeph

    Languages:

    Syranix is an exceptionally isolated locale in Vexagorth, and there are doubtless other languages besides the ones described below that exist in the present day. However, these are the major tongues spoken in the city-state, which primarily consist of tongues brought by the emigres who settled the city at the based of the Ankh'Chorr:

    Ambandanese: The Ambandanese language is a florid, complex tongue that was brought to Syranix by descendants of an ancient, widespread, and highly developed imperial culture. Because of its elegance and range of vocabulary, it is employed in diplomatic communications and discussions of arts and poetry.

    Babaloo: This is a pigeon dialect spoken primarily by the Blue mechanics and tinkerers.

    Chailull-ba'al: This tongue originated among intermittent traders, and a written form was only recently developed by the kobold linguist Skeztin Amalak.

    Daijang: This language is spoken by the goushen who serve the kobolds, and who refer to themselves as the 'daijing'. It has no written form, but can be spoken equally with words or hand signs, a feature which suggests its origins as a mode of communication among migrant hunter-gatherer tribes.

    Fell Chant: This is a language used by the criminal class of Syranix. One way in which it can be 'spoken' is by casting shadows of various sizes and arrangements.

    Gristajic: This is the language of the githyanki of the Psiquisition, a race that denote themselves by the name 'greesaaj'.

    Kroshargian: Along with red speech and trochar, kroshargian is one of a trinity of languages brought to the city by emigrations of mounted warriors from the white-deserts who settled in Syranix.

    Kwelgrisse: This language and cypher was created by the revolutionaries of the Kwelgriss Uprisings. It is a sort of cant fashioned from elements of Temekant and another, extinct language that the revolutionaries uncovered in the ruins underneath the present city. Its written form is a strange cypher. The memory of this language was almost completely expunged by the purge that followed the revolts. There are still offices of kobold linguistics and specially-designated Psiquisition assassin corps who monitor any evidence that Kwelgrisse is returning to use, and attempt to expunge it immediately.

    Red Speech: It is often used to translate between Kroshargian and Trochar, as its vocabulary and syntax are less distinctive idiosyncratic. Mercenary companies whose members speak both kroshargian and trochar will often use red speech to resolve conflicts or transcribe contracts in a stable, written form.

    Saktivolian: This is the language spoken by the distinct sub-race of kobolds which inhabits the Ankh'Chorr and refer to themselves as the 'saktivol'. It is unlearnable by other races because it partially relies on patterns of light and sound harmonics which the kobolds emanate from their crystaline scales.

    Smesktiante: The sibilant nature of this language suggests it may have been developed among a serpentine people. It is considered a more elegant trade language than chailull-ba'al.

    Syrxkanq: The closest the city possesses to a 'common tongue', Syrxkanq was created as a linguistic exercise at the request of the ametrine dragon Assryiah, and was thereafter disseminated by kobold teachers to the wider population. It was intended to bridge the growing linguistic gap between different inhabitants of the conurbation, and incorporates a large body of common words from many of the Syranix's common languages, but joints these with a relatively simple and artificial grammatical structure.

    Temekant: This was an attempt by the inhabitants of the lower city to create a common tongue which preceded, and perhaps gave rise to the linguistic project which produced Syrxkanq.

    Trochar: The third member of the so-called 'war tongues' of Syranix, alongside kroshargian and red speech.

    Zevtakadian: This language was recovered from ruins beneath Syranix, and has become a favorite tongue of the cyneans, prymidians, and verrik.

    Classes:

    As in the case of races, I'm basically going to lay out a couple of rules for what is not allowed, and you can assume essentially anything else is, including 3pp. and homebrew (though the latter I want to review before permitting). Because of the enormous number of potential options, I'm going to delay fleshing out information about individual classes until I see what the character proposals are.

    The primary restriction for classes in Vexagorth is that traditional arcane and divine magic does not exist. Instead, psionics are ubiquitous, and both psychic magic and the akashic mysteries are the only other available sources of supernatural power. These three power sources of psionics, psychic magic, and veil weaving are considered to, respectively represent the 'mind', 'spirit', and 'soul', which is an important philosophical and cosmological idea for the inhabitants of Vexagorth.

    This restriction means that there are no magical items and no other casting classes, even partial casters, on Vexagorth. Thus, there are no wizards, sorcerers, clerics, druids, etc. Classes such as rangers and bards that have spell casting abilities must replace them with alternatives, either published or homebrew, based on one of the three sources of supernatural power identified above.

    The forms of psychic magic available on Vexagorth are closely linked to psionics, and make free use of the variant rules presented in Psionics Augmented: Occult.

    For akashic mysteries, the variant Akasha as Cybertech applies to Vexagorth. The concept of the 'soul' represented by veils is referred to as 'bioenergy', and considered to be a natural force that effervesces from the planet.

    In terms of non-casting classes, the alternative martials presented in Path of War and Spheres of Might are more common than barbarians, fighters, paladins, and rangers. 'Paladins' in Vexagorth need to be re-rigged to run on one of the available sources of supernatural power specified above, and are not limited to an alignment, since the traditional alignment system no longer exists on the planet.

    Below are gathered a non-exhaustive list of sources of both published and homebrewed classes that would be appropriate for natives of Syranix

    Psionic Classes (d20PFSRD)
    Psionic Classes & Prestige (Dragonarmyone)
    Occult Classes (d20PFSRD)
    Akashic Mysteries (Spheres of Power Wiki)

    Equipment:

    The high technological level of Syranix means that most of its inhabitants do not place much faith in simple melee weapons. Instead, they employ radium pistols, railguns, laser swords, and other high-tech armor and weaponry. The currency of the city consists of different crypto currencies, as well as the exchange of especially unusual phantasuds for high value transactions.

    There are no gold etc. pieces that are commonly used as cash currency.

    There is a form of paper currency used by the ametrine dragons and their servants, but it is not distributed to the lower city, and the few examples which have made their way to the wider population have no value, since it is not recognized by other factions within Syranix, and the inhabitants of the Ankh'Chorr will not acknowledge any unlawfully obtained tender.

    Mounts of the Dreamful City:

    The normal flora and fauna that populate most campaign settings do not exist in Vexagorth. There are no dogs, cats, sheep, goats, etc. Instead, the planet is populated with a huge variety of strange creatures. Some of the common mounts and beasts of burden which provide campaign-appropriate options for mounts and animal companions include, but are not limited to, the following examples. These should be used as inspiration to develop other possible creatures to replace standard options for class features and spells.


    Axakses'is: These are one of the lean equid-equivalents in use by the population of Syranix. At full speed, they can move a blistering 7,170 feet a round, but will soon die if pushed to this extremity. Nevertheless, even at slightly lower speeds they can quickly transport a rider throughout the immense sprawl of Syranix or its surrounding regions.


    Grovvaik: The lumbering profile of the grovvaik is commonly found among the tribal peoples of the pale deserts which surround Syranix. Anatomical dissections by kobold scientists reveal that they have not only duplicate organ systems, but back-ups to those duplicates. In other words, grovvaik have three hears, six lungs, and so forth. This makes them, as well as metabolic system that runs on a biomechanical form of cold fusion, virtually indestructible. They are living tanks for the various Jarlal and other raider-tribes of the wastes.

    Shadows of the Last Dawn Campaign Traits:

    I'm going to create these based on mechanical effects players want, or traits from other sources they want to re-fluff. I'll fill up this section later when we've done that.

    Campaign Traits:
    Regional Traits:
    Regional Environs:

    Because of its isolation and the deliberate attempt of the ametrine dragons and their servitors, especially the githyanki of the Psiquisition, to conceal knowledge both of the past and the surrounding world, the inhabitants of Syranix are largely ignorant of even the most basic knowledge about the world of Vexagorth. It is generally believed, though there are few maps of any sort not controlled by the kobolds, that Syranix rests on the southern edge of a large continental extrusion. Outside the city are vast deserts of white sand littered with the ruins of previous civilizations -- cyclopean megastructures of uncertain purpose, the steaming wreckage of enormous space-faring vessels, multi-colored pools of radioactive effluence, and other oddities. These remnants of the prior ages are believed to be many millions of years old, but of course that too lacks and solid proof to back it up.

    The numerous tribes that inhabit the near vicinity of Syranix are in contact with other city-states, and there are held to be many thousands of settlements within the region of desertified continent that contains Syranix. Since contact with outside settlements is discouraged, any attempt to follow up these intermediary reports quickly run aground of the Psiquisition or the less-violent intervention of kobold functionaries -- for example, if a verrik merchant from Syranix were, during an infrequent delegation with the local Jarlai Tribe and receive a report that the city-state of Kambusor to the north possesses glass warehouses where the delicate Jin Toh blossom is cultivated, the kobolds might quickly arrange for these flowers, or a near simulacrum, to be cultivated within the boundaries of Syranix, thus discouraging any further interest in Kambusor or any of its wares.

    To the south lies the endless waters of the Sunspot Sea. It is crossed, so far as inhabitants of the Syranix know, only by occasional delegations of enigmatic beings known as the 'faceless men' -- thin, white-skinned humanoids with large heads with featureless faces. They arrive by means of submersible vessels and are engaged only by the specially-selected kobolds representatives of the Recumbent Sanctuary of Ethereal Effervescence. While they are believed to originate in some land far to the east of Syranix, across the Sunspot Sea, this is a matter of pure conjecture.

    The Dreamful City of Syranix: The city-state of Syranix is generally believed to be many thousands of years old. It was established when the ametrine dragons and their servants established themselves on the summit of the Ankh'Chorr, the immense amethyst plateau which overshadows the rest of the city-state. This strange geographical feature is between 2 and 3 miles in height, and extends over a roughly hexagonal area of 4-6 miles. Its shadow covers the neighborhoods of the lower city. There appear to be a series of 'terraces' on the summit which divide the heights into levels of between 2 and 3 miles in elevation over the surrounding landscape. From the ground, numerous crystal dwellings are visible on these terraces, and the very highest portion of the Ankh'Chorr are believed to contain the Recumbent Sanctuary of Ethereal Effervescence and the aeries of the ametrine dragons.

    Above the amethyst mountain, some kind of sky elevator, presumably constructed by the inhabitants of the plateau, hovers overhead. Occasionally, spacecraft depart from the plateau and alight upon this structure. Other times, they depart for unknown regions. The sky above the city, as in all parts of this world so far as any are aware, is littered with what appear to be the remnants of flying continents or other celestial bodies. These are strewn across the heavens in a messy archipelago.

    There is no obvious means of ascending the amethyst plateau -- no stairs, or elevators of any description are visible of its exterior surface. The kobolds and other servants of the ametrine dragons all visit the lower city by means of hovercraft of various sizes and design. All approaches to the acropolis are defended by guard posts armed with flack cannons and other anti-aerial bombards. Some believe there may be an underground entrance to the Ankh'Chorr, but this has not been confirmed.

    The Ankh'Chorr continual effervesces the strange dream-stuff known, among other names, as phantasuds. These bubbles of dream matter are held to contain images of the previous ages, and are collected by many inhabitants of the city. Though the majority percolate in the heights of the amethyst plateau, the many millions, billions, or trillions of these phenomena that are existent at any given moment mean that a large number also make their way to the lower city. Here, they have become one form of currency among Syranix's inhabitants, who collect and trade them for certain categories of goods.

    The ametrine dragons who ultimately rule the city are rarely observed, and never interact directly with the inhabitants of the lower city except in exceedingly rare circumstances, such as the Kwelgriss Revolt, in which the dragons finally assembled in a flight of hundreds to rain down destruction upon the rebellious citizens of Syranix.

    The origins of the city are generally believed to have come from the wake of a great battle between agents of light and darkness. No further details about this supposed conflict are available.

    The reasons for the seclusion and xenophobia of the ametrine dragons and their associates is not known -- many have wondered whether they require the city's population for some fell purpose, and so seek to dissuade them from leaving or drawing in unwanted attention until they are ready to enact their great design. The fact that this 'great design', whatever it might be, has apparently occupied thousands of years already certainly makes it a subject of greater mystery and concern.

    At least once in the history of Syranix, the rule of the ametrine dragons and their servants was contested by a revolutionary named Kwelgriss Phaiondar. Kwelgriss transmigrated through a number of bodies, and so it is unknown of what species he/she/it was originally a member. The Kwelgissian uprisings have since been telescoped in retrospection into a single revolt, but in fact constituted a long period of semi-open warfare between the inhabitants of the Ankh'Chorr and those of the lower city. The kobold administrators retired from their isolated outposts, and it is rumored some enterprising revolutionaries may even have breached the Recumbent Sanctuary of Ethereal Effervescence. However, the uprising was eventually quelled by the intervention of a flight of ametrine dragons, who leveled the lower city over a series of terrible days. The reconstruction of the lower city following this event is known as the Refoundation.

    Below the glittering heights of the Ankh'Chorr, the teaming inhabitants of Syranix comprise an amazing plethora of races. This area at the base of the amethyst mountain is known colloquially as the Trawl, as well as a number of other names, such as the Ness Kanta. It is divided into a number of districts, each theoretically administered by a local delegation of kobolds and their githyanki and goushen servants. However, the kobolds tend to rule with a light touch, intervening rarely to forestall open conflict, or collecting particularly intriguing manifestations of the phantasuds. They do not provide ordinary administrative and police functions to the population, and these services are instead fulfilled by a diverse array of local officials. For example, the Arboratorium District, a leafy district which sprawls in a shallow valley sheltered by a glass enclosure, the mandragorans, erahthi, and dalreans, among other plant-like inhabitants, govern by common consensus, and decide all major matters through mass referenda conducted by wilders who do not vote but only administrate the elections. In sharp contrast, the Machomarchy of Kantal is subject to authoritarian rule by the faust dictator Maboor.

    The Cybaril District is one of the more curious social organizations in Syranix. It's rule is currently delegated to the Dominatriax Meliasandre, an enterprising aszuvki crime lord who, in truth, has ruled the district several years unofficially before she displaced the late Vauson Kyrinoloth as the preeminent liege of the Cybaril District. Meliasandre is a member of the aszuvki race, an evolution of the kistune that appear as fox like creatures with a dozen eyes, scorpion-like tails, a set of prehensile pseudopods. Meliasandre was an important figure for many years in the regional yakuza, and nearly ran afoul of the psiquisition on several occasions engaged in smuggling activities from buccaneers on the Sunspot Sea. One corner of the Cybaril District abuts the Ankh'Chor directly, and this region is known as the 'terraces. These wide, graceful, undulating tiers contain the mansions of trader grandees and crime lords attempting to transition to respectability.

    The Sunspot Sea: This large expanse of violet water extends to the horizon. It is the source of the submersible vessels that occasionally breach the roiling purple waves and discharge the enigmatic envoys of the faceless men, who meet for unknown purposes with the kobolds of the Ankh'Chorr, and then depart under circumstances as mysterious as their arrival. Observers have occasionally noted visible on the surfaces of the faceless men's vessels, which suggests that they encountered hostile forces in their journey to Syranix. Occasionally, seaside merchants or fishermen in Syranix encounter members of aquatic races who suggest that extensive civilization may exist beneath the surface of the violet ocean. However, contact with these entities is discouraged by the servants of the ametrine dragons, and they work quickly to prevent these encounters from geminating any curiosity on the part of Syranix's inhabitants. If a particular sea-goer proves intransigent, they may unexpectedly disappear or turn up, violently vivisected, a warning to those who do not heed less-forceful guidance.

    The Busoombosphumbian Desert: This is one of the many white-sand deserts that surround Syranix on three sides. The waste contains a number of strange sites that have been visited by the kobolds and other inhabitants of Syranix. Recently, a strange vessel descended in a halo of fire into the depths of the Busoombosphumbian Desert, an event that was observed in Syranix.

    Philosophy and Religion:

    There are no gods, and in Syranix there is no memory of any such beings. Other areas of Vexagorth likely preserve a greater general historical knowledge. However, there are still philosophical societies to which ardent minds and other cleric-like classes may have membership.

    The cosmology of Vexagorth also reflects the impact of this ancient apocalypse: the prime material plane is surrounded a huge variety of about a 100 elemental planes of various descriptions, but the Outer Planes are a massive region of devastation known as the Wasted Worlds. The former heights of Mount Elysium are a smoking crater, inhabited only by deformed angels which gibber incomprehensibly to each other as they attempt to warm themselves besides multi-colored fires lit on the refuse of the Divine Throne. Occasionally, one is devoured by the predatory pseudopods of some deformed entity of the Outer Chaos, and these abominations have become more frequent as the formless reaches beyond the universe gradually overrun the remains of the Outer Planes. This means that there are no petitioners or standard forms of the afterlife in Vexagorth. Instead, the fate of souls after death is a widely disputed matter.

    Amytria: The philosophical society of the Amytria are a group of kobolds committed to evolving into ametrine dragons, which they refer to by the name guosuvai, and consider to be avatars of the worldsoul. They cultivate the phantasuds and other mysterious power sources to perform rituals that will enable them to increase their resemblance to their draconic idols. It is unknown whether any of their number have achieved this aim. The kobold adherents of this philosophy believe that only kobolds are able to walk the path of Amytria. They are also the most zealous of the ametrine dragons' servants, exceeding even the most vicious members of the Psiquisition in their fervor. They fight for their liege's with suicidal valor and brook no compromise and interference with their aims.

    The Gossamer Choir: This is one of the most prominent philosophical sodalities of the kobolds of the Recumbent Sanctuary of Ethereal Effervescence. They spend their lives studying the phantasuds, which they believe to be the voice of the world speaking to the present age. The Gossamer Choir is a larger organization than the adherents of Amytria, and view their fervent fellows with some suspicion. They accompany this warniess with a degree of pity, since they do not believe their ultimate goal is realizable. Some members of the Gossamer Choir believe the inhabitants of the lower city should be included in their research, but this proposal has been met with a cold reception among most of the inhabitants of the Ankh'Chorr.

    Kwelqra'a: These are surviving followers of the mythical revolutionary Kwelgriss Phaiondar who challenged the ruling regime. They maintain tight, almost familial cells that must be ever vigilant lest they be rooted out by the watchful attention of the githyanki Psiquisition. Their philosophy asserts that Kwelgriss, the 'forebearer', joined with the worldsoul, and is a sure guide for those that wish to exceed the bounds of mortal bodies and obtain and immortal form of existence. Outsiders are suspicious since it would appear that Kwelgriss was entirely unsuccessful in his revolt, and the mystery cult established by his surviving followers could been seen as a pitiable attempt to salvage some sort of meaning from their failed insurrection. The adherents are sufficiently clandestine that they do not argue openly for their beliefs, but it is generally conceded that those who have been able to contact them have received some kind of apologetic for their convictions.

    The Shadedark of Gloomdimmer (Shahadath-sa'an-Shadevar): This ominous title denotes a thought-group of the criminal side of Syranix's society which largely inhabits the under-city. The followers of this path refer to themselves as shadevarians, and elite among their number as shadevarian savants, or simply 'savants'. One explanation of its origins are in the disaffected remnants of the Kwelgriss Revolt. Its adherents believe that enlightenment is found in the exploration of physical and spiritual darkness of all types, though the details of its doctrine are not widely known matters. Many of its adherents serve as councilors to bosses in the city's yakuza.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-04-14 at 11:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    This is a 'teaser-trailer' of the first adventure. I started writing up #2, but decided it gave away to much of the plot of #1. A big part of this campaign is going to be mystery and exploration, so I hope what is offered below is sufficient to induce some interest. I can say that #2 is a murder mystery inspired by Altered Carbon, so characters will need to have abilities that work both in dungeoneering as well as intrigue and investigation.

    Shadows of the Final Dawn #1: Phantoms Forgotten by the Night

    The tinted skies of Syranix, the Dreamful City which stands by the shores of the Sunspot Sea, have recently been breached by an alarming manifestation. A strange vessel of enormous size and ringed with a halo of fire, descended with a sky-splitting keening into the desert wastes outside the city-state. In the wake of these mysterious events, our protagonists find themselves on the wrong side of the local administrators of the Cybaril District, and have been imprisoned by the sector's appointed psiquisitors in the dreadful demiplanar site of imprisonment known as the Gaaz'sak'vaa. Contained within a labyrinth carved into the side of the smallest shard of the Ankh'Chor, this strange demi-plane of bleached sand deadens the mind, spirit, and soul of whoever is cast into its forbidding recesses.

    Despairing for their fate, and fending for their very lives among the prison's other disreputable inmates, they are approached with a tempting yet suspicious bargain by a cloaked figure named Usiresadon, who offers them a strange bargain. In exchange for their assistance in the exploration of a strange vessel that has recently alighted in the depths of the Busoombosphumbian Desert, presumably avoiding any agents already dispatched by the ametrine dragons who habitually evidence an interest in such events, the mysterious stranger will somehow arrange for their release from the Gaaz'sak'vaa.

    Should they accept this suspicious engagement, our erstwhile team of explorers will contend with several factions interested in the wreck of the strange vessel, and perhaps begin to unravel the great mysteries of their world's shadowed history and dark destiny.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-03-04 at 09:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    I'm still building this out, within reason I'm open to discussion, but I don't want to get into an endless back and forth where everyone tries to reflexively overrule me with their own preferences.

    Rough/proposed Build Rules

    *Ability scores: 25 pt. buy.
    *You get 41 build pts. to customize a race. Either you can pick a base race and stack on points, or you can make up something entirely new.
    *10th level quadstalt (if you don't know what to do beyond gestalt, just take fighter for feats and unchained rogue for skill points).
    *Background skills
    *Every class in the quadstalt gets feats as if it were a fighter who was getting 1 feat per level. I can make up a table for feat progression if that would help.
    1 8
    2 8
    3 4
    4 8
    5 4
    6 8
    7 4
    8 8
    9 4
    10 8

    =64
    *The Elephant in the Room Feat Taxes in Pathfinder
    *Everyone gets the Combat Stamina (Combat) and Signature Skill (General) feats for their skills for free.
    *There are essentially no magical items, so instead you get equivalent bonuses from 15 pts. in Oaths.
    8ou can pick the special feats from this system if you want as well for some of your feat options: https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...gic-Item-Rules

    We'll have to set some parameters/limits. I want these to be tough but equivalent characters.

    Also, I'm looking for up to 6 players. If there's more interest than that, I will form a separate table, which will consist of characters from another faction of the setting -- likely kobolds, goushen, and githyanki. In other words, you can probably play if you're willing to make a character who's a servant of the dragons if there are more than 6 submissions for table 1.

    Some other considerations: melee weapons may be basically useless in this universe. Almost all the sapient entities will be using ranged weapons like laser guns and similar technology. A ranged gun-wielding weapon build may be best for martial characters unless you have some kind of stealth technology that will allow you to close distance to employ melee attacks.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-03-06 at 08:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Can we get links to those suggested races? I don't recognise most of them.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by pi4t View Post
    Can we get links to those suggested races? I don't recognise most of them.
    https://www.d20pfsrd.com/alternative...leashed/races/
    https://www.lpjdesign.com/neoexodus/
    https://www.strangeassembly.com/2017...C%20camouflage).

    I'm still looking for something that summarizes the Oathbound: Domains of the Forge races.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-03-02 at 03:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Does the banning on magic items apply to psionic, akashic, etc items too?

    Ordinarily, Akashic characters can get an Essence-Forged weapon, which scales automatically with your level at no cost. It's basically an alternative to getting a weapon-like veil, if you want something more customisable. The price of the weapon is pretty trivial at this level (5000gp). It's sort of an unofficial class feature. If we're not doing magic items at all, how would you feel about offering akashic characters a (set of) Essence-Forged weapons for free?

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by pi4t View Post
    Does the banning on magic items apply to psionic, akashic, etc items too?

    Ordinarily, Akashic characters can get an Essence-Forged weapon, which scales automatically with your level at no cost. It's basically an alternative to getting a weapon-like veil, if you want something more customisable. The price of the weapon is pretty trivial at this level (5000gp). It's sort of an unofficial class feature. If we're not doing magic items at all, how would you feel about offering akashic characters a (set of) Essence-Forged weapons for free?
    no, it just applies to magical items.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcarius5555 View Post
    no, it just applies to magical items.
    Where do we draw the distinction, then? Normally, pretty much any "magic" item can be crafted by a psychic, or at least by a sorcerer with the psychic bloodline. Without even needing to take +5 for missing prerequisites, most of the time.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Things like rings of wizardry, I assume.
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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Potentiwlly interested! I think a quad is more fun, especially if.people use it to make builds that are "wierd" in some ways, not hyperfocus or hyperoptimize a specific element - Just going wild.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    I agree with Heavenblade, in terms of 'lets go nuts and bizzare'

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by pi4t View Post
    Where do we draw the distinction, then? Normally, pretty much any "magic" item can be crafted by a psychic, or at least by a sorcerer with the psychic bloodline. Without even needing to take +5 for missing prerequisites, most of the time.
    I have to look at this closer then. The main idea is to prevent everyone from having the 'significant six'. The setting concept is that the only 'magical' items are those filled with the supernal psychic essence of their user, and become mundane outsider of that special individual.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Genth View Post
    I agree with Heavenblade, in terms of 'lets go nuts and bizzare'
    That's what I'm aiming for. A lot of this is, as I indicated, a world building exercise. If you're not interested in building up weird background elements and just want to get through combats, this won't be your game.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Hmm. Could I suggest using the Oaths system from Spheres of Power instead of Automatic Bonus Progression? It has the same idea as ABP, but it's more flexible if, for example, you're playing a soulknife and don't need a magic weapon.

    Despite officially being part of Spheres, virtually no actual knowledge of Spheres is required. For bonus talents instead read bonus feats*, and you should disallow the Drawback and Magical Gleaning boons.

    You just give everyone a number of oath points to spend for free (removing the usual limit of 10 points). 7 points is recommended for characters with half normal wealth; 15 points if the character has virtually no starting gold at all.

    *Technically this is a slight upgrade, but not a significant one in a game with this many feats around anyway.
    Last edited by pi4t; 2021-03-02 at 05:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by pi4t View Post
    Hmm. Could I suggest using the Oaths system from Spheres of Power instead of Automatic Bonus Progression? It has the same idea as ABP, but it's more flexible if, for example, you're playing a soulknife and don't need a magic weapon.

    Despite officially being part of Spheres, virtually no actual knowledge of Spheres is required. For bonus talents instead read bonus feats*, and you should disallow the Drawback and Magical Gleaning boons.

    You just give everyone a number of oath points to spend for free (removing the usual limit of 10 points). 7 points is recommended for characters with half normal wealth; 15 points if the character has virtually no starting gold at all.

    *Technically this is a slight upgrade, but not a significant one in a game with this many feats around anyway.
    That sounds reasonable. I need to take a look at it and see if I want to add some stuff from the other systems I linked.

    Also, we're going to need to run some experimental combats for me to figure out how this is going to work. Beside alien fauna, most enemies aren't using melee weapons, but will instead be shooting at you with machine guns (and you will be doing likewise). That's clearly a different kind of combat, and I need to think carefully about that will work before attempting it in game.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-03-02 at 06:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcarius5555 View Post
    That sounds reasonable. I need to take a look at it and see if I want to add some stuff from the other systems I linked.
    It could also give a way to bring in magic items. Say, give 15 oath points and no magic items (with the option of swearing oaths for more points) and then add a boon saying something like:

    Magic Item (Cost varies)
    Choose one magic item. This must be an "interesting" magic item like a blinkback belt or essence forged weapon, not just one of the "big six". DM discretion. You start with a psychically created version of this magic item, which only works for you. If you ever lose the item, you may enchant another at no cost by performing an eight hour ritual. When you do this, the original permanently loses all powers.
    Like an Occultist's implement, the magic really resides in you and is merely channeled through the item, so not even Use Magic Device will allow anyone else to use it if it is separated from you.
    This boon costs 1 point per 5000gp price of the enchantment. You may take it up to three times, choosing a different item each time.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by pi4t View Post
    It could also give a way to bring in magic items. Say, give 15 oath points and no magic items (with the option of swearing oaths for more points) and then add a boon saying something like:

    Magic Item (Cost varies)
    Choose one magic item. This must be an "interesting" magic item like a blinkback belt or essence forged weapon, not just one of the "big six". DM discretion. You start with a psychically created version of this magic item, which only works for you. If you ever lose the item, you may enchant another at no cost by performing an eight hour ritual. When you do this, the original permanently loses all powers.
    Like an Occultist's implement, the magic really resides in you and is merely channeled through the item, so not even Use Magic Device will allow anyone else to use it if it is separated from you.
    This boon costs 1 point per 5000gp price of the enchantment. You may take it up to three times, choosing a different item each time.
    even under this model, it would have to be an item that mimicked a magical ability, but actually ran on psionics, psychic magic, or akasha. Normal magic flat out doesn't work. If a wizard from the past when it existed time traveled to the present age, there abilities wouldn't function.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcarius5555 View Post
    even under this model, it would have to be an item that mimicked a magical ability, but actually ran on psionics, psychic magic, or akasha. Normal magic flat out doesn't work. If a wizard from the past when it existed time traveled to the present age, there abilities wouldn't function.
    I was speaking in mechanical terms when I talked about magic items. Note I said that it works like an occultist's implement, which does exactly what you're describing there.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Just so I know what's available - if we use a Psionic or Spiritualist Casting Tradition for Spheres of Power is that allowed?

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Genth View Post
    Just so I know what's available - if we use a Psionic or Spiritualist Casting Tradition for Spheres of Power is that allowed?
    I honestly don't know all the ins and outs of Spheres. Can you link me to that so I can see what you're talking about (I don't see it on a quick scan of the wiki). For example, looking around this http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/technomancy is within the bounds of what I had in mind, since it has an Akashic variant.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by pi4t View Post
    I was speaking in mechanical terms when I talked about magic items. Note I said that it works like an occultist's implement, which does exactly what you're describing there.
    Okay, that sounds reasonable then.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcarius5555 View Post
    I honestly don't know all the ins and outs of Spheres. Can you link me to that so I can see what you're talking about (I don't see it on a quick scan of the wiki). For example, looking around this http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/technomancy is within the bounds of what I had in mind, since it has an Akashic variant.
    I can translate.

    When you make a spheres character, one of the things you choose is a "casting tradition", which determines the source of its power and any weaknesses it might have. This is not tied to your class or choice of spheres, it's a separate choice. For example, I might make my mind mage an arcane style caster, with spell failure chance and verbal and somatic components. Or I might make him a psychic caster, with an inability to use his magic while under an emotion and with +10 to concentration DCs. Or I might make him a psionic caster, with none of these drawbacks. Or an alchemist, who has to prepare his magic in potion form before he can use it. Or a dark sun style wizard draining power from the terrain to make their magic stronger. All of these builds would have the same class and be able to manifest the same powers, other than the limitations I mentioned there and the number of spell points per day they get.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by pi4t View Post
    I can translate.

    When you make a spheres character, one of the things you choose is a "casting tradition", which determines the source of its power and any weaknesses it might have. This is not tied to your class or choice of spheres, it's a separate choice. For example, I might make my mind mage an arcane style caster, with spell failure chance and verbal and somatic components. Or I might make him a psychic caster, with an inability to use his magic while under an emotion and with +10 to concentration DCs. Or I might make him a psionic caster, with none of these drawbacks. Or an alchemist, who has to prepare his magic in potion form before he can use it. Or a dark sun style wizard draining power from the terrain to make their magic stronger. All of these builds would have the same class and be able to manifest the same powers, other than the limitations I mentioned there and the number of spell points per day they get.
    that's fine then.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    All Spheres of Power classes and casting uses a Casting Tradition (http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/casting-traditions). This tends to have some mechancial effects (Determining the modifier used for casting, restrictions on how you can use your effects etc) but is primarily thematic and fluff-driven. The goal of Spheres of Power is that even though they can have the same effects (For example, using talents in the Destruction Sphere to make an exploding fireball) two casters can have radically different sources of that effect.

    What I'm asking is if we can use Spheres of Power classes and mechanics as long as the casting tradition (i.e. Fluff+A little Mechanics) is described as Psionic, Spiritual, or Technology based.


    *edit* Lol, Soulknife'd
    Last edited by Genth; 2021-03-02 at 06:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Genth View Post
    All Spheres of Power classes and casting uses a Casting Tradition (http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/casting-traditions). This tends to have some mechancial effects (Determining the modifier used for casting, restrictions on how you can use your effects etc) but is primarily thematic and fluff-driven. The goal of Spheres of Power is that even though they can have the same effects (For example, using talents in the Destruction Sphere to make an exploding fireball) two casters can have radically different sources of that effect.

    What I'm asking is if we can use Spheres of Power classes and mechanics as long as the casting tradition (i.e. Fluff+A little Mechanics) is described as Psionic, Spiritual, or Technology based.


    *edit* Lol, Soulknife'd
    I didn't understand that part of the system, now that I'm looking at it, I may allow a couple more of these casting traditions like Gadgeteer.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    To further clarify: If you say yes to this, then each of the three types of casting will have two different versions. The standard version, where psychic casting has spell slots, psionics has power points, and akasha has veils, and the spheres version where they can all be used for the same kinds of magic in almost the same way (by getting a large number of feats and spending them on improving the class's abilities). While I normally love spheres, I suspect in this game you might be disappointed by the way it makes all three kinds of casting very similar to each other. And the huge numbers of feats will allow characters to become extremely good casters, rather than having abilities from several different classes as you'd expect for a gestalt.

    I'm currently playing in a gestalt spheres game IRL and...honestly, it doesn't work too well in practice.
    Last edited by pi4t; 2021-03-02 at 06:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by pi4t View Post
    To further clarify: If you say yes to this, then each of the three types of casting will have two different versions. The standard version, where psychic casting has spell slots, psionics has power points, and akasha has veils, and the spheres version where they can all be used for the same kinds of magic in almost the same way (by getting a large number of feats and spending them on improving the class's abilities). While I normally love spheres, I suspect in this game you might be disappointed by the way it makes all three kinds of casting very similar to each other. And the huge numbers of feats will allow characters to become extremely good casters, rather than having abilities from several different classes as you'd expect for a gestalt.
    In principle I'm okay with using spheres, but I don't want someone to take the psionics casting tradition than buy a set of abilities that looks exactly like a normal wizard or cleric. I think I'm going to have to reserve judgment based on what casting tradition is combined with what spheres. I may have to divide the spheres that are available for certain casting traditions.

    Is anyone deadset on using spheres? I think this may raise a lot of problems if it's going to cause all three sources of power to overlap in this way. That is sort of killing one of the thematic elements of this setting.
    Last edited by Marcarius5555; 2021-03-02 at 06:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    In otherwords here, making a character who summons a bunch of swords and stuff to use usually telekinetically is mostly going to be useless?
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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcarius5555 View Post
    In principle I'm okay with using spheres, but I don't want someone to take the psionics casting tradition than buy a set of abilities that looks exactly like a normal wizard or cleric. I think I'm going to have to reserve judgment based on what casting tradition is combined with what spheres. I may have to divide the spheres that are available for certain casting traditions.
    In that case, I suggest you divide them up and keep the different traditions pretty much separated, removing spheres entirely when they don't fit. I'm quite familiar with spheres, so would it help if I went through and made some suggestions?

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    Default Re: Shadows of the Final Dawn AP: Homebrew Psionic, Psychic, Akashic Sci-Fi Setting

    Quote Originally Posted by Triskavanski View Post
    In otherwords here, making a character who summons a bunch of swords and stuff to use usually telekinetically is mostly going to be useless?
    Unless you can get them operational and in range faster than a machine gun.

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